Cadets R.J. Harrison and Stacey Bonner return from a training mission, where young Harrison failed to make a decision — correct or incorrect. Their supervising officer told him that he had to learn to make decisions and then live with the consequences — indecision is not an option.
The team returns to the Stargate Command facility, Earth’s first line of defense against the hostile alien species throughout the universe. But on this day, the enemy may just be within their own ranks.
Stacey and R.J. attend a hearing that will determine the fate of her uncle, veteran S.G.C. officer Major Gus Bonner. He is accused of violating orders from Stargate Command and sending his team into an ambush during a recent off-world mission to PR6-308. Bonner denies giving the order, though Stargate Command has the entire incident on video from his helmet video unit.
Bonner is found guilty, and held is custody.
Meanwhile, cadets Seattle Montoya and half-alien Ec’co visit the base laboratory. A startling discovery has been made: a sarcophagus has been found on Earth made from naquadah, the same material as the Stargate itself. Dr. Mason believes it may have a connection to the Ancients, the builders of the gate network.
She scans the sarcophagus, and discovers living biomatter inside. It isn’t a mummified person, but rather a statue with some sort of alien creature hybernating in it. And the alien wakes up, and breaks out; it’s a large, worm-like creature. The empathic Montoya senses that it is scared, and Ec’co helps to capture it before it can escape the lab.
Captain Grimes takes note of it, and makes contact with the Tlak’kahn. A vicious, animal-like species, they have only recently been encountered by Stargate Command. A team of Tlak’kahn warriors, led by the cunning Da’kyll, invades the base when Grimes opens the iris barrier that normally prevents enemies from coming through.
Grimes, it seems, is not really an S.G.C. officer. He is an alien shape-shifter named Nephestis, who is working with the Tlak’kahn. He shape-shifts into the form of Major Bonner, and eliminates Cadet Harrison and the gate technician before opening the iris.
The Tlak’kahn quickly establish a presence at the base, intent on capturing the alien creature — which may be an Ancient itself. Ec’co and Montoya try to keep it out of their hands, but Da’kyll’s men soon capture it.
Nephestis speaks with Da’kyll, and tells him the truth about Major Bonner’s “crime.” It was Nephestis himself, who took the form of Bonner and stole his helmet during the off-world mission. He knowingly sent Bonner’s team into a Tlak’kahn ambush, while Bonner was asleep.
Gus, meanwhile, must convince Stacey and R.J. that he isn’t working with the Tlak’kahn. He joins them in a mission to rescue the alien creature. A fire-fight ensues in the gate room, and the team mounts up on their vehicles. It’s the only solution they have, since the Tlak’kahn have taken over Stargate Command. They retake the alien, then escape through the gate — Gus, Stacey, R.J., Seattle and Ec’co.
The team arrives in a surprise attack on the Tlak’kahn base. As the Tlak’kahn weren’t expecting them, they quickly neutralize them and escape through the gate to another planet. They can’t go home yet, and must keep the alien infant safe.
– D. Sumner
- R.J. and Stacey were participating in what the cadets called a “morph drill.” Ec’co states that no cadet completes the course on his first attempt. It may have taken place at an off-world training facility, though it’s more likely that the S.G.C. operates a training facility on Earth instead.
- Members of Major Bonner’s original team included Jones and Picketts. It’s not known whether or not any of them survived the ambush.
- Bonner’s fateful mission was Earth’s first contact with the Tlak’kahn — and it obviously did not go well. As Gus is only now facing punishment for the events, it likely occurred only within the last few days — or possibly weeks.
- It’s not known what’s happened to the Jaffa or the Goa’uld in the 30 or so years since SG-1 was first formed, but the Tlak’kahn use staff weapons. The weapons also are equipped with a stun setting.
- Is there any significance to the color of uniforms, perhaps to indicate different ranks, or teams, or units? Orange and blue, yellow and green, and red and white uniforms are seen throughout the base.
- The naquadah sarcophagus was found in or around Giza, Egypt — where the Stargate was first unburied in 1928. It’s very significant that the relic should be made of the same material as the gate, though that alone doesn’t necessarily indicate a connection to the Ancients. The Goa’uld used naquadah as the base of all their technology. What’s more significant is that it is made of naquadah and was found near the gate.
- The sarcophagus is estimated to be about 5,000 years old. For reference, the coverstones that the ancient Egyptians placed over the Stargate was dated at around 10,000 (“Stargate” the Movie). It does not seem to be the same sort of sarcophagus that the Goa’uld use to heal and rejuvinate human bodies.
- Nephestis probably replaced the real Captain Grimes on PR6-308, and then returned to Earth with Major Bonner’s team. He is working with the Tlak’kahn, whom Earth had never encountered before that mission. It’s likely that Captain Grimes was thus a real S.G.C. officer, who is now either dead or captured by the Tlak’kahn.
- Is Earth still occupied by the Tlak’kahn? Presumably not — they were interested in capturing the alien, not in establishing a long-term presence on Earth. It’s likely that they left shortly after Bonner and the cadets escaped with the alien.
- Major Bonner is essentially a fugitive, but it doesn’t seem within his character to stay away from Earth and his punishment. As for the cadets — they can probably return whenever they want. But the team may not have taken any sort of G.D.O. signal device when they left Earth, meaning they have no way of signaling Earth to open the iris, and thus return home.
Gus Bonner – A 20-year veteran of the S.G.C., Major Bonner has been found guilty of violating orders from Stargate Command and sending his team into an ambush. He was taken into custody, but was forced to leave Earth when the Tlak’kahn invaded.
Gus has been going through the Stargate for 20 years, but says that he’s been to “dozens” of worlds. SG teams apparently do not travel through the gate as often as they did in the program’s early years.
R.J. Harrison – R.J. is working to graduate from “the academy,” though it’s not clear whether that’s the U.S. Air Force Academy or if there is a new academy specifically for training S.G.C. cadets.
Stacey Bonner – Stacey is Major Bonner’s niece. She appears to care for him, but was angry and hurt by his apparent traitorous actions. Stacey seems to have some measure of authority over the other cadets. It may be that they simply defer to her, or she may have a higher cadet rank.
Seattle Montoya – Seattle is a young cadet, a scientist, and has empathic abilities. This may have been her first trip through the Stargate; she complains about “gatelag,” and says that nobody warned her.
Ec’co – Ec’co is half-alien, an S.G.C. cadet, and a stoic intellectual. He has joined his friends in rescuing the alien creature and escaping to another planet.
Nephestis / Grimes – The shape-shifting alien Nephestis looks like a large, pink blob in his natural state. He can apparently morph into the exact shape of another person, and can even mimic their voice. He is allied with the Tlak’kahn, and has infiltrated the S.G.C., posing as Captain Grimes. His motives are not yet known, but he did go out of his way to frame Major Bonner for a crime.
Da’kyll – Leader of the vicious Tlak’kahn warriors, Da’kyll is a cunning alien. He is allied with the shape-shifting Nephestis, and is motivated — for reasons yet unknown — to capture the alien creature, as it may have a connection to the Ancients, or be an Ancient itself.