A/N: Past 3 of 3. Here we have the final chapter and epilogue of Stars Alone. For those few who continued to read and review, thank you for your thoughts and kind words.

Chapter Sixty-Two: Avalon

Armies of millions did not suddenly stop fighting because their generals left the field. Ori-made fighters, staves and warships did not suddenly stop working because of the Ancient weapon Prince Daniel deployed succeeded in wiping out the Ori.

What did change was the loss of the Priors to level the Ori force against Imperial soldiers. Without the Priors to offset the lack of modern orthodoxy, armor or rapid-fire weapons, the armies of the Ori found themselves vastly outclassed not just by the Imperial soldiers, but even by the native soldiers of the planet.

As it turned out, bullets could kill as effectively as staves or blasters.

Cathy learned all this from Tomin, the surprisingly kind but effective commander tasked with safe-guarding the Sisters, all of whom had arrived with the combined fleet. They occupied what appeared to be the planet's equivalent of a soccer field, only a field lined with the injured. The stands were filled with even more.

The lines of the injured extended far out of the stadium, which had become the last stand of the Ori forces.

"The fleet does not answer our calls," Tomin advised her early into the morning of the second day of the battle. "The Priors say they cannot help us because the Ori do not believe we have sufficient faith in the cause. The Imperial devils are driving us back faster sometimes than we can run! What are we to do, Blessed Mother?"

Cathy, who spent the entire briefing using the healing device to rebuild a hyperventilating young man's leg, looked up in surprise. "Why ask me?"

"The Generals are all dead," Tomin noted. "And by your own word, the Orici has died. There are none other to command us!"

Ori orthodoxy at work again. The Priors commanded through generals, and then commanders. Perhaps three figures to command every ten thousand men. None others were given any training at all because the Ori, at their root, did not trust anyone. When Tomin said none were left, she believed him.

"Then I shall command in their absence," she said simply. "Send word that the Blessed Mother requires all the faithful of the Ori to disengage and fall back to this location, where they are to establish a defensive perimeter around this stadium."

The decisiveness at first surprised Tomin, before finally he nodded. "As you will, Blessed Mother!"

Beside her, Denya stood tiredly from her own patient. "Is it almost over?" she asked softly.


~~Stars Alone~~

~~Stars Alone~~

Daniel appeared in the wake of brilliant white light and a deep, gong-like sound. Beside him, Rangers and two of their knights took a guard position.

They were met by Teal'c and Telgat, both looking haggard and exhausted. Daniel did not fault them—he was himself well into his third day without sleep. Unlike them, he was able to call on the Force to revive himself.

"Highness," Teal'c said with a bow.

"Daniel," Tel'gat said. She was too tired for formalities.

"Where are they?" Daniel asked.

"Near the gate." Tel'gat didn't need him to say who. "The Akai'kheb was grievously wounded. Empress Hermione said his wounds were greater than any they've ever seen. It is taking both their powers to keep him on this plane. Do you wish to see them?"

"I need to see about ending this war first," Daniel said. "Teal'c, Tel'gat, I'm afraid that the operation was classified as need to know, but for the past two months I charged a hand-picked team to pursue an Ancient weapon designed specifically to destroy ascended beings. The operation was successful, and yesterday a task force under my command successful took an Ori-supergate and deployed the weapon. The Ori have been completely obliterated."

The two senior leaders of the empire stared back at him with matching expressions of shock. "You mean, it's over?" Tel'gat finally whispered. She ran two shaking hands through her slightly grayed hair. "It's really over? All of it?"

Teal'c response, however, was far more pragmatic. "You did not tell the Akai'kheb."

Daniel shook his head. "Everyone was watching him, Teal'c. The Ancients. The Ori. The Orici. If he knew about the weapon, the Ori would have done everything in their power to destroy it. The only way to deploy the weapon is if the entirety of the Ori's forces were concentrated somewhere else."

"I'm too tired to think about this," Tel'gat muttered. "With your permission?"

"Go get some sleep, Tel'gat," Daniel told her. "I have my reserves coming to relieve your people and get the wounded back. General, do you have transport to the enemy lines?"

Minutes later Daniel and Teal'c sat in the back of an armored transport, flanked by four other similar transports all bristling with armament. In the shielded cabin, away from any prying ears, Teal'c studied the young man intently.

"You play a dangerous game, Daniel of Kheb."

"I know."

Teal'c, though, was not finished. "You endangered the life of your aunt, as well as Tel'gat and myself. It was you who had the gate tampered with to bring us here?"


"And you let the Orici know?"

"Cathy's people did, yes."

A single, elegant brow rose. "You are in contact with your sister?"

"Yes. That's how I know the war is over. Cathy…has paid the price for her actions, Teal'c. She lost her son almost before he was born. She lost her world. She's spent the last few months healing."

"So our intelligence has gathered," Teal'c said. "The Tripartite will nonetheless be unhappy with you."

"As much as my father, I defeated the enemy, Teal'c. How many lives—how many worlds—have I saved?"

"All it took was your honor."

Daniel laughed bitterly. "Indeed. I've finally become the prince my aunts and uncle raised me to be. Somehow it doesn't make anything better, does it?"

Teal'c said nothing.

When they arrived, it was to a heavily fortified line of armored vehicles and artillery, all pointed directly at the narrow line of Ori soldiers that surrounded the battered, crowded stadium. "I imagine they're getting hungry," Daniel noted.

"I would imagine so," Teal'c confirmed.

"Highness, General, we've received no communications or terms, but neither have the enemy fired," the colonel on site said. Like everyone, the man appeared exhausted. "I can confirm that they have almost no supplies. Water and power have been cut off, and our drones show no food stores to speak of. I'm not sure what they're waiting on."

"They're waiting on me," Daniel said. "Teal'c, stay here. Make sure no one interferes."

"Where are you going, my prince?" Teal'c asked.

Daniel couldn't help but smile darkly at the term. Teal'c had never called him 'my prince' before. "My friends, I'm going to go end the war once and for all."

Walking toward the stadium and the line of terrified, thirsty, hungry Ori soldiers, Daniel found himself thinking back to that horrid day when his parents and younger siblings died. Then, like now, he reached out with the Force until he felt the tenuous connection that he shared with Cathy. Unlike then, however, he had the power and training to strengthen that connection, until he felt confident she knew he was coming, and that the time had finally arrived.

The men that made up the defensive line around the stadium appeared to be on their last legs. Their armor appeared dented, filthy and unkempt. Many were splashed with blood—possibly their own from now healed injuries. Daniel, with the runic armor his uncle made for him, must have looked nearly angelic in comparison.

He stood a few feet away. "I am Daniel, Prince of Kheb. I come to speak in peace with the Blessed Mother Catherine."

One of the soldiers with the slightest hint of a limp walked out from the line of soldiers. His face was smudged with soot and his hair was a mess, but otherwise he appeared intact. "I am Tomin, by Grace of the Ori a commander. I will escort you."

"Thank you, Commander."

Behind the line of desperate soldiers and through the wide, enclosed ramp, Daniel emerged onto a sea of misery and suffering. He knew all the Priors on the planet were dead—targeted specifically once their powers ceased functioning. What he saw now was just the cost of war. Rows upon rows of soldiers lay on the ground across a wide field, one somewhat larger than a typical Terran soccer field.

In the surrounding stands, still more sat or lay in silent suffering. Through the lines moved women in white and baby-blue robes, kneeling down along each line to bring healing. These were the Sisters of the Path, whose willingness to heal even Imperial soldiers had reached Daniel's ears.

From their midst a single woman walked toward him. As they got closer, he felt a surge of worry because of her appearance.

Cathy looked gaunt and haunted. Dark circles dragged down her eyes and her once luscious black hair had been cut so short it barely reached her neck. Yet, she carried herself with a straight back and a sense of calm in the Force he'd never felt in her before. Though they spoke through the Soul Stones, this was the first time he'd seen her in person since her exile.

He wanted so very much to hug her. To kiss her brow and let her know that, even after everything, she was still his bratty, precious baby sister. Instead, conscious on all the eyes around him, he nodded. "Blessed Mother Catherine, I am Daniel, Crown Prince of Kheb. I've come to tell you that your son, the Orici, engaged my father, the Akai'kheb, in battle. After destroying most of the city, the Orici was killed. The Akai'kheb was grievously wounded and has retreated with the Vice Empresses. I am in command of Imperial Forces as of this moment."

Daniel didn't need the Force to watch as word spread of the Orici's death. It appeared many suspected, but the confirmation seemed to suck the energy out of the crowd.

"We have failed the Ori," Cathy intoned. Her voice sounded deeper than he remembered. Despite her gaunt, almost frail appearance, she actually sounded stronger. "They have abandoned us."

Daniel knew, without any doubt, that a declaration of the Ori's death would be rejected wholesale. Cathy herself assured him of the same. Her inner circle knew, but the soldiers could never accept the death of their gods. But their gods abandoning them in an alien galaxy for failing to win a war? That was something every person in that stadium could accept.

"The gods of this galaxy are not so harsh as to demand the death of their enemies," Daniel said. Again, he knew his words were being transmitted through the crowds, likely through Tomin's communicator. "The Ancients do not require worship. In fact, except in rare cases they rarely bother with us mere mortals. They are content for us to live our lives and grow as a species. The Ori have abandoned you, but not to death. If your forces lay down your arms, the Empire of Kheb is willing to offer all of you unlimited amnesty, land, and perhaps someday even citizenship in the Empire. It will take a lot of work to rebuild what this war has destroyed, and we would welcome any willing hands."

Cathy made a point of looking surprised. "No reprisals? No executions?"

"We know very well that you acted according to the will of your gods," Daniel said. "The Empire will not punish a soldier for following orders he had no choice but to obey. But you have a choice now. If you choose to lay down your arms, you will receive food, water and shelter. And in time, you will be allowed to live in peace. You have my promise, and the promise of the Empire."

Cathy bowed her head. Throughout the stadium, Daniel could not hear a single cough. Everyone was listening intently. Finally, his sister looked up with tears in her eyes. "In the absence of the Will of the Ori, and in the absence of my son the Orici, all that remains is the well-being and survival of those who followed us here. In return for a guarantee of amnesty, food and water, on behalf of the Army of the Ori, I offer unconditional surrender."

No one cried out in protest. Instead, in a quiet wave that swept through the stands, men and women alike silently wept.

~~Stars Alone~~

~~Stars Alone~~

Daniel found them in a tent near the gate. His own people were already working on the gate itself, which of course was damaged when Luna, Tel'gat, Teal'c and their security detail were rerouted from their original destination.

Harry looked awful and smelled worse—a collection of third degree burns along his limbs that fused his uniform into his flesh. His runic chest plate lay in shattered pieces on the floor at his feet. On either side, looking worn and exhausted, sat Hermione and Luna. After seeing the quiet maturity of his sister, it always surprised him to see how young his aunts looked.

He'd had more than one fevered teenage dream about those two women. Now that he had his own wives, and in fact children of his own who were not so far removed in age to how the two appeared, he no longer viewed them as sexually attractive.

Damn it, he felt like he was staring at his own kids.

"The war is over," Daniel said as he stepped into the tent.

"We felt it," Luna said. She looked at him with a wan smile, even as she kept one hand on Harry's gently moving chest. In fact, she'd linked fingers with Hermione.

"How?" Hermione asked. "How did you destroy them? We could feel the Ori's death from across galaxies. It felt like…it felt like stars dying."

"My portion of the ancient knowledge had information regarding a weapon that Merlin was building," Daniel said. "Even thousands of years ago, the Ancients feared the Ori. When Anubis did not work out as their champion, Merlin began designing a weapon to destroy Ascended beings. His companions at the time did not let him deploy it, but he left enough clues that we were able to find and finish it. The Ori are destroyed. Cathy, believe it or not, is in charge of the remnants here. She's surrendered her forces on this world. I've given her permission and a ship to spread the world to the remaining Ori-loyal worlds."

Hermione seemed to sink in on herself. "It's…it's really over. All these years, and it's done." She blinked tiredly up at her adopted son. "What…what do we do now?"

The question startled Daniel. He'd never known any of his adopted parents to not have an answer.

"My people have repaired the gate," he said after he recovered himself. "We should get Uncle Harry home so he can heal."

Hermione nodded. She stood, stumbled a little before taking a deep breath to steady herself. "Yes, I think that would be a good idea."

"I've had a gurney prepared," Daniel offered.

At his direction, one of his people carried in a heavy, wheeled gurney with a padded bed. Hermione, her hand on Harry's chest, easily levitated him onto the bed. Outside, the gate started dialing, but he was the only one who seemed to notice.

"Oh, we're going to have to talk to the finance committee about funding for rebuilding efforts," Hermione muttered. "Luna, are you coming?"

"In a moment, love."

Hermione left, one hand always touching Harry, while with the other she used her power to easily push the unusually heavy cart. Luna stood slowly and dusted off some dried blood from her armor plating. She walked up to Daniel and smiled sadly. Then, to his complete shock, she took his face, pulled him down, and kissed him.

Not any aunt-like kiss. Full on, full tongue kissing that left him gasping. "What…"

"I first heard of you when I was in my early twenties and you were approaching forty," she said softly. "In an alternate world that we lost when the Ancients played with our fates. I always thought you were such a beautiful man. I never judged Hermione for her indiscretion, because in another life I would have done the same with you, if I'd had the chance. I love Harry, and I always will, but I wonder if a little variety really would be that bad."

Daniel stuttered, utterly unable to reconcile what just happened with the aunt he knew.

Luna, though, simply smiled up with that famous, beneficent smile of hers. Only then did he notice the tears trickling down her cheeks. "I always feared and looked forward to this day, Daniel. The day when you became king. I looked forward because you've just now realized how strong you can be. And I feared it because now you know the price that comes with that strength. Just know that I love you. It was my greatest honor to be a part of your life."

She knew.

"Oh Daniel, my beautiful, foolish boy, of course I did." She didn't bother wiping her tears. Outside, the gate dialed an eighth chevron, powered by a bank of almost twenty zero-point modules that Daniel had built in Merlin's cave, recently connected to the repaired gate. "And why wouldn't you? We took your sister away from you. Your world. We prolonged a war that was killing millions every month because…because we were afraid. We were afraid we couldn't win—we were afraid of what would happen after. We were afraid of this. You did what you had to do. You won the war we refused to win. Harry might have been the Ancient's champion, but you were humanity's champion. I'm so…proud…"

He stared, helpless, as Luna sobbed, bowed her head and leaned against his chest. Unable to help himself, he wrapped his arms around her and rocked her gently. "I'm so sorry," he whispered.

Outside, a ninth chevron engaged and a wormhole exploded into existence, crossing unfathomable distances. Hermione, in her befuddled, exhausted state, never noticed.

"Will you send us to a good planet, Daniel?" she whispered through her tears.

"I'll do even better." Going into this last, most risky confrontation, Daniel would never have imagined his own tears falling so freely. "I'll send you further than any human or Ancient has ever gone. I'll send you out beyond even the Alteran's furthest imaginations. Only the stars alone know how far you'll go, how many new worlds and galaxies you'll see."

"That sounds…wonderful," Luna said. She snuggled closer against him and hugged him. "Peaceful."

"Luna…why?" He couldn't help voicing the question. "Why…this? You could kill me, even now. Why…?" As much as he wanted, Daniel found the words just would not come. All the times he practiced what he would say simply slowed out of his mind.

She stepped back from his hug, cleared her throat and wiped her eyes. "Why formed an empire to fight an enemy, Daniel. It's…it's all we've ever known. You know Harry—he is a warrior. If there are no wars to fight, he'll make one. It's who he is. It's what he is. For your sake—for Ishta and Teal'c, and Norta and Samantha—for all your kids and all the friends we've made—this is best. The Empire has to grow and evolve, and it can't do that with gods on it's throne. Eventually, we'd be no better than the Goa'uld. It's…better this way. Mortals ruled by mortals. People ruled by people. Rule them well, Daniel. Be the Emperor we always knew you could be."

With those last words, Luna gripped his hand and then swept past him. He turned and followed her outside the tent. Hermione stood in the clearing by the gate—the museum which once housed it was destroyed in the fighting and ringed the area in rubble.

"You know, the gate may still be malfunctioning," Hermione muttered. "I could swear it dialed more than seven chevrons."

"I'm sure it's fine," Luna told her as she took her place on Harry's side, opposite from Hermione. "Our son fixed it for us."

Hermione nodded before looking over her shoulder. "Thank you, Daniel. For saving us."

"It was an honor, Hermione," he called back. "I love you, you know. Both of you."

"And we love you, Daniel," she assured him with the absent declaration of long familiarity. "Come on, Luna. We need to call the department heads regarding establishing a reconstruction fund. There's so much to do!"

Luna nodded along, her hand laced through Hermione's as they pushed their comatose husband toward the gate. Daniel waited for Luna to look back at him, but she walked through the gate without a second glance backward.

Epilogue: The Stars Alone

Lieutenant Matthew Scott, United States Air Force, came through the gate faster than anything he'd ever experienced with SG-23. He rolled to bleed off momentum before coming back to his feet, carbine at the ready as he quickly took in the room.

The space was smaller than what they just left, though thankfully not in the process of exploding, so it had that going for it. Bright lights and shiny walls spoke of something new and in good repair, so he began to suspect he'd landed on a planet.

Seconds later another body came flying through the gate, showering the air with dust. The woman tripped and fell before the astonishing force that carried her. Not even a second after came a second person, followed by a third right on their heels. They tumbled over each other, in fact.

"Alright, get out of the way! Get out of the way!"

Still more came, three or four at a time. He gripped his radio. "This is Scott, slow down the evac! We are coming in too hot!"

Still they came, dozens of them, some in uniform, some in civilian dress. Scott recognized one of the last to come through. "Greer!"

The soldier in question turned while trying to pull someone out of the way of the gate. Behind the event horizon, they felt shocks. "Where's Colonel Young?"

Greer stared back, his face blue in the light of the gate. "He was right behind me."

Not ten seconds later, a figure blasted out of the gate so fast he flew across the room, only to slam into the floor. The wormhole collapsed, throwing the whole room into confusion as bursts of steam shot up from the floor on either side of the gate itself.

Cries of confusion, fear and pain filled the room, but Scott had eyes only for the crumpled, steaming figure that came through the gate last. "Colonel Young?" He ran toward the man, gently turning him over and cradling his head. "Colonel Young?"

Glazed, unfocused eyes looked up at him. "Where…where are we?"

"I don't know, sir. I don't know…what the hell?"

The fear and shock of the crowd slowly ceded to confused silence as a young, naked woman padded into the room. Long, almost buttocks-length white-blond hair did little to cover a pale, lithe body. She was yawning as she walked right by them, completely oblivious to the crowd of dust-covered people that had appeared in the…wherever they were.

The figure padded up the stairs, causing Scott to release the dazed Colonel Young's head gently and back away as the girl padded barefoot up a set of stairs. Under the soft yellow lights of the ceiling and walls, he could see Dr. Rush's shocked expression as she walked right up to him, turned and looked at the control pad for a long moment. Slowly, as if she were just waking up from a dream, the girl looked up from the pad and stared out at the room which was staring right back at her. She turned and looked at Rush.

"Hello," he said, his Scottish lilt obvious in even the single word.

Frowning quizzically, she reached out a single finger and poked him. "You're real."

Scott wasn't sure what was most odd—that she spoke English, or that she actually sounded English.

"I am," he agreed. Then, because it was Dr. Rush, speaking, he added: "And you're naked. Did we interrupt something?"

She blinked owlishly at him. Scott slowly made his way up behind her, weapon at the read. All he could think of was that the woman barely had any ass at all.

"I just…it's been so long since we've had guests," the girl said.

"Would you mind terribly getting dressed?" Rush asked. "You're quite lovely, but it would be easier to talk without distraction."

"Oh, yes, I suppose so." The young woman did not appear bothered at all by the fact that Scott could see her bare ass and one pert young breast from where he stood. Until, abruptly, he couldn't. He couldn't see what she did, but in the blink of an eye she went from stark-ass naked to clothed in a simple white dress.

The surprising change made him bring his weapon up, only to grunt as the girl held out her hand and Scott abruptly found himself flying backward, where he hit wall hard enough to knock the air from his lungs. Rather than fall, though, he remained held against the wall, easily ten feet up.

The crowd screamed. Greer and several other soldiers brought their weapons to bear, but Rush simply held up his hands. "I'm sorry, dear. I'm sure he didn't mean to hurt you. The way you dressed just… startled him."

The no longer so innocent-seeming girl turned and stared at Scott with blue-grey eyes. "He is rather cute," she noted absently. She then dropped her hand. Scott had only a moment to brace himself before he fell. Another roll, and he was able to much more cautiously regain his feet and the elevated platform.

"What are you doing here?" the girl asked. "Did Daniel send you? Does he…does he wish us to return?" The hope in her voice was heartbreaking.

Rush shook his head. "Daniel?"

"My…Prince Daniel? Of Kheb?"

"I'm sorry, dear. The only Daniel I know is named Jackson, and he is not a prince."

What should have been a soothing answer made the girl stiffen. "Daniel Jackson. Not a prince." She frowned and then started walking around Rush, going the other side back down to the floor.

The many people, terrified of her display of telekinesis, backed away from her. She paused by Greer, looking at his service patches in confusion. "Who is in charge here?"

"Colonel Young is our commander," Scott said. He started back down to the floor. "But…he's hurt."

In fact, their medic, T.J., was already kneeling down beside the freely bleeding colonel. The girl drifted toward him, and Scott realized that despite the dress, she was still barefoot. "What happened?"

"Our base was under attack," Scott said. "He must have been injured evacuating."

The girl knelt down across from a surprised and nervous T.J. "Where are you from?" the girl asked TJ.

Operational security kept T.J. silent, but the girl's eyes widened in surprise. "Hermione!"

Scott looked around, trying to figure out who she was talking too, when another woman appeared. One second she wasn't there, the next she was, without any radiant energy caused by beaming technology. This one was…dressed in what looked like silken pajamas.

She appeared looking right at the blonde, and like the first woman had long, luscious auburn hair. She looked right at the first woman, but unlike her immediately noticed she wasn't alone. She spun about, wide-eyed with shock, before turning back to the blonde. "Luna! Did Daniel send for us!"

"Hermione, they're from Earth!"

"What? How can…it's only been…how long has it been…?"

"Hermione, they're from Earth! They're part of Stargate Command. This woman here, she has met General Jack O'Neill! He was old and much fatter around his face. Daniel Jackson is an archeologist and Ancient scholar. No Ra! No Kheb! The Orici was a woman!"

Hermione stumbled a little. "But…but…"

Luna, the blonde, stood. Scott didn't know if it was excitement or horror on her face. "Don't you see? Oma did it again! It wasn't enough that they send us so far away that even if we ascended we could never get back, they sent us back to our original dimension! Our Daniel is gone to us. Our…"

Abruptly, she disappeared with a pop.

Hermione looked around the room herself, studying all the startled people.

TJ cleared her throat. "Um…I'm sorry, but…do you have any medical supplies on board? We have injuries."

The woman named Hermione turned back to T.J., startled. "Oh, yes. I'm so sorry, it's just we've been on this ship alone for so long we just…I'll be right back."

The girl disappeared as well, and a second later appeared again with a Goa'uld hand device on her right hand. Scott felt his stomach clench in concern as the girl knelt down beside Young. The device lit up just like the training videos said.

"Miss," Scott said as he approached. "Are you a Tok'ra?"

Hermione glanced up, brow furrowed. "Why would you think I'm…?"

Scott felt a tickle in the back of his mind, but the girl seemed to relax. "Oh, of course. No…I'm not a Goa'uld, Lieutenant Scott. Nor Tok'ra. I can use this device because, among other things, I'm a witch."

Things got even stranger when the blonde returned. She didn't appear out of mid-air, she walked through an open passage, flanked by a man who looked to be a few years younger than Scott himself.

Except, of course, for the fact that the air seemed to shimmer a little around the young man's head. "Harry, this man is named Colonel Young, he's their commander, I think," Hermione called from the floor. "I just healed him."

Harry nodded. Scott kept his nozzle down but ready, and knew all the other military personnel were doing the same. Something about the young man screamed danger to Scott's training.

"Who are you people? Where are we?"

Everett Young's voice whipped out across the room. The young newcomer, named Harry, looked back at the colonel with a blank face. "You're on board the Destiny. This ship was launched from the Milky Way galaxy fifty million years ago. The light from the nearest star won't reach Earth for another seven billion years. Who are you?"

Colonel Young patted T.J.'s hand gently in thanks before he stood and walked toward the hard-faced young man. "I'm Colonel Everett Young, United States Air Force."

"I see. What year is it, Colonel Young?"

"It's 2009. You're from Earth?"

"Once. A long time ago." Harry looked back around the group before frowning intently. "I'm…forgive me, Colonel. We've been on this ship for nearly twenty years alone. It's been so long since I've had to…"

Scott tried not to scoff. The man barely looked twenty.

"Lieutenant, watch your thoughts, please," the blonde said. She hovered by Harry and turned to glare. "We are older than we look."

"Who are you?" Colonel young asked.

"Us?" Harry paused to give it thought. "You know about the Ancients, or else you would not be here."


"You know how they ascended?"


"I am a partially-ascended being," Harry said. "As are my wives. And this ship is our exile."

"Exile?" Young looked concerned. "What did you do?"

"We saved our galaxy from the Ori." Harry's smile bore no humor. "But like all truly powerful weapons, the galaxy had no place for us after the war ended. Settle in, Colonel. It's going to be a long trip."

"But perhaps better than before," Luna offered. She suddenly beamed at Young and TJ and Scott. "Because now we're not alone! You'd be amazed what we can accomplish with friends!"

Her smile actually creeped Matthew out more than her power.

What had he signed up for?