Hammond watched the SFs escort Warrick back to the gate, and turned to his flagship team. "People, I want to make it clear that if Warrick's actions seem to be antagonizing his government, you are to pull out. I don't want them to get the idea we can be taken in by any- "
"Con artist?" Jack suggested, raising an eyebrow.
"I don't think Warrick is a con artist, sir," Carter said. Then she smiled a little ruefully. "Which is not to say that he might not be letting his desire to win this race fool him into underestimating his government's reaction. We'll be careful, sir."
Teal'c nodded agreement as the other members of SG-1 murmured their own assurances.
Hammond gave them all a somewhat jaundiced look.
Probably, Daniel thought wryly, because SG-1 had displayed such a consistent gift for finding trouble even when they were being careful. He flipped through the thin file again, glancing over Kovachek's report. "What I don't understand," he said, "is why the previous negotiations failed." He turned over a page. "From the look of this, SG-9 met with some representatives of the Hebridans on the planet where SG-1 first encountered Warrick, but they didn’t seem much interested."
"They did make a brief visit to the Hebridan planet," Hammond replied. "They met with various government leaders, but the Hebridans concluded that we didn't have a lot to offer them. At least not enough to make much of an effort."
"Why do we want to make an effort?" Daniel asked. "According to this report, their technology is more advanced than ours, but inferior to that of the Goa'uld."
"From what we've been able to tell," Sam said. "their ion drive technology uses liquid nitrogen fuel. It isn't based on naquada at all. Right now, we have to import all the naquada we use, and ships like the Prometheus use a lot of it. Ion drive technology would give us limited hyperspace capability based on purely terrestrial resources. It would be a nice option to have."
"So it's not as fast as a naquadria drive, but we'd have the ability to build and fuel it right here?" Daniel asked.
"Exactly," Hammond said. "And remember we've never found naquadria anywhere except Kelowna. Given the limited supply and their unstable political situation, we need a homegrown faster-than-light option."
"It's also possible," Sam said, "that once we understand how their ion drive works, we'll be able to integrate the technology with what we know about Goa'uld drives and have a domestic fuel for ships like Prometheus."
Daniel raised his eyebrows, "You really think the ion drive has the potential to generate enough power to fuel a ha'tak-class vessel?"
"I don't know," Sam said. "I won't until I've had a closer look at the technology. That's the point."
Daniel frowned at the report again. "Could this technology fuel earth-based power-generation? We certainly don't lack for nitrogen."
"Almost certainly yes," Sam said nodding. "That's another good reason to take a look at it."
"See what you can talk them into," Hammond said. "But be careful. You won't have access to a stargate for regular communications, so you'll have a fair amount of autonomy, but-"
"But that means we don't have a clear line of retreat, either," Jack finished. "We'll definitely keep that in mind, sir."
"Dismissed," Hammond turned to his office.