Children Of The Stars
This chapter picks up after the fast forward button has been pressed and the action starts during the Buffy season 8 comic. I'm not a HUGE fan of the direction the comic takes Buffy and the gang but I forbear. So there are spoilers here for those of you who haven't read them yet.
On the other hand, to bring those of you that haven't kept track of things, lets bring you up-to-date; Buffy, Xander and Dawn now work from a castle somewhere in Scotland. They work as the head of the Slayer army scattered across the world. Buffy, now infamous in the demon underworld, has "doubles" based in Rome and elsewhere (hence the "double" in the last season of Angel). This underground army has raised alarm bells in the US military. It is feared that the Slayer army will try to take over the world in a "Girl power gone mad" kind of way.
One army general has allied himself with the Big Bad, known only as Twilight. Twilight is big, powerful and his main goal, at the moment, is to make Buffy doubt herself.
That pretty much sums up where we are. Faith is still trying to find redemption, Willow is now "Super-witch" and can fly amongst other tricks and Dawn has become a giantess after sleeping with someone who may or may not have been a demon. Meanwhile Xander, now a key figure in the international watchers council, still has an eye patch.
As for the crossover, I've told you it's with Battlestar Galactica 1980. Possibly the WORST incarnation of the show. If you want to know what is about I'll expand on it in story, but the premise was simple.
Original Galactica turns up in Earth's orbit in the year 1980. With the Cylon fleet hot on their heels the Galactica knows Earth would be helpless. Taking drastic action they draw the Cylon's away and send warriors in secret to advance Earth technology to the point where it can defend itself.
They have been doing it for years, in secret. Unable to contact governments or people directly for fear of triggering the "Final Nuclear War"
So this is where we rejoin the adventure...
It was a quiet night at slayer central. For Buffy this meant she was asleep, for anyone else this meant she was having another nightmare.
Tossing and turning in her bed Buffy was fighting Twilight. He just shrugged off blow after blow and stood there gloating. Saying how she would never stop him and how, in the end, she would see he was right. It was the usual villain stuff and it wasn't the first time she had this nightmare. Only this time she believed he could pull it off, they had fought three times, each time she and her friends had only just gotten out with their lives. It wasn't be cause she was good enough to stop him or fast enough to get away.
He wanted it like that. He wanted her to know the only reason she was still alive was because he wanted it that way. Sitting bolt up right Buffy woke up, sweating. Trying to shrug off the nightmare she got up to get dressed and work off some energy in the gym. A sixth sense stopped her and when she heard what sounded like bells she spun.
No one. Setting her jaw Buffy marched to the window and flung open the curtains 'Dawn! If you're window peaking again so help me...' but there was no one there.
'Hello.' someone called out and the oldest Slayer spun on the spot. There was no one there, she was totally alone in the room.
That didn't change that she knew someone was watching her. Buffy could feel it and from their voice they had an English accent. But whoever it was she couldn't see him. 'Invisibility, great. Who's there?' she asked half hoping not to get an answer.
'You can call me... John.' the room answered pleasantly. Like they were having a normal conversation.
'Not Tom, of the peeping kind?' Buffy prodded.
'No Miss Summers and if you will allow me...' He trailed off and everything changed. Buffy felt someone touch her shoulder and a static shock ran through her. Between one blink and another she could see who was with her. A middle aged man with short blond hair, he wasn't too tall or anything that stood out. Just a normal guy, on the surface that looked like that English guy of Knightrider.
Brushing his hand away she had taken up a fighting stance before realising her hand had gone through his arm. 'What the hell?'
'Not precisely.' he clapped his hands behind his back. 'I'm sorry if I can't tell you exactly who, or what, I am but I can help you with a few things.'
He might not tell her but Buffy could guess, the stranger wore a white suit and jacket, really he looked like he had escaped from a film about ghosts. 'You're one of the Powers aren't you?'
'No actually, we're more a parallel, or sister, organisation, as you would understand it. The "Powers" try to keep a balance. We deal with those of us that misuse their abilities. I can't go into much more detail, other than to hint in the direction of one you know as Twilight.'
'Twilight's one of the powers? We are SO dead.' Buffy sat down on the side of her bed, that was pretty much the worst thing anyone could have said to her. That's when she noticed her Yummy-Sushi pyjamas had lost all their colour and were now a brilliant white. Picking at her sleeve she frowned at it. 'What did you do to my clothes?'
'Ahh I never said that he was a Power.' John changed the subject. 'It's difficult, you see my hands are tied. We can stop... Certain people, we can call them "Beings" if you prefer, only when they use an exceptional power or take a life. Certain beings have yet to do so.'
This brought her head up...
John finished with.. 'In a way that we can influence matters'
Buffy decided to play along. 'So if "someone" throws a lightning bolt at me. You can step in and stop them.'
'Exactly.' John grinned and then winced. 'There are a few little loopholes that these "someone's" know and exploit.'
'In other words don't expect any help. Thanks, this should make my nightmares all the more comforting.'
John looked up and to the left. Buffy followed his look but all she saw was the corner of her room. 'We could... I know we can't interfere but... Right I understand.'
Buffy winced, she could see him but obviously he was only the middle man and his bosses were keeping an eye on both of them. 'Message from on high?' she asked.
'Yes. Before I go I can help. It's our own loophole you see I can either tell you what you need to know and make you forget about it or give you a clue and let you figure it out yourself.'
'What's the point of that?'
'You will consciously forget the truth, but be much more accepting of it when you find out. You'll get hunches, flashes of insight that will help you. The catch is you won't know why.'
'... opposed to racking my brains for an answer to a stupid riddle I'll never understand anyway.' Buffy though about that for a moment, it was fairly simple. Have a clue or hunches when the time was right. 'Okay, hit me with will the full speech. Just one thing, will I still remember you and what you did to my PJ's?'
'Yes, but as a dream.' he nodded. 'And your pyjamas will go back to normal.'
'They better or you're paying for a new set. So shoot, what's this great secret that's going to save us all?'_________
Doctor Zee was the sort of person who always knew what was going on. He'd been told he was a child of the stars. A foundling in deep space, picked up by the Galactica. It's lived in grey corridors and ancient metal was his home. A child genius, by his tenth year he had secured a place on the ruling Council of the Twelve. As their chief scientific adviser he found many of the Council simply paying lip service to those they represented. Those that didn't were in it for their own power.
At first he was concerned that the loudest voice was that of Commander Adama. Long past the time of retirement the aged commander was approaching his two hundredth yahren and had spent many of them with the burden of overall command of the fleet. As they got to know each other Zee respected Adama's wisdom and experience while the commander recognised Zee was possibly the most intelligent person in the fleet.
Zee was an expert at calculating the odds. If it came to an action of blind faith, however, he was useless without his best friend and father figure. So when he found himself walking in a rocky desert landscape when he should have been in the middle of one of his experiments, with no memory of how he got there, he was more than a little lost for words.
He'd grown in the twenty eight yahren since finding Earth, but still wore his trademark white cape. It was still spotless, even in this rugged place. Turning around he looked back, his footprints just stared a few yards behind him. Like he had simply dropped out of thin air.
Logically his best option was to carry on in the direction he was heading. Something had wanted him here and going that way. Whatever it was had plucked him from the Galactica and dropped him here, obviously highly advanced and powerful.
Zee kept walking, heading up and over the ridge. There was something familiar about the desert but he couldn't place it. Three sun's burnt high in the sky but he was neither thirsty or tired. Coming over the ridge he saw a little valley.
Nestled in the middle lay the wrecks of two Cylon fighters and a small shelter made from the salvaged parts. He had seen this place before, years ago now and he knew what he was going to find. Even now, a grown man, Zee scrambled down the embankment and ran for the shelter. Almost tripping over his own feet the scientist pushed the crude door open and looked into the hovel. Aside for a few Cylon parts and a darkened fire pit it was empty and had been for a long time.
'You didn't actually think I'd still be in there did you?' A joking voice called. Zee spun and saw his father. Starbuck, one of the best pilots in colonial history and that was before their destruction, sat on the nose of a Cylon Raider. Fumerello in hand and a bold grin on his face. His white combat uniform matching Zee's more conservative science coat. 'Well, you got your mothers brains and my looks. If you didn't spend all your time in that lab you'd be fending off women with a blaster.' he chuckled, inhaling from the fumerello.
'Are you, I mean am I...'
'Yes and yes. I called in a favour or two and here you go. You know Zee isn't the name I'd have chosen but hey it works.' The older man jumped off the fighter and smiled sadly. 'I wish I could have been there Zee. There wasn't enough fuel to go with you though. I lived out my life here.'
'Your Mother couldn't go with you either. Same rules that kept me here, go figure. She stayed with me for awhile before she had to leave. I'm still around though, I did what I could to keep the Cylons of your backs. A good job too, just meant I had to stay here. The others don't like it when you get involved.'
Zee could only shake his head. 'I don't understand.'
'Your not supposed to Zee. Just listen:- An old enemy is playing a new game. The fate of the thirteenth colony stands in the balance. He's afraid of what will happen if the tribes of humanity ever unite, especially now that everything has changed.'
'How do you mean changed.' Zee had never asked so many questions in his life. He'd never needed to, he grasped understanding instantly but here and now he couldn't. His father wasn't making any sense to him.
Starbuck just puffed on his fumerello again. 'You'll find out. Now you've got to go. The wheels in motion and all that felgercarb. Zee, both me and your mother have been watching you. We couldn't be prouder.'
There were so many things Zee wanted to ask. So much he didn't know about himself, about these rules, about his mother...
He opened his mouth to ask and sat up back in his lab, the taste of the desert still in his mouth._________
Xander threw another book to one side. Nothing, a big fat nothing. He and Giles had spent weeks searching the Watcher archives for anything on this symbol connected to Twilight but there was nothing on it. There were things like it, mostly old writing in which it meant all sorts. From deceit to salvation, Evil to hidden Light. it was even attributed to insects and the Raven of Death but all those had subtle differences.
For all they knew Dawn was right, he had just picked it out of a hat because he liked the look of it. The teenage giantess had done some research on that and it was possible. Only the power of someone who could just pick a symbol of magic was... Well it wasn't someone you wanted to mess with. Sure they had faced the First and Glory, thing was they were limited. Glory was trapped by a human body so couldn't use her full power and the First was a sprit and needed minions to do it's work. A hell of a lot of minions but still.
Given the strength of this guy, even when Buffy used her scythe she was out matched. Magic wasn't a problem for him either. What did that leave? Drag everyone back to base and out number him?
Not while he had the US army on his side. Damn him, he really knew how to recruit minions. The grunts took orders from the General's so he just got them to do his dirty work. Slayers couldn't kill humans, rule number one. This made them almost helpless. Pulling punches against people with machine guns was a sure fire way to get yourselves killed. In more ways than one.
They needed to find Twilight's weakness and take him out, hard and fast. To do that they needed information and all they had was this symbol. Thing was the more he looked at it the more Xander felt like he recognised it from somewhere. One of the books he had read recently he was sure.
That's why, while most people were trying to sleep, he was hunting through book after book for it and failing. 'Okay, lets think about this.' He said aloud, half talking to himself and half to the book he was holing. He didn't expect an answer he just needed bounce the idea of something. 'It's an old symbol that's been diluted over the centuries. There are lots of different meanings connected but there is nothing exactly like it. That means it's pre-history. Possibly as old as the written word. It...' Something struck him.
Jumping up Xander grabbed his wardrobe and threw it open. Scattering his clothes every which way he dug down and ripped open the false bottom. Inside the little cubby hole sat a book and Xander's wrist computer. Yanking both out he slipped the device on his forearm and started flicking through his copy of the concise history of the Twelve Colonies._________
Dawn had a lot of bad habits. She was honest enough with herself to admit it. Her latest in a long list, after sneaking out in the middle of the night and kleptomania, was spying through peoples windows. Then again when you were a ever growing giantess with serious commitment problems, not to mention the whole Key thing, a few bad habits were to be expected.
Some of the windows in the castle were into almost normal lives and it gave her a bitter sweet insight to what life should be like. Luckily she'd only found two that were X-rated, she might be peaking through other peoples windows but she didn't want to see that. She still had some manners.
Xander was the most normal of the lot. He'd been spending a lot of time awake recently and if he saw her they would have to have a "Talk" about how wrong it was. Tonight was different, she could hear him making a lot of noise as she sneaked up.
'One quick look to see if he's okay.' she told herself and silently made her way to his window.
Xander came out of his wardrobe with a book. The book's corners were cut off and it looked old. It also didn't look like anything in the resource library. Dawn couldn't read the cover and just watched as he flicked through it.
She was shocked when he shouted 'Yes! Found you!... But what the frack are you doing in a book on Kolbol's early history?' He pointed something on his wrist at the book and then the paper and tapped some buttons on it.
A slightly female, robotic, voice came from it. 'Symbol representative of one of the first lords of Kolbol. The fallen Lord. Mythological Prince of Darkness. Attempted to lead the first children of Kolbol into hatred and started the first wars between the thirteen tribes. Other names include:- Diaboles and Mephistopheles.
'Further note:- Subject was encountered on journey to Earth going by the name Count Iblis.'
'Oh great,' Xander slumped and then pressed some more buttons on the little box. 'Xander to Galactica. Say again, Xander to Galactica on fleet comm scrambler three.'
Dawn figured out it was a radio just before someone answered. 'This is Galactica. Confirming on fleet comm scramble three. How are you fairing big brother?' It was a girls voice, maybe as old as Dawn.
' "Brother"?' Dawn gasped
'Anthea? They got you on the switchboard now?' Xander laughed.
'I am. What are you on a scrambled frequency for?'
'I need you to put me through to the Commander. I think we have an old friend of his down here.'
'Xavier?' The woman asked. Who ever this guy was he sounded like a piece of work.
'No, someone worse.' Xander growled. Yep a piece of work and a history, but who was he and what was Xander keeping from them? 'Tell the Commander a Count by the name of Iblis is down here causing trouble. See if he's heard of him.'
End Chapter 1