TITLE: A Dangerous Alliance
AUTHOR: Methos (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISCLAIMER: All things Stargate belong to Gekko, All things Babylon 5 and Crusade belong to Warner Brothers and J. Michael Straczynski.
SUMMARY: As the star ship Excalibur returns to earth for a refit, the new Quantum Drive tests go a bit ca ca, landing the Excalibur and its crew in a different time and place, though maybe here they can actually do some good.
SPOILERS: Babylon 5, A Call to Arms. Crusade TV show, Technomage Trilogy Books, Stargate Atlantis season 3 finale episode “First Strike”.
“Are we far enough away from the planet to jump yet?” Captain Gideon asked the helmsman as the ship shook from another energy blast.
“No sir, at least another ten minutes until its safe to jump to hyperspace.” The helmsman of the Excalibur replied.
The Excalibur and its crew had been sent to this planet by way of the Rangers who had found out some new information as to why the native civilisation had recently become extinct, rumour was they had been exposed to the same plague that Earth had, but when the Excalibur had arrived they had found a large Drakh fleet waiting for them.
As the ship shook from another blast the doors to the bridge opened with Galen stood there, uncharacteristically looking shaken and holding onto the side of the door as the ship shook around him.
“Ah, The Drakh,” Galen noted from the main screen where four main fighters were trying to block their escape. “Pesky things aren’t they?”
“Lieutenant, what about the new drives President Sheridan had installed last time we were in dry dock?” Gideon asked.
“Untested sir, we were supposed to report to Sector forty nine to test them in two weeks.” Lieutenant Matheson replied with a grimace as the ship shook again.
“No time like the present, fire them up.” Gideon said with a smile, he’d heard about the new Quantum Drives that Sheridan had had developed from left over Vorlon tech. The Excalibur was the first ship to get them installed because of the power requirements, like The Excalibur’s main weapon system, the Vorlon tech used a lot of power, more than most ships were capable of generating. Hopefully the new Quantum Drive would allow ships to travel through Quantum space to a destination in a fraction of the time it would take through Hyperspace.
“New drives?” Galen asked curiously.
“Some Vorlon design or something, we had them installed last time we docked for repairs. Haven’t gotten around to testing them yet, but President Sheridan swears they are good for entering Quantum Space in solar systems, even in atmospheres safely.” Gideon replied, smiling slightly as he saw another Drakh cruiser get shot down from his ships secondary weapons system.
“Quantum drives you say, Mathew that is a dangerous idea, playing with Quantum technology is always dangerous.” Galen replied, trying not to come off as smug, just someone who knew what they were talking about.
“We don’t exactly have a choice Galen; there are fifteen Drakh heavy cruisers behind us with more on the way. We can’t jump to Hyperspace for another ten minutes and if those Cruisers catch us we won’t have ten minutes.” Gideon snapped back.
“Listen to me carefully Mathew; Quantum technology is dangerous and unpredictable. The Vorlons may have created it, but they didn’t use it, ask yourself why. The Vorlons, The Shadows, even my order only use Hyperspace. If Quantum drives were better than Hyperspace then why didn’t they use them?” Galen replied with a half smile, knowing that he had won the argument.
“I understand, they haven’t even been tested yet and I’ll take you’re warning under advisement, now ready the ship for the jump into Quantum Space.”
The entire bridge seemed to stop for a second; they all knew that when the Technomage warned you about something, it was normally for a very good reason. The Technomage’s were the most advanced race in the known galaxy, now that the first ones had left, if they weren’t happy with using Quantum Drives, then there was something wrong with the technology.
“Ready Captain.” Matheson reported from beside Galen.
“Jump to Quantum Space.” Gideon ordered as he braced himself and gripped his chair tightly.
“Jump.” Matheson repeated.
As the blue swirling vortex appeared in front of them, destroying several Drakh fighters as it formed, Galen’s eyes went wide, and for the first time since casting the spell of destruction he actually felt fear and anticipation. Quantum technology was forbidden by his order for reasons they had never disclosed, now he was going to find out why.
As the ship entered Quantum Space the feelings were like nothing the crew had ever felt before, Gideon wanted to scream but found no sound would come, he felt like he was being torn apart and then put back together instantly. Turning to look at Galen his vision clouded, even the motion of turning his head made it worse, it was like looking at the world in time frames that were overlapping by a few seconds.
His inner ear felt like it was on fire, his wobbled on his chair as he turned, his balance shot to hell. Glancing around he swore he could see things shifting in the shadow’s, the walls of the ship were turning translucent and then forming again right before his eyes. He could see out of the corner of his eye a few of the crew members falling to the floor, pools of sick were forming in front of them before the crew members were actually vomiting.
Time was stopping, rewinding and them speeding up as unimaginable speeds, it seemed like time itself was being pulled apart and reordering itself then it abruptly stopped.
Looking out the view screen Gideon paused for a second, taking in the view of Quantum Space. It was beautiful; like hyperspace is some ways but unlike anything he had seen before it others. For one it was blue, bright blue with green threads running through it, trying to get a gauge for distance Gideon tried to focus on one point of it before blinking and shaking his head.
It was strange, he could definitely see three dimensions in Quantum Space, but there was something else here, a fourth dimension at work, weaved into the normal three dimensions, trying to look at something, or trying to get a position was giving him a headache and making the feelings from the jump even worse.
“Lieutenant, close view screen.” Gideon ordered when he had found his voice.
“Sir.” Matheson sounded shaken, unsure of himself.
“Lieutenant, are you alright?” Gideon asked, glancing around at the other crew members he found them all looking as shaken as he was, some even worse.
“Fine sir, what was that?” Matheson replied as he looked round the bridge.
“I don’t know, anyone who needs to, head down to medbay and get yourselves checked out, and send a cleanup crew in to deal with this mess. Galen, with me.” Gideon ordered as he stood up from his chair and walked towards the briefing room.
He stumbled slightly, before righting himself and walking into the briefing room, closing the doors as Galen walked in behind him.
“What the hell was that? I felt like I was being turned inside out.” Gideon snapped.
“I warned you, Quantum Space is dangerous and shouldn’t be played with. It was forbidden in my order to research Quantum technology, now you have gone and opened Pandora’s box, I just hope you can close it again.” Galen said, glancing around the room.
“Galen, I’ve never felt anything like that, the researchers told me that the jump should have been even smoother than a Hyperspace Jump, did something go wrong?” Gideon asked, trying to get his head around what he had seen out of the view screen.
“I don’t know, and you should know how hard it is for me to admit that. Members of my order take very seriously the oath ‘know all of what can be known’, so a mystery like Quantum Space is something of a challenge for all of us. I suggest we just back into normal space as quickly as possible, the longer we stay here, the higher the possibility that something might go wrong.” Galen replied, stoically as always before walking to the door opening it.
“Galen, why hasn’t your order used Quantum Space before?” Gideon asked, causing Galen to pause in the doorway.
“I don’t know Mathew, and that troubles me greatly.” Galen said as he walked out the door, closing is behind him.
“Captain,” Gideon’s wrist link asked.
“Gideon here,” Gideon replied into it.
“Captain, you’d better get down here, there’s a problem with the Quantum Drive.”
“On my way, Gideon out,”
With that Gideon walked out of the briefing room and headed down to the Engineering deck as quickly as he could, as he entered the room he could barely make out what was happening.
“Captain, the Quantum Drives are overloading, they started a few minutes after we settled in Quantum Space, I don’t know how long we can keep them going.” The head engineer shouted over the whir of equipment and the mechanical chirping coming from consoles.
“How long have we got until we have to jump back?” Gideon shouted back.
“Five, maybe six minutes, I wouldn’t want to push it any further than that.” The engineer shouted back before running over to a console and pounding furiously at the screen on it.
“Matheson.” Gideon shouted into his handlink as he ran out of engineering and along the corridor.
“Matheson here.” The reply came from the handlink.
“Get everyone ready for another Quantum Jump, we need to get back into normal space as soon as possible or we’ll be stuck here.” Gideon shouted into the wrist link as he swerved around a corner and made his way to the lift to the bridge.
“Aye sir, readying for Quantum Jump.”
“Jump as soon as we’re ready, alert the crew to ready themselves, Gideon out.” Gideon grimaced as he looked at the small space of the elevator, it would be extremely uncomfortable if they jumped while he was in here.
“All hands, ready for Quantum Jump.” The voice came over the speakers loud and clear, Gideon braced himself against the walls and clenched his fists as the wave of nausea his him again. Closing his eyes he tried to concentrate on something, anything to help the time pass.
The lift jolted to a stop and Gideon stumbled out of the doors, still holding his eyes closed he stood, braced against the door of the lift for the sensations to stop.
“Captain,” Lieutenant Matheson was the first to recover on the bridge, he abruptly walked over to help Gideon stand up and ready himself.
“Just as bad as the first time, something we’ll have to tell President Sheridan about.” Gideon groaned as he walked towards his chair. “Everyone all right?”
“All decks reporting in now sir, no casualties but a few members are unconscious from the strain of Quantum jumping, I wouldn’t recommend doing that again anytime soon Captain.” Matheson reported.
“I quite agree,” Galen chose that moment to speak up from where he was leaning against a wall on the bridge.
“Galen?” Gideon raised an eyebrow at the Technomage.
“Well I assume you haven’t run a scan yet, but from what I can tell the quantum signature of the ship has... changed.” Galen noted with a hint of humour in his voice.
“That’s impossible,” Matheson retorted. “Quantum signatures don’t change, they can’t.”
“Excuse me, what is a quantum signature?” Gideon asked curiously. Physics had never been his strong suit in the academy, tactics and weaponry yes, physics, no.
“Well you see, everything in the universe has a quantum signature, everything from a plant to a ship. It’s like a fingerprint if you will, and now it has changed.” Galen said with a grin.
“View screen open, Lieutenant run a full scan of the area and tell me where we are.” Gideon ordered.
“Aye sir.” Matheson said before turning to the relevant console and opening the view screen.
“What in god’s name is that?” Gideon exclaimed as he looked out the view screen.
In front of the Excalibur was a ship, if you could call it that, it was bigger than the Excalibur by miles, larger even that the Babylon five space station, it was the largest thing short of a planet that Gideon had ever seen.
“Running scans now sir; it appears to be some sort of vessel, but without an outer hull. If I had to make a guess sir I’d say it was more a city than a ship. It’s damaged from what I can tell; it looks like they took a direct hit from an energy weapon of some sort, Damage to their main control tower. Captain, if these readings are right, they only have a few hours of power left before their shield drops.” Matheson reported his findings as he read the scan readouts.
“Open a channel.” Gideon said with an air of authority as he stood up.
“Channel open sir.”
“This is Captain Gideon of the Excalibur, are you receiving me?”
“Captain, they’re responding.” Matheson said as he punched a few buttons to put the voice onto the com system.
“Captain, this is Major John Sheppard of Atlantis, uh, I know this is kind of awkward, but is there any chance you’d be able to help us out here?”
“Major, I’d be glad to assist you; may I first ask where we are?” Gideon shrugged at the face that Galen pulled at him. Why bother spending hours on scans when they could just ask a native.
“Where you are?” The Major’s voice came back over the intercom sounding a bit strained, like he was struggling not to laugh. “The Pegasus galaxy, beyond that you’re guess is as good as ours.”
“I see,” Gideon noted with surprise the shocked look on Galen’s face. “How can we assist you then?”
“Well we’re in desperate need of power or a place to land, either would be good.”
“Lieutenant, run a scan of the local area, try and find a planet with an atmosphere the same as what’s inside their shields.” Turning to Galen he raised an eyebrow. “The Pegasus galaxy?”
“Yes, well, I did warn you about playing with Quantum space.” Galen’s voice had taken on his humours edge again, like when he knew something, but was waiting for you to figure it out as well.
“Captain, I’ve found a planet, roughly three hours away at top speed.” Matheson reported as he turned to the Captain.
“Major,” Gideon said, opening the com channel again. “We’ve found a planet for you, maybe three hours away from our present location. Do you have enough power to make it on your own or do you require assistance?”
Another voice came in reply, this one speaking quite roughly. “We don’t have space travel; it’s taking all our energy to keep the shields active.”
“Rodney!” the first voice was back on. “A lift would be appreciated or some generators if you have some spare to help out. We have wounded and things are looking pretty bad over here.”
“Do you require medical assistance?” Gideon asked, concern creeping into his voice. What sort of attack had come that could cripple such a large vessel.
“We have medical staff treating the wounded, but we’re low on power, in about five hours we’ll be dead in space, literally.”
“He’s correct sir, their power consumption is way beyond anything I’ve seen. Their shield system is eating through they’re power grid at a rate I’ve never seen before, they’ll be lucky to have power for shields for another hour.” Matheson said as he finished the scan of Atlantis.
“Alright, what sort of power systems do you use?” Gideon asked, curious himself to find out what sort of power supply these people used to power such a gigantic vessel.
“The city is built to use three zed pee ems, but currently we only have one.” The second voice, identified as Rodney spoke up again.
“Zed pee ems?” Gideon repeated. They were using Zero Point Energy? The ISA had been researching zero point modules for years now but had never managed to get a viable working prototype; the first ones however used ZPM’s in most of their ships, glancing over to Galen he noticed the Technomage had a small smile on his face. “Is there something you’d like to add Galen?”
“We used to use ZPM’s for our power supply in our ships, that was until we found a more efficient method of course. I believe I still have a few of them lying about in my ship somewhere, I’m sure I can spare one or two of them for a good cause.” Galen smiled, in truth he was more than curious about the gigantic vessel in front of them himself, and going over to install the ZPM’s would be a good way of getting a look inside and seeing what they’re level of technology was.
“You found something more efficient than zero point energy?” The second voice almost screamed over the com link, breaking Galen out of his musings.
“Of course, my order hasn’t used anything so archaic in hundreds of years.” Galen smiled at Gideon, happy that he was still able to shock him after everything they had seen together. “I take it you would like to borrow one or two of them then?”
“Yes, yes we would.” The first voice replied, “Do you have beaming technology?”
“No, but I will come over in my personal flyer to deliver the modules myself.” Galen smiled at Gideon before walking off of the bridge.
“But the shields, how are they going to get through them? We’ve got teams all over the place trying to assess the damage.” The second voice came again, obviously speaking to the first person.
“Gentlemen, if Galen says he can meet you there, then he will meet you there.” Gideon interrupted the voices.
“I don’t think you understand, the shields are strong enough to withstand a supernova, how does he plan to get through them?” The second voice asked.
“He’ll find a way.” Gideon replied, honestly thinking to himself the same question.
“Colonel, a small craft has broken away from the vessel and is heading this way. It’s hard to get a lock on it but I’d say the dimensions are roughly the length of a jumper but of a more triangular design.” Raddick informed Col Sheppard as he read off the displays.
“What do you mean ‘hard to get a lock’? Were the sensors damaged in the blast?” Rodney asked, swinging round to take a look at the readouts himself.
“No, they just can’t get a lock on the vessel, there was no problem with the larger one once it appeared but the smaller craft appears to me more advanced.” Raddick explained.
“He’s right,” Rodney actually sounded surprised. “Whoever these people are they’re way more advanced than us, more advanced than The Ancients. They could be a valuable ally against The Replicators.”
“I got that from them having a power source more powerful that a ZPM Rodney, but that still doesn’t help them get it inside the shields.” Sheppard groused.
“Ship approaching shield perimeter now.” Raddick announced, causing both Sheppard and Rodney to turn to the scanner to watch what was happening.
“That can’t be.” Rodney said in amazement, his jaw going slack for a moment. The ship mad passed straight through the shield as if it wasn’t there.
“Hello?” Came a curious voice over the intercom.
“Hello?” Sheppard answered back.
“Hello, is there somewhere you’d like me to land or shall I just fly around out here waiting?” The voice came again, tinted with good natured humour.
“Rodney, open the jumper bay doors.” John smiled and shook his head at the voice; it was the type of humour he could get along with.
“Bay doors open.” Rodney replied, still trying to figure out how the ship had passed through the shields.
“Ahh yes, expect me soon.” The voice finished before going silent.
“Shall we go and greet him then?” Sheppard asked, now in high spirits about getting Atlantis back up to full strength again.