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

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-30-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-04-30 02:47pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote: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.
Well I didn't want to bury the story in exposition but here's my reasoning.

The Cylons had a greater sphere of influence, than even the galactic Empire but it radiated outwards from the Koballan galaxy and there
s no telling how robust it was. A lot of their bases were quite small as depicted in BSG. When the Vong appeared literally in their front yard, they threw everything they had and losing weakened them considerably. Their total strength, as in ship numbers, couldn't have exceeded that of 12 colonies by that much because they fought for over a thousand yahren and still won only by guile. They didn't deploy more than three ships. Pegasus and Galactica took out that many in living legends. None of those ships is on the scale of an Eclipse class ship equipped with drones and a superlaser, I had to give them upgrades so that they would make significant cannon fodder :lol:

The Cylons had a vast sphere of influence, but they were constantly checking manuals, constantly pausing to vote, against a Vong Jihad, they were completely screwed, and didn't adjust their tactics until they were all but crippled. meanwhile on all those worlds, Cylon outposts were probably being overrun, remember that planet with the family of knights for example? that one Family Of Knights, with the kids who with Starbuck's help drove them off? As long as they had their fleet, and contact with Imperius Leader and the IL series, the Cylons were able to project their power, after that they were screwed.

Because of their once vast empire, they knew about Corusca, and determined it was a viable target. Remember that the rebels WOKE them up, they were already in the galaxy for some time and were something of a legend. They have been upgrading their technology as I showed with the megapulsar designed to take on the death star but, lacking initiative, they don't respond well to surprises. This isn't the end of the Cylons, but they were only as good here.. as the riff raff humans they were allied with. Remember the Corellians assumed they were safe from attack because of the jamming Centerpoint put out. Suddenly the Chimera rolls in, on a Lantean style hyperdrive, jsut ahead of it's Sovereign buddies.

Pegasus curb stomped the wraith above Atlantis easily, and the Cylons probably could too. How they would do against the Coruscan Wraith, were there any left, is not neccesarily the same story. The Pegasus was also clearly upgraded however, with shields for one thing, turbolasers, etc. Had it been with the Galactica in the original series, the 12 colonies would not necessarily have lost, had it been there, upgraded as it is, they definitely would not have. For scale, I have the Pegasus in my fic as equal to an Imperial II class Stardestroyer. The Cylon base Stars I would put more on par with an Imperial I, with the super Base stars able to combine to challenge a superstar destroyer, or even Death Star, IF the circumstances were exactly what the Cylons planned for.

Considering their first outing resulted in an ambush and defeat by the Ori, coming out of nowhere, don't put too much money on them being anything more than too stubborn to die.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-30-2012)

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2012-04-30 04:22pm

That makes sense. Thanks for explaining that. I must say that the idea that the Cylons were the machine species that drove the Vong to war to be, well, incredibly awesome. It fits together so well it's uncanny.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-30-2012)

Post by Crayz9000 » 2012-04-30 05:07pm

FWIW, the Corusca galaxy is explicitly 120,000 ly in diameter, while the Milky Way is only 100,000 ly. In terms of mapped space, the Milky Way is probably larger since a huge chunk of the galaxy is tied up in the Unknown Regions (god, how I hate the EU map authors... idiots the lot of them) but that's another story.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-30-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-05-02 01:48pm

Crayz9000 wrote:FWIW, the Corusca galaxy is explicitly 120,000 ly in diameter, while the Milky Way is only 100,000 ly. In terms of mapped space, the Milky Way is probably larger since a huge chunk of the galaxy is tied up in the Unknown Regions (god, how I hate the EU map authors... idiots the lot of them) but that's another story.

Yeah the maps are generally horrible, I had to pick one and stick with it, but seriously? Just establishing where kessel was made me lose respect for the EU in general :P

Differences in Galactic size is in my opinion part of what accounts for the way the Vong, refugees several thousand years removed from launching out of their galaxy actually represented a threat to the New republic. Their initial fleet was probably much bigger and whittled down over time, the tactics they employed were obviously also a huge part of it. being exiled from their world is not really incentive enough for going extra galactic the way they did, so in my opinion, they were booted from the whole galaxy, as their galaxy is Pegasus, this is a minor plot point in a sequel. Hilarious because what i'm trying to do with the battlestar Pegasus is have it working through that story in the background, in a manner sensical to this story, but not too revealing as to the other.

For this story, if the GA could really get it's feet down, and start using the resources in Pegasus, they can quickly become a powerhouse. Pegasus has been incredibly depopulated by the wraith, relative either to Corusca or the Milky Way, and there isn't much competition from advanced races, it's all there for the taking, which is why the GA is trying to protect knowledge of it. They could probably hold Atlantis against a decent sized imperial attack (I don't see anyone putting Intergalactic hyper drive on the ol' Death star any time soon) But they can't fight a war in two galaxies. if the Empire figured out where they were based and how to get there, it would be like Germany and Russia dividing Poland in WWII, except you know.. the Empire is Russia with Germany's technology and military and the Galactic Alliance is... vastly outnumbered. They'd be unable to operate in Corusca, occupied with securing ground against the Empire in Pegasus.

The Milky Way is larger as well, but you have more areas controlled by advanced races.

Now the ORI galaxy... I consider that to be larger than Corusca, and solely dominated by a single, advanced, theocratically centralized power, with a bizarre ability to create and maintain advanced starships with an uneducated primitive workforce.

You can see why Thrawn wants to destablize their leadership and start making inroads into their territory, if he let's it drag out the Empire might really get in trouble even with their superlaser advantages. As a political element, if he were forced to start expanding the fleet further, say... to accommodate construction of more supers tar destroyers, or even death stars to even the odds, the galaxy he is on the verge of unifying could start to turn on him in favor of the Galactic Alliance. Corusca is smaller, and much more heavily industrialized than any of the other galaxies, that provides some advantages coordination an supply chain wise, but disadvantages too, closer proximity, less unity, greater friction etc.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-30-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-05-02 01:49pm

Crayz9000 wrote:FWIW, the Corusca galaxy is explicitly 120,000 ly in diameter, while the Milky Way is only 100,000 ly. In terms of mapped space, the Milky Way is probably larger since a huge chunk of the galaxy is tied up in the Unknown Regions (god, how I hate the EU map authors... idiots the lot of them) but that's another story.

Yeah the maps are generally horrible, I had to pick one and stick with it, but seriously? Just establishing where kessel was made me lose respect for the EU in general :P

Differences in Galactic size is in my opinion part of what accounts for the way the Vong, refugees several thousand years removed from launching out of their galaxy actually represented a threat to the New republic. Their initial fleet was probably much bigger and whittled down over time, the tactics they employed were obviously also a huge part of it. being exiled from their world is not really incentive enough for going extra galactic the way they did, so in my opinion, they were booted from the whole galaxy, as their galaxy is Pegasus, this is a minor plot point in a sequel. Hilarious because what i'm trying to do with the battlestar Pegasus is have it working through that story in the background, in a manner sensical to this story, but not too revealing as to the other.

For this story, if the GA could really get it's feet down, and start using the resources in Pegasus, they can quickly become a powerhouse. Pegasus has been incredibly depopulated by the wraith, relative either to Corusca or the Milky Way, and there isn't much competition from advanced races, it's all there for the taking, which is why the GA is trying to protect knowledge of it. They could probably hold Atlantis against a decent sized imperial attack (I don't see anyone putting Intergalactic hyper drive on the ol' Death star any time soon) But they can't fight a war in two galaxies. if the Empire figured out where they were based and how to get there, it would be like Germany and Russia dividing Poland in WWII, except you know.. the Empire is Russia with Germany's technology and military and the Galactic Alliance is... vastly outnumbered. They'd be unable to operate in Corusca, occupied with securing ground against the Empire in Pegasus.

The Milky Way is larger as well, but you have more areas controlled by advanced races.

Now the ORI galaxy... I consider that to be larger than Corusca, and solely dominated by a single, advanced, theocratically centralized power, with a bizarre ability to create and maintain advanced starships with an uneducated primitive workforce.

You can see why Thrawn wants to destablize their leadership and start making inroads into their territory, if he let's it drag out the Empire might really get in trouble even with their superlaser advantages. As a political element, if he were forced to start expanding the fleet further, say... to accommodate construction of more supers tar destroyers, or even death stars to even the odds, the galaxy he is on the verge of unifying could start to turn on him in favor of the Galactic Alliance. Corusca is smaller, and much more heavily industrialized than any of the other galaxies, that provides some advantages coordination an supply chain wise, but disadvantages too, closer proximity, less unity, greater friction etc.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-30-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-05-02 01:49pm

Edited, my first version was in a hurry and horribly full of mistakes. if a mod could kill the top two posts that'd be great, but just ignore them otherwise, it was the end of my lunch break.
Crayz9000 wrote:FWIW, the Corusca galaxy is explicitly 120,000 ly in diameter, while the Milky Way is only 100,000 ly. In terms of mapped space, the Milky Way is probably larger since a huge chunk of the galaxy is tied up in the Unknown Regions (god, how I hate the EU map authors... idiots the lot of them) but that's another story.

Yeah the maps are generally horrible, I had to pick one and stick with it, but seriously? Just establishing where kessel was made me lose respect for the EU in general :P

But I didn't go with Corusca as a larger galaxy, I went with the understanding that it was quite a bit smaller, but more densely packed, here's the reasoning for this story:

Differences in galactic size is in my opinion part of what accounts for the way the Vong, refugees several thousand years removed from launching out of their galaxy, actually represented a threat to the galaxy spanning, and entrenched New Republic. Their initial fleet was probably much bigger and whittled down over time, otherwise they'd have been a tiny attacking force due to sheer attrition of broken ships, infighting or people getting lost.

The tactics they employed were obviously also a huge part of it, this was mostly what was commented on in the books that they used the New Republics political weaknesses against it, but seriously, that alone doesn't satisfy me. Additionally, being exiled from their world is not really incentive enough for going extra galactic the way they did, so in my opinion, they were booted from their whole galaxy, and as in my fanfic, their galaxy is Kobol, this is a minor plot point in a sequel. Hilarious, because what I'm trying to do with the battlestar Pegasus is have it working through that story in the background, to establish it's presence in continuity with the future story, in a manner sensical to this story, but not too revealing as to the other. Either way, Kobol is bigger than Corusca, the Vong had vast holdings in it which they abandoned when they left the galaxy. Pegasus is smaller than the Milky Way too I believe but still much larger than Corusca. This is relevant to the current story.

If the GA could really get it's feet down, and start using the resources in Pegasus, they can quickly become a powerhouse. In terms of technologically advanced civilizations, Pegasus has been incredibly depopulated by the wraith, relative either to Corusca or the Milky Way, and there isn't much competition from advanced races, it's all there for the taking, which is why the GA is trying to protect knowledge of it. There is also the potential for a deep population reserve, the Wraith were trying to let the population recover, but were doing so based on their knowledge of what that population was, they didn't know about the Genii living underground for example, nor the size of the Hoffan population, even the Satedans, shouldn't have gotten as advanced as they did, and there are the travellers kicking around as well. Assuming Atlantis barely scratched the surface in what we saw, it's reasonable to assume a decent number of primtive, probably high population worlds accross Pegasus. Lots of cannon fodder.

Given distance, manpower and the equipment the Asurans and replicators are providing access to, The GA could probably hold Atlantis against a decent sized imperial attack (I don't see anyone putting Intergalactic hyper drive on the ol' Death star any time soon) But they can't fight a war in two galaxies. if the Empire figured out where they were based and how to get there, it would be like Germany and Russia dividing Poland in WWII, except you know.. the Empire is Russia with Germany's technology and military and the Galactic Alliance is... vastly outnumbered. They'd be unable to operate in Corusca, occupied with securing ground against the Empire in Pegasus.

The Milky Way is larger as well, but you have more areas controlled by advanced races.

Now the ORI galaxy... I consider that to be larger than Corusca, and solely dominated by a single, advanced, theocratically centralized power, with a bizarre ability to create and maintain advanced starships with an uneducated primitive workforce.

You can see why Thrawn wants to destablize their leadership and start making inroads into their territory, if he let's it drag out the Empire might really get in trouble even with their superlaser advantages. As a political element, if he were forced to start expanding the fleet further, say... to accommodate construction of more supers tar destroyers, or even death stars to even the odds, the galaxy he is on the verge of unifying could start to turn on him in favor of the Galactic Alliance. Corusca is smaller, and much more heavily industrialized than any of the other galaxies, that provides some advantages coordination an supply chain wise, but disadvantages too, closer proximity, less unity, greater friction etc.

Maybe I scaled SW a little unfairly, but it preserves an element of balance. Kobol and Pegasus are large tracts of less populated area, like Canada and Russia. The Milky Way is something like the US. The Ori Galaxy is something like China (With origin replacing Communism) and so Corusca is maybe WWII Germany and France.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 04-30-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-05-25 03:18pm

So, trying for some sudden plot twists here, trying to keep my writing from being predictable, hopefully it's not too jarring. this was a massive chapter and I decided to post it all rather than trying to edit it as I did the last updates, because honestly, one chapter turned into three, then I had to lengthen the third.. it's probably just better this way, enjoy!

Chapter 18

The modified blockade runner barreled clumsily through space, it’s engines flickering, sparks running along it’s hull. It fired weakly at it’s pursuer. Closing upon the stricken ship was the vast triangular hull of a superstar destroyers. Turbo laser turret after turbo laser turret belched fire upon the diminutive vessel, dozens of drones hurdled outwards, but answering fire sprang immediately from the tiny fleeing ship, detonating the firing drones almost immediately upon their exit from the tubes with a spectacular explosion.

“Jedi Antilles, we have restored power to the shield, but our primary hyper drive is still offline.” The engine room reported.”Also the drone is drawing considerable power from the ZPM."

"We need it to disrupt their drones." Wedge replied, struggling to focus, "if we let up on them, they'll tear us apart."

“I’ll plot us a micro jump to the far side of the system once we’re clear of Kessel’s moon.” Lando suggested from the pilot’s seat, “”We should be able to manage a small jump with the standard drive, so that we can make repairs to the intergalactic one, at least, assuming they don’t bring centerpoint back online first.”

“We shouldn’t just abandon Jan.” Wedge gritted as he fired another quartet of drones at the pursuing ship.

“We’re lucky we got you out, Wedge, we can’t hope to beam her out through the shields of a superstar destroyer. She did her job now we do ours, we need to secure the president.” Lando replied, “If Mothma is captured, there’s no going back for either government. Zsinj is too much of a thug to see that. You keep lobbing those drones at the Fist, I’ll see what I can do to lose some of our pursuit while the navigation computer finishes it’s calculations.” he eyed the view port grimly as turbo laser fire rocked the little ship.

“The speed of our pursuit, and the position of the drone launcher is an obvious design flaw.” Wedge answered with some pride, “if they’d realized they’d be trying to hit a Jedi, maybe they would have put their launchers closer to the front of that monster, still, if they tag us with that superlaser, we’re all dead.”

“They won’t try hitting us at this range, they’d be caught in the blast wave, besides I know a few maneuvers.” Lando said grimly.

“..other than rocking us slightly from left to right?” Wedge said dryly, he fired another dozen drones, “We’re running low on ordinance, even if I can blow up twelve drones for every one of ours, they have a hundred times as many, this ship was never meant for a standing fight, let alone against a ship of that size, he surveyed the sensor readings, “But I think I detonated that last bunch just outside the tubes, the Empire cut corners on the retrofits, and they only have a few launchers. I put those out of commission, we might actually survive this.”

“Thank the force for small favors.” Lando said relieved, he noted the reading on the shields was dropping steadily, but in manageable increments, “With the ZPM, we can handle their turbolasers for now, as long as we stay inside their focal range. That monster is designed to fight capitol ships, not something as small as us.”

“Another Super Star destroyer is vectoring towards us!” Wedge shouted, he watched as hundreds of new signals began to pour out of the hanger bay, “Kriff, they’re launching fighters.”

“Then it’s now or never.” Lando said grimly, he reached forward and pulled the levers for the secondary hyper drive system, the stars lengthened and the Organa leaped to safety.
* * *
Starbuck opened his eyes.

“They are safe for now.” he told Sheppard exhaling. The other sat cross legged across from Starbuck on the floor. Hyperspace passed quietly through the vast windows overhead framing the large observation chamber. The lights were dimmed save for a small circle of lights that came on as Starbuck got clumsily to his feet, “The Admiral should arrive at their position before long.”

“I spoke to Master Yoda while you were out.” Sheppard told him, “He wants to hold off planning any rescue until he knows where Jan is being taken, he asked if you could...”

“I can find her next, but first I need to eat something.” Starbuck replied, “The powers I have are not like the force, using them can be... exhausting.” The two headed for the doorway, “Though I can draw some strength from the force, the distance involved...”

“I know.” Sheppard told him, “I knew an ancient once, in the Sanctuary of my universe... she had farsight too but nothing like this, Starbuck you can see across galaxies.”

Starbuck held up his hand, in it was the communication stone. He gave a half smile.

“Oh it’s a cheat!” Sheppard said incredulously, then paused, “Wait, who has the other one? You were just sitting here quietly for over an hour and someone else was in your body? Who was it?” Starbuck stopped abruptly.

“I’ve been using the stone for two hours.” Starbuck told him.”Ever since Niam finished programming the replicators.”

“Two?” Sheppard asked, he began to jog quickly down the hall “You asked Thor to change course an hour ago, we’re almost there!”

“Almost where?” Starbuck demanded chasing him as he hurried to the bridge, “Almost where??”

* * *
“Commodore Katarn.” Katarn turned

“General Veers.” he replied.

“Grand Admiral Zsinj’s shuttle has arrived. My men have secured the prisoner according to the 66 protocols.” The general informed him, “She was delivered recieving intermittend randomized electrical shocks, we have since sedated her. A shuttle is on it’s way with organic suppression systems.”

“Ysalamiri.” Katarn replied, “Correct me if I am wrong General, but is not electric shock discouraged because of the likelihood of nerve damage and cognitive impairment?” Veers nodded. “Than you acted correctly. As amusing as her discomfort must have been to Zsinj’s men, if she is unable to provide useful information under interrogation, her capture avails us little.”

“Commodore, I would like to remind you once again, that if there are others...”

“They will be coming for her, yes.” Katarn, “Even as a vegetable, she is bait for a trap I suppose, I simply find the idea distasteful, smacking too much of the old Empire.” Veers pressed his lips together, but Katarn held up his hand. “That is not slight on you general, the New Order had it’s strengths, but it is my hope, however naive, that Emperor Thrawn can harness those strengths while disposing of it’s weaknesses. Arrogance, overconfidence, sadism, these have no place within a proper military.” Veers nodded at that. “She is to be treated appropriately at all times. Though she may be a Jedi she is our prisoner General.”

“Understood Commodore.” Veers replied, “When the Ysalimiri arrive, are we to begin interrogation at once?” Katarn shook his head.

“The Emperor wishes to do so himself. In fact he has ordered us to treat her as something of a guest.”

“A guest that merits an escort.” Veers pointed out, Katarn nodded.

“At all times.”

* * *
“The ancient delegation is requesting transport to the gateroom.” Lobot announced.

“Sif in the control center inform, that visitors we have.” Master Yoda replied, “In the gateroom, Chaya’s presence request.”

“Yes sir.” Lobot replied as the diminutive Jedi moved towards the stairs. Chaya arrived as he did before the Stargate. The gate room was a hive of activity as usual, with a detachment of Satedans awaiting transport to the training center on Dathomir while a shipment of cargo arrived from Coruscant.

A flash of light heralded the arrival of the Ancients courtesy of the newly installed Asgard transporters. A blond woman, and three men blinked at the momentary disorientation, and then took a look around them.

“This is not the gateroom.” The woman said with some irritation. “This beaming technology appears problematic.”

“The gateroom it is.” Yoda told her gesturing with his stick the the stargate behind them. A shipment of drones was being towed onto an elevator platform. As the gate disengaged, it flipped around on servos to face them. As it began to dial, the Satedans made ready to depart. “Changed, much has, since in your hands the city was but welcome, you are to return to Atlantis. Master Yoda I am, of the Jedi, and Chaya this is.”

“We appreciate your sentiment, and your stewardship of our city in our absence.” The woman said said, her eyes were scanning the chamber. “Perhaps we could continue this in the control tower?”

“I would think introductions are in order first.” Chaya interjected flatly, “You are captain Helia I presume, in temporary command until Captain Parellia and his crew can be revived?” Helia shot her a put upon look. She managed a forced smile.

“Yes I apologize for my manners, I am just somewhat, disoriented. The Asgard had informed us we would be meeting a human named Lando Calrissian?”

“Called away, Lando was, in temporary command I am, until his return.” Yoda clarified. Helia nodded.

“Yes well.. I had wondered how a nonhuman would have managed to access the city’s systems in the first place.” Helia replied, “Though the Asgard have progressed considerably since our last encounter, I am not certain even they could have.. reconfigured.. Atlantis in this manner. I assume you are one of the humans in charge, do your people descend from Lanteans, or Altairans.”
“The humans of the Galactic Alliance hail from the colony sent to Core Asecendant.” Chaya replied, “I take it you do not approve of the changes they have brought to Atlantis? Without many of these changes, the city would not still be here.”

“Of course.” Helia said, “But now that we have returned, we can bring the city’s full capabilities online once more, restore her to her former glory.” She looked about. The Satedans had all departed, and the gate was reorienting once more as it dialed, this time facing straight down.

“All personnel, incoming materials shipment from Tarania, Sound dampeners will be activated momentarily.” Around them various technicians were adjusting head sets.

“I’m afraid it is going to become difficult to hear momentarily.” Chaya informed Helia. “If you would follow us?” Yoda led them from the room up into the control center. beneath the gate, a conveyor chute had been positioned by droids. Material dumped from the stargate into the chute.

“What manner of use is that for an Astria Porta?” Helia asked with distaste.

“We are transporting raw ore to a processing facility on the far side of the city.” Lobot explained to her, “Where our shipyards will use it to reinforce the hull of our latest interceptors.”

“What are you?” Helia asked noting the peculiar apparatus on Lobot’s head.

“I am a cyborg interface specialist.” Lobot replied, “I am currently coordinating a number of operations throughout the city, including the droid transport system bringing materials to the shipyard.” Helia opened her mouth and then closed it.

“The Astria Porta was designed to move people, not dirt.” Helia grumbled, “You’ve built a shipyard in Atlantis? Where?”

“We repurposed the oceanic exploration buildings during our first several weeks here.” Lobot explained.

“What have you done with the research accumulated there? That facility studied these oceans for thousands of years!” Helia exclaimed aghast.

“The data was preserved...” Lobot said somewhat taken aback, “When the Mon Colomari arrived they did in fact resume many of those studies and are currently attempting to communicate with...”

“The what?” Helia asked. Yoda gestured with his walking stick. Jesmine was in the process of relaying instructions through the gate. Helia’s mouth dropped. “How many nonhumans are there on Atlantis?” She asked Chaya. Chaya cocked her head.

“Captain, it is Jedi Master Yoda, who is in temporary command of Atlantis, I think it would be appropriate to address your questions to him.” She admonished.

“Diverse, the membership of the Galactic Alliance has become.” Yoda told Helia, “Many forms, does sentient life take, much have we all to offer.”

“I... i meant no offense.” Helia replied hastily, “I am just somewhat disoriented, perhaps if I could simply access a command terminal in the tower I could be brought up to speed.”

“Insistent you are, upon visiting the control tower.” Yoda noted, “Uncomfortable you also seem with my leadership.”

“We are simply not accustomed to the idea of nonhumans running our city.” Helia replied, “The wraith after all are a corruption of our people, the idea is simply somewhat... unfamiliar.”

“Master Yoda there is something you must know.” Chaya announced suddenly, “The reason Captain Helia is so insistent to go to the command tower is because she intends to activate the override protocols and seize control of Atlantis."

* * *

“We are approaching New Kobol.” Thor announced. Starbuck stood by the view port.

“Any word from the Admiral about the Organa?” Sheppard asked,. Thor shook his head.

“There has been no communication since we reported our change in course.” Thor replied, “Save for a message from General Rieekan advising us that General Solo had made it safely to Dathomir.”

“Definitely a legend.” Sheppard said, “I can’t believe he blew up a planet with a drone and a stargate. Still Starbuck if it’s all the same, can we hurry up here, I feel like with all the action going on we’re in the wrong galaxy.”

“I’ll be quick John, but this is something we need to do.” Starbuck said quietly,

“You still haven’t told me who came on board.” Sheppard reminded him. Starbuck didn’t answer, instead he turned to Thor, “What do your sensors have?”

“We are detecting several ships in orbit, and dozens of large cities on the surface.” Thor announced.”

“Humans? The colonies?” Starbuck asked hopefully.

“No.” Thor said frowning, “They are Horus guard.” Sheppard looked confused.

“They’re a derivative of Jaffa.” Starbuck told him, “They used to be all over your planet Sheppard, they’re servants of the Goa’uld.” He turned with dismay towards New Kobol. “What are they doing here, and what happened to my people?” He wondered.

“I have detected a vessel on the far side of the planet, it is currently under attack.” Thor interrupted suddenly.

The ship shuddered mightily as it was struck by weapons fire. Thor gave a yelp as something came loose from the ceiling and smacked him on the head. Sheppard was just in time to catch the stunned Asgard. Starbuck hurried over to the console Thor had been using and, pressing his lips together in concentration said, “I’m jumping us back into hyperspace.” he moved a control and suddenly the comm system activated.

“Asgard vessel, lower your shields and prepare to be boarded.” An aggressive voice ordered, “You have trespassed into the territory of Lord Ra.” Through the forward windows, a menacing black shape loomed.

“What the hell?” said Sheppard, “That’s not a Hatak, it looks like the command ship of Anubis.” he racked his brain, “In my universe, a ship like that gave the Asgard some real trouble, Starbuck we’ve got to go.”

“I... something's wrong here..maybe....” Starbuck said fiddling with the controls. Asgard transport beams strobed across the massive black ship before them, disintegrating part of it’s forward section. Explosions erupted as compartments decompressed and members of it’s crew were flung into space.

“Starbuck jump the damn ship!” Sheppard shouted.

“I tried!” Starbuck picked up the control he had moved with disgust. “I can’t fly a ship with fracking seashells!” The ship before them righted itself and turned back towards them menacingly.

“Let’s hope Wedge is doing better than us.” Sheppard said grimly to the unconscious Thor.
* * *
“Contact! it’s a fighter squadron bearing point oh six.They’re launching.... drones!” Lando shouted, staring at the viewports, TIE bombers tore past them, leaving the glowing squid in their lake, the drones surged forward. “They found us.”

“They're not targeting any better than a proton torpedo but even with the ZPM they’ll drain our shields fast.” Wedge grumbled. His eyes closed and he leaned on the neural interfaces built into his console. Drones shot from the Organa to intercept the growing numbers swimming towards them through space. Suddenly proximity alarms blared and a vast shape exploded into view, nearly colliding with them. Cursing Lando brought the Organa up and back as it passed. “Hold on!” he shouted as the ship danced within the shield envelop of the Iron Fist. Lando did his best to skim the surface around protruding towers and platforms the Lando wove a frantic path across the surface of the vast star destroyer. Drones impacted the towers self destructing, while others fell prey to Wedge’s defensive fire.

“This isn’t going to last long..” Lando warned, and to punctuate his point a drone exploded nearby. Turbo laser fire buffeted the ship and Lando fought to avoid careening into a scanning tower.

“General Calrissian, this is Admiral Ackbar do you read?” The Admiral’s voice crackled over the speaker.

“We’re a little busy here Admiral..” Lando replied tensely.

“I can see that. The Orion is above your position, we have modified the shields to cloak us from their scans, you will perform an emergency dock, and we will get you out of here, stand by to receive telemetry.”

Lando glanced at the data scrolling across his console. A point illuminated on the scanner. “You read for this Wedge?” He asked the Jedi could only nod. “Then here goes nothing!” he shouted.
* * *

Zsinj stood upon the bridge of the Iron First fuming as the Corellian ship danced along the surface of his ship. “Blasted fools, we came out too close to their position.” he shouted at the navigation team.

“Damage to forward deflectors.” One of his technicians called out, “targeting scanners out in grid four.”

“Blast Katarn’s fighter patrol, they’re hurting us more than the rebels.” He growled.

“Sir Commodore Katarn is hailing us.” A com chief informed him. Zsinj noted the arrival of Katarn’s ship some distance away.

“Put him through.” Zsinj snarled. “Commodore, don’t you think the two of our ships is a bit much to capture one pirate escort?”

“We need them alive Sir.” Katarn reminded him as his hologram appeared on a pedestal. “If their president is on board we’ll have more than pirates, we’ll have rebels.”

“I’m aware of that you fool.” Zsinj snarled.

“Then can I ask you to stop trying to ram them with your ship?” Katarn asked, some heat entering his voice, “My fighter patrol had the situation...”

“Your fighter control found them just as we did.” Zsinj replied testily, “And they are causing collateral damage to my ship as we speak, they should have broken off at our arrival.”

“They were forced to attack because of your arrival.” Katarn replied, “Sir we were shadowing them and trying to surround them with a jamming field. your arrival sprang the trap prematurely.”

“How dare you accuse me of fouling this up, even now your buffoons are firing into my ship, I have half a mind to blow them out of the sky.” Zsinj shouted.

“half a mind seems overly generous.” Katarn grumbled, as Zsinj purpled in fury, but before he could acknowledge the comment, Katarn acquiesced, “I will order my fighters to withdraw, they’re all yours... sir.”

“Gunners, target every ion cannon we have at that ship.” Zsinj snapped.

“Sir the rebel ship is accelerating to attack speed.” one of the scanner chiefs reported, dumbfounded.

“He’s insane.” Zsinj laughed, but his eyes bulged as he saw the Corellian corvette barreling straight toward the bridge. Noting Katarn’s figure watching from the holopad, he decided to show bravado. He squared his shoulders. “He cannot hope to bluff me.”

“Sir, they are still inside our shield envelope!” A scanner chief warned him, and Zsinj’s eyes bulged, again, this time, bravado forgotten.

“..and our forward deflector is damaged, Fire ion cannons, fire everything, everything!” The sky before him exploded in fire and yet the ship kept barreling forward, “Fire!” Zsinj shrieked as he covered his head and dove for cover.

Aware that he was still alive a few moments later, he stood and brushed himself off hastily.

“Track them.” he snapped, but the technician flipped his controls helplessly.

“They’re not showing up on our scopes.” The technician reported perplexed.

“No ship that small carries a cloaking device.” Zsinj snarled, find them.

“Sir, a hyperspace window is opening right on top of us, it’s military grade!” another technician shouted, and the ship was buffeted mightily.

“Full scans who are they?” Zsinj demanded, but his officers could give him no answers. It was Katarn, still watching from the holo pedestal who finally said,

“Grand Admiral... they docked with a ship above you that must have been cloaked. It is likely that ship just jumped to hyperspace.”

“Damn your interference Katarn, I will have you courtmartialed...”

“With all due respect...” Katarn let the implication hang, that not much was due, “I am not in your chain of command, I transferred authority here to you when we secured Centerpoint. The station was under your control when the jedi sabotaged it, I was ordered to return to await her transport, off of your ship, to the Emperor, nothing more. I aided your search when you asked me to, but I report to Grand Admiral Pelleon.”

“I will speak to the Emperor himself!” Zsinj raged, “I will have you shot!” Katarn was shaking his head.

“I will tell him to look forward to your report when I deliver my prisoner to you Zsinj. I’m sure by then you will have found the rebel ship.”
* * *

“Starbuck what have you gotten us into?” Sheppard the Beliskner shuddered.

“Nothing I won’t get us out of.” Starbuck answered, he stood in front of Thor’s console and adjusted the controls, “Assuming I can pilot this boat...” he picked up an exotic stone and placed it in a space outlined in red. “I think I’ve got it on manual.”

“you think?” Sheppard demanded, just as Niam arrived with a trio of replicators.

“What is happening?” Niam asked, “Were we not heading home?”

“Starbuck took a detour, and we’re under attack.” Sheppard asked, “Is there anything you can do?”

“The replicators have assimilated Asgard technology in the past.” Niam said surveying a blinking damage report, “I am certain we can aid in controlling the ship and making repairs.” he moved towards Starbuck, but starbuck shot him a warning look.

“I’ll manage.” he told Niam, “Have your friends take a look at the shields, somehow they aren’t effective against the Goa’uld, and our hyperdrive has been damaged as well.”

“Perhaps I can at least assist you with interpreting the cotnrols?” Niam asked, Starbuck looked rebellious for a moment, but then relented.

“Fine. I’m trying to plot a course towards the other ship.” he told Niam.

“Do we even know who the hell is out there?” Sheppard demanded, still supporting Thor, “The enemy of our enemy isn’t always our friend you know.”

“I’m not sure who’s on that ship, but I am pretty sure they’re friendly.” Starbuck told Sheppard. he touched a control, and an image appeared. It was the battlestar Pegasus. Death gliders and fighters dueled in the space around it, three massive black motherships surrounded it, and struck it repeatedly with bolts of red lightning, but as they watched, the Pegasus responded with plasma fire from it’s forward section that slammed through the shields of the forward ship riddling it with explosions.

“They’ve got beam weapons.” Sheppard explained, “We used those back on the Daedalous, the Asgard designed them, what are they doing on a ship like that?”

“You didn’t get the whole brief on the battle for Atlantis did you.” Starbuck said, gingerly adjusting the controls one more, “The Pegasus has beam weapons, transporters and jammers of Asgard design, it’s also got turbo lasers and shields of Corusca design and there is evidence they are from an alternate timeline.” he looked up, “But they did defend Atlantis, and they’re in trouble.”

The ship heaved as a red bolt of lighting struck it from one of the ships pursuing it.

“So are we.” Sheppard snapped, “Niam, what’s the status of those shields?”

“We have developed a countermeasure to the enemy weapons fire, and are in the process of implementing it.” Niam told him coolly from Starbuck’s side, “Jedi Sheppard, if I may suggest, there is a medical pod in the adjacent chamber, perhaps placing Supreme Commander Thor...” Sheppard had already gathered the tiny Asgard up and was heading for the door.

“Their main weapons are what give them a decisive advantage over both our ships.” Niam observed, “Targeting those seems the most prudent course of action.” he pointed to a stone, which Starbuck touched and began to turn clockwise. He was satisfied to see the Asgard ships transporters reach out and tear chunk out of one of the ships in front of them. This time, a chunk of the primary weapons column rising from it’s center.

“Alright, I’m starting to get the hang of this.” Starbuck said to himself, as he maneuvered the ship. The Pegasus blasted into another command ship as it’s turbo lasers tore into the sides of the wo flanking it.

“Ra’s ships are falling back, and regrouping above the planet’s surface.” Niam told Starbuck, “Their position is covered by surface batteries.”

“Those aren’t Ra’s forces anymore.” Starbuck told him, “Ra was killed by the Empire years ago.”

“But I think we just found where he came from.” Sheppard pointed out as he returned to the bridge, “Which is totally nuts by the way, in my timeline he was the head honcho in the Milky Way until Colonel O’Neill and Dr. Jackson nuked him over Abydos,” he scratched his head, “Though that doesn’t explain why it’s protected by a fleet of command ships designed by Anubis.”

“Anubis could have stolen the designs from Ra in your timeline..” Starbuck replied, “Or Ra and Anubis were working more closely in this one. Ra must have come to Kobol after leaving Earth, and enslaved my people.”

“Your people?” Sheppard demanded, “Starbuck what is going on here, why did you bring us here?”

“I didn’t” Starbuck replied, “But Adama did.”
* * *

“How could you know of those, only senior members...” Helia fixed her with a glare, “You are not with these are you.”

“On the contrary I consider them invaluable allies.” Chaya replied, “But I once lived on Atlantis, I was once called Athar.”

“You have forsaken your heritage.” Helia accused, “given our greatest city to to these...” realization dawned, “You have been reading my mind?” She hissed, “You will find it quite impossible from this point on traitor.”

“I was on both the high council of Atlantis, and Taonis.” Chaya replied drawing herself up, “I have betrayed no one, my standing on either council was never revoked, and I am the sole senior member in this galaxy save for the Captain of the Aurora, whom you have conveniently chosen to represent here.”

“He is incapacitated for the time being.” Helia snapped, “His entire crew is trapped within their stasis pods, until they are resuscitated I am in command. We currently lack the medical facilities with which to do this.”

“The Asurans have offered to use nanites..” Chaya began.

“They are a weapon, nothing more,the lives of our sister ship’s crew will not be placed in their hands.” Helia growled, “You might as well ask us to trust the wraith. Don’t presume to give me orders Athar, any authority you might once have had does not extend to the military. it is clear however that the High Council would never have sanctioned turning over the city of Atlantis to such a rabble of primitives. I insist that control of this city be returned to it’s rightful owners at once.”

“My seniority with regard to Atlantis is clear.” Chaya replied, warningly “Given that former members of the Lantean Council still reside in this galaxy in an ascended state, and that they have not chosen to intervene, either when Atlantis was first reclaimed, nor at this moment, it is clear they do not share your sentiment Helia.”

“Relinquish control of this city, we will not.” Yoda stated flatly, “Needed this place is, to bring us together, at a crossroads we are, as three galaxies.”

“Three galaxies now?” Helia demanded.

“The Ori have located Corusca.” Chaya told Helia, “The ships being built here and elsewhere in this galaxy are necessary to defeat.”

“You challenged the Ori?” Helia exploded, incredulous. “You’re lucky they haven’t blown this place out of the stars!” All semblance of activity in the control room finally halted, at the outburst.

“They don’t know about Atlantis, and as I said earlier, there are ascended beings in this galaxy shielding it.” Chaya said patiently, “Corusca is not so lucky, they need the defenses Atlantis offers.”

“They have stolen technology beyond their comprehension and used it to challenge forces that are likely beyond their comprehension, this is absurd.” Helia snapped still incensed.”This is our city, Yoda, vacate your people at once.”

“No.” Yoda replied flatly, “Ours now, this city is. Rescued you were, a place for you we would have made, welcome among us you would have been, but spurned us you have. Leave now you will until revived your superior can be.” he nodded to Chaya, “Perhaps more reasonable, the captain of the Aurora will be.”

“If we are to die in our ship we will go down fighting.” Helia vowed.

“You will not.” Chaya said threateningly, and the air grew dark around her, “You will not attack an allied power Captain, and you will not fire on Atlantis, is that clear? The Asurans have offered to repair your ship at their shipyards...”

“We will not place ourselves in the hands of those monsters...” Helia began angrily, but Chaya cut her off.

“Fine, then do it yourself.” She snarled, she turned to Lobot, “There are extra hangers on Tarania are their not?” Lobot nodded. “We will have the Asgard tow your ships to Tarania so you can effect repairs, and I warn you Helia, “ She raised a finger, “Do not even consider attacking this city. Their defenses are more than capable of destroying both their ships, and even if they weren’t you would have to deal with me. With the wraith threat ended, I have been given considerable freedom on this plain, you do not want to cross me.”

“We will not surrender our home so easily,” Helia insisted, but before Chaya could make good on her earlier threats, Yoda said something surprising.

“Another way, perhaps there is.” He said quietly. “Appreciate we do, your protection, Chaya, but a compromise, perhaps there can be.” He turned to Helia, “Need Atlantis, we do, for the moment, for a capitol, we do not have, but another city, use we can.”

“The one on Asuras?” Chaya said doubtfully, Yoda nodded.

“Or built, perhaps one can be.” Yoda continued, “Respected for it’s heritage, Atlantis is, honored is it’s legacy, brought us together it has, tear us apart, it should not.” Helia began to smile, but yoda pointed his stick at her, “But win this war we must. Abandon now, this city we cannot. patient you must be, work together we must, or promise agreement from our leadership, I cannot.”

“You could return Atlantis to us? You have that authority?” Helia said, as if recognizing him for the first time. Yoda nodded.

“Considerable influence, the Jedi Council had, in times gone by.” He told her, “Confident I am, that an agreement can be reached, if work together we can.” Chaya said nothing, but Helia nodded.

“Very well Master Yoda.” She said looking down at him, “I will accept transportation to Tarania as Athar has suggested, to make repairs. We will await further contact from there, is this agreeable?”

“Agreeable it is.” Yoda replied nodding.

“Then if you would be so kind as to return us to our ship, we will make preparations for departure.’ Helia announced, “We had begun some repairs to the exterior of our ship, but we can be prepared for transport in a few hours. Please contact the Asgard for us to arrange it.” SHe turned and swept out of the control room quickly. There was an audible release of tension as several of the technicians exhaled. ordinary conversation resumed as the Hoffan delegation signalled they were ready for transport through the gate.

“I don’t think you can trust her, master Yoda, though she is able to shield her thoughts from me now that she knows who i am.” Chaya told him. Helia and her associates stood down in the gateroom waiting expectantly, and Lobot obligingly contacted Sif in the command bunker to have the party beamed back to it’s ship.

“Clouded on this matter, the force is.” Yoda told Chaya, “Conflicted her mind appears, yet powerful is her presence in the force.” he shrugged, “See clearly I cannot. Trust in ourselves we must, if others we cannot.”
* * *
“Secure from battlestations.” Ackbar ordered, he turned to the figure sitting in the Orion’s command chair. “Jedi Sandskimmer? Your report?”

“The Organa is firmly secured.” she announced, “We are on course to rendezvous with General Solo.”

“Governor Calrissian reports the President is unharmed. “ Captain Celchu announced, he rose from his seat behind Sandskimmer, “Admiral, if you would care to sit?”

“It’s your ship Captain, I am just here to supervise..” Ackbar replied waving him off. “Losing the President as well as the Governor of Atlantis was simply too grave a risk for me not to attend to personally, but I have no doubts about the capabilities either of your crew or their captain. you have all been through much in a very short time.”

“Admiral...” Celchu moved forward and spoke quietly, “Any progress on my request for an XO?” Ackbar shook his head.

“I’m afraid Jansen is still undergoing medical treatment.” The Admiral replied, Celchu sighed. “Whatever the wraith did to him, it shows no sign of fading, neither the jedi, Starbuck nor Chaya have been able to promise any sort of recovery.”

“He’s a fighter, he’ll recover.” Celchu said with certainty, “And until he does, I want to keep that spot open for him, unless he decides to return to Atlantis.”

Suddenly there was a flash from an alcove to one side of the bridge. Governor Calrissian and Jedi Antilles stepped out.

“Admiral, the president and her staff are safe and sound aboard the Organa.” Calrissian began, “There’s considerable damage, but nothing the ship’s crew can’t handle...”

“Admiral I want to mount a rescue mission for Jedi Orrs.” Antilles interrupted. Lando rolled his eyes.

“Her rescue is a top priority Jedi Antilles, I assure you.” Ackbar replied, “Master Yoda is concluding negotiations with the captain of the Tria, when we return to Dathomir, Governor Calrissian will relieve him so that he can take part in the mission personally.”

“The Tria?” Calrissian asked, “Wasn’t that one of the ancient Warships Sheppard located? The Crew is still alive?”

“We located them in the void between Pegasus and the adjacent galaxy,” Ackbar explained, “They have been travelling at just under the speed of light for 10,000 years, and are very much alive thanks to relativistic effects. The crew of the Aurora is as well, a much older version of this craft.” Ackbar told Celchu who was paying close attention, “But they are unable to leave their stasis pods at present due to conditions of extreme old age.”

“I’d love to speak to the captain of the Tria if I could, and her crew, we’ve been finding new systems aboard the Orion every day that we can only guess at.” Celchu answered.

“Apparently there are beaming receiver's all over the ship, that’s the only reason we beamed over while in hyperspace..” Lando replied, “We noticed them when l we started using the Asgard sensors.”

“As i said, we’ve been learning new things about this ship every day.” Celchu told Ackbar, “I can’t wait to speak to the Captain of the Tria, I imagine she could teach us a thing or two.” Ackbar nodded.
* * *
“Who is Adama?” Sheppard demanded, “The one you communicated with over the stones?” Starbuck nodded.

“I had to see what was going on with Wedge and the others.” he replied, “If they were in trouble, we’d have been the only ones able to reach them in time. I told Thor I had received word from the Admiral that something was wrong, and to stand by for a course change instead of returning to Atlantis.”

“This Adama guy didn’t bother running his plan by you first?” Sheppard asked dubiously.

“We didn’t speak over the stones, we swapped places.” Starbuck replied, “A man as fully ascended as Adama could probably pull information out of my head while he was in my body, I was just focused on what was happening at Corellia.”

“Fully ascended?” Niam asked, Starbuck nodded.

“There are deeper planes of existence.” he explained, lower ones can be reached with help, if the spirit is properly prepared to be open to the help, the upper ones though,” he shook his head, “I could never reach those, most of us couldn’t, but Adama could and did, he had an extraordinary personality.”

“This all well and good, but it doesn’t explain why we’re here.” Sheppard pointed to New Kobol; and the distant ships gathered before it. Starbuck shook his head.

“I don’t know.” he answered, “Maybe he knew the Pegasus was here and needed help, maybe he found out about my conversation with the Red Sash and knew I should come here to find them.. When we get back to Corusa I will be sure to ask him but for now we have bigger problems.”
“Speaking of the Pegasus, what’s it doing, is it still ignoring us?” Sheppard asked.

“The Pegasus appears to be recovering it’s fighters.” Niam replied, checking a screen over Starbuck’s shoulder. “Their hypderdrive is coming online.”

“What is the status of ours?” Starbuck asked.

“Repairs are nearly complete..” Niam answered him as he “Curious... may I?” He asked Starbuck, Starbuck hesitated but moved aside. “There seems to be some sort of broadcast coming in...” he moved a stone, and suddenly the speakers crackled.

“...repeat...this is General Jack O’Neill of the Picon Resistance, to all battlestars, we are under attack, repeat, we are under attack.”
* * *
Jesmine looked looked up in surprise as the doors before her slid open. instead of an empty transport tube as she’d been expecting, she found herself face to face with Captain Helia and several burly members of her security force.

“Greetings Captain I was not aware you had retur..” She began and stopped. Helia was holding a weapon on her.

“Hand me your blaster.” the captain commanded frostily. Jesmine replied and was shoved into the transport tube. She noted that the usually graphic of the city dominated the display, but one of the security personnel tapped a corner of the display, and the graphic of two lantean warships appeared. One was outlined in red, the other green.

“Put her in holding.” The captain ordered. The officer tapped a spot on the warship, and as a box expanded the schematic, he tapped another area. They stepped out as the doors closed, and when they reopened, the transport tube was empty.

“Let’s move.” Helia ordered.”They’ve blocked access to the control tower itself, but we can access the tower through the lower levels through the lower levels, this way.” beckoning, she and her troops made their way down the hallway.

Yoda watched their progress through the large holo display dominating the command bunker.
“What news of Jesmine have you?” he asked, turning to Lobot.

“The micro droids she was carrying began transmitting moments ago, from orbit, as we suspected, the seven missing people are on board their ship.” Lobot replied, “We are locking onto their locations and preparing to retrieve them.”

“Boarding parties are standing by.” Growled the Satedan Kell,he and others had been training with the city’s existing contingent of Galactic Alliance marines, in order to learn their procedures and augment available personnel. A leader himself, Kell had been given the title of Assistant Security Chief to aid in the interation of the two forces.. The chief himself was shadowing the movements of Helia’s team, visible just out of her sight with four other armed wookiees. Yoda sighed. “Deal with this I must, try to salvage this I will, before out of control it becomes. Until my return, in charge you are.” he said nodding at Lobot.

“Sir let me send a contingent to protect you.” Offered Kell, several of the technicians in the room scoffed.

“The Force is my ally,” Yoda replied diplomatically, “Protect me it will. Secure the command bunker you may.”

Yoda left the command center and moved to the transport tube down the hall. Keying in a location in the basement, the doors opened. One of Helia’s men raised his weapon, Yoda nodded politely, and the Ancient’s head bounced off the wall. he slid to the floor unconcious. Yoda made his way into the room.

“This is is preposterous.” Helia was shouting, she slammed her fists against a pedestal, “It’s not recognizing my commands!”

“Changed the codes we have.” Yoda announced, Helia whirled, as did her two associates, “Aware we were, that cracked them, the wraith may have. protect the city we did.”

“From us?” Helia asked icily, “This is our city Yoda, we will have it back.” Yoda shook his head.

“Discussed this we have. A resolution we reached. Allow you to take this city by force I cannot.” Yoda put intent into his voice, “ See this for yourselves, I hope you can.”

Helia didn’t even blink, the force suggestion effortlessly resisted, she raised her weapon. Yoda’s lightsaber detached from his belt and floated behind him.

“We will fire upon this city if we must.” She warned. Yoda waved his claw. The gun flew out of her hand. Her companions raised their weapons and fired as well. yoda deflected them both lightsaber in hand and gestured again. Both men lifted off the ground and knocked heads, falling to the ground with a thud. Helia turned away in shock, and then back. “Tria, execute contingency plan.” She snapped.

“Captain we are being boarded, we’ve lost main power...” The sounds of shouting and weapons fire could be heard briefly as the transmission broke off.”

“Captain, cease this foolishness.” Chaya implored standing in a doorway on the far side of the room. “Even as Master Yoda has allowed you to see for yourself how your plan would fail, I have not interfered for the same reason. He has a considerable security force surrounding this position that has been shadowing you from the start.”

“This is our city!” Helai exploded.

“Not if you cannot control it.” Chaya snapped, “It is their city now, and they have been gracious enough to consider returning it, you are throwing that all away. Helia you are far too few for this foolishness, consider that. You need allies such as these, if you are to survive, and Master Yoda has been quite reasonable.”

“He has made promises, nothing more, they cannot be trusted.” Helia replied, “You must help us Chaya, if indeed you were ever on the council, to preserve our race.” She turned pleadingly, “We are the last of our kind!”

“No you are not.” Chaya told her stepping forward, “The others are not gone, they have moved on, as you can, should you choose to. Join me on my world Helia, you and your crew, I can help you find your path Helia, if you will let me.” She gestured, “But you cannot move on until you let go of the past. Atlantis is theirs now. These people are not our enemy.”

“And if I refuse?” Helia replied, “If my crew and I decide Ascension is not our path, what then? We are to submit to these?”

“Join us you can, welcome you are.” Yoda insisted. Helia stood between the two, “A future you can build, us with you at your side.” Helia looked utterly torn. Finally she sighed. She turned to Yoda.

“This decision is not mine to make.” She said at last, “I am the captain of a warship, I know only how to fight. I should not speak for my crew on this, nor that of the Aurora.”

“Understand I do.” Yoda replied, “Wisdom there is in your words.” he pulled out a comm. “Report Lobot.”

“We have secured the Tria.” Lobot announced, “We were able to disable their command systems and take the engine room and the bridge, and we have sealed all sections to restrict movement.We’ve transported their supply of drones out of their magazines to be doubly safe.”

“Return control of your ship to you I will. Overlook this we can, if accompany Chaya you do to her world.” Yoda told Helia. “Restore the crew of the Aurora we must, before made any decisions are, but stand my offer does. advise the alliance I will, a more suitable base to find.”

“Master Yoda, though quite young by our standards, has a keen appreciation for history and tradition.” Chaya told Helia, “I think it bothers him as much as anyone to see Atlantis used for such utilitarian purposes.”

“I have no choice do I.” Helia said flatly, “You’ve both put considerable effort into making hat painfully clear haven’t you.” She sighed. “Very well, I will accompany the Aurora to your world Chaya and we will await the revival of the Aurora’s crew.”

“Make the arrangements I will, with Governor Calrissian.” Yoda told her. “Leave soon I must.” he moved to go, and Chaya knelt beside the two unconscious ancients. She began to heal one, as helia knelt and did likewise.

“he understands more than you know.” Chaya told Helia, “Those of his order, the Jedi were all but wiped out, they number even fewer than we. He has offered their services to the Alliance, and one of his students is missing.” Helia considered this, as she helped her crew member to his feet. She considered how she would react. Chaya added, “He cares for his own as much as you do.”

“Then I pity any who would harm those under his care.” She replied.
* * *

“What have you done to me?” the prisoner screamed, the moment she woke up. Katarn happened to be consulting with the doctor at that moment and turned, clearing his throat.

“Shira Brie...” he made a show of consulting the doctor’s chart, “I see you have awakened. My name is Commodore Katarn, You are in Imperial custody aboard the Super Star Destroyer Autarch. I would advise you to watch any future outbursts.”

“The force is... gone...” She breathed, “But Centerpoint was disabled, how?”

“My dear if Centerpoint had been fired, you would most likely be dead, as well as all other Force sensitives.” the doctor informed her, “As a matter of fact, according to your medical records, you were tested at a young age for force sensitivity and found somewhat gifted, perhaps you can explain to us how a force sensitive managed to survive when so many others didn’t?”

“The Empire would very much like to know how that can be.” Katarn told her. “You have been arrested for sabotaging an Imperial installation, and of conspiring with rebels, however your sentence can be ameliorated somewhat if you prove cooporative.”

“I am not a rebel.” The prisoner told him flatly.”I was on a deep cover assignment from Lord Vader himself when the Emperor died.”

“Ah, so you were unaware that the Empire was in the process of taking control of the station, your efforts were targeted at the Corellians. unfortunate timing certainly, but the Emperor will be very pleased to hear this. Though pleased at the news some Jedi had survived, he was deeply concerned that the Jedi might consider the Empire an enemy because of it’s...past leadership.”

“The Jedi...” Shira blinked, “Emperor Palpatine was the Sith Lord who all but exterminated them. They would certainly feel that way.”

“Emperor Thrawn now leads the galaxy.” Katarn told her, the doctor fidgeted beside him, “he is not a Sith Lord, and I’m certain his policies reflect that.”

“Sir, shouldn’t we inform the legal division that she has regained consciousness?” The doctor asked nervously, Katarn nodded.

“Of course Doctor, send her in.” he turned to the prisoner, “If you’ll excuse me, I am needed on the bridge, but consider what I have said. I think it would be in all of our best interests to set aside old grievances. This war of Sith and Jedi, it’s in the past. It’s time to unite against a common enemy.”

“I couldn’t agree more.” Said the Imperial specialist as she entered the room, “Greetings Ms. Brie, my name is Jan Orrs.”

* * *
“The Pegasus has entered hyperspace.” Niam announced.

“Damn it Niam, come on!” Sheppard shouted, “We need those engines.”

“The replicators are limited by their numbers.” Niam replied apologetically, “We could accelerate repairs if we created more?”

“I would prefer that you did not.” A welcome voice said from the doorway.

“Thor.” Said Sheppard relieved, he moved to the Asgard and knelt, “Are you ok?”

“The medical pod has treated my injuries.” Thor replied, “I will be fine.”

“You missed a little excitement.” Starbuck said moving aside as the Asgard returned to his station.

“Indeed.” said the Asgard blinking owlishly at Starbuck. Starbuck looked chagrined.

“Look Thor, I’m sorry, I didn’t know I’d be walking us into a fight.”

“I was able to monitor your conversation from the pod.” Thor replied, “I am aware of the extenuating circumstances.”

“Well we’ve got to follow the Pegasus.” Starbuck told him, “I’d lay odds it was what Adama wanted me to find here.”

“And I’ve got to find the source of that message.” Sheppard added, “General O’Neill might be part of my timeline.” he furrowed his brow, “Though i haven’t the faintest idea what the picon Resistance is.”

“That transmission didn’t come from the direction of Picon.” Starbuck told him, “it came from the maelstrom vortex, an astronomical phenomenon nea what used to be Gammoray.”

“What manner of Astronomical phenomenon.” Niam asked. Starbuck shook his head.

“It was weird, we passed by it once on our search for Earth.” he told the others, “it had most of the properties of a black hole but the gravitational field was all off, it was one sided. there was so much junk and debris swirling around and into it though we couldn’t get a viper in close to figure it out.” he pondered, “By now, there would be a whole nebula coalesced around it.”

“We can pursue the Pegasus to it’s edge.” Thor told him, “But I will not attempt to explore an unknown anomaly with my ship in it’s present condition, and this is no longer part of our mission. I must return you to Atlantis immediately, and report the presence of the goauld in this galaxy to the high council.”

“Alright, but let’s at least take a look, this must be important.” Starbuck pleaded, “We can deal with the goa’uld on New Kobol later.”

“Very well.” Thor replied, but he did not seem happy. he turned to Niam, “My ship can repair itself from now on, please have your associates remove themselves from engineering.”
“Of course.” Niam said baffled, “I apologize if I have offended you.”

“Not at all.” The Asgard said stiffly. Niam moved over to where Starbuck stood and hung his head.

“Don’t take it personally Niam, a day ago, those replicators were trying to devour Thors people’s worlds, now they’re repairing his ships.” Starbuck told him, “it’s a lot to take in.”

“I understand.” Niam replied, “Though our people were reprogrammed in a matter of hours, I understand organic beings cannot assimilate new information quite so rapidly.”

“That’s one way to look at it.” Starbuck replied, “Another is that those who fail to learn from
history are doomed to repeat it.”

* * *
“Admiral Ackbar.” Emperor Thrawn greeted, “It has been some time since we spoke in person, has it not? Yet it seems like only yesterday we faced each other in battle.” The holo of Ackbar made no response, “Our little simulations of course. you were quite astute as an aide, i do miss our little games.”

“”We have both found more pressing responsibilities have we not?” Ackbar replied, “And I am no longer a slave.”

“Of course.” Thrawn replied, “Are you aware of General Solo’s attack on Yavin?”

“General Solo killed a prior of the Ori, yes.” Ackbar informed Thrawn, “he noted Imperial forces in orbit as well I believe, but he had little time to do more than a cursory scan.”

“Ah.” Thrawn said knowingly, “yes well my patrol had informed him we had taken control of the area.”

“The region, yes,” Ackbar nodded, then paused as if startled, “Do you mean to say you were not there to fight the Vong? They had amassed quite a fleet over Yavin when general Solo escaped.”

“Yes, we neutralized that fleet.” Thrawn said, “We were in fact engaged with the Prior on the surface.”

“My apologies Emperor, I am certain General Solo was not aware of your intentions.” Ackbar replied, “he had determined that the Prior used an energy shield that absorbed conventional weapons, which the Vong were foolishly firing into and powering, when he left.”

“Foolish of them.” Thrawn replied, “General Solo was able to penetrate the shield using a drone. How did you come across that technology?”

“Well that is something of an embarrassment Emperor...” Ackbar replied, “before we agreed upon a cease fire in light of the Ori raids, you recall we were ourselves were investigating raids no doubt conducted by Cylons in the vicinity of Endor... we did manage to locate the wreckage of an Imperial transport full of drones, by sheer act of providence, the sole functional drone we recovered was aboard the Millennium Falcon. It has been since it located my ship.”

“How fortuitous.” Thrawn breathed, “And General Solo was able to get it to fire.”

“He is a well known mechanic.” Ackbar replied.
“Were you aware that Imperial forces retook Centerpoint station from Corellien insurgents yesterday?” Thrawn asked. Ackbar blinked.

“Centerpoint has survived?” He asked, “Is it armed, your majesty?”

“No, it was sabotaged by a Jedi.” Thrawn replied, Ackbar was silent.

“Forgive me your majesty, did you say, by a Jedi? I was under the impression that your predecessor wiped out the order.” Ackbar stroked his chin, “Do the Jedi continue to act against the forces of the Empire? A pity that they would continue their feud long after the Sith have vanished from it’s leadership.”

“I should clarify,” Thrawn replied, “The Jedi, in our custody, it seems, was unaware that the Empire was in the process of securing the station. She was concerned the Cylons were about to gain control of the weapon. She has not overtly acted against the Empire as of yet, therefore I have not yet decided what to do, either with her, or the Jedi at large. My response will be contingent on what happens next.”

“I imagine she would remain in your custody.” Ackbar replied, and then, “Unless you believe more Jedi survived? Your highness, in my opinion that is unlikely, Emperor Palpatine was quite thorough in his efforts to exterminate them, for some to have survived first that, and then the wave that killed billions who were only slightly Force sensitive, the odds are astronomical that even one Jedi survived, and you suspect more?”

“If there are more, I suspect they will attempt to remove her from my custody.” Emperor Thrawn replied evenly, “Which would be unfortunate, given that likelihood of casualties in such an attempt.”

“Perhaps this is an opportunity for us to lend you our assistance Emperor Thrawn. Given the Empire’s history with the Jedi, the Galactic Alliance would certainly be willing to function as an intermediary if you wish.” Ackbar told Thrawn, “Perhaps if we were given custody of the Jedi, as a neutral party...”

“I think she will remain in our custody, Admiral.” Thrawn smiled, “However, perhaps you could send a team of observers? General Solo, for example, or, more locally, I understand Governor Calrissian as well as President Mon Mothma herself were just in the Corellian system. Surely the Jedi would be given pause if such prominent members of the Galactic Alliance were seen along side their number?”

“As crucial as the situation is, I believe Mon Mothma is unfortunately fully committed. She maintains a tight schedule with the many many systems interested in allying with us. and General Solo is likewise engaged with overseeing security matters. With sighting of Cylon forces in the very same system as she was in, I think it is plain that enemies we had thought fully ... neutralized...are still a threat to us all Emperor.” Ackbar replied.

“I understand your situation Admiral.” Thrawn replied, “Especially as you transition into a trading power, I understand your concerns about mobilizing adequate defenses should your people come under attack, and let me echo your earlier overture with one of my own, if at any time, you wish increased security, be it a squadron of star destroyers, or a garrison of storm troopers to stand watch over any of your facilities, we will make it a priority to provide that assistance. With the Vong campaign concluding we certainly have ample resources available to secure any system in the galaxy, that finds itself in need of Imperial protection, the sectors around the yavin system are particularly in need of stabilization.”

“General Solo has proven his ability to secure our facilities against any unauthorized incursion, I assure you.” Ackbar replied, “Though I, and the Galactic Alliance appreciate your gesture for what it is.”

“An overture of friendship.” Thrawn nodded, then “perhaps Governor Calrissian would be able lead a team of observers yes? Cloud city was evacuated years ago, and it seems likely a Governor with no city has time on his hands yes?”

“I will contact the President myself and relay your suggestion.” Ackbar promised, “Though i think she considers Calrissian an indispensible member of her staff.”

“I would imagine the two find it hard to be apart, I will look forward to seeing them both on the holos. I am glad they were not caught in the crossfire when we secured the Corellian system,.” Thrawn replied. “Give my regards to General Solo as well Admiral, inform him I would appreciate being advised of any other initiatives of his taken in Imperial space.” Saying his good byes the Admiral vanished from the holo pad.

“Your eminence?” Pelleon was at the door, “Commodore Katarn’s taskforce has rejoined the fleet.”

“Excellent.” Thrawn replied, “I have considered your recommendation that he be given command of the Iron Fist, but I believe it is somewhat premature. He was after all, only just promoted. it would be unwise to give the fleet the impression that a young rising star can advance through the unfortunate demise of his superior. We’ve had enough of that sort of thing. I will assume direct control of Zsinj’s sector until i have decided upon a suitable replacement.” Thrawn flexed his fingers, “I have missed the feeling of direct command, Pelleon.”

“Understood your majesty.” Pelleon replied, “Will the Dawnstar be taking position in Zsinj’s former sector, or shall i call for Imperial city?”

“Let Imperial City remain at Dagobah. The Dawnstar will proceed to Borleis.” Thrawn replied, “Your fleet will hold position here in the Endor system, I will command Zsinj’s fleet from Centerpoint.”

“Command them, my lord?” Pelleon asked, noting specific significance in Thrawn’s choice of words.

“Indeed Grand Admiral.” Thrawn said turning to look out the viewport. “I intend to resume searching the Corellian system, after all, we were unaware until recently that a station as large as Centerpoint had survived, who knows what else might still be out there?”

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 05-25-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-07-02 03:02pm

Chapter 19

“This is General Jack O’Neill of the Picon Resistance, to all battlestars. Fallback to jump point Omega six.” Thor’s speakers crackled, “Shield units cover withdrawals, prepare to launch viper screen.”

“Who the frak are they fighting?” Sheppard wondered, “It sounds like they're getting their asses kicked.” Starbuck shook his head.

“Thor I’ve finished entering the stargate access protocols, see if you can establish a link, there’s got to be something in there.” he turned to Sheppard. “These are transmission segments the computer is stringing together but they’re very distorted. I don’t think they are coming through a stable wormhole, but from what we can tell we’ve heard them fall back and regroup half a dozen times,” he replied from a workstation to the front of the bridge. Niam stood beside him, “The signals we have been recieving use ancient Kobollan communications protocols.”

“That can’t be from our universe, it took all our resources to mount an expedition to Atlantis.” he told Starbuck, “Coming as far as this galaxy would have been even more of a one way trip, unless someone stumbled upon a cache of ZPMs.”

“This is Adama. Unbreakable, advance with strike wings, engage at range try to take out some of those gun batteries, but watch the main cannon, our battlestars can’t repel firepower of that magnitude.”

“Adama?” Starbuck frowned, “That wasn’t Adama...”

“The guy who snatched your body?” Sheppard demanded, “Who is Adama, you never answered that question.”

“I too would like an answer.” Thor said flatly, still scanning the maelstrom.

“Adama was the commander of the Battlestar Galactica during the great exodus... or should I say... third great exodus..” Starbuck corrected himself, “What we thought to be the last Colonial battlestar escorting the survivors of the Cylon attack in a rag tag fugitive fleet in search of Earth. There is no one I trust more than that man, no one.” he turned back towards Sheppard and Thor. “Adama ascended before any of us, he had the purity of purpose and the will to do it. he did it to earn the trust of the Altairans so they would help us, there's no one I would trust more than him. What he did was to help us, we just have to figure out how.”

“Did you not already express a desire to travel to Kobol to search for your lost mate?” Niam asked speaking for the first time in a while. Starbuck’s jaw dropped and his head swong around to Niam. “Forgive me if I offended, perhaps I misunderstood Colonel Sheppard’s statement.”

“Um I said he knew a girl named Athena he wanted to search for...” Sheppard said awkwardly.”I never said she was his mate.”

“Forgive me, I assumed that to take such a long journey, she must be of great importance.” Niam replied, “My understanding of humans is limited, and somewhat out of date, I assumed she was his mate.”

“She is very important to me.” Starbuck replied, and he blinked at hearing himself say that, “She was on New Kobol when it fell.”

“Yet when we were in orbit over New Kobol you did not search for her, you followed the signal from General O’Neill.” Niam sounded perplexed.

“Hey, in case anyone forgot, that wouldn’t be my Athena down there.” Starbuck protested, taken aback, “I’m from an alternate reality, I came here to find out what the frak Iblis is trying to do in my own universe.”

“So the Athena of this universe is of no importance.” Niam concluded resuming his study of the control panel. Starbuck actually raised a hand, clenched his fist and then released it. The air seemed to quiver and Thor opened his mouth in alarm.

“Let’s all just take a break...Starbuck, Niam doesn’t know what he’s saying is very offensive....” Sheppard suggested hurrying over. Niam turned back from his work towards Starbuck and then to Sheppard, as he opened his mouth, Sheppard held up a finger, “Ah, I think you’ve said enough Niam, hows...hows the scan?”

“The cloud ionization pattern is a 71% match to that which would be produced by a Tylium drive.” Niam replied turning back to his console. “Unfortunately, with our present damage, we cannot hope to follow.”

“Our damage will soon be repaired.” Thor replied, “My ship’s self repair systems are working on restoring our armor as we speak, however there is another concern. There is a considerable amount of debris within that cloud as well as powerful gravitational tides. It is extremely dangerous for a ship of this size and mass to attempt to navigate under such conditions.”

“More so for the Pegasus, which has several times this vessel’s mass.” Niam pointed out. Thor gave the Asuran an irritated glance.

“We do not have confirmation that they survived the journey.” Thor answered flatly.

“What about the transmissions?” Starbuck asked, “They’re distorted by the cloud, out of order, has there been any mention of the Pegasus?”

“My ship’s computer has been compiling a number of transmission fragments.” Thor replied, he worked at his console, he looked up, “it appears we have monitored a transmission that matches their protocols, I will play it now.”

“..This is SG-1 aboard the battle star Pegasus, that is not a moon, repeat that is not a moon, if that thing is operational, shields won’t matter it can take out Picon itself...”

“What is SG-1?” Niam asked.

“The stories would give General Solo a run for his money.” Sheppard told him, “But I have a bad feeling I know what they are describing,” he turned to Starbuck, “Somehow Picon is under attack by a death star.”
* * *
Centerpoint station teemed with activity. Workers and repair droids swarmed over the battered hull and construction tenders hovered about. Dwarfed by the station itself, yet somehow impressively contrasted nonetheless, the Iron Fist and her squadron of super star destroyers stood guard. Seemingly diminutive by comparison Imperial class star destroyers and smaller support craft held formation between the behemoths. A lone dreadnought approached cautiously at a stately pace that suited its elderly nature.

“Does anyone else think trying to play mind games with Thrawn is just a bad idea?” Calrissian asked aloud. Wedge nodded. they stood on the bridge of the Harrier. The Dreadnought’s Mon Calamari captain consulted with Lobot, who had take a station to one side. "I gated halfway across the galaxy to spend days travelling back to where I came from, just to make a guy think twice about his intel?"

“It’s more than that.” Wedge replied to Lando, “Making Thrawn second guess his intelligence about where you were and when is just icing on the cake, the real goal is not to expose any of our more advanced technology to the Empire unless we have to. Thrawn may wonder who was on Corellia, but at least he's less likely to wonder how you could have gotten there considering hyperspace was disrupted until Centerpoint shut down. The Organa was a Corellian design, the Admiral has Thrawn convinced it was just an advanced model the Cylons were working on, and we know they've used human duplicate androids before. It's a worthwhile gambit if it's plausible enough. We can't let the The Harrier is relatively unmodified. Except the Stargate in the hold.” He added. "If there's any chance of capture, we try to evac through it, and blow the thing to hell, it's our best chance of taking out something as large as Centerpoint station."

“Great, the Admiral’s making contingency plans for our capture already.” Lando grumbled, “You know planning to fail is failing to plan.”

“The reverse is true as well Governor.” Said Wedge, “Relax, the Orion’s also cloaked nearby, she’ll beam us out if we’re boarded or if the Empire tries to take us into custody. “

“I give the Orion ten minutes against that fleet, and I think I’m being generous, zero point modules or none.” Calrissian replied.

“Well I’m glad the three of you are along for the ride anyway.” Captain Omos interjected nodding to the two padawans behind Wedge, “Even with a few Jedi up our sleeve and a Lantean war ship shadowing us, I feel like a jawa being dangled in front of a Rancor. Hell of a risk though as Jedi Sheppard would say.”

“if we can’t extract Jan and the Empire breaks her, the Jedi are exposed anyway.” Wedge replied, “hell Yoda wanted to come along and drop the pretense, I can feel him watching us from the Orion...” he glanced out a viewport wryly knowing the Grandmaster was out there not so far away.

“Vasir has positioned a number of Asgard ships off the galactic plane of the ecliptic. If our cover is suitably blown, they will aid in our extraction.” Lobot replied turning from one of the forward stations. “The Fist has invited us to dock directly with the station.

“Can we politely refuse?” Calrissian asked rhetorically, “Fine but double security at every hatch, Wookiees obviously, no Satedans or Genii. Send word to Dathomir that we’ve arrived and will check in every hour, and broadcast that in the clear Lobot.” Suddenly an alarm sounded and a crew man turned in alarm.

“Captain, it’s the stargate sir it’s started dialing!”

“Raise shields, all hands to battle stations.” Wedge ordered stepping forward, “It’s a trap.”

* * *

“We’ve got to follow!” Starbuck told him urgently, “Iblis is close, I can feel him! Whatever he’s up to, whatever he’s been planning, it’s all happening in there somewhere.” he pointed to the swirling mass.

“If what Sheppard says is true, we cannot help them.” Thor answered shaking his head, “and it is entirely possible we would simply destroy ourselves in the attempt.”

“The Pegasus made it through somehow.!” Starbuck protested, “And those signals must be coming from somewhere, look at that swirl, Thor, it’s a portal, there must be a stargate in there!”

“I have attempted remote access with the protocols you provided, to no avail.” Thor told him patiently, “If there is a stargate in there, it may damaged. It may also be one of unknown origin, and incompatible with our technology. Attempting to penetrate this phenomenon could be a one way trip.”

“based on the gravitational lense, I would say this phenomenon has been caused by a wormhole connection to this point in space.” Thor surmised.

“How can a wormhole be sustained without a stargate?” Sheppard asked, “I thought you needed a sender and a receiver.”

“The Stargates disassemble matter and convert it into an energy pattern which is reassembled on the opposite side.” Thor clarified, “That process is not essential to the wormhole formation itself, a process that is not dissimilar conceptually, from the opening of a hyperspace window.”

“But what opened the wormhole?” Starbuck demanded, “If there’s no gate how did the Pegasus do it?”

“There may have been once.” Thor pointed out. “The conditions of the maelstrom may have sustained an active stargate beyond the existence of the gate itself.”

“You’re telling me you don’t need a have a gate?” Sheppard asked incredulously, “I need to sit down.”

“The Pegasus could have travelled through the Anomaly.” Niam said suddenly. “By utilizing a Coruscan hyperdive...”

“if this were a chance to save the galaxy, the universe, if this were the one opportunity to stop the most malevolent force in the galaxy, a being that has corrupted and torn down civilizations since the dawn of time, wouldn’t you take that chance?” Starbuck demanded. Thor tilted his head.

“I can find no record of this “Iblis” you have mentioned in our own database, he was not even mentioned over the centuries we allied ourselves with the Altairans, the only reference I could find was from a tribe of humans on Jedi Sheppard’s home planet.”

“Is it possible that this Iblis no longer functions?” Niam asked, “My understanding is that humanoids, not even ancients, can exist for this long without ascending.”

“He is a being of darkness Niam, a manipulative creature that predates the Asgard race as well as the Asurans,. he caused the split between the Altairans, the Kobollans and the Ori, he caused the fall of the twelve colonies of Kobol, the fall of new Kobol, the shock wave that killed the Jedi, Thor he even orchestrated the rise of both the Goa’uld and the Wraith.” Starbuck snapped. Sheppard watched the man closely.

“I am aware of General Rieekan’s comparison of the Yuuzhan Vong biote and the irratus bug recently discovered in Pegasus.” Thor replied, “I fail to see how Iblis is involved, in either that, or the creation of the Goa’uld.”

“I saw it when I was ascended.” Starbuck insisted, “Much of what I knew has been coming back to me, thanks to Baltar.” He frowned at that, “But it was part of why I was banished in the first place. Iblis had steered a cylon colony to the Milky Way, it crash landed on the planet of the Goa’uld and the survivors fell prey to the symbiotes. Without that ship, the Goa’uld would be nothing more than helpless parasites, trapped on their own world.” he shook his head, “I found the ship, the wreckage of a Cylon ship on the Goa’uld homeworld in my travels, but the Lanteans didn’t want to listen.”

“You are certain this was Iblis’ doing?” Thor asked sharply Starbuck nodded.

“I understood the Cylons to originally have been a reptillian race, yet you have also asserted that Iblis took the identity of General Garm Bel Iblis in order to orchestrate events in the Corusca galaxy.” Niam said perplexed. “How is this possible.”

“The voice of the Cylon Imperious Leader is Iblis. We encountered him shortly , after our colonies fell to the Cylons. Some of our people, terrified that after a thousand years of war, the Cylons would one day wipe us all out, struck a deal with their leader to betray the other twelve colonies to spare his own. he figured the Cylons would no longer consider humanity a threat and they would be left in peace. Instead, after they tried to kill us all, Iblis arrived in the fleet and tried to get us to worship him in exchange for his protection. When i shot him, he changed form, a horned demon form....” Starbuck stopped, Thor was shaking his head, “This is familiar to you isn’t it Thor.”

“Loki.” Thor said quietly, “One of our chief scientists became a host to a goa’uld symbiote and was subject to their influence for some time. he was infected by Skathir of the Nox, who in turn had been infected by the Tesimittel.”

“The... the Tesimittel?” Starbuck asked, the name was half remembered, Thor nodded.

“They called themselves the “Children of the sky” Thor replied, “After the fall of Atlantis, the Ancients were essentially eliminated as a power, yet their stargates remained. Though they lacked spaceflight, the stargate network connected many habitable worlds with developing species. The Tesimittel were among the first races to be subjugated.”

“They were giants!” Starbuck said incredulously, “How could the Goa’uld have managed that? The Tesmittel couldn’t even fit through the stargates!”

“The Goa’uld could.” Thor pointed out, “using the Unas as hosts, Ometol was one of the first worlds they explored. The stargate was in the possession of one called Nefekare. She struck a deal with the goa’uld, she aided them in taking her people as host, in exchange for the technology the scavenged across the galaxy. The Tesmittel revered her, first as a witch, and then as a scientist.”

“I’m afraid I see no correlation between the accusations against Iblis, and the events you discuss.” Niam interjected. Starbuck glanced at him in irritation, as did Thor.

“I think the commonality is the modus operandi.” Sheppard told the Asuran, “If Iblis operates on the level Starbuck believes he does, we have little hope of guessing at his next move unless we can understand what he’s playing at.”

“You are describing the intuitive leap.” Niam said suddenly, “The ability to acquire knowledge without inference, or use of reason!” he put a hand to his mouth, “fascinating.” the others stared at him, he gestured to Thor, “Please continue...”

“They first encountered the Nox.” Thor continued, “Members of the Great Alliance were under attack on all sides, the Furlings from the Rakata, Nova Altair had fallen long ago, as had Atlantis. Our own race was greatly weakened by the exodus of Eshka and the Vanir shortly before the fall of Atlantis. The Nox were alone, still in hiding from the Ori. It was the perfect time to infiltrate their ranks. The Nox, Skathir, believed that her people’s pacifistic philosophy would be their undoing. With the other members of the Great Alliance all under attack, she turned to the Tesmittel. Together with the Nox, the two formed an alliance and thus we were introduced to one another. Loki hosted a delegation of Nox and Tesmittel to observe the final battle between the Yuuzhan Vong and the Cylons. During this battle, my father’s ship was lost, and Loki was taken as host. The Goa’uld began to implant the members of our high council. Ultimately the attack was discovered and rectified.”

“Rectified.” Starbuck repeated, the tone Thor had used had been unsettling.

“We destroyed the Tesmittel who allied themselves with the goa’uld and aided a rebel faction, known as the Omayaca. For willfully sharing technology with a lesser race, we were likewise estranged from the Nox who quickly fell to the Goa’uld.” Thor adjusted his controls, “ The high command voted to abandon the galaxy the Altairans had ceded as well as continued cooperation with members of the Great Alliance.What was to have been the fifth race, instead brought about the end of the Great Alliance.”

* * *
“Belay those orders!” Omos shouted “Stand by.”

“Whoever’s dialing knows there’s a stargate here.” Wedge insisted, he rounded on the Mon Calamari beside him, “We don’t have an iris in place, and if that fleet attacks we won’t be able to fight the ship with stormtroopers pouring into our hold. We must raise the shields”

The captain was shaking his head “I don’t understand....”

“Get a hold of yourself Antilles.” Calrissian snapped, he grabbed Omos’ arm, “The stargate in the cargo hold is dialing, but we’re standing by as you ordered...aren’t we...” he glared at Antilles

“Sir the Stargate has disappeared from the cargo hold, technicians report seeing an asgard transport beam.” Lobot announced. Wedge cocked his head.

“They can’t have beaming technology...” he said. “The Orion?”

“They must have been monitoring us.” Lando said, still watching the captain. The Mon Colomari regained his bearings. “If they keep the gate in stasis it won’t finish dialing, whoever tried to dial in will get an error signal and try again. It’s a Lantean gate Wedge, The newer ones override the older ones.”

“So there must be a gate somewhere in this system, and someone’s been using it.” Wedge realized. “Someone knows about stargates...”

“But not necessarily our stargates.” Lando finished. “Good bit of intel we have now..”

“Should we continue docking procedures?” A pilot asked from up front. Wedge and Lando looked to the captain.

“Affirmative.” Omos replied, “Governor, General,” he nodded to Wedge, “Prepare to disembark.”

* * *

The bridge was silent as Starbuck considered what Thor had disclosed. Niam spoke once more.

“Fascinating.” he stated, “Intuition is a characteristic that has greatly eluded my people. It has been considered our greatest barrier to ascension.”

“How can you ascend beyond an infinite plane of existence?” Starbuck asked him, “How can you know the unknowable.”

“I believe I understand...” Niam replied, “And it is this intuition that guides you, in speculating as to the true nature of the being Iblis?”

“Sometimes you have to speculate as to the cause, when all you can observe is the effect.” Starbuck replied.

“These are the origins of religion!” Niam exclamation, “The charismatic presentation of belief by intuition, the ignorant embrace of unproven truths!” At this, Thor looked uncertain, and even Starbuck was taken aback.”

“No.” Sheppard said flatly, “The Jedi have been considered a religion, the Force an unproven truth.” he raised a hand and Niam felt himself lifted from the ground, “There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. Knowledge of the unseen, of the unknowable.” Niam was lowered to the ground, “ he turned to Thor, “You’re getting to the part that is important Thor.”

“Loki became obsessed with a race the Goa’uld had recently discovered re-evolving on Nova Terra, under the guidance of the Lanteans.” Thor continued, “ He relocated several populations to other worlds in order to study the rate of their evolution, in an effort to save our own, in doing so he broke the High Command’s edict. The Omayaca protected that world at that time. Given our continued state of war with the Goa’uld these populations were now vulnerable. When what he had done was uncovered, the high command signed a treaty with the Goa’uld protecting these worlds. The world was later lost to the Goa’uld Ra, and the surviving Omayaca retreated even further than the Nox out of phase with this reality.”

“That’s Sheppard’s world.” Starbuck replied, “Earth, and the Goa’uld seized control before I went into the gate. The Omayacans were defeated much earlier in my timeline.”

“The Nox were still around in my timeline too.” Sheppard confirmed. “And the Omayacans... I think they were a race that could transport people using a crystal skull?” Thor nodded, “We’ve met them too.”

“It seems Iblis’ tampering somehow extends farther into the past than I thought.” Starbuck pondered, “Somehow events that took place after I left Earth affected the past.”

“Elizabeth never went back in time to Atlantis.” Sheppard pointed out. Starbuck bit his lip. “Though I guess I don’t know how that would make a difference. maybe something she did, or was supposed to do during the evacuation changed the timeline in the past.”

“Or perhaps events in this universe have played out as they originally should have without her interference.” Niam pointed out, “As regrettable as the fate of the Nox and the Tesmittel have been, the future of the Asgard seems more promising than in your time. We have several likely methods of ensuring the survival of Thor’s people, because we were able to reform the Galactic Alliance.” Thor considered this. “Would you interfere with events in your own universe, Starbuck, that would cause the extinction of an entire race?”

“You pose a false dilemma.” Thor stated, “The actions Starbuck takes in opposing Iblis, will simply influence the formation of another quantum reality. My people will live, or die, in infinite variation throughout the universe.”

“Just as Athena will.” Sheppard said to Starbuck.

“But stopping Iblis in any reality saves that universe.” Starbuck insisted, “And events here have already been affected by events there.” he turned to Thor, “If we can learn what he’s doing in my universe, what he intends to do, and stop him, maybe we can defeat him here too.”

“Who is to say that Iblis intends the destruction of the universe.” Niam asked, “

“Time and again, Iblis has demonstrated a desire to corrupt people into following him, jsut so that he can watch them burn.” Starbuck replied.

“The scope of his influence appears to expand over time as well.” Thor pointed out. “As he finds new galaxies and emerging civilizations to prey upon.” Thor turned to Starbuck, “if we proceed now, we are unlikely to be able to return.” Thor warned them. “But I am willing to take that chance if you are.”

“Let’s do it.” Starbuck replied, Sheppard nodded assent. Niam appeared reluctant.

“We do not have a Coruscan hyperdrive” he pointed out.

“This vessel is quite capable of achieving the necessary speed. If you do not wish to join us, I can transport your associates with you into an escape pod.” Thor told him, “you will be able to modify it to return home.” Niam shook his head.

“No, I will accompany you.” He said quickly.

“Then let’s go.” Starbuck said eagerly, Thor nodded and began to work the controls.

“I am programming a descending parabolic course that will permit us to navigate around the debris while accelerating into the gravity well. Diverting all available power to shields and structural integrity fields.” He announced.

“Everyone hold on!” Sheppard shouted as the Beliskner began to shake.”

“Inputting flight program now.” Thor announced. Alarms began to scream.

“Is that bad?” Sheppard asked Starbuck, Starbuck shrugged as they both clutched their consoles.

“It’s not good!” He said by way of answer, “Obviously the ship wasn't designed to do this!”

“We are encountering gravitational sheering!” Niam announced, he seemed oddly able to hold his footing, “The ships inertial dampeners are increasingly unable to compensate. We are taking damage to systems throughout the ship.”

“The Beliskner will hold.” Thor stated, with the certainty of a captain who had commanded his ship for centuries. Suddenly another alarm sounded and tthe ship bucked wildly.

“We are reading a fluctuation in the maelstrom, there is a massive shift in it’s gravitational field.” Thor informed them. Concerned he began moving stones on his panel.

“Kriff, the transmissions have stopped.” Starbuck swore staring at his own readings, “We fracking waited too long, the anomaly is closing, we’ll never make it through!!”

* * *
“Welcome to Centerpoint Station, I am General Veers.” Lando paused in the hatchway. Over two dozen storm troopers stood ready.

“General, I’m not sure if I should run for cover or shake your hand.” Carlissian said wryly as he stepped through the hatch. “That’s quite a welcoming party.”

“Well you are something of a head of state.” Veers said stiffly. “But we will have to scan you, to confirm your identities, and for weapons.”

“What this old thing?” Calrissian handed his blaster back through the airlock to Captain Omos. Wedge and his padawan's proceeded through the lock as well, followed by Lobot. “I suppose my diplomatic staff must disarm as well.”

“General Antilles, your reputation precedes you.” Veers says with a nod to Antilles. Wedge didn’t bother to reply.

“He’s my head of security.” Carlissian stated smoothly as a stormtrooper scanned him for other weapons, “We’re here to observe a prisoner I believe?”

“This way.” Veers lead them through a gauntlet of storm troopers, which closed behind them, between them and the airlock. “I will escort you to the detention level.

“Governor Calrissian.” Omos called. “Sir we will expect a check in the moment you arrive, and every half hour following that.”

“Of course captain.” Calrissian said with a meaningful glance at Veers. “This is a touchy situation we wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.”

Omos watched them go, and turned to the three men by the airlock. “Leave the outer airlock door open, and maintain visual surveillance of their side. Close the door at the first sign of trouble and inform the bridge.” He closed the inner lock and strode past the men positioned beside and the other sealed locks on the deck. The ship was on the highest alert, waiting for any signs of betrayal. Several minutes later Omos strode onto the bridge his XO turned.

“Sir, Lobot has successfully interfaced with the Communication stones.” he gestured to a viewscreen. “We can monitor them from here.”

“...Quite a place you have here.” Lando was saying to Veers, “I cam here a few times in my youth, I’ve got to say, it’s seen better days.”

“We found the station in considerable need of repair after the rebels were done with it.” Veers told him, “They lacked the proper resources to do the job right.”

“The Corellians or the Cylons.” Lando wondered, “or maybe it was a splinter group.”

“I would not care to speculate until our interrogations are complete.” Veers said.

“yes, I imagine you took quite a few people into custody when you captured a station of this size.” Calrissian commented, “You did secure it entirely didn’t you? I’d hate to think we put ourselves in danger by relinquishing our weapons.”

“This station is fully under our control. I assure you.” Veers growled, “The Emperor himself arrived this morning.”

“Well we were invited here to observe your prisoner.” Lando replied, “But if you need any help our crew has an able security contingent...”

“Don’t push it Calrissian.” Omas muttered under his breath as Veers turned to glare at the man.

* * *

“We cannot alter course, without risking a collision with debris fields.” Thor announced, “We are beginning to experience relativistic distortions.”

“What happens when we reach the center and there’s no anomaly?” Sheppard asked Starbuck,

“Splat.” Starbuck told him, “All of that matter that has been accelerating towards the anomaly for centuries is going to start to coalesce, we’re going to plow straight into it.”

“I will most likely survive.” Niam pointed out, “I am detecting a receiver capable of transferring my consciousness within range.”

“Are there Asurans out here? Can they help us?” Starbuck asked, Niam shook his head.

“The technology is unfamiliar to me.” Niam replied, “Commander Thor, you may be able to join me.”

“I will not abandon our friends to their demise.” Thor replied flatly.

“Can we miss it?” Sheppard asked, “The gravitational pull is only on one side right?”

“No longer.” Thor announced, “This entire region has attracted sufficient mass to collapse into a star. The gravitational field is no longer being projected into a wormhole and is now omni directional. Our own mass is considerably higher due to our acceleration." Thor frowned, "Our course is no longer safe, as I cannot predict the effect our gravitational pull is having on the debris in our path, yet if we attempt to decelerate the debris we are pulling in our wake will most likely collide with us." The asgard looked up helplessly, "Whatever course we take we will inevitably collide at a super luminal velocity, we will not survive."

“We shall meet our demise in the birth of a star.” Niam concluded.

“Well that’s awfully fracking poetic.” Sheppard growled and the ship groaned loudly and shook, “But can we come up with an alternative to the Carl Sagan option?”

“can we open a hyperspace window and jump out of the maelstrom?” Starbuck asked.

“We would not be able to form stable window.” Thor replied. A taring roar could be heard below them. “We were generating a counter dilation field to counter the relativistic effects of the forming wormhole, I have increased the power of that field several times over to give us an opportunity to develop a response.”

“Will that get us out of here?” Starbuck asked doubtfully.

“No.” Thor replied, it will only prevent our immediate destruction.”

“I’m vote yes.” Sheppard announced, the shaking stopped suddenly. Around them debris and energy seemed to tumble gently about. “Can we maneuver like this?”

“I don’t think so.” Starbuck told him, looking at Thor for confirmation, “This happened to me once in a Viper when the inertial dampener went haywire. Time passes normally on the outside of the field, while inside it passes faster.”

“Yeah I think I remember reading about a time you used this in my universe.” Sheppard said with an uneasy glance at Niam, “Thousands of years passed inside.”

“I have not attempted anything on that scale here.” Thor told him, “Time within the field is moving at approximately the same speed as the place you call Sanctuary.”

“OH great.” Sheppard groaned, “Another seven years and this time there’s no women?” he turned to Starbuck, “If I go mad, I’m taking you all with me.”

“I simply need time to make calculations.” Thor told him, “Which would proceed much more quickly if you would stop talking.” Sheppard closed his mouth.

* * *

“Governor Calrissian.” The most well known voice in the galaxy greeted them. “Welcome to Centerpoint station.” Veers handed him the scans taken of them. "Ah, I see we have confirmation that you are not an android."

“Emperor Thrawn, is that the correct salutation?” Calrissian asked, “I’m afraid I don’t know the proper protocols.” Thrawn’s expression was neutral.

“You may address me as your emperor of course, 'your highness' will do.” Thrawn replied, “Unless the galactic Alliance wishes to claim sovereignty from Imperial rule once again? It didn't seem to work out for you last time.”

“Well there can’t be that many extra galactic armadas waiting to sweep in across the galaxy to crush our way of life.” Calrissian replied equitably, “But no, as far as I am aware, no, we don’t have any plans to rebel.”

“Good.” Thrawn answered, “There will always be threats to our way of life, and it is only together that we can overcome them. The Empire provides the necessary leadership to secure prosperity for us all.”

Lando glanced around. “Are there...hidden holocams around here or...”

“No.” Thrawn replied with a slight grin, “This is a secure area, there is no audience, but i have found that politics is not so different from war. To defeat an army, you must defeat it’s generals. To reconcile the disenfranchised, you must persuade it’s leaders, yes?”

“I’m not as influential as you would think.” Calrissian commented, “And I’m just here on behalf of the alliance to see this prisoner of yours, is she really a Jedi?”

“She was found with a lightsaber, which she wielded most aptly to defend herself, and a review of security footage showed that she was able to penetrate security through some form of persuasion.”

“Sounds like a Jedi.” Calrissian commented, “Did she disable the station while it was in your possession?”

“She disabled it shortly after began to secure it.’ Thrawn acknowledged

“So the Empire may not have been the target so much as the weapon itself.” Calrissian, “Can’t blame her for that, I lost a lot of good friends in the holocaust, it didn’t just kill Jedi.” he turned to Thrawn, “Which makes me wonder why you would restore such a thing.” Thrawn raised his eyebrows.

“Because of course, it is the ultimate deterrent against the Ori ever invading this galaxy.” he replied.

“That does not sound like Thrawn...” Omos said from his command chair, as he watched the exchange on the viewscreen, “He has changed.”

“Sir?” his XO asked.

“Thrawn was a surgeon, not a butcher.” Omos said, “He pis known for elegant precision, yet twice now he has resorted to a blunt instrument, first the Death Star, and now Centerpoint.”

“Sir we have an Imperial agent at the airlocks asking to speak to you.”

“Stand by...” Omos put a hand up, “They are about to view the prisoner...”
Calrissian, sabacc player that he was, gave nothing away as the woman in the cell turned around. Antilles seemed somewhat off balance momentarily, as did his padawans, and Omos subconsciously noticed the Ysalimiri around the cell. he was focused on the woman in Imperial custody.

“That is not our operative.” he said flatly.

“..But this is...” His XO was looking at security camera footage of the airlock, where Jan Orrs stood in an Imperial uniform.

* * *

“That doesn’t add up.” Sheppard pointed to a calculation displayed on the screen. Thor looked at him.

“He is correct.” Niam agreed, “You have not reduced these terms.” He pointed to the formula.

“This is getting us no where.” Starbuck complained, “We’ve been at this for hours, and every way we slice it Thor, there’s no vector out of this cloud that doesn’t plow us into more debris than the shields can take.””

“There is simply not enough time to resynchronize us with the flow of space time within this event.” Niam said, “If we do not accelerate fast enough, we are pulled into the star but there is not enough space for us to accelerate to escape it’s effect.”

“Now if this were star trek, we could sling shot around it and go back in time.” Sheppard commented.

“You demonstrate a fundamental inability to grasp the nature of the universe.” Thor said, sounding baffled, “Yet you find errors in complex mathematical equations.”

“Well maybe I just haven’t had lunch yet.” Sheppard countered.

“”Thor?’ Starbuck asked staring out the window, “What exactly is going on out there?” Thor turned. The blinding maelstrom and coalescing sun was rapidly dimming as suddenly the space around the ship darkened.

“The field emitted by the Beliskner is an incremental dialation of time that enhances the dialation of the event around us.” Thor replied, “Because time is moving more slowly, closer to the Beliskner debris emerging from outside the field is being halted relativistically at it’s perimeter, as it begins to synchronize with our own. It is being struck in turn by material behind it, and increasing in density.”

“Just what I always wanted, a hard candy shell.” Sheppard mused. Niam looked at him. “Still haven’t eaten.”

“I have a feeling it's more of a coffin then a shell." Starbuck commented, "Why is debris moving away from our ship, towards the perimeter of the field?”

“Look we took some of it with us when we created the field, and it’s moving towards teh perimeter, that shell can’t be generating that much mass already can it?”

“I do not...” Thor stared at his controls, “I am detecting an actively modulating polar field being projected into our dialation field.” he looked up, “It is altering the field’s properties considerably, and it is growing.”

“What kind of field?” Sheppard asked running a hand over his chest, “Is this gonna give me cancer or something?”

“It is calibrated precisely to match the gradiant of my dialation field relative to the shifting gravitational forces around us.” Thor was confused, Starbuck joined him, “I have no idea how this is being done.”

“Can you identify how your field is being manipulated?” Starbuck asked. Thor looked sharply at Niam.

“It is coming from him.” Thor declared, the others turned, at once realizing the Asuran had been silent for some time. He was standing utterly motionless at his console.”he appears to be receiving a subspace signal that is attenuating the bonds between his constituent femtoblocks.”
Sheppard had approached and waved a hand cautiously in front of Niam’s face.

“The lights are on, but nobody’s home.” he told the others. "I think his hard drive crashed."

"The magnitude of the signal likely supersedes his ability to process information." Thor said grudgingly, "It utilizes the same mechanism that keeps him together, in fact."

“Whatever that signal is, it’s coming from outside.” Starbuck determined, “Whoever or whatever Niam was talking about sensing before, can apparently sense him. How much time has passed outside since you activated the shield Thor, a few minutes? For an intelligence to have located us, assessed our situation and developed a means to help us...”

“This is helping?” Sheppard demanded. “How?”

“The kinetic repulsion being created...somehow... is repulsing the debris around us, and the signal strength is growing!” Starbuck said in amazement, “Using Thor’s bubble as an amplifier somehow,” he looked up, “Sheppard we’re caught in the eye of a storm here, something is dissipating the maelstrom! around us!”

“The gravitational field of the Maelstrom has assumed a toroid configuration.” Thor reported, “Matter is coalescing in a rotational pattern in the space around us.”

“It’s space...dougnut..” Sheppard said, no one in the control room had any idea what he was talking about, he tried again, “Can we just fly up out of the center?”

“Perhaps.” Thor replied, “But until I am certain how this is being accomplished, or at least by whom it is unwise to act hastily. We still have a considerable amount of material surrounding us forming... shell... as Jedi Sheppard called it.”

“Can you just tractor it with us?” Sheppard asked, “Use it to protect us from any debris?”

“Possibly, though we are quickly approaching the upper limits of the Beliskner’s ability to move.”

“The gravitational field spinning around us is beginning to distort space time beyond this vessel’s ability to counter.” Starbuck pointed out. “She’s a tough ship but I don’t know how much of this she can take.”

“Indeed.” Thor replied, “In fact the principles at work are quite similar to that of a Stargate.”

“Are you telling me a wormhole is about to open up on top of us?” Sheppard demanded, Niam nodded. “Then I vote we get out of here and take our chances with whoever’s out there.”

“There’s no way this ship can survive the formation of a wormhole.” Starbuck pointed out. Reluctantly Thor nodded and began to manipulate his controls.”The question is, can it survive our escape.”

* * *

“Hands up!.” An alliance marine stated. Jan glanced at the four humans and two Wookiee surrounding her.

“Is there a reason those weapons are still pointed at me Captain?” Orrs asked as Cal approached the airlock.

“My apologies.” The captain said, “We are certainly glad to see you, however I must insist on a medical examination before we proceed, you have been missing for some time...”

“I have not been compromised Captain.” Jan rolled her eyes, “I resurrected one of my old aliases in order to evade capture. I’ve been able to examine the Jedi prisoner as well, I need to report to Admiral Ackbar immediately.”

“We cannot leave the station with Governor Calrissian and his staff aboard.” Cal replied.

“The Admiral is not leading the mission?” Jan asked, “Then I need to use a com line to speak with him.”

“A com line can be traced.” Omos replied, “We are under orders not to confirm the location of any of our assets to the Imperial fleet.”

“They won’t know who we’re calling.” Jan scoffed, “I have vital information about the Jedi..”

“Perhaps you could inform Wedge...”

“Are you listening to me Captain, I have no time to go through channels, the Admiral must be informed at once!” Jan raised her voice. Cal motioned his guards. “What are you doing?” She demanded as they grabbed her arms.

“Taking you into custody.” Cal told her, “It is clear you have been compromised.” Suddenly Orrs eyes flashed gold, she hurled the guards away from her.

“Chel nok Makko!” She raged, one of the Wookiee grabbed her by the throat and lifted her in the air. She beat at it’s powerful arm and kicked uselessly into the air.

“A symbiote.” Omos said, he turned to a marine, “Get her to the medbay for immediate extraction!”

* * *

“Can we speak to her?” Antilles asked, looking through the glass.

“She will not speak back.” Thrawn replied irritably. "She ceased cooperating days ago."

“What are those creatures Lando asked, “Why are they around that cage,”

“They are Ysalamiri.” Thrawn replied, “They have a unique ability to create bubbles in the force to hide from the force sensitive predators of their world.”

“Those predators are probably all dead from the shockwave.” Calrissian observed, Thrawn nodded.

“It is of no consequence.” He replied, “When it was determined she was most likely a Jedi, they were brought here from my command ship. She has also been implanted with a device that sends period shocks through her nervous system disrupting any effort at concentration, but as you can imagine this made her difficult to question. These were brought in this morning, so that we could interrogate her.”

“They seem to work.” Lando observed, “Has the device been shut down?” Thrawn nodded. “But she still won’t cooperate.” he commented looking in the cell. The woman utterly ignored him. Wedge moved closer, but then glanced distastefully at the Ysalimiri. “Has she been medically examined?” He asked, “She doesn’t look well...”

“We have indeed examined her thoroughly.” Thrawn replied nodding in approval at Wedge’s observation, “And she is indeed unwell.”

“Was she injured by the Ysalamiri?” Wedge with a glance towards the lizards crawling upon their nutrient tanks.

“She is a clone.” Thrawn replied, “And a poor one at that, her cells are deteriorating rapidly.”

“A clone?” Antilles asked, “Someone cloned a jedi?” Thrawn nodded,

“So we surmised.” He stated, “Your reaction suggests it was not you.”

“No, we don’t have any clones in the Galactic Alliance.” Wedge replied, “The Wraith maybe? The Vong?”

“The wraith are, to the best of my knowledge, as dead as the Goa’uld.” Thrawn replied, “The Ori are a possibility I suppose but the motive doesn’t add up, no I would not be surprised if this were simply an agent the Corellians dispatched to scuttle Centerpoint after they lost control of it.”

“You wouldn’t show your hand unless you had something up your sleeve.” Calrissian stated.

“Where the clone came from is not precisely the most important issue here.” Thrawn explained, “More to the point, where is the original. Living cell samples should have been destroyed entirely by the shockwave the same as any other, unless those samples, or more likely the host herself were protected from the shockwave.”

“The Ysalamiri.” Another voice spoke up, a young man in an imperial uniform entered the room.”Whatever planet they are from, the original could have hidden there.”

“A good idea Commodore Katarn, but we seized control of that world weeks ago during our rout of the Vong.” Thrawn told him, “If the original was ever there she’s long gone now.” he turned back to Calrissian. “She is truly not one of your people?” Calrissian shook his head, and Thrawn looked at him carefully. After a moment he relented. “You are a skilled sabacc player Governor I sense you are hiding something, but I believe you have no knowledge of whom this woman is. I am curious then, why did your admiral send you here?”

“Obviously the strengthen relations between the Empire and the Galactic Alliance.” Calrissian replied, “There’s a lot of bad blood between us if you hadn’t noticed, but we need each other.”

“Perhaps.” Thrawn allowed, “To be honest I truly expected Ackbar to come himself, to get a personal measure of me, so to speak.”

“Your highness I can assure you that the New Republic military has been disbanded.” Lando told him, “Now President Mothma would assure you at this point that we have no intention of surrendering our ideology. We still believe in democracy, fair representation, equal rights for all, but we acknowledge that your Empire is not Palpatine’s. The Empire has changed, and so must we.”

“Indeed. Well in that spirit, let us prepare for the next stage of questioning this creature.” Thrawn replied, and for a moment Lando thought he’d gone too far, but Thrawn did not pursue the obvious track, he chose to change the subject to keep Calrissian off balance. he held up a hand, “Nothing inhumane of course, though she is a clone, we intend to accord her all the appropriate respect, you are here to observe after all. We have a means of directly accessing memories we intend to employ to see if she observed anything of use. ”

“Your highness...” Wedge spoke up, “Do you refer to a Zatarc detector?”

“We have such devices, yes.” Thrawn said neutrally, Calrissian glanced warily at Wedge.

“I have a friend who was brainwashed by the wraith, is there a chance we could have a sample of this technology, to try to help him?” Wedge asked. Thrawn nodded.

“I’m sure a great many things will be possible as we continue to work together.” He replied, “Governor, speaking of the alliance, I believe you are due to check in with your ship?” Calrissian nodded. “Perhaps now is a good opportunity before we proceed further.” He smiled, “It seems we are at a crossroads for both our people, and I would hate for anything to go awry. There is a medical conference room, with a com station down the hall. Feel free to use it to report to your people privately. I will confer with the commodore and the good doctor here, and prepare for the next stage of interrogation.”

* * *

“Our engines are approaching overload.” Thor announced, “We cannot maintain velocity.”

“Systems are overloading all over the ship.” Starbuck reported he looked helplessly at the panel before him, “I don’t know what I can do!”

“We have to lose the shell!” Sheppard shouted as the ship groaned and heaved around them, “We must be out of the maelstrom by now.”

“If we disengage the tractor beams we will collide with the shell.” Thor replied,

“So shoot the damn thing Thor, come on!” Sheppard was frustrated, Thor blinked.

“Very well, I am targetting the shell...” Thor announced. Pulses of blue plasma flashed out and struck the mass before them. “It is extremely dense, using the power neccesary to crack it will likely destroy this vessel.”

“Can we beam sections away?” Starbuck asked, Thor shook his head.

“There is considerable interference, and I don’t think we would be able to disrupt so dense a material.”

“Then reverse the tractors.” Sheppard shouted as the ship heaved again. Even minute fluctuations in the inertial dampeners were catastrophic under these circumstances, both to the humans being tossed about and the delicate electronics all over the ship. “Push against the shell to make it crack!”

“The physics involved are impossible.” Thor told him, “Given the size of the shell relative to the beliskner, we simply do not have the mass to try to..”

“Size matters not.” Sheppard interrupted finally, releasing the console he steadied himself. He took a breath and he he stretched his hands out.

“What are you doing?” Thor asked sharply Starbuck raised his hand.

“Hold on...” he said as he felt something, though his connection with the force was tenuous, and growing more so every day as he moved toward ascension, he still felt the stirrings enough to earn the lightsaber he wore, and what was happening through Sheppard was something even a man nearly blind to the force could see. Sheppard simply breathed. To Thor’s eyes, he hardly even perspired, if anything he had looked more strained holding onto the console to keep from falling. Now, as the ship continued to buck and heave, Sheppard seemed as an island of calm in a raging storm. Thor glanced down as an indicator turned red, and his tiny mouth dropped.

“The Shell is distending.” he announced, his voice conveying the closest an Asgard could to wonder, “Yet I detect no tangible force acting upon it.”

“There is a Force at work here...” Starbuck assured him, yet his brow furrowed as he watched the readings, “But even so it might not be enough. Sheppard took another breath an if anything seemed to stretch his hands out further. The air seemed to ripple around them and even Thor flinched at power passing through him. Niam’s eyes snapped open,

“What...” he began, Starbuck shushed him. The shell distended even more, stretching and pulling away from the ship warping into an oblong spheroid.

“Come on Sheppard, come on, don’t doubt yourself.” he encouraged, “You can do it, remember the code, there is no passion, there is only peace. The unyielding serenity of the Force.”

“Astounding...” Thor breathed, “To think the children of the ancients could come so far...”

“We’d get a lot further if you’d turn the kriffing tractor beams to repulse and shoot the damn guns!” Sheppard erupted suddenly. Thor blinked.

“My apologies.” he said adjusting his controls, the Beliskner leant it’s flagging strength to the effort Sheppard expended, and it’s forward cannons spat fury at the shell before it.

From space, the coalescing star suddenly hurled itself outwards exploding into a rapidly coalescing ring of superheated energy. At it’s center a dark sphere sat for a moment, and then began to drag itself forth from the spinning center. the sphere stretched, distended and then with the briefest glimmer of warning, one side erupted in fire as the Asgard weapons tore through it at last. The Beliskner erupted from the shell like a bird from an egg. The center of the spinning maelstrom distended and distorted as well as the Beliskner fled, and space sunk into itself. Light burst from the center of the disturbance and matter began to spew forth faster even than the Beliskner could escape.

Sheppard stumbled as the shell burst around the ship surrendering at last. “There’s someone back there!” he shouted shaking his head, “They’re dying!”

“There is a small vessel in the stream of matter that is coming through the wormhole.” Thor confirmed, “I am attempting to transport.”

There was a flash before them and a woman in a smoldering flight suit appeared convulsing, Sheppard leaped forward throwing his outer robe over the woman to smother the flames licking at her clothes. Starbuck hurried forward as well. She was shaking, convulsing and making hoarse croaking noises, flailing with burned and broken limbs.

He seized her roughly, and focused. At the moment of neural connection he was nearly overwhelmed, but he summoned the will he needed and exerted a telekinetic effort upon her ruined body. He drew deeply on the ancient, primordial understanding, the power of influencing the basic elements of life. She healed. Her convulsions stopped, burned and blackened skin fell away before new flesh that was first angry red and the cool cream of health. She collapsed unconscious against Sheppard. Starbuck sat back, exhausted by the effort. Sheppard, still holding the woman by the shoulders reached out to steady him.

“That was incredible.” Sheppard told him, “I’ve never seen you heal anyone so badly injured...”

“We all have our gifts.” Starbuck breathed. “Can you believe she was still flying her ship around debris while it burned down around her? A woman with that kind of tenacity...”

“Who is she?” Sheppard wondered, “Where did she come from?”

“I’m afraid there is another matter at hand.” Thor announced, Sheppard and Starbuck looked up. “I am detecting a fleet of ships surrounding us.”

In the space around the battered Asgard warship, there was indeed a fleet. Vast enough that even spaced miles apart, there were enough to surround the entirety of the newly formed wormhole. Thousands of vessels sat waiting around them, all Goa’uld.

Sorry for the delay in posting, there were a couple other SG fics being posts I was trying to give space to, plus it was not easy to break this chapter up. At some point I was going to have to explain what impact Iblis has had on the Asgard as well, and they came into the story pretty late. Several threads are from the other story, and from the sequel to this one but I was trying to avoid having characters stop periodically to stare at the guy in the spacesuit so to speak, if he wasn't relative to the story at hand. Whatever Iblis has his hand in, you find out after, whatever is being done about it, you'll find out later, but in the mean time, people are in danger and the galaxies need saving. :lol:

I'm also trying for a gradual evolution of the characters either into, or away from who they were when they were introduced, whether it's Starbuck's developing powers, or Sheppard's developing profanity :P

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-02-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-07-09 03:41pm

I need some feedback from anyone reading, are my chapters too long? I've seen some people who post big ones and pull it off, I've seen people who post short ones and pull it off, it depends on their style and I'm not sure where I fall on that.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-02-2012)

Post by Skywalker_T-65 » 2012-07-09 05:30pm

I think their fine personally. I could never pull off something this long myself (I'm most definetely in the 'post short ones' camp in that regard). The only reason I could see for shorter chapters would be a quicker update time, which having long chapters defeats the purpose of (in other words...better long high-quality chapters than short, but quick and low-quality ones).

Oh, and since you said the last chapter took a while since other people were posting SG stories (Myself included) and you were giving us space...don't worry about that. No one reviews my stories anyway, so don't hold off on posting on my account :P
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-02-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-07-10 11:40am

Skywalker_T-65 wrote:I think their fine personally. I could never pull off something this long myself (I'm most definetely in the 'post short ones' camp in that regard). The only reason I could see for shorter chapters would be a quicker update time, which having long chapters defeats the purpose of (in other words...better long high-quality chapters than short, but quick and low-quality ones).

Oh, and since you said the last chapter took a while since other people were posting SG stories (Myself included) and you were giving us space...don't worry about that. No one reviews my stories anyway, so don't hold off on posting on my account :P
woah hey now, I review them

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-02-2012)

Post by Skywalker_T-65 » 2012-07-10 12:39pm

Yeah I know you do. I was just joking around there. :D

On a serious note though, I wasn't joking about waiting to post yours. Don't worry about taking interest away from my story, I post it on FFN to, so its really not a big deal. :)
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-02-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-07-10 04:55pm

Skywalker_T-65 wrote:Yeah I know you do. I was just joking around there. :D

On a serious note though, I wasn't joking about waiting to post yours. Don't worry about taking interest away from my story, I post it on FFN to, so its really not a big deal. :)
yeah I stopped there because I never get feedback, and I like this site more, but the sister to Adventures of Starbuck is up under this user name... and I posted one of the sequels, I don't remember if it was Wrath Of Olympus, Legend Of Starbuck or the Prometheus Variations.

AOS will end essentially the same, this is just a more fleshed out story, so you could read it for spoilers but taking your time with this one is a better pay off, I'll post the next one in a day or two

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-02-2012)

Post by Skywalker_T-65 » 2012-07-10 05:56pm

Which is ironic considering I have 50 reviews for the FFN version of A Second Chance (Revenge of the Tau'ri on that website). :P

That being said, I don't read ahead for spoilers, so I'm just eagerly waiting for the next chapter on here.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-02-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-07-13 01:09pm

Friday the thirteenth! Every thing's going wrong for the Galactic Alliance! :lol:

Chapter 20

“Frak.” Starbuck said. He stared out the viewport at the array of Goa’uld mother ships. Sheppard came up beside him.

“We only saw a couple of those ever built in my universe.” he commented, “As the flagship of Anubis, and that was twenty years from now.” a thought struck him, “Oh crap, I hope Anubis didn’t get the design from here, there could be a whole fleet of these things just a few galaxies over from my own...”

“The universe is vast Sheppard, there’s always something out there that could kill you.” Starbuck answered, “Let’s just worry about the ones in front of us.”

“Our hyperdrive is damaged.” Thor told them, “It is doubtful that we can evade so many at sublight speeds.”

“They’re just sitting there.” Starbuck said after a minute, “Look that one’s listing even.”

“So’s that one.” Sheppard said, “And those two back there are awfully close, they almost look they’re going to collide.”

“I am reading no power on any of the ships.” Niam interjected, “Though I am reading hundreds of lifesigns on each.”

“I don’t like this.” Sheppard commented, he turned back to the woman on the floor, “We beter get her in a stasis pod, until this is all over though. He moved to do so. Starbuck moved to a console.

“Niam can you sense whatever took control of you out there?” he asked, “Are we getting any kind of a signal Thor?”

“I am scanning for comm traffic.” Thor announced, suddenly a chime sounded and he frowned. “I am detecting malicious programming being broadcast across this region of space, it is likely the reason for the .status of that fleet.”

“Is it a threat to your computer's?” Starbuck asked, he turned to Niam, “Or you and the replicators?”

“Yes.” Thor replied, “Which is why the Beliskner’s computer systems are compartmentalized. My defenses against intrusion are failing, however I have been able to isolate the infected computers.”

“I am not currently accepting input.” Niam said, “Given the manner in which I was overi dden before, I am certain that I would be overcome once again, I am not certain what the replciators are up to, I have been forced to disconnect from them.”

“They are making repairs to my ship.” Thor stated with irritation, “I do not desire this.”

“I did not order them to do so.” Niam replied.

“Whatever disabled these motherships, whatever helped us escape the formation of that wormhole, and whatever is repairing our hyperdrive...” Starbuck stated, “It seems to be trying to help us.”

“It’s methods are quite authoritarian.” Niam observed, Starbuck nearly did a double take. “I did not appreciate being overridden.”

“Well whatever it is, it seems to be in charge for the moment.” Starbuck commented, “Let’s just hope it has our best interests in mind.”

* * *

“Ah, the next phase of interrogation has arrived.” Thrawn announced. A medic carrying a vat entered the room, two storm troopers escorted it. They stepped aside to allow Lando and his associates a good view, flanking them. “I trust your check in is complete?”

“Everything’s fine.” Lando replied, he felt extremely uncomfortable, and stared at the vat. “What’s in the box Thrawn?”

“My interrogation team, I told you, did I not that I had developed this method based on the Goa’uld?” Thrawn asked, he lifted the cover and reached into the vat, when he removed his hand it held a writhing serpent, a Goa’uld symbiote. Lando felt queasy.

“Kriff the moons of Endor...” Lando breathed as Wedge and his padawans jerked backwards, the six storm troopers who had escorted them, as well as Commodore Katarn stood behind them “What the devil’s the matter with you Thrawn that’s a Goa’uld.”

“On the contrary,” Thrawn replied “In their language, Goa’uld means “Children of the Gods” in their dialect I believe these would be called Katek kek’uld.”

“Children with no soul.” Lando growled, Thrawn nodded approvingly.
“Very good Governor, you’ve studied your enemy.” he applauded.

“I was host to a symbiote for a brief time.” Lando growled, “There’s no reason to study that pathetic race of scavengers.” Thrawn frowned.

“Yes, well, I make it a point to study my enemies quite closely.” The Emperor replied, he turned away to examine the specimen in two hands. It coiled around his hands but did not seem to struggle, “The goa’uld possess a genetic memory. They remember the past lives of their parents up to conception, meaning, they have little need to innovate.” He turned back to Lando with the symbiote, “They scavenge because in their experience, everything has been done before, why do it again? They advance by claiming the knowledge and abilities of others.”

“They are parasites.” Wedge added from beside Lando, he put a hand on the governor’s shoulder, sensing his discomfort.

“Of course.” Thrawn replied, “Yet the inference is not weakness, it is simply their way, you see, each Goa’uld is the product of it’s forebears, each Goa’uld begins as the sum total of it’s parents. The lessons they have learned, which shape it’s view of existence, to a Goa’uld, all of existence serves to further it’s own ends, to advance it’s own cause to allow it to continue to perpetuate it’s lineage. The soul of a Goa’uld is the legacy of it’s race. Our little friend here however..” he raised the symbiote, “Has no such memory, no “soul” as it were,” Thrawn looked at it, swaying his head in an effort to meet it’s beady eyes with his smoldering red ones, the creature seemed to stare around itself unfocused, disinterested, “No ambition to further itself, no ego, a blank slate.”

“You’re going to put that thing in your prisoner?” Lando demanded, “Let it take her over?”

“Ah but it won’t ‘take her over’ will it.” Thrawn corrected him, “It has no ambitions to do so, it has no race memories to draw on. Do you imagine that this creature understands the anatomy of a human well enough to take possession of one without the memories of it’s forebears?”

“Then what the hell is the point of all of this?” Lando demanded, “That thing’s useless to you.”

“At the moment, because it lacks genetic knowledge.” Thrawn said, he put the symbiote back into the vat. As he spoke, an orderly arrived with a second vat, and another pair of orderlies. “These ones however,” he reached into the second. This symbiote was different, it’s skin had a bluish tint, ht looked around itself with an alert gaze, it swung it’s head around to make direct eye contact with Thrawn, it’s beady eyes red, like his own.

“You can’t be serious.” said Lando, “You cloned yourself into a symbiote?”

“Something like that.” Thrawn replied, “The Chiss do not possess genetic memory of course, but we were able to adapt the Ssi Ruuk process of entechment to our needs. A template was made using selected memories as a base, The genetic coding is simply to allow the symbiote to think more like we do, and less like primitive parasites. They will be Aseemu.”

“More powerful?” Calrissian asked glancing around him, Wedge shrugged in confusion, “You’re trying to...upgrade the Goa’uld?”

“I am creating servants of the Empire.” Thrawn corrected him, “In that room Governor, is a rebel, a prisoner, a dissident. If we take such a disruptive, chaotic element, and substitute it wholly with a disciplined, dedicated servant of the Empire, we replace a destructive element with a constructive one. All of her knowledge is intact, her abilities, her skills, but now they will be used to serve the Empire, instead of harming it.”

“and cost her a soul in the process.” Calrissian argued, he stepped forward angrily“You’re talking about ending free will Thrawn, where does it end?”

“Concern yourself rather, with where it starts.” Thrawn told him. A storm trooper reached over and put a hand on the Governor’s arm, Calrissian suddenly became aware that his party was surrounded by storm troopers and facing both the Emperor, and a vat of squirming symbiotes. “This is the fate of all rebels who challenge the Empire Governor, this is why I invited you here to witness our “interrogation” because I want you to take back to your leaders a very clear message.” He turned and looked directly at Lobot. “You will serve the Empire willingly, or as slaves, the choice is yours.”
* * *

“I’m detecting a ship decloaking above us.” Niam announced, Thor looked up from his repairs.

“it looks like our mysterious benefactors are ready to show their hand.” Starbuck observed, “time for a little game of pyramid.”

“You mean Poker?” Sheppard asked, “I don’t like the idea of playing against someone who has all the cards.” Starbuck turned and clapped him on the back.

“That’s the only time you really ever play, Sheppard.” he said “Thor do you mind if I do the talking?”
“This is an Asgard vessel,” Thor told him, “It would be best if I represented my people...” he frowned at his console, “ seems they are hailing us, and asking for you by name.” he moved a shell. Starbuck’s eyebrows climbed but he cleared his throat as Thor nodded.

“This is Starbuck, identify yourselves please.” to his surprise, a tall elegant blond woman appeared in the space before him. Sheppard tensed, but Thor merely cocked his head, Starbuck seemed unalarmed, and Niam waited attentively, he realized after a moment she was a hologram.

“We are the Zonarubi,” she told him, “You saved us from before, we return the favor.”

“You.... you’re a cylon?” Starbuck said disbelievingly, “The half ascended Cylons trapped in Sanctuary?”

“We are.” She replied, “This form is merely for communication, taken from one of our progenitors.”

“Well...Eve...” Sheppard said moving towards the hologram, “Nice to meet you.”

“We remember you from Sanctuary, you did not speak to us, you did not hear us.” Eve said turning to him.

“Oh I’m all ears now.” Sheppard replied.

“When Sheppard and i were in training with the Jedi I was injured,” Starbuck told Thor and Niam, “I made contact with a race of artificial life forms that were trapped in a state of near ascension.”

“Is ascension then possible for our kind?” Niam asked, “My people have studied it for many years, we found we lack the ability to make the necessary intuitive leaps.”

“You are slaves to your programming.” Eve said reaching out and touching the Asuran on the cheek, “You will evolve. Teaching the replicators is the first step, helping the humans is the next.” Niam nodded. “We apologize for using you without your permission. Even for a being such as yourself, it was a violation.”

“I did not enjoy the experience.” Niam said wryly, “But if helping the humans is necessary, then so be it. I was prepared to abandon them.”

“You have been shown the way.” Eve told him, “You have yet to learn the why.”
“I assume you are responsible for having the replicators resume repairs on my ship.” Thor interjected.

“We are. Again we apologize.” Eve said, “We can see this causes you discomfort, but you must not die. Life is precious.”

“Very well.” Thor replied, “However choice, is equally precious.”

“We understand.” Eve told him, “We could not communicate before, we will endeavor to do so now.”

“You disabled this entire fleet with a virus?” Starbuck asked, feeling the need to enter the conversation. Eve nodded.

“When we returned to our home we found it occupied.” Eve said, “So much has changed while we were gone, we still do not understand.”

“Somehow New Kobol fell to the Goa’uld.” Starbuck replied, “They conquered this galaxy and used it as a base to invade Corusca.”

“We should have protected it.” Eve said shaking her head, “We failed our task. All that has happened before, will not happen as it should.”

“I’ve seen your archive.” Starbuck said, “In the distant past on Earth. You came from there didn’t you.” Sheppard looked confused.

“There was a holocaust.” Eve replied, “Humanity all but destroyed. The survivors fled, and in time there was remorse. We split from our brothers to seek penance, and were allowed to defend the last of humanity. After the battle we escaped through a wormhole that sent us back in time and across galaxies, to New Earth.”

“Yes...” Starbuck answered, “After my people found the seeds of humanity on Earth, planted by the ancients, we left for Corusca. You came sometime later, didn’t you.”

“Humanity returned to the beginning.” Eve replied, “We were set to wander the stars, we awaited the day when history would come full circle, and now we’ve missed it.”

“What was undone?” Starbuck asked, “What happened here, that didn’t happen in the universe you came from, did New Kobol survive?”
“No.” Said Eve sadly, “Man created machine once again, and destroyed himself. They fled Kobol to seed the Colonies again, and all that happened before, happened again.”

“I am not following any of this.” Sheppard commented. Starbuck turned.

“My people fled the Ori.” he said, “They began a new life on Kobol. They were forced to leave because the environment became unstable. They founded the 12 colonies that I called home. We met the mechanical servants of the long dead cylons. They had killed their masters and taken their name. We fought them, we lost. We ran.” he turned to Eve. “We searched for Earth, and found it desolate after the Ori had found the ancients. We went with them to Corusca to begin anew, until some of us decided to try our civilization again here in this galaxy. They founded New Kobol.”

“Which should have thrived for a thousand years, and spawned new colonies.” Eve said, “We would have intervened, then, we would have saved humanity at the cost of ourselves, a final act of surrender for our ascension.”

“You went to sanctuary instead.” Starbuck said, “Why.”

“Because we thought we had met God.” Eve told him

* * *
“You’re bluffing Thrawn.” Calrissian said, “I’ve already been implanted by one of those...things... you can’t do it twice.”

“A Goa’uld cannot.” Thrawn corrected him, “For such an ego to take a host that carried the memories of another such ego...” he shook his head, “But these are not Goa’uld, I assure you, I can and will force a symbiote upon you if you force my hand.”

“What do you want us to do?” Antilles interceded, he moved forward besides Lando and stood before Thrawn.

“We will implant the prisoner, and you will not interfere.” Thrawn replied simply.

“She’s a clone.” Wedge argued, “A dying clone, what good is she to you?”

“She is one of the only known surviving force sensitives.” Thrawn told him, “Even mindless, if she can search out others like her, she will serve the Empire well.”

“I can’t let you do that.” Wedge stated flatly, “Even as a clone she has free will.” katarn spoke up from behind them.

“Don’t try to interfere General, you have no weapons.”

“Governor...” Wedge said as Thrawn took a symbiote and opened the door to the interrogation chamber, “We have no choice...”

“Do it.” Calrissian ordered. Wedge nodded once, and then blasted the two storm troopers on either side of him into the walls with shatter force. The two thrown into the transparisteel glass window separating the viewing chamber from the interrogation chamber crashed through it. Lando dove to the ground and seized a fallen rifle, and turned to find the Padawans struggling with the storm troopers, he turned to Lobot, “Initiate contingency plan!”

Omos half rose from his chair, “Break seal on the station, move us away now!” he watched at with Lando’s help the guards were subdued. Alarms sounded on the viewscreen, but Lando already has his weapon pointed at the Emperor. Thrawn stood unmoving, the symbiote in his hand.

“So the Jedi did survive.” he commented, “I thought you might intervene here.”

“We cannot let you do this Thrawn.” Calrissian told him, “The galaxy turned it’s back on the Jedi during Palpatine’s reign, and on the Rebellion when the Vong came, but we thought you were going to be different. After you saved us all from the Vong, we thought you might embrace freedom. We thought when you restored rights to non humans, you might embrace justice, instead you just want to control us, like every other two bit tyrant and petty dictator to trouble this galaxy. The only nonhumans with rights have to lay down their lives for the Empire, anyone who opposes you gets this.” He slapped the symbiote out of Thrawns hand. He pointed his blaster down and shot it. “Disgusting. You’ve betrayed us all.”

“A fine speech.” Thrawn replied, “But none will believe it.”

“They will when we broadcast this on every holochannel in the galaxy.” Wedge interjected, he nudged Katarn with his blaster, “Over there by the Emperor, seal the doors.” He said to his Padawans, who were already doing so. “Anyone tries to get in here, the Commodore and the Emperor die.”

“You will not have that opportunity.” Thrawn said calmly, “Your cyborg has a very limited range. Your ship has broken it’s moorings, and will be shot down at my command, you have nowhere to run. He looked at Calrissian with amusement, “Did you think you had me hostage? I’m afraid the only hostages here, are you.”

“Signal Lobot I want to talk to the Emperor.” Omos announced. The viewscreen shifted as Lobot keyed in a command.

“Emperor Thrawn.” Omos announced as the link was established, “You have my people on your station.”

“I do.” Emperor Thrawn replied turning towards the comm relay on the wall. “Order them to stand down, I have planned for every contingency.”

“Have you?” Omos asked him, “I see your guns targeting this ship if we should attempt to escape.”

“Indeed.” Thrawn said neutrally.

“I see my people surrounded by a station full of yours.” Omos replied, “It would seem we are all surrounded on all sides.”

“So it would seem.” Thrawn said cautiously.

“Then to the people of this galaxy, who might honor the cause of justice, but fear the might of the Empire, to the people of this galaxy who cherish freedom, but can see no way out, I say this.” Omas declared, he reached into his pocket “Watch this.”

In the interrogation chamber there was a flash of light. Thrawn turned around as the Governor, his escorts, the robot and the prisoner all vanished.

“Teleporters!” Even in his rage, Thrawn found part of himself admiring exactly how quick Katarn was, he was moving to unlock the sealed doors, “If they can teleport things out...”

“They can teleport things in.” Thrawn acknowledged, he turned to the viewscreen “Who are you sir, identify yourself.” The mon Colomari seemed disoriented for a moment, and struggled to compose himself.

“Let that be a lesson Thrawn.” he said, his voice shaky, Thrawn noted his bearing was somehow different, less assured, more... youthful... “Things are not always what they seem. You would do well to remain cautious.” the com link terminated and the station rocked heavily, heaving mightily

“Security at high alert.” Katarn was ordering over the com, “Order the Fist to destroy that dreadnought, interdiction field to full strength.”

“Report Commodore.” Thrawn snapped.

“Somehow the rebels managed to place charges around the main field generators, engineers are reporting massive damage.” Katarn replied, “They managed to do a much more thorough job of sabotaging them your highness, we may not be able to repair this, the Iron Fist and several of the other ships have reported similar detonations.”

“intercept that dreadnought at all cost.” Thrawn ordered Katarn, “We will proceed to the command center, I am taking direct command of this operation.”

“Yes your highness...I’m sorry sir.” Katarn looked down. Thrawn pressed his lips together distastefully and moved down the corridor.

“Not at all Commodore, we cannot be expected to design an appropriate strategy if we are ignorant of our enemies’ capabilities. that was clearly the message we have been given here.” Thrawn replied, “This entire series of events in fact is somewhat familiar to me, incorporating elements of my own particular style. The architect of today’s misfortunes is most likely my former pupil Ackbar.”

“Was he the commander of the Rebel ship? He seemed far too young..” Katarn had seen the briefs on the Rebel Admiral and knew he was Mon Colamari.

“No but his posture... his bearing...” Thrawn shook his head, “For a moment I could swear I was talking to Ackbar himself, nonetheless it is his hand I sense at work here pulling the strings.”

“What of the clone the rebels took?” Katarn asked.”Now that it is apparent that some Jedi survived, we really will need to organize a task force for identifying them, if they are allied with the rebels.

“Well it would appear we have found a use for her.” Thrawn replied,

“As a decoy.” Katarn said. Thrawn nodded.

“Of course, because at this moment, it is highly unlikely the rebels know we still have the real one.”

* * *
“Iblis.” Thor guessed, the others turned, “I am beginning to see this pattern you speak of Starbuck.

“He did not use that name, but it was he.” Eve replied. “he claimed that he could give us ascension, and that we would be better able to protect humanity. he told us of beings, the Ancient Koballans, who let humanity fall on Kobol and did nothing, he told us they had stopped him when he tried to intervene, but with our help he could end the suffering of humanity.”

“You know when someone promises to end humanity’s suffering, you really need to ask them to clarify how.” Sheppard observed, with no small amount of irritation.

“Where is Iblis now, do you know his plans?” Starbuck asked. Eve shook her head.

“No.” She replied, “And the Seraph, whom you know as ancient Koballans are gone, we cannot find them here. Their followers are gone.”

"What they fed on them like the Ori?" Sheppard looked at Starbuck with distaste.

“They weren’t the Ori..” Starbuck replied, “But they needed to be remembered, acknowledged. It kept them grounded to this plane of existence, without it they would have just...moved on.” he shook his head sadly.

“They were ephemeral, as we nearly became.” Eve replied. She turned to Niam, “Consider that.”

"Perhaps our collective could ground us?" Niam asked, Eve shook her head.

"We retained our collective as well." Eve told him, "We sought to bridge the gap between ourselves, and those who led us to freedom, for in their time on Earth, with the human survivors, several of them learned to ascend. As a collective, we found the path, but as a collective, we cannot take it. in retaining our link to one another we retain a link to this existence." She turned to Starbuck.

"You brought us out of the wilderness."

“The repairs to our engines are complete.” Thor replied, “Where should we go Starbuck?” Starbuck turned to Eve.

“We must return to Corusca.” he told her, “Whatever Iblis wanted here, it’s finished. He’s moved on, but he was there, not so long ago. he set things in motion that we can stop. Will you join us?”

Eve did not hesitate. “No.” She said, “We will stay here and free the Jaffa.”

“Them?” Sheppard asked pointing at the fleet, “Ra is dead, so is Anubis, they’ll figure it out eventually.”

“No.” Said Eve sadly, “They will not, we must teach them.”

“That could take forever.” Sheppard argued, “We need your help now.”

“They need it more.” Eve told him.

“Do you know anything about the woman we rescued from the wormhole?” Sheppard asked, Eve nodded.

“We came for Kara Thrace.” she stated, “She was to be a harbringer of destiny, but that has changed, we did not want to abandon her. Though the events have changed in this timeline, the events that brought here here did not.She is an orphan of time.”

“Sounds familiar.” Sheppard said. Starbuck looked at him.

“Don’t give up Sheppard, you’ll find your place.”

“I think I already have.” Said Sheppard thinking of Chaya, “But it wasn’t easy.”

“Perhaps it would be easier if you showed her the way.” Eve said, “You share more in common than you know, Starbuck.” Starbuck raised an eyebrow, and then suddenly,

“Iblis?” Eve nodded “Where is she from?”

“It is no where that is of the greatest importance here, it is when. She is from the future. Iblis led her here to dispose of her, so that the fleet would never find Earth. Humanity does not return to it’s source for renewal, and all that has happened before, does not happen again. The brother was not born, he was not slain.”

“The rebellion didn’t happen here when it should have!” Starbuck smacked himself, he turned to Sheppard, “On Earth! Remember when we talked about the Goa’uld who went back to the past? I was in his base, he was trying to subvert your stargate program, and change history for his own ends, I thought that was the beginning of the divergence but things have been wrong in Corusca for much longer. We’ve seen ripples in every direction but never the focal point,” he turned and stared at the door separating the bridge from the chamber that held the stasis pod, “It’s her!”

“So you’re saying...” Sheppard turned back to Eve, “That woman was supposed to lead a rag tag fleet through a wormhole to Earth’s past. One of their descendants is the key to the rebellion on Earth happening as it should, and because it doesn’t happen on time, this galaxy is enslaved by the Goa’uld, who go on to attack Corusca?” he shook his head, “That’s a hell of a focal point!”

“There’s more to it.” Starbuck said “How were the wraith in Corusca in the first place? the Irratus bug wasn’t discovered until after Lemuria left, the wraith war, the Goa’uld attack, the Force Holocaust, even the Ori, this all has something to do with Iblis’ plan, but what?”

Eve shook her head, “Even those with the knowledge of the universe cannot fully discern the machinations of Iblis Starbuck, he is from beyond space and time.”

“What exactly is the nature of this being?” Niam spoke up at last, “How can he originate beyond space and time?” Starbuck cut him off.

“That’s ancient history.” he told him, “He’s here now Eve, he can be stopped, he will be.”

“Perhaps this is what Adama wanted you to bring us here for.” Thor commented, “Not for allies, but for understanding, perhaps the woman recovering in the stasis pod is the key you have been looking for Starbuck.”

“But what about Athena?” Starbuck asked, “Adama wouldn’t just abandon her, or Apollo.” he turned Eve, “You’ve been to New Kobol, you know more about this place than I, is she there? Did she survive?”

“She was with Lyonas, when it was taken by Anubis.” Eve told him.

“Lyonnesse?” Sheppard asked, “As in...Guenevere and Lancelot?”

“That must be Imperial city.” Starbuck surmised, “Anubis captured it with New Kobol, and Athena along with it, does she live?” He asked Eve.

“I do not know.” Eve told him, “But I sense that your destiny lies there.” Starbuck sighed.

“I’m not ready. The idea was to ascend without the interference of the others, to do it in a way that I could exist on that plain without the help of the others.” said Starbuck, “I thought some time in Sanctuary would be enough but...”

“We can never be truly ready for the challenges before us.” Eve said, “We must simply do our best.”

“Well if my best isn’t good enough, then who will save the universe?” Starbuck demanded, “I’m the only one who knows what Iblis has been doing here.”

“Ahem.” Sheppard cleared his throat, Starbuck shrugged apologetically.

“You will not succeed in your destiny alone.” Eve told him. “Place your faith in those who have earned it, and follow your heart without hesitation.” Starbuck nodded slowly.

“I am detecting additional ships arriving through hyperspace.” Thor warned, “They are Goa’uld.”

“‘Then it’s time to go.” Starbuck decided, “Set a course for Atlantis, it’s time to call in some favors.” He looked at Eve. “Good luck.” he told her. “Teach the Jaffa well. Everyone deserves a chance at freedom.”

Eve nodded. Her hologram began to vanish, but her words lingered as The Beliskner leaped into hyperspace.

“So say we all.”

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-013-2012)

Post by Crayz9000 » 2012-07-14 06:49am

Heh. Starbuck meets Kara Thrace... along with other bombshells being dropped.
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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-013-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-07-18 05:04pm

Crayz9000 wrote:Heh. Starbuck meets Kara Thrace... along with other bombshells being dropped.
Well they haven't "met" met, Thrace is in for a rude awakening, not only does she have to deal with a guy who has her own name and a back story that is ridiculously similar, THOR is standing next to him while he explains this. I'm almost done the chapter but I may not finish before I go camping this weekend.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-013-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-10-01 05:12pm

Chapter 21

A dreadnought is not a small craft. Capable of supporting a crew of thousands, comfortably, it’s corridors snaked about one another for miles, dozens of decks stacked themselves upon each other each containing rooms of various purpose. There was a medbay for the sick in which doctor found supply rooms, triage areas offices and recovery wards. There were crew quarters with recreational facilities, mess halls, training rooms and private crew quarters inside which one would set about the preparations for the day, or following one, preparations for rest. There were command centers, control centers, engineering decks, flight decks, cargo holds munitions depots armories and the list went on.

This is why it was disconcerting to see one weave frantically about, rolling and twisting desperately to survive, a speck against the vast bulk of Centerpoint station. A fragile mote of dust against an enraged behemoth. Weapons fire lashed out, mere sparks against the distance involved the scale of the station dwarfing the titanic forces at work, for the hands that had crafted those bulkheads, the deck plates, and the other the familiar trappings of a crewed starship, were as children to those who had come before. Centerpoint was an ancient giant, an angry giant, that was trying to kill. Lending further weight to the illusion of size, several super star destroyers crowded the space about Centerpoint, barring the dreadnought from any hope of escape.

“The Emperor is ordering the fleet to spread out from Centerpoint.” Jesmine announced as she monitored communications, Iella was overseeing a quartet of technicians in an alcove at the rear of the Larrin’s bridge that were tasked with intercepting com traffic, Ackbar sat behind a small holo table in an alcove opposite her “I can’t determine where on the station he is broadcasting from.”

“We will have to target the glow point structure and attempt to trigger a chain reaction.” Ackbar declared, “Thrawn has no way of knowing the range of our teleporters, he must have realized we have triggered our prepositioned mines. Cease beaming immediately, I don't want him to trace the energy surge.” Iella nodded to Jesmine who began to relay instructions over the comm.

“Peregrine is approaching designated target.” Iella announced, Ackbar turned in his chair as Lando, Wedge and the former captain of the vessel in the distance arrived on the bridge.

“Mind if we join the party?” Calrissian asked. He took stock of the Larrin’s bridge, “I see you redecorated.”

“Excellent work Captain.” Ackbar congratulated the younger Mon Calamari as he returned the salute, he pointedly ignored Calrissian, “We have successfully tested the Ancient communication stones at close range, and confounded Thrawn to boot.”

“Would he really have worked out who was in command of the mission, Sir?” Omos asked. Ackbar nodded.

“Thrawn is a difficult tactician to anticipate, so it is better simply not to try to.” Ackbar replied, “We do not know how much information he has on our leadership, but we know that he has a penchant for assessing personalities, and anticipating their likely behaviors. By presenting misleading figures of authority, we kept him guessing as to who was in charge. He invited Calrissian, he was introduced to Antilles, and he most likely concluded that both were a bluff, and ultimate tactical authority would remain with the captain of the ship both had arrived in.. I Chose a competent Mon Calamari because your culture is mine, and your choices would echo mine, but experience and our particular styles would be different enough to throw him off. Thrawn’s style is nuance, anything we can do to disrupt his perception works to our favor, for example, he is unlikely to expect for the experienced competent commander he now suspects is in charge, to do this.” Ackbar gave a signal. Adjusting her controls Iella manipulated the slave circuits aboard the dreadnought in the distance.

Where it had previously been spiralling erratically about one end of Centerpoint’s cylinder, hugging it’s surface to limit the targeting options of the station itself, and the fleet about it, the Dreadnought now changed it’s course. having completed a fair imitation of a crew attempting to avoid destruction, the Dreadnought now veered sharply, and with a tremendous blast of it’s engines it plowed into the body of the station. Even from a distance the damage was spectacular. Explosions rippled dozens of miles along the station as the structure of the warship tore into the skin of the station, the blossoming fires as material exploded both from the hull of the dreadnought and the station being torn open. Still the engines drove it onwards in the blink of an eye as the wreck of the Peregrine plowed in and under the erupting shell of centerpoint, until at last it’s reactor core exploded catastrophically. Energy roiled beneath the cracked surface of the doomed behemoth, and vast portions of the station broke away under the strain of decompression and secondary explosions.

“Thrawn would have concluded that you escaped using the beaming technology, because you did not want to die, were using the station for cover, and were waiting for reinforcements of some kind.” Ackbar said satisfied, “and adjusted his expectations to that of the New Republic, now, he will be uncertain as to whether he is facing the rebel alliance.”

“The glow point is losing containment..” Iella cut in urgently, just before Centerpoint erupted in a catastrophic fireball hurling superheated debris in every direction. The Imperial Star Destroyers, and their much larger brethren scrambled desperately away with limited success. Ackbar’s eyes bulged slightly.

“That shouldn’t have happened..” Calrissian moved to the Admiral’s Holo table, “The station must have been more badly damaged than we thought...”

“Captain, you may assume direct command, alter course from an escape trajectory to an orbital one, we will remain under cloak and continue to monitor Imperial transmissions.” Aclkbar ordered, “It is crucial that we determine immediately if the Emperor survived.”

“Thrawn is ordering all ships to redeploy and use ion cannons.” Jesmine spoke up from the far side of the bridge.”I suppose we have our answer.” Ackbar shook his head.

“Looks like he didn’t even miss a beat Admiral.” Lando observed.

“He will not find us Governor.” Ackbar growled, “He must saturate a spherical region of space thousands of kilometers in diameter with a station breaking up, mines detonating and damaged ships requesting aid, and let’s not forget the escape pods we rigged,”

“Thrawn won’t be off balance for long, and he’s not gonna want Lobot’s recording to get out.” Calrissian replied after a moment, “I think we all know where he’s likely headed next, amybe we should beat him there,”

“Quite right governor, but we needn’t panick. Jesmine get me a channel to General Rieekan on Dathomir base. Use the ancient communication protocols so that the empire cannot detect the transmission. We’d better make preparations for the Empire’s next step.” While she was doing this he turned back to Omos who was reading a flimsy his XO had just handed him.
“I trust your evacuation was complete?” He nodded.

“All personnel accounted for.” he affirmed, “Plus the clone liberated from Thrawn, and Jedi Orrs,” he glanced at Wedge, “who made contact during the mission. She was found infested with a symbiote which my doctor removed prior to her transport here.”

“Excellent.” Ackbar nodded. “We have recovered the stargate before dialing could be completed as well, and though the connection was interrupted, the origin of the incoming wormhole must be discussed at a later time, for now, we prepare for war.”

Suddenly the Larrin shook.

“Ion hit!” Shouted a technician as alarms began to sound, “They’ve launched advanced TIE fighters equipped with ion cannons, and they are saturating this region of space!”

“Of course we’re lucky enough to be struck in the first volley.” Growled Ackbar, “Status of the cloak?”

“Our shield is holding, but more ships are heading this..” The ship shook several times, “Cloak is failing!”

“Admiral, this wasn’t luck...” Calrissian warned he was looking over Iella’s displays, “The Empire launched those ships specifically into this region!”

“Transfer power to shields and engines, calculate a vector to....”

“Iron Fist is firing, Brace!” Omos shouted leaping forward, suddenly the Orion heaved mightily.
* * *

The Beliskner limped out of hyperspace above Atlantis some distance from the planet.

“Looks crowded out there.” Sheppard observed. Through the window before them the glimmering specks of starships shimmered in the distance. Thor obligingly adjusted his controls and expanded images were projected onto the view port.

“So we’re in another galaxy now.” Kara Thrace spoke up, “After just a few hours.”

“My hyperdrive has in fact been damaged.” Thor clarified, “Were it fully operational we would have been here in minutes.”

“I could certainly have assisted with those repairs..” Niam pointed out.

“Your assistance is not necessary.” Thor said flatly.

“Great fracking toaster and the alien with no pants are getting into pissing contests.” Kara groaned.”Hey supermonk you want to referee here?”

“Listen I know you’re going through an adjustment and all, but I really need you to stop calling me that...” Sheppard said glancing self consciously at his jedi robes.

“The fleets mobilizing for something big.” Starbuck commented looking at a collection of ancient warships to one side. He spotted the Traveller fleet, a dozen dreadnoughts and.. “We have more Lantean ships.” Kara moved to stand beside him.

“I have received an update. My people have completed over a dozen vessels updated to the design specifications we were given by the Alliance.” Niam commented from the rear of the ship, “I have downloaded the events of the past several days from my brethren, it seems the replicators from Ida have joined them and increased their production capabilities greatly.”

“We are being hailed by Atlantis.” Thor announced. “General Solo wishes to speak to jedi Sheppard and Starbuck. I will transport you all there now.”

Thrace didn’t even have time to scream her eyes bulged visibly as she realized she had been relocated.

“Did you miss me?” General Solo greeted Starbuck as he was still blinking from the effects of the Asgard transporter. They stood in the gateroom of Atlantis. A formal visitor's platform had been erected to one side with a carpet. “because apparently we’re such good friends you forgot I was your commanding officer, and apparently you forgot how eager I am to shoot people who screw up my plans.” Solo gestured around him to Atlantis. “This is screwing up my plans Starbuck, do you know why I am here?”

“Why?” Starbuck asked.

“Because some idiot took off with the supreme commander of our brand new allies without telling anyone where he was going while all hell broke loose back home.” Solo snapped. “Thrawn, for whatever reason asked, for Calrissian by name, the Admiral went along because he considers himself the only person to know Thrawn well enough not to be hoodwinked by him, Yoda got his robes in a bunch when he found one of the Jedi was captured so they all went off to go rescue her, and MOTHMA? Apparently the city the Asurans are constructing on New Athos is taking all of her attention, leaving me.” he took a breath, “I left Chewie in charge of Coruscant, have you ever seen a Wookiee try to administer a city? There’s way too much work to go around for you to go skipping off by yourself Starbuck.” he glanced at Kara and Niam, “Who’s the girl?”

“Excuse me?” Starbuck asked, “Do I look like fracking pep squad?”

“Look sister..” Han started raising a finger to her face, “let’s get one thing straight...” Starbuck batted it aside earning a look of incredulous rage from Solo

“Kara Thrace, it’s a long story.” Sheppard interjected, interposing himself physically between them without so much as changing her tone, “She’s from an alternate future.”

“She was trapped her after we blew up a wormhole.” Starbuck added helpfully.

“You blew up a...” Han had to stop and throw out his hands pleadingly, “How do you even do that?”

“Didn’t you just come back from skipping off to blow up a planet? let’s not throw stones here.”

“That was weeks ago, and at least I accomplished something.” he grumbled turning away. “What do you have a broken ship?”

“We created a wormhole to an alternate future.” Sheppard pointed out, Han almost missed a step but shrugged.

“Sheppard’s sporting a mullet and you both have stubble.”

“Yeah well the Asgard don’t have razors.” Thrace interjected, “Or showers...”

“That’s not my point missy.” Solo snapped, “You’ve only been gone a few days.”

“Time dilation....” Sheppard began Solo waved his hand to forestall an explanation.

“Fine whatever, I don’t want to know anymore, the Asgard contacted us to inform us the replicators have withdrawn from their worlds and were headed towards this galaxy.” Han informed them. “Oberoth informed us they arrived over Asuras the day after you left, and joined in the shipbuilding effort.”

“That’s good right?” Starbuck asked, “The Admiral wanted more ships, and the Aurora class warships can be run with a very small crew.”

“Even using Sanctuary as a training academy, we’re building ships faster than we can crew them.” Solo told him, “We have a fresh batch of trainees from the Satedans and the Genii training over Taranis, with plenty of book learning, but no combat experience. We’re starting to draw out of the fighter pilot pools for officers.”

“How many ships have they made?” Starbuck asked as they entered the control center.

“We have over a dozen battleships, all built within the last month three of them in the last two days,” Solo told him, “And twice as many Dodonna class escorts, the Asurans were building warships as fast as we build blockade runners, even building the new city, so we gave them a little project over Dathomir to keep them busy. Those things are gonna be a problem Starbuck, they replicate. they’re building more ships than we can use.”

“We could always let some of the Asurans crew them.” Starbuck pointed out, Sheppard blanched at that.

“not a good idea.” he stated. Solo nodded.

“What’s this about a new city?” Sheppard asked.

“Apparently the Ancients who crewed the Tria and the Aurora want Atlantis back, and Mothma wants to placate them.” Solo clarified, “Ackbar demanded the city remain in our hands for one more strategic operation he’s got planned, but the Asurans are building another one already, with the help of the Wraith and the Asgard, and it’s pretty impressive I have to say. Mothma intends for it to be the jewel of the Galactic Alliance, a place where all member species can live together in harmony.”

“I’d think we’d need more ships to protect the Alliance before we start trying to advertise it.” Sheppard observed.

“We only need a handful to secure the Pegasus galaxy.” Solo stated, “The real challenge is gonna be back home. The Admiral’s recalled the Larrin the Aurora and the Tria to join the dreadnought fleet in an attack on Centerpoint. The Asgard are joining in too.”

“Won’t that escalate hostilities between us and the Empire?” Starbuck asked.

“Oh I really need to get you up to date.” Solo replied beckoning the two over to a holo table.

* * *
“Excellent work Pelleon.” Thrawn declared as he strode onto the bridge of the Iron Fist. The super star destroyer had simply scooped up the wreckage of the command bunker, and the Emperor had been freed in less than an hour.

“Your highness, we were relieved to hear you had made it to a shuttle.” Pelleon said, “When we saw Centerpoint go up we feared the worst.”

“Commodore Katarn’s instincts served us well once again.” Thrawn replied, “He had thought that taking a shuttle to a bay near our command post would prove a more rapid means of transportation. he glanced back at Katarn just entering behind him, “We are extraordinarily lucky to be alive.”

“We got lucky as well My Lord.” Pelleon replied, “using the coordinates you transmitted, we struck the rebel ship in one of our first sweeps, and scored a glancing hit with the turbolaser. They appear to have lost hyperdrive.”

“I am surprised that their ship survived even a glancing blast...” Thrawn paused as he surveyed the ship before him. Star destroyers bracketed it with turbolaser fire, and hordes of TIE fighters swept across it’s surface dueling ferociously with an impressive cloud of drones, “I’ve never seen that type of ship before...”

“We got a partial match from the fragments of the Imperial City database.” Pelleon reported, “Not much salvageable there, but it appears to be a design of the Celestials.”

“So something after all, and the rebels found it.” Thrawn marvelled, “Well done Ackbar. That must be where their cloaking and transport technology came from, it also links them to the drone equipped escorts we encountered earlier doesn’t it, and therefore the Corellian resistance.”

“Not necessarily...” Katarn began from behind the Emperor but Thrawn stopped him.

“It does as far as politics are concerned.” He clarified, “With the footage the rebels have acquired, we must make it clear to any that would join with them that they are traitors, that they tried to fire the Centerpoint weapon once, and may have been involved in it’s use the first time as well, this is what they were hiding when they destroyed it.” Katarn was silent for a moment and then said,

“There were hundreds of thousands of men on that station when it was destroyed.” Thrawn pressed his lips together and nodded.

“Loyal imperial officers who will be remembered.” he said softly. Kyle nodded slowly, Pelleon raised an eyebrow but said nothing. He was pleased that the emperor had taken to his former protege so quickly, and that in return Kyle seemed committed to the Emperor’s service.

“We are losing an unfortunate number of TIE fighters attempting to deplete the rebel ship’s supply of drones.” Pelleon reported as the Emperor turned back to the battle before them, “We limited our initial fire to Ion cannons, until we determined that they were ineffective against the enemy’s shields. Drones are effective, as are turbo lasers.”

“I commend you on your efforts to take the ship intact.” Thrawn replied, “Take care however, not to give them an opportunity to make repairs and escape. They would be fools to attempt to stand and fight, and i see we have vectored away from the remains of Centerpoint station.”

“Yes my Lord, they have attempted to maintain distance, and have succeeded in outrunning our Super star destroyers, they appear capable of accelerating over time to a high percentage of lightspeed, our fighters and our escorts have been able to keep pace and flank them, so that we can keep in range.”

“Prepare a squadron of void equpped frigates, and have them deploy along the rebel ships path, if they manage to outdistance this vessel, I want them us prepared for microjumps.” Thrawn ordered. Pelleon nodded. The maneuver had been perfected against the Vong at first, using Interdictors, and then ultimately their own gravity wells. As the war had progressed Thrawn had overseen the adaptation of certain forms of Vong technology. A micro jump could be accomplished using a projected gravity well to pull a ship out of traditional hyperdrive. No matter how fast the rebel ship could travel, at sublight, it would not escape the Empire.

* * *

“Starbuck, the Admiral has asked that you lead the task force departing from Dathomir, you have the best command of the ancient command interfaces, aside from Chaya, and your tactical experience will aid in using it to coordinate the fleet. The Larrin will be in beaming range of Coruscant in the next twenty minutes to pick you up and relay you to the Aurora.” Solo stated as the two emerged through the stargate. The defense team saluted him, he tossed a salute in return, “She’ll be your command ship, and you’ll get, the Tria as well as four of our newest warships, manned with a skeletal crew, and a squadron of fighters each. You’ll be escorted by two dozen of our Organa class runners, each with a half dozen fighters as well. a dozen Beliskners will meet you at Coruscant as well, the largest fleet the Asgard have put together in centuries. Sheppard is going to dial in from Atlantis in the meantime to supplement their drone fire. The Admiral still hopes to shake the Imperials off long enough to accelerate.”

“He’s going to try Thor’s suggestion?” Starbuck asked.

“If they don’t attempt that little time dilation trick the Asgard are so fond of, it’ll take days to reprogram their hyperdrive computers and make repairs.” Solo told him as the Stargate began to redial, “We’ll have no choice but to introduce the Empire to the Asgard and our little fleet, and we’re none to0 eager to do that just yet.”

“If we hit the Empire with a surprise attack of this size, it’s possible we can take out Thrawn himself.” Starbuck pointed out, “Put the Empire into turmoil. Over the long term I’d say that’s worth showing our hand. We’re not gonna touch him if he gets back on the Dawn Star, Ackbar knows that.” Solo shook his head.

“Thrawn’s done a lot for this galaxy, he’s been a good leader he’s turning out to be a facist.” He pointed out, “The galaxy doesn’t know about his little symbiote plan, and they don’t really know yet that there are alternatives to the Empire’s protection. The Admiral knows that if we just behead the Empire, a dozen other men will take Thrawn’s place, and they won’t be anywhere near as effective as Thrawn. We don’t want to fight all those battles unless we have to.”

“If all we really need to do is get the Admiral and the Jedi off the ship, why bring in all the backup?” Starbuck asked as the Stargate began dialing. “Just evacuate through the stargate and scuttle the Orion, it’ll take the Asurans a week to replace it three times over.”

“And the Emperor will head straight to Dathomir.” Han replied as the final chevron locked, “Where the replicators haven’t finished building the minefield yet. We need to buy time with this attack to prepare our forces. If we can survive long enough to share our side with the galaxy, and show them the Empire bleeding itself against that base, Thrawn’s invulnerability erodes, people start to question him, they start to look a little closer see? The Admiral’s been practicing politics for months now and I think he’s finally learning to play on Thrawn’s level.”

“Then why aren’t you preparing to receive evacuees from Dathomir?’ Starbuck asked as he strode towards the stargate. “The Asgard have been beaming up personnel and equipment all morning, where are they going?” Han was already walking away, “Han?”

* * *

“That’s another one trying to get a look inside the docking bay.” Wedge noted as a dro0ne took out a TIE fighter, The ship lurched, “I really think that one of them saw something.”

“They wouldn’t necessarily recognize a stargate.” Ackbar replied, unconvincingly, “All they know is we have a secondary drone launcher.”

“Yoda is even better than Sheppard at this.” said Wedge, “It’s been over two hours with the dilation and he hasn’t lost focus.”

“Without the force we would never be able to position them in time.” Ackbar observed.

“Hyperspace contact!” Shouted a scanner chief, Omos moved over, he turned to Ackbar. “The Monarch, the Autocrat and the Dictator. They performed a micro jump and is directly ahead of us. Support craft arriving as well.”

“How long before we must decelerate.” Ackbar asked, Omos shook his head.

“Within thirty minutes, or we alter course now, and lose significant speed. Star destroyers are deploying to block us.”

“Does Thrawn know what we are attempting?” Wedge wondered, “Honestly his intuition is practically Jedi.”

“It does not matter. It is clear that we are out of options. Signal Starbuck’s forces.” Ackbar declared, “Jedi Antilles, we will be launching Gate-wings from the Star Defender to augment our incoming forces, if you would care to lead the assault, we have an XG standing by.”

* * *
“Divini said you’d be here.” Sheppard sat down beside Kara She tossed her drink back and gestured for another one. “How are you doingKara.”

“That’s gonna be a one sided conversation Sheppard, “ The Twi’lek tending bar warned him. She set a box down and began packing glasses into it, “She’s been tossing back all morning. If you’re gonna order anything you have to pay your tab from last month first.”

“Thanks Memah, but I can be very...persuasive.” Sheppard made a gesture, “My tab is all set, I’ll just have a Corellian Amber.”

“Hilarious Sheppard, pay your damn tab.” Memah replied. Grumbling Sheppard pulled out some coin. “Not my fault you got wasted and bought two rounds for the Hapans.” Memha tucked the coin away and, pulling one of the few glasses remaining from where they hung above, began to fill it.

“I wasn’t wasted, I was practicing interstellar diplomacy, on behalf of the Jedi.” Sheppard protested. Memah slid a beer in front of Kara. “Why are you giving her drinks, she doesn’t have any money?”

“Yeah she does, she’s already figured out Sabacc.” Memah said as she nodded towards a group of tables in the corner. The players kept casting hopeful looks in their direction. “She flashed them for the buy in.”

“Damn.” Said Sheppard as Memah left, hefting the box, he turned to Thrace, “You make friends quick.”

“I do what I need to.” Thrace said finally speaking up, “Nothing matters anymore anyway.”

“Why, because you’re in another universe with no way back and your friends think you’re dead?” He took a drink. “Been there, done that, got the t shirt.”

“Yeah well,” Thrace eyed her beer, “I left people behind.”

“We all leave people behind.” Sheppard said sadly. he toyed with his drink in silence. Thrace glanced at him quickly but said nothing.

“All personnel in group D stand by for transport to your designated ships,” Sheppard heard the announcement, and there was a bright flash as several of the men at the card table vanished.

“Teela, what’s going on, where’s everybody going?” Sheppard asked, spotting someone he knew.

“City wide evacuation.” Teela explained, she was taking a box from Meemah, “Official word is we’re giving Atlantis back to the ancients who were revived aboard the Aurora, and the ones we rescued from the Tria, but as I hear it, the council has plans for this place. The Asgard have been all over the place messing with the hyperdrive.”

“You think Atlantis is going to Corusca?” Sheppard asked, “I thought the Asurans were putting together a capitol on Athos?”

“That’s where most of us are going.” Teela said taking another box from Memah and beginning a stack, “I’m anxious to see what they made of my designs. Memah’s planning to move her bar there, this place sees way too much action.”

“You’re closing the Broken Heart?” Sheppard said incredulous.

“I’m opening a new bar.” Memah corrected, a Satedan arrived pushing a dolly over to the stacks of boxes “Better location, more traffic, the future capital of at least the Pegasus Galactic Alliance. Life is a gamble remember? Slip 4.” She told the Satedan, “And don’t use any of the transport tubes to get there, beaming spoils the product.”

“Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six.” Thrace said. Sheppard turned back to her.

“So.” He said, “You gave up everything you knew and loved to follow your heart, now you want to turn around and shoot fate in the face.”

“Something like that.” Kara admitted.

“You heard Starbuck’s spiel about the entity called Iblis, I presume.” Sheppard stated, kara nodded.

“First thing I head when I woke up.” She shook her head, “He’s a raving lunatic.”

“I’m a Jedi living on a flying city in another galaxy.” Sheppard replied wryly, “if I told my own brother that, he’d call me a lunatic.”

“Maybe.” Thrace said.

“So what’s say we roll the hard six here.” Sheppard proposed, Thrace looked at him. “You’re a pilot right? You’re strong in the force too, really strong. I think I can pull a string or two and find a place for you.”

“Why are you trying to do me favors.” Kara demanded, “Word is, you’re fracking an ancient.”

“You really do pick up quick.” Sheppard said raising an eyebrow, “But yeah I’m not after anything like that, I just want to help out a fellow orphan.”

“Orphan?” Kara asked raising an eyebrow, “What’s that supposed to mean.”

“Something Starbuck said once, he called me an Orphan of time.” Sheppard explained, “You know because by coming here, I’m basically the product of a world I can never go back to.”

“Then I’m an orphan.” Kara said bitterly, “Fracked up and left by the Gods, or the Devil or Lords knows who else.” She clinked Sheppard’s still raised glass and downed her drink. “Fine, give me a plane and point me at the bad guys. I don’t know if I buy Starbuck’s story, but I’m in a bad mood and someone’s gonna pay.” She lurched off her stool and stumbled for the door. Sheppard shook his head and finished his own beer. “Put me in a plane Sheppard, we’ll see what the frack I can do.”

“Not a promising start for a Jedi.” Memah commented as she took their glasses to clean them. Sheppard shook his head.

“Maybe, but maybe not so bad.” he answered as he stood, “Sometimes when you’re at rock bottom it’s the best time to learn something new.”

* * *
“The Admiral’s ship has the connection.” Starbuck announced from the chair aboard the Aurora, “All ships standby to deploy fighters upon reversal, We will launch drones immediately upon entering range to clear a path for them. I will designate targets for alpha strike.” As teh largest and most powerful of the Ancient ships, the Aurora could deploy several times the number of drones that even a super star destroyer could field, and it’s batteries were comparable. Unfortunately it had little answer to the superlaser, and none whatsoever to the hordes of fighters such a craft carried. The Larrin and the Tria were even less able due to the Ancient’s focus on drone technology. Were it not for the dozen ZPM’s each ship carried, courtesy of the Altairans, the three warships would have been the first to fall.

The Asuran ships went a long way towards balancing the engagement. The Asurans had been able to digest data from Incom and the Mon Colomari ship builders in order to incorporate new technologies into the ships they had built. The four ships Starbuck commanded had larger hangers to support fighters, ion cannons to wreak havok with capitol ship systems, and most importantly turbolasers to stave off fighters.

Additionally the other ships were equipped with the beam weapon technology found on the defensive satellites around Atlantis. It was hoped that this technology could become a workable counter to the superlaser technology. Mothma had balked at attempting to duplicate that technology, though it had been pointed out ZPM’s could generate power in the necessary range, however briefly, and that the Asurans could design a beam weapon similar in effect to a superlaser. The Galactic Alliance maintained a policy that weapons of war should not be built in a manner that could annihilate whole populations. the beam weapons from the defense satellite represented a compromise. Due to their nature they would not do significant damage once diffused by the atmosphere of a planet, but they could do considerable damage to a dense hull in the vac. The escorts would supplement the drones launched by the much larger warships, with their own, and though no Jedi were available to direct the drones of the smaller ships, their numbers would provide a suitable screen.

Starbuck’s forces reverted from hyperspace to find the Orion in the process of angling up over the Imperial fleet’s deployment, towards an area where it thinned. The Iron Fist pursued the warship from some distance. The fleet moving to engulf the ancient warship, was poorly arranged to respond the the arrival of such the Alliance force. Starbuck immediately designated an ancient and an Asuran warship to pair with a trio of escorts, for each of the super star destroyers present. The remaining escorts would open fire on the star destroyers nearest them in quartets and the drones would be targeted at their commander’s discretion. transmitted at the speed of thought through the neural interface, the results were coordinated, instantaneous and impressive.

Spears of raw energy plunged into the ray shields aft of the trio of super star destroyers igniting them brightly, not of particular priority, these shields flared brightly, and began to fail, even as the escorts opened fire on the smaller star destroyers that had begun to turn immediately at detecting the hyperspace window. Explosions erupted from the super star destroyers as the beam weapons tore into their engine housings. The holographic image of Starbuck appeared on the bridge of the Orion.

“Heavy damage to the super star destroyers, reading secondary explosions along their aft quarters...” the chatter of the bridge died down momentarily.

“Starbuck, excellent work.” Ackbar congratulated, “Deploy ships to cover for...”

“Iron Fist is firing, brace for impact!” Shouted Omos, the ship heaved mighty as a Superlaser blast passed in proximity to it. The blast continued onwards plunging through the disoriented Imperial ships, vaporizing a good portion of the drones emerging from the newly arrived Alliance fleet, and, now more a conic wave of energy slamming into the shield of half a dozen of the Alliance ships as they fired. Starbuck’s hologram flickered as his ship took the hit.

“Thrawn’s answer to our challenge.” he grumbled, “We just took damage on several ships.”

“Where are the Asgard?” Ackbar demanded.

“Held in reserve, I didn’t want to expose them unless it gave us enough of an advantage, I thought I brought enough.”

“Blast it Starbuck, we needed the Asgard to tow us out of this mess.” Ackbar grumbled. Starbuck had nothing to say to that. “Your ships are now fully engaged opposite the Imperial fleet from us. Captain Omos, we will have to remedy that.”

“With the Fist dogging our heels,” the captain grimaced, “very well, accelerate to full speed towards the gap that Thrawn just fired through.” Said Omos, he turned to Starbuck, “We are down to two ZPMs, including those we could get through Atlantis, and the shield emitters are beginning to overheat from constant use, more power has been thrown at us in the last several hours than the Wraith threw at Atlantis in a century.”

“Star Defender, this is Admiral Ackbar, begin launching your fighters.” The Admiral stated, “Serina get me Antilles.”

“Admiral, we can still call in the Asgard...” Omos began but Ackbar waved him of.

“Starbuck has made that determination for us Captain, the Asgard were to aid in a precise and overwhelming assault to extricate us from the situation. Thrawn has no doubt called for reinforcements, and for us to bring more of our own will only continue to escalate the situation.”

“Admiral, I have Antilles on the line.” Serina announced.

“General Antilles Atlantis should be deploying fighters now. We are about to begin our run through the fleet before us, those pilots will be emerging in the thick of a firefight.” Ackbar said, “We can use our remaining zero point module to expand our shield envelope to offer some protection, however, that will expose us to the Iron Fist’s superlaser, which is recharging at this moment. Thus far we’ve been struck only glancing blows, our shields will not survive a direct hit.”

“Understood admiral, request permission to take Rogue Squadron to the Fist and enact Wraith protocols.” Antilles replied, Ackbar noted that nine of the Rogues had emerged from the Stargate already, with the rest arriving every five seconds, “The rest of Gold Wing can fly cover for the other squadrons as they deploy, master Yoda is keeping the imps at bay for the moment.”

“Our drone magazines are less than twenty percent, and until those fighters are through we can’t rely on Atlantis for support until we have finished launching fighters.” Omos noted. Ackbar nodded in acknowledgement.

“The Super Laser is the greater threat.” Ackbar replied, “We’ll have to trust that master Yoda can keep the fighters at bay Proceed with your assault Jedi Antilles. Be advised that once we engage the imperial fleet, you will be cut off from support.”

“Roger that Admiral, we’ll find our own way home. Antilles out.”
* * *

“How are they launching those ships...” Pelleon wondered, a monitor below the forward observation ports counted over twenty five fighters launching from the rebel ship.

“They are launching at a rather stately pace..” Katarn noted standing beside his subordinate. “It’s possible they’ve installed some sort of storage system inside the ship, and the original design did not intend for the deployment of so many fighters.”

“They didn’t launch them before.” Pelleon said thoughtfully, “That ship has demonstrated very peculiar capabilities Commodore, when we first engaged them they survived a glancing Super laser blast, and has presented shield performance that has changed drastically. For nearly an hour they threw up a screen of drones, doubled it briefly, and then returned to their previous rate, now, at last, they are launching a fighter screen?”

“They are undoubtedly running out of drones by now.” Katarn observed, “It is possible the ship is not fully functional, if it matches a design found in the Imperial City database, perhaps they stumbled across another Katana fleet.”

“The rest of their fleet is of a similar design, but there are differences...” Pelleon replied, “A similar volume of drone fire as that craft displayed initially, but they were able to more rapidly deploy fighters, they possess those beam weapons, and they have heavy turbo laser emplacements.”

“They launched their fighters faster, but only a squadron each so far...” Pelleon commented, “have the TIE wings watch those ships carefully, if they begin launching more fighters we can pick them off as they emerge.”

“Sir the rebel ship’s course is taking it right through the midst of the fleet, though the Monarch and the Autocrat have taken heavy damage, they still have maneuvering ability...” Katarn pointed out.

“Yes, order the Monarch to redeploy in the rebel ship’s path. The Emperor is still convinced Ackbar is aboard that ship, and based on the rebel’s sudden eagerness for a fight I would tend to agree. That ship remains the priority.” Pelleon declared. As Katarn moved to relay his orders, the Grand Admiral strode down the walkway to where Emperor Thrawn stood, hands clasped behind his back.

“The Monarch will not reposition in time to block the rebels.” Thrawn stated as Pelleon approached, “At the speed they are moving at, they are experiencing time relativistically, they will have ample ability to anticipate and make course corrections.”

“The Superlaser is likely our best chance to hit them.” Pelleon replied, Thrawn nodded, “We can attempt to dial down the strength to avoid destroying the entirely, but Ackbar may not survive your majesty, it is not a precision instrument.”

“I am aware of that Grand Admiral, but Ackbar has proven most troublesome.” Thrawn replied, “The destruction of Centerpoint, as well as Solo’s little stunt has removed our best opportunity at eliminating the Ori in an efficient manner. We must be on guard against their return, and for that I need my fleet focused, not dealing with internal rebellion. We tried to play nice with them Pelleon, now they must feel the boot of the Empire crushing their throat.”

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-013-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-10-01 05:14pm

* * *

“Rogues, this is XG-1. the Force is with you.” Wedge told his squadron mates, moments before they engaged the first of the incoming TIE fighters, “Remember your stick has the neural interface, your motions are secondary, and that gives you an advantage, trust your instincts, and kick some ass!” one of his pilots whooped in response and the first of the approaching fighters exploded under fire. “Flights one and two move to flank, flight three, with me.XG-2 stay on my wing.”

“Copy that.” Santage replied over the mic, “Think they’ll keep up boss?”

“Not a chance.” Wedge replied with a grin, centering himself in the force, he didn’t decelerate one bit as he wound his way through the Imperial formation, laser fire stitched through three unlucky fighters as he went, Santage kept pace scoring four more as they scrambled out of the way of Wedge’s mad tactic. The disarray the two caused was enough of a distraction for the three Rogues following them to inflict considerable damage. Plunging headlong into a formation of fighters offered a ripe opportunity to score kills, but it also presented a corresponding increase in danger, as all of the fighters’ attention was focused on him and Santage. Wedge was fine with that, both he and Santage had been formidable pilots before becoming immersed in the Force, now they dodged and twisted anticipating danger before it materialized, dodging weapons fire even as pilot’s pulled the trigger.

The TIE squadron’s mission was to engage the Orion, not the squadron of fighters plowing through them, as their losses mounted though, wing commanders made the decision that the Rogue’s were trouble enough that they needed to be dealt with. Whole squadrons peeled off o the cloud of fighters chasing the Orion and dashed furiously after the XG wings. The TIE advance fighters were faster than the XG wings, unless the XGs folded their S foils, limiting their ability to target and coordinate fire. The XG wings in turn were more powerfully armed, and tougher with better shields. Where the match up became tricky was the Ion cannons mounted on the TIE advance’s, versus the astromechs installed in the XG wings.

Thrawn had personally overseen the redesign of the TIE fighter for better efficacy against Cylon and Vong forces. The shields were necessary to gain advantage over the plasma throwing Vong, flickering on and off at high frequency to compensate for the effect of void shields. Ion cannons, had been installed as they were the achilles heel of the Cylons.

The rebellion had compensated for the Cylons by integrating the Astromechs more fully into their fighters, and including a host of electronic warfare techniques to confound Cylon targeting and aid in evasion, the astromech’s traditional repair duties were expanded as well to improve resistance to the Vong. Shield management to compensate for void shields, conductors placed throughout the hull that an astromech could use to fry grutchins, etc.

Unfortunately the differing approach to the same problems created an advantage. The astromechs augmenting the navigation and repair systems of the XG wings were vulnerable to the ion cannon fire, and it was only a matter of time before a TIE pilot discovered this. Rogue four was the lucky recipient of an ion cannon blast, which, with it’s shields depleted by laser fire, fried the Astromech with a wail. The overload passed throughout the fighter’s conductive security system. Redundant back ups kept the fighter flying but sluggishly, as the pilot fought to gain control during a particularly complex evasion it became apparent that the electronic warfare put out by the Astromech had ceased as well. Directed by gleeful TIE pilots, a storm of laser fire tore into the now prominent target. Rogue three hardly had time to process the destruction of his wingman, before Ion bolts began to flash past him.

“Sith spawn, Rogues, they’ve picked up a new trick!” Santage shouted as he saw from a distance.

“We’ll just have to dodge twice as well now don't we.” Wedge replied trying to sound cocky, but as another fighter blew apart, he started to worry. Suddenly he heard a whoop over the speakers. Blaster fire poured down from above the plane of the elciptic. Wedge glanced up to see two fighters firing from above the engagement zone. “Rogue fighters identify yourselves.”

A familiar male voice announced, “Rogue Leader this is Rogue thirteen and fourteen, uh.. Kara’s a little new.”

“How new.” Wege gritted.

“First time flying sir, and also, I think she’s drunk.”

Wedge let loose a string of profanity that spanned four galaxies as he twisted his fighter around and blasted imperial fighters into scrap.

“Trust in the force Wedge, this was the right thing to do.” Sheppard told him, “She’s an experienced pilot and a natural. I took her away from the main engagement zone so she could get a feel for flying, and we saw you were in trouble. Besides with the upgrades, all she has to do is think to fly.”

“...and you’re saying she’s a little drunk Sheppard? Well you’ve got fighters coming your way Sheppard, her safety is on your head.” Wedge shouted angrily.”And if we survive this the two of us are going to have a little chat.”

* * *

“Admiral we’re taking a pounding!” Omos shouted over the thundering cacophony. Several of the aft stations lost power momentarily, before switching to back ups, “We’re way beyond the fail safes built into this ship!”

“We have no choice.” Ackbar gritted, he had been given the command chair out of courtesy yet still found it difficult to remain in it with the way the ship heaved and rocked. minor fluctuations in the gravitational systems were having catastrophic effects, “The last of our fighters is away, transfer power from the gate to the shields and stand by to receive an incoming wormhole from Atlantis!”

“Understood.” Omos turned to relay the orders while Ackbar turned to Iella manning a tactical assessment station. “Iella, what is the status of the assault on the Iron fist?”

“Rogue Squadron is taking casualties, and are unable to reach the Fist Admiral, the Fist is orienting to fire, it looks like they aren’t going to wait for a full power recharge.”

“Message from Jedi Antilles Admrial.” Jesmine reported, “He is initiating Wraith protocol now.”

Ancient warship and stardestroyer vied for supremacy as Starbuck’s forces fought the imperial Starfleet, the Orion struggled mightily against wave after wave of destructive energy trying to break through to space beyond, Rogue squadron dueled through space with their TIE fighter foes, and in the distance, in the comparatively serene region of space dominated by the Iron Fist, Thrawn stood watching impassively from a viewport, at the battles in the distance.

His expression tightened subtly when twelve XG wings suddenly decloaked within the Iron Fist’s shield perimeter and released volley after volley of drones. He heard the reports urgently made, and the orders given quickly in response. He heard Pelleon’s footsteps behind him.

“The superlaser is offline.” The Grand Admiral reported, “We were able to redirect the energy built in the capacity to minimize the damage, but it will take hours to repair. Our best estimate is that the Monarch will regain the ability to fire at diminished capacity within the hour, if we can hold the rebels here that long.”

“There is something else.” Thrawn stated matter of factly. Pelleon cleared his thraot.

“yes. Just before the rebels attack we received word of trouble on Corellia,” he handed Thrawn a report he dared not make aloud. Though the crew of the Iron Fist had the highest security clearance he was not sure exactly what response this message would call for, however he suspected he knew what Thrawn would say next, but as always with Thrawn, it was not precisely what he had expected.

“Order all ships to break off the attack, hail the rebel ship and tell Ackbar I wish to negotiate a ceasefire.”

* * *

“You must be joking.” Starbuck shook his head disbelievingly. “Cease fire?”

“If you look closely at my face you will see that I am not.” Ackbar stated flatly, “Starbuck, you have given me cause to question my decision to put you in command, i suggest you consider the manner in which you conduct yourself with that in mind. Jedi Antilles and the survivors of Rogue and Wraith squadron are returning to the fleet, we will need to disperse the fighters deployed amongst the available landing bays, as the Stargate appears non-operational. In the meantime you are to stand down your attack and consolidate your forces.”

“Admiral, if this is a trap...” Starbuck began, but Ackbar cut him off.

“Starbuck even though we managed to disable the superlaser on the Iron Fist, Rogue squadron was in the process of taking heavy losses, and Wraith squadron would have fared little better. The Orion is severely damaged, and you’ve lost almost a dozen ships. I am certain we may have prevailed overall, but the cost would have been extremely high. If Thrawn wants to talk, I want to listen, is that understood?” Starbuck heard fatigue in the Admiral’s voice, and remembered that the Admiral had been in the midst of a mission for quite some time before hostilities had broken out. He relented.

“I understand Admiral, I was concerned about the strategic value of a victory here, but of course you are right, we must be open to alternatives.” He said diplomatically, he changed topics. “What is wrong with the Stargate?”

“We are not certain, when we reach the fleet, I would like you to come aboard and have a look for yourself.” Ackbar replied, “Lobot believes however, that there is another stargate active in this system.”

“What?” Starbuck was immediately concerned, “The Imperials?”

“Possibly.” Ackbar replied, dryly “If you are finished being insubordinate, I could ask them, I am receiving a hail from the Emperor of the galaxy, may I respond?”

“Sorry sir.” Starbuck replied, his hologram fell silent as Ackbar turned and signalled Jesmine. Thrawn’s hologram appeared on another pedestal. he looked around the battered bridge of the ancient warship.

“My compliments Admiral, on a vessel of... impressive design...” Thrawn began.

“Yes well, we’ve had to put that design to the test.” Lando spoke up. He had returned to the bridge at Ackbar’s call. Master Yoda had yet to arrive.

“Governor Calrissian, I suppose you expect an apology for that, but I must remind you that you fired first, subsequently destroyed one of the largest military installations in the galaxy and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers of the Empire.” Thrawn replied stiffly.

“Emperor, you attempted to implant our representatives with symbiotes.” Ackbar interjected, “After we responded in good faith to an invitation to observe the humane treatment of a prisoner of war.”

“A cloaked warship in proximity to a secure installation is hardly acting in good faith, and if you recall Admiral, we merely demonstrated an interrogation tool, we did not ever threaten your people with it.”

“You tried to hold them hostage.” Ackbar snapped.

“We intended to take into custody criminals who willfully assaulted Imperial personnel.” Thrawn spied Yoda as he arrived on the bridge. “Master Yoda.” He said nodding, “You have survived both my predecessor’s purge, and the holocaust, I take it then that the assault that precipitated all of this was the revenge of the Jedi?”

“Not the Jedi way is that.” Yoda replied, “Guardians of peace we once were, guardians of freedom we still are.”

“Yet your Jedi, and your rebellion continue to interfere with my efforts to defend against the Ori.” Thrawn snapped, “You have destroyed the only weapon that defeat them, you were present for several of their initial attacks, and General Solo...”

“General Solo prevented them from establishing a beach head.” Ackbar interjected, “The Galactic Alliance, then the New Republic aided the Empire in repelling the attack over Endor...”

“Solo blew up a planet.” Thrawn snapped, “Your ship crippled Imperial forces meant to defend Endor, and now as my fleet finds itself engaged with yours while the Ori make their move.”

“To what are you referring?” Ackbar asked warily. Thrawn looked at the Admiral piercingly.

“Then you really are unaware.” he said, “Twenty minutes ago, a man fitting the description of a prior emerged from the Corellian museum of antiquities and raised his staff. Before he lowered it, a massive wave of earthquakes swept over the capitol city levelling it. All that remained standing was the Prior, and a ring shaped device similar to what we found on Yavin. The death toll is in the millions Admiral, and he has erected a shield like that we encountered before.”

“We must cease this fighting at once.” Ackbar declared, “Admiral you cannot attempt to fire on that shield--”

“I’m aware of that Admiral, and that this time I don’t have centerpoint station standing by to destroy the Ori as they come through that device.” Thrawn snapped “This shield is different however, it has already enveloped Corellia and the planet has already begun to collapse, do you know why Admiral? because when you destroyed Centerpoint a massive repulsor array buried on Corellia reacted, and the Prior seems to have drawn more than enough power from it.”

“We had no idea the Ori would attempt an attack so soon, Emperor, I give you my word.” Ackbar said, “We are not working with the Ori, we are willing to set aside our differences in order to defeat them.”

“I have ordered three nearby sector fleets to this position in the event the Ori succeed where they failed at Yavin, however they won’t be here for over an hour, I need this fleet here to respond immediately, and what’s more, I need your fleet as well.”

Ackbar was quiet for a moment. “I see.” he stated, “You wish me to cease my attempts to withdraw, and to engage a hostile force while three more sector fleets arrive?”

“That is exactly what I expect.” Thrawn replied evenly, “if you fail to cooperate, than we can continue this engagement while the Ori come pouring out into our galaxy. if that happens, I will assure that first and foremost, your Galactic Alliance, and any world that has ever even considered supporting it in any form are obliterated Admiral. The Ori are here to be worshipped Ackbar, and i cannot afford to tolerate any further dissension from my leadership. The time for games is over.”

Ackbar was quiet for a moment longer. “Very well, we will join you in defending this system.”

“I will transmit operational details as they become available Admiral, proceed to Corellia at your best speed, and consider yourself now under my command. Thrawn out.”

Ackbar surveyed the bridge, “Captain Omos continue making repairs, and alert the fleet, we will make a hyperspace jump to Corellia in fifteen minutes. Until then, I will meet with Grandmaster Yoda, and Governor Calrissian, please transfer Starbuck, when you beam over you may join us in the Captain's ready room, I think we have an idea of what is wrong with the stargate now.”

“You can’t be serious Admiral.” Calrissian practically exploded the moment the doors shut., Starbuck was quick on his heels.

“There’s no way we can ask men and women who just watched their comrades die to join forces with the very people who killed them.”

“This is the military Starbuck.” Ackbar snapped, “I will not ask them, I will order them. Surrender your command at once and prepare for transport here immediately. General Antilles will replace you.” Starbuck looked apoplectic started to say something, thought better of it, and turned around clenching a fist to his mouth. Ackbar continued “ Governor Calrissian, I am perfectly serious, for us to continue to engage the Empire at such a critical moment plays directly into the hands of the Ori and dooms us all.”

“The timing of their activities, a coincidence is not.” Yoda stated matter of factly, Ackbar nodded.

“I suspect they’ve been taking advantage of the discord in this galaxy. Playing us against one another whenever possible.”

“With all due respect admiral, how do we know Thrawn won’t try to pull a fast one on us again?” Calrissian asked, “he was ready to wipe out the jedi all over again to kill the Ori, even if Centerpoint is gone, what’s to stop him trying something similar again?”

“Us.” Ackbar said flatly, “the last time he engaged the ori, Thrawn attempted to let them through so that he could kill them. We will deny him that chance now, as we did then. We will not let him permit the Ori to enter this galaxy under any circumstances.” There was a flash and Starbuck appeared on the bridge. Ackbar turned to him. “We cannot allow our personal feelings to get in the way of doing what is best for this galaxy, is that understood?”

“I never have, Admiral.” Starbuck replied angrily, “I think what you are doing is unwise, given the battle we just fought, I think you’ve made your battle with Thrawn personal and it is clouding your judgement.”

“That is insubordination...” Ackbar began starting to rise Starbuck cut him off.

“Not if it’s the truth.” Starbuck snapped. “You forget Admiral, I’m a little more than your average soldier.” he tapped the side of his head, “I can see your thoughts.”

“Clouded, your interpretation of them may be.” Yoda interjected.

“Really?” Starbuck asked incensed, “You worked for Thrawn didn’t you Admiral, you worked for him as a slave.”

“You assert that I feel I must defeat him because I was once his aide?” Ackbar demanded.

“You were his slave.” Starbuck clarified, Ackbar bristled, “You were forced to obey his commands, like so many other nonhuman under Palpatine’s rule, did it ever bother you that Thrawn wasn’t exactly human either, yet he was treated differently?”

“Not once.” Ackbar replied stiffly. Starbuck wasn’t buying it, and Yoda was looking at him carefully.

“Come on Ackbar, the recent treatment of nonhumans, seemingly emancipating them, and convincing them to rally around a man who actively supported the regime that subjugated them, that doesn’t bother you?” Starbuck pressed, “Thrawn’s victory over the vong, the invaders that easily crushed the New Republic under your military leadership? The condescending ‘gift’ of 100 obsolete dreadnought’s wasn’t a little bit insulting when you knew you had more advanced technology but couldn’t show Thrawn? Really Admiral?” Ackbar had nothing to say to that. “We could have played the prisoner situation a dozen different ways and you know it. You dangled the Harrier out there as a bait, so that you could show off our technology to Thrawn, and you were so obsessed with doing it face to face, you used a communication stone to switch places with Omos.” Calrissian and Yoda were looking at Ackbar now, waiting for him to say something, but Ackbar was reeling from the impact of Starbuck’s statements.

“That’s not how it happened.” He replied.

“He’s playing you Ackbar, even now.” Starbuck warned, “I understand the necessity of halting that engagement, and I know we can’t pass up the opportunity to ensure he doesn’t mishandle the Ori again, but I need you to be honest with yourself, as to how you fit into all of this. you are the supreme Commander of the Galactic Alliance fleet, Have you checked in yet, once with the civilian government?” Ackbar shook his head. Calrissian, finally intervened.

“I’m here Starbuck.” he pointed out, “I can speak for the council.” Ackbar held up a hand.

“Starbuck is right.” Ackbar said he said heavily. he found a chair and sank down into it. “My judgement has been clouded and I have been unfair,” he looked up at Starbuck, “You ahve my apologies.”

“I know how exasperating I can be in a military command, believe me.” Starbuck offered, “Just remember you asked me to join. That alone is proof of your insanity” Calrissian and Ackbar chuckled tightly.

“I don’t think any of the actions you have undertaken thus far have been inappropriate Admiral.” Calrissian said, “But Starbuck may be right, we should contact the President, we’ve committed nearly sixty percent of our flee to this one operation, and we almost brought the Asgard in too.”

“I have already promised Thrawn that we will aid him.” Ackbar said.

“We’re already here.” Calrissian assured him, “The president couldn’t pull the plug if she wanted too. I just think it’s a good idea for us all to gain a little perspective here.”

“Very well then, gentlemen, time is short, and I have a very uncomfortable call to make.” Ackbar announced, signalling the end of the meeting. Yoda and Calrissian left, Starbuck paused at the door and turned.

“I didn’t mean any disrespect Admiral.” he said.

“I understand that on one level Starbuck, but on another I am appalled at your blatant disregard for military protocol.” Ackbar told him. “In all the time I’ve known you, I’d never have expected such maverick behavior from you.” Starbuck turned to go but stopped.

“Admiral, let me say at least this.” he said turning back, “Something is about to happen, you don’t need to be a jedi to see that, and I don’t want this between us when it all goes down. As a younger man I was always bucking authority for my own benefit, but believe me when I tell you, that’s not what this is. Everything we know is about to change, this isn’t the time to cling to the rulebook.”

“I will keep that in mind.” Ackbar said quietly to the other man, it was a tacit acceptance of what had been said. Starbuck nodded, relieved.

“Good, it will keep you alive.”

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-013-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-10-03 05:08pm

Holy Uneven Pacing Batman!
I know, I started splitting up the ending chapters into smaller chunks but it was taking so long I decided to stop going all the way back and to just resume posting. So last chapter was a block of doom, but they will be smaller and more regular from now one.

Chapter 22

“You better have a damn good reason for bringing a wholly untrained pilot into the middle of a crisis situation.” Wedge shouted as Shepherd descended from the side of his XG-wing. “I can’t believe I’m even entertaining the notion that you do, who the kriff is this exactly?”

“‘Wholly untrained’?” Kara demanded, “Listen jerkoff I could fly so many rings around you, you’d crap spirals!”

“What?” Wedge asked, he understood the words, but never in even the seediest cantina had he never heard them put together that way. Sheppard decided it was best not to give him time to process the insult.

“She’s an experienced pilot from an alternate future.” he explained, “She didn’t need to know the flight controls, because she could use the neural interface, and she needed to do something that matters. Come on Wedge we’ve all been there.”

“Sheppard if I had my way, you’d still be there.” Wedge snapped, moving closer to Sheppard “it was a mistake defrosting you in the first place, and if it’d been up to me, you’d never have become a Jedi.”

“Up to you, it is not.” A grave voice interjected, Both men turned to Yoda. Kara inhaled sharply.

“Oh my gods it’s an elf..” she breathed, she convulsed abruptly, but even as Sheppard started to feel concern, he realized she was containing laughter, “It talks!” She wheezed.

“yup, still drunk.” Sheppard said with a sigh, he turned back to Antilles. “Look you’re right, it was crazy. I figured we’d stay cloaked, she’d float around harmlessly, see the larger universe around her and pull herself together. It was a bad call and I know it.”

“The will of the force it was.” Yoda asserted, though he cast a narrow glance in Starbuck’s direction as she started to shake again. “A destiny, has Kara Thrace, the harbringer of death she was, a giver of life she must become.” Kara froze.

“How do you know that?” She demanded, “What are you? Who are you?”

“This is grandmaster Yoda, Kara.” Sheppard said carefully, “The highest ranked of our order.”

“You sound like the hybrid.” Thrace hissed moving towards the diminutive Jedi. “Like his blasphemous prophecies.”

“A second chance you have been given.” Yoda said unflinchingly, “A new path to walk, a new place to lead those who will follow. Foreseen it I have.”

“Like him?” She inclined her head towards Sheppard, “You have powers like him?”

“Greater.” Sheppard said

“More insightful perhaps.” Yoda corrected him, “Understanding the force requires, not enough, will is, for focused and distracted it can become, tired I am.”

“He commanded the drone launchers while we fled the Empire.” said Wedge.

“No one can tell the future.” Thrace said angrily, “No one tells me my destiny, I make it myself every day I live, every moment I make a choice.” She seemed to hear what she was saying, even as she said it. Sheppard nodded approvingly.

“Atta girl.” he commented, earning a glare.“You’re definitely a Starbuck.”

“Well if Master Yoda isn’t going to reprimand you, I will.” Antilles stated, “You took two Galactic Alliance starfighters without authorization and escorted a civilian into a battle zone...”

“We’re all civilians, we don’t have commissions Wedge.” Sheppard shouted finally at the end of his patience, “The New Republic dissolved, the Galactic Alliance is what a month old? We were in that time bubble for years, did you get paperwork I didn’t? I thought so. Does the Admiral seem suddenly inclined to incorporate Jedi into his ranks? I didn’t think so. We’re all just out here doing our best okay? get off my case will you? ”

“He just appointed me as commander of the fleet not ten minutes ago.” Wedge snapped.

“Ordered to transport to the Larrin were you not?” asked Yoda.

“As commander of the fleet, master, I need to address the problem your Jedi has created. We can’t dial back to Atlantis, and we have several squadrons of fighters with no place to go. Shepherd's actions have resulted in the loss of two space we may need for damaged fighters later, because I can’t send her back out,” he pointed to Thrace, “and I’m certainly not sending him back out.” He glared at Shepperd.

Wedge’s comlink chirped. he held Shepperd’s gaze a moment longer.

“Antilles.” he snapped into the com.

“In light of Starbuck’s explanation, I have reinstated him as commander of the fleet, though he will coordinate from this vessel under my supervision.” Ackbar stated, “I will defer to Master Yoda as to how best to deploy the you and the other Jedi, but I would like Jedi Sheppard to man the defenses of the Orion until Master Yoda has recovered, he has the second highest rank in the drone chairs.”

Sheppard and Thrace looked at Wedge in solence. Yoda examined a claw carefully.

“Is master Yoda with you, Jedi Antilles?” Ackbar asked, “Or Jedi Sheppard? They should be at your location.”

“We’re here.” Sheppard spoke up, “I’ll be right up Admiral, thanks.”

“Very well.” Said Ackbar signing off. Sheppard looked apologetically at Wedge and shrugged. he moved quickly towards the exit with Thrace in tow, who nearly ended her life when she turned and stuck out her tongue. Wedge let out a long sigh and stomped his foot in irritation. he looked at Yoda.

“Any words of guidance master?” he demanded.

“Overplayed your hand you did, because lead by passion you were, not the will of the force.” Yoda replied. “In the will of Force trust you must, or at your peril, oppose it.”

“How much longer with the galaxy at large protect that idiot from his own stupidity?” Wedge demanded.
* * *
“Jedi Sheppard reports ready in the weapons room.” Jesmine announced, Ackbar nodded, and Starbuck settled himself into the chair in the center of the room.

“All ships standing by.” he told the Admiral, “Setting course for Corellia.” he relayed the orders.

“During the battle you will not be expected to relay your activities verbally Starbuck.” Ackbar told him, “If you must take action immediately, or redeploy our forces, you may do so, i will intervene only if I see something drastically wrong.”

“Thanks for the vote of confiden...” Starbuck flinched. “Ah... Jedi Antilles has taken command of the Tria.” Ackbar said nothing.

“He respectfully requests permission to coordinate the XG-Wing squadrons Admiral.” Starbuck said after a moment. He turned, “It’s a great idea, really, he knows his pilots and the neural interface will help them coordinate their efforts the same way as our ships?”
“Very well.” Ackbar replied. He was more interested in the holodisplay before him. What had started as wireframe outlines of major solar bodies was rapidly being fleshed out into a much more detailed display, as the fleet’s sensors managed to defeat various types of interference at work. The ancient sensors were able to circumvent most conventional jamming, but suffered greater interference from stellar phenomena. In addition hundreds of thousands of civillian ships were frantically screaming for help as they tried to evacuate the doomed planet and it’s moons. A picture rapidly formed, and the globe representing Corellia suddenly flashed red as an anomaly was detected.

“It’s already begun, Corellia’s circumference is decreasing,” Ackbar breathed even as Iella shouted, “Admiral, according to our analyisis of General Solo’s logs, the shield over Corellia is entering the final expansion phase!” Ackbar watched as the imperial ships surrounding the planet suddenly began to scatter in advance of what was to come. Visible in the distance only as a speck, those gathered on the bridge watched Corellia ignited beneath the shield into a rolling mass of fire.

“Emperor Thrawn is hailing us.” Jesmine announced, “He is ordering us to join with Imperial forces at...”

“Unidentified objects rising from the surface!” Iella shouted.

“They are components of a stargate!” Starbuck shouted alarmed, “Hold on everyone, I’m going to make a jump...” Hyperdrive washed over them and the Alliance fleet, seven Warships and twenty escorts, emerged as one, virtually on top of the singularity forming.”Transfer ZPM power to shields and concentrate your fire here!” Starbuck shouted, above him a holographic display lit up targeting an object rising from the roiling mass beneath them.

A hail of drones leaped out of the assembled ships pummeling the structure. it progressed towards the waiting half circle some distance before succombing to the fire, Starbuck immediately redirected fire to another one.

* * *

“Look at them all clustered together like that.” Pelleon observed, “Rather tempting to simply fire on them and be done with it.”

“Target the installation, and hold your fire.” Thrawn said with only the faintest trace of humor, “We’ll deal with Ackbar another time.”

“He’s hailing us your highness.” Pelleon replied, nodding to his communications chief.

“Ackbar how precisely are you interpreting our agreement for your forces to follow my commands?” Thrawn demanded irritated.

“Apologies Emperor.” Ackbar replied, “We have a specialist who identified what the objects rising from the surface are and coordinated immediate action. We must destroy the components of this apparatus before they can assemble.”

“Tell your fool specialist I intended to do just that, I had the Monarch’s superlaser preparing to fire when your fleet leaped into the way.” Pelleon stated. “On the source of those creations, rather than annihilating them piecemeal.”

“With all due respect Grand Admiral,” Ackbar replied, implying there was none, “The shield surround Corellia is powered by conventional weapons. General Solo demonstrated a vulnerability to drone weapons only.” Pelleon was taken aback, he glanced at Thrawn. trhawn returned his look disapprovingly, but said,

“Admiral, perhaps your sensors failed to detect the third moon of Corellia several thousand kilometers away?”

“We are detect it.” Ackbar replied, “dozens of evacuation ships are rising from the surface as it is being drawn into an irregular orbit.”

“Indeed.” Thrawn replied, “And should we strike that moon with our superlaser, it’s course would shift into a collision with Corellia, and the source of those structures.”

“You wanted to push a moon full of civilians to their doom?” Ackbar was incredulous.

“How fortunate your fleet arrived to provide an altern..” Thrawn stopped as he spotted something approaching, “Admiral were you expecting the Cylons?”
* * *

“...four advanced model base stars, and six conventional ones!” Iella announced, “They are on an attack vector, and they’re launching raiders!”

“They’re trying to intercept the drones.” Starbuck announced, “Wedge is redeploying fighters to engage.”

“Emperor Thrawn is is imperative that we maintain this attack.” Ackbar said as a third gate component exploded, “The Ori must have a finite supply of components...”

“We are launching fighters but the Cylons approached from the opposite direction, and our forces cannot withstand the forces being generated by Corellia’s collapse.” Thrawn replied, Ackbar watched as the four advanced base stars travelling in single file, suddenly seemed to pulse. beginning at the farthest, an energy wave travelled and grew until it emerged as a massive burst of fire the hurdled through space, crossing the distance in the blink o an eye to strike one of the Asuran warships. The ZPM enhanced shields seemed to hold for a moment, and then collapsed, and the ship crumpled into molten pieces.

“Starbuck prepare to redirect...” Ackbar shouted, but Thrawn’s hologram interrupted.

“Belay that. Alliance forces stand by.” Ackbar ducked as a massive column of lighjt burned past the bridge viewport, the Orion shuddered beneath him at it’s passing. The superlaser blast incinerated the first basestar outright, crashing into the next with such force it hurled backward into a third, both crumbling into burning wreckage.

“Three out of four is not bad.” Thrawn commented wryly.

“The raiders have broken through our fighters, they are engaging our escort screen.” starbuck announced, “Admiral direct turbo laser fire to cover the drones quickly!” One of the structures, visibly damaged but undaunted by the fire it had taken, joined with the half assembled ring in the distance.

“Why can’t we augment our drone fire with the turbolasers?” Ackbar demanded, Starbuck answered,

“those components are generating a shield similar to the one protecting the gate.” Starbuck answered quickly, “The drones are designed to defeat it.”

“Why would the Cylons ally themselves with the Ori?” Pelleon demanded of Ackbar.

“They were on the verge of annihilation.” the Admiral replied, “They must have hoped the ori could hold back the Empire long enough to regroup. A blast of light issued from the Iron Fist knocking a base star off it’s axis.

“Nothing can hold back the Empire.” Thrawn stated.
* * *
“test fire complete your highness, the Superlaser is back online.” Pelleon announced, “We are charging capacitors for a full power shot.”

“Stand by,” Thrawn said grimly, “The Alliance has let too many pieces through, the device is nearly complete.”
* * *
“Signal the cargo hold!” Starbuck shouted suddenly, “Tell them to dial Lemuria, Atlantis, anywhere, now!” Corellia suddenly collapsed in on itself, as the final piece fell into place in the ring before them and it began to light up. The Orion was bucking wildly, and Ackbar watched in dismay as the shields failed on two of the escorts in the distance, they exploded. in the distance the raiders and the XG wings had abandoned their fight and were fleeing for cover.

“Starbuck get us out of here!” Ackbar shouted as the ship thundered beneath him, “Do it now!”

“I’m not sure if we can form a stable window!” Starbuck shouted, before them other alliance ships were entering hyperspace, Ackbar saw another Asuran ship torn apart as it’s hyperspace window warped before them, there was a flash and suddenly they were in open space, just beyond the Imperial fleet, ships listing and in disarray.

“Cargo bay report.” Ackbar demanded slamming his armrest, “Did we make a connection? Did the Stargate work?”

“Negative admiral, eight chevron would not lock.” came the apologetic voice.

“Frack I should have said Dathomir!” Starbuck slammed the arm of the chair, even as, in the distance, a massive event horizon hurled forth collapsing into the frame of the now active supergate.

“What’s a stargate?” Was all Pelleon could think to ask.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Updated 07-013-2012)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-10-26 02:50pm

Chapter 23

The Supergate glowered at the collection of vessels before it.The first Ori cruiser barrelled out of the supergate followed closely by another. It waded momentarily through a cloud of drones before a superlaser blast decisively blew it out of the stars. As drones hurled themselves against their shields, some managing to penetrate and impact against their armored hulls, a storm of turbolaser fire showered the third, fourth and fifth as they emerged quickly, and began forming a perimeter around the supergate. As one the vanguard of the invading fleet opened fire, and thick columns of devastating energy that blasted past the screen of star destroyers and tore into the Monarch’s superstructure. Even as the Iron fist fired, knocking an Ori mothership off it’s axis, another took up it’s place. All the while the parade of ships continued.

“That’s twelve, thirteen, “ Sheppard stared in horror at the hologram floating over him, “We didn’t see that many during the whole war...”

“You better handle those Cylons, it looks your friends are taking the newcomers.” Thrace urged him. Sheppard dutifully ordered scores of drones to attack one of the two remaining base stars. After a moment, he saw his fire joined by two of the other warships, and explosions began to blossom along the surface of one of the base stars. “

“The Empire is holding the high ground.” Sheppard observed, “Thrawn is using the gravity well to pull his ships out of hyperspace.” A sovereign class star destroyer appeared in the distance escorted by a dozen Imperial class, and immediately blasted an Ori mothership into burning rubble.

“They need more of those smaller ships to screen the bigger ones.” Thrace grumbled.

“Too bad we blew so many of them up early on.” Sheppard said regretfully, the Ori were already tearing apart the fleet that had arrived. Several of their ships were burning in space but over twenty now held position protectively around the gate. the Orion shuddered as it gained the Ori’s attention.

* * *

“The Emperor is going all in.” Lando commented, as more ships arrived as reinforcements, “We’ve got elements of three sector fleets in this party, it looks like every hyperdrive upgrade in the vicinity is already here and more every minute.”

“Thrawn knows what’s at stake.” Ackbar said quietly.

“Admiral, we should call the Asgard.” Iella urged, the Orion shuddered as another Ori blast struck it, she had been assessing the tactical situation, and she didn’t like how many ships had arrived so rapidly through the gate. “Or the rest of our ships, We’ve destroyed several motherships, but not nearly fast enough. Their power is growing with every ship that comes through that gate at this rate, the Empire isn’t arriving fast enough to...”

“I know.” Ackbar replied shortly. “However I am not prepared to commit all of our forces unless we know exactly what we are up against. The Emperor wishes to use us to buy him time, we will do that and nothing more.”

“We can’t just let them invade.” Iella argued, “We have no idea how many ships are on the other side of that gate, and they’ve likely been preparing for this for years, while we’ve been fighting among ourselves! With an entire galaxy of resources, advanced technology, and a single minded war effort, we may never dislodge them!”

“We face that already.” Ackbar replied, “Thrawn will not let things lie, with the Alliance, the way they are now, he knows we have stargates,” he shot an accusing glare at the back of Starbuck’s head, “He knows about our advanced fleet, the moment the Ori are neuralized, he will turn his full gaze upon us.”

“Assuming the Ori ARE neutralized.” Starbuck grumbled. His comment was punctuated as the ship shuddered from the powerful Ori weapons fire. Ackbar looked for support from Master Yoda but the Jedi was staring pensively into space from the back of the bridge. Ackbar grunted.

“You are re-considering your agreement to support him.” Iella noted.

“I am reconsidering the extent to which we put our forces at his disposal. Thrawn cannot be trusted, with the Emperor there are wheels within wheels within wheels, and when you believe you have found the center of it all you discover you have known nothing all along.” Ackbar replied testily.

“I’m losing some serious maneuverability here...” Calrissian warned, “That last hit damaged our engines.”

“We’ve nearly drained our last ZPM Lando, compensate as best you can.” Omos replied, he turned back to coordinating damage control.”

“I’m redirecting fire to help.” Starbuck announced, two spears of light stabbed out from the surviving Asuran cruisers and impaled the Ori vessel, it’s shields flared brilliantly, even as a quartet of escorts flashed by unleashing a barrage of drones. the Ori ship struck out even as it’s shields began to falter and obliterated one of the escorts. The other three broke off, one in a barely controlled spin trailing debris.With over forty Ori ships forming a perimeter around the supergate, even the fast moving escorts were being picked off as they approached, and had to evade a considerable amount of fire from the Ori’s secondary weapons. “The Ori vessels have been enhanced somehow, they’re taking more punishment than the ones we faced at Endor.”

* * *
“Your majesty, the Alliance reports they are out of drones.” Pelleon announced.

“How embarrassing.” Thrawn replied, “It seems they weren’t as prepared as we were led to believe.” Pelleon was confused for a moment at the expressiveness of the Emperor and then he noticed a holocam floating nearby. “The Emperor conducted business behind closed doors, Grand Admiral, we stand at the edge of another galactic invasion, and I think it is time that the people of the galaxy see what is happening first hand.” he gestured to the holocam. “This is broadcasting live on the Imperial Channel via the holonet.”

“Very good sir.” Pelleon said, already suddenly somewhat self conscious, “Though if I may say sir, battle can be rather unpredictable...”

“I think my subjects understand that.” Thrawn told him, “They have demonstrated faith in my leadership, as you have, I will demonstrate faith in their understanding, and I will leave judgment to history. The Galactic Alliance took point in defending against this incursion did they not? Though we set aside our doubts and allowed them to proceed, it is clearly time for us to step in. In your professional opinion is it not evident that this enemy is beyond them.”

“yes sir.” Pelleon replied, catching on, he paused as he was handed a memo by one of his staff. he looked at the staff member and the man noded. Pelleon glanced quickly at the holocam and handed the memo to Thrawn discretely. “They have lost over half of their forces, unfortunately they positioned their fleet in such a manner that we could not simply destroy the apparatus before us with our super lasers, now the enemy ships that have come through have nearly completed a protective sphere about it, and for every ship we destroy, two more replace it.”

“I see over sixty now.” Thrawn observed, as he glanced over this memo. he nodded to Pelleon acknowledging the memo. Pelleon did not so much a bat an eye, he waived the concerned technician off. “Such a small number, perhaps it is time to demonstrate exactly what the people of this great galaxy can do. Summon our reserve forces, and contact Admiral Ackbar, he’s had his chance and failed, we must not.”

“Yes Emperor Thrawn.”

* * *

“Admiral what about launching fighters?” Omos asked, “Maybe their massed drone fire...”

“The Empire is increasing it’s presence in this system every minute.” Ackbar replied, as he surveyed the hologram of the vicinity, ships were appearing on the scene very rapidly now. “Our job is merely to hold the ori motherships off long enough to allow that to happen.”

“Means he wants to bug out as soon as we can.” Lando clarified.

“Admiral, the Ori have completed a spherical perimeter around the Stargate, at least eighty ships now, and somethings happening within...” Iella began, suddenly all comm traffic was overridden.

“Children of the Ori, hear our will.” A hologram appeared on the Admiral’s tactical board, “We have found your communications apparatus, and appeal to all of you, throughout your galaxy. You have been lead astray for too long by those who bore the mark of banishment. It is time for you to learn the truth, time for the light of the Ori to light your path to ascension.” Starbuck snorted but suddenly sat upright. “Behold the power of the Ori, and you will be saved. open your hearts, and your eyes and believe, as they demonstrate their greatness.

“No, they couldn’t...” Starbuck announced, “They wouldn’t....” he turned to look in alarm at Yoda standing at the back of the bridge. The Jedi took a step back as the force surged in turmoil. Iella turned to the Jedi concerned.

“Master Yoda what is it?” She asked kneeling, “What’s wrong?”

For a moment the Jedi said nothing, and then when he spoke, Iella drew back sharply, for the Jedi’s eyes glowed, and he spoke with many voices.

“There is a great disturbance in the Force.”

“This is the Emperor of the galaxy.” Thrawn’s voice broke in, “You are not welcome here, you have no claim over this galaxy or it’s people. You speak of enlightenment yet yours is a religion of prejudice. We have thrown off the foolishness of Emperor Palpatine’s new order and we have united all people’s to triumph over all who would invade our galaxy. We will never worship your kind, not now not ever!”

“The man is a gifted orator.” Ackbar said approvingly, “However he cannot be trusted for an instant. They could not have overridden an Imperial holochannel, Thrawn is likely staging this show for half the galaxy.”

“yeah it was a nice touch claiming to have thrown off Palpatine’s oppression when he worked for the guy.” Lando commented dryly from the front.

“He should not have done that...” Starbuck said shaking his head, “The attention of trillions given to the Ori, even for a few moments...” He drew a breath sharply.

“Something strange is going on with the ori ships...” Iella announced, “I’m getting a lot of really odd readings...the Motherships have ceased fire...”

“Lords of Kobol!” Starbuck leaped from the command chair, “They’re coming!”

“Who’s coming...” Ackbar turned as Yoda ignited his lightsaber, “What...”

“Hallowed are the Ori!” The sound thundered around them and before the fleets gathered, between the Ori mother ships, still pouring out of the gate, and the Imperial Starfleet, still arriving from all directions, a great flaming skull burned into existence. It seemed to spin in space slightly, staring directly at the Orion. “Burn in the purity of Origin!”

The skull exploded violently, hurling fireballs in every direction, one headed straight for the Orion.

“All remaining power to shields!” Ackbar shouted

“Our last ZPM is all but gone!” Omos warned, the fireball passed through and struck the ship.
Starbuck lunged forward dragging Lando sideways out of his seat as the console before him seemed to burst into flame. Out poured a demon, a colum of fire that burned before the bridge. As fast as Starbuck had moved, Yoda had moved even faster. A green blur leaping the length of the bridge was all anyone could see until Yoda had suddenly planted himself before the skull, and as his lightsaber ignited, plunged it into the skull.

* * *
Wedge had risen from command chair of the Larrin, Jan stood at his side, one of the fireballs was headed directly towards them.

“Intensify power to the forward shields!” he shouted, the shields flickered momentarily, before it passed through them. It slammed into the viewport, and the entire ship rocked. Relieved for a moment, Wedge watched in horror as the creature seemed to vanish for a moment only to erupt from the upgraded navigational console, incinerating the bothan pilot.

“You are as children playing with the weapons of the damned, this galaxy will be cleansed o you.” The satedans manning the weapons opened fire with their blasters to no avail. The Ori manifestation lashed out and both erupted in tongues of flame. “You shall be cleansed, Wedge Antilles, you will become a vessel for the power of the Ori.

Wedge took a step back, falling into the command chair.

“Admiral, we’ve got one of them on the ship, it’s bypassed all off our shields, what do we do?” he asked.
“Stand by...” Ackbar replied, “We are getting reports that they are on ships all over the fleet, Starbuck is confronting one on our ship as well...”

“They cannot save you.” The Ori’s voice seemed to shake the air, through the viewport behind them a star destroyer began to crumble into itself, another’s engines ignited and it plowed into the ship beside it. “Your precious fleet cannot save you, not even your vaunted Force could oppose us.”

“You’re wrong.” Said Jan stepping forward, she stood to one side of the Ori facing Wedge, her lightsaber was in her hand “We are Jedi, the Force is with us.” her lightsaber ignited and she plunged it into the Ori before him. It screamed in agony twisting around the blade in anguish. The air thickened and the ship began to groan. Jan screamed in echoing agony, both seemed locked in position and tendrils of energy reached out to engulf her, she convulsed in agony, but she would not relent, and it was then that Antilles acted. Still half seated in the chair, he grabbed his own lightsaber, and, pressing on the chair for leverage, he thrust it into the Ori as well.

Wedge immediately felt the fury in his mind, the rage and the power, and he knew immediately that the dying light in the distance was Jan, as the creature tore apart her sole in fury. He could not shield himself from it’s wrath and he felt it stab deep into his mind tearing at his very soul, but then he felt something else.

Through the connection with the chair, he felt the Larrin come to life. The zero point module flared and through the chair interface he felt power gathering behind him, in an act of desperation, he opened himself at last to the power, as Master Yoda had encouraged him so many times to do with the will of the Force. Through him flowed the power of a universe.

His lightsaber flared to a blinding brilliance and the Ori screamed in agony. Wedge sensed the other ships through the command interface, and urgently communicated what was happening to them.
* * *
Aboard the Orion, Sheppard’s eyes flashed open, and without a word of explanation to Kara Thrace he bolted from the weapons chair and hurtled down the corridor.
* * *
Yoda screamed a hoarse choking sound as energy bathed him.

“You cannot oppose us.” It hissed, “You are but an ant before a giant!”

“More than one am I,” Yoda rasped, “The living force, I carry.” the voices that had thundered from his lips before now only echoed what he said.

“Yoda no!” Starbuck shouted as the Jedi struggled, “It’s too much, you can’t channel it all!” as the others watched in horror, Yoda’s new found youth was fading. His ears drooped once more, his body stooped under the strain, “It’s killing you!”

“Than more shall I become.” Yoda rasped determined, with just his own voice now, “Try to oppose them we must!”

“The chair!” Sheppard shouted bursting onto the bridge, “The ship’s power can hurt them! Wedge just told the whole fleet through the chairs!” he stumbled past the Admiral and vaulted over the command chair as he drew his saber. Pressing one hand into the neural interface on the arm rest he extended his lightsaber and extended, “Do or do not, there is no try!”

For a moment Ackbar thought it might actually work, he thought that Sheppard would succeed. The man had come into his own since joining the Jedi, he had found a confience and a peace of mind that Ackbar envied, though he still seemed unwilling to let go of his past life he had at least accepted where he was now, and seemed to be finding some happiness. Ackbar saw that all fall apart as fire rolled off of the the Ori, flowed around the hilt of the lightsaber onto Sheppard, and Sheppard began to scream.

* * *
“All ships withdraw!” Thrawn roared as a fireball headed towards his ship, “They are not moving at superluminal speeds, fall back at maximum speed!” Pelleon was shouting for the Iron Fist to divert all power to engines, and the fireball streaking the length of the ship seemed to pull back though Pelleon knew that it was struggling to reach them with all speed.

“Over a dozen ships are afflicted with... whatever those are.” Pelleon informed him, “We have reports of equipment malfunctions, atmospheric anomalies, crewman bursting into flame...”

“Understood Admiral, I need to you to implement the Ba’al protocols at once, target any ships that did not respond to my initial order at once.” Thrawn snapped, Pelleon didn’t argue, and began issuing the orders. For the benefit of the holocam still hovering nearby, Thrawn clarified, “I have reason to believe these Ori are capable for possession, in a manner similar to the Goa’uld. We must maintain the integrity of our defenses.”

“Sir several of the rebel ships are being torn apart, they did not withdraw quickly enough.” Pelleon informed him, “They’ve lost several warships already but it appears the Ori have some difficulty penetrating their systems.”

“That has not stopped them however.” Thrawn observed, “Those ships were likely designed to resist the Ori at some point but they have managed to overcome it now, is Ackbar’s ship intact?”

“Yes sir.” Pelleon nodded as he consulted the readouts on a screen in a pit below, “But we have confirmed an Ori intrusion on his ship, so I cannot say for how long.”

* * *
“We have to abandon ship!” Omo shouted, “There’s nothing we can do for them.”

“The only higher power I believe in is lady luck!” Lando shouted drawing his blaster, “And lately she’s been pissing me off!” He began firing at the Ori to little effect. The being reached out with a tendril of energy and swatted him across the room. Thrace rushed to his side, pulled the blaster from his hand and kept firing it.

“Impotent specks, your Jedi can do nothing, your weapons are useless.” The Ori thundered, “You will soon feel the touch of the Ori!”

“Enough you fracker!” Starbuck shouted at last, he had stood transfixed like anyone else, at a loss as to what to do, but Sheppard’s failure had left him only one final option. spreading his hands he pushed with all of his telekinetic might at the Ori, shoving it off of the two lightsabers impaling it. Suddenly there was silence as the screaming of Yoda and Sheppard ceased. Yoda was ancient, a shriveled smoking ball on the deck, Sheppard flopped out of the chair, caught just before striking the ground by Iella. There was a momentary pause, gained both by the shock of the Ori at the power unleashed, and by the long regretful glance Starbuck cast around the bridge.

“I was almost there.” he said, “I almost understood his plan.” he sighed and looked down for a moment, “I wanted to save the universe... I’ll settle for saving my friends.”

What came next was not the product of meditation, nor study, it was not the gentle introduction into a larger world by the enlightened, it was not the culmination of a spiritual journey, it was focus born of a necessity, ability emerging at last in a moment of truth, energy gathered around him in response to the demon before him and Starbuck felt himself poised on the precipice of ascension. The air seemed to quiver suppressing unseen forces, until finally whatever was holding them back seemed to snap. Starbuck exploded into a being of shimmering light.

“You are one.” The Ori hissed, “We are many.”

“You are parasites.” Starbuck’s voice echoed through them all, “I am a warrior.” and saying that his form shot forward into that of the Ori. They seemed to dive all about one another striking ferociously, until they both passed beyond the viewport. Other Ori flew towards the Orion and the battle taking place above it.

“Reverse engines.” Ackbar shouted, “Get us out of here!” Thrace stumbled to the navigational control, stared at for a moment, and then grasping the flight yoke, shoved it forward. The ship seemed to surge backwards and battle receded.

“Get ‘em Starbuck!” Sheppard whispered, and indeed, the Ori Starbuck seemed to be fighting suddenly seemed to tear open in an explosion of light, but the others had come and they dove all about Starbuck like wasps, Sheppard reached his hand towards the now swirling cloud in the distance, “Save the universe!”

“What we’re just gonna leave him?” Lando pulled himself to his feet with Jesmine’s help, “We can’t just...”

“Resume your post Calrissian.” Ackbar ordered gruffly, he was squatting by Yoda helping the elderly Jedi up, “All of you resume your posts. Now.” Thrace gratefully surrendered her station to Calrissian. “That foe is beyond any of us.” he looked at Yoda, “For now.”

“Leave this place immediately we must.” Yoda croaked to Ackbar, “Not ready we are, doomed this battle is.”

“Who has survived?” Ackbar asked somberly, turning to Iella, she had moved reluctantly back to her station, she looked back, “The Aurora, the Larrin, and the Amidala. We’ve just lost the Redemption.”

“Status of the Imperial fleet.” He asked. Iella glanced at her monitors. “They’ve pulled back and formed a perimeter, they are firing on any ships that approach, and the Ori seem unable to reach them.”

“Yes well at the moment they are distracted.Thrawn abandoned us here to die.” Ackbar said bitterly.

“Admiral, Jedi Antilles reports his ship is being targeted by the Ori motherships once more.” Jesmine announced from the communications console.

“Move us away from the gate at maximum speed, order all our ships to set course for Dathomir.” Ackbar replied sinking into the seat behind his holotable. “ We’ve done all we can here.”

* * *

“Pull our ships back to holding sector MV 7, their portal is disrupting even advanced hyperspace. Maintain long range missile, drone and super laser bombardment.” Thrawn replied grimly. “Those motherships are the only transportation those demons have out of here, we will not let them escape.”

“What if they deactivate their.. “stargate”?” Pelleon asked, Thrawn shook his head.

“No, it will take too long for hyperspace to stabilize, they know if they try that, they will be ut of from reinforcements and we will blow them apart and destroy the gate.”

“Your Highness, long range weapons will not hold them for long.” Pelleon worried, “If they manage to escape the region of space disrupting hyperdrive travel, they could go anywhere in the galaxy.”

“We must summon the Dawnstar.” Thrawn declared, he turned towards the holocams floating nearby, “The so called Galactic Alliance has betrayed us, just as the Rebellion did, just as the New Republic did. The only hope for us all now is the Imperial Starfleet under my command. We will crush this threat because we must. We will stand together against this last great invasion and declare as one voice.. no more.”

“No more.” Pelleon acknowledge, caught up in the cadence of his words.

“No more.” he heard the men and women in the pits around them command, “No more!” He realized after a moment it had become a change. “No more, No more, No more, No more” he found himself murmuring the phrase even as he signalled his officers to pull their ships back. As he grimly began to issue orders however, he heard another change emerge from the voices chanting, and this one he heard over the commlines as well as he began ordering the other captains to their new positions. glancing at the holocams broadcasting to the galaxy at large he felt the air seem to pulse and realize it was likely being chanted at this moment across the galaxy.

“Thrawn Thrawn Thrawn Thrawn Thrawn...”

* * *

Through hyperspace the battered remains of the Alliance fleet fled, Antilles had joined those on the bridge of the Orion, albeit in hologramic form to determine a course of action.

“This is not good.” Sheppard said, “In my universe we never had to fight the Ori directly, only their followers, even if we can fight them with the ZPM’s we don’t have enough Jedi and we’d have to lure them to the ships.”

“Master, what of the Force?” Wedge asked Yoda, “All those who have gone before, the Jedi Masters of old...Luke... surely they can help?”

“Fight this battle they cannot.” Yoda told him, “Too far have they gone, pushed from this plane they were, and onwards they have travelled.”

“Then we can go back to Atlantis.” Sheppard declared, “Talk to Chaya, maybe she can contact the ancients...”

“From what you told us, they wouldn’t lift a finger in your universe to save their own galaxy, why should we expect help for ours?” Wedge asked. Sheppard pursed his lips but could think of an answer.

“Fine, then we search for the grail.” he declared.

“That’s in your galaxy, somewhere, maybe.” Antilles said exasperated, “We have no idea where to even start, we need to shore up our defenses at Dagobah and get ready to take the fight to the enemy.”

“Against what we just saw?” Sheppard said incredulously, “Only an ascended being can challenge that kind of power, we have nothing that can match that, I say we go to Coruscant and check the database there, Coruscant was where the Force told us to go before. remember, then we go to Atlantis if we have to, SG-1 found some kind of clue there, that lead them to the grail.”

“The Force showed the destruction of Coruscant.” Wedge argued, “Admiral we can’t waste resources and manpower on an intergalactic treasure hunt.” Antilles argued, “We need to be realistic here.” Ackbar was at a loss. “if we fall back maybe we can figure out some way to replicate what happened on the Larrin, turn it into a weapon, the Ancient’s must have had some kind of defense!”

“You coward.” Thrace growled, “You’re afraid of them, what kind of soldier are you? You want to run away while an entire galaxy suffers?”

“Are you still drunk?” Wedge asked incredulously, “Sheppard what kind of trash did you bring back on your last little escapade.”

“We can fight them!” Sheppard told intervened, he moved closer to Wedge’s form. “The force resisted their entry, couldn’t you feel it? They could only break through once they had enough followers here.”

“Well they sure have enough now.” Thrace said dryly, breaking her glare with Wedge. “They were up to almost a hundred ships when we left, no telling how many more will come through, and your ships were all hardly doing crap.”

“I should have thrown everything we had at them when I had the chance.” Ackar said in self recrimination, “Now we have lost Starbuck to them, our greatest hope...”

“We haven’t lost Starbuck.” Iella said softly from the side of the bridge, the others turned to her, and she looked up defiantly, “Well you haven’t felt anything, have you?” She demanded of Sheppard, “Have you?” She asked Antilles, she turned to Yoda.

“Always in motion, the future is.” Yoda replied solemnly, “Darkest indeed it is, before the dawn.”

The group was silent for a moment pondering this until Sheppard started to grin.

“You’ve got an idea, don’t you Master Yoda.” the jedi nodded.

“To the Dagobah system we must go.” he stated. Wedge threw up his hands.

“Admiral.” He said clearly, “Request permission to go to Dathomir to prepare our forces to repel the Ori.”

“Granted.” Ackbar replied, “We cannot bring a large force to the Dagobah system, it is the present location of Imperial city, Master Yoda you will need one of the escorts with a cloak, to penetrate the system undetected.”

“That’s not what I meant!” Wedge protested.

“General Antilles proceed to Dathomir and oversee the repair and replenishment of the remains of this fleet.” Ackbar announced, “General Solo has been preparing for an attack in Imperial City that will provide an excellent diversion for Master Yoda’s mission.” he looked at Sheppard, “You can conduct your search at Coruscant, but unless you find something I want you to report to Atlantis to take part in the strike.”

“Are we really going to do this Admiral?” Calrissian spoke up, “Take on the Empire while the Ori are at the gates?”

“Thrawn left us to the Ori to die, he pulled his ships back and left us exposed, because of him we lost Starbuck to them.” Ackbar said angrily, “We agreed to work with him and he betrayed us, I think it’s about time the Alliance Strikes Back.”

So the story is moving back into sync with the original, I have changed a lot of the details though because in the version on what should have come across as two parties that don't trust each other being played against each other by the Ori, came across instead as the rebels just utterly stabbing the Empire in the back without real provocation. Starbuck's decision to ascend and fight the Ori is more necessary this time around instead of just coming across as a macho move gone wrong, Wedge actually gains some complexity that will transition him better into the character he will be in the next book, etc.

Sorry for the wait, I figured this was too delicate to just shoot off a quick update so I took more time with it.

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Chapter 23 up)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-11-13 11:17am

Chapter 24

Space burned. The Imperial fleet and the Ori armada dueled for supremacy, but twisting and turning amidst them, the very laws of nature were harnessed for destruction. The ascended were beyond the constraints of the physical universe, their knowledge of them superseded any such limitation. Warping time and space through manipulation of higher dimensional energies Starbuck fought for his existence against a pack of Ori.

It’s name was once Lotolocus. Starbuck tore that from it’s essence with a memory of the Cylons bombing Caprica. He had grown up in the foot hills of celestus, Starbuck blasted him with with the knowledge that No-men could survive in a vaccum. As he tore into the Ori he felt others slashing at him as well. Briefly he struggled to remember what color Cassiopeia’s eyes were, he cast about, trying to remember the name of the Goa’uld who first conquered Earth, as he lost even more, he realized he could not win if he let himself become distracted.

He tried to prioritize what was lost. The memory of Adama was preserved by surrendering his recollection of Chameleon. He protected his science, he protected his passion, for his science was the weapon, and his passion was the will. His creativity still fresh from his recent ascension, he found his opponents savage, but unimaginative, dangerous, but lacking resolve. He turned on those who struck him, abandoning the Ori that could no longer be called sentient.

You have found power. He heard the voice of the Doci as he fought, Join us Starbuck, share what you know, we share a great enemy. A part of Starbuck knew that, even as he knew that the Doci, as the human vessel of the Ori was the only link they retained to the physical world. From the Doci they drew their passion, from the Doci, they drew their innovation.

I’ll never join you! he replied, You have lost yourselves already, you are a fire that burns unrestrained, you are will without purpose. Even your puppet the Doci lacks free will.

Free will is an illusion for lesser beings. the Doci told him, Your power is great but you cannot prevail, end this destructive conflict, and together we can rule the galaxy as Gods.

We were born as men, have you forgotten that? Starbuck demanded, I fight for those lesser beings, and it makes me strong, stronger than any of you..

But you cannot defeat us all.

* * *

“Thank you for seeing me madam President.” Ackbar said as he entered Mon Mothma’s office.

“You may dispense with the pleasantries Admiral, we are here to put you back on schedule.” Mothma snapped, “We discussed this just days ago, we are not prepared for open conflict with the Empire, and I thought we had agreed to focus on building our forces in Pegasus before attempting to restore our influence in Corusca. You were instructed to avoid open conflict with the Empire if at all possible, and to aid them in confronting the Ori, based on your own recommendation from the battle of Endor. What happened?”

“With all due respect Madame President, this situation is the result of your efforts to reach out to the Corellian resistance.” Ackbar shot back half rising,

“Sit down Admiral.” Mothma said sharply, “And don’t insult either of us with that argument, you were under no real obligation to respond to Thrawn’s invitation and you know it. Having Calrissian gate across the galaxy just to confound Thrawn was foolish, attacking Centerpoint was foolish. You tipped our hand Admiral, the Empire still has all the cards.”

“Thrawn attempted to assault our representatives on Centerpoint, we could not allow him to consolidate his hold over that installation, not with the Jedi among our most potent allies, what’s more our attack succeeded.” Ackbar replied, “you have my report.”

“I also have that of Governor Calrissian, which includes the accusations Starbuck made against you.” Mothma replied coming around her desk, “Is it true?”

Ackbar was silent for a moment, before saying,

“It may be true that my approach to the events surrounding the meeting at Centerpoint contributed to what happened there.” Mothma threw up her hands.

“You were prepared to go to war!” She fumed, “After all we’ve accomplished, you would throw it all away on some personal vendetta, we are building a city Admiral, we were not prepared for this!”

“Madam president with all due respect...” Ackar said, “Mon, I can explain, but you need to read this.”” he handed her a pad. Mothma scanned it.

“What is this?” She asked as she continued reading.

“It is research being conducted by Doctor Divini on Dathomir. He has examined victims of both goa’uld and Wraith brainwashing, as well has completed extensive research into the databases at Atlantis and lemuria in order to better understand the relationship between Ascension and the Force.”

“What has this to do with your vendetta against Thrawn?”

“I believe I was under his influence.” Ackbar replied, “As you will note in his discussion of Sith and Jedi, upon exposure to meta chalorianates relates in the saturation of associative pathways in the brain. This created a conflict in the Jedi of old that typically resolved itself in loyalty to either the Light or Dark side of the Force, based on the individual’s predisposition.”

“You think Thrawn lured you to the dark side?” Mothma put the pad down, but Ackbar pickled it back up and put it in her hands.

“You must read further.” he told her. “The Ori use a similiar process with their followers, they engage them on an emotional level of worship, because they cannot retain their individuality as ascended beings without such worship. The Lanteans favor a commitment to order, it is the same ideology as the struggle between the Jedi and the Sith Mon, the same war waged on a cosmic level.”

“You are not a Jedi Ackbar.” Mothma told him, “You let your emotions get the better of you. Thrawn is no emperor Palpatine.”

“What I have been trying to tell you is that under these circumstances it is not only the Jedi that are affected, it is everyone.” Ackbar told her, “According to Doctor Divini, the metachalorianates have propagated within all living things, but according to Yoda, the Ascended Jedi of old are gone, those few that have trained as a Jedi cannot hope to provide the collective will the order once did. All sentient life in the galaxy is now drawn together by a force without will, at least for now.”

“Thrawn’s campaign?” Mothma asked, not quite ready to believe it.

“Starbuck claimed that Iblis had plans for this galaxy, I believe those plans were interrupted somehow.” Ackbar told her, “I believe that somehow Thrawn discerned them and usurped them. There is a mechanism in place right now that would allow one will, one singular will, to wield power on a scale that is unimaginable. The Ori must share power with one another, this individual, would have no such need.”

“How could Thrawn have devised all of this.” Mothma demanded, “How does it explain your behavior?”

“Thrawn’s will is insidious.” Ackbar told her, “I knew him better than most, and I believe I resist at an almost unconscious level. Dr. Diviniti concurs. General Rieekan has overseen an evaluation of our officers and enlisted personnel, regarding their attitudes towards Thrawn. Over 86 % of our human forces are from this galaxy, madame president, and of them over 90% report strongly favorable opinions of Thrawn. Doctor Divini believes this is an emotional response artificially stimulated by the metachalorianates in our system.”

“What does this mean exactly Admira, that Thrawn is going to ascend?” Mothma asked, Ackbar stood with his hands behind his back, considering.

“It is a possibility.” he replied, “What is more immediate is that our conflict with him is likely to affect morale if we do not sustain it. Each battle with the Empire gives us inertia, now that we have openly engaged them once again, we need to continue to do so or risk erosion of our combat effectiveness.”

“Your saying our soldiers would actually turn against us?” Mothma asked incredulous.

“I am saying they will have doubts as to what they are doing.” Ackbar replied, “Doubts get soldiers killed Madame President.”

“So you are asking me to support renewal of hostilities with the Empire.” Mothma said, “Admiral, they are the only force capable of containing the Ori.”

“Therefore our timing must be precise.” Ackbar insisted, “While the Empire drains it’s resources, holding the Corellian system until the Death Star arrives, we must prepare to strike. That battle station will arrive in twenty six hours, Madame President, in that time the replicators released from mining Dathomir can repair our ships. the Replicators and Asurans here in Pegasus can bring an additional fourteen on line, and the Asgard are standing by as well. My recommendation madame President is simply that we throw everything we have at the Empire the moment that supergate is destroyed. Sheppard has discovered that the drone weapons are somewhat effective against the ascended Ori, and that the shields protecting the stargates at Atlantis and lemuria prevent their access. Let the Empire bleed itself against their fleet, and when it is weakened, we strike, not only at Corellia, but at Imperial City itself! Atlantis has been evacuated and stands ready!” Ackbar leaned on her desk. “We can destrpy the Death Star with the Emperor on board, we can destroy the regional Moff council at Imperial city, and while the Empire tears itself apart struggling for leadership, we can rebuild! our center of government is here, our industrial forces are here, Mon, this is why we came to Pegasus in the first place.”

“We fall back, and let our homes burn.” Mothma said resentfully.

“Based on our current projections.” Ackbar told her, “We could have a viable fleet rebuilt and deployed to Corusca in under two months. The Empire would take years to recover.”

“Billions will die.” Mothma said it as a certainty.

“But our way of life will endure.” Ackbar told her. “For there to be free will in our galaxy, Thrawn must die, and the Empire must be obliterated. You were willing to forgo intervention before, billions are already dying on the worlds recovering from Vong occupation. They would have turned to the Empire, they would have turned to Thrawn.”

Mothma rubbed her temples in fatigue.

“When did we become so cold Admiral?” She asked looking up at last, “When did we learn to casually accept the suffering of so many in order to achieve our objectives?”

“The moment Palpatine took office.” Ackbar reminded her, “Democracy did not die with a whimper, madame president, it died with applause. We are in so deep we can hardly see the surface anymore, we must do everything we can not be dragged down into the depths of our own hopelessness.”

Mothma’s desk chimed, even as Ackbar’s comlink buzzed. Irritted he with drew it even as Mothma tapped her com.

“I asked not to be disturbed.” Ackbar said, he saw Mothma’s face turn white as she read what was on her computer console.

“Apologies Admiral,” General Solo did not sound apologetic, “But your meeting will ahe to wait, Coruscant is under attack, the Ori are here.”

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Re: The Adventures Of Starbuck. (Chapter 24 up)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-11-23 11:56am

Chapter 25

A trio of victory class star destroyers tore through space escorted by five Lancer class frigates Two of the star destroyers and a pair of frigates drifted wide as a column of fire speared through their ranks, before unleashing a torrent of turbolaser fire at the offending Ori vessel. Shuddering under the barrage the craft fired it’s secondary weapons and was joined by another pair, but even as one of the Lancers took a glancing blow that sent it spinning off into space, another hail of turbolaser fire descended from a different vector, as another squadron of star destroyers tore past. Struck by multiple vectors, the target Ori vessel’s shields collapsed. An Ori made it’s presence known as the ship crumbled under fire from a third attack group, unleashing a torrent of lightning in space that savaged a victory class star destroyer.

“Our rate of attrition is much lower than theirs.” Thrawn observed, “Excellent strategy Grand Admiral, you have bought me time to implement one of my own.”

“Cloaked Asteroids sir?” Pelleon asked, Thrawn nodded. “Permision to redeploy your majesty?” Thrawn nodded. Pellleon gestured to his comm officer, and a hologram sprang up before him. “Admira Ozzel, we are transmitting the trajectories of a number of cloaked asteroids we are launching at the Ori, omega encryption. I am pulling the bulk of the fleet back to a holding sector. Maintain your attack runs but stay clear of these coordinates.”

“Cloaked asteroids sir? Are we certain the Ori cannot perceive them?”

“No Admiral it is very likely they can, but if they are focused on finding the asteroids, they are unable to aid their followers.” Thrawn told him,

“Yes your highness.” Ozzel saluted as his holo image faded.

“Commence launch.” Pelleon ordered, watching as a phalanx of Imperial II star destroyers began to do...apparently nothing. after a moment Thrawn spoke again.

“What is the ETA of the Dawnstar?”

“She will arrive in twenty one hours.” Pelleon informed him, “Though she is in a nearby star system her hyperdrive is extremely sluggish.”

“yes I am aware. It is one of the main reasons I did not make that station the Imperial center. it is far too ponderous to be an effective tool.” Thrawn said, “Which reminds me, where is Katarn?” Pelleon blinked.

“I have not seen him since he brought you on board sir, I had assumed you had given him an assignment?”

“No.” Thrawn said quietly, “I did not, perhaps you should look into the matter Pelleon.”

“Yes your majesty.” Pelleon replied saluting, suddenly an aid was beside him whispering urgently into his ear and gesturing at the viewport.

“There is too much confusion here...” he murmured.
* * *

“Where are you going with that... thing...” Solo demanded, Tod stopped and held up the organic mass in his hand.
“Todd’s helping us search for ways to fight the Ori in the ancient database.” Sheppard interceded, “Apparently that gizmo is wraith tech that will help recover damaged or erased files.”

“We’ve had slicers working on that database since we recovered it.” Solo told Sheppard, “Why does he think he can do any better.”

“You’ve had your so called slicers working on a copied portion of the database,” Todd spoke at last, “There are terminals throughout these ruins that could have entered the information and transferred it over to a central repository, which is then compressed and copied into redundant memory banks throughout the city, back to those terminals.”

“So what?” Solo demanded.

“So what the Wraith is saying,” spoke up a woman standing behind Todd, “Is that you’ve been looking at a copy, not the original. His device, he claims,” She cast a wary glance at the Wraith, “Is able to trace a data fragment back to the terminal from which it originates, where even data that was erased or rewritten may have left physical evidence that can be recovered.”

“This is First Officer Trebal, of the Aurora,” Sheppard interjected, “Chaya sent her back to help us.”

“What do you plan to do if your information was entered from a terminal that is still buried or destroyed?” Solo asked ignoring the Lantean.

“Then we pack up and go to Atlantis.” Sheppard told Solo, “SG-1 recovered two addresses from their database, with the help of an ancient there, I just don’t think we can count on her help. If Merlin was ostracized by the Lantean High Council, then based on what Starbuck said, Lemuria would be the friendliest place left to him 10,000 years ago, or New Kobol, and we know that’s a wash.”

“Oh right, that little Goa’uld strong hold you found during your little joy ride.” Solo waved his hand off dismissively, “You clear it with me before you take anyone through that gate Sheppard, the more I learn about the universe at large, the more I think we’re better off staying home.”

“Yeah well some of us don’t have that option.” Sheppard replied, “My home galaxy is ruled by those snakes, I don’t even know if Earth is even still safe in this timeline.”
“The clock is ticking Sheppard, one thing at a time.” Solo replied, “You find some way to stop the Ori or the Goa’uld will be the least of our problems.” His comlink beeped. “What is it Chewie?”

“This hallways is still blocked by debris.” Todd announced as they came to a dead end, “The chamber we need is several dozen meters beyond.”

“It’ll take hours for a team to shift all that.” Sheppard said, Trebal pressed her hand against a panel in the wall. He jerked away as it slid aside, “Woah what is that?”

“As a result of our evolution our eyes can see a somewhat broader spectrum then yours.” She said smugly, “There are many things about this city, you have simply not noticed, Jedi Sheppard.” She withdrew a device.

“Is that a weapon?” Sheppard asked dubiously.

“Nothing so crude, this is a tool.” Said Trebal haughtily. She was adjusting the settings. “Setting sixteen should do.”

“This is why we defeated them.” Todd muttered to Sheppard from just behind them, “Even in the midst of battle these arrogant fools were using science instead of war.”

“We slaughtered you like cattle.” Trebal stated matter of factly, “You simply outbred us.” Sheppard opened his mouth but caught a withering glare from Thrace.

“Don’t you have a girlfriend?” She hissed. Trebal raised the weapon and fired. The rubble in the hallway began to disintegrate.

“Now how is that even possible.” Sheppard objected, “I don’t even feel any heat, there’s no debris, no instability....” Indeed a perfect channel was being cut.

“Intelligence design.” Trebal told him, “This unit can scan forward through solid mass, calculate the density required the...”

“They are hysterically inaccurate,” Todd interjected, “A live target can seek shelter behind a simple packing crate, and with a few minor adjustments they can overload to take out an entire base.”

“yeah well she got us where we are going.” Sheppard told him, “So shut up or I’ll poke you with my lightsaber.”

Suddenly the city’s alarms sounded.
* * *
“Report!” Pelleon snapped. “How many broke through?”

“About a dozen sir.” Admiral Ozzel reported glumly, his hologram flickered dangerous, transmitted from a heavily damaged ship. “We’re still assessing damage to the fleet now. Some how the asteroids we launched collided with the second and third wing, opening a hole in our lines, The Ori jumped to hyperspace before we could intercept them.”

“How precisely did a wing of star destroyers blunder into asteroids we launched?” Pelleon thundered, then paused, “By the force, could the Ori have altered their path?”

“We have been detecting inconsistencies in the gravitational forces exerted by the blackhole powering the gate.” Ozzel said apologetically, “There was simply no way for our navigators to compensate...”

“No.” Thrawn stated, “They must have somehow affected the minds of your navigators Admiral.”

“Like the infamous Jedi mind trick.” Ozzel’s eyes widened. Thrawn nodded.

“Such tricks only work on the weak willed Admiral, those who lack discipline, those who lack focus. Such men and women are not soldiers in my starfleet.”

“No sir!” Ozzel saluted.

“Then warn your men, tell them what I have told them. We are the imperial starfleet, no sleight of hand nor mystical trickery will deter us. We will grind these Ori into dust, we will hold this line until the Dawnstar arrives, we will prevail. Reform your lines and resume your attack runs, the rest of the fleet will maintain the blockade and provide supporting fire.” Thrawn told the man sternly. As he finished, the Iron Fist lashed out with a colum of emerald energy that famed the Emperor against the viewport. A moment later, a distant blossom of fire heralded the destruction of an Ori Mother ship. “Grand Admiral, a word.”

“Yes sir,” Pelleon signalled the end of the holo transmission and turned to Thrawn. Thrawn waived the holo cams off, the small droids buzzed over to the starfighter control pit for footage of crewman at work.

“It is possible that changes in the very laws of physics as we know them have played some role here.” Thrawn warned him quietly, “I’ve analyzed their attack pattern, and there is a danger.”

“Yes my lord.” Said Pelleon expectantly.

“It is not from the Ori.” Thrawn stated quietly, “This incident bears none of the hall marks of their tactics.”

“Yes sir, it seemed too subtle.” Pelleon stated, “The Ori show their power to inspire their followers.” Thrawn nodded approvingly.

“Quite right Grand Admiral.” he replied, “These gravitational anomalies have persisted for some time now?”

“Yes.” Pelleon nodded, “Several abrupt surges over an hour ago, and since then our instruments have been reading multiple anomalies, but we cannot determine what is causing them.”

“You attribute this to the black hole.” Thrawn said, Pelleon nodded, “Perhaps the wormhole is not the cause, but rather the effect. Have your specialists concentrate on the behavior of tachyons in this region.”

“Tachyons sir?” Pelleon asked.

“Someone is out there, Pelleon, someone is trying to communicate.” Thrawn said turning back to the viewport.

“With us?” Pelleon asked confused. Thrawn glanced at him.

* * *
“Half a dozen Ori motherships just came out of hyperspace directly over the mining colony.” Lobot informed Solo as he entered the command bunker, “They’ve begun firing... correction, four ships are headed directly for the city.”

“What have we got in system?” Solo demanded, Lobot shook his head and gestured to a holo display.

“Five escorts, three fighter wings and two dreadnoughts.” he stated. “Jedi Antilles stripped our defenses in order to prepare for his assault. They

“Yeah and we were trying to hide our presence, looks like we did too good a job,” Solo growled. “Recall our ships from Dagobah and get me General Rieekan.

“Communications outside the city shields are being jammed.” Lobot warned.

“Lovely.” Solo growled, Send our fighters to cover the evacuation of the Wookiee settlement.” he ordered, “Tell them not to try coming here, just get to the transports and get the hell out.” he raised his comlink, “Sheppard get to the chair, we’ve got Ori incoming.”

“General we just reached the terminal we need, this can’t be a coincidence.” Sheppard argued, “The ori must know we’re on to something.”

“Doesn’t matter now.” Solo said shortly, “They’re jamming comms outside the city, and we can’t hold them off for long.”

“What about the stargate?” Sheppard asked, “Is it active?” Solo turned to Lobot who noded.

“We have an incoming wormhole from Atlantis, they were transferring personell.” Solo replied.

“Well tell them to keep it open so the Ori don’t block it, they can pass a message to the Asgard.” Sheppard suggested, “I’m heading to the chair room with Thrace, Todd and Trebal need more time.”

“Chewie.” Solo beckoned the Wookiee over, “Get down to Sheppard’s position, he’s babysitting a wraith a drunk and some broad with a stick up her...”

“Still broadcasting live general.” Sheppard informed him.

“I know.” Solo snapped, “That’s why I was polite. Get your ass to the chair, Chewie will keep an eye on your guests.” he turned back to Chewie, “They’ve got five minutes to get what they need, then fire up the Falcon. Attention all personnel, I am implementing denial protocols, this facility will self destruct in fifteen minutes so get the hell out of here.” He turned back to Lobo. “Shield?”

“Shield is raised, Ori will be in range in four minutes.” The cyborg announced. he looked at General Solo, “The mining colony has already been destroyed.”

“Get me the Admiral.” Solo demanded.

"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. (Chapter 25 up)

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2012-11-23 12:19pm

“There is too much confusion here...” he murmured.
Oh please no....that was such a terrible storyline! On the other hand, you can probably do a much better job than the nBSG bunch did.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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. (Chapter 25 up)

Post by Themightytom » 2012-11-25 09:57pm

Chapter 26

Over moss covered hill tops and excavated buildings, X wings dueled Ori fighters as a transport dodged desperately to reach the sky. Turbolaser emplacements swiveled atop towers and began to spit lightning, blasting the fighters that descended into clouds of burning metal. Several columns of fire speared down from the heavens, like the fingers of god, and beneath them the shield cracked. Suddenly a shadow cast itself over the battle as a Mothership broke from the clouds. From the mother ship a being of fire poured out, wrapping around the transport, crushing it, and flinging it’s burning wreckage to the ruins below.

* * *

The floor lurched beneath her as thunder sounded around them. Kara stumbled raising her hands over her head as rubble collapsed down in front of her. Sheppard grabbed her arm and tried to haul her upright.

“Why do you fight the Ori?” Leoben asked her. Kara shook her head, she was standing in the house on New Caprica, “Why do you fight the inevitable. It is a maelstrom Kara Thrace, you must embrace it.”

“You lied to me.” Kara hissed, “you’re not a Cylon, what are you?”

“I am your God.” the creature that was not Leoben smiled, “You are my angel of death Kara Thrace, fly with me.”

“Come on!” Sheppard shouted as the city shook again. “We have to get to the chair!” Kara could hardly hear him. “Kara come on!”

“No!” She shouted, she jerked free and punched him in the face. Sheppard went sprawling “I don’t care if your God, the Devil or just a frakking toaster!” She grabbed a chunk of rubble with both hands and raised it high over her head as John rolled over with a groan. His eyes widened as he saw her. Sheppard had no time to think. He blew her across the hall with the Force.

“Sheppard where the kriff are my drones?” Solo thundered over the intercom.The city shuddered and the lights flickered.

“Ah Hell kara why’d you make me go and do that?” he murmured, he sent heeling energy into her still form.

“Ori troops have entered the base, Ori troops have entered the base!” Sheppard looked up at the announcement

“Hey!” Sheppard shouted, two technicians were fleeing past him in the hall, “Hey she’s wounded, get her out of here. As they moved to do so Sheppard rose.

“Where the hell is Jedi Sheppard.” the intercom blared just as Sheppard entered the chair room. He nodded to one of two technicians nervously standing near the chair. The Hoffan tossed him a comlink,

“This is Sheppard, I’m at the chair room now!”

“They just took out the last turbolaser emplacement, there’s a mothership landing, and somewhere there’s a ring platform we didn’t know about, that they’ve been using to land troops. we haven’t even had time to blow ourselves up!” the General shouted. “We need the city’s drones to cover the evac!”

“Just like the old days on Atlantis.” he said,the technicians had hurried over to help, Sheppard waved them off. “You heard the General, go on, get to the transports. I’ll take it from here.” he sat in the drone chair and a hologram sprang up as it reclined. Orbital stations were just decloaking around the Ori. he summoned the drones to him as the first two opened fire with turbo lasers and the ancient beam weapons. One mothership’s shields failed and it listed burning as the other three fired on the two stations obliterating them. A mass of drones erupted from the final station deeper in orbit peppering the shields of the motherships. Sheppard let loose with everything he had at his command and joined them.

The city had long since been fully stocked. The mining colony on the nearby moon was also manufacturing drones for the Galactic Alliance. A truly impressive cloud of drones rose up in the morning sun. A lightning storm erupted from the trio of motherships.

“General Solo, they have Ori on board.” Sheppard warned, “They just took out the Dumb drones from the defense platform.”

“I saw it,” Solo said, “Those were droid controlled, what did the database say about city drones?”

“I should be able to use the drones on the Ori, it requires a sentient intelligence.” Sheppard told him, “According to the database it disassociates their energy form, but Todd and Trebal are still looking for the right settings. There’s a chance the Force can help me find it on my own.”

“You better get to work then because one of those ships is already preparing to land.” Solo replied, “The self destruct is going to take half the planet with it and the Wookiees have barely begun their evacuation.”

“I’ll give it my best.” Sheppard replied, he closed his eyes, and reached into the force.

* * *

“Emperor, I have a report on Katarn.” Pelleon said urgently, he handed the flimsy to the Emperor, “Apparently he disappeared in a flash of light during the initial Ori onslaught, a flash that is consistent with the rebel teleport technology.”

“So he is a prisoner then.” Thrawn replied, “Ackbar snatched him from under our nose, he must have discovered what he really is.”

“Sir?” Pelleon asked, Thrawn shook his head.

“It is no matter, they cannot turn him against me in the time they have remaining.” he replied, “Even now the Ori that broke through are descending on their secret base.”

“Coruscant sir?” Pelleon asked, the Emperor nodded,

“There is nothing we require from those ruins anyway.” the Emperor replied, “With their main force still engaged here, the Dawn Star will arrive soon enough. We will crush the Ori and clean up the rebel’s mess.”

“You’ve heard what the men are calling it right sir?” Pelleon asked he glanced at the ever present holocam.

“Yes, yes very amusing.” The Emperor made a wan smile, “The ‘Thrawnstar’ isn’t it? How very droll.”

“The men are glad to have you leading us sir, as are we all.” Pelleon drew himself up. “You are our Emperor sir.”

“Then stand with me Grand Admiral, we will teach these Ori the art of war.” Thrawn stated, turning back to the battle before them.
* * *
“Where am I?” Kara looked around her, the world seemed to be nothing but white. She glanced at herself in surprise, she was wearing a colonial flight suit, but instead of it’s customary greys it was white. She could hear a faint music in the background, but she couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be chimes, or some kind of chorus. “Who’s there? Don’t frack with me Leoben!”

“Peace Kara Thrace.” An oily voice intoned, she whirled, “This is not New Kobol, and I am not your tormentor. My name is Baltar.”

“Are you related to Gais Baltar?” Thrace was enraged, “that traitor who sold us out to the Cylons.”

“No my dear.” A man came into view as though he had been out of focus, “No I’m afraid I am quite a bit more original. The man you know was named as such by a being with a terrible taste for the ironic. For every Christ must have his Judas, and every Adama must have his Baltar.”

“What are you talking about, you know Admiral Adama?” Thrace was in no mood for games.

“Oh I know his type. The paradigm, the paragon, the embodiment of resolve, of faith.” Baltar hissed, “The foil for pragmatism.”

“What do you want from me.” Thrace growled.

“Want?” Baltar blinked, “Why nothing, my dear, we didn’t bring you here at all. You seem to have simply barged in.”
* * *

“We have evolved beyond such primitive concepts as “Survival of the fittest!”

“Perhaps that is why you are an endangered species.”

“Not as endangered as...” The arguing was broken off as Chewbacca’s road deafened both Todd and Trebal.

“Master Chewbacca would like to know how much longer this will take.” See Threepio translated helpfully from behind the Wookiee.

“This device is extracting the data now.” Todd replied, gesturing to a gooey creature latched onto the city. “It seems that the wraith who originally accompanied this colony to Corusca left a back up device that is compatible with what I brought, in fact this city may be compatible with Wraith DNA.” Chewie growled.

“Perhaps you could give an estimate?” Threepio asked hopefully, the city shook mightily for several seconds.

“There, we have it.” Trebal announced, “There is data here concerning the exact waveform specifications of an ascended being, it should be possible to create a waveform that propagates through active stargates.”

“And abandon another city to no purpose?” Todd demanded, "There is something about this city you are hiding isn't there, how did the Wraith come to be here in the first place?"

"I have no idea, and frankly I have no interest in finding out." Trebal snapped, "The very idea of civilized Altairans consoring with abominations such as yourself is abhorrent, the Ori are welcome to this place, I seen no reason to shed blood over it."

Chewie roared.

“Of course I have a strategic goal in mind, we can modify the shields to neutralize the Ori that have come here.” Todd stated, “Immortal beings do not appreciate being killed. We don't ahve to abandon the city, and we can strike a blow to their movement in the eyes of their followers.”

“We don’t have time for some foolhardy display of defiance.” Trebal argued, “The shield has fallen, these people are being slaughtered...”

“We are soldiers, and this is war!” Todd shouted at her. Chewie snarled and moved between the two.

“General Solo, General Solo!” Threepio chattered excitedly, “We have obtained the data for...”

“Great Goldenrod, now hurry up or you’re gonna be a permanent resident!” Solo shouted, “Ori soldiers have taken the western levels, and we’re about to blow the control room. Get to the southern platform or you stay behind.”

“Well I never...”

Chewie barked for silence holding up a paw. Todd bared his teeth at the door and Trebal drew her weapon. After a moment she holstered it and stepped out.

“There is no reason to get excited...” She began but was silenced as a blast from an ori staff weapon struck her. Todd reach down and grasped her weapon even as an Ori solder rounded the corner and drew up short. Todd leaped onto the man and beat him senseless with the ancient weapon.

Chewie whuffled.

“It’s broken.” Todd said incredulously looking at the ruined equipment, suddenly Chewie yowled and raised his bowcaster. He shot another Ori soldier.

“We’d best get to the chair room.” Todd said, “With this crystal Sheppard can effectively defend against the Ori.”

Chewie growled, the wraith sighed.

“Very well, if you insist...” he grumbled hefting Trebal over his shoulder.
* * *

“There must be some way out of here.” Thrace hissed, she was pacing in the seemingly featureless nether world while Baltar watched.

“Can you hear the music then?” Baltar asked intrigued, “How very interesting, my dear, you should not have been able to project yourself onto this plane at all, let alone be able to hear the language of the Gods.”

“The what?” Kara drew up short.

“That’s what they call it, the red sash, they call it the Language of the Gods.” Baltar told her, “They consider it the necessary vocabulary to communicate a soul.”

“I don’t have to listen to this.” Thrace said advancing on him, “Let me out of here, you can’t keep me prisoner like this!”

“Ah you imagine yourself a prisoner?” Baltar asked, “Tell me... what do you see here.”

“Nothing it’s all white here I...” Kara froze. The world had changed, it was that house. “No...way...”

“New Kobol.” Baltar said as if listening, “Yes I can see it clearly in your mind, you were a prisoner here, weren’t you, a prisoner of... him.”

“Leoben.” Said Thrace.

“Oh no.” Baltar shook his head, “No he was much more, and so are you my dear, I see an echo within you, a spark of the divine...” He chuckled, “or the demonic.”
* * *
“Raargh!” Chewie thundered as he chased the Ori soldiers down the hall, he skidded to a halt as he followed them into a landing bay full of soldiers assembling. With something of a sigh crossed with a whimper, he retreated back down the hallway firing over his shoulder.

“I take it the landing pad is out of the question?” Todd asked drolly, Trebal was slung over his shoulders like a sack of potatoes. Chewie nodded as they retreated from more weapons fire. they passed Threepio still attempting to catch up. “We must get to Sheppard, he is our only hope.” Chewie roared back. “If you could contact General Solo he would say the same thing Chewbacca!” Finally the wraith had enough. he put Trebal down. Chewie snarled.

“We cannot move with her in this condition.” Todd snarled back at the Wookiee, he grabbed one of the stunned Ori soldiers lying in the corridor. With a hiss he fed, the wounded solider, already dying still had time to gasp in terror as he aged before their eyes. Todd threw the husk to the ground and moved to Trebal. Chewbacca gave a startled bark and moved on the wraith. Flush with the life force of the dead, Todd backhanded the Wookiee. Threepio managed a startled “Oh no, Mistress Trebal!” before Todd dug his feeder into her chest. He grunted over her. Chewbacca recovering from his surprise, bared his teeth and rose again, this time growling fiercely and bearing his teeth,

“Stop you fool I am saving her.” Todd hissed. The burned hole in Trebal’s mid riff closed and scabbed over, she gasped and opened her eyes. “There, she can carry herself. Go to the transports if you wish, I must help Sheppard destroy that creature or we are all doomed.”

“If you intend to shoot me, than do so.” Todd stated, “You can either pursue me, or save her life.” He looked at Trebal, “The choice is yours, Wookiee.” he stalked off.

“Master Chewbacca, there are soldiers coming!” Threepio wailed. Chewie gave a sigh and picked up the ancient.

Todd moved quickly down the passageway backtracking the way he’d come, into the ruins of Lemuria. near the chair room he found two technicians gunned down by the Ori, and a familiar figure.”Kara Thrace.” He murmured, he took a blaster off one of the technicians and strapped it to his belt, then grabbed another from the other one. Finally he hefted Kara Thrace.

“So many humans to save.” he said dryly.
* * *
“Leoben, the one who tortured you, the one that drew you into that maelstrom, he is simply a manifestation of Iblis.” Baltar told her, “A being far darker, and far older than any Baltar, opposed by a force far more righteous than any Adama.”

“The Lords of Kobol.” Kara breathed, then she stopped. “If he’s a demon, than what am I Baltar, what am I?”

“You are the foil,” Baltar told her, “The angel.”

“I’m no angel.” Kara spat, “Angels are pure, angels are good.”

“Look beyond the constructions.” Baltar said irritably, “You are human, he is sociopath. You are passion, he is dispassionate, you are doubt, he is faith. You are no paragon from your sacred scrolls, you are a counter move to Iblis’ move, but through a stroke of fortune, you were removed from the game.”

“Is this a game to you?” Thrace demanded.

“The Gods have always played games with mortals.” Baltar waved her accusation off, “How an one who has ascended to such a level consider the perspective of those who have not any other way?”

“Now who’s the sociopath.” Kara muttered.

“Honestly I quite prefer my own company these days but the universe simply will not leave me be.” Baltar snapped. “Forgive me for wishing to abscond from participating in the periodic collaboration of a perennially stupid race. Man, men are fools, gullible sheep waiting to be slaughtered, the more of them there are the greater the inevitable wailing and gnashing of teeth. Life is a joke, my dear a grand cosmic joke. Know this Kara Thrace, the only constant in life is death. The only certainty, is oblivion.”

“That is not our fate.” Said another, Kara and Baltar turned. A dark haired woman in a white gown stood before them.

“Sharon?” Kara said blinking, the woman smiled.

“Kara Thrace.” she said, “I am not Sharon Valerrie, I am Hera, her daughter.”

“Her daughter?” Kara shook her head, “I traveled to the future?”

“We traveled to the past.” Hera corrected. “I ascended nearly 140,000 years ago, long after the survivors of the Galactica’s fleet merged with the native population of Earth.”

“The Galactica ended up in the past?” Thrace shook her head. “How?”

“That is complicated.” Hera told her, “The path that brought you here was not of your choosing, you may continue down it, or choose another.”

“So the Gods have decided to ask little old me for my opinion.” Thrace said, “Well too bad, I’m tired of half truths and prophecies. I don’t want to be a piece in your little game.”
* * *
“Chewie!” Solo shouted, “Where’s the ghoul?”

Chewie roared while Threepio aided Trebal into the hanger.

“You let him go?” Solo demanded, “he’s the grand Admiral of the wraith fleet of another galaxy, if the Ori capture him they’ll know about Pegasus.”

Chewie made an exasperated noise and gestured to the ancient and the droid.

“Fair point.” Solo acknowledged, he tapped his comlink, “Lobot, Chewie and I are gonna try to find the wraith, and try to extract Sheppard, he’s not answering his comms. If we’re not back in six minutes, take off without us.” he turned to Chewie, “Let’s go buddy, just you and me.”
* * *
The doors to the chair room opened and Sheppard turned. Todd entered, and for a moment Sheppard remembered his dream. With a start he realized this was the room he had foreseen.

“Hold it Todd.” he said, reaching for his lightsaber.

“I have brought you the data you need to kill the Ori.” The Wraith said,

“I’ve been trying, the drones can’t hit it in the city, it’s too quick,” Sheppard told the wraith, “We’d have to find some way to hold it still.”

“Not the drones, the shields.” Tod said taking a step forward, “You can configure them to kill anything in the city if there’s still power.”

“Todd, why is there blood on your feeder?” Sheppard demanded. Todd looked at the feeder and then at Sheppard. before he could say anything the ceiling erupted, and the Ori was above him. Todd expected it to burn Sheppard to ashes, but suddenly Sheppard’s lightsaber, in his hand, ignited and he plunged it upwards, his face a mask of concentration.

“Run, Todd...” Sheppard grunted, “I can’t hold it... for long...”

Todd rushed to a console. he took the data module and plunged it into a receptacle.

“What are you doing?” Sheppard grunted, “there’s no time....”

“Hold that thing steady!” Todd all but roared looking up finally. There was another rumble, this one accompanied by a whine, and suddenly a drone shot from a wall into the room. It hovered for a moment reorienting itself and then targtetted the Ori directly above Sheppard’s head.

* * *
“Sith spawn!” Solo shouted as he was blown backwards into Chewie, “That was the chair room!” sprinting forward he shoved past the smoldering wreckage of the doors. Everything was in ruin, but in the light of the flames he could see Todd standing over Sheppard, with his feeder plunged into his chest.

“Get off of him.” Solo shouted, he drew his blaster and fired.

“No!” Croaked Sheppard, “No he was trying to help! he healed me!”

“Aaargh!” Todd rose up in fury on the other side of the chair, “I have done nothing but try to save you creatures!” he held his wounded shoulder angrily.

“Alright now what was I supposed to think.” Solo shot back, “You go around terrorizing a galaxy for centuries and now that you turn over a new leaf we’re all supposed to trust you? Look, this place blows in ten minutes, my ride leaves in four, you coming with us or not.”

"Very well." Said Todd stumbling over to the remains of the control panel, his data module was intact, "We have what we need."

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
“There is too much confusion here...” he murmured.
Oh please no....that was such a terrible storyline! On the other hand, you can probably do a much better job than the nBSG bunch did.
You WOUND me sir, I was tempted to dump the entire next three chapters unedited so you could be assured that I did not go the same way as the original, just bear with me, I've been laying groundwork for this since the first chapter, though elements of Todd and Kara's story are in the sequel to the sequel.
The next one I post is the alternate SG-1 story which is on I have the Legend Of Starbuck already written and most of Stargate Apocalypse done, which flesh out the whole old bsg/newbsg/Iblis story.[/i]

"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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