Chapter 1: Orbital Anomaly
I do not own the series or characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Stargate SG-1, or Star Trek. This story is a work of fiction written for fun and not for profit. It is only allowed to be posted on tthfanfic.org.
Ship of the Line: SovereignChapter 1: Orbital Anomaly
Halloween was not a happy day for Jack O’Neill. It used to be, before Charlie killed himself using Jack’s old service pistol. Jack used to watch as his son got excited about going out and getting candy, always picking a new costume every year. Now Jack would spend the evening alone, watching the Simpsons or ESPN while drinking and eating take out Chinese or a delivery pizza.
Jack smiled faintly as an ad played on his television while the coaches of the two teams playing (he wasn’t really paying enough attention to be sure who was playing who tonight) called a time-out after a pair of players got into a scuffle. The ad had been for a new place being opened at the Las Vegas Hilton, called Star Trek the Experience. Charlie had always loved Star Trek he sadly remembered, and at least half of his costumes had been chosen from the ranks of characters on the shows. He smiled wider as he remembered one year Charlie had gone as Kirk. Every single mother escorting their kids, and even a few older sisters escorting younger brothers, had given Charlie a kiss on the cheek that night.
RING RING. RING RING.
Jack was pulled out of his nostalgia by the sound of his phone going off. He grunted as he got up. Every one of his friends knew not to call him tonight, he had explained to them the day before that he was not to be disturbed at all today, for anything less than an SGC emergency. He picked up the phone and nearly growled into it.
“This better be a total emergency or I swear I am going to find whoever you are and shove my boot up your back-side so far-“
“Colonel.” General George Hammond’s voice interrupted Jack’s rant, bringing him to attention. “We have a situation. NORAD has detected a large unidentified object in the system. Report to the base immediately. Hammond out.”
Jack blinked and grumbled, downing the last few swallows of his beer before heading to his room to get changed.
Hopefully whatever the emergency was could keep his thoughts of Charlie for the rest of the night.
Deep in NORAD a technician was directing an orbital spy satellite to adjust its camera trajectory, carefully adjusting it to far outside it’s normal range in order to target the location where telemetry had revealed the sudden appearance of a large object in apparent near-Earth geosynchronous orbit. Five minutes after he began the very careful task of redirecting the satellite’s cameras the feed finally began to transmit to the receivers above NORAD. Thirty seconds later he was staring at his screen in a mixture of awe and dumbfounded surprise. It took him a full three minutes before he managed to actually alert his supervisor to what he had discovered. Two minutes later all security feeds were transferred to the SGC and NORAD went into lock down, no personnel or communications allowed out of the base.
Thirty Minutes Later…
Jack O’Neill sat in the briefing room surrounded by his teammates as well as the members of SGs -2 and -3. General Hammond stood at the front of the conference table, standing before a large monitor upon which was currently being piped the video feed from a very expensive spy satellite that had been re-tasked from keeping an eye on a Mexican smuggling cartel in order to observe an object in orbit of the Earth.
When the feed of the object came up Jack stared at it for several moments, stunned into silence like the rest of the room, before turning to General Hammond.
“Sir, why don’t we get toys like that?” He asked with a bit of laughter in his voice, assuming that this must be some sort of prank or joke, maybe a practical joke dreamt up by some soon-to-be-court-martialed NORAD technician.
Hammond replied firmly. “This isn’t a joke, Colonel. About an hour ago that ship suddenly appeared in orbit. There was no sign of it approaching the planet, no discernible transmissions or engine emissions of any kind, and no sign of activity or smaller craft since it appeared. It just appeared, orbiting above Southern California in an apparently geosynchronous orbit. Since then it hasn’t moved at all, and there has been absolutely no sign of activity of any kind.”
Jack looked back at the monitor again. Behind him he could hear some of the members of SG-2 whispering and apparently making a bet of some kind.
“So…that’s real then? The Enterprise, the NCC-1701-E to be exact, is in orbit over Hollywood…are you SURE this isn’t some elaborate promotional stunt where they’ve hacked our sensors and radio-telescopes?”
“We’re sure Colonel, what you see there does appear to be the Enterprise, just like in the movies. It makes absolutely no sense, but there it is.” Hammond replied with a mixture of annoyance and confusion.
Jack paused for a moment before drawling out a reply.
“…No chance this is like in Galaxy Quest sir? An alien race observing our broadcast transmissions and constructing a ship modeled after one of them?”
Hammond shook his head.
“Our scientists assure me that is highly unlikely. The movies containing that version of the ship have not been airing long enough for the signals to have reached even the closest star system, and it’s believed that any race with the technology to perform such a feat, particularly in such a short period of time, could not possibly exist close enough to us to have received the transmissions without having made contact or at least being detected.”
Jack again paused before replying.
"So...that really is the Enterprise in orbit then?"
Hammond sighed in exasperation.
"Yes Colonel, everything we have been able to determine indicates that it is."
"Sir, surely a ship of that size in near-Earth orbit would have been spotted by civilians by now." Carter interjected before Jack could find another way to ask if that was really the Enterprise. “How are we going to cover this up?”
"Don't worry Captain,” Hammond replied with confidence he didn’t really feel inside. “I've been assured that all major satellites and telescopes that have a view of it are currently being either directed away from the area or put under non-disclosure agreements and their records classified. Even if a civilian manages to sight it through a backyard telescope the western United States are mostly under a series of weather fronts and fog banks right now, making getting a visual sighting nearly impossible. If any do manage to catch a glimpse of it they are more likely to consider it a hoax or a prank of some kind. How long that will last though I don't know. The President has already authorized moving up the latest planned shuttle launch, replacing the originally planned experiments with a team to board the ship and hopefully contact the crew or take over. We have been broadcasting requests to the ship for its crew to identify themselves for the last hour but have gotten no response so far."
Hammond turns to face all three gathered teams.
“Colonel, the President has ordered me to recall all active SGC personnel and put them through an immediate physical. The boarding crew for the mission will be selected from those meeting the physical requirements and be transported immediately down to the Kennedy Space Center. The launch is scheduled for twenty three hundred tomorrow. Carter, the President has specifically requested that we transfer you to the Space Center tonight to begin training, as they want you to head the scientific team boarding the ship. The President and the Joint Chiefs have decided that if we fail to achieve contact before the designated launch window then the operation will be a go.”
Colonel O'Neill turns back to the feed of the ship again.
"Sir, you do realize that if that ship is real and they don't like us trying to board and capture their vessel they can likely decimate the SGC from orbit, right?" Jack said with a bit of snark in his voice, all the while wondering how effective the craft’s armaments might be against a Goa’uld vessel like the one Ra had brought to Abydos several years before.
"Yes Colonel, I am vaguely aware of the capabilities of that craft as presented in the movies, and the potential danger should they remain in the hands of a potential enemy. Now, I want all of you to head to the infirmary. The President wants you and Doctor Jackson on this mission if you pass the minimum requirements. If this ship is real, it could be the technological edge we require to fight the Goa'uld."
Everyone stood from their seats (those who weren’t already standing) and the military personnel all saluted before filing out of the room to head towards the Infirmary. Daniel Jackson paused when he realized Teal’c was still staring at the screen. He remembered that Teal’c had become quite interested in the examples of Earth science fiction to which he had been exposed, which had included the most recent Star Trek movie.
“Teal’c.” He said. “What has your attention so focused?”
Teal’c turned to regard Daniel.
“I have seen the recordings of a vessel such as this in action. It is quite formidable, and it’s captain an able warrior. I do not believe that attempting to steal such a vessel is the best option. We should first ascertain whether anyone is in fact on board, and their intentions, before attempting any approach on this vessel. I would not see the Tau’ri wiped out for such a stupid reason.”
Daniel blinked at the surprisingly loquacious sentence from the otherwise generally taciturn Jaffa.
“What would you suggest then Teal’c?” General Hammond asked, ignoring how Colonel O’Neill and several members of SG-2 had remained just inside the door to the hallway.
“I would advise exhausting every method possible of achieving contact, as well as waiting longer before attempting to launch an infiltration of this vessel. Preparing for such a mission is admirable, but to launch it before you are certain that they are not ready, willing and able to wipe your civilization off the face of your planet for such an affront will only lead to disaster.”
“I’ll take that under advisement Teal’c, but my orders are coming from the President himself. I’m not in charge of this operation.”
Teal’c merely inclined his head slightly in a motion of respect and acknowledgment before following Daniel out of the briefing room.
General Hammond turned back to regard the feed of the Enterprise, wishing he had a bottle of scotch available, and cursing whoever was on board that ship for dragging him away from escorting his granddaughters trick-or-treating.
Meanwhile, in Sunnydale:
"Captain, the Enterprise's computer has finished its analysis of our location. Every indication is that this is Earth, just not our Earth. None of the analyses of the social or technological state of the planet meet our records of this time frame, and a deeper analysis of the quantum signature of matter in this universe indicates that it is not in fact the same one we came from, regardless of any shift in time. Somehow we have ended up in another reality, and apparently left most of the crew behind." Data said as he analyzed the data being transmitted to his tricorder from their ship in orbit.
Data blinked as a young woman wearing a Starfleet uniform ran past the corner of the street, cursing in Klingonese and running from what looked like a pack of small aliens about three feet tall with monstrous appearances.
"Phaser set to stun, Commander Data." The black-haired young man wearing Captain’s rank pips said. “We have an officer to aid, one who I do not recognize. Perhaps she has the answer to how we got here.”
Data nodded and adjusted his phaser setting before following his captain down the street at a run, all the while wondering why his tricorder and his own sensors were telling him that this young man was Captain Jean Luc Picard, down to his DNA, despite him looking decades younger and having a full head of black hair. It was a question he would resolve at a later date, as his own systems indicated significant alteration in his physical form and shape, and even his outward appearance.
Colonel jack O’Neill grunted as one of the nurses removed a blood pressure cuff from his arm after noting down his readings.
“So…am I the only one enjoying all this?” he asked of the busy infirmary.
“It’s not just you, Sir.” Captain Carter replied from the other side of the curtain that divided the room in half. “I wanted to be in NASA when I was younger. This might not be quite what I dreamt of, and it doesn’t hold a candle to going through the gate, but it still counts.”
“That’s great Carter, but I didn’t mean the fact that we are going up on the space shuttle.”
“That’s only happening if you pass your physical, Sir.” Sam replied cheekily.
“Very funny Carter.” Jack replied flatly. “No, I was referring to the fact that everyone is all busy rushing about because Captain Jean Luc Picard is currently in orbit over Hollywood.”
Jack paused as something occurred to him.
“Hey, does anyone know if they’ve thought to check that Patrick Stewart is accounted for? I mean, if this is a Galaxy Quest scenario then he would likely be the aliens first contact right?”
Jack laughed as everyone else in the infirmary groaned.
“Identify yourself.” Data heard his captain say from around the corner. Turning away from the trio of small critters he had just rendered unconscious via his phaser he stepped around the corner to find his captain and the young Starfleet officer in a standoff, each with their phasers pointed at one another.
“I said identify yourself, Lieutenant.” Captain Picard repeated. Looking at the young woman Data could now see that her rank insignia marked her as Lieutenant, Junior Grade. He was also surprised to note that by her features she was clearly part Klingon. A quick scan with his tricorder indicated that she matched the general profile for a half-Klingon. This confused him because he was unaware of any Klingons, half-blooded or otherwise, serving in Starfleet besides Lieutenant Commander Worf.
“My name is Lieutenant B’Elanna Torres, Chief Engineer of the USS Voyager. Who are you and where in the hell am I?”
“I am Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. My ship is in orbit and we are attempting to determine how we got here. As to where here is, all we know so far is that we are apparently not in our right time nor even our own reality if the readings are correct. Did you appear here alone or are there more of your crew with you?”
“I don’t know how I got here, but I haven’t seen or heard from any other members of my crew. I haven’t even had a chance to pause since I woke up here. I’ve been chased by those critters you just took down for the last half hour.” She replied, slowly lowering her phaser as she realized that Captain Picard was not going to fire.
“Very well. Commander Data, have the ship scan for any other signs of Starfleet personnel on the planet, starting with our immediate area. Search for com badges first and then expand the search parameters to include the composition of standard Starfleet phasers and tricorders.”
“Very well Captain.” Data replied, using his tricorder to forward the operation commands to the Enterprise’s computer.
Picard lowered, but did not holster, his phaser and returned his focus to Lieutenant Torres.
“Lieutenant, until such time as we can ascertain the presence of your crew or your ship I am taking you under my command. The ship found no sign of any other Starfleet vessels in the system, but as most of my crew is missing and neither Mr. Data nor myself have any memories of how we got here we cannot rule out the possibility that your ship may be somewhere in the system that our sensors can’t reach or penetrate.”
B’Elanna nodded while looking around for any other threats, her phaser at ease but ready to be raised at a moment’s notice.
“Very well Captain, I’m with you.”
Data’s tricorder beeped.
“Captain, the Enterprise reports that there are seven com badges in the general vicinity, along with an eight device that is transmitting on com badge frequencies but doesn’t conform to any known com badge protocol or design.”
Picard nodded. “Very well, let’s see if we can reach them.”
Reaching up to his chest he activated his com badge for full broadcast.
“Attention Starfleet personnel, this Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. We are in potentially hostile territory, with a single ship in orbit and as near as sensors can determine there are only eight of us on this entire planet. Report your name, rank and location.”
Immediately a familiar voice came over the com frequency, setting Picard’s worries at least partially at ease.
“Riker here Captain. I’ve got Dr. Crusher and a Lieutenant Tom Paris from the USS Voyager with me. We are near a large building with the word Bronze on it in big glowing letters.”
Riker’s message was almost immediately followed by another familiar voice.
“Captain this is Deanna. I’m in some sort of residential district, it reminds me of pictures I’ve seen of Earth from the 20th century, before the Eugenics Wars. I have a man with me who looks exactly like our EMH-“
Picard could hear a male voice go ‘ahem’ in the background.
“-claiming to be the USS Voyager’s Chief Medical Officer. When I asked him why he appeared to be an EMH he explained that he is utilizing what he called a mobile emitter to exist outside of a holo deck.”
Picard smiled, that made all eight signals accounted for. And the mention of the mobile emitter reminded him of one of the reports he had read when the USS Voyager had finally returned from the Delta Quadrant.
“It’s good to hear your voices Commander, Counselor. I have Lieutenant Commander Data with me, along with a Lieutenant who has identified herself as the Voyager’s Chief Engineer. I belief that it is safe to assume that whatever has happened to us has affected both of our ships, although where the rest of our crew members are or where the Voyager is the Enterprise has not been able to determine.”
“Captain, do you mean that there is no one else on board the Enterprise?” Riker asked over the com.
“That is correct Commander, the Enterprise computer reports no life-signs or deceased life forms on board. The entire crew has just disappeared, and we have found ourselves planet side. Shall I assume that none of you have any memories of how you got here.”
A series of negative replies confirmed that they were all as lost as he was.
“Very well, as this environment appears to be at least mildly hostile, we shall return to the Enterprise to begin to investigate this situation. Prepare to beam up.”
Picard turned to Lieutenant Commander Data.
“Mr. Data, if you would please direct the Enterprise to beam all eight signals aboard.”
“Aye aye Captain.” Data replied as he transmitted the commands via his tricorder. “Energize.”
Just before the familiar lights of a transporter lock surrounded him he wondered how they could have gotten here when the last thing he remembered had been getting prepared for soon to be Captain Riker’s wedding to Deanna Troi.
In Ethan’s shop the foolish chaos mage was desperately trying to fight off a marauding group of pirates created from costumes he had sold who were convinced that he was hiding treasure somewhere. As he flailed around to try to defend himself from their hacking and stabbing swords his foot hit the altar upon which the bust of Janus rested, dislodging it and causing it to crash to the floor in an explosion of light and power.
The eight Starfleet officers appeared on board Transporter Pad A in swirls of sparkling lights. They had just managed to step off, following the lead of their Captain, when a wave of golden energy washed over the ship. In its aftermath seven of the eight officers collapsed to the ground, moaning as they fought to regain consciousness after having their bodies hijacked for the past hour.
The Doctor looked down at his collapsed compatriots and groaned to himself.
“This is going to be one of those days.”
In the NORAD complex data feeds reported a slight increase in signal static possibly caused by the ship before dying back down to ordinary levels. Because everyone in the complex was currently looking at the main monitor showing the majestic craft in orbit none of the personnel saw the spike in the static and thus none had a chance to realize that there was someone in fact communicating with the ship. If they had, perhaps they could have saved the NASA operation being prepared the embarrassment that was to come.
This story started originally as a challenge concept that I posted here. After I posted it my friend and co-writer and I began to discuss the challenge and actually started to develop a response to it that we actually enjoyed plotting and out and started writing. This is the result, the first chapter of "Ship of the Line: Sovereign", which also kicked my muse back into gear for my primary project, "Rise of the Ultimates Volume One: Origins". Thus it can be considered a two for one special, you get this Buffy/Stargate/Star Trek crossover, AND it fuels me to crank out a massive chapter of Rise of the Ultimates. Enjoy.A Message From ElvenKingC:
Well here is the first chapter of Sovereign. I hope you all enjoy it. Once again Zaion and I have "Cried havok and let slip the hounds of war."