A/N: We’re veering off from the show about here, so be warned.
A/N 2: My responses to reviews are in the reviews sections. I don’t put them in the story because I think it takes up unnecessary space.
“I hate to burst the happy bubble.” Buffy said as she joined them outside, the other Scoobies at her back. “But can someone explain to me what is going on.”
“I would have thought your friends told you who we were and why we’re here, Ms. Summers.” Weir said.
“It’s Buffy, and they did.” Buffy told her. “That’s not what I’m talking about. There’s no way I should be awake yet. It’s too soon after the last culling for the majority of the Wraith to even start stirring in their knapsacks.”
“Knapsacks?” Teyla asked, confused by the unusual word.
Buffy turned to study her. She could tell now that the woman had very little of the Wraith in her. She could probably sense them, maybe even sense the hive mind if she concentrated, but that would most likely be the extent of it. She looked familiar, though.
“I know you.” Buffy suddenly remembered. “You’re Tughan’s kid. The last time I saw you, you were a baby.”
Teyla was startled. “You knew my father?”
“And your mother. I gave her that.” Buffy nodded, pointing to the woven friendship bracelet she always wore. “Your people made some of my clothes, but your parents were my first real friends in this galaxy.”
“You are the Traveler who saved them during the Culling.” Teyla realized. “My father spoke of you often, but he would never describe you to anyone. He said that you helped with my birth.”
“Yeah and believe me, a fun time, that was not.” Buffy chuckled wryly. “A hive ship full of hungry, I-just-woke-up-and-I-haven’t-had-my-caffeine-fix, bug people was not exactly the best place to decide that you wanted to experience the real world.”
Although she didn’t exactly understand the words, Teyla seemed to understand what Buffy was saying, and smiled apologetically. Buffy frowned. “I’m sorry that I couldn’t save them. I found them on one of the hive ships, but the Wraith had already killed your mom, and taken so much from your father. He was so old. He refused to let me take him home. I buried them together in the valley that overlooked the village. He said that it was their favorite spot. I could never bring myself to go back.”
“You cannot save everyone.” Teyla said, placing a hand of Buffy’s shoulder in comfort. “I found their graves, and it made my heart glad to know that they were together.”
A tear slid down Buffy’s cheek. “I’m sorry I couldn’t face you.”
“And I am sorry that you grieved alone. No one should have to do that.”
Buffy and Teyla took a moment to grieve together while the others just stood in silent support. After a moment, Buffy pulled herself together and turned to the men she had seen driving the ship. “So, you wanna tell me what happened?”
“Let’s take this to the conference room, shall we?” Weir cut in before Sheppard could start. “There’s no need to ruin the party.”
After sending Dawn to get McKay and Dr. Beckett, they moved their impromptu meeting to the conference room.
“All right, people, first some introductions.” Weir immediately took control. “Around the table we have Buffy Summers, Dawn Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Xander Harris, Dr. Carson Beckett, Teyla Emmagen, Major John Sheppard, Lieutenant Aiden Ford and Dr. Rodney McKay. Since we are the ones who will be essentially making the hard decisions, I suggest we dispense with the formalities since they tend to get in the way. All right, what have we got?”
“The cells in the arm they brought back have none of the normal human-inhibiting proteins whatsoever.” Carson started off. “That gives them an incredible ability to regenerate.”
John nodded. “I’ve seen that. Shot one in the chest and in the hand. The holes healed up right before my eyes.”
“The being the arm belonged to, if I was a betting man, I’d say it was old. Very, very old.” Carson continued.
“It was.” Buffy answered. “The Wraith can live for thousands of years if kept adequately fed. It’s one of the reasons why the caretakers steal people and put them in storage. The Wraith begin feeding immediately after waking up.”
“What do you know about them?” Elizabeth asked.
“I know that they evolved from this huge-ass, blood-sucking, cockroach-looking bug. It went from sucking out your blood like a mosquito to sucking out your cells to feed and regenerate and they have a hive mind. Every hive ship has several thousand Wraith, so I honestly don’t know how many there are. They’ve also got this mind mojo going on to make you walk, talk and quack like a duck.”
“Excuse me.” Teyla asked, extremely confused.
“They can make someone talk or do something using mind control.” Dawn translated.
“Well, on our last mission, their caretaker was feeding on our Colonel, trying to force him to give up the location of Earth.” John told the group. “I had to kill him. I looked about eighty and from the look in his eyes, he wasn’t going to be able to hold out much longer. I stuck her in the chest with one of those guard staff things, but before she died, she said that the Wraith were waking up.”
“The ones on that ship?” Buffy asked.
John shook his head and looked at her in remorse. “All of them.”
‘Oh, God, no wonder the Slayer went postal.’ Buffy thought, then she realized her senses were picking up something odd. Standing, she tracked the feeling until she was standing next to Teyla.
“What’s that?” Buffy asked, pointing to the Athosian’s throat.
“It is a necklace that I found and then lost when I was younger. Major Sheppard found it in one of our caves before the Wraith attacked.” Teyla reached up to touch the object in question.
“There’s something wrong with it.” Buffy said bluntly. “It feels like Wraith.”
Teyla believed her without question and removed the necklace. Buffy took the necklace, dropped it on the floor and stomped on it until they could see little wires and small light fading out. Willow and McKay came over for a closer look.
“It looks like a homing device of some kind.” Rodney told them. He looked up at Buffy. “How did you know about this? How do you know any
of this? Who are
Buffy’s brow rose at the sudden, aggressive questioning. “My name is Buffy, I’m a Slayer, and I know this because stuff because I’ve been here alone for a hundred years and I got bored, so I looked it up.”
Then she walked away and returned to her seat while McKay’s mouth was hanging open in astonishment.
“Thank you, Buffy.” Elizabeth stepped in before Rodney could recover. “You may have saved us a lot of future trouble. I want to put together a team to look for allies against the Wraith, as well as more ZPMs. John, you will be with the first team. Your teammates will be Lieutenant Ford, Dr. McKay and Teyla if she wishes.”
“I would be honored.” Teyla inclined her head.
“Great.” Buffy cut in, rising to her feet. “While you’re doing that. Willow, Xander and I will go out and kill the Wraith.”
“Wait a minute.” Rodney started. “You don’t make those decisions. Elizabeth is in charge her, little girl, not you.”
“Hey, Will, did he just call her ‘little’?” Xander asked.
“Yep.” Willow answered.
“Everybody duck and cover.” Dawn quipped.
“I don’t take orders from anyone. Period.” Buffy snarled, holding his gaze until his began to fidget. Then she channeled her inner Social Queen and proceeded to flay him alive with sharp barbed insults, most of them learned from Cordelia, before she stalked out.
“Well, he got off light.” Xander mused.
“First time offender.” Dawn reasoned.
“We’d better go find her before she breaks something.” Willow told them. “Or someone.”
While everyone else’s eyes followed the Scoobies out of the room, Elizabeth focused her attention on Rodney, carefully keeping her amusement buried. He was pale and wide eyed and she was sure that no one had ever spoken to him like that in his entire life. All of Buffy’s vicious comments had been aimed to tear at the superiority complex his high intellect had given him, even going so far as to point out that Willow was half his age, twice as smart, way more better looking and easily managed not to be an ass. She was sure that his ego would recover, probably very quickly, but he would watch his mouth around Buffy Summers from now on.