Chapter 5

Two days had passed, and the Perseus was back in ship-shape. The guns were calibrated, the hull polished, and there had been no further problems with glitches. Fiske stood on the bridge, waiting for the go ahead from Zolantros. The coordinates of the mysterious ship had been sent to the Perseus half an hour earlier, and now all she needed was the signal that the Tel'xa was ready. Just then, the ships communicator beeped.

"This is the Tel'xa. We are now leaving," came the steely voice of Zolantros.

"Roger that, we're right on your tail." Fiske replied. He nodded to Ensign Patel, who pushed the button to activate warp. A split second later, the black background of stars that they were now used to was replaced by the swirling colorful vortex of hyperspace. The crew sat poised on the bridge, ready to open fire the minute the Perseus left warp. The tense atmosphere continued the whole half hour they spent in warp, and as they dropped into real space, the crew leapt into action. About 50 km ahead to the Perseus and Tel'xa, a huge battle was unfolding. On one side were six of the mysterious alien ships. On the other side were more apparently alien ships, but these had an oddly familiar design. There were three prominent designs. Two of the ships were massive (at least three kilometers) with a long hull and three wing like protrusions. These were busy firing green lasers at the unknown interlopers. Meanwhile the second design of ship was not unlike that of a twentieth century submarine. It was about 1 kilometer long, and had a grey hull with blue trim. Strangely enough, it had what looked like English lettering painted on the conning tower. Three ships possessed this design, one of which was badly damaged. The third design was about 200 meters long. It was different from the other two in that it had organic, flowing curves on its mottled silver and blue hull. There were ten of these, and they maneuvered through the battle with the ease of fighters. Despite their small size, it quickly became evident that these ships had the firepower of a ship many times their size.

"Tel'xa, this is the Perseus." Captain Fiske began. "I suggest that we attempt a scan and assess the situation before we make a move."

"I am sorry captain," Zolantros intoned in reply, "We are bound by our oath of vengeance. You may stay or go, but we must fight."

Captain Fiske thought for a second, and then turned to the bridge crew. "We're going in. Prime all weapons, and prepare to focus fire on their least damaged ship."

Back in the Strategic Bridge, Tiberius watched the battle unfold on the gigantic holographic display in the center of the room. The defenders were placing their 1-kilometer ships between the attackers and the presumably more important 3-kilometer ships. The small ships were fighting off the swarms of attacking fighters. The attackers were attempting to flank the defending force, maneuvering their large carriers around all sides of the defenders.

On the Strategic Bridge, Drake's main duty was to take over if the Main Bridge was destroyed. Other than that, he simply had to supervise the gunnery crew and keep the captain informed of what was happening to the ship's rear.

As the Perseus and Tel'xa approached, Drake watched as two of the Attacker's ships concentrated their fire on the damaged 1-km ship. It exploded violently. Immediately, attacking fighters began to swarm through the gap that was made. In response, one of the 3-km ships started to release several squadrons of fighters. These fighters had a central cockpit, with for wings extending from it. At the tip of each wing was an engine. Tiberius marveled that the incredible maneuverability this design gave them, for as the exited the 3-km ship, they began to perform complex evasive maneuvers that would be nearly impossible in a wraith. Despite this advantage, they clearly lacked the firepower of the attacking fighters, and were being slowly picked off. The whole battle was going badly for the defenders. There were only five smaller ships left, and they had just lost another 1-km. At that moment, Tiberius saw that the Perseus had entered combat range. The ship's opening salvo was impressive, enough to leave a large hole in one of the attacking ships. The Tel'xa stopped and released a storm of fighters that began to engage the enemies. In response, two attacking ships broke off and began to fire upon the Perseus and Tel'xa, and swarms of fighters descended upon them. For the next ten minutes, the battle raged on. One of the 3-km ships was reduced to scrap metal. Two of the attacking ships were taken down, but the endless waves of fighters were wearing the Perseus and Tel'xa down.

On the Main Bridge, Captain Fiske looked upon the battle with consternation. He pressed the com button for Lt. Morton.

"Mr. Morton, prepare to fire the Yamato cannon. Target their least damaged ship."

"Aye-aye sir," Morton replied. There was a hum as the guns and engines stopped and the Yamato cannon began charging. A minute later, 10 megatons of directed nuclear energy sped toward the enemy ship. It was a direct hit, and the ship was blasted in two. A cheer went up on the bridge. As they went back to targeting and firing at enemy fighters, Fiske noticed that there was a strange glow coming from the wingtips of the 3-km ship. In an event not unlike what had happened just minutes earlier, a beam of green energy shot from the wingtips into its nose, and from the nose into one of the attacking ships. All six kilometers of the attacking ship were suddenly reduced to semi-molten fragments. The two remaining attackers turned around, and quickly shot off into the vortices that they seemed to be able to create at will. Fiske turned to the bridge crew.

"Good job everyone. Indira, take us around their fleet. I want to do some scans." Just as he finished talking, Amistead gasped.

"Captain, I'm receiving a very bizarre signal. Its…" he said.

"From whom?" the captain asked.

"It seems to be the ships we just saved." Armistead answered. "I'll put it through. You won't believe this." He pushed a button, and an unmistakably human voice filled the room.

"I doubt you understand this," said the voice, "But on behalf of my crew and I, I'd like to thank you for your much needed assistance."

There was a silence on the bridge.

"This is Captain Zachary Fiske of the DSS Perseus." Fiske replied cautiously, "Who are you."

"Acting Captain Jeremiah Burke of the ISS G'kar," the voice replied, "Captain, I think we need to talk."

"I think," the captain replied, "you are indeed correct."

An hour later on the bridge of the G'kar

Tiberius sat in the large conference room on the G'kar next to Captain Fiske. In the past hour he had learned that these newcomers were mostly humans from another universe. They claimed to have launched to the Koprulu sector by way of a "flux vortex". Tiberius was extremely skeptical, and yet, it seemed the only explanation for all that he saw. The people were clearly human, but their clothes, technology, and other details were all different from the humans of his universe. Their Captain, Jeremiah Burke, was a medium height, middle-aged man with graying blond hair and a slight paunch. In some respects, he had a strange resemblance to the captain. He wore the striking black uniform that all his upper officers wore, but had considerably more decorations pinned to it.

In the conference room, they had been trading information. The negotiations began with the humans from both universes attempting to figure out what had happened and where they were. Once that had been squared away, they began to give details as to who they were. Captain Fiske began, telling the newcomers about the UED, Koprulu sector, the Protoss, the Zerg, the Dominion, and the technologies used by all. He ended by telling them a condensed version of their history.

Next, it was Acting Captain Burke's turn to speak.

"Well," he began, "You are aboard the ISS G'kar, a Victory class starship. It is part of the fleet of the Interstellar Alliance, a galactic peacekeeping organization from our universe. Our galaxy contains many alien species, however the only one's you'll meet on this ship are the Minbari, Narn, and Drazi. Our first and most renowned leader, John J. Sheridan, founded the Interstellar Alliance.

As you know, we were patrolling the area around Centauri space when we encountered a flux vortex. Next thing we knew, we were here. We spent about a month exploring the area before we were attacked by the Drakh. The Drakh are a very violent species that were created and left behind by another violent species, the shadows. It's a very complicated story, but what you need to know about the Drakh is this: They use biological starships, which are fairly weak despite their size. They like to employ hit and run tactics on weak or defenseless targets. The Drakh also have one highly dangerous technology. They can perform a sort of mind control with "keepers"; organisms that are found on the necks of controlled individuals. Anyways, at that point you entered the story with that other ship, Protoss you said?"

"Yes," Fiske replied. His brow was furrowed with consternation, an emotion not usually found on the captain's face. Burke spoke up again.

"We would be honored, captain, if you would be so kind as to stay with us while we make repairs."

Fiske thought for a moment, and then said, "Yes, I think we'll do that. But first allow me to contact my commanding admiral. In the meantime, I think I will leave my second in command with you, as an ambassador between out universes."

Tiberius raised an eyebrow in astonishment, but he did not protest. After a brief conference with his officers, Burke said, "Welcome, Mr. uh,"

"Tiberius Drake", interjected Drake.

"Welcome, Tiberius Drake, to the G'kar. We will set up your accommodations immediately."

With that, both men stood up, nodded to each other, and began to leave the room.

Tiberius walked alongside Captain Burke through the endless hallways of the G'kar. The captain had been giving him a tour, and Drake marveled at the immensity and complexity of the ship. It was beyond anything the UED could build, and according to the captain, the product of the combined effort of thousands of worlds. Drake got to meet several aliens, who were surprisingly humanlike compared to the Protoss or zerg. The captain also told Drake about the history of his universe, mainly focusing on the exploits of John Sheridan. Drake took all of this with a grain of salt, but found the stories quite compelling. As Captain Burke was showing him the engine room, a siren went off.

"Oh Damn!" Burke said, and rushed off to the bridge. Drake ran after him, even though he knew that there was nothing he could do. As he walked on to the bridge, he looked out the window and saw three Drakh ships exit the blue vortices that Burke had called "jump points". Drake noticed that there was something else with them however. He zoomed in with his robotic eye and saw swarms of zerg flying alongside the Drakh ships.

Drake turned to Burke. "Captain, we have a problem."

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