Antarctic Outpost

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Antarctic Outpost

Summary

The Antarctic Outpost is a defense facility left behind by the Ancients when they took their city-ship "Atlantis" to the Pegasus Galaxy. It was the site of powerful weapons that led to the destruction of Anubis' attacking fleet, but after being moved to Area 51, were destroyed by a Wraith attack on Earth. (7.22 "Lost City Part 2"; Stargate Atlantis: 5.20 "Enemy at the Gate")

Stargate References

Location and Purpose

Original Location of Antarctic Stargate
Command Chair
Jack in Cryogenic Chamber

The Antarctic Outpost was discovered by SG-1 while Col. O'Neill possessed the knowledge of the Ancients (7.21 "Lost City Part 1", 7.22 "Lost City Part 2"). As its name implies, it is located in the Antarctic. Although its exact location is not known, it is accessible by helicopter from McMurdo Station. It would be assumed to be in the same proximity as the SGC's research station at the original location of the Antarctic Stargate, which is only 50 miles out of McMurdo Station and the location of the only known Ancient, Ayiana (1.18 "Solitudes", 6.04 "Frozen").

Originally near the location of the city of Atlantis, which was in the Pegasus Galaxy at the time of the Outpost's discovery, the Antarctic Outpost appeared to be primarily a defense outpost.

The most prominent features of the Outpost were the chair and a stasis chamber. The chair occupied a central circular chamber with the stasis chamber off to the side. The Outpost also has a set of Rings.

First Use of the Defense Weapons

Jack installs new ZPM
Drones released from Outpost
Anubis' fleet is destroyed by drones

Colonel O'Neill first activated the Antarctic Outpost's defenses during the battle with Anubis (7.22 "Lost City Part 2"). First, he powered the Outpost using the Zero Point Module (ZPM) procured at the Praclarush Taonas Outpost, the original Antarctic Outpost ZPM being dead. From the chair, he was able to launch and control hundreds of drones, which destroyed Anubis's fleet. Drained by the effort and overcome by the knowledge of the Ancients, O'Neill used a stasis chamber to put himself into a suspended sleep.

Initial Manning of the Outpost

Access to the Outpost, buried in a mile of ice
Cargo Elevator
Research at the Outpost

Over the course of the next few months, O'Neill remained "frozen" in the stasis chamber at the Outpost. Although a presence was set up immediately, full control of the Outpost could not be negotiated for several months. Dr. Elizabeth Weir, on behalf of the SGC, had difficulty negotiating the military occupation of the Antarctic Outpost (8.01 "New Order Part 1"). According to the International Antarctic Treaty established in 1961, "The primary purpose of the Antarctic Treaty is to ensure in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord. To this end it prohibits military activity, except in support of science; prohibits nuclear explosions and the disposal of nuclear waste; promotes scientific research and the exchange of data; and holds all territorial claims in abeyance."

It wasn't until Col. O'Neill was revived and subsequently cured by the Asgard that a scientific expedition was sent, led by Dr. Elizabeth Weir. Dr. Daniel Jackson, the premiere authority on the Ancient culture and language, accompanied the expedition in hopes of unraveling the secrets of the Outpost and discovering how to use its resources to protect Earth from further invasion. (8.02 "New Order Part 2", Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1")

The Antarctic Outpost is overseen by the Department of Homeworld Security, originally led by the late Lt. Gen. George Hammand and currently by the twice-promoted Maj. Gen. Jack O'Neill, and was initially staffed by an international team of scientists and technicians. A small number of U.S. Air Force personnel also accompanied the expedition.

A dome was erected over the Outpost. Several buildings, used for storage occupy the ground level. A cargo elevator was installed in the shaft created by the enhanced Rings used to access the site initially. Several hundred feet below, the Outpost, powered by a naquadah generator, was divided into laboratories. The main areas of research were translating the Ancient text, led by Dr. Jackson; interfacing with the Ancient technology, led by Dr. Rodney McKay; weapons systems, led by the late Dr. Peter Grodin; and undisclosed genetic research led by Dr. Carson Beckett. The Air Force has a military contingent, including pilots.

Command of Defenses

Jack in chair
Dr. Beckett in chair
Maj. Sheppard in chair

Dr. Beckett confirmed that to activate the chair, the user required the Ancient Gene, which he happens to have. "They think the gene was used as a sort of genetic key if you will. So that only their kind could operate certain dangerous and powerful technologies." There are a "handful" of people with this gene, but O'Neill, Lt. Col. John Sheppard, and Dr. Carson Beckett are the only subjects known to activate it with varying degrees of success. Each of these men are on a list that ranks them on their Chair Interface Aptitude (CIA). In Atlantis, Sheppard is ranked #1, and Beckett, #2. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1", 5.20 "Enemy at the Gate")

On his first use of the chari, Dr. Beckett accidentally activated one of the defense drones (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1"). With considerable concentration, he was barely able to stop the machine from destroying O'Neill's helicopter.

Lt. Col. John Sheppard, on the other hand, turned out to have a strong affinity for the machine and was able to activate the chair easily and produced a three-dimensional map of the solar system with only a thought when he first sat in the chair (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1"). It was because of his natural proficiency at using the Ancient technology that Dr. Weir petitioned O'Neill to assign Sheppard to the Atlantis Expedition.

A civilian named Joe Spencer, another possessor of the Ancient Gene, offered to sit in the chair anytime it was needed after he discovered the existence of the Stargate Program and of the weapons at the Outpost (8.15 "Citizen Joe"). His offer, although appreciated, was not taken.

First Expedition's Research Results

Daniel discovers eight-symbol destination of "Atlantis"
Dr. McKay's portable ZPM adaptor powers SGC Stargate to connect to the Pegasus Galaxy
Dr. Elizabeth Weir leads Expedition Team to Pegasus

Dr. Daniel Jackson discovered during his tenure at the Antarctic Outpost that the Outpost was all that was left of Atlantis, which is the "Lost City" mentioned in the Ancient text discovered on Abydos (6.22 "Full Circle"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1"). In his translations, he discovered that for unknown reasons, the occupants left, taking the city with them to the Pegasus Galaxy. Dr. Jackson was able to reproduce an eight-symbol 'gate address that would open a Stargate to the new Atlantis location.

The President of the United States, Henry Hayes, determined that an expedition to the Pegasus Galaxy would reap more rewards than continued research at the Antarctic Outpost. Dr. Weir was given the civilian lead of the project and led 40+ men and women through the Stargate to the Pegasus Galaxy. Grodin, McKay, Beckett, and Sheppard accompanied her. This effort cost the ZPM the last of its power and the defense weapons basically became useless until another ZPM could be found. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1")

Additional References

It appeared that the majority of the scientists who were familiar with the Outpost's Ancient technology, including two of the only three people known to successfully activate the chair, were sent to the Pegasus Galaxy along with the Atlantis Expedition. Not long after his arrival in Atlantis, Dr. Carson Beckett developed a gene therapy to enable those who weren't born with the Ancient Gene (also known as the Ancient Technology Activation Gene) to interface with the encoded technology, but that therapy isn't always successful. Even so, anyone who has been born with the "ATA" gene or was successfully treated with the gene therapy is able to operate the defenses when necessary. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1", 1.03 "Hide And Seek")

The Expedition was able to provide the Outpost with a functioning ZPM obtained in Pegasus so that the Outpost could remain a viable defense for Earth. Unfortunately, about five years after the Outpost's discovery, the international community aware of its existence decided that the chair was in violation of the Antarctic non-proliferation treaty. After lengthy negotiations, it was decided to move the defense weapons platform to Area 51 (Nevada, USA). When a powerful Wraith hive attacked Earth, the chair was destroyed before it could be operated by Sheppard, who had been ordered by O'Neill to return to Earth through the Stargate so that he could man the chair. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.12 "Echoes", 5.20 "Enemy at the Gate")

The Outpost was mostly used for defense and for the stasis chamber. There has been no mention as to what other knowledge or technology has been utilized from there. The following are references to the Antartic Outpost throughout the five years it operated as Earth's primary defense location:

  • The Goa'uld System Lords were very interested in the defense system after it was used to destroy Anubis's fleet when he attacked Earth. (8.01 "New Order Part 1")
  • A boobytrapped ZPM was given to the SGC by the former System Lord Camulus. If it had been used, it would have exploded and taken out the solar system. (8.04 "Zero Hour")
  • Satellites owned by billionare Alec Colson recorded the Antarctic Battle, including the use of the Antarctic defenses. He wished to use this footage to blackmail the world governments into admitting the existence of alien life. (8.08 "Covenant")
  • The Goa'uld who took over several hosts in the seedy organization known as The Trust used their access to defense contractors and government officials to attempt to provoke a war between the world's superpowers so that they could gain access to the Outpost and its weapons. (8.14 "Full Alert")
  • Joe Spencer, a barber from Indiana, unwittingly discovered that he had the ATA gene. He learned of the Stargate Program through a psychic connection with Jack that was brought about after both men had touched Ancient Communications Stones that linked them whenever both were close to the devices. Joe enthusiastically offered his services to operate the Outpost defenses if ever it were necessary. (8.15 "Citizen Joe")
  • Although a fully functioning ZPM that could have been used to power the Outpost's defenses was discovered in Egypt, the rare technology was sent to the Pegasus Galaxy because Atlantis was under immediate threat by the Wraith who wished to gain access to Earth through the only Stargate in that galaxy that could reach it, as well as to the great wealth of knowledge contained in the city's Ancient database, which included the information to enable them to build intergalactic hyperdrive technology. (8.20 "Moebius Part 2"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.19 "The Siege Part 1", 1.20 "The Siege Part 2")
  • Use of the stasis chamber in the Outpost was considered as a means to stop Khalek, a human-Goa'uld hybrid created by Anubis, from reaching ascension. Eventually, the decision was made to return him to his original stasis chamber on P3X-584, but he was killed when he attempted to escape. (9.09 "Prototype")
  • An alternate reality double of SG-1 attempted to steal the ZPM from Atlantis and return with it to their Earth so that their Antarctic defenses could be powered against the Ori, but they were unsuccessful and were sent back to their reality empty-handed. (9.13 "Ripple Effect")
  • When the Ori successfully sent four of their massive warships through an intergalactic Super Stargate ("Supergate") in the commencement of their crusade to convert humanity into their worshippers or to destroy them if they refused, IOA representative Richard Woolsey suggested taking the ZPM from Atlantis to power the Antarctic defenses, but General Hank Landry dismissed that proposal because there wasn't enough time and no guarantee that the defenses could effectively defend Earth if it were attacked. Additionally, taking Atlantis's ZPM would have left that base defenseless, since that was their only one. (9.20 "Camelot Part 2", 10.01 "Flesh and Blood Part 3")
  • The Ancient Merlin was discovered in stasis on another planet, and Teal'c recognized that the stasis chamber was similar to the one in the Antarctic Outpost, indicating that the technology was of Ancient origins. (10.11 "The Quest Part 2")
  • The existence of the Antarctic Outpost and its defenses was thought to be the only reason why the Ori had not attacked Earth immediately upon their arrival in the galaxy. This theory was substantiated when an alternate reality version of Earth used their Antarctic defenses successfully against one Ori warship. This use of the defenses, however, left the ZPM critically low in power such that the weapons couldn't be used again. (10.02 "Morpheus", 10.13 "The Road Not Taken")
  • The Atlantis Expedition sent two ZPMs to Earth: one for the Antarctic Outpost and one to strengthen the shields on the Odyssey. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.12 "Echoes")
  • After Daniel Jackson was captured by the Ori and converted into a Prior, he was not trusted, and Richard Woolsey proposed that his life be terminated. A compromise was reached to transport Daniel directly into the stasis chamber in the Outpost until his sincerity could be determined by his teammates. Daniel, using his advanced human powers, prevented the beaming technology from locking onto him and was not sent to Antarctica. (10.14 "The Shroud")
  • In an alternate timeline, a time traveling SG-1 thought to use the Antarctic Outpost defenses against Ba'al's attacking fleet, but Ba'al knew the location of the Stargate in Antarctica. He destroyed the Antarctic Stargate and thus prevented SG-1's use of it to obtain a ZPM from Praclarush Taonas as they had done in their original timeline to power the Outpost's weapons. (Stargate: Continuum)
  • In an alternate reality, the weapons platform was moved to Area 51 and it was this location that a Wraith who had survived his hive's attack on Earth transmitted to Pegasus. His transmission caused a hole in the space-time continuum to be opened, permitting the information to get through to other realities instead of his own. (Stargate Atlantis: 5.19 "Vegas")
  • The weapons platform was moved to Area 51 because it was in violation of the Antarctic non-proliferation treaty. Less than a month after its relocation, an advanced Wraith hive ship received the cross-reality transmission and proceeded directly to target Area 51 to get rid of the planet's primary defenses. Unfortunately, the chair was destroyed by the kamikaze attack of several Wraith darts. This attack ended the Outpost's role as Earth's primary defense platform. (Stargate Atlantis: 5.20 "Enemy at the Gate")

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--Torvac 08:09, 19 Jan 2005 (PST)
--DeeKayP 08:08, 31 December 2007 (PST)