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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - The Trek

Adrian Moss

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Captain Obadiah Planter.

Lt. Damien Caine

Lt. Karen Baker

Chief Master Sergeant Turkel Masterson

The naquadah mines had been worked out, the majority of the people had been taken off-world, and the remainder had at last died about a thousand years ago. It wasn’t a dead world, but it was getting there. The culprit was the Pulsar moving into the system and breaking it apart. It was death in slow motion; fitting for a world of Apophis.

“Tracking a meteor storm coming in, Captain,” Lt. Baker said. “We had better get out of here unless we want to get pelted.”

“Alright team, let’s gather up our gear,” Captain Planter called out. The Team could see the burning contrails in the distance and a light tremor coming our way. If the meteor storm came too close, they didn’t want to see it. The gate would most likely survive a near-strike, but they wouldn’t.

“Dialing up,” Lt. Caine called out. At almost the same moment as the gate opened, Chief Masterson called out, “INCOMING”.

The impact lifted Caine up and spun him head over heals past the dialer. Chief had knocked Baker down and Captain Planter was able to dive to the ground only to be lifted up by the impact once again. When they all looked up, they could see the gate standing open, invitingly. The team could see the contrail of another meteor strike coming down past them. They had to hurry up before the next strike. Baker stood up and looked at her electromagnetic scanner. She saw the indicators go from background to a spike.

“Pulsar is going to hit us again. We do it now or we wait ten hours!” she screamed do to her deafness from the impacts. Captain Planter waved everyone forward, grabbing Caine’s arm as he came forward. Chief was helping Baker along while she studied intently the indicators on her scanner. The gate began sparking lightning. The Captain eyed Baker who looked at him hopelessly – she just didn’t know if this was safe, but what chance did they have. They couldn’t stay.

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Caine’s first impression was of falling. Not falling some great, fathomless distance, but down a rocky, gravel-strewn slope at night. He impacted a mountain pine right around the midsection, just blow the ribs. He could hear other people rolling down slope as well. Something softer slammed into him, a hard object bouncing off his head. Caine was getting over having the breath knocked out of him to say anything so the first person to speak was Baker.

“Who am I on top of,” he managed as she began pushing herself off Caine. Their eyes were beginning to adjust to the darkness, but Caine answered anyway.

“Lt. Caine, Lt. Baker. Were the hell are we, Baker. This doesn’t look like the Gate Room. We didn’t ever roll down the ramp.”

“Sound off,” came the Captain’s voice. He sounded a little rough as well. They all gave a “Here” and began to gather together. A quick assessment put them on a mountain side, near the Cheyenne Mountain facility. First they called out on the shortwave. They got nothing back … not even background chatter. Figuring the equipment was faulty, flashlights came out and they began navigating by compass and the stars. They had to let the facility know they were okay and to not send anyone back to AML-8Y6, the Pulsar world.

The GPS function on their scanner didn’t function, the stars function was out of whack, but the compasses worked just fine. The orientated themselves and moved up the slope, hoping to find a road, or better yet, lights. Daylight came along and they found neither. The eerie thing was that Chief “Turk” Masterson recognized the landmarks. Trees were a bit denser, taller, and thicker, but the stone remained the same. They walked right up to were Turk swore was the facility entrance and … nothing. Nothing but rock, that is.

They responded to this by breaking up into teams of two. Turk and Caine would climb above the tree line and take a look around. Planter and Baker were going to cut down to the closest water source and see were it led. They would rendezvous at twilight. Turk and Caine found a beautiful view and not much else. Turk managed to startle and kill a rabbit with a knife. Caine had to carry it. Planter and Baker found much, much more.

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Their discovery came to dinner with the team. They identified themselves as Cichetcha and Nadditha. Turk quickly named them Chuck and Nadine. The team was soon equally named, Cachecta (Captain), Kayla (Caine), Bachlate (Baker), and Turk (the lucky bastard). The team members couldn’t speak to them, despite their numerous languages they possessed between them. Baker, the scientific expert, was a physicist, not a linguist. Turk had been stationed all over the globe in his twenty-five years of service, but had nothing that would help. Caine could only tell them it wasn’t Arabic, or Mandarin. Planter confirmed they didn’t know Russian or German.

A horrible sensation was sinking in while they tried to communicate. These people didn’t have anything technological, or technologically powered. All their gear looked well-used and cared for, if leather, wood, bone and sinew. They smelled like … well, like nothing they had smelled before, but they didn’t bathe regularly. Their skin was copper-like, and Chuck reminded them of that guy form the Littering Commercials from the seventies and eighties, with his lined face and braids and sad look. Nadine looked less worn and younger, but had the same facial features, with a rather inquisitive expression.

Finally, Baker couldn’t hold back any longer.

“These two are Indians, Captain. There is no way around it. Either this is the Boss of all training exercises or …”

“… Or we’ve been knocked back in time,” Caine completed, forlornly.

Turk looked to Baker, “Is that even possible.”

Baker tried to talk several times before settling on a course of action.

“It’s possible. We are messing with a powerful Ancient technology and we don’t understand even half of how it works … so yes, we could have been knocked back in time, and space.”

“How did we end up outside the base?” Planter quizzed her next.

“My guess is random chance that we didn’t arrive somewhere up in the air … more than we did. It probably is designed to not project people directly into a solid object. Next to a solid object is okay, but not inside a solid mountain, thus our Shield works, but we weren’t fused into the rock.”

“Next question,” Planter continued, “How much time have we lost?”

“Could we have ended up in the future?” Turk suggested.

“No,” replied Caine. “No roads and no base, plus our scanner would have picked up residual radiation from a nuclear war. Unless we are insanely far in the future.”

“Not from the reading I’m getting from the stars. I ‘suspect’ we are four to five thousand years back.”

She didn’t look happy with that news.

Caine looked to Planter,

“What’s the plan, Captain? How are we getting home?”

Planter chuckled dryly,

“You don’t ask for much kid. For one, we need a Star Gate …

“We have one,” interjected Karen, “in Egypt, if they haven’t buried it yet.”

Everyone grinned.

“We have to cross half way around the globe, crossing one major ocean, with no ship building skills and only the tools on our backs, battle pass a Gao’uld occupied civilization, dial a Star Gate back to another Gao’uld occupied world then live long enough to dial us home.”

“With the proper sequence of the pulsar … which I have yet to figure out,” Baker pronounced.

“When do we get started?” Caine said vibrantly, raring to go.

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They came up with three plans. All the plans were influenced by the near-total lack of skills that anyone had to create or pilot a water vessel of any kind. Water travel would have to be kept to a minimum. There would be no Kon Tiki on this trip though they all vowed to take up boat building in their time off when they got home. At this point, everyone assumed they would make it back. They were SG-17 after all.

Plan One involved the North American trip. They would travel (saying it made it sound so easy) all the way to Nova Scotia, build two dug out canoes. They would then sail along the coast of Canada and Labrador until they reached the big island’s northernmost point. They would then attempt a crossing to Greenland. From there, they would navigate down to Iceland through the Greenland Gap, and the Iceland Gap to the Faeroe Islands. South they would sail to the Shetlands and Orkneys to Scotland. Then they would be scot-free down the isle of Britain, swim the channel on a bright autumn day, and traverse all of Western Europe to the Bosporus. Another brisk swim would take us to the Middle East and a few hundred more miles would bring them to the Nile delta. Finding Ra’s empire and slipping through to the Star Gate would naturally ensue.

Plan Two involved a trip through Central and South America. From the top of Brazil the crossing to Africa would be a synch. Moving along sub-Saharan Africa all the way from the Niger valley to the fifth cataract of the Nile, we would come up the back door to Ra’s empire and thus the Star Gate. The problem with this approach was the sheer volume of swamps and jungles, poisonous life forms, and topical diseases. The team didn’t have necessary antibiotics and anti-toxins. Probability of success was as unattractive as attempting a crossing of the North Atlantic in dugout canoes.

That left Plan Three – Asia and the Bering Crossing. The first obstacle, and the least in many ways, was the crossing of the Rocky Mountains. They would cross over into the Snake/Columbia River system and to the Puget Sound. There they would contact the Northwestern tribes and talk their way into having them make them a sea-worthy vessels, if they were made yet. With whatever vessel they could muster, they would continue up the Pacific coast to Alaska to the narrowest point between North America and Asia. They would cross there and abandon the boat.

From there, all that remained was the continent of Asia. They would cross over to the Lena and South to Lake Baikal. They would then move west, skirting the edge of the steppe for over a thousand miles until they reached the Oxus River and the Aral Sea. They would pass overland to the Caspian Sea, go south to the land of Iran/Persia and beyond that lay the lands of Sumeria, the Cradle of Civilization. Well, it would be one day. From there, it was the quick route through the Levenant and on to Egypt. Pass unnoticed through Ra’s empire, use the gate, and get home. It was as good as done.

Every journey starts with the first steps and the path to the Pacific coast started with climbing over a few … dozen mountains. Their first step was to figure out what roadways had gone were in their ‘modern’ world. It was decided that Highway 24, which lead through the Tennessee Gap. Their plan was to walk in the morning when the sun tended to be in their favor and to hunt/trap/whatever in the afternoons. This plan didn’t work out so well. Game didn’t hop into your nets because you were hungry. The alternative was the three day hunt followed by the four day hike.

The math works really hard against you in situations like this. Thankfully they were in good shape so in a whole day hike-rest-hike cycle would generate as much as thirty-five kilometers a day. That was a suggested pace of one-hundred and twenty kilometers a week. Considering this was early April, this would place them in the Pacific Northwest in the middle of summer and that meant the crossing the Bering in … late fall at the soonest, unless they ‘found’ a boat custom made for their purposes waiting for them. Oh joy.

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