1 March 2012
An Ancient!John Story
a TRANSCRIPT of the
DEPARTMENT OF HOMEWORLD SECURITY
address to the UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
and the PEOPLE OF EARTH
[with annotations by the transcriber]
01 March 2012 – 0800 EST
UN General Assembly Hall
[Music plays across the empty stage – the "Adagio" from Aram Khachaturian's ballet Gayane.]
[After a few bars, the room quiets and two dozen heads of state – to include the President of the United States; the British, Russian, and French Prime Ministers; and the Premier of China – enter the room, situating themselves in the chairs at the back of the dais. None come forward to take any of the three podiums set up downstage.]
[Midway through the "Adagio," the music cuts out and the noise in the room slowly falls. At it's nadir, three people enter from upstage right: DOCTOR DANIEL JACKSON, GENERAL JACK O'NEILL, and BRIGADIER GENERAL SAMANTHA CARTER, who take the podiums at downstage right, centre, and left respectively.]
JACKSON: Hello. [Jackson is a forty-six-year-old doctor of archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics. His suit is dark grey, his tie dark purple; his hair a greying brown. Behind wire-rimmed glasses, he blinks fastidiously for the first three minutes of his presentation, but, after that, appears to blink not enough.] I'm Doctor Daniel Jackson. To my right are Generals Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter of the United States Air Force, and we are here to speak to you today about a recently declassified military research program codenamed 'Star Gate.' Our assistants will now hand out the prepared briefing materials, but – and I cannot stress this enough – we ask that you do not ask questions until the end of our presentation. We will take the time to answer any and all questions you have, only, again, we wait until we open the floor to ask them.
[Jackson gestures to the dozen or so military attaches across the room, who begin handing thick manilla envelopes to the members of the GENERAL ASSEMBLY and the gathered members of THE PRESS. While there is some murmur as the various members open their packets, there are no voiced questions. Jackson appears pleased by this as he turns to the note cards in his hand.]
JACKSON: In 1928, an artefact was uncovered by at a dig site near the Pyramid of Khufu by Professor Paul Langford. Its initial purpose and use was unknown, and it was brought back to the United States for further study. The device, which stood at 6.7 metres tall and weighed twenty-nine tonnes, was eventually discovered to contain the means of creating a stable, artificial wormhole to other devices like it throughout the Milky Way.
CARTER: The device – termed a Stargate – is part of a network of approximately three hundred thousand such devices scattered across our galaxy, allowing users to cross up to a hundred thousand light-years in a single step.
[Carter is forty-three-years-old and has been an Air Force officer for half of those – and a mother for the last six. Underneath her sharply-tailored dress blues and the heavy weight of service medals, she is clearly a beautiful woman, but starting to show both her years and her lifestyle. There's a touch of crow's-feet to her eyes, a liberal streaking of grey in her otherwise blonde hair. Despite all this, she is still a devastatingly beautiful woman, whose looks are rivalled only by her brains. She holds a doctorate in astrophysics, a masters in mechanical engineering, and a the command of a posting which, while highly classified, is known to be the destination of a large chunk of the armed forces' research and development budgets.]
While this may seem fantastic, the United States Air Force has been using this device successfully to travel to other planets for the last sixteen years. Do the rapidly expanding breadth of the Startgate Program, this briefing only covers the first half of our operations – which is to say, the declassification of nearly all of the missions run by Stargate Command between 27 July, 1996 and 3 July, 2005. And while, yes, there are a number of significant gaps in the materials now being handed to you – especially for June 2004 onwards, – this is done, not to hide our actions from the public at large any longer, but because we felt it was best to declassify the Stargate Program incrementally, and hope to make public the rest of our operations sometime within the next twelve to twenty-four months.
[There is some murmuring of discontent, of disbelief, of concern from the crowd. But, for the most part, the GENERAL ASSEMBLY and THE PRESS both appear to be in too much a stunned silence to do more than make these noises. The air of the Assembly Hall is one of uncertain anticipation rather than outrage, though the line is fine and growing thinner with each passing moment.]
JACKSON: The Stargates were created approximately sixty-five million years ago by a race of people known as the Ancients, who came to our galaxy following a thousand-year civil war in their own they called the Schisma. They settled on Earth and chose to seed life in their image upon our planet, guiding our evolution until, eventually, we reached a form not unlike their own. They also seeded the galaxy with Stargates, and sent out ships to seed both life and Stargates there as well.
The Ancients were not alone in the universe, however, and, while exceptionally scientifically advanced, were not invulnerable, and in the year 8451 BC began to experience a plague the likes of which they had never seen. After a century of trying to combat it, those of their species left this planet and this galaxy for elsewhere, leaving behind a few of their artefacts – including the Stargates – and the species they had created – humanity, or Terrans, as they called us.
In the year 8177 BC, Earth was rediscovered by alien entities – this time by a race of parasitic beings known as the goa'uld who fancied themselves gods and pretended to be characters out ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Babylonian mythology to control us.
O'NEILL: The goa'uld are power hungry bastards.
[O'Neill is something of an unknown amongst the figures on the stage. Whereas Jackson and Carter have both been nervous and, overall, dead serious while saying their bits, O'Neill has and continues to look faintly bored by the whole proceeding. He has four stars on each shoulder and more medals than one would think possible to pin to one jacket-front, and the stern, faintly disproving expression one would expect of a man of his rank. He's almost sixty, has served in more wars than most people can readily name, and has retired twice – or so the rumours go – only to be called back into service, his skills are so invaluable. But as to what his skills actually are, no one appears quite sure – not even now, when it's clear that he's clearly some bigwig in the newly-revealed Stargate Program.]
[Jackson, for instance, is clearly the archaeological/historical/linguistic brains behind the operation and, for all that he is still faintly ridiculed for his 1992 book The Truth About The Pyramids, he's been regaining esteem in his field for several years, particularly since the fall of 2010, when he was hired to teach various ancient history and language courses at the United States Air Force Academy, which is notorious for hiring nothing but the best. To those familiar with his field, he's a little bit of a superstar.]
[The story is similar with Carter – she's the scientific brains behind it all, even if so much of her research is classified that she's not published anything in years, though she's known to be a close personal friend to Chern Medal winners John Sheppard and Rodney McKay, who have (the former even going to far as to dedicate his revolutionary monograph, On the Distribution of Primes in Riemann Zeta Functions, to her), rather profusely.]
[So there is clearly something more to O'Neill than is first obvious. With digging, it's possible to come up with a few details – that he's a masters in aerospace engineering; that he once (accidentally) sent a yo-yo through a glass pane in the White House, breaking several irreplaceable pieces of Van Buren family china; that he's been married to Carter for more years than are strictly in accordance with military law – but nothing substantial.]
JACKSON: Yes, thank you, Jack. As I was saying, the goa'uld are a race of sentient parasitic aliens who discovered Earth in 8177 BC and posed as our gods for a large part of our history, transporting many of their worshippers to other worlds be their slaves there. A rebellion in 3117 BC caused Ra – the goa'uld who controlled Earth at the time, and stood as the... emperor of sorts of the other goa'uld System Lords – to loose control of the Stargate, effectively cutting Earth off from the rest of the universe. Until, with General Carter's help, we were able to determine the means by which the Stargates operate...
O'NEILL: But the science stuff will come later – as I understand it, we've a whole week of show and tell lined up for all interested parties. Mostly, we're here to give you the general overview at the moment, which is basically that, while, yes, we're not alone in the universe, we're more than able to take care of ourselves. We've stopped the end of the world – how many times now, Carter?
CARTER: Fifteen now, sir. [She says this automatically, clearly not even giving her answer thought until after she's said it. Her eyes dart quickly to O'Neill – who doesn't seem to pay any attention to this at all, save for the way one corner of his mouth quirks slightly higher – before down to her podium before back to the crowd.]
O'NEILL: See, no trouble at all. So, what do we still have to go over?
[This question appears directed to Jackson, who looks momentarily flustered before glancing down at his note cards. After a moment, he appears to decide they're no longer necessary and tucks them into one of his jacket pockets, before turning with an indulgent, exasperated smile towards downstage centre.]
JACKSON: Just the uncovering of the cover-ups, really. And there's some more history of the-
O'NEILL: Let's skip the history for now. So... cover-ups, where do we start?
CARTER: That meteor shower in '98 that was really the remains of Apophis' Ha'tak. [By the conversational tone all three have picked up, it's unclear as to whether any of them still remember their audience, the press, or the television cameras.]
O'NEILL: Wasn't that 2000?
JACKSON: No, that was a decommissioned satellite and the remains of the Beliskner.
CARTER: I think he means the Ha'tak with Thor's consciousness on board that showed up in '02.
JACKSON: [Frowning.] Hmm. I don't remember that one.
O'NEILL: Of course not. You were doing the whole white light thing then.
JACKSON: Which reminds me, what did we tell people about the Battle of Antarctica?
CARTER: Training exercise.
JACKSON: In Antarctica?
O'NEILL: Multinational training exercise.
JACKSON: Huh. And people bought that one? [Jackson blinks and turns slightly, which seems to remind him that he's in a room with over two hundred people in it, almost all of whom are rapidly moving from stunned silence to variously vocal levels of disbelief.] But, er, Jack's right. There's plenty of time next week to go over the details. So, keeping that in mind, uh, are there any questions?
[The room erupts with noise.]