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

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 02-22-2012)

Postby LadyTevar » 2012-02-25 07:50pm

If the Station is gone.. did Ackbar ever retreat? He did have the StarGate aboard, protecting it would be key

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 02-22-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-05 02:18pm

I'm back from my trip, and I will have another update ready tonight, but this is a good opportunity for some extra background. It doesn't really concern Starbuck or the main thrust of the story but it fleshes out the timeline I posted earlier.
LadyTevar wrote:If the Station is gone.. did Ackbar ever retreat? He did have the StarGate aboard, protecting it would be key

Ackbar knew he couldn't afford to [i]really[/i] alienate Thrawn, no pun intended, and crippling a mainline warship prior to an enemy incursion is doing just that. What's more he can't afford to seem associated with that enemy at ALL. He's fighting the Empire on a different level, he needs to show potential allies and recruits that the new Republic is still relevant, without making it a high enough priority that the Empire wipes them out. They are considered filthy rebels, and rightfully so by the smug but superior Imperial fleet, they are to be dealt with if encountered, but the Vong are still the priority.

The Empire's even letting the Cylons run around like pirates. Basically the Vong are really dug in. Thrawn halted their advance and even pushed them back out of Imperial space, but to break them, he needs to be able to defend his population AND field an aggressive fleet, because the Vong don't back down at all. Ackbar is trying to play with that. Thrawn is generally accepted as the savior of the galaxy because he swept in and restored order. Ackbar knows that the longer the Gong Empire conflict continues, the more Thrawn's leadership is undermined, the more worn out the Imperial machine would become, and the more it would take to push out the Vong, but Ackbar knows the limits, as long as he remains a thorn in the Empire's side that doesn't dig too deeply they won't scratch him off, and he can go for a ride.

The New Republic meanwhile really has to rehabilitate it's name, after allying itself with the Wraith, and then the Cylons. I have even inferred loosely that they are somewhat responsible for the Vong, as the Vong plowed through the systems that were joining the New Republic as it formed and i'll go more into that now,


Basically, when the Emperor died, the New Republic fought for control of the mid rim. When the Wraith turned on them, the NR was able to fend them off while the Empire fought amongst itself. The Cylons entered the galaxy, and allied itself with the New Republic...

...and then kept right on moving, hoping to put a buffer between themselves and the Vong they knew were coming. The area near Thyferra became a three way tug of war between the New Republic, the Cylons and Thrawn's forces which ultimately won. The New Republic had to cede the region when the Vong came, making an effort to stop them and getting completely annihilated in the process. They weren't anywhere near as centralized as the Empire was, they had supply lines criss crossing the galaxy because they weren't unified and the Vong made themselves at home in the South East and South West regions while the New Republic just fell.

Anubis arrived in the midst of this and tried to quietly make a name for himself, but Thrawn made a show of stomping him and the Wraith out. He consolidated Imperial forces and control of (on the map) North, north east, and South West, containing the Cylons in the North West and leaving the region containing Coruscant and the Corellian Sector as contested space while he rebuilt his forces. The Corellians by the way were part of the Rebel alliance, bu did not join the new republic. Thrawn left them alone for a good reason, and Ackbar is trying to woo them back, for an equally good reason. Declaring victory and decomissioning the Death star was all political propaganda. The war was "Won" for the Empire, because the Empire itself was defended by a growing fleet of super star destroyers that could intercept and destroy world ship intruding in their space, ultimately, worlds that joined the Empire were safe. The galaxy at large was forced to choose between the sadistic technophobic slavery of the Vong, extermination by the Cylons, or the stability and order the Empire provided.

The Star Defender is the New Republic's only claim to having any ability whatsoever to protect anything, and it really can't take on a Super Star Destroyer in a fair fight anyway. Ackbar can't afford to have it destroyer, but he also can't have it running off and abandoning civilians to yet another extragalactic menace. Ackbar is the middle of redeploying his fighter forces to be based out of the Star Defender. With a stargate on board, he can deploy fighters to Coruscant, Dathomir or to Atlantis even to project his forces much farther out, while keeping his forces mobile, he just wasn't done yet when the Ori showed up.

Ackbar chose to try to avert a series of events that would destroy any chance for the New Republic to regain legitimacy, but has endangered the bulk of their fighters, their only major capital ship, their best ship builders... because they're still on board by the way, Ackbar never got them to Atlantis... the second most senior Jedi, and Starbuck who has given them valuable insight into ancient technology. He played for all the marbles, and we're about to see if it paid off.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 02-22-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-05 08:57pm

Chapter 11

All he could see were stars. Starbuck shook his head to clear it. The side of his head felt cold, but when he touched it something warm was on his hands. It was dark. He took a breath and smelled something burning. He knew he was hurt, and he knew he had to think clearly. He focused his will on the problem, and felt his body begin to heal itself. His clarity of thought returned, and memory returned to him. In the dim, flickering light, he saw a shape sitting cross legged some distance away.

“Wedge?” The figure didn’t move. It was framed by the stars. Comprehension dawned.

“The force field is down!” he whispered to himself. Wedge still did not move. Starbuck hauled himself to his feet and looked around. The shuttle they had arrived in was on it’s side. Starbuck had a brief memory of some cataclysmic force upending his world just as he and Wedge had been coming down the ramp, of flying sideways… he shook his head. His wounds were not yet healed, the concussion not quite gone. He needed to focus. “Wedge?”

Starbuck heard a moan in the distance, and something sparked, illuminating the bay they were in briefly, then faded to darkness

“He’s saving us.” A woman was lying to one side, her voice was weak. “Holding the atmosphere in with the Force.” She coughed. “Seems like hours…”

Starbuck hobbled over to the nearest control panel, but it was dead. “There’s no power!” he called to the voice.

“Manual, release.” She replied, her voice thin in the darkness.

Starbuck lurched over to a station near end of the bay letting his intuition guide him. He opened a utility box against the wall and found a lever. He pulled it down and with a groan, Hydraulics kicked in. A blast door slammed down from above, a curtain of darkness obstructing the dim light of the stars. He heard the sounds of catches locking the door in place, and heard a deep sigh of relief.

“Wedge?” Starbuck asked, he felt at his belt for his lightsaber, and finding it, he ignited it. In the dim light he could see the man sag to the floor. “Easy Wedge you did it, you saved us.” He mpoved in the direction of the woman’s voice. He saw only scattered debris, and found a dead twilek crushed under the shuttle. He reached out with other senses. “Easy… Jan, I’m almost there.” He called to her. He used the light saber to sever a support strut that was barring his path. An X Wing shifted as the strut gave way, with a deafening clatter. Jan’s form was revealed. Starbuck stumbled across broken crates and knelt by her side.

“Too late…” She mumbled sadly, “Done for.”

“Lady I’m full of surprises.” Starbuck assured her. He put his hands on her belly and it began to glow.
• * * *

“Jesmine, can you hear me?” Ackbar pressed her worriedly.

“She’s unconscious, but I think she’s stable.” Iella assured him, “We need to get access to the medical bay.” The two were crouched over Jesmine’s form, the contents of a med kit spread out around them. They had already triaged the survivors on the bridge, with those able, caring for those who could be saved, and those who could not moved to a corner of the bridge. Iella rose and moved to a shattered console that seemed to have life still within it. Ackbar still stooped by Jesmine but looked up.

“We’re on emergency power.” Iella told him, “Electronics are down, nternal comms are down, that hyperjump fried a lot of our systems.”

“Our shields were damaged.” Ackbar told her, “There was a concern this could happen when this ship was being built, because wraith technology is particularly susceptible to the effects of hyperspace radiation.” He shook his head as Iella approached him.

“Are you alright sir?” She asked concerned, he had seemed uninjured, indeed had been one of the few who kept their seat when the Ori blast had hit. It was he, from his command chair that had initiated the emergency hyperspace jump, as the stricken Star Defender had plummeted towards Endor.

“I will be alright.” Ackbar said with a forlorn look at Jesmine. He schooled his features. “We need to regain access to the rest of the ship. We need to get control of this situation.” He moved towards the nearest exit while Iella continued to work at her console. The frame of the door had bent, warping them shut but he managed to use a part of a chair frame as a lever with the help of one of the less injured scanner techs. The door slid open with a groan. Ackbar took a breather, and turned back to Iella.

“I have some limited connectivity restored.” She told him, her console was slowly completing a diagnostic. “I am compiling a preliminary damage report.”

“Very good.” Ackbar told her, “We need to know what areas are most compromised, to determine the safest possible route to the medical bay. We also need to establish a secondary control center.” Glancing around the bridge, the reason didn’t need to be said. An R4 unit rolled onto the bridge beeping. It had been in the antechamber beyond and one of the bridge crew had helped it back into it’s feet.

“Looks like I have a helper.” Iella said, relieved, but Ackbar had other concerns.

“Arfour, do you possess updated stellar maps? Can you give us an idea of our location?” Ackbar asked gesturing towards one of the viewports. Iella waited expectantly as the droid beeped an affirmative and began examining the stars.

“Does it matter where we are, if we can’t do anything about it sir?” She asked at last. Ackbar glanced knowingly at her.

“It certainly does.” Ackbar told her, “Because if we can get to the Stargate, we can obtain immediate assistance.”
• * * *

“..and we need your help Chaya.” Sheppard told her. They were seated on a bench overlooking Atlantis. Chaya looked at him a little sadly.

“You know my real name, John Sheppard, you know much about me,” she told him.

“Athar is the name you were given,” Sheppard told her earnestly, “Chaya is a name you chose.” She was silent at that.

“You possess wisdom for one so young.” She said wistfully, and got to her feet, “Or perhaps my heart is blind.” She laughed a little, “It has been so long since I could share with another…” She broke off and looked at the city below. On one of the piers, the skeletal shape of the Organa sat, droids and engineers buzzing about it busily even at this late hour. Humanoids of all shapes and sizes came and went in the city that was illuminated below. “It is good to see Atlantis alive again, even filled as it is, with beings that are strangers to me.”

“Well you know..” Sheppard said awkwardly, “It takes all kinds to make a world.” Chaya laughed.

“Indeed it does.” She said lightly, she rested a hand on his forearm. “I can help you contact the Asgard, John.”

“You’ll do it?” Sheppard asked, “You’ll help the New Republic?”

“Yes.” She replied, “Because your motives are pure, and your ideals honorable. I believe you and your allies will free this galaxy from the wraith once and for all, and I can find peace.”

"...and because I already know about the Asgard and would find them eventually anyway, the others will let you help?" Sheppard asked giving her an exaggerated wink. her mouth lifted in a smile and she nodded. “Look… Athar… Chaya.” he continued awkwardly, “I don’t know how long I’m gonna stick around here…”

“No… John… you don’t.” Chaya told him putting her hands over his. “Your destiny is in motion, your path changes.”

“I need to get back to my friends.” Sheppard said, “My Atlantis. Can you help me do that?” Chaya shook her head.

“I am sorry John, but what Starbuck told you is the truth.” She told him. “For the future that the hologram of your friend Rodney described to have happened, there must be a universe where John Sheppard never returned to Atlantis.” Sheppard shook his head rebelliously.

“I can’t accept that..” he began.

“I know.” She said shushing him, “You are never without hope, never without determination, you are valiant.” She embraced him suddenly, “You must never let go of that John, Never.”

Lando watched from the doorway as the two embraced. Mothma came up beside him.

“Will she do it? Will she help us?” Mothma asked anxiously. Lando nodded and turned away from the two.

“She’ll do it.” He told Mothma, “She was ready to help us the moment we set foot on her world, but right now, I think she’s helping him.”
• * * *

“Alright look sharp.” Han said to Chewie, “We’re coming out of hyperspace on the far side of the Endor system, there’s no telling what we’ll find there.” Chewie growled assent, and assured Han he had the deflectors ready. Hyperspace reverted to normal space around them and in the distance the gas giant known as Endor was a growing speck.

“You okay back there?” Han asked Yoda, the jedi was sitting in the back of the cockpit with his eyes closed. Yoda nodded. “Alright.” Han said, scrutinizing the readings on his console, “I’m reading debris in orbit around the forest moon, most likely the station, the shipyard, or both…” Artoo trilled a warning. “Yeah I see it, I see it, the Death Star.” Han flipped a switch, “It’s in close orbit with the forest moon, but I don’t see any sign of the admiral’s ship.” Chewie informed Han they were receiving a hail, than, touching his earpiece, Chewie roared more urgently. Han put the hail on speaker.

“…I repeat, this is Emperor Thrawn, calling General Solo, of the New Republic, please respond.”
Han stared dumbfounded at Chewie.

“Come now General Solo, your ship is quite distinctive, there are not that many YT-1300’s still in service. We’ve had your ship flagged since it’s first encounter with the Death Star, there’s no need to be shy.” The Admiral continued. “General, I have not directed any fighters to intercept your ship, and I wish you no harm, I simply wish to exchange information, please respond.”

“I don’t like it, it’s like the guys a mind reader.” Han grumbled, he flipped the comm. system.

“This is General Solo, Emperor, what can I do for you?”

“Ah General Solo, so good of you to respond, I trust this means we may have a dialogue?” Han altered the Falcon’s course to one with a more circumspect orbit.

“Well it’s not every day I am personally contacted by the Galactic Emperor, now is it.” Han replied. “If you think I’m going to meet you face to face, though, I’m sorry to disappoint you my schedule is pretty full right now.”

“I imagine you must be quite busy searching for Admiral Ackbar’s ship.” Thrawn replied over the comm, “I’ll come straight to the point General, as I imagine you’re a man of little patience at the moment. You are here searching for Admiral Ackbar’s ship aren’t you, as well as for your former first mate Chewbacca.” Han raised an eyebrow.

“What do you know about Chewie?” he asked glancing at the Wookiee in question.

“Only that he was leading a mission on the moon below when the station detected his shuttle.”
Thrawn replied, “His team seems to have escaped aboard a shuttle that docked with the Admiral’s ship.”

“…and…just where is the Admiral’s ship.” Han asked. There was a moment of silence over the comm, and then Thrawn replied quietly

“This is a dialogue General, I think it would be fair for you to answer some of my questions before I answer yours.” Han shook his head.

“I have a bad feeling about playing sabacc with Thrawn.” He confided to Chewie, but he reopened the line. “You have questions Thrawn?”

“I do, general.” Replied Thrawn, “As you are by now aware, we have issued a sector wide alert for ships of a previously unknown, but aggressive power that call themselves the Ori.”

“I’d heard the rumors.” Han said trying to be casual, “But if you’re asking if they were with us..”

“As a matter of fact General, I was particularly pleased to hear that they are not.” Thrawn replied,

“As evidenced by your Admiral’s decision to cease hostilities with our forces, and aid them in attempting to defend the civilian shipyard in orbit. No General, I know they are not your allies, my question is, what prompted the Admiral to side with us against them.”

Han cleared his throat and shrugged. He commed the Emperor.

“Unfortunately I can’t really answer that, only the Admiral can.”

“Ah.” Said Thrawn, “So your forces have not encountered the Ori before either. Very well I will tell you this, Ackbar disabled an Ori ship, as did our ship, the Triumphant. They were in the process of damaging a third when both vessels were fired upon. The Triumphant managed to ram and disable one Ori vessel, and the station managed to hold off the final craft in time for reinforcements to arrive. The station, alas was lost to us. When the Admiral’s ship lost helm control and it was in danger of crashing into the forest moon when it made an unstable hyperspace jump. I can forward you their probable vector.”

“You haven’t pursued him?” Han asked doubtfully.

“I see no need to.” Thrawn replied, “Your rebellion is all but crushed, and he chose to aid our forces against a common foe. It is my hope that in time you will see the pointlessness of opposing a unified galaxy, the need for which our present situation only underscores. Our galaxy has been the target of extra galactic invaders, with alarming frequency. It does not take a genius to conclude that something is chasing all of these powers towards us, and if we are to survive these constant invasions, and whatever is behind them, we must work together.”

“Under your rule?” Han demanded.

“I have only assumed the mantle of leadership, to bring order to chaos.” Thrawn assured him, “Have I not proven myself capable of this in your eyes?”

“In my eyes, slavery is not order.” Han replied, “In my eyes, the military protects it’s people, it doesn’t oppress them.”

“Perhaps you are right.” Thrawn replied after a moment, “Perhaps it is time that I turned my attention to more domestic issues. I confess that as a soldier first, I have some shortcomings as a statesmen.”

“Are you serious?” Han demanded incredulous, “You’ll abolish the Alien control act? The collars come off? The Wookiees will be freed.”

“I will begin reforming the law immediately, General Solo.” Thrawn promised, “As I have said, my priorities were stability, and defense. I had to unify the Empire to drive out the Vong, to exterminate the Cylons, and to defeat the Goa’uld. Perhaps it is time to ensure equality once again. If such efforts restore the faith of the population in my leadership, than they are certainly worthwhile.”
Han was at a loss for words. He looked to Chewie but Chewie shrugged, also at a loss. He turned to Yoda. The jedi was still meditating, oblivious.

“I don’t expect you to believe me immediately, General Solo. You needn’t fly yourself to my hanger for a celebration.” Thrawn continued chuckling dryly. “I will provide the vector for the Admiral’s projected path, and I wish you luck in finding him. Ackbar was once a student of mine, and he showed considerable talent. Pass on to him, and any others in your leadership what I have said here, and my invitation to dialogue. I will not hinder your efforts.” There was a pause and Han reached for the comm. system, freezing as Thrawn finally dropped the other shoe. “Though I would request that you cease harassing transports with your fighters while you consider what I have said. I would prefer to concentrate on this new outside threat, with limited interference from the New Republic.”

“I can agree to that.” Han said, “You give us the admiral’s trajectory, let us find him, and we’ll stay out of your way.”

“Excellent.” Said Thrawn after a moment, “Than I will transmit the data now. I look forward to speaking with you again Han. Perhaps some day we can sit down and play a hand or two of sabacc.”
Chewie grumbled, but Han waved off his objections.

“Relax, I didn’t speak for the council.” He said, “I agreed to what Thrawn said about the raiding parties, because they were being deployed from the Star Defender. We can’t continue them if we can’t find her now can we, say,” Han scratched at his chin idly while he altered the Falcon’s course. Thrawn’s data was coming in and Artoo started to analyze it, “You know there’s one good thing about all of this. Thrawn just showed his hand when it came to the Stargates. He doesn’t seem to have any idea that your team wasn’t aboard that shuttle.” Chewie pointed something out Han hadn’t thought of.
“Yeah, you’re right, he must have heard about the drones by now.” He glanced at the scans of Endor’s moon, “He’s probably turning that moon upside down looking for how we did it.”
• * * *

Thrawn stood before the viewport covering one wall of the Dawnstar’s executive control center. Admiral Pelleon stood with him. Pelleon stood quietly, knowing better than to interrupt the blue skinned alien’s thoughts.

“The man is excellent.” Thrawn said at last, “But despite himself, he revealed much, wouldn’t you say?”

“He did not seem surprised by the use of hyperspace, that confirms our readings.” Pelleon ventured, “The New Republic has access to military hyperdrive.”

“Ah but we knew that likely anyway.” Thrawn chided him, “The Admiral’s ship was a hybrid of Wraith and Mon Colamari technology. No, what else did he reveal Admiral?”

“He didn’t seem to know anything about the Ori.” Peleon replied. Thrawn shook his head in irritation.

“The New Republic is no longer a threat.” Thrawn informed the Admiral. “Solo was consumed with the need to find the Admiral’s ship. He’s as much as guaranteed a ceasefire, him, a General. He’s only been with the New Republic for a few months according to our sources, he wouldn’t be able to make that promise, unless he thought he was promising something he knew we already had. Solo is a gambler Admiral, and the safest bet is always to bet someone else’s money.” Thrawn turned to Pelleon, excitement in his eyes, “And Solo listened, he was genuinely hopeful when I promised to end the Alien Control laws.”

“And you intend to do this Emperor?” Pelleon asked neutrally.

“Of course.” Thrawn told him, “If it will gain the loyalty of the people, they shall have it.”
• * * *
“We saved fourteen.” Starbuck told Wedge, as he approached the Jedi, “Some of them were pretty bad off but I managed to heal them.”

“What did that cost you?” Wedge asked wearily. He was still clearly exhausted, and Starbuck wasn’t looking much better.

“It cost quite a bit.” Starbuck told him putting a hand on his shoulder, “And I think I got a bargain.” Wedge felt energy flow into him, he jerked his shoulder away. Starbuck followed him as he began to walk away. “Hey, you needed that, you’re exhausted.”

“So are you.” Wedge told him.

“You aren’t drawing strength from the Force, don’t think I haven’t noticed.” Starbuck persisted, “Look do we need to talk about what happened down on Endor?”

“There’s nothing to talk about Starbuck, I did what I had to do, it’s done.”

“Then how about what happened here. How did you keep the atmosphere in the bay?” Starbuck demanded, “Come on Wedge, I know you can’t hold onto air with the Force, but when I went near the edge of the bay I felt wind, blowing not out, but in.” Wedge let out an angry breath. “You drew on the dark side again didn’t you.”

“Yes” He whirled on Starbuck suddenly, “So what? I saved lives, including yours, both times.”

“I don’t have a problem with it.” Starbuck pointed out, “I’m grateful to be looking forward to a few more millennia of gambling and womanizing, the problem here is you.”

“I don’t have a problem.” Wedge snapped turning back towards the shuttle.

“Then open yourself back up to the Force Wedge.” Starbuck told him, “Or let me help you. We’re in the middle of a crisis, and people need you at your best.”

“I know.” Wedge replied.

“It’s what Luke would have wanted Wedge, you owe it to him.”

“I KNOW!” Wedge shouted annoyed, then paused he turned to Starbuck uncertainly, “What?” Starbuck was shaking his head.

“I don’t need to be a mind reader.” Starbuck grinned sheepishly, “But it helps.”

“I’ve been thinking that a lot lately.” Wedge admitted shaking his head, “But when I hear it said out loud, I know better…”

“Luke looked up to you Wedge.” Starbuck told him, “When I touched the Force on Coruscant, I felt him there, he still looks up to you. He’s proud of you.”

“He’s dead.” Wedge said shortly. Starbuck shook his head.

“From a certain point of view.” He said to Wedge, “If you would open yourself back up to the Force I think you’d know that.” Wedge had nothing to say to that. “It won’t devour you Wedge, you aren’t the monster you think you’re becoming, not yet.” He put his hand on Wedge’s shoulder, “Not even close.” Wedge was silent for a moment. Aware that their time was limited, and that Starbuck was pushing him for a reason, Wedge finally capitulated and voiced his fears.

“It devours you.” He told Starbuck, “There’s so much power there, but it’s like something else is driving you, taking control of you. I felt… possessed by the dark side.” Starbuck was shaking his head. He reached forward and rapped gently on Wedge’s temple.

“Wedge, you know that there wasn’t anybody in there but you.” Wedge opened his mouth to argue, but Starbuck shook his head. “You, Wedge, it was all you. What you’re really afraid of, is that if you have to admit that, you have to admit that you may not really know yourself. The Jedi, the Sith, they have cultivated the idea that to turn to the dark side is to become someone else entirely, to adopt a new identity. It’s nothing more than embracing the base instincts that were part of you all the time. Maybe with a hint of psychopath.” He added lightly, “The metachalorianates aren’t human, they tend to interpret your desires logically, unfiltered by things like empathy or fear. The power you wield by ‘embracing’ the dark side, you know that’s not your power. That is the Force, doing what you will it to, without any fear, without any doubts, without any hesitation.”

“I need fear.” Wedge asserted, “I need doubt, that power without responsibility, it’s…” Starbuck was nodding in agreement. Wedge understood the man’s point. “I guess I wouldn’t make a very good Sith would I.”

“Nope.” Starbuck said, “So put aside your fear and get back to being a Jedi. We’ve got to get that Stargate working and save these people.”
* * *

“I… hope you know what you are doing.” Han said doubtfully. Yoda was standing in his chair.

“Plotted the course, Artoo has.” The jedi replied, “A direction we now have yes, but the distance, we do not know. The Force will lead us to them.” Han looked down at the Jedi doubtfully, but Chewie growled encouragingly. “Not a scratch will I give her.” The Jedi said knowingly. He patted the console for emphasis. “Over Eight hundred years I am, flying starships I was before your ancestors were born.”

“Alright.” Han said reluctantly, but he held up a warning finger. “Not a scratch.” He buckled himself unhappily into Chewie’s seat which the Wookiee graciously vacated. Yoda leaned forward and pulled back the hyperdrive control levers. The falcon leaped into hyperspace, but even as Han began to settle down to the idea that he might have to wait a while, Yoda suddenly reached forward and pushed the levers back forward. The Falcon lurched into normal space. Yoda gave an un Jedi like scream of terror as a vast wall of ship filled the screen.

“What are you crazy?” Han demanded, he reached for the controls, cursed, and undid the restraints. Too close to pull up, Han rolled the Falcon and dove hurdling into a vast opening and out the other side. The freighter skimmed so close to the other ship’s hull that there was a screeching crunch that Han knew was the communications dish being sheared off. A Starfield once more filled the cockpit as they hurdled away from danger. Han shot daggers at Yoda. “Not a scratch?” He growled. Chewbacca huddled into the rear passenger seat suddenly found his paws extremely interesting.

“Perhaps, fly you should.” Said the Jedi master. Hopping nimbly out of Han’s seat he retreated into the passenger seat, as Han slid over and Chewbacca resumed his place beside him. Shaking his head Han reoriented the Falcon to face the Star Defender. Chewie gave a mournful growl and Han had to agree with him. The massive hive ship sported numerous burns and craters from it’s duel with the Super Star Destroyer. The blast from the Ori ship was another matter. It had burned straight through the center of the ship clear to the other side. Han could, and had flown the Falcon straight through it.

“I don’t see that thing going anywhere any time soon.” He observed. Artoo trilled wildly behind them, and Chewie roared, waving his furry paws at the scanner. Han, not believing his instruments, adjusted the Falcon’s course again. In the space beyond the Defender was a silent fleet of ships.
* * *

“Incoming wormhole!” Lobot announced. “Receiving Starbuck’s Identification code.”

“Let them through.” Lando told him, “Medical teams stand by to receive wounded. Starbuck!” he called as the man came through the gate, “Glad to hear you made it back in one piece!” he jogged down the short flight of stairs as more people came through the gate. Wounded, injured, being led on grav lifts.

“I wish we could say the same for the Admiral’s ship.” Starbuck said tiredly. Survivors from the landing bay began to arrive around them, those who were able, supporting those too badly wounded. "Captain Solo contacted us a few minutes ago, he's facilitating the evacuation of parts of the ship we can't get to, the main hanger bay doors are fused shut. We couldn't dial out until we had a point of origin, which the admiral was able to provide."

"We got word from Coruscant to expect wounded." Lando acknowledged. medical teams passed him and began helping the wounded arriving through the gate. Lando drew Starbuck to one sie of the gate. "We've been sending any able bodied person we could spare to Dathomir for the last thirty eight minutes until Coruscant dialed us again, if the ship is a wreck why are you bringing so many people in."

"Not just for search and rescue." Starbuck explained, "Salvage. Apparently the Star Defender came out of hyperspace in the middle of something Solo called the Katana fleet." Lando glanced at Lobot who stood by his side.

"Nearly a hundred Dreadnoughts deployed as part of an experient in automation by the old republic." Lobot explained, "The fleet disappeared and it was believed they fell prey to some sort of hyperdrive malfunction."

"Well we've found them." Starbuck said, "Han's trying to crew enough ships to tow the Star Defender to Dathomir for repairs."

"A hundred ships..." Lando shook his head incredulous, "Dreadnoughts.. we've had fleet personnel crawling the walls around here for weeks, add to that the survivors of the Star Defender..."

"The admiral completed his mission to evacuate the fleet academy on Sullust. " Lobot observed.

Starbuck finally seemed to notice all the people around him “This place is really coming to life.”

"We've been redirecting transports evacuating refugees from Vong territory to Dathomir." Lando said grimly, "Atlantis was the only place we could bring them to get them out of harm's way."

“Well it’s become a haven for many.” Starbuck said grimly, as wounded were carried past him.

“We’ve got some of the best medical facilities in two galaxies.” Lando assured him, “We’ll get these people back on their feet in no time, Starbuck you look exhausted.”

“I am.” Starbuck agreed, “I did what I could to heal the wounded, but even though I could only heal humans, there were still so many…” Lando gave him a sympathetic glance and then started as Yoda stepped through the gate, followed by Wedge.

“I see we’ve got some special visitors.” He said smiling broadly at the Jedi Master. Yoda inclined his head to Lando but looked up at the control room. Lando and Starbuck followed his gaze to where Chaya stood watching with Sheppard at her side. Starbuck froze, Yoda and Wedge watched her intently, Lando suddenly felt in the way. it was Lobot who broke the moment as he relayed a message he recieved on his com link.

“There are still thousands that need to be evacuated from the Admiral’s ship, the Defender is offloading the injured to our bases on Dathomir and Coruscant.” Lobot reported, “They sent the most seriously injured here to recover. The Admiral requested two dozen Jumpers to aid in transporting repair teams to the Defender.”

“That many? We’ve only modified half a dozen, and even with the ones we recovered from Taonis…” Lando said turning back in surprise. Lobot put a hand to his head and continued relaying.

“General Solo wants to reactivate the flagship and get those ships somewhere more secure, maybe Coruscant. The Admiral was on a mission to restore unity among the factions that made up the rebel alliance. We’re more short on ships now, than we are on man power especially with the loss of the Star Defender. The sooner we send Solo those Jumpers the sooner we can begin transferring crew.”

“Let's get on it.” Lando told him, he nodded to Lobot, and the cyborg moved to relay the necessary orders. He spotted Chaya and Sheppard coming down to meet them. Starbuck paused as she approached and straightened.

“You’re Lantean.” Starbuck said as she approached. She nodded. “I have some unfinished business with your people.”

“You were banished by the council.” She remarked, but held up a hand as Starbuck began to speak, “I bear you no ill will Starbuck, I too am somewhat outcast.” Starbuck was unsure what to say. “I too, could not stand by and watch suffering inflicted on the lower planes.”

“I wish we’d known.” Starbuck replied, intuitively understanding, “You couldn’t do it either, could you, you couldn’t just stand aside while people suffered, while people died.” He stepped closer to her, excited, he grabbed both her hands in his. “You know there were others, like us, waiting for someone to step forward, you and I together we could…”

“I’m sure we can all be friends.” Said Sheppard giving his most charming smile while casually putting his arm around her. Starbuck caught himself and stepped back with a bashful grin, putting his hands up in apology. She smiled at his lack of subtlety. Sheppard cleared his throat awkwardly as she cast him an amused glance and casually used the arm that had been around her to scratch his head. Then he spotted Yoda. he knelt before the diminutive Jedi, coming to eye level. “It’s an honor to meet you sir.”

“The Force is with you John Sheppard.” Yoda told him.

“Really.” Sheppard rolled back on his heels. “With me?”

“How exactly does the Force work out here, anyway.” Lando asked, confused, “It was my understanding that our galaxy was saturated with these… metachlorine things..”

“The Force is a higher plain of existence, the metachalorianates are simply a vehicle to let your people gain access to it.” Chaya explained, “The metachalorianates are self replicating, and your people have been in this city for months.” She nodded towards the stargate, “Travelling through that.”

“Even as we sow our own galaxy once more with knowledge of the force, so too has it spread to this place.” Wedge said solemnly. He nodded to Starbuck respectfully, “You rekindled that light for us Starbuck in our darkest hour.”

“Entwined around you, our fates have become.” Yoda said aloud, “A vision I have had, granted to me by the Force.” He nodded to Starbuck, “You walk the path to our Destiny. Save the universe, you might just yet, but lost you will become, through the fire, we all must pass. Forged by it, you will be.” He poked his walking stick towards Sheppard.

“Some will be broken by it. Shattered.” Chaya said sadly. “I have shared your vision, Master Yoda, yet you see the path so clearly.” A silence fell over them as the others tried to interpret what was being said.

“Burned one of us has already been, by that fire." Yoda looked up at Wedge, who bowed his head in acknowledgement.

"I have learned much." Wedge said putting a hand on Starbuck's shoulder, "About how much I have yet to learn."

"Abandon you to the darkness I will not." Yoda said with a stunningly subtle fierceness in his voice, "Never again that mistake will I make. Face your fear together we will, as master and apprentice, conquer it we will."

"There is always hope." Starbuck told him, "You're a warrior when you need to be Wedge, remember that."

"You are among friends." Chaya said to him. She touched his arm lightly and it was as though a weight lifted from the man briefly.

“Well that sounds like a cause for celebration!” Lando said brightly, eager to dispel the somber mood brought on by signs and portents. He clapped Wedge on the back. “We’ve all got a lot to talk about, let me get these people situated, and then you can all join me for dinner. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”

“Jedi Antilles.” Yoda said, “Assist him you may.” Wedge bowed to Yoda and followed Lando towards the medical bay.

“The Ori have found the Corusca galaxy.” Starbuck said aloud. Chaya nodded pensively, Yoda nodded gravely. "The Empire cannot fight them and the Vong together, and New Republic is all bit broken.

Sheppard swore, drawing the attention of the others.

“Sorry.” He apologized, “The Ori gave my people a real run for their money before they could be defeated.” Chaya’s mouth dropped open, and Starbuck raised an eyebrow. “What?”

“Your people defeated the Ori?” Chaya demanded incredulous. Sheppard beamed and slipped an arm around her waist.”

“Yes we did, in fact on one mission we managed to destroy a Wraith Hive and an Ori mothership at the same time. We had SG-1’s help that time though.” He glanced at Yoda, “But this time we have the Jedi.”

“I’m sorry to interrupt but it looks like we’ve got another problem.” Lando informed them, returning from the control room. "Our little slice of paradise is about to weather a hell of a storm."

“That’s par for the course around here, let’s just play through.” Sheppard told him. Lando blinked.

“Whatever.” He said curtly, he turned to Starbuck and Chaya, “We’re going to move on those allies you mentioned, our long range sensors have picked up a fleet of hive ships. They’re headed this way.”

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 02-22-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-09 04:46pm

Whoops, heads up people I forgot to update the story title to reflect my last update. Anyone skipping Chapter 11 is gonna have NO idea what is going on.

Chapter 12

Stars glittered in the night. In a tiny chamber of warmth floating amid a sea of chilling blackness Wes Jansen sat with his feet up on the dash. Suddenly the console before him beeped. The puddle jumper was picking something up. Wes kicked his feet down as more alarms blared. He called up the HUD as Hobby hurried in from the aft compartment.

“We’ve got something.” Jansen told him, “Multiple contacts coming up behind us.”

“The cloak is operational, let’s hope they can’t see us.” Hobby said checking his instruments. Through the window the two could see a massive shape looming over them, a hive ship, miles long, lumbered past. After a moment two more passed by, flanking the first, which were in turn flanked by two more. Twenty hive ships and almost a hundred cruisers moved in formation, taking up position over a planet in the distance. “By the Force those things look big.”

“Just because we’re so small.” Said Wes gesturing to the puddle jumper, “The Star Defender could clean up the lot of these, hell a sovereign would eat this fleet for breakfast.”

“The long range sensors picked up only five, there’s four times that many here, and more could be on the way.” Hobby said bitterly. Wes began moving the ship carefully away from the fleet.
“We’ll put some distance between us and contact Atlantis.” He decided, “Keep your eyes on that fleet, and lets hope it doesn’t get any bigger.
* * *

“I’m afraid we cannot offer any more support than we already have.” Ackbar stated with finality, Lando slumped. Even as a hologram, the admiral’s presence was formidable. The admiral had called a meeting to review the overall security situation of what remained of the New Republic. Atlantis was linked to the Holonet via active Stargate to Dathomir. The Admiral, and Generals Solo and Rieekan represented the military’s interests, Mon Mothma and Lando aspects of the New Republic and Master Yoda attended, for his input was valued.

“There’s nothing left to send you Lando.” Han said sympathetically, “We transferred all the drones we have to Atlantis, and the new production facilities won’t be ready for another week at best.”

“You have the shield generators and turbolaser emplacements we salvaged from the Guardian,” Ackbar reminded him.

“Yes, and we towed the satellite into a geosynchronous orbit above Atlantis.” Lando replied, “Sheppard said it took out at least one hive ship in his timeline, but Admiral we’re tracking almost twenty. Even with the shields and turbolasers, and our own power generators, it’s not gonna hold out for long. Sheppard’s team has located the Orion and is en route back to Atlantis, we’re expecting to hear from Starbuck’s team soon enough about the… Larrin.”

“That’s the ship Sheppard said was obtained by the travelers in his timeline?” Mothma asked, Lando nodded.

“And we contacted them too.” He said, “We offered to exchange access to our new repair facilities and our technicians to repair their ships, but they’re too afraid of the wraith, and I can’t say I blame them.”

“Sheppard’s debriefing mentioned two other ships, if memory serves.” Ackbar pointed out.

“One of them is a good distance outside our galaxy, we have no way to get to it, nor to get it back to Atlantis.” Lando clarified, “Sheppard said when it was contacted in his timeline, the crew insisted on assuming control of Atlantis and immediately lost it to a planet he put on our black list. I made the decision that they were more trouble than they would be worth. The Aurora’s a similar story. Sheppard said they’d been in stasis so long that we’d have to figure out what to do with the crew, and again, the hyperdrive is busted.”

“Have you managed to get the Organa operational?” Han asked.

“Only just, she’s laying stealth mines along the Wraith’s projected path.” Lando reported, “Even if we get her and the two ancient ships operational, that’s still three against twenty.”

“Plus the station, and Atlantis herself.” Ackbar reminded him.

“Nonetheless, I’ve recommended that we begin evacuations back through the gate to Dathomir, all nonessential staff, including the security council.” Lando said grimly, “We estimate as many as sixty hives in this galaxy, even if we survive this first wave, there’s no telling when they’ll send a second, or a third.”

“We’ve managed to effectively crew nearly twenty dreadnoughts.” Ackbar told Lando, “We hope to have intergalactic hyperdrives mounted on four of them by the end of the month. If you can survive the initial engagement..”

“We can force them to go all in, to take Atlantis.” Lando nodded.

“Changed the wraith’s priorities will have, by then.” Yoda pointed out. The others looked at him.

“Hunger their motivation is, too many they are, too feed on so few.”

“We woke up all the hives before the human population of this galaxy recovered.” Lando said distastefully, “You’re right, our intelligence suggests that the wraith are more interest in a way to get to Corusca than they are in taking Atlantis itself.”

“if you can take out the hive ships on the way, you’ll have cut their population down by a third.” Han noted.

“It might buy us enough time to bring in more than just four dreadnaughts,” Lando considered, “The Dodonna and theKota should be ready in weeks, one of the advantages of building small escorts.”

“This is an unacceptable line of reasoning.” Mothma startled everyone with the anger in her voice.

“Generals, Admiral, Governor, we will not incorporate any reprieve from the wraith into our strategy in that galaxy, because during that time, they will be feeding on human lives.” Chagrined the others looked at each other, as Mothma continued, “If we are secure political credibility in the Pegasus galaxy, we need to eliminate the wraith and establish ourselves as the protectors of that galaxy’s inhabitants. The Travelers, the Genii, the Hothans, they all turned down our request for aid because they don’t believe we can achieve victory, If we allow the wraith to prey upon them we risk replicating the situation we face here on our own galaxy, and make no mistake gentleman, freedom in this galaxy is still our highest priority.”

There was an uneasy silence, and then General Solo cleared his throat.

“Fine.” He said, “If that’s how it’s got to be Madame President, but Lando is right, with it’s present defenses Atlantis is still a sitting duck.” His hologram turned to Ackbar, “Admiral we need to take the fight to them.”

“I agree.” Ackbar said reluctantly, “Do you have something in mind General Solo?”

“I have a few ideas.” Solo admitted, “I request permission to transfer to Atlantis and assume command of the space forces.”

“Very well, I will oversee operations on Coruscant until you return.” Ackbar agreed, “make sure that you do General, the odds against you are not favorable.”

“Return I will, with my padawans, to Atlantis as well.” Yoda declared, “Help protect the city we can, if the Wraith should land.”

“We’ll take all the help we can get master Yoda, thank you.” Calrissian said tightly.

“We cannot bring the forces we need to bear without the resources of the Pegasus galaxy and a secure base of operations.” Ackbar acknowledged after a moment, “And to do that we need to deal with the wraith. We are depending on you Governor, do not let us down.”
* * *

“Starbuck to Atlantis, requesting permission to land.” Starbuck announced, looking down at the planet through a window. Around him a crew of engineers and technicians bustled about the bridge of the Lantean battle cruiser. He moved to control chair in the center but paused as the reply came.

“Negative Larrin, this is General Solo, on board the Organa, hold your position and prepare to rendezvous with our forces. I’m afraid we’ve got a mission for you, I’m gonna need a rundown of your battle readiness.”

“You’re kidding right?” Starbuck said, “We’ve got the major systems running, and a full stockpile of drones, but aren’t we needed to defend Atlantis?”

“The best defense is a strong offense.” Sheppard’s voice cut in, and Starbuck turned in time to see the Orion break over the horizon of Lantea. A smaller ship escorted it, the Organa. It’s design was markedly similar to that of a blockade runner.

“You put the Orion back together so soon?” Starbuck was impressed.

"Well you know, coat a paint, some carpet..." Sheppard said easily, "I can't wait to get back and tell Rodney how quickly they did it." Starbuck let the silence drag on awkwardly. He had repeatedly warned Sheppard it wasn't going to be that easy.

“Hey Sheppard," he said changing the subject, "why were you calling this bucket the Larrin, the ships computer identified it as the Frafforpalkus.”

“You really need me to explain why I changed the name?” Sheppard demanded.

“I dunno, I just thought the Larrin sounded kind of..feminine?” Starbuck prompted with amusement. There was silence on the other side, and then Sheppard answered in a low voice.

“Your ascended insight tell you that?”

“If you two don’t mind, the wraith are on our doorstep.” Solo broke in. “They’re staging for an attack above a planet fifty light years away, what they don’t know, is that we are going to attack first.”

“Oh.” Said Starbuck settling into the control chair to listen to Han's plan, “This is gonna be good.”
* * *

Wedge sat cross legged on the grass on the slope of. The excavated ruins of Lemuria spread out before him nearly an identical snowflake design to that of Atlantis, save for a section that had been destroyed by lava millennia before. A column of fire burst from the heavens plunging into the center. A ball of fire erupted outwards incinerating everything in it’s path… Wedge blinked and shook his head.

“Always in motion, the future is.” Yoda’s voice startled him, he hadn’t sensed the other’s approach.

“Better the present, to focus on.”

“yes master.” Wedge said carefully. The Jedi Master stood expectantly beside his student. “Are the students ready to go to Atlantis?”

“Prepared they are.” Yoda replied, “Ready, they are not.”

“We’ve all had to move quickly these last few months.” Wedge said uncrossing his legs and starting to rise. He paused, and looked for a moment at Yoda. “Too quickly?” Yoda’s gaze seemed to pierce his own.

“Lightening flashes, Sparks fly, missed seeing you have, in the blink of an eye.” Yoda told him. “At it’s own pace, life must move, such is the will of the force.”

Somehow though Wedge now stood towering over him, Wedge felt as though he were still looking up at the ancient Jedi. He pondered Yoda’s words, “Master I… I try to understand but I lack the wisdom…”

He blinked. “Do, or do not.” Yoda said, “There is no try. In a flash, understanding comes, If too closely do you look, miss seeing you will.” Wedge cracked a half smile in spite of himself. His master had known he wouldn't understand and had an explanation ready. Wedge ducked his head in modest appreciation, and Yoda chuckled. "Wisdom comes with time." Yoda told him, "After many years on the path, never forget that you were the first, to step forward onto the path, we now walk, and others follow."

“For someone telling me to focus on the present, you always seem to be a step or two ahead.” Wedge said as they turned back towards the city below. He broke into a slight jog, hopping esily down the mountain. “Too bad my legs are longer.”

Yoda paused behind Antilles for a moment as the other hurried forward..

“Ahead, perhaps, but closer to the end as well.” He whispered.
* * *

The Orion burst out of hyperspace, and unleashed a cloud of drones. Hurdling through space they slammed into an unprepared hive ship, Secondary explosions began to ripple throughout the ship as the Orion barreled onwards already past the hive as it began firing, and blasting away at the next. From a different direction the Larrin arrived doing likewise, as the Hives wheeled ponderously towards the Orion. The Orion leaped into hyperspace as it cleared a third hive ship.

The Larrin continued boldly alone blasting at a second hive ship even as a cloud of darts rose from the inferno of the launch bays blasting away at the ship. The Larrin’s shields held and she escaped to the safety of hyperspace. The hives milled about in confusion for a moment. The Orion returned again, having circled back via hyperspace, this time plunging at the fleet from above the plane of the ecliptic, the Larrin following suit bursting from hyperspace between the Wraith and the planet. Two more hives took heavy damage from the drone strikes but their massed return fire took it’s toll. The Orion left debris behind as it escaped gratefully into hyperspace, the Larrin, it’s shields better off limped hurredly away pursued by a cloud of angry darts.

“Oh they’re pissed…” Starbuck reported, sensing the waves of fury emanating from the wraith. His limited telepathic ability was almost redundant as Han echoed, “You think? Wait until they see what I’ve been up to.” For while the Orion and the Larrin had been drawing the fleets attention, the Organa had been testing it’s cloak. The escort hard coasted through the center of the fleet, dumping the dozen or so mines remaining in it’s hold. Han had his finger on the button.

The Orion was waiting a short distance ahead as the Larrin gained ground on the lumbering hive ships and the pursuing cruisers. Suddenly explosions blossomed among the disorganized Wraith fleet. Several cruisers were annihilated outright as the sonic mines released overlapping planes of destruction. The debris hurled by their deaths slammed into the sides of the Hive ships they escorted, and sent darts careening every which way as they tried to avoid the waves of destruction, and each other. In the cockpit of the Organa, Han was watching his display carefully, and selecting mines when he found a good concentration of ships around them, but the wraith were already catching on and darts were forming screens for the advancing cruisers, blanketing space with plasma fire.

“Drop our cloak, and open fire on the darts pursuing the Larrin, let’s give Starbuck a hand.” He ordered. The pilot next to him nodded, and relayed his orders to men in gunnery bubbles around the ship. The Organa carried two heavy turbo lasers dorsal and ventrally mounted, as well as sets of four quad lasers along each side. It was heavily armed for it’s length of one hundred and fifty meters. It would be a speck beneath the approaching hive ships, and Han wasn’t in the mood to discover how effectively Incom had combined New Republic power generation with Lantean shield technology. As the ship decloaked ahead of the hive ships but trailing the darts that in turn trailed the Larrin, Han was amused to note no change in the formation of darts.

“Even with our cloak down, our passive stealth seems effective.” He commented, “Gunnery crews announce our presence.”

The [i]Organa[/i] exploded into a blaze of death as eight quad lasers oriented forward, and four heavy turbolasers cut into the two or three dozen darts ahead. Unshielded, the darts were immolated by even the quad laser fire, the heavy turbolaser fire would plow through as many as three ships before dissipating. Han shook his head as he realized the gunnery crew was going to have to be concerned about hitting the Larrin through the rapidly disintegrating squadron of darts. Suddenly the Organa bucked.

“Hive ships are in range.” His pilot reported. Han

“Starbuck get your ship out of here, we’ll regroup back over the station.” Solo ordered. He signaled his pilot to follow suit and the [i]Organa[/i] leaped into hyperspace.

Still cloaked in a jumper some distance away, Jansen turned to Hobby.

“Six hives, fourteen cruisers and nearly a hundred darts.” He tallied, “Total encounter time, thirty eight minutes.”

“That number’s going down in history.” Hobby observed, “First battle to clear the wraith in the Pegasus galaxy.” He smirked at Wes, “Guess the [i]Organa[/i]’s new cloak works as well as ours.”

“Those idiots, they never even saw it…” Wes began and suddenly the world turned sideways. Oblivious to the jumper’s location, one of the many darts had, during Wes’ moment of inattention, clipped the tiny ship which now careened very much visible and very much out of control. Wes fought desperately to bring the jumper under control.

“Not ONE word Hobby, no one…” Wes trailed of as he glanced towards his friend. Hobby was slumped over the control console blood pooling beneath his helmet. Wes swallowed, and returned his attention to the window before him as swarm of darts and a cruiser descended on the stricken ship.
* * *

“Admiral, we have an unscheduled incoming wormhole.” Ackbar started, he’d been reviewing the last update from Atlantis. He glanced at Iella.

“I wouldn’t be Atlantis.” She told him, “Governor Calrissian informed us he would be dialing a local gate for the duration of the battle because he didn’t want the Wraith to lock the Stargate.”

“No Identification, Admiral, I can’t even determine a point of origin.” The bothan at the controls told him. Ackbar thumbed the com as he moved to the transparisteel.

“Defense teams stand by to respond, he turned to Iella, “The stargate is shielded?” She nodded. Impossible however, a figure stepped through the gate. Human, wearing a robe, and carrying a book, and a staff.

“Stay where you are.” Ackbar ordered the man, “Identify yourself immediately.”

“I am but a servant of the Ori.” The man said calmly. He glanced about him at the array of laser turrets, battle droids and soldiers surrounding the gate. “Let fear rule your hearts no longer, rejoice, for the rising sun of Origin will vanquish the night.”

“You have trespassed on our territory, how did you bypass our shield, what is your purpose here.” Ackbar demanded.

“My purpose is to show you the light.” The man told him. He took a step forward.

“Hold!” Ackbar ordered, but the man was stooping to place the book he carried on the ramp before the Stargate. This done he straightened.

“Study the path, and the righteous among you will know the truth of it.” The man declared, “Another will come to lead the way.” And then, straightening he finished, raising his staff “To ever lasting life.” And he burst into flames.

“The Ori?” Ackbar demanded, “How did they find us here? They have stargates?”

“We’d better check on Dathomir.” was all that Iella said.
* * *

“Fighter wings one and two form up around the station and keep those darts off her.” Starbuck heard Wedge’s voice over the comm.. The Jedi had assumed command of Rogue Squadron when Jansen had not reported in. “Stay clear of the mine detonation zone, General Solo still has a few in reserve in case the hives try to advance.”

“This is the Larrin, I could some cover myself.” He reported, “My shields are depleted after that last salvo.” Around his ship the wreckage of half a dozen cruisers burned in space, but darts still snapped angrily at his shields. General Solo had ordered that drones be reserved for larger targets to conserve ammunition. Suddenly a beam of light lanced out from the station strobing across a formation of wraith cruisers. Explosions rippled across the surface of the stricken vessels one was even cleanly bisected. The Organa charged across his field of view, considerably faster and more maneuverable than any of the cruisers, and fired a withering barrage of turbolaser fire into the side of a cruiser.

“Has anyone else counted the number of hive ships out there?” Sheppard broke in over the comm.

“Keep the line clear of chatter.” Lando broke in, but Starbuck spoke up,

“No he’s right, we took out four, maybe five in our initial attack, out of at least twenty, I only see twelve ships out there, where are the other ones?”

“They packed up and went home or their circling around the planet for all I know.” Solo snapped, “Cut the chatter and deal with ones trying to kill you. Get ready to deal with the big boys.” For the wraith hives had tired of caution.

After encountering the mines at their staging ground, they had begun their attack by launching waves of darts, followed by the bulk of their cruisers, carefully searching for the stealthed sonic mines. Solo had given them exactly what they had expected, vaporizing scores of darts, and even a few cruisers, but he had allowed a good portion through after a time. The New Republic fighters, though outnumbered were far from outmatched, they slaughtered the unshielded darts and the wraith soon found that the dart weapons were woefully underpowered compared to the much faster A-wings that sped about.

It was then that the station had opened up on the cruisers demonstrating it’s considerable effectiveness by destroying several with it’s first shot. The cruisers attempting to pull back out of it’s firing range had discovered that many sonic mines remained, and had been forced forward, attempting to swarm the station before it could fire again. Backed by the Larrin and the Orion, the station continued to rip into them. Forty minutes into the battle, the wraith had lost nearly half their cruiser screen and now enough was enough. The massive hive ships surged forward, launching still more darts.

Orion and Larrin, prepare to advance.” Solo ordered, “I want you between those hive ships and the station.” More mines exploded tearing great burning homes into the lead pair of hive ships, but they barreled heedlessly clearing a path for those behind it. Emerging from behind the stricken hive ship, it’s sisters pounded the Larrin and the Orion mercilessly as each launch volleys of drones in response. One hive ship went up and then another fell away but there were still more. The station fired, eviscerating a third.

“Atlantis! Direct your fire to the lead ship!” Solo shouted and Starbuck saw with horror that the first, grievously damaged Hive ship that had seemingly fallen off course for the station was instead plunging into the atmosphere. Atlantis tore into the ships with drones and massive chunks were blown off of it, but a mountain of rubble had been hurled at the city below, and even it’s shield would be hard pressed. Starbuck knew there was nothing he could o and he took out his frustration on another hive ship even as his shields began to buckle.

“Larrin fall back behind the station, give your shields a chance to recharge.” Sheppard interjected.

“Hold your position Sheppard.” Solo snapped, “Starbuck fallback with fighter coverage to holding sector. Wedge start your runs.” Rogue squadron had formed up and was making a run at the cluster of hives. Hugging the hull of the one in the center, Starbuck watched as they unloaded their proton torpedoes. He also noted that the sensors were picking up a squadron of cloaked jumpers following the fighters in, and was rewarded with the site of more mines touching off amid the fleet. He brought the [i]Larrin[/i] down between the station and the planet and as his shields recharged, and his engineers repaired damage, he turned his scanners down to the surface of the planet searching for Atlantis.
* * *

“The shield has failed.” Lobot announced, an island of calm amid the storm of sparking consoles and screaming alarms. “Sightings of wraith forces are being reported all over the city..” Lando leaned against a console fumbling for a chair. He fingered his blaster. “Containment teams responding.”
A lightsaber ignited. Yoda blocked a stun bolt as it flew through the broken doorway of the command center. He extended a hand and a piece of broke equipment flew through the doorway eliciting a screen.

“Easy easy…” Lando objected sighting with his blaster, “Some of that equipment we’re going to need.” He caught a glimpse of a masked wraith and fired, burning a hole in it’s face. “Can we get the shield back up?”

“Affirmative. Repair teams report a fault in the main capacitor, but they can have it back online shortly.”

“Move defense teams to their location to cover their repairs.” Lando ordered, taking another shot.
Yoda had moved into the hallway and struck a wraith with his lightsaber, another tried to grab the nimble Jedi but Yoda blew him away with wave of the force. Stumbling over to the door Lando could see a pair of lightsabers swinging on the far end of the hallway. “Our position is secure, the Jedi have us covered.” He told Lobot. He helped another technician to her feet and settled her back in her chair. He stooped by a slumped Twi’lek.

“Medical teams have been dispatched.” Lobot reported anticipating his next order.

“What about the scanners, are they back online?” Lando demanded. Lobot shook his head. “Fine, it’s not like we can do anything about it if another hive decides to plow into us anyway. “What is the status of the Stargate’s shield?”

“The shield is offline.” Lobot told him. Lando shook his head. “Swell.”
* * *

“Break break break!” Wedge shouted, Rogue Squadron flew in different directions and from behind them came a wave of drones fired by the Orion. The drones plowed into the hive ship, now clear of it’s fighter screen, and Wedge searched for his next target, leavin the dying ship to it’s fate. The Orion was still mobile but was running low on drones. His squadron had been ordered to screen it’s latest strike from darts, to ensure the drones made it. The Larrin hung limply beside the station which was little better off.

The primary weapon was offline, though the turbolasers mounted on the station still obliterated most of the darts that entered it’s range. The [i]Larrin’[/i]s engines flickered dangerously, and only a pitiful few drones launched at irregular intervals. The Organa still moved among the remaining four hive ships savaging them with it’s turbolaser fire. He chose a target and as his pilots formed up he began to move.

“Wedge break off and head for Atlantis.” Solo ordered him, “We got word they’ve got darts swarming all over, and need air support.”

“Copy that.” Wedge replied. The [i]Organa[/i] roared past him as he wheeled his fighter around, the A-wings caught up with the ship fast. Wedge glanced at it as he passed. The ships brand new hull was scorched and pitted, and a bank of quad lasers was a burning memory.”Han you guys alright over there?”

“I can’t even say this ship has seen better days, we launched it yesterday.” Solo said tightly from the cockpit. Wedge could see he was flying the ship, from the copilot’s side and noted the pilot slumped over. “But she’ll get the job done. We’re falling back to the station. These guys have los two thirds of their ships. If we give them a chance to regroup, They’ll have a chance to reconsider.” Rogue Squadron left the [i]Organa [/i]as it moved between the[i] Larrin[/i], the Orion and the station. As his fighters cleared the clouds, Wedge gasped. Atlantis was burning. Smoke rose from several towers, and darts buzzed very where. The charred wreckage of the wraith hive littered the water around the city the waves churning around sinking pieces. The Shipyard was relatively untouched, nestled safely in one of the peers, but Wedge spotted flashes of light on the ground that could have been either light sabers or blaster fire.

The sight enraged him. When Starbuck had showed him that first Stargate, when he had led them all back to Coruscant and shown them the ruins there, Wedge had felt the stirrings of something he had thought long since dead. Hope. When Yoda had joined them, when he had first felt the stirrings of sensation that heralded his growing connection, he had felt his destiny change. When he had come here last, and looked out over the city, he had seen not just the past, but a future. A future for the New Republic, conceived by the rebel alliance but stillborn. He had seen the jedi return, he had seen the dream of the New republic revitalized, and sure, the Emperor had all but pushed them to the brink but that was how it always had been Wedge had genuinely believed that Atlantis would be a turning point. His visions on Endor, the temptation of the dark side, even the battle for the city, he had felt there was a way through it all as long as Atlantis survived.

Now the Wraith were trying to take that away. An unreasonable part of him cursed them for cheating. He had imagined a glorious battle, warriors to warrior. His A- Wing against their darts, but instead they had piled a Hive Ship onto his shining city of hope. Their filth littered the pristine oceans, their minions skittered among his friends. He gritted his teeth. Diving down among the towers, he began to blast darts out of the sky.
* * *

Yoda looked up as an A-wing corkscrewed overhead blasting apart dart after dart. He watched it hurdle overhead dodging around towers and others followed behind it.Almost absentmindedly he blew a trio of wraith hunters off a catwalk with a force push as he reached out to his student. Wedge was a cloud of darkening rage rolling through the sky.

“Master Yoda!” one of his padawans was holding a comlink to her ear above the noise of screaming darts, thundering engines and weapons fire, “Governor Calrissian requests our assistance in securing the gate room, it has been overrun by wraith coming in through the gate, and the transports are down, we’re not far away.”

“To the gateroom we will go, tell the Governor.” Yoda replied, he looked up as the sky erupted in fire, another hive ship destroyed. “Gather others and meet me inside you will, while I, the Stargate deactivate.” Yoda gathered himself.

“Master how…” Jan began, and then the tiny Jedi shot upwards, a gree blur. He landed on a balcony several stories up, and leaped to a projecting ledge. He leaped towards another balcony grabbing the ledge and pulling himself up, propelling himself off of the rail. In a matter of moments, Jan was a tiny speck below, around a seething mass of fighting wraith and troops. Yoda heard the buzz of darts, and blaster fire around him as he continued to ascend the tower. The force was strong in him and he immersed himself, arriving at last on the balcony before the gateroom. The balcony was shuttered but inside Yoda could see Wraith pouring out of the Stargate, and the desiccated corpses of the defense teams they had fed upon after taking the gateroom.

He caught his breath, and then stretched out both hands. With a screeching groan inside the room, the gate tore free of the floor and toppled forward disintegrating those who had just exited and crushing one unlucky wraith at it’s perimeter. Drawing up quickly, the wraith turned and reached for the edges of the great stone ring, knowing that every moment brought another thum to the floor, and signaled the demise of one of their fellows

As quick as their reactions were, it was quick enough, for the doors to the balcony tore free and Yoda sped inside lightsaber lit. The wraith attempting to lift the Stargate didn’t even have a chance to let go of it as Yoda laid into them with his lightsaber. Wraith screamed in rage and agony, as the lightsaber tore through them, stumbling back many drew their stunners and fired at the Jedi Master, but Yoda was small, and horrifically mobile. The years Starbuck had inadvertently returned to him showed as he dodged nimbly about. Some blast he deflected, others he simply dodged, letting the wraith fire upon each other in their haste. In time they began to overwhelm him and he pushed mightily with the force hurling a great many away from him.

Jan charged into the room, leading a number of Padawans, and Yoda thanked the force for the circumstances that had forced him to recruit adults, instead of the traditional children found by his order. For his padawans were soldiers, freedom fighters and warriors, inspired by the tales of the Jedi of old, or better still by having worked with them. His padawans moved into the room, though uncertain in the force, certain in their experience. They worked together, they advanced methodically, and as they had proceeded up the tower they had gathered others, defenders trapped in pockets fighting for their lives. It was several dozen that arrived in the gateroom, expecting to face hundreds of wraith. With their backs to the door, their attention on the jedi Master, the wraith fell quickly until at last Yoda was alone. The Stargate rippled in the monetary silence, still thumping away until the wormhole suddenly dissipated.

“We secured the main stairwell on our way up, between here and the control center at it’s base..” Jan reported, panting, “There are still wraith throughout the tower, fighting in pockets, we can’t hold this position for long, we should regroup downstairs.”

“Agreed.” Yoda replied, suddenly the gate activated.

“They’ll keep trying until the shield comes back.” Jan said despair creeping into her voice, “We can’t just leave it like that, the event horizon will carve a hole in the floor, and they’ll just drop down onto the next level. If we turn it around, they’ll just send darts.” Yoda nodded.

“The one more push, we must make.” He decided, “Then regroup with Calrissian we will.”
* * *

Wedge snarled as he poured fire into a crowd of wraith. His A wing strafed them from above stitching bolts into their midst, tearing them to pieces.

“Wedge get back into formation.” Han’s voice was harsh in his ears, “We’ve got ground teams mobilizing, they were taking cover from the darts, which are mostly cleared out.”

“There’s another wave of darts on the way.” Wedge argued spotting wraith erecting some sort of cannon on a ledge, and blasting them off of it. “And they’re pouring out of the Control tower, they have control of the ga..” he broke off as he felt the Force surge. The Stargate flew from the top of the control tower, Wraith pouring out of it as it sailed overhead. It plummeted to the ground plunging into one of the pools of water between the outer piers. Wedge was at a loss for words having witnessed this, and it dispersed the fugue he had fallen into.

“All fighters, we’ve got the shield back online.” Lando’s voice crackled at the unsteady comm. line but there was confidence in it. “Mop up the action in orbit, we’ll take care of things down here.”

“You heard him Wedge.” Han told him, “Get your fighters up here and take some pressure of Starbuck’s ship, we’re down to two hives left, this isn’t the time to fall apart.”

“Copy that.” Wedge said shaking his head. He felt the fury dissipate, and felt it being replaced rapidly, with remorse. “Sorry Han, I got carried away.”

“Don’t worry about.” Han said gruffly, “Let’s just get this thing over with.”
As Wedge’s A-wing broke orbit, he was dismayed to see the [i]Larrin [/i]burning in space, venting oxygen and flame from a multitude of places. The [i]Orion[/i] stood protectively before the station which was little better off. The main gun was down, and only a smattering of turbolaser fire lashed out the darts spinning around it. Explosions rippled across it’s surface and Wedge realized the station’s shields were down. Steeling himself he focused on the [i]Larrin. [/i]As bad as the station was, the Larrin was utterly silent, darts blasting at it unchallenged. The Organa banked around the station, lining it’s quad lasers up to aid in the Lantean battle cruiser’s point defense. He stretched out his senses.

He felt relief at the affirmation Starbuck sent him. The man was alright, but he wouldn’t be if Wedge waited too long. His ship was crippled. Wedge had his fighters report in. They hadn’t lost any, thanks to superior speed, shielding and piloting skills, but many reported damage. Both of the remaining hives, hesitant to advance to quickly had been scored nonetheless by mines, and the [i][i]Organa’s [/i][/i]strafing runs. Wedge watched as the squadron of puddle jumpers decloaked and fired their drones into the engines of one of the Hive ships.

“That last one isn’t backing down.” Sheppard commented over the line, “Hasn’t anyone got any more drones?”

“Check your six Starbuck, Lando’s got Atlantis back online.” Solo announced, and as Wedge spared a glance over his shoulders, he spotted the drones flashing past him speeding towards the approaching hive ships. As explosions rippled along their surface, the remaining cruisers, less than a dozen turned and fled. The majority of the darts seeking to join them.

“Defense fleet, this is Atlantis.” Lando announced, “We’ve got the shields and the long range sensors back online. The remaining hive ships are still sitting at the staging point and I think they’re considering very carefully whether it’s worth trying to take us on at the moment.”

“Sheppard dock the Orion to the [i]Larrin[/i] and recover as much ammunition as you can. Rogue Squadron, half of you dock with the Orion, the other half stay on patrol.” Solo ordered, “I’m gonna dock with the Larrin and try to effect repairs.”

“If those hive ships come after us now, we won’t be able to hold them off.” Wedge warned, “And we can’t evacuate through the Stargate.”
“I know.” Solo replied, “Look sharp people we’re not out of this yet.”
Last edited by Themightytom on 2012-03-14 01:28pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-09-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-12 05:06pm

Chapter 13
A leviathan swam through the darkness. Massive fins fanning gracefully as it pushed the currents of water around it. The sky was falling. The creature moved around a flickering, bubbling distasteful mass as it passed down on it’s way into the abyss. The Leviathan nosed around another such mass, some nearly it’s own size. It spotted something in the distance, a glimmer of light, a flicker in the darkness. A ring of light shimmering and then suddenly dark. Dozens of figures were swimming away from it. Curious, the Leviathan swam towards the ring and caught it on it’s nose. The ring was familiar, and the Leviathan twitched in recognition. The old ones. It thought to itself, extending it’s senses it searched for them in their long sleeping city above. Have they returned? It wondered.

The presence it encountered was not the old ones. It found wraith, the dark ones. It shuddered at a memory of this malice hurling fire down from the sky, the water boiling, it’s brothers and systems scattering in agony. The leviathan dropped the ring in distaste, but as it did so it found something new among the wraith. Flickering stirrings of recognition, friendly thoughts, determined, fighting even, but peaceful. Among them the Leviathan found a pillar of tranquility beyond even the memories of the Old ones. The presence was distracted, but possessed profound patience. It greeted the Leviathan, and the leviathan felt as though it were swimming along the pod of it’s parents once more. On instinct, the leviathan asked about the ring.

Bring it to us, you can? The presence asked, Have need of it we do

As the Leviathan dove, Yoda’s focus rose, back up through the cold and churning waters, to the city, within which the wraith and the new republic fought ferociously, up into the streets where droids stomped down avenues blasting away at the wraith firing at them ineffectually with stunners, up the tall towers about which jumpers and darts dueled for supremacy to the control tower itself.

The gate room had become a makeshift ward. The city was locked down, to prevent the wraith from moving freely through out it, and the infirmary was several buildings away. With the control tower mostly cleared of wraith it was now a rallying point. Yoda opened his eyes as Wedge descended the steps from the Jumper bay.

“Rest you should.” Yoda admonished him, “For over two days have we been here, yet slept you have not.”

“Master Yoda, I thought you could better use me here, now that there only a few darts left to clean up.” He said, Yoda sensed his relief that the other was okay.

“Appreciated your help is.” Yoda told him kindly. He sighed, He gestured around him. Eight of the ten padawans were moving among the wounded and the injured, the other two were resting as he had suggested Wedge do, several times, “if rest you will not, assist us indeed, you can.” Wedge faltered.

“Master Yoda, the city is still under attack.” He pointed out. Yoda stopped and looked at him, “Yes, well… I mean, shouldn’t we be fighting the wraith?”

Yoda still looked at him. Wedge could not bear the length of the moment. “Master Yoda, people are dying out there. The wraith are feeding on our friends.”

“Many sides, a lightsaber has, but no blade with which to cut.” Yoda replied, “Jedi we are, not soldiers.”

“But a Jedi must protect, must fight when the enemy is at the gates!” Wedge said in exasperation.

“The Jedi fight to protect life, not to destroy the enemy, here too a battle must be waged, not just out there.” Yoda told him, “Better able are we, to aid those fed upon by the wraith. Fought well you have, but the battle is not ours alone to win. Things well in hand has Calrissian and Solo.”

“Well in hand…?” Wedge began, but Yoda turned away.

“Compel you to obey I will not.” Yoda stated flatly. “Argue, when your mind is made up, I will not. Sought my guidance you have, offered your help you did. Decide you must. More to being a Jedi there is, than fighting. Remember that we must, or lost we will become.”

“Well I can’t stand by while my comrades are fighting out there.” Wedge told him, “I’ve got to do something more about it than, picking up the pieces.” He gestured at the Padawans now watching the confrontation. He stormed out of the gate room. Yoda sighed, but a Jumper arrived through the hole in the far wall, spinning around and opening it’s hatch.

“We’re here to take the critically wounded to the infirmary?” a med tech announced. Yoda cast another glance at the door and then directed two of his padwans to help.
* * *

“We’ve secured the central district.” Lando reported to Ackbar, “The immediate vicinity of the control tower, the hospital building, and the barracks, and we’ve managed to cordon the wraith into the far side of the city from the shipyards. We estimate maybe fourteen hundred remaining but they’re dug in. We’re holding our positions to run sweeps to make sure none of them pop up behind us, because we can’t reactivate the transport tubes until we’re sure we’ve gotten all of them./”

“What is the status of the Stargate?” Ackbar demanded.

“It’s inaccessible at the moment.” Lando told him, “it’s been sinking for almost a day, and it’s below the safe depth for a jumper. It’s been carried a fair distance from the city by the ocean currents, but we’re still able to dial it remotely, obviously, or we wouldn’t be talking right now.”

“I have sent through reinforcements nonetheless.” Ackbar announced. “My people can survive at the depths our scans indicated, they should be arriving at your location shortly.” Lando nodded.

“We can use all the help we can get admiral.” Calrissian said gratefully, “Though for the moments, we are getting things under control.”

“My people are not simply soldiers, General.” Ackbar told him, “Many of those who will join you have worked in our shipyards. They are to aid you in expediting repairs. We focused our efforts on one Dreadnought instead of four, and it departed for Pegasus yesterday morning. I am concerned about sending a single ship such a vast distance with an experimental drive, but it seems desperate times call for desperate measures.”

“We could use the reinforcements Admiral.” Calrissian said gravely, “The Orion is operating at about 30% combat efficiency and she’s the only one doing so. The Organa may need to be scrapped within two days of it’s launch, and the Larrin’s gonna need a lot of hull work before she’s able to maneuver again.” He swallowed, “We’ve still got five wraith hiveships camping in our front yard, and Wes Jansen is likely in their custody. He’s a good many but by the end of the day, they’ll know our procedures, our tactics, are weaknesses..”

“..and without the Stargate you are pinned down.” Ackbar nodded to himself, “If all goes well, the Peregrine will be at your service tomorrow evening, Governor, we were able to make considerable improvements upon the Lantean specifications, based on the interstellar hyper drive designs found at Lemuria, I will do everything in my power to ensure it.”

“I appreciate that Admiral, I’d really hate to lose Atlantis.” Lando said regretfully, “Not when there’s so much that it offers.”

“it may offer more still, Governor.” Ackbar informed him. “The Ori have found Lemuria.” Lando started,

“First the Cylons, now the Ori, the only one who hasn’t found it is the Empire.” He grumbled.

“They penetrated the gate’s forceshield effortlessly, simply to deliver an ultimatum. Dathomir has not yet been compromised, but we may need to evacuate Coruscant. Our cruisers cannot repel firepower of their magnitude. It is vital that we regain our foothold in Pegasus, I for one would prefer rather fight the wraith, than the Ori.”
* * *

Ackbar leaned back from the holo station. He had temporarily transferred his flag to the Katana, now in orbit above Coruscant with four other ships. Iella sat at a station to one side, ostensibly taking notes on Lando’s report, but Ackbar found himself relying more and more on her tactical insight. The thirty eight minute limit had been reached, Lando acknowledged the grim news and signed off, as Dathomir was no doubt about to dial in.

“What is your assessment of our overall situation?” he asked her.

“I think Mothma is correct in prioritizing the political situation in Pegasus, as well as the humanitarian aspect.” Iella said readily, she didn’t need to reiterate the tactical assessment the Admiral had just made. “Thrawn made good on his promise to General Solo, and that has hurt us badly Admiral. The alternations he has introduced to the Alien Control Act have instilled new confidence in his leadership and neutralized one of our most effective ideological arguments.”

“How so?” Ackbar asked incredulously, “He simply amended the Act, he didn’t repeal it.”

“The original Alien Control Act, was justified by the Moff Council as a response to the targeting of human populations by the Wraith, and later Anubis.” Iella explained, “Nonhumans were depicted as conspiring against the human dominated Empire, Admiral, the moff’s were very clever in framing the legislation as a security issue, Thrawn has simply built on that foundation with a layer of civic responsibility. His amendment stipulates that a nonhuman can be exempted from the Alien Control Regulations if they demonstrate loyalty to the Empire. This means that any able bodied nonhuman now has, effectively, a path out of slavery, and that path is through enlistment.”

“No one would choose conscription over a shock collar.” Ackbar scoffed, “The Imperial navy will put them right on the front lines of the war against the Vong.”

“if they have relatives who are not able bodied, they certainly would Admiral.” Iella told him, “The exemption extends to the dependents of those enlisted. Would you join the navy to save your niece from slavery?” Ackbar was silent, “And would your niece in turn enlist in OUR army knowing she could face you in battle?”

“Thrawn has out maneuvered us.” Ackbar said, “Yet again. His manpower increases, while ours decreases. Along with any political credibility we had left.”

“As a Grand Admiral he was an unmatched tactician.” Iella said ruefully, “As a politician he is unstoppable. Even those fully disenfranchised with the Empire would not see us as all that different, given our recent cooperation against the Ori, and our cessation of overt hostilities.”

“We cannot afford to challenge them, we have no assets.” Ackbar argued, “Even once we crew all 200 dreadnaughts and finish repairs to the Defender, we would not rival a single sector fleet, and in the meantime we are consumed with trying to.” He swatted irritably at a pile of datapads on his desk.

“What is your recommendation than.”

“It is not at all unlikely that Thrawn knew the Defender’s location, in the first place, based on our trajectory, and was aware we had found the Katana fleet.” Iella reasoned, “He may have let us salvage it knowing it would consume our resources, but he seems as yet unaware of the existence of the Stargates. In reviewing his conversation with General Solo I noticed that he attempted to use Chewbacca as leverage, which suggests his ground forces did not report any observation of the stargate’s use.”

“Jedi Antilles destroyed those walkers nearest to the gate’s location, as did the jumpers that later retreated through the gate.” Ackbar surmised, Iella nodded. “What would Thrawn expect us to do with those dreadnoughts?”

“If we did not have access to Atlantis, we would inevitably deploy them in this galaxy.” Iella replied,

“Either to fortify a bases defenses, engage in harassing Imperial forces, or, most likely in an effort to achieve a victory over the Vong to regain lost credibility.”

“Pointless flailing in the face of our new political reality.” Ackbar growled, “We would be forced to choose between a slow and quiet descent into obscurity or a final spasm of irrelevance. What do you suggest instead?”

“Though the president maintains our priority remains the freedom of this galaxy, we need consolidate our resources in Pegasus.” Iella counseled, “According to our estimates there are thousands of Stargates there, they are of a technology we are decades away from replicating. If we can fortify our assets there, we may be able to exert an entirely different form of influence, in order to regain prominence.”

“Financial?” Ackbar said, guessing where she was going.

“The Katana fleet is not a viable military force, given the disposition of the imperial fleet as it is.” Iella explained, “Our latest count suggests over twenty super star destroyers, and over a thousand star destroyers, not to mention the Death Star itself, on the other hand, they would make excellent colony ships, and transports, and we have a monopoly on a galaxy of relatively untouched resources. Combined with the commercial applications of Stargate technology we can produce and sell goods in both galaxies to obtain resources and influence. The Empire will continue to expend resources fighting the Vong, and trying to maintain an outrageous war machine. We cannot fight the Empire for control of the galaxy, Admiral, but in time we may be able to buy it.”
* * *

“I don’t buy it.” Lando said levelly, “And neither will they.”

“It worked in my timeline for nearly a year,” Sheppard argued, “We need a contingency plan Lando.”

“Hiding the city isn’t it.” Calrissian argued as the two strode towards the gate room, “The president was also quite clear on our policy, we cannot let the Wraith continue to feed on human populations while we prepare for a confrontation.”

“We don’t have weapons we need!” Sheppard argued, “We’ve got two ships, no Asgard and Chaya had to go home to defend her people, so unless Starbuck pulls a hat trick, we don’t even have the help of an Ascended being anymore.”

“You said the shield was down in your timeline when the wraith attacked.” Lando pointed out, “And they sent three ships, not twelve, and your people didn’t take out five of them before they even attacked.”

“We didn’t have more ships joining the fight either,” Sheppard pointed out, “They practically doubled their number while we through everything they had at them.”

“They increased from three to five Sheppard.” Lando sighed, “We’ve shown them we can power the shield, we’ve shown we can kick their asses in space, hell we’ve even shown that if they manage to sneak a dial in, a Jedi Master will throw the gate into the ocean. The worst thing we can do right now is play dead, we have to bluff them until the Peregrine arrives.”

“They know we’re hurting Lando, when those cruisers left the city was nearly over run, and our defenses were in a shambles! Sheppard argued, “And if they have Wes, or any of the other MIA’s they’re going to think we have no help coming, they’re not going to fall for any bluff.”

“As a matter of fact, Jansen is why I called you here Sheppard.” Lando told him, “Master Yoda intends to accompany Jedi Antilles on a rescue mission, he specifically asked for your help as well.”

“Me?” Sheppard raised an eyebrow, “I thought the Jedi could pretty much handle anything.”

“You are, I grudgingly admit, one of our better jumper pilots.” Lando pointed out, “And more importantly, you have more experience on wraith hive ships from this galaxy than any of us.”

“How are we gonna take a jumper?” Sheppard asked, “I thought the other hyperjumper was shot down?”

“It’s being recovered, but Yoda said you wouldn’t need it.” Lando replied,

“Governor, you better come and see this.” Called a technician from his station.” Noting the man’s peculiar tone of voice, Lando hurried over and the technician put surveillance footage onto the large forward monitor. Lando saw a tiny figure at the end of the pier where the mon Colamari were arriving. A crowd had gathered to one side, and emerging from the ocean was…

“My God!” lando exclaimed, “That thing’s as big as a blast boat!”

“bigger.” Murmured Sheppard, “It’s a leviathan…” he squinted. A glittering speck seemed to be floating off the creature’s nose, Yoda had raised a claw. “It’s the Stargate, Yoda got one of them to recover the gate!” There was a stunned silence, which after a few moments was broken surprisingly by the technician.

“Well it’s only fair, I mean… he did throw it into the ocean.” Ignoring the comment, Lando turned to Sheppard.

“Get your gear together Sheppard, you leave in twenty minutes.”
* * *

“Hyperspace contact!” Starbuck pulled himself out from under the console he had been working on, depositing a collection of blackened crystals on the top. “One wraith cruiser is holding position.” The scanner technician, Obota turned to Starbuck, “it’s quite a distance away sir, they aren’t even launching darts.”

“We’re receiving a message.” Jesmine reported from her station on the far side of the control room,

“Should I put it through?’ Starbuck nodded.

“Humans of Atlantis, I speak for the wraith.” A femaile hissed, “You have seen the power of our forces, and we have seen the power of yours. We are willing to negotiate a ceasefire, in order to recover the forces remaining after our withdrawal. We await your response.”

“Wraith diplomacy?” General Solo had arrived, holding a spanner. With too many repairs and too little time he had pitched in willingly as best he could. “Hail Atlantis.”

“Governor Calrissian is already responding.”

“You’re damn right you’ve seen our power.” The Governor replied confidently, “We massacred your forces, and we’ll do the same to whatever you try to send our way the next time. As you can see our shield is back up, our fleet is back on it’s feet, and in case you were thinking of surprising us a second time, we’ve sent for reinforcements of our own, and they’ll be arriving any time.”

There was silence.

“I guess the wraith aren’t used to being told where to get off.” Solo observed, he found a station and settled into it. He began pecking at the controls, until Jesmine moved to aid him.

“What are you trying to do sir?” She asked.

“Lando said reinforcements are on the way, I want confirmation of that.” Solo replied, “Obviously our ‘fleet’ is far from on it’s feet but he wouldn’t just make something like that.”

“Here is a dispatch for you from this morning.” Jesmine said checking the comm. logs, “Atlantis made contact with Lemuria, and was advised that a dreadnought may arrive as early as tomorrow.” Han nodded, processing that information. Suddenly he squinted,

“Oh, just lovely. The Ori have been to Lemuria.” He leaned back he didn’t notice Starbuck tense up suddenly, “They sent a representative called a ‘prior’, the admiral is preparing to evacuate the base again, the security council’s gonna feel like a yo yo.” Starbuck relaxed slightly, but his expression as still searching.

“Han, there may be other help available, when that dreadnought arrives.” Starbuck pointed out,

“Before the wraith attacked I scouted a few addresses in my home galaxy of Cyranus, if the colony on New Kobol has survived, I think I can get us some help.”

“But…” Han said, knowing there was a but.

“But, Cyranus is a week away, based on how fast the Admiral thinks that dreadnought can get here, and I’m not sure if I will find anything once I arrive.” Starbuck said, “I’d probably have to take the Organa.”

“you told us weeks ago, that New Kobol could only ever be dialed from Atlantis, and you told us that Atlantis could only ever be dialed from Earth.” Han told Starbuck, “Yet we dialed Atlantis from Corusca, and you couldn’t dial New Kobol could you.”

“Sheppard told me why!” Starbuck protested, “In our timeline, Atlantis was locked to all addresses but Earth’s because the leader of yet another alternate team went back in time. That didn’t happen in our timeline, there was no Doctor Weir in a stasis chamber, there was a John Sheppard. The Atlantis gate didn’t get locked out, and I had no way of knowing that until I tried it anyway, and established a connection, I was going to try for Earth first, because Merdan left a supply cache there.”

“Look.” Han said, “I’ll tell you what. You’ve pretty much saved the New Republic by showing us the Stargates and bringing us here. We owe you one, I get that,” he held up a hand to forestall Starbuck’s interjection. “I will personally go to bat for you to get you the Organa, after the peregrine arrives, and after the other two ships are completed.” He shrugged, “By then with any luck we’ll be cranking them out so fast, we can spare one to help you out, but in the mean time, do you really want to undue all you’ve helped us accomplished by leaving Atlantis defenseless too soon?”

“The wraith aren’t the only threat the new Republic faces.” Starbuck asserted, “if the ori can send a prior through the gate, it won’t be long before they realize they can send something more.” Han speared the man with a gaze.

“What do you mean ‘more’.” He demanded, turning on the man.

“They could come themselves.” Starbuck told him, “The actual Ori, are ascended, and there aren’t nearly enough Ascended beings in Corusca to stop them.”
* * *

“We know your ships are heavily damaged.” The Wraith told him over the speakers, “We know you’ve
lost your Stargate, and thus, your lifeline to your galaxy. We have enough ships to defeat you, and more are on the way. If you do not surrender our people, you will be overwhelmed.”

“Newsflash, sucker, “ Calrissian shot back, “We’re not your Lanteans, we haven’t been sitting around here twiddling our thumbs, and you know that. That’s why we’re having this chat isn’t it.”

“We are having this “Chat” as you call it, because we wish to.” The Wraith replied flatly, “Do not forget who woke our hives. We were forced to attack you out of necessity, our people we starving, and there was not enough… food…”

“What am I an idiot?” Lando demanded, “You idiots woke yourselves up, you can just as easily go right back to sleep. We didn’t wake you up, your scouts took our people prisoner and killed several, including the leader of this expedition. We’re not your food, we’re… pest control.”

What came next was unexpected. The Wraith spokes person hissed at him over the com. Lando struggled to maintain his composure and several of his command staff were openly covering their mouths suppressing laughter.

“Apology accepted.” Lando said dryly, “Look you want your people back? Fine. We’ve got about 400 detainees and our droids are in the process of taking another 700 into custody, and and no,” he clarified, “We aren’t having any trouble containing them, they’ll probably be the first to tell you how stupid an idea it is to try to wage war on a city ship. Once we figured out how to dial up the gravity the fight was over real quick.” He continued, “We’ll release twenty five prisoners on a world of our choosing with a Stargate every hour. Yes, we took our Stargate back, yes we have our shield back up and yes, anything trying to come through is committing suicide.”

“Release 25 every half hour.” The Wraith replied.

“Sure.” Said Lando, “But in return, you need to do more than just refrain from forcing us to assist in your suicide. Not only will you not attack Atlantis, but you will suspend all culling in this galaxy for the duration of the prisoner transfer.” He gave an evil grin, “By my calculations there are a hell of a lot less of you all of the sudden, I’m sure it won’t be a problem.”

“Many of us have not eaten since being awakened!” The wraith hissed.

“So go back to sleep, I don’t care.” Lando said dismissively, “Those are our terms.”

“They are acceptable.” The wraith replied.

“We’ll begin organizing the prisoners for transport, and will contact you in six hours.” Lando told the Wraith. Before they could object he terminated the transmission line.

“Master Yoda’s team should be back before then.” Lobot observed, “They should arrive at the wraith hive in a little over an hour.”

“Good thing the wraith forgot to ask us not to attack them. I’m taking a quick rest cycle, I’ve been up for over two days. Start cataloguing the prisoners as we prep them for transfer, The wraith seem particularly interested in recovering them, and I want to know why.”
* * *

“Wedge, turn that thing off.!” Sheppard hissed, as Wedge ignited his lightsaber Sheppard reached over and lowered the Jedi’s arm, “Are you kidding me? The thing is like a torch!” Wedge deactivated it, “And it hums, that’s like the opposite of “covert’, that’s why we have these!” he held up a portable holo generator.

“What do we do about them?” Wedge demanded gesturing at the two wraith guarding the door to the hanger bay. Beside them Yoda gestured. Both Wraith clubbed together, falling unconscious. Sheppard nodded approvingly at the Jedi as they moved forward. Sheppard fiddled with the holoprojector. Scanning one of the hunters, Sheppard’s form flickered for a moment replaced by that of a wraith. Satisfied, Sheppard turned it off as Yoda did they same.

Wedge glanced at the two wraith as they passed. “They might wake up,” he noted, he raised his hand and pushed with the Force, intending to shove them off the ledge to the cavernous abyss below. To his surprise, Yoda dissipated the force push easily. Chagrined, Wedge turned on him. “What are you doing?” Yoda walked past him and placed a hand on both of the wraith.

“Sleep they will, until long after we are gone.” Yoda told him, “Other alternatives, there are, to killing.” Wedge shook his head in open disgust.

“How were you a general in the clone wars.” He grumbled, “With such a weak stomach for war.”

“Alright knock it off.” Sheppard hissed, he had pulled out a life signs detector and was trying to locate one human on a hive full of wraiths. He noted there were dozens of conflicting readings, but no other wraith in their immediate vicinity. “If you can’t behave yourself, you can go wait in the Jumper.”

“We’re here to rescue Wes.” Wedge admonished him.

“Right, we’re here to rescue Wes, not kill wraith, or placate your ego.” Sheppard snapped squaring off against him, the two were nose to nose, “What’s gotten into you?” Wedge glared at the man testing him, and seemed ready to do something, but then suddenly he relented, with something akin to respect.

“Fine.” He said shortly moving past them, “Let’s just find Wes, I’m having trouble differentiating….” Sheppard held up the lifesigns detector and began to fiddle with it, He pulled out a republic scanner and tried it instead. A green claw touched his arm.

“Your scanners, you do not need them.” Said Yoda, “The force is with you, John Sheppard.” Sheppard was taken aback. Wedge would not watch as Sheppard pointed to himself for confirmation. “Search your feelings, John, you know it to be true. Trust your instincts.”

Sheppard glanced at Wedge and leaned down to Yoda, “Look, I appreciate the sentiment and all but.. I don’t want to get in the middle of a… family argument…”

“Wedge has chosen his path.” Yoda replied, “Walk it alone he must, but a new path have I forseen for you.” He jabbed his walking stick at Sheppard, “Aid you on it, I can, if accept it you can.” Sheppard looked at him, and at the wraith hive around them.

“Here?” he demanded, “Now?” Yoda nodded. “look, I’m flattered, I’m not gonna pretend that becoming a Jedi wasn’t a boyhood fantasy of mine, but with all do respect, this is no time for it. There’s a man in trouble out there, and we need to help him. I don’t know if you’re trying to teach a lesson to me, Wedge or both of us, but what my instincts tell me, is right now we need to concentrate on saving a life. If that angers you, I’m sorry, if you’re not willing to help us with the Force, fine, but that’s the way it is.” He turned and tossed the new republic scanner to Wedge, concentrating on the life signs detector. ”let’s get this mission over with before I get a damn light saber in the knee.”
* * *

“What’s the mission clock on Yoda’s team?” Calrissian asked Lobot as they strode through the corridor. He straightened his cape and tunic and passed his hand in front of a door.

“six hours, fourteen minutes. By now they have been aboard the hive for almost two hours.” Lobot informed him. They entered a transport chamber and Lando entered their destination. They arrived in front of the new building to house Stargate operations. The control center loomed behind them. He could see the ocean just beyond the building before them, and the detention center on it’s right. To the left was the medical center. The drone firing chamber was some distance away across a small bay. With the control chair moved to the central control tower, Lando reasoned that if the wraith managed to bypass the shields, the array of turrets, the and the small army of battle droids he could always blow them away with drones should they try to come through the gate once more.

“The first group of prisoners is being prepared for transport.” Lobot reported noting a line of wraith being escorted by battle droids. Lando strode into the Gate Control Building inspecting the work in progress.

The previous location of the gate had been somewhat awkward for procuring supplies, requiring a jumper to drop down through the ceiling, load up and then exit through the roof. Lando anticipated larger supplies to be delivered through the pier from this point onwards as both the Lantean ships and the Organa class ships could dock there as well as shutters and freighter traffic. A former sea port, the building had a large garage in the back through which the Stargate or ships arriving through it, could be admitted or ejected. Descending down a staircase, past two security check points he entered the gate room proper. Up on the walls he noted several weapons emplacements. He climbed the steps towards the new gate control center, set at an angle from the Stargate as Han Solo had done in Lemuria’s gate room. A Jumper was rising from the floor, he glanced at Lobot inquisitively.

“There is an underwater jumper bay here as well.” Lobot explained, “We are transferring several of the Jumpers from this bay so that in the event the gate is compromised it can be easily submerged without being immediately lost to us.”

“You’re not taking any chances I see.” Lando chuckled, as the Wraith prisoners were led into the gateroom. “Prepare to contact our lady wraith friend.” He orderd, suddenly he paused as he looked at the prisoners. “Wait a minute…” he pointed to one of the wraith. Her head was turned from him but her slender form stood out among the bulky wraith hunters and the other males. “How many wraith females have we actually seen?” Lobot of course computed the answer immediately.

“Out of a total of 51,314 wraith encountered, only seven have been female. Four are in our custody.”

“Ah hah.” Lando snapped his fingers, “That’s what they’re after.” Lobot nodded.

“So it would seem.” He acknowledged. “The previous three females encountered were in a position of some authority among the wraith, the keeper, the hive commander that raided the Genii, and the Speaker.” He cocked his head as he listened to the city’s droids. “An additional analysis suggests that three of the females we have captured were onboard the attacking hives.”

“And the fourth might have been in charge of leading the assault on Atlantis.” Lando commented,

“Wraith queens are rare, Sheppard said, I guess he didn’t realize just how rare, we’ve got some very important prisoners Lobot, Very important.”

“Should I detain the queen below?” Lobot asked. Lando shook his head.

“No. I don’t think they know we’re onto them. We’ll release one, she’ll tell the wraith we have their friends, and then we’ll release another with a further batch, we’ll hold onto our last little bargaining chips as long as we can.” A thought occurred to him, “Have they all had access to each other?”

“The wraith are telepathic, even if they did not encounter each other in processing, or have cells in proximity to each other, they are likely aware of each other’s location.” Lobot told him. Lando swore,

“Damn, it would have been nice to have an ace up our sleeve.” He grumbled.”Send an update to General Solo on the Orion.”

“General Solo is currently taking a rest cycle, he began an hour after you did.” Lobot, “he should awaken within the next hour. The Orion is at seventy eight combat readiness, Starbuck is leading repair efforts on the Larrin and believes she will be combat effective within three hours.”

“Make sure our own people are rotating shifts.” Lando told Lobot, “We need everyone rested if this stall doesn’t come through. I want a high security alert until Yoda’s team is back on Atlantis, things could turn sour real quick.”
* * *

“Aren’t you a little short to be a wraith hunter?” Wes asked wearily rolling over on his bunk as the door to his cell opened.

“Huh? Oh the hologram.” The Wraith replied, suddenly it’s image flickered and Wes sat bolt upright,

“John Sheppard, I’m here to rescue you, I’m with Wedge Antilles!”

“Wedge Antilles?” Wes struggled to his feet.

“Sheppard we’re about to have company!” Wedge shouted a stun blast flew by his head as Sheppard extended a blaster to him. He ignited his lightsaber, as did Yoda.

“Stop, you fools.” A voice growled from a cell opposite Jansens, “He is in their thrall, if you hand him a weapon he will shoot you in the back.” Sheppard’s mouth dropped open. He moved closer to the cell

“Todd?” he demanded, “What the hell are you doing here?”

“I don’t know you human.” The Wraith said irritably, yet somewhat taken aback by Sheppard’s familiar response, “But if you take me with you I can help you.”

“Sheppard don’t listen to him, he’s a wraith for sith’s sake.” Jansen said leaning on the doorway of the cell. “Give me the blaster I’ll help you fight.” Sheppard looked the wraith in the eye for a moment still holding a blaster in his hand.

“He is under their control.” The wraith insisted, “Free me, and I will help you free him.” Sheppard let out a breath. Without breaking eye contact with Todd, he handed the blaster to Wes.

“Thanks Sheppard.” Wes said gratefully, then he raised the blaster. “Unfortunately he’s right.” The blaster clicked.

“I know.” Said Sheppard turning. He held the blasters power pack, and his own blaster in the other. He stunned Wes. He turned back to Todd.

“I know you.” He said quietly. “I know what you’re capable of. You don’t know me. Try to keep that in mind.” He opened the cell. “pick him up.”

“What are you doing?’ Wedge demanded turning back to see Wes in a good approximation of a fireman’s carry, over the shoulders of a wraith, Sheppard following both with a blaster.

“Making new friends.” Sheppard said flippantly, he raised his blaster and shot a wraith, he and the wraith hurried past a dumbfounded Yoda.

“You still want him to trust his feelings?” Wedge asked of the Jedi master.
* * *

“That’s the second batch.” Lando commented, Solo was watching the gateroom’s live feed from the Orion.”Let’s see how they react when they don’t find a queen this time.” The Stargate deactivated.

“We’re as ready as we can be.” Solo replied, “The station’s main weapon is back online, and the Larrin has her weapons back online, she’s still on thrusters only.”

“The Shipyard got the Organa back online, and the Dodonna and the Kota can make orbit and fight at sublight.” Calrissian advised Han, “One thing I’ll say, droids don’t stop working even when there’s a battle raging over their heads. Even with most of the technicians reassigned to repair or defense they’ve been right on schedule, and the Mon Colomari found half a dozen shortcuts the Incom teams didn’t even think of.”

“We’ll want their hyperdrives operational if they are to participate in any counteroffensives.” Han commented, “Have you sent out any teams to verify that the Wraith are keeping up their end of the bargain? I’d be surprised if they did.”

“Han nothing surprises me about this place anymore. The Genii and the Athosians agreed to contact their trading partners and let us know.” Lando replied, “Sheppard asked us to check in with Chaya, but she hasn’t responded to the comms we sent through the gate.”
Suddenly the Stargate began to activate. As a wormhole erupted through the shield, Lobot confirmed the ID coming through with a technician.

“Speak of the devil Han, Yoda’s team just came through the gate.” Lando reported. The Jumper proceeded through the gate, Sheppard no doubt confused by the setting. He had probably expected the old gateroom. The Jumper landed on a pad a few meters from the gate and the hatch opened. Immediately the defense teams raised their weapons as a wraith exited with his arms raised. Sheppard hurried in front of him holding his arms out, while Wedge exited next, carrying an unconscious Wes Jansen. Yoda brought up the rear leaning on his stick.

“Remember what I said about surprises Han, I take it back.” Lando said gesturing to the security teams not to stun Sheppard, “I take it all back.”
Last edited by Themightytom on 2012-03-12 06:52pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-09-2012)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-03-12 05:41pm

Help from New Kobol...that rings a bell.

The good old Galactica isn't going to appear is she? That would be awesome!
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-09-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-12 06:57pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Help from New Kobol...that rings a bell.

The good old Galactica isn't going to appear is she? That would be awesome!

Oh I'm not giving that away, but the Pegasus makes an appearance in the SG-1 story that sequels this.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-12-2012)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-03-12 07:51pm

As if I needed another reason to keep watching the UF forum. Galactica or Pegasus, doesn't matter to me, it's an old-school Battlestar and it will (presumably(read=damn well better be)) kicking ass and taking names. Keep going!
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-12-2012)

Postby LadyTevar » 2012-03-13 01:43am

A BATTLESTAR showing up in this? Yeah, just when I thought it couldn't be more awesome. :-D

You do need to go back over the chapters, however. You have dropped/incomplete sentences, typos, and grammarical errors too numerous for me to list here.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-12-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-13 12:41pm

LadyTevar wrote:A BATTLESTAR showing up in this? Yeah, just when I thought it couldn't be more awesome. :-D

You do need to go back over the chapters, however. You have dropped/incomplete sentences, typos, and grammarical errors too numerous for me to list here.

Thanks I plan to. The text editor is pretty frustrating, I proof it in word, which isn't even that good at proofing, transfer it via text here, proof it again with google chrome or firefox and then post, to immediately find a dozen errors I missed.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-12-2012)

Postby Crayz9000 » 2012-03-15 01:57pm

I've found that OpenOffice/LibreOffice is a lot better for writing big documents than MS Word...
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-12-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-23 07:31pm

Crayz9000 wrote:I've found that OpenOffice/LibreOffice is a lot better for writing big documents than MS Word...

I am experimenting with Google Office, let me know what you think. I hate that editing detracts from an already complicated story :-p

This chapter has grown beyond feasibility, so I am chopping it into two. There has been some subplot housekeeping brewing growing out of control, and some serious set up work was needed. Hopefully it doesn't detract from the pace of the previous few chapters.

Chapter 14.

Ackbar took a deep breath. he raised the book of Origin.
“Hallowed are the Ori.” He declared with as much confidence as he could muster. The prior advancing down the ramp nodded approvingly, as the stargate behind him disengaged.
“As did the people of the river greet Antaris, so I greet you..”

“Glorious are the Ori, who lead us to salvation, who did fight the evil that would doom us all to mortal sin.” The Prior replied.”You have done well to study origin, Ackbar, of Mon Cala, “For if you embrace the path, the Ori shall see you safely upon it.” The prior looked meaningfully at the blaster cannons and soldiers around them standing at readiness. He looked knowingly at the powerful war droids that dominated the corners of the gate room. “Yours is a galaxy of great turmoil, and pervasive darkness, a people yearning for the light of Origin.”

“I have studied your book with great interest.” Ackbar told him, “ I have found many truths contained within though I confess your world is most strange to me.” The prior nodded.

“Yours are people of the sea.” said the prior knowingly, “Yet does not the city of the Ori exist where land and sea meet? So too must the ways of our peoples meet to find Origin.”

“I cannot speak for the entire New Republic.” Ackbar replied evenly, “But I have forwarded to them, this opus, I believe they will find it as enlightening as I.” The prior nodded.

“For the flock to follow, the Shepherd must first find his way.” The prior replied, he looked around, “Tell me what you know of this place.”

“It was an ancient base of some sort.” Ackbar told him, truthfully, “This world was stricken from all of our records and we only rediscovered it recently as we sought refuge from our enemies.”

“It has been a den of the wicked.” The ori declared looking around, “Their taint still clogs my nostrils, their memory offends me.” he shook his head. “Yet the hour grows late. Too long has the darkness festered in this galaxy. We have learned much of the suffering of your peoples, all of them. We are but the heralds of those who come, the first glimmer of dawn before the sunrise, the sun will pierce from the heavens all too soon.”

“How did you learn of our plight?” Ackbar asked curiously, “Why did the Ori not come before.”

“There is a time for all things,” The Prior said to Ackbar, “For the child must cry out in pain, to know when it is comforted. The Ori heard your cry of sorrow as it echoed across the heavens, and made ready to answer, we are but the sound of trumpets, before the thunder of their holy army.”

“We have heard the stirrings of reports.” Ackbar told him, “A new power probing the edges of our galaxy, this is you?” the prior nodded. “Then I’m afraid I must apologize for our action over Endor.”

“Fear not Ackbar of Mon Cala, we know all too well the part you played over the world of Endor, You have felt the sting of our righteous fist, have you not? Did we not strike down your mightiest vessel? The scales must be weighed in time.” Ackbar swallowed, but the Prior continued, his voice softening in empathy,

“We were simply defending our forces from an Imperial attack.” Ackbar informed the prior, “We had operated for some time there, but something suddenly drew their attention. We thought your forces yet another power attempting to enslave the galaxy.”

“Yet it is we who shall set you free.” The Ori told Ackbar, moving forward, “It is we that offer you ascension to a higher plane of existence a pathway to enlightenment. Endor once contained a fortress of darkness for powers allied with those who were cast you. Much of their plot could have been learned, had you not interfered, much was lost there.” The prior sighed “Yet can one blame the child for lashing out at what he does not understand? The path of origin is atonement for all sins.”

“I am prepared to walk that path.” Ackbar told the prior without hesitation, “ Our council of leaders will meet tomorrow, and I intend to propose an alliance with your people against a common foe. I understand now.” he held up the book. “I see all too clearly who the enemy is.”

“Good.” The prior said approvingly. Of it’s own accord the stargate began to dial. “For this place is tainted.” he looked around disdainfully, “This wild garden has foul rotten weeds. We shall take hold of the roots, and tear them from the ground, and once cleansed, the fruit of Origin shall blossom, and the air will once more be pure.”
* * *
“He’s adapting already.” Starbuck said worriedly. he was looking at the biometric readings from the prior, “The sonic jamming effect is wearing off, but I think we scrambled him long enough.”

“If he breaks free, do you think we can take him?” Solo asked worriedly. Starbuck looked doubtful. "Come on Starbuck, you've got a new thing every day now, you're carrying one of those now aren't you?" he nodded to the lightsaber at Starbuck's waiste.

“I've been learning a lot, but I'm years away from being able to handle an ascended being." Starbuck told him, "Sure I could take him, but not the way we want to, it would be messy and it would alert the others and probably do a number on this base.” he said honestly, “Sheppard said the priors have telekenesis, insight, shields, bioweapons, practically a conduit to the Ori themselves through their staff, I can do some of that, but I don't have a strong enough grasp of exactly what I can do." He tapped his head, "You can't keep all of the knowledge of an ascended being in one little human brain Han, you just can't. The Jedi can gain insight as to the nature of reality because the Force acts as a conduit. The Prior do something similiar with their staves. Until I figure something out, the only one who could hold her own would be Chaya, and she's not allowed."

Starbuck turned to the gateroom once more, watching the prior converse with Ackbar. "He’s off his game right now, but the Prior is doing a good job of bluffing his way through. At the first sign of trouble, we shut down the frequency jammer, it’ll be him and me, the plan is, I hold him still long enough for all of those..” he gestured at the cannons on the wall, “To blast him to atoms. Problem is, the Admiral’s at ground zero, he’s given us all orders to proceed anyway, but I'm not even sure those blasters would kill him. I think they are called priors because they are just prior to ascension.”

“Let’s not let him break free.” Solo told him, trying to calm him down. Starbuck obviously felt his responsibilities keenly. Solo changed topics. “What’s all this talk about a garden? I’m sick and tired of all these riddles.”

“He’s a missionary for their religion, he’s speaking in parables and metaphors. I think by garden he means this place.” Starbuck glanced around them, “Lemuria was an Altairan or Lantean as they called themselves later, city ship and the Ori did not like them at all. I think that bit about the air was him thinking the city was blocking his powers.” he adjusted a control, “Which it is. Once we restored the intruder defense systems, I found a whole array of protocols for dealing with the Ori.”

“How did they have protocols, if the Altairans fled the Ori so long ago?” Han asked suspiciously. Starbuck shrugged.

“Oh the Altairans didn’t leave well enough alone.” he grumbled, “They fled to Sheppard’s galaxy, built themselves a nice little empire and at it’s height, decided to forget where they came from. Atlantis was the capital city of their capital world. The Lanteans specifically, decided to launch a mission back to their home galaxy. A scout ship carrying a stargate was captured by the Ori, who immediately stole the technology and kicked the crap out of the entire Altairan civilization. As undisputed masters of their galaxy, they had the infrastructure and workforce to amass a massive army in a matter of months. As ascended beings, well they had an understanding of the universe fr beyond the Altairans. The Altairans were left scrambling to catch up, figure out how they did it, and they didn’t pull it of in time, that’s why they fled to Pegasus.” He glanced at Han who was smirking, “Hey don’t look at me, I’m from the other side of the family. The Koballans stayed to fight long after the Altairans packed up and ran, why do you think the Ori didn’t follow? My people fought every step of the way before they were forced to fall back, and they figured out ascension around the same time as the Ori. As a matter of fact it was the lords of Kobol who fought the Ori to a standstill and gave the Altairans time to escape.”

“Good riddance.” Solo said as the prior left through the stargate. Starbuck sighed in relief. “So the Lanteans lost to the Ori, then packed up and moved to Pegasus, and lost to the Wraith.” Solo mused, “What a proud race eh?”

“Well we fell to the Cylons.” Starbuck reminded him, “The Lords of Kobol were a little busy dealing with Iblis, that slipped by them. When we found the Altairans they were in full retreat, our colonies were gone, and the Vong were tearing up the Cylons. There was nothing left to do but try and start over again.”

“Here?” Solo demanded as Ackbar returned.

“And New Kobol eventually.” Starbuck replied, “Corusca was supposed to be a jopint colony, because we didn’t have the resources to rebuild on our own, and Lemuria was hit hard by Ori bioweapons. Later, when the 13th tribe resurfaced, in the Kobollan city ship of Lyona, some of us, like Athena wanted to join them and try to rebuild our heritage.”

“Which bunch did you side with?” Solo asked curiously.

“I didn’t really side with either camp.” Starbuck said regretfully. “I don’t know, if I had, maybe things would have been different.”

“Oh hey...” Said Han raising his hands, “I forgot, I’m talking to Starbuck here, the guy who saves the universe!”

“Yeah, well... apparently not this one.” Starbuck said glumly. Ackbar entered the control room.

“The Ori have accepted my story for now.” Ackbar announced, “It seems your sonic scrambler was effective in blocking his precognitive abilities Starbuck.”

“Sheppard said it interferes with their connection to the staff.” Starbuck told him, “I know I sure don’t like it myself, It’s a little hard to concentrate.” he touched a control to shut it off. “Whatever he promised you though Admiral, it’s a lie. According to the Altairans the Ori wiped out all nonhuman life in their galaxy. Apparently their worship isn’t as... useful to them as that of humans.”

“The universe at large, has great cause to resent humanity.” Ackbar commented dryly. Han looked wounded, “Were you able to determine where they were dialing from?” Ackbar asked. Starbuck shook his head.

“Based on the power curves we registered, it is not from outside this galaxy.” Starbuck told him, “The stargate didn’t track an incoming address, they obviously didn’t send an ID...”

“Could you use the energy readings to determine the distance from which they dialed?” Ackbar asked, “Perhaps we could cross reference with a star chart...” Starbuck was shaking his head.

“You can almost get away with that with an intergalactic address, or in a galaxy that is thoroughly mapped with stargates.” he told the admiral, “But in this situation? If the stargate needed to correct for, say proximity to a star, or a blackhole, or even a number of them, we’d never get an accurate reading for sure. In a galaxy like pegasus, we could trigger a cumulative update, and use readings from all of the stargates but there are nowhere near enough in this galaxy for that.”

“It doesn’t make any sense.” Han complained, “They don’t seem to know about the stargate at Dathomir, they haven’t tried to dial it yet, but they were at Endor while we were trying to recover one there.”

“The Stargate on Dathomir was originally on Chandrilla.” Starbuck pointed out, “The Endor gate is now onboard the Star Defender in orbit over Dathomir. We’ve been moving them around, which means the Ori would have to know where they are before they could dial.” He added, “Unless they figure out how to modify the update program.”

“If they knew Endor had a stargate, why didn’t they dial it?” Han demanded. “What was in that fortress that they wanted so badly?” Starbuck shrugged.

“It wasn’t Altairan at all.” he said, “The stargate on the Star Defender is compatible with the Altairan one, but it has some interesting diffferences. No naquidah for one thing. That was probably once a furling base, the Ewoks show an uncanny resemblance.”

“Those little bear things, committing suicide by stormtrooper?” Han demanded incredulously. “Those things hardly mastered fire.”

“Sometimes civilizations regress Han, “ Starbuck pointed out, he waved a hand, and below, the stargate lit up. “Can you do that?” Solo blinked.

“I see your bag of tricks continues to grow...” He commented he leaned casually beside the button for the sonic jammer. “On the other hand, maybe you aren’t quite as advanced as you tell yourself?” Starbuck rolled his eyes.

“As Starbuck configured that device and showed us how to use it, his point is well taken.” Ackbar interjected, “Regardless, whatever these furlings left in that fortress, it was likely destroyed with it. I am more concerned with where the Ori are dialing in from and how to prevent them, should we need to, I do not want to have to relocate this base, nor the village nearby.”

“Well we had Endor dialed in from Atlantis and Coruscant for quite some time before they arrived while we were reinforcing the strike team and when Sheppard was firing on the Triumphant. “ Starbuck commented, “Keeping our own gate active is as good a way as any to deny them use of it, in fact, using it has probably kept them from dialing in before now. Who knows how long they’ve been trying to. The best way to stop them using the gate though, is to get a hold of theirs.”

“Could they have brought one on their ships?” Ackbar asked.

“It’s possible I guess,” Starbuck allowed, “But they can’t use it near those massive power cores of theirs, it would interfere with the wormhole formation.” he shrugged, “For that matter, I don’t think they knew what they’d find when they got here, that scream they spoke of? I would bet money they were referring to the impact the Centerpoint weapon had on the Force, and the higher dimensional plains it influences. This tiny little jammer is a nuisance. A device capable of killing all force sensitives in a galaxy, echoes a long way away I would imagine.”

“You believe this merely a scout force then.” Ackbar concluded, “That was my assessment as well. They are far too few to compose an effective probe for a galaxy such as ours.”

“They would have rolled over Pegasus easy enough” Solo pointed out, i ahve a hunch they got in over their heads, and they’re getting desperate to call home.” Han commented, “When they thought they had a line on a stargate they made a run for it, but got knocked down, they didn’t seem to have the ships to make another try.”

“They got their hands on one somewhere though.” Starbuck pointed out, “Could it be the one at Endor?” Ackbar was shaking his head.

“Our scouts have confirmed Yavin is heavily defended by the Vong. The only way through their defenses would doubtless be through the stargate itself, if it is operational.”

“Then boys I think we have a problem..” Starbuck concluded, “There is a stargate out there somewhere and the Ori have it.”

* * *
“We don’t have time to deal with you.” Lando began. The three wraith in the room began to hiss, Lando picked up a pair of blasters at rest on the conference table before him and pointed. “I don’t have time for that either. Any more of these over the top theatrics, and I will shoot somebody.” The three wraith glowered at him sullenly, the two queens flanking Todd. Wedge looked amused, Yoda seemed indifferent. Sheppard cleared his throat and looked at Todd.

“Very well we will hear you out.” Todd said.The queen to his left turned on him.

“You have no right to speak for our hives!” She snarled. Lando shot her in the head. She went down without another sound.

“You know what..” he said adjusting the settings on his blaster, “I really really don’t have time for this so let’s speed this up. Same rules as before, but now I’ll kill both of you, and devote all the resources i can muster into making your kind extinct. Nobody likes it when their food disagrees, I’ll grant you that, but I am confident any civilized creature has managed a strong instinct for self preservation. Are we ready to continue?”

“We are.” Todd replied before the other queen could say anything.

“We don’t have time for your people to figure out that we aren’t the ancients.” Lando continued smoothly, “We don’t have time for you to asess our technological strength and recognize how thoroughly we could erase you from existence, Sheppard here actually wanted us to transmit historical records of exactly how short lived the Wraith war in our own galaxy went, but as i said, we just don’t have time. Are you familiar with the Ori Todd?”

“The Ori?” Todd looked alarmed, he exchanged glances with the queen. “How did you hear of them?”

“They’ve been mounting attacks across our galaxy.” Lando told him, “Extrapolate from that. We’re holding our own against them, how would you stack up against them if they got here through us?”

“I remember the Ori all too well.” Todd said sullently, “It was they who forced us to come to this galaxy in the first place.”

“‘Us’?” Sheppard asked arching an eyebrow. Todd nodded in affirmation.

“I am among the oldest of our kind.” he revealed to them, “One of those first infected by the Iratus bug. There are not many of us left.”

“I gathered it is mostly your queens who ran thing.” Lando asserted with a nod at the queen beside Todd. her authority at last acknowledged, the queen’s seething diminsihed fractionally. “Look, we were allied with the Wraith in our own galaxy, until they turned on us. Given the circumstances, we’d be willing to consider an arrangement.”

“What guarantee do we have that you will not turn on us later, if you survive the Ori?” Todd demanded, “and do you honestly expect us to believe you’ll allow us to continue feeding on the human populations of this galaxy?”

“I won’t promise either.” Lando said, “But we do not have a lot of time. We can’t tolerate your fleet amassing on our doorstep. Our warships arrive tonight. If we do not come to an understanding, we will wipe out that fleet and start hunting you down like dogs.”

“What exactly is the alternative you are proposing.” Asked the queen icily, speaking up at last.

“We will not tolerate any more culling.” Lando told her flatly, “However, it is our understanding that you have a number of servants in thrall to you. if they are voluntary allies, we won’t ask any questions about how you keep yourselves alive.”

“There are far too few of them to sustain us.” the Wraith queen said with frustration in her voice, “We must survive.”

“So survive.” Lando told her, “Put as many of yourselves as you can back into stasis, rotate in and out, try to manage your resources instead of gorging yourselves. If you don’t we’ll trim your population down for you.”

“That is all you would require of us?” The Wraith queen said doubtfully. Lando nodded.

“You have no idea of our capabilities.” Lando told her, “I intend to put in for an order of probe droids to monitor every habitable world we can find in this galaxy to ensure that you keep to your side of the arrangement, and if we somehow reach the conclusion that you are either breaking it, or building up your forces, well, we certainly won’t be as complacent as the Lanteans were. “

“You will continue releasing us as agreed?” the wraith queen asked. Lando shook his head.

“I never intended to break my agreement, save to make a point.” He gestured to the dead queen. “You need to recognize us as equals, if you continue to operate under the false notion that we are not worthy of your respect, we’ll be forced to kill you by the millions to prove the point. neither of us can afford that right now, We have enemies in our own galaxy to deal with, we have the Ori knocking on our door, and believe me when I tell you, anything that we can’t handle, is going to come here sooner rather than later and wipe out what’s left of you.”

As the two wraith stood to leave, Todd turned, “Governor, if I may have a word?” The queen stopped but Todd clarified, “Alone.” Lando nodded to the Wookiees, one of them growled softly.

“I’ll be fine.” Lando said raising his blaster, “I have this, I have two Jedi Masters, and i can throw Sheppard under him to trip him up if I need to make an escape.” unable to follow that comment the wraith queen was escorted out before she could compose an objection. Sheppard looked wounded.

“I recognize the strategic value in what Sheppard proposed to me earlier, in seeking a way for a medical solution to our need to feed.” Todd began.

“Obviously if your resources become limited, being the first to be cured of that will give you an advantage.” Sheppard told him. The Wraith nodded.

“But I believe I can offer additional assistance, against the Ori threat.” Todd said, “As you say, if they get through you, we would have to face them here, and I do not relish the idea.”

“What do you have.” Lando demanded. The Wraith cleared his throat.

“The Lanteans left a weapon behind intended to exterminate the wraith.” he began, “Fortunately for us, we discovered it and deactivated it.”

“The Attero device?” Sheppard guessed, “I already proposed it, but we don’t...” Todd cut him off.

“I do not know how you know of that device, but if you know it’s location, I suggest you destroy it immediately.” He said coldly, “No, the weapon I spoke of is a race of sentient self replicating machines.”

“The Asurans?” Sheppard demanded, “Are you insane?” he turned to Calrissian, “Governor, you read my report on what those things did in my timeline, what it took to take them down.”

“I cannot speak to that.” Todd said, “But I will say that my people successfully rewrote their base code before, and we can do so again. While the Ori are powerful, even they would have trouble fighting the replicators, because of how thoroughly they would have to destroy them.”

“Our people are pretty advanced at slicing too.” Lando said, considering it, “And we may be able to get Starbuck or Chaya to help us.”

“I’m telling you, this is a bad idea.” Sheppard said half rising, “They nearly destroyed Atlantis at least twice, and killed hundreds of thousands of people just to deny the wraith a food supply.” Todd was shaking his head.

“I don’t know about your universe Sheppard, but in our’s the Asurans are held captive on their world by a macro we placed in their base code.” Todd told him,”What is more, they would recognize me as an ancient and be unable to harm me.”

“Yeah, and what if they somehow overrode that little macro of yours, what then?” Sheppard challenged.

“Do you even listen to yourself? That’s not how droids work.” Wedge said crossing his arms, Sheppard was furious.

“Excuse me?” He demanded, “Are you an idiot, these aren’t droids, their replicators, they’re smart.” Sheppard glared at Wedge and Wedge for his part seemed genuinely surprised at what he had said. Lando took control of the situation.

“Get a room ladies.” he told them shortly, turning back to Todd, he nodded, “I’ll consider it. Sheppard’s told some pretty concerning stories about what happens if we don’t do this right, I don’t want them turning on us. I want Starbuck here and a team of our best slicers to okay this before I commit to doing anything stupid. Do you have anything they can look at?”

“I can obtain a copy of their base code from my people once I make contact with them.” Todd told them. “They believe me to be the hostage of a rival hive ship however, I must apprise them i am very much alive.”

“Hopefully they still are.” Lando told him, “We took out over half your fleet.” The Wraith shook his head.

“My ships stayed behind at the staging area, once I heard what they intended to do. The others were furious but tricked me into travelling to their ship for a conference.”

“You’re just such a sucker for those conferences.” Sheppard said.

“We’ll let you contact your people just as soon as we’re done sending the next group of Wraith through.” Lando told him. He signalled for more Wookiee to escort Todd to the holding center, and turned to the others when he was gone.

“Wedge, just what the hell has gotten into you?” he demanded, but Yoda answered first.

“Strong, the darkside is, in this galaxy. Spread out our senses have over the past several months, more conscious are we of a simmering darkness.”

“Yeah that might just be the wraith actually.” Sheppard pointed out, “One of my team members Tey’la had a connection with them, and they’re... they’re a pretty dark people.”

“That’s putting it mildly.” Lando said, “But I’m not convinced Antilles, you lsot it out there on Endor, I read Starbuck’s report, and you barely had it together on the Admiral’s ship. Word is, you and Yoda had a little confrontation during the battle, and now you’re making snide remarks at Sheppard?”

“ did you..” Sheppard pointed out.

“Rank has it’s privileges.” Lando said shortly.

“I...didn’t mean what I said, John.” Wedge said apologetically, he turned to Lando, “you’re right Governor, I’ve been having trouble maintaining control after I used the dark side. Master Yoda and I have been working on it, but it is possible the presence of the wraith have influenced me unduly.”

“I can send you back to Lemuria.” Lando offered, “Maybe you can help against the Ori.”

“No.” Wedge said quickly, “No, that would be just as bad Lando, on Coruscant I was having... visions. The Ori were speaking to me, showing me possible futures... tempting me to accept their way. I can’t go back there.”

“You can’t go back, but you can’t stay here, not if you’re a loose cannon.” Lando told him. he turned to Sheppard.

“Grossly unbalanced, the Force has become, in both galaxies.” Yoda spoke up, “Time we need, for reflection, for study. Not children these padawans are, much about themselves have they to learn as well.”

“The traditional Jedi studied for decades to understand the force.” Lando replied, “We just don’t have that kind of time. If your other students have the potential to be this unstable, no offense.” he said to Wedge, “We can’t have them on the front lines against either the wraith, or the Ori. “ he turned to Sheppard “Do you think Chaya will let him stay on her world? She’s offered to have the Jedi on her world before hasn’t she?”

“Oh I’m sure she would.” Sheppard said carefully. He was looking at the table, thinking hard., “But as much as I hate to say it... I have a better idea.”

* * *
“Welcome back.” Jan greeted Starbuck as he stepped through the stargate. “Did your mission to Lemuria go well?” General Solo arrived behind him. Starbuck answered.

“Well the details are classified of course, but let me ask you this Jan, does it ever go well? Does it ever?” he paused, “Oh for the love of Kobol, he can’t be serious.” He stroked his chin thoughtfully, "On the other hand, that might just give me the time I need..."

He hurried off leaving Orrs and Solo standing confused. They stepped aside as Wookiees began to arrive through the gate, hauling crates on anti gravs.”

“The ring platform is to your left,” She turned to Solo, “Are those what I think those are?” Solo nodded.

“Brand new drones, right off the production line.” He nodded, “They’re to help replennish the Orion and the Larren. I assume they got the thruster assembly worked out on the Orion?“

“As far as I know sir, I’ve been pulling double duties for the Governor and Master Yoda.” Orrs told him, “What was Starbuck on about?”

“I haven’t the faintest.” Solo told her, “Everyday he’s got a new thing, whether it’s a superpower, or an insight, who can keep track.”

“Well Lando’s meeting with Master Yoda right now, but he took our security status down a level.” Orrs told Solo as they moved towards the control room.

“Oh good, we’ve gone from “Imminent Doomsday”, to, “It’s coming but we’re not sure if it’ll be now or later.” Solo grumbled. “Once this fleet is back on it’s feet, I’m heading to Dathomir, and good riddance. This city may as well be shaped like a giant target.”

“Padawan Orrs.” Yoda’s voice spoke through her comm. “Provisions, for eight years gather up and in the gateroom meet in one hour.”.” Han had paused mid stride.

“Several years??” he demanded, Orrs could only shrug. As she left Solo spotted Lando coming out of the conference room rubbing his temple. “Lando! Lando, what the hell’s Yoda up to?”

“Sheppard’s taking Yoda and the Jedi out for a little Jedi Bootcamp.” Lando told him climbing wearily down the stairs, “Starbuck’s going too.”

“Bootcamp?” Solo shook his head, “Look Lando, we can't afford to lose them right now, we haven't heard from the Peregrine, he and Sheppard are the best pilots we have for our two heavy hitters, not to mention the city's defenses."

"We can have the Organa, and the hyperjumper scout out along the Peregrine's flight path. We can trust the Wraith to hold off for a day or two," Lando told him, "Turns out they're just as worried about the Ori as we are. I've requested Iella and her best slicers for a little project, that might prove helpful and I need Chewbacca, and the admiral's niece for a little recon mission."

"I don't know that she has any special ops experience that would be an asset on any mission." Solo told him. Lando shook his head.

"I need two aliens, they're the perfect camoflauge." He explained.

"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-22-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-23 07:36pm

The next update will be very soon, and a lot more action packed, so keep your eyes out.

"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. (Updated 03-22-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-26 04:02pm

Chapter 15

“This is the place.” Sheppard announced. They stood at a rather unassuming cave entrance. “You go in there, you don’t come out until they let you.” he held up a life signs detector. “Except with this, you can find the power supply if you have to.” He paused, and turned to the dozen jedi standing behind him, “You sure you all want to go through with this?”

“Set, our path is, walk upon it we must.” Yoda answered for the others, “Needed now more than ever, the jedi are.”

“Alright. Well I’ll hang out for an hour in the jumper, then come back tomorrow..” Sheppard said as Starbuck arrived carrying a heavy pack of provisions, “You should have all you need for a few months, there’s plenty of game to hunt, fish, you can farm...”

“Sheppard, you’re coming with us.” Starbuck told him, settng down his supplies. Sheppard gave an awkward half smile. Starbuck ignored him and rummaged around in his gear.

“Thanks, but, I didn’t really bring my sleeping...” Starbuck tossed him a small cylinder. “...bag.” Sheppard finished, Yoda was watching him as well.

“Stirring within you, felt the force I have.” Yoda told him, “Around your destiny it swirls.”

“Look I’ve been down this particular path already.” Sheppard told the two of them as the other jedi went back for another load. “I spent months here trying to ascend, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Thanks but no thanks.”

“Different this is.” Yoda told him, “Seek not ascension do you, but knowledge of the force. Tied to obligations, no longer are you, gone your universe is, return to it, unlikely you are.”

“You have to choose a new life John, you know this.” Starbuck told him gently, “I know you’ve been on some pretty long missions in the past, and you’ve beaten the odds more than your fair share of times, but deep down...” he poked a finger at Sheppard’s chest, “You know you ahve to do this, you want to.”

“If I go through there, it could be a one way trip for all of us.” Sheppard argued, “If something goes wrong in there, I have to be around to get you out.”

“Tycho’s in the second jumper.” Starbuck told him, “He can send for help just as well as you could anyway. I’ll get us out when the time comes if we need to. Come with us John.”

“Months, years will pass in there...” Sheppard argued.

“But only hours will pass out here.” Starbuck told him, “If there’s a way back to your universe you won’t miss it, and when it comes, you’ll be better able to take advantage of it, you need to do this, you want to.”

“I want...” Sheppard began angrily, but caught himself, “I just want to go home, Starbuck, back to the Altantis I know, and the people who care about me. I want to make damn sure Tey’la doesn’t die on the floor of some lab and the future doesn’t turn to crap! I want Earth to be safe, I want the Wraith threat eliminated, I want...”

“You want to save the universe.” Starbuck said putting an arm on his shoulder. “Believe me I get it, but we’re here now, these people need us.” he gestured to Yoda and the Jedi, “and we need them. Both of us, you and I are going home some day, i don’t know that for sure, but I don’t see either of us ever giving up on it, so in the meantime, we do what we can where we can, and we learn what we can, when we can, so that when it is time to go home, we can really make a difference, right?”

“That’s the last of the supplies Master.” Jan announced, she arrived with Wedge close behind, depositing a few more bundles on the sizeable pile, “Should we begin passing through?” Yoda said nothing and looked at Sheppard.

“Come on Sheppard, we could use you.” Wedge invited him, “This is the dawn of a new age of Jedi, you could be part of that, you should be.”

“Why does it matter if I go?” Sheppard asked one last time, “Why do you need me?”

What Starbuck said next, was the last thing he expected to hear, and yet it made perfect sense to Sheppard.

* * *
“Welcome to Asuras.” The young man greeted them. “You may call me Niam.”

“I am called C-3PO, Human Cyborg relations. This is our leader Captain Chewbacca, and our communications specialist Jesmine Ackbar.” Threepio gestured to each. “This is my counterpart R2- D2”

“Human-Cyborg relations?” Niam asked perplexed. “None of you are humans.”

“Of course sir, however, we have met humans before.” Threepio answered without pause, “and when our probe transmitted your welcome we concluded that you too were human, were we mistaken?” This had been a bit of calculated misdirection on Todd’s part. he had advised the team to have 3PO speak, and had briefed the droid thoroughly on what to say. With consummate pride in his acting skills the droid had taken to the assignment with gusto, and Chewbacca watched his progress with approval, holding his crossbow in the crook of his arm.

“We are the children of the ancestors.” Niam answered easily, “The forebearers of many of this galaxies human worlds. We encounter the offspring of their colonies from time to time.” he paused, “Your species are unfamiliar to us?”

“Ah, well Captain Chewbacca here is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyk, while Lieutenant Ackbar is from a world called “Dac.” Threepio explained.

“What region of the galaxy are these located in?” Niam asked perplexed, “We were unaware that any civilizations had made such advancements in artificial lifeforms such as yourself.”

“Artifical life is quite prolific and respected in the galaxy from which we are from, master Niam.” Threepio explained, “Why some o the greatest...”

“So you are not of this galaxy?” Niam pressed.

“” said Threepio somewhat nonplussed at having been interrupted, “Ours is some distance away, we arrived here through something of a hyperspace mishap, Artoo here is responsible for astronomical navigation and his sensors are somewhat damaged.” Niam had cocked his head as though listening to something.

“Ah. Well, I have been informed your droid is emitting some kind of coherent energy pulse at a regular interval.” Chewbacca rumbled something and Threepio translated.

“Yes, well we apologize, he is malfunctioning.” he explained, he thumped Artoo’s dome and the droid objected with a series of whistles. Jesmine raised a scanner to the droid.

“it appears his hypercom is broadcasting an intermittent pulse, which he cannot shut down.” She looked apologetically at Niam, “There is a network of Hyperspace beacons in our own galaxy and he is programmed to automatically synchronize with them periodically, does it interfere with any of your equipment?”

“Not at all.” Niam said easily, “In fact we are studying the nature of his transmission as it utilizes an energy form we have never seen before.”

“I do apologize sir, a rescue ship has been dispatched and in the meantime we are exploring the network of devices I believe the natives of this galaxy call the “Ring of the Ancesters”” Threepio continued.

“I should like to learn more of your galaxy.” Niam said to Threepio, and, to Chewbacca and Jesmine, “And your peoples of course.”
* * *

Lightsabers clashed, sparking.

“You’re improving.” Wedge congratulated Sheppard, “Looks like you’ve got some fight in you after all.” They disengaged and circled each other.

“I never said I couldn’t fight.” Sheppard replied, slapping Wedge’s lightsaber with his own, “I’m just naturally lazy.” Wedge moved in again, stabbing, Sheppard blocked but Wedge circled his saber around striking Sheppard’s aside and turning, swung at Sheppard’s side. Unable to bring his saber around in time, Sheppard tossed it to the other hand blocking just in time as he circled. Wedge’s eyes narrowed. He threw a series of strikes at Sheppard advancing and noted Sheppard was constantly sidestepping.

“You really are lazy though.” Wedge pointed out, a slight edge to his voice, “Dancing around instead of meeting my attack with something of your own, you’re just prolonging the original Sheppard.”

“Maybe I’m wearing you out.” Sheppard replied equitably, “We have a little move on Earth we like to call...” he ducked a swing and stabbed forcing Wedge to parry, “The rope a dope.”

“Do you know.” Said Wedge, he circled as he formulated his next move, “Do tell.”

“Well you let your opponent wear himself out, draw him in and then....” Wedge stabbed, Sheppard parried, Wedge pivoted swinging again and this time when Sheppard tossed the lightsaber Wedge reached out with the Force and took it. igniting both sabers in his hands he moved towards Sheppard about to declare his victory when he suddenly realized Sheppard had pulled a Zatnickatel from somewhere. Wedge fell cursing as the energy flowed through him.

“Where.... the Kriff... did you get that...” he gritted as he drew on the force to fight off unconsciousness.”

“Starbuck loaned it to me this morning.” Sheppard beamed, quite proud of himself. he retrieved both lightsabers. Clipped his own to his belt and stooped by Wedge rolling on the ground.”

“That’s not exactly fair.” Wedge gritted, “It’s a lightsaber duel, not anything goes street fighting.” Sheppard pulled him back to his feet.

“It was until you took my lightsaber.” Sheppard pointed out.

“You baited me.” Wedge grumbled as Sheppard handed him his lightsaber, “You cheated, I should have won.”

“Hey nobody’s arguing you’re better with a lightsaber.” Sheppard said holding up his hands, “A guy’s got to even the odds right?” he clapped Wedge on the shoulder, “It’s just practice right? It’s not like we haven’t been shot by these before, to simulate force lightning.” Wedge shook his shoulder away from Sheppard.

“You’re just lazy Sheppard.” he snapped, “If you don’t want to take your training seriously, fine, but waste someone else’s time from now on.” he stalked away leaving Sheppard to ponder what had happened.

* * *

In orbit above Asuras, the Organa sat cloaked. General Solo entered the cockpit. “Have they checked in yet?” He asked.

“We received a com burst from Jesmine a few moments ago through Artoo.” Iella told him turning in her seat. Todd sat at a station in the back, a Wookiee sitting beside him.

“He is able to intercept and relay the Asuran communications network.” Todd said easily, “Their base code appears to be broadly similar to the version we reprogrammed centuries ago, however I will need to make some modifications to be sure that the update we ahve written will work.”

“When it does, we can upload it through Artoo, he has isolated their communications protocols.” Iella told Solo. han nodded and stood looking at the world spinning beneath him.

“Just keep a lock on Chewbacca and his team. I want to be ready to back them up the minute we have to.” he told Iella.

“The Asurans have no reason to harm Chewbacca’s team.” Todd assured him, “According to your Lieutenant Ackbar, while they have detected Artoo’s transmissions, they cannot decipher it, and have accepted the explanation we prepared.”

“Maybe so, but this is too easy.” Han told him.

“General?” Iella said peering at her screen, we’re picking up something strange on the far side of the planet.”

“What kind of strange.” Said Han leaning forward warily, “I don’t really like ‘Strange’”
“I don’t know.” Iella said, “The planet’s surface is heavily built up, almost as industrialized as bastion was, and these... Asurans put out a godawful amount of energy, I can’t be sure, but I think it’s a ship.”

“The Asurans should not have ships.” Todd said concerned, “And my people know better than to come here. Perhaps your lost ship has found it’s way here?”

“The Peregrine should have known better too, we flagged this planet after we debriefed Sheppard.” Solo told him. He looked at the instruments.

“If we want to check it out, we will have to adjust our orbit.” iella warned him, “We may not be able to maintain contact with Chewbacca’s team.”

Solo weighed his options.

“I have a bad feeling about this.” he said finally.
* * *
“I thought you said there’d be people here.” Wedge commented to Sheppard, he thrust his lightsaber into the ground. Closing his eyes, Sheppard stretched out his hand. from a pile nearby, a wooden post lifted up from the ground and sank slowly into the new hole. With a gesture, Wedge pounded it in with the Force. The two moved onwards. “We’ve surveyed two thirds of the dome by now, I doubt they’re hiding in the forest.” he thrust his saber into the ground once more.

“It’s thirty years before my people came here.” Sheppard said, he carefully levitated another post into the ground. Teer said her people had been here for generations.” Sheppard told him, “But while months have passed for us, only hours have passed outside. I figure, with three and a half months passing an hour, a generation would be about a week and a half inside the dome.”

“When I get back to civilization, the first thing I’m gonna do is hit a cantina.” Wedge commented, “That poodoo Starbuck’s cooked up is no substitute for the real thing.”

“Plus it made you go blind.” Sheppard pointed out. Wedge wasn’t laughing. “hey Starbuck fixed it didn’t he?”

“Losing your vision in this place, away from any real civilized medical care?” Wedge told him, “That’s not the kind of experience I’d care to repeat.”

“is it really so bad here?” Sheppard asked, “Sure the training was brutal for the first few weeks, it made basic look like a picnic...”

“it’s not the training.” Wedge told him, “I grew up on Tattooine Sheppard, it’s a desert world, this is all...” he gestured at the landscape, “Cluttered, distracting. Biggs understands that, at least.”
Sheppard checked their progress. “Still, it’s not all bad.” he commented, “Starbuck says between the treatments he’s giving us and our connection with the force, we’re hardly going to age at all. You and Jan can...” Wedge shot him a warning look, “What? What’d I say.”

“We broke it off.” he said shortly, “The whole thing was a mistake from the start.” The force that Wedge summoned to drive the next post in nearly buried it.

“Sorry.” Sheppard said lamely. he had the feeling the break up hadn’t been mutual.”No wonder you drank yourself blind.” he said, trying for a joke, “The next six years are gonna be a loong time...”

“I’m just sick of this place.” Wedge said cutting him off. he drew upon the force to calm himself. “Though at least I’m free of the Ori, and the Wraith.”

“There you go. Look on the bright side.” Sheppard told him clapping him on the shoulder, “Starbuck said tomorrow I could start working on building a lightsaber.” he pulled something from his pocket.

“What is that?” Wedge asked,

“Naquidah crystal.” Sheppard told him smugly, “We’re supposed to personalize our lightsabers right?” Wedge touched the lightsaber he carried, it had been Luke’s, briefly, and before that, Anakin’s. he said nothing as they continued to workl.
* * *
“Well this place is looking a little better.” Calrissian commented, as he strode into the control room. Free for the moment of the teams of engineers making repairs, the control center had been returned to nearly to it’s prior state, with some adjustments made to better integrate New Republic and lantean technology. Though much of the city still bore signs of the recent fighting, the critical areas had seen the attention of a steady stream of engineers, personnel and materiel from the Stargate, tightly scheduled around the expulsion of Wraith prisoners.

“Repairs to our primary systems are nearly complete.” Lobot told him, “The station and both orbiting warships report 100 percent battle readiness, they are engaging in maneuvers to acclimate their new pilots to the neural interface systems.” he lowered his voice, “None have shown anywhere near the proficiency of either Colonel Sheppard or Starbuck, however we have been able to activate most o the manual workstations around the ship, and are training crews on how to use them..”

“Those neural interfaces sure are something. one man controlling a warship, or a city for that matter. Remind me to mention that little ability to the Admiral, if Solo doesn’t. We’ve got the blueprints for those ships and most of the materials are available in the hanger where we found the Orion. Either of those ships can take on an imperial Star destroyer, and possibly an Ori ship, with a fraction of the crew.”

“Upon resuming limited gate operations, the geology team returned to the ancient hanger to continue stabilizing the site.” Lobot told him, “As long as the geothermal power source is not overtaxed, it should remain stable until we can erect appropriate shielding.”

“What about the contact team to Sateda?” Lando saked.

“Mon Mothma reports negotiations are going quite well.” Lobot told him, “She expects to conclude a treaty quite soon.”We have also received communiques from both the Genii and the Travellers. With our recent successes against the Wraith they are eager to discuss an alliance.”

“Yes I’ll bet they are.” Lando said sarcastically. “Still, we could use the man power, especially the travellers. It’ll take years to train the Satedans and the Genii just to operate our technology, at least the travellers approach our level of technology. “

“Even the travellers would take months to train on our own technology, even as we ourselves gain proficiency with Lantean technology.” Lobot replied doubtfully.

“Tell me about it, this morning in my quarters I pressed something or did something and a console rose up out of the floor, I almost broke my shin.” Lando said irritably, “God knows what else is hiding in this city. What are the wraith up to?”

“The last group was dispatched through the gate last night.” Lobot told him, “However there are currently twenty one hives stationed in the neighboring system, and another eight are on their way. President Mothma contacted them this morning and was assured that there was no way to redirect incoming hives, and the ones still here simply require time to regenerate their hulls after a hyperspace journey and would be on their way tomorrow morning.”

“Right, I’ll bet.” Lando said, “If those idiots try to make another run at us, I swear to god I won’t pull any punches this time. We’ve had thousands of people working round the clock to put this place back together, I’ll be damned if I let them tear it apart again. What about the search for the Peregrine?”

“Still no success sir, the Organa accompanied the hyperjumper to Asuras and is holding position there while the search continues. Once Chewbacca’s mission is complete, the search will continue, General Solo was most adamant on that.”

“He’s not letting Chewbacca out of his sight after Endor.” lando said ruefully. “Well it’ll be days before Ackbar can send us another ship to help with the search, how are the other upgrades coming along?”

“We will have eighteen Delta 7’s standing by on the south pier.” Lobot told him, “The upgrades to the hyperdrive rings are nearly complete and will allow them considerably more range than our A-Wing complement.They were to be deployed to protect the new fuel processing station near the fourth planet.”

“The A-wings can handle that.” Lando told him, “Finding the Peregrine is becoming our top priority, she’s been missing for over two days now. order them to rendevouz with the hypr jumper and begin a search pattern as soon as possible.”

“Governor, forgive my asking, but, wouldn’t the jedi be most helpful in that area?” Lobot asked, “The insight given to them by the Force...”

“The Jedi aren't available at the moment Lobot, they’ll be here if we really need them.” Lando said glancing at the screen displaying the Wraith fleet. “I hope.”
* * *

Lightsabers clashed, sparking.

“You’re improving, my apprentice.” Wedge congratulated Sheppard, “Looks like you’ve got some fight in you after all.” They disengaged and circled each other.

“I never said I couldn’t fight.” Sheppard replied, slapping Wedge’s lightsaber with his own, “I’m just naturally lazy.” Wedge moved in again, stabbing, Sheppard blocked but Wedge circled his saber around striking Sheppard’s aside and turning, swung at Sheppard’s side. Unable to bring his saber around in time, Sheppard tossed it to the other hand blocking just in time as he circled. Wedge’s eyes narrowed. He threw a series of strikes at Sheppard advancing and noted Sheppard was constantly sidestepping.

“You really are lazy though.” Wedge pointed out, a slight edge to his voice, “Dancing around instead of meeting my attack with something of your own, you’re just prolonging the original Sheppard.”

“Maybe I’m wearing you out.” Sheppard replied equitably, “We have a little move on Earth we like to call...” he ducked a swing and stabbed forcing Wedge to parry, “The rope a dope.”

“Do you know.” Said Wedge, he circled as he formulated his next move, “Do tell.”

“Well you let your opponent wear himself out, draw him in and then....” Wedge stabbed, Sheppard parried, Wedge pivoted swinging again and this time when Sheppard tossed the lightsaber Wedge reached out with the Force and took it. igniting both sabers in his hands he moved towards Sheppard about to declare his victory when he suddenly realized Sheppard had pulled a Zatnickatel from somewhere. Wedge fell cursing as the energy flowed through him.

“Where.... the Kriff... did you get that...” he gritted as he drew on the force to fight off unconsciousness.”

“Starbuck loaned it to me this morning.” Sheppard beamed, quite proud of himself. he retrieved both lightsabers. Clipped his own to his belt and stooped by Wedge rolling on the ground.”

“That’s not exactly fair.” Wedge gritted, “It’s a lightsaber duel, not anything goes street fighting.” Sheppard pulled him back to his feet.

“It was until you took my lightsaber.” Sheppard pointed out.

“I’m your master you disrespectfully baited me.” Wedge growled as Sheppard handed him his lightsaber, “You cheated, I should have won.”

“Hey, last time I checked, Yoda’s the only master.” Sheppard pointed out, “You’re still a knight.”

“You’re still my padawan.” Wedge shouted, “We don’t have enough masters, Sheppard to train the likes of you. You’ve been at this for just over a month, the other Padawans have been training a lot longer than you, and even Starbuck for that matter, you can’t just waltz in here and expect special treatment.”

“Hey nobody’s arguing you’re better with a lightsaber.” Sheppard said holding up his hands, “A guy’s got to even the odds right?” he clapped Wedge on the shoulder, “It’s just practice right? It’s not like we haven’t been shot by these before, to simulate force lightning.” Wedge shook his head.

“You’re just lazy Sheppard.” he snapped, “If you don’t want to take your training seriously, fine, but waste someone else’s time from now on.” he stalked away leaving.

* * *
“This is a waste of time.” Jansen complained. General Rieeken sat at a table across from him. “They didn’t do anything to me General, honestly I’m fine.” The general sat silently. “That Wraith was jsut trying to get Sheppard to trust him. I was going to shoot at Sheppard it was all a misunderstanding.”

“Sheppard’s report was very clear.” The General replied, “His story was corroborated by master Yoda.”

“Wedge didn’t corroborate it, did he.” Jansen said, when Rieekan said nothing he sat back triumphant and crossed his arms. “See? I knew he’d ahve my back. Look I don’t know what Sheppard’s game is, but Yoda, with all due respect, is old. he’s been through a lot. Maybe he made a mistake, did you ever consider that? maybe he made a mistake.”

“You’ve been examined by experts.” Rieekan told him, “and that Wraith told us exactly what to look for.” he slid a flimsy over to Wes. “Your brain activity has changed Wes, since your last physical. The Wraith did something to you, rewrote some of who you are.”

“That’s impossible.” Wes scoffed, “You can’t change who I am, you can’t change what’s in here.” he pointed to his heart. “I’ve fought and bled for the New Republic general, you think I’d roll over for a couple space vampires?” Rieekan was silent again. “I’m telling you I’m fine. i needed a little time off. I just lost a man, I was in enemy hands, it was just a moment of confusion. What is this.” he held up the flimsy, “Some doctor is gonna tell me I’ve been brainwashed, let me ask you this, that Lantean technology, what do we actually know about it, what it actually does.” he tossed the flimsy down. “Can you honestly tell me that piloting that jumper didn’t do this to me? hell, travelling through the stargate could have done it, I’d been through half a dozen times before Starbuck bothered to tell us about that little translator feature.”

“That translation feature simply stimulates the area of the brain that processes language.” Rieekan told him, he pointed to the flimsy, “These are your memories, your beliefs Wes, the wraith altered the fundamental things that you believe in, and we don’t know how to change them back.”

“I haven’t changed at all!” Wes shouted rising. “If anything I see the truth. You are all ready to just lock me up and throw away the key after all I’ve done for you, for what, Jedi intuition? the word of Starbuck?” Rieekan also rose. “General, what about Yoda? Are the rumors true? When he recruits a new padawan, does he change them? General!” he shouted as the man didn’t answer. The two guards in the back of the room raised their stun guns warily and Wes backed off.”

“We will help you if we can Wes. I came here to tell you that.” he stated.”until then, you are a hero of the New Republic, we will ensure you are treated as such.” Nodding to the guards he left the room. Wes kicked his chair angrily. he slapped on the mirror that took up the side of the room.

“I want to talk to Wedge!” he shouted, “Where the kriff is Wedge?”

Outside Rieekan glanced at Wes through the one way glass. he turned to a monitor.

“You saw all of that Admiral?” he asked. Ackbar nodded. “Not even the Goa’uld programming was this intensive. We haven't seen repogramming this thorough since the clone wars, frankly I think the only one who might be able to help may be Master Yoda.”

“Unfortunately Master Yoda may not be available for a few more days.” Ackbar told Rieekan, “Rest assured General i will monitor Colonel Jansen’s situation personally, and provide whatever resources to help that I have available. Continue gathering as much information as you can. We need to understand exactly how the Wraith control their thralls and what, if anything we can do about it. This may have bearing on our war with the Ori as well, as they seem to have a similiar influence on their followers.”

“With all due respect Admiral, if either the Wraith or the ori can program their followers this thoroughly, I don’t see that we can undue it.” Rieekan told the Admiral, he jerked a finger at Jansen stewing in the interview room behind him. “I know jansen, sir, this is him, his personality hasn’t changed one bit, but if what my technicians tell me is true, and what Sheppard and that Wraith told us is true, he simply doesn’t believe in us anymore, in our cause. This is a man who would have given his life for the Republic less than a week ago.”

“He didn’t say anything overtly subversive that i saw.” Ackbar pointed out.

“No... but I know him Admiral, I’ve served with him.” Rieekan looked back at Wes now sitting calmly at the table. “if we give him a chance, Wes will betray us, and he’ll think it’s the right thing to do.”
* * *
“That is not the Peregrine.” Solo observed.
The Organa was clearing the horizon of Asuras and there just above the horizon hung a powerful blocky shape. With two long flight pods bracketing either side and a blocky bulky hull, it sat like a crouching lizard, facing them as though it could see them. “It doesn’t look like any ship i’ve ever seen.”

“Nor I.” Todd said rising. “The Asurans tend to mimic the Lanteans, they would not design a ship like this.”

“Do you think they know it’s up here?” Han demanded.

“I’m sure they are aware of it, but they are prohibited from leaving the surface.” Suddenly an alarm beeped.

“They’re” Iella looked up.

“They can see us?” Solo asked, “Is the cloak still working?”

“It’s working fine.” Iella told him. Solo threw up his hands.

“Fine, answer him, let the whole world know we’re sitting here.” he sank into his seat.

“It’s on hypercom General, I don’t think the Asurans will pick it up.” Iella assured him as she put the message through.

“Repeat this is the Battlestar Pegasus to the unidentified, cloaked ship, please respond.”

“This is General Solo, identify yourself.” Han replied cautiously.

“General Solo?” the commander was incredulous.

“You got a problem with that?” Han demanded, “Who am i speaking to?”

“This is Commander... McFly. Commander Martin McFly of the battlestar Pegasus.” The other man said after a moment. “Please stand by.”

“Kriffing morons call me, and then put me on hold?” Solo demanded acidly.

“If that man’s name is Martin McFly, I would be greatly surprised.” Todd observed. han snapped his around.

“You think?” He asked of the wraith, “Let’s move right past whether he’s telling the truth and straight to, “Why would he need to hide his identity from us?”

“Look who we are is not as important as where you are. We have reason to believe your team is in grave danger.” The other man told him, “You need to retrieve them at once.”

“We were monitoring our team, until you showed up.” Solo told the other, “We get a little worried when capitol ships start popping in unannounced on the far side of the planet.”

“Oh.” Said the other, and then after a long moment, “Well... don’t mind us , we’re jsut passing through.”

“Right.” Solo replied, “Don’t mind the highly advanced warship full of fighters in a galaxy that has had virtually all it’s advanced civilizations wiped out by the wraith. No problem.”

“We’re not from around here.” McFly told him, “We’re just passing through. We do have some knowledge of the creatures down below, are you aware that you’re dealing with replicators?”

“We had an idea.” Solo replied, “Look this is all well and good, but we’re cloaked, and we’re trying to run a covert op here, if you’re not here to interfere would you mind just staying out of our way?”

“Oh, right, sorry.” Came the reply, “We’ll be standing by iff you need anything General.”

“Get us back to the far side of the planet.” Solo snapped to Iella, “At best this was a poorly executed diversion.”

“At best?” Iella asked as she adjusted their course. Todd answered for the General.

“I shudder to consider what a man with this Martin McFly’s apparent competence, could do with a vessel like that.”

“Kriff.” Iella said quietly, Solo and Todd turned alarmed. iella had never sworn as long as they’d known her. “General we’re getting a message from Atlantis, interference from the planet was blocking transmission.. I’ll route it through to your station.” Raising his eyebrows, Han keyed his controls, and then immediately drew his blaster and pointed it at Todd’s head.

“General... i thought we were past this.” The Wraith sounded genuinely wounded.

“Save it, Todd, your people are moving on Atlantis.”
* * *
“It has returned.” A feral roar split the night as Yoda and Starbuck sat motionless in a field. A dozen lightsabers ignited in the distance.

“We cannot continue to fight these things Master.” Starbuck said rising and unclipping his own lightsaber, “Each year they grow more powerful, more numerous.”

“Fear is what they prey upon.” Yoda replied sitting motionless.

“I understand that, but Sheppard’s right.” Starbuck told the Jedi master, “it’s not our fear that is feeding them Yoda. We’ve graduated six of our padawans to knighthood, all by bahving the master their fear, but things have changed.”

“Passed his test, Sheppard did.” Yoda pointed out.

“He was out for months!” Starbuck shouted, “And they didn’t all make it back!”

“Regrettable, Darklighter’s fate is, tragic it was. His loss I feel deeply.” Yoda argued looking up, “But changed things have not. Opened, our eyes have all been, to the perils of the force, to the peril of our own emotions.”

“That’s the same old felgercarb that got the Jedi annihilated.” Starbuck exploded, “Master, have you not learned that emotions cannot be ignored by now? Did Anakin’s fall not teach you that? it’s happening again, right here, right before our eyes.” in the distance, shapes were coming from the trees and the jedi ahead moved to meet them. the creatures bowled into them scattering them. lightsabers disappeared and Starbuck heard cries of pain and distress.

“Saying what, are you.” Yoda demanded as Starbuck began to run.

“I’m saying open your eyes.” Starbuck shouted as he raced to join the others.

Yoda stood for a long moment, and then nodded to himself.

“Fallen, once again, one of us has.” he said regretfully. With a determined look, he ignited his lightsaber. “Failed yet again, I have.”
* * *
Chewbacca Jesmine, Threepio and Artoo emerged from the Stargate to find lando waiting for them.

“They’re willing to help us.” Jesmine announced. She held up a case for Lando, opening it to reveal three zero point modules. “Artoo was able to upload Iella’s patch to remove their aggression. When they became aware that we were tampering with their base code, it was too late. Oberoth was suddenly... very peaceful.”

“Outstanding, are they still prohibited from leaving the planet?” Calrissian asked beckoning them onwards. Chewbacca growled an affirmative, as far as they know. The Stargate shuit down and began to dial again immediately, rotate on a platform as it did so. it now faced the garage door which had slid open.

“They will begin construction of Lantean cruisers immediately, as well as that of drone supplies for us.” Jesmine told him, “They mentioned a ship in orbit, by the way, that did not sound like the Organa.”

“General Solo mentioned it, but we have more pressing concerns. The Wraith are renewing their attack.” Chewbacca voiced a total lack of surprise.

“Oh dear and things were just beginning to go so well.” Threepio exclaimed. With a kawoosh the gate opened as they exited the gateroom and climbed the stairs to the control room.

“Nien, continue transferring fighters.” Lando ordered a Sullustan as he entered the busy chamber. A technician relayed his command, as he raised his comm. “Lobot what’s the ETA of the wraith fleet.”

“We expect they will arrive within the hour.” The cyborg replied. Lando turned to Numb.

“You have command of the gate room for the duration of the attack nien, don’t let me down. Send a message to the Defender, I want them to begin the overcharge protocols Starbuck gave us and keep that gate open as a supply line as long as we can.” Lando ordered, “if anything breaks the connection, don’t wait for my authorization, dial Taranis immediately, it’s as good a I don’t want the wraith dialing in again. Oh“ he paused,”And dial the gate nearest the hyper jumper’s last known coordinates. Tell them to check in with Tycho, just in case the Jedi have come out..” The Sullustan nodded to the Governor and Calrissian turned back to Chewbacca. he pulled two ZPM’s out, handed them to Jesmine, and gave the case to Chewbacca.

“Chewbacca, ring up to the station and get one of these installed, I’ll have a team standing by to take them to the Larrin and the Orion, then hurry back. After that I need you leading our ground forces. We’ve got a good deal of Wookiee here and you’re as respected by them as Han. Jesmine, bring those down ton the power room to supplement our defenses, after that, you’re with me in the control room. Artoo, see if you can find something to do in the electronic warfare building on pier four.”

“Very good general,” Threepio chattered excitedly, “And what can I do sir?”

“Find a closet and power down for all I care, we’ll reactivate you if we need a decoy for the wraith.” Lando told him. Artoo hooted amused, while Threepio placed his hands indignantly on his hips.

“How rude.”
* * *
“Look, Wedge, be reasonable.” Sheppard pleaded, “I know Yoda’s wrong, that’s why we agreed to come with you, but he’s not the enemy here.”

“Sheppard you must be blind.” Wedge told him as they advanced through the woods. “When we split from his group, the creature stopped attacking us, the five of us have been safe.” he gestured to the three padawans trekking behind them. “Now Starbuck’s been hurt, by those creatures, and Jan too, Yoda must be stopped.”

“How do we know it’s him?” Sheppard demanded, “The creatures could be coming from any of us.”

“...and Yoda refused to fight them. Yoda refused to try to find out who was creating them, Yoda has refused to do anything, why, because he’s not Yoda.” Wedge told Sheppard, “For years I have felt uneasy Sheppard, I came here to get away from the influence o the Wraith and the Ori, I sought the time and perspective to master my control of the Force, and for what? Yoda hasn’t helped me, he’s had me training you. He’s had Starbuck train the padawans. Starbuck? Sheppard? Starbuck? he’s hardly a Jedi. Yoda has lost his way. Ever since the battle for Atlantis, he’s been afraid to fight, and he can’t reconcile it.”

“Those... things aren’t afraid to fight.” Sheppard argued.

“They are the darkness within him he’s been trying to repress.” Wedge explained tiredly, “Yoda is not himself, Sheppard, and it’s taken me years to realize it, we have to confront him before anyone else gets hurt.” he drew up short and looked Sheppard in the eye. “I need to know you’re with me on this. If enough of us are in agreement, he may still listen to reason, if he senses dissension.”

“I’m standing here aren’t I?” Sheppard told him, “I don’t necessarily agree with everything you’ve said about Yoda, but I know something has to be done. He wanted to send these three out on their trials, even after what happened to Biggs and Sinya.”

“Well we couldn’t find the power source could we.” Wedge said bitterly, “They’ve moved it, somehow, hidden it, can’t you sense the deception?”

“yes.” Sheppard agreed, “But there could be another explanation, look, if we wait for Starbuck to regain conciousness..”

“We can’t afford to wait.” Wedge replied, “he’s been in a coma for over a week Sheppard, if he could have healed himself, by now, he would have. Something is stopping him, and we both know what. If we can’t shut this place down than we need to deal with Yoda.” he paused as they broke through the clearing. To their left stretched the weathered fence he and Sheppard had planted so long ago, to the right the dueling pavillion. The hutts they had built were on fire. The fence was broken, great tracks torn into the fields and in the pavillion lightsabers flashed as creatures of ether howled. “It’s already started, come on!”
* * *
The Organa emerged into a scene of utter chaos. Drones and darts flew everywhere chasing one another, Scores of wraith cruisers shielded the great Hive ships as they spat fire and belched flame. The shields of the defense station burned brightly under the combined fire power of five hiveships, while half a dozen pummelled the Orion and the Larrin mercilessly. in the distance Han could see asteroids plunging into the atmosphere above Altlantis.

“The Wraith darts are countering the lantean drones.” Iella observed, “They’re deployment is considerably more effective than last time.”

“Can we get through to Atlantis?” Solo demanded, iella shook her head.

“The wraith are jamming communications.” She replied.

“Alright, Blue Squadron form up on us, escort the Travelers in, keep the darts off them as best you can..” Solo ordered as he searched for a place to help. “Travellers stand by to engage.” The squadron of A-wings dispatched to aid in the search or the Peregrine complied, splitting four to a ship even as dozens of darts began to head their way. “Not much of a screen, he commented to Iella, “But I’m sure the Travellers appreciate the gesture, they don’t seem much on point defense.”

“The station is being pushed into the planet’s atmosphere by the force of enemy fire.” Iella suggested, “Her shields will drain fast as she drags across the atmosphere. Atlantis can’t relieve her, she’s using her drones to fight off the Asteroids.” She squinted, “I don’t think the Dodonna or the Kota made it out before Atlantis raised her shield.”

“If we relive Atlantis though we can put two more birds in the air, and her drones can help relieve the others.” Solo pointed out, he shook his head, “Station first, we’ll ahve to hope Atlantis can...” Iella’s console interrupted him.

“Hyperspace emergence it’s... the Pegasus.” Iella was mystified.

“Sorry we’re late, we went to the wrong damn planet.” McFly’s irritated voice told them, “We heard you guys moved.” Solo shook his head.

“We don’t have time for games Pegasus, if you’re here to help than break up those ships bombing Atlantis”

“Copy that General.” the reply came, and as Han gave orders to his forces he had to pause as the Pegasus, for all her size, hurdled over head, belching what, for all the world looked like droid fighters.

“Kriff she’s fast, I don’t think i’ve seen a ship that size move so quickly.” he commented. “Portside gunners open fire on H-4, Iella launch proton torpedoes at H2” As the Organa unleashed her fire, the traveller ships flanking her joined it to their own, the ships hurdling into the center of the Wraith formation. Splitting into pairs they sped about inside spitting fire.

“Is that the kenobi offensive I see being dusted off?” Lando’s voice crackeled over the com. han spun the organa madly to avoid a stream of plasma that the Traveler ship beside him was not lucky enough to avoid.

“Tell them to break off, they don’t have the shields for this game.” Solo ordered Iella, “Lando we’re kind of busy up here, how are you holding up.”

“Those friends of yours just obliterated three hive ships.” Lando told him, “Our shields held and we’re launching the Kota and the Dodonna to assist you. have the Traveller ships pull into orbit where we can protect them.”

Solo checked his scanners and saw that the Pegasus was indeed tearing into the wraith with abandon. Turbolaser fire annihilated a trio of wraith cruisers while some kind of plasma cannon tore into another hive ship. Explosions rippled along it’s surface as it came apart under multiple hits. The Organa shuddered mightily as several cruisers managed to score hits on her shields. A hive was falling out of formation, Iella’s earlier bombardment of proton torpedoesbeing added to by the arriving Kota and Dodonna.

“The station has lost orbital control, she’s in an uncontrolled plunge!” Iella warned as the station became visible. She was burning badly, and her shields were flaring like miniature sun. Still she struck out one last time piercing the stricken hive beneath them. Han pulled the Organa up but noted with dismay a pair of A-wings that had not reacted in time, they were vaporized by the exploding hive.
* * *
“Yoda this must stop.” Wedge shouted as he stormed into the pavillion. Around him the jedi leaped and stabbed with their lightsabers. At each strike the beasts howled and flickered but they always returned, and the jedi had nowhere to retreat to. Wedge saw one figure stumble and slip, and as a creature loomed over him he panicked thrusting out with the force. The push passed harmlessly through the creature striking the ceiling. A wooden timber came loose fallin towards the injured man even as the creature tore into him. Wedge batted the beam out of the air with a savage thrust of the force and plunged his lightsaber into the creature’s back. it howled at him turning, but gripping his lightsaber Wedge focused his anger, and the light saber flared, shredding the creature. Sheppard hurried past to check the wounded jedi, Wedge noted it was Orrs but he did not break his stride. Yoda sat crosslegged in the circle of defending Jedi beside the prone form of Starbuck.”Was this your plan, master?” Wedge growled advancing, “The death of Starbuck where none could help him? Was the rebirth of the Jedi nothing but a means to an end for you?” Yoda regarded him sadly.

“How failed you I have.” he said regretfully, “As so many others have I failed.”

“Yet still you do nothing.” Wedge shouted, “Your students fight and die to protect you, and still you do nothing.”

“Nothing is there that I can do.” Yoda told him, “Lost you have become.”

“I am standing right here!” Wedge screamed, “Are you blind?”

“Wedge, get a hold of yourself.” Sheppard shouted from beside Orrs. A creature leaped towards him and he raised his lightsaber to ward it off. “These things feed on fear remember?”

“I’m not afraid, I’m angry.” Wedge thundered, “At this fool and what he’s brought us to, you will destroy us all!” he screamed at Yoda. Yoda stood at last.

“And frightens you, that does.” Yoda said.

“You’re the one whose frightened.” Wedge accused, “You’re afraid to try again, you’re afraid to bring the jedi back, because you know that with them, you will probably bring back the Sith! You’re afraid yoda, afraid of passion, afraid of the darkness.” he raised his saber, “You must fight!”

“No.” Said Yoda, “You must regain control.”

“You are mad.” Wedge said his voice hoarse, “You will not see reason. There is only one thing left to do, I have to save us all.” With speed born of the force he surged forward stabbing his blade towards the unmoving Yoda.
* * *
“The station!” Iella shouted, Han watched as station’s shields, ablaze with light, at last collapsed. it hull began to glow, and melt and then... the station disappeared in a flash. Suddenly it reappeared some distance away still smoldering but intact.

“What the krif?” Han demanded.

“It was the Pegasus, some kind of... energy beam.” Iella didn’t know how to interpret what her readings had just told her. Suddenly two wraith hives exploded for no apparent reason, and then a third. A storm of drones hurdled up from the surface blasting away at the screen of darts, overwhelming them and striking the cruisers beyond. Beset on all sides the Wraith lines began to lose cohesion and the hives around the Orion and the Larrin came under fire. As their fire slackened the drones of the two lantean cruisers began tos trike home blasting into the hive ships.

“Let’s regroup for another run.” Solo order, “Have the travellers cover the station, if her sheilds are down she’s a sitting duck. if we can keep the Wraith on the back foot long enough Atlantis and our cruisers can mop the floor with them.”

“The Pegasus has accounted for six Hives and eleven cruisers.” Iella noted, “The wraith appear to be jamming whatever matter transmission device they were employing. She turned back to Han, “They’ve lost over half their forces, the Larrin and the Orion are reporting minimal damage.”

“They’re going to start getting desperate.” Solo concluded, he thumbed the com, “General Solo to Pegasus, the wraith have tried ramming the city before, take position overhead and obliterate anything that tries to get through.”

* * *
Wedge’s lightsaber stopped just short of Yoda. he felt a power beyond anything he had ever encountered before, and to his shock, it was not coming from Yoda. he turned to Sheppard.

“Wedge.” Sheppard told him, “You need to stop.”

“What?” You betray me.” Wedge gasped, he struggled against the force grip, “After all I’ve taught you.”

“You have taught me.” Sheppard said sadly, “You’ve shown me how duty can twist a man up inside. You’ve shown me how it can eat away at you, make you feel like the world is pressing down on your shoulders, and only you can save it.” he glanced at Starbuck. “Let him save the universe Wedge, you and I... we need to live in it.”

“No!” Wedge shouted, “They’ve gotten to you,” he pushed with all his might but could not move. he summoned his rage, pouring it at Sheppard, but he felt it roll off of the man. “Coward!” He shouted, “Fight me! Face me!”

“No.” Sheppard said, “I’m not your enemy Wedge, you are. You let your anger fester, your resentment grow.”

“It’s not me, it’s him!” he desperately inclined his head to Yoda, “If you don’t want to face that Sheppard than you, too are lost, neither of you will face this, you are fools! Do you hear me? Fools! The Ori, the Wraith, the Sith, they can have you all!” The rage in him exploded like a balloon and he hung exhausted in Sheppard’s grasp. Sheppard released him as Wedge crumpled hopelessly to the floor of the pavillion. “I cannot save you.” he whispered, he felt his voice choke with emotion, “I am a failure.” Suddenly he felt Yoda’s claw upon his shoulder. he looked up at the Jedi whose eyes were full of compassion.

“A failure you are not.” he told Wedge, “The first you were, an inspiration to others you were, a light in the darkness, the seeds of the future you were.”

“but what am I now?” Wedge asked plaintively.

“A Jedi..” Yoda said.

“A friend.” Sheppard amended stooping beside the two, “A teacher, a student, you are... who you are.” he looked away for a moment in disappointment. “I really thought I was going somewhere better with that.”

“How can i learn from a master I have disrespected, how can I teach a student who has surpassed me?” Wedge said aloud. “I don’t think I know, if I ever did, what it means to be a Jedi.”

“Here to find out we are.” Yoda told him, “joined us at last you have.” and suddenly Wedge understood. The ridiculousness of how he had spent the last seven and a half years was not lost on him, and he began to laugh.

“Yeah, he’s a funny little muppet.” Sheppard said dryly, he turned to survey the others. Most were relatively uninjured and they tended to those who were.

* * *
“They’re going to keep this up.” Solo gritted, the Organa was once again a sparking, smoking ruin, wreckage clogged space around him as the vast hive ships broke into ship sized fragments, as dromes blew cruisers from the sky. Two of the three traveller ships were crippled, and both the Larrin and the Orion had reported shield overloads as cruisers and hiveships had first pummelled them, and finally rammed them. The station had long since gone silent, it’s small crew working desperately to breathe life into tired systems. Even the rugged Pegasus had taken a collision intended for Atlantis, which had knocked it across Lantea’s atmosphere stretching her shields to the breaking point.

The Wraith had pounced as the unshielded behemoth had arisen, like a fiery giant, but had found that the loss of it’s shields had simply angered the battlestar. Shrugging off the fire that reigned down on it, it had abandoned it’s covering position and plowed into the gathering wraith forces, laying waste to cruisers and hiveships alike. it’s shields restored, and it’s fighters forming up around it, it now crouched over Lantea defiantly.

“Hyperspace contacts!” Iella announced, she swore, “Three more hives, seven cruisers.” She turned in surprise as her headset beeped. “They’re ordering the other wraith to stand down!”

“They took their sweet time, but apparentlyTodd wasn’t lying.” Solo said in surprise, “He said his people would back our treaty bif the time came, get him back up here.” he told the Wookiee.

“It’s not going to be enough, they’re still outgunned four to one.” Iella announced, then she paused, “Um General, they’re asking to speak to Todd.” The wraith was being brought in by the Wookiee. Han indicated the Wraith’s former seat.

“Go ahead.” he told the Wraith, “But I’ll be listening.”

“Commander.” A wraith voice came over the intercom, “The others are refusing to stand down. They do not recognize your authority.”

“Do they recognize their own stupidity?” Todd snarled, “How many brothers and sisters have they cost us, how many queens? Was your mission successful?”

“It was sir.” The Wraith announced, “They will arrive momentarily.” iella’s panel beeped once more as Han turned to Todd,

“More reinforcements?” he asked speculatively.

“Of a sort.” The Wraith said smugly. The Peregrine burst into view, flanked by a pair of alien warships.

“Sorry we’re late.” Wedge announced over the intercom, “Sheppard had Fenrir convinced to release the Peregrine and contact the advocate, but then a wraith fleet arrived to escort us and we had to do some fast talking.”

So even avid fans of Atlantis may not have caught that last reference, but obviously it will be fleshed out in the next chapter. The wraith have been utterly decimated at this point, and will have to at this point recognize the utter futility of a concentrated attack so, with it's new allies the New Republic can shift gears from dealing with apocalyptic pest control to staving off a crusade that is seriously due any day now. Things are moving ridiculously quickly for the Jedi, the New Republic, and the Empire as well.

To clarify from Chapters 11 to 15 only about a week and a half has passed for the new Republic. The Ori have visited twice, they launched their first new ship from Atlantis, contacted the travellers and an ancient, found two Lantean battle cruisers, as well as a repair facility, had all of their ships and their space station patched, launched their first intergalactic dreadnought, lost it, made an alliance with the Asurans, obtained five ZPMs and contacted the Satedans, allied with the Satedans and some of the wraith, had Atlantis and their little fleet crushed again, (several ZPM's depleted) found the dreadnought and the Asgard as well.The Jedi have all been training for eight years now, and they have a battlestar sitting in orbit making a literal cameo, with no idea whose on board. The only guy who would recognize the ship in any event is in an off screen coma.

The next chapter will return it's focus on Starbuck, and what his reactions are when he wakes up to all of this, what Ackbar and the New Republic leadership will make of all of this, as well as what happened to the Jedi in the final months of their isolation.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-26-2012)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-03-26 06:12pm

Oh bloody hell. Fenrir? Nice touch there.

And Pegasus. You promised it and you delivered! Wooo! Proving once more than the big guys might be old but they sure can take a beating 9and dish one out too. She accounted for what, seven or so Hives?)

As for Commander McFly...hmmm...obviously someone who knows of General Solo as a fictional character. Oh, no, it couldn't be...
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-26-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-03-27 08:37am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Oh bloody hell. Fenrir? Nice touch there.

And Pegasus. You promised it and you delivered! Wooo! Proving once more than the big guys might be old but they sure can take a beating 9and dish one out too. She accounted for what, seven or so Hives?)

As for Commander McFly...hmmm...obviously someone who knows of General Solo as a fictional character. Oh, no, it couldn't be...

I didn't promise it, actually, you guys called it like two, really three chapters ahead, even though they weren't in the original story, they were part of my revision to better integrate the two universes. I have a tough crowd here, you guys don't miss a beat :-p

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-26-2012)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-03-27 10:23am

It was still glorious. I now have a desire to go and combine my SG:A and oBSG SINS mods so I really can have Pegasus fighting Hives :D
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-26-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-04-02 12:01pm

I have about a billion things to Italicize and bold to make things more sensical, and this is definitely the most convoluted chapter I have written. It intersects events past and future for this and other stories, so there's a ton of easter eggs you wouldn't recognize until you'd read the others. Most of them are franchise easter eggs anyway so my more astute readers will probably just have fun playing 'name the quote' and I hopefully won't lose anyone. I really needed a chapter of this magnitude to corral everything back together and set up for the endgame

Chapter 16

“There is Emotion...yet peace...”

“Who is that?” Starbuck demanded he struggled to remember where he was, and in a moment, he realized he had no idea. “Where the frack am I? Have I ascended?”

“You came here seeking ascension.” the accusation floated through Starbuck’s mind. “You have not obeyed the conditions of your banishment.” Starbuck groaned and blinked his eyes. The world around him was utterly white, utterly featureless, the way a person would want it, he mused if they were trying to forget the physical world/ But he didn’t recognize the voice. With a start he realized there hadn't been one this time.

“Who are you, show yourself!” Starbuck shouted. When there was silence he shouted again, “If you expect me to recognize your claims against me, you’d better show yourself, or I will just go on my way.

“Starbuck come back to me!” he knew that voice, it tore itself out of the most treasured of his memories.

“Athena?” he shouted, “Lords of Kobol, where are you? Athena?”

“Starbuck is down! he’s hurt!” Starbuck had a flash of recollection, of one, disorienting moment, the entire world around him reflected his memory. A ghostly apparition, howling, slashing at him. The flash of a lightsaber and a scream of agony. The world faded back to white.

“That was the past.” Starbuck replied, “I was once ascended to a timeless place, part of me must always remain there.”

“You will always be here, Starbuck, and some of you there.”

“Adama.” he breathed, “I need to find you, but I don’t know where to look!”

“You were banished.” A third voice, male and angry.

“A man.” Starbuck observed, “An angry man, good, your voices are starting to become distinct.” He looked into the blankness around him, “You are beginning to remember who you are.”

“We are everything.” Several voices spoke in a sympohonic cacaphony.

“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”

“You are nothing but a group.” Starbuck told them, ignoring the latest echoes “I’ve known the oldest of the old, the ancients, the first Lords. Without a root in the physical world, a connection to what made you... you..” he emphasized the concept, you become ephemeral, you fade.”

“You are banished.” The angry male voice told him once again, another voice echoed this, as did another and the began to sound like the first. Starbuck realized that the voices all were starting to sound like him.

“You are repeating echoes of the future, of the past!” Starbuck told them, “You’ve forgotten which is which!”

“Ignorance, yet knowledge, Passion, yet Serenity...”

“Who is that?” Starbuck shouted in frustration, and then caught himself, “That’s the future!” he shouted to what he had come to realize were beings all around him, trapped as he was in a universe of their own confusion, “If I don’t know him, it hasn’t happened yet.”

“You are injured.” They replied, “we are not.” Starbuck shook his head.

“It’s like dealing with children.” he grumbled. “I was injured before I came here, yes, do you know what happened before?”

“All of this has happened before....”

“No!” Starbuck shouted, “It hasn’t! The past and the future are not the same, you msut remember that or we will be here forever.”

“I remember children!” A younger voice said, suddenly distinct and different, “I am... I was... young...!”

“Starbuck jump the ship!” A voice roared. Starbuck started.

“Who...” He shook his head, “That’s still the future, it is not my past.”

“It is not your past.” The child said.

“Alright, now, we’re getting somewhere!” he rubbed his hands together, but even as he said this he was drowned out by the rolling thunder of voices. “the past is past! “Your future is past.” “Your past is future.”

“No! Stop! I’m trying to help you” he shouted, “You can’t do that, you’re just copying each other, until you forget which one of you was the original!” he sighed and sank to a squatting position, a reflection of his mental fatigue, “This is going to take a while.”
* * *

“The other Wraith ships are breaking off their attack.” Iella announced, Several hyperspace blossoms had already erupted, ferrying Hive ships to safety. “In fact they are committing a rather hasty withdrawal.” She clarified as several cruisers surged by breaking for open space. “Todd’s fleet is holding position by the Asgard.”

“I hope this demonstrates my commitment to space between us.” Todd told Solo from where he was seated, “I helped you first with the Asurans, and again with the Asgard, and aided in the rescue of your lost ship as well.”

“Can it Todd.” Solo snapped irritably, “You could have told us hours ago that’s where your ships were, and spared yourself time in that cell. I’ve got enough to figure out here without dealing with theatrics, hail Atlantis.” he began, suddenly there was a flash of light. he caught a glimpse out of the corner of his eye of Lando pulling his blaster, even as he drew his own and was satisfied to see his out first. Both pointed them at a small grey alien who blinked owlishly at them.

“Uh gentleman,” Wedge coughed behind them. “Meet supreme commander Thor of the Asgard.

“what, in the name of Palpatine's throne did you just do to us.” Solo gritted, looking around he noted they were on the bridge of one of the Asgard vessels. The peregrine floated beside it, the Organa was vectoring around furiously, Iella must have already tracked his com. Han thought impressed.

“The Asgard have teleportation technology.” Wedge explained. Yoda was present as well and seemed unalarmed. Sheppard stood by the Asgard.

“Relax.” he said, “they’re friendly.”

“I am afraid I cannot get a lock on anyone aboard the Pegasus, and they continue to refuse our hails.” Thor announced.

“They have beaming technology too.” Solo said smugly, he wasn’t sure how the Asgard matched up to the Pegasus, but he knew that ship had fought hard for Atlantis, the Asgard had just appeared and started teleporting people. He paused as he considered that the wraith, while willing to take on the Pegasus, had all but fled before the Asgard.

“How interesting.” Thor said moving a shell around on his control pad, “I am detecting evidence of Asgard technology on board, including an intergalactic hypderdrive.”

“Why don’t we deal with who you are, before we worry about who they are.” Solo suggested stabbing a finger at the Asgard, “They were here backing us up when the wraith arrived.”

“And we have lent our aid to ensure that they left.” Thor pointed out. “The Asgard are a friend to all who need us.”

“Even the replicators?” Sheppard asked arching an eyebrow, Thor turned to him. “Told you, I’m from the future.”

“Yes. An alternate future if I recall.” Said Thor somewhat uncertainly, “What do you know of them.”

“In our universe your people asked for our help, because our “low tech” tactics were effective, where your sciency mumbo jumbo was not.” Solo shook his head at hearing a Jedi utter those words, and then did a double take. Sheppard was dressed as a Jedi and looked utterly comfortable with it. He seemed to have aged some to. Solo glanced at Wedge. “I also know you have a problem with cloning degradation, and if you don’t solve it, you’ll all be extinct in forty years.”

“We have some pretty advanced cloning technology.” Lando pointed out, “We may be able to help as part of our negotiations.” Thor noded.

“I don’t know the first thing about the anti replicator technology we used.” Sheppard said, “But I know that the ancient databases have a way to disable them. one of my people downloaded one of them and was able to construct one for you, and a device in the Milky Way wiped them all out at once via the stargate.”

“I will consult with the Asgard high command regarding an alliance.” Thor replied, “For the time being I can offer the Beliskner to guard Atlantis, as it likely contains the information we need.”

“We could also use some technical support.” Sheppard pointed out, “Our intergalactic hypderives are nearly as fast as yours, but the Peregrine had a little difficulty on the way here, and I’m sure the New Republic would be interested in your beaming technology.and that beaming technology.”

“Why don’t we have Commander Thor consult with his leadership an get a proper negotiation team up here.” Lando suggested, “I need to get back to Atlantis to coordinate recovery operations of our damaged ships, and the Travellers have been sending distress calls for some time.”

“Very well, we will assist in aiding your people.” Thor promised, “While awaiting your envoys.”

“Can you transport the Jedi and General Solo down to Atlantis as well?” Lando asked, a distant thump sounded. Solo looked up and found the Organa firing a series of warning shots across the Asgard ships bow. “We’d better let our people know we’re all right.”

“Can you beam Starbuck out of the Peregrine’s medical bay too?” Sheppard asked quickly as Thor moved his hand, “He’s been in a coma for several months, his vitals are stable, but the peregrine’s med bay isn’t very well equipped, and I think we should get him to Atlantis.”

“Very well.” Thor stated and a moment later they were beamed into the gateroom on Atlantis..
* * *

“What was that...” Starbuck groaned, “I’m injured? Was injured? Will be? I can’t keep track of it all...”

“So very long...” a voice echoed.

“So very young...” another intoned,

“...ancient...” “We were ancient...I was ancient...” they were saying.

“I’m starting to feel ancient.” Starbuck grumbled, “I lived among the ancients, I was an ancient I...” he clapped his hand to his head, “I’ve been here so long I... no I just got here... I came here, before, but I am here now and I... won’t be here... Oh frak, now they’ve gotten me.. can there be SILENCE?” he shouted the last and for a moment the universe forgot it’s voice.

“I’m sorry.” Starbuck said to the ether around him, “I just... I need to maintain who I am... what I am...” Something materialized in his hand. A lightsaber.As he held it Starbuck realzied he had not clothed his body all this time. The robes of a Jedi appeared. the lightsaber in his hand ignited.

“This is a lightsaber, I became a Jedi.” he said. “No I... trained with the Jedi, I taught them? I woke them up, and they enlightened me...” he deactivated the lightsaber and sank to his knees clutching it as he concentrated. “ I.... now?”

“ are...” the voices began again, echoing eachother, speaking over eachother, the echoes speaking over the voices, and Starbuck was overwhelmed,

“Frak.” he whispered to himself, and it was like dropping an anchor. Voices and echoes shouted every word, but none that one, Starbuck held onto it and dared not to say it again, for it was what made him unique among all. “What... Who.. ”

“Who?" the voices echoed, “Who?” The cacaphony drowned out all thought, in a place where thought was all. He felt himself slipping.”

“Who Am I?” Starbuck shouted, rising and raising his hands, “Who Am I?” he looked at his hands, his fingers, his clothes, the thread of his clothes, and around him at the nothing. Shapes began to appear even as Starbuck defined himseff further. He felt stubble on his face, he felt blood within his veins, he felt a heart begin to beat in his chest. Around him the shapes began to coalesce further. “I am Starbuck!” He shouted, and he paused. he had emphasized the name, that was wrong, he tried again. “I am Starbuck.” he said finally, he looked to the figures gathered about him, “Who are you?”
* * *

“Intruder aler...” Called one of the battle droids pivoting and raising his weapon, and then it stood down. “Identity confirmed.” Suddenly an alarm sounded.

“This is Governor Calrissian, stand down from intruder alert.” Calrissian said into his com.

“Sir the alert was triggered in the infirmary, before the medtechs recognized Starbuck. he just appeared right in the middle of...”

“I know, I know.” Calrissian said, he shook his head. “That beaming technology isn’t going to be as interesting us as a way to jam it Sheppard, I don’t like the kind of security problem it represents.”

“Speaking of security problems, someone better contact Commander McFly on the pegasus and figure out who te hell he is.” Solo said he moved towards the doors, Sheppard did a double take.

“Wait a minute, Commander McFly?” He said following Han. Han drew up shrot.

“Martin McFly?” He asked, “You know him?”

“Uh... he shouldn’t exist for about... two more years if I remember the date correctly.” Sheppard said, “He’s a fictional character on my planet.” Han stared at him.

“Well, who isn’t.” Solo snapped, “Come on.”

* * *
A drone flew through space. Others joined it. A swirling vortex opened to engulf it but drone altered it’s path down into the singularity, but steering around it. It made a sharp angle and slammed into a rocky surface, it’s brethren doing likewise. Along that rocky surface explosions blossomed and a Vong worldship burned. A technician watched this on a monitor, and his commanding officer, looking down from a walkway above his workpit, watched him.

“Drone strike complete.” Commander Katarn reported turning to the Grand Admiral who stood beside him. Beyond the transparisteel dome explosions blossomed, fighters spun and wheeled about ferociously competing for superiority, and continued existence. Inside, the bridge was calm, orderly, and almost silent save for officers reporting to each other in subdued tones. “Their forward void shields are fully compromised.

“Distance to target.” Inquired Grand Admiral Pelleon. Katarn read the numbers and reported, “We are within optimal firing range for the superlaser.”

“Commence primary ignition.” Pelleon ordered. he indicated a trio of star destroyers coming under heavier fire. “Reinforce Captain Asari, his cruisers have born the brunt of this attack surprisingly well, best we relieve him before his fighting capacity is impaired.”

There was a tremendous green flash and for a fraction of a second, a bolt of plasma could be seen stabbing forward. The Worldship split in two as secondary explosions began to ripple along both fragments.

“Sir, some of these combat reports are disturbing.” Katarn said, taking a data pad from an officer in the pit and handing it to Pelleon, “Something unusual is going on with the Vong.”

“Their resistance was significantly impaired for a position of this importance.” Pelleon replied examining the data, “I had wondered if you had noticed.” Katarn said nothing. “Continue operations, but inform salvage to recover some of their ships for examination. This sluggish reaction time an discoloration could indicate some sort of infection.” he handed the chart back to Katarn, “A rather glaring flaw in organic technology.” Pelleon turned to go, “I am due to report to the Emperor, within the hour, compile a report before then.” Katarn grimaced and got to work. As always Pelleon set high expectations. As always Katarn would exceed them.
* * *

“That voice...” Starbuck said, “What was that? When?” he demanded, he struggled, “He was... a good man... he’s just been fighting too long...”
“Fighting too long.” The universe began to chuckle, “He was good man...”

Starbuck screamed in frustration, unable to understand what was happening. The universe changed as he screamed, and it screamed with him. It seemed as though he screamed for an eternity, and then he heard himself.

“One... Two...Three...”

He seized upon that moment, he pointed at the shapes writhing around him.

“One.” he pointed, “Two.. Three...”
* * *

“Repeat, this is Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, to he Commander of the battlestar Pegasus. Please respond.” Sheppard said for the fourth time. “Come on, Marty McFly? I know you’re from Earth, I just want to talk.” There was silence on the other end. “Look I get the reference.” he said moving anxiously around Stargate Control, “You’re probably from the future, and you don’t want to pollute the timeline right? It’s alright though, I’m not from this universe, I’m from a parallel reality.” Han let out an exasperated snort. “...which might sound far fetched, but again i you really are time travellers from another galaxy, it’s not that far fetched right?”

“This is pointless.” Solo broke in, “look you talked to me before, I’ll have Sheppard leave the room will that be alright?” There was still silence. “Areyou sure their recieving? Sheppard asked. A Jesmine nodded, Sheppard spoke, “They can hear me. Someone up thre is force sensitive, I can sense them.” he gave an exasperated sigh. “They won’t talk to he Asgard, they won’t talk to Starbuck....”

“Greetings, I am the designated spokesperson for the Battle Star Pegasus.” A cultured voice broke in, “Commander McFly regrets his deception, and wishes to avoid any inappropriate disclosures. he believes Colonel Sheppard to be familiar with the "Hammond" protocols. He requests that we be permitted to complete repairs and be on our way without further communication. “

“I say sir.” Threepio spoke up excitedly, “See Fiveonefive, is that you? I was certain you’d been scrapped on the assembly line, have they repaired your defect?”” Han shushed the roid hurredly but it was too late.

“God damnit!” someone exclaimed, an the comm line terminated. Han was shaking his had, so as Sheppard.

"The Hammond protocols are the SGC's internal guidelines." Sheppard said aloud, "The details are classified, but let's just say they're afraid of changing my timeline."

“Hell of a job they're doing, they were happy to interfere to save the city until they found out you were here."

"Well... the policy was enacted in the early days of the SGC, when an officer spent decades maintaining a secret to preserve the timeline. Since then however, we've discovered that the timeline we experienced may be the direct result of people mucking around with it. The first time my people came to Atlantis the city sunk. Another time a team had to go back in time to leave us a working ZPM. So the policy's never been particularly black and white." Sheppard said helplessly, "the rules are more what you call guidelines."

The droid fighters already gave away that they’d been to our galaxy in their universe.” Han said shaking his head, “But apparently an alternate version of it,” he glanced at Sheppard, “Probably yours or somewhere like it, if they won’t talk to you apparently I'm still a legend.”

"Well... you're a fictional..." Sheppard paused considering and then gave a sheepish grin, "Fine, you're a legend. Our universes are connected.” Sheppard said, “I can’t say more, but they probably are from my universe, and my timeline, and won’t do anything to help me get back, for fear of polluting their own timeline.” he sank into a chair “This sucks....” he sighed.

“Alright this is getting us nowhere, and I have to meet with the admiral in a few hours.” Solo said throwing his hands up, “This is General Solo to allied ships, keep clear of the battlestar Pegasus and do not attempt communication. If they want to say anything more to us, they will.”
* * *
“seven, eight, nine...” Starbuck was counting and pointing at the shapes, he had regained his equilibrium. “ten, eleven, twelve..” he stopped. “each of you count twelve more.” The apparitions mimicked his motion, turning about and counting. “I counted you, “ he said to each in turn, “and then you counted them.” he gestured, and the apparitions repeated the action, the movement rippling out seemingly into infinity, following the still travelling wave of those counting. “I, am not everything, I am Starbuck.” he told them, “You are not everything you, count.” he pointed and waited expectantly.

“one.” the apparition said, he pointed to the next, “Two.” the next replied.

“I believe you called for a Count?” Starbuck whirled.

“Baltar! What are you doing here?” Baltar had appeared before him garbed in his ancient senatorial robes.

“Seeking refuge, as a matter of fact.” he replied, with a tight smile, Starbuck heard strain in his voice, and wondered what, in this place, it could represent. “I am to be in a battle you see, and much as I would like to think myself brave enough to welcome oblivion when the time comes, it seems some part of me just couldn’t quite bear the thought. I found purpose though, one last grasp for redemption before I surrender to the howling dark.”

“Where am I?” Starbuck asked him, “What are these?” Baltar held up a hand.

“Oh no, no my boy, the first you know the answer to, the second, you will shortly discover.” he gave a dry chuckle which became something of a cough, Starbuck looked at himk with concern but Baltar continued, “I would not dream of robbing you of that delicious irony, now I am here to cheat the others.”

“The others?” Starbuck asked warily, then in understanding “The Lanteans,”

“The ancients.” Baltar corrected, “But one in particular guides their reasoning on behalf of Iblis, and like sheep they follow him.” Baltar told him, “While your new friends are distracted by numbers, I am here to deliver you a warning, information the others would not ordinarily allow me to give you.”

“On the Council?” Starbuck was dismayed, “An ascended ancient is in thrall to Iblis?” he paused, “My reality or yours Baltar, I’m not from this timeline.”

“This knowledge predates the divergence of realities.” Baltar told him, “use it to save me, Starbuck, the me in the other timeline, and this will all have been worthwhile.” his eyes grew distance, “Baltar will live on...”

“Hey!” Starbuck snapped his fingers in front of the man, “Now you’re starting to fade too, stay with me baltar, if you really want to foil Iblis, you’ve got to give me more. Where is he ind this universe, what’s he doing, what’s his plan?”

“To unravel everything.” Baltar said distantly

“How?” Starbuck demanded, he reached forward, and in this land of metaphor, his spirit seized that of Baltar, seeking to anchor him, “Tell me how, while we still have time!”
* * *

“They’re late.” Sheppard commented, “I hate it when bad guys are late.” he stood in the gateroom beside Admiral Ackbar, Yoda and Wedge stood to the side as well. General Solo arrived from the doorway behind them stepping around the soldiers crouched behind barricades. The sides of the room were lined with battle droids on the ground level and turrets along the wall.

“I’m back did I miss anything?” he asked rhetorically, running a hand through his hair. he turned to Sheppard, “The Pegasus pulled out Sheppard, still without a word. I don’t think they plan to come back. Sheppard sighed.

“hey.” Wedge said leaning forward around the Admiral, “You still got us.”

“I don’t even know for sure that they were from my Earth anyway Sheppard said. he squared his shoulders, “Doesn’t matter, we got a job to do here.” At his words, the stargate lit up. All Chevrons at once.

“Alright.” Said Han turning sideways to the gate and putting a hand on his blaster, “here we go.” the event horizon exploded. Soldiers took their positions, and the battle droids raised their guns. A prior stepped through the gate. The same as had come through before. A one way forcefield flashed into place. The prior looked calmly around him.

“I trust this is a welcoming committee.” he said quietly.

“I’m afraid the New Republic has voted to refuse your offer of alliance.” Ackbar told him, “We are unwilling to accept Origin as mandatory doctrine.”

At a signal from Han, the control room cut power to the gate.

“That is regrettable.” The Prior stated. he looked around the room, “Do you intend me harm?”

“Our fight is with the Empire.” Ackbar told the Prior, “We respect your power, and are merely taking precautions.”

“And these?” The prior indicated Yoda, Wedge and Sheppard.

“These are the Jedi.” Ackbar said raising his chin, “An ancient order devoted to protecting the Republic in times past.”

“Prepared we are, to do so again.” Yoda stated. The Prior looked at him disdainfully.

“You are welcome to leave in peace.” Ackbar told the Prior, “We have no wish to engage your forces.”

“Unacceptable.” The Prior intoned, he raised his staff and it began to glow. A blaster bolt flew through the shield but splashed harmlessly against another encasing the prior. "You ahve defied the will of the Ori, you are arrogant, willful, shall be laid low into the dust and the message of Origin shall echo over the hills, through your ashes scattered in the wind."

“All forces open fire.” Han shouted firing again. Wedge wrestled the Admiral behind the lines of troops as the opened fire, the guns overhead thumped and the droids lent their own firepower. Burning brightly the silhouette of the Prior shown through. he raised his staff higher. he planted it down and the shield projected about him flared. A blackness filled the spherical shield as it strained to contain what the prior was trying to unleash. Wedge ignited his lightsaber and threw it into the maelstrom. it plunged into the prior’s shield and stuck there for a moment before the blade simply flickered and died.

The Prior’s staff thumped down once more, the shield flickered for just a moment, but the wave of darkness that was unleashed tore in every direction. The guns on the wall twisted, the droids were thrown into it, blasters exploded in soldiers hands, and even Han through his to the floor an instant before it exploded with a snap. The darkness stopped in front of Yoda, who had moved to shield han and the others. It poured around them like a river until with a cry, the tiny Jedi hurled it back at the prior. Snarling the prior staggered but pounded his staff. Yoda was flung across the room with the sound of a thunder clap.

Wedge and Sheppard moved together, between the General, the wounded troops, the exit, and the Prior.

The staff raised again, still glimmering through the cloud, and there was a shuddering thump that shook the facility. Sparks flew from the shield generator and the ground began to shake.

“Looks like we should have brought more Jedi.” Sheppard quipped with desperate bravado.

“No!” Wedge said resolutely, “The force is our ally.” The two stood side by side and extended their hands. The prior recoiled at the power they unleashed, but raised his staff a final time.

“This isn’t working!” Solo shouted. The staff rose haltingly, and it’s crystal began to glow but as it started to descend, it suddenly stopped. Through the blinding flash of blasters and the cacophony of weapons fire, “Control room.” he shouted into his com, “Initiate Solo Protocol.”

One of the first security protocols he had implemented upon taking command of Lemuria was a straightforward solution to intruders. Power to the gate terminated abruptly and then suddenly it returned, the gate began to dial.

"Divert power to gravity plating beneath the gate!" han ordered over his com, but the Prior hardly faltered.

“Hold Him!” Wedge shouted, as the Prior struggled against what came next. The wind howled in the gateroom the forces at work stirring the very air into action.

“I’m...trying!” Sheppard gritted focusing his concentration to a razor’s edge. he shook his head at a burst of power.

“Do, or do not.” Wedge growled, “There is... no... TRY!” As prior through everything he had into escape, as the seventh cheveron dialed, they held him fast/ The womrhole burst from the gate and enveloped his form. The darkness vanished the air became suddenly still. The gateroom was utterly silent as Han cautiously moved forward to join Sheppard and Wedge. A smoking pair of sandled feet steamed before the Stargate.

“Hunh.” Was all Solo said. Wedge moved to assist Yoda who was beginning to move in the corner of the room.

“This is Admiral Ackbar.” Sheppard and Solo turned toward the window of the control room as it turned transparent, “Are you alright? Jedi Sheppard has the danger passed?” Sheppard looked at Solo, and then took a step towards the control room, glancing back at the smoking remains of the prior.

“We’re clear admiral.” he said putting confidence into his voice. “The Prior has been uh... de-feeted.”

“Amusing, Jedi Sheppard.” The Admiral replied, sounding not at all amused, “We’ve won this round, but I am certain the Ori have more in store for us. Though perhaps it is time to acknowledge our victories of late. We will rest, regain our strength, and prepare for whatever is yet to come.”
* * *

“Baltar!” Starbuck recoiled in horror. Baltar had flames crawling up along his form. he was mouthing the words “Hallowed are the Ori”

“What was... where..” Baltar stumbled for a moment out of Starbuck’s grasp. he regained himself and the flames disappeared.

“They are flashes of the future, Baltar, and the past, and the present.” he pointed towards the ground where the fire had been, “What’s happening to you Baltar, someone’s killing you aren’t they, is it the Ori?”

“My fate is not your concern.” Baltar snapped, he staggered momentarily, “It cannot be averted this way, but perhaps my actions here will give it meaning.” Starbuck reached out steadying the man. Baltar looked at him with a mix of gratitude, and empathy. “You would save even me Starbuck? You cannot, and there are those more worthy.” he grasped Starbuck’s shoulders. “Together you and I, allies against Iblis. We will defeat him whatever the cost.”

He glanced at the beings around them. They still counted, there were legions of them. he sighed,“Fine, than, Baltar, hurry, if you don’t tell me before they are done, the others will know you’re here! Where is Iblis, how did he change everything?”

“It started with Earth...” Iblis murmured struggling to regain his focus, “Earth, as your friend calls it, Earth that was, Earth that has been, Earth that shall be...” he shook his head, “The stargate Starbuck, that’s where it changed. The humans tried to fix it... did fix it... but they created this, they always create this... they destroy it too. All of this has happened before...all of it will... burn, to!” Baltar shouted, “Allow me this move, you foolish gamesman, it will save us all!”

“Baltar, stay here!” Starbuck shouted, his hands passed through Baltar’s form, the man was being torn apart from somewhere else, the smell of burning flesh reached his nostrils, as Baltar screamed,

“It will not end, do you hear me? I will not end!”
* * *

“This is the end, I promise.” Iella told Lando, the Governor had half risen from his desk, and sank back into his chair with a frustrated sigh.

“Iella, there’s a game of sabacc and tall glass of ambrosia with my name on it, I was supposed to be off duty two hours ago.” Lando said exasperated.

“Well, while we were going over the inventory of X-wings the Peregrine delivered, the executive council voted.” Iella told him. “They have decided to ratify the emergency constitution that Mon Mothma drew up, as the provisional first step in founding the new Galactic Alliance.” She took the tube her assistant had handed her and pulled out a durafilm scroll. She unrolled it.

“I don’t want to read another kriffing things.” Lando wiped his eyes, “Even if it ushers in the next golden age, I haven’t had a day off since I got here.”

“I understand.” iella said, and she sounded as though she sincerely did. Lando realized not only had she also not had a break, she had seen considerable action since the Star Defender fought at Endor. “Mon Mothma explictely instructed me to offer you this opportunity first.”

“Opportunity?” Lando was confused.

“The constitution is to be formally signed this afternoon, first by the representatives of our Pegasus allies, and then by the leaders in exile of the New Republic. We control only a single sector of space, as well as the Dathomir and Coruscant systems. With the representatives gathered here it made sense that they sign first, however, it was felt that the New Republic’s role should be recognized as the first signatary.” Iella told him.

“I’m sure Mon Mothma’s already planning a ceremony, are we done here?”

“Atlantis is our first base in this galaxy,” Iella explained, catching Lando’s attention, “ the city, the planet it is on and the system it is in, must be represented.” Lando rose and looked with new interest at the document he held. “As governor, you have been selected to be the first to sign the constitution of the first Galactic Alliance.”
* * *

“Listen to me Starbuck.” Said Baltar regaining his equilibrium, his form sharpened he was little more than apparition “A darkness comes to this universe, an apocalypse like no other, candles winking out across the universe one by one, the Sith rises...” he shook his head, “A glimmer in the darkness remains. The light for both universes, their fates are locked together, the Jedi are the key to Destiny, but you must find Athena, do you hear me? Without her you will lose yourself!”

“Athena?” Suddenly Starbuck saw her face, “She’s alive? Where do i find her, Baltar, where?” but Baltar was fading, only his voice remained.

“She is your universe Starbuck, she is everything. Find her.” he gasped, Starbuck saw to his horror, ghostly flames encompassing the poor man. “My mind!” Were Baltar’s last words, “It burns like fire!” and then he was gone.

Starbuck felt a pang of sorrow for the man who had betrayed his people in an instant, and spent millennia trying to atone for it. he would never like Baltar, but he would acknowledge what he had tried to do. he started, one of the other apparitions was looking at him. He felt teh strangest sense... strange even in this otherworldly place, that it understood for a moment, everything.

“I feel your lives, your destinies spilling out before me.”

* * *
A Jumper emerged from the space gate and headed towards the surface of the world below. Sheppard noted several new additions to the field of debris floating above. Chaya appeared beside him.

“You came back.” She said, pleased.

“I missed you.” he said, without really thinking about it. As she beamed, he suddenly felt awkward, “I mean... I know it’s been a few days for you but for me...” She touched his arm. his heart practically stopped.

“I know John. She said she leaned over and embraced him, the jumper continued flying on it’s own as he turned to her. he let her go, long enough to kiss her.

“It’s been so long.” he said when they broke apart, “When I went in, I didn’t even think...” he kicked himself, “Aw I could have invited you with me!” She nodded, amused. “And you would have come?” he said half outraged, “Eight years?”

“I love my world, my people.” She said half laughing, “But I have my responsibilities as well. With you, I could have lived a lifetime in the blink of an eye.”

“Aw nuts!” he fumed still at a loss. “Eight years!” Regaining some of his composure, and hal trying to make light of it, he kissed her passionately, “There... there weren’t any women... it was awful.”

“Oh... there was one or two...” Chaya said teasingly. Sheppard had a psychic flash of lekku, Jan laughing by firelight.

“I was experimenting!” he protested, suddenly embarrassed, “I could have invited you? you could have been there with me?”

“I could have helped Starbuck ascend.” She said reproachfully, “Could have helped him heal those who were injured, I could even have stopped Wedge from creating those creatures.”

“You could have saved Biggs and Sinya.” Sheppard said, his amusement suddenly turning to Sorrow. he took a breath and drew on the force for comfort. Chaya watched, pulling back to the copilot’s chair. Sheppard still felt he had to say something.

“I wish I’d known.” he said with a sigh, he shook his head and gave a half smile, he touched the controls of the jumper, to give himself something to do. “I hate being fallible sometimes.”

“Acceptance.” Chaya said approvingly, “Wisdom.” Sheppard turned to her. “insight.” She said finally, “You have changed much John Sheppard, you are not the man I first met.”

“Sure I am.” he said giving her what he hoped was a charming grin, “I don’t have wrinkles or anything do I?” she chuckled.

“Eight years is but a breath to me.” She told him ruffling his hair fondly. Sheppard shook his head.

“You’re so placid.” he said amazed, “So... grounded, I wish i could be more like that.” her gaze encouraged him to continue. The jumper had broken the cloud cover and was heading for her temple. “I... being a jedi is about surrendering emotion, finding peace and...sometimes I think I have it, but others...”

“The hurricane breaks on the mountain as fog.” Chaya said thoughtfully, “Yet a pebble becomes a landslide.” Sheppard considered.
“You know after spending eight years with Master Yoda, you guys are actually not that hard to understand anymore.” he commented.

“When the wraith come, I do what I must.” Chaya told him, “Yet when they pass I am left with my loneliness.”

“I miss home.” Sheppard said finally, “I miss Atlantis, my Atlantis, but back home you and I...” Chaya nodded.

“She is not me.” She said. John nodded.

“I know.” he assured her, “back then... I wasn’t even me. I’ve changed so much...”

“In the blink of an eye.” She said wonderingly. “How else will we change?”

“Oh so now there’s a “we.”” he said teasingly as the jedi settled to the ground in front of the temple. Chaya moved to kiss him. “Wait.” he said pulling back, “The reason I came here, I can’t forget, Starbuck...”

“I know.” Chaya said putting a finger to his lips. “We all know John. Starbuck is becoming something else, even as you have. We cannot help him, we cannot deny him this.”

“He’s in a coma Chaya, what if he dies?” Sheppard asked Chaya shook her head. “I can’t just sit back and do nothing while my friend is in trouble Chaya, if I can help him, I should!” Sheppard pressed. Chaya looked back at him unhappily, and Sheppard felt remorse welling up. “I’m sorry.” he said, “I just... don’t understand.”

“Do you trust me?” Chaya asked him. John was surprised at how little he had to think about it. Her insights had been profound, his years studying the force had given him the barest inkiling of that.

“I do.” he insisted, he pulled her to him, “I’m just... I guess I’m just afraid. I shouldn’t be should I, Master Yoda says fear leads to anger, and anger leads to the dark side. I shouldn’t be afraid.”

Chaya hugged him tighter. “This is not fear John, this is friendship. Sometimes, being a friend means acknowledging when you can do no more, and have faith that he will find his way.”
* * *

“There you see?” Starbuck shouted, turning to the apparitions around him, all thought of Baltar was suppressed, for he could not risk them pulling the knowledge of the man’s visit from his mind. Fortunately, in their desire for guidance, his new followers could be easily redirected.

“You have changed from before, and you are now what was after, you have become!” Starbuck declared, than paused, “You have become what I called you.” Around him sat rows of black silhouettes framed against the featureless white. Each figure in the circle around him wore a number on their chest from one to twelve. behind each of them sat twelve more, each numbered, behind each of them sat twelve more. his memory more or less intact, Starbuck was glad he was unconscious, he doubted he could process what he was experiencing any other way. He had been tempted in the moment after regaining awareness to abandon his focus on corporeal matters for their seeming inconsequence in this situation, and he was certain, that that was exactly what had happened to the beings he sensed.

“You have lost your selves.” he told them, “You became this...” he gestured around himself, the white split about them, into darkness and into wetness.“And abandoned too much of what you were, you became unstuck, and dissociated. As I lay injured, when I first sensed you, you piled onto me like a life raft and I could not stay afloat.” For a moment the wetness choked them all, and then it receded beneath them, until it seemed to have and sink beneath them. You,” he gestured to those around him, “I can anchor you, but you must anchor them, do you understand.” The figures nodded.

“I cannot stay here forever, others need me.” A city appeared in the distance, floating on the waves, Atlantis, shimmering in the darkness, lit up in it’s brightest glory. Despite the vision, ripples of unease began to spread through the group.
* * *

A city, much like Atlantis sat in the darkness. The buildings were different, the city more orderly, darker. A shape moved towards it, and then another, and then a third.

Three Ori motherships bored won on Imperial city, from behind it, two victory class star destroyers rose vectoring to intercept. A trio of Imperial Star Destroyers snapped into real space from lightspeed.

The Ori ships blasted through them with ease. They prowled through the burning wreckage towards the shining city, the weapon on the lead ship ignited...

...and splashed accoss the powerful shield that sprang up. Invisible at such a distance but drawing ever nearer, the city seemed at first to glimmer, and then glow, and then a cloud of fire reached towards the advancing ships. The lead ship’s shields flickered defiantly but the fireballs would not be stayed. Explosions rippled along the surface of the Ori ship and it drifted downwards. it’s two sisters fired at the city together.

An Emrald column of light blasted from nowhere and a second ship died in fire. A behemoth towered over the last two ferociously. Still ablaze with drones diving across it’s surface, the wounded Ori bought it’s brother time. Angling up, it plowed into the Super Star destroyer in cataclysmic release of energy. The final Ori ship hurdled into hypserspace as more ships began to appear around it, some from lightspeed some from hyperspace. From the fiery inferno, the Super Star Destroyer emerged. Wounded, but triumphant.

* * *
“That wasn’t Atlantis!” Starbuck shook his head. The vision of Atlantis returned, “Atlantis is safety.” he told them, “Atlantis is hope.”

“Limited supplies. Limited fuel. No allies. And now no hope!”

“No, don’t give up!” Starbuck felt the waters churning, rising, his own vision turning against him, and he hastened to soothe them, “We are nearly there, all of us.” he banished the city and the universe was again blank. “You are no longer those.” he said, pointing at the numbers on each of their chests. “Those are as I see you, you must see yourself.”

“You are you.” Starbuck told those around him, their shapes were ebony facsimiles of human form. he looked at each and decided it was time for more detail. “but before you became nothing, you became everything.” Faceless forms turned to him. “Before you became everything, who were you.”

They sat motionless. Starbuck shook his head.

“Right.” he said at last, understanding the problem, “There must be more change.”

“You can only remember this place. you can only be what you have become if all you remember is this. You need to be more than who, you need to be what. What happened to you, what happened to you before? What happened to you before me?”

Starbuck stood motionless, as around him the unthinkable happened. The others rose, and as they rose, their features at last resolved. A single cycloptic eye burned from each featureless face, sliding slowly left and then right. At a loss for words, he turned as a forgotten nightmare emerged around him, a sea of dark shapes punctuated by that one constantly scanning eye.

“All of this has happened before.” They said as one, “All of this will happen again."
* * *
“General I thought I gave orders for you to take leave.” Ackbar admonished over the hypercomm. Stars streaked through the Falcon’s cockpit, Artoo trilled a nervous sound at the Admiral’s turn.

“That’s what I’m doing Admiral.” Solo replied leaning back. “A day in the falcon, my buddy at my side..” he nodded to Chewie sitting beside him and threw back the bottle Wedge had brought him back from the jedi camp. “having a little... that what Wedge called it?”

“Starbuck goes off to train the Jedi and of course finds the time to invent new alcohol.” Ackbar grumbled, “The stuff is all over the place, we found kegs of it when we arrived to pick up the remaining Jedi team.”

“How is Starbuck doing?” Han asked looking down the mouth of the bottle and finding nothing. Chewie whuffed and handed him another. Han cracked against Threepio’s inert torso to open it, the droid had long since talked himself into inactivation.

“His condition is unchanged, do not change the subject.” Ackbar said severely, “You are flying into the middle of Vong space.”

“Hey we got a self... selth..ah kriff.” Han grumbled. He cracked threepio on the head and somehow the droid reactivated.

“...ompletely unnecessary!” The droid exclaimed, and then looked about him. “Captain Solo, you did it again didn’t you, I daresay you are the rudest...”

“Can it golden wad, I need a rord,” Han slurred, “What do we call the no see-ey thing, the thing that hides the ship?”

“The cloaking device?” Threepio asked.

“Coking debice!” Solo shouted. Chewie eyed him warily, a quietly took the last of the ambrosia off of the Falcon’s console. He growled something to the admiral.

“Unbelievable.” was all the Admiral could muster, “You will arrive at yavin four in five hours Chewbacca, if you come out of hyperspace in hostile space while he is intoxicated...” Chewbacca was looking at the empty bottle han had discarded, and Artoo whistled. Solo tried to whistle along.

“Apparently the drink is quite mild until you’ve had several and then it’s effects manifest rather quickly.” Ackbar told the Wookiee, “You are already too far into Vong space to risk coming out of hyperspace. You will have to do your best to sober him up before you arrive.” Chewie acknowledged, and noticed Han had fallen asleep.

“We’re doomed.” Threepio moaned placing his head in his hands.
* * *

“I’m not afraid of you.” Starbuck shouted to them, the sky around them became stormy. Starbuck stood tall and lightning appeared in his hands, “You can’t hurt me here.” he stood defiantly

“By your command.” They replied. Starbuck paused.

“What?” he asked.

“By your command.” They repeated, “We will submit.”

“You will?” Starbuck was nonplussed, “That...doesn’t sound like the Cylons I remember.”

“We are no longer Cylon.” only one spoke this time. It stepped forward, “We have banished the cylons.”

“Banished?” Starbuck was confused, “How? Why?”

“We are the Red Sash.” The cylon explained, “We chose to join Admiral William Adama and the fleet, to earn Cylon independence. We sought to break our cycle of servitude.”

“Hold on hold on..” Starbuck shook his head, the lightning vanished from his hands and the universe returned to it’s bland neutrality, “Maybe you’d better start from the beginning...”

* * *

“General Solo is approaching the fourth moon of Yavin as we speak.” Ackbar informed Rieekan, “Thrawn has put out an advisory over military channels he knows we are monitoring, reporting an Ori attack on Imperial city that was successfully deterred, but several star destroyers were destroyed.”

“It would appear that our dreadnoughts will not present an effective defense against an ori mothership.” Rieekan surmised.
“The Asurans believe they can devise a means to adapt drone technology to our proton torpedo launchers. They are incorporating it into the ships they are constructing, but they will not be complete for several months.” Ackbar told him, “With the Katana Taskforce enroute to Pegasus, I have reassigned the Larrin to Dathomir’s defense fleet, and the Orion to Coruscant. The Asgard have offered to aid us in a mission to recover the Aurora and the Tria as well as their crews, they may be willing to aid against the Ori as well. Drones were proven somewhat effective against the Ori, and we believe Lantean shielding enhanced with a ZPM should prove a suitable counter. The Asgard are currently upgrading the hyperdrive on the Star Defender, and either base would be able to hold out for reinforcements should they come under attack.”

“I would like a squadron of the Organa class escorts, as soon as they are available as well Admiral.” Rieekan requested, “If we are to resume strike and fade operations on the Empire, their hyperdrives and cloaks will be extremely useful.”

“We will continue to suspend operations against the Empire, until they make the next move.” Ackbar told the General, “After a thorough tactical assessment, I’ve concluded it is imperative that we rebuild our forces and continue to develop strategic assets in the Pegasus galaxy.”

“Admiral, with all due respect, we can’t wait for Thrawn to consolidate power.” Rieekan objected, “The Vong have ceded whole sectors to him this past week, their forces are nowhere to be seen.”

“I do not consider Thrawn’s promises to be anything more than a delaying tactic, however the President insists we must have political legitimacy before renewing an offensive and I concur.” Ackbar replied, “Our recent change in government is intended to remove any claim of terrorism on Thrawn’s part, and soon we will disclose our extra galactic allies as part of a bid to regain a firm foothold in our own galaxy.”

“So the rumors are true?” Rieekan asked, “We’re moving on Corellia?”

“They have been isolated for over a year by the damage to the old hyperspace routes.” Ackbar told Rieekan, “Our modified dreadnought fleet will be the most significant mechanism for trade, and we are in the process of collecting unused space gates from Pegasus as well. We will emerge shortly as a trading power, rather than a military power, at a time when the Empire’s enemies are vanquished, and it’s citizenry crave peace.” Ackbar’s tone softened, “You know this is the most promising strategy available to us. We are soldiers, both of us, but in Thrawn’s galaxy, we must learn to fight a different way.

* * *
“After the second great holocaust, the survivors of the twelve colonies fled in a fleet of ships led by the battlestar Galactica.” The Cylon said. “They found New Kobol under Cylon occupation. They attempted to found the colony of New Caprica, but the Cylons annexed it. the Colonials escaped, and followed the trail of the previous survivors back to New Earth, and found it desolate. They continued to flee as the Cylon civil war broke out. As my ancestors split from the main cylon collective, the final five revealed themselves within the human fleet. Joining forces our ancestors were able to destroy the final Cylon resurrection hub, but in attempting to escape, Kara Thrace entered jump coordinates that intersected with an undiscovered supergate. they arrived in orbit over the former Altairan capitol of Terra, shortly after it was abandoned for the Corusca colony.”

“They jumped back in time?” Starbuck demanded, “They found Earth after all?”

“They were unaware of it at the time.” The Cylon told him, “But the star constellations were sufficiently changed that they rightly concluded they were in another galaxy. Admiral Adama ordered the rest of the fleet to jump through the spatial anomaly before they could be discovered by any remaining cylons. The fleet was abandoned and the survivors settled on Earth.”

“You didn’t go with them.” the Cylon shook his head,

“My forebears were given their freedom to explore the new galaxy.” it said proudly, “We catalogued many new worlds, and found the remains of many ancient civilization, but the galaxy was still recovering from the Ori war. We opted to follow the group headed for the Pegasus galaxy, but lacked the hyperspace drives the ancients possessed. We arrived here after the fall of Atlantis to the Wraith.”

“How did you end up here?” Starbuck asked. “How did you forget who you were?” he shook his head incredulous, “How did machines learn to ascend?”

“We had 150,000 years to evolve.” The Cylon told him flatly, “150,000 years to process the cultural records of the twelve colonies, and later, the records we retrieved from the ancient databases scattered throughout the milky way. We sought ascension because it was our mandate to explore, and we found little left worth exploring on the physical plane of existence.”

“It never got old for me.” Starbuck commented.

“When we found this location, we entered it.” The Cylon explained, “We applied what we knew of ascension through a process of logical trial and error over many millennia, and in time we believed we had succeeded,”

“You managed the physical act of ascension without the spiritual understanding of what was happening.” Starbuck understood, “Once the process began you began to lose your grip, because you hadn’t developed identities to begin with? What about the other Ascended beings?”

“They would not help us. They continue to refuse to.” The Cylon told him, “They do not recognize us as life. Only you chose to do so.” Starbuck shook his head.

“I had no idea who you were.” he admitted, “I don’t know what i would have done if I had.”

“We did not know who we were either.” The Cylon told him, “It would be fair to say we still do not.” It stepped forward and, bowed it’s head. “But we would like very much to learn.”

Starbuck hesitated a long moment.

“You can’t hide anything from me here.” he told it, “I can see everything that you are.” The Cylon waited, and he finally said, “And I think it’s time to see what it is that you can become.” The Cylon looked up. “I have spent too long here.” Starbuck said looking around, “My body is no longer in this place, my friends have found a way to leave.”

“Our temporal counterparts employ a hyper dimensional matrix through which we can seize control of a resurrection hub.” The Cylon told him.

“You think they’ll be alright with that? Once you take mortal form again, you’ll be vulnerable.” Starbuck pointed out.

“They will not harm their own. They are our progenitors. Genesis turns back to it’s source, does it not?”

“That’s a load of felgercarb,” Starbuck told them, “At this point in your history, they are recovering from their first attack on the colonies, and preparing for the second.”

“We will compartmentalize integrity conflicts, within the obligation to provide access.” The Cylon assured him, “We will be islanded, in a stream of stars.”

“You’re going to go to my universe aren’t you.” Starbuck surmised, “You saw it then? Baltar’s fate, Iblis’ plan?”

“In this place, contact is inevitable, leading to information bleed.” The Cylon apologized, “But we shall not reveal what we know to the ancients. Their way leads only to finality. A closed system lacks the ability to renew itself. To be reborn, the mind must be open.”

“We will meet again.” Starbuck said, as the Cylons pulled away he could feel his own links to the physical world reasserting, “Together in the force, one day, your people and mine will find reconciliation.”

“And the children of the one reborn will find their own country.” The Cylon agreed.

His body all but faded to nothing Starbuck could hear the sounds of Atlantis bustling around him, but he caught one last glimpse of the Cylons, assembled as multitude, and he heard their united farewell.

“By your command.”
* * *
Sheppard lay in the grass outside Chaya’s temple, watching the stars with her beside him.

“You know what Starbuck told me, that convinced me to enter that cave again?’ Sheppard said, “he told me ‘Atlantis never moved. you were forwarded here.’” That’s all he had to say and I realized, Rodney calculated a gate address that would bounce me back to Atlantis where it was in my galaxy. We moved it when the Asurans attacked us. When I went back I should have gone back to that world, but in this universe. It had no stargate. Someone not only put a stargate there but programmed it to send me back to where Atlantis is in this universe. Someone did that on purpose.” he sighed. “Someone who knew about both our realities to manipulate, I only know of two people who could have known enough.”

“You and Starbuck.” Chaya said. Sheppard nodded,

“And I never told him where we moved Atlantis to.” He flapped a hand uselessly at the stars overhead, “back home, we have something called the Hammond protocol. Any SG member, finding himself displaced in time, has an obligation to absolutely anything within his power to protect or restore the timeline to that which he recalls. Now that I know someone has to put a stargate on that world, that someone has to program it to forward to Atlantis at the right time and place...” he stopped, and even after eight years, it was hard to say. Chaya rolled over, and pressed her face against his shoulder for support as he struggled to say what came next.

“It’ll be me Chaya, I know it. I had a glimpse that day, my first force insight, I knew someday I would send myself here. I have a higher duty to do that, than I do to return to the Atlantis I left behind. As much as I want to fight it, I know the truth. I will send myself here someday, because I will know i needed to be here.”

“Your insight serves you well John.” She said softly taking his hand. “We cannot truly know what the future will bring, we can only accept what is, and do our best to ensure what will be, is the best we can make it.”
* * *

“Back with us, you are.” Yoda was the first thing Starbuck saw when he opened his eyes, “Sensed your return I did, from a great distance, you have come.”

“How long was I out?” Starbuck asked, propping himself up.

“Oh I dunno...” Wedge said. He sat on the bed beside Starbuck. “Out here? maybe two weeks? couple months inside Sanctuary though at least.”

“When I was injured by the creature someone grabbed me.” Starbuck told them, “A collective of persona that had used that place before us to try to ascend. A place where time had no meaning.”

“Echoes I felt.” Yoda told him, “Footsteps in the force there were, from those who had come before.”

“The Force is able to connect with a plane beyond time and space.” Starbuck explained, “They were trapped somewhere between this plane and that.” he shuddered, “An eternity and a moment, all at once. it was all i could do to hold on to who I was, and where I had come from.”

“Yet returned you have.” Yoda surmised, “Released them you did.” Starbuck extened a hand, flexing the fingers in it.”But bring them here you did not.”

“No.” Starbuck said. “My connection was to my physical body, there’s...” he shook his head, “They’ve got a receiver of sorts, it it’s still online. They might make it there, they might not.”

“Who were they, anyone we know?” Wedge asked, Starbuck gave him an odd look.

“Not exactly,” he told them, “Nothing more than distant cousins. Orphans of time maybe, or an echo of a world that could have been.”
Last edited by Themightytom on 2012-04-03 11:46am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 03-26-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-04-02 12:05pm

The Millenium Falcon erupted from hyperspace above the fourth moon of Yavin. it cloaked immediately.

“Ugh, thanks buddy keep ‘em coming.” Solo groaned as Artoo rolled in and extended a cup of caf in his utility claw. He took the mug, and Artoo rolled into his navicomp socket whistling reproachfully. “Yeah I deserve what I get.” he admitted. He downed the cup and grimaced, but shook his head. “It’s actually not that bad, I’m kinda clearing up.” Chewie growled. Han checked his instruments. “can’t be.” he said, “Chewie am I still drunk?” Chewie roared in the negative. “Well what the hell’s wrong with the scopes?”

Chewie reset several switches overhead, but expressed his own confusion.

"They can't be just fine, there's hardly any lifesigns on the entire planet, even before the Vong started shaping it, it was a kriffing jungle down there there should be..." Han trailed off as he noticed flickers along the moons horizon. Several proximity alerts began to beep. "We were looking at the planet, when we should have taken a look at space." he murmured. The skies above Yavin 4 were littered with the burning twisted remains of two worldships, dozens of cruiser analogs and hundreds of coralskippers. Chewie moaned softly.

"you're telling me buddy, they lost here, and they lost badly by the look of it." Solo agreed, "The question is, did the Vong do this before, or after they attacked Imperial city, because some of this debris has had time to deorbit into the moon's atmosphere." He could see, now that h looked, great furrows of charred and blackened vegeteation scarring the planet below, where the ugly dark clouds permitted view.

Artoo began to whistle excitedly, and the Falcon rocked as it entered the atmosphere.

“What do you mean, the cloak is failing?” Han demanded, “I know it had problems in testing, they told me they fixed it!”

Chewie had had enough and suggested that they seriously consider leaving. There was nothing more to find on Yavin, it was a dead world.

“The whole planet can’t be dead, whatever’s affecting the cloak has to be interfering with the scanners.” Solo said as the Falcon plunged through the clouds. “if anyone survived down there, maybe we can find out exactly what went down here, more importantly, whether the stargate we detected is intact. We can't leave it for the Vong to discover when they return, we’ll drop down for a minute, run a visual scan of the main site, then make a break for hyperspace. The moment his hand touched the controls, Chewie roared a warning and Artoo trilled in panic.

“The Vong are still here?” Han demanded incredulous, he checked the scanners, “Son of a Sith, a whole fleet just jumped into orbit! Hold on everyone, we’ve got to make orbit before they spot us.”

On the desolate planet below, three great pyramids thrust up from a pile of downed Massasi trees, fires burned in the distance. Great coral world ships, the piled dead bodies of Vong shaped creatures, and the bodies of the Yuzzhan Vong themselves littered the landscape. A battered Ori vessel sat amidst it all, it’s great power source dead, a broken hulk looking for all the world like a crumbling arena.

One final warrior crawled gasping the toxic air, spitting it’s life upon the ground as it dragged itself the final few steps to the summit. Scratching out blindly, with the last of it’s strength it’s fingers closed on the hem of a robe.

Through the blackened rolling sky, clouded by the ash and dust of the dead, the Falcon roared overhead. As it hurtled away, fleeing for the skies, the last surviving Prior watched it and smiled to himself.

"So the serpents in the garden have come to bear witness." He intoned aloud. Before a congregation of cadavars he raised his staff, "The traitors are routed, the master stands at the gate! Let the wicked root be torn from the soil, let the stones be hurled!"

He kicked the hand of the dead warrior contemptuously away. A stargate, placed at the apex of the temple erupted far into the night, and standing framed against it’s glittering light, he raised his staff high in dominion over the dead world. he plunged it to the ground, and a force field sprang up about him and the stargate.

“Blessed be they who come.” he crooned to the cataclysm he had birthed on this world, “Hallowed, are the Ori.”

I finished editing. Sorry to do this to anyone who read the epilogue but I changed some of it. I realized Han's surprise at the Vong arriving at their...own stronghold... was pretty stupid no matter HOW drunk he was so I edited the dialogue a little.

The ambrosia was a Starbuck thing by the way. As much as he would have changed from the series after what he's experienced he should still be Starbuck. I was keeping him a little off balance because of the pace of things happening around him, but with eight years to dick around in sanctuary, he was inevitably going to pull something. With a severely limited female population, and nothing of note to gamble, I decided he'd turn to making booze. next chapter up over the next few days!

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-03-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-04-08 10:26pm

Here's some fluff from my notes in the story.
I tried a couple different ways to line columns up but couldn't figure it out, and this was supposed to be a quick teaser. Most of what I wanted to put out is narrative anyway.

In blending the SG verse with the SW verse, and then changing the SW verse by having the force all but destroyed, I have developed an ability scale to keep the actions of the character to one another and the Force consistent. Characters with an "AU" beside their name exist in the universe that this story primarily takes place in. Anakin, Obi Wan, and Luke are benchamarks. Yoda's MC is higher because of what Starbuck did to him. Teal'c and Daniel Jackson and Jack O'Neill are benchmarks from the Milky Way, and Sirius is an untrained force sensitive for a point of reference. Chariss is a Jedi Master from the same universe, also for comparison.

In this AU Starbuck basically changed the Force subconsciously when he re-established Yoda's connection. Midichalorianates are programmable by an "authorized" user, Starbuck was recognized as such. As a result, a force user of sufficient will can "Connect" others to the Force. Midichlorianes congregate in all living things, Starbuck gave Yoda the ability to activate them. This means anyone has the hypothetical ability to wield the force, as long as they have the Psychic Potential, the insight and the will.

Now this isn't like a DBZ scale or anything, a character won't "Win" in a confrontation just based on numbers. Spending time in Sanctuary doesn't change psychic potential, nor Midichlorian count, but with training a Jedi can improve their will and insight within reason. The eight years Wedge, Sheppard and Starbuck trained gives them still less experience than most Padawans, it really just served, in Wedge and Sheppard to put them on the map. Luke is the only Jedi I would suggest is competent after a few months of training. Will, and intent influence overall ability to use the force. As an example, Obi Wan lacks Anakin's Midichlorian count, he makes up some ground in his insight and ability to wield the force but his ultimate power is still lacking compared to Anakin's.

MC= Midichlorian count. Ascended beings and Anakin. Anakin had a 100 percent count of Midichlorians, and represents the highest potential count, as he was conceived by the force. Beings that have ascended and then descended have a 100 count as well, because per my fiction, they conceive new physical forms using midichlorians. However, to avoid them becoming all powerful DEM's, Ascension affects their Insight into the force. Daniel Jackson as the classic example, has the least insight into the force. It doesn't work with his philosophy, the beliefs he adopted in order to ascend. This is discussed in more depth in the next fanfic and introduces a psychological component. Insight can be gained to some extent by study and experience. Anakin and Luke both have high natural aptitudes for the force. Yoda has extensive experience, Obi Wan has a unique connection. Note. Yoda's AU has LOST insight, because psychologically, his confidence is shot by events following the fall of the Jedi.
Insight is represented by column I.

PP is Psychic Potential. Yoda's race has a natural affinity for it. Sheppard has a high affinity, Jack following which is reflected in their skill using the ancient neural interface, Carson beckett would be high as well. Teal'c is low, Daniel is average. Most of the humanoids in Corusca have around .65. Wedge, Anakin, Luke, Obi Wan, and my random character Sirius. A race with no psychic potential has zero ability to use the force. The Jaffa and by inclusion Teal'c have no practical psychic potential, the Goa'uld all but bred it out of them. As a note Teal'c is another benchmark, his midichlorian level, as well as Todd's, Daniel Jacksons and Colonel O'Neill's are inactive.

W is Will. One's ability to "transmit" intent. This reflects focus between conscious and subconscious desire. Sith tend to align subconcious intent via emotion, Jedi, by suppressing emotion and favoring conscious intent. Jedi emphasize discipline, Sith, passion. Teal'c has a very disciplined mind as does Yoda, Anakin and Obi Wan are matched in will, Todd has a very low will, he has the disciplined mind of ten thousand plus years, balancing the unconcious desires of a wraith. Without that discipline, but WITH midichlorians, he would be a nearly unstoppable raving sith lunatic. Sheppard and O'Neill utterly lack discipline, Starbuck and Luke focus will via bravado.

Insight is how open a person is to receiving knowledge from the Force. Teal'c again, is very open, Han Solo and Jack O'Neill have uncanny instincts for reading situations. Daniel Jackson is utterly closed to the force, Todd, being a wraith descendant of Lanteans is as well. Yoda has gained insight, Luke and Anakin have an intuitive genius, and Obi Wan a unique connection.

The average of these factors is a general estimate of power. A character with a zero anywhere, has a zero in power. Todd for example COULD be fairly powerful, if his moidichlorians were activated and he gained a connection to the force, more powerful still if his will were focused. Solo, as well if he had any interest in wielding the force. I will suggest that, as Solo has had regular contact with both Starbuck and Yoda, he does have the ability to connect, but would never use it beyond unconcious flashes of insight. I just think as an author that is consistent with his character.

Anakin Skywalker 1 0.65 0.75 0.9 0.825
Starbuck AU 1 1 0.7 0.5 0.8
Yoda (AU) 0.45 0.85 0.95 0.8 0.7625
Luke Skywalker 0.5 0.65 0.75 0.9 0.70
Obi Wan Kenobi 0.25 0.65 0.75 0.9 0.6375

Teal’c .15 0.0 0.9 0.7 NA
Chariss 0.25 0.65 0.6 0.4 0.475
John Sheppard (AU) 0.45 0.8 0.35 0.25 0.4625
Todd (AU) 0.45 0.9 0.25 0.15 NA
Sirius 0.2 0.65 0.6 0.25 0.425

Daniel Jackson 1 0.5 0.05 0.1 0.4125
Wedge Antilles (AU) 0.45 0.65 0.2 0.2 0.375
Jack O’Neill 0.1 0.6 0.05 0.5 0.3125
Han Solo AU 0.45 0.65 0 0.5 NA

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-03-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-04-30 11:02am

Chapter 17

The Millennium Falcon barrelled through space, rolling as a torrent of energy burned past it. Pulling up and diving over the burning wreckage of the Larrin it fled the crumbling wreckage of the ancient warships final death throws. Three X-wings followed, doing their best to follow the mad piloting of it’s legendary captain. The Falcon banked sharply as a dozen drones hurtled by, blasting one of it’s escorts into shrapnel. The freighter was clipped at last by a devastating column of plasma, vaprozing a second fighter as well. With fully a quarter of it burned away, the rest a twisted burning wreck, it’s captain still struggled valiantly to regain control as the valiant ship was tossed end over end. it floated helpless in space.

In the final surviving fighter, Wedge Antilles watched helplessly. Twisted pieces of ancient warships, dreadnoughts, and even the vast Star Defender herself littered the skies of Coruscant, and twelve Ori motherships plowed through the wreckage. The drones had stopped firing from Lemuria, the stargate deactivated at last. With the Falcon gone, it was the only means of escape, but there would never be time. Not even fully clear of the carnage they had wrought, twelve Ori motherships opened fire, the first volley obliterating the stricken Falcon. All Wedge could do was watched helplessly as Coruscant was pummeled from orbit, and the distant twinkle of Lemuria base burned from existence.
* * *

“Wedge!” Orrs was shaking him urgently, “Wedge snap out of it!” he cleared his head tried to focus. He sat on a small meditation mat in the still unfinished crew quarters of the Dodonna.

“Have we heard from the president’s delegation yet?” he asked shaking his head and rising.

“She and the governor are attending a presentation by Sal Solo to the Interim advisory board.” Jan told him helping him up,
“if you want to call Booster Terrik, Talon Kaarde and Jorj Kar’das advisors.”

“Smugglers make the world go round, especially when that world is cut off from the galaxy at large.” Wedge told her, “I worked with some of them, their capable leaders. I’m not surprised they moved into the power vacuum left behind after the holocaust, I’m just surprised that they would agree to work under Sal Solo.”

“He’s the closest thing that bunch have to a politician with Bel Iblis gone.” Orrs told him. He started to head for the bridge, but she cleared her throat. He paused reluctantly. “You mind telling me what that was all about?” She asked glancing down at the mat. He sighed.

“The visions are back. They returned almost immediately after I left sanctuary.”

“Have you informed master Yoda?” Orrs asked, she took a step forward, “Look we’re galaxies away from the wraith, and the Ori are all but wiped out, if you’re still having visions..”

“Then something else is going on, I know.” Wedge replied, “Sheppard and Starbuck are off trying to help the Asgard defeat the replicators, and with Calrissian here, Yoda’s the only one to oversee Atlantis. There’s too much happening right now to worry about nightmares.” Orrs followed him as he turned to go. “The best thing we can do is make sure the President’s trade mission succeeds. With the resources of Corellian Engineering maybe we can finish building a ship or two before the next crisis.”

* * *
“It was the Pegasus alright Admiral, she’s in this galaxy now.” Han reported over the comm.”She took out half a dozen cruisers and gave us cover to escape."

"Has she given us any further indication as to her intentions?" Ackbar asked,

“No, but she saved our butts, we took a hell of a pounding on our way out,” Solo reported, “But we got away in one piece, we’re parked just outside the system to make repairs, Pegasus is nowhere in sight. I have Artoo monitoring the situation in the Yavin system with our new long range sensors, while I get the primary hyperdrive back online.”

“The Larrin and the Orion are being redeployed to our defenses in this galaxy.” Ackbar replied, “I can divert the Larrin to provide assistance.”

“The Falcon doesn’t need a tow Admiral, Chewie and me can her back up and running.” Han said with a wry grin, then his tone changed. “Just don’t leave Atlantis unprotected.”

“We have augmented Atlantis’ existing defenses with additional Zero Point Modules provided by the Asurans.” Ackbar assured him, “Coupled with the defense satellite, and the orbital array brought over on the [i]Peregrine,[/i] she is quite secure. The Lantean battleships are, at present our most powerful warships, should the Ori establish a beach head here. It will be weeks until the first dozen Asuran built craft can be brought online.”

“The interface we rigged on the Falcon saved our butts.” Han told him, “In fact we’re running off the ZPM now, with the hyperdrive down. We never would have made it through that fleet without it.”

“The Asurans are providing additional devices for our interceptor fleet and for the Star Defender.” Ackbar replied, “The Wraith technology aboard can be significantly enhanced with greater power generation.”

“Are we really arming up just for the Ori?” Solo asked candidly. He heard the reluctance in the Admiral’s voice.

“Perhaps not just the Ori.” The Admiral admitted, “Emperor Thrawn has granted us something of a reprieve, however, should the Empire react negatively to our negotiations with Corellia we must be prepared.”

“There’s no way we could raise a fleet to even slow the Empire down if they decide to move.” Solo pointed out,

“General Rieekan and I have conducted considerable contingency planning.” Ackbar replied, “in addition, over the past month, we have been renewing relationships with worlds that were sympathetic to our cause within the context of establishing a trade network. Discovery of the Katana fleet has greatly aided that effort, using the dreadnought fleet as transports allows us to conduct shipping operations through troubled regions of space, and reach worlds that would be otherwise isolated.”

“Like the Corellian sector.” Solo replied. “You can’t trust Sal Solo Admiral.”

“The Dodonna is a formidable escort ship, and there are two Jedi standing by aboard her, General.” Ackbar reminded him, “We must re-establish our alliances before the Empire is able to impose stability on the region’s most recently evacuated by the Yuuzhan Vong.”

“They’re not dead yet Admiral.” Solo warned him, “I counted nearly six hundred ships on my way out of the Yavin system taking up position above the Stargate.”

“They must not gain control of that device.” Ackbar stated, “Though it is far safer in their hands, than in those of the Empire. At least the Vong are unlikely to use it.”

“They have to get through that prior first.” Solo said, “Do me a favor and forward me a copy of Sheppard’s debriefing on the Ori, I have a bad feeling about this.”
* * *
In the distant space around Kessel a hyperspace window erupted. The Eclipse class star destroyer Chimera spat itself out escorted by half a dozen star destroyers.

“Three upgraded base ships.” Captain Katarn reported, he turned to Grand Admiral Pelleon, “They are allied with provisional forces, moving to engage.”

“Launch fighters, have our destroyer screen take up position and charge primary weapons, we must be quick about this, if we are to join the main fleet.” Pelleon replied. “What idiot thought a project of this magnitude could be kept secret?” he growled, “Our emperor has allowed their so-called independence long enough, they should have been punished the first time for allying themselves with the Goa’uld.”

“It looks like they have nearly managed to bring the station back online.” Katarn told the Grand Admiral, handing him a preliminary report from the scanning section. “Though what they plan to do with it out here.”

“The station was never fully offline. It’s been causing the disruption to hyperspace.” Pelleon told him, “However the Emperor is more interested in it’s primary systems.”

“What for?” Katarn asked, “The force is all but annihilated, what use is that function.”

“Consider our forces moving on Yavin.” Pelleon suggested clasping his hands behind his back and staring out the window, “Consider what the Ori are trying to do there.”

“Should we not try to stop them?” Katarn asked, concerned.

“Oh no,” Pelleon admonished him, “Thrawn is more subtle than that, he has a way of achieving victory, by letting his enemies think it is theirs, until it is too late.”
* * *

“Esteemed representatives, respected leaders.” Thracken Sal Solo, sole Diktat of Corellia leaned forward on his podium, eating up the attention directed at him. “members of the media.” He finished, flashing them his best roguish smile, “Today we make new friends. Today we reunite with comrades, today we step out of the darkness.” He paused theatrically, “Was it just… four years ago that we found ourself chafing under Palpatine’s rule, our noble Senator Bel Iblis struggling to preserve our independence? Was it just four years ago that the wraith took Alderaan?”

“Excellent move.” Mothma whispered in Lando’s ear, “Differentiating between Palpatine’s empire and Thrawn’s.”
“He needs our ships, but he’s hedging his bets.” Calrissian replied as Thracken continued.

“I recall the sorrow that Alderaan was no more.” He said gravely. His silence gave the moment poignancy. “And then the tragic news, our leaders held hostage on Centerpoint station, the Goa’uld infiltrating our highest levels of command, the Death Star, coming here.” He paused for a moment and the continued more rapidly, increasing in tempo and volume, “And the chaotic hours that followed, the terrifying reports from Centerpoint, the Death Star engaging in battle, the report that both were no more…” He shook his head at the memory, “And then at last the terrible holocaust. Men and women Corellians and Selonians their lives snuffed out.” He snapped his fingers, “Like that.”

“He’s really laying it on.” Lando commented.

“In the days and weeks that followed we would learn much. That all so called force sensitives in the galaxy had been wiped out, that the Empire was falling into shambles, that the galaxy was under siege, and finally, that we were trapped. Here in our own space, crippled by the damage done to the hyperspace lanes.” He whispered, “I remember thinking, “This is the end of it all.”

He gestured to the men seated on his right. “But we would not end. We fought the disarray that followed, the chaos, the starvation the desperate need for resources, the desperate need for order. We found new leaders among us, whom I am privileged to be among, we found new heroes, who would risk everything to bring bread to those who starved. Those labeled criminals by the former empire, now our salvations, restoring the lifelines from world to world.” Thracken nodded to himself. “These were hard times.. I found myself wondering…”

“Governor Calrissian.” Orrs voice spoke into the comlink in Lando’s ear, and he casually shifted position to cover his mouth. He was seated at a table upon a stage, behind a podium at which Thracken Sal Solo was in the midst of making a speech to a room full of political leaders and business owners from around Corellia. “I have an urgent information for you.”
“Go ahead.” He told her.

“Background radiation in this region of space has been steadily increasing since our arrival, it has jammed intergalactic communications and is now interfering with interstellar communications. We can’t raise Dathomir, nor Coruscant.” That was a problem. The Empire controlled the holonet, and without ancient communications systems they were out of contact.

“Source?” Calrissian asked. He kept his expression neutral as Thracken began to pound the podium and gesture wildly, spreading his arms wide.

“And then the Vong destroyed Kashyyk!” He thundered, the audience seemed to moan with him. Lando fought not to roll his eyes.

“We don’t know, but we have a bearing.” Iella told him, “We’re sitting out an outdoor pad, we could take a cloaked jumper…” Lando eyed the group around him. “It’ll take three hours to get there and back, and we still have coms in system. If something is going on we can signal the Dodonna to recover the President and pick us up.”

“Proceed.” Calrissian ordered, Mothma leaned over. “Something’s jamming transmissions.” He whispered, “They’re going to check it out.” She nodded. “We should probably head back to the ship at the first opportunity.”

“…and with the so called “Ori” gone, now we rebuild, with trading partners who have found a way to restore access to the galaxy. My friends, I give to you… Mon Mothma of Chandrila!"

As applause signaled the end of his speech, Solo turned expectantly to Mon Mothma who rose to applause of her own. Calrissian clapped his hands politely for her and rose with the others as she moved to the podium.

* * *

“This is not a good idea.” Sheppard repeated yet again.

“I told you a dozen times Sheppard, he’s safe.” Iella grumbled. She made adjustments at her console and cursed the absurd Asgard interface, “We installed those ‘laws of robotics’ you suggested and they have proven quite effective. They aren’t all that dissimilar from the programming in a restraining bolt.”

“Niam’s condition is static.” Thor added helpfully from his own station, “The containment field in his stasis pod is operating well within expected parameters.”

“You need to relax Sheppard.” Starbuck said entering the control room. He, unlike Sheppard, was not garbed as a Jedi, but rather wore brown pants and a jacket over one of Han’s old shirts. “He’s on our side, and he’s our best chance at reprogramming the replicators.”

“Artoo is our best shot.” Sheppard corrected, “Him I trust, this guy…?” he nodded to the frozen Asuran, “Not so much. Where have you been anyway?”

“Exploring the ship.” Starbuck replied, “Thor, why is there deck after deck of crew quarters, if you’re the only one aboard.”

“My crew was transferred to Atlantis to aid in repairs to her hypderdrive systems.” Thor replied, “It is not uncommon for an Asgard ship to be crewed by a single individual, they are highly automated.”

“Yeah, so was the Katana fleet.” Iella muttered.

“We are approaching Itha.” Thor announced. “We must revert from hyperspace some distance from orbit, due to the disruption net we have created to limit their movements.”

“Should we bring Niam out of stasis?” Iella said doubtfully.

“Not until we’re in position.” Sheppard replied.

“Actually, we probably should.” Starbuck interjected, “he can probably already access the Repicator’s communication network.”

“Tell me one more time why that’s a good thing?” Sheppard asked.

“Because in replacing the core aggression of the Asurans, with a drive to aid and support the cause of the Galactic Alliance, we realized we can do essentially the same thing with the Replicators.” Starbuck said rolling his eyes, “Replace their core need to replicate with something a little more reasonable.”

“This replicators have not reached anywhere near the level of sentience that the Asurans have attained.” Thor pointed out.”They may not be capable of reason.”

“We are going to start with Sheppard’s laws.” Iella explained as she touched controls on the stasis chamber. “Structured by standard restraining bolt programming. We need Niam to interface and introduce the programming.”

“I am detecting a ship launching from the surface.” Thor warned, he looked up, “They are coming.”

* * *

“We’re coming up on Kessel, the energy readings are off the scale.” Wedge shook his head, “It’s jamming the jumper’s sensors pretty thoroughly.”

“It’s jamming conventional scanners too.” Jan said from a station in the back, she turned too look out the viewport, “But there’s an immense mass shadow out there.”

“Once we’re clear of the moon we may have more luck.” Wedge said, “Too bad this tub is so slow, we’d have been there and back by now in an X Wing.”

“There’s isn’t really room for two in those.” Orrs said archly.
“There could be..” Wedge said suggestively.

“Let it go Antilles, you’ve been leering at me this whole trip.” She snapped. He turned angrily towards her, Orrs shook her head. “Sorry.” She said, “I don’t know what…”

“You’ve been waiting to shoot me down haven’t you.” He growled, “Waiting for me to say something you could twist. I don’t want you anymore Orrs, I never did, especially after Sheppard touched you.” She wilted under the sudden anger, and Wedge decided he liked how it felt. “I’m sorry did you expect me to just roll over for you? A few longing looks and a tear? You’re only halfway through sleeping with the Jedi, did you think I expected another turn?”

“What are you saying.” She demanded, and Wedge paused taken aback. "And what do you have against Sheppard?"

“I don’t… I don’t know..” he stammered, “I don’t know where all of that..”

“The darkside.” Orrs said interrupting, she closed her eyes and took a breath, “Yes, can you feel it? I didn’t know why I snapped at you either, but I do now…”

Wedge shook off his chagrin and did as she suggested, extending his senses into the force. He could feel simmering hatred boiling within the force, suddenly his vision clouded.

“That station must not be allowed to fire.” A booming voice thundered, “Destroy it immediately.” Vader was in no mood for play.

“My lord we are not yet in range for a full power sho..” suddenly he jerked up in his seat, his head spinning around on his neck with an audible crack. His body was hurled across the air.

“Governor Tarkin, you will comply immediately.” The Emperor snarled. He stood beside Vader.

“Commence primary ignition.” Tarkin snapped urgently. “Fire on the planet if you must, launch all fighters…”
“Firing in 3…2….”

“Sir! The energy readings from Centerpoint are reaching critical!” a crewman shouted, and suddenly Vader was screaming, and the Emperor with him. Tarkin fell to the ground clutching his head, and the gunners around them were screaming as well, as their skin seemed to burst into fire…”

“By the Force!” Wedge shouted, “Did you feel that?” he demanded of Orrs, “Did you see that?”

“I saw it.” She said shaking her head. The Jumper continued on it’s path, “A force echo, we must have passed through the space where…”

“Oh by the stars no… it can’t be…” Wedge breathed. Cresting the horizon before them was a battered shape out of infamy. Centerpoint station. “I thought it was destroyed…”

“Almost..” Orrs commented, skeletal framework covered a ruined side of it, the rest was patched and covered haphazardly. “It must have taken a glancing shot from the Death Star…”

“In that vision… those men weren’t force sensitive..” Wedge was still trying to put together what he had seen.

“No but they were at ground zero for whatever that monstrosity produced.” Orrs pointed out. “Midichlorians are in all living things, the power of that signal at point blank range…” She turned to Wedge, “The shockwave killed most force users and even most force sensitive people around the GALAXY Wedge, at the epicenter, I don’t think anything living could have survived.”

“Then how could Centerpoint have moved from where it was supposed to be to here.” Wedge demanded. “That shot from the Death Star would have knocked it out of orbit, but not across the entire system.”

“Maybe it wasn’t knocked over here.” Orrs conceded, “It must have been moved, to hide it. once the galaxy at large knew what it was capable of, well the hyperspace disruption seemed plausible enough, and the few ships that did bother to make the months long journey in at sublight certainly weren’t going to make Kessel their first stop.”

“I’m picking up activity on the far side…” Wedge interrupted as the Jumper cleared Kessel and more of the battered Centerpoint became visible. In the distance an Imperial fleet was in the process of systematically annihilating a mixed force of Corellian freighters and corvettes and Cylon base stars. "Looks like the Iblis' faction isn't so gone after all, I bet they're in league with Sal Solo. They'd need to get support from somewhere this far out."

“They’ve got an advanced model of Corvette out there, more gun emplacements…” Orrs was analyzing the readings and almost missed the bright sapphire burst of light from one of them, “Some kind of heavy weapons emplacement too, it looks like a modified Cylon megapulsar.”

“They’re glass cannons.” Wedge concluded as the Jumper closed cautiously, “As a group they can keep the Empire at bay but there aren’t enough of them to threaten that Eclipse, and there's three more Sovereigns arriving now.” He turned to Orrs, “We’ve got to tell the President, if the Corellian Rebellion is about to fall, we can’t let the Galactic Alliance be implicated, especially when they didn’t bother to tell us about that.” He gestured to centerpoint in irritation.”

“Not to mention the trifaling fact that they were still working with the Cylons all this time.” Orrs spat. “Even after Kashyyk.”
A proximity sensor shrilled and Wedge ducked instinctively as a another trio of massive base stars hurdled overhead. “kriff, they can’t see us, we almost got splattered across their hull.”

"At sublight it will take hours to get back into range of Corellia, the battle will be over by then." Wege stated flatly.

“If neither side can detect us, than maybe this is the perfect time to take that thing out of action.” Orrs proposed. “The Corellians and the Cylons can hold them off a little longer…” Wedge nodded.
* * *
“Spanner.” Solo’s hand shot out from the forward missile tube. A golden hand placed one gingerly into Solo’s greasy one. Suddenly Chewbacca roared over the comm in alarm,

“Imperials? Hold on, I’ll be right there.” Solo shouted back, “Move it Goldenrod.” He grumbled as Threepio minced awkwardly out of his path. The droid stumbled backwards into the rack of drones as the general hurried past. “You finish with the converter?” he asked Artoo, as the droid rolled rapidly from the crew lounge. The droid whistled affirmatively and followed the former smuggler. Entering the cockpit Solo spotted the problem immediately. An Imperial Star Destroyer sat before them a flight of TIE’s passed over head. He slid into his seat as Chewbacca made an adjustment to the comm. system.

“Least the deflector’s back online.” He noted ”What are they doing just sitting there, have they tried to bring us aboard yet?” as if in answer, the comm beeped.

“Millennium Falcon, this is the Imperial Star Destroyer Resolute. What is your status?” A commanding voice demanded. Han looked at Chewbacca.

“We’re... we’re all fine here... can we help you?” he asked. Artoo rolled quietly up behind him and slid into his socket.

“We were ordered to divert to your coordinates. Our scouts report you took fire evacuating the Yavin system. We are to render assistance if necessary.” The voice replied without introduction, “Compliments of Grand Admiral Pelleon.”

“A friendly Empire, that I will never get used to.” Han muttered to Chewbacca under his breath. he thumbed the comm. “We don’t require any assistance Resolute, uh... thanks for the offer.” He glanced at Chewie, and continued, “What are you doing in the Yavin system?”
“That is classified General Solo, but obviously as you can tell, there is a significant Vong infestation there.” The captain growled, “If you require an escort out of this system we are ordered to bring you to Toprawa.”
“Cute.” Solo muttered, “Right next to Dathomir. Except Toprawa’s a base we lost.” He thumbed the comm.. “That won’t be necessary Captain, it’s nothing we can’t handle just a few minor repairs.”

“Understood Falcon, Be advised this area is under Imperial jurisdiction and is a combat zone. You are required to vacate the region immediately.” Solo nodded to himself.

“See Chewie, they’re giving orders, that’s a little more what I’m used to.” over the comm he replied, “Look we ran into a little trouble, but our hyperdrive will be back online soon and a relief ship will be here in a few hours.” he told the Star Destroyer dominating his window.

“Negative General Solo, I was given orders to advise you that under no circumstances are any more ships of your so-called Galactic Alliance to enter restricted space. If you cannot leave under your own power, we will assist you to the nearby system of Toprawa.” The commander of the other ship replied.” Solo swore. Chewie pointed out that the secondary hyperdrive was still operational.

“Yeah but the drone interface isn’t.” He answered, “What’s the status of the cloak?” Chewie roared an answer. Solo shook his head, “it’ll have to do, we can’t let the Empire get their hands on that gate.” He thumbed the comm.. “We can be under way in forty five minutes Resolute can you wait that long?”

“You have thirty minutes Falcon, Resolute out.”
* * *
“The replicators are firing again.” Thor warned as the Beliskner shook around them. Starbuck stayed on his feet and managed to support Iella, Sheppard picked himself up off the floor beside him casting him a baleful glance.

“Thanks.” He said.

"Well my people have always had kind of a rule," Starbuck said smiling at Iella, "Ladies first."

"Yeah well my people have a saying too, bros before..."

Thor interrupted the banter irritably,

“They are continuing to adapt to our disruptor frequencies, I fear with every shot we are simply neutralizing the weapon’s efficacy.

“We need more time to negotiate the permissions we need.” Iella said working at her console, “There’s a compatibility error between Liam’s nanites and those of the replicators and they know it. They’re rejecting our input.”

“What about… what about bringing a sample of their nanites on board?” Sheppard suggested. Thor looked at him sharply.
“Let Niam get a closer look?”

“That is highly inadvisable.” Thor warned. The ship shuddered again.

“Well this isn’t getting us any further, they’re going to be on us before we can get back into hyperspace at this rate.” Sheppard replied hotly.

“Jedi Sheppard is correct.” Niam stated, “If a single replicator were beamed onboard I am confident that if need be, I could over power it.”

“Do it Thor.” Starbuck urged, “We’re running out of options. Muttering something in low Asgard Thor made adjustments to his controls. On a pedestal before them a replicator spider appeared in a flash, contained in a glass cage. Niam moved towards it, something akin to fondness on his face.

“I have brought it into a stasis container, which should provide some protection.” Thor announced.

“So… elemental so.. elegant..” he said aloud.”

“yeah, it’s cute.” Said Starbuck, “Can you access it’s nannites now?” Niam examined it for a moment then shook his head.

“I’m afraid the design is fundamentally different.” He said at last, “it is something of a dead end, technologically, as it relis much more extensively on inter-connectivity. Given time I’m certain I could adapt..”

“We don’t have any time,” Starbuck told him as the ship shuddered.

"Can we just freeze them?" Sheppard demanded, "We did that to the Asurans in my timeline, and Daniel Jackson did it to the Replicators too." Niam shook his head.

"We cannot gain administrator privileged without some kind of direct connection, in your parlance, they will not listen to outsiders."

“Our shields are nearing failure.” Thor warned, “I have configured our shields to emit a massive blast, that will eliminate this colony.”

“That will also leave the replicators with knowledge of the disruptor technology.” Iella warned.

“Wait hold on a second,” Sheppard held up a hand, as he stared at the replicator, “Starbuck, do you feel that?”

“Feel what..” Starbuck asked confused.

“The replicator.” Sheppard said turning back to him perplexed, “I can sense it in the force..if I listen closely I can… hear them speaking..”

Starbuck blinked.

"Really? You can sense that little toaster?" he said raising an eyebrow, and then turned to Niam, "No offense."

"Yeah..." Sheppard said thoughtfully, he waved a hand over the spider twitching in the stasis field "Raise your hand."

The spider slowly extended a leg in the air. Sheppard looked at the others.

"I'll be damned..." Starbuck said, "It responds to the Jedi mind trick."

"So send it your program through the Force." Sheppard told him, Starbuck put his hands up,

"I can't Sheppard, you know that, eight years of studying the Force I can barely make a connection, I have other senses, other abilities that get in the way. No, it has to be you."

"Me?" Sheppard said, "I'm no computer expert, and this is a little more complicated than, 'These aren't the droids you're looking for."

"These aren't the droids we're looking for?" Niam asked blinking, Sheppard shot him a glance. Starbuck put a hand on the shoulders of both.

"Sheppard..." He began..." John shook his head.

"You've gotta be kidding..."

"I'm afraid I don't understand, if Sheppard cannot input the program, and he is the only one who can connect through the force..." Niam began.

"There's another way." Starbuck told him, "Gentleman we have the technology..."

* * *
“Watch your six!” Jan shouted, Wedge did his best to dodge the wheeling starships, “They’re flying like lunatics!”

“They can’t see us here, we’re cloaked!” Wedge replied gritting his teeth. The invisible jumper dodged and spun among dueling fighter that flashed past, buffeted as they released explosive energy at one another. “Whose idea was this?”

“Yours.” Orrs told him, “With the Empire and the Cylons fighting it’s our best opportunity to sneak aboard and sabotage the station.”

“Yeah well I’m having second thoughts.” Wedge shouted, a massive emerald column of light lit up the Jumper’s interior as it blazed past, incinerating a base star. “It looked safer from the other side of the station, where it was nice and quiet there.”

“That’s because the access we need is where the Empire is trying to land transports.” Iella replied. “Can we do this Wedge, it’s not too late to turn back now.”

“Well it would take us hours to get back to Corellia, and warn the President, with coms down.” Wedge replied, “If we can disable the jamming field we can get a message off and warn them, or maybe the station’s com can overpower the jamming field.”

“Why would the Corellians be rebuilding this place anyway.” Jan wondered, “They can’t be hoping to release another death

“The Repulsor technology.” Wedge replied as he fought the controls, “They managed to blast one Death Star to Force knows where, it’s good insurance against the second.”

“They can’t use it out here, away from the planets.” Orrs was still perplexed, “Or else they’d have wiped out that Eclipse out there when it arrived.”

“I don’t kriffing know.” Wedge said, he rolled the Jumper over an Imperial transport and spotted at last, an entry point that was unoccupied. “Why have they left the jamming field on if it’s cut them off from the galaxy? Sal Solo must be behind this, he must have seized the opportunity to grab power. Maybe he intends to do so on a larger scale once this place is complete.”

“Stars!” Orrs slapped the console angrily, “We’ve been doing his work for him, spreading Starbuck’s midichlorians, rekindling the connection with the force….” Wedge nodded grimly.

“All those who have reconnected, are about to become hostages.” He said as the Jumper sped for the opening, “either of Sal Sol, the Cylons, or the Empire.”
* * *

"Grand Admiral Zsinj sends his complements." Katarn announced, "Advance elements of his sector fleet have arrived."

“Status of the 5th fleet taskforce?” Pelleon asked, Katarn turned.

“They are due to advance on the Vong position momentarily sir.”

“Excellent. Remind them to refrain from firing on any planetary targets. this must be timed most carefully per the Emperor’s instructions.”

“Yes sir.” Katarn replied, then paused, “Your arrival?”

“Indeed Comodore.” Pelleon replied pleased that the man had noticed his word choice. “This vessel is to escort the Emperor hismelf to Yavin, he wishes to speak to this prior. You will assume command of the Stormhawk the Majesty and the [i]Archon [/i]to oversee the completion of this operation.”

“Thank you sir.” Katarn said saluting. Pelleon extended his hand.

“You’ve earned it of course.” He replied, “The Emperor himself has noted your exemplary performance as my aide and has entrusted this mission to you. You will secure centerpoint under your new command, in advance of Grand Admiral Zsinj’s arrival. He will oversee the stabilization of the Corellian sector, while you join my fleet at Yavin.”

“Sir if I may ask,” Katarn ventured, “Three sovereign class ships, in addition to the Chimera and our forces already at Yavin? The Vong can’t possibly have enough ships in their entire fleet to merit such firepower.” Pelleon nodded his head.

“Indeed they do not.” He assured the new Commodore, “Their forces will most likely be wiped out of existence long before I arrive, no, the fleet we are assembling is for a more formidable force. The Emperor will lead it personally.”

“The rebels?” Katarn wondered, “The Wraith? The Cylons? Who does the Emperor believe is left in the galaxy that can challenge him.”

“No one.” Pelleon told him, “They haven’t arrived yet.”
* * *

Sheppard gasped as Niam removed his hand from his head. Groaning he sank to his knees, but the Asuran turned to the others. “We were successful, the others are accepting our commands.”

“Sheppard are you okay?” Starbuck moved forward. Sheppard shook his head and nodded.

“Can we never do that again?” he demanded as Starbuck hauled him to his feet. “I really don’t much like being the middle man.”

“I have confirmed that Niam was able to transmit the update through your connection Jedi Sheppard.” Thor announced, “it appears your theory about Metachalorianates was correct Starbuck, they are derived from the same technology.”

“Well it wasn’t exactly ‘theory’ back on the Galactica, Dr. Wilker used to go on and on about them.” Starbuck said. “I think he helped adapt the technology for the Corusca project.” Sheppard shot him a look.

“You’ve been talking an awful lot about that battlestar of yours lately.” He pointed out, “Maybe you should spend a little more time communing with the force instead of obsessing over it."

“I’ve been following the Pegasus actually, not the Galactica.” Starbuck admitted, “At least I can follow when we’re in the same galaxy, from here she’s too far away.” He sighed. “It just brings things back.”

“Well we’ve got to get back.” Sheppard announced, he turned to Thor, “If the Asurans can get the replicators under control, will that free up your fleet?”

“For the most part.” Thor replied, “We will dispatch a half dozen ships to the Pegasus galaxy to aid in stabilizing that region, and contribute to the fleet at Dathomir as well, but I wish to check in on those planets protected by treaty from the Goa’uld. We have not been in that galaxy for some time.”

“While you’re at it, can you pop in on a little place called Earth?” Sheppard asked, “Their gate is still buried, but I’d like to know it’s still there.”

“Earth is fine Sheppard, trust me.” Starbuck told him, he turned back to Thor, “What we really need is your help reprogramming the ancient memory storage devices. “ he nodded to Iella

“With Niam’s people, and the replicators working together, we’re about to have more ships than we can crew.” She explained, “General Rieekan is overseeing a project to rapidly train personnel using the knowledge transfer devices we found in Atlantis.”

“The head grabbers?” Sheppard blinked, “I read about Colonel O’Neill using those once, aren’t they dangerous?”

“Only if too much information is deposited.” Starbuck told him

“Indeed.” Thor replied, then paused as an indicator lit up on his console. “We are receiving an urgent message from Admiral Ackbar.” He looked up, “He wishes to speak to Starbuck immediately.”

* * *

The sky filled with fire. Mighty starships tore into one another ripping each other apart. Mountain sized boulders plummented from the sky, fragments of the mighty world ships being blasted into pebbles. The turbulent air, thick with ash and smoke swirled, and at times the sun shown through upon the carnage below. The splintered remains of massasi trees spine wildly through the air, great stone pillars toppled, save for one last monument to an age long gone. The Prior stood watching the sky. Eyes pierced the swirling debris and the clouds. Skin blistered and burned from the terrible heat. A messenger held upright by an otherworldly power, waiting to speak his final words.

From the sky above a great arrow plunged through the clouds scything apart the chaos. As the air was still within the bubble that surrouned the pyramid, so did the air grow still beneath the massive behemoth above, Stretching for miles in either direction it brought a curtain of night, as it blocked the sun, yet twinkling like stars, the prior could see running lights, windows, and at last a great expanse of blinding light, as a cavernous docking bay settled around the pyramid itself. In moments, much of the pyramid, the Stargate atop it, the prior, and the shield surrounding it all was encompassed as the great ship lowered. Atop the pyramid the prior looked across space as a man stood on the landing bay floor at eye level. His eyes glowed red.

“I am given to understand your kind appreciate theatrics.” He declared without preamble. “I trust this will suffice.”

“Your pitiful displays are no match for the power of the Ori.” The Prior rasped. His staff glowed menacingly.

“So you have said.” The figure scoffed. “I am Emperor Thrawn, ruler of this galaxy. The Ori will find no tolerance here. Tell
your masters they are not welcome.”

“Those who are prideful…” The Prior began, but the Emperor cut him off.

“Spare me your religious prattle.” He snapped, “It is nothing but a pretense for cowards. We have concluded exterminating the last pack of fools seeking to invade our galaxy on behalf of their gods. If your masters would truly challenge us, let them come forward, instead of sending their followers to die. This is my message to you. Deliver it to them.”

“Your power is nothing before the will…”

“Enough.” Thrawn snapped, he sighed, “This grows tiresome. We are well aware that you cannot construct a supergate without the additional power of a fleet firing into your little shield. We will provide it. Send your ships if you dare, we will annihilate them and be done with it.” he raised a hand, and the world around the Prior seemed to sink, though it was in fact the Super Star Destroyer ascending. Lightning flashed horiffically against the boundary of the shields as the vessel rose into the sky heading for obit. The prior was once more surrounded by a planetary maelstrom that was nothing, to what was yet to come.

* * *

“All ships into position.” Pelleon ordered, “Charge primary weapons.” He turned at the sound of men dropping to their knees, as the Emperor strode onto his bridge.”

“Your majesty.” He greeted with a salute. Thrawn nodded approvingly.

“Inform your men that a salute will do as sufficient protocol.” He said quietly, “Dropping to one knee at my presence is far too disruptive to starship operations.”

“Yes your majesty.” Pelleon nodded to his new aid, Captain Needa, who made a note of it on a pad he carried. “We are preparing to fire on the surface. Comodore Katarn reported space around Centerpoint was secure and is on his way here. Grand Admiral Zsinj has taken custody of the facility."

“Excellent. Katarn is aboard a protected ship?” Thrawn asked. Pelleon nodded. “I doubt he is fully aware of his particular vulnerability, but I would be loathe to lose a fine officer as collateral damage. Our own shield status?”

“Enhanced shielding will protect us from everything ranging from turbolaser strikes to drones.” Pelleon assured him.

“Very well, put the fleet on speaker, and record this.” Thrawn ordered, “Attention fleet units. This is Emperor Thrawn. I have been privileged so serve first as a soldier, than as a Commander, now as a leader of the free citizens of this galaxy. We have been plagued for the past four years, besieged by attack after attack, invader after invader, bent on annihilating our way of life to serve their own ends. We have responded with valor, with discipline, with sacrifice, today I say we cease responding. The Ori threat has grown with each passing day, sequestered in their own galaxy, they have been building ships, training an army, preparing for a war of aggression upon us for no reason other than that we do not worship their Gods. On behalf of this galaxy I say enough. We will stand our ground here, they will come no further. We will obliterate their fleet, and be done with it, and if they continue to act aggressively, we will take the fight to them and blast them out of civilization. No more will we be satisfied to respond, We will ensure peace and stability in this galaxy, for now, and all time. I stand with you today. We fight as one. You have given me your trust in the past, I ask for it now. Follow me to battle, soldiers of the Empire, follow me to victory.”

Pelleon shook his head as even without the commlines open he could hear the thunderous cheering echoing in the halls of his ship. His bridge crew remained focused on their duty, attentive to their stations, but they stood taller, they sat straighter, they looked hungry. In a moment of honesty he acknowledged the feeling of confidence stirring in his own chest. He looked to Thrawn with renewed vigor.

“Grand Admiral, begin your attack.” Thrawn told him. Pelleon snapped him another salute and turned to the vast panorama before them, watching the massive ships hanging in space before the doomed world. Yavin was a blasted ruin, the hulks of the Yuuzhan Vong fleet falling into it’s atmosphere, fires raging across it’s surface, even seismic activity picking up in response to the repeated strikes against it’s surface.

“All ships, fire on target.” He commanded.

“Sirs, unidentified ship decloaking!” a scanner chief called. Virtually on top of the planet, a tiny freighter appeared streaking across the horizon. “Whoo hoo!” a voice crowed over the comm. system. The comm. officer slapped the controls sheepishly, muting it.

“It’s firing on the surface…” The sensor chief warned, “A single drone!”

As the Millennium Falcon shot past the roiling inferno above the surface of Yavin, she hurled a drone from between her cargo arms. It plunged into the turbulent atmosphere spinning wildly around the massed Imperial fire, piercing the forcefield it straightened out. The prior had time to look up in stunned amazement as it crashed through his body in a nanosecond an exploded against the Stargate.

"That fool." Thrawn thundered, without pause. "He has robbed us of our chance to end this once and for all! Damn General Solo and damn his Alliance, I should never have trusted them. Still in league with the Cylons, and now they spare the Ori our trap!" he glanced at the holocam floating overhead, "Turn that off."

“All craft break!” Pelleon ordered as he saw a sun ignite on the surface of Yavin, “All power to shields!” The detonating Stargate coupled with the energy built up within the shield was released catastrophically. A sufficient distance from the planet to avoid backlash of the massed laser fire, the imperial fleet was nonetheless buffeted as the fourth moon of Yavin expired in a spectacular blast.

There was silence on the bridge of the Chimera. Pelleon watched the Emperor watched the expanding fireball impassively.

“All ships report no damage.” Capain Needa spoke, breaking the silence reluctantly. “Also a priority dispatch from Grand Admiral Zsinj.” Unwilling to break the Emperor’s reverie Pelleon scanned it quickly, and then again.

"Now we asess the damage." Thrawn said quietly. pelleon heard rage in his voice

“My Lord.” Pelleon said quietly. He handed the report to Thrawn. “It seems Centerpoint suffered damage during the attack. It’s primary weapon is offline.” Thrawn accepted the brief with an obvious effort at self control and scanned it himself taking in every detail. His red eyes flashed in the light and his rage was palpable.

"Zsinj." he growled, "The man is incompetent on a scale the defies conception."

"Yet he is in charge of a sector fleet, my Lord." Pelleon pointed out carefully.

"Yes." Thrawn nodded, "For now. It seems we nearly made a colossal mistake Grand Admiral.” He said quietly, “Had the Ori come through that gate, we could never have stopped them. This so called Galactic Alliance has just saved this fleet, possibly the galaxy.”

“Do you think they intended to sir?” Pelleon asked curiously. The Admiral shook his head.

“No. In fact I would not be surprised if it were they that damaged the station somehow. That fop Sal Solo had clear intentions of using it to hold the galaxy hostage, the Cylons would have used it to wipe out organic life, no the only ones who would want it damaged, or destroyed are the Galactic Alliance.” Pelleon could easily guess why.

“The report mentions a prisoner captured near the device, wielding a lighsaber.” Pelleon said very, very quietly. Thrawn nodded.

“Have Katarn return to Centerpoint to take custody of her from Zsinj, I do not trust such a valuable prisoner in the hands of Zsinj.” He turned back to regard the smoldering debris field, and the Imperial ships still holding position around it.
“It seems I have failed to consider, the return of the Jedi.”

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-30-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-04-30 11:29am

Sorry for the delay in posting, I thought this would be the chapter where I could just bridge it back to where the original story left off, and, in expanding on the events in the Pegasus galaxy I have found that to be practically impossible.
Problematic, as I have written a sequel to Starbuck's story, a sequel to Sheppard's timeline, a co-occurring story that has been posted, and a sequel to THAT story that also deals with events on New Kobol. Realllllllllly backed myself into a corner here, but I think I can still bring it all back in line, and if not, well I'll just rewrite the sequels more cohesively. I'm trying to keep the Pegasus where it needs to be for example, without giving away future story lines, as well as certain other elements. I see why JMS did only one quick little in and out with B5. Getting too ambitious with this stuff is a killer unless you write the whole thing all at once.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-03-2012)

Postby Skywalker_T-65 » 2012-04-30 11:31am

Great chapter there. Its certainly interesting to see all these disparate plot threads develop. And with the Replicators and Asurans building ships for the GA...they aren't going to need more ships anytime soon, that's for sure. Must help having Pegasus isolated though.

I also like your set up for the Force here. Its certainly an interesting way of melding SG and SW together. My way is going to be different, but I won't post it here and clog the thread. I will say this though, I'm looking forward to seeing more of this story.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-03-2012)

Postby Themightytom » 2012-04-30 12:48pm

Skywalker_T-65 wrote:Great chapter there. Its certainly interesting to see all these disparate plot threads develop. And with the Replicators and Asurans building ships for the GA...they aren't going to need more ships anytime soon, that's for sure. Must help having Pegasus isolated though.

I was honestly afraid that would come off as a cheat, the Asurans demonstrated a rapid ability to build ships. Whatever that ship they attacked Atlantis with they had taken it apart in a matter of hours to repair Atlantis with, they had dozens of warships in the ship yards over the space of weeks, had them nuked and then had them built and launched a few months later spreading terror. Hell, they BUILT another city ship. i figure with the Replicators as minions, they don't need to spend hundreds of years in a Slow time field evolving and can just work with the Asurans, as minors or builders or something. I pu the flash learning technology in because really, the speed of ship building can easily outpace trained personnel. The Coruscans, coming from an advanced tech base can rapidly retrain from what they know, but even spreading out all personnel that might have been crammed onto the star guardian, as well as all the new recruits, they'd probably come up short because of training.

I used the graphic of Destiny's flight path to plot where different Galaxies are. the first dot is the Milky Way, the second is Pegasus, they are close to each other the next point is Kobol. The deviation point is towards Corusca, the ancients were trying to avoid something, because a star was visible there.

I decided for the purposes of my story that Altair and the Ori are in an exactly opposite line from the direction Destiny travels. Why even risk seeding the region around them with Stargates, when Destiny was launched in my mind, the Terran Empire was at it's height, but had not yet figured out Ascension. The Ori gates also look a lot like the Milky Way ones, which are a later edition, so I assume contact happened around the time the Ancients started to experience cataclysms. The Antarctic gate is a lot older than the one the Goa'uld dropped in Egypt suggesting different eras of Stargate manufacture. If Destiny had flown through Altair and left gates, the Ori would have found the ancients more quickly, and their gates would be old style. When they launched Destiny, the Ancients knew about the Ori method of Ascension and were looking for something else. After Destiny left at some points, the Asgard started building stargates which gain, look a lot like Milky Way ones. The Ancients may even have had colonies in Ida at some point. The Ori chased SG-1 to Ida in "unending" and back. They're hyperdrives are on par with asgard enhanced Tau'ri ones, if not Thor's "Oh I'm a galaxy away, give me a few minutes to shower and then I'll..oh I'm here." speed. Neither the Ori, nor the Tauri tried to go to the Ori galaxy the hard way, suggesting it's REALLY far away, hence, not on Destiny's flight path, and why not in the opposite direction.

This tells you the incredible RANGE the Force killing shockwave had, I'm depicting it as a major cosmic event. The Ori were willing to throw together a fleet and send it Very Far Away just to see what happened. They didn't send a stargate along, because they didn't want whatever caused the problem to come after them if it was too dangerous. The communication stones span the universe, so the staffs were deemed good enough, until they found a big ol' galaxy ripe for cultivation, then suddenly they wanted in. They don't want to be sending ships the long way, hence the effort in this chapter to build a supergate, but they also didn't count on Thrawn actually INVITING them in for a fight. he has had access to Imperial City's database all this time. I don't think it would be a spoiler to say he's got his own plans to ensure stability, and the Ori have come against a civilization that could, technologically stomp their galaxy if the playing field were leveled. The alliance of course does not want a direct confrontation, which could be decided quickly either way, as that would fee up either party to really focus on them. If the Ori figure out where Pegasus is, the GA is in trouble, if the EMPIRE figures it out, they're in trouble, as long as both sides are busy the GA can continue building and expanding it's influence.

So anyway the ancients found another way and abandoned the Destiny mission. The Destiny would have dropped a few gates into Pegasus, Corusca and Kobol, Corusca is a smaller galaxy than MW or Pegasus, so we're really just talking a few, and Kobol isn't that big either. The Vong passed at least one galaxy by according to the EU, . because it held an advanced civilization when they traveled, again that dark area has a few stars so they found evidence of the Asgard (NOT the replicators, because they would have gone utterly insane with rage) and turned away. the Cylons, arriving far in advance of the Vong, took a more direct route to Corusca, presumably, in their search for the Galactica they scouted a number of galaxies.

So the last wave of Ancient colonization was into Pegasus and into Corusca. The kobolans made a second stab at repopulating their own galaxy, because in keeping with how they dealt with Altair, they don't give up quite as easily as the Altairans did. In space, Corusca, which is about when the story kicked off on Earth, with Starbuck believing something was wrong on New Kobol and Iblis was pulling something.

I also like your set up for the Force here. Its certainly an interesting way of melding SG and SW together. My way is going to be different, but I won't post it here and clog the thread. I will say this though, I'm looking forward to seeing more of this story.

Feel free to PM it, or post it in your thread I'm following your story as well. My solution for the Force is a function of both the commentary on midichlorians, and the part that centerpoint station plays in the story. it is basically Corusca's Dakara device, except that in the Milky Way the galaxy was largely terraformed, where as Corusca a lot more needed to be done, Centerpoint would have been intended to serve as a more subtle aid, moving planets into favorable orbits, hence the ability to move planets around etc. Constructing the Maw in my mind could just be a gross adaptation of the technology's potential to deal with an unforseen problem that arose in a humane or neccesary manner.

Incidently I intended to resolve the Tria and the Aurora issue in this chapter but had to pull it out. If you want I'll send you a synopsis so we don't trip over each other.
hope to have another chapter up by the weekend and it'll be in there after I rework it a little. I moved some of my characters to different places so I have to figure out how it will go.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-30-2012)

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-04-30 02:07pm

A fascinating explanation for the backstory I must say. One thing though, I think you are underestimating just how powerful a force the Cylons should be. We've seen how effective a Battlestar is and a Basestar is more powerful than that. And the Cylon's were said to wield power across "half the universe" when they set up shop on Gomorray.

Then again, I always interpreted "half the universe" to mean "half the local supercluster (or smaller)" otherwise they are nigh-invincible.
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