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SGA: The Return 2 Pegasus

By trisha herlihy

Scifi

Chapter 1

SGA: The Return 2 Pegasus

Two thousand years after Stargate Atlantis returned to Earth, the Pegasus Galaxy is no longer in the grip of the Wraith. A thousand years after his death, Todd's dream of a stable gene therapy to remove the Wraith hunger was finally realised. Now, after centuries of peace, a new threat is emerging in the galaxy from an old foe. Todd's Wraith descendants and the Travelers, now allies, must find a way to combat the rise of the Genii, who are hellbent on finding a way of reanimating the Wraith hunger gene in a bid to build an indestructible army. The Genii want to reclaim their confederation of planets and ultimately rule the peaceful Pegasus galaxy starting with a military coup...

One

'Leaving New Lantea'

From her vantage point behind the pillars, Lilion watches as Torr pores over the ancient symbols on the temple walls and tries to stifle a yawn. He was taking forever to work out what they said. Some date this was turning out to be.

'I heard that yawn, Lili, you are noisier than one of those Jakbirds, I could hear you from half a mile away.'

'It's your Wraith intuition, you always know when I'm near.' Lilion slides out from her hiding place and peers over his shoulder at the old carvings. 'You know, you are never going to make out what those symbols mean, there is no such thing as a lost city! It is just a folk legend, Atlantis doesn't exist. Why you waste your time scratching around in the dirt for... bits of old rocks, I don't know.'

'It's called archaeology and I'm not scratching around, I'm trying to decipher this frieze of...'

'Enough...It's so boring! When you asked me to come with you to.. what's this planet called?'

'New Lantea.'

'New Lantea, I thought you meant... well...Not this anyway!'

'And I thought you said you were looking for a chance to try out some modifications to your dart. This trip seemed like a way for you to do that, while I get to work on this dig site.' Torr gently brushes away the dust from a piece of fallen masonry.

'Yes, I know but... I just thought you and I...' Lilion stamps her foot in exasperation at his indifference to her and sighs.

'Look, this inscription mentions a wreck... a Wraith wreck on the ocean floor... '

'Fascinating.'

'… and why were you sneaking up on me, Lili?' Lilion smiles as Torr turns and draws himself up to his full height, leaning over her. 'What are you up to?'

'This!'

Before Torr can move Lili slips an arm around his waist and, with a mischievous hug, activates the Wraith ray from the remote device she has hidden in her palm. In a second, the dart, hovering above the ruins activates its beam and sweeps the two of them up into the cockpit, before Torr can struggle from her embrace.

'LILI! What did you do? How did we..?'

Lili laughs at Torr's confusion. 'Relax, I've modified the ray to transport us, not into storage but into the cockpit, remotely!' She waves her palm at him to show him the remote device, careful to keep at arm's length from him. 'So, should we ever need a quick getaway, we can!'

'A quick getaway?'

'You never know when it will be useful. '

'Just get me back to the dig site, Lili and enough of your Traveler tricks.'

'Wait I can do better than that! Where's this wreck?'

'I don't know! You beamed me on board before I had a chance to...' Before Torr can finish his sentence, they were back in the ruins.

'Arghh! LILION, you'll be the death of me! Now, sit there, do not touch anything... and give me that remote! Why do you need a remote anyway... is this in a bid to make it into the fleet? Lili, it's not because you are thinking of joining the fleet is it?'

'The Genii are forging new allies among the outlying planets... and crushing those communities that remain defiant. You've heard the rumours, I'm not going to sit around and watch the whole of Pegasus fall into their hands.'

'The galaxy is not going to fall into their hands. The alliance between our people, the Wraith and Traveler is strong, it will take more than the Genii to overthrow a thousand years of peace.'

'That's just it, Torr. They are more than just the Genii, I heard a report the other day that they have found a way to make Athosian fighters turn against each other..'

'Just rumours. There have always been unrest and fighting on the outlying allied worlds. You have a genius for ship design and repair, Lili, don't waste it on fighting other people's battles.'

'Some day soon, if we don't make a stand, it will be our battle. The fleet needs better ships, I can make a difference...' Lili sighs, seeing Torr is engrossed again in the stone frieze and has stopped listening to her. She wanders further away and finds a perch on a broken pillar. Torr was so wrapped up in his search for lost cities and ancient artefacts, he was blind to the very real dangers their future might hold.

'Lili look... Hey, Lilion, where are you?... look! I've got it! This tells of a great battle fought here and of a... hive ship, torn in two and sent plunging into the sea, the final resting place of the great ancestor, Todd... this is it! Listen...' Torr traces finger over the symbols on the frieze..' This...place, or spot... commemorates the Battle of something.. , and the last resting place, or spot... of the Wraith Hive Ship deep in the Sea of Atlantis... Atlantis! I told you it was real... '

'Great. Does it say where this Atlantis is?'

'No. but it does give coordinates for where the Hive ship lies.'

'Let's see?' Lili glances at the Wraith hieroglyphs Torr is pointing to but is unable to read them. 'Can you programme that into the dart's navigation system?'

'Yes, but it's under the ocean.'

'That's OK, the dart will withstand the water pressure.'

'It will? Are you sure?'

'Yes, I'm sure. Like I said, I've made some modifications.'

Deep below the surface of the ocean on New Lantea, the broken hive ship hibernates, protecting it's core functioning for one final act. As Lili's dart slips below the silver waves above, deep in the biocore of the ship a programme detects a wraith ship approaching and fires up its neurons to transfer an ancient holographic bioscan over to the dart.

On board the dart Torr and Lili peer through the scanner into the deep ocean, trying to pinpoint the broken hive ship. Just as the rotting hulk looms into view, an alarm sounds in the cockpit and all the systems start to malfunction.

'What the? What just happened?' Torr shouts to be heard over the siren as Lili battles to try and regain control of the dart.

'I don't know! Something has triggered a chain reaction in the main bio-computers... it's overriding everything...I can't get control!'

'At least try and turn the alarms off...' Torr freezes mid-sentence suddenly very aware of a new presence on board the dart. He turns round in his seat to find the Wraith figure of Todd standing behind him. Beside him Lili turns to see what he is staring at and finds an ancestral Wraith, the very image of all those childhood Traveler horror stories she used to read, reaching out with his feeding hand towards Torr and she draws her blast gun, firing without hesitation before Torr can stop her.

'NO!' But Torr is too late, the blast roars through the Wraith, leaving it unscathed and rips a small hole in the side of the dart, letting the cold ocean water pour in.

'It's a projection! It's not real Lili, what have you done! The dart!'

Lili stares in shock at the hologram of the Wraith. 'What do you mean not real? It looks real!'

'It's a holographic projection, probably beamed on board automatically from the hive ship. Lili, concentrate, we've got to regain control of the dart...' Torr slams his hands in frustration on the control panel and at least the alarms stop. 'The water, Lili, how do we stop the water!'

Lili finally stops staring at the Wraith and takes stock of the situation. The hole in the Dart was too big to repair in time, the water is freezing and the temperature is dropping rapidly, they would die of hypothermia long before they either drowned or the hull collapsed from the pressure change.

'We can't stop the water, I can't repair it in time, Torr, we need to get out of here!'

'What? How!'

'The remote, where's my remote?'

Torr thinks for a moment and then starts patting his various jacket pockets.

'Please tell me you didn't leave the remote at the temple?' Lili starts to help him look.

'No! Here, look, no that's not it... hurry! Ah, that's it!' Torr pulls the remote out of an inside pocket.

'Can we beam out to the surface?' He hands the remote to Lili noting her hands shaking from the freezing cold water. He's not much better, already his legs are beginning to feel numb as the water swirls about their knees.

'No, its only one way... transports into the dart... but if I can modify it in time I can create a field around the whole ship and move us completely out of the water... how deep are we?..'

'I don't know, a couple of kilometers maybe three?' Torr makes a rough guess at how deep the dart may be by now.

'OK... just a moment... nearly there.'

'Hurry, the walls are starting to buckle.' Torr shivers as a sickening crushing sound can be heard from inside the dart's cockpit.

'Nearly there... here, move closer, just in case I don't get all of the dart...'

'Wait...What do you mean, don't get all of the dart?' But it is too late, Lilion flings her arms around Torr and shuts her eyes as she presses the remote just as the water starts to violently cascade through the breached hull.

The ghost ship Destiny drops out of Faster Than Light (FTL) speed at the pre-programmed gate signature point, still on its journey set in motion millennia ago. But, if the small planet below once housed a Stargate, it registered no sign of it now and the ship's computers fire up the FTL drive once more, leaping out of the Pegasus galaxy and back towards its next and final destination, Earth.

For a moment Torr and Lilion cling to each other as the ocean roars around them and the light of the dart ray engulfs them. Then, there is nothing, only silence and darkness and the sound of... the sound of water dripping. Torr cautiously opens his eyes and tries to adjust to the low light levels. They are still in the dart but the hologram of the ancestral Wraith is gone. All around water is dripping from the walls and somehow draining away. He gently lets go of Lili and reaches into a pocket for a light-stick, holding it aloft to light up the cockpit.

'Did we make it?' Lilion asks, shivering.

'It would seem so but, I don't know how. All the systems are out. We are either dead or...'

'Or... it's dead isn't it? I've killed us! I've killed my dart!'

'Stop being so dramatic and get a grip, honestly, sometimes it's hard to imagine that you are actually the female of your species!... I was going to say, we are either dead or your quick getaway worked.. can you hear that?'

From outside the hull of the dart they can hear a deep rumble, like an engine firing up.

'Where's the water gone?' Lili guides the light-stick in Torr's hand towards the back of the dart cockpit to where she blasted through the hull but instead of the shattered hull there is the smooth surface of a metal bulkhead. 'Where did that come from?'

'It's cut right through the dart.' Torr runs a hand across the smooth surface. ' Look there! That's our way out.' He points to the base of the bulkhead to where a large, jagged tear in the dart hull is letting the water drain out.

Lilion and Torr stand in the empty viewing gallery of Destiny. Behind them, the portion of the dart Lilion managed to beam out of the ocean has materialised halfway through the bulkhead wall. The floor is awash with water but it is the view through the gallery windows that has them mesmerised.

'What is that?' Torr stares at the strange lines of light rushing past.

For a moment Lilion simply stares in wonder and then she answers his question.

'Light lines, they're light lines... we're in the space in between! I've read about this phenomenon... '

'Are we above New Lantea? Just how high did you transport us... The space in between what? The planets? ' Torr turns his attention to searching for a way out of the gallery.

'No...no, not between planets between galaxies. We are travelling between galaxies! This ship is travelling at faster than light speed (FTL) ...these lights are us slipping through the space in between the universal fabric of space and time.'

'You're sure about that?'

'Yes, I'm sure! While we were at University and you were deciphering old scrolls and rummaging round old ruins, I was studying space propulsion, hydraulic engineering, bio-mechanical engineering and astrophysics... These are light lines!'

'And this is a door that won't open!'

'This ship must have jumped out of FTL above the surface of New Lantea as I transported us out of the ocean. We literally beamed on board it.. this is incredible!'

'Yes and this door is stuck!' Torr raises his voice. 'Do you think you could give me a hand here?'

But the door remains firmly sealed, Lilion and Torr are trapped in the viewing gallery on board a ship travelling at FTL, leaving New Lantea and the Pegasus galaxy far behind.

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