When Old Friends Drop In
'Verses: BtVS and Stargate
Disclaimers: Do not claim ownership. Made for fun, not profit.
Warnings: Language - not much, really.
Note: I barely speak a word of French. All French dialogue here is from a translation program. Apologies in advance if I offend anyone.
As battles went, it was on the larger side. Reinforcements had been called in, and over forty slayers were involved, including the Chosen Two. Walking into the fight, they had expected a field of about two hundred demons. Odds of five-to-one weren't pleasant, but they were do-able. Best laid plan of mice and slayers being what they were, just shy of five hundred demons had been seen to enter the field. The witches stood at the edge of the field, guarded by the watchers, and did what they could to even the odds.
After several hours, they were down to less than a hundred demons still fighting, while they had lost only a few to injuries, and none had actually died, simply been removed from the field to the cars by the witches, and then driven back to headquarters by a watcher. The only problem now, apart from the demons yet to be slain, was the five metre wide gully the demons had created around the ritual site and the severely truncated timeline before the end of the ritual.
Faith looked around the battleground. Buffy was off to her left, and slightly behind, battling something big, furry, and ferociously ugly. Ahead of her was a group of slayers relatively free of opponents. More important to Faith was the sight of the tall, white-haired slayer already running to the gully. “Gwen,” she bellowed to the running woman. As soon as she saw the woman glance over her shoulder, Faith threw the Scythe, point first, to her. The woman kept running but sheathed her swords in the scabbards crossed over her back, not looking back, not stopping to catch the weapon. Faith watched, frowning slightly. She knew how the other woman would respond. There was something special about her, even for a slayer. Then, just as the white-haired woman reached the gully, she glanced over her shoulder again, and put out her hand. In one swift move, she launched out over the gully, first of all the slayers heading to the ritual. Without noticeably looking, her hand closed around the staff of the Scythe. And then she disappeared.
Xander paced as he waited for the slayers to return. Just because there was major bad going on elsewhere didn't mean that the girls could be abandoned. He'd had to stay back to make sure no one took advantage of the absence of the older slayers to attack the children. While everyone else was out at the battle, he had the sole care and protection of eighteen nine-to-fourteen year-olds that the Council had decided were too young to fight anything bigger than a fledge. He also had the task of coordinating everything back at the base. So far, nothing had happened, but he wasn't about to tempt fate by verbalising anything. The infirmary was ready, Council doctors on standby, including the ones that the imported slayers had brought with them. Medical histories had been considered, and all was ready. Even the kitchen was ready with food for the returning slayers. He could only hope they would be home soon, and in as close to one piece as possible. Waiting! He hated it.
He tensed as he heard the first vehicles roar into the parking area, then ran out to greet them. The first watcher was already out of the driving seat, and hauling an injured slayer out of the rear seat to dump her onto the first available gurney, before diving back in to retrieve a witch slumped in the middle seat. The slayer had disturbingly deep claw marks down one cheek, and what looked suspiciously like a broken jaw. Xander ran around to the other door to retrieve another slayer while a second witch fell out the front door. He glanced back to the witch, but decided that she was simply exhausted, and not in need of medical attention. He handed the injured slayer to a paramedic, then turned back to the witch. He picked her up and carried her to one of the bunks set aside for exhausted, but otherwise uninjured, witches while the watcher hopped back into the vehicle to race back out to the battlefield. Absently, Xander wondered about the feasibility of getting some helicopters, but then the next SUV was there, and he was helping the injured out onto gurneys to be taken into triage, and then treatment.
Hours passed, and finally all the wounded slayers had been attended to. Thirteen, in all, had needed serious attention, with another nineteen needing basic first aid. All the witches, Willow included, were asleep in the special rooms set aside for their recoveries. The watchers had headed off to clean up and blow off some steam. Thankfully, no one had been lost, but some of the watchers had badly wounded slayers, and were understandably tense. Xander wandered through building, the feeling that something was wrong nagging at him. Up ahead, he saw Buffy and Faith engaged in an intense conversation, Buffy gesturing wildly, Faith obviously tense. Seeing the two women talking pointed out what was wrong, causing his stomach to clench in anticipation. Frowning, he walked up to them.
“Hey Buff, Faith, so where's Gwen?”
Buffy scowled as she turned to him. “That's exactly what I'm trying to figure out. According to Faith, she just took the Scythe and left.”
“Hey now,” the brunette protested, “that's not what I said. I said she disappeared when she touched the Scythe.” She turned to Xander, worried. “I swear, I don't know what happened. She was heading over to the ritual – hell! – she was leading the way! I had the Scythe, and knew it would be of way more use over there, so I gave her the heads up and tossed it to her. She got it just as she leapt out over the ditch, but as soon as she touched it, she just ...” Faith trailed off, shaking her head. “She just disappeared!”
Xander folded his arms over his chest, a cavern seeming to open up inside him. He shook his head. “Disappeared – what? Where?”
“Mid-air,” Faith replied. “No big, flashy portal, no flash of light, just … gone.”
“So do you think there was any chance of a set up? That she planned to disappear as soon as she got the Scythe today?”
“How the hell could she plan that?” Faith all but screeched. “There was no guarantee she would get the Scythe. Hell! Nine times out of ten, the only people that use it are B and me. What I saw was her running to the next fight, leading the way, and then she was gone. And I have no idea where she is, what happened, anything!”
“Okay. Well, we can't do anything now until Will wakes up, so go get something to eat and relax somehow. We'll figure this out,” he added as he rubbed his face. 'We have to,' he added silently.
Colonel Jack O'Neill looked around at his team, noting they were all present and ready to move out. All they were waiting for now was their final go ahead to move up the ramp to the gate. His eyes were caught by a sudden movement above his head, as something flew through the air, and rebounded off the wall behind him. The team dodged quickly out of the way as something fell straight down on top of them, and then spun to hear something hit the ramp, hard. Jack slung his P90 back as he ran towards the girl sprawled across the bottom of the ramp, unconscious. She looked no older than one of the Academy cadets, dressed for hiking, and covered with goop. She was bleeding from her lip, and a series of cuts that had to have come from the mesh-work of the ramp surface. He checked quickly for a pulse, and noted she was still breathing. He began to check for broken bones, but was soon set aside by the medical team. He let them do their thing, eventually removing the girl from the ramp to take her back to the base infirmary.
“So, Carter,” he began, “any ideas?”
“None whatsoever. She definitely didn't come through the Stargate. Apart from the fact that it's one way only, I think she only appeared about a six to ten feet from the wall, nowhere near the Gate. She must have been travelling at some velocity – she rebounded further than I think the travelled in the Gate Room,”
Jack looked at the spot where the girl had landed. He could see some long white strands laying across the metal. They must have caught on something when she landed, and been torn loose. But then, losing a few hairs had to be the least of her worries at the moment.
“Okay,” Sam announced to the group, “I'm going to play this at normal speed the first time, and then I'll replay it at one eighth speed so we can see the detail. Try to keep an eye out, because it's really quick – it only takes a couple of seconds at normal speed.” She played the surveillance recording, and they watched the blur start high in the air, hit the wall, and then bounce back to land at the ramp. Apart from the confusion of white and khaki, there wasn't much detail to be had in the initial view. Even when she slowed the recording down, it still seemed to happen very quickly. The white-haired girl appeared mid-air, as if leaping across something. Jack decided the girl's reactions had to be phenomenally quick, because between appearing mid-air, and the collision with the wall, which had to have happened only a second or so later, she had dropped her weapon, and twisted her body to get her feet 'under' her to take the impact. From there, she had rebounded in an uncontrolled, tumbling arc to the floor. Just as Sam had surmised, she had covered a greater distance on the second half of her journey than on the first. She had tried to get her arms up to break her fall – Jack winced at the landing.
“I have no idea at this time how she entered the Gate Room. She appeared, just as the tapes show, and I've viewed this from every camera that we have. One moment she's not there, and then she is. At a rough estimate, she was travelling in excess of 20 miles per hour when she entered the Gate Room.”
The General nodded. “Doctor, can you let us know how our guest is?”
“Remarkably unscathed. Watching that video, I'm actually surprised she's still alive, or at least not a great deal more injured! Both her forearms are broken, a fact we only noticed after we began removing her weapons, I might add. That said, we didn't have to try to set the bones, as the knives had held the bones in position quite nicely.” She shook her head at the thought.
“Uh, Doc,” Jack interrupted, “knives?”
Janet cleared her throat. “Yes, knives. She had two swords strapped across her back, a hunting knife at her waist, and a knife strapped to each forearm. Oh, and a knife in each boot. There may be other weapons, but I haven't really bothered to check her backpack.
“I have no explanation,” she shrugged, before going on. “Other than her arms, she has a skull fracture, and deep bruising and superficial cuts where her face impacted with the ramp. And that's it,” she finished, shrugging again. “No other cuts, minimal bruising, no apparent internal injuries. I find it very hard to believe, but, essentially, she has very minor injuries from her fall.”
Jack nodded, then looked to Danny. “No weapons in her backpack. Two sets of clothes, including good socks,” Jack nodded to himself over the importance of good socks, “wallet with Euros, and ID, the security type that doesn't have any name, just photo and proximity pass. No drivers licence, passport, or other usual ID. I-pod which Danny checked out.”
“Ah, yes. Her I-pod had French language music, amongst other stuff.” He shifted before continuing. “I had a look at the axe – it doesn't actually resemble anything historical, and besides, it's in too good condition to be even antique. The red lacquer on the blade should have crazed or chipped or something by now. So I would consider it fairly new. At the same time ...” he trailed off, shaking his head. After a moment, he continued. “I wouldn't mind a look at her weapons, though. That could be interesting.”
The General considered for a moment. “So we have a possible French citizen appearing in the most secure part of a top secret military base by means unknown, carrying old-fashioned weapons, but weapons none-the-less, and surviving a crash landing that should have put her seriously out of commission or even killed her. Would that be a good summary?” The others nodded. He turned to the doctor. “When do you anticipate she will awaken?”
Janet shook her head. “That was a pretty good knock, and I've also given her something for the pain. She should be asleep for a few hours yet. I'll advise you when she's conscious again.” The doctor collected her things and left the meeting.
The General turned back to the team. “Well, SG-1, looks like your mission is suspended until further notice. Daniel, you speak French, so you will possibly be our primary contact with this young woman. Carter, I'd like you to be the friendly female face. See if you can get her to open up a bit. Jack, Teal'c, I need you to keep an eye on her. She was carrying an unusual amount of weapons, even if they were ones we don't normally see. On the off chance she is trained and experienced in combat, I want you to … around. You don't have to hover, probably better that you don't. You may not realise this,” he added with a small smile, “but you can be rather intimidating.”
Jack gasped, as if shocked.
She felt herself float to the surface, noting various sensations, cataloguing them, filing the information away. Head, pain; forearms, pain/heavy/constricted, upper arms, cool/uncovered; torso on down, covered, as with a sheet. Smells... cool/antiseptic/filtered. Noises... She reached out to listen to her surroundings. Close by were the sounds of medical monitors, but there was something between her and the other sounds of the room. She was in the infirmary, and someone had pulled the curtain to give her privacy? That was a good supposition, she decided. Head injury... She tensed the small muscles of her face to gauge the sensations. Bruising and cuts to her face... Further around seemed to have something worse... Fracture? Could she have concussion? Possibly.
Next she flexed her fingers. Fingers were fine, but something was going on with the ulna and radius in both forearms. Fractures, she decided. An image flashed into her mind – bringing her arms up before slamming into something... Huh. She was never going to live that down! Three years, and she when finally breaks something, it's nothing more than a mundane fall. Brilliant.
She tensed and relaxed other muscles, but, apart from some negligible bruising, she was otherwise unharmed. She stretched out again with her hearing. People were moving about, attendants with soft shoes whispering along, quiet coughs. A woman's voice, quiet, speaking to a group of … four individuals, was approaching. “We had to reset her heart rate monitor as it kept signalling her as having bradycardia.” One of the visitors appeared to not understand the term, so she explained as she continued, “Slow heart rate. Normal resting heart rate in humans is sixty beats per minute, bradycardia is considered to be anything under fifty. Our guest has been sitting at around forty-six bpm the entire time. After a time of observation, I decided that was her usual resting heart rate, and recalibrated the machine. This is usually only seen in athletes, etc. She has very good muscle tone for someone her age. She's not just fit, she's what you might consider 'fighting fit'.”
The group stopped outside her curtain to continue the conversation. “She's awfully young for that, isn't she?” queried a male voice. She decided he sounded like an alpha male. “She's what? Twenty?”
“I would estimate her age to be in her early twenties. Of course, she could have studied martial arts from a young age – that happens. Although I don't think her weapons look particularly Asian, from my great wealth of experience,” the doctor added in amusement.
She rolled her eyes. Why did people automatically assume the Asian peoples had sole rights to all arts martial? It appeared that someone agreed with her, as she heard a second male voice explain, “Oh, all cultures have some form of martial art or another. And I had a chance to look at her weapons. They are predominantly European, her sword being Irish, though for some reason she had runes etched onto it. The knives tucked into her boots were balisongs, though, which are Filipino in origin. But, then, they are also very practical. It means that you don't have to sacrifice blade length just to fit them into a fairly short boot, like her hiking boots. And she had a very European dragon etched into the blade of each one, so I'm thinking practicality trumped over culture on that.”
“So, what? She's one of those Highlander immortal things?” the alpha joked.
“No, Jack,” the other grumped, “I was just saying –”
“Yeah, Danny, I get you.”
“If you'll just wait here,” the doctor murmured, “I don't think she'll be awake yet, but I'll get her chart.”
The curtain slid aside and the doctor picked up the chart at the end of the bed before walking up the side. The woman on the bed's eyes fluttered before she frowned and groaned softly.
“Hey there,” the doctor greeted softly. “How are you feeling?”
“Just a moment,” the doctor murmured before going back out to the group. “Daniel, you speak French, don't you?”
“Sure.” He moved around to the bedside and smiled to the woman. “Salut. Je m'appelle Daniel. Comment vous appellez-vous?”
“Je m'appelle Guenièvre. J'ai soif.”
He turned back to the doctor. “Her name is Guinevere, and she's thirsty.” He took the cup of water from the doctor, and helped the young woman drink.
“Où suis-je?” she repeated.
“Ah... un instant,” he replied before moving back to his friends.
“Well?” Jack demanded.
“She wants to know where she is. How much are we telling her?”
Jack nodded, then pushed back the curtain. “Translate for me, will you?” he asked Daniel. “Hi,” he addressed the girl, trying to keep his voice light and friendly. “My name's Jack. How are you feeling today?”
“A little sore,” Daniel translated. “Where am I, please?”
“You're in an Air Force hospital. Do you know how you got here?”
“I was running. I jumped over something... Then I was falling. You sound American. Which base am I at?”
“You're in America. We're in Colorado.”
She gasped and plucked at the sheets. “I was in Dordogne, I was in France, on a site. How am I here?”
“Okay, easy now,” Janet commanded. “Jack, she's only just woken up, and likely has a concussion. I can't have you exciting her this quickly. If you want more information, you'll have to come back for it.” With that, she shuffled the group away from her patient and slid the curtain closed.
'Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck! Trust bloody Sam to bloody appear like that. Where the fucking hell am I?'