The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Chapter 33 up 2-13-14)

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The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Chapter 33 up 2-13-14)

Postby Themightytom » 2011-11-04 04:36pm

I've been working on a creative writing project for a couple years now, some of which I published on a while back. I was hoping to get some constructive feedback, as my effort is ambitious, and I am not an experienced writer. I was let down :P

So I am revising and reposting here instead. hopefully you guys can give me better feedback, and I can make something good. I have tried to crossover several of my favorite franchises in an intelligent manner, I had to take some liberties on firepower, on events, on motivations, but hopefully it will make for an entertaining story. The characters of Starbuck and Sheba and Baltar are based on those of the original Battlestar Galactica series, while Oma belongs to Stargate SG-1 and Janus to Stargate Atlantis. Characters from all these franchises will play a part, as well as a few that you can probably guess at, and a few that will hopefully be a surprise.

Starbuck is the central character in this installment. He should resemble his depiction in the classic series, but be somewhat more matured, having ascended, lived for a lengthy period of time in that state all of this having lived a long life. Feedback is helpful, suggestions are welcome and any massive and major plot holes will be filled in as quickly as possible and some sort of ornate rugged placed over them to hide any evidence of their existence.

Also obviously, none of the characters or settings belonging to other franchises are my creation. I don't know how to write a disclaimer but I own nothing, and take credit for nothing.

The Adventures Of Starbuck

"A motion has been put forth to banish the Kobola Ascendant, Starbuck as the result of his disorderly conduct."

"Nineteen words to propose a death sentence for the crime of free expression." Grumbled Starbuck. "What’s this, we’re surrounded by a vast…whiteness.. and I see you've all dressed yourselves in white. I suppose you feel that makes yourselves the instrument of righteous judgment." Three hooded figures sat on a dais before Starbuck shrouded in white, Sheba stood at his side. Both he and the woman beside him wore whitened uniforms of Colonial Viper pilots, jackets worn over a ship suit.

"Starbuck don't badger them." She warned, "it won't help matters any."

"Of course it will." Starbuck assured her, "This pack of would be philosophers has lost touch with the real world Sheba, I know I seem a little foolhardy but I am just doing what has to be done. Someone has to make these people remember how to ask questions, how to think and act as individuals."

"We will not condone the extermination of any life form." Stated one of the hooded figures, "Your sentence will be calculated rationally, to balance an unstable equation, nothing more."

"We wish you to see the error of your ways, to help you find enlightenment." Added another, a female voice, Starbuck noted, "perhaps some day you can rejoin us Starbuck."

"Rejoin you?" scoffed Starbuck, "You mean you hope a harsh life will break down my will? Wear me down until I beg to be forgiven? He spared a glance to the man who had spoken, “Removing me from the equation pretties things up for you doesn’t it. Well maybe your calculations are wrong, have you considered that?"

"You require rehabilitation." Spoke a stern male voice with some resignation in his voice, "You are impudent, willful, disrespectful, sacrilegious chaotic and dangerous. You would destabilize a peace that has kept terrible forces at bay for countless millennia."

"Sacrilegious?" demanded Starbuck, "nice of you to bury that in there, am I to believe that disagreement is now sacrilege? Are you so certain of your righteousness? Funny, that kind of makes you sound like an Ori."

"We are not the Ori." Spoke the hooded woman once more, "It was a poor choice of words, the result of this unbalanced equation my colleague describes. You are a disruption in harmony Starbuck, do you deny this? "

"Is harmony a chorus of voices saying the same thing over and over?" Demanded Starbuck, "or is it voices raised in song, individuals working together in their own way., unique, but part of a whole. “ he chuckled suddenly and nudged Sheba, he pointed at the woman.”She doesn't like my tone." Sheba pressed her lips and looked upward in exhasparation.

"Your dissidence is harmful in the grand scheme of things." Stated the woman, "Unity of purpose is what has protected us from the great enemy. You disrupt that unity, you give their machinations purpose."

"Your enemies are legend!" shouted Starbuck, "Iblis is real, his evil is an immediate and immanent threat, you do nothing to restrain his actions while whole civilizations are at risk!"

"Iblis was properly chastened for his actions.' Retorted the second man.

"Chastened?" demanded Starbuck, "For exterminating whole galaxies? You made a deal with the devil so you wouldn't have to soil your hands."

"Were we to 'soil our hands' as you put it, we would be setting down a path of violence and chaos, that our people have strived long and hard to rise above." Replied the woman.

"Your enemies haven't risen above anything, and what’s more, while they’ve been scouting your defenses, you’ve forgotten you have the enemy at the gate!" stated Starbuck, "How can you expect to defeat them if you don't fight?'

"The only way to win is to deny a battle." Explained the first man, "our enemy feeds on our efforts, the harder we struggle the stronger they become. “

“My father would have said that denying a battle means more than simply refusing to fight.” Sheba spoke up.

“The best defense is a strong offense.” Starbuck pointed out.

“We cannot attack Iblis Starbuck.” The woman said wearily, “And you’re animosity only spreads chaos.”

“It is only through rational deliberation that we may remain free of their influence." Stated the man attempting to regain control of the proceedings.

"But you aren't free of anyone's influence!" interrupted Starbuck,
"They’re using your own methods against you, don’t you see? They know you won't act against them unless there is no reasonable doubt, so they move through others, so there will always be doubt."

"You seek to rationalize behavior that is irrational." Stated the first man accusingly, "You twist the truth to your liking, no single act you have presented can be considered proof of what you claim. There are constants in the universe Starbuck, and what you have presented to us simply does not add up."

"You seek to manipulate us in the manner you attribute to your enemy." Declared the woman, "perhaps you visit your own intentions on a reformed being?"

“Manipulate?” Starbuck said incredulous, “I seek to persuade, I make no secret of that. You claim to embrace free will, all of you, yet none of you will brook any disagreement. In defending myself before you, I am accused of manipulation. Consider this your honors." Starbuck spat the title mockingly, "The only way to win is to avoid a battle, to avoid a conflict of ideologies. How do you avoid that conflict if an opposing ideology is built upon that very idea?"

There was silence and finally the second hooded man spoke.
"This is pointless bickering. Discussion is ended. I move that we banish Starbuck to the mortal realm."

"I second that motion.” The second man said quickly, “with the amendment that Starbuck be permitted to retain his memories, that even in his banishment, he may have an opportunity to reform his ways."

"What if I don't choose to be banished?" demanded Starbuck hotly, "You can't take action without a group consensus, this vote is an illusion."

"I could elect to fight you." Commented the second man in a dark voice, "And we would battle for all eternity, thus would you be removed from our presence."

"I was wondering why they would let someone like you sit in judgment of another Baltar." Spat Starbuck "You can lower that hood your not fooling anyone, Oma, Janus, I know who you are let’s put all the cards on the table here."

In response his three accusers lowered their hoods.
"Since you seem committed to an eternity of conflict one way or another, what will you choose Starbuck." Asked Oma resignedly.

"Well firstly, your little ploy with Baltar won't work on me." Replied Starbuck, "If he attacks, I won't fight back." Starbuck fixed an eye on Baltar, "And then you will be a murderer Baltar. You will stand judgment, I wonder who they would find to battle you." Baltar swallowed. "I think I hear a line forming." Said Starbuck scornfully, "And when will that end Oma, battle after battle after battle, until your harmony is disrupted beyond hope of recovery. If I really wanted this discord you have accused me of, you would have just offered it to me on a silver platter. Your kind have no talent for this kind of thing, really."

"How do you propose we resolve this?" Demanded Oma irritably, "If you believe yourself so much more able."

"I will voluntarily descend." Began Starbuck, raising a hand to silence Sheba's objection, "provided as you say I am permitted to retain my memory, and my body at my moment of ascension. My condition however is I may choose the location to which I descend."

"What does that gain you?" Demanded Janus irritably, "Baltar has offered you that already you argumentative fool!"

"Contain yourself Janus." Oma stated turning to him in surprise, "You were chosen for your rationality, do not let his arguments influence you unduly, you must remain objective.” Starbuck cast an exasperated look at Sheba.

“Ah yes, we wouldn’t want his arguments to influence us.” Said Baltar dryly. “That would be unjust.” Oma shot them both a glare. Janus rolled his eyes and kept silent. Baltar studiously looked out into nothing. Satisfied Oma turned back to Starbuck, and Janus sat back regarding him with a calculating gaze.

"At the precise moment of your ascension, you were a being of energy." Observed Janus, "Lacking the stability to complete your transformation, without our help you would have dissipated. As we would grant no such help, this condition would gain you nothing, you would still descend to a mortal body."

"A mortal body significantly enhanced over the body I was born with." Replied Starbuck carefully, "Longer lifespan, healing ability, your people greatly advanced ours before we began our transformation."

"You would prolong your life, That is understandable." Stated Janus, "but your choice of words was deliberate, why the moment of your ascension and not simply to an advanced human form?"

"Well that is because of the location I am going to choose." Replied Starbuck with a gleam in his eye, "You see I still intend to prove to you that Iblis is up to something, and if you fear what I could do as an ascended being well, I'll just have to figure it out the old fashioned way."

Janus blinked suddenly. "Do you intend…."

"That's right." Said Starbuck, "Put me in the buffer on Earth's Stargate. Iblis buried it for a reason, and he intends to come back for it. Even if matter can't travel both ways energy can, and I intend to see exactly what Iblis wants coming to Earth."

"I vote we agree to his terms." Said Baltar suddenly. He grinned evilly, "This should provide solution satisfactory to all parties. Discord among those ascended will be over, Starbuck is free to continue his quest on a mortal plain…."

"…and you remain ascended with one less adversary." Finished Sheba sourly.

"The lesser of two evils?" Baltar asked the unspoken question, steepling his hands. "Perhaps.”

"I second the motion on the floor." Said Oma reluctantly, and as Oma, Janus, and Baltar all voted their agreement, Starbuck turned to Sheba who was trying to suppress her tears.

"Don't cry Sheba, this is what I want." He said, gripping her shoulder, "I can't shake the feeling that whatever went down on New Kobol, Iblis was behind it, Apollo and Cain can take care of themselves but Athena…"

Understanding dawned in Sheba's mind. She knew first hand the danger Iblis posed, she had succumbed to it, and she had thought Starbuck's passion for opposing Iblis was derived from the same source, but looking at him now, she saw him fired by a different cause. She was shocked.“Then all this…”

“No. Not all of it.” Starbuck maintained, “But a lot of it. I’ve been around long enough Sheba, live a full life first as a mortal and then like this, but I never had the chance to live it with her. I never had the chance to grow old with the woman I loved.”

“Like my father.” Sheba said, considering. Starbuck nodded.

“There are some things I just don’t like about the universe.” Starbuck said, “That’s one, and Iblis is another.” He cocked his head at Baltar, “And you know what they say, bad things come in threes.” Sheba chucked in spite of herself and rubbed her eyes.

“This isn’t the end of anything Sheba, it’s the beginning. A new life, a new adventure. That’s what these people can’t see.” He gripped her by the shoulders, “But you do, right? You understand?” She nodded. Starbuck embraced her for a moment tightly.

"You'll find her Starbuck." Sheba assured him, "We'll find her." Sheba amended, "I won't rest Starbuck, I'll be watching, vigilant, and if a way to help presents itself…"

"The time is at hand." Interrupted Janus testily, "Further permutation must not be allowed. This equation must reach its conclusion."

"I will do it." Said Baltar suddenly, "Sheba is obviously affected by his discord, why compound his influence by having her act upon it. I was prepared to be his executioner, I suppose this is the logical discharge of my obligations."

With no further objections Starbuck found himself standing in the desert atop a round stone platform. As he looked down he realized it the cover stones the natives had placed upon the Stargate.

"You stand upon the grave of the past." Baltar observed casually as he circled Starbuck.

"I suppose you're going to start gloating.' Said Starbuck resigned, "You must be loving this."

"On the contrary/" snapped Baltar, "Do you think I look forward to spending eternity with those pedantic fools?"

"The price of power.' Said Starbuck wryly, "You want to live forever but you can't choose your neighbors."

"indeed." Said Baltar sourly. His expression softened and he canced a furtive glance about himself. He stepped closer to Starbuck suddenly. “Starbuck I want you to know I never had anything against you, personally. I…”

"Listen Baltar, let's not start having a moment here.” Starbuck interrupted, “ You destroyed the colonies. You’re still a traitor in my mind, and you always will be."

"Do you imagine I intend to misuse my ascension?" demanded Baltar coldly, "Do you propose this is all part of some elaborate plot to control, to dominate?" Starbuck blinked at the resentment in the man's voice. He also noted the exhilaration in the man’s voice at the possibility.

"Isn't it?" asked Starbuck staring him the eye, "Are you saying I should trust you to be something other than a traitor?" Starbuck recognized tremendous conflict taking place within the man before him, yet he could not be certain as to the nature of it. Was Baltar struggling to restrain the raw ambition within himself, for the opportune moment, or was this man truly trying to reform.

"Millennia have passed Starbuck." Said Baltar tiredly, "Over the long centuries I have learned much of evil, I have thought much about what I did and why. Do you know what I believe?"

"I thought the condemned were to be the confessors." Commented Starbuck uncomfortably, but Baltar would not be silenced.

"I believe I did what I did… because I felt I could do things better." Said baltar looking up thoughtfully, "The cylons were a means to an end, I was to control mankind build a brave new world." His tone soured, "Then they betrayed me, treated me like a puppet, used me against the rest of you. I miscalculated, Starbuck, I miscalculated. That tears at me, it gnaws at me even now. The stakes I risked, the sacrifices… no, I never resented you, or Adama, I deserve your scorn. You," he stabbed a finger at Starbuck, " Simply had the audacity to survive, they demanded I kill you in payment for my life, and you refused to permit victory." He dropped his hand and paused as if struck by a sudden thought, "What utter lunacy it must have appeared, no wonder Lucifer thought us deranged." Then his countenance hardened once again. "It was never the Cylons Starbuck, in time I recognized that it was iblis, that cursed whispering ambition, that simpering tempter, I was his unwilling servant and he cast me off like some common…"

"Look Baltar…" interrupted Starbuck, suddenly chagrined and in no small part, concerned, at what he was opening up. "I really don't care. I'm trying to face the music here, you know? Live as a mortal once more? Begin my slow march to death and old age? If we could just pull the spotlight over here long enough for me to go? I mean I don't mean to be rude but this IS my moment."

"Very well." replied Baltar taking a breath and reigning himself in, "You heroes have no patience. I merely meant to say, that we will never be friends Starbuck, but we may have more in common than we would care to admit.” He spoke carefully, “Of course I do not speak of your animosity towards Iblis, but rather the desire to save a universe, worth saving,” Starbuck threw up his hands in profound exasperation. “I am a deeply flawed man Starbuck, how many times must I acknowledge that to you, but though we ended up in drastically different places, we are deep down, on the same side. Time has validated your choices infinitely more so than mine, and because of that I respect what you are doing." He laughed harshly, "Perhaps I may even help some time."

"Well I'm as eager as the next guy to give a man a second chance Baltar." Starbuck tossed back, "Let’s just get this over with/You do what you have to do, but hey,” he added, “For frak’s sake, try not to save the universe by helping your enemies destroy it ok?”

Baltar gave a dismissive flick of his fingers, and Starbuck’s form suddenly coalesced into a ball. Iblis reached out and grasped the tiny sphere of light within his fist. He opened his fingers ever so slightly. “You impossible, impudent fool.” He whispered to it. he stomped his foot, and with a deep rumbling the ground began to shake, the sand began to shift.

Baltar held his palm out over the ground before him and for the briefest moment the sand lit up. The sand began to swirl around him
"Godspeed Starbuck." Baltar shouted "You carry the hopes of us all."
He removed his hand, and now, with the sphere of light clenched tightly, fell to one knee thrusting his fist into the sand. Removing his hand even as the sand still swirled and the rumbling began to lessen he burst into a being of light.

“Stop!” Suddenly there were others around him, “You will stop!”

“You fools!” Baltar’s voice thundered, in defiant reply, “Even as you discern my intentions, you hesitate to oppose them! You shall be as lambs to the slaughter!” With that his shimmering form plunged into the sand. The trembling ceased and two figures appeared.

“I cannot believe he betrayed us!” Janus snarled, “I cannot believe we were mistaken.”

“Peace Janus.” Oma rebuked him, “Baltar made his choice, we will not indulge in our passions over it.” Janus looked at her rebelliously.

“This is the instability that Starbuck brought among us, that they all brought among us, this impetuousness.” He told her resentfully as he composed himself. “First Adama, and then Starbuck, and now Baltar, I tell you in time they will all be our undoing. We should never have brought them among us.”

“The past is the past Janus.” Oma told him. She looked warningly at him, “I thought you had learned that lesson.”

“Of course.” He said calming himself, he waved a hand distractedly, “You see even now, the echoes of discord…”

“This is what we have worked so long to overcome.” Oma told him soothingly.”Should Baltar, or Adama ever return to this galaxy, they will be dealt with. For now, peace.”

“What about Starbuck?” Janus asked looking down at the sand.”

“He does no harm where he is, and though he sowed considerable dissension, he was compliant in the end.” Oma said. “Starbuck is not our problem now. He belongs to the future.”
Last edited by Themightytom on 2014-02-13 04:55pm, edited 31 times in total.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (prologue 11-4-2011)

Postby LadyTevar » 2011-11-05 01:06am

So... The Colonials all Ascended? Interesting start to the story. I would like to see more.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (prologue 11-4-2011)

Postby Themightytom » 2011-11-08 05:19pm

Chapter 1
“The Hand Of The Devil”

"My name is Starbuck and I'm here to save the universe. If anybody hears my story, make sure you start with that. I was cast out by powers that couldn’t understand me. I am here to discover the truth, the truth they don’t want to see, a darkness that threatens us all."

The stargate erupted to life a beacon in the darkness. Light burst from it for but a moment, and than coalesced to form the shape of a man, a naked man. The man tumbled to the floor but managed to roll to his feet in an instant, he took a few hesitant steps, and then drew back as he reached a yawning abyss. his shape could be seen moving cautiously in the dim light as the stargate deactivated, crawling hesitantly along a catwalk leading to a central platform

"Some would say I gave up the wonders of the universe! The funny thing about a universe, is you can take it with you. You throw out a word like universe, and people think stars and galaxies, and comets and meteors, no, my universe is more than that,"

Starbuck looked up in alarm as he finished buttoning a shirt. He was in a large well appointed room, it was well lit by torches lining gold walls with hieroglyphs. Clothes were strewn everywhere around a large plush bed, with a large doorless wardrobe and mirrors beside it.He climbed inside, pulling robes across to hide himself as stomping feet neared him. Starbuck reached up and jerked down a jacket to cover his head. A quartet of soldiers paraded past the doorway to the chambers he was in. Starbuck stood cautiously and glanced at the jacket in his hand. he was now dressed in a gold woven shirt, and wore a set of brown pants. Swinging the jacket over his shoulders he moved to the side of the room, and picked up what looked like a weapon, from a table by the door. It uncoiled with a mechanical snap, like a serpent preparing to strike. Starbuck looked with determination out into the hallway.

"You see my universe is named Athena. She's out there somewhere with her dark hair and bottomless eyes. She's out there trying to be brave in the face of unspeakable terrors. She is everything to me that matters, and without her, nothing else is real. As long as I carry that with me, well, I still have something left."

Starbuck tapped hurriedly at the controls as on a nearby platform rings descended from the ceiling. Dropping to one knee he raised two weapons, and as the rings retracted into the ceiling he bombarded the four men standing there with electric blue bolts of energy. They crumpled to the ground, and he turned back to the console slapping a final command.

Red numbers ticked down as the chevrons on the stargate began to light. With eight Chevrons lit Starbuck positioned one of his weapons on the podium. The rings began to descend once more as he sprinted across the catwalk to the Stargate. Turning, he fired at the podium three times, and it began to spark with coruscating energy. the rings retracted as he turned and dove through the stargate, eight furious warriors ready for battle. Their leader held up a hand as he approached the podium, where a warning light was flashing, and an indicator bar had just reached maximum. he turned to his fellow soldiers in terror, as suddenly the stargate erupted in a massive white light.

* * *
"Someone threw a little gem like you away down here didn't they?"
Starbuck mused to himself as he looked at a black Ancient communication stone, "like any common stone." he kicked at the rubble around it for emphasis. he was standing before a stargate in a half collapsed, shattered ruin, lit only by dimly flickering overhead lights. "How can a man hope guess the worth of a thing, if he looks at you and sees just a stone? I'll take you with me then, you'll see what I see, do what I do and know what I know. Watch me save the universe."

Shoving the stone into his pocket he set off down the debris ridden corridor.

* * *

"C'mon Chewie put your back into it!" grunted Han harshly, shifting his shoulders up against a crate, he pulled a down wide brimmed hat off his head and felt the cool air on his ragged unkempt hair. He spared a moment to drag his greasy stained sleeve across a sweaty brow, as his companion snuffled derisively and shoved. The two were hard at work pushing a bulky piece of equipment up the ramp of a battered stock freighter. while a thin and ancient looking grav lift bore much of the weight. Han and his partner were doing their best to shift the crate up the ramp.

"Look, if it’s too much for you we'll just unload some of these babies and bring 'em in after." At the answering roar Han swore, "Don't take that tone with me buddy, I'll spark you into the middle of next week!" he waved a shock whip coiled at his waist sarcastically. Chewie huffed at him resentfully. Both started as a stranger approached.

"Hey!" called Starbuck approaching them, "Hey, can you give me a hand? I could use a lift!" Han spun around and in a smooth motion his blaster was trained on Starbuck, Starbuck's eyes widened and he raised his hands. Chewie grunted as he suddenly bore the full weight of the crate.

"Now hold on, I'm not …" Starbuck was interrupted as Chewie stumbled with a groan and dove out of the way. The bulky crate rolled down the ramp behind Han. Han turned and gave a yelp. Holding onto his hat Han sprinted forward down the ramp with the crate looming behind him, he stumbled and the ground collapsed beneath him, the crate lumbering through the space he had been a moment before. Hurriedly Starbuck and Chewie raced to help, only for Han to prop himself up from a barely man- sized divot in the ground.

"Frak I thought you'd been crushed!" said Starbuck in relief. Han shook away Chewie's helpful arms.

"Get the kriff off me you big, walking carpet, and you, you better explain yourself or the next words out of your mouth will be "Oh god, he shot me."

"Hey I don't want any trouble." Said Starbuck raising his hands once more, "I just wanted to see if I could get a lift off this rock you know? Get back to civilization."

"How'd you get out here anyway?" Demanded Han suspiciously, "Nobody comes here anymore, there are sentries all over the system."

"Right." Answered Starbuck thinking fast, "That's what happened to my ship. I was shot down a few months ago, and I made my way here hoping to find something I could use in.." he looked back at the crumbling ruins, to confirm, "These old ruins."

Han eyed the man shrewdly. "Is that so? Well it must have been rough going over all that terrain. How far away did you say your ship was."

"Oh quite a ways." Said Starbuck dismissively, "I've been traveling for so long I couldn't tell you how far, what direction, it’s easy to get turned around."

"You should watch for landmarks." Said Han acidly, "You'd realize you’re on a kriffing island." Chewie huffed amused. "No way you're getting a ride with us pal, we don't take charity cases and we don't take liars. Get lost, and hand over that weapon at your side too. I don't need to be watching over my shoulder while I load up."

"Wait, just hold on a second!" protested Starbuck as he carefully placed an odd serpentine device on the ground, "I can explain. I didn't come by ship."

"That's rich." Chortled Han, "did you swim?"

"No, " said Starbuck carefully, "There is a device down below in the ruins. It’s called a Stargate. It's a portal to another planet, but it’s broken. I came through from another galaxy, and got stuck here."

"You expect me to buy that?" demanded Han incredulously.

"No, I expect you to sell it. " said Starbuck cagily, "You see I don't know much about this place, but I know a businessman when I see him. You look like a man who might make a bit of profit from various…odds and ends lying about."

"Me?" Han was all innocence, "No I'm just a simple... archaeologist..."

"If you're an archaeologist," Said Starbuck, "Than I'm a toilet paper salesman."

"Listen pal, all I deal in is legitimate salvage…" began Han

"Hey there's no need to explain it to me." Said Starbuck expansively, "I'm new around here but I suppose most places have sort of a taboo against grave robbing, and a place like this might be considered a grave." He continued hurriedly at Han's darkening expression, "But men like us, we're a little above superstitions and hokey religions, am I right?" Seeing Han relax a little Starbuck kept one hand in the air, and carefully reached into a pocket. "Now what I have here isn't a weapon," he began as Han tensed "I already dropped my gun just take a look at this."

"Whoop de kriffing doo, a stone." Said Han, "Am I supposed to be impressed?"

"Its not a stone pal, it's a transmitter. There's a relay device in the city below. If you scan for subspace signals you see a nice clear signal beaming to parts unknown." Said Starbuck, "This is just a little souvenir, to you know, document my story, but its an example of what I have to offer." Sensing Han was not buying it, he added, “And there’s my weapon, have you ever seen a Zat’Nicketal?”

"Of course I have, those idiot Jaffa used them all the time, they were the only decent weapon they used." Han said irritably. Starbuck furrowed his brow.

"You have Jaffa in this galaxy?" he asked

"Had, I'd expect them to have been wiped out after the war." Han said dubiously, "Seriously buddy where are you from?

"A long time ago, and a galaxy far far away." Starbuck told him candidly. Han glanced at Chewie who shrugged."Look, do you know what we're standing on? Where we are?"

"Do you?" Han asked caustically.

"This city was called Lemuria, this world..." Starbuck gestured around him, "Was to be called Core Ascendant. he looked off in the distance. "I guess things didn't turn out the way they were supposed to."

"Coruscant." Said Han, "The legends call it Coruscant. Some sort of failed colony."

"Not just any failed colony. The first." Starbuck said, "This was to be the first colony of an ancient, powerful race. If you're here, than they can't all be gone. Listen to me, this is... was... the first human colony in your galaxy."

"The Kriff it was, the first colony was Corellia." Han snapped, but paused, "Though, this city is old..."

"Older than anything you've ever seen before I'd wager." Starbuck pressed him, "A extragalactic colony of humans? Think about that, think of the technology this place must hold, think of the artifacts."

"Alright, I'm listening…" said Han, "What do you have to offer."

"I happened to notice that crate you are loading is jam packed full of drone weapons." Starbuck revealed at last, "That tells me you’re in the market for some advanced tech, maybe a little firepower."

"I figured Emperor Thrawn could use a little extra ammo." Han said defensively, "I just happened to stumble on a cheap supply. They ARE difficult to manufacture. If these ones are just lying around, why not put them to use, with a little profit on the side?"

"Perfectly understandable." said Starbuck, not understanding at all, "And here's my offer. I'm finding myself a little short on both cash, and a ride, what I have in abundance, is knowledge. "he lowered his left hand at lot which was starting to ache, "You see the drones are not the most valuable thing in these ruins. If you'd known that, I'm sure we wouldn't be having this conversation, and I mean LITERALLY, we wouldn't, because the device that transported me here from another galaxy is sitting beneath us. It’s worth more than a few drones, I’d imagine. If I identify technology for you, you give me a ride, and half the profits, sort of a finder's fee."

"If you have a device like that why do you need a ride?" asked Han.

"The control interface for the device is missing or buried under all this rock." Starbuck explained, "I can't go back and besides, I came here looking for somebody."

"So what's to stop me from digging around down there and finding this device by myself?" Han asked motioning with his blaster.

"I can activate the technology in the city and you can't." Starbuck said, "It still has a little power left, but the lights were coming on everywhere I went. If you were down there getting those, " he nodded to the crate, "Than you weren't turning them on were you."

Han was silent. Chewie growled a complaint about stumbling around in the dark for hours.

"That's what i thought, I saw pry marks on the doors I passed earlier. Listen I can make things much easier for you Han, I can open those doors. I can show you hidden technology you'd never have known was there."

"Hey hold on, don't get ahead of yourself." Han told him, "Chewie and I are gonna do just fine with what we have here, without taking on any extra hands, why should we help you?"

"Look I need to get off this rock." Starbuck pleaded, "People are depending on me...there are lives at stake..."

"You know what, save it." Han interrupted, "I've heard THIS all before. I don't need no drama mucking up my life now, I'm too old for that. Just show me what you think is worth having and I'll tell you if this little partnership will work out.” Starbuck turned to lead them back into the ruins, and Han was suddenly suspicious again. “You know you're awfully trusting, how do you know I won't just shoot you in the back when I get what I want?"

"Well you could say I'm a bit of a gambler." Said Starbuck, pausing,
"And as any gambler knows, its not about playing the game, its about playing the players. You get to be a pretty decent judge of character when the stakes are high."

"I hear that." Said Han with a glance back at his ship, "Chewie you stand watch, if I catch you sleeping I'll singe the fur off your mangy hide." The Wookiee gave a resentful whuffle as Han brandished the shock whip.

"Its an old joke." He assured Starbuck, who looked distinctly uncomfortable "He knows I’m garbage with a whip and besides, Chewie never messes up, if he did I'd just sell him, and he won't find a better master out there."

"Is he a slave?" asked Starbuck in a neutral voice.

"All non humans are slaves, "said Han, "Near humans were too, until the Chiss got involved where have you been hiding?"

"Involved in what?" asked Starbuck evading the question, as they clambered over the rubble, somehow Han managed it with his blaster still leveled at Starbuck's back. "I'm new around here remember?"

"The galaxy's been in an uproar for the last half century." Said Han grimly, "The Separatists, the Wraith, the Cylons, the Vong, and finally Anubis. They laid waste to half the galaxy until finally the Moffs stopped bickering long enough to put Emperor Thrawn back in charge. He cleaned up their mess and booted them. “

“Emperor huh?” Starbuck said doubtfully, “Of your whole galaxy?”

“Hey Thrawn didn't want power, he just wanted order, but after he put down Anubis, he finally accepted the role of Emperor for the good of us all."

"'Accepted'" mused Starbuck, "How gracious of him." He clambered over a rock pile and han followed still keeping his blaster trained on Starbuck.

"Hey don't go shooting your mouth off." Snapped Han, "You have no idea what we've been through. I had no love for the Empire, but we had a strong, unified galaxy until a bunch of mongrels betrayed us and opened the door for one intergalactic invader after another. Half the galaxy was in ruin before Thrawn stepped up and drew a line. He pushed that line back across our galaxy and he holds it even today, so the rest of us can live in peace. We begged him to be our emperor for years before he accepted, no man's done more for this galaxy than he has."

"Woah take it easy!" said Starbuck glancing back, "I'm just saying for a man to be "offered" control of an entire galaxy, even more unusual for him to refuse."

"Well things don't work like that around here." Han replied severely as Starbuck splashed down into a flooded corridor, "You be sure you know what you’re talking about before you throw out your little opinions."

"So why drones?" asked Starbuck changing the subject after an awkward silence, "You guys still use those here, these ones are positively ancient."

"Well not exactly 'still'" answered Han, "Anubis started using them against the Vong because energy weapons were proving useless. That's how the Cylons got crushed, they didn't adapt. Thrawn got a hold of the design, when he took New Imperial City and they have been in use ever since, but they're expensive as hell to produce. Me and Chewie found this place during an old smuggling run gone bad, and when we realized where we were and sure enough, we found a ruined copy of Imperial City."

"New imperial city?" asked Starbuck as they approached the gate room. The lights in the hall flickered to life, some gave up after a moment, others continued to glow dimly.

"First Imperial city was destroyed when Ra blew Byss to pieces with the Centerpoint weapon." Explained Han, "When Thrawn captured the stronghold of Anubis he chose to make it the new capitol, barring the Death Star Two, it's the safest place in the universe and the traveling home of the Imperial senate as well."

"The Death Star Two?" Starbuck repeated dubiously.

"Well it was really named The Dawn Star when it was re-commissioned." Han amended hastily, "Only us old-timers remember its original name, Palpatine used the first Death star to blow up several wraith held worlds, including Alderaan. He died on board but they had already begun construction on the second one. It was two thirds built before Thrawn took over. Thrawn used it a few times, it could decide any battle, but only be in one place at a time. He never wanted to use it but when it became obvious the Vong would not stay in the containment zone, he blew up their new home world and crippled their war effort."

"This is it.” Starbuck said, pausing before the half open door to the gate room. "After you."

Han eyed him for a moment and Starbuck preceded him without batting an eye.

"You know if we're going to be partners, we're going to have to learn to trust each other." He chastised as he stepped inside, Han followed.

"All I see is a room full of junk and a big sculpture." Said Han doubtfully.

"Oh this is no sculpture my friend." Starbuck said picking his way over to the star gate, "This little baby will open up a whole new world."

“There’s no way I’m having Chewie haul that hunk of junk out of here.” Han told him, “If you can’t even prove that it works.”
“Well I’ll tell you what, it’s not the only thing worth having in these ruins.” Starbuck announced. He opened his jacket to reveal a glimmering jewel. Han whistled.

“You find a treasure chest around here somewhere? He demanded, he reached for it, “Let me see that.”

“I wouldn’t..” Starbuck buck warned, but Han jerked back as a force field flickered to life. “personal force field, I found dozens of them.” He explained as Han pulled his hand back. “There’s a weapons locker by the side, of the Stargate you’d never know was there if you didn’t know where to look. The Ancients had a strong sense of aesthetics. There are small aircraft too, with cloaks.” Han’s eyes gleamed with interest now, but he was not completely sold.

“That personal force field, how good is it, could it take a blaster shot?” Han asked. Starbuck nodded.”And you’ve been wearing it the whole time?” Starbuck nodded again. ”So what was that you said earlier about us having to trust each other, or was it something about being a good judge of character, I forget…”

“I am a good judge of character.” Starbuck said as Han took a few steps into the room to survey the wreckage, “You just seem to me like the kind of guy who’d shoot first…”

Han glanced at Starbuck with something approaching respect, and then took a longer look at the stargate. It was impressive, he had to admit to himself.

He was even more inclined to admit it as it rose majestically out of the ruins at sunset. His ship, the Millenium Falcon hovered over the city, it's running lights clashing with the spectacular Vista.

"Alright Chewie keep cranking the winch." he said into his com link. Starbuck stood beside them watching as the Stargate was dragged into the hold between the two cargo arms. The Falcon's main hold was not big enough for the device to stand upright and Han winced, throwing his hands up against his ears, as he heard a cacophony of scraping and groaning as the gate pulled by the winch within dragged along the floor. Han and Starbuck looked at each other.

That's coming out of your cut." Han grumbled. He made for the ramp which was open and floating just a few feet above the ground. Grasping the landing strut for balance and vaulting up, Starbuck nimbly followed him.

"You trust Chewie not to fly off with your ship." Starbuck observed.

"Chewie and I were buddies before the crack down, he owes me a life debt." Han said, "He wasn't part of the rebellion that left the Goa'uld in." he sighed. "Look I don't agree with everything that goes on out here, but times are tough. Thrawn understands that there's a time and a place, and when this war is over, he'll reinstate the rights of nonhumans."

"it really doesn't sit right with you does it." Starbuck said as the entered the Falcon.

"Look, I'm a realist." Han said, "Not some starry eyed moisture farmer trying to save the galaxy."

Chewie roared a greeting as Han entered the cockpit. he put his hat down on the console and began to work the controls. Starbuck hung over the seat. Chewie gave him a suspicious look.

"So we've got a great stone ring, a couple dozen drones, and a crate full of those force field things." Han summarized, "Anything else down there worth having?"

"It's an entire city Han, in fact I'd wager most of the island itself is sitting on top of it. Who knows what else is down there." Starbuck replied.

"You think those computers are still any good?" Han asked speculatively. The cockpit around him was a glorious panorama as the ship broke atmosphere displaying the wild, untamed world below.

"They built them to last." Starbuck said, "If even a small portion of the data base survives it can be reconstructed."

"Good." Said Han, "Then I guess I've got just the customers for you."
Chewie made a plaintive sound. "I know Chewie, I know, i don't like them either." he set his jaw with determination. "But business is business."

With that he reached forward and drew back several levers. His ship, the Millennium Falcon surged forward into hyperspace.

The transition between Starbuck's arrival on the mortal plain and his arrival in Lemuria are awkward I know. So to recap for anyone confused, the Stargate was buried on Earth, as far as the ancients could tell, nothing was wrong, but something made Starbuck believe Iblis was meddling around. Starbuck will elaborate on what has been happening to him in the next chapter. To summarize Lemuria is the ruins of an ancient city, located on the planet of Coruscant, which is a planet of legend, that Han and Chewie stumbled across some time ago and are looting for weapons to sell to the empire under Emperor Thrawn.

I decided the best way to reveal that this is an AU Star Wars was with Starbuck's little "I guess things didn't turn out the way they were supposed to speech."

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Hand Of The Devil 11-08-201

Postby Themightytom » 2011-11-18 05:25pm

Trying out a wall of text to see how it looks, because putting a line between every paragraph is so time consuming. I am taking a little detour for plot development, more so than I did in the old draft, because I think the pacing was too sporadic in the Fanfiction edition, and I didn't find my stride until it was almost over.

Chapter 2
"I was cast out by fools who thought I had nothing to offer. They had no idea what riches I really have. I'll show them, I'll show them what its all really about. My name is Starbuck and I'm here to save the universe."

"I arrived on Core Ascendant and found the place a ruins. I wanted to know what Iblis was up to? Well this is it. I've fallen in with a smuggler named Han Solo, I figure maybe if I throw in my lot with him, I can get the lay of the land here, see what's happened, where things went wrong, and then maybe, just maybe, I can go back and undo it."

The Millenium Falcon burst out of hyperspace with a flash of light. It hurdled towards the planet Kashyyk.
"Hey Starbuck get up here, we're about to dock." Han called. Flipping off the intercom he turned to Chewie, "I don't think this guy’s gonna work out Chewie, I'm half tempted to leave him here when we're done."
Chewie gave a growl reminding Han he had made a promise.

"Right, I'll give him his share, but I never promised he could sign on, I don't think I like the guys style." Chewie huffed an amused reply.

"No its not because I lost the game! It was beginner's luck, the guy's never even played before!"
Chewie began preparing the Falcon for its approach as he answered tactfully.

"No, he's nothing like me and if he were, why would that be a reason to dislike him?" Han demanded, "I'm a swell guy, people like me!" At Chewie's retort, Han said,

"Well you don't count anyway."
Preceded by the sound of pounding footsteps in the corridor Starbuck at last made his appearance.

"What's up boss?" he inquired cheerfully leaning Chewie's chair and peering out the cockpit window. Before them the brownish green orb of Kashyyk turned slowly. Coming up over the horizon dozens of large ships could be seen clustered around a space station from appeared to dangle a large thread. As Starbuck watched a car seemed to drop down from the station and after a moment, disappeared down into the cloud cover below.

"Lords of Kobol what is that?" he breathed

"What's the matter kid you never seen a skyhook?" Han asked smugly. It DID rankle him that the little upstart had already been able to beat him at Sabacc, but they had played for hours, Han winning every time, so he supposed it was little bit overdue, if only that stupid Wookiee would stop rubbing it in…

"Well they used something like this on the Colonies where I was born, but that we before we really got into space travel,” Replied Starbuck, "And the ancients just beamed whatever they wanted up from the surface with ring transporters. I feel like I’ve gone a few thousand years back in time instead of forward.”

"I guess we must look like backward yokels to you." Gritted Han.

"No, not at all, I mean, we never built anything like this!" Starbuck replied hastily, "The engineering of this is amazing, I mean the sheer scale! There advantages to an industrial base that spans a galaxy. When you guys build you don't mess around, why that station's the size of a battlestar!"

“Well how many worlds did those colonies of yours have again?” Han asked, taking satisfaction in the man’s retraction, “like twelve?”

“Thirteen if you count the lost tribe of Earth. There twelve colonies of Kobol.” Starbuck clarified, “The ancients, though, they cities and settlements on hundreds of worlds.”

“We’ve got hundreds of millions of sentient races pal.” Han informed him, then paused, “Well, counting the non humans of course.” He looked uncomfortably at Chewie.

“That doesn’t sit right with you does it Han.” Starbuck said as Chewie looked studiously elsewhere, “That whole humanity first doctrine?”

“Look I was around when the old emperor started putting out his propaganda.” Han said defensively, “I’m not an idiot, I know a nerf pile when I see one, but the fact is, the Goa’uld were aliens that took human hosts. The Wraith fed on human life, the Rebel alliance was responsible for unleashing the Cylons on us and that brought the Vong into the mix. Humanity stood up and rallied, humanity was the only organized defense this galaxy had through it all.” Chewie roared. Han threw up his hands. “Fine, Thrawn’s a Chiss, his skin is blue, he’s still pretty much a human.”

“This was all what, over the space of three years?” Starbuck asked, trying to change the subject Han took the lifeline gladly.

“We’re coming up on four years since Alderaan was destroyed.” He said with a glance at Chewie. “Wave after wave of disaster, of invader, and in the third year Thrawn took charge. Within two months he had reorganized the defense of our core worlds, and within five the Vong, the Cylons, the wraith and the rebellion were at each other’s throats. Within seven we were reclaiming our systems, and this year began with his confirmation as emperor. How many times did we almost buy it over the last few years Chewie?” he turned to Starbuck, “It was one scrape after another, the Wraith actually boarded the Falcon once, Chewie had to hold ‘em off while I jury rigged the hyperdrive.”

Chewie barked an affirmative and pulled his bandolier aside to reveal five individual scars on his barrel like chest.

“The Wraith didn’t like the taste of Wookiee.” Han said, “He was laid up for a week though, I had to take care of the big furball while we hid out in an asteroid field.”

“Doesn’t seem like you really have anything against Chewie, or other non humans when they aren’t trying to kill you.” Starbuck said reasonably.
“Right.” Said Han relieved. He gave Chewie a glance, “Ah come on pal, you don’t I don’t mean any of that garbage. This thing is for show.” He patted the stun whip, “I wouldn’t even carry it if people weren’t constantly sneaking up on us.” He shot an accusing glance at Starbuck, “If some imperial found out how I was treating you, they’d take you away, and ship you off to… well… there.” He gestured at the station orbiting Kashykk. “It’s all an act you know that, sometimes I just get a little… carried away..”

Chewie whuffled understanding and swatted Han on the head playfully. Han looked back at Starbuck challengingly. Starbuck was just shaking his head.

“You guys have been through a lot together.” He looked out at the stars, “All of you have. The universe has changed, made people, harder, colder.” He sighed, “You’ve had to overcome so much in so short a time.”

“Yeah, well….” Han replied turning his back on Starbuck, “You don’t know the half of it. If I died, Chewie would never find a better master.” He returned to his duties somewhat mollified. Starbuck kept an eye on him as he worked the controls of the Falcon. He glanced at Chewie once more, but the three were silent. As the Falcon flew smoothly into a docking bay and settled to the ground, Starbuck felt a ripple of anticipation. Through the windows he could see a somewhat dimly lit bay with several ships in different berths. Humans and aliens of different species moved about their duties and Starbuck recognized this as a port of call.

"This is my kind of place." He said aloud, "Lots of local color."

"Some of that local color will eat you alive." Han warned him, "Stick close to me until you learn the ropes."

"Hey I can take care of myself." Said Starbuck amiably.

"Fine but if you get yourself killed I'm taking your share." Han replied with irritation in his voice.

"Well maybe I could use someone to show me the ropes." Starbuck decided as he realized that if he wasn't present during the negotiations he would have little idea of what his share actually was. He also didn’t want Han closing up again, he had a feeling he was looking at a complicated man, who was at his core at once very, very loyal, and very very cynical. He wondered what could have made him like that.

"First things first." Said Han briskly, as they made their way to the airlock "Keep one hand on your blast.. er Zat thingey." He pointed at the Zatniccketel, "Don't talk to anyone you don't need to." He adjusted his whip on his waist and pulled out a wand. He touched it to a collar around Chewie’s neck which lit up. Chewie made no complaint aws a mild electric current was delivered intermittently. Starbuck shook his head.

“Regulations on space stations.” Was all Han said.
They began to descend down the ramp and out into the landing bay. Chewie followed them.

"I guess you don't need a blaster." Starbuck observed to the Wookiee. Chewie clarified that Aliens were not allowed to go armed, but that if need be he had a bowcaster on the falcon that Han let him keep.

"I'm a sentimental fool." Deadpanned Han, "The others say, 'Don't trust the aliens' I say 'The alien who could rip me apart in my sleep, but hasn't is the alien I won't argue with over weapons. Besides, Chewie knows if I died he'd never find a better master."

"You know you keep saying that." Starbuck observed suspiciously, "Almost like you're expecting to die any day now."

"You really ARE new around here aren't you." Han retorted. A black uniformed Imperial approached with a data pad. He was followed by two storm troopers carrying blasters. Han handed him a datapad and the imperial compared it to the one he was holding, making notations.

"Where are you taking this… thing." Demanded the customs official with obvious disdain.

"He's a Wookiee." Han answered irritably, "You know, native to the planet below?"

"Not after their cylon friends got through with it." Sneered the customs agent, "No aliens are allowed out of the docking bay unaccompanied."

"What are we chopped Daggit?" Starbuck chimed in. Han swore, he had been reaching into his pocket for a credit chit to bribe the man.

"I have no idea what a Daggit is…" said the customs agent "But your witticism has bought you a visitation restriction. You are all to wear these bracelets for the duration of your time on this station. A simultaneous electrical charge will be issued to all three of you should you attempt to remove the bracelets, or be involved in any… unpleasantness on station." He looked at Han, "Maybe next time you'll think before bringing your little pet into a place meant for civilized people." He sauntered off, followed by his storm troopers.

“I told you to keep your mouth shut.” Han snapped, “He was just after a little insurance fee. “ he glared at the bracelet on his wrist. Starbuck picked at his and looked apologetic. Han closed the ramp leading into the Falcon and calibrated the security systems. As he did so, Starbuck took the opportunity to look around. Half a dozen other ships were parked in the landing bay, several being unloaded as he watched. He saw a variety of aliens he had never seen before, some green skinned, some blue, some with bulbous protruding eyes, some with what appeared to be tentacles growing from their heads. He even saw a fat slug like creature with a wide mouth float past on a hover platform that all but groaned under it’s bulk.

"What did he mean about the Cylons, what did they do?" asked Starbuck when he thought it was safe to test Han’s mood. Han keyed on the security system and lead Starbuck and Chewie out of the bay.

"During the war the rebellion allied themselves with the Cylons." Han explained testily, "Cylons had a problem with humans and the rebellion was mostly aliens who were sick of Imperial rule. It bit them in the end when the Cylons felt they had enough of a beach head they let it out that they were after all organic life. If the Vong hadn't shown up we might have had some real trouble from them, but as it was when they found themselves caught between the Vong and the restored Empire, the Cylons tried a scorched ground move, and burned several of their own planets. Kashyyk used to be overgrown with trees a thousand feet high, now there's nothing taller than a bush down there and Wookiees are few and far between." Han did not break stride as a pair of collared Bothans stepped aside resentfully. Starbuck shrugged apologetically.
Chewie gave a defiant roar.

"Sure Chewie, the bushes will grow and the Wookiees will return.” Han said rolling his eyes, “Still it’s a hell of a set back.”

“My people were nearly wiped out too Chewie.” Starbuck said empathetically to the Wookiee, “You can’t give up hope though.”

“Sure, sure, live in hope.” Said Han, “Except that with the losses you’re population has suffered, you’ll be extinct in about forty years unless you start producing offspring,” Chewie whuffled. “Yeah Chewie, lots. Lots and lots of offspring.”

"Do we really have to wear these?" Starbuck demanded holding up the bracelet. "it's a little embarrassing."

"Yeah you do look like kind of a fool." Said Han holding up a bracelet free hand, "Maybe someday I'll show you how to remove them without killing yourself..”

They made their way to a crowded cantina. Where the landing bay had been crowded with aliens, the interior levels of the station seemed nearly all human, almost none wearing bracelets as Starbuck did. It seemed most owners were unwilling to be shackled for their slaves. Starbuck was surprised to see a number of blue and green skinned humans milling about.

"Near humans became socially acceptable after they saved our bacon from the Vong and the Cylons." Han said, "In the old empire they were treated a little less kindly but it's a little hard to discriminate against the same race as your supreme ruler. Now the fellow we're about to meet is as smooth as they come so keep your mouth shut this time and let me do the talking. He’ as oily as a hutt."

"Han are you telling stories about me again?" bellowed a deep voice. Starbuck turned to regard a dark man with black oily hair and a neatly trimmed mustache saunter smoothly towards them. The man was dressed fashionably and wore a cape that reminded Starbuck of his colonial military dress uniform. "Lando Calrissian." The man introduced himself, "Don't listen to a thing this old pirate tells you, it wasn't me."

"Relax Lando, he doesn't have anything you want, you’re dealing with me." Said Han tiredly, "Lets get a table."

Lando eyed Starbuck shrewdly as they sat down, and Starbuck returned the favor. After a moment of sizing each other up, Han cleared his throat and looked expectantly at Lando. Lando straightened in his chair and put up a hand. A waitress immediately came over.

"First round's on me gentleman." After a moment he flicked a finger at Chewie, "Except for him of course, "
Han bristled, and Starbuck crossed his arms. Finally Lando relented and said "Fine get him whatever he wants." Chewie indicated that a filtered water would be fine. Starbuck appraised the exasperation evident in the tightness around Lando’s smile and concluded Chewier and Han knew what they were doing here. "So Boys, tell me you have what you promised."

"Oh we have that." Said Han archly, "And a quite a little bit more."

"A full shipment?" asked Lando incredulously, "Well I'll be damned, you're gonna make me rich Han old buddy, what’s this talk about more, how many crates we talking here?"

"Six crates, and more where they came from." Clarified Han, "But my new associate here tells me there is a lot more down there and he claims he can identify it and what it does."

"Really?" asked Lando doubtfully, "and who might you be? The last I heard the Empire's best scientists were picking apart Imperial city, which by all accounts is just a knockoff of the ruins of Coruscant."

"Well I'm no expert..." began Starbuck.

“Ah.” Han interjected pointing warningly at Starbuck, He relaxed, if anything slouching lower in his chair. He smiled at Lando, “Coruscant Lando? That’s a myth, I didn’t think you went in for all those old legends.”
Chewie batted his water over and it spilled across the table towards Lando. Lando jerked to the side and fumbled for a napkin.

“For kriffs sake you two knock it off.” He snapped irritably. “Fine fine, wherever you get your stock, what else did you find.”

" Look I told you about the Stargate right?" he said to Han who was looking at him cynically. "And the communications devices?" He pulled it out and handed it to Lando. Lando pondered it. “I’m something of an authority on devices like these.”

"I’m Lando Calrissan, I'm a wanted man. A few years back I deserted my post in the heat of battle, when my commanding officer ordered us to die a meaningless death. That man became Emperor, and I became an outcast. Someday the galaxy may forgive me, but first I have to forgive myself."

"Now I should warn you..." said Starbuck as Lando examined the odd stone, "It doesn't look like much, but right now it’s broadcasting your thoughts to a receiver in another galaxy. They used it as sort of a news program, you know? Send a correspondent of somewhere and it reports back." Lando dropped it on the table.

"You're telling me that thing can read my thoughts?" he demanded tensely

"Well sure, but what do you care about someone in another galaxy anyway?" asked Starbuck mildly, all the while gauging his reaction, "Besides someone else would have to have a compatible stone. More than that, it’s not initialized, they wouldn't process the signal consciously, they'd have to go to sleep, to them it would just be like a dream.. an impression."

"What good is that?" asked Lando laughing uneasily,

"Who'd want to dream about me?"

"Well..." said Starbuck taking the stone back, "No offense but I don't think it was designed just for.," he said putting up a hand as Lando shot him a dirty look,
"I'm sure your life is fascinating, anyway its low level unless you attach the stone to the relay and initialize it, then it's powerful enough to impose on a conscious receiver."

"Like mind control?" Lando asked stroking his chin,

“Body swapping.” Starbuck clarified, as Lando took on a devious look.

"Hey yeah I can see how that would fetch a profit..."

"Well.. this one's not for sale." said Starbuck, "But I'm sure there's more." he added quickly, at Lando’s look of disappointment "The governors and elders of each city would use them to stay in touch, hold conclaves, that kind of thing."

"Wait a minute why am I even listening to any of this?" Demanded Lando slapping the table, "Han its a fairy tale, how can he prove this?"

"Well..." said Han clearing his throat a little uncomfortably, "Chewie rigged the Falcons sensors and we found a micro hypercom signal transmitting from this little device. There’s a bigger one back at the ruins. Its on a really exotic band, we'd never have picked it up if he hadn't told us what to look for.

"So what?" demanded Lando, "That could be any kind of signal, doing who knows what?"

"That’s why I wouldn't let the big one near the falcon." said Han, he took the stone from Starbuck. "Starbuck had me hold onto this when I went to my bunk for the night and then I started having dreams. Weird, vivid dreams."

"Dreams?" asked Lando doubtfully, "What are you a Jedi?”

"You know I don't believe in any of that hokey stuff." said Han, " the thing is it was so vivid... so alien..." He leaned in, "Lando I dreamed for several nights about being a vid producer on a primitive alien world. They were in year 1983 Lando, that’s how backwards they were, their whole civilization has only been around for 2000 years! I was trying to launch this show, "Battlestar Galactica" and I couldn't get any support except through some religious group, I needed the break, I mean I had other shows, one about a talking land speeder, one about a flying device called a "Helicopter"... really outlandish stuff Lando, but I was THERE."

"Once he had enough of Glen's life, he gave me the stone back." said Starbuck wryly, "It keys to whoever touched it last. I know it’s broadcasting, but I need my story to be told for my own reasons."

Lando gave him a completely befuddled look.“I don’t even know what to make of that.” He said at last, "So what do you want from me?" he demanded, "I can sell those drones to my friend at military supply, I might have a friend or two in the communications industry..."

"No Lando, we want more than that." said Han, "We want wookiees."
"Wookiees?" Demanded Lando, "Whatever for?"

"This is a big job Lando, that place needs to be excavated, artifacts catalogued, and who can we trust with something like this?" demanded Han, "Nobody will miss a crew of wookiees and some equipment."

"You would trust a crew of wookiees?" asked Lando skeptically, "No offense Chewie, but government regulations don't allow congregation of more than three in any one place."

"Thrawn is trying to depopulate them out of existence." said Han, revealing his hand at last."The Wookiees know this whole terraform project is an act, with these regulations, their population will never recover from the bombardment. That’s why I know I can trust them Lando, they need this." Starbuck looked at Han with new eyes and Chewie was watching him with something akin to awe.

“Han ol’ buddy, either you are the most courageous altruist I’ve ever met, or you are the most manipulative son of a bitch I’ve ever laid eyes on.” Said Lando after a moment. Starbuck suspected Han was hoping for a chance to be the former but willing to settle to be the latter. "How many are we talking about here?"

Han sat back and grinned at Chewie, "Lots."
Last edited by Themightytom on 2011-11-19 02:30am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Hand Of The Devil 11-08-201

Postby Crayz9000 » 2011-11-18 05:30pm

If you have a code editor such as Notepad++, you can copy and paste the file out of Word into Notepad++ and then do a search and replace for the tabs to change them to line breaks.

In gedit (Linux) I just search for \n\t (carriage return followed by tab) and replace with \n\n (two carriage returns). Much faster than manually spacing out the entire file.

Walls of text are just painful to read.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Hand Of The Devil 11-08-201

Postby Themightytom » 2011-11-19 12:05am

Crayz9000 wrote:If you have a code editor such as Notepad++, you can copy and paste the file out of Word into Notepad++ and then do a search and replace for the tabs to change them to line breaks.

In gedit (Linux) I just search for \n\t (carriage return followed by tab) and replace with \n\n (two carriage returns). Much faster than manually spacing out the entire file.

Walls of text are just painful to read.

Thanks for the feedback Crazy, I will update it before the end of the night. I didn't think it would look as bad as it ended up looking, but I wasn't sure if it was just my browser settings.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (11-18-2011)

Postby Themightytom » 2011-12-05 05:16pm

Chapter 4: Deals In Space
Chapter 3
"I was cast out by fools who thought I had nothing to offer. They had no idea what riches I really have. I'll show them, I'll show them what its all really about. My name is Starbuck and I'm here to save the universe."
It has been over a month since I gave up ascension, I haven't regretted it for one minute. Free of the shackles of dull minds, free of their watchful presence. I'm a man of action, and there's a war on, I should never have given up my humanity.
With corporeal existence comes once more a flood of emotions, I had to get used to that. I was on autopilot when I first arrived, taking up the old role like putting on an old pair of shoes, but its starting to hit home, I FEEL again! My perceptions are colored once more by worry and doubt and desire. More than anything else I worry., one nagging question has begun to rise among all others.

What happened to Adama?

"This is a good guy." Slurred Lando, draping an arm over Han's shoulders. "Chewies a good guy too, only…" he leaned over the table towards Starbuck and winked, "he's not a guy. He's… a it! No offense, It." He said apologetically to Chewie who pointedly crossed his furry arms and looked at the ceiling."

"Lando I think you need to take it easy." Said Starbuck casting the man a look of discomfiture, "Tell you what, lets get something to eat. Its on me." He beckoned an exasperated waitress over. She shot a wary glance at Lando but at approached at Starbuck's insistent gestures. "Miss I'm afraid I'm new to these parts, but we're all a little hungry, what do you recommend for my friend here?" he said putting all the charm he could muster into his request.
"A backbone and some self respect." quipped the waitress without missing a beat..

"Hey, sweetie." said Lando, doing his best to enunciate the word to inject seriousness., "I'm Lando Calrissian! Lando Calrissian! Right kriffing here! Two thumbs, and a face!" he jerked two thumbs towards his face and beamed. "Calrissian doesn't need self respect, self respect needs Calrissian!"

"Lando Calrissian doesn't do pushups on Kashyyk," added a new voice, "He pushes Kashyyk DOWN."

"Wedge!" Lando slurred greeted enthusiastically, he rose forward smashing his head into the low hanging lamp above them, which began to swing wildly. Wedge reached out and caught it. Han gingerly removed Lando's sweaty arm from his shoulders and, free of his support, Lando sank to the table burying his head in his hands. "What took you so long?"

Ignoring Lando's antics, Wedge addressed the waitress, "Just bring us some nerf crisps, it’s on me." He assured Starbucks who was now eyeing him curiously.

"So Wedge was it? I gather you're the man we've been waiting for." Said Starbuck as Wedge dragged a chair up to their corner booth, shooting a glance at Han who nodded. "You got a line on a ship and some workers?"

"That would be me." Said Wedge, "Not many people have needs as… specific as yours." He said "So I'm a little curious why you wouldn't just put out a call for work."

"Well we want this to be a little bit… discrete." Clarified Han, "Word gets out too quickly you know people might get the wrong idea. The empire watches nonhuman activity like a hawkbat, since the Cylon war, and we need to move a little quickly if you know what I mean."

"I really don't." replied Wedge, "But Lando's message was pretty specific, and I think I have what you're looking for. I can have everything you need by the end of the month."

"That's too long." Said Starbuck, "This is a side venture for me, I need the capitol, but I also need to get things done."

"Best I can do." Said Wedge apologetically, "My contacts are committed elsewhere."

"Than un-commit them." Starbuck suggested, "I'm sure Lando explained that this was worth the effort."

"Lando said it 'Might' be something." Said Wedge, "He doesn't look like he's in any condition to provide any clarification, so why don't you fill me in a little more."

"Well.." began Starbuck, but the waitress had arrived. She placed a plate of some deep fried substance before the skeptical Starbuck. Han reached out and grabbed a handful. Starbuck suddenly noticed Han used his left hand to do so, and that his right hand, though seemingly relaxed, was hidden below the table. The hairs on the back of his neck began to rise. He scrutinized Wedge and the man returned his gaze unflinchingly. Starbuck recognized a soldier when he saw one, and he suddenly made a connection.

"You're either military or ex-military." He observed, "Fighter pilot am I right?" Wedge tensed suddenly.

"I thought I recognized you." He said to Han. "You were on Yavin with that kid and General Kenobi."

"You're part of the rebel alliance." Han gritted, "And a traitor."

The distinctive Zing of a ZatNicketel opening drew Han's attention. Starbuck, had adopted a similar position, but to Han's chagrin, he couldn't tell who Starbuck had his Zat pointed at. Wedge for his part kept his hands on the table. He deliberately grabbed a handful of nerf tips.

"I thought you worked with this guy before?" Starbuck said confused.

"i worked with Lando." Han clarified and turned pointedly at the slumped form beside him. "And sometimes I don't ask enough questions. Tell me why I don't blast you now and claim the reward, Rebel Scum."

"We're not scum." Wedge said quietly, "We just wanted freedom for all sentient life.. The Cylons betrayed us."

"I'm sure the Wookiees below understand completely." Snapped Han, Chewie growled softly. Han's eyes flicked to him, "You what?"

"he said he believes us.” Wedge said, “He knows we were here too when the Cylons came for Kashyyk, only we didn’t leave before they got here. The Empire considered Kashyyk an acceptable loss, and in fact evacuated forces they knew they would lose. We came in and did our best to hold the line, but against 20 upgraded base stars…”

"First I've heard of it." Han scoffed, but now the wheels in his head were turning. It wasn't a state secret that the imperial information network wasn't always on the up and up, and if Chewie knew about this… Han shook his head and slumped for real this time, his hand falling from his blaster. “I’ll be a son of a gundark… you upgraded those Cylon base stars didn’t you, how many ships did you lose to them? Ten? Twenty?” he eyed Wedge with new understanding.

“More than we could afford to, given our war with the Empire, and the Vong encroaching on our territory.” Wedge conceded, “It was one of the turning points of the war, though you’d never know it from the way the Empire writes the history books. “

“and I’m supposed to believe… what, that Thrawn orchestrated the whole thing? He got you in bed with the Cylons I suppose so you’d tear each other apart?” Han asked, the idea was surprisingly plausible, given Thrawn’s reputation.

“How do you think I can lay hands on a boatload of wookiees so quickly?" Wedge asked carefully, "They were evacuated. We lost a lot of good men, and probably any chance of defeating the empire, fighting a holding action we knew would fail. The record speaks for itself Han, one minute we're a threat the next we're gone. We decided our war plans weren't worth sacrificing a planet full of innocent civilians. Can your empire say the same?"

"Alright I hate politics," Han said at last. His right hand reappeared after a moment as he leaned forward to grab his drink.. Starbuck did likewise after a moment. "So this crew of yours…"

"We can have them here in a few days." Wedge assured, turning to Starbuck, "If you found what I think you have it might be a chance for us to play a little catch up."

"Right." Said Starbuck cautiously taking the lead in the conversation “maybe during the war you didn't have some of the same.. opportunities as the Empire, you're looking to level the playing field."

"We have plenty of financial resources." Wedge said turning to Han, "You'll be well paid, but we need to get there and take what we can before Thrawn figures out what is going on."

"Lets discuss this somewhere a little more private." Said Han glancing coolly around the cantina, "Throw too many of the wrong words around in public and people might start getting the wrong idea you know? Chewie help Lando up."

"Seems a bit out of character for Calrissian to go belly up so early." Sid Wedge, "How many's he had?"

"That's his fifth." Said Han, nodding towards the tall nearly untouched cocktail, "It is a bit strange I think something's eating him." Han casually tossed some coin onto the table, and Wedge did likewise. Starbuck rose and followed the two men out the door. The waitress moved in to collect the tab and glanced over her shoulder. She froze for an instant, and shook herself. She chided herself, as for a second she had thought she saw Calrissian crack an eye open, more than that she had thought she saw the eye flash yellow for a brief moment. Glancing again she saw him limp upon the Wookiee's shoulder and convinced herself it must have been the light.
* * *
Chewie sitting in the copilot’s seat of the Falcon typing away while Starbuck sat in the copilot’s chair adjusting a power modulator. He applied it to the bracelet, and with a spark, it shorted out. Starbuck began to pry it off just as Han entered. He sauntered casually over to them with a smirk on his face.

"Deal's all set, in fact we might be able to deliver one of your conditions early." Han said, "Wedge was pretty impressed when I showed him that stone ring of yours. The Rebels are taking this seriously enough that they want to send one of their last frigates to Coruscant with us. A frigate has a reactor which would meet your power requirements and if it does what it says, well after you're done with it, the rebellion is very interested. "

"You sure you'd want to just let go of it?" Starbuck asked, "You set a Stargate up right, you can make enough to save some serious capitol."

"Oh I'll be selling it for some serious capitol." Said Han, "Somehow though I don't have the desire to either saddle myself with a rebellion that's already gotten its ass whooped, nor do I find the idea of building a base around a planet killing explosive appealing."

Starbuck had explained that the Star gate had an enormous storage capacity, Han had immediately asked what would happen if that capacity was exceeded and the answer had prompted him to declare that under no circumstances would it be activated in proximity to the falcon. He had however, been sure to pitch that aspect to Wedge. Unspoken was the implication that properly smuggled aboard, an exploding Stargate could be one of the few things that could take out a death star.

Wedge had not been particularly intent on that aspect however, Wedge had candidly explained that the rebellion needed access to technologies that Thrawn's government still controlled rigidly. Military grade shields and hyper drives that now incorporated advanced technology from Imperial city now lacked many of the traditional weaknesses of Galactic technology. Rebel ships once on part with imperial craft were now at a severe tactical disadvantage which compounded the disparity between levels of manpower and equipment between the two rivals.

"Wedge seemed grimly interested in particular, with the intergalactic transport possibilities." Said Han, "I have a feeling the Rebellion sees the writing on the wall, and given the opportunity would seriously consider a complete withdrawal."

"Well the universe is a big place." Said Starbuck, "I could probably suggest a safe harbor or two to check out…"

"For a finder's fee." Han finished for him, "And of course a management fee for myself."

"Well Chewie's been telling me a little bit more about this rebellion, and I'm not so sure I want to bankrupt these guys to line my own pockets you know?" admitted Starbuck. Han focused on the terminal Chewie was working on.

"Now I know you're not foolish enough to be looking up the Rebel alliance." He began.

"No no, nothing like that." Answered Starbuck, "I'm looking up some old friends of mine, one in particular."
"Under myths and legends?" Han asked idling up beside the Wookiee. “What’s an “Adama?”

"Well I'll just keep that part to myself for now." Said Starbuck, "You'd probably think I was crazy anyway, but rest assured Han, if it was anything I thought would even remotely put you guys in danger, I would come clean in an instant."

Han held his tongue. Starbuck's story obviously didn't add up. He claimed to come from a galaxy far away, where his people had been exterminated by the Cylons, yet everyone knew the Cylons, and the wraith, unlike the goa'uld and the Vong weren't FROM another galaxy, there had been legends of a great war between them millions of years ago. The official story was that the Rebellion had found and reactivated derelict cylons before being betrayed, sort of a deal with the devil gone sour. Starbuck also slipped up on occasions such as now, and made references to people and places that had long ago vanished into legend.

"You know…" he said cagily, "I'm sure this has nothing to do with what you are looking for but that Adama character…I was doing a little checking of my own into the legends of Coruscant, and they did mention an Adama,.."
Chewie gave a startled bark of realization.

"That's what you were thinking of huh big guy?" said Starbuck sourly. He patted the Wookiee, "Don't worry you'd have remembered sooner or later."

"Well it was just a line in a poem but someone or something was going to go looking for the Exile of Dagobah." Said Han,

"Interesting coincidence though that was the home world of the Goa'uld wasn't it? Nothing but rubble now."

"Where exactly is this Dagobah?" asked Starbuck.

"Opposite side of the galaxy, " said Han, "More than that it was the, it was the stronghold of Anubis, What's it worth to go there?"

Starbuck weighed his options for a moment. "never mind," he said at last, "It could just be a wild goose chase."

"What's a goose?" demanded Wedge coming up the corridor, "Han your fresher needs an overhaul."

"I'll add that to your bill." Said Han snidely.

"Starbuck, that gateway of yours can it go anywhere in the galaxy?" asked Wedge.

"If we can rig up an interface and there's a receiving gate, then sure." Said Starbuck, "Say that gives me an idea, how do you guys feel like running a little test."

"Not on my ship." Warned Han

"Well no, its crammed in the hold so tight it would blast a hole in floor." Said Starbuck, "But once Wedge's friends come around we can fire it up in a cargo hold or something. If there's a gate on Dagobah, maybe I can take my trip without any delay."

"Where's Lando?" Han asked suddenly.

"That's why your fresher will need to be overhauled." Answered Wedge apologetically, "He went in after me. Anyway why don't I hitch a ride with you guys to the rendevouz point, Starbuck can show us how that giant ring works."

Han debated it for a moment and then sighed.

"Fine give me the coordinates, and then everyone get out." He commanded, "I'm getting a little tired of all of these partners."

After Starbuck and Wedge had left Han checked to be sure they were gone and turned to Chewie.

"you're getting awfully chummy with that Starbuck fellow." He accused, "And what's this about you having ties to the rebels?"

Chewie clarified he did not have "Ties" any more than Han did. Starbuck seemed like a surprisingly decent Human but there seemed to be a lot he wasn't telling. Chewie had decided to balance Han's suspicion out by displaying trust in Starbuck.

"A little good cop bad cop eh Chewie?" snickered Han, he began running a pre flight check on the falcon. Chewie opened his mouth to disagree and clarify but at the last moment thought better of it. Han turned back to him. "Listen Chewie, its always been just you and me. All these partners are making me nervous, things didn't go so well last time. I want to rig up a little insurance so we can make a clean get away if we need to."

Chewie whufled an agreement, and than said something else. Han shifted uncomfortably.

“Don’t go thinking I’m a softy for that.” Han jabbed a finger in his face. “I ain’t sticking my neck out for anyone ever again. Making the wookiees part of the deal happened to be on the way to where I was going, that’s all.”
Chewie replied softly. Han fiddled with the control.

“Nah.” Said Han gruffly, “She’d still have thought I was a scoundrel.” He sighed, Who knows though, maybe where ever she is…” he caught himself, “hey enough of that kind of talk, watch that starboard stabilizer, it’s looking a little twitchy,”
Chewie adjusted the controls before him while Han stared out into the swirls of hyperspace and lapsed into silence.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (12-08-2011)

Postby Themightytom » 2011-12-09 02:47pm

Chapter 4

"I was cast out by fools who thought I had nothing to offer. They had no idea what riches I really have.

"We're waiting for the rebels to arrive. Our business partner Lando seems resolved to make this happen. I was looking for a little cash to grease the wheels, maybe set myself up with the resources I need but the more Wedge tells me about this rebellion the more I think maybe there is something to this.

Han has a low opinion of their hopes for success. Outdated ships limited resources on the run from an implacable foe, kind of rings a bell. My mission is to stop iblis and find Athena, but who knows.. maybe along the way I can help out a few kindred spirits.

The thing is, there's something odd about Lando, one minute hes a smooth oily shark in the water the next is an unstable volatile mess. Wedge tells me he's been through some terrible things, things that can make a man question his purpose, his direction. I've been through some terrible things to, and still I know two things.

My name is Starbuck and I'm here to save the universe."

"Hey don't glare at me you kriffing throwback!" Lando protested, "it was a perfectly legal move!"

Chewie roared insulted and Lando put a palm to his temple.

"Han would you control your property?" demanded Lando, "Someone should have it put down."

"Them and what army?" Starbuck snapped angrily. He rose from his chair and grabbed Lando by the collar and dragged him away from the holographic table, "Don't worry Chewie I'll take care of your light work."

"Get your hands off me you punk!" Lando struggled, "I don't have to take that abuse from a…"

"Lando one more word out of you and I will throw you in an escape pod myself and blast you back to Kashyyk." Roared Han entering the lounge. "What is the matter with you?"

"I don't know what I'm doing!" cried Lando grabbing his head again, "This blasted hangover!"

"Easy everyone easy." Wedge attempted to intervene, "lets just go back to our corners here. Han, Chewie, we'll take care of him."

"Your rebel buddies will be here within the hour." Han snapped, "When they get here, I want him off my ship and out of my sight." He stalked off angrily and with a glare at Lando Chewie followed him.

"Buddy, I like a stiff drink myself sometimes." Said Starbuck, as he and Wedge muscled Lando into a closet sized bunk room.

"But you might want to take it easy. Chewie was going to take you apart, and I don't think even the three of us could have stopped him."

"I don't know where that came from." Said Lando shaking his head in confusion, Lando sank down onto the bunk and looked up dejectedly" I've known Chewie for a long time, I really don’t know…" He looked up at Starbuck with bloodshot eyes, "I'm really losing it."

Wedge and Starbuck exchanged an uncomfortable glance.

"Hey easy!” Said Starbuck encouragingly, “you woke up drunk it doesn't make you a monster. To be honest, I think Chewie was being a bit of a spoilsport, although suggesting he put down was a bit out of line."

"Just sleep it off buddy." Said Wedge stolidly, "And stow that anti Alien rhetoric before you board the Redemption or things won't go well."

"Right." Said Lando in a tired voice… "Just sleep it off." He sank down and Starbuck and Wedge left him.

"That guy’s playing a couple cards short of a deck." Said Starbuck Wedge stopped him.

"Lando was a prisoner of the Cylons, when they took Corellia and then later the Vong when they shaped it.” Wedge said reluctantly in Lando’s defense. “Thrawn turned that place into a sinkhole and got both sides fighting over it. Not many people made it out of there and those who did…"

"The cylons can be nasty customers, and these Vong…" Starbuck shuddered, "I'm just glad I never ran into them. "

"The Cylons…" mused Wedge bitterly, "That was our illustrious leader's idea, many of us were against it. He had a falling out with the leadership and went off on his own. He came back after the Goa'uld were on the move talking about seizing the initiative, it seems he stumbled across a fleet of inert base stars from an ancient war. He started turning them all back on and from there it was either go along or get run over."

"You must have had previous records from the first Cylon wars." Said Starbuck, "How could you have thought you could trust them?"

"Trust never entered into it Starbuck!." Wedge said candidly, "We've used droids for years, we didn't think we were trusting the Cylons, we thought we were controlling them. Sure we had old legends and fairy tales but we thought they were just droids! During the clone wars the battle droids were what everyone remembered but it was the trade federation controlling them. We figured the Cylons were cannon fodder at a time when we needed something to throw at the Empire. It made perfect tactical sense given what we knew, we were assured the Cylons were under control, it just never occurred to us that bel Iblis was lying."

"What?" demanded Starbuck whirling, "What did you say?" he gripped Wedge by the shoulders, "Iblis?"

"General Garm Bel Iblis, " replied Wedge shaking him off, taken aback by the man’s sudden interest, "He led our forces, found the cylons!"

"Lords of kobol!” Starbuck gasped staggered by the implications, “Where is he now?”

"Long dead." Replied Wedge, "The Vong threw everything they had him from the moment they set foot in this galaxy, they hunted him all the way to the maw and Thrawn blew half their fleet to hell, and took most of the Cylons with them. Seems the empire had a secret base in there nobody knew about."

"Iblis hasn't been seen since?" Starbuck pressed, "No rumors of survival? Nothing?"

"Nobody survives a supernova." Wedge asserted, "There was no way he.." Suddenly the falcon rocked and a furious Wookiee exploded into the lounge demanding to know who had sent a signal. Bowling the two men aside he ripped open the door to the bunkroom.

"Imperial fighters from the surface are coming in fast!" came Han's voice over the intercom, "Someone better get in those turrets real fast!"

With a roar of surprise Chewie was hurled backwards out of Lando's room. Wedge gaped openly as Starbuck whirled in surprise. Lando strode out of the room his eyes flashing, literally.

"Quel nek Kekk." He declared imperiously. As Wedge moved to stop him he backhanded the man across the lounge. Starbuck grabbed one of Lando's arms and found an arm snap like a vice around his throat. He felt himself lifted up as he tried to pry apart steel fingers. He clutched at the Zat he carried at his side but the Gao'uld tore it from his grasp and discarded it.

Wedge kicked back to his feet and grabbed a chair that had broken loose in the scuffle. As he swung it Lando caught it contemptuously and still holding Starbuck crashed the chair against Wedge's head. Spots exploded before Starbucks eyes until suddenly a wall of fur interposed itself. Chewie roared louder and deeper than Starbuck had ever heard him and savagely backhanded Lando.

Landing atop Wedge's still form, the Goa'uld blinked and shook his head and than tore the blaster from Wedge's belt. Leveling it on Chewie he snickered.

"Animal." He spat but as he prepared to pull the trigger Starbuck let fly a burst from the Zat he had retained in the scuffle. With a cry of rage the Goa'uld sank to the floor as the Falcon shuddered again. Without missing a beat, Chewie began to rummage through Lando's pockets until he found at last, a comlink. He slapped it against a wall and a flattened smear shedding crumbs of pulverized electronics slid to the floor the wookiee rounded on Lando’s prone form.

“Chewie wait!” Starbuck shouted, “He’s a Goa’uld! It isn’t Lando, it’s a Goa’uld!” Even incensed the wookiee hesitated, “We can still save Lando Chewie, it’s not his fault!”

"What's going back there Chewie? They’re all over me!" Shouted Han irritation thinly masking genuine concern. Chewie shook his head

Hissing at Lando's still form Chewie scooped it up and threw him bodily into one of the escape pods. Tearing the inside door panel from the wall, the wookiee dumped it unceremoniously on top of the Goa'uld. Slapping the outer door controls he sealed Lando in, declaring to Starbuck, there would be time for discussion later. Chewie hurdled off down the corridor to the guns. Starbuck staggered over to Wedge as the Falcon bucked wildly, thinking he would not want to be the Goa'uld during that discussion.

"Easy there big guy." Starbuck warned, "You took a hell of a beating, why didn't you just shoot him?"

'Lando's still in there." Said Wedge smiling faintly, "Besides I could have missed…"

".. and hit me." Finished Starbuck sadly, "Hey I'll take my chances next time alright?"

"Not you…" said Wedge laughing weakly, "if I hit Chewie he'd have REALLY gotten mad."

Starbuck blinked and then started to grin,. before he could say anything Han shouted, "Chewie what the hell are you doing up there alone, get Wedge or Lando in those guns!" Starbuck looked towards the irate voice. The lights flickered and Starbuck could smell something burning.

"There’s no time Starbuck, help them, its over for me." Said Wedge weakly, "I can't breathe, I think I punctured a lung and I feel cold…"

"No more of that." Warned Starbuck, "I need to concentrate, you see I might just have a few tricks up my sleeve…." He closed his eyes. He laid his hands over Wedge's battered form and pressing his tongue to the top of his mouth, he inhaled deep through the nose. As his stomach inflated it was as though a circuit had been completed. He felt energy building within him, through his hands he felt, ever so faintly from Wedge, the rhythm life. Dropping his tongue and exhaling, the energy began to discharge, and Starbuck focused it through his hands.

For his part Wedge became suddenly aware of a force permeating his body. He felt frozen in place as a warmth spread through him. His body seized by a deep and resonant power. Starbuck knelt over him breathing deeply, his brow knit in concentration and then it was over, suddenly, and Wedge gasped. Sensation flew back onto him and awareness snapped clear. Wedge inhaled experimentally, the pain was gone. He flexed his arms, and propped himself up as Starbuck leaned back to one side to catch his breath.

"Thanks for the lessons Cassie." He muttered to himself as Wedge patted his ribs down in amazement. He looked back up at Starbuck who still seemed out of sorts.

"You are jedi." He said amazed, "I’ve heard stories of what they could do, I thought they were all gone."

"I'm not a Jedi." Said Starbuck tiredly, "I’m something else entirely.” He roused himself and clapped Wedge on the shoulder, "We better get to those guns pal, if we don't chase off those fighters I have a feeling none of this is going to matter."
"You ever used a quad laser before?" Wedge asked vaulting to his feet.

"No like these, but I’ve fired a laser or two in my time, and judging by those growls I might have a little more luck than Chewie." Said Starbuck, "I didn't think he could even fit in there.”

Han let fly a string of curses that would make a Hutt blush as he flipped the Falcon end over end. Fast as she was, the Falcon didn't have the maneuverability of a TIE fighter, and they constantly peppered the battered freighter with fire. The deflector shield was all but gone and Han, half it’s systems were damaged and couldn't spare the attention to reroute it, He concentrated on extricating his ship from their formation and presenting the slimmest profile. A burst of sparks heralded the demise of his navicomputer as feedback surged through the system.

"Where in blazes are you guys?" he demanded, a single bolt of plasma shot past the canopy into the path of a fighter angling for a shot. Plowing into the barrage the fighter exploded and Han shielded his eyes cursing at how close he’d just come to death.

"I got him! I got him!" he heard Starbuck exclaim

"Where'd that guy learn to shoot?" Han demanded as Chewie came up behind him. Two more fighters exploded above, victims to the same conservative, but uncannily accurate fire, and Wedge clipped one below. It spun off into space engines flaming. "never mind, get on that deflector and see what you can do with it."

As another pair of fighters were blasted out of existence Han whistled, "That guy's a natural, see that Chewie, we might just make it out of this."

The remaining seven fighters were pulling back and regrouping and the Falcon limped from the engagement. Its engines flickering dangerously, with sparks running along the hull, the TIE fighters had certainly crippled it, but as its guns had come alive, it had suddenly put up a formidable defense.

“Hey Han, this turret’s damaged.” Starbuck advised him, the comm. system suddenly coming alive, “I can hardly get a shot off.”

“You seem to be doing alright.” Han snapped back, “Besides this isn’t a great time for a spacewalk.” Chewie growled something "I know, I don't like this." Muttered Han, "They wouldn't pull back unless they knew…" Suddenly a massive triangular shape snapped into view overhead.

"Frak me!" Starbuck could be heard exclaiming.

"We're caught in a tractor beam." Han announced, "Engines are shot, but they're not getting me without a fight."
"Wait!" Shouted Starbuck, "There are other alternatives to fighting!"

"What did you have in mind, hiding?" Demanded Han, "I’ve got smuggling compartments, but that’d be a little hard to pull off since they'll be wondering who'd been fighting back."

"Unidentified freighter, this is the Imposer." An authoritative voice declared over the comm., "Heave too and prepare to be boarded. You are under arrest for firing on an imperial escort, your ship will be impounded and your cargo is forfeit."
"They must be after the stargate." Starbuck surmises "Lando had a comlink on him, he tried to take on the three of us, and he was shouting in the Goa'uld language. He must have told them what we had on board."

Chewie expressed doubt that the empire would be in league with the Goa'uld and Han had to agree, Palpatine had pretty much institutionalized the concept of human superiority and anti alien prejudice, to that ideal, the Goa'uld were anathema. Thrawn seemed more reluctant to waste a potential resource but his actions during the war had demonstrated he viewed the Goa'uld as a threat, and having all but eradicated them it was hard to believe he would permit them as agents.

"it doesn’t matter what they’re after, or why. The hyperdrive's down, even if we dump the cargo we can't escape." Said Han, "I hate to do it, but we may have one more chance, you said you could manually dial that thing?"

"If I had coordinates and a power supply…" Starbuck protested, "I'd need Wedge and Chewie's help, Han it would take too long!"

"Leave that to me." Said Han flipping the comm. and motioning Chewie to go. As the Wookiee left, Han pitched his voice and protested

"Sir, the captain of the Millennium Falcon is asking to speak with you." Reported the comm. officer, "He attempted to use a false ID and claimed the patrol didn't issue a warning, he thought they were pirates. He's demanding to speak to the captain."

"As if." Snorted Commander Niel peering over the scanner operator's shoulder at the battered freighter's image. "After Thrawn's crackdown there haven't been pirates in this sector for months. Check with the flight commander to be sure."
"Already downloaded his comm. logs sir." Replied the officer, "He did in fact fail to issue a warning."

"No matter, the ships are clearly marked, and Imperial design." Replied the commander swallowing, "We won't bother the captain with it. This fool has attacked an Imperial inspection team and killed several loyal soldiers of the Empire and he will pay for it.”

"I'm afraid he insists sir on speaking to the captain sir, he claims there is sensitive cargo on board that will be damaged if he is not permitted to speak to the captain, shall I jam the channel sir?" asked the officer hopefully, he was growing weary of the ranting captain on the other line, and all too aware that the breach in military protocol would reflect poorly on them all.

"He's fighting the tractor beam sir." Reported the scanner chief, "His engines are heavily damaged, if he keeps that up his engines will blow."

"This is Commander Neil of the imperial Star Destroyer Imposer." Declared Neil thumbing a switch, "Cease your efforts to resist lawful detainment, you have violated imperial law and you will be held accountable. If your engines do not shut down in ten seconds we will disable your ship with an ion bolt, and as you know, ion surges can be quite… hazardous…" he leered with the implications. Overloading power surges could cause horrific burns among the crew, some of the older ships would lose life support or artificial gravity. "Target that ship with the nearest cannon." He ordered his senior gunner.
"You might want to think twice about that." Came a belligerent reply from the Falcon, "You hit us with an Ion bolt and we could lose containment, or are you unfamiliar with drone technology?"

Commander Neil blinked. "An obvious bluff sir, no civilian craft carries drone weapons."

"Right, why do you think we were so jumpy about pirates?” Demanded the other ships captain, "We are civilian contractors on an important secret mission, and somebody screwed up, don’t believe me? Scan our cargo bay."

Commander Neil prepared to issue a reply, when he felt a hand on his shoulder and froze.
* * *
"They're not releasing the tractor beam, but they're not pulling us any closer." Han reported over the intercom, "Make it snappy Chewie."

"One more symbol!" shouted Starbuck grunting. He, Chewie and Wedge were dragging the inner ring
of the Stargate to the final position, "Watch your hands everyone, when the seventh chevron locks, get the Frak out of the way or you'll be vaporized by the formation of the event horizon. Han you better get down here quick. The Stargate may compromise the lower hull, the Falcon could fall apart real fast."

"I'm coming, I'm coming!" shouted Han, with a reluctant sigh and one last glance around the cockpit he leaped out of his seat and was off. As he ran his headset crackled to life.

"This is Captain Tarrs of the Star Destroyer Imposer, We have orders from fleet intelligence to detain your ship, we have checked your story and it is an obvious trick, so give me one good reason why I shouldn't blow your ship out of the sky and be done with it."

Entering the cramped hold Han threw the headset to the floor muttering, "…don't have time for pleasant conversation anyway. Starbuck, tell me that thing works!"

"You got it." Said Starbuck, sliding the ring the last few inches and stepping back as the chevron locked, "Watch this."
Nothing happened.

"Watch what?" demanded Han. Chewie roared.

"The address is what you told me! You got your coordinates wrong!" Starbuck protested. Han dove for the headset on the ground

"…to whatever gods you pray to because you’re about to meet them." Declared captain Tarrs, "Fire at w…"
"Wait!" Han screamed, "You damaged our comm. systems We fixed it."

"How convenient." Replied the captain drolly, "What was it you needed to discuss sir."

Han shot daggers at Starbuck and Chewie who were engrossed in an argument and shot a look at Wedge who shrugged helplessly.

"Listen, we uh… we have a shipment of drones on board and they sort of fell into contact with a live conduit, they could be charged, we don't think you should bring us aboard until we can jettison them."

"We're sending a demolitions team over." Replied the captain, "When this is over, you and I will have a very long chat sir."
"Right over and out." Replied Han glumly. "What the kriff?" he demanded as Starbuck and Chewie began to push the ring once more.

"Corellia didn't work, we're going to have to dial the coordinates for Imperial city." Replied Starbuck, "Its only other place there might be a gate in this galaxy, and there definitely isn't enough power here to dial another galaxy. Nice trick attaching that drone to the power supply by the way, were you going to tell us about that or just kill us all?"
"I needed an insurance policy, and that little trick just bought us some time." Han snapped, then his eyes caught the drone in question, "You disconnected it?" he cried aghast.

"We needed the power for the star gate." Starbuck snapped as the first chevron locked, "We figured we'd be out of here before it became unstable."

"Well we're NOT…" Han shouted stalking over to the drone, it hummed ominously. "Wedge get over here and help we with this thing."

"You want me to touch it are you nuts?"

"if it blows in here we’re all dead anyway.” Han snapped, “We have to get it to one of the airlocks before it…” Suddenly inspiration struck, “Hold off on that countdown Starbuck I just may have an idea!” he turned to Wedge, “We jettison out the top side airlock and it’ll be caught up in their tractor beam.”

"They'll either suck it up or cut power to the beam, buying us more time." Wedge finished nodding, gingerly, he lifted the drone as Han led the way.

Moments later the hatch on the top of the falcon opened and with a rush of air the drone floated out and was caught up in the tractor beam. It accelerated up the beam towards the projector and as the operator frantically deactivated the tractor beam, the drone exploded halfway into the bay. Through luck or providence the shuttle carrying the demolitions team was at that moment exiting the launch bay, its crew having boarded and launched with due haste and efficiency.
The explosion beneath him causing him to panic, the shuttle pilot jerked up on the stick smashing the shuttle into the ceiling of the hanger. The ensuing explosion triggered secondary explosions among the TIE Fighters hanging in neat rows above prepared for deployment.

"Chewie stop messing with that thing and reset the navicomp." Han shouted, squiting through the tiny porthole, "That power surge should have been dissipated by now. Starbuck and Wedge back to your guns, all hell is breaking loose up there." He patted the bulkhead affectionately, “Looks like this ship ain’t done yet.”

He settled back into his seat and jerked the Falcon into a slow spin. Despite the likely distraction of the carnage in the launch bay, the Imposer's crew was targeting the Falcon. Luckily for the crew of the Millenium Falcon however, the time spent in the tractor beam with its engines powered down and provided plenty of time for the shields to recharge. Han noted with satisfaction as Starbuck shot a turbo laser turret out , and then another, Wedge began pouring fire into the launch bay hoping to capitalize on the chaos. With minimum profile presented to the star destroyer and a good angle for both turrets the Falcon began to corkscrew down and away in retreat.

Chewie reported the Navi comp could be reset and rebooted in just a few moments and Han was beginning to think they might just have that long.

"I should never have doubted you baby, forgive me?" he implored ship humming around him. A sound behind him gave him half a seconds warning and he dove into Chewie's seat as a blaster bolt exploded into the flight controls. In a smooth motion he drew his blaster and shot the figure looming in the hallway recognizing only belatedly that it was Lando. Chewie came running at the sound and roared in rage at the still form.

"Easy Chewie I'm ok." Han replied, but he glanced back at the smoking ruins of the controls, "We can still use the back ups, but we're really starting to push our luck here. Tie that clown up, I can see he's still breathing, make sure he doesn't get out this time."

For the second time in an hour Chewie hefted Lando and headed for an airlock.

The Falcon shuddered mightily and Han returned to piloting, now from Chewie's controls. Han’s hopes fell once more. During the distraction the Imposer had managed to orient its nose at the falcon.. All efforts to take the ship intact abandoned, Han found himself staring down the barrels of a lot of guns.

"I have a bad feeling about this." He said at last as a virtual storm of turbo laser fire streaked towards his battered ship. Suddenly a large shape interposed itself between the Falcon and the star destroyers sporting the earmarks of a sudden hyperspace deceleration. Rolling to present its dorsal surface to the destroyer and its belly to the Falcon, a Nebulon B class frigate began to return the Stardestroyer’s fire. As Han watched the cockpit for a moment, the comm clicked on.
"Commander Antilles, this is the Redemption. Have your ship dock with us immediately, we'll try to get you out of this!" ordered a gravelly voice.

"Do what he says Han!" Wedge shouted from the guns.

"You don't have to tell me twice." Han shot back "Their bay isn't big enough for the falcon we're going to dock." As strong clamps secured the Falcon to the Redemption the ship lumbered forward and away. Han sat back in relief as they streaked into hyperspeed.

"Commander Antilles report on your status." Ordered the voice once more."Commander Antilles respond please.”
"This is Captain Solo of the Millenium Falcon." Han replied thumbing the com. “Thanks for the assistance. Now I assume whatever arrangement we work out will include hazard pay…”

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (01-20-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-01-20 03:06pm

Chapter 5

The Redemption was a hive of activity. As the rebellion lost ship after ship, surviving crews and new recruits were forced into ever tightening quarters aboard a dwindling fleet of warships. Thrawn had made it his first order of business to annihilate the Mon Calamari shipyards to impair the rebellions ability to build and repair ships. Though they had built other yards, they had long since lost them to the Empire, the Wraith, to the Vong, and even eventually, to the Cylons. Betrayed by yet another of their would-be allies, the rebellion had eventually been relegated to the back burner during much of the war, and with patriotic recruits flooding the imperial academy the rebellion had lost much of its support. These thoughts were echoed by one, Admiral Ackbar, as he made his way towards the central docking collar. Yet his thoughts were not dismal at the thought of the Rebellion's removal from prominence, there was relief. He had argued time and again these past years, that the Rebel Alliance was ill equipped to stand up to the Empire, especially with advanced technologies flowing from Imperial city. This was a time to lay low, to gather intelligence, both on their adversary and on allies that could be trusted.

With the Goa'uld and the Wraith long dead and the Cylons for the most part blasted into oblivion by the Vong, the recent defeat of the Vong themselves had provided a final burst of support for Thrawn's reborn Empire. With the passage of time however, Ackbar was confident that sentient beings would again begin to chafe under the yoke of facism, and yearn once more for equal rights and representation. It was for this time that the rebellion must endure, for the hope that once more the tides of public opinion would provide them the support and recruits they would need to restore the republic.

Ackbar pondered all of this as he strode confidently through the corridors of the Redemption. As he approached the airlock connected to the Millennium Falcon he savored the possibility that perhaps an opportunity was being presented to hasten that change, before immediately tempering that hope with the cynicism the past few years had earned. he stepped onto the Falcon's dorsal cargo pad and descended into the ship.

"Careful with him boys, he's stronger than he looks." Starbuck warned as two med techs examined Lando's unconscious form.

"Don't worry about it Chewie's keeping an eye on him." Han interjected. He clipped the last of the charred wires trailing a bulky piece of machinery and removed the melted mess from the wall with the help of a technician. They guided the machinery gently to the floor to rest beside a battered but more usable replacement. Han surveyed the ruins within the wall. "We'd better check the hull integrity before we open any more panels here." he commented to the tech, "We took a hell of a pounding on our way here."

Ackbar stepped off of the pad in deference to the injured. A med tech was tightening restraints afixing Lando to a gurney, while two soldiers stood guard, and another medtech checked his vitals, all of whom were overseen by Chewbacca's sharp eye. The Wookiee held his bowcaster at the ready and had made it clear that should the Goa'uld possessing Lando attempt a third assault, it would be its final one.

Starbuck for his part performed basic repair tasks, lacking experience with the Falcon's technology, he had found his best contribution was to sort and pile obvious wreckage for removal in proximity to the cargo disc, which now rose, to convey the two med techs and the two marines. Ackbard noted the Wookiee's eyes tracked the disc until it was fully raised into the ceiling before relaxing his guard and moving to Starbuck's pile to sort through debris. The Wookiee dug through the debris and hauled out a twisted chunk of wreckage, holding it accusingly at Starbuck.

"Hey I didn't know that's what it was SUPPOSED to look like." Said Starbuck, nonetheless he stepped back as the Wookiee took over grumpily. Wedge cleared his throat from the doorway.

"Starbuck this is Admiral Ackbar, he wishes to personally inspect the Stargate." Wedge made introductions, Han was paying attention now too. Wedge saluted the Admiral and indicated Starbuck. "This is the man with knowledge of the Architects technology and the location of Core Ascendant, more important than all of that he may be the last of the Jedi."

All activity in the room ceased and the guards, med tech Han and Chewie joined Ackbar in staring at Starbuck. After a moment Ackbar cleared his throat.

"That's complicated." Starbuck warned, Ackbar somehow made his eyes bulge.

"Of course it is, but i note that is not an outright denial. None of you are to reveal what you have just heard to anyone else period, you are not even to discuss it amongst yourselves. Commander Antilles, Starbuck if you would show me to the hold?"

"Hey don't mind us, its just our ship." Said Han sarcastically, he handed the rag to the technician beside him. "Do your best son, I'll check back later, and remember, this is on his tab," he jerked a thumb at Ackbar, "So don't be stingy with the repairs. Chewie keep an eye on who comes on and of my ship." He elbowed past Wedge and Ackbar and led them to the hold.

"Now of course I'll be expecting my payment for transportation plus damages before this baby leaves my ship." Han reminded Ackbar as he opened the hold. Ackbar rolled his eyes which was an impressive sight for a Mon Calamari.

"I believe you were compensated quite generously last time." Ackbar replied, "Have no fear, the rebellion honors its word."

Han clamped his mouth shut and looked abashed as Ackbar surveyed the stargate. Still strapped to the hold's floor, with crates piled about it, the power leads had been disconnected and stored. The drones were being repackaged for transport through the airlock by a pair of deckhands that had come down from the Redemption, as the original crates were too large to fit through the hatch.

"As you can see its not going anywhere until we either get the falcon spaceworthy enough to land or unless you brought a bigger ship with a docking bay." Starbuck began,

"Another vessel is being brought." Ackbar cut in, "Tell me of this device's tactical capabilities."

"This device is capable of instantaneous transport across interstellar and even intergalactic distances." Replied Starbuck, "You can deploy troops, move supplies…"

"Didn't work last time." Muttered Han.

"There has to be an accompanying device, and we need accurate coordinates." Starbuck clarified, "We thought there would be one on Dagobah, we were wrong, there may be one on Imperial city, assuming nobody figured out what it is, and there could be any number of them scattered around the galaxy. If we can rig up a proper power supply and computer interface it can send a signal to the other gates and get their coordinates." he raised an eyebrow at Ackbar, "Seeing as how you've never heard of one of these, there's a good chance that if there IS one on Imprial city, no one has figured out what it is yet. If the empire has managed to access the city's database though, it's only a matter of time before they find a reference, the ancients were obsessed with them."

"How are you so familiar with this technology?" Demanded Ackbar.

"My people used it." Starbuck answered truthfully enough, or so he thought.

"You appear human." Commented Ackbar, "Yet Commander Antilles reported you have healing powers and superb fighting reflexes, are your people than, the jedi?"

"The jedi was not a species sir, they were a religious order." Wedge clarified.

"The Sith were a religious order, named for an original species." Ackbar replied, "I see no reason the same can't be true of the Jedi."

"My species is human, not Jedi, just an older branch than these gentleman here." Starbuck clarified. "More time for... for natural refinements you might say." The Admiral cocked his head. "What I can do, doesn't require what you call the Force." he explained to Wedge, "But I can sense it, all around us.

"Bunch of hokey mumbo jumbo." Grumbled Han, "Got 'em all killed."

"There is some truth to that, Captain Solo." Replied Ackbar stonily, addressing him for the first time, "Following the events at Yavin and Corellia we have determined that the Centerpoint station generated some kind of energy wave that killed all force sensitive individuals in the galaxy save Mr. Starbuck here."

"Captain Starbuck if you don't mind." Said Starbuck defensively, "I was a soldier among my own people for quite some time, I led several fighter wings."

"You speak often of your people." Replied Ackbar, "Yet you fail to name them, to describe their place of origin, and you have evaded my earlier question Captain."

Starbuck sighed in resignation.

"My people are from another galaxy, We call it Cygnus." He said finally, "I am not a Jedi, I don't use the Force as you know it, I use a more direct method to achieve similar results. I want to get this stargate up and running because I need to locate the man responsible for wiping out my people and apparently attempting to do the same thing to all of yours. We're very old," he added, "A human advanced to the Altairan level can live for millions of years."

"This one man has been wiping out civilizations for millions of years?" Han said dubiously, "If that's not hokey I don't know what is."

"A bold accusation." Observed Ackbar finding himself somewhat in agreement. "What is this man's name?"

"He has many names, Mephestopholes, Hades, last I knew he was going by Iblis." Said Starbuck gazing at Ackbar.

"How can one man have accomplished all that you say." Demanded Wedge, "There was a general Iblis who helped found the rebellion, and he certainly mislead us regarding the Cylons, but he had nothing to do with the Goa'uld or the wraith or the Vong."

Ackbar drew in a breathe. "Iblis was in fact a major proponent of our earliest alliances with the Wraith, Commander Antilles, he led a mission personally to awaken them." The Mon Calamari stroked his chin, "Though I find it all too convenient that so many of our troubles can be laid at the feet of one man."

"Oh you'd be surprised." Replied Starbuck sardonically. "Iblis has something to do with everything, the difficulty is that he is never directly responsible, you see his species feeds on regret, fear and guilt, he devours suffering, for that he can't do it himself, he needs servants, followers, people to do his dirty work."

"You deny being a jedi but you sound like one." Grumbled Han, "The old man was always babbling about despair and darkness, all that mumbo jumbo didn't save him in the end."

"it is often the case in war however that a straightforward motivation is merely a façade disguising a more subtle purpose." Ackbar conceded, "A well constructed plan consists of many layers and it may be that Starbuck is aware of a deeper layer to all of our troubles. It may also be he is simply caught up in troubles of his own. For the moment we can agree that we are grateful to you for bringing this technology to us, and we would appreciate any additional help you would lend our effort, but this is not the time for personal vendettas."

"Hey listen you don't understand," protested Starbuck, "You don't have all the facts! I'm not looking for Iblis to fight him, I just need to know what he's up to! None of this is supposed to happen, I can undo it, I just need to know how he did it."

"All of what? Undo what?" Demanded Han, "What are you talking about?" he shot Starbuck a look, an attempt to keep him from revealing too much, but Starbuck had decided some revelations were in order. He blew out a breath and tried to explain.

"Listen right now we are in a submerged pocket of space time, I gather none of you have had experience with that." He said looking around at baffled faces, "Which is good, because it can be an awful headache. First, think of time as a string of events. It proceeds infinitely in either direction, expanding as it goes, and, you can only imagine a part of it. Different events happen along different points, that's your sequential timeline, now imagine that thread is actually a rope, with many other threads woven around it next to each other."

"you are describing the parallel universe theory." Ackbar observed, "Grade school science, what is your point."

"A little more than that." Han grumped crossing his arms, "If this 'timeline' is expanding in either direction, not only is the future expanding but so is the past. Cause and effect still take place pal, if the past is expanding that means the further back it expands the more... possible futures..." he trailed off as he considered.

"..or alternate quantum realities unfold." Starbuck finished for him, "You know for a smuggler han, you've got a deceivingly agile mind."

"'deceivingly agile...'" Han began but Starbuck shook his head refusing to be drawn off topic.

"My point is that under certain circumstances, two timelines, derived from different quantum realities, can, for a finite period of time become entangled." Starbuck replied, "That's what I think is going on here. My timeline has merged with yours, and it may diverge once more, once fate has run its course."

"Fate? For a moment there I thought you were with us Starbuck but now you're back on all knowing forces and hokey religions." Han waved a hand at Starbuck and stomped off shoving past Wedge, "I have better things to do than this." He grumbled.

"Nothing in our experience can corroborate what you are saying." Ackbar replied, "And there are many questions you are not answering with this explanation."

"I'm trying to!" Starbuck replied, "I told you it was complicated, look at least let me finish okay?"

"if nothing else, it is interesting fiction." Wedge suggested. "For some." He added as something crashed in the corridor and Han began shouting for Chewie.

"These devices shunt matter through a micro singularity." Starbuck continued desperately pointing at the Stargate, "They basically tunnel through the core of this plane of existence to create shortcuts through its thread. Under the right gravitational influence, the singularities connect with different points along the thread; instead of passing straight through it, they travel up or down it, an enemy of mine used such a device to travel back in time to change the future, changing the course of events, I went back to his point of origin to see what he planned to do."

"Why wouldn't you try to stop him?" Demanded Wedge, "If he changed the past he must have had a reason to, you give him the advantage if you just let him."

"Unless Iblis used pawns, complicating the matter with their own motivations, pursuing their own objectives." Ackbar interjected, becoming engaged at last, "And Starbuck it upon himself to scout the enemy's method, to understand his strategy, before attempting to effect any change."

"Exactly." Replied Starbuck, "Iblis moves through others, tempts them, coerces them, seduces them, his motivations are filtered through the agendas of his pawns. We get a good idea of what he's after by looking at what he's done, I wanted see the rest of MY story, as it were, by looking at what he would do."

"So ultimately you must return to your time using this device of yours if you are to deliver this intelligence, " surmised Ackbar gesturing at the Stargate. "It possesses applications for time travel."

"No, that isn't it at all." Starbuck corrected hastily, "The device I used is in just one point in time and space once you travel through it you can't go back. Sure you could use the gate coordinates, but the device won't exist for another twenty years."

The disappointed look in Ackbar's eyes confirmed Starbuck's suspicion. Ackbar had been hoping to use Ba'al's device as a strategic weapon. An appealing idea at first, but the resulting chaos of alternate universes as Ackbar meddled with history made him shudder, conceptualizing much of what he had learned as an ancient was difficult but he made the attempt anyway.

"It would be catastrophic to continually use such a device." Starbuck explained, "Each alteration causes a vibration in the thread, eventually it would snap. Its for the best Ackbar, sometimes you have to play the hand you're dealt."

"How then do you propose to accomplish your mission?" demanded Ackbar, "If your timeline has been altered…"

"Well there are at least two ways to do that, one involves waiting, twenty years, the other involves gaining access to technology that might be found in imperial city."

"For the moment it seems our goals are one and the same." Replied Ackbar, "For it is doubtful that you will gain access to the City while it is under Thrawn's control."

"My thoughts exactly." Replied Starbuck. "You know when i was ascended, living on a higher plane of existence it was easier to observe without interfering, without mucking up events, obviously not easy enough." he added as Wedge exchanged a confused glance with Ackbar, "I gave up incorporeal immortality because I needed to do something about what I saw unfolding. I came here planning just to observe. I thought that action would be enough."

"You are not a man who can stand by while others suffer." Ackbar observed, "You are not a man to tolerate injustice, and the repression of freedoms." Starbuck pressed his lips together, and shook his head exasperated.

"No sir, I am not. I have been part of this since I first stepped foot in this galaxy. it's time I accepted that." he took a deep breathe and stepped forward extending his hand, "Admiral, I would like to join your rebellion."
* * *

"That's a patch job if I ever saw one." Grumbled Han, "Still I suppose we can use the extra help." He surveyed the newly installed droid socket to the rear of the cockpit. With the navicomp fried it was the best the rebels could offer. Han had loudly protested and constantly reminded the rebels that his supposed "free" repairs were shoddy and inadequate, but secretly he was considering the potential of getting a free Astromech. The falcon currently had three droid brains, none of which got along with the others. An Astromech might be just the thing to shepherd the rest of them together, and besides, the little guys were usually decent mechanics.

"Most of the droids we have in service are designed for snub fighters." The tech advised him, "But we had a few kicking around that were designed for repairing small craft, going EVA that sort of thing. This little fellow is the best we have for this sort of thing but he's dated."

Chirping and whistling R2 D2 rolled up to the cockpit and paused when he saw Han. Han recognized him at once.

"hey Chewie, that's the old man's droid." Said Han thumping its dome, "Hey buddy you still got the plans for the death star in there?" The tech looked suddenly alarmed but Ackbar assuaged his concerns immediately.

"Those plans were removed at Yavin and are being kept in a secure location, should that model ever be built again by the empire." Replied the Admiral. "The droid is yours, he contains updated star charts as well as Cylon inspired virtual warfare programming, and has been quite handy in the past." R2 whistled in gratitude. "Don't thank me, little one." Ackbar advised, "You have your work cut out for you on this ship."

Artoo gave a mournful whistle.

"Hey, its not my fault!" protested Han. Chewie was surprised at Han's sudden upbeat manner, he seemed genuinely pleased to acquire the droid. Though he gave Ackbar a suddenly hostile look,"Wait a minute, that other one isn't coming along is he?"

"As a matter of fact I am." Replied a rather pleased sounding voice. The shiny golden droid seemed always to tip toe. He stepped gingerly up to Starbuck, "I am C-3PO, human cyborg relations, I am fluent in over six million forms of communication."

"Sounds impressive." Starbuck deadpanned, "can you define 'Felgarcarb'?"

"I must say I am not familiar with that particular word." Answered threepio perplexed.

The admiral's earpiece buzzed.

"it appears our guest has been successfully removed from Mr. Calrissian." Ackbar reported, "If we can extract some of the genetic memory from the symbiote it could provide valuable insights into Goa'uld technologies. Excuse me gentleman, I am needed on the Redemption." He turned to go and Wedge followed him with Threepio pattering behind them. Han made a move to go but Starbuck held up a hand."

"Felgercarb?" Han asked eyeing Starbuck, "If I didn't catch the meaning, i caught the tone."

"Han old buddy, it occurs to me that bringing a translation droid on our little trip puts our business plans in a bit of jeopardy, and the Admiral may not be entirely on the up and up if you know what I mean."

Han eyed him shrewdly, "You read my mind kid, as soon as you start translating, Threepio's going to unlock the whole city and that's one less bargaining chip. We can't trust this guy. The admiral's got his own agenda, and I ain't signing up for no war. If you really want to join with those guys you better look sharp."

"Something tells me I'm better off sticking with you, you've been more straight with me than anyone Han." Starbuck observed cautiously.

"You know, you haven't been exactly straight with me." Han asserted, "That was a nice little song and dance you did for the admiral about time travel and parallel worlds, but you never did tell him how you healed Wedge, or why you are so good a shot."

Starbuck put up his hands, "I've never been a particularly good dancer Han, but if I told you the whole truth all at once you'd think I was just crazy."

"Try me." Han deadpanned.

Starbuck had the expression of a trapped animal, and Han let him open his mouth to attempt an explanation.

"Nah I'm just messing with you, Don't tell me any of that superstitious mumbo jumbo, I don't even want to know. When the old man the kid and the princess came on board I saw some wild stuff and I know better than to ask too many questions. Welcome aboard kid, lets try to get out of this in one piece." Said Han clapping his shoulder and sliding past. Chewie roared approval.

"Well I didn't say I forgot that little stunt messing with the drone." Starbuck said following him, "And don't call me kid, I'm older than I look…"

As the three headed down the corridor, Artoo whistled happily to himself as he rolled into his slot in the floor. A monitor installed above the alcove sprang to life displaying a schematic of the Millenium Falcon.. messages began to scroll across the bottom of the graphic. The droid brains were arguing.
:Accessing system status. repairs underway, restoring internal functions to primary pathways.::
:Request processing power reroute to primary hyperdrive systems::
:Hyperdrive offline, request denied::
:Request status of internal processing power reroute:
:Request denied, request processing power reroute to primary hyperdrive systems:

Artoo blew an incredulous rasberry. With a determined whirr of his motors he extended an input jack.

:Priority override detected, override accepted. Processing power reroute, allocating processing resources to internal power reroute and hyperdrive systems:

Artoo gave a beep of victory, but then suddenly gave a hoot of alarm.

Reallocating processor priority, accessing new user, mapping files.

Artoo wailed and spun his dome in consternation.

Accessing defense sub routines, accessing intrusion alogrithm samples...

Artoo wailed in alarm and suddenly the graphic of the Millennium Falcon crackled and was replaced with a single red cursor that blinked. It scrolled from the left side to the right.

initiating worm subroutine

The monitor flashed quickly through different files settling suddenly on the image of a blue green world. Hyperdrive coordinates scrolled by and a label: Coruscant. With a panicked beep Artoo removed his jack and then thrust it back into the slot.

:Reinitializing user access, security protocols enacted, administrator privileges confirmed, firewalls enacted.:

The graphic of the Millenium falcon returned and Artoo trilled to himself as the three droid brains finally acquiesced to his authority. He trolled nervously to himself, unaware that the hyprcomm relay display had lit up on Han's console. It scrolled a single message before blinking out.

Transmission complete.

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (12-09-2011)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-01-23 05:26pm

So... definitely could use a beta reader, since when you[code] write this stuff it's much to easy to look right past your own mistakes. I have revised nearly the whole thing from the version posted on, to deal with plot inconsistencies and set the next couple stories up better. I also forgot several entire subplots that I started early in the story, which is being better fleshed out here. At the time I considered a low priority because I was treating this as a disposable universe, that comes back to bite me later though so the revision is considerably more elaborate than the original version. I hope people are enjoying it so far.

Chapter 6

"This is the snake that caused all the trouble." Declared the med tech. Han made a point of pretending not to see the serpent furiously swirling around in a jar, passing it to stand by Lando's side.

"So what'd you do with the Goa'uld?" quipped Han. Ackbar glared at him.

"if you could avoid any further disruption captain, it would be appreciated." admonished the Admiral, "You were permitted to attend because of your concern for your friend but this is a military matter."

"I think I'm probably here because it is more likely Lando will talk if he sees me." Han shot back, "You know Ackbar, I'm getting a little tired of your superior attitude."

"That is 'Admiral' to you." Replied the Mon calamari, "And I am your superior Solo, most notably in rank."

"Big deal." Han scoffed, "you signed with the losing side and they tossed a few ships your way, this isn't exactly a Star Destroyer."

"How dare you sir." Began the Admiral enraged, "I will not be derided by the self appointed captain of a smuggling freighter in areas of military etiquette, and regarding the fate of the civil war, well that remains to be seen."

"Easy everyone, easy." Soothed Starbuck, stepping between the two. "I think we all just want to be addressed by our proper rank here and given a little respect. A little courtesy never hurt anyone." He finished shooting a look at Han.

Ackbar and Han glared at each other.

"I apologize Captain Solo, " replied the Admiral, reluctantly "I am accustomed to addressing soldiers, and your casual demeanor sometimes strikes me as…"

"Insubordinate?" supplied Han, "Well that fits, I'm nobody's subordinate, I take orders from just one person, me." But after a moment he relented. "Still that crack about the war was out of line. "

"if you guys are done fighting over me I could use a glass of water." Came a raspy voice. Lando was awake. An orderly moved in to meet his request while the doctor reported to the Admiral.

"We were able to extract the symbiote with minimal brain damage. We have also stabilized his other injuries however there was some brain damage caused by the operation, and the symbiote attempted to release a neurotoxin into his bloodstream which we neutralized before too much damage had been done."

"He will live?" inquired the Admiral.

"He is stable for now." Replied the doctor uncertainly, "But his body is very weak, several systems are on the verge of shutdown. Whatever you need to know you should ask him quickly and allow him to concentrate on his recovery."

"Very well doctor, you are excused." The admiral stated. Recognizing the order for what it was, the doctor nodded and left.

"Lando, how'd this happen?" Han asked pulling a stool up to Lando's side. Lando handed his cup to the orderly and turned to Han.

"Before I get into that, no hard feelings right buddy? You know I'd never willingly hurt you or Chewie."

Chewie gave a chuckle and growled something, Han nodded. Lando cracked a weak grin.

"Alright well I'd never want to UN willingly hurt you or Chewie." He amended, "I remember being in the bar and realizing something was wrong, I was saying things I didn't want to say, there was a will pounding in my head… it wasn't in complete control yet though, I was keeping it off balance with the drinking."

Han scratched his head trying to remember."What was it after? If it wanted us dead it could have just pulled a blaster and shot us all in the back during takeoff or something."

"It wanted the rebels, I know that much." Lando replied, "However, or whoever got that thing into me gave me the signal device too, all I know is I woke up in the bar just before you came in with a drink in front of me. Once I figured out I was losing control it was all I could do to just keep drinking while it did the talking." He furrowed his brow, clearly racking his brain for more.

"Easy easy." Soothed Han shooting a worried eye at the heart monitor, the more agitated Lando got the more erratic his readings were. "It wanted the rebels but the signal got sent too soon, what happened?"

"It didn't realize what I was doing with Chewie." Explained Lando, "I picked a fight with him so he'd knock me out before I really sobered up and it could get full control. I guess you were a little too patient with me." Said Lando with an apologetic look at Chewie. The Wookiee softly growled and Lando grimaced.

"See that it doesn't Chewie, next time anyone talks to you the way I did, you take their head off. Anyway the Goa'uld was on to me, it wasn't letting me do anything but when it pulled out the homing capsule and prepared to await your arrival admiral," Lando nodded to Ackbar, "I threw everything I had, EVERYTHING, every ounce of will power anger, determination, all of it into pressing that button." There was a satisfied note to Lando's voice. "Man that little slug was pissed when it realized I sprang the trap too early. I figured once the jig was up Han would just take off and leave the empire eating tachyons. "

"The system patrol was just passing by, I figured the Rebels were waiting for them to go, so when they challenged I just told them I had a navicomp failure and was restarting. They started to go, and then the signal went up." Clarified Han, "They swung right back around and I was caught in the middle of a reboot."

"No one was on the guns either because we were a little occupied." Added Starbuck,

"This presents us with several opportunities." Ackbar declared fixing Lando with a gaze, "Doesn't it Calrissian."

"I'm not sure I understand." Said Han glancing at Starbuck who was nodding, and the mon Calamari still watching Lando.

"When the Goa'uld take a host, they seize control of the host's body." Explained Starbuck, "They suppress voluntary motor control, but the host is still conscious, Lando was trapped in his own body watching the goa'uld drive. The Goa'uld was able to access lando's memories, that's how it fooled us but the reverse was true as well."

"To some extent." Replied Ackbar, "We have found from other subjects that only the surface memorize are shared by the host, otherwise all who were ever possessed by the Goa'uld would share the entirety of their genetic knowledge. Most humanoid brains can't tolerate that volume of information physically stored, and similiarly a Goa'uld symbiote cannot."

"The snake can unpack what it needs into the host temporarily." Starbuck summarized, "If that knowledge is used, or becomes part of the hosts experience, it might retain some of it, but Lando never had that chance."

"I was only the host for a short time." Said Lando, "And I was intentionally drunk for most of it, I'm not sure how coherent my knowledge is, I can't think of much off hand that would be of value."

"As a database you are of limited value." Ackbar affirmed, "However, as a strategic asset there are, as I mentioned, possibilities."

"They don't know we caught Lando!" Starbuck exclaimed, "Only that the attack failed."

"So we have a potentially legitimate intelligence through which we can feed disinformation, or even a possible spy that can be inserted in their ranks." Surmised Ackbar, "Though you lack the depth of knowledge to convincingly pass for long, we may be able to use you to insert a strike team into a secure location."

"I fracking knew it." Swore Starbuck, "This secure location… would it happen to resemble a snowflake, or were you thinking more of the one that looks like an eyeball." Han started as he realized what was being discussed, his hand rested on his blaster and Chewie growled.

"Are we even headed for Coruscant?" he demanded, "When exactly are we going to get our cut?"

Ackbar held up his hands. "if you'd just give me a chance to explain…"

"What's to explain Admiral." Demanded Starbuck getting in Ackbar's face, "You use Lando to get a ship in past their security, you dump all the energy you can into the stargate and you blow your target sky high. I get stranded here, Han gets shafted, the rebellion gets a victory."

Ackbar blinked owlishly at Starbuck.

"Until this moment I had no idea such a capability existed." Admitted the admiral. Starbuck looked chagrined.

"What exactly did you have in mind?" Demanded Han.

"I thought perhaps we could use the stargate technology to orchestrate a takeover of imperial city." Replied Ackbar, "Such a victory would provide an asset of limited strategic value, however it would greatly undermine the Empire politically, in the public eye if we were to steal their capital city and potentially capture the emperor himself. Additionally, though it is not a military vessel the Empire has fortified it greatly, whereas the majority of the imperial Starfleet still awaits upgrades."

"In one scenario, the Empire would have to tie up most of its advanced ships in the pursuit and capture of Imperial city, which will buy us time to arm and upgrade our own with the technology on Coruscant, in another, they will have to reactivate the Dawn Star as a military vessel, the public has been happy to pretend that that monstrosity is now an instrument of good, used as it has been for public terraforming projects, however, were it immediately decommissioned as such, in order to hunt down Imperial city, it would serve as a reminder that though the empire may appear benign now, it is still capable of returning to its old ways."

"That's it?" demanded Han, "That's your plan? I mean to pull off a stunt like that, even with Lando's help, you'd have to get the stargate connected to the one that may or may not be on Imperial City, and then move enough troops through to take out an entire Legion of the Emperor's handpicked storm troopers. From what I hear the Rebellion doesn't have that kind of man power. If you found it, then anybody occupying the city becomes a priority target."

"With an immediate means of escape." Replied Ackbar, "Should even the Death Star itself attack the city, it should be possible to evade its range long enough to evacuate the city."

"To where?" demanded Han, "You need two of these and we don't even know that this one works."

"It works." Replied Starbuck, "And I think the Admiral knows where another one is, you do too Han if you think about it, more than likely there actually at least two more. From what you've told me, Ra showed up and took over Centerpoint before Anubis made his appearance with Imperial City. the Goa'uld are from a planet in another galaxy, to which, I had prior knowledge of a Cylon colony ship being diverted by Iblis."

"I fail to see the connection." Ackbar said dubiously, he was wary of encouraging the man to embark on another complicated exposition, but even as Han gave an exasperated sigh, it was not Starbuck who replied, it was Lando.

"He's...right.." the man said putting a hand to his temple, "The Goa'uld need hosts, their first hosts were...lizards?"

"They were Unas." Starbuck clarified, "Descendants of the Cylon Primus. They had the strength and knowledge to take the Goa'uld into the stars, but their intelligence was limited. Thousands of Yahren of machine dependency had affected their cognitive abilities. First their machines made them slaves, and then those that escaped became slaves to the Goa'uld."

"That was why Ra came here." Lando said suddenly, "Humans had agile minds, and bodies that were easy for the symbiotes to repair, but it was our knowledge they wanted."

"They must have come through the stargate hoping to conquer an intact, technologically advanced human society." Starbuck commented, "The humans of their own galaxy had regressed and were scattered, what technology they could find were just the leftover scraps and they had made some pretty serious enemies."

"We have long suspected something like this." Acknowledged the Admiral in reluctant agreement, "We never found the Goa'uld home world, all reports trace back to Dagobah, but Dagobah has never been host to a significantly advanced civilization. They arrived at Dagobah but could not have been from there, there is no evidence."

"Dagobah's gone." Said Han "If there was one of these Stargates there, the Emperor blew it up, Starbuck couldn't get a signal when he tried."

"Its there, its just been moved." Declared Wedge after an approving nod from the Admiral. "I flew a mission into there a few months before they took Imperial City to retrieve somebody very important to us."

"Someone you should perhaps meet Starbuck." Declared Ackbar, "But Dagobah is there, it is possible your device malfunctioned, or you operated it incorrectly, you were under some duress."

"No, I did it right." Declared Starbuck, "But if there are at least two other gates, then I might have gotten something like a busy signal."

"Which means the emperor knows what the Stargate does." Concluded Han with no small amount of disappointment. Starbuck empathized. Han was a smuggler out of necessity and the stargate's commercial value represented not just profit, but a means of legitimacy, a new way of life. he had sensed a growing weariness in the man. once a thrill seeker, it seemed Han just wasn't in the mood for it anymore. With a proper lifestyle, it might not be too late to find a nice girl, settle down maybe raise a few…

With a start Starbuck realized he was not just empathizing, he was actively reading Han's mind. he had known that with time, the other features of his advanced body would surface. he had only briefly experienced such things before his ascension. he wondered if in time, he would become capable of returning to that ethereal plane unaided. He fell silent as he struggled to explore the sensation in an effort to control it. The others continued the discussion as he focused on the sensation within him, calibrating it as one would a radio, first increasing and then decreasing, and then focusing on different aspects of it. As he did so, something occurred to him. he had placed his fate in Baltar's hands. The ancients had clearly not intended for him to regain the ability to ascend, but if his body was changing in this manner, how far would it go? What would that change entail? He would have to be careful.

The others, wherever they were would not permit him full ascension without consultation, doubtless they would feel that what they intended as punishment was incomplete, and while Starbuck agreed in that he wished to remain corporeal and free of their rules, he did not wish them to revisit the agreement he had made now that he was in a much weaker position to bargain.

It took an ascended being to restrain an ascended being, and thus no small amount of personal sacrifice on the part of the restrainer, and in order to continue that restraint, sufficient will power must be maintained in order to do so. Unfortunately as a corporeal being, however developed, Starbuck could be easily restrained any number of ways that needn't be monitored. The Stargate had been one, stored in its pattern buffer, and he was well aware that the Ancients did have such devices, Iblis was proof enough of that...

"Ground control to Starbuck…" Han interrupted his thoughts, "Are you with us?"

"Yeah sure sorry, what was that?" Starbuck asked clamping down on his train of thought.

"Wedge was just pointing out the disorganized attempt to apprehend us may imply that the Empire isn't fully aware that it is cooperating with Goa'uld." Said Han, "When Ackbar here started to drool at the potential to discredit the Empire, Lando pointed out it could be more serious. If the Goa'uld have infiltrated the Empire it could be a prelude to renewed aggression."

"So?" demanded Starbuck, "You people have a moon sized battle station, thousands of warships…"

"There are still Vong to clean up, and we've been in a constant state of warfare for the past four years." Declared Ackbar, "Starting with Alderaan, a lot of worlds have been destroyed, and whole civilizations displaced. Fleets of refugees are moving across the galaxy squabbling over limited resources. Much as I hate to say it, the Empire has provided some structure to this chaos, with our forces rebuilding were we caught off guard by an invasion we may well need the Death Star to repel them." he cleared his throat, "That is, in part, why we have limited our activities, were we to succeed in destabilizing the Empire, the galaxy would fall into chaos."

"You people are ridiculous." Snorted Han, "You know I was beginning to respect your ideals and that you'd fight for them, now I see its all just smoke and mirrors. Freedom and equality are worth fighting for until more aliens come along, then its back to deals with the devil. You backed off when the Goa'uld came knocking, and let the empire do the fighting, then you joined with what was left of the wraith to fight the Empire, and started losing, and activated the Cylons, then when the Cylons turned on you and the Vong went crazy, you went to ground again and let the Empire do your dirty work, now even the THOUGHT of a possible but completely unproven Goa'uld initiative is enough to get you to scrap your plans." Han shook his head, "You're fighting to free the galaxy, and you're telling me you know you can't even do it? Unbelievable."

"We are not scrapping anything." Shot back Ackbar angrily, "When this conversation began I was considering efforts to take Imperial city. After I became aware of secondary attributes of the Stargate I'll admit, blowing up the Dawnstar had occurred to me, but I dare not eliminate such a defensive asset whomever wields it, if it is to be crucial to the survival of this galaxy. The Empire is an atrocity, the Goa'ld are worse. They would break down our civilizations and have us serve them."

'Did the goa'uld ever bring any ships?" Starbuck asked suddenly, "Any spacecraft?"

Wedge answered, "Not at first, there were some that accompanies Imperial City, and they had slave populations on the Rim building them. The wraith had hive ships, some were dormant and ancient, most were newly grown over the last few decades, Our best intelligence indicates the Gao'uld and the Wraith were preparing for just a few decades out on the rim, honestly though we have no idea, the technology to extract symbiotes has only been successful once before, and that was the Emperor himself."

"Emperor Thrawn was a host?" Demanded Han aghast, "I heard the stories but I never thought it was true!"

"Right, the scuttlebutt is that Thrawn has such an incisive intellect and a steadfast will that he was able to consciously override the symbiote, have it extracted and that is how he determined the location of Anubis' city. He lead the ground forces and apprehended Anubis himself before his execution. The reality is that Thrawn's physiology while superficially identical to a Humans is quite different chemically, and while the symbiote was off balance Thrawn had it extracted. After that well, Anubis couldn't take a host that had once been a goa'uld so there was no real danger to Thrawn."

Starbuck considered this. He'd been aware of the brothers Ra and Anubis, they had been clever and duplicitous. If Thrawn had outsmarted them both he was a credible threat, though in Starbuck's opinion outsmarting a goa'uld was child's play once you realized how cosmically warped their ego's were.

"We will arrive at Coruscant in a few hours." Stated Ackbar shooting a glance at Han. "For now we must content ourselves with properly connecting the Stargate, and determining the number and location of any Stargate in this galaxy. It may then be possible to send you on your way Starbuck, once you have attained what you need, however I would like to accept your offer to join us should you still be so inclined, you would receive a command commission, for a trial period and then a full commission as a general, the same offer is extended to Captain Solo." Ackbar glanced at Han, "I suspect you would settle for no less, Captain Solo. I have found that the same character that breeds insubordination, also gestates natural leadership. if you have misgivings about the decisions made by this rebellion, here than is your chance to influence them."

"What about Chewie?" demanded Han, uncomfortable even acknowledging the complement, "He goes anywhere I go."

"He could be your aid of course, and granted rank should he wish it." Replied Ackbar bobbing his head at the Wookiee, "We have found humans to be quite effective in space born leadership but should he wish it Chewbacca could be given a commission in our ground forces, to which many Wookiees have found themselves well suited."

"Hear that buddy?" Han nudged him, "You cut loose and you're taking your chances in the infantry." Wookiee made thoughtful sound earning a double take, and then a wounded look from Han.

"I suppose my commission is contingent on my participation in that little espionage scheme your cooking up," grumbled Han.

"No more than mine is contingent on providing additional information about the ancients." Replied Starbuck, "The admiral here sees us as resources to utilize and while he's magnanimous in his offer, I have no doubt he has other means of obtaining what he needs." His meaningful glance at Ackbar, echoed in Han's eyes discomfited the Admiral.

"Is that really unreasonable?" Wedge spoke up at last, the others turned to him. "Nobody's forgotten what you did for us at Yavin, you got the Princess out, and the plans for the Death Star back to us. We need men like you. More than ever." he shrugged, "But we need you to win a war."

"It is as you say." Admitted Ackbar, "We would insist that you aid us in deciphering the ancient language and provide the language of the ancients. I suspect, that were we to try, we would regret attempting to contain you Starbuck, and you Solo, so if you will not join us, it is in our best interest to speed you on your way lest other forces gain access to you."

"But if you would join us…" began Lando nonchalantly, "You're pretty good in a fight, that was some mean shooting, and you mentioned you were a decent pilot…"

"And with the Jedi gone, we need that connection, that moral compass to something greater than ourselves," Said Wedge, "If the force is gone, maybe you could help us understand a little more about how you do the things you do…" That bothered Starbuck and he shifted uncertainly.

"Look I'm still figuring out how I do things, and I'm certainly no moral compass." Starbuck said clearing his throat. "At best, I'm something of an honest rogue." Wedge cracked a smile and clapped him on the back.

"Trust me Starbuck you'll fit in fine."

"The choice is yours of course." Ackbar repeated, not wanting to pressure the man.

"Well, I kind of hate to go so soon." Said Starbuck with a glance at the suddenly neutral face of Han, and Wedge. "I do have a war of my own to win though, on the other hand, if I want to do a thorough report, I suppose there are a few places I should check out, you know to be thorough. Places that might be of some help to all of you here."

"Do you know the location of any additional city ships?" Demanded Ackbar, "Weapons we may use perhaps?"

"I know of cities that sleep beneath the oceans, cities that float in the sky, " answered Starbuck rubbing his chin, "Cities run by replicators, cities of the dead… cities of clones, cities of giants.. in fact from what Han told me about the battle of Endor, I might even know of a city of Ewoks. The trouble is that was all a long time ago, it was in a galaxy far far away. It's not the cities you need it's allies, new, powerful, maybe nonhuman allies."

"New allies?" Han asked dubiously, he glanced at the Admiral, "With all due respect Starbuck, the Wraith were non humans, the Cylons were new allies."

"We have liberated a considerable force of Wookiees we intended to place under your command General Solo." Ackbar told him, "Humans may have found their role in leadership but there are many sentient behind the scenes, scientists, engineers, builders..." he paused as Starbuck began shaking his head.

"Han in your own way, you may be a bit of a progressive amongst your people in recognizing the rights of all sentient life, you're an equal opportunity cynic," Starbuck said wryly, he turned to Ackbar "Han wasn't objecting to the physiology of your past allies, he's objecting to their motivations. he doesn't trust anybody, nonhuman or human. I think there's a fundamental bias here on your part."

"That's absurd captain Starbuck." Replied the Admiral taking umbrage, "Why my people take pride in the ships and technology we have provided to the rebellion."

"Right but you target your advertising to the humans of this galaxy." Starbuck replied, "From your perspective I can see why, it must seem the shortest route to undermining an Empire domianted by humans, but humans aren't the power in this galaxy, you have a lot of different races chafing under the empire that seem to think the only way to beat the humans is to convince them to join your cause and lead you."

Ackbar look like he wanted to argue but Chewie gave a growl of agreement. Ackbar turned to the Wookiee. Chewie pointed out he had not been offered a commission as a general despite decades of experience.

"I deeply regret any offense I gave Chewbacca. As you say, your leadership and acumen as a navigator would make you an ideal officer on one of our ships. Captain Solo and Starbuck, my offer still stands however I would extend it on the basis of your military, and professional experience rather than your race."

"hey hey I didn't mean to tell you how to do things!" protested Starbuck as he watched what was going on, "I just meant it was something to think about, besides, what I really meant is you should talk to the Asgard!"

"The what?" inquired Ackbar, Han snickered.

"The Asgard." said Starbuck stressing the soft pronunciation of the s, "are a non human race of considerable advancement, they were setting themselves up as the guardians of the galaxy when I left, shepherding younger races, that sort of thing." Said Starbuck. "They were doing their best to protect the human population."

"Why did they not help your people against the Cylons?" asked Ackbar

"We didn't know of them before the colonies fell." Starbuck clarified, "But when my people found Earth, the Cylons were hot on our tail. The Ancients were pretty indifferent but the Asgard intervened to prevent them from attacking any developing races. Probably would have chased them all the way home but the Vong beat them to it." Starbuck paused remembering. The battle reports had prompted great celebration throughout the fleet and had served to buffer the disappointment that Earth was in the process of being abandoned, the Ancients indifferent to the hopes for reclaiming the colonies.

"The Vong beat them...." Ackbar stared at Starbuck, "Exactly how old are you sir?"

Starbuck froze as even Han rounded on him.

"The Vong made it known they had an old grudge against the Cylons, it seems the Cylons provoked a war that wiped out all life in the Vong's home galaxy and forced them to leave."

"Right, well actually, they came from a planet with a sentient biosphere. When the Cylons came, it repelled them and helped the Vong develop their organic technology. The Vong took it too far and started wiping out anything different. Between the two of them they wiped out most of their galaxy. The frustrating thing was, it was OURS first. The twelve colonies held the line against the Cylons for a thousand yahrens and promoted the development of galactic civilizations. This galaxy now is what ours could have been, instead it is a wasteland to this day, well as far as I know anyway."

"You can't be telling me you were alive all of this time." Declared Han aghast, "That's too much! Just too much… life!" he glanced at Chewie, "Here I thought YOU were getting on in years."

"The knowledge you must have…" breathed Wedge, suddenly awed "The wisdom…"

"Master Yoda of the Jedi is over nine hundred years old." Ackbar said gravely, "Even his years pale in comparison to yours."

"Life for some people, doesn't get old." Starbuck replied, "Now, admittedly, I spent much of it as an ascended being, but at the beginning I was a man very much like you, VERY much like you Han, they helped me ascend and you know what I didn't really fit in. I was meant to grow, not ascend, to fight not to oppose, to live, not just to exist, to love, rather than to accept. As for wisdom, well, Wedge, I'm not a Jedi, and my wisdom doesn't come from a supernatural source. I think you miss your friend and the promise he showed. I'm not him, and I don't think he can be brought back, that's something you have to accept to find peace, not even a Jedi could give you that."

"'Specially cause they're dead." Muttered Han off handedly, thinking of an old man, a boy and a princess."

"The jedi aren't all dead." Snapped Wedge, drawing a startled look from the others."

"I meant Leia and Luke…" began Han, then he squinted at Wedge, "What are you talking about, the Jedi went extinct years ago except for Vader and Palpatine, the old man, and maybe Luke, anyone even thinking about the Force died with the Centerpoint wave."

"There was one who survived." Declared Ackbar, "So attuned to the force was he, he foresaw the apocalyptic wave and hid in the one place in the galaxy where he could be safe."

"Where was it safe?" Wondered Starbuck, "Center point was a second generation terraforming station. The first generation models required stargates for wave propagation, the second projected a self sustaining energy wave across their target galaxy. That wave seems to have wiped out all the Metecolarionates that were in this galaxy."

"The what?" Han asked, Wedge was shaking his head.

"Look I researched the Force after… it all happened." He said, "The lore says nothing about terraforming or metecolarionates, it's the spiritual energy drawn from purity of heart."

"Right because Palpatine was pure of heart." Scoffed Han, then he considered, "Pure evil, if he had a heart." he amended.

"The jedi did use midichlorians as an indicator of force potential." Commented Lando, thoughtully "I once moved a shipment of old scanners outlawed by the Empire for some clients, it was some interesting equipment."

"Midichlorians, metacolarionates…" replied Starbuck, "This stuff gets garbled over the years, you guys are calling Core-Ascendant Coru-scant, Core-Elevus Corellia, those were the initial colonies of humanity in this galaxy. The metecolarionates were femtobots scattered to terraform suitable planets. They were fired in waves from Centerpoint through hyperspace. They would partially revert upon encountering a gravitational field and draw infinitesimal amounts of power from hyperspace. They would then form a localized network and coordinate the chemical alteration of the world they were on until the world became suitable for life to develop. By the time the first colonies reached sufficient population density, there would be a galaxy of worlds to inhabit."

"What does that have to do with the Force?" Demanded Wedge, "How can minimachines draw from the force?"

"They were more than machines." Explained Starbuck, "They were tasked with an enormous job, manipulating resources on cosmic scale, they needed a problem solving ability. They began establishing a network and performing duties at a specific location, they began communicate across networks, the Ancients were amused but not alarmed, until suddenly the massive networks began to combine into a sentient consciousness. The Ancients were a bit appalled when their tools started talking to them, even more so when the Metacolarionates began to access higher and higher hyperspace domains. Their creations were ascending, and they had figured out significantly faster than the ancients themselves had."

"Luckily for the Ancients' pride, the metacolarionates had no interest in Ascending, they remained true to their mission, and in fact wanted to foster the development of life. They reasoned that the means to do this was through choice and communication. They permeated sentient life and allowed it an unconscious affinity for itself, it is that connection that gave rise to the force, that rudimentary sense of one another."

"Ah, so how come the old man could move things with his mind?" demanded Han, listening, but still skeptical.

Starbuck paused and stretched a hand. A cup of water rose slowly from beside Lando's bed.

"You mean like this?" he asked his gaping audience, "The explanation is complicated, suffice it to say that the human body has significantly more effect on its environment then is generally realized. the ability to sense and manipulate that effect, to consciously exert it, well that takes a particularly sophisticated perception. It's as much a product of mindset as it is evolution, but what the Force enables some of you to process activities you wouldn't normally be aware of, exert forces," he emphasized the term, "that would otherwise be beyond you."

He turned to Admiral Ackbar who was watching him carefully.

"Did you know he could move things with his mind?" Han said dryly, turning to Chewbacca. "You know, besides a crate full of expensive drones, and the safety on a blaster?" The Wookiee whuffled. "Oh right the locking mechanism."

"Don't you get it?" Wedge demanded, drawing the Corellian's attention, "His age, his abilities, his knowledge of how life began in this galaxy..." he drew in a breathe, "Starbuck is more than a Jedi, he's a Celestial."

Han looked at the man, and then surprisingly, half smile crept up his face.

"Hell of a Sabacc hand you played there Starbuck." he said he was rewarded by a glimmer of appreciation in the other mans eyes.

"Han I didn't fool you for a second did I." Starbuck replied with no small amount of admiration. Han tapped his temple. "That gambler's intuition of yours is better than the wisdom of a man a hundred times your age."

"It's not the years." Han replied, "It's the mileage."

Ackbar looked from one man to the other, while Wedge watched both with rapt amazement.

"It seems you have much indeed to offer our rebellion." he commented at last.

"You were right earlier when you said trying to restrain me would be a mistake, by extension, any harm that befalls Han Chewie, or even Lando, will not be well received." Starbuck told him carefully, " Now if you don't mind, now that our cards are all on the table, why don't you bring me to the other ship we've just met, I would like to talk to the Jedi you have found."

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
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This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (01-23-2012)

Postby Crayz9000 » 2012-01-23 09:24pm

This is rapidly shaping up to become the most interesting fusion between SW, SG and oBSG that I've ever seen.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (01-23-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-01-24 03:14pm

Chapter 6

The frigate Redemption erupted out of hyperspace with a a flash. Coasting forward it joined another vast shape waiting in the darkness. Battered and beaten but far from broken, it was among the last of the Mon Colomari ships to escape the Empire's attack on their shipyards, but it bore little resemblance to any known design. It was a colossus lurking in shadow. A ship fast becoming a legend in the outer rim, it had rarely ventured this far coreward for risk of being spotted and cornered. the Redemption took up a station above it, equidistant from a Carrack cruiser that paced beside it, and a lancer frigate that escorted it.

"I bet this thing sees a lot of use." Han commented, Starbuck beside him. Ackbar stood by a Lambda class shuttle to one side of the Redemption's cramped launch bay. The shuttle was somewhat battered.

"We use it quite often, as a matter of fact." Ackbar acknowledged, "It has valid Imperial ID codes and can travel easily in controlled systems."

"Seems a little roomy." Starbuck commented. "For just the two of us..."

"Only the two of you?" Inquired Akbar, Han shuffled past and headed up the ramp as Starbuck nodded and explained, "Chewie's staying behind to finalize the repairs on the falcon. When Lando is released we figured he could lend a hand, Han really wanted to meet a Jedi."

Ackbar nodded, resigned. "I thought as much. General Calrissian had requested a return to light duty, and I had suggested he liase with your ship while Commander Antilles accompanies us."

The truth of the matter was of course Chewie was standing by in case the Admiral tried anything funny. He had already proposed the Falcon take them to the ship they had rendezvoused with. Han had vetoed that claiming the falcon wasn't fully operational, Han was sure that as long as the Stargate was in the Falcon's hold, the Admiral wouldn't be tempted to do anything… rash. Once the Falcon was sitting in the much larger docking bay, it would be difficult to rationalize keeping the gate on the ship. It also kept Artoo on-board the falcon and the coordinates for Coruscant in one place, as Chewie was currently generating a high level of "Accidental" system issues that the droid was busy contending with.

Ackbar for his part, had made not so much a suggestion, as an order, to Lando, to get the Falcon back up and running and remove any further cause for such nonsense. If Starbuck and Han were committing to the Rebellion that would mean in part submitting to his authority, and trusting his leadership. Lando after vouching for the value of recruiting a man like Han, agreed that it was in everyone's best interests if the chain of command could be firmly established. he had hoped Han's mistrust would not persist after his agreement to join the rebellion but acknowledged that the man warmed up slowly. He consoled himself with the knowledge that while neither party was quite prepared to trust each other, neither was going to outright accuse the other of mistrust. Wedge jogged up helmet in hand.

"I take it you're our escort?" Starbuck asked nodding at the flight suit.

"That's right, there's my bird over there." Said Wedge pointing to a battered X wing parked beside the Falcon. Starbuck whistled appreciatively.

"She's got some scars, but she's a beauty!" he said approvingly, for a moment he thought longingly of his old viper. She had been on Galactica when Adama had taken her to found the last colony. With a start he realized there was a vague possibility the battlestar lay at rest somewhere in this galaxy. He filed away the thought. "Why aren't you riding with us?"

"The Admiral gets an escort, even when it's a ship to ship hop." Wedge explained, "You never know what can happen." he moved to his own ship, while Starbuck considered this. As Starbuck followed Akbar into the shuttle they found Han at the controls.

"I had intended to pilot this vessel myself." Stated the Admiral, "But you may consider this an opportunity to demonstrate your prowess for your future commission. General Solo, if you will power up the shuttle, and prepare for departure?" Han shot the Admiral an annoyed glance but said nothing.

Starbuck smirked, "Well played Admiral, I'll just sit back here."

"Very well." stated the admiral taking a seat beside Han, "Let us begin. Flight control, this is Admiral Ackbar aboard the shuttle [i]Tyderium[/i] requesting permission to launch."

"I got a bad feeling about this." Grumbled Han, not entirely sure he was referring just to the mission at hand, as he keyed the ship for take off.
* * *

Chewie looked up, and barked a greeting, Lando surveyed the mess in the work pit dubiously.

"How you doin Chewbacca." he greeted with a grin, "The admiral sent me over to make sure our boys gave you everything you needed for your repairs, can I lend a hand?" Chewie whuffed noncommittally as he toyed with a air filter, wiping grime away with his paw, and then furiously shaking said paw to shake off chunks of dust.

"Chewie what'd you do to my ship?" Lando demanded companionably, as he delicately picked his way down. his movement was impaired by bacta wraps around his ribs and a brace on his leg, but for the most part he was mobile.

Chewie yowled at him and Lando shrugged, "Whose talking about the damage? Why would you put an L3 inverter into a surge assembly? What happened to that Seiner systems pulse coil I had installed here, that was a prime piece of equipment!" Lando picked up a portable diagnostic unit laying on the deck and searched for a port to connect it to.

Artoo trundled up and beeped inquisitively. Chewie roared back at the little droid. Artoo gave a disgruntled blat and rolled to the next compartment. Lando paused for a moment as he reached to touch a dangling splice of wires coming from what looked like part of a moisture vaporator. he raised his eyebrow as he found a loose port connection dangling along with excess wiring. "Sweet mother of Jabba I'm in a madhouse."

Chewie banged the filter on the deck by way of reply to clear any last debris and jammed it back into the slot it came from.

"Relax, the Admiral told me to let you know a bunch of your people are on their way over to help get the Falcon back on her feet. The ship we're rendevouzing has thousands of refugees from kashyyk that we're bringing with us to secure Coruscant." The Wookiee gave a joyful bark, but something had caught Lando's eye in the diagnostic unit he held. "Hey, one of your droid brains is out, looks like it was corrupted." Lando said, as the display lit up, "Looks like Artoo had to play a little hardball to get them to fall in line." Artoo beeped affirmatively. "Wait a minute, what's all this?" he demanded as the diagnostic began to scroll lines of code. He looked at the droid, "What did you do?"

* * *
The Star Defender was significantly larger than the cramped medical frigate. This was reflected in a cavernous landing bay that could nearly accommodate the Redemption entirely, and by wider halls bustling with crew. Starbuck attempted to keep careful track of their path as they wound deeper into the ship but even his pilots instincts found it difficult. Stretching his senses forward however he could definitely sense their destination as they approached. It was an island of silence amidst the bustle of life. An island that Starbuck found quite unsettling. A platform to the rear of the bay upon which Tyderium settled delicately, folding it's wings.

"When the wraith turned against us, we were able to prevent them from taking custody of this hive ship." Ackbar explained, "It was a hybrid of our two technologies, a joint project between the Mon Colomari and the Wraith meant to serve as a counter to the Empire's command ships."

"From what I heard the wraith ships were a joke." Han replied scanning the cavernous bays critically, "Different, slower kind of hyperdrive, decent enough weapons but shields nonexistent..."

"Had they gained custody of this vessel much of that would have changed." Ackbar noted, "While it does employ their form of hyperdrive, what it lacks in speed is made up in versatility, four interdictor cruisers were unable to prevent this ship from escaping when Thrawn ambushed our fleet. My original flagship was destroyed in that encounter." The Admiral rose, as bitterness tinged his voice. Han shut down the engines, as the Admiral approached the airlock. "We have installed powerful shielding on her, as well as the latest sensors and hypercom warfare technology. The rebellion hasn't many ships left, but the Star Defender has served us well as a mobile base of operations."

As they descended the ramp, they found Wedge's X Wing parked beside them. The pilot as waiting by a lift door. They entered the lift and began to descend.

"I got a bad feeling about this." Han declared again echoing Starbuck's thoughts

"Your instincts are pretty well honed." Commented Ackbar, as the door opened, Han stepped out. "One would almost think you had a particular sort of intuition."

"Just an old pilot." Replied Han casting a wary glance back at the Admiral. "No hocus pocus, just a lot of bad experiences."

"One begins to wonder if your instincts have lost the sense of anything else." Commented Akbar sagely as he fell in beside the Corellian. He was amused by the smuggler's attempt to lead, in unknown territory, though he reasoned that the relatively straightforward corridor offered little room for error. Still Han paused at the door, knowing enough to let the Admiral proceed first. The Admiral entered a code into a key bad.

"Hey I get by just fine." Commented Han as the door to the chamber slid open. Inside was a surprising mass of trees, vines and plants. Though the artificial light appeared to be on a nightcycle, plants and trees floursihed, insects and even small creatures moved about, though upon closer examination, many of the plants, and saplings were in containers almost invisible beneath a carpet of grass and a layer of fog.

"Han gets a thrill out of holding his cards close to the vest, and guessing what the other guy's holding." Starbuck whispered to Wedge, "I hope the Admiral can see that's about the only thrill he has left. Poke around too closely, and he'll never get Han to fall in line."

"This was our hydroponics bay." Explained Akbar as they moved deeper into the artificial jungle, "It seemed to suit his needs most appropriately."

"Acceptable it is, for the times we now live in." declared a hoarse rasping voice, "But suit my needs, it does not."

A figure stood framed by the artificial light in the center of the room. Hobbling forward leaning heavily on an old crooked cane, a diminutive figure came into view.

"Penance I seek, punishment I deserve, for the pride that has doomed so many." Continued the forlorn creature before them, "Fitting it is, that remain I must, in a false shell of life."

"Master Yoda had visions of the coming cataclysm but could not warn anyone in time." Explained Wedge, "he had only enough time to get to Myrkr to save himself."

"Myrkr?" demanded Han, "What's on Myrkr its pretty much a navigational hazard." Starbuck was surprised to hear a tremor in his voice. He regarded Han carefully as Yoda answered.

"Shielded it was, from the oncoming storm, the storm that seared life from the force."

"There's a sort of buzzing noise." Commented Starbuck suddenly, "An interference I hear suddenly." Yoda nodded, and Starbuck continued, "It's these trees isn't it, you brought them with you, and they… scramble the connection…."

"Push back the force, they do, but the trees it is not." Replied Yoda gesturing with his staff. As Starbuck peered closer he saw a lizard curled up against the tree. "Ysalmiri. Bubbles in the force they create."

"Hocus Pocus." Said Han suddenly, angrily, he took a step forward and spat his next words out, "Abracadabra, mystical Hoo ha ha. What is it really you old fraud, how did you really survive."

"Told you, I have." Replied the wizened little Jedi with quiet dignity, "Listen, you have not. Guilt…remorse…loneliness, no need of the force have I to see these things." He looked at the ground sadly, "Constant companions they have been of late."

"I'm afraid I don't understand." Began Akbar,

"The "Midichlorians" as you call them, are disabled by the jamming field I hear." Explained Starbuck slowly, "When the Centerpoint Shockwave was unleashed through hyperspace it must have overloaded all the Midichlorians in the galaxy, except the ones on Myrkr because they were inactive. There probably aren't enough to reestablish a network on their own, and without Centerpoint there's no way to disperse them efficiently. Access to the Force is impossible without them. "

"What I don't understand," clarified Akbar pointedly, "Is Han Solo's part in all of this." Starbuck shook his head in warning but the Admiral would not heed it, and Wedge followed his commander's lead. Yoda for his part, was drawn to the sudden hostility the Corellian had shown him. Starbuck suddenly wished they'd brought Chewie after all. The Wookiee protect Han in more ways than one. Han who gripped a tree branch savagely, snapping it off and tossing it to the ground. He turned back at them.

"The old man knew." He said, bitterly, "He knew and I didn't believe him…"

"I got him! I got him!" The joyful cries of The Kid resounded in Han's ears as he lined up his shot. Han was in the bottom turret, the Kid was in the top. Pouring fire beneath the TIE he prevented it from ducking beneath the Falcon, forcing it to make a head on approach. The pilot began to veer left to right as his nerves collapsed. Han centered his target at last and blew him to dust.

"There's still two more out there, and another squadron trying to overtake us..." Snapped Leia as Han let out a whoop. Glaring irritably at the cockpit Han refocused his attention as the Falcon rocked.

"Keep your shirt on princess, they won't overtake this ship." Han said resolutely. He lent credibility to his statement by blowing the left solar panel off one off the fighters sending it spinning into space. An answering thump from Luke's gun and another shout off victory heralded the end of the other. Han tumbled gracefully out of turret and took off at a jog toward the cockpit. Leaping over a bitterly complaining Threepio he burst into the cockpit.

"Outta my chair sweet heart I got work to do." Han snapped and the princess relented after shooting him a withering glare. Checking the scanner Han gave an incredulous whoop even as Chewie roared in surprise.

"'Course their running, we just vaped all their friends!" he crowed as Luke came up behind them.

"What is it? Are they following?" he asked with some anxiety.

"Nope, the other squadron is breaking off." Reported Han as he flipped some switches on the navicomp, "We scared 'em off for now, and we'll make the jump before they can change their minds. Chewie rose to check the damage and Leia slid into his seat immediately. Han narrowed his eyes but permitted it. "Not a bad bit of rescuing hey princess? Sometimes I amaze even myself."

"That doesn't sound too hard." Grumbled Leia, "They let us go, it's the only possible explanation for the ease of our escape."

"I don't understand." Ackbar said as Han told his story, "You sucessfully retrieved Princess Leia and the plans for the Death Star, but it was my understanding that Master Kenobi was dead at that point."

[i]"Easy, you call that easy?" demanded Han

"They're tracking us." insisted Leia,

"Not this ship sister." Replied Han

Leia shook her head frustrated. Suddenly an indicator lit up on Han's console. He leaned forward as a message scrolled across a small screen.

"The Empire has issued a high priority security alert." He explained at Luke's questioning look, "All available units are to proceed to a rendezvous point near Alderaan. Something big is going down."

"The Wraith." Stated Leia with absolute certainty.

"Who the kriff are they?" Demanded Han. "That's a legend"

"No, they're real, they've been helping our allies build ships, but.... several hive ships were spotted on the move near the core worlds. I heard Tarkin discussing them with Vader. Apparently my capture and the destruction of Tattooine took Tarkin off his mission and he was none too pleased but Vader insisted."

"I heard him demand information from Ben about them." Said Luke, "Right before he…"

There was an awkward pause. Both Han and Leia looked at the forlorn young man behind them.

"Vader questioned General Kenobi about the wraith?" Ackbar was perplexed, "He would have no knowledge of them our dealing with them were well after the clone wars."

"Luke..." Wedge shook his head, "He was the best damn pilot I ever saw, I really miss him sometimes."

"Our best hope was he." Yoda said, "A beacon in the force, he was forever extinguished."

"Sorry Kid." Said Han, "Hey if it means anything you can stick around here as long as you want, you're pretty handy in a fight."

"Actually…" Luke said looking at Leia, "I was hoping I might join the rebellion."

Leia gave him an odd look. "Luke we need all the help we can get but don't make this decision now, your whole planet was just destroyed, your mentor killed before your eyes…"

"I know." Stated Luke flatly, "I know, and that's why I've made up my mind. I will fight the emperor one way or another Leia, with you or without you. They have to pay for their crimes."

"Either way, I need some coordinates." Han broke in, "Whatever you decide kid, I have to drop this lady off."

"He's right." Answered Leia, "We have to get that Artoo unit to the rebellion." She reached forward and tapped a coordinate set into Chewie's console. Han whistled as a planet came up.

"Nice pick princess, the middle of nowhere, say what's so important about that R2 unit, what's he carrying? "

"The technical read outs of that battle station." Replied Leia, "With the Emperor busy enforcing "order" we have the time to plan a proper offensive. I only hope when the data is analyzed a weakness can be found." She shot a glance at Leia, "Its not over yet."

"Look sister, I ain't in this for your rebellion, I'm in it for the money." Snapped Han, suddenly not liking where this was going, "I expect to be well paid."

"You're a good man Han." Ackbar said, watching Han, the others were not sure what to say. "We are aware you had a significant bounty on your head. None in the rebellion blamed you for what happened next, whatever else you may think."

Han grimaced. "Everyone's so damned understanding aren't they." he snarled. "Nobody expected anything more from me." He sighed, "Except her."

Leia glanced at Luke and then at Han.

"Fine!" she snapped, "If money is all you care about, than that's what you'll get." Shoving past Luke she stormed off.

"I care…" Luke called after her lamely but Han waved his hand dismissively

"Forget it kid, she's nuts. We have death balls and space vampires roaming around the galaxy and she wants me to start waving a flag. Do I look like a patriot?"

Luke looked at Han, "You know Han I don't think that was about joining the rebellion."

Han looked at him for a second and then shrugged, "Look I don't know, you think a princess, and a guy like me…"

"No." answered Luke quickly, coolly. A little too quickly he kicked himself mentally as Han smirked at him, Luke looked away, "Enough of this, we have a few hours, I'm gonna get in some practice."

"yeah good luck with the light sword." Muttered Han as the kid strode off.

He found Leia in the lounge tinkering with a burned piece of equipment. She glowered at him and he retreated half a step before grinning good naturedly.

"Hey don't look at me! I think he's a jerk!"

"He's self centered and arrogant." Clarified Leia testily, "And we ARE being tracked, or something terrible is going on, or both. The galaxy is falling apart and right here right now we can stop it, and men like Han just don't give a damn!"

"I'm a man." Replied Luke earnestly, but even to his own ears it sounded like he was trying it out, "I'm a good pilot, and I will be a Jedi like my father."

Rather than reassured Leia was looking mildly exasperated.

"You're a good friend Luke." She said carefully and Luke beamed. "You're a really great guy too I'm sure we can use you in the rebellion."

"You bet Leia you can count on me." He said feeling suddenly warm and light. "I'm just going to do some training." He said to her grabbing the helmet and drone. She watched him pull the blast shield down and ignite the saber. He enthusiastically blocked the first few shots. "What do you think Leia?" said Luke beginning to pant, "you think the rebellion can use a Jedi?" He blocked another shot, "I'll go, even if Han won't."

When no reply came he flipped up the blast shield and found himself alone with Artoo. "You know what Artoo, I think things are finally looking up for me." Grinning to himself he flinched in irritation as the drone snapped off a shot into his arm. "You little twerp, I wasn't ready." He cried, hastily, he flipped the blast shield down as the drone dodged to one side and sent a bolt flying past his head.

Han flipped the levers for hyperspace and began to rise. Stomping feet were his only warning when suddenly a mouth forced itself against his. He froze in surprise then returned the kiss with equal hunger. His hands travelled her body as hers travelled his and after a moment she began fumbling at his waist.

Ackbar coughed discretely. Wedge scratched his head awkwardly and fiddled with his flight suit, Yoda made a point of examining the grain in the handle of his walking stick. Han stopped himself with a self conscious glance at Starbuck, who shrugged awkwardly.

"It's the next part that matters most." he snapped. "The Kid told us about it later."

"Let Go Luke, Trust Your Feelings…" the words echoed in Luke's ears as he swung the light saber clumsily. A corresponding spark of pain indicated he had not blocked the drone. Frustrated he whipped off the helmet and hurled it to the floor. As it bounced however, the drone fired another jolt at him.

"Off you stupid…" Luke thrust out a hand in frustration trying to catch the drone, but it floated back as it was programmed. Anger boiled to the surface and as he clenched his fist in fury the drone suddenly crumpled in on itself in a shower of sparks. It dropped motionless to the ground, Artoo whistled excitedly as Luke's anger vanished and he looked at his hand in amazement. Suddenly a voice echoed in his head.


"Ben…?" He asked in wonder, "Ben is that you?"

Like an automated recording Ben did not reply but continued, "You must go to Myrkr Luke, You must await Master Yoda."

"Ben?' asked Luke, but there was only silence. Luke raced to the cockpit to tell the others.

"Han! Leia!, I heard Ben, through the force! He said to go to myrkyr…" he trailed off as he heard a Leia make a noise. Rounding the corner he stood transfixed by what he saw. As rage built within him the air picked up and tools began to clatter around him. Threepio came pattering up.

"Oh dear there seems to be some sort of malfunction in the ventilation… oh my how terribly inappropriate!" declared the droid in shock. Hearing the indignant droid, Han and Leia broke apart. Han dropped a lop sided grin at Luke.

"She digs pirates." He grinned as a mortified Leia gathered herself.

"Oh stang..." Wedge shook his head, "Luke wasn't ready for that, he dated like one girl ever, the poor kid must have had the biggest crush..."

"Well I didn't know." Han said in exasperation, "Good looking kid like that, all farm boy innocent? I figured the girls would eat it up."

"Yeah he grew up literally in the middle of nowhere." Wedge deadpanned, "Leia was probably the first real woman he ever saw... what...?" he asked curiously. Yoda looked positively mortified.

"Important it is not." the Jedi master sighed, "To the point we must get, what happened next, tell us." Yoda encouraged Han, "Get past this we must."

Luke ducked his head and left and Leia called after him "Luke wait!" She struggled after him climbing over Han who grabbed her playfully.

"Let him go, he'll be alright."

"Get your hands off me you.. disgusting scoundrel." She snapped tearing free. Chuckling Han watched as she plowed past Chewie who had come to see what all the noise was about. He gave a disapproving yowl.

"I'm not a scoundrel!" protested Han. "I'm fighting for my life one second I have a nice young princess in my lap the next, what am I gonna do?" Chewie shook his head. "What?" Han demanded, "Don't judge me, you walking carpet."

"Luke!" shouted Leia catching up to him by the airlock. She had chased him until he literally had nowhere else to go. he cursed himself for passing the Fresher in his hurry. He glanced at her still flushed face for just a moment and then couldn't.

"Luke I'm sorry, I really am!" She protested, "I went in there to tell him off!"

"Well done." Luke retorted, "Is this how you persuade all your reluctant recruits? Maybe I shouldn't have said yes so easily."

Leia reared back as though slapped.

"What? How dare you." She shouted, "Don't lecture me farm boy I'm a member off the galactic senate heir to the throne of Alderaan, I was just tortured by the Empire, forgive me for getting a little carried away with my rescuer."

"Your rescuer?" Demanded Luke, "'Hi I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you?' Does that ring a bell? Han was going to just let them execute you, I talked him into saving you, and because off that Ben's dead. Don't tell me what you've been through Leia, Everyone I care about is gone now."

Leia paused, "Luke… you're right. What I've been through is nowhere near as bad as what you are going through, I just meant that… I wasn't thinking straight."

Luke swallowed his irritation and looked at her. He gave her the ghost of a smile.

"Well I suppose the torture…"

"He was quick to forgive too." Wedge said fondly. Han nodded,

"I had no idea." Han said bitterly, "No idea how young he was, no idea, how young she was, what she'd been through, how strong she must have been..."

"Perfect our knowledge never is." Yoda said sagely, "Blame yourself, for our mis steps, we cannot. Even with the force as an ally, always in motion the future is, in moments of truth we find ourselves in, and moments of ignorance as well."

"Do you see what I'm trying to take on here?" Starbuck asked Ackbar, "Can you glimpse it Admiral? I am trying to take on a being that can perceive beyond boundaries of time. For Iblis there are no moments of truth, or ignorance, there is only a universe of play things, and a plan we cannot fathom."

"Perhaps, Starbuck." The Admiral allowed, "But is that a battle in which any man, no mater how gifted, can prevail? If all that you have told me of your mission is true, how can you expect me to understand it. How can you hope for me to grasp the breadth and scope of what you are trying to do. it is this galaxy that commands my attention, this war, this fight. When that is won, perhaps I will be able to see beyond it, and perhaps your part in this will serve your needs as well, but before we can proceed, any of us, we must learn to trust one another." He glanced not unkindly at Han.

"Begins within, trust does." Yoda observed quietly, Ackbar looked back at the Jedi. "In oneself, first and foremost, humility must be nurtured." The Jedi looked at Starbuck, "Finite we are, in knowledge and power both. Small, in the vast cosmos." Starbuck recognized the sentiment.

"We are so small, and the universe is so very large." He acknowledged, he knelt to look the Jedi in the eye. "but I think there's something you are forgetting." The Jedi seemed at a loss, and waited for what Starbuck was trying to say. Starbuck, reached out with his senses and from somewhere beyond, a voice told him what to say. "Size matters not."

Yoda's mouth all but fell open, and Starbuck rose, "And Han, what good is all this despair, this baggage, this poison? You have to forgive yourself, for not knowing what you couldn't really have known, you let go of the idea that you could have done things differently. This is life." he gestured to the jungle around them, "Seems artificial, sometimes meaningless, but it's not." he pointed to the lizard clutching the tree behind Han. "he's living his life as best he can, who cares whose pumping in the oxygen, he's doing the best he can." Starbuck took a step forward. "Finish your story Han, we all need to hear it, I think."

"Yes the torture." Answered Leia drolly, "So… you forgive me?"

Luke considered it and after a moment. "Sure thing princess. In what he hoped was a fair imitation of Han's style, he snaked an arm around her, drew her close and kissed her passionately.

The second he did it he realized how wrong it was, the second after that a resounding slap across his face clarified that Leia agreed.

"UGH!" She exclaimed, "You nerf herder you weren't even listening to me! Listen to me carefully Luke, Not now, not ever!" furiously she stalked away. Threepio pranced around the corner.

"Ok, look, I am not going any further until he tells me what he knows." Han snapped, tired, angry, and feeling more than a little uncomfortable at the mortified expression on Yoda's face, "Out with it." he snapped. Yoda shook his head.

"My place... perhaps it is not..." He began.

"Honestly master, I think we need to hear whatever you have to say." Wedge interjected, "If it's causing you such discomfort...."

"Brother and sister, they are." Yoda relented, "Seperated at birth they were to hie them from their father, the Sith Lord, Darth Vader. A jedi he once was, turned to the dark side he did."

Even the buzzing lizards seemed to stop for that one.

"Holy Frack." Starbuck said finally into the silence.

"Holy frack is right." Han said, "I thought they were lunatics!"

"Darth Vader was a Jedi?" Ackbar demanded, he turned to Yoda, "You knew this? You didn't tell us?"

"Used it you would have." Yoda replied evenly, "Poorly." Ackbar shook his head.

"It would have discredited Leia." Wedge pointed out, then his eyes widened, "Anakin? Anakin Skywalker, hero of the clone wars, became Darth Vader?"

"Han... you don't seem surprised by any of this..." Starbuck observed, not even sure how the relationship of the people involved had such significance.

"No...I'm not..." Han said, "They told me."

"Excuse me princess may I just say…Oh!" the droid cried as she shoved it to the ground with a clatter. A few moments later he heard the fresher door slide shut with a slam. Frustrated he sank to the ground and tried to clear his head. Shame and remorse thundered through his ears and more than anything he wished for Aunt Beru's comforting presence, or even Uncle Owen's stern but loving voice. Never had he felt so bad, despair and sorrow washed over him more so even than when He had felt the destruction off Tatooine through the force. Often when he was young and distressed he could find some work to do to burn of frustration or some place on the farm to be alone. But that farm was gone; he would never see it again. In the midst of his despair at last he felt the glimmer of a familiar presence.

"Beware the dark side Luke." Ben's presence chastised him, "Go to Myrkr, wait for Yoda, or all will be lost."

"All is already lost." Shouted Luke, "Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru, the farm? The Empire took it all, I don't want to wait I want to fight! I want to kill them, the Emperor, Vader.. especially Vader!"

"You cannot mean that Luke, you cannot." Pleaded Ben, "For years I watched over you and never have I seen the rage that flickers within you now, you must turn back from the path that is before you, before it is too late. Trust in the force Luke, return to the light and let it guide you."

"You and your absolutes, and your dire prophecies." Grumbled Luke, "What do you know? Your sad devotion to that ancient religion didn't save you from Vader, nor did it give you clairvoyance enough to stop the Death star from blowing up Tatooine, Stop haunting me, just leave me alone."

The countenance of Ben Kenobi crumpled into utter despair. His glowing form stood for a moment more.

"I cannot save you." He said at last, "I have failed you, as I failed your father. Now you too are lost to me."

"What does that mean." Demanded Luke irritably.

"Luke, listen to me." Said Ben gently as the young man looked up at him. He knelt and brushed an arm across Luke's shoulder. Luke felt a faint warmth brush over him. "I am so sorry, you are not ready for this, but time is short. Vader is your father. Your father was a Jedi, who turned from the light, and let the dark side consume him. He became the creature you know as Darth Vader."

"You lie!" Roared Luke shooting to his feet and clenching his fists. Leia came running at the noise and stopped staring at the apparition before her. "That's not true! That's impossible."

"What in the force? Obi Wan?" She demanded hope shining in her eyes.

"Him too?" Demanded Luke throwing up his arms, "of course, sure why not?"

"Luke don't be ridiculous." Leia chastised witheringly.

"I do not lie." Declared the Jedi solemnly, "Perhaps it is for the best that the two of you learn this together, Darth Vader IS your father Luke, and Leia, he is yours as well."

There was an incredibly awkward pause as both sides processed what was being said. Han stepped cautiously into the room his arms out.

"Princess…. Kid… I know we've all been a little crazy here…" he walked slowly towards Luke, not realizing he was coming dangerously close to the apparition of Ben Kenobi. "Luke don't look at me like that, I'm really sorry. I really like her, but I know what I did wasn't fair to you and if its what you want, I'll get out of the way alright?" He strode through the startled form of Obi Wan as though he weren't there. Luke cracked a grin at the expression on Obi Wan's face and then he couldn't help it. He sank back to the ground exploded into laughter so intense he had to hold his sides/ Leia joined him in laughter on the floor.

Han couldn't have looked more perplexed which only added to the laughter, yet both attempted to speak between breathes.

"You're standing…." Began Luke but Leia had to finish for him, "You're standing in a ghost Han!"

"What?" asked Han hesitantly with a half smile, "I'm what?" he looked about him.

"No trace of the force!" Gasped Luke wiping his eyes, "No trace!"

"You can't see him Han, it's a force ghost!" gasped Leia, "But I can!"

"Of course, because you're my sister!" Luke exclaimed, "Which is embarrassing!"

"You too are completely crazy." Declared Han waving his hands around him, "There's nothing here!" And suddenly they noticed he was right. Leia looked at Luke.

"I did see him Luke, didn't I?" She asked seriously, he wiped his eyes, and replied somberly, "I think so, I saw him too."

"If he really was here, than its all true." She said slowly, "You are my brother and he…is my father."

"Me?" demanded Han confused.

"Vader." Declared Leia frostily, "I knew I was adopted but my parents never told me from whom, they must have wanted to shield me."

"Uncle Owen always said if I went up into space I'd end up like my father." Luke declared, "He wouldn't let me leave that farm, and he was right, I nearly just.." he broke off as he realized how close he had come to losing control. "I'm not who I want to be out here am I." he looked at Leia and at Han, "I'm afraid out here. I'm alone."

"You're not alone Luke." Said Leia touching his shoulder, "I'm here."

"So I'm supposed to believe the Old man's ghost was just right here telling stories?" demanded Han, "You two are brother and sister?"

"So we've been told." Replied Luke looking wonderingly at Leia. They both looked back at Han. He looked back them.

"What a kriffing load of poodoo!." Snapped Han, "The sooner I dump you two off the better. We'll be at Yavin in a few minutes princess, my payment better be ready."

"They knew." Yoda said. Starbuck started, the Jedi had used a characteristic manner of speech, and for him to abandon it, meant he was truly shocked. "Told them, Kenobi did." The Jedi said recovering.

"But he didn't tell me." Said Han in frustration, "I didn't know enough about what was going on at the time. I was so stupid!"

"No Han wait!" protested Luke rising to follow the angry captain, "We can't go to Yavin Ben said we have to go to Myrkr!"

"What?" objected Leia, "We have to get Artoo to the rebellion!"

"There isn't time!" exclaimed Luke, "Ben said to go now!"

"I'm not taking you two anywhere else." Snapped Han, "This is my ship, and what I say goes. You sit down, shut up, and stay out of my way until we land or I swear I will blow you out an airlock, I've had it with all this." He stormed off towards the cockpit swearing as he went. Luke started to follow him but Leia restrained him.

"Let him go Luke, we're nearly to Yavin, we can drop off Artoo and get a ship there. A few hours can't make that much of a difference."

Luke looked reluctantly after Han and then back at Leia.

"Fine, little sister. Than you sit down and tell me everything about yourself, we have some serious catching up to do."

"Just who said you were older?"

"When we arrived on Yavin, the princess was informed that the Emperor had destroyed Alderaan and was headed straight to the Corellian system. Later we learned the wraith had invaded Alderaan as a feint, and that Ra used the diversion to take over Centerpoint."

"Luke and Leia must have felt its passing." Murmured Starbuck, "They were too untrained, jerking around like puppets because they couldn't understand what they felt."

Han glowered for a moment, "Whatever. We got to Yavin and Lea heard the news, I swear I've never seen anything more tragic…" his voice caught. "She felt them die and she didn't even know!" he choked up.

"Too late was Obi Wan's warning." Observed Yoda, "past Myrkyr the storm had passed. Nothing there was, that you could do."

"I could have tried to make her happy!" exploded Han, "Instead of playing little games! She didn't go happy, neither did Luke. Both off them lost everything they knew in the space of a few days, found out they were the children of a monster and then died an agonizing death."

"Neurological overload, cellular disruption..." Akbar stated sadly, "The more sensitive went mad and their bodies failed them, the less sensitive simply went mad from continual neurological misfiring. It was a holocaust that galvanized the galaxy against the Goa'uld."

"It sure galvanized me." Agreed Han, "The Empire needed ships and men, and I had both. I threw myself into their fight with everything I had, for her, and I hated myself the whole time." He took a shuddering breath, "And you made it all worse!" he shouted stabbing an accusing finger at Akbar, "You undermined them, opposed them, and when it was over, and we were all staggering, you went in for the kill, with your little friends the Cylons. I was ready to join the rebellion before the Wraith wars, now… I don't think I believe in anything, except Chewie." He ran a hand through his hair. "Big guy has stuck with me through it all, even when we did jobs for the Empire and the soldiers on board treated him like garbage."

"A true friend, Chewbacca is, and has always been." Agreed Yoda nodding appreciatively. "Loyalty, and bravery, worth believing in, these things still are."

"You seem like someone waking up from a dream." Starbuck observed as the ancient Jedi straightened a bit.

"Too old am I, to see the dawn once more." Negated Yoda, "But perhaps, a glimmer of light."

"If anyone should be feeling old around here it should be me." Argued Starbuck good naturedly, earning a sharp look from Yoda.

"Look Starbuck, I told you, it ain't the years, it's the mileage." Replied Han, "That goes both ways."

"Astute, that observation is." Agreed the Jedi, "Not what you seem, are you Starbuck."

"You know what, just stop." Declared Starbuck holding up his hands, "I had my whole civilization wiped out by an act of betrayal from one of our trusted leaders. The Cylons chased us across three galaxies until we found at long last the planet of legend, upon which we rested our hopes and our dreams, and guess what. Everyone's dead, some terror called the Ori beat the Cylons to it. We join the survivors in coming to this galaxy and on the way they offer to teach us the technique of ascension to a higher, more enlightened plane of existence. I worked for years to pull that off and the first thing I found when I got there? " he stalked angrily around the shrubbery to tower over Yoda. The Jedi master stared up at him with unblinking eyes.

"Baltar! the man who doomed my people. So much for enlightenment. Over time I have seen one malevolent race after another wiping out their neighbors while these so called "enlightened" beings just watch. A rag tag fleet from a possible future appears in orbit over Earth looking for a break and unleash the devil himself and what do they do? They study the situation carefully and agree to help Iblis create the future he just ruined with the agreement of course, that THIS time, he won't murder humanity."

"We ran into Iblis once before, even his own people thought he was a menace, according to Baltar, he was actually responsible for creating the Cylon race that wiped out my people." Ackbar's mouth dropped open and Starbuck tossed a glance at Han, "He created the Wraith and the Goa'uld too. Meanwhile, the ancients sit back and do nothing as events unfold around them exactly the way Kara warned that they would. They punish ME for daring the question them. That's my mileage ladies and gentleman, That's the universe I live in, and that's the universe I'm going to save." He took a breath and turned to them all.

"Han, she was a hell of a girl, in another life, maybe. Yoda, let it go, you tell others to accept what they can't change, well that goes for you too. Akbar, stop calculating the behaviors of your own allies and trust them, don't let the betrayal of Iblis dictate your actions, your rebellion needs higher ideals then the world you live in, the world he made."

"Much to say have you." Observed Yoda, "So simple do we seem to you?"

"Yoda, there's nothing simple about any of this." Replied Starbuck, "Your every sentence is a meditation, and for a creature of only nine hundred years you possess a singular insight and depth of wisdom, but even the wisest man cannot turn a lense upon himself."

"A mirror you seek." Replied Yoda, "Found me you have Starbuck. Where go will you?"

Starbuck sighed and dragged a stool over from a counter seating himself. Upon this action the others began to find seating of their own. Akbar poured a steaming cup of Caf from a dispenser hidden somewhere in the wall behind a tangle of vines. He gave it to Han who was still shaky.

"I'm not going anywhere." Declared Starbuck, "I've been looking at myself as an observer here, a drifter. I was going to scout out Iblis' plan and beat him at his own game. I was going to return to my own universe and save it. Now I see that's not so easy."

"Your universe, where you are, that it is." Observed Yoda.

"Right." Agreed Starbuck, "I've been picking my battles, letting darkness fester here because its not my problem."

"Injustice tolerated anywhere is an injustice everywhere," commented Akbar, he started at his own statement. "Perhaps I have been unjust to all of you." He declared hesitantly."

"Don't sweat it Akbar, I'm holding your Stargate hostage." Replied Han dryly.

"A firm foundation this is not." Declared Yoda, "Hidden away I have been in self pity have I withered."

"No Master Jedi." Said Wedge suddenly, "You have to protect yourself, or the wave will kill you, you have kept yourself, your wisdom, for us."

"Gone the wave has been, for quite some time." Yoda revealed with a glance at Starbuck who nodded. "Concealed myself I have, for face the silence, I cannot."

Wedge looked shocked and then thoughtful.

"Not so wise am I." admitted Yoda abashed, "When myself it concerns."

"What difference does it make?" Demanded Han, "What can we do about any of this?"

"Yoda can leave the Ysalimiri if he is willing to experience the vacuum left by the force." Starbuck declared, "His senses would be limited by the Midichlorians in his body but there may be enough for the Force to someday regenerate."

"Lost they are, all those who went before." Declared Yoda, "The Sith, the Jedi, the good, the evil, gray it all is."

"They are not lost." Insisted Starbuck, earning a look of surprise from the others. "Yoda I feel them right now, at the edge of my senses. The spirits of Obi Wan and Anakin, they echo from a distance, the Force is beyond time, a relative moment without Midichlorians cannot undo that. "

"Leia." Broke in Han, "Is she out there? Somewhere?"

"Maybe." Conceded Starbuck, "I can't feel them so clearly, Ben is deep and Anakin is strong, but if Anakin passed over even as the Midichlorians died, Leia may have too. The Midichlorians were programmed to cherish life. "

"The here and now, upon it we must look." Yoda declared, "Undone, the work of Iblis must be. An unjust galaxy this is, a reckoning there must be."

"We have discussed some possibilities for dealing a blow to the empire." Commented Akbar, "Perhaps we may revisit them,"

"There is someone here who can help us too." Said Starbuck, "An Ascended being, named Adama, we must find him."

"And the force, restored will be." Declared Yoda, "If, the last thing I do, it is."

"You know… the Vong came here, maybe someone followed them." Said Starbuck scratching his chin thoughtfully, "There just may be a way to speed up the return of the Force to this place, with the guidance of all those gone before, maybe we can get things back on track around here…."

Han had tuned out at that point. For the others, there was something new in the room, there was hope. Han could see it glimmering just beyond the horizon, even as the jungle around him brightened with the coming of an artifical day. He listened to the others talk off the future but his thoughts strayed to the past, memories of an old man, a kid, and a princess. One more moment in the darkness he promised himself, one more moment, in memory, one more dream of what could have been.

"Its was like an Alderaanian fairy tale." She murmured weakly.

"Don't go Princess, don't give up!" he urged

"Rescued from the darkest tower by a pirate…" She continued dreamily.

"She's delirious." Declared the doctor, "We're losing her, how's the other one?"

"He's fading fast!"

"Ben! Ben! I can save him! Help me save him!"

"Leia don't quit on me, Hang in there kid, keep fighting!"

"Like a fairy tale… happily ever after…so bright…"

"Neural activity is increasing; I've never seen anything like this it's off the charts!"

"No Leia no! Stay with me!"

"He's going into arrest!"

"She isn't far behind!"

"Damnit Princess don't give up!"

And then their eyes locked.

"Its okay Han, it's ok, I will always be with you."

And then they were gone.

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (01-23-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-01-24 03:16pm

Crayz9000 wrote:This is rapidly shaping up to become the most interesting fusion between SW, SG and oBSG that I've ever seen.

Thanks I was afraid it becoming overly cumbersome. This is the second incarnation I have posted to the sound of crickets and tumbleweed :lol:

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (01-23-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-01-26 07:17pm

Chapter 8

"Well that was a lot of work." Grumbled Han as the stargate was pulled upright. The rebels had chosen to forgo erecting any structures identifiable from orbit and had instead excavated, and shored up several of the ruins. The gate room was among the first to be restored, though sadly, the crystals that made up the ancient database had long since crumbled into fragments. Starbuck remained optimistic that somewhere further in the ruins an operational remnant would be found, Han had little interest in it though. In his opinion, the greatest weapon the Rebels would have had been with them the whole time. "We brought the thing for a tour of the galaxy and it ended up right back where we started."

"Well despite appearances we've come a long way." Starbuck replied wanly, "It wasn't too long ago you were pointing a blaster at me and stealing drones."

"Stealing is an ugly word." Deadpanned Han. "Look just because we had a moment back there, let's not get all mushy here." Starbuck rolled his eyes.

"You know Han, there's a reasonable explanation for that." Starbuck said dryly. Han started to shake his head, "No, listen, there is. You've never had a touch of the Force have you, you've never had much use for it."

"Look, all I know, is there's no all powerful energy guiding life, not my life." Han said tiredly, "I've made my own luck, I always have. I get by just fine."

"Fair enough." Starbuck acknowledged, "But you've always been a damn good judge of character haven't you Han, you've always gotten yourself out of scrapes, one way or another, and you're a little better than the average pilot aren't you."

"But that's not the force!" Han protested, "It's me, just plain old Corellian me. Besides," he added, "Even if it was the Force, that's all gone now."

"Maybe it is," Starbuck said evasively, "But that's not what I'm getting at." he leaned idly on a console as he spoke. "Now, I'm no expert, but I have a pretty keen insight for these kind of things, as a result of being ascended, there's a lot of knowledge in here, I can't quite... pull out, but the ideas are there." he tapped his temple, "My idea is, there's more to using the Force than meets the eye."

"You think?" Han demanded.

"Well look, the Force itself... that's a different plane of existence, right. and the metachalorinates, midi-chlorines, they're tiny, living beings descended from the femtobots that cultivated life in this galaxy." Starbuck continued, trying not to lose the Corellian's attention, though the man was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. "They are present in everything in this galaxy right? But not everything died when that death wave passed through the galaxy. So?"

"So?" Han echoed turning to go.

"So you heard that buzzing sound didn't you. In Yoda's chamber, you heard the buzzing noise the lizards were making." Starbuck pressed, Han was walking now towards the technicians, intent on finding something better to do than listen to the man following him.

"So what kid, lizards make noise." Han growled.

"But they don't!" Starbuck exclaimed, stopping the man, "Those lizards weren't really making a sound! Yoda heard it, and sure, I know, it doesn't need to be said." Said Starbuck gesturing towards his own ears as Han opened his mouth, "Because I heard it too. Ackbar and Wedge couldn't though, I asked them after."

"So big deal." Han said, "What do buzzing lizards have to do with me?"

"The buzzing wasn't sound Han, it was the resonance of a disturbance in the force, it was, a shadow." Starbuck explained, "I can sense it because I have an advanced awareness of this plane of existance, because of the time I spent living on another, I would bet you a million cubits yoda could hear it because he was once so in tune with the Force, but the point is that you could hear it too. Do yous ee what this means?"

"Not even remotely." Han said, yet he remained standing where he was, at the base of the steps leading to the Stargate.

"It means, you probably have the physiological ability to sense, or use the force, you've got the mind for it Han, you are just utterly closed to the idea of it. You could have gone your whole life without noticing it Han, but when the Force disappeared, it was the absence that heightened your awareness. Like, not realizing it had gotten dark, until you turned on a light." Starbuck told him, "All that luck, and skin of your teeth skill, there's something there Han, you're a more..." he searched for the right term, "Evolved level of humanity. " Han scoffed.

"You know you sound a lot like the old empire." he accused Starbuck as he climbed the steps, "'Humanity is more evolved than aliens', and all that."

"Well so what, evolution doesn't make someone better." Starbuck argued, "I knew a guy who could pop his arm out of his socket and back in, that didn't make him a nice guy, just a good wrestler."

"Why does any of this matter anymore?" Demanded Han, rounding on him, "The force is dead, all those wizards and their craziness are gone."

"Well it doesn't exactly." Starbuck said faltering at last as he saw in Han's eyes, a hunger for far more meaning than he could provide, "I'm just saying some of what was going on back on the Star Defender was because of the noise. It's like how a daggit hears a high pitched whine and goes crazy, we could hear that noise on an unconcious level and it was kind of getting to us all, is all." Han gave him an incredulous look.

"Well hey," said Han throwing up his arms in a profoundly sarcastic gesture of gratitude, "Thanks for the insight, let's all just hug."

"Coreascendant a the logical place for a hidden base, if so few remember its location." Continued Starbuck, choosing to return to Han's earlier comments, "A good palce to set up the Stargate if we can find others to connect it to. It's a little too close to the action for my tastes though, given hyperdrive speeds in this galaxy, I have some ideas about a fallback option. It never hurts to be prepared."

"I imagine that's what those are for." Wedge chimed in wryly pointing at the explosives being positioned nearby, "Once we get this thing running its our escape route and booby trap."

"Especially if the Empire manages to trace your little connect signal." Retorted Han, "Personally though, first sign of trouble I'm making for the Falcon, I trust that heap a whole lot more than I trust some dusty ring. This whole business of tearing a guy apart shooting him through a wormhole and trying to put him back together on the other side? Thanks I'll do it the old fashioned way." There was a sudden pause in activity around them, and Han clamped his mouth shut.

"That's... a great attitude for a General..." Said Wedge awkwardly glancing around at the suddenly nervous looking technicians. Han shot a glare at them and they suddenly found things to do.

"Technically the stargates have been around longer than your style of hyper drive" Starbuck pointed out, "I don't see what your so worried about Han, you don't seem like the kind of guy whose lacking in courage."

"Jumping through that thing ain't my idea of courage." Declared Han stolidly, but this time, more quietly, "It's more like… suicide."

"A unique presence in the force, the clones once had." Joined in Yoda as he hobbled over, "Wonder I do, if such a footprint one would gain, from traveling through this device?"

"See, the little guy sees what I mean." Said Han, "It's not "you" on the other side, it's a copy."

"Coming from a man who scorns all that "hokey religion" that sounds pretty superstitious." Starbuck pointed out, "You'd have to acknowledge that the force exists, first of all." He teased.

Han shot him a dark look.

"I've seen what the Force can do kid, for years I tried not to think about it." He stared at the gate towering over them, nervously. "Like you said we've come a long way."

"Well I'm not a clone." Said Starbuck. He jabbed a finger in his chest. "I think therefore I am, and I am, and I am, and I am..." Chewie who had been silent thus far chuckled.

"Alright laugh it up..." Han began, but was interrupted.

"Captain Starbuck!" called Admiral Ackbar descending the newly rebuilt staircase from the upper levels of the gate room, "My technicians tell me, we have been unable to access the city's mainframe nor any of the back up nodes, it seems the seismic activity has over time damaged the silicon based storage devices the Ancients used."

"Frakking crystals looked pretty, but they always seemed a little flimsy to me." Grumbled Starbuck, "Keep searching admiral, the system was incredibly redundant, if you can find any operating fragments you should be able to restore most of it. In the mean time lets get a better look at this gate." He strode up the ramp to the gate and knelt at its base. With Chewie's help he slid the inner ring to a specific position and as the inner aligned with the outer, he reached through a depression and slid back a panel. Beckoning Artoo over he gestured.

"Alright little buddy, there is an alternating current running off this contact. If you can figure out the language you should be able to interface."

Artoo gave a confident beep and extended a probe . There was an awkward moment when it became apparent that Artoo's probe was both too short and inflexible. Han snickered, and Starbuck shot him a dirty look. Artoo blatted at the heckling and oriented his trunk severely downwards, aligning the probe with the hole. There was a spark causing the droid to draw back suddenly. han smirked at Starbuck, who looked pointedly elsewhere, but before Han could make a comment, Artoo gave an excited whistle.

"We're in business admiral!" Starbuck called, the droid chattered excitedly "Artoo is retrieving destination/point of origin records, the Stargate only connects to the network when it is active, so there have probably been updates, but we can get a general idea of what gates were where when this thing was last used." he gave Han a smug glance, "No need to send any signals yet Han, you can relax."

"Uh huh. Chewie, keep your hands free, we might need to make a run for it." Solo shot back.

"Very well captain, but do not activate the Stargate under any circumstances." Ackbar ordered, unable to hear the banter from a distance. "We do not wish this location to be identified as having an active Stargate."

"You got it sir." Starbuck replied musing at how easily he fell into military protocol, he hand't been particularly reverent as a Warrior. He glanced up at Yoda who peered inquisitively at Artoo. "We can't activate it anyway, the formation of the event horizon would take my head off and disintegrate Artoo and yourself." He grinned. The little Jedi took a step back and Artoo squealed voicing a concern. "Hey don't worry!" Starbuck answered, "There would be plenty of warning, if the gate started up I'd just yank the control crystal. Keep downloading little buddy."

"A device like this I have never seen." Declared Yoda looking at the gate. Suddenly the Jedi was wracked by a cough. Then another. Yoda's tiny body was seized by an involuntary convulsion and Han stepped back uncertainly, Starbuck stepped forward. He reached out and touched his shoulder.

"hey you don't sound so good." He observed.

"My time long past it is." Replied Yoda, "Sustained by the force I was for so long, live long without it, I cannot. Strength I must find for what is to come, from within."

Watching the brave little Jedi steel himself, Starbuck was moved. His arm still on Yoda's shoulder Starbuck said, "Well… maybe there is something I can do, I don't know how this will work with nonhuman physiology, if it will work at all." He closed his eyes and extended his senses towards Yoda. Starbuck knelt there amid the bustle of the gate room under construction with Artoo downloading diligently and held the Jedi's arm. He felt the Jedi's arm through the robe beneath his hands and Yoda's eyes widened at the first hint of Starbuck's mind in his.

Chewie turned and regarded them, giving a quizzical growl. Han turned, the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end, "What are they…"

Suddenly Yoda straightened and began to radiate light. His skin tone improved, his ears ceased drooping. The stick fell away as he stood before the kneeling Starbuck. Work in the room ceased as others became aware of what was happening, an indefinable power permeated the chamber.

"This is...this is something unreal..." Han said uneasily. he remembered what Starbuck had said early. if he had heard a buzzing before on the Guardian, he was hearing a deep hum now, as though something of awesome power had just brushed over his consciousness. he cocked his head, for a moment, he thought he heard, something else... an echo of triumphant laughter, a chilling brush with darkness..."

"I've got a bad feeling about this." he said into a room that was suddenly still, but just as quickly the darkness passed and it was as though dawn had broken. The sense of wrongness, that something unnatural had just happened was replaced by a sense of awesome wonder, as something very right began to take place. Han glanced around and found that all around him held their breath. Though Starbuck still knelt beside Yoda, seemingly oblivious, the Jedi looked about in amazement, rapt amazement, and Han yearned to know why.

Suddenly a figure flickered into view, a blue phantasm Han did not recognize. Another appeared beside it looking at wonder at the first, a third appeared and a fourth. In moments the eerie apparitions were everywhere. many of them wore robes, and cloaks, many of them carried phantasmal light sabers. Chewie made a sound something like a growl and a gasp, Wedge at first put his hand on his blaster, and a hand in front of Han, and then dropped his hand to his side in amazement.

"By the Force!" Exclaimed Lando stumbling into the room beside Ackbar, hand on his blaster, "Han have you ever seen anything like this?"

"Not exactly." Replied Han, "But maybe once." he pulled away from Wedge and Chewie and waded into the growing crowd hesitantly at first, and then eagerly. Staring into the faces of each he saw their lips move as they tried to speak but he could hear nothing. Moving quickly from face to face he searched, until suddenly at last he spotted three familiar figures. One tall but stooped, two shorter, more youthful. Obi wan turned to him, and with a small smile he nodded in recognition, to Han. He said something to the others. There was no sound. Luke waved joyfully shouting in silence, and as the third figure finally turned Han's heart stopped.

"Leia!" he whispered, and then shoving forward, "Leia!" he shouted as she brushed past Luke towards him as well, but as they came with a few paces of one another all of the apparitions vanished from view.

Han found himself halfway up the ramp and alone. The sudden loss was soul crushing and he stood transfixed for a moment. Idly he fingered the holster of his blaster and ran a hand through his hair. Choking down the lump that had suddenly appeared in his throat he strode forward angrily to where Starbuck knelt. The blond man was shaking his head disoriented. A renewed Yoda stood staring at his claws in wonder.

"Yes.." said the Jedi wondering, "Yes… feel them I can!" he exclaimed, "Returned it has." Confused he looked at Starbuck, "Truly great your powers are, Starbuck, beyond the force you have reached."

"Well… lets not try that again." Groaned Starbuck rolling down onto his back, "That wasn't entirely my idea you see."

"What the Krifff was that? Where'd she go?" demanded Han reaching down and hauling Starbuck up by the lapels, "I don't care how you do it but bring her back!"

"Who?" Starbuck blinked confused. "Those... shades? You saw them?"

"The whole bloody room saw them." Declared Lando coming up beside Han, he put a hand on Han's shoulder and Han released Starbuck. Starbuck put out a hand and leaned on the Stargate shakily.

"Than more than the Force that was." Surmised Yoda, " projections I have seen, many times in the past, never so many at once, and so bright, channeled them you did."

"Not me!" protested Starbuck, "I was just trying to help you fight off a cold! Something took over from me, hijacked my energy I guess you could say."

"Your 'energy'?" Han demanded his old habit of cynicism reasserting itself, "I thought you said you weren't a Jedi.

"Force and energy are two different concepts." Replied Starbuck "Think of force as an influence, and energy as an ability to do work. The Force was essentially a massive network of influence, the energy I generate and control is more direct and less of a group effort. What I think just happened is my energy fed the Force through Yoda. "

"Protected I was, from that which killed others." Clarified Yoda, "Within me, the force lived, but asleep it was, wounded isolated, silent."

"So Starbuck woke it up by accident and it started to use him as a battery." Said Lando, "Who were all of those people?"

"Perhaps, passed through the force they have." Surmised Yoda, "Trapped their spirits are, neither here nor there."

"Well bring them back!" demanded Han, "You can't just abandon them, they'll die!"

"They're already dead." Replied Starbuck, "Well what I mean is their bodies are dead." he amended hastily, "The people you saw can't come back "Here" exactly, They exist in the timeless aspect of the Force, they can either Ascend to a higher plane, or continue to remain there, but they can't live again, and until the Force is whole, they can't interact with this plane, without a medium."

"You did it." Han pointed out accusingly, "You ascended didn't you? You were dead and you came back."

"No, I didn't die." Argued Starbuck, "They haven't either, exactly, but we both took different roads Han, mine is a little more of a two way street."

"Qell," fumbled Han, "Its possible right? You did it didn't you?"

"Sorry Han Ascension is a little different. With a greater control of matter and energy you can just MAKE a corporeal form." Replied Starbuck, "And I gave all that up when I descended."

"Physical manifestations of the Force, there have been." Declared Yoda, "The Father of Leia, a Jedi he was, named Anakin Skywalker before he fell. Conceived he was, by the Force."

"That doesn't sound like it went too well." argued Starbuck, "Look, I'm sure the Midi-chlorians figured out a way to create a corporeal form, but it would have to be made up of mid-chlorians, meaning a ridiculous force sensitivity."

"Powerful he was." Confirmed Yoda.

"But sensitive." Starbuck elaborated, "Fickle, prone to the currents of emotion that run through the force. Look every creature tied into the force broadcasts unconsciously through it, Your dark and light side notions?" he now addressed Yoda, "That's a reflection of a group subconscious. Leia could perhaps be reborn one day through the Force Han," he said turning back to Solo, "But she wouldn't be entirely her own person. her independence, her free will would be compromised, maybe the Force would try that kind of thing but the Ancients would never stand for that."

"Perhaps tolerate it they did, " observed Yoda, "The folly of it, to teach us."

"There are more pressing concerns at this time." Interrupted Akbar's gravelly voice, "I would ask that you all return to your duties and continue this discussion at a more appropriate time." Starbuck, "What is the status of Artoo's download?"

Reluctantly the technicians working about the room responded to the authority in his voice. han was still, perhaps for the first time in his life, entirely unsure if what to do next and so proceeded to stand motionless, sorting out what had just happened. Starbuck glanced at the droid who whistled, and retracted the probe.

"You were done?" he demanded, "Why were you still linked?" A series of beeps and whistled too complex to follow ensued and Starbuck motioned Threepio over from his place in the corner of the gate room.

"Oh Come on Artoo, such rubbish," the droid chastised, turning to Starbuck he clarified, "I'm afraid my counterpart has become somewhat enamored with the device. He is quite impressed with its software protocols, and its operating system. He is quite eager to continue exploring its capabilities."

"Sounds like the little guys in love." Commented Starbuck, "Come on Artoo, lets set up a DHD first and then you can go on a second date."

Ackbar surveyed the renewal of activity with relief. He turned to Calrissian, but paused as he followed the man's gaze. Solo still stood before the gate motionless. Technicians did their best to work around him, respectful of the man's mood.

"I've never seen Han like this." Lando said, "He's always self assured, arrogant, cocky..." he sighed, "It's these damned wars, they change you."

"Solo is a man of surprising complexity." Ackbar noted, "Beneath his veneer, he has come to question much, including himself."

"It's a damn shame Admiral." Lando remarked, "The man is good, one of the best in the business. I'm not sure he remembers that."

"Perhaps it is time to remind him." the Admiral decided. "General Solo." he called out, the man turned. "Mr. Calrissian has brought a security matter to my attention of which I wish to make you aware." Solo did not move. "Come now General, this is a situation in which you bear some small measure of responsibility, the least you can do is lend us your input in correcting it."

"My responsibility...?" Han began to take umbrage and stalked towards the stairs to the control room. Lando winced.

"Thanks for making me a part of this Admiral." he said tightly. Ackbar said nothing but gave the man an amused glance.

* * *

Wedge followed master Yoda from the gate room. "Master Yoda, where are you going?" asked Wedge.

"Renewed am I, reconnected to the Force I am." Replied the Jedi, "Commune with it on my own I must, something to refresh old skills, it is time I did."

"May I ask you something before you go?" Wedge pressed following the Jedi through the recently cleared hallway. Though the steps had deteriorated beyond recovery, a ramp extended over a collapsed portion, and the two continued further towards the building's exit.

"Ask something you have." Replied Yoda, a hint of amusement in his voice, "But more questions I will allow."

"Er. .thanks." said Wedge, "look, I knew Luke Skywalker growing up on tattooine. When I heard it was destroyed, I grieved, but I knew somehow that Luke would have survived it. When he showed up on that old tramp freighter, the Death star hot on his heels, it felt like.. like… like inevitably, like it was destiny."

"Falling into place, pieces seemed to be." Replied Yoda, the two approached a balcony. It had once overlooked a panoramic city, now it was little more than a sunken garden. "Or, appeared it so."

"That's what I mean!" declared Wedge, "I mean, it was all just coming together, the rebellion was getting too strong, the Empire too bold, good vs. evil it was all about to come to a head at last and then the goa'uld and the wraith? They weren't really part of the equation at all!"

"Mistaken we were, what signs and prophecies meant." Agreed Yoda seating himself on a moss covered bench.still walking, "More complex, this universe is than imagine we could have. From beyond the Force factors lie which anticipate we could not."

"So that's my question!" said Wedge plaintively, he paced the sunken garden, dimply lit by fading sunset, and the lights from within the doorway. "The Force is gone Master Yoda, what do we turn to? What does any of this mean anymore?"

Yoda looked up at Wedge fondly.

"Miss him you do." He said jabbing his stick at Wedge, "As General Solo misses Leia, you miss Luke, not as deeply perhaps but miss him you do."

"I grew up with him." Said Wedge awkwardly, "I kind of admired him, I mean he was the youngest of us, the baby but he was always there in a pinch. He was so hopeful and optimistic, " he sighed, "His future was so bright."

"Bright it should have been." Agreed Yoda, "Visions I had, Luke as a leader I saw, revered, respected, humble, yet powerful, yet come to pass this has not."

"Can it still?" asked Wedge, "Starbuck came through a device which can move through time."

"Considered this I had." Declared the Jedi at length. "Guidance from the force must I seek."

"How?" asked Wedge, "When you came out of the Hydroponics lab on the Star Defender you said the Force was gone. Starbuck went on about those Midi-chlorians having been killed in the Centerpoint wave. Starbuck touches you and ghosts start appearing everywhere? I saw Luke YodaI buried that man three years ago on Yavin, and today I saw him moving, alive, how do we save him?"

"Save him?" demanded Yoda, "Save him you say, From what, save him, must we? One with the Force he has become, timeless, and forever, Save him you say? Save him from what I wonder."

"he's not right though!" protested Wedge, "He's not here, with us! there has to be a way to bring him back, to put things the way they should be."

Yoda looked sadly at Wedge for a moment.

"Not for us, is that decision to make." He said at last. "The power we may find, but the wisdom, we have not. Who lives, and who dies, How valid may be ones life be? Luke's life is,. and was, to unravel as it was destined to, to determine how it should have, that is not our right."

"We have to do something!" protested Wedge, "All of your friends the Jedi, all those who died, we can fix that, how much wisdom do we need to see that that must be done?"

"Crowded, your premise is by your assumptions, Room for wisdom your question does not leave." Yoda pointed out, "Only the answers you desire, will it reveal. 'Know nothing do I' is the mantra of the wise, " he sat and reflected silently for a moment and then said, "The Force is with you Wedge Antilles."

Wedge started, "What? I've never…"

"Always has it been." Replied Yoda, "yet more so now, than ever. New champions it chooses in its time of need. Long hoped for this you have, now come your moment has, whom serve, will you?"

Wedge shook his head, "I don't understand."

"Wisdom you have found, in confusion, it seems." Chuckled Yoda. "Different were things before. Chosen from birth, people were, to follow the Force. Influenced they were aware of it they were, choices, they were asked to make. Found them we did, and raised them we tried to the ways of the Jedi embrace. Changed that all has now."

"because the Force is gone." Wedge agreed, "Midi-chlorians aren't spread out throughout the galaxy, but we can change that, undo it!"

"The Force is in all living things." Yoda said adamantly, but pondered, "Yet changed has the nature of our connection to it." before Wedge could consider precisely what that meant the Jedi stood. "Passed the torch will be." Declared Yoda nodding to himself at the determination in his own words., "New life I have been given, a new path, I must accept. Forward we will look, choose to move on, we must. Invited, will you now be, to follow the way of the Force, not chosen."

"You are asking me to be a Jedi?" asked Wedge finally understanding, "To join you? I don't have the powers I can't do the things…"

"Manifestations, external are they." Replied Yoda, "Internal development, more important has become. Transform you that can, in time, but learn you must, and choose, you must."

Wedge took a deep breathe, "Than if it is acceptable to you, I do choose." He said, "I will follow the path of the Force, not for the power or the influence, not even to change the way things are or worse, but to honor my friend. This galaxy wants to change Yoda, I can feel it. The Jedi were always a beacon of hope, a shining example of what we can all become. I will be that light if you let me, just as Luke was for me."

Yoda regarded him for a long moment.

"The past consumes you still." The Jedi said sadly, "For the one who must lead, to the future must he look, with single minded purpose."

"I know I'm not perfect." Wedge pleaded, "But I'm here.

"Perfect you are not." He said at last, "nor perfect am I. Shaped we are by the world we live in, fall short perhaps, of our promise we do."

"We can always try to be more." Declared Wedge resolutely, "I will try to be what Luke should have been, just give me the chance!"

"To yourself you will be true and to the force." Declared Yoda resolutely, "As will I. Do, or do not, there will be no try." He reaching into his robe he pulled forth a light saber, tossing it to Wedge. "your first lesson that was. Begun your training we have." Suddenly an alarm sounded.
* * *
"You've got to be kidding me." Han snapped, "Already?"

"Confirmed sir, our patrols report a Cylon base star closing on this position." The technician confirmed, listening to her headset. Starbuck was jogging down the corridor to the recently established control room.

"Put it on a tactical plot, vector fighters to intercept." Ackbar ordered as he stood over a holotank. A graphic of Coruscant dominated the view with a blip marking the position of the base star.

"But have them hug the surface." Han suggested, "Keep the planet between them and the Cylons until the last minute."

"What the frack is going on?" Starbuck demanded, "Has the Empire found us already?"

"We detected a Cylon Base Star rising from the surface of Coruscant's moon. it must have arrived here before us and been waiting for our ship to leave." Ackbar told him

"Unfortunately for them, it didn't" Han grinned wolfishly. Ackbar nodded to the General.

"After it left the system, General Solo had it return from a different vector and take up position on the far side of the solar system. Our ground based fighters are moving to intercept, while the Star Defender plots a micro jump to block their escape."

"Four minutes to intercept." The technician called out, "No sign our fighters have been spotted, but the Star Defender is not yet in a position to block her." Han scowled and stalked over.

"She's got a gravity well generator on board." Ackbar explained, "That should serve to disable their hyperdrive."

"They wouldn't use Tylium FTL?" Starbuck asked confused.

"If you are referring to the propulsion system the Cylons used to reach our galaxy, they abandoned it." Ackbar told him, "It was impractical within a galactic region, and fuel was not easily obtained."
"That's right..." Starbuck considered, "They can't maintain faster than light with all of this stellar clutter around, whole star systems would force them to constantly accelerate and decelerate."

"The hyperlanes to Coruscant have not been maintained in millennia." Ackbar stated, "That worked to our advantage, as our early warning probes detected them on approach, but the Star Defender is on the far side of the system as well." he turned at a disruption by the comm station.

"You don't have to calculate the damn twelfth decimal point, did you not read the briefing?." Solo was shouting into a comm system, "The planet's gravity will drag you out of hyperspace, just use the vector I sent you." he looked up at the admiral's scrutiny. "Sorry," Han apologized, "Some of your so called 'fleet navigators' are a little too by the book and it's gonna get us killed."

"Using the planet to intentionally drag a ship out of hyperspace is quite brilliant actually." The Mon Colomari replied, "Also quite risky."

"Yeah well thank Thrawn." Han said, "A couple of his patrols cornered Chewie and me a few months back doing a spice run to Jabba's new palace on Dantooine and we had to get a little creative."
"Fighters have been spotted!" the technician reported excitedly, "The base Star is launching Raiders, she's going to fight them!"

"Yeah, wait 'till they get a load of the Star Defender, and the squadrons she's packing." Han declared smugly, "See why I wanted to keep just a few squadrons on the ground Admiral, easy to hide if we want to go to ground, and a convincing bluff if we try to pull something fancy."

"Your suggestions for fleet disposition have proven satisfactory." The Admiral allowed, "Though B Wings and A Wings, seems an unconventional approach, I would have considered X Wings a more versatile defender for an atmosphere."

Han made as if to answer, but was interrupted as a new signal appeared in the holotank.
"Wake up time toasters." he crowed as the massive Star Defender began pounding the base star. outgunned several times over, and trapped by the interdiction field, the ship had literally now chance, and the tank was already swarming with friendly fighters exterminating raiders.

"Captain Starbuck, this battle has proven the vulnerability inherent in concentrating our forces. The cylons are all but exterminated, but had this been an Imperial probe, or even a Vong, we may not have prevailed so readily."

"You don't like being on the ground Admiral, I get it." Starbuck replied. "But there are specific reasons we can't just set up shop on the Star Defender. Some of the addresses you want to check out have to be dialed from this spatial location, and what's more they have to be dialed in the company of certain security systems built into this city."

"Have you managed to locate an intact copy of the city's database?" Ackbar asked, Starbuck nodded. "Sort of. We were able to connect with one, but as best we can tell it'll take months to excavate that portion of the city."

"So we cannot take it with us." The Admiral sighed. Starbuck nodded. "We will proceed with the establishment of this base. I will move the Star Defender back into the Rim and allow her to be spotted to draw attention away from this sector of space, but if the Cylons have already found us..."
"We knew that was an accident. Lando caught it just in time." Starbuck argued, he glanced at the holo tank representing the recently completed battle, "For the most part." he amended.

"I am not comfortable with the Stargate remaining in this location." Ackbar insisted. "It is too valuable an asset, and if anything it draws attention to the colony of Wookiees we are establishing on the southern continent

"Oh come one, with the tech level of that colony, it's gonna be practically invisible." Han argued, "The jungles are the perfect cover, the excavation site on the other hand, is gonna be a little more tricky, but nobody can hide something in plain site like a smuggler Admiral, trust me, we can do this. The Wookiees deserve a home, after all they've been through."

"Look, Artoo and I already have a little brain child that should get our most immediate goals met." Starbuck assured him, "Leave Han and a detachment here as we promised, that can run at the first sign of trouble. We found another functioning stargate on Endor, that you can use as a back up if something happens to this one."

"There's also one on the fourth moon of Yavin." Han said, "Good luck getting through to that one though. Your old headquarters is probably Vong central by now."

"it should not be difficult for General Madine to locate the stargate you believe is on Chandrilla with the device you provided Starbuck." Ackbar decided, "If all goes according to plan he should return with it in a few days, will your... brain child... be operational by then?"

"Absolutely." Said Starbuck confidently

"Then we will make preparations to expedite the Atlantis mission as soon as possible." Ackbar declared, "Solo, you will begin working on a deployment for three fighter squadrons to maintain a covert presence on this world to continue excavations." He nodded to the General, who stood a bit taller, "As your first official command, I would ask you not to plan to abandon it at the first sign of trouble, without bringing as many of those under your command along as possible." The Admiral turned to talk to a the comm officer about recalling the fighters in orbit.

"yeah? Well tell Lando his 'situation' is taken care off, and tell him the next time he tries to give me a gift, make sure it doesn't cause more trouble than it's worth." Han retorted. The Admiral pretended not to hear.

"Did he just make a joke?" Starbuck asked, Han was shaking his head.

"He's coming around." Han said, slightly amused, "Now I have to rewrite the report I did yesterday, who knew command was so much..."

"work?" Starbuck asked innocently. Han eyed him.

"Don't you have some?" he demanded curtly. Starbuck offered him a mock salute

"Yes sir." he replied smartly. As he left, Solo looked down at the holo tank that displayed the system. he allowed himself a moment of solitary satisfaction. The Admiral had overseen his defense plan, but had not interfered, and even though it had been an easy win, it was still a win. Han noted with a bit of professional pride, that there had been no fighter casualties. The combination of fast moving A-wings and B wings supporting at range had wiped out the Raiders easily.

* * *

"Its' a boy." Grinned Starbuck a few days later, "Anybody got a fumerillo?"

"Don't know what a fumerillo is but have a cigarra." Lando Calrissian offered, handing one to Starbuck and lighting up his own, "When this baby hits the commercial market we're gonna be very rich men."

"I hear that" grinned Han slapping Chewie on the shoulder. Before them sat a console, with the evidence of its recent construction scattered about it in the form of tools, wires and discarded hardware. Artoo extracted his connection from it and the console lit up. "You sure you want to go on this little trip of yours Lando, no sense running off and getting yourself killed messing around in somebody else's business."

"Risk is my business." Answered Lando suavely as he puffed his cirgarro, "Besides we can't make a profit until all this fighting is over. Might as well get myself into a good position in the meantime."

"Download is complete the dialing device is operational." Declared Threepio.

"The originals were based on a crystalline computer technology but I'm pretty sure this will be up to the job and then some." Declared Starbuck, "I have a feeling that pairing your people's technology with that of the Ancients is going to work out beautifully."

Artoo beeped affirmatively and Starbuck chuckled patting the droid on the head. "Easy buddy there's a universe full of stargates by now, just waiting to meet you."

"Sir if you don't mind my asking…" Threepio ventured, "With the operational protocols downloaded, and his own database of star positions, wouldn't it have been simpler to simply have Artoo or another astromech function as an intermediary? Such units are readily available throughout the galaxy."

Starbuck glanced uncomfortably at the droid, and scuffed his feet a bit. "Well the thing is Threepio… and no offense… but where I come from we just don't do things that way."

"I'm afraid I don't see what you mean." Professed Threepio.

"Well… I mean the Cylons were very similar to droids…" Starbuck explained, "We don't need all that here. The DHD is meant to be sort of a… manual thing…"

"I see." Said the crestfallen droid, "Well I can certainly see your concerns…." Artoo beeped irritably, "No no Artoo its quite alright I was simply making an inquiry."

"Alright lets fire her up." Declared Starbuck, changing the topic,"Everyone stand clear!" he called to the gate room below. The DHD had been constructed as a console in a balcony overlooking the Stargate. Solo had been uncomfortable with the position of the old control center as it lay in a direct like line with the Stargate, the balcony however was at a right angle to the aperture. This way, the General had argued, projectiles or energry weapons fired into the Stargate wouldn't come streaking out at them. Starbuck had pointed out a force field could be erected but the Han preferred a non mechanical approach as a failsafe.

As Starbuck began to tap out a sequence on a carefully labeled keypad, he consulted a diagram Threepio had made based on Artoo's description.

"Alright this is the first test." He reported to Admiral Ackbar who stood to his right. To his left, several technicians stood watching Starbuck's every move and taking notes. These would become regular gate operators once the system was more fully understood. Below a security team stood weapons at the ready, with E-webs positioned at angles to the Stargate. Wedge and yoda stood with them. "Nothing should be coming through." Starbuck called down reassuringly, "It's a one way wormhole." A noise behind him drew his attention. Han tapped his blaster to his temple.

"Better safe than sorry." He quipped.

As the chevrons completed their ignition the Stargate erupted with a kwoosh and settled into a shimmering vertical pool.

"Where does that lead?" asked Han glancing at the readouts, "Holy smokes that's a lot of power!"

"Its an extra galactic address to Atlantis." Explained Starbuck, "The only local address we have may be in enemy hands, so if we were to connect directly, they could identify our location."

"We will send a probe through and determine if the city would make an appropriate base." Declared Ackbar signaling to the forces below. A probe droid rose up on its repulsors and hovered towards the gate. "After that base is established, Captain Starbuck wishes to try several other addresses."

"You guys want to set up a base that far away?" asked Han doubtfully, "you can't get a ship there to back you up, the Stargate's your only way in or out."

"Indeed, there is a risk." Agreed Ackbar, "But that very factor makes an ideal fallback spot. Starbuck tells us that Atlantis has the same extra galactic hyper drive capability imperial city had before the war."

"Ah and as the city's original hyper drive was damaged we would have a working model." Han observed, "Clever, you can reverse engineer and then upgrade your ships."

"Atlantis won't be alone for long." Concluded Ackbar as the probe disappeared into the event horizon. Telemetry began to pour in. "These results are promising." He declared as Starbuck turned to watch the video feed.

"Everything looks alright, its entering the control room now." Starbuck declared. "None of the consoles will activate until a human with the proper gene is present, but I can tell from that indicator the city's power supply is pretty low."

"We will be sure to bring backup generators along just in case." Ackbar declared as Starbuck moved to leave the balcony. "The layout is some what different than Imperial City.

"Really?" Starbuck raised an eyebrow, "Most of the Lantian cities had an identical blueprint, even Lemuria," he gestured to the gate room they sat in, "I wonder which one Imperial City was..."

"Mr. Calrissian, once our forces have cleared the city for occupation, you will assume your duties as administrative leader of the city, however you will answer to general Madine with regards to military matters." Ordered Ackbar, "Your job will be to oversee research and development as well as to establish trade with any local allies you can identify."

"I assume Madine will be doing more than just providing security?" asked Lando. he glanced at Han.

"Correct." Replied Ackbar, "He will be responsible for assembling a fighter corps for defense of the city, classified scouting missions to map important factions in the Pegasus galaxy, and should a viable intergalactic hyper drive be developed, construction of a shipyard. Operations in this galaxy will be limited to defensive holding actions so as not to arouse undue attention from the Empire as the Vong threat is diminished."

"How long can that last." Demanded Han sarcastically.

"Indeed General Solo, Indeed. The Empire will come calling for us, sooner, rather than later." Declared Ackbar, "But the steps we take here today will ensure that when that day comes we will be ready."

"Well you know, I have a few errands of my own, both in this galaxy, and probably that one," Starbuck chimed in, as he turned to head down into the gateroom "People I need to find, I've done what I can for you right here, right now, but I intend to come back, and by the Lords of Kobol when I do, I'll help you finish this war and free yourselves from tyranny." he took a breath. "You know i always thought the ancients needed to take responsibility, get involved, commit to doing something." he shook his head, "When I arrived here I had no idea how much like them I really was. I was always a drifter, I was always a hustler," Han nodded in understanding, and Starbuck clapped him on the back. "Times change buddy, we've got to change with them." he declared, he nodded to Yoda and Ackbar. "I've got all these powers, and it's time to take responsibility. Time to get out there and make a difference." and with that he left.

Han leaned over to Chewie, "Listening to this guy talk, you'd think he was going to single handedly save the universe."

As the security forces entered the gate, and the Technicians followed pushing carts laden with equipment, Starbuck followed them with Artoo and Threepio in tow. He glanced back pausing at the middle of the ramp, as the droids approached the iris and with one hand motioned the droids on. Artoo rolled through courageously while Threepio simpered nervously. The droid gave a panicked cry as Lando tipped it through the Stargate with a shove. Flashing a grin Lando gave the balcony a wave and followed suit. Starbuck looked up at the balcony where Ackbar, Solo and Chewbacca stood. Yoda had joined them and Wedge, now wearing the robes of a Padawan stood beside him.

Noting the renewed confidence in Solo's bearing, the somewhat more relaxed posture of Ackbar, and determination on Yoda's face, he gave a broad grin and a wave to them. Locking eyes with Han he winked and as he vanished into the gate. Last in line Starbuck stood framed by the gate looking about the room with determination in his face. He turned to the gate, and without breaking his stride, stepped confidently through. Han wondered if Starbuck had somehow heard what he said. As the gate disengaged he heard an echoing laugh and a familiar voice reply.

"You bet I did, my name is Starbuck, I'm here to save the universe."

This is something of a mid season climax, I got a little backed up with revising but am back on track, and will resume posting once a week. I am adding aspects to the Force which are entirely of my own conception, in order to put it into context within a universe which also contains ascension. it's been pretty light on action so far, in terms of ship to ship and what not, because I was working on differentiating the characters in this fanfic from those in the Canon. Starbuck is less of the carefree cutout he was in the BSG series, because, he's literally millions of years old now, he's ascended and it's all changed him. Obviously Han is a very different guy, too, Ackbar is a different guy, Lando's a different guy, etc. Familiar faces but shaped by a different history, Starbuck's job was to bring out the qualities in them that we would recognize, so they can be the heroes we want them to be, in this universe. A universe with some pretty big players in it.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-26 07:44pm

Well this is prety damn awesome. Normallly I would have looked at the idea of three franchies mixed together being a nightmare, but you've made it convincing, especially in these last two chapters where you expand upon some of the history: why the Cylona and Ancients are invovled was particularly good. And with Atlantis appearing as well things are bound to get better. Keep going!
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby Crayz9000 » 2012-01-27 07:18am

I'm actually really surprised at how well the three universes dovetailed together. Having said all that, while the oBSG and SG timelines sound like they remained relatively intact (since the story takes place past the end of the canon timeline) the SW timeline had an ugly stick taken to it, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around exactly what the sequence of events was that led up to the current clusterfuck.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-27 08:39am

From what I can tell, the SG timline is different somewhat, as he mentions the Colonials finding Earth and the Alterans in the process of evacuating. Also, no-one went back to Atlantis, so it is either set before the cannon or has changed it. Either way, it all fits quite neatly.

The part about the Cylons being the techno-enemy the Vong fought is just genius.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-01-27 12:47pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Well this is prety damn awesome. Normallly I would have looked at the idea of three franchies mixed together being a nightmare, but you've made it convincing, especially in these last two chapters where you expand upon some of the history: why the Cylona and Ancients are invovled was particularly good. And with Atlantis appearing as well things are bound to get better. Keep going!

Thanks EF, and if you look really closely, there's a reference to 3.5 franchises. They don't play a major role in this story, but they do in the sequel.

Crayz9000 wrote:I'm actually really surprised at how well the three universes dovetailed together. Having said all that, while the oBSG and SG timelines sound like they remained relatively intact (since the story takes place past the end of the canon timeline) the SW timeline had an ugly stick taken to it, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around exactly what the sequence of events was that led up to the current clusterfuck.

Eternal_Freedom wrote:From what I can tell, the SG timline is different somewhat, as he mentions the Colonials finding Earth and the Alterans in the process of evacuating. Also, no-one went back to Atlantis, so it is either set before the cannon or has changed it. Either way, it all fits quite neatly.

The part about the Cylons being the techno-enemy the Vong fought is just genius.

The SG timeline is very different, but so far nobody's had any reason to encounter anyone from Earth that would give away how. Starbuck also has some pieces to the puzzle that I just outright gave him as a matter of ascended intuition, similar to Orlin's ability to discern the history of a prior just by talking to him. Earth's history deviated after Starbuck locked himself in the Stargate, Star Wars' history got messed up long before that, as you can tell by Coruscant's current condition. Starbuck is working on unraveling what happened, but he doesn't have nearly enough pieces yet. He hasn't been particularly grounded up until now either, kind of lurching from one situation to the next without a plan. What I will say is that Starbuck sealed himself into the Stargate so that he could backtrack the next person to use it. Where he found himself, even if he didn't recognize it at the time, has a lot to do with why Ra and later, Anubis found it necessary to try to invade the SW galaxy for a better tech base.

Here's an edited version of my timeline for the SW galaxy to help. I pulled out any spoilers that aren't alluded to or outright stated in the story so far For a broader perspective, you're gonna have to wait until Starbuck figures out what is going on.

----Coruscant colony abandoned
-3000 Contact with New Kobol lost, stargate on Earth nearly lost to history, but recovered thanks to alternate SG-1. Gate buried, with Starbuck placed in buffer.
Rebel Alliance re-awakens the Wraith and exchanges ship building/ growing technology with... a food supply.
Wraith invade Alderaan, Rebel Alliance breaks all ties. Mon Colamari becomes battleground and Imperial forces seize control during aftermath.

-3 Death Star used to destroy several wraith held worlds. Alderaan is among the first, and, while not destroyed utterly, is still the focus of a major recovery effort three years later. Tattooine and a few others are destroyed utterly. Let's just say that if the wraith were in the galaxy during the clone wars, they could conceivably justify the existence of a Death Star to many. The rebels recover the Death Star plans and Princess Leia, the Death Star is en route to Yavin, until it suddenly diverts.
Centerpoint destroys Byss, the first Imperial capitol. Death Star arrives at Centerpoint, under Ra's control, in time for Vader and Palpatine to be at the epicenter of the Force Shockwave. Most Force sensitives in the galaxy wiped out. Empire is in turmoil, but starfleet remains intact and recently appointed Moff council maintains authority as most of the recently dissolved senate was still on Byss when it was destroyed.

-2.5 Cylons arrive in Corusca galaxy, Rebels attempt to briefly ally with Cylons to oppose Empire. After gaining access to hypderdrive technology, tech base and intel on galaxy, Cylons betray rebels, seizing control of Geonosis and other droid plants. Rebellion defends Corellia, Vong enter the galaxy aiming specifically for Cylon holdings. Cylons pull back to by time, trying to create a buffer between Vong territory and themselves. Nobody bothers with the Rebellion at this time. The Vong begin taking imperial held territory in order to get to the Cylons. The Empire begins to fracture as it is engaged with the Vong on one side, and the Cylons on the other. The Ssi Ruuk and other powers begin carving apart the Empire. Anubis arrives in Imperial city, allies with Hutts and begins enslaving human populations to build ships.

-2 Thrawn crushes opposition in the Unknown Regions and is recalled by Moff Council to assume command of imperial forces. Thrawn quickly concludes that the Moff's weaken the Empire with their dis unified approach. He seizes command of the Death Star II as it nears completion. he immediately destroys several key Vong world ships to halt their advance into Imperial territories. he destroys Geonosis as well, forcing the Cylons to retreat towards the Vong. Thrawn unleashes world devestators on Geonosis and Hoth systems, destroying remaining Cylon and rebel forces there respectively and building Eclipse class star destroyers. Thrawn secures cloning technology from final Wraith stronghold on Kamino, and orders technology moved to the Maw installation, where the Moffs are currently based.

1.5 The Empire is infiltrated by Goa'uld, at Maw installation, Anubis arrives at Maw installation in cityship, believing that the Death Star II is too large to enter.

Thrawn is briefly taken as a host, but manages to overwhelm his young symbiote long enough to have it removed and to oversee the defeat of Anubis. With the knowledge gleaned from symbiote, he crushes Anubis' fleet and storms Imperial City. Thrawn uses himself as bait to persuade Anubis to relinquish the city, deducing that Anubis would accept a personal meeting, and attempt to take Thrawn as a host. Knowing that a symbiote cannot take possession of a host already abandoned by another symbiote Thrawn accepts and Anubis is defeated. In the aftermath, he places Moff Council on Imperial city, relegating them to civilian oversight and taking supreme command of the Empire. He is too popular to be opposed. Rebels defend Kashyyk from withdrawing Cylon forces.

1. As he introduces the new Eclipse class super star destroyer. Thrawn embarks on his final campaign to reunite the galaxy, retaking worlds from the Cylons, and systematically obliterating Vong world ships with Eclipse fleet and Death Star II.

.5 Thrawn accepts title of Galactic Emperor and "decommissions" DS II, recommissioning it as the "Dawnstar". He announces plans to restore worlds damaged by the Vong, the Wraith and the Cylons and restore order to the galaxy, starting with Alderaan, a victim of the first Death Star for it's symbolism.

--- Coruscant rediscovered, Starbuck arrives, Rebel Alliance remnant sets up a base after a brief skirmish with Cylons.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-27 01:10pm

Fascinating, and more to the point very believeable despite the different timelines and franchises going on. I'm particulrly fond of your explanation for the Force and the rather convinient way of getting rid of the Emperor and Vader.

Also, World Devastators building Eclipse SSD's? Eeep! For the Rebel's sake.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-01-27 02:14pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Fascinating, and more to the point very believeable despite the different timelines and franchises going on. I'm particulrly fond of your explanation for the Force and the rather convinient way of getting rid of the Emperor and Vader.

Also, World Devastators building Eclipse SSD's? Eeep! For the Rebel's sake.

Yeah the rebellion has already been thoroughly screwed by this timeline, unless they do something, the regular Stardestroyer fleet would crush them, not to mention the, at this point already completed Deathstar II. A Wraith hive enhanced by rebel technology might give Imperial city a run for it's money, being considerably better than a baseline hive, but probably not as overpowered as the one in Enemy at the gates, but really, the rebels aren't what Thrawn built the Eclipse's for The Rebels are already stymied. They can't exactly come together and unite after Alderaan, as they did in the OT, because they were complicit in the Wraith's invasion of it, to some extent, and the destruction caused by the first Death Star wasn't quite as unreasonable as it was in the OT. Also, Luke never blew it up, no one rallied behind the last Jedi so the Rebellion we're seeing here isn't cohesive.

The Eclipses are a better counter to the Vong Worldships, having sufficient power to cripple if not destroy them outright, and the ability to be multiple places at once, acting as command ships, as opposed to the singular Death Star II. The star destroyer fleet would have seen attrition, due to constant combat with the wraith, the Cylons, and the rebellion, and when the Vong arrived, they'd have to bear the losses the New Republic suffered when they first encountered the Vong, and they'd do it without the benefit of the Jedi leadership. Thrawn would see this and want a command ship to bolster the ships he had, that could take out a worldship at range, to even the playing field, and deny Vong critical resources, don't forget their worldships were irreplaceable, and contained Vong leadership, and infrastructure.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby Alan Bolte » 2012-01-31 10:52am

I like the prologue. Without it, I wouldn't have bothered finishing chapter 1.

I'm sure you've read just as much fanfic as I have, and knew you were info-dumping in Chapter 1 but wanted to get that info out of the way since so much of it is unexpected, and quite meaningful to any reader likely to actually read crossover fanfic. That said, my first thought wasn't, "this is too much data all at once." Rather, it was, "dear god Han's feeling chatty today." I think if you'd just focused on Han defending Emperor Thrawn and put in the rest as exposition in between a few extra paragraphs of Han and Starbuck exploring the ruins, you could keep most of it.

Also, Han might not think to question that Starbuck is from another universe but can speak Basic, but I would think he'd be surprised when Starbuck understands Chewie. Not really important, but maybe worth a sentence.

Chapter 3 - you forgot to italicize Lando's thoughts and at the beginning of later chapters. That was confusing. The bit with Glen Larson could've made for a good joke, but it hurt the tone of the overall scene, and even though it's woven into the setting well I found it impossible to take seriously. Also, when it comes to the last scene with Lando, consider your audience and medium. The whole 'eyes flash, end scene' thing works in TV because it's visually striking, and is over so quickly you might miss it, or think you've imagined it. In text, you might just as well have written, "By the way, Lando's a Goa'uld." A paragraph of thought from the Goa'uld's perspective might work better... or just skip it, and have one more surprise in Chapter 4.

Things finally start to pick up in Chapter 4 - you did a good job with action and adventure, and really kept me guessing. Using some of that skill to spice up Chapter 1 would be an improvement to the overall story. I do have one criticism though - it's not a good idea to start a sentence with dialogue if you've changed viewpoint. For example, I was momentarily left wondering who the comm officer on the Falcon was and who he was calling 'Sir'. A second reading made it obvious that you'd moved scene to the Star Destroyer, but having to stop and think rather breaks the flow of the action.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby LadyTevar » 2012-01-31 08:11pm

Alan Bolte wrote:Chapter 3 -
Also, when it comes to the last scene with Lando, consider your audience and medium. The whole 'eyes flash, end scene' thing works in TV because it's visually striking, and is over so quickly you might miss it, or think you've imagined it. In text, you might just as well have written, "By the way, Lando's a Goa'uld." A paragraph of thought from the Goa'uld's perspective might work better... or just skip it, and have one more surprise in Chapter 4.

Actually, that scene worked for me. Knowing Lando was a Goa'uld, knowing the rest of them had no clue; it gave a tension to the following chapter as I wondered when Lando would betray them. Or if he would betray them this chapter or wait until he'd insinuated himself deeper.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-02-12 05:14pm

Oh man Alan, where you been all my fanfic life, thanks for the feedback :-p

Alan Bolte wrote:I like the prologue. Without it, I wouldn't have bothered finishing chapter 1.

Yes, Chapter one is disjointed because it is a series of teasers introducing the story. The voiceover is the most important part of the exposition, and I didn't want a large block of it, as I did in the first go around. There is also a little bit of exposition in camouflaged for later. Starbuck doesn't exactly know where he is but it is an easter egg for anyone who suffered through Stargate continuum and is more relevant later. One of the hardest things about fanfics is introducing elements of multiple franchises to audiences that may not be intimately familiar with ones that cross over. Add to that that I have to REALLY embellish oBSG, while depicting characters who are recognize able enough for this to be an AU and... yeah your feedback in invaluable in telling me how I'm doing. I might edit a future rewrite of that chapter, but for now I will move forward, keeping what you say in mind and trying to avoid future repeats :lol:

Rather, it was, "dear god Han's feeling chatty today." I think if you'd just focused on Han defending Emperor Thrawn and put in the rest as exposition in between a few extra paragraphs of Han and Starbuck exploring the ruins, you could keep most of it.

Han and Starbuck were trading information, the difference is, Han saw it as trading information that everyone knew, for information that no one should possible know, given that he and Chewie are the only ones who know about Coruscant to his knowledge. Starbuck on the other hand, thinks he's giving away only information that Han can't use... unless Han takes him along.

Also, Han might not think to question that Starbuck is from another universe but can speak Basic, but I would think he'd be surprised when Starbuck understands Chewie. Not really important, but maybe worth a sentence.

It's definitely good for a laugh, and a little more pertinent than the whole ducking around Starbuck did about where his ship was, I'll keep it in mind.

Chapter 3 - you forgot to italicize Lando's thoughts and at the beginning of later chapters. That was confusing. The bit with Glen Larson could've made for a good joke, but it hurt the tone of the overall scene, and even though it's woven into the setting well I found it impossible to take seriously.

It is entirely necessary for an entirely different story, unfortunately. In my prime universe, Star Wars exists in Stargate fiction, because there's a communication stone kicking around, and, in the same way that Joe Spencer in "Citizen Joe" dreamed about SG-1, and told them as fiction, events in the Star Wars universe are getting into the hands of people on Earth as well. In this AU however, Starbuck's the one holding the stone, and a different guy found it on Earth. I can definitely work on polishing that scene though.

Also, when it comes to the last scene with Lando, consider your audience and medium. The whole 'eyes flash, end scene' thing works in TV because it's visually striking, and is over so quickly you might miss it, or think you've imagined it. In text, you might just as well have written, "By the way, Lando's a Goa'uld." A paragraph of thought from the Goa'uld's perspective might work better... or just skip it, and have one more surprise in Chapter 4.

LadyTevar wrote:Actually, that scene worked for me. Knowing Lando was a Goa'uld, knowing the rest of them had no clue; it gave a tension to the following chapter as I wondered when Lando would betray them. Or if he would betray them this chapter or wait until he'd insinuated himself deeper.

After having Lando act like such an asshole, I felt the audience would need insight as to why, even if the characters didn't, otherwise they'd be reading and thinking "I don't even like how this guy treats SW characters" I think I'm on thin enough ice having the characters be AU already.
I do have one criticism though - it's not a good idea to start a sentence with dialogue if you've changed viewpoint. For example, I was momentarily left wondering who the comm officer on the Falcon was and who he was calling 'Sir'.

Yeah that is a formatting issue I will correct immediately, I am separating scenes with
* * *
But sometimes they get lost in the shuffle.

A second reading made it obvious that you'd moved scene to the Star Destroyer, but having to stop and think rather breaks the flow of the action.

Thanks for the feedback, I am trying to maintain a constant pace, and don't want technical issues getting in the way. Another update is on it's way...

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 01-26-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-02-16 05:12pm

[i]So, in my original edition, I glossed over the New Republic's efforts to establish a beachhead in Pegasus, use the new technology they had access to, and continue to oppose the Empire, even though they are at a severe disadvantage, in my revision I address this and therefore need to add three more chapters. I have also rewritten the final parts of the story to include this, but in terms of continuity, this revised edition isn't going to really violate anything in either the Pandora's bottle, or Stargate Apocalypse, both of which are on [/i]

Chapter 9
A shape moved in the darkness. Malevolent and foreboding, disc stacked on disc it stalked the blackness at the edge of the galaxy. Imposing in its own right, this titanic shape was over a mile across and bristled with armament. Across millennia it had been called by many names in many tongues. Deathbringer, Exterminator, Apocalypse. Those races powerful enough to learn its name, had replaced those words in their language with but a new word, the summary of their doom, after which no other words were necessary. Cylons.

Base stars such as this had prowled for millions of years from one galaxy to the next, feared, cursed, victorious. None had with stood their wrath, their power, save one race. Even the being known as man had fallen before the might of the Cylon empire. Until at last they met their equal, indeed their superior, in the Youzhon Vong. Unearthed on a backwater world overlooked by the initial waves of exterminators, the Vong stood fast against the first onslaught protected by a sentient planet. Under the guidance of that planet the Vong made their system a fortress of organic ships incomprehensible to the Cylons.

The scorching jihad of the Vong had repelled the Cylons from their home galaxy forcing the machines out into the stars, to gather strength, to annihilate foes and gobble up resources fast enough to finally turn and wipe out the Vong pursuing them. It was thus that the Cylons met their end, pursued by the irrational, overwhelmingly destructive Vong they had finally run into another foe, that did not crumble before them. The humans who dominated this new galaxy were so like their foes of old, but far far more numerous, far far more advanced, far far more duplicitous. Crushed between opposing foes the Cylons had withered until at last, on the eve of their destruction, they had stepped aside, and watched as their two foes clashed. Now baseships such as this prowled the fringes of the galaxy rebuilding, gathering their strength, as their enemies exhausted one another.

A shadow passed over the base star, It was joined by a vast triple disced shape, easily the times larger across and twice as tall. The central disc protruded half again as far as those stacked above and below. It was joined by another, and another. In the darkness of space six gleaming base stars flanked the first, as their three larger brethren overshadowed them all. Upgraded with the most powerful weapons this fleet would be the foundation of a newer, greater fleet designed to crush the remnants of man from this galaxy, the aliens who aided them, and finally the Youzhon Vong themselves.

Suddenly to the front of this formation, there came the eruptive disturbance of a hyperspace emergence. Similarities were noted to the new style of hyperspace travel employed in this galaxy first by the wraith and adopted more effectively, more recently, by the human Empire. It was also noted that this craft was of an unknown type. A heavy belt seemed to restrain an infant star. This craft was ornately designed yet oddly utilitarian in its design. The Cylons sent a hail.

"What manner of race are you?" demanded a cold, imperious voice.

No answer was forthcoming, the craft continued forward.

"Cease your advance." Ordered the Cylon imperious leader, "Your vessel interests us.""

The unidentified craft continued on its path and as the other base stars moved aside, the imperious leader ordered one of the smaller base ships to stand fast.

"You will not pass us." It declared to the ship fully aware that its message was being received, "You are nothing to the power of the Cylon Empire. Stand down and prepare to receive our forces or we will destroy you."

Ignoring the continued challenge of the Cylon vessels, the unidentified craft continued forward until it plowed straight into the defiant Cylon base star taking point. The double hull of the great craft crumpled and the core of the base star exploded, onto the shields of the intruder. The intruder sailed gracefully through undeterred. With an un machinelike snarl the Imperious leader ordered his forces to fire on the interloper. Energy crashed against the craft in a devastating display of power, to no effect. The Cylons pursued the craft hurling their best weapons against it impotently.

“What is that glowing sphere in the center of their ship?” The cylon leader demanded. “A power source?”

“Readings suggest it is similar to the entechment core our allies have provided for our Ultra Pulsar technology.” His aid told him, “However the technology is entirely unknown.”

“Good.” The Cylon seethed, “I would hate to suspect our new allies of treachery.”
"Imperious leader, we are approaching the Thyferra system which contains a significant concentration of Imperial ships." An aide warned him, "If we continue to pursue they will become aware of our presence."

"Then let them become so aware." Growled the Imperious leader. "Align the Core Stars along it’s path. Power the core and charge the Ultra pulsar."

"My lord, that weapon is designed for use against the death star, the attacker may be too small to accurately…"

"That is my command." Declared the Imperious Leader. "Destroy them, in full view of the Imperial outpost. We will show this Thrawn what power he opposes and let him consider this even as he continues to battle the Vong. Let him know that even victory against them will be followed swiftly by his defeat at our hands."

"By your command." Acknowledged the aide. The base star accelerated, passing the smaller intruder and placing itself far in advance of the craft. Bracketed now, by two pairs of base stars, with the fifth taking position once more in it’s path, the intruder sailed heedlessly onwards. The craft barreled towards this base star as it had the other, intent on ramming it from existence. As it neared the Base Star however, it passed beneath it’s massive counterparts, all positioned vertically above one another.

Massive doors slid open revealing on the bottoms and tops of each base star revealing the perfectly aligned firing cores of all three ships. Trbutary beams merged within the core to produce a column of energy that stabbed first from the top, then to the middle, and finally to the bottom base star. A massive column of energy erupted forward and struck the craft dead on. The shields of the vessel flared, for the first time turning white, than yellow, than red, yet the intruder sailed forward, out of the blast. It plowed through the base star still in it’s path and slowed.

"The attack was unsuccessful." Reported the Aide, "The ultra pulsar depleted enemy shields by 41% before it moved out of the beams path, their shields were depleted an additional 2% by the collision. They are regenerating their shield strength.”

"Recharge the Pulsar, but move us away." Ordered the imperious leader uneasily. The unknown craft had reoriented to face one of his Core Stars. “Order that ship to evade.”

"They cannot maneuver, firing the weapon has caused a power overload." Reported the Aide, "We have detected an energy buildup on the enemy vessel. Its output is several times our shield capacity and rising.”

“Flank that ship, all vessels commence fire!” Shouted Imperious Leader, but it was too late. A white Column of light hurled itself from the enemy vessel plunging through the Core star’s shields and burning through the hull passing through the other side. Even as secondary explosions rippled along it’s hull, the enemy fired a second and third time, and the Core star began to break apart violently.

Though the remaining two core stars, and four base stars peppered the intruder furiously, it shrugged off their attack indifferently.

“My lord, we are tracking six similar ships approaching through hyperspace.” One of the Cylon Aides reported.”

"Reinforcements? When one ship can resist us?" snarled Imperious Leader, as death loomed before him. The intruder blasted another base star into oblivion, the smaller ships having no ability to resist the awesome power poured onto them, “Get us out of here, all craft fall back.”

“Should we proceed to Core Ascendant?” The Cylon Aide asked.

“No.” Imperious Leader said bitterly, “We may have the power to take it, but we’d never hold it now. We will fall back to Bakura, Let the humans deal with this new threat. When they are at their weakest, we will be strong once again, with the help of our new allies, and then we will end all organic life, in this galaxy.”

* * *

A galaxy away, an ocean heaved beneath a moonlit night. Mountains and valleys swam together across it’s surface, a harmonious ballet of push and pull. Suddenly, with only a glimmer of warning a jagged spire knifed upwards tearing the rolling blanket. Surrounded by foaming, churning upheaval, others soon joined it bursting through the surface. The water spread apart around a city that rose from the depths, shimmering and shining in the moonlight. As the city erupted upwards, light spilled outwards from it’s gleaming towers and spires. Atlantis had returned.

* * *

“Though we suffered momentary shield failure, We were close enough to the surface, that I don’t believe any serious damage was done.” Lobot reported to Lando, “Power levels are now stable.”

“Alright, we salvaged that situation.” Lando let himself breathe.”Now onto the next crisis.” As if on cue, a chevron lit up, and then another. “Son of a gundark…”

“We are receiving a signal from Madine’s team.” Lobot announced. He stood before the gate controls.

“Atlantis command, do you copy? Repeat Atlantis command, do you copy?” Starbuck was shouting into the comm. as though that would help them hear him better. Suddenly the sound of blaster fire accompanies his voice.

“Starbuck, this is Lando, what’s your situation?” Lando demanded, “Do you need assistance?”

“Affirmative, we need immediate evac, General Madine and most of his team have been captured by Wraith air support, we can’t shoot them down without risking their lives!”

“Lower the shield.” Lando ordered Lobot, “The shield is down, you’re clear for evac.” Suddenly a bolt of plasma shot through the gate. Lando was hauled to one side as sparks showered around them. Six figures sprinted through the gate, the last two hauling an E-11 blaster between them. A final figure dove through the gate shouting. “Raise the shield!” Lobot complied immediately, and the shield flared once, and then twice. “Starbuck where the hell’s the rest of your team?”

“Frak those darts were right on our tale.” Starbuck swore dusting himself off. Two of the men were wounded. Suddenly the shield brightened and thumped, then again. Lando glanced at Lobot.

“Registering impacts on shield.” Lobot reported, he looked up alarmed, “Power levels are dangerously depleted.”

“Shut it down, conserve what we can.” Lando ordered. Leaning against the rail and looking down at the room below he watched as teams returned to sorting and organizing the supplies that had been hastily brought through, as well as med techs treating the injured. “What happened?” he demanded climbing down the stairs, he noted a large shouldering hole that marred the wall beside them and a portion of the rail had melted. “Did you find Taonis?”

“We found the ruins the next valley over,” Starbuck replied, a couple klicks from the gate. The Lanteans were right, not much was leftm but we did find something.” He glanced at the blaster still in his hand, and holstered it. The gate deactivated behind them. “ The central tower looks intact, but someone fired drones at us before we could get close enough to see who was inside. If was just a warning shot but Madine and I agreed we’d never get to the tower to explain our… good intentions. The Wraith attacked while we were on our way back.” Starbuck shook his head, “Most of Madine’s team was picked up by darts.”

“We’ve got to mount a rescue, we can’t let them be fed on.” One of the wounded men was dragging himself to his feet, while a med tech tried to tend to a burn on his shoulder. “Sir, I’ll lead the team myself if…” Starbuck opened his mouth to respond but Lando beat him to it.

“Stand down Lieutenant, we’re not leaving anyone to be fed on.” Calrissian intervened, “With Madine missing in action, Janson’s in command, he’s in the Jumper bay right now, overseeing the reassembly of the A-wings.” Lando turned back to Starbuck, “Lobot thinks we can solve the compatibility issue with our reactors if you’ll give him a hand. That’s our first priority, if we drain what little power remains we’re vulnerable to an attack. If our people are in the hands of the wraith, we’ll have to prepare.”

“Lando, the darts came through the gate, we have their point of origin.” Starbuck argued, “We can still…”

“If the Wraith have air support, I’m not sending anyone in until we have our birds in space to protect them” Lando told Starbuck turning away, “Janson will tell you the same thing.”

“Actually, Lando, we don’t have to wait until the A Wings are reassembled, We have perfectly good ships ready to go.” Said Starbuck glancing up at the Jumper bay above them.

“Those?” Lando was incredulous,. “Their shields are a joke and while their weapons are powerful, they’ve got what, six drones?”

“They also have a cloak.” Starbuck pointed out, “And unlike the cloaks you’re used to, these will be able to easily navigate right to the Wraith’s doorstep.”

“Your certain the wraith can’t detect their cloak?”

“Lando, the ships we just saw, they were a joke. Sure they have teleporters, but Madine’s team took one down with blaster fire easy.” Starbuck assured him. “The Lanteans, while short on tactical prowess, had a marked technological edge. We go in, we get them out, easy. The Wraith will never know we were there. Hey,” He stopped Lando, “This is Rogue squadron right? They’re the best in two galaxies at this.” Lando shook his head.

“I don’t know.” He said unhappily, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”

* * *

“…and then they made me their chief, you believe that?” Han was exasperated, “How am I gonna be chief of a Wookiee village?”

“I believe it is a largely ceremonial title, appropriate to your responsibilities.” Ackbar replied over the comm. “The Council will make the day to day decisions for the settlement, and I don’t see it interfering with your duties overseeing the remains of Lemuria am I correct.”

“Well yeah…” Han said running a hand through his hair. He was pacing around the small office he had had cleared out, just off the control room. He glanced down at the technicians working below installing a holo relay.

“General, I realize you are uncomfortable with the responsibilities that have been placed upon you, but I see no better man for the job at the moment.” Ackbar replied, “The Wookiees trust you, Solo, your friendship with Chewbacca and your advocacy on their behalf has earned their loyalty. We will need that loyalty if we are to survive, and we will need leaders such as yourself to continue to earn it.”

“Well I’m no diplomat.” Han attested, “I’m just as likely to get my arms torn out of my sockets.”

“You requested the Wookiees, we gave them to you.” Ackbar replied, “You cannot refuse responsibility for them now.” Han shook his head and spotted Wedge standing outside his door.”When the mission to Sullust is complete, perhaps I can arrange for a mission more suited to a man of your experience. We have yet to reestablish contact with the Corellian resistance.”

“Really?” Han perked up, “I guess I could lend a hand.”

“What is the status of the hyperdrive project?” Ackbar asked, “Have we been able to access the schematics?”

“Well my excavation teams have managed to uncover an intact copy of the Celestial database.” Han told the Admiral, “We sent it to Atlantis for Lando’s slicers to look at, they did manage to pull up some records out of Atlantis for a design that will work on a capitol ship. The income boys are working on developing a working model, but Lando tells me they’re a little more experienced with fighters and it’s slow going.”

“Many of the engineers who designed the Defender remain aboard, I will transfer them to you at the next available opportunity.” Ackbar replied. “Mon Mothma and several of the other members of the security council well be joining them. We may need to move high level members of the Alliance to Atlantis through the Stargate.” Ackbar informed him, “With their recent victories over the Vong, and the Cylons, the Empire is turning it’s attention back to us. I fear we can no longer protect our civilian leaders.”

“Well Atlantis may not be much safer Admiral, “ Han advised him, “Calrissian’s got the generator’s linked up for two way travel, but apparently he’s run into a new problem. The wraith. The galaxy is lousy with them, apparently they were hibernating and Rogue Squadron just woke up the lot of them trying to rescue Madine.”

“His loss would have been unacceptable, Calrissian had my approval for that mission.” Ackbar replied,

“I trust the mission was a success?”

“Yeah well, your mileage may vary on that.” Han replied caustically, “Seems they got a little trigger happy on the way out and blew up a hive ship as a diversion.”

“A diversion?” Ackbar demanded.

“I’ll send you a copy of his mission reports.” Han said, “The point is, we’re stretched pretty thin here, and there. The Stargate is a hell of a bottle neck for pooling resources.

“Very well,” Ackbar replied, “What do you suggest?”

“We need those engineers here now.” Han said, “Let me take the Falcon to Chandrilla and receive their Stargate. She’s not gonna raise any red flags and I can be in and out before the Empire even notices. Wedge can watch over things here while I’m gone. I can pick up the gate and smuggle it to Dagobah, That connects our two bases here. Then, there is the one Starbuck said was on Endor…”

“Once we have completed our mission to Sullust, we will proceed there.” Ackbar agreed, “We should secure that Stargate as soon as possible.”

“Admiral,” Wedge asked, speaking up at last, “Did you get a chance to review the Gateship proposal?”

“As a matter fact I have, jedi Antilles.” Ackbar replied, “I have approved Major Janson’s proposal to modify our existing Y Wing fighters to fit through the Stargate, and we have procured a large fleet of R-22 spearhead’s which we are upgrading to the same purpose.”

“Atlantis has been modifying the ships they found on sight as well, to that purpose.” Wedge informed him. “Starbuck had an idea for some kind of rail launch system to rapidly deploy them through a Stargate.”

“Obviously there is significant strategic value in being able to share assets in such a manner.” Ackbar agreed.

“Especially to and from a ship like the defender.” Wedge pressed, “You’ve been fielding a massive fighter force to compensate for our lack of available capitol ships, the Defender alone has what, almost eighteen hundred fighters?” Han blinked.

“Due to the Defender’s original configuration as a hive ship she possesses a large quantity of internal space.” Ackbar explained seeing his confusion, “We have been deploying squadrons for hit and fade attacks on Imperial convoys in areas sympathetic to our cause.”

“All the more reason to get a gate on your ship admiral.” Han said, “Can you imagine the Empire’s reaction when a thousand fighters start swarming up from Coruscant?”

“I would prefer to imagine that the Empire will never find Coruscant.” Ackbar admonished him. “It has remained hidden for untold millennia until now.”

“All the more reason to start deploying the stargates more effectively.” Han argued, “With one on your ship, and one at Dathomir base, there’s less chance for the Empire to track supplies.”

“Jedi Antilles, do you feel confident you can oversee our operations on Coruscant in General Solo’s absence?” Ackbar asked, “Without interference from your duties as a Jedi?”

“ I don’t see a reason why Master Yoda would turn down a few days off.” Wedge replied, “He has a half dozen new padawans to train anyway.”

“Very well, General Solo, you will proceed to Chandrilla to recover the Stargate from our operatives there, and proceed to Dathomir as we have discussed.” Ackbar told him. “Perhaps before long we will be able to convene regularly in person one again. Ackbar out.”

Han terminated the transmission, and began to unconsciously rub his hands together. “Finally a little action.”

“You don’t like piloting a desk?” Wedge asked, with a half smile, “Believe it or not I know how you feel.” He held up his arms to show off his clothes, “I went from wearing a flight suit to work every day to a robe.”

“Yeah I caught you’re little fitness routine the other day.” Han said sitting on the desk facing Wedge.

“Looked like the little guy was torturing you.”

“Oh that was just a quick run.” Wedge shrugged it of, “You should see it when he makes me work HARD.”

“Well I don’t run, unless something’s chasing me.” Han grumbled. “So Yoda’s got a couple new prospects, you worried about the competition?” Wedge shook his head.

“No, we need more recruits if we’re going to restart the Jedi Order, and most of the force sensitive’s in the galaxy were wiped out in the holocaust.” Wedge explained, “That means most of the people with any kind of experience with the Force went with them. Yoda can connect them, but only if they have the openness.”

“More hocus pocus.” Han waved his hand at Wedge, coming off the desk. He elbowed past the Jedi, moving into the control room. A Chevron lit up on the Stargate. “Time for Lando’s check in.” Wedge folded his hands in his robe and followed Han. “First he tangles with the wraith, this morning they were chasing some kind of ghost around the city, let’s see what he’s gotten into today. I’ll tell you one thing though, the guy’s constant up to his neck in it. He thrives on it, he’s having the time of his life..

* * *

“Power failures, wraith, the Genii…” Calrissian grumbled, “This job is getting worse all the time!” He was dressed in his favorite blue shirt and half cape, his companion was dressed in a worn orange and white flight suit, having just returned from a mission.

“They say the hardest part of a job is the first six months…” His companion offered, as the two strode through the halls of the most recently discovered medical facility.

“It’s only been three weeks Janson!” Calrissian snapped irritably as they entered a lab.

“Hey Wes, Lando.” Starbuck greeted them, “Look at what we found.” He inclined his head towards a chamber built into the wall. Lando’s eyes widened fractionally in surprise.

“Well I’ll be…” he said, “Is that…”

“Yup, it’s a man.” Starbuck told him, “He’s in suspension, near as I can tell he’s been here over three thousand years.”

“Who the hell is he?” Lando wondered.

“Well I don’t know honestly.” Starbuck said, “We’d have to revive him and see, he must have gotten here after the city was evacuated, and I would love to know how, since the gate locked out all but two addresses.”

“There was another address besides Lemuria?” Lando asked, “Is that those so called allies you told us about?”

“Terra? No.” Said Starbuck, “Lovely place, but not much left there that would help us. It’s also in the home galaxy of the Goa’uld.” Lando shivered. “No the allies we want are the Asgard. I think I can come up with the gate address to Ida, but it’s even further away than Corusca. If it’s not in the Lantean database it might be in the Lemurian one.” Lando put up a hand.

“Alright I get it, one thing at a time. We’ll wait for the Mothma to get here, she’s a trained diplomat anyway. Look I need to get back to the control room. I got a survey team down on that geothermal tap that hasn’t reported in, are you gonna handle this?” he nodded at the frozen figure.”It’s not gonna interfere with our other little project?”

“All the theoretical work for the hyperdrive is translated, we’re waiting on the construction teams.” Starbuck told him, “It’s gonna be at least another month before they have enough of a space frame assembled to need any input from me.”

“Yeah I got word from Han, he and the admiral are cooking up a plan to send us a little more help.” Lando told him, “Some more techs with ship building experience, and a better supply line.”

“Then relax, the Organa should easily be ready for trials on schedule.” Starbuck assured him, “We have time to check out a few more options, there’s a couple Lantean cruisers unaccounted for, and who knows this guy might even be able to help us adapt some of the city’s systems to our use too if he’s a Lantean.”

“Fine wake him up. See if he can help, and keep me advised.” Lando replied, “Apparently I have to get some VIP quarters ready around here.”

* * *

“Admiral, we’re picking up some unusual comm. activity near Thyferra.” Ackbar was standing by the sensor chiefs when he heard Iella call for him. She was overseeing a trio of communication techs in an isolated part of the bridge. Cryptography and intelligence gathering, adjacent to the tactical plotting stations.”The imps are sending out a sector wide alert for this ship.” An image appeared on a display screen. “There’s nothing like it in our database, and although Thyferra has strategic value for it’s bacta production, it isn’t a disputed territory.”
Ackbar considered the galactic chart overhead that intelligence was constantly updating. Imperial space was a vast red swath of the galaxy, the Vong were a sizeable sixth, though Ackbar had seen that territory whittled down consistently every day, tiny slices of blue indicated the territories friendly to the new Republic, and up in the corner, near their present a golden dot highlighted Thyferra. “That does not look like a Cylon vessel.” He said examining the alert, “But it is near their last sightings. What else does the alert contain?”

“It was sent to all military installations, including the one on Endor.” Iella told him, “it advises the raider is hostile to Cylons and extremely powerful, and advises immediate contact with sector command if spotted.”

“That will make the Empire more vigilant. Jesmin,” Ackbar called to his comm. officer,, “Inform our ground teams the Empire has raised it’s alert status, if our position is compromised, we may have to abort..”

“Relaying now admiral,” The Mon Colamari comm. officer replied. She emphasized his title, and Ackbar realized belatedly he’d used her first name.

“That sphere in the center of a ship might be a power source, but I have no idea why it would exposed in such a manner.” Iella commented, “We have no record of a ship even remotely matching that description.”

“The Empire doesn’t know who they are either.” Ackbar surmised, “They must have been spotted engaging the Cylons.”

“The enemy of my enemy is not always my friend.” Iella said wanly.

“We have certainly learned that the hard way.” Ackbar said dolefully, “Monitor any ship deployments in our area and keep me apprised. We have no reason to move in that direction of space anyway.” He strode over to the primary communications stations. “Have we heard from Chewbacca’s team?”

“They sent a burst update,” The comm. chief replied, “The locals had them complete some sort of ritualistic challenge to earn their trust, and they are proceeding on foot to the stargate’s location. According to the locals it is in the ruins of some kind of fortress, it’s a holy site for them, apparently it belonged to their ancestors.” The technician glanced apologetically at the Admiral, “The locals wanted them to retrieve the Stargate by hand, they are nearly at the site however.” Ackbar shook his head.

“Fortunate that we dispatched a team of Wookiees.” He grumbled, “In your next burst tell them to complete their mission as soon as possi…”

“Admiral?” Iella called again, “We’ve got a priority one alert now, from the station orbiting Endor regarding the unknown ship.” Ackbar hurried over. “This is being broadcast on a secure channel.”
Ackbar could see that the footage was being taken from a space station, a portion of it’s surface was visible, and this included several turbolaser batteries swiveling towards the newcomer. Two star destroyers were positioned in the distance and the holocam zoomed in beyond them to the ship approaching. It looked to Ackbar like some sort of ornamental tiara wrapped around a ball of light.

“It is here in this system?” Ackbar demanded.

“We can’t see any of this, of course with our own sensors, without breaking our cover.” Iella informed him.

“Maintain passive scan, but prepare to drop our cloak.” Ackbar ordered, “I don’t want to be caught unawares if we are discovered.” More quietly he grumbled to Iella, “We should have waited to adapt the Lantean cloaking technology before trying this.

“The incoming ship is exchanging communication with one of the star destroyers, but we have not decrypted what is being said…” Iella said, but stopped short as the lead star destroyer opened fire on the unknown ship. Shrugging off the barrage, even as the second star destroyer joined in the ship began to advance.

“Clearly the Imperials didn’t like what they had to say.” Ackbar observed. As they watched the station lent it’s own firepower to the attack, and the invader remained indifferent. Suddenly the massive aperture at the front of the vessel seemed to belch a white hot blast of plasma. It struck the shields of the foremost star destroyer as if they weren’t there burning through the stricken vessel from one end to the other. The second star destroyer moved sluggishly to evade, and was struck down for it’s troubles. The station continued to pour fire at the now hostile vessel, launching a wave of proton torpedoes for good measure. Fighters peppered the vessel’s shields hopelessly, but it advanced undaunted. It’s weapon, now clearly pointed at the station began to glow, but suddenly an emerald blast of light speared the vessel, it’s shields went from white to yellow in the blink of an eye and the ship exploded. The camera panned back to reveal a Sovereign class super star destroyer cresting the horizon of the planet.

“The Triumphant.” Iella stated, “She must have just arrived from the Firrerren Project, the Imperials must be worried to pull her off Dawnstar's escort.”

“The Death Star needs no escort.” Ackbar replied, “Replay the last several seconds.” He watched the super laser strike again.

“If it takes a super star destroyer to take out a ship the size of a star destroyer, I hope they don’t have too many of them.” Iella commented.

“That ship withstood the super laser blast for a fraction of a second, a super laser designed to overwhelm planetary shields.” Ackbar noted, “I want calculations as to the probably firepower of that vessels shields and the capabilities demonstrated here today. We have no idea where that ship originated, and neither does the Empire, I would imagine, but they possess extremely powerful ships.”

“Admiral!” Ackbar’s comm. officer called to him. “we have a message from the strike team, they’re under attack!”

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 02-16-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-02-22 09:57am

Chapter 10
The force was with him. That one thought still brought a chill to Wedge’s veins. He knew deep inside himself that it had not been his destiny to become what he had become. He knew that his had become the fate of another, who had been unjustly taken before he could realize the potential within himself. It was for this, that he accepted his new calling. As he meditated, Wedge reflected on the weeks of training he had endured. Yoda had pushed him physically only to reveal what he was lacking spiritually. In those darkest moments of self doubt, he had found within himself a need to draw strength from something greater, among those glorious moments of epiphany and accomplishment, he had sought to reach out and give back to a universe he had never known recognized his value.

The city’s alarm sounded. Wedge shook his head. Where another man would have groaned at yet another emergency Wedge squared his shoulders, and stood. His comm. beeped in his pocket, and he grabbed it without hesitation.

• * * *

The Falcon erupted from hyperspace, screaming into the atmosphere of a lush green world. It’s captain’s face was grim. Beside him sat a man with sandy blond hair. They had received word that their friend was in danger. Chewbacca was in danger. His team fought for their lives half a galaxy a way, the Millennium Falcon, arguably the fastest ship in the galaxy could never get there fast enough. The Falcon burst through the clouds pulling up just above the trees, and hurdled over them, towards Dathomir Base.

• * * *

Imperial walkers advanced. Led by infantry on foot and scouts on bikes, the walkers advanced. Inexorably through the trees towards the ruins at the center of the forest. Rebels had been spotted moving through the trees towards some ruins, sacred to the local tribes. As stormtroopers watched the trees warily, movement caught their eye. A shape glimpsed here, a shadow there. Suddenly a scout called out in alarm, and from high in the trees, a tree trunk, suspended on vines swung down suddenly pounding a walker to one side. Furry shapes rose everywhere, and the storm troopers raised their weapons as they uttered a war cry.

• * * *

“Let me help!” Lando shook his head at the man and pulled his arm free.

“Forget it Sheppard, you don’t have clearance.”

“I don’t need clearance,” Sheppard argued, “I’ve lived in this city for years, I know it better than any of you!”

“This isn’t your Atlantis,” Lando snapped, “Didn’t Starbuck make that perfectly clear to you? You’re not from our universe!”

“Neither is he!” Sheppard snapped, “But the fact remains, I know this city, like the back of my hand, there must be something I can do to help.” The two were arguing loudly in the control room.

“Governor Calrissian, is there a problem here?” Lando turned at the sound of a woman’s voice.

“Madame President, I was just on my way to greet you.” He replied smoothly. Colonel Sheppard looked the woman over.

“The resemblance is uncanny.” He murmured. “She looks like Dash Mackenzie…”

“And this is?” Mothma asked. Sheppard remembered himself, where he was and most importantly what he wanted, and stood at attention and saluted.

“Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard Ma’am.” He reported.

“We found Colonel Sheppard in stasis a few days ago.” Lando explained, “It’s complicated ma’am, he’s from an alternate universe’s future timeline, which Starbuck explained to him before he gated to Coruscant to join Han.” Lando shot this last bit at Starbuck, “Yet he insists he can help rescue the team on Endor.”

“How do you intend to help?” Mothma asked Sheppard, and Sheppard froze. “Colonel, General Solo and I gated to Coruscant from Dathomir, where he and Starbuck are awaiting reinforcements from this base to help Chewbacca’s men, fight their way through a legion of Imperial forces, to get the Stargate onto a shuttle and off that world, I ask you again, as time is of the essence, how do you believe you, specifically can help.”

“I have considerable special ops experience...” Sheppard began.

“Not with our weapons, not with our tactics. Your only claim to familiarity is from entertainment videos broadcast in your galaxy of an alternate version of ours.” Lando snapped, and Sheppard shook his head. Lando put a finger in his face, “Sheppard, there’s nothing you can do.”

“What about the jumpers?” Sheppard asked desperately, “You’re preparing jumpers to send to Coruscant right? I can fly one, I’ve logged thousands of hours in them.”

“We’ve got pilots.” Lando snapped. “Rogue Squadron, the best in the galaxy.”

“I’m afraid we don’t have any more time for discussion.” Mothma said sadly, “I appreciate your desire to help, Colonel Sheppard, perhaps you can aid us in time, but at this moment, this mission is very precarious. Our only remaining command ship is trapped in system with a Sovereign class star destroyer. We need to reinforce our team, get the gate to the shuttle, and get it to the Admiral’s ship, or we will have to evacuate our people back through the gate, if possible and destroy it with explosives.”

“If you blow up a stargate, you’ll take half of Endor with it.” Sheppard argued, “And that moon’s full of Ewoks, same as my universe, I asked around.” He said as Lando snorted, “You can’t just blow it up.”

“We will do what we must, if we cannot recover it.” Mothma told him, “Regardless, I see no way for you to aid us, I am, very sorry.” Sheppard could tell she meant it, but it did not make him feel any better.

“Wait!” he called, Mothma turned, “I might have an idea.”
• * * *

Wedge emerged through the stargate in a war zone. The Wookiees had hastily uncovered, and erected the stargate atop one of the walls of the fortress. He couldn’t see Chewbacca anywhere. Blaster fire rang out and Wookiees roars competed with Ewok battle cries. Igniting his lightsaber he deflected a stray blaster bolt as Atlantis Recon units arrived behind him. The reason for the stargate’s somewhat exposed placement became apparent as the AR teams took up positions clear of the gate. With his free hand Wedge raised a comm. link, still deflecting blaster shots. At the sight of his lightsaber, he had attracted considerable attention, easing the pressure somewhat off of the Wookiees holding their positions.

“General Solo, we are ready for air support.” He reported. Three Jumpers erupted from the gate in sequence. Two sped off into the distance, one hovered by the stargate. The Stargate deactivated,

“Jumpers one and two, start your attack runs.” Solo’s voice ordered over the comms. “Chewbacca, get your assault team aboard by jumper, we’re gonna make a run for the shuttle, and try to get it over here before the Imperials in orbit have time to get fighters here.”

“What’s to stop them from blasting us from orbit once they figure out we’ve got air support?” Janson asked from one of the Jumpers.

“Oh the Admiral’s going to keep them busy for us.” Han replied.

“He won’t last long against that Super Stardestroyer.” Janson replied.

“He won’t be alone, we arranged for a little help.” Han replied smugly. Behind him, Wedge heard Chevrons begin to lock on the Stargate.

• * * *
“Any word from our forces?” Ackbar demanded.

“None yet.” Jesmine replied. Ackbar grunted and returned to pacing.

“Prepare to…”

“Admiral.” Iella said rising from her station and approaching, “With all due respect, every time we comm. them we risk the Imperial station intercepting it. While we are cloaked we have no way of knowing how many ships are out there by now.”

“We also have no way of knowing whether our team has been apprehended or not.” Ackbar replied.

“Chewbacca said his forces were taking cover in the ruins and could hold out for a few hours.” Iella replied, “Give it time Admiral. The station is nearly on the far side of the planet, we won’t be blind for much longer.”

“Receiving transmission!” Jasmine broke in, “It’s General Solo!”

“Admiral, this is Solo.” Han was shouting over the comm.. “We’ve got the gate up and running and are evacuating Chewie’s team. Starbuck’s providing air support, and we’re almost to the shuttle.”

“Load the gate onto the shuttle and make for orbit as soon as you can.” Ackbar ordered. “We are about to engage the Imperial forces, can you tell us the composition of the forces in orbit?”

“The station is on the far side of the moon,” Han reported, “But that Super Star Destroyer is practically on top of us. We’re picking up a couple dozen fighters headed our way too, I think they heard we had air support.”

“Blast.” Ackbar grumbled, “prepare to drop cloak and engage the Triumphant.” He ordered.”We’ll do what we can, General, but we can’t hold up long against that super laser, the Defender can’t repel firepower of that magnitude.” What Solo said next was the last thing Ackbar expected.

“Lando’s got a plan to take the Superlaser out of commission.” Han assured him, the Admiral started, was half the rebellion leadership involved in this one debacle?

“Dropping cloak!” Announced Ackbar’s tactical officer Ackbar shifted his focus. Immediately the holotank before him began lighting up with signals as the Defender at last opened her eyes. Ackbar noted the signal for Solo’s jumper, and the shuttle heading to the stargate’s location. He identified another pair of signals for the jumper zipping around harassing the ground forces attempting to assault the fortress, and he saw the Sovereign class super Star Destroyer positioned directly above the site.

“Launch fighters and prepare to engage that destroyer.” He ordered, “We need to keep them busy or they will bombard our forces from orbit.

“We’ve been spotted!” one of the sensor chiefs warned him, “Triumphant is vectoring towards us.”

“Receiving challenge hail.” Jesmine informed him, “They’re ordering us to stand down and surrender, or…” She swallowed, “They’ll destroy us.”

“Helm can we get to them before the superlaser charges?” Ackbar asked tensely, the ship groaned around them as she lumbered frantically forward.

“Not a chance sir.” He said glumly.

“Accelerate to attack speed, we have to try.” Ackbar ordered, “The only way we’ll survive engagement is if we ‘re close enough that her own hull prevents her from targeting us with her superlaser, and the majority of her turbolaser batteries.”

“Admiral, something’s coming up from the surface…” Iella pointed to the display. She magnified, and Ackbar started as he spotted a cloud of drones hurdling up.
“It looks like they’re… coming through the stargate!”

“Is the Triumphant fitted with drone defenses?” Ackbar demanded.

“I doubt it admiral, only the Eclipse class have gotten them so far.” Iella replied, and indeed they watched as the drones flew straight through the Sovereign’s particle shields. Though they couldn’t phase entirely through the dense structure of the Sovereign the drones exploded against the exposed superlaser elements, and against the bridge tower.

“Whoever is firing those drones is unfamiliar with stardestroyer design.” Ackbar grumbled, “Still they’ve done a fair job of damaging the superlaser.”

“We’re coming into firing range!” His weapons crew was chomping at the bit, and Ackbar let them off the leash.

“All batteries fire on priority targets.” He shouted. “Maneuver us beneath her!” The Defender unleashed it’s heavy turbolasers, ion cannons and proton torpedoes in a fearful barrage against the Super Star Destroyer still preoccupied with the drone bombardment. Though the Defender was only two thirds the size of the Triumphant, she was a powerful ship. The mighty destroyer shuddered at the pounding she was taking. The Triumphant gave nearly as good as she got though, even thpough she could only bring half her guns to bear, the Defender took a withering barrage of counter fire. That was when the fighters returned.

Ackbar had begun launching them the moment the cloak dropped, and had continued to do so as he closed on his foe. Though the Triumphant was a larger vessel, more space internally was wasted, on the massive superlaser, on the massive reactor to power the super laser, on the massive engines, whereas as the Defender had smaller, more advanced engines, no superlaser and an abundance of available space Ackbar had chose to utilize to store starfighters. Even with several wings of reinforcements sent by the station on the far side of the planet, the Triumphant’s TIE fighters were out numbered nearly three to one. Reinforcements had not yet arrived however, and most importantly, the TIE fighters lacked the powerful shields of the New Republic A Wings, X Wings and B Wings they encountered. When the two forces had clashed, it had only been a matter of minutes before the Imperial forces were decimated, and with the reinforcements from the station still racing around the forest moon, Ackbar’s fighters were looking for a fight. Avoiding the maelstrom of turbolaser fire saturating space between the two ships, and the slackening cloud of drones arcing over her port side from the surface, a cloud of fighters savagely attacked the belly of the super star destroyer.

“Damage report!” Ackbar requested, as he gratefully took refuge in his cahir. The bridge was shuddering around him.

“Shields are at critical, we’re taking damage on the outer hull but it’s regenerating.” Iella told him, “The Triumphant has taken heavy damage, her superlaser is off line and we are reading secondary explosions throughout the ship.”

“I think we’ve gotten her attention sufficiently.” Ackbar observed, “What is the ETA of the station’s fighters?”

“Practically on top of our own Admiral, “ Iella reported.
• * * *

With a war cry, a trio of Ewoks swung onto the roof of an ATST and began beating it with their spears. A hatch popped open on the top and a storm trooper raised a blaster and began spraying fire indiscriminately. Three furry, smoking hides fell to the jungle floor among dozens of advancing walkers. The walker cleared the trees and stumbled towards a crumbling fortress. Ground forces ahead of them exchanged fire from Wookiees in sniper positions. TIE Fighters flew over head exchanging fire with the two jumpers. Suddenly a figure bounded up from the under brush, lightsaber igniting. With force assisted leaps, Wedge clambered up the side of a walker and stabbed his lightsaber down through the hatch repeatedly. Two wookiees swung on vines to join him.

“Take control of it.” Wedge told them as he ripped the hatch off with a gesture, “We need to hold out just a little longer for Han to get back.” The wookiees roared assent, and Wedge grabbed one of the vines still held by a Wookiee and descended from the Jumper. Wedge looked up in time to see a jumper take a hit from a TIE fighter and begin to belch smoke. Miraculously avoiding the trees as it plummeted earthwards, the Jumper careened off of a particularly unluck walker that was emerging through the trees, plowing into the dirt. Another Walker followed and Wedge saw it’s lasers track the wreckage but suddenly fire from the captures walker blew it onto it’s side.

“General, Starbuck’s jumper is down.” He shouted over his comm. as he hurried over. “But the crew looks to be alright, I can see them coming out now.”

“Set charges on the Jumper and fall back to the fortress.” Solo ordered, “We’re practically at your position.” Wedge paused as he saw a lightsaber ignite.

“You sure you know how to use that?” Wedge asked as he moved to join Starbuck,

“What’s so hard about waving a laser sword?” Starbuck asked sarcastically as he blocked blaster fire for his two ship mates.

“Not cutting your leg off, for one…” Wedge replied.

“I’ll let you in on a secret.” Starbuck confided, “Yoda’s been giving me private lessons.”

“Why that two timing little..” Wedge said in mock indignation, He spotted a swoop bike angling to mow down a pair of Ewoks helping a wounded comrade to cover. “Did he teach you to do this?” he threw out a hand and force pushed the rider. The rider yelped as his bike rolled, he managed to right himself just before colliding with a tree.

“No, but I’m a quick study.” Starbuck replied, with a gesture he pushed at an AT-ST. It stumbled backwards but did not fall.”

“Ambitious, but let’s try it together.” Wedge told him he threw his own hand out, and together the two pushed again, and the walker fell.

“Fall back this way.” Starbuck shouted, beckoning to Wedge and his men. They were advancing away from the fortress, “We’re cut off anyway.”
Covered by Wedge’s lightsaber the group retreated hastily as ground infantry pursued them.

“Open fire!” Starbuck shouted drawing his own blaster and firing at the storm troopers, as his team joined him, the storm troopers sought cover behind the wreckage of the jumper. Starbuck holstered his blaster. “Boom.” He said pulling out a remote. The Jumper went up in ball of flame. The explosion hurled the bodies of their pursuers everywhere, it also drew the attention of the rest. The Ewoks were beaten and in full retreat, the fortress overrun save for the upper parts of the wall where the remaining Recon teams fought furiously to control choke points, with the evacuation well under way. A shuttle hovered above the rampart, the stargate being hauled inside.

Dozens of walkers turned as one, as a target presented itself, even Starbuck faltered before the sudden attention. Wedge felt the intersection of fate upon his destiny, felt the balance weighed out. The mission had been all but accomplished, but there was a price to be paid. Wedge saw it clearly through the force. The shuttle would come to their rescue, mission be damned and the walkers would shoot it down. Follow the path laid out for you. A voice whispered, Embrace us, and we will come. He could sense power boiling, just beyond his finger tips, the power to become more, to embrace, not a darkness, but a light that burned. He chose to embrace the darkness.

“Run!” Starbuck shouted needlessly, and he and his team did just that, but Wedge, the weight of destiny on his mind, and the memory of a young would be hero in his heart, did just the opposite. He stood. Blaster fire peppered the ground behind him as the walkers closed, but Wedge was steeped deeply in the force. Starbuck and the others, racing to escape, turned back, to watch the impossible. The air hummed, and a breeze kicked up. Starbuck drew up short and looked back as he senses told him what was to come. Wedge threw his hands forward, and a cyclone of force energy hurtled forward blasting trees, shrubs and even earth out of it’s way, the maelstrom struck the walkers and the were staggered. Wedge uttered a primal scream and the hurricane echoed his fury. Roaring through against durasteel, pebbles, rocks, splinters and even trees pelted the armor of the walkers, accelerated to such a speed that scored grooves and pits into the metal. As one they were blasted off of their legs and hurled backwards.

The wind died down, the darkness abated. His fury, spent, Wedge sank to one knee, and the calm was deafening. Starbuck hurried to him.

“Wedge are you…” There was concern and even fear in his voice.”Are you alright?”

“The dark side,” Wedge panted, realizing his exhaustion even as he strove to recover himself, “Is a powerful ally.”

“A destructive ally.” Starbuck said, rebuke in his voice, “The dark side is not the way of the Jedi.”

“No.” Said Wedge shaking his head, “It is not.” He sighed. Starbuck looked at the ravaged landscape before them searching for signs of life. The imperials, impossibly, were regrouping. He heard the distant cry of TIE fighters. He helped Wedge to his feet. The shuttle had finished by the fortress and was gliding towards them. Starbuck pulled Wedge towards the shuttle as it settled down nearby. Wedge pulled his hand free of Starbucks and straightened himself.

“I had a vision this morning Starbuck, a flaming wall of fire.” Wedge told him. Starbuck’s team was inside the shuttle and they were waving the two inside, urging them to hurry. Starbuck glanced back at the imperial troops jogging towards them from the fortress. “They told me there was only one path to salvation for us today, and for their protection, all I had to do was…” he swallowed at the memory, “Worship them.”
Starbuck drew up short, a few meters from the ramp.

“Wait, what?” he demanded suddenly, “Worship them? Flaming wall of fire?” Wedge nodded.

“But the Force was with us, with me.” Wedge told him, “It showed me the way.” He moved into the shuttle resolutely. “All I had to do was trade a piece of my soul.” Starbuck considered a moment longer, and then hurried up the ramp.

“Wedge you got a bargain.” Starbuck told him. “Let’s get the frak out of here.”
* * *

The Defender shuddered under the pounding of the Triumphant’s heavy turbolasers. Both ships were heavily damaged, but still in the fight a testament to their respective designs.

“General Solo’s status?” Ackbar demanded..

“General Solo returned through the gate with the Jumpers.” Iella replied, “Jedi Antilles and Starbuck have linked up with Chewbacca’s team and is piloting the shuttle with the stargate on board. They’ll be here just ahead of the station’s fighter wings.”

“Admiral I’m detecting a hyperspace emergence!” A sensor chief warned, “Three incoming ships.”

“Blast, Imperial reinforcements.” Ackbar grumbled.

“Those aren’t Imperial ships Admiral.” Iella warned. “They’re headed for the station.”

“Admiral, we’re receiving a hail…” Jesmine was perplexed.

“What is it?” Ackbar demanded, intrigued despite all that was going on, by the odd tone in her voice.

“It says… ‘And those who are prideful… shall be laid down into the dust.” Ackbar heard trepidation in his niece’s voice, and he understood her fear. He had seen what those ships could do and the words she had uttered, contained unmistakable malice. Something about those words had struck fear in many on the bridge and there was silence as she uttered the final four words of the message. “Hallowed are the Ori.”

“Then I suppose we know their name.” he said aloud. The comment seemed to drain some of the tension on the bridge and Ackbar was gratified to see his crew returning to their duties.

“The Sovereign is breaking off her attack and is turning to face the newcomers.” Iella warned.

Ackbar considered for a moment.

“Do we have the stargate on board?” He asked.

“The shuttle just landed.” Iella replied but she felt the need to add, “Admiral, the station is not heavily armed, it’s just a shipyard. There are probably half a million people out there.”

There was silence on the bridge for a moment. Ackbar looked at the battered Sovereign class star destroyer, resolutely turning to intercept the incoming ships.

The words he uttered next surprised none more than he himself.

“Set course to intercept the Ori vessels. Hail the Triumphant.””

“Admiral?” Jesmine was incredulous.

“As you were.” Ackbar snapped, he turned to Iella, “We help the Imperials, we show Thrawn and the galaxy we’re not with these newcomers. If he believes we are, he will devote all his resources to destroying us.”

“And a galaxy that watched us participate in a slaughter would never join our cause.” Iella finished.

“Record every scrap of data you can.” Ackbar told her.

“Triumphant is answering our hail.” Jesmine replied. Ackbar nodded to her and she transferred it to the overhead com.

“…Rebel scum, we will not yield to your kind now, or ever, no matter what filthy ally you come up with next!” A man was raging.
“This is Admiral Ackbar of the New Republic ship Star Defender. We wish a cease fire, and to aid you in the defense of this system.” Ackbar interrupted.

“What? What trickery…”

“This is no trick sir, we have intercepted your sector alerts. We engaged your vessel, simply attempting to extract one of our scout teams, which we have done. We could have escaped, we are still here.” Ackbar insisted. He gave his words a moment to sink in.

“Why would you help us, you were just fireing on us.” The man demanded skeptically.

“This was our space just a few months ago.” Ackbar replied, “The nearby worlds were once sympathetic to our cause and though your forces have retaken the region, we owe them our protection. “

“Fine.” Snapped the man on the other side of the comm., coordinate your fire with ours, but keep your distance. If so much as a turret twitches towards us I will blow you out of space, is that clear?”

“Crystal.” Ackbar replied.

“Triumphant is engaging the lead ship.” Iella told him, though he was watching the tank himself. She narrated her tactical assessment unbidden. “Their shields are holding against heavy turbolaser fire.

“Join our fire to theirs.” Ackbar ordered his gunners, “Neither of our ships are at the best, but together we outgun our enemy a dozen to one.”

“Shields failing on bandit one.” Iella reported, designating the Ori ships at last, as Bandits one two and three. “Bandit two is firing on the Triumphant.” Ackbar watched, part of him in awe, another part horrified as the Ori blast plowed into the shields of the Triumphant, and after a moment, through them. A blackened scar was gouged across the hull of the super star destroyer. Seemingly enraged the Triumphant concentrated her firepower on the second ship, to little effect.

“Triumphant showing massive shield failure along that entire quadrant!” Iella shouted.

“Hit that ship with everything we’ve got.” Ackbar snapped, “Don’t give them a second shot until she can maneuver.” The shields began to collapse on the second ship, and Triumphant immediately switched to the third, as it moved forward seemingly on a suicide course. “Order our fighters to engage the damaged bandit.” The third Ori ship was cresting the Triumphant however, and Ackbar could see who their target would be.”

“Incoming from bandit three!” Ackbar’s sensor crew shouted.

“Brace!” Ackbar shouted, the world turned sideways.
• * * *

“Any word from the Admiral’s ship?” Mon Mothma asked as Lando as she arrived in the gateroom.

“None.” Lando told her grimly, “Han tried dialing the gate on board but it didn’t connect.” Mothma considered this news grimly.

“I have confidence in Ackbar’s ability.” She decided at last. “The shuttle had the stargate, and the Triumphant was heavily damaged. I am certain they managed to escape.” She let out a breath. “I suppose we must thank Sheppard for his contribution. I am told not many could have accomplished what he did.”

“Firing drones through a stargate was a hell of a thing.” Lando acknowledged grudgingly, “We’re not even sure how he could aim them, though Lobot thinks the chair could tap into the stargate’s sensors.”

“As he has now somewhat proven himself, we must consider some other ideas he has proposed to us.” Mothma told Lando, “While awaiting word on the mission’s outcome, I began to review his debriefing.” She held up a report. “Starbuck also mentioned the Asgard, a powerful, benevolent race.”

“Seeking alliances has gotten us into a lot of trouble over the years,” Lando pointed out, “And we don’t know a thing about these people.”

“Nonetheless I am interested in making an effort to contact them.” Mothma said, “We can conduct negotiations on Atlantis, without revealing our home galaxy until we are sure they can be trusted.”

“Madam president, with all due respect.” Lando began, “Are we sure it’s worth it? Sheppard claimed they were all but wiped out in his time, by their battle with these ‘replicator’ things. The Organa is nearly ready, and Sheppard gave us the location of three Altairan battleships. Why don’t focus on them first?”

“We are too few in number, Governor.” Mon Mothma replied sadly, “The New Republic is all but extinguished. Regardless of the Admiral’s fate, today has shown us quite clearly how vulnerable we are. It is time for that to change.” Lando considered for a moment, he pulled out his com link.

“Colonel Sheppard would you mind joining us in the gateroom?” He asked

“On my way, Governor.” The man answered immediately.

“You heard that in his voice?” Mothma asked, “That man needs to belong somewhere Governor, and if it is within your chain of command, you can harness his determination, rather than be distracted by it.”
Lando nodded. “Good advice as always Madame President.” Mothma nodded and then said,

“I suppose I need a place to belong as well. As a President in exile I feel more than a little out of place here but I will attempt to refrain from stepping on your toes any further.” Before Lando could reply, Sheppard arrived.

“We’ve lost contact with the Admiral’s ship.” Lando told Starbuck, “Our assets are too depleted to make an effective stand against the Empire, and we need allies now.”

“The Asgard?” Sheppard asked, he’d been questioned about them at length.

“The Asgard.” Lando affirmed, “We’ve got to try our luck one more time.”

“They won’t let you down.” Sheppard assured him, “The problem is, there’s no way to reach them from here. We don’t have a gate address, they were found by SG-1 and Earth won’t even begin it’s stargate program for at least a decade.”

“Are you giving up that easy?” Lando demanded, Sheppard was taken aback.

“No, I just…” he snapped his fingers, “Chaya!”

“What?” Lando demanded, “Where’s Chaya, a planet? I’ve never heard of it.” He’d been through the Lantean database as thoroughly as anyone else, the Lemurian one too.

“Chaya’s not a place.” Said Sheppard, searching his memory, “She’s a woman, an ancient who ascended. She won’t know me, but I bet if I can reason with her, she could help us.”

“Then let’s put together a team.” Lando decided, “I’m tired of being on the back foot.”
• * * *

Han checked the charge on his blaster as he entered Lemuria’s gate room.

“You all set Chewie?” he asked, the Wookiee stood waiting by the stargate, one furry arm in a sling. Chewbacca growled an affirmative, a broken arm wasn’t going to slow him down, but the Wookiee stepped aside to reveal Yoda’s diminutive form.

“Accompanying you I will be.” Yoda stated, “A knight to find I have.”

“I thought Wedge was just a padawan.” Han said tightening holstering his gun as the stargate was dialed. A wormhole erupted.

“A padawan he is, no more.” Yoda told Han, hobbling beside him towards the gate. “His trial, this is. Emerge a Jedi knight will now or never.” Han shot the Jedi a glance, wondering what that could mean, but Yoda pointedly looked forward. Han sighed. They stepped into the gate and emerged on another world. General Carlist Rieekan was there to meet them. Han noted that the Stargate had been moved inside. Had it really been just yesterday morning, when he and Starbuck, anxious to get to Chewie’s aid, had insisted it be activated the moment it was off the Falcon. It was now inside the former Imperial prison complex. They were in a tall, stark, but well lit room with a high ceiling. Han noted a shielded control room to his left, and glanced up at a balcony above. There were blaster turrets erected at angles to the gate, as well as on the balcony above.

“Welcome back to Dathomir, General Solo.” The man said shortly. His gaze lingered on Yoda and he nodded respectfully. “The Falcon is refueled and ready to go.”

“Thank you general.” Solo shook the man’s hand. He was anxious to go, but needed to confirm one more thing. “We’re transferring some personnel to brief your men on what we know of the stargate. I see you’ve moved it inside.” Rieekan nodded. He gestured to one of his men standing behind a shielded console. The floor lurched slightly, and then began to rise towards the ceiling,

“The platform we are standing on elevates to the landing pads on the roof however.” He clarified, “Per the Admiral’s last orders, it can be positioned to transport, supplies, personnel or ships.”

“Those won’t be Ackbar’s last orders.” Han replied motioning to Chewbacca and Yoda, “With the hyperdrive modifications we’ve been making to her, the Falcon can be there tomorrow.” The stargate drew even with the balcony, and Han could see the Falcon where he had parked it in the distance through the open doors of the hanger.

“General, we’ve received information you need to be aware of.” Rieekan advised him, he handed Han a data chip. “A sector wide alert has been issued by the Empire…”

“That’s good, if they’ve issued an alert, than they are looking for him too.” Han said.

“It doesn’t concern the Admiral, as a matter of fact. It is concerning a number of attacks by a group calling itself the Ori. Their ships are extremely advanced, and extremely dangerous. They’ve attacked several military installations in the vicinity of Thyferra.”

“Ackbar sent word he’d intercepted something like that.” Han said, drawing up short, “What’s it have to do with…”

“The shipyards at Endor, and the station defending them is on the list of stations destroyed by these attackers.” Rieekan told him. “Considerable damage was done to the forest moon during the attack, and the Dawnstar has returned to that system to provide humanitarian aid.”

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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