Title: Babylon Faith
Feedback: In lieu of a Faithbot yeah.
Disclaimer: Babylon 5 is owned by the genius JMS, Whedon owns Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nor do I intend to make profit from them.
A/N: Assume Buffy canon correct unchanged end of Season 7, assume Babylon 5 canon unchanged with the exceptions of ‘The Deconstruction of Falling Stars’ & ‘Sleeping In Light’.
FIC: Babylon Faith (1/?)
4 Billion Years Ago
Prota stared at the wavering, rippling in dark space. Their people had first noticed the anomaly in space a month ago. They’d hurried to the disturbance and waited and watched as the disturbance grew, the others joining them to occasionally watch and marvel before moving on.
When they’d first arrived the disturbance had measured a mile across and half a mile up, but now it measured twenty miles across and five up.
Prota tore his eyes away from the enigma and checked his craft’s sensors. Try as they might, they couldn’t get anything but static from within the disturbance. On one of his visits to the anomaly, Lorien had theorised that the reason they couldn’t read anything from inside the disturbance was because it wasn’t actually from this dimension.
Of course Lorien had also suggested that they close the hole before anyone could come through, but his people, the Estrella Gente had laughed Lorien’s worries off. It was the Estrella Gente’s role in the universe to explore and discover, and what could be more exciting than discovering life in other dimensions?
Besides what could hurt one of the First Ones?
“Proximity alert. Proximity alert. Proximity alert.”
Prota started, his three eyes widening and his two pairs of arms pressing wildly at the controls. According to his computers there was nothing even close to him, the nearest ship tens of thousands of miles away and heading in the opposite direction. “What can it-.”
His voice trailed off into a croak when lightning crackled and shot across the anomaly’s rippling surface. Then it seemed to shimmer, the centre starting to open and expand, the process both seeming to occur with inexorable slowness an yet with a quicksilver speed.
Then it came through.
Porta’s pointed ears filled with a terrible screeching, an awful sound akin to the Sorrow Shriekers but far, far louder. Then its heads bobbed through the darkness, six of them in all, each skinless and serpentine, their mouths crammed full of teeth the size of a forearm and their heads’ solitary eyes gleaming golden.
And then its entire body came through, a huge village sized-thing with gleaming black scales and leathery wings flapping soundlessly in the stillness of space. And then it wasn’t just one, but a dozen, a score, and then an entire horde.
And then one turned its attention to him, baleful glaze chilling him as its head reared back, mouth opening, and golden flames shot out of its mouth.
“Shield’s down to 85%!” Porta gasped as he hit the reverse, another flame hitting his ship. Lorien had been right, they should have been working to close this tear in the fabric of space, not seeking to explore it. “Shields down to sixty-five percent!” The ship was rocked by another flame, the impact almost tossing him from his seat. His hearts thundered in his chest, the bitterness of impending death ashing all within. “Shields down to-,” he screamed as the beast’s clawed foot grabbed his tiny ship and scrunched it like a child stamping on its toy.
* * *
Lorien sighed as he surveyed the scanner results. The Estrella Gente system had been one of the galaxy’s most beautiful civilisations. But no longer, the three planets the Estrella had populated were nothing more than burnt out husks, charnel houses for the billions of dead.
“We’ve finished our tests.”
Lorien turned to face Abberon, heart sinking at his fellow Speaker’s grave expression. They who had first seeded the galaxy with life so, so long ago, now numbered so few. “And?”
“The ‘Devorar Dilim’ as we’ve named them came through four cycles ago, their numbers in the thousands, perhaps as many as ten thousand. Upon arriving they destroyed the Estrella Gente in less than a cycle-.”
”Did they suffer any casualties?” Lorien interrupted even as he reeled under his companion’s report. Less than a cycle? An entire advanced civilisation that had stood for millions of years destroyed in a single moonrise?
Abberdon pursed his lips before finally nodding. “There is some unrecognised biological material suggesting a few dozen of the enemy were killed.”
A few dozen dead, not a heavy price for the extinction of a civilisation that had lived for millions of years. ”And is there enough of this material to make an educated guess what these beasts look like?” Lorien queried. Abberdon nodded silently as a hologram flickered into life. “Formidable,” Lorien commented before glancing towards his companion. “Where have the interlopers gone now?”
Abberdon hesitated before replying. “We believe they’ve moved on to the Spati Viator system.”
“Why?” Lorien queried.
“Because we’ve checked in with all near-by civilisations and they’re the only one not responding,” Abberdon replied.
”There’s twenty-eight billion sentinent beings there,” Lorien protested. Abberdon just stared at him. “Very well, alert the others.”
“The Walkers, the The Krishiac Lords, the Triad, The Torvalus Speculators, The Mindreaders, and the others besides.”
Abberdon stared at him. “Is that really necessary?”
“They’ve butchered two of the Older Races, massacred them with little effort, I’d say it was necessary.”
* * *
“So it comes to this,” Lorien stared aghast at the battle-filled sky, space bright with a multitude of varying-coloured explosions. They were the greatest armada that the cosmos had ever seen, dozens of races from and spanning thousand of systems, but even so their war rested on a precarious knife-edge.
The war had waged for a century, not long in the lifetime of one such as old as him, but the losses had been so terrible. In addition to the Spati Viator and the Estrella Gente, the Alte Suchers, the Geests Of the Madora system, and the Zadajy Conglomerate had been utterly exterminated as well as a number of other lesser emerging powers, but no one had escaped this war completely untouched. Even beings as powerful as them could fall before the Devorar Diliim.
Even as he watched, one of the Devorar Dilim, one of the largest of these gargantuan beasts, fell out of the sky, great craters burning in its hide, and crashed into one of the dead system’s moons, dust and rock erupting from it with the impact. “The Vanishing Pit is ready.”
“We’re close enough?” Lorien queried.
Dorac nodded. “According to the sensors, we’re at the optimum proximity.”
Lorien tore his eyes way from the chaos around them, steadying himself when one of the enemy crashed into the side of their craft before being drive away by their pulse sonics. He turned to Dorac, Abberdon having died in their war two decades ago, nodded, and turned towards the weapon. The weapon didn’t look like a traditional weapon, it was a grey, funnel shaped object about eight feet tall about fifteen feet feet across the top tapering down to around three at the bottom, a steel clamp around its neck holding it in place. “Fire up the weapon.”
The Vanishing Pit had been Abberdon’s pet idea, Lorien sadly remembered. At first they’d searched for a way to send the interlopers back to their dimension, but they couldn’t find a way to re-open the hole they’d come through much less create another one. They could conceivably defeat the Devorar Dilim, but such a war would end with the deaths of most of them and lay waste to much of the galaxy. And so Abberdon had come up with the Vanishing Pit a way of folding a piece of space up, dragging the enemy into it, and trapping them for all eternity.
Unfortunately Abberdon had died before he could tackle the Deovrar Diliim’s genetic sequencing and program it into the Vanishing Pit. Equally unfortunately, samples of the Devorar Diliim’s genetic material was incredibly difficult to get a hold of, and it had taken him time to ready the Vanishing Pit for use.
“Releasing the weapon,” Dorac intoned.
Lorien watched as the camp released and the panel beneath the Vanishing Pit shifted to one side, pitching the Vanishing Pit into outer space. Lorien turned his gaze to the sensors, watching as an intense golden light spun out like an ever-expanding whirlpool from the Vanishing Pit, engulfing first one of the monsters, then two, then more, and slowly dragging them into the Vanishing Pit. Yet even as he watched, those not yet entrapped still wrecked havoc on the fleet, their claws tearing through metal, their tails knocking ships out of the sky, and their golden flames engulfing still others.
Lorien’s shoulders slumped in weary relief as the last of the Devorar Diliim was wrenched from the sky and forced into the Vanishing Pit. “It’s done,” Dorac unnecessarily commented. “Pit is locked.”
Lorien nodded. According to Abberdon’s blueprints, the Vanishing Pit burnt itself out after one use, should the one they have become damaged in some way, the monsters would be unleashed once again. “Use the blueprints to create hundreds of the Vanishing Pits and seed them through all the universe, make sure there’s instructions both on the machines and data crystals with them. And take the Vanishing Pit and bury it in the deepest hole you can find.”
“I will,” Dorac hesitated. “And once that is done, I will move beyond the Rim. Many of us will do so, this universe with all its death has become too painful for us all.”
”As you wish,” Lorien nodded sadly. To be chased away by fear, rather than to ascend through choice was a mistake, but it was not his place to dictate to the others, even from his position as the oldest of them. “Just make sure the Vanishing Pits are ready, it is our responsibility to all who will come after us.”
* * *
2263, The Outer Rim
Lorien looked around his fellow Ascended. “You’ve all felt it,” he sent the telepathic message to the others, “the question is what do we do about it?”
”Left them,” the Vorlon replied.
”Said their decisions were their own to make, their battles their own to fight,” responded the Shadow.
“The Younger Races are none of our concern,” thundered a Walker. “There is much still to explore in the Outer Rim.”
“Your rules,” the Vorlon’s emissary continued. “We obey when you told us to leave them away.”
“And if they die?”
“Then they die,” came the in unison reply.
Lorien felt despair’s deep bite as he nodded, condemned by his own words. “So be it, the majority, as always, rules.”
* * *
They had never been many, Galen sadly reminiscenced, and not all had made it to their hiding place, just under a thousand. The majority of the Techno-Mages were human, but perhaps two hundred of them were Centauri, just under a hundred were Brakiri, several score were Abbai, a few dozen were Narns, and a final couple of handfuls were Vree
Of course no Minbari, it might have been centuries since the techno-mages’ inception and their rebellion against their former masters, but to the ever-arrogant Minbari, the taint remained.
And now according to his predictive programming, something even fouler, more dangerous than they had fled from was threatening to unleash itself on the universe.
Galen headed towards his ship, his stride purposeful but unhurried. His brow furrowed and pace slowed when he spied a tall, hawk-featured man with brooding eyes and a greying goatee. “The leader of our little community come to see me off? What an unprecedented honour!”
His humour as always was lost on the glowering Dario. “You can’t go, Galen,” Dario said.
“Can’t I?” Galen flashed his white teeth. “I was under the illusion this wasn’t a dictatorship?”
Dario’s glower if anything intensified. “It’s not safe, not time for us to return.”
“When will it be time?” Galen shot back. “We’ve been here for four years, those we’ve feared, scurried from like mice, have been gone for over a year!”
“And you know that another danger is about to rise.”
“That’s precisely my point,” Galen replied. “If we are to be a part of the universe, we have to stand with it not only when it’s safe, but also when it’s not.”
“Elric would not have agreed with this course of action,” Dario warned.
“Perhaps not,” Galen ignored the stab of pain that jabbed at his chest at the thought of his deceased mentor. “But unfortunately he’s no longer here, and you’re right, I have seen the portents. If we don’t return now, there’ll be nothing to return to. Then we’ll be nothing but kings of a graveyard.”