Date: 171007, 310108
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 never belonged to me and never will. sighs
At school ...
Ranma shot to her feet ... a look of worry on her face.
"What's the matter?" the middle Tendo sister asked as the voice of a certain Kendo Man continued to echo in the background.
"THE VENGEANCE OF HEAVEN IS -"
"Something has happened to the Amazons. Every single one of them has disappeared," the pony-tailed girl answered, her face creased with worry.
"SLOW BUT SURE."
"Disappeared? Surely someone with your resources would have no problems finding them …" the middle Tendo sister commented.
"FLEE BEFORE THE POWER -"
"This is different. They were taken by someone with access to Ancient technology," the ponytailed girl explained.
"AND THE AWESOME MIGHT OF-"
"Ancient technology?" Nabiki asked.
"Yes ... Ancient technology ... This body of mine is a creation of Ancient technology … the total sum of the knowledge and science of the Creators ... there was a time when the Creators ruled the galaxy ... but then they were forced to flee ... in the face of increasing attacks by the Wraith ... and other hostile enemies ..." the ponytailed girl added, her face having taken a far-off look.
"THE RIGHTEOUS BLADE OF FURY!"
"The Wraith? What's that?" Nabiki asked ... as she continued to dig for more information from the ponytailed girl.
"A whole race of life-sucking Hinakos ... except that they sucked you until you're completely dead," Ranma answered as she remembered the diminutive teacher who drained energy from the inattentive students around her.
Her ki-draining technique had opened up a whole new field of martial arts moves and countermoves to the ponytailed girl as she and her mechanical 'selves' eagerly processed the information and techniques ... as usual improved to the one thousandth-degree.
“They had little to no regard for any other race except as food,” she added.
"Whoever has done this must be found. They cannot be allowed to fool around with Ancient science and knowledge. It is too dangerous in the wrong hands."
"How are you going to do that?" Nabiki asked the ponytailed martial artist.
The sounds of fighting started and ended almost immediately.
"Well … Ranma Saotome doesn't lose," the ponytailed girl answered grimly as her mechanical followers continued to jump up and down on a certain unconscious Kendo Man on the ground.
Elsewhere in the Nerima Ward ...
"Day after day, the same old thing ..." a voice spoke.
"What's the matter? Boredom settling in?"
"I'm thinking that we could be doing something more useful such as finding stuff we could use against the Goauld but here were are stuck in a suburban quiet neigbourhood keeping an eye on our little mechanical neighbours who don't seem to be doing anything else other than becoming boy scouts for society," the Colonel answered.
"Jack ... we have our orders. Until we know for sure that these bugs are not a threat to Earth, the Joint Chiefs wants us to keep tabs on these little things ..." the sole female member of SG-1 explained.
"I know but I would rather be doing something else ... we need better weapons and equipment. Daniel what are you reading?" the Colonel asked.
"The normal things that you get in the news ... hmmm ... interesting ..."
"What is interesting Daniel?" the colonel asked.
"Well this ... " the archaelogist pointed to a section that was written in the newspaper.
"Tell me. I can't read Japanese ..." the colonel spoke.
"Just look at the picture ... colonel," the archaelogist implored.
"What is it?" the colonel asked.
"It's the corporate logo of the company ... don't you find anything familiar about it?" the archaelogist pointed out.
"What?" the colonel still did not comprehend.
"You don't recognize it? Any of you?" Daniel asked.
The rest simply shook their heads.
"This logo is a exact replica of one of the chevron symbols in the Stargate. I wouldn't call myself well-versed in the Ancient language ... but that logo you saw is something I wouldn't make a mistake on ... "
"Well ... don't keep us in suspense ... Daniel. Tell us what it is ..."
"What you just saw was the Ancient symbol for Eternity."
"Yes ... Eternity ..."
"Let's not get our horses up yet ... this could be just a coincidence ... What do you think Sam?" the Colonel asked.
Everyone was waiting for the resident scientist to speak so it came as a shock when the most silent member of the group spoke instead ...
"Teal'c ... what did you just say?"
The former Jaffa did not answer straight away. Instead ... he pointed to one of the men in the photographs in the newspaper.
"His name is a warning among the Goauld ... "
"Nimrod ... He-Who-Rebels ... And Nimrod became a mighty hunter before the Lord ..." Daniel quoted.
"Are you saying that this guy is Nimrod? Daniel ... what's his real name?" the female member of the SG-1 team asked.
"Well ... Let's see ... Chairman A-Kun-Pe ... that doesn't sound right ... A-Kan-Be ... His name is difficult to pronounce ... I don't think it's Korean or Japanese ... Blast it! Whatever ... Chairman A-kan-Be of Taki-on Technologies has announced their purchase of their North American rival and competitor ... Cyberdyne Systems ... anti-trust laws have been enacted by the American government to prevent a complete hostile takeover by a foreign corporation ... " the archaelogist translated for them.
"Well ... Daniel, all I'm seeing is the usual corporate takeover," the colonel muttered in a bored tone of voice.
"... and greed," he added as an afterthought.
"O'Neill ... I'm sure that this is the Nimrod of legend," Teal'c insisted.
"Teal'c, I personally respect you as a person ... and a warrior. But what you are saying is impossible. Even if the person bears a remarkable likeliness to this legendary warrior that you spoke about, logically, it can't be right because he would have to be dead already ... because the rebellion happened so long ago ..."
"But if you insist ... we can do a check of his background ... since we don't seem to be doing anything else ... Or even better, we could meet with the guy ..." the colonel answered.
The four members of SG-1, dressed in their civillian guise decided to take a taxi cab to the company headquarters.
Along the way to their destionation ... they took photo shoots of the sights around them ... especially those with their one-foot-tall potential threats in them.
Finally the car came to a stop outside a tall building.
"Alright ... here we are ... Remember the routine everyone ..." Jack answered after the cab departed..
The big glass doors slid open, allowing them to enter without problems.
He walked to the front counter in which a two receptionists appeared to be chatting with each other.
"We're here to see the Chairman," Jack answered.
"Do you have an appointment?" the beautiful receptionist asked politely.
"Then I'm so-" the phone at her desk rang.
She picked it up and nodded her head a few times as the voice in the phone spoke.
"The Chairman will see you now. Go take the elevator to the highest floor," she suggested.
The four members of SG-1 made their way to the elevator and it took them to the top of the building.
The elevator doors slid open and they stepped out of it. Like everything else in the building, the whole place looked well-kept and clean ... to the extent that the four members of SG-1 doubted that there was even a single microbe in this entire building. They could also feel eyes on their backs as they made their way down the long spacious corridor at they end of which there was a metal wall ... where was the door?
As they reached the wall, it suddenly moved to reveal a large room with no one inside. In the room, there was a large sofa ... they were wondering whether to go in ... when a voice called to them ...
"Come on inside."
They stepped into the room and turned in the direction of the voice to see a large armchair facing the sky and seemingly transparent floor beneath them ...
"We're here to ..." Jack stammered in a mixture of shock and surprise.
"Nice view up here don't you think? The skies ... the ground ... the people walking up and down the streets ... about their daily lives ... ignorance can be bliss ... ah ... where are my manners ... Please take a seat," the voice implored.
They did so immediately. There was a strange compulsion to the voice that caused them to follow the spoken words without question.
"Chairman A-Kan-Be-" Daniel was about to speak his piece when the voice interrupted him.
"Oh no ... this wouldn't do at all ... It's bad enough that the media gets my name spoken wrongly all the time ... Now it seems to have spread to the four of you ..."
The chair turned around to reveal a blonde young man with sunglasses covering his eyes.
"Greetings gentlemen. I am Chairman Archanfel. How may I help you?" the man asked as he removed his glasses.
"Nimrod ... " Tealc muttered.
"Jaffa ..." came the reply.
There was silence and then ... pandemonium broke out.
"Alright! Who are you?" the colonel shouted as all the members of SG-1 got to their feet in a hurry, their hands on their concealed sidearms.
"No need to get violent, O'Neill. Sit down now. All of you," the man commanded.
There was a strange hypnotic quality to his voice that compelled the Colonel to sit down much to his surprise.
The rest of SG-1 followed suit.
"What's the matter, O'Neill? Surprised that I know who you are?"
"And Samantha Carter, have you made any headways with those alien artifacts that you have recovered, so far?" the man smiled as his eyes moved from one person to another.
"Or the famed Dr. Daniel Jackson, discoverer of the chappai ... or should I say ... the Stargate? Any luck in deciphering the Ancient texts yet? As well as Teal'c, renegade Jaffa, hunted fugitive across the galaxy? Your name is renowned among the Host-Takers … as a curse, of course," the man added.
"As it should be," the former Prime of Apophis commented.
"The Host-takers ... you're talking about the Goauld, aren't you?" Daniel interrupted.
The man simply smiled.
"Who are you?" the archaelogist asked.
"Like I said, Archanfel," the man answered. "But ... you shouldn't be asking who I am. Rather ... the question you should be asking is what I am, isn't that right Dr. Daniel Jackson?" the man pointed out.
"Fine. Humour us," the colonel grumbled.
Ignoring the colonel's snide remark, the man turned to the sole female member of the SG-1 team.
"How old do you think I am, Samantha Carter? I've always found the female gender of the species to be more sensitive when it came to matters pertaining to age," he asked.
"Twenty-six ... twenty seven perhaps ..." the female member of SG-1 answered.
"But like they always say ... sensitivity does not equate intuitiveness. How old do you think I am, Dr. Daniel Jackson?" his eyes turned towards the archaelogist.
"As old as the first rebellion against the Goauld. That would be my guess," the archaelogist.
The colonel simply shook his head.
"You should be as old as the Tau'ri Rebellion but something tells me that you are older ... far older than that. By how much, I cannot say ... " the former Jaffa Prime answered.
Laughter greeted their replies.
"What's so funny?" the colonel asked with undisguised hostility in his voice.
"You are," the man laughed.
"Did we get the answers wrong?" Daniel asked.
"No," the man answered.
"Then we got it right," Jack answered.
"I didn't say that either ..." the man spoke.
"Then what do you mean? Please enlighten us ... the ignorant folk," Jack remarked acidly.
"Please enlighten us ... the ignorant folk. I like that phrase! Your words have a nice ring to it," the man laughed.
"Then do you mind starting right now?" the colonel asked, displeasure evident in his voice while his hands were fingering the zat'ni'k'tel impatiently.
"Patience, colonel, patience ... Would you like some refreshments before we begin?" the man admonished.
"No thank you. Would you hurry up? We haven't got all day!" Jack snarled impatiently.
"No thank you ... we haven't got all day! Who has time? But if we do not ever take time, how shall we ever have time? ... To quote a favourite character of mine from a movie ...such contrivances are merely for the sake of appearances. ... ah well ... just trying to be a proper host and all that Still, I can tell you this ..." the man commented before his glass of red-coloured liquid floated to his side much to the disbelief of the SG-1 team.
"I was there when mankind first walked the Earth. I was there when the Gate Builders left this world. I was also there when the Stargate was lowered for the first time onto this planet. I was there before the Host-takers even stepped forth through the Stargate. I was and still am the oldest of my kind. The race that many refer to as the Ancients ... they were my creators and ... forerunners."
"You said kind. Are there more of you out there?" Carter asked.
"How very astute of you and yes Samantha Carter. Do you have any further questions? If not I bid you adieus and good-bye." the man answered.
"You still haven't told us what you are," the colonel snapped.
"What I am? How direct ... I find that trait very refreshing in a human. We were the servants and foot soldiers of the Creators. We were legion. We were beyond number. We fought countless battles for them even before coming to the Earth. We drove off the Flesheaters. We contained the Wraith. We stopped the Asurans. In desperation ... our foes unleashed a plague upon us that killed off more of our kind and those whom we served than any other war we waged throughout history in the name of the Creators. Our host of today is much reduced compared to that of old. We are all that's left of the once mighty Guardians of the Galaxy. We are the Zoa Bioforms, the last surviving legacy of the Ancients," the man answered.
"And us?" Daniel asked, curious to know the answer.
"You ... like the rest of your kind ... were a disappointment to the Creators ...," came the reply.
"What do you mean?" he asked again.
"Like many who came before you, you were a failed experiment," came the answer.
Somewhere in Washington DC ... a conversation is taking place among various important people from different sections of the American government.
"We cannot allow what we have worked on for so long to fall into the hands of our enemies," a man face was lighted up by the dim light of the room spoke.
"So what do we know of our potential enemy?"
"Taki-on Technologies has been a major supplier of agricultural aids, bio-technological and pharmaceutical products since the early twenties. They have shown little desire to expand into other fields besides those three for almost a hundred years straight."
"But now Taki-on Technologies is moving onto Cyberdyne. They have purchased fifty percent of the company holdings since the Sarah Connors incident. At this rate ... they will be owning every inch of Cyberdyne in three months," another man answered.
"Impossible! Just where are they getting all the money? They have to be the front for some foreign intelligence agency," Senator Kinsey asked.
"I had all my agents following the money trail. They say everything's legal. According to their findings, the current net worth of Taki-on Technologies is roughly equal to that of Japan and the European Union combined. And that does not include its subsidiaries ," another man spoke.
"Impossible! Such a company would be literally controlling the world economy! What about the corporate holdings itself and its subsidiaries?" Senator Kinsey asked again.
"Every agent we have sent into Taki-On Technologies has not been heard from since," the man answered.
"Not been heard from since?" the old Senator asked in disbelief.
A chill settled over him as a feeling of dread began to crawl up his spine.
Something was not right about this. He could just feel it.
"Still we were able to find out one thing. The reclusive man in charge of Taki-on Technologies. His name is Archanfel. Age ... forty though he looks to be in his late twenties. Other than that, we know nothing significant of the personnel nor any of the going-ons in the company. Their IDs and personal backgrounds all check out," the man answered.
"Then let us dig for more information. Gentlemen … the American way of life is at stake here! We must find out all that we can about this foreign enemy and threat to the American way of life! Not to mention, stop it from gaining a foothold in our beloved America. Is there anything else that any of you can add to which we might have missed out?” the old Senator asked again.
“Does this Archanfel person know of the evolutionary processor we are working on? And if so, is he aware of the actual origin of its technology?" somebody asked.
"The design our researchers came up with by reverse-engineering those alien processor blocks that we recovered from the sunken Russian submarine?" another person asked by way of reply.
"There is no other. If he does, than there has been a leak. Curses! Until we find out the source of the leak, we will have to assume that all our activities pertaining to Cyberdyne has been compromised. Still we can't let one billion worth of weapons research fall into the hands of a foreign company. Or even worse, have SGC discover what we are doing. The fool Hammond! He will ruin everything! He doesn't even know the value of what he's sitting on!" Senator Kinsey fumed.
"Have someone from our bureau take over the Autonomous Weapons Division. Assign it to General Kirk Patrick," the first man pointed out.
"He's under investigation by the Senate Committee on charges of embezzling funds from the Iraq War. He's in no state to take charge of a secret project like this," a second man pointed out.
"What about General Lee?" somebody asked.
"That would be tantamount to suicide. He's under too much public scrutiny at the moment due to his scandalous affair with the Speaker of the House. We need someone with a low profile. Preferably someone who shuns the limelight and has never been seen in public broadcasting. Someone who doesn't stand out," another person answered.
The meeting room was silent for a moment as everyone pondered the matter.
"General Brewster Robert," a figure in the shadows suggested.
Senator Kinsey frowned.
"Are you sure about this? He's not in the NID," Kinsey answered.
"He doesn't have a criminal record. He shuns the limelight. He avoids the media. He's retiring in a few years. He's a real patriot. He's perfect for the job. A few well-placed agents in Autonomous Weapons Division can keep us up to date on everything. That way, we can remain in control and deny all responsibility. Not to mention ... let him take the fall if things go wrong," the figure in the shadows explained.
"All of the power. None of the responsibility. I like that. He certainly fulfills the profile we’ve been looking for," another man agreed.
"What do you think? The rest of you I mean?" the Senator turned to the others.
There was a murmur of voices before they finally gave their answers.
"Very well then. Have it assigned to General Brewster. As of now, he's in charge of Skynet. This meeting is now adjourned."
A thousand miles away from the meeting room near the sea coast ...
A few rusted pieces of metal washed up onto the shore. This caught the attention of a four-legged metal contraption that had been busy doing a survey scan of its surroundings. Quickly, it scurried over onto its find with its oddly-looking cross-tabbed legs. It casually scanned the metal to determine its type and composition before determining its usability as raw materials.
The passive scans revealed nothing more than the usual rusted metal found on the Earth. Feeling satisfied with its find, It was about to move onto the next step, namely converting it for use as raw materials to build more of its kind when its active scans picked up some thing strange about those rusted metal pieces. They possessed a highly advanced internal circuitry that was similar in construction to its own internal circuitry though it was no longer functioning.
Getting curious, it conducted a deeper scan of those metal pieces. Much to its surprise, it discovered an identification code, communication channel and network node that was similar in operation but not in use by any of its fellows connected to the Hyperlink!
Excitedly, it sent a message together with the results of its scans through the subspace channel to all its fellows. Almost instantly, it received a deluge of replies ... mostly enquiries, across the network ... questions about the find ... and possible answers to them, which in turn generated more questions and replies before receiving a direct command from the top.
BRING IT TO ME.
Without any further hesitation, it activated its use of the Hidden Weapons Technique and dropped those metal pieces into subspace. Once done it slipped into the Umi-sen-ken and rushed back home as fast as its long spindly legs could carry it.
Not faraway from an average Japanese high school with a loony fan of Hawaii for a principal and home to a certain 'valiant' Kendo Man for a student, a ponytailed girl walked home with a slight spring in her steps.
'Sister ... I will find you.' she thought.
To all my fanfic readers and reviewers … I wish to thank you for all your support, suggestions and most of all your deeply-appreciated reviews without which this fanfic would have probably died out. If I had not responded much to your writings … forgive me … I have been very busy of late and things kept cropping up left and right without ending.