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This story is No. 2 in the series "Pilot Season". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: As its new crew tries to unlock the secrets of Destiny, a man must find his own.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Xander-CenteredneoolongFR18969,0651210451,50212 Aug 1017 Apr 11No

Prologue: Unchosen

Disclaimer: Standard lack of ownership for anything that anybody else owns. No profit made and all that.

Crossover: Stargate Universe

Author's Note: May be developed, depending on the response. Please read the series description for how this works.


The room was silent, only the tiniest of reverberations from ancient machinery made their way in through the metal bulkheads and floor, though there hadn't been anyone around to detect them in tens of millions of years. A large metallic ring stood near the back of the room, partially embedded in the floor, marking the function of the room for the intended inhabitants that would never arrive.

As if by some unforeseen command, the lights embedded in the floor started to glow, lighting a pathway to the metal circle. It too started to glow, the chevrons locked standard distances from each other around the outer edge of the circle shining a bluish-white. The large orb that hung just above the ring started to glow the same color.

Suddenly, the gate spun to the right, one of the symbols imprinted on the surface of the ring blazing into light as it swung underneath the orb. As it did so, the Stargate turned to the left, stopping and reversing direction as another glyph was activated. More and more revolutions, until nine of the symbols were lit, and a puddle of standing water whooshed into existence. It sent a vortex of energy into the center of the room before withdrawing back into the gate, the wormhole bridging space and time stabilizing itself.

It was only a few seconds before a man was thrown through gate, coming down hard. Frost covered him lightly as he grimaced and groaned, standing up and taking stock of the situation. The emptiness and darkness were cold comfort to him, though he was glad that the air was at least breathable. He didn't have much time to examine the room further before a box crashed to the ground near him, followed by a woman at about the same speed.

He bent down to help her up as another person was sent through the gate. The boxes and bags and people continued as the evacuation of their base continued. He could only imagine how the battle was faring, their limited space force fighting a delaying action to allow them enough time to escape.

"Where are we? Why didn't we come through to Earth?" An Asian woman said to nobody in particular as she scrambled to her feet, glancing about the unfamiliar surroundings. They should have gone through the Stargate back to Stargate Command. Which looked nothing like the metal room that they found themselves in now.

"I have no idea," another man said, helping her to her feet and leading her away from the landing zone as other people came through the gate. He turned back after she was out of harm's way, looking briefly at the shimmering puddle that was still spewing men and equipment and boxes. He narrowed his eyes briefly, the light of the active gate shining on two irises of different color.

"Where are we," the man muttered, before turning back to see if there was anybody else that needed help and to drag any containers out of the way.


In a flash, he materialized on the flat rock platform, taking a moment to reorient himself after having been beamed down to the planet from the USS George Hammond. The view before him was breathtaking, huge expanses of rock and sand spreading out for miles. The only thing that broke it up and gave any indication of life was the straight line of a runway, which he knew was for the use of the F-302 hyperspace fighters that were assigned to the base for protection.

"Welcome to Icarus Base," a voice called out behind, drawing attention away from the vista. Roughly 40 years old, with short dark brown hair, the man had the air of someone that had seen much of what the universe had to offer, both the good and the bad, and had tired of both. He was wearing the black uniform of the base personnel, the feather-over-star patch of the Icarus Base evident on his shoulder. "Mr. Harris."

Xander turned and walked towards the rough steps that led to the entrance of the facility. The man that had just spoken stepped down the steps. "Thank you, Colonel Young. Not exactly what I was expecting."

"It never is," Colonel Young commented.

Xander smiled briefly at that, hitching the bag that he had further up his shoulder to keep it from shifting. In his left hand was a large black duffle bag, the weight of it merely a distraction now. "I expected Dr. Rush to be here."

"Well," Colonel Young said, slightly strained. "He's still busy working. You can meet with him after you settle in."

"Sure," Xander said, narrowing his eyes a little as he caught the colonel's tone. It seemed he wasn't the only one that wasn't completely happy with how their lives had been affected by the Icarus Project. With the Stargate Program having expanded considerably in the last twelve years, it stood to reason that they had started to accept more and more people that weren't necessarily the most stable, even though they weren't at the height of any particular wars anymore. Though that tended to be on the side of the civilian specialists that were brought in. He wasn't quite sure if he would consider himself to be in that unstable civilian specialist group though.

The colonel waved another man over. He was a good deal younger with a smooth face, likely on one of his first assignments under the SGC. "This is Lieutenant Scott, he'll escort you to your quarters."

"Thanks," Xander said, as Colonel Young nodded and walked back to the base entrance. Xander turned his attention to the remaining man, shaking hands with him as well. "Good to meet you."

"Likewise," the lieutenant stated, trying to avoid staring at the man's miscolored eyes. For some reason, the left one was a striking blue in color, the right iris a dark hazel. "We should get going."

Scott turned and led the way up the stairs towards the facility's opening.

Xander smiled a little, shaking his head. "Heterochromia, it's alright."

"I'm sorry?" Lieutenant Scott said, turning his head to his shoulder.

Xander glanced over at the large railgun that constituted the primary land-based base defensive weapon as they walked into the facility. "My eye colors. I know. It's okay."

"Sorry," Scott repeated, slightly chagrined at being caught.

"Forget about it," Xander said, not wanting to dwell on the matter. It was a lie anyway, and though not exactly a classified secret, he couldn't tell everyone that he had a piece of ancient Asgard technology stuck in his skull. There were still too many people out there, human and alien, that would come after him for what was there.

"So what are you here for?" the lieutenant said, making his way through narrow corridors that had been cut through the mountain that housed the base. He had to turn sideways to allow a few people to pass by, some of the hallways extremely narrow. The facility had not been designed for comfort, though in typical governmental foresight, it had both an officer's mess and a general one.

"Dr. Rush found some additional files in the Ancient database that he needed translated," Xander said, trying to navigate his bags through the hall. "They were encoded in a variant of Ancient. I guess he needed an on-base consultant. And what Dr. Rush wants, I guess he gets."

Matt smiled a little, completely used to people being annoyed by, and at, the rather eccentric scientist. "You do this a lot?"

As they walked past the metal doors that led to the gateroom, Xander smiled at it a little. "Here and there."


Xander looked on briefly as Lieutenant Scott trying to talk to the masses. He could feel the fear and apprehension coming off the approximately eighty people that were in the alien gateroom. He felt some himself, but pushed it down, knowing that it wouldn't help anyone at the present moment.

Walking over to what look like a control panel in an alcove at the front of the room, he examined the console carefully, his movements having gone unnoticed as Matt tried to get everyone to calm down. Luckily a few of the wall lights had started up, casting the room in its light yellow light, making the room at least a little less mysterious and frightening. "Curiouser and curiouser."

Some of the controls were worn, and the metal of the console discolored as if it had started to rust, but the small metal plates set next to buttons and switches were still clearly marked with Ancient script. They were gate controls as far as he could tell from the descriptions, the display in the panel cycled through what looked to be some sort of startup diagnostic. If he had to guess, he would have to say that the ship had been in some sort of standby mode until the gate had activated, and that now that it had woken it up it was trying to reactivate its systems.

The design, as far as he could tell, didn't match up to anything he had seen of Ancient technology. And from the looks of it, he would wager that the technology predated Atlantis by thousands of years. Or at least how Atlantis looked now. The clean lines and almost hippie-crystal nature of the Atlantis computer aesthetic was nothing like the bronze and steel heavy metal feel of the control panel, not to mention the surrounding room.

Looking up, Xander had to say that even the Stargate itself looked much different from those used in the Milky Way and the Pegasus galaxies. It seemed like an precursor, a beta to the updated versions seen in the two galaxies.

"Sergeant, I need you to get these people settled here. I need you to find out who and what we've got. Nobody leaves this room," Lieutenant Scott said after he had at least gotten the group to stop talking. He turned to a marine to ensure that he would follow his instruction.

Xander watched as the marine responded in the affirmative. He came back from around the console as they all started to look around, trying to identify all of the evacuees as Matt and the new math or science guy headed off.


The ball thunked against the concrete wall yet again, bouncing back into his hand, and being thrown once again to the wall in a smooth motion. Xander's face was rather expressionless as he did it, feeling the boredom creeping higher and higher.

As it turned out, his misgivings about the reassignment had been spot-on. Little work, all to feed into Dr. Rush's ambition. And instead of at least having a whole city to wander through during his off-time, not to mention Dr. Esposito, he had a cliff, and a racquetball.

Sighing as he caught the ball for the three hundredth time, he was about to throw it again when he heard what sounded like an explosion. The frame of his bed shook after a second, followed by a few more distant explosions.

Furrowing his eyebrows, he pocketed the ball and reached over to the nightstand for his radio. He froze, the radio halfway to his lips, as he heard alarms sound.

Then a voice sounded out from the speakers mounted on the ceiling. It was Colonel Young. "The base is under attack. All non-combative personnel, report to your designated areas; everyone else to your battle stations. This is not a drill."

"Damn." Xander got up from his bed and clipped the radio to his belt. He grabbed his shoes and hurriedly put them on, as he picked up one of his bags. He hurried to the door, and joined the mass of people that were headed towards the Gate Room.


"Please go there and stay there until you're asked to do something useful," Dr. Rush shouted at the crowd, a Scottish accent scoring his words. He was in his late forties, the long slightly oily hair and stubble marking him as a man that was much more preoccupied with his intellectual pursuits than his appearance.

Xander just looked up at him, saying nothing as he could feel the crowd getting restless. They had occupied some time taking stock of the supplies they had, as well as patching up the injured. But the busy work had soon ended, and the thoughts of the crowd had soon turned back to the predicament they were in.

Though he didn't say anything, he couldn't imagine that the people weren't thinking about the exact circumstances that had led them to getting stuck where they were. And, while he had his doubts that General O'Neill had put the man in charge, he didn't want to jump into the conflict so quickly. He had learned through a harsh life that that sort of thing usually ended badly. On a macro scale, it had led their world into three conflicts that had almost resulted in the destruction of the planet.

"We do not want to settle in! We want to get back, right?" the Asian woman that he had helped before said, clearly angry at the scientist.

Others in the crowd were supportive of that notion, the tension and hostility rising.

"We should be working on getting home!" a man shouted.

Another man nodded in agreement. "Exactly."

Dr. Rush still looked out at the crowd from his elevated position on the staircase that led up to the second floor of the gateroom. He acted like he still had complete control. "I'm not sure if that's even possible."

Xander almost groaned, knowing that was the last thing that he should have said. He didn't want to throw in his own hat at taking control though, knowing that there were already too many voices vying for it.

"What?" the woman exclaimed. "You haven't even tried!"

"Maybe you should actually do something instead of standing around talking about being in charge." A marine growled, taking a step forward towards Rush.

Xander took a step back, raising his right hand and resting it on the flap of his bag, pulling it forward a little. He didn't like where things were going, and he knew from past experience that not every member of the military, even those in the SGC, could be relied upon to act in a calm and reasonable manner. It meant that the sides could easily multiply to pure anarchy.

Bringing some hope that things could be calmed down, Xander heard Scott shout from the back of the room. "Everybody! Everybody calm down!"

They all turned toward the young lieutenant as he walked into the center of the room, his large rifle pointed upwards. "Now, the fact is, Colonel Young put me in charge and I expect all SG personnel to follow my orders. As for the rest of you, you get out of line, we will lock you down."

Xander observed the rest of the crowd; they had fallen silent, recognizing the authority of the young Air Force officer. He imagined that Matt had emphasized the point at least partly for the benefit of the bald marine that had spoken up.

Scott turned, and spoke to the crowd. "Now Doctor Rush is right about a couple of things. First off, we all have to work together. And second of all, we don't all have to stay here, so let's move out."

He saw that nobody moved, so he spoke again. This time he tried to do it a little more gently and with more encouragement. "Go on, move. It's okay."

They left after that, though Xander stopped and looked at the lieutenant, a guarded expression on his face as he caught the man's eye. He merely nodded calmly in support, before turning around and following the others that had exited the gate room.


After making sure that the door was shut, Xander turned and moved towards the bed. He wasn't exactly sure about the accommodations, but all things being equal, it could have been a lot worse. The bed didn't seem to be that bad, even if it was millions of years old, and he actually had a window that showed them travelling through space. Of course, according to Dr. Rush, while they were travelling faster than light, they weren't going through hyperspace. That wasn't exactly his field of expertise though.

He set his bag on the bed, pulling the flap back and digging through the contents. He was luckier than some, having been able to bring some personal possessions with him. A number of people had nothing but the clothes on their backs and the contents of their pockets. As if a wallet was going to be of much use in their situation.

However, what made him luckier than all the civilians was what he was currently digging for. It didn't take long to find, the bag not holding all that much. Pulling it out, Xander stared at what was in his hand. The biometallic grip was contoured, and fit easily in his hand. From the soft glow of its multi-chambered power cell, it was fully powered.

He held the Wraith handstunner, and looked around the small room, before climbing onto the bed. Reaching up, he pulled the grill from a ventilation shaft that was centered above the bed, placing the weapon inside. He made sure to push it in far enough so that it wouldn't be visible from the outside, especially with its lit power cell. Placing the grill back onto the front of the vent, he stepped back to ensure that the nothing of the handblaster was visible.

Climbing off of the bed he stood, walking closer to the window and looking out as brilliant streams of light streaked past in different shades of blue and green. If their predicament wasn't so precarious, he'd even call it beautiful. As it was, the empty space and even the different effect of going faster than light simply reminded him of how very far from home they all were.

The crackle of his radio interrupted his reverie though, as Scott called him through the communications link. "Xander, I need you to come to the control room."

He reached to his belt without moving his eyes off the window. Pulling the radio up to his mouth, he pressed the talk button. "I'm on my way."
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