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Psychopomps And False Gods

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Umbra March". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Sequel to Dead Men Tell No Tales. Xander has escaped from the Shinigami, but his actions have earned him a death sentence from Soul Society. Now he has to try to survive in the living world.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered > Pairing: Other HetVarselFR1839,4502237,64618 Mar 0731 Mar 08No

chapter one

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, or universes depicted herein. Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon. Bleach belongs to Kubo Tite. Stargate belongs to MGM. I am not making any money off of this story.

Author's Note: Okay the next part of Umbra March. I hope to explain the events in this story well enough that people who haven't read Dead Men Tell No Tales can understand what's going on.
Spoilers: Be ye warned this story will point out who the main antagonist is in Bleach along with his accomplices.
Timeline: For Stargate season seven. Buffy season four. And four years before the Soul Society arc in Bleach.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jack O’neill, Colonel in the United States Air Force and second in command of the incredibly top-secret Stargate program, made his way through the back door of his house with a happy little tune whistled tonelessly through his lips. He was preparing for a barbecue that he had been planning for weeks. After the last event he had at his home General Hammond had taken him aside, told him that the food was great but there was a much better way to cook then with lighter fluid. The older man had then gone on for nearly two hours explaining the proper way to barbecue, and then left a note of warning that the next time that Jack had promised barbecue he had better damn well deliver the real deal and not that grilled crap if he knew what was good for him. The event was supposed to mark the fact that his teammate Daniel Jackson had recently been brought back to life, but there was also the added effect of proving to the general that he could barbecue properly.

The barbecue promised to be a grand old affair, or at least he hoped it would be. He expected that Samantha Carter would be half dead on her feet, having undoubtedly spent the last twelve hours poring over who knows what that would supposedly help Earth in its defense against the forces of Anubis. Half the time those same alien devices that were meant to protect Earth only brought more problems to the SGC in general and his team in particular. It had actually gotten to the point where he was considering banning her from messing with anymore alien devices that they found off world, potential benefits to the world be damned.

He had just started to pour the heated charcoal into the pit when he noticed the little piece of off white fabric lying under the bush. Something about this, he decided, was going to blow up in his face in a very volatile manner. It was probably just a piece of litter that had drifted into his yard from the street last night he reasoned to himself. He knew that was false, but as he didn’t want to ruin his barbecue he was diligently making himself believe it.

The coals on top of the pile were just starting to heat up nicely when the wind brought the sound of a man a groaning in pain. Silently Jack cursed himself for a fool for doing what he was about to do. It would mean the cancellation of his barbecue, but he could no longer ignore that tiny scrap of fabric. He headed inside his house, and once there retrieved the gun that he kept in the kitchen drawer. Once it was safely secured in his grip he went back outside to check on the situation.

The scrap of fabric had moved from its original resting place. The wind was blowing south in the direction of Fort Carson today, but it wasn’t particularly strong. It definitely wasn’t strong enough to move the piece of fabric from its original resting place on the underside of the bush. So with gun in hand he headed over to the bush. What he found there only confirmed his earlier thoughts that this would ruin his barbecue.

Jack kept his eyes and gun firmly trained on the young man that was resting on the other side of the bush. When his foot made contact with something that shouldn’t be there he still didn’t take his eyes off him. Instead, he knelt down, and with probing fingers found the object that he had slightly kicked. It was long, and the felt like wood. Letting his hand travel up the length revealed a single large piece of metal. His mind, those parts that were still communicating to him after the traitorous actions he had made in relation to the barbecue, told him that it was a katana. He owned one himself, a present that he had received from his time stationed at Kadena Air Base. According to his, then, commanding officer it wasn’t a katana, but a tachi. It hadn’t made a lick of difference to Jack back then, and it still didn’t now. A sword was a sword was a sword after all. Sharpened bit of metal that people used to fight with before they had developed guns. You stuck the pointy bit in the person trying to stick his pointy bit of metal in you. Things were very straightforward back then.

The man was dressed in an off white, he couldn’t think of the correct term for the type of shirt so went with Kimono. The pants were huge affairs with wide openings. He had seen videos of certain martial artists messing about with them. All in all the picture that this painted in his mind was that a wandering martial artist had been attacked by…something. Did martial artists even wander around anymore?

The questions in his mind fled when he saw that the man’s left leg looked like something had put it into a giant paper shredder. With a disgruntled sigh, he took the man’s right wrist in his own and felt for a pulse. He found one after only a few minutes of checking. Taking a person’s pulse was something that he hated. He always worried that he was listening to his own blood instead of that of the victim. He quickly put the man’s arm around his shoulders and hauled him up, then began to drag/carry the man into his home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is a common misconception that all dark deals are done in…well the darkness. For three beings, this was not a stereotype that they wished to perpetuate. Instead, they had decided to meet in a brightly lit room on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The first figure was a man of average height, and average looks. The most outstanding thing about him, other then the white captain’s jacket that he wore over his Shinigami regalia, were a pair of thick rimmed, black framed glasses. The second, and viler looking, being was covered in a thick white carapace that resembled armor. Its eyes, what could bee seen of them at least, flashed yellow whenever it made eye contact with either of the other two beings. Two long, curved horns jutted out from the helmet like covering that adorned its head. The third being was a thin, dark skinned female whose head was topped with a mass of black curls that reached down to her shoulders.

Before any of them could speak, the armored individual placed one bony finger in its mouth and removed a piece of cloth that had been stuck in its teeth. The olive drab cloth fell to the floor to reveal thick, blocky letters stitched through it. All that remained of whatever word had been written on it were the letters “Kawal…”

“Are you quite finished now?” Aizen asked of the Vasto Lorde type Hollow.

The only response he received was a contemptible chuckle from the figure.

“Why have you called us here Aizen? I have no idea what dreadful things that our Hollow compatriot is planning, but I have important plans to…” the woman began, but stopped when she realized that Aizen was glaring at her.

“Yes, that’s why I’ve brought us here actually. Well, not that specifically, but it does have to do with that charming little town in California. Ulquiorra, you seem to have…failed rather spectacularly in destroying the boy.”

The Vasto Lorde looked at Aizen for several long moments before shrugging its shoulders. “Did you expect me to do the job myself? He’s far too weak for me to see to personally.” the Hollow spoke in a distorted voice. Whither it was distorted because the being was a Hollow, or if it was the effects of the mask was unclear to either Aizen, or the woman.

“I had hoped that when I sent Ichimaru to speak with you that he would make you aware of the full gravity of the situation.”

The Hollow was suddenly standing in front of Aizen, and screamed at him. “I DESTROYED GODS YOU PITIFUL LITTLE…”

“Yes, I’m sure that we are all aware of your past with THEM. How does this situation deal with me, or my plans Sousuke?” the woman asked from her position.

“The boy in question is, as I’m sure you’ve deduced for yourself, Alexander Harris. It is highly probable that he will attempt to move back to Sunnydale in some misguided attempt to be reunited with his friends. The girl you have your eyes on, she now resides in this city correct?”

The woman gave a slow nod of her head, seeing now where Aizen was going with this discussion. Her eyes, in contrast to her general demeanor, were spitting fire. “I have plans for her Aizen. Those plans require her to be alive, and with as many of her pieces intact as possible.”

“Please relax Jasmine. My plans do not require your…toy. She is yours to use as you see fit. The only beings on the Hellmouth that interest me, other than the demonic population of course are the slayer and the werewolf. I was merely asking so that I can verify the information that my source provided me.” The Fifth Division Captain spoke softly to the black skinned woman.

“How have the Central 46 judged the boy anyway?” the woman asked. The contempt she spoke the name with made it clear to the other two beings just where she stood on the issue of the governing body of Soul Society.

“According to Commander Yamato they have found him culpable in the deaths of the academy students, and derelict in returning to Soul Society in a timely manner. They have sentenced him to death of course, but as we know the ability to track down any soul in the living world is made nearly impossible by our lack of numbers. There are only twenty six hundred Shinigami in the Gotei 13 at any one time, and as we have been charged with, taking him in then it is next to useless. Yamato believes that it presents an unacceptable risk to send out any search parties, but if he were to wander into an area that a Shinigami patrols…”

“They probably only added the deaths of the students to his crimes as a reactionary measure. What if the boy stays where he is at Aizen? Have you thought that through?” the woman asked in smug tones even as she reclined against the wall with a sensual air about her.

“Then we have absolutely nothing to lose. He is no longer in Soul Society where they would have listened to him, and if he were to make contact with the Shinigami then they would just as likely arrest him as listen to him now. He is now a criminal after all.”

The woman nodded and vanished from the room, which left only Aizen, and the Vasto Lorde. “Who was that woman Aizen?” the Hollow that Aizen had identified as Ulquiorra asked to the rooms only other occupant.

“She is a former member of the Central 46, and my key into those chambers if my needs require it. Beyond that, she should have been the head of the Shihouin family, but her actions caused the family to place her younger sister in that place. For that slight Shihouin Jasmine has decided to take a page from some of our older enemies.”

“She is just another Shinigami.” Ulquiorra spoke distractedly. Aizen wasn’t sure, but he suspected that the Hollow was growing hungry again.

“Ulquiorra I need to ask you a favor.”

“What is it this time?” Ulquiorra ground out between clenched teeth.

“Please create a loose perimeter around Colorado Springs. Do not allow any souls to enter or leave the area. I do not want that boy to surprise me again.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Major General George Hammond was not a man who liked to miss a barbecue. It could be his Texas upbringing, or maybe it was the fact that he liked to see those under his command not suffering from the various forms of stress that a posting like Stargate Command could level at an individual. That’s not mentioning the alien diseases, parasitic life forms, or alien technological devices that seemed to happen every week. Those were the great cause of most of his headaches. So he arrived at his second in command’s house with the full expectations of eating some ribs, hoping beyond hope that Jack had taken to heart his comments on the PROPER way to barbecue, and seeing those aforementioned subordinates having fun, or as close an approximation as was possible for Teal’c.

The door was answered a second later by Jack who looked decidedly worried. “Sir, it’s great that you’re here. We have…”

In his head, General Hammond was mentally sticking his fingers in his ears and singing lalala. He desperately did not want Jack to finish that statement if it was going where he thought it was going.

“…a situation here,” Jack finished having no clue what his commander was thinking.

With an aggrieved sigh, Hammond entered the home. “Tell me what’s going on Colonel.” He had been looking forward to this barbecue too.

Jack pointed to with one hand toward the couch in his living room. “I found this man lying in my backyard General. His leg looks messed up, and it looks like he was stabbed in the back. Do you have any idea when Janet is supposed to get here?”

The look that Jack received from his superior was one that was usually reserved for people that were standing precariously close to a long, fatal drop off a building. “What man Colonel?”

“Oh fer crying out loud.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was twenty minutes, and four phone calls later before Janet showed up with the rest of SG-1 in tow. It had taken two trips in getting to Jack’s house. She had taken Cassandra back as they were unclear if this new, and invisible person, would be problematic.

As soon as Daniel entered the room, he froze in shock. He and the rest of the team had been warned about what to expect. Which was namely an invisible young man, supposedly, laying on Jack’s couch. Therefore, he had been expecting not to be able to see anything. Daniel had grown accustomed to the expected. He was on good terms with the expected now. He dare say that he even liked expect, and if expect were a woman instead of a word used to indicate waiting for an anticipated thing he would gladly even make love to her. You knew where you stood with Expect. In his early years with the team he would have shunned Expect, and been all for Expect’s slutty sisters Adventure and Unknown. Sadly his years of having threesomes with both of them had soured just about the time that he contacted Ma’chello’s goa’uld killing bugs and had been driven insane. That didn’t mean that either of them had stopped trying to woo Daniel back between the galactic sheets with their come-hither languages, and the gentle sway of their alien mysteries.

So he was reasonably surprised when he saw a young man with dark brown hair lying on Jack’s couch. “Hello Jack, General. Who is the guy laying on the couch?”

This statement brought a relieved look from Jack, and concerned looks from everybody else. Expectedly, as far as Jack was concerned, Sam had started to rattle off a theory of what was going on. Every other word out of her mouth he had only vaguest knowledge of, and some of the others would require a week of studying scientific journals to understand. Teal’c had stood there and looked stoic. Personally, Jack thought that Teal’c had the worst case of constipation in the universe. Finally, Janet had brought out a series of needles. Presumably, those needles were to draw blood from him, and now Daniel, but he was onto her. He knew deep down that she was creating an army of clones, which she would use to conquer the planet after she had destroyed the goa’uld. Others might think he was joking, but Jack had heard her laugh once when she thought nobody else was around. It was the single scariest thing he had ever heard in his entire life. “Hi guys, welcome to my home. Beer, barbecue, and hamburgers will be served just as soon as somebody can tell me why only Daniel and I can see this person.”

“Well Sir, it’s possible that we’ve had another run in with Ma’chello’s…” Sam had started to say when she caught sight of Daniel visibly flinching. “…sorry Daniel. It is a possibility though Sir.”

“Can you see the sword too Daniel?” Jack asked as he hefted the weapon into the air. To the rest of the group it looked as if Jack was performing a pantomime, but Daniel clearly saw the weapon and for some reason began to get fearful of it.

“Yes Jack, I can see the sword. It looks to be a fairly good replica of a seventeenth century Katana though the colors on the hilt aren’t typical of what you would expect. What are those markings on the tsuba?” Daniel commented from the far side of the room. He couldn’t explain his irrational fear of the weapon; he only knew that he wanted to be as far away from that sword as humanly possible. However, he was heavily in the lustful grip of Unknown who, if she were a real being and not some anthropomorphized version of an English word, was whispering possibilities in his ear the same way that human women tempted possible bedmates into their rooms with promises of forbidden lusts.

“Scuba Daniel?” Jack asked from the head of the couch.

He received a glare for his efforts at humor. “I said tsuba Jack, not scuba, and you know that. The tsuba is the round bit that protects your hands from getting hurt by another sword. What does it have engraved on it?”

“Well if you’d get your scrawny ass over here instead of trying to see from across the room then you’d know now wouldn’t you.”

Daniel crept toward Jack, all the while telling his feet that there was nothing to be afraid of. The man was unconscious and Jack, who he trusted with his life, was holding the sword. Logically there should not be anything to be afraid of, but there was a part of his mind that was telling him to get the hell out of the house and not look back.

When Daniel had finally gotten across the room, Jack held the sword out to him. Daniel took it with great care. He could now see that the tsuba was decorated with stylized triangles that could be fangs. He held it only for a second before he once again received the overwhelming urge to run out of the house. He compromised with this feeling by giving the sword back to Jack and then retreating to the other side of the room.

Apparently General Hammond had about as much as he could take of this and loudly asked what they were doing. It was apparent to everybody else in the room that they were talking about a sword, but other then that they had no idea what was happening. Daniel’s reaction to whatever it was didn’t help matters either.

“Well Sir…I don’t know. I found the guy out in my backyard, and speaking of which. Doc the guy’s leg looks like something was chewing on it. Think you can help?”

“Well I would Colonel if I could see him. Is the wound still bleeding?”

Jack bent down, and Janet was assuming that he was checking the wound. He came up from his bent over position a second later with a grim look on his face. “It’s not bleeding, but I gotta tell you that it doesn’t look good. I can see the bone in some places.”

That bit of news immediately sent the woman into full on doctor mode. She pulled out a bottle of something and then ordered Jack to tell her where the man’s arm was. Again, he pantomimed picking something up and told her that he was holding the man’s arm the elbow. Janet pushed a needle into the opening of the bottle and then handed it to Jack. “You’ll have to put it into him Colonel.”

He took the needle and then proceeded to poke at the area of the man’s arm. He finally inserted it into the man’s arm a few seconds later. The other occupants of the room, those that could not see the man, were startled to see that the needle was floating in mid-air.

For Jack and Daniel it was an entirely different reason for their gaping. As soon as the needle had touched the man’s arm his eyes had opened and he turned his head toward the both of them.

“What’s going on Sir?” Sam asked to her stunned superior.

There was no indication of Jack answering her as his eyes were locked onto those of the man. “He’s awake now General.”
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