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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - Heroines

Adrian Moss

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(11 months ago)

Captain Clavell rose up and fired her P90 at the Jaffa above her. Beneath her, lying flat on the steps of the pyramid, lay the women of Pantheorua, their husbands and sons gone and probably dead. The Jaffa fire was too constant and too accurate. To say here was to die, to advance seemed like certain death, and to back down was suicide. The rebellion had failed. The Gao’uld Mother ship sat on the top of the pyramid like some gross, god-like monstrosity. It was going to kill them all.

Captain Roberta Clavell stood up knowing what was going to happen, but she knew there was no choice. If they didn’t get to the Jaffa’s position, if they didn’t get under the guns with the explosive charges, they would all die. She had talked these women into rising up, convinced them they had a hope, obsidian tipped spears versus Jaffa and a space ship, so that they dared fight a System Lord.

The fight had not been totally insane. The SG-18 team had smuggled four SA-8 ground to Air missiles, huge Russian beasts with poor guidance but hellishly huge warheads. They had also packed in half a dozen stingers and six large satchel charges. They had struck from surprise, shot down the circling flyers before they could get into the fight and almost – almost reached they base of the Mother Ship before an effective defense could be mounted. Now the plan was falling apart.

Captain Roberta Clavell stood up firing with one hand while waving her team, and the natives forward with her other arm in a wide sweeping motion. Half a dozen power staves focused on her. She shot one Jaffa and he tumbled forward, somersaulting down the steps. He it some poor woman and took her down the steps with him. Captain Caine saw the Major get hit three times while he sat there clinging for cover. Once through the chest, once through her right arm, severing it, and once through her right leg. He saw her fall face first on the steps, dead.

Caine didn’t know who screamed first, himself or Sergeant Chris Abel. Abel had been with her since the foundation of the team, while Caine was a rookie. Caine had kept his people alive throughout those first few months in Afghanistan. Sure, he had seen dead people. Hell, he had even made his fair share dead, but this was his first experience with it being one of his own. If filled the young Captain with a terrible, cold anger. He popped up and shot one Jaffa then another. The fire slackened. Abel was firing on his end. Something had to be done.

More Jaffa could be seen running up to the edge of the platform, getting ready to fire down. Caine rose up and charged. He pulled the cord on his satchel charge and hurled it with all his might. It sailed up and over the heads of the Jaffa, hitting the edge of Mother ship and flopping down.

“Down,” Abel screamed and motioned for all the women to do the same. They didn’t understand the language, but he sure did understand the motions. The clung even harder to the stairs. Caine wasn’t so lucky. Just like Clavell, they targeted him. One blast caught him between his body and his left arm, bucking the limb. He fell on it and screamed from the pain. Then the charge went off.

The satchel charge cleared off one half of the platform, with its raw concussive force and rocky shrapnel. It hurled Jaffa all the way down to the foot of the pyramid and beyond. The whole valley rocked from the thunderclap. Behind it was a terrible stillness. Most of the survivors on the steps were deafened.

Maybe because of that deafness and maybe in spite of it, a low guttural growl came up from the mass of women as they surged up the steps. As far as they were concerned, a thunderclap from the Old Gods has smashed down on their enemies and opened the way to their vengeance. Abel and Caine were swept forward in the rush. Caine managed to snatch up Clavell’s satchel charge by letting his gun hang free. Vaguely he was aware he needed to get his useless left arm looked at – soon.

The women stabbed the fallen, dead, and dying Jaffa. The grabbed up their power staves and charged into the open hatchway that led into the ship. There were a few concussed Jaffa inside that died swiftly. Obsidian knives slashed open throats and red blood coursed over the golden floor. A voice in an unknown tongue called out a command and the ship began to rumble. Caine and Abel were out of time. Abel came over to Caine and took his charge. Rigging up a remote control switch, he stuffed their two charges into a glowing conduit that looked important.

Getting the women to leave was harder. They wanted to bleed their ‘god’ and see all his followers burned as live offerings to their Old Gods. They were harsh like that. Still, when the ship lurched, they got the message. The last of the rebels, along with the SG members jumped out at the Mother Ship was taking off. It moved off and hovered there. We could all see what was about to happen. It seemed that our last option was to run to the woods, but Captain Clavell had planned for this.

Right as numerous turrets turned to fire at the massed rebels running down the steep step pyramid, a missile rose up from the nearby forest and smashed into it engine pod from beneath. The turrets turned and bracketed the area the missile had come from. The people on the steps kept running down toward the relative safety of the stone city.

Just as soon as the Mother Ship finished up destroying in the first missile site, a second missile came up from a location a hundred yards away. Sergeant Alphonse was sprinting to assembled missile site to assembled missile sight, locking on with those huge Russian missiles. They finally got him at the third missile site, but not before he put a second missile into the same engine pod. Smoke leaked out of the pod and the ship lurched.

As the ship lurched farther up into orbit, the women knew what was coming. They had failed to kill their new ‘god’ and now would come heavenly fire. For Caine and Abel, what mattered was whether or not this poor system lord had any nukes. While they fled into the lush jungle all they could do what wait for the end, if it came. Abel pressed the switch and they could all swear the ship had lurched again. One more kick in the ass to convince them to leave, or so the theory went.

Abel stitched up Caine’s arm and put it in a sling. Together they mourned the two dead team mates. The women around them mourned for their many martyred comrades. As the night of the attack turned to morning and still no death-from-above came, people relaxed. A leader amongst the women came up and talked to the two SG members in her own lilting tongue. Caine recorded it for posterity. When she was finished she rested a hand upon Caine’s shoulder and said one last word.

With the sun up in the air, Caine and Able went to find Alphonse’s body. They found him killed by wooden shrapnel only a few dozen yards from the last missile he had been running for. The put him in his poncho and moved him back to the city. There, the women had already started clearing the women from the pyramid and were preparing a large pyre in the middle of the city for all of their fallen. Amongst them was Roberta. There was a confusing time as they had to explain they had to return Roberta to her home. They finally got the message and once more she put her hand upon Caine’s shoulder and repeated the word.

With help, they took their fallen through the Star Gate and home. Half of the team gone was a shock to many, but not General O’Neil. He knew the dangers that the SG had risked. He had ordered the mission, though Captain Clavell had requested it – no, begged for it. First Caine had been taken to medical while Abel was debriefed. Caine’s recordings went to the Linguistics Section for future use. When Caine finished getting his arm stitched up, he had his debriefing.

“In your initial report, you put the totality of the mission success on Captain Clavell’s shoulders? Even though you cleared out the barricade so that the rebels could advance. You got everyone into the ship.”

“Sir, I wouldn’t have stood up if the Captain hadn’t done it first. To stand up was to die. I’m not that kind of guy. I look for ways to live.”

“She stood up.”

“Yes. She did something I was afraid to do. If she hadn’t have done it, we would have all died. I think she knew that. The only way to live was for one of us to die. Once she died, I became more angry than afraid. We couldn’t let her die in vain. She pointed us in the way we had to go. We had to go up.”

“You think she knew this?

“Yes. She wasn’t suicidal, and she wasn’t a glory hound. There was only one way to save her team and save her mission and that was to stand up and urge us forward. She did something I don’t think I could have done.”

“Very well, that’s all.”

“One last thing, Sir; have you got a translation on the words the woman was telling me? Exactly, the last word she kept repeating.”

The man looked over his records,

“Hmmphf … the word has two meanings – Brave, Bravery and/or Hero.”

“Not Hero – Heroine.”

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