Chapter One Hiya! Who are you?
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, X-men, Stargate, Anita Blake, Hellsing, nor Highlander.
Note: This story takes place somewhere at the beginning of Season Seven of SG-1, and more than two years after the end of Angel. Please note: In these stories, Angel is Spike's sire.
Willow Rosenberg stared around at the room before her, her bright green colored eyes still shinning. The place looked like an underground Military base; which it was, she thought with a grin. So much grey. What was it with the military, and their need for secrete bases? She had a mental flash back to the underground compound of the Initiative. Well, at least this base, in the Cheyenne Mountains of Colorado Springs, wasn't wall to wall white. That place back home had given her headaches with all the white starkness. Thank the goddess for Buffy and their friends. If it hadn't been for them, the Initiative would probably be up and running to this day. She frowned at the image. Maybe not, she decided. Adam would have taken over the world by now.
She shook her head of her rambling thoughts. She turned her head to look behind her, her gaze warm on the figures of her friends. There stood Xander, her best bud, from the time they were five years old. He wore blue jeans, a black colored t-shirt, and a short leather jacket; eyes patch and all. He threw her a wink when he caught her eye. She was so glad he was here with them. Two years apart from each other had been hell for them both.
Behind Xander, stood the Ancient one. Illyria, the God-King. She was one powerful lady, though she was not at full strength, as she had been once before. She wore her blue armor, which matched her blue tinted dark hair, and her bright blue eyes. She stared straight ahead, unblinking. Illyria owed her life to the Red Witch, and so she had come on this journey; as a guardian to the Immortal Protector, so that she might guard the young woman. Illyria took life debt seriously. It was matter of honor.
The witch turned her gaze to her great-uncle John Logan. He also went by the name Wolverine, as a member of the X-men, back on their Earth. Strange as it seemed, they were family. The two of them just found out days before about their relationship. His friend, Jean Grey, had performed the DNA tests. When Logan had found out what her and her friends were up to, there had been no way of stopping him from coming along. He looked good for his age. It might have something to do with his mutant powers of regeneration.
He wore his black jeans, a white t-shirt, and carried a backpack. He flashed her a devilish grin. His dark blue eyes were amused as he went back to stare at the soldiers surrounding them. There was nothing like a good fight to cheer Logan up. He was just waiting for the military to make the first move. Willow rolled her eyes at him. He was such a guy!
She felt a hand on her shoulder. She glanced up at the vampire at her side. His touch soothed her, and she was extremely happy to have him here with her. He meant the world to her, and she to him. His demon gleamed for a moment in the depths of his eyes, and then he smiled. He wore her favorite black leather pants, a black t-shirt, and his long leather coat. He looked good, and the damn vampire knew it! He could sense her appreciation of him through their soul bond. His smile turned to a self satisfied smirk, his eyes teasing her for a second before he turned away to stare at the opening of the doors to their left.
"Look'it here, it's the welcoming committee." Spike said with a sneer from the other side of Willow. He was dressed similar to the older vampire, except that his t-shirt was white in color. He was one of her guardians; they all were, but Spike was second only to Angel. He had proven himself to the Powers That Be, and so he was now an appointed Champion; her champion. He took to the role well, having vowed to Willow days before, that he would protect her, and that he considered her part of his family. He also shared in the link of the soul bond between the witch and his sire. Willow could sense all of Angel's childer; and they in turn, could sense her. The link they shared had brought them together.
Willow looked on as four newcomers came into the room, lead by a man who was over six feet tall. He carried himself as a commander of men; straight and proud. He had salt and pepper hair cut short to his head. He wasn't too happy about the strangers arrival into the base, as seen by the stern scroll on his face. From the info the Powers had gathered for Willow, she knew these people hated surprises.
"Howdy folks, and who might you be?"
The witch smiled as pleasantly as she knew how. She held out her hand. "Hello. Sorry, you know, for the dramatic entrance. It's the only way we could have gotten here. My name is Willow Roseberg. The man to my right is Angel, and the one on the other side is called Spike." The man's brow rose at that last part. Who calls themselves Spike?
"The man behind me is Xander, short for Alexander." the red head continued. "The smirking man is Logan. Just stay away from him. The lady in blue is called Illyria. We do not piss her off, or any reason. We leave her alone." She warned the people surrounding her friends. If they choose to ignore her words, it was their own fault.
The Colonel shook the young woman's hand, his eyes flickering towards the Ancient with a light of curiosity in them. What was so special about the blue lady? Illyria stared back at him, a smirk of disdain on her lips. Yep, that answered the question. She was dangerous.
"Welcome to my humble home." he said, with a twist of his mouth. "I am Col. Jack O'Neill. Now, before we do the whole exchange of our life stories, could you tell me one thing?"
Willow blinked up at him, and then shrugged. "...sure."
The colonel waved at the swirling pool of light in front of the Stargate. "What the hell is that?"
The witch snickered, while her friends tried to keep from laughing out loud. "Hum..well, it's a dimensional portal. We used it to get from our Earth, to yours. It will be gone in a few minutes."
The blond haired woman, one of those who had come into the room with Jack, spoke up. "A dimensional portal? That thing didn't show up on our sensors. Where's the power base? How can it be here? It's...impossible!"
Willow stared at the woman, noting her military gear. It was somewhat interesting how the woman did not question the fact the strangers claimed to come from another Earth; she was just upset about the fact a portal, not of her understanding, was there in the middle of the room. She really did not want to argue about it. "Okay then; it's impossible. We're not here."
Jack rubbed the space between his eyes. He did not need this right now. "Carter! You can discuss that thing later. Don't you think it's more important to know what our quests mean 'by helping us'?"
Angel took a step forward, and spoke clearly. "We are here to close the hole in space. We were sent here to help you. We are not the enemy. You have nothing to fear from us."
The colonel's eyes went wide, and he opened his mouth to ask the who, what, and why; but then he just shook his head at the absurd notion. "Why do I even bother?" he murmured under his breath, and then he said louder. "Why don't you all come with me somewhere more comfortable? I'd prefer to have a cup of coffee in my hand when hearing about something I'd rather not know." He told the group, as he rolled on the balls of his feet. "I think it's the caffeine. It helps with the 'what the hell' part of the discussion."
Some time later, Willow and her friends were lead into the briefing room. The soldier, who had taken them to the room, asked them to wait, so they quietly talked amongst themselves. They sat down; Willow on one side of the Table, with the two vampires on either side of her. Illyria sat on the right of Angel, with Xander close by. Logan took the seat by Spike.
"Well," Xander began. He was leaning back in his chair, hands folded behind his head. "They didn't freak out too much, did they? Ya' have to wonder what else they have seen, to make this visit of ours so routine."
"Whelp, I don't know about that." Spike scoffed. He reached back and stared at the boy. "They were pretty tense. I think it's the soldier training."
"Yep, the adrenaline was running high in those boys with the guns." Logan shared. "I don't reckon they would have put up much of a fight."
"I agree." Illyria spoke up, head crooked to the side. "They are children to true war. We should not waste our time with them."
"Why would we even ponder such an idea anyway? We are not here to fight." Willow told everyone with a sigh. She leaned forward and supported her head with her propped hand. Her eyes grew dreamy. "The Stargate was nice. It looked so cool."
Angel smiled down at her with a raised brow. "I bet you can't wait to take a closer look." He reached out, and then pushed a stray strand of her hair back behind her ear. His expression turned serious. "You can look Willow, but we can't interfere with these mortals."
She grimaced, and then said softly. "I know."
He took her fee hand in his. He squeezed her fingers with a gentle touch. "We will only need to be here for a few days. Soon we will be back home." He turned his head to the door. They all could hear footsteps down the hall, and they were coming closer.
Jack strode into the room, and made his way to the head of the table. Behind him quickly followed the rest of the team of SG-1. "General Hammond is on the phone right now. He's our boss." he explained. He began the introductions, pointing to each member as he went. "This is Major Samantha Carter, Doctor Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c."
Willow smiled at the warrior. "You're the alien, right?"
Teal'c gave her a nod. "Indeed."
"That is so awesome!" Xander guffawed. Like a springboard, he sat forward, his eyes full of wonder. "Ya' know, I've met most everything out there, demons and so on, but never an alien!"
"Cool your jets kid." Logan said, eyes narrowed. He was frowning down the table at Xander. One minute the young man was calm as a cucumber, and the next, as crazy as a fox.
Jack gave a sharp whistle, grabbing the attention of everyone present. "As much fun as this is people", he said with a wave at the group. "times a'wasting."
"Sorry." Willow murmured with a grin, feeling uncomfortable. "We've all known each other for a very long time. This behavior is our way of dealing with tense situations. I'm sure this whole state of affairs has been frustrating, for you all. I must ask you to let me explain what is happening, and not to ask questions until I am done. On that note, what I am going to tell you must not leave this room, for any reason. On further note, the recording devices you have installed in this room...will not work."
Daniel leaned forward, studying the people on the other side of the table. There was something about the red head; but for the life of him, he couldn't remember what it was. "How's that?"
Spike smirked at the man. "Red here, took care of it; the how? Well, why don't ya' let her tell the tale, and then ask all the questions ya' want after?" The good doctor pulled down his glasses, and then began to clean them in a nervous manner.
"Oh, my god!" exclaimed Xander. "He's like a junior Giles!"
"Xander!" Willow chastened.
"Sorry Wills." he apologized. The witch sighed with displeasure, and then shared a look with her friends. "No more interruptions, okay?"
"Alrighty' then," Jack cut in, glaring at the members of this team to keep them quiet. The sooner the girl spoke, the sooner they could get this over with. "Miss. Rosenberg, if you please."
"Thank you." she said, and then began. "We come from a parallel Earth. I understand you have experience with this, so I won't need to explain how that's possible. We were sent here by the 'Powers That Be'. Think of them as you would your Ancients; but unlike your protectors, ours are more capable of involvement with our plain of existence. The Powers watch over us; and they appoint Champions, beings who guide and protect the people of Earth from the Darkness. We are just a few of those Champions."
"The Powers sent us here to stop the spread of the hole in space. This black hole, which some have chosen to call it, is a growing Hell Portal." She held up her hand to stall the interruption from the doctor and major. "I know it sound incredible, but somehow, someway, your enemies started to meddle in things best left alone. They have no idea what there are messing with. The bottom line; they screwed up. This Hell Portal will effect all parallel Earths; hence the reason why we were sent to close it."
She paused, taking a deep breath. She wondered if she should move to the next part of the conversation. They were going to freak. She turned and stared up at Angel with the question in her eyes. He gave her a slight nod of the head. "It's alright. I think they can handle it."
She looked down the table at Jack, offering him a timid grin. "I'm going to show you something. It won't hurt any of you...just don't freak out, okay?" Her hand rose, palm up to the ceiling. A tiny red flame sparked up in the middle of her hand, and then it grew, until the fire was the size of her hand.
At the first sight of light in her hand, the SG-1 had jumped out of their seats, with the exception of Teal'c. They stared back at her with wide eyes. "Oh god, how..." Daniel asked, gaze glued to her hand. He had heard her murmur a few words in Latin, and then the fire had appeared. How was this possible?
"You are human...right?" Sam asked, her expression full of doubt. She turned to the man at the head of the table, determined to see what her commanding officer thought of the situation. Jack's brows were high as he glared at the strangers, but he seemed calm. At least he wasn't reaching for his gun, which was a good thing. She had a feeling the strangers could take care of themselves.
"I am...but I'm also a witch." the red head told them. "The two seated beside me, are vampires...but with souls! They don't hurt humans!" she added with haste when the group across from her gasped with surprise. "My friend Xander, he possesses two spirit entities; a hyena and a soldier. Black ops, I think. These spirits enable him to hunt, track, and fight. He heals much faster than a normal person does. Logan is a mutant, an evolved human from our world. He has steel claws, which extend from his knuckles, three in each hand. He is quite the warrior. Now, Illyria is an Ancient, having lived before the dawn of our human history. She was asleep for a very long time. Over three years ago, she was awaken. She is powerful, having been a God-king to her people in the past."
She took a deep breath. This was harder for her than she would have thought. "The Powers made me the Immortal Protector. My friends are my Champions, and we all guard the worlds of Earth. All of them and their magic's answer my call; it is my duty to protect them. We can not interfere in your human development, but we can protect the planet from the threat of distinction. We are here to help, so please let us do our job."
Jack sighed, and with a wave to his people to sit back down. He had heard some strange things in the past, but this...this was up there in the top ten list. Witches, vampires, well...what could he say to that? He leaned back in his chair, searching the faces of the strangers. "I get the fact you can help us, but why come here? What's in it for you?" he asked them. He couldn't help his response. He was a suspicious man by nature.
Spike sneered at the Colonel. "Don't be a poof! If this hole in space continues to grow, it will destroy all life, everywhere! We're here to save our Earth; saving yours is a bonus."
"We are talking about all dimensions, right?" Daniel asked. This was fascinating. "What about..."
"How would a hole that size appear in the first place? The energy needed to rip a line through space...why, it's unimaginable!" Sam cut in with her eyes shining.
Willow reached down for her bag. She pulled out her lap top computer and laid it out on the table. She turned the machine one, accessed the file she was looking for, and then turned the screen around to face the members of SG-1. "Here, take a look at this." she told them.
Angel looked on as Sam and Daniel read the file on Willow's computer. They were taking it well, he thought. It's like they were given a new toy to play with. He stared at the two for a moment, watching their glances of shared amazement. He felt a hand on his knee. He turned to look down at the red head. She was flushed, and sweat pooled on her forehead. "What is it?" he asked her, growing worried.
She rotated her neck and shoulders. "There is too much energy here for me. I need to work it off."
"We will." he responded, his voice low. He could feel the power growing under her skin. It was intoxicating. "Let's finished this talk..."
"What's wrong?" Jack barked, noting the hush tones of the dark haired vampire and the red head.
"Willow absorbs energy. It is one of her gifts." Angel replied. "Even with her shields up, this place has too much power for her to hold. She needs physical movement to expel the energy. I was thinking, if you have a gym..."
"No problem." Jack assured them. "Once we're done..."
"Alright then." Willow started up with a grin of relief. "We had an experience in the past, when a Hell God; and no, it wasn't a Goa'uld. Glory was the real thing. She tried to open a portal to get back home to her dimension, and she did not care what that the portal would have taken the walls down in between dimensions. It took a lot of us, but we finally shut the portal down. While it was open, and mind you, it was for a short time, a dragon slipped into our world, along with some hell hounds. The same will happen here. Demons, monsters, and creatures we have not heard of before will come through the portal; and if it stays open...the ripple on the fabric of space will cause a backlash of power. This power will grow, and it will become a bomb. When it erupts in space, the force of it will wipe our this universe. If that happens, and the portal is still open, the bomb will touch all parallel universes. The force will cause a domino affect."
"Holy crap!" the Colonel gasped. "...and here I thought I only had to worry about being invaded by the snakes. Well, this certainly puts a new spin on the situation."
Xander stood, and began to pace the room. "We have to safe the Earths. We only have two more days to stop the widening of the Portal. We can give you three hours to overlook what information we have. If you are not willing, or unable to help us, we'll do this one on our own."
"How are you going to do that?" Sam questioned, glancing from the computer screen to the young man. She frowned, and than waved at the notes of the file in front of her. "This says Willow will need a lot of power, more than anyone could produce, to close the hole in space. I don't think anyone could help."
Logan grinned at her lack of faith, before glaring at Xander. His pacing was driving him insane. "Sit down kid." he snapped, before reaching out to pull Xander down into the seat next to him. He got a glare for his trouble.
"Guys, cut it out!" Willow hissed at the two, before turning back to SG-1. "I am sorry, they'll just worried about me."
"Why?" came the question from Teal'c.
"They are scared about the spell I have to do to close the hole in space, and yes, the spell will need a lot of power, but..."
"Spell?" Teal'c interrupted, with his head tilted to the side as he stared at her. "What is this...spell?"
Willow looked back at him, a frowning growing on her face. "You've been on earth for awhile now, right? How could they have not exposed you to the wonders of literature? That's so sad."
"Jack O'Neill has let me watch the 'Simpson's' with him. He informed me the cartoon show would give me culture reference."
Willow gasped, repulsed. "He did?!" She shook her head at Jack. "How could you? That's...just evil! Promise me, you will correct this over sight?"
Jack snorted at that. "Sure, okay...carry on."
Angel tried to hide his smile and failed. "Alright, back to the spell. It's magic. Willow is the witch, an immortal one, and she will complete the spell. Both the Black and White arts of magic are at her disposal. She will use the available power of this Earth, and her own reserves to close the portal in space. There is but one problem with this."
"...and that would be, what?" questioned Jack, becoming impatient.
"The electrical field caused by the spell will knock out all powered devices on the world." Willow told them. "This will be a world black out. This will cause chaos on the planet."
"Jesus, no kidding." Daniel groaned.
"What to do? What to do?" Jack murmured under his breath, trying to slow down his thoughts. He wondered at what part of the conversation he had started to think his people would stand a chance. The stranges were a weird group, but he rather liked them. They were cool under pressure, fought the good fight, and they were his best hope for saving the planet.
"Sir? What about the Asgard?" Sam asked him. "They have ships. We could attempt to do the spell in space. We would be far enough away."
Jack pursed his lips at the idea. It could work. "Will this do?" he asked the red head. "Even without power, the space ship would stay in orbit. You guys...are okay with going out into space, right?"
"Not a problem. It's something new...and it's a great idea." Willow agreed, before glancing at her friends. When they gave her shared nods of encouragement, she grinned up at SG-1. "Actually, it's a perfect idea. A couple of hours after the spell is completed; when my magic is recharged, I'll be able to power up the ship. Will the Asgard help us?"
Jack rolled his eyes, and nodded. "There's a treaty between the Asgard and some others, which say they can not involve themselves in our internal conflict, or something like that, but I'm pretty sure this portal falls outside that. Ya'know, with the whole destroy the universe thing; they might want to avoid that. We are working in the dark here. We still don't know whom, or what is the cause of the hole in the first place. You've been our best lead so far."
The blond vampire did not like the thought of not knowing who the enemy was. "That's bloody annoying! Will we be in danger up there? Red must be protected."
Daniel shook his head, and then rubbed the muscles of his tense neck. "She will be. The Asgard will assure our safety. Besides, they will want to meet you."
Illyria growled at that. "No one must know we are here, or know about us."
"Illyria, it's fine." Willow told the ancient. She looked at Jack. "She's right, you know. The Powers do not want us to influence anyone in this dimension, more than we have too."
Xander leaned back in his chair again, and regarded the group before him. He watched the repressions of doubt roll over their faces. Though they were scared, he could smell no deceit in them. "Do you trust the Asgard?" he asked them." Can we trust them?"
Together Daniel, Dam, and Jack spoke one word in reply. "Yes."
Logan looked at them with narrowed eyes. "How long before you speak with them? We only have two days."
"We are awaiting on them now. They should be here soon."
Angel stood, and offered a hand to Willow. He pulled her up and steady her on her feet. Magic was pulsing off her in waves. "We will wait until you have spoken to your friends." he told SG-1. "For now, we would like to use that gym, and perhaps have something to eat later."
"Alright then, sounds good. I'll have someone take ya'." the Colonel replied, when suddenly there was a flash of light in the room. Everyone instinctively covered their eyes.
"Well..." Jack's voice boomed. "Speak of the devil!"