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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - SG22: Mission to P3R-881


Mr Fox

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Three weeks had been a nice break after the last frustrating mission. SG22 received the message to report for briefing at 10:00 hours. On arrival in the briefing room General O'Neill looked like he'd already had a long morning. "Have a seat people and lets get this over with." His opening statement was short and not terribly polite, but that's just how he was sometimes.

"The upper brass considered sending you back to P3X-559 to wreak a little havoc but, in the end they decided not to waist the time on a world where the people are willingly doing Ba'al's will even if it is under false pretense. The feeling is that with Anubis moving in that area the people on that planet might be better off organizing to fight even if it is under false pretense. Without any defenses laid they would become Anubis' slaves without a fight." The General was keeping a pretty straight face, but those fairly perceptive among the team members could tell that he wasn't entirely in agreement with the decision.

"Instead you will be going to P3R-881. It is in the same region of space and is fairly close to P3X-559 in relative terms. This will be a basic explore mission. Meet and greet the natives and assess the situation. Because of it's proximity to the other world it is likely that Ba'al considers it his territory, it is also likely that they will also be preparing to meet the forces of Anubis. For that reason this could be considered a dangerous mission, I want you to be careful going in and don't take any chances. If the natives are hostile or aggressive don't waist time with them and come back through." He looked to Captain Wright, "Use your best judgement, and either come back through or make contact in 5 hours."

He gestured to the screen which lit up with pictures of the world and the area around the gate. "Looks like an agricultural world, or at least the area around the gate is. There is a town only a couple miles from the gate. Looks like a low tech world." The first image had been of the the fields of something like wheat surrounding the gate. The second was less promising, it showed a large standing stone with a large engraved symbol near the top.

Baal_Symbol.png

"That's why we don't want you to take any chances. Ba'al is the trickiest of the Goa'uld. Be careful over there even if it is a low tech world. Never know what surprises Ba'al might have waiting. Any questions?"

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Steve shook his head at the idea of questions. *Why don't they build these city's around the gate? Ah, right. System Lords would like the idea of someone building up an 'ambush' zone for when they come through themselves. Selfish but useful.*

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Meet.. greet.. assess. I wonder if all the missions are like this, maybe this team is the fuckin' SGU "Welcoming Committee" or somethin'. I can't believe they're payin' me for this shit. Oh well.. whatever.

Aradia kept her inner dialogue to herself though, nodding through the briefing, and shook her head at the end, indicating she had no questions.

Hell, I haven't even been doing this long enough to know what to ask if I did..

Her lips twisted into an very faint smile, but nothing else.

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"No sir, let's flush." Vinny said, eager to get going. So much had happened these last few weeks, he was looking forward to something 'normal'.

Like walking through a shimmering stable wormhole in space to investigate an alien world that was being dominated by a parasitic ass-tard.

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SG22 lined up before the ramp just under one hour later loaded with the standard mission gear. This would be the second time through for the team and this time there was no doubt going in that it could be considered hostile territory. Ba'al's mark was right there carved in stone according to the malp images. As always the gate dialing was a profound experience. The power of it somehow registering in a primal way; the raw power of the forming event horizon atomizing the very molecules in the air before it. Once established there was little time to waste. Without knowing what reception waited on the other side it paid to be prompt and get the drop on anyone who might be waiting.

As it happened there was no one waiting on the other side, but there were peasants tending the crops scattered in the fields surrounding the gate. They had all stopped what they were doing to watch the travelers come through and bow of course. No one approached, but one young man did run off in the direction of the village.

The area immediately surrounding the gate was like a crop circle in an English field, but bordered with occasional standing stones. The largest one of which stood opposite the gate and just as the pictures showed, it bore the carving of Ba'al's symbol.

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Probably.

"Let the brat run, if not him, then someone else will, not like we're fuckin' incognito." Vinny said, pulling a cigar out and walking down into the field. He gave the surrounding area a look, making sure that the 'farmers' weren't jaffa in disguise, and that there were no 'snakes' in the grass.

"KT, scan for snakes. Gumby, gimme a recon of the town." he added, talking around his cigar as he lit it from a zippo. "Let's go."

Flipping closed the lighter and replacing it into his pocket, he started heading in the direction of the town, following the worn path from the natives.

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Aradia glanced at Vinny, surprise flickering across her face.

"A recon of the - you mean you want me to change, in front of everybody?"

"'Fraid of the natives darlin'? Lay down in the fuckin' grass if it'll make ya feel better."

She rolled her eyes, and he heard her make a noise of amusement.

"Hardly. I just didn't know how early we showed our hand, ya' know?"

With that, she closed her eyes, and concentrated. She shifted again, like last time her body contorting into the shape of a hummingbird.

Click to reveal..
Rolling for Shapeshifting: (00:20:29) ChatBot: (Aradia) rolls 7d10 and gets 1,7,2,2,1,2,5 = 1 suxx

Unlike last time however, she didn't immediately shrink in size, and after a quick hop which failed to result in flight, the massive bird tilted it's head towards Kyria, meeting her gaze with creepily large, beady bird eyes.

Damnit! Kyria, can you hear me? If you can hear me, tell Vinny I just need a sec to try again, k?. I don't think I can do this right, after just stepping out of the gate.

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Steve blinked at the change. A 150 lb bird has serious combat abilities...

Quote:
...after a quick hop which failed to result in flight...
Except of course that a 150 lb humming bird couldn't walk, much less fly. Steve put on a poker face. As funny as this was she could still probably beat him up.
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Kyria tried not to giggle at the gigantic avian mimicry trying to fly and nodded to the poor nova. "Captain, she'll try again here in a minute, she just needs to get her bearings back."

Setting to her own task, she extended her mind out to the surrounding area, scanning for minds with a distinctly non-human feel.

Click to reveal.. (TP roll)
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If Aradia had been a person, she would have clenched her jaw, and possibly even stamped her foot out of frustration. There was nothing she liked less than being made a fool out of. And that was obviously the case here. It wasn't as bad as the goldfish incident, but it was still annoying that, months after developing this ability, she wasn't much better at it than this.

With a determined frame of mind, since she lacked the ability to have a determined expression, Aradia tried again.

Click to reveal..
Rerolling for Shapeshifting, changing from current form.

(16:42:57) ChatBot: (Aradia) rolls 7d10 and gets 1,9,10,4,6,4,3 = 2 suxx.

Popping 10 for Sta: (Determined), (16:46:30) ChatBot: (Aradia) rolls 1d10 and gets 5 = 0 suxx.

2 + 0 = 2 total suxx, spending one on size and one on flight.

I read through shapeshifter in the book, and didn't see anything to indicate that the power didn't work like this, so if this is inaccurate please let me know, Fox.

This time Aradia's size reacted appropriately, and she shrunk into the tiny hummingbird she was supposed to be. With none of her usual flittering, the almost-insect like creature was off and away, darting once again through the skies and spying on the ground below for them.

Maybe it's been too much practice. I coulda sworn I was getting better though!

Click to reveal..
Rolling Per + Alert for observation: (16:59:25) ChatBot: (Aradia) rolls 5d10 and gets 5,10,4,2,10 = 2 suxx.
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From her vantage point Ari could easily see the village ahead and note the man in odd robes come out of the biggest build the boy at his side. He was moving up the road in the direction of the Stargate and the SG team. He didn't appear to be armed. From this height it was also possible to see three other roads heading off in different directions.

On the ground the people in the fields continued to watch and bow as the team moved past them.

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Aradia flew back and landed next to Vinny, shifting back into her regular form with much more grace than she had managed to shift into it with and falling into step with the others.

"Looks like they're sending someone for Meet and Greet, boss. He's dressed in robes, didn't look armed. There's also three other roads that I saw that I could probably direct us to."

She glanced nervously around at all the bowing people.

"We get this a lot? Cause it's kinda weird."

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Kyria glanced at the people as if noticing for the first time and just shrugged. "They've had people from the Stargate pretending to be their gods through intimidation and technology for centuries. Now we come along and don't even need the gadgets to be mistaken like that; stands to reason they'd make assumptions about who and what we are. You could tell them to go get up, but you'd probably just upset them."

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It went unspoken but perhaps not unthought that people changing from human into bird and back was at least as impressive and godlike to these people than many of the technology tricks that Ba'al performed.

By the time the team was at the edge of the village, the elder, priest or whatever he was came scurrying up. He bowed deeply and with respect. "Welcome Lords. How may we unworthy serve?"

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Originally Posted By: Aradia McConnell
"We get this a lot? Cause it's kinda weird."
Steve commented, "I could get used to it... if we went public back home we'd be rock stars."

Originally Posted By: Mr Fox
By the time the team was at the edge of the village, the elder, priest or whatever he was came scurrying up. He bowed deeply and with respect. "Welcome Lords. How may we unworthy serve?"
Steve replied, "Greetings. We come from far away to survey this land, update our records, and see that everything is as it should be."
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Aradia stayed silent, allowing the others to take the lead again. As Steve spoke, the realization that they were just going to play it up, to pretend that they were gods, finally hit home. It struck her as a bit unsettling, but at the same time, ingenious. I mean.. why not? As good looking as Steve and Kyria were, and with the abilities Vinny'd already had her show off, the certainly must seem like it.

She turned her attention to the man that had been sent to speak with them, trying her best to look calm, and normal about the situation. As if that was truly what they were there to do. Which.. come to think of it.. was what they were there to do. Kinda.

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The man in Goa'uld priest robes bowed even deeper. "Certainly Lords. May we offer you the unworthy hospitality of our village. As for checking that all is well," he gestured toward the fields and those working them, "as you can see the crop this year should be bountiful and Lord Ba'al should have his full measure as well as a bit extra."

He looked from face to face and looked puzzled. "You do not wear the Lords mark?" He gestured to his own marked forehead.

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((Kyria gets that he believes that the group are representatives of Lord Ba'al, although you are all dressed very strangely in deed. He is a little suspicious that you might be representatives of some other god and that you might mean mischief, but no others besides Ba'al's Jaffa have ever come before. They come twice a year to take away the gods share of the crops and meat. The fact that you've come a month early also puzzles him. But there is something more perhaps.))

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Originally Posted By: Mr Fox
The man in Goa'uld priest robes bowed even deeper. "Certainly Lords. May we offer you the unworthy hospitality of our village. As for checking that all is well," he gestured toward the fields and those working them, "as you can see the crop this year should be bountiful and Lord Ba'al should have his full measure as well as a bit extra."
Steve nodded. All was good.

Originally Posted By: Mr Fox
He looked from face to face and looked puzzled. "You do not wear the Lords mark?" He gestured to his own marked forehead.
Steve snorted and from his posture it was clear that the man had asked a question with an 'obvious' answer, but one that Steve got distressingly often. Steve replied, "No. By our nature, the marks just fade. Like my shadow, like my foot prints. Thus the uniforms."

Steve gestured to his now missing shadow and foot prints as if their lack clearly explained the lack of a mark.

{Activate Trickster, Catfooted, and Fade}
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Kyria glanced over at the fields and and the villagers, smiling kindly at any that actually had the courage to look up her. "You're villages seems quite productive," she murmured, pitching her voice to catch the man's undivided attention for long enough to probe a little more deeply into his thoughts. "Is there anything else you would like to show us?"

Click to reveal.. (Telepathy)
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First the man was startled to notice that Steven indeed had no shadow where everyone else in the group did. Then Kyria caught him like a deer in the headlights and he stared at her for a moment giving her his undivided attention. "Yes mistress. We will show you everything. Anything you wish to see!" For the time being at least thoughts of the team being servants of another god have gone right out of his mind.

((His thoughts at that moment: *Surely these are high servants of the great god Ba'al. They are blessed beyond mortal man!* His mind is going in circles with thoughts like these as well as mantras to the glory of Ba'al.))

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Steve considered and said, "For now let's just go into town."

*I wonder how many worlds are like this? Low level minions running minions? Ideally we'd have them bury the gate for a few thousand years... or change it's address?*

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"Certainly." He bowed several times as he turned and led the way to the 'great house'. Great was a very generous word for it. "Welcome to the great house, please enter and be served." Inside there were three older women who moved about cleaning or doing other domestic tasks. When the team entered they stopped their work and went to their knees and put heads to the floor.

After a few seconds the Priest directed them to rise and see to your needs. One of the women came over to dust off the chairs around a long banquet table, while the other two disappeared behind a curtained doorway along the back wall presumably to get you refreshments.

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Aradia waited, hesitant to do anything rash. Was she supposed to sit down? Should she follow Vinny's lead from last time and refuse food? Was it up to her to eat or not? She didn't know how was supposed to act, and so she stayed silent, nervousness making her head spin and tying her stomach in knots.

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Kyria established contact with her CO's mind, 'knocking' until he nodded to her. He think we're servants of Ba'al, although at first he was afraid we might be from another god. There's something else, but I haven't been able to get to it yet. Can you talk to him, get him to relax a little? Steve and I pretty much have his head in a tizz when we focus on him.

She smiled encouragingly at Aradia as they sat down, sitting next to her and across from the men.

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*Alright.*

"So, you say that the crop this year will be plentiful," Vinny paused to force the next word out pleasantly, "Lord Ba'al will be pleased."

Vinny nodded as gratefully as he could manage as the trays of refreshments were presented.

"There is no doubt that you will be blessed in the eyes of Lord Ba'al."

Gonna have to fuckin' gargle bleach.

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Aradia smiled back in return, though it was a little wary at the corners. Kyria was more than perceptive enough to realize that it was nervousness, but Ari forced her attention back on the head guy, trying to nod in agreement as Vinny mentioned "Lord Ba'al" being pleased. It seemed like the thing to do, after all. At least she knew who Ba'al was.

Woohoo.. five fuckin' points for me.

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The obsequious man smiled at Vinny. "Yes lord. Despite the distractions earlier in the season we were able to get the crops planted in time and the weather has been most accommodating." He did seem to relax somewhat talking to someone other than Steve and Kyria, their awesome presences just too much for the man to take calmly. He did offer food but hesitated to eat himself until he saw approval on the faces of the visitors. Even then he only picked at his food fearing to be asked a question with while eating.

((Kyria, please give me another telepathy roll.))

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Aradia ate quietly, trying to absorb what the guy was saying and pick up on any subtleties. She wasn't overly successful, this just wasn't her thing. But maybe if they could figure out more about the complications he mentioned. A quick glance at Kyria made Aradia wonder if the other woman was trying to read his mind, so she decided to probe a little more, just to try and bring it more to the forefront of his consciousness. She glanced back at him, curious but aloof.

"And other than those distractions, there haven't been any others? No other issues or problems we should know about?"

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The man blinked in surprise at the question but shook his head quickly. "No other distractions mistress. As I said, we were able to get the harvest in the ground in time and the weather has been perfect."

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Click to reveal.. (Telepathy Roll)


Kyria silently conveyed what she'd gathered from the priest's mind to her CO before stating in a deceptively soft voice, "We are here to see to the gifts Lord Ba'al bestowed on this and the other villages of this world. After we have eaten, takes us to the nearest one."
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The man frowned. "But mistress, we would lose the crops that are growing on top of it and the Lord Ba'al's other servants said we must not dig them up again under any circumstances or the entire village will be punished." He looks clearly confused as to what to do.

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Click to reveal..
Activating Awe Inspiring, Q 20/21
She also has Commanding Presence

"You will do nothing other than take us to where they are, and so long as we are pleased with what we find there, any loss of your crops will be compensated generously by Lord Ba'al as reward for your loyalty and competence. Unless you would care to defy us?"

The question was left hanging in the air, Kyria's normal demeanor completely transformed into a presence she'd yet to ever show at the SGC.
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The man cringed at the displeasure on your countenances. "Yes masters of course. Whenever you wish, I will take you there."

The man is very cowed by you all, the women in attendance also have gone to their knees in supplication for mercy.

((Steve you do detect technology in the area, but non within the village itself.))

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