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Yucatan Job - Interlude - A Journalist Abroad

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Jack came through the Gate to find the others standing on the edge of the platform, gazing across a snow covered plain. High, snow covered peaks could be seen off in the distance.

"This isn’t the beach," Harry said over the comm. "It’s nothing like a beach at all," she said.

"We wouldn’t want to lead them right to our favorite spot, would we?" he said. "The beach is a couple gates up the line."

"You’re the experts," Ginny said, drowning out Harry’s grumbling. "So, where to next?"

"There’s an Ancient outpost here," Miranda said. "The crystals can feel it."

"They’re alive?" Sam said, excitedly. "We’ve never been able to determine what makes them so special."

"A very low level life form," Miranda said. "Not being an Ancient, I can’t tell you how or why, just that I can feel them living. Very slowly."

"Right. Sorry," Sam said. "There’s another Gate at the outpost, high in those mountains. But it’s too risky with this weather."

"We can handle it," Joy said. "Our hard suits are all weather capable."

"No time," Andy said. "But I bet there’s some awesome skying up there."

"We’ll just have to find this world in our universe and go there," Ginny said, nodding.

"It’s a tourist trap," Janice said.

"How do you know?" Ginny asked.

"They’re the Ice Mountains of Trall," Janice said. "I recognized them from some travel show. One of the most popular travel destination in the Crystal Clan’s territory. The waiting list for accommodations is measured in years."

"Skip," Harry said. "We’ve got our own mountains to ski in."

"Think the next one will be something we’ll recognize?" Ginny asked. "Or was this just a coincidence?"

"Coincidence," Joy said.

"You say that now," Ginny said. "Wanna place your bets?"

"No," Joy said. "You have that trooper luck. The next one is probably going to be some famous city in Tiger Clan territory."

"So, next?" Jack said, clearly amused by easily how the others were taking to Gate travel. They all lined up and Sam entered the address. They quickly filed through, trying to guess what it would look like.

Jack stepped through to a similar scene of the others standing around. "Trees and rocks," he said. "But there’s a pond a mile to the west if we had time for fishing."

"This could be almost any world," Ginny said. "Is there any civilization?"

"Towns and cities? Not that we’ve ever found," Jack said. "Some small fishing villages."

"Nope," Harry said. "What’s the next one?"

"I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised," Jack said.

"We weren’t," Sam said, shaking her head. "At least there wasn’t a dragon."

"Sam, you’ll spoil the surprise," Jack said, dialing another address.

They came out of the Gate looking across a mist enshrouded valley, dominated by a large stone castle on the far side.

"A castle? How far away is it?" Joy asked. "Why isn’t it near the Gate?"

"The local warlord built it," Jack said. "He liked kidnapping travelers and holding them for ransom."

"Or worse," Sam said. "He had an agreement with the local System Lord to provide candidates."

"Candidates?" Ginny asked.

"To become hosts for Goa'uld," Sam said. "The peasants revolted and killed him and the System Lord, and then they were massacred by the next System Lord. Goa'uld may fight each other but they don’t like it when their slaves kill them."

"Typical," Janice said. "If you aren’t part of the boys club you can’t play the game."

"Ignore her," Joy said.

"Bad experience?" Sam asked.

"We don’t talk about it," Janice said, grimacing. "But they regretted not taking her seriously."

"Next?" Andy said. "Are we beach bound yet?"

"Almost," Sam said. "You’re getting the grand tour. Jack likes to show off."

"I’m not showing off," he said. "We don’t want anyone following us."

They jumped through four more gates in the next hour, only stopping long enough for Jack to point out some interesting piece of scenery. The last one was more trees. And a pond next to the gate.

"I liked that ship graveyard planet," Harry said. "I bet we could build our own hot ship from the pieces."

"We aren’t that desperate," Andy said. "But I’m sure with all of our brain power we could also."

"We did," Sam said. "It barely flew but it got us to another Gate several planets over."

"Someone needs to interview you," Joy said. "I bet you have all these cool stories that you could turn into a book or video."

"Too much of it’s classified," Sam said.

"No one needs to know it’s real," Janice said. "Lady S bought a video company. They had a show about aliens walking the earth."

"So she bought it to shut it down?" Sam asked.

"No, they do PR for us," Janice said. "People actually believe their fake stories so every so often Lady S slips in some real facts to see what people think."

"That seems a bit underhanded," Sam said.

"It’s intel," Joy said. "And PR. And all sorts of good things."

"Does your Earth know there’s going to be a war?" Jack asked.

"Not yet," Andy said. "They’re slowly being brought up to speed, both technology wise and information wise. When the Bugs show up, they should be ready."

"So, gradual disclosure?" Sam said.

"Yes," Andy said. "There’s no rule about any of this. We could tell them all in one day. But the Council doesn’t want to deal with the riots that are predicted."

"There were riots, small ones, when the Council announced that anyone with Mayan descendants could petition to join the Clan," Joy said.

"Anyone could join?" Sam asked.

"Anyone with a certain percentage of Clan DNA," Joy said. "They had to come to one of our embassies, and prove their ancestors were part of the Mayan diaspora."

"I was doing a story on it," Andy said. "And got sucked into being part of the cover-up."

"After Lady Shadow bought your newspaper," Ginny said, giggling. "I remember when Lady Q interviewed you. You looked so angry."

"Cover-up? Won’t people be angry when they find out you’ve been lying to them?" Jack said.

"It’s not actually lying," Andy said. "I’m sure Joy and Janice have a better idea how this whole thing works, I know they’ve been involved in studies on how to tell."

"It’s too complex to discuss now," Joy said. "Maybe when we get to the beach?"

"Next stop," Jack said. "Sun, sand, and cool drinks."

"A beach with a bar? We spend our shore leave in Cancun," Ginny said. "Better be some awesome cool drinks."

"Not a bar," Jack said. "But definitely cold drinks."

They lined up again, and Jack entered the coordinates of their next destination. By this point they’d settled into a well rehearsed routine. Harry first, followed by Joy and Janice, then Sam, Ginny, then Ixchel and Miranda. Lastly, Jack brought up the rear.

There was an odd twisting feeling as he stepped through the gate. It was not a normal feeling. He’d been going through Stargates for years and it hadn’t felt like this before.

"This doesn’t look like a beach," Ginny said, as soon as he appeared.

The three troopers were in protective positions around the others, yes, troopers, because although she claimed to be a journalist, Jack couldn’t see Andy as anything else, especially not after seeing her fighting the Jaffa on Ixchel’s planet. No journalist he’d ever met was as deadly in combat. Joy and Janice were closer in, doing something with their scanning toys. Sam was off to the side, like the soldier she was, providing additional cover. Ixchel was huddled next to Miranda.

"What’s wrong," Jack asked, slowly turning in a circle. The Gate on this side was not a familiar design. Instead of looking like an ancient stone ring, it was crystal of some sort, glowing in the bright red overhead sun. "Where are we?"

"Somewhere else," Sam said. "None of the known Stargates in our galaxy are this design."

"Okay..." Jack said, looking around. "Any idea what happened?"

"It was possible we were given a push," Miranda said. "When we stepped through the Ring there was a slight change in the way the Ring felt."

"So, somebody decided to get rid of us?" Jack said.

"The Ascended have been uncomfortable with my presence in their matrix," Miranda said. "Enough of them might have been able to do something."

"You still have the storage crystals?" Sam asked.

"Yes, they have not gone anywhere," Miranda said.

"And what’s with the strange Gate?" Jack asked.

"We were wondering if our universe had any Stargates," Joy said. "Looks like we have an answer. Somehow we slipped into our universe when we went through the Gate this last time."

"They aren’t active," Janice said. "According to its console it hasn’t been activated in several million years."

"Looks in pretty good shape for something that old," Jack said, stepping closer to the ring. "A buff and a polish and it’d be as good as new." He cautiously ran his hand along the crystal-like material. Appearances were deceiving. It wasn’t as smooth as it appeared. By feel he could detect a greater age than his eyes.

"They must predate the Pan-Galactic Confederation," Joy said. "We don’t have any records of them. And this must be an out of the way corner of the galaxy," she added. "We aren’t picking up any comm signals."

"Your comms can detect things at such extreme ranges?" Sam asked.

"Not our ordinary comms," Janice said. "But our scanners should be able to hook into the sub-space frequencies used by long distance comm traffic."

"How do you know where we are then," Jack asked. "This could just be a case of mistaken identity."

"A couple things," Joy said. "No comm traffic on the sub-space bands, but we’re picking up distant Confederation hyper-v navigation buoys."

"Okay, do we know where we are? Where are we?" Jack asked.

"On the good side, we’re still in the Milky Way, in what, in theory, is ancestral Serpent Clan territory." Joy said. "But we’re a long way from Earth."

"So, road trip?" Jack said. "How long will it take us to get home?"

"We don’t know what the closest Ring is to Earth," Andy said. "Or even when we are."

"When?" Jack said. "Time travel?"

"Maybe," Joy said. "Those Confederation buoys are several systems away. Our scanners are just barely able to detect them. We weren’t expecting to find them. And they haven’t been updated in a long, long time. Either we’ve gone into the past or this is an abandoned area."

"Okay. So, we’re on your home turf." jack said. "There’s a Stargate but we don’t know if there are more. And Earth is out there somewhere but we have no idea where."

"We do know where Earth is," Andy said. "Joy has it pinpointed. But we don’t know if there are any Rings near it. So actually getting to it might be a problem."

"We need to tap into the galactic comm channels," Janice said.

"Stick out a thumb and hitch a ride?" Sam said. "You wouldn’t happen to have one of those electronic thumbs from the Hitchhikers Guide?"

"No, that’s fictional," Joy said. "But if we can jack into the sub-space comms we might be able to request a pickup."

"Not to be a skeptic, but trust issues here," Jack said. "Do you trust a random pickup out in the middle of Milky Way nowhere?"

"Nope," Harry said, her attention not wavering from her watch. "Trust Clan only, verify all others."

"Our Clan only, unless we have a contract," Ginny said. "Random Clan won’t sell us to slavers, but they won’t help, beyond traditional support for lost members unless there’s something in it for them."

"Traditional?" Sam asked.

"Food and a place to stay for the night," Andy said. "Clan don’t let Clan starve."

"Good to know. But what about Sam, myself, and ol’ Ixchel?" he asked.

"We need to do something about that before we move from here," Joy said. "You’re unprotected. But there’s no precedent for adding random strangers to the Clan. You’d have to be adopted."

"Got it!" Janice said. "The Ring can be used as an amplifier of sorts. I’m picking up a signal from one of Fleet’s long range probes. They’re out mapping the edges of our precinct."

"Can they come and get us?" Ginny asked.

"Too far away," Joy said "but hopefully they’ll pass a message for us to the Council."

"Okay, let’s put together a message," Andy said. "Did you want us to pass anything to your people?" she asked Jack. "Not sure how long it’ll take to get to them."

"Yes," Jack said, grimly. "Need to warn the General about Loki."


"What’s wrong?" Rachel asked, joining the other Council members in an emergency meeting on their private Council Comm channel.

"We’ve heard from Andy," Brittany said. "You all need to hear and see her message."

"I’ve had a squad ready since your Shadows reported that that Loki character had kidnapped them," Quinn said. "Do we have a location?"

"Hold your jets, Q-ball," Santana said. "Wait until you hear this one. One of my long range patrols picked up a faint signal out on the edge, coming from a system near the Clan ancestral system."

"We’ve verified the source," Brittany said. "It’s from the JJ’s."

"How did they get out there?" Rachel asked.

"Artie? Play the message," Santana said. "The video’s a bit choppy, they had to compress the shit out of it."

A black video window appeared with a time stamp.

"This is Andy Sachs-Priestly, Agent at Large for the Serpent Clan of the Pan Galactic Confederation. This message is for Clan Council eyes and ears only. And a short message for other parties follows."

"After meeting Miranda at Stargate Command, we were kidnapped by Loki of the Asgard. He 'requested' our assistance in shutting down a lab in Goa'uld territory that was endangering the multi-verse. After discussing it, we retrieved additional members of our team and proceeded to provide assistance."

"The team consisted of myself, Miranda Priestly, Harriet and Ginny Potter, Joy and Janice from the Shadow support team, Colonel Jack O’Neill and Major Samantha Carter of SG-1." A quick video showing all of the people mentioned flashed by.

"Why did she bring along her wife, the person they are supposed to be rescuing, on a side mission?" Quinn asked, causing Artie to pause the report. "This SG-1 I’m assuming has training, and all of our people know what they are doing, but Miranda Priestly is a magazine editor."

"It’ll make sense in a minute," Brittany said. "Artie, continue."

"After traveling to the planet this so-called secret lab was located on, we proceed to investigate. Based on intel gathered by Joy and Janice we traveled down to the planet and infiltrated the local Goa'uld ruler’s palace. At which point, after engaging with the Jaffa troops, the plan had to be revised. We encountered a Goa'uld-human blend called Ixchel, who is currently asking for asylum with our Clan." Her picture appeared in the video.

"Ixchel was one of the Clan goddesses long before the Clan first came to this planet," Sophia said. "She disappeared under unknown circumstances. What is the meaning of this blending? She does not look happy."

"The Goa'uld are apparently parasites," Brittany said. "We only have the briefest data on this."

"Asking for asylum requires a meeting with the Council. We’ll have to give her one," Rachel said. "Artie, continue please."

"Entering the lab," video of a large room appeared while Andy talked, "it was clear that the Asgard had not been fully truthful with us. This was not a lab but an Ancient facility for storing memories. Ixchel has been using it as her sleeping chamber for a thousand years, with unexpected results. We determined that the contents of this facility should not be turned over to Loki. The Colonel trusts some Asgard, who have provided assistance in the past, but this Loki is not one of them. Loki appears to be one of the sources of this universe’s tales of Roswell Greys experimenting on humans."

"Although Loki’s motives are suspect and he is untrustworthy, we were able to determine that in this case he was reasonably accurate. This facility was unstable and was causing temporal and dimensional anomalies that if not stopped would likely destroy the system it was in and possibly cause damage to the multi-verse. We decided to go through with destroying the facility. And use the local Ring to leave."

"Miranda, due to a unique experience in this universe, is now one of the Ascended. She was able to carry the Ancient storage technology, a form of crystal, with her."

"We escaped, literally fighting our way through legions of Jaffa warriors, and destroyed the facility once we reached the Ring. We traveled through a dozen Rings to obscure our path from both the local Goa'uld system Lord that had in-prisoned Ixchel and Loki. For reasons we cannot discern the final Ring deposited us here." A panoramic shot of the area was displayed, showing the entire team and ending with the large crystalline ring. "Miranda believes the Ascended Ancients in that universe used this as an opportunity to remove us from their universe, though we have no real proof."

"We appear to be on an unknown planet in our home universe, somewhere in ancient Clan territory. We were able to contact one of Lady Air’s long range probes and request they forward this message. As far as we can tell, we are a long, long way from home. Too far for the probe to reach us any time this decade. Major Carter, Joy, and Janice are attempting to generate a map of the Rings and find us a way home that is shorter.

"We have several requests," Andy said. "Please, find the nearest Ring to home, have the probe forward its address to us, and leave transport there for us. And someone tell Caroline and Cassidy that their mothers are heading home as fast as possible. And forward the attached message from the Colonel and Major to their commanding officer. Lastly, for reasons that should be obvious, we have adopted the Colonel, Major, and Ixchel into our Clan group, and request Council approval."

"Of course we’ll approve," Rachel said. "They are stronger as a clan unit."

"So, these Rings can be used to travel to other universes," Santana said. "Do we know anything about them? Or how to find them?"

"There are really old legends of a people who built portals to travel among the stars," Rachel said. "There’s been no physical proof that I know of."

"Once we find a Ring to get them from, I’ll provide a troop to fetch them," Quinn said.

"This puts them right in the path of our ancient enemy," Santana said. "We need to get to them as soon as possible."

"Artie, do we know what planet they are on?" Brittany asked.

"The portal ring resembles one of several known to the Confederation," Artie said.

"Why don’t we have any records of it?" Brittany asked.

"They are non-functional," Artie said. "They have been studied numerous times and the conclusion is that they are a technology that we cannot duplicate or understand yet. The coordinate system used does not resemble anything from this universe."

"If this is from that other universe that might explain why," Rachel said. "They probably don’t think anything like we do."

"Great," Santana said. "We’ve got a lost team out there and no way to help. It’s like an episode of Star Trek. A bad episode."

"But we can find these Rings, correct? Even if the Rings don’t work?" Brittany asked. "We just need to find the closest one and hope we get there first."

"We can try," Quinn said. "I don’t know about anyone else but I want my people back. And if I see any of these Roswell Greys, I won’t pull any punches."

"Who’s going to deliver the message to the Colonel’s CO?" Rachel asked.

"I’ll do it," Brittany said.

"Not on your own, you don’t," Santana said.

"I’m the only one who can get in and out safely," Brittany said. "It’ll just take a couple hours."

"I’ll go with her, and we’ll take Gold Squad," Quinn said firmly.

"We can’t afford to lose either of you," Santana said.

"We’ll be fine," Quinn said. "You just find one of those Rings closest to this system, and figure out how to get it working so we can get our people home. And how to stop the Enemy from using it themselves."

"Of course," Santana said. "But if you don’t bring Brit back, there’s no where you can hide!"

"Understood," Quinn said, ignoring Rachel rolling her eyes at their antics.

"I can take care of myself," Brittany said, again. "I don’t need an escort."

"Not your call," Santana said. "Just deliver the message and come straight back. And no sightseeing."

"You think they’ll let us in to look at their own Ring?" Brittany said. "For comparison purposes."

"No, and no!" Santana said. "No side trips. I don’t need to tell you this."

"But you’re so cute when you’re like this," Brittany said, grinning.

"General, there’s a party at the main gate asking for you," his aide said, interrupting his meeting with Daniel Jackson.

"Did they say who they are?" General Hammond asked, puzzled.

"A Lady Shadow and Lady Hands, of the Pan Galactic Confederation, sir. They say they have a message for you from Colonel O’Neill."

"Is this some kind of joke?" He asked, looking at his aide.

"No sir," she said. "That’s who they claimed to be."

"Isn’t that who our last guests claimed to work for?" Jackson said.

"Yes," Hammond said. "Well, let’s see what they want," he said. "Come along, Jackson."

"We should have brought Rachel," Quinn said, scanning the mountain facility in front of them. "She’s good at meetings like this."

"Would you have let her come with us?" Brittany said.

"Not a chance," Quinn said. "We’d have to bring an army."

"We did," Brittany said, referring to their small shuttle hidden further down the mountain, containing half of Gold Team.

"They won’t think so," Quinn said. "They probably think everything they have pointed at us is a good defense."

"Well, that small nuke aimed at us might be an issue," Brittany said. "I can move out of the way fast enough. Can you and your team?"

"They’d never use it," Quinn said. "They’d have to close those doors and that would take five minutes. But my team could be out of range as soon as they fired it at us."

"We can’t talk to them with our helmets up," Brittany reminded her.

"It’s a calculated risk," Quinn said. "They can’t talk with us if they kill us. And at the very least they’ll want to talk. Find out what happened to their Colonel and Major."

"She’s probably the smartest person they have," Brittany said. "They’ll want her back."

"And here they come," Quinn said. "That is their CO, General Hammond. Do we know who the other guy is? He’s not military."

"It’s possible he’s the person who discovered their Egyptian gods were those Goa'uld," Brittany said. "He lives in the area. Looks like him."

General Hammond pause a moment to take stock of their guests, and also to prepare himself. It might look like an empty road and field in front of the main entrance to the mountain, both NORAD and his command, but there were more weapons pointed at this space than an armored battalion carried into battle during the Second World War. If they were actually aliens, they weren’t getting into the facility.

"You said you had a message for me from one of my officers?" he said, looking at the small group of armored figures, vaguely reminiscent of characters from some of the Japanese cartoons his granddaughters liked to watch. The two at the front were obviously important, six others standing like guards around them. They were all the same height.

They were not wearing the same armor as the woman who’d appeared in the SGC several days earlier but it looked similar, with similar feminine designs. He wondered if all of these people were female. There were rumours of female only societies among the Goa'uld captives but none of his teams had encountered them yet.

The helmets of the two in front retracted, revealing two blonde haired women, both striking in different ways. One a classic beauty.

"General Hammond, we’ve been asked to forward a message to you from Colonel O’Neill and Major Carter," the shorter of the two said, in a faint, foreign accent.

"And you are?" Hammond asked.

"Lady Shadow, Spymaster of the Council of Nine of the Serpent Clan of the Pan Galactic Confederation," she said. "Which is quite the mouthful, I know. This is the Lady of the Hands, our battle leader, also a member of our Council of Nine."

"You don’t look Mayan," the other man said.

"Should we?" Lady Q asked. "Your Mayan peoples are not ours, as far as we can tell."

"Your Lady Sachs-Priestly has Mayan petroglyphs on her armor," he said, clearly curious.

"Our people and the Mayan of the Yucatan have intermingled," Lady Shadow said. "We have a common language, but not much else at this point."

"Jackson, I’m sure you can discuss this later," Hammond said. "Once we’ve determined what happened to O’Neill and Carter."

"This is their account of what happened," Lady Shadow said, handing a small object to the General.

"Why are they not here to report themselves?" he asked.

"There appears to have been an accident," Lady Shadow said. "While escaping from the Asgard and Goa'uld, through your portal Rings, they were thrown into another universe, ours."

"I’m assuming there’s more to it than that," Hammond said. "If you can travel here, they should also be able to return."

"Our communication with them was unexpected and unlooked for," Lady Shadow said. "They appear to have landed on a planet far beyond our location. They made contact with one of our long distance probes and sent the message we’ve given you."

"If we could retrieve them and return them directly we would have, General," the Lady Hands said, speaking for the first time. "But they are too far away. It would take us a decade to reach them at the fastest our ships can travel. Fortunately, they discovered a local Ring system, which we were unaware of until now, so we hope they will be able to make their way to our base much sooner than that."

"You have your own Stargate network?" Jackson asked.

"It is unmapped and virtually unknown," Lady Shadow said. "But the team they are with is talented. If anyone can find a way home from there, they can."

"We appreciate you bringing this message," Hammond said formally.

"As soon as we can bring them home we will," Lady Shadow said.

"And we are making your people extremely nervous," Lady Q said. "We should go."

"Yes," Lady Shadow said. "Someone has alerted your NID to our presence. It would be a good thing if we left before they tell us otherwise."

"Agreed," Hammond said, grimacing at the thought of another visit by the NID. They were still finding surveillance devices from their previous visit. "How will we contact you in the future to get updates on our people?"

"Don’t lose that," Lady Shadow said, pointing at the small device she’d given him. Flipping up her helmet, followed closely by the Lady Hands, the two armored figures turned and were out of sight in seconds, their retinue quickly following.

"That was very uninformative," Hammond said, turning to Jackson. "Let’s take this back to my office."

"Of course, General," Jackson said. "I can’t place their accent, other than it is not local to this planet."

"It appears that we have a Loki problem again," Hammond said, after they’d watched O’Neill’s message using the small holographic device. "See what you can make of the claims of that Goa'uld they encountered, that they are Mayan. I can see why these Clan aliens are interested in her if they are truly related to the Mayans of the Yucatan area."

"The writing on that Stargate looks familiar," Jackson said. "I’ve seen that style somewhere before. I’ll need to research it."

"Good," Hammond said. He’d have to find a way to indicate Carter and O’Neill were on an extended, very long term, mission. The Pentagon wasn’t going to be happy about it but until otherwise ordered, he was not going to do anything. They were still his people, even if they were working with aliens of an unknown civilization. Now he needed to contact Thor.

"Could you tell Teal’c that I wish to see him?" Hammond asked Jackson before he could leave his office.

"Yes, General," Jackson said.

"What do you think?" Quinn asked Brittany as they raced off, back to their shuttle.

"He’s a good man, for a general," she said. "All of his reports to his superiors bears that out. He’s not going to abandon the Colonel and Major."

"Which means we can’t keep them," Quinn said. "They have very useful talents. And not just Carter’s big brain. Andy was really impressed by her."

"And so were the JJ’s," Brittany said. "And they’re hard to impress."

"So, we definitely want them all back," Quinn said.

"There wasn’t any doubt, was there?" Brittany said. "I’m not sure what we’re going to do with an Ascended magazine editor, and a former Goa'uld Clan goddess, but I’ll think of something."

"I suspect Miranda Priestly will have something to say about her future, and about Andy," Quinn said.

"Definitely," Brittany said. "This ascension concept is really going to throw a cat among the pigeons."

"What role would she have on the Council?" Quinn said.

"Why would you assume that?" Brittany said, as they reached the shuttle.

"Because I know you?" Quinn said. "And how did you manage to find a way to stuff a full shuttle through that portal? We wouldn’t have this problem if Andy had been able to take a shuttle instead of the drop method they used."

"It wasn’t ready," Brittany said. "The data gathered after she disappeared provided important information that makes this work now."

"So, no more blindly jumping into portals wearing just a hard suit?" Quinn asked.

"Nope," Brittany said. "It also will let us close the portal. The right application of energy and it’ll snap back into place."

"As long as we do it before anyone else falls through it, in either direction," Quinn said.

"I’ve got that covered," Brittany said, slipping into her seat and signaling for their pilot to leave. "We’re blocking it in both directions until we can close it. If you don’t have the right equipment you aren’t going through."

"Good." Quinn said, popping open her helmet. She nodded at her team. "Let’s not leave any loose ends."

"All loose ends ready to be tied," Brittany said, opening her own.