Part of USS Centaur: Mission 4: Road Not Taken and Bravo Fleet: The Stormbreaker Campaign

Chapter Four – All in due time

Hercules
Feb 2400
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Colonel Ryker watched as the medical staff attended to the two individuals from the ship named the USS Centaur. So he was told. One of them looked more human than the other, except for the way the eyebrows slanted and the ears. Oh and let’s not forget the blood that he saw. As for the other patient, they were definitely as alien as the Wraith are. Except this one is covered in fur and looks like a cat. They should really keep their animals at home, Harry thought.

“This is incredible.” Said Maddison, who stood beside him, who also stared at the newcomers. “I knew we were going to end up crossing through the subspace rift when we were attacked but actually meeting people from this universe was not at all expected.”

Harry raised his brows after he looked at her. “Really?”

“What?”

“Alliance was just as curious as you were about analyzing the subspace rift. Telling me about how each rift is unique and that there are endless possibilities. What makes you think there be no one investigating the same rift on this side?” He asked her.

“Good point.” She smirked and looked back at him. “So you do listen to me.”

He shrugged a shoulder. “I try not to.”

She slugged him in the arm. “Turd.”

“That really appropriate from a Major, Major?” He chuckled.

“Oh shut up.” She then looked at the other Ryker. “Are you going to talk to him?”

“The hell am I supposed to say? Hello Ryker, my name is Ryker.” He shook his head. “What is there to say? We’re probably not even related. Well. Of course we ain’t. We can’t be.”

She laughed and shook her head. “Of course you’re not. But you might learn a little bit. Come on, we should get to know them better. Get some idea of who we have here on board. I mean, they did help you take care of the remaining Wraith, right?”

He sighed with a nod of his head. “That they did. Come on.” He led the way to the other Ryker’s group. “James, correct?”

James had his back turned, talking to his people, when Harry approached them. So he turned around completely and smiled. “That’s correct. I hear we have the same last name.”

Harry nodded. “Colonel Harry Ryker. Commanding Officer of the Hercules.”

James raised his brows. “Wait a minute. Harry Jameson Ryker?”

Harry was next to raise his brows. “That’s correct. Do we know each other?”

James laughed and shook his head. “I wish. Harry Jameson Ryker is my great great grandfather. He commanded one of the Virginia Class Submarines.”

Harry tilted his head. “Huh. Navy man. Definitely not the same.”

James nodded. “Clearly. I was told by one of my Ensigns that your rank is military, not naval?”

“United States Air Force. We do have the United States Space Force on some of our ships, but it’s really a joint kind of thing.” He explained.

“We are also slowly incorporating officers and warriors from the Alliance.” Said Maddison. “Like, Jaffa and Langaria. Even Wraith.”

Gomez’s eyes widened. “You mean those freaky things that tried to feed on our two friends there? What?!”

Maddison shook her head. “The Wraith that you saw are part of a Hive group that has refused to come to negotiations like the other Hives have. So we do have those who support the Alliance.”

“What about the four Wraith that are still alive?” Maya asked.

“They have been placed in a holding cell. We have a mix of Asgard and Ancient force fields in place around the cells to keep them from trying to escape. But in case they do, we have security personnel armed to take them down. To be honest though, I rather jettison them out the airlock.”

Maddison nudged him with her elbow. “What he means is, he does not want them on board for too long.”

Harry sighed. “Your two friends are fine. Your pointy eared one lost maybe twenty years. The cat, five, maybe ten. But these bastards fed and killed over fifteen of my crew, and we are running on half of our crew complement, or we were. Now we have less than a hundred personnel. And when these Wraiths have recently fed, they are extremely difficult to put down.”

Maddison stepped in to explain. “All of their abilities are heightened by a lot. Their healing, regenerative capabilities, their speed, their strength, everything. Your pointy eared friend-”

“Sivol.” Gomez corrected.

“My apologies. When Sivol fought the bulkier ones at hand to hand combat, she had the advantage then. But when she fought one of their Lieutenants, the less bulky, more agile one, that is when she was at a disadvantage.”

“But the stun setting was starting to work on it.” Mizu spoke up. Where James began to glare at her.

“The spike in their heightened abilities lasts only for a while after they are recently fed but they are still strong and fast when they are not hungry or starving. So when it got a hold of Sivol and began to feed off of her, your advantage in taking it down with the stun setting, was lost in an instant. Its body was able to heal and restore itself, remove all effects of the stun, because it was feeding at that time.” Maddison explained.

“That still does not excuse what you did, Ensign.” James told Mizu.

Harry eyed the man before he looked at the others. “So now that you are here and our Wraith problem has been resolved. What do you plan to do?”

“When we got close to your ship with our shuttle, we noticed that your ship suffered damage after it came through. Were your shields offline?” Gomez asked.

Harry nodded his head. “We were caught off guard by three Wraith Cruisers when we were trying to do a scienctific mission with the Subspace Rift on our side. They damaged the shield generators in their first assault so I was forced to use the one weapon that guaranteed our victory. And thanks to the Asgard Core, we are able to replenish the drones we used up against them.”

Maya smirked. “Kind of makes you guys a bit overpowered, doesn’t it?”

Harry shook his head. “We had an encounter with a group called the Ori. They were incredibly advanced and the drones we had weren’t working. Well, at the time we didn’t have a way to replenish them, nor did we have them installed on our ships. But when the Asgard race decided to commit suicide because they could no longer continue their cloning process…they had no other way of reproducing…we ended up with their technology. They literally handed it to us. Ever since then we have been a major galactic power. But there are a group called the Human Replicators and a group of Asgard that splintered from their homeworld, rogues I suppose you could call them. So we still have those that we are standing toe to toe with.”

Maya shrugged her shoulders. “Perfectly good explanation wasted but it’s okay. You get all that, husband?” She looked at Koyda who shook his head.

“Right.” Harry looked at the others. “So are you saying that you are willing to help us make repairs?”

“If we can. I mean, a lot of this looks extremely old to us.” Said Gomez.

“Hold on. We are forgetting the most important question of all here!” Said Maddison. “What year is it?”

“Early twenty-four hundred.” Said James.

Both Harry and Maddison looked at each other, while Marks, Patterson and Hayes came up in time to hear that.

“We went three hundred and seventy-eight years into the future?” Hayes asked.

“I knew it! Then our analysis about the Subspace Rift was spot on!” Maddison gleamed with joy.

“What’s the year on your side of the rift?” Ruby asked.

“Early twenty twenty-two.” Harry answered.

Ruby, Koyda and Maya’s eyes went wide, where Gomez and Mizu covered their mouths in surprise. James just shook his head, as he couldn’t believe it. “Guess our science officer was also right.” Said James as he still shook his head. “Unbelievable. I can imagine a subspace rift connecting our universe with a different, alternate universe. But also is time distorted?”

“A massive time distortion to be precise.” Said Maddison. “We have not had much experience in encountering subspace rifts because we’ve been busy with expansion and getting ourselves figured out when our governments decided to create the Alliance. It’s basically some of the NATO forces that had been introduced to the Stargate Program back in two thousand and three, along with the Jaffa Free Nation, the Langarians and other groups in the Milky Way and Pegasus Galaxies that are around our technological level.”

Everyone looked at her as if they were waiting for her to get to the point.

She smiled apologetically. “Just trying to not leave anyone confused here. Anyway, the point is, we have encountered some subspace rifts and we even had some time traveling incidents as well, both Stargate Command and Atlantis. Well…” She paused for a moment as she made several gestures, as if she was counting. “We actually had a lot of instances of traveling through time, but most have been done through the Stargate or through a time machine and… there were times that-”

“Major.” Harry interrupted.

She again smiled apologetically. “Sorry. Point is, we have not encountered a subspace rift that traveled more than several years, past or future. This is the first rift we’ve encountered that sent us almost four hundred years into the future. Which, to our people in our universe…not at all surprising I suppose. Or crazy.”

James shrugged his shoulders, “I can’t say the same for us. I mean, if anyone has, it’s usually classified or we don’t remember for certain reasons.”

“Causality effect. Like going back in time and offing your grandfather would result in you never being born. Or stepping on a bug and you changed the entire course of history.” Maddison explained.

“Stepping on a bug would alter our future?” Ruby asked Mizu who swatted him and said ‘Shush.’ to him.

“Well, maybe not but we would never truly know.” Maddison told him, who overheard. Then she looked at the others. “Point is, now that we know that we are in the future, or in our future…I guess you could say that…it would be best that we did not know of any event that happened on Earth.”

James frowned, “But we’re an alternate universe. To you anyway. So why would it matter?”

“Your science officer. Did they explain just how similar our universes are?” Maddison explained. “Like operating system to-”

James snapped his fingers. “She did, yes.”

Maddison smiled, “Basically, even though our universes took very two separate paths, whereas the other path didn’t even exist to the other. Like for us, we discovered the Stargate, a large ring with symbols on it, back in Egypt in nineteen twenty-eight. Which I am assuming never happened to you guys?”

Everyone shook their heads. “No, it didn’t.” James told her.

“Precisely. That is a path that never appeared to you. Whereas…” She paused to wait to see if someone caught on.

“Whereas a physicist named Zefram Cochrane who invented the warp-drive in twenty sixty-three, ten years after world war three ended.” Said Gomez.

Maddison sighed. “That path may not come to us, the path of…warp-drive you said?” Gomez nodded. “Right. But…”

Harry stepped in. “Before we departed for this mission, we were receiving news that the situation between Russia and Ukraine was getting worse.”

Gomez looked to James, who looked to Harry. “Not going to lie, it does get worse but that’s not what started world war three for us. In twenty twenty-six, it began because of genetic manipulation and enhancing the human genome.”

Maddison sighed again, “We’re not experimenting with any of that. At least, I hope we’re not. But I am afraid that you are right. Our Earth’s histories are so intertwined, despite the different paths that were given to us, it is just important that we don’t know beyond our current year. I mean, we knew it would happen.” She looked at Harry.

Harry nodded. “When the Stargate Program began to get more involved, more attention from an enemy that is practically non-existent now, we started negotiations and trading technology that we’ve obtained or invented thanks to the Stargate Program with Russia. At this moment, some of our NATO allies, including Russia, have ships similar to the Hercules.”

“And you fear that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine would spark a world war that would be far more devastating?” James asked.

Harry nodded again. “We have naquadria enhanced nuclear weapons. Hell we even have the Horizon weapon, with ten mark IX tactical warheads with the naquadria power source, and four dummies.”

Koyda frowned. “Naquadria?”

“Element in our universe that if you have never heard of it, likely does not exist in yours. It’s an element created from a source called Naquadah.” Maddison explained.

All of them shook their heads as they didn’t know what that was either.

“Point is, we may not be in the year twenty-four hundred, but our technological level puts us nearly equivalent to your own.” Harry explained.

James shook his head as he rubbed his chin. “If we had these kinds of weapons back then…”

“Earth wouldn’t stand a chance.” Said Maddison.

Harry sighed, “I can only hope that the Russians aren’t stupid enough to use any of these powerful weapons on Earth. But one thing that is on our side, is that we have more ships than they do. But the other fear that we have is, if Russians do try to use any of their ships in this conflict, we will be forced to reveal the entire program to the entire world. I still don’t think the world is ready for it. There would be a world-wide panic.”

There was a long pause, everyone essentially thinking about what would happen to Earth if such weapons existed, or to those who do have such weapons. After a long period of silence, one of the medical personnel came over to the group. “Your two friends are free to leave. We’ve treated their wounds and given them enough fluids to return to duty but we recommend light duty for at least forty-eight hours.”

“I suggest you listen. Wraith bites and the effects of being fed upon don’t disappear right away.” Harry told James.

James nodded his head, “Are your communication systems working?” He then turned to Gomez. “Was that one of the systems that our shuttle sensors detected to be damaged or no?”

Gomez shook her head. “I think we are just too close to the subspace rift that the interference is preventing communication.”

“We can consult with the Asgard Core. It’s a very advanced system, if we give it a question or a problem, it can solve it in a matter of seconds. I’m sure there we can figure out how to modify our comms array so we can make contact with your ship.” Said Maddison.

“I would love to see that.” Said Gomez.

“Come on. I’ll show you.” Maddison led the way, Gomez, Ruby and Mizu following right behind.

“Care to see the Bridge?” Harry asked James.

James threw up his arms. “Why not. I got nothing else better to do. Our job was to make contact with you, find out what was going on and neutralize whatever threat you may have and well. That job is done.”

Harry smiled. “Come, we’ll give you the grand tour.” Harry then led the way, Marks, Patterson and Hayes right behind him. To follow were James, Koyda and Maya.

Elidia stood there beside K’Roll as she was prepared to help him while he slowly got out of the medical bed. “Are you all right, K’Roll?” She asked.

He smiled at her. “I will be fine. They did a pretty good job. Though I wouldn’t mind being under our own biobeds back on the ship.” He then looked at the medical staff. “No offense.”

Sivol made her way to them slowly. “Do not worry about offending anyone. It is something that we are used to because that is what we grew up with. Besides, I feel the same way. Despite their advancements in other areas, medicine is still a bit primitive.”

“Well excuse us.” Said one of the nurses.

Sivol cleared her throat. “My apologies.”

K’Roll chuckled. “Look who’s worried about offending them now.”

Elidia grinned as she examined the two of them. “You both seem to have some mild changes. I see some white in your fur and there is a bit of a white strand of hair. Like a single stripe.” She told Sivol.

As K’Roll started to check his arms for the white fur, Sivol went to a mirror to see that long strand of white hair. Essentially a similar look to what Rogue had from one of the X-Men movies when she touched Magneto with her bare hands and absorbed some of his powers. Something that they got stuck watching with James the other day. “Interesting. Wonder how Vakai will feel when he finds out that I am twenty years older than I was before…”

Elidia looked up at the ceiling as she tried to do the math and tried to remember Sivol’s age when she last saw Sivol’s personnel file. “So then, you’re seventy-four years old now?”

Sivol glared at her. “Not that age matters.”

Elidia smiled apologetically. “Yeah well…umm…by Vulcan years, you’re still young! And healthy! And nimble! And I’m going to shut up now.”

Meanwhile, as James walked beside Harry on their way to the Bridge, he was busy thinking about what to do with Ensign Mizu. And Harry could tell just by looking at him. “You’re thinking about punishing that Ensign of yours, aren’t you?”

James blinked and looked at Harry. “She changed the settings on her rifle without permission. Let alone violated regulations. Our weapons must remain on stun, never switch to kill and never set to maximum setting to vaporize someone.”

Harry sighed and looked behind him at those following them before he looked at James. “I don’t know about you but I have no issue telling you this in front of my people. What your Ensign did was react in the best way that she can in the worst situation that she was in. You heard her, the stun setting stopped working when the Wraith started feeding off of your friend, Sivol. If that Ensign had not done what she did, your friend would have been dead.”

James shook his head. “She severed the arms from the thing. That alone was enough.”

Harry stopped in his tracks, everyone else doing the same. “Except that is not true. We haven’t really seen Wraith regenerate or regrow limbs before but you have to remind yourself. We never had…what was her race? Vulcans?” James nodded his head. “We never had them in our universe and I can’t say that we do, as much as you don’t have Goa’uld or Asgard or Wraith in your universe. Point is, as Maddison explained, the moment they feed, they get a spike in their abilities, including regeneration. That Wraith, after having fed on your friend, could have regenerated its arms right back. What your Ensign did was made sure that it could not get that chance, otherwise your Ensign and your friend could have very well been dead if she had not eliminated the threat.”

Harry sighed heavily, “Look. Just take some time to think about it, all right? You said you are the First Officer of your ship, correct? Discuss it with your Commanding Officer then, get some feedback on it. Anything. These bastards took the lives of my people and surprisingly none of yours. That makes you damn lucky, whereas mine were not. But these things have taken more lives than this, especially this Hive that refuses to talk peace with us. Granted, our Alliance would rather use more stun weapons than our current projectile weapons, lethal weapons. But I chose lethal, because none of these Wraith on board, none of them were willing to negotiate and none of them had any intention of taking anyone alive. They wanted my ship because of its technology and weapons and they were going to kill every single personnel on board. For that, your Ensign did me and my crew a huge favor, because now we only have four Wraith in our hold and not six. Believe me, having too many screams trouble. Especially when they’re still full from feeding.”

James raised his hands. “All right, all right. I won’t do anything until I speak to my Commanding Officer.”

Harry nodded his head. “All I ask. Come.” He resumed on their way to the Bridge, only to meet Maddison, Gomez and the rest there. “Good news I hope?”

Maddison smiled, “The Asgard Core was able to make the adjustments on its own. Very quickly too.”

“Not only that, apparently the Centaur was busy modifying their comms as well. We now have a direct link to our ship.” Said Gomez, who too had a smile on her face.

James looked to Harry who gestured to him to proceed. James stepped over and was a bit confused at first but Maddison then pointed to the three screens just above their heads. Kind of small really but James could make out the bridge of the Centaur. Couldn’t really see Vakai’s face very well though. “Commander!”

“Commander Ryker. Good to finally hear from you. What’s the status over there?” Vakai’s voice rang on the Bridge from the speakers.

James smiled. “Boy. Where do I even begin?”