By M. A. Jordan (Jade Rhade)
A/N: Sequel to Echoes of the Past. PLEASE READ 'ECHOES' FIRST! if you don't, you won't know who any of the o/c's are, and then you'll be confused as hell! This is going to be a more angst-y fic than 'Echoes', 'Omega', and 'Illusions' put together, so if you don't like angst, don't read 'Fallen'. You have been warned! I may split 'Fallen' into two parts: this is going to be my longest fic because the main plotline has been planned since the middle of 'Omega Blue'. If anyone has possible ideas, please, remember what Sesame Street taught us: sharing is good!
Disclaimer: Any songs/ lines I use at the beginning of each chapter are the property of whomever the hell I stole them from. Andromeda is the property of whoever's names scroll during the credits. (lucky them). :P
Note: Opening line belongs to George Lucas from the movie Star Wars: A New Hope.
"...it was as if
a million voices
cried out in terror,
and were suddenly silenced."
-Obi-Wan 'Ben' Kenobi
The ruins of Terazed drifted around the warship Andromeda Ascendant. Everything was silent; even the muted sounds of officers barking orders and the hiss of machinery seemed muted as if the very universe itself was shocked at this monstrosity. Freeze-dried corpses and wreckage of starships were mingled in with jagged rocks and remains of once-mighty towers. Time slowed.
The crew of the Andromeda was given no time to grieve. "Incoming swarmships," Andromeda announced, and time seemed to suddenly snap back into focus. "Hundreds of them, heading 106-"
"Missile tubes one through forty, fire!" Telemachus had a fire burning deep in his eyes. "Second salvo, fire!"
"Where are they coming from?" Dylan demanded.
"Unknown," Andromeda responded. "We're too far out for visuals."
Trance pointed at one of the blips on the viewscreen. "There," she said apprehensively. "It's the Worldship."
"Evasive maneuvers!" Beka reported. "We've got to get out of here!"
Telemachus's hand stopped halfway to firing a third salvo. "What about survivors?" he demanded. "Are we going to just abandon them to the mercy of the Magog?"
"We can't leave, even if we wanted to," Veghn Rhade, out of Trance by Gaheris, said softly, the silver child's tail flicking behind him. "They've blocked it."
"Slipstream?" Harper cried. "They've blocked the exit portals?"
Veghn nodded solemnly. "Like it or not, we must fight here. This is where the first battle will be."
"How do you know this?" Rommie asked.
Veghn shrugged modestly and looked sheepish. "I just do."
"There's too many swarmships," Telemachus said grimly, not looking up as his hands darted over his console. "I can't keep up with them all."
"Well, work harder," Dylan ordered.
Gaheris took Veghn by the hand and ran out of Command, pulling the boy along with him.
"Where are we going?" Veghn asked, literally bouncing along behind his father, his little feet making two strides for every one of the older Nietzschean's.
"You're going to get a crash course in how to use a forcelance," Gaheris answered, not looking back.
"Lieutenant Commander Rhade, stop!" a duty officer ran in front of Gaheris. "Why aren't you at your post?"
WAM! Gaheris punched the man between the eyes. "Wrong Rhade," he told the officer as the ma struggled to get up. "C'mon, Veghn." Rhade continued at his previous pace, but was once again stopped by the officer.
"If you're not the Lieutenant Commander, then who are you?"
Gaheris sighed and faced the man. "I am Gaheris Rhade, out of Majoram by Rhade, returned from the dead. Can your puny brain handle that?" He didn't wait for an answer, continuing on his way.
Finally making it to the weapons locker with no further interruptions, Gaheris pulled two forcelances down from the wall. "Hold these," he told the child.
Veghn took them obediently and started turning them around, studying them from every angle, eventually ending up pointing them at himself.
"Ah! Other way," Gaheris told him gently, turning it around. It was times like this Gaheris remembered that despite any supernaturalism, Veghn was still like a five-year-old Nietzschean. "Just point and shoot, Veghn. The firing stud is here. Point the opening at the Magog, hold that down, and blast them away."
Veghn was trembling slightly.
"Are you scared?" Gaheris asked softly.
Veghn shook his head and drew himself up. "Point, shoot. I can do it."
Gaheris took the boy's hand again. "We don't have much time. Let's go."
"Launching slipfighters," Andromeda announced.
"And Shadowdancer!" Nemay brushed his brown hair out of matching brown eyes. Nemay Flachar, out of Ursa by Flachar checked over the weapons control one more time.
"Increasing thrusters," Jade replied, slowly pushing a lever forward. As soon as the Shadow cleared the hanger, Jade Rhade, out of Majoram by Rhade pushed it to full power.
"Good to fly with you again, Jade." Nuria Fatima, out of Sierra by Tallis rolled her fighter in greeting.
"Don't do that!" The squadron commander was a Castallian, so much like Corrin that it almost broke Jade's heart.
"I have orders that these three are to be transferred to your ship, Commander Rhade," said the Castallian.
Jade's eyebrows rose. "Commander?"
She could almost hear him shrug. "Cap'n Hunt's orders. Guess you're reinstated with the Commonwealth."
"Sweet!" a female said over the comm.
"Is that you, Winter?"
"Achilles is here, Jade," said a male.
Three slipfighters broke off from the main group and got into formation around the Shadowdancer.
"Swarmships coming in at 106 degrees," someone on the Andromeda said into the comm. "Good luck, fighters."
"Engaging swarmships," Jade said, flipping her long hair over her shoulder and pushing the controls forward.
Xena moved off a few steps, motioning for Boa to follow. "When the Magog come through here, they'll be coming from all directions," she said in a low tone. "The corridors, the celing: everywhere. BE ready for anything."
Boa shrugged. "I know that. Why are you telling me what I already know?"
"A team is only as strong as its weakest member," Xena replied bluntly.
Boa's eyes narrowed. "You don't know what Nemay and I went through while you were off playing mercenary, do you?" He looked at her evenly. "Don't worry about me." For a moment the youthful innocence in his face faded away. "I've been through hell before, so don't talk to me about being the weakest member of the team. Been there, done that, and my older brother and younger sister had to pay the price."
"You're sure we can't Slip out of here?" Beka's fingers nervously tapped the Slipstream controls above her head.
Trance's lips twitched. "Try it."
Like someone had fired a starting gun, Beka pulled the controls down and attempted to enter the 'Stream. "Damn," she muttered as they shuddered violently until she eased off the controls and retracted them.
"Swarmships nearing," Andromeda announced, her image winking out to be replaced with a sea of red dots. Scattered among them were blue dots, representing the slipfighters.
"They're breaking through," Telemachus announced grimly. "I can't get them all."
"Evasive..." Beka trailed off as the engines whined feebly and shut down as she tried to pilot, "...maneuvers?"
Now Dylan was mad. "What the hell is going on?" he demanded.
"It's a gravity wave," Trance replied. "Issuing from the Worldship. It's holding us in place and preventing us from accessing the 'Stream. The slipfighters won't be affected at this range; they're too small. If they attempt to go anywhere near the Worldship, the strength of the wave will increase. The larger the ship, the harder the it affects it, like PSBs." She hesitated. "This wave is probably what destroyed Terazed."
Telemachus flinched, a barely perceptible motion, but otherwise displayed no outward emotion. He was still in shock, not ready to deal with that yet.
"We can't move at all?" Harper demanded.
"Nope," Beka replied.
"Don't you have somewhere to be, Mr. Harper?" Dylan asked firmly.
"Before you ask, it's not done!" Harper took one look at Dylan's face and amended his statement. "But I can finish it!" he added hurriedly.
"Why don't you go do that?" Dylan asked, his tone leaving no room for argument.
"Okay!" Harper ran out the door.
Far away, orbiting the yellow dwarf that had been Terazed's sun, the Worldship waited. Since the Andromeda had last encountered the Worldship, something new had been built onto it. It was a huge metal point on one of the planets. A wide opening in it spilled swarmships and smaller fighters.
Suddenly, two prongs that stuck out the top of the silvery metal began to glow with red light. Two beams of red energy spewed out and intersected, causing a large, ruby-red ray.
Exactly 4.2 seconds later, it impacted against the Andromeda.
A/N: yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have started Fallen Angel! the first maybe three chapters suck ass because I was just getting my muse started, but trust me, I'm working on chapter five now, and it's far more interesting. Bear with me!
As like my previous fics, I will be replying to reviews, but I can only do it if you (duh!) review! PLEASE! I will be taking ideas at this time, so if you have any, send 'em in!
Preview of Chap2: Andromeda is completely disabled, but do you like magic? I like magic.