seaQuest: The Dawning
A New Dawn
Note: This story was written in response to an online challenge entitled “From Hyperion Home”, which challenged authors to write their own ending to “Splashdown”, thus avoiding the entire third season. After all, nothing could be worse than the stunt the writers pulled, right? Well, I didn't finish the story in time for their challenge, but here it is, my version of what SHOULD have happened at the end of Splashdown. The beginning is taken from the original script, Copyright Amblin Entertainment 1994. After the asterisk, it's all my work.
“Ok. What about this on?” Lucas asked holding up a sketch of a fish. Darwind chattered gleefully.
“Moldy sneeze.” The computer chimed.
“Moldy sneeze?” Lucas asked, incredulously. Darwin nodded.
“Yes. Moldy sneeze.” He said, more emphatically this time. Lucas sighed.
“This guys got 50 names for fish we haven't even classified. The only problem is, there's no way to translate them.”
That's fascinating, Lucas.” Tony said, coming through the doorway with a bag slung over his shoulder. “I'll try to remember that the next time I date an icky-ologist.”
Lucas turned around.
“That's ichthyologist, Tony.” He corrected. Tony only laughed.
“Not where I'm from.”
Lucas shook his head and walked over to Dagwood who was staring intently at the wall. He started to ask what was wring, but then his jaw dropped to the floor. A vision of Scott Keller appeared before him.
“Am I seeing things?” Lucas asked. Dagwood nodded.
“Yes! You're seeing Commander Keller!”
Lucas couldn't reply, he could only stare as the vision before him began to speak.
“I need your help. If you can hear this transmission, if any part of this message is getting thought, meet me at the Christmas tree as fast as you can. I'm sorry I had to ask you. It's our only chance, Bridger. Please don't forget Organa Watt. Our lives depend on it.”
As the transmission faded, Lucas grabbed Dagwood's arm and began dragging him toward the bridge.
Bridger Bridger strode onto the bridge.
“He said to meet his at the Christmas tree?”
“Yeah.” Ford said, walking beside him in step. “After we pulled him out of the mars probe last year, I showed him a chart of where we'd found him. I told him we'd nickname the trench `Christmas Tree' because it had so many branches.”
“Ok, so only you know that.” Bridger nodded. “Alright, we'll meet him there.”
Ford turned around to face him.
“Yeah, but what's an Organa Watt?”
Bridger got a distant look on his face and covered his mouth with his hand.
“Oh. Organa Watt.” He motioned Brody to join the conversation. “She was the woman who ran the women's dorm at the academy. One night Scott had to eat about a dozen and a half of her terrible cokies to keep her busy while I snuck a girl out the back way. He said that I owed him big time for that and he was going to wait for a life or death situation to hand in his chip. I guess this is it, huh?” He sighed.
“We're nearing the Christmas tree trench, sir.” Lieutenant Henderson's voice rang out.
“Sir! I'm getting some weird readings over here!” Ortiz's voice called. Bridger spun around.
“What kind of readings?” He demanded. “On screen.”
Ortiz transmitted his screens to the main viewer.
“What is that?” Ford asked, stepping forward in disbelief. SeaQuest was surrounded by a cloud as dark and thick as ink. The WSKRS fought to send readings back to the seaQuest, but every image was murky and distorted.
“I, I don't know, sir…It just appeared. There was no warning, one minute the water was clear, the next…” Ortiz threw his hand up in frustration.
“Sir…I can't get a fix on the clock at the Naval Observatory. All communications are offline.”
O'Neill slammed his hand on the console in frustration as Lucas and Dagwood entered the bridge.
“Offline?” Bridger asked, moving to the console.
“Yes, sir. Vid-Link, Satellite, everything's gone.”
Lucas flew up the staircase and pulled up a chair in front of his computer.
“He's right.” Lucas confirmed. “We've lost our connection to the internet as well. I can't even send a text-only message.”
“My god…” Brodysaid under his breath.
Ford pulled himself into his chair.
“What is going on?” He asked. Bridger sat down in his chair.
“Alright. Mr. O'Neill, sound general quarters.”
“Aye, sir.” He flipped a switch on his console, and the lights changed. “General quarters, general quarters. All hands report to your designated areas.”
“Full stop!” Bridger shot at Helm.
“Aye, sir, full stop.”
“Alright. I want to know what's going on. Ortiz, can you get a fix on our exact location? Have we entered the trench?”
“No, sir. But beyond that, I can't give you any information, the WSKRS can't see through that…whatever it is. It's even blocking sonar waves!”
“I've never heard of anything…natural…like this, have you?” Ford turned to Bridger who shook his head.
“Mr. Ortiz, I want you to launch a sonar buoy. See if you can get it beyond the cloud and get us some feedback.” Bridger ordered.
“Aye, sir. Preparing the buoy.”
Suddenly the bridge went dark with a loud snap. The silence as the propulsion units shut down was deafening. Brodyshot forward in his chair.
“Report!” he said.
“All systems are down!” Henderson's called.
“Life support?” Ford asked the darkness.
“I can't even check that, sir, my computer is entirely gone. We're dead in the water.” O'Neill said, reaching for his St. Christopher's medal.
“Oh my god…” Ford muttered.
Flashes of light began to appear from the edges of the bridge, as if someone had installed strobe lights along the borders. Figures began to appear, shadows faded into people and returned to shadows with the next flash. Echoes of raised voices began rise and fall. A woman screamed, and Brodywasn't sure where the voice came from. Ortiz jumped as the image of a man slumped over his console appeared beside him and then disappeared in the next flash of light.
“What the!” he screamed.
“What is this?” Lucas asked.
Bridger stood up, bracing himself on the back of his chair.
“Someone, get me some answers now!”
He flinched as the image of a crumpled man appeared on the floor in front of him and then faded away just as quickly.
The sound of O'Neill's typing echoed out over the din of the ghostly cries.
“I'm trying, sir!” He called.
Ford blinked hard as all around him figures; men, women, and GELFS, appeared around him in various stages of distress. Some lay motionless on the floor, while others raced back and forth between the consoles. Then, they disappeared all together as the bridge lit up dimly.
“I'm managed to get the emergency power systems back online.” O'Neillsaid.
“Life support is back online as well, sir.” Henderson called. Ford spun around and faced the captain.
“What the…who were they? What just happened?” He demanded of anyone listening.
“I don't know.” Bridger swallowed deeply. “They're gone…”
“No, sir…they are not…” Dagwood said, pointing. Bridger spun around at Dagwood's words.
“What?” He looked to where Dagwood indicated. Near the moon pool lay the crumpled figure of a woman. Bridger, Ford, and Brody rushed over.
“Is she?” Ford asked. Brody knelt down and pressed his fingers into her neck, eliciting a soft cry. He snatched his hand back and looked up at the captain, who knelt beside her. Lucas and Ortiz crept down from their posts to stare down at the woman.
“Who…” Lucas asked.
“What?” Ortiz asked simultaneously.
Bridger snatched his PAL off of his waist.
“Medical emergency on the bridge!” He set the PAL on the floor beside the woman and reached out a hand to touch the woman's shoulder.
“Who are you?” He asked gently.
Painfully, she turned her face upwards to eye him. It was only then that it became obvious that she had been in a battle. Blood caked the left side of her face and poured down to her black uniform, similar to the one the crew war.
“Captain, look.” Lucas pointed. A torn seaQuest logo was barely visible beneath the crimson stains.
“Whoa…” Ford gasped. The woman groaned softly.
“Listen to me. Please, you must listen to me. I don't know how long...how...please, just listen. Stay away from the Christmas tree. You must not enter that trench.
“Who are you?” Bridger repeated.
“Lt. Isabel Riley, seaQuest DSV4.” She gasped
“What?” The captain cast a confused glance at Ford, who shrugged in bewilderment. Bridger returned his gaze to the crumpled form. The girl took a breath and winced in pain.
“I'm not...I'm from the year 2062, aboard a future version of this ship. I know...I know this is hard for you to understand...” Her voice faltered as her body tensed, fighting against the pain. Blood seeped through her uniform and began to stain the metal grids of the bridge. Ortiz, in his first conscious thought since her appearance, slipped his regulation jacket off and gently laid it across her body, concern wrinkling his brow.
“It's ok...” He whispered. Isabel could do nothing but breathe. Bridger reached out to gently touch her face, the light touch of a father whose child has just awakened from a terrifying dream.
“We can help you.” He said. He looked towards doorway. “Damn!” He cried. “Where is Wendy?”
“I'll run and find out, sir.” Tony leapt up and raced into the hallway, his footsteps echoing back to the huddle on the bridge.
“No time...no time...”Isabel whispered. “Lucas...” Ford looked up, and met Lucas' gaze. Lucas pushed forward past the officers and knelt on the ground.
“Do I know you?” He asked gently, peering into her face, trying to recall any memory he may have had of this girl.
“Another version of you... You must listen to me. When you traveled to meet Censys, and you learned that time exists on a mobius loop....”
“There can be no past without the future...”
“Yes...the actions of the seaQuest, in your present time, but in my history...they caused my world, and my time, to disappear...your actions ensured the destruction of the Earth...and I have been sent back to keep that from happening.”
“What?” Captain Bridger gasped.
“What are you talking about? Our actions?” Ford looked at the captain, questioningly.
“Captain...I'm sorry to interrupt...but...” Brody couldn't keep quiet any longer.
“Quiet, Jim.” Ford didn't mean to snap, but he didn't want to hear Brody's criticism at this point. Brody, in turn, threw his hands up in frustration, but continued to peer down at the girl.
“Go on.” Ford said, slowly. Isabel opened her eyes, struggling to focus on anything. She could feel that she was running out of time, and so she struggled to continue
“Keller and Tobias discovered a planet...”
“Wait,“ Ford put his hand up. “How do you know about Scott Keller? His location is classified. At least it was.”
Isabel rolled her eyes as much as she could muster.
“Trust me. History needed to find a scapegoat, and when it focused on Keller....well...there isn't much left...to wonder...”
“This planet they discovered...” Bridger struggled to re-direct the dialogue. Isabel looked at him gratefully before gasping for enough air to continue.
“Hyperion. They stumbled into the middle of a civil war, and, before they could escape, got caught in the battle. Keller will come to you for help...”
“He's already been here.” Lucas interjected softly. Isabel nodded.
“You will follow him to Hyperion, and you will agree to help the opposing sides in their war, believing that you will be saving your own world from destruction. But you are wrong, because what you are doing is ending it. You will fight for the wrong side, and the seaQuest will be destroyed, gored and left on the bottom of the Hyperion sea. The crew members that survive will be captured by the Kretak's...” Isabel began to shake softly as the doors to the MagLev slid open.
“Captain, she`s here.” said Piccolo, dragging Doctor Smith by the wrist.
“Tony, what's the emergency...oh God...” she gasped, seeing Isabel's bleeding body. She knelt down beside her and gently removed Ortiz's jacket. Isabel clenched her teeth over a groan.
“No...wait...” She groaned. Wendy shook her head and looked to Lucas.
“What's happened? What's going on? ” She asked. Lucas shook his head, and gently brushed her hand aside.
“Doc, wait...”He said. “Isabel...” He whispered.
“They will return you to Earth 10 years beyond your current time, or what's left of you and your crew. They will keep some of you to experiment on, learning the boundaries of human capabilities. When you return, most of you will go on, believing that the friends surrounding you haven't changed from the time you've left, but they have. And you are not alone. The Kraytak's followed you home, and took the place of some members of your crew. And when they had gathered enough force, they took control of the seaQuest, and, in turn, launched enough nuclear weapons to send the world plunging into a nuclear winter...They planned to return after the ice thawed and claim Earth as their own.”
There was a general gasp of fear from the surrounding crew, as well as an undercurrent of terrified murmuring. Brody couldn't keep silent any longer.
“Captain, we don't even know who she is, let alone if she's telling the truth. For all we know, SHE could be one of these Kray...whatever...sent as a time bomb to destroy us right now...”
Bridger was torn. He locked eyes with his XO, asking for his opinion. Ford shook his head, offering none.
“Can you prove this, Isabel?” He asked gently. “If, as you say, we will destroy Earth by entering the Christmas trench, surely you must have some way of proving this.” Isabel nodded.
“Pocket...” she gasped, looking down. Slowly, Bridger reached forward and gently slid his hand into her uniform pocket. He felt his hand touch something cold, and he grasped it and slid it from the fabric. Isabel winced as the pressure came into contact with her shredded stomach. Bridger looked down at the object in his hands. A small, coral bracelet dangled from his fingertips.
“I don't get it.” Brody said. “That's your proof?”
“Yes...it is...”Bridger said slowly. He recognized the bracelet from a very different time in his life. He allowed his gaze to meet Isabel's, and she gently nodded.
“Robert knew you would need this...and he...he told me to tell you that,” Isabel struggled to remember the exact words, knowing their great importance, “he said that he followed his North Star home, and that it was now up to you to make sure that it will shine again...”
“What?” Ford asked, glancing at Bridger.
“My son.” He gasped in answer before turning back to Isabel. “You know my son?”
“Yes.” Her mission was complete. Isabel closed her eyes, sighing as she slipped into unconsciousness.
“Captain, I need to get her to med-bay.” Dr. Smith stood up, motioning to her attendants to move the girl onto a waiting gurney. Bridger stood up and walked to his chair, Ford following close behind. He was still stunned by the news of his son.
“Captain?” Ford questioned softly. Bridger turned to face him.
“I gave that bracelet to Robert when he was just a boy. He was only 7, maybe 8. We had gone camping in Canada, and we it was very late at night. Robert was worried that we would get lost, and not make it home. I assured him that was impossible, and he asked me how I knew so much. I showed him the North Star, and told him that as long as we could find that star, we could always find our way back home.” A tear came to his eye, and his voice cracked. Ford nodded, unsure of what to say. Lucas approached the duo.
“Captain,” he said. “Dr. Smith took Isabel to med-bay.” Bridger spun around to see his crew staring at him, questioningly. He took a breath.
“All right.” He said, turning to Henderson.
“Plot a course away from here. Take us out into open waters, anywhere. Just get us as far away from Christmas Trench as possible.”
“Aye, sir.” Lonnie moved to her station. “We're still running on minimum power, sir, I don't know how fast we can push it.”
“Just get us out of here. Mr. Piccolo?” Tony snapped to attention.
“Once the course is plotted, take us there, as fast as possible.” Tony moved to the helm as Bridger turned to the rest of the crew.
Suddenly, the lights snapped back to their full strength.
“Captain! All systems are back online, full power.” O'Neill called, staring in confusion at his screen.
“Everyone, back to their stations, now!” Bridger cried. “Ortiz, I want a full sensor scan of the area. Be on the lookout for anything suspicious. Anything at all.”
“Aye, sir.” Bridger turned to Ford.
“I'm not certain what just happened here, but I do know this,” he said softly. “there was no one else on that mountain besides myself and Robert, and if he somehow managed to find his star, then by God I will make it shine. I trust my son.” Ford nodded.
“Understood, sir.” He turned around, noticing that a few crew members were still mingling.
“Alright people. You heard your captain. Back to your stations, we're moving out.”
“Course plotted, sir!” Lonnie's voice rang out.
“Alright. Mr. Piccolo, full speed.”
“Gladly, sir.” Only when the Captain felt the boat surge under his feet did Bridger turn to Lucas.
“Is this possible?” He asked. “You spoke to Census. You know more about her theories of time than the rest of us. Is it truly possible that someone could have come back to us?” Lucas took a breath.
“Anything is possible, Captain. We've gone forward into the future, it would stand to reason that someone could visit the past. If you're asking me if I believe her, sir...well, then, yes I do.” Bridger nodded.
“Go to med-bay. I want a full status report.”
“Aye, sir.” Lucas turned and walked off the bridge. Bridger slid into his chair and sighed, looking down at the coral between his fingertips. So Robert was alive. It should have come as a shock, but it didn't. Bridger realized that, though he had played the part of a grieving father, he had never truly believed that Robert was gone. He knew that most people who were lost at sea found their way home. And Robert had.
Bridger jumped as his console beeped.
“Captain?” Wendy's voice called to him, confused and worried. He slapped the console.
“What is it? What's wrong?”
“Bridger, my patient is gone.”
“Disappeared. She was here one minute, and I turned around to grab a scanner, and then she wasn't. She's gone.”
“What?” Bridger gasped. He heard Lucas lean close to the speaker.
“Well, it kinda makes sense, sir. If Isabel came back to keep us from the trench, then her mission was complete, and we effectively changed history. So, there would have been no need for her to have come back to warn us. I believe she's back in her own time, sir.”
“What?” Bridger asked. He heard Lucas sigh.
“I don't know, sir. I'm…I'm not sure there IS an explanation.”
Bridger looked down at the bracelet in his hand and fingered the clasp gently.
“I think there is…” he said softly. He smiled softly and slipped the bracelet into his pocket.
“Er…Captain?” Ortiz said. “They WSKRS are back online, all sensors, everything. Sir, they're not registering anything unusual.”
“Nothing at all?” Ford asked. Ortiz shook his head.
“No. According to the sensor logs, we approached the trench, and changed our minds. There's no indication of that…cloud…or whatever it was.”
“Steady as she goes…” he said softly, wondering how he was going to explain this in his report. He gripped the bracelet in his pocket. “Steady as she goes…”