: Neither Stargate Universe nor Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to me. The idea itself may be partially attributed to Gregory Benford in his book Cosm.Note:
This was NOT beta-read.
The Destiny had powered down, there was only the power enough for a few more days of repair work and then it would be over. Still, Eli Wallace stood on the observation deck of the ship, staring at the magnificent effect of the FTL flight and smirking to himself. It was where he was supposed to be, his role in life. His destiny…
And then a light suddenly blinked in the midsection of the ship. Startled, Eli took a few steps back, but when he returned to the railing mere seconds later the light was on, and increasing in intensity.
“Crap,” Eli said aloud. It must be some kind of automatic response. Backup. We didn’t expect this,
he thought to himself and quickly ran back to the last powered control interface, we didn’t plan for this. This should not be happening. But of course there would be a backup procedure. There is so much redundancy on this ship – of course there would be something for a case like this…
he kept rambling internally all the way to the interface room, where a light was also shining brightly. Green light from otherwise blue interfaced console.
“Double crap,” he said aloud once more when he came to the console. It was running some kind of program, as far as he knew the program to get Destiny back on its course or to power up the systems. Which in fact was happening even as he ran to this room – the lights on the corridors seemed to power up again, if in random order.
Frantically he tried all the commands he knew, but the console was non-responsive. After a few minutes he switched to the other terminals, but those only showed that the overall control was now re-routed to the bridge. But we closed down the bridge. This shouldn’t be happening,
Eli thought as he tried to access anything from the console. Nothing worked…
So once again he turned around and ran, this time towards the bridge. He became quite fit since being abducted by General O’Neill, but this was getting ridiculous. What the hell is going on?
The bridge doors were, unsurprisingly, open. All the monitors were lit, with sequences of numbers running on them. The same he had seen in the control room below.
Eli jumped into the Captains Chair (as he called it) and tried the main control interface. The Captains Panel (as he called it). The same sequence of numbers was running on it, but here some additional details were provided.
“Oh my,” once again Eli could only say it aloud. The Destiny was now using all its processing power to calculate the background radiation message. It was fulfilling its mission, all other considerations immediately decreed non-important. As he watched, new systems were brought on-line, systems they did not know even existed… Additional computer banks on all decks, throughout the whole ship. In every wall, in outer shielding… The whole ship is one great computing resource,
Eli realized, why didn’t we notice it before?
Suddenly, all the monitors turned off, with only the one near Eli still providing some information. The calculations were now done and the program itself was being rewritten. Line after line of code, the language of the Ancients was replaced with modern English. What the hell?
As Eli stared at the console, the code continued to change, going faster and faster, until he could not follow it anymore. And then it stopped, a single line visible on the screen.
UNIVERSE PARAMETERS OPTIMAL… AWAITING TRANSFER…
Then, through some vague echo down the corridors, he heard the Stargate start spinning…
A few minutes earlier. Fourteen billion years ago.
“That’s it. The end of the line. We’re done, game over,” one of the young Slayers rambled.
“It is not over till I say it is over. There are still some of us left. There is still a chance,” Buffy protested.
“No, Buffy, it IS over,” Willow interrupted her, “I can only detect…” she paused, her eyes going blank for a moment, “42 of us left. 42 people on the whole planet. Even if we win now, it’s not enough to start again. We lost…”
They looked at each other, some uncomprehending the situation, some terrified. The Apocalypse had hit them hard and they were on the run, fighting and retreating, ever since it began. Now they slumped on the walls, some of the younger ones crying…
“Wait. Wait,” Dawn suddenly exclaimed. They all looked at her in confusion. “We may have lost it here, but we may still evacuate!”
They stared at her with even less comprehension in their eyes.
“You see, it’s the number. 42. The ultimate answer…”
“Sweetie,” Willow interrupted her, “that’s just the book. It means nothing to us.”
“No, it is nothing. But it gave me the idea. You remember the news from before it… it started? Do you?”
“Dawn? What relevance could it possibly have. They’re all dead…” Buffy said in a resigned tone.
“But we may go somewhere else. God, you guys are so dense…” she sighed in frustration at their stares. “Let me reiterate. One, we have the most powerful witch in the world, even back when there was more than one witch alive. Two, we have me, the Key. Three, before the breakthrough, the scientists supposedly created a baby universe in a laboratory…”
“So we can do it ourselves as well!” Willow suddenly exclaimed. “We can use the Key to create a new universe and then use magic to guide it roughly the way ours did. We can make sure there is Earth and it is the XXI century…”
“And then, we may go there.”
Buffy looked at them both, new hope rising in her eyes:
“Make it so.”
Eli entered the embarkation room just in time to see the Gate activating. He panted heavily, then moved to the console. Only, the console was dark. The wormhole was not a wormhole… It would not work, should not work… It was something else.
And then people started pouring through the event horizon, looking ragged and beaten.
The last one to go through before the Stargate disengaged, a short blonde woman, looked around and then, spotting Eli, flat out asked him:
“This is not Earth, right?”
I consider this a kind of stop-gap, while I am writing other things (that I will publish once completed). I may, or may not continue this story, but that will depend on reader response. For now, let's consider this a crazy plot bunny.