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Wasteland Gate [Stargate SG-1/Fallout: New Vegas]

Chapter 1: End of a Long Journey

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
Wasteland Gate

By Kylia

Chapter 1: End of a Long Journey​

Outskirts of Denver, Colorado
6 Months after the NCR Victory at Second Hoover Dam


"Surrender your weapons, your goods and yourselves, profligates," the Decanus said, keeping his shotgun leveled at what appeared to be the leader of the four travelers from the west. Legate Marcus Agrippa, true heir to Caesar, had ordered all outsiders detained and brought to him for questioning and enslavement.

"So who's the officer who has gone and declared himself ruler of Denver here then?" The leader cocked an eyebrow, not lowering her pistol.

"I serve Legate Marcus Agrippa, true heir to Caesar and Master of Denver," The Decanus replied. "Surrender or die! We have you outnumbered, Profligate!"

The leader laughed, laughed at his order, and it was the Decanus could do to not shoot her now for her insult.

"Being outnumbered is something I'm used to, Decanus," the leader replied, shrugging blandly. The Decanus bit his lip for a moment, and he could tell from the stances of the rest of his men that they too were on the verge of charging or shooting, depending on their weaponry.

"Veronica," the leader looked over to one of her companions, a pale, dark-haired woman wearing nondescript wanderer's garb - very different from the black, obviously old-world armor the leader wore. On her right hand, the pale woman had a power fist, like the ones Caesar's Praetorian Guard had used, that Legate Agrippa had given to his own Praetorians.

"Do you think we should surrender?"

"Seems like a bad idea," The woman - Veronica - said, shrugging. "Can I take the one to the left the idiot with the shotgun? He's leering at me." The Decanus looked at the legionary on his left and tightened his grip on his own shotgun. They showed no concern for the situation they were in!

"SURRENDER OR DIE!" The Decanus barked, "All of you!"

"Here's the thing, Decanus. I don't surrender. Not a fan. And if you're smart, you'll turn tail and run." With her free hand, she tugged down slightly on her black, broad-brimmed hat.

"The Legion does not run."

"They sure did from me at Second Hoover Dam," her lips turned up in a wicked, cruel smirk he'd have expected on a Frumentarii. It sent the first chill of fear down his spine that he'd felt in years. You are a legionary! A Decanus! Control yourself! This profligate woman poses no-

"The ones that were left after I finished emptying my .44 into Lanius's skull, anyway," the woman continued.

Now that chill of fear became an icy grip deep in his gut. "No..."

"Yep," The woman gave an elaborate bow while still pointing her gun at him. "Victoria Fernandez, courier, contractor-at-large for the NCR and general pain in the ass, at your service."

The Decanus physically swallowed as he looked at the olive-skinned woman before him. She's just a woman, just a weak profligate-

But he couldn't think it. Victoria Fernandez was no woman. She was a demon - a monster, a scourge upon the Legion in human flesh. Slayer of Caesar, of Lucius, of Lanius, of Vulpes Inculta. A one-woman army, who it was said had single-handedly won Second Hoover Dam and broken the Legion...

It can't be true! It's all lies! No one person could do that!

Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw his own men wavering, though none were running. Not yet.

And yet -

The Decanus wanted to run. He wanted to flee - and keep fleeing until this terror before him was miles away.

"You! You are a Profligate myth! You are not-!" The Decanus tried to say, about to fire his shotgun at her, to kill her now -

He didn't even get to shoot a single shell before the .44 bullet went through his right eye and into his brain.

Outskirts of Denver, Colorado
6 Months after the NCR Victory at Second Hoover Dam


"Huh," Victoria holstered her pistol less than five minutes after firing off her first shot. "So I guess the Legionaries around Denver really do still have discipline. They all fought to the death even after I told them who I was." She crouched by the body of the Decanus she'd shot first, grabbing his belt pouch and searching for anything else useful on his body. Just some shotgun shells and pinyon nuts.

"Really, Boss, you're the one of the richest women in the Mojave and you're still stopping to loot dead bodies?" The raspy voice of Raul said from behind her.

"We're a long way from friendly territory," she pointed out, checking the pouch. A couple dozen Denarii, and a few Aure. A well paid idiot she'd gone and run into, apparently. "Plus, how do you think I got so rich?"

"I'm still a little surprised most of the patrols we ran into just ran off rather than fight," Victoria turned to look at Arcade, the blonde man pulling a stimpack out of his pack and sticking it into his arm, near where he'd gotten a grazing injury from one of a bullet. "Given how brainwashed your typical Legionary is."

"Or was," Victoria mused. "I mean, they were also taught to believe that Caesar was God, and now God is dead."

"I don't think Nietzsche applies here," Arcade countered.

"No, but I am the one who killed their 'God', and his entire inner circle. If the Son of Mars can't stop me, if the Monster of the East couldn't stop me... well, what are mere mortals like your average legionary supposed to do." She shrugged and stood up. "Veronica, you alright?"

"A few scratches, but nothing serious," the former Scribe said, cleaning bits of blood and bone off her power fist.

"Raul?"

"I'm good, Boss," Raul shook his head. "Remind me why I agreed to go on this trip with you?"

"Because you were getting bored on the Mojave?" Victoria shrugged.

"No Boss, that was you," Raul shook his head. "This trip may be hell on my knees, but someone's got to keep an eye on you on this crazy plan of yours." Victoria smiled a little at his words. "So how much longer till we reach Colorado Springs and..."

"The Cheyenne Mountain Complex," Victoria supplied. "Home to Project Blue Book, and something House was apparently prepared to send half his Securitron Amy to secure, this far away from Vegas, if need be." Victoria moved onto another body, grabbing his ammo and coin pouch as well as anything else of value that wasn't that heavy - she didn't carry a shotgun, nor did anyone else in her little party, but ammo made for a good thing to sell.

Though, House's notes had said he'd have prefered to find 'reasonably trustworthy human employees', when the time came, just monitored by a few of his Securitrons to keep them honest.

Convincing Veronica to come with her when she'd found House's plans buried in his computer systems at the Lucky 38 had been easy. The Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood had been willing to help the NCR at Second Hoover Dam, but refused to move any further forward than that. Arcade was coming because he'd never trusted House and didn't trust that it wasn't some pre-war superweapon House had wanted.

Victoria had her doubts about that, but she'd agreed to help Arcade destroy or secure it if it was, so it could never be used.

Raul had mostly just shrugged and said 'let me get my tools' when she asked him to come along. She envied the ghoul's ability to just... go with the flow of life so easily. Then again, a hell of a lot happened to him to make him like that.

Victoria had mostly just wanted the excuse to leave the Mojave. The NCR was good for the region, for the people living there, and they were on their way to being incorporated as a full state. But it was getting too civilized for her taste.

But I can't say I'm not curious about what that pre-war pendejo was up to. House had vision, she'd give him that, but his plan had been... well, fucking stupid. Not to mention his idiotic management of the Three Families and his notion that he could just milk all the money out of the NCR forever and all time.

Maybe he could have done it, maybe, but I'd rather not support the cost.

So anything he'd marked as 'urgent priority' once New Vegas and the Mojave Wasteland were secured was of interest to her.

"Anyway, it's about... four, maybe five more days." Victoria said after consulting her Pip Boy and its map. "Could be three if we can make a straight shot down the Interstate, but that's unlikely." Something would probably get in the way of that.

"Then what are we waiting for?" Arcade asked, holstering his energy pistol. "We should get moving. Before another patrol comes by."

Ruins of Colorado Springs
6 Months after the NCR Victory at Second Hoover Dam


"People have passed through here, recently," Victoria said, crouching down to examine the cigarette butts and footprints. "Hopefully locals from Cheyenne." Colorado Springs had all the hallmarks of being near a nuclear detonation - Cheyenne Mountain Complex being the target, presumably, as well as some of the other nearby military facilities.

"I'm still amazed that town exists at all," Arcade mused. "This place had to have been covered in missiles, and yet people hiding out in the underlevels of Cheyenne Mountain managed to survive and come back up into the wasteland and make a town in the place." Arcade frowned, "I'm sure you've thought of this, Victoria, but what if they already have whatever Project Blue Book is?"

"House's records seemed to imply it was under the underlevels, really deep underground, and that those lowest levels were sealed with some sort of advanced locking you needed a proper code for," she tapped her Pip Boy. "Which I have here. In theory, not even the best hackers would be able to get through it."

"I hope your right, or this has been a waste of time."

"Oh come on Arcade, it's not like you wanted to stick around New Vegas while the NCR consolidated even more," Victoria laughed.

"Maybe not, but I could have gone with other Followers up to Wyoming," Arcade pointed out.

"If it turns out this was a wild goose chase, I might go there myself. Papa Khan left a message for me inviting me to come visit when the Khans left Red Rock Canyon," Victoria mused. She'd impressed the Khan leader, at least to an extent, when she'd been able to convince him to reclaim the legendary Mongol legacy and to avoid the Scylla and Charybdis of the NCR and the Legion.

She shook her head, "Anyway, with any luck the people of Cheyenne will realize that we're not a threat and be interested in trading. They still trade with some of the communities that the Legion used to control... and parts of it still do." She was a bit surprised that they did that, but after taking Denver, Caesar's Legion had pulled up short and turned entirely back West, and though the people of Cheyenne apparently didn't have any real love for the Legion, they weren't under immediate threat.

Plus, supposedly, they had access to some good pre-war hardware that they used to defend themselves. But nothing like a superweapon or some... cache of power armor whatever. Nothing that would be worth Mr. House making it a priority.

Victoria stood back up. "The people of Cheyenne have picked this place clean though. No scrap, no salvage... hell..." She walked over towards the ruined skeleton of what might have been a house with aluminum siding. Parts of the outside, what was left of it, might even have been...

"Someone's been harvesting a way at these buildings, taking off chunks of the wall, probably to drag building material to Cheyenne. Or somewhere else nearby, I suppose." She shook her head. "Sorry. We should keep going."

Victoria checked her pipboy, but it was a bit hard to get a clear fix on how best to navigate these ruins... she fiddled with the dials on the device, then finally got it zoomed properly... maybe. I've let myself get reliant on this thing since Doc Mitchell gave it to me.

"That way," She pointed to the southwest. They picked their way through the ruins, and though Victoria - and Veronica - kept their eyes open for any sort of salvage, or something worth taking, but the whole place really had been picked clean, and they saw more signs of people having just... ripped parts off the ruins and moved them away. Usually when people used the ruins to build like that, they rebuilt right there where they were salvaging. Then again, Cheyenne does have a place they call home...

"I think we're almost to Fort Carson, and then from there it's not much further to the Mountain..." she looked up at the sky. "But we may want to rest there, if we can. Not surprise them when it gets dark and all."

"Not a bad plan Boss," Raul agreed. "Small towns on the furthest edge like this Cheyenne... no big friends or warlords nearby to protect them - they don't like to let people in or even come close when it's getting dark." He shrugged and Victoria nodded.

Victoria tried in vain, as they walked, to find a radio frequency to tune into, something anything, even some pre-war channel, but despite her efforts, she didn't find anything, unsurprisingly. The Legion apparently tracked down the source of any old world radio signals and destroyed any transmitters they could...

Raul was quiet, and Arcade and Veronica talked about the Mojave and exchanged theories about what Project Blue Book might have been about. Veronica's ideas got crazier and crazier, from time machines to cyborg armies to space ships with Faster than light capacity. Victoria had had to stop and ask what the hell that actually meant -

And been subjected to a physics lecture from Arcade and Veronica that she could have done without.

As they drew close to Fort, Victoria took off her sunglasses with the setting sun, slipping them inside a belt pouch. Then she briefly removed her hat and wiped her brow, pushing aside a few strands of hair that had stuck to her damp forehead. This riot armor from the divide is good, but did it have to be black? That was not the first time the thought had crossed her mind, and it probably wouldn't be the last.

She paused, dropping her back to the ground and fishing out a fresh canteen of water. Fortunately, most of the rivers, ponds, and streams they'd passed had been free of any leftover radiation, along with other water sources. They'd boiled the water, of course.

She unscrewed the cap and sipped, slinging her back back on.

Finally, they were able to get past the ruins, and she had an unobstructed view of Fort Carson up ahead -

The bombs had wrecked the walls of the place, but they'd been patched more recently, and at several spots she saw some sort of... automated turrets? Hooked up to some computers, probably, ready to fire at someone's order.

"HALT" Someone shouted down from the walls, across the distance, aided by some sort of pre-war device they were holding up to their mouths. "Wait there while we send someone out!"

"Okay..." Victoria pulled up short, bemused. Cheyenne was supposed to be situated at the mountain, not here in the old fort, right? She kept her hands on the handles of two of her guns - one on her modified .44, and the other on the .357 police pistol she'd salvaged from the Sierra Madre.

She saw the gates to the fort open and three people walk out - one was in power armor, and unlike the NCR's heavies, the servos seemed to be still in place, because the person inside it was moving at a reasonable pace. The other two, as they drew closer, she saw were wearing U.S. Army combat armor, the faded green and the star on the chest a clear giveaway.

"Power armor?" Veronica shook her head, "Where the - how?! God..." She shook her head. "If the Brotherhood hears about this... thought I suppose it makes sense that NORAD might have had at least a few suits, if they're from Cheyenne..."

"I was more noticing the Gatling Gun the one in the metal armor is carrying," Raul pointed out. "Maybe try to be more diplomatic than you were with those Legionaries by Denver, Boss?"

"I'll do my best Raul," Victoria chuckled. She let out a sigh and pulled her hands away from her guns, holding them up just a little - not in a gesture of surrender, just to make clear she wasn't making aggressive moves.

"Who are you?! What's your business here?" The one in the power armor asked as they got within thirty or so feet. He leveled the gun, aiming it at the ground in front of him, but clearly ready to redirect it if need be. And there's no cover here unless we go backwards...

"Victoria Fernandez. These are my friends, Raul Tejadas, Veronica Santangelo and Arcade Gannon," she pointed to each in turn. She lowered her hands to her sides. "I'm on my way to Cheyenne."

"Victoria Fernandez?" One of the two in combat armor - a woman, young, maybe 18 - blurted out. "But -" she turned to the one in power armor. "This is that woman those traders were talking about last month! The one who beat the Legion way out West, killed Caesar and-"

"Created the entire mess we're in," the one in the power armor cut the woman off.

"Excuse me?" Victoria raised an eyebrow. "What did I do to you?"

"Created a massive Refugee problem," the power armored man replied. "When the Legion collapsed started fighting itself, civilians and escaping slaves fled, and a lot fled here, since we're outside of what was Legion territory." He gestured to the fort. "The Cheyenne Council has been helping them turn this old Fort into a new town for them to live in, but in the meantime, it's a lot of work, and we have to help keep the peace and defend it."

"So you are from Cheyenne," she didn't make it a question.

"Lieutenant Richard Davis, Cheyenne Defense Volunteers," the man replied. "Are you actually Victoria Fernandez?"

"That's what my parents named me," Victoria replied. "And yeah, though I suppose you don't have to believe me, I am the woman who killed Caesar... but I didn't win Second Hoover Dam single-handedly or any of the other stuff these traders your friend was talking about probably are saying about me."

"You are supposed to be ten feet tall and have orange hair," Lt. Davis replied after a moment. "But if you're the woman who did all that - all the way over in... Nevada, why are you here?"

"Project Blue Book," Veronica answered first. Victoria frowned. Veronica, girl, I love you, but maybe don't spill the beans yet?

"What?" Davis's confusion sounded genuine.

"It's a bit of a long story. I'd like to talk it over with your leaders - the Cheyenne Council you called them? I'm happy to pay for the privilege, and for a place to sleep tonight or for a few days."

"You're welcome in Fort Carson, but since you're not a trader or a refugee, you will need to pay a small entry fee to help support the refugees," Davis said. "As for coming to Cheyenne to meet with the Council..." Davis paused for a moment. "I'll send a message, but no promises. We don't hate outsiders, but trust can be expensive."

"Very true," Victoria agreed. "Do you guys take Caps? I've also got some Legion currency, if that's still worth anything to you."

"Not worth what it used to be, but gold and silver are gold and silver. A Denurias... Denaris," Davis gave up: "The silver ones - one for each of you will be fine. You can pay at the gate."

"Alright then. Lead on." Hopefully she could talk her way into a meeting with this Council and convince them to let her down into the lowest levels. If nothing else, I'm sure there's something they need I can go and get for them.

She was a courier, after all.
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
I posted this on SB, after having lurked around there on and off reading the occasional fic, earlier today, first time one of my stories is the kind of thing I'd have posted on a site like SB (or this one, for that matter), and one Chatokay said this website was always looking for more good authors, that I seemed like I was good (I like to think I am) and so I figured wth, more places to post this fic as I write it and get feedback.

I'd have introduced myself first, but I couldn't find a place to do that.

Anyway, in regards to the fic itself: I'm not 100% sure if the idea really has staying power, but the only way to know is to give it a try and see what people think.

Fallout: Tactics is only dubiously canon officially, and the same holds true for this fic - there's no 'Vault 0' in Cheyenne Mountain or what have you. I am not an expert on Fallout Lore, though I am well versed. If I get something wrong, or you think my characterization is off, let me know and I'll take it into account.

Most of the details of the Stargate Program that existed before the bombs dropped will be unfolded over the course of the first 5-6 chapters, but I will note up front - the initial mission to Abydos (including Ra's ship getting nuked) happened in January 2077, and included Daniel Jackson. Its explicit mission also included the idea of being able to use the Stargate as a place to evacuate population through in the event of nuclear war, since the Vaults could hardly fit everyone (even if they weren't all psycholabs).

Colonel Jack O'Neill was not involved in the mission to Abydos. He, like Captain Doctor Samantha Carter, will actually show up in story as Fallout-itized versions of themselves, native to the Wasteland. Teal'c will show up at the same age he was when Season 1 started in-canon (96, If I'm doing my math right), with handwavium applied to delay his birth.

The state of the Goa'uld Empire and the rest of the galaxy over the last 200 years will also be revealed over the course of the story.

In the interests of full disclosure, this fic is inspired by Fallout SG-1 by RossCostello over on FFN, but apart from a similar premise, it won't be like that fic, but I did get the idea of doing this fic after reading that one. (And it's quite good, so you should give it a look)
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
So how did the the whole "nuking Ra" go? As it's likely that the higher level of tech could mean things would've had gone quite a bit differently.
You'll see the intimate details as we go on, but like in the movie, his ship was in orbit at the time and so there was no meaningful damage to Abydos.
 

Horton

Cat
Administrator
You'll see the intimate details as we go on, but like in the movie, his ship was in orbit at the time and so there was no meaningful damage to Abydos.
Yep. Jaffa on their own are pretty crappy fighters, though that was kind of intentional, they got their ass kicked by 90s equipment, Fallout stuff will mess them up badly.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
Is the naming of Project Blue Book inspired by Project Blue Blood, and if so, is Cheyenne functionally a replacement for Old World Blues storyline? Or do they both exist independently?
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
Is the naming of Project Blue Book inspired by Project Blue Blood, and if so, is Cheyenne functionally a replacement for Old World Blues storyline? Or do they both exist independently?
Project Blue Book, for reasons I'm not entirely sure, has proven to be a common enough name used for the SGC in a number of fics I've read - usually crossovers - as the cover name for the operation. I'm not sure where that fanon convention started, but offhand, I recall it from this fic, this fic, and this fic (all of which, incidentally, are pretty solid fics) and I know it's been in others, so I decided not to reinvent the wheel. When I get around to posting it to FFN, a lot of people who read Stargate fanfic will probably recognize it, because of that convention.

Old World Blues did happen and it happened more or less as canon. What impact it and the tech there will have on the story is... probably minimal, but we'll see. From a worldbuilding aspect, I dislike some of the implications of the tech at the Big Empty and what could be done with it and the impact it would have on the Wasteland going forward. Victoria is only minimally interested in making use of the Think Tank or their tech because frankly, she doesn't trust the tech they make or have a hand in to not spectacularly fail at the worst moment or have some unexpected and horrible side-effects.
 

Josef

Totally Not A Stalinist
Is the naming of Project Blue Book inspired by Project Blue Blood, and if so, is Cheyenne functionally a replacement for Old World Blues storyline? Or do they both exist independently?
Project Blue Book, for reasons I'm not entirely sure, has proven to be a common enough name used for the SGC in a number of fics I've read - usually crossovers - as the cover name for the operation. I'm not sure where that fanon convention started, but offhand, I recall it from this fic, this fic, and this fic (all of which, incidentally, are pretty solid fics) and I know it's been in others, so I decided not to reinvent the wheel. When I get around to posting it to FFN, a lot of people who read Stargate fanfic will probably recognize it, because of that convention.

Old World Blues did happen and it happened more or less as canon. What impact it and the tech there will have on the story is... probably minimal, but we'll see. From a worldbuilding aspect, I dislike some of the implications of the tech at the Big Empty and what could be done with it and the impact it would have on the Wasteland going forward. Victoria is only minimally interested in making use of the Think Tank or their tech because frankly, she doesn't trust the tech they make or have a hand in to not spectacularly fail at the worst moment or have some unexpected and horrible side-effects.
That's because Project Blue Book was actually a legitimate military study into UFO sightings back in the 50s and 60s. Linking the Stargate program with it makes sense due to the whole "Military Investigation Into Aliens" project at work here.
 
Chapter 2: The Cheyenne Council

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
Wasteland Gate

By Kylia

Chapter 2: The Cheyenne Council​

Fort Carson Refugee Camp

Six Months After the NCR Victory at Second Hoover Dam

When she'd heard 'refugee camp', Victoria expected something closer to Bitter Springs and the camp there, but as it turned out...

Not so much.

Funny what you can do when you actually have resources to spare because House isn't tying your hands. General Oliver's failures as a leader hadn't helped, but if House hadn't kept getting in the way, the NCR could have solved a lot of problems in the Mojave a lot sooner.

Then again, if they had, she wouldn't have had a chance to fix them herself, and wouldn't have gotten rich, so... it all balanced out, she supposed.

The inside of Fort Carson was large and expansive, and the structures inside were largely intact - repairs made here and there, some of them slapdash and short term, but it was more than just a tent shantytown. Off in the distance, she even saw what looked like some cropland inside the walls of the fort. Well that makes it easier to resist siege. Not that she thought there were enough soldiers here to man all the walls she was seeing and how they went off into the distance. It would take a several companies of NCR troopers to do that, probably.

Still, as refugee camps went, the place seemed pretty peaceable. Kids were running around, playing, people were going about their business, she saw a few market stalls, people arguing over prices. As they got further from the gate, they were stopped by a short-haired dark-skinned woman in a blue formal-looking uniform.

"Lt. Davis, who are our visitors?"

"Travelers from our west. All the way from New Vegas, apparently. Not merchants or refugees."

"Visitors' fee it is." the woman looked over to them. "Are any of you carrying psycho, jet or Med-X?"

Victoria frowned, "No to the first two, I know that. We had some Med-X before we left New Vegas, but I think we used it all up after that fight near Rand Junction?" She looked back to the others.

"No... I think..." Arcade dropped his bag and searched through it quickly. "No, we still have two doses." Victoria turned back to the woman.

"Is that going to be a problem?"

"Psycho and Jet are illegal here and in Cheyenne, but Med-X is legal, but restricted. If you decide you want to sell it, it'll have to be Doctor Lam or one of her assistants, over that way. We catch you selling it to anyone else, and you'll have a pay a fine... and leave."

"Wasn't planning on selling it, so that all works. Though I do have some excess ammo to sell. Where would I do that?"

"There's some guns and ammo shops over on the far end of the cropland," the woman said. "Anyway, for the four of you, that'll be four Denarii, ten caps or the equivalent."

Victoria pulled out some of the silver coins she'd taken from the Decanus and handed them over. "Here, take a few extra. God knows I hate these stupid things."

The woman didn't refuse the extra money, dropping them through a small hole in the top of a locked metal box after taking a quick look to make sure they appeared genuine.
"Not a fan either, but traders and communities over west still take them over bottle caps, and if nothing else they can be melted down into bars and sold off to the east." She turned to Davis. "Go on back to the walls."

"I need to use the radio first," Davis disagreed. "This woman wants to speak to the Council, and I think they might want to." He gestured to Victoria.

"Alright, go ahead." Davis headed off towards a building that had a series of antennae sticking out of the roof and every window. The woman turned back to Victoria. "If you're looking for a place to stay, there's an inn on the east side, past the houses over there. Rooms are pricey, mostly for visiting traders, but it'll work - it's called the Black Bottle."

The other two that had been with Lt. Davis headed back to the gate after a nod from the woman.

She looked over at them, raising an eyebrow when she look a second look at Raul, but saying nothing.

"Any more questions?"

"Tons, I'm sure, but I'm guessing you'd rather not indulge my curiosity for the next three hours," Victoria said, looking around. She could see here and there, the signs that this really was a refugee camp - the people, most of them, had a slightly hollow, hungry look to them, a lot skinnier than their seemingly prosperous surroundings would suggest. They were also a lot more armed than a place like this, well defended and seemingly safe, would be on the West Coast.

They were more wary too, and she noticed she was getting suspicious, albeit not hostile, looks from some of the 'civilians'. They didn't know her, she wasn't carrying goods, but looked too well off and well fed to be one them...

"Not right now, but if you catch me off duty and buy the beer, sure," the woman said with a smile that... held a little promise. It wasn't hard to catch the intent, though it did throw Victoria for a loop for just a moment.

Huh. Right. They weren't in the NCR anymore, or in Legion territory. She didn't have to be quite so cautious about her preferences for woman anymore. And since she'd long since given up on Veronica picking up on her hints...

"That sounds like fun," Victoria agreed. "I'll probably be over at this Black Bottle by the time you're off duty. Meet me there?"

"Sure." The woman smiled. "I'm Jenny. Jenny Thurmond, by the way," she added.
"Victoria Fernandez," she took off her hat and did an elaborate bow, "a pleasure, bonita." And the woman was actually quite pretty, when Victoria looked her over. That formal outfit wore well on her too. Looks kind of like a uniform - probably is, for that matter.

Jenny smiled prettily, a little bit of light dancing in her eyes, but before she could say anything, Veronica cut in.

"You - you guys couldn't have repaired and rebuilt this place like this just in the last six months? What did you use it for before?"

"Good eye," Jenny nodded. "We used to just use it as extra farmland - kept some people here to guard and work, repaired the other structures on and off as needed. There'd been plans on the drawing board to totally repair and resettle the place for a few decades, I think, but until we starting getting all those refugees, it just wasn't worth the time."

"Okay," Veronica nodded, then turned to Victoria. "I'm going to check out the market, see if there's any interesting little bits of salvage or tech to buy." She looked over at Arcade, "they might have some parts to do that upgrade to your energy pistol I was talking about the other day. I just need a few things and I can probably jerry-rig it."

"Sounds like a plan, I suppose," Arcade nodded.
"Go on," Victoria nodded. "Raul, let's see what price we can get for that ammo and anything else we don't need."

"Sure, sure, Boss," Raul nodded.

Colonel's Office, Cheyenne Mountain Underlevel 4

Six Months After the NCR Victory at Second Hoover Dam

"Colonel Mitchell, Sir?" At the sound of the radio in his office coming to life, Colonel Cameron Mitchell, commander of the Cheyenne Defense Volunteers looked up from his computer where he'd been typing a report. "It's Lt. Davis from Fort Carson."

Mitchell pushed his chair over to the radio and tuned the dial a moment, then replied. "Davis, this is Maj- Colonel Mitchell. No one's supposed to be reporting until tonight. What's the situation?" He'd only just gotten this job three weeks ago and he was still getting used to his new rank.

It wasn't a rank he'd particularly wanted, but he wasn't going to say no to the promotion when the Council offered it.

Better me than that asshole Maybourne or his buddy Simmons. Colonel Hammond's retirement and subsequent election to the Cheyenne Council had left an opening at the top of the Volunteers, and it had come down to him, Maybourne or Simmons as to who got the job. Thankfully, the Council didn't put either one of those jackasses in charge.

Maybourne was a slimy son of a bitch, but at least he had a sense of duty. Simmons, on the other hand...

If he cares about anyone but himself, I'll be damned.

"We've got some visitors from out west, all the way from New Vegas, they say. Their leader wants to meet with the Council. She says it's important."

"Council's busy. She'll have to make an appointment like any other outsider that wants a chat," Mitchell pointed out. "Why are you calling me about it?"

"Because - well... I think the Council will want to meet her. Make an exception. She's not just some random traveler - she's well armed, got some sort of pre-war military armor, fancy looking stuff. And her buddies... plus - she claims to be Victoria Fernandez."

Mitchell furrowed his brow. "Where have I heard that name before?"

"According to some of the traders we've talked to, and what our scouts have said about what the Legion says, she's the woman who killed Caesar, Lanius and a whole bunch of other Legionaries at Second Hoover Dam. Broke the whole army. She's a big deal out west, if what they say is true."

"They also say she's ten feet tall and has orange hair, if I remember right," Mitchell pointed out.

"Well, she doesn't look like that," Davis conceded. "But she matches - more or less - the more realistic descriptions we have for her. And sure, she could just be someone taking the name, but she sure as hell isn't from Legion territory, and she doesn't have the accent to be from Kansas or Nebraska. Plus... I believe her."

Well that's something. One of the reasons Davis was over there on greeting duty was that it was basically impossible to lie to him. Guy had a real knack for picking up lies, half-truths, deception, whole kit and kaboodle. He could tell who was a refugee and who was some would be Legion spy - the Warlord running Denver had tried to send two of his own knock-off Frumentarii into the camp, and Davis had been the one to stop them.

"If she can lie to you, she deserves a meeting with the Council on that alone," Mitchell mused. "Did she say what she wants?"

"Not really. She mentioned she's willing to pay for the Council's time," there was a pause, then, "one of her buddies mentioned something about a 'Project Blue Book'... whatever the heck that is."

Mitchell stiffened.

Crap.

That was a name he knew. He didn't know what it meant, but he knew it was related to the levels of the mountain no-one, not in two hundred years, had ever been able to crack. The first eleven underlevels of the mountain had been his ancestors home the first ten years after the bombs dropped, before limited resettlement of the surface began.

Today, of course, most of the population of Cheyenne lived above ground, in the ruins of the mountain or the grounds outside the former base, but the richest still lived underground, and the Council and all the rest of the official work of the city was done down here.

Extensive searching of the surviving computer archives of the base had turned up only a little information on those sealed sublevels, beneath NORAD. A highly classified, expensive project, powered by it's own advanced fusion generators, with a closed computer system, and...

That was about it. Those limited records carried an implicit suggestion that there could be a lot of tech in there, even more than what was salvaged from NORAD or Fort Carson had motivated people to try, but... the doors just wouldn't budge. Shishkabobs and flamethrowers and a whole host of other weapons had been tried. Everything short of a Fat Man, and when someone had suggested trying that, the idiot had been nearly thrown in prison for sheer stupidity.

These days, the existence of the Project and what was theories about what was there was a closely guarded secret - the Council, the Colonel of the CDV and a few other top people. Probably some others knew about it too, but they weren't supposed to know.

"Sir?"

Mitchell shook his head as he realized he'd just been sitting there quiet for a minute. "I'll talk to the Council, see what they think. She does sound like she might be worth their time. Anyone who can freak the Legion out like that is worth it."

Council Chambers, Cheyenne Mountain Underlevel 7

Six Months After the NCR Victory at Second Hoover Dam

Drinks with Jenny had proven quite fruitful. Not only had the woman filled her in on lots of the details about Cheyenne, Fort Carson and the surrounding area, but she'd been pleasant company for the evening, and then even more so when they'd gone up to her room afterwards.

Cheyenne's history was interesting - members of the US Air force and their families had taken refuge in the underlevels of NORAD after the first bombs fell and while plenty did not make it - supposedly some high-muckety-muck from D.C. had been on his way to the base that morning and never arrived, according to old legend, but all told, some three hundred people had taken refuge in the base. Missiles had hit several places around Colorado springs, and nearly hit the mountain itself, which was a wreck, barely a mountain anymore, in some ways.

There'd been ample supplies - NORAD had been designed to withstand nuclear war, after all. Still, it wasn't enough for them to stay forever. But the radiation had cleared enough after the first year that people in power armor could start salvaging on the surface. That kept them in scavenged food, from wasteland life and from prepackaged stuff. It wasn't very safe, and they had a lot of cancer that first generation and the one after it, but they lived. Eventually, they partially moved to the surface, accepted (carefully and with judicious judgement) some survivors and held off raiders with all the weaponry they had access to - including ten suits of T-45 Power Armor, and one suit of T-51. Energy weapons, plasma weapons, tons of ammo for both, and more mundane options. They'd never gone a-conquering, but for a time, they had tried to play peacemaker for the region before deciding it wasn't worth the effort.

The rise of the Legion had been a problem, especially as they drew closer to Denver - the Hangdog tribe had traded with Cheyenne-based merchants a lot, selling what the salvaged from the ruins of Denver in exchange for food or other goods from Cheyenne, but the Legion had stopped expanding after Denver - a few skirmishes had gone Cheyenne's way without any casualties, and Caesar wanted New Vegas and Hoover Dam.

But even with the Legion there and nominally hostile, there'd been trading with the settlements under the Legion's control, as well as trade with settlements further south and east. Pueblo, Dodge, traders from Cheyenne had gone as far as Kansas City, a great commercial entrepôt, of sorts. The whole region all the way to the extremely toxic and nearly uncrossable waters of the Mississippi was mostly small towns, rural and semi-civilized (or less) tribes, a handful of large cities, raider bands. Merchants travelling together in caravans for safety, small scale conflicts and living on the edge was the norm, but it wasn't any worse than some of areas on the edge of NCR, mostly. No real center of organization.

The most interesting fact was that supposedly, somewhere far north, in what had been Minnesota - Victoria had seen enough pre-war maps of the US - there was...

Well, the Brotherhood of Steel. Or at least, some sort of power-armored, isolationist and tech-obsessed group called the Brotherhood. Jenny had only really heard rumors about it from people who'd heard rumors about it and so on. She knew a decent amount about the rest of Colorado and Kansas, and the nearest parts of Nebraska beyond that, it was most hearsay and rumor.

The whole evening and night had been fruitful, and she'd swapped stories with Jenny, telling her about her journeys around the West, especially in the Mojave.

The next day, Lt. Davis had told them the Council was willing to meet with them, and so they'd trekked the five miles to the ruins of the mountain - the whole place was blasted out, wrecked. Not as bad as the Big Empty, but still, a wreck and a ruin. But the people had made do and the mountain was covered in houses, built from the stone of the mountain, salvaged rubble and bits and pieces from the wasteland, structures made from welded wrecks of Vertibirds destroyed by time or the bombs, and a whole lot more. The people of Cheyenne had proven quite skilled at rebuilding their salvaged little corner of the wasteland.

She'd been asked to leave her friends on the surface, and she'd been disarmed when she entered the mountain before being taken down a still working elevator to the 7th level.

She still had one of her pistols left, the .357 she'd taken from Bison Steve's, hidden on her person, but hopefully this would go peacefully.

"Councilors," Colonel Cameron Mitchell, the polite, soft-spoken commander of the CDV that had greeted her as she stepped off the elevator to the 7th floor, said as they stepped into a conference room, the seven members of the Cheyenne Council - one elected every year, the seats having staggered seven year terms - sitting around the table.

Her eyes immediately gravitated towards one, a bald, grandfatherly looking man. A bit fat, but only just. He sat at the far end of the table from her, the chairman of the Council's meetings for the month by random selection.

George Hammond, former Colonel of the CDV.

"May I introduce Victoria Fernandez," Colonel Mitchell finished.

"Thank you Colonel. Please, stay for this," Hammond said. He looked across the room at Victoria. "Miss Fernandez-"

"Please, Victoria," Victoria interrupted.

"Victoria, then," Hammond nodded. "We've heard a lot about you. Rumors and stories, mostly, of course."

"They're probably grossly exaggerated."
"But you did kill Lanius?" one of the other Councillors asked. "CDV scouts have seen the man, from a distance anyway. By all accounts he earned his brutal reputation."

"He was a beast of man, and I won't say it was easy to kill him, because it wasn't. And I had help, but yeah, I killed him."

"And Caesar?" The same councilor asked.

"Him too. I had something he wanted, he invited me to his base at The Fort to try to buy it from me. Not sure why he thought a woman born in the NCR would ever join up with him, but I supposed he thought I'd fall for his scintillating personality." A few of the Councillors chuckled just a little at that. "We disagreed, and I emptied my pistol into his skull." And then had to fight her way out. In hindsight, that had been... ill-advised. She'd limped out of the Fort with a broken rib, a number of cuts and bullet wounds and a broken arm.

She'd been kept up by Med-X and stubborn will by the time she got back to Cottonwood cove, where her friends - Boone, Cass, Veronic and Arcade in particular, having been left behind at the Cove to deal with the Legionaries there while she met Caesar in complete bad faith, had kept her alive long enough for her to be carried back to the Autodoc at the Follower's Clinic on a makeshift litter.

It was still amazing to her she'd survived at all, and she knew how much she owed to her friends for that.

"It's an impressive track record," Hammond noted. "And now you're all the way out here. Looking for Project Blue Book. Why? Where did you hear about? What do you know about it?"

"So you guys do know about it," Victoria tensed a little. There wasn't an accusatory tone in Hammond's voice, nothing hostile - in fact, he came off entirely friendly - but she didn't like the way a few of the other councilors were looking at her.

Plus, you don't ask 'where did you hear about it' for something innocuous.

"We know the name - and we know it's somewhere below Underlevel 11, but beyond that? Just a few isolated datapoints," another councilor noted.

Interesting.

"You guys know of Mr. House, and his unfortunate passing just before Second Hoover Dam?" Victoria kept her hands crossed in front of her chest, affecting an air of nonchalance, but she could grab her gun if she needed to.

Shoot Mitchell, try to hold these guys as hostages, if they decide to force an issue. Hopefully she wouldn't have to.

It would be a waste of a whole trip, if things ended like that.

"He was the roboticist who ran New Vegas before the NCR took it over."

"Pretty much," Victoria nodded at Hammond's comment, not wanting to go into the whole 'two hundred years old' part. "He had a plan - he was hoping to play the NCR and Legion off against each other, reactivate an old pre-war army of robots - hundreds, maybe even more than a thousand - not just the few dozen he had on the Strip - and carve a little empire out for himself with New Vegas. That didn't work out for him. After his death, I went through his files. He had a plan. Ambitious, probably too ambitious, but a plan. One of the first steps once he'd secure the Mojave was to send a few hundred of his Securitrons out here, with some human employees, and secure whatever Project Blue Book was."

"Why did he want it?"

"I have no idea. But he deemed it essential." Victoria shrugged. "I can only assume he didn't write it down because he didn't see the need to. He knew the plan. Given his ambitions, I got curious. I've wandered all over the West, up into Montana, down into Baja, because I'm curious. I want to know what's out there."

"What he did have were command codes to unlock the sealed doors to Project Blue Book. Which I transferred to my PipBoy," she tapped the device in question. She saw one of the councilors get a greedy look she recognized quite well in his eyes. "And if anyone tries to take my Pipboy from me, it will lock down as soon as it leaves my arm. And then you'd need my password. You could wipe it to use it for a new owner, but that's it. Plus... lots of people have tried to take things from me. Only one man ever succeeded and he's very, very dead." Sleeping with Benny hadn't even been all that satisfying before she'd snapped his neck at the end of it.

"Cheyenne isn't in the habit of stealing from people," Hammond assured her. "But equally... this mountain is our home. I don't suppose you'd just be willing to sell us the passcodes. We have quite a bit we can offer in trade."

"So I've seen," Victoria agreed, chuckling. "But no. I want to go down there myself, see what's down there. See what got House all hot and bothered. Sure, I'll admit the prospect of getting old world tech or rare items I could sell to a collector back in Vault City or Shady Sands or wherever was a bonus I was hoping for, but it's not why I crossed Legion territory."

Victoria dropped her hands to her side, then started to pace, gesticulating as she went on.

"I want to know what's down there. I'm happy to pay you just for the chance to see if the codes work." She was pretty sure they did. She knew House, before the war, had done work for the military. Lots of it. That had to be how he knew about Project Blue Book and had those codes, whatever it was.

"And if those codes do work, you guys can have the lion's share of any weapons or power armor or whatever is down there. I'm gonna want something for my trouble, if only so Veronica and Arcade have some Old World tech to play with, but I'm sure we can work something out." Victoria steepled her fingers and looked them over. "If you guys have gone 200 years without knowing what's down there, you have to be as curious as I am."

"I know I've always been," Hammond nodded. "I don't think you need to pay just to open the door." He looked around. "I move we allow Miss Victoria Fernandez to open the sealed door, if she can. If she does, she and her friends can go down and see what's there. We'll send Colonel Mitchell and three other members of the CDV down along with them. After we know what's down there, we can all decide how it can get divided and what we do with it."

He held up his hand slightly, resting his elbow on the table. "Do I have a second for the motion?" Another one of the councillors - the one who had asked her about killing Lanius - copied Hammond's gesture. "Okay, all in favor?" Hammond and the one who had seconded held up their hands, as did three other members. Two did not - the greedy councillor being one of them.

"The ayes have it, then," Hammond nodded. "Colonel Mitchell, pick your team and then take Victoria and her friends to the sealed door on underlevel 11. Let her have her weapons back as well. There's no telling what kind of defenses might have been left down there."

Colonel Mitchell nodded, "Understood Sir."

"Thank you for this," Victoria said with a slight nod to Hammond.

Cheyenne Mountain Underlevel 11
D Plus 0, Project Blue Book Rediscovery
Six Months After the NCR Victory At Second Hoover Dam


"This level's mostly just been where we store food in case of emergency," Mitchell explained as they approached the sealed door. He'd brought three people with him, as the Council had ordered. One Captain Sheppard, a Sergeant Wells and a Corporal Bosworth. There was a flashlight attached to the top of his gun.

"We don't even power the lights down here anymore, as a general rule," Mitchell added, as they made their way through the halls.

"Where do you get the power?" Victoria raised the brightness of her PipBoy screen a bit, making even better to light the way as she followed Mitchell - with Veronica, Arcade and Raul behind her.

"The base has pre-war fusion generators. Still going, though we have to be careful about using it. We've jerry-rigged smaller ones, using fissionable materials salvaged from cars or mini-nukes or the like, to supplement the big ones. Apparently this Project Blue Book had its own power supply."

They turned down another hallway. "It's just ahead," the Colonel explained. "Hammond showed me this when I took the job."

"I'm surprised this door is secret," Sheppard mused. "People come down here a lot."

"True, but there's nothing stored in this hallway," Mitchell said. "And no one stays down here longer than they have to." The light shined on a sealed blast door with 'C-11' emblazoned on in it peeling, faded white paint. Next to the door was a computer.

"Alright, here we go," Victoria walked up to the computer and hooked her PipBoy to the computer, bringing up the saved command code - a long string of letters and numbers it would have been hell to try and enter manually - and set for input.

For a long moment, nothing happened, then a low grinding sound started, that increased in volume to a metallic screeching as the blast door in front of her started to lift, ancient gears and servos coming to life for the first time as the door moved after two centuries of neglect.
As the door lifted, the far side was revealed. As all their lights shone down the newly revealed space, there was a short hallway and another elevator.

"You've got to be kidding me," Mitchell muttered. "Who wants to bet there'll be more hallway at the other end of this elevator?"

"Sucker's bet," Sheppard replied.

"That was the point," Mitchell countered. Victoria ignored them and approached the elevator. If Blue Book had its own power... she pushed the button and after a few moments, the elevator opened.

"Looks like there's only room for four people..." Victoria mused, stepping aside so everyone else could see what she meant. "Maybe five if we squeeze it." Ideally, it would be her and her friends that went down first, but that wasn't a viable solution, she knew. "How about this:" she started, thinking quickly. "Veronica, Mitchell, Sheppard and I go down first, then Raul, Arcade, Bosworth and Wells?"

Mitchell looked at his men, then nodded. "Makes sense." The four of them filed into the elevator and Victoria looked at the buttons. Numbers going from 12 to 27. No labels, but that made sense.

"Which floor?"

"Back in the days when NORAD lived up above, the more important stuff was lower down, so it would be safer from any attack," Mitchell suggested. "So let's go all the way down."

Victoria shrugged. Made as much sense as anything else. "Going down then," She pressed the button marked '27'. She nodded to Arcade, "Underlevel 27, meet you there."
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
And so down they go, into Project Blue Book. The tentative plan, subject to change if a given chapter gets too large Chapter 3 the explore the SGC and discover what it is, Chapter 4 they go through the gate, Chapter 5 is a bit of a prefatory chapter where some important, but low-action stuff happens, and then chapter 6 is when the new Stargate Program is reborn. Samantha Carter will be mentioned in chapter 3, and appear for the first time in 5, and enter the story full time in chapter 6. Jack O'Neill will appear in 6.

But we have had some canon characters show up or be mentioned - George Hammond, Carolyn Lam, Harry Maybourne, Cameron Mitchell, Frank Simmons, John Sheppard. Even Bosworth and Wells are minor characters (members of SG-13 in "Heroes" for the curious) from the canon. Some other notables we'll meet soon: Janet Frasier is a doctor in Cheyenne, and the seven Councilors are all Stargate characters. The greedy one is Robert Kinsey, and the one that seconded Hammond's motion is Henry Hayes.

Two notes:
  • the blue outfit Jenny is wearing is based on Air Force Dress Blues, and is what all civilians employed by the Cheyenne Council wear. Of the five thousand and change people that live in Cheyenne (not counting the extra two or three thousand in Fort Carson), there are about three hundred members of the CDV, and about another hundred 'civilian' bureaucrats counting the 7 people on the Council, though some of them are part-time (the three Judges, for example, don't always get much to do, so they have other jobs as well, as a general rule)
  • yes, Victoria is a bisexual woman (with a preference for women) and with an active sex life. Obviously, nothing that violates site rules will happen 'onscreen'. Just fades to black. She also has a longstanding crush on Veronica that she believes is unrequited. I haven't decided if that's going to be a subplot or not. This is not (unlike most of my fics) a shippy story, but I do like romantic subplots in general as long as they don't become plot tumors, so it's likely I'll have at least one, but which one and to what degree it will play a role is undecided at this time.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
So is Lt Col still a thing and Mitchell was promoted two ranks, or did the command structure shrink after the intervening apocalypse (which would make a lot of sense)?

Well, TBH what I'm actually wondering about is are implications of the players having roughly their late or post-SG1 positions, which I suppose also makes sense if one puts someone like a Fallout protagonist in there, but I expect most of the answer to that is to wait and see (heh).
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
So is Lt Col still a thing and Mitchell was promoted two ranks, or did the command structure shrink after the intervening apocalypse (which would make a lot of sense)?
Lt. Colonel is not a thing in the Cheyenne Defense Volunteers, no. Some other military out there might have it, but with only 300 people... even having a couple majors and half a dozen captains is a bit too much for only 300 people

Well, TBH what I'm actually wondering about is are implications of the players having roughly their late or post-SG1 positions, which I suppose also makes sense if one puts someone like a Fallout protagonist in there, but I expect most of the answer to that is to wait and see (heh).
I'm not sure what you mean by 'late or post SG1 Positions'? Cameron was a Lt. Colonel when he finally showed up, Daniel's dead and Teal'c is still hanging around with Apophis, and you have no idea what's going on with O'Neill or Sam just yet, so you can't make assumptions. :p

I like the fic. Rather curious what the Milky Way Galaxy is like now.
...and watched. Lovely fic so far, @Kylia Quilor.
Glad you like it!
 

Horton

Cat
Administrator
Presuming the planet in question is safe, I would not be surprised if they set up a colony somewhere using the Stargate, as Earth is well...rather in a messy shape.

Also, the NCR are anti gay? I'm not an expert on Fallout lore, but west coast America 50/60 years into the future is anti gay?
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
Presuming the planet in question is safe, I would not be surprised if they set up a colony somewhere using the Stargate, as Earth is well...rather in a messy shape.

Also, the NCR are anti gay? I'm not an expert on Fallout lore, but west coast America 50/60 years into the future is anti gay?
New Vegas is set some 200 years after the bombs dropped in 2077. (well, 204). We can't say for sure if the US pre-War was anti-gay, though in Fallout 4 during the brief period before your pre-war character runs into a vault and gets frozen like a popsicle, there is what appears to be a lesbian couple in the upper-middle class cul-de-sac your character lives in.

The NCR, however, is a bit anti-gay. It's not like active witch hunts or illegal, exactly, so far as I can tell, but there are several hints in dialogue and lore that the NCR doesn't really approve of it (Major Knight, a gay NCR soldier, implies it's heavily frowned on in the NCR military, at least, and IIRC, Cass also implies it is frowned on in the NCR - though she also implies the Legion is accepting of homosexuality, when the Legion actually... kills gay soldiers, but she is an NCR citizen, so she'd know the NCR better)

EDIT: okay, I misremembered a bit - in the heartlands of the NCR, the major cities, they're pretty much totally accepting, but the more rural and frontier areas, as well as the military itself, less so.

Source for the Curious

but since Victoria has spent most of the last ten years of her life (she's 28) in and around the frontier and rural areas, that's what she's used to in regards to NCR attitudes. Plus, she wasn't exactly born in one of the urban centers,
 
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Chapter 3: Stargate? Stargate.

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
Wasteland Gate

By Kylia

Chapter 3: Stargate? Stargate.​

Cheyenne Mountain Underlevel 27

D Plus 0, Project Blue Book Rediscovery


Victoria had found pre-war ruins that still had functioning lights, so she wasn't surprised when she found out that there were still lights on in the base when they stepped out of the elevator into a hallway. The hallway was marked by paint labeling it with a letter and number, but she had no idea what it meant.

She was surprised for a moment that the paint was still there, unfaded, but only for a moment.

With no exposure to the elements... even most of the paper records here could be intact and readable. Pre-war paper was surprisingly durable, but after centuries of exposure on the surface, lots of books and files and papers and magazines were still too damaged to be readable. Down here...

Maybe I should give the Followers a message when I'm done here. Assuming they found anything they'd be interested in.

"Damn, they really knew how to make power run before the war," Mitchell mused as they looked through the hall. With the lights still quite dim, he didn't turn off the light on his gun as he stood there.

"Fusion Generators were set to replace all other power demands in the entire U.S, before the bombs dropped," Veronica explained. "A lot of them are still running, even after this long."

"Still - I mean, if we hadn't supplemented out generators with other sources, we'd have run out of power a while ago," Mitchell pointed out. "And we keep power off in places nobody is. Who's been down here for the last 200 years?"

"Hopefully not an army of feral ghouls or security robots," Victoria grinned. Well, robots wouldn't be so bad, but if it turned out to be feral ghouls, she was going to be very unhappy with the universe.

How does something so fucking rotten run so goddamn fast?!

Rather than waiting for Arcade, Raul and the other two to get the elevator and come down to join them, Victoria headed down the hall, slowly and cautiously, one hand on her gun as she held her Pipboy out ahead of her, lighting the way.

The floor was also painted with various colored lines, leading to different locations. She looked over at Mitchell and Sheppard.

"Know what these mean?"

Mitchell shook his head, "Not a clue."

"Well... let's just pick a direction and start going," Victoria brought up her Pipboy map, though wouldn't just automatically generate one immediately. She'd have to wander around this place a while as it passively collected data and made the map. Or she could find a terminal with a map on it...

The hallway took a turn into a large, open room with a conference table and a number of chairs around it, and a projector pointed at one blank, unadorned wall painted white. There was a window, of all things, looking over onto a large open room...

Victoria squinted and looked out the window - at the far end of the open room below was a massive stone ring, easily big enough for a Deathclaw to walk through without crouching... a ramp led up to it, as if people were to walk up that ramp to the ring.

"Ten caps says that's whatever Project Blue Book was all about," Sheppard said, walking up beside her.

"Sucker's bet," Victoria said, without looking away from the ring. "What the hell is it?"

"Only way to find out is to find a computer and see what they have to say," Veronica pointed out. "Looks impressive, whatever it is."

Victoria turned around and approached a door on the opposite end of the briefing room to the window. It had a placard on it:

OFFICE OF GENERAL W. O. WEST, USAF

BASE COMMANDER, SGC


"Or maybe we can just open the General's office," Victoria grabbed onto the handle of the steel door, but it wouldn't budge. She felt around underneath the handle, and instead of a keyhole, found some sort of electronic card reader.

"Or not," Victoria said after another moment. "Maybe we can find a keycard - if nothing else, I'm sure we can Shiskabob the door open, doesn't look as solid as the blast door up top. But let's keep that as a fallback." She looked around and saw the staircase going down in the corner of the room.

Before she could walk over to it, she heard the ding of the Elevator and a minute later, Arcade, Raul and the other two CDV soldiers walked into the room. Arcade went over to the window, looking out over the ring.

"What on Earth?" Arcade finally asked after a long moment.

"Not a super weapon... unless somehow that ring fires nukes or FEV."

Arcade shook his head, "Given the pre-war government, I wouldn't put it past them, but..." he trailed off. "Probably not."

"Well, let's see if we can't get the computers here working," Victoria headed down the tightly spiraled staircase into another room, this one level with the big ring - it too had another window looking out onto it. It also was a room filled with computers of all sorts, all of them still active. Only one of them was unlocked, though, and it was displaying a whole host of numbers and symbols that Victoria couldn't make heads nor tails of.

"Arcade, Veronica," she called the two over, "Can you guys make any sense of this?" She stepped aside for the Brotherhood Scribe and Follower Doctor look at the information.

"Only a little..." Veronica said. "At least not without more context. Looks like power regulation information..." she turned away from the computer screen and looked back to the ring. "I think that... thing is consuming power or at least, has a lot of power running through it on standby..." she trailed off then looked back to the computer screen. "I've never seen math like this before."

"I have, once..." Arcade said, stepping back. "I don't really understand it any better than you Veronica, but it's... I read part of a paper that covered this." He paused, closing one hand into a fist and pressing it to his mouth for a long moment as he obviously tried to remember. "Dr. Carter, that's it." Victoria looked at him pointedly, and everyone else seemed to be following suit.

"Right," He said after another moment. "Sorry - Doctor Samantha Carter. She's part of OSI - she stopped by the Old Mormon Fort once, a few months after the NCR won at First Hoover Dam. Her job is working on power generation for the NCR - especially getting old nuclear reactors working efficiently, but her real passion is old Pre-War Astrophysics."

"Astro...physics?" Mitchell raised an eyebrow. "Physics is all... inertia and gravity and atoms and... the Bomb, right? I didn't really pay that much attention in that part of school. What's... Astrophysics?"

"The physics of well... up there," Arcade pointed upwards. "Space."

"Space?" Victoria stared at him. "Space physics?"

"Yeah," Arcade shrugged, "She finds the topic fascinating - said she just likes to study it for fun. I know a guy who loves to read books on cats, even though cats are completely extinct. It's not uncommon in the Followers - I read all those socioeconomic theory texts after all."

"Yeah, but that's actually... useful." Victoria pointed out.

"Well, I'd say Dr. Carter's hobby would be useful now. She stopped by the Fort to trade - copy anything we had on pre-war Astrophysics for copies of what she had. Julie agreed to the trade, so we did it. I tried reading one of the pre-war academic articles on the topic. I couldn't understand it, not really, but the math in it... it looked pretty much exactly like this math here."

"Huh. Well, she's not here now. Let's see if we can't get these computers open..." She walked over to another one, started fiddling with the keyboard, trying to get around the need for a password, but even after she hacked her way past the first layer, there was an almost unprecedented second, more complicated layer of security.

She could probably figure out her way around it, spoof the computer into thinking she was an authorized user...

Her eyes traveled back to her Pipboy. "It can't be that simple?" She cooked her Pipboy to the computer, and then brought up the command code again, entering it into the system through her wrist-mounted little computer.

Sure enough, it worked. There was a low humming sound, then a sudden jolt as all the lights in the room turned on, the unexpected glare forcing everyone to look down and shield their eyes, but then after a long moment, they adjusted and looked around. They had a much better view of the ring, and it seemed to be covered in... symbols? All around the outer edge of it. She turned her eyes away from it to look at the computers, which were starting to display a pixel-made logo of some sort, and then two words:

"Stargate Command?" Victoria looked at the computer. SGC?

Victoria sat down at one of the computers, being carefully as she lowered herself into the seat in case it suddenly collapsed on her, but whoever had made this chair had made it well enough to last 200 years in a sealed environment.

The computer files were not helpfully arranged and labeled - or at least, there was no file labeled 'What Our Secret Base Does', but after a moment, she pulled one up.

Then she read it.

Then she read it again.

Then she opened another data-file.

And another.

And another.

Her eyes darted to her pipboy and she realized everyone in the room reading had been doing so silently for over an hour.

She looked around, and saw Veronica, Arcade, Raul - and Mitchell and his men all doing the same, and at a guess, the looks of confusion - raised eyebrows, furrowed brows, wide eyes, sheer disbelief written across their faces - were probably akin to the one on her face.

"Am I... am I the only one seeing this?" Victoria asked slowly, looking back to her screen. "Or was whoever was at this workstation writing a really bad novel?"

"I..." Veronica said after a moment. "I mean... this..." she typed away at the computer for a long moment. "I mean, there's only one way to find out, right?"

"Are you-" Victoria started, and then the floor shook slightly - only for a second though - as the Ring in the other room started to spin.

"VERONICA!" Victoria jumped to her feet, "What the hell!?"

"There's only one way to know if this is all true, and that's by... dialing this stargate. And seeing if a wormhole forms and I can't even believe I'm using that word - it's like I'm living some Captain Cosmos comic..." Veronica sounded giddy.

"And if we have some bug-eyed alien coming through that... thing," Mitchell gestured to the ring vaguely, "because you opened it?"

"Well, then we kill it," Veronica said, putting her power fist back on, "but if I'm reading the files I found right, the wormholes are one way for people travelling through."

"You could have warned us before you went and decided to do this on your own, Veronica!" Victoria snapped. She loved Veronica's occasionally impulsive attitude some times.

This was not one of them.

"Well, it's a little late now," Arcade said as a fifth symbol got locked in. Just two more...

"So... we're gonna open a portal to an alien planet. Know anything about it?"

"Not a clue," Veronica admitted. "I just picked an address at random - I wasn't proposing we just walk through it right this second. This is just... proof of concept." The seventh symbol locked in and then, with a roaring 'whoosh' sound, a geyser of water seemed to erupt from the ring - the Stargate - and then the thing calmed down, seeming to be just a cool, horizontal expanse of water, trapped in the confines of the Stargate itself...

"Okay..."

"Power consumption is up, massively," Arcade reported, looking back to the originally unlocked terminal. "I think."

"So it's doing something... and it's not exploding... that's something," Sheppard observed.

"But it could just be a lujoso light show," Raul pointed out. "Something's got to go through..."

"They had to have something that could send through," Veronica sat back down quickly, and hurriedly typed away at the screen before finally finding something. "Looks like they used... Eyebots. We don't have ED-E anymore... but..." Veronica kept banging away. "There was a whole unit of Protectrons and Mr. Gutsy's stationed inside that room at one point. But not anymore - but there is a Protectron still in a charging dock... looks like it's weapons don't work anymore, but if I booted it up I could command it to go through the Stargate - it could communicate back to us... in theory. Or at least we'd know if it even does send things at all..."

She looked over at Victoria, "Should I?"

Victoria inhaled sharply. Reactivating old robots as always a risky bet, if you didn't go in and replace the command drives with ones you'd personally refitted and reformated, or so she gathered.

But if she could command it from here...

"Send it through, I guess..." Victoria said after a long moment, taking a deep breath. "Everyone, be ready in case that robot decides to shoot us... and if it still has working weapons somehow."

Veronica typed in a series of commands, then Victoria watched as a Protectron charging port opened up and the Protectron started talking, it's robotic, modulated voice coming through loud and clear.

"Powering up... Gateroom Defense Protectron On Duty... all hostile incoming forces will be eliminated..." Veronica pressed enter on her new string of commands. The Protectron stopped mid-step, then resumed moving, but this time started moving towards the ramp.

"New orders received: Proceeding through Stargate." The Protectron started to walk, slowly, slowly up the ramp, towards the Stargate, and then through it - one moment it was there, walking into water... the next moment nothing.

A few seconds later, Veronica spoke again "the computer is giving me a confirmation: 'Protectron through'. And I am getting a response sending a signal through to it. On the other side of that... that wormhole there is a Protectron, and it is sending a signal back. I couldn't tell you what things are like there... but it is there." She cut off the signal and a few moments later the wormhole vanished.

"So... wormholes. Space. Stargate. Is this freaking cool or what?" Veronica started giggling. "This is an even better gift than that dress. Are there aliens? Tell me there's aliens!"

Briefing Room, Cheyenne Mountain Underlevel 27

D Plus 3, Project Blue Book Rediscovery


"Okay... so let me see if I understand this," Councilor Hammond said, holding his hands up a bit as he looked at Victoria and Mitchell. "You've taken twenty-three people off their posts and patrols on the surface, and authorized funds to pay for the time of four of our best scientific minds over the last three days... all because that device," he pointed out the window into the Gate Room.

"Is called a Stargate and is capable of moving from one planet to another. Other planets."

"That would be about the shape of it, Sir," Mitchell nodded, sounding a little sheepish. "I know how it sounds but..."

"I should have asked for the long version," Hammond said, sounding like he was saying it to himself as much as anyone else. "Start from the beginning, don't spare any details."

Victoria nodded. "In 1928, Archeologists at Giza, in Egypt-"

"Egypt?"

"Ancient country, even older than the original Rome, in Northern Africa, apparently." NORAD had had plenty of maps of the world, so at least Victoria was pretty sure Hammond would know about Africa. Lots of people in the Wasteland maybe knew the name 'China', but not any context, or even that there were continents. Cheyenne was a reasonably well educated town, but still.

Geography was probably not that important.

Victoria continued: "They found this... Stargate buried beneath a coverstone that was at least 5,000 years old at the time, and it was made of something not of this Earth. Eventually the US military got their hands on it. They tried several times to figure out what it was on and off, but mostly it just gathered dust until the 2060s, when they realized it must be some sort of transportation device." She looked back to Arcade and Veronica.

"What did the scientists call it in the logs you guys found?"

"Ah - the substance the Stargate is made up, apparently called 'Naquadah'" Arcade stumbled over the unfamiliar word for a moment, then went on, "it apparently is capable of generating and storing vast amounts of energy. Wormholes have been theorized since the 1930s... I think - not an expert," he took a breath and went on: "the gate is capable of holding all that and using it to... punch a hole in space-time, creating an artificial, stable wormhole that connects to a Stargate on another planet."

"There are more of these?" Hammond turned to look at the two.

"Yes - many more. The SGC wasn't actually sure how many... but lots. All over the Galaxy. Planets tens of thousands of light years away," Veronica confirmed.

"Okay... and they could connect to us?"

"Absolutely - if they had the 'address' for our planet. Every planet has one - a string of six symbols plus a seventh one that serves as the 'point of origin'. Don't ask me why we need that, this really isn't my field... at all," Arcade went on. "But yes - anyone could dial this planet and come here."

"And it's right beneath the town..." Hammond said, with wonder. He turned back to Victoria: "Go on."

"In early 2077, with the help of a guy named Dr. Daniel Jackson, they figured it out, they cracked the code. They sent a mission through the gate, to the one address they had at the time - a planet called Abydos, as it turns out. The mission was to find out if there were threats to the United States but also to find a planet to move population to in the event of nuclear war."

"So... like the Vaults?"

"But not designed by psychos who wanted to know what happened when you poured oil on a fire," Mitchell drawled.

"Basically. On Abydos... they found... people."

"Intelligent alien life? How much more like an issue of Captain Cosmos can this sound?"

"Not exactly," Victoria hesitated. "We found some photos," she handed one to Hammond - smiling people, dressed in weird robes she'd never seen, in a desert enviroment, standing with two people in full army gear - fatigues, combat armor, helmets, the works. "They found people. Human people."

"On another planet... in 2077. I know humans went to the Moon, I read old magazines about it once, but... we never went to..." he snapped his fingers, "the red planet, has the same name as the Legion's god."

"Mars," Arcade supplied. Hammond let out a deep sigh and nodded.

"No, no we hadn't... apparently," Victoria had known about the Moon since she was a teenager, but she hadn't even known Mars was a planet until Arcade had mentioned it back when she'd been killing Legionaries all over the Mojave.

"Anyway," She shook her head a little and went back on topic. "Apparently - and this is what they learned over the course of that mission, with a lot of help from Dr. Jackson's translation of ancient writings, some alien came to Earth thousands of years ago and... using his technology he pretended to be a God. The Ancient Egyptian God 'Ra', apparently. He took slaves from Earth to countless other planets - he and the rest of his species. And then 5,000 years ago, or so, people on Earth rebelled, buried the Stargate and Ra just... never got around to flying back here in his spaceship."

"Humans on other worlds..." Hammond looked like he was working through the logical consequences of that.

Humans on lots of other worlds meant those worlds could have humans on them. Victoria had learned a lot more about space than she'd ever wanted to know before, but apparently, Humans needed certain specific things to survive on other planets without very specialized equipment.

If countless other worlds could support human life.

Then there's countless places people could go.

Unlike Mr. House had been, she wasn't quite so sure that some sort of wholesale abandonment of Earth was desirable... the Wasteland was hell, but it was home, and... the notion of rebuilding the world, claiming it back from the tribes and raiders and monstrous wildlife and just the... devastation that had claimed it.

The NCR's efforts to do that, imperfect as they were, were inspiring. Cheyenne was doing the same, as was every other successful settled community in the Wasteland.

But still...

A place safe from deathclaws, and radscorpions and feral ghouls and and all the other monsters of the Wasteland. A place free of radiation - where food free of radiation could be grown and people could live lives free of it? Completely? Or at least more so

And Cheyenne, in essence, controlled the Stargate. And all the potential - they did have all those refugees coming in, after all, and sooner or later Fort Carson wouldn't be able to support more.

Plus...

The food grown could be... well...

Sold. And Cheyenne could get a piece of that trade. One didn't have to be some greedy bastard to see the value in that. Not to mention other things from other planets that might have value.

Back on track, girl.

"On Abydos... Ra showed up."

"The same Ra that... came to Earth thousands of years ago?"

"He claimed to be - his species could just be really long lived or even immortal, like Ghouls, or maybe he was lying. Regardless... he was not happy to learn that Earth had technology that could be dangerous to him, when he captured US soldiers on Abydos. He was getting ready to take his ship to Earth and... I guess, destroy us. Instead, the expedition team... blew up his ship. With a nuke. While it was in space, above the planet."

"Thus, the one and only time since 1945 that the use of a nuke was a good idea," Mitchell suggested. This was where he took over from Victoria: "Afterwards, the Air Force started setting up facilities on Abydos. A whole new base. And they started exploring other planets. They found a list of addresses on Abydos. Hundreds of them, apparently, but they had to... account for the fact that planets move... so they only had a few working addresses back then, before the bombs dropped. The program has been running ever since and apparently we have all of them, now."

"So... we could go through the Stargate," Mitchell finished.

"Without knowing what's on the other side?"

"No, we can know that, actually," Veronica stepped forward to answer Hammond's question, speaking quickly but with self-assurance. This was something she knew well. "Assuming we can salvage some Eyebots or something like that, anyway. They used Eyebots equipped with advanced sensors to... check the planets. Make sure there was nothing hostile around the Stargate on the other end, that we could breathe, the temperature - everything. With the right circuits and other salvaged parts... I could jury-rig something like that, based on the schematics in the base computers," she shrugged helplessly. "Assuming we could get an Eyebot. Either a working one or one that's been scrapped I could try to fix up and reactivate."

"You could do that?"

"If it involves pre-war Tech, I can fix almost anything," Veronica said, smiling a little at the prospect of all the pre-war tech here. What was left of it.

"There's one other thing to consider - on October 23, 2077, when the Bombs dropped, records show some 212 people were here, in the SGC. Support staff, soldiers, scientists... and yet there's not one body," Victoria cut in. "We've searched most of the base - there's no bodies."

"They went through the stargate, obviously," Hammond surmised.

"That's what the records say. They went through to Abydos, which already had personnel on site, and lots of material and tech. They took almost everything they could that wasn't nailed down, wiped all records of Abydos's address from the base computers." Hammond raised an eyebrow, and Victoria continued, "there's no record of why, I'm guessing they were worried someone might break in? Maybe they thought the Chinese would come after the bombs... or mutants or just... regular people they didn't want to come with them."

This is the pre-war government that made the Enclave, after all...

"But... who knows what happened with them, but they could be out there too. There was power armor stationed here. At least twenty suits of T-60, possibly more. Plasma weapons, laser rifles, a whole host of robots, including Sentry Bots... who knows it if all stayed on Abydos. But on top of that, there's aliens... alien technology. Worlds entirely free of radiation."

Victoria started to pace, gesticulating: "I became a courier because I wanted to explore, wander see what the world had become, see what was just over the horizon. And now we have this - this Stargate is the ultimate horizon. And the potential that what's out there could pay itself countless times over. This is every salvaging expedition into pre-war ruins times... a million! You guys own the Gate. I'm not going to suggest otherwise - your town, your half-ruined mountain, your Stargate. But... I want to go through it. I'm not asking for all the profit of it... just a salary or commission - or hell," she said, realizing she didn't even care about the money, "I'll just do it for free, if I can get at my caps in the NCR. I've got plenty. Just... that..." she gestured towards the gate somewhat helplessly.

"Just let me go through that - and come back, obvious... but - think about the possibilities out there. Sooner or later Fort Carson will run out of room for refugees - there's always people driven out of their homes, by raiders or monsters or just the environment. You can send your own people with me to make sure I don't try to hold anything back but you can't just ignore-" Victoria realized she probably sounded like a ranting madwoman as she started to really get into it, talking faster and faster but she couldn't stop herself or even calm down. She had to make sure they understood what could be at stake.

I need to go through that Stargate!

"Miss Fernandez, you don't need to keep convincing me," Hammond interrupted her, grinning. "I'm sold. And I'm fairly certain I can sell the rest of the Council. I know of a few traders who might be able to source us an Eyebot in some form. Pick a planet, prepare for the mission... and you have a go." He held out a hand and Victoria shook it.

Holy shit! She felt like letting out a giddy noise of glee like Veronica was sometimes prone to, but she managed to hold it in.

"Thank you Sir. I promise you won't regret this." One way or another, she'd make sure he didn't.

She was going to get to go to another planet.

In your face, every other courier in the Wasteland!
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
A few more notes:

I'll be using, as the story moves forward, some elements of the backstory for the Goa'uld and various system lords, as well as details on some planets (including ones that never showed up on the show) from the old Stargate SG-1 rpg. Albeit, I will not be adopting them wholesale, because there are some things from the RPG that don't work with later canon or that I don't think quite make sense in general or that I just don't like. You don't need to read those books (long out of print as they are, they're hard to get/find), as anything pertinent will be explained as appropriate in the story, but if you run into some detail you don't recognize from the show, it could very well be from the RPG.

Additionally, I'm looking for a beta-reader. Not just for future chapters, but also to go over the earlier ones with me, and help me with grammar/spelling/syntax/etc, but also to bounce ideas off and to help me with character voice and pacing and the like. I'm hoping to start posting this fic to FFN/Ao3 sometime in the near future, and I'd like to get some help polishing it up. If anyone is interested, please, shoot me a private message/start a conversation.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
And here we go. I wonder what the wider galactic powers think of the Tau'ri nuking themselves. Because that might be the kind of thing to go a few notches from ‘the first ones’ to ‘those idjits’.
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
Apart from the Asgard nobody knows. Maybe Apophis knows but he doesn't really care because he has other shit to do. Like I said the details of the Goa'uld Empire will be revealed as the Fic goes on, but Apophis has more important concerns than Earth since it's basically established that Earth wasn't that important or they would have taken it back since for at least a while after the Rebellion in Egypt they were still taking people from a given all those post Egypt societies we see.

But yes once the Tok'ra find out that the humans of Earth nuked themselves they're not really going to think very highly of them - even less so than in Canon.
 

t-dugong

Beach bum, Esq.
Vault 22 and several facilities in Big Mountain suddenly makes more sense in this fic. Abydos is metal-poor (after several thousand years of mining) and mostly desert. If the American government then thought they could make a wonder serum for plant growth and general detoxifier it would have been a great boon.
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
True but then again has vault-tec ever needed for the research to make any sense for them to do it? Same with the Think Tank.
 

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