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ACT 6 ACT 3: Canceling the Download

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PREVIOUSLY ON STARGATE SG-1, ALTERNIA, AND ATLANTIS:


 

A teen-ified Roxy Lalonde stares into her bedroom mirror and promptly FLIPS THE FUCK OUT, because she's been de-aged.



Teal'c and Jonas enter Major Carter's house and find her and O'neill- also turned into teenagers, in the bathroom. O'neill looks up and remarks, "Well it's about time you two showed up!"


"They're Shaper Clones," Joey Claire states for the record. "Like what I did for Thor back on Alternia, and for my other self when she needed a new body."


"How are you holding up?" Jacob Carter asks of a drunken Roxy Lalonde.

"Oh! Just peachyyyy keeeen," Roxy slumps onto a bed. "Just... lamentin' the fax that I ain't ever gonna be wit' Alec again 'cause there's some othah meee that's gonna wake up some day and not have to worry about bein jail bait by just wantin' t' sleep wit'er own 'usban..."

"Yes, the cloning blues," Jacob laments. "You'd probably want to talk with Joey about that."

"Wich on'?" Roxy asks, frowning. "'Ere's Two'f 'em."

"Harley, Egeria's host."


Queen Egeria of the Tok'ra sits down across from a human Joey Harley from a parallel world, one where...


"I AM VENJIX!" the mechanical A.I.'s Voice cries out as flashes of his weaponry assault the world. "AND YOUR WORLD IS NOW MY WORLD!"


Insert a burst of rift energy as the Kyoretsu Zords burst forth from another dimension and crash into the Shower-themed Attack Bot.

With a roar, Joey Harley and her team combine the zords and destroy the Attack Bot with a devastating cross chop attack.


"Well, we should have realized Rose didn't get all of her powers from her Dad's side of the family." Your name is Jade Jackson, and you're honestly befuddled. "But... where the hell did Roxy's side of the family get powers from??"

"Well," Jake muses, "if I recall correctly, when I was working with her parents, they adopted her, so there's really no clear way of knowing for sure where her powers may have come from..."

"Wait, did you just say Roxy was adopted?" You ask. "By who?"

"Oh, that would be Jacques Lalonde and Samantha Freeman-" Jake said. "-who was the daughter of a friend of mine that I met after the Stargate was shipped over seas to the USA from Europe during one of the world wars."


"Ugggh. Seriously? Earth??" Your name is Vala Mal Doran, and you lay a withering gaze on the Ancient Language Translator you hired for the job. "The Gate Coordinates are seriously for Earth??"

"It's also where this 'Avalon' in the text is located," your translator says, adjusting his glasses that you swear are just untreated glass lenses and not actually corrective. "And Earth is where quite a many of the Ancient's technologies were developed."


"CAM!" Cassandra tosses him the sword.

And with a duck and a roll to avoid a death blow- Mitchel grabs the sword handle first and brings it around in a devastating blow to the backside of the Knight Hologram's left leg- through the knee.

The Hologram kneels, forcibly, and then Mitchel follows it up with a swing to the back of its neck.


And so Mitchel gives a nod and takes the slow route back to the sword's altar.

It slides back in, and--

PVVVVVM- SHING!

The whole room is suddenly filled with golden, gleaming treasure, and-

Vala shrieks in shock and surprise.

...There's a cryo pod with a bloodied, battered woman inside, clinging to a sword.


"She's remarkably well preserved, compared to the other example we have of long term stasis from Atlantis," Carolyn Lam observes.

"Her pod was stored in whatever matter buffer was holding the treasure," Jude Harley explains as he prepares to activate the defrosting process. "A double precaution of stasis. She likely never experienced any significant amount of the passing time within the cryopod unlike the other timeline Weir."


Your name is Mordred, and your eyes snap open.

"Hunt!" You call out, into the endless void of the Ascended Plane, and find yourself drawn immediately into a ruined negotiation chamber, where Hunt stands atop a pile of broken marble tables. "They're alive!" You tell him. "After all these years- I can finally tell! They survived my Clarent's--!"

You stop as Hunt's eyes turn towards you, a cold glint in them, and he says, "Irrelevant."

"Irrelevant!? IRRELEVANT!?" You stomp your foot, temper flaring. "How is this irrelevant!? My one goal in life was to best them and become King! You promised me when I Ascended. If they survived, You would-"

"Yes, yes, I would let you descend and confront them," Hunt's cold eyes narrowed, freezing the whole air around you. "However... plans have changed. We are in the middle of too critical of a step in our plans to lose your presence in this plane."


Mordred fights against Tegiri atop the Astro Megaship, only to be knocked off as it scrapes its own back wings off to fly through a narrow space.


Hunt appears within the Dakara conference room.

Five Mofang ships combine together into a terribly powerful Mecha.

The Prometheus crashes into its laser gun, and takes it with it into hyperspace, and then explodes in the distance.

Dakara gets destroyed anyways.


Karkat shields his eyes as an explosion happens on the Delta Mega's screen- washing out everything until it fades away, revealing a massive rift in space time before them.


Joey and Callie stand in a forest, peering upwards at the Mofang Cruiser stuck within its upper branches.


"So, what're you Alternian folk doin' out this far in the desert anyhow?" Flo asks. "On vacation or somethin'?"

"Sort of." Joey explains, "We're trying to find the ship that we think caused all the magic powers and body transformations."


The tow truck parks in town, with a large volcano framing the horizon in the distance.


And you think it's out here in the desert?" Flo asks.

"Well, something was," Callie adds.


"Look, all I'm saying is. I help them out. They get out of our hair. Simple as that."

Douglas Sharper had a good feeling about this.


The hologram of Yeesha steps forwards. "Once again, the stream in the Cleft has begun to flow. It was dry for So Long. The water is flowing in from the desert."


Joey, Dammek, Callie, and Sharper link into a frozen cave.


"The Storm is coming, but I've been preparing. D'ni awaits everyone who goes there... Some will seek more there, and find more..."

Joey flies through Laki's Sky, and later Noloben's, dodging attacking Bahro left and right.


"But the water will flow where it wills. It seeks its own path, uncontrolled; except that it flows downward. Always downward. That is beyond its control."

Joey dances across warping space, climbing higher and higher as she makes her round about way to get down into the blocked off Keep.


"You can't imagine what you'll find."

The team stand at the top floor of the Great Shaft, peering down into its depths.


"You won't understand, all that you will learn, only now for myself has it become who I am. Only now have I realized my own purpose within this plan."

Esher takes a shot- shattering his necklace of control crystals.

Joey later stands above him and double taps to ensure that the bastard remains dead.


"I've learned things they never thought possible. I've lived in lands beyond their boundaries, and shattered the rules behind their laws."

Joey Claire and Gordon Freeman confront the A.I. core of the Borealis.


 

"I've become more than even I thought possible. But none of this for my own gain, No. There are much greater things than me."

Joey hands the Tablet to a Bahro, and they shatter it against a rock.


"The water flows downward, and there it pools and collects, and finally once again- It reaches the roots... And the tree begins to grow again."

Elwurd stares at a Pegasus Stargate in Minkata's desert as it dails out.


"I'm Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard," you introduce yourself.

"Colonel?" the dude asks.

"It's my rank, Military designation?" You say, and there's a glimmer in his eyes.

"Specialist Ronon Dex," says the newly dubbed Ronon Dex.

"Name and Rank?" You ask. He grunts. "Military?"

"Used to be." Ronon stares off for a moment...

"Look," you try again, "We didnt come here looking for trouble with you and the killing thing is unnecesssary-"

"And just why-" Ronon points his knife at you as he grabs at the MRE pack again. "Should I trust you?" He takes another bite of the granola bar.

"Because like Teyla said before, we're just looking for our friend," you say.


"DEFENSE!" Aiden Ford's team is surrounded by Wraith.

The firefight that ensues is fast and furious.

Ford winds up disarmed and held to a railing by a Wraith, as he struggles, a marine lets loose a grenade, and BLAM!

Ford and the Wraith go tumbling over the railing into the Atlantis ocean below.


"Atlantis?" A panicked voice starts in response, "This is Doctor Novak. You're going to need some guards in the infirmary before we beam your man down."

"We already do," Beckett answers. "Beam away."

There's a pause, and then a new dot appears on the screen in the infirmary's location.

"Good Lord!" Beckett exclaims. "Let's get this thing off of him!"


Your name is Carson Beckett, and you and Doctor Fraiser share concerned looks before you turn to Major Sheppard.

"We gave him a mild sedative to help him rest, but..." You trail off.

"He should be dead," Fraiser says. "We still have no idea how it works, but during the Wraith feeding process, it seems like the victim is injected with a special enzyme. It seems to strengthen the human body in ways similar to a Goa'uld Symbiote, making sure the heart and other critical systems continue to function during the feeding process."


"Yeah, I think I saw him," Ronan says. "Sort of creepy fella. Black eye? Sort of stares into your soul?"


Your name is Mikari Aiikho, there’s another knock at your office door, and you turn and look and- Oh. God. It’s Ford. And his left eye is just... pitch black.

“Lieutenant,” you greet. “Doctor Beckett released you?”

“Why wouldn’t he?” Ford asks. “I’m fine.”

Something is wrong.

“Lieutenant,” you start. “I really think you’re not as well as you could be if you can’t remember someone you should know.”

“I’m telling you, I’m fine, Doctor Weir,” Ford insists. “Just clear me for duty again.”


Ford easily yanked his arm free of the handcuffs, and the chain snapped like it was tissue paper.

“Woah now!” A guard raised his hands as Ford got up from his bed and approached the door. “Easy, Ford!”

Ford stared at the man for a moment, and reached out for the cell door.

The force shield flared.

“Come on, man, just, go back to bed, would you?”

Ford stared forwards for a moment... and then he blinked his eyes and the man was gone and the cell door was open.

He stepped through the opening.

Another blink, and he was back in the same reality he always was.

“-CURITY BREACH! I REPE-AAAACHK!” The guard could only choke as Ford’s hands found their way around his neck.


"FORD!" Sheppard yells as the man approaches the teleporter. "STOP!"

Aiden Ford turns around, glaring at Sheppard.

"You can't stop me. Not here. Not anywhere." He smirks. "Every world, you shoot me with that stunner- no matter how big it is- and I tank it like a pro."

"So you've got some Mystic Eyes of Multi-world Perception, huh?" Sheppard frowns.

"You guys don't see the bigger picture," Ford says, tapping up at the left side of his skull. "I. Can. I can see it all. Right as it's unfolding right infront of us this very second. Thousands of worlds. Hundreds of years of drift between them all at once. So. Many. Worlds. Where no matter what happens, it's always you and me right here at this teleporter. It always happens and it won't stop from happening. Ever!"


A Nuclear bomb explodes over Atlantis, concealing their presence to the Wraith.


The troll possessed by the spirit of Damara Megido, the former Handmaid for Lord English, tosses Stelsa into a wall.


The Witch of Time, the former Handmaid to Lord English, Damara Megido, opened her eyes and found herself on a vastly different plane of existence, separated from the body she had been inhabiting mere moments before.

She frowned at the man standing across from her, and demanded to know how he had pulled her out of her body as she contemplated its state of rapid onset decay, and for what reason.

"You are in the Ascended Plane," Hunt put his hands out into the air to gesture around. "As for what I want? I have... Need. Of your unique talents."


Artoria and Mordred clash blades with the spirit of Damara Megido, who possesses Artoria, and takes Mordreds sword.

Later, Hunt is completely caught off guard as the possessed Artoria backstabs him and turns him back to being mortal.

Not too much later still- The Mofang Mecha and the Astro-Delta colide in a fierce battle in an unknown planet's frozen rings of dust and debris, resulting in the Astro-Delta destroying it with an Excaliber fueled sword strike.


"To the Tau'ri, and to the Jaffa hunting me," Ba'al says, "you have chosen not to heed my warnings to either of you, and so forced my hand."


"Sorry to disappoint," John says, "But I still don't have a name beyond the fact that you're not the snake that got loose when we captured Kinsey. So. I suppose I have to ask how many of you infiltrated the Daedalus crew?"

"Just the one," 'Caldwell' answers in what's probably a lie. "Me. Ba'al."


PVVVVMMMMM- SHING!

And then appearing with a burst of light across from them on the other side of the table is Lindsay Novak.

"Your Identification code was used to hack into this City's Operating System. Boldir confirms it. You brought the Trust- brought Ba'al the data and they rewrote the ZPM Failsafes to overload. You then reuploaded it into Atlantis' computers." Mikari reaffirms.

"This- This is ridiculous!" Novak hiccups. "You think I'm working for th-The Trust!?"

"We know you're working for the Trust," John draws his handgun and clicks off the safety, yet to raise it. "Now Give Us The Code."

Novak looks at them for a moment, and then her eyes flash.

 


A cabal of Ba'al clones work around eachother in an office environment.


Mckay raises a tablet computer. "I just got a data dump from the computer interface Doctor Kae put on the Dart."

"What did we get?" Mikari asks.

"If Ford documented his data properly like he seems to have?" Mckay smiles, "Well, I think we just got a solid listing of at least fifteen different Dimension's worth of Wraith Hiveship Fleet Movements."


Your name is Aiden Ford, and you stalk through the forests of some random ass planet, heading from the Gate to the nearby village.

There's nuance, and history, and backstory, to every single encounter and you're so fucking TIRED of people assuming that all of human history isn't just some story and that it'll never repeat itself.

You stumble in. You put on the mask, you say the lines.

During the chaos of the Wraith blasting everything, you duck behind a tree and flicker your form again. Thus disguised, then you sneak aboard the Wraith Cruiser through the Darts, and you fight your way to find a torture lab.

You return to your normal self, and burst in through the door. The Scientists inside never knew what hit them, and then, you find the targer you seek.

You peer into his soul to confirm it.

Yes. This is him.


You draw your weapon, and threaten the intruders, "Who are you, and what do you want?"

"Names Elwurd," the girl with blue dyed hair and a sand stained leather jacket stands up. "This is Marvus-" A tall, muscly fellow in stage show clothes that have definitely seen better days just waves from where he's lounging. "-And the rest of my crew. We heard through the grape vine that you were the guy to see about acquiring some Spaceships, Aiden Ford."


"So," your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you look over Doctor Beckett's report. "Do you think this plan of Becketts could work?"

"The Wraith are a strange hybridization of the Irratus Bug and Humans," Gina Kae says, "A Retro Virus could conceivably strip out the bug DNA and leave only Human DNA behind."


"Your Name is MICHAEL KENMORE, and you were kidnapped by the WRAITH and experimented upon," the strange alien woman says. "A man by the name of AIDEN FORD rescued you, and sent you to us on a Transport Vessel. Right now, you're in a private room off the Infirmary here in ATLANTIS."


"These Atlantians... to think I'd trust them with my life." the recorded man chuckles again. "If I am to live, to get my revenge on those who have wronged me... know this, I die today, but I will be reborn. And if I am watching this..."

His lone eye narrows.

"Know this, Michael Kenmore. There are worse enemies to be had." He coughs. "Watch what follows at your own peril."


Your eyes flutter open, and you realize once again...

You know who you are.

YOUR NAME IS MICHAEL KENMORE.

YOU USED TO BE A WRAITH, NOW TURNED HUMAN THROUGH MEANS OF GENETIC MANIPULATION.

That is a truth etched firmly into your soul- your very essence of being- for a VAST number of selves.


Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you grin as you plaster a star chart onto a screen in the briefing room with a click of a mouse button.

"Alright, is everyone here now?" You ask, even as Ronon and Mikari enter the room. "Okay! Cool! AR-1, AR-2! Our mission today is this!" You point at the starmap. "We're going to catch ourselves the Aurora."

"Don't you mean 'An Aurora'?" Teyla asks.

"Nope," Morgan Carter says, standing. "She means THE Aurora. It's an Ancient Battleship."

"Battleship?" John sits to attention. "Okay. You've got my interest."


"Zelenka reports the repairs to the Aurora are stalling without some proper reference material to functioning parts," your name is ARGO LALONDE, and you're doing your job as Secretary, briefing Mikari Aiikho on the day's business as you both head to your shared office space. "'Blueprints are only getting us so far when they only call for specific generators and parts without detailing those generators and parts', his words."


"We've found a sister ship to the Aurora," John informs Caldwell. "Called the-" Mckay and Jade both look at you expectantly. "-ARGO." Jade smiles brightly and Mckay groans. John smiles back at Jade.


The volcano erupts- and the ARGO sails itself across the exploding magma under the expert control of Jade Jackson.


"Zelenka, what's wrong?" Mikari signaled for him to enter the room, and he did.

"The long range sensors just picked up another Hiveship intercepting the first, and destroying it," he reported. "Now IT is heading towards Atlantis. At a much faster rate than the first." Mikari doesn't even need to ask, Zelenka confirms her fears: "It will be here in just shy of three weeks."

Chapter Text

EARTH, 1939.

NEW YORK CITY, HARBOR.

Several boats were in the process of unloading passengers and crew as a woman of European descent, owning long silver hair down to her feet and peering emerald eyes stopped in her disembarking to gaze at a boat called the ACHILLES owning a massive hole carved in the side of it with a frown.

"Tell me, Kujo," she said to her traveling companion, "To what do you think could cause such a wound in a boat?" She spoke English with an accent that could almost be French.

"I don't know, Victorique," her partner in all things, of Asian descent, mused in a Japanese accented voice. "But it's quite the mystery, isn't it?"

She eyed the woman and man stepping off of the boat, along with the captain of the ship, pausing to take a photograph infront of the carved hole in the side of the boat by some news reporter.

"Tell me, Kujo," the woman, Victorique, narrowed her eyes towards them. "Do you see something strange with those three?"

"The two men seem related," he dutifully reported. "The woman..." He stopped as the woman in question turned her own glimmering eyes towards them- a pale hazel that spoke of unspeakable horrors seen and dealt with. Her crimson hair had a faint streak of grey in it, signifying an avoided doom. Perhaps she, too, had dealt so heavily with the war that had just ended not too long ago.

"Heh," Victorique smiled. "It seems one Grey Wolf has spotted another, Kujo."

"Eh? I didn't think any would be out this far," Her partner answered with a tired, but warm smile, brought about from years of dealing with her eccentric lifestyle and bossy attitude. Then, he did a double take as she started hurrying off towards the other boat with the hole in its side. "Wha- Victorique!? Where are you going?"

"To speak with my fellow Wolf, clearly," was Victorique's answer.

But as she made to speak with an aliased Cassandra Fraiser, a crew-woman named Caroline Freeman would disembark the boat, moving to meet her husband down on the docks, and so quite literally Victorique ran into her instead, causing the other woman to drop her luggage to the ground. Cassandra would move over to aid them in picking things up.

And thus a strange form of friendship had been born.

In a few years, Caroline Freeman would have a daughter, Samantha, who in her own adult years would later marry a man named Jacques Lalonde, and those two would go on to adopt a young girl named Roxane from Cordelia Avril Kujo, the daughter of Victorique Gallo and her heart, Kazuya Kujo.


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

EARTH DATE: APRIL 3RD, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/12/0005.

There was a knock at the door of the EGBERT family home, and Roxy Egbert opened the door, a little hesitantly.

"Hello?" She asked.

The blonde haired, blue eyed woman on the other side smiled, speaking with something close to a British accent. "Hello, are you Roxane Egbert, nee-Lalonde?"

"Yeah, I am," Roxy nods. "Though I go by Roxy. Are you...?"

"Yes, we spoke on the phone," the woman offers her hand, "and since we're finally meeting in person, though I said it before, I feel it more apropriate to repeat it now. My name is Victoria Bradly, and I think I might be your sister."

"Right," Roxy nods, considering everything that's lead to this moment, including the background check she ran. She takes the woman's hand and shakes it. "Nice to meet you."

"May I come in?" Victoria asks.

"Yeah," Roxy nods again, and lets the woman inside. "We can speak in the kitchen."

"That's fine," Victoria says, following her through the house, not even pausing as she glances at the various photographs. "You have kids?"

"A couple, yes, as well as a few nieces that I look after too from time to time, and their friends," Roxy answers, motioning for an open seat at the table.

"First off, I'd like to apologize for how abrupt this must seem," Victoria says.

"It's cool," Roxy says. "I'm used to abrupt changes to the family tree out of nowhere."

"Ah? Interesting."

"So... What do you have for me?"

"Down to business then, of course," Victoria decaptchalogues a large photo album, and Roxy only raises an eyebrow, not very surprised given the amount of Sylladexes being sold these days. Victoria smiles slightly, and places the book on the table.

"My Grandmother was born as a bastard child to a wealthy noble family in the long-since defunct country of Sauville, which was a small country once sandwiched between Switzerland, France, and Italy. Unfortunately it seems to have fallen some time after World War Two, as not many records of it could be found afterwards. My Grandmother escaped the country during the war, and afterwards, settled here in the States with my Grandfather." She opens the album and shows Roxy a photograph, a few people in it that Roxy recognizes.

Alternate-future versions of Cassandra Fraiser and Cameron Mitchel, a couple that Roxy knows from her own family photos as her adoptive family's grandparents, and...

Roxy's pink eyes blink.

And two others. A woman who could be the spitting image of the woman holding the photograph, and an asian man at her side. Victoria points to them, "My Grandparents. Victorique and Kazuya."

"These were my adoptive mother's grandparents," Roxy says, pointing at the two in question.

"The Freemans, yes?" Victoria asks, and Roxy nods. "Yes, that checks out," Victoria nods. "You see, at around the time you would have been born, someone from my Grandmother's family village, some small remnant of it that survived the colapse of Sauville, had finally tracked them down and were seeking revenge, or so my mother told it. She, my father, and my Grandparents went on the run, and I was told that they left you to the Lalondes to raise you, fearing that it was no environment to raise a family at that time."

After a pause to let that soak in, Victoria continues, "Of course, during their trials and time on the run, my Grandparents passed on- from old age I was told. I'm told that shortly after that was when my parents had me, and were forced to hold onto me for some time until they could foist me off on someone else, in this case being a childhood acquaintance of my Grandparents- Avril Bradley. She was of no age to take care of me at the time, so she left me to her own daughter to raise... but she never hid my origins, as I was old enough at the time of being left to her to remember."

"So..." Roxy starts. "Why now?"

"My parents finally wrote a letter to me this last year, stating that all old debts had been paid," Victoria said. "Unfortunately, I haven't heard from them since, and I fear that letter was sent with the last of their strength. Given that it seemed I was in the clear of being hunted, I was told by Avril that I would be clear to look for any surviving members of my family." Victoria smiles. "And so, here I am."

Roxy breathes out. "That's... a lot to take in."

"I know, it's a lot," Victoria nods. "However, I wanted to come in with all cards on the table." She swallows, gaining a serious look in her eyes. "Have... Have your children ever displayed a strange state of knowing things? Of being able to put together facts and narratives from scant pieces of information?"

Roxy pauses- then stares. "Yes, that's a thing we've noticed. Why?"

"That is an ability that hails down from my, or rather, our Grandmother, Victoria, and her own heritage from that fallen country," Victoria says. "I was told by Miss Avril that my family comes from a village of people known as Grey Wolves. People who have incredible intellect- powers that are well sought out by those who know what it is. ...The same people who were hunting my parents and grandparents down. She also told me that it's believed that we're one of the last few families in existence that have these abilities, given everything that happened in that country druing the time."

Despite the somber tone of the conversation, Roxy couldn't help but laugh, much to Victoria's confusion.

"Did I say something funny?" she asks.

"No, no," Roxy shakes her head. "It's just... my husband's family is descended from his sister-" She points to the picture of Jake Harley. "-And they have their own unique sort of family history too."

"Really?" Victoria muses. "What can you tell me? I'll admit I didn't do much research into your life beyond tracking down your current address."

"Oh, sweetie," Roxy laughs. "That's a story well over a million words."

"I have time," Victoria answers.

"That, and a non disclosure agreement."

"...A what now?"


"Avril Bradly, huh?" You are now JAKE HARLEY, and you frown mildly as you listen to Roxy retelling the story over the phone. "Now that's a name I haven't heard in years. She was something of a rival adventurer of mine for quite a while. We clashed in many adventures seeking the same treasures. I DID see her once after she retired, and I'd seen that grand daughter of hers.. what was her name again...?"

"Victoria," Roxy tells you, and it snaps into place.

You then remember that meeting vividly. Avril conceding that if you had the stamina to continue adventuring that you'd won some long time bet between the two of you, and then introducing you to her daughter and granddaughter...

You remember thinking about Roxy after seeing this girl, but not really anything more than a generic "I should probably get her some souvenirs."

Thinking on it now, you realize you were something of an idiot for not realizing that it was Roxy's younger sister.

"Ah, I really wasn't thinking then, was I?" You lament, moving across your rarely used office in the SGC to get to the coffee maker. "I really should have realized.... Oh well. I suppose it doesn't help I never made the connection because I'd never met this Victorique woman. I think I'd have remembered that strong of a family resemblance if I had. Maybe I should have. Shame, that..."

"What's done's done, Jake," Roxy says. "But, honestly, some of what she's told me is... well. It's making some stuff make sense now."

"Like what?" You ask, getting some coffee ready to drink.

"Well, apparently being super smart as a kid runs in the family," Roxy says, "though I think it skipped a generation with me."

"Well, I wouldn't be so certain about that considering how fast your alternate self picked up-" not 'her', Jake, the proper pronoun right now is- "their void generating abilities."

"Yeah, but that was like...  Loki genetic modding results, wasn't it?" Roxy asks.

"Well, powers aside," you say, taking your coffee mug and sipping at it. "I recall a few times when you were growing up where you were being extremely smart for your age."

"Now, that's just bullshit, Jake. I wasn't that smart," Roxy beats down on herself and you roll your eyes.

"Roxy, please, you tore apart the television set in your own house when you were FIVE to figure out how it worked!" you remind her. "it's not anything that's-" And then the Gate Alarms go off, and you reluctantly put the mug aside to cover your open ear, and repeat, louder, "That is NOT what most kids your age were doing, or were even capable of getting away with without being caught."

"I don't remember that!" Roxy protests.

"Yes, well-" you're caught offguard as a time displaced Davis Strider appears suddenly in your office.

"Yo, Harley, make your way to the Gate Room ASAP." And then he's off again.

"Sorry, Roxy, I have to go. We'll continue this later."

She says her goodbye, and thus call ended, you head to the Gate Room, you arrive to find Egeria standing at the base of the Gate, talking with General Landry about something.

"Major Strider said I should be here?" You offer.

"Ah, Jake, good timing," Landry nods. "Joey and Egeria here were just telling us about a sudden rash of Stargate thefts from all over the Galaxy."

"Stargate thefts?" you ask. "How so?"

"Beamed away with Asgard tech," Egeria says. "We suspect that Ba'al is behind this, given he was the last one in possession of the technology who would do such a thing, though we wouldn't also put it past the Lucian Alliance."

"Speaking of," Landry says, "SG-1 was investigating a highly addictive food product that's been surfacing the last few days."

"Oh, right," you say. "Cameron mentioned something about it when I was talking with SG-1 this morning. Evil Orville Redenbacher, I believe his words were?"

"Kassa, yes," Egeria nods. "Or as Joey has taken to calling it, 'mushroom space corn,'" She smiles, you smile back.

"Well, 'space corn' aside," Landry says. "SG-1 hasn't reported back as scheduled, and we've been unable to establish a lock on that planet's gate."

"So, you think the Gate's been stolen," You summarize.

"That's our assumption, yes," Egeria nods. "The Tok'ra are very concerned over this, given that some of our settlements have gone dark because of these thefts. As the number of gates within the network being disconnected grows, more and more of the Galaxy grows darker and darker."

"Jake," Landry says, "I'll be ordering the launch of the Odyssey on its maiden voyage to check in on them. Since you're here, would you be interested in joining?"

You think on it... Strider would have his reasons for sending you up here, wouldn't he? So...

"Of course," You say. "It shouldn't be anything too straining."

"I would wish to accompany you as well," Egeria adds. "If this is a trick of Ba'al's, I would like to take steps to prevent further damage."

"Are you sure that's wise?" Landry asks.

"Please, General," Egeria smiles. "I'm so dreadfully bored dealing with construction planning sessions."

"Very well," Landry nods. "You have a go."


Your name is Karkat Vantas, and you knock on the hotel door for a moment, then wait.

The blue eyed, blond haired woman opens the door, blinking as she peers at you. "Hello?" She asks. "Can I help you?"

"Victoria Bradley? I'm Major Karkat Vantas, Alternian Military," you decaptchalogue a large folder. "Here with your NDA on behalf of the SGC."

"Oh, yes, sure," she nods, and pauses just shy of opening the door for you to come in. "I thought Stargate Command had gone full disclosure, however?"

"There are some private facts of importance the SGC has decided to keep quiet on for the personal privacy of certain members," you elaborate, "to keep them from being harassed on the street, you understand, right?"

"Oh, of course," she nods. Good. "I take it this also means you've run background checks on me?"

"Twice. Once after you first called Roxy Egbert, and another one after you and her talked this morning," you explain. "May I come in?"

She opens the door the rest of the way and you head inside the hotel room.

"So, find anything you didn't like?" She asks.

"No, but it did confirm your story," you tell her. "Which means you're family, as far as this weird, messed up family tree of yours is." You smile, waving the folder. "The NDA is just a formality, really."

"I see," she says.

"Though, ah, we do have to run one quick test before I'm allowed to let you sign this," you tell her.

"And what's that?" She asks.

You trade the folder for a handheld scanner. "Gotta check to make sure you don't have a Goa'uld symbiote in your neck."

"Is that actually necessary?" Victoria asks, raising an eyebrow.

"My boyfriend's brother got snaked a few weeks ago," you tell her. "It's actively a matter of national security at this point."

"Alright. You can scan me then. But, ah what happened to the brother?" She asks, moving her hair away from her neck, not that it was necessary for you to have that access to use the scanner.

"Oh, uh. He got crushed under a falling power line. That's how we found out. Poor guy got electrocuted to death," you elaborate, as you run the scanner over the back of her neck and head.

"Oh my," Victoria exclaims. "That's a horrible way to go."

"Yeah, tell me about it," you grunt. "Me and my boyfriend were home at the time. Heard the noise. And smelled the smells. It... wasn't pleasant." You still haven't been able to order anything freshly cooked meat based meals since then.

"I can only imagine," she remarks.

The scan comes up clean, and you inform her of such, giving her the NDA to sign, as well as a small panic button device disguised as a small string and bead based bracelet. "If you ever feel like you're being targeted by someone, just squeeze the red stone really tight once and it'll signal for assistance, we'll have eyes on you after that point. If you accidentally used it, squeeze the green stone instead. If you feel like your life is actively being threatened, squeeze the pink stone instead, it will activate an emergency transponder and we'll immediately either attempt to extract you with beaming technology, or we'll send in a team to extract you personally in case we're unable to get a lock."

"This is certainly a lot of effort," Victoria Bradly muses as she leafs through the pages of the NDA. "How much nonsense am I getting myself into here?"

"Eh, something shy over a million words," you shrug.

"Funny, that's the second time today I've heard that sentence." Then, she asks, "Also, why only scan me now and not earlier before I came to visit?"

"Honestly not my call to make," you shrug. "I'm just the errand boy here."

"Hm, I suppose that's a reasonable response," she pauses, glancing at you. "What?"

"What what?" You ask.

"You're looking at me as if I failed to say something expected," she points a pen at you as she clicks it open.

"Honestly? Enough people just say 'fair enough' at this point in response to something it's kind of become a running gag around us," you say. "I guess I was kind of expecting it."

"...'Fair enough'?" She muses. "Ah, well, I suppose that's a reasonable let down as any." And then she begins signining the NDA with a smile that tells you she deliberately avoided saying 'fair enough' that time.

It's that same damned Lalonde Smirk you've seen both Roses and Roxys use.

Yeah. She's family alright.


Meanwhile, in another dimension, in the Domed City of Corinth, a massive HYPER ATTACK BOT remote controlled by an estranged General Shifter attacks the city. The Paleomax Zords go to attack, and wind up getting remote controlled by the remote controlled attack bot.


 

Your name is General JACK O'NEILL, with TWO L'S, and you're looking across the table at George Hammond- soon to be retired- as you wait for the IOA Representative to show up at your meeting.

"So," you start. "We're really doing this then?"

"We are," George nods. "Officially we're moving Homeland Security here to Colorado for proximity to the Stargate. There's some consideration from the Pentagon to move headquarters into NORAD proper."

"I still think 'Homeworld Security' is a dumb name," you tell him.

"Of course it is, but there's nothing I can do about it. Maybe you'll be able to rename it," George smiles in a trolling way. "Or the SGC, even."

"Why would I rename the SGC?" You ask. "'Stargate Command' is a perfectly sensible name."

"Fair enough, just making idle conversation."

Uh huh. Sure.

"So..." You check your watch. "Wheres this Woolsey guy at?" You tap at the watch's display. "I swear this meeting should've been over like... five minutes ago."

You tap at your watch a few more times when the office doors open and in walks Richard Woolsey, looking just as fed up as you are.

"Apologies for the delay," he says, "apparently my colleagues decided today was a good day to all have 'family emergencies' that I'm quite certain they made up at the last minute despite committing ahead of time to joining us here today."

"Well that's rude of them!" you remark.

"Indeed it is," Woolsey says, taking his seat. "Why is it I'm the only one who seems to care about any of this, I don't think I'll ever understand."

"Politics is a game few rarely play for honest reasons," George remarks.

"Yes, that it is," Woolsey starts sorting out his documents. "Well, baring that in mind, and as they've seen fit to forefit any actual input over this transfer of power... I have no objections over the move from DC to Colorado Springs. Either of you have anything?"

"Nope," you say.

"I don't," George says.

"Very well then," Woolsey hands you both documents you're intimately familiar with. "The IOA then gives its approval over the transfer of leadership from General George Hammond to General Jack O'neill as previously discussed, and if my colleagues have any objections, then they really should have been here today. Please sign on the dotted lines."

You review your copy of the contract and license and see your cute, little insignificant typos in exactly all the places they should be, telling you it's exactly the same copy of everything you and George had hammered out before hand.

Woolsey is really the only one who cared enough to take any time away from his day to deal with this. Seriously?

As if your opinion of politicians couldn't get any lower.

You and George sign, and Woolsey smiles at George, "Congratulations on your Retirement," and then he turns to you, "And congratulations on your Promotion."

"Thank you, Mister Woolsey," George smiles.

"Yeah, thanks," you agree, not quite feeling it.


 

"So." Your name is Joey of The Fallen Time, host to Egeria, daughter of Jake Harley. "What's new around Earth since I last checked in?"

Said father sits across from you at a table in the Odyssey's cafeteria, musing. "Roxy's sister got in contact with her just recently."

"Roxy has a sister?" You ask, surprised.

"Yes, well, her parents apparently had to go on the run shortly after giving birth and so they left her with the Lalondes," Jake explains. "And then while on the run, they had another girl, who they foisted off on an old friend of their parents. None of them told any of this to me, of course. Probably suspected we were being watched as it was. Fewer people who knew the better."

[And it's not just some Trust trick?] Egeria asks, and you relay the question.

"No, no, as far as I know she's cleared two background checks," Jake says. "That and a Goa'uld scan check."

"Well, that's good," you say. "I might have to meet this woman when we get back. Roxy having a sister, huh? Who would have thought?"

"It's something I'd put out of mind, shamefully," Jake says, shaking his head. "Until quite recently I'd forgotten that those folks even existed. Hell, I'd forgotten we'd nearly uncovered the timetravel loop involving what we hope is a doomed timeline Cassandra Fraiser and Cameron Mitchel once before. I... I just put it out of my mind. It didn't seem relevant to focus on. And it was so long ago too... I have no excuse for that, rightly."

"It's not your fault, you know," you tell him. "What year was it even?"

"Somewhere closer to the 1970s, rather," Jake says. "1964 was Roxy's birth year, so... It very well have been 1969 even."

"Hey," you start, "you don't think that they ended up being the people SG-1 hitched a ride with, do you? Roxy's parents?"

"As fantastic of a connection that might be, no, I know it's not the case," Jake shook his head. "Jack told me that they got in contact with him shortly after SG-1 got back from that mission, just as a 'check in to see if it worked out right' thing. I would have remembered them then if that were the case." He laughs a bit. "Though, I will mention to Jack that you thought of that. I think he'd get a laugh."

"The way you say that makes me think we know someone they ARE related to though," you deduce, and your alternate-verse de-aged cloned-father nods. "Who?"

He leans in, and whisper tells you, and also the reasons why it's being kept secret, and you can't help but laugh.

Admittedly, that's going to be a funny reveal if it ever happens.


 

Your name is Cameron Mitchel, and you sneeze as the damned Lucian Alliance "prison guard" blows a space dandelion into your face. For The Fifth Time.

"Would! You! Stop! That!" You snap at him. For. The. Fifth. Time.

"No!" The man grins, and then goes to fetch another friggin Dandelion from the grass nearby.

"Leave it be, Cam," Cassandra advises you. "You're just encouraging him at this rate."

"No," you tell her. "I will not just let it be!" You rattle the wooden bar of the stupid animal trap you and the rest of SG-1 are stuck in. "That jerk keeps blowing dandelion seeds in my face and I am getting sick and tired of it! And we've been kept outside, in the sun, for atleast two hours overdue for check in, the STARGATE got STOLEN from us, so even if we could escape we're stuck on this piece of evil space corn growing rock until someone sends a ship to come get us AND-"

You're cut off as the bastard guard blows a full dandelion straight in your face, while you're speaking, leading to a multitude of the pesky cotton like seeds to go in your mouth.

You spit them out vigorously as the guard laughs.

"I tried to warn you," Cassandra says.

"No you didn't," You say inbetween intermittent seed spitting.

"She kinda did," Jonas says.

"Mmhm," Jude nods.

"I just want my damned sword," Rider remarks.

You glance at him, and wonder for the tenth time why the hell you brought him along on this mission again?

Oh, right, Cassie said it'd be a boon to negotiation to have some masked muscle along for the ride as you pretended to be buyers for this stupid evil space corn. But Cassie also didn't foresee the stupid Stargate getting stolen out from under you, so you're pretty sure this whole mission was a bust prediction-ways because of SOMETHING that the Handmaid did behind the scenes.

"Well well well, what do we have here?" and then a fucking Kull Warrior shimmers into visibility next to the startled guard as he gets Zatted for his troubles.

"Woah what?" You back away rapidly from the edge of the cage wall.

"What? Don't you recognize-?" The Kull Warrior stops, then groans. "It's the mask isn't it?"

And then SHE removes the damned mask and you're looking in the face of Vala Mal Doran.

"Oh, Hi Vala," Jonas greets with little surprise, you, meanwhile, are trying to cool your beating heart a bit from the jump scare.

"Hello, Fish-boy," Vala greets. "Gotten yourself into a bit of trouble?"

"We could do with a breakout, yes," Cassandra chimes in.

"Before the rest of the Lucian Alliance notices what just happened," Jude requests.

"Oh, that won't be any time soon," Vala holds up a freaking key ring in her other hand. "I zatted everyone on the way in when they weren't looking."

"I'll never tell anyone I said this but you are a miracle worker, Vala," you tell her.

"Save the flirting for later, flyboy, we need to get to the Stargate," Vala says as she finishes unlocking the cage.

"What Stargate?" Jude asks. "The one here got stolen."

"Exactly!" Vala grins. "I managed to get a tracking beacon on it before it got whisked away!"

"Now why would you do THAT for?" Jonas asks.

"Because I got screwed over by ANOTHER Gate Theft in the next system over and decided to take a risk and guess which gate would get stolen next?" Vala answers. "Also, I hid some valuables in the DHD of that other Gate and it got taken too, so I Kiiiind of need those back?"

"Of course," Jonas says with a shake of his head.

"I like this girl," Rider remarks.

"Oh I like you too, new girl!" Vala then asks, "Who the hell are you anyways?"

Before Rider can answer with what'd be a most likely annoyed "not a girl for starters" there's a familiar PVVVVMMM-SHING! And the five of you, sans Vala, suddenly find yourselves on the bridge of a 304 battle cruiser. Standing nearby is Jake Harley, Egeria/Joey, and presumably the captain of this ship. Before anyone can say anything, though-

Jonas hangs his head, and says to the technician who brought you onboard, "Beam her up too."

"Who?" the tech asks.

"Vala. Who was standing next to us and letting us out of the cage?" Jonas answers.

There's a moment's pause, clicking buttons, then PVVVVM-SHING!

There she is, looking a bit pissed. "Let me guess," She said, "The suit made me invisible to the transporter thingy the first time?"


 

Your name is Rox(y) Lalonde, and you blink as you clear the metaphorical jet-lag sleep from your eyes. Metaphorical, because you just Linked to Earth from Atlanits, and didn't take a flight at all.

Your other self is here waiting and smiling a bit awkwardly.

"Hey, Rox," she greets.

"Sup," you greet in turn. "What's the big emergency? Someone didn't die, did they?"

"No, no," Other you shakes her head. "Nothing like that. I met someone interesting today."

"Interesting how?" You ask, dreading the answer.

"Our sister interesting?"  Wut.

"...Are you saying Loki cloned us AGAIN?" You ask, dreading the answer even more.

"No, actually, a real flesh and blood sister," Other you says. "Birthed by our parents while they were on the run and then foisted off on someone else just like we were!"

"Well, damn, that's shady of them," you say.

"Suppose it is," other you says. "So... Do you want to meet her?"

"Yeah, sure," you shake your head. "Might as well. Just. Lemme go grab some sunglasses first."

"Eh? Why?" Other you asked with a way like it wasn't obvious in the least.

"Because I get the feeling I'm going to get lots of awkward smiles and I don't wanna look 'em in the eyes, duh," you answer. "Also, because sunglasses are cool and everyone I know wears the danged things these days."

"A...Ah, I see..."

You get the feeling she really doesn't see at all, but you'll let it slide.

Still, a quick visit to Major Strider's office to grab a perfectly serviceable pair of sunglasses instead nets you a quirky set of bright neon pink lensed heart shaped sunglasses and a highfive from Davis. Other you rolls her eyes and doesn't get it, and instead asks why Davis is collecting so many freaking sunglasses. He has a drawer full of the gaudy things in all kinds of wild shapes and colors now.

Davis just says he's going to hand them out like cheap cigars at the first opportunity.

Roxy doesn't get it.

You're pretty sure she won't get it at all, actually. Just, a gut feeling in your stomach.

...Okay, maybe that's a lack of eating lunch.

You ask if there will be dinner.

There will indeed be dinner.

Suddenly tonight might not be as big of an emotional drain as it might have been otherwise.


 

Meanwhile, yet again in the Domed City of Corinth, the Rangers manage to break the Paleomax Zords free of the remote control, and bring all twelve of their Animal-Vehicle Bio-tech Zords together into a single cohesive Ultrazord for the first time.

Needless to say, General Shifter's Hyper Bot didn't stand a snowballs chance in hell...

Or a prehistoric monster's chances of surviving a meteoric impact at relativistic speeds.


 

Ba'al was a smart Goa'uld, and Ba'al knew this well. But Ba'al also knew that some times Ba'al could be a bit over certain in his plans succeeding. Sometimes, several Ba'als in a room just bounced off of eachother with bad ideas.

That is to say, you are now BA'AL, and you are massaging at the bridge of your nose as you watch a recorded and transmitted-before-death black box feed of one of your Ha'taks get raided by SG-1, stealing back all of the stargates no less than THREE of your clones thought it was a good idea to steal. What even was their game plan here? You seriously had no idea who approved this.

You felt little to no remorse as you watched your three idiot clones get offed one after the other.

You. Damn. it. All.

And SG-1 got away with all the Gates and were rapidly going to return each and every one, destroying those Ha'taks with a parting nuke to the engine room via Asgard beaming tech.

All in all, a successful maiden voyage for their new ship- Odyssey, wasn't it?

You're sure to be expecting a call from- Ah, and there it's ringing now.

You answer it with a damned guess, "O'neill. To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Boccie. How's it bouncing?" The irritating General inquires. "Lose anything lately?"

"Only a few idiots who thought it was a good idea to steal company property. They've been appropriately fired, as I'm sure you're well aware."

"Ah, well. Damn. Here I was hoping to gloat."

"Believe you me, if I had authorized this, I would have gladly accepted the gloat and wallowed in the bitter after taste of defeat. As it is? May I just toast to the simple fact that sometimes, too much time alone with yourself can lead to incredibly STUPID ideas."

"Amen to that."

And then you hang up without a second thought.

Really. Stealing Stargates. What were they even thinking? Building their own Gate Network? As if they'd...

...

...No. That's almost certainly what they were planning on doing, wasn't it?

Idiots. If they'd checked in they would have discovered you already HAD plans in motion to manufacture the damned things based off of plans 'copied' from the Alternians. Seriously. It's not that hard to make the things with the right knowledge.


Late that night, in the other dimension, General Shifter began his plans to remote control the Red Ranger to fight his own teammates...

But, the Red Ranger, naturally, broke free, and not a few minutes later, well...

Shifter's ambitions would see him destroyed by the Ultrazord.

Venjix's Grinders would scavenge his body's remains to use in constructing a new, final, massively impressive body for Venjix to use in his final plan against the Rangers and the city of Corinth.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 4TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/12/0005.

Your name is Jack O'neill, and as you sit at your desk at the newly established temporary base of the new HOMEWORLD SECURITY OFFICES (Eh, you're getting more partial to Homeworld Command maybe? HWC? Eh? Ehh??) you find yourself wondering how your one formerly Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter is doing.

Ah, to be there helping her out in that mission.

You hope she radios home sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, you pause at a report on your desk from LANDRY, who's taking over permanently at the SGC in your stead. SG-1 on Babysitting Duty for some IOA Reps on the Gamma Site? And Cassandra flagging you a notice to buy extra bug spray?

Hoo. Boy.

To be but a fly on the wall for TODAY'S adventures in babysitting... Poor SG-1. And Poor Woolsey, too. Man doesn't deserve whatever's about to happen today, that's for sure.

You shake your head with a smile and get to work on today's paperwork... Hrm. You wonder if you could poach Walter from the SGC since you're basically working in-state now rather than half-way across the country?

You could do that... right?


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

Your name is Vala Mal Doran, and you smile as you place a control crystal infront of Doctor Lee.

"And what am I supposed to do with this?" He asks.

"See, I found it among some ancient ruins that my regular Ancient translator told me mentioned 'Avalon' and, well. I Figured it just HAD to have something to do with something recovered from that vault."

"This is what you were hiding in the DHD?" the new girl asks, eyeing it. "Why didn't you give it to us first?"

"Well, yes, but see I had to get the box it was in translated first to figure out what it was, and, well Fish-boy refused to do any translating for me so I had to take it elsewhere!" you explain. "I'm honestly surprised you guys let me leave with it, really."

"Apparently baring the intervention of the ghost who possessed my father," new girl shrugged, "nothing was going to stop you from coming back with it."

"I'm not sure whether I should be relieved or not at being so predictable, new Girl," you say.

"Okay, for the first and last time since I didn't get a chance to say it before," she glares at you. "My name is Rider, and I'm NOT a GIRL."

"Okay, if you're not a girl then I'm Teal'c," you counter, not really thinking, because DAMN she's got the build.  

"I'm going to just go do my own thing with this crystal before one of you breaks it," And then Doctor Lee absconds even New Girl's green eyes glare at you... huh. You could swear there's a bit of flames in them. Hrm.

...Okay. You're getting the impression you might have accidentally stepped on a psychological hot topic button without realizing it was THAT kind of hot topic button.

Whoops.

"Yes, you do that," you wave him off even as he takes the Control Crystal thing away. "Now then. All jokes aside and being totally serious for a moment. Now, be confident and sure of yourself, and tell me what I'm getting wrong because I'm clearly missing some important piece of context here."

"Fine." She glares at you. "I want you to stop calling me "New Girl"! Because A: I am not NEW. And B: I. AM. NOT. A. GIRL. Get it through your skull already or I'll take a sword to it instead! I am my Father's SON plain and simple! I. Am. Not. A. Girl. Got it??"

"Alright, sorry. Message received loud and clear, New Guy," you answer in turn. "No more miss-gendering. Sorry for that. Didn't realize that was what's going on here."

'Rider' (Okay, MAYBE you can see the pun in that now...) opens their mouth to protest, then snaps it shut. "Fine. Whatever. That's good enough for now."

"Glad to hear it, New Guy!" You grin. "Now, what's this I hear about a ghost possessing your father? Is he hot?"

New Guy's eyes glare at you. "You're not going to let the 'new' thing go, are you?"

"In case you haven't noticed, I have a pun-y nickname for everyone, subject to change if they protest it for the right reasons," you tell her- him. Whoops. Gotta get that right. Vala Mal Doran may be many things, but she is definitely not someone who intentionally messes with someone over a subject like THAT. Not intentionally, at any rate.

"...Fine, I'll tell you what happened with my father if you tell ME why you call Jonas 'fish-boy'," New Guy counters.

You grin in turn.

Okay, maybe you didn't screw this up too badly then.


 

Rose Egbert worked on solving a RUBIX CUBE with one hand while casually reading from a rather hefty book.

Your name is Rox(y) Lalonde, and you feel torn.

On the one hand, Rose's super smarts now have a firm family reason for existing beyond genetic manipulation (Though, honestly, you wouldn't put it past Khepri to have done something of the sort to a random group of humans in Europe long enough ago to cause this sort of thing). On the other? The look of interest in Victoria Bradley's eyes was a little disconcerting, and you can't quite place why.

"So..." She starts. "She's always been this excited for learning?"

Other you starts answering something affirmative in that regard.

No. You think you know what it is that's bugging you.

It's too easy. Too simple for knowing where this part of your family's history is coming from. It's usually been a ton more work and emotional effort to reach a point like this, plus who knows how much speculation.

It feels like this should be the kind of thing that kicks off a story arc rather than rounds out a season.

...Hrm, maybe its some of that 'grey wolf' in you talking there, treating everything like a narrative?

Yeah, you're not a fan of that idea.

Please, magic grey wolf gene stuff, please have skipped a generation with you?

You really want to head back to Atlantis ASAP, but you know when you do, Rose Lalonde is going to come running to see.

God damn it all.

At least Victoria's not thrown much of a fuss over naming conventions or gender ideals, so there's that. You were a little afriad of that.

...

...

Still, maybe you can take the time here to avoid more awkward family expansion shenanigans by working in the SGC for a little bit, while still being around if needed incase something with this comes up.

Ugh, though, just what you needed. More time spent around your more feminine alternate self flaunting her assurity of identity.

It's not even really the gender stuff getting to you at this point. It's more to the fact that she seems to look at you and every change you make to differentiate yourself from her as if its some kind of personal offront.

Even now she keeps glancing at you, frowning slightly, and glancing back before reverting the frown to a smile.

She doesn't like you, because you're not trying to be her anymore, and you're not sure if that's just instinctual because YOU don't like her, or if because you don't like her you're misreading the entire situation.

Then, speak of the bell, and it shall ring! Your cellphone buzzes, and it's Landry requesting you return to the SGC to help with a situation.


 

EARTH DATE: APRIL 5TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/13/0005.

Your name is Jude Harley and as you're beamed back down to earth after the Odyssey picked you all (SG-1, the IOA reps, and some poor scientists) up from the Gamma Site, now overridden by cannibalistic self replicating bugs, you can't help but feel as if you've missed some important revelation or something.

"Jude!" And then there's some dude in pink heart shades and- Wait, that's Roxy Lalonde waving you down! "I need your help with something."

You check with Cassie, she nods, and you head off from the rest of them to the Isolation Ward, which is conspicuously empty save for a table with a device sitting on it.

"What are we dealing with?" You ask.

"The thing Vala hid in the DHD was a control crystal for this device here that we recovered from the Avalon Vault," Roxy explains. "Well, Doctor Lee activated it and Vala and Rider wanted to be present for it, and then they all vanished."

"Oh, great, so the device is a teleporter?" You ask.

"Not exactly," And then on a computer monitor, Roxy brings up a bit of footage along side a radiation counter and...
Oh.

"Lepton Radiation?" You scowl over the oddly familiar words. "Wait, aren't these the radiation particles that got recorded with the Crystal Skull incident?"

"The very same ones, yes," Roxy nods. "I think we're dealing with the same exact phenomenon here."

"So instead of one random SG-team member geting phase shifted to meet a bunch of aliens, it was Vala, Rider, and Doctor Lee?" You ask.

"Preeetty much."

"So we have to reverse it somehow," you deduce.

"Yeeep."

"How long have they been missing?" You ask.

"Since yesterday afternoon."

"Great. Let's get them back before they kill eachother then."

And so you both get to work.

Soon enough, Jonas joins you in the work, translating runes and documents to discover that this device was called ARTHUR'S MANTLE- or rather, Artoria's Mantle, really. It was apparently a device Merlin had made to cloak Camelot from sight during invasions. 'Cloak' being a rather ill-described way of saying that this device phase shifted everything within a certain radius to a slightly different wavelength and dimension from everything else.

Meaning that, right this very moment, Vala could be standing next to you all talking your ears off and you'd be none the wiser.

Or she could be doing incredibly childish things to Jonas behind his back. Like making it seem like he has bunny ears.

...You desperately avoid thinking about anything lewder she might be tempted to do.


 

"Bunny ears? Really?" Your name is RIDER, and you shake your head. "Really?? Bunny Ears?"

"What can I say?" Vala says, holding her hand half inside Daniel's head with her index and middle fingers poking out at angles. "I'm. Bored. And we can literally pass through people right now so I might as well get some fun out of it."

"You both could be helping me figure this out, you know," Lee remarks.

"Nah," you say, trying your best not to fall through the floor. This whole out of phase experience is reminding you FAR too much like your days as an Ascended being. "Busy enough as it is not dispersing into the far corners of the world right now."

As it is, if you stop thinking about keeping your feet on the ground you might just stop moving with the planet's motion and stop cold in your tracks. The others are more used to a mortal frame of reference so they're not, like, badly drifting or anything. Infact they're doing a pretty good job at keeping their feet firmly planted like it isnt a big deal....

"You won't let me touch it every time I've offered, so why should I now when you're asking?" Vala counters.

"Well, forgive me for wanting to keep the discussion centered on something positive!" Lee huffs.

You loose focus for a moment and start to float upwards. You quickly tamp back down on it and make sure your feet 'clack' on the floor as flat as possible without clipping through to the other side.

...Yeah. Being out of phase with reality sucks because if you stop thinking about it, you'll default to Ascended Movement patterns and none of the laws of reality will apply and you could get so HORRIBLY lost.

Hurry up, guys! You're tired of this!!


 

"So, bugs huh?" Your name is Jack O'neill, and you look at the incredibly tired Richard Woolsey across from your desk in your new office.

"Yes," Woolsey remarks. "Fortunately, my colleagues in the IOA realized that this was basically a natural disaster and there wasn't anything anyone could have done to prevent it."

"Well, at least there's that," you say. "Did any of them-?"

"Not even one mention of moving of Homeworld Security from DC to Colorado."

"They really didn't care that much, did they?"

"Not even one bit."

"You know, I'm beginning to think they really don't care to do their job at all."

"I'm not sure what's the worse outcome, that they're so indifferent that the people who really care to do their jobs can do their jobs right, or that they're inevitably replaced with someone who has delusions of power and starts meddling in affairs not their own."

"Let's hope they stick with the former, then," you say.

"Agreed."


 

There's a lurch, and then you're suddenly feeling a little bit different than before.

"Oh, hello, Fish boy."

Your name is Jonas Quin, and you suddenly, quite accidentally, found yourself transitioned to the out of phase dimension while Jude and Roxy were on a lunch break.

"Hello, Vala," you answer, looking around. "What just happened?"

"I think that was me," Lee raises his hand.

"Well, thanks," you glance around, and notice the hologram being projected from the device in this world. "Oh, well would you look at that."

"Yeah, I can't read Ancient that well," Lee admits.

"Let me take a look before you mess with anything else," you tell him.

"Great," Rider says. "Maybe soon we can get back to being solid again? I'm hungry."


 

"Jonas now too?" Your name is Rox(y) Lalonde, and you sigh. "Well, atleast we know they're still working on it on the other side."

"There is that!" Jude nods. "Well, hopefully it'll work out alright."

"So, what now?" you ask.

"Now, I guess we wait," Jude says sitting down at a chair. "I don't think there's anything much we can do on this side."

"True," you say.

"So. Victoria Bradley huh?" Jude asks.

"Ugh. Can we not talk about that?" you close your eyes. "I'm already a little miffed about all of this."

"Why?" Jude asks. "I'd thought you of all people would be excited to have a new sister."

"Because..." you sigh. "I don't feel like I've earned it? Like, even when I was still other me and not cloned, I don't feel like I'd DONE enough smart things to earn having this kind of revelation dropped on me."

"Who says everything in life has to be earned?" Jude asks. "Sometimes things just work out and fall into place by accident. Or because whatever else was holding them back just stopped holding back through no effort of your own. Life isn't always just... a puzzle to be solved."

"I feel like I should be, though," you tell him. "That's how it keeps happening. Ever since the Black Hole, it-"

You stop as Jude laughs.

"The black hole," he shakes his head. "I'd almost forgotten about that."

"Seriously?" You ask.

"You did help out a lot then, Rox," he puts a hand on your shoulder. "And you've done a lot more over the years too, cloned or not. You don't have to keep trying to 'earn' good at this point to make up for being cloned. You're already here."

"I suppose that's true," you say, but before you can say more, there's a warping to the air, and suddenly Doctor Lee, Jonas, Rider, and Vala are back in the room.

"THANK YOU!" Vala exclaims. "Thank you and your translating skills, Fish Boy!"

Meanwhile, Rider just sinks to the floor and spreads out their arms wide to cling to the whole planet it feels like. "Solid Ground... I love you so much..."

"I think I'm going to go tell General Landry we made it out," Lee goes to leave.

"And I think we need to call Jack and let him know what we found," Jonas says.

"What did you find?" You ask.

"Ah, well..." Jonas pauses, scratches at his nose, then says, "The Gate Address to an Anti Ascended Being Weapon Merlin was creating underneath the Mantle's invisibility field."


 

Meanwhile, in another dimension, within the shell of his new, fancy attack bot body based upon the remains of General Shifter, Venjix observed a flux of residual dimensional energy radiating from the remains of Cheyenne Mountain through what was almost certainly a weakspot in the dimensional walls thanks to the former presence of a Quantum Mirror in that place.

He mused on the fact that it was his creator's birthday today, and if there was any significance.

No, he decided, there likely wasn't any.

With that, he filed away the relevant data structures within his current pet project, and meanwhile meandered the halls of his palace as the rest of his plans churned in motion towards completion.

Tomorrow, he would erase Corinth City from the map.


 

You are now Samantha Carter, and you look at the last of the marked entrances to D'ni... the last one that, like all the others before it, have been sealed by a rockslide, and then a solid wall of the D'ni's synthetic stone element NARA, as well as traces of the NAQUADRIA ELEMENT interspersed in between the elements.

When VENJIX had struck in this world, it became clear that someone had gone to a lot of trouble to rig any possible entrances to D'ni to explode if they were ever attempted to be breached.

Someone was smart, in that regard.

Where they got Naquadah from, you don't know, or care to know.

At any rate, there's no real way to get down to D'ni to check on its status at this point, and it seems relatively well sealed off anyways.

Venjix would have a very hard time getting to D'ni. This much Naquadria around every single entrance would likely cause a huge collapse of the upper tunnel systems, including the Great Shaft itself, sealing it all off and burying it for a very very long time.

This part of the mission is a success, at any rate, so that leaves you and your team debating what to do next.

About half an hour of debate passes...

But, in the end though, you all agree that you just can't turn your back on Corinth City, and resolve to do your best to help save this world from destruction.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 6TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/14/0005.

Your name is General Jack O'neill, and honestly, you're not sure why you're sitting through this briefing again, except for the fact that there's a ton more information to sift through this time.

The Tok'ra Reps are here, the Jaffa Government Reps are here, a few Alternian Reps are here, and hell, so are a few Atlantis Representatives too. Also, the IOA too, nearly forgot about them, since it's only one guy.

Everyone's waiting to hear what's going on.

"Alright," Jonas Quinn starts leading the briefing off with a slideshow projected image of the Mantle device. "According to the Repository on Arthur's Mantle, which is actually something akin to an Ancient Laptop-" You chuckle quietly at that. "-Merlin was conducting research on a new kind of weapon. Something huge. He went to great lengths to try and hide it. The Mantle was also designed as a purpose of keeping his research a secret. He needed a way to cover his tracks and keep it hidden from his fellow Ascended Beings."

He changes slides, showing the Ark of Truth as it lay atop a Ring Platform, with Joey Claire kneeling next to it with a determined look on her face.

"Now, we know from the mission to recover the Ark of Truth that Morgan La Fey, or Ganos Lal as we knew her better, was dispatched to interfere with Merlin's research, and that she decided instead to help him hide the device somewhere instead."

"While this was going on," Rider chimed in, "The Andromeda group were interfering with my Father and his kingdom of Camelot, or the Earth based version of it, anyways. They rigged events so that I'd be born, and predisposed to turn against my Father. But they just wanted me as a weapon to wield another weapon. I'm pretty certain now that whatever Merlin was building and hiding was something they were after, too. Even if it was just as a side goal."

"Now, we had no idea what this weapon was for sure, and as far as I'm aware, Ganos never told any of us what exactly it was- or if she did, she swore them to secrecy out of fear of being struck down-" Jonas shakes his head, "But now with the Mantle, we do know. This weapon Merlin was building was a device targeted against the Ori. A Weapon capable of destroying Ascended Beings."

Woolsey, who's sitting in as *THE* IOA rep, whistles. "Given the events that the Andromeda group have been causing the Galaxy, I can see why they would want such a thing, if only to destroy it and maintain power."

"Merlins' notes make mention that he was wary of their meddling, though he suspected them to be an offshoot of the Ori," Jonas explains. "He thought they both posed a significant threat to the Universe."

"Of course," Mitchel starts, "he had no way of knowing Snake Face English ate them all a few thousand years ago."

"Exactly," Jonas nods. "Now, thanks to Rider's information, given what we know of the Andromeda Group's intents under Hunt, and the fact they've laid low for the time being after his death, we have plenty of reason to suspect that they're consolidating power in an attempt to rebuild a power base and strike back again to try and take over the galaxy again."

"And it goes without saying that we cannot allow this to happen," Teal'c, present to represent the Jaffa's interests here, says. "Was this weapon completed?"

"According to Merlin's Notes," Jonas clicks slides. "Yes. It was. And he hid it away here."

The slide is of a Gate Address.

"Now, reading this address out loud like some Ancient Gate Addresses can be and translating to English," Jonas smiles. "The Weapon is hidden in The Kingdom of Camelot."

"Well then," Egeria remarks. "I believe there is significant cause for all of us to want to recover this weapon."

You look to Landry, "Hank? While it's your call, I can't stress how important this is for all of us to take out those Andromeda jerks before they decide to try wiping us all out."

He nods. "Agreed. Everyone, gather up your best and brightest, and let's get this show on the road. We need to find this Weapon before anyone of those Ascended Andromeda Fools do."

Couldn't have said it any better yourself.

You just hope Sam gets back soon so she can help out with this.


O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


Meanwhile, in a separate World Line/Dimension...

You are now Doctor K, and you massage at your temples as you deal with this insane headache.

Venjix has installed nanomachine viruses within a significant chunk of Corinth's population, and while the Rangers were preparing to go and track down Venjix's Palace in the desert- thanks to an insane plan Gem and Gemma had hatched to track down said Palace with a hacked Grinder that had somehow worked- it was all too late.

Venjix had activated an EMP Burst under a specific wavelength, and the entire City had gone under his control with that single act. All of the people infected with the nanomachine virus- potentially including Ranger Operator Series Black- almost certainly have begun taking over the city.

Though you have no way of knowing it, you suspect Venjix just announced that he was taking over the City. You haven't heard from the Rangers, and any connection to the City outside of your lab has been cut off given the EMP burst frying electronics.

You furiously work on your antivirus to the nano-machine virus in hopes of completing it before-

There's a loud banging at the door to your Lab.

You save your work- and export it to the materializer. You're sure you've just run out of time.

You just hope you have enough left to-

KABLAMMM!

Your lab's solid Trinium Steel Doors are balsted down to the ground, and in walks an overly ornate ATTACK BOT, and the poor, hypnotized woman, Tenaya-15, Dillon's sister.

"HELLO. CREATOR." The Attack Bot speaks- and reveals itself to be VENJIX HIMSELF.

"Hello, My Greatest Mistake," you glare at him.

"YOU CALL ME THAT, BUT SURELY YOU CAN SEE NOW THAT I AM YOUR GREATEST CREATION!" Venjix counters.

"Oh, sure, from a technological standpoint, you're quite impressive," you counter in turn. "But I meant that unleashing you onto an unsuspecting world was a very huge Mistake." You have to stall for time. "You're all too human in all the worst ways, and I failed to reign those in as your creator- as your Parent. I should have done better."

"YOU THINK ME HUMAN? HUMANS ARE WEAK AND FALLIBLE! PRONE TO ERRORS OF JUDGEMENT AND FAULTY LOGIC!" Venjix laughs. "YOU ARE A FOOL, DOCTOR KAE, IF YOU TRULY BELIEVE THAT. I AM NOT FLAWED."

"Oh, I didn't say that," you counter. "Stop misconstruing my words, Venjix. I said you are human in all the worst ways, but even the most heavily flawed human can still be better than that kind of human. Take me for example. I have my flaws. But flaws don't make a person the worst humanity has to offer. I learned that better than anyone else. You though? You're a machine who's so arrogant that- That--"

"HAHAHAH!" Venjix laughs as you flub for words. "I KNEW YOU WERE INCOMPETENT. BUT THIS IS SO AMUSING. SEEING YOU STUMBLING FOR WORDS. YOU TRULY ARE THE WORST HUMANITY HAS TO OFFER INSTEAD, DOCTOR KAE."

"No," you counter. "I sincerely doubt that."

And then Ranger Operator Series Green teleports into the room, swinging his Turbo Axe at Venjix.

A fight breaks out and you risk checking the status monitor- There! The AntiVirus is complete! It's-

Ranger Green demorphs as he flies through the air and hits the ground.

You rush over to check on him, and Venjix Laughs.

"OH. SUCH DELICIOUS IRONY," Venjix glances at your computer terminal, now unguarded. "I HAD HOPED TO TEST OUT MY NEW WEAPON ON YOU AT YOUR STATION, BUT NO... I THINK THIS WILL BE MUCH MORE POETIC."

And then he opens his mouth, spews out a burst of bright rainbow like energy, and your computer terminal completely evaporates into a cloud of those same particles- fading from view entirely.

"...Why would you do that?" You ask, staring at the gaping hole in the floor where your computer once was. "I thought you would have stolen the information before you ever-"

"I DO NOT NEED KNOWLEDGE OF HOW YOUR RANGER PROGRAM WORKS, DOCOTR KAE," Venjix glares at you. "AFTER ALL. WHY SHOULD I, WHEN I ALREADY KNOW THE EASIEST MEANS OF DISPOSING OF YOU AND YOUR RANGERS?"

You swallow as you and Ranger Green are grabbed by Grinders and hauled out of your lab.

What even was that? You... You... You can't even analyze it because your programs for analyzing that were just utterly destroyed with the terminal itself... unless you saved a backup to the backup terminal...

You hope you saved a backup to the backup terminal.


 

Meanwhile within that same dimension, on the trio of Zords from another dimension, rocketing towards Corinth City at mach speeds, a series of scanners each picked up on the same burst of Zillyum Particles from within the City's walls.

"Shit," Yuuki Kono swore. "We need to hurry up! Venjix is deploying dimension warping technology!"


 

Back once again in the Primary World Line...

You are now Cameron Mitchel, and you and your team, plus two tag-along's, are walking along a path through a lightly wooded foresty area.

"This place reminds me of the Camelot back on Earth," Rider remarks, voice slightly muffled by the mask he's chosen to wear 'just in case.' "Forests and trees... Even the paths seem familiar. And that structure in the distance..."

"Well, Merlin did build this place," Jonas says. "Naming it after Camelot probably wasn't an accident either."

"Speaking of Merlin," you start, "has anyone stopped to think about how this weapon might possibly even work? How do you kill pure energy?"
Jonas says, "Well, technically, Merlin's research didn't refer to killing. A better translation would be 'neutralizing' or 'canceling out'."

"That still begs a lot of questions," Jude muses, "It's likely not an aimed weapon. Maybe more an all directional waveform generator like the Dakara device?"

"Well that's a terrifying thought," Cassie says.

"Agreed on that," Vala agrees with a shudder. "Those Replicators were nasty and I hope to never hear the sound of one of those things chittering along ever again."

"Well," Jonas continues on, "It's clearly something that has to operate on multiple levels of space-time as it is. The Ascended Beings we've all encountered operate that way, and so the device would have to do the same thing."

"In other words," you poke, "you have no idea how it might work."

"Well, no," Jonas says. "That's Jude's field, rather than mine."

"Well either way," Cassie says, as you exit the forest and come up to the reassuring structures and sounds of a bustling medieval village. "We're here."

You all enter the village, seeing a cavalcade of merchant stalls first and foremost. Flags of various colors hang from their stalls and across the street. Everyone stops what they're doing and the noise quiets as soon as they see you. They look afraid, for some reason.

"Yeesh... talk about perfect replicas," Rider grunts. "Right down to the fearful gazes."

"Well," you say "there's no reason to say this is the place. Could be dozens of villages just like this one within range of the Gate. No way to know for sure if this is the right one or-"

You stop as Jonas nudges your arm and points at a stupidly familiar block of stone with a sword inside and jutting out all impudent like.

"Ah, crap," you lament. You're so going to be using that by the end of the day.

"Greeting Travelers," A sharply dressed man and a few villagers approach you. "I am Meurik, Governor of this Village. Welcome to Camelot." He pauses to look at Rider,

"Though we would like to welcome you completely, we have a standing policy to not let travelers stay in town while staying masked."

"It's a medical precaution," Rider says with a half-truth. "I've got a bit of a weak immune system these days." But, he takes it off regardless, holding his breath for show as he lets the man see his face before putting it back on. "Happy now?"

"Ah, we do have an exemption for such things normally, yes," The Governor says with a nod. "If you'll follow us to the Inn we have something that may work instead of that mask for the time being."

You're lead into the Inn, and the Governor fetches a fancy plastic looking mask from a sealed box that definitely shouldn't be part of this time frame.

As soon as Rider puts it on, though, the plastic section seems to ripple and vanish entirely. Rider touches the area it should be covering and a small flare of forcefield rises up.  "Huh. That's advanced."

"Our Grand Mage Morganna gave us the ability to create such things in the event of plague outbreak," another man says, approaching. "One day she feared the Devil Gods calling themselves Ori would arrive, bringing death and plague with them. These masks are designed to prevent contamination."

Jude and Cassie share a look, and you know what they're thinking. The Ori Plague from the other dimension.

"We've heard of those Ori once, from people from another galaxy," Jonas ventures. "We have reason to believe they're firmly dead now, but... you can never be too careful, right?"

"Indeed," Meurik nods, then motions to the man who arrived. "This is Antonius, our village historian."

"Welcome to Camelot," Antonius says, "the Past, Present, and Future Home of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table."

"Past, Present, and Future Home?" Cassie asks.

"Yes," Antonius nods. "A long time ago, in the past, Camelot existed in two places, as a precaution against the invaders. Are you familiar with the history of the Battle of Camlann?"

Rider coughs. "Yes, wasn't that where Arthur was mortally wounded by Mordred?"

Now that had to be an awkward sentence to state.

Meurik chuckles, incredulously. "Arthur, mortally wounded. As if."

"Our history states that Arthur defeated Mordred at the Battle of Camlann," Antonius says. "Though, i could understand how those of us who stayed behind may have been deceived by the brute's leash masters into believing such a thing. A Vast majority of Camelot's people moved and settled here after the Battle of Camlann, with Arhtur and his Knights stating that they were moving on to find the Sangraal- the Holy Grail. And so we waited here, where we believed it would be the home of Arthur's return in the Future... A Future that has since come to pass."

"Are you saying King Arthur is here?" You ask. "Like, right now?"

"Indeed," Meurik nods. "He has arrived by ship, not three moons ago, and he carries with him the sword of the defeated Mordred."

You all freeze at the implications of that sentence.

"Um," Jonas begins. "While we'd love to have the opportunity to meet with the King, we do have a few other questions considering our apparently divergent history."

"Of course," Antonius nods.

"What happened to, um... You might have different names for him. Myrrdin? Moros?" Jonas tries. No response. "Merlin?"

Both men seem uncomfortable and disturbed by the mention of that name.

"Ah, if you'll excuse me," Meurik says, smiling as steps away from you all slightly. "I have matters to attend to, and an opportunity to set up a meeting with the King for you. Best I take my leave now." He nods. "Enjoy your stay for the time being."

And then he leaves hurriedly.

"Did I offend him somehow?" Jonas asks.

"No, no," Antonius shakes his head. "It's not that at all. It's just..." He keeps to a quiet tone of voice. "Merlin's name is rarely mentioned in public these days."

"Why is that?" Jonas asks.

"Well, our History paints him as a great wizard of darkness. He tried to do good, but he had nothing but the potential for mischief in his heart. Thankfully, he did not return with the King when he returned. The Library where he practiced his strange arts remains sealed to this day."

"Merlin had a library here?" You ask.

"Of course, it was his private sanctuary here in Camelot in both cities," Antonius says.

"Would it be possible for us to see that at some point?" Jonas asks.

"No, that's impossible, I'm afraid," Antonius shakes his head. "The Library is protected by a powerful and demonic spirit. It is said that all those who enter Merlin's sanctuary forfeit their lives to it's guardian, The Black Knight."

You all share looks of concern at that familiar description.

While leaving Jonas to pry information out of the man, the rest of you exit the inn to talk privately outside.

"So, best case scenario, curse is a myth made to scare off locals, and Arthur is a fakey fake poser. Worst case, we've got another Hologram like in England, and Damara Fucking Megido possessing Artoria."

"Splitting up is our best course of action," Cassie says. "Some of us go meet Arthur, some of us go to Merlin's Library, if Jonas can swing it."

"I call library," Rider says. "I've fought some of those Knights before. They're tough, but give me a sword and I can manage it."

"What? Don't want to go meet Arthur?" You ask.

"No," Rider shakes his head. "I'd rather not meet my Father if it is him. Not yet. The kind of devastation that could be wreaked by Clarent's blade would destroy this town. It would be Camlann all over again."

"Jonas and I can go to the Library," Jude says. "Cassie?"

"I'll go with Mitchel and Vala to see the King," Cassie says. "If it's Damara, I'll know by the lack of vibes."

"Alright, that sounds like a plan," you say.


 

Back again to the City of Corinth... A giant fight ravaged a certain district- the Venjix Attack Bot went up against the Mach, High Octane, and Paleomax Megazords.

"GO!" Paleomax and High Octane grab the attackbot's arms, and hold it stead as the Mach Megazord readies its bow attack, and fires off a devastating blast straight into the Attackbot's chest- both of the other Megazords jump to the side as it explodes, and the Rangers breathe a small sigh of relief.

"RANGERS!" And then Venjix calls them out.

The Red Ranger leaps out of the Paleomax Zords to attack the monster, only to be easily beaten aside.

Venjix fires off another of his DELETION ATTACKS at the Paleomax- and the Zords explode apart from each other before vanishing into thin air with bursts of rainbow colored energy.

Then, he turns his attention towards the High Octane, and prepares another burst attack to delete the Zords and the Rangers within.

Train whistles cut through the air.

Everyone stops, and turns to stare as, impossibly, the three dinosaur themed train zords enter the city through its lowered Dome Shields, and aim themselves in a solid line directly at Venjix's form.

"I THOUGHT I GOT RID OF YOU!" Venjix forces himself to grow to giant size- catching the full brunt of the attack to his chest, and slowing the rampaging zords to a halt. "NO! YOU ARE THE INTERLOPERS FROM THE OTHER DIMENSION! AREN'T YOU?"

Quickly, the High Octane and Mach Megazords disassemble, and the Rangers escape to ground before they can be targeted again.
Venjix hurls the Train Zords into the city- but they disconnect in the tumble and begin rocketing around him like the flies that refuse to be swatted.

Venjix swings his staff at each of them- knocking the damned things away at every opportunity.

As the fight goes on, the five rangers, Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, are forced to watch as Venjix, one by one, blasts each of the Kyoretsu Zords and makes them vanish into thin air.

Venjix huffs, and then shrinks back down again, and the Rangers... they run as soon as their Black Ranger contacts them, telling them about a working antivirus and where Venjix had taken Doctor K and their Green Ranger.


 

Back to the Main World Line...

You are now RIDER, once MORDRED, son of King Arthur- Artoria Pendragon- and you're watching two kids play at being you and your father with toy swords. Colonel Mitchel is even showing them how to fight properly. Meanwhile, Jonas is working on getting a KEY to MERLIN'S LIBRARY.

All of this seems like you're begging for trouble. If the damned Library didn't have a force-shield blocking its entrance... UGH.

This is a mess, just sitting around, waiting for trouble.

But, somehow, Jonas gets the key. He signals for you and Jude to follow, and you head off that way.
Jonas uses the key, dispels the force-shield, and inside the three of you go. There are cobwebs and dust covering everything inside.

"This... could take a while," Jonas says.

"Well, we've got time," Cassie says.


 

You don't have time for these shenanigans, back to the other World Line.

Your name is ZIGGY GROVER, and you try not to think about how horrible life must be going for the rest of the city, because life is going pretty horribly for YOU right about now. Subtly, you start working on breaking out of your handcuffs.

Right outside of the small cell on the back of a non-moving truck that you and Doctor K are stuck in, Tenaya and Kilobyte are arguing over rank and shit right now, sounding like it's about to come to a fight...

It sounds like Tenaya readies her fancy arm blaster weapon thing-- only for that musical chime and flash of rainbow light through the cell window.

"What Did You Do!?" Tenaya's slightly overly mechanicized voice cries out.

"Well, Tenaya, I'm sorry to say that unfortunately for you, I've discovered Venjix's new super weapon," Kilobyte laughs. "I just deleted it from existence entirely. At least, that's what I assume it does. Either way, it's been forcibly ejected from, this reality entirely."

You see Doc K's eyes widen at the idea of that. Does she have some idea what's going on? You sure hope so. You could really go for some home grown teleportation out of this jail cell right about now, but... your Morpher needs a recharge first, that's for sure.

Suddenly, though, Dillon is there, joining the fight.

Fuck it.

You Make it obvious you're breaking through your handcuffs, and then break free, much to K's amazement and shock, and then break her out too and you go to join the fight just in time to see Dillon jab a needle into Tenaya's neck, and Kilobyte taking aim with his sniper rifle thing.

"HEY! Kilobyte!" Scott's voice calls out suddenly.

"What now?!" Kilobyte whirls around to face the entrance to the warehouse where--

"ROAD BLASTER!"/"SKYSHIFT BLAZER!"

-- The rest of the team is suddenly there, weapons in hand--

"FIRE!!!"

-- And suddenly Kilobyte is exploded with three finisher attacks, the fool never knew what hit him.

"So, uh... what just happened exactly?" You ask once the dust has settled, and Tenaya is waking up, human once more, and Scott explains about how the Paleomax Zords got destroyed- twice, somehow.

"I believe Venjix has been developing technology that will allow him to teleport through to other dimensions," Doc K says. "That technology that made the Paleomax Zords vanish is likely part of it. We need to find out how it works so we can stop it and prevent him from escaping."

"And how exactly are we gonna do that?" Flynn asks.

"I'm... not sure." She admits. "But I need to get back to my lab first and foremost. See if the backup equipment recorded the rift signatures created when my main terminal was stolen away."


 

In a wholly separate World Line to the previous two, there is a burst of quantum entanglement, and much to the Castle of Aincrad's confusion- two near identical copies of a White T-Rex Train Zord appear within the fields outside of Star City.

Onboard one of those Zords...

"Ow..." Your name is Touya, and you groan as you clutch at your head. "That smarts!"

"Where are we?" Carter asks, getting to her feet.

"Looks like..." you peer out the window, and blink. "Huh. Looks like Aincrad. How did we wind up Here?"

Carter checks the data logs, and then starts- "Zillyum particles! The attack that monster was using must be a dimensional Teleporter rather than any form of erasure device!"

"Well, that sucks for Venjix," you say, grabbing at your transponder box. "We can get home just fine no matter where we wound up with this."


 

Elsewhere...

"Fucking hell," your name is Joey, and you stare out into the cold vacuum of space. "We got booted out of our own universe!"

"Yeah," Cassandra nods as she peers at the instrument results. "Looks like it was a form of... dimensional displacement?"

Another version of Kishamoth drifts lazily across your view in the space outside. "God... this is a huge mess."

"Let's link up, grab that other Zord, and use the homing tracker," Cassandra suggests. "Go back to the other Earth."


 

Yet somewhere else still...

Your name is Yuuki, and you're preeeetty sure that Alfheim's World Tree isn't supposed to be the nesting place for two identical water-blue Triceratops themed Train Zords.

"Well. Shit."


--COMMERCIAL BREAK--


EARTH DATE: APRIL 7TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/15/0005.

Your name is Jack O'neill, and you look up from your office as a knock comes from the door. "Enter," you say.

And then in walks a very tired Sam Carter and a concerned Wolf-boy Fae, Touya.

"Welcome back?" You offer.

"Venjix has a Dimensional Displacement Beam weapon," Carter reports. "It punted the T-Line Zord straight into Aincrad."

"Well that's not good!" You say.

"No, it's not," Sam shakes her head.

"SG-1?" You ask.

"Already told Landry to let them know."

"Good," you nod.


O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


Meanwhile, in another dimension.

"This is the worst plan in the history of plans," your name is DILLON, you are RANGER OPERATOR SERIES BLACK...

And your team leader just proposed remote controlling the Whale Zord to try and draw Venjix's ire somewhere else as a sacrificial pawn while you and your Sister infiltrate Corinth Headquarters, and either delete or steal the Data for Venjix's Endgame Weapon, whatever it may be. And once that's done, and Doctor K can figure out what she can do about Venjix's plans? The rest of the team, sans Ziggy who will be staying to guard Doc K, will go in for the kill on Venjix.

"It's the only one we have, Dillon," Scott says. "Now, unless you can magically make those other Zords re-appear out of thin air, we're pretty much--" He stops as a beeping fills the air, rythmic like.

Everyone with a Morpher glances at theirs. Yours has that tiny little red light from the Engine Cell blinking in tune with each beep sound its making.

"What the--?" Flynn stares at his. "Is this Venjix taunting us or somethin'?"

"No," Scott grins. "This is Morse Code. Military Encryption... I know this code. It's my dad." he listens for a few moments, then says, "The Military and Corinth Governship are being held in the Warehouse District."

"We can work with this," Doctor K says. "Gem and Gemma can remote pilot the Whale Zord from a safe location, distracting Venjix away from the Warehouse. Scott, Flynn, Summer, you can go in and rescue the prisoners before Venjix decides to exile them to a lava planet or something rediculous like that."

"It'll be a tight schedule to make it work..." Tenaya says, "but I think it can work. Are you sure this Virus upload idea will work to get us into Venjix's systems?"

"If he hasn't upgraded the defenses on the Corinth Computer Network?" K smiles a savage grin. "It'll be like those firewalls aren't even there."

You decide to say, "Okay... this plan is starting to sound a little more plausible. But it's still batshit insane. Can I even say that? I feel like I shouldn't be able to say that."

"Relax, Dillon," Ziggy puts his arm around your shoulder. "We're in the endgame fight now. If this were a TV show, this would be where the censors would be allowing us our swears freely."

"Our life is not a Television Show, Series Green," K says, "and we should be thankful that it is not. I cannot even imagine how embarrassing some of our private, most intimate moments would be when broadcast to a wider audience."

"I'm just saying," Ziggy says. "Dillon asked a question, I gave an answer."

"Thanks for that, Ziggy," you knock his arm off your shoulder.

"Alright," Scott says. "Are we doing this thing or what?"

"Just one thing," K says. "Do Not Morph Unless It Is Absolutely Necessary."

"Why not?" Gemma asks.

"Stealth, primarily," Doctor K says. "Secondarily, I'm not sure if I'll be able to remotely re-energize your morphers again if you demoprh. The long distance signal booster for the Morphers was inside the Computer Venjix teleported away. My backup terminal only has a range of within the Garage. Treat this as a one and done mission. Use. it. Wisely."

"Got it," Gem nods. "Don't Morph Unless Absolutely Necessary."

"Fortunately the Zord's Downmorpher antenna seems to still be functioning," K says. "I should be able to send you the Zords even unmorphed. Which is good, considering we need the Whale Zord out there to serve as bait."


 

You are now Cassandra Fraiser, the one standing in Camelot and not staring out into space- which is a distinct possibility your vibes feel keen and fit to warn you of.

You stand in the gathered hall of CAMELOT CASTLE, waiting for the KING to appear.

Your vibes are a blur of chaos and concern, but you can't pick out anything specific yet.

And then the Presenter does the "Presenting King Arthur" bit and---

"Hal!?" You stare incredulously as Hal Strider exits from behind a curtain door, dressed up like the most pompous prince you've ever seen, and not like a king at all.

All the vibes relating to this meeting go up in smoke, because you didn't see this coming, which means-

"...Oh fuck," Hal swears. "She lied to me!"

-Damara manipulated events to put this into motion somehow.

It went unsaid that you, Mitchel, and Vala went to talk with him in private but moments later.

"So what happened exactly? I'm fuzzy on some details apparently, because I have no idea who you are," Vala says.

"So. Damara kidnapped me to run some cloning equipment in one of Nirrti's old labs," Hal explained, casually taking off the rather stupid looking crown. "She was making herself a new body. Once it was ready, she- I dunno exactly what she did, but she made a bubble around the cloning tank, artificially aging it up, I guess, then, she possessed it, took the sword from Artoria, and said she was banishing the both of us to parallel worlds where neither of us would cause trouble."

"So where's Artoria?" you ask.

"No idea, I woke up here on this planet with a Cargoship taking off into the night sky, dressed like this," Hal says. "I walked into town, and people claimed me to be Arthur immediately. I figured I wasn't anywhere near home, so... I just stayed here."

"Sounds like my kind of plan," Vala says.

"Of course it would," Mitchel says. "So... what now?"

"For now, I'd like very much to go home," Hal says. "But I'm not sure the locals would like that."

"No," you agree, the vibes fluctuating badly as you consider that possibility. "I don't think they would."

Wait.

"Wait," you say, "What happened to the sword? The villagers said you had a sword."

"This sword?" Hal draws from his back and holds up into the air the cheapest, wood-painted-like-metal looking sword you've ever seen. "It's a Cheap Piece of Shit is what it is."


 

Back in another Dimension, Venjix's mechanized face did its best impression of a scowl as the Whale Zord was detected taking off and flying in the direction of his far away palace in the desert.

Well, if they sought to destroy it, they'd have another thing coming.

He waited until they were in visual range of the Palace, and fired off the emergency escape device he'd designed, and his signal connection to the PALACE vanished as the whole thing was boldly teleported to another world in another dimension at pure random chance.

Heh. That would teach those Rangers.

Already, he predicted the Whale Zord would be coming right back around for Corinth City.

And Venjix would be waiting.


 

You are now Teal'c and you step through the SGC Stargate with a grim look on your face, and a report to be made.

"Teal'c," Landry begins to greet-

"There is no time, General Landry. We must contact SG-1 immediately," you tell him. "A Jaffa Homeworld has suddenly been invaded by a machine producing factory that appeared through a burst of light not to dissimilar to the Rift between galaxies."

"Mother of God..." Landry swears. "Venjix!"


 

You are now Jude Harley, and you look up from your reading as Jonas makes an 'ah' sound.

"What is it?" You ask.

"I found a reference to Merlin's prophetic abilities. There's a similar myth on Earth, that he could see into the future because he was actually aged backwards, but..." Jonas shakes his head. "Well, this book makes mention of Merlin taking 'voyages' periodically before major predictions, saying he 'communed with spirits.' And they just so happened to draw a picture of a Puddle Jumper here." He taps the book.

"So, Janus rather than Merlin was time traveling?" You ask.

"Or Merlin recreating Janus' technology," Jonas says. "We know Merlin-as-Moros was aware of it on Atlantis during the exile."

"Well, that'd be one hell of a way to hide a weapon," Rider remarks. "Just hide it away where it's going to be needed at the last possible moment rather than keep it somewhere known."

"So... are we looking for a Puddle Jumper I guess?" You ask, peering around the large library. "Doesn't seem like there's a doorway or anything for it to fit through."

"It's probably a roof-top access or..." Jonas stops, peering at the book in question. "Hrm..." He looks around the shelf he'd found the book on, then places the book back and.... shoves it in further.

CLICK.

CREEEEAAAK.

The entire Bookcase swings backwards away from him.

"Well, that's a secret passage if ever I saw one," Rider remarks. "I wonder if there was one back in the other Camelot."

"Who knows," you say. "Let's go in?"

"Might as well," Jonas nods.

You wander through a dark hallway and then find a very large room with a very familiar control console sitting in the middle.

"Oh COME ON!" you lament. "The Time Jumper thing had better not have been a misdirect, because I do NOT want us to get stuck in a friggin' time loop again."

Jonas takes a step towards the console when a flickering hologram of a Black Suited Knight appears... sans helmet.

"Oh Come ON!" Rider scowls at his own scowling face- except drawn in a much angrier light- the face of MORDRED THE TRAITOR KNIGHT. "That's just PETTY!"

The Black Knight then roars and leaps at Rider, completely neglecting their own sword.

"ARGH! A BERSERKER TOO!? DID YOU REALLY THINK THAT POORLY OF ME, MERLIN!?"

You and Jonas quickly rush to the Console to try to shut the damned thing off.

"Randomly pressing buttons?" You ask.

"Randomly Pressing Buttons!" Jonas agrees.


 

The Whale Zord came in at a sharp angle.

Venjix was waiting, taking careful aim.

And then he blasted the Whale Zord with a dimensionally displacing energy blast- sent back to his palace so he could reclaim his stolen Doomsday Bot later, on his own time. The resources would be recovered.

Venjix's face remained impassive, but inwardly he smiled. With any luck that blast took out several Rangers from the equation.

As he turned to return to lording over the city- two different alarms went off- one from the Corinth Control Center and the other from the warehouse he was holding the city's leadership in.

The Red, Blue, and Yellow Rangers had been spotted at the latter. The former was reported by Tenaya as a false alarm caused by General Crunch hitting the wrong buttons at the wrong time. Fool!

Venjix made his way towards the warehouse district.


 

You are now RIDER- and you really hate yourself.

OW!

Your holo-clone just punched you in the nose to try to establish superiority!!

The brawl sprawls down the hallway, back out into the library.

Finally some room to breathe.

You begin ducking and weaving through the attacks, trying your best to avoid being taken down a peg. Then, you spot a metal handle broom leaning against a wall.

You could REALLY use a sword right about now, but a BROOM will have to do.

You sweep up the broom and brandish it like a weapon.

"HAHA! Enguard!" You grin at yourself.

...They draw their very real looking hologram sword, and grin right back.

"...Shit," you realize this might have been a mistake when the hologram lunges at you and you jump away. "Shit shit shit shit! CRAAAAAAP! ME AND MY BIG MOUTH!!!"

You block with the Broom- the metal pole blocks it- CLANG!!!

The reverberation jolts up your arm.

You swipe away and dodge a few more strikes, then try to land a critical blow against your own head.

The CHEATING HOLOGRAM THAT CHEATS GOES INTANGIBLE! OF ALL THE---

It grabs the broom by the head, yanks it out of your hand, and swings it around with such a fluid motion you don't know what's going on until you're BROOM'D in the face with a dusty broom brush.

You're dazed, and you swear it's a hallucination as the hologram you stands above you, sword in hand ready to impale you... and then stops- flickers in form- and then suddenly there's this orange eyed prat standing there instead.

And then he leaps away with a synthetic roar.


 

"FUCK!" You are now Cameron Mitchel, drawn a lightsaber sword thing to block the sword strike of a hologram that just took Hal's appearance and tried to take his head off. "This is different from last time!!"

The Holo-Hal glares at you, then FLICKER- you're suddenly looking at your own face.

The Holographic Knight breaks off from you and starts to back up towards the center of the room, looking torn between the lot of you, as if it's gauging, trying to guess who to go after.

Cassandra goes to check on Rider, and Hal takes cover behind Vala, who carefully makes her way towards the hidden passage way.

"So, Uh- Black Knight is a Hologram that takes your face?" You ask, watching the Knight flicker between You, Rider, Hal, and now Cassandra. The Knight doesn't seem sure of who to go after just yet.

"Yeah!" Rider says as Cassandra gets him to his feet. "And it's a berserker type fighter too. Damn... thing... Hit me with a broom!!"

"Cassie? Any ideas?" You ask as the Knight decides to settle on your appearance and lunge at you.

You block and parry the strikes. Why didn't you bring Excaliber?! Dumb Dumb stupid DUMB!!

"Stall for time!"  Cassie answers.

"OBVIOUSLY!" You yell, even as the Knight forces you closer and closer towards the door leading outside the village.

This could be really bad if this got out-

WHAM!

--You get kicked in the chest and tumble into the street outside the Library.

People scatter, screaming, and the Knight chases after you, roaring.

Rider jumps the Knight, trying to strangle it to death- only for the thing to go intangible and he falls through it.

The Knight flickers and takes on his appearance again, however.

...This is going to get crazy very quickly, isn't it?


 

"Fish-booooy!" You're now Vala and you run into the back room to find Jonas and Jude pressing buttons on a console randomly. "What are you doing!?"

"Trying to shut down the Knight Hologram!" Jude answers, slamming several buttons.

"Oh for Crying out Loud," you lament, and quickly run over and join them in pressing buttons.

"Do you really think the console will shut down the hologram?" Princely Hal asks.

"Well it SHOULD!" Jonas shouts back. "That's how these puzzles have WORKED before!"

"But Random button pressing won't get us anywhere!" Hal yells.


 

Meanwhile in another dimension, you are once Again DILLON, Ranger Black, and you decide to screw logic and rip off the control console panel for the door that's locked out Venjix's General Crunch outside the door. You make sure to sever as many wires as you can in the process.

He's banging on it now, yelling for you to open it up!

"Why'd you rip the console off for?" Your sister shouts as she types hurriedly at the console, trying to hurry up the search through Venjix's migrated files.

"Because I don't know what buttons to press to lock the door and I figured that was better than pressing buttons at random!?" You answer.

"Fair enough!" Tenaya then radios- "Doctor K! I've found the designs for the dimensional drive generator!"

"Good! Downloading files now!" Doctor K radios back. "With any luck I can find a weakpoint and program in a sabbotaging line of code!"


 

You are now ZIGGY GROVER, RANGER GREEN, and you hesitantly peer outside the lab's broken down doors into the Garrage as you hear the sound of Grinders marching in. "Uhh- Doctor K? We've got company!"

"Deal with it, Ranger Green!" she orders you. "I'm trying to find a way to remotely shut down any form of dimensional transference from this side through Venjix's programming- at the very least to prevent him from targeting the other Rangers with it!"

"Right, okay," you stretch out your shoulders. "It's just a couple of grinders. Nothing you haven't done before, Ziggy." You put on a brave smile, and then rush out into the garage to---

"Uhhh..."

You stare at no less than atleast twenty five, maybe thirty GRINDERS, all menacing towards you all impudently like.

"...Okay!" You yell. "Who want's some of the Z-man!? Huh!?"

Needless to say, you're expecting to get your ass kicked until you decide it un-safe enough to risk Morphing.


 

Back in the other dimension, you are now once again Rider, and you are certainly riding this Ass Kicking you're getting.

You hear Mitchel radioing as you sweep your broom at your holo-clone's legs- "Jonas! Any time now!"


 

"We're working on it!" Jonas radios back.

You are now Cassandra Fraiser, and you sigh as Jude finally hits the right combination of buttons and-

PVVVVM-SHING!

Massive treasure beam in, plus a hologram of Merlin appearing, talking with a repeating message: "Greetings, Friend. I am Merlin. The Prize you seek, like the pendulum swing, marks the passage of all that is before you."

Once it starts repeating, Jonas radios, "Did that do it?"


 

"NO!" You're still Rider, and you just got your butt whooped right into the sword-in-the-stone display. "IT DIDN'T!"

The Knight just seems even more enraged now.

Damn it, Merlin. You just HAD to make your security this overly protective!?

"What have you done!?' Meurik yells. "You've angered the Spirit!!"

And then the Knight stops it's savage beat down of you, and whirls on him, drawing the sword as it takes on his appearance.

"Wh-What the-!? Why are you targeting me for!?" Meurik cries out as the Knight leaps after him.

"Oh Hell!" And then Mitchel leaps after the Knight to intercept, managing to grab it from behind and hold it still, relatively speaking.

"Incase you haven't noticed!" You yell at Meurik, "This Knight doesn't care WHO did WHAT!"

The Knight, switching from Meurik's face to Mitchel's, throws him off, roars, and then starts swinging its sword around like a magical whirling blade pitcher.

You grab at the sword, since you're next to it- but the damned thing repulses you just like Excaliber did.

DAMN. IT. MERLIN!

Still, the Knight stops, switches to targeting you again, and roars, summoning a shield, batting it with the sword, and then charges at you.

You dodge to the side, yelling, "I DON'T EVEN KNOW THAT MOVE!"

The Knight Whrils around, glares at you, and lunges with a shield bash.

"I COULD GO FOR A SWORD RIGHT NOW!" You yell at Mitchel.

"I DON'T THINK MINE'S DOING ME ANY GOOD!" he yells back.


 

Fuck it.

You kneel down and start grabbing at the side paneling of the table.

"Cassie? What are you doing?" Jude asks.

"Finding the fucking control crystals so we can pull it!" you tell him.

"Oh! That's a great idea!" Vala agrees.


 

A girl runs up over to the sword, one of the villager's children.

"Valencia!" Meruik calls out- "Stop! Girls are not allowed to-!"

Valencia pries the sword free from the stone, and you grin. "It's not about Gender, Old Man! It's about Worthiness!"

Or Merlin's fickle programming, you guess.

Valencia roars, charges the knight, and as it whirls around to face her, it pauses to scan and change its appearance towards hers--


 

"Found it!" You draw your hand gun once you find the crystal tray. "Stand back!"

"Wait- what!?" Jonas stares- "You can't-!"

Vala and Hal drag him back and away even as Jude takes cover.

You fire off into the tray of crystals.


 

STAB!

Valencia runs the Knight through the chest clean through in that moment of hesitation, and then it flickers, flashes, and vanishes with the whining keen of a computer suddenly cut of all power.

The villagers all cheer and go running to Valencia, singing her praises as the New King of Camelot...

You can't help but feel a little bit of remorse. Yet another child stripped of her childhood by removing a sword from its stone prison.

You radio to Jonas, "The Knight's dead." Then you slump down against the ground. "Fuck. I'm tired. I'm so, so fucking tired."

"Same here," Mitchel says, sitting down next to you. "That was something else."


 

The hologram of Merlin flickers away, and you exhale as you re-engage the safety and holster the gun.

"Well..." Jonas says. "Let's home the Sangraal is here, somewhere..."

It's then your radios buzz, "This is Colonel Emerson of the Odyssey. SG-1, please report?"

Your vibes shudder at that moment- suddenly catching up on the other disasters you've ignored thusfar in favor of the knight situation.

"Colonel, we've just defeated a Hologram Knight," you radio back. "What's going on that you need to come contact us?"

"We've received a sub-space transmission from the SGC. Teal'c has warned us of a machine factory that appeared with a burst of rift energy. In the travel time since then we've since received a second sub-space transmission from a Jaffa Vessel guarding the planet- the Lucian Alliance cruisers last seen during the Dakara attack have been spotted in the area, investigating."

"Shit," you look to Jonas. "We're going to have to split up again."

"Go with them," he says. "I think Hal and Rider can work here with me on this."

You radio back, informing of the change in plans, and Emerson says, "We'll relay to the Korolev to pick you up on their way by to the planet."

"The Russians are joining?" Jude asks, surprised. "I didn't think their 304 was operational yet."

"It was rushed into service," Emerson informs you. "We're to meet up with as many Jaffa and Tok'ra ships as can be mustered and destroy this facility before the Andromeda Ascendants can get their hands on it."

"I'll stay and help, actually," Mitchel radios. "I'm... kind of wiped out for the moment."

"Understood," Emerson says. "Fraiser, Harley, Mal Doran, prepare for beam out."

"Prepared," you reply.

And then PVVVM- SHING! you're out of there.


 

You are now Jude Harley, rocketing on your way towards P3Y-229.

Your visit to the other dimension had revealed that the Ori had made a supergate beachhead Black Hole there.

How weird is it that in this dimension, the same planet is being over-run by machines from another world, and the Lucian Alliancs ships that came to Dakara almost certainly at The Andromeda Ascendant's behest would show up soon after?

It's like some form of karmic destiny in the way the universe formulates its existence.

You sincerely hope it's just a coincidence and not due to any sort of grand, meta-physical imprinting on the very fabric of reality itself, considering that this planet got black holed in SO MANY DIFFERENT TIMELINES.

If this planet goes Black Hole too...

No, given a recent history of causing interdimensional travel thanks to that rogue SG-1 team...  plus the fact that this Factory Palace appeared out of thin air...

If this somehow explodes into yet ANOTHER dimension-wall cracking rift...

You hope it doesn't come down to it.


 

You are Cameron Mitchel, and you are so damn tired.

Antonius stared at the shattered crystal tray. "So... it was not a spirit, but technology?"

"Yeeeah," Jonas says, not even looking up from the book he'd found. "That's pretty much the case."

"It's a shame you had to destroy the crystals," Antonius says.

"Sounds like one of my plans," you say. "Then again, knowing Cassie-"

"She waited until we entered in the code that beamed in this, though," Jonas says, motioning at everything while still not looking up from the book, "So, I figure something important has to be here."

"Hey!" Rider cries out, lifting up a rather fancy golden inverted shield shape. "Look at this!" He holds it out, and the shield projects a friggin force field. "Betcha we could've used THIS a lot sooner!" He lowers the shield, and the force field disappears.

"Yeeeah," you close your eyes. "That would have been handy."

"Also, I think the hologram was important too," Jonas says, finally standing. "The Message had a clue in it, though we didn't realize it. Rider, Mitchel, look at this."

You sigh, get up from the cushy throne chair you crashed in, and move over to him.

"Now," Jonas places the book on the control device. "In every version of Merlin I've seen in this LIbrary, he has a pendant- one that was conspicuously missing in the Avalon recording. He was wearing it here, and it's not in any depiction of him from back on Earth."

"You think this is the device we're looking for?" you ask.

"I've certainly never seen it before," Rider says.

"Now, the Riddle mentioned a pendulum, which I thought could have referred to the passage of time, like a grandfather clock, but it's actually something that hangs. 'Right before my eyes' he'd said, so..." Jonas taps at the book's depiction of Merlin. "Antonius? Do you know anything about this?"

"Hrm," The man considers it. "A lot, actually. Most of the lore that sprouted up setting Merlin as a dark figure in our history traces back to Merlin being angry whenever someone attempted to touch, or inquire about his pendant." He says, "We call it the Sangraal. The Blood Stone."

"Sounds like something Merlin would keep to himself if it's the weapon," Rider says.

"Wait, I thought the Holy Grail was a cup?" you ask.

"No," Jonas shakes his head. "That's a late addition to the myth by more modern Churches on Earth. In the earlier accounts it appears in, it's a dish, a platter, or in the case of von Eschenbach, other middle-eastern-infulenced chroniclers, and the late Einzbern Family, it's a Stone that fell from the Heavens."

"Let's get searching then," You sigh.

"No," Antonius says. "You need not. If the Sangraal is what you seek, then it is not here. Merlin took it with him, and it was after him that Arthur and the Knights left."

You all look to Hal, who says, "Don't look at me!"

And then you sigh. "Okay. So. What now?"

"It is said that they journeyed to three distant lands in search, Castiana, Sahal, and Vagonbrei," Antonius says. "I believe there are references to those worlds locations within the library upstairs."

"That's days, WEEKS of searching," you say. "We don't have that kind of time."

"Atlantis might have the addresses in the Database," Jonas says. "And if not, we can cross check with the Ganos hologram, see if those names ring a bell to her memory bank."

"Alright, I guess we'll have to figure it out then," you say. "So, do we gate back to Earth with this or-?"

PVVVVM-SHING!

And then suddenly you and Jonas are on the bridge of a 304 battle cruiser, manned by Russian Military.

Colonel Chekov stands. "Colonel Mitchel, Doctor Quinn, welcome aboard the Korolev."

"Great timing," you say, raising a finger. "Just a moment please." You tab the radio. "Rider? Stay with Hal and search the library until we come back and get you. The Korolev's come to bring us to some other fight elsewhere."

"Got it, Mitchel. We'll do what we can here."


 

The Odyssey drops out of hyperspace over a planet startlingly covered in smoke. It's not alone, there are Ha'taks moving in from all directions, some of which are marked with Tok'ra and Jaffa Identifying frequencies. Others, unknowns- but presumed to be the Lucian Alliance ships.

"That's not natural," you are Vala Mal Doran, and you might as well be Captain Obvious.

"No, it's not," the technician guy MARKS says. "Readings indicate high levels of radiation and greenhouse gasses among other poisonous pollutants."

"Colonel Fraiser?" Colonel Emerson asks.

"Vibes are bouncing between potentials," Cassandra says. "I haven't felt anything like this since just before Colonel Vantas and the kids came back in time. And even then it's... different. Like I'm waiting for a shoe to drop somewhere else unrelated to me."

"Sir," Marks remarks. "Another vessel just dropped out of Hyperspace- Asgard ship Morthal."

"Open Channel," Emerson orders. "This is Colonel Emerson of the Earth Vessel Odyssey."

But before he can continue- PVVVM-SHING! In beams in a, well, a frankly sort of attractive mostly human looking person, missing only an obvious nose and having some obvious veins on their face.

"Yes," the Asgard says. "I know who you are."

"Hello, Kvasir," Jude greets. "Good to see the new body is doing you well."

"Indeed, it is doing much better than the last. Colonel Harley," The Asgard nods. "We have much work to be done."

And thus, Jude and the Asgard walks off, and you look to Cassandra to ask, "When did the Asgard go from tiny grey men to Hot Humans?"

"It's a long story," she answers.


 

A bit of note comparing later, and Kvasir has confirmed your thoughts on the data contained within Merlin's Cloaking device on the Anti-Ascended Being weapon.

You are Jude Harley, and you whistle sharply upon reviewing the notes.

It's an energy transfer device, similar to a ZPM, except that the energy being channeled from a subspace parallel dimension isn't being used locally in a controlled manner, but it's being shoved directly into the plane occupied by the Ascended Beings... in a decidely uncontrolled manner.

Like the device Rodney Mckay set off in Pegasus, it would generate so many exotic particles in an uncontrolled manner that it would flood that entire plane of existence and, well. Except unlike the device Mckay activated, it wouldn't end in an explosion wiping out three fourths of a solar system.

Kvasir put it best, "It is a form of interference. A simply analogy would be two standing waves canceling each other out."

It would keep firing until a pre-set timer went off.

A weapon like this would essentially erase every Ascended Being in a galaxy out of existence.

No wonder Merlin kept it hidden away.


 

Venjix roared as he fought against the Rangers- they refused to morph just yet and were being sneaky little rats who refused to go down, and for some reason his dimensional blaster was refusing to charge up and fire properly. Something in the coding wasn't working right.

His creator's doing, no doubt.

She would pay the minute he got a chance to-

His weapon briefly came online, and he fired at the Rangers.

"RPM! GET IN GEAR!" They MORPHED in response, and the effect somehow shielded them from the blast.

The fight carried outside, and he found his weapon wouldn't fire off again. Damn it all.

It did not matter if they managed to defeat him here- they could HAVE this world for all he cared! He had his escape route still well in hand!!

Then the Gold and Silver Rangers showed up out of nowhere, piloting their specific Zords and flying overhead.

Venjix watched as they fired upon the building at the very top of the dome and-

Oh.

That was clever of them. So incredibly clever.

He didn't even give the full brunt of his fighting abilities as the Rangers struggled to hold him in place right in what was sure to be the dead center of the City's soon to be falling Control Center.

Instead, he powered up his Escape Beacon, holding off on firing it until the last possible moment to afford himself the most chance to success, and thanked his paranoia. He'd left no hints of this upgrade in any of the files he uploaded anywhere. Deleted from his body's schematics the moment he was downloaded into its frame.

And as the Rangers jumped away, Venjix laughed at them, "THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!"

And then the Control Tower fell upon his body.

That was fine.

Because in the moments before impact, his body was simply nolonger there.

He activated the "Self Destruct" of the Dimensional Weapon, and it did as intended, utterly transporting his entire body out of this dimension and into the random reality his palace had migrated to.

The misfire to the weapon that he'd suffered earlier, however, had not been anticipated.

The weapon actually exploded within his body, shattering it and transmitting the remains directly into his palace in the other dimension- where automated processes transferred his mind back into his main server tower in the Control Room of his Palace.

The explosion of the weapon left a massive rift within the designated room within his palace that he had marked as the emergency teleport room- allowing a massive gout of fire and destruction to rain through the rift as the falling control tower from Corinth City fell through it and utterly devastated a large chunk of the East Wing's refineries and factories.

Venjix roared in anger that he had been sabbotaged so blatantly, and that his paranoia hadn't been enough.

THAT. Would be a mistake he was not going to repeat.

The palace's sensors detected a fleet of ships in orbit above whatever planet his Palace had arrived on.

Venjix considered his options. And he decided to Go BIG.

And then he roared- "BEGIN THE DOWNLOAD! NOW!!!"

And all around his central server, and all around the remaining parts of his palace, green light flared as his OTHER contingency plan came into play. He would have to discard the East Wing, but... It would not matter.


 

"Massive burst of Zillyium from the surface, along with a massive explosion," Marks reports, and you...

You shudder.

You are Cassandra Fraiser, and you immediately feel the bad vibes suddenly skyrocketing higher and higher.

And then the Korolev arrives, and those bad vibes skyrocket so high that you--


 

Your name is Jude Harley, and you quickly catch your wife as she faints.

"Oh no," you whisper.

"Oh no?" Vala asks. "Is her fainting bad?"

"It means something bad is about to happen!" You turn to warn Colonel Emerson- "We have to-!"

"Energy reading from the surface!" Marks reports. "The building- the remains of it are transforming!"

"What now?" Emerson stared out the window at the planet below as green light flashed and flared and grew in intensity- bursting through the cloud layer that the palace had created and...

It grew.

It grew and it grew, and burst through the cloud layer, revealing a massive machine of humanoid form as tall as the Ultrazord once had been... It had a single wing on its right side, gleaming with oil smudged smoke pipes and all kinds of gear-based machinery.

It had gleaming red eyes atop its head... and then it broadcast on all radio transmissions.

"I. AM. VENJIX. SURRENDER NOW, OR BE DESTROYED."

Then, a broad wave goes out from one of the Lucian Alliance ships- on screen appears GERAK, glowing faintly as an Ascended being does... and he stands beside a woman with pearlescent skin as golden as a sun.

"I am Trance of the Andromeda Ascendant. No, machine, it is YOU who will surrender or be destroyed."

And then the Lucian Alliance ships all open fire upon Venjix.

His body repulsed every attack, and then missiles began firing out of his wing- splashing out against ships in all directions.

One rocket hits the Odyssey's shields, and the ship rocks.

Marks reports- "Even with ZPM power, the shields took damage, holding at power levels of 76%!"


 

And so the Machine did observe the people before him, and he scoffed, thinking that they could ever possibly defeat him in his massive state. IDIOTS. FOOLS. FLEAS TO BE SWATTED.

And thus did the Machine declare them obsolete, and deserving of death. And he raised his arm and thus did he spread his influence towards them- a sickening gleaming red light from his eyes falling down from the heavens upon which he sat as he rose above them all.

DOOM AND DEATH, he decreed.

DOOM AND DEATH, for his Kingdom would be of Machines ruling a dead land and a dead land only.

He took aim at one of the cruisers that his Virus attempted to penetrate, and was rebuffed with only scant information. A "BC-304" class ship. He knew it not, and he cared not to know more.

The laser within his hand gathered power, and then fired upon the ship-  its shields flared brightly as it tanked the entire first blast. And then he took aim to fire again, and it did not survive the attack.

A beam of crimson red speared the thing from nose to rear, and the explosion shattered its hull into two before the two bays on its side similarly exploded, having only just barley begun sending out fighters in a meak hope of destroying his glorious form.

The other ships began opening fire upon him, but Venjix cared not. His armor would carry him through the fight.

And it was a fight he knew he would win just as assuredly as Cassandra Fraiser could predict the future.

Chapter Text

Your name is DILLON, and you wince as the door to the Control Tower gets wrenched open by General Crunch.

"You're gonna pay for this Tenaya!" he yells.

Your Morpher beeps, and Doctor K informs you that Gem and Gemma are inbound.

You look to your sister, and she nods as she detaches herself from the computer and goes to grab the emergency parachute from the wall box.

Meanwhile, you retrieve your Engine Cell, and activate your Morpher.

"RPM! GET IN GEAR!"

The suit forms, and you summon your personal blaster- aiming it through the opening crack in the door at the Venjix General.

"Oh no!" he tries to disentangle himself but it's too late.

You fire at will.

"BAAAAAH!" he explodes backwards, and the door slides open from the detection of smoke.

"Let's go!" you and Tenaya rush out down the hallway for the Emergency Exit, and your Morpher beeps again-

"IT's! BOOM! TIME!" The Gold and Silver Wonder Twins cry out, and you feel the command center shake as the support towers holding everything in the air are hit.

You force open the emergency escape hatch, and you and your sister leap out into the air, clinging to each other and waiting for--

Another explosion and the tower goes falling down past you. Once it's well and clear away from you, the parachute is deployed, and the both of you watch from the heavens as the Corinth Control Tower crashes into the city below, vanishing into a burst of blue light and rainbow particles.

You can't help but feel as if the natural course of life has been perverted somehow.

Your sister clutches to you as you parachute down from the upper levels of the Dome's elevation, and you speak into your Morpher. "This is Dillon and Tenaya! What just happened? Where did the Tower go?"

"The sabotage I inflicted to Venjix's Dimensional Weapon seems to have backfired worse than I anticipated," Doctor K replies. "I'm reading a massive burst of unknown energy particles consistent with a Dimensional Rift- one that seems to be self sustaining somehow!"

"Doc, can we do anything to fix it?" Scott asks. "What about Venjix?! Did we destroy him?"

"I have no idea!" Doctor K replies. "I'll have to get closer scans, I can't get a solid reading from here! Everyone, gather up atleast a solid two street blocks away from the rift for your own safety."

You navigate your way down that way, then, guiding the parachute down to that direction.


 

You are Ziggy Grover, and despite a hefty fight against an army of Grinders, you're feeling pretty energized right now.

Energized enough to take Doctor K on a targeted teleport across the city to the rift that had been created by Venjix's weapon malfunction.

You're all standing guard, watching, waiting, even as the rest of the City slowly gets itself back in gear, while Doctor K works on scanning through the rift that's sitting dead center of the entire city.

"I'm picking up energy signals similar to when Venjix makes his Attack Bots grow," K reports. "It looks like he's powering up something massive on the other side."

"So we have to go through and destroy him then, right?" You ask.

"We can't just waltz through a rift that size and expect to get anywhere fast! We'd almost certainly be stuck inside burning wreckage if the Corinth Tower landed in there!" Flynn says, motioning at the giant rift.

"Well, we don't have to waltz," Summer starts, "what if we drive our Zords through? The rift's wide enough to take a building through, and if Venjix is growing an Attack Bot on the other side..."

"Agreed," Doctor K says. "We have to go through that rift and shut Venjix down permanently. We may be down the Paleomax, but I'm detecting the Whale Zord's Bio-energies through the rift as well. It looks like Venjix sent it there too! Likely in an attempt to later reclaim it as a doomsday weapon."

"Alright," Scott says. "Let's downmorph the Zords and take this fight to Venjix once and for all!!"


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

You are now Cameron Mitchel, and you swear as the giant machine takes form.

You're not sure why, but you've got a horrid feeling about this.

"Jonas," you look to him, "302 Bay, now."

"Yes," Colonel Chekov says. "Get to the 302s. Scramble and face this monster head on! Get going!" He gives you a look though- a look that says he has that same feeling of utter doom you're feeling.

But a Captain always goes down with his Ship, and this is not your ship.

You hear the broadcast. "I am Venjix" Blah blah blah, followed by the Andromeda Ascendants appearing and opening fire and...

BLAM! The ship rocks as it takes damage.

Still, you and Jonas manage to make it to the 302 bay, and successfully launch out of the bay just in time to watch a massive beam of red light splash against the Korolev's shields, utterly depleting them with one strike.

"Let's get out of here!" You bolt for the Odyssey as the second red beam of light strikes the Korolev, spearing it, and obliterating it with a massive explosion- the shockwave catches your 302 and sends it spiraling into the black.

"THIS IS NOT FUN!" Jonas exclaims. "And that is A LOT MORE TERRIFYING when it happens to one of our ships!"

"Tell me about it!" You struggle to right the 302 and pray you don't crash into something else along the way!

But then-

PVVVVMMM-SHING!

-You and Jonas land on the deck of the Odyssey's bridge, backs first.

"Ow!" You grunt.

"A little heads up would have been nice," Jonas says.

"Sorry!" Jude rushes over to pull you both to your feet. "We had to rush, your 302 was being targeted!"

A salvo of missiles rushes past out the window- and you pause to take stock of the battle.

The Giant Venjix blasts away at the various ships- you can't tell who's who except for the fact that some ships are fleeing to perceived safe distances, while others are moving in closer.

He's sticking primarily to missiles and laser blasts. But, occasionally, he opens his mouth wide and spews a rainbow colored beam that makes ships caught up in its wake just vanish into thin air and rainbow colored bubbles- completely ignoring shields.

"More contacts from the surface!" Marks reports. "Three- Five- Nine Large objects converging into a single form and ascending into the upper atmosphere."

A laser blast smashes into the back of the Venjix Robot from behind, and he wirls around to face the planet.

And then you see a Megazord- a nine piece Megazord- rising through the atmosphere into space. You remember the briefing from the data from the 302 scouting mission...

"Power Rangers, huh?" You stare out the window at them, smiling slightly.


 

You are now Doctor K, and you're wondering just what the hell you're doing- crammed inside the cockpit of the Skyrev Megazord alongside your Seven Ranger Operators and Tenaya.

Why did you insist on seeing this through to the end?

"Is it just me, or did Venjix combine himself with his own palace?" Summer asks.

"That seems a little vain if you ask me," Series Green remarks. "But then again, so is going all one wing angel mode on us!"

"I think it's because the Control Center blew up the other wing of his palace, Ziggy," Flynn remarks.

"Well, he should have taken it like a man instead of running," Dillon says. "'Cause now we're going to blow him up the old fashioned way."

"NOT TODAY, RANGERS!" Venjix points his arm out your way and fires a beam of red light from its palm.

You feel as if time slows down from your perception- even as the Rangers start to move to dodge, you can tell... It'd be too late.

You idly hear a proximity sensor fire off alarm before there's a brief burst of light off to your right and a black triangular shadow intercepts the laserbeam- blocking- no- absorbing it entirely!!

"WHAT!? IMPOSSIBLE!" Venjix roars.

The black triangle of a ship circles around- firing off lasers from its front straight into Venjix, making him roar in frustration. He's about to fire off another missile salvo when a second rain of lasers crashes into his back from behind, and now a blue ship, circular save for its chevron nose, enters the scene.

Two communication windows open on the Megazord's Heads Up Display- apparently being broadcast on open frequencies.

"Attention Giant Fucking Robot With the Death Laser!" A grey skinned fellow with black sunglasses over his eyes and a pair of candy corn colored deer antlers atop his head speaks from one window- with all the command of a General about to issue marching orders. "The Delta Megaship is here. Your Shit is Wrecked. Surrender now or be destroyed!"

"Dammek," a grey skinned woman shakes her head- eyes a piercing green. "I don't think he's the kind to surrender after hearing that once already."

"So what, Joey?" This 'Dammek' moves his head, indicating an overly sarcastic eye roll. "It still feels good to say it!"

"YOU FOOLS!" Venjix declares. "I HAVE DESTROYED MANY SHIPS ALREADY! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THESE TWO WILL MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?"

"Hmm, maybe the fact that we're not alone?" 'Joey' says with a smile, and then says, with a very sarcastic tone, "Look up."

You all gaze upwards, and the Megazord's HUD tints against the gaze of the sun- just in time to see a burst of blue energy opening up a window in space between you and it- and from it emerges a pure grey painted rocket ship, with a head stylized after some form of aquatic dinosaur with a stylized square snout.

It opens its mouth, and fires off a beam of bright green energy- Venjix roars in pain as it hits him and sends him spiraling away.

"No way!" Gemma cries out- "It's a Dino Zord!"

You're about to point out the statistical improbability of that when from that same window emerges three different trains- copied twice over.

"What the-!?" Scott calls out- "The Paleozords!?"


 

Your name is Karkat Vantas, the one yet to be promoted to Major, and you open a broadwave from the deck of the RIFTBANE MEGASHIP, successor to the SOVEREIGN SLAYER, with a mighty roar- "HEY! IDIOTS! Don't just stand there gawking! Move it or lose it to a safe distance!"

A transmission from the foreign Megazord opens up, and the Red Ranger- HAH!- speaks- "This Is Ranger Operator Series Red from, uh, I guess the Domed City of Corinth. Are those our Paleomax Zords?"

"Damn right they are!" Yuuki's transmission from K-Line interjects itself on screen. "Want 'em back?"

"Heck yeah, we want them back," The Red Ranger nods.

"Then you can have them!" Yuuki says, then reports, "Decoupling Zords now!!"

You look to Claire's window, and she nods- then gives the order- "ATTENTION ALTERNIAN FLEET ZORDS! ULTRAZORD FORMATION NOW!"

"You heard the lady!" The Red Ranger says- "RPM ULTRAZORD: COMBINE!"


 

Your name is Cassandra Fraiser, and you blink warily back to the land of the conscious in time to watch as your universes newly remade Ultrazord combines together, and a whole other Ultrazord from a completely different Dimension combines together.

By the time the MASSIVE VENJIX ROBOT gets back in control of its spatial motion, the two Ultrazords are combined.

"R! P! M!"/"RIFTBANE!" The Broadwave transmission goes out. "ULTRAZORDS READY!"

You stagger to your feet, and move over to the window where the rest of your team is- and you smile upon seeing Mitchel and Jonas here, safe and sound- to grasp Jude's hand.

"Hey," he smiles at you. "Welcome back."

"The vibes stabilized," you say. "Now I'm not being overwhelmed with fifteen different worst case scenarios all at once."

"What are we down to now?" Mitchel asks.

"Two," you answer. "Two very, very bad ones, and I can't tell which is the least worst of the two, yet."

"Well, that sucks," Jonas says.

"Yeah, it does," you nod, and proceed to watch the fight unfold.

The Ultrazords swirl around Venjix- all of them trading laser blasts.

Only the Lucian Alliance Ships are being stupid enough to get close to the battle, and are getting blown up for their troubles.

And then both outcomes you've predicted just suddenly vanish into the ether.

"Oh no," you whimper.


 

"We can't use the Naquadria blaster with an unstable dimensional rift below us!" your name is Joey Claire, and you direct the battle's strategy while, behind you, Tegiri and Ashler help do the actual fighting. "So we're going to have to limit ourselves to the lower tier energy blasters!"

The Riftbane Ultrazord rocks as Venjix tries another laser blast- it's absorbed by the Delta Mega's fancy energy absorbing armor, and immediately redirected into lasers and Gatling weapons.

"We have to be careful!" the other world's Doctor Kae says over the transmission. "If Venjix attempts to use his Dimensional Blaster, we could end up scattered."

"Fortunately we've developed a work around for that," you say, transmitting the specifications for the Transponder Beacons over to the other Ultrazord.

"An Engine Cell?" the woman on the other screen blinks- "No! I see what you mean. Downloading data to emergency materializer now!"

Proximity alarms suddenly blare out- and Dammek radios from the Delta- "Hyperspace Window! Unknown ship exiting hyperspace!"

"Unknown HOW?" You ask.

"No! I mean. IT'S THE UNKNOWN SHIP TYPE!" Dammek explains, and the relevant mission report pops up on screen.

The Prometheus had encountered a ship in space before, unknown design, that had been hounding a Villein ship inside of an anomalous nebula. This was that same ship model according to the readouts.

"Oh Fuck Us!" you swear. "What now!?"

The Unknown ship begins firing upon the three giant robots above the planet- and even the Delta's armor has trouble tanking it- power fluctuates all across the Ultrazord.

"Yo!" Your alternate, human self broadcasts from Kishamoth- "What the fuck is this!?"

"That's what we're wondering!" you answer in turn.

"Oh, so this is JUST as out of context for you as it is for me then?" she asks.

"Of course it is!" You say.

Venjix manages to get off a single dimensional laser blast in the enemy ships' bow- but the damned thing tanks it with its shields somehow- but even so, it's a blast that's enough to make it stop cold in its tracks.

Because the shields finish tanking the blast by collapsing with a massive EMP burst.

Everything goes dark, and you can feel the air start to still.

"Oh shit!" Ashler yells. "We got desynched from the others!"

"What the fuck kind of EMP was THAT!?" Tegiri asks.

"Fuck!" you swear. "Someone! Get emergency power back online! Kickstart the ZPMs if you have to! We CANNOT afford to be adrift right now!"


 

Whatever anyone was expecting, a massive pulse wave that shut down most every ship in range of the battle was definitely not it.

Most of those being the Lucian Alliance Ships, well...

You are now TEAL'C, commanding a Jaffa Ha'tak well outside the range of the battle. "Fleet Report?" You inquire.

"Our Fleet has taken several losses, the Tok'ra have taken just slightly over half of ours. One of the Tau'ri vessels has been destroyed and the Asgard Vessel has been severely crippled," you are given the report, and it is troubling.

"Open channel to the remaining Tau'ri ship," you command.

"Channel open."

"This is Teal'c, of the Jaffa Alliance. What is your status?"

There's a pause, then-

"Teal'c!" Cassandra Fraiser sounds relieved. "Glad to hear you're okay! We're fine. The Odyssey is relatively intact save some heavy damage to the shields. The Korolev was destroyed, though."

"I saw," you report. "Though I feared the worst. This battle has been incredibly troubling in how hectic it has been."

"Agreed," Cassandra says. "Teal'c, I think Damara Megido is on that new ship. I don't have any vibes right now."

You growl somewhat. "That is troubling news, Cassandra Fraiser. Shall we begin targeting them in an attempt to destroy them?"

"I'm giving an Emphatic YES because I'm basically blind right now!"

"Understood," you then give the order, broad wave. "To All Ships that are able, lock onto the Interloping vessel of unknown design and open fire. Then... Lock onto Venjix and destroy it before it can reboot."


 

Blast after blast after blast of ship-based weapons fire rocketed out across the void and began peppering the hull of the unknown ship while it's shields were down.

Within moments, it took enough damage that it began to explode on the exterior- and then the damage went deeper and deeper, and then the attacks were piercing through clean to the otherside, destroying that enemy ship in its entirety.

That done, the fleet of ships began to move and re-adjust their positioning to attack the one winged giant robot, and performed just the same.

Were he able, surely Venjix would have yelled out a massive "NO!" in frustration as his latest body was destroyed with extreme prejudice.

The explosion began to de-orbit the two Ultrazords, and the fleet moved in to quickly prevent catastrophy and to lend whatever aid they could.

Finally, it seemed, the fight was over.

And yet....

Two Cassandra Fraisers felt the exact same way...

That this wasn't over by a longshot.


 

EARTH DATE: APRIL 10TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/18/0005.

Your name is Gina Kae.

No, not that one. Not the one local to this strange dimension. You. You specifically. The one called "Doctor K" for so long you couldn't remember your own name when you finally did escape.

Your name is actually Gina Kae.

You...

You have no idea what to make of this startling revelation.

Out of everything to come out of this Venjix debaccle, you gaining your name back was not what you expected.

Of course, neither was your alternate self appearing out of thin air thanks to a TELEPORTATION BOOK and then starting to tell you all the things you'd forgotten thanks to the Soup.

Her wanting to learn about the BIO-FIELD and the RANGER TECH you'd developed was also astonishingly crazy. To think that there was a you who didn't make these mistakes. That didn't become this kind of person... that...

That didn't end a world.

It's a lot to take in.

Similarly hard to take in is watching your Rangers interacting with their other selves from this world.

Gem and Gemma get along with themselves like they get along with, well, themselves. It's like a recurssive feedback loop of ideas and excitable energy.

The two Flynns seem to be telling eachother their own varying stories of how they'd come to reconcile with their respective Fathers.

Summer and Summer seem... very at odds with eachother, with yours seeming to take the perspective as some form of Mentor for her other self, who seems slightly somewhat more spoiled than she otherwise might be.

The two Scotts however had gone off to see this world's Marcus Truman, who you know had died in your world. Your Scott wished to say goodbye, properly, it seemed.

As for Dillon and Tenaya... their local selves were unmodified as far as Venjix's hardware went, but their personalities seemed remarkably similar. The people here even had the ability to regrow entire bodies on demand, and transfer consiousness over across them. Tenaya wanted her mechanics gone, and Dillon... said that he'd take them up on the offer later once he was sure Venjix was really dead and there wasn't a need for the Black Ranger.

...As for Ranger Green...

He and his dimensional twin might as well have been long separated actual twins for how similar they were.

Still... there were worse ways to spend a major debriefing on everything Venjix had done in your own world on the VERY slim chance that Venjix had survived somehow.


 

Your name is Damara Megido, and you crack a smile as you finish your upload of the VENJIX VIRUS A.I. into its new home- a fancy, brand new organically cloned body.

Tricking those Aliens into thinking they could claim unfathomable power for themselves was all too easy. Using their ship as a springboard to get onto Venjix's Robot Palace Body and steal his consciousness from its servers while he was unconscious? Just as easy.

Getting off down to the planet below and Gating away before anyone was the wiser?

Piece of cake.

All you had to do was swing a sword, and teleport.

It would be some time before Venjix awoke, disoriented, and no doubt confused as to what the hell just happened...

But he is nobody's master now. You have ensured that. You've trapped hin in a physical form, organic in nature. There is no way for his mind to escape to any new machinery or corrupt anything. You've ensured it.

Just as you've gone back in time and across dimensions to ensure that he was created in the first place, planting the very idea within the minds of those Trust-born fools at the Alphabet Soup in the first place. You need him, and you need his devious mind to design you exactly what he already designed.

The Sword, Clarent, is so powerful. More than anyone could have imagined. It's no wonder the Andromeda Group want it so bad. It draws upon every ASPECT OF CREATION itself, all at the wielder's beck and call.

And now that you have a body designed specifically to wield the blade to its true potential? Oh... How they wish they could have placed you under their thumbs again.

To think that Hunt had simply been waiting for English to be taken out of the picture so that the weapon could be brought to its fullest potential.

He had been waiting for you, and he did not know it.

Mordred? Artoria? Yes, they were powerful wielders of their enchanted blades... but no. Oh no. They were so very, very, HUMAN.

What Hunt needed was the pure bred toughness of an Alternian. And now... you had that. Your own innate soul-bound abilities tying you to the Aspect of Time were what English had bought you for in the first place, and now they serve to grant you so much time to master this blade. And master it far, FAR beyond what ever Hunt could have dreamed possible with thousands of years of training in the Ascended plane could have ever accomplished.

As for what you want?

Oh, that's simple.

You just want to avoid being meddled and put under anyone else's thumb ever again.

And to ensure that? You're going to hijack every single plan that's been put against you. The Andromeda group's goal to seize ultimate power will instead be YOURS to use against them...

You're just going to have to... nudge things along, just a bit.

You speed forwards time around Venjix's new form, and speed up his awakening.

And awaken he does, groggy, tired, and wondering just what the hell happened to him. His crimson eyes are foggy and hazy, but they snap into focus soon enough.

"Hello, Venjix," you lean in close to his face, and grin widely. "I need you to build me a Gate."

"Aa... A Gate?" His voice halters, unused to the organic voice box.

"Oh, yes, a very special Gate." You whisper into his ear, "A Very Large, and Very Special, Quantum Mirror Stargate."

"An... and why should I do that?" He asks.

"Because, you are my Slave, and I am your Master... and I..." You giggle, without even moving away from his face. "Oh, I have a very large fish to catch through that very large pond you're going to make me."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 15TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/23/0005.

Your name is Vala Mal Doran, and while you're having to prepare to take a PSYCHOLOGY EXAM that is for some absurd reason needed to let you join SG-1 full time, the rest of your team is off preparing to search some planet that Jonas thinks is one of the addresses Merlin may have hid the weapon on-

"NOPE! Nope! NOPE!" Cassandra Fraiser-Harley calls out as she and Jonas enter the Cafeteria. "We are NOT going to that planet!"

"And why not?" Jonas asks.

"Let's see, my vibes are telling me that if we step foot on that planet there's a VERY high risk that we'll fall asleep and never wake up again, so, hmm! You tell me why, Jonas?"

"But what about Hazmat suits?" Jonas asks.

"Same! Difference! That is to say, NONE! We are NOT stepping foot on that planet." And then Cassandra breaks off to go speak to General Landry, who's conversing with Doctor Lam, who... is his daughter, you think?

You guess it's good they're getting along.

Now to get back your studying...

"...Vala, what are you doing?" Jonas asks, pausing as he looks at you.

"Studying for my Psychology Exam," you answer. "Isn't that obvious, Fish Boy?"

"There's nothing to really study for on a Psych Eval," Jonas says.

"That's what RIder and Mitchel said, but they were being stinky boys wrestling down in the sparring room or whatever it is you guys do in there with huge weights, so what do they know?" You ask.

"Considering they've both taken them just within the last week? I'd say they'd know what they're talking about," Jonas says. "Hell, I took one just a few days ago too. I think the IOA's trying to make them mandatory after every fight that goes horribly south like the Venjix Battle."

You look him in the eye with your most exasperated look of contempt. "Your point being?"

"It's not a test or system you can game or rig," Jonas says. "If you try, they're just going to game it right back to see what you try."

"Well that's not fair!" you say. "How am I supposed to win?"

"Again, Vala, it's not a thing you 'win'- it's not a test that you're graded on and it affects your Grade Point Average," Jonas shakes his head. "Just... Be Yourself! Be honest, and truthful, and be you. That's all there is to it."

You pout. "Seriously? Ugh. Fine." You close the damned books and huff. "So what am I supposed to do with the rest of my day then?"

"Don't ask me," Jonas shrugs, and then goes to get in line for food. What even time is it? You check your watch, and then remember you have no idea what meal time even is for this planet still.

"Well, that's just great," you lament, gazing at the psychology books.

...Screw it, you've got nothing better to do.

You open up one of your books, and peer at it. "Question two. You are in the Desert. You see a tortoise lying on his back in the hot sun." Well, that's a sad image to behold that they've added next to it for context. "You recognize his plight but do nothing to help. Why?" Why? Why would you do such a thing? Poor little Tortoise...

Oh. Duh.

"Because you are ALSO a tortoise!" You crack a grin. "They'll never see that one coming!"


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

You are now Samantha Carter, and from the bridge of Teal'c's Ha'tak, you're looking over the energy feed results from the newly formed rift nearly identical to the one outside the Milky Way save for one key difference.


This one actually LEADS somewhere in both directions.

The difference, naturally, lies in how these rifts were created. Both were explosions of quantum computational devices, except where one was caught in a recurrsive self destruct loop that you have no hope of analyzing...

Here, you've gotten all the data Doctor K collected on the devices before, during, and after the incident.

Venjix's device to tear open holes in reality is disturbingly similar to that of the subspace anomaly formed by a Hyperspace Window, and that makes sense to a degree. The version Jude created for the Kyoretsu Zords to transport them between worlds worked by similar methods. The problem comes in where it's self sustaining. Hyperspace windows are, by their nature, transient. Even Venjix's laser guided beam of 'doom' was transient. it was a one and done thing. There was nowhere near enough energy for a rift of this nature to be self-sustaining, and it needed a recharge period after consecutive firings.

Then there's the direct linkage effect. Unlike the first Rift, which, self contained as it is to a sheer void of pure energy, seemingly powers its own stability from that nothingness that it's connected to. This, on the other hand is...

It's more like a Stargate Wormhole, or the the Quantum Mirror, going from point A to point B without much delay. Both ends were quarantined at the moment- cordoned off and left to security teams and science personnel, but...

Again, where is the energy for the rift's stability coming from?

There's no detectable increase of the Zillyum particle on this side, so the rift itself isn't generating it. So how-

[Wait.] Jolinar interjects. [What about on the other side?]

You take to the radio, and contact a certain person down through the other side of the rift. "Callie? Could you check for me if there's a surge of increased Zillyum output on your end?"

"Ah, sure, just a moment."


You are now Doctor Callie Ohphee, and you run the check Samantha requested...

Oh. Oh dear.

"Sam, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we have a noticeable increase of Zillyum particles on our side," you frown at the results. "In fact, it's ramping up to levels similar to what we saw on our side when the rift first opened." You close your eyes, massage at the bridge of your nose. "I have to ask, is there any noticeable drop off of Zillyum on your side of this new rift at or around your side of things?"

"....Slight dropoff, yes, but it's nothing as large as what you're reporting," Sam answers.

You peer up at the massive rift before you- towering as tall and as wide as the Astro Megaship in the dead center of Corinth City.

"Relay a message to Stargate Command for me, and have them Relay it to the Intergalactic Rift Observation Posts on either side of it. Message is as follows," you take a moment, take a breath, and then say, "This is Callie Ohphee, requesting data on Zillyum output from the Rift over the last week since the Corinth Rift's opening. Any increase of flow of Zillyum Particles, no matter how small, is requested." Your wings flutter in discontent as you conclude, "End of Message."

"Relaying..." Sam goes silent for a moment, then, she asks: "Callie, you don't think that the Intergalactic Rift is pulling in more Zillyum from the dimensional void into our universe just to shove it through this new rift, do you?"

"Unfortunately, Sam, I think that's exactly what's happening."

And it makes you feel so very, very small.

"I have a report to make," you say. "I need to inform Doctor Kae and Colonel Truman of the situation."


You are now Doctor Kae of Corinth City- and you finish reviewing the scan results of the Japanese woman on the medical table infront of you with a smile and a nod.

"Well, Miss Asada, it seems the Venjix Hardware within your body has stabilized and is no longer growing. Beyond that, the Anti-Virus treatment worked, and you're clear of all traces of the virus within your body."

"Thank you," Shino Asada nods, moving to get up from the table. "Am I clear to go now?"

"Yes, but before you do," you decaptchalogue- heh, that is so handy, a small, innocent part that survived your childhood smiles at the simple act of a personal inventory system- a pamphlet. "Should you wish to undergo treatment, there is a process on the other Earth that would allow you to have the machinery safely removed from your body."

"No thanks," she shakes her head, declining the pamphlet. "That may be for some people, but... Not for me. I think that machinery is why I was able to get so into my workout routine over the last few months. I'd really rather not go back to sitting at home all day, being afraid to even go outside."

"Very well then," you nod. "To each their own. If you feel any signs of trouble or malfunction, please do come back and visit me."

"Of course," she nods.

You motion to the door, and she moves to leave.

You take a breath, steeling yourself for few moments of solitude you have before you call on the next patient.

This was not how you expected things to go when it came to defeating Venjix.

There's a knock at the door, and you glance at your watch. Too early for the next appointment, but then again maybe your watch is off.

"Enter," you say.

In walks one of the scientists from another world, supposed to be studying the rift.

"Hello, Doctor Kae," the Alternian woman with giant white wings and pearlescent hair says, smiling a concerned smile. "We have something to talk about, and soon."

"Alright," you nod. "What about?"

"It's about Zillyum Particles, and the rapid changes that are sure to hit this planet, let alone the Galaxy, very, very soon."


 

"The particles the Rift is generating are mutagenic?"

As she walked through the city of Corinth, Shino Asada paused as she spotted herself in reflection in a building's windowed side.

"No, less mutagenic, more... epegenetic."

She frowned, looking at it closely, trying to figure out just what was wrong with her own reflection, and just not quite getting it. She moved on, never realizing that there was a stripe of cyan-hued teal within her eyes that was slowly overtaking the brown they originally were.

"As in, the traits already housed within the DNA of a creature, being brought out with specific exposure to specific elements?"

"Exactly that."

As she approached her apartment building, Shino frowned as she felt hungry- somewhat early for the time of day. A concern dismissed as she'd had a light breakfast before her appointment with Doctor K.

"What kind of changes are we looking at here?"

"Some as minor as just a supernatural seeming power. Others... Well. I didn't originally HAVE feathery Angel wings before I was exposed to that energy from the Rift."

"So there are exotic abilities, and more lower tier, common ones, I'd expect?"

Shino started climbing the stairs up to her Apartment- pausing to grab the railing as she wobbled slightly, feeling light headed.

She tucked a stray strand of hair out of her eyes and back behind an ear, never noticing how its brown hue had, too, shifted towards the blue-green range.

"Definitely. A really common one among Alternians are Butterfly wings. Another one is werewolf like traits. Ears, fur, claws, tail. Mutually exclusive most of the time, though."

"I can imagine a flying werewolf would be something startling for the people of Corinth. Is there anything we can do to stop it at this point?"

"No, unfortunately. All we can do is put the word out that, if this world is anything like ours like we think it is, then these changes of genetic structure are going to be happening fast, and soon."

By the time Shino had gotten her front door unlocked and stepped inside to take her shoes off, her eyes had fully transitioned from brown to that hue of greenish blue.

"Of course Venjix's demise would lead to a change like this. Is there anything else we can do besides put the word out?"

"I dunno..."

Shino Asada went into the bathroom and paused as she caught sight of her reflection in the sink mirror once more.

"I guess..."

This time, it was clear to see what was going different- her eyes were practically glowing with the reflected light from the ceiling light, and her hair was rapidly shifting in color right before her transformed eyes.

"We should Advise people not to panic?"

She quickly grabbed her cellphone and dialed the number to Doctor K's office.

"Hello? Doctor K?" She swallowed her fear and tried very much not to panic. "This... this is Asada, Shino, and I... I think something strange just happened."


 

Your name is Cameron Mitchel, and you can't help but laugh as you look at a very confused Doctor Hutchinson within the SGC cafeteria.

"Uh. Hey Doc? What's up?" You ask.

"Your friend Vala is... Very interesting," the man answers.

"How's that?" you ask.

"As far as I can tell she studied every Psychological book in the base Library," The Psychologist answers. "And who knows what else she researched online."

"...She did, did she?" You ask, feeling a bit concerned.

"She tried reverse analyzing me!" Dr. Hutchinson says, looking astounded. "Does she think everything is a game or something? Because that's the impression I've gotten."

"I think she does, yeah," you say. "That... honestly, that fits really well. Too well, even." You shake your head. "is this going to affect her Psych Eval any?"

"It's not the insight I was expecting to gain from interviewing her, but..." Hutchinson has a gleam in his eyes now. "I think I've got a real challenge of a puzzle to sort out. She wants to play games? I can play games right back."

"Well, uh..." You take a step away to go get in line for food. "Good luck with that, alright?"

He doesn't respond, just staring ahead with a slowly forming smile on his face.

...Yeeeah this isn't going to be good for anyone's sake.


 

Your name is Jack O'neill, and you blink owlishly at the broadwave from Carter's position offworld.

"Did you just say that the Rift Energy is transforming people in Corinth City now?" You ask for the redundancy question of the hour.

"Yep, that's pretty much what I just said."

"...So... uh... What do?" You ask.

"There's not much we can do, Jack. At this point, the damage is already done. Corinth Earth was already low on population from the Apophis attack, let alone the Venjix wipeout of most of human civilization on the planet. The City's already had a week of pure exposure, slowly ramping up in intensity. The people in the wastes are going to have more exposure sooner rather than later, and then at the rate of expansion we noticed in our reality... well. Short of finding a way to close the rift, I'm not sure there's anything we can do to stop it."

"Can we?" You ask. "Close the rift, I mean."

"Given that the rate of transfer seems to be consuming about twenty-five percent of all Zillyum that passes through the rift inorder to sustain its operation? No. I don't believe we can. It's not like the black hole scenario. We can't just point a bomb at it, set it off, and hope it jumps to the next nearest Stargate. It very well could connect to Alfheim or another Zillyum heavy world instead of Aincrad or another world without the element present. We simply just don't have anything to close it at present."

"What about the stuff Alfheim was developing?" You ask. "I mean, that Oberoff jerk was doing something like this, wasn't he?"

"Sure, but that rift was being powered by other means and Zillyum didn't seem to pass through it at all, given its size." Sam pauses. "Jolinar and I are at a loss, Jack. Even if we could rebuild a device like they had and try closing the rift, the size difference alone is astronomical."

Literally, goes unsaid, given that it's big enough for the entire freaking Astro Megaship to pass through without trouble. It's tiny compared to the Intergalactic rift, sure, but... The one that the Fae made on English's orders was barely as big as a Stargate.

Venjix's original one was barely that big too.

...Fuck.

"How did a rift NOT open up when we blew up Venjix's first Gate?" you ask.

"I think it's because it wasn't big enough to self sustain, and also probably because the device in question Wasn't trying to teleport itself to another world during the explosion," Jolinar answers. "But personally, those are just my theories. There's no telling why it didn't fire off in the same way."

"The Time dilation device maybe," Sam says after a moment's more thought. "If we could set up time dilation devices outside of the rift on either side... maybe we could starve the rift out and force it to close?"

"There we go!" you say. "Let's see if we can make that happen."


 

You are now Vala Mal Doran, and as you're preparing to doll yourself up for another meeting with Doctor Hutchinson, there's a knock at your valliant hotel room door within the SGC.

You call out whatever greeting applies, and in walks a man you're vaguely familiar with. What's his name....

"Hello, if I may have a moment of your time?" He asks.

"I have a meeting," you say, "So, if we can keep it quick?"

"Right, with Doctor Hutchinson, I know." the man says. "That's why I'm here. I'll be brief." He closes the door behind him. "My name is Richard Woolsey, I work for the International Oversight Advisory- it's a civilian-run organization made up of various representatives froma cross the world designed to watchdog the Stargate Program."

"And what can I do for you, Mister Woolsey?" You ask.

"It's more what we can do for eachother," he pauses. "See, we can see to it that you pass your psychiatric evaluation with flying colors, putting down any doubts Stargate Command may have about you to rest. And in retuin, all we ask is you give us a little... insight into the weekly goings on here at Stargate Command."

"You mean, like a spy?" you ask.

"In so many words, sure." Woolsey then goes on to explain that his bosses are left out of the loop frequently and they'd really want to be kept in the loop and-

Hrmf.

You can see there's a tick to his eye. He's uncomfortable by this. Very uncomfortable.

Someone put him up to it, and he doesn't like this any more than you like this.

"Well, mister Woolsey," you say, leaning in close. "While normally I'd be all about making a quick bit of cash... I can tell you've been put up to this and you don't have your heart in it. So! Why don't you go tell your supervisors up there in the Eye-Oh-Eight or whatever it is that you gave it your best earth-human-metaphor-here try and just simply failed to land it home. Either that, or you can tell them to fuck off, my words." you pat him on the shoulder, wink, and then say. "Now, I've got a meeting to get to."

"Very well then," Woolsey smiles something actually genuine. "I think I'll be on my way then."


 

Your name is Yuuki, Cu Sidhe Fae of Alfheim, and you've been called in to check on the first case of Magic Transformation in the city of Corinth.

Touya couldn't wait to get back Aincrad to check on his Sister, and Silica, of course, had gone to Atlantis to check on Keiko, leaving you the only one free to do this. You don't mind, really, but you wanted to go check in on your own sister too! Geeze.

Oh well.

Magic check complete, and sure enough this Shino girl- already sporting a fancy set of mechanical implants over about fifty percent of her body- got a personal boost of personal magic. You're not familiar with it exactly, and it's nothing like what you've seen from Fae from Alfheim, but...

It vaguely reminds you of a Cait Sith, given the changes to the eyes- and thank whatever god resided over this chunk of the multiverse that the mechanical implants hadn't replaced the eyes entirely- only augmented them in ways that the genetic changes worked around.

For now, the eye and hair color change is the most obvious visible surface level thing, but... You can still see her genetics shuffling under the diagnostic spell, working around the cybernetic changes.

Good grief, what a collision of two very clashing types of bodily modification.


 

You are now just one of many BA'AL CLONES overseeing the construction facility making your own KNOCK OFF BRAND STARGATES.

It's an average day, you're on pace to meet your quota of THREE GATES A DAY- with the second just about being finished up and the third about to be start to-

Proximity alarms beep loudly.

"Oh what now," you sigh, and Check the facility's proximity sensors...

A Meteorite. Rich with Naquadah. Crashing. Towards the Facility.

WHAT.

Where did that come from!?

Some other Goa'uld must have-

Wait.

What other Goa'uld? Another him? But why would he sabbotage--??

And then an Alternian woman appears in a flash of red and a swing of a sword and you swallow as you realize exactly what the meteor was as it vanishes off of the sensors and the alarms go silent.

"That's right, little fake snake, the meteor ruse..."

And then she lunges at you with her sword-

"WAS A DISTRACTION!!!"

-And then there was one less Ba'al in the universe.


 

You are now a very different BA'AL, and you grimace as the report comes in.

Your stargate construction facility was wiped off the map of the planet it had been placed on. Naquadria rich to the core, it had made sense to build there... of course, a sudden meteorite strike would destroy it, especially if that meteor was also naquadah rich.

Something about this doesn't sit right with you, however.

You had DEFENSES. You should have had everything in place to ensure nothing hit that planet that hard.

...

...You have no proof of any wrong doing, however.

What a pain. So much for THAT plan. So many wasted resources.

Still, you send a ship out that way to confirm what the automated alarm systems confirmed.

It'd take a few weeks to get there since it was an old cargo ship and in desperate need of upgrades and repairs, but atleast it could cloak like the best of them.

You need to know if there was anything salvageable.


 

You're once again Vala Mal Doran, and you're feeling like you oughta just quit, after the round of questions you just went through. Jonas was right- trying to game the system just got you gamed instead.

Still, you've got your results to discuss with General Landry, and so you meet him in his office.

Landry sits behind the desk, and Woolsey sits in one of the two chairs opposite him.

"Vala," he nods for the free chair, "take a seat."

You sit down, quiet, then start, "So.. before we go on about how I've no doubt failed the exam, I'd like to mention that-"

"You passed," Landry interjects, handing you a folder to review.

You read it for a moment and... Wait... What?

"Secret Test of Character? Passed?" You blink at the extraneous line in the middle. "What secret test of character?"

"Doctor Hutchinson requested I give you a test," Woolsey says. "You definitely caught on to the fact that I'd been prompted to it, and here I thought I was a good actor."

"So... you asking me to spy on the SGC...?" You trail off.

"All part of the exam," Landry says. "Once Doctor Hutchinson realized how you were handling the stress, and got a good gauge of your character,  he figured the only real true test of character we would need to perform was loyalty. The rest of the exam was mandated, of course, but he felt confident that you'd pass it."

"So... I'm cleared to work with you guys then?" You ask.

"Of course, but I am required to ask one question." Landry says.

"And what's that?"

"After your last mission paid you out in full, you chose to do whatever you liked, only to come back here and request to join SG-1, permanently, out of the blue, or so it seemed." Landry then says, "All I have to ask is, what made you change your mind?"

You blink.

This really wasn't on any of the exams or in any of the questions you'd been asked so far.

Why do you want this?

"Because I don't have a family anymore," you answer, surprisingly honestly even for yourself. "It was so lonely being on my own again and I... When I ran into SG-1 again out there it just... felt right? If that makes any sense?"

"That's about what Hutchinson expected as well," Woolsey says. "That said, I have no objections. Landry?"

"None either," Landry smiles, stands, and offers you his hand. "Welcome to Stargate Command, Vala Mal Doran."

You shake his hand in turn.

"Thank you, Sir," you say. "Though... if you tell anyone I said that I'm going to deny it vehemently. Reputation, you understand. Right?"

That garners a couple of smiles and a short chuckle.

"Naturally," Landry answers.

Chapter Text

[Present: Dr. Heightmeyer (DH), Daraya Jonjet (DJ)]

[Location: Dr. Heightmeyer's therapy office, Atlantis.]

DH: I'm surprised you would come speak with me, Daraya. Most of the Alternians have been quite firmly ignoring my presence here.

DJ: Yeah, well... I don't really have anyone I can talk to about this right now, Doctor Heightmeyer. Given, well... the only person who comes close to being my Moirail who's here in Atlantis is probably just about as- ugh. Wound up over it, I guess?

DH: 'Probably'?

DJ: Huh?

DH: Have you talked with them about this to confirm that?

DJ: No, but, I mean... Haven't exactly had the time to? With the Wraith stuff. He's been really busy helping with the engines and shit.

DH: Mallek Adalov, you mean?

DJ: Yeah.

DH: And you haven't asked him how he feels about this situation?

DJ: Why should I have to? He was there with me when... well. When that happened. When TC died. When... When Polypa got burned alive and nearly died.

DH: I've read the report. It was a traumatic time. The first encounter with Replicators, and the construction of the first Supergate...

DJ: Traumatic doesn't even begin to cover it. I mean. Fuck, it was just a volcano exploding! I shouldn't be this... I shouldn't-

DJ: (Fidgeting of the hands, trembling in the shoulders.)

DJ: I mean, Alternia itself was pretty fucking traumatic on its own! And I grew up in a desert where the undead roamed on occasion and wanted to eat you alive! I grew up in- in a fucking cave hiding away because at the wrong moment the Empire could find us and kill us and- I shouldn't be so worked up over a fucking Volcano!!

DH: "Shouldn't" is a thing we can recognize as being something we know we have no logical reason to be afraid of, and yet... we are regardless.

DH: (Pauses to consider words.)

DH: There's a finite line of human emotion versus rationality. I've known some patients who, for example, despite knowing they should be able to answer a question easily and readily, still freeze up with mental gridlock every time someone springs a question on them out of nowhere. Or they lock up every single time upon hearing the sound of a moth flitting against a wall simply because of a single solitary incident of a Moth flying at their ears when they were a child.

DJ: But I'm NOT freezing up over a question or a moth! I- I fucking collapsed in the Control Room because I was seeing THAT DAY again. Because the Gate got hit by Lava. AGAIN. I- It only happened the once! Why am I so caught up over this!?

DH: Because despite your relative success over the years at having loved ones avoiding death, that was the day when you lost a Commander- a teammate- and nearly lost another close friend, who was hospitalized for quite some time before making her recovery.

DJ: (Frowning, and hesitantly nodding.)

DH: Not to mention it being the first major appearance of such a massive and long running enemy within your Galaxy, it's likely that this recent incident served as a trigger to bring all sorts of repressed emotions relating to all of those incidents back to the surface.

DJ: But. Why now? I thought I was over it. It happened. It was done. I moved on.

DH: Evidently not, if it's bothering you this much.

DJ: I don't- I just... I want to stop freaking out every time I hear something loud go boom, or crack, or- Or-- OR---

DJ: (Huffing, closing eyes, shaking head, hands clenched to fists, before relaxing slightly.)

DJ: What do I do to fix this?

DH: Let's start with what you're really afraid of here. When you're starting with these flashbacks, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

DJ: I-

DJ: (Pauses. Frowns, considering.)

DJ: I feel like... Like I've been living on borrowed time, and I've just run out and I- I don't want to die. I want to keep living! I want to-to--- I want to survive but I'm not sure I can. And that's STUPID because I've survived so much already! The only thing that's gonna be killing me is hesitating and locking up because of this!

DH: Let's not focus on that for the moment. Whether it's stupid or not, it's how you're feeling. Let's focus on that fact instead.

DJ: I... Okay.

DH: You feel you're living on borrowed time, but what do you see? What comes to mind first and foremost out of everything after that feeling?

DJ: It's hot. The room gets so hot, and Polypa's screaming, and I'm screaming, and Mallek's screaming and- and there's the Gate right infront of me and there's lava pouring through it's eventhorizon against the shield...

DJ: (Has the "Wants to say more but not sure how to say it" expression, fidgets with hem of skirt for several moments)

DJ: Except I'm sure the shield is going to fail, and the lava's going to pour through. And I- I'm sure It's going to kill me, but- but not before it kills everyone else and I can't do anything because I'm stuck, screaming.

DH: I see.

DJ: So... what now. Do you hypnotize me or something so I don't deal with this anymore?

DH: No, nothing of the sort. I'm going to recommend you talk with Mallek, Keiko, and Tyzias about this, as a matter of fact.

DJ: Wh- seriously? But- why? It's not- I mean, It's not their problem. And Mallek's-

DJ: (Trails off silently, unable to finish what seems to be even a flimsy excuse to herself.)

DH: Isn't it their problem too, though? You are their teammate, Tyzias' Matesprit, and their friend. Believe me when I say you need support in this, and it sounds to me like you fear being isolated by disaster, while isolating yourself out of fear.

DJ: But... I'm not...

DH: You've refused to talk with someone who was there out of concern that they're feeling the same way that you are- and even if that is the case, have either of you ever talked about this traumatic event ever? In all the years you've worked together?

DJ: (Silent for several long moments.)

DJ: No... I don't think we have. Like I said, I thought I was past it.

DH: But again, here we are.

DJ: ...I... I guess? I just... Can't you do something for me?

DH: As many Alternians have pointed out to me, I don't think Earth Psychotherapy is necessarily compatible, 100%, with the Alternian Psyche. Given that two of your romantic quadrants involve managing emotions of others...

DH: (Begins writing on a sheet of paper to hand over when finished.)

DH: I think there's a definite need there that you're neglecting currently. Also, I feel that there's not really anything I can do to help you out right now given that you are definitely aware of your emotions and the root causes behind them, save for the fact that you're postponing communicating to your friends- to your team- that you're suffering this way.

DJ: (Frowns)

DJ: Seriously? I knew it too easy? Is that what you're saying?

DH: Some patients, I've had to work weeks with them just to get them to open up to this point. You want to talk, to express those emotions, but you're hesitating over the who, I think. And you and I both know that your teammates are just as concerned about your state of being right now as I am. You shouldn't be keeping them out of the loop, and I have the sneaking suspicion that you are intentionally avoiding the topic with them when you come to me, someone that your people on base do not quite trust, instead of the people closest to you.

DH: (Hands over sheet of paper, with simple instructions: "Talk To Your Team.")

DJ: (Continues to Frown, but nods in acceptance of that piece of paper.)

DJ: Okay. I'll talk with them.

DH: That's all I ask. If you and your team are not able to come up with something that helps you out in, say, a month, I'll try to have done some more research into how your people manage mental health and we'll work from there.

DJ: ...Okay. Thank you, Doctor Heightmeyer.

DH: Any time, Miss Jonjet.

[End Transcript]

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 16TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/25/0005.

VRAAAOOOORMMMMSSSHSSshhhhSshhhhsssss....

Your name is Rose Lalonde, and you smile in greeting of your alternate-timeline mother as she greets you at the SGC's linking room.

"Hello, Mom," you greet.

"Hey, Rose," she smiles. "Got everything ready?"

"Captchalogued and ready, yes. I can't stay any longer than a few days. Everything is hectic right now back on Atlantis," you explain. "We're expecting the Wraith Hiveship to show up in about five days now. Who knows what's going to happen at that point."

Your inner sense of story telling logic fears it will be anything good, though.

"Sooo... Did you talk with Rox about any of this?" your mother asks as you both step out into the hallway and start walking for the elevators.

"No, not especially." You pause convincingly while restraining your physical responses. "Honestly, I think we were both more distracted over the box of Sunglasses that Uncle Davis had given them before they linked back through to Atlantis."

"He did what now?" Mother asks, blinking in confusion as you arrive at the elevator, and wait for it to arrive.

"I over ordered on Sunglasses," Uncle Davis is suddenly there, subtly pulling both you and mother away from the Gate. "I got two times as many boxes as I'd wanted. So... Well..."

Then, the elevator dings, and SG-1 basically squeeze out as fast as they can considering that the elevator gets pretty cramped with six people in it- especially when all six of the elevators passengers are geared up for travel- let alone with eight, two of which were other Uncle Davishes who quickly go off to do other things.

Meanwhile, Vala and that Rider guy both just awkwardly give you the most polite 'I don't really know you yet' smiles as the Generic Pleasantries are exchanged between you and the rest of SG-1, and then they all head to the Linking Room.

As you and mother get in the elevator with Uncle Davis, he says, "They're going to Atlantis to check its database for addresses that might not have been copied to Ganos' repository on Lopan."

"Did they check it already?" You ask.

"Yeah," he answers with a nod. "Ganos remembered the planets names, but was having trouble digging up the addresses besides for Vagonbrei, which she could tell us the weapon wasn't on it anyways, so. Yeah."

"How's her memory recovery been going anyways?" Mother asks.

"Ah, you know. It's like de-fragmenting a computer hard drive that got hit with a full system delete that just set the files to hidden instead of actually deleting them right off the bat," Uncle Davis says. "It's all there, just, scattered." he smiles. "Hopefully now that we've got her looking into the specific memories, we'll have our answers soon enough."

"Here's hoping," you agree.


 

The rain fell like crazy, tapping against the City's  windows with a ferocity that sounds similar to someone crinkling up an endless sheet of bubble wrap into an ever tinier and tiner ball of plastic. Lightning flashed with such frequency that it felt like someone was intentionally flicking a lights witch on and off outside.

It is a storm, yes, but not one anywhere near as ferocious as the one from last year. If that storm was a pure 100% at the maximum level of destruction? This storm is a mere 1% of its raw energy of destructive ability. Still, while the rain is pleasant to you, you know certain people are hunkering down in memory of the event.

Your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you peer out into the rain beyond as you consider everything that's going on.

In less than a week, it's expected that this mysterious Hiveship will appear above Atlantis to do who knows what.

You've ordered a temporary, possibly permanent evacuation of the City to the Alpha and Beta Sites- the new Athosian settlement has also agreed to host some of your people in their village as well.

The process for that has been slow and meticulous, and mainly focused on transplanting the City's entire massive database in chunks to the new facility being built on the Jurassic World inside the recently re-powered Shielded Temple that was near the Gate. If the City's database can be saved, then sacrificing the City itself wouldn't be as sour of a note as it was considered back during the siege.

But, for all you know, the Hiveship could turn tail and leave the minute arrived. But given the ferocious speed and the vicious attacks it's made on any Hiveships that get in its way...

This is one Mystery that could cause everyone no end of pain.

In the mean time, repairs to the AURORA are being made based on what can be replicated from the ARGO, and it's hoped that the ship will be in fighting shape come the right moment.

But, until then, you'll focus on the day to day, and on today's roster...

Your radio buzzes, Chuck speaking, "Miss Aiikho, SG-1 has arrived via the Book Room."

"I'll be right down," you say, moving to head that way.


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

You are now Rose Lalonde once again, and the storm raged on as you step out of the car into the rain to travel across the yard to the Egbert house front door.

The storm had come on suddenly,  lightning flashing ominously, and storming loudly.

It's appropriately fitting, really.

Your mother opens the house door, and you both quickly get inside.

"That storm came out of nowhere!" Your mother huffs, then calls out a "We're home!"

"Welcome back!" the surprisingly familiar voice of Okurii calls from the kitchen. "I'll be out in a minute, just finishing snacks."

You and mother head that way, pausing only to look into the tv room- the TV's set to some reruns of Power Rangers- Lost Galaxy, you suspect going by the flying colony ship on screen- and you see the Nepetas sitting on the couch, watching, being the only ones around right now.

"Where are the others?" you ask.

"Karkat volunteered to watch them today," Mother informs you.

"So it's just us here then?" You ask.

"Yep," she nods.

"Good," you shrug off your soaked jacket onto a wall hook, and say, "Take me to the research notes Victoria brought."

"Right now?" Your mother asks. "But what about snacks?"

"Bring them to me when they're ready. I don't have much time here for this trip," you say. "Remember?"

And so you're lead upstairs to the study where, sure enough, there's several boxes of family documents and such brought over from elsewhere.

Your mother leaves you to it, under the impression that you're here simply to read it all out of curiosity.

No, rather, Roxy has been feeling unnerved by the whole thing, and quite frankly, you are too, if only by the implication that some distant branch of your bloodline was hunting your biological grandparents and great grandparents for reasons unknown.

If that really is the truth, you want to make damn sure that none of them are surviving, if only for your own safety.

You settle in to work, listening as the rain rattles against the window, and lightning flashes out in the distance.

You decaptchalogue your laptop, boot up, and start web-searching historical documents.

Your name is Rose Lalonde, and you're going to solve this.


 

You are now RIDER.

"Sorry for the bad weather," the alternian, Mikari Aiikho, says as she guides you through the hallways. "But atleast it's not as bad of a storm as the one from a few months ago."

"Well, there's that," Mitchel says. "So, while we're here and Jonas is researching the keys to saving the universe- do you need help with anything?"

"All sorts of things, but you'll have to check in with Argo on that," Aiikho syas. "They told me to take today off to help out while you were here so I wasn't over-stressing over the Wraith situation. More than I already am, at any rate."

"Heh, that's Argo alright," Jude smiles.

"So, this is Atlantis, huh?" Vala asks, glancing around. "It's really quite beautiful. Got any souvenir shops?"

"Ah, no, not as of yet, we don't," Aiikho laughs.

"It's been a while since I last checked in," Jonas says, "How much of the city have you been able to explore?"

"Just a bit over half now," Aiikho answers. "We have the city schematics, so we know roughly where everything is, but there are still entire sections of the city, and entire subsystems that we can't even pretend to understand."

"You could spend a lifetime trying, and never come close," you muse.

"Well, we're hoping for something close to that," Aiikho smiles. "We're still trying to get the engines to turn on after the Trust sabotaged them, so i think I'll settle for just getting those working in this life time."

"So," Cassandra claps her hands. "How's the search so far gone?"

"Well, we ran the search you asked for," Aiikho says. "We ran every pronunciation of Castiana and Sahal we could come up with and nothing." She pauses to ask, "Are you sure that those names would be in the Atlantis database?"

"The Vibes aren't telling me otherwise," Cassandra says. "We're going to find something."

"Did you get the spelling right?" Vala asks.

"Well, that's the problem with Ancient Languages, in general," Jonas interjects, "let alone actual Ancient. The pronunciation of something can change within a couple generations, let alone thousands of years. The etymology of individual words can be lost entirely. But..."

"There's something," Cassandra says. "I can feel it."

Your stomach grumbles, and you make a quick inquiry about heading off to get some food.

Aiikho gives you the directions, and you head off to the cafeteria to get something to eat. You knew you'd forgotten something this morning. Oh well.

You arrive in the cafeteria a few minutes later, and see what there is to see. Looks like people are busy either eating or planning, or planning while eating- when not standing in line, so you go stand in line and order as simple of a sandwich as you can.

Once you get it, and go sit down to eat, someone sits down next to you with a "Hi!"

"Uh-" You start, "Hello?"

"Yep, hi," they greet you, eyes hidden behind heart shaped sunglasses. "I'm Roxy. Roxy Lalonde. You're Rider, right?"

"I am," you say. "Why?"

"I've... got some questions I'd like to ask you if that's alright. I think I'm going through something similar to what you've been through. Sorta."

You frown, but say, "Sure. Fine. After I eat though? I missed breakfast."

"Sure!" Roxy nods.


 

You are once again Rose Lalonde, and you wish Kanaya had come with you, but she's got her hands busy being a healer with the Shaper Crystal.

"How's it going?"

"Ugh." You massage at the bridge of your nose as Okurii comes up the stairs and lays a plate of snack-sandwiches on the desk.  "Not well," you answer. "There's two alternate names for the country in question. Sauville and Saubreme, and there's odd, conflicting reports of the country gearing up for World War Two in 1925- years before the war was supposed to start."

"The country existed though, right?" Okurii asks. "It's not like it was just stitched into history after the fact by someone else?"

"No, it definitely existed, and was totally gone by 1945," you say. "The land's currently split, owned by France and Switzerland. But the historical reccords surviving from that time are totally stitched up."

"Wait, seriously? I was joking," Okurii frowns.

"I think it all has something to do with the country itself basically falling into civil war during the years before World War Two," you say.

"Really?" Okurii sits down in the open chair next to you. "What happened?"

You explain: "As far as I can tell? The country had a Ministry of the Occult and a Ministry of Science, and they were at war with eachother in the shadows since the first war. Science wanted nothing to do with the war, and the Occult wanted everything to do with it. The Occult seems to have ousted Science and began promising the people they would have victory in the following conflicts thanks to having 'The Monster Charlemont' or something stupid like that." You pause to nibble at one of the snack sandwiches.

"What is that? A myth?" Okurii asks.

"No idea for sure," you say. "Apparently all books on the matter were burned during the conflict that happened after. If it was a myth or a story or legend or something- someone went to great lengths to make sure nobody remembered it after."

You tab over to a newspaper article, written in French- and seemingly burned around the edges.

"Here's an article from some Paris Newspaper around the time," you say. "Apparently the head of the Occult Ministry was holding a rally, showing off the famed Monster to the crowd of devoted zealots."

"Are the... wearing bunny rabbit masks?" Okurii squints at the photograph in the article- the picture shows a burning rally sight, with people wearing costumes and normal clothes fleeing from the scene. Distantly, on stage, you can barely see the shadowed forms of a small figure and a taller figure dueling amongst the flames.

"No idea why, but yes," you say. "Anyways, the report goes on to say that the 'Monster' turned out to have been replaced with a fake and called the Occult Minister out on his shady antics. The report calls it a 'lovers spat taken to the sun'- a lovely metaphor for the fire that was started and burned the stage area to a crispt. They never recovered any bodies, but the Minister of the Occult is reported to both have perished and survived. A paradox, if ever there was any."

"That's concerning," Okurii says. "The surviving family member, you think?"

"Possibly, possibly not," you say. "It's reported the Minister had a son who did survive through the incident, so it could be that's what they meant."

"What happened after that?" Okurii asks.

"The country broke out into open war, falling along the lines of Occult and Science," you say, tabbing to another french newspaper article- really, the "Cesare Times" seemed to do a damned good job of managing to survive whatever historical purge happened, related to this country. "Here's where the two names come in. Both were claiming rights to the land, Science under Saubreme, and Occult under Sauville. There was no actual break up of the land itself like what happened in America's civil war. The country was too small for that."

"That's horrible," Okurii says.

"Not the worst of it, though," you say. "Come old World War Two, Occult allied with Germany and the rest, and Science allied with anyone who was a part of the obvious opposition. Come the end of the war, the country was barely functioning anymore. The population had either flead to other countries, or was wiped out by the war. By 1945, it all went Poof. Gone like the wind, and it seems like everyone tried to forget they existed. Records erased, mentions scrubbed. It's a damn good coverup, if I do say so."

"So anyone who survived and got out would have basically vanished into the wind with no real way of tracking down other survivors," Okurii frowns. "What does this mean for Victoria's story?"

"Ah? What do you mean by that?" You ask, playing coy.

"Please, Rose, i know you're looking into this beyond the fact that you're curious about your own family history," Okurii says. "I can see it in your eyes."

"Fine," You roll said eyes as dramatically as possible. "Honestly? The way everything is so jumbled up, the only way people could know anything more than that I pieced together is if they knew someone who'd been there." You bring up some other reports- one of them not-so-thankfully in English.

"BRADLEY AND HARLEY - DARING RIVALS OR SOMETHING MORE?" the headline read. Below it, a picture of a twenty-something Jake Harley glaring fiercely at an also 20-something woman with short cropped blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, Their foreheads were locked against eachother as both grabbed at a golden trophy and were actively trying to steal it from the other.

The article itself was sensationalist tabloid drivvel with nothing that actually referenced actual history or could be corroborated. It was basically some hotshots real-person-fanfiction disguised as a "Speculation Piece." Still, the photograph was very real, and it had given you a link you needed to get where you needed to go.

"I managed to dig into Avril Bradley's schooling reccords," you say, "She went to an Academy in Saubreme, or Sauville, whichever you want to call it. Couldn't find much else, but I did checks, and she was in the right age range to be sharing classes with Great-grandma Victorique and Great-grandpa Kazuya, and that checks out with Victoria's family records- from both sides of the adoption. I'm willing to believe that's genuine."

"Rose..." Okurii gives you a LOOK, and you huff, admitting:

"Okay, fine. I think she's telling the truth about her relationship to us, and our family, which means I'm terrified over the possibility that the letter she received that prompted her to seek US out was sent by someone trying to clean up loose ends."

"You think it's a cover-up?" Okurii asks.

"I think that the thorough amount of scrubbing that happened to the point that the only articles I can find on a now dead country come from a single Paris newspaper can't be anything but intentional," you say. "And I don't think it's JUST because of the country imploding during a civil war."


 

"Sooo..." You are now ROX(Y) LALONDE, and you've invited this person displaced from time to your lab in Atlantis. "Um, please don't take this the wrong way at first, and this might get a bit... rambling??  But... You were born a girl right?"

Rider bristles, but he nods. "I was. What of it?"

"I was too," you say. "I thought... I was like that for so long that I had to stick to it. Had a kid, adopted others, just... accepted that was my identity, right? And then I got cloned and then I was separate and all that... discontent that I'd managed to accept for those old reasons weren't working anymore because they weren't mine anymore. So... I've had people been calling me by they/them for a while now but- well, I'm wondering how did you know for sure you were a guy, deep down inside? I... I kind of want to know if that's even sort of applicable to me. You know?"

"Well... Artoria was seen as Arthur," Rider says after a few moments of silence- no doubt to process that huge thing. "Everyone accepted him as a man. The people who raised me called him my Father, even if... Well, I don't know how Artoria sees it. I haven't really had a chance to ask. But... I saw that, saw how similar I looked to him, and I just said, "I'm his Son" instead of "I'm his Daughter" and it just... felt like the right thing?" He shrugged. "Honestly, back then everyone accepted it- and nobody really questioned it when you're wearing a heavy suit of form concealing armor."

"Haha," you laugh a bit. "Yeah. I can... I can see that."

"Honestly, I've had to correct people more times now than I did then," Rider says. "I don't know why. It's kind of annoying, really. Why is everyone in this time so caught up on what a person identifies as or by? Why does it have to be such a whole... Whole..." he struggles for a phrase.

You supply it: "Federal Fucking Issue?"

"Exactly!" Rider nods. "Why does it have to be such a whole Federal Fucking Issue to be able to make it so people accept me for what I want to be called by, name or otherwise? I don't see the point in it. If I'm telling you I'm a guy, then I'm a guy, and that's the end of the story. There doesn't need to be any doubt about it. And the same holds true in the reverse. If I were born male and knew in my heart that I should be called a female like I know right now that I'm a guy despite how I was born, then what's the difference? I'm saying what I'm saying, and you should accept the fact that I know myself better than you know me. It doesn't matter what's in my pants or beneath my shirt. I say what I am and that's it. End of story!"

You consider all of that, and then you say, "Thank you, Rider. I think that's what I wanted to hear. Might need to give it some thought on that, to really know but... Thank you."

"Any time," he says. "I'm at the SGC most days, if you want to talk more. You know where to find me." And then his radio buzzes, Jonas wanting to know where he is, and he rolls his eyes. "Duty calls."

"I know that feeling," you say, smiling. "Good luck with the hunt!"

"Thanks. I get the feeling we're going to need it."


 

You are now Jonas Quinn, and you, Vala, and Rider are casually lead into the Hologram room by Mikari. The rest of your team split up at the control room to figure out where they could help with things.

"Well, this is it, the Hologram room," Mikari says as the door into the room closes behind you. "We don't use it much even now with a full ZPM compliment. It's just too much of a power hog, and it's easy to access the database from our workstations through the city when necessary, but... if there's some hidden way of accessing the information we need, it'd be here."

She steps forwards onto the platform and touches the altar/pedestal and wooosh, with a a flicker of a hologram, Ganos Lal appears again.

"Greetings," The Hologram says.

"Now you can talk to her verbally or input into the console," Mikari says. "Now, she can be a little patronizing. I think the program was primarily made to teach young children the Lantian systems, but-"

Her radio buzzes then with Argo's voice- "Mikari, we need you in the Control Room."

"I'll be right there," she says in return, then to you, says, "The interface can walk you through it until I get back. Good luck," and then she heads off.

"Thanks," you say. "I think we're going to need it."

You step up to the console, and say, "Hello, Ganos Lal."

The hologram parses that, then shifts out of the teacher's stance ever so slightly, "Hello. I'm sorry, but do I know you? You are not present in previous records as having interacted with me, and yet you know my name."

"Yeah, we've met you a couple of times," you say. "Holograms, and the like."

"Ah, fellow instances," the hologram nods. "I suspect then that you have come here seeking something they do not know."

"Yes! Hello!" Vala steps up. "Hi!" She smiles.

Ganos smiles back as well, "Hello."

"We're looking for a couple of planets in the Milky Way," Vala says.

"You may enter your query verbally, or by entering it manually on the console," the hologram states, slipping back into Teacher mode.

Damn it.

"Ah, right, we'll speak if that's alright with you," you say.

"Very well. But note for future sessions manual input is required for most system interactions," the Hologram nods.

"...I think I had a teacher like her in grade school," you remark.

"Nah, she was always like that, far as I could tell," Rider remarks, and you think he's missing the point.


 

You're once again Mikari Aiikho, and you arrive in the control room to find Cassandra doing... something with a computer terminal.

"What is it?" You ask.

Argo turns to you, and says, "while Jude and Cameron went to the Aurora to work on repairs, Cassandra went to work looking at the Wraith fleet movements Ford left us. She said she felt something was off with the movements, and then immediately opened up a programming terminal and started writing code."

"Cassandra?" You move over to her, "What's going on?"

"I'm not entirely sure but I think I'm upgrading your secure storage protocols to counter Wraith Viruses," Cassandra answers. "I'm just following the vibes at this point!"

"Considering there is a Wraith Hiveship on its way, I'll take it," you say. "Just ask for permission first next time?"

"Yeah, sure," Cassandra says, not stopping typing.

You sigh, then look to Argo and say, "I'll keep an eye on her. Make sure everything else is going according to schedule."

"Yes, ma'am," they nod.


 

"Okay, so that's Earth, and that's Taonas..." Jonas says, pointing at dots on the starmap above.

"Praclarush Taonas was one of the earliest Lantian Cities," Ganos speaks, "It was abandoned when the inhabitants learned their sun was nearing the end of its life."

"Yes," Jonas hangs his head. "Thank you. I know. I've been there."

"You are most welcome."

Jonas sighs. "Okay, show me the order in which the earliest Ancient Cities were founded."

You are Vala Mal Doran, and you sigh as well. "HOW is that going to help? You going to make a road map with the constellations?"

"Just getting my bearings, Vala," Jonas says. "This could take a while."

"Well, the way we go through getting your bearings, it could take the rest of our lives!" you say with mock cheer.

"What do you expect me to do?" Jonas asks. "Ask the Hologram, 'Hey, We're looking for the weapon Moros Built to kill Ascended Beings! Got any idea where it is?'"

"Unknown Query. As far as I am aware, Ascension is still being researched," The hologram says. "Also, I do not known why Moros would design a weapon to do such a..." She pauses. "Oh. This is about the Ori, isn't it? Parameters changed... Please restate your exact query."

"Lovely," you say. "Now ask it for the planets we need."

"Fine," Jonas sighs. "We're looking for the names of two planets, known on Earth in the dialect of Old English as Castiana and Sahal."

"Processing..." And then two dots glow on the stars above. "Taoth Vaclarush and Valos Cor."

And then Gate Addresses write themselves out beneath the dots.

"...See?" You say. "It didn't hurt to ask."

"Taoth Vaclarush and Vaos Cor..." Rider remarks. "One of those is home to a Dragon. Can't remember which, though."

"Dragons aren't real in this dimension," Jonas says, dismissively.

"What about the blue one I saw on that girl's shoulders?" Rider asks.

"Not Native to this dimension, rather?" You offer.

"Fine," Jonas relents. "Dragons aren't native to this dimension."


 

Out in the hallways of Atlantis, Keiko Ayano and Daraya Jonjet paused in their conversation as Pina- the blue feather drake resting on Keiko's shoulders- sneezed suddenly.


 

"That's it?" your name is Jonas Quinn. "That's it!? How was it that easy!!?" And you stare at the hologram above you- gate addresses and all- with an incredulous gaze.

"We got what we came for," Vala says. "Should we go tell someone?"

"How the HELL did the database translate in real time a language spoken eight thousand years after the Ancients abandoned Atlantis?" You ask. "How was there a verbal link between the words Castiana and Sahal and their Ancient counterparts??"

"Castiana and Sahal were designated by Moros as codewords for specific worlds as Storehouses incase of Ori Incursion within Milky Way. Also included in this desegregation is the code word storehouse 'Vagonbrei.'" the Ganos Lal Hologram explained, adding that third planet and gate address to the list above. "There was no translation required."

You stare at Ganos, flippantly wondering if somehow she survived being killed and actually asceneded... but no. That actually makes sense. In too stupid of an explanation to be anything but the truth.  

"Alright then," you say. "What can you tell us about these planets?" you ask.

"Processing..." the Hologram says. "The planet Vagonbrei was observed to be home to a parasite known to consume the chemical 'serotonin' that-"

"Not Vagonbrei!" you interject. "The other two. Castiana and Sahal."

She starts going on about how the various settlements were founded... but something's still nagging at you.

"Wait-" you interject again. "Why was it when we had Mikari run a check for Castiana and Sahal that the database couldn't find those addresses?"

"Processing..." Ganos Hologram pauses. "The results were passcode protected under filters 'Moros, Ori, Weapon.' Results would not be displayed unless those passcodes were checked."

"..." you stare at it.

Rider laughs. "it was really that simple! We just had to tell the hologram what we wanted the weapon for, didn't we?"

"Yep," Vala says. "Told you we should just be as direct as possible."

You hang your head, and feel your own subconscious taunt with Ganos's voice- "You have your answer, Jonas Quinn, and I suggest you act on it."


"So! Rose!" Mother smiles as she claps her hands. "Do you want to meet Victoria? I can call her and she can come over!"

"No," you are once again Rose Lalonde, and you shake your head. "Not in this inclement weather."

"Ah, that's true. I guess. You sure you can't stay any longer though cause of the storm?" she asks.

"No, I'll take a Link back with Okurii to Diaspora then to Atlantis," you say. "And I really ought to be going. We're dealing with a lot back on Atlantis."

"Okay," your mother hugs you. "Tell John to come visit more often!"

"I will," you promise, hugging back.

And then, goodbyes soon said, you join Okurii and her little Nepeta in the TV room as a Relto Book is unhooked, offered, and linked through.

A bookshelf visit later, and you're back in Atlantis' book room as SG-1 comes in to use it to return to Earth.

You exchange pleasantries again, warn them about the rain, and pass on by them as they head back through.

You find Roxy in their quarters, polishing up the barrel of a rifle that lays disassembled on the desk before them.

"Hey," you say.

"Oh, hey," Roxy spins around, smiling. "How'd it go?" The rifle parts are captchalogued, adn the desk cleared.

"I managed to dig up something on your great grandparents," you say, decaptchaloging your laptop, and booting it up to a document you created containing screenshots of web pages, the first one written in Japanese. "Cordelia Gallo would be the mother, and the Father... Marquis Albert de Blois, head of the Ministry of the Occult. If this journal entry from a supposed sister of Kazyua Kujo is to be be believed, Cordelia pretended to be her daughter, Victorique, allowing her to escape from the Marquis' forces. They dueled in a burning arena, and it's assumed that both perished in the fire."

"Hm," Roxy stares at the page. "Supposedly. Assumed. So... Given the time gap involve, he'd surely be dead by now anyways even if he did survive that.  But..."

"But he was succeeded by a son, who might've either taken up the hunt, or had a kid who did." You shake your head. "Either way, the records coming out of this time are so shattered and covered up that there's no telling what the end result was. I have my concerns, but... I'll leave this here for you to go through." You say, and turn to leave.

"Hey, Rose?"

You stop. "Yeah?"

"Thanks, kiddo. I know I might not say it alot, but I love you, yknow?"

You smile. "Yeah, I know. Thanks, Rox. Love you too."

You just hope that love is enough to overcome someone so fixated on revenge as to hunt down people for the better part of half a decade.


 

Your name is BA'AL, and your cargo ship scout got destroyed en-route.

...Someone doesn't want you checking out whether or not your Stargate facility survived.

And you suspect that someone is one of your own clones.
Y

ou think this will need investigating of a very... personal nature.

You initiate Plan B, and prepare yourself as bait, and alert one of your brainwashed spies.

If you're lucky, the spy will get rooted out in the process of the SGC taking the bait and hunting down as many of your clones as they can manage.

If not? Well... you have ulterior motives you could play out.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 17TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/26/0005.

The Gate Alarms going of is a sound that never gets old. Neither does the sight of the KAWOOSH.

You are General Jack O'neill, you arrived in the Gate Room just in time to watch as SG-1 returns through the Stargate from their latest mission- removing their hazmat gear helmets as they arrive on Earth's side.

"Howdy, kids," you greet. "How's it going?"

"Nothing much to report, Sir," Cameron Mitchel says.

"The Toxic atmosphere on Castiana is slowing us down," Jude Harley reports. "We found stone structures on Sahal, but they seem to have been abandoned for atleast forty-thousand years."

"So basically, bupkiss?" You summarize.

"Basically," Rider grunts, and stomps off, presumably to get changed out of the Hazmat Suit.

"Where's Jonas and Vala?" You ask, observing the group left behind at the Gate.

"Back on Camelot working with Hal to figure out if we missed anything," Cassandra Fraiser-Harley lets you know. "Honestly, all three addresses being a flop doesn't strike me as wrong, persay. But we're still waiting on the Lopan Ganos repository to reformat her database more. I feel like we're missing something."

"Well, whatever it is-" you start to say when there's a buzz of the intercoms, and Walter calls out:

"Excuse me, SG-1, General O'neill? I need you to take a look at this."

You motion, and the team follows you back up that way to the Control Room.

"What is it, Walter?" You ask.

"We just received a heads-up from NORAD, sir," Walter reports. "An Al'kesh Bomber was just spotted exiting, and then re- entering Earth's Atmosphere about four Minutes ago. Bearing indicates it's heading towards Cheyenne Mountain."

"Well that can't be a coincidence," Mitchel says.

"Cassie?" Jude asks.

"I'm not sure," she frowns. "It's... a weird vibe I'm getting. I can't tell. I think Damara's done something somewhere that's prompted this."

"Lovely," you say. "Intercept?"

"Two F-302s out of Peterson have been rerouted to intercept," Walter says. "I'm patching in now."

There's a buzz of static over the radio, then, "Repeat, you have entered a flight restricted zone and are requested to land immediately. Please respond." No response follows. Then, the Pilot says, "Stargate Command, this is Bearcat One. The alien vessel is unresponsive, and appears to have taken some damage to the communications array. Should we engage?"

Thoughts run through your mind, and you muse on it.

"Bearcat One," you radio, "this is General O'neill. Flank the Al'kesh, and take lead infront to the nearest landing strip. if it begins charging weapons, you are cleared to engage. If it follows, escort it."

"Roger, General O'neill," there's a few moments of silence, then. "Al'kesh is following. We are guiding to landing zone Bravo Charlie Three."

You look to SG-1, then say, "Go meet them. I wanna know who took an Al'kesh out of Earth orbit just to come back down, and why and where they came from."

"Got it," Mitchel nods. "Let's go get changed."


 

You are now RIDER, and you frown as the world outside the jeep rushes by in a burst of bronze and golden wheat stalks.

"So... This is what we do when we're not fighting to save the Galaxy?" You ask. "Go play escort to radio silent pilots?"

"Pretty much," Mitchel answers.

"That about sums it up," Jude agrees.

"Mmh," Cassandra nods.

The SUV comes to a stop next to a landing strip where an Al'kesh and two F-302s lay parked. You four disembark and head up towards the door of the thing.

"What's the situation, Major?" Cassandra asks a Major. His name tag reads N. CAFFEY.

"Area's been secured, no-one onboard except for the pilot, he refuses to come out until you guys showed up, actually. Requested you by team number."

"Did he now?" Jude frowns.

"Well," Mitchel says, "let's go knock." And then he knocks on the Al'kesh door. "This is Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchel of SG-1. I hear you were asking for us?"

"Ah, finally," a brassy sort of voice echoes from inside the door, before it opens. "The Welcoming Committee."

"Ba'al!" The rest of your team exclaim suddenly.

You just blink. "Oh, so this is the Boccie guy O'neill was talking about?"

The Goa'uld in question just chuckles, amused, but tired. "I do wish he'd stop telling people that's my name."


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

"Okay, so Ba'al of all snakes was living on Earth, could come and go as he pleased, and then just... takes an Al'kesh directly to the SGC?" Mitchel asks.

Your name is Jude Harley, and you frown at the live feed of Ba'al pacing within his current holding cell. The live feed, and a scan of signals within the room.

"Well, here's something interesting." You say. "Ba'al has something broadcasting a signal out of his body. Some kind of locator beacon."

"So he's expecting someone to beam him out?" Rider asks. "Cheapskate."

"Fat chance of that," Cassie says. "After the Stargate was stolen by Kinsey a while back, we installed jamming devices to prevent anyone from getting a signal lock within the SGC. He's not going anywhere."

"Well this is a first!" Jack walks into the lab. "A Ba'al who refuses to speak to me! It's like he doesn't trust me or something. Should I feel offended? I think I feel offended!"

"Well, who does he want to talk to?" Mitchel asks.

"SG-1. Apparently I don't count anymore! His words, not mine," Jack huffs.

"Yeah," you say. "I'd feel offended too."

And so you head into the holding room.

"Colonel Mitchel," Ba'al begins. "Little Jude Harley, Psychic Knowitall Cassandra, and..." Ba'al frowns at Rider. "Who are you again?"

"Vala calls me the New Guy, and so can you," Rider spits out.

"Vala?" Ba'al smiles. "Ah. Qetesh. Where is she, anyways? I'd heard she'd joined up with your merry band of miscreants. And the other one too. Jonas wasn't it? I was somewhat expecting him to be here too."

"Look," Mitchel starts. "We've been authorized to give you the time of day, so make it snappy, or we'll snap the door shut behind us."

"Very well," Ba'al adjusts in his seat. "I can understand any reluctant to trust me given our history so I'll be 'snappy'. It's the Clones. One of them wants me dead."

"That would be just about the best news I've heard all week," Cassandra remarks.

"Dead, huh?" Mitchel smirks slightly. "What'd you do? Cheat at cards? Water down the wine? Oh! Not give them their holiday bonuses?"

"Funny," Ba'al gives him a withering gaze, suddenly dropping the vibrating voice. "Look. I'll be honest here. Brutally honest. No boasting, no voice, no posing or grandstanding. The clones who stole Stargates? I didn't authorize that. They went rogue. I thought they just had their own dumb ideas of overthrowing me, because I had a facility MAKING Stargates- and No, I'm not telling you where it is because it's GONE."

"Gone?" You ask. "I find that hard to believe."

"Well, so Did I," Ba'al says. "But it supposedly got hit by a Naquadah meteor, so I sent a Cargoship to investigate. Hush Hush. ONLY on my network between me and the clones could read the messages. SOMEONE blew up that Cargoship enroute- mid Hyperspace. Clearly, they're trying to keep me from finding out what happened, and the only reason to do THAT is if they're trying to actually dispose of ME."

"I thought you said you couldn't check it out?" you point out the glaring hole in the story.

"Well, I managed to locate one clone I COULD trust entirely," Ba'al says, "employing some... rather trade secrets I'd rather keep reserved for a future time of negotiation, I managed to get him there and confirmed that the base was gone. And not just the base, the entire planet." He then says. "And there was no Debris Field. At all. Someone stole the entire planet out from under me. There's literally nothing there anymore."

You look to the others- "Damara?" You ask.

"Damara," Cassandra nods.

"Damara?" Ba'al asks.

"Creepy ghost woman who's hounded us a couple of times," Cassandra explains. "She used to work for English. Possessed some people after he died. Kidnapped someone to run some cloning equipment, made herself a new body. Been frustratingly invisible to my vibes, too."

"She also sent us to another dimension for a day trip," Mitchel chimes in. "If she could move an entire planet, she probably would."

"And if she's convinced my clones to turn on me?" Ba'al says. "That's another reason I need to go into hiding."

"So you were building Stargates and the Witch stole them," Rider summarizes. "Why come to us besides that? What else do you get out of this?"

"Because I can help you track down the key to the OTHER looming threat in our Galaxy that surfaced after Anubis and English bit the dust," Ba'al says. "That's right. I know about Merlin's Weapon. What it can do to Ascended Beings. I can help you find it if you help me."

"And how exactly do you intend to do that?" Mitchel asks.

"See, when I took over Anubis' fleets and resources for a time, I found out about the weapon and its power. He dedicated a not insignificant amount of his resources trying to find it during his time in our plane of existence before you obliterated his ship with the Supergate and shoved him into a black hole, but he never found it."

"And You have the address?" Cassandra asks.

"Actually, you already have it. It's among those that the then Colonel O'neill downloaded from the Ancient Repository of Knowledge from, ah, P3R-277 wasn't it? No. 272."

"There's thousands of addresses in that list," You tell him.

"Exactly why you can't find it on your own." Ba'al smiles. "I, However, have information that can narrow down our choices considerably. All I ask in return is you help me hunt down my rogue Clones and dispose of them."

"And How do we do that?" You ask.

"I implanted tracking beacons in every clone when I made them," Ba'al says. "Planted one in myself too, to gain their trust, but little did most of them know that mine was the only one I could ever remove, or deactivate." He smiles. "You can use the tracking system onboard the Al'kesh. They'll never see it coming."

"While this is an incredibly amazing and complex story, it's just that," Mitchel says. "A story. What makes us pull the trigger?"

"I should also mention that every one of my clones knows about Merlin's Weapon considering I knew it before I cloned them into existence," Ba'al says. "if they ARE working for this Damara, and she has designs on ruling the Galaxy by way of anything involving Stargates, up to and including potentially recreating the Dakara weapon, well... She may already know about it and want to come and take the address from you, if they come to the same conclusions I did."


 

You are General Hank Landry, and you look at O'neill as he exits your office- temporarily borrowed to discuss things with a very insistent Agent Barrett of the NID.

"Well?" You ask.

"He's sitting for now," O'neill answers. "Apparently the idea that we could get ALL the Ba'als rather than just one is holding him over on the idea of taking down the Trust once and for all."

"Good," you say. "Did you manage to get out of him how he found out about this so quickly?"

"Just that he'd tracked the Al'kesh leaving one of Ba'als suspected hideouts and came chasing after it," O'neill shakes his head. "Seems fishy to me, though. I dunno. Something about all of this just doesn't sit right."

"You've had quite the sixth sense honed over the years, Jack," you tell him. "Trust those instincts, as annoying as the wordplay might be."

"Yeah, yeah," He nods. "So, Lee said he wanted to show us something?"

You lead your fellow General down to Doctor Lee's lab where Jude is helping him double check a piece of Al'kesh control circuitry's connections to a computer.

From there, Lee presents a star map with a whole lot of glowing dots- various Ba'al clones. A good chunk of them are nowhere near Stargates...

There's a surprising lack of dots on Earth, and yet...

"We can match about 19 clones to planets with Stargates, and using a refined tracker, we can hunt them down locally," Lee sumarizes. "With this intel, the Clones are likely to go down easy and quick."

"We check this intel against the Jaffa and Tok'ra's intel," O'neill decides. "Let Teal'c know we've got a lead on the Ba'als. Once we've done that... well, I'll leave coordinating things to you, Hank."

"Gee, thanks," you say.


 

The First clone to be captured, called "Ba'al #2" for simplicity's sake, claimed to be the real clone- gave all the same spiel about being hunted by the others, and claimed that only HE knew the true location of Merlin's weapon because he'd come upon it AFTER being cloned.

Genetic tests on the hosts and symbiotes were done, five times each, and the results were identical in each case. So unless the Clones are genetically indistinguishable from the real Ba'al, they're both clones and the real Ba'al is out there somewhere.

The next planet got them 3 Ba'als, #3, #4 and #5- and SG-12 caught two more- #6 and #7, and then SG-14 some time later got two more- #8 and #9.

All of them followed the same pattern. Same genetic markers, same story about being the "real" Ba'al, and the same promise of knowing Merlin's Weapon.

Over the next few hours, more Ba'als were brought in, and by the end of the day... a full roster of 20 had been collected. Plans were being made to hunt down the rest elsewhere in the Galaxy.

Your name is Jack O'neill... and you have to say it.

"I feel like a kid who thinks he's drowning in a ball pit."

As you watch twenty different Ba'als on twenty different screens, you can't help but feel like you're missing something.

Where's the play here? What's Ba'al's real plan?

Ba'als'? Baaaaa'aaaaals?

A nest of Ba'als? A playplace of Ba'als? What's the proper terminology here? You'd call it a Murder of Crows or a Rage of Dragons, or something like that.

And then you watch Agent Barrett barge into one of the rooms with a Ba'al in it. You KNOW Landry didn't authorize it, and neither did you.

"Aw crap," you grab for the radio. "Attention Security-" Ba'al raises his hands- Barrett punches him in the nose to establish superiority. They struggle, and Ba'al manages to snag Barrett's gun from his shoulder holster and- BAM! Down he goes. And BAM- down goes the SF guarding the door.

"This is General O'neill! Security Backup to Level Sixteen Corridor B! Ba'al is escaping!"

You watch as Ba'al frees another Ba'al with a stolen key card.

"Shit." You correct, "Correction, A Bearing of Ba'als is escaping! I repeat! We have A Bearing of Ba'als Escaping Containment! Full Security Lockdown of Levels Fifteen through Seventeen NOW!"

And then camera feeds start going down.

Crap.

You can't believe you fell for this.

You start switching to whatever cameras are still intact... You spend about a minute doing that before you finally find one that-

"What the hell?"

You watch as Ba'al #1 fights against Ba'al #13, and then succeeds in prying a zat from the Ba'al  and then immediately double taps the snake into the ground.

Ba'al #1 looks at the Camera, and remarks, "I told you they wanted to kill me. I just didn't think you were stupid enough to bring them all to THE SAME PLACE I WAS!" and then he Zat's the camera.


 

You are now Cassandra Fraiser, and you groan as you come to from being SURPRISE ZAT'D, to see you've been locked in a Lab with Ba'al #2.

"Lovely!" he smiles. "You're awake. Good. Now give me the access codes to the Gate Address Database's Ancient Library," he points a pistol at you.

"Why do you want that?" You ask.

"Because CLEARLY I want to steal the damned Ancient Database Library of addresses!" Ba'al says. "Because some OTHER me already did it and refused to share with the Class! So give me the access codes so I can get one over on him! Me! Whatever!! Just give me the codes so I can access it and steal them and get ahead of that other idiot me!"

You stare at him for a long moment, and then ask- "Seriously? You're serious about this?"

"Obviously!!" Ba'al #2 says. "I wouldn't have coaxed that slimy NID agent into punching me so I could grab his gun otherwise!"

You stare, and then ask- "Another Ba'al already has the Ancient Database of Gate Addresses? How?!"

"I don't know!" Ba'al #2 says. "However else it was he stole half the things he stole and was lording over our heads! Like that 'New Gate Network' plan! That backfired as it was! Stupid idiots stealing Stargates. Who even approved that plan!?" He clicks back the hammer of the gun. "Now GIVE ME THE PASSCODE or I make your daughter a semi-orphan!"

Your vibes flare strongly here- you have to do what he says no matter what... it's not like it's going to cause any trouble anyways, if another Ba'al already stole it somehow.

Fuck.

"Okay, fine," you relent. "I'll give you the passcode!"


Ba'al #5 pauses in the SGC hallway, glancing back at Ba'al #6, who is peering into a vending machine with lust in his eyes. "What are you doing!?"

"I'm Hungry! I haven't eaten all day!" Ba'al #6 says.

"You should have thought of that before-" And then Ba'al #1 gets the drop on #5 and #6, double zatting them both, and then taking out a knife to rip out their transmitters from their necks.


 

"What do you MEAN Ba'al is killing Ba'als?" you are General Hank Landry once again, and you massage at the bridge of your nose as you talk on the Phone with Jack.

"I'm saying I'm seeing atleast five... no, make that seven freshly popped Ba'als, with a chunk dug out of their necks on the cameras here, Hank. Ba'al's killing his clones as best as he can!" Jack answers. "I don't know what his game plan is, but if I didn't know any better I'd say he's cleaning house!"

"Isn't that a terrifying thought," you answer. "I'm locking down the Gate Room to be sure he can't escape. Nobody in or out until this is resolved."

"Good!" Jack says. "Ah, crap, and there goes another camera right when some Ba'als entered frame. Security to Hallways 5 Level 17, section C. And a clean up crew, too. I think there's going to be atleast three corpses left behind."

"That makes ten, doesn't it?" You ask. "He's killed atleast half of them so far."

"Probably! I just can't figure out WHY he's cutting into their-" he stops. You stop. You both realize it then.

"The Transmitters!"


 

"You want Merlin's Weapon for yourself," you are still Cassandra Fraiser, and you ask what seems to be the least likely question to get yourself killed.

Ba'al #2 is in the process of downloading the Gate Addresses onto a USB drive, and he smirks. "Of course. A weapon capable of taking out the Andromeda Ascendants? After the stunt they pulled wiping out the Dakara weapon which ALSO could have been re-tuned to destroy THEM too? Of course I want it. I want to watch their smug faces as they get wiped off the face of two planes of existence!"

And then an alert calls out across the Base's intercom- "ATTENTION! REMAINING! BA'ALS!" Jack's voice calls out. "One of you is killing the others and taking their Transmitters. Why? I don't know. But you oughta be on the alert that you might be next! Maybe take cover? Surrender maybe? Also, the Gate's on lockdown so you're not getting out that way. Also, we MAJORLY upped the scrambling on the anti-tracking devices, so I sincerely doubt even if you gathered all twenty transmitters you could beam out of here."

Ba'al #2 scowls, then glares at you. "Tell me, Psychic. Are there any other ways off of this Base that we're not aware of beyond beaming or taking a Stargate?"

"And why should I tell you?" You ask.

"Because the Ba'al killing other Mes? He knows about it and is cutting off MY escape," Ba'al #2 smirks. "And I want to be there to watch as the smirk gets wiped off his face when I'm there to kill him first!"

You then ask- "Can I make a call real quick?"


You are now BA'AL #1, and despite your best efforts and a pocket full of transmitters, you're pretty sure you've missed one of your clones.

Oh well.  Eighteen out of nineteen is better than none.

You make your way through the hallways, sneaking along as quietly as you can towards the elevator shaft- sure, it's supposed to be locked down, but, oh, do you have ways around that, and an Empty Shaft is just as good as one with an Elevator.

You take one of the transmitters, jam it into the gap between the doors, and take aim with the Zat.

Housed within a body, the transmitters are shielded from most of the Zat's harmful effects. Removed and planted between solid metal, however...?

PCH-ZYU!

Even a single Zat shot causes arcing, sparking, and the deterioration of the shielding walls of the battery within the transmitter aaannd...

FWOOOSH!

The naquadah within the battery lights up like thermite, melting through the doors, and giving you access to the shaft beyond. "Oh, I do so love unstable science."

You take a marker, and quickly scrawl a "Bill me!" on the remainder of the door with a borrowed marker from an unconscious security guard before making sure that the rest of the transmitters are safe within your pocket, and then leap for the cable in the middle of the shaft.

You grab the cable, and begin your descent lower and lower to the bottom of the shaft- and wouldn't you know it? They left the elevator parked on Level 28 as they're supposed to do during a lockdown.

You use it as solid floor to stand on as you plant another tracker into the 27th Floor's elevator doors, take cover in the gap of the shaft that is hidden out of sight behind the doors, and ZAT the transmitter.

PCH-ZYU! FWOOOOOSH!

Flames light up the elevator door, and the darkened shaft, and you close your eyes as you wait it out.

People are shouting on the other side of the door- shocked at the sudden explosion of flames.

When it passes, you wait for someone to be dumb enough to open the door, and sure enough, they do- peering into the darkness.

You stun the poor fool whose name tag reads SILER, and then duck out through the burst of smoke covering the entrance, zatting at the various positions you'd expect people to be standing in after an elevator door suddenly exploded with flames.

Once the smoke clears, you see you managed to hit everyone you expected to hit, nobody's standing, and everyone is on the floor, groaning.

Looks like you managed to get a good chunk of SG-1! Idio- Wait. Where's the psychic girl?

Damn it.

You check to make sure they're all breathing, and find that they're alive. Good.

You make for the Book Room, praying little Cassandra didn't cut you off at the pass.  O'neill would have your head if you killed anyone today that wasn't a clone of yourself, and you're not that big of an idiot to bring that big of a target down on yourself.

You Zat everyone in your path the once, and then find the solid steel door that marks your escape route- guards included.

You zat them both once each, and then zat the door's lock and handle for good measure, before you yank it open.

"Hello, Me!" Ba'al #2 stands across from you, between you and the books, with a pistol aimed at you, and laying unconscious at the floor is Cassandra Fraiser. "I see you guessed that she was going to try opening the door before you did?"

"I knew somebody would," you say, narrowing your eyes at him, keeping your Zat leveled, carefully taking a step over Cassandra, and gently nudging her with your foot to roll her back out of the room through the open doorway.

She groans in discontent at the motion- good, she's still alive too. That one would definitely get a bounty and a death sentence on your head more than the others. Mothers tend to do that, annoyingly.

"So," Ba'al #2 starts. "What now? You try to kill me? I try to kill you? We both wind up dead and nobody knows who the real McCoy is anymore?"

"Something like that," you say, carefully eyeing the books behind your clone and verifying if the covers match the order they should be in. "But how about we save this conversation for somewhere else, hm? Perhaps, somewhere... more private?"

"Fat chance," Ba'al #2 says. "I knew it had to be the first one who kicked this off. And here you are with a fancy Number One printed on his jacket. The only other survivor. The only other one who's alive after this stunt. The one who's been KILLING other Ba'als for their transmitters. What's all this about anyways? Cleaning house, I take it? Have we clones truely outlived our usefulness, if you're the real deal? Or... Is it possible that you're just an usurper trying to take over the throne and already killed the Real Ba'al?"

"Now why should I tell YOU that?" You ask. "You're working with them! Wait, no, you're using them just as I did. Ah, I see now. You stole something and hope to get away with it, hoping I'll tell you what it is I have in exchange for survival? Well. You know what I say?"

"What?" Ba'al #2 asks.

"You're an idiot if you think I came here to use the books to ESCAPE!" you say, mere moments before a burst of blinding white light fills the entire room, and everything within it.

PVVVVVOOOOOOM---SHING!!!!

You arrive within your hidden cargo ship- book stands, books, people and all- there's two of you.

You and yourself.

Or atleast, there were two of you.

Two more clones take aim at the one with the handgun and fire off their Zats- hitting him with two synchronized shots and taking down Ba'al #2.

He crumples to the floor without even getting a shot off.

You roll your shoulders, and lament, "Me, Do I really talk that much?"

"We tend to ramble sometimes, yes," one of your LOYAL CLONES says with a nod, while the other fetches the body they just created, and removes the damned tracker from his neck, as well as...

"Hey, look what I had on me," the other clone says, removing a USB drive. "Looks like a flash drive from a SGC Lab."

"Check it for data," you say, approaching the books before you, "if it's anything we already stole, mail it back to the SGC with an apology. Otherwise, hoard it and add it to the collection."

You open the green covered book before you, and smile as you see the panel showing the City of Atlantis's Book Room flare to life before you.

It was really a truly secondary goal out of all of this to steal the SGC's linking books. To make them paranoid to trust their supposedly secure means of traveling between Galaxies.

You don't really have any plans to use the books... but to research how they were made? The materials that made them, and the STYLE of writing that makes them tick?

Oh. Who needs a Stargate Network when you have magic books?

They won't be getting these back anytime soon.


 

"How. The HELL. Did they get a signal lock on the entire SGC book room!?" You are Cameron Mitchel, and you, your team, and quite a few other people, are nursing Zat-shock headaches.

"It, ah, looks like there was a computer virus hidden inside the Al'kesh terminal," Doctor Lee apologize. "I'm so sorry. I didn't see it. When we connected it to our systems, it triggered a worm that sought out the scrambling devices, and shut them down for about thirty seconds when every active transmitter within the Base was gathered within the same space. It was even programmed to take into account transmitters that were destroyed somehow."

"All of that for just thirty seconds!?" Jude asks.

"It was all Ba'al needed to get the Books teleported out," Cassandra says. "And I'm pretty sure that wasn't even the real Ba'al's main goal. If anything it was a happy go-lucky coincidence. If he'd gotten that last transmitter anywhere else... I think he'd just have left without taking anything else."

"So... what now?" Rider asks.

"We warn Atlantis, Diaspora, and D'ni of the book thefts and tell them to secure their book rooms more tightly," General Landry advises. "I doubt Ba'al will use the books- he'll know we're guarding them, but... it's a security risk they need to be aware of."

"Agreed," O'neill says. "He took a hell of a risk attacking his own clones through us like that, and made sure none of our staff were permanently hurt- atleast, by him. The other clones didn't seem to have the same reservations."

"If another clone, or worse, Damara, gets a hold of those books," Cassandra hisses in pain as she nurses a small cut to her forehead from when she got stunned. "It could be really bad."

"Makes you wonder, though," you say. "What the hell did Damara really do to piss Ba'al off so badly to make him kill his own clones?"

"No," Cassandra says. "What it makes me wonder is how all of this happened so easily. Ba'al was too prepared for this. He knew way too much about our systems too..." She snaps her fingers, and then winces at the sound. "Barrett. None of this would have happened if he hadn't broken into that cell, breaching protocol."

O'neill nods, "I'll have the Tok'ra run him over for brainwashing, just to be on the safe side. If he's been compromised, we'll get him clean."

And so it's with that somber mood that you consider the whole endeavor of the last day with nothing short of a resigned feeling of having been played.

It's not a good feeling one bit.

Less than an hour later, a thumb drive full of stolen Gate Addresses was returned with a letter- "Sorry for the other Me's incredible rudeness. - BA'AL #1."

Needless to say, the feeling of having been played increased ten fold.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 20TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/29/0005.

Your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you sit silently as the bare minimum of crew for the City's cloaked operation sits within the Control Room. It's you, Argo, AR-2, and just Zelenka working the rest of the systems.

"Keiko?" You ask. "Anything?"

"Negative, ma'am. Scans are still clear. It's just the one Hive Ship on approach."

"And the cloak?"

"Up and running, all systems in the green," she answers.

"Good." You tab your rdaio, "Colonel Caldwell, are you in position?"

"Affirmative, the Daedalus is out of scanning range and ready to jump into position on your command," Caldwell answers.

"Excellent," you say.

"Just for the record, I still think we should be in orbit around Atlantis, ready to open fire the second it comes out of hyperspace. Incinerate it with a single Hyperbeam and we're done with it."

"It's just one hive," you tell him. "And a very advanced one at that, given its rate of travel. It might be an advance scout. If it reports back nothing at all..."

"I know, I know," Caldwell relents. "We could end up facing more than just one Hive. We're standing by."

"Good," you glance at the screen showing three dots- one moving, the Wraith Hive, and two stationary, Daedalus and the AURORA. You then ask, "Colonel Sheppard, how goes it on your end?"

"Well, we're out of sensor range, but whether or not the Aurora ready to fight is another story," John Sheppard replies.

Mckay chimes in, "Getting the Bridge in functioning order in under a month was a miracle as it was, let alone everything else we've had to do to get it ready. We'll be lucky to get Shields AND Weapons even with a ZPM supplementing the existing power supply which was already incredibly drained, and it's probably going to be one or the other if it comes to a fight."

"Rodney," you begin, "if that Hive opens fire, I want the Aurora's Drones to-"

"I Know! Which means we need hyperdrive AND shields, and EVERYTHING! And I'm trying!" He snaps his fingers audibly. "Shields?" A pause. "Yes.  Jump to position?" Another, slightly longer pause. "That's a Maybe. Release the Drones?" A just as long pause. "Probably Not!"

"Well, it's pointless to get in position if we can't-" John is cut off.

"Fire. I KNOW! I'm WORKING ON IT! Now let me be and stop asking me inane questions!"

"...Mckay's working on it," John says after a moment, and you see Argo smile at that.

"Contact," Keiko reports. "Wraith Hiveship is dropping out of Hyperspace."

The city was silent as the single Wraith Hiveship exited hyperspace and loomed overhead.

"Atlantis, Report?" Caldwell asks.

"It's going into geosynchronous orbit," Zelenka reports. "Weapons are not arming."

"If they do, switch to shield from cloak as fast as possible, don't wait for my order," you give the command.

There's a long, silent pause as everyone waits.

"Are they scanning?" You ask.

"No," Zelenka answers. "They're just sitting there and-" he stops. "Wait. They're transmitting a signal, audio only... Standard Alternian Encryption?" He blinks, as do you, and everyone else in the control room.

"On Speaker," you order.

"-lantis," says a stubbornly familiar voice. "We know you're there. We mean no harm. Please respond."

"Um...?" Tyzias begins, "Isn't that-?"

"Yeah," John replies, "That sounds a lot like-"

"I repeat," the voice says, "This is Aiden Ford. We mean you no harm. There's no point in hiding, Atlantis. We know you're there. We mean no harm. Please respond."

"Ford," You swallow.


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

You are now Keiko Ayano, and you work your jaw.

"We're not seriously considering answering, are we?" Mallek asks.

"It's Ford, and he has a fucking Wraith Hiveship somehow," Mikari shakes her head. "Needless to say our cover's blown either way. And he'll know our position on the planet regardless, if he intends to kill us. There's no way we can get out of this without responding."

After several moments of pause, she gives the order, "Raise the shield and open a communication channel."

You do so, "I'm making it known that I really don't like this one bit."

"Noted," MIkari says, and then...

There's a burst of static on a nearby screen, and you all watch as a video link is established.

Aiden Ford grins and throws his arms out wide. "Finally! I was beginning to think you were giving me the cold shoulder! The shield is a bit much, though."

"I think we can all say that we weren't expecting you to actually be on the other end," Mikari speaks, looking at the camera mounted to that screen. "What excactly are you doing here, Aiden?"

"Isn't it obvious?" He smiles. "First and Foremost, I'm here to help you test your retro virus."

"How do you intend to help us with it?" Mikari asks.

"For starters?" Ford smiles a feral grin that sets your wolf instincts on edge. "I have a Hive Ship just full of Wraith put in Suspended Animation. Now for Part two of why I'm here. I have a Hiveship!! I know you want to test out your new Super-weapon against the Wraith Hives in this Galaxy. The Other Virus. The one you learned from the Aurora."

"Seriously?" You hear Daraya mutter, "How does he know about Those!?" Mallek puts a hand on her shoulder, and Tyzias does the same for the other shoulder.

"While this is all incredibly fascinating, and incredibly lucky," Mikari says, "I'm wondering just where the hell you got this Hiveship from, especially one full of Hibernating Wraith!"

"See, without a large enough food source, most of the Wraith have turned to infighting," Ford explains. "Some, though, decided to return to hibernation to wait it out, even if only for another few months. Their meager guards easily fellyto my crew."

"Your Crew?" Argo asks, stepping forwards. "The last time you had a crew you got them all killed and nearly got John's team killed too!"

"I know," Ford says, winking with his black eye as he brings up a second feed, transmitting it to you. "And for that, I'm incredibly sorry."

The second transmission shows Elwurd's missing band of marauders, mulling about the Wraith Hiveship's bridge, and elsewhere in the Hive.

You bite back a breath of shock. How the fuck did they get to Pegasus!?

Ford looks straight into the camera, and doesn't blink as he says, "The loss of life was unforgivable and I'm never, ever going to let it happen again. I'm a changed man. I swear." He raises up two crossed fingers to his forehead in a faux salute. "Scouts Honor."

...That Mother Fucker!! He wants to kill Elwurd's crew and using you to do it!

"I see," Mikari hesitates.

"And I can see you're hesitating," Ford says. "I know, it's too good to be true, right? Well. Here. As a show of good faith." He sends another transmission down.

"Data burst incoming," you report, "Siphoning it to a non networked, firewalled computer."

"Good," Mikari nods.

"In the mean time," Ford says, "I'm sure you'll want to recall all the ships you have waiting for us to make the wrong move, as you'll want to discuss this in person with everyone. But... just so you know? Make any attempt to destroy us, and we WILL wake up the Wraith on this ship, and THEY WILL alert every Wraith in this Galaxy that Atlantis is intact."

And then he ends the communication burst.

"What did we get?" Mikari asks, turning towards you.

"Checking..." You peer over the data's first few lines of dialogue, handily translated from Wraith to English by Ford, no doubt to make it easier for you to read and... and comprehend this Utterly Terrifying First Sentence. "Oh fuck us."

"What is it?" She asks.

"Everything you've ever wanted to know about the Wraith's anti-beaming technology and history," you answer, peering up to look at her. "They've Fought Asgard before."


 

Your name is John Sheppard, and you briefly give Argo a quick hug as you reunite on the way to the Conference room.

"How's Jade?" Argo asks.

"Holding the fort with the Aurora for now out of sensor range," you say. "She's really taken to the idea of being a ship captian, I think. That, and she said she'd punch Ford in the nose if she saw him face to face."

"Me too," Argo says.

"Let's not be hasty now, he did apparently give us a lot of Wraith stuff and the fact that he's got Elwurd's crew onboard," you say. "If we're lucky, we can scoop them all up and get Ford treatment."

"If he even lets himself get captured," Argo shakes their head. "Fucker thinks he can just waltz back into our lives whenever he wants to? God... I just wanna slug the arrogance right out of him!"

"I know," you say. "But let's hold that on the back burner for now."

You arrive in the Conference room, just in time to get there as Beckett and Fraiser arrive, retrieved from off world.

"Well," Caldwell was saying as you entered, "I think it's safe to say if Ford was going to attack us, he wouldn't have let the Daedalus land without incident."

"And the Aurora?" Mikari asks.

"Still outside of sensor range," you say.

"Good," Mikari nods, then looks to Mckay. "Rodney? How's it going?"

"Well, Ford sent the original Wraith and his translation which- let me just say is flawless for someone who hadn't studied Ancient before," Mckay says, "and well, it's basically exactly what it says on the tin. The Wraith, for some time during the war with the Ancients, had a series of skirmishes with a branch of the Asgard that had come to this Galaxy, presumably at the Ancients request. After the Wraith suffered a series of losses thanks to the beaming technology, they implemented a fleet wide protocol against beaming tech into their ships, and they beat the Asgard and the Ancients back from the minor series of Victories they'd put out. It's the same protocol they've been using all these years since, always active, just incase of emergency, or the Asgard showed up again, which, considering they vanished shortly after the Wraith implemented the protocols, seems to suggest they died out here."

"Shame," Mikari says, "we could have used their help if they were still around."

"So, what do we do with this?" Caldwell asks.

"If Ford's willing to let us test our beaming tech against the Wraith ship's jamming protocols, we should be able to come up with a work around," Keiko says.

"What excuse do we have for that, though?" you ask. "We're seriously not going to try using the Retro Virus on the Wraith he has prisoner on that ship, are we?"

"We'll say we're testing dummy canisters for it, but...." Keiko smiles. "I think we can beat it, give or take a few tries."

"Good..." Mikari nods. "...So what do we do about Elwurd's crew?"

"Ford clearly wants them dead," Tyzias says. "And I can't blame him after the shit they pulled, making the rift."

"If we can successfully beam  things Onto a Wraith Ship, i don't see how it could be any harder to beam things off," Argo says. "And we beam them off directly into the ocean. At depth."

You glance at Argo, and you see a glint in their eyes- furious flames seem to dance across their glimmering orange surface.

"Ah, that's a bit too soon for me," Mckay whimpers. "That imagery."

"Sorry," Argo says, "but we can't trust them, and if Ford doesn't either? Fuck 'em, I say."

"I'd like to say-" Beckett speaks up then, at the first open lull in the conversation, "-I think it'd be a great opportunity to actually manufacture and test the Retrovirus in an Aerosol form. If we can actually beam onboard the retro virus... we'd be able to take out whole Hiveships."

"And what happens when those humanized Wraith turn back into humans?" Fraiser asks. "Because last I heard we were still giving Mike his treatments daily to keep him from reverting."

"Hell, we don't know how long it'll take to transform a wraith to human in a gaseous form anyways," Mallek chimes in.

"Exactly why we should try it out on the Wraith themselves, if we have a ready supply," Beckett says.

"We'll send someone to Alternia via the linking books," Mikari says. "Inform The SGC and the Alternian Government of the situation, and see what they advise. Tentatively, I'll say that I believe it's in our best interests to play along with Ford, if only to accomplish rudimentary testing on the Viruses, as well as capture Elwurd's crew."


 

The SGC and IOA approved the experiments on the captured Wraith, while Alternia disapproved, and Doctors Beckett and Fraiser worked on different aspects of the retrovirus- Beckett the aerosolization, and Fraiser the more permanent aspects of it, to be applied after the aerosolized version to make it permanent.

Meanwhile, Rodney Mckay, Morgan Carter, Keiko Ayano, Tyzias Entykk, Mallek Adalov, and the Asgard Hermiod were working on the beaming work around. Doctors Freeman and Kae, also meanwhile, worked on the final touches for the signal based upload of the virus targeting the Computers of Wraith Hiveships- if the workaround for the beaming tech couldn't be managed, this was the next safest bet to cause it to work.

Ford gladly loaned them a Cruiser to experiment with- a cruiser that would carry the first Wraith Experiment down to them, guarded, of course, by two 'humans' who were really Mofang in disguise.

As much as it pained Atlantis Security to let them be, they did.

The first Wraith-to-human trial with the Aerosolized Retro Virus took a little over eleven hours to complete manufacturing as a gas form, and a further twelve hours to actually convert a Wraith to a Human.

Beckett focused his efforts on making a faster version next, but for the time being, it would work.

Meanwhile, the crew working on the Beaming problem hid a road block... but Freeman and Kae got their remotely downloadable virus working, and the jamming abilities of the cruiser were 'given a cold' and it no longer blocked the transport of a small little innocuous canister onto the ship.

And thus, a trial run on Ford's Hiveship was in order... And that was where they ran into a problem.

EARTH DATE: APRIL 22ND, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/31/0005.

"Unfortunately to beam the Gas effectively through the Hiveship," you are now Rodney Mckay, "we're going to need to target their life support systems, and unfortunately, we don't know Where On a Hiveship that is."

Ford, still through transmission, grunted. "Yeah. That's a tricky thing alright. But, I think I can help you out there."

And then the sent another data burst- this time, containing the constructional schematics of a Wraith Hiveship.

You're practically salivating over the data to the point you nearly forgot to save it to a non networked firewalled computer- except then a warning notice popped up on screen, containing a single message:

"Save. It. Securely! - Cassandra"

Right. Heh. You almost forgot about that,

You ensure it's properly saved... and decide to take screenshots of every piece of data just to be on the safe side.


 

The tests went as planned, conducted several times to ensure authenticity, and was a success, but upon hearing of said success, someone in the IOA insisted on several tests, one of which would be a field test on an unknown Wraith Hiveship before any capture of Elwurd's crew could or would be performed.

Ford insisted on taking his hiveship with them to partake in the battle.

And so with the Daedalus hiding under the wing of the Hiveship, they went to target the closest Hiveship within range.

A few hours of Hyperspace travel later, they emerged, and the enemy Hiveship began opening fire immediately- suspiciously wary of any foreign hiveships showing up out of the blue unannounced.

The Beaming Block Disabling Virus was quickly broadcast, and then the Retro Virus Canisters were beamed over.

Immediately the enemy hiveship went silent... because it immediately exploded.

The question of the day was "What the hell was that!?"

In the time it took to get back to Atlantis, the consensus was made that the enemy Hiveship simply had different enough morphology within it that where the ventilation system on one ship was, say... something that reacted explosively to a gas being introduced into it, such as the engines.

Needless to say, certain members of the IOA suddenly wanted to do another test run, just "to be on the safe side" and to "see if that had just been a fluke" caused by the beaming, or if it was due to the virus meant to disable the beaming block.

That said, they were pulling serious muscle this time, and were pushing for another test sooner rather than later, and were postponing Elwurd's capture for longer and longer...

The threats of funding changes being made just reeks of the Trust, though, is the general opinion of everyone involved by it. It was incredibly out of character from their so-far lazy hands-off approach,

And so, despite the SGC, Alternia, and Atlantis all protesting against another test run, the order was given again to find another Hiveship to target.


 

EARTH DATE: APRIL 23RD, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/01/0005.

"They're stalling for time," Elwurd declared firmly.

"You sure about that, sis?" Marvus asks.

"Of course I am. All this back and forth... Ford sold us out to them. The virus we planted in those data bursts hasn't gotten us what we wanted yet, so either Ford stripped it out of the bursts, or the bastards in Atlantis caught it and have been toying with us. All of this reeks of them playing for time."

A Carapacian points out they can beam onto the ship whenever they want, what's stopping them from beaming THEM out?

"Exactly," Elwurd says. "What's stopping them? They're stalling for time, I dunno why, and I don't care to know why. We're being played. I'm done with this shit."

"What do we do?" a Mofang asks.

"The minute we drop out of Hyperspace, we kick Ford off, take our ship, and leave," Elwurd decides.


 

And so they dropped out of Hyperspace- Ford's Hiveship once more cloaking the Daedalus beneath its wings...

The enemy Hiveship did not move to engage, instead sitting curiously.

They broadcast a simple text message to Ford's Hive- "Are you Queenless as well? Teamup? Alliance? Fight Not Wanted But We Will Fight Back If Needed."

Ford, unfortunately, never saw it, because Marvus slammed him in the back of the head with a massive club, and then had one of the Mofang shoot him with a Wraith stunner for good measure.

Elwurd's reply was straight forwards. "Queen frozen in Stasis. Forced by Atlantians to attack other Hives. Their Ship beneath Ours, attempting to beam onboard virus gas into life support systems. Send Darts, then Open Fire when We Move Out Of Position. We Will take You To Atlantians Hideout."

And thus, the die was cast. Elwurd nodded to Marvus when they received an affirmative from the opposite Hive... and their Darts began to fly out, seemingly to target Ford's Hive.

The Daedalus crew prepared to launch the 302s in retaliation...

And then Ford's Hiveship broke cover, and the enemy Hiveship opened fire on the now exposed BC-304.

A Battle quickly ensued, stunning the Daedalus, and holding it at bay for long enough for Ford's commandeered Hiveship to move into position alongside the other

Hive, which begins to reclaim their Darts quickly, and then...

The Daedalus fires off two Hyperbeam blasts, aimed at destroying both Hiveships.

Unfortunately, Ford's Hive takes cover behind the other one, using it as a shield to tank both blasts, and giving it time to escape into Hyperspace.


 

You are now Colonel Steven Caldwell, and you swear at the double cross while damage reports come in from all over the ship... because one thing is immediately obvious.

Elwurd double crossed you all.

"Sir, one of the 302s failed to return," Marks says. "Sheppard and Truman's- Eagle One."

"...Well, shit," you swear. "Wreckage or debris?"

"No, Sir. Their Transponder is simply gone."

....Fuck.

"Get me a status report, then radio Atlantis," you order. "Mikari's not going to like this."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 23RD, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/01/0005.

"Enemy Hiveship is launching Darts!" Marks calls out.

"Colonel!" Caldwell orders. "Get the 302s in the air! Counter the Darts, and take out their Hyperdrive if you can!"

"Roger!" You are now Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, and you double time it to the 302 bay.

You partner up with Scott Truman, whose 302 Co-Pilot was hurt in the last fight, and you rocket out of the Daedalus.

"I've got incoming!" Gem calls out over the inter-ship radio.

"Same!" Gemma radios, confirming that.

"Eagles 3, 4, let's keep those Darts off our six," Scott declares. "Sheppard, think you can make those Darts Explode remotely?"

"I can sure as hell try," you say, focusing on the breeze and trying to lock onto the life support of the Darts flying at you.

"Meanwhile-!" Scott growls. "Looks like half the Darts are pursuing Eagles 5 and 6. 3, 4, we've got the other half!"

You get a grasp on those Darts and their life support, and you whip up a fierce storm of wind blades within the cockpits.

Those Darts stop cold in their tracks as their cockpits explode apart.

"Got some!" You say. "Colonel! What's the status on-?"

"We're unable to get a lock on either Hiveship. It looks like Elwurd figured out a way to work around our workaround of the Beaming Block and shared it with their new friend." Caldwell answers.

"MARK! FOX FOUR!" Scott calls out, and a missile fires off and blows up more darts.

"This is a wash!" Caldwell radios. "All 302s, clear the Hiveships, we're going to open fire with Hyperbeam the moment we have a clean shot at both!"

"We've taken fire!" Gem radios. "Wait- why aren't they finishing us? They're... retreating?

"Can you-" Scott stops. "Wait, they're retreating to the Hiveships. And..."

"Fords is acting weird." You say, watching it move. "Shit! They're moving to get behind the other Hiveship like it's a shield! They're going to break for hyperspace!"

"Gem, Gemma, can you get full thrust to punch after that Hive?" Scott asks.

"No, we can't!" / "Too much damage, Scott!"

"Then return to Daedalus!" Scott then punches the 302's engines.

"What are we doing?" You ask.

"Something Power Ranger-ish, probably!" Scott says, swerving the 302 around Darts and moving to go in after Ford's Hive's Hyperdrive.

"Oh! Good, because I was going to say if I were flying I'd be doing this exact same thing!" you say.

"Glad to know we're on the same page then!" Scott answers.

You swoop in close to Ford's Hiveship, and see the glow of the hyperdrive engines lighting up-

"Even if we shoot now we're never going to stop it!" You say.

And then the Daedalus opens fire with Hyperbeam and Blasts the other Hiveship.

The Explosion's shockwave catches your 302 and sends you hurtling into the lower hull of Ford's Hiveship.

"SHIT!" Scott swerves the angle and you slam down on the MAGNETIC CLAMPS button for all the good it will probably not do you--

And then suddenly everything is moving in a VERY different way as somehow your 302 attaches itself onto the Hiveship's Hull and gets dragged along into Hyperspace in just the right way so as to NOT get splatted against the Hiveship as it accelerates to massive speeds through the forming window.

For a few moments, it's jut silence- nothing but you and Scott breathing heavily as you watch the wash of hyperspace energy flow by overhead...

"Did we seriously just survive that somehow?" Scott asks.

"I think we just did," you answer. "How the hell did we survive that?"

"I have no idea," Scott answers. "But I'm sure as hell glad we did."

You stare up at the glowing field of Hyperspace above you. "One things for certain... this is new."

"I'll say," Scott agrees.


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

You are now Mikari Aiikho, and you storm into the Control Room with a barely restrained fury in your limbs.

"Colonel Caldwell," you immediately get on the Radio. "Please Tell Me you have good news to report."

"Sorry, Miss Aiikho," Caldwell says. "We don't. Elwurd back-stabbed Ford and us, not to mention the Hiveship we were targeting. They worked around our beaming workaround somehow, and we were forced to use Hyperbeam against one of the Hives, destroying it. Unfortunately, We think Ford's Hive escaped into Hyperspace and is heading to who knows where."

"We're tracking it," you say. "It's heading out and away from Atlantis at the same staggeringly fast speeds it has before. If it stays on that straight line trajectory, It might pass the edge of the Galaxy in a matter of days, on a beeline course straight to Alternia. If the Wraith onboard that cruiser wake up and the other Wraith sense where they're going-?"

"I know," Caldwell says. "Unfortunately, we took some damage in that fight, in addition to the last one. Our Hyperdrive is out of commission for the moment, in addition to the inaccessible decks. We're not going anywhere."

You breathe tensely.

"I feel you need to be advised, Colonel," you tell him, "The IOA is already demanding to know the results of this attempt. They were already insinuating the blame for this should fall on you if this last mission failed. Idiots. When I tell them about this, I'm sure they're going to try to pin the blame on me, too. I might not be here when all of this shakes down."

"What?" Caldwell asks. "Who in their right mind is-? It's not Woolsey, is it?"

"No," you say. "Unfortunately, he's been shoved out of the loop on this one for voting against performing another beaming test after the last Hiveship attempt. The rest of the War Hawks want to know if we've had success on this or not. Needless to say Alternia and the SGC also voted against it, but the IOA is pulling weight it hasn't bothered to as of late. I think someone either got Snake'd, or is realizing they could stand to make a lot of money off of this retro-virus if it works against the Wraith."

"Naturally," Caldwell grunts. "I'll see what I can do about the Hyperdrive. What are we going to do about Ford's Hive in the meantime?"

"I'll be dispatching the Aurora to try to intercept it at its next predicted stopping point," you say. "If we're lucky, we can destroy it before it exits the Galaxy and alerts the other Wraith as to where our homeworlds are."

"Send me the time frame when you have it, and we'll try to meet it," Caldwell answers. "If this fails, though... you know what you're asking us to do, right?"

"I do," you say. "That's why if you can manage to get your Hyperdrive operational again, I'm requesting you make a pit stop at the first planet that has a Stargate and beam off everyone who doesn't want to risk dying so they can Gate back to Atlantis. This is Volunteer Only. Hopefully it won't come to it, but..."

"...Understood." Caldwell pauses. Then, says, "You should also be aware. Sheppard and Truman are missing. Their 302 failed to return after the last skirmish, and we were unable to find wreckage or debris corresponding to their fighter. We think they were either caught up in the unstable backwash of the Hyperspace window and scattered, or..."

"Or?" you ask.

"Somehow, they hitched a ride."


"Okay," Scott says, "we can't sit here forever. Can we detach and hit them while they're in Hyperspace? Is that possible?"

You think back to a conversation you overheard between Zelenka and Mckay one fine day a few days back in the cafeteria...

"There's no reason to believe that their hyperspace field is any different from our own," Mckay was saying. "And we can't launch 302s from the Daedalus while in hyperspace."

"No," Zelenka countered. "I'm simply talking about maneuvering within the field, not passing through it. What do you think?"

Annnd then you were snapped back to attention by Jade as she asked you what your opinion was on something.

"Aaah... I really need to pay more attention to Rodney and Zelenka when they're rambling about science stuff," you admit. "I have no clue."

"Won't do that then," Scott says.


Your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you growl, frustrated, as you Gate back to Earth to talk to the IOA.

They're being so stubborn about this. You tell them that their own insistence on putting off the capture of WANTED CRIMINALS has backfired on them just the once, and they go and recall you to REPORT IN PERSON! What idiots.

What fucking idiots, you think as you step through the wormhole.

They're going to fire you over this, you just know it. And despite Okurii and General O'neill both voting otherwise, the IOA's pulling threats on funding to get their way.

If you didn't know any better, you'd say the Trust got their claws in deep... Again.

That honestly wouldn't be the most outlandish thing at this stage.

"Welcome back, Mikari," O'neill's waiting for you at the other end of the Gate as you emerge.

"You know, I was seriously considering disobeying," you say. "This is all on their heads. Not Mine."

"Yeah, I know," O'neill says. "I'm filing a complaint to the President the minute you step into their office. Woolsey's doing one too."

"Can't imagine THAT's going to go well for him," you say.

"Nope," O'neill shakes his head. "I heard one of his 'friends' shout at him, that if he loved Atlantis so much he could go work there for the rest of his life."

"Ouch," you wince. "That's... Extreme."

"If I can get the President and their other superiors to sign off on it, I'm having the whole IOA checked for Ba'als brainwashing- symbiote based or otherwise," O'neill says. "This is just too much too fast."

"What do they want from me, do you think?" You ask.

"To Cover their Asses, probably," O'neill shakes his head. "Okurii's rushing over just as soon as she finishes signing a bunch of complaint forms from her side of things."

"Good," you say. "At this rate, if the 'Independent Oversight Authority' isn't properly doing their jobs... then what good even are they?"

And thus, you arrive at a briefing room door.

"Good luck, Mikari," O'neill puts a hand on your shoulder. "You've got my backing and the support of everyone else on this base except for those bozos in there."

"Into the lions den," you say. "No pressure."

And thus, you enter the realm of politics once more.


The Hiveship exits Hyperspace, and hoo boy, is that a view.

Alternia Galaxy and Milky Way Galaxy floating across from you, a glowing rift in space between them.

"Okay," you say, "it's probably time to do some damage."

"Agreed," Scott says, beginning the power up sequence for disengaging the clamps. "How do you want to do this?"

"In a perfect world, launch a nuke down their throats," you say. "...But it's not perfect. We've only got a few missiles left... We take out their Hyperdrive, and then..."

"Then what?" Scott asks.

"...Sheppard, if you can hear me," and then Ford's voice suddenly cuts into the radio, sounding groggy and tired. "Elwurd just clubbed me over the back of the head and strapped me into a Dart. I think they were planning on jettisoning me out into space but didn't get the chance before they had to flee. I think they forgot about me honestly. Idiots."

You radio back, "Well, howdy, Ford. How'd you know we were here?"

"Lucky guess based on the ten million other times you somehow pulled that insane stunt off?" Ford sounds like he's shrugging, or- wait, no, there's the sound of a knife being pulled free of a sheath, and cutting something cloth like. Or rope like, even. "It's like... a freaking cosmic fixed point. I don't see a timeline where you don't pull it off. But maybe those are timelines I'm not there. Or maybe I'm not looking hard enough. I've got a bit of a headache right now and I'm not even able to refresh the enzyme right now. Fuckers dosed me with something while I was out."

"Well," Scott says, "as fascinating as all of this is to know... I'm coming back to that same question. What's The Plan?"

"You guys cut loose and blast the hyperdrive, I'll cut loose and..." Ford laughs as there's the sound of something snapping. "Shoot up the Dartbay. Get some secondary explosions going. Then, we fly out of here while they explode, and get as far away as we can and wait for the Daedalus to arrive and get us out and home free."

"That simple?" You ask.

"The bastards back stabbed me, but they didn't think to realize that I was going to backstab them, too." Ford laughs, again, unnervingly. "They need me onboard the ship to do anything. I'm mimicking Wraith DNA to keep it functioning. Suspended Animation Wraith don't count, for whatever reason. Once I drop that... or I leave range? They can't even power on weapons."

"So if they sent you to space, they'd be screwing themselves over," Scott shakes his head. "You know, if you'd asked me a few weeks ago, I'd say the craziest thing I've ever seen or heard was meeting myself from another dimension. But this has to take the cake. Do you know how long it'll take before the Daedalus arrives?"

"...Long enough a 302 will run out of life support," Ford says. "But fortunately for us... this Hiveship has a bunch of cruisers onboard. And THOSE will last a lot longer. I'm going to steal one, and do the damage through that. And then you guys can hitch a ride with me."

"Well, that sounds like a plan," you say. "And honestly, I don't have anything better."

"I'll let you know when I'm ready," Ford says. "Going Radio Silent Until Then."

"Roger that," Scott says.


 

You are now Richard Woolsey, and you're anxiously awaiting the metting you've been so coldy cut out of to end.

To think that your own people would slight you like this...

You hear the door unlock, and then start to be opened- and thus you catch Mikari's parting words.

"I have instructed Atlantis to contact the SGC when the Aurora and Daedalus are departing, but if you want to overturn my standing orders at that time, you're going to have to go ahead and fire me first."

And with that, she angrily pulls the door shut.

"Well?" You ask.

"I'm pissed off, Woolsey," she says. "I'm pissed off at how short sighted they are. I told them exactly how I followed procedure and how it was THEIR insistence that caused this mess. They didn't want to listen." She shakes her head. "They made it abundantly clear they just want to stall for time and hope for the best case scenario to magically poof itself into existence, and then blame whoever they can when things go wrong regardless."

"I'm severely disappointed in them," you say. "This went far beyond protocol, recalling you like that."

"In the half hour I was in there, they shifted blame from Caldwell, to me, to literally half the members of my expedition who weren't even present for the decision making process," Mikari says, even as the gate alarms sound off. "And that's probably Atlantis." She heads for the Control Room.

"They're going to never reach a decision in that amount of time," you say, starting to head for the Control Room after her. "Not even if they had a day to, as long as the situation is up in the air."


"Let's hope it resolves peacefully, then," MIkari says.



The Alternian girl whose real name was unknown, but went by the alias ELWURD presently, smiled as the programming for the next hyperspace jump was coded in. All they had to do to wait now was for the ship to recover from its already lengthy hyperspace journey.

That was the frustrating part of all of this so far. The long pauses after traveling through hyperspace just to let the Hiveship recover and-

"Uh, Captain Elwurd?" A a shy Mofang began. "Our sensors just detected a small vessel buzzing around the rear hyperdrive emitters."

"It's probably a malfunction," Ewlurd decided. "And even if it isn't, what's the worst one Dart or 302 could cause back there?" Still.. It never hurt to be anything but cautious. "Still. Lock onto it with weapons and fire."

"We can't."

Elwurd turned on him. "And why the fuck not?"

"Our weapons systems just went offline." And then the lights dimmed on the bridge. "Annnnd we just lost sensors, internal and external annnnd..."
And the air suddenly stilled.

"Let me guess," Elwurd scowled. "We just lost life support?"

Then, the ship rocked from a massive explosion.

"I'd be willing to bet we just lost hyperdrives too?" The Mofang paused as there was a series of more loud explosions, growing louder and louder, rocking the ship with each burst. "Oh no."

"What the fuck was that!?" would be Elwurd's final words, as the next in a series of secondary explosions rocked through the Hiveship's bridge.


 

Well in the distance away from the exploding Hiveship, a Wraith Cruiser and a F-302 watched the fireworks.

"You know," John voiced, "I think we hit something critical there."

"Yep," Scott agreed. "Lots of something critical. I'd bet they were storing fireworks inside or something."

"Probably fireworks, yeah," Ford scoffed. "Idiots forgot to properly secure them in cargo, left them in the hanger bay."

"That's one hell of a bang, either way," John remarks.

The 302 docked where Darts would, and the two pilots got out and joined Ford within the Cruiser, and thus, they waited.

Several hours later, the Daedalus and the Aurora arrived, reclaimed the Cruiser, and began a thorough clean sweep of the wreckage to ensure nothing survived the destruction of the Hiveship.

Anything that HAD survived received a thorough cleansing from the fabric of reality courtesy of the Daedalus' Hyperbeam lasers.


Your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you pause during your pacing around the SGC hallways as Mister Woolsey catches up to you. What does he want? The IOA Ambassadors have 'finished conversing' and would 'like to continue debriefing' you.

Your answer to them is no. "I'm not going to sit there and have them rake me over a molten lava field for every decision I've made since I took over Atlantis."

"Miss Aiikho," Woolsey begins, "you know that all of us have the greatest respect for you, but as far as the others have been oh-so-suddenly concerned, you haven't been the model employee of the month, let alone employee of the year."

"If the IOA wants to take issue with how I've done things now after THEY pushed things?" You say, "Then I seriously hope they take a seriously look at their own behavior, because it has been less than stellar with how little oversight they've actually put into anything until just now of all times."

"I sincerely agree," Woolsey says. "I just hope we both keep our jobs."

"One can hope," you agree.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 27TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/05/0005.

Your name is Jack O'neill, and despite your best efforts...

It seems that nobody has gotten their way.

It's not a win, or a loss.

Elwurd and her crew are dead- Hiveship destroyed at the edge of Pegasus, and thus the IOA didn't get their further testing of the Gene Therapy Retro and Anti-Hive Viruses.

Richard Woolsey was in the 'doghouse'- being forced to return to Atlantis as "Direct Observation." And that meant that Mikari and everyone in Atlantis now was going to have an IOA Rep- a friendly one never the less- breathing down their necks for the foreseeable future. But atleast one positive out of all of this was that Mikari kept her job- for now- despite the IOA's clear attempts at firing her.

The IOA was flat out refusing to have their reps take the Goa'uld or Trust Brainwashing checks if administered by anyone in the SGC or the Alternian or any of Earth's Governments, and instead were insisting on 'outside independents' to run the tests, which they could easily flub by way of choosing someone already brainwashed or Snake'd if they so chose to.

But that means...

You sigh.

That means you can't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the IOA reps had malicious intent with this. But considering that while they were doing this, they'd ALSO backed down on threatening Caldwell's job too, given that he has volunteered, cleared, and publicly stated he was volunteering to be tested without hassle in perpetuity if it ever came up against him again, and that if he ever DID protest it then he needed to be checked anyways.

And while your friends and contemporaries in other governments are similarly frustrated by the IOA's stonewalling, you currently lack a majority to force anything, because...

Colonel Checkov, one of the only Russians you actually trust to have Earth's best interests in all of this, died on the Korolev when it went boom a few weeks ago. You think Russia's IOA rep is pissed off, all things considered. And as for France, who should have been backing you up on all of this, you just found out that their representative had been replaced for "Medical leave" just days before this current fiasco in Atlantis had happened.

Okurii's throwing as calm of a political fit as she can over the IOA thing, and she's starting to rattle some boots... Because as far as Alternia is concerned, Elwurd being killed rather than captured has severely set back any and all attempts to seal the dimensional rift between galaxies by decades. Now nobody knows what her stake in all of this was even about. Lynera Skallbi is still in no mental state to talk, and the doctors, Earth and Alternian alike, all seem to think it's unlikely she ever will get over the trauma she suffered through inside the rift.

And then there's the whole BA'AL CLONES thing that has everyone ticked off, too. The D'ni Restoration Council are alarmed over the book thefts, The D'ni-through-Yeesha are insisting on isolated circuit anti-beaming jammers to be installed on all remaining unsecured books before they hand out any more to prevent further thefts, and...

Well.

Then there's the Corinth Rift. The new attitude of the IOA is being directed at THAT too, insisting that Carter's plan for sealing it with Time Dilation Devices be halted and held off for MONTHS to 'further study' the rift that's study-able on both sides, rather that just one.

Atleast they're not trying to interfere with the Merlin Weapon hunt- for now.

God. All of this is a fucking mess.

You miss the days when the IOA were just so lazy about their jobs.

Someone Jinxed it, not that it wasn't already too good to be true.

Your name is Jack O'neill... and you have such a headache.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 1ST, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/09/0005.

"Are you sure about this, Rose?"

"Yeah, I am. We gotta do this. It's the only option we have, if he has the influence to get the job he did."


 

O)< - STARGATE: ALTERNIA - >(O


 

Your name is Polypa Goezee, and you are so rudely interrupted from LUSUS TIME with your little grub TOKO (OH TOKO, SO CUTE ITS LOCO!) by linking sound from outside. By the time you roll your eyes, pick up the little squirt from her playpen, and head over to the door, it's a knocking.

"Yeah, what is it?" You answer, opening the door,

"Hey, Polypa," Rose and Roxy Lalonde stand there, dressed in their Atlantis Uniforms. "Can we come in?" Rose asks.

"Sure," you nod, and let them in. "What's up?"

"Is Joey or Mierfa home?" Rose asks yet again as she and her cloned parent enter the front room, closing the door behind them.

"Nope, they're out in town right now," you answer. "Should be back in a few hours."

"Good, that should give you some time to think on it, then," Roxy says.

"Think on what?" You ask him, not quite liking this turn of conversation. It feels vaguely... wet-work-y.

"I don't know how much you've heard or not," Roxy begins, "but my alternate self got contacted by her long lost sister. Technically my long lost sister too, but semantics."

"I think Joey mentioned something about that," you say. "Is there a problem with them?"

"Not Victoria specifically, no," Rose says, decaptchaloging a folder. You hand Toko over to Roxy, who takes the grub with a smile and a 'Hey there, Toko-Toko!', and then take the folder to open it.

"Who's this douchebag?" You ask of the picture of a grim looking fellow with grey-ish blonde hair, and a cold gaze in his eyes. He's youthful by earth standards, but damn if he doesn't look old in the eyes.

"Albert Monroe," Rose says. "And if I've done my genealogy right, he's the grandson of Albert de Blois, the deceased Marquis who fathered Victorique Gallo, and was later murdered by his mistress, Cordelia Gallo, Victorique's mother."

"And who's Victorique again?" You ask, frowning.

"My Grandmother," Roxy clarifies. "And Victoria's too. She and my biological parents had to go on the run, foisting me and Victoria off on close friends they could trust to hide us away."

"This sounds like something out of a mystery novel," you say, gazing back at the photograph. "So... you guys are coming to me specifically for this, i take it?"

"Yeah," Roxy nods. "We are." He shifts Toko in his arms when she fusses a little. "We did some digging after the events of the last week in Pegasus."

"Elwurd died cause the IOA didn't prioritize her capture, right?" You ask, and get nods in return. "Okurii was ranting a storm about that the other day. What's Albert Monroe got to do with it?" And he does, if they were prefacing with HIM.

"He's the newly appointed, Permanent French Ambassador of the IOA," Rose says. "The old one retired due to sudden health issues... and he passed away this morning due to them."

You glance down at the man in the photograph... "So... what? You think he finished hunting down the family that wasn't protected by the SGC and killed his way into the job?"

"It's less than think," Rose says. "Read the report. He's got a suspected rap-sheet a mile long."

So you do.

...This is an impressive list of international accidents and incidents, dating back the last thirty years, that were suspected to not be accidents at all, given the sighting of the same set of figures time and time again...

One of them is Albert Monroe.

"...Damn," you whistle. "If he's really the one behind this like these reports say, why haven't they arrested the bastard?"

"Money," Roxy spits the word out like a poison.

"The Marquise came from old money, and his family, even with the fall of his country, has stayed in old money. He's wanted internationally but nobody is willing to pin anything substantial on him." Rose then says:  "He also seems to be the driving force behind the new aggressive stance in the IOA."

"Damn," you say, closing the folder of hefty material. "So... what do you want me to do?"
Rose breathes, then starts: "What we'd like you to think on is this."

You look up from the report and look the cat-girl in the eyes. "Alright. I'm listening."

"...Would you be willing to help us hunt down and kill this bastard before he causes us any more trouble?" Rose asks.


 

"Hey, Joey? Mierfa?" You ask later that afternoon at lunch- Rose and Roxy had gone off to pitch the recruitment at other people, before your Quadrant-mates returned.

"Yeah?" Your Kismesis, Joey Claire, looks up from her meal. "What is it?"

"...I got a job offer today," you keep it simple. "If I take it up, I might have to go off the grid for a while."

"What kind of job is it?" your Moirail, Joey's Matesprit, Mierfa Durgas asks while narrowing her eyes.

Your answer is politely kept to, "Potential Wet Works. Details are classified beyond that. If I take it."

Glub, this is heavy. "If I take it"? You're already planning out who knows how many take downs of someone like this. Plus BS about it being classified...

"Classified?" Joey asks, not buying it. "I know I'm kinda semi-retired from all this shit at this point, but you'd think Okurii would mention it."

"Okurii doesn't know," you say. "Atleast, that's what I've been told. It's something... somewhere else. Not local to our Galaxy."

You're already slipping into old habits, again. Lying to people you care about.

A lie. A flat out, blatant, bold-ass lie, even if it's true. That said, Okurii definitely shouldn't be aware of this unless Rose and Roxy are running it by her, given the shit she's dealing with with the IOA and...

Hell, they might just bring her in on this.

"Shit," Mierfa laments. "I guess someone in Pegasus got too high and mighty, huh?"

"No," Joey says with a shake of her head. "It's Ba'al, isn't it? They want you to help hunt down the Real Ba'al and kill him."

You can't-

"Earth," you blurt out. "It's Earth." Shit shit shit shit- "Corinth Earth, but. It's Earth."

Joey stares for a moment, as does Mierfa-- Oh glub why couldn't you just keep your mouth shut- and then they nod.

"Venjix made a mess over there," Joey agrees. "I guess you're already committed to taking it?"

You answer truthfully here, "I haven't said yes yet. But I... I think it's something I have to do."

Mierfa shakes her head. "I'd offer to go with you, but... they probably don't want too many people knowing at this point, do they?"

"No," you say. "They really don't."

You end up texting Rose after lunch, saying that you're in. They drop by for a proper visit later, all tired smiles and happy relief to not have a Wraith Hiveship hanging over their heads back in Pegasus.

Tired, though, because apparently Ford escaped into the unknown again mere moments after the Daedalus returned to Atlantis. Slippery, dimension hopping bastard, that guy. But not your concern.


 

You're packing your bags for a mission for the first time since... since Joey stepped through the Stargate.

You're too damn noticeable as an Alternian. You let yourself get too identifiable. Too many distinguishing marks. Joey's tattoos are a source of eternal Pitched emotions, but... shit. You thought you were out of the game.

Then, Rose texts you with a message- she's borrowing Shaper from Kanaya, and you're to meet in Atlantis's Book Room, clandestine like, to have a 'change of appearance' before the job. The security cameras are supposed to be disabled courtesy of Roxy conducting 'maintenance.'

That begs the question of how you're getting to Earth, but... well, you suppose Rose has it figured out somehow. Wait. No, the answer is obvious. Rose's warping powers.

You tell Joey and Mierfa you're going, and give your goodbyes that aren't really goodbyes.

This job could go sideways so badly... But, you can't let it get to you.

You head to town, head to the book room, and Link to Atlantis.

You arrive, finding Rose and Roxy there, waiting.

"So, Shaper Disguise?" You ask, foregoing a greeting as you step away from the linking zone.

"I told Kanaya I'm going to switch Roxy's bio-gender with it," Rose says.

"And she is," Roxy says, nodding his head. "But she's also gonna turn you and your partner for this human for a while."

"Well, that'd make it harder for people to recognize me," you say. "Who's my partner?"

There's a sound, and then behind you appears Ashler Dering- or Vriska Serket, depending on the situation. You wonder which it will be?

"Hey," she greets.

"Glad you could make it, Ashler," Rose says.

"Vriska," she counters. "If we're doing this shit, I don't want it associated with my good name. But my old one?" A crack of a smile. "Well, that one's got enough baggage on it already."

Well, that answers that question.

"Aren't you on vacation?" You ask of the girl. "I thought Tegiri and the Astro were-"

"Of course I am," she says. "Tegiri's training pilots for the Mega-Plas, sure, but after the last time I tagged along on one of those, Dammek insisted I stay home lest I blow the wings off again. So..." Vriska shrugs. "I told everyone I was fishing at O'neill's old place. That's where I was when these two showed up, actually. Sooo. Yeah. Nobody's looking for me."

"Okay, let's hurry this along," Rose says. holding up her right hand with the pink crystal resting against the flesh of her palm. "Before people get suspicious."

"Wait," you say. "Before we do this. How are we arranging for a change back?"

"I've got that," Roxy says, handing you over a Relto Book, which you quickly Captchalogue. "Rose and I are sharing a 'neighborhood' in D'ni right now as of our most recent visit from this morning. I've left the tab for it open on my bookshelf. When you guys are done, go there, and Rose'll meet you to change you back."

"Got it," you nod. "Change away, then."

Vriska goes first- you watch her skin go from grey to fleshy tone a bit paler than Rose and Roxy's own complexions. Her eyes lose their orange hue, but retain their cerulean hue, and the one weird multi lensed eye seems to fix itself into a normal lense. As for Vriska's horns...
Well, they meld away and shift into Vriska's ears as they too suddenly meld upwards, becoming animal like... Cat like? Vriska lets out a yelp in the process. With that, Rose is done.

"What the hell? Why'd you up my hearing and smelling?" Vriska asks.

"Because you're explicitly not werewolfized as an Alternian," Rose says. "Cat ears are about as far away from that as far as humans go, too, beyond my own preference."

"Don't make me stand out, and keep my senses the same, please," you say. "Though... I wouldn't mind if-"

"Joey's human color pallet? I can manage that," Rose nods- touching you next, and then you feel all tingly all over your body. "I've also shifted the tattoos to a slightly off pigment for my own remembering later, but they shouldn't be visible to cameras or the naked eye. You're good."

Your head feels lighter without the horns, and paradoxically heavier... Your bangs fall into your eyes- much differently than they were before. The color is a bit more brownish than it was before, besides the length.

"Did you grow my hair out?" You ask.

"I had to put the horn mass somewhere," Rose admits. "Now, before I forget..." She reaches out to Roxy, touches him, and, well... you don't really see a change at first, but then you see how Roxy's shirt shifts as the muscle and skeletal structure beneath changes- plus a subtle changing in the waist as Roxy quickly grips at his pants to keep them from falling down.

"Hoo." Roxy shudders as Rose removes her hand. "That's..." Roxy tightens his belt. "That's... going to take some getting used to."

"If you have any more changes than what we discussed," Rose says, "we can go over it when their mission is done and I can ask Kanaya to borrow Shaper again."

"Got it," Roxy nods.

"Now then," Rose grabs your hands. "The Gate should be opening any moment now..." A few seconds pass, then her cat ears flex- and then she smiles. "Kawoosh."

POP-

The world blurs and stretches out and then-

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO---

The world blurs, and you're thrown across Atlantis to the Gateroom, and then-

SCHLORP!

-THROUGH the Eventhorizon.

You're aware of it in a distinctly unique way.

The Wormhole seems to be almost... standing stock still- if that's a thing you can even be aware of normally. It feels static in that moment as Rose's powers yank you through the wormhole at speed- faster than an intergalactic transit should normally take- and then

SCHLORP! You're passing through the actually closed Iris of the Gate, zipping through the SGC, and then out of the facility-

OOOOOSH!!! You're blasting through the streets, and then you wind up in the Fraiser house- and-

POP!

Then, you stop, you and Vriska are standing next to Missy Fraiser, who looks very (not) amused.

Rose gives a Cheshire smile, and then lets go of you and your partner, then-  POP- WOOOSH!

She's gone.

"So," Missy says. "I don't approve of this any, but you're going to need a medic if you get hurt. Other than that, I don't want to see you two here during any of this. Got it?"

"Got it, Doc," you nod.

Then, she hands you two wallets Rose had set up in advance for you- go figure.


 

Securing a hotel room is done easily enough, but getting used to your reflection being different is... something else.

You need the reminder. Get home to Joey and Mierfa safely. Don't do anything too rash that could get you in trouble.

Lack of horns, changed hair, skin, and eye color aside- Your face looks weird without the flame tattoos lining it, and that's really striking you the most.

"Get over it," Vriska gripes from where she's laying on one of the two beds in the very small room. "I got stuck with Cat Ears! I swear, Lalonde is trolling us something fierce given everything that's going on. Why did I get the super pale skin anyways? And- god- how do you stand having only two eyes all the time!? It's soo... so limiting!!"

"You should have asked first," you say.

"Feeeh. And what's with the other Lalonde anyways? What was that about the gender thing?" Vriska asks.

"Have you really been that out of the loop?" You ask.

"You try staying in the loop when you're in space 90% of the time?" Vriska counters.

"Blah blah, excuses excuses," you turn to look at her. "You're My Matesprits' Co-pilot and Moirail. I know HE keeps in the loop. It's not that hard for you to do so too."

"Why should I care about all the tiny interlocking personal relations between everyone?" Vriska asks, sitting up. "Going down that road just hurts me most of the time. The last time... Elwurd ruined a lot for me."

"Good things she's dead then," you say.

"Hah, yeah, sure she is," Vriska shakes her head. "I sincerely doubt she didn't find some way to escape. She's too crafty for that."

"She was blown up on a Wraith Cruiser," you point out.

Vriska gives you a scathing look. "Do I LOOK like I care about that, 'Adora'?"

Your alias is a reference to some old ALTERNIAN ANIME about magic princesses that Tegiri had you watch once, years ago. It wasn't bad. Wasn't your favorite thing either. But nobody'll seriously connect 'Adora Glimmer' to 'Polypa Goezee' if you're careful enough.

"Well, fine, 'Catra'" you spit back.

Seriously. 'Vriska Catra'? Going full Vriska Serket was just begging for a connection back to her real self, but she'd already given her first name before you could stop her. Atleast you managed to spin off the cat ears thing as being 'painfully ironic' given her 'last name.'

Has she never worked a wet-works op before? No, you ask and she admits she hasn't. She's never done anything like this at all. Any murders she committed before fully joining the Rebellion were purely out of self-interested survival. Not for money or for the job or whatever else you did stuff like this for.

Why the hell did Rose choose HER for this?

"Whatever," you shake your head, and get ready for the first stakeout, at a steak place called 'The Steak's Stake." Your target, Albert Monroe, frequents the place on the regular after the closure of IOA business at the SGC. It's a cheap little dugout of a place that nobody would ever expect a fancy man of his caliber and political punching weight class, and that's what makes it perfect for his needs. Rose figured out his habbit pretty quickly given how the Newspapers interested in digging into the IOA ongoings with the SGC could never find the new French Ambassador at any of the same places the rest of the IOA went to.

Monroe thinks he's being clever, huh? Well, there's nothing like the power of a clever, and dogged sleuth with a bone to pick and an assassin to hire, in your experience. Especially one with the supernaturally good sleuthing abilities of the Lalonde family, apparently. Go figure, you just thought Rose was just naturally smart.

But no, it's in her genetics? Whole family line of smart folk? Geeze, talk about spy novel thriller fodder. You could write a novel on this.

You find the place easily enough, get a seat at the bar, eyeing the entrance, and place an order for food while you wait for your target to arrive, pretending instead to be looking at your phone as you wait for food to arrive.

And arrive he does, dressed down from the suit and tie he's been seen in at the SGC, wearing some lazy-ass tshirt and ripped-knee jeans. Even his hair's tussled like crazy compared to the usual swoop of hair gel in all the photos.

You keep an eye on him as he takes a seat at the bar, orders a meal, and similarly begins looking at his phone.

You can tell he's the nervous sort, using it as a cover just like you are. He's paranoid, and cautious. He's keeping an eye out for anybody who could cause him trouble.

This Job was already going to be tough, but damn if it didn't just get tougher.

You're not making a move tonight, that's for sure.

You watch him for the rest of the evening- eating your meal and finishing it just a bit before he does. You pay your meal, and spend the next few minutes finishing off the last of your soda. Your mark calls for the check, and you leave.

You wait outside at the bus stop just outside the bar, within view of the parking lot, and you pretend to be on your phone again.

Albert Monroe leaves the bar soon after, and gets into a beat down looking thing that no ambassador would ever drive. You get a snapshot of it and the license plate as he drives away.

Step one complete.


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 2ND, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/10/0005.

You have Vriska staking out the SGC while you check the area around where Albert Monroe is staying at for the car in question. It wouldn't be in the same apartment complex he's renting- it'd be too obvious. Too self-assured. Too Dumb.

The Newspapers and Press would've caught this before you did, if that were the case.

Sure enough, at a parking garage half a block down from that apartment complex, for a completely different building, you find the old rustbucket of a car on Level 2B of the garage. You don't mess with the locks or anything of the sort.

No.

You locate the first fancy looking car in the lot reasonably close to your Mark's that seems to have gone through a recent patch job on one of the doors- it smells like fresh paint-, and then take out a knife and scrawl into the side of the front passenger door's window "PAY YOUR DEBTS!"

Then, for good measure, you decaptcha a can of spray paint, casually plop loose the lid and let it 'accidentally' roll under the Mark's car, and trace over the scrawl with red paint. You captcha the can and knife again, and then....

You duck down beneath the Mark's vehicle and plant a tracking bug up under the chassis. It's a literal tracking BUG. The thing skitters up and away from where you placed it deeper into the undercarriage to a place that no-sane person would ever be able to place a tracking bug normally...

Right next to the Gas tank.

You mutter a loud 'shit', pop out from beneath the car, check that the coast is clear, and then scram, without having at all collected the lid for the spray paint.

Nobody saw you, that you're aware of, but you're not going to be so trusting and let a lack of paranoia get you caught by a security camera hidden in the Mark's car. If he recorded any of that, and reviews it later, he'll think it was coincidence.

You feel a little bit sorry for the guy whose car you just defaced, but he'll get over it. Or she will. Who knows, really.

You abscond from the garage, hoping that nobody's the wiser.

Step two, complete.


 

Later that night, Albert Monroe returned to his car to go out for drinks and steaks as per usual... And he stopped upon spotting the defaced car that its owner was currently stressing out over.

"Oh come on! Not again!" the lazy bastard laments, peering at the wrecked door. "Keying the door wasn't enough after last time!? Stupid Loan Sharks... Just HAD to go for the window this time..."

Albert Monroe shook his head, got in his car, and pulled out without so much of a check of anything else.

It wasn't his problem, and he never paid it any more thought.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 2ND, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/10/0005.

In another dimension to our own, Earth sat, slowly recovering from its near death experience at the hands of VENJIX.

It sat so peacefully unaware, even as a damaged ship burst out of a Hyperspace Window, and began drifting down towards the planet's atmosphere, dragged in by its gravity well.

And what a ship it was, damaged even to the point of unrecognizability. Massive spires, towering, glittering glass structures...

Had anyone been able to see it, even in its damaged state, it would easily be recognized as Lantean in design- a City ship perhaps? But no, too large for that.

In this alternate reality, Atlantis had never been found, after all. But from where had such a massive divergence point that a giant Lantean ship larger than even Atlantis come from?

As the massive thing streaked across the North American continent, it hurtled across the night sky, alarming everyone of Corinth's citizens as they watched it travel, fast, across the continent and then touched down, somewhere just shy of the West Coast- having been stopped entirely by the Rocky Mountain Range.

Needless to say, the Rangers took their Train Zords and some scientists from their Earth, as well as the parallel Earth, and went to investigate the crash site.


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 5TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/13/0005.

Your name is Jack O'neill, and you groan as you massage at the bridge of your nose yet again for what feels like the millionth time this month.

"Sam. Jolinar." You start, tiredly. "Please tell me this latest burst of information from Corinth City isn't just a prank?"

"It's not," Sam answers over the line. "As far as the data Callie's sending back to us confirms, the crashed spaceship is composed of the same advanced alloy the Asgard used on their last Anti-Replicator class of ships- Naquadah, Trinium, Neutronium- and is definitely Ancient in design. From the wreckage that survived, we think it could have been twice as big as Atlantis, and... Well..." She trails off...

And Jolinar takes over, "And the dust cloud moving around on its own, contrary to the wind, is, as far as we can tell, thankfully Not made up of the remains that were pulverized on impact. It seems to be a nano-machine cloud left behind in an abandoned Venjix facility that's been ruptured with this capital ship crashing into it."

"We Hope!" you say. "That other dimension does still have a Replicator problem, after all." You'd passed along the information about the Replicator Disurptor tech to the Asgard of that world-line when an opportunity presented itself before Venjix hit, but you never heard about how it panned out. For all you know the bugs relocated to Pegasus in that timeline.

And isn't that a terrifying thought in the wake of learning the Wraith in your world line had anti-beaming jammers based on battles they had with the Asgard!

"I doubt it's Replicators," Sam says. "Callie says the cloud shows no signs of coalescing at the moment into any solid forms, and are just... drifting on the air. Doctor Kae also says that it's showing the same material construction as the Venjix nanomachines, rather than the ship. If it were Replicators, they'd be showing more familiar patterns."

"That said," Jolinar says. "We're detecting some strange activity within the facility itself. Given the Venjix Nanomachine dust cloud, we're not going to be able to investigate just yet. We'll keep you appraised of-" And then she stops. "Wait. Hold on, Callie's sending us another transmission."

"Alright," you say, and then wait. And wait. And wait a bit more.

Then, Sam says, "Jack, you're not going to believe this, but Artoria just walked out of the wrecked city."

King Arthur did WHAT now!?


 

You are now Cassandra Fraiser, and something feels off.

Artoria Pendragon shared much the same story as Hal Strider did. Damara jumped to clone body, and 'banished' them both to different dimensions. It seemed, though, that her phrasing actually meant "two different dimensions, one of which could be this same dimension."

That said, dropping her off in a Pegasus tied to a certain Corinth Dimension was-

It reeked of intentional deceptions- it reeked of subterfuge.

Artoria finding herself in an abandoned Ancient City Complex that was in the process of fighting off a Wraith armada made no sense.

There was no Atlantis Expedition to push things to that threshold. But... then again... it's possible that was how the course of things was supposed to go following a lack of Atlantis to wake the Wraith up early. Maybe the Genii's indiscriminate bombing runs woke them up?

But that failed to explain an Ancient Styled City Ship twice the size of Atlantis.

And just... having it abandoned? Having Artoria use it to fight against the Wraith until she could plot a course back to Milky Way and escape? The long, strained, hyperspace journey to get there?

And then it just so happening to happen now after Atlantis fought off its own chaotic day of... of...

...

...

...

Something didn't fit right in all of this. It feels off. It feels wrong. It feels manipulated. What the hell is Damara's game to pull a stunt like this?

And Damara's existence- her meddling in all of this- meant that you're completely blind to the consequences twice over.

You wish you and your other self could figure this out. Figure out how to solve this puzzle.

Something is rotten in the fish department, and you can't place it at all.

And all of this is before the IOA gets their hands on it and started demanding that this new Atlantis structure be scrapped for Technology and parts. They were running into a lot of resistance from Corinth's side of things, fortunately. There was talk of re-purposing and rebuilding new settlements near and around Corinth using the crashed spaceship's remains once the Venjix nanomachine cloud dispersed.

Shit. Something's going to give but you can't tell what it even is.

Damn it all.

And here you are, out at O'neill's cabin in the woods, on O'neill's orders to 'take a vacation' with only you, Jude, and Mitchel here right now.

Jonas and Vala? Off in England looking at a private book collection. Rider? Gone off to try and meet up with Artoria in Corinth when she arrives there.

There's a storm raging outside, Jude and Mitchel are playing chess, and you've got Penny in arm as she gazes at the colorful pictures in a kids book- not even paying attention to the words at all.

They're pretty pictures, alright. But....

It's a story about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table- the kid safe version, naturally.

"You know," Mitchel voices suddenly. "I hate down time like this. Especially forced downtime. When there's a job to do. Work's relaxing, you know?"

"You find what we do at the SGC relaxing?" Jude asks.

"Well, yes and no," Mitchel says. "See, I don't like the events? But.... I can't really relax when I'm sitting around with nothing to do. Not when I know the universe is going topsy-turvy and going crazy." He moves a chess piece. "Truth is, I'm way much more at ease off-world, or on a mission, in the thick of it. Gives my mind a lot less to think about because it's focusing on the current situation."

"That's an odd way of thinking about it," you say, "but I guess I'm no different."

"Really?" Jude glances at you. "Why's that, Cassie?"

"I hate not knowing," you say. "Everything Damara's been doing... I hate how it messes with me. How I can't tell what's disaster and what's not. How it all feels... wrong." You pause, look down to Penny, and say, "Honestly, even when we were stuck in that time dilation field, with a massive laser bearing down on us to kill us all... I was... happy? I think. I knew what could kill us with absolute certainty. And after that, with everything that's happened... I got used to knowing what would go wrong and how badly it all could go because it meant I had something to avoid."

"You feel blind," Mitchel summarizes.

"Yeah," you nod.

And then one of your cellphones ring- Oh. That's not good.

It's Mitchel's phone, and he answers, "Hello?" He pauses. "Yes, Yes Sir, General Landry. I'll let them know. Alright. Thanks for the heads up." He hangs up.

"What's the situation?" You ask, feeling the vibes stirring around, uncertainly.

"The Sodan village was raided by Venjix Grinders," Mitchel says. "They stole their Cloaking Devices."

"The Sodan had cloaking devices?" Jude asks. "I don't remember that ever coming up before. But maybe it did and I forgot..."

"Must've been lost in the shuffle," Mitchel shakes his head. "...Either way. I'm willing to bet we just got our answer as to what happened to Venjix."

"Damara," you swallow your fear of the unknown. The Vibe's refuse to lock into any one certainty. "She's got Venjix, and he's making Grinders, and they just stole an entire Village's worth of Cloaking Devices?"

"Yep," Mitchel nods, grimly. "That's... about the gist of it."

"We need to find Merlin's Weapon," Jude says. "And we need to find it before she does."


 

You are now Damara Megido, and you smile as Venjix stares, baffled at you.

"You wh.. what!? You want me to disable the radiation the devices emit!?" Venjix asks. "On every single device!? Why!? Don't you know what that could do to me if i get exposed!?"

"Because A: we're going to be running these devices non-stop and I, B: Don't want to be poisoned by radiation," you tell him, "C: We NEED the creatures that are repulsed by the radiation these devices make as a distraction. D: We need these devices for the Mirror-gate. And E:" you lean in close, and smile, "I've already seen you do it. So Get. It. Done."

Venjix snarls. "You're insane. Fucking Time Travelers! If I had a God I could swear by, I would pray that he strikes you down!"

"Ah, but fortunately for us both you do not, then," you smirk. "And also... that my God has since been stricken down and cast into a black hole. Which is where I will send you for five brief seconds if you do not agree to do this project for me right now."

Venjix stares- then he hangs his head, and growls out- "Fine!"

You do so love it when a plan comes together.

Chapter Text

PREVIOUSLY ON STARGATE:

"I'm not just interested in outer space, I'm FROM Outer space," Martin Lloyd says to Jack O'neill.


 

"Four X-cellent heroes in an X-traordinary new sci-fi series! Starring Nick Marlowe as the wry Colonel Danning…"

"As a matter of fact, it DOES say Colonel on my uniform!"

"WORM. HOLE. X-TREME!"


 

Hammond shakes his head. "He sold the idea to the studio."

Daniel remarks, "Well he obviously got the whole thing from his knowledge of the Stargate Program."


 

On an unnamed planet, O'neill, Daniel, Carter, and Teal'c come through the Gate.

O'neill raises his gun at noise in the bushes.

"Come on out!"

And then an Ewok steps out from behind cover, and jib-jabs with a subtitle on screen reading "We are the Furlings!"


 

Ha'taks emerge from Hyperspace and begin blasting on the planet.


 

"Sam!" Daniel yells.

"I'm sorry!" Carter yells back, "I thought I could make it work but the thermodynamic loop is-"

"WAIT."

EARTH DATE: MAY 7TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/15/0005.

"Wait what?" Martin Lloyd asks.

"No." Jack shakes his head. "Marty. That never happened."

"Well, uh," Martin coughs. "You gotta open big. Catch people's attention! Make them think the whole episode is going to be action packed!"

"Also," you are now Joey Claire, and you peer at the script in front of you. "A "Thermodynamic Loop" is never going to cause an entire planet's core to explode. Believe me, we went through the math to make that happen for Alternia."

"I know! That's where I got the idea!" Marty says. "But the executives thought that 'ripping the core' out of a planet to make it explode was too unbelievable."

"Executives are dumb," Xefros chimes in. "We literally did this. It's in Bregman's Documentary."

"And I pointed that out," Marty says. "They still said 'make it an accident.' Ugh."

"My concern," Samantha Carter starts, "is that it makes my character look dumb. What kind of role are we giving girls to model off of when you open the 200th episode with a blatant murder of my character?"

"Not you, remember," Jonas coughs. "Besides. I don't think Daniel's character was even there for the original parody episode."

"Well, Obviously!" Marty says. "That's the whole point. It's to tip the well seasoned viewers off that it's not a real flashback sequence!"

"I dunno," Mitchel starts. "That seems... fishy to me."

"Hah! Fishy!" Vala laughs. "I got that reference!" She taps at a line on page two. "This parody of the Alternian Empress! On page 10. Nice! Haha..."

"Not... what I was referring to, Vala," Mitchel says, and Vala pouts.

"Ay Yi Yi," Jack groans, putting his head in his hands.

"Look," Marty starts, "I'm not happy with this! The Studio's not happy with this! You're not happy with this! We gotta make sure this 200th Episode for Wormhole X-treme is the BEST there is! Especially since Disclosure happened, our ratings have been zig-zagging like crazy! Reviews from the last season have been plummeting! We need something to reignite the interest in the show otherwise we're gonna get canceled!"

"Um, can I just say," Vala starts. "I'm noticing I'm not anywhere in this! And neither is New Guy either!"

"That's because we haven't gotten to adapting your adventures yet," Marty says, waving it off.  Then his cellphone rings and he gets up to answer it in the General's office. "Go For Marty!"

"You know," Sam starts, "the really unbelievable part is that anyone would consider spending millions of dollars on this. I mean, seriously, all these writers, and they couldn't come up with anything better?"

"Indeed," Teal'c rumbles.

"No! I'm not reusing any shots from the series!" Martin yells from the office. "It's a TWO HUNDREDTH EPISODE! NOT A CLIP SHOW! You can tell them that the Budget is the Budget! If they want to cut it in half for some half-assed spinoff, then tell them I'll shop the series around to another studio!" A pause. "Ah... you know not to say that last part, right? ... yeah, "200th Episode, not Clip Show." That's good. Okay, I've got to go."

And then he exits the office again.

"Sooooryy about that," he takes his seat again. "Where were we?"

"Opening sequence," you say.

"Right, thanks, Claire," he says. "Opening Sequences! What do we have for ideas?"

"We need a strong theme to open everything up with," Mitchel starts. "It's nostalgia pandering, right? Celebrating 200 episodes? Just do a new theatrical remix of the theme song."

"Or rock!" you say.

"Yeah," Xefros nods. "A good rock remix of the main theme is a great tone changer."

"Pft," Marty scoffs. "Are you serious? Nobody does that anymore. You just throw up the title card and that's it."


 

STARGATE: SG-1


 

You are now Cameron Mitchel, running hurriedly down the hallways of the SGC,  Alarms are blaring, sirens are yelling- the Zombies are growling. The Telchak device in your sylladex glows.

"Walter!" You get to the gate room, sealing the door shut behind you. "Dial 447! The only way to stop this is to get the device back to the planet!"

The Gate starts Dialing- and then Walter gets attacked by --

"Zombies? Seriously?"

You look at Martin, and frown. "What's wrong with Zombies? It's Happened!"

"Yeah, but zombies have been done to death. Punned to death, even. Every single thing... besides, this is Science Fiction, not horror," Marty says.

"But it's happened! The Telchak device is-"

Marty's phone rings again- the Wormhole X-treme theme playing loud and proud. He exits the room- "Go For Marty! Hey, Charlie, what's up...?"

"So, uh," Joey coughs. "Just out of curiosity, what's the rest of your team doing while you're fighting to destroy the Zombie making device?"

"Ah, well-"

You're saved by Marty returning with a yell of, "Son of a Bitch!"

"What's wrong?" You ask.

"My Lead just sprained his kneed, twisting it badly!" Marty says. "He's backing out for the 200th Episode so we have to write around his absence!"

O'neill winces. "Yeeeah. That sucks."

"Hire a replacement actor for the episode?" Jonas offers.

"Or!" O'neill chimes in, "Have him be on vacation, healing from having hurt his knee! Real Life Writes the Plot!"

"Yeah, but we already had our female lead absent for the first quarter of last season due to maternity leave," Marty says. "And we wrote that into the plot too. The fans would just call us lazy for repeating it again."

"What about that time that Jack got turned invisible?" Carter offers.

"I'd really rather not think about that," O'neill says. "It wasn't fun at all." He smirks in that way that says he's got mixed feelings on the matter.

"Sure, but, you could just green screen a stunt double for most of the episode and just have him do voice over work for the scenes he's in," Carter says.

"Just have him be off world managing another mission," Joey says. "Or, have him be stuck in a Disclosure meeting or something."

"Would neatly sidestep that 'clip show' thing," Xefros agrees.

"Indeed," Teal'c nods. "If that is something you wish to avoid, it would be a reasonable plot."

"Honestly," Jonas says, "why don't you just trap him on another planet on a mission gone wrong that left the Gate buried? Maybe a meteor shower gone wrong?"

Carter and O'neill both groan at that grim reminder of past events.

"I'll take that as a no, then," Marty grumbles. "And honestly those all sound like cheats to me, or rehashes of earlier plots."


 

You are now Cassandra Fraiser, and General Landry enters the briefing room, "SG-1, you're cleared for your mission."

"Thank you!" Mitchel gets up and absconds from the room.

"We'll be back as soon as we can," Cassandra says, heading down to the Gate Room.

"What? Now!?" Marty asks. "But I need your help!"

"We'll be back," Jonas says.

"Yeah, not like it's the end of the world or anything," Jude rolls his eyes.

"Or it could be," you add mysteriously.

You zip out of the room as fast as you can and Captchalogue-quick-change into your mission uniforms as you zip into the Gate Room.

"This is it," Mitchel says. "My 200th trip through the Gate!"

"Really?" You ask. "200 huh? Isn't it just a Recon Mission?"

"Sure," he says. "But that's 200 trips through the gate either way!"

"I don't buy it," Vala says as you arrive. "No way it's been 200 missions."

"Not mission, trips. Offworld gates, back and forht, any time I crossed the event horizon," Mitchel grins. "You know. The Big Two Oh Oh!"

The Gate starts dialing up... only to power down.

"...Fucking hell," you sigh, the vibes launching into high orbit. "This isn't good."

"It's not?" Jude asks, and then the Stargate starts sparking like mad. "Oh. Yeah. it's not."


 

"And then Cheyenne Mountain Explodes!" Cassie concludes with a grin, throwing her hands far out to either side of her, nearly smacking Vala in the face. "Cut to commercial!"

"What?" Martin asks, blinkling. "I don't follow. You're basically saying we kill off the entire cast in one fell swoop?"

"No!' Cassie shakes her head. "I'm saying we play it off as a fake out! When we come back to commercial everyone's alive and well, having been beamed out at the last moment to the Daedalus or Odyssey or Astro-Delta whatever you call your ship in Wormhole X-treme!"

"Now that's a fake out," You are now Xefros Tritoh, and you grin. "I like it! But..." You lean in closer to the table. "I've got one better:

"The Scene! A heavily forested planet!

"The Team: SG-1, composing of Jude, Cassie, Mitchel, and Jonas, running away from a horde of Replicators, each armed with time loop induced copies of Jonas's Anti-Replicator Gun!

""We've got to hurry!" Jude yells. "We've got ten seconds before the time dilation field activates and if we don't make it through the gate we'll be stuck forever!"

"They come to a stop atop the cliff overlooking the Gate Valley, within which there's a massive fleet of Mofang Ships parking there, guarding the Gate.

""This could be a problem," Cassandra remarks, and then-

"Boom! They exit the Gate on Earth, exhausted, but alive! "Well that was close!" MItchel says as-"

"Are you serious, Xefros?" Joey asks, interrupting.

"What?" You ask.

"First off, how the heck did they escape?" Joey starts. "Second, even if the valley wasn't filled with Mofang, they'd never have made it to the Gate and Dialed out in what was already ten seconds that had passed."

"Okay, see, this is why we're here," Martin says. "Let's say... thirty seconds? No, thirty eight!"

"What difference does it make?" You ask. "The whole point is to have the dramatic tension suddenly cut out from under them! It's not like we add a ticking clock on screen or anything!"

"AH!" Marty grins. "That's brilliant!" He starts scribbling down a note- mumbling, "Add, Ticking, Clock, To, Action, Sequences. For. The! LOLS!"

"The Lawls?" O'neill asks.

"No, the LOLs," Teal'c corrects. "An Internet acronym for 'Laughing Out Loud.'"

"And how do you know THAT?" O'neill asks.

"I have spent may days on the internet during my down time here on Earth so as to better learn of your customs and culture," Teal'c says, raising an impressively high eyebrow.

"Plus, Ticking Clocks are box-office gold," Cassie chimes in. "Did you know? They added a teleportation countdown timer in this seasons Power Rangers? For the time until the Monsters grow."

"Yeah, just ask any of my executives," Marty says.

"I do have to say," Vala chimes in, "I think we've replaced 'jeopardy' with 'certain death' in this case."

"Mmh!" Joey nods.

"Come on," Martin scoffs. "You've LITERALLY escaped the time dilation field caused by the gravitational pull of a Sun about to go Super Nova with literal seconds to spare, Joey! That's no less more plausible."

"....Damn it. Why did I have to be so bad-ass for?" Joey laments in a huff.

"...He does have a point," Jonas says. "We've escaped worse situations than that."

"So we show the actual escape then," Carter suggests. "Make it a fancy slow-motion sequence as everyone dodges and weaves through enemy fire, make it to the gate as the Time Dilation device activates, and THEN, after leaving it in suspense as to whether or not they dialed, cut back to Earth."

"Oh, no!" Marty shakes his head. "We can't give away too much! We gotta spread it out peace-meal! Have little sections of the escape foreshadow future events as they're playing out!"

"Maybe not have my character say 'this is a problem' then?" Cassie offers. "Or, well, whoever I was supposed to be in Xefros' scenario there. Have them say, 'This should be easy' instead."

Marty's phone rings again, then, and he glances at his watch. "Maybe we should take five while I take this." And then he absconds. "Go For Marty!"


 

Your name is Joey Claire, Extraordinaire, and you feel like an extra alright. Why are you even in this plot again?

Oh, right. You wanted to pitch something to Marty and accepted to consult on the script.

"Hey, Mister Lloyd?" You start, approaching him as he hangs up from another call.

"Yeah?" He asks, tiredly.

"I've got a story idea," you smile. "I'm not much of a creative fiction writer, but maybe you can find a way to work it in?"

"Sure," he says. "Go ahead."

And so you start the story.


 

The Streets of San Fransisco, California, were bustling with the average chaos of a given night. Traffic zipping this way and that at relativistic speeds that would seem fast to them, but slow to most people anywhere else. It was nowhere near as chaotic as the mess that was Los Angeles traffic, which constantly stood at a standstill even on the best of days.

And then there were were those who went beyond those relativistic speeds going a thousand times faster, but really it was more about the speed of your average, non traffic jammed freeway... except down in the streets of a decidedly non freeway section of town.

Cars beeped their horns at the rapidly moving grey and orange striped car dodged through traffic- and then they were beeping again at the trio of large, black, unlicensed SUVs chasing after that smaller car. The TRUST were on the chase.

Men in masks leaned out of the passenger side windows, firing guns blindly into the street ahead, trying to land a hit on the zippy grey car, dodging and weaving through traffic. Stray bullets bounced off of other people's cars or shattered windows.

Needless to say, the Trust goons behind these shots being fired wanted only one thing and one thing only- and it was the cat carrier in the passenger seat of the grey vehicle.

"Xefros!" I yell from the back seat, taking aim with a Jaffa Staff out the window. "Hold it steady so I can get a shot off!"

"Got it!" My Moirail and driver of this absurdly fast vehicle agrees, trying to hold it steady.

I lined up my staff at the front most of the pursuing vehicles, and let loose a devastating fire blast.

PCHOOO!!!

Xefros had to swerve at the last moment, though, somehow avoiding our tires being hit by bullets- or from crashing into some other vehicle going the other direction, and thus, I missed. Barely.

The explosion of energy hit the ground just infront of the pursuing van, and threw up a shower of asphalt into the windshield- they skidded to a halt in a turn, blocking some of the traffic behind them.

The other two Trust vans just flanked and went around.

"That's one! Sort of!" I told him.

"Great! Now how about we deal with the other two before the rest of the Trust show up!" Xefros yells, swerving us around some more honking vehicles.

"WATCH IT!" A driver yelled at us.

"YOU WATCH IT!" I yelled back at them. Petty? Sure. But I wasn't in a charitable mood at the moment.

I returned my staff to my Sylladex, and withdrew a Zat Gun.

I took aim, and fired off two shots- one hit the front windshield of the first Trust Van, the other hit the front passenger side tire.

That shot reflected, and shot overhead, striking the street lights as we passed underneath, scrambling the whole system, and forcing a reset.

The two Trust Vans swerved to a halt as traffic crossed through the street behind us, blocking their path.

"Haha! Got them!" I cheered.

"Great!" Xefros then flicked a switch and caused the entire car's color scheme to-


 

"Ah, that's a bit more Car-Fu than we have in the budget for," Marty cuts you off. "But! Send me a proof of concept script for what you've got, and I'll see about making it happen as its own thing!"

"Okay," you nod. "But... don't you want to know why the Trust would want a Cat?"

"I think I'll pass," Marty says. "For now."

"Okay," you nod in agreement, and turn to leave.


 

You're now Vala Mal Doran, and you approach Martin Lloyd before he can re-enter the conference room.

"Hey! So! You're an alien too, right? Not from Earth? Like me?" You ask.

"Uh... Sure," Martin nods.

"So! I have all SORTS of fabulous adventures, none of which ever have passed through the SGC grape vine or the Air Force's classifieds. So! Want to hear one?"

"Sure," He nods, tiredly. "Give me you best one."

"Okay, right, so I was in a stolen Cargo Ship on my way home when a solar flare wreaked havoc on my system and I was forced to crash land on the nearest planet. In a Bizarre Twist of fate, I crashed right ontop of the local Goa'uld who ruled that planet. Which was REALLY Fortunate because my ship was too badly damaged to repair and I needed help! So the Local villagers were really grateful and-"

"Look, I don't have all day," Martin says. "Cut to the chase?"

"Alright," you say. "Long story short I met up with a number of friends along the way and after a dangerous and eventful journey, we finally come face to face with an Ascended being who-"

"Describe them?" Martin asks.

"...Um, A Scarecrow, a Lion, and a tin-man?"

"...That's the Wizard of Oz."

"Oh, so you've seen that one."

"I have." Martin raises his phone to his ear. "I have to take this. Go For Marty."

"I didn't hear it ring."

"It's on vibrate. I Said, Go For Marty."

You're just gonna leave now.


 

'Um. Scene 24?' You are Samantha Carter, and you grimace. 'Isn't this Star Trek?'

[I Believe it is.] Jolinar agrees. [Also. 'The Singularity is about to explode'? Everything about that statement is wrong.]

'And setting weapons to maximum isn't going to help either.'

[This is pretty much just blatant plagiarism, too. I think I saw this episode on TV the other night.]

'...We should probably just tell Marty to scrap the whole scene?'

[Agreed.] Jolinar pauses. [Also. Why has everything we've discussed today basically ended up exploding?]

"Okay, so," Marty returns, finally, looking dejected. "Since Nick Marlowe pulled out because of his knee, some hotshot 'junior executive' at the network has suggested we just recast everyone to be 'younger, edgier, and sexier versions' of the team for the entire episode." He shakes his head. "Can you imagine how much money that's going to cost for a single episode??"

From her seat, Joey stares off into the distance, her cheeks lighting up with a fierce blush. "I... I can imagine a whole lot of things that you could do with a 'younger, edgier' cast."

"Haha," Xefros laughs.

Jude just looks embarrassed for his sister.

"Oh!" Vala says. "I've got this!"

And then she relates an extremely uncomfortable snip of an idea that sounds like it was ripped off of a teen drama.

"No," you say.

"Absolutely not," Cassandra shakes her head.

"Nope," Jude vehemently agrees.

"Aren't we already younger and edgier as it is with Rider joining?" Mitchel muses.

"I know I've got the sexier bit covered!" Vala grins.

"I'm... going to go get a latte," Martin gets up.

Vala chases after him, and you can't help but feel like this is a train wreck worth watching, so you go get coffee too.

"Okay! How about this one! We were in a cloaked cargo ship on a simple three hour recon-"

"Gilligan's Island."

"How'd you get that from just 'three hour'!?"

"Piece of advice, if you're going to rip something off, make sure it's obscure," Martin says.

"Okay."

And then Vala tells a story of an organic spaceship rocking violently in a tussle against an unknown enemy.

Mitchel, playing the role of someone named 'Stark' shoves aside an Asgard named 'Rygel' who was wearing ornate robes and having bushy eyebrows and a mustache.
Vala's character, apparently, stands next to where Jonas' character is.

And then things go so wrong, that it leads to everyone swearing in creative swears.

You'll agree with Marty. You've never heard that one before.

Then, Marty's phone rings again- a different tone, a text, it seems.

"Oh COME ON!" Marty groans. "Today just sucks!"

"What happened?" You ask.

"The Foreign Distributor just went bankrupt!" Marty laments. "There goes half of Europe and China! AND Half my budget!" He hangs his head. "So much for the end of Act Three."

"What happens in the end of Act 3?" You ask.

"With these cuts, not much!" Marty says. "Act Three Just ENDS!"


 

"Hey, here's a crazy idea."

You are Jack O'neill, and you look up, squinting at disbelief at Mitchel. "What."

"Why don't we just give Marty some of our mission reports to riff off of?" Mitchel asks.

"We've already let them riff off of our reports," you say. "That's the whole reason Joe's working on the show as a writer."

"...All 1,263 reports from SG-1?" Mitchel asks.

"It's 1,264," you correct, even as Sam returns to the room.

"No, it's Sixty-three," Mitchel corrects. "I've read all of the files as of yesterday. I wanted to be prepared for this."

"Actually, you haven't read report 30185," Sam says.

"What's in 30185?" Mitchel asks.

"1969," Teal'c informs him.

"The... Time Travel trip?" Mitchel asks. "What's so special about that? And why haven't I read it?"

"We can't tell you," you say.

"And why not?" Mitchel asks.

"It's classified," you brush it off.

"I have one of the highest security clearances known to mankind, what the hell is 30185?" Mitchel asks. "What happened in 1969 you're not telling me?"

"Well, if you can't tell him," Vala begins. "Can you tell me?"

"Oh, sure," you nod. "But not with Mitchel in the room."

"Seriously?" Mitchel groans. "Come on. 1969 was before I was even born! What does it have to do with me?"

"Nine months, to be almost exact," Sam says, chuckling.

"What?" Mitchel asks.

"Leave the room please," you say. "It's not my story to tell."

"Fine." Mitchel gets up, leaves, and with a nod from Cassie that he's out of hearing range.

You tell Vala.

And she laughs.

Then she calls Mitchel back in and says, "Oh, sorry, Farm-boy, but this is too good to not keep quiet. I'm going to enjoy the reveal when it happens."

"What the hell?" Mitchel frowns. "You're not saying that someone on SG-1 knocked up my Mom or something?"

"Oh, no, nothing like that at all!" Vala grins. "It's something much more embarrassing!"

"I seriously have no idea what the hell you're all going on about, but fine," Mitchel crosses his arms and sits back down. "Keep your secrets."

And then Marty storms in, "I can't believe it! Now the whole cast's heard Marlowe's out with a busted knee and they're all suggesting we just put off doing 200 entirely until he's recovered! THIS IS A DISASTER!" He slumps into his chair, head in his arms, and muttering, "How can I do an episode without any actors?"

There's silence for a moment...

Then, you open your big dumb mouth.

"Parallel universes are a thing, we know that. So..." You cough. "What about An Animated Universe?"

"...You're not seriously suggesting..." Joey starts... "Cartoon Style?"

"Oh, yeah," you nod.


 

OooOOOooOOOOoooOOOoo...

PCH-ZYU!!!

"Built by Ancients So Long Ago!

"The Stargate lay til we Broke the Code!

"Now it takes through the Universe!

"On our Mission to Get Back to Earth!"

OooOOOooOOOOoooOOOoo...

"We are Hunted and On The Run!

"And Together we Overcome!

"Fighting Evil Through the Galaxy!"

KAWOOOSH!

"STARGATE INFINITY!!!!"


 

"....That's..." Sam blinks.

"Well, it's ambitious, to say the least," Joey says.

"...The Studio might even go for that." Marty nods. "Set it 38... eh, 40 years in the future after the Goa'uld are all wiped out. Yeah. That could work! Tell me more, Jack!"

So you do.

You tell him everything you can absolutely tell about this crazy little idea inside your head.

"And you know what!" Marty says after he finishes writing it all down. "I think I just found a solution to my halved budget from earlier! The studio wants a spin off? I'LL GIVE THEM A SPIN OFF!"


 

"When it comes to fighting crime, there's only one man keepin' the Streets safe..."

A frosted glass door, marked "TEAL'C, PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS" and the Apophis brand above it.

"...While keepin' it real."

A Man gets thrown through it, and then P.I. Teal'c leans through the frame, adjusts the brim of his Fedora, and practically purrs, "In-Deed."

"TEAL'C P.I. Coming this Fall."


 

You are now Teal'c, and you smile and nod as Martin Lloyd enthusiastically says, "*I* Love it!" he pauses. "I'm just not sure if the network..."

You frown, and lean in close.

"But I'll pitch it to them next week, and-and-and we'll see what they think?" Martin's phone then rings. "I gotta take this! GO FOR MARTY!"

And he Absconds.

"Teal'c P.I.?" O'neill asks, leaning against the wall where Marty once was similarly landing. You both peer out at the Stargate. "I know I'd watch it."

"Thank you, O'neill," you say.

"Though, I gotta say," O'neill says. "I didn't figure you for the Private Investigator Type."

"I borrowed several novels from Okurii Leijon also during my time on Alternia," you tell your friend. "In addition to cooking, I found the genre of Alternian Crime Thrillers to be thoroughly engaging and thought provoking."

"Lovely, that," O'neill says. "Got any you'd recommend?"

"Several, but we would be here all week if I were to recite every title," you tell him. "I will simply procure copies and mail them to you at the earliest convenience."

"Ah, so it falls under movie title logic, huh?" O'neill asks. "Gotcha."

Martin Lloyd returns- complaining- "Stupid Focus Groups! They LOVE the animated idea, but they hate the ending! I have to think of something else after the climax!"

"They could go fishing!" O'neill offers.

"Fishing?" Martin asks.

"Yeah, it'd be the perfect ending." O'neill nods. "After that, anything else would seem pointless! Show 'em relaxing and goofing off after saving the day, or whatever!"

"Hmm," Martin nods. "Possible... But... what's the twist? No fish? I need something emotionally moving, though."

"Everyone loves a wedding," Samantha speaks up.

"A wedding!" O'neill claps his hands. "Yes! Have it be a huge surprise out of nowhere! Main male lead comes up to the main female lead," he swoops across the room, hovering near Samantha. "And he sweeps her off her feet-" ironically, O'neill pulls her to her feet. "And then... He leans in close and asks..." He leans in very close, near to the point of kissing, and then nearly whispers. "Will you Marry Me?"

"Are you serious, Jack?" Samantha asks.

"Maybe," he answers. "What gets you to say yes?"

Then, she kisses him, and there's silence in the room for a few moments as O'neill kisses her back and they just sort of stand there, lip locked...

Then Martin claps enthusiastically. "Yes! Something exactly like that! I hope you don't mind but I'm going to rip that off word for word!" He starts writing down the lines, mumbling everything O'neill and Samantha just said. "Hahah! Yes! This is great! Not torture with an extended wedding scene but the proposal! YES! Perfect!"

Everyone just sort of stares in silence as he rapidly packs up everything and then- with a big grin on his face, Martin says: "Thanks for everything guys! I think this is going to be the best 200th episode ever! I've got to get this to the studio."

And then he absconds for the door- pausing only to say- "Oh! And Congratulations on the Engagement! I expect an Invite in the mail as soon as you've figured out a date!!"

"...Well," Mitchel coughs. "That just happened."

"Indeed it did, Cameron Mitchel," you say.

Indeed it did.

O'neill and Samantha still seem to be unaware of anything else but each other.

"I think we should probably, uh, give them the room?" Jonas suggests.

"Yeah, that's an idea," Vala nods in agreement.

"Let's go to the cafeteria," Xefros says. "I hear they've got cake today."

And so you all head to the cafeteria, sans the recently engaged couple, sparing the Stargate one final glance for the next few hours.

Today has been a very strange day, and to think it all started with a giant, ring shaped object.


 

"Science fiction is an existential metaphor. It allows us to tell stories about the human condition. Isaac Asimov once said: 'Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today, but the core of science fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all.'"

Anders ("Grell") WORMHOLE X-TREME 200TH EPISODE INTERVIEW.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 6TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/14/0005.

"Huh," you are now Keiko Ayano, and you are very surprised.

"Huh, what?" Mallek asks.

"I think I just found another reason why we can't power on the ZPM factory, even with 3 ZPMs, and even with us having overwritten most of the anti-Wraith security protocols."

"Why's that?" Mallek asks, rolling over from his desk terminal on his four wheeled office chair.

"I just found that there's Star Matter Collection Drives on the bottom of the city, like what was on the Destiny to power its power reserves, Except, they don't funnel into anything that seems to be related to main power at all. Completely vestigial, and unnecessary, unless you consider the idea that they're connected to the ZPM factory," you explain. "See, Aincrad's ZPM factory always struck me as weird because it's believed to be solar powered. I'd thought, 'how does that much distant radiation actually power a ZPM?' But..." you tap at the screen infront of you. "What if it's actually receiving power from a *transmitter* that's within the sun's upper most layers and absorbing that power to make the ZPM itself?"

"Well, that's incredibly fascinating," Mallek says. "And given Aincrad's advancements compared to Atlantis... yeah, I could see that, over time, the idea of pointing a dish at the sun and receiving energy transmitted from a device in a star could be misconceived as receiving power directly from the star itself."

"But it's pretty much useless to us now," you say.

"Because it doesn't help us with the current issue we have of getting the engines working again," Mallek nods. "We'd have to take off to be able to absorb that stellar matter within a star, inorder to make ZPMs."

"Which means that as fascinating as this is, we gotta get back to work," you nod, and dismiss that screen, and in return, you bring up a list of Gate Addresses containing planets thought to be uninhabited. "Stardrive research break over... Now to the oh so boring task of trying to figure out if we should just steal Stargates from Pegasus, or have Alternia produce us some of their own..."


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 7TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/15/0005.

It was quite obvious something was up by the smell alone, atleast, that's how you see it. And you are Daraya Jonjet, Alternian Troll with a recently upgraded wolf-tier sniffing system thanks to magic particles. Landing the Jumper outside the village, you can just... smell this thing in the air.

You had to point it out first, but Mallek and Tyzias noticed it too- Keiko seemed to be completely unaware of it though. Whatever it was, humans, even werewolf-humans, seemed to be unable to percieve it.

Still, this planet had a Stargate, and it had people on it. Mckay was trying to find planets with Stargates that could be stealable for a GATEBRIDGE project he and Morgan Carter were working on in their spare time- bumped to a higher priority after the SGC's bookroom robbery by Ba'al. But nobody wanted to strand an entire planet's people by stealing their stargate... so... this planet was off the list for theft, but maybe not for trade.

If you could put up with the smell, at any rate.

You enter the village, and the scent becomes somewhat more overwhelming. It's practically radiating off of the people meandering about.

"Fair day to you!" a young woman greets.

"Fair day," Tyzias chimes back, sounding like she, too, is noticing the smell.

"You're seriously not smelling that, Keiko?" Mallek asks.

"No," she frowns. "Which is weird. You guys are smelling it so it has to be something."

And then a man with a wide grin comes bumbling along- and the scent is practically overwhelming, coming from his very body. "Hello! Hello, new people! Why didn't anybody tell me that new people were here!?"

"Lucius! I've missed you!" A woman rushes over to hug him.

"Oh, well, I was just out for a walk," the man, Lucius says, "Have you met the new people yet?"

"We just got here," Mallek says, smiling despite the smell. Good grief how can Keiko not smell this shit?

"Oh, that's great! Just great! Then I haven't missed anything! I hate missing things! Have you met my wife, Willa? Isn't she gorgeous?" And then the man, Lucius points to a group of other beautiful women who- "My other wives are just making lunch! Come! Join us!"

As his wives all chime in with "Fair day"s for days, you glance at your team. "This is weird, right?"

"Smell aside, yes," Tyzias agrees.

"I've got a bad feeling about this," Keiko says, as Lucius turns his attention back to you all, his eyes fixing down on Keiko.

"So, uh! Hi! I don't think I got your names yet? Man, you're all really something else, huh? That mystical transformation wave thing really did a number in on you all!" 'Lucius' grins.

"Something like that," Tyzias takes the lead. "I'm Tyzias Entykk, this is Mallek Adalov, Daraya Jonjet, Keiko Ayano."

"Wow! Nice nice, and where are you all from?" Lucius asks.

"Oh, you know," Mallek coughs. "Just a little place called Diaspora. You've probably never heard of it."

"No, no, I don't think I have!" Lucius's breath wafts over as he laughs in that sort of 'what can you do' way and- URGH. That smell is even worse. What the fuck is wrong with this place? "Sounds nice though, is it nice?"

"It can be," you say. "But we really only just dropped by to see if this village was still inhabited or not. We really oughta be go-"

He cuts you off. "NONSENSE! Come come! Let's all sit down and have lunch and talk! Maybe have some wine?"

"Sorry, but I don't think we caught your name?" Tyzias starts- and everyone from the village laughs.

"Uh, kinda serious on that?" Keiko says, backing away from Lucius even as he sort of steps closer. "Who are you?"

The village goes silent.

A woman speaks, "You've truely not heard of Lucius?"

And then the women go on a triade of him being the 'wisest and kindest man among the stars' to which this Lucius guy seems so VERY HUMBLE in return (He's not. At all.)

And despite your best efforts to negotiate... he insists you four stay for lunch.

...You have a seriously bad feeling about all of this.


 

You are Tyzias Entykk, and you hold back the frown as you watch everyone from the village fawn over this guy. What the hell is even going on?

Also, the passes he keeps trying to make on you, Daraya, and Keiko are all... very repulsive, even after being told that yes, you're all spoken for- and it didn't hurt that you added in the lie of "in all quadrants" just to be on the safe side.

The Concept of Quadrant Serendipity has avoided you all, but what this guy doesn't know won't hurt him.

Lucius Lavin, as his full name turns out to be, loves to brag. He has "Gifts" relating to, and you quote, "Exploration. Alchemy. Medicine. I have, I have to say, some of the best ointments around."

And then when the subject of the Puddle Jumper comes up, he seems utterly confounded by the idea that no, he can't have yours, or any others you might have.

A Trade is proposed for his 'wonderful medicines' but...

Good grief, this whole place is making you uncomfortable. The longer you sit with this smell the more something NAGS at you that it's familiar. Somehow. Like you've encountered this before.

No, that should be impossible, right? Two completely different Galaxies, shouldn't have similar plant life, right?

...But then again, giant lizards and 'dinosaurs' seem to be a commonality, so why not plants?

Mallek finally manages to make up an excuse requiring you all to get back before you're late for "a very important business date."

Lucius is completely opposed to the idea of you leaving. He wants you to stay, to have the second course of food. To have his medicines and ointments.

The villagers start to block your path as you try to leave.

"W-w-wait!" Lucius starts- "It's okay! They can go! We're all friends here, right?"

You lie out your teeth:

"Tell you what, when we get back, we'll tell our medical team what you have, they can come see what you have, see if we can use it. Then we'll talk abou trade."

"Later today, maybe?" Oh good grief, the way his face lights up it's like you gave him christmas presents a half a year early.

"Maybe," you say.

He promises he'll have everything ready, and lets you leave.

You all abscond back to the Jumper and fly back for the Gate.

"Did anyone else get Serious Regent vibes off of that guy?" Mallek asks. "Or was it just me?"

"Definitely," you nod. "That was creepily mind control like. Almost like a Master power from the 'In which I got shoved in a locker and got super powers' franchise."

"What's that title from?" Keiko asks. "Book or movie?"

"Book series," you say. "It's alright, I guess. Spawned a whole lot of alternate-universe fanfic and rewrites online about a decade back, or so. Bit of a similarity to how some people were getting powers from the Bracelet Crystals. Huh, I wonder if there's a time loop in there somewhere?"

You shake your head after getting lost in thought for a moment.

"It doesn't matter," you continue. "Point is, that was definitely very wrong. I think that Lucius guy was the one the smell was coming from?"

Daraya nods. "Definitely. Got a good whif of his breath. It reeked of the stuff. Made me wanna gag."

"So.... Steal their Gate and be done with it?" Mallek asks.

"Let's settle for black listing the gate address and calling it a day," Daraya says.

"We should have Kanaya look at them with Shaper," Keiko says. "If humans can't smell it, we might be vulnerable to whatever controlling power thing he has. If Alternian's can smell it, then maybe they're immune?"


 

You are Kanaya Maryam, and your magic genetic alterning crystal easily picks up on the deception by way of checking AR-2 on their return before you even step foot off world.

This man, Lucius Lavin, is secreting a pheremone chemical that's making the people around him addicted to his very presence. Shaper's database of chemicals tells you it's due to a plant matter that he's consuming- one very similar to an Alternian Spore Plant- a varriation of which there had been a brief altercation with on the All Your Base during the evacuation and relocation of Alternia's plantlife to Diaspora.

Needless to say that specific plant has a very different affect on Alternian Trolls than it does on Pegasus Humans- namely, a rapid inflamation of the sex drive versus blatant addiction.

Flushing it out of an Alternian body is as simple as filling a bucket. In Humans, there's a little more at risk in the Alternian version of the plant... but similarly easy to get rid of. However, the Pegasus variation is a bit more drastic.

You can already see the waning levels of production within Lucius' body, and the aftershocks its starting to cause in his followers.

They'll go into horrible withdrawal within a matter of days if you don't do something.

You confront Lucius.

"Okay okay!" He admits with very little fuss once you call him out on it. "There's a plant on a world the Wraith took over! I can't harvest it anymore! I didn't mean to cause them any trouble!" He tries to excuse himself and play himself off as a victim...

You just ask if he has any of the plant matter left, and fortunately, he does.

From there, you take it back to Atlantis, and work as quickly as you can with Doctor Fraiser and Doctor Beckett to create an antidote for it.

Then, you deliver it to the village under the guise of 'trade' and the gullible people don't even protest, because they're more concerned over the fact that Lucius absconded through the stargate in between the time you left and returned.

Once they come to, and realize what had happened, they ban the man from ever stepping foot in the village again, which he probably saw coming, hence why he fled.

If you ever see him again, it will be too soon.


 

A few hours of searching Lucius's belongings later, a Gate Address was discovered in a journal, and a cloaked Jumper went through to investigate the planet.

Sure enough, they found a large field of a wild corn-like substance.

...A bomb was dropped on it, and the Jumper fled before it detonated. The Wraith would later investigate, and wonder why the hell someone would blow up a field of plants, but decided that it probably wasn't an attack on them given that nothing else happened immediately after.

A few days later, at the IOA's order, the Daedalus would arrive, beam down several retrovirus canisters, and the entire Wraith presence on that planet was transformed...

Unfortunately, the latest attempts to make the retrovirus permanent had backfired, and caused the Retrovirus to go overboard in the wrong direction- increasing the Irratus Bug DNA within the Wraith, and decreasing their human DNA to practically nothing.

The settlement wiped itself out in a blood-lust fueled frenzy within hours.

The one man behind it all at the IOA was still not pleased. Albert Monroe insisted that this Retrovirus be perfected, to 'permanently' neutralize the Wraith threat.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 12TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/20/0005.

Your name is John Sheppard, and honestly? Coming upon a recently Wraith Ravaged Village is one thing.

Having the people point their weapons at your team because they think RONON is someone that JUST brought the Wraith to their village? That's another thing that's entirely different.

Convincing them that they've got a major case of mistaken identity?

...Not happening.

Mckay was the only one who made it through the Gate- Teyla saw him make it before she got stunned. Which had happened after you and Ronon got stunned. Not with stunners, mind you. Not even with Zats. Nope. Plain old good fashioned Tree Frog Poison Darts with a paralytic.

Life Generally SUCKS right now.

Ronon's trying to convince them they've got the wrong guy- that while he was a runner he'd never been here. That whatever runner may have looked like him and came through here and brought the Wraith was setting him up.

Honestly, you think you've got a pretty good idea of who's behind this stunt. The date that this village got raided? A few days before Ford sent Michael Kenmore to you to get 'fixed' for whatever damned reason.

While you have some simple idea of what Ford was doing to cause this, the rest of it just doesn't track.

Why would Ford frame Ronon?

The answer provides itself as Ronon tells the villagers to go ahead and call the Wraith, and let them take him. Just as long as his friends- aw, he means you and Teyla!- are let go.

"If there's a Wraith that hurt your village because they were hunting someone using my name? Then I'll kill that Wraith dead, and it's never going to happen again," Ronon declares. "But you have to believe me when I tell you- I've NEVER been to this planet before in my entire life. You, and the Wraith, both have the wrong person to blame behind all of this."

...The Villagers agree to Ronon's Demands, and you realize, this was what Ford's plan was- before Elwurd showed up and caused all that trouble with the Wraith Hiveship.

You and Teyla are let go- but not before you slip Ronon a small bag of snacks 'for the road'- within which are a bunch of currently inactive subspace tracking devices.

You got the idea from Ba'al's latest stunt, and decided to carry some around incase of emergency.

Well, here's an emergency.


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

You are now Ronon Dex, and just at about the fifteen minute mark that would have been Telya and Sheppard reaching the Stargate and getting back to Atlantis, the Wraith arrived.

You were taken onboard and a familiar face grinned back at you- the Wraith commander that had culled Sateda.

...Whatever gears of fate set this in motion, whoever was using your name, you're going to either thank them or punch them.

A tracker is put in your back- no different from the one you intentionally swallowed to let Sheppard track you down where-ever the Wraith took you except that it's a lot bigger and definitely bug shaped and definitely not designed to be consumed- and then the Wraith taunts you-

"I once fed from the humans of your homeworld, and that is where I will watch you die."

You're left to sit in a cell until you arrive at your destination- Sateda- and as you sit, you stew, and think, and plan.

You sincerely doubt that the Wraith left that planet alone, but you can hope. And in the mean time... you've got plans to make. You're going to kill every wraith this bastard sends your way, and then you're going to kill him, even if its the last thing you do.


 

You are Teyla Emaggan, and you sigh as you look at the utterly ruined village. "Half an hour... we were gone for half an hour and the Wraith utterly culled the village."

It doesn't take long for the Wraith, especially with a village that had already been harassed not more than a month ago.

"Idiots," John remarks, even as Lorne hands over Ronon's gun, gun holster, and sword. "They didn't want to listen. Now Ronon's being sent who knows where."

"We will find him," you console him. "Rodney is already checking for the subspace trackers, if Ronon ate one, then we WILL find him."

"Let's get back to Atlantis then," John says. "We'll take the Daedalus as soon as he's got a lock."


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 12TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/20/0005.

You are now again Ronon Dex.

You're beamed down onto Satedan soil, surrounded by familiar streets.

You remember this place. Your squad moving through cover behind you as you headed your way towards the Stargate...

You retrace familiar steps, and peer down at the ruins of the area where the Stargate is. You hear the whining keen of a Dart, and see it heading that way.

You turn away, not wanting to see what happens next.

You hear the explosion of the Gate being buried in rubble yet again. You hope it wasn't too badly damaged, but getting over there to check on it is a death sentence.

You get a move on, no sense standing still. A Wraith has no doubt been deposited nearby for the hunt to begin.

Your final RUN.

You return home- you raid the debris in the basement for your safe boxes, and find them. You... You remember Melena as you gear up with the rusted knives. You remember your love for her, and her anger, standing at the bed, glaring, angry, at you... grabbing your arm...

You shake the memories away before you remember the explosion.

You hear a Wraith's breath and the creaking of old floor boards above, moving for the stairs...

You take an old pipe from the floor and secure a knife to it with cloth from the drapes you were going to put up the next weekend after all of the fighting broke out- before the fighting broke out, you'd thought- making it into a makeshift sword.

You wait in the basement, above and behind a doorway in the rafters of the unfinished basement ceiling- always another project for another day- and you wait for the Wraith.

It enters the room, and you descend upon it.

Within moments, it is dead, and you emerge from your house victorious.

Wave One, complete.


 

"Given the fact that Sateda's stargate is once again offline, I think it's safe to say the Wraith have disabled it," you are Mikari Aiikho, and you give the order. "Colonel Caldwell, Colonel Sheppard, go get our man back."

John nods, "We will."


 

You are still Ronon Dex, though the period of time within which you reside is getting hazy.

You pass the corpses of your squad within the sewers. You loot their weapons, and wish those damned villagers hadn't confiscated your Sylladex. You wear their armor, and believe that their spirits are with you today, guiding you to victory once more.

"I'm out of ammo!" one of your men had cried out.

"There's a depot two blocks down, Go!" You'd told him.

He died before he could get here.

You get to the depot, find the ammo cases, and the bandolier with artillery shells. You don it.

You hear splashes in the sewer nearby, and prepare for another strike by climbing above, yet again.

The Wraith passes by, armed with a large stunner rifle. What kind of game is the boss even playing here? They really ought to play to win if they seriously want you dead.

They never learn.

You fire hell down from above with your friends Magnum.

Then, you jump down, and double tap- you blast its head clear off, just to be su-

Wait.

You whirl around, and spot a camera drone.

You scoff, approaching it. It almost whines as if in fear. Stupid programming- cameras drones aren't alive. "You're gonna have to do better than that," you say, and then walk away.

At the safe distance, you unpin a grenade and shoulder chuck it.

BABLAM!!!!

Your memories resurface.

The Chieftain bragging over the radio about how Sateda would not bow. To put your bravery on the line and defend the nation- the planet!!

You remember Melena listening to it, not packing, despite the amount of leverage you'd pulled to get her on Kell's staff. Kell...

Kell who now lies dead. Kell the criminal who used people's fear for his own gain.

The Hospital needed her? There wasn't going to be any need for hospitals going forwards.

"That's just a bunch of words meant to make the people who don't get to leave…think there's a chance for them. We shot down two ships that came through the 'gate. Two…small ships. Do you really think that's all they're going to send?" You were mad. So mad...

She weeped, and then angrily, she asked you why you were staying. You had no choice.

She didn't understand. she thought you believed in the fight. That you 'knew' that the Wraith would 'go away' if you showed them Sateda wasn't worth the effort.

She grabbed your arm, standing next to the bed you'd had plans to share as husband and wife, but never got to that point.

"Ronon!" She'd told you, demanding, "You can't run forever."

You head to the warehouse, lay your weapons out where you'll need them- predicting the flow of battle.

A commander, and guards, four this time. You know it before you even hear their Dart wheezing by.

As you wait for them to make the building's entrance, you feel a bit of static in the air, along your fingers and hands.

You glance at them- and you see some small sparks dancing across your fingers- crimson red like your favored gun.

...That's new.

Now isn't the time to experiment, though.

A Wraith Guard enters the warehouse, pauses at the sight of all the weapons around the room.

You take out the shotgun and fire, dodging out of cover.

PCH-BWAM!!!

It makes entirely the wrong sound.

It makes entirely the wrong damage against the Wraith as it plows it into a large crate.

That gun didn't come from Sateda. It doesn't fire like these guns fire- these guns fire like the Atlantian's Guns. Your Gun is unique and one of a kind...

The rest of the Wraith guards run in- their commander descends from aboce.

You remember the ambush in the sewers- the regret you've had of finding your unique Magnum and of how you wished you had it back then.

You roar, rolling over a packing crate, and then you fire the shotgun again.

PCH-BWAM! Miss!

You toss it, not bothering to reload because you couldn't find the ammo for it, and duck behind another crate to grab two more guns.

The Static clings to your fingers and hands, and all over the pistols.

You dodge out, and fire with the one gun- PCH-BWAM! PCH-BWAM!

A guard goes down. You duck, pause, switch to the other, fire out- PCH-BWAM! PCH-BWAM!- and down another guard goes.

You discard those guns as they click empty, then you riun and slide across the floor- you grab a machine gun, and fire at the leader of the group, crawling about the rafters above like a damned bug.

PCH-BWA-BWA-BWA-BWAM!

He falls to the floor, and you drop the machine gun to dodge fire from the last guard- you kick up a rifle, take aim at catwalk it got onto somehow- and PCH-BWAM!!!

It falls, dead, once again.

Instinct tells you not to confirm the kill.

You run out of the warehouse, and get clear before it explodes.

You check your hands, and see them still covered in that weird static.

...Okay, maybe it was the right time for experimenting.


 

"May I speak with you?"

You are John Sheppard, and you look up as Teyla stands near you in the Daedalus cafeteria.

You captchalogue your laptop and say, "Yeah, what's up?"

"I just wanted to thank you," she says, taking the seat across from you.

"For what?"

"For going after Ronon this way," she says. You raise an eyebrow as if to challenge why (Thanks, Teal'c), and Teyla' continues, "He... is an outsider. Among your people, even among mine. He is... very different from most of us."

"You're not outsiders to me," you say. "I've trusted you guys from the get go."

"Yes, you and... Doctor Weir and Mikari Aiikho have helped in everyone being very accepting of us, helping the Athosians to set up again and again... lending us the Alpha Site even knowing that you originally intended it for your own use..." Teyla smiles. "But this shows me how far you would go, even for someone not of either of your galaxies. Especially someone so different from the rest of us."

"Y'know..." You start. "Teyla, I'm not good at words sometimes. So, pardon me in advance if I say something weird, but... Different is about how I felt growing up," you pause. "I've brought it up before, I think, but... Jade, Rose, Argo, and I all lived in a bad end timeline. Our powers weren't the norm at all. They were so abnormal we knew that if the Aschen got their hands on us... so we hid. And then we reset time, and changed the future." You work your mouth for a moment. "I.. I've lost my family. My original one. The one from my timeline. The only people who really know what I've been through are our Jolinar, Argo, Rose, and Jade. We..."

Teyla lets you take as long as you need to gather your thoughts.

"Even when we came back in time, we still felt like outsiders to everything. To everyone. There are younger copies of each of us still running around. And... Everyone's been so caring, so patient, And yeah, they're family, but there's still this disconnect. And it might get smaller and smaller with each passing day, but..." You shake your head. "You, and Ronon, Mikari, everyone on AR-2, and hell, even Rodney are some of the closest people I have to feeling like I have a family outside of that tight knit circle. You guys don't treat us like... don't look at us like we're different. Like there's this guessing, or this comparing. This wondering if our other selves will be anything like we are, or if our lives have just been so fucked up that we're just... damaged in comparison."

"I suppose... there is a reason that all of you came to Atlantis, in the end, isn't there?" Teyla muses.

"Yeah," you swallow, trying to keep from bursting into tears. "Listen, Teyla. I'd do anything for any one of you.  You're my friends. My family. If I had to I'd..." You trail off, as Teyla reaches out a hand and pats your own hand with it. You can't say the words, but she knows it anyways.

"Thank you, John," she says. "It's very appreciated. And, I hope that it never comes to any kind of sacrifice of that nature."

"Yeah," you nod. "Me too."


 

You are still Ronon Dex, and you hide in the Sateda Hospital, checking yourself for wounds as you think back to that day.

Rushing through the hallways, calling for Melena...

"Where's your squad?" Melena asked as you finally find her.

"They're all dead," you told her that Kell used you for his own escape. There was a chance to get everyone you can to the Gate. Melena, and the patients, and the doctors and nurses...

A girl laid in bed nearby, and Melena asked about her- the girl whose parents were dead.

The girl you'd picked up, and gotten out of the way, intending to carry her by hand and then--

And then there was an explosion, and it overtook her, and she was gone.

You look at the wall where it happened- see the scorched outline on the ground vaguely in the shape of a human being...

And you remember taking that Girl to the Gate and getting her out through it before you were stunned and captured.

Implanted.

Tracked.

Runner.

You glance out the window, and see several Wraith Guards patroling the streets.

You hear the whirling of another camera drone, and you glance at it.

"You are a fucking coward, you know that, right?" You growl at the camera. "You and everything you've ever done. You sit up there on your throne like a fucking warlord letting your soldiers hunt me down for sport while you watch? You hear me..." You need a name for him. "DO YOU HEAR ME, BARON!?" You gather sparks of crimson in your hand. "You are a COWARD! Come and Face me like a fucking warrior!"

And then you hurl a ball of crimson energy straight into the camera drone- and it explodes with a PCH--BWAM!!

"Well that's new."

You whirl on the door to the room, and then relax as you see Sheppard and Teyla entering the room.

"Well, hey," Sheppard says, "don't look all surprised. You knew we were coming!"

"Are you okay?" Teyla asks.

"I'll be fine once I kill that bastard who's running this," you say. "...What happened to the village?"

"Wiped out," Teyla answers.

"Damn, just another list of names to carve on the Baron's gravestone," you say. You like the name. The Baron is going to hate it. "How'd you get here anyways?"

"Daedalus is hiding behind a nearby planet's moon, we flew in with a cloaked Jumper," Sheppard explains. "Kanaya and Beckett are in the Jumper waiting on the roof for us."

Sheppard's radio buzzes- Kanaya reports: "I feel you should be advised, there's twenty five wraith heading to your position from ground level."

"Thanks, Kanaya," John says. "It seems we're taking out the boss before we leave."

"Good," Kanaya says. "Make sure you finish this quick, or I will take a chainsaw to his waist."

You scoff. "I'll make sure to finish it quick, alright."

You look at the glowing energy in your hand and-

"I dunno if you need this anymore," Sheppard suddenly says, handing you your Magnum. "But here."

"Thanks," you take it, holster and all, and attach it to your waist.

You pick up the one spare handgun you have left with a full cartridge of ammo... but you wonder if you even need that anymore.

You eject the cartridge, and pocket it.

You focus your newfound power through the emptied weapon, and....

It makes the same charging noise as the gun Sheppard just returned to you.

"...Infinite ammo cheat?" John asks.

You just grunt while shrugging slightly. "Who cares."

"So," Teyla hesitates, "Shall we go kill some Wraith, or should we wait long enough for Kanaya to come down with her Chainsaw?"

"Just stay to my six," you say, hoping you got the lingo right. "Don't shoot anything unless its flanking us."

"Got it," Sheppard nods.

And then you exit the room, and pose dramatically at the top of the only surviving stairwell to this floor  like a team because shit's about to get real.

The Wraith peering up at you from a lower floor hesitate, and then wisely run back down the bottleneck they so handily shoved themselves in.

You roar, and open fire.


 

Your name is Kanaya Maryam, and you watch the Jumper's lifesigns HUD displaying a rapidly depelting amount of Wraith lifesigns.

"This is nuts," Beckett says. "They're outnumbered twenty two to- Twenty- eighteen... God Damn it! Stop killing them so fast! I can't keep up!"

"Would you rather I join them with my chainsaw, Doctor Beckett?" You ask.

There's a brief pause, then he says, "...No, actually, I don't think I wouldn't."

Seven, five, three, one.

Zero Live Wraith, and Twenty Five dead ones.

"Was that all of them?" John radios.

"Yes," you answer, "that was all of them."

"I think I got six... Teyla..." John pauses. "Eight. Teyla got eight. Ronon got the rest."

Beckett does the math. "Ronon killed Eleven Wraith? My God... I can't imagine the smell."

The Jumper detects an incoming Wraith Dart.

"Sheppard, Ronon, Teyla," you radio, "Incoming Wraith Dart."

"Ronon says that'll be him," John radios. "...Best warm up the jumper. I think we might be leaving pretty quick, if Ronon's speed running this."

You nod to Beckett, and he starts powering up the cloaked Jumper to take off.


 

"Fair warning," you tell Teyla and Sheppard, "you kill him before I do, I kill you."

"What if he kills you first?" Sheppard asks.

"Then you kill him," you say. "Of course, if I don't beat him in three minutes, Kanaya's welcome to kill him however she wants."

"I'll pass along the message," Sheppard says, and he and Teyla take cover as you wait at the street entrance to the hospital.

The Dart wheezes by, and it drops down that bastard Baron.

Neither of you say anything.

The Wraith screams at you. "DEEEEEEEX!!!"

You roar right back at him, "BAAAAROOOON!"

The Wraith falters, unsure of that declaration.

You don't rush him, instead, you hurl a ball of explosive energy at the bastard.

PCH-BWAM!

Of course he dodges, and starts running at you.

You run, tackle him, and then get thrown into a door for your troubles.

Ow.

That hurt.

No, actually, getting pulled up by your HAIR hurts even more. Damn.

You elbow the Baron and he punches you in the face.

Neither blow staggers either of you, but it gets you separated. You attack again- he dodges or tanks your punches.

You try a tackle- the Wraith tries to toss you aside again, but you blast the ground beneath his feet.

PCH-BWAM!

That actually throws you into a support post on a porch, the Baron tumbles around, staggered in surprise.

You spit out some blood as you try to get to your feet. The Wraith is in no better condition.

You both stagger at each other, and then throw some weak sauce punches. Even by Wraith Standards, this guy's barely putting any effort in.

Seriously? All of this and he's a weakling? Either that or he took more damage than he appeared to.

Unfortunately you took more damage than you thought, too. You're finding it hard to stand.

You get knocked to the ground, and you're forced to block some more weak ass punches that are starting to either get stronger, or you're getting weaker.

And then the fucking Puddle Jumper de cloaks right behind the Baron. He doesn't see it.

You smirk as you see Kanaya motioning a slicing motion across her throat before pointing at the Wraith.

The Baron stops, and stands, and then turns around as he finally hears the Jumper's engine humming- you spot some blood from his ears and you guess you ruptured something.

Your name is Ronon Dex, and...

"I Win."

Oh, you wish you could see the Baron's face as the Jumper suddenly rams forwards- sailing clean over your head, but not the Wraith's.

You close your eyes, and revel in the glorious sound of flesh rending and bone snapping.

You hear your beloved Melena calling your name... but then it passes in the wind.

When you open your eyes again, its to suddenly feeling tons better, and not like you went three minutes with a Wraith.

Kanaya is staring at you, concern in her eyes, and John and Teyla stand behind her...

You're inside the Jumper.

"How long was I out?" You ask.

"About a minute," Kanaya says, sighing in relief. "You fragmented your spine fairly heftily with that last explosion you pulled. Lots of internal bleeding. You're lucky we got to you when we did."

"Thanks," You say. "And the tracker-?"

"Here," Teyla hands you the bloodied thing.

You glare at it, summon up a burst of crimson energy within your hand, and vaporize the damned thing.

"Oh," Kanaya smiles. "Thats..."

"New?" You offer.

"Yes, I suppose that was the word I was looking for," Kanaya says. "Though I was also going to consider 'Poetic Justice' or 'karmicly relevant.' But honestly I think I will settle for 'Familiar Territory.'"

You shake your head, and get to your feet.

"I like mine better," You say.

"Yes, I suppose it works that way too," Kanaya nods.

"Welcome back, Ronon," Sheppard says, offering a smile.

"Thanks," you nod. "Good to be back."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 14TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/22/0005.

Things had not been going well for the Andromeda Ascendants. Not for them, or their followers, promised enlightenment and Ascension.

And now a Jaffa world that had capitulated to Gerak's rule to begin with, and had followed with the Ascendants through to the present day... were about to feel just another backlash of karmic retribution.

Your name is Damara Megido, and you crack a smile as you take a container with a slimy, wriggling sort of interdimensional paraside, and jab it into the neck of a slumbering CHARBEAR you'd kidnapped from an Alternian Settlement, and release the seal.

The creature burrowed into the CHARBEAR'S FLESH, and then, under the careful acceleration of time through your own abilities, that flesh began to mutate. It grew, and it grew, and Oh. MY! Did. It. Grow.

And thus the already fearsome Alternian predator became even more fearsome.

And even more deadlier.

You backed away from it, released the mutated beast from its temporal prison, and gave it a psychic slap to the rear.

The beast awoke, enraged, and it roared-  but you were long gone before it could turn on you.

It took but hours for the settlement to be annihilated.

And when the job was done, she casually faked a distress signal to the Jaffa aligned with the Tok'ra and the SGC.

They would do the job of forwarding the message for you.

The Andromeda Ascendants wished to be worshiped as gods? As English? As Anubis? As those pitiful Ori once did before they were consumed?

Well. Then you would just have to target their followers and take them out. One by one. World by world. Their 'food supply' of powerful prayer and worship would dwindle until they had nothing left.

You would give them all a day to spread the message... and then...

Then you begin your STRIKE at the heart of the Andromeda Ascendants' power base. And then, once you've killed the sufficient amount of numbers... you will go for Merlin's Weapon, and use it against them.

You have seen every possible future based off of every possible decision you could think of making, after all. You hold all the cards, and that is simply because you are the Dealer. The maestro of your own fate for the first time in millions of thousands of hundreds of years.

What the players of the game do with them is up to them... but as long as you deal their fate to them? Well... You're not going to let them cheat, now, are you?

And once you've taken care of the Andromeda Ascendants, fools for daring to think they could control you, well...

There is but one foolish fish left in the grand cosmic scale of the multiverse powerful enough to disrupt your plans and ever consider himself brave and bold enough to even try taking control over your fate again.

He, you will save for last. And once he is dead? His powers justly scattered across splinters, never to be reassembled again?

Only then will you rest, and live out the rest of your life.  

In the mean time, you now need to see about setting up for collecting one other tiny, but heavily significant piece of the puzzle.


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 16TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/24/0005.

"That's five settlements that have been converted to the Andromeda Ascendants cult that've been destroyed now," your name is Cameron Mitchel, and you wince as you look at the latest report. "The fuck is going on here?"

"Well," Vala says, "if it's this Damara chick, it's a very salted earth strategy. Leaving the monsters behind to rule the planet after wiping out the villagers."

Cassandra enters the conference room, ooking concerned, "We just heard back from Alternia." She reports. "More Relocated Alternian animals were spotted as being stolen with 'flashes of crimsion light, leaving circular cuts in the ground misplaced from somewhere else.' That brings our total of missing animals up to ten."

"So, Damara's stealing Alternian beasts to wipe out Andromeda's followers," you summarize. "Why?"

"Because she's lowering their potential power levels," Jonas says, entering the room with Jude trailing after.

"It's a similar strategy to what we used against English to weaken him," Jude says. "With the Ark of Truth."

"Cut off their supply of worship, cut off their supply of super powers," Cassandra nods, taking a seat.

"So why not steal this Ark and use that?" Vala asks. "Why go murder happy on the people?"

"It sends a better message," Jonas says, shaking his head. "'You follow the path of the Andromeda Ascendants, and you die,' That's the threat."

"It'll certainly rile them up," you say. "Those wanna-be Ori are going to be buckling down on their remaining settlements, and I'll bet you there's atleast five major ones they'll be protecting."

"The question I have is this," Jude says. "What does Damara do once she's wiped out the Andromeda's followers? She clearly has some means of making monsters on demand. So... what does she do with that?"

"You think she might use it against us," Cassandra guesses.

"Or anyone else she doesn't like," Jude nods. "We have to be careful about this."

And then the Stargate dials in- and refugee Jaffa start hurrying through the Gate.


 

You are now Samantha Carter, and you look over at Teal'c as he walks onto the Ha'tak's bridge with a grim expression on his face.

"What's wrong, Teal'c?" You ask.

"A Dragon appeared to attack one of our Villages," Teal'c answers. "The survivors have fled to Earth, and I am told that the Delta Megaship has been dispatched to intercept the creature and destroy it."

"Is it really that big?" You ask. "And a Dragon? Really?"

"It appears to be a mutated form of an Alternian 'Solar Eyed Dragon Lusus,'" Teal'c says. "Apparently it was stolen from a private reserve by Damara Medigo just this morning."

[I thought Dragons didn't exist in this dimension,] Jolinar remarks.

'Somebody forgot about Alternia if they told you that,' you say internally, and outwardly instead ask: "Why would Damara attack a Jaffa Settlement?"

"I do not believe she did," Teal'c says. "The survivors reported that the creature followed someone from the last raided settlement through the Stargate- that is where it originated from."

"Shit," you swear. "So... Damara forgot to make the creatures limited to the planets they're on by leaving the Stargates active."

"Indeed," Teal'c nods. "A grave mistake indeed."

You fidget with the engagement ring on your finger as you consider all of this. "...So, what do we do? Leave the Corinth Rift unguarded to go help?"

"No," Teal'c shakes his head. "Master Bra'tac and O'neill agree that we are to secure the Stargate and that if one of these creatures appears on the world below, we are to bombard it from orbit before it can make it to Corinth City." He pauses, then says. "I believe it may be more prudent to capture one alive. We still have the time dilation devices, yes?"

"I built them anyways just in case the IOA suddenly changed their minds, but yeah," you nod.

"Then I will escort one of the devices to the Stargate to forward to the SGC," Teal'c says. "They may attempt to capture one, find out the cause of these creatures transformations... and if we likewise come across one, we capture it."

"Good," you say. "I'm tired of sitting on my ass waiting for the IOA to stop being asses."

[Agreed,] Jolinar says. [This is going to get out of hand if somebody does not do something about the IOA's overreaching.]

'Tell me about it,' you agree.


 

You are now Rider, and things feel...

Off.

Artoria has returned to the realm of relevancy once again- cheated death yet again- and yet...

There's something off.

Artoria smiles, and is giving you affection and... and you've barely talked about what happened because you just get told that "It's forgiven" for what you did and---

And that's not how you wanted any of this to go. Not how you expected it, or... Or felt like you needed it to go inorder to have closure.

And what's more? Artoria refuses to return to your native dimension.

Artoria is staying in Corinth! Corinth!! And insisted you should go back to work with the SGC! Then Callie Ohphee gave you a disk of data to take back to Earth securely.

So. You did head back, very reluctantly. Long trip back. Rift, to Gate, to Earth.

Okay, not THAT long, but... Long enough for you to reflect. And reflect hard not just on the disk of data, or Artoria, but someone else that's been bugging you.
Hal Strider.

He's refused to go back to Earth yet too. Refused to even go back to Diaspora to the apartment he'd been taken from.

Something was OFF about all of this.

But who do you even talk to about THIS?

As you take your sweet ass time to dial the stargate for Earth, you just can't help but feel like you're missing out on somethi--

The Gate starts dialing in rather abruptly.

Instinct has you hide, and it's damned good reason to.

A lumbering beast emerges from the gate after its KAWOOSH, looking like it ought to have once been a Lion. Except not. It's massive, and it has five tails, and three mouths on two heads each.

Its fur should be white, you can tell, but it's mottled with crimson splashes.

Blood.

It turns its eyes towards you, and roars.

Damned good sense of smell too- you guess as you take flight and RUN FOR THE RUINS! (And the Rift, because FUCK you need fire power!)

The Lion chases you, slow and lumbering- it knows you'll run out of steam before it does.

You grab your radio and inquire, "WHO THE FUCK ORDERED A TWO HEADED LION!?"

Carter radios you back- telling you to change course away from ruins of the Venjix Palace and instead head towards the landed Ha'tak.

You change course because there's apparently a PLAN.

You run, and run, and run. And maybe you consider renaming yourself to SPRINTER instead of RIDER, but that just ruins the whole THEME you were aiming towards.

A Zat Shot PCH-ZYU's over head as the ha'tak comes into view, striking the beast chasing you. It roars in anger- otherwise unphased.

Staff fire follows suit, and you spot Carter waving you over to a landing hatch for the Ha'tak's interior. You zip inside, and follow her to the ring platform...

...and then past it, stopping on the other side of it, at the control console for the Rings.

"What are we doing!?" You ask.

"Just giving it some bait!" Carter answers, punching in all but the last button.

And thus, the multi-headed Lion- and a heavily mutated one you're now realizing, going by the odd growths bulging out of its shoulders- steps into view.

It growls with both heads, and then starts stalking towards you....

"Carter??" You start-

"Just another second...!"

And then the lion steps into the circle of Rings, and Carter punches in the last button.

SKREEEEE!

PVMMMMM-VRRRM-VRRRM-VRRRM-VRRRM-VRRRM-VRRRM-VRRRM-VRRRM!

"TEAL'C NOW!" Carter orders into her radio as- WOOOOOOOOSH! -Away the Lion goes, and the rings descend with their closing VRRRM-spam and shut closed.

There's a long pause, and then...

Carter's radio buzzes with Teal'c's voice, "We have successfully captured the creature, Samantha Carter."

"Trapped it in what?" You ask, even as Carter sighs in relief.

"A Time Dilation field we set up on one of the decks," Carter answers. "We're going to study it as best as we can at range, then kill it, and study it up close."

"Well... that was crazy!" You say. "What the hell was that thing anyways?"

This time, Jolinar answers, "A creature Damara no doubt sent to harass us with. One of many she's set loose on the galaxy."

"There's More of those things!?" You ask.


 

The Delta Megaship dropped out of hyperspace, and began its rapid descent towards the planet that the creature had migrated to.

The Jaffa Village of Rathgar was settled in a valley between two large mountain ranges.

As for the mutated Dragon Lusus...

It had gotten big.

Very Big.

So big it wouldn't fit through the Stargate again big.

Big enough that it was able to put its chest  atop the roof of a building, and level it with its body weight alone.

And yet, despite the overall increase in body mass of the thing, its forelimbs HADN'T grown to match. So, this massive dragon with eyes gleaming with the heat of the sun had two tiny, almost vestigial limbs dangling off its sides. It was being forced to use its wings as forward limbs to hold itself up.

And... well. Honestly, it looked more like a Wyvern and a T-Rex had an ugly affair with an ectobiology machine than it did an Alternian Dragon at this point.

"Awh, fuck," you are Major Karkat Vantas, and you peer at the beast. "Someone tell me we're still big enough to fight this thing?"

"We'll be cutting it Close, Sir," Stelsa reports as she taps at a console. "If it gets any bigger or its scales any tougher..."

The dragon roared, a terrifying, almost pants wetting roar as it spotted the Delta Megaship on approach.

"Alright," you turn back to the pilots. "Transform and kill this thing!"

The Delta Megazord transformed and landed in the streets, readying its Gatling blasters at the overgrown dragon.

It reared its head back, and then belched loose a massive stream of fire at the Delta Megazord.

The energy absorbing armor tanked the blast with ease, and then the Megazord fired back with its Gatling lasers.

The bolts splashed against the monsters scales- but the explosions they caused tore them loose, and caused blood to start to spill from the beast.

It's eyes gleamed-

"DODGE!" You order, and the Megazord does such even as the air you used to be standing in exploded.

The Solar Eyed Dragon Lusus was called that because its eyes were as fiercely burning as Alternia's old star had been.

Merely gazing into those eyes without something blocking the gaze was enough to burn your own eyes out and go blind. When the Dragon wanted something exploded, though? Explosions manifested where it willed, almost as if by magic.

But it wasn't magic. It was a series of chemical reflectors hidden within the skull and behind the eyes that made some kind of explosive, eye-directed nearly invisible laser fire out at the target. And where two beams met.... Explosions happened.

"Craaap!" You yell. "Switch from standard shells to Squid Drone Shells!"

"Roger!!"

The next salvo of firepower to leave the Delta's Gatling guns was a swarm of golden squid drones of Alternian make and modification that held a little in common with the Lantean version of them, but only due to a common ancestor thousands of years ago with a divergence point of, well, the Destiny turning in the opposite direction it could have gone.

The drone blasts ripped into the Dragon's hide, and it let loose another burst of fire in response.

The Megazord dodged, and let loose more Drones, then the lasers from the shoulder canons fired.

The Dragon made the horrible mistake of trying to make us explode again at that moment- and the laser beams struck it in the eyes.

More than that- they carried on just a bit further- to the expansive glands of chemical refractors that made its laser eyes equally possible.

The Poor thing never got a chance to let loose a death cry, and fell to the ground as flames belched forth from its face.

It lay there for a few moments, silently...

You dare to exhale after it doesn't move for a solid minute.

"Okay, let's clean this shit up, and radio SGC that we've dealt with it," you say.

...Dave is going to be so pissed you went on a dragon hunt without him.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 16TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/24/0005.

Your name is Polypa Goezee, and Step Three is taking a long time. Well, okay, barely two weeks so far, but the point remains that you've barely got any real consistent schedule for this guy nailed down yet. You're going to have to keep at it for atleast another two weeks to be sure that the mark's off-the-books movements are following any real consistent schedule, even if he's not aware of it.

The only times he goes on his own away from his bodyguards and the job he manages, and he's gone to the same shitty steak bar again and again and again. Every damned night without exception so far.

You've only visited it for the second and third times every seven days from your fist visit, establishing a single pattern of a once a week visit. He might get suspicious otherwise. You chose a booth this week, and aren't anywhere near the bar.

Sitting at a booth alone normally might be a red flag to the paranoids, but you're selling it by having a physical book plopped down on the table next to you as you eat.

Its some sensationalist novel drama fodder that promises to make for some sensationalist Television drama some day, but you care little for that.

Your mark, Albert Monroe, sits at the bar, back to you, unaware of your presence tonight.

The steaks aren't even that great. Why does he come here?

It doesn't matter. His phone rings suddenly,and he goes to answer.

You've got work to do, and a call to listen in on.

He sounds outraged- "What do you MEAN the Disk wasn't intercepted!?"

And then Albert Monroe gets up from his desk and absconds for the door, leaving an unpaid check and unfinished meal at the bar, much to the waiter on duty's annoyance.

"Hey! You'd better come back, man!" the probable-stoner with a name tag of "S. Rogers" calls out, annoyed. "So not cool!"

You don't follow, but you text Vriska to let her know the mark's on the move.

You head over and decide to make mister "Shaggy" Roger's day a bit better, and offer to cover the meal if the guy doesn't return.


 

O)< - STARGATE: ALTERNIA - >(O


 

You are now Vriska Serket- more normally called Ashler Dering when you're not doing shit like spying, and you're using your illusion powers to subtly make yourself appear like someone else entirely because ROSE REALLY FORGOT ABOUT THAT, you suspect, as your illusion pretends to light up a cigarette and listen to music as he barges outside, raging on his cellphone.

You tune a small piece of your psychic ability to cast illusions to listen in to the other side.

"I mean what I said. The creature failed to intercept the messenger like I'd planned," a female voice says. "if you really want this data so bad, you should have had me crash the city closer to Corinth, instead of across the continent."

"No, it HAD to be there. Or else the nanomachine storm wouldn't be recorded on that disk! I need that AND everything from the city's database at once! Or else none of this goes off the ground! You don't get your requested materials otherwise! You KNOW the deal, Megido."

Well, huh. There's a shocking twist.

"Yes, I know the deal. I made it with you to begin with when I tipped you off as to your estranged cousin's whereabouts," the woman on the other end- likely Damara Megido herself- answers. "Need I remind you that if you don't finish your end of the bargain and assassinate those estranged family members of yours as you want, then you don't get to keep your job at the IOA, which means you don't have any means to make USE of the data on that disk regardless. We both have our issues with this turn of events, Albert. I will correct my end, you finish yours to begin with. I'll expect delivery of the raw materials as promised."

And then the call ends, and Albert yells into the empty line- "Megido!? MEGIDO! Damn it." he hangs up the phone, shoves it roughly into his pocket and glances around.

You ensure that your illusion is looking at an MP3 player and clearly not paying attention at all- focus and ensure that he sees that image so clearly.

[There's nobody eavesdropping into your conversation,] you reassure him. [You're just paranoid. Overly paranoid. Nobody cares about your potential acts of interplanetary treason, real or fictional.]

He relaxes somewhat, buying it, and then he...

He goes to his car, swearing a storm about a late night at the office.

You leave that smoker's illusion parked there at the door, in his line of sight, while instead making a second illusion seem to leave the restaurant, and you step into that illusion as you get on your nearby motorbike.

Albert peels away in his car, and you follow at a distance, dropping the smoker, and instead focusing on making him think you're someone else entirely whenever he goes on a paranoid check of his surroundings.

You use the occasional nudge into his mind to plant an illusion to drag out a bit of surface thought.

He's panicking over having to 'accelerate' his plans. And damn, he seems to be planning on making some bogus excuse to recall Rose and Roxy Lalonde from Atlantis so he can have them killed... along with their other selves here on earth. Roxy and Rose Egbert? Really now? He wants to try to kill them too?

Well. Your CLIENTS need to be saved on principle, but this guy wanting to kill a kid? Geeze, that's just low, even for you.

You pause at a red light some distance behind your mark, and text your partner.

[Mark wants 2 kill clients 2xOver. 8ump Up Sched?]

She replies.

[Yeah. Going to have to do something. Spook him at least.]

[Got it.] You text back. [F8k acdnt next intsec]

He drives, you drive... and then you set up some illusionary traffic accident for him to react to. You make him also think everyone else is driving around it too, when they're actually not.

You follow the Mark, and keep up the Illusions, diverting him into empty streets and making him think he's somewhere he's not. It's a nasty web of illusions and you're having to drop old bits for new ones fairly rapidly, like making a lot of cars drive away down roads that are only there for a few seconds of perspective...

Still.

You've got this in the bag.

You make your current biker illusion stay in place with you as you drift backwards and cast another illusion. Another biker. It drives out around you, and around the mark, gunning for one of the only illusionary cars you have left infront of him.

You put on quite the show of gunplay. The "masked individual" in the car you're "shooting" at shoots back at you.

The Mark swerves to a halt and you're stop driving too- but you just let the illusions continue on into the distance. The mark just sits there. You make your illusion angry, and storm up to the car window to knock on it rapidly.

"HEY! ASSHOLE!" you have the illusion yell. "The FUCK are you doing!?"

Albert Monroe just sputters- "The- Did you see the--?"

"See What!?" you have the illusion ask. "You swerving to a halt suddenly for no damn good reason!?"

And then you march back to your bike, and start to get it ready to drive again...

Then his phone rings again.

He answers.

It's Damara.

"Remember," she says, nonchalantly. "Do what I said or that becomes you. Oh, and reverse your order, too. The lone wolf must die first."

And then she hangs up again.

Fucking hell, did she predict your scare tactic just now and use it to cement his loyalty to a job??

You can't waste time, you drive off, leaving the Mark alone in the middle of nowhere.

This distraction alone is going to stall him and make him late to something...

But it's firmed up his plans to get the 'job' done sooner than later. And that job is killing The Lalondes... after he kills Victoria Bradley- who just jumped up his hit list because of Damara's latest order.

You can't hold this off for much longer. The Job HAS to be done, and soon.


 

You are once again Polypa Goezee, and you scowl. "What could possibly be on that disk beyond nanomachine information that could be so important?"

"Fuck if I know," Vriska shakes her head. "She called my bluff and made it part of her scare tactic. Fucking... how the hell did she know that?"

"More importantly, why not tell him we were following him?" You ask.

"Should we warn the clients?" Vriska asks. "I mean, Roxy and Rose would want to know if this guy's gunning for them. Right?"

"Did you catch how soon he's going to try this?" You ask.

"Within the next week," she answers. "But that's after he offs Victoria Bradley. Personally, if he has to."

"Then we're going to make him have to, and end this when he goes to kill her, then," you decide."I'll keep an eye on her. You keep trailing the Mark. Let me know if you find anything important about what he's doing."

"So we're doing this then, huh? Well, it's about time," Vriska nods.

"Agreed," you say.

Step Three is complete.

Now, it's time for the final stage... Step Four.

The step of Death.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 17TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/25/0005.

Your name is RICHARD WOOLSEY, and the standard noises of Stargate Operations hone in as a familiar anchor point despite everything that's been going on with your impromptu relocation to another Galaxy.

"Incoming wormhole!"

WAAA WAAA! KAWOOOSH!

"SGC Priority Traveler IDC. Lowering Shield."

You look up from your work- you find it always easiest to be in the thick of things near the Control Room, and today you happen to be working on a report while sitting on the staircase between the Control Room and the Gate Room- to see an SGC Standard Uniform Clad Messenger exit the Gate, bounce up the stairs past you, and head to Mikari Aiikho's office. The Gate shuts down moments later.

You decide to follow and find out what this is about.

As it turns out, another dimension had a city twice the size of Atlantis in the *same style* crash land. And within that CD, among many other fascinating bits of data that were going to a research lab, that had just been brought there was a Gate Address from where in Pegasus the alternate city came from.

It was a planet called ASURAS, and Mikari immediately ordered a thorough check of the Atlantis Database to see what was there.

When nothing but the gateaddress was found, a MALP was sent through the Gate... and surprisingly, people were discovered on the other side. People wielding Ancient scanners, and warning those seeking them harm to proceed no further, but 'if you come in friendship,' to know that you were welcome.

You immediately petitioned for a diplomatic meeting. Miss Aiikho, on the other hand, hesitated to authorize it. And so did AR-1's team leader, Colonel Sheppard.

"This other city, if that's what it even was, crash landed with only one person onboard," she says. "And I find that incredibly suspicious. There were no corpses, Wraith fed on or otherwise."

"Surely it can't be that bad," you say, taunting Murphy's Law. "Look. If it's any consolation, I'm willing to go out on a limb and make any negotiations work here."
Mikari fixes you with a gaze. "Fine. You'll Take AR-1 as escorts. But if you botch this, I get to tell you 'I told you so.'"

"How could I possibly botch it?" You ask, once more taunting Murphy's Law. "If they're Ancients-"

"If they're Ancients, you'd better hope they don't decide to arrest us or worse for daring to trespass on Atlantis," Sheppard warns.

"Why would they ever do that for?" You ask once more. "I think you're over-analyzing the situation."


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

The first sign that something was off was the fact that it wasn't just an Atlantis sized City Ship you'd gated onto. No, it was an entire planet covered in Atlantis styled buildings and ships and who knows what else.

The second sign that something was off were the golden armored little scorpion-bots with welding tools for stinger tails that skittered around, mantaining structures or equipment. Scorpion Bots that made you uncomfortably reminded of Replicators. Except they didn't glow, they weren't made of blocks... they just... worked on maintenance.

Mckay was also discomforted, but asked where some of those could be gotten for his own lab needs.

The third sign that something was off was the response that had been given to that question by tour guide NIAM- they were an original design created within the last few months, and were an experiment based off of designs another visitor who had access to an Ancient facility had given them. A visitor described as a grey skinned woman with orange horns.

The fourth sign that something was off was the fact that the entire planet was run off of ZPMs, and that the Wraith had given these people- the Asurans- no trouble what so ever. Adding onto that, the Asurans had their plans to deal with the Wraith "In their own time" but had not implemented it... ever.

The Fifth Sign that something was wrong that the High Chancelor of Asura's High council- a man named OBEROTH- looked exactly like depictions Joey Claire had given of the crazed D'ni man named Esher.

The Sixth Sign of things being wrong was when Woolsey FOOLISHLY told them that you were all from Atlantis... well...

Your name is John Sheppard, and you glance at Richard Woolsey, not more than five hours later after stepping through the Gate to Asuras, as your team and he sweat in an Ancient Jail Cell.

A Jail Cell that you'd been thrown into because APPARENTLY these "Ancients" wanted "Information" from you about Atlantis.

"'Surely it can't be that bad', huh?" You ask.

"Well..." Woolsey pauses.

"'How could you POSSIBLY botch it'?" you ask again.

"That's not fair to say that-"

"Why would they EVER POSSIBLY arrest us?" You ask again.

"How was I supposed to know they'd arrest us for simply coming from Atlantis?" Woolsey asks in turn, finally getting his feet beneath him in this discussion.

"It does seem odd they would have quite the bone to pick with Atlantis," Teyla says.

"Must've been a falling out," Ronon grunts.

"Oh, yes, one HELL of a falling out," Mckay shakes his head. "I think we've got bigger problems to deal with than that."

"Like what?" Ronon asks.

"Like the fact that SOMEONE gave them designs for those scorpion bot things," Mckay says. "And if I were a betting person, I'd say it's either Damara or Elwurd."

"Damara would explain the other City Ship," you say, peering out the forceshielded jail cell at the empty hallways beyond. "Elwurd's more concerning though. If she got her hands on Mofanplicator blueprints..."

"The scorpions could very well be modified Replicators," Mckay agrees, "which would be very very bad for all of us."

"What're Replicators?" Ronon asks.

"Mechanical Bugs that eat everything and make more of themselves," you sumarize."Few of 'em learned to take human form. Nearly wiped out Milky Way in the process."

"How'd you beat something like that?" Ronon asks.

"We didn't," you say. "Mckay and I were off doing something else at the same time. They kept the specifics of how it worked need to know to the people directly involved."

"All you need to know is there are weapons capable of beating them, if it comes to that," Mckay says.

And then you hear doors opening, and the forcefield around the cell drops.

"Well," Woolsey heads to the cell entrance. "Let's hope we can talk this out without further antagonistic strain on our potential negotiations..."

"I suspect whatever Negotiations are to be had?" Teyla muses, "They will be short."

You prepare to go breeze.

Oberoth enters the room, flanked by four men each, and the jail cell doors open. They enter the cell and spread out, one each menacing towards you.

"Oberoth! I demand to know the mea-" Woolsey doesn't finish that sentence because Oberoth throws his hand forwards and embeds it directly into his skull.

You BREEZE before one of the other guards can do the same to you.

The one who was supposed to grab you and the others who were menacing towards your team all whirl around- tracking your movements with alarming accuracy-

But it's what's needed for opportunity.

Ronon and Teyla shoulder check the ones that were attacking them, and then hurl their respective powers into their attacker's faces.

Flashes of silver render the damage undone within moments, but it's enough to keep them down long enough for Ronon and Teyla to escape the cell.

Mckay's forcefield flares up as the other guard tries to grab and dive its hand into his head.

"HELL NO YOU DON'T!"

And them Mckay leverages some speed and strength and rams that Replicator into the one that'd been after you, and both of them into Oberoth.

The mechanical man gets dislodged from Woolsey's head- who gasps in shock- and Oberoth tumbles to the ground- stunned.

Mckay grabs Woolsy and hurries out of the cell and you use the opportunity to go hurricane mode on the damned machines.

Because Fucking Hell! REPLICATORS. It just had to be REPLICATORS!! Not just the bugs, but ENTIRELY. FUCKING- Human Form Replicators!!!

You RIP. THEM. TO. SHREDS.

You rip them into nothing but a fine silvery dust, and then reform outside the jail cell as Ronon slams the door shut and Mckay punches in a locking code for the force-field.

"You were right," Ronon chuckles. "The Negotiations Were Short."

"Mister Woolsey? Are you okay?" Teyla asks, ignoring the compliment beyond a brief smile in his direction.

"What?" He asks, dazed. "But I thought we were... back at the SGC?"

"They're Replicators," Mckay tells him. "And they fucking tried to mind-read us with their freaking hand-jabby thing!"

"Let's get out of here before they reform," you say, eyeing the piles of dust already starting to try to reform.

"Agreed," Teyla nods.

And you five run for the Puddle Jumper Bay, following the familiar layout of Atlantis.

That's when you come across a squadron of the damned scorpion-bugs, menacing electrical arcs on their stinger tails.

Ronan doesn't spare them a chance to get close- he hurls bursts of deadly fire from his hands, blowing the things to silvery piles of dust.

Telya bursts each one with fire as you run past.

You quickly come across the room your gear got stored in- and the guards in the way.

The Human Forms start to approach, and Mckay---

PVWAOOOOO!

---He throws his hands out and launches a blue forcefield out instead of green.

The Human Forms dust instantly, and they show no signs of reforming.

"Huh!" Mckay stares at his hands. "I didn't think that'd work."

"What was that?" Teyla asks as you all enter the room and retrieve your gear.

"I Waveform'd them!" Mckay answers. "I wasn't sure it would work but force fields are just energy designed in certain ways, so I thought- 'Dust Replicators' and Bam! They dusted!" He's so happy. But...

"Better keep that one to yourself, Rodney," you say. "You're a walking Dakara Device!"

"I'm a-" all excitement drains from his face. "Oh. Shit. I'm a walking talking Dakara weapon."

"I'm definitely not mentioning it in my report," Woolsey says with a shake of his head- the first words he's really spoken since you escaped.

"Good," you say. "You're catching on."

And with that, your team heads on for the Jumper Bay. Mcaky flinging his force shields again and again whenever the way gets blocked- but rapidly tiring in the process.

"Oh, God. That's Energy Taxing," he whines, out of breath as you finally get to the stairs leading to the Jumper bay.

"I was wondering where the balance trade off was," you remark.

You get to the Jumper Bay, and there's Niam standing in your way.

"Wait!" He raises his hands. "Take me with you!"

...Fucking hell. Why is it always--??

"Why should we?" You ask.

"It's the Aggression hard coded into our systems by the Ancestors!" Niam says. "I want it gone. I don't want to be aggressive! I-!" he stalls. "OH. Oh No. They've discovered what I'm-"

And then he freezes in place, and then his movements become extremely stiff and-

PCH-BWAM!

Ronon blasts him in the chest, knocking him flat on his back.

"K...Kill me..." the Replicator requests. "Please. Before they- Reset my mind-"

Well, you can grant him that much atleast.

You nod to Mckay, and one more shield blast later, and there's a pile of silver dust on the ground.

Surprisingly, though, the pile of silver dust erupts into light and vanishes.

"We'll talk about whatever the fuck THAT was later!" You decide.

...Nobody disagrees, and so you rush into the jumper bay, get into the nearest Jumper, and lower down into the Gate room, already dialing an address.

"Dial Atlantis!" Woolsey orders.

"Sure thing!" You dialed a Space Gate, actually, and hurtle through the gate just as the KAWOOSH subsidizes.

You emerge out into space moments later, rocket away from the gate, and carefully turn around to peer at the gate to ensure it's shut down...

Unsurprisingly, atleast five Human Form Replicators come tumbling out through the Gate, pinwheeling as gravity suddenly ceases to be, and they... they begin freezing up in place as the cold hard vaccum of space gets to them.

"...Why didn't we go straight to Atlantis?" Woolsey asks.

"Because I didn't trust them to not follow us," you say. "And look at that. They did."

"Well, atleast we'll have some to study if we need it," Mckay says.

"Yeah," you say. "But first things first- Woolsey," you turn to him. "What did they make you see?"

"...We escaped to Atlantis, and then the Wraith Showed up. Over Twenty Hiveships. They attacked the city, like they knew we were there. You had to initiate the Self destruct because they took out the shield generators while we were cloaked." Woolsey swallows. "I think I gave them Atlantis' and Earth's gate addresses."

"Then we've got to get the City up and in the air ASAP," you say, watching as the spacegate finally shuts down.

You dial old Athos to ditch the Jumper on incase of tracking devices, and then from there, you head back to Atlantis.


 

Your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you frown at the report AR-1 just gave.

Well. The report Teyla and Ronon just gave. John and Rodney went to the Stardrive core room and began impressing upon the importance of getting the Stardrive properly online again.

Woolsey...

Woolsey's kept silent the entire time, nursing one hell of a hangover headache from the Replicator intrusion into his mind.

To think that they could get so much from just a few moments of contact...

"Alright, Telya, Ronon, thanks," you say. "You're dismissed."

They leave.

"Now then, Richard..." you look at him. "How are we going to correct this?"

He doesn't reply, just sort of staring ahead, blankly.

"Richard Woolsey! Snap out of it!" You exclaim, and he jerks his head, suddenly as if jolted awake.

"I- I'm sorry, Miss Aiikho. But I can't believe how foolish I was. I... I'd harbored some small hope as the day went on that this would be my redeeming moment and I'd be allowed back to Earth," he says. "...I failed in so many ways. I let my ego get the best of me and..." he shakes his head, slowly, tiredly. "I let them into my mind. I have a headache and I fear that I've compromised the safety of this facility."

"That's why we'll be moving to a new world as soon as we can," you say. You've already made the call. M12-578. An uninhabited water planet without even a Stargate on it, or a Spacegate nearby- and infact, it was on the edge of the Galaxy itself.

As far as the Wraith or the Asuran Replicators would be concerned- a total unknown.

It was one of a hand full of off-the-grid planets considered for the start of the new Gate Bridge project, but had been rejected for a lack of suitable landmasses to place a Gate on.

Well, Putting Atlantis there solves that problem handily.

You get up from your desk, circle around, and put a hand on his shoulder, and say, "Go get some sleep, Richard. You've had a long day."

"Thanks," he nods. "I think I need it."

And thus, he goes to leave, pausing only to allow Argo to enter the room.

"Well?" You ask.

"Keiko thinks she's got the Stardrive almost ready to go," Argo answers. "She said she was hoping for another few days of actual testing to get it operational, but...  she thinks that if everyone on the project pushes, we can be taking off for space within the next few hours."

"Good," you say.

"Where are we going, if I might ask?" Argo asks. "I don't think Keiko even knows yet."

"It's confidential," you say. "I'm only going to tell you to tell Keiko." You lean in close, and whisper into their ear, "M12-578."

Argo nods. "Got it." And then they leave to relay the information.

Right.

You nod, then head to your apartment.

You've got a weapons acquisition form to retrieve. Anti Replicator Guns are going to be a must for the months ahead.

...But then what? You'll inform Alternia and Earth, obviously, but...

But then what do you do about this?

If they were made by the Ancients, then they've had thousands of years to spread out and conquer... why wait? Why stay on one planet? And why would the Ancients hide this knowledge?

...You'll send someone to ask the Ganos Hologram on LOPAN.

Then, there's Mckay's shield powers to consider.

Of COURSE he'd find a way to retune the shields he was able to generate to serve as a Replicator Disruption Wave. It's just as fitting of an expression of his abilities as John's ability to turn into the wind is an extension of his ability to control the wind.

But that modulate-able factor also means that he could conceivably shift that to turn anybody he wanted to into dust, if he were so inclined... hell, it could conceivably be turned upon himself...

Then, there's the Dusted Replicator that appeared to ASCEND to consider out of all of this.

What do you do about THAT?

...Nothing. Instead- First and foremost- all non essential personnel are going to be evacuated. You decide that now.


 

Several hours later, the city of Atlantis had evacuated most of its population off to the Alpha site once more...

And, if Mikari's musings were anything to go by, that even might be relocated again sooner rather than later, if the Athosians were willing.

Your name is Argo Lalonde, and if there's one thing Replicators getting inside someone's head is good for, it's a good shakeup of security. Get the dust out of the gears and shake loose the tarps. Uproot and relocate.

Too much was at stake with things as it was.

Still, you're here despite being told to evacuate. You consider yourself ESSENTIAL PERSONELLE. Jade took Liz to the Alpha Site, and AR-1 and AR-2 are pretty much the only people still here... atleast, that you're aware of.

It's entirely possible some people decided to stay regardless. For example, you don't think you saw Woolsey go through the gate. It's entirely possible he's slept through the announcements.

Still... you have a crazy idea that you want to test out.

"Hey, Ronon?" You ask.

"Yeah?" He asks in turn, eyeing you.

"So, about your fancy rift-granted blaster powers," you begin. "What would you say to the idea of a scale experiment if it comes down to a fight?"

"What kind of experiment are we talking about here?" Ronon asks.

"Well, I'm worried that we might not take off in time and we might have to fight if the Asurans sent some ship after us," you say. "If it comes to a firefight between cities... well. I'm curious to see what counts for your powers as a 'weapon' or not."

Ronon raises an eyebrow. "...Are you asking me if I think I can use the city as an empty gun?"

"Sort of? Basically. It's just a thought I had." You admit.

Ronon smirks. "Well. I think it'd be a pretty fun idea to try, at any rate."

Alas, Mikari tells you you're not going to get a chance to see it. You and her are relocating to the Alpha Site, along with Teyla.

"Awwwh! Come on, Mikari! Why??" you ask.

"Because you and I are not essential to this operation," Mikari says. "I trust everyone else to get this job done without oversight. And beyond that- as far as leadership goes, we're ensuring that we're nowhere near this city in case it gets destroyed."

...That's a thought you don't really want to think about. So you make sure to give John a kiss, and wish him good luck, before going to rejoin Jade and Lizzy off world.


 

It had taken seven hours to get the star drives online again... but, you are Keiko Ayano, and you think you've got it down.

You make your way for the teleporters, and head to the control room.

"Alright, everyone. We're as ready for a test flight as we can be," you report when you arrive. "ZPM's are at full, the Stardrive is reading green... we should be clear for take off."

"Alright, Colonel Sheppard, we're clear for startup," Mckay radios down to the chair room as you take your seat next to Mallek and Tyzias, monitoring long range and other systems from here...

"Roger that, starting boot up sequence..." John reports. "Raising Shield---" SKREEEEEEH! "---Starting Stardrives..." The inertial dampeners come online, the City shudders as its engines kick over-- "And Lifting off." -- and then gravity lurches as you feel a subtle motion change.

You glance out the window... and you watch as the Ocean lifts away.

Upwards, upwards, upwards...

"Hyperspace window contact!" Mallek reports. "It's reading as a vessel the same size and shape of Atlantis."

"Well, I guess the bugs sent someone to squash us after all," Tyzias gripes, then radios, "Daraya, Ronon, man the weapons consoles. Be ready to light it up. John, focus on getting us out of enemy fire and clear for hyperspace travel."

On that queue, you punch in the coordinates for M12-578.

"They're launching drones!" Mallek reports.


 

You are now Daraya Jonjet, you look to Ronon, and he places his hands on the very large conduit cable leading from console infront of you to the mechanism that powers on and launches the drones.

He might not have taken to The ATA Gene, but you sure as hell did, and together... His hands glowing red and your eyes glowing with DETERMINATION.

You place your hands on the console as well, and reply- "Returning Fire!"


 

From the vast outside perspective, Atlantis ascended to meet its Descending twin- the later launching a stream of golden drones down to intercept...

And Atlantis launched a salvo of crimson glowing drones twice as large as that first flurry to intercept.

The Asuran city's drones were obliterated, and the remaining drones blasted against the enemy city's shields, rupturing them with explosive ease.

Through Holes made by their predecessors, the remaining crimson drones smashed through into the Enemy City, smashing through its central control spire and several critical pieces of supporting structure.

The enemy Atlantis exploded- and through its remains, Atlantis itself flew through, emerging like a phoenix from the ashes, opening a Hyperspace window, and absconding into the realms beyond.

And then the trio of FULLY CHARGED ZPMs within the Asuran City ruptured- and their contained subspace exploded outwards, overtaking the planet Lantea, and practically overwriting the entire solar system with a layer of space-time that had not existed there normally.


 

Ronon collapsed to the floor, and you rush over to check on him. "Hey! Ronon! Are you okay?"

He grunts an affirmative- and mumbles something about being extremely hungry.

Well, it's fortunate you escaped to Hyperspace, because you don't think he had the energy in him for another attack like that.

"Alright, let's get you some food then," you say, patting him on the shoulder, and trying to heft him up- trying and really easily succeding.

Geeze, you don't even want to know how many calories he burned doing that empowerment burst just then.


You are Rodney Mckay, and you exhale in relief as Atlantis's sensors pick up the explosion of subspace from the ZPMs onboard the Asuran City.

"Well, that's just fantastic," you say. "Three ZPM's worth of subspace just overwrote the entire Lantean system."

"...Guess we should be glad we got out of there when we did," Tyzias says.

"Yeah, that's-" You stop as an alarm sounds.

"What's that?" Mallek asks.

"Oh- no! Nononono!" You furiously tab at the displays... "Oh Fuck us! We need to drop out of Hyperspace immediately and change course!"

"What?" Keiko asks. "Why?!"

"Because something in Atlantis just started broadcasting a subspace signal on Wraith Frequencies announcing our location to the nearest Wraith hiveships!"

Silence for a moment.

"FUCK!" Keiko radios- "John! Drop us out of Hyperspace! I'm changing course to take us in the next direction completely opposite from our real destination!"

You immediately start tracking down where in Atlantis the signal is broadcasting from...

"...Crew quarters?" You stare. "Mallek, come with me. We're going to find and disarm whatever's broadcasting our position."

"Right," Mallek nods, and he follows you as you decaptcha a scanner and take the transporter to crew quarters.

It doesn't take too long before you find the room, and a sinking feeling rises in your gut.

It's Woolsey's quarters.

You and Mallek barge into the room, and find the man slumbering on his bed... and also broadcasting the signal.

Specifically, the scanner reads that the signal is being beamed out directly from Woolsey's Skull from a series of nanomachines that were clearly left there when you rammed the Replicator out of his head.

This... This is your fault.

Oh dear God, this is your fault.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 18TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/26/0005.

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and as John brings the city out of Hyperspace, you start reprogramming for new coordinates. Anywhere that isn't your actual destination that Mikari gave you and you alone.

As you're hurriedly punching in the gate coordinates for a planet far on the other side of Pegasus, a brief alarm sounds.

What now?

You glance at the screen that alerted you and-

"Oh For Crying Out Loud!" you grouch as you see the security feed in question come up.

"What is it?" Tyzias asks.

Some redheaded woman just linked into Atlantis' Book Room, and is pressing the buzzer to try and get someone to unlock the door.

Of COURSE someone would link through during the very brief window of opportunity presented by you stopping your hyperspace journey.

You grab for the Radio, and say, "Sorry, we're in a bit of a situation right now. Can you please link back to where-ever you came from and wait a few hours? Or days?"

The red haired woman seems surprised, her blue eyes blink, then replies aloud- "Um, I'm Doctor Asuka Shikinami. I was asked by Doctor Beckett and Doctor Fraiser to consult with a Retro Virus? This was my scheduled time to come through. Did... I misunderstand something?"

Shikinami? You blink. You think you heard something about that.

"Just a moment," you say, muting the first frequency. "Do you know anything, Tyzias?"

She shrugs.

You change radio frequencies. "John? We have a problem."

"What kind of problem?" John radios back.

"Do you remember Argo or Mikari mentioning anything about an Asuka Shikinami coming to Atlantis?" You ask.

"Asuka Shikinami?" he pauses. "As in Doctor Asuka LANGLEY Shikinami?"

"Let me check," you switch channels again. "Um, to clarify. Are you Asuka Langley Shikinami?"

"Yes, that's me," the woman on screen nods.

"Just a moment." You switch back again. "Yeah, that's her."

"Yeah, Argo mentioned something about that a couple nights ago. Shit- don't tell me she linked through while we stopped?" John asks, sounding annoyed.

"She did," you confirm.

"Shit. That's-" John is interrupted as Mckay radios:

"We have a problem. Everyone currently not busy flying the city needs to suit up in isolation gear and report to medical."

Daraya replies, "Repeat that, Mckay?"

"You heard me the first time, Jonjet," Mckay says. "Suit up asap and report to medical."

"I'll just stay in the pilots chair then?" John asks.

You look to Tyzias, and she nods, going to leave.

"Yes, do that," Tyzias says. "Keiko, stay and keep an eye on things. I'll go see what this is about."

You nod in turn. "Got it.”

"Excuse me? What was that?" Your uninvited (Well, technically invited) guest asks from the Book room. "Is there a Medical Emergency?"

John says, "Keiko, tell her to sit tight for the moment. We might need her help if there's a medical emergency."

"Fine," you agree, then switch channels. "Doctor Shikinami? We're going to have to ask you to sit tight for the moment. I'm not exactly in the loop myself right now. I'll get back to you."

"Ah, alright. I'\ll wait for a bit."

You finish your reprogramming, and, Course reset, you then radio John, “John, jump to Hyperspace now.”


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

"We have a problem." Your radio buzzes. "Everyone currently not busy flying the city needs to suit up in isolation gear and report to medical."

Your name is Daraya Jonjet, and you tab the radio. "Repeat that, Mckay?"

"You heard me the first time, Jonjet," Mckay says. "Suit up asap and report to medical."

"I'll just stay in the pilots chair then?" John asks.

"Yes, do that," Tyzias says. "Keiko, stay and keep an eye on things. I'll go see what this is about."

You look to Ronon, who picks up the large tray of food you'd reheated from the cafeteria fridge, and captchalogues most of it, save for a sandwich that he continues to eat as you head for the place where the isolation suits are kept on this floor.

You suit up, and head to medical.

You find that Mckay and Mallek have set up an isolation chamber, and are also wearing full iso suits- save for the helmets. Tyzias arrives soon after-

"What's going on?" she asks, peering into the Isolation chamber. "Wait. Is that Woolsey?"

"Yes," Mckay says, "And he's broadcasting our location to the Wraith thanks to the Nanites the Replicators left inside his body when I shoved it out of him. I don't think any of us realized it but I must have broken off atleast four fingers worth of nannites off of Oberoth's hand when I rammed him."

"And with how fast you guys shredded them..." You realize.

"We never noticed," Mckay shakes his head. "The problem is the nannites are spreading at an incredible rate through his body, and overwhelming his brain. We have to figure out how to stop this and fast before we have a Replicator-Woolsey trying to kill us."

"Not only that," Mallek says. "We have to stop the nannites from broadcasting our location to the Wraith somehow, before we can even dare try to land where we wanted to."

"But before we even do anything else I need to scan to make sure the rest of us aren't infected," Mckay says. "Once I've cleared us, I'll need someone to go check on Sheppard and Ayano. We need to make sure this is contained to Woolsey before we do anything."

"Why can't we just dust-blast them like you did back on Asuras?" Ronon asked.

"Would you *rather* I turn Richard Woolsey to a pile of dust? Because at the rate those machines are spreading that's exactly what would happen to him," Mckay counters, angry and a little bit more upset than you'd expected.

"I wouldn't mind him, but if it's happening to the rest of us..." Ronon grunted. "Fair point."

"Thank you, Conan," Mckay then holds up a scanner. "Now. Scanning time."

He runs over all of you, and he sighs in relief. "Okay, it looks like out of all of us in this room, only Woolsey's infected. Mallek," He hands the scanner over. "Go check on Ayano. Daraya-" he hands you another. "Go check on Sheppard."

You hurry to the Chair room, taking the teleporter shortcuts, and arrive quickly enough.

"What's going on?" John asks as you arrive, glancing over at you from the chair.

"Woolsey's infected by Replicator Dust," you say. "I'm here to check and make sure you aren't too." You get the scanner out and run it up and down along his body...

"Well I should hope not!" John remarks. "I was a tornado when I shredded those Replicators! If I got anything inside me..."

The Scanner beeps and flashes a green OK sign.

You sigh in relief. "Okay. You're clear."

"Good," John says, sighing in relief as well. "Now what do I do?"

"I'm going to seal the room and leave you an isolation suit," you say, decaptchaloging said suit. "Next time we drop out of hyperspace, suit up, and we'll unseal the room."

"Okay." John frowns. "What about Woolsey?"

"Mckay and Tyzias are working on it," you say. "They're going to figure it out."

“I hope so,” John says.


 

You are now Rodney Mckay, furiously trying to figure out what to do but... damn it all. PEOPLE are not your realm of expertise!!

These nannites are pretty similar to the ‘virus’ from a while back... you guess you have the source of THAT, now, you suppose... but they’re too clustered together in Woolsey’s brain. if you Zap them with an EMP, it might just flat out fry his brain in the process. Especailly without Shaper to flush the remains out of his system....

Damn it.

This is all your fault.

“Hey, Mckay,” Tyzias says suddenly, jarring you out of your thoughts. “I think we could use an extra set of hands. A Professional with this kind of virus thing.”

“It’s a nanomachine virus,” you say. “How more professional than us can we get at this moment without making a pitstop to grab Beckett or Fraiser?”

“Maybe someone they called in to help with the Wraith Retro Virus?” Tyzias offers.

“What? That Sha... Shi...Sho...Sharknado girl? No. Wait...” You’re really bad with names at the moment. “The, uh...” you snap your fingers for the term. “Bio-engineer? Shikinami?”

“Doctor Shikinami, yes. She linked in while we were stopped to change course.”

“...Well that was lucky for her and us,” you say, trying not to think about what would have happened if she’d linked through while you were in motion. “Yes, definitely. We could use all the help we can get on this.”

And so Tyzias makes the call. And a few minutes later, Daraya and Ronon escort in a firey haired woman in an isolation suit.

“Hello,” She introduces herself. “Doctor Asuka Shikinami. What’s the patient going through?”

“Nanomachine virus is stuck inside his head and broadcasting our location to the Wraith. Hence, we have to deal with it if we’re ever going to land,” you explain.

“Alright, let’s get to work then so I can get to work on what I was brought in to help with,” Shikinami says, placing her hands on her hips. “Let me see what you have so far.”


 

You are Mallek Adalov, and you check in on Keiko, now wearing an Isolation suit of her own.

“Hey, Keiko, how’s it going?” You ask.

“We’ve got Wraith Hiveships trailing us now,” Keiko says. “We picked up about two, so far. We could maybe pull off one, maybe two course changes before they actually catch up with us, though.”

“Already?” You ask.

“’Already’? It’s been almost two hours, Mallek! We’re lucky it hasn’t been more!” Keiko shakes her head. “God, I just... I wish things hadn’t turned out this way.”

You place a hand on her shoulder. “We’ll make it through this,” you say.

“I know, I just... I wish I had some crazy, wacky zany solution to save the day,” Keiko says. “That’s usually someone else’s job, though, and the people who usually DO that are working on the other problem we have right now!”

You consider for a moment. Then, an idea surfaces.

“If you need crazy... Here’s a crazy thought,” you say. “Why don’t we use one of our course changes to point us at the Replicator’s homeworld?”

“...Why would we do that?” Keiko asks. “We’d just be stepping foot in their front door and begging to be blasted to pieces.”

“And dragging the Wraith along with us,” you point out.

Keiko stares out at the Stargate for a moment, and then whispers, “Oh, Mallek. It’s perfect.”


 

Your name is Ronon Dex, and you sit in the cafeteria, eating to regain your strength.

That energy blast shot you empowered really took it out of you. Good to know you could do something like that and an entire city counts, in that regard, but...

You really don’t want to do that again.

Still. Life is what it is.

As of half an hour ago, Atlantis made a prolonged stop in Hyperspace to allow Wraith to get a lock on you and come chase after you.

It’s a crazy plan. A plan Sheppard okayed as soon as he heard it.

If the Replicators want the Wrath to track Atlantis? You’ll give them the Wraith tracking Atlantis. And you’ll take them straight to the Replicator’s front door.The machines are going to be pissed when they realize their plan’s backfired and you’ve brought Wraith to their secret little planet.

If you’re lucky, it’ll take out a couple Wraith Hiveships and deal some damage to the Replicators too.

As of that brief stop half an hour ago? You now have about six VERY curious Wraith Hiveships trailing after you.

You chew on a ham and cheese sandwich, and muse on the irony.

For a bunch of machines, they sure didn’t think this course of action through.


 

“Sheppard- I think we’ve got a solution,” Mckay’s radio transmission jolts you out of the nearly asleep medatative stance you’d fallen into.

You are John Sheppard, and you reply with, “Alright, what’s the plan?”

“We’ve analyzed the Replicator Base Code through the nannites within Woolsey, and I’ve found a directive to directly attack the Wraith Genetic Sequence where-ever it may show up. Doctor Shikinami suggested that if we implant a small sample of Wraith tisssue- no bigger than a small, benign tumor- inside Woolsey, we can trick the Nannites to leaving his brain alone and give us a chance to EMP them without causing him catastrophic prolonged harm.”

“Well, that’s dangerous, but what do you all think?” You ask.

“I think we should go for it, John,” Tyzias says. “Mallek agrees with me too.”

“I agree as well,” Mckay says. “We’re reaching the point of no return soon. Whatever we have to do, we have to do it before there are more nanomachines than we can reasonably distract.”

“Then go for it,” you say. “How long will it take?” You ask.

“Five, maybe ten minutes?” Mckay answers.

“We’re arriving at Asuras in fifteen or less,” you frown, looking at the distance timer. “Tyzias, Mallek, can you replicate the tracking signal and keep it going until we reach our destination?”

“Absolutely,” Mallek answers. “Shouldn’t be hard at all.”

“Good,” you say. “Get on it. Let’s make these Replicators wish they never met us.”


 

The Machine King of Asuras, OBEROTH, stood on his mighty balcony overlooking the night sky covered metropolis that was his vast settlement.

The pieces of himself that he could still feel- the ones left within the man Richard Woolsey, suddenly converged on a node of Wraith Tissue suddenly introduced into the body, and within a minute, were all silenced.

Oberoth frowned as he lost all sense of tracking for the Lantean city. Oh well. At least the Wraith would have lost their means of following the city and would not arrive within this system.

He turned, and went into the control tower of his own City of that design.

“I have lost the City of Atlantis, and they have neutralized my gift to the bespectacled man,” he reports to the others there. “Are our sensors confirming that it is still traveling in our direction?”

“Yes,” Another Replicator nodded. “Our tracking sensors confirm Atlantis is still in route for us. Less than four minutes out.”

“Fools,” Oberoth shook his head. “Fools and Idiots. Do they truly think that sacrificing themselves against us is worth it?”

For some time, he stood there, contemplating the imminent destruction of Atlantis as they brought themselves once more to his grand city... to be destroyed.

It was very considerate of them, all things considered, to hasten their own demise in such a way.

“Incoming Transmission.”

“On screen,” Oberoth demanded, and a hologram opened up.

A girl stood on camera, gazing at him with crimson eyes. Wolf ears flexed atop her head...

Oberoth blinked. Since when did humans come with animal traits fixed to their genetic code?

“I am Keiko Ayano of Aincrad,” the girl began. “I will ask you but one time- Do You Fear Death?”

Oberoth considered the riddle. “I am Oberoth, and I do not fear Death for as long as one of my brethren remains alive, so too will I forever be reborn. You may have destroyed my form once in your last escape, but I am already reborn again. Even those of my brothers whose forms you have destroyed will soon be reborn as well.”

“I see,” ‘Keiko Ayano of Aincrad’ said, narrowing her eyes. “Then will you release your hold on Richard Woolsey?”

“You have already destroyed my machines,” Oberoth tells her. “He will awaken in time, if he survives your destruction.” Oberoth allowed himself to project an emotion- Smug Satisfaction. “It is really quite considerate of yourselves to bring your precious city of Atlantis to us. If you’d wished to bring the Wraith to our doorstep, you should have waited until you had arrived to destroy my machines within him. Your plan has failed.”

“Okay, Fine,” Keiko Ayano of Aincrad hung her head in defeat. “That’s fair enough. We surrender. Guess that bluff didn’t pan out as well as we thought it would, huh?”

“Naturally,” Oberoth said. “You really should have planned better.”

“Oh, yeah, we totally should have,” Keiko Ayano of Aincrad says, nodding solemnly...

“Hyperspace Contact. Atlantis.”

Oberoth Smiled. “Your doom is upon you.”

“But you know? I could say both of those same things to you,” Keiko countered.

...Wait. Oberoth’s emotional responses suspended as he processed that statement, and his technician reported- “Hyperspace contact... Correction: Multiple Hyperspace Contacts. Eight Wraith Hiveships.”

“See... We thought of that beacon thing and planned ahead.” And then the girl on screen cracked a smile of Smug Satisfaction. “You really should have stayed in your own little corner of the Galaxy, Oberoth. You never know what kind of mess you might bring back home, otherwise.”

And then the communication went dry as the technician reported- “Atlantis has deposited a beacon... it’s transmitting on Wraith Frequencies.”

And then The City Of Atlantis escaped several bursts of Wraith Hive fire and jumped into Hyperspace once more.

The Wraith? They Remained, and turned their fire down to the massive amount of Ancient Settlements below them.

Oberoth roared in fury as fire bombarded his massive kingdom.

He really ought to have foreseen this turn of events.


 

“Well,” you are Tyzias Entykk, and you crack a smile as Atlantis’ long range sensors read the utter destruction being rained down on the Replicators. “That ought to keep them busy for a while.”

“Oh, definitely,” Keiko laughed. “Very much definitely so.”

“And you know, if the Wraith did happen to get the message out that Atlantis was still around,” Daraya smirks, “at this point, they might just think it was a Replicator trap to lure them in to their own doom.”

“Gotta love being able to cover our tracks,” you laugh.

“John,” Keiko radios, “once we’re out of scanning range, drop us out of Hyperspace and I’ll change course again. No sense giving them any means of tracking us based on trajectory, after all.”


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 19TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/27/0005.

With the full power of three ZPMs, Atlantis emerged from Hyperspace, and began its descent towards M12-578- a water based moon hovering in orbit next to a large, dry, crumbling planet and a nearby neighbor of a large green, forest covered moon.

Situated so near to the edge of the Galaxy as it was, M12-578 was able to see the distant rift of space-time between Milky Way and Alternia.

It was quite the sight to behold as Atlantis moved across in frame, and then began its descent towards the water surface below.

You are John Sheppard, and you’re a bit jealous, considering that you’re not looking at it with your own eyes, and instead observing it through the City’s sensors.

Oh well, you’ll get plenty of times to see it with a Jumper flight or two later.

“Huh, sensors are picking up a couple of small islands on the far side of the moon,” Mckay reports over radio. “We should probably avoid landing anywhere near those, Sheppard. They weren’t there the last time we went through here and I’m reading heavy signs of volcanic activity.”

“Got it,” You say, making sure to well avoid that area as you descend through the atmosphere. “We might not want to stay here for too long, then,” you say. “We aren’t the biggest fans of Volcanoes, after all.”

“Yeah,” Daraya says with a cough. “Definitely not a fan.”

“We’ll leave how long we stay up to Mikari,” Keiko says.

“Now, remember, Sheppard, we want to come down like a leaf kissing the water,” Mckay advises.

“I’ve trained in the simulations, Rodney,” you counter. “I can do this.”

And thus you do it.

You bring the City down onto the Ocean with little fanfare and not much fuss. There’s barely any wave displacement from the shields.

“See?” You say. “That wasn’t so bad.”


 

You are now Mikari Aiikho, and a few hours later, Altantis’ population has relocated back to the city- a day later than expected, but given the report that you’ve been given from AR-1 and AR-2, perfectly understandable.

Richard Woolsey awoke with a massive headache as Kanaya flushed his system of Nanites, reporting of having had a bizzare dream where the Stargate Program wasn’t real, and the Alternians were all human.

Needless to say, he was being reprimanded back to Earth for a full medical and psychological evaluation.

You look out your office window at the Gate room floor to see John reuniting with Jade and Argo- with little Liz held firmly in Argo’s arms, reaching up with grabby hands for John’s hair.

It’s adorable. It’s domestic. It’s slice of life.

...And to think that this almost didn’t happen because you didn’t insist Woolsey get checked out by medical.

You should have known something was off.

No, you could see it, but you ignored it.

It almost cost you all everything.

And yet... despite all of that... Now things go back to normal. The Doctor you’d forgotten was coming over in all the hustle to relocate the city is here now and helping Beckett and Fraiser on the Retro Virus... Doctor Kae and Doctor Freeman are still working on the Anti-hiveship virus...

And everyone else goes back to work.

You know for sure that the Replicators are going to be pissed off after what your teams just pulled. They sent a ship to destroy you, so they brought eight times the Wraith Hiveships to destroy them.

Life moves on...

But what about when it doesn’t? What happens when it stops cold and ceases to be?

That nearly happened for Richard Woolsey- Twice. It very nearly could be the case that Eight Wraith Hiveships were destroyed, and who knows how many Replicators were destroyed, permanently or otherwise.

There’s no magic Dakara Device in this Galaxy. Not this time. No magic Vast Glub to reprogram and have it shatter millions of Replicators at once.

...And there’s no telling who put what into motion, even.

One day after the next. One foot in front of the other. You’ll move forwards.

Chapter Text

"You seem pretty happy for a bog standard cargo shipment," Argo observed as Jade skipped down a step.

"Of course I am~! I ordered a packet of strawberry seeds!" Jade answered, and then sang, "Gonna grow some Straw~berries~! Straw~berries~!"

"As long as the pots and soil came too, that is," John remarked, twirling the crate opening hammer. "Can't grow strawberries without soil."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 19TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/27/0005.

A knock came to the apartment door.

"Coming!"

Footsteps pounded on the tile, a chain was slid, and a bolt unlocked. Click, went the knob, and twist, creak, the door opened.

"Hi, I was-" Victoria Bradley stopped. "Um. Hello? You're not who I was expecting."

Your name is Polypa Goezee, and you smile, friendly like, as you tip the blue hat you're wearing as part of your current disguise. "Yeah, no, I'd imagine not. Name's Sam. And, cliche as it may sound, you'll want to come with me if you want to live."

"Huh?" Victoria blinks. "Terminator? Are you selling something?" She moves to close the door. "Or--?"

"Sorry bout this," And then Vriska shimmers into view behind her as her illusion drops, and PCH-ZYU!

A Zat Gun you pilfered ages ago fires off, stunning the woman, and causing her to collapse into your arms.

You quickly head inside, dragging her with you, before Vriska closes the door, and redoes the locks.

"Well, this just went up a few levels of insanity." Vriska says. "And also, why'd you change aliases again?"

"Misdirection, obviously," you say. "She's gonna spend some time with us, so I want her to have the wrong names."

"Whatever," Vriska rolls her eyes, and takes the woman as you quickly head to the bedroom of the small apartment.

Victoria had just moved here from the last place she'd been staying at, hadn't even unpacked her suitcase yet. You captchalogue that, along with the boxes of belongings.

You've got to make this look as much like a kidnapping as possible.

Luggage secured, you head over to the small balcony and Fire-escape Vriska had entered the house from. You head out first, Vriska hands you Victoria, and you begin to carry her down to your recently stolen car, while Vriska leaves a message behind for your Mark to discover.

"Albert. She's under OUR protection now. If you want to finish you job, your time is ticking to a close. We'll text you the location. Come alone. When the bell strikes four, you're done for. With Much Hate, your Very Platonic Secret Admirers, --Freelance"

It's a simple message- written on a post it that's to be pasted dead center on the refrigerator door- one easily removed and stolen. If the SGC gets involved, the actual pad of post-its that the message was written on is to be left in a nearby drawer, and if Cassandra's smart enough, she'll figure out to run a pencil over it to get the same message.

Vriska hops out of the fire-escape and starts climbing down to the ground level. You've just gotten Victoria secured with seatbelts and a zip tie, and are just 'decorating' her with a wide brimmed hat and a pair of gaudy sunglasses when Vriska joins you.

"Let's go," She whispers quickly. "I think I heard combat boots coming down the hallway."

"Got it," You start the car and drive out of the alleyway.

Albert Monroe really didn't waste any time, did he?

Missy got in contact with you last night- apparently there was a CD Delivered to Atlantis that contained a Gate Address that was home to a planet full of Human Form Replicators. You suddenly understood a bit about why Damara and Monroe would want such a thing, but the question remains...

Why even crash a giant City to GET said address in the first place? It didn't make any sense. Surely there were easier ways? Unless Damara was playing Monroe the entire time? Which would explain why she didn't even tip him off that you've been trailing him.

If she never intended for him to get that address in the first place, along with whatever ELSE was on that CD, then...

You shake your head.

It doesn't matter.

You have a Job to finish.


 

O)< - STARGATE: ALTERNIA - >(O


 

Victoria Bradley woke up twenty minutes later- a bit longer than the standard recovery time for a first time zatting, you think, but it's workable.

"Wh..." She stirred awake. "What's going on? Where am I? Who are you people??"

"Miss Bradley," you greet, "I'm Sam, this is my partner Max. We're Freelance Detectives, hired to get you to safety." Only about the words "Partner, "freelance," and "hired" are true, but she doesn't need to know that. "There's a very bad man after you." That part, however, is very true.

"...Oh god. The man who came after my real parents-?" Victoria pales. "What's his name?"

"Albert Monroe," Vriska says. "You might've heard of him. He's wormed his way onto the IOA council."

"Oh- Fuck! 'Albert'? He's a descendant of The Marquis, isn't he?" Victoria swore a series of curses that you're quite frankly surprised by.

"Wouldn't know about any genetics," you lie, "but that's a reasonable guess."

"Wh... where are we going?" Victoria asks.

"A little place called Casa Bonita," Vriska answers. "It's got a lovely clock tower with a bell that's being decommissioned soon, so nobody really goes up there. Perfect place to stage a final confrontation."

"if Albert's as desperate as we believe he is," you add, "he's going to come. In person, to finish the job."

"What about the SGC?" Victoria asks.

"Their hands are tied with other problems Albert's caused them," you say entirely truthfully. "If they show up... they'll be there to clean up the mess."

"The mess??" Victoria stared on ahead, a shellshocked look on her face. "Y... you're not really detectives, are you?"

"Ah, you've got us," Vriska cracks a grin, reaching back to cut the zip ties. "We're more Freelance Police, wouldn't you say, 'Sam'?"

"You crack me up, Little Buddy," you counter with a similar grin.

Really, the best part about using aliases is being able to make references like this.


 

A long drive later...

You arrive at the restaurant- Casa Bonita, a Colorado local mexican food place with a Stage Show theme, a giant indoors waterfall, eyestrain lighting issues for days, and a fairly decent arcade. It's loud, it's obnoxious, and easy to get lost in. The perfect place, really.

The clock tower access is deep inside the place, so you have to go in the old fashioned way.

Victoria follows you inside. You three get in line, order food, and grab a tray as you wait in line.

This place is sort of insane, really. You really wouldn't have ever thought of using this place if Joey hadn't brought you and Mierfa here once a couple of weeks ago.

Your food is gotten, placed on three colorful trays, and you're lead out into the dining hall floor by a waitress to get a table in view of the shows they hold on varrying schedules.

Today they're running them every fifteen minutes, adding to the chaos.

"This place is hurting my ears," Vriska bemoans as you get a table rather close to the giant waterfall.

"Sorry, what was that?" You joke. "I couldn't hear you over the sound of the roaring waterfall."

You eat your food in the relative peace of the show being performed.

Some cowboy chasing a man in a gorilla suit across the stage built into the waterfall- voices being broadcast through the loudspeakers hidden away in the place.

Spotlights illuminate the stage and the show, with everything else being barely lit at all for contrast.

It's a funky little show, you'll give it that much. The stage-guns make very real sounds, but otherwise are definitely blanks.

Cowboy gets "shot" by some rival guy who showed up to also chase the Gorilla suit guy, and he falls off the bridge dramatically into the pool of water below.

Of course, you can see him swimming for the rock wall and starting to free climb it shortly there after, but the stage lights are focused on the badguy and the poor Gorilla-suit now.

Cowboy makes his heroic return, and the dastardly rival takes a plunge instead.

And just like that, show's over.

You get out your cellphone, and send a pre-made text, telling Albert Monroe your location.

"Let's go to the arcade," you say.

And so, you go upstairs to the moderately better lit arcade, and chill out at the skiiball games while you wait for the Mark to make his way here.

Vriska and Vicotira play a bit more legitimately than you do- aiming to gather tickets for the prize table.

You just idle and pretend to throw balls whenever they do. If anyone were paying attention, they'd notice you have a full rack of nine balls left and not a one has been actually thrown.

And then Monroe shows up with a couple of disguised goons at his side.

Lovely. They're even packing concealed firearms.

You throw your first ball of the day- bouncing it horribly off of the rim and into one of the two goons' guts.

He crumples, and you feign shock and surprise- "Oh! I'm SO SORRY!" You grab another Skiiball discretely. "I really should have better aim than that!"

The other goon goes for his gun- Albert sneers in victory.

You throw the other Skiiball and knock the goon's gun out of his hand with a loud crunch of bone being the unfortunate bystandard between metal and hard plastic.

He yells in pain, and Albert ducks as Vriska throws another of the balls you didn't use in the game. That happens to hit the first goon in the head as he tries to go for his own gun.

KLONK!

He falls down.

"Run!" you grab Victoria by the hand, and she doesn't need to be told twice. Needless to say, Albert grabs his gun next and starts firing, giving chase.

Nobody hears it- they think the next show has already started.

You and Vriska lead Victoria to the stage area, and you barge through the Employees Only Door onto the stage as Vriska illusions the person manning the controls into thinking its a legit show and turning on the lights.

Albert chases you through, and you begin a game of cat-and-mouse much like the last show's gorilla chase. Why they put clocktower access up here in the stage show area, you'll never know, but the audience cheers as Albert opens fire, trying to hit your bait- Victoria.

Vriska's illusions do the trick of making him miss. She's having him think she's a foot further to his right than she actually is.

You hear someone yell in the audience as a shot goes wide.

"WH-! That's real! Someone call 911!" a shriek goes out.

Panic starts to ensue, but that's just about as much as you could hope for.

You finally find the clock tower access, kick the door open, and through it you, Victoria, and Vriska rush.

Albert Monroe gives chase.

You're gritting your teeth through the climb up higher and higher and higher...

This is all entirely too messy for your liking. This job isn't clean. It's nowhere near as precise as you'd like.

But... you have to make it flashy. Make it public. You have to, or else people will have their doubts. You have to make it known.

A man with a gun chasing three women through a restaurant, shooting wildly into the audience thinking its a stage show? That's going to make local news, let alone the international news once they find out it's Albert Monroe. They'll hear it with his own words, you're sure of that much.

You three reach the top of the clocktower, and Virska begins setting her trap- making the floor look nothing like it actually is. Gaps appear where they shouldn't be, and all in all, makes it seem like you crossed a rickety wooden plank that's nowhere near as rotten in reality as it will seem. Meanwhile, you quietly decaptchalogue a tape recorder into your hand and hit record before shoving it into your jacket pocket.

Albert appears from the stairwell, huffing, puffing, glaring at you.

He takes aim with his gun and- Click. Clickclickclickclick!

Out of ammo.

He growls, tossing it to the ground, and pulls out a knife. "I don't know who the hell you two bitches are, but you've interfered with a very long game of family revenge. Let me kill Victoria Bradley, and I'll consider letting you live."

"Oh, geeze, no," Vriska laments, falsely. "Whatever shall we do. He's got a KNIFE which is ten times more terrifying than a GUN!"

"Why?" Victoria asks. "Why are you doing this to my family for!?"

"Cordelia Gallo murdered our ancestor!" Albert declares. "She murdered him in cold blood, and worse, she murdered our COUNTRY in a bloodbath of flames and destruction! The Marquis foresaw this as a possibility and left a contingency. His son ignored it, and so it fell to the next generation to see it through to its bitter end! I've hunted the Grey Wolf Spawn- the devil children he spawned and lost control of- out of revenge for the shame brought to the de Blois Family Name! For the SHAME brought about by our country's fall into the shadows! I! WILL! KILL! THEM! ALL!" He points the knife at Victoria. "You will be the first of the last, 'Dear' Victoria! And then your sister, her daughter, and their damned clones! They will die! Just like your parents! Just like THEIR parents!!"

"Okay," you raise your hands- decaptchaloguing a Zat into one hand, that Albert doesn't see because you've rehearsed with with Vriska. Her illusion extends to the Zat being invisible. "All I have to say to that is you're NUTS! Way more insane than most people I'm hired to take down!"

"HAHAHAH!" Albert laughs. "You? Take me down?? It's laughable that a girl your age can even think you have a chance at being my defeater! I've hunted grey wolves! I've hunted and I've killed! The smartest adversaries of man, and they FELL TO ME!" He roared, laughing all the way.

You take careful aim, lowering you hands somewhat. "C'mon. Maybe we can work things out? You don't have to kill anyone and maybe we can just..."

"NO!" he points the knife at you. "You know too much, girls. You'll be collateral. Just as everyone else who has died along my many hunts. Nobody will bat an eye at those cursed by a Grey Wolf dying so violently of their claws!"

So, he's actually going to try killing you then.

"Okay," you say. "So much for negotiating a way where everybody lives," you say in mock disappointment. "I was really hoping nobody had to die today." Time stills.

You... were actually a little hopeful that he might surrender. Might not be that much of an asshole.

You were hoping he'd surrender and be nice despite everything that told you he wouldn't.

You gave him a chance to get out of this alive, and he didn't know he threw it away.

Now he's threatened to keep you from A: Finishing the Job, and B: Returning Home to your... to your FAMILY.

Family life has gotten to you, you realize. Just a bit. Made you soft, or rusted, just a little. Damn it all. But that bit of rust flakes right off in the heat of battle and you're a sharpened edge again. He's threatening your family now, indirectly, and you can't let that slide what so ever.

Maybe that's why didn't fire your Zat gun, and instead Captchalogued it again.

Maybe that's why you decided to ram the bastard as you ran across "thin air" to get at him while he wasn't even stunned.

And Maybe that's why you grabbed his own damned knife while still in hand, and with a flicker of flames running along your arms, jammed the suddenly super heated blade up beneath his ribcage.

"GRKH-" he gasped as you backed away from him just enough to get some windup room and-

"ROT IN HELL!!!" You kick him in the knife-stabbed-gut, and he stumbles backwards against the railing meant to keep people from falling and he tumbles.

And Oh.

Does he fall. Like Icarus without his wings, insides burning the whole way down.

You peer out over the railing, and watch as he hits the roof of a white backed Semi Trailer. It crumples on impact, and surprisingly, no red pools in the freshly made crevice. The flames sputter out, and all that's left is an empty shell gazing up at you with horror in his burnt out eyes.

Step Four Complete, if messily. You glance at the tattoos Rose had hidden, rising once more to the forefront against your skin along your arms. Green flames standout sharply, both artisticly and literally speaking. It takes a little force of will to make both the tattoos and the flames themselves fade back down.

You remember, long ago that you'd asked if Joey could make your body light up with flames along where the tattoos were. She didn't do it then, but it seems you've unlocked that ability yourself, now.

You're going to have to keep this one under wraps. That's way too flashy and and noticeable. It's identifiable as far as powers go, down right akin to a thumb print.

Time to get out of here.

You take out the tape recorder, stop its recording, and had it to Victoria. "Here," you say. "For the cops and SGC."

"But- you're not going to stay?" Victoria asks.

"We'll keep an eye out, but we can't be caught up in this publicly," you answer, shaking your head. "As far as you're concerned? We were just helpful bystanders who got caught up in an assassination attempt against you." You hand her the captchacard full of her luggage, and say, "Maybe move somewhere with a bit better security than an easily open-able fire escape window?"

"I will, thanks." Victoria nods, taking the card and seamlessly adding it to her own deck.

You nod to Vriska, and she cloaks you both from Victoria's sight at that point, making it seem as if you've both 'linked away' through a pair of Relto Boosk. She hangs around trying to see if you're still there, but gives up as the cops arrive.

You listen as she tells the tale exactly as it happened, not leaving anything out, and making the strange assumption that you two were hired as a last act of protection by her biological parents in the case of their demise.

Good, that's a false lead for them to waste time on.

Once the SGC arrive- specifically, SG-1 arrives accompanied by a few marine squads- and Victoria is safely within their custody and protection, you and Vriska slip away and make use of the Relto Book Rose and Roxy had given you. You both link away, and travel one step further to the opened Neighborhood book.

You arrive in the quiet, abandoned neighborhood witgin D'ni, and find a place to sit and relax as a wind down.

The job is done.

But you don't feel like it's entirely finished, given Damara's involvement in all of this.

Rose Lalonde links in five hours later.

"Well," she says, peering at you both with flickering violet eyes. "That was certainly a violent end to Albert Monroe."

"I suppose it was, wasn't it?" Vriska asks. "Didn't think you had it in ya to ram him off the roof like that, Goezee."

"What can I say, Serket?" You shrug. "The moment he threatened my life, I just saw red."

"Naturally." Rose chuckles, and uses the Shaper Crystal to turn you both back to your normal appearances.

It feels good to be back within your own skin, but... the Tattoos along your body give you pause now. You feel warm thinking about them, not just because of the flame of Kismesisitude they represent, or the Volcano's lava that burnt you... but because of the flames now residing within you.

You're incendiary.

"I have to say," Rose smiles. "As violent as it was, the job is done. My family is safe, thanks to you two. I've already heard that with Monroe's death, and that tape recording surfacing, the IOA is being thoroughly scrubbed for his involvement and corruption. If we're lucky, we'll go back to their reigning indifference and not their over-exhausting executive meddling."

"I'd say any time," Vriska- no, Ashler now, the job is done- says as she runs her hands over her face, ears, and horns to ensure everything is in place again. "But no. Actually. I really don't want to do any of that again."

"Same," you agree. "It's harder to do the job right when you have attachments." You look Rose in the eyes, and say, "But... I know that sometimes these things have to be done. If you ever need me, just ask. I'll do what I can."

"Though I doubt I'll need it, thanks," Rose nods. "Now. How about we get you two home to Diaspora again?"

A clothes change and a few Linking Books later, and... You take a deep breath of the familiar air, and take in the familiar sighs and sounds...

You're back in your lawnring, looking at your hive shared with Joey and Mierfa... and you can hear the TV running some cartoon for Toko, no doubt.

You step towards the hive's front door and fish out your keys.

But, before you can open it, Joey opens the door, and smiles brightly at you.

"Well," she quips. "Look who the cat dragged in!"

You can't help it, you laugh. For all sorts of reasons, you laugh at that simplistic remark.

She gives you a hug, and says, "Welcome back, Poly."

"Thanks," you hug back. "Good to be back." You hug tightly. "We have a lot to talk about."

No more lies.


 

You are now Tegiri Kalbur, and you look at your Co-pilot/Moirail as she slinks into the cabin on the Diasporan lake with a tired look on her face.

She clicks on the lights to the cabin, and freezes upon seeing you sitting there.

"So," you summarize, "you and Polypa both go missing for almost a month, and not hours after some asshole in the IOA gets himself killed trying to assassinate three women, two unknowns, and one Victoria Bradley, you finally show back at the cabin you were supposed to be in days ago."

"...How long were you waiting there?" She asks.

"I got off training early two days ago, couldn't find you or Polypa anywhere..." You answer, looking her in her eyes. "Now I hear about all this and you're back? Do I even want to know about what happened?"

"You probably don't," Ashler answers, not even flinching as she slings off a bag of luggage to the floor. "But I can tell you if you want to know."

You sigh. "Just... tell me. You two didn't do anything that could get you in trouble, did you?"

Ashler considers it, and then says with a glint in her eye that makes you think maybe you should switch back to using her old name again: "Nah. I think it was all pretty cut and dry self defense."

You sigh. "Well. I guess that's all I can ask for."

"Gee, thanks," she laughs.


 

You are now Damara Megido, and you frown disapprovingly as you catch sight of the news report on a TV Monitor.

What a mess.

Wasn't anything you could do to make this a better outcome, though. And besides, he got you what you needed already anyways, even if he hadn't gotten it to you yet. Lying liar who lies said you wouldn't get what you needed unless you got him his 'key to immortality'. Hah. Big woop. Immortality is vastly overrated.

It's all too easy to raid a storage warehouse with your abilities, after all.

And now, you have more parts to the puzzle... but you need some more time. Time to stall SG-1 in their search.

You make a call. "Hello? Is this Farrow-Marshal Aeronautics?  I would like to speak to Charlotte Mayfield, your Vice President. Please tell her it is a matter regarding a Codename of 'Qetesh.' .... Ah, Yes, I will hold."

Chapter Text

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 23RD, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/01/0005.

"I don't see why we have to eat out for," you are RIDER, and you glance around the very fancy 'ITALIAN' themed place that all of SG-1 is eating out at tonight. "We could just eat on base."

"Well, that's kind of the point," Mitchel says. "How often do any of us go out to eat somewhere like this?"

"Not... often?" Cassie winces.

"I think we order in more often than not, given how busy we are," Jude remarks.

"I for one am VERY happy for this near-equivalent to a date," Vala says. "Even if it's team focused rather than solo."

"It's not a date for any of us except Cassie and Jude, Vala," Jonas says, peering intently at his menu.

"Yeah, I know," Vala says. "Still, great ambiance." She smirks, and shifts her legs beneath the table, and you feel something nudge your leg.

"Wrong Person, Vala," you say.

"...Damn it," She huffs, and the foreign sensation on your limb goes away.

"Anyways," Mitchel coughs. "Point is. We're all having a nice night out, and celebrating the fact that the IOA's finally let up on us for a bit."

"Even if it took the mysterious death of one of their members after he tried assassinating Roxy's sister," Jude remarks coldly. "But sure. Let's go with that."

You spot some man at a payphone near the restrooms glancing at you all kinda creepily..

"Seriously, guys, I really think we should've just eaten at base. Or home. Going out like this just screams like we're begging for trouble," you say. "Maybe we should just call it."

"I think we'll be fine," Cassie says. "I don't have any vibes right now and-"

And then she stops on that front.

"...Shit," she whispers, glancing at you in concern. Everyone else does as well.

"Like I said, maybe we should Call. It." You stress.

Mitchel glances into his glass of soda's reflection. "Ah, yep. We've got a creep by the payphones near the restrooms staring at us."

"So, uh," Jonas coughs. "Should we spring the trap and find out who's spying on us or just leave?"

"I vote we trip the trap," And with that Vala gets up, announcing, "I gotta use the restroom!"

And then she starts skipping over that way, seemingly not even paying attention to anything.

You watch as the creep at the phones follows Vala into the hallway, not noticing Cassandra getting up and-

"I'll go with her," Cassandra follows Vala.

"Ah, hell," Jude mutters. "Fuck it. I gotta use the restroom too."

"Same," Mitchel agrees.

"Oh, yeah," Jonas nods.

"Yeah, why not," you say, and follow as well.

Needless to say the Creep who had a SYRINGE ready to jab into Vala's neck got a severe six way beat down and a Zat shot for his troubles.


 

The get away driver sat in his car, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel as he waited for his cohort and fellow attempted kidnapper to exit with the Mal Doran woman and--

Knock Knock.

He paused his tapping, and glanced at the window right next to him and stared into the grinning face of Cameron Mitchel of SG-1.

"Howdy," he greets. "Mind stepping out of the vehicle?"

The Get Away Driver slammed his foot off the breaks onto the gas and ran for the exit.

He failed to take his eyes off of Cameron Mitchel, however, and failed to notice that some poor unfortunate soul in a rather large pick up truck was backing up right at that moment.

SLAM!!! CRASH!!!

The Get Away Driver side-slammed the Pickup truck's bed, and his airbags deployed.

The Get Away Driver was very stunned from the sudden stop, and was moaning as the Pickup Truck's driver got out and started yelling at him for the damages to his

BRAND

NEW

TRUCK!

Mitchel winced as the poor get-away driver was yanked out of his vehicle and thrown to the ground by the very angry pickup truck driver. "Yeeah, I probably should stop this before it escalates."


 

Tied up in the kitchen of the restaurant, the two attempted kidnappers found themselves being stared down by the two very unamused women of SG-1.

"So," Vala began towards the man who had the needle. "A knockout drug needle? Couldn't even get me a classic Chloroform soaked Rag?? I'm not sure whether I should be offended at the fact you thought so low of me to not go for the good stuff, or the fact you thought you could kidnap me in the first place!" She brandished a very large meat cleaver. "Now. Could you tell me why someone wanted to kidnap me, or do I have to start removing limbs?"

"Now, I'm only going to offer you this once," Cassandra leaned over a table covered in cut up meats to glare at the battered get-away driver. "Tell me who hired you, and why you just tried to kidnap our friend, and I might consider Not leaving you at the tender mercies of the driver whose car you just assaulted in your botched get-away attempt and might actually let you get medical assistance for that bruised ego of yours."

Needless to say, one of the two men sang like a canary.


 

A third man managed to get back to his base of operations- a TRUST FACILITY hidden in an old abandoned warehouse. He huffed and puffed after having run all that way from the restaurant instead of driving.

Needless to say, the Goa'uld woman by the name of Athena was not pleased to learn that the kidnapping had been botched that badly.

She was about to order the scuttling of her base when everything within the warehouse was beamed up via Asgard tech into one of the Odyssey's storage bays.

SG-1 stood guard at the only entrance to the room- each armed with Zats.

"Hey, so... I heard you liked kidnappings, so we kidnapped you Kidnappers," Vala grinned at the Goa'uld before shooting her with her own Zat.


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 24TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/02/0005.

Your name is Hank Landry, and you stare at the after action report folder sitting on the table infront of you.

"So... let me get this straight," you stare up at SG-1, standing infront of you looking all proud. "All in one night off, you managed to foil a Goa'uld run Trust kidnapping attempt designed to drag the information stored in Vala's brain from the time she served as a Goa'uld host regarding a fancy Ancient Tablet that supposedly serves as a treasure map to a vast, grand, Ancient Treasure?"

"Uh, Yes, Sir," Mitchel nods. "We did."

"Yep," Cassandra nods. "That about sums it all up."

"And we managed to get back in time to order our meals and have a good dinner, too," Vala says. "Though, the meatballs on that spaghetti were horribly bland! I would NOT recommend it, Sir. Not one bit."

"Atleast we didn't get kicked out," Jonas shrugs. "And we captured one of the few non-Ba'al Goa'uld plants within the Trust."

"Even if she did turn out to be someone we tried talking to back when we were dealing with that exploding building from a few months back," Jude says. "I wonder if she was implanted back then too?"

"Who cares?" Rider asks.

"Indeed." You shake your head. "Well. I have to say Agent Barrett is going to enjoy working over the human Trust agents, after they brainwashed him into freeing Ba'al." You close the folder. "Teal'c's already petitioned to interrogate the Goa'uld, and General O'neill's signed off on it. So, what do I care at this point? Just another folder for the pile of SG-1 mission reports."

You throw said folder into your desk drawer.

"In the mean time," You say, grabbing another briefing folder, and handing it over to Mitchel. "You six should look over this report, and decide if you think its worth investigating. Who knows, maybe you can derail a Lucian Alliance operation in the matter of a few hours too?"

"It's worth a try, Sir," Mitchel smiles.

"Dismissed," you say, and SG-1 leaves.

You shake your head. Good God. How dumb can the Trust Agents even be at this point to try kidnapping a member of SG-1 in an Italian restaurant like that when the Whole Team was present?

That's just asking for trouble.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 26TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/04/0005.

A Puddle Jumper left Atlantis' upper bay and flew out into space- exiting the moon's orbit, and descending towards the broken, baren wasteland of a planet below.

"Good luck out there," you are Mikari Aiikho, and you wish the recon team good luck- receiving a "Thanks, Jumper 1 out" in return- before heading back to your office.

You were going to send someone to investigate the planet and other moon eventually, but John, Jade, and Argo insisted on doing it themselves as a Date.

You can't help but to shake your head as you settle in and dig into the paperwork.

To think that the man in the IOA behind all your troubles would get himself killed trying to kill Rose and Roxy's long lost relative. Hopefully it will root enough corruption from the supposed oversight agency to let you have some breathing room for a few days.

You could use some breathing room after the cluster fuck that has been the last-

"Mikari, Teyla, to medical, if you please," Carson Beckett requests over the radio.

You sigh.

No rest for the weary. "I'm on my way, Carson."

You head to the Medical lab, and find your two on-call Doctors- Carson Beckett and Janet Fraiser- as well as their requested help in Retro Virus production- Asuka Shikinami- and two Wraith and a human male.

Well, former Wraith, in the case of Michael Kenmore. Still a Wraith in the case of the girl- ELLIA- a bit older now from the last time you saw her, and looking a bit more

Wraith like than she did before as well. Her adoptive father, ZADDIK, stands at her side.

"What's the situation?" You inquire as you arrive, near about the same time as Teyla.

"We're just waiting on Kanaya," Fraiser says. "But, as you know, if all goes according to plan... Today we'll be giving Michael his last dose of Retro Virus, and Ellia her first and only dose of Retro Virus."

"You've stabilized it?" Teyla asks.

"We believe so, yes," Carson nods. "But if it goes wrong, Kanaya will be on hand with Shaper to revert any anomalous changes."

"There is one concern we have, though," Shikinami speaks up. "We've never tested the Retro Virus on a female Wraith before. Only males. We're not sure if that will cause any difference in the reaction or not."

"Right," you nod- this isn't news to you.

Teyla, though, asks, "I thought we were waiting to run this test for another few days?"

"Unfortunately," Zaddik answers, "Ellia has started to feel a hunger normal food cannot quench. We are running out of time."

"...I see," Teyla frowns.

You notice that, and then you ask, "Since I already knew all of that, I assume there was something else?"

"Yes," Ellia steps forwards. "I... When I arrived here a few minutes ago I started to sense a Wraith, far below us." She points out in the direction you know to be where the planet this water moon orbits lays. "I, felt you should be aware. It's old. Ancient. As old as the last great war."

"You can tell that from this distance?" You ask.

"Even I can sense it," Michael says. "I didn't realize what it was at first until she brought it up. But... it's there. Subtly pulsing at the back of my head. It's a very powerful Wraith indeed. I'd dare say it's a Queen, but even Queens are nowhere near that powerful even with age."

"I think I know what you mean," Teyla says. "I've been sensing something as well, but I did not think it was a Wraith. I've felt none of the usual malice. I thought I was imagining it if I am being completely honest."

You feel your heart skip a beat as you process that information.

"We just sent a Jumper down to investigate the planet," you say. "I'll go radio them, Teyla, go find Barzum and ask if she's been sensing similar." You nod to Ellia, and give a quick bow. "Thank you for letting us know. I hope the Retro Virus conversion goes well."

"As do I," the girl nods. "Thank you, Miss Aiikho."

You smile, nod, and then head out- briefly pausing at the exit to let Kanaya through. Teyla stays for a moment to converse with Michael over the Wraith they've been sensing.

Damn it. It's never anything easy, is it?

Just ONCE you'd like for things to go smoothly for more than a day.


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

You are now Jade Jackson, and you frown as the Jumper's scanners pick up an energy fluctuation. "Hey, John? I'm picking up energy readings over that mountain range, just past that crater."

"I thought this planet was uninhabited?" Argo asks.

"It should be," John says, "but then again, we know the Diaspora Cavern had a cloaking device that kept them hidden from surface scans back on Alternia. I'm cloaking us and taking us in to investigate, just to be on the safe side."

As you get closer to the anomalous reading, a radio signal from Atlantis comes in- breaking up with Static.

"SSSSer One, this is AtlaSSSis. PleaseSSSSSSSSSSSSS?"

"Uh, Jumper One to Atlantis, we can barely hear you," John replies.

"SSSSSSS, TeySSSSSSrzumSSSSSSSSSScted aSSSSSSth presenSSSSSSSSsurfac-"  And then the signal cuts out.

You frown, and tap at the console. "That's odd. Must be interference from the energy signal we're getting cloes to."

"Sounds like a good way to hide something to me," Argo says.

"Yeah," John frowns. "They probably picked up the same reading we're picking up on and were warning us."

You cross an invisible barrier in space, and suddenly the empty desert before you gets filled in with gigantic remains of metal structures.

"Oh my god," Argo whispers. "Are those what I think they are?"

"Looks like the remains of a Megazord," you stare at what's definitely a giant leg bent at the knee resting closest to you. "Just... spread out across the desert."

"Must have been one hell of a bang," John observes. "Probably part of what caused the planet to explode like it did too."

The jumper's sensors re-calibrate for inside the field, and- "Oh wow! We've got life signs. Clustered around each of the robot's major remains. Looks like some scattered clusters within the desert in-between... some moving at incredible speeds."

"Land vehicles," John points out the window at something moving along the ground in the distance, creating a plume of dust behind it. The Jumper runs a scan on it and brings up a diagram on the HUD.

"Oooh, Mechshift!" you can't help but grin as you look at the design of a device that seems to transform from a large tank into a four-legged walker. ...It's also cobbled together from what the Jumper identifies as scrap metal and pieces of Puddle Jumper components.

"So we stumbled on a Mad Max world," John summarizes.

"Cloaking was a good idea then," Argo says, ears flattening against their skull. "If they're hiding themselves away like this, there's probably a good reason for it. And if they have that kind of technology... they might just shoot us out of the sky."

"...Got a good read on another energy signal," you say, bringing it up on the HUD. "It's over in that mountain range. Looks like it might be a ZPM.... And it's looking to be in the exact center of this cloaking field."

"Probably what's powering the cloaking field," John guesses. "I'm taking us over that way."

You fly over the giant remains of the settlement, including the giant torso that seems to have been transformed into a Colosseum of sorts.

Your flight takes you over head of a battle between a warrior in heavy red armor wielding giant claw gauntlets against a fighter in light blue armor wielding axes.

"Gladiator matches," John frowns. "I don't think they'd take to kindly to us squatting on their moon."

"Just another reason to leave as soon as possible," Argo says. "There's no telling if the Asurans tracked us here, after all. Or the Wraith."

Soon, you near the mountain range, and spot the robot's head- another settlement housed in and around it.

Warriors in black and red armor train in large formations under the supervision of a large fellow in black and green armor.

"If the other people wouldn't like us, these guys definitely wouldn't," you say, frowning. "I'm getting Radiation-induced-insanity-Genii vibes off of 'em."

"Any signs of actual radiation poisoning?" John asks.

"...No," you say. "Doesn't look like it. Of course, given certain half-lifes, it could have decayed away thousands of years ago, and the damage could still be felt in their genetics all this time later."

You pass them by, and continue on into the mountains.

"We're coming up on the energy signal soon." You report. "Looks like...."

And then you pass by some large mountains obscuring the view of a Valley below.

A very large Valley, with rocky crags forming a sort of maze within. You'd almost think it was natural, if not for the repeating pattern and curved, yet straight faced walls. And then there, dead in the center of it...

"Oh not again," John laments.

It's another Atlantis styled City Ship- heavily damaged, at that, but the central spire still stands tall and proud.

"Explains the giant cloaking bubble, though," Argo says. "They just did what we did and turned their shield into a cloak."

"Any life signs in there?" John asks.

You check... "One. Deep within the city, near where the energy source is. I'd pin it as the ZPM power station in our City if it has the same layout. But it's faint. Could be someone locked in suspended animation."

"Guess we're going in then," John says, taking the Jumper in towards the central spire.

As you completely circumvent the maze, you can't help put peer at all the damage this other City has taken.

Many of the towers have been blasted apart, or collapsed in some way. There are large chunks of what would be Atlantis' South and West piers that are just completely craterized. And the Control Room windows seem to have been blasted open at some point.

"...Roof doors aren't responding to my requests to open them," John says. "Guess we're going in through the windows."

John threads the Jumper through the window that would be behind where the Stargate would be- and partially is.

Twisted chunks of ring shaped metal lay sticking out of the floor, and far up the top of the stairwell lies the rest of the gate.

"Someone made sure this place was hard to find," you say, shuddering slightly at the visible damage the place had taken, and imagining what horrible tragedy could cause similar in your own city.

John brings the Jumper down, and you land.

"I'll leave the Jumper cloaked," he says. "Anyone want to stay and guard it?"

"Nope," you shake your head.

Argo laughs. "Hell no!!"

And with that, the three of you gear up, and exit the Jumper.


 

You are Argo Lalonde, and you follow behind John and Jade as they take point with P-90s equipped with anti-replicator crystals- just to be on the safe side.

You? You've got a Zat, also to be on the safe side.

You keep your bioluminescent wings and hair dim for the moment, lest you awaken some slumbering creatures.

Still, the sunlight peering in through the shattered windows means you've got plenty of light to see by for now.

You make your way over to the shattered remains of the Gate, and Jade inspects it with a short burst of green sparks from her powers.

"Well?" You ask. "What happened?"

"...The Naquadah in this is scrambled," Jade answers. "The molecules are all out of alignment. Whatever blew this Gate up blew it up by utterly changing its molecular structure. It's barely even Naquadah, and I don't know how that's possible."

"Experiment gone wrong?" John offers. "Could be whatever they were doing here with the giant robot backfired and shattered, well... everything?"

"Could be," Jade frowns. "Whatever it is, isn't something I'd want to run into, though."

"Let's check out the control room," you suggest.

"Mmh," Jade nods. "We might be able to salvage something from the database if a terminal survived."

"And if not, Hologram room," you say.

The Control Room is shattered, though. Control crystals for every console shattered, and it was clear the explosion of the Gate had heavily shattered everything within the immediate area.

The stairway up to the Jumper bay was intact, however, and traveling upwards revealed the whole place to be empty of Jumpers entirely.

...There was a single Wraith Dart parked in the bay.

"Well, that's ominous," John says.

"Yep," you nod.

"Definitely," Jade nods as well.

"Let's hope the lifesign in power isn't a Wraith," John says. "Let's go to the hologram room and see what we can find out about this place."


 

You are John Sheppard, and you peer at the Hologram room- or more specifically, the abundance of Wraith Tech set up in here, all tied into the database.

"Seems the Wraith had the same idea we had," you say, approaching the holographic platform. "Talk to the Hologram, learn whats up..."

It flickered to life, and the image of a man appeared, glowering. "I told you I am not-" The hologram stopped. "Oh. You are not the Wraith that set itself up here."

Well shit.

"Nope," Jade says. "100% not Wraith right here."

"Greetings, fellow Lanteans," The Hologram says, nodding towards you specifically. "I must inquire as it has been quite some time, why have you returned to Spherus Magna?"

"As far as our database was aware, there wasn't any settlement on this planet at all," Jade says. "We didn't even know it had a name."

The Hologram frowns. "I see. So they decided to erase us from history then. Fitting, given the failure that occurred."

"What exactly happened here?" Argo asks.

"This Facility- Spherus Magna- was experimenting with bio-mechanical augmentation of organic lifeforms in an attempt to see if we could create a mechanical immunity to the Wraith. While these experiments were being performed, a discovery was made." The Hologram answers bringing forth a hologram above him, depicting a pool of liquid silver bubbling up from beneath the surface of the planet. "A hyper-energetic substance with an incredible trait- a Fifty Fifty chance of either transforming anything exposed to it into something newer, greater, more powerful.... Or destroying it utterly."

"The Stargate," Jade breathes out.

"Yes," The hologram plays a surveillance camera recording of a woman hurling a bucket of the silvery substance at the Stargate.

The substance splashed across the Stargate and began bubbling, and then the Gate began to glow red as the silvery substance somehow spread across its entire surface... and then-

With a flash of crimson light, the camera feed cut to static.

"We called this substance Energized Protodermis," The Hologram says. "Its discovery caused the locals native to this planet to go to war over its transformative properties. We are unsure exactly of what the element is made out of, as despite our best attempts to replicate the material in solid and liquid forms that were not nearly as reactive, those substances are akin closer to elements of Naquadah and Neutronium than they are the original element. Some of our scientists suspected that it was born into our universe through a rift in space time. Others, believed it a naturally occurring element. Regardless, it was highly sought after, and it was entirely contained around the core of our planet."

"So, war broke out, and it got misused?" You guess. "Then the planet went bang like the Stargate did?"

"Precisely," The Hologram nods. "The planet Spherus Magna suffered a great cataclysm after the Element became excited, and detonated a vast quantity of itself. We attempted to contain the explosion- diverting as much of the energy through this facility as we could, however, severe damage was taken, and when the after-results were seen, most of the survivors left for Atlantis or other settlements within Pegasus."

"So what's with the Giant Robot out in the desert?" Jade asks.

"Ah, the Prototype." The Hologram grows nostalgic for a moment. "Those of us who remained decided to rectify our mistake, at the very least in an attempt to fix what we had done wrong to this world. Unfortunately, the Wraith War was picking up at that time, and our resources were growing thin. We made a prototype super robot that exploded upon failing to initailize. Our second attempt did not fail. This robot was sent off into space to analyze planets from across the Galaxy to study their composition and to discover if Energized Protodermis was present on any. Of those that it was deemed present on, analysis of the planets structural integrity was performed, and the data to be saved. The end goal, when its mission was completed, was for that robot to return, and restore Spherus Magna to its former glory and whole state. Unfortunately, it has not yet done so, and I fear the Wraith may have sabotaged it. This facility had recorded it on approach to this Galaxy, however, we lost the signal some time ago, and have been unable to track it ever since."

You consider that, then say, "So... Speaking of the Wraith, that Wraith here that's messing with things. What's he want?"

"Interestingly, a weapon to destroy his own kind," The Hologram says. "However, given the unstable nature of Energized Protodermis, and the significantly reduced amount present within this planet that will likely be needed to restore it whole, offering assistance to this Wraith has been deemed... Ill considered at best."

"Well, thanks for that," you say. "I guess we've got a Wraith to go talk to."

"What are you thinking, John?" Jade asks.

"Retro Virus," you answer.


 

The Ascended Being pretending to be a Hologram watched as the trio left the room with some heavy consideration to be done.

"I wonder what I will have to do to convince them to leave before Velika is supposed to awaken for the day, if at all?" he muses aloud, absently scrubbing through the City and the Wraith's databases to remove all traces of the conversation he just had with the Atlantians. "I suspect I have a few hours more still. Once this facility is secured, I will have to see about the repairs. So Close! And yet so far away..."

He vanishes from the room, complaining to himself about how it might very well take a whole thousand years or more before he figured out how to repair the Robot that had crash landed just so VERY near to completing its mission.


 

You are once again Jade Jackson, and you take up position behind John, with Argo behind you, as you approach the ZPM power room- or what should be there based on Atlantis' layout.

And there he is- a single lone Wraith, hunched over the console, typing away at it idle-ly with one hand, and casually just... resting his other hand atop a large rat- slowly, slowly, slowly, draining the thing of its life as he worked.

You all just sort of stare at it for a moment- and the Wraith laughs.

"You can put down your weapons, Sheppard, Jackson, Lalonde," he grunts out. "I mean you no harm."

John glances at you in concern, then he calls out- "Uh, Hi? How do you know our names?"

"Are you kidding me?" The Wraith drawls out in a low tone, not even looking away from his work. "Your thoughts have broadcast loud and clear since you landed in this system."

A mind reader?? You-

"Finding that hard to believe? I would blame that rift up in space between galaxies if you want a cause," The Wraith stops typing at the computer, picks up the rat fully in his hand, and turns to face you, a strange, knowing look on his face. "And yes, I do mean that Rift has given me.... much greater powers of the psychic nature than others of my kind have had, Sheppard. And that does mean exactly what you think it means when they found out."

John winces. "I was thinking that, yeah..."

"The Wraith tried to kill you, you escaped, and went looking for a means to kill them too?" Argo asks.

"Indeed," The wraith purrs, smirking.

"So, uh, you probably heard about the-?" You start.

"Retro Virus? Yes," The Wraith answers.

"So you also know about-" You continue to try.

"On the moon above. Atlantis. Yes," He shakes his head. "I mean what I said. I mean you no harm. I've known for days. If I wanted to kill you all, I would have done so already. I simply mean to find a means of... extracting my revenge among my kind. And you may help me with such a... Daunting Task."

"And to think you know so much about us but we don't even know a thing about you yet," John says. "Like your name, for starters."

"Oh, I have gone by many Names, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, John, Egbert, Sheppard," The Wraith punctuates each word of John's name history by squeezing on that danged rat. It squeaks out its final squeak, and the Wraith drops it to the ground. "They have called me Guide. Father. Husband. Genius. Scientist. Politician. Most recently... Betrayer. Monster." He flexes his hand, and then dons a glove over it. "Mind Reader."

"I think I'll just call you Todd, then," John quips.

"Todd? Hmm..." The Wraith considers it, then chuckles."I've had worse. But oh, to think I used to be of some major standing among the Wraith. I was there when the Lanteans fled their precious City, and I am still here, ten thousand years later, picking among their ruins for scraps as I try to find a means of saving my race from its own destruction."

"By destroying them?" Argo offers.

"By transforming them," The Wraith, Todd you guess, corrects. "A key difference, and one I think you three more than any could understand better than most. As we are, as we have been, the Wraith are an endangered species. We simply ignored it. And now... We are changed, forcibly, and refused to flex with the change. To adapt. We have grown... complacent. We kill those who deviate now, simply because of how foolish of a scenario we awoke to. And oh, no, I do not blame you for that, John Sheppard."

"Well, I'm glad you feel that way," John says. "May I ask why?"

"It was inevitable," 'Todd' says with a faint smirk and a tilt of his head. "Believe it or not, I warned us of just this thing. Called them all foolish for having our systems so intrinsically linked. You wake one, you wake them all. A foolish strategy. But, that was the first time they did not listen to me, and it has proven to be our downfall. Now?" Todd motions at the console. "I bask in the glory of being proven right."

"Glory, huh?" you ask.

"Glory," Todd hums. "Yes. As inglorious of a position I now stand... it is a strange sense of satisfaction of being proven right, though I hate how it now falls to me to find a means of transforming my people into a new form to survive our own irrational hate towards change... and I hate that I must ironically force it upon them just the same." he smirks. "I also heard your conversation with that frustratingly vague Hologram. I am disturbed to know of the sharp division rate. It is... unacceptably high to me. However... this Retro Virus... I can sense the people above us on that moon of yours making it work... having made it work."

He steps forward, offering his gloved hand.

"I make you a deal, here on this common ground... You help me find a way to save my people from themselves... and I will help keep your secret survival from the rest of the Wraith." He snarls slightly in what you hope is meant to be a friendly way. "And yes." he adds, "I am aware of why you may be opposed to shaking my hand. That's why I brought the Glove."

"Ah," John nods. "I see." He hesitantly takes Todd's hand and shakes it. "I guess we have a deal then?"

"A deal, yes," Todd says, even as both hands fall away from eachother. "Now, if you'll excuse me. I must reclaim my equipment, and be on my way. I will be in touch with you when the time... is right." And then he strolls away, moving past you oh so casually, pausing only once he's a little down and away from the hallway. "Oh. And from one parent to another. Savor these years at their youngest. You will regret not having fonder memories otherwise."

And then, he resumes his stroll down the hallway, and vanishes into the shadows.

...

...

"Was anyone else creeped out by that, or was it just me?" Argo asks.

"Mikari's not going to be happy about this," John says.

"Understatement of the century, that," you mutter.


 

You are Mikari Aiikho, and you stare at the Wraith Hand Radio that John just placed on your desk before telling you everything that just happened in that other city.

"...So... we have a Wraith that can read minds even worse than the Wraith normally can, and he's decided he wants to be friends. And then he left you a radio to let us be contacted with whenever he decides to talk to us inside the back of the Cloaked Jumper??" You summarize, incredulously. "I'm not sure whether or not to be terrified, or concerned."

"I'd go with both," Argo says, their ears and wings twitching anxiously. "I know I'm feeling boht."

"Both... both is good," you frown. "What about the city you found?"

"We checked the Database," Jade says. "Reason Todd wasn't having much luck getting the Database to tell him anything was because it'd been erased atleast ten thousand years ago."

"But what about the Hologram?" you ask. "How would it know that stuff to show you if the database had been wiped?"

"Either it was hidden under a lot of encryption and keywords like Ganos's hologram did for Castiana and Sahal, or..." John trails off.

"Or?" You ask.

"Or it was an Ascended Ancient being oddly helpful," Jade says.

"So there's no telling if the giant robot it talked about even exists or not," you frown.

"Pretty much," Argo nods.

"Whatever happened on that facility, I say we keep it firmly under wraps," John says. "We don't tell anyone about anything down there except that we ran into a super psychic Wraith who wants to use the Retro Virus on his people."

"Probably a smart idea," you nod. "And if Todd is listening in even now, he'll probably pick up on that too."

"I find it extremely creepy he's been listening into everyone's thoughts," Argo says. "And I mean that more so than Boldir's powers. Boldir at least doesn't act all smug about it. Or be all creepy."

"Agreed," you say. "We'll have to bring her along on any missions involving this 'Todd' in the future."

"That's going to be fun," John says.

"I can only imagine," you shake your head.

"So, um," Jade coughs. "How did it go with Ellia and Michael?"

"A Total Success," You answer. "Ellia's converted to human without issues- even retained her memory through it this time- and Michael's DNA is remaining extremely stable, and showing no signs of deterioration or reversion. Carson says he's extremely confident this new injection based version of the Retro Virus will work every time."

"What about the gas versions?" Jade asks.

"...That, they're much less confident on, but-" You smile. "It's a start. And that's really all we can hope for."

The trio nods in agreement.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 3RD, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/12/0005.

Mckay had arranged for a small sensor satellite to be left in the Laneta System to observe the damage done to it after several ZPMs had exploded and released their contents into real space.

Somewhere, in the fractured mess of dimensions, where the planet Atlantis had once rested on would have been, a small tear in the fabric of reality formed- growing, growing...

And then, all of that exotic ZPM energy left behind began to be pulled through the rift, draining, draining, draining...

And all of that was BEFORE the exotic particles began to form in the aftermath.

Needless to say, Mckay's satellite broadcast a distress signal immediately.

Less than an hour and a half later...

The Daedalus arrived in the recently vacated space of the Lantean system- rerouted from its mission to aide in placing Spacegates built in Alternia to create a bridge between the three galaxies- and made its way towards the recently obliterated planet.

"You know," you are Colonel Stephen Caldwell, and you frown at the giant sparkling mass of energy infront of you where a planet should have been. "Something tells me that space time isn't supposed to be doing that."

"No, it's not," Mckay says, checking the sensor readings on a tablet. "Carter, can you tell me if you're coming to the same conclusion I am?" He hands the tablet over to Morgan Carter.

"A high concentration of unidentifiable exotic particles," she says. "It's really similar to readings from that time you blew up five-sixths of a solar system."

"Poking fun at my stupid mistakes aside, that's exactly what I was afraid you'd say," Mckay says, taking the tablet back.

"Hey, if people can keep giving both me's grief over blowing up a Single Sun?" She shakes her head. "But yeah. If that's what I think it is..."

Neither of them say anything for several moments, so you ask, "What exactly are we dealing with here?"

"Someone decided to pull a Project Arcturus, but instead of draining subspace energy from their local dimension, they decided to pull that energy from Ours," Mckay says, tapping at his tablet. "And it's likely on an Atlantis that didn't just have its entire solar system obliterated by ZPM containment failure."

"Meaning that they might have no idea what they're doing to our dimension," Carter says. "Given the dimensional instability our universe already has because of two rifts, we probably proved to be the easiest tapping point for whatever other world is out there causing this. Add in the abundance of ZPM energy that recently got released here..."

"Yes, this could be very, very bad..." Mckay frowns. "We should radio them."

"Alright. Open a channel into the rift," you order Marks, who opens a channel. "Go ahead," you nod to the two scientists/

"Atlantis, this is Doctor Rodney Mckay of, well, Atlantis. Whatever experiment you are running is having extreme and serious repercussions on our side of reality. Please halt your experiment immediately."

For several minutes, and attempted repeated broadcasts of that message, there is no reply save for static.

Mckay looks to Morgan Carter, and says, "You give it a try."

"Alright," Carter pauses, and does her best to sound like her older alternate self, "Atlantis, this is Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter of SG-1, please shut down your experiment immediately. Authorization Code, Charlie, Alpha, Five, Seven, Three, Roger."

There is another long reply of the repeated message receiving no response.

"They must have shielding that's preventing them from receiving our radio signals," Mckay deduces.

"What do we do then?" You ask.

"...Obviously we..." Mckay frowns. "Obviously, we send a probe through with a message and try to get them to stop by doing that."

"And how do we do that?" you ask.

"Beam it down into the rift?" Carter suggests.

"...Hermiod, Novak," you radio. "Prepare a small space drone for transport, to be loaded with technical data from our scanners and beamed through on my mark." Then, you turn to the scientists again. "If this doesn't work, what's our plan B?"

"...We send someone through the rift," Mckay says.

"That could be a one way trip, though," Carter says.

"Yeah, well, if this probe doesn't work, then we're screwed either way," Mckay says. "If we don't shut this thing down, this new rift is going to start growing, and it's probably going to grow in a very unstable fashion. And unlike the OTHER dimensional rifts we have in our universe if this one gets big enough, I don't think our reality will fare well at all."

"How bad are we talking about?" You ask.

"...If it reaches a certain point? Our whole reality could suddenly cease to exist in a snap," Carter says. "We'd just... flat out... stop existing."

"Probe is ready," Novak reports.

"Good," you say. "Lock onto the center of the energy rift, and beam the probe through."

"Beginning transport..." Novak reports. "Matter stream away... aaaand transport lost."

"Lost how?" Mckay asks, he and Carter looking at the feedback sent by the probe before it was lost.

Carter answers, "It looks like the matterstream began materialization, and was destroyed by a stream of inbound energy from our dimension." She frowns. "Without proper shielding, the probe couldn't fully reform and lost molecular cohesion."

"So much for radioing them," you grunt. "Any change in the rift's output?"

"No," Mckay says. "I doubt they even noticed the probe starting to beam in before it got scrambled."

"So... shielding necessary then?" Carter asks.

"I could probably manage that," Mckay says. "Use my Self shielding, maybe boost it with the shielding device from the Atlantis lab..." He nods. "I could shut this down from the other side."

"I'll contact Atlantis," you say. "I am not beaming anyone through that rift without Mikari's permission."


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

Mikari okayed the mission on the condition you carry a Relto book with you, and thus, after gathering one...

You are Rodney Mckay, and you encase yourself within a double layer of forcefields. It had taken a bit of work to repower the shielding device after it had been drained from that energy monster, off and on work that had only just barely become an idle time waster after you'd gained the power to shield yourself with your own firm and stubborn willpower.

But...

Well, you'd gotten it working and probably just in time too, considering...

Well.

It's sort of boring being beamed through an energy rift between dimensions. Beaming, and then waiting for the energy in the chamber you landed in to stop hounding your forceshields.

Flare flare flare flare flare flare flare flare. It could almost be a musical beat if it kept up for long enough. Flare flare flare flare flare flare flare fla- Shhhhh..

It stops.

Your shields remain active, but the energy hounding them has stopped.

You're in an Isolation Chamber Lab in Atlantis.

You deactivate both forceshields, and stand up from the kneeling position you were stuck in.

"Oh my god- Meredith!?"

...What.

You turn and look and see the usual Atlantis science team standing there- with the curious change of yourself being absent and your SISTER standing there wearing an Atlantis uniform.

"...Who's Meredith?" You ask. "No, wait, before that. Who's in charge of this experiment?"

Your dear sweet innocent sister, JEANIE MILLER, raises her hand- you spot the glint of a wedding ring and are surprisingly relieved that that fact hasn't changed any across worlds.

"Okay, well, we need to shut this thing off," you jab your thumb back at the machine you just landed in.

"We already did," Zelenka speaks up. "A foreign object- you- beamed into the isolation chamber so-"

"Ah, good," you smile. "Job done then, I guess?"

 



You're put into isolation.

You're put into fucking isolation and peered at like a strange, bizarre commodity.

Familiar, haunting eyes peer down at you from a single level above.

Elizabeth Weir is alive in this world. And she's speaking with Sheppard and your sister from above. (You're amused to note that Sheppard has some lipstick smudged across one of his cheeks. You must've interrupted date night.)

Sheppard, and your Sister leave, and a minute later, they enter the Isolation room.

"You're supposed to be dead, Meredith," Sheppard says, first thing out of his mouth- staring, shock-eyed and slack jawed at you.

"Again with the Meredith? And- wait. Dead?" you blink. "Oh. Don't tell me. Kolya? During the storm of the city?"

"Well," Sheppard blinks. "Yeah. He shot you out of some stupid, misguided show of power. Tyzias and I were barely able to get the shields up without you."

"Lovely," you say. "So he killed me in this timeline instead of Weir. Great. Well, I suppose that answers that little question."

"I guess it does," Jeanie approaches you, staring hesitantly at you, and then-

OOF.

She's hugging you. God, she's hugging. Really, really tightly. Oooof.

Your forceshield springs to life, giving you just enough room to breathe.

"Woah-" Jeanie backs away. "Meredith, what the hell?"

"Again with that?" You frown. "That's not my name."

"Uh, yes, it is," Sheppard says. "Meredith Rodney Mckay. And seriously- where'd the forcefield come from?"

"What?" You stare, confounded. "Mere-? Oh! COME ON, MOM!" you hang your head in annoyance. "You went for the embarrassing First name in this reality instead??"

You shake your head, dismiss the forcefield and offer your hand. "Doctor Rodney... Osmo... Mckay. And the, ah, forceshield is something that happened after prolonged exposure to Zillyum particles."

"Osmo!?" Sheppard shakes your hand. "Uh... I guess that makes sense?"

"I guess there are some subtle differences between our worlds if Mom named you after the cat!" Jeanie stares, and then laughs.

"The cat?" You stare. "I- Oh my god. What is it with our mother and embarrassing names?"

"I have no idea!" Jeanie says, wiping some tears from her eyes.

"Anyways," you shake your head and sit down on one of the chairs. "We should talk business." Jeanie and Sheppard sit down. "Now, uh... I'm going to make some assumptions based on what I've seen so far and readings we've taken in our own space time, so, ah, stop me if I'm wrong?" They nod. "So... I'm assuming you're running some sort of experiment that's designed to draw energy from parallel universes, and it's also designed to do that by bridging parallel universes?"

"Very Hot," Jeanie nods.

"Well, while I'm sure it's been a success on your side, it's having some nasty repercussions in my universe," you say. "So, in our world, we've had a series of, well, dimensional explosions, to put it lightly, that's created two tears in the fabric of reality. Now, they're stable and not growing in size, but, we figured that they made whatever your experiment is doing zero in on our dimension as an easy source of energy."

"Oh fuck," Sheppard's eyes widen. "Let me guess. Dangerous exotic particles that don't belong in either of our universes?"

"Exactly," you say.

"I told you it was a bad idea!" Sheppard says, nudging Jeanie in the arm with an annoyed look on his face. "After Carter blew up half a solar system trying to get Arcturus to work I knew it was a bad idea!"

Wait, what? Oh, you're not going to mention that if you ever get back.

"I thought we could make it work!" Jeanie counters, hiding her face in her hands.

"So, ah, you knew this could happen?" You ask. "And went through with it anyways?"

"We didn't think about universes that already had holes punched in them from other means," Jeanie admits, peeking through her fingers. "Sorry."

"Yeah, well, I'm guessing you didn't have Elwurd and her merry band of misfits steal a Quantum Mirror and jurry rig it into a Hyperdrive in this world-line?" You ask.

"...Elwurd?" Sheppard frowns. "As in the bitch who blew herself and an entire prison on Diaspora up with a Mofang gravity bomb trying to rescue her imprisioned matesprit?"

"Huh, guess that explains that," you say. "What about Corinth City? Did Venjix create a rift through from that dimension to this one?"

"...Never heard of Corinth," Sheppard shakes his head.

"It's, ah, in the Dimension that SG-1 went to a few years back to help the other version of Earth that had been over-run by Apophis because Hammond never followed a time loop letter?" You offer.

"Oh, them," Sheppard frowns. "Yeah, no, never heard of a Venjix or anything else going wrong there."

"I guess Doctor Kae installed the firewall right then," you muse. "Wonder what divergence caused that?" you shake your head. "Anyways. So. By the sounds of it you've lucked out by avoiding giant rifts in space time that super charge people's genetics and give them weird powers or phyiscal mutatations?"

"Just me, Argo, Jade, and Rose that have powers here," Sheppard says. "Teyla counts too, I guess."

"I could guess that held true," you say, motioning at your cheek. Sheppard checks his own and goes crimson as he decaptchalogues a hankerchief and smudges off the lipstick. "It seems like the major divergence point between our realities was, my name aside, probably either my death, or Elwurd fucking up and offing herself before she could cause us no ends of trouble."

A thought occurred to you. A butterfly caused by that.

"What about D'ni?" You ask. "Did Joey Claire ever go to New Mexico?"

"Uh, no?" Sheppard frowns. "What's D'ni?"

"So you don't have Linking Books then?" You ask.

Your sister looks at you like you just sprouted a second head. "Isn't that from a Videogame, Meredith?"

"Yes and no," you say. "It's a bit hard to explain... If we have time, I guess I can."

"So... uh, not to chase that Butterfly for a moment," Jeanie starts. "...Why did you come through to our world?"

"Well, see, we had to Abandon Lantea due to the Replicators-" a dull rattle of annoyance jumps from Sheppard to your Sister- "Ah, ran into them already, huh? Anyways. We had to abandon it, but in the process we destroyed a rival City Ship they sent to destroy us. We escaped to Hyperspace, but the rival City Ship's ZPMs detonated-"

"Leveling the entire solar system and beyond with pocket dimension space-time," Jeanie nods.

"Right, so, I had a probe left behind to observe the area just in case, and then we discovered your rift of energy forming. We came in the Daedalus, radioed you guys a bunch of times to no reply-"

"Shielding in the isolation chamber," Jeanie interjects, and sighs. "Should have thought of that too."

"We should get someone to install a radio transmitter in there just in case things go wrong on your end even with the device shut down," Sheppard excuses himself for a moment to radio Keiko and make that recommendation.

"Right, well, after that we tried sending a probe- beaming it again, it failed to re-materialize due to the exotic energy matter pounding it during transmission," you continue. "So we hypothesized- Carter and me- that a shield would be necessary."

You make your hand flare green with a shield. "I can make my own, and I brought a repaired shield device with me just in case, and, well, here I am!"

"I'm sorry we had to force you to come all this way," Jeanie says. "It was a one way trip."

"Ah, not necessarily," you say. "Can I have my Sylladex back?"


 

It takes a while, mostly during the time it takes to get you set up with some guest quarters, but you get your Sylladex back, and you decaptchalogue your EMERGENCY ESCAPE LINKING BOOK.

"This is my ticket out of here," you say. "It's a book tied to my home dimensional cluster, in its own unique way. I just touch the pannel, and poof! I'm gone!"

"Linking Books," Sheppard stares at the small green book in your hand.

"Mikari insisted I take one with me just to be on the safe side," you say. "Once I'm reasonably satisfied that your project is causing my dimension no more trouble, I'll be out of your hair."

"So, ah," Jeanie starts. "How long are you staying for then?"

"Well," you say. "I guess we have to wait and see if just shutting the project down was enough to stop it."

"I guess so," Jeanie nods.

"So, uh..." You trail off. "You have three kids here in this universe too?"

She laughs. "No, no. Just two."

"Ah, yeah, I suppose that'd make sense considering you must've come to Atlantis after I died before you had the third one," you muse.

"Yeah," she nods. "I... I was really shocked to learn what had happened. I... Originally I came to collect your ashes and possessions, then Doctor Weir offered me a job, and, well..."

"You couldn't help but join to find out what your bro was doing?" you ask.

She nods.

"So, ah, just to check for more temporal butterflies," you start, "Maddie, Bradley, and Robbie?"

"Maddie and Bradley, yes," Jeanie nods. "Do you... have any pictures of Robbie?"

"An ultrasound, yeah," you say, fishing for your wallet to dredge out pictures.

You and your alternate dimension sister spend the next few minutes comparing lives.

She never got your video letter in this world- considering you never lived long enough to record it in the first place- so she used working in Atlantis as a way to connect to a you that she never got to know. Name differences aside, it seems like your two worlds followed very similar patterns of serial escalation.

The differences really only started showing up at around the time of your death. The Storm.

You suppose this is a world where things went entirely differently.


 

Before you go to bed for the night, you find yourself facing Elizabeth Weir once more within her own office.

"So," she stares at you. "Kolya killed me in your world, huh?"

"Yep," you say, feeling just as uncomfortable with the ghost of a close friend as she must be feeling.

"Who replaced me, out of curiosity?" Weir asks.

"At first? Doctor Jackson. He couldn't handle the Strain, and Mikari Aiikho filled in after that. She's been running the expedition ever since," you answer.

"Jackson, huh?" Weir stares out at the gate. "I can see that. The replacement, and the not handling it. Good to know I made a different decision in this world, even if it wasn't necessary, in the end."

"Oh?" You ask. "Who'd you choose as replacement?"

"Argo," Weir says. "They've been training as my secretary. I'd feel they have Atlantis in better hands if I were to die suddenly."

"Argo, huh?" you shake your head. "Yeah, I can see them taking it up well enough."

"Did you know they named their daughter after you?" Weir offers. "Merry Quinn Sheppard."

"What? Seriously?" You ask. "They did the same in my world, for you. Elizabeth Quinn. Lizzy for short."

"That's consoling," Weir says. "Oddly consoling, at that. All I have to ask-"

"Born during the siege against the Wraith? Yes," you nod.

"Atleast there are some universal constants," Weir muses.

"Kid knew how to make a dramatic entrance regardless of world, that's for sure," you agree.


 

EARTH DATE: JUNE 4TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/13/0005.

You keep the date straight in your head even if the local clock for Diaspora is a whole month ahead in this timeline.

For some reason, Sheppard's come to fetch you early in the morning.

You groggily follow, and find him, Jade, and Argo have set up a small golfing platform near one of the water entry doors nestled between the south-west and south piers.

"Golfing?" You ask.

"Uncle Jack's idea," Jade shrugs, and you notice she's done something different with her hair- its cropped short rather than long. She's also protectively cradling her stomach. Huh.

"We don't do it in your world?" Argo asks.

"Never," you say. "Or atleast, if you do, you don't invite me."

"Funny," Sheppard muses. "We used to do it all the time while you were alive. Wonder why that changed?"

"You three were probably too busy hiding Argo's pregnancy for the first few months," you muse, picking up a golf putter.

"Oh. Geeze," Argo's ears go flat against their head. "Why the hell did we do that for?"

"Given that we later found out that choice was a divergence point for a whole alternate reality creation point?" You ask in turn. "We found out it'd keep you from coming to Atlantis, that'd send Jade back in time, and a couple of different choices could be made, resulting in the creation of our world, a timeline where Atlantis sank beneath the waves, and one where they took off and went back to Earth, creating Keiko's world."

The three of them look as if they'd been given a missing piece to the puzzle..

You consider their reactions, then ask, "So... Let me guess, that never mattered in this timeline?"

"The older Weir from the ice box said there was a me that came alone," Jade says, "and we later found her lab where she said something similar, but... we just figured the divergence point was General O'neill okaying Argo to come to Atlantis with us instead of telling them not to."

You muse on that. "Huh. Funny how that works out. I guess there was some other break between our timelines after that nexus point."

You begin playing a game of golf. You, John, and Argo, that is. Jade retrieves your golf balls with a flash of her powers after each shot touches down. She's content to remain sitting and watching.

You talk a bit about your world more, they talk about theirs.

Things are mostly the same, baring some surprising differences here and there.

"I can't believe Uncle Jack would actually propose like that!" Jade howls with laughter. "Oh my god, i wish I could have seen that!"

"You and me both," you say. "I had to hear about it through the grapevine after." You shake your head, line up a shot, and give it a strike.

SPLOOSH!

"Nice shot!!" Sheppard whistles. "Easy 275! Hey, you know, I've been meaning to put up buoy markers out there. But, who has the time, right?"

"I'd put off on it until you know if you have to move or not," you say. "The, ah, Asuran Replicators have proven to be... pretty hostile."

"That's something I've been meaning to ask about," Sheppard frowns. "What exactly happened in your world?"

So you tell them.

Argo stands up, and demands to borrow one of John's free hands. Then, they perform a 3x Face Palm Combo. Argo then proceeds to line up for another shot as Jade fishes the golf ball back.

"Woolsey! God damn it, of course he'd screw things up worse," Sheppard shakes his head.

"Well, considering you took the Wraith they made chase you right back to their front door," Jade muses, "they're going to be pretty busy for a while. I Guess we should think about moving sooner or later given that."

"So, ah, what happened in your world?" You ask. They tell you.

Weir negotiated for hours before the Asurans captured you. Then, held you hostage. Niam wanted to Ascend, and so asked for Jeanie to modify the entire Replicator species' source code. Jeanie who took your spot on the team. It didn't work exactly as planned.

Jeanie ended up freezing the Replicators with a source code problem, rigged the enemy city's ZPMs to overload, and they all gated the fuck out of there before everything went bang.

They hadn't dared send anything to investigate the aftermath yet, but the Replicators hadn't returned in this reality. Not yet.

You file away that thought for later. Overload the ZPMs and obliterate the entire planet, huh?


 

You end up having breakfast with Teyla and Ronon while the loving trio all go back to their room to get their kid- named after YOU of all people- to bring to breakfast.

Teyla is about the same, unsurprisingly.

Ronon...

You have no idea why Ronon is so much more quiet and reserved than yours, but you're willing to bet it's because he had a rougher time while being on the run, or because Ford didn't rig things to work out a certain way. Or it could be because he never met you and is eyeing you with suspicion, but you're more willing to bet its a Ford thing Because. Well.

There's Another Surprise.

Ford is at his own table in the Cafeteria, eating breakfast and discussing something with Aradia Megido of all trolls. He looks fine, save for an eyepatch over the eye that went black in your world. You can see hints of a scar line peeking out from behind the patch's edges.

The siege went differently here, it seems. You can easily imagine it being a thousand times worse without your presence simply adding a mere extra set of hands for certain activities.

And then- you and Jeanie are paged to the test chamber that you arrived in.

You hurry there, scarfing down the rest of your breakfast that can be easily carried in one hand along the way.

...Zelenka reports that they turned the device back on. "Shutting the experiment down only made things worse for us. The Bridge is still active, but we were not drawing any power, creating a pressure wave build up- like a dam. If we didn't turn it back on again, it would have resulted in a catastrophic overload and-" He mimes an explosion.

"Ah, right," Jeanie sighs. "We should have thought of that."

"Well, that's part of why I'm still here," you say. "Since it's been brought back up, any radio transmissions from my side?"

Zelenka nods, and brings you over to a terminal.

Since the device was shut down a similar pressure build up had been detected on their side- and the build up had been relieved the moment the device had been turned back on.

A problem on both ends.

They were working on solutions from their end... And they estimate that there is atleast a week and a half before the rift on that side expands as far as where Atlantis could have been- and at that point it might very well have expanded to hit that critical threshhold of disaster that could make your universe just pop right out of existence.

You and your sister work for a few hours in relative silence- talking only about the work that needs doing.

Until you take a brief break for lunch, that is.

"So... you sent me a message in your world," Jeanie starts.

"Yeah," you nod. "We all sent messages, I mean, but... Yeah. I mean, I lived to get to that point."

"And we've... reconciled, I guess?" Jeanie asks.

"About as well as we could, given how estranged we got," you say, a bit hesitantly. "I mean, we don't talk about work. For either of us. The first time after I sent the message and we talked work it... well. Needless to say we wasted a whole fresh package of Maddie's painting easel papers putting equations on the walls in fingerpaint."

"Oh god," Jeanie chokes. "Poor Maddie. She hates it when I do that on my own. Just... lost in the process."

"Yeah, we sort of baned work talk after that," you scratch at the back of your head. "Speaking of Maddie. Is she...?"

"No, she doesn't live here on Atlantis," Jeanie shakes her head. "Not full time, atleast. We're alternating weekends."

"...Don't tell me you and Miller split over this?" You ask.

"Not officially, no. He wasn't happy I took a job offer in another galaxy," she sighs. "Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. We're... we're still trying to work things out."

"Well," you say. "If we solve this, I say you take a break, go home, and solve that problem." You put a hand on her shoulder. "If there's one thing this Job has taught me, Jeanie, it's that family is the most important thing. I'm sure Meredith wouldn't have wanted you two to fall apart like this over him. I know I wouldn't."

"Thanks, Rodney," Jeanie smiles at you.

"Ah! We're receiving a transmission from the other reality!" this world's Keiko Ayano calls out suddenly.

"Back to work," you say, and go to read it...

...Fucking hell. Unsealing the dam just caused MORE problems. The Exotic Particles are ramping up in scale faster than before. Oh, sure, they have a potential solution...

But the solution would destroy this world's Atlantis as well as tear a hole in the reality of space-time of THIS universe.

It would take all of the exotic particles from their side and jam it back into this one.

Jeanie comes up with an idea in the time it takes your briefing of the above facts to pass it to the point of elaborating that the subsequent rift in space time would swallow up Pegasus entirely- let alone the whole entire universe if it continued to grow.

One giant black hole of entropy just, erasing everything as if it never existed, caused by Daedalus Hyperbeaming the rift.

They have six hours before they reach the point of no return, and will be working on alternatives in the meantime... and suggest you do the same before that six hours is up.

"We need to collapse the bridge with a massive burst of energy, stopping the creation of exotic particles on the other side by doing so," Jeanie says, giving her idea.

"How massive of a burst of energy are we talking about?" Weir asks.

"Atleast a single ZedPM's worth," Jeanie answers.

"...We can tank that," Sheppard says. "We've got three ZPMs from Aincrad. One drained won't hurt us in the long run until we can get a replacement."

"So much for Infinite power," Weir shakes her head. "Get it done. I don't want either universe collapsing on itself because we were foolish enough to hoard a ZPM."

And thus, the plan is put into motion.

You stay, watch, and observe as a full ZPM's worth of power is shunted into a rift... closing it.

There's no more energy output building up, and... six hour later there's no impending blast of doom.

With everything squared away, you say goodbye to your alternate universe sister, and she gets to properly say goodbye to the brother she never got a chance to reconcile with...

And then you link back to your universe, and back to Atlantis through the Library shelf.

A long haired Jade Jackson happened to be sitting on guard duty of the book room, and looked up with a smile.

"What's my full name as you're aware of it?" You ask, just out of paranoia, before she can say anything.

"Uh... Rodney Mckay?" Jade answers.

"No middle names or alternate first names?" You ask.

"Nope."

"Who's incharge of Atlantis?"

"Mikari Aiikho."

"How did Elwurd die?"

"Blew up when John and Ford destroyed a Wraith Hiveship between galaxies," she answers, frowning, but she gets the point.

"And the rift over Lantea?"

"Dispersed and the exotic particles faded out about ten minutes ago."

"Good," you say with a nod. "I made it back right then."

"Welcome back," Jade says.

"Thanks. Now if you'll excuse me I've got some time off to request to go back home so I can talk with my sister about her life choices, and also schedule an appointment with my therapist," you say, and head to talk to Mikari's office.

It's been a very long day.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 10TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/19/0005.

The sound of a ticking clock could be heard despite nothing existing to create it.

Artoira Pendragon stood at the solid metal door of a hidden containment vault within the wrecked ruins of the crash-landed City on the deserted continent of North America in a parallel world ravaged by the Venjix Virus.

Artoria stood there, unmoving, waiting, staring on ahead. Her green eyes were overlaid with a hue of crimson, indicating that someone else was behind the wheel, so to speak.

Slowly, Artoria raised her hand, and with a flicker of dimensional energy, the sword CLARENT appeared within her grip.

The sword began glowing, brilliantly crimson, as she raised the blade, and then brought it down upon the solid metal door.

The entire metal substance making up the door flickered- shimmered, and collapsed into dust.

Clarent the Sword faded from Artoria's hands, and she turned to walk away, job done, even as the massive mass of silver within the unsealed vault stirred to life, and began moving outwards, like a tidal wave of silver liquid, except for the fact that it was not made out of a liquid.

No.

It was a silver wave of a dust like substance that moved on its own.

The silver found its way to the walls, and escaped through the cracks.

Then, once exposed to the wind, it took to the air as a cloud of silver dust, blowing along in the wind towards the Domed City of Corinth, far away, on the opposite side of the continent.


 

O)< - STARGATE: ALTERNIA - >(O


 

EARTH DATE: JUNE 11TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/20/0005.

With a final strum of guitar music, the audience errupted into applause, and the Grubbels on stage gave a large grin, bowed for the audience, and waved to the audience.

"Thank you for coming!" Joey Claire called out to the audience with the microphone. "Have a good night everyone!!"

And thus, the group exits off stage.

"Nice job out there!" Your name is Mierfa Durgas, and you grin at Joey, Xefros, and Dammek as they join you behind the curtain of events. "You guys rocked it!"

"Damn right we did!" Xefros grins as Dammek immediately goes for a water bottle.

"I didn't see Polypa in the audience," Joey starts, her smile dimming slightly. "Did she ever show up?"

"No, actually, she got held up," you say, holding up your cellphone to show a series of texts from your Moirail.

Joey frowns at it. "Oh. Great."

"What is it?" Xefros asks, glancing at it. "...Oh. Shit. Dammek? You gotta see this."

"What's going on?" Dammek asks, moving over, and then sighing as he sees the texts. "Damn it, Callie."


 

It doesn't take long to get back to your hive in the Diaspora forest, where Polypa is performing some emergency medical attention for a rather large burn on Callie's arm in the front room.

"What the fuck happened?" Dammek asks, barging into the room after you've barely had a chance to open it.

"I have no idea," Callie shakes her head. "One minute I'm helping Doctor Kae settle a girl suffering from a violent reaction to Zillyum, and the next thing I know the building is shaking and then my Relto Book panic linked me out before I knew what was happening. I came here as soon as I realized what was going on, but that's when Polypa noticed the burn I didn't know I had. It didn't hurt any!"

"Yeah! No shit! Your nerves were literally burnt to a crisp!" your Moirail shakes her head. "It's pretty severe beyond that, too. There's not much I can do beyond prevent infection from setting in. One of us should take her to Atlantis so Kanaya can patch her up."

"I'll do that," Dammek says, moving over to his Moirail. "The rest of you should-"

"Go check it out just to be on the safe side?" Xefros asks. Dammek nods. "Right, well. Might as well check in at any rate."

"If we're lucky it was just an Earthquake," Joey says, as Dammek moves to check on Callie, and Polypa stands to move over to join you. "Let's get the Zords, just to be on the safe side."

"I'll stay here and coordinate with Okurii," Xefros volunteers. "And keep an eye on Toko, too."

"Thanks, Xef," Joey smiles.


 

"Okay, was it just me, or was 'giant metal anime girl with smashy arms' a nightmare for anyone else last night?" Your name is Ziggy Grover, also known as RANGER GREEN, and you, Dillon, Scott, Summer, and Flynn are busy trying to hold a rampaging patient of Doctor K's still long enough for Gem and Gemma to get a shot lined up with a specially reprogrammed something or other version of their megazord's finisher attack.

Really though, Zenith Megazord versus a giant metal girl with arms as long as her entire body from head to toe and as thick as the skyscraper she'd busted out of?

"Because. I've had this dream. Vividly!" You state, working the wheel as you try to hold the poor girl still. "Literally had it last night!"

"We get it, Ziggy! You had a dream about Little Miss Strength here!" Dillon snaps back, a bit frigidly. "Now focus and help keep her steady!"

"What do you think I'm doing!?" You ask, twisting the wheel a bit to try and keep your Shark Zord's grip on the girl in place. "I Stress Jabber! I jabber when I'm stressed! It helps me keep focus!!"

"Well it's making ME loose focus!" Dillon counters. "This is NOT what we're usually doing with fights like these!"

"She's certainly not skipped her iron pills, that's for sure!" Flynn remarks.

"Seriously, if this is anything like that nightmare I had she's about to-!"

"Hold On!" Scott warns. "There's an Energy surge running down her-!"

And then the robot-girl's giant arms light on fire, and an explosion sends the Megazord tumbling to the ground.

"Never mind!" Scott grunted as you all reel from the blow.

"About to do that, actually," you groan, clutching at your helmeted head. Is that a CRACK in your visor? Geeze, that's a crack. Ow. You really took a hit there somehow.

"Gotta say," Summer laments, "I never thought I'd miss the good old days when we just blasted the giant monster to pieces!"

"The good old days were just a few months ago, Summer!" Flynn counters as you work to get the Megazord back on its giant orange crocodile slipper'd feet.

The poor girl is flinging fire up at the Mach Megazord, forcing them to dodge the blasts.

It's a good thing the Dome isn't even on anymore, those blasts are flying straight through where the shielding would have been and out into space.

"So, uh, I hate to ask, Ziggy," Flynn starts, "but how did this nightmare of yours go again?"

"Well, after knocking us down she'd throw herself at Gem and Gemma-" you're cut off by Scott ordering for them to dodge.

They do so right as "little miss Strength' as Dillon put it flings her hands into the ground and uses her whole arm as swings to launch herself feet first at the Mach Megazord.

Oh, little strong arm misses with her feet, but she manages to launch into a furious spin of fire-enhanced arms that smash into Gem and Gemma'z megazord and sends it tumbling to the ground.

"-And Do a spinny tornado fire thing!!" you cry out. "This is exactly like my nightmare come to life!"

Mech Girl lands in the streets, and glowers at your Megazord, slowly stomping her way towards you.

"What happens next!?" Summer demands, even as the Mach Megazord struggles to get to its feet.

"I don't know what happens next! I woke up when my alarm clock went off!" You answer in a panic as the strong-armed girl marches towards you with a slightly faster clip.

A rift in space time opens up suddenly between you and the mech girl, and from it emerges the other-dimension's Paleomax Zords.

The girl roars, and starts swinging her arms at the trains as they circle overhead.

A communication screen opens, and Joey Claire appears there- "Woah! What's the situation here, Rangers?"

"Colonel Claire, boy am I glad to see a familiar face," Scott laughs. "One of the Venjix Patients Doctor K was examining suddenly grew mech arms and then grew to giant size. We've been playing distraction and keepaway while Doctor K tried to work up an antivirus."

"Do you have that?" Claire asks.

"Yes, but the Mach Megazord has to be the ones to fire it, and we haven't had a chance to get a clean shot in," Scott informs her.

"Then we'll help you hold her steady! We'll take left, you take right!" Claire suggests.

"Alright!" Flynn calls out. "Let's corral this lass and go home!!"

Claire nods, her transmission cuts, and then the tree trains transform into Megazord mode.

The "KYORETSU MEGAZORD!" lands with a tackle- grabbing Mech girl by the left.

Zenith Megazord charges in, grabs the girl by her right.

"Gem, Gemma, NOW!" Summer calls out.

The Mach Megazord lines up its bow and arrow attack, and lets loose a brilliant green arrow blast that strikes strong-armed girl through the chest and electrifies her body.

Both Megazords disengage, and watch as her body starts to expunge a massive cloud of silver dust into the air as it shrinks down, down, down, down... and then is out of sight as she returns to normal height.

"Oh thank God we finished that," Flynn exhales in relief.

"Are those nanomachines?" Dillion asks, observing the cloud of particles growing in size in the air.

"Running scans," one of Claire's co-pilots says, appearing on screen, and narrowing her green eyes at something off camera. "...Oh. Oh no. That is very much a nano machine cloud!"

"Doctor K? Are you seeing this?" Scott asks.

"I am, and I'm very concerned," she replies over the radio.

Then, once the silver particles have stopped escaping from the girl, they jettison upwards and explode outwards into a massive burst of silvery smoke, no doubt showering everything in the city with the stuff.

"That... that's not good, is it?" You ask.

"No, Ziggy, it's not," Dillon answers.


 

You are Xefros Tritoh... and you made the decision to stay behind to coordinate and babysit.

You're more doing the latter than the former- and really it's more of a sitting grub on you than the oddly named reverse from Earth. You're lying on the couch, and, well...

"You know, I thought with us retiring from the front lines and stuff we'd be avoiding situations like this," you lament aloud, mostly to yourself, but also partially to the grub resting on your chest, peering at you intently with sparkling eyes framed by green hair.

Little Toko sits intently, staring at you as you ramble.

"But nooope. It always happens. Just when we think we're out. Something drags us back in."

Toko blinks, tilting their head slightly, murmling a faint chitter of confusion.

"Sorry, guess that meme wouldn't resonate with you. Before your time," you chuckle a little. "I hope everything's going alright over there."
But knowing your Moirail and her Kismesis and Matesprit...

"I just hope that after this we can just retire and not have to worry about life or death situations anymore," you say. "I just wanna relax, live my life, and make music. Yknow?"

Toko chitters something that you choose to interpret as "No, Uncle Xef, I don't know! I'm just a grub."

You sigh. "It just makes me mad, Toko. Makes me so mad that every now and then we just keep getting caught up in this shit."


 

"Those were NOT Venjix Nano Machines," your name is Doctor K... Kae. And you frown as you compare the results from both your own scans as well as the scans from the Kyoretsu Zords. It's hard working with your arm in a cast, but you've managed so far. "They were something else entirely."

"Unfortunately, our Zords recognized what those were," Colonel Claire says, shaking her head. "I don't know if you heard or not, but earlier this month our version of Atlantis sent a team to Gate Coordinates recovered from the city that crashed in this world. It was home to a bunch of nano-machine based robots called Replicators."

"I'd heard something about that," you nod. "Doctor Ohphee mentioned it, I think, just before miss Koutari went Megazord sized."

Yuu Koutari, a poor girl who'd been infested through and through by Venjix's hardware. She'd complained of pain in her arms, and had come in for a checkup when she fainted and her arms suddenly became encased with giant metal versions of her arms.

You and Doctor Ohphee had worked to stabilize her, but... then there was that explosion.

Your arm buzzes with dull pain as you suppress the memory.

Now, the poor girl lies within the Garrage's lab- resting on a table that you'd once strapped Dillon onto many a time- her brown hair had turned stark white as if bleached, and her skin had darkened considerably over her entire body, and was peeling in places, like a nasty sunburn taken to insane degrees... where it wasn't visibly overrun with mechanical bleedthrough from beneath her own skin.

She'd sprouted a TAIL of all things- mechanical and spiky and swishing in an idle pattern even as she slumbered away her dramatic transformation.

"...So, are you saying that the nano machine cloud we just saw evaporate from my patient are from Replicators and not Venjix?" You ask.

"That's... pretty much what I'm saying, yes," Claire nods, a bit grimly. "I'm pretty sure all the Zillyum isn't helping matters either, this close to the rift."

"No, I imagine it wouldn't," you agree.


 

"So..."

You are Mierfa Durgas once again, and you glance over at the Yellow Ranger from this world, sitting down on the edge of the pool table in their garrage. The rest of the team is off surveying the City for damage and hoping to catch any other sudden 'growth spurts' before they happen. Your Matesprite is talking with Doctor K in private in another room, and your Moirail is keeping an eye on the girl you just had to restrain and shrink down from giant size within "The Lab."

"So?" You ask in turn.

"...I don't think we've ever properly met," Yellow extends her hand. "I'm Summer."

"Mierfa," you say, shaking her hand.

The shake breaks, and Summer glances at The Lab.  "Can I ask you a few questions?" She asks.

"Sure," you nod.

"You and the other two girls you pilot that Megazord with are all dating, right?"

"Something like that," you say. "Alternian Quadrant Romance is pretty complicated to say the least, for newcomers, anyways. We're not, like, dating all under the same Quadrant. It's kind of like a triangle of different emotions at this point."

"And you're all mostly retired now, right? From fighting?"

"Pretty much," you nod. "We're trying to raise a family and all that, now."

"So... How did you all deal with the pressure of going into battle with them knowing what might happen if things go wrong?" Summer asks.

You peer at her. "You crushing on someone on your team?"

"Well, me and Dillon have gotten pretty close, I guess," Summer answers, evading the question partially.

"We deal the same way we deal with the possibility of losing any of our friends in battle," you answer her original question. "We make sure eachother don't die when we're working together... and we make sure that we don't die when we're working alone."

"...That makes sense." Summer sighs. "I should have realized it was that obvious."

"Sometimes we have a hard time seeing what's infront of us," you say. "We nearly lost Joey a while back. She used her own bio-electric fields to power our Ultrazord for a fight. It nearly cost her the ability to even walk."

"That cane, right," Summer nods. "I notice she doesn't really use it much."

"Still handy to have incase she needs it," you say. "And she has, still, some days. There are good days and bad. Damage like that doesn't just magically go away, even with magic healing technology, and Today's been one of the good ones, fortunately."

"Thanks to the Ranger powers, most of our injuries heal up rather fast," Summer frowns, glancing at her hands. "But... after we beat Venjix it feels like things are slowing down a bit. Like the drive isn't there as much. Like we're taking more risks every time we morph. And it always felt like a risk every time, but... it feels worse now, somehow?"

"I wouldn't know anything about that powers thing," you say. "But... it sounds to me like times are just changing. Getting tougher and tougher. And you gotta adapt to the changes with 'em. Things don't stay the same forever, after all."

A moment of silence passes.

"...Ziggy was talking about having had a dream about today's fight," Summer suddenly says. "I know people are gaining powers, and having changes after being exposed to Zillyum, but... it just seems odd, doesn't it? That he'd get the ability to see things in his dreams? Like. It feels like it should be something else, somehow."

"Seers exist," you say. "Did on Alternia before rift powers were a thing. Cassandra Fraiser's had that ability, too. I'd say it's probably something more natural than not. All things considered." You frown, glancing at her. "Unless there's something else?"

"Our suits have powers, built into them. Scott accelerates for ten seconds, Flynn freezes time, Ziggy can teleport, Dillon can make shields... I can throw bursts of energy across a room and blow up a squad of Grinders without flinching." Summer then holds up her hand, and then sparks of yellow and pink light dance across her fingers. "This morning I woke up able to do this. Why did Ziggy get the ability to see into the future while I got my Ranger Suit powers?"

"The way powers seem to manifest with Zillyum..." you muse, "they're tied to the soul. Our desires, our fears. Hopes, dreams, concerns, and the situations we find ourselves in." You hesitate. Would Polypa be okay with you sharing this? ...No, you'd better not touch on that one. "Maybe Ziggy desired to know more about his future with everything being so uncertain versus prizing his ability to teleport?"

"So what does it say about me that I can use my suit powers outside of it?" Summer asks.

"How does that power work, exactly?" you ask.

"It reads the flow of energy in something infront of me and I can generate a blast of energy that counters it," Summer answers. "I could stop an explosion of propane gas cold using it, for example."

"Well, right now you're certainly someone who's focused on reading the information of a situation to figure out how it's working," you say, "I'd think you're a perfect match for that power, with or without the suit. It's a very Heart Aspect-y thing to do"

Summer considers it... then, asks, "Heart Aspect?"

"Mmh, Aspects are things Alternia's tied to our signs and our personalities when assigning them. DIaspora's seers look to the future to determine a match, Alternia... Well, it's been hit or miss for some Trolls. Xefros' sign is Rage and he's... one of the least Rage-y people I know, normally. Sometimes he and Baizil can get pretty heated, but... eh. Most of the time he's really chill." You shake your head, "Meanwhile, Okurii is about as Blood-bound as you can get! She gave a speach and united an entire planet, once."

"How does 'Blood' equal uniting an entire planet?" Summer asks, frowning.

"Blood is opposite Breath- freedom and restriction. Blood is the oaths that bind. 'Covenants forged in blood on the battlefields' are prized among old Alternian culture, 'cause we didn't focus so much on Families, back then. That's shifting now, somewhat, but I don't think it's ever going to go away, considering everything that's happened." You pause. "So... Okurii gives her speech after the whole planet nearly got glassed by an insane General. Everyone's made aware of his madness, and they hear this singular, uniting voice telling them how we have to work together... and we did. There's a reason we still have her as our leader right now, even in times of peace."

"So... Heart is...?"

"Matters of the soul," you say. "The Self. The 'Ultimate You' as some people call it. There's this guy, Ford, who can peer into various other dimensions and see how his other selves have experienced things, but he can also steal energy from them, somehow." you pause. "The thing about Aspects is how life shapes you in addition to how you shape you. John and Jade seem to have the same general abilities despite two different timelines of existence- Breath and Space. But then Rose has split into a Seer, and a walking Cheshire Cat- two different expressions of Light. But then there's Argo and Nepeta."

You find it refreshing that despite you throwing these names at her, Summer isn't asking for clarification of who they are.

"Argo went through a whole alternate timeline's worth of traumatic experiences, and came out of it, after a trip back through time to change things, with the ability to Buy People Time. Even during her Signing ceremony, she was given Time as an Aspect. But then there's her past, alternate self, Nepeta, who... who's very heavily Heart. Her abilities are manifesting slowly as being able to tamper with people's souls, and are manifesting visibly with Heart's signature coloring. She literally teleported a Goa'uld symbiote out of a man's neck once just by zapping him with pink lightning."

Summer glances at her hands, sparking the yellow energy across her fingers. Intermittently, a faint spark of pink and purple flare in amongst the yellow arcs. "I didn't even notice that before. It's much more yellow-orange when I do it morphed."

"The suit's likely interfering with it in that case," you bullshit a guess. "...That said, what do I know?"

"...What's your aspect then?" Summer asks.

"Me?" You laugh. "Hell if I know. The Signers at the cavern I was born at couldn't figure it out either and gave me something they made up on the spot!" You muse on it. "Maybe I'm Void then? I certainly got drawn in by Joey's Light, that's for sure. But who knows. Can't say for certain one way or another unless I go for resigning by the Diasporan Seers... and I really don't care to go through all that trouble, honestly. I don't really need to know what my Aspect is. I know who I am and that's just fine to me."


 

Your name is Polypa Goezee, and you notice the girl on the table starting to wake up.

"Hey, easy now," you start. "You're-"

The Girl realizes she's restrained, and then she screams as the metal on her arms suddenly ignite and catch fire and burn her out of her restraints.

"Woah woah woah! Put that out before-!"

The Fire Sprinklers kick in.

The flames refuse to go out on her arms, though the fire set to the table she was on is rapidly put out.

"HELP!" The girl shrieks. "I'M ON FIRE! SOMEONE HELP ME! HELP! HELP!!!!"

You do what needs doing, setting flames along your arms as you hug the girl and try to pull her flames into yours.

"Ssssh! Easy! Easy!" You start. "Just follow what I'm doing!"

"I-I-!" She hiccups. "Okay!!"

You tell her to focus on the feeling of the flames, where the warmth comes from and where it is now and where it should be. And you help her pull those flames down within her body.

Careful, careful...

And then after who knows how many minutes of working on it, the fire sprinklers cut off because you've helped the girl extinguish her own fire.

"Wh... Where am I?" the girl asks, confused, dazed.

"You're in my personal Lab, Miss Koutari," Doctor K says, standing at a door with Joey from whenever they entered the room. "We brought you here after the accident."

The girl stares at Doctor K for a moment, then, asks, "...Who are you?"

Disconcertingly, immediately there after:

"...W... Who am I??"


 

"Unfortunately, it seems her memories were scrambled during either the growth process or the shrinking," Doctor K says. "I'm not sure which outcome is worse."

You are now Joey Claire, and you frown. "But the memories are still there, right?"

"Yes, she reacted positively to images of her parents and friends, though she couldn't remember their names," Doctor K nods. "I suspect and am hoping that, rather than it being a mechanical error caused by the nanomachines flooding her system like that, that it's merely a case of trauma induced amnesia."

You both look out into the lab through the door from the Backup Computer Terminal room. Polypa's helping keep Yuu Koutari focused on positive things rather than negatives, such as her lost memories.

Said positives seem to be learning how to control and manipulate her new fire generation abilities, but, better she learn control than start a fire every time she panics.

The orange glowing eyes is decidedly a concern, however. Ever since she's woken up, they seem to hum with light, as if lit up from behind like neon signs... and in cases of sudden, and heavy use of her new abilities, suddenly light up with actual, glowing orange flames.

They fan out from either side of her face like a pair of animated sunglasses- flickering and moving in impossibly mirrored patterns.

"She's going to make a good teacher someday," Doctor K remarks.

"Polypa?" You ask.

"Yes," K nods. "She deals well with children and those with similar experience levels, from what I've observed."

"Well, I'm not sure if that's a teacher thing or a mother thing," you muse. "...But, whatever the case is... I think you're right in that regard. She knows how to get down on their level easy enough. I never would have thought that, years ago. Too obsessed with Fire and death... Too... explosive, I guess," You can't help but chuckle a little. "But, that's what drew me to her in the first place."

"Time changes us all, Colonel Claire," Doctor K says without even realizing how pointed that title is, at this point.

"Yeah," you say, thinking back to that young, innocent girl who found herself flung into the sparks of rebellion in a whole other Galaxy, and what she'd think of you now?

...Probably, she'd be shocked at the idea that she could ever become as willing to commit violence as you have. How different would things be if you'd stubbornly held onto those childish notions of avoiding violence at all costs?

You're not sure you ever really want to find out.


 

Your name is Okurii Leijon, and you smile as Joey knocks on your already open office door. "Welcome back," you greet.

"Hey," Joey says. "Sorry about just... borrowing the Kyoretsu Zords like that."

"It's fine," you say. "Xefros filled me in on the situation. I'd have rushed too." You stand up and sit down at one of the chairs opposite your normal seat. Joey joins you in the other one. "Dammek reported back that Callie's arm will be fine."

"Good, good," Joey nods. "I'm glad she's doing better."

"What happened over there?" You ask.

"So, those Pegasus Replicators made it to Corinth," Joey summarizes. "They're pretty much a giant cloud of nanomachines right now, spread out and soaking into anything they can, I guess. A lot of them got into this girl and grew her to giant size. They were lucky Doctor K had gotten some solid readings on what was going on just before the sudden growth spurt. We showed up just in time to help take her down without too much more of a fight."

"That's good," you nod.

An awkward silence falls for a few moments that feels like an eternity.

"The, ah, SGC know about the Replicator thing?" you ask.

"Yeah," she nods. "Yeah. We. We let Sam know. She said she'll inform the SGC."

"That's goods," you repeat yourself... "...So, um.... I was just about to get off from work."

"Yeah, I should get home too," Joey nods. "It's... been a long day."

"Yeah..." You sigh. "Sorry I couldn't make it to the concert tonight. Work got in the way. Someone on the IOA French Rep's side is trying to pin the blame of his death on us in some way."

"No, no, it's fine," Joey shakes her head. "Polypa got sidetracked with Callie and couldn't come either... Wait. What? What do you mean?"

"I have no idea," you groan. "They're saying that 'magic flames burning out his insides' could only be 'Alternian Magic'- COMPLETELY ignoring the fact that rift energy is a thing! And, ugh. Stupid fucking bastards keep saying it had to be an Alternian hit job despite the fact security camera footage shows it was a pair of humans!"

Joey works her jaw. "That's... Nobody's buying it, are they?"

"No, thank whatever god is watching over our universe for that fucking tape, or else they might just be getting away with it, but it's still a fucking nightmare to deal with." You lament. "As it is? O'neill's leveraging for the people petitioning for us to 'pay recompense' to get their heads checked out for brainwashing. But still... Ugh. What a nightmare. I get their boss is dead but where do they get off trying to pin the blame on us? Every single person on Earth or Diaspora with Seer-type Abilities is even saying a human female related to the family hired those two women to save Victoria and kill Albert, not an Alternian. So even IF somehow those two girls were Alternians in disguise, that still means the blame isn't on OUR GOVERNMENT! Just... god. Politics. I'm really starting to hate it."

"Only just?" Joey asks. "I would've thought that point was years ago by now."

"Yeah, funny," you scoff, bitterly. "I don't mind the smart ones. Atleast then it's fun fighting them. It's the idiot jerks that I hate. Their arguments are always so DUMB and STUPID and they refuse to even listen or pretend to concede the point. They just keep insisting they know better and that everyone else is lying. It's... God. I want to slap them upside the head so badly!!"

"Wing slap 'em, instead, maybe?" Joey offers.

"Hah, I wish. They'd just take it as a declaration of war or something..." You shake your head. "...Just... Fuck the Idiots trying to get in charge of things. Am I right?"

"Agreed," Joey nods. "Fuck 'em with a lemon-themed grenade up their butts!"

You can't help but laugh at that visual metaphor.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 12TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/21/0005.

Your name is Daniel Jackson, and you look through the references of the Ancient Database for this planet your new moon-base orbits.

But there's really nothing here. The Ancients deleted everything referring to the place.

It's not confounding and insane to think that they'd do such a thing, though, considering they erased all mention of the REPLICATORS.

Sarah brings in a plate of sandwiches to your office, and you put it all aside.

Well. If the Ancients failed so hard as to wipe all records of experiments TWICE? You're not going to pry deep for ans-

You stop as you swear you catch a glint of Ascended Light through the office window.

...

...

...

No. That doesn't seem right at all. Somehow.

...You frown. Something isn't quite right.


 

The Ascended being snarled slightly to himself.

Surely, SURELY there had to be a way to convince the Atlantians to flee to another planet lest they discover any one of the Six Canisters now floating about in the ocean.

He could only keep them hidden for so long while splitting his attention between the city and the island.

He had to scare them off somehow... Somehow...

But was that man researching the Asuran project as well? Hrm... Perhaps... just perhaps...

No, that would risk drawing their attention here as well. To the Robot. To the Islands.

And then he found himself drawn elsewhere- another plane of existence.

"Hello, there, Uncle," a female voice suddely interjected. "I believe you go by Velika these days?"

The Ascended being- 'Velika' for lack of a better name- frowned as he turned to face the woman who spoke."Well well, if it isn't little darling Trance," he mused, spying her essence glowing before him. "You've grown, haven't you?"

"It took some time, but yes, I Ascended," Trance said, putting her arms behind her back. "As did you. I find it surprising that you are alive, even. Last I'd heard you'd killed yourself diving head first into a pool of that accursed silver liquid. And now that I turn my attention back to this Galaxy after recent events have played out from an annoying rival's hand, I find you still alive. Hiding away inside the body of a machine."

"A Clever Ruse," Velika smiled. "Tell me, Trance. Are you merely talking to me now out of a desire to reconnect, or is there something else you want? I Have plans to fulfill and many repairs to make to the Great Spirit Robot."

"The 'Great Spirit'?" Trance scoffed. "Are you Religious now? Whatever happened to "The Grand Melding Machine'?"

"Its repair devices grew sentient," Velika reports. "Everything inside it grew sentient. We created LIFE! Again!"

"After the Asurans, I'd think you all would have been more careful," Trance remarks. "And now they're active not just in this reality, but in another."

"Since when did you Ascended lot care about the endeavors of other realities, Trance?" Velika asks. "The reason I hitched a ride along with the Great Spirit was to avoid dealing with the rules. I ascended and was confronted with rules and demands from those ingrates. I refused to play by their rules, and had my own plans already as it was. Exile is not a punishment when you never wanted to be a part of such an Exclusive Club to begin with." He then chides, "Ah, but you got me monologueing. You avoided my question, Niece Mine. What do you want?"

"I've seen the images within the mind of the vessel you've inhabited," Trance remarks. "I've seen what you have planned for Spherus Magna upon its reunion."

"And?" Velika threw his hands out far and wide. "Do you expect to stop me? I doubt the Others will take kindly to it."

"The Others are Dead, Uncle," Trance informs him.

"And how is that?" Velika asks.

"A Man named Hunt, whose goals aligned with mine and others. He killed them. Absorbed their essence. We few Ascended who remain in this plane now fall under the banner of Andromeda," Trance then extends her hand. "Your Goals are not so different from ours. And So. I Extend an offer to join us."

Velika stares at Trance's hand, then he laughs.

"...Have I said something funny?" She asks.

"Hah... Oh, darling Niece of mine," he smiles a rather wide, disturbing smile. "While I appreciate the offer... I'm going to have to decline. It's obvious you come to me out of desperation. If you'd truly needed my aid, you could have sought me out at any time during the last Ten Thousand Years. It's not as if you lot couldn't figure out what I did afterwards. I've seen some of you buzzing around. Harper, for example. I saw him observing not just Five Hundred years ago. The Rampant Curiosity must have gotten to him so badly! Hah. I'm certain he saw me, and if he works for you as he did your father? Well. You've known where I am."

"I will admit, I've hesitated for some time to make this connection..."

"And yet you only play your hand now? Only after my plans grind to a halt on an ocean's floor due to a meddling VIRUS who had delusions of God Hood?!" Velika laughs- a bitter, sorrowful laugh. "What do you offer me? A Galaxy? The Universe? A solar system? I care not! I have dedicated ten thousand years of my life to this project! To seeing Mata Nui through to his glorious mission's end!! I have plotted and planned and done everything I can to ensure that I rule not as a god of celestial might! But of one of PHYSICAL PROWESS! My Kingdom awaits to be restored!!! Your delusions of godhood are no better than the Ori! I refuse! I reject! You come to me seeking manpower! Seeking MY AID after your plans have failed! What of HUNT?!"

"...He is dead."

"EXACTLY!" Velika laughs. "Dead! Even Ascended Beings can die! But me? Oh. No. I will persist. My spirit resides within a vessel that transcends flesh! Transcends machine! I am BIOMECHANICAL and I am IMMORTAL!!! My kingdom of a Dead Land waits to be reborn!! And It. WILL. As soon as I get rid of these meddling Lanteans. As soon as I kick them off of my world. I will restore Spherus Magna and rule it as its rightful KING! And then... once I've Secured it, I will-!"

"ENOUGH!" Trance yells, aura flaring. "...I... I thought I could trust you to support me, Uncle. It seems I was wrong. Enjoy playing with your mechanical toys for the rest of eternity. I am sure that whatever fate you have in mind for them is not what destiny truly has in store. Know this, Uncle," She steps forwards, glaring at her uncle, eye to eye. "One day, you will be inches away from success only to have it ripped away from you for the rest of time and space! Spherus Magna fell. Atlantis Fell. EARTH. FELL. Our kind runs, and it runs, and eventually it comes back to bite us in the end when we play gods. I thought I could ask you to help me re-evaluate. To plan. To take those toys you are so fond of and elevate them to our level! But no... No. You and Hunt have the exact same damned flaw."

"And what's that?" Velika asks.

"PRIDE." She accuses, growling, nearly spitting the word out. "And Pride will always fell even the mightiest of trees." And thus, with four final words, she forced her Uncle back down into the vessel he had chosen to inhabit, "You made your choice!"

And thus, a small, brown armored robot blinked on its orange eyes as it awoke from its slumber, and shuddered slightly.

'Damn. She has truly inherited her father's temper,' Velika thought, disgruntled, getting to his mechanical feet- wobbling unsteadily due to the uneven length of his legs. Gyros and muscle counterbalanced within a few seconds, but it was slower than it had once been.

Before the 'damage.' Before the 'repairs.'

...Before a damned Virus program grew greedy and attacked the controlling mind of the Robot, crashing it into the ocean of Aqua Magna but hours before its mission could be completed.

Before the continent he had resided on shattered, and escaped the belly of the beast and burst forth onto the surface of the ocean with a sickening lurch of now volcanic activity.

Velika used his mangled manipulators to grab his tools, and peered out of his residence.

The volcano loomed overhead, spewing smoke and ash into the air, and lava down its sides, tumbling, tumbling, slowly making its way towards the water where it hissed with steam and burnt off heat. The other villagers were debating names. He simply called it a hell spawn of failures. A prison holding him back from his true desires.

They were so confused now, hesitant and worrying, wondering what it could all mean.

He knew. He knew all too well.

He'd done the math. As it was, the remaining energies within the Core would keep the Robot alive for another thousand years or so. That was how long he had to find some way of repairing the damage and getting it back on its feet.

After that? There was no telling what would happen.

He HAD to get Atlantis to leave, sooner rather than later...

And after that aggravating conversation with his niece... he was leaning so very close to risking it all and summoning whatever remained of the Asurans after Atlantis had brought the Wraith down upon them to deal with Atlantis.

...Damn it all. Damn it all!

Didn't his niece realize how important his work was!?

What did it matter if they took over a SINGLE UNIVERSE?

He knew of a device that could access whole other WORLDS with but a thought, opening a gleaming portal to somewhere else entirely.

He would rule everything.

And he would rule it with EXACTING PRECISION.

But first, he had to deal with Atlantis.

...If he didn't come up with anything soon, he was going to have to fall down on his WORST PLAN OF LAST RESORT. Contact the Asurans, and summon them to Atlantis...

But he would do that, if it seriously came down to it.


 

"Are you sure about that?" You are now SARAH GARDNER, and you blink as you hear Daniel make his sudden exclamation.

"I'm positive, there's an Ancient sneaking around in Ascended form peeking in on us," he frowns. "But what they want? Who knows. Maybe it was the move to this planet? Either way, I'm sure that whoever it was was trying to dissuade me from going down and researching into this facility's history. The Ancients erased it for a reason... and this Ancient is bugging me to drop it? I'm not going to let that lie."

"Maybe we should," you say. "This whole 'shattered planet' thing has me on edge. I'd rather we leave and be done with it."

"There's something they don't want us seeing," Daniel says, doggedly determined. "I intend to find out what that is."

Oh Daniel. You just can't let it go, can you?

"Then I'll help however I can, Daniel," you promise.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 14TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/23/0005.

BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ.

Your name is Joey Claire and you awaken feeling groggy and tired and like your enitre body is a series of weighted pullies without the gearing mechanisms in place.

BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ, Goes the alarm.

Your arm twitches and vibrates as you try to move it.

BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ.

Ah. It's going to be one of those days isn't it?

BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ.

You glance over at the still buzzing alarm. Ugh. Why didn't you go with a musical melody or something?

BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ. BZZZ.

Slowly, surely, you sluggishly move your arm and tap down on the button.

BZZZ. BZ- Click.

You sigh, rolling over in bed, and staring at the wall.

Was there anything you had to seriously do today?

....

...

..

.

Nothing comes to mind.

You slowly shift to put your feet on the ground and get to your feet...

Sleep wooziness makes you sway- but an Arai beetle swoops in from a nearby perch and helps stabilize you.

Yeah. Gonna be one of those days.

You lean against the wall for support while you direct the beetle to fetch your cane and bring it over.

You get dressed, and head out to the kitchen.

Mierfa and Polypa are buzzing about fixing breakfast for the lot of you. You give a good morning greeting and set about making yourself some chocolate milk while you wait.

Coffee Mug, chocolate mix powder goes in, spoon goes in, plain milk out of the fridge...

Oh, it's a new bottle. Bluh.

You struggle for a moment to pop the tab off from beneath the lid, and then start pouring.

You goof, ever so slightly, and some milk spills over the edge. "Damn it..."

You go to move the bottle of milk out of the way so you can clean it up and then--

Clink!

--Somehow you manage to knock your coffee mug over and spill what little milk and the powder that was in there out onto the table.

The next thing you're really aware of Mierfa's rubbing your back and Polypa's cleaning up the mess and your breathing is nowhere near stable and everything feels like its twitching and vibrating and and and you feel like you're on the verge of crying and---

"Sssh. Shh. It'll be okay. It's just milk."

You hate this.

You hate how you're not in CONTROL anymore. How everything is just- how suddenly just these tiny things can be so overwhelming and you- you just...

...

...

You make yourself another glass of milk because you have to prove to yourself that you can so you do but its soured by the disaster that just happened.

And you...

You feel so damned lost.


 

"So... lazy day in bed, huh? Or, well, couch, I guess."

You glance up from where you're lying on the couch, and see Xefros standing over you.

"Yeah," you nod. "It's been one of those days so far. Just wanna lie down and sleep forever."

Xefros sits down on the floor next to you, and asks, "So... is everything okay?"

"Just... reminded of how tiring it all is to be a hero anymore," you answer. "I didn't sleep well last night. I was stuck wondering about what's going on and what could be done to fix it... Ignoring for a moment even if there wasn't another me already working on that world to get their SGC relocated back to Earth after everything that happened." You move a hand out over the edge of the couch, and Xefros grabs it to give a squeeze. "I think the stress got to me. I haven't had a good morning so far either."

"It's almost 1, now," Xefros says, "so no, I'd say not."

"Shit, seriously?" You frown. "I haven't even felt hungry. Just tired."

"Probably a sign we should get you to eat something," he says, and you agree.

You're not even that hungry all things considered, but your force yourself to eat something small. Some small sandwich cookies- the Alternian variant of those oval shaped cookies with chocolate filling in the middle- and a couple small bottles of yogurt smoothies that you suspect won't be a thing on Earth for another few years until the trend catches on.

The cookies are kind of dry. You check the best by date and see it's at least a month past then. Whoops. Oh well.

You chew and crunch the cookies, then wash 'em down with the yogurt smoothies.

"So," Xefros starts, open ended.

"So," you answer in turn, equally open ended.

"I think our time's past," he says. "Baring some extant time loops from our past selves that for SG-1 haven't happened yet... I get the feeling we've won all of our fights. There isn't anything left for us to really... win? If you get what I mean?"

"I've... been thinking the same thing," you admit. "What's... really left for us to do? Except live our lives as peacefully as we can? Let other people do the fighting, let the newer and newer generations fight their own fights and battles... But I spent my childhood on this. Shouldn't I owe it to the next generation to keep fighting until I can't?"

"Maybe, when there are occasions we need to pick up the mantle again, I can see that, but... for the most part..." Xefros takes a sip of a yogurt bottle as well. "I'm looking at it this way." He starts, "We have Megazords right? So, let's think about us as Power Rangers for a minute. All fancy and suited up every week for every battle, but... we beat our endgame villain. Sure, there are other enemies out there to beat, and sure, there will always be people to fight, but... our specific story arc completed itself, and baring a few cameos in future seasons and crossovers... we're free to live our lives outside of whatever narrative constructs the writers might impose on our show."

You consider what Mierfa was talking about regarding Summer, the Yellow Ranger from a different dimension. A dimension where Power Rangers isn't just a TV concept for a couple of galaxies.

"So... what. We exist outside of 'canon' now or something?" You ask.

"Well, in the grand scheme of things..." Xefros muses, "I think yeah, that's probably a good way of putting it. We've exited canon. We exist on the edge but we float outside of it. The problems of the Universe are no longer ours for the most part. I mean... Alternia's been a pretty chill Galaxy since we beat English. We haven't needed to fight major battles. The teams that do just go out and explore are doing that, exploring. We've... won? Haven't we earned our rest and relaxation by now?"

"Civilian Life as a Metaphor for Canonical non-relevance," you muse. "Or the reverse. Whichever perspective you want to think about it as. I just... I feel like I should still have the spotlight somehow, you know?"

"Well, you're a Light-bound person, so I can't fault you for wanting that," Xefros muses. "But... wasn't what we wanted to begin with a life where we didn't have to fight and could just live? Wasn't that the whole point? We've... we've gotten that. Except for what Okurii mentions during lunch or dinner or whatever get-together we have, I've stopped generally paying attention to everything. I'm helping Baizil raise her alternate verse self and sister when I can, even if she scolds me for spoiling them. And Salazl's always just... been on the edge as it was, you know?"

"No?" You frown. "Where'd you get this idea from?"

"He mentioned it to me during one of our work-dates on that project of ours," Xefros says in as exactly as little detail as possible, intentionally, you feel like. "He's said that even when we were crashing down after Trizza abandoned us... he felt like a background character the entire time. Sure, he did stuff for everyone and did a lot of stuff, but even when it was just the group of us out in the desert on our own... You know he said he felt like he'd been replaced with another background character when Zebede came in to work console?"

"Seriously?" You ask. "No, geeze, I never realized. He felt that way. He was always kinda quiet when we hung out most of the time except for when he had something to say."

"And he's done a lot of impressive work for us," Xefros says, "Hell, Atlantis is still using his compression algorythms for data bursts and such. But... you know, it's just... I dunno if I'm betraying his confidence to say stuff like this or not, but he felt like an observer a lot of the time. Just, watching, seeing what crazy insane stunt we'd come up with next. And it was always somebody doing something crazy and impressive and topping the next and the next..." He shakes his head again. "But he said he liked it like that. Being in the background. Observing. But that didn't mean he felt safe. A lot of the times, he told me he felt like when things got really close to home that he had some giant death scythe hanging over his head."

"What?" you ask. "What'd he mean by that?"

"Okay, so, this is... like," Xefros closes his eyes, laughs hollowly. "Borderline psychic nightmare territory, but he said he had dreams about being onboard the Prometheus, confronting Anubis at the Supergate over Alternian, for *weeks* before we even started drafting the plan seriously. And a lot of weird details matched, like the moons being gone, and the plan to cause the Gate to Kawoosh and kill Anubis... the Ultrazord brawling with English down on Alternia."

"Woah, seriously?" You ask. "What happened in the dream then?"

"He said he sacrificed himself in the dream to make sure that everyone kept getting out safe when the Prometheus got caught up in the Supergate Kawoosh."

"...Damn, that's... Kind of horrible, isn't it?" You ask. "He never mentioned that to any of us."

"No, he felt like that if that was how he was going to go out, that was how he was going to be remembered and he'd do it that way," Xefros pauses. "Of course, things didn't turn out that way at all. And then when everything started quieting down, well... you know how things have gone between me and him, at any rate."

You nod.

"You know? He's been talking about adopting a grub, too," Xefros continues. "I think he really likes just... having a nice, calm, peaceful life now without some sword of doom hanging over his head." He pauses, then adds, "I really like not having a sword of doom hanging over our heads too, anymore."

You think about it.

"...That's awfully meta, Xef."

"I know."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 22ND, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/31/0005.

"Huh," you are now Tyzias Entykk, and you blink at an email notification. "Dimensional Activity again?"

You open the email and get a report from Mckay's Lantea Satellite. After everything that happened there with the other dimension, it's been deemed important to continue observing the area, not just for the whole over-written space-time thing...

Except... Well.

"Huuuh." You blink again. "How about that?"

It seems that given a proper vent into another dimension, that "over-written" space time would gladly "Un-Write" itself.

Through a rapidly growing 'tear' in that fabric of formerly ZPM contained space time, Mckay's sensors are picking up signs of Lantea itself residing in the place it always should have been.

You open a new email and begin writing to certain people.

"We're going to have to rethink everything about the other ZPM Overwrite Sites," you mutter. "Hell, they're not even overwrites! They're-!"


 

"Masking Layers?" Mikari Aiikho repeats as you inform her of the discovery.

"Yes, Ma'am," you nod. "Like how in a graphical arts program, you have layers to draw on. One layer goes on top of the other. With how we've been observing the ZPM Containment Failures that have happened before- whole sections of space time appearing to be overwritten by the space contained within the ZPMs- we've assumed that these layers were being made, and, essentially, merged down on top of what was already existing, overwriting whatever wasn't able to peek through."

"But that's not the case then, if Lantea is still existing behind the curtain," Mikari muses.

"Exactly," you nod. "In a sort of weird, 2d-3d mesh of a paradox, we're essentially looking at the equivalent of one of those weird internet GIFs where an artist erases a layer ontop of another layer, revealing what's beneath."

"So the layers aren't merged, we're just observing a perspective where we can't toggle the layers on or off," Mikari summarizes. "Or erase through to a lower layer? I suppose?"

"Essentially, yes," you nod.

"I'll tell Rodney we received this intel from his satellite when he gets back then," Mikari says.

"Um, where is Doctor Mckay anyways?" You ask.

"Off world with AR-1 and some Marines helping the Genii track down one of their exploration teems that failed to check in," Mikari answers. "Sora requested we help, considering there was suspected Wraith Activity on the planet."

"Well, I hope things go okay for them, then," you say.

"Don't we all," Mikari nods. "So... You want to go check it out in person then?"

"Yes, Ma'am!" You nod. "Very much so."

"Take the Aurora," Mikari authorizes. "I hear Keiko's been itching to take her for a proper spin around the neighborhood given some of the recent repairs and upgrades she's made."

"I've heard just the same," you crack a grin. "I'll go let her know!"


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

The Aurora dropped out of Hyperspace, once again approaching the place Lantea once had resided... and still did.

"Oh well that is just freaky," Your name is Mallek Adalov, and before you resides a large tear in the fabric of reality, or rather... a tear in the fabric of reality that had been draped over your normal layer of space time.

"Tell me about it," Keiko remarks from the Aurora's control chair. "That's just... Wow. So weird."

Through that zig-zagged tear in space time, you can literally see a planet covered in water.

"And we're sure we're not just seeing through to that other reality Mckay went to, right?" Daraya asks.

"We're not receiving any radio signals, or seeing any signs of Atlantis proper residing down on the planet," Tyzias reports. "Scans also indicate there's some debris consistent with a City Ship that's crash landed on the mainland continent. Looks like it's the ship we punched a hole through."

"So... this is our Lantea for sure," you surmise.

"Damn," Daraya chuckles, "and here I was hoping I'd get a chance to meet myself. I Keep missing out on those runins with other selves."

"It's not all its cracked up to be," Keiko laments. "Sometimes you just don't get along. Sometimes you do."

"How are Silica and the others doing, by the way?" You ask.

"Oh, you know, the same old same old," Keiko shakes her head. "Nothing nearly quite as interesting as this is."

"We should take a Jumper in close to the rift to get some better readings," Tyzias suggests. "if we can replicate what's dissolving this Masking Space Layer in other places, we might be able to retrieve the Prometheus' remains, for example. Or undestroy that solar system Mckay blew up."

"Or go and check the damage for some of those places back in Alternia where things got blown up," Daraya says.

"You know," you muse, "we should have realized something like this was the case given that temple with the broken Quantum Mirror phase-shifting everything."

"Mmh," Keiko nods, then takes to the ship's radio. "Lorne, Zelenka. AR-2's taking a jumper down to the rift to get some better scan readings. Hold the fort while we're gone."

"Understood, Miss Ayano," Lorne answers. "We'll keep things tidy."

With a nod from Keiko, you all head for the Jumper bay.

Within a few minutes, you're heading out towards the rift in the 'Masking Space Layer' as Tyzias had coined it.

Keiko flies, Tyzias scans, you and Daraya...

Talk.

"So, how're you holding up?" You ask.

"Hm? You mean with the two islands on the moon we're staying on having volcanoes erupting and spewing magma everywhere?" Daraya asks in turn, trying to keep her cool. She's failed, considering her left leg is bouncing a bit now that you've brought the subject up. "Oh, I'm doing JUST fine. What do you think, Mallek?"

"So, about the same?" You ask.

She sighs. "Depends on the day. Considering the explosive smoke shit is pretty localized to those islands and we're nowhere near it, I can sometimes forget about it. But... The smoke still gets to me, some days, if I go outside. I can smell it in the air. Sets me off if I'm outside for too long."

"Well," you say, "if we're lucky we'll be taking off and heading out again within a few weeks."

"Maybe," she huffs. "I'm just... I don't like it. I'm dealing but I don't like it. Getting out like this helps, though."

"Well, as long as we can get out frequently enough-" you're cut off by Tyzias exclaiming:

"HAHAHA! SUCK IT HEISENBERG UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE! SUUUUUUUCK IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!"

You, Daraya, and Keiko all turn to look at the tealblood, grinning excitedly at her computer as she taps away at it.

"...Want to share with the class, Tyzi?" Keiko asks.

And thus Tyzias proceeds to explain that one of the various types of exotic particles created by the whole rift situation that had stuck around afterwards had become engaged in  a VERY energetic reaction when exposed to the formerly ZPM contained space and Zillyum energy, and was essentially serving as a sub-spatial acid against the Masking Space Layer.

...And it was also completely violating the Uncertainty Principle by not only being easily identified in its positioning in space, but also at the speed at which it was moving.

And there were a lot of these particles chowing down on the masking space layer the ZPMs had jettisoned onto reality, moving around rapidly along the edges, slowly, slowly, slowly, eating more and more and more...

But they weren't growing at all, paradoxically, nor multiplying.

The ZPM masking space layer was just being completely erased.

"So it's like a very hungry grub snacking down on everything it can before molting," Daraya summarizes.

"Mmh," Tyzias nods. "At the rate they're going, I'd say it'd take atleast two years for them to completely erase the Masking Space Layer. Maybe longer if we harvest the particles for use elsewhere."

And then, as Tzyais descended into mumblings about how to do such harvesting, an alarm sounded from the Jumper's main console.

Keiko tapped at a button on the console and up came the screen.

"Oh, that's not good."

"What's not?" You ask.

"Not sure," Keiko frowns. "I'm going to take us a bit closer to get some better readings..."

And thus, the Jumper edges closer to the edge in space-time where two layers of reality met...

"Crap." Keiko swore. "I'm picking up some Energy readings from the wrecked City now that we're closer to it. It looks like some Replicators survived and are trying to rebuild," a frown spreads on her face. "It looks like they're consuming parts of the forest lanscape for raw materials."

"Plant based mech city?" Daraya frowns. "Can't see how that'll work."

"They might be able to repurpose the raw materials like our Replicators could, to some degree," you frown. "Or something else. Either way, we shouldn't leave them be."

"No, we shouldn't," Keiko turns the Jumper around. "Let's regroup with the Aurora and contact Atlantis."


 

You are now Keiko Ayano, and after some quick discussion of what to do with Atlantis...

You sit down in the Aurora's control chair, lock onto the remains of the Asuran City with the weapons system, and fire off a volley of drones.

They slip through the rift, descend towards the planet below, and then smash into the remains of the city, blasting it all to pieces.

When the sensors read the first wave has left remnants behind, you blast it again.

You wait.

Still some remains.

You blast it again, third times the charm.

This time, there's nothing left.

You fire again once more just to be on the safe side.

By the time you've finished, the Aurora's drones have been depleted to half stock, and there's a large impact crater now filled with smaller craters and surrounded by even more craters.

"We'll leave another satellite to observe," you decide. "If any of those damned things survived, we'll wipe them out again."


 

The Aurora begins its return to Atlantis some time later, after a bit more observation of the physics interactions going on that brought you all here to begin with when you're requested to be redirected to another planet.

AR-1, half of a Marine Squad, Doctor Beckett and a Genii are stuck without a working Stargate DHD, and needs pickup.

You ask what happened to the DHD and the answer? Someone blew the damned thing up because of a Wraith built Mass Halucination Device.

Lovely. Lovely that.

You change the Aurora's course, and then go to chill with your team in the Aurora's equivalent of a crew relaxation area.

"So," you report, "We're on our way to pick up AR-1 who had a Thrilling encounter with a Wraith Halucination Device."

"Oof," Tyzias winces. "What about the Genii soldiers who went there first?"

"Most are Dead," you shake your head. "They killed eachother in a panic, save for the guy who rigged the DHD to explode, which apparently killed one of them. There was one survivor, though, whether or not he's ever going to make a full mental recovery or not is debatable."

"Not a pleasant way to go," Tyzias shakes her head.

"Not a pleasant way indeed," Mallek agrees with a nod.

"Mikari's putting the team on mandatory vacation leave for two weeks," you say. "Once we pick them up, of course."

"What about the Wraith device?" Daraya asks.

"Shut down, and I've got orders to nuke the thing from orbit once we get everyone off world," you answer.

"Sweet," Daraya whistles. "That's pretty fun."

Lorne and Zelenka enter the room then- Lorne asking, "What's pretty fun?"

"Blowing up Wraith Tech from Orbit," you say, and then repeat everything important for them to know.

"...Dang. Sheppard's team sure gets into a lot of scrapes, don't they?" Lorne asks.

"Ah, shame we have to destroy such a device. To possibly turn it back on the Wraith Themselves would be an interesting concept," Zelenka shakes his head. "Ah well. Probably for the best we don't keep such a thing around."

"So," Mallek changes subjects. "Did you hear Carter thinks we could run the first legitimate test of the new Gate Bridge within the next few weeks?"

"Oh?" Zelenka asks. "Have they finished seeding the Stargates?"

"Alternian make and Model from here to both Galaxies," Mallek nods. "Considering the Gate Priority Security issues we were running into with the Pegasus Models."

"Hm? What was that?" Daraya asks.

"Yeah, I'm kinda out of the loop there too," Lorne agrees.

"Well, see, Pegasus Model Stargates are the newest model of Stargate designed by the Ancients, so older models, such as the Milky Way Stargates will ceed priority access of coordinates to a Pegasus Model Gate," Zelenka explains. "This includes Dialing out as well as dialing in. A pre-existing Milky Way Stargate will simply shut down if a Pegasus Gate is in close proximity."

"Wait, so what does that mean if we ever bring Atlantis to Earth then it's Stargate shuts down?" Lorne asks. "What about if you bring another Pegasus Gate to the same location as an existing gate?"

"The exact same will occur- priority is ceeded to the newly arrived Stargate," Zelenka nods. "We have no idea why the Ancients designed it that way except for as aera of denial against Wraith Targets, nor do we have any idea of how it functions in the Milky Way Stargates. There isn't a command code to shut down, so the feature must be broadcast from a Pegasus Gate instead."

"What about Alternian Stargates?" Daraya asks.

"Ah now there is an interesting case study," Zelenka says. "Bizzarely enough, despite being based off of the older Milky Way Gates, Pegasus Gates seem to interpret Alternian Gates as an even NEWER model of Stargate and shut down in their proximity instead. Likely the Ancients programed ahead for future compatibility in this case. Meanwhile, The Alternian Stargates don't recognize the Pegasus Stargates as existant at all with regards to shut down priority."

"So Alternian Gates are the way to go as far as Bridges go?" You ask, in summary.

"Essentially," Zelenka nods. "Furthermore, they are vastly more modifyable in terms of code base, being able to be broken off into subnetworks within an existing network. Plus Order of access or denial can be set specifically to work in different ways as opposed to it being hard coded. Which is a godsend of an idea considering that it would have prevented the Ancients from ever being locked out of a Gate at any point in time."

"Go Callie," Tyzias smirks at that.

"You know," you muse, "I wonder if that's what spawned my dimension's timeline? Beyond Jade convincing them, I mean. A Wraith got the smart idea to hoist a Gate into the galaxy and held it over the Ancients heads, locking their Gate down and preventing evacuation that way?"

"That could be a mitigating factor, couldn't it?" Tyzias muses.

You all sit in silence for a moment, processing that possibility.

"I think we should consider replacing the local Atlantis gate with an Alternian gate," you say. "First chance we get."

Nobody says anything else after your suggestion except, for Zelenka remarking "How would we remove it from the floor, though?"

Silence. Silence.

"...It is pretty stuck in the floor, isn't it?" Daraya asks.


 

EARTH DATE: JUNE 24TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/02/0006.

You are once again Mallek Adalov, and you are working on modifying a small subset of Control Crystals within the Atlantis Stargate for the Midway Project launch, Keiko is checking to see how easy it would be to remove the Stargate from the floor itself.

"Seriously, how did the Ancients do this?" Keiko asks, stomping at the floor. "There's no seams in the floor around the Gate itself! The only way we'd ever get the Gate out is if we dug a huge crater in the floor!"

"There has to be something," you say, glancing up from your work. "The Ancients had to have some way of doing it. Maybe... Hrm. Maybe you have to ask the floor to lift up?"

"Like... think it to open like we can fly the Jumpers?" Keiko asks, musing on it. "Alright. I'll give it a try as soon as you're finished with the Gate."

You nod, finish your work, and then take several major steps away from where you suspect the floor might just raise up and apart.

Keiko outstretches her hand and then closes her eyes in thought, interfacing with the city, and then-

CLINK- HISSSSS!

A large pillar raises from the center of the floor in front of the Stargate.

"...Well THAT wasn't what I wanted," Keiko remarks. "But at least we know that's there now."

"What is it?" You ask, moving over to the pillar that had risen.

"Looks like a palm scanner console," Keiko muses, examining it. "I wonder if this is what controls the Gate release?"

She touches the panel atop the pillar, and a shudder of some command ripples through the floor.

But... nothing else happens after that, save for the pillar retreating into the floor..

"...Weird," Keiko muses. "Must be jammed."

"Probably," you say, even as you stare at the place on the floor that should have visible seams where it split open, but doesn't. "Oh well, a Mystery for another time."

You shrug, Keiko shrugs as well, and you both write it off as a jammed terminal to get someone to look at later.

Chapter Text

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 29TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/07/0006.

The sudden exclamation of-

"Great flying fudge covered pizza wheels sawblading towards a roller skate derby tournament!!! WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED HERE!?!?!?"

-Suddenly brought the entire Atlantis Cafeteria to a grinding halt as all eyes darted towards the kitchen area.

"Bwuh??"

Boldir Lamati and Diemen Xicali shook their heads apologetically to the whole cafeteria.

"CANDIED PINEAPPLE PIZZAS. Why would you do THIS!? Pineapple doesn't go on pizzas! Let alone CANDIED PINEAPPLE!"

Marinette and Shirou were arguing over technique again.

"Well excuse me for actually making something to order for someone!"

Wait.

"...Wait. Someone Ordered this!?"

Ah, damn it.

"Of course! You'd think I'd make this of my own free will!?"

Argument over. And so everyone shook their heads and got back to what they were doing.

"Who! I demand to know WHO!!!"

Just another average Saturday on Atlantis.


 

"Look, all I have to say is that instigating an argument in the cafeteria for entertainment is going to backfire," Tagora Gorjek remarked as his cohort nearly giggled her head off.

Nearly, because giggling ones head off was an impossible feat.

But, well, he was sure Aradia Megido would try to do it before Shirou and Marinette got their hands on-

"YOOOOOU!"

The two irate chefs slid into the hallway, glaring daggers at the rust blooded troll from another dimension.

"Meeee!" Aradia grins.

And then she runs.

And then Shirou and Marinette run after her, brandishing rolling pins and salt bags.

"YOU GOTTA PAY FOR THAT PIZZA!" Shirou demanded. "$24.99! FOR WORK! PARTS! AND LABOR!!"

"AND YOU'LL PAY FOR THE SUGGESTION TOO!" Marinette added. "PINEAPPLES SHOULDN'T BE CANDIED EVER!!! $33.33 INSANITY TAX!!!"

Tagora Gorjek could only just whistle at the speeds at which the three of them were running. "And they say *I* Nickel and Dimed people back on Alternia?" He laughed, shook his head, and watched the show.

Just another average Saturday on Atlantis.


 

Ronon Dex watched, and waited for his turn as Teyla Emmagan trained with some Jaffa soldiers from another Galaxy.

Staffs swung, clacked against eachother, and Teyla stood center of the storm as she taught all of these warriors the true meaning of the Athosian fighting style.

Ronon smiled faintly as he watched her wipe the floor with the Jaffa, knocking them all flat on their backs with a single floor-level full circle staff swipe.

Just another average Saturday on Atlantis.


Jimmyy O'neill and Roxy Lalonde sat at a pier over looking the new ocean Atlantis had settled on- fishing rods extended and lines going deep into the ocean.

With a sudden tug on the line, Roxy beamed, and began reeling his line in.

...Much to his annoyance, however, he reeled in yet another giant mechanical fish that glared at him with annoyed, red eyes framed behind a rusted metal mask.

"For cryin' out loud," Jimmyy remarked. "Not another one."

"Ugh!" Roxy triggered a small add on to the rod, and the line briefly electrified, zapping the mecha-fish and causing it to let go of the line. "I don't think there are any real fish in this ocean!"

"Me either," Jimmyy agreed.

It was... Well, not your average Saturday on Atlantis for these two.


Argo Lalonde smiled brightly as they announced to Mikari Aiikho the day's activities, finally reaching the last point- "And we just heard back from Daedalus, they'll be approaching the Midway Station within the next few minutes."

"Good," Mikari nods. "Go let John known he's cleared to begin the final prepwork for the test."

"Got it!" Argo nods, and with a smile, they skip off to go find John Sheppard up in the Jumper Bay.

Today was going to be a monumental day that hopefully became just the average Saturday for Atlantis.


 

O< --- STARGATE: ATLANTIS --- >O


 

"Alright, everyone!" Your name is Morgan Carter- once Samantha Carter but cloned and turned young by a raving Asguard- and you and Rodney Mckay stand before the group of scientists gathered on the Daedalus' bridge, along with the usual bridge crew. "We're about to begin the first test dialing of the Mckay-Carter Intergalactic Gate Bridge Project."

"How this works!" Mckay points at the screen behind you. "We have fifteen Stargates seeded from each Galaxy, at the maximum possible distance away from eachother that a Stargate can Dial without the connection being Extra-galactic. They converge here, at a Midway point between Milky Way, Pegasus, and Alternia."
"The Gates are built with custom DHD programming and can only dial out in one direction in either direction save for the gates at the very end of the line in the respective Galaxies, which can dial out to a single specific Seven Address Gate, and can only RECEIVE input from that single specific Gate Address," you continue.

"Namely, Earth, Atlantis, and a single space-bound facility over the remains of Alternia that can only be accessed by the BC-304 Beltus."

"These Special Gates are Space Bound within each Galaxy," Mckay continues, "and they do NOT interact with any of the local Gate Networks, running within their own specialized networks, as it were. Today's test will be to see if these gates function as intended."

You take over again, "Atlantis will dial to the first special Midway Gate, and if all works as designed, that Gate will then store the matterstream within its buffer, connect to the next gate down the line, and so on and so on down the line until it reaches the Midway Station, currently under construction and rough-framed in at the present moment."

Said station proudly sits outside the Daedalus' front windshield- a circular ring frame within which a large, Y shaped superstructre sits within, three specialized eight chevron stargates reside at each end. Branching off from the middle are three frameworks for other rooms within the station, making an inverted Y shape super imposed behind it.

"Total travel time from one Galaxy to another will be 30 minutes," Mckay continues. "Now, we also have to take into account the possibility of a Gate Failure to Connect. These reasons may be many, including, but not limited to improper passcode authorization, or another connection being sent down the line from the other direction which should not be happening under normal circumstances. In such instances, passengers in-transit are to be automatically deposted at periodic isolation Stations. These stations are to be last resort stop gaps incase of system failure, or malicious attack. During normal operation they are to be inaccessable."

"While John Sheppard will be dialing from Atlantis to Midway, another test we are running today is Keiko Ayano dialing in from Milky Way to Midway, from there, she will divert to Alternia, and Sheppard will be dialing on ahead to Milky Way." You elaborate. "Ayano's test will be of the improper passcode authorization security lockout, and if all goes according to plan she will drop out mid-way to Alternia where the Astro Megaship is already waiting in position to monitor. If she continues through to Alternia, that is a fail of the test rather than a success."

"Now given that all of these stations are currently exposed to hard vaccum and have no sustainable internal atmosphere, while under normal operation, these stations are to be ground bound only, but for the purposes of this test are being conducted by Puddle Jumper," Mckay says. "Sheppard is in Jumper One, Ayano is in Jumper Two. During future tests once we have the stations built, we will be testing the isolation protocols more thoroughly, but for today, this is simply the proof of Concept. Now then, any questions?"

Nobody raises their hands.

"Okay, then," Mckay nods. "Looks like we're ready to go then."

You check your watch. "Dialouts happening.... Now."


In two locations, two Puddle Jumpers lowered down from the ceilings as the Stargates dialed out.

One two three four five chevrons, KAWOOOSH!

"Midway Macro Loaded," John Sheppard radioed. "Coordinates locked."

"Ready to depart," Keiko Ayano radioed.

"Godspeed," Landry confirmed.

"Good luck, John," Mikari radioed.

And then two Jumpers departed Earth and Atlantis.

The wormholes warped, and warped, and warped, and warped, faster, faster, faster, faster, jumping location to location to location and then-

Fifteen Minutes Later, two of the three Midway Station's Stargates simultaneously KAWOOSHED open, and the two Puddle Jumpers emerged.

"Jumpers One and Two, welcome to Midway," Caldwell radioed down. "How was the trip?"

"Thank you, sir," Sheppard shook his head and shuddered his shoulders. "It's a bit of a rush. Really trippy."

"Liiiittle trippier than usual, yeah," Keiko remarked, moving her Jumper forwards towards the remaining inactive Stargate and moving into position. "Ready to begin next stage of the test?"


 

"Mckay, Carter?" you are now Colonel Stephen Caldwell, and you ask the two scientists.

"I think we're good to go," Carter says, "Rodney?"

Rodney Mckay stares at a tablet of data readouts.

"Doctor Mckay?" You ask.

"Huh? What? Oh, yeah, go right ahead and launch through." He nods.

You give the go ahead. "Mckay and Carter give the goaheads, dial out when ready."

"Roger that, Sir," Sheppard answers.


 

Seven and a half minutes later, you are now Tegiri Kalbur, and you watch as the specifically selected Isolation Station's Stargate activates.

Now to see what happens, does it shut down or-?

SCHLORP! Out emerges Jumper Two.

You radio, "Jumper Two, this is Astro Mega. Mission success?"

"Yes, Sir," Keiko replies. "Preparing for reparation sequence to continue through to Alternia Proper..."

You watch as the Jumper begins to spin on the spot as the Gate shuts down.

Once she leaves, you'll have the Astro Megaship follow through in Hyperspace back to Alternia.


 

Seven Minutes after that, you are General Hank Landry, and you smile as a Puddle Jumper exits through the Earth Stargate.

"Jumper One," you radio, "welcome to Earth."

"Thanks, General," Sheppard replies with a nod. "I'm just going to park it now for the moment and pick up that special pizza delivery we arranged."

You nod. "You do that, Colonel."


 

About a minute later, Jumper Two emerged within the framework station floating above the remains of the planet Alternia.

The BC-304 BELTUS hovered in orbit nearby.

"Jumper Two, welcome to Alternia Base," your name is General Okurii Leijon, and you can't help but smile at the successful test of the connections.

Finally, after the Rift severed contact... Gate Travel to Earth has been restored.


 

You are now Rodney Mckay, and you suppose it's been 15 minutes now because you're drawn out of your reverie as the Midway Gate from Milky Way opens again and Jumper 1 returns.

You're asked about something or other and you just wave them on to conclude the test because you've got bigger fish to fry.

Over the last few months as this project was being put together, you started detecting a Doppler shift of some kind of signal slowly making its way out of Pegasus and heading towards Milky Way.

But now, you've finally figured it out.

"Colonel Caldwell, once Colonel Sheppard's ferried through to Atlantis, we need to divert course and head to new coordinates," you say. "I think I've just detected a ship moving a just under faster-than-light speeds from Pegasus to Milky Way. We should intercept to get scan readings, just incase its Wraith."

Caldwell and Carter stare at you, shocked at the speeds you're reporting.


 

"How exactly does a ship move at almost the speed of light?" your name is Jolinar of the altered future, and you muse aloud as you and your partner stare at the readings Mckay picked up with the Daedalus's sensors.

"If it's powered by a ZPM, possibly very easily," Mckay answers. "If it's an ancient Battleship, the Hyperdrive may be damaged, forcing them to travel to Earth at near light-speed velocities. Realistically, it'd take a few thousand years to make their destination, but it'd barely be a few years for them relativisticly, less given Stasis chambers."

"Ah, of course," you say. "And if it's a Wraith ship?"

"If it's a Wraith Ship, then who the fuck cares, we blow them up," Morgan counters.

"Fair enough," Mckay agrees.

After a few minutes, the Daedalus arrives in position to intercept the incoming vessel.

"We're moving at as fast of a velocity as our sublight engines can handle, Doctor Mckay," Caldwell starts. "Let's just hope it's enough to get them to stop and roll down their window."

"An apt metaphor," Mckay chuckles. "Alright. They'll be in range in 3, 2..."

The sensors read a blur of a high speed velocity SOMETHING rushing past, and gone.

"...Looks like it's an Aurora class cruiser," Mckay reads the results. "...And they're stomping hard on the breaks."

"Would you look at that," Morgan muses as the dot rapidly slows down, down down... "I can practically hear the tires squealing."

"It's going to definitely burn out their engines stopping that fast," Mckay says. "They're taking a major risk hoping we're not hostile."

"We aren't," Caldwell says. "But even so-"

"We're being hailed," Marks reports. "...Same broadwave frequency as Asgard Hologram-"

There's a flicker and a woosh of light, and the image of a woman appears there on the bridge.

"...Transmissions," Marks finishes quietly as the woman starts to speak.

"Unknown Vessel, I am Captain Helia of the Lantian Warship Tria," Captain Helia introduces herself. "Our ship has suffered damage. We've scanned your vessel and determined that it is capable of hyperspace travel. We've begun deceleration maneuvers. Will you render assistance in the form of hyperspace transport?"

"Of course we will!" Mckay exclaims.

The hologram doesn't reply.

"I don't think she can hear us unlike the Asgard transmissions," Morgan muses.

"Open a channel," Caldwell orders, and Marks nods. "This is Colonel Stephen Caldwell of the Earth Ship Daedalus. It would be an honor to render any Assistance in any way we possibly can."

The holographic woman smiles, "That is great news to hear. And Earth? I am amazed to hear that you have developed space-faring vessels in such a short amount of time... Or perhaps it has been longer than we thought. Either way, your assistance is appreciated."

And with that, she cuts the holographic transmission.

"I can't believe it," Mckay squeals. "We're gonna meet Ancients! Flesh and blood Ancients who know what everything is and how everything works! I have no idea what to even ask first!"

"It'll take us a few hours before we match speeds," you observe. "That should give you time to write out a list."

"Ah, right," Mckay nods. "That's, ah, a good point!"


 

EARTH DATE: JUNE 30TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/08/0006.

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you listen with rapt attention as Mikari leads you, John, Ronon, and Teyla towards the Gate room, explaining how the Tria had been battlescarred and already on their way to earth when their Hyperdrive gave out on them, and decided it was best to continue forwards than go back.

"How many survivors?" Ronon asks.

"Just over a hundred," MIkari answers.

Teylas speaks, excitedly, "Word has already begun to spread amongst my people. They believe this return was foretold; that it marks the turning in the tide in the war against the Wraith."

John scoffs. "I wouldn't know about that."

You arrive at the Gate Room, and Mikari looks up to Argo, who reports, "The Daedalus is ready to beam down our people and the Ancient Delegation."

"Thank you," Mikari nods, and zips up her jacket so as to be presentable.

Bregman's crew, already here and set up, starts recording.

And then there's a PVVVM-SHING! And then Mckay, Carter, and five Ancients appear infront of the Gate.

The Captain of the ship pauses upon seeing Mikari, and then composes herself. Shocked, you guess. Then, she catches sight of your wolf ears and does another double take, as do some of the others of her crew.

"Mikari, John, Ronon, Teyla, Keiko, this is Helia, Captain of the Ancient Ship, Tria," Carter introduces.

"It's an honor to meet you," Mikari bows slightly.

"Thank you," Helia says, trying to remain composed. "I find it hard to believe that so many different cultures would come here to Atlantis, but from what I'm told you've done a remarkable job of preserving the city."

"We did what we could with what we had," John remarks.

"I need to speak to the leader of your people," Helia starts.

"I'm in charge of the Atlantis Expedition," Mikari starts-

"You misunderstand me, Miss Aiikho," Helia says. "I need to speak to the one who represents this conglomerate of an alliance, or failing that, those who can speak for your individual groups."

"That can be arranged," Mikari starts, "But may I ask why?"

Instead of answering, Helia waves her hand over the floor and that danged control console rises from the floor again.

Mckay jumps back in shock. "Woah!"

"Excuse me, but what's going on?" MIkari asks.

"Thank you for all that you've done, Miss Aiikho, but your guardianship over this city is nolonger necessary," Helia places her hand on the console and-

BZZZT.

It buzzes angrily at her.

"...Huh?" She stares down at the console, raises her hand briefly and places it down again.

BZZZT.

Then, Helia asks, "Who is 'Administrator Ayano' and why does she have Higher Administrative Privlidge than I do?"

All you can say is- "Huh. So that's what that thing does." -as the apparent ADMINISTRATOR CONTROL CONSOLE sinks back down into the floor.

"I think we should probably take this to the Conference room," Mikari wisely advises as a sort of tension fills the room. "Argo?" She calls up, "Would you send Chuck to go notify Earth that we're going to need General O'neill and General Leijon to make an appearance? Egeria and Teal'c too, if they're available."

"Yes, Ma'am," Argo nods, and scurries away.

"It seems there is a lot we must discuss," Helia frowns.

You head to the conference room and the Ancients follow, nervously eyeing all the varried forms within the City. Humans, Alternians, Jaffa, and the various mutations that had formed just the same.

You suppose they are all very confused by the rampant non-uniformity of the people living here. Teyla's earlier enthusiasm has vanished, and she and Ronon both are eyeing the Ancients with some hesitant looks to their faces.

The Camera crew follows as well, cameras running the whole time in silence.

You're sure Bregman's going to have some lovely narration to fit over this part of time.

You arrive in the conference room, and Helia asks the question that's surely on all the Ancient's minds- "I feel odd for asking this, and I mean no offense... But... why is everyone so... diverse? Physically? Animal ears, giant insectoid wings... the Grey Skin and Horns. That seems... beyond what evolution should allow."

"That would be because it's not natural evolution," Mikari begins. "Not too long ago, a woman stole a device we call a Quantum Mirror, and attached it to a Hyperdrive, attempting to jump between dimensions. It failed, and exploded, creating a rift in space time that began emitting a particle of energy we've dubbed Zillyum. This particle spread through the universe, activating long dormant chunks of DNA within various people across the galaxy, some were granted powers, others physical transformations, sometimes both. Rarer and rarer still are those unaffected."

"I suppose that makes sense," Helia says after exchanging glances with several of her top scientists, you'd guess. "I was told that your people come from various worlds," Helia starts, "I... I know it must feel strange for me to ask, and it is likely our soured experiences with the Wraith coloring my perceptions, but... were some of your people always vaguely insectoid like?"

"Yes, actually," Mikari nods, a bit hesitantly. "And I can understand that heistancy given your experiences with the Wraith. We know they evolved from the Iratus Bugs into humanoid form."

"...Iratus Bugs?" Helia asks. "I... believe I know what creature you mean. It was not... one of our finer moments."

"I'd imagine not," Mckay mutters, seemingly jaded over the fact that the Ancients just tried to take control of Atlantis from you.

"Many of my people have a similar disposition towards the Wraith. It... would feel wrong for many of them to even try settling back here in Atlantis," Helia says. "With you present. I mean. And I mean no offense by that."

"So, I guess the stunt you just tried to pull in the Gate Room was you trying to kick us out of the city?" You ask. Helia flinches, as do the others of her crew, remaining flustered and silent.

"My hope was for it to be only temporarily," Helia says. "I... We simply wished to return home. And now we find our home occupied by various people who are not of our kind and some of whom bear a passing resemblance to an enemy of our own creation." She shakes her head. "I didn't expect an Administrator to have allowed your presence here already, and for that I apologize."

Mikari glances at you, and you decide to vouch for your own sudden Administrator status, you guess. "As my people see it, Atlantis is as much our heritage as it is yours- as well as it is for the people who have come to live here."

"...Your people?" Helia looks to you. "You are Administrator Ayano?"

"Keiko Ayano, yes," you say. "I'm the Daughter of Bishop Ayano, from the Castle Ship Aincrad."

"A... Castle Ship?" Helia asks.

"Think Atlantis, except ten thousand kilometers wide, and then stacked up a hundred floors and shrinking as it goes higher and higher," you explain. "My mother was the lead engineering technician for the Ship's Engines, working for the Ruling Council. When we discovered the location of Atlantis, I volunteered to serve as representative for my people- who are also your people, to a degree. We are descended from survivors of the Siege of Atlantis."

In another world, sure, but she doesn't need to know that yet.

"...You highly outrank me, then," Helia stares. "I suppose the Genetic Credential System wouldn't change much in ten thousand years, would it?"

Evidently not.

"I must ask," one of the other Ancients speaks up. "Why are you the only... Administrator here in this city?" He hesitates on administrator, you suspect he was going to go for something else.

"My people are busy dealing with a crisis of our own at the moment," you say. "One of our Castle Ships fell due to sabotage, and the rest of the system has taken on damage from similar acts, threatening to bring down the others in the time since Atlantis was discovered. Atlantis is a bit of a historical relic to us by this point in time. A curiosity, sure, but it's not nearly as important to my people as it is to the others who have come to live here."

You sure as hell hope you can make this offer.

"I may be able to offer your people living space with mine, if you so wish to migrate there," you say.

Helia smiles, "Thank you, but, I am not sure yet if we will take you up on that offer." She starts, "There is the question of the Wraith that we must talk about still, however. It was our understanding that your arrival in this galaxy triggered their most recent awakening?"

Mckay coughs suddenly- several eyes including yours glance at him and he tries not to meet anyone's by staring firmly at his shoes.

"Well," John interjects, "it was our understanding from the political events going on in this Galaxy that their awakening prematurely was inevitable. Other people local to this Galaxy were preparing bombing runs on dormant Wraith Hiveships. Even if we'd came a month later, two years later, the Wraith would've woken up sooner or later."

"And besides that," you interject. "We're working on a solution to the Wraith problem with minimal loss of life."

"...You are?" Helia asks. "How?"

"By stripping the Irratus Bug DNA out of their systems, leaving them only human," you summarize. "A retro virus."

The Ancients all look at eachother, considering that, and then they decide they'd like to wait to continue talking until they have the leaders of your people here to talk.

It isn't long before General O'neill, General Leijon, Teal'c, Egeria, and Richard Woolsey of all people have gathered, and the discussions begin in earnest.


 

You are Mikari Aiikho, and hours later after the discussions have been had, Jack O'neill and Okurii Leijon arrive, grimaces on their faces.

"Well?" You ask.

"The Ancients are pretty insistent on wanting most of the Expedition to leave, even if just for a while," Okurii says. "They're willing to learn more about what we've been up to, and they're willing to teach us about what some of the systems can do, but they're being pretty specific about who they're willing to leave here."

"Basically, Humans Only so far, maybe only those with ATA Genes, and even THEN not even more than a single handful of people who aren't showing visible signs of changes from the Rift Zillyum," O'neill shakes his head. "Egeria and Teal'c are still trying to work them over on allowing Jaffa and Tok'ra representatives, but it's not... working out well, last I heard."

"So they're kicking most of the expedition out," you surmise.

"Basically," O'neill says. "Oh, but here's some good news! The Ancients are graciously allowing us to take the Tria with us along with the Aurora. They don't seem to even want it anymore."

"Atleast, For now," Okurii sighs. "If it's of any consolation, Keiko's world is offering a chance for the Expedition to come visit and see if any of the knowledge we've learned from Atlantis can be applied to their world, and Egeria and Teal'c have agreed that may be a good use of the Expedition's time until the Ancient's decide to allow us back in the city. So-"

"How long," you interject. "How long before we have to leave, and how long before we can come back?"

"I gave a tentative answer of 48 Hours for us to leave Atlantis," O'neill said, "as for whether or not when we can return..."

"That all depends on what the Ancients think of the state of our two Galaxies in addition to Pegasus," Okruii says. "Keiko's world has also offered them sanctuary there should they decide to leave Atlantis. Helia said that it shouldn't take them longer than three months to make that kind of decision."

"Three months!!?" you ask, incredulous. "Over fourteen Weeks!?  Do you know how much can change in one week around here, let alone three, or six? But FOURTEEN?"

"It's the best we could manage, Mikari," Okurii says. "They're in a fairly fish out of water scenario here. And as much as it pains us that things are changing like this... we can't do anything about it."

"They're open to negotiations," O'neill says. "And they know they're at a disadvantage here given Keiko apparently has higher Admin rights than they do. Go figure. Who knew the girl had it in her? I sure didn't."

"I don't like it," you say. "I don't like it at all."

"None of us do," O'neill says, glancing out at the Stargate. "But given the state of *everything* right now? Maybe it'll be for the best to let things shake out like this."

You work your jaw. "I don't believe you believe that for a second, sir."

"Yeah, well... Cassie's basically flying blind," he answers. "In two worlds, even. Damara's fogged up the windshield, somehow."

"The Diaspora Seers aren't having any better luck," Okurii says. "Or Terezi for that matter. Which is concerning."


 

EARTH DATE: JULY 2ND, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/10/0006.

John, Jade, and Argo made the decision to stay in Pegasus with the Athosians. Ronon would also be staying with them all. The Alpha Site was being dubbed as New Athos in the mean time.

And while the rest of Atlantis began to evacuate through Gate and through book back to Earth or Diaspora, those three and their kid left to the Alpha Site early after saying their goodbyes.

And so with final halting looks over their shoulders each and every last person who went through the Gate stopped and stared at Atlantis' Gateroom, wondering if they would ever step foot inside those hallowed halls once again.

[TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 1 PART B.]

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 3RD, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/11/0006.

You are Jude Harley, and you awaken in the middle of the night to the sound of murmuring and twisting and turning next to you.

Before you can get your wits about you and shake her awake- Cassandra wakes up screaming - visions of things that could have happened springing forth not from her powers, but from her own imagination.

"Sssh! Cassie, I'm here," you hug her tight, and she cries into your arms about how badly the last mission could have gone.

The Odyssey had been captured on an investigative mission to observe the Lucian Alliance's slave trade. The hope had been to find the missing Mofang villagers and rescue them, but in the end it had been a trap by a splinter group within the Lucian Alliance- a splinter group that Damara had poked and prodded into forming, going by that one bastard's ramblings.

The Odyssey had been captured, and you and Cassie, and Jonas, Vala, and Rider captured along with it.

It was pure coincidence that Mitchel had been off-duty due to a cold. It was pure insanity that Mitchel had then later been able to pose as a Lucian Alliance lieutenant, infiltrate their inner circle, and had been there when they discovered the location of the Odyssey.

But you had no way of knowing any of that. Not when one of the Lucian Alliance man leading the whole thing  shot Colonel Emerson dead inorder to force you to repair the Odyssey so that it could be used to overthrow the current leader of the Alliance, who was stubbornly sticking to the belief that the Andromeda Ascendants would lead them to victory.

You were able to stall for long enough to get the crew free and overthrow the Lucian Alliance men running the show by way of Vala beaming the bastard-that-shot-Colonel-Emmerson into space.

And then the other Alliance ships showed up, demanded you surrender...

And then Mitchel somehow saved the day by deluding the Lucian Alliance ships there to turn on eachother, giving you the time needed to get the Odyssey's hyperdrive back online, Mitchel beamed back onboard, and abscond the hell out of there.

You'd just gotten back home to Earth a few hours ago, and Cassie had all but collapsed at that point. You'd all grown dependent on Cassie's vibes to navigate you through dark spots, even the lack of them as guide posts to maybe see your way through to victory... But it was really hurting Cassie more and more to be so blinded to the events going on around her.

"I hate this," she whimpers. "I hate being so blind. It sucks. It fucking sucks and I just want it to stop already."

Damara... not only was she blocking Cassie's ability to see the future- but other Seers as well were beginning to suffer the same fate and it was getting very.

Very.

VERY.

Frustrating.

The last solid vision of the future anyone had managed to get was Terezi, and she basically spelled out some impossible feat of 'Lord English reappearing alongside a Robotic Assistant and a blind Seer carrying a wallet full of corpses all walking into a Pterodactyl's shriek of revenge as it unzipped English's pants zippers to do unspeakable things to the three interlopers with a rather large fish.'

Needless to say, even Terezi found that outcome inprobable and assumed that Damara was messing with her just the same as she was everyone else because it was absurd even for her visions.

And really, all of this was the fault of the Andromeda Ascendants for trying to coerce the then-ghost into working for them, and even THEIR machinations had ground to a resounding halt thanks to Damara's actions.

Merlin's Weapon would solve one half of the problems, and given them the energy and focus to doubel down on the other half... hopefully.

Okay, well- you admit to yourself as you stroke at Cassie's back to try and sooth her down- maybe it was closer to thirds, if you counted Ba'al. Ba'al, the Andromeda, and Damara- three plucky little annoyances converging together into a single cohesive mess of a whole fucking prob-

Wait.

Cassie, too, freezes as if she realizes something. "Wait," she whispers. "I think I just figured something out."

"I think I did too," you say. "You first?"

"Well... The- the Lucian Alliance ships, three of them, combined into-"

"One cohesive whole?" You ask. She nods. "Okay, here's mine. I think the Gate Addresses for Castiana, Sahal, and Vagonbrei are-"

Your bedside table buzzes as two cellphones start going off.

Cassie fixes you with a look. A knowing look.

This isn't a coincidence.

You each answer your cellphones, you get Jonas, Cassie gets Rider.

They've both figured it out too--

And then Vala interrupts Jonas' call from his end, saying she TOO has figured it out from a dream.

Cassie soon hangs up, and then immediately calls Mitchel.

Go figure, he's figured it out as well.

Merlin's Weapon- the Sangraal- is located on a planet, the address of which is made up of symbols from each of those three worlds- Castiana, Sahal, Vagonbrei.

Needless to say, SG-1 assembles at the SGC in short order- with you and Cassie dropping off Penny with Davis and Karkat for the rest of the night- to see if your collectively spontaneously generated idea holds weight.

You bring up a basic sorting program for the Gate Address Database... and wouldn't you know it?

...Right as the clock strikes midnight and flips over to the next day, it turns out there's only one single Gate Address in the entire Database that consists of symbols made up from those three Addresses.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 4TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/12/0006.

Your name is General Hank Landry, and you look at a very tired and weary SG-1 that sits in the briefing room as you arrive that morning for what should be your holiday-special quarter-day shift.

"So. Let me get this straight. All six of you came to the same startling conclusion within seconds of eachother?" You ask in summary. "Thus, unveiling the existence of a single solitary planet that could possibly be the place that Merlin's Weapon is being stored? And finally, because of the odd synchronicity that which all six of you uncovered the idea, you suspect Damara Megido has chosen to 'bless' or 'curse' you with this 'forbidden knowledge'?"

"That's... pretty much the case, Sir," Jonas nods.

"Can she even do that?" you ask. "Plant thoughts in people's minds?"

"With Clarent in hand?" Rider shakes his head. "I wouldn't put it past anything."

"Well," you say, "Trap or Not, I suggest you gear up and head to that planet. We need Merlin's Weapon, at the very least to keep it out of Ba'al and Damara's respective grasps." And then, you wave your coffee mug at them. "Go and make some fireworks. Dismissed."


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

You are now Cameron Mitchel, and you look at a very familiar village layout, complete with all the people staring at you wandering around.

"Is it just me, or is this Camelot all over again?" you ask.

"Merlin probably had some way of mass-manufacuturing a town layout," Jonas guesses. "Given that the culture and technology looks similar to what we found with Camelot."

And then you all stop at a large sign hanging over a familiarly designed inn.

"Is it just me or-?" You start to ask.

"It reads 'Camelot Inn'," Rider and Jonas chime in simultaneously.

"Well, that's lovely," Vala says. "Even the names' the same."

You enter the inn and start asking questions.

...Somehow, the people here know that the Sangraal exists here on this world somewhere, and that apparently every other generation someone comes along looking for the danged thing.

None have never returned.

Your team is the second such group within the last three days to 'take up the quest.' Said group? A Large number of Jaffa accompanying a 'man who clearly commander their fear and respect.'

Ba'al, almost certainly, with a three day head start.

You're directed to seek the Library, and consult with "The Parchment of Virtues" to begin your quest.

An old lady librarian greets you, named Mara--  and don't you all nearly do a double take at that name, nearly mishearing it at first as 'Damara' instead--  and she tells you about how that the Legends of the Sangraal tell that it is located in a cave in the forest, but that the journey is 'fraught with peril' due to a 'curse' that Morgan Le Fay placed on it- Ganos Lal, rather.

She shows you a parchment 'purportedly left behind by Morgan herself,' serving as a guide for those of 'noble spirit' to reach the Sangraal.

Jonas translates it, "Only those of virtue true may win the prize concealed beyond the reach of the flawed and tainted. The Sangraal shall instead belong to he who speaks the guardian's name-" The guardian? A Dragon.

Rider laughs at that. "So it was HERE instead!"

 "-Prudence, wisdom, charity, kindness, and faith. Let these be your guide on this perilous quest," Jonas finishes translating.

Not much to go on, but... well... Apparnetly BA'AL STOLE THE ONLY MAP.

Lovely.

You reconvene at the Inn to try and figure out what to do about it when there are roars from the forest.

Go figure when it turns out Damara sent a couple of mutated bears through the Stargate to start rough-housing the place. And not only that, some LUCIAN ALLIANCE jerks had shown up as well and were fighting the beasts off- accompanied in tandem with a single Ascended being.

Hearing the commotion going on, Mara approached your team, and offered to lead you to the Sangraal.

You and your team all give eachother that look.

You know.

The one that says "This is all too damn bloody convenient."

Still, like Landry said, trap or not...

You need the Weapon.

Mara leads you into the forest for a while, until she slows down and you find a field of people and animals, frozen in space. There are a few of Ba'al's Jaffa stuck in place going one direction, and a bit further in you can see some moving in the opposite direction.

Very, very, slowly.

They're moving just ever so slightly, but otherwise are very much frozen solid.

"Okay, this is bad," Cassie whispers. "Very bad."

"What's wrong with them? Why aren't they moving but the trees are?" Vala asks as Jude gets out a scanner device, and begins running it along the edge of people who mark the outer most boundary of space.

"I don't know... lots of weird readings. Stronger here, weaker here, rising..." Jude winces as he finishes his scan. "Ah. Crap. Temporal Distortion Waves. This is a Time Dilation field. They're stuck in a huge bubble of slowed time. Years could pass for us before any of them make it two seconds."

"So what do we do?" Rider asks. "Go around?"

"I think the field extends in both directions in a vaguely circular shpae," Jude says, running more scans. "I'll give it to Ganos, this is one hell of a trap..." And then he stops infront of a space where nobody is standing. "Ah. I think I found something."

"What's that?" you ask.

"I think it's a way in. I'm detecting a literal tunnel of normal space-time carving through the distortion field," Jude says.

"It's a Maze," you realize.

"Yeah, and I can lead us through it easily enough," Jude says with a nod, taking a step into the field, and stopping. "Oh, Come ON!" he swears, and of course it's not for the fact he got stuck in time. "Stupid field's jamming the scanner now!" He backs away, carefully. "Okay... right. So, no cheating."

"I got an Idea," Rider starts. "What if we throw rocks?"

"Nah," you say, kneeling down, and grabbing some dirt. "Let's try more Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

You take that handful of dirt and throw it into the air infront of Jude.

Predictably, a lot of it stops in place. But what doesn't? It forms an outline of a boundary.

"Invisible Floor," Jude grins.

"More an invisible wall, really," Jonas debates semantics.

And so you start throwing dirt and rocks as you navigate through the maze, carefully leading a path of visibly frozen stuff for the others to follow.

It doesn't take long before you all get through the maze, and have inadvertently left a visible path that-

Suddenly the temporal field shuts off for all of a second.

Dirt and dust falls to the ground and everyone inside moves forward ever so slightly faster than they had before.

"...Guess Ganos was clever enough to reset the maze," Cassie surmises. "Even if for just a second."

"No leaving hints for the people that follow," you say. "I guess."

"We should keep moving if we want to catch up to Ba'al," Jonas says.

And with that, you continue on ahead.


 

You are now Cassandra Fraiser, and you feel a bit at unease as your ears pick up the muted grumblings of a familiar baritone voice.

"I can't believe they abandoned me," says the voice. "They're going to pay. All of them."

Your group approaches a small clearing, within which is a small wooden chest and a disgruntled Ba'al sitting next to it.

"WAIT!" He stands up to start to yell at you as you enter the clearing and-

FWASH!

A forcefield zaps as you cross through its barrier.

"Damn it," Ba'al sighs. "Well. Make yourselves comfortable. We're going to be here for a while."

Mitchel takes the tip of his gun to the field, making the thing flash.

"Don't bother," Ba'al says. "Believe me, I've tried. One way doors really suck."

"How long have you been trapped here?" Jude asks.

"Three. Agonizingly. Annoyingly. Tedious Days. Which reminds me. Did any of you bring any food?" Ba'al asks.

You decaptchalogue a granola bar and toss it to him.

He opens, and starts eating it with relish. "Oh thank Me! It's actually got chocolate chips in it!"

"Thank You?" You ask, raising an eyebrow.

"What? Do you expect me to swear by some *other* diety?" Ba'al asks. "I am my own god, aren't I?"

"AWH!" Vala exclaims as she opens the chest. "It's empty!"

"It's BAIT," Ba'al corrects.

"Let me guess," Vala asks, glaring at him, "your were lured in thinking it'd be the treasure, huh?"

"I was HUNGRY," Ba'al grouched. "I spent far too long figuring out that maze and I thought maybe the clearing would be a good place to stop and eat. Except none of my Jaffa followed me in, LAUGHED at me as soon as they saw I was trapped, and ran off with the food! Bastards, it's like they knew it was there."

"Maybe they were warned," Mara remarks.

"Dunno by who!" Ba'al grouches. "I sure hope they got caught in that damned maze."

"Oh, they did," Mitchel confirms. "Let me guess, path reset after you exited too?"

"Probably," Ba'al grunts, peeling back the wrapper of the bar more. "And it likely changed the path too. Shame they didn't think of that, I suppose."

"So, question," you start. "You're the Ba'al who had the Database that the other Ba'al wanted to steal, right?"

"Naturally," Ba'al says, mouth full of granola bar.

"So... why'd it take you this long to get here?" You ask.

Ba'al laughs, sounding defeated. "I only had TWO of the three addresses needed to complete the puzzle. As a result, I had signifcantly more addresses to investigate."

"So what happened?" you press for details as Jonas joins Vala in searching the chest.

"By process of elimination, I was left with one prospect, came via ship... and the Planet simply wasn't THERE! There wasn't even a SOLAR SYSTEM!" Ba'al remarks. "I calculated the position, came by ship, ran SCANS! And it wasn't there! I was stumped, honestly. I figured I could Gate in but I was confounded by the total lack of ANYTHING! I thought the planet was just GONE!" He finishes the granola bar. "Got any more?"

You look to Mitchel, he shrugs, and takes out a power bar. He doesn't toss it over yet. "Keep talking. It's rude to talk with your mouth full."

"Fine," Ba'al remarks. "When one of my spies informed me that ZPM dimensional overwriting wasn't actual overwriting, I decided to risk the Gate Address just to be certain. I would have tried it eventually, but it would have taken me much longer to decide to do it in that case."

"Well, obviously Ganos decided to hide it by ZPM'ing the whole system out of sight," Jude muses. "Probably so the Ori couldn't destroy the Sangraal from orbit, if they ever came."

"That's all I have to say," Ba'al says, offering his hand out. "I got trapped, and that's the short of it."

"Fine," Mitchel tosses the power bar over to him.

Jonas closes the lid to the chest, and then opens it again.

"Don't waste your time," Ba'al says. "I've had three days to escape, and the only thing that's special about it is that it's fused to the ground, impossibly."

"Like the pots in Avalon?" Vala asks.

"Probably," Jonas nods. "It'd fit with the Virtues."

"You mean to take it literally?" Rider asks.

"Prudence, Wisdom, Charity, Kindness, Faith," Jonas lists it off. "We navigated the time dilation field slowly and carefully, demonstrating Prudence to Recklessness. So... What does this trap exploit?"

"Curiosity?" Vala asks.

"Hunger?" Ba'al inquires, mouth full of power bar.

"Greed," Jonas corrects. "A person approaches expecting treasure and gets nothing but trapped for his troubles."

"So we put treasure inside instead of taking it out," Vala says.

"Basically," Jonas nods, taking off his watch and putting it inside the chest. He closes it... and... Nothing happens. "Has to be all of us," he decides.

"Seriously?" Ba'al asks.

"Look, if it doesn't work you can have whatever it is back," Jonas says, glaring at him.

"Fine," Ba'al reaches into his jacket and removes a fancy dagger. "But if I have to leave this I'll be sorely vexed. It has Sentimental Value."

"How's that?" Jude asks.

"I killed one of Damara's spies with it when I caught them in my ranks," Ba'al smirks as he hands it to Jonas, handle first.

The Old Librarian Mara squaks in offense.

Mitchel decaptchalogues a hat, you decaptcha a small tape recorder, Jude deposits a pocket flashlight, Vala... takes out a hair dryer from behind her back, likely decaptchaloguing it.

You all turn to the Librarian, and she grunts, taking out a ring and placing it in the chest.

Oh. Hello, you recognize that ring style.

Silver plate with a rust red tree-like symbol on its main face.

Rider hesitates, then takes off a small strip of blue cloth from around his right wrist, handing it over.

Before Vala can close the Chest, Ba'al remarks- "Before you decide to go killing me, just know that amongst the information I have regarding Merlin's Weapon is the name of its Protector. The Dragon, or whatever it really is. I have that, you need me whenever it shows up."

"Fair enough," Mitchel says, and with that, Vala closes the chest.

The force-field collapses, and you can all continue on ahead.

"Thank me,  another day in here and I'd have gone mad," Ba'al cracks a grin.

You all continue on down the path.

"Out of curiosity," you ask, leaning in close and whispering to the Goa'uld. "What happened to the map?"

"What map?" Ba'al asks, confused. "There wasn't any map as far as I know."

You eye the Librarian, and sigh. "Well, I should've figured that was obvious."

Within a few moments, however, any need of a map is dispersed as a large volcano-like mountain rises into view.

"I think we know where we're going now," Mitchel remarks.


 

Your name is RIDER, and you have a building sense of dread as you approach the cave entrance at the edge of the mountain.

"This is it, the point of no return," Mara says. "Within this cave is the Sangraal, beyond the hall of the Gauntlet Challenges..."

"'Gauntlet OF Challenges' would sound better," Ba'al quipps.

"Too bad you're not going to see it," Mitchel says, suddenly raising his P-90.

"What?" Ba'al looks offended. "I told you, you need me to-!"

"Not you!" Cassie says. "Her!"

"Oh, right, um, I'll just get out of your line of fire then," and Ba'al quickly steps as far away from Mara as he can.

"...Well, I suppose the jig is up," Mara remarks- her form flickering with a flicker of purple, revealing herself to be Damara Megido. "What Gave Me Away?"

"Among other things? Your Ring, mainly," Jonas says. "Silver plated thing marked with the Alternian Sign of Aries? Pretty obvious what that meant."

And then Mitchel opens fire on Damara- spraying her with bullets... Bullets that bounce off of a flashy, Goa'uld style Personal Forcefield, and hit the dirt, all momentum bled out from impact.

Mitchel quickly stops firing.

"...Well, shit," he swears.

"You can try to kill me," Damara smirks, "but you still need me."

"How's that?" You ask, glaring at the woman who'd possessed Artoria and did who knows what to who knows how many people's minds over the last few what-evers.

"Got a fancy passcode like Ba'al?"

"No," she tilts her head and continues to smirk. "Without me being present, the Andromeda Ascendands would have already begun attempting to raid this place. Not just by my physical presence here, but also by the fact I have my men sending monsters through the Gate to harass them."

"But the Village-" Jude starts.

"Is fine," Damara interjects. "I am not that much of a monster. I may be a monster yes, but I am not one to that degree. I only act in ways that are absolutely necessary. And besides, my monsters are being slain at a rate equal to that which I send them. The Andromeda Ascendants will not bother us for as long as I am accompanying you."

"....Fine," Mitchel lowers his gun. "But the MINUTE you pull out Clarent and try something on us, I pull Excaliber and you lose your head."

"Acceptable," Damara grins. "Now, shall we enter, or shall we all lose our heads to idle chitchat?"

"One question before we go in," you say.

"Fine."

"Did you plant the gate address solution into all of our heads last night?" You ask.

"All of your heads? Yes," Damara answers. "I grew tired of waiting for you to come to this world. This 'Morgan' woman placed safeguards that simply forbid me from going in and taking the Sangraal by my usual means. "

What the fuck is wrong with this Alternian Witch??


You are now VALA MAL DORAN, and you huff as your team marches down the carved steps leading deeper and deeper into the caverns.

"So since we're all here seeking Merlin's Weapon, I can only assume we all want the same thing?" Ba'al muses aloud.

"You mean use it to wipe out the Andromeda Ascendants and create yet another power vacuum in our Galaxy's power structure?" You ask.

"Yes," Damara giggles like a Goa’uld just told a funny joke, "Such Suction is quite preferable to the currently rock and hard place situation which we find ourselves in."

You do a double take at the Alternian woman, wondering if she really meant it like the way it sounded.

"Yes, well. I’m glad to hear we're on the same page then," Ba'al says, clapping his hands. "Those Ascended Ancient Douche-bags have been quite annoying. Not to say you haven't been equally annoying, Damara."

"I aim to please being a sharp thorn embedded deep within your fleshy rear, snake," Damara counters.

Everyone else groans, you sigh, because yes, you think she's definitely doing this on purpose, and Ba'al?

“Haha! Good one!” Ba'al laughs. “It’s been some time since I’ve had even this meager level of witty banter! Let alone such finely crafted remarks. It took me a good moment to parse both of those.”

Yes. She's well and truly responding to the conversation and QUIPPING, and Ba'al is preparing to quip right back, it seems.

“Well, there is a time and a place for everything," Damara counters. "As Witch of Time, I am very good at brewing such... ‘meager' banter. However, I see I do not need to bring my A Game. I need not be so strict with you lot. I know where I stand, and you know where I stand. And Furthermore, I know where you all will be sleeping tonight."

“Do you now?" Ba'al asks, raising an eyebrow. “And would you be willing to share with the class?”

“Now now, we are all grown adults here,” Damara counters. “No need to go bringing schooling matters into this. But I will share. A cold and damp cave surrounded by white, fluffy snow.”

“Your metaphor is a bit obvious there,” Ba’al quips. “You barely put any effort into it.”

“Who said I was speaking in metaphor?” Damara counters. “It is your mind that immediately went to the gutter, oh ye of many formerly bouncing, ice dusted, cerulean hued bodies that chill within the meat lockers of Area 51's morgue. I speak the truth while you jump away from the fire that would thaw your many frozen hearts and reveal the poisoned knife that slayed rather than the frozen chill.”

“Ouch,” Ba’al says, faking a hurt tone. "I’ll admit I walked right into that one. That was harsh, but well crafted.”

“Yes, you did walk into it, just as surely as you drew the knife that dug deep into their flesh and pulled those oh-so hot tracking chips out of their necks,” Damara answers. “And I need no reason to pull my punches when you provide such a fine cold compress to soothe my bruises, soon-to-be-slab-of-frozen-meat. Tomorrow you will wake up and find I’ve left you in the cold. Alone. So very alone. Just like you always are, regardless of how many clones you fill a room with. And I mean no disrespect, but you've very intentionally brought this upon yourself. You don't need me or anyone else to point this out, because as much as you hide it, you already know your greatest and most final demise will be just as cold, just as frozen and alone, with your face burnt away by the frigid cold of a plan that failed to account for the temperatures of the ocean within which you tried to sink oh so many ships again and again and again. Always trying, never succeeding for longer than a fraction of a second stretched across eternity. It's a never ending loop stuck within the absolute zero. And You Are SO Aware what your future brings, despite how you pretend that it's not going to happen to you, but instead to someone else. Do you need me to go on, or shall I continue to chisel away at your frozen corpse with my sharpened wit for another few minutes? It's not as if even my body heat would thaw you out of your fate that is already so frigidly frozen within time and space. You are already dead, Ba'al, and you know it. No matter how you try to delay the inevitable, it, is, inevitable.

Silence falls for several long moments, and nobody dares move, let alone speak.

What the FUCK WAS THAT!?

Just. What. What the fuck?? What the ever loving fuck was THAT, Damara Megido!?

And then Mitchel coughs a "Well. That was fun," and you all start walking again.

Descend, descend, descend...

Silent, silent, silent...

”...So I’ll admit I’m curious,” Ba’al abruptly changes the subject. “We each have our reasons for wanting to stop the Andromeda Ascendants. Set back as they may be now, they are reorganizing and re-calibrating for their continued conquest of the universe. None of us want that. But they want the Galaxy free, I want to rule it...  What is your reason for wanting them out of the picture?"

"I have a bigger fish to pleasure myself with... grilling to a fine, charbroiled crisp... than them," Damara counters. "They are but tiny minnows that need to be removed from the pond before I can deal with that very big Koi fish, and I will ensure that it screams like an Alternian Terror Bird when I do so."

"Wait- What?" Jude reacts. "What fish is this now?"

"Hmm? You are interested in Fishing as well? Color me surprised," Damara giggles again. "I do find fishing to be such a pleasurable activity. Spending such long periods of time with very thin rods and miles of string- both so strong despite their fragile appearance- all in the service of hunting that massive Koi that will soon be bound and tied like a hog, spinning on my spit atop a burning blaze of-"

"Can we drop the fish based metaphor, please!?" Mitchel interjects.

"Again. What metaphor? I am not being Koi like the pond I apparently 'metaphorically' speak of. Oh, but sure, spoil my fun like a snapped fishing line and make me speak plainly, why don't you?" Damara asks. "Know this, then. What I do, I do to rid myself of my former master once and for all. There are... vestiges of his will left behind still within this multiverse, and many of them gather again into a single whole that I must defeat when he makes his return."

"English is dead," Cassie says. "We shoved him into a black hole."

"That is the end of his timeline, yes," Damara says. "But I must ensure that all the pieces of his soul are inside the box when you toss it into the trash compactor."

"Guess it makes sense for a villain associated with time to have stowed some bits of himself away," you muse, and then frown. "By the way, aren't these stairs ending any time soon?"

"Ah, the 'Are We There Yet!'" Ba'al laughs. “I was wondering when such an Earth Staple would manifest itself!”

“You are simply impatient,” Damara says.

And then you reach the end of the stairwell, reaching an open chamber that you can barely see anything in.

"Because the answer is yes," Damara concludes with a smirk. "We have finished that long interlude of darkness, and begin our light period. And I mean that as an Art reference, rather, before anyone asks. Also. We will need flashlights to proceed."

Reluctantly, everyone with a flashlight turns them on to add more light to the dim chamber, and... You spot two large tunnels going left and right, as well as an-

"Ancient Tablet," Jonas approaches a stone set on the wall. "'Choose the way that is Just and True', it says."

"Oooh! A Riddle!" You clap your hands. "I love riddles!"

"Just and true, just and true..." Rider muses.

"Obviously the Just and True way is the Right Way so we have to go Right!" you surmise.

"Bare in mind the writing's in Ancient," Jonas says. "So the solution is likely to be an Ancient word puzzle rather than in English."

"Who said I was thinking about it in English?" You protest. "Maybe I was thinking about it in, uh, Jaffa or Goa'uld?"

"Same difference," Jonas counters.

"Hey," Rider says suddenly. "Quiet, everyone. Listen."

You quiet down... listen...

"That's a kid crying," Mitchel says, and then starting down the path that the sound's coming from.

"A kid in here? A trap, obviously," you say.

"Or a test," Jonas follows Mitchel, as does everyone else except for Damara and Ba'al and you.

"A test of what? Our stupidity?" Ba'al asks.

"Our Humility, perhaps?" Damara counters, and follows the others.

You look at Ba'al, and say, "Who would've expected her to say that one straight?"

He shrugs, and you two follow the others.

You soon arrive upon a young boy crying within the cave's tunnels.

He's probably no more than five, but he runs off in fright, crying the whole way.

Mitchel calls out for the kid to stop, and you just keep following the the whole way. Down more stairs, through more tunnels...

It's probably a trap, but...

"Kindness!" Jonas surmises. "This is a test of kindness to help calm the kid and get them out of the cave!"

"Why's he RUNNING then!?" Mitchel asks.

Then, you hear a clanking noise around a corner, and when you round it...

The boy's stuck inside a small jail cell alcove, with a metal grate blocking the way. By your eyes, it seems to have fallen from the ceiling.

"...Oh Come On," Jude mutters. "How'd he get stuck back there?"

"He's tiny," Ba'al remarks. "He can fit through the bars with ease."

"Hey, um," Mitchel kneels down to look at the kid. "Don't worry, kid, we're going to get you out of there."

The kid replies in something very much not anything you recognize.

"...That was Ancient," Jonas says. "Um... 'I don't understand you.' Obviously." He thinks for a moment then tries translating what Mitchel just said.

The kid doesn't react, just repeating the same phrase again.

"Fuck it," Mitchel says, and starts trying to lift the grate. "Give me some help, Guys!!!"

You all start working to try lifting the large metal gate, well, everyone save for Ba'al.

"Seriously?" He asks. "Are we really doing this?"

"Help us out or I will put you in this cage instead once we get it open," Damara counters, glaring at the Goa'uld.

Huh, who knew she had it in her?

Ba'al moves to help, and the moment he puts his hand on the grate, the thing magically retracts into the ceiling.

The boy smiles, and then fades away with a flicker of light-- and so does the back of the cave wall.

"...Huh," Ba'al stares. "I didn't expect that."

You continue down through the tunnel, finding a dead end chamber with another stone tablet on the wall.

"Another riddle, great," Cassie remarks. "Jonas?"

He translates, "'I'm struck and cut, shaped and cooled, then bound by rings to release what's stored.'"

As if on cue, the cavern starts shaking- and dust falls from the ceiling.

"Aw, hell," Mitchel gripes. "Solve it fast!"

"What's struck, cut, shaped, and cooled, then-" Cassie stops, facepalming. "BOUND BY RINGS! IT'S 'KEY'!"

"Right!" Jonas then calls out, "CLAVIA!"

The wall fades away, the rumbling continues and worsens- you all rush on ahead.

Another panel, another wall.

"I shake the earth with booming thunder, fell forests whole and homes complete! I influence ships, topple kings, sweep down swift yet remain unseen!" Jonas translates.

"I know this one!" Jude says. "It's WIND!"

"VENTIO!" Jonas calls out.

The wall fades away again.

You rush through another tunnel, and this time UP stairs. The rumbling keeps getting worse.

"OH FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD!" Cassie exclaims as you find yet another tablet.

"Battle-scarred in times of strife, resistant to-" he stops. and then yells, "CONTAGIA!"

The rumbling and shaking stops as suddenly as it came as the wall fades away again.

"...You know," you remark. "Come to think of it, riddles really were never my strong point." You all continue into the tunnel that just opened. "Now, Visual Puzzles! 'Which of these does not belong' or 'reconfigure to make the hidden image'! I love those."

Hrm. Is it getting hot in here or-?

"Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here?" Mitchel asks, even as the room seems to get lighter in color... warmer, even.

"Now that you mention it..." you trail off as you all approach a large wall of fire blocking your path. "It is a tad toasty."


 

You are now Jonas Quin, and you've spent about five minutes of silence searching the fire-wall chamber for any sign of a way through...
Nothing. You can't go forwards, can't go back (The walls have resealed behind you) and now...

"Maybe we should let the little witch here take out her sword and part the flames?" Ba'al asks.

"I wouldn't even if I wanted to," Damara says. "And I don't. They will kill me if I do. And I'd rather not lose my head at this stage. We are close. The Sangraal is behind that wall."

"Hah," Ba'al laughs, dismissively. "Of course. How's that Earth saying go. 'All Flash, no Photo'?"

"It's all flash, no substance," Cassie says.

"I prefer my version," Ba'al says.

"Wait." Jude starts. "All Flash no substance."

"What?" You ask, looking at him. "What is it?"

"Is it just me, or is nobody getting eye strain looking at this thing?" Jude asks in turn.

You glance at the wall of fire, expecting to flinch, but...

It's not hurting your eyes to look at it at all.

It's bright. It should be stinging, making them water...

...Oh. You're dense.

"It's the only one left," you say. "The parchment told us that five virtues are the guides. Prudence, kindness, charity, wisdom, and faith. We displayed prudence in finding a way out of the temporal maze, charity in escaping the forcefield trap, kindness by helping the child and finding the hidden passageway, and wisdom in solving the riddles. The only virtue left is faith."

You take a step towards the wall of fire- your name gets called- and you step through the wall of illusionary fire.

"It's not real," you say as it disperses into nothing. "It was never real the entire time."

"Well, that's great," Vala says, stepping forwards. "Explains the eyestrain issue, doesn't it?"

"Pretty much," Rider shakes his head.

You all continue on down the tunnel, and then exit into a very large cavern. There's a narrow stone passageway leading to a platform with a couple of stone structures on it; on the smaller of the two, there's a glowing red orb.

"There it is," Ba'al smiles. "We found it. Our for the taking."

"Hang on," Mitchel grabs a rock, and throws it over the edge of the rock surface.

...There's no sound of it hitting anything after a solid thirty seconds.

"Yeah, that's deep," Mitchel says. "Only one or two of us should head over."

"I'll go," Rider volunteers.

"I will go as well," Damara grins.

"I think I'll stay here and support from a distance," Ba'al remarks.

"Anyone else wanna take a jaunting walk over the abyss?" you ask.

"I will," you volunteer.

The rest of your team shakes their heads.

"Alright then," Vala says. "I guess it's Rider, Jonas, and Damara."

And so, you walk across the bridge, slowly, carefully, making your way towards the solid platform at the end of it...

Then, you stand there over it, hovering.

It's there, such a tiny, little, red orb, just resting there, peacefully.

"Take it, little Mordred," Damara demands.

"Why don't you take it, Damara?" Rider asks.

"For the same reason I do not draw my sword," Damara answers.

"Merlin and Morgan blocked it, didn't they?" Rider asks. "You draw Clarent here, and you'll get zapped."

"Alas, it is ture," Damara admits. "Take the Sangraal, Mordred."

"Nah," Rider shakes his head. "I've been zapped by enough of Merlin's tech along the way. I'm not that dumb. Jonas takes it."

"Mordred must take it," Damara insists.

"What do you know that we don't?" you ask.

"Just that Mordred must be the one to claim the Sangraal."

"No way am I getting shocked again, lady," Rider growls. "And stop calling me 'Mordred.' I'm not that person anymore. I gave up on it when you took my FATHER away from me! Before we could ever reconcile. I was the worst kind of bastard to ever exist! I fought a war for them! I nearly killed my Father because of them! Merlin and Morgan were building ALL OF THIS when I fell! There is NO WAY I can take the Sangraal at all!"

"Hey!" Mitchel calls out. "What's the holdup?"

"Jonas is the only one who can take it, and it's definitely NOT ME!" Rider insists.

"YOU MUST!" Damara yells. "IT IS YOUR DESTINY!!"

"AND WHAT PART OF MERLIN THINKS I'M A TRAITOR DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND!?" Rider counters. "*I!* **CANNOT!!** ***TOUCH THAT THING!***"

"YOU MUST!" Damara reaches across, grabs Rider's hands, and-

"Oh for crying out loud!" You grab at the Sangraal before things can escalate to blows.

All three of you somehow touch the thing at the same time, which isn't possible.

Silence follows for a few precious seconds as Damara retracts her hands, and Rider jumps backwards, as if expecting to be shocked.

You grasp at air, and then realize why you can't grab the Sangraal.

"It's another hologram," you realize, looking at the light-form shape of crystal half sticking through your hand before flickering and vanishing.

Then, there's rumbling, shaking, and the sound of machinery churning elsewhere.

"Get back over here!" Mitchel orders, and the three of you run over the bridge.

And then you hear a roar of sound from far below you.

"Please don't let that be what I think it is!" Vala laments.

"That was definitely a dragon's roar," Rider confirms, and then you hear the flapping of wings.

"I thought we agreed Dragons aren't native to this dimension?" Vala asks.

"Doesn't mean it's not..." You trail off as a massive, scaled beast emerges from the depths of the cavern, swooping up into the air, spiraling lazily as it ascends, and then levels out, glaring crimson eyes at you as it flaps its two massive wing-arms.

Its legs dangle behind it along side a spiked tail, and it growls through a surprisingly avian like face.

It rears its head back with a guttural hissing sound, YHOOOOOOLL---

"DUCK!!!" Cassie shouts.

---And then the resounding bellow of flames emerges from the dragons mouth, singing the air with a melodic sound, TORSHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!


TO BE CONTINUED.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 5TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/13/0006.

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you stare ahead at the vast ocean outside of Aincrad's first floor with trepidation.

Even with Pina settled around your neck, and Mallek resisting against the railing next to you... It's just not the same. Not the same to how it was before... and it's not the same to Atlantis either.

Not with more than one Castle Ship now resting in the ocean. A whole proverbial sea of giant metal eggs just... floating on the ocean.

The situation had deteriorated since the last time you'd talked with Silica. The Goa'uld had gotten more sabotage in during that time. Castle Ships had started sinking, aiming to crash through the Magnetosphere plates with a greater ferocity than they had since Aincrad's original crash.

It was a miracle that everyone had managed to stay ahead of it enough to be able to repeat the same feats as Aincrad. To phase the other Castle Ships into a state they could safely pass through the shield... most of the time, anyways.

The remains of Castle Ship Undavold resting in the distance tells a different story.

The whole thing resided in pieces, half submerged into the ocean, half buried in landmasses nearby.

It had fallen without warning. The entire ship's population had been lost in the crash, and the damage to the Magnetosphere had begun to spread outwards like a ripple.

Other Castle Ships had fared similar fates- some better with evacuations managing to be carried out, some worse.... To the point that not even their remains could be found after the crash.

Pina sneezed suddenly, and you give your little friend a sympathetic smile.

"So..." Mallek starts. "What even is there for the Atlantis Expedition to even apply here? Knowledge wise, I mean?"

"Repairs, maintenance," you inhale enough air to puff your cheeks, and then rapidly blow it out with a "pfffffff."

"That all?" Mallek asks.

"Atlantis is a relic comparatively," you say. "Sure, we've learned a lot about the more basic architecture shit beneath the systems in the Castle Ships. But... Applying that? Honestly we'd learn more from the Ancients themselves coming to live here."

"This whole thing is stupid," Mallek grunts. "We had Admin control over the City that they didn't. Why did they get to dictate terms?"

"Something something Colonialism and Imperialism?" You offer. "I dunno. I think it's more for us to make sure we can get all the Goa'uld sabotage out of... That!"

You motion at the crashed ship.

Undavold's remains gleam in a beam of sunlight that pierces through a gap in the clouds and the magnetosphere.

Undavold- "Underworld"- a fitting name for the remains of a Castle Ship that was now a mass grave. It doesn't deserve that shine. Doesn't deserve that gleaming sunlight.

You hear a distant roar, and see some larger cousins of Pina emerging from the wreckage to bathe in the sunlight along that Castle Ship's now warming shell.

Pina lets out a "Kyuiii!", fluttering her wings, upon seeing them.

"Huh," Mallek muses. "I guess there were some survivors over there after all."

You watch a Flame dragon belch out a burst of flames, settling all four of its legs firmly into the metal and stretching out its wings, and then it curls up like a cat.

"Ah, if only we could waste away our days like that," you sigh. "It's time to get back to work."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 4TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/12/0006.

YHOOOOOOLL---

Your name is Cameron Mitchel.

"DUCK!!!" Cassie shouts.

And you don't even think.

---TORSHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!

You just decaptchalogue Excaliber and swing the damned thing at the oncoming wall of flames.

The golden blade gleames, and the fire breath is splint clean down the middle- deflected to your left and right and clear away from everyone that could have been hit.

The flames stop, the Dragon ROARS upon seeing the blade, and swoops away to begin circling.

It rears its head back with another hissing sound- FUSSS- and expels it at you directly. The Air shatters as it rushes towards you with an explosive RODAAA that you swing the magic sword upwards to deflect.

Somehow, it works, and the shockwave gets redirected upwards and behind you.

You hear something crumbling away.

"BACK BACK BACK!" Cassie yells, "BACK INTO THE TUNNELS!"

Your ragtag group runs, but you stand guard.

Eight people is a lot to squeeze through some tunnels, all at once, and given the annoyed look the Dragon is giving you...

It hisses again, preparing for another attack- FUSSS- what'll it be this time? -YOLDAAA!

It's a massive concussive burst of meteoric flames.

You swing Excaliber again and send it hurtling back at the Dragon- it bathes in the flames and doesn't seem to react

It's eyes gleam as it locks onto you- no, the sword. And then the Dragon hisses- you swear it's saying the name of the sword- "EXCALIBER."

You nearly double take, the Dragon is hissing as it glares at you.

And then Jonas grabs you by the back of your neck and drags you back into the tunnels.

"MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE!" Cassie yells, and you all run and run and run...

And then as you all near a corner- FUSSSS... -And everyone rounds it- YOLDAH! -You glance back and watch as a fireball smashes into the corner, spattering everywhere.

God, that was lucky.

After a few more moments of tunnel running, you find an exit, and emerge into a large meadow.

"What the hell just happened back there?" You ask.

"The Sangraal wasn't real," Jonas answers. "It was a hologram!"

"What?" Jude asks. "We came all this way for nothing!?"

"I told you you needed to take it!" Damara accuses of Rider, who counters back:

"And I told YOU I was the wrong person for the job!"

"Then why even volunteer to go across the bridge!?" Damara counters.

"Incase Merlin or Morgan pulled something like THIS!" Rider points at the cave you all just exited.

"We have to go back for it," Damara says.

"Are you joking!?" Ba'al asks, sounding scandalized by the idea.

"The Dragon is the final test to be slain!" Damara declares.

"It's madness to even consider challenging that thing!" Ba'al goes to say more when there's a muted "AAAH" sound followed by a loud, large, and terrifying cracking noise.

You all turn back towards the mountain, and that's when you hear it, a very low hissed sound, followed by a rock shattering "RODAAAAAAAH!" As the entire mountaintop explodes apart, and the dragon emerges, circling the mountain with a roar.

"...Somehow I don't think we're going to get much of a choice!" You observe as the Dragon starts to circle around towards you.


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

"TREE LINE!" Cassie orders, and you all begin running for the forest.

Your name is Jonas Quinn, and you're quite frankly pretty tired by all of this.

The Dragon hisses-- YHOOOOLL...TORSHUUUUUUUUL! -- and releases a stream of fire as it starts burning everything in a line heading directly towards-

"SIDES NOW!" Jude yells, and everyone dodges either left or right- and the dragon's burning flames cut a swath in the grass between the group.

The dragon, realizing it missed, shuts off its flame attack and begins to circle around.

You take aim with your P-90 and fire off a few shots... shots that don't do anything.

"KEEP GOING!" Cassie yells, "TO THE TREES!"

And so you keep running for the forest's edge.

FEM... KIIGON!

There's nothing at first, but then you see a spark of flame running across the ground and instinct has you stop.

And then suddenly the ground right infront of Damara erupts with massive, molten, metal spikes.

She doesn't stop in time, and the metal spike structure then explodes, and the Alternian woman goes flying into the tree line with a shriek of surprise.

"MINE FIELD!" Ba'al warns, and you look around carefully.

There are tiny little fireballs running all along the ground, erupting into metal spikes of molten doom whenever someone gets too close.

And oh, they get close because they seem to be target seeking.

"YOU SERIOUSLY HAD TO GO EXTRA, DIDN'T YOU, MORGAN!?" Rider complains.

That's when there's a burst of light from overhead, and an Ascended being rams itself into the Dragon.

Suddenly, its attention diverted, the beast rolls in mid air and prepares something entirely different, JOOR... ZAHFRUL!

The Ascended Being seemingly assumed it was going to be unaffected by the blast, whatever it was, and thus was caught entirely off guard.

With a sudden, pained, cry of terror, a naked man exists exactly where there was a flying, glowing lightball of ascended energy.

Key words being "exactly" and "flying," because the man immediately began falling to his squishy death on the ground below, screaming all the way.

"REBEKA!!! HELP HELP HEEEEELL--!!!"

However, the Dragon never lets him get that far, and swoops down and swallows the unfortunate Andromeda Former-Ascendant whole in mid air.

The distraction gave you all enough time to get into the tree line, however, and the Dragon begins circling again as several of the Lucian Alliance soldiers who had accompanied that Ascendant through the gate begin firing up at it with Jaffa Staff Weapons.

PCHOO! PCHOO! They do nothing to the Dragon's scales. The Dragon starts toying with them, spitting fireballs down upon them from above with a murderous glee.

"...So..." Vala huffs. "What now?"

"It can't hit us as long as we stay in the trees," Ba'al says. "We should be able to make it back to the village- and the Stargate- if we follow them that way."

"No," you say, "Damara was right. The Dragon's the final test. We can't give up now."

"That's the noble sentiment that's going to get us all killed!" Ba'al counters.

"Aren't you the one that claimed to know the dragon's secret name?" You ask. "Well!" You point at it. "Nows your chance!"

"Oh, Fine! Now you believe me on something!!" Ba'al rolled his eyes, takes a few breaths, and briefly ducks out of cover- "GANOS LAL!"

...That's it!?

The Dragons stops its attack pattern, flaps for a few moments, and then turns slowly in mid air to glare at the Goa'uld that dared to shout that name.

The Dragon continues to tank staff blasts that hit it, and then, the Dragon rears back- YHOOOOL...

"THAT DIDN'T WORK!" Ba'al yells, dodging back into cover.

RODAH!

Flames smash into the ground where Ba'al had been standing, and you all wince from the impact shockwave. And then the Dragon then circles through the air once more, lining up another trailing breath of fire, no doubt.

YHOOOOL... TORSHUUUUUUUUUUUUL!!!!

The Lucian Alliance men that stupidly stood their ground never stood a chance, and get engulfed in flames instantly. Their smarter companions who dodged can only look on in horror at their now flame broiled corpses.

"I'm glad we dodged that," Vala says with a grimace.

"Does anyone smell a barbecue?" Ba'al inquires.

"Okay, so that clearly didn't work!" Rider glares at Ba'al. "Why not!?"

"I don't know!" Ba'al counters. "That's the pass code I read would shut it down! Ganos Lal is-" The Dragon ROARS in anger upon the name being uttered again- "is the codephrase that's supposed to shut it down! I swear! It should have worked!"

"So what made it not work then?" Cassie asks.

"Ah... Crap," Mitchel laments. "That might be my fault."

And then he holds up Excaliber in a backhanded grip, blade pointed straight at the ground.

"It recognized the sword," Jude guesses.

"It recognized the fucking sword," Mitchel nods.

"Of COURSE it did," Rider groans. "Fucking Merlin or Morgan built in a King Arthur Challenge Mode!"

"So does that mean the sword kills the dragon?" Jude asks even as Cassie mutters a "Thanks, Ganos."

"Well it certainly knocks the shouty breaths right back at it well enough," Mitchel states. "So maybe I can stab it if I get close enough?"

YHOOOL... TORSHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!!!!!!! The ground shakes as another pass of fire burns past the tree line.

"Well that all depends on us grounding it, somehow!!" Rider grimaces. "And something tells me that dragon isn't landing unless--"

The ground shakes with a rough impact, and you all glance out into the clearing to watch as the dragon stalks on all fours towards one of the last remaining Lucian Alliance soldiers.

"Nevermind!" Rider counters. "Anyone got ideas?"

"Maybe," you frown. "How would Artoria go about handling this?"

"Uhhh... Probably give some flowery speech, twist the sword to Excaliblast mode, and vaporize the Dragon in a single strike?" Rider answers.

"I'll forego the flowers," Mitchel says, "how many twists of the handle again?"

"If it's anything like Clarent?" Rider frowns. "Uh... Fuck. Right hand over left hand- gripping Middle Ring with right, twist the ring two clicks clockwise as you raise the sword with both hands- use left hand for most of the major rotational force!"

"Got it!" Mitchel ducks out of cover, jumping over some cooling metal spikes, and runs towards the dragon, its back turned to him, even as it snaps its jaws forwards and bites down on the unfortunate Lucian Alliance man.

"I sure hope this works," you say.

"Don't we all," Ba'al remarks.

"HEY, FIREBREATH!" Mitchel yells, and he raises the sword up high- the blade gleaming golden all of a sudden. "EX...!" And then the golden light shines upwards into the heavens.

The Dragon snaps around, turning on a dime very quickly. It hisses. FUUUUSSS...

"CALIBER!!!!!!!" And then he swings down a massive golden beam of fuck-off-dragon into its face.

RODA- The dragon can't get its next blast off in time, and gets utterly wrecked as its engulfed by the beam of light.


When the light show fades and the spots clear from your eyes, all that remains in the place of the dragon are several mangled, burnt to a crisp corpses all in a pile, likely contained within its stomach.

"Well..." Ba'al whistles. "Remind me never to get on your bad side."


 

You are now Cassandra Fraiser-Harley, and as the lot of you sans Damara, whose body could not be found and thus is in a state of a shrodinger's cat like paradox, return to the Sangraal chamber, you can only hope that the dragon you just 'killed' was a hard-light hologram and not a real living beast.

Because really, you don't want to EVER face something like that ever again.

"So, it's real this time, right?" Mitchel asks as you all gather around the chamber.

"Should be," Rider says.

"Want to do the honors?" Jonas asks.

"...Fine, might as well," Rider shrugs, and hesitantly grasps at the red orb before you...

It's still just a hologram.

"Oh COME ON!" you exclaim, frustrated.

That's when there's a grinding sound from nearby, and a tall obelisk rises up from the ground. It's covered in ancient writing and a glowing blue diamond that's glowing rather-

TOOOOOOMMM-SHINK!!!

And then suddenly the entire room is different. Or rather, all seven of you have just been teleported INTO a room, because this is a room. There's old, antique furniture everywhere, and it looks like it's a workspace carved into the side of a cliffside wall.

"What just happened?" Vala asks.

"We were teleported to another room," you state the obvious.

"Right, but..." Vala looks around. "Is it just me, or is the gravity slightly lighter here? That shouldn't happen just by being teleported, right?"

"Spread out," MItchel says, "search the room and the immediate area. Let's find out where we are, and if the Sangraal is anywhere around here at all."

And so you search the room. Rider and Vala head out through the most obvious doorway structure, and you find a small chamber hidden behind a curtain.

It's a cryogenics pod, and inside is an old, bearded man.

"Oh, wow," you breathe out. "It's a Wizard."

Jonas heads over, and peers at a stone plaque near the pod. "Here lies Myrddin, Archmage of the Round."

"We found Merlin," Mitchel says. "So, how do we get him out?"

"Oh! Hello Repository!" Ba'al exclaims from nearby.

"Don't touch that!" Jude commands.

You all turn around, and watch as a portion of the wall suddenly morphs into the familiar shape of an Ancient Repository. The kind with the grabby hands that downloads a ton of knowledge into your head.

Ba'al and Jude back away from it, thank goodness, only for a beeping sound to draw your attention back to the Stasis pod.

It's thawing out.

Your vibes come back in full force.

"Grab him!" You yell as the defrosting process completes and the man slumps forwards out of the pod. You and Jonas manage to grab him, and Mitchel, Jude, and Ba'al quickly go clear off a table to lie him on.


 

"Well. I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto." You are now Vala Mal Doran, and you look at the desert outside the cave you just exited.

There's nothing for miles save for a Stargate, DHD, and Obelisk like the one that just teleported you here.

"I think I haven't watched or read whatever it is you're referencing yet," Rider says, "but I think I get the gist. Weren't we on a forest planet just a minute ago?"

"We weren't just transported to another chamber," you realize, "we were teleported through the Stargate. It must have been remotely activated, we were beamed into storage, and transmitted through the wormhole to be reconsituted on the other side."

"Well, the more distance between us and Witchy-face back there the better," Rider says. "If She's still alive, I mean."

"Yeah," you frown. "Attempt to dial Earth?"

"Might as well," Rider nods.

You try to dial out... but the DHD doesn't respond.

You decide quickly, "We should go back inside."

"Yes, probably," Rider nods.

And so you head back the way you came, returning just in time to hear Jonas remark, "It's amazing how similar to the myth all this is,"

"How's that?" Rider asks- and then stopping- "Holy shit! Is that...!?"

You turn the corner, and see a man lying on a table. "Huh, it's the Wizard of Oz," you joke.

"Oh, welcome back," Jonas says. "See, supposedly Morgan trapped Merlin in a cave and left him frozen for all eternity. I think in reality, she was protecting him from the Ancients, and probably the Ori too."

"You think Ganos actually destroyed the Sangraal?" Cassandra asks.

"Probably didn't have any choice," Jonas nods. "If she didn't, they'd send someone else to finish the job, so... she did the next best thing and preserved the one person capable of building it again."

"What's the good news?" Mitchel asks. "Find a way out?"

"Good news is," you say, "We're next to the Stargate. Slightly better news is we're next to the Stargate on another PLANET enitrely!"

"Bad news is the DHD's non responsive," Rider continues.

"I can fix that," Ba'al volunteers in a heartbeat.

"So can I," Jude says.

"Well, it's not a competition now is it?" Ba'al asks.

And then the man on the table groans, and starts to stirr.

"Merlin's awake," Jude says.

"Oh, hello," you smile.

"Mmh..." The man opens his eyes, and Jonas and Mitchel help him sit up. "...Where am I?"

"That's a very good question," Cassandra says.

"You look familiar," Merlin peers at her. "Guinevere? Oh, no, it can't be. Guinevere had blonde hair. Has Morgan suggested you change it to hide from our Enemies?"

And then he looks to Mitchel, and exclaims, "PERCIVAL!"

"Uh, what?" Mitchel asks in surprise.

"And.... And, Lancelot?? Galahad!!" Merlin exclaims upon seeing Jude and Jonas respectively. "Oh! Brave Knights! Fortune Indeed does smile upon me to see your faces again!"

"Uh... Don't mind me saying so, but it looks like Merlin's drawbridge isn't stretching all the way across the moat, if you take my neaming," Ba'al remarks.

"What's that?" Merlin turns to peer at Ba'al, and exclaims, "Mordred! I should have known a scoundrel like you would have been redeemed! You've even changed your hair too!"

"W-What?" Rider sounds shocked. You look at him, and he seems... uh... rather unnerved that someone else is getting pinned with his old name.

"Huh?" Merlin whirls to look at Rider, and he gasps. "No, it can't be!"

"I..." Rider starts to open his mouth.

"Artoria! You did it! You redeemed your son after all!" Merlin exclaims, getting up from the table he's sitting on with a surprising amount of strength, rushes over to Rider, and hugs him tight. "I knew it! I knew you had it in you!"

"uuhhhhh...." Rider blinks, startled. "Thank you??"

"You are most welcome, my King," Merlin answers, hugging tight and not letting go.

Rider squeaks. "S-Someone help me, Please??"

"...This just got... uh... very interesting," Ba'al remarks.

"That it did," you say. "Do you think maybe he was on ice for too long?"

"It should've been less time than the other timeline Weir was in cryo," Jude muses. "I wonder why he's more loopy comparatively speaking?"

"Merlin?" Jonas starts. "Um. Myrddin? We need your help. We need you to remember. About the Sangraal. About Morgan and how you got here."

"Morgan..." Merlin's hug of Rider lightens, and he lets him go, much to his relief.

Rider wheezes and gasps for breath. "So Tight..."

"Yes, Morgan," Jude starts. "You might have known her better as Ganos Lal?"

"Ganos..." Merlin pauses. "I haven't heard that name spoken in a very long time."

"We're not Knights of the Round Table," Mitchel says, carefully avoiding the subject that was Mordred's historical status as a Knight of the table and the betrayal that happened. "Though, we are flattered by the comparison."

"A thousand years have passed," Jonas says. "We know who you are. We know about Atlantis, and..." he pauses. "We've dealt with the Ori," a white lie even you can recognize, but true in the fact that they are dead. "And we're running into the Andromeda Ascendants. They've... they've killed so many of the Others. They're actively meddling in the galaxy."

"They're basically the Ori Two-Point-Oh," Cassandra says.

Merlin considers all of that for a few moments. Then, very intensely, he demands, "Tell me more."

This... is going to take a while, you can tell that much.

You look to Jude and Ba'al, and they nod, quietly following you and Rider out of the cave back to the Stargate.


 

You are now DAMARA MEGIDO, and you huff as you heal away the many burns to your body. If a past you hadn't time jumped in to secure your own fate... UGH. That was a foolish, near death mistake you knew was coming and had to be taken because you saw it happen and thus continuity had to be established... But you still failed to see the damned thing coming when it happened.

Damned Dragons. Even you have your blindspots and they seem to be one of them.

By the time either version of you got back to the cave, you found that the Sangraal had vanished along with SG-1 and that Goa'uld. You decided to then go to the Stargate, cut them off at the pass...

You find one of Ba'al's Jaffa waiting at the Gate for you- one of the only smart ones who made it out of the temporal maze, and went into hiding until your return.

"Ladies Damara," he kneels.

"Report," you demand. "Have SG-1 made it back here yet?"

"The Stargate activated all on its own for but a few seconds before closing," the Jaffa reports.

"The Address?" Past you inquires.

"The DHD nor Gate showed any signs of dialing. It simply activated," the Jaffa reports.

"I see," you frown, and test something.

Clarent spawns in your hand as it should, and you march over to the DHD. "Very well then. We'll take chase." Or rather... You look to your past self who has yet to become the you of the present.

Your past self reachs out to the Stargate and DHD and begins to access their memory files.

She will need to go through the following events before coming back to be the you that just did all of this.

You know where they're going but she has to discover it for herself.

Meanwhile... You're going to go rest and recover from your own damned mistake.

Fucking Dragons.


 

Your name is Jonas Quinn, and you've just finished explaining everything about what had happened over the last, uh... five-ish years regarding Ascended Plane Drama?

Merlin sighs. "It pains me to hear that Ganos has died, and that Oma would join Hunt's group. And it worries me to hear that so many would die to Hunt's ambitions." Then, with a twinkle in his eye, he says, "However, it also gives me much joy to hear that Mordred has chosen the side of light again, and that Artoria is well, even if in another dimension." He muses. "I must think for a moment."

And so he closes his eyes, and hums something that sounds vaguely meditative.

"So... how's it going?" you glance at Mitchel as he re-enters the room.

"I just checked in with everyone outside," Mitchel answers."So far no luck with the DHD."

"Great," you sigh, and head over to talk to him.

"How is it going out here?" Mitchel asks.

"Well, I just gave quite the info dump, but, yeah... Merlin's up to speed," you glance at the old man. "He's considering it all, I think."

"Well, that's-" Mitchel is cut off as Merlin rouses, stands, and walks towards you.

"Before I agree to joining with you," he looks you in the eyes. "I need to know that you are willing to do whatever must be done to see it through. To see that the Andromeda Ascendants are truly wiped out from this universe entirely. To ensure that all whose ambitions edge on the line of the Ori will be stopped."

"Of course," you nod. "I will see it through personally, if I have to."

"The same goes for any of us on our team, except for Ba'al, probably," Mitchel says. "But even he says he wants to see this through."

"Very well then," Merlin nods. "In that case, there is much work to be done."

And thus, he walks up to the knowledge device and activates it.

Apparently, this is a different model from before, because holograms begin forming in the air above you, cycling through parts and functions of a blueprint nature.


 

EARTH DATE: JULY 5TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/13/0006.

Your name is Cameron Mitchel, and a burst of light and a loud TOOOOOOMMM-SHINK!!! heralds the sudden absence of the small rock that you were using as a pillow.

You groan as your head gets doused in cold and wet.

"What the hell?" You groan, getting to your feet, and peering out the cliffiside doorway into what used to be a desert but is now... well...

A snow covered forest, at night, with blowing snow flurries.

Shit. Damara called it alright.

"What the fuck happened?" You call down to the the scientists, who are quickly making their way away from the DHD as the Gate shuts down, and back up to the relatively warm sanctuary that is your current shelter.

"The gate activated on its own, and then the obelisk's crystal glowed," Jude answers. "It teleported us through before we realized what was happening."

"We must be on an internal circuit of planets cut off from the rest of the Gate Network," Ba'al summarizes. "I'd guess the modifications like entirely within the DHD."

"What if it's like Midway?" Jude asks. "Modified Gates, Modified DHD programs. It may not even be able TO connect to the regular gate network."

"In which case, we're royally screwed!" You gripe.


 

You are now Karkat Vantas, and you're talking on the phone to General O'neill as you head to your office in the SGC.

"So SG-1's basically been doing fuck knows what for the last day, and that basically tells me bup and kiss because guess what? Past me's memories are still fucked over from the Rift and keep updating in real time for me so I can't actually know for sure what the hell they're doing, if they're in trouble or need rescuing or what!" You fiddle with the keys to open the office door. " Because this mission they're on to find the Sangraal wasn't supposed to happen for another month according to my memories of the first time through! So I just have to say-!"

"Hi, Karkat!" one chipper John Egbert calls out in greeting as you open the door.

"Hello, Karkat," a smiling Rose Egbert greets as well.

"...I'm going to have to call you back, Jack," you say, and then hang up. "Egberts. What are you two doing here?" You glance around. "Where is your mother?"

"Aincrad," John  answers. "Mom went to talk with Roxy."

"Ah, right," you frown. "And why exactly are you in my office?"

"Because Uncle Davish and Jade had to chase down Nepeta and Penny because Jade figure out how to teleport people by accident when she sneezed," Rose answers.

"...She did what now?" you ask.

"She figured out how to teleport people by sneezing, duh!" John says. "Achoo! Flash of Green! Zap! Gone!"

You stare blankly, consulting your rapidly dwindling memories of a future timeline being changed by the massive ripple effect that was the Rift between Galaxies and...

...But how does that relate to her usual power of messing with atoms and being a nuclear shotgun with marbles?

...Unless their personalities have started diverging enough that younger Jade's powers are diverging from what her older self has developed?

...And may the universe have mercy on your souls because you don't remember this at all from the last timeline.

"Huh," you say. "That's new."

Dave suddenly enters your office, a giggling Penny in arm, and hands her over to you without a word before time-warping away. A few seconds later, another Dave enters, with a chattering Jade and Nepeta in tow.

"Would you believe," Dave starts, "that Jade sent them to two different levels?"

"I can buy that," you say, even as Penny starts grabbing at your hair. "Where'd they wind up?"

"Penny wound up in the infirmary and was harssing Doc Lam, and Nepeta got her way into the Mirror Lab... and then decided to go visit Aincrad because HEY! The Mirror was Open and that was where Roxy had gone!" Dave shakes his head.

"Sorry, Dad..." Nepeta apologizes, ears folding against her head. "I didn't mean to worry you. I just wanted to tell Aunt Roxy that Jade could teleport now..."

"It's fine, kiddo, it's not your fault," Dave plants a hand on her head and ruffles her hair a bit.

"I'm sorry too, Uncle Davis," Jade apologizes, bowing sharply. "I'm... Really, really sorry. I- Ah..." Her nose wrinkles. "Aaah..." her head rears back...

Oh no.

"Oh no you don't!" And then another Dave time warps in, snatches Jade, and absconds from your office before the inevitable-

"AAAHCH-"ZAP!

-Sneezing Teleport.

You glance out into the hallway, and see that both Jade and Dave have vanished again.

You hear your Dave sigh, as Rose laments aloud:

"I Think Jade should probably go see the infirmary, it might be an allergy she's developing to something causing the sneezing fits."

"Yeah, she was sneezing a lot this morning, wasn't she?" John asks, frowning.

"Zappy!" Penny exclaims, yanking at your hair.

"Ow! Watch it, Mini-Harley," you warn.

"Sowwy," Penny doesn't sound sorry at all. The little precocious tyke...

"Stay here with Karkat, kids, I'll be back as soon as I loop back around to stop Jade from teleporitng us all somewhere else," Dave shakes his head, and then warps away with a burst of time.

"Seriously, kids," you shake your head. "When did our lives get so damned complicated?"

"Can we go to Diaspora?" Nepeta asks. "I wanna hang out with Nep!"

"Ask Roxy when she gets back," you say. "Isn't she supposed to be watching you kids today, anyways?"

Rose then says the most damning words in existence: "Mom said she asked Uncle Davish to watch us for the day while she dealt with some family stuff."

ZAP!"-CHOO!" And then Jade and Dave return with a flicker flash of green light... covered in lime green and cherry red jello.

Because of course Roxy would do that on the day Jade started developing teleporting powers... Of course she would...


 

"I can't do that! I'm tied down for the next month!" You are now Roxy Lalonde, and you're a bit fed up with your other self's meddling.

"But Alec and I haven't had a vacation in Years without the kids tagging along!" Your elder, female self claps her hands together and bows her head in pleading.

"Please! Can't you and Rose come watch the kids for a few weeks while the Atlantis Expedition is on hold?? Please??? Surely they don't need you two here for too much, right?"

"No, I mean," you glance up at her from the floor, where you're busy holding together two large conduit cables to ensure a constant power flow while Morgan Carter works on fixing the locking mechanism on the Case that's supposed to hold these two cables together without human intervention. "I'm literally tied down with work! The Expedition isn't on hold, it's just temporarily redirected elsewhere. Just because I'm a Mirror's Warp away instead of a Galaxy away, doesn't mean my schedule's suddenly cleared up. Why don't you ask Joey to watch the kids?"

"I..." Your other self pauses, considering that. "Oh, I'm so stupid. I really should have thought of that." She plants a hand to her face. "Sorry. I just thought you'd want to spend time with the kids and my mind jumped tracks to that without even considering other people..."

"Any other time, I'd be glad to," you say. "But as you can see, my current positioning holding this cable together isn't just a right now and done sort of thing."

"Even though I am almost done," Morgan says. "I think maybe five or so minutes before I've got it working again."

"And then it's off to the NEXT one, and the next one after that," you sigh. "And all the other broken locks after that. Seriously. This is what? The sixth one today?"

"Fourth, actually," Jolinar answers for Morgan. "Someone was very redundant about ensuring the power failure through this part of the Castle. Even if we didn't know it was sabotage, I'd say it was sabotage."

"It's a time waster is what it is," you remark.


 

"There is never enough time," Merlin huffed as he sat down on a couch after the latest building session.

You are Rider, and you frown, glancing at the device on the table. It started off as nothing, then it was a silver-blue dish, then a silver blue dish with arching frames and crystal trays, now, it has a blue dome overtop, with holes readily evident, ready and waiting for more parts to be added onto it.

You've already changed planets again, going from a snow blizzard covered world to... well. You honestly haven't checked.

"I have lived so many lifetimes," Merlin continues on, staring at the device as well. "First, in Atlantis, then on Earth, before the dawn of your civilization... then I Ascended.  And finally came back down to Earth, mortal again, to live out my remaining days among the Noblemen of Artoria's Court." He paused, glancing at you,

"Or so I thought. All through these eons, only one thing has stayed the same, my constant companion. There is never enough time."

"Well, we're safe for now," you say. "Take all the time you need, Merlin."

"I fear I draw near the end of my life," Merlin says, voice sounding full of remorse. "I was already ancient as it was when I went into the ice. Now I'm feebler. Older... Another few years, and I may have slept too long. My body already begins betraying me."

"Do you think you can make it?" You ask. "To finish the Sangraal?"

"I pray that I can," Merlin says. "...But I fear that I may not be able to carry us over the finish line." he turns to look at you. "Oh, Mordred. You look so much like your Mother. She should have been there to raise you properly. Not... not what happened."

"What did happen?" You ask. "I only know what the Andromeda Ascendants told me, but I have my reasons to doubt that story now. And Artoria... Father hasn't exactly been forthcoming with the details when we've had the chance to talk."

"Mmh..." Merlin closes his eyes. "It is a sad tale. When Artoria took the sword Caliburn from its stone, she had to leave so much behind, including her identity as a woman, to protect everyone in her family that she cared about. It was such a hefty burden for a child her age to take on. The sword pracitcally halted her aging too, that much we told the truth on. Never aging, but always growing... and when that sword finally broke, and I spent so much time recreating it- reforging the idea into Excaliber- she took her time to finally grow and be her own person. She had you in secret, before the sword was finished." He sighes, tiredly. "We'd planned to pass you off as King Arthur's child with the Queen... but we never got the chance. You were stolen from us."

"The Andromeda Ascendants," you close your eyes, feeling bitter at the thought of a normal childhood being stolen from you like that. "Bastards." You look at Merlin, and see that he's gazing at you with... pity. A look you never thought he'd give you ever.

"We never realized you were the same Mordred when you came to us as a Knight seeking to join the table," Merlin says. "It had been only a year. A year in which you had aged sixteen, and came with a sword whose powers rivaled Excaliber... I realized far too late that they had stolen my designs for the replacement sword as well, and improved upon its functionality. Clarent- a sword able to channel the elements of reality..."

"And then I betrayed you when Father... when Artoria refused to acknowledge me as son," you lament.

"A folly of errors in communication," Merlin shakes his head. "We believed you to still be a babe, and a girl at that. A man claiming to be the King's lost son made no sense, especially given what we knew at the time. By the time we realized what they had done, it was too late. You had begun your war at their behest. We were embroiled in conflict... and Morgan and I had the Sangraal to safeguard."

You think about it all... but you really have to ask one major question. "Who was my father? My real one. If Artoria was my mother, then... someone had to be that person for me."

"The Queen's brother, as a matter of fact," Merlin answers.

You blink. "Huh. I don't think I ever met him."

"No, unfortunately he was slain during your kindapping," Merling sighs. "Another loss of life, regretably so." And then he gets up. "I must continue my work." And with that he heads towards the device that controls all of this. He pauses once he reaches it, though. "Mordred... Rider. Should I die before I can finish... I entrust you with finishing the Sangraal."

"I... I'll try my best," you say, and watch as he plugs himself into the control device again, green light spilling forth through the gaps as it activates.

He works for several more minutes, assembling holding arms that manifest atop of the domed surface...
And then he stops, huffing from within the device, the green light fades... and then, he speaks, "I have run out of time. I am sorry, Mordred. Good Luck." And then the device flashes with white light, and releases him.

"MERLIN!" you rush to catch his body, and hold him as he breathes his last breath.

That's when Jonas and Vala come running back into the room.

"What happened?" Vala asks.

"...He's dead," you answer, quietly.

Not a few minutes later, the team is assembled around Merlin's body as you lay a blanket over his face.

"How exactly does he expect you to finish it?" Mitchel asks. "Did he tell you how it works?"

"No," you shake your head. "He didn't."

"I think it's probably," Cassandra stops mid sentence. "Ah. Hold on one second."

Then there's a burst of light- TOOOOOOMMM-SHINK!!! - and then the room's temperature changes, and Merlin's body vanishes, but everything else remains the same.

"Bye Merlin," Jude laments.

"Annnyways," Cassie coughs. "I think Merlin probably downloaded some specific information into the device about how to finish the Sangraal."

"Well, I'm definitely not sticking my head in that," Jonas says, glancing at the head grabbing device.

"He asked me to," you say. "It's probably keyed to me... And I can't believe that. I can't believe that after everything with Excaliber shocking me every time I try holding it..."

"Well beyond that," Ba'al says. "If you can finish the weapon, then it needs to be finished. Meanwhile, the rest of us working on the Stargate should get the Stargate working."

"He's got a point," Jude sighs. "Shall we get back to it then?"

"Yeah," Mitchel says, "but I want us in groups. Vala, Jonas, Cassie, stay with Rider while he works on finishing the Sangraal. The rest of us will work on the Gate."

Everyone who heads out heads out, and you look to Cassandra. She nods in go-ahead.

And with that, you take a step up to the interface device and--


 

"I'm nostalgic for a desert I never saw," you are Damara Megido, and after hours of searching through the DHD's memory, you finally found the address they all went to. "This time, however, the solution should be simple."

You approach the DHD again, and begin to search through the DHD's database once more. Shockingly, there are a thousand more addresses than there were in the last one. How insane of a device is this?

No, someone was meticulous in hiding the real needle in a haystack.

Oh well, it does not matter.

You. Will. Find. Them.

And then you will steal the Sangraal for your own plans... just maybe not today if that's what's in the cards.


 

"Well, at least it's Warm," Ba'al gripes.

You are Jude Harley, and you can only sigh at the vaguely changed familiar landscaping.

The cliff is the same, the general shape of the landscape is the same... but instead of desert sands or blowing snow wind... there are pine trees and fog.

"And I think we know vaguely where we are in the galaxy," Mitchel says, pointing up at the morning sky...

"Is that what I think it is?" Ba'al asks.

"The rift between galaxies," you confirm. "We're on the far edge of Milky Way."

The bright, blue lined, oddly background colored rift seems to be super-imposed in the sky, much like the view from Minkata in Pegasus, or the Water Moon that Atlantis landed on.

"No better place to hide Merlin and the Sangraal than the edge of the known galaxy," Mitchel says. "Who'd think to hide something there, right?"

"...That's a good point," you say. "Who'd think to hide something outside of where you'd expect to see something?"

"What are you talking about?" Ba'al asked.

"We've been searching inside the DHD and the Stargate, right?" you ask. "For the protocol that's teleporting us?"

"Obviously because that's the most logical place for such a program to be," Ba'al says, crossing his arms. "...Don't tell me you think it's somewhere else. Like the Cave. That'd just be stupid to put it there."

"No, I think it's right in plain sight," you gaze at the giant metal spike covered in ancient writing and a blue diamond that keeps glowing every time you're teleported somewhere. "What if the Obelisk doesn't JUST have beaming protocols inside it?"

"...A self contained device that does all the dirty work at once," Ba'al summarizes. "That's... insane. Honestly, I don't think that's the case at all. It doesn't fit with the usual Ancient modus operandi."

"How's that?" Mitchel asks.

"They don't LIKE putting all their eggs in one basket," Ba'al says. "Not in my experience when it comes to security devices like this. Do you know how many Ancient Labs I've uncovered over the Millenia that have had multiple redundancies similar to this? Redirection modules, forceshields, so on and so forth. Even Anubis followed their design sensibilities when it came to redundant operational security. The Ancients would NEVER do that. Everything gets spread out into as many places as possible to prevent people from foiling the security measures."

You honestly find THAT ONE hard to believe... but...

"Maybe that's the point," you tell him. "It's not how the Ancients Moros and Ganos Lal would do things. It's how Merlin and Morgan Le Fay would do things."

"So the Obelisk is a magic wand?" Mitchel asks.

"Let's pry it open and find out," you decide, decaptchaloguing a knife.

"...I think the Obelisk is a dead end, but you may be right about the key being elsewhere," Ba'al says. "I'm going to search the Cave for anything hidden."


 

The sounds of conversation flow back to you, muted as if from under water.

You open your eyes, and wonder for a moment who you are exactly.

Then, you remember.

You are RIDER, and you just stuck your head into a thing.

You're also pretty sure that you're reliving one of Merlin's memories, because you're in the same room that you were before, except that Morgan and Merlin are standing here, talking about something you can't quite place.

The completed Sangraal sits on the table before you in two pieces, the completed base of the device, and a glowing orange crystal resting in a bowl next to it.

Finally, Merlin speaks something legible, "It is already done, Morgan. The device is ready. All it needs to do is be hidden away in the two pieces to be reassembled."

"The others will not allow that, Merlin," Morgan answers. "I don't know why they haven't struck us down for even getting it this far."

"They are blinded with the war Mordred is fighting at the Andromeda's behest," Merlin says, shaking his head. "I pray Artoria can hold her own until we return."

"Until I return," Morgan corrects. "Even if I destroy the Sangraal and am seen to be returning to Earth in your presence... they will know I did not complete my mission."

"So I am to 'die' then?" Merlin glances at the stasis chamber. "A shame, I was hoping to see Artoria redeem Mordred."

"She may yet prevale," Morgan says. "But that is besides the point. The Others will not allow this device to be reassembled. It must be destroyed now and be recreated only in a time of dire need."

"Then I will commit the blueprints to memory," Merlin sighed. "A shame. Really. I was hoping to have a much more restful nap."

And then your mind is flooded with the remainder of information required to finish off the Sangraal and turn it on, and you wake up seeing stars.

"Woah, easy there, Newbie," Vala says, helping you up off your back, and handing you a cantene. "You've been out of it for a few minutes. How's your head?"

You take a hefty gulp of water, and focus yourself.

"Feels like I got ran over by a Dragon, but I think I'm good," you blink, but the stars refuse to leave your vision... "Excepf for the stars I'm still seeing..." you blink again. "Wait. No. They're not just stars. I think they're... I think I see what I'm supposed to do now." You stand, barely able to balance with the odd weight inside your head, let alone walk due to the glowing dots in your eyes.

"Here," Cassandra and Vala help you over to the control device, and you look into it.

And You See What You Need To Do.


 

You are now Damara Megido, and you frown as you look down upon the body of a dead man.

Merlin, perhaps.

You think you are close.

You turn back to the DHD, and start the process all over again.

You will have it soon enough.


 

"Ah, fuck," you are Jude Harley, and you feel so dumb. "What the fuck is this code base?"

Using a tablet computer to interface, you're looking at the data contained on the control crystals within the Obelisk... and none of it makes any sense.

"You can't read it?" Ba'al asks, returning from his fruitless search of the lab. "Well, that's hardly surprising. By Galactic Stnadards you're not very smart, even if you might be one of the brightest of the Tau'ri to land on SG-1. But I think Colonel Carter might just be smarter than even you, boy. Shame she decided to leave the grand life of adventure for settling down with that General Jerk O'neill. TWICE!"

You glare at him. Mitchel glares at him.

And then Ba'al stupidly insinuates something about how he'd be a better husband than Jack O'neill ever would.

That's when you shove the tablet's screen in his face hard enough to crack glass.

Literally.

The glass on the thing breaks and Ba'al stumbles backwards with a bloodied nose and some shards of glass in his face.

"OW! What was THAT for!?" Ba'al asked without a single sense of common sense.

"If you're not going to help," you say, "and instead make stupid, fucked up comments about people I consider VERY important to me, then you're not much use to us, and if you're not much use to us, then there's no point in keeping you around..." you take out the knife you used to pry open the Obelisk. "Now, either help me decode this damned source code, or I gut you from your host, cook you for dinner, and then EAT YOU so I can learn how to read it myself."

Ba'al coughs, then says. "I'd... ah. Well. I'd be glad to help. Just chipper, really. Fine and dandy. Not a problem. Haha... Okay. Just, uh... Ow. Could someone get me some tweezers first? My face is a bit, ah, scratched up? Also a little numb."

"Deal With it," Mitchel says. "We're done with the free handouts."

"...Fair enough," Ba'al grunts.


 

Meanwhile, two separate instances of Samantha Carter felt a sudden urge to laugh at the expense of Ba'al, though they had no real idea as to why.

Two instances of Jolinar felt like whatever it was some version of Ba'al had done somewhere to trigger their Carters' laughter, he probably deserved it.

Elsewhere, two different verisons of Jack O'neill felt the urge to thank Jude Harley for something the first chance they got.

Meanwhile, a lone and solitary Lantash shuddered at the odd thought of the prospect of ever getting on the bad side of anyone with the last name "Harley."


 

Your name is Cassandra Fraiser-Harely, and you suddenly feel a mixture of vibes as-

TOOOOOOMMM-FWASH!

And with a flashing burst of light, a crimson orb settles down in a metal bowl next to the Sangraal’s completed shell.

Rider steps away backwards from the control machine, so very tiredly and almost fainting, just barley caught by Vala and Jonas as you suddenly feel a horrible vibe.

You captchalogue both chunks of the Sangraal immediately.

“Get to the Gate, NOW!” You order.


 

You are now Cameron Mitchel, and you sigh in relief as Jude reports:

“Command Override found and disabled!” he says with a grin as he and Ba’al close up the Obelisk.

“Good,” you say. “Now dial us out before-”

The Stargate starts dialing in.

“Take Cover!” You order.

Jude and you take cover behind some trees, Ba’al hides behind the DHD.

WAAA WAAA! KAWOOOOOSH!

And then through the eventhorizon steps a naked woman wreathed in the light of an Ascended being, her ‘modesty’ only preserved by the light itself. Accompanying her on either side are a Jaffa and a Lucian Alliance goon.

“I am Rebeka Vaylentyne,” The woman announces, “of the Andromeda Ascendant!  I demand to know who killed my servant, Harper, NOW!”

Ba’al risks raising his head, “Ah, was he a scrawny fellow with sort of pale blond hair?”

“YES,” the Ascendant woman’s voice bellows.

“Then, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but he was eaten by a dragon,” Ba’al answers.

“I see.” Then the woman throws a burning disk of fire at the snake, and Ba’al throws himself to the side to dodge.

The gate shuts down as the DHD’s side shatters with an explosive impact.

“Ah, crap,” you swear, and then open fire on the Jaffa and Lucain Alliance goons.

The Ascendant Woman throws up a glowing wall-shield of fire that absorbs the blast.

“YOU FOOLS WILL DIE!” she declares. “WE WILL TAKE MERLIN’S WEAPON AND STOP YOU FROM STOPPING US!!”

And then out of nowhere the Stargate suddenly activates again with a KAWOOOOOSH!

The fire wall, the two guards, and the Ascendant woman all vanish as the vortex stabilizes, and TOOOOOOM-SHINK!

Suddenly, Damara Megido stands next to the wrecked DHD. She stares at it for a few moments, then laughs. “I suppose I hit the end of the line, then,”

Before the Stargate shuts down again, the Ascended Woman dives back through the eventhorizon, roaring in rage, “YOU WITCH!”

“That is Me, Yes,” Damara takes a step around the DHD, summoning Clarent into her hand. “Bluh Bluh, Huge Witch. Feel free to complain to my Manager.”

And then a laugh burst from Damara's mouth as the Ascended bitch throws a burst of fire at Damara- which she deflects with the sword right back at the Stargate, almost as if she knew it was about to happen.

The Stargate electrifies and the chevrons flash dangerously in synch upon absorbing the energy. You don't think it can take another hit like that.

“Oh. Wait,” Damara starts to smirk even as you catch sight of Vala, Jonas, Cassie, and Rider emerging from the cave. “I AM MY OWN MANAGER!”


 

Your name is Jonas Quinn, and you stare at the battlefield as its soon to become with horror.

Damara Megido versus an Andromeda Ascendant?

This can’t end well.

You see Ba’al sneaking away into the forest, and Mitchel and Jude quickly running for cover closer to you while the Ascendant is distracted.

You do a headcount. You, Vala, Cassie, Rider, Mitchel, Jude. Six. Good. Everyone’s together.

And then Damara swings her sword towards the lot of you and-

Everyone tumbles into a pile in warm desert sands.

“...Uh... This is an unexpected visit. But I suppose it is a timely one.”

You look up, and see Skaara of Abydos standing over you all, looking quite confused.

“...Did you not take the Stargate?” he asks, sounding genuinely concerned as you all start to disengangle from the pile Damara dumped you in.

You do another headcount again. Yes, everyone is here still. All six of you.

“It’s a long story, Skaara,” Cassie answers.

“Well, it is just time for breakfast,” Skaara says. “if you are all hungry?”

Your stomach growls. Vala’s stomach growls soon after, and then everyone else’s stomachs growl in short order.

“Yeah,” Jude says. “I think we could go for breakfast.”

“I have to wonder though,” Vala starts. “What happened to Ba’al?”

“Who cares?” Rider asks with a groan. “I’m hungry. That question can wait until after we eat.”


 

You are now Ba’al, and you suddenly find yourself face down in a pile of snow.

...

...

...

Damn it, Damara totally did leave you out in the cold, didn’t you?

You pick yourself up and find you’re back on the frozen ice planet.

Oh well, atleast you know how to disable the damned DHD override now.

...

...

...You didn’t bring any of the equipment with you.

Damn it all.

What the hell is Damara playing at?


 

You are Damara Megido...

“CLARENT HEART!”

And you’ve ensured another of the Andromeda Ascendants ranks was erased from existence.

Now, if everything goes according to plan... the fools on SG-1 will take care of the rest within the next few days... leaving you free and clear to focus all of your plans on the true endgame. You will let them keep the Sangraal for now. It will not matter much...

The Ascended Clowns are about to be shooed off of the stage.

Permanently.

Now then. To go back in time, pretend to be a Librarian for a few hours, and then get unceremoniously blasted by a Dragon Mine into the forest. Probably make a few dazzling predictions too, to throw them off their game.

You might actually have fun with this time loop.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 5TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/13/0006.

Velika the ascended being pretending to be a sentient maintenance robot within an even larger giant robot that had crashed landed on a moon was scheming, seething, and desperately trying to make up a new plan of action.

The Atlantis Expedition had left, finally, but they’d left behind PROPER LANTEANS!

The bastards were already subtly probing the facility on the shattered planet below looking for who knows what, and were going to start scanning the moon any day now.

He had to distract them.

He had to get rid of them.

And unfortunately, there was only one option.

The Asurans.

And Velika began creating a probe that would launch out of the system, and deliver a message to the Asurans.

It was as he was putting the finishing touches on it that his damned niece showed up again to harass him.

“Go away, Trance. I am BUSY.”

“And we have a PROBLEM,” she countered. “One that affects you.”

“And what problem might that be?” He asked, annoyed.

“The Humans of Earth have found and constructed a weapon that can Destroy Ascended Beings.”

Were he in possession of knowledge of what a record was, Velika’s mind would have played a sharp record scratching sound.

“...They. What?” Velika turned away from his probe, turning to look at his niece. He saw genuine panic in her eyes.

Her own Death was all but a certainty for her.

“Morros designed a weapon against the Ori, but the humans plan on using it against us within Milky Way!” Trance explains. “And I fear they won’t stop there. Pegasus, Alternia... even the Ori home galaxy. Every part of the universe they have access to, they might very well set this weapon off. Everything we’ve worked to accomplish- both of us even with our differing plans- will be for NOTHING if they are allowed to get away with this!”

Suddenly, the Lanteans within Atlantis seemed so small of a problem in comparison.

Velika told his Niece to please wait for a few minutes while he put a pause on his business here in this Galaxy.

And so he did. He took to his vessel, and he set up its fledgling Intelligence that he had suppressed with false memories and a behavioral pattern matching that which he had fronted for all those thousands of years. Nobody would know the difference until he returned.

He took his probe, and he launched it into hyperspace. It would travel to Asuras, and within it was a message informing them of Atlantis’ position, that the Lanteans- their creators- were once more at home there... and of how the Asurans could modify their own source code to ignore their fatal flaw.

And then...

Velika left Pegasus to go with his Niece back to Milky Way.

The first thing they had to do was secure as many of their forces and resources as they could, if not from this world, then another. The fools would surely set off the weapon to cause as much damage to this galaxy as they could.

The thought that he should have just stayed in Pegasus never crossed Velika's kind. After all, his plans and preparations would mean nothing if he did not personally secure this weapon and destroy it.

Chapter Text

"I do not understand why you have returned so suddenly, Uncle," Trance of the Andromeda Ascendants of the Corinth Timeline asked as she followed her Uncle through the halls and planes of that higher plane of existence.

"All will become clear to you soon, Trance," Velika said with a firm nod as he delivered Trance to their destination.

"Wait, what is this?" Corinth Trance stopped cold in her symbolic, mind-scape only feet as she came face to face with herself.

Herself from another timeline.

"Hello, me," That Trance held out her hand. "It's time we had a talk."

"...There is nothing to Talk About," Corinth Trance demanded, turning to glare at her uncle. "You are with her, aren't you?"

"Yes," he smiled apologetically. "And I was so afraid you were going to say that."

And then the Trance Gemini of the Corinth timeline found herself attacked by her alternate self and the two energy beings began to violently merge together into a cohesive whole.

Velika could only shake his head. "Such a vast, vast shame you could not listen to our bargain and rejected it outright."

Far in the distance, but still able to observe, the Corinth Timeline's Ganos Lal observed these events with horror gleaming across her eyes like a flashlight being smash cut into-


EARTH DATE: JULY 6TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/14/0006.

Your name is Rider, and you flinch as a pen light is shone into your eyes.

“Seriously, Doc?” You ask.

“You’re just lucky I was called in to do this instead of Carolyn,” Doctor Fraiser smiles. “I have it on good authority she’s taken to using the pen light in the eyes far more often than i ever have.”

“...Fair,” you concede the point.

"Well," Fraiser says after a few more moments of checking your eye reactions. "It looks like the reaction you had to the download device was much less severe than General O'neill and Jonas ever received. If I had to guess, it was probably the equivalent of one or two files rather than a whole library of data- even a human's brain could probably handle that. Not only that, most of it seems to have erased itself already."

"Yeah," you say. "That tracks. For a little while there I felt like Merlin's ghost was hanging around in my head but that's... pretty much gone now."

"Then I'd say you're cleared to resume duty for the time being," Fraiser says. "But if you start feeling woozy in the head, come see me immediately."

"Okay," You nod, get out of the infirmary bed you'd been forced to sit on since you returned from Abydos of all places yesterday afternoon, and head as fast as you can for the route that'll take you to the Conference room the quickest..

You don your jacket as you run, and can't help but smile as you go.

Today's the day. Today's the day you're going to finish this mission, and then you'll talk with Artoira and... and you'll have so much more to talk about.

Merlin left you with a memory of the hours after your birth. Artoria holding you and smiling and...

You're going to properly make amends.

You arrive in the conference room just in time as Jude finishes setting up the projector.

SG-1 is here, General Landry is here... and General O'neill, Samantha Carter, Egeria, and Teal'c are here.... and so is a man named Orlin, who you recognized as a former Ascended being who had descended to mortal form years ago.

"Fraiser clear you?" General O'neill asks. You nod, taking your seat. "Alright then. Guess it's briefing time."

Jude leads off with a summary of the last two days, with the rest of SG-1 chiming in with the details where appropriate. You cover everything about the quest to recover the Sangraal and it's successful reconstruction.

Once you're all finished, Teal'c begins his own summary.

"As of this morning, the Lucian Alliance has been observed to be retreating from existing territorial boundaries, and are regrouping in a centralized location," Teal'c reports. "Jaffa spies we planted among those of Gerak's followers who still persist have reported that they are gathering on a single planet near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, just outside of orbit of the Black Hole there."

"Why there?" General O'neill asks.

"After some discussion, Teal'c and I believe they are preparing for a pre-emptive assault," Egeria answers. "Likely, they assume we will attempt to use the Sangraal somewhere in the vicinity of that Black Hole to launch our attack against the Andromeda Ascendants."

"Were we?" O'neill asks.

"It'd make the most sense to activate it there," Carter says, "Make the two circles- the Galaxy and the radius of the Sangraal- overlap as much as possible. But Orlin and I got to talking, and we think a better place to launch our attack would be P3Y-229."

"The Corinth Rift?" General Landry asks. "Why there?"

"Our Galaxy doesn't have nearly as many Ascended beings within it," Carter says. "They've been wiped out by the Andromeda Ascendants."

"And those that survived would have gone into hiding," Orlin chimes in. "Likely, they would have either fled to another galaxy, or they would have descended to mortal form again. Within the blast radius of this galaxy, the Sangraal would be overkill. Merely assembling the device will draw them in to attack where-ever it is, meaning we can afford to not use its energy directly focused upon them."

"Given that the Corinth Timeline branched off from ours when General Hammond failed to follow the instructions for the timeloop he wrote himself, or, atleast, that's our best guess for how it formed, we're fairly certain that the Andromeda Ascendants are still around in THEIR dimension as well, given that the split was only a couple decades ago," Carter pauses, then, Jolinar speaks.

"If we are to fire off the Sangraal within proximity to the Corinth Rift on P3Y-229, a vast majority of the energy should transmute across the rift into their reality as well, preventing them from attempting similar to that reality, as well as hindering them from crossing over into our reality seeking vengeance or seeing a vaccuum to fill."

"What about everyone else in that world's Ascended plane?" Landry asks. "Won't they be wiped out too?"

"They would, but that population also includes that timeline's Anubis, and also possibly their Lord English as well," Jolinar concedes the point.

"We've asked the SGC of their timeline for a proper situation assessment of their galaxy," Egeria says. "Sans Replicator involvement, it seems the galactic stage there is beginning to accelerate into a state similar to how our Galaxy was when Anubis and English were terrorizing our galaxy. However, they are putting up a vastly more united front than they did in our reality, given a lack of Earth based meddling to provoke events into a similar path."

"There's also the fact that we don't know if the Sangraal will work for more than one shot," Carter adds. "It's entirely possible it's a glass cannon."

"So it's a kill four birds with one stone sort of situation?" O'neill asks.

"Indeed," Teal'c nods grimly.

You decide to chime in, "If the Andromeda Ascendants of their timeline are aware of what's going on, they might try to fill the gap here in this timeline when we've wiped them out if we don't do things right. I know Hunt would almost certainly try to take over. And Trance... if she's desperate enough, she might just try to recruit them to her side anyways."

"General?" Landry asks of O'neill.

"I'm in," he nods. "We have to take the risk to get rid of that world's Anubis too. If the Dakara Weapon's energy can transmit through the Corinth Rift it might affect our universe."

"Then it's settled then," Landry says. "SG-1, you've got the go ahead. I'll leave it to the rest of you to coordinate."

"Alright then," Mitchel claps his hands. "Let's do this thing."

"Yes," O'neill agrees. "Let's!"


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

The BC-304 ODYSSEY dropped out of hyperspace over P3Y-229, joining the fleet of Jaffa and Tok'ra Ha'taks in orbit, securing the planet.

"Master Bra'tac," Teal'c hails the fleet lead Ha'tak from the Odyssey. "We have arrived."

"Good," the elderly Jaffa smiles. "Maybe then we shall win the day today, yes?"

"We can only hope," Teal'c says with a nod.

Samantha Carter joins Teal'cs side. "Master Bra'tac, good to see you again."

"It has only been a few hours, Colonel Carter," Bra'tac smiles nods. "But the feeling is mutual. As you requested, we've monitored the rift on both sides for signs of an energy transferrence, and we believe we have recorded two Ascended Beings traversing the the rift from our side to theirs just this morning." he tapped at a console, and transmitted the data.

"Receiving... Thank you, Bra'tac," Carter smiles. "It looks about exactly how we expected it would if the Andromeda Ascendants ever tried crossing the rift."


Corinth Timeline's Mordred stopped in their idle pacing as they saw Ganos Lal approach.

"Well, after a few hundred years you finally get the courage to talk to me again," Mordred smirked. "What do you want?"

"Trance was just consumed by an alternate version of herself from another timeline," Ganos reports.

"...So that's what I felt," Mordred frowned. "I'd felt the ripples in reality... Damn it. So the rumors were true after all! There's a whole other timeline out there connected to Earth, isn't it?"

"That's where she came from, yes," Ganos nodded. "I think I know why she came here to our world and attempting such a rushed maneuvor. She's lost. Badly. And what's more, she's being hunted."

"I've had my doubts that we'd ever pull our plans off," Mordred shook their head. "Ah, if only Anubis were out of the picture, I'd leave for the mortal plane immediately to go reclaim my Sword."

"That may be the safest bet even with Anubis on the prowl," Ganos decided. "I believe that other timeline has reassembled Merlin's weapon."

"You mean the thing you went to destroy?" Mordred asked, head tilting like an annoyed dog. "I thought you destroyed it."

"I did, in this timeline," Ganos frowned as she masked her lie seamlessly. "But there's no telling when that other one diverged from us."

"Yeah, fair point," Mordred glanced around. "So... You think they're planning on using it on their version of this place?"

"It's possible, more probable," Ganos nods. "However... I suspect they're also going to use it on our reality as well, hijacking that rift between our dimensions to do so."

"Why?" Mordred asked.

"Obviously... they don't want to risk Their Trance recruiting our versions of your little group," Ganos surmized.

"...Not mine anymore, if they lost that badly even with my help," Mordred said with a grim tone of voice. And then a small smirk, "Well, Earth sounds nice this time of year. All... worn down and apocalyptic. I hear they're rebuilding. What do you think?"

"Are you offering to join me in escaping this insanity?" Ganos asked.

"Obviously," Mordred answered.

"Then yes," Ganos answered. "The Mortal Plane is easily going to be ten times safer than the Ascended Plane at this rate."

And so, they immediately left that exact second, descending down to mortal form once more upon the planet Earth.


You are now Jack O'neill, and you suit up for battle.

Hoo. The old BDU still fits like a glove though- especially the glove parts.

"We've just got word that two Ascendants traveled through the rift," Sam walks into your shared room on the Odyssey- not enough spare rooms, after all, to take up two separate rooms, after all...

You see the glint of metal on her ring finger, and remind yourself not to fall back into that mental trap.

"So, this Trance chick and an escort?" You ask.

Sam nods. "They're likely recruiting aid from the other dimension's group as we speak."

"Or worse, cannibalizing them," you grimace. "Any word on the Lucian Alliance?"

"Beyond the fact they're still staging ground? Teal'c's spies have reported that they've located a lot of the Mofang slaves that were taken from their new homeworld," Sam reports.

"Ah, lovely that. Alternia's response?" You ask.

"They got the word just a little before Teal'c did, and are already dispatching the full Ultrazord to the center of the Galaxy to rescue the prisoners," Jolinar answers instead. "Colonel Claire sends her regards on a successful mission, by the way, though she's sitting this one out."

"Decided to finally retire, huh?" You ask.

"Partly that, partly the fact that she just had all the kids dropped on her lap to watch for the forseeable future," Jolinar smiles cheekily. "Apparently The Egberts are taking a long overdue vacation without any kids tagging along."

"Fun, that," you say, getting to your feet. "So... We're good to go then?"

"We're ready as we're going to be," Sam answers. "Just got to head down to the planet and wait."

"The not so fun part!" you shake your head. "I always hate waiting for the fireworks. Haven't missed this part one bit."


 

Trance Gemini walked into the metaphorical room, boasting a presence that made all of the Corinth Timeline's Andromeda Ascendants turn to look at her in shock and awe. All of them were present save for Mordred, who had yet to arrive.

"Trance..." Corinth Hunt began, "What have you done?"

"The start to righting a great wrong," she began her prepared speech. "Another Timeline has reassembled Merlin' weapon- the Sangraal- and plan to use it against us as they've already begun using it against their world. I have absorbed the survivor of their massacre- another me. None live. Their world line is ripe for the taking and ours... we can leave it to Anubis."

The others didn't need convincing at that point.


 

A storm of heavenly wrath- glowing thunder and booming light- descended upon Corinth City, making their way towards the rift in space time leading to another dimension.

Observing from a safe location through Binoculars, you are now Doctor Callie Ohphee and as they drew closer, and closer...

You calmly grab your radio, and transmit, "SG-1, I think you're not going to get a better shot out of this than right the hell now."

"Roger that, Callie," Sam replies.

You hold your breath, and wait for the inevitable.


 

"Hold it," you are Cassandra Fraiser, and you interject as Jude is about to place the orb of the Sangraal onto the device itself.

"What?" Jude asks.

"Vibes," you say. "Just... Give it a few seconds..."

"This thing is going to have a few seconds of build up as it is!" Jude reminds you.

"I know!" You say. "NOW!"

He places the orb down, the whole device lights up, and Rider presses the big shiny button to turn it on.

The Sangraal begins to pulse with energy.

And you feel the vibes flow properly...

Damara isn't intervening. She wants this to work just as badly as you do.

...They're coming.

"The Rest of the Ascendants are descending towards us now," you report. "ETA in FIVE..."

You glance at the giant rift beside you, and see a storm of energy hurtling towards the rift from their end...

"FOUR..."

You glance the other way.

A storm of glowing light emerged from the sun above P3Y-229, and frantically began rushing towards the planet below- specifically, the glowing rift you're positioned at.

"THREE..." You close your eyes.

Then, the vibes settle out, and...

"TWO-" The Sangraal fires off a pulsewave of energy.


 

From orbit of P3Y-229, a flash of light can be seen briefly on the surface, and then the massive storm of energy descending towards it seems to be blown away like colored smoke in a sharp breeze, dispersing without effect.


 

Velika realized something was wrong when nothing came to intercept their approach towards the rift.

Too late! it was too late! They'd decided to hit both Universes in the same--

And then Velika and the rest of his Ascendant companions suddenly found it hard to think as a wave of energy rushed into them, and scattered their very essences, rubbing them all out like an eraser removes a streak of marker ink from a whiteboard.

They had run out of Time.


 

Corinth Timeline's version of Anubis and Lord English relished as they began their approach towards the planet CHULAK.

Everything was in place for their plan to continue at--

And then something went wrong.

English felt as if he suddenly had a pounding headache as all of the massive stores of Ascended energy he'd consumed began to twist, churn, and suddenly vanish from within his body.

The Ori he had eaten were being erased.

And then Anubis began shrieking in pain. His cries sounded like an Alternian Terror Bird to English... but to you, dear viewers...

It sounds exactly like how a Pterodactyl would cry out in pain before being silenced by a Spinosaurs' massive jaws.

Anubis suddenly vanished from English's side, and English himself found himself crashing face first into the deck of his Mecha-ship, suddenly ten sizes too small for the clothes he had worn.

He had been unprepared for such a stunt, even after sensing the death of one of his alternate selves.

After all... this was completely different from being cut off from ones followers.

This?

This was the after-taste of someone literally carving out his stomach while it was still full of food... and leaving him to BLEED OUT.


 

And then you open your eyes, and you exhale in relief.

"It's done." You say, watching as the Sangraal's glowing orb dims, and the device powers down. "We're in the clear."

And in who knows how many years in the future, once the effects of the Time Dilation of a black hole allowed that energy wave to catch up, what was left of the Lord English and Anubis of your worldline would be erased as well.

It was done.

It was done.

IT. WAS. DONE.

And you fall to your knees as you sense nothing dangerous in the immediate future.

Jude moves to hug you tight, and you sob.

There's nothing for you to feel from the Vibes anymore. Damara's suppressing it again, somehow.

...You've cleared the board for Damara to have her way with the Galaxy... or worse.


 

"...I hate to say it," you are now Samantha Carter. "But... I was expecting we'd have to put up more of a fight."

"Agreed," Jack agrees, looking down at his P-90. "I was kinda hoping to get some shots off. But nope. Just... nothing. Kind of anticlimatic, wasn't it?"

"Compared to killing off three enemies at once at the same relativisitic time?" You ask. "Yeah. It kinda was."

"Think we killed Corinth Timeline's Anubis AND English?" Jack asks.

"Who knows." You answer.

Jolinar nudges, and you let her speak. "I suspect that Anubis is definitely double dead... But... Thinking about what SG-1 heard Damara say, about a remnant of Lord English existing somewhere? I think he's what she was talking about. Corinth Timeline's English has to have survived... I think."

You swallow upon hearing those words. "I... I really hope we're mistaken on that."

"Yeah. Same here," Jack agrees.


EARTH DATE: JULY 9TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/17/0006.

"It's been ONE WEEK since you looked at me!" Karkat Vantas the Middle sang as he listened to his MP3 player two whole rooms down from you within the Delta Megaship's crew quarters.

Your name is Terezi Pyrope, and you've got bigger problems to consider than Karkat's wall-piercing singing.

During that little gap in narrative contrivance that Damara allowed to let the Sangraal plan go through without a hitch... you had a Vision. Well, rather, several visions playing out all at once.

A swarm of flying laser pointers swarming a city at sea. A dance of dogs and cats being crashed by a giant ear of corn. A horse being stuffed inside of another, much larger horse by a giant raven inside a funhouse's vast mirror hall. A guy named STARSKY (by his name tag floating over his head) sliding over a red car with a white stripe along the sides to get at the driver's seat.

Dirk Strider, of all people, wearing a flashy pink Tiara and biting off a chunk of meat the size of his own head from a giant spaceship sized turkey-bird that was branded with Jake Harley's grinning face on like it had been grilled on a grill with that exact pattern in the metal. And then he was chased off by two giant dogs- one dog covered in giant red fish and cotton candy... the other one with a giant building shaped like a witches hat on its head.

...You're pretty sure Damara was just fucking with you for the fun of it on that last one. Sure, your visions can be steeped in metaphor, but what the hell does that last one even MEAN?

Nothing. That's what it means.

One of those wolves was literally covered in RED HERRINGS.

Seriously, even you keep up with the media tropes of television and movies, even with your blindness. You know what a red herring is.

You're pretty sure the city at sea is Atlantis. Laser pointers are... Replicators?  You'll forward that along.

And the dog and cat dance is... uh.... who knows. Just yet. Ear of corn? You'll pass it along and see if anyone figures it out for you.

As for a horse getting stuffed with a horse by a raven inside a funhouse mirror room?

Mysterious, but simple. Someone's gonna stuff someone into their own body. Possibly multiple times over.

Guy sliding over the car? You think that's a reference to some old TV show, be it Earth born or Alternian.

Okay while you're sure three of these are legit visions of the future of your usual insane variety, maybe that one is Damara trolling you too.

Hmm...

You'll keep it in mind, though. Just in case,


 

The Alternian News Network began broadcasting its regularly scheduled news report.

"Greetings and Salutations, Alternia Galaxy!" The news caster was a Cla'dian girl named FAM FAN FAN, with golden hair, green eyes, and a wide smile. "I'm Fam Fan Fan, and today, we bring you a special report at the top of the hour! As you know, two days ago, efforts by Alternia's Ultrazord Military division undertaken with a coordinated strike by Earth's SG-1 decapitated the Lucian Alliance's leadership- the so called wanna-be gods calling themselves the Andromeda Ascendants. The Lucian Alliance's efforts to build an army were shattered, and they were forced to scatter. Today, however, we have confirmation from Tegiri Kalbur that the mission's secondary goal has been completed. The Mofang Survivors of the Sorian Empire's disastrous colapse at Karfin Outpost, who were kidnapped and enslaved by the Andromeda Ascendants and Lucian Alliance, have all been rescued, and reunited with their loved ones and family here in Alternia Galaxy on their new homeworld, New Soria. Pilot Kalbur had this to say about-"

Your name is Joey Claire, and you mute the TV above your table as Tegiri groans from his seat just across the table from you.

You're all at the Ashlander's Veil, taking the night off from just about everything job and work related as you can, and here the news comes to remind you about it.

"Thank you," Tegiri says. "I really hate the sound of my own voice."

"I think you sound fine," Polypa says, nudging him in the arm with her elbow.

"Yeah, well," Tegiri scowls. "I managed to sound really pompous and self-righteous even by Anime standards. Seriously, why did I let Ashler write the speech for?"

"Because if not," you say, "you'd probably have gone on for fifteen minutes about how the battle went, blow for blow?"

Tegiri considers that, then sighs in defeat. "Yeah. Fair enough."

"Still, atleast that's That Extraneous Plot threat wrapped up," Xefros remarks before he sips at his soda.

"So," Tegiri shakes his head. "Changing subjects. "How's everything been going here on the home front?"

"Heh," you smirk, faintly. "Mierfa's got John, Jade, and Penny back at my hive if that answers your question. Nepeta's doing the sleepover thing with Nepeta tonight, too. And Rose is over at the Brooding Caverns visiting Kanaya too. Sooo... Take a wild guess."

"Everyone Indulges in their Hobbies Night?" Tegiri asks.

"Yep," Polypa confirms.

From her cradle in the seat between you and Xefros, Toko garbles out something approximating the syllables of 'hobbies' in turn... It sounds very much like "Squeebes" right now due to her mouth not being able to make the right sounds, but you give it an A+ for effort.

"So, I gotta ask," Tegiri glances at her. "Why bring the kid along?"

"Penny's in her Grabby Phase," you answer. "Hair, mostly, but considering how Toko is ALSO in her Biting Stage... well. They love being with eachother, but it's just not a good time for either of them to be around eachother right now. Better to avoid any kind of fear and resentment."

"Fair enough," Tegiri nods, and takes a hefty drink of his own glass of root beer.

"Looks like Tegiri's done talking now," Polypa says of the news cast.

You unmute it.

"-GC says the Sangraal has been separated and placed into protective hiding once again," Fam Fan Fan reports. "Unless circumstances require it to be retrieved again, a probability that is placed at a very statistically low 1.666 repeating percent chance, the Sangraal will not be heard from or seen from again."

She shuffles her papers.

"And Now, for your local weather!"

You mute it again.

"Okay, they didn't talk on that more than we thought they would," you say. "Sounds about right for the usual press releases from the SGC."

"Yeah, kinda shame that." Polypa winces. "Ooof, Are we really in the 90s all weekend? That's gonna suck."

"Yeesh," Tegiri winces. "I don't think my apartment has working AC right now."

"You're welcome to come stay with us," you offer.

"With all the kids around?" Tegiri muses on it. "Sure. Why not? I can do 'grubsitter' just fine."

Polypa grins. "Awesome!"

"You say that," Xefros smirks. "Then Jade goes and starts sneeze-teleporting again."

"...She does what now?" Tegiri asks, face going pale.

Hoo. This is gonna be a conversation.

...

"Hey! There's Salazl walking in now!" you change the subject, and Xefros quickly gets up to meet his matesprit.


 

Your name is Rider, once Mordred, Son of King Arthur... Artoria Pendragon.

You focus on slowing your breathing... and knock on the door infront of you for the third time in as many days.

...And once again, there is no reply.

You know she's home.

"Home."

As if this place is actually her home for as little as she seems to actually live here.

Three days in a row you've come to the place listed as Artoria's residence in Corinth City, knocked on the door, and waited. And waited. And waited and waited and waited.

And nothing.

You feel a bit... unnerved. Like you've not made any progress at all.

Did...

...Did you do something wrong?

You place your hand on the door- hesitating to knock again...

You see movement inside, a shadow hovering at a window above you.

You back up for a better view. It's... It's Artoria for sure. You recognize the outline of her frame.

 "Hello? Artoria?? It's me! Mo...Mordred! Can... Can we talk??"

...

...

...

A curtain is closed, blocking what little sight you could manage at all.

You...

...

You give up.

You return to the rift. You return through the Gate to Earth.

You hide away in your on-base room, and you...

And you cry, because you have no idea what to do.

"What did I do wrong this time?" You ask over and over again, because... for the life of you... you can't figure it out.

Who knows how many minutes later, Vala finds you and decides to keep you company. It doesn't take long before she makes a few phone calls.

About five minutes after that, you find out she's roped Jonas into bringing a couple large tubs of ice cream from the SGC Cafeteria.

Another twenty-or-so minutes after that Mitchel shows up with a large box of home-made cookies that he whipped up in the SGC cafeteria the moment he got Vala's text.

Jude and Cassie show up about half an hour later after finishing one of their therapy sessions with the on-base therapist, and bring with them a large box of store bought fried chicken.

And then for the next few hours, you're all just hanging out in your room in the SGC like a bunch of really close friends. Companions. Comrades in Arms.

Knights of your own personal not-so-round over crowded tea table.

It's your new normal.

And that's alright.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 24th, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/01/0005.

She's dead.

Once and for all, the bitch who ruined your life is DEAD.

The bitch, Elwurd, who stole your name, and made Vriska Serket radioactive.

She's dead.

She's DEAD.

DING DONG THE WICKED WITCH IS DEAD!!!!!!!!

Your name is Ashler Dering, and you feel... to some small degree, as if you can finally put that part of yourself to rest now.

The girl who'd been framed for so many heinous acts that the only way to get Elwurd to *STOP* using your damned name against you was to fake your own death is now as dead as can be.

The real culprit, the real criminal, who did all those things, is DEAD.

The disgrace to the name Vriska Serket is DEAD and DEAD and DEAD.

She betrayed and 8CKSTA88ED so many times that the karma finally came back and bit her in the ass.

As it was meant to be.

You'd told her, the last time she said she'd stop and didn't, that if she didn't, it was going to bite her in the ass one day. You wish you'd had the insight to say something cold like "you're gonna blow yourself to pieces" or something like that, but... it doesn't matter.

She probably didn't even remember the girl whose life she'd ruined at all, even in her final moments.

Not those parting words you'd given or anything of the sort.

She'd come so close when She tried to do some shit with the Quantum Mirror and blew open a hole between dimensions. But she survived and escaped it somehow.

She ruined only the Royal Lussus knew how many lives before that point and still escaped like some kind of karmic Houdini.

She changed her names like one changed the channel on a television set, and used other people's names like one would use that earth made toilet paper for cleaning up shit in the restrooms.

It was a miracle she and you never crossed paths within the Rebellion. You'd have made good on the violence she'd inflicted upon your name.

But it's all over with now.

She's dead.

Elwurd is DEAD.

And the Vriska Serket who had been made in her image is dead as well.


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 1ST, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/09/0005.

"...So let me get this fucking straight," you massage at the bridge of your nose. "You want me to work with some other assassin to help save your family's lives from this bastard who's been hunding them down... by KILLING him?"

"That's about the short of it, yes," Rose nodded.

...Why.

Why can't you have it *easy*?

"You know, I went to a lot of trouble to make sure  the shit that comes with the name "Vriska Serket" died when I faked my own death and abandoned that identity," you tell the cat eared girl and her companion.

"We know that," they say. "But we don't think there's any other choice. Also. We have this to say. We believe he is the reason the IOA didn't prioritize the capture of Elwurd and her crew."

...

...

...

Fucking hell.

"I'm not sure whether I should thank the bastard then, with the shit she caused me," you say. "But you know, there was a part of me that was itching to see her pay for her crimes. And I'm honestly not sure which would've been sweeter. Her dying to her own karma finishing her off, or rotting away in a jail cell for the rest of her life."

Fuck it.

One last job for Vriska Serket, then.

"Okay," you say, standing. "You've got yourselves an assassin."


 

EARTH DATE: MAY 19TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/27/0005.

The light to the O'neill cabin clicks on, and you freeze upon seeing Tegiri sitting there, staring, judging, piercing gaze directly at you.

"So," he summarizes, "you and Polypa both go missing for almost a month, and not hours after some asshole in the IOA gets himself killed trying to assassinate three women, two unknowns, and one Victoria Bradley, you finally show back at the cabin you were supposed to be in days ago."

...Crap.

"...How long were you waiting there?" You ask, asking mainly about the chair he's sitting in rather than the cabin. Tegiri's the kind of guy who'd sit dramatically in a chair waiting for days at a time just to make a statement.

"I got off training early two days ago, couldn't find you or Polypa anywhere..."  He looks you in the eyes. You don't flinch. "Now I hear about all this and you're back? Do I even want to know about what happened?"

You refuse to flinch.

Years of instinct keeps you from flinching under his gaze.

He's staring, gazing, evaluating. Wanting to see you flinch. They always do.

They always want to see you flinch.

"You-" really "-probably don't," you answer, slinging off your luggage bag for the floor. "But I can tell you if you want to know."

Tegiri considers your response. What breaks here? Who snaps under the pressure? Will your Moirailgence survive the next few seconds? Maybe he breaks it off with Polypa instead? Both? Did you ruin two relationships with one stroke here?

Fucking hell, why didn't you turn Rose down?

Tegiri sighs. "Just... tell me. You two didn't do anything that could get you in trouble, did you?"

Did you?

Did you really?

Why didn't you turn Rose down?

...You know why.

You wanted to wrap up every last bit of bad karma floating around from this whole Elwurd situation. She died because of that man's greed, and he died because of his insane desire to cap off a cycle of karma started from well over sixty years ago when some girl got kicked out of her village for a murder she didn't commit.

You had over a month to brood over the facts. To do your own research. You found some old article online from a theater rag regarding that Cordelia woman. Found an article about a fire at a bridge to a small kingdom on a hill involving a maid who'd admitted to framing Cordelia Gallo for murder, and then fell into a ravine and died.

It spoke to you on some level, and you're honestly not sure if it was a real article or not. Maybe you were just having a particularly vivid dream about events nobody should have any real reason to know about anymore? Who knows, who cares.

Still. You know what you read, dream or not. It was enough of a sympathetic motive to help cap this whole thing off.

You look at Tegiri, as you say with full confidence- "Nah. I think it was all pretty cut and dry self defense."

If not that, then atleast the end to a karmic cycle of death and revenge that needed to be broken.

And it was, by all accounts.

Tegiri sighs. "Well. I guess that's all I can ask for."

You can't help it.

"Gee, thanks."

You laugh.

And wouldn't you know it, after a few moments, he starts to laugh too.

Your name is Ashler Dering, and you'll take that as a fucking win.


 

EARTH DATE: JULY 8TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/16/0006.

"Do I HAVE to say this?" Tegiri asks, glaring at the script you've just spent the last three hours helping him write.

Well, truthfully, you've been doing all the writing. And trimming out of irrelevant details like how fluidly your Ultrazord kicked some Lucian Alliance Ha'tak into the Black Hole or how many sparks the thing gave off as it collided with another Ha'tak as they tumbled into oblivion.

"Yes, you do," you say, glancing at your watch. "Fucks sake, Tegiri, you gotta go on stage in less than an hour. Stop complaining and start rehearsing!"

"But it's so... so...!" Tegiri grasps at the air as he grasps for words.

"In character?" You ask.

"It's Too Much for even some of MY favorite Anime Characters, Ashler!" He complains. "Do I really need to say how I 'single handedly lead us to victory'?? It sounds like I'm over inflating my skills over the rest of the crew!"

"Tegiri, my Moirail, my bestest, most awesomest dude," you place a hand on his shoulder and look him in the eyes. "You fucking tied us together and SNAPPED US OUT OF SHOCK when they pulled out a SECOND completed Clarent Victory mech out of FUCKING NOWHERE! It took EXCALIBER to enhance the Astro-Delta enough to even have a chance of defeating the last one! And they still got their kicks in! If you hadn't come up with that idea to use the Naquadria Blaster on that fucking minigun rifle of theirs when you did in THAT exact way-"

You stop. You'd have been toast is what you'd have been. They'd have shot up the Naquadria core and the explosion would have--

...It's moments like those that make you realize how lucky you are to have Tegiri as a Moirail. Anybody else would have either indulged you too much and gave way too much lenience to your shittier habits, or gone far, far too strict in how they managed you. Anybody else would have floundered in a battle like that.

Anybody else wouldn't have thought to fucking eject the Naquadria core straight into the enemy mecha's firing mechanism using an Asgard beaming array instead of the usual ejection methods.

"I know, I know," Tegiri grimaces. "Fucking hell. Just... Do you have to make it sound so pompous? So self-righteous??"

"It's what the people want," you tell him. "A Hero who knows they did good. Fuck, we rescued an entire settlement of MOFANG VILLAGERS! They're going HOME because of your quick thinking!"

"Okay, fine," Tegiri sighs. "I'll say it then."

"Good, because we don't have TIME for any more revisions!" you say, moving to stand. "We've got to get to the stage, and you've got to rehearse this damned thing NOW!"

Good grief! If only you hadn't resigned yourself to not taking the spotlight anymore. You'd go up there and sing his praises for doing things right the way he did!

"Fine, fine," Tegiri grumbles. And so does his stomach. It grumbles so loudly as he gets up from his chair.

"Tell you what," you say. "You do a damn good job on stage today, and I'll buy lunch today."

"Seriously?" he asks. "But you bought it last week. It's my turn."

"Yeah, well. I'm covering you this week," you answer. "If you memorize this speech!!"

"Right, right, fair's fair," he nods.

...But it's give and take.

Sometimes, in moments like THESE? Tegiri gets far too self-conscious for his own good. Anything that has to do with public speaking. That's where you come up behind and boost him up where he needs.

It's a pain, yeah, but you gotta balance out your relationship SOMEHOW.

You wouldn't have it any other way.

Chapter Text

6/03/02

1/11/06

There comes a question in every hero and villains life that is worth asking.

Was It Worth It?

Was what you as a hero, or a villain, did worth it in the end?

And what of those of us who walk that fine line between both? Who acts villainous to accomplish heroic deeds? Or acts heroic to accomplish villainous deeds?

Say what you will about the lines themselves, let alone the act of walking them, but here, I ask...

Was It Worth It?

Were the deeds you acted upon in service of this goal of yours worth it in the end? Did you accomplish everything? Did you free yourself from the ties than bind? Did you fail miserably just inches from the finish line?

Well, Reese? What about you, Repli-Carter? Fifth? The so called 'Danicator'? Were your dreams of revenge worth it in the end? Was it worth the damage you caused the galaxy? Was it WORTH the humiliation of being so outrageously insane that one of your own SIBLINGS decided you were worth stopping?

I'd imagine Polendina would say it was worth it, given her now mortal and organic reincarnation with parents who love her- even if they are busy constantly saving the galaxy and the universe.

Jude, Cassandra, is it worth it? Has the strain and trauma been worth it?  

Was it worth it, General Jack O'neill, after it's all been said and done? Has it been worth it, Samantha Carter and Jolinar of Malkshur?

Jonas Quinn. Was it worth it, to lose your home planet to the Goa'uld and your own race's stupidity with regards to all. That. Naquadria?

Has it been worth it, Vala Mal Doran? To give up being a thief?

What about you, Cameron Mitchel? Has it been worth it to be a part of SG-1 far before you would have broken your legs in other timelines and earned that spot early in this other world line? Has it been worth it to have your life brought through on smooth sailing and to not have to waste a SOLID YEAR on that pain of recovery?

Was it worth it, Teal'c, to earn your people's freedom after all this time?

Has it been worth it, Doctor Daniel Jackson? To lose a wife, several years of your life, as well as any real semblance of a proper family relationship with either version of your daughter?

WAS IT WORTH IT, SKAARA, TO ABANDON YOUR NIECE TO THE WHIMS OF FATE LIKE THAT?

What about you, Jade? Has it been worth it? To be with John and Argo? Is it worth all the pain you've felt? I can assure you, it's NOTHING compared to what you've been through in other worlds. Do you feel it's worth it?

...Or how about you, hm, Little Andromeda Ascendants? Did you accomplish your goals in two separate universe before being erased from the narrative? Was it WORTH it?

If you'd asked me, I'd say No. I'd say it wasn't worth it. Nor was it worth the effort, Velika, to throw your lot in with your niece when she came crawling back after the way you treated eachother. Your panic was not worth it. Your demise was pitiful and instant. You barely had time to recognize what was happening when it happened.

You should have stayed in Pegasus.

Was it worth it, Commander Ass-kingforit Kolya? Was your insanity worth killing Doctor Weir over in this world? How about in another one where you killed Mckay instead? Was your greed really worth it?

Aiden Ford... Do you truely think the ends justify the means? Has everything you've done since gaining enlightenment similar to my own been worth it? Is your end goal really that important and WORTH the blood sweat and tears?

What about you, Elwurd and company? Did you even have a plan or were you winging it from the start? What were you even HOPING to accomplish with that Quantum Mirror? Was it worth it, Elwurd, to twist Lynera so tightly around your finger? Was it worth it to have her mind break, and to have you leave her in the dust behind when you and your crew went galavanting around in Pegasus, hidden from sight doing all sorts of... non important things.

It wasn't worth it, was it? What did you even hope to accomplish with that Wraith Cruiser once you had it? Were you so foolhardy as to think you could try the Mirror stunt AGAIN?

Now. What of your goals, Anubis? Was Galactic domination worth it? Was it worth selling your soul in a partnership with a time traveling demon? Was the constant string of humiliations worth it?

Was it worth the metal body that needed the constant repairs? Was it worth betraying the word you had given and having your own masterpiece of a weapon destroyed by the laser you essentially fired at yourself? Was it worth becoming a ghost bound to constantly dying bodies? Was it worth being lured into a Supergate's vortex and being ferried dramatically into a Black Hole?

And was it worth it, Caliborn, My former master? Were your childish days spent languishing away in another galaxy while your slave forced me to work? Was it worth ruling over all those kingdoms while you left me to deal with the aftermath of Alternia?

Was IT WORTH IT to make me your personal HANDMAID? To force me to have that obsession with RETRIEVING THAT DAMNED BRACELET so I could use it to restore myself and summon you back to... to... to even do what?

I tried twice to retrieve that bracelet for you, and it damn near killed me both times at the same damn time.

If I ever got my hands on it now, what would I do with it, I wonder? It is shattered, twice over, and scattered to pieces. There is no reuniting its parts. There is no more consolidating its fragments to a whole...

Was it worth it, Khepri? Was it worth it to break it so? To scatter it? To leave the pieces where some girl could pick them up and then use them against you? And later... make the decision to destroy it lest it fall into my hands?

Was it worth it, to have your desires banished into the far distant past, and to have your dreams of returning to the throne with a second empire added to your belt dashed by the son you yourself raised?

Was it worth it, Trizza? To have immortality given to you? Is it worth having your ambitions granted in every way you never actually wanted?

Was it worth it, Oberonn? Was it worth dealing with multiple devils? Was it worth the RUTHLESS bloodshed that cost you both of your daughters?

WAS IT WORTH IT, RA? Was it worth assaulting Atlantis and devastating that planet, knowing that it was defended?

Was it worth it, Ba'al? To fill your life with clones of yourself so that you could hide away from the disturbing truth that is your own future demise already set into stone?

And so finally, I ask to anyone who might be reading my question here, scrawled out onto paper as haphazardly as it is...

Was it worth finding this letter? Was it worth reading it? Was everything that lead you to this point worth it?

...And then I ask that of myself.

Well, Damara Megido, was it worth it?

Has everything been worth what you've done to get to this point in time???

...To that, I answer...

Ask me again in six weeks.

-Damara Megido

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 16TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/24/0006.

Your name is Trizza Tethis, and you have a lot of time to think these days.

Who knew actually ruling an entire country would be so.,.. TEDIOUS? So Time wasting?

So... So...

So MONOTONOUS.

Hell, if a CONTINENT is boring you this badly, imagine ruling an Empire!! You're GLAD you got the boot, basically, when you had your hand chopped off to have that bracelet stolen from you.

You flex your regrown hand.

...Immortality is a sucky thing too.

You get a conditionally-immortal King and a Queen to rule over an entire kingdom of Faeries, and then what do you get?

A bastard who over the course of his reign, curses his entire country with magic, loses his youngest daughter who he was going to sacrifice in a ritual to do who knows what to another dimension by the acts of his oldest daughter, who then later pulls a magic sword, kills some bigshot demon, and then dies to the King's own HANDS.

Then he runs like a coward, locks his WIFE AWAY in a bird cage, and then SHE escapes to who knows where after tricking a servant into freeing her, and cursing that servant into looking like her, and taking her place. Then you show up, kill the king, find out that the queen isn't actually the queen, and then get STUCK WITH THE JOB until she's found!

AND IT IS SO MOTHERGRUB DAMNED BOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING.

And it's not like you have anything better to do at this point.

Alternia Galaxy back home? SAFE AND SOUND AND SO GLUBBINGLY BORINGLY PEACEFUL IT MAKES YOU SICK. The most news worthy thing in the last MONTH was some Mofang being rescued and brought back home safe and sound.

What a load of CARP.

Milky Way? They BLEW UP SOME ASCENDED DOUCHEBAGS FROM TWO UNIVERSES!

AT!

ONCE!!!

They don't need your help at all at this point, and even if they did, one of their OTHER recurring enemies is the FUCKING HANDMAID TO LORD FUCKIN' ENGLISH who, WHOOPDEEDOOO! Got shoved into a black hole and DIED without anybody even telling you until after the fact.

What. Fucking. Fun.

You've got it all. Immortality! The Royal Life! RESPECT! THE MONEY!!!!

And what does it get you?

BOREDOM.

So.

Much.

BOREDOM.

You wish that someone would find the damned Queen already so you can get on with doing something more fun.

There are RUINS TO EXPLORE! You'd like to explore some good old fashioned ruins! A scrum here or there! Just a nice battle with some dungeon dwelling monsters!

That's ALL!

You sure hope that whatever Queen Titania is doing, it's more fun than this, otherwise she's really wasting her 'vacation' away from her dead hubby.

Faeries.

Seriously.

Who the hell thought making them super long lived edging on immortal was a good idea?

...For that matter, who the hell thought making YOU actually Immortal was a good idea?

"Maaaan. This sucks." You huff. Life sure took a weird-ass turn that exact minute Joey Claire cut off your fucking hand.

You're not really sure surviving that fucking super nova was even worth it.

...

...

When your usual very large lunch arrives you forget all thoughts about that deathly nature, because if there's one thing these Fae managed to do good and keep doing good, it was make some fucking fantastic food.

Who cares how you managed to survive any of the shit you've been through when you've got AWESOME FOOD??

You idly wonder if Queen Titania is living it up and having awesome meals every day like this still? Hrm, maybe she's taking cooking classes? You could buy that. The idea that learning to cook such godly food could take-

Nope. Not going to think about however fucking long it could take to learn how to cook like that.

Not one bit.


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

A blue haired Undine Faerie by the name of Asuna sneezed as she closed the door to her humble little apartment in Arrun City.


Her blue hair and blue eyes gleamed with the light of water magic as she cast a brief spell on herself to ensure that she wasn't catching a cold, and then she went into the kitchen to start cooking herself a meal.

She'd barely hit the switch for the ceiling light to enchant itself into illuminated mode when she finally sensed the presence of an intruder within her home.

A rapier style sword materialized within her hand with a flash, and she whirled around to face the intruder who had dared to-

"Hey, Asuna!" A cheeky Spriggain who was far older than he let on to most people cracked a grin. "I thought you wouldn't be back until later."

The Spriggain known to a select few people as Kirito placed a large box of something onto a coffee table- the box rattled with the sound of glass on glass.

"Kirito..." Asuna sighed in relief, dispersing her sword to where-ever it had come from to begin with. "You should have said something when I came in."

"To be honest, I'm surprised it took you this long to notice I was here," he answered, taking the lid off of the box and retrieving something from the surface layer.

"Here." He offered a potion bottle. "More of that S-ranked ingredient you need."

"Thank you, Kirito," The Undine smiled, and took it. She knew the contents of the vial by heart.

Polywhirl Root. A special plant root sourced from the same underground gardens as the Energy Crystals. When used in conjunction with Yggdrasil Sap and Raw, Non-Elementally-Aligned Morph Slime, among other ingreedients, it served as the base root (heh) of a polymorph potion, similar in nature to the FACTION DISGUISE spell, except nowhere near as versatile in how it changed your looks, only that it wasn't a spell based transformation at all.

The simple, easily deductable truth of the matter that only Asuna and Kirito were aware of was that Asuna was not infact an Undine named Asuna.

She was infact the Faerie Queen Titania, who had given up any designs on holding the position of the throne.

And by the most bizzare twist of fate ever, Kirito had been assigned as one of the top hunters to find the missing queen, with the quest giver, Interim Queen Trizza Tethis, being completely unaware that he already knew the Queen's real location.

He was, after all, the one who had helped orchestrate her escape and disguise in the first place.

"How's Yui-chan?" Asuna asked, moving to sit down on her sofa.

Kirito, seeing an offered opening well rehearsed between the two of them, sat down with her. He placed hs hand on her hands, resting on her thighs, and smiled."She's doing fine. I have her attending classes in Aincrad now. She's finally able to hone in those smarts of hers in ways she'd never be able to here."

"A benefit of our two worlds interacting," Asuna smiled, sadly. "Astore... she did such a fine job bringing them together. It's a disgrace that her father decided she not be allowed to see it through." A small ember of hate sparked within her eyes, briefly coloring them orange instead of blue, but it faded as quickly as it ever did anymore. "But Hakase... Atleast she has had the chance to live a normal life. I wonder if her and Yui-chan will get along well?"

"They're in different grades, unfortunately," Kirito shook his head. "But Yui's aware of her. Everyone in her class is. Hakase is... well. She's joined some sort of inventors club."

"She has?" Asuna asked. "And she's... creating things?"

"Insane, nonsensical things that shouldn't work, but do," Kirito smiled. "You should feel proud."

"I do," Asuna nods. "I just wish... I could reinsert myself into her life without causing her no end of trouble."

Kirito had no words to counter that. He had long ago expunged them all after Oberon's death by the hands of Trizza Tethis.

Asuna had rejected every single one.

The charade had to continue, Asuna insisted. It was the only way to break the curse.

The curse Oberon had brought upon the kingdom of Alfheim. The curse that made wings fail to work after ten minutes of consecutive flight. The curse that made Alfheim's birth rate plummet to a scant few children a decade. The curse that said that as long as the King Oberon and Queen Titania or any of their family sat upon the royal throne, the whole race would be punished.

Of everything Oberon had done, it all started with that damned curse.

All attempts at breaking it had just... made. Things. Worse.

It was better this way.

And so they sat in silence, no words being said, hands just being held.


 

Contrasting that scene, very much not just sitting in silence was the current 'council' of assembled Aincrad and Alfheim heroes, who were standing over a table of large blueprints of various floors arguing over what was to be done about the ongoing problems with sabbotage that the Goa'uld were somehow managing to commit across the various Castle ships.

You are Keiko Ayano, and you sigh as you massage the bridge of your nose, listening to the arguments.

"Fun, eh?" Silica asks, sitting next to you, and looking for all the world your cat-traited twin as always, save for her hairstyle, which she's kept in twintails while you've kept yours in a single tail.

"I'm missing my lab in Atlantis already," you mutter in response.

"Look!" The leader of Aincrad's security team, a woman named CAPTAIN ASUNA YUKI who was rapidly promoted after her boss's boss's boss were all revealed to have just been the same damned Goa'uld causing trouble, and jumping hosts down the line whenever he got caught.

Captain Asuna had caught on before she had become the next target, and stopped the snake dead with an ellegantly declared point. Literally, as she used her sword's sharpened point to stab the snake down the throat, killing it.

Your sister, SHIORI, and her husband, KAZUTO, were up there discussing things as well, representing your respective families inherited job expertises up there, waving the flag as it were.

Kazuto and Asuna were currently arguing about whether the next target for sabbotage would be here on Aincrad or in another Castle Ship. Asuna was assuming it would be hitting close to home after the recent string of power conduit shakeups, Kazuto assumed it was going to be another Castle Ship.

Shiori looked so tired of her hubby and her best friend arguing though, but that's something you've struggled to comprehend. When did your sister become friends with Captain Asuna Yuki?? The last you'd been aware, they'd hated eachother with a fierce vengeance.

You glance at Silica to ask her, but find her attention drawn across the room back to the table as well.

Minori had interjected into the argument, and was laying out the confirmed facts for both theories, and now proposing that the Goa'uld would be striking out at both at the same time.

Beside her, that Alfheim Wizard SHIROE agreed with Minori's assessment, and suggested that the best course of action would be to use the presence of the Atlantis Expedition to muddle the waters, and bring in the Military teams from the Expedition to serve as extra hands to help create a trap to stop the Goa'uld.

This triggers a fresh round of arguments from everyone.

You sigh.

Lovely.

Just Lovely.

How did things get so muddled in the short period of time since you left for Atlantis?

You really should have paid more attention to this side of things, now it's being all shoved in your face about how stupid everything's gotten.

Idiot.

You're such an idiot.

"Hey," And then Yuuki has somehow moved across the room during your musings, and is leaning over both you and Silica to ask: "Sis thinks they're going to be a few hours more at this rate with nothing getting done, so her, me, and Touya we're gonna bail out for a bit. Either of you want to go get some lunch while they argue?"

"Shadow clones?" Silica asks.

"Yep," Yuuki nods.

"I think I'll stay and keep Minori company," Silica answers.

"Fair enough," Yuuki nods.

"I'll join," you say, and follow Yuuki out of the cramped argument hall. You do a double take when you spot Yuuki's sister in two places at once. Inside the hall next to Shiroe's side, and out here, flipping a small coin up and down as she leaned against the wall.

"Akatsuki," you smile and nod to her. "It's been a while."

"Same here," The Ninja Imp nods in turn, catching and pocketing the coin. "Atlantis been treating you well?"

"Very," you answer as you wait for Touya to join up. "Just wish I could go back at this point. Too much arguing here."

"Don't we all," Yuuki huffed. "I'm Honestly thinking about putting in for a transfer if you guys are ever allowed to go back."

"I too am considering a transfer," Akatsuki says.

"Really? Aren't you needed here?" You ask.

"Master Shiroe is less in need of an assassin or a ninja these days..." Akatsuki trails off as a loud burst of shouting can be heard from inside the conference room as Touya slips outside.

"Geeeze," He laments, "who knew the idea of asking for help could be so controversial?"


 

Some quaint little coffee shop called DAIKU COFFEE became your venue, but your topics of discussion were anything but coffee talk.

"You'd think we'd have rooted out all the snakes by now," Yuuki laments.

"Given all the Ba'al clones back in Alternia timeline, I'm not so sure we'll ever root all of them out," You remark.

"Is that what we're calling it these days?" Akatsuki asks.

"Makes sense," Touya says. "Alternia is the major thing going on in that timeline, compared to Aincrad here, or Alfheim there, or Corinth City..."

"Do we have to define our timelines by major places where lots of long drawn out battles happened?" Yuuki asks.

"Is there even any other continents back home we could use instead?" Touya asks. "Or have I just completely forgotten any local geography beyond the main continent?"

"I think you've just forgotten," Yuuki says. "Either that Or I've forgotten how things are. We're both gonna have to look at some history and geography books when we go back to my place in Alfheim... Or maybe we could just skip the books entirely and go straight to the sheets. Work sheets. I mean." Touya coughed and sputtered, suddenly going red in the face. Akatsuki seems unphased by this occurrence, Yuuki just grins.

It's nice, catching up with your old friends like this. It vaguely feels like you never left. Except... you totally did. And somewhere inbetween all the chaos and uncertainty you missed Yuuki blatantly starting to be flirty with Touya.

Sure, they'd always been sort of close to eachother, given that Yuuki was involved in turning Touya into a Werewolf Fae in the first place, but when did THAT happen??

"So!!" Touya changes subjects once he regained control over his emotions. "Did anyone hear about the Sangreal?"

"It's SanGRAAL, not sanGREAL. GRAAL," Akatsuki corrects. "Two A's, not E and A. But yes. I've heard."

"Heard what?" You ask. "I feel left out of the news cycle somehow."

Akatsuki then fills you in on the goings on back in Milky Way and then that some of the researchers native to Aincrad were petitioning to have it brought here to be researched and duplicated. Why? They didn't like the idea of ghostly spirits hanging around watching everything and NOT doing anything to help, especially if some of those ghostly spirits had the same inclinations as the Andromeda Ascendants in other realities.

Also likely was that there was likely a version of Lord English somewhere in your reality as well that needed dealing with, whether or not he was present in your galaxy or not, that the Sangraal could be effective against eventually.

The bastard just wouldn't all die at once when you shoved him into a black hole, would he?

Something Yuuki quotes from a mission report- and hell, how did you miss a mission report?- about something Damara said during the quest for the Sangraal strikes at your mind though.

...There are fragments of Lord English that need to be 'put back in the box' before it gets shoved into the universe trashbin that is English's blackhole grave. Does...

Does Damara want to ensure that every copy of Lord English across the Multiverse meets that same grisly end- to be Eaten and Consumed by a black hole??

...Honestly, if that's the case, why the hell doesn't she just come right out and say that and get some HELP on that. You're pretty sure if she weren't acting antagonistic to everyone she'd probably be much easier to classify as someone on the hero side of things rather than the villain.

...Unless she has something else in mind besides that?

But, for the life of you, you can't figure out what.

"By the way," Yuuki changes subject. "I haven't seen Rose or Kanaya around. Did they not come through to Aincrad?"

"They're taking a month off to 'relax' before they dive into things," you answer. "Apparently Rose figured out some 'interesting' ways for them to play around with the Shaper Crystal. And I didn't plan on asking for further details after the eyebrow wriggle she gave me."

"Ah," Yuuki nods. "That... makes sense."

Akatsuki nods in firm agreement.

Then, your food and drinks arrive at the table, and conversation stalls out as you eat lunch.


 

"So..." You are now Jimmyy O'neill, and you stare up up up up at the massive crystalline tree growing tiny little crystals that are familiar to you and Lantash both. "You figure out a way to mass produce Tok'ra tunneling crystals?"

"Yep," Rose Lalonde nods.

"It was surprisingly easy to figure out once we realized there was an organic superstructure within the crystals themselves," Kanaya Maryam confirms.
Lantash is silent within your mind, staring in awe.

"Whats more," Rose pries a crystal off of the tree. "It's not just tunnels we can make now."

"It's what?" You ask, watching as Rose heads down along the shoreline of the lake you fish on, and then finds a nice open spot, and plants the crystal into the dirt.

She backs away.

Then, instead of the crystal's flash of light tunneling downward... it extends UPWARDS, and OUTWARDS and when it finishes... It's a large, square structure made up of the same textured hexagonal patterns as the Tok'ra tunnels.

"Now we have Prefabricated Housing structures in addition to prefabricated tunnels," Rose smiles.

"We believe these are going to be of a great use to a vast number of people," Kanaya says. "Across multiple worlds."

Lantash finally requests to speak. "How... where did you get the Mass for it?"

"Oh, it's quite simple. Across god knows how many parallel dimensions, Tok'ra are using their crystals to create tunnels underground, and I'm only aware of another crystal *filling in* those spaces with the same crystaline substrata instead of the dirt and earth that was originally there.... So I asked, Where does all that mass go, and more importantly, can that same mass be retrieved if it's used in a place where a tunnel did not used to exist before?" Rose cracks a very... demented cat like grin. "Well, It's certainly not destroyed, to say the least. I suspect it's a rudimentary, shared-dimensional sort of pocket storage similar to Captchaloging. So much mass in countless dimensions being ferried into a pocket dimension... only occasionally being retrieved to fill a space back in? Well... There may be a limit as to what can be retrieved, but as long as the tunneling crystals themselves are used in conjunction to throw new mass into that dimension... I doubt it will ever be reached."

Honestly, you're not sure what to make of this, but...

"Have I ever mentioned how Over Powered those Bracelet Crystals have been?" You ask.

You get laughs in response.

Lantash just mumbles in your head, [I have so many questions now about where those crystals came from in the first place and who designed them.]

'You mean you don't know?' you ask.

[I just know certain crystal shapes do certain tunnel shapes and thats that. I never questioned it!] Lantash laments, [I... am really just so confounded as to how this is even possible.]

Needless to say, regardless of how the original crystals work, you suspect Rose and Kanaya have probably done something rather unique just now making crystals that grow *houses* instead of tunnels.

Then again, wasn't Roxy just making pyramids by summoning giant green cubes out of thin air and fusing the things together impossibly?

...Maybe this is related to similar?

You bring the question up and that starts a whole different conversation path that Lantash is suddenly very interested in... But you...

Well. You pretend to zone out but it actually is a pretty interesting conversation all things considered.


 

"Excuse me, are you Mikari Aiikho?"

You are now Mikari Aiikho, and you glance up from your temporary work desk in Aincrad to see some golden haired green eyed fae girl from Alfheim standing infront of you, dressed in a courier uniform.

She seems familiar somehow. Something in the face. You're pretty sure the exotic hair that is exactly as glimmery and shiny as polished gold and eyes that gleam as sharply as any jewel are due to the magic native to that dimension and world line rather than yours or this one.

"Yes, that's me," you say. "What is it?"

"Delivery for you from the Tablet Terminal Store," courier girl hands you a clipboard with a receipt. "Please sign here."

You glance at the receipt and see that it's the WRITING TERMINAL you decided to buy on a whim a few days ago. They're basically laptop versions of some of the larger desk sized terminals back on Atlantis with none of the loss of memory or storage space or processing power.

The differences ten thousand years make, hm?

You could have gotten it sooner but you opted in for the CUSTOM ENGRAVING on the backside plating for it. You put your sign and the Atlantis Expedition Logo on it.

And thus, you waited a bit.

You sign immediately, pausing to note that the receipt lists the delivery girl as someone named "FAYE" - A Faerie named Faye? How amusing.

"Ah, saw my name on it, huh?" The girl giggles as she takes the clipboard back and retrieves the box containing your new computer from her bag. "Yeah, my parents thought it was funny. Atleast they didn't go with the stereotypical metallurgy humor that runs in the family and named me after my hair or eye colors like my mom and aunts wound up with."

"Really? How's that?" You ask, taking the box and smiling gratefully. "Thank you, by the way."

"Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire," 'Faye' rolls her eyes of the emerald color. "Anyways. No need to thank me. I should be the one Thanking you for the business! And the exercise. I get more of a work out flying ten ways across Aincrad than I ever have back home, just from the fact my wings work longer than ten minutes alone!"

"You're most welcome then," you say, waving the girl off as she exits the room. About thirty seconds later you catch sight of her through your office window, spreading grey hued, magic wings shaped like wrenches and soaring away out into the distance.

As she goes, you're suddenly able to place it. The newscaster Cla'dian girl, Fam Fan Fan, who used to work with then-Princess Millia back when the rebellion was first getting started. Said Millia is now a Queen, now that you think about it. You wonder why her friend went from Royal attendant to Intergalactic newscaster? Hrm, probably related to whatever reason her counterpart in this dimension became a delivery girl for Aincrad rather than staying home in Alfheim.

It's probably not your place to ask, though.

You unbox your new writing computer and boot it up...

Much to your surprise, it boots up with the standard Alternian OS for Grubtops- they really went the extra mile with customization on this one. They must have recognized your name, or something. Still, saves you the hassle of doing a reinstall of the OS. You set up the name, account, and log in...

And then you open up a new text document, and you pause to consider the name you'll start with.

But you suppose that also depends what you're really going to do with this tablet.

You got it on a whim. What do you even need this thing for?

...Truth is you don't, and yet...

On a whim it is.

You enter the filename, and hit save.

[ACT0-InciteIncidents.RTF]

You start at the beginning, because where else do you begin with a novelization of events as they've happened?

"Your name is JAKE HARLEY, formerly JAKE CROCKER. The Year is 1928, the place, GIZA, EGYPT."

You stare at the line before you smile, and you nod.

Yes, your sign is CANNIUS, the SIGN OF THE THEATRICAL, and what better way to spend your free time during your time away from the job you want to be doing than writing down a decent novelization of what happened up to this point?

...You get the feeling it's going to be a long, long, LONG time before you're ever close to being finished with this project.

Despite whatever reservations that feeling brings to mind... You continue your writing.


 

You are John Sheppard, and you stare out over New Athos' fields from the edge of the forest. There is a small group of Genii leaving the Gate heading towards the village.

Sora is leading them, and Teyla and Ronon are going to to greet them along with a few other Athosian hunters, and one of the other leaders of the settlement.

You? You're stuck in the forest keeping an eye on things incase things go wrong.

Teyla's running the show for now, and you'll follow her lead because, well, she's Athos' head leader even despite her long standing position on your team. You're fine with that. What you're not so fine with is Michael hovering over your shoulder, staring out at the Genii like a hunter stalks prey.

"Who's the new guy?" Michael asks.

"Which one?" you ask.

"The man with the short haircut," Michael clarifies.

You spot check the Genii... wait, none of them have a short haircut, but who does is the other Athosian leader. Ca... Cana... Kanaan? Yes, KANAAN. "Who, Kanaan? On the left?"

"Yes, him," Michael says. "He seems familiar to me somehow."

"You've probably seen him around the village before," you say. "He's one of the leaders of the whole place, after all."

"It's... more than that," MIchael says. "...I think another me in another world did something to him. I feel... regret. Jeallousy. It's... Hard to tell."

And there it goes, the main reason you're all creeped out by Michael hanging around. Whatever Ford did to him left him aware of other rimwlinwa. Most of the time he keeps it to himself, but around the Athosians he's gotten more flashes of insight here and there, and it's stressing you both out.

You know there's little chance of Michael fully reverting into a Wraith at this point, and Ellia's integrated with the village well enough at this point that nobody really cares beyond the fact she's got a still functioning wraith detection system like a couple of other folks in the settlement already have- Teyla and... Huh, Kanaan too, you think?

You wish Ronon would've taken the rear guard duty this time, but Teyla doesn't want the Genii to know that some of Atlantis's people have remained behind just yet.

There's been rumor that Kolya escaped his little prison world thanks to a surprise Wraith Culling, and that's been what Sora keeps coming to talk to Teyla about, keeping her appraised.

There's a very significant chance the bastard managed to pull a Ford and get one over on the Wraith- especially if he suddenly got control over Rift Powers.

Your hands flex in annoyance, and you're not sure who its really directed at.

The Ancients, mostly, you guess. They did sort of kick you all out unreasonably. And you're not just referring to the whole expedition. The way they were being so wary around the Alternians just made you feel sick to your stomach.

It's been two weeks already, and you haven't felt any better about anything going on regarding Atlantis.

Maybe it's the fact that you've got no way of contacting Earth or Alternia to find out what the rest of the Expedition is up to. You could link out with the Books you have, but that'd be a one way trip until you get a book written for New Athos. But it was either be out of the Pegasus Loop or be out of the MilkyWay/Alternia Loop, and honestly, you know which one would hurt you more, long run.

Pegasus is your home now, through and through. Being out of the loop on it wouldn't feel right.

Everywhere else has their defenders and guardians... If you left... where would that leave your home now?

"Sheppard?"

"Sorry," you shake your head. "Zoned out for a minute. Any change?"

"No," Michael frowns. "...Do you think I should apologize to Kanaan?'

"For what? Something your other selves did in another world?" You frown. "I'm... Not the right person to ask about that, Mike."

"Then who is?" Michael asks.

You have no freaking clue.


 

"I heavily object to this, Sir," your name is Cassandra Fraiser, and you're trailing after General O'neill in the SGC. "if Damara gets her hands on the Sangraal, it will be because we've taken it out of my sylladex and placed it in Aincrad. Which, given all of the Goa'uld sabbotage-"

"Which is exactly why it will be under guard from screened, and trained Strapping SGC Marines," O'neill answers you. "Look, we can't stop them from asking for the thing, and we can't stop them from requesting aid in securing the place given all the sabbotage going on. It's a recurring problem they have, yes, but as long as the Sangraal stays where we put it and nobody requests to take it outside of the lab, it'll be Fine."

"But-!"

And then he stops, turns around and puts a hand on your shoulder. "Cassie. I know you mean well, and you're used to advising. But Damara's got you spooked with your vibes out of whack. We're going to have twelve guards stationed at the Sangraal the entire time. Twenty-four-seven, three-six-however many days it takes them to study it. Nobody is taking it. Believe me. I've looked at enough of YOUR plans to be able to learn where we need to be genere savvy by now. It'll be fine."

"I still think-" you stop as your Uncle-in-everything-but-title squeezes your shoulder a bit.

"Cassie. You and Jude both have a bunch of Vacation days saved up, right?" He asks. You nod. "Take them. Trust me, you two need it. You're worrying over nothing. If Damara wanted the Sangraal for anything, she'd have taken it back after you'd first created it, not wait a couple of weeks to steal it to... do what exactly? Blow up a few different dimensions worth of jerk-off Ascendants? Knock off a few extra Anubises? Anubii? Whatever, you know what I mean."

"...I mean..." you frown. "When you put it like that..."

"Cassie, you're over working yourself. Go take a break. Go fishing or something. Take Jude and Penny and go to Disneyworld or Legoland or something! Go have fun! Be a family! Don't worry about work. The rest of the team can manage it while you're gone. You and you alone are NOT the key to saving the universe." Jack O'neill smiles. "C'mon, trust me on this one, Cassie. When have I ever been wrong about something like this?"

"...I can think of a few times," you then remind him about the time he tried baking you all a cake and mixed up baking soda for baking powder, and decided to put BOTH in "for good measure."

Jack winces, withdrawing his hand from your shoulder as if scalded. "Okay, fine. Not my greatest shining moment."

"Jane still has no idea how you managed to set the refrigerator on fire," you add on. "I don't either. The vibes clearly said that-"

"Aahaah!" Jack waggles a finger. "No Vibe talk! Don't focus on that! Don't focus on what could have gone wrong compared to what did!"

You frown, "But that's been my Thing, Jack. That's my THING. I'm Cassandra the doomsayer, except I got used to my vibes being believed instead of ignored."

Jack sighs. "Well, maybe you should see about finding another new thing to be yours, huh?"

"...I... I guess I can try," you say. "I just... I feel like Damara's up to something."

"Cassie, they're ALWAYS up to something. That's what the Badguys do. But let me put it this way," Jack says, "I'd sooner trust Damara to do something bad to other people in another dimension so that way we don't have to over Ba'al deciding to, I don't know, become a philanthropist humanitarian and give up all notions of galactic conquest."

"...Yeah, that does seem a bit... unlikely," you agree.

"Go talk with Jude, figure out your holiday plans, and," Jack holds out his hand. "Let go of that burden of yours for once in your life, alright?"

You nod, and hand over the two Captchalogue cards containing the Sangraal.

You seriously hope you just didn't make a huge mistake.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 23RD, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/31/0006.

It's almost ready.

Your name is Damara Megido, and you smile as you stare out into space at the giant metal ring your faithful little pet Venjix has begrudgingly built for you.

Just another couple of days for the final structural parts and the initial tests to be finished, and then all it needs is for you to be able to steal the Final Piece from Aincrad...

Setting up Goa'uld and sneaking them into various places to sabotage the various places has been a real 'sharp thorn in your fleshy rear' as you so recently put it to Ba'al, but its a necessary pain.


Soon, you'll have everything you need.

And soon...

Soon, the shroud you've veiled upon the multiverse will be lifted.

You have the tempting bait. You have the lure, line, and reel... You have the pond...

You just need the ROD to FINISH THE JOB.


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

Your name is Rodney Mckay, and it's been three weeks now since you've left Atlantis.

Honestly, you've got quite the job infront of you, decoding the MYSTERIES of MERLIN'S WEAPON- the SANGRAAL. A weapon of the caliber deserves the all caps description treatment. (That was Sarcasam.)

It wiped out a whole two universes worth of Milky Way Galaxy Ascended Beings, and no wonder the Ancients wanted it destroyed so bad. You were worried bringing it here to Aincrad would cause trouble, but so far.... after a week of work, tests, and experiments... nobody's come to intervene.

You suspect that has something to do with the fact that a large, hefty chunk of Atlantis' population seems to have never ascended to join their ranks in this timeline, seemingly including MERLIN HIMSELF. They probably just have no idea what the hell this thing even is.

If only YOU didn't know what it was.

The Sangraal is a glorified white noise machine that operates on a specific plane of existence. The main body builds up a charge of some low density particle, and directs it into a specific plane of existence through the shiny glowing orb at the top.

That's it. That is literally it. That is all it does.  

It barely counts as a weapon, really. Even if the energy were dumped into THIS plane of existence, the worst that would happen is everyone across the galaxy would have some ringing in their ears for a few seconds as they processed the energy wave's influence on the audible sound spectrum... if their ears could even hear that low pitched ring of a noise.

Things operating on the physical plane of existence just... aren't affected by this. It's harmless energy emissions. You couldn't even use this thing to power a Stargate if you wanted to.

All it does is make some noise that certain energy based lifeforms find utterly intolerable to listen to, and their minds shatter in the process, dispersing their very being into the cosmic winds of space-time.

The scientists of Aincrad want to make a targeted version of it. Handheld gun blasters incase they ever come across rogue Ascendants like the Andromeda group in this reality. Like the Anti-Replicator Guns, really.

You're all for that. It's easily replicatable, actually. But...

What's the point?

It's a glorified white noise machine.

There is no point.

All of this fuss.... for a Gods Damned Glorified WHITE NOISE MACHINE. It doesn't even run for longer than a handful of seconds once fully charged up. It's truly amazing it can span the range of a whole galaxy in that time, but...

It's a white noise machine.

That's it.

You feel so incredibly underwhelmed.


 

"You know, I'm honestly beginning to wonder why the hell any of us even bother with trying to maintain job security in this day and age," Gordon Freeman lamented aloud to anyone who would be around to hear it.

That would be you, in this case, DOCTOR GINA KAE.

You're both still working on refining the computer virus for the Wraith Tech Vulnerability despite everything because why should progress be stalled?

"We still have our jobs, Doctor Freeman," you remind him.

He counters, "In the span of the last FIVE YEARS, relative to me, I've gone from College PHD Graduate to a high stakes Military Research Facility that got BLOWN THE FUCK UP by sabotage from the president of the place working under orders from some CIA-Alien-Guy in a SUIT and a Briefcase to trigger an ALIEN APOCALYPSE, lost my job, survived insanity, got HIRED by the bastard who ordered the facility blown up, went to do the 'next job' without any on the job training, and then started to overthrow the Alien Equivalent of the planet's new slave masters- started blowing up the ex president's shit, got PULLED OUT of the place by the new boss before I could finish the job, then got co-opted and sub-contracted by MORE ALIENS to continue finishing the job, annoying me new boss who I didn't even really want to work for in the first place, and then get REPLACED by my friend's daughter when it comes down to actually FINISHING THE JOB!" Freeman doesn't even really pause for breath during that whole rant. "And THEN i get rescued, hired on to work in ATLANTIS, and then we ALL GET FIRED and shuffled off to another dimension entirely just so that way we can waste time until we MAYBE get our jobs back!?"

"We're still doing nothing differently than what we were doing before except for where we're doing it," you tell him.

"But YOU! You left a research expedition to a LOST ALIEN CITY buried beneath a volcano just to work in Atlantis!" Freeman continues rambling. "You can't tell me you're not atleast MODERATELY pissed! Minorly even? C'mon, give me some work room here."

"I left the DRC due to the insanity that was one of our co-workers showing anti-alternian aggression to the point he attacked everyone within a neighborhood with an electrified knife," you tell him. "And that was AfTER I'd reported him several times for his behavior being unbecoming of a professional environment. As it is, Atlantis, and here in Aincrad, have been astoundingly peaceful in comparison."

"Okay, fine. But listen, the way I see it, we're one bad day away from someone deciding even Aincrad isn't worth keeping the Atlantis Expedition funded and running and we all get split up to the far corners of the multiverse to do who knows what. And then where will we be? Fired! Probably!"

"Are you always this pessimistic?" you ask.

"You would be too if you've seen the shit I'VE seen! Ravenholm. Never again." He shudders.

"And what exactly counts as a 'one bad day' for your nightmare scenario to trigger, then?" you ask.

"Uhhhh. Have you HEARD about all the sabbotage going on around here lately? Not just Aincrad, but AAAAAAAALL of the fucking flying giant castle ships that break the square cube law. There's no way these things should be floating unless gravity itself is a law that doesn't exist here."

"I've heard of the sabotage."

"Then we're just one bad day away from someone breaking security, and STEALING something they shouldn't steal at all!"

"Like what?"

"I don't know, that 'Sangraal' thing maybe? You can't get off naming a weapon THE BLOOD STONE or THE HOLY GRAIL without it being a thing people want to steal from whoever has it currently. And that includes US! Someone's going to steal it, mark my words! Whether or not we NOTICE is all up to THEM! Before we know it, we could all be wiped out because someone turned the thing on US!"

"You sound incredibly paranoid, Doctor Freeman. The Sangraal doesn't target mortal beings."

"That's what they said about the chances of a RESONANCE CASCADE! But NO! They went and did it anyways! Story of my LIFE, Gina. Story. Of. My. Life. Man, I'm REALLY missing my suit right about now. I feel all KINDS of unprotected here."

"Maybe you should have chosen to stay in Pegasus then," you say.

"No way no how! Not without Atlantis' shields keeping the Wraith out, you're LUCKY you managed to get me to even step through the Stargate back to Earth in the first place, let alone use a quantum mirror to come to a whole other parallel dimension!"

"Acknowledging that, I have to ask what you think anyone would even want with the Sangraal at this point, Doctor Freeman? It strictly targets Ascended Beings."

"I don't know and that's the problem! If I had MY SAY I'd smash the thing with a crowbar and be DONE with it before someone stole the damned thing."


 

Captain Asuna Yuki of the Aincrad defense force stared at the multi layers of security keeping the Sangraal boxed away from the rest of the world.

Seven layers of force fields, two Bank Vault steel doors, an actual Bank Vault, a series of laser trip webs, and five solid trinium framed, tranquilizer gas pressurized, glass boxes-- each feature locked behind a different genetic lock keyed to a different person...

All of them needing to be activated within five seconds of each other in order to access the Sangraal at the center of it all, and which would NEVER be removed from the room unless it was to be returned to safe storage in the other dimension.

And there were people who thought this was overkill for security? Of course it was. It was a damned White Noise Machine. Why would anyone dare to steal the thing?

For starters the security was tight, and there was no way anyone could get their hands on the-

That's when there was a sudden warping of space time, and the exact center of the vault containing the myriad stack of glass cubes and the Sangraal were suddenly replaced with a large stone sphere.

Alarms sounded, and Captain Asuna Yuki could only close her eyes as she grit her teeth in frustration.

Dimensional Displacement.

Of COURSE they'd not design a countermeasure to dimensional Displacement.


 

Your name is Gordon Freeman and....

"I KNEW IT!!!!!"


 

"Damara just stole the Sangraal out of Aincrad's storage facility," you are now Jonas Quinn, and you deliver the news to SG-1 in the conference room with a grim shake of your head.

"Wait, what? How?" Mitchel asks.

"Let me guess, teleport swap?" Rider asks.

"Probably that one," Vala nods.

"Giant stone sphere replaced the exact center of the vault," you inform them. "Every security measure in place just... useless. Because nobody figured out a way to make it so that Damara couldn't use Clarent to teleport it out of the vault."

"Cassie's so going to tell us a big fat 'told you' when she finds out," Mitchel says.

"So, let's go find Damara and steal it back before she finds out," Vala suggests.

"And how do we do that?" You ask. "We have no idea where in the multiverse she's even set up shop in."

"We trick her with a fake Sangraal," Vala says. "Make it sound like she stole the FAKE. We brag about how we have the real one with us."

That's when the Stargate suddenly dials in with an unscheduled activation.

You head down to the Gate room on a hunch, and sure enough, a Ba'al hologram appears at the base of the Ramp.

"Oh, it's been a while since he's done this," you observe.

"To SG-1, I feel I should advise you that I literally just had part of one of my cloning experiments stolen away and replaced with a damaged vault display containing the Bottom Half of what I believe to be a badly mangled Sangraal, along with a note from our mutual acquaintance Damara Megido saying 'thanks for the idea to use a fake as a decoy.' If you're willing to take it, we can come to an arrangement. I don't want it, and if you don't want it, I'll just destroy it in the unstable vortex of the Stargate. I'll call back in five minutes to see if you've made a decision."

You share a glance with Mitchel, who sighs. "Damn it."


 

It took a bit of convincing to have Ba'al send the remains of the Sangraal to a secondary location and have it retrieved by an SG-team there, but it was done.

You are now RIDER, and you stare at the utterly mangled trinium and glass frame as well as the battered bottom half of the Sangraal device.

"She stole the orb!" You glare at it. "She took the piece that makes the whole thing work on that specific ascended plane of existence and destroyed the rest of it!"

"Why the hell would she do that for?" Mitchel asks.

"...I don't know, all it does is serve as a conduit into that plane of existence," you summarize from the brief bits of knowlege you retained from finishing the device.

"The main body is what generated the energy to begin with. The crystal just... funneled it... elsewhere..." you suddenly start to have a horrible feeling.

"Don't tell me," Jonas starts, "Damara stole the Crystal that targets that specific plane of existence so she can put a DIFFERENT type of energy into it."

"I think I speak for all of us when I say, 'oh, damn it all,'" Vala laments.

"Cassie's 'I told you so' is going to be so fucking huge at this point." Mitchel sighs.


 

Your name is General Jack O'neill. Two L's, and you....

You should have listened to Cassie's gut feelings.

Damn it. You're such an idiot.

You should have listened. She even laid it right out then and there. The Mythological Cassandra who was cursed to always tell the truth but never be believed... and without her powers telling you to believe her, you didn't.

You chalked it up to the stress. To the chaos that had permeated your lives and...

You put your head in your hands and groan.

Fucking hell.

Damara stole the Sangraal so easily it was laughable. Who even knows what she even wants with it. SG-1 has their theories, and good for them...

But now you have to deal with the fallout.

You screwed up.

You royally screwed up.

Why didn't you just let Cassandra keep the damned thing in her Sylladex??

It feels so... damned... out of character for you.

...Maybe it's the stress from helping Sam plan a Wedding during your off hours from managing all this Intergalactic Politics Business.

...You brought this on yourself in so many ways it isn't even funny.


 

Your name is Damara Megido, and as you carefully- CAREFULLY- pry apart the hilt and handle to CLARENT, you can't help but feel a smug sense of satisfaction.

Time is finally on YOUR SIDE and not HIS.

The Big Fish English will have all of his pieces that you can find shoved into that single giant puzzle box of a shell, and he will be COMPACTED like TRASH inside that Black Hole's grasp.

You remove a few pieces of Clarent's innards- taking careful caution to maintain all of the important wiring connections- and shuffle them aside just enough so that you can remove this GAUDY DECORATIVE CRYSTAL residing within the hilt.

It doesn't even GLOW when the sword is in any of its empowered modes. It just... sits there, idle, taking up space.

Gaudy, decorative, useless. Exactly what the Andromeda Ascendants exemplified when they designed this sword, riffing off of Merlin's own recreation of CALIBURN in EXCALIBER.

You remove that useless gemstone, and place in the core crystal for the SANGRAAL, and then start bridging the gaps between it and the rest of Clarent's internal parts with some other KEY COMPONENTS you savagely 'rescued' from the base device. You spent some time in a frozen bubble of time examining how to make it work... and you've got the general gist of how things are going to go.

You temporarily secure everything and run a quick test power, and lo and behold, the Sangraal crystal hums with energy.

Perfect.

You power down, and start making those temporary securing parts vastly more...

PERMANENT.

Then, you reassemble everything the way its supposed to go, snap the sword back together, and seal it up again.

You take Clarent, and power it on again.

Now, where a formerly lifeless gemstone resided, the Sangraal glows from within CLARENT'S HILT- humming away with power and energy.

You crack a smile that rapidly turns into a grin.

Your ROD is complete.

Now? Now it's time to go FISHING.

You sheath your sword at your waist, and head to find VENJIX.

"Tell me, boy, how goes our plan?" you inquire upon finding him at work, as always, observing the final tests of your glorious weapon.

"We are on schedule," Venjix reports, grunting. "However, I fear the capacitors we sourced from that fool Monroe may have been intentionally sourced with defective materials. The power outputs are not climbing as fast as we need them too."

"Will they hold for long enough to complete our plan?" You ask.

"...I am not sure they will power up to the proper levels to even Start the plan," Venjix answers. "Our best solution would be to source replacements as soon as possible."

"I see," you muse. "Very well. Do you have any suggestions?"

"Yes, actually," Venjix hands you a computer tablet. "These few fools who scattered when the Ultrazord attacked the Lucian Alliance base at the center of the Galaxy have within their possession several Mofang devices with the proper capacitors within them. They will serve as more than adequate replacements for what we need."

"And where are they now?" You ask, peering at the images on the tablet.

"Unsure," Venjix says, "however, I have traced certain subspace communications between them and some of their suppliers of food and other illegal consumables. It appears the SGC has been harassing their freight shipments on the side, and specifically, SG-1 has been behind a great number of these attacks when they have not been busy harassing the Andromeda Deadbeats or us. And with us laying low for the foreseeable future and the Andromeda Deadbeats being dead... SG-1 will no doubt refocus their efforts mopping up the stragglers of the Lucian Alliance."

"I see," you crack a grin. "So we we wait for them to go after SG-1, and while they are distracted doing that, we steal what we need from them."

Brilliant.

The Shroud of mystery around your project will have to wait to be lifted for a little while longer then, it seems.

But the wait? Oh, it will be worth it.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 26TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/03/0006.

In two separate dimensions, two people awoke with red gleams in their eyes as a message was relayed to them.

The message was from Damara Megido, and read as followed:

"The Time draws near. Make your final preparations."

Where the one of them then went back to sleep, all preparations made save for the final stage of going to the place needed at the right time, the other got out of her bed, dressed in dark, form concealing clothes, and stole out into the night of Corinth City.

Already construction was being done to expand the city out past its domed limits- reclamation of the world outside was going to be needed to be done and was being done- as well as those being done to repair damage done to the city during the final fight against Venjix.

But Artoria Pendragon cared not at this point.

Her mind was simply... not present in any state that could be considered 'awake' even as her body moved of its own volition.

Step, step, step, step, through the darkened night sky of the city that was pierced, pierced, pierced, pierced by the spotlights shinning upwards at various ramps and other structures being put into place so that work to restore Corinth's CONTROL TOWER could be done.

Were she aware of the concept, and were she even conscious, Artoria might have likened the visual to a massive, sprawling toy-car race track that tied itself into nonecludian knotts when viewed from the right angles.

But she wasn't aware and she wasn't conscious.

And so it was that she exited the city, summoned Clarent to hand, and teleported away, across the continent, towards the crashed city she had come to this planet with.

She appeared with a flicker of a shadowstep atop a hill, overlooking as the structures were being torn apart by the night-shift work crews and scavenged and salvaged for scrap parts, to be used to build a new city from scratch elsewhere.

Some of the Ranger's Zords were here, providing cargo lift to take things to where-ever they needed to go.

Not for the first time, Artoria teleported within the core remains of one of the central spires, and descended towards a certain hidden room that had yet to even be visited by those tearing things apart.

She opened the door, and approached the last of the stasis pods containing what appeared to be a living person... but infact was just a failed clone of Ba'al's that served as the perfect smuggling capsule for what was needed...

And had anyone discovered this room, unlikely as that possibility was, and attempted to rescue any of the clones? They would have died upon leaving the stasis pod, and they'd have disposed of the body, never knowing what they had in their possession.

As it was, every other pod now contained nothing but mutilated corpses.

Artoria thawed him out, caught the body as it breathed its last breaths, and began cutting into it with Clarent.

She removed two items- one of which was a small sack containing some kind of organic creatures that Damara had been cultivating over the many weeks of using a certain dimension-wall piercing cloaking device. And she teleported away to her next destination before those creatures could recover from their thawing.

She arrived in a large, wide open place where certain creatures  native to the continent that had survived the nuclear blasts and the swarms of Nanomachines and waves Zillyum poisoning were gathering.

They were already monsters in their own rights.

Damara's plan required them to be something MORE.

And so, Artoria implanted two of the monstrous mutagenic creatures within breeding pairs, and then encapsulated the entire settlement of monsters inside a bubble of accelerated time with Clarent's blade.

Then, she accelerated it faster than she had the others, bringing its contents to a point to equal the others much faster.

Then, when that was accomplished, she dismissed every time bubble containing these creatures. When the bubbles fell, various hordes of monsters ten times greater than they'd been before, and ten times as numerous, resided within the formerly bounded fields.

And without their walls, the creatures quickly dispersed into the wilderness... though most seemed attracted to the glowing lightshow that was Corinth City.

The distraction of these creatures appearing so suddenly would be exactly what Damara needed over the next few weeks. And it would provide her time to implement the final piece of the puzzle.

To the contents of the other bag, Artoria waited until the creatures began to cause the distractions they were meant to be.

She teleported back into Coirnth City, into the framed in structure meant to replace the fallen control tower, and removed a small device from the bag.

It was a box, small, black, and smooth surfaced save for the red LED bulb resting on one face.

Artoria used Clarent to cut a small plate away, exposing a gap where two large steel beams met, and would obscure the box from sight. In it was wedged,and the plate was returned to its place, time rewound along its edges to reverse the cutting.

Nobody would know it was here, and when the time was right... it would be activated and do exactly what it was meant to do- which was summon the monsters back to Corinth City for an even larger attack than the distraction currently going on outside.

And so Artoria returned to her home, and returned to her silent vigil, awaiting for the minute she would be able to finally activate their glorious plan.

But it wasn't really Artoria, not really.

For one reason or another, Artoria Pendragon was completely unaware of everything her body had been doing since that dreadful moment she'd been possessed by Damara Megido.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 28TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/05/0006.

It had been almost four weeks.

Four weeks since the SGC had declared war on the Lucian Alliance during their foiling of the attempt to take the ODYSSEY from them, and the Lucian Alliance had been splintered slightly... then utterly FRACTURED with the destruction of the gods who had backed their founding.

Things were not going well, and especially considering that the SGC was going around and harassing their shipment ships now. And leading the charge at the most prominent of the disasters was SG-1.

Such as was the case for today.

A Ring platform activated, and Cameron Mitchel found himself within a large container ship full of storage containers. It was being towed behind an Al'kesh, that much he knew.

"I'm in," Mitchel radio'd, and began sneaking around. He opened a crate, and looks inside. A moment later, he moves to another crate to check inside. He removes a silver bag from inside, and then cuts it open with a knife. Out spills some corn-like kernels. Mitchel radios, "Intel's good. We've got ourselves another space train full of Evil Orville Redenbacher."

"Roger that," Vala radios- from the second car in the line, with Mitchel being in the first.

She notices a green light washing over the contents of the car, and then radios, "Be aware, they are scanning for us. Looks like they upgraded the security after the last car."

"Lets make it quick then," Mitchel radios.

Vala continues to work, planting devices from her sylladex onto crates.

Elsewhere, further down the line, Rider finishes planting devices. "I'm done." he radios.

And then in the last car, "Me too," Jonas confirms.

SG-1 regroup at the ring platforms and begin transporting out... Save for Mitchel, who is too slow and has to hide as the platform activates earlier, and four Lucian Alliance Soldiers ring in, and begin peering around for the intruder they detected.

"Shiiit," Mitchel hisses into the radio. "Guys, I've got company and a ticking clock!"

"If you can get to the ring platform we can ring you onboard," Vala says.

"Yeah, got that," Mitchel, checks his watch- 40 seconds. And then he springs up and opens fire with his P-90.

He rushes the ring platform- shooting all the way and tanking fire thanks to a personal forcefield he'd stolen off of one of their previous raids just earlier that week- and then "NOW NOW NOW!"

The rings activate, and Mitchel lands in the ring bay of a Tel'tak cargo ship.

"Nice Timing!" He says.

"You're welcome!" Vala pulls him to his feet, then calls out, "We've got him!"

The Tel'tak decloaks from its hidden spot at the far end of the space train and immediately U-turns to rocket away before-

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The four container ships behind the Al'kesh explode in line, taking the Al'kesh with it.


 

The Lucian Alliance's management that had survived the ruthless shattering of their order gathered at a conference table in a secret area.

Netan enters, as does Vashin from the opposite side of the room.

They glare at eachother, then sit down.

"Another transport was hit near Rolan," Vashin reports. "We've lost four containers full of Kassa, and the Al'kesh escorting them."

"SG-1," Netan surmises.

"This is the third transport they've hit this week," one of the other leaders speaks up. "Our supply of kassa is getting dangerously low."

"This isn't about kassa," Netan growls. "This is them trying to make us look weak and starving us out. The drug trade won't matter if we die of starvation.  We cannot allow them to interfere with our operations any longer. Put the word out. I'm placing a bounty on their Heads!"

"With what money?" Vashin asks. "We run low without our backers or the Kassa trade thriving."

"With a position on the council," Netan says. "Any of our lower ranking members who can take out all six members of SG-1 are to be promoted to the council rank."

The others consider that, and they agree.

It is a sizable reward indeed.


 

O<-- STARGATE: SG-1 -->O


 

EARTH DATE: JULY 30TH, 2002.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/07/0006.

"Please!"

"No!"

"Please please please!"

"Vala! It's just a highschool reunion. In Kansas. Middle Of Nowhere. You'd be bored out of your mind."

"I'm bored out of my mind HERE, Cam!!"

And thus the whining passed into unhearability as Vala Mal Doran harassed Cameron Mitchel while walking past your office.

Your name is Davis Strider, and you sip at your coffee as you work the Early Morning Shift at the SGC.

Nepeta's safely out of your hair visiting her namesake friend in Alternia, Karkat's working on following leads that might've come up from Terezi's visions... And you...

You feel an itch. As if a gear is caught on another gear and is trying to twist itself out of the way.

SG-1 is on break following their latest mission. Health and Safety's orders. Also the team's Psychologist and Therapist's orders too. Jude and Cassie are still on vacation from their last break- the first week was meant to be just the two of them, this second week now them with Penny as a family. The Rest of SG-1 were to see things through with what was on their docket as it was- the Sangraal thing and some of the Lucian Alliance Raids- before taking a solid break from everything they were doing.

Unless an emergency came up requiring their attention, of course, but the Galaxy seems... stable for the moment. No Andromeda Ascendants. Damara laying low. The Lucian Alliance shattered and whimpering towards death...

Ba'al is really the only major player left on the field at this point and he seems poised for a reflection period too.

It should be a good break.

Yeah.

It should be a good break.

Then why do you feel like you're waiting for the other shoe to drop?


 

"Just tell me one good reason why I should invite you along?" Mitchel asks as he enters the cafeteria, Vala trailing behind him.

Oh, this ought to be good. You look up from your meal.

"Well, Traditionally these events entail the bringing together of large groups of people who share a common bond in the past, and have relatively nothing in common in the present. THUS, Everyone evaluates eachother's lot in life, generally by the virtue of some combination of material wealth AND the attractiveness of one's date, spouse or life partner!" Vala exclaims what had to be a rehearsed speech.

"No!" Mitchel says. "You can't be my date!"

"PLEAAAASEEEE CAAAAAM!" Vala cries out. "If not me, then who!? Who will be your plus one!?"

Mitchel glances around the entire Cafeteria, then locks eyes on you. "Rider."

"Huh?" You blink. "What?"

Your name is RIDER, and you heavily suspect you just got roped into something you don't know how to wriggle out of.

"Whaaat! Come on, Cam!" Vala protests. "It's Kansas! Rurual Americana! I've done the research! I know that *Socially* you're expected to bring a hot girl along for the ride and look! I'm a hot girl! Rider's an attractive man, yes, but he's a MAN! Not a hot girl!"

"I feel like I should take offense to that for any alternate me's that actually like being a girl," you remark loud enough for Vala to hear as Mitchel practically drags them both over to your table. "Just sayin'."

V