A/N: Star Wars picks up during the pre-Disney Expanded Universe New Jedi Order era. As usual, I'm not hot on dealing with existing Star Wars characters—it's their technology and how it interacts with other universes that interests me more than who wields it.

Chapter 2 – Meeting

"Admiral, sensors are picking up a ship."

Jason Proudmoore, placed in command of NRSS Redemption, figured he'd be remiss to not drop out of hyperspace to check up on whatever this was. They were, after all, explorers.

Sent away by the New Republic as defeat against the vile Yuuzhan Vong loomed, NRSS Redemption had once been an Imperial Executor-class Star Dreadnaught. Now, shorn of half her weapons, equipped with a long-range hyperdrive and provisions more fit to a science vessel than a ship of mass destruction, Redemption would finally make first contact with extragalactic peoples beyond the local cluster.

They'd lost the link to the New Republic a long time ago. The war might be won, lost, or stalemated, but it was not a concern for Redemption's crew. All knew they were signing up for a one-way trip.

"Dropping out of lightspeed."

The blackness of space returned, replacing the blue-and-white of hyperspace.

"Unknown vessel, we are extragalactic explorers. We come in peace."

At least this thing can't be much of a threat, I hope.

"About 350 meters long, unknown configuration" reported operations.

No duh. We're a galaxy away—if it were a ship we recognized, that would actually be scary.

"Offensive capabilities?"

"Nothing we recognize. No visible turrets or batteries, though some ports may be missile launchers. One hanger, estimated two to four squadrons of fighters based on keel length."

"Have they received our message?"

Proudmoore wanted to know whether they would be treated as hostiles or merely a curiosity.

"Not that we can tell, sir" replied a woman in communications. "It's possible their comms are not compatible with ours."

"This ship has over one hundred types of communication systems, some over five centuries old in design!" he replied, allowing some incredulity to creep into his voice despite recognizing that it made complete sense technology would be different in this new galaxy. "I would hope we'd be able to at least use something basic."

"Using the forward floodlights to transmit blink code, sir."

During his next regular shift, Harry Kim got his wish.

"Captain, I'm reading a massive energy surge less than a hundred kilometers off our port bow!"

Another anomaly. It seems like we run into those once a week…

"Well, Harry, what is it?"

"Captain… These numbers… They can't be right. They're off the scale!"

"We're in the Delta Quadrant. We've encountered a dimension that is entirely filled with matter, a telepathic pitcher plant, and a vehicle from twentieth century Earth. Surely, a few overly-large numbers can't be that alarming."

"Whatever they are" replied Kim, "they're so massive half the quadrant probably knows about them."

"I must concur with Ensign Kim" added Tuvok from his tactical station. "These numbers, if correct, suggest a level of energy not achieved even by the Borg. Any vessels within several thousand light-years may be attracted to whatever just happened."

"The surge is gone. But there is a very, very large object in the place where it just was."

Without being prompted, Kim put the image onscreen.

"Well, that certainly doesn't look like any ship we've ever encountered" said Tom.

"Mr. Kim's proclamations regarding the size of this anomaly were justified. This vessel is nineteen kilometers in length. I am running a tactical analysis now."

Chakotay could only stare. Whatever this was, its great grey, triangular-shaped bulk blotted out quite a bit of background as it moved. Even Borg cubes were not this big. The only comparable vessel would be those created by the Voth, and even those were several times smaller!

"Can we hail them?"

Kim responded in the negative. "I've been trying, Captain, but they're not responding."

"At least they're not shooting" commented Chakotay.

"This ship matches no vessel in our database" concluded Tuvok.

"Bridge to astrometrics."

"Yes, Captain?"

"Seven, you're seeing what we're seeing. Any ideas on what it might be?"

"The Borg have assimilated many species and thousands of types of ships. This resembles nothing the Collective has ever encountered."

"Tuvok. If this vessel becomes hostile, how dangerous will it be?"

Janeway disliked assuming the worst, but any adversary this much larger had to be taken seriously.

"Its weapons match no known configuration. They appear to be plasma-based, however, I am unable to get a clear reading on exactly how they operate. The vessel's reactor is interfering with our sensors."

The bridge viewscreen showed what could only be guns of some kind, grouped into batteries, from various angles as Voyager's sensors examined them. Some had two barrels, others one. What might have been some kind of torpedo system among the gun barrels was also evident.

"Based on sensor returns from these weapons, I do believe they are powered down, assuming the reactor is not simply masking their true state" reported Tuvok. "I am sending all data to astrometrics and engineering."

Tom Paris caught movement out of the corner of his eye.

"Wait a minute. Is that what it looks like?"


Tom pointed at the viewscreen.

"It's some kind of pattern. It's not Morse though."

"Maybe they are trying to communicate with us. Seven, have you detected anything that might be a transmission?"

"Negative Captain, though I have not yet checked all frequencies and modulations."

"Keep on it" ordered Janeway. "Check lesser-known bands."

"The computer's trying to decode the pattern" reported Ensign Kim. "It's picked up on repetitions, but hasn't been able to make sense of it just yet."

"How complex could it be?" asked Lieutenant Paris, somewhat taken aback. A computer core that could house an EMH, having trouble with a Morse-like code?

"For all we know, they could speak an entirely different, more complex language. Remember when I showed you Korean script?"

Tom had to concede the point.

"You got me. But I don't think they're speaking Korean."

"Should we reply?"

Captain Janeway let out a small laugh.

"Tom, you're the one who's always using Morse code in your holoprograms. Assist Harry in transmitting a response in Morse. Just keep it professional! I'm headed in for the night—wake me if you need me."

"Yes ma'am."