Primus Inter Pares
A SW/40k Crossover Fanfic
The primary reason for me writing this fan-fiction is the fascination I draw from the thought of an "astronomically peaceful" collision between two inhabited galaxies of such varied nature as the two that house the Star Wars and W40k universes respectively. The story is set almost half a millennium after the Battle of Yavin, this is simply so as to avoid entanglement with significant parts of the SW canon, and so that the liberties I inevitably will be taking with the Star Wars universe seem slightly less out of place than what would be the case had I dated it 0 ABY.
Now, the liberties that are taken are listed by what I perceive to be their order of magnitude here:
I have assumed that most of the galaxy in the years following the "Legacy" period eventually migrates back into a political system equivalent to the Old Republic in terms of distribution of power, offices and so on. Why? Because I think it enriches the story - after all, having two patently GRIMDARK civilizations get rough and tumble with each other has a lot less potential flavour than the two being close to each others' polar opposites.
I have assumed that the shipboard weapons utilized by the Imperium of Man function much like mass driver weapons. After all, they do work in an entirely different fashion than classic SW "pew-pew" turbolasers. As such, I also assume that the deflector shield defences employed by the majority of SW starships are, at best, slightly useless against anything but plasma cannons, as they seem to function equivalently to a Jedi lightsaber in terms of deflection – a powerful magnetic field capable of deflecting the likewise encased bolts of ionised gas.
I have assumed that lightsabers are quite capable of dealing with the slug weapons employed by the Imperium. First of all, having Jedi mown down within seconds the minute someone pulls a slug-thrower makes for a terribly uncompelling story. Second of all, it is a well-known "fact" that lightsabers are essentially bounded fields of plasma, a form of matter that is at the very least several thousand degrees hot. Considering scenes such as Qui-Gon partially melting a several meters thick blast door in "The Phantom Menace", and furthermore doing so in a matter of tens of seconds, leads me to conclude that lightsabers should quite handily be able to disintegrate a pansy projectile from a slugthrower.
Chapter 1: Bête Noire
Commodore Jasper Vujin hated the Arkanis sector. 13k parsecs out of the Galactic Core, it was the very backwater of known space. The 5709-DC coming off the Sisar Run was probably the most unreliable hyperspace route in the galaxy, a festering infrastructural sore that made most of the Outer Rim look positively civilized. That, and the twin Tatoo suns gave Jasper the chills whenever he saw them – like two ominous crimson eyes staring at him from the abyss of space.
The fact that he had been ordered to this hellhole on a wild bantha-chase after a missing merchant convoy irritated him even more. He simply didn't understand it – sending an entire Fleet Vanguard section, three corvettes and two frigates with full fighter complements, after a few missing merchants, was the strangest crap the bureaucrats had pulled on him yet. Maybe it was the whole: "Oh no! We're slowly merging with another galaxy, and we have no idea what inhabits it!" hype – that had everybody going slowly out of their skins. Never mind the fact that the merger was completely harmless, and that the likelihood of anything existing on a large enough scale to threaten the Reformed Galactic Republic was beyond preposterous; people were quite content to go bat-shit insane over nothing. Absolutely nothing.
"Speaking of nothing…" Jasper muttered. "Crew! Do we have any sensor reads, heat signatures, or Force help me, some genuine contact with the fucking convoy?"
Downbeat responses of "No sir, sorry sir." echoed across the bridge. Jasper cursed under his breath, then shouted: "Christ, will someone get me those scout ships on the line? That convoy has to be out there somewhere…"
Jasper returned to pacing for a few minutes while the comms crew scanned channels – you never knew which channels were open and working in the Arkanis sector – first of all, the whole sector was littered with asteroids and small nebulae, second of all, the Hutts on Tatooine had enough private jammer stations to cover the needs of an entire Starfleet.
Jasper halted his irritated pacing as the signature "thunk-thunk-eeep" of the comms relay connecting to an outside signal broke the silence.
"Recce Squadron Kappa, this is frigate Indomitable. Do you read me?" Jasper droned into the comms relay.
"Recce Squadron Kappa reading you loud and clear, sir. We've found the convoy; or what's left of it, anyway."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jasper demanded.
"Well, you'll want to take a look for yourself, sir. It's a fucking mess out here. I'll relay the coordinates now – we're approximately half a parsec off your current position. You'll want to come out of hyperspace slow, the place is a right minefield of debris right now."
Jasper pondered the words of the squadron leader even as he ordered the jump to hyperspace. It'd be around twenty minutes before they came outa hyperspace. He might as well sit down for the duration, he thought, even as he nodded off for a while in his command chair.
The wakeup was unpleasant, to say the least – coming out of hyperspace was unpleasant and rocky enough as it is, but Jasper had rarely seen anything like the debris field he woke up to.
"Reroute the deflector shields to full front – we don't want debris coming through our window." Jasper commanded, even as he spotted the remains of the merchant convoy ahead. What ships hadn't been turned into bits and pieces were still smouldering, apart from one apparently intact mega-freighter, floating derelict in the emptiness of space.
Jasper surveyed the life indicator readings; unfortunately unpromising.
"Board the ship. I wanna know what's happened in there. And stay on the commlink – I need to hear everything that happens."
The Indomitable launched a small boarding vessel with a 20-marine crew. Jasper watched anxiously as the small craft snaked its way from the Indomitable to the mega-freighter. The Vanguard Section stayed at safe range – Jasper had seen pirates rig derelicts with explosives before – no reason to risk one of the ships.
"Hot-wiring airlock controls now… And we're in. Cal, take half and check the aft deck. We'll head up to the bridge."
Jasper drummed the viewport glass impatiently with his fingers.
"Aight, this is strange stuff. No sign of the crew yet. We're setting charges on the bridge doors now…
Jasper winced as the speakers blared harshly, then slapped the comms operator in irritation.
"You idiot! They're about to set off explosives, and you don't turn off the speakers?"
"Ehm, Sir – if you're done berating the comms-op, we've found the crew. In pieces."
"Well, they're obviously dead. Something killed them – and whoever or whatever it was, they sure didn't go easy on the gore. Half the lot look like they've been on the wrong end of… A chainsaw?
The rest look like someone pulled a slugthrower on 'em. Large calibre, too."
"Any survivors?" Jasper ventured, anxiously.
"Dunn like any of the merchants survived. But-eh, we found what might be their attacker. Never seen anything like this guy. He's at least 9 foot, boss; broader than a wookie. Might be one, too – can't see 'im for all 'is armour. Looks half-dead, though."
"Well, make the bastard all dead, will you?"
"Aye aye, Sir. I'll put 'im down…"
Jasper heard the marine utter a few expletives and waited for the blaster shot…
It never came. The next thing Jasper heard was an almighty crash and a guttural roar, then the sound of 10 blasters firing in unison.
"Sith's blood! Who the fuck is this guy? Kill 'im! Fucking kill 'im!"
The marines triggered their blasters like madmen, but to no apparent avail – Jasper heard them cry out in dying agony, one by one.
"Gunnery Crew! Blast the derelict to pieces! NOW!" Jasper roared.
"But the other half of the marines, sir! We'll kill them!" came the objection.
Jasper stomped to the gunnery station and grabbed the insubordinate crewman by the scruff of his collar.
"Gunnery Sergeant Hentz! You will blast that derelict, NOW, or Sith's blood, I'll kick you arse-first out the goddamn airlock! Do you comprehend?"
The awed and terrified gunnery sergeant stumbled back to his station as fast as he could.
"Closing firing blinds… Charging turbolasers…"
"Focus fire on the joint section. We'll tear it apart in a single volley." Jasper directed.
"Aye, sir, angling the batteries and firing."
Jasper winced as bright flashes of green arced from the bow of the Indomitable and its sister ship, Gatekeeper. The first blasts were partially deflected by the freighter armour; the following ones rapaciously tore massive chunks from its hull. When finally the turbolasers powered down, the derelict freighter was every bit as much a smoking wreck as the other convoy ships.
"Right, folks, that'll do. We're getting out of here, post-haste."
Even as Jasper commanded the ships prepared for return to Tatooine, a brightly eclectic sphere of flashing lights appeared where the freighter had just been. Jasper nearly gagged, an overpowering smell of ozone permeating the bridge.
"Oi, somebody take a look at the air scrubbers – smells like they're overheating." Jasper shouted.
An ensign sprinted down the bridge to the scrubber console, shin-high leather boots clattering with each heavy step on the durasteel floor. A quick survey of the scrubber console revealed no immediate deficiencies, and the resulting thumbs-up from the ensign drew an irritated groan from Jasper.
Jasper's irritation was cut short and replaced by stupendification as the eclectic sphere of light, which Jasper had dismissed previously as an odd energy flux, expanded with frightening haste – voraciously devouring the darkness around it as it grew to the size of a small planetoid.
"Commodore Jasper Vujin calling all ships. Back off from the vortex. I repeat, back off from the vortex!"
The three corvettes started to turn tail, while Gatekeeper and Indomitable, both equipped with state of the art engines capable of reverse drive, backed off with all batteries still facing the vortex.
Jasper watched, transfixed with horror, as the vortex shuddered violently, then spit out at least a dozen corvette-sized vessels. Another shudder brought perhaps half a dozen frigates into being, before a final, agonizing reverberation spat out two obscenely large capital ships.
Both looked more gun-bristling leviathan cathedrals, their hulls emblazoned with innumerable skulls, eagles and other such religious paraphernalia, than true capital ships. There was, however, no mistaking the size of their guns, both ships were at least 8 kilometres long, and both bore several guns fully the size of a corvette-class ship, in addition to several hundred smaller gun batteries.
Jasper collapsed into his command chair, mind racing.
"All ships prepare for hyperspace and angle deflector shields bow-wards. We're getting out of here NOW!"
Jasper didn't see the flash from the enemy capital ship. Being in space, he didn't hear the thunderous boom the gun would have made, had there been a medium for the sound to propagate through, either.
He did, however, see the first of his corvettes torn fully in twain by a single blast; just as well as he saw several dozen fighters descend upon the Gatekeeper.
His own fighters could do nothing, and Jasper could only watch in terror as the enemies' weapons tore right through the Gatekeeper's deflector shields, blasting massive chunks out of the durasteel hull. Frantic calls for help sounded over the comms system, but Jasper knew he could do nothing except try to get the Indomitable the hell out of dodge. He barked desperate commands to his crew, even as mass-driver bolts and plasma blasts raked his small fleet.
"Indomitable crew, prepare for emergency hyperspace jump!" Jasper roared, the tell-tale whine of the engines warming up inspiring a small measure of hope in him.
Then a massive explosion shook the ship.
"Sir! We've lost the portside engine complex!"
Jasper fell to his knees and stared out the massive viewport in front of him. The flaming wrecks of Gatekeeper and the three corvettes slowly spiralled, bits and pieces breaking off at a steady rate. What fighters he had left were swarmed and destroyed, one by one.
Tears were streaming down his cheeks now. He wasn't ready to die. He hammered the durasteel floor in helpless rage, blood spattering on the cool surface as the force of his own blows broke his skin.
And then the voice. Jasper tried to cry out in pain as malicious tendrils rooted through his brain, culminating in a sanity-shattering bellow:
"EGO SUM VESTRI FATUM, PAGANUS!"
Jasper's eyes rolled back into his head. Even as he collapsed, blood spurting out his ears and nose, eyes gone blank, unseeing white, a final mass-driver bolt was belched from the main cannon of the enemy battleship. Before the still-sane and breathing crew could cry out in fear, it tore straight through the middle of the ship, striking the hyperdrive core. Milliseconds later, the resulting chain reaction obliterated what was left of the Indomitable in a blinding explosion.
And then all was silent.