Greetings all. This is my second attempt at fanfiction, and is a story idea that i've been thinking about for several months now. The story begins with a slight AU version of the events of Stargate Atlantis's Season 4 Episode "This Mortal Coil." I always thought it was a wonderful opportunity for a "what if" situation.
Those of you who have been keeping up with the show will recognise a number of the lines. While i have attempted to avoid paroting too much, it was necessary to use some of the show's lines. There will be a few more in the next few chapters but after the crossover starts then the dialogue will be almost completely original.
I hope you enjoy, and i would very much appreciate feedback and reviews!
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the authors. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I do not own the rights or characters to Stargate Atlantis or to Farscape.
Chapter 1a: Orbit of Asuras
Many thousands of km above the surface of the planet, the blackness of space was shattered, as a hyperspace window opened in a bright flash of tormented and swirling light. From within the center of the dazzling vortex a dark shape emerged at high speed, its silhouette blurry at first from the high velocity the ship was traveling at following its exit from Hyperspace.
The shape seemed to shorten as the ship decelerated rapidly to sub light speeds, the blurred outline swiftly becoming recognizable as that of an Aurora Class Battlecruiser. As the ship maneuvered swiftly into orbit a small craft, invisible to both sensors and the naked eye, detached itself from a point on the battle cruiser's upper hull. Banking sharply away from the much larger vessel, the jumper slipped stealthily into a geostationary orbit, far above one of the planets northern continents.
Inside the Puddle jumper, the woman who thought of herself as Elizabeth Weir leaned forward in her seat, to peer through the large forward viewport at the planet below. "Do you think they detected us?" she enquired, the concern clearly audible in her voice.
"If they did we'll know about it any moment now," replied the man in the pilot seat to her left. Since they had detached from the cruisers hull the pilot's eyes had rarely left the HUD, alert for any signs of trouble. To his relief, the holographic representation of the battlecruiser on his display had not altered course, after entering the planet's orbit it had instead begun to descend slowly into the upper atmosphere. Nevertheless he remained alert, conscious of how exposed they were, and all too aware of their lack of any means of escape should they be discovered.
Only when he was 'reasonably' certain that their arrival had gone unnoticed, did he allow himself to relax ever so slightly in his chair. Brushing a stray lock of dark hair out of his eyes, he called over his shoulder at the figure hunched over a laptop in the seat behind him, still not taking his eyes of the HUD.
"McKay, talk to me!"
"You were right, it's the Replicator home world, and it looks like they've been busy"
"What do you mean?"
"Well you know those shipyards we destroyed", said Rodney McKay, leaning forward and pressing his hand on the main console, so that the HUD changed to a view of the planet's surface, "that's one of them!"
For a moment there was total silence, as all eyes in the jumper gazed at the image being displayed. Finally Teyla broke the silence, "they rebuilt it", she exclaimed lamely.
Rodney simply gazed at her. With some difficulty he bit back a sarcastic comment, realizing it would not probably be well received under the circumstances. Running his fingers swiftly over the crystals on the console he altered the focus of the sensors, expanding the range to cover the entire area north of the replicator city.
"Let's see, I count maybe 50 slipways, each containing what looks like an aurora class under construction. A lot of them look finished, I'm detecting active reactor signatures."
"So they're building another fleet?"
"And then some!" McKay felt obliged to add.
"You heard what that Kellar look-alike said John, Oberoth and the others are targeting the wraith's food supply. They're building these ships to wipe out defenseless human worlds, because of what we did.
"And after that they'll go after earth, they hate us, they see us as a threat." Said Mckay.
Sheppard grimaced, all too aware of the Atlantis expedition's guilt. First he had reawakened the wraith, and now they had both made an enemy of the Asurans, and set the replicators loose on the humans of the Pegasus galaxy.
Angrily he pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind, right now was definitely not the time for a guilt trip. Anyway, it wasn't even him or the others who had actually done those things, but them, the original Sheppard, McKay Teyla and Weir.
Elizabeth caught his eye, she gave a sad smile, she had probably been thinking about exactly the same thing. She looked for a moment like she was about to say something, but in the end she just turned her head, and gazed once more upon the planet below, clearly deep in thought.
"Alright I'm going to take us down for a closer look. First things first, we need to find a way out of here." he said.
He pushed the Jumper into a smooth dive, heading for the shipyards to the east of the Replicator city.
"I take it you have an idea John?" said Weir.
Sheppard remained silent for a minute or two, as the jumper sank lower and lower into the planet's atmosphere. Then he gave a slight grin.
"I was thinking, since they've got so many of them now, maybe we can find a ship the replicators won't miss."
Aprox 5 seconds later
"You heard me McKay."
"That has got to be one of the stupidest things you have ever said".
"Calm down Rodney"
"No Elizabeth I will not calm down, I have no intention of being killed simply because ... well because John Sheppard has a desire to practice Grand Theft Spaceship."
Sheppard banked the Jumper smoothly, heading for the roof of a tall building on the edge of the city, one that overlooked the shipyards. He'd realized it was a rather risky idea as soon as he'd thought of it, but he really didn't think they had any other choice. His first attempt to try persuade Rodney of this though was naturally, unsuccessful.
"Rodney, if we don't get hold of a hyperspace capable ship, how are we going to contact Atlantis?, I doubt enormously that the replicators will just let us walk through their Stargate." Sheppard was accustomed to Rodney's blatant pessimism, but this continued negativity was starting to get to him. He guessed it had something to do with the whole "We're not who we thought we were" conversation they had had earlier.
"Yes, and they won't be just a little bit suspicious when one of their spaceships just happens to go walkabout, they'll probably destroy us before we even reach orbit".
"Do you have a better idea McKay?" There was a definite edge to Sheppard's voice now.
"Could we not wait for another ship to leave and then 'hitch a ride' like we did before?" Teyla's voice broke in on their conversation, calm and collected as always. The small Athosian woman had remained silent for much of the time since they had left hyperspace, but she spoke up now, clearly hoping to pour oil on the troubled waters.
McKay shook his head, for a moment he sounded quite calm.
"I've already considered that, the probability that the ship would arrive at a planet with a gate are mathematically slim. Plus, considering that the Replicators are fighting the Wraith at the moment, we're more likely to arrive in the middle of a battle. Something I have no great desire to experience by the way."
He started to speak again, but this time Sheppard swiftly cut him short!
"So Rodney, our only option if we want to get out of here alive therefore, is to maybe find a ship they won't miss! So why don't you stop complaining about our only even remotely possible plan, and find us a damn ship!" Sheppard practically shouted the last word, glaring at McKay, all the anger, fear and doubt of the last few hours had worn away at his usually calm demeanor.
McKay fell silent, he looked hurt for a moment and then gazed down at his tablet.
Sheppard had to concentrate on landing, but while he did so he was silently cursing himself. He shouldn't have lost his temper! McKay was clearly nervous, they were all on edge. Shouting wouldn't solve anything.
"Ronon", he called, "check what stores and weapons we've got back there will you."
As the cloaked jumper sank slowly towards the roof the only sound to be heard inside came only the noise of the Flightpods retracting into the hull. Then with a soft thud and slight clang of metal the Jumper touched down.
Inside the jumper Elizabeth Weir simply gazed out the forward viewport at the huge shipyards that stretched almost into the horizon. Ronon, assisted by Teyla had gone into the rear while Sheppard swiveled in his seat, turning to face the man behind him.
McKay was gazing at the screen of his tablet, his face blank.
Sheppard sighed slightly, assuming that his team member was deliberately ignoring him. He began anyway.
"Look Rodney, I'm sorry I lost my temper and shouted at you. It wasn't fair, and to be honest it's a rather crazy plan in the first place, but it's the only one i can think of"
Sheppard was going to carry on when McKay spoke, two curt short words.
Taken aback, Sheppard now looked closely and realized that McKay had clearly not heard a single word of what he had just said. The Scientists face was no longer a blank mask, Sheppard distinctly saw what looked momentarily like awe and then sudden fear flash across the other mans features. He was still gazing fixedly at the screen of his tablet, his eyes wide, his mouth slightly open.
Sheppard hurriedly got out of his seat, and stepped forwards so he could see what McKay was looking at.
Looking over Rodney's shoulder, he could not at first make sense of the characters flashing across the tablet's small screen. His grasp of ancient was rough, but practical. John couldn't exactly write a song in ancient but he could usually understand what consoles and displays were trying to tell him.
This time it was more than enough. When he eventually realized what McKay was so worked up about, his reaction was much the same.
While John Sheppard didn't exactly swear very loudly, in the quiet of the jumper the words rang out loud and clear.
"Crap!" "Ok that could be a problem."