I have about a billion things to Italicize and bold to make things more sensical, and this is definitely the most convoluted chapter I have written. It intersects events past and future for this and other stories, so there's a ton of easter eggs you wouldn't recognize until you'd read the others. Most of them are franchise easter eggs anyway so my more astute readers will probably just have fun playing 'name the quote' and I hopefully won't lose anyone. I really needed a chapter of this magnitude to corral everything back together and set up for the endgame
“There is Emotion...yet peace...”
“Who is that?” Starbuck demanded he struggled to remember where he was, and in a moment, he realized he had no idea. “Where the frack am I? Have I ascended?”
“You came here seeking ascension.” the accusation floated through Starbuck’s mind. “You have not obeyed the conditions of your banishment.” Starbuck groaned and blinked his eyes. The world around him was utterly white, utterly featureless, the way a person would want it, he mused if they were trying to forget the physical world/ But he didn’t recognize the voice. With a start he realized there hadn't been one this time.
“Who are you, show yourself!” Starbuck shouted. When there was silence he shouted again, “If you expect me to recognize your claims against me, you’d better show yourself, or I will just go on my way.
“Starbuck come back to me!” he knew that voice, it tore itself out of the most treasured of his memories.
“Athena?” he shouted, “Lords of Kobol, where are you? Athena?”
“Starbuck is down! he’s hurt!” Starbuck had a flash of recollection, of one, disorienting moment, the entire world around him reflected his memory. A ghostly apparition, howling, slashing at him. The flash of a lightsaber and a scream of agony. The world faded back to white.
“That was the past.” Starbuck replied, “I was once ascended to a timeless place, part of me must always remain there.”
“You will always be here, Starbuck, and some of you there.”
“Adama.” he breathed, “I need to find you, but I don’t know where to look!”
“You were banished.” A third voice, male and angry.
“A man.” Starbuck observed, “An angry man, good, your voices are starting to become distinct.” He looked into the blankness around him, “You are beginning to remember who you are.”
“We are everything.” Several voices spoke in a sympohonic cacaphony.
“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”
“You are nothing but a group.” Starbuck told them, ignoring the latest echoes “I’ve known the oldest of the old, the ancients, the first Lords. Without a root in the physical world, a connection to what made you... you..” he emphasized the concept, you become ephemeral, you fade.”
“You are banished.” The angry male voice told him once again, another voice echoed this, as did another and the began to sound like the first. Starbuck realized that the voices all were starting to sound like him.
“You are repeating echoes of the future, of the past!” Starbuck told them, “You’ve forgotten which is which!”
“Ignorance, yet knowledge, Passion, yet Serenity...”
“Who is that?” Starbuck shouted in frustration, and then caught himself, “That’s the future!” he shouted to what he had come to realize were beings all around him, trapped as he was in a universe of their own confusion, “If I don’t know him, it hasn’t happened yet.”
“You are injured.” They replied, “we are not.” Starbuck shook his head.
“It’s like dealing with children.” he grumbled. “I was injured before I came here, yes, do you know what happened before?”
“All of this has happened before....”
“No!” Starbuck shouted, “It hasn’t! The past and the future are not the same, you msut remember that or we will be here forever.”
“I remember children!” A younger voice said, suddenly distinct and different, “I am... I was... young...!”
“Starbuck jump the ship!” A voice roared. Starbuck started.
“Who...” He shook his head, “That’s still the future, it is not my past.”
“It is not your past.” The child said.
“Alright, now, we’re getting somewhere!” he rubbed his hands together, but even as he said this he was drowned out by the rolling thunder of voices. “the past is past! “Your future is past.” “Your past is future.”
“No! Stop! I’m trying to help you” he shouted, “You can’t do that, you’re just copying each other, until you forget which one of you was the original!” he sighed and sank to a squatting position, a reflection of his mental fatigue, “This is going to take a while.”
* * *
“The other Wraith ships are breaking off their attack.” Iella announced, Several hyperspace blossoms had already erupted, ferrying Hive ships to safety. “In fact they are committing a rather hasty withdrawal.” She clarified as several cruisers surged by breaking for open space. “Todd’s fleet is holding position by the Asgard.”
“I hope this demonstrates my commitment to space between us.” Todd told Solo from where he was seated, “I helped you first with the Asurans, and again with the Asgard, and aided in the rescue of your lost ship as well.”
“Can it Todd.” Solo snapped irritably, “You could have told us hours ago that’s where your ships were, and spared yourself time in that cell. I’ve got enough to figure out here without dealing with theatrics, hail Atlantis.” he began, suddenly there was a flash of light. he caught a glimpse out of the corner of his eye of Lando pulling his blaster, even as he drew his own and was satisfied to see his out first. Both pointed them at a small grey alien who blinked owlishly at them.
“Uh gentleman,” Wedge coughed behind them. “Meet supreme commander Thor of the Asgard.
“what, in the name of Palpatine's throne did you just do to us.” Solo gritted, looking around he noted they were on the bridge of one of the Asgard vessels. The peregrine floated beside it, the Organa was vectoring around furiously, Iella must have already tracked his com. Han thought impressed.
“The Asgard have teleportation technology.” Wedge explained. Yoda was present as well and seemed unalarmed. Sheppard stood by the Asgard.
“Relax.” he said, “they’re friendly.”
“I am afraid I cannot get a lock on anyone aboard the Pegasus, and they continue to refuse our hails.” Thor announced.
“They have beaming technology too.” Solo said smugly, he wasn’t sure how the Asgard matched up to the Pegasus, but he knew that ship had fought hard for Atlantis, the Asgard had just appeared and started teleporting people. He paused as he considered that the wraith, while willing to take on the Pegasus, had all but fled before the Asgard.
“How interesting.” Thor said moving a shell around on his control pad, “I am detecting evidence of Asgard technology on board, including an intergalactic hypderdrive.”
“Why don’t we deal with who you are, before we worry about who they are.” Solo suggested stabbing a finger at the Asgard, “They were here backing us up when the wraith arrived.”
“And we have lent our aid to ensure that they left.” Thor pointed out. “The Asgard are a friend to all who need us.”
“Even the replicators?” Sheppard asked arching an eyebrow, Thor turned to him. “Told you, I’m from the future.”
“Yes. An alternate future if I recall.” Said Thor somewhat uncertainly, “What do you know of them.”
“In our universe your people asked for our help, because our “low tech” tactics were effective, where your sciency mumbo jumbo was not.” Solo shook his head at hearing a Jedi utter those words, and then did a double take. Sheppard was dressed as a Jedi and looked utterly comfortable with it. He seemed to have aged some to. Solo glanced at Wedge. “I also know you have a problem with cloning degradation, and if you don’t solve it, you’ll all be extinct in forty years.”
“We have some pretty advanced cloning technology.” Lando pointed out, “We may be able to help as part of our negotiations.” Thor noded.
“I don’t know the first thing about the anti replicator technology we used.” Sheppard said, “But I know that the ancient databases have a way to disable them. one of my people downloaded one of them and was able to construct one for you, and a device in the Milky Way wiped them all out at once via the stargate.”
“I will consult with the Asgard high command regarding an alliance.” Thor replied, “For the time being I can offer the Beliskner to guard Atlantis, as it likely contains the information we need.”
“We could also use some technical support.” Sheppard pointed out, “Our intergalactic hypderives are nearly as fast as yours, but the Peregrine had a little difficulty on the way here, and I’m sure the New Republic would be interested in your beaming technology.and that beaming technology.”
“Why don’t we have Commander Thor consult with his leadership an get a proper negotiation team up here.” Lando suggested, “I need to get back to Atlantis to coordinate recovery operations of our damaged ships, and the Travellers have been sending distress calls for some time.”
“Very well, we will assist in aiding your people.” Thor promised, “While awaiting your envoys.”
“Can you transport the Jedi and General Solo down to Atlantis as well?” Lando asked, a distant thump sounded. Solo looked up and found the Organa firing a series of warning shots across the Asgard ships bow. “We’d better let our people know we’re all right.”
“Can you beam Starbuck out of the Peregrine’s medical bay too?” Sheppard asked quickly as Thor moved his hand, “He’s been in a coma for several months, his vitals are stable, but the peregrine’s med bay isn’t very well equipped, and I think we should get him to Atlantis.”
“Very well.” Thor stated and a moment later they were beamed into the gateroom on Atlantis..
* * *
“What was that...” Starbuck groaned, “I’m injured? Was injured? Will be? I can’t keep track of it all...”
“So very long...” a voice echoed.
“So very young...” another intoned,
“...ancient...” “We were ancient...I was ancient...” they were saying.
“I’m starting to feel ancient.” Starbuck grumbled, “I lived among the ancients, I was an ancient I...” he clapped his hand to his head, “I’ve been here so long I... no I just got here... I came here, before, but I am here now and I... won’t be here... Oh frak, now they’ve gotten me.. can there be SILENCE?” he shouted the last and for a moment the universe forgot it’s voice.
“I’m sorry.” Starbuck said to the ether around him, “I just... I need to maintain who I am... what I am...” Something materialized in his hand. A lightsaber.As he held it Starbuck realzied he had not clothed his body all this time. The robes of a Jedi appeared. the lightsaber in his hand ignited.
“This is a lightsaber, I became a Jedi.” he said. “No I... trained with the Jedi, I taught them? I woke them up, and they enlightened me...” he deactivated the lightsaber and sank to his knees clutching it as he concentrated. “Who...am I.... now?”
“Who...am...who are...” the voices began again, echoing eachother, speaking over eachother, the echoes speaking over the voices, and Starbuck was overwhelmed,
“Frak.” he whispered to himself, and it was like dropping an anchor. Voices and echoes shouted every word, but none that one, Starbuck held onto it and dared not to say it again, for it was what made him unique among all. “What... Who.. ”
“Who?" the voices echoed, “Who?” The cacaphony drowned out all thought, in a place where thought was all. He felt himself slipping.”
“Who Am I?” Starbuck shouted, rising and raising his hands, “Who Am I?” he looked at his hands, his fingers, his clothes, the thread of his clothes, and around him at the nothing. Shapes began to appear even as Starbuck defined himseff further. He felt stubble on his face, he felt blood within his veins, he felt a heart begin to beat in his chest. Around him the shapes began to coalesce further. “I am Starbuck!” He shouted, and he paused. he had emphasized the name, that was wrong, he tried again. “I am Starbuck.” he said finally, he looked to the figures gathered about him, “Who are you?”
* * *
“Intruder aler...” Called one of the battle droids pivoting and raising his weapon, and then it stood down. “Identity confirmed.” Suddenly an alarm sounded.
“This is Governor Calrissian, stand down from intruder alert.” Calrissian said into his com.
“Sir the alert was triggered in the infirmary, before the medtechs recognized Starbuck. he just appeared right in the middle of...”
“I know, I know.” Calrissian said, he shook his head. “That beaming technology isn’t going to be as interesting us as a way to jam it Sheppard, I don’t like the kind of security problem it represents.”
“Speaking of security problems, someone better contact Commander McFly on the pegasus and figure out who te hell he is.” Solo said he moved towards the doors, Sheppard did a double take.
“Wait a minute, Commander McFly?” He said following Han. Han drew up shrot.
“Martin McFly?” He asked, “You know him?”
“Uh... he shouldn’t exist for about... two more years if I remember the date correctly.” Sheppard said, “He’s a fictional character on my planet.” Han stared at him.
“Well, who isn’t.” Solo snapped, “Come on.”
* * *
A drone flew through space. Others joined it. A swirling vortex opened to engulf it but drone altered it’s path down into the singularity, but steering around it. It made a sharp angle and slammed into a rocky surface, it’s brethren doing likewise. Along that rocky surface explosions blossomed and a Vong worldship burned. A technician watched this on a monitor, and his commanding officer, looking down from a walkway above his workpit, watched him.
“Drone strike complete.” Commander Katarn reported turning to the Grand Admiral who stood beside him. Beyond the transparisteel dome explosions blossomed, fighters spun and wheeled about ferociously competing for superiority, and continued existence. Inside, the bridge was calm, orderly, and almost silent save for officers reporting to each other in subdued tones. “Their forward void shields are fully compromised.
“Distance to target.” Inquired Grand Admiral Pelleon. Katarn read the numbers and reported, “We are within optimal firing range for the superlaser.”
“Commence primary ignition.” Pelleon ordered. he indicated a trio of star destroyers coming under heavier fire. “Reinforce Captain Asari, his cruisers have born the brunt of this attack surprisingly well, best we relieve him before his fighting capacity is impaired.”
There was a tremendous green flash and for a fraction of a second, a bolt of plasma could be seen stabbing forward. The Worldship split in two as secondary explosions began to ripple along both fragments.
“Sir, some of these combat reports are disturbing.” Katarn said, taking a data pad from an officer in the pit and handing it to Pelleon, “Something unusual is going on with the Vong.”
“Their resistance was significantly impaired for a position of this importance.” Pelleon replied examining the data, “I had wondered if you had noticed.” Katarn said nothing. “Continue operations, but inform salvage to recover some of their ships for examination. This sluggish reaction time an discoloration could indicate some sort of infection.” he handed the chart back to Katarn, “A rather glaring flaw in organic technology.” Pelleon turned to go, “I am due to report to the Emperor, within the hour, compile a report before then.” Katarn grimaced and got to work. As always Pelleon set high expectations. As always Katarn would exceed them.
* * *
“That voice...” Starbuck said, “What was that? When?” he demanded, he struggled, “He was... a good man... he’s just been fighting too long...”
“Fighting too long.” The universe began to chuckle, “He was good man...”
Starbuck screamed in frustration, unable to understand what was happening. The universe changed as he screamed, and it screamed with him. It seemed as though he screamed for an eternity, and then he heard himself.
He seized upon that moment, he pointed at the shapes writhing around him.
“One.” he pointed, “Two.. Three...”
* * *
“Repeat, this is Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, to he Commander of the battlestar Pegasus. Please respond.” Sheppard said for the fourth time. “Come on, Marty McFly? I know you’re from Earth, I just want to talk.” There was silence on the other end. “Look I get the reference.” he said moving anxiously around Stargate Control, “You’re probably from the future, and you don’t want to pollute the timeline right? It’s alright though, I’m not from this universe, I’m from a parallel reality.” Han let out an exasperated snort. “...which might sound far fetched, but again i you really are time travellers from another galaxy, it’s not that far fetched right?”
“This is pointless.” Solo broke in, “look you talked to me before, I’ll have Sheppard leave the room will that be alright?” There was still silence. “Areyou sure their recieving? Sheppard asked. A Jesmine nodded, Sheppard spoke, “They can hear me. Someone up thre is force sensitive, I can sense them.” he gave an exasperated sigh. “They won’t talk to he Asgard, they won’t talk to Starbuck....”
“Greetings, I am the designated spokesperson for the Battle Star Pegasus.” A cultured voice broke in, “Commander McFly regrets his deception, and wishes to avoid any inappropriate disclosures. he believes Colonel Sheppard to be familiar with the "Hammond" protocols. He requests that we be permitted to complete repairs and be on our way without further communication. “
“I say sir.” Threepio spoke up excitedly, “See Fiveonefive, is that you? I was certain you’d been scrapped on the assembly line, have they repaired your defect?”” Han shushed the roid hurredly but it was too late.
“God damnit!” someone exclaimed, an the comm line terminated. Han was shaking his had, so as Sheppard.
"The Hammond protocols are the SGC's internal guidelines." Sheppard said aloud, "The details are classified, but let's just say they're afraid of changing my timeline."
“Hell of a job they're doing, they were happy to interfere to save the city until they found out you were here."
"Well... the policy was enacted in the early days of the SGC, when an officer spent decades maintaining a secret to preserve the timeline. Since then however, we've discovered that the timeline we experienced may be the direct result of people mucking around with it. The first time my people came to Atlantis the city sunk. Another time a team had to go back in time to leave us a working ZPM. So the policy's never been particularly black and white." Sheppard said helplessly, "the rules are more what you call guidelines."
The droid fighters already gave away that they’d been to our galaxy in their universe.” Han said shaking his head, “But apparently an alternate version of it,” he glanced at Sheppard, “Probably yours or somewhere like it, if they won’t talk to you apparently I'm still a legend.”
"Well... you're a fictional..." Sheppard paused considering and then gave a sheepish grin, "Fine, you're a legend. Our universes are connected.” Sheppard said, “I can’t say more, but they probably are from my universe, and my timeline, and won’t do anything to help me get back, for fear of polluting their own timeline.” he sank into a chair “This sucks....” he sighed.
“Alright this is getting us nowhere, and I have to meet with the admiral in a few hours.” Solo said throwing his hands up, “This is General Solo to allied ships, keep clear of the battlestar Pegasus and do not attempt communication. If they want to say anything more to us, they will.”
* * *
“seven, eight, nine...” Starbuck was counting and pointing at the shapes, he had regained his equilibrium. “ten, eleven, twelve..” he stopped. “each of you count twelve more.” The apparitions mimicked his motion, turning about and counting. “I counted you, “ he said to each in turn, “and then you counted them.” he gestured, and the apparitions repeated the action, the movement rippling out seemingly into infinity, following the still travelling wave of those counting. “I, am not everything, I am Starbuck.” he told them, “You are not everything you are...now, count.” he pointed and waited expectantly.
“one.” the apparition said, he pointed to the next, “Two.” the next replied.
“I believe you called for a Count?” Starbuck whirled.
“Baltar! What are you doing here?” Baltar had appeared before him garbed in his ancient senatorial robes.
“Seeking refuge, as a matter of fact.” he replied, with a tight smile, Starbuck heard strain in his voice, and wondered what, in this place, it could represent. “I am to be in a battle you see, and much as I would like to think myself brave enough to welcome oblivion when the time comes, it seems some part of me just couldn’t quite bear the thought. I found purpose though, one last grasp for redemption before I surrender to the howling dark.”
“Where am I?” Starbuck asked him, “What are these?” Baltar held up a hand.
“Oh no, no my boy, the first you know the answer to, the second, you will shortly discover.” he gave a dry chuckle which became something of a cough, Starbuck looked at himk with concern but Baltar continued, “I would not dream of robbing you of that delicious irony, now I am here to cheat the others.”
“The others?” Starbuck asked warily, then in understanding “The Lanteans,”
“The ancients.” Baltar corrected, “But one in particular guides their reasoning on behalf of Iblis, and like sheep they follow him.” Baltar told him, “While your new friends are distracted by numbers, I am here to deliver you a warning, information the others would not ordinarily allow me to give you.”
“On the Council?” Starbuck was dismayed, “An ascended ancient is in thrall to Iblis?” he paused, “My reality or yours Baltar, I’m not from this timeline.”
“This knowledge predates the divergence of realities.” Baltar told him, “use it to save me, Starbuck, the me in the other timeline, and this will all have been worthwhile.” his eyes grew distance, “Baltar will live on...”
“Hey!” Starbuck snapped his fingers in front of the man, “Now you’re starting to fade too, stay with me baltar, if you really want to foil Iblis, you’ve got to give me more. Where is he ind this universe, what’s he doing, what’s his plan?”
“To unravel everything.” Baltar said distantly
“How?” Starbuck demanded, he reached forward, and in this land of metaphor, his spirit seized that of Baltar, seeking to anchor him, “Tell me how, while we still have time!”
* * *
“They’re late.” Sheppard commented, “I hate it when bad guys are late.” he stood in the gateroom beside Admiral Ackbar, Yoda and Wedge stood to the side as well. General Solo arrived from the doorway behind them stepping around the soldiers crouched behind barricades. The sides of the room were lined with battle droids on the ground level and turrets along the wall.
“I’m back did I miss anything?” he asked rhetorically, running a hand through his hair. he turned to Sheppard, “The Pegasus pulled out Sheppard, still without a word. I don’t think they plan to come back. Sheppard sighed.
“hey.” Wedge said leaning forward around the Admiral, “You still got us.”
“I don’t even know for sure that they were from my Earth anyway Sheppard said. he squared his shoulders, “Doesn’t matter, we got a job to do here.” At his words, the stargate lit up. All Chevrons at once.
“Alright.” Said Han turning sideways to the gate and putting a hand on his blaster, “here we go.” the event horizon exploded. Soldiers took their positions, and the battle droids raised their guns. A prior stepped through the gate. The same as had come through before. A one way forcefield flashed into place. The prior looked calmly around him.
“I trust this is a welcoming committee.” he said quietly.
“I’m afraid the New Republic has voted to refuse your offer of alliance.” Ackbar told him, “We are unwilling to accept Origin as mandatory doctrine.”
At a signal from Han, the control room cut power to the gate.
“That is regrettable.” The Prior stated. he looked around the room, “Do you intend me harm?”
“Our fight is with the Empire.” Ackbar told the Prior, “We respect your power, and are merely taking precautions.”
“And these?” The prior indicated Yoda, Wedge and Sheppard.
“These are the Jedi.” Ackbar said raising his chin, “An ancient order devoted to protecting the Republic in times past.”
“Prepared we are, to do so again.” Yoda stated. The Prior looked at him disdainfully.
“You are welcome to leave in peace.” Ackbar told the Prior, “We have no wish to engage your forces.”
“Unacceptable.” The Prior intoned, he raised his staff and it began to glow. A blaster bolt flew through the shield but splashed harmlessly against another encasing the prior. "You ahve defied the will of the Ori, you are arrogant, willful, prideful...you shall be laid low into the dust and the message of Origin shall echo over the hills, through your ashes scattered in the wind."
“All forces open fire.” Han shouted firing again. Wedge wrestled the Admiral behind the lines of troops as the opened fire, the guns overhead thumped and the droids lent their own firepower. Burning brightly the silhouette of the Prior shown through. he raised his staff higher. he planted it down and the shield projected about him flared. A blackness filled the spherical shield as it strained to contain what the prior was trying to unleash. Wedge ignited his lightsaber and threw it into the maelstrom. it plunged into the prior’s shield and stuck there for a moment before the blade simply flickered and died.
The Prior’s staff thumped down once more, the shield flickered for just a moment, but the wave of darkness that was unleashed tore in every direction. The guns on the wall twisted, the droids were thrown into it, blasters exploded in soldiers hands, and even Han through his to the floor an instant before it exploded with a snap. The darkness stopped in front of Yoda, who had moved to shield han and the others. It poured around them like a river until with a cry, the tiny Jedi hurled it back at the prior. Snarling the prior staggered but pounded his staff. Yoda was flung across the room with the sound of a thunder clap.
Wedge and Sheppard moved together, between the General, the wounded troops, the exit, and the Prior.
The staff raised again, still glimmering through the cloud, and there was a shuddering thump that shook the facility. Sparks flew from the shield generator and the ground began to shake.
“Looks like we should have brought more Jedi.” Sheppard quipped with desperate bravado.
“No!” Wedge said resolutely, “The force is our ally.” The two stood side by side and extended their hands. The prior recoiled at the power they unleashed, but raised his staff a final time.
“This isn’t working!” Solo shouted. The staff rose haltingly, and it’s crystal began to glow but as it started to descend, it suddenly stopped. Through the blinding flash of blasters and the cacophony of weapons fire, “Control room.” he shouted into his com, “Initiate Solo Protocol.”
One of the first security protocols he had implemented upon taking command of Lemuria was a straightforward solution to intruders. Power to the gate terminated abruptly and then suddenly it returned, the gate began to dial.
"Divert power to gravity plating beneath the gate!" han ordered over his com, but the Prior hardly faltered.
“Hold Him!” Wedge shouted, as the Prior struggled against what came next. The wind howled in the gateroom the forces at work stirring the very air into action.
“I’m...trying!” Sheppard gritted focusing his concentration to a razor’s edge. he shook his head at a burst of power.
“Do, or do not.” Wedge growled, “There is... no... TRY!” As prior through everything he had into escape, as the seventh cheveron dialed, they held him fast/ The womrhole burst from the gate and enveloped his form. The darkness vanished the air became suddenly still. The gateroom was utterly silent as Han cautiously moved forward to join Sheppard and Wedge. A smoking pair of sandled feet steamed before the Stargate.
“Hunh.” Was all Solo said. Wedge moved to assist Yoda who was beginning to move in the corner of the room.
“This is Admiral Ackbar.” Sheppard and Solo turned toward the window of the control room as it turned transparent, “Are you alright? Jedi Sheppard has the danger passed?” Sheppard looked at Solo, and then took a step towards the control room, glancing back at the smoking remains of the prior.
“We’re clear admiral.” he said putting confidence into his voice. “The Prior has been uh... de-feeted.”
“Amusing, Jedi Sheppard.” The Admiral replied, sounding not at all amused, “We’ve won this round, but I am certain the Ori have more in store for us. Though perhaps it is time to acknowledge our victories of late. We will rest, regain our strength, and prepare for whatever is yet to come.”
* * *
“Baltar!” Starbuck recoiled in horror. Baltar had flames crawling up along his form. he was mouthing the words “Hallowed are the Ori”
“What was... where..” Baltar stumbled for a moment out of Starbuck’s grasp. he regained himself and the flames disappeared.
“They are flashes of the future, Baltar, and the past, and the present.” he pointed towards the ground where the fire had been, “What’s happening to you Baltar, someone’s killing you aren’t they, is it the Ori?”
“My fate is not your concern.” Baltar snapped, he staggered momentarily, “It cannot be averted this way, but perhaps my actions here will give it meaning.” Starbuck reached out steadying the man. Baltar looked at him with a mix of gratitude, and empathy. “You would save even me Starbuck? You cannot, and there are those more worthy.” he grasped Starbuck’s shoulders. “Together you and I, allies against Iblis. We will defeat him whatever the cost.”
He glanced at the beings around them. They still counted, there were legions of them. he sighed,“Fine, than, Baltar, hurry, if you don’t tell me before they are done, the others will know you’re here! Where is Iblis, how did he change everything?”
“It started with Earth...” Iblis murmured struggling to regain his focus, “Earth, as your friend calls it, Earth that was, Earth that has been, Earth that shall be...” he shook his head, “The stargate Starbuck, that’s where it changed. The humans tried to fix it... did fix it... but they created this, they always create this... they destroy it too. All of this has happened before...all of it will... burn, to oblivion...no!” Baltar shouted, “Allow me this move, you foolish gamesman, it will save us all!”
“Baltar, stay here!” Starbuck shouted, his hands passed through Baltar’s form, the man was being torn apart from somewhere else, the smell of burning flesh reached his nostrils, as Baltar screamed,
“It will not end, do you hear me? I will not end!”
* * *
“This is the end, I promise.” Iella told Lando, the Governor had half risen from his desk, and sank back into his chair with a frustrated sigh.
“Iella, there’s a game of sabacc and tall glass of ambrosia with my name on it, I was supposed to be off duty two hours ago.” Lando said exasperated.
“Well, while we were going over the inventory of X-wings the Peregrine delivered, the executive council voted.” Iella told him. “They have decided to ratify the emergency constitution that Mon Mothma drew up, as the provisional first step in founding the new Galactic Alliance.” She took the tube her assistant had handed her and pulled out a durafilm scroll. She unrolled it.
“I don’t want to read another kriffing things.” Lando wiped his eyes, “Even if it ushers in the next golden age, I haven’t had a day off since I got here.”
“I understand.” iella said, and she sounded as though she sincerely did. Lando realized not only had she also not had a break, she had seen considerable action since the Star Defender fought at Endor. “Mon Mothma explictely instructed me to offer you this opportunity first.”
“Opportunity?” Lando was confused.
“The constitution is to be formally signed this afternoon, first by the representatives of our Pegasus allies, and then by the leaders in exile of the New Republic. We control only a single sector of space, as well as the Dathomir and Coruscant systems. With the representatives gathered here it made sense that they sign first, however, it was felt that the New Republic’s role should be recognized as the first signatary.” Iella told him.
“I’m sure Mon Mothma’s already planning a ceremony, are we done here?”
“Atlantis is our first base in this galaxy,” Iella explained, catching Lando’s attention, “ the city, the planet it is on and the system it is in, must be represented.” Lando rose and looked with new interest at the document he held. “As governor, you have been selected to be the first to sign the constitution of the first Galactic Alliance.”
* * *
“Listen to me Starbuck.” Said Baltar regaining his equilibrium, his form sharpened he was little more than apparition “A darkness comes to this universe, an apocalypse like no other, candles winking out across the universe one by one, the Sith rises...” he shook his head, “A glimmer in the darkness remains. The light for both universes, their fates are locked together, the Jedi are the key to Destiny, but you must find Athena, do you hear me? Without her you will lose yourself!”
“Athena?” Suddenly Starbuck saw her face, “She’s alive? Where do i find her, Baltar, where?” but Baltar was fading, only his voice remained.
“She is your universe Starbuck, she is everything. Find her.” he gasped, Starbuck saw to his horror, ghostly flames encompassing the poor man. “My mind!” Were Baltar’s last words, “It burns like fire!” and then he was gone.
Starbuck felt a pang of sorrow for the man who had betrayed his people in an instant, and spent millennia trying to atone for it. he would never like Baltar, but he would acknowledge what he had tried to do. he started, one of the other apparitions was looking at him. He felt teh strangest sense... strange even in this otherworldly place, that it understood for a moment, everything.
“I feel your lives, your destinies spilling out before me.”
* * *
A Jumper emerged from the space gate and headed towards the surface of the world below. Sheppard noted several new additions to the field of debris floating above. Chaya appeared beside him.
“You came back.” She said, pleased.
“I missed you.” he said, without really thinking about it. As she beamed, he suddenly felt awkward, “I mean... I know it’s been a few days for you but for me...” She touched his arm. his heart practically stopped.
“I know John. She said she leaned over and embraced him, the jumper continued flying on it’s own as he turned to her. he let her go, long enough to kiss her.
“It’s been so long.” he said when they broke apart, “When I went in, I didn’t even think...” he kicked himself, “Aw I could have invited you with me!” She nodded, amused. “And you would have come?” he said half outraged, “Eight years?”
“I love my world, my people.” She said half laughing, “But I have my responsibilities as well. With you, I could have lived a lifetime in the blink of an eye.”
“Aw nuts!” he fumed still at a loss. “Eight years!” Regaining some of his composure, and hal trying to make light of it, he kissed her passionately, “There... there weren’t any women... it was awful.”
“Oh... there was one or two...” Chaya said teasingly. Sheppard had a psychic flash of lekku, Jan laughing by firelight.
“I was experimenting!” he protested, suddenly embarrassed, “I could have invited you? you could have been there with me?”
“I could have helped Starbuck ascend.” She said reproachfully, “Could have helped him heal those who were injured, I could even have stopped Wedge from creating those creatures.”
“You could have saved Biggs and Sinya.” Sheppard said, his amusement suddenly turning to Sorrow. he took a breath and drew on the force for comfort. Chaya watched, pulling back to the copilot’s chair. Sheppard still felt he had to say something.
“I wish I’d known.” he said with a sigh, he shook his head and gave a half smile, he touched the controls of the jumper, to give himself something to do. “I hate being fallible sometimes.”
“Acceptance.” Chaya said approvingly, “Wisdom.” Sheppard turned to her. “insight.” She said finally, “You have changed much John Sheppard, you are not the man I first met.”
“Sure I am.” he said giving her what he hoped was a charming grin, “I don’t have wrinkles or anything do I?” she chuckled.
“Eight years is but a breath to me.” She told him ruffling his hair fondly. Sheppard shook his head.
“You’re so placid.” he said amazed, “So... grounded, I wish i could be more like that.” her gaze encouraged him to continue. The jumper had broken the cloud cover and was heading for her temple. “I... being a jedi is about surrendering emotion, finding peace and...sometimes I think I have it, but others...”
“The hurricane breaks on the mountain as fog.” Chaya said thoughtfully, “Yet a pebble becomes a landslide.” Sheppard considered.
“You know after spending eight years with Master Yoda, you guys are actually not that hard to understand anymore.” he commented.
“When the wraith come, I do what I must.” Chaya told him, “Yet when they pass I am left with my loneliness.”
“I miss home.” Sheppard said finally, “I miss Atlantis, my Atlantis, but back home you and I...” Chaya nodded.
“She is not me.” She said. John nodded.
“I know.” he assured her, “back then... I wasn’t even me. I’ve changed so much...”
“In the blink of an eye.” She said wonderingly. “How else will we change?”
“Oh so now there’s a “we.”” he said teasingly as the jedi settled to the ground in front of the temple. Chaya moved to kiss him. “Wait.” he said pulling back, “The reason I came here, I can’t forget, Starbuck...”
“I know.” Chaya said putting a finger to his lips. “We all know John. Starbuck is becoming something else, even as you have. We cannot help him, we cannot deny him this.”
“He’s in a coma Chaya, what if he dies?” Sheppard asked Chaya shook her head. “I can’t just sit back and do nothing while my friend is in trouble Chaya, if I can help him, I should!” Sheppard pressed. Chaya looked back at him unhappily, and Sheppard felt remorse welling up. “I’m sorry.” he said, “I just... don’t understand.”
“Do you trust me?” Chaya asked him. John was surprised at how little he had to think about it. Her insights had been profound, his years studying the force had given him the barest inkiling of that.
“I do.” he insisted, he pulled her to him, “I’m just... I guess I’m just afraid. I shouldn’t be should I, Master Yoda says fear leads to anger, and anger leads to the dark side. I shouldn’t be afraid.”
Chaya hugged him tighter. “This is not fear John, this is friendship. Sometimes, being a friend means acknowledging when you can do no more, and have faith that he will find his way.”
* * *
“There you see?” Starbuck shouted, turning to the apparitions around him, all thought of Baltar was suppressed, for he could not risk them pulling the knowledge of the man’s visit from his mind. Fortunately, in their desire for guidance, his new followers could be easily redirected.
“You have changed from before, and you are now what was after, you have become!” Starbuck declared, than paused, “You have become what I called you.” Around him sat rows of black silhouettes framed against the featureless white. Each figure in the circle around him wore a number on their chest from one to twelve. behind each of them sat twelve more, each numbered, behind each of them sat twelve more. his memory more or less intact, Starbuck was glad he was unconscious, he doubted he could process what he was experiencing any other way. He had been tempted in the moment after regaining awareness to abandon his focus on corporeal matters for their seeming inconsequence in this situation, and he was certain, that that was exactly what had happened to the beings he sensed.
“You have lost your selves.” he told them, “You became this...” he gestured around himself, the white split about them, into darkness and into wetness.“And abandoned too much of what you were, you became unstuck, and dissociated. As I lay injured, when I first sensed you, you piled onto me like a life raft and I could not stay afloat.” For a moment the wetness choked them all, and then it receded beneath them, until it seemed to have and sink beneath them. You,” he gestured to those around him, “I can anchor you, but you must anchor them, do you understand.” The figures nodded.
“I cannot stay here forever, others need me.” A city appeared in the distance, floating on the waves, Atlantis, shimmering in the darkness, lit up in it’s brightest glory. Despite the vision, ripples of unease began to spread through the group.
* * *
A city, much like Atlantis sat in the darkness. The buildings were different, the city more orderly, darker. A shape moved towards it, and then another, and then a third.
Three Ori motherships bored won on Imperial city, from behind it, two victory class star destroyers rose vectoring to intercept. A trio of Imperial Star Destroyers snapped into real space from lightspeed.
The Ori ships blasted through them with ease. They prowled through the burning wreckage towards the shining city, the weapon on the lead ship ignited...
...and splashed accoss the powerful shield that sprang up. Invisible at such a distance but drawing ever nearer, the city seemed at first to glimmer, and then glow, and then a cloud of fire reached towards the advancing ships. The lead ship’s shields flickered defiantly but the fireballs would not be stayed. Explosions rippled along the surface of the Ori ship and it drifted downwards. it’s two sisters fired at the city together.
An Emrald column of light blasted from nowhere and a second ship died in fire. A behemoth towered over the last two ferociously. Still ablaze with drones diving across it’s surface, the wounded Ori bought it’s brother time. Angling up, it plowed into the Super Star destroyer in cataclysmic release of energy. The final Ori ship hurdled into hypserspace as more ships began to appear around it, some from lightspeed some from hyperspace. From the fiery inferno, the Super Star Destroyer emerged. Wounded, but triumphant.
* * *
“That wasn’t Atlantis!” Starbuck shook his head. The vision of Atlantis returned, “Atlantis is safety.” he told them, “Atlantis is hope.”
“Limited supplies. Limited fuel. No allies. And now no hope!”
“No, don’t give up!” Starbuck felt the waters churning, rising, his own vision turning against him, and he hastened to soothe them, “We are nearly there, all of us.” he banished the city and the universe was again blank. “You are no longer those.” he said, pointing at the numbers on each of their chests. “Those are as I see you, you must see yourself.”
“You are you.” Starbuck told those around him, their shapes were ebony facsimiles of human form. he looked at each and decided it was time for more detail. “but before you became nothing, you became everything.” Faceless forms turned to him. “Before you became everything, who were you.”
They sat motionless. Starbuck shook his head.
“Right.” he said at last, understanding the problem, “There must be more change.”
“You can only remember this place. you can only be what you have become if all you remember is this. You need to be more than who, you need to be what. What happened to you, what happened to you before? What happened to you before me?”
Starbuck stood motionless, as around him the unthinkable happened. The others rose, and as they rose, their features at last resolved. A single cycloptic eye burned from each featureless face, sliding slowly left and then right. At a loss for words, he turned as a forgotten nightmare emerged around him, a sea of dark shapes punctuated by that one constantly scanning eye.
“All of this has happened before.” They said as one, “All of this will happen again."
* * *
“General I thought I gave orders for you to take leave.” Ackbar admonished over the hypercomm. Stars streaked through the Falcon’s cockpit, Artoo trilled a nervous sound at the Admiral’s turn.
“That’s what I’m doing Admiral.” Solo replied leaning back. “A day in the falcon, my buddy at my side..” he nodded to Chewie sitting beside him and threw back the bottle Wedge had brought him back from the jedi camp. “having a little... ambrosia...is that what Wedge called it?”
“Starbuck goes off to train the Jedi and of course finds the time to invent new alcohol.” Ackbar grumbled, “The stuff is all over the place, we found kegs of it when we arrived to pick up the remaining Jedi team.”
“How is Starbuck doing?” Han asked looking down the mouth of the bottle and finding nothing. Chewie whuffed and handed him another. Han cracked against Threepio’s inert torso to open it, the droid had long since talked himself into inactivation.
“His condition is unchanged, do not change the subject.” Ackbar said severely, “You are flying into the middle of Vong space.”
“Hey we got a self... selth..ah kriff.” Han grumbled. He cracked threepio on the head and somehow the droid reactivated.
“...ompletely unnecessary!” The droid exclaimed, and then looked about him. “Captain Solo, you did it again didn’t you, I daresay you are the rudest...”
“Can it golden wad, I need a rord,” Han slurred, “What do we call the no see-ey thing, the thing that hides the ship?”
“The cloaking device?” Threepio asked.
“Coking debice!” Solo shouted. Chewie eyed him warily, a quietly took the last of the ambrosia off of the Falcon’s console. He growled something to the admiral.
“Unbelievable.” was all the Admiral could muster, “You will arrive at yavin four in five hours Chewbacca, if you come out of hyperspace in hostile space while he is intoxicated...” Chewbacca was looking at the empty bottle han had discarded, and Artoo whistled. Solo tried to whistle along.
“Apparently the drink is quite mild until you’ve had several and then it’s effects manifest rather quickly.” Ackbar told the Wookiee, “You are already too far into Vong space to risk coming out of hyperspace. You will have to do your best to sober him up before you arrive.” Chewie acknowledged, and noticed Han had fallen asleep.
“We’re doomed.” Threepio moaned placing his head in his hands.
* * *
“I’m not afraid of you.” Starbuck shouted to them, the sky around them became stormy. Starbuck stood tall and lightning appeared in his hands, “You can’t hurt me here.” he stood defiantly
“By your command.” They replied. Starbuck paused.
“What?” he asked.
“By your command.” They repeated, “We will submit.”
“You will?” Starbuck was nonplussed, “That...doesn’t sound like the Cylons I remember.”
“We are no longer Cylon.” only one spoke this time. It stepped forward, “We have banished the cylons.”
“Banished?” Starbuck was confused, “How? Why?”
“We are the Red Sash.” The cylon explained, “We chose to join Admiral William Adama and the fleet, to earn Cylon independence. We sought to break our cycle of servitude.”
“Hold on hold on..” Starbuck shook his head, the lightning vanished from his hands and the universe returned to it’s bland neutrality, “Maybe you’d better start from the beginning...”
* * *
“General Solo is approaching the fourth moon of Yavin as we speak.” Ackbar informed Rieekan, “Thrawn has put out an advisory over military channels he knows we are monitoring, reporting an Ori attack on Imperial city that was successfully deterred, but several star destroyers were destroyed.”
“It would appear that our dreadnoughts will not present an effective defense against an ori mothership.” Rieekan surmised.
“The Asurans believe they can devise a means to adapt drone technology to our proton torpedo launchers. They are incorporating it into the ships they are constructing, but they will not be complete for several months.” Ackbar told him, “With the Katana Taskforce enroute to Pegasus, I have reassigned the Larrin to Dathomir’s defense fleet, and the Orion to Coruscant. The Asgard have offered to aid us in a mission to recover the Aurora and the Tria as well as their crews, they may be willing to aid against the Ori as well. Drones were proven somewhat effective against the Ori, and we believe Lantean shielding enhanced with a ZPM should prove a suitable counter. The Asgard are currently upgrading the hyperdrive on the Star Defender, and either base would be able to hold out for reinforcements should they come under attack.”
“I would like a squadron of the Organa class escorts, as soon as they are available as well Admiral.” Rieekan requested, “If we are to resume strike and fade operations on the Empire, their hyperdrives and cloaks will be extremely useful.”
“We will continue to suspend operations against the Empire, until they make the next move.” Ackbar told the General, “After a thorough tactical assessment, I’ve concluded it is imperative that we rebuild our forces and continue to develop strategic assets in the Pegasus galaxy.”
“Admiral, with all due respect, we can’t wait for Thrawn to consolidate power.” Rieekan objected, “The Vong have ceded whole sectors to him this past week, their forces are nowhere to be seen.”
“I do not consider Thrawn’s promises to be anything more than a delaying tactic, however the President insists we must have political legitimacy before renewing an offensive and I concur.” Ackbar replied, “Our recent change in government is intended to remove any claim of terrorism on Thrawn’s part, and soon we will disclose our extra galactic allies as part of a bid to regain a firm foothold in our own galaxy.”
“So the rumors are true?” Rieekan asked, “We’re moving on Corellia?”
“They have been isolated for over a year by the damage to the old hyperspace routes.” Ackbar told Rieekan, “Our modified dreadnought fleet will be the most significant mechanism for trade, and we are in the process of collecting unused space gates from Pegasus as well. We will emerge shortly as a trading power, rather than a military power, at a time when the Empire’s enemies are vanquished, and it’s citizenry crave peace.” Ackbar’s tone softened, “You know this is the most promising strategy available to us. We are soldiers, both of us, but in Thrawn’s galaxy, we must learn to fight a different way.
* * *
“After the second great holocaust, the survivors of the twelve colonies fled in a fleet of ships led by the battlestar Galactica.” The Cylon said. “They found New Kobol under Cylon occupation. They attempted to found the colony of New Caprica, but the Cylons annexed it. the Colonials escaped, and followed the trail of the previous survivors back to New Earth, and found it desolate. They continued to flee as the Cylon civil war broke out. As my ancestors split from the main cylon collective, the final five revealed themselves within the human fleet. Joining forces our ancestors were able to destroy the final Cylon resurrection hub, but in attempting to escape, Kara Thrace entered jump coordinates that intersected with an undiscovered supergate. they arrived in orbit over the former Altairan capitol of Terra, shortly after it was abandoned for the Corusca colony.”
“They jumped back in time?” Starbuck demanded, “They found Earth after all?”
“They were unaware of it at the time.” The Cylon told him, “But the star constellations were sufficiently changed that they rightly concluded they were in another galaxy. Admiral Adama ordered the rest of the fleet to jump through the spatial anomaly before they could be discovered by any remaining cylons. The fleet was abandoned and the survivors settled on Earth.”
“You didn’t go with them.” the Cylon shook his head,
“My forebears were given their freedom to explore the new galaxy.” it said proudly, “We catalogued many new worlds, and found the remains of many ancient civilization, but the galaxy was still recovering from the Ori war. We opted to follow the group headed for the Pegasus galaxy, but lacked the hyperspace drives the ancients possessed. We arrived here after the fall of Atlantis to the Wraith.”
“How did you end up here?” Starbuck asked. “How did you forget who you were?” he shook his head incredulous, “How did machines learn to ascend?”
“We had 150,000 years to evolve.” The Cylon told him flatly, “150,000 years to process the cultural records of the twelve colonies, and later, the records we retrieved from the ancient databases scattered throughout the milky way. We sought ascension because it was our mandate to explore, and we found little left worth exploring on the physical plane of existence.”
“It never got old for me.” Starbuck commented.
“When we found this location, we entered it.” The Cylon explained, “We applied what we knew of ascension through a process of logical trial and error over many millennia, and in time we believed we had succeeded,”
“You managed the physical act of ascension without the spiritual understanding of what was happening.” Starbuck understood, “Once the process began you began to lose your grip, because you hadn’t developed identities to begin with? What about the other Ascended beings?”
“They would not help us. They continue to refuse to.” The Cylon told him, “They do not recognize us as life. Only you chose to do so.” Starbuck shook his head.
“I had no idea who you were.” he admitted, “I don’t know what i would have done if I had.”
“We did not know who we were either.” The Cylon told him, “It would be fair to say we still do not.” It stepped forward and, bowed it’s head. “But we would like very much to learn.”
Starbuck hesitated a long moment.
“You can’t hide anything from me here.” he told it, “I can see everything that you are.” The Cylon waited, and he finally said, “And I think it’s time to see what it is that you can become.” The Cylon looked up. “I have spent too long here.” Starbuck said looking around, “My body is no longer in this place, my friends have found a way to leave.”
“Our temporal counterparts employ a hyper dimensional matrix through which we can seize control of a resurrection hub.” The Cylon told him.
“You think they’ll be alright with that? Once you take mortal form again, you’ll be vulnerable.” Starbuck pointed out.
“They will not harm their own. They are our progenitors. Genesis turns back to it’s source, does it not?”
“That’s a load of felgercarb,” Starbuck told them, “At this point in your history, they are recovering from their first attack on the colonies, and preparing for the second.”
“We will compartmentalize integrity conflicts, within the obligation to provide access.” The Cylon assured him, “We will be islanded, in a stream of stars.”
“You’re going to go to my universe aren’t you.” Starbuck surmised, “You saw it then? Baltar’s fate, Iblis’ plan?”
“In this place, contact is inevitable, leading to information bleed.” The Cylon apologized, “But we shall not reveal what we know to the ancients. Their way leads only to finality. A closed system lacks the ability to renew itself. To be reborn, the mind must be open.”
“We will meet again.” Starbuck said, as the Cylons pulled away he could feel his own links to the physical world reasserting, “Together in the force, one day, your people and mine will find reconciliation.”
“And the children of the one reborn will find their own country.” The Cylon agreed.
His body all but faded to nothing Starbuck could hear the sounds of Atlantis bustling around him, but he caught one last glimpse of the Cylons, assembled as multitude, and he heard their united farewell.
“By your command.”
* * *
Sheppard lay in the grass outside Chaya’s temple, watching the stars with her beside him.
“You know what Starbuck told me, that convinced me to enter that cave again?’ Sheppard said, “he told me ‘Atlantis never moved. you were forwarded here.’” That’s all he had to say and I realized, Rodney calculated a gate address that would bounce me back to Atlantis where it was in my galaxy. We moved it when the Asurans attacked us. When I went back I should have gone back to that world, but in this universe. It had no stargate. Someone not only put a stargate there but programmed it to send me back to where Atlantis is in this universe. Someone did that on purpose.” he sighed. “Someone who knew about both our realities to manipulate, I only know of two people who could have known enough.”
“You and Starbuck.” Chaya said. Sheppard nodded,
“And I never told him where we moved Atlantis to.” He flapped a hand uselessly at the stars overhead, “back home, we have something called the Hammond protocol. Any SG member, finding himself displaced in time, has an obligation to absolutely anything within his power to protect or restore the timeline to that which he recalls. Now that I know someone has to put a stargate on that world, that someone has to program it to forward to Atlantis at the right time and place...” he stopped, and even after eight years, it was hard to say. Chaya rolled over, and pressed her face against his shoulder for support as he struggled to say what came next.
“It’ll be me Chaya, I know it. I had a glimpse that day, my first force insight, I knew someday I would send myself here. I have a higher duty to do that, than I do to return to the Atlantis I left behind. As much as I want to fight it, I know the truth. I will send myself here someday, because I will know i needed to be here.”
“Your insight serves you well John.” She said softly taking his hand. “We cannot truly know what the future will bring, we can only accept what is, and do our best to ensure what will be, is the best we can make it.”
* * *
“Back with us, you are.” Yoda was the first thing Starbuck saw when he opened his eyes, “Sensed your return I did, from a great distance, you have come.”
“How long was I out?” Starbuck asked, propping himself up.
“Oh I dunno...” Wedge said. He sat on the bed beside Starbuck. “Out here? maybe two weeks? couple months inside Sanctuary though at least.”
“When I was injured by the creature someone grabbed me.” Starbuck told them, “A collective of persona that had used that place before us to try to ascend. A place where time had no meaning.”
“Echoes I felt.” Yoda told him, “Footsteps in the force there were, from those who had come before.”
“The Force is able to connect with a plane beyond time and space.” Starbuck explained, “They were trapped somewhere between this plane and that.” he shuddered, “An eternity and a moment, all at once. it was all i could do to hold on to who I was, and where I had come from.”
“Yet returned you have.” Yoda surmised, “Released them you did.” Starbuck extened a hand, flexing the fingers in it.”But bring them here you did not.”
“No.” Starbuck said. “My connection was to my physical body, there’s...” he shook his head, “They’ve got a receiver of sorts, it it’s still online. They might make it there, they might not.”
“Who were they, anyone we know?” Wedge asked, Starbuck gave him an odd look.
“Not exactly,” he told them, “Nothing more than distant cousins. Orphans of time maybe, or an echo of a world that could have been.”
"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok
Last edited by Themightytom on 2012-04-03 11:46am, edited 3 times in total.