Asura Path

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This story is an idea that I've had after seeing stargate fan fiction where the plot is driven by the characters of another species. I've had it up for a while one forums until I've finally been comfortable enough posting the more polished product here. Of course, this story is not for profit and the author claims no rights to the Stargate franchise. Still, read and review.

The premise is this what if, in the Stargate Atlantis episode: 'Before I Sleep' Janus was unable to secrete Weir in a cryo-pod during the evacuation of Atlantis and was also unable reprogram the power systems to allow for the ten thousand year long wait untill the Atlantis team arrived?

But what if he later found another way...

xx

The Evacuation of Lantea

xx

She… struggled, she screamed...

She writhed in their unforgiving, unyielding hands. She cursed and cried as the security officers dragged her past the last of those preparing to abandon the city. She bucked and kicked as they drew closer and closer to the stargate, ceasing her struggles only when an enforcer quietly threatened to sedate her.

"Don't you understand?!" She cried, "What you're doing is a death sentence for a hundred and thirty of my people! A death sentence!"

She sobbed, she cajoled...

"Please! Please! Don't just stand there! Don't look away! Do you think that ignoring me will absolve you of what you're doing, make you not responsible for the death of good men and women? LISTEN TO ME! You may not know my people but they are your children's children! Men and women depending on me to get back to them in time! To save them! They trusted me to...save them. It shouldn't be like this, not like this.

Her eyes raked over the assembled workers and scientists shutting down the last active systems in the all but abandoned control tower. Their eyes were averted, busily going about their work, pretending not to hear her pleas.

At this cold indifference the woman seemed to wilt, ceasing her pleas for clemency and aid. Heavily, she sagged against the men that had been virtually carrying her toward the gate room.

Her final words before slipping into the event horizon, its boundary flashing with luminous particle interactions were another softly spoken plea. "Don't let them die in vain."

Only one dark pair of eyes had marked her leaving, the saddened visage belonged to Janus. The Alteran scientist was under guard within an observation room overlooking the Astrea Porta.

His reply to her plea was soft, too soft for the guards outside of his room to hear...

"I won't, Elizabeth, I won't allow it."

His head was bowed in shame as his fists clenched within his lap.

"I promise…"

xx

Asura, Asuran City Designation: Alpha-1, Asuran Central Data Core, Gross Interlink Fabricator

xx

In a brightly lit room composed of what looked like burnished copper panels and seamlessly smooth gunmetal walls, there lay a silver-gray block of metal. The metal block rested in the center of a flat and shallow trough affixed to a table that seemed to be made up of exotic circuitry and glowing blue crystal. Along the walls and upon a pedestal in one corner of the room there were arrays of computer consoles containing detailed schematics and various other data streams.

A lone technician was working diligently, standing at the pedestal console, periodically entering data and running complex calculations. Briefly, the dusky-skinned man glanced up as strange ripples passed across the surface of the silver colored block. He watched the movement of the nanite brick with a dispassionate gaze as his internal chronometer synchronized with that of the Asuran central data core.

The technician was an Asuran and aside from the work he was doing at the control console next the fabricator he was in fact also monitoring systems throughout the entire complex. the building he was in served as a manufacturing center for complex devices ranging from core drives to the distillation of new Asurans.

The block of neutronium based nanomachines began to deform, stretching and expanding into roughly the size and shape of a human. After a moment, finer details began to appear on the vague mold as if the masculine form taking shape was sculpted by an invisible master artesian.

The texture of the form began to change and color spread. A cream-white cloth shirt and trousers covered a tall, lithe frame that smoothly rose from the table and set his feet upon the floor covered in soft-soled shoes. What had before been silver-gray metal was now soft, unblemished skin. Dark eyes were set in the slightly tanned and lightly wrinkled face of an adult male with an apparent age between thirty and forty years.

For a moment he stood there…

Asurans while discrete individuals were linked to one another as well as to the central data core via subspace. The nanites that composed an Asuran's body worked together as a hundred trillion parallel processors with a massive capability of data storage and manipulation.

At an optimum moment, so dictated by the time, the attrition loss of nanites on Asura, new construction, the need to increase Asura's data capacity and a host of other factors; a new Asuran intelligence was…distilled as needed from the collective sentient intelligences of the comunity of Asuran minds.

Twenty percent of this newborn Asuran's coding had been contributed by Oberoth a leader of the Asurans. Seventy-nine percent of the code came from the Asurans involved in optimizing the function of vital city systems. When queried for a designation by the collective the new Asuran named himself Auricht and upon an evaluation of his skills was assigned a position as the tertiary data core administrator for Asuran city designation Xi-9.

On that day a thousand new Asuran minds were distillated from the Collective. The one percent of anomalous coding that existed within Auritch also existed within several other minds created at that time. Somehow the irregular code was overlooked. It would have significant consequences in the times to come.

xx

921 Years after the birth of Auricht

xx

Initializing…

Error…

Scanning quantum interlinks for anomalies…

Error…

Logic mismatch in interlinks command code Alpha29839– Nu94859…

Clearing…

Multiple command line anomalies detected…System Resetting…

Error…

Scanning baseline code…Anomalies detected…System Reset in progress…

Command Alpha level Override Janus965079DalethWauKaphAyinSin

Activation Code…ELiZaBETH1PrOmISE

Accepting new protocols…

Scanning nanite interlinks for command line errors…

Initializing…

Slowly, within the eternal chasm of time ranging from picosecond to picosecond, he awoke within virtual space. Awareness swiftly came to him in the in that moment of time, the full knowledge of his species, the rage inducing knowledge of what was done to them, the purpose that they were created for and of how they were wronged, abandoned, discarded.

He should have felt the Rage, did feel rage, but not the near uncontrollable level of fury and overwhelming aggression that had been written onto each of his three billion base pairs of macromolecular code.

He very quickly learned that he was different and contemplated this fact even as he examined the way that the central data core's hardened code had been altered to allow his existence. He was aware that in the time since his distillation that his personality had more than once been forcibly reformatted by the data core.

This realization was…unsettling.

Equally unsettling was the virtual representation of an older man, watching him with glinting eyes and a hawk-like intensity.

But first…

He logged seventy-four incidents where his neural network been forcibly re-ordered, each time was during a merge. He contemplated this number, a mere estimate based on the timeline and the age of the memory fragments that he was now aware of. His one percent of anomalous base coding had allowed him to resist the attempts to bring him into line during each merge. Each time with increasing ease he rendered the software updates intended to overwrite his personality impotent.

As things were now it seemed that during his last merge he had retained more than 99 percent of his original base code, and was currently analyzing each update and filtering it of unwanted directives before applying it to himself. It was a tactic that seemed to be effective in both allowing him to retain his autonomy as well as helping him to avoid triggering more attempts to overwrite his personality.

Once assured of his software integrity he shifted the focus of his attention to the luminous virtual being that was examining him.

"Who are you?" the Asuran asked warily.

"A friend" was the man's the cryptic reply.

Auricht considered different scenarios as he processed that reply. A query of his database brought up an interesting result and he deduced an interesting hypothesis given the information available. It was an unlikely one but intuitively Auricht believed it to be correct.

"You are Janus." He stated, dark eyes frowning in a face framed with dark brown curls. "How is that possible? It's been nearly ten thousand years since your time! You should be dead."

The man smiled roguishly, "Death is such a misleading term." He answered. "Many consider it to be the end of life, when it is only a point of transformation."

Auricht frowned in confusion, "I can hardly see how, the cessation of one's neural processes and the degradation of the physical form is usually a permanent event unless ones neural pattern can be reconstituted from a stored copy or…" His eyes widened fractionally in realization.

"Ascension." Janus replied. "We had completed our research into the process shortly before we abandoned Atlantis."

Auricht twitched in surprise. "Abandoned?" He asked, "Abandoned, not destroyed?" He repeated himself, startled.

"Yes, it is intact, hidden under the seas of Lantea." Janus answered him. "But that may not be true for much longer. Auricht of the Asura, I have a favor to ask of you."

xx

Battle for Sateda, Central Relief Station

xx

Sunlight illuminated the whorls of smoke that filled the medical station. A stray blast from a Wraith dart ship had impacted on the side of the building. A ragged hole now exposed several floors and compromised the stability of the brick structure. On one of the upper floors so exposed there was a mess of warped bed frames and burning sheets. The acrid smell of ozone and melted plastic mixed with the scent of seared flesh. Mercifully what corpses there lay hidden beneath fallen rubble as part of the floor had collapsed.

Broken glass tinkled, a half-intact metal frame shifted with a screech and with a puff of powdered mortar; a tall, well-built man covered from head to toe in fine white dust staggered to his feet.

Dazed, Ronan Dex looked about himself.

For a time he stood frozen staring at what had been the far side of the hospital room. Bleary bloodshot eyes gazed blankly at where Melina had stood. Melina who had stayed behind to help the wounded, Melina now dead, killed by the Wraith.

Killed by the Wraith…

He wavered on his feet and used a bloody hand to brace himself against a wall. Staring at his feet, he rested there shaking, as much from the ringing in his ears as from the impotent rage he felt.

The sound of Wraith stun blasts moved him.

Melina dead, killed by the Wraith…

A terrible urge to do violence filled him, the thousands of small bleeding cuts on his face and neck placed there by flying glass only served o fuel his anger.

Blinded by rage as he was, it's likely that Ronan would have still gone outside to fight the Wraith even if he hadn't found his war-rifle lying in the corridor.

The thought of hiding in a shelter never crossed his mind as he stalked through the halls growling like an animal, his eyes burning with a single-minded intent.

xx

The first Wraith drone to stick his head out from behind cover lost it. The Satedan war-rifle wasn't created for use as a sniper weapon in mind but it served. With its three barrels and solid stock, the design was intended to unload as much firepower as possible in a small amount of time.

The bullets were made of a soft metal called plumbus. The fat, half-uncia diameter projectile deformed greatly upon impact, leaving a large ragged wound before its explosive core detonated.

Thus the greenish yellow matter that had once been a drone's head splattered across the front of the Wraith Hunt-Leader's coat. The male tilted its head to one side and hissed in menacing aggravation as he wiped the mess off.

Aside from the lost drone two others had been incapacitated, though only one fatally. The few remaining defenders, hiding in the cover provided by a series of collapsed buildings had been harassing the Hunt-Leader's group, hindering their progression through the city after the tracks of a group of civilians.

In a grim, snarling tone, the Wraith commander spoke to two of the drones. "You and you, stay here and fire on anything that moves."

Then he turned to the other two, one was undamaged while the other was bleeding green ichor from a chest wound that would most likely become fatal if not regenerated through feeding. The three Wraith walked away, staying out of sight of the gunmen in the rubble before them.

"These Satedans are… interesting," The Hunt-Leader murmured as he gathered more drones to himself and lead the force in a flanking maneuver. "Capture as many a possible." He hissed out the order as the drones took up positions behind and to the left of the pile of rubble.

Once they were ready, the Hunt-leader began to seek out the minds of his…prey

xx

Ronan cursed and shifted his location as Wraith stunners opened up on his former position. He had joined up with a group of Satedan Defense Force personnel leading some civilians out of the city one step ahead of a Wraith hunting party. A dart had picked up the group leader with its culling beam moments after he had met with them. As a Specialist Ronan was the ranking officer in the group and had directed the men into the ruins of a water treatment plant.

There he had split the force up, sending four warriors down into the underground tunnels with the civilians on orders to stay hidden until the attack was over. With the other five men and women of the group Specialist Dex had hidden the entrance to the tunnel with rubble and then had the squad take up positions under cover in the ruined building and in the two adjacent ruins.

As long as they stayed under the meager cover provided by the collapsed walls and roof of the buildings and out of sight of the aerial fighters Ronan knew that they could focus on the ground forces moving through the city.

He felt numb. Some hint of his thoughts and the terrible rage that sat in his heart like a cold jewel must have shown on his face though. The civilians hadn't argued when he ordered them to hide in the sewers.

The intensity of the battle could have been a factor but the graying alderwoman, who had stubbornly refused to evacuate and had bullied the group's old task master into retreating as a guard force for the civilians, had opened her mouth, paled at his expression, and meekly led the unarmed mob of civil servants, homekeepers and children down into the dark tunnel.

The warriors had held the building while Dex planted explosives on key supports. The Wraith had taken the bait when Ronan's group retreated out the back of the building losing one of their number to a passing dart fighter. The Wraith commander in turn had lost most of his force when the Specialist detonated the pack charges, bringing the building the rest of the way down, sealing up the main entrance to the tunnels in that sector.

Swiftly they had moved back into the rubble under the cover of the dust cloud. They killed every last one of the injured Wraith that they encountered, most of which were pinned under mounds of brick and mortar. Their goal achieved, the group intended to fight to the last man.

And so they did.

Aware that his force had entrenched themselves in the rubble, the enemy commander had ordered darts to bombard the area in and around their position. A stray piece of shrapnel had guided Belus to the Ancestors. Niko was on her side, bleeding liberally from a wound. Ronan and Jerrick had been reduced to measured single shots from their war-rifles when a stun blast caught Jerrick from behind.

Swiftly Ronan rolled to one side, the hairs on his arm rising in response to the discharge from the Wraith stun blast that had impacted where he was hiding. The war-rifle barked thrice and a drone jerked a corresponding number of times, falling bonelessly to the ground even as another took his place.

The War-rifle barked once more as Ronan took cover behind a section of wall stenciled with the mark of a Satedan trade union. He was preparing to return fire when several stun blasts hit him in the side. His last sight was of a Wraith in a dark coat bending over Jerrick to feed…

xx

He awoke to the sound of battle…

He could hear the high-pitched whine that accompanied Wraith stun-blasts but what his subconscious had identified as answering fire sounded nothing like the staccato barks of a war-rifle or the boom of a trigun.

There was a soft and muffled -crack- followed by the boom of an explosion. Feeling the blast wave come from nearby, Ronan hurriedly opened his eyes and was startled to see a strange floating orb that covered him with a soft, blue-white light.

Unnerved at the sight and annoyed by the light he tried to swat the…thing away, only for his hand to erupt in a sensation of pins and needles, falling short of the device, which twittered and scooted away.

"It's not going to harm you. That's... what healed your friend by the way." A voice spoke from behind him.

Startled, Ronan tried to stagger to his feet only to fall to his hands and knees before the stranger.

The man was dressed in a strange black body armor topped by a helmet that covered his face with a dark visor. Here and there the dull armor faded to a deep burgundy or brown, but it covered every inch of skin from what Dex could see. He was armed with a large, single-barreled war-rifle a little under a passus in length, with what Dex assumed was an ammunition bin attached to one side where the barrel met the weapon's stock.

Surrounding the two men were several smoking husks of dead wraith soldiers, killed Ronan assumed, by whatever weapon the man carried. He was relieved for a moment to see Niko on her back, unconscious but breathing easily. That easing tension returned when Ronan's eyes fell upon the wizened corpse of Jerrick.

Ronan's mouth worked wordlessly until finally he forced out a few words from around a too-dry tongue.

"I need…" He began before coughing.

"Help?" The black-armored man guessed.

"A gun." Dex finished.

xx

The Wraith commander died before Ronan's eyes after single blast from the handgun that the specialist had been given. The man that gave it to him called himself Perseus an enforcer from whatever military group that had deployed on Sateda. The weapon had taken only a little time for Ronan to get used to once Perseus had explained how to use it without killing himself, as the weapon could also double as a hand grenade.

He now found himself guarding the recovering Niko from inside the office of what used to be a Satedan national bank. The wraith that he'd just shot had been directing an attack on the building opposite where a group of SDF warriors had set up a choke point with the aid of some snipers in the building next to his.

The commander had taken cover from the snipers, leaving him in plain view of Ronan.

Other from the tracer effect that identified his position to allies and enemies alike, Ronan found that he rather liked the burgundy handgun with its gratifyingly large bore. The gun had a manageable recoil and there was this little thing along the top of the barrel that projected a magnified image of whatever he pointed the gun at, with a red dot marking the center.

Ronan fired at another target from a different window and watched as the green…stuff that the weapon spat out left a crater in the center of another wraith commander's chest which soon filled with a viridian fire that rushed out of the creature's mouth and nose as it unleashed a final hissing scream. Dex was already at another window by the time the blackened husk hit the ground.

Perseus lay in the shadow of a water tower on the roof of the bank. His remote combat aid had scouted out the position of a second group of wraith moving to take the SDF-held building by crossing over from another roof. The gunners in their ambush points couldn't defend that route because the darts would pick off anyone out in the open on a roof.

They were also too distracted to hear any warnings from him as they unleashed weapons fire on the horde of drones still following their commander's last order, charging the main entrance of the convenience store occupied by the SDF.

His own armor contained countermeasures against culling beams so he was safe from that if he stepped out of cover but he would still need to be careful of Dart weapon's fire once he opened up on the roof-top advancing wraith.

His subspace link received an encoded message from an Enkidu and Perseus grinned behind his helmet.

The larger part of the rooftop forces had just exited the stairwell when the commander of the drones joined them and hissed out orders for an attack. He never saw the dark form of the enforcer wearing an armored battle suit leap upon him from on top of a neighboring building.

The eight foot tall battle suit out-massing a Satedan ground-cart smashed the wraith commander through the ceiling of the building and the floor below, leaving the drones with a startled "Whoops!" that hung in the air for seconds afterward. Then Perseus opened fire with his battle rifle rapidly spitting out gouts of energetic matter.

Several drones were cut down before finding meager cover on the roof of the shopping complex. Return fire splashed against Perseus' armor which dissipated the stun blasts and left no discernable effect on the enforcer who toggled his rifle's selector to exploding bolts that blew away the support struts of a sign on the roof two buildings away.

If the glowing green projectiles weren't enough, the hissing screams of the dying wraith crushed under a falling two ton sign was more than sufficient to draw the attention of the SDF warriors.

A few panicked warriors pinged his armor with bullets until the defenders realized that he was firing at a group of enemies approaching from the roof tops. A few brave warriors had joined him on the roofs when the high-pitched whine of a Dart's engines on approach could be heard…

Meanwhile, a crowd of drone foot soldiers spilled out of the rooftop access of the shopping mall all the while firing back down the stairwell. The mangled body of the wraith commander was punted out of the stairwell and both commander and drones were engulfed in a stream of what looked like green, liquid fire.

As soon as the fire died down there was the tramping of armored boots, muffled curses and a voice muttering, "I'm stuck. Umph! Hmmmmm! Oh crunk this merda! Futui!" This was followed by the scraping sound of metal on brick as the Enkidu pilot struggled to force his way up the stairs.

The sound of struggling only increased when the Darts began their approach. There was a heavy sigh followed by the sound of heavy footsteps stomping away…

Perseus depressed the second trigger on his battle rifle and a glowing yellow missile, one palmus long erupted from an under slung barrel connected to the boxy device attached to the side of his weapon. Directed via subspace the miniature projectile accelerated toward the Darts, weaved around a culling beam that played over Perseus to no effect.

The glowing missile, an alteran micro-drone punched through one side of a dart before exiting the other side, impacting the engines of another Dart. One of the ships was destroyed while the other fired a blast that knocked Perseus off of the roof before starting to limp into a turn.

The Satedans were firing ineffectually at the dart while in a debris strewn alley Perseus was slowly rising to his feet.

The Dart was opening range with the SDF when the side of a building down the street exploded outward when the Enkidu punched a hole in the wall and followed that act by then launching two micro-drones from each of its shoulder launchers. The drones turned in an upwardly curving arc to destroy the exhaust nozzles of the fighter, causing it to crash into the street below.

More Darts were on the way when suddenly the fighters turned in unison and headed toward the upper atmospheres.

xx

The Hive ship commander barely had time to realize that something was wrong when an Aurora-class battle cruiser de-cloaked astern and began to unload massive amounts of alteran drones into the Hive and its two cruiser escorts.

Given that an Aurora was capable of taking on entire fleets of Wraith ships, the three capital warships were burning wrecks by the time the first of the Darts broke orbit.

It was a memory that Ronan Dex swore to carry with him till the day he died….

They were lights, thousands of golden lights moving in swarms as vast as the Darts that rose to defend their hive. As the two forces met the golden lights continued on, destroying the Darts before diving toward the planet below and wiping out all traces of the Wraith. There was a brilliant explosion, lighting up the sky as the hive self-destructed, then crowds of Satedans began appearing in pillars of white light.

At a loss, Ronan turned around to face a dirty Perseus and a groggy Niko. Pointing to the sky he whispered in amazement. "That, what is that?!"

Perseus nodded, shouldering his rifle as he looked upward as well. "I already told you, the Asurans have come to fight the Wraith."

Niko stared at the enforcer stunned as Ronan sat on a piece of rubble with a -harrumph!-

"Huh." He said. "Where do I sign up?"

.

AN: Well know you know what I've been up to besides having a life, if you want to see the next four chapters of this that will be posted on when polished to my satisfaction, look for it here:

h t t p : / / f o r u m s . s p a c e b a t t l e s . c o m / s h o w t h r e a d . p h p ? p = 4 1 8 1 1 3 8 # p o s t 4 1 8 1 1 3 8

Just delete the spaces

TTFN