Follow TV Tropes
It was long considered a mystery why so many ships appeared in this godforsaken system. There was no planets here, no asteroids, not even dust.
What there was was the countless wreckage from what seemed like thousands of battles. There were literally thousands of ships, cracked apart, blown to bits, their remains littering the area like a warning sign. And it would be here that a new group would appear, stumbling their way onto what would doubtless appear to be a battlefield.
Only time would tell if these beings would be able to get along enough to survive...
The Saint's Cradle, previously continuing on its merry way to an inevitable destruction, was one of the first to arrive. Huge, golden, a masterpiece of magical and mechanical engineering... yet completely in disarray; its engine—but not the back-up systems for life support—turned to dust, its halls littered with remnants of broken gadget drones, and the very throne room itself broken. The mechanics of the ship were intact but its heart was ruined—and the mighty empire that had once counted it as a base was gone, taking the experienced crew with it.
Instead, who did it have? Riot Force 6, whose main function was hunting down specific lost items to try and stop them from falling into the hands of Jail Scaglietti, and none other than the mad doctor himself. The two sides were there in their entirety, with the unexpected addition of Arf—because death would be a poor fate to inflict upon the unfortunate familiar—and, for some reason, the only person aside from Scaglietti who could be assumed to know anything about the ship's workings.* Yes, it's Yuuno. Imagine if Scaglietti had ever gotten his hands on the library.
Of course, everyone was pretty much as they had been when taken. In the case of the Riot Force 6 members, this was somewhat battered. In Scaglietti's case? The only person still awake appeared to be Uno.
Shortly after the Cradle arrives, a small Firefly-class vessel appears in the system. In the Bridge, a man in a brown coat stops talking to the pilot when he saw where they were. "Qing Wa Cao De Liu Mang." Mal curses, "Where are we?"
Wash begins to respond, "To honest, I do-" He cuts off as the Saint's Cradle comes into view, "Tzao Gao..."
A flash of light was the first signal that something new was on its' way. This was quickly followed by the appearance of a dagger shaped vessel, its' angular grey hull streaking absurdly forward for the briefest of moments before it decided to assume a more reasonable speed, appearing to snap into place like an elastic band. The capital ship was imposing in its' austerity◊, and it advanced in a relentless yet ponderous fashion.
Two spheres sat atop a blocky bridge, lattices criss-crossing their surface adding a geodesic quality. The upper hull had a stepped appearance, with chevron shaped layers of decreasing size jutting from its' surface. Various other shapes poked from the hull, although their purpose was not readily evident. A hole - or rather, a cavernous hangar bay - was cut out from the centre of the bottom of the craft, providing easy access for larger ships like freighters or even corvettes. Behind it ran a dome - perhaps a key system - and a gap at the back of the hull allowed three titanic sublight drives to power the ship, their blue luminescence◊ contrasting sharply with the inky darkness of vacuum. Two slots inset into the sides of the ship also provided hangar bays for the prodigious number of TIE starcraft tucked inside, clinging to the cieling via magnetic clamps like bats in a cave* There were more TIE starfighters/bombers in the central hangar bay, but it was mostly set aside for shuttles and other ships . Scores of turrets of various designs were affixed to the hull, but they tended to blend in with their environs.
All in all, the Devastator - pride and joy of the Imperial Navy, and its' flagship for a time - was an imposing capital ship, and not to be trifled with even by vessels of comparable size. Scarce moments before, however, it had been about to engage the Rebel fleet over Endor.
Darth Vader entered the bridge of the Devastator with a growing sense of confusion, something which he did not experience often. The last thing he remembered was confronting his son on his master's latest project - the 2nd Death Star - but before the duel could begin in earnest the Dark Lord of the Sith found himself whisked away to here. But he did not decide to entertain any of the notions entering his head: what mattered now was to lead.
As soon as the doors had quietly whooshed aside to let the Sith Lord enter, the patter of information that usually floated lazily across the bridge dropped dead, silence falling like a crate of durasteel. For a tense, uncomfortable minute, Darth Vader's laboured, mechanical breathing was the only sound that percolated the atmosphere. The stark white walls contrasted sharply with the glossy black floor, which was the same colour as Vader's life supporting armour.
"Lord Vader, we have entered an unknown system," intoned Commander Nahdonnis Praji◊, wearing an Imperial officer uniform in pure black hues. Rank bars and code cylinders adorned his person, although the Sith didn't particularly care as such about that. What mattered was the information he was being told - and more importantly, what he would do with it. The officer continued, his clipped tones and stern face never changing in the slightest. "We have picked up multiple energy signatures consistent with sublight drives, though they do not match any known designs. One of them is a capital ship, and the other is a light freighter. The capital ship must either have shut down its' drives or they have sustained damage, as their energy signatures are minimal. There also appears to be a ship graveyard, and initial scans indicate that the wrecks have sustained battle damage. Your orders, my Lord?"
Seeing that Vader wasn't present to carry out a summary execution of someone who displeased him, the conversations slowly picked up once more, though the Sith frustratingly could not follow any one thread with his dulled and maimed senses. This armour was no better than a prison, a sentiment he had silently expressed to himself more than once. The Dark Lord waited a moment before responding. "Perform a deeper scan of the graveyard and hail those ships. We will discover our position yet." Darth Vader's voice emitted from his speaker grille in a bass rumble, far more intimidating than the hoarse whisper it really was.
"Of course, my lord." Commander Praji saluted and then turned to address the bridge crew. "Sensors, execute an in-depth scan of the graveyard; if you can spare the resources then provide a preliminary scan of the unidentified ships. Comms, hail those vessels."
A chorus of affirmations, commands and checks rang out in response. The Commander was all business as usual. Vader could have done much worse for a senior officer to accompany him here, and he was confident in his capabilities; he was a fine crewman in all respects. Focusing on the scenery through the viewport, Darth Vader found himself becoming less tense as he laid his heavily damaged eyes on the glittering parade of stars. The Dark Lord of The Sith walked closer to the viewport, stopping only a few inches away.
Praji, meanwhile, faced a communications terminal and cleared his throat before speaking. Clear communications was key, after all. There were too many vessels that had been destroyed due to sloppiness. "Unidentified vessels, this is the Star Destroyer Devastator. Identify yourselves and your business in the system immediately."
As for the Saint's Cradle and Serenity, they may have picked up the signal and had it patched through the relevant communications system - assuming, of course, that they bothered to respond or even to accept the signal. If they did, then if they had any viewscreens or similar they would have seen the Commander standing in front of the "camera", his face set in a stony fashion and his hands folded behind his back. Whoever this man was, he was clearly very professional.
edited 11th Dec '11 2:42:09 PM by Flanker66
Mal and Wash stare baffled as the Devastator enters the system. As they stare, they are joined by Zoe, and then Jayne, both of whom came to see what was happening, but now just stared in shock and awe like Mal and Wash. "We have an incomin communication, would you like to answer, or should I?" Wash asks.
Mal swiftly responds, "I'd like to answer it," and Wash moves aside allowing Mal to get to the view screen, as he receives the Devastator's hail, "Gao Guhn, that's a comfortin name... Leads to so much trust and comradeship. As for who we are, this here ship is Serenity, and I'm Captain Reynolds. Now, we don't mean no harm by a-bein here, we're just plain and simple folk tryin to make the best with what we've got, but, well, things went south, and we don't know where we are, we'd certain to pretiate a little help here."
The communication was automatically accepted, due to the fact that the Cradle was pretty much just hanging there in a semi-dormant state and no-one, as such, had any control over it. This would enable the commander to see the rather... disarrayed state of the throne room, complete with Uno having a glowing yellow blade held to her throat by a blonde in what appeared to be the offspring of a swimsuit and armour, the crater and hole in the wall, and sprinkling of unconscious combat cyborgs.
Hayate, at least, was in the right place to look at the glowing screen and the people there displayed, and turned to address the commander. As usual, Reinforce II was nearby and also visible on screen. "Lieutenant Colonel Hayate Yagami of the Time-Space Administration Bureau, aboard the Saint's Cradle. We neither know where we are or why we are here."
The poor man would probably be confused that he was being answered by a twenty year old girl and that she held such illustrious rank. The fact that what appeared to be a miniature child was floating by her shoulder raised even more questions.
Nahdonnis double taked at the responses and sights that greeted him, though he did an admirable job of hiding his surprise. The freighter was being awfully disrespectful for a ship communicating with the Imperial Navy. Perhaps they were Rebel dregs, or any number of the criminal elements looking to make a profit through underhanded means. As for the Saint's Cradle, well... he thought that all the Jedi had been eliminated for their disloyalty to the government that preceeded the Empire, though it appeared they had missed one or two if the blonde woman was any indication. Her attire was rather unusual and distasteful, too. The state of the bridge was awful - perhaps they had been accosted by an Imperial fleet? The "Lieutenant Colonel" looked anything but, and the miniature human floating at her side was probably a hologram. Must be. He also had never heard of the "Time-Space Administration Bureau", and to suggest it was a cover for their real identities was simply absurd.
Gathering his energies, Commander Praji responded, "Commander Nahdonnis Praji of the Imperial Navy. Serenity, what cargo and crew do you have aboard and what are your intentions? You do not look particularly... reputable." The Imperial almost sneered as he finished speaking. This unlikely lot looked - and sounded - like a gaggle of Rimmers. Just what he needed. Replying to Hayate now, he said, "Saint's Cradle, I hope you realise that you are violating Imperial law by harbouring a Jedi. Surrender her to us immediately. The Emperor is nothing if not gracious, and we promise that none of you shall come to harm. We have no intention of firing upon you unless there is no choice." A pause. "And may I speak to the commanding officer of your vessel? It is not advisable to claim you are military personnel when you are not, 'Lieutenant-Colonel'."
The tempo of chatter increased as some of the crew members heard snatches of conversation. There was a Jedi in the system? Weren't they all gone? What would Lord Vader do? What did this mean? The third question was promptly answered as Vader whirled around, his cape wheeling behind him. The Commander felt the Dark Lord's gaze upon him, even if he did not acknowledge it. Vader wondered who this Jedi was, but it would not matter in a moment. She would be turned or destroyed. However, the Sith Lord made no move to interrupt Praji, although the latter noticeably grew paler.
edited 11th Dec '11 3:44:57 PM by Flanker66
Hayate cocked her head, trying to make sense of the request. Jedi? They didn't exist, did they? Sure, there were those American films and stuff but she'd never taken an interest in them... and yet she was being asked to surrender one?
"I am afraid that I cannot comply with either request. There has never been and will never be any Jedi aboard this ship and, unless you would like to speak to a resting six year old girl, I am the commanding officer."
Technically, this ship was Vivio's. Technically.
Annoyed by the Imperial's response, Mal responds with, "Tetchy Huen Dahn, we have already explained ourselves. We have already gone and explained ourselves to you. You're just as bad as the Cheong Bao Ho Tze, Gou Cao De Lien Mohn, always a-thikin you have the gorram right to boss us little folk around. Now, listen here. I ain't never heard of Empire but I ain't gonna let you boss me around like some sort of Kuh Wu Ta Ma De Hun Dan, Ba Wong. Chwee Ni Duh and git." Mal cuts off communication with the Imperials.
edited 11th Dec '11 4:31:30 PM by deathpigeon
Meanwhile, out in space, a blue rift opened in the fabric of reality, and a blocky ship easily dwarfed by the Star Destroyer and the Saint's Cradle was disgorged from subspace.
On the bridge of the vessel, it was obvious that something was wrong. Mostly because it had dropped out of hyperspace far earlier than it was supposed to.
"Status report?" The brown-haired woman in the commander's chair asked.
"The hyperdrive shut down prematurely, and I can't get it to re-initialise." The black-haired man in the pilot's seat stopped trying the drive controls when it became obvious he wasn't getting a response from them. "Sublight engines and manoeuvring thrusters are still responding."
"That's all well and good," The commander stood up from her seat and walked to the front viewport. "But why can I see a Star Destroyer out there?"
"Well, what do you know. More people are joinin the party." Wash says dryly.
"Let's hope they're more reasonable then that Ba Wong we spoke to earlier." Mal tries to open communications with the new comer as he speaks.
"Ma'am, we're being hailed by one of the vessels."
"Unknown. Stand by."
Mal impatiently taps his fingers as the discussion happens on the bridge of the Iliad, waiting for them to respond. "Taking they're time respondin. Well ain't that just swell."
Out of the darkness, a ship appeared. "Captain, the sensors are registering several ships. The hyperdrive has also been deactivated. The engineers are trying to get it back online, but we're at skeleton levels already. Should we wake the Marines?" "No, Lieutenant Connor. Officer Johnston, bring weapons online as a precaution. Lieutenant, began transmission." A beep, and Captain Montgomery spoke. "This is Captain Montgomery of the USS Ripley. Please identify yourselves."
edited 11th Dec '11 5:02:10 PM by GeekCodeRed
Hayate turned her attention away from the Cheddar-concerned man to answer the troop transport's question, and minimally at that. "The Saint's Cradle" was not a helpful answer. Names rarely were.
"Saint's Cradle? Who makes these names anyway?" "Quiet, Officer Johnston. Saint's Cradle, we don't have your name in our databanks. Please state your country of origin."
"There isn't one. Two dead civilisations are behind this ship, and both occupied an entire planet at the least. As for those present, there are citizens of Mid-Childa, some from outlying worlds, and two of us are from Japan," Hayate explained, beginning to realise that none of them seemed familiar with the origins of the others, "If this doesn't make sense to you, don't worry. None of these ships are like anything else I've ever seen, either."
Not that she could see them. The names were too different to what she was used to, though.
"That's impossible, Saint's Cradle. Mid-Childa is nowhere in our databanks, and Japan hasn't been a country in itself for decades." "Maybe they're from the past?" "There's no such thing as time travel, Johnston. We all know that it's 2185. There hasn't been time travel yet, and there probably won't be."
In the midst of all the floating debris, less than ten kilometers from the Star Destroyer's bridge, there was a massive flash of light as something punched a whole in space to appear.
The vessel was dark grey all over, with red striping on the nose. Terran's might consider it like an Alligator on skies, but it was almost 1800 meters long.
The Battlestar Typhon, having just had a jump drive malfunction, had arrived at last.
Deep inside the CIC, the 'bridge', which was buried in the center of the 'head' of the Battlestar, chaos reigned for a moment.
“What the Frack...” Muttered Commander Alexander Vrake. He shook his head as he stood up,
“XO, status!” With a groan that sounded too much like a hang over, a dark haired woman pulled herself up off the floor,
“Sir, one moment.” She staggered over to the situational readout board, which had several computer screens showing the ship and each section.
“Green across the board sir. FTL Malfunctioned.” Vrake grunted,
“No Shit. Navigation? Where the hell are we?” The younger man at the controls was also shaking his head, but he focused,
“Unknown area sir...not in our charts...DRADIS Contacts!” Vrake whirled to stare at his own moniters.
“Damn, that's a mess! Sort out what's moving and what's not.” The man nodded,
“On it sir.” The executive officer was also discussing something over the phone and then put it down.
“Sir, Viper Bays report no damage and all systems working.” Vrake nodded,
“Launch Red Squadron. I need eyes out there.” She nodded and said into the phone,
“Launch Red Vipers, we need the CAP online.” The sensory officer chimed in,
“Sir, I have several contacts I believe are moving. One frighter class, under 100 meters, one destroyer class, about 200 meters...one Battlestar or Baseship class, I think 1600 meters or so. It's close! I estimated under ten clicks distant! And...sweet merciful gods...I think I have something in the 3000 meter range.” Vrake stared, three kilometers of spacecraft was nothing to sneeze at. Had to be a station of some kind.
As the massive ship righted itself, the other vessels would noticed what might have seemed to be missile launches, ten from a side. But as the 'missiles' came around, they turned out to be fighters, Viper Mk VI Is on patrol.
The lead Viper pilot called his ship,
“Typhon Actual this is Red Leader, I have...I have an unknown vessel off your bow. It's white and shaped like an arrow head. And its pointing right at us.”
"Very Good, stay on your toes Red Leader." Vrake nodded and set down his phone, turning to his XO.
“Set condition one through the ship. Battlestations.”
"More contacts. Whatever these things are, they're unlike anything we've come across before."
"What about that hail?"
"It's coming from the smallest vessel, and... It's a conventional radio transmission; it's not on any subspace waveband."
"Put it on screen." A large holographic panel appeared in front of the viewport. "This is Colonel Redwood of the Earth ship Iliad. Who am I speaking to?"
As the communication opened, even more people crowded into the bridge to see what was going on, Simon following River, and Kaylee and Inara entering together. "Ni How, this is Captain Reynolds speaking, and this here ship of ours is Serenity. We were wonderin here if you might be knowin where we are? We ain't got no clue ourselves, and we were lookin to find our way back to where we came." Mal spoke calmly, already feeling better about these people than he had with the Imperials.
As Mal spoke to the crew of the Iliad, everyone else's attention was else where. Specifically on the newest ship... And the fighters it had just launched. Thew silence was broken by Simon who clearly enunciated what they were all thinking, "Son of a bitch."
edited 12th Dec '11 8:20:22 AM by deathpigeon
Didn't she already answer that question?
"Ma'am, we've got more contacts. Possible fighters inbound." The weapons officer looked up from his station.
"I'm afraid you'll have to excuse me Captain. I recommend you get out of this sector as fast as possible; it's not safe for a civilian vessel like yours right now."
Mal sighs, "I'd love to, Redwood, was it? But, unfortunately, we don't have the means to... If we're goin out into the black,f we ain't never comin back."
"Very well, Captain. Stay safe out there, whatever you do." The holo-window closed. "Do we have 302's ready to launch?"
"Gryphon squadron is on the deck and ready to go."
"Launch One, Two and Three, tell them not to fire unless fired upon. I'd rather avoid an incident out there if we possibly can."
"Captain, another ship has dropped into the sector and has launched fighters." "Shit. Connor, open up transmission with the new ship." "Yes sir, attempting to make contact." "Johnson, wake a platoon, get them ready for boarding actions." "In the Cheyennes, sir?" "What else do we have?
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?