Hello. I'm Simon Cross.
This is episode one of a third season of SGU that I had so badly wanted to see. I had a lot of ideas and aspirations for the show and this is just my way of trying to keep the spirit of the Stargate franchise alive for me and all those who had 14 great years with it.
I hope that fellow SGU and sci-fi lovers enjoy this work. Please please please review this and give me your honest opinions! And if you know other SGU fans send it on to them! I plan to publish regularly and write at least a full 20 episode season, and your reviews will help me guide the work and see if I should keep going.
NOTE: I do not own Stargate Universe and all of these ideas are mine and not taken from anything the original writers of SGU had intended or from other fandom to the best of my knowledge. The opening statements in quotes are from SGU episodes and are not my words. The episodes "The Greater Good", "Twin Destinies", "Epilogue", and "Gauntlet" are sources for the quotes and they were obtained from the transcripts available on the Gateworld website.
"The Ancients did not devote the efforts of an entire generation to build this ship on a whim, neither was Destiny named on a whim.
The Ancients discovered a complex structure, the fingerprints of an intelligence.
Destiny was launched in search of that intelligence.
Who knows how close we are to finding it; how close we are to learning ... in the Ancients' words ... "the destiny of all things"?
I just wanna get these people home.
Well, I'm starting to think that seeing this mission through may be our only chance of ever doing that.
I only know that Destiny has come this far, and if we abandon her now, there'll be no coming back.
This ship was launched to solve a mystery by accumulating knowledge bit by bit.
Our mission is - and always will be - the journey itself.
This is the path that the seed ships plotted for us through this galaxy.
And these are the command ships.
And they're at every single Gate?
So unless you have some genius idea that solves all our problems.
We skip it. One continuous F.T.L. jump out and around the length of this galaxy, across the gap to the next one until we reach the first Gate on the other side.
Whatever happens, we're not giving up on you. Good luck, Everett.
We repaired the eight pods, but one of them was more damaged than we thought. We might be one short.
If I do it, at least I have a chance - maybe even a better chance than Rush. For too long, I've been content to stay in his shadow, play the part of the eager young protégé, take his orders.
I don't want anyone to die, Eli. This isn't even my idea, remember? We're gonna need you on the other side. You do have tremendous potential. I'd hate to see you throw it all away.
You're a good man, Eli. You get this done. I'm gonna see you on the other side."
Clouds drifted overheard, partly blocking the light from the sun. Enough streaked through them and the leaves of the tree he sat next to that Nicholas Rush could clearly read his notepad even with sunglasses. He looked up to see a couple walk past him, and uninterestingly glared back to his work. It seemed he was working on some equation, but the symbols he used would confound any university mathematics student. Despite his genius, even Rush couldn't seem to make the numbers work. In frustration he tore the page off and threw it to the ground.
He stared back up, and for the first time actually realized where he was. He was sitting on a park bench, on Earth. He didn't know when he got there, or how.
Nothing seemed to make sense to him right now.
He heard grass crunch near him, then paper crinkle to his side, and then a voice. "Need another pair of eyes to help you?"
Rush looked up and squinted through his sunglasses, and was quite astounded.
"Mandy?" he uttered, barely making a sound as he stared wide-eyed into the face of the woman he loved, or at least he thought he loved.
Amanda Perry was holding the paper of calculations Rush had just thrown away and was showing it to him, her finger gently pointing to an equation on the middle. "Your ratio for energy needed to gravitational forces was off." She tapped her finger to more clearly point out the error, and at the same time seemed to relish the motion in itself.
Rush couldn't say anything. He was overcome with confusion, shock, emotions. All things he generally wasn't used to.
Amanda saw his trepidation and sat next to him.
"It's been too long Nick. I've missed you," she said putting the paper is his lap and taking his limp hand into her own. "I've had time to think about us, and I know you were telling the truth,"
Realization hit him then. "Mandy, is this you? Really you?"
She smiled and nodded, her skinny figure shaking uncomfortably. "It's been a long time, and it's almost time to wake up. I just needed to speak to you."
He stared into her eyes, and then looked around him, watching the trees, leaves, people, the sun. "You made this environment, to talk with me?" he said returning his vision to her.
"Yes. I needed something familiar, and this park was in your memory. I need to talk to you," she beseeched after a pause.
"Of course Mandy, anything." Just hearing her voice made Rush happy.
"I'm sorry Nick, for everything. For doubting your feelings and for putting you in danger," she opened honestly, her face full of feeling and remorse. "And for selfish reasons too. I could have stayed with you, happy with you if I didn't lock you in my world. But I had to pull you so close that in the end I had to push you away, and I'm sorry."
Rush looked into her face incredulously, taking off his sunglasses to see her better. The sun gleamed off of her dark brown hair perfectly, and her smile made him happy, and he just couldn't believe that she was apologizing to him.
"Mandy, you can't blame your –" he started, but she cut him off.
"No, Nick," she said forcefully. "I ruined our chances and I have to apologize. I just beg that you can forgive me."
He stared back again, and set his pad down on the ground, not caring about his calculations. He took both of her hands into his and looked straight at her. "Of course I forgive you Mandy. I'm sorry I couldn't keep you."
She smiled at that, but looked oddly uncomfortable too. "That's all that I need to hear."
At that the world around him started to dissolve. Rush looked around worried, but Amanda was calm, but looked urgently at him.
"Just promise me one thing," she said, and continued when he nodded. "When the time comes, don't be afraid to let go. Do you understand?"
He looked confused and bewildered turning back from the dissolving world and into her eyes. "What?"
"Do you promise me?" she asked.
He paused and looked at her again. "Yes."
And with a smile, she dissolved with the rest of the world.
The stasis pod hissed open, the light from the storage chamber blinding Rush for a moment. As he stepped out he heard the other pods hiss open and their various occupants groan as they stumbled out. The sound of boots thumping across metal deck differed too much from the grass he heard in his dream. He knew where he was this time though.
"Rush. Did we make it?" were the first words addressed to anyone.
His vision regained focus and he looked up to Colonel Young standing beside him. Rush had gone into the pod before Young, and he had in his mind just bidden farewell to this man not long ago. Could it have been three years already?
He shook his head slightly. "I don't know. I need to go check." With that he walked down the length of the chamber, past TJ, Scott and the others, ignoring their questions for him, and reaching the console at the front of the room.
Young followed him up a short distance, and then stopped in front of TJ.
"Hey, are you okay?" he asked quietly standing within a foot of her.
She looked at him and smiled back. "Umm, yeah, actually. I'm great. First time in a stasis pod though so I guess I don't know better."
Young looked at her with some worry in him. She still had the disease, and had only three years to try and find a cure before she had symptoms.
In his silence she spoke up again. "I'd like to check the crew for signs of freezer burn or other problems usually accompanied with cryostatic suspension. I just want to make sure everyone's alright."
Young nodded his head. "Yeah, you do that. I'll meet up with you there soon. I just need to make sure we're good with Rush."
She pursed her lips and nodded, and walked out of the chamber heading to the infirmary, taking everyone except Rush and Young with her.
Young took a moment and pulled out his radio. "Lt. Scott. I want you and Greer to organize search teams to inspect the ship. Make sure it's safe."
"Yes sir," came the response.
"And Lieutenant," Young started, "look for Eli," He said, looking at the pod that had remained empty. No one had used it, and it didn't seem fixed.
"Copy that. Scott out," Scott said.
Young clipped his radio back onto his belt and walked over to Rush who in his opinion had had enough time to understand the situation.
"So, where are we?" he asked.
"Well if you're asking in the literal sense," Rush started calmly, "we did make it to the next galaxy, but just barely though."
"That's good news," Young said optimistically.
"Yeah that's about all of it," Rush said dryly.
"What do you mean?"
"Destiny is almost out of power, and there are no stars nearby. I'm reading seven Stargates in range, but our Stargate is off-line. We're not even in F.T.L. anymore. It couldn't maintain it and bring the life-support systems on-line to accommodate us. Life-support itself seems to be able to last only another day. Destiny hasn't powered up any of the crucial systems to navigate the ship. It's scrounging ever watt of power just to keep us alive, and it's killing it."
"Well maybe if we shut everything down for a few hours we could make a short jump to a nearby star," Volker suggested back in the Control Interface Room.
"Yeah so we can suffocate before we recharge. Great," Brody said irritably.
"Well maybe you can come up with something better instead of just beating down my ideas?" Volker responded in kind. Brody just shrugged.
Rush sat and stared at the only operating console in the room, squinting because the lights in the room were operating at a minimal amount. The main source of light came from the core itself and the wall panels light blue glow. Steam was still pouring from the ceiling vents and at least fresh air was cycling through the vents. Brody, Volker, and Park were sitting on the other chairs bouncing back ideas, and Young was leaning against the wall listening to the debacle. He looked up onto the top of the threshold to the Control Interface Room and stared at the blank countdown clock.
"I agree with Dale though," Park interjected, staring out to no one in particular. She hadn't had long to adjust to her blindness, but she was trying to remain useful. "We need to try to divert power and make the jump. Sensors show a red dwarf star only 4 light years away. All we'd need is a short jump, and we could probably scavenge enough power for that."
"Yeah, and then also burn out the F.T.L. drive for good in the process," Rush spoke up for the first time. "We need to keep this ship working. It's still more important than any of us."
Volker and Brody exchanged glances. "I'm still important to me," Volker threw in.
Rush scoffed at him. "This is all bigger than us. Destiny will reach a star on its own. It doesn't need us to survive."
"Hello! We've worked hard to keep this ship working!"
"Alright, stop this," Young said, stepping closer to the light of the core. "Let's start at the beginning. Why don't we have enough power? You and Eli told me there would be enough to get us across, and that Destiny would recharge before reviving the crew."
"And there was enough to do that. But only that," Rush responded. Young crossed his arms and furrowed his brows leading to Rush sighing in anguish. "We did cross the massive void between galaxies, but Destiny doesn't seem to be able to go any further," He looked back down and motioned to the screen. "And I believe I know why."
Volker and Brody seemed to get interested at this. Young just stepped forward to Rush. "What is it?"
"I've been reviewing the sensor logs from the three-year trip, and I found that about one week into the trip, the Stargate was activated," he said slowly.
"What?" Volker blurted out.
"How could that be?" Brody asked in the same shocked tone.
Before Rush could answer, Young's radio went off.
"Colonel Young this is Scott," Young looked at the two bewildered scientists, at a calmer Park, and then at the exhausted Rush before picking up his radio.
"This is Young. Go ahead."
"Sir, we've searched through most of the occupied areas of the ship. Everything seems to be alright."
"Good. Move the civilians back to their quarters and tell everyone to stop by the infirmary for a check-up."
Young was putting the radio down when Scott spoke again.
"Sir. We looked everywhere." A static-filled pause. "There's no sign of Eli."
Rush actually looked disappointed at that news, and the other scientists seemed horror-struck.
Young held onto the radio for a good long moment taking in the news.
"Sir?" Scott asked after the silence, hesitation in his voice.
"Understood. Young out," the Colonel answered. "Alright, back to this problem."
Rush nodded. "It looks like someone dialed in to Destiny. The ship stopped and because of that, it seems it lost enough energy to cost us reaching a star to recharge," He said bluntly folding his arms.
"I think the bigger problem is not the power, but who dialed in!" Volker said loudly, full of concern. "I mean, we didn't exactly make friends with many aliens."
"And it seems that any peaceful races we met died," Park added somewhat grimly. Brody's grim stare at her was useless as she couldn't see his frustration.
"Well Scott and his teams checked the ship. There's no one here," Young said reassuringly.
"Even if someone did come aboard, they would've died when life-support failed. The ship knew it wouldn't make it to the nearest star, so it dropped out of F.T.L. with enough power to keep us alive. Seems like it almost expects something out of us," Rush said trailing off.
Holding the penlight to Young's eye, TJ completed her brief inspection.
"Any dizziness? Nausea? Headaches?" she routinely asked.
"No more than the usual," he answered. "How's the rest of the crew?"
She put the penlight down and let Young stand up. "They're physically fine. I didn't see any signs of damage to anyone. Mentally though, a lot of them are shaken. They weren't that crazy about this idea to start with, and now that is hasn't worked out well…" she trailed off, Young understood her.
"Well, how are you?" Young asked.
"Same as everyone else," was her short answer.
"This is Rush. Can I see you in the Control Interface Room Colonel?" Rush announced abruptly through the radio.
Young unwillingly pulled his radio up. "This is Young. Can it wait?" Young asked.
"Absolutely not," was the only answer.
Young looked up to TJ who returned him a puzzled look before he stormed out of the Infirmary.
"What is it?" Young said as he walking back into the Control Interface Room. "I leave for twenty minutes and you figure out a way to save the ship?"
"Actually, it's possible," Volker said hovering over Rush's console.
Now interested, Young walked over to the console. On display was a Kino video.
"I found this in the logs, one week after the initial 'Gate activity," Rush elaborated before he started the video.
Eli appeared standing in front of the Kino. "Hi guys. I left this recording to explain some things."
At that precise moment Young's radio went off again.
"Colonel, this is Greer," MSgt. Greer said urgently over the radio. "I need you in the Gate Room, now."
"What is it Greer?" Young asked.
"The 'Gate's dialing."
That sent everyone in the room running out for the Gate Room.
Young ran in first.
"Defense teams in position now!" he shouted.
Greer was already stationed and several other soldiers ran to defensible positions. Rush went up to the console with Volker and Brody flanking him.
The 'Gate itself was still spinning, the chevrons lighting.
"What the hell is going on with the 'Gate?" Young asked quickly.
"I don't know. It looks like the computer is running a special dialing program. I've never seen these kinds of power readings before. It looks like it's dialing…" Rush looked up. "Destiny."
"How is that possible?" Brody exclaimed, double-checking the readings himself.
Rush shoved him over. "I can see the address, thank you very much, Mr. Brody," he snapped at him.
"I thought you said the 'Gate was off-line?" Young asked, standing near the spiral stairs taking a sidearm from one of the soldiers.
"I can't explain it. It just, works now," Rush said simply, clearly confused at the events.
The Stargate finally centered on the last chevron, and the vortex lashed out quickly before retreating to the event horizon. All the guards stiffened and aimed at the bright, shimmering pool, nervous not knowing what was coming through.
"Get out of here Rush. Brody and Volker, you too," Young ordered.
"No. It's no danger," Rush stated coolly, having no issue disregarding Young's order.
As he said that, two bodies came through the event horizon, rippling it as they passed through. The red shirted boy on the left was no stranger to anyone in the room.
"Eli!" said Young, relief going across his face. He was the last person to have seen Eli before he set out to try and repair the final pod for himself, and he was a bit of a father to him. Seeing him alive helped his own personal morale.
The man next to him though, attracted more attention. He was human, dressed in thick clothes wrapped all around him, and holding his arms up in peace.
Eli spoke up first. "Don't shoot!" he said, running up to defend the strange man.
Behind him the Stargate deactivated and the vents blew air into the room.
"Eli," Young said. "Who is this?"
"He's a friend," Eli said walking up to Young, the man following him. Young motioned to Greer to lower his weapon, and then all the other soldiers did too. Eli looked more relaxed, and the man lowered his arms as well. "His name is Kalin. He's from Novus."
"The Stargate there was destroyed. How is that possible?" Volker said.
"I'm from one of the further colonies from Novus," Kalin said, speaking for himself. "We spread very far across the galaxy."
"Yes we know. We found a few of your colonies," Young said, "but most were destroyed,"
"By the machines?" Kalin said, earning himself a few glances. "Yes, my colony suffered the same fate."
"Then could you tell me what you are doing on this ship?"
Eli looked up inquisitively. "Didn't you guys watch my video?"
"Hi guys. I left this recording to explain some things," Eli said. "To start, there was no way I could fix the pod in time for me to use it. It needed too many parts, and I couldn't search the ship for them or life-support would be over-taxed.
"Anyways, bigger news is coming up," he said as another man stepped into the Kino frame. "This is Kalin. He's one of the colonists who spread from Novus. He dialed in a week ago. Here, say something to them," Eli said to Kalin.
"Hello," He stared into the Kino and just seemed awestruck, at a loss of words. "I'm sorry. I grew up hearing stories of Destiny and her crew, and actually being here is just too much," He laughed and took a quick moment to contain himself. "But I suppose you'll want to know why I'm here.
"My colony was destroyed by machines from space. Eli tells me that you have encountered them as well, and that was why you rushed to leave our space. Well, after the attack, a few of us survived and used the Stargate to travel far away. We kept going for many planets, until we were far away from the machines, where we felt safe.
"On our distant outpost we tried to restart our lives. This was twenty-three years ago. I was a scientist of my people. My study focused on the Stargate itself. We had hundreds of years of research, and I was trying to figure a way to increase its power so I could establish a connection to another one of our colonies. During my experiments I found what seemed to be a communications link."
Eli jumped in here to clarify a little. "We've always gotten readings on the status of a Stargate on Destiny, and we knew there was a signal going to us, but we didn't know that it could work both ways."
"Exactly," Kalin continued excitedly. "A few days before I reached this ship, I picked up a signal. After some study, I believed the Stargate itself was announcing the arrival of the Destiny. Sadly no one believed me. Not that many believed that she would ever return to us, and most others believed the technology of the Stargate was too beyond us to understand. I didn't care; I was going to go to Destiny. The address was easily accessible, and when I dialed it, the connection was made. I could not believe myself! I didn't not know what state I might find the ship in, so I took food and power supplies with me."
"He was more prepared than us," Eli threw in somewhat annoyingly.
"I had been trained to-"
The console went dead at that moment, as the ship shut off more systems in a failed attempt to keep life-support going.
Everyone in the room stared up to Kalin at that point. Rush just stared with interest, wondering what this man knew about the Stargate that he might not, but Young was worried about him as security risk.
"Lt. Scott," Young finally said. The young officer stepped up. "Take our guest to the holding room."
"Colonel you can't do that!" Eli shouted, standing from the Kino console to defend Kalin. "I spent a week with him, and he saved my life. I trust him."
"What exactly did you do?" Rush asked.
Eli paused and looked from Kalin to Rush. "I had spent two weeks trying to fix the pod. But it wasn't going anywhere. I needed other ideas, and then Kalin came along and suggested one," He paused again. "Store our patterns in the Stargate."
Rush guffawed at him. "Of course."
Young looked annoyingly at Rush and then back to Eli. "Explain."
"Don't you have a report to make to Earth, Colonel?" Rush interjected bluntly, tiring of all his questions.
"Well they waited three years. I think they can wait another five minutes," Young retorted.
Eli looked childishly back to Young. "I wanted to do a little research, so I used the stones to go to Earth and I read up on some mission reports, of which there are a lot of for the record," He added dramatically. "Anyways, I found a report where a member of SG-1 was kept stored in the Stargate for two days, and I figured we could be stored in the memory buffer indefinitely as long as I wrote a program that would disable the 'Gate so no one could dial in or out until our patterns were returned," Eli looked down a little and nodded his head to Kalin. "He helped a lot with the calculations."
Volker looked at Kalin now with new fascination, wondering what else he could do to help. Young stared at Eli with concern. "Are you sure we can trust him?" was his only question.
Eli looked square at Kalin and then to Young. "Positive," he answered determinedly.
Young nodded and walked up to Kalin, holding out his hand. "Welcome to the Destiny."
Kalin smiled widely and gladly accepted his hand. Rush just scoffed and earned himself several grim looks.
"Why not just throw him a 'Welcome to the crew' party?" he shouted angrily. "This ship is dying right now, and we need to do something!"
Young looked at Rush and then at the console that was now dead. He frowned and looked up. "Didn't you say you brought power supplies with you?"
Kalin brightened up as he remembered. "Yes! Um, I left them on the Observation Deck."
"They work great, but their interface wasn't compatible with Destiny's systems. We were working on a converter, but life-support ran out and the suits were in an inaccessible area," Eli informed Young. He sighed and looked defeated. "We just didn't have enough time."
"Alright, well we have time now. Rush, you and Brody work with Eli and Kalin to get the power compatible with Destiny. Volker, I want you to try and get a console working and look for a suitable star within range we can reach in the time window," Young started ordering.
"You should get Chloe to work with you so she can make the needed calculations for a jump," Rush added calmly.
Young nodded at the suggestion. "Good. I'll report in to Earth. Go."
Volker moved to the console that had been working a few minutes ago and started to try to get power back to it. Park stayed with Volker, holding onto his arm as he guided her to a chair. Everyone else walked out to their respective areas. Young pulled out his radio as he walked down the dark hallway. "Wray this is Young. Meet me in the Communication Room now."
"On my way," came the response a few seconds later.
A slight disorientation fell over Young accompanied with a soft whine, and he was then seated at a chair in Homeworld Defense. He looked down to his shirt and saw he was wearing a white lab coat with the name Dr. Lee on it. He stared up in surprise and checked on the monitor in front of him. He had indeed taken Dr. Lee's body. To his side he saw a woman he did not recognize, a Major Brooks.
"Colonel Young?" an airman stationed near the door.
Young looked to the woman whom Wray was inhabiting and then to the officer. Wray also seemed surprised at the body she was in. She didn't seem to know her either.
"Yes. I need to speak with General O'Neill," Young replied slowly.
The airman hesitated and looked to Major Brooks. Wray sighed and spoke up. "Camille Wray, IOA. Can we please see the General?" she added somewhat impatiently.
The airman nodded and motioned them. "Come with me please,"
Young and Wray both stood up and followed him out of the lab and down the large hallways of the Pentagon. "Airman, why am I not in Telford's body?"
"I'll let General O'Neill explain that to you sir," he answered shortly over his shoulder.
They soon walked into a large meeting room and continued to the other end where General O'Neill was seated in an office. The airman knocked on the door and announced their presence.
"General O'Neill," he said. The man looked up from his paperwork. He was definitely aging, but still seemed fit to run this work despite having attempted to retire numerous times over the last twenty years. "Colonel Young and Camille Wray are here to see you."
O'Neill looked much more interested at this news than anything on his desk was concerned about. "Everett!" He said standing, moving to shake his hand. "It's good to see you! Well, not literally of course," He added.
Young smiled. "Yes sir it is good to be here."
O'Neill looked to Major Brooks and nodded his head. "Wray, welcome back."
"General," she responded swiftly.
"You're dismissed airman," he said, the airman leaving and closing the door behind him. "So I take it by your smiles and pleasantries that all is well, way, way out there?" O'Neill asked slowly, waving his hand out into space. He walked back to his desk and sat down behind it.
Young lost his smile and took a seat opposite him. "Actually, Sir, not exactly."
"I missed the stars," Eli said. He was standing in the Observation Deck with Rush, Brody, and Kalin. The view out of the gargantuan window was beautiful, nothing but stars.
"It is a wonderful sight," Kalin chipped in. "Even on the clearest night on Talus it was nothing compared to this."
"This is really not the bloody time!" Rush quipped.
Both Eli and Kalin looked back to the annoyed scientist. He was examining a large rectangular generator that Kalin had brought.
"Are you sure this can power the ship long enough?" Brody asked checking the power readings on the active generator.
"All it has to do is power the F.T.L., not the whole bloody ship," Rush snapped quickly. "And judging by these figures, if we can convert the interface we should be able to do just that," He examined the connection valves that allow various forms of interface. Of course Ancient technology that was millions of years old was not an accepted form. "We should be able to find a simple way to convert some spare parts."
"Fine. Tell me what we need and I'll go find it," Eli offered.
Rush looked up at him, his expression a mix of gratitude and irritation. He pulled out his pad and started to write some parts and dimensions for the needed configuration.
"And you trust this, Kalin?" O'Neill asked incredulously.
"General, he spent a week on the ship with Eli. Frankly I'm surprised he didn't tell you about him," Young said in defense.
O'Neill sighed and leaned back in his chair. "He used the stones at one point. He said he needed to do some research on Ancient technology to help him fix the pod. He was in Lee's body, but when they disconnected Lee told me that he just worked on some numbers to help out. He didn't say anything about seeing anyone there."
"Well I assure you sir, we can trust him. If he is from Novus then he would have no reason to harm us. And he did save Eli's life," Young added carefully.
O'Neill looked at Young, studying his face to try and understand him. He turned his gaze upon Wray. "Ma'am, what's your opinion of him?"
Wray shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "I haven't actually met him, sir," she slowly admitted. O'Neill moaned.
"I can't just take you at your word on this," O'Neill said. "We don't know him. We don't know the whole history of these people or what happened to their ideals down the road."
"Sir I promise that when I return I will sit with him and try to get to know him," Wray proposed. "I spent quite a bit of time with the colonists from Novus, and I'm sure I can tell if he is being honest and feels like they did." She recalled speaking with her descendant, Yaozu, and how he had kept so much of her culture alive.
O'Neill looked uncomfortable as he weighed the options in his head. "Very well. You can keep him. But if something goes wrong with him, I want him off that ship."
"Understood sir," Young said. He sat up straighter. "Sir, if I may ask, where is Colonel Telford?"
The General sighed and looked through the star chart on his office window and to the meeting room. "Things… haven't gone well in our little corner of the universe in the last few years," He paused and returned his gaze to Young. "The Lucian Alliance has stepped up their game and has taken to direct attacks on our off world bases."
Young looked concerned at this information, and Wray looked plain scared. The memories of being trapped in Homeworld Command with the Lucian bomb flooded back to her.
"How bad is it?" Young asked quietly.
"Well truth of that matter is, they're not putting everything on the front lines. We've held our ground, but we've had losses. We've sped up construction of Daedalus-class ships and have built nine more in the last three years. We have allies within the Jaffa ranks so it's not too terrible, but it's cost us a lot of resources and curbed our own priorities," O'Neill said. "Telford was temporarily assigned to a new Hermes-class battle cruiser for a, special, mission." He leaned back and shook his head. "It took a lot of prodding to get him to give up his spot at the stones."
Young smirked at the news. "I bet it did."
"If I may ask, who is Major Brooks?" Wray spoke up. She had a nagging feeling she knew the name, and she just wanted some answers.
O'Neill leaned forward and pulled out a folder from his desk and passed it to Wray and Young. It was a file on Major Brooks. "Major Allison Brooks. Ex-NID operative trained in analyzing alien technology. She's going to be stopping by Destiny quite a bit," he added uncomfortably.
"Interesting. You can see similarities to our own technology in this," Major Brooks said marveling at Kalin's generator.
Lee and Rush were sitting at the opposite end of the Observation Deck running some numbers to make sure they could make the jump. Both of them were somewhat irked at Brooks' childish appeal to the technology and lack of desire to help make it work.
"Might have something to do with the fact we probably built it," Eli remarked, sulking in a corner as Brooks had monopolized on the device and left Eli without anything to do. Kalin leaned on the railing next to him also left jobless.
"Dr. Rush this is Brody," Brody said over the radio.
"What is it Mr. Brody?" Rush replied.
"I've finished making the interface converter. I'm setting up in the Engineering Control Room now."
Rush glanced at the generator and then at the calculations. "Good work Mr. Brody. We'll bring the generator down soon. We're almost done with the power figures here."
Rush tossed his radio back to the table and returned to his precious numbers.
"Dr. Rush. This is Volker in the Control Interface Room," announced Volker.
Rush sighed with extreme annoyance and picked up his radio again.
"What?" Rush said through his teeth.
"We've found a suitable star five hours away at F.T.L.," Volker said slowly, picking up on Rush's agitation.
"Fine. Get Chloe to run the calculations to plot a course. I'll meet you on the bridge in half an hour," Rush said and turned off his radio.
"Eli, would you help the Major move the generator?" Rush asked almost politely from his notes.
Eli quickly got up and pulled his Kino sled into the room from the hallway. He and Kalin lifted it without too much difficulty and placed it carefully on the sled. The three quickly left the room, leaving Rush scribbling equations down and Lee just staring not being allowed to contribute significantly.
"Alright. It looks like we have a connection!" Eli exclaimed excitedly staring at the humming generator. Dr. Lee and Kalin both stepped back once it was working.
"It's working," Brody informed from a console in the Engineering Control Room. "We're getting power to the F.T.L. drive. Countdown clock is back up," he said just in time to see the clock activate on the wall showing a two minute time till jump.
"Dr. Rush, it worked. F.T.L. is back up," Eli said happily into his radio. Volker and Brody both seemed to agree with his joy, glancing at the clock. "Do you have the calculation for the jump?"
On the bridge, Nicholas Rush had taken his place in the center chair again, inputting the final information needed to plot an F.T.L. jump when Eli informed him of his success.
"Yes Mr. Wallace. We're ready on this end," he stated plainly into his radio. Chloe sat at the navigation post in the front of the bridge and confirmed his calculations. She nodded to him that she was ready.
The bridge was extended out of the top of the ship, the stars gleaming through the three large windows in the front.
"Jump in three…" Rush started, pushing a set of buttons in a short sequence.
Destiny began to shake slightly.
A loud humming permeated the ship, rumbling through all the walls and decks of the vessel.
From the bridge window, a blue cloud began to form at the bow of the ship, several lighter colored tendrils beginning to ripple around the ship.
The ship lurched forward, becoming entirely encompassed in the blue cloud that moved in waves around the hull, a moment of disorientation at the rapid acceleration as everyone's vision was slightly distorted as the ship continued on its journey.
"What happened?" Young asked, suddenly in his own body in the Engineering Control Room with Wray, Brody, Volker, Kalin, and Eli.
"Colonel?" Eli asked quickly.
"Yes, what happened?" he asked again.
"Um, we connected the generator and made the jump. We should reach the star in…"
"Everett!" General O'Neill shouted at him.
Young looked up to see the General standing right in front of him. He was back at Homeworld Command.
"Damn I hate that," Young muttered.
"Update me. Lee said they got the F.T.L. to work?" O'Neill asked.
Young looked to see Wray still by his side, just as disorientated as he was.
"Colonel?" O'Neill said urgently.
"Yes sir, Eli said they had made the jump," He settled back more comfortably into Lee's body, but his focus still back on the ship. "Sir, permission to return to Destiny."
"Granted. But Wray stays here for now," O'Neill answered.
"Sir?" Young asked, wrinkling his forehead.
"The IOA needs to have its own interview," O'Neill sighed. "Apparently my report isn't good enough for those sorry asses," He smirked.
Young nodded. The IOA just wanted to talk to its own people in privacy. Nothing new for them, though usually that meant some change-up for the crew.
"Is the ship in one piece?" Young said to Rush, back on Destiny walking onto the bridge.
"For now, yes," Rush responded very calmly from a science terminal to the back of the bridge. He seemed heavily focused on his work, but that was the usual. "We should reach the star in less than five hours."
"That's good," Young remarked, looking around. The rest of the bridge was empty. Everyone else was either in the Infirmary getting checked up, the Mess Hall getting serving rations by Becker, or asleep in their quarters. "Maybe you should go rest for a little," Young suggested, but Rush ignored him.
Young figured he was still upset with the need to skip their previous galaxy. He needed to confront him about this.
"You know we did the right thing," Young said. He moved closer, leaning against the railing and avoiding staring into any of the hundreds of small lights around the bridge. "If we had stayed there, we would not have kept the drones at bay. The mission would have been a failure."
Rush looked away from his console and to Young. To the Colonel's surprise, he did not seem bothered by this at all.
"What is it?" Young asked, not sure what to expect.
"You were right," Rush said lightly, "and Destiny seems to have understood the sacrifice, and, found a way around the problem."
Young was interested now. "What did you find?"
"Well I was right. Destiny did need data from the path across the rest of the galaxy," Rush turned around in his chair back to the terminal and brought up a large file. "I started to look through the logs after we entered F.T.L., and Destiny seems to have found a solution.
"When we were at Novus, we downloaded a large part of their database," Rush leaned back and looked at the whole of the bridge, as if though he were talking to it. "Destiny was smart, and ran a program," indicating the file he had opened, "that analyzed that data. Large parts of it were astronomical readings, stellar observations, star charts. A map of the galaxy was stored in their computer, and all Destiny had to do was get that information out of it," he smiled and looked the room up and down.
"So, everything did work out," Young stated. He was uplifted at the news that the mission was not interrupted, but not as much as Rush. "Destiny came through for you."
Rush looked incredulously at Young. "Not just for me. For everyone! For everyone in the entire universe," He stood quickly and marched to the front window and pointed out into space. "Out there, are the answers to every question we have ever asked! Destiny is going to answer them, and it is for every living thing out there! That is why this mission is so important," Rush said calmer, stepping back closer to the Colonel. "It isn't just for one person, or one species. The knowledge that Destiny is trying to uncover will bring everything back to when we all began, and unite everything once and for all."
Young stood his ground, not taking his eyes off of Rush. He couldn't stand his conviction for the mission sometimes, but of all the things that he did, Rush could show his selflessness, his humanity, when he defended it.
He lumbered out of the bridge slowly, leaving Rush standing alone.
Major Brooks was still in Wray's body, sitting alone in the Observation Deck when Young approached her.
"Quite a view isn't it?" he asked, nodding his head at the clouds that wisped and curled around the ship.
She smiled but didn't look up. "I must have heard Telford describe it a bunch of times, but I never thought that I would ever actually live to see it," She couldn't seem to contain her joy too well.
Young stared out the window for a minute before glancing back to Brooks and taking a seat next to her.
"What is the IOA up to with Wray? Why isn't she back yet?" Young asked after a tense pause.
Brooks sat still for a moment. She finally peeled herself away from the clouds and turned to Young. "It's simple really. She knows the crew, and who is a prime choice for replacement," she said coolly.
"Replacement? What the hell do you mean?" he asked in confusion and disbelief.
She sighed and turned her whole body to face him. "The IOA wants to have a specialist placed on this crew from Earth with a permanent connection via the stones. Since Wray knows the psych profiles of the crew the best, she's going to recommend candidates for replacement on Destiny."
Young just stared at Brooks. In the silence she took up again.
"The IOA just wants to benefit the mission. The more able scientists are on the crew, the better for everyone," she said in a calm tone.
"And who is going to be replacing someone from the crew?" Young finally asked, fully knowing the answer.
Brooks smiled again and looked back to the window. "Me."
"So it's permanent?" Park asked TJ.
She heard the medic sigh and walk around the infirmary.
"I'm still not too sure," TJ said from the other side of the room. Park still couldn't track sounds too well. "I just wasn't trained much in these cases. Honestly, I did expect you to recover quickly if it was just flash-blindness."
Another sigh came from her side and she felt Volker take her hand into his.
"I'll still request an optometrist to visit Destiny soon. Maybe he could give a better diagnosis, or even suggest a treatment," TJ said, not moving from where she spoke last time.
Park whimpered lightly, but tried to keep herself composed.
"Volker is helping me to check the database from Novus and the Ancient one for some help. They did have pretty advanced medicine in them," TJ added reassuringly. "I won't give up."
Park smiled and felt a tear slide down her cheek. "I know you won't."
She felt Volker take her arm gently and helped her walk out of the infirmary.
"Just another few minutes and we'll be there," Brody announced from his station on the bridge.
"We're cutting it rather close," Rush added, staring worriedly at the power level readout. "F.T.L. might not last long enough."
"Well it doesn't have to drop us right in the star. In the solar system is close enough," Volker said.
Rush looked at Volker with a dark stare. "Like I said, it might not last long enough."
Young watched the scientists argue relentlessly from the center chair, not attempting to break them up.
"Did I miss anything?" Wray said, standing next to him, interested by the energy from the men.
"Camille," Young said with surprise. "You could have given some warning you were back."
She chuckled. "Yeah, well." She shrugged, but then got more serious. "Did Major Brooks tell you what the IOA wanted?"
Young looked straight at her and brought his voice to a whisper. "She did," He furrowed his brow and lowered it even more. "Who did they pick?"
Camille just shook her head. "I gave an honest report, but it's out of my hands now. I have no idea," she confessed.
Rush stared at the two, curious what they were talking about, but there were greater concerns. "Alright, were almost there. Ten seconds to normal space," he reported. The three scientists took up positions at one of the three forward stations and monitored readings.
"All main systems are powering down," Brody said.
"Shields are barely registering at seven percent," Rush added worriedly.
"Life-support just went down," Volker said, piling on the bad news.
"Destiny is scrounging ever single source of power it can to reach the star," Rush said. "It's not up to us anymore."
The ship echoed a slowing down of the F.T.L. drive, a light winding down, leading to a grinding re-entry to normal space as the blue clouds vanished to be replaced by the blinding light of a star up close.
"Report!" Young exclaimed.
"We're in the star!" Rush happily reported.
"Solar collectors are deploying," Volker said. "Power levels are rising."
Right on cue the lights across the bridge brightened as a humming began to flow through the ship as all the main systems returned on-line. All the computers activated and displayed massive amounts of information.
"Life-support is operational again. Shields are getting stronger. F.T.L. and sublight capabilities are both functional," Volker continued. "Just another few minutes until we're fully recharged," he said triumphantly, turning in his chair to Young.
"Looks like we get to live another day," Wray added coolly.
Rush was distracted from his happiness by a beeping emanating from his console. He stared at it and pressed several buttons in rapid succession, confirming the sensor readings.
"Colonel," he started with trepidation in his voice.
Young picked up on his concern, rose from his chair, and walked to his station. "What is it Rush?"
Rush just pointed to a blinking dot on the read-out of his console. "We're not alone here."
On the next all new episode of Stargate Universe. The crew's first encounter in their new galaxy is either their salvation, or worse then what they just escaped as they are placed in an unprecedented situation for them of being gods.