Knife Edge, part 1: The enemy of my enemy…

SGC, Earth, 2002

“Let me get this straight.” O’Neill looked at Jacob Carter, “Some unknown force turned up at this plant that Anubis was using as a staging area, blasted two of his supped-up Shalkra-class mother ships out of orbit, took-out 500 of his best Jaffa, then turned his base into a smoking crater, and you want us to go say ‘Hi’ to them for you?”

Jacob’s eyes glowed, “That is correct O’Neill: there are no Tok’ra agents in a position to get there. I barely managed to get away myself.

O’Neill rolled his eyes, “That’s the point I’m trying to make Selmak: you didn’t even get a look at who or what did this, yet you want us to march in there like it’s nothing out of the ordinary. These new ships of Anubis’ took out an Asgard Battle-cruiser back on Adara. Anything that can whoop his ass is probably going to be hostile.”

General Hammond nodded, “Normally I’d agree, but given the recent trouble the Asgard have had with the Replicators, we need all the potential allies we can get. If these people are advanced enough to so easily defeat Anubis, they could be powerful allies.”

O’Neill knew he was fighting a lousing battle, but decided to give it one last shot, “Or they could swat us like fly’s and move-on! The protected-plates treaty only protects us from Goa’uld, nobody else.”

Teal’c nodded, “Colonel O’Neill is indeed correct: our allies have stated on more than one occasion that they are limited in the aid they can give us.”

Hammond shook his head, “I am inclined to agree, but the orders come from the very top: SG-1, along with General Carter, will proceed by the newly repaired Tok’ra shuttle housed at Area-51 to P5X-729 and determine if this unidentified race is a threat to us or not, and if they seem friendly, make peaceful contact with them.”

O’Neill smiled sarcastically, “And if their not friendly?”

Hammond smiled, “I’m sure you’ll deal with your usual style and grace.”

O’Neill leaned back against the wall of the Tok’ra shuttle, playing solitaire while Teal’c and Jacob/Selmak handled the controls. The technicians had finally headed his advice and added a third seat, but Carter had pounced on it with a cry of ‘shotgun’ as soon as the hatch had opened.

Jonas lowered himself down onto the floor next t O’Neill, “Colonel, I was wondering if I could talk to you for a moment.”

O’Neill looked at him “You better hurry: the in-flight movie starts soon. I hear its Aliens. Love that film.”

Jonas looked confused for a second, then shrugged, “This is the first time I’ve been on this sort of mission. I mean, we normally send a MALP through first, but not this time…”

O’Neill smiled, “Before you ask: it doesn’t get any easier with time.”

Teal’c turned to face them, “We are approaching the planet, and will be exiting hyperspace soon.”

O’Neill hauled himself to his feet, “Ok, let’s have a look.”

The Teltac exited hyperspace and cloaked instantly. Carter ran a quick scan, “I’m picking up debris from the two Shalkra’s in orbit, and massive destruction on the planet. It’s consistent with 20-megatone nuclear warheads, but I’m picking up no fallout.”

O’Neill gritted his teeth, “Great: someone worked out how to build clean nukes. I bet NID are going to love that. Any sigh of our mysterious newcomer?”

Jacob looked at his controls, “There appears to be a ship of some kind on the far side of the planet, but I can’t tell what it is without de-cloaking and going to full-power on the scanner.”

O’Neill shook his head, “Let’s not do that just yet: how about we go and have a look at the surface, see if we can get any clues there.”

Teal’c led the way through the forest in the general direction of Anubis’ base, keeping a sharp lookout. O’Neill hung back with Jacob, “So what haven’t you told us that could prove to be of vital importance at some time in the future?”

Jacob looked at the other man, “I can honestly say that I haven’t withheld anything from you: the Tok’ra is seriously scared by this development. If another System Lord has discovered a way to defeat Anubis so easily, it could be the end of us all.”

“Colonel O’Neill, Jacob Carter, I believe you should see this.” Teal’c’s rather tense tone of voice caught their attention straight away: they ran past the last few threes and into the clearing beyond.

Jonas had wondered off slightly, and found himself in a different clearing, a strange looking craft before him, “Wow.” He picked up his radio, “Colonel, I’ve found something you will want to see.”

The voice on the other end was tense, "We’ve found something too: be on the look-out for something very big, carrying a very big gun."

 Jonas was confused, “How big a gun?”

O’Neill looked at the shell casing in his other hand, “Oh, about 80-mm or so.” He looked again at the scene of devastation: Jaffa lay across the all around, their armour blackened and broken.

A hint of movement caught Jonas’ eye, “There’s someone here.”

O’Neill looked round, “Jonas, what ever you do, don’t do anything even remotely hostile. You hear me?”

Jonas raised his hands in a submissive way, forgetting that one held his P90.

A black-clad figure erupted from the undergrowth, flipping end over end, a long staff-like weapon held in its hands. The young Kelownan was only just able to duck as the mysterious attacker swung their weapon in a wide arc that would have connected with his head, and undoubtedly would have rendered him unconscious.

The second attack was to fast for him to avoid: his opponent caught him in the solar plexuses with the palm of their hand, and the force of the blow knocked him backwards against a tree.

The rest of SG-1 burst through the tree line, weapons drawn. “Ok, back off, nice and slow!” O’Neill’s tone was level, revealing only some of his anger and fear.

Carter looked that the craft that had caught Jonas’ attention, “Sir, doesn’t that look like…”

The black-clad figure removed their mask, “Colonel, Major, Teal’c: I was hopping to run into you.”

Carter almost dropped her P90, “…Andromeda?”

To Be Continued…

Chapter 2