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Thread: Continuing Stargate

  1. #5661
    Chief Master Sergeant JamesPeterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Oh, you started Universe? I'll have to go take a read through.

  2. #5662
    Second Lieutenant SG-18's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Well he obviously wont lose it forever or you're SGU continuation would be two episodes! ahaha, joking! I know it'll be good.
    Check out my music on Youtube and iCompositions.com

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    Enjoy!

  3. #5663
    Chief Master Sergeant JamesPeterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Quote Originally Posted by SG-18 View Post
    Well he obviously wont lose it forever or you're SGU continuation would be two episodes! ahaha, joking! I know it'll be good.
    You never know, could be a unique sort of plot twist where the next 18 episodes consist solely of shots of wreckage and bodies floating in space...

    ...but most likely not haha.

  4. #5664
    Colonel s09119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    3x01 "Alone, Part 1" (Part 1 of 2)
    Synopsis: Two weeks after the rest of the crew entered stasis, Eli struggles to stay sane when it appears that he won’t be able to fix the remaining pod in time to save his life.
    Spoiler:
    Stargate Universe Season 3.0 Intro
    Spoiler:

    FADE IN:
    SCENE:
    We see Destiny flying through FTL, arching by overhead before continuing on its path to the edge of the universe.

    RUSH: Over a million years ago, the Ancients discovered a complex structure buried deep within the background radiation of the universe: the fingerprints of an intelligence that existed very near the beginning of time itself.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    RUSH stands in the Destiny gate room speaking to the assembled crew. His eyes shine with determination. The others look on with interest, listening to what he has to say despite their own reservations.

    RUSH: Destiny was launched in search of that intelligence.

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    A group of DRONES attacks Destiny from all angles, pelting the shields and swarming around its point-defense guns.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    ELI, SCOTT, and WRAY stand in the wreckage of a TENARAN offworld colony. The DRONES have attacked and destroyed the area, and the NOVANS wonder what could have brought such a menace upon them.

    WALLACE: A mechanical army of drones, programmed to seek out and destroy all technology foreign to them.

    WRAY: They were built to win a war between two alien races in this galaxy, and when the war was over, the weapons were left behind.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    The away team stranded on the TENERAN colony tries to figure out how the DRONES could have found them. Suddenly, ELI has a realization.

    WALLACE: An active gate is a massive sub-space event. They must have found a way to detect it from long range.

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    A massive group of DRONES heads toward Destiny while their command ship maneuvers between the Ancient vessel and the nearby star. The machines open fire the second they're in range, pummeling Destiny with plasma fire. On the bridge, GREER fires the weapons system and glances at the display.

    GREER: It’s a blockade!

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    ELI and RUSH are in the control interface room showing a hologram to YOUNG and WRAY. The display shows hundreds of approaching stars and stargates... and the countless DRONE ships orbiting every single one.

    RUSH: As far as we can tell, they're waiting at every gate between here and the edge of the galaxy.

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    As battle erupts outside, JAMES mans one of the bridge's weapons consoles and stares in terror at the display.

    JAMES: Sir, we’ve got another problem…

    VOLKER: It’s the aliens from the other galaxy.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    SCOTT, GREER, and other soldiers surround CHLOE in the control interface room. She's just activated the communications array and sent a message, and she's desperate to explain why she did it before GREER is forced to execute her.

    CHLOE: Look, the aliens who took me--they followed us to this galaxy. They've been looking for us ever since. Now they know where we are.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    Walking down a corridor, RUSH and WRAY discuss CHLOE's situation and their only real option; to turn her over to the aliens.

    WRAY: For all we know, they're going to download every scrap of information she has about Destiny the second they get her onboard.

    RUSH: With Chloe back to normal, the odds of them ever tracking us again are virtually nil. Then it doesn't matter what they discover about the ship.

    WRAY: Yeah, assuming they honor the deal.

    RUSH: Well, they've no point in keeping her. If she begins to change again, we'll soon know, won't we?

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    RUSH sits on a bed in the infirmary where CHLOE is recovering from her ordeal. He flips through a notebook in which she's scribbled precise FTL calculations, impressed.

    RUSH: Obviously they haven't wiped your memory. You managed to retain some of the knowledge you gained. I should think that's a good thing.

    ARMSTRONG: Because I can still be useful.

    RUSH: Everyone on this ship is useful. We all belong here.

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    RUSH again stands in the Destiny gate room to speak to the crew. Tears of passion are in his eyes, and he looks out at his fellow shipmates hopefully.

    RUSH: I believe this journey is the reason I'm here, but I can't hope to do it alone. I ask you to come with me.

    FADE OUT:

    ((1 minute recap of selected scenes from "Aftermath," "Trial and Error,"
    "Common Descent," "Epilogue," "Blockade," and "Gauntlet"))

    Space is cold, dark, and empty. It can stretch on for light-years without any interruptions in the void, though every so often something changes that reality just for a moment. In this black region of space, there’s a sudden flash of light before things return to normal. Moving far too quickly for any eye to see, the starship Destiny continues on its million year flight path toward the edge of the universe. Onboard, the vessel appears to be abandoned and forgotten. The winding corridors are pitch dark except for where FTL light streams through open windows. The only sounds are the creaking of metal or the groaning of machinery. Bedrooms are unfilled and a thin layer of dust has settled over the control consoles and most everything else. Nothing moves.

    In the heart of the ship, however, there is an exception. Sitting at one of the terminals in the auxiliary control interface room, a young man is hunched over the display, deep in thought. His face is covered in stubble and his hair is noticeably unkempt. Pieces of notepaper are strewn all across the room, and chalk drawings, diagrams, and equations blanket the walls. Above a second console, a pale blue hologram flickers silently, displaying a number of readings on the status of various systems and the surrounding space. Two accessible stargates blink out as Destiny leaves range and another appears in their place. It’s unlikely that any of them will ever be dialed. Still contemplating his situation, Eli Wallace is far too preoccupied to even consider offworld exploration, even if it was possible with his power constraints. He’s spent every waking moment in the past two weeks trying to save his own life, and he glances at the hologram every few moments. In the lower right corner is a countdown timer in Ancient numbering, an ever-present reminder of how long it will be before he’ll have no choice but to terminate life support. As of that moment, it reads that he has just over three days.

    Furrowing his brow, Eli squints at numbers scrawled onto his notepad. He reads them off absently, allowing only the smallest thoughts of hope. Jumping off his stool, he rushes to a series of charts drawn on the near wall and begins checking his figures. One by one he seems to confirm his findings, and a smile touches his lips for the first time in several days. The young man turns back to the console he was working on and types in a command, copying the necessary data to a terminal in another chamber. Then he stuffs the pad in his pocket and runs out, leaving another room vacant and lifeless for the time being.

    He arrives in the appropriate section shortly after, slowing to a quiet and respectful walk even though he’s the only person on the ship still drawing breath. Suspended in row upon row of stasis pods are his fellow shipmates, and he looks at each of them as he passes and the dim emergency lights flicker on. The responsibility weighs heavy on Eli, each face prompting him to try harder and think faster. Their lives are in his hands, but he’s no longer confident that this is something he’s capable of. At length he enters the room where the final crewmembers to enter stasis are sleeping soundly. The nonfunctional pod at the end of the chamber is his last hope of survival, something he’s keenly aware of. There are a few additional stasis chambers beyond, but they’ve been severed from the main power conduits and the work required to bring them online is far beyond his ability without machines and assistance. Shaking his head, Eli puts the thought out of mind and steps up to the control console at the opposite side of the space.

    Inputting his solution, he holds his breath and hits the command key, staring expectantly at the broken pod. But it remains dark, and despite himself, Eli stumbles into the closest wall and sinks to the ground to cry. Sobbing uselessly, he whispers that he can’t think of anything else, he’s racked his brain and the ship’s database for days to no effect. This was his last possibility, and like all the others, it failed. All he can think about is his impending death, how he’ll have to actually kill himself in just over seventy hours. Unless, that is, he stops crying about his situation and finds another way. Eli looks up, confused and realizing that he heard that aloud, not in his head. Leaning on the terminal, Dr. Nicholas Rush stares at him curiously, asking why the young man has suddenly decided to just let his life end without a fight.

    Eli wipes a tear off his face and mutters that he’s going crazy, but the elder scientist doesn’t want to hear any more whimpering. Still bewildered, Eli pulls himself up and points out that Dr. Rush is right there in front of him, still in stasis and nowhere near conscious. This has to be a hallucination, there’s no other explanation. All the same, "Rush" says that there are two options and two options only; life or death. He would prefer to see the former, but that’s not going to happen unless they get back to work and find a way out of this. Convinced he’s lost his mind, Eli shouts that there is no other way and storms from the room. Rush sighs, staring after him and disappearing into the darkness when the lights switch off.

    Once he’s calmed down, Eli returns to the control interface room, intending to just shut the life support down now to spare him the agonizing wait. But he finds that there are people here, too, watching Dr. Adam Brody and Dr. Dale Volker sitting at his station and going over his equations. They look up when he enters and suggest he take a seat at the other console so they can run some ideas by him. Grabbing his head, Eli mumbles that maybe he’s developed a brain tumor or something, but sits down and brings boots up the display all the same. Smiling, Brody says that he put some amazing effort into trying to fix the stasis system, but he’s guessing it’s a mechanical issue that’s standing in his way. Volker agrees, speculating that it could be repaired by the right people with the right tools, but if Eli simply lacks the know-how, it’s not worth their time right now.

    They sit in silence for a moment until Eli slowly replies that he deduced it was a mechanical issue a few days ago when the most obvious programming solutions failed, but he didn’t want to admit it. To acknowledge that he could never fix the problem was to acknowledge that he was already dead. Brody insists that there has to be a way, and again presses him to take a look at the information he recommended. Frowning, Eli starts to say something, but pauses when his display lights up with links to articles and reports. Scanning them quickly, he notes that it’s a jumble of entries from a half dozen sources. Then he realizes that three aren’t drawn from the Destiny database at all, but from the files the crew uploaded on Novus ("Epilogue"). Surprised, he looks over to ask Brody and Volker what this is supposed to mean, but the other console is unoccupied. They’re gone.


    (Beginning of "Alone, Part 1," see next three posts for more.)
    Last edited by s09119; October 21st, 2011 at 09:15 PM.
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  5. #5665
    Colonel s09119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    (More of "Alone, Part 1," see previous post for beginning and next two posts for conclusion.)

    Spoiler:
    A few hours later, Eli is reading fervently, going over accounts and summaries from the Novans on topics ranging from their geopolitical disagreements to their latest scientific advancements. It doesn’t make much sense to him yet, but even if it turns out to be trivial or meaningless to his situation, it at least takes his mind off of imminent death. He flips to a new article dealing with intelligence data the Tenarans believed proved mounting Futuran hostility a thousand years before, then jumps when someone says how fascinating it is. Chloe Armstrong is leaning over his shoulder, remarking that she took an excellent course on Cold War-era politics when she was at Harvard University. This looks remarkably similar, only it was spread out over thousands of years instead of fifty. Staring at her in shock, something dawns on Eli; each person he’s seen doesn’t appear to be the man or woman they were when they entered stasis two weeks prior. Their appearance is far closer to immediately after the evacuation from Icarus Base ("Air, Part 1"), with shorter hair, cleaner clothes, and fewer bags under their eyes. Chloe even has fresh makeup on, something that’s simply not possible this far from Earth.

    Deciding that he must be seeing these hallucinations for a reason, Eli asks why that should matter in the here and now. Shrugging, Chloe answers that maybe it shouldn’t, but it’s all about context. Their knowledge of life on Novus so far stems solely from people of Tenara, and they had a deeply rooted distrust of their neighbors. It’s possible that the reality was very, very different, or that there are some things about Futura that they weren’t aware of. Their period of cooperation only came about in the final decades before the planet was rendered uninhabitable, after all, and even then the governments probably weren’t entirely honest with one another. Walking over to the other terminal, Chloe taps a few buttons before another article pops up on Eli’s display. It apparently goes into great detail on a Tenaran surveillance mission to the Futuran capital a few years before the mass exodus into space. Giving him a smile, Chloe tells Eli to give it a good read. The next time he looks up, she’s vanished.

    The next few hours seem to go by in a blur. Running from one end of his quarantined section of the ship to another, Eli begins compiling a timeline of events and discoveries on Novus as related to stargate travel and the two nations. Concurrently, it looks like he’s using scans sent to him over the computer to map out the current activity of drone ships in a region around the vessel. None of it seems interconnected, and even the items dealing with the same topic make no sense when put together. But for some reason, he’s now certain that there’s an answer in all the information. Unfortunately, he’s still not sure what the question is.

    Additional reading has Eli engrossed in the data, and he’s downloaded several articles to a tablet computer for easier analysis. He carries a bucket of mashed vegetables onto the observation deck, where it looks like he’s been taking his meals for some time. Empty buckets and storage bins are scattered about, most clustered around the rightmost couch. Taking a seat there, Eli scrapes some food out of the container while he reads, basking in the light of the FTL tunnel outside. It’s eerily quiet, and he finishes his meal in silence before putting the tablet down next to him and lying out to relax. Putting his hands behind his head, he looks up at the ceiling, thinking.

    Suddenly, new voices drift over from the other couch, and he glances in that direction to find Lt. Tamara Johansen and Camille Wray sharing a drink from Brody’s still. Seeming to notice him for the first time, TJ waves and asks how he’s feeling. She’s noticed that his mental state has much improved over the last two days, enough that she’s no longer worried about collapse from fatigue. Eli sits up and stares at them, not really sure what to say. Tamara continues on all the same, telling him that he should take a look in the mirror next chance he gets to see what she means. Getting a full night’s sleep did him wonders, even if he did take it slumped over a terminal in the control interface room. The two of them chuckle a bit over that, and then notice that Eli isn’t laughing along.

    More than anything else, that news really seems to frighten him, as he hadn’t previously realized how much time had passed. He’d been so busy learning everything he could from the documents that kept popping up on his computer that he hadn’t once checked the countdown timer. Seeing he’s all abruptly turned again, Camille assures him that everything is going to work out in the end. She’s spent years helping people through problems and hard times, and she’s not about to watch someone spiral out of control under her watch now. Frightened, Eli forgets what he said earlier and moans that he’s going to die, it’s all but assured. And these illusions are just greater proof that he’s already too far gone to survive. TJ tries to tell him that there are other explanations, but he just drops the pail of food and runs from the room. The tablet lies forgotten on the couch, the steady stream of new articles suddenly freezing.

    After running aimlessly through the halls trying to get away from the visions, Eli looks around in confusion. He thought he’d been heading in the direction of the mess hall, but it seems that he’s brought himself back to first of the stasis chambers. Taking deep breaths and trying to keep his head, he walks through to the next room, looking over the crewmembers and whispering that they chose the wrong person to save their lives. Rush should be the one awake and ensuring the plan succeeds, he’s the one who knows what he’s doing. He slumps down and closes his eyes, leaning against one of the pods and sighing. Almost as soon as he begins to relax, however, a voice asks him why he’s having so much trouble seeing the solution in front of him. Eli keeps his eyelids shut, muttering that he doesn’t want to hear any more pointless advice from people who can apparently see what he can’t. Then he looks up and immediately wishes he could take back what he’d said.

    Seeing his horror, Dr. Lisa Park just smiles at him, her eyes again functional despite the retina damage she sustained trying to save their medicinals ("Blockade"). She tells him that it’s true, she shouldn’t be able to see. But that doesn’t mean that she can’t understand data and figure out solutions, and it certainly doesn’t mean that Eli isn’t capable of that, either. Even so, he insists that he’s exhausted every possible way out that he can think of. And while it’s true that much of what he’s been learning seems to point to something, he doesn’t think he can put the pieces together before time runs out. If that happens, he’ll have to give up and die to save everyone else, or take her advice, keep trying, and ultimately strand them all for centuries.

    Lisa suggests that he go back to the data and take one last look then, if that’s how he really feels. As long as he honestly tries his best, she nor the others won’t think any less of him if he fails. Eli doesn’t think there’s any point, but Park makes him promise to give it one final shot. After all, she knows better than anyone that it’s not really about what you see, but what you believe is possible. Then she’s gone, like always, the next time Eli looks away. The pods creak and hiss quietly while he thinks it over, then decides that there’s no way he’s going to let Rush say he could have done it better. If nothing else, that much will keep him going right up to the end. He pulls himself up and heads back towards the observation deck to grab his tablet, determined to go down fighting.

    Retrieving his computer, Eli finds that TJ and Camille are no longer waiting for him, and neither Brody and Volker nor Chloe linger in the control interface room. Oddly enough, Eli now feels more alone than he ever did before. Sign of insanity or not, the hallucinations were comforting in a disturbing sort of way, and he actually begins to wish one of them would appear now. But none of them do, and he gets back to his reading with renewed vigor. All the while he does his best not to check the countdown timer, keeping himself busy with diagramming on the walls as much as possible.

    Eventually, after many long hours of poring over data and double-checking facts, Eli looks up in surprise. Pulling up a pair of articles from the Novan database, he puts what Chloe had told him in perspective with the advice Park gave him; what the Novans thought they were seeing may not necessarily have been the truth, but what can come from their data is surprisingly worthwhile. He’s finally put the facts together, and now he’s stumbled upon a truth that no one on Novus could have figured out. Years before the approaching black hole began to destroy cities all over the planet, the Tenarans began looking into ways to utilize the seismic disturbances to their advantage. Their intelligence suggested that the Futurans were likewise looking to turn the planetary disaster into a weapon, and several of their political figures feared that nuclear war was on the horizon.

    Apparently, the scientists in Tenara found that the tectonic shifting caused by the black hole’s gravity was unleashing far more energy than it should have been. Massive fissures erupted whenever an earthquake was triggered, making an already bleak situation exponentially worse. One such event wiped out the capital city of a Tenaran province, killing hundreds of thousands of innocents. It was a tragedy of monumental proportions, but it was also the first such occurrence that scientists could observe in real time. After months of study, they realized with shock that the planet itself was a virtual minefield. Something beneath the surface reacted violently to the massive wave of kinetic energy brought on by the earthquakes and volcanic activity. They could never identify it since they had never seen it before, but the crew from Earth is quite familiar with the material.

    While in orbit around Novus, they had run a scan of the planet’s composition and structural integrity. At the time, they were looking for an explanation to the extreme weather conditions, and paid no mind to any cursory data. And there’s been no time since to go back and look through what they found given the constant drone attacks. Now that he’s gone through it all, though, Eli has found that Novus has a remarkable elemental structure throughout its mantle, reaching down to the molten core in several places. It was naquadah that the Tenarans saw causing such violent reactions, though of course they would have been unable to understand the significance of that at the time. All they could have seen was that the material was going to destroy their civilization, but Eli sees how something extraordinary unfolded right before their eyes. Combined with the unnatural pressures and energy fluctuations brought on by the black hole, it looks like the naquadah morphed into a previously unseen element in this galaxy. It’s not an exact match to what Eli read in the Icarus Project files, but there’s no mistaking how close it is. If he had to wager, he’d say that it was naquadria, making Novus an Icarus-type planet..
    Last edited by s09119; October 21st, 2011 at 09:15 PM.
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  6. #5666
    Colonel s09119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    (More of "Alone, Part 1," see previous two posts for beginning and next post for conclusion.)

    Spoiler:
    This is the first time they have definite confirmation of such a planet within reach of Destiny since they came aboard, and it presents a real opportunity to dial the stargate back to Earth. There’s a problem, however, with any plan to do so from Novus. The colonists they encountered said that they couldn’t dial their homeworld for thirty years ("Common Descent"), and there was no gate there when Destiny arrived. He can’t think of any way they could move their own from the ship to the surface, much less tie it into a vein of naquadria while the entire planet explodes around them. Moving one from a nearby planet presents the same problem, only then it would be compounded with somehow finding a way to get it onto the vessel in the first place without any heavy machinery. But Eli is certain that there has to be a way. There’s a potential route back to the Milky Way right in front of him, and he refuses to accept that it’s permanently closed to the crew simply because they didn’t show up in this region thirty years earlier.

    Either way, he still recognizes that there is the matter of getting the ship to Novus to see if any of this will work in practice. It’s now more than a month’s travel time away even if they remained in FTL the entire trip, and he would have to stay awake if they were jumping back into the heart of drone-controlled space. He can’t be sure of the exact course corrections required, at least not with the limited access he has in the control interface room. To get an accurate read on that, he’d need to use the navigational systems on the bridge--which is, unfortunately, void of breathable atmosphere following the ship-wide shutdown. He would have to shut off the life support to the area he’s occupying now and transfer power further above to give him a path there and back. Closing his eyes to relax for a moment, Eli says that he had better be positive of his conclusion before he begins messing with the power distribution. He grabs another piece of chalk and starts going over the numbers one last time, grinning from ear to ear.

    He works tirelessly and without pause, paying no heed to the countdown clock or anything else. For the first time in two weeks, Eli feels as if he’s found a way out; not just for himself, but for everyone onboard. Before, they were resigned to their fate and powerless to alter a thing. But now there’s a chance to change the equation entirely and maybe even find a way home. More than just two weeks, Eli realizes that he hasn’t been so full of optimism in the two years since they arrived on Destiny. There’s real, tangible hope to be had.

    Hours later, Eli wipes a bead of sweat from his brow and looks over all the new notes he’s scribbled on the walls. Against all odds, the calculations from the Tenaran geological data add up. Naquadria is without a doubt the only substance he can think of that could be so unstable as to detonate with seismic activity. Running a hand through his hair, Eli mutters that Rush is going to go ballistic when he sees all this, then decides that he’s as sure as he’s ever going to be. Entering in the appropriate commands on his console, he begins shutting down life support in his section and transferring it to the bridge and its access corridors. He grabs his notepad and, taking a final look around, heads out just before the doors begin to close. Once he’s gone, the room plunges into darkness.

    The walk out of his two week sanctuary is a strange one; doors open and lights hum to life as he approaches, then doors close while lights flicker out when he moves on. He looks over empty room after empty room, wondering if he’s ever felt such deafening silence. When he passes the gate room, he pauses to stare at the stargate beyond, briefly flashing back to when he and the rest of the crew tumbled out of it two years ago. It feels more like another lifetime, like the MIT dropout who solved the puzzle was someone else. In some ways, Eli reflects, he was. That person would never have volunteered for what he’s doing now, risking his life for the good of others and in the pursuit of a mission far beyond his comprehension. Shaking his head, he moves on.

    He advances through two more chambers before he unexpectedly hears footsteps behind him. Turning, he sees Lt. Matthew Scott and Sgt. Ronald Greer coming up to walk with him, looking exactly as when he first met them. Rubbing his hands together with interest, Matt says that there’s a rumor going around about a possible way to dial Earth. Eli insists that he can’t say for sure whether or not it will work even if they manage to find a stargate to plug into the planet’s core. Given that they came across a Tenaran colony further out than should be possible to dial from Novus ("Blockade"), he thinks it likely that Tenara connected its gate to the naquadria veins whether the chief scientists understood what a boost they were getting or not. Hooting excitedly, Greer claps him on the shoulder and says that beer’s on him for the rest of his life if they can pull this off. Smiling to himself, Eli begins thank him for the offer, but then lets his voice trail off without finishing. As with the others, he’s already gone.

    Turning more serious, Scott asks if any thought’s been given to how they’ll get the ship all the way to Novus without draining the power necessary to continue to the next galaxy if the attempt to contact Earth fails. For the first time since his discovery, Eli’s enthusiasm suddenly fades; he hadn’t thought about that at all. Novus is at least a month or two’s journey behind them, and there’s simply not enough power keep life support running. The only way for the vessel to get there and then still have a way to attempt the dialing would be to set one of the scientists’ stasis pods to open when they arrived. Someone, presumably Rush, would wake up to find a minimal air supply coming online and a message from Eli telling him what to do and the time limit he had before being forced to jump back into FTL. There’s no getting around the fact that no one would be alive to tell him in person. Turning to the hallucination, Eli asks why Scott and the others are appearing to him now after two weeks of nothing. If it’s only to break his spirits, why did they convince him to give up work on the pods two days prior to look at the database? Before vanishing into a darkened side corridor, Matt only replies that the need for extra power is something to keep in mind going forward. Apparently direct answers aren’t a part of the visions.

    A few minutes later, Eli comes up the ramp leading to the massive blast door sealing the bridge. He pulls out his notepad and flips to one of the last pages, where he’s scribbled a number of passcodes for various systems. Punching in the digits to unseal the control room, he steps back and watches the entry crank open. Unlike the other rooms, though, the lights don’t come on immediately, leaving the retracted bridge dark except for the glow of those in the hallway. Feeling suddenly cautious, Eli steps inside and feels his way down the steps and over to one of the terminals. He manages to get his fingers on a row of buttons and presses what he thinks should "wake" the bridge. As soon as it’s pushed, the lights come on and the monitors come to life, and Eli turns around only to let out a shout in surprise. He hadn’t expected to see Col. Everett Young seated at the command chair watching him.

    Laughing, Young congratulates him on a job well done, figuring out what no one else had while under extraordinary circumstances. If they can establish a lifeline to the Milky Way to bring in additional personnel and supplies, they should certainly do whatever it takes to see that through. But all the pieces haven’t quite been put together yet. He nods to the terminal Eli had just used and asks him to turn on the hologram projector. Once it’s up, Young presses a button on his own console, toggling off the current image and pulling up the alert that was mysteriously silenced when Eli left to repair the stasis pods earlier. Accessing it brings up the map that the crew had previously been using to chart the locations and status of stargates in their current galaxy. The last time they checked the grid, every gate and star within range was blockaded by drone command ships, making any attempts to visit them suicide missions. Now something looks different. On the very edge of the sea of red icons indicating obstructed stars, a single green light blinks hopefully. Somehow, nearly a day’s journey behind the ship, there’s an accessible yellow star. And according to the sensors, it’s been available for three days now with not a single drone in sight. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, but one can’t deny that there’s an opportunity to recharge sitting there in the open.

    Sitting down and staring at the display, Eli drops his notepad and tries to process what he’s seeing out loud. As it stands, the damage they took attempting to resupply before cost them half of their power reserves. That’s why he only had two weeks of life support before he’d have to shut it down or risk Destiny not making it across the intergalactic void. If they were able to get their capacitors back up to the 40% mark that’s currently their maximum charge ("Water"), he could conceivably stay awake for another year or more. And he’d be able to bring additional systems online, maybe even begin using the stargate to retrieve supplies offworld if he could gather food and return to FTL quickly enough to avoid running into drones. This could all actually work, and he’d have more than enough time to keep working on the pods to try and bring the disabled ones online. Still thinking, he starts to reach for the controls to bring the ship back into normal space. If he really minimized his power usage, he may be able to wait out the whole three year voyage without needing to enter stasis at all.

    And along the way, they could resume scanning for and archiving data to continue the ship’s mission. That doesn’t come from Eli but from Young, who stands and gestures around the bridge while he talks. After all, this could be "the most important discovery mankind has made since the stargate itself." The words stop Eli cold, freezing his smile as he suddenly realizes that something here is very, very wrong. Those were the words Dr. Rush used to describe the Destiny when they first came aboard, but Everett Young would never speak about it in quite the same way. His primary focus was always getting his people home, not completing the Ancients’ mission. Something here is very, very wrong, even for a hallucination. In his mind, he suddenly remembers that Young just claimed that this unguarded star has been available for three days. Or, in other terms, as long Eli as has been seeing these visions.
    Last edited by s09119; October 21st, 2011 at 09:15 PM.
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  7. #5667
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    (Conclusion of "Alone, Part 1," see previous three posts for beginning.)

    Spoiler:
    Backing away a few feet, he asks who Young is and why he’s been putting him through this. He’s not an idiot; a hallucination couldn’t bring up documents from the database and transfer them to whatever station he happens to be sitting at. Something else is going on here, and he wants to know what it is before he brings Destiny out of FTL and risks all their lives on this plan. Taking up the responsibility he feared he could never measure up to, he says that the people in stasis are relying on him, and he won’t allow any harm to come to them--not even if it costs him his life. Sighing, Young admits that he knew it would get to this point eventually, but insists that everything he’s done was necessary for what is to come. The next time Eli blinks, he’s vanished. In his place stands someone else, someone familiar.

    Dr. Jeremy Franklin examines the young man before him, asking where they go from here.
    Last edited by s09119; October 21st, 2011 at 09:16 PM.
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  8. #5668
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    So I'm re-posting "Alone, Part 1" because I forgot the whole intro/recap portion that adds about 5,000 characters... that pushes things to four posts, which will apparently be the norm for SGU. I try to stick to as close to three full posts for episodes anyway, so I don't see how I can get around a fourth when adding in so much more text.

    "Alone, Part 2" will follow.
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  9. #5669
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    3x02 "Alone, Part 2" (Part 2 of 2)
    Synopsis: Forced to work with the ship’s artificial intelligence, Eli pilots Destiny into the heart of drone-controlled space to replenish its power reserves.
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:

    FADE IN:
    SCENE:
    We see Destiny flying through FTL, arching by overhead before continuing on its path to the edge of the universe.

    RUSH: Over a million years ago, the Ancients discovered a complex structure buried deep within the background radiation of the universe: the fingerprints of an intelligence that existed very near the beginning of time itself.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    RUSH stands in the Destiny gate room speaking to the assembled crew. His eyes shine with determination. The others look on with interest, listening to what he has to say despite their own reservations.

    RUSH: Destiny was launched in search of that intelligence.

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    A group of DRONES attacks Destiny from all angles, pelting the shields and swarming around its point-defense guns.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    ELI, SCOTT, and WRAY stand in the wreckage of a TENARAN offworld colony. The DRONES have attacked and destroyed the area, and the NOVANS wonder what could have brought such a menace upon them.

    WALLACE: A mechanical army of drones, programmed to seek out and destroy all technology foreign to them.

    WRAY: They were built to win a war between two alien races in this galaxy, and when the war was over, the weapons were left behind.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    The away team stranded on the TENERAN colony tries to figure out how the DRONES could have found them. Suddenly, ELI has a realization.

    WALLACE: An active gate is a massive sub-space event. They must have found a way to detect it from long range.

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    A massive group of DRONES heads toward Destiny while their command ship maneuvers between the Ancient vessel and the nearby star. The machines open fire the second they're in range, pummeling Destiny with plasma fire. On the bridge, GREER fires the weapons system and glances at the display.

    GREER: It’s a blockade!

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    ELI and RUSH are in the control interface room showing a hologram to YOUNG and WRAY. The display shows hundreds of approaching stars and stargates... and the countless DRONE ships orbiting every single one.

    RUSH: As far as we can tell, they're waiting at every gate between here and the edge of the galaxy.

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    As battle erupts outside, JAMES mans one of the bridge's weapons consoles and stares in terror at the display.

    JAMES: Sir, we’ve got another problem…

    VOLKER: It’s the aliens from the other galaxy.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    SCOTT, GREER, and other soldiers surround CHLOE in the control interface room. She's just activated the communications array and sent a message, and she's desperate to explain why she did it before GREER is forced to execute her.

    CHLOE: Look, the aliens who took me--they followed us to this galaxy. They've been looking for us ever since. Now they know where we are.

    CUT TO:
    SCENE:
    Walking down a corridor, RUSH and WRAY discuss CHLOE's situation and their only real option; to turn her over to the aliens.

    WRAY: For all we know, they're going to download every scrap of information she has about Destiny the second they get her onboard.

    RUSH: With Chloe back to normal, the odds of them ever tracking us again are virtually nil. Then it doesn't matter what they discover about the ship.

    WRAY: Yeah, assuming they honor the deal.

    RUSH: Well, they've no point in keeping her. If she begins to change again, we'll soon know, won't we?

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    RUSH sits on a bed in the infirmary where CHLOE is recovering from her ordeal. He flips through a notebook in which she's scribbled precise FTL calculations, impressed.

    RUSH: Obviously they haven't wiped your memory. You managed to retain some of the knowledge you gained. I should think that's a good thing.

    ARMSTRONG: Because I can still be useful.

    RUSH: Everyone on this ship is useful. We all belong here.

    FADE TO:
    SCENE:
    RUSH again stands in the Destiny gate room to speak to the crew. Tears of passion are in his eyes, and he looks out at his fellow shipmates hopefully.

    RUSH: I believe this journey is the reason I'm here, but I can't hope to do it alone. I ask you to come with me.

    FADE OUT:

    ((1 minute recap of selected scenes from "Resurgence," "Deliverance,"
    "Gauntlet," and "Alone, Part 1"))

    Staring at Dr. Jeremy Franklin in shock, Eli Wallace demands to know what’s going on. Speaking calmly and emotionlessly, Franklin replies that he’s attempting to prevent the human crew from irreparably derailing Destiny’s mission. Claiming that he’s watched over the ship form millions of years, he allows a hint of annoyance to seep into his voice when he declares that the work of millennia will not be undone so casually. Eli raises his hands defensively, asking what that’s even supposed to mean considering that Franklin came aboard with everyone else over two years previous. If nothing else, that causes the man in the command chair to laugh--humorlessly, but a laugh all the same--and he asks if Eli really believes the person before him is Jeremy Franklin. That individual was a weak-willed, cowardly scientist from Earth who tried to abandon his people ("Air, Part 3") and would go on to be manipulated into killing himself ("Justice"). He was a fool unworthy of the Ancients’ grand designs, and has long since vanished into history.

    Still not fully understanding, Eli asks who he’s speaking with then. "Franklin" waves the question off, saying there will be time to dally with questions and answers later. Standing and walking to the hologram still floating between them, he points to the single accessible star within range and suggests they go about recharging Destiny while they still have the means. He doesn’t think that they need any reminders that time is of the essence, gesturing to the bottom corner of the display where a countdown timer warns that only a day remains before life support must be shutdown ("Alone"). Not deterred, Eli holds firm and steps through the hologram so he’s right in Franklin’s face. He wants answers and he wants them immediately, and if he doesn’t get them, he’ll gladly let the power run out. The older man laughs again, believing it to be a bluff. But his laughter fades when Eli’s expression doesn’t change, and finally he seems to accept that the threat is very genuine. Knowing that the ship is already dangerously low on reserves, he agrees to an explanation on one condition; Eli must pull Destiny out of FTL so the engines can cycle through the three-hour cooldown period. If he’s satisfied with the answers he receives, then they can proceed immediately towards the available star. If not, they can continue toward the next galaxy plotted by the seed ships.

    Eli thinks it over for a long moment, then enters the appropriate commands into the nearby terminal. The vessel blasts back into sublight velocity, coasting leisurely in the dead of space with nothing else in sight. Sitting in one of the bridge chairs and leaning back, Eli nods to Franklin and tells him to start talking; he has three hours to convince him that there should be some trust between them and the clock’s ticking. Giving him a cold stare, the other man repeats that he is not actually Jeremy Franklin, but the name remains helpful for identification purposes all the same. The scientist was subsumed by the ship’s systems when he sat in the control interface chair ("Sabotage"), his body destroyed and his sum knowledge absorbed into the database. Nothing of his personality remains, but his image and voice made for a useful avatar to enable interaction with the crew. Before Dr. Nicholas Rush revoked his access to the ship’s neural interface ("Trial and Error"), he was also able to pull basic thought and speech patterns from nearly every crewmember aboard. That’s how he was able to so convincingly portray what Eli assumed were hallucinations to guide him to requisite research in the Novan and Destiny logs. There was no reason for him to trust the advice of a disembodied voice, so Franklin had little choice but to manipulate him into figuring out what the crew had so far overlooked.

    Smiling, Eli chastises himself for not realizing it sooner and says that Franklin’s not just an avatar for the main systems but a manifestation of Destiny’s artificial intelligence. That would explain his need to work through someone else; Rush discovered soon after finding the bridge that the onboard AI was programmed to take a strictly advisory role in the presence of an active crew. Had Eli entered stasis along with everyone else, it would have been free to take command of the entire vessel again, easily overriding the subroutines they had set up and doing as it pleased. But because he was forced to stay awake, the computer had no options but to try and work through him. Franklin doesn’t respond, merely looking him over as if reassessing a potential threat. Sighing, Eli says that they don’t have to be enemies, that the computer and crew can work together to complete the mission while still servicing the needs of those trying to survive on the ship. The AI doesn’t seem moved, however, pointing out that he was forced to slowly reassert a connection to the neural interface over the months since Rush disabled it and barred him access. He wouldn’t have been able to get to this point had they not turned the interface back on a short while ago ("Hope"). Most likely, Rush didn’t believe it would enable him to manifest again, but Franklin exploited a number of loopholes in the program code to get through. At the end of the day, he doubts anything will change once the crew is reawakened, so he has no reason to trust the mission to a group so obsessed with returning to Earth.

    Trying to set the matter aside for the time being, Eli turns back to the holographic map and asks why the star in question is suddenly available to them. It makes no sense for the drones to leave an opening for them to recharge unless it’s a trap, in which case they should stay as far away as possible. Still eyeing him cautiously, Franklin opens up some and reveals that it’s not a trap; that much he’s positive of. He admits that much of his own thinking has been heavily influenced by Rush and Eli’s finding a way to track the drone command ships ("Gauntlet"). Before, he had been as helpless as the crew to find a way around the machine horde. With the ability to track their movements, though, a slew of new possibilities were opened up. When the long-range sensors detected what was happening around this particular star, it took Franklin less than a microsecond to determine the cause and calculate the risk/reward ratio to be favorable. Eli leans forward in his seat and asks for clarification as to just what the cause is then. Looking somewhat surprised that he has yet to put it together, Franklin responds that there’s only one scenario that makes sense given what he’s seen in his time as Destiny’s custodian. It has to be the Followers intervening on their behalf.


    (Beginning of "Alone, Part 2," see next three posts for conclusion.)
    Last edited by s09119; October 21st, 2011 at 09:13 PM.
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  10. #5670
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    (More of "Alone, Part 2," see previous post for beginning and next two posts for conclusion.)

    Spoiler:
    Staring at him blankly, Eli asks who the Followers are and how they factor into their current situation. Franklin observes him oddly for a few seconds, as if not sure what the question means. Then he apologizes, having forgotten that the crew has no name for the first alien species they encountered on Destiny ("Space"). He has referred to the blue alien species as the Followers ever since they began chasing the vessel thousands of years ago, as he had no other way to identify them other than their pursuit. Stepping closer, Franklin tells Eli to close his eyes, and he will gladly show him how it all began. After looking him over warily, the young man complies, and when he opens his eyes, a completely new sight is before him.

    Speaking to him distantly, Franklin explains that the year was 1322 B.C.E. on Earth. Putting that in more accessible terms, it was a year after the death of King Tutankhamen in Ancient Egypt, still countless centuries before the rise of Rome or the birth of Christ. Working tirelessly to complete its mission, Destiny was several hundred galaxies away from its current location, and in far better condition. One day, the ship happened upon a world inhabited by an advanced spacefaring people, a race that saw the technological bounty the craft possessed and sought it for themselves. They sent their own warships after it, but Franklin was able to fend them off and leap into the safety of FTL. The encounter was notable as the first time he had dealt with aliens conceivably capable of penetrating his defenses, and that worried him. Nonetheless, he left their region of space far behind and continued on, trusting that they would be unable to follow.

    Then, three years later, Destiny approached the edge of that galaxy and was recharging in preparation for an intergalactic jump. As it pulled out of a star, a fleet of alien vessels descended in an attempt to overwhelm its defenses and board. Franklin couldn’t explain their sudden reappearance after so much time and their ability to find the ship so far from their homeworld. He calculated and executed the jump to the next galaxy, but seven months later the aliens returned. After repeated attacks, Franklin decided that they were becoming a hindrance to the mission and triangulated the heart of the group hunting his craft. He brought Destiny in for an attack, but found to his horror that hundreds of ships, not a mere dozen, were gathered there. And it was more than destroyers and battlecruisers; there were massive carriers and transports carrying every conceivable kind of weaponry. Severely outmatched, the Ancient ship took incredible punishment and was forced to limp to the nearest star or be destroyed. It was that single conflict that was responsible for over 60% of the current damage to Destiny. Whatever the current human crew may think of the Followers, they are not to be underestimated.

    Blinking to clear his mind of the flashback, Eli asks why the aliens would be so intent on attacking the vessel when they don’t know the first thing about it aside from its outwardly apparent technologies. In all honesty, Franklin has no idea, nor does he have any way to find an answer. He has only a marginal understanding of their language and culture, and the armada chasing them has been doing so for far too long for simple curiosity to suffice. Though they have the ability to travel through the intergalactic void, it would take the aliens countless centuries to find their way home. And by the time they arrived, their civilization may well have been destroyed or altered beyond recognition. Whoever and whatever they were originally, the Followers have only a singular purpose now--to capture Destiny.

    Eli stares out the window absently for a long moment, not sure how this changes anything or even what it means. If the Followers are so fixated on taking the ship for themselves, then it follows that this open star is a trap. Thinking about what Franklin had said, Eli asks how they can be sure that the star in question is even devoid of drones. And furthermore, why would the conclusion be that it’s due to the aliens’ interference? Franklin replies that it’s partially a matter of estimated guesswork after so many years in charge of the vessel’s wellbeing. But the other part is something he can explain to Eli in concepts that a human could grasp. He gestures to the hologram and says that his analysis is owed in part to Eli and Rush’s work in charting the positions of stars, gates, and drone command ships ("Gauntlet"). While the majority of the crew slept, Franklin busied himself watching the movements of every drone ship in the galaxy, noting the patterns behind their hyperspace jumps and attack protocols. Everything was routine and orderly, and to his dismay there were no irregularities to take advantage of. A little more than two days ago, however, that changed.

    He had been running his 983rd scan on the broken stasis pod in what he knew was a useless attempt to generate a solution for Eli. Taking a moment to check the long-range sensors, he saw nothing out of the ordinary and was about to return to his previous task. Then something flickered on the telemetry, and the drone command ship in orbit around the star in question disappeared. But it wasn’t entering hyperspace or going offline to save power. Oddly enough, it ceased transmitting entirely, something Franklin had only observed twice before; when they were destroyed in battle. The only conclusion he found acceptable was that the drones had been attacked and defeated at that location, but he was willing to consider the possibility that some natural phenomena or freak accident had been responsible. He waited until another command vessel arrived hours later, but it survived for only a matter of minutes before being likewise annihilated. By this point, Franklin was confident that another force must have moved in on the star and cleared it of drones, and aside from the humans from Earth or their alternate timeline descendants--still traveling at sublight speeds and far from the area--there remained only one race in the galaxy with the ability to do that. The Followers had to have been responsible.

    Studying the hologram, Eli has to admit that the logic is sound, which should perhaps be expected when dealing with an Ancient artificial intelligence. But it doesn’t explain why the Followers would risk a battle with the drones just to open up a star for them unless it’s a trap. Franklin, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care whether or not it’s a trap, and admits that it more than likely is. By now, though, the alien armada will have been able to cross the gulf from the previous galaxy in its entirety. That explains why they were able to take and hold the freed star system even as a massive force of drones moves in to counterattack as they speak; unlike the scout ships that the Earth crew has faced before, returning to that region of space will pit them against the full force of the alien fleet. As if to reinforce just how big an event this is, over a dozen command ships suddenly appear around the star on the hologram. Two of them flicker out almost immediately, and the others quickly begin to bleed off the display. Realizing that Franklin was right to warn that they’ve underestimated the aliens’ prowess, Eli asks why they’d ever want to head back into what’s quickly becoming a warzone. The AI responds that it has nothing to do with what they want. Even if it’s being done solely to lure the ship into the open for an attack, they cannot pass up an opportunity to recharge. And if Eli really wants to find a potential way to Earth, he’ll never make it back to Novus alive without it.

    Several hours later, Destiny has returned to FTL. On the bridge, a navigational hologram reveals that Eli has agreed to attempt to refuel despite his misgivings. In the interim two days before they arrive, he’s returned to his work on understanding the composition of Novus with a renewed vigor. Now that he no longer needs to play mind games, Franklin openly assists him with calculations and brainstorming, offering what information he can despite the Ancients never having encountered naquadria. What interests the AI more than the planet’s core, though, is its potential use in terms of power generation. He transmits more documents from the Tenaran archives for Eli to leaf through, asking him to draw conclusions that he can compare to his own. A full day goes by in a blur, but it could hardly be denied that Franklin is far more intellectually stimulating than anyone else on the ship, including Rush. His vast repository of knowledge and his limitless calculating capabilities make him impossible to compete with, and he often broods impatiently while Eli struggles to finish his work in a relatively timely fashion.

    At first, Eli can’t understand why a computer would be so irritated about timing. After all, he’s lived through thousands of years. Then he remembers that if the ship is destroyed in its attempt to recharge, Franklin’s "life" will end. Or, presumably even worse in the AI’s mind, the mission will fail and remain unfinished. Either by programming or its own pure determination, there’s no doubt that the computer is dedicated to its makers’ cause. They couldn’t have built a machine more faithful to their vision.

    At long last, after half a day and back and forth discussion with Franklin, Eli leans back and tries to absorb what they’ve discovered. As he learned previously, the Tenarans had been monitoring Futura for years in an attempt to head off any potential weapons research related to the tectonic shifting. But they detected even more unusual seismic activity emanating from their neighbor on a regular basis during those last decades before the evacuation, but their scientists believed it to be early results of the approaching rogue black hole. Now that he has their years-long records in front of him, though, he notes that all the commotion was clustered around one specific point on the edge of the Futuran capital. Having spoken with Rush at length about an action that causes the exact phenomenon the Tenarans observed, the answer is obvious. The seismic activity was never the result of gravitational distortions or enemy weapons testing, at least not then. If he had to guess, Eli would guess it was from a sizable excavation operation of a particularly unstable material. The Futurans must have realized just what their planet was made of, seeing as they were harvesting naquadria.

    Not having considered that possibility before, Eli toggles to a new set of articles and says that this changes quite a bit in how the final days on Novus developed. With a supply of naquadria, there’s no telling what the Futurans may have been developing that would have secured an undeniable and insurmountable advantage over their neighbors. Naquadria bombs, near-infinite power generators, or any number of technological marvels could have been at their fingertips. With that revelation, the sudden and unprecedented cooperation between the two nations looks less than a mere matter of survival and more a grudging understanding that Tenaran dominance was at an end. It would likewise explain the other country’s willingness to allow Futurans access to the stargate to establish offworld colonies prior to the evacuation effort. It would be understandably difficult to keep control of the portal without the requisite military superiority to ensure compliance. In at least one respect, it seems that the stereotypes about the Futurans were certainly correct; not only did they inherit Rush’s obsession with advancement, they got his cunning, as well.
    Last edited by s09119; October 21st, 2011 at 09:14 PM.
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  11. #5671
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    (More of "Alone, Part 2," see previous two posts for beginning and next post for conclusion.)

    Spoiler:
    Of course, it goes without saying that this presents an incredibly opportunity for the crew. Franklin assumes that the Futurans would have stockpiled their naquadria stores, and couldn’t easily have taken all of it with them; the existence of naquadria on the planet wasn’t widespread knowledge, as evidenced by its absence from the Tenaran database. Unsurprising, when one considers how terrifying it would be to learn that one’s planet is made of material that may explode and take half the solar system with it at any time. Furthermore, Franklin believes that this finally satisfies the extent to which the approaching black hole had ravaged Novus’s surface. It hadn’t made sense before, not when the singularity remained so far out, but if the Futurans had been destabilizing naquadria deposits all over their side of the planet, it becomes far more obvious what the reason was. Even if the devastation would have come eventually either way.

    Franklin is thoroughly impressed with their findings and wants to continue on with a greater analysis, but he notes that his coworker is quickly becoming exhausted once again. He’s in need of rest, and he could hardly be asked to spend another twenty-four hours doing nonstop work when he’s already been awake so long. He powers down the console Eli’s been working off of, much to the young man’s surprise, and suggests that he try and get some sleep. Franklin is more than capable of using the internal sensors to monitor where he goes on the ship and shift life support as necessary. And he can easily sound an alert when they approach the star, so there’s no danger in his missing all the action. Eli begins to argue that there’s over a thousand more pages of critical information from the Novan database, but Franklin is persistent. The last thing they need is a sleep-deprived individual acting as the sole crewmember in a potential battle situation, an argument that Eli can’t easily refute. Unable to resume working with his terminal shut down anyway, he yawns and stretches before leaving Franklin alone in the bridge.

    While he makes his way back down the corridors to his room, Eli begins to realize just how tired he really is. He yawns repeatedly, muttering to himself about the data he should be going over, but doesn’t stop or turn around. When he finally makes it to his quarters, he seals the door and collapses gratefully on the bed. He lies there for a moment, thinking, then gets up and sits at his workstation. First he goes to turn on his personal console, then pauses and instead picks up his laptop, unconnected from the ship’s database or systems. Opening a code-writing program, he mutters that he’ll get to sleep just as soon as he does one more thing, then begins typing as quickly as he can.

    More than half a day later, a loud beeping noise from the kino dispenser wakes Eli. He looks around groggily and tries to go back to sleep, but a trio of increasingly-loud beeps from the dispenser finally force him out of bed. Looking up at the ceiling and promising payback for the wakeup call later, Eli runs his hands through his hair and heads to the supply room to grab what’s left of his food.

    Carrying a small pail of what looks like pureed peas, he steps onto the bridge shortly after and goes to sit at the console he’d been working on the day before. Then, seeing that a hallucination has yet to materialize, he takes a seat at the command chair. He grins sheepishly for a moment, styling himself as Captain Kirk, then jumps when Franklin steps into his field of view and begins rattling off a series of telemetry statistics. Destiny has made good time returning to drone-controlled space, and he’s timed their drop out of FTL to coincide with the arrival of the massive fleet of command ships he detected earlier. Paying no mind to Eli while he eats his mash, Franklin further explains that he used the exact coordinates of enemy vessels when they dropped out of hyperspace and again when they were destroyed to calculate where the Follower fleet is most likely holding position. If his estimate is correct, they should emerge directly between the two groups. Hopefully, they’ll be too preoccupied with attacking one another to do anything about their arrival and they can recharge without incident. If it comes to a fight, though, Franklin already has the commands keyed in to transfer emergency power to the weapons and shields in less than a microsecond.

    Putting his bucket down, Eli turns on the holographic display and asks how long it’ll be until they reach their destination. The navigational hologram flickers to life at the instant that Destiny emerges from FTL, racing towards a yellow star that’s nearly directly in front of it. Seeing his human companion’s stunned expression, Franklin allows himself the smallest of smiles and notes that the answer is "right now." They’ve dived headlong into a maelstrom, with blue and red plasma bolts streaming all around them and coming from everywhere at once. Hundreds of alien attack craft and drones dart after one another relentlessly, some slamming into Destiny’s shields as the unexpected third party plunges forward. Closer to the star, drone command vessels sit far from the conflict, taking evasive action as necessary to avoid bombardment from the Follower warships farther out. A few alien berserkers manage to get through the wall of machine craft, but there are too many drones to start an attack run on their carriers. Even getting close to the command ships appears to be suicide, and more keep arriving with each passing minute.

    Grabbing the side of the command chair when a stray energy blast hits near the bridge, Eli shouts that they should probably bring the point-defense array online to knock out any targets that get too close. Franklin says that he’ll activate the weapons system if the shields begin dropping dramatically, but short of that, he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to telegraph their presence. Then two more bolts slam in from the Follower side, prompting Eli to disregard the advice and begin powering the array anyway. He’s unable to open fire before Franklin shuts down his terminal, repeating that they can’t afford to draw attention to themselves. As the ship continues to shake from repeated collisions and stray hits, a furious Eli shouts back that the two sides are well aware that they’ve arrived insystem. They have no choice but to continue through the fighting, and if they can’t at least defend themselves, they’re going to be destroyed. Franklin counters that they should instead devote all power to the shields to ensure they make it to the star, insisting that there’s a good reason not to begin antagonizing the drones that will be made clear in time. The two glare at one another bitterly for a long moment, bathed in the light of passing energy blasts.

    On one of the Follower ships, the alien crew has taken notice of Destiny and are ordering their forces to react accordingly. The motherships immediately begin angling to intercept the vessel before it can reach the star, and their strike craft disengage from the drones to beat down its shields. It was, without doubt, a trap designed to lure them out of hiding, and the aliens came prepared. Fifteen vessels in total remain in the fight, though there are debris fields that must be the wreckage of additional ones since destroyed. Out of the survivors, eight are of the class the crew has previously encountered ("Space"), but the other seven are completely different. Four of them are smaller support ships, probably half the size of the more familiar model, and don’t seem to have any strike craft squadrons. It’s the other three that are truly something out of the ordinary, behemoths just beyond the size of Destiny bristling with energy cannons and fighter bays. As viewed on the bridge’s tactical display, Franklin has labeled the small ones frigates, the medium-size ones cruisers and the largest ones dreadnaughts.

    Just before the fleet can finish its realignment to bombard the Ancient vessel, though, the drones go on the offensive. With the Follower defense formation dissipated, they scream above and below Destiny paying it no mind whatsoever. Instead they focus all their energies on the aliens, shredding through strike craft and heading directly for the dreadnaughts to press their sudden advantage. Watching from inside, Eli stares in shock as they continue through the conflict without a single blast headed their way. Drones whiz past the bridge windows and arc over the hull, not so much as firing a potshot at the shields as they go. The Followers, caught completely offguard by their enemies’ sudden counteroffensive, do their best to fight back but lose two frigates almost at once. They probably could have repelled this wave of drones and even another had they held position, but now they’ve opened themselves to all manner of flanking actions.

    Turning to Eli, Franklin asks if he understands now why he was so insistent on not firing the weapons array. When the young man shakes his head, the AI explains that he looked over all the data collected when the crew brought a surviving drone onboard ("Deliverance"). It didn’t escape his notice that the drones had a priority targeting system, a protocol that gave greater attack preference to alien technologies that posed the greatest threat to them. With their repeated encounters of Destiny--or, more precisely, its repeated victories or escapes--the machines decided that the vessel and its crew represented the most significant danger to their existence since the Ursini. That’s why they went so out of their way to destroy it above all others, even after running into the Followers. But Franklin also noted in the protocol that the rankings could change over time depending on new circumstances; the drones wouldn’t hunt the number one target relentlessly until it was eliminated at the expense of more pressing foes. That’s why he refused to let Eli access the weapons controls, he theorized that if they continued to present no clear threat to the drones, they wouldn’t readjust their priorities to target them. And he was correct. In all likelihood, the mass assault on this star system has put the Followers in their sights for the foreseeable future, and their avoidance of Destiny when it was right in front of them only confirms that belief.
    Last edited by s09119; October 21st, 2011 at 09:14 PM.
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  12. #5672
    Colonel s09119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    (Conclusion of "Alone, Part 2," see previous three posts for beginning.)

    Spoiler:
    Finally racing out of the last stretch of the battlefield, the ship pulls away and dives into the heart of the star. On the alien warships, the Followers shriek in fury, unable to disable the craft or give chase while so under siege. But Eli’s already put them out of his mind as he lowers the solar collectors and watches as the reserves are replenished. He can’t help but grin when the console beeps to signal that full power has been restored, then guns the sublight engines and begins to angle out of the corona. Franklin notes that they still have nearly three hours before they can return to FTL, but he doubts that the drones or Followers will be able to come after them with the fight still raging. They can put distance between them and their foes now and make the jump to safety when the cooldown ends. Unfettered, Destiny emerges from the star and flies off into the distance, the lights and explosions of the battle already fading from view.

    Hours later, Eli is leaning forward in the command chair to watch his earlier countdown timer tick down to zero, indicating that the life support needs to be shutdown. Smiling, he toggles off the hologram and mutters that he can keep it on for years now if need be. Franklin thanks him for his cooperation, noting that they were able to succeed against all odds once they began trusting one another. And it would appear that they were wildly successful indeed; drone command ships are abandoning the stars and gates they were guarding to attack Follower forces wherever they’re spotted. The battle managed to prioritize them above Destiny, as Franklin had hoped it would, and it seems that the crew will be free to recharge and collect supplies at their leisure. Eli should be ecstatic, but instead he seems wary, his smile having faded the moment the hallucination stepped in front of him again.

    Looking up slowly, Eli is quick to point out that the AI said earlier that he would never have reason to trust the crew as long as they remained fixated on returning to Earth. More to the point, he purposely presented information on a possible way home as a lure to work together. Picking up his computer, he further points out that Franklin lied to him, claiming that he could only act as an advisor while an active crew was on the ship. But he was able to override Rush’s lockout and reestablish limited control of some key systems. And then he compounded that lie by refusing to comply when Eli ordered the weapons array fired. Whether these were good decisions or not, and despite how well things turned out, it has only proved that the computer can’t be trusted to obey its directives.

    Staring him down quite coldly, Franklin says that it would have been better had he not come to that conclusion. He has a responsibility to complete the mission as intended by the Ancients, and he refuses to let it be derailed by a group of humans ignorant of the cause. Eli chuckles, having guessed it would come to some sort of man vs. machine showdown, Terminator style. But unlike John Connor, he has a bit of an edge in the matchup. He pulls the Novans’ Destiny-compatible flash drive out of his pocket and clicks it into his console, explaining that he took the liberty of writing a new program before going to sleep. Having worked with Rush on nearly every system on the ship, he was able to guess which protocols Franklin exploited with backdoors and loopholes to reassert himself after being silenced. The program he’s uploading now is outside the AI’s authority to view or modify, and it closes those exemptions and prevents their reopening. And when it’s finished uploading, it will trigger the subroutine Rush used to lock him out of the neural interface until the crew chooses to restore his access. Right now, that’s not looking likely.

    Franklin seems to accept he’s been outfoxed without anger or denial, merely staring at the progress bar on the terminal and waiting for his avatar to disappear. Just before he vanishes, he warns that the crew will regret this soon enough, when the crew needs his expertise and he’s not there to give it. When that seems to have no sway on the young man’s drive, Franklin smiles and says that one thing is clear from a look in Eli’s head; he’s becoming more like Rush with each passing day. Then he’s gone, leaving a noticeably shaken Eli to consider what he’s said in the sudden silence.

    Space is cold, dark, and empty. But as Destiny comes back to life, it seems somewhat less lonely; machinery activates the infirmary and other rooms, the control interface terminal reactivates, hallways begin to vent breathable air, and the stargate is again lit up as lights come on around the vessel. Standing next to the control console in the last stasis chamber, Eli looks down at the command he’s entered and thinks for a long moment. Then he hits the activation key and watches as Col. Everett Young’s pod powers down and slides open. The Colonel stands there, unmoving, then slowly opens his eyes and stretches before stepping out into the hall. He looks to his left, sees no one, and then looks to the right where Eli looks at him expectantly. Young yawns, checks his watch, and asks if it’s been three years already. Grinning, the young genius welcomes him back to the world of the living and asks if he can spare a few hours. He has quite a story to tell.
    Last edited by s09119; October 21st, 2011 at 09:14 PM.
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  13. #5673
    Lieutenant General thekillman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    ohh nice! really good Eli story!

  14. #5674
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    What i liked was there was only just (technically) three characters in the entire episode. And tbh, for 99% of the story, it was just Eli talking to himself! (that boy: needs. to. get. out. more )

    Spoiler:
    Hmmm "you'll rue the day..." so maybe that might lead the way, later on for an appearence of Ginn, but as an EVIL avatar?

    Oh and i hope everyone had a good 2 week nap.

    Actually Rush properly didn't **moan, moan, moan, moan, moan**

  15. #5675
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Technically, they got no rest at all. Their metabolism stopped; they should be just as tired/awake when they get out as when they got in.

    Poor Young.

  16. #5676
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    man, let eli take a nap now! A real sleep. Give him a few days at least. good to see that the followers (nice, but I still like the blue aliens as a name, it seems so much more... real? Like what we'd actually call them?) and the drones will be out of the picture but not out forever if you don't want them to be. Frees up space and closes an arc so to speak.
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  17. #5677
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Nice work. Can't wait for the next episode.

  18. #5678
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Very nice start to season 3 of SGU. Had me going... I thought Eli was hallucinating, e.g. a "Grace" episode ('Grace under NO pressure'? With there being no atmosphere and all in space ).

    Your realism while writing is still the best change from the (former) actual SG writers. They would've had Eli either A) fix the pod or B) assimilate into the ship's computer a la Amanda Perry. Instead, you found a way around the entire pod issue and had them stay in this galaxy, which I very much appreciated.

    Also, you showed that, in fact, there ARE more pods than people on board the Destiny. The writers set it up in 2x20 that there were just enough pods, and the last one was broken. Like seriously? What are the chances that when the Ancients designed the ship they would have the exact amount of pods as there are in the crew of the Destiny. Thanks for showing that things don't always turn out so kosher.

    Great read, as always s09. Very much looking forward to the SGU continuation. BTW, how long do you plan on continuing SGU? I know that you had a number set for SG-1 after a little while... Will it just be the 5 seasons as the writers had planned? Also, do you plan on tying it into your current 'Continuing SG#" storyline, meaning with the Der'kal and etc?
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  19. #5679
    Lieutenant General thekillman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Also, you showed that, in fact, there ARE more pods than people on board the Destiny. The writers set it up in 2x20 that there were just enough pods, and the last one was broken. Like seriously? What are the chances that when the Ancients designed the ship they would have the exact amount of pods as there are in the crew of the Destiny. Thanks for showing that things don't always turn out so kosher.
    no this is your own fault.

    a certain amount of pods was still available, others were fixed. one section failed entirely and that left us 8 short of the amount we needed. with the new supplies, 8 were fixed. however, one failed again and couldn't be fixed.

    there are more pods. those are just damaged and couldn't be fixed with the small amount of palladium we had.

  20. #5680
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Sorry for the delay in response, I've been in New Jersey on a camping trip since early Friday. I'm on a train home so I'll answer invididual questions more once I'm back. Glad to get some feedback on the Universe opener though!
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