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03 January 2009 @ 03:00 am
Fic: Vermicular Confusion (II of VI)  
Title: Vermicular Confusion (II of VI - part I)
Author: Oparu
Rating: PG-13
Universes: Star Trek: The Next Generation/Stargate Atlantis
Notes: Crossover! Crackfic 3rd season TNG, 1st season SGA. Elizabeth/John, Deanna/Will, Beverly/John-Luc.

“It says Enterprise on the hull,” Radek’s voice was nearly reverent, like Rodney when he was looking at an amazing new piece of technology. “The Enterprise, not just Enterprise, but Enterprise-D. That’s like –“

“Walking into a tomb and discovering the Pharaohs were real?” Elizabeth replied as she leaned over the railing into quarantine and watched Carson’s medics treat the visitors. It was odd how small social conventions could be so similar across whatever void of time and space their craft had come from.

The man was in a red one-piece jumpsuit that seemed to be his uniform. He had soft brown hair, a full beard and a strong chin. Elizabeth thought she would like his eyes if they were open. Her own red uniform made her wonder if he was in command. The taller woman wore a blue version of the uniform, had long red hair and what Carson called ‘a dancer’s legs’. The shorter woman wore purple in a different style and her long black hair was still in near-perfect ringlets. They all had identical badges of some sort on their upper right chests. Carson had removed them to use the scanners and from above Elizabeth could see the little silver cluster of them on one of the tables.

“We found the activation panel for the rear hatch of their shuttle,” Radek explained sheepishly. “Was not even locked.”

Shaking her head, Elizabeth tapped her fingers anxiously on the railing. “I hope they’re the forgiving type,” she mused before turning her head to him. “And their ship? Any clues what happened to them? Why everything they have looks like it came from-“

“-Star Trek,” Radek interrupted quickly. “We are either suffering from a mass delusion or Star Trek is merely an elaborate ruse, much like the American television program ‘Wormhole Xtreme’. Someone must have encountered these people and fictionalized them.”

“Sheppard has promised to subject me to it at some point,” she offered and tried to stuff away the voice of panic that insisted she still didn’t know where John and his team were.

“Extremely enjoyable,” was Radek’s concise review of the series. “We’ve made an inventory of their small weapons and technology. We can turn all of it on but their written language isn’t familiar to us.”

Elizabeth watched Carson step back from the injured man and allowed herself a sigh of relief. The man in the red uniform was most seriously injured; the blood on the inside of the shuttle was mostly his from a devastating head wound. Both women were still unconscious but their injuries were less severe. Carson had spent the last three hours with the man and even watching him take a step back was comforting. “I suppose it’s nothing like Ancient either?” she hoped vainly.

Radek joined her sigh. “No, nothing similar. We will keep working on it.”

“What can you tell about their vessel?” she asked hoping for some kind of break. Fate had to break at some point and deal them something that could help them. Everything could just keep coming up against them, could it?

“With one exception they were all armed with standard, early twenty-first century lead and copper slug firing weapons,” Worf explained calmly as he gestured to the pile of armaments they had removed from their guests. All of them were still unconscious, but Dr Selar believed no lasting harm had been done to them. “This,” he offered as he lifted the heavy sidearm that looked like it was half-disruptor half old Earth Magnum, “Is a primitive energy weapon similar to a Romulan disruptor. It has two settings, one lethal and one that would leave the target stunned. The larger male with the alternative hair style-“

“-Dreadlocks, mister Worf.” Jean-Luc added for him.

“The pieces of metal around their necks-“ Data added helpfully.

“-Dog tags,” Geordi continued. “Identify them as a Major John Sheppard and a Dr Rodney McKay. We believe Dr McKay to be some kind of civilian consultant. Fibers in Major Sheppard’s uniform place him in the early twenty-first century, before ceramics were routinely woven into Kevlar tack vests. Their ship is another story. Carbon dating insists the metal in the vessel is over fifty-thousand years old. It runs on advance vacuum energy batteries and appears to be short range.”

“Scavenged technology and a rag-tag team?” Jean-Luc asked his officers thoughtfully. It was possible the lone military man was a renegade, some kind of mercenary who wore his dog tags out of some misplaced sense of belonging. “”Do they have warp capability?”

Geordi shook his head as Data simply answered no. “If they do, it’s probably stolen or scavenged, like the ship. Whoever built that ship seems advanced enough to know what they are doing, but our guests seem to be a few hundred years behind their ship. One of them had a scanning device, like a primitive tricorder, but that is the same material as the ship and definitely not of their making. They still rely on electromagnetic radios for communication so I doubt they have knowledge of subspace.”

While Jean-Luc processed that idea, wondering if he should formally contact his superiors before he had to decide if the Prime Directive didn’t apply to thieves and borrowers. Perhaps they were just opportunistic, adaptable explorers, either way, he needed to decide how to treat them. “When can I speak to them?”

“Sickbay will contact the bridge as soon as they are awake,” Selar promised levelly. “They passed through an energy barrier of great strength, it is taking their brains some time to readjust. The rest of their injuries seem to have some from an abrupt stop.”

“The ship shows no sign of being fired on,” Geordi volunteered as he looked across to Worf.

The burly Klingon nodded. “The shielding is undamaged, whatever phenomenon occurred happened before they had time to raise their shields.”

“I concur,” Selar said. “All of their injuries are consistent with a single, sharp impact, similar to a quick change in velocity.”

Jean-Luc felt a surge of empathy for the people recovering in his sickbay. Mercenaries or not, it would certainly be unpleasant to wake up on a foreign vessel and discover their own scavenged was damaged. It could be stolen, he reminded himself, but for some reason he preferred to think these unlucky travelers were explorers. “Could they somehow have collided with the Montreal and our people?”

“It is theoretically possible than they came into contact with the same phenomenon,” Data piped up with his constant quiet enthusiasm. “Tracing their course might give us a better idea what kind of subspace phenomenon caused their displacement.”

Jean-Luc leaned forward to rest his chin on his hands as he stared out across the gleaming glass table. Even Dixon Hill wouldn’t have taken the case of the missing shuttle, they were completely without clues and had been handed an entirely different mystery. “Anything else?” he wondered patiently.

“The female has trace DNA of another species,” Dr Selar intoned, hands folded neatly on the glass table in front of her. “Some parts of her brain show a slightly different neural chemistry. It is possible she has limited telepathic or empathic ability. The large male, the one with the dreadlocks,” she nodded almost imperceptively at Picard, “Is either an exceptional specimen of human genetics or also shares some trace DNA. The other men are simply human.”

Jean-Luc’s half smile met Dr Selar’s raised eyebrow and he wondered if she’d intended as a joke. The Vulcan sense of humor was certainly as dry as the weather on their home planet.

Deanna Troi knew she wasn’t on the Enterprise and her heart sank further down towards her aching stomach. Even with her eyes still closed, she would have known the lights of sickbay through her eyelids. On the Enterprise, Beverly and Selar would have already mended what was wrong with her, and instead of pounding like the morning after Romulan ale. Sighing slightly, she debated letting herself sink back into the hazy stupor she’d arisen from. Perhaps when she woke up again she’d be out of wherever she was and back home.

Something dragged her back up towards the surface. Unfamiliar minds were around her and that uncertainty refused to let her sleep. There was a knot of efficiency and concern and she placed them quickly as a medical team. Regardless of the species, that compassion and competence seemed to be universal. There were far fewer minds here than on the Enterprise and beyond that, something was different. It almost felt easier to read as if she was staring at a field of flowers and all of them were the same flower. Shaking her mind out of her pleasant hallucination of a field of Risian daisies, Deanna made herself focus.

She was surrounded by humans, most likely military, and the strategic organization of their minds was oddly familiar. Reaching out with more honed feelers, Deanna centered her search on the mind that was most burdened. Self-control, worry, logic and reserve ebbed from this mind like a river pouring out into the great ocean of thoughts. The river was turbulent, troubled by- she paused and tried to feel it out without pushing too hard. Her headache was already threatening to overwhelm her control and she needed to be able to trust herself as a source of information.

Something was missing. That thought was foremost in the mind she’d defined as leader. It wasn’t their presence that troubled her, Deanna was sure the mind was female, she instead was concerned that something- someone- was absent. Misplaced. Lost because they were in that place.

Her shields were down when Will reached for her. The minds around her were comfortingly human and calming in their quiet rationale. She’d let down her guard to better reach the woman, the leader, the river of concern; that left her exposed. Will’s desperate reach for her was like a ball of fire tearing through her field. In the green field of pleasant, human minds and the twisting river of the leader’s protective thoughts, Will Riker’s mind was a screaming blast of white-hot fury.

Without realizing it, Deanna gasped aloud. Subconsciously curling her fingers into fists in the sheets, they were too rough to be Starfleet issue, as she tried to calm him down. He didn’t mean to project. He would have been sickly apologetic if he’d known, but his mind was in danger, afraid, damaged and since he was disconnected from his body, a psychic scream of horror was probably the best he could manage.

Suddenly instead of being pleasant, the field of strangers was dark and foreboding, the fears of the leader pounded like photon torpedoes in her mind. They were missing. They couldn’t be found. Deanna’s mind started to creep back into the relative safety of unconsciousness. She was tried. She could just sleep and wait for it all to go away.

“Deanna?” Beverly’s voice was distant, like a whisper across a crowded room, but the sense of her was overwhelming. The blue-green, passionate, healing light of Beverly’s soul eclipsed the field of strangers, blocked out the woman and her slowly growing concerns. Filling Deanna’s mind with a sense of familiarity and urgency, Beverly was a lifeboat and Deanna clung to her.

Feeling her breath fill her chest and force her to concentrate on the grounding sensation of breathing, Deanna shuddered once. Opening her eyes was the next logical step. Beverly was over to the left slightly, leaning down over her bed with her hair tumbling irregularly over her face. Part of it was matted slightly to her head and Deanna slowly recognized blood.

“You’re all right,” Beverly promised as she squeezed her hand. Deanna could feel the crusting, flaking dried blood on her hands as Beverly touched her. “We got knocked around. You’re pretty bruised but not seriously hurt. Can you hear me?”

“Will?” Deanna’s voice sounded creaky, as if she’d left it out on a cool autumn night on Betazed. “Is he all right?”

Beverly leaned lower, clinging to the bed as if she needed the support to remain on her feet. “We’ve been rescued by humans, at least, they seem to be. Their technology is odd, some very advanced, some downright primitive. I haven’t asked them for the medkit yet—“

“You’re awake!” An unfamiliar voice complete with a strangely Scottish sounding accent joined Beverly’s as Deanna tried to find him in the room. Sitting up let her survey her surroundings, even as the pain in her head blossomed into a blinding ache. “I was hoping I’d see one of both of you awake for breakfast.”

As her eyes started to report what they saw more than a half meter away, Deanna matched the voice to a pleasant looking man with a round face and large, kind eyes. He was in a white lab coat and surgical scrubs; reminding her of a doctor she’d played once in a holonovel.

“I’m glad you’re feeling better, but you should still be in bed love,” the stranger insisted as he placed a gentle hand on Beverly’s shoulder. The red head rolled her eyes ever so slightly.

“I’ve suffered no concussion,” Beverly reminded him and Deanna suddenly got the idea that this was not the first argument she’d had with the stranger. “A little time on my feet might help speed my recovery.”

“Right now you’d best be speeding yourself back to bed,” the stranger ordered with a click of his tongue. “You may think I don’t know how long you’ve been on your feet, but I was watching you missy, and the last thing you or I want is to see is your lovely eyes rolling up into your head.”

Beverly didn’t answer, instead she leaned all the closer to Deanna and whispered quickly; “Directive.”

Licking dry lips as she tried to place Beverly’s word with the sense of urgency she sensed in her friend. Directive? The answer slammed into her thoughts like a torpedo hit. Prime Directive. There were rules to be upheld, no matter where they had landed. Even though the dark grey medical chamber they were in seemed advanced, it was entirely possible their rescuers knew nothing of warp drive and were barely more advanced then the twenty-first century holonovel adventure where she’d worn the white lab coat.

“I’m glad to see you’ve come round,” the Scottish sounding doctor offered as his hands went to the interface on the wall by her head. “You and your friend here were spared the worst of it but I’m afraid your husband’s in pretty bad shape.”

Deanna sat up further, propping her trembling self up on a more solid elbow. Beverly had returned to her bed, it seemed more like an old fashioned gurney than the more familiar biobeds in sickbay. The word husband jarred her. Deanna opened her mouth to correct him and immediately felt panic bubble up in Beverly’s mind like a one of the mud pits her mother was so fond of.

“What happened to him?” she asked neutrally trying to decide why Beverly was so concerned.

“Skull fracture,” he explained with concern soft in his voice. His hands were in his pockets and Deanna could feel the empathy for his patient radiate from him like in a rush of warmth. “Swelling of the cervical vertebrae, moderate blood loss from a scalp laceration. I think he’ll be all right but it’ll be serious for awhile yet.”
Lannalanna_kitty on January 3rd, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
ahahahaa. I can't wait for more of this.
Opal: a/r tacklesoparu on January 6th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
i should really write more silly...sometimes angst is overrated :)
Andy: yellow_heartankareeda on January 6th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)
Your stories are so fabulous to read, enjoyed this chapter a lot. :D *bounces*
Opal: e hopelessoparu on January 6th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
sparky in chapter 4...weird, i wrote three chapters without John! ;)
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Opal: sga lizzie coloursoparu on March 26th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
ooo thank you! I shall now direct all of my archaeology based questions to you.

Sadly, you are the first person to notice this.
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Opal: tng b/jl for a long timeoparu on March 26th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
so, how would one date metal? resonance scans?
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Opal: xf s facepalmoparu on March 26th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
awww DS9, you are so cool and sciency sometimes. Thanks! I shall attempt to remember this.