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Authors: James Swallow

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STARGATE UNIVERSE: Air

BOOK: STARGATE UNIVERSE: Air
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Air

 

James Swallow

Based on the scripts by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper

An original publication of Fandemonium Ltd, produced under license from MGM Consumer Products.

Fandemonium Books, PO Box 795A, Surbiton, Surrey KT5 8YB, United Kingdom

Visit our website: www.stargatenovels.com

METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER Presents
STARGATE UNIVERSE™
ROBERT CARLYLE   LOUIS FERREIRA   BRIAN J. SMITH   ELYSE LEVESQUE
DAVID BLUE   ALAINA HUFFMAN   JAMIL WALKER SMITH
Executive Producers JONATHAN GLASSNER and BRAD WRIGHT
MICHAEL GREENBURG RICHARD DEAN ANDERSON
Developed for Television by BRAD WRIGHT & ROBERT C. COOPER
Created by BRAD WRIGHT & ROBERT C. COOPER

STARGATE UNIVERSE © 2011 MGM Global Holdings Inc. STARGATE: UNIVERSE is a trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All rights reserved.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc TM & © 2011 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Photography and cover art: Copyright © 2011 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

WWW.STARGATE.MGM.COM

 

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written consent of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

Acknowledgements:

The author would like to thank John Scalzi, Brad Wright, Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, Joe Mallozzi, Karol Mora and Jon Rosenberg for their assistance in getting some air under the wings of this adaptation.

Author’s Note:

This novel is based on the Stargate Universe episodes “Air, Part 1”, “Air, Part 2” and “Air, Part 3”. Certain scenes and story elements have been adapted for the purposes of novelization.

CONTENTS

 

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

PROLOGUE

 

In the deeps, in the places where the light of suns burns faint and the reach of gravity fails, nothing lives.

The void is inimical to life. Out in the darkness and the unremitting, absolute cold, the sheer absence of anything but scatterings of free hydrogen, cosmic rays and stellar dust means that nothing can survive.

The frail, weak meat of organic life perishes in moments. Blood and fluids flash-boiling and freezing all at once. Organs detonating under pressure violation. Skin disintegrating, precious breaths torn away. The dark punishes anything with the temerity to invade its realm; and in the infinite emptiness of it all, those who die are lost and forgotten.

But still they come, in search of something. Knowledge and power. Purpose and redemption. Life challenges the darkness to find its destiny.

 

Against the reach of the endless night and the ocean of stars, the ship thundered on, its voyage unending.

It was vast, by the human scale of things. If an observer could have stood upon the dorsal hull of the vessel, they would have seen canyons of old steel and domes of azure glass, great battlements of black iron and crenellations raised high; and beyond, dwarfing all else, a steep-sided ziggurat straddling the craft’s mid-line. From close in, the dimensions of the construct could only be guessed at.

If one could stand at steps removed, far enough out beyond the glowing wake of energy that sheathed the vessel in transit, then the full shape of it would be revealed. From a sword-tip bow growing out to an enormous axe-blade stern, the ship cut through the dark. It might have been a weapon, thrown far by a defiant enemy, or a graceful carving cast adrift by artisans and thinkers. It moved quicker than the pulse of starlight itself, warping the nature of space about its long, ornate flanks. The ship’s course was straight and steady, set down by minds long dead and maintained by thinking machines that had shepherded the vessel across countless light-years.

The kiss of the void belied the age of it. In places, the hull metal was as shipyard-bright as it had been the day it had been forged; but elsewhere the passage of eons was visible in pitted, corroded towers and broken spires. And there were other scars upon her, scars that might have been marks left by the fury of a singularity, the blaze of a mad sun, the hammer blow of a comet. Or perhaps not; perhaps they were the wounds of tooth and claw from enemies who had died trying to take the ship for themselves. The disfigurements of old battles, lost to time and long forgotten.

Within, the ship was not quite silent. Through each deck, mighty engines as large as mountains made their power known with a steady, bass rumble that reached everywhere, resonating up through old iron floor plates and arching walls of dense gunmetal. The vessel had a pulse of machine-life to it, as slow and careful systemry continued on an endless cycle of duties, following programs that had been laid down in an era before humans had walked upright.

But it was faint indeed. Pale traceries of oxygen ice layered the lengths of the ship’s endless, frigid corridors. The cold and dormant spaces within the hull were dark and bleak. As it had been for so long —
Decades? Centuries? Millennia?
— there were no footsteps, no voices, no simple human sounds. If there were ghosts, then they did not make themselves known.

And then, without warning, in the heart of the craft the stillness was shattered forever.

 

There were many spaces inside the ship that resembled the chamber, long halls of arching iron ribs that rose up from a worn deck to meet a darkened, forge-built ceiling. Turns of copper-sheathed rails guided flights of stairs up from the lowest level to a higher ring of balconies that looked down upon the still, cold room. Here and there, sculpted consoles emerged from the deck plates, faces turned upward, each one catching a glitter of faint light across glassy, inert panels.

The chamber was unremarkable but for the one thing that set it apart, the great object that could not fail to draw all attention. At one end of the hall, rising from a slot in the deck, a heavy ring of metal, gray as sea-ice, dense as cast pewter, stood sentinel. Its circumference was separated into nine sections, each bordered by a sculpted arrowhead of steel, bone and tarnished gold; and in turn each section was divided into four leaves of metal, each etched with a string of symbols resembling lines, circles and dots.

BOOK: STARGATE UNIVERSE: Air
3.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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