No, I don't own anything here!
Joss Whedon and his group own Buffy The Vampire Slayer
, and all related materials and characters. The late Gene Roddenberry and Robert Hewitt Wolfe created Andromeda
. Produced by Majel Roddenberry. Directed by David Winning. 'Stargate Andromeda'
, here on TtH, inspired this story.
Poor Andrew! He's the guy who gets the majority of the bruises in this chapter! So, if you're a fan of his-Sorry. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Halloween and Buffy gets a new toy. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Buffy's Shining Path Command Deck:
"Okaaay," Buffy said, eyes narrowing. "First question here is: How did Andrew Wells know we're up here? And let's not forget the other important thing, inquisitive minds have to know: How did he manage to communicate with us?"
"Um . . .?" Willow valiantly tried several ideas. "Oh! Aah . . .um . . .hmm!"
"Ah, what Wills is trying to say," Xander paused, then grinned. Oh, yeah, he was feeling good! Mild
sedative? . . .RRRiiight. "What she's saying is we've got nothing! Absolutely nothing! A great, big, fat nothing!"
Giles took off his glasses and began polishing them with the corner of his shirt. "Perhaps, if you talk to this . . .Andrew . . .and ask him these questions, maybe, we'll get answers." He advised.
"Good idea, Giles!" Buffy nodded. She decided to put the call on "speaker" mode. "Hello! Are you still there, Mr. Wells? Hello?"
"Aaahhh! Yes! Yes! I'm still here! Um, Greetings and salutations! May you live long and prosper! Take me to your leader! No! Wait-wait! Don't take me, please! I don't want any alien eggs in me! Or to be probed! Please don't probe me! Or eat me! I'm stringy and gamy!" Rapid, panic panting alarmed the listeners. Was Andrew hyperventilating? Was he going to faint on them?
"Mr. Wells?" Buffy interjected quickly, rolling her eyes up in exasperation. "Thank you for that lovely welcome. But no, we're not going to lay eggs in you. Or probe you. Or, eat you. We just want to talk, okay?"
A slight snuffle, then a hesitant, slightly whiny, "Okay . . ."
"Good," Buffy said. "I have to confess I'm impressed with your cell phone's range, Mr. Wells."
"Oh-what? Oh, no, no I'm not using a 'phone! I'm calling you using this communication device I got on Halloween! Turned into my costume, you see, and-"
"Mr. Wells?" Buffy hastily interrupted. Excitement surged in her. "Mr. Wells? What did you go as last night? What was your costume?"
"I-I went as Seamus Zelazny Harper." A confused sounding Andrew confessed. "From the TV show 'Andromeda
'. Why do you ask?"
Zander's eyes widened and his mouth formed a wide "O". Willow listened-The name meant nothing to her. She was not a big fan of short-lived sci-fi TV shows. Giles looked on, noncommittal, his hands occupied with his glasses, as usual.
Buffy barely contained her excitement and bounced on her toes. "Mr. Wells? Would you like to meet?"
"Oh, I-I-Say again, please?"
"Would you like to meet somewhere? Somewhere public, of course. Let's say . . .the mall? The food court, in an hour?"
A loud, unexpected squeal caused everyone to wince. "Um, oh, um . . .Yes! Yes! We can meet! We can meet! That's good. We can talk; Supreme Commander to Earthling!" He squealed again, causing everyone on the bridge to wince, again. "Wait until Jonathan finds out! He's going to be so jealous!"
"Uh, Jonathan?" Buffy frowned.
"Oh, yeah . . .My best friend, Jonathan Levinson!"
"Hmmm, for the moment, would you mind keeping this a secret?"
"Don't see why . . .but alright!"
"Goodbye, Mr. Wells, I'll see you in an hour."
"Live long and prosper! Oh! Oh! Yes! Yes!"
Buffy cut communications. For a moment, they remained silent. Xander spoke first: "Alright, didn't he sound like he-"
"Mister! Don't finish that thought!" Willow warned. "Besides, you were having a similar . . .moment. That's why Buffy had to make you happy!" Her eyes widened dramatically. "Oh . . .ah . . .that came out . . .wrong."
Xander grinned and nodded happily in agreement. "Yeah . . ."
!" Buffy shuddered, trying to get that icky idea out of her head.
Giles briefly (Ripper was snorting in amusement, somewhere in the back of his mind) closed his eyes; he had to get his children to focus! "W-w-w-can you tell me why this Seamus Zelazny Harper is so important that you have to meet with-with Andrew Wells?"
Xander laughed. "Sure-!"
"He's Andromeda's engineer," Buffy quickly said, eyeing Xander. "Andrew Wells went as Seamus Harper, and like me, something seemed to have stuck."
Giles gazed thoughtfully at his glasses. The lenses were clear and clean, but his handkerchief went back to work, rubbing the glass lenses in a soothing motion. Given the number of times he performed the task, Giles sardonically wondered if he was in fact, secretly attempting to wear holes in the glass: Giles doubted a smudge would have the time to establish itself on the surface of his glasses. The same fate for any drifting speck, that just happened to land on one of his lenses.
"It does seem like a prudent precaution to contact Mr. Wells, and establish both his intentions and sound him out for possible recruitment." Giles said, carefully.
Xander yelped. "You're kidding me, right G-man?"
Buffy smirked. "We-I
need an engineer, Xander. And no one comes with better qualifications and references then Seamus Harper!"
Xander peered suspiciously at Buffy. "How did you get that, Buffy? I didn't think you knew anything about the show."
Buffy snorted. "Uh, Xander? Look around you . . .I got into planetary communications a while ago. TV reruns? Real easy to get!"
"Ookaay," Xander looked pained, and impressed at the same time. TV? How many channels? Porn, too? "But Buffy . . .You've got no idea what you're getting into with Andrew."
"Why? What's wrong with him?" Buffy's eyes narrowed. "He's not some kind of pervert, is he?"
"Worse." Xander said, grimly.
Willow hastily intervened. "He's a geek. A real geek, geek
." She emphasized. "You heard him. That wasn't just a one-time panic talking to real alien thing! That's Andrew Wells all the time! He could drive you crazy real easy, Buffy." Willow warned.
Xander nodded in silent agreement.
"Um, hm, okay, but I still need an engineer." Buffy said, stubbornly.
Willow sighed and shook her head in sad Willow fashion. Xander shrugged and warned Buffy: "Just remember-When you chuck him out an airlock: We told you so!" Willow nodded in agreement.
"Fine!" Buffy pivoted on her heel and took a few steps. "I'm going planet side now. Giles, I'll like you to come down too-Ethan Raynes is in the hospital, but he ought to be conscious around this time. If you can talk to him, maybe he'll give up a few answers. Xander and Wils, why don't you look around a bit, and pick out quarters for yourselves?"
"You're leaving us alone? By ourselves?
Onboard this big spaceship?" Squeaked Willow.
"Of course not! I'll still be here!"
With the exception of Buffy, they all jumped at the unexpected, but familiar voice. A holographic Buffy smirked at them. They stared, then they turned to the real Buffy.
She shrugged. "Guys . . .Meet AI Buffy."
"Oh, dear lord." Sunnydale Hospital:
"Ripper! So happy to see you!"
Giles stood a few steps inside the private hospital room his former friend, Ethan, had been settled into. A satisfied smirk set itself on his face as he carefully noted the white gauze and plaster evidence of the formidable beating the 'Rommie' avatar had given the deserving Chaos mage.
"Perhaps you are." Giles grinned. "Being bound in traction, your movement and presence restricted to this room, with only the staff as infrequent company . . .I can see why a social butterfly like yourself would be pleased with a visitor-Almost any visitor."
He walked the rest of the way into the room. Snagging a stray chair along the way, Giles set the chair next to Ethan's bed. He sat down, with his right leg cross his knee, in a posture of confidence. A wintry smile curled on his lips, and an even colder glacial stare behind his glasses. "Well, Ethan, your current circumstances seemed to have been thoroughly and well earned."
Outrage crossed the immobilized Chaos mage's face. "I beg to differ with that judgement, Giles! All I was engaged in was a small act of personal worship, as is guaranteed by the American Constitution, when your deranged, fundamentalist slayer broke into my shop, and then proceeded to beat and torture me half to death!"
"Yes, that assault must have been terribly traumatic and painful for you, Ethan." Giles said, in mock sympathy. "Traumatic enough for you to ignore the dozens of children that went missing last night. Or the overflowing number of casualties this hospital is currently treating. All of them resulting from last night's event."
"Ah, yes . . .The gang problem they have in this town. A terrible shame," said Ethan, in a mocking, regretful tone. "A lovely location . . .But if I had known about the gang problem-Well, perhaps, another town would have been a better place for my shop."
Giles sighed softly and removed his glasses. In an uncharacteristic move, Giles reached into the pocket of his tweed jacket, and removed a hard-shell eyeglass case. He folded his glasses and put them into the case. He closed the case with a startling snap and slipped it back into his pocket.
Without the obstruction of his glasses, Giles' eyes took on a sharper, colder menace. In his body cast, Ethan squirmed, but outwardly, maintained his pleasant façade. Ethan studiously ignored the beeping heart monitor and its increased activity.
"We will now discuss your actions of last night, Nathan," Giles said, with deceptive Ripper mildness. "Specifically, that Chaos spell you used, and its ongoing repercussions."
"Spell? Repercussions?" Ethan questioned innocently. He gasped as Giles removed a poking finger from a bruised and pain-sensitive spot on his sadly abused body. "Giles, Giles, it was just a prank!" Ethan admitted, changing tactics. "You remember those, don't you? Remember when you and I-Arrrgh!" The heart monitor went momentarily wild!
Giles calmly sat down again, and waited until the monitor's beeping resumed a normal rhythm. He calmly watched Ethan gasping recovery, and ordered softly, "Tell me about that spell, Ethan. Tell me everything and leave nothing out."
And then, Ripper smiled. Mall Food Court:
Buffy spotted Andrew Wells almost immediately. The blond teenager, sitting by himself, was surrounded by a no-man's-land of empty seats and tables-That would have been bizarre, considering the food court was otherwise packed. But Andrew Wells was staring at everyone with such
an intense, creepy look that people stayed away. Buffy snickered, the town's human population may be dense about it's supernatural dangers, but they had no problem with identifying their Human
weirdos and geeks and keeping a respectable distance between them. Buffy rolled her eyes up and walked towards Andrew Wells.
Advancing into the food court, dodging running children and larger bodies in motion, while weaving through the occupied tables, Buffy mused over the vast quantity of information, floating around out there, on a single sixteen year-old boy. Including several unflattering pictures of him. Ew, Andrew posing in that speedo nearly made her convulse-Buffy certainly had to take a minute or two to keep the bile down.
"Hey, Andrew!" Buffy called out, after getting within a few feet of him.
"Oh, uh, huh," Andrew startled, accidentally knocking over a napkin dispenser with his arm. His eyes darted around in confusion as he bent down, while still seated, picked up the fallen dispenser and absently put it back on the table, and then he finally focused on Buffy. "I can't leave here! I'm waiting for somebody important!" He blurted out.
Andrew shifted and fidgeted nervously in his chair. "You want me to leave the food court, right?" He said nervously. But then Andrew repeated, with more resolve, "I can't leave, now! I'm waiting for someone!"
It was either Buffy's brilliant smile, or what she said, that froze Andrew-"Relax, Andrew. I'm the one you're meeting. Supreme Commander to Earthling. Remember?"
Buffy took Andrew's fish-mouth imitation as a yes
. She took a seat opposite of him, and opened her mouth to talk. Buffy shut it close when she noticed Andrew was staring blankly. Annoyed, Buffy snapped her fingers in front of his face a few times, wondering if she was going to have to go through the same thing with Andrew as she did with Xander. Oh, yeah, Buffy thought, resigned, as Andrew finally responded with a gasp and a small shake of his head.
"You're-you're the Supreme Commander?" Andrew squealed.
"Actually, that's not my title," Buffy corrected him. "But I'm the person you talked to earlier-You said you went as Seamus Harper, Andromeda's engineer?"
Andrew nodded vigorously. "Yeah . . .Then a freaky thing happened-."
"You got turned into your costume?" Buffy supplied. "That happened to a whole lot of people. Afterwards, when you and everyone went back to normal, you still had a head filled with Harper's memories and a few other souvenirs? Got it right?"
"Yeah . . ." Andrew eyes widened, and he gasped. "You went as Andromeda! Didn't you?"
It was Buffy's turn to nodded. "'Rommie' actually."
"Wait until Warren hears about this!" Andrew squealed excitedly. "He dressed up as Dylan Hunt! He was going to buy the 'Rommie' costume and dress up a mannequin with it, but he couldn't find one-I guess you bought it. You're way better then a mannequin, and prettier!" He admitted. "Oh! Does this mean Warren gets to order you around? He is Captain
Dylan Hunt, you know. And, you're you know, 'Rommie'! AKA Andromeda!"
At that point, in comparison to Buffy's own, Ripper's smile and eyes would have been generating tropical heat. Andrew, in spite of appearance, did have a finely tuned sense of self-preservation and survival-He made it to age sixteen, while living on a Hellmouth after all! Seeing Buffy's cold, cold smile, Andrew cringe in his seat, wondering what he had done, or said wrong?
"Mr. Wells," Buffy said, formally; in a tone of voice that made Andrew's testicles contract up into his groin. They knew that tone-they associated it with painful, knee or foot contact. At that moment, they wanted nothing more in the World, then to run away and hide. Instead, they settled for trying to bury themselves inside his body. "Mr. Wells, let's get this out of the way: I'm not 'Rommie'. I'm not Andromeda. I'm not even a robot. So, whatever little ideas you, or friend your Warren, may have about having your very own pet girl robot, I suggest you discard them in the interest of breathing and intact manhood!"
Andrew nervously crossed his legs and dropped his hands protectively on his lap. In small, tiny voice, Andrew said, "I-I'm sorry?"
Buffy nodded slowly. "That's a start-A very good start." Buffy smiled. "Don't worry; things aren't so bad . . .I think you're gonna like what I'm offering."
"Huh?" Was all a confused Andrew could say. Vampires Warehouse Lair:
"Oh, my poor Spiky," crooned Drusilla, sadly. "Miss Edith told you not to go out. The bad, bad warship was out there . . .Now, look at my poor Spiky."
"Ow! Could you be a bit more careful there, Dru?" Spike complained, and cursed. His buttocks were still sitting on top of his head; he was still vaguely spherical shaped, but he was looking better then he had a few hours before. Drusilla hummed softly and continued to unknot her lover and childe, ignoring the yelps and curses. "Careful, Love! Careful! We need that for our future happiness!" The organ Dru was unknotting had only one knot in it-But Spike was particularly fond of it. And while, the length it had stretched, while in the slim hands of a female, would have been a source of pride on any other occasion, having it broken and a knot tied into it was not! Worse! It was one
knot! One bloody knot! Spike was certain four, maybe five could have been fitted on there easy!
"Miss Edith is unhappy, Spiky." Drusilla breathed.
"So bloody am I!" Spike roared. In his mind, Spike plotted his vengeance. Bloody Slayer! Who the hell does she think she is?! The other two slayers he had killed, had been cooperative and died in a timely fashion-So, what the bloody hell was wrong with this one?! Did she think she was better then the other slayers? Spike ranted in his mind. The video recordings he had taken . . .Somewhere in those video tapes was the key to taking Miss Buffy Bloody Summers down. Vigorously study those tapes, get to know the Slayer's moves, her weakness . . .And then-"Ow! Dru!"
Drusilla quietly hummed and listened to the stars. Command Deck:
They assembled on the command deck. They listened to the pitter-patter of happy, running feet and to the happier sounds of, "Heh! Heh! Heh!" and squeals of delight. Then they heard the unmistakable squeak of alarm, followed by a heavy "Thud!". The welcomed sound of relief.
As one, their eyes turned on Buffy. She shrugged, "I had one of my androids stun him. A nice sedative ought to calm him down."
Xander grinned. "Oh, good. Buffy gonna make Andrew happy too!"
"Children . . .Can we, please, get back on topic?" Giles said, impatiently. "My talk with Ethan, produced some answers to our unusual situation. He is quite certain the affected person's innate magical energies have something to do with-with any residual effects of the spell."
Buffy considered the news Giles bought with him. From her own experiences with the Chaos mage, she wondered how much pain Giles had to bring down on the man before he gave up the scant information Giles ended up with. Sadly, Buffy considered the joys fate (or some truly sadistic PTB) poured down on her head: first the Slayer, then Sunnyhell, and finally, a bizarre Slayer/warship hybrid.
Idly, Buffy noted a passing android silently dragging an unconscious Andrew behind it.
"I get it," Buffy said. "The higher the personal mojo, the bigger and better the souvenir left behind-What I don't get, and not that I'm complaining Giles; but why didn't I stay an android?"
Giles looked at his slayer, and truthfully replied: "I don't know, Buffy."
"It's a good thing you didn't, though!" Willow reminded them. "Remember, Warren? Andrew's friend? The one who went as Captain Dylan Hunt? I bet he still has Andromeda's codes rattling inside his head. If Buffy had remained an android, he could have ordered her to do anything!"
Buffy gained a momentary far off look on her face and winced. "Ugh, Willow's right . . .Warren's a sleaze-The records and stuff I'd been able to dig up on him paint an ugly picture. At a guess, the guy likely retained some of Dylan Hunt's technical knowledge, but I doubt he would have kept any of Hunt's ethical or moral characteristic." Buffy grimaced in disgust and anger. "Yeah, Warren would have used me, his pretty little toy, without a shred of hesitation or thought!"
Xander thought it was just Warren's good luck that he would never
have an opportunity to try something like that against Buffy. He sneaked a peek at Giles and noticed a tension emanating from the older man. Yep, Warren was one luck bastard.
His eyes narrowed; thinking of lucky bastards . . .What was Captain Hairgel doing now? Brooding about something, obviously, Xander inwardly shrugged. Maybe hair gel . . .? And dismissed Angel from his thoughts. Angel's Apartment:
Angel stood in front of the bathroom sink. Damp from a shower, and naked except for a towel around his hips. He wiped the steam clouded mirror surface with a towel and considered the over two dozen hair products living on the shelves, on the side of the mirror and sink.
He picked up one jar of hair gel and scowled viciously at it. Damn greedy corporations! Same price, smaller size! And Angel's brooding thoughts swirled off to the dark places where corporations and shrinking products dwell. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Okay, the last portion was admittedly weak. And I apologize for it. As for Andrew . . .Sorry about him, too.
Thanks for reading, and goodby!