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Invasions and Perceptions

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Summary: The Federation is under threat of invasion. Can they depend on a 'long lost colony' to assist? Or will it forver change their perceptions of history. Having issues with formatting. Be patient while I figure it out?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Non-BtVS/AtS Stories
Star Trek > Multiple Series
TexanFicWriterFR13526,27732412,34912 May 1025 May 10No

Chapter 4

Lantean System
Lantea 3
Atlantis Citadel


Everett Young had arrived in orbit of Lantea 3 without any problems. One of the
Aurora Class Attack Cruisers, currently outfitted in a diplomatic role, met them in orbit,
and discharged the Young to the orbital space dock for re-supply. O’Neill had already
beamed his reports and logs to Fleet Command, and so he was not surprised that upon
arrival at the space dock, there was a message for him to report to Fleet Command, and
Fleet General O’Riley upon his arrival. O’Neill took his time, putting on his battle dress
uniform, not the formal one with all the sashes, but the informal one, that allowed him to
wear the Sword of Sateda. It was as much a ceremonial sword as it was a functional one,
and it told anyone who had even a grade school education in the Alliance, that the man
wearing it was a bonafide hero. The sash that held it fast to his uniform was a blood red
color so intense that it almost seemed to drip with each step. There were Spikes around
the semi-circular hand guard; each one represented a confirmed victory in one campaign
or another. Essentially it was the same sword that his long ago ancestor Ronon Dex, had
carried. When Dex had called the surviving Satedans together, to rebuild their world, they
had adopted his sword, and gave out to Heroes of Sateda. It was the Satedan equivalent of
the Lantean Medal of Honor, and was one of the highest awards a soldier of the Alliance
could receive for actions in combat.

He walked proudly through the corridors to the offices of the Fleet General.
Anyone else would have seen only what he let them see, a soldier returning from some
mission. But those who knew him, and for some reason, he was running into a lot of his
former Brigade among these corridors, but to those who knew him, he didn’t walk so
much as he stalked through the corridors, looking for his prey. His target? The Fleet
General.

Offices of the Fleet General
General William O’Riley

If there was one thing that O’Riley hated, it was someone making him wait. He’d
expected such throughout his life, but it happened less and less as he rose through the
ranks. These days, no one made a Fleet General wait, not if they valued their careers.
Apparently, Colonel O’Neill didn’t. Value his career, that is. Finally, after more than
forty-five minutes beyond the appointed time, his aide announced the Colonel’s presence
in the outer chamber. O’Riley summoned him in with a bellowed roar. Only after the
doors had slammed behind him, had the General looked up, and saw what the Colonel
was wearing. The neat and ordered rows of decorations, the Blood Red sash that held the
sword and the pistol opposite each other, and the man himself, who looked at the General
like he was a bug waiting to be squashed. He needed to nip this one in the bud.

“Colonel O’Neill. I’ve read your report. You failed in your mission. You will
explain your actions, immediately mister!”

O’Neill canted his head to one side, then back upright, seeming to contemplate his
words before he spoke in measured tones.

“The Woolsey Doctrine was flawed sir. Written by a man who very well may
have been insane when he wrote it. I followed my orders, which stated that if they did not
believe us, I was to tell the truth. I did.”
“They were mildly suspicious!”
“They wanted the truth. I wasn’t sure they could handle it, but I gave it to them in
any case.”
“You weren’t supposed to bring any of them here! They know where we are now,
and you exposed them to a much higher level of technology than by rights they have
access to! You broke every tenet of First Contact!”
“So I did.”

The General, Ronon swore, was getting more and more red-faced by the second.
It almost looked like he was going to pop a few blood vessels if he wasn’t careful.

“And you admit it? You freeborn sonofabitch! You leave me no choice, Colonel.
Effective immediately, you will be reduced in rank…”
“No.”
“Excuse me?!”
“I said no. In fact. Kiss my Satedan ass. Here’s my resignation. You can put that
in your bitch of a mother’s womb. Oh, my bad. You didn’t have a mother’s womb to
nurture you.”
“Out! Out of my office this instant before I call for the Guards!”
“Call’em. Sateda will file an immediate protest.”
“Guards! Remove this ‘thing’ from my office!”

But the guards were Satedan, and they had seen what the General, in his rage, had
missed. The rank insignia wasn’t Alliance. It was Satedan. The Guards formed up around
a man who wore the equivalent rank of Fleet General, and escorted him from the area.
Once outside the range of any Fleet listening devices, they stood at attention, and waited
for his orders.

“Sir? Where to, sir?”
“The nearest Satedan controlled hangar bay. Or Satedan influenced. I need to get
to Sateda immediately.”
“Yes sir. We’ll escort you there ourselves.”
“What about the Fleet General? Aren’t you his guards?”
“We’re Satedan sir. First and foremost. Command may have assigned us here to
this highborn, but we are loyal to Sateda. You wear the rank of General, we answer to
you.”

Before they could move off, they were surrounded by members of O’Neill’s
former unit.

“Guardsman. I have orders for you. You and your fellows will remain here. Do
what you can to assign yourself to the Federation Delegation. If it means you have to
bribe someone, then do so. Suggest that each of the Federation guests have their own
escort from your Guards. A one person escort. If you are successful, then contact me
through the embassy. I may have more instructions for you at a later time. My own
guards will take me to Sateda. I thank you for your loyalty. It will be rewarded.”

The Satedan Guardsmen, recognized the insignia of the guards now surrounding
the General. The Sword and Pistol of the famed Satedan Six Hundred. O’Neill was
quickly hustled to a hangar bay where a small Satedan diplomatic transport was waiting.
It was quickly given clearance to launch, and departed the planet immediately, heading
for Sateda.

Citadel of Atlantis

The Federation Delegation had beamed down to the reception area of the Atlantis
Citadel, and were immediately treated to a spectacular view through the windows of a
setting sun over a glassy sea. The whole of the citadel of Atlantis was surrounded by
ocean. A snowflake like pattern for the city, that rested on what they believed to be an
artificial island, and no one wanted to disabuse them of that mistaken idea. The High
Council of the Lantean Alliance met with their long separated cousins from the Milky
Way Galaxy and found them to have a unique perspective on the universe and on life in
general. For each similarity, there was a glaring difference. The Federation had done
away with poverty, with disease, with money. The Alliance had mostly done away with
poverty, had eliminated most diseases, but were still trying to figure out the common
cold. But the one glaring difference was that people still earned a living wage for their
efforts.

The delegates met with their counterparts and arranged for a simple trade of
technology, as a sign of good faith. In another part of the Guardsman Tyr Emmagan
managed to arrange to have his squad of Satedan Guards assigned to the Federation
Delegation as individual escorts. He’d traded with the assigned team, giving them tickets,
hotel vouchers, and more importantly, gaming vouchers for the New Reno Resort and
Casino on Lantea 6; it was a place where anything and everything had a price. The
assigned guards left, and Specialist Emmagan stepped into the role where he was needed
most.

Sateda
Central Command

Ronon marched easily through the labyrinthine corridors towards his goal; the
offices of the triumvirate of Five-Stars that ran all things Satedan. In the centuries since
the founding of the Alliance, Sateda had gone from a bombed out world, to a world that
produced the best military forces in all of the Alliance, followed closely by the Genii.
One of the ruling Five-Stars was Genii.

Centuries ago, when the remaining Satedans and their Jaffa allies had returned to
this world to rebuild, they had done so with the help of the Genii, who loaned them
enough seed-stocks to jumpstart their agricultural program. The entire budding Alliance
had pitched in after that, and the rubble and debris was soon cleared. Word spread
quickly around Pegasus, and survivors of the Wraith attack, and their families, returned to
Sateda. One thing became clear and rather quickly. There weren’t enough women for the
male population. Dr. Jennifer Keller, wife of the legendary Ronon Dex, solved that little
problem by becoming the first woman on Sateda to take a second husband. And then a
third and fourth. When Sheppard and his wife and children had finally retired from
military service to spend out their remaining years on Sateda, they opted not to merge
with the Dex familial line, and instead formed their own, with the blessing of the
Triumvirate. As it was then, so it was now, and the Triumvirate had a member of the Dex
line, a member of the Sheppard line, and a Genii of the Emmagan line.

“Enter and be recognized, Hero of Sateda.”
“I enter and am recognized. Ronon O’Neill of the Dex line.”
“Approach, child of Dex. What of the mission assigned to you by the Alliance.”
“First Contact completed.”
“And the mission given to you by the Triumvirate?”
“Truth revealed.”
“You have done well, child of Dex. What of the Alliance response to your
actions?”
“They believe me to be in a prison cell. Guardsmen loyal to Sateda assisted in
spiriting me away. Those Guardsmen are now in position as escorts to the Federation
delegates.”
“Well done. We have a new assignment for you, if you are ready?”
“I stand ready, to do the will of the Triumvirate.”
“Very well. We have a new ship for you, one constructed in secret, over the
course of years. It is the first of a new class of vessel, and it will not be the last. She is
untested, and she awaits you, at your leisure.”
“New class?”
“The Fortress class. Your ship is the Talus. She awaits you, in the Dark Clouds
Sector.”
“My assignment?”
“Triumvirate EWO Directive One-Zero-Six.”
“I obey.”

Ronon left the building behind him in a daze of thoughts. One-Zero-Six. Of
course he had been briefed on all of the EWOs when he’d been pinned with his first star.
Emergency War Orders. A relic of the past. A relic of old Earth. It would place Sateda,
the Triumvirate, and many of the oldest allies of Sateda and the Genii at odds with the
Lantean Alliance; odds that could very well mean widespread civil war. It would all
depend on how well Ronon could carry out One-Zero-Six. Relics of the past indeed. That
was what 106 was all about.

His footsteps carried him home, to the Dex Stronghold, without him realizing it.
His orders didn’t specify a time-frame for his assumption of command., and the Dark
Clouds Sector was on the edge of the galaxy and the furthest location from Lantean
recognized space. There was an outpost in the area; a Satedan outpost. At one point I
time, when Sateda had been at the height of her pre-Wraith invasion power, the outpost
had been a thriving colony. Now, it was only one more memory of the past power of
Sateda.

Most of the people he called family were off working somewhere in the Alliance.
Few members of the Dex familial line stayed on Sateda once they came of age. He had
been the exception of course, as he tried to obtain those precious titles that would allow
him to pursue his first love; history. But war had come, and he had answered the call, like
so many generations of Dex before him. It was rearing its ugly head again, and this time,
he was afraid. His steps took him down to the sub-basement where a Jaffa named Rya’c
had once upon a time built a meditation chamber, and taught them the art of Kel’no’reem.
It was something he hadn’t practiced in months, not since the last time he’d been at
home. It was time again. His shoes remained by the entrance, and he lit a number of
candles, but sitting himself on the lightly padded floor. After several hours, he came back
to full awareness, back into his own mind, and realized he was not alone in the room. His
eyes opened, and he recognized the man seated across from him.

“Father, sir. It is good to see you again.”
“And I you, my son. You have been gone too long from these old walls.”
“And I must leave again. Soon.”
“You have been to the Triumvirate.”

It was a statement, not a question, and Ronon, realized all at once the implication
of it.

“I have. EWO 106.”
“Then the rumors I have heard about Contact with Earth are true?”
“They are. It is strange. Their technology has taken a completely different path.
They have forgotten all knowledge learned at the feet of the Ancestors.”
“It is strange, indeed. When do you depart? You must visit your mother first.”
“Soon. And I will. It has been good to see you again.”
“Yes. I will see you again.”
“Yes.”

Ronon stood, his knees protesting the action after so long on the floor, padded or
not. Retrieving his shoes, he let his feet follow the time worn path back to the surface
levels, and thence to the green spaces at the rear of the Dex Stronghold. Here, in this
place beneath the sheltering trees, were the graves of all who had gone before him to the
land of the Ancestors. Here too, was the grave of his mother, who had passed on, when
he answered the call for war. He kneeled in the soft grass by her grave and spoke the
prayer for the dead, invoking the Ancestors to watch over her. He told her of his
successes and his failures, and his hope for the future. As he stood to leave, he felt certain
that he smelled her perfume, and could feel a light breeze caress his arms, like an
embrace from his long ago dead mother. A smile came to his face, and he felt true
happiness, for the first time in months.

He caught a shuttle to the orbital Gate facility, and took the next Gate. From there,
he hopped from Gate to Gate, until he came to his destination, the research colony in the
Dark Clouds Sector. An escort awaited him, and soon he was in a shuttle headed into the
deeper parts of the nebula that was the Dark Clouds Sector. Through a break in the
nebulous vapor, he saw the scaffolding for the first time. A truly immense structure, that
dwarfed the ships within its grasp. Ronon could clearly make out four ships in various
stages of assembly with at least two that appeared completed, at least on the exterior. The
ships grew larger in the window as the shuttle he was on drew closer, till they finally
eclipsed the stars, and he, finally, was inside the belly of the beast. A guard waited for
him, as he stepped off the shuttle, and he followed the young man, to the bridge of the
ship. Another guard had taken his luggage to a nearby cargo transporter, and had beamed
his two simple bags directly to his quarters.

As he stepped onto the bridge for the first time, he took note of the layout. It
reminded him, in far too many ways, of the layouts of the old Daedalus class ships, with
minor exceptions.

“General’s on deck!”
“As you were. Rakai. Why am I not surprised to see you here?”
“The Brigade got orders to report here when you got your orders to report to Fleet
Command. I told you they wouldn’t like your actions.”
“Yeah. So you did. How long have you been here?”
“A week. Getting the last of her systems checked out. Getting the supplies stowed
aboard. Making sure the crews are bedded down. Things like that.”
“Very well. Tell me about this ship.”
“The designs came from the Archives. It was something Sateda had planned to
build to take the fight to the Wraith, before the Wraith came to Sateda. As you might
imagine, it was never built. It would have become the object of a historian’s paper, had
not a young engineering student of the Sheppard line, not been looking through the
Archives. The file for this ship was unnamed. He brought to the attention of his mentor,
who happened to be a retired One-Star. He brought the young man’s find to the attention
of the right people, and the project got its start. That was twenty years ago. It took that
long to move the right people into place, to build the shipyards, and to start accumulating
the infrastructure the Triumvirate required to begin production. The first keels were laid
down a little over six months ago.”
“Twenty years to get ready and six months to build? Seems almost anti-climatic.”
“The hardest part was having Sheppard’s Outpost assigned to a nearby sector for
the Colonies in the area. Many of the same structures that go into a colony’s
infrastructure, are used in the shipyards. The first five ships produced were mining and
refining ships, to procure the raw ores that would be turned into structural elements for
the Fortress class.”
“Tell me what I need to know Rakai.”
“Sir. This ship, by itself, is the equivalent in firepower to three Alliance Carrier
Task Forces. There are eighteen strike squadrons, three reconnaissance squadrons, nine
transport squadrons. There are two landing bays that run the length of the ship, with
openings fore and aft. We can land and launch aircraft at the same time, two at a time
from each bay. That is, with both bays operating, we can launch four craft, and recover
four craft simultaneously. Each bay also houses one mining and refining ship, and four
deployable flak trap lines.”
“Flak trap lines?”
“A long cylinder, with dozens of Ack-Ack cannons for fighter-interception,
weapons-fire interception. It takes four Trap Lines to cover the ship.”
“Color me impressed.”
“There are four freighters that are normally docked with the exterior of the ship,
via six connector clamps; three extending from the freighter, and three extending from
the ship. The freighters can land on a planetary target, are fully shielded, and can double
as troop transports.”
“How many troopers?”
“One Division.”
“A whole Division? Which one?”
“The Satedan 19th. One Brigade of Shock Forces, one Brigade of Orbital
Droppers, and one Brigade of Light Armor.”
“Are there enough Orbital Drop Pods for an entire brigade?”
“The ship produces them as it needs them. We have two industrial capacity
Asgard replication devices aboard, along with thousands of the smaller, personal units,
assigned one per set of quarters.”
“I think I’m going to like this ship. Status?”
“Most of our fighters are aboard. The 19th has been trickling in over the last week,
and will continue to do so over the next week. We’re taking some supplies aboard as we
speak, and I estimate another week at most to round out our cargo holds.”
“Good. Do you know our mission?”
“Not yet. Command said you would bring those orders with you.”
“I’ll announce it once we’re underway. As soon as they’re aboard, I’ll want to
speak to our Air Group Commander, and the Division Commander. Set it up please. I’m
going to find my office and get some paperwork done. You have the Bridge, XO.”
“I have the Bridge. Aye sir.”


Milky Way Galaxy
Cardassia Prime

At the end of the Dominion-Federation war, the Cardassians had switched sides,
joining the Federation Alliance against the Dominion. The result of which had cost eight
hundred million Cardassians their lives. Even in the quarter century since the war’s end,
such great loss of life had not even come close to replacement. The air was polluted, the
soil made infertile by whatever the Breen had done, and the infant mortality rate, was at
an all-time high. Even with assistance from a Federation team, their was great fear in the
Federation that the Cardassians, as a species, would not live to see another century come
to pass.

But Cardassians were a stubborn lot, and hadn’t yet realized that the universe had
it in for them. Some Cardassians capitalized on the fear that lingered after the orbital
bombardment, and had made sizeable fortunes selling, of all things, deep underground
shelters. Most communities on Cardassia had had at least one built in the years
immediately after the end of the war.

The end of the orbital bombardment at the end of the war, meant several things to
Cardassia Prime. First and foremost, it meant an end to their small part in the war.
Secondly, it meant a series of mass burials for those who had died in the orbital
bombardment. Thirdly, and as a result of the weapons used, the air and the soil were left
badly damaged, and fourth, it almost seemed as if Cardassia Prime herself were taking
revenge for what had been done to her. With no appreciable flora to hold on to the soil,
fierce dust storms swept the lands. The facilities that had been built for surprise orbital
bombardments began to see use as shelters from the severe storms that now plagued
Cardassia Prime. The sirens went off often enough, that almost all Cardassians took to the
shelters immediately, and because of that one little factor, Cardassians would be able to
look history in the eye, and spit in it.

The first warning that Cardassians had that something was amiss, was the sound
of the sirens as they went off, everywhere at once. Cardassians, used to the sounds of the
sirens, took immediately to the shelters, and waited for the all clear signals to sound.
Most storms lasted only a few minutes or perhaps ten minutes. When ten minutes became
twenty minutes, and still the all-clear had not been sounded, almost all of the shelters
turned on the official intra-shelter news channels, and heard the news. For the first time
in nearly a quarter century, the Breen were back. And they were taking no chances.
Cardassia Prime was under orbital bombardment. Bombs of some extreme type were
falling on the surface, and beam weapons of unimaginable energies were striking the
surface, and obliterating the remains of cities.

When the bombardment ended, three hours later, nothing moved on the surface of
Cardassia Prime. The pitifully small contingent of Federation ships patrolling the sector
had been dealt with, and their remains had already fallen from orbit and onto Cardassia
herself, adding to the death and destruction. Even the few escape pods that had managed
to get away from the now destroyed Federation patrol had been destroyed. The Breen
waited in orbit, for another three hours before taking their leave. Two Battleships, and a
dozen Raiders was all it had taken to raze Cardassia Prime to the ground. Those still in
the shelters, waited until a Federation relief force arrived before leaving the underground
facilities. What they saw when they stepped foot on the surface, was a world devastated.
Those who had managed to get into the shelters, were all that remained of the Cardassian
peoples, save for a few who might have been in other places in the galaxy.

Ida Galaxy
Near the Asgard Black Hole


Talus decanted from Hyperspace deep within the Ida Galaxy near the Orilla Black
Hole. This was where as a species, the Asgard committed mass suicide, killing
themselves and detonating numerous devices on their world. Later readings from an
Earth ship showed a black hole where Orilla had been, and prevailing theory was that the
explosives on the planet had initiated a short lived fusion reaction that had powered a
new sun into being, but the gravitational forces overwhelmed the newborn sun and
caused it to collapse in on itself, forming a massive singularity in its wake. The fact that
the Asgard computer core held a reference to such a weapon probably also influenced
that theory. Their respects paid to the Asgard,Talus jumped into Hyperspace again, this
time headed for the Milky Way. The ship stopped again just outside the galaxy itself,
waiting for the final ‘Go-No Go’ order from Sateda.

Pegasus Galaxy
Lantean Alliance Command

It was done. The ink on the new treaty between the Federation and the Lantean
Alliance wasn’t even dry yet when the all manner of ships began to appear in Lantean
space. Modifications would be made to the Federation and Klingon ships, which would
then proceed to return to their own galaxy, begin to disseminate the information, and
make preparation to take one the Breen.

Two members of the official delegation had opposed the treaty in full, but had no
say in the overall scheme of things. Two lower ranks against two Admirals? Not even a
fair fight. But it set the stage for one of those persons to be contacted through less than
normal means. Enterprise, a Sovereign class vessel, arguably one of the most powerful
vessels in the whole of Starfleet, was on its way back to Earth. Her engines had been
modified to allow passage into the realm of Hyperspace, and already the scientists aboard
the ship had collected enough data to satisfy a planet full or scientists and engineers for at
least a century. They had already discovered one important factor for Hyperspace travel;
the distances in the Hyperspace realm, compared to normal space, were many times
shorter.

The person that had chosen for contact was someone that had been under
surveillance for some time. It was during the return voyage to Earth, that contact was
finally made.

Captain Picard had been strongly against the treaty, calling the science offered too
much for the Federation to handle. Had he only known the truth, he would have done
more to stop it. But the Captain had had his objections overruled, and the modifications
had been made to his ship, and now he was here, in the Ten-Forward lounge, having a
cup of tea and contemplating the mysteries of the universe. Until a man approached him.

“Permission to sit here, Captain?”
“Permission granted. Hmm. I thought I knew everyone aboard ship. I can not
seem to recall your name.”
“I came aboard at Lantea sir. I am not one of your crew. And if you’ll give me a
moment to explain before you call security, I’ll tell you what you need to know.”
“Very well. Explain yourself.”
“Who I am does not matter, Captain. What I am, however, is important for the
moment. I am a Satedan Specialist. This is a rank within the Satedan military forces. I am
also a freeborn citizen of Sateda, and that little bit of information will be explained in due
time. I know that you opposed the signing of the treaty. You need to know that there are
many member worlds of the Lantean Alliance who also opposed the treaty for the same
reasons. We were overruled, just as you were. I have a set of coordinates here. Once you
return to Earth, you must find a way to meet my superior at these coordinates. A lot more
will be explained at that time, with the gist of it being the dissolution of the treaty
between your Federation and the Lantean Alliance. The question is, are you willing to
commit what is essentially treason in order to do the right thing?”
“And what is the right thing?”
“First Contact between our two peoples would have happened, eventually. When
your Federation was ready to take that step beyond your own Galaxy. The discovery of
the Ori weapons by the Breen has necessitated the moving up of that time-table. We
could have come here, taken care of the issue, and then returned all without your being
the wiser, but instead Fleet Command ordered the Ruse. And here we find ourselves.
Your ship has been modified with our technology. You are traveling faster than you ever
thought possible. Are you sure your Federation is ready for the things we take for
granted? Wormhole travel. Travel between the galaxies. Weapons that can obliterate
entire worlds in just seconds. Tell me you don’t want this Captain.”
“Tell me, in terms I can understand, how a Specialist ranks in Starfleet.”
“Very well. In your terms, I would be a Commander. My duties to Sateda include
the lead of a strike force of Specialists. If you choose not to go to those coordinates, to
not believe me, then I will go quietly with your security team. You can arrest me on
whatever charges you see fit. But I will not survive a day in your Brig. The information
in my head, Fleet Command would extract and all would be for naught.”
“How much time do I have to make a decision?”
“Until we reach your Earth. Until then, here is a book for you to read, Captain. A
history of the Lantean Alliance, as told by those who were there, through the journals and
diaries of the ‘founding members’. For instance, were you aware that all of the so-called
founding members, Generals all of them, Sheppard, Carter, O’Neill, Mitchell, among
them; all of them were eventually forced into exile. The book will explain why. And just
so you know, possession of that book is considered a crime within the Alliance.”
“I see. Thank you. I will read it and give you my decision. Meet me here an hour
before we arrive at Earth.”
“I will. Good night Captain. I enjoyed our little chat.”

Milky Way Galaxy
Tollana

Talus was in orbit and cloaked. They were where Tollana had been once upon a
time, but the world below them was not what O’Neill’s journals had led them to believe.
There was a civilization upon it, but it had regressed to an earlier stage in its history.
Gone were the simple buildings of the Tollan and the building that O’Neill had called the
Curia. In its place was a coliseum of grandiose proportions. Gone was the city that Carter
had described as ultra modern and peaceful. The attack by Anubis had done more damage
than they had previously believed. The Tollan people had regressed to an earlier stage of
the evolution, and what the planet resembled now was something along the order of a
early 21st century Earth, had the Roman Empire not ceased to exist.

Squads of Infiltrators were sent down, and over the course of several hours the
truth became apparent. The attack by Anubis, four centuries previously, had broken the
will of the Tollan. It was all present in an archive in the Imperial Library, in the journals
of a man named Narim.

After the bombardment by Anubis’ forces, the Tollan people had been broken.
Their much vaulted advanced technology had failed them, and from among the survivors,
a man named Jule, had risen to power, preaching a return to the ways of old. The
survivors, needing hope to latch on to, embraced the teachings of Jule, and the Roman
Empire was reborn. Centuries had passed, the man had said, since they had been brought
to their first home world, Tollan, from a place known only to them as the First World; the
world of the Tau’ri. They had evolved quickly, at the hands of a benevolent Goddess,
who had eventually abandoned them to their fates. Thus did the Tollan peoples abandon
their early civilization in return for something more modern, and significantly more
advanced. The Goa’uld had attempted to reclaim Tollan at one point in time, but had
been soundly defeated by their former slaves. In time, the Goa’uld abandoned the Tollan,
and the Tollan became more than they had been.

Then Anubis had come to their world, and they had lost all that they had built,
over the course of millennia. The teachings of Jule had given way to a New Roman
Empire, a mirror image of how they had started their lives. With the attack by the
Goa’uld fresh in their minds, many of the survivors turned to the ages old practice of
worshipping various Gods and Goddesses. When the people elected Jule as their first
leader of the new era, he changed his name, and became Julius, and eventually he
resurrected the idea of the word Caesar. Emperor of Rome. And thus was Rome reborn,
albeit with a more modern approach.

The tools they had recovered from the rubble of their former civilization had
helped them to build their new capitol city. Gradually, the tools of the old world gave
way to the tools of the new, and thus only in museums, could those tools be found,
without power, and without a clue by the general populace as to where they had come
from, and how great a power they had once been. Talus left orbit. Their orders for the
moment, were simple ones. Make contact with the long ago allies and trading partners of
the Tau’ri.

As the Talus approached the Hebridan system, there was nothing on long range
scanners. The system, once home to a thriving technologically advanced civilization was
quiet. As the ship approached the planet, they noticed several things. First, was that the
planet in questions was completely covered by forest. Second, the traces of the Hebridan
civilization were gone. Overgrown by vines and various other types of flora. No one was
left alive on the planet. And there weren’t even any archives they could access to
determine the fate of the people. It was turning out to be a bad day for them.

World by world and civilization by civilization, they visited the former
acquaintances of the Tau’ri. Worlds that had once upon a time been home to hundreds of
human civilizations, were now pale memories of their past lives. As if someone had
swept through space, removing all traces of their existence. It was a sobering thought for
O’Neill and his crew. Finally, O’Neill directed them to a set of coordinates, where they
would await word of the next part of their mission.

Near Sol Space
Enterprise
Ten-Forward Lounge

Picard had read through the book several times, and the truths it had revealed had
startled even him. It made it easier to make up his mind. And he met the Satedan
Specialist at the appointed hour.

“Made a decision yet, Captain?”
“I have. If I take my ship, the Federation will be suspicious. I have made
arrangements to retire upon my return to Earth. Some of my crew, the more trusted
members in any case, will be joining me; either by going on leave or taking sabbaticals
before beginning their next assignments. I assume you will want to join me?”
“My orders sir, are to act as your personal guard.”
“Very well. I will be traveling to another ship that Starfleet has agreed to transfer
to my command. I have told them I wish to retire and that I also wish to spend some time
traveling the stars before returning home to my family’s vineyards. They have agreed to
loan me a ship that is currently sitting in the mothball yards near Luna. I could use
whatever help you might be able to offer to refit it the ship I’ve been given. Here are the
current specifications of that ship. Meet me in my quarters when we arrive in Earth Orbit,
and we’ll take a shuttle pod to the new ship.”
“Aye sir.”

Picard had handed the young man a PAD with a single ship on it. Saber Class. It
was small enough for his needs. He could have also have chosen a mothballed Soyuz
class, but the amount of modifications it would need to bring it up to date were just too
many. The Saber class ships were a relatively new addition to the fleet roster, and to have
found one in the mothball yards was something of a surprise, until he learned that it had
no warp core, among other things. It had been a test bed craft for new technologies,
during the Pathfinder Project, but those technologies had failed, and the Starfleet Corps
of Engineers had deemed it too much trouble to refit the small ship back to standards. But
for his purposes, it was more than adequate, and the only major stumbling block now,
was finding a suitable crew. Picard sent out a number of letters, asking certain people to
meet him at his family’s vineyard in France.

After their arrival in Earth Orbit, Picard and his new escort, took a small shuttle
pod to the mothball yards near Luna, where after processing his paperwork, Picard was
given access to the Saber class vessel. After a quick inspection tour, Picard and his escort
managed to activate the sublight drives and take the ship out of the yards and place it into
a geosynchronous orbit over the vineyards in France. Then the two of them beamed down
to the Picard home.

“You do realize, that at some point, knowing your name would be considered a
polite thing, yes?”
“Yes. I guess it would at that. I am Michael Keller, of the freeborn Dex line.”
“You’ve mentioned freeborn and highborn a few times, but I have found no
reference to those terms in the history you gave me.”
“That is a rather complicated, and oft times touchy subject. You read where the
last appointed administrator of Atlantis, Richard Woolsey of Earth, initiated a project
called ‘Rapid Expansion’?”
“Yes. But there were no details of that project, and the title could refer to almost
anything.”
“Rapid Expansion was an in-house code name. One of our allies, the Asgard,
arguably among the oldest races Earth had ever met, had, for at least thirty thousand
years, been cloning themselves. Cloning, and transferring their consciousness to new
bodies. In the end, that was what did them in. An experiment to inject new DNA
sequences into their decaying matrices had a bad ending, and they were left with no
choice but to either wither away and die, or go out with a bang. They chose the bang
option. Still, our own scientists knew that cloning could be successful for a limited
number of iterations. Especially since there was so large a genetic base to draw from.
There were those who were opposed to the program, and they chose not to allow their
own genetic samples to be used.
Those who were cloned and grown in maturation chambers had had their genetic
sequences tweaked. The result was a segment of the population with significantly higher
intelligence factors, along with other heightened senses. They were called the Highborn.
Those who chose to go the natural route, were later designated the Freeborn, as in free
from artificial enhancements. In the span of a generation, Atlantis went from a population
of some fifty thousand, to just over a quarter million. The birth of the second generation,
tripled the population. A third generation quadrupled it. After the third generation, ‘Rapid
Expansion’ became ‘Continual Expansion’, and ‘Selective Birth’. Even among the
Highborn there were those who were elevated by virtue of whom their genetic donors had
been; the elite of the elite.
The problem was that Atlantis had chosen only to enhance their intellectual
prowess, not their fighting abilities. Atlantis and her descendants became the leadership
caste of the Alliance, while the member worlds contributed the brawn to their brains.”
“I take it that there is a bit of animosity between the two castes?”
“More than a bit. It was the Highborn that signed the treaty with the Federation,
but it will be the Freeborn that will have to enforce it. The majority of the Freeborn,
however, have a different set of ideas. And hopefully, we have you as an ally.”
“Without a warp core, we can’t go anywhere.”
“Can one be replicated?”
“Up to a point. The dilithium must be real. It is what controls the reaction in the
mix chamber between the matter and anti-matter.”
“Do you have schematics available for a basic warp core?”
“Yes. Such things are readily available.”
“Can you obtain some of this dilithium?”
“Yes. One of the men I have invited here for this meeting, I’m certain he can
obtain what we need.”
“Good. I’ll feed the schematics into my personal replicator. Let’s see what it can
come up with.”

Picard had sent out a number of letters, but some had gone to addresses that were
more like ‘In Care Of’ than actual locations for the intended recipients. Still, as he saw
one of those ‘In Care Of’s arrive at his front door, he knew that something was going
right, for once.

“Captain.”
“Commander or is it Officer, now?”
“Lt. Commander, actually. It’s been a long time, sir.”
“Please, Jean-Luc. Especially since you’re not in my chain of command any
longer.”
“Of course. Jean-Luc. I must admit that your letter, brief as it was, did intrigue
me. What is this problem that you foresee?”
“Please. I’ve asked others to attend this briefing. I’d like to tell it only once.
Everyone else should be arriving over the next hour or so. Have you kept up your
helmsman rating?”
“Yes. But I currently serve as a tactical officer.”
“That is good to know. Have a seat, enjoy some of the house wine.”

Picard looked out the window towards the transporter stop, and saw six more
coming up his walkway. Three were virtual unknowns to him, but came recommended by
the other three. How they would fit in to his crew was anyone’s guess. Behind them, he
saw the transporter flash again, and three more started their walk up the path. One had
been invited, the other two; he had heard they were on Cardassia Prime and out of
Starfleet. Picard bade them welcome, offered them a beverage, and had them sit down.
Then, to make matters simpler, he asked them each to stand and give their name, and
their last position.

“I will begin. Jean-Luc Picard. Captain of the Enterprise.”
“Lt. Commander Ro Laren, Tactical Officer, Deep Space 9.”
“Thomas Riker, executive officer on a commercial freighter.”
“Commander Geordi La Forge, Chief Engineer of the Enterprise.”
“Commander Data, executive officer of the Enterprise.”
“Ensign Wesley Crusher, and I’ve just graduated from the Academy.”
“Ensign Naomi Wildman. Also a recent graduate.”
“Ensign Icheb Brunali. Recent graduate of Starfleet Academy.”
“Commander Annika Hansen, astrometrics officer of the Voyager.”
“Dr. Julian Bashir, former Chief Medical Officer of Deep Space 9.”
“Chief Petty Officer Miles O’Brien, former operations officer of Deep Space 9.”

“Dr. Bashir, Chief O’Brien. I must admit to being curious as to your presence,
considering I do not recall sending out any letters to you.”
“We heard you were gathering a crew, Captain. And we were hoping it had
something to do with the Breen. We were on Cardassia Prime.”
“And?”
“You mean you don’t know?”
“Know what?”
“The Breen came in force, not that the Cardassian military could have fought
them off. The Starfleet patrol in the sector faired no better. Two of their big battleships,
and maybe a dozen raiders; they razed Cardassia Prime to the ground. The only survivors
were in the storm shelters. Cardassia Prime is a memory, Captain. There probably aren’t
even enough Cardassians to re-seed the species.”
“I had not heard. When did this happen?”
“Weeks ago.”
“Is Starfleet aware of the incident?”
“Yes sir. They are.”
“And they haven’t sent any aid?”
“None whatsoever. When we heard that you were gathering a crew…”
“What made you think I’m gathering a crew?”
“With the people in this room?”
“Ah. Yes. I guess that was rather obvious. Very well then. Stay. I seem to have a
need for a Doctor and a competent Operations Officer.”
“Good.”

“What do you know of the recent First Contact?”
“You mean with the people who claim to be from another galaxy?”
“And here I thought such information was close hold. Yes, Dr. Bashir, with
people who claim to be from another galaxy. They invited the Federation back to
Pegasus, to talk about treaties. I opposed this. The Federation signed those treaties. I still
oppose them. And now I have good reason. I’ve learned that the treaty is a ruse. They
intend to send a small fleet here, to help with our Breen problem. But the fleet will arrive
just a bit too late to save anyone else except their treaty partners, namely Earth and the
Klingon homeworld. Everyone else, as far as they’re concerned, is cannon fodder for the
Breen. With so few allies left to the Federation, the Lantean Alliance plans to invade us
and forcibly annex us.”
“Is there any proof of this? If there is, and the Federation is unaware, why haven’t
they listened to you?”
“Because the carrot was too enticing.”

Michael Keller had been listening to the conversation from just the other side of
the door. Now he felt it necessary to step in.

“Who is this man, Captain?”
“I am Michael Keller, of the Dex Line of Sateda, Pegasus Galaxy. A Specialist
with the 309th Satedan Guard.”
“So you think you’re from another galaxy?”
“I am.”
“Commander Hansen, Ensign Brunali. As former Drones, do you recall any
mentions of the Borg traveling to other galaxies?”
“Travel between the galaxies is impossible. The lack of reference points would
prohibit such.”
“Blah, blah, blah. Travel as you know it, because you are limited to, what was it,
oh yes, warp drive. An inherently slower method of travel. By the way, what do you
mean by Drones, Captain?”
“They were former members of the Borg Collective.”
“The cybernetic race that attempted to invade the Federation?”
“Yes. I was also one of them.”
“A blend of mechanical and biological, yes?”
“Correct.”
“Flawed, in other words.”
“The Borg strove for perfection.”
“Thankfully then, the Borg never had a chance to meet the Asurans or the
Replicators. I daresay the Milky Way would not have survived such an encounter.”
“Are you speaking of the mechanical beasties that O’Neill refers to in his
journals?”
“The one and the same. The Replicators damn near wiped out the Asgard on their
own, and we do know they were responsible for eradicating several civilizations in this
part of the universe.”
“That was in the history you gave me.”
“Yeah. Persistent little buggers. Shoot them with any sort of energy weapon and
they just absorb it and replicate. Shoot them with a projectile weapon, and they break
apart, only to reform. It took time, but we were finally able to develop a weapon that
neutralized the bonds between cells. For instance, if a Replicator were biologically based,
then it would have been the same thing to say we had developed a weapon to strip all of
the protons out of each cell. With no cohesion, the cells fell apart, inert and useless. A
simplified explanation, but usable for this purpose.”
“And your alliance wants to forcibly annex the Federation?”
“Not my alliance, sir. I am a soldier sworn to the Satedan Triumvirate. Sateda,
Genii, and others are members of the Alliance, but we are Freeborn, they are not. They
want to annex your galaxy, not because of the Federation, but because it is home to the
only Gate in existence that leads to Altair, the homeworld of the Ancients. The Alliance
wants the technological advancements they believe are due to them. With that technology
they can become as Gods to every other species in the universe. They would have
everyone worship them as Gods. Do you want that?”
“No. What do you require of us Picard?”
“I have a ship, in geo-stationary orbit over this house. A Saber class that was
fitted out as a test bed for the Pathfinder project. When the power requirements became
too great, Starfleet gutted the ship and left it in the mothball yards. When I requested a
ship from there, they let me have this particular Saber. Mr. Keller tells me his personal
replicator can build anything we need. Geordi, I need a Chief Engineer.”
“Count on me, Captain.”
“The Saber is designed to have a crew of forty. We don’t have near that amount. I
need recommendations, people.”
“There are a few Cardassians that would like some payback, sir.”
“We’ll see what we can do. Let us beam up to the ship, and see what we can do.”

Transporter beams activated and the people assembled in the room were whisked
up to the ship that sat in orbit. In main engineering, Geordi took one look at the mess that
was left of the engines and proceeded to sit down and just shake his head. Even with
Data’s help, the task seemed almost insurmountable.

“Commander La Forge.”
“Commander Hansen. Something I can do for you?”
“I believe it is more along the lines of something I can do for you. I still have my
Borg implants as does Ensign Brunali. Between the two of us, we can assist in repairing
this section.”
“Do what you need to do.”
“Excuse me, Commander La Forge?”
“Mr. Keller, was it? What can I do for you?”
“I wanted you to look over these specifications before I set my replicator on its
task.”
“Ok. Let’s take a look. Yes. Everything looks quite good. How long to start
replication?”
“The first task is to replicate the replicator. The next larger size is oh about this
tall and maybe this wide, and it can build everything else we need. That should take about
ten minutes or so. After that, it’s simply a matter of having the available materials to
reconstruct. It’s not so much a replicator as it is a resequencer of matter, done entirely at
the sub-atomic level.”
“Ok. Get to it.”
“Aye, sir!”

Bridge

“Well Mr. O’Brien. What are your thoughts?”
“I think we have our work cut out for us. I’m not sure where to even start, sir.”
“Geordi has engineering well in hand. Tell me about weapons?”
“The lines are cut in a dozen different places. I can’t even run a proper diagnostic
without hitting an error.”
“Mr. Crusher, Ms. Wildman. Work with Chief O’Brien on weapons.”
“Sir!”

“Well Mr. Riker. What do you think?”
“I think you need to get your money back, Captain.”
“That bad?”
“The helm controls are barely functional.”
“And between you and Ms. Laren you should be able to fix it, correct?”
“We’ll try sir.”
“Good.”

“Dr. Bashir, status of the infirmary?”
“There are too many things inoperable to give you a status report just yet sir.”
“Data, perhaps you can assist the Doctor?”
“Sir.”

Picard went where he was needed, helping here and there, and taking over duties
in the small mess area since no one else had the time or the forethought to cook. At some
point during the day, the computer beeped for his attention. Someone else was wanting to
beam aboard. He met them in the small transporter room.

“Guinan.”
“Jean-Luc. You left without saying good-bye.”
“It was necessary.”
“So is my coming here. You don’t trust these Lanteans do you?”
“No. I know what their plans are, and I fully intend on doing my best to stop
them.”
“And so you’re trying to fix up this ship?”
“Yes.”
“And what are you doing, exactly?”
“Other than meeting you here? I’m playing chef in the small mess hall.”
“Show me the way, then leave me to the cooking duties. You, sir, are needed
elsewhere.”
“Thank you, Guinan.”
“Don’t thank me yet, Captain.”

Midway Station
Between the Milky Way and Pegasus Galaxies

With the Federation ships safely back in their own galaxy, Midway cutf power to
the cloaking generators that had screened the larger parts of the station from their initial
view. The cloaks had not only allowed much of the station to disappear from site, but also
to shift out of phase, allowing the Everett Young to approach without difficulty. The ships
of the Lantean Alliance task force approached the station for a brief respite before
continuing their journey. One small grouping of ships would make the journey, to
reinforce General Carter’s own group, while the rest would remain here, awaiting the
order to move in and lay claim to what was rightfully theirs.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Invasions and Perceptions" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 25 May 10.

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