Battlelines Drawn in Dreams
Faith’s amazed expletive unfortunately coincided with Colonel Chekov’s welcome aboard. As the volatile Colonel began to turn puce and sputter, Daniel stepped forward with introductions, smoothing everything over. Without having to say another word, Faith was ushered off the Bridge and out into a grey corridor by Cam while Daniel stayed behind to further pacify Colonel Chekov.
Hallway blurred into hallway as Cam ushered her through the painted bowels of the Korolev. The people they passed looked curiously at Faith and it gradually dawned on her that she was the only person on board not wearing a uniform.
“It’s big,” she commented finally.
“Yeah, Sam’d be able to give you all the specs if she was here,” Cam caught Faith’s slight shudder out of the corner of his eye. “I could tell her you’re interested if you want,” he teased.
“Don’t bother,” Faith absently told him as she looked around, trying to get her bearings. “Where we goin’?”
Cam stopped and opened a grey door with a flourish. “Here,” he said, ushering Faith inside and following close behind her.
Faith looked around the sizeable room with its desk, chair, wardrobe and large double bed and turned to Cam, her eyebrows raised. Just what was he expecting here?
“Your quarters,” he explained, the streak of mud down one side of his face shifting as he spoke. “Bathroom’s through there, we should get to the Supergate in about eight hours so there’s time to get some sleep.” Realising what he’d just said, Cam glanced at the bed, “Uh, Daniel and I are either side so if you need anything just holler.” Oh God that was even worse! Cam mentally groaned as he hastily beat a retreat.
Faith watched him go, an amused smirk on her face. Looking round at her predictably grey room she sighed and stripped off her muddy black t-shirt. A shower sounded wicked good right now. The dive through the Black Knight at the start of the fight had landed her face first into a quagmire of mud and she didn’t want to think what. While it wasn’t as bad as killing a skloppen demon it was damn disgusting. And she stank.
Stepping under the hot jet of water Faith found her thoughts turning to the village girl who’d pulled the sword from the stone. What had that guy called her? Valentine? Valerie? Valencia! She’d recognised her from her vision. What did it mean? Should she have brought the girl with her?
Lashing out in frustration, Faith punched the shower wall. Damn, no wonder B always said the visions were more trouble than they were worth, Faith thought as she rubbed her knuckles. She hadn’t second guessed herself more since the day she’d spent in command back in Sunnydale.
Tipping her head back, Faith let the water cascading down her face wash away her thoughts.
He found her later in the mess, staring out of the window as the blue and white streaks of hyperdrive went streaming past. Leaning against the doorjamb, he watched her watching the galaxy pass by.
“In or out, Flyboy,” her throaty voice told him.
Uncrossing his arms, Cam entered the room, perching on the table next to Faith, “Jackson’s looking for you.”
“He didn’t look in here,” Faith said, her gaze still trained on the window in front of her. Her dismissive tone made the silence that stretched after it appear longer than it really was.
“Thanks for the assist earlier,” Cam prodded, trying to get Faith to open up. “How’d you get there?” he asked when it became clear Faith wasn’t going to reply.
“Got a vision,” Faith noticed his alarm and glanced at him. “Not one of ours,” she quickly reassured him. “A Slayer dream. Got to the ‘Gate and convinced Walter to let me through then I ran straight to the village. What was that place called?”
“Camelot,” Cam told her, anticipating her reaction. He wasn’t disappointed.
“Shit me up, you’re joking!” Faith turned to fully face him, her eyes bright. “Damn, how many other people can say they been to Camelot?” Her face turned grave and she sighed, “Can I ask you something?”
“Do you ever think about the normal people? Going on with their normal lives, looking up at the night sky and never guessing that we’re already out here...” Faith hesitated, not knowing how to put what she meant into words and failing miserably. This would be so much easier if she could just think
what she was feeling at him. If he could sense the impending doom she felt gathering around them.
“Not really,” Cam slowly admitted.
“Me either,” Faith caught Cam’s surprised look and tried again. “It’s just... this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done and I can’t tell anyone.” That wasn’t it either. Faith sighed, frustrated.
“I freaked out when I first found out about the Stargate Program,” Cam confided. Surprised, Faith looked at him, knowing how much he loved the SGC. “Finding out that the galaxy doesn’t revolve around Earth is seriously scary. But every time I step through that gate I get a rush. That rush doesn’t change the fact that I can’t tell anyone what I do. It does make it easier though.”
Leaning back, her palms flat on the table behind her, Faith considered, “It’s kinda like the Slaying gig. Fighting to make the world safer for another day when people would think you were crazy if you told ‘em what you do. I get that. I guess what I’m tryin’ to say is... I need a smoke!” Faith gave up trying.
Suddenly remembering, Cam dove into his pocket and pulled out the rather battered peace offering he’d bought her so long ago.
“You’re not supposed to smoke onboard,” he warned her before handing over the pack of cigarettes.
“Where the fuck did you get those?” Faith demanded to know, staring at the deck as though it was made out of gold.
Cam scratched his head as he admitted, “I got them a while ago. They were supposed to be a peace offering only I never got the chance to give them to you.”
Faith fell silent, the only sound in the deserted room that of her fingernails tapping against the packet. Just when Cam thought he was going to have to break the unbearable silence or leave, Faith spoke.
“Listen, about what happened...”
“It didn’t mean anything,” Cam anticipated what he already knew she was going to say.
“It didn’t? It didn’t. It’s perfectly natural.”
“Healthy, even.... To be honest, I was kinda worried you were a eunuch.”
“Hey!” Cam objected to the slur on his masculinity.
“Let’s face it, we’re just two people who happened to share a fantasy while inadvertently mind-linked,” Faith said, making it all up as she went along. “There’s no reason to feel weird about it.” Maybe if she told herself that often enough she’d actually believe it, Faith thought, “Deal?”
“Deal,” Cam agreed, glad that they had that settled and at the same time, feeling oddly dissatisfied.
The pair watched space pass by in silence.
“We’re almost there,” Cam said, glancing at his watch and suddenly realising that an hour had passed without him noticing. He jumped off the table, “Better head up to the Bridge.”
Faith felt the evil emanating from the massive ships as they exited the Supergate and every Slayer sense she possessed stretched taut, sending warning alarms through her body and filling her with the urge to fight.
Beside her, Cam spoke, “I only count four ships.”
“It’s probably their first wave,” Daniel told him.
“We should see what we can do about discouraging a second one.”
Colonel Chekhov reeled off some orders in Russian as Faith’s gaze centred on the last of the ships to exit the colossal gate. Hanging back slightly when compared to the others, the bad vibes she got from that ship were multiplied as they course through her body. There was something really
bad on that ship and she wasn’t sure she wanted to find out what.
The helmsman spat a lot of Russian at Colonel Chekhov and Daniel wheeled around.
“Let me see,” he said, standing behind the man and reading aloud over his shoulder. “And those who are prideful and refuse to bow down shall be laid low and made unto dust.”
“Is that all it says?” Colonel Chekhov asked him.
“Yeah, that’s it,” Cam confirmed.
“Open a channel.”
Colonel Chekhov gave the order in his native language and Daniel moved over to speak into the console.
“Then did DiTialus say to the people of the low planes: Seek not wickedness amongst your neighbours lest it find purchase in your own house.” Daniel nodded for the helmsman to stop the recording.
“What was that?” Cam asked.
“Book of Origin,” Daniel told him.
“Think it’ll help?”
Daniel shrugged, unsure. The three Americans found themselves grouping more tightly together as an outburst of Russian filled the room.
“They’re powering up their weapons,” Daniel translated for the other two’s benefit. “Colonel Chekhov’s giving the order to fire.”
And as easily as that battle was joined. Faith watched horrified as the a beam of light from the lead Ori ship sliced through the ship in front of them, their return fire impacting uselessly on the Ori ships shields. Ruthlessly she clamped down on her rising slayer instincts. Unable to reach the ships and those manning them, she could only watch as they set about destroying the armada that had gathered to stop them.
The Korolev rocked repeatedly underneath her feet, bucking as the Ori weapon struck its shields. Several people went flying, one man knocking himself out on a bulkhead and being dragged out by Cam but Faith kept her feet firmly beneath her, not budging an inch as the ship heaved and a small fire broke out. Gradually, as the ship sustained more fire, the bridge began to disintegrate around them and Faith looked around her with alarm.
“We’ve lost power!” Colonel Chekhov shouted above the noise of the blaring alarms.
Cam fought his way against the heaving ship over to him, “We have to scramble the 302’s!”
“No, they’ll have no effect against that!” the Colonel argued, gesturing emphatically at the huge Ori ship that dominated the viewscreen.
“Hey! We’re getting our asses kicked,” Cam reminded him. “It’s time to go all in. I’ll draw their fire while you get the ship back on line.”
“Go! Go!” Chekhov shouted as Cam lurched off the Bridge.
Following, Faith quickly caught up with him, her slayer abilities making it easier for her to stay steady. “I’ll come with you,” she offered impulsively.
“No, you stay here,” Cam told her before leaning in and quickly kissing her soft lips.
Damned if she didn’t taste exactly the way she had in the vision. All dark chocolate and cinnamon. The ship lurched beneath them and he reluctantly pulled away.
“I’ll see you soon,” he promised, heading down the corridor. “Stay with Jackson!” he shouted back as he disappeared around a corner.
“So Faith has gone off with SG-1 to a honking great space battle?” Xander shouted down his cellphone, cursing the bad reception as Sara neatly chopped the head off the scaly demon charging at him.
“That’s right,” General Landry’s voice was faint and tinny on the other end of the line. “Is this a bad time?”
“Just a small skirmish,” Xander told him, ducking under a vampire’s punch and coming back up with an uppercut that sent the vampire stumbling back. Something whizzed past him and buried itself in the vampire’s chest. It snarled as it exploded into ashes and Xander turned to see Rona give him a small wave before fitting another quarrel in her crossbow and disappearing back into the fight.
“Barely even a three on the apocalypse scale,” Xander continued as though nothing had happened.
“You have a scale?” the incredulity in General Landry’s voice was obvious despite the awfulness of the line.
“Yeah. Gotta go!” Spotting a Mojana demon about to attack an unsuspecting Kelsey, Xander hung up and leapt back into the fray.
By the time Faith got back to the Bridge they were shouting about nukes and rings and Daniel was headed out of the door. Following him as he raced down increasingly smoke filled corridors, Faith watched as the crew around them began to show signs of panicking.
“What’s the plan?” she shouted.
“We’re gonna ring a nuke on board one of their ships and hope it blows up,” Daniel yelled back as he skidded to a halt in a small room with two people fiddling with a squat device.
“Good plan!” Faith approved, grinning.
“Thanks,” Daniel said, fiddling with coloured crystals in a small console set into one wall. “Set the device to go off five seconds after activation.” He instructed the two technicians.
Suddenly the room rocked, knocking the device into the technicians and across the room. Faith felt her ears pop as Daniel frantically pushed two buttons, grabbed her and flung them both into a circle on the floor. Metal bands rose up around them, a bright light flashed and the rings sank back down into a different floor. Standing, Daniel hurried to the wall as feet sounded, marching in unison closer and closer to their position.
Tucking herself behind him, Faith watched as a troop of soldiers in an unfamiliar uniform strode straight past the room.
“Fuck!” she whispered quietly. “You feel that?”
“Feel what?” Daniel asked, pulling out his gun.
“There’s something evil on board,” Faith shivered. “And it’s coming for us...”
Deep in the bowels of Cheyenne Mountain, in the deserted storeroom of a secret military base, at the exact same time the matter stream left the Korolev a neon orange light blinded out the room. It was gone as quickly as it arrived and when it had faded anyone could be forgiven for not noticing that the short orange crystal on top of an alien device stored there had regrown a centimetre.