Author's Notes and Responses are at the end. Thanks!
Epilogue: The Seeds of Forever
Atlantis, Pegasus Galaxy, Wednesday, August 5th, 7 CE
McKay stepped through the shimmering gate a step behind Tess. The rest of the Commonwealth team followed. "Chara, Zalenka, let's go see what we have," Rodney said.
Almost immediately the lights in the city activated on their own accord as sensors detected life again in the long-abandoned city.
Tess merely wandered aimlessly through the floor until she arrived at a spot that spoke to her of much activity in the past. "Rodney," she called. "Here."
Rodney came without hesitation, and instantly started scrolling through information in the suddenly active screens. He and most of the research team were fluent in the Alteran language now, thanks to intensive study with Daniel Jackson, and he quickly saw what needed be done. "The city's reactivating across the board, but it's about out of power. Zalenka, if I'm reading this right, and I'm pretty sure I am, the ZPM chamber is here," he said, pointing to a map. "Looks like two ZPMs are out and the third is failing. You have the new ones?"
"Here!" the Chiss scientist called Chara said.
"Let's load them up then and get this place moving," Rodney said.
Tess leaned over and kissed his ear. "I love it when you play bossy," she said.
Atlantis, Pegasus Galaxy, Saturday, November 20th, 9 CE
"Wraith fleet, this is Admiral Paul Emerson of the United Commonwealth Alliance ship Dakara. You are approaching a world under Commonwealth protection. Depart immediately or you will be fired upon."
The five Wraith hive ships and their escorts made no response, nor did Emerson expect them to. However, forms had to be followed. In the two years since the Commonwealth established its presence in the Pegasus galaxy, human worlds suffering for ages under Wraith culling had flocked to the Commonwealth banner for protection.
In exchange for raw materials, food stuffs and personnel to train, the Commonwealth was glad enough to provide that protection to all. Except the Genii, of course, who proved they were as trustworthy as the Wraith. With all other worlds falling under Commonwealth protection, the Wraith fell hungrily into the Genii.
"This is Emerson to attack group," the Admiral said. "Europa and Io take point. Deploy primary weapons only after the Wraith have commenced firing. As far as we know these are their last hive ships. We're not going to commit genocide against a race unless they leave us no choice."
The Wraith, starved of human prey after wiping out the Genii, themselves had no choice. They fired everything they had and swarmed their massive hive ships and smaller attack ships against the Commonwealth attack group of five Heavy Command Carriers.
The carriers launched their fighters, and then fired their primary weapons.
The Wraith shields were equal in strength to original generation ha'tak vessels. They could no more repel the fire of twin superlasers than they could a supernova. The five large hive ships expanded into clouds of vapor. Moments later the attack cruisers followed, while fleets of F-505 Eagles made quick work of the Wraith darts.
"We just exterminated a species," Emerson said aloud after the last dart exploded. Then he groaned. "I'm going to have to write one helluva report."
Asuras Orbit, Pegasus Galaxy, Wednesday, May 4th, 10 CE
Siana Delun studied the creature named Oberoth before her carefully. Because of his synthetic nature, he had no presence in the Force. Instead she found herself studying his all-too-human body language.
"And you say to the Commonwealth that there can be no co-existence between humans and Replicators?" she asked.
Oberoth raised his chin. "None," he said with finality. "Your ancestors tried to obliterate us, but we rose from the ashes. Never again will we allow that threat to exist."
They sat alone aboard the newly commissioned Commonwealth cruiser Lantea, one of the new Pegasus-class heavy cruisers. The two-kilometer-long behemoth boasted four directional superlaser turrets and a whole string of turbolaser batteries. Already plans were in place to bring a shipyard into the Pegasus galaxy to begin construction of such ships here as well as the Milky Way.
Sitting there now, Siana knew from his expression that Oberoth had sent the order to launch the Asuran fleet. As if in confirmation, she could see streaks of light arcing up from the surface.
"You know you cannot win," Siana said urgently. "Ten thousand years, Oberoth! You have seen so much, done so much! Don't let your fate be sealed by ancient programming!"
"We are what we were created to be and more," Oberoth pronounced. "And we will never bow down before your people again!"
Over the intercom, the Commodore's voice announced: "City ships and Asuran cruisers have launched. We have drones incoming. Activating interphasic shields!"
Oberoth lunged suddenly, reaching his fingers toward her forehead. Siana responded instantly, and the human-form replicator screeched as Force-lightning seared through his nanoprocessors. Aside from the anti-replicator weapon produced by the Commonwealth Research Initiative, Force lightning was the next surest way to kill a replicator.
Oberoth, the leader of his people for ten centuries, toppled to the ground and broke into his component replicator nanites, essentially turning into metallic dust. "I'm so sorry," she said with genuine feeling.
The ship shuddered under the impact of the drones. The drones, identical versions of the Ancient drones, were the only known weapon that could impact and damage interphasic shields. Still, the combination of interphasic and Asgard-based shields provided the ship a protective layer not even drones could pierce immediately. "Master Delun," Commodore Archer said, "we're taking heavy fire. We show the city ships and cruisers are opening hyperspace windows. We project their course to be that of Lantea itself."
"I understand," she said. "Have the fleet drop interphasic shields and fire all weapons. Destroy everything." She walked to the transparisteel window looking down over the Asuran homeworld. "When that is done, deploy the anti-Replicator warheads. We're going to have to sterilize the planet."
"Understood," Archer said.
The city ship and cruiser shields were significant, equal at the least to Asgard shields. They were not, however, designed to repel continent-splitting superlasers. Two shots apiece were enough to destroy each city ship. All five were destroyed before even one could enter hyperspace. The cruisers quickly followed their city-ships into oblivion, although not before ripping through the shields of the UECS Dakara still serving in the Pegasus galaxy. Siana closed her eyes when she felt Admiral Emerson die. Much of his crew the rest of the task force was able to save, but not all.
"Engaging emergency beam-out!" Commodore Archer's voice said. "Seventy-five percent recovery. The last Asuran cruiser has been destroyed."
Moments later a series of warheads dropped from the base of the Commonwealth ships, searing down through the atmosphere. Each explosion spread the replicator-deadly radiation across the world.
In minutes, the last of the replicators in the universe would be gone. Siana shook her head sadly and left the conference room to return to her quarters. "Ten thousand years gone in the blink of an eye."
Coruscant, Corusca Galaxy, Stardate (32 two years Commonwealth Era)
Emperor Cade Skywalker and Empress Marasiah Fel stood together on the bridge of the Imperial Holon-class star destroyer as the invading fleet pounded through the first line of frigates and star destroyers guarding the center of the galactic empire.
The invaders, known as Shtalc, ripped straight through the rim worlds without pause, destroying everything in their path far more effectively than the Vong, or even the Ori, in their quest to cut the head off the galactic government.
Prince Cole Skywalker Fel was heading up the rear echelon of the defenses, with strict orders to evacuate himself, his sister, and as many civilians as possible should the Emperor's last stand fail.
For every enemy ship destroyed, two Imperial ships fell. And with over eight thousand enemy ships, they had numbers to spare. Cade turned when he felt his wife's hand in his. After twenty-six years of marriage, he and Marasiah knew each other so intently speech was unnecessary.
They knew they were about to die.
Suddenly Admiral Costol clambered out of the station pit. "Lord Emperor, new ships are coming out of hyperspace. The Commonwealth has arrived!"
The Imperial leaders turned and stepped quickly to the tactical station as the communication board lit up. "Imperial Fleet, this is Jedi Master Dana Scully, acting Admiral of the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force. In accordance with the treaty of Corusca signed in year 6 of the Commonwealth Era, we present this fleet for your common defense."
Cade remembered meeting Dana Scully during his brief visit to Earth right before his wedding. He remembered she was an attractive woman with red hair. Staring at her now, he was somewhat surprised to see she had aged hardly at all. The rumors he had heard from the Alliance about their top Jedi appeared to be true. "Master Scully, it is a true pleasure to see you. We can use any assistance you can provide."
"It's good to see you too, Master Cade," she said, referring to his old Jedi title. "Sit tight. We're going to start cutting them up. Have your fleet ready to start digesting the bites we cut off."
The five hundred ship expeditionary force of the United Commonwealth Alliance was heavily outnumbered, but when they fired a unified volley of ZPM-energized superlasers and five hundred Shtalc vaporized instantly, Cade felt a wave of immense relief.
"Admiral Costol, have the fleet concentrate fire on enemy ships isolated by the Commonwealth fire," he said.
"She looks good for a seventy-year-old woman," Marasiah noted.
"I understand it has to do with some Antaran manipulation of her genes," Cade said. "As far as I know, she and the other first Jedi of the Commonwealth may never die."
Gamma Quadrant, Commonwealth Galaxy, Stardate (289 Commonwealth Era)
"Your technological and biological distinctiveness will be made to service us. Prepare to be assimilated." The monotone chorus of the Borg transmission cut off as hundreds of cubes began to surround the ship.
"Borg Collection, this is Admiral James Kyle Kirk of the United Commonwealth Alliance ship Enterprise. After a unanimous vote of the Commonwealth Security Council and General Assembly, and with the consent of the Jedi Advisory Board, it has been determined that the Borg Collective is guilty of crimes against sentient species and is to be dissolved by any means necessary. Prepare to be disbanded."
"They do not appear to be interested in disbanding," Captain Spock noted.
"It would appear that way." Kirk turned to the other passenger on the spacious bridge of the Galaxy-class star dreadnaught UCA Enterprise SDA-17001. It was still Kirk's ship, just as the task force accompanying it were his ships. But having Spock as his captain brought many memories back to the famous admiral.
Those memories, however, faltered when he looked at their guest. Having a Jedi on his bridge was intimidating enough, but to have this Jedi on his bridge was enough to make even the famous Admiral Kirk sweat. "Master Jedi, you are here with the voice of the Security Council. Your orders?"
Jedi Master Maxwell Evans nodded and considered the horde of cubes beyond. Already they were firing their weapons against the integrated phase shields of the Enterprise and the rest of the UCA taskforce. He felt the twisted life in the ships and recoiled slightly from it. After centuries of following the ways of the Force, some things still surprised him. The Wraith, the Asuran-Replicators. And now the Borg.
"I believe I can locate the nexus of their control and command," Max said. "Every ship and system has redundancies, but they use a single hub to coordinate their actions. If we can reach it, we can end the threat." He stepped past the Admiral to one of the banks of computers and used the scanners to sort through the Borg fleet.
The ship shuddered mildly under the continuing onslaught of the Borg attack. The layers of phasic and standard shielding provided an almost unbreakable barrier, but they had sufficient study of the Borg to know that, should even one Commonwealth military craft be assimilated, the Borg would become an instant threat.
"There," he said, painting the target for all to see. "One HAAI torpedo should do it."
Admiral Kirk studied the marked spherical ship, buried deep within the enemy ranks. "Helm, take us in at full impulse. Shoulder a path for us."
The Enterprise bullied its way past the frantically firing Borg vessels, shrugging aside the incoming fire. The rest of the task force stayed in place. Finally, they came within firing range of the central ship. Almost immediately cubes moved to form a wall around the sphere ship.
"There is no choice," Max said. "We knew we would not be able to liberate the whole without sacrificing some."
With his leash off, Admiral Kirk said, "Communications, give me inter-fleet." With a ping, Kirk addressed the taskforce. "All ships, fire at will. Drill a hole for us. The moment the Sphere ship is exposed, we will fire the HAAI torpedo."
Antimatter compressed within magnetic beams lashed out in white streaks from the Enterprise's weapons banks. The antimatter struck the Borg cubes with immediate and overwhelming violence. One shot equaled one cube utterly destroyed, one after the other. More cubes moved to take their place as the entire Borg fleet collapsed to protect its nexus. Kirk, realizing that even the Enterprise would be hard pressed to break through, ordered the rest of the taskforce to engage the enemy. The dreadnoughts Commonwealth and Victory joined the Enterprise while the rest of the task force took up cardinal points around the center.
Even the debris of the destroyed ships became a problem. "Captain Spock," the weapons officer suddenly called, "we have an opening!"
Spock gave the order as Kirk watched.
A single torpedo left the Enterprise's tubes and immediately disappeared under phasic shields. It reappeared a moment later as it broke through the Borg cubes and struck the sphere ship.
There was no explosion. There was no sign at all of damage as the taskforce ceased firing. It was not a weapon of kinetic destruction. It was a weapon of electronic destruction.
The Hostile Anti-Artificial Intelligence suite contained in the torpedo instantly attacked the subspace communication network of the entire collective. It took only a matter of minutes until cubes began drifting without apparent control, many colliding with each other due to the sheer volume of ships.
"It's done," Max said. "Inform the rest of the task force that we're ready to start processing individual Borg."
The Admiral relayed the order, and in moments a fleet of almost five hundred unarmed vessels appeared. The ships were not even a third the size of a dreadnaught, but served a vital function. Within moments of their arrival, individual Borg drones disappeared from their cubes and reappeared in containment units without any of their implants or artificial appendages. Those that were able to survive without implants were considered viable for rehabilitation and resettlement to their home worlds.
Those that were not were immediately transferred to the morgue ship that accompanied each medical ship.
The expense was overwhelming and the process would take many months and even years, but in Max's mind it was the most acceptable way of removing this latest threat from the galaxy.
Swell, Nomerica, Terra Prime, Stardate 6 (1,256 years since Doomsday)
Four Master Jedi walked through the park. The sky overhead was a beautiful shade of cobalt while the distant lunar rings gave the moon a glimmering halo in the late afternoon sky.
Hundred year old trees, hybrids of juniper and Vulcan ssrok, rose up around them, while vines of wisteria hung in bloom from their twisting branches. Children played nearby, always keeping fascinated gazes on the Jedi.
In the twelve hundred years since the founding of the Commonwealth, the Jedi Order continued to play an important role as advisers. During a violent coup attempt that left much of the Commonwealth General Assembly dead or incapacitated, the Jedi even acted as the governing authority. It was a task the Jedi Council gladly turned back over to civilian control once the government was re-established.
In that time, the Commonwealth grew to encompass the entire galaxy which now shared its name, as well as a semi-autonomous sister Commonwealth in the nearby Pegasus Galaxy. They had defended themselves against a multitude of galactic invaders, and the worlds of the Commonwealth were prosperous and peaceful. Jedi had established themselves in a total of five galaxies now, counting two newly colonized galaxies between the Commonwealth and Corusca galaxies.
The four Masters watched it all, from the very beginning.
Upon first glance, the four didn't look any different than any other Jedi. They appeared to be in their mid- to late thirties. Healthy, attractive adults, paired off. And yet between them they had trained or had a hand in training every one of the ten thousand Jedi spread through the galaxies.
Now they returned home.
"That used to be the Crashdown," Max Evans said as he pointed to a repulsor-swing set filled with playing kids. The children were a mix of species, mostly human, but with a smattering of blue hair or an occasional ridge or horn.
Tess Harding took his hand and nodded. "I remember it."
Michael Guerin pointed to the spot where a large juniper grew. "And that was the high school."
By his side, Izzie Stevens nodded. This was never her home, but she could easily see it as it used to be through Michael's eyes.
The four shared something no one else on Earth save one shared—they were all first generation Antaran/Human hybrids. They did not realize in their youth what that meant. Even when others grew old while they did not, the truth did not hit them. Not until that day when Michael sat on the edge of Maria's bed, gently holding her age-spotted hand while she closed her eyes and slipped into the final sleep of extreme old age. She was over one hundred years old. He looked not even twenty-five.
Liz followed two months later.
The life spans of humans increased within two generations of the formation of the Commonwealth to over one hundred, with some living to see two centuries. But none could survive the length of time the four Jedi Masters had, with one exception.
She waited for them as they turned a corner on the path. She stood in a large open-air courtyard filled with fountains, and around her rose statues ten meters high each. On the statues were engraved the faces of Max and Isabel Evans, Michael Guerin, Tess Harding, Liz Evans, Izzie Stevens and Maria Deluca Guerin. The first of the Terran Jedi.
"So this is where you were born?" Dana Scully Mulder said. She looked around the verdant paradise of the place once known as Roswell, New Mexico. "Changed quite a bit from when I was last here."
Max and the others came and gave her a hug.
Like the others, Dana grew old without aging. Fox Mulder actually died in his early fifties of an unexpected aneurysm, so she was spared the pain of watching him wither away. When her sixtieth birthday came and went and she looked no different than the day Fox dragged her out of that Antaran mothership years before they discovered the Roswell kids, she thought back to a man named Clyde Bruckman, whom she met in 1995 of the old Earth calendar. He had the unique and morbid ability to predict with absolute certainty when someone was going to die.
When she asked Clyde when she would die, he simply said, "You don't."
It turned out, twelve hundred years later, that he was right.
The five of them stood quietly, basking in the glow of their age-old companionship and the power of the Force. They were the first Jedi on the planet, but not nearly the last.
They all felt a mild disturbance in the Force and shared a knowing glance. "Sianee must have read our note," Max said.
"Once she figured out what paper was," Izzie said with a chuckle. "I don't think she's ever seen such an anachronism."
The current grandmaster of the Jedi order was, by pure coincidence, a direct descendent of Siana Delun and Delvin Ostrael. And the current grandmaster had just received the news of a lifetime.
"She's attempting to get the Prime Minister out here to see us off," Tess said as she easily read the currents of the Force. After the centuries, each of them had attained a mastery of the Force beyond anything any other Jedi in any galaxy could claim.
"They won't make it," Max said. "I'm tired. I'm ready to go."
He reached out and took Tess's hand. Michael took Izzie's. Dana stood alone. As they waited, Dana could not help but appreciate the irony that after twelve hundred years, Max and Tess finally became the pair their biological families programmed them to be, and that Michael and Izzie formed the same bond originally intended for him and Izzie's fellow clone Isabel.
Nearby, the public transport station hummed as officials from the galactic government and Jedi council beamed in. They heard distant cries of surprise and even awe as the most important people of the government began running through the park.
The five of them said nothing and waited patiently, until they were five no longer. Without warning or fanfare, several more figures joined them.
Max looked to his right hand, and saw Liz standing there, smiling at him with love in his eyes. "I've taken good care of him, Liz," Tess said from his left side.
"I know you have, Tess," Liz said. "I've been watching."
Nearby, Maria Guerin stood beside Michael, opposite Izzie. "Hello, Spaceboy," she said with a wry, adoring smile.
"Hello, Daniel," Dana said with a smile when she looked down at another hand holding hers. The others shared their love for their long lost friend and comrade.
Daniel Jackson opened himself fully to their love as well. "Hello, my friends," he said. "We've all been waiting for you for a long time. Kyle, Siana, and so many others."
"We had things to do," Max said. "But we're done now."
"You're ready?" Daniel asked.
"We're ready," the other five said.
"Then let's go home," Liz said. "It's time."
The prime minister of the Commonwealth, flanked by the grandmaster of the Jedi order and dozens of Jedi and dignitaries, burst around the corner just in time to see five Jedi robes fall lightly to the floor of the park in front of the statues built to honor them.
Sianee Ostelun walked forward, her eyes moist, as she knelt between the robes. She knew why they did what they did, and could not bring herself to be angry over it, but still she felt a deep sadness. She knew the previous day when the five oldest human Jedi stepped into her office and invited her to a day of meditation that something was going to happen, but she had no idea it would be this.
Her greatest teachers, and the greatest Jedi, had chosen this day to ascend. If she had more knowledge of the pre-Commonwealth Era, however, she might have guessed. For this was January 25, the 1250th year anniversary of Doomsday, which was the first day they had used both their Antaran power and the Force together. It was the first day of their path to becoming Jedi, and today was the first day of their path to something greater.
"Goodbye, my friends," she said as she looked up into the sky.
FraserMage, RogueCanuck, Snowfur and Roosterman71, thank you all for your comments and reviews. It's hard to believe this story is finally done, after a year and a half of posting here and on TF.N, where it was nominated for Beyond the Saga Best Crossover. Didn't win, of course, since it was only peripherally Star Wars, but it was nice to get the nom.
Thank you all for reading and for all your kind words. I appreciate your support and reviews.
And please keep a look-out for my first non-crossover Star Wars story coming out soon!