For This Alliance May So Happy Prove
Chapter 1

Disclaimer: This work of fan-fiction is not intended for personal profit. All characters utilized herein which are not creations of myself belong to The CW or to NBC.


TWO YEARS AFTER THE BLACKOUT

The tall, bluff Iksen stood on the bridge of the Atrian ship that represented the last and final hope of a civilization fleeing a dying planet. It was night shift, and the lights had been dimmed in deference to a daily cycle of a planet they no longer lived upon. He'd left Maia and his children to sleep in their pod; it was one of the rougher nights for him this time and he didn't want to disturb their sleep.

The ruling Iksen of the Zwahan tribe knew his word was law aboard the ship: the only counterweight to his orders would be the Hwatab, the once-mighty legislative body shrunken down to just four Elders – one from each tribe, and whose collective voice could override his own. But they never had, not since the day he and those Atrians and their families who had drawn lots to join him and his family boarded the large ship.

But nonetheless, he felt his people's gazes. He felt their despair and betrayal as he would order a planetary system vacated for lack of a suitable planet, or to avoid a technological civilization. He knew the resentment was building, little by little, every day his word, and his word alone, extended their stay aboard the ship – a ship which, for all its size, could sometimes feel so cramped and tiny. A ship from which there could be no escape but one: death from natural causes, or from deliberately exiting via the airlock.

And sometimes it got to be too much, and Nox would wearily rise out of bed and go to the bridge; he would stand at the railing which divided the dais from the seated crew performing their assigned tasks and look at the stars, wondering if ever he would lead the Atrian remnant to their new home, or if they would all be on the ship so long that the dreary task of finding a suitable world would fall to his son.

Unfortunately, that night shift proved to be anything but a calming experience. Kas had chosen that moment to start in on him with the same argument that Nox had heard so many times before. At a pause in the by now well-worn spiel, he looked around the bridge. He cast a keen eye over the crew members, watching for signs of fatigue, especially among the two frontmost pilots, whose relative isolation while on-shift made them especially susceptible to weariness. It was easy after this long to get bored of a routine; enter a stellar system, catalog the planets, find nothing suitable, move on into deep space to another star, and then have to do the whole thing all over again.

He took a deep, fortifying breath, the moment's break allowing him to rally himself as he once more retreaded an argument over the ship's resources with his brother-in-law. He regarded the other man, and repeated with only a trace of weariness in his voice, "The Hwatab concurs with me that we must not affect other civilizations by the presence of our own. You have to understand this, Kas."

The other man shook his head sharply, the tattoos on his face lending him a harsher appearance in the dim light. "We can't go on; we just can't! Our fuel reserves are down to twenty percent. Food, forty percent. Miscellaneous supplies, thirty percent. Petty theft is rampant. People are tired of living in cubes and calling them pods, my dear Iksen."

Nox chose not to reprimand his brother over the sarcastic use of his title as leader of the Atrian people.

An uncertain voice caught both men's attention. "Iksen?"

"Yes?" He turned to the science officer, who somewhat gingerly handed him a datapad then retreated to his station, clearly not wanting to get in the middle of a fight between the two men. Nox looked at the pad and saw the data; his eyes ran quickly over the favorable initial surveys on the inner rocky planets, and his hearts soared. He clenched his fist in triumph as he saw that they all fit within the acceptable parameters for mass and surface gravity.

"Yes! You see?! Three possible livable planets we can choose from! If – and only if – they are viable and uninhabited, we can land!" He thrust the pad at Kas, who grudgingly began reading it over. Nox spoke up so his voice carried throughout the entire bridge. "If the worlds are not suitable, we must go on."

He paused, then ordered to the bridge at large, "Begin a comprehensive survey of the three potentially habitable inner planets of this stellar system. Coordinate with the science officer."

The bridge erupted into a flurry of action and Kas, a sour look on his face, gracelessly turned and left the dais, only pausing to hand the datapad back to the science officer before leaving the bridge.

The Iksen's hand pounded a soft beat on the railing in front of him. He looked out the broad bridge windows and looked at the pale yellow star, bright against the inky black sky dotted with stars.

Maybe this time. Just maybe!

/\/\/\/\

The ship, still somewhat out of the plane of the ecliptic for easier maneuvering, had long since crossed the asteroid belt of the star system and the shifts on the bridge had been busy with navigating to each planet, first the second planet, the fourth, and finally, the third.

The first two had been disappointing.

"The second planet has extensive cloud cover, but detailed spectroscopic analysis shows that the surface temperature and air pressure would be far too high for us, and there is essentially no water on the planet," the science officer had said, deactivating the holographic image hovering over the entire bridge as he did so.

Later on, his verdict on the fourth planet had been equally bleak.

"The fourth planet, while its gravity is weaker compared to the second as it is smaller and has less mass, would still be habitable except that its temperatures range from barely livable during the day to far below the freezing point of water at night. It has almost no atmosphere nor water in easily available liquid form. We would need to essentially use this ship as a permanent habitat if we were to attempt to settle that planet."

Nox had grimaced at hearing that last. Kas would constantly be at him over the dashed hopes of the Atrians now on board, if they had to live every day with the cruel irony of being on a planet and yet being unable to leave their ship to bask in the sun.

But the third planet…

"It has a breathable atmosphere and a surface gravity comparable to the second planet. Its temperatures are remarkably even over the day/night cycle owing to the thick atmosphere, and the planet has a continuous large body of water and sizable land masses."

The excitement palpably rose on the bridge as Nox said, "Display the hologram."

The beautiful soothing blue color of the planet drew gasps from some of the bridge officers, and Nox had to admit that if they chose the right landing spot, the planet could prove to match Atria at the height of their civilization, before planetary decline overcame them.

"Is the third planet inhabited? Does it show any sign of an advanced civilization?" The Iksen could feel the excitement rise even higher as the science officer's words could mean the end of their long expedition.

The science officer coughed and shuffled a bit before clearing his throat and reading off the datapad: "There is no night lighting; there are no coherent radio-wave emissions from the planet – only black-body radiation consistent with non-sentient life-forms. There are remnants of artificial satellites, but they do not appear to function. There are what appear to be ruins of large cities scattered about the globe, but I cannot identify any sites of continuous habitation."

"Your opinion?"

"There may have been a civilization on this planet once, but it has since gone extinct. We can locate a suitable landing point for you shortly, should you desire it."

"Do it!" Nox commanded amid the cheers and applause that shook the bridge, and which soon reverberated from prow to stern as the news was eagerly passed from one Atrian to the next.

And so the ship began to veer towards the third planet, the one they would learn was called Earth – a planet filled not with promise but with danger!

/\/\/\/\

Ray Whitehill stepped inside his house and sighed in relief as he shucked off his body armor, stored it in his closet, then stored his rifle in the metal cabinet specifically for keeping his gun safe. Patrol duty during the day was the safest, comparatively speaking, in Edendale, Louisiana, a small suburb tucked away in a forested area near Baton Rouge.

The Blackout had changed everything. One minute, he was tucking Emery into bed, and the next, the power had gone out all over Edendale.

The first sign that something was seriously, fundamentally wrong was when he'd grabbed his cell phone out of his pocket, and it hadn't worked. The mounting dread in his stomach had risen as he tried a flashlight, then tried starting his car.

Nothing electrical had ever worked again.

When he thought about it, he'd been damned lucky. Some of the folks in the early days of the Blackout (as everybody seemed to call it) had been unfortunate enough to end up on the wrong end of a revolver held by someone figuring on taking what they could and running.

The fact that he was standing in a still-intact house – the same one he owned before the Blackout – in a still-intact town that had pulled through was probably down to Edendale being on a little-used State highway. People who wanted to take a day trip from Baton Rouge usually took off for New Orleans, or went on cruises on the Mississippi, or did any number of other things rather than check out a rather uninteresting distant suburb with all of two high schools.

That, more than anything else, thought Ray, was what had given the town police and the ex-military guys enough time to get together with the mayor and get authorization to barricade the major roadways in and out, as well as organize neighborhood patrols. Ray's main job these days was to either patrol his local area (always on the buddy system with a neighbor), or stand watch at the semipermanent blockades now keeping the criminal elements from Baton Rouge, New Orleand, or less often Shreveport, from overwhelming their town. Sad to say, but you couldn't always tell a legit refugee from a con artist or a burglar.

That said, the stories the legitimate refugees did tell were harrowing all on their own. Total breakdown of civil order – panic – rioting – throngs of people escaping the cities for who-only-knew where they could go. And without electricity, the National Guard and police couldn't do much. Even the military was going to be seriously hampered if you couldn't start up a tank.

Nobody, thought Ray, would say the last two years had been a picnic in Edendale, for all that they had come through relatively unscathed. People in Edendale had died, either from violence or from disease. Starvation wasn't a problem if you counted a monotonous diet of vegetables and fruits from the farms, the rationing of which the town's leaders had managed to hammer out a compromise to provide the basics for everyone. Anything extra had to be traded for, in some way. Barter had come back with a vengeance, as had interest in backyard agriculture.

A couple of ranchers with horses and another wealthy man with a stud farm had gotten together and helped teach people how to use horses, because it looked like breeding them was going to be a big-time thing now.

Along with that, an enterprising auto mechanic had started quite a land-office business converting useless cars into half-way passable horse-drawn carriages. The city patrol people had even managed to get a couple of pickup trucks converted, having most of the front-end basically taken off and a crude hitch welded to the front axle so two horses could draw one ersatz pickup truck-slash-wagon.

But that night, what was on Ray's mind was the smell of soup wafting in from the kitchen. He ambled over to the kitchen and saw his wife, Michelle, bringing in a hot pot of carrot and potato soup. Sweeping up a towel as he went, he used it to protect his hands as he helped her get it onto the now-useless electric stove, then began setting out bowls and spoons as their daughter, Emery, came downstairs from her room.

"Go sit down at the table, sweetie. I've got a hot pot here to deal with. Ray, help me ladle the soup out," instructed Michelle.

Before long, the Whitehills sat at the dinner table, looking at each other over the candlelight in the room before eating their supper, not knowing their lives were about to change forever.

/\/\/\/\

The ship's slow descent from orbit had been almost textbook-perfect, according to the navigation officer; just the right rate of descent to keep the ship in the planet's gravity well but prevent the heat from atmospheric entry from damaging the ship.

It had been almost hypnotizing, watching the planet swell up under them as they lazily spiraled down, having chosen a location within the subtropical zone of the planet below them.

The first sign that something was wrong was when the ship entered the troposphere of the third planet and began shaking erratically.

Nox bellowed, "What's going on?!" as he grabbed the rail at the dais.

"Electrical power is fluctuating throughout the ship! Attempting to compensate!" The operations officer hit a few buttons, then swore. "Unable to correct for power fluctuations! The engines will have to shut down to avoid wrecking the ship!"

The science officer, who had been monitoring his readouts, gasped in shock. "Iksen! The electrical power's being suppressed somehow! I can detect self-replicating nanites in the lower atmosphere which consume electrical power!"

Nox swore loudly. "Can we leave orbit before the engines shut down?!"

The science officer's helpless look joined the operations officer's before they both frantically returned to their consoles, trying to overcome the protesting ship's power fluctuations.

The Iksen himself gripped the rail more firmly as he looked out the window, staring down at the world that had been so full of promise. Could this be the end of the Atrian race? Death on a planet that surely must have killed off another civilization, too?

/\/\/\/\

The first sign that the Whitehills (and everybody else in Edendale) were going to have a very unusual night was when they heard a loud rumbling sound as though an airplane were flying overhead.

Ray dropped his spoon in his bowl and jumped out of his seat. He rushed to grab his body armor and gun, then barrelled out the front door into the street. He saw, in the evening twilight, a large black object sailing overhead, the tip glowing faint red as it sank lower and lower, looming over them in the sky. He looked around and saw his neighbors had also rushed out of their houses to see the ship. He bellowed to them, "Get the horses and get on the wagon! We need to find out what that thing is!"

Jerry, who lived down the road a bit, owned a house with a large enough lawn, and which butted up against the neighborhood park, to not only keep a couple of standby horses in a fairly decent-sized corral, but also keep one of the converted pickup trucks in his driveway. Ray helped him get the horses harnessed to the truck. After that, Jerry bellowed, "Get the reins! I gotta get my shotgun and a Coleman lamp!"

Ray dropped his gun on the bench seat, then jumped up to the driver's side (although there wasn't a steering wheel any longer) and seized the reins, firmly keeping the excited horses from galloping off. Jerry raced back a moment later, his armor firmly on as he sat on the right. "Let's go!"

Jerry was already fiddling with a match and carefully lighting the lamp; as it came to life, he pulled the sun-visor out of the clip and swivelled it to his side. He then hooked the lamp's handle onto the clip. A few more men rushed up and climbed onto the bed; Ray only had time to nod quickly at them before the thundering roar of the large ship's impact with the ground reverberated through the ground with teeth-rattling shakes, forcing Jerry to grab the Coleman lamp tightly to keep it from swinging wildly and falling off the clip. The horses whinnied and nearly reared up. Ray bellowed, "Hyah!" and flicked the reins, urging the horses onward to meet the strange ship that had crash-landed near Edendale.


Author Notes:

Welcome to my crossover fic! A word about names: I've scratched my head and I couldn't do better than shorten Castor's name to what was said to be a syllable of his Sondiv name, and "Nox" is unusual enough even in English I decided to keep it as-is. If y'all out there have any suggestions I'll be more than happy to take them on board and credit you appropriately. :)

I want to thank my very helpful betas and idea-bouncer-offers: For Revolution, IronAmerica! For Star-Crossed, justvisiting80 and Sibuna'sDivergent! I also want to thank my horse expert, Ayala Atreides here on ff.n :)