Heightened sensitivity to sound
|Form of government|
Confederation (present), Der'kal Empire (past)
|Out of universe information|
- "It's like an entire planet of accountants."
- —Jack O'Neill
The Aschen are a group of humans who use biological weapons to defeat their enemies, often through stealth and subversion. They command a vast Confederation of planets that has seen its power and influence greatly expanded at the end of the Der'kal Invasion. Notorious for the lengths they will go to in order to achieve their goals, the Tau'ri consider the Aschen to be among the most villainous races in the galaxy.
The Aschen are an advanced human species have 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 personality is quite different when compared to those of the Tau'ri, and most other encountered human civilizations. They have little to no personality, or even emotions in general, and lack a sense of humor. This has led Jack O'Neill to call the Aschen a race of "accountants". Also, individual Aschen can appear quite arrogant. However, the Aschen do 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.
Aschen fashion consists predominantly of grey uniform-like tunics. They are also sensitive to loud sounds, such as gun shots.
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 the Aschen homeworld, a planet known to the SGC as P4C-970, was found buried, like the one found on Earth and several other worlds, suggesting an uprising against the Goa'uld and subsequently driving them from the planet.
Subsequently, the Aschen rediscovered the Stargate. However, no DHD 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 the planet Ernest Littlefield became trapped on in 1945 before they discovered the Abydos Cartouche. However, 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.
Contact with Earth
In the year 2001, SG-1 made contact with the Volians when the team discovered their homeworld. The native Volians, members of the Aschen Confederation, subsequently introduced SG-1 to the Aschen.
The Aschen, quite interested in increasing their knowledge about the galaxy but fearing travel outside their Confederation themselves, were quite eager to start negotiations with the natural explorers the Tau'ri so obviously were. The SGC 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 and the Aschen were subsequently initiated, sending diplomats to the Volian homeworld. The Aschen however had ulterior motives. Like in the alternate timeline, it was their intention to slowly sterilize Earth's population and transforming 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. However, the SGC suspected the Aschen as being the race they had been warned for, and began sending teams and probes in search for confirmation. The United States government on the other hand had high hopes for these negotiations and subsequently prevented the SGC from continuing their search.
However, 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. Upon finding a newspaper which made mention of sterility caused by an Aschen's vaccine against a deadly plague, contact was broken off.
What became of the Aschen after that remains unclear. As part of a planned treaty, the Aschen were given access to the Stargate network as a gesture of good faith. The deal fell through when Earth discovered their treachery, but only after the Aschen were given a laptop computer containing a list of gate addresses. However, since SG-1 had already been suspicious, the aforementioned addresses were all useless and/or dangerous locations. The exact addresses are unknown, but were described by Jack O'Neill as "first one being a black hole and all. They get progressively darker from there." Therefore, even dialing the first address could potentially have destroyed the Aschen homeworld, as almost happened to Earth.
- 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 eliminate 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.
One of the members of the Aschen Confederation were the Volians. When discovered by the SGC, 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 Britain 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. However, 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. However, it also caused the 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 farm land.
In an alternate timeline, Earth had contacted the Aschen in 2000 and formed an alliance with the Aschen against the Goa'uld. However, SG-1 failed to uncover the Aschen's true intentions, and anyone discovering the truth, such as George Hammond, was eliminated.
By 2010 of this timeline, the Goa'uld had been defeated and 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 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." The note was in Jack O'Neill's handwriting with his signature written with a bio-degradable compound that had yet to be invented. The note was also stained with his blood. General Hammond subsequently ordered the Aschen homeworld locked out of the dialing computer and all contact with that planet forbidden.
- "...half the time the science they're talking about is so far over my head, I feel like a lab assistant..."
- —Samantha Carter
- Main article: Aschen technology
In the year 2010 (in an alternate timeline) and 2001 (in the current timeline) the Aschen possessed advanced technology that were commented by 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 offworld 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.
Behind the scenes
- Aschen (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".