A Darkness of Incomprehensible Proportions by DarthTenebrus
Disclaimer -- I still own nothing except some OCs...Chapter Author's note -- splitting my time here between this and my own original stories, keep an eye out for Event Horizon - The Second Mission and The Tragedy of Dawn Summers -- Balance of Powers********RSS Sunrider
Valeria Sunrider had been busy examining intelligence estimates and relaying information from their position high in orbit over the Cleveland area. The atmosphere over a particular point just to the immediate southwest was showing some unusual weather patterns, such as major climate shifting and severe temperature changes in excess of fifty degrees Centigrade, by this world’s reckoning, and geological changes that occurred very rapidly without disturbing the surrounding terrain. This struck her as very odd; the shock waves from the geological shifting should have produced shear forces that would rip the surrounding countryside apart. The weather patterns above the immediate vicinity of the body of water that local maps had dubbed Mosquito Lake likewise were not showing any signs of affecting the surrounding atmosphere. Scorching heat would suddenly be replaced by blistering cold and blizzard conditions inside of thirty standard seconds, then ten seconds later be subsumed by torrential rain for another random interval.
There was only one conclusion, and one that she had previously arrived at. The dimensional disturbance that the local populace referred to here as the Hellmouth was affecting the space surrounding it in this reality. And if denizens of one reality could cross over into this one by means of this nexus, then it stood to reason that it was affecting other realities as well, perhaps even her own. The report from the late Illuminator
had indicated that a rift on a moon of Obroa-Skai was widening, and that the message that had summoned them all to this world had emerged from that rift. TheIlluminator science team had postulated that this might happen, that the dimensions might begin to bleed into each other like this, but reading it in a report and seeing it happen first-hand were two different things altogether. Valeria Sunrider suddenly found herself wishing that she had been born Force-sensitive, that she might gain the insight that had guided countless Jedi to snatch victory and salvation for countless beings from the jaws of calamity, which otherwise would have resulted in countless dead and homeless, and possibly the extinction of races throughout the history of the vaunted Jedi Order.
She shuddered out of her reverie as the signal officer had approached her and said, “Captain, there’s an incoming message from Master Falleen…”
“Hmm? Oh, yes, thank you Commander. I’ll take it in my ready room; can you patch it through for me, please?”
Taken aback by the Captain’s sudden distractedness, the signal officer replied, “Yes, Ma’am. Are you alright?”
Sunrider turned to look at the primary monitoring screen before her, at the station she had chosen this moment to attend, and she shrugged, “It’s this Hellmouth, as they call it. Look what it’s doing to the area here. It’s like nothing we’ve seen before on this world or on any planet in our own galaxy.”
“Captain, I’m not a meteorologist, but I’d suggest that whatever it’s doing to this world is probably happening in the Obroa-Skai system as well. If that’s a Hellmouth, then wouldn’t the one we’ve got be a Hellmouth, too?”
She turned suddenly to him, her face now, suddenly, turned ashen. At length she retorted, “Are you suggesting that we should expect to see these same demons start to show up in our galaxy as well?”
He looked at the map of the State of Ohio, at the area affected by the Hellmouth, and then he shook his head slowly. In a stage whisper he replied, “I don’t see how we can discount that as a possibility. We’ve seen the report from the Illuminator
’s science team, but that doesn’t bring it home like this does,” and here he waved his hand at the screen for effect. He watched the screen as, suddenly, the instruments showed another spike in seismic activity. He sighed as the idea of a multiversal catastrophe set into his mind, a horror from which there was no escape, not even into another universe. A melancholy aspect set upon his heart, and in his eyes there appeared the aspect of someone that simply was not prepared for a darkness of such incomprehensible proportions.
For her part, Sunrider had felt the sorrow and the angst set into her signal officer’s heart; some days after her birth she had displayed some aspects of being Force-sensitive, though not by such as a degree as would mandate her removal to the Jedi Temple for integration into the life of the Order. This thought was on her mind, however fleetingly, as she remarked to him, “Hey, there isn’t a one of us who can say that we were in any way prepared to witness something like this, let alone deal with it. That’s why we’re going to work as a team and defeat this together. Not a group of individuals, but a team giving it their all in a single massive effort to beat back the Dark Side and win the day for all. Now, about that message?”
This seemed to snap him out of his horror and return him to the reality in which they were present. “Uh, yes, Captain,” he replied as he raised his left arm and touched a series of contact icons on the arm-mounted tablet PC he wore; “It’s ready.”
“Thank you, Commander.” She straightened herself and turned on her heel to make for her ready room. Just aft of the bridge she approached the door. It sensed her proximity and opened, allowing her to stride through, then closed behind her.
In her ready room, a steady ping was sounding from her communications board in her desk. Sunrider walked around behind it and touched a series of contacts verifying her identity before she could open the channel. At the prompt, she tapped “Yes”, then the screen cleared, and in the next instant, the face of Jedi Master Bors Falleen presented itself.
“Captain Sunrider,” the image spoke, “I’ve just had a sobering conversation with the ISWC Director, Rupert Giles, and he’s brought to mind the possibility that we may end up doing our part to help relocate the population of Earth in case we lose the Hellmouth here in Cleveland. Now other ships from the other universes have been contacted with the same mention of this contingency plan, which is all that is at this point, so let’s not start a panic so early in the game here, but they have agreed to help out.”
The image of Master Falleen continued. “What we need from you are some ideas for how to expand our capacity to evacuate the planet. As I understand it, you have some survivors from the Illuminator
on hand that know how to actually create an interdimensional portal that would get us home. I haven’t told the director this, or the General as yet, but that might become necessary should the situation take a turn for the worse. Can you get us reinforcements? And more ships? And of course, some of the ships from the uther universes could do with the means to get back to their own worlds so they can come back with more help. Some other ideas might be good at this point, so as soon as you can manage it, can you comm me back with the details? Humanity will owe you and yours a great debt of this should ever come to pass. Falleen out.”
Then the image winked out, and suddenly Captain Valeria Sunrider, commanding officer of the ship that bore the name of her Jedi ancestor, found herself very much alone, with the weight of universes on her shoulders.
And just as suddenly she began to wonder as to the fairness of it all.********