"Hold the line!" I shouted as the enemy solders appeared from the forest, firing at us. "We have to give the civilians time to evacuate!"
I fired off a burst and the sound of phasers, plasma weapons, and gunfire joined mine. The first wave fell in droves, and the enemy seemed to hesitate at the amount of firepower that met them. That hesitation went away as one of the soldiers shouted, "For the Ori!"
I promptly put a phaser bolt between his eyes, but his cry was met with others and the charge took off again.
"Incoming fighters!" Someone shouted, and the small craft appeared, spitting fire that rained around our position.
"Requiem, we need support!" I said as a Romulan position disappeared in a fireball.
"Copy that, Admiral. Engaging fighters."
The Ori fighter exploded as it took a torpedo to it's engine. Requiem Squadron shot overhead in their Rogue-class fighters, raining phaser beams on the enemy troops before engaging the enemy fighters. More troops spilled out of the forest, firing their staff weapons. A Jaffa next to me took a bolt right in the face, and got thrown back, missing his head and and most of his shoulders.
"Sithspit!" I swore, and fired off another burst.
Friendly mortar fire rained down on the edge of the forest, and automated turrets drained their batteries. The Ori troops just could not make it up the hill, but their numbers were so many, and it kept growing.
"Prior!" The Tau'ri team alerted as the pale man approached, staff glowing.
I aimed on the Prior and fired off several bursts. They just bounced off a form of shield. Heavy rounds from a tripod-mounted plasma minigun were just absorbed.
"Crap! Thobi, take him out!"
The man pulled out a torpedo launcher and leveled the bazooka on him. "Say goodnight!"
The miniaturized photon torpedo launched from the barrel at over 200 kph and crossed the battlefield in a second. The following explosion vaporized anyone caught in the blast, and sent anyone near it flying. The smoke cleared, and still, the pale-skinned preacher was walking with a smile on his face.
"For the Jaffa!" A warrior screamed, charging at the Prior, firing his staff weapon the entire way. The Prior's 'shield' took the shots. The Jaffa closed in, swinging his staff at the man. He blocked, then fired a energy wave that sent the man flying over the defenses. A neutronic mortar struck the man, and still, he kept coming.
I swore and keyed my comm link to Redemption. "Redemption, I need a orbital strike."
"Copy that." Marlin said.
"Supplying target." I said, turning on the laser pointer mounted on the bottom of my rifle. I brought it over the Prior.
"Target confirmed. Orbital Strike inbound. Danger Close."
"Copy that. TAKE COVER!" I shouted, bracing myself. The Prior looked down, saw the laser. He looked up, and finally, his smiled disappeared.
The orange beam of light struck the Prior dead-on, and for a second, I could see him silhouetted against the light. Then his form disappeared, and finally, the Prior was gone.
There was a roar of rage from the Ori soldiers, and their efforts redoubled. Even more spilled out of the forest, some wielding what looked like assault weapons. They sprayed the cover shields with fire and killed several Tau'ri, Jaffa, even a Starfleeter.
I grunted as a bolt hit my shoulder, draining my shields.
"Admiral!" Tallasa said over the comm. "One of the Ori ships has broken off and is moving to the planet. We're moving to engage, but it looks like their going for orbital bombardment! Look out!"
"INCOMING!" I screamed as the first beam of energy struck the ground, sending troops from both sides flying. The next hit a defensive nest square on, killing everyone inside.
The next landed to close to my position. My shield took most of the blast, but I still went flying. I flew for five seconds before I hit something and I fell to the dirt. Everything was blurry and everything hurt. I stayed there, lying on my back, and watched as energy fire passed over my head. Finally, something else came into my vision. I blinked, then I realized. It was an Ori soldier, aiming his staff rifle in my face. I smiled as I saw that my account containing my luck had run out. I closed my eyes as the rifle fired.
Two months after Operation: Midnight
Delta Alliance Exploration Task Force (DAETF)
Flagship: U.S.S. Redemption, Avenger-class
Ships: U.S.S. Black Corona, Pathfinder-class
U.S.S. Ventura, Andromeda-class
R.R.W. D'daen, Bartan-class
R.R.W. T'vrixn, Valdore-class
U.S.S. Huston, SCE modified-Excelsior
U.S.S. Redeemer, Redeemer-class, docked with Redemption
Ensign Straa Muse proceeded through the halls of the Redemption, heading for her duty station as she typed in some orders onto a PADD.
"Self-sealing stem bolts, phasers, a new Rogue for Obric..." She muttered.
The Caitian sighed and her tail twitched slightly. "Yes, Maya?" Not looking up from her padd.
Petty Officer Maya Un'or was a perky and very... engaging human energy weapons officer that was Straa's best friend from the Academy.
"So," The pixie cut brunette said, catching up with the Caitian. "Whatya doing?"
"Presenting the fleet's supply status to the Admiral." She replied, still not taking her eyes off the padd. Straa loved Maya to death, but right now, she wanted to make sure she didn't mess up in front of the Captain.
"Oh." There was about a millisecond of pause before, "It must be awesome, exploring the galaxy again and meeting new people! But, with whatever unknowns are out there, sometimes you need big guns! Witch is where I come in!"
"Where the Captain comes in." Straa corrected.
Maya didn't seem to hear her and started babbling. Straa sighed a and turned on her Maya-Canceler, which was essentially Straa whapping Maya in the butt with her tail.
It translated into, "Shut up and go away, I'm busy."
Maya sighed and pouted. They had reached the turbolift and stepped in.
"Deck 3, phaser cannon control."
Straa sighed. "Maya, you know how important it is to impress the captain."
"Straa, he's a easygoing man, he'll forgive you if you make a mistake."
"I know, but-" Straa paused, finding words. "Maya, he saved us. He saved the galaxy. Just by being compassionate, forgiving a race who did unspeakable things. We kinda owe it to him to do our best."
The turbolift stopped and Maya gave her a quick hug before she dashed off. A few seconds later, the turbolift deposited Straa on the bridge. Sitting in the big chair was Voth scientist Nelen Exil. Holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander, he was the essential second-in-command on the ship.
"Ah, Ensign Muse. The Captain's in his ready room, doing the normal paperwork."
Straa nodded and headed over to the door. She ringed the bell. After a few seconds of silence, she ringed it again. When no one answered, she turned to Nelen.
He frowned. "Computer, open ready room door."
The door opened and Straa looked in.
To see a passed-out Wedge Antilles, with several piles of padds and a still-warm cup of coffee.
Straa turned back to Nelen, who was laughing, along with the bridge crew.
"Hold on, Ensign, I have to get a picture first." Straa smiled as he pulled out a padd and proceeded to take a photo.
"So, how do we wake him up?"
"I have just the thing." Nelen pushed some buttons. Then, he moved the padd next to the Captain, and pushed a button.
The sound of a airhorn erupted, and the Captain startled awake, pulling a phaser pistol from under the table, before he noticed what happened. Nelen was bursting with laughter, and Straa was trying to hide her grin.
"Oh, you son of a gundark, Nelen. I'm going to get you for that."
"Yes, sir." Nelen said, before straightening with a grin still on his face. "Ensign Muse is here to present her report."
"Oh, yes." The Captain said, composing himself and shooting Nelen another dirty look. "You're dismissed, Commander."
Nelen's eyes widened, as did Straa's. Admiral Antilles very rarely called Nelen by his Starfleet rank, and when he did, it was either in a professional situation, or when the Captain was pissed.
"Yes, sir." And he hurried out, still laughing a bit.
The Captain sighed, shaking his head. "I haven't seen him laugh that hard since he saw that security footage of the Gasman farting."
Straa covered her mouth, trying in vain to stop laughing. "I'm sorry, Admiral, I-"
"It's perfectly fine. Take a minute."
"Y-y-yes, sir." Straa said, still trying to cover her laughs.
The Captain just smiled, and picked up his coffee and a padd. "Go ahead and get anything from the replicator if you need it."
"Yes, sir." Straa finally calmed herself down. "Um, the last stop at Kobali Prime allowed the Huston to fill up. We have everything we can't replace with the industrial replicators in on the ship."
The Huston acted as a fleet tender, holding the more dangerous materials. She was still armed, but modifed with more cargo space.
"The Black Corona reports nothing more than a couple of normal nebula, and a blue sun. We got another Rogue for Obric, and a shipment of compression rifles and pistols."
"Good. With a fleet of ships, people will want to move between them and our security teams need to work together. Any misconduct?"
"None, as of yet."
"Good, good." He looked a the piles of padds. "You know, being an Admiral is great and all, but when your in command of a fleet like this, especially a joint exploration fleet, the paperwork seems to pile up."
"Yes, sir." Straa said awkwardly.
"Oh, well, I can do it later. Take your station, Ensign."
Straa and the Captain both exited and took their places. Straa's place on the bridge was at Ops, where she would report casualties and hull breaches.
The Captain took his chair, almost throwing Nelen out of it. One of the many casualties of the Iconian War was Lieutenant Shannon Elswood, the Redemption's helmsman. He had lost his arm at Len'as III, and while his new synthetic arm worked fine, It had slowed his reactions down enough to make him no longer a pilot. The Captain didn't have time to train a new helmsman, so he took the helm during the war, and boy, it was a wild ride. And since the war was over, he was training a new helmsman, Lieutenant Tam Miller.
"Anything to report, Commander?"
"Uhhhh, nothing on sensors, sir." Nelen said, straight-backed and terrified.
"Marlin?" The Captain asked.
"All ships report green across the board and no contacts."
"Helm, how long before we arrive at that system, whatever it's called."
"Fourteen hours, sir, and that's not taking into account any stops we take." Tam said.
At that moment, Captain Tallasa Pjoh arrived on the bridge, carrying a tray that smelled wonderful. Everyone smelled that smell and started drooling.
"Captain, you didn't." The Admiral said, turning to her and seeing the tray stacked high with cookies.
Captain Pjoh was Admiral Antilles' XO and tactical officer. She had been promoted to Captain at the opening of the war, and, while she could have had commanded her own ship, she stayed aboard. The Admiral still called her the Commander, so, on the Redemption, so did everyone else if the two were in the same room. She was fine with it, and was a very compassionate person, yet knew how to absolutely obliterate enemy ships.
"Fresh baked chocolate ship cookies for everyone, straight from the mess hall." She said, walking around the bridge and allowing people to grab some. Straa grabbed on as she passed and bit into the savory and sweet texture.
"How did you get these?" The Captain asked.
"I bribed the Chef with a bottle of Aldebaren Whisky."
Someone whistled. Aldebaren Whisky was very potent, very alcoholic and very green.
"I hope that was for more... sedated celebrations?" The Captain said as he took a cookie and started muching on it.
"Oh, that bottle gave me five favors. This was the first." The Commander said, grinning as she placed the empty tray in the replicator and took her station.
There was about 15 minutes of banter, with people getting milk from the replicator several times.
Nelen's console pinged. He frowned. "Sir, I'm picking up some strange readings about a light-year away."
"Uh, oh." Straa said, seeing trouble in the foreseeable future.
The Captain frowned and spoke over the tacnet. "Black Corona, you picking up anything?"
"We are, Admiral." Came the voice of Captain Brose Tyri, a female Trill. "Want to investigate?"
"Why, not, it's an exploration fleet. Corona and D'daen, you're with us. Huston, Ventura and T'vrixn, drop out here and wait for my orders. We'll call if we need you, don't want any indigenous species thinking we're a invasion fleet."
"Copy that, Redemption."
The three ships turned, crossing the light-year in seconds.
"Getting a better scan, Nelen?"
"It's more intensified here. Strange. Corona, you getting these readings?"
"Confirmed. It looks like a Dyson Sphere."
"What? If there was Dyson Sphere, we'd see it by now." The Captain said.
"Readings are coming from near the middle of the system, sir." Nelen said.
The Captain nodded. "Set a course."
It wasn't a Dyson Sphere.
"A Dyson Planet?" I said. We were meeting in my conference room, along with the Captains of the Corona and the D'daen.
"Yes sir. It is a planet with a surrounding shield just like the Dyson Spheres, except it's laced with neutronium. It has full life support capabilities. The light is generated by the interior of the shield."
"That thing could take the brunt of the planet killer's weapon and come out without a scratch." Captain Tyri said. "The only thing that could break that shield is a sun."
"Have you found a entrance?"
"Yes. We can signal a receiver like the Jenolan." Nelen said.
"Good. Commander G'tey," I turned to the Romulan captain. "Signal Delta Command and send a report. We'll proceed, but call in the rest of the fleet first."
The doors opened, spilling out light and temporally blinding the viewscreen before it polarized.
"Take us in, helm. Fleet, Condition level Yellow."
The ships raised their shields as the first three ships went in.
"Wow." Nelen said. "Sir, this thing's architecture is a lot different than the Dyson Spheres. I don't think this was built by the Iconians or their servitor races."
"Really." I said as we passed a tower that was hanging off the ceiling. "Nelen, Corona, see if you can find anything that looks like a command and control center. Same to you D'daen."
"Wait, got something. The planet's core looks hollow, like there's some sort of power core in the middle. Crap, you could fit a Unimatix Command Ship in there."
"Well, we can't phase through matter, unless someone's got a Peggy cloak."
"We're not the Tal'shiar." The Romulan captain said, amused. "We're not that stupid."
"Keep looking, people. No life signs?"
We ended up with a tower that jutted out from the shield.
"That looks like some form of command center."
"Good. D'daen and Corona, prep teams of your own. Nelen, you're with me. Captain, you have the bridge. Bring in the fleet."
We materialized in the building, armored and armed. Two more transporter sounds signaled the arrival of the two other ship's teams.
"Alright. Captain, see if you can find any other decks. Same to you, Commander." I ordered. "My team will cover this deck. Move out."
We split, and I led, covering my corners. As we reached a door that folded away, something clattered. I immediately dropped, leveling out my rifle. My team was just as fast.
There was nothing there but a dead end hallway with a few boxes. "Possible contact." I said over the tac channel. "Nelen, see anything?"
"No, sir." Nelen said, his reptilian vision scanning the area. My sensors confirmed that.
"Alright. Lets move, but watch our backs."
"Team two reports nothing. Thought I heard something clattering, though."
"Team three reports same. Also heard clattering."
"Team one here." I said "We seem to have found the control center. Rendezvous here. Nelen?"
We were in a room similar to the control rooms on the Solonae Dyson sphere, with giant windows that allowed us to see our ships.
"This interface is so much different from anything I've seen." The Voth shrugged. As he started scanning the interface, both teams arrived.
"Nothing the entire way, but I swear I heard something moving." Captain Tyri said.
"Alright, I think there's something here."
"YOU'D DARE DEFILE THIS PLACE?!"
"You know, I never get to be wrong." I said as I raised my rifle. "Nelen, get your scans."
"LEAVE THE INTERFACE!"
"Got them." He said, moving away.
But then something erupted from the folding door. It was huge, and looked to be a knight. It had strips of light running down it that looked like hard data. It's left arm was a hard-light sword, and in it's right was some form of gun.
"THIS PLACE CONTAINS MANY SECRETS, MOST OF WHICH YOU ARE NOT READY FOR!" The knight thundered. "LEAVE THE DATA, AND THIS PLACE. NOW!"
"Look, we're just explorers. We just wish to learn more about this place, and how it works." I said, ready for a fight anyway. "We're looking outwards. I have a feeling you have some telepathic powers. So look in my mind."
The knight seemed to pause, seeing the visions of the war. "I WILL GRANT YOU ACCESS, OTHER, BUT THERE ARE MANY DANGERS THAT THIS PLACE LEADS TO. BEWARE, AND GO WITH CAUTION."
The knight dissipated.
We were silent for a moment. "He seems to recognize you, Admiral." A security officer said.
"That mean's he's Iconian in origin. Nelen, what did you find?"
"Well," He said, moving back to the control panels. "He seems to have had unlocked the consoles."
I walked over. "What are these?" I asked, indicating several buttons that had a form of constellation on each of them.
He looked them over then at his tricorder. "I don't know."
I shrugged. "Only one way to find out." I pushed the center one.
Something groaned in the superstructure. "That doesn't sound good." Someone said.
My combadge chirped. "Captain, we've got contacts moving from the surface!"
I slapped it. "Do not engage unless engaged, and move away. Stay in transporter range, though."
We watched through the giant window as small acute trapezoids shot up. The first trapezoid stopped in midair. The next took a different position. Soon enough, they were starting to make a shape.
"Corona," I said over the comm. "You better be getting all the scans that you can."
The final trapezoid settled into place, completing the giant ring. As the last one clicked into place, the panels in front of me light up, displaying sensor data and other things.
"Huh." I said. "I think it would be good to get a team over here to find out what's going on." I took another look at the ring. "Is it just me, or does that look like a stripped-down version of a Iconian Spacegate?"
"I'd have to agree with you, Admiral." Commander G'tev said.
"Alright, return to your ships. We'll have a meeting in a hour and we'll talk about our findings."
"I did some deep scans on the core, it seems that the planet's powered by a singularly core, similar to the cores on Romulan ships, except this one is much larger. It seems it also generates the planet's gravity." Nelen said, showing graphs of the core.
"As for the control room, it seems it is not run by isolinear chips, or any form of power or connections we've seen before." The screen changed to show several crystals. "There are several crystals, each of different color and length. Each of these crystals control different functions. Arranging the crystals in a certain pattern will allow them to perform different functions. The way the crystals are set up allows them to control the 'Gate' as we're calling it. As for the other consoles, we don't know what they're saying. We've run them though the universal translator ten times. We've never seen this language before, and without something to base it off of, we can't make heads or tales of it."
"But, we have found something." Tyri said. "While looking through the data, we found a set of symbols that correspond to the set of buttons that the Admiral found. We think that they activate the Gate." Tyri stopped, and I knew that look. It was the 'this-is-cool-but-dangerous-so-we're-gonna-poke-it-anyway' look.
I sighed. "G'tev, send a transmission to Alliance Command about our findings. We'll proceed, but we'll take the utmost caution with this. Ships will stay away at maximum effective scan range. Once we activate it, we'll send a Class One probe through. After that, we'll discuss our options."
"Inputting the symbols now, sir." The scientist said.
A second later, "Reading power surge in the gate." Nelen said. "It's growing."
"Inputting last symbol... now."
Energy ran across the surface of the Gate, until it had completed a rotation. Some sort of energy emerged from the sides, and when they met, a giant... wave erupted from the front. It moved forward several kilometers before the wave retracted back into the portal. And with that, the portal was stable, looking like rippling water.
"Holy shit." A ensign said.
"Nelen?" I said, waiting for him to report on his scans.
"Holy- Sir, the gate is generating a stable artificial wormhole. It's generating a lot of power. This is a lot different than Iconian gateway tech. Gateways can pop up anywhere. This... I think it needs another gate to connect to in order to make the wormhole."
I nodded. "Ventura, send the probe."
The probe launched, and made contact with the 'puddle.' It rippled, and the probe was gone.
"Waiting for telemetry." Nelen said. "Receiving telemetry." Nelen paused as he looked over the data. "Looks like the other gate is in deep space." He paused again then said something in Voth. "Sir, the gate works like our transporters! It dematerializes you when you step through the event horizon and reassembles you on the other side!"
"You can tell that from the data?" Tallasa asked.
"No, from the lack of data, and the fact that it's near-instantaneous."
I turned around. "Yes, Ensign Muse?"
The Caitain looked thoughtful. "I have a theory. Can you have Ventura launch a Class-10 probe through the 'puddle' then turn around and go back?"
I frowned, then shrugged. "Sure, why not?"
The probe was launched, and turned around and entered the event horizon.
It did not come back out.
"That proves my theory." At my questioning look, Straa continued. "If what Nelen says is true, then we need to turn the gate off on this side, then activate it from the other side in order to head this way."
I nodded. "Alright, I think a expedition is warranted. Nelen, work with the teams on the other ships to set up a program that we can use to connect back home. Also see if you can find the symbols of this gate. Alert Delta Command as well."
The Redemption, Black Corona, Ventura, and D'daen lined up in front of the Gate.
"Marlin, give me shipwide." She nodded and the boatswain's whistle sounded. "Attention all hands. This is the Captain. As some of you may know, we have found a version of a Iconian Spacegate. We intend to use the Gate, but I warn you, this may feel different from the Iconian Gates. To those of you that have Barclay-phobia, this will be much like that, but is probably a lot safer. We don't know exactly what's on the other side, so be prepared. Antilles out."
"All ships report ready, Captain." Marlin reported.
"Good." I nodded. "Take us in, Tam."
The Redemption moved forward, and the front of the ship made contact with the event horizon. It disappeared as the puddle approached the bridge rapidly, and it consumed me. Soon, the entire ship was through and we were off.
Author's Notes: This story literally came out of nowhere. I did this in a day and a half. I was looking at Star Trek/Stargate crossovers, and most we either set in the Star Trek universe, and the ones in StarGate, well, they are incomplte and forgotten. So, I took off with the Supergate, and go on from there.
Reviews and constructive criticism welcome!