Categories > TV > Farscape > The Road Home2 Reviews
When John was pulled down the wormhole at the end of Unrealized Realities a series of events is set in motion that will change the balance of power in the Uncharted Territories forever.
D'Argo groaned softly as consciousness returned and he was able to feel his body again, his whole body was tingling like mad as if with pins and needles. Slowly he opened his eyes and groaned again, the light overhead was bright but not uncomfortably so. Slowly the tingling began to ease off and D'Argo cautiously sat up and looked around.
He was no longer on Lolaan instead was sitting on a bed in a small room. All four walls were nothing but metal that was unlike anything he had ever seen before. Yet it was obvious that this room was somesort of cell but how had he gotten in here? There was no entrance that he could see; the room was nothing but a metal walled and floored cube. I'm a prisoner again, D'Argo thought with an angry growl, he had sworn that he would never again be taken prisoner. That he would die first, but here he was.
D'Argo stood up and started feeling around the walls looking for an entrance but he couldn't find one. All the walls were featureless, smooth metal; there was no sign of a door. Growing frustrated D'Argo growled in anger before punching the wall and recoiled with a loud yelp of pain, as all he got for his troubles was some badly bruised knuckles.
With nothing else to do D'Argo went back to the bed and sat down. When I get out of here I am going to kill whoever put me in here, he thought, then I will find and kill John for getting sucked down the wormhole in the first place.
Lieutenant Jason Harris winced when from his workstation he observed the alien in one of the cells punch the wall, and recoil with a yelp. That had to hurt, he thought looking at the alien. The wall was one way transparent and he could see the tall, heavily muscled alien who looked to be a warrior of some type. The weapon he'd had with him a strange sword that could transform into an energy rifle supported that observation.
The alien was certainly impressive looking but Jason was no stranger to aliens being the son a career diplomat. He'd been around aliens most of his life; especially the Trenik and this alien had nothing on that species which looked like a giant, anthropomorphic version of a timber wolf. This alien didn't intimidate him at all for although he was as tall as a Trenik he didn't have the claws, sharp teeth and raw muscular size that had so intimidated the first Terrans who'd encountered them, an initially compared them to the werewolves of mythology.
Jason sighed and activated the communicator built into the right wrist of his uniform.
"Security to bridge," he said.
"Bridge here. What is it lieutenant?" Captain Jackson responded.
"Sir one of our guests is awake."
"I'll be right down."
Aiden Jackson stood up from his command chair. He was just about to turn to speak to Commander Nakamura to hand over command of the bridge when the sensors console began bleeping again. Aiden rolled his eyes. Now what, he thought sitting back down again.
"Report," he ordered.
"Increased emissions from the wormhole captain," the sensor lieutenant reported. "They are much stronger this time. Another ships coming through."
"What is this wormhole junction and no one told us," Aiden said exasperated his comment being met with smiles all around the bridge. "Show me."
A holographic screen appeared in front of him showing the glowing vortex of the wormhole, a moment before the strangest looking ship he had ever seen came streaking up out of the wormhole, and continued moving as if it was running away from something. It looks organic, he thought interested. Not many species used organic technology, in fact only one race they knew of did.
"Sensors what do you make of that ship," he asked.
"A moment captain these readings are confusing," the sensor lieutenant reported his hands dancing over his console. "The alien ship is definitely organic, it's reading as one gigantic life form. There are a number of smaller lifeforms inside, possibly the ship's crew. The ships powered by a Henderson drive system similar to ours but more primitive, it appears to have another drive system as well but I can't identify it."
"Interesting. Communications hail them. Transmit standard first contact package," Aiden ordered.
Zhaan sighed in relief and uttered a prayer of thanks to the goddess as Moya cleared the wormhole. Space all around them was unfamiliar; a huge, majestic gas giant with a beautiful ring system dominated a large part of the view out the forward screen.
"Attention Moya has detected another vessel," Pilot said as his hologram appeared in the clamshell like screen on the bulkhead. "It appears to be a warship, configuration unknown. Weapons systems are not powered and shields are down. They are scanning us however."
"Yots a warship," Rygel said. "We must leave now. Pilot when can we starburst?"
"Not for some time you eminence," Pilot replied. "Alien vessel is hailing us. They are transmitting data, the pattern indicates simple universal scientific and mathematical concepts."
"That could indicate a simplified form of communications used when encountering a new species," Zhaan commented thoughtfully. "Perhaps we are as unknown to them as they are to us."
"Possibly," Pilot agreed. "Zhaan I have just noticed something. The language that the data is being transmitted in is English. The same language that's on the outside and inside of Commander Crichton's module, I have also noted writing on the ship hull. It is in the same language."
"That's impossible," Chiana exclaimed.
"I have triple checked the sensors Chiana there is no mistaking the readings. They are correct."
"Can we talk to them Pilot," Zhaan asked approaching the clamshell.
"I believe so Zhaan."
"Then hail them back please Pilot," Zhaan said.
"Hailing now. Hail acknowledged response coming up. Putting on main screen."
Zhaan turned to the main screen just as a window opened showing a handsome youthful looking Sebacean male, dressed in a uniform unlike anything she had ever seen before. Yet there was something different about this man, he wasn't projecting the air of arrogance, superiority and hostility that a Peacekeeper captain projected. Instead he projected an air of curiosity and there was something else. Something that told her that despite appearances the man she was seeing wasn't Sebacean but Human.
"Greetings," the man said warmly. "My name Captain Aiden Jackson commanding the Terran Hegemony starship Atlantis and you are?"
"I am Pa'u Zotah Zhaan," Zhaan replied. "This is Moya."
"Are you her captain?"
"No," Zhaan replied and was about to explain when she heard a bleeping over the communications link from somewhere on the /Atlantis/, a moment before Pilot spoke up.
"Zhaan," Pilot said. "The Peacekeeper carrier is coming out of the wormhole. They've followed us."
"Break communications link Pilot. Evasive action until we can find somewhere to hide while we wait for Moya to build up the energy to starburst."
Pilot nodded in his clamshell and broke the communications link with the /Atlantis /even as with more of his multiple arms he began guiding Moya on an evasion course. He wasn't sure how well he would be able to dodge any shots from the command carrier, when those kind of manoeuvres were required Aeryn generally took over control from the manual control stick in the command.
"Terran vessel moving to intercept the Peacekeepers," Chiana said from one of the consoles. "The Peacekeepers are powering up their frag cannons. They're targeting us. Defence shield is up but it won't withstand them for very long."
Captain Jackson kept his eyes on the alien warship that had just come through the wormhole. The alien warship was huge, according to their sensors it was close on eight kilometres long and it looked mean. Very mean.
"Tactical analysis," he ordered.
"The alien vessel is seven and a half kilometres long sir. Like the other two they appear to use a more basic form of Henderson drive system for propulsion and don't appear to have anything in the way of our hyperlight technology," tactical reported. "They've got two separate shields that appear to operate on a principle of layering one shield on top of another. Together there shield strength is about sixty percent that of ours."
"I read twenty four heavy plasma cannons of somekind. They appear to be mounted in batteries of three on some sort of turrets that appear to be able to move along the ring that bisects the vessel. There are hundreds more smaller plasma cannon batteries located all around the vessel, I read multiple missile launchers but sir according to these readings the missiles are plain fusion warheads."
"Nuclear fusion warheads," Commander Romanikov commented. "Those things have been obsolete for over five hundred years."
"That's what our sensors say they have commander," tactical replied as the sensor readings changed. "Captain the alien warship is powering up its main guns. They're targeting Moya."
"Communications hail the alien ship," Aiden Jackson ordered automatically knowing he could not allow violence to erupt here in the middle of humanities own system if he could avoid it, nor was he going to stand by and do nothing as whoever crewed this warship destroyed Moya. Why would they want to destroy Moya however he didn't know, Moya was unarmed and Pa'u Zhaan had seemed friendly enough.
"No response sir," communications reported.
"Open a channel."
"Channel open sir."
"Alien warship this is Captain Aiden Jackson of the Terran Hegemony starship /Atlantis/," Aiden said. "You are engaged in aggressive action in Terran space. Please stand down your weapons."
"No response they're ignoring us sir," communications said.
"Sir alien weapons coming to full power they will be able to fire on Moya in less than a minute," tactical reported.
"Tactical raise our shields and power up weapons systems," Aiden ordered. "Communications open the channel to the alien ship again."
"Channel open sir."
"Alien vessel I repeat you are engaged in hostile action in Terran space. You are ordered to stand down your weapons immediately."
"Still no answer sir."
"Then we will have to get them to listen with actions," Aiden said. "Weapons fire a warning shot across their bow."
"Aye sir," weapons replied.
A moment later one of the proton cannons fired sending a single golden energy projectile streaking through to shoot passed the alien warships bow. The bolt passing so close that slight particle spill from the blast hit the bow shields making them glow softly.
"Now let's see if that's woken them up," Aiden said. "Communications hail..."
"Sir the alien vessel is launching fighters and targeting us," tactical reported. Aiden sighed and rolled his eyes, whoever these people were they were obviously the shoot first ask questions later type. They probably thought that the size of their vessel made them invulnerable.
"Red alert. All hands battle stations," Aiden ordered immediately. "Communications inform command as to our situation and request reinforcements."
"Aye sir," came the replies from the respective stations as klaxons began wailing and red alert lights began flashing throughout the Atlantis.
Peacekeeper Command Carrier
A Moment Earlier
"So the locals dare to object to our presence here do they," Captain Larsh said studying the pathetically small looking alien warship that hung in space ahead of his ship. Daring to challenge the firepower of a full Command Carrier.
It was so pitiful that it was amusing. He would just have to teach these Terrans - whoever they were, as he'd never heard of that species before - some lessons in respecting those who were superior to them. Once the alien ship was dead he would run down the fugitive leviathan and finally end the embarrassment that they had become in short order.
"Launch the Rystar regiment," he ordered. "And lock frag cannons on the Terran vessel. Stand by to fire."
"Yes sir," Lieutenant Makol answered.
Captain Larsh turned back to his tactical display showing the alien vessel sitting defiant in space. Sensors were reporting a major increase in its power emissions; power emissions that were already higher than anything this side of those put out by a Nebari heavy cruiser. It was obviously preparing for battle however hopeless it was. The alien vessel was completely outnumbered and outgunned. Foolish, he thought as he observed the seventy-two Prowlers of the Rystar fighter regiment streaking towards the alien ship. Despite its shields they would destroy it in short order, the battle would be a sudden surprise but very useful training exercise for his pilots so they would be ready when the inevitable war with the Scarren Imperium began.
A soft smile appeared on his face as the Prowlers moved forward arranged in waves accordance to squadron, moving in a confident attack formation. He was going to enjoy watching this.
"First wave alien fighters approaching in attack formation sir," tactical reported. "We will be in their weapons range in moments."
"Let the leading fighters take the first shots," Aiden ordered. "Then use the pulse lasers and proton accelerators to destroy them and fire AFM's at the others."
"Aye, sir," weapons replied.
The leading wave of Prowlers came in veering their approach to strafe the Atlantis with brilliant red plasma bolts. The bolts from the Prowlers instantly hit the /Atlantis's /shields, making the shields glow a soft blue at the points where the bolts impacted hardly bothered by the assault.
A moment later the Atlantis retaliated with her short-range antifighter/antimissile defence network of pulse lasers and proton accelerator guns. Instantly local space around the patrol cruiser was filled with a complex tightly interwoven web of red and gold energy bolts. Several Prowlers died instantly, before their pilots could even begin to react, dissolving into softly glowing, rapidly dispersing clouds of disassociated ions.
The remaining four from the first wave began taking frantic evasive manoeuvres; it did them no good. Three pulse lasers bolts and one miniature proton energy projectile found them almost instantly making them vanish in brief blasts of ionic flame. Simultaneously the /Atlantis /fired several small projectiles that streaked towards the next wave of approaching Prowlers.
Knowing that the incoming projectiles could not be good news the Prowler pilots began firing attempting to knock down the weapons. Two Anti-Fighter Missiles died the other five split open and released a barrage of smaller, smart seeker missiles. Each one equipped with a nanocompressed microfusion warhead.
Ferociously fast despite there small size the AFM sub-missiles slammed into the Prowlers before the pilots could even begin to turn in evasion. Not that it would have done them any good, the AFM's were sophisticated, smart weapons, fully capable of tracking a target and either running it down and destroying it until they ran out of fuel. Whichever came first, even then they would sit in space and proximity detonate when an enemy fighter flew past.
Eighteen Prowlers were instantly wiped from existence; the rest scattered the confident attack formation completely and utterly shattered.
More AFM's left the Atlantis streaking across space towards the Prowlers.
Peacekeeper Command Carrier
Captain Larsh watched the quick destruction of thirty of his Prowlers for no damage with a sense of stunned disbelief. Prowlers were one of the most lethal fighters ever constructed yet the Terran ship was swatting them from the sky as if they were nothing more than annoying insects.
"Frag cannons locked onto the Terran ship sir," Lieutenant Makol reported from behind him.
"Fire at will," Larsh ordered.
Larsh watched his display screen as all twelve forward frag cannons fired upon the Terran ship. Reddish-orange bolts of plasma streaking across space to impact the Terran shields and detonate and the insolent alien vessel vanished in the explosions. Larsh allowed himself a smug smile, knowing that barrage would have torn the alien ship to pieces.
The smile faded when the Terran ship reappeared as the explosions dissipated, its shields glowing as they deflected the asteroid sized plasma explosions energy ineffectively out into space. Impossible, Larsh thought a moment before the Terran ship lashed out with twin blue-white energy beams and for the first time in his experience his ship rocked under enemy fire. Golden energy bolts followed the brilliant blue beams slamming into the ships forward shields each impact rocking the carrier.
"All guns fire," Larsh shouted as another volley of enemy fire shook his ship.
*** / /
Aiden held onto the arms of his chair as enemy firepower slammed into the Atlantis shields repeatedly. Not letting up for even a moment, the salvo's from every gun that the alien warship could bring to bear on them slammed into the shields in a near continuous onslaught. But he knew that they were giving as good as they got sending proton cannon bolts and the occasional burst from the positron beam cannons slamming into the enemy.
"Shields weakening," tactical reported. "Individually the alien plasma bolts are no real threat but together the impacts are formidable. Our shields won't hold against this for too long."
"Navigation attack pattern Delta," Aiden ordered as the Atlantis shuddered around him. "Fire torpedoes."
"Torpedoes away," weapons reported as six light antimatter torpedoes launched from the forward torpedo tubes and streaked towards the Peacekeepers at very high speed.
Two torpedoes died, denoting with multi-megaton fury as enemy fire connected with them. The other floor slammed home one after the other, the powerful blasts being barely withstood by the Peacekeeper shields. Badly stressed the carriers bow shields were in no shape to stop the next volley of proton cannon blasts that slammed into them. Several penetrated to impact the armoured hull directly. Massive explosions rippled across the command carriers bow as armour vaporised or disintegrated with the fury of the weapons.
Commander John Crichton forced his eyes open as he felt the ship shaking around him. He had been through this kind of thing enough times to realise that they were under attack.
"What's going on," he asked feeling tired and weak and knowing somehow that the nanites hadn't yet finished merging with his cells yet.
"We're under attack John," Kirsten Roseberg told him stumbling against another bed as the Atlantis shook violently again. "A large ship that came through the wormhole. But don't worry were holding our own and reinforcements will be coming."
"Who's attacking us? Peacekeepers? Scarrens? Nebari?"
"I don't know," Kirsten replied. "But soon whoever it is will regret firing at us." As she spoke Kirsten smiled grimly knowing bigger ships than the Atlantis would be calculating jumps to this location. Who knew maybe even the Trafalgar would show up and there were few ships in space that could hope to go against her and live. If she came this battle would be over, and over in very short order.
Peacekeeper Command Carrier
"Damage report," Captain Larsh ordered waving his hand at the thick acrid smoke that had begun to fill the command centre of his ship as the Terran warship kept up its merciless pounding, despite having already been hit by enough firepower to tear apart three Scarren dreadnoughts. Firepower that had weakened the Terran shields but had not broken them down quickly as he would have expected.
"Shields at twenty three percent," Lieutenant Makol reported as the another volley of proton blasts shook the ship. "Twenty. We cannot take much more of this punishment. There have been localised shield collapses on the bow. Sections twelve through twenty on decks twelve to forty have sustained massive damage. Collateral damage in all forward sections. Forty percent power loss. Sir I hate to say this but we must withdraw if we stay we'll be destroyed."
Larsh whirled to face his first officer and was about to open his mouth to slap him down for daring to suggest such a thing when a tremendous impact shook the ship and everyone was thrown off there feet.
A harsh creaking came from above followed by a snapping sound, Larsh looked up in time to see a support girder be ripped away from its moorings and fall right towards him. A soft cry escaped his lips right before the girder crashed into his chest and his world vanished in blast of harsh, red pain that rapidly gave way to numbness and darkness.
Lieutenant Makol picked himself up off the floor and sighed when he saw Captain Larsh lying motionless on the floor near him. His chest crushed by the fallen support girder, killing him instantly.
"Sir our shields have collapsed," Lieutenant Jukal reported to him. "Alien vessel is coming back around again. Sir without our shields we won't withstand another volley like the last one."
"I know," Makol replied. "What's the status of the Rystar regiment?"
"Sixty-nine Prowlers destroyed sir," Jukal reported snapping into the role of first officer now that Makol was default captain with the death of Captain Larsh. "The others are disabled and adrift. The enemy is ignoring them. Sir three more ships have just appeared on our scanners, they just appeared and each one is three times bigger than the first ship. Time to intercept thirty-six microns."
"Navigation come about take us back into the wormhole at best possible speed," Makol ordered. "Retreat."
For a moment no one in the command centre moved, the order to retreat was one that was rarely herd in the Peacekeepers. For a command carrier to withdraw after just a few minutes of battle was unheard of, not even the Nebari's mighty hostships could defeat a command carrier so quickly.
"Now," Makol ordered.
"Yes sir," Navigation reported at last and set to work on the task of bringing the badly wounded command carrier about.
Captain Aiden Jackson sighed in relief when he observed the alien warship beginning to turn away from them to run. The Atlantis's /shields were down to forty two percent, the constant hammering of the alien plasma weapons taking there toll on shields that were not really designed for a major engagement. Patrol cruisers like the /Atlantis were designed to fight pirate ships and mercenary vessels, they weren't meant for line ship combat.
"What are our reinforcements doing," he asked.
"Still closing but there not firing on the alien ship," tactical reported.
"Good," Aiden replied. "What about Moya?"
"There almost to Jupiter sir but they've stopped their flight. They must have seen what was happening back here."
"Captain the alien warship is entering the wormhole," sensors reported.
"Show me," Aiden ordered and a hologram appeared in front of him, clearly showing the alien vessel disappearing back into the wormhole, leaving behind a trail of debris and burning gas as it did so. In less than a moment it was gone. It was over for now.
"Stand down from red alert," Aiden ordered. "Damage report?"
"Engineering reports minor shockwave damage to some systems all over the ship sir but no major damage," operations reported. "Internal repair nanites are responding."
"Sir we're being hailed by the /Reliance/," communications reported. "Captain Talvarda says to leave the remaining disabled fighters to her ship, they'll pick them up. They want us to rendezvous with Moya and escort them to Earth."
"Tell Captain Talvarda that we're on it," Aiden replied. "Navigation take us to Moya."
"Security to bridge," Lieutenant Harris's voice said over the intercom. Aiden touched the communicator built into the forearm of his uniform.
"Yes lieutenant," he asked.
"It's one of the prisoners we picked up earlier sir," Harris reported.
"What about them?"
"They've been injured."