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30 December 2008 @ 02:45 am
fic: Vermicular Confusion  
Title: Vermicular Confusion (part I of VI)
Author: Oparu
Rated: Pg-13
Universes: Star Trek: The Next Generation/Stargate Atlantis
Notes: Crossover! Crackfic because I just couldn't leave it alone... too much egg-nog perhaps. 3rd season TNG, 2nd season SGA. Elizabeth/John, Deanna/Will, Beverly/John-Luc.

“Captain’s Log: Stardate four three nine two eight point seven,” Jean-Luc Picard began folding his hands neatly around his stone cup of Earl Grey. Usually content to accept whatever vessel the replicator saw fit to grace him with, he had take to using the cup because it reminded him of Sarek. The Ambassador would certainly raise an eyebrow at his sentimentality. The gift of the tea set, a replica of an ancient stone design used on Vulcan nearly three thousand years ago, was an act of illogical gratitude from the Ambassador Jean-Luc thought merited its use. Besides, he allowed himself with a small smile, the old cups had a pleasant weight to them, and kept his tea warm far longer than the usual glass cups.

If he was evaluating them simply for aesthetic value, the reddish stone was a nice contrast to the black glass of his table and Beverly had commented on how well the Ambassador knew his taste. After a moment of her thoughtful blue eyes studying him, she’d laughed softly and made it possible for him to join her. She’d been right, of course, Sarek knew Picard’s taste in all things as intimately as he did. Perhaps better, he mused as the faint memory of Sarek’s incredible passion for his wives ran down his spine like a drop of hot liquid metal.

Settling back in his chair with his tea, he stopped the computer and began again, this time with his mind more intent on his duty.

“—Point seven,” he repeated himself. “Commander Riker, Lieutenant Commander Troi and Dr Crusher are spending a week as guest lecturers at the Haguarean Eight Institute.” They are expected to rendezvous with us early tomorrow morning. In the time being, the Enterprise continues to collect and analyze data on the ion storm in sector nine one four. This type of ion storm has been associated with occurrences of parallel universe transgression, like that historically experience by our namesake. No incidences have been reported by any of the crew and I believe the data we’re collecting will be a great addition to our knowledge of these phenomena.”

Unable to decide if the slight disruption he felt to his routine was simply due to the absence of his crew members or another footprint of Sarek on his psyche. Insomnia was a rare affliction in his life and tonight sleep was as elusive as the nagging thought in the back of his mind. Blaming the Ambassador for both seemed unfair but Jean-Luc was unable to shake the idea that the ghost in his thoughts was somehow connected to his experience. What had Beverly said?

“I almost envy you,” she’d admitted slyly over breakfast. Her long legs curled up in the chair beneath her as she stared past him at the starlines. “You’ve felt a level of emotion, a depth of feeling most of us, humans that is, will never be able to experience. However traumatic it was,” she’d paused and reached for his hand lightly. “It was a glimpse into the unknown.”

Was the unknown still with him? Jean-Luc wondered as he finished his tea. Moving his tongue slowly along the inside of his mouth, he licked his lips before placing the stone cup back in the replicator.

“Earl Grey-“ pausing and correcting himself, Jean-Luc sighed and said, “Warm milk, Earth style, hot.” Beverly’s voice was almost in his head, approving his selection. Remembering he had the archeological results of the Haguerean dig site on one of their moons to read through, he lifted the padd and began to imagine light and music instead of columns, stone and dust.

Aching from overuse, Dr Elizabeth Weir’s hands lifted from the keyboard and protested as she stretched then. Her wrists and back joined in with her hands, protesting the amount of time she spent buried in her laptop. It was foolish, wasn’t it? Filing reports that would never be read by anyone because they’d be trapped out in the Pegasus Galaxy far longer than anyone would be able to access her ancient laptop. Forcing those useless thoughts out of her head, she pushed back her chair and tried to decide what was really bothering her.

It wasn’t just the Wraith, she’d faced down implacable enemies before, they weren’t always the type who would drain the life-force from her body with the touch of their hands, but that aside, she’d known what it felt like to have death breathing down her neck. That felt cold, inevitable somehow but she wasn’t cold—

She was annoyed.

Elizabeth nearly hit her forehead against the inside of the transporter when it occurred to her. She was still angry with John Sheppard. It didn’t make sense. She’d been argued with, ignored, treated like a child and left out of important decision before and she’d usually managed to become rational. Reasoning and working through was the answer. John Sheppard wasn’t worth her anger. He’d apologized. He’d even been incredibly thoughtful and polite in the last few briefings.

Maybe that wasn’t the heart of the issue, Elizabeth mused to herself as she ran her hand over the back of her neck. Letting herself have the time it took to refill her coffee in the mess hall, she tried to decide just what it was about John’s unkempt hair and insanely goofy smile that made her want to reach across her desk and just--

Her hand was on the handle of the stainless steel coffee pot when the alarms started to sound. Taking a second to remember which team was returning, she slammed her cup down in frustration. Of course there were alarms for John’s team. Something would be wrong because John’s team was returning. She didn’t dare admit to anyone how much she worried that his luck would run out.

Buzzing in her ear, her earpiece made her heart skip when Sergeant Davis, he hated it when she called him Bobby, asked for a medical team. When Bobby started asking Carson to hurry, Elizabeth started to jog. Her military issue boots were finally starting to wear in enough to become comfortable and she made record time to the control room.

As soon as she rounded the last corner, Elizabeth felt her throat close down. She was swallowing and forcing it to open enough for her to speak when she realized the craft- ship- whatever she was supposed call it- sprawled on the deck in front of the ‘gate wasn’t one of theirs. Instead of the dark, textured metal shape of the puddle jumper, this ship was white metal, almost gleaming, as it lay crooked on the deck. It was very similar to a puddle jumper, perhaps that shape was simply the most practical.

The front window, she always wanted to call it a windshield even though she knew how foolish it was, was intact but at the bizarre angle the ship had landed at made it look pathetic instead of elegant. There was something dark smeared on the inside of the ship and her stomach started to knot up. The relief of knowing it was not John’s team in danger faded when she realized someone inside the ship was bleeding.

“Can we get it open?” she called to Dr Zelenka as his team of blue clad scientists started to swarm around the ship.

“We think so,” he replied quickly holding a stylus in his teeth as he tapped a short sequence into one of the wall panels. “The power signatures in this ship—“ he shook his head. “Not Ancient, not Wraith, nothing we’ve ever seen, some kind of fusion reaction,--“ his eyebrows shot up in amazement. “They have some kind of shielding technology and their weapons are vaguely familiar but there are systems on this ship I can’t explain until we get it open.”

Elizabeth waited a moment for him to come back around to the answer to her question.

“Yes, doctor,” he corrected as he started running a few cables between Atlantis and the little ship.

“Elizabeth,” Carson demanded as soon as she turned around. Crossing her arms over her chest she kept an eye on Zelenka’s work as she nodded to him. “Elizabeth, the amount of blood pooling up on the glass…we need to get them out of there.”

“Radek?” she prodded when she read the worry on Carson’s face.

“Working on it,” the scientist muttered back. “Our power technologies aren’t compatible, some of the power is still intact but our computers—“ he shook his head emphatically and sighed. “Our computers are woefully inadequate. The Ancient computers and this one would get long if only they understood each other. It’s like trying to get a Russian and an American to write a treaty with only a two year old child to translate.”

Elizabeth tightened her lips. “How long?”

“Hours?” Radek replied without looking up from the monitor. “Maybe less? Perhaps never.”

Carson ‘s noise of concern was quick and desperate. When she met his eyes, he pointed at the bottom of the glass. What had looked like a dark red line down the glass had become a steadily growing rivulet of blood.

Sighing and bringing her hand back to the nape of her neck, Elizabeth crossed her arms over her chest again and bit her lip before she turned to Radek. “Cutting torches?”

“When we arrived this craft was just, well, there,” Geordi LaForge started to explain from his seat at the engineering console. “We didn’t pick up anything unusual on long range sensors, we were tracking the Montreal and then she was just gone and this ship was just, well, here.”

“The Montreal is not responding to hails, captain,” Worf added in a rumble.

Picard paced the deck down to his seat in the center and watched as Data brought up the mystery craft on the viewscreen. The ship that wasn’t his shuttle hung maddeningly in space. Whatever propelled her had obviously been damaged and she listed in space like a old sailing vessel that had run aground and filled her hull with water.

He studied the deep grey metal and the strange design of what had to be her engines. “Life signs Data?”

The android’s white hands flew quickly across the smooth panel beneath them. “Four life signs,” he reported as he analyzed the vessel and the life signs simultaneously. “All human, all faint, sir. They have sustained serious injuries.”

Jean-Luc wondered if his crew were trapped in a similar condition somewhere. “Is there anything in the Federation database about that model of shuttle?” he asked as curiosity plagued the back of his mind. “I don’t recognize the design. Does she have a warp signature Geordi?”

“Nothing that the sensors have seen before,” he reported with a slight shake of his head. “Some kind of strange power signature…almost like batteries. I’d love to get a look at it, sir.” He finished sheepishly.


Worf’s reply was measured and calm. “They have a small complement of what appear to be energy based-drones and minimal shielding. Both systems are currently dormant and pose no threat to the Enterprise, sir.”

Data piped up with soft astonishment, at least his version of it, in his voice. “They also seem to be generating an electromagnetic signal in the range referred too as radio waves."

“Radio waves?” he pondered as he inhaled sharply. Trying to think of any post-warp culture that still used radio waves was akin to looking for snow along the Vulcan equator. Tapping the comm panel in the arm of his chair, Jean-Luc had to remind himself not to automatically ask for Beverly. “Dr Selar, prepare to receive four human casualties of unknown origin. Mr. Worf?”

“Yes sir,” the lieutenant left his console immediately and headed for the turbolift as a security officer stepped up to take his place. The doors hissed open and shut in the rear of the bridge. At his command, the blue tractor beam lanced out and captured the strange little ship, pulling it in to the shuttlebay to be examined. Geordi and Data left their stations as well, ready to put their minds to work on the mystery.

With their replacements surrounding him on the bridge, Jean-Luc tried not to see the empty space on the viewscreen as a continuous reminder that Beverly was somewhere else and the only clue was a ship that seemed to have quite literally come from nowhere.
Sammi: Laura&Starbuck: YAYlittle_whispers on December 30th, 2008 09:32 am (UTC)
Can I say OMG YAY any louder about this fic? John/Elizabeth and Beverly/Jean-luc in the same fic is something a fangirl can only dream of ... That is until today :D

I love the detail in the backstory and how on both sides of the parallel universe they have that confused "what the hell" moment.

I can't wait to see where you go with this hun.
Opaloparu on January 6th, 2009 06:10 am (UTC)
hehe thanks darling!
Andy: yellow_heartankareeda on December 31st, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
*squeeeeee* You wrote again! *faints* SPARKYYYYY! *bounces* I'm really intrigued to read more of this. THANK YOU SO MUCH! *beams*
Opal: j lip biteoparu on January 6th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
chiarahhue: Liz smirkchiarahhue on January 2nd, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
hmmm...what an intriguing start! Love the little details you write that make this fic so vibrant. Great job - looking forward to the next chapter!
Opal: l aloneoparu on January 6th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
thanks very much! it's a lot of fun to puzzle out
Lannalanna_kitty on January 2nd, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
Opaloparu on January 6th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC)
Lexi: castiel i can throw you back bitch: medimoonlightstorm on January 2nd, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
Oooh, this is good, can't wait to see what happens next. :)
Opal: tigh officeroparu on January 6th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC)
thanks very much! i hope I won't disappoint.