Episode 13 – Tempus Fugit (1/3)
A/N: Behold! The highly anticipated "Tempus Fugit" Crossover Episode with Stargate: Aurora, which is written by the infamous "TheLegate" or "Lantean General" from GateWorld. Believe me when I say that his stories have both a deep level of thought, and such classic phrases as "One Astria Porta short of a gate network." LOL This Story takes place during… an episode of Stargate Aurora and contains very minor spoilers (oohhh obvious foreshadowing!)
Thanks to "TheLegate" for canonizing this story! As well as Neela and TheIceMenace for betaing! :D
193 days in Hoag's Object
Janus: "It would take years for my device to eliminate the Wraith entirely. And in that time, I project that approximately sixty percent of the Astria Portas in this galaxy would suffer the same fate."
Daniel Jackson: "What!? But that's… how could…?"
Janus: "And now you see my dilemma. I am of two minds, two faces, and two entirely different potential futures."
Daniel Jackson: "Oh, you of all people being of 'two faces'? Ohh The irony… it's so sharp… Ow! Oh the pain…! I'll have to remember to write that one down once I stop the bleeding!"
"So the Olim have agreed to our trade agreements?"
Sam shrugged and sighed. "Well, Aulus seems pretty even handed. The way their culture works is a strange mix of democracy and feudalism. They have a ruling council which Aulus and Menalus are part of, but each has autonomous control of the people under their command."
To the side of the conference room, Larrin chuckled to herself. "Sorta like us. Only reason we're not splitting is we don't know what's out there. The second those Olim bastards accept us, you can bet at least five ships are leaving. We need to be prepared for that."
John sat on the other side of the conference room slicing up a pineapple the Travelers had brought from their second trip to "Outpost Zeta Twelve" with his combat knife. He passed out slices as he spoke "The Olim were pretty clear what they wanted from us. Weapons and Energy production. Not like we could tell them how to build ZPMs."
Beside John, Daniel piped in during the command briefing after taking a bite. "Well at least they agreed to cultural exchange before anything else. The food'll help too since most of our crops off-world are giving us problems."
Sam nodded and rubbed her hands. "That shouldn't be too much of a problem for longer." She turned to John and sighed irritably. "The planet 'Outpost Zeta Twelve' is on had dozens of different kinds of vegetation. We've recovered enough to last us a few weeks if we freeze dry it and the seeds will likely germinate better than the Pegasus crops we've brought."
Handing her a slice of Pineapple, John smirked. "Too bad spider tastes nasty, we'd have plenty of meat for once."
Sam shuddered as she thought about it. The report sitting on her desk wasn't pretty.
Marks, who had asked the original question about trade agreements, sighed as he leaned on the table while standing. "Do they know about Daedalus? Or any of our ship's capabilities?" He then took a bite of the slice of pineapple John had handed him.
Sam shook her head. "No. they know we have ships, but not how many or what they're capable of. It's not like our energy weapons will do them any good against the Shade."
Daniel furrowed his brow and leaned forward. "Are you saying they're asking us for weapons that can be used against us?"
Larrin gave Daniel a sweet looking smile and deadpanned. "Unless there's another alien race that's trying to kill them out there, can't see who else."
Marks shook his head and growled. "No… I'm not giving them any weapons. Their railguns are better than ours, so I don't see why else they'd want them."
John nodded and said. "They've got a lot more ships too, and they know this galaxy. We might have technological superiority, but then again so did the Lanteans and look where they ended up.'"
Daniel groaned and held his hands up. "Now wait just a minute! Two minutes ago we're talking trade, and now we're gauging what kind of threat they are?" Daniel turned to John. "We know next to nothing about what happened to make the Lanteans lose. Ronon said that Todd told him the cloning facility gave them the edge, but we've seen what an Aurora can do to a Hive. There has to be a reason they lost that doesn't have to do with combat at all."
Everyone looked to each other, and finally Sam groaned as she rubbed her forehead. "I think we need a break. Menalus really pissed me off and I could really use some food." She looked to everyone around here. "Lunch?"
Everyone nodded. The meeting had taken awhile and, despite having solidified plans for certain aspects of the city, there was still much more to go over.
Daniel pushed himself up out of the chair, and nodded to Sam as she limped out of the room towards her office. Carson had finally agreed that with a crutch, she could walk around, but Daniel still kept an eye on his stubborn friend.
But he also kept an eye on John, and he noticed that he and Larrin had just shared a rather… intense look. For a moment Daniel wondered if what Cameron had told him about John and a cardboard box was true, but then he saw that it wasn't a… charged look. Rather it was one of distaste. Maybe there wasn't a bottle of tequila involved.
Stopping John before he could leave the room, Daniel put a hand on his shoulder. "Ummm John?"
The lieutenant colonel stopped and nodded. "Yeah?"
Daniel bit his lower lip and looked back to see both Sam and Larrin having a quick little laugh before separating at the top of the stairs to the gateroom. It was a delicate question and he had to word it properly. "John… your personal life is no business of mine… but Sam is family and…" Gulping now, realizing he might be angering a relatively unstable force of nature, Daniel meekly finished. "…and I just don't want to see her hurt."
John blinked a few times and remained impassive, His voice had the edge of anger to them though. "You don't trust me?"
Being diplomatic was a talent of Daniel's, so he used it. "I didn't say that. And I do trust you…" He wet his suddenly dry lips and wished he hadn't said anything. "I just… see things."
Realizing that Daniel had seen the animosity that had grown between him and Larrin, John sighed. "You know… if you were anyone else except maybe Ronon, I'd tell you to stick it." Looking away from Daniel, John cracked his knuckles by forming a fist. "Not here… come to my office later and… and we'll talk."
Not letting Daniel continue, John pushed past him and moved off.
Daniel sighed, realized he'd just stepped into another flaming bag of awkwardness, and walked into the control room where Chuck and Laura were seated at the console near the back. "Hey."
Both Laura and Chuck looked up and smiled. "Hey Jackson."
Looking over at the screen, Daniel mused. "How're you doing?"
Laura could tell the question was aimed at her, and she sighed softly. "I'm okay… Carson won't let me go anywhere on my own except to bed…" She snickered at her own humor. "…so Chucky here's giving me his cliff notes on the inventory system."
Chuck rolled his eyes and gave Laura a small shove. "He won't let anyone tuck you in because you sleep nak…" Laura quickly shoved back and gave him a pointed stare. Chuck laughed and looked to Daniel. "She's fine Jackson, just needs some downtime. Something I can do for you?"
Daniel smiled at the odd camaraderie he saw. Chuck was friendly with everyone and he couldn't think of anyone who didn't like him. "Actually yes, where is Rafaela and the science team today? She said she found some Ancient devices and wanted me to take a look at them."
Chuck nodded and took control of the console from Laura. "Yeah, just gimme a second." He turned slightly to Laura as he shut down the window she had open. "Don't worry Boom-Boom, class isn't over."
Oddly enough to Daniel, Laura simply laughed and poked Chuck's face in retaliation. She coughed softly and held her side for a moment, but seemed in better condition than the last time Daniel had seen her.
It was heartening to know that everyone was close enough to play around like this. It reminded him of his time on SG1, and the way a small group of people could bond so well. It wasn't the same though, and Daniel began to wonder.
Chuck brought up the information and pointed it out to Daniel. "Here you go… Ella's in Tower D-2 on the East Pier. Room N-4 today. It's one of those storage labs."
Daniel nodded and patted the console twice before pushing off. "Thanks guys! Get better, Laura!"
"Thanks! Bye, Daniel!"
Parting amicably, Daniel sighed seeing Sam sitting in her office going over the transcript the computer had taken of the negotiation that morning with the Olim. It was turning out to be a learning experience for both as the Olim were not used to negotiating with any other culture. She'd probably come find him for lunch soon.
By far Daniel was the one who found them the most interesting. An entire nomadic style culture with space faring technology. Oddly similar to the Travelers yet very different at the same time.
So far the only things the Olim had shown them were the militaristic natures and abilities they had. Daniel was itching to go to their "Homeworld" to see them in their natural environment.
It may have sounded like a zoological experiment, but Daniel didn't mean it offensively. He was just honestly curious how a race like the Olim lived.
"Hey Daniel! How you doing?"
Shrugging, Daniel walked into the lab and smiled at Rafaela. "Not bad, nice to be on Atlantis again."
Rafaela nodded and motioned for him to come closer. "I'll bet. Not to be offensive or anything, but I can't imagine what it's like on the mainland in Teyla's village."
Not offended in the slightest, Daniel walked around and stood behind Rafaela as she cataloged different items she'd found in this storage room. "It's okay. The Travelers have their own settlement nearby in the Ancient Outpost, so we're never on our own. I'll admit, sometimes I miss the bidets here."
Rafaela groaned exaggeratedly and chuckled. "Aww I don't wanna hear that!"
Daniel smiled back and put a hand on her shoulder. It was the kind of joke he'd gotten used to from hanging around the marines too much. On that note… "So hey... how's the new team doing?"
Rafaela shrugged a bit, then picked up a round object from the table. "Still getting used to it… The bugs were nasty but I know not every planet's like that. I liked last week when we went to see the refugees."
Daniel had heard about the… difficulties on that mission from Reyna and lowered his voice. "Sure everything's okay? I know marines can be… insensitive." Daniel thought to the soldiers he knew: Jack, Sam, John, Marks… all command level and very pleasant… Well… except for that bit about the Wraith-Lantean war earlier today, but that was different.
The issue had passed in Rafaela's mind. She'd had a nice long talk with her team around Reyna's infirmary bed and things were nice now. She handed Daniel a round metal object on the table. "Yeah… a few glitches, but for the most pa…"
Daniel had just grabbed a hold of the metal ball when he felt a surge of energy creep up his arm and along his body. Before he could say anything else, a strange blur came to his vision and he had to shake his head to clear it.
Rafaela was gone, as were the other Traveler technicians around him. In fact, apart from the ball in his hand, Daniel now realized he was in a completely different room. In fact, despite the Lantean design, something felt… very odd. "Rafaela?"
Daniel turned around, and noticed that he'd somehow been teleported into another lab. The air felt more processed as well, a slight metallic tang to it.
Around him were plenty of smaller consoles, some with gadgetry attached, and others with Lantean symbols scrolling across. Something felt very odd indeed.
Just as Daniel was about to exit the room to look around, he felt the entire room shake suddenly as if rocked by a tidal wave. Atlantis was massive so anything that could move it was likely very dangerous.
Seeing a likely looking console near the center of the lab, Daniel interfaced with it and tapped on the control panel. It was strange; the language displayed was Lantean instead of the English the expedition had translated. He noted one symbol that said "Voice Interface" so he tapped it, hoping to get information faster.
His radio only gave static, so Daniel knew things were likely very wrong. "Hello?"
The computer chimed and a pleasant voice replied. "Voice Interface online. Local Datastream available."
Daniel furrowed his brow. "Datastream?"
"Widenet Datastream currently unavailable, combat conditions persist."
That got Daniel's attention, "Combat? What's going on?"
The screen changed to a map that showed something that looked oddly like Atlantis in orbit, along with about a dozen white dots and three or four red dots. Daniel could hardly read the print, as it seemed to be a dialect of Lantean he hadn't come across. Almost like a military code. "Uhh… what does this mean?"
"Unable to respond. Query not understood. Would user like to see live feed?"
Shrugging, Daniel nodded to himself. "Sure."
Instead of the screen changing, the floor itself suddenly seemed to lose its opacity and became translucent. Instinctively Daniel leapt up onto the table and gasped at the sight below him.
He'd once traveled to Toronto, Canada and stood on the glass floor of the CN tower. This felt ten times worse.
Below him, Daniel watched as what looked like a Lantean Warship in the distance fired a swarm of drones amid yellow laser fire. Small explosions dotted the space around them and his view shifted as the ship he was on maneuvered.
The drones spread out into a star formation, and Daniel felt awed as he saw the drones converge from all sides on a Wraith Hive, peeling the hull like some kind of play-doh mold and lighting up the skies with the resulting explosions.
Moving again, the view through the transparent floor moved and now showed a green and blue planet… and almost two dozen craft burning in orbit. Wraith Darts flew around intercepting drones, running kamikaze runs, and causing mayhem for the Lantean warships.
Daniel only recognized the Aurora class ships, but there were at least 3 other types, most of them smaller, but all damaged and some even nothing more than burnt out husks of metal.
After seeing the Hive get literally shredded like a pineapple, Daniel questioned exactly how so many Lantean ships could have been destroyed. He watched in awe as more drones flew around, all surrounded by yellow laser fire burning the skies.
Two more hives came into view, both firing dozens of turrets off to the side. What they were shooting at was unknown, but it took mere moments for the new swarm of drones to perforate the pair of hives in a helix flight path; both ships listed to the side before tearing apart from the sudden lack of structural integrity.
Finally finding his voice, Daniel could hardly whisper. "Where am I?"
The datastream replied. "Lantean Warship Thor. Currently in orbit of Elyssia Shipyards."
Daniel couldn't believe it. So many questions and not nearly enough answers. "Elyssia?"
The view underneath Daniel shifted again, and the view of the Atlantis shaped object he'd seen earlier became clear. "Oh my…" In orbit of the planet, was a space station that looked like the snowflake bottom of Atlantis. It was burning up and slowly tearing itself apart under its own gravimetric forces. Burning husks of ships dotted his vision, more than Daniel had ever seene before. "Wha… What is that?"
The computer answered in a disturbingly cheerful voice. "Object currently in view is the Elyssia Shipyards. Their shield generator has been overloaded and damage is extensive. LWS Thor is currently moving to assist survivors."
Now realizing that he was somewhere very dangerous, Daniel had to try and figure out when he was. "What… what time is this? What year is it?"
"Time is currently 1357 Standard Galactic, Year is currently sixty five million three hundred and twenty one thousand and twenty post exodus, Currently ninety ninth year of the Wraith-Lantean War." Doing the figures in his head from what he'd learned in the Atlantis database, Daniel figured out when he as. "OH crap…"
He was ten thousand years in the past… and even worse, at the very end of the Wraith Lantean war… the war the Lanteans lost.
Twenty minutes had passed until Daniel finally figured out how to close the viewscreen below him. Whether it was just a screen or the metal itself had become transparent was unknown to him.
Ten thousand years. Daniel had done the time travelling thing before but this was ridiculous! He'd spent now almost three minutes trying to get the ball in his hands to work again, because it HAD to be what got him here. But it seemed it was out of power or just wasn't working since he remained where he was, on the Lantean Warship Thor.
As amusing as memories of the old Asgard friend of his was, getting back to his own time seemed a little more important.
"Hey! Who are you?" Daniel turned, and was unbelievably glad that he was wearing a mix of Traveler clothing that seemed oddly reminiscent of the Lantean fashion. The Lantean before him held a small basket of tools and gave him an odd look. "Civilians are not allowed on this deck."
Daniel quickly thought of all the old movies he'd been watching since getting into Hoag's object. There had to be a way of getting out of this. In the end, he decided to just go with a classic. "Uhh, I'm not a civilian. My name is… Olo... Hans Olo. I'm here under orders from…" now thinking of the most Lantean name he could, ironically, the Olim were the first to come to mind. "… Aulus! I'm here under orders from Aulus Centaurus to um… assess the situation."
The Lantean blinked twice before nodding idly. "Oh… very well… I have not heard of Commander Centaurus but with all the crew changes… What rank do you hold?"
Panic was setting in now. Daniel instantly opened the Lantean dictionary in his mind and for the first time, drew a complete blank. So he pulled a page from the Jack O'Neill portion of his mind. "That's classified actually. But I'm not intruding on any ship operations."
The technician seemed more confused than anything else, but he seemed to be buying the explanation, even if it was just out of fear that Daniel might be telling the truth. "Oh… You mean…" the fear in the man's voice became clear. "You don't mean…' He gulped. "Oh ascended ancestors… you're an operative assistant aren't you?"
Before Daniel could say anything to explain, the technician held a hand up as he retreated. "Wait! I'm…"
Shaking his head vehemently, the technician retreated. "No no! I'll forget I saw you! No one will know you're here!"
The door closed behind the timid technician, and Daniel groaned to himself. Even though he wouldn't be born for another ten thousand years give or take a few decades, he could still feel Jack's vaunted laughter at this situation.
Rubbing his face, Daniel realized that he'd have to leave this room eventually, and find someway of getting back. The technician seemed to think he was a Lantean so Daniel decided to try and play that part up. He looked to the computer and continued asking questions. "Computer, who uses this lab?" It seemed like a good question. The ball had brought him here for a reason so it made sense to ask.
The computer replied in its cheerful voice. "Lab is currently designated general use. No specific scientist or technicians have been allocated this space."
Daniel growled irritably. There goes that possible solution. "Do you have any idea where whoever uses this lab might be?"
"All scientists and technicians have been recalled to the planet for repair of ground component of the Elyssia Shipyards. Gateship transportation has been requisitioned from LWS Tria. LWS Aurora and surviving gateships from LSS Elyssia."
Technicians and Scientists… Someone had to know how this ball worked. Daniel pocketed it quickly and looked to the computer one last time. "Uhh, could you show me a map of how to get to those gateships?"
The screen changed and showed a map of the craft. The blue of the ship outlined the red path Daniel had to take. "Hanger is 2 levels below and directly to the stern of the craft."
Blowing a sigh, and once again cursing time travel, Daniel left the lab in the direction of the hanger. By gods or ancestors or whatever the hell the Lanteans worshipped, Daniel was going to figure a way out of this mess if it killed him… Hmm, maybe watching the Simpsons to reminisce about Earth wasn't the smartest thing to do…
"If you're heading down to the planet, form up and go where you're told! Gateships have maximum of 16, Troop Transports Maximum of 50!"
Daniel tried his best to look inconspicuous, but he realized that given the situation devolving around him, it wouldn't be difficult. It had been almost an hour and a half now since leaving the lab and quite a few close encounters. "Hans Olo" would be a name that might be passing through the ranks in the next few days.
A troop transport would be the best thing to get on, as it was so large that he'd blend in well, but with all the shoving and people screaming, Daniel didn't know if he was coming or going anymore.
The hanger was larger than the one on Daedalus, and looked oddly reminiscent of the hangers on Atlantis. Daniel had gotten used to flying a Jumper now but to actually meet real pilots from the Lantean era… John would have loved this. Sam and Alicia too.
Their behavior was the exact opposite he'd always thought about the Lanteans though. He'd read the report Elizabeth Weir had written about her older self that they'd found in that first year, and how she'd explained how those last few days in Atlantis were.
It suddenly struck Daniel, and he cursed himself for not thinking about it earlier. Janus wasn't the only scientist the Lanteans had; someone else could have designed this time travel ball…
If that's what it even was. Daniel couldn't help but notice that no one was questioning his appearance, his presence, or even the fact that he had the ATA gene therapy rather than naturally. The Olim had figured it out right off the bat, what made the Lanteans so different?"
He didn't have a chance to think any further as he was shoved forward and a Lantean soldier in rather heavy looking armor waved at him. "Alright! Gateship 3, you're first on, go go go!"
Unwilling to ask anything, Daniel simply nodded and moved forward, he stepped into the gateship, and he hesitated as to where to sit. He stood there for a moment before the pilot yelled. "Get up here! Take the passenger seat so everyone else can get in!"
At least he was being given clear and concise orders. It was such an odd change from life on Earth and in Hoag's object. Daniel did as he was told and sat down next to the pilot
She was a smaller woman, 'cute' was the easiest and most accurate way to describe her. Her slight features and smooth movements as she readied the jumper for flight reminded Daniel of Janet Fraiser for a moment. This woman seemed much more… serious though.
It was odd. She didn't look like the kind of woman who was serious. Daniel could see the beginning of laugh lines, but the unemotional face she had was so strange that Daniel could tell without even knowing her.
She turned to Daniel and sighed. "You're a human?"
Daniel resisted gulping and knew that lying was only going to get…
Well that's just it. What did the Lanteans do to their prisoners? "Yes. I uhh… I've been studying for… ascension." It seemed a plausible story, he knew plenty about the subject and there were humans who'd studied it. Daniel recalled John telling him of his experience in the Time Dilation field.
The female pilot turned back to see more people piling in, and the 16th of them shutting the hatch. "Get anywhere with that?"
Daniel turned and looked at the woman; she was being half serious with the rather personal question. Daniel tried to think of a proper answer, something that would help his case, yet not give away that he'd been ascended… twice. "Sort of.. it's… complicated."
The woman smirked sadly and pushed the Jumper into flight. The small craft passed through the airtight shielding of the craft and out into the cold expanse of space. She didn't say anything as the jumper flew through along the orbit of the planet, heading down towards a large expanse of land.
Daniel noticed a few others ships flying about, but none were heading to the planet or to the remaining Lantean ships. In fact, they almost seemed to be just hovering about.
The pilot noticed Daniel peering out the windows and grunted her answer. "Recovery ships."
Turning with a curious face, Daniel made a quizzitive sound.
The pilot turned to Daniel with a more hardened face, the kind of face Daniel had seen on Jack, John, and on occasion even Sam. "Those are recovery ships… cleaning the orbit of the bodies that…" her voice caught for a moment, and she had to compose herself. "… that were decompressed."
It was a horrible and heartrending fact, and Daniel now wished he hadn't been so curious. Earth had never been involved in space combat to the degree that bodies were a concern in space. But Daniel knew that the Wraith had thousands of crew on a hive… the Lanteans must have as well.
Daniel planned to remain quiet for a moment, but the pilot had other plans. "Where do you come from?"
Thinking quickly, Daniel recalled the last planet he heard about in Pegasus. "Uhh… Proculus."
The woman snickered softly, and angled the Jumper down into the atmosphere. "You don't look like a Proculan. When were you last there?"
Daniel decided to be honest… sort of. "About six months… Don't think I'll be heading back anytime soon."
"What's your name?"
Hans Olo didn't seem like the best answer this time. This woman seemed much more… attentive. "Daniel… My name is Daniel."
The woman seemed to become pensive, and Daniel couldn't help but think that she was actually trying to talk to him. Almost as if it were something she needed to do rather than wanted. "That's an interesting name… I've never heard it before. What does it mean?"
That caught Daniel off guard. Very rarely did anyone ever realize that names did indeed having meanings. "It means.. 'God is my Judge.' " For a few short seconds, Daniel suddenly felt that age old feeling of melancholy. He knew his parents were very literate, and likely chose his name for a reason. 'God is my judge' almost felt proper for him… a gentle man who'd done so much he felt shame for in his life. It was a jarring epiphany to realize that yes, one of the only ways Daniel could keep going was to leave the judgment of his own life to a higher power.
The woman cocked her head slightly, and the sound of breathing through her nose mimicked a sigh. "Well then Daniel… tell me… do you appreciate all the Lantean race has sacrificed for you? For your people?"
Shocked out of his stupor, Daniel realized that this woman wasn't just melancholy about the situation, she was resentful. Daniel had often wondered how the Lantean/Human relations were during this time, and in a way he was glad to get a look at it. Only now he saw that history did indeed have a way of repeating itself.
He'd asked Larrin and a few other Traveler Captains about what they knew of this time. There were few sketchy details, but the one clear thing was that while most of the Lanteans were revered as almost god-like figures, the ones that didn't were very personable, some even friendly. So Daniel replied in the only answer he felt was right. "Yes. I do appreciate it. I don't see how I could possibly not appreciate it."
The pilot scrutinized Daniel for a few moments, but seeing no deception, she turned back to the HUD and set the autolanding sequence. "Good."
Finally silence reigned on the Jumper. Daniel could hear a few gentle sobs from behind, all repressed, everyone feeling a sense of loss that Daniel couldn't even begin to comprehend.
In his own mythology, Elysium was the final resting place for the heroes and virtuous of the time.. .Looking around at the shattered husks of Lantean Warships, and even more, the still burning snowflake city in the sky… Daniel now understood where the words meaning came form.
It was unbelievably moving, Daniel was here, when history was unfolding before his very eyes. He'd queried the computers on Atlantis for more information on the Wrath-Lantean war, and the most he was able to get was technical readouts, battle damages, and all very mundane military claptrap. Sitting here in a Jumper with people who lived in this time, possibly even fought and died in this time, was one of the most spellbinding moments of Daniel's life.
If only he knew a way to get back.