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Lucifer

Chapter 1: Part 1:

by yuriko

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Date : 100409

Disclaimer : All B5 and Stargate characters and concepts belong to respective creators and owners.

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Summary: The Aschen Confederation was displaced into the B5 universe when the Omegan Order was rifted into the Stargate Universe at the start of the Earth-Minbari War. What will happen? Would Earth Alliance be desperate enough to seek an alliance with these devils even if they knew what they were? Let's find out shall we ...

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I will ascend into the heavens ...

I will set up my throne above the stars of heaven ...

I will sit above the mount of congregation ...

I will be like the Most High ...

Isaiah 14:14

The Aschen were the brightest flame among the 'human' races who ever fought off the Goa'uld and lived to tell the tale. Like the morning star, they rose first, ahead of all the other 'human' races in the galaxy. They were the Lightbearer, the bringer of a new day and the first hope of mankind, in an increasingly hostile galaxy that gave no quarter and asked for none in return.

Unknown to all, however, it was deeply unwise to seek them out. Those who did so, placed not only themselves in great danger, but their homeworlds as well for the Aschen were not what they appeared to be. Despite their seemingly benign and gentle nature, the Aschen were wolves in sheep skin, seeking whosoever they may devour.

They could have aided the Volians freely without sterilising their population yet they did not. They could have freed all the slave races from their Goa'uld masters without sinister motives lurking in the background yet they did not. They could have led humanity into the dawn of a new era with their advanced knowledge and understanding of the universe as mentors and teachers when the Tau'ri approached them in 2001 AD with hopes of an alliance against the Goa'uld yet they did not.

They did nothing of the sort.

Instead, they sought to supplant all the other races they came into contact with through duplicity and treachery under a facade of benevolence and diplomacy in a neverending attempt to dominate the universe.

This is the story of the Aschen Confederation and what they did when they encountered Earth Alliance and the Minbari Federation during the Earth-Minbari War.

L U C I F E R

Part 1:

The Aschen, as a whole, were a very patient race. They had plans and schemes that extended down the line into the next two to three generations and more, if necessary. If such a trait made them sound grandiose, then it most certainly described, if not fit the Aschen. For this was definitely what they were like, unlike their human brethren who only made plans for the present or the immediate future, at the most. The Aschen also lacked the capacity to develop emotions, a strange trait that distinguished them from the rest of their human brethren. Yet being without emotion is not being without desire for the Aschen were not without desire. Especially the one true desire that had been a curse on mankind since the beginning of time.

The desire for power.

The Aschen were relentless in their pursuit of power. No less evil or ruthless than the average Goa'uld, they were just more devious and cunning in achieving their goals. For example, providing a cure to a plague that threatened the inhabitants of another world while adding in a few things to the cure that the patients didn't know about.

Things such as a sterility drug mixed into the cure that reduced the birthrates of their patients globally by an estimated ninety percent. At the end of which, their victims realised too late the treachery that was done unto to them and fought back with all their might. All for naught, for without the next generation to come into being, their civillisation came to an untimely end.

It wasn't that the Aschen couldn't fight a war. Oh no, they could fight just as well as the next galactic empire with their advanced knowledge and weapons. It was just that they considered wars to be a terrible waste of time, raw materials and energy with little to be gained from all the deaths and destruction of the belligerents involved in it. Not to mention, the damage to the environment or the worlds that the belligerents came from.

No.

They would much rather fill up their time with more useful pursuits such as scientific research into devising newer and better ways to perfect their bio-technology into carrying out their hidden agenda as well devising new schemes to rule the universe.

Far better for them to obtain their target of conquest through subterfuge than war, for the captured world remained free of any sign of damage or blemish.

For example, let us take a look at one of the Aschen controlled worlds. On what was once a densely populated world, nothing but miles upon miles of fertile, uninhabited land could be seen. An Aschen scientist stood over his computer terminal analysing the data received on the computer.

Receiving input ...

1. Sterilisation procedure of targetted population complete ...

2. Preparing remnant population for manual labour ...

There ... a new farm world ready for processing ... and a grim reminder to everyone of the dangers of dealing with the Aschen. Having finished his analysis, he went on to more pressing issues. Thus the Aschen went about their daily business.

"What do we do tomorrow, Brain?"

"What we always do, Pinky. Rule the world!"

Taken from "Pinky and the Brain".

Except that in the Aschen case, it was more like rule the universe. Still despite all their cunning and planning, the Aschen never expected to find themselves in this postion. Waking up one morning to find themselves in a new universe. The change was startling to say the least, inadverdantly forcing the Aschen to break an age-old tradition. Seclusion. A policy that had to change if the Aschen Confederation was to survive. This was true as the Aschen were by nature, a rather reclusive group of individuals, preferring to keep to themselves in their home system. They much rather preferred to obtain information about the external universe from outside sources with less chance putting themselves in danger.

Still, this situation was unusual enough that they released deep-space probes followed by scout ships to find out what was going on. They began to search the surrounding space around them for any signs of hidden danger or clue as to why they were here. Aschen technology was very advanced after all. It was only a matter of time before they found the reason.

After all, time ... was on their side.

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Michael Jankowski, captain of the EA battlecruiser Gettysburg, had been sent to scout this mysterious neighbour whom they heard the Centauri refer to as 'Minbari' and possibly make contact with them. Granted Earth intelligence knew next to nothing about them but from whatever information they got, mostly in the form of second-hand accounts from diplomats and traders, it seemed that both the League and even the Centauri respected, no that was not it ... fearful of these 'Minbari' aliens.

'What could be so different about these Minbari aliens that made even the so-called mighty Centauri Republic walk on tiptoes around them?' the captain wondered.

Was not the Dilgar Imperium that nearly destroyed the League just as fearsome too? If so, Earth Alliance had just booted them off the galactic stage. They would never trouble anyone else ever again. What could be so different about these 'Minbari'?

The captain dismissed these reports as ludicrous. The Centauri must be exaggerating like they used to when they had drunk too much wine or something similar to that effect. These intelligence reports from the Centauri should be taken with a pinch of salt, the captain of the Gettysburg thought. After all, most of the wealthy nobles were living in decadence and luxury and barely left their ivory towers at all on Centauri Prime. What would they know about these 'Minbari'? As far as Earth Alliance knew, the League and the Centauri Republic had been stagnating in terms of their military might and technological advancements for sometime already. How different could these 'Minbari' aliens be? The stars seemed to blink ominously in the distance.

"Captain, we have arrived at the edge of Minbari space. Sensors indicate no ship in the vicinity-," the navigation officer on board was about to continue when a jump point opened not far from the Gettysburg.

A large ship exited the vortex, and the bridge of the Gettysburg was bathed in a strange corona-like wave of energy.

"Sir! We're losing power from all sections on the ship!" the engineering officer on the ship reported.

"What??!!" Jankowski shouted.

"They've opened their gun ports, sir!" the navigation officer warned.

"Evasive action, now!" the captain ordered.

"They're opening fire on us!"

"Return fire! Open a jump point! We're getting out of here!"

The Gettysburg returned fire against the strange alien vessel, hitting the command center of the ship just as it opened a jump point. For a few seconds, the alien vessel did not fire as if there was some confusion onboard the ship. Taking the opportunity to get away, the Gettysburg entered the hyperspace vortex. Just as it was about to escape, however, there was a large spike of power on the Gettysburg's sensor readings as the alien vessel opened fire on the Gettysburg with all its forward array weapons. The burst of weapon's fire tore through the Gettysburg faster than a hot knife through butter, subjecting entire sections and members of the crew to the cold hard realities of deep space.

"We've lost engineering decks twelve to fifty-three. We're losing navigational control!" the navigational officer cried in alarm.

Captain Jankowski was about to issue another order when a blinding explosion rocked the Gettysburg, shaking it around like a leaf in the wind. The captain was thrown off his feet, to hit the sparking control panels in front of him. There was a flash of pain and darkness filled his vision.

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Light.

Captain Jankowski opened his eyes to find himself lying on a bed in what seemed like a hospital but different ... like it was a lot more advanced from what he could see of the instruments or devices in the room.

'What is happening?' the captain wondered.

Then he remembered the brief altercation they had with the Minbari warship and he quickly lifted himself up from bed, checking his body to see the extent of his wounds and injuries.

There were none. Not even a single one whatsoever.

Impossible.

There was no way that he could have survived the explosion onboard the Gettysburg without even a single scar or injury.

Am I dead?

What is this place?

A section of the wall, which he deduced to be a door slid open to reveal a group of three people. Two men and one woman. All similarly dressed in the same grey clothes and stepping into the room in the same lockstep precision. Their faces were unreadable, seemingly devoid of any expression.

What was more, he did not recognize any of them or their uniforms in Earth Force.

Captain Jankowski could not help but asked, "Where am I? Who are you people?"

The three approaching people came to a stop in front of him.

"Be at peace. There is no need to fear. The Aschen Confederation desires nothing more than universal peace for the benefit of all," the woman answered.

"The Aschen Confederation? What trick is this?" the captain asked suspiciously.

It wasn't the first time that somebody in Earth Force had tried to pull a trick on him at his expense.

The man next to her explained.

"Three days ago, we found your ship drifting not far away from our space. Out of two thousand, seven hundred and sixty-two crewmembers onboard your ship, we were only able to save fifty of them. Your ship was heavily damaged and without life support. If we hadn't found you sooner, we would not be having this conversation. I am Council man Malin and this is Serena and Varek. We will speak to you on behalf of the Aschen High Council."

"Where are the rest of my crew?" Jankowski demanded.

"They will join you shortly after this meeting," the man called Malin answered.

"I want to see them now!" the captain insisted.

Besides he still had to warn Earth Command of the Minbari threat.

The man called Malin looked at the woman briefly and she nodded her head.

"Very well. Come with me to the lounge," the woman gestured.

The captain could not help but follow his three mysterious companions in tow.

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His crew were still alive. Fifty of them that is, just as these Aschen had spoken. Looking around, Captain Jankowski couldn't help but think. This lounge that the Aschen referred to was squeaky clean. So clean in his mind that he doubted there was even a single microbe or speck of dirt in this entire room. As he looked around he couldn't help but notice something strange about the Aschen. So far, they had all treated his crew and him well but deep down inside, something kept nagging at him about his mysterious saviours. A strange feeling he couldn't explain. Like they weren't all they seemed to be.

Then it hit him.

When one of his crewmembers had cracked a joke to relieve the tension during the get-togethers in the lounge room, they had all laughed about it. But not one of the Aschen present had laughed or gave any sign that they even heard about the joke. It was like they did not had a sense of humour altogether. Just to be sure, he had asked his Aschen hosts if they had any sitcoms or funnies. The only response that he got from them was a puzzled stare. What was more, it seemed like every Aschen he had encountered wore the same type of clothing, be they male or female. Either they did not have any fashion sense at all or they were just a dreary bunch of people to the core. Although it was too early for him to confirm these conclusions, he decided to bring them up to Earth Command when he returned.

There was little doubt they would be very interested in a race of humans that looked so alike yet behaved so differently from them in many ways. All these began to increase his certainty that he was dealing with an alien race albeit a human one and not one of the lost colonies that was founded in the twentieth century. For now, he had notified his hosts of his desire to return home citing his problems with the Minbari as a reason. The Aschen had given him leave to return onboard the Gettysburg after it was repaired.

Three weeks later ...

Captain Jankowski found himself taking leave of his Aschen hosts onboard the Gettysburg. During his time of stay with them, he couldn't help but be in a little awe of the technological advancements that they had sported. Organic regenerators that could repair any wound or injury no matter how serious in a matter of minutes to force fields that protected their ships and transporters that could send a whole group of people to another place instantaneously. These people were amazingly advanced like no race that Earth Alliance had encountered in the galaxy.

Of course, they hadn't agreed yet to share any of their technology with Earth but given enough time, he believed that Earth Command might be able to get the Aschen to share their technology with them for the good of mankind. After all, despite their lack of humour, the Aschen were still human. He was sure of it.

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Aschen Medical Facility 210023 ...

"The Earth human is secured. He will not be alerting anyone of our plans," a voice spoke.

"Why hasn't the person been disposed off?" a second voice asked.

James Morgan cursed his captors for the final time as he struggled ineffectively against his bonds. The Aschen scientist continued to study his actions from his observation room through a security camera.

"Fascinating ... His genetic pattern is different from all the others. It seems like his mind-reading abilites were provided by a specific twist in their normal genes that did not occur naturally. Like somebody had artifically altered their DNA pattern. We will need him for more tests," the first voice responded.

James continued to struggle ineffectively against his bonds. He had to get out to warn his captain and Earth Command about the Aschen. What they were planning to do to Earth ... and the galaxy in general. It would make the Dilgar Imperium seemed like children in comparison.

"Very well. But make sure you dispose of him when he's of no further use to us. I don't want any loose ends," the second voice answered.

"Of course. But for now until we find out a specific pattern to defend against mental intrusion and mind-reading, he will live. It seems that whatever this place is, mind-readers are going to be a problem in this galaxy," the first voice explained.

"A defence against it is a must. Our plans must proceed," the second voice pointed out.

"Yes, I agree. Failure in this sense is not an option," the first voice agreed.

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General Leftcourt was busy. Busy worrying that was. The news from the frontlines did not look encouraging. The 'Minbari' aliens that Captain Jankowski had somehow unintentionally angered and provoked into starting a war with, had proven to be far more formidable and tenacious then they had any right to be. From the powerful weapons that their ships mounted to the nigh-impenetrable stealth technology that their ships seemed to be covered with, every battle so far with the 'boneheads' (as Earth Force collectively referred to them), had been a total loss. Every Earth Force vessel that had been sent into battle with the Minbari, lost with little to none to show for on the enemy's side.

As he studied the losses sustained by Earth Force on screen, he knew that unless a miracle happened within the next few days, there was little that could be done to stop the Minbari onslaught.

All pleas for negotiation ignored, the Minbari had only opened communications with EA just to express their singular desire to see mankind eradicated from the face of the universe. No reasons were given as none of the Minbari they had contact appeared to be in the mood for 'talk'. The only thing that the 'head shrinks' at headquarters had been able to determine was that the Minbari were furious over goodness knows what. Every attempt at finding out the reasons behind the Minbari campaign against humanity had failed with the Minbari refusal to answer any and all questions. They had tried asking the other friendly alien races about the matter, but most of them were just as in the dark about the Minbari fury as they were.

The only person right now who would probably know what had happened was the Gettysburg captain who had gone on that ill-fated first contact mission. Unfortunately, the Gettysburg was lost and the captain in all likelihood dead by now. And so, the cause of what Jankowski did to provoke the Minbari to such an extreme act would remained a mystery, the irony of which was not lost on Leftcourt as even as humanity went down in flames before the Minbari onslaught, they would never know the real reason behind this war of extermination.

'Just what in the world did you do to the Minbari, Jankowski?' the General wondered as he cursed the captain for the tenth time that day.

If the Gettysburg captain was alive here right, the General would have him personally strangled with his own bare hands for starting this disastrous war with the Minbari. The General was not alone. Quite a few people in High Command had personally expressed their feelings to him in private regarding a certain captain of the Gettysburg whose actions had precipitated this ill-fated war with the Minbari. A war that EA was ill-prepared for in every sense of the word.

Just then, the face of Leftenant Sandra Hiroshi appeared on his viewscreen.

"Sir, I have news. The Gettysburg is back. It's Jankowski, he's alive," the uniformed woman announced.

"The fool's alive? Where is he?" Leftcourt fumed internally.

If Jankowski didn't die because of a court-martial, he was going to have him killed personally.

"Currently, he's undergoing a debriefing by Earth intelligence. There's been a new development. You've to get the rest of the details from General Hague who's going to meet with the President, Senate and the Joint-Chiefs of Staff in High Command about this," Hiroshi answered.

A new development? Just what in the world did you do now, Jankowski? Piss off another race besides the Minbari? Outside, the stars continued to blink ominously in the distance.

"Very well. Leftcourt out," the General got up from his seat in puzzlement, wondering what the foolish Gettysburg captain had to say that would get the President and the Senate Commitee involved.

TBC

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