|Long-range communication device|
Communication over any distance
The long-range communication device is a two-way communication device which creates a psychological and physiological link between the users on each end, swapping their minds into each other's bodies. It was originally created by the Alterans millions of years ago, before they left their home galaxy. A variant of the original was developed by the Federation sometime around 2381.
The long-range communication device is used in conjunction with the Long-range communication stones. When the stones are attached to the device, they create a link with the nearest active communication stone, allowing the user to take control of the person to whom the stone is linked and vice versa. As long as the link is active, the user controls the recipient's body as if it were their own.
The device, thus far, has no known limit to its range; it can function seamlessly over billions of light years. However, it appears to be unable to establish a two-way link over intergalactic distances without the aid of a second communication device on the other end. For example, when Dr. Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran used one to connect to the Alteran Home Galaxy, the couple they connected to were not switched in return until a second device was briefly engaged; when it was disabled, the connection back to Earth was severed. Conversely, a communication device activated by Neeva Casol in the Alpha Quadrant was able to create a two-way link between her and Dr. Jennifer Keller, despite Keller not having used a communication device in return, and likewise Colonel Everett Young was able to swap with a Nakai with the use of a single device.
Once a link is formed between two individuals, it cannot be severed until the stones are removed or power to one or both devices is cut off. The Alteran version of this device will maintain a one-way connection without a companion device, while the Federation version will disable the connection on both ends if either side loses power.
The device establishes a physiological link as well as a mental one, linking the well-being of those using the device. Extreme sensations such as suffocation or burning will be shared, and if one body dies the other will die with it; if the body that died is revived after death, the other is too. Its shown that when one person on the link is killed, the other is as well, shown with the deaths of Ginn and Amanda Perry (Although one person once argued that this could have been an exception given Perry's weakened physical state, the context suggests that he was simply clutching at straws). However, the minds of the people killed can become trapped in the stones and under certain circumstances connect with someone using the stones and temporarily take over their bodies. The device does not share every sensation. For instance, if a person were to become intoxicated while the device is active, they would only be affecting the host body of their partner; if the device were to be deactivated or disrupted while that person is intoxicated, the user would find him/herself sober in the original body, leaving the other user to feel the effects of intoxication. This is also true of injuries such as broken bones, as when Master Sergeant Ronald Greer broke his leg during the Lucian Alliance attack on Earth, the person he had swapped with was unaware of the injury.
Daniel Jackson believed that the device was able to translate from Ancient to English based on his first experience with it. When Everett Young used the device and swapped with a Nakai, he could not comprehend their language, which uses clicks and screeches, nor could he communicate in his own tongue.
Original Alteran deviceEdit
The original Alteran long-range communication device has a hemisphere-shaped base about two feet in diameter with a crystalline spire coming from the center. There are eighteen communication stone slots spaced equally around the base. When active, the spire turns blue. While the specifics of the device is unknown, what is known is that the device draws power from subspace. Once activated, the device is impossible to shut off; it has no "off switch" and any stones attached to it are locked in place. The only known method the Federation have for disabling the link is to destroy the device.
The Federation, despite not understanding the technology completely, have managed to construct their own version of the device. This variant is much smaller and box-shaped. The top of the device has a flat panel with five intersecting rings, where the stones can be placed. When a communication stone is placed in one of the five rings, the panel lights up and the link is established. There is also another, smaller variant that holds only a single stone.
The Federation version of the device has the advantage of being easy to shut off, in contrast to the original which must be disabled or destroyed (if only due to their lack of understanding in how it operates). It comes with a removable power cell, allowing the user to break the connection at will. Alternatively, since the stones are placed on a flat panel and not attached in any way, they can simply by picked up to break the link. The person doing so tends to use gloves or other cover for their hands while doing so, presumably to keep the stone from imprinting on them. Unlike the original, outside factors have been shown to disrupt the link to various degrees. Destiny's Faster-Than-Light engine creates a subspace disruption when engaged or disengaged, breaking the link for a few seconds. The Nakai mind probe will sever the link if used on one of the two users, preceded by a bout of severe pain in the subject. Intense weapons fire directed at Destiny'sshields from several Nakai motherships has also severed the link. When a Nakai that had handled a stone was killed moments before an attempted connection, Colonel Everett Young, who had connected to the alien twice before, was unable to connect to anyone, including Earth. The connection to Earth was eventually restored. High levels of radiation on one end of the connection can also effect it, preventing it from being severed when the stones are removed or even when the base is turned off, but this can be bypassed so the connection can be broken. Another effect of the device not shown with the Alteran version is the transfer of traces of memory from the host body, which can be experienced in the form of brief visions or dreams. This is likely a side effect of the host being exposed to Goa'uld brainwashing technology, as it does not occur under normal circumstances. This version has also been shown to be able to connect to a completely alien species, namely the Nakai, provided they have an active stone. The device is also able to clear the imprints on stones, rendering them inert until they are imprinted by another person. If the imprint is not cleared, the stone will remain active despite not being place on the panel. The Nakai used their stone a second time to exploit this, connecting with Lieutenant Vanessa James. This presumably worked because Destiny's communication device was active at the time.
The first encounter the Federation had with a device was through the communication stones found by Brigadier General Jack O'Neill and Joe Spencer. Their possession of the two stones created a weak psychic link between them, which activated in proximity of the stones. Later on, the communication device was discovered. Realizing that the stones interfaced with the device, Dr. Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran used it in hopes of meeting non-ascended Ancients living in another galaxy. Instead, they linked to Harrid and Sallis, heretics who had discovered a similar device outside Ver Eger.
The device found in the vault was destroyed when Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell and Captain Typhuss James Kira fired their phasers at the device. The device in Ver Eger was taken to Celestis to be destroyed, but Seevis' contacts in Celestis smuggled it out to Ver Isca before that could happen.
In 2383, the Atlantis Expedition had an encounter with one of these devices. Neeva Casol activated one while stealing artifacts from a village, switching with Dr. Jennifer Keller, who was the last person to touch the related Long-range communication stone in Janus' lab. To restore them both to their proper bodies, Ronon Dex shot the device with his particle magnum, disabling it.