After five years I'm back…
I don't want to bore everyone with a story that explains EVERYTHING that's conspired to keep me otherwise occupied. So, I'll just give you the short list.
- loosing a lot of my story ideas and fragments to repeated computer glitches. ( That kept me angry for a very long time. Seriously, it was almost like someone didn't want me to get any further!)
- massive amount of debt I now find myself in. ( Can you say, bill collectors calling 20 times a day…)
- new girlfriend, now living with said girlfriend, her three teenagers, and her father in-law that she takes care of. ( Yes, obviously I'm crazy.)
- two separate car accidents over the last couple of years. The second of which I'm still recovering from. (Not to mention that I'm now carless and on disability from work.)
So, you might be able to imagine that I've been distracted or just haven't felt really creative for a long time. I didn't just want to slap together a incoherent chapter just for the sake of updating PLAGUE. I promised myself when I started it that I wouldn't ever update with what I knew was crappy writing. Don't ask me why I'm coming back NOW, because I'm still not really sure myself. I just decided to dust off PLAGUE and force myself to start writing again.
Who knows, maybe not only will I be updating PLAGUE, but I'll also get around to starting the other crossover stories I've had in mind for years. I also wanted to warn everyone. I haven't actually done any creative writing in the last five years. My grammar and overall story telling ability maybe a little rusty until the creative juices really start to flow.J But, I'm hoping everyone will like part 6 as much as the previous parts.
So, without further delay… Part 6!
"My name is John Crichton... An astronaut... Three years ago I got shot through a wormhole... I'm in a distant part of the Universe... Aboard this living ship of escaped prisoners... My friends... I've made enemies... Powerful, dangerous... Now all I want is to find a way home... To warn Earth... Look upward and share the wonders I've seen"
A PLAGUE UPON THE GALAXY
Silence reigned onboard the Andromeda Ascendant. All accept the steady tone of the heart monitor, confirming that John Robert Crichton Jr. was indeed... dead.
My name is John Crichton... An astronaut... Three years ago I got shot through a wormhole, into a distant part of the universe.
John Crichton... scourge of the Uncharted Territories... killed by a device built by Human ancestors thousands of years ago.
A bit more anti-climactic than I imagined...
I guess I'd started believing my own press. Or that as Rygel once put it, That I was like a Talrarian roach, no matter how many times you tried to stomp them, it was never enough, they always found a way to survive.
Sparky always did have a way with words...
After all that I had been through over the last few years, I never would have imagined that this was how I would die. And I know that's what is happening. I know that my heart has stopped beating.
My mind is next...
I can feel my memories slipping way. Strange, the things that cross your mind when you're dying...
"My name is John Crichton..."
"I'm in a distant part of the Universe..."
"I've made enemies... Powerful, dangerous... Now all I want is to find a way home... To warn Earth..."
"Come on, Crichton, I've been to a few different places. Your world can't be
that hard to adjust to."
"I would love you... to come with me."
"The unconscious knowledge we've given you will guide you."
"You were already on the right path."
"From every point of entry...a wormhole branches into multiple paths. The subdivision continues until..."
"I gotta find my brother..."
"The subdivision continues until, at length you are deposited back into space-time."
"He's in this resistance thing..."
"The journey can be random, or with purpose."
"Destination... is the key."
"Are you suddenly becoming afraid?"
"Yes. Of the damage I can do, yes."
"Fear... fear is the correct answer."
"I am not Kirk, Spock, Luke, Buck, Flash, or Arthur frelling Dent. I am Dorothy Gayle from Kansas, and you are going to stay out of my way."
"I gotta find my brother. He's in this resistance thing and... and if I'm gonna find him..."
"Fear is your providence."
"When this is over... you're gonna take this crap outta my head."
"Someday... Should you survive."
As Crichton's dream began to focus, he found himself on the surface of a planet, standing in front of an old familiar looking building. After a few seconds he quickly recognized the structure for what it was. The old Crichton family home in Florida.
"Well, this is definitely new." Crichton thought to himself as he started to walk toward the front door. Reaching the door and finding it unlocked, John walked inside. The house was apparently empty. John walked through the house looking for signs of life. There was none. However, his attention was drawn to the sliding glass door that led out to the back porch. John opened it, stepping out into the back yard. The blazing Florida sun momentarily blinded him.
Using his forearm to block the sun, John looks around the wooden deck. At the far end he spots a silhouette. Small & defiantly female, john moved closer.
"Hello?" He asked.
The still unidentified woman turned toward him. Speaking his name in a soft & intimate tone. "John..."
The voice made John come to a stop. The voice. It was so familiar...
As his eyes finally adjusted to the light, lowering his arm, John found himself looking at an unexpected sight. A young woman with pale skin. Far too pale to belong to any human woman. The charcoal-tinted skin could only belong to a Nebari. A very specific Nebari.
"Chiana? Is that you?" John asked confused, never dreaming of Chiana & Home before.
"Of course it's me." She replied as she drew closer to him. "Who else would it be?"
"Chiana, I don't understand. What are you doing on Earth?" John asked Chiana, now standing only inches away.
Chiana looked up at John with an expression he'd never seen from her before, a look of unconditional love & happiness.
Chiana reached up with both hands, gently holding his face in her hands. "Where else would I be Johnny? I made you a promise. And I meant it. I love you, we're in this together... Until the end."
John looked down at his feet, not quite sure what to say after that. The look on Chiana's face was giving him a warm a fuzzy feeling in his chest. It was like nothing he'd ever felt before. It felt good. It felt right.
"Pip, I'm dying..." John said in soft acceptance, before looking back up.
Crichton unexpectedly found himself looking not at Chiana, but a different woman. She was a taller woman, looked to be in her late thirties to early forties. Standing around 5' 10"she had slightly wavy, Shoulder length black hair. She gave him a gentle and patient smile.
"Hello, John." She said in a soothing voice.
"Who...?" John asked, turning to face this woman.
"My name is Sanara. I'm sure that you have a great many questions, but we don't have much time. It is important that you listen to what I have to say." She said with some urgency.
John stood speechless, staring at the woman in front of him.
After quietly looking into John's eyes for several seconds, Sanara moved slowly, placing the palms of her hands against his cheeks. Much like Chiana had only moments earlier. A single tear fell from her eye and ran down her cheek.
After what seemed like ages to John, Sanara spoke. "Look at you... It's amazing... You've come so far..."
"What do you mean? I... don't understand." Stated Crichton, clearly confused.
"No, you don't. Not yet, But you will. It will take time, but when you do, you will never be the same. This I promise you, child."
"Look lady-" John started, before being cut off.
"Sanara." She responded. Politely insisting that he use her name.
"Right, Sanara, I'm not quite sure what's going on, but I don't have a lot of time for bullshit. So just tell me who you are and what you want, because I'm not sure how, but I know I'm dying." Demanded Crichton. Not wanting to spend what little time he had left playing twenty questions.
"You are mistaken, John. It isn't your time." Returned Sanara, with a soft, almost maternal smile.
"The Repository of Knowledge isn't killing you John."
"Repository... You mean that thing... it... it did something to me." said John, remembering the unpleasant experience.
"I know you are confused & frightened. You need not be. I will explain. The story that I'm about to tell you began millions of years ago. In a distant galaxy, there was a race of advanced beings called Lateran. My people. We had reached a point of advancement that eclipsed all other known races. Over many thousands of years, we had built a vast empire. However, as great as our empire was, it was reaching a breaking point.
A philosophical difference in our society had emerged. This difference split our empire in two. Between the Alterrans, who believed in science. And the Orii, who believed in religion. As the Orii's religious fervor grew, so did their rage against the nonbelievers. This rage grew until they decided to take action. They attempted to wipe us out. Rather than fight our brothers & sisters, we fled to this galaxy.
It did not take us long to find an isolated world full of plant and animal life. It was this world that we chose to call home, naming it Alterra. A great deal of time passed as we rebuilt our civilization, colonizing a great many worlds of this galaxy. In order to better sustain a civilization that literally spanned the galaxy, we built a vast network of stargates. However, our period of peace & prosperity was about to come to an end.
"Our civilization was struck suddenly and unexpectedly by a ravenous plague. After years of fruitless searching for a cure, we were forced to consider a grim possibility. That this plague could very well destroy us. It was necessary to take drastic steps to ensure the long term survival of our race. We evacuated Alterra, spending many years destroying every trace of the plague from our home-world. We then grafted our DNA onto the DNA of the primitive primates of Alterra. Then as difficult as it was, we left our beloved home. It was hoped that in the event that the plague destroyed us, that our descendants would continue on."
After several years of trying to isolate those that were infected, the infection rates began to drop. For a short time, we believed that we had finally saved our people from oblivion.
However, as we were busy congratulating ourselves on our own ingenuity, we made the mistake of lowering our guard. In only a matter of weeks the plague resurfaced. Millions died across countless worlds. The infection rate was hundreds of times of what it was before.
We once again faced extinction. It was decided that our original plan for Alterra, would in all likelihood not be enough. That we would need to take much more drastic measures to save ourselves.
That is when we turned our eyes toward a neighboring galaxy seemingly devoid of life. A colonization fleet was hastily assembled. We left our homes and so many of our brothers and sisters behind for this lifeless and equally nameless place. We left with the intention of never returning.
After we seeded a thousand worlds with the beginnings of life such as our own, we built a new stargate network. So that the life of these worlds could travel amongst the stars and prosper.
This changed when we discovered a dark and desolate world. We were unaware of the danger that slept there. Never before had we encountered a race of beings with a power that rivaled our own. We were unprepared for what we unknowingly unleashed. We quickly found ourselves greatly outnumbered. The Wraith fed upon the Human worlds we created, without mercy.
They continued to do so until the city of Atlantis was all that remained. The cities defenses were powerful enough to withstand the Wraith onslaught, but we remained under siege for many years. In an effort to save the last of our kind, we submerged our last great city into the ocean. The Atlantis Stargate was the one and only way to reach Alterra from that Galaxy. Those that remained used it to return to the world we once called home.
On Alterra the last survivors of Atlantis lived out the remainder of their lives. Atlantis was left to slumber, with the hope that our kind would one-day return to claim it. And now that you have, our hearts are filled with joy."
"Wow, that's... uh, wow."
"It was for you that the repository of knowledge was designed and built. So that when our children matured enough to explore the stars, they would discover this place. The place where they could learn of us & their own distant origins."
"These children... their world, you called it Alterra." Said John, already suspecting how the remainder of this conversation would play out.
"Yes, of course. Alterra, after our people."
"Alterran, Alterra, Terra, Terrans. Holy Hell! You- You're talking about Earth!" Crichton yelled out.
"Yes John, when I speak of our children, I'm speaking of Humanity." Stepping back from him, Sanara looked Crichton up and down, with barley contained tears. "You have come so far in such a short time... You can't begin to imagine how proud of you we all are. You bring honor & dignity to our name."
John shifted, suddenly feeling uncomfertable. "We're not as noble as you seem to think."
"You underestimate yourselves, John. You are greater then you realize. You are often at your best, when things are at their worst. It's a trait that will serve you well in the days ahead."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"John, whether or not you consciously realize it, a part of you already understands that things have changed for you. That when you leave this place, you will do so as a changed man. That the old John Crichton is gone. Your destiny now lies in a new direction. Not just for yourself, but Earth as well."
"What? I haven't-"
"John, stop. Quiet your mind. Can't you hear the voices, whispering at the edge of your consciousness?"
"Voices? What voices?" John asked nervously, at the thought of more uninvited guests in his mind.
"Our voices John. Concentrate. Hear them drifting through your mind with images, ideas, memories not your own."
"You... You're an Ancient. I mean a real Ancient." John stuttered, finally starting to understand. "That means that you... we're-"
"Yes John we're of the same race. Ancestor and descendant. You are our legacy."
"Holy shit... Ok, You're in my head because of whatever that thing on the wall did to me. I get that. The question is what do you want with me?"
"Only for you to remember us, John."
"Ok, so that thing grabbin' my face, a fancy super-duper library, right, got it. Then why are you here?"
"To make sure that our knowledge and technology doesn't fall into the wrong hands."
"And John Crichton, the universes chew toy, is the right hands What are you smokin' crack?"
"It was important to us that the Repository of Knowledge only be accessible by our children."
John stared at the woman as if she was speaking a foreign language.
"John, this is not all by random chance. It was Humanity's destiny to discover it's origins.. It always has been. We made sure of it. If not you, it would have been another."
John watched as Sanara closed her eyes and tipped her head back. It was obvious to him that she was enjoying having the sun caress her face. After a few seconds, Sanara opened her eyes. She had a sad but resigned expression on her face.
"John, it's time for me to go."
"And you as well. I know you are still confused, with many doubts, but believe me when I say everything will be alright. Go now." She said, nodding her head for John to look behind him.
John turned looking back at the house. Instead of seeing the back of the house with a open sliding glass door as expected, he was momentarily blinded by an intense light.
Once his eyes adjusted, John could see that everything other than the houses back deck, no longer existed.
He turned back toward Sanara, only to see her literally fading away. "Wait!"
"It's time, John." She finished, just as she disappeared completely.
John Crichton turned to face the light. After taking a deep breath, he started moving toward the light. As he drew closer, the light began to intensify. And as it did, John realized that all of his previous doubts & worries were fading away. A strange calm settled over him. He would no longer just survive. He now had a very specific reason to live.
To lead his people into a new age. And he had no intention of letting anyone or anything stand in his way.
As the blinding light overwhelmed his senses, John heard Sanara's voice one last time. "Remember, you're not alone. No matter what, we will be with you..."
Medical deck-Andromeda Ascendant
Standard Orbit-Paclarush Taonos
37 Hours 17 Minutes after Incident
The sound of the flat-lined heart monitor could still be heard throughout the medical bay almost fifteen minutes after John Crichton last took a breath. Al three incarnations of the Andromeda Ascendant were still staring at the body of their Captain.
Rommie bowed her head and closed her eyes. It was taking everything she had not to start screaming and keep screaming. Without looking up, she asked her other selves. "You know what this means don't you?"
Her core AI responded. "We're alone."
"Again." Finished Andromeda's HI.
"I can't do this again." Said Rommie, clearly in a great deal of anguish.
"Then, perhaps... perhaps we should end it." Suggested Andromeda's HI.
"You mean self destruct." Responded Andromeda's core AI.
At hearing this, Rommie opened her eyes and looked at her other selves. " I think that-"
She was interrupted by a blip from the heart monitor.
John Crichton was lying motionless on a medical bed in Andromeda's medical bay. He woke to find Rommie's face hovering above his own. The concern written on her face was obvious.
"Rommie, Why am I in medical?" Crichton asked, confused.
"The device, Sir. It did something to you..." Replied Rommie as she began running additional scans of her Captain.
"You don't remember?" Crichton shaking his head no prompted her to continue. "We went down to the planet. Inside the structure, there was a device. It did something to you."
Rommie hovered over her Captain, trying to determine what exactly that device did to her Captain. She was so focused on running medical scans of Crichton, that she didn't notice his movements until he restrained her hands.
"I'm Ok Rommie."
"Rommie, calm down." John said with a soft voice.
"Yes, Sir!" Rommie responded. Straightening herself into a more military manner. "Sorry Sir, but I should complete my scans. You did die..."
"Ok, if it would make you feel better. But later. I have something important to talk to you about."
"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. What did you want to talk about?"
"The Repository of knowledge."
"The dome down on the planet. It's an ancient Storage device. Designed to preserve the collective knowledge of an entire race."
"How do you know all this?"
"Sanara, told me."
Rommie tilted her head slightly, before asking. "Who?"
"Sanara. She was an Ancient. Her mind was apart of the Repository. It was designed to lie dormant until the right person discovered it. All the knowledge would then be given to that person."
"And that 'right' person is you?" Rommie asked, with her voice laced with skepticism.
"It's a long story..."
Rommie looked around the quiet and empty infirmary. "I got time..."
John smirked at her, before beginning. "Well, let me see..."
Ancient Outpost-Paclarush Taonos
Three days, Nine hours After Incident
Once again, John Crichton and his android companion stood in front of the Stargate.
"I'm not sure I'm comfortable with you back here again Captain."
"I'm perfectly fine Rommie." Crichton quickly responded.
"The last time you were here, this place-"
"This place gave me exactly what I need to protect myself and those I love." Replied Crichton, looking at the Stargate as if it was the Holy Grail.
"It nearly killed you John."
"Nearly, being the key word." Crichton said, as he moved to the nearby podium.
Rommie remained silent watching as her Captain pressed seven symbols on the podium in quick succession, after which each lit-up. He then pressed his open palm down on the large red dome in the center of the podium's surface, activating the Stargate. It came to life in a burst of energy that shot out several feet from the gate's center, before receding and stabilizing. What remained was what looked like a rippling pool of water.
Crichton moved to stand in front of the Stargate. He turned back to look at Rommie, who was now watching the rippling surface of the gate in curiosity.
"Rommie, when I died- I'm not the same man anymore. There was a reason I came back." John looked at the Stargates rippling surface. After a few seconds of gathering his thoughts, he continued. "It's not just to survive. It's going to be a long and difficult road. But if I know if I can see it through to the end, I can keep Earth safe."
The Stargate held Rommie's attention for a moment before her eye's shifted to John. He continued as he saw that he once again had her attention. "I'd feel a lot better having you watching my back, Rommie."
Rommie moved to stand beside Crichton before answering. "John, you're my Captain, my friend. That means I won't let you walk this path alone."
"Thanks Rommie, that means a lot to me." Replied John with a smile on his face.
They both moved toward the Stargate. Rommie stopped just short of the Stargate, putting a hand on John's arm halting him as well. "Wait, so just to be clear, what are we looking at here? Ensuring Earth's long term safety, dawn of a new age for the Human race, settling accounts with a few undesirables, a war or two?"
John looked around the Ancient outpost before letting his eyes lock with Rommie's.
"Yeah... Sure ok, we'll go with that..." John replied deadpan.
"Sounds like fun." Rommie replied with a growing smile.
"Really?" John questioned in mock surprise.
"Hey, I'm a warship..." Came Rommie's reply just before stepping through the Stargate.
"And I couldn't ask for better backup." John whispered to himself before he too stepped through the gate.