The Aschen (emphasis on the second syllable) are a human race who use biological weapons and advanced technology to defeat their enemies, often by stealth and deceit.
The Aschen are an advanced human society that has developed technology centuries ahead of Earth. They are not explorers, and are hesitant to travel outside their own Confederation. However, they are quite interested in increasing their knowledge about the rest of the galaxy.
Aschen mentality is quite different when compared to those of the Tau'ri, and most other encountered human civilizations. They have limited personality and show little emotions; they lack a sense of humor and can appear quite arrogant. This has led Colonel Jack O'Neill to call the Aschen a race of "accountants". The Aschen compensate for these faults with their extreme intelligence and practicality.
Because of this practicality, the Aschen tend to think on a long-term basis, sometimes planning centuries ahead. As a result, the Aschen are renowned for their patience. Also, they are very perceptive, and can recognize problems long before they present themselves as such.
Note: Aschen fashion consists predominantly of identical grey uniform-like tunics. These uniforms are of varying shades of grey, which appears to denote rank, role or status in Aschen society.
They are also sensitive to loud sounds, such as gunshots.
The ancestors of the Aschen may have been kidnapped from Earth millennia ago by the Goa'uld to work as slaves, as most human races in the Milky Way. There has never been any direct evidence or reference to this stated during their appearances, but the inclusion of the Aschen homeworld's address on the cartouche on Abydos, containing every Stargate address known to the Goa'uld, would make this extremely likely.
Also, the Stargate on Aschen Prime, a planet known to Stargate Command as P4C-970, was found buried, like the one found on Earth and several other worlds, suggesting a successful uprising against the Goa'uld which either killed them all or drove them from the planet, or as with Earth, the Goa'uld could have simply abandoned the planet.
Subsequently, the Aschen rediscovered the Stargate. No Dial Home Device was ever recovered, and without the device to compensate for stellar drift, the Aschen could only use the Stargate to travel to their closest worlds. This situation was comparable to how the Tau'ri could only dial to Abydos and Heliopolis (the planet Ernest Littlefield became trapped on in 1945) before they discovered the Abydos cartouche. The Aschen were able to adapt the Stargate for their own benefits, and eventually used it to travel and trade between the members of their Confederation, mostly composed of nearby planets.
By the Tau'ri year 2001, the Aschen had developed their own technologically advanced society. Aschen technology had advanced to a point where it had surpassed that of the Goa'uld, much like the Tollan. (SG1: "2010", "2001")
Contact with Earth
The Aschen, interested in increasing their knowledge about the galaxy, were quite eager to start negotiations with the Tau'ri. Stargate Command was offered advanced Aschen technology and assistance in Earth's battle against the Goa'uld in exchange for information about the Stargate system. Negotiations between the United States of America and the Aschen were subsequently initiated, sending diplomats to Volia. The Aschen had ulterior motives. Like in the alternate timeline, it was their intention to slowly sterilize Earth's population and transform the planet into yet another farming world.
During the first stages of these negotiations, the Aschen, who had no Iris to protect their Stargate, and were therefore extremely vulnerable, were hesitant to share the address of their homeworld with Earth. Because no one at the SGC knew the identity of the inhabitants of P4C-970, or had the address to the Aschen homeworld, they didn't immediately make the connection between the advanced people and the mysterious note they had received a year earlier. When they deduced that P4C-970 was one of four worlds close enough to the Volian gate to avoid the problem of stellar drift, the SGC suspected the Aschen as being the race they had been warned of, and began sending teams and probes in search for confirmation. The United States government, on the other hand- particularly Senator Robert Kinsey- had high hopes for these negotiations and subsequently prevented the SGC from continuing their search, Kinsey even suggesting that the original 'warning' was just an attempt by O'Neill to prevent Kinsey being the one to make the deal that would save Earth.
The Aschen's intentions were eventually uncovered when members of SG-1 unearthed the remains of what used to be a thriving urban civilization on the Volian world, learning that the Aschen's Anti-aging vaccine had the effect of sterilizing the entire population, after which they were nearly wiped out. Unable to completely prove this, Major Samantha Carter was sent to trick them into revealing it by requesting a translation of a particular word from a salvaged newspaper. As part of the planned treaty, the Aschen were given several gate addresses as a gesture of good faith. The deal fell through when Earth discovered their treachery. Since SG-1 had already been suspicious, the aforementioned addresses were all apparently dangerous locations ("first one being a black hole and all. They get progressively darker from there."). (SG1: "A Matter of Time", "2010", "2001")
A couple of years later, the remaining elements of Aschen Confederation were led by Mirris, the mate of Mollem, who had died due to the actions of the Tau'ri. Attempting to get revenge against Earth, the Aschen attempted to arrange for an alliance to be formed between the Tau'ri and the Pack, a group of space-faring nomads who had previously rejected the 'offer' to become part of the Confederation. Having contaminated the Pack's agricultural crops and provided a prominent member of the Pack with a new version of the sterility pathogen, the Aschen intended for Earth to be decimated by the pathogen and thus conquer it once the population was low enough. However, a team from the future that would result if this plan succeeded- including a future version of Jack O'Neill, his daughter Jade, and a Reetou- revealed that the pathogen would mutate to the point where entire planets would become completely incapable of supporting life, with human life facing extinction by 2033 as a result of the Aschens' actions. With the aid of their future visitors, the SGC were able to undermine the Aschen plan for revenge, destroying Mirris's ship and exposing her ally among the pack, although the planned alliance was now merely the SGC providing the Pack with a new planet to live on after most of their fleet was destroyed by the Aschen. (SG1: "Relativity")
- Main article: Aschen Confederation
The Aschen are the leaders of their own Confederation of planets, mainly located in close proximity to the Aschen homeworld. Most of these planets are primitive farm worlds and have very few Aschen living on them. Crops from these planets are transported back to their homeworld via the Stargate to meet the Aschen populace's requirements. The Confederation seems to be a collection of races that the Aschen have conquered, or are in the process of gradually conquering.
The Aschen usually invite newly discovered worlds into their Confederation by sharing their advanced technology with them, only to gradually 'thin out' most of the population and use the member world for their own purposes. Earth almost became a member of this Confederation before uncovering the true plans the Aschen had with the planet. (SG1: "2010", "2001")
One of the members of the Aschen Confederation were the Volians. When discovered by Stargate Command, the Volian civilization consisted only of a scattering of a few thousand people who farm their rural planet, Volia, for themselves and the Aschen Confederation. Their language was related to Ancient Celtic, suggesting they lived in ancient central Europe on Earth before being abducted by the Goa'uld. The Aschen had assisted the Volians in collapsing a Gas giant in their solar system into a Star, doubling the growing season on the planet.
Originally the Volians were a peaceful and productive society who had reached a level of technology comparable to Earth's early twentieth century. The entire species was struck by a deadly plague and the Aschen, known to the Volians as the newcomers, provided a cure for the entire population. It also caused the vast majority of the population to become sterile. The Volians tried to fight back, but were abruptly silenced. The Aschen eventually covered the urban areas for farming and made certain no Volian remembered the truth about his or her people's history. Today, the few remaining Volians are ignorant of what the Aschen had done to their people, some Volians are even raised by Aschen families, brainwashing them into forgetting the past and providing maintenance to the farmland. (SG1: "2001")
In an alternate timeline, Earth had contacted the Aschen in 2000 and formed an alliance with the Aschen against the Goa'uld. SG-1 failed to uncover the Aschen's true intentions, and anyone discovering the truth, such as George S. Hammond, was eliminated.
By 2010 of this timeline, the Goa'uld had been defeated likely through the use of bioweapons which had also brought the Tok'ra to the brink of extinction and left the Jaffa numbers heavily depleted due to lack of symbiotes. The Earth had become a technologically advanced paradise. Also, the Aschen had begun to distribute a drug among the Earth's population that promised to extend human life, but which also resulted in a 90% drop in the worldwide birth rate. The Aschen's plan, which would take many decades to come to fruition, was to depopulate the Earth until only a bare remnant of humanity remained. They would then be able to simply take control of the planet without the need for costly invasion, conquest, and pacification.
Eventually, the former SG-1 discovered the Aschen's conspiracy, which would otherwise have gone unnoticed until Earth would have been too weak to resist occupation. Using advanced Aschen technology, SG-1 could predict a Solar flare, and by activating the Stargate simultaneously with the flare, dialing an address precisely opposite the Earth with the Sun in between, they would utilize the space-time warping properties of the Sun (much like what they did in the year 1969) to connect to their own Stargate in the past. Carrying out their plan, they sent a message ten years back in time, to the SGC before they had contacted the Aschen: "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES GO TO P4C-970." While each of the assault team had written and signed their own notes, only Colonel Jack O'Neill's note made it through. His handwritten note had his signature written with a bio-degradable compound that had yet to be invented. The note was also stained with his blood, which since he had refused to take the anti-aging vaccine, had the markers of being around ten years older. Hammond subsequently ordered the Aschen homeworld locked out of the dialing computer and all contact with that planet forbidden. (SG1: "1969", "2010", "2001")
In another alternate timeline, Aschen scientist Mirris managed to use the Pack-Tau'ri treaty to spread a bioweapon on Earth with 98% effectiveness. This virus spread globally before it went active and eventually mutated and spread to plants and animals. The Earth was rendered a barren wasteland with only a few species of birds that were naturally immune surviving along with cockroaches. The Aschen virus spread through the Milky Way Galaxy, causing thousands of worlds to suffer the same fate while a war between Anubis and the Replicators devastated the rest of the galaxy. In this alternate timeline, a war raged between the remnants of the Tau'ri and the Aschen, but despite the surviving Tau'ri using biological modifications, the Aschen virus rendered the Tau'ri nearly extinct with the Tau'ri being on the verge of dying out within a generation.
After discovering time travel devices created by the Ancient Janus, the Tau'ri began making temporal incursions in an attempt to avert these events. Finally, with the help of the present day version of SG-1, the Tau'ri forces from the future, including a future version of Jack O'Neill and his daughter Jade managed to kill Mirris, locate the virus and destroy it before it could be deployed, altering the future once more. (SG1: "Relativity")
In the year 2010 (in an alternate timeline) and 2001 (in the current timeline) the Aschen possessed advanced technology that were commented by Major Samantha Carter as being at least a hundred years ahead of Earth. Impressive examples of their superior technology are Harvesters, enormous floating craft used to harvest crops. These crops are later transported to the Aschen homeworld or other Confederation planets off-world through the Stargate. The Aschen have also developed transportation technology, capable of transporting persons between continents in only seconds, and advanced bio-weapons. Aschen medicine is also very advanced, capable of developing vaccines against deadly diseases including cancer, drugs to double human life-span, and machines that can mend broken bones in seconds. (SG1: "2010", "2001")
The Aschen are pitiful soldiers and bad fighters, as they suppress all their emotions and never employed violence between them. They weren't used to fighting as soldiers, for this they used combat robots, drones, as fighters in the ground and in space. The Aschen are known to have advanced warships, much more powerful than Goa'uld ships. These have no names and are a hybrid between explorers and battlecruisers, used to further scientific knowledge or subjugating client worlds. The only known class of Warship was the Class six Aschen auxiliary control craft, described as a simple long and bullet-nosed silhouette. They're capable of hidden in plain view thanks to a cloaking device, remaining undetected even between ships of Goa'Uld technology, like the Pack. Their crew are a hundred or so person, twice as many automated security drones (infantry). The class six weaponry are beam cannons, space automated attack drones, and missiles with bio-agent warheads.(SG1: "Relativity")
Worlds under Aschen control
- Aschen Prime (Aschen homeworld)
- Earth (In an alternate timeline)
- Unknown number of planets in Aschen Confederation
Behind the scenes
- Asche (pl.) is the German word for 'embers' or 'ashes.' These two terms easily describe the Aschen species' actions.
- The message from the future saying not to contact the Aschen was another homage to the final message in Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2010: Odyssey Two, "All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landings there." The other homages to the novel were the Aschen's planned conversion of Jupiter into a Star, and of course, the episode's title, "2010".
- GateWorld's article on
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