Commonscape By: Griffin Copyright notice: All characters belong to their respective owners, all original characters and plot elements belong to me. Note: As I have not seen any recent Andromeda episodes this story has been written using season two characters. Summary: The crew of the Andromeda emerge from slipstream in a system that is not on their maps and where things are not as they are supposed to be.

The Battle:

"You're really going to let her have a shot at piloting, after what happened the last time she was in that chair?" Tyr asked pointing to Trance sitting in the slip-pilot's chair on the Andromeda.

"She told me that last time was an accident. How could she have possibly sent us into the past on purpose?" Beka asked as she shrugged.

"Very well," Tyr said as he walked back over to the weapon's console. "But remember, when we find ourselves fighting another Nietzschean fleet from hundreds of years ago, I warned you."

"Take us in, Trance," Captain Hunt instructed and took hold of the command console as Trance powered up the slipstream engines.

"Translating into slipstream in five.four.three.slip drives grabbing hold.one.translation!" Trance announced as the ship jumped into the slipstream and began sailing along the chords.

* * * * * *

Aeryn flew her prowler around the large asteroid and bore in for another run at the attacking destroyer.

Crais and Talyn were distracting the ship's main weapons systems and the destroyer's prowler squadron while Aeryn tried to get a good hit on the ship's command deck.

"Aeryn, we could really use your guns back here!" John announced from his own prowler. The second fighter was engaged in a one-on-one dual with a Peacekeeper fighter.

John was a pilot but wasn't used to the controls of the Peacekeeper vessel. Now that they were in battle, he was glad that they had been able to steal it from the last drift they had visited, even though it had attracted the attention of the destroyer they were now trying to fight off.

John now regretted sending Dargo back to Luxon territory to try and convince them to send a war-fleet to escort them back to the warrior nation's borders. The Luxon's fighter would be an immense help against the Peacekeepers.

"John, Aeryn, one of the fighters has broken off and is bearing down on Moya!" Chiana announced over the coms.

The large, unarmed transport had been hiding among several of the larger asteroids when the attack had begun. It was only her brownish exterior and the newly installed stealth suites that had kept the destroyer from detecting and destroying the living ship before John and Aeryn had launched.

The lone fighter drove toward the large transport, firing its plasma cannon wildly in an attempt to clear its path of asteroids.

The pilot was so busy trying to make sure he didn't hit a rock that he didn't see his sensor alarm announcing that Aeryn was right behind him and had locked on with one of John's primitive chemical driven, exterior mounted missiles.

The rocket lashed out from its launcher and Aeryn watched as it dodged stray asteroids to pursue its target. When the warhead impacted on the prowler hull, the explosion was huge, vaporizing many nearby asteroids.

"Down to two prowlers," Aeryn announced as she turned her fighter toward one of the last two prowlers.

"One!" John announced as his plasma cannon ripped his target apart. "I'll turn in on the destroyer. Looks like Crais could use a little help."

"I'll get that last prowler!" Aeryn announced as she dodged a shot from the destroyer.

Suddenly a brilliant flash lit up the battle space and all combat stopped as a warship as large as a command carrier emerged as if from a starburst.

The pilot of the prowler didn't wait for orders from the destroyer and immediately began firing on the enormous vessel.

* * * * * *

"We're being fired on!" Tyr announced almost as soon as the translation from slipstream had been completed.

"I'm reading plasma weapons signatures and chemical residue from rockets," Andromeda reported as she automatically switched into battle mode. "It seems we have walked into a pirate attack on a transport. One unarmed vessel hiding among the asteroids, three fighters, one corvette and one destroyer class vessel are present."

"Can you determine who is who?" Dylan Hunt asked as he looked over the data.

"It seems the fighter that has fired on us belongs to the destroyer and the other three are together. Communications networks link the corvette, two fighters and transport together, though they are extremely tight band and I can't seem to penetrate them," Andromeda announced.

"Take out that fighter and contact the transport and destroyer. Tell them not to fire on us. Once they see what we can do, I doubt they will try to take us out," Dylan announced.

Tyr locked onto the small fighter and launched a pair of missiles. The drives on the missiles lit up and the tracking sensors followed the evasive patterns of the fighter.

The unfortunate pilot of the tiny ship could only evade one missile and his ship exploded as the interceptor missile detonated on the vessel's hull, leaving nothing of the ship left.

"Dylan, the transport has replied, though it took my translators a minute to pick out the language. It's not in my banks. The pilot indicates that his ships will not fire on ours. The destroyer, however, has not responded to our attempts to hail them." Beka reported from the communications panel.

"Dylan, the corvette and fighters have broken off from the destroyer and are returning to the transport. The destroyer has turned its attention on us. Their weapons are charging and I'm ready heavy sensor contact," Tyr reported as he began acquiring locks on the vessel.

"Warn them one more time, Rommie. Tyr, if they don't stand down, open fire," Dylan ordered.

"With pleasure," Tyr said with a grin as he refined his targeting data.

* * * * * *

"Commander, the other warship has ordered us not to fire on them again!" The communications officer aboard the Peacekeeper destroyer Hallivale announced.

"Give no response. Weapons, I want a full spread of frag cannon fire on that vessel. The leviathans and prowlers can wait."

"Aye, captain, frag cannons locked and firing!"

A volley of four frag shells lashed out from the guns of the Hallivale and Captain Benicio watched as the shells flew toward the warship. Two shells were intercepted by missiles and a third by point-defense cannons. The fourth managed to slip through the defensive fire and impact on the hull. The shell exploded, but a weapon that could destroy half of a leviathan took out very little of the ship's hull.

"Sir, return fire inbound. Looks like a dozen missiles. Plasma cannons are tracking and preparing to fire. Defense screen took damage when the armed leviathan was firing on us," the weapons officer announced.

Twelve missiles were launched from the new warship, seven were destroyed by plasma fire, one was blinded by jamming systems, one was diverted by a last minute decoy and one slammed into an asteroid that hadn't been accounted for.

The last two reached the defense screen and one exploded far out of range of the Hallivale. The last missile, however, reached attack range and Benicio gripped his command console as the missile slammed into his port side, taking out a large portion of his plasma point-defense cannons.

"Sir, damage to levels three, four, five and seven. We've lost almost eighty percent of our point-defense cannons to port. However, we still have all frag cannons on that side and offensive plasma cannons," the ship's chief engineer announced.

"Move into plasma range but keep us behind the asteroids so they can't get another volley off!" Benicio ordered as his destroyer began to moved closer to the much larger warship. * * * * * *

"Dylan, only one missile hit." Andromeda reported. "Their point-defense is more effective than I anticipated."

"They're moving in closer. Should I give them a heavier volley?" Tyr asked as he pre-loaded another two dozen missile tubes.

"No. They're probably moving into range of their heavier weapons. Let's oblige them. Charge the particle cannons and prepare to fire," Dylan ordered and Andromeda acknowledged. * * * * * *

The two ships moved closer to each other, neither firing at the other. But when the peacekeeper warship reached plasma cannon range Captain Benicio opened fire.

The volley that would have torn a leviathan or smaller ship apart, did relatively light damage. The frag shells took out sizeable chunks of the warship's hull but the plasma cannons only scratched into the armor of the vessel.

But the Hallivale only got off one broadside before the Andromeda returned fire.

The Andromeda Ascendant was armed with heavy particle cannons. Cannons that were meant to tear through a Nietzschean destroyer at point-blank range. Cannons that were less kind on the tiny destroyer than the missiles had been.

All that was left of the vessel was a handful of escape pods that had managed to escape the explosion of the ship's powerplants and unused ordinance. * * * * * *

John had watched the Hallivale's attack on the newcomer from the command deck of Moya and was now very glad that he hadn't turned to fire on the ship. That vessel could have easily torn apart both prowlers, Talyn and Moya.

"Pilot, has the new ship contacted us at all?" Aeryn asked as she arrived on the command deck. She had watched the combat from her prowler and was also glad she hadn't turned to attack the newcomer.

"No, though when she did she seemed to be confused by our transmissions at first. It's as if that ship also has a pilot."

"Do you think it could be another Peacekeeper hybrid?" Chiana asked as she looked at the vessel on Moya's viewscreen.

"I don't believe so, Chiana. That vessel is nearly four times larger than any known leviathan has ever been recorded. And to merge it with the extensive weaponry it appears to have would be nearly impossible," Pilot announced.

"Give me a line to that ship's captain," John instructed. "And tell Crais to hang back until we can figure out a plan."

"Of course, John."

* * * * * *

"Dylan, the transport is hailing us and the corvette is moving behind to a defensive posture," Rommie announced as she brought the ship down to yellow alert.

"Put it on the main screen," Dylan instructed and moments later the image of a human in a flight suit filled his screen. "I'm Captain Dylan Hunt of the System's Commonwealth. This is my ship the Andromeda Ascendant. How can we help you?"

"I'm Commander John Crichton. This is Moya. First off I'd like to thank you for taking out that Peacekeeper ship. I don't think we could have done it alone."

"No problem," Dylan said casually. "All we did was return fire."

"Well, whatever. Next you can tell me how you managed to starburst into this system. Is your ship a leviathan hybrid or something?" Crichton asked.

"She is a heavy cruiser equipped with standard slip-drive technology. What is a leviathan?" Dylan asked, confused.

"This is a leviathan," the other man reported. "A bio-mechanoid, half- machine half-living."

"I don't believe I've ever heard of those, nor am I making the connection between having a leviathan and having slip-technology."

"Your 'slip-technology' is not a common thing around these parts. Only leviathans are able to use anything like it. Most ships have to travel the normal way, through space."

"I see," Dylan said as he leaned on his command console. "Why don't you and your crew come aboard later for dinner? We can discuss these matters more then."

"Actually, my crew would prefer not to remain here for too long. There is a Peacekeeper task force in the region, which has a lot more firepower than that destroyer," Commander Crichton announced. "And while I'm sure your ship could take out a good portion of a task force, there are three separate command carriers and a dozen battleships in this particular group."

"Very well," Dylan conceded. "What would you suggest?"

"There is a nebula not too far from here. Inside there is a commerce planet that boasts a sizeable anti-PK navy. We could go there for our 'rendezvous.'"

"All right," Dylan said as he signaled Rommie to begin scanning for warships. "Why don't you lead the way?"

"Our pleasure," Crichton said and then cut the coms."

"Tyr, keep an eye on that corvette. Rommie, I want you to launch some recon drones it a full sphere around our location and keep me updated. I'll be on the Obs Deck watching that ship." * * * * * *

"Do you really think it's a good idea to go aboard that ship?" Aeryn asked John as they walked down Moya's corridors toward the hanger.

"It'll be fine. We'll go over armed and tell them that we insist on having our weapons with us for our own safety. And besides, that's our meeting point with Dargo. If he gets back early or has sent us a message it would be a good idea to be there now rather than later," John said as he began his post-flight work on his prowler. "And besides, if Fleet Admiral Leshier decides to try and track us down, Alleghany would be the best place to be when she finds us."

"Agreed," Aeryn said as she began work on her own prowler. "But if this thing backfires it'll be your head I'm after."