“Dad, what happened?” Sam asked from the observation room as the others entered the lower isolation room to move Anise from the gurney to the bed.
“We don’t know.” Jacob answered. “We received a distress call. The outpost is completely destroyed, and she was barely breathing by the time we reached her. We did not find any other survivors.”
Sam looked down at the Tok'ra scientist. Despite her current dislike of the woman, she was truly concerned, and she could see that Janet was as well. Despite the heartbeat and her visibly erratic breathing, the woman looked like she was already dead and decomposing. Her hair was limp and beginning to fall out, her eyes and cheeks were sunken and her skin was a dark blotchy gray.
“I-It is a-a-an infestation.” Anise whispered, opening her eyes.
Janet gasped. Anise’s eyes were completely black.
“What kind of infestation, Anise?” Jacob asked gently.
The woman shook her head slightly. “Freya. It is taking all of Anise’s concentration to fight the infestation, but she is losing. She has instructed me to tell you all that we know.” She took a shuddering breath. “A Tok’ra operative had been captured by the unknown entity that is systematically overthrowing the minor System Lords on the outer reaches of what had been Anubis’ territories. After extensive questioning, our operative managed to escape. Or so he was led to believe. By the time he reached the outpost, his infestation had been nearly complete. The symbiote had been consumed and there was barely enough left of the mind of the host to seal the Al’kesh and set the self-destruct. It exploded in orbit, but an escape pod crashed onto the planet. The pod was retrieved, but all that was in it was a cocoon of some sort. It was brought into the caves, and we were called.”
“We know all of this, Anise.” Garshaw said. “What happened after that?”
“By the time we reached the outpost, everyone was either dead or completely transformed. In their places, were horrifying creatures that we had never seen in the entirety of our existence. We tried to escape the moment we saw them, but was quickly discovered. They managed to cut off the path back to the exit and when we were captured, one of the creatures forced our mouth open and…” Freya broke off for a moment, taking a deep, shuddering breath. “It held its mouth over ours and something entered me in much the same manner as Anise did so long ago. Unlike the blending, I could feel in spreading through me like a noxious ooze. We managed to escape our bonds, and entered the sequence to destroy the compound before our escape. That is when we called for help. Unfortunately, at the time, we did not know that this was a mistake. We did not know what we were dealing with.”
She suddenly broke off as she began to cough almost spasmodically. Something inky and black bubbled from her mouth. Sam cringed at the sight. Must be that noxious ooze she was just talking about,
“Anise says that you must kill us and destroy this body completely.” She finally spoke again, her voice weak and hoarse. “Until there is nothing left. Fire would be best. Burn my body until there is nothing but ashes. It will be weak at first. You must destroy it before it regains strength. The creature that will come forth from our deaths is nothing that you will be able to contain or control, or even kill once it reaches its full strength. We could feel the rage of the others that were buried beneath the rubble even as we left the planet.”
Suddenly, between one breath and the next, the scientist collapsed on the bed, and her heart monitor began an fast, erratic beeping that had Janet in instant motion.
~~~ BtVS ~~ SG-1 ~~~
"Do you feel that, Will?" Buffy suddenly straightened from where she was twirling in the seat, bored.
"Huh?" Willow looked up from where she was helping Dawn with her homework.
Buffy rose slowly to her feet as she concentrated. "Send out your feelers, baby. There's something bad here. My spidey sense just went berserk."
Even though they were the avatars for the same being, the abilities had remained virtually the same as when they had been just ordinary Slayer and Witch, just a whole lot more powerful. Buffy still sensed 'evil' internally, while Willow sensed the tainted on the Earth's energy.
Willow did as Buffy suggested, closing her eyes and sending out her metaphysical 'feelers', searching for whatever had caught Buffy's attention. After a moment, she gasped and her eyes popped open in horror. "What is that
"I don't know," Buffy admitted, already moving towards the door. The guards unconsciously shrunk back and raised their weapons, but she wasn't paying them any attention. "but we need to kill it while it's still weak."
Willow, who had quickly joined her, looked at her mate in shock. "That's weak
When the guards yelled at them and tried to follow, Willow waved a hand over her shoulder and 'pushed' them back into the room, slamming the door and sealing them in with a still shocked Dawn.
"Okay, what just happened?" The younger Summers asked in confusion as she looked at the guards, who were back on their feet and trying to open the door.
~~~ BtVS ~~ SG-1 ~~~
The creature that had once been the Tok'ra Anise opened its eyes wearily and looked around. There were other beings surrounding it. Accessing the vessels memories, it discovered that these beings were the Tau'ri, the ones that parasite minions were attempting to destroy. Inwardly, the creature rejoiced. It that found the world that its Master hungered for. It would rest, regain its strength, then it would send out the call to its Master.
Janet and her team worked frantically, not even realizing that the creature was watching them. The heart monitor was emitting a long, high pitched sound which indicated that Freya's heart had stopped beating. She had injected the adrenaline and applied the defibrillator, but they hadn't gotten so much as a fresh beep. She was so focused that it was a moment before she actually felt Jacob's hands on her wrists.
"Stop, Dr. Fraiser." The disembodied voice of Selmac broke through her concentration. "Whatever has taken over Anise may not have a heartbeat, but it is
"What?!?" Janet's eyes flew to his face, then to the scientists'. Her blackened eyes were indeed open and looking around in detached curiosity. She saw the mouth twitch in a near-smile and the brief expression of exultation move over the gray face before the eyes closed once again. For some reason, Janet felt a sense of foreboding and shivered.
~~~ BtVS ~~ SG-1 ~~~
Willow followed Buffy as she led them through the corridors. She could sense the ‘evil’ that had found its way onto the base, but she couldn’t home in on it. At least not yet. Her sense of it was faint, but growing stronger. Buffy, however, was much more adept at sensing evil than she was. It was all part of the Slayer package that was simply enhanced because of the change. Now, she could even sense the ‘evil’ in the humans that surrounded them, although they did not come across it often.
The guards that they had left sealed in the conference room with Dawn had sounded the alarm, and the Slayer and the Witch had left a trail of unconscious soldiers in their wake. It was against their nature to play with time unless there was no other choice, so Willow simply 'shut down' their conscious minds. They would regain consciousness in a few hours, no worse for wear, but what they were tracking had to be stopped before it regained its strength, and they didn’t have time to waste attempting to explain it.
"Should we bring Illyria to us?" Willow asked. The Old One had been sent to Cleveland a few weeks ago, once the growing demon population had begun to include those that would give her a decent challenge.
"Depends on what we find down there." Buffy answered.
They reached the elevator, only to find it guarded. Willow could clearly feel Buffy’s growing irritation with the soldiers, who were honestly only doing their jobs. However, so were they, so Willow finally snapped her fingers and froze time around them, and the walked right past the unmoving soldiers. Willow touched the closed elevator doors, and after a moment, Buffy could hear the elevator move towards them.
“Nice work, Will.” Buffy approved, kissing her briefly after the elevator doors closed behind them.
“Thanks.” Willow smiled back, pressing her hand on the unresponsive control panel. “Where do we need to go?”
“Just take us up.” Buffy shrugged, not really knowing. "I'll tell you when to stop."
Willow’s hand glowed for a brief moment, then the elevator lurched, and they were moving.
~~~ BtVS ~~ SG-1 ~~~
Everyone in the isolation room and the adjoining observation room instinctively looked up as the alarms went off. Sam and Daniel looked at each. There had been no warning of an incoming wormhole. Then, Sam's eyes widened. Buffy
General Hammond had already made his way to the phone on the wall. "This is General Hammond. What's happening?"
After a moment, Hammond looked up at Sam, his annoyance clear in his eyes, and she knew that she was right. He hung up the phone and looked at his Colonel. "Ms. Summers and Ms. Rosenburg have left the conference room and have left a path of bodies right to the elevator. They have somehow bypassed the elevator control and are headed in this direction. I suggest, Colonel, that you go find out what they think they are doing and get them back where they belong."
Sam swallowed nervously at the uncharacteristically hard expression on his face and nodded. "Yes, sir."