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The Catastrophe

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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Catastrophe". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Tess just wishes she could get away from it all; others aren't so lucky. Crossing with The 4400 and Firefly.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > 4400, The
Firefly > General
DigiEmissaryFR1534,617072,33221 Aug 0628 Dec 06Yes

Just a Wish

The Catastrophe

Tess just wishes she could get away from it all. Crossing with The 4400 and Firefly.

Just a Wish

Disclaimer: The characters and ideas of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The 4400, and Firefly belong to their respective owners. I am not one of these people.
Note 1: Takes place post-S7 of Buffy, and pre-series for Firefly. After the episode "The Ballad of Kevin and Tess" of the 4400, it goes a bit AU: Kevin and Tess are fleeing a bit more actively than they were shown at the end of the episode, as NTAC wised up and put out both the regular and mutated pictures of Kevin just in case.
Note 2: Dream-related plot bunny that kept hopping on my keyboard, so here it is.

D'Hoffryn occasionally watched the news.

It was in this way, rather than through any mystical source, that he learned of the 4400 and how, according to some inside sources, they had been gathered together and sent to present-day Seattle to prevent the end of humanity. Apparently, something called "the catastrophe" was going to do everyone in unless the returnees were able to alter the future.

He saw this as a situation ripe with opportunities to do justice. He found one in a couple fleeing federal agents in the wilderness of northern Washington State.

Once, he would have given this opportunity to one of his trusted employees. But recent disappointments led him to take on this duty himself. He shifted to a human form and left Arashmahar, folding space temporarily to make a log cabin appear where dense forest used to be, a few miles from the 4400 girl and her scientist. A lantern lit itself outside the door, bright enough to draw them towards him. He took out a pipe and waited.


"I can't take this for much longer, Kevin," Tess said, fear starting to seep into her voice. "I need my meds or I'll go back to–"

"I won't let that happen," he reassured her. "Look, there's a light over there. Maybe there's someone who will help us, put us up for the night and let us sort things out. We'll be fine."

Inwardly, he wasn't so sure. They had managed to ditch all but one of the cars following them, but the last one had been too close. They had driven until they were out of gas, all the while administering a treatment he had thought up on the run. At regular, 2.5-minute intervals they had each injected themselves with a minute dosage of promicin from the last sample that Kevin had kept in his coat pocket. This would, he had hoped, interact with the fear-response adrenaline already pumping through them and amp up their abilities: Tess' so she could take temporary control of the agents tailing them and Kevin's so he could take whatever bullets or tasers were thrown at them while she did so.

It worked, and he hadn't had to regenerate from anything more than a few thousand volts. Tess commanded them to focus all of their attention on the night sky, and while they did so, they were bound, gagged, and left behind their car. Neither she nor Kevin wanted to kill them; they just wanted to be together and get away from the madness of abductions and abilities.

Kevin had wanted to be the pioneer of 4400 technology ever since he had found out that it was his destiny, or at least that it seemed to be. However, being shot four times by Ryland's power-hungry agents and then seeing his own government carelessly invade his girlfriend's home, all because of one experiment – his attempt to give the agent who had helped him the extrahuman ability that she deserved – had narrowed his outlook. He had spent enough time exploring the mysteries of promicin; now he wanted to explore the mysteries of the wonderful woman who had gone through so much to bring him back from catatonia and aid him in his research.

When they arrived at the log cabin whose lamp he had seen, they were both somewhat calmer; enough so, he hoped, not to scare off a potential source of shelter.

When Tess saw the old man get up through the window of the cabin, she picked up her speed, almost running towards the door, as she grabbed Kevin's hand to make sure he kept up.

The door opened, and they could see the man's illuminated head. "Out in the woods at this hour? Are you looking for a campsite? There aren't any too close, I'm afraid, but you can spend the night here if you don’t mind being in close quarters."

"We were going there – a campsite, that is," Kevin began, squeezing Tess' hand in hopes that she'd get the signal and follow along, "but a hungry bear came by our tent while we were walking to it and, well, we just ran."

"Bears aren't unknown around here, certainly not," the old man remarked. "Please, come in." He stepped to the side of the door, allowing them room to enter. "I have some extra blankets and pillows stashed away from my hunting days; hopefully, the moths haven't gotten to them."

They declined his offer to sleep on the floor for the night; Kevin admitted that he was a doctor, which wasn't exactly a lie, and said that he and Tess were much less in need of a soft bed than their host, who admitted that his joints had begun to creak a little.

The two of them curled up together in and on the extra blankets, the adrenaline fading and leaving them exhausted. Had they not been so tired, they might have remarked on the convenience of finding an inhabited cabin in the middle of nowhere or on how they didn't even know the old man's name. But, as they drifted off to sleep, Tess only said, "I wish we could leave all of this behind us and go off together…"

Neither of them heard the old man whisper, "Done."


They awoke on a luxurious king-size mattress in a room twice the size of the cabin in which they had fallen asleep. Kevin was the first to rise, his attention grabbed at first by the blinking computer-like device next to the bed. An image of a newspaper showed on it, with a personalized greeting: "Good morning, Mr. Tam."

Mr. Tam? he thought in utter confusion. Is that the old man's name? He tried to remember as much as he could about the previous day and realized he had no idea what the old man's name was. Looking around, though, he discovered that his most pressing problem was that he had no idea where he was.

Tess began to stir next to him. He turned to her as she woke, seeing her jaw drop slightly. "Where are we? What happened?" she asked him, rubbing the sleep from her eyes in hopes of clearing up her situation.

"I don't know," Kevin admitted. "Do you remember anything after we found the cabin?"

"No, I…" she trailed off for a moment. "I made a wish," she said suddenly. "I made a wish and it came true! We're somewhere else, Kevin; we're away from it all." Joy entered her voice at the thought.

"We certainly are," he agreed, having just looked at the date on his "newspaper": July 17, 2485.

"The future?" she murmured to herself. "And we're in a mansion… they must have done it! The 4400 prevented the catastrophe and they didn't need us at all."

"Computer?" Kevin queried to the room in general. A portion of the wall opposite the bed slid back to reveal a screen. Voice-activated ambient technology… this must be the future.

The display had already keyed into Tess' mention of the 4400, and showed an article "Escape from Earth-that-Was made possible by 4400 engineers."

Comprehension slowly dawned on both of them. "So they couldn't prevent it," Tess said finally. "But people are still around, and…" The display had changed again, to a map of the core worlds of the Alliance. A blinking red dot showed the location of the Tams, on Osiris. "…we have a whole new solar system?" she finished.

"It looks like it," Kevin agreed. "And we have new names to fit: I'm Gabriel Tam and you're Regan, my wife."

"We're married?" she asked incredulously, the joy that had left her upon finding the news of the catastrophe filling her voice once again.

"Your wish isn't the only one that came true," he replied before kissing his girlfr–no, his wife.


Memories of their new lives began to filter in over the memories of the old. They adjusted well; Kevin, Gabriel now, was a respected doctor on one of the most affluent planets in the Alliance. Gradually, they stopped thinking about the 4400, their abilities, and the promicin that provided them; by the time their first prodigious child was born, they had all but forgotten, and they had no reason to remember.

However, their second child, a girl, would echo her parents' uniqueness through her own. She could have been spared the torment of the Academy, had her parents connected her almost precognitive intellect with their own distant pasts. But the sins of the mother were visited on the daughter, and just as Tess, now Regan, had wished herself away from saving her planet, she had also wished away the memories that could have saved her daughter.

River, despite what she went through, showed courage her mother couldn't and confronted the ghosts that haunted her. By doing so, she revealed a government-damning conspiracy and succeeded in preventing catastrophe from once again laying waste to humanity.
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