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Fall of the Republic

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Summary: Darth Mortalis' did not die in the story 'Jedi Harris' but lived to continue his plans.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Wars > Xander-Centered
Stargate > Xander-Centered
grd + 1 otherFR132456,58436241,7791 Aug 0722 Oct 12No

Narrow Escape, Part II by DarthTenebrus

Disclaimer -- Neither grd nor I own Star Wars, Stargate or BtVS, they belong to their respective owners; the two of us are just throwing these ideas together into our own personal plot collider and watching the results...



Giles made his way around to he main entrance of the apartment building, his Force senses on high alert. A second platoon of clone troopers had entered and deployed themselves by squads on every floor, anticipating a break in by the rogue Air Force contingent and the Watchers’ Council fugitives. What they didn't count on was an unknown variable entering the equation in the form of the Sunnydale Watcher. They had just lost contact with the sixth floor squad when he made his move.

At the same time, Jenny was placing well aimed shots on the seventh floor squad, which was still trying to gain entry into the sixth floor window. Out there, on the ledge of the sixth floor, they were easy pickings for her. The four-power scope on her E-11 blaster zoomed in on each target automatically and provided deflection and elevation information around the reticle. Had she been so inclined, Jenny Calendar could have engaged the squad of Stormtroopers from five times her distance to them. As circumstances were, however, white armor was soon perforated with each trigger pull; as each clone approached the window, Jenny’s unerring aim and precise trigger presses ended his life and sent him plummeting to the pavement.

The first floor squad was on high alert when Giles encountered them. They just as well were fighting a ghost, with all the speed and grace the Jedi displayed as he moved among them, blocking plasma bolts and using the Force to push them to the floor. Some he dispatched with his lightsaber when they got too close, their heads and limbs becoming a grim testimony to the inhuman speed and agility that Giles displayed. And amazingly, no trace of Ripper was to be found in his heart. The sorrowful duty of a Jedi in a battle overrode his darker aspect which had summoned up Eyghon so very many years ago in his youth, but those thoughts never clouded his mind as he waded through the clone squad in less than a minute, then moved on to the next floor.

Jenny had taken out the last trooper trying to penetrate the sixth floor window, and came out from behind cover before assessing the area for any more potential threats. Finding none, she half crouched, half ran toward the front facing façade and snuck around to the front side to enter the complex. She was determined to back up her beloved….

Was that the right word for him? Jenny reflected as she vaulted up the stairs after him, glancing every now and then at the carnage in his wake. Remarkable, that a man can do all this, end so much life, and still hold no hatred in his heart for those unfortunate souls that stood between him and his friends. She found herself admiring the courage and determination of Rupert Giles all the more, with no thought for the new insight and powers gifted to him by the Force.

Yes, she thought, he was beloved to her. The conclusion lent speed to her steps as it warmed her heart, and it made her all the more anxious to protect him, laughable though the thought might have been to others. He would rescue the beleaguered rebels upstairs, but he would not be alone. And, more importantly, neither would she.

********

At the sixth floor, Giles was pressing his advantage against the remains of the clone platoon, ducking and weaving between deadly threads of red light as his own verdant plasma blade found its mark in one, then another suit of plastoid armor. Barricaded within the apartment, the Council team and SG-1 suddenly wondered why the clones had stopped shooting at them. The sounds of blaster fire could still be heard, but it was unclear how they would suddenly shift their fire away from their intended targets unless….

Unless someone had come up behind them and proceeded to give them what for. And strangely, among the blaster fire they were hearing another sound, one they swore they had only heard in the movies, just like the blaster rifles. The buzz of ionized air molecules left no doubt in the minds of the rebels. The pings of blaster bolts being reflected back into plastoid was just the icing on the cake.

Someone had come behind them, and was cutting them down like so much grass….with a lightsaber. It gave them hope, something they had not felt in quite some time, for who besides Harris would cut down their own troops?

Then all was quiet. The silence actually seemed louder than the firefight, and the SG-1 operators along with the Watcher’s Council team could hear a bit of tinnitus in their respective ears. The deafening quiet was so sudden, so intense, that they were startled by a voice at the door.

“Is everyone alright in there?” spoke a cultured British accent which belonged to a gentleman.

“Yeah, but we have wounded here!” responded O’Neil. He turned to Carter and Jackson and said, “Let’s go ahead and get this barricade down, whoever that is, he’s a friend.”

“There’s no time,” said the gentleman on the other side, “their commander is going to wonder how he lost contact with two platoons of clones, then he’ll send for a whole company. Just stand back.”

“And do what?” said Jackson.

Their eyes must have deceived them, because they swore they did not just see a lightsaber blade cleave its way through the door, the bookshelf, and the rest of the barricade like it was so much butter. In the next moment they then saw the destroyed furnishings move of their own accord away from the door, which was also moving as though it had decided to open itself. The ruined door parted to reveal a middle aged male of just over average height, wearing a tweed coat and slacks that seemed to be made of the same material. On his face was a pair of spectacles, and in his hand was the weapon that stood for courage, hope and peace. The blade was a verdant, living green, and it glowed and hummed with a life of its own.

He looked at the ragtag assemblage and noticed them staring at the lightsaber in his hand, then blinked as though he had just remembered something.

“Oh, my apologies,” he said, and thumbed off the weapon. The blade shrank back into the emitter housing with a hiss of indrawn breath. “Allow me to introduce myself. Rupert Giles, at your service.”

“Rupert?” said Wesley. “Is that really you?” gasped they young Watcher as he stood. He walked slowly toward the Sunnydale Watcher with hesitating steps, as if somehow wary that the perceived illusion would fade and he would find a demon in their midst.

“Hello Wesley,” said Giles as the corners of his lips turned upward in a smile. “I can see Cleveland suits you; you’re not such a pompous git anymore like you were in London.”

“Living on the Hellmouth changes you in a lot of ways, Rupert. But I can see you know this. A Jedi Knight, of all things?”

Giles shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Unbelievably, yes, that is what it seems I have become. A story, however, for another time when we can get some distance between ourselves and this town.”

Just then a pair of footsteps came running up the stairs. Buffy shouted, “Wes, they’re trying it again!”

“Get down, people!” said Colonel O’Neil as he readied his Zat and took cover behind the couch, which at this point resembled little more than a fancily carved Swiss cheese.

“Relax, everyone, it’s my friend, Jenny.” A woman came to the doorway with a blaster rifle in her hands. She looked at Giles and said “Ok, looks like you have everything under control, we ready to move?”

“As soon as they’re ready to move their wounded. Hmm,” he said with some degree of curious concern, “perhaps I can help with that,” indicating Faith lying prone on the low table.

Isobel continued chanting, finding it easier to keep her concentration now that the firefight was over. Giles moved over to the opposite side and laid his hand on Faith’s back, then closed his eyes and opened himself to the Force. Almost at once Isobel noticed the acceleration in tissue repair, and she nearly opened her eyes when Giles stopped her.

“Isobel, please keep your concentration. I can assist with your spell with the Force, but you have to maintain it.”

“It’s alright, Rupert,” she said, finally acknowledging his presence, “she’s sufficiently healed now I think we can go ahead and bandage it, then we can prepare her to move. If someone will find me some clean linen, I think we can tape this closed and change it when we get to where we’re going.”

“I can find some,” said Buffy from near the door.

“Thank you, Buffy,” said Isobel. “Colonel O’Neil, can you go help her?”

“Yeah, why not? I always wanted to be the towel boy,” he replied with his usual sarcasm. “Daniel, Teal’c, see if you can’t find some tape of some kind. And grab whatever else we need for medical supplies.”

“Yes sir,” said Jackson.

“Everyone else, grab what we might need, but keep it light, we may have to walk a few blocks till we can get to where we’re going. Plus we may encounter more of Harris’ goon troopers on the way. Just saying, of course….”

********

Cody frowned at the total cessation of contact with the two platoons he had sent to apprehend and disarm the rebel fugitives, and he had just strode back into the command center near City Hall when the status display in his helmet blinked a high-priority code. He acknowledged receipt of the transmission and pinged back the authenticate code.

The return signal contained the following in plain text – Lima-Delta-Mike-442-Xray-Hotel.

Every clone knew that code. It was the code that announced the sender as Lord Darth Mortalis, their Lord and Commander In Chief. Lord Mortalis had sent Order 66 under that very same authentication code. It would NOT be questioned.

Cody opened the link on his end, and in his head-up display the holographic image of Xander Harris, AKA Darth Mortalis, appeared. His hooded visage lent no doubt as to what he was feeling, and it put Cody ill at ease, for if he feared nothing else, he certainly feared displeasing his supreme commander.

“Where are the Watchers’ Council fugitives and SG-1? Why are they not in custody?” growled the Sith Lord.

“My apologies, my lord, the units I sent to apprehend the fugitives have seemingly been wiped out. It would appear they had called in a support element that was far more combat capable than they were.”

“So it would appear, Commander,” reflected Mortalis. “The Force, however, tells me there is more here than the eyes can reveal. I will send Lord Maugrim to aid you in apprehending the rebels. He should find this a more interesting challenge than subduing a group of hostile aliens, don’t you agree, Cody?”

“I do, my lord. And how goes the shipbuilding project? My men are eager to engage these Goa’uld on their own ground.”

“When the first ships are ready to deploy, I will send for the first of your units that are scheduled to go off-world, and this time, they will have the pleasure of deploying to another world with all their combat equipment and support elements in place. Does that please you, Commander Cody?”

“It does, my lord. How soon will Lord Maugrim arrive? We still have a chance now to intercept the Watchers and their Slayer, along with SG-1 before they can leave the city.”

Mortalis smiled and said, “He will meet with you personally within twenty four hours. In the meantime, make every effort to apprehend the rebels. Do not fail me, Commander.”

“It will be done, my lord. And I look forward to meeting with Lord Maugrim when he arrives, sir.”

“Good. Now carry out my orders, Commander. I want those rebels alive.”

Mortalis signed off and his image derezzed into oblivion. Cody switched to the standard unit frequency and sent out a coded signal authenticating his identity; then he called up his captains into conference. He had to plan a blockading operation, and for his sake and the sake of his men, it had to succeed.

********

Ten minutes later, Faith had come around to consciousness and was complaining about her back itching like crazy. Apart from that, she was one hundred percent, so SG-1 and Isobel had set about to bandaging her blaster wound and getting her on her feet. The firefight had left her hard up, and she caught herself browsing over the assembled companions with an eye for man meat, and had to make a choice.

She could pick the archaeologist; he had a sort of innocent look about him, but other than that he had kept a trim figure and had decidedly blasted the old stereotype into thousands of pieces. He might even be fun in the sack with her, but she knew she’d rock his world full of dusty tomes till kingdom come.

Or she could take Wesley. Despite his youth he had plenty of knowledge, and he had held his own against more than his fair share of demons and their ilk before he had to trade lasers with those Stormtroopers. He was dangerous, and he looked it. She liked it; it gave her a nice, moist feeling down there.

Then there was the big bald black guy. His cap had fallen off during the engagement, and she had gotten a full view of a stylized gold thingie in the middle of his forehead that looked like a snake in a circle. If he would just crack a smile or make a joke, show any kind of feeling at all, he might be a little more enjoyable in conversation. He probably had never been laid before, which could probably account for his stern demeanor; if so, he’d probably never want to leave her side for as long as he lived. That thing of hers down there had that effect on men. It was her power, she knew it, and she enjoyed using it. As it was, though, she had still decided to give him the top rank of Salty Goodness.

She still wasn’t sure what his name was, but she knew it wasn’t Murray. No self respecting black man would call himself that, or allow others to call him that. And no self respecting black man would name his child Murray, either. That was practically anathema.

She had heard the Colonel call him something weird, and she was having trouble pronouncing it. Was it Teke? Tilt? She couldn’t be sure. It didn’t change anything, though. Faith determined that when she was fully healed, and she could get him away from them for more than five minutes, she would show him what he had been missing.

Damn, she thought, maybe I should just bone every one of them just to find out. Maybe she’d try out the Major, too. Her preference was men, but she didn’t mind women so much as long as they could give her the Big O. Fighting always gave her the Hungries and Hornys. And she was on the fast track to having a good sexy back again, so she was gonna have to have a double dose of the first H. Her Mama Isobel had worked some serious healing mojo on her to make her back heal faster. That meant her body was working triple time to get back up to snuff. Calories were no joke. And that Giles guy…

Did she actually hear him mention the Force?!

The whole world was going crazy, she swore. First Harris shows up and mentions that the Armed Forces were undergoing a radical change. Then came the Stormtrooper clones and their friggin AT-ATs and Chicken Walkers. Then something about Order 66 and all the clones turn on our boys and girls, and then the government goes kablooey and suddenly this Kinsey weasel’s in charge along with Harris as Homeland Security Chief. And that’s when the shit really hit the fan.

Martial law for the duration of the “emergency.” Yeah, right, assholes, thought Faith. It’s a fucking Star Wars dictatorship in the good ole US of A, and Kinsey’s the Emperor.

Oh, fuckin’ wait up here! She suddenly realized. Fuck Kinsey! He might be sitting in the Oval Office, but he ain’t shit! It's always the man behind the curtain with the real power. Harris….it’s gotta be Harris! HE’s unleashed this shit on us, and now here I am on the friggin run with my Mama Watcher, the Slayer and her boytoy Watcher, THESE assholes who tried to whack B, and these Air Force guys and girl, along with Salty Goodness and Giles and his lady running shotgun with that blaster in her hand. On the run from fucking Imperial Stormtroopers from the fucking movies, and here’s Giles who basically just gutted a hundred of those fuckers with a real live fucking LIGHTSABER! Does that mean he’s a real live Jedi?

Yep, she thought, sign me up for the padded sleeper car, with the full staff of white coats to wait on me 24/7, because I KNOW I just boarded the crazy train.

All this processed through her head in a split second, and Faith decided enough was enough. She got up as soon as Mama Isobel had finished bandaging her back, and she made a beeline for Giles. She got two inches in front of him, grabbed a handful of his hair, jerked his head down and ripped off his glasses, then shoved her tongue so far into his mouth it hurt. She held the kiss for a good five seconds, until O’Neil said, “Ahem, Faith?”

She looked out of the corner of her eye, never once releasing Giles’ hair or extracting her tongue, and she saw the Colonel.

“Uh, he’s turning blue, and she’s turning red. I give you about two seconds before she decides to separate you from him with extreme prejudice.”

Only then did she release her liplock. She looked Giles squarely in the eye and said “Just wanted to say thank you for what you did. Would have taken my Mama a lot longer to patch me up without it.” She winked and looked at Jenny.

“You’d better kiss him better than that, girlfriend, he needs practice.”

“Just stay away from him, you little slut,” was all she said.

“Damn right you are, Miss Goody Two Guns, proud slut right here,” retorted Faith with a big cheese eating grin. She looked around and saw red faces on everyone but Teal’c. Ah so, so that’s his name. Weird one, but at least now I know how to pronounce it. All he did was raise his eyebrow.

“If we’re all quite finished here,” said Giles, “I believe the good Colonel has a destination in mind?”

“That’s right, Mister, um…”

“Giles,” said the Jedi/Watcher.

“We need to head for the city limits, there’s a ride waiting for us that’ll take us anywhere we need to go. Now as we’ve stuffed our pockets plenty, we should still be able to get there quickly enough, but I want those with Zats paired up with whoever has a blaster. When we make contact, and I expect we will,” O’Neil said, looking at Giles as he spoke, “I want everyone to have a weapon in their hands, and I want you to use them; that includes you Slayers or whatever you call yourselves.”

“Aw, can’t we just make with the violence when we see the boys in white again?” quipped Faith.

“No, missy, you have a gun, you use the gun and move on. Don’t waste your time trying to see which of you is the more badass, you’ll just get yourself and the man or woman next to you killed.”

“These are clone soldiers, Faith.” Chimed in Giles. “They are trained killers from birth; they will not hesitate to fire on you. Slayer instincts here are a liability, the weapons in your hands are not. Use them.”

“Now let’s get down there and out of here. Everyone here grab a blaster from one of those dead clones as you go. The more firepower, the better.”

“Rupert,” asked Jenny, “can you unlock the other weapons with the Force like you did mine? “

He blinked twice, having been startled out of some distraction. “Oh, yes, of course. I’ll pick up the other weapons and pass them out when I’m done with them.”

“Everyone good?” asked O’Neil one final time. Nods from everyone confirmed their assent. “Alright, let’s move.”

They allowed Giles to take point – he had the lightsaber after all – and as they descended the stairwell, he retrieved the weapons from the fallen clones and opened himself to the Force. A moment’s concentration with each one allowed him to neutralize the lockout circuits and enable the others to use them as needed. When they reached the main entrance to the building, O’Neil called a halt and had everyone circle in close.

“Alright, campers, we go out there and move in pairs by teams. One team covers, the other moves, and we leapfrog like that for about five blocks. That’s how far we need to go to get past the perimeter. Then we find some means of transportation and we get to our assembly point outside the city limits, where our real ride will be waiting for us. And keep your eyes open; they’re gunning for us now, so see them first, shoot them first, and cover your buddy’s ass so he or she don’t get shot.”

Giles spoke up at this point. “What the Colonel means is we want to get out of here safely, so the last thing anyone wants is a firefight. Stay under cover, and don’t get seen, move quick and quiet.” He turned to O’Neil and said, “I think that about sums it up.”

"Carter, Daniel, we do this right, we'll sneak out of here right under their noses. But if it comes down to a firefight, I want one of you to call in Jacob with our coordinates, and tell him to expedite. When he tells you where he's landed, then we'll lay down some cover fire and break contact by teams. First to get there covers the rest, k?"


Jack looked at each and every one of his charges, his team and the add-ons, straight in the eyes. All had heard and understood; there was no doubt in anyone’s mind. He nodded and spoke in his Air Force Officer voice, “Alright, saddle up, lock and load, let’s move out.”


********


Boston

Mr. Trick had been combing the sewers for at least twenty four hours, and he had yet to find a suitable lair for his master after the bombing. Since Kakistos’s dive into Boston Harbor, they’d had to make themselves quite scarce. The military hunters were nothing if not thorough. Trick would have to use his best tricks to find his master again without being detected or worse.

He was finally heading in what he hoped was the direction of the harbor. As vampires didn’t need to breathe, especially ancient ones like Kakistos, he could stay hidden in the water for quite a long time. In fact, Trick wondered why he hadn’t followed his master into the drink some time later. He wouldn’t have had to go looking for him now.

No matter, though. Time was on his side. He was a vampire, after all. As long as he kept himself fed, he was practically immortal. And with his blood he could make more of his kind. The attack on the warehouse cost him and Kakistos dearly in terms of manpower and resources. How the Army had made weapons out of Star Wars was a great mystery to him, but he knew he could replace all those loyal followers of his and his master’s. It would take time, but that was the one resource they continued to have in abundance.

He and Kakistos would rebuild their power base. And then they would have their revenge.

The tang of salt water in the air alerted Mr. Trick to the proximity of the Harbor. Urgency now compelled him to move faster through the rancid, rat-infested tunnel network, following the stream of foul smelling waste water toward the sluice gate. He still kept his eyes up to the surface, to the manholes that led downward; more than once he had to go quiet and still to avoid the searchlights that occasionally aimed into the manholes, searching for him. Ten minutes later he saw the sluice gate up ahead, and he heard the roar of the breakers as they crashed into the shoreline. As soon as he could touch the gate, he tore it free from its mountings in the concrete tunnel wall, and then he leaped out into the water.

The cold felt like a million needles being driven into his flesh, wooden ones that pierced his skin and sought his fragile heart to penetrate it and burn it to ash. His chest felt crushed; had he breath in his lungs, it surely would have been driven from them. He did not worry, though; his heart and lungs had long ago ceased to function from the night he was turned. One of the advantages of vampirism was the constant preservation of his body by the demon that took up residence within his central and autonomic nervous system. So long as fresh blood was consumed on a regular basis, he would continue to function indefinitely in just about any environment, the sole exception being the presence of ultraviolet radiation AKA sunlight.

He looked around and saw a dilapidated shack on the shoreline nearly a mile distant, and he made his decision to swim towards it. Five minutes later he was walking along the sand, making a beeline for the shack, confident that his master was waiting for him there. And the timing could not have been better, for Kakistos or no Kakistos, the night was giving way to grey dawn; the sun would soon be creeping over the horizon, and he had no inclination to find out how long it would take before he ignited into flame. He opened the flimsy door and stepped inside before the sun’s first rays could touch him.

There he was safe. There he could wait out the day and plan his next move. Whoever owned this run down hovel would return by day’s end, he knew. Due to the condition of the structure he figured this was not exactly a person of much means, but blood was blood, and blood was life. The owner would surely not be missed, and a vampire’s life was, after all, one of discretion. He could sustain himself a bit longer, and he would have a place from which he could go forth and hunt without fear of detection; the place looked as if it hadn’t seen much traffic in years, save the sole owner.

“Ah, but you’d be a bit late for that one, my dear Mr. Trick,” said a voice in the shadows.

“Kakistos? I had thought to find you here, it seemed the most likely place after the Stormtroopers bombed our little warehouse,” Trick replied.

“And so you’ve found me. Oh, look,” the ancient vampire’s voice took on a pitying tone, “you’ve ruined that exquisite suit of yours. Such a pity; it was quite expensive, was it not?”

“Indeed, my master, it was. And yet I found my thoughts steered toward the notion of preserving myself in the face of discovery and termination on the part of the clones. Blaster bolts tend to burn deep and leave little more than ash on the breeze, I’m sure you’d agree.”

“Yes, Mr. Trick,” growled the Worst of the Worst, “as many of our brood have testified to that effect. But we will avenge them, my son. And then we will find my beloved Faith and her Watcher once again – and I shall have my way with them, slowly. You could have a new suit tailored from their hair, if you like.”

“Ugh,” cringed Mr. Trick, “much as I would enjoy the idea of watching your artistry with torment at work, my tastes in clothing tend to be more refined than that. I wouldn’t have had a hat made from our dear Faith’s hair, let alone a fine suit. Besides, I have more means of acquiring the finer things in life…or its lack thereof,” he said, chuckling at the last.

Kakistos reflected on this with a knowing smile. His chief minion had always possessed a fine sense of decorum. He was a vampire of good taste. Plus, beneath the superficial exterior lay a calculating mind that had clocked centuries of survival in the supernatural world, and thus was a seasoned veteran of many brutal battles for dominance. It was the reason Kakistos had chosen him to serve as his chief attendant. Mr. Trick could plan, and he could counter the plans of others in his turn. He was also remarkably skilled at blending in among society after dusk. The mortal world would never suspect the dangerous predator lurking amongst them, seeking sheep for the slaughter. He preferred to hunt in society, where his targets had the most flavorful blood and the most money in their pocketbooks. The blood he drank, and the funds he deposited into his personal Swiss Bank account. Mr. Trick truly was a vampire of means and resourcefulness.

“The clones, Mr. Trick, will be a serious problem for us by themselves,” he said. “Their loyalty to their commander is unquestionable. Plus their weapons are useless to us since we cannot fire them. And they are VERY good at hunting in the shadows where our kind tend to lurk. I want you to procure for us a means by which we may leave this wretched city behind. I thirst for more mobile prey, my friend.”
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