Disclaimer: The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only. All rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, MGM Television Entertainment and Gekko Productions, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ©2002 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer trademark is used without express permission from Fox. Some dialogue is taken from the BtVS episodes ‘A New Man’ and ‘The ‘I’ in Team’ and was written by Jane Espenson and by David Fury. ‘Stargate: SG1’ was created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, based on characters and situations created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, and is owned by MGM Television Entertainment and Gekko Productions.
A/N: the opening chapter takes place toward the end of the SG-1 Season 3 episode ‘A Hundred Days’.Chapter One
The old Citroen took a corner at a surprisingly high speed, the rear end fishtailing out, and then straightened up. Behind it the pursuing Humvees fell back slightly and then began to gain once more. Spike threw the car around another corner. The closest Humvee lost control and went into a spin. The other Humvee was forced to screech to a halt.
“Yeah!” Spike whooped, watching the chaos in his rear-view mirror. “Just try and stop me, you stupid ja-” He should have been looking where he was going. He failed to spot a turn, shot off the road, and crashed head-on into a wall.
For a moment he slumped motionless, stunned by the impact, and then he straightened up and threw open the door. Before he could climb out a Humvee pulled up alongside and black-clad men leapt out.
“Bugger!” Spike growled. He exited the vehicle as fast as he could but he was too late. Soldiers blocked his path and an M-16 was pointed at his face. He froze. It probably couldn’t kill him, unless a burst of fully automatic fire somehow managed to cut completely through his neck, but it could disable him and it would hurt like hell.
“Hey, what is this?” Spike protested, feigning an American accent as best he could. “What are you, a SWAT team or something? I thought you were gangsters.”
The soldiers made no reply. “Hey, look what we got here,” said the one aiming the M-16. “It’s Hostile Seventeen. Not the hostile we were looking for...”
“So move along, I can go about my business,” Spike interjected.
His comment was ignored. “...but it’s a pretty good second prize. Bag him, tag him, and back to base.”- - - - -
Maggie Walsh examined the items taken from Hostile Seventeen’s pockets. A cigarette lighter and an open pack of Marlboro. A pack of cards. A bottle-opener. Thirty-seven dollars and change. A hunting knife with a wicked eight-inch blade. A wooden stake. A picture, cut from a magazine, of someone called ‘David Beckham’. Another picture, cut from an entirely different sort of magazine, of a blonde woman named ‘Adele’ whose unclad breasts would probably class as the eighth and ninth wonders of the world.
Walsh frowned, pursed her lips, and went to stare through one-way glass at the vampire in his new holding cell. “I believe that it’s been interacting in a fairly normal fashion with humans,” she said. “Interesting.”
“I don’t believe its story about stealing the car,” Dr Angleman said. “I’m sure that the owner knew perfectly well that Hostile Seventeen had the vehicle.”
“Mr. Rupert Giles,” Walsh said. “The… mentor, I think would be the most apt term… of this ‘Slayer’ Finn is inflicting upon us. I can’t see it being a coincidence. The scenario that best fits the facts is that Hostile Seventeen has been working for the Slayer and Mr. Giles, presumably killing other HSTs for them, in exchange for blood and cigarette money.”
“I concur,” Angleman agreed. “I don’t think it should here when the Slayer arrives. We’d better dispose of it.”
Professor Walsh stared at the pacing Spike. “If it has sufficient sentience to alter its instinctive behavior patterns, and work with humans, it could be very useful. It displayed a significant degree of intelligence and resourcefulness when it made its escape from this facility and, of course, it has all the standard abilities of this category of HST. Hardly in the same class as 314, and its vulnerability to sunlight limits its area of operations, but I think that we can still get something out of it. An operational proof of concept. It should impress our backers enough to guarantee that our funding will continue for the foreseeable future.”
Dr Angleman’s eyebrows rose. “How can we do that without keeping the Hostile here?”
“We’re not the only NID operation with an unusual mandate,” Walsh told him. “I have heard that there is a project in Colorado that has made contact with extra
-terrestrial hostiles. I’m not going to go into the details, you don’t have the security clearance for that, but I will say that apparently they have to deal with creatures stronger and faster than humans. Possibly Hostile Seventeen will be of use to them; either as a test subject, or else as a disposable weapon. Extra-terrestrials won’t trigger the neurological implant.” She turned away from the window. “I’ll make the arrangements. You prepare Seventeen for shipping.”- - - - -
“Did you see any sign of Spike?” Giles asked.
Buffy shook her head. “Nope. There were parts they didn’t seem too keen on me going into, though, so I can’t be sure he isn’t there.”
Giles pursed his lips. “I believe it’s a high probability. Blast it. Do keep an eye out for him, or for any clues as to his whereabouts, on subsequent visits to that… place.”
“Why so bothered?” Buffy asked. “I thought you hated Spike.”
“I dislike him, certainly,” Giles said, “but hatred is perhaps too strong a term. When he isn’t being deliberately annoying, which admittedly is a very small percentage of the time, he can be, ah, tolerable company. Without his aid I might have remained a Fyarl demon and, perhaps, have been captured by this… Initiative.”
Buffy’s jaw tightened. “And they might have cut you open like that squid-y thing. Yeah, you’re right, Spike took one for the team and so we owe him. At least enough to try to get him out if he is in there.”
“I’m dubious about the whole operation,” Giles said. “The chip implanted in Spike raises several rather, ah, disturbing possibilities. I see no legitimate uses for such technology.”
“Willow was saying the same thing,” Buffy said. “They’re not gonna rehabilitate the vamps and get them jobs as bag-boys at Wal-Mart, she said, so what are they gonna do with them?”
“The possibility that first comes to mind,” Giles replied, “is that the demons will be used as janissaries.” Incomprehension was written all over Buffy’s face and so Giles explained further. “Slave soldiers,” he clarified. “I suspect that the military will use vampires, and other demons, against enemies of the United States.”
“Demons against humans?” Buffy grimaced. “That’s… eww.” She contemplated Giles’ words for a moment and then smiled. “Hey, maybe they’re just gonna make them hunt other demons. That wouldn’t be so bad. Like, Spike can hurt demons but not humans, so, he wouldn’t be any use against, you know, the Russians or whatever.”
Giles shook his head. “I really can’t see your Government devoting such a large investment in personnel and infrastructure to what can only be a low priority objective. It’s only human enemies who can inspire that kind of expenditure. Certainly during the Second World War the Germans attempted, with limited success, to use magic and demons against the Allies.”
“Yeah, but they were, like, Nazis,” Buffy said.
“No nation or political system has a monopoly on evil,” Giles said. “I find it perfectly plausible that certain elements within your Government would see nothing wrong in using demons against, say, Saddam Hussein, or Russia if the political climate shifts back towards what it was during the Cold War, or perhaps China if it challenges the hegemony of the USA. I am deeply suspicious of Professor Walsh’s motives and intentions.”
Buffy sucked in her cheeks. “I think she’s one of the good guys. Basically, anyway. But, okay, I’ll keep my eyes open. Watch out for any sign of Spike, try to find out what this ‘314’ thing is, and whatever.”
“Thank you. And, Buffy,” Giles said, pausing to adjust the position of his glasses, “do be careful.”- - - - -
General Hammond frowned at Major Davis. “I don’t understand,” he said. “What is this thing? Is it a man or something else? And what on Earth makes the NID think it could be useful to us?”
“I don’t know all that much about it myself,” Major Davis admitted. “I just got a ten-minute briefing and then I had to read this,” he laid a thick folder down on the General’s desk, “on the plane. It’s a vampire, pretty much like the ones in the horror movies, but it’s real. Much stronger and faster than a human, apparently, and someone high up in the NID thinks it would outclass the Jaffa and the Goa’uld.”
“A vampire,” Hammond said, shaking his head slowly. “With fangs, and a cloak, and turning into a bat?”
“No cloak,” Davis said, “and changing into a bat is a myth. The allergy to sunlight and crosses is true, the briefing material says, and if the vampire goes out in the sun it will catch fire and burn to death.”
“That’s not exactly a desirable trait in a soldier,” Hammond said.
“I agree,” Davis said. “Perhaps some sort of protective clothing might solve that problem. On the plus side they tell me bullets don’t have much effect on it. A staff blast might light it on fire, and there’s the sunlight thing, but otherwise the only ways to kill it are a stake through the heart or decapitation.”
“It sounds… dangerous,” Hammond said. “What’s to stop it turning on us?”
“They implanted a computer chip in its head that gives it an incapacitating electric shock if it tries to harm a human,” Davis explained. “I have no idea if that would stop it fighting Jaffa or Goa’uld. Anyway, it’s your problem now. All I was told to do was hand it over.” He put a hand in a pocket and pulled out a little device, about the size of a pocket calculator, with a couple of buttons on its upper surface. “One more thing. This is a remote control.”
“A remote control for a vampire
?” Hammond’s eyebrows crawled up his forehead.
“Effectively, yes,” Davis said. “It can activate the shock function on the control implant. If the vampire won’t obey orders you can switch the pain on until it gives in.”
“That’s… horrible,” Hammond said.
“Don’t blame me, I’m only passing it on,” Davis said. “If it turns out the vampire isn’t any use to you, well, all you have to do is drive a wooden stake through its heart and then sweep up the dust.”- - - - -
Two burly soldier types hustled Spike into the briefing room. His arms were shackled behind him. Two other guards walked behind; one cradled an MP-5 and the other gripped a piece of wood, sharpened to a point, holding it as if it was a combat knife. The escorts pushed Spike to a chair and forced him to sit down.
“Could have just bloody asked,” Spike grumbled.
The bald man sitting at the head of the table opened his mouth, closed it again, shook his head and then spoke. “I was about to say ‘Welcome to the SGC’ but I suppose that it’s hardly appropriate in the circumstances. We didn’t exactly give you any choice. You’re really a vampire?”
“Nah, I’m just a bloody tourist,” Spike said. “Bunch of sodding nutters in black ski-masks snatched me up off the street and stuffed a machine-gun up my nose. Next thing I know I’m locked up and…”
A man wearing glasses interrupted him. “You don’t have a reflection,” he exclaimed. He was holding a small mirror and glancing back and forth between the mirror and Spike. “Incredible. I’d never have believed it.”
Spike grimaced. “Bugger,” he said. “Busted.”
“You’re… Australian?” the bald man asked. He wore a short-sleeved shirt in light blue, with epaulettes bearing two stars, and a nametag above his breast pocket read ‘HAMMOND’.
“Like Hell,” Spike protested. “Huh. Bloody Yanks.”
“English, then,” Hammond said. “My apologies.” He gave a small smile. “For your information, I’m from Texas, so calling me a Yank is as inaccurate as me calling you Australian. I suppose it makes us even.”
“Apart from me being in bloody manacles, and you not,” Spike said.
“I feel, at this stage, it’s a necessary precaution,” Hammond said. “Once we’ve learnt a little more about you perhaps we can dispense with the cuffs.”
“Didn’t the commando blokes fill you in?” Spike asked. He looked around the table and sized up everyone there. He was no expert on the American military but he’d seen a few war films. From what he could remember the two stars on the shirt meant that Hammond was a General. Or an Admiral, maybe, the light blue shirt might mean the Navy. The other people weren’t quite as easy to pin down. The bloke with the glasses didn’t look military, his hairstyle was definitely civilian and he didn’t have that soldier-boy body language, but he didn’t come over as being a mad scientist type either. Something about him reminded Spike of Giles.
There were two women there and they were certainly easy on the eye. One of them was a good-looking piece, probably in her thirties, with red hair and brown eyes. She wore a white coat over her pale blue shirt, which was a bit ominous to Spike, but she didn’t really look like the sort of person who’d cut vampires up to see what made them tick. Looks could be deceptive, of course, but her lips had the curl of someone who smiled easily.
The other woman was a world-class looker. Bit too thin maybe, not a lot to offer in the knockers department, but her face was bloody gorgeous. Shortish blonde hair, classic features, big bluish-grey eyes with long lashes. She was wearing a drab blue uniform, the shapeless garments they called ‘fatigues’ if Spike remembered right, which did its best to hide what was probably a super-model league figure. Spike decided that his guess of ‘Navy’ was probably correct.
There was one other person at the table. A great big black bloke, in olive green fatigues, with a shaven head and a bloody weird thing in the middle of his forehead. A sort of gold badge that was impressed into his skin. A Marine, Spike would have said, except for the tattoo or whatever the Hell that thing was. Also Spike was getting a funny sort of vibe from the bloke. Didn’t quite come over as human. Demon, perhaps, although Spike had never come across any type quite like him before.
“Commandos?” Hammond frowned. “I assume you mean the… unit who captured you. No, we received only a sketchy briefing pack. To be honest I’m not sure why you’ve been sent to us.”
“Let me guess,” Spike said. “You want something from a sunken submarine and somebody had the bright idea that you could use a vampire who doesn’t need to breathe. Only, typical bloody screw-up, nobody told the blokes at the sharp end what they were supposed to do.”
Hammond’s frown grew deeper. “A submarine? Why would you…?” His frown was replaced by a grin. “You think we’re Navy? Son, we’re the Air Force.”
“Don’t know how to fly,” Spike said, “so I can’t help you. Right, that’s sorted, you can just let me go.”
The slim bird’s eyes had grown even bigger. “You don’t need to breathe?”
“Bloody Hell, don’t you know anything about vampires?” Spike gave a snort, half amused, half contemptuous. “Don’t breathe, don’t need to eat solid food, do need to drink blood. Suffer from a terminal sun allergy.”
“Sir,” the bird said to Hammond, “this could be the biggest stroke of luck we’ve ever had. We were worried about there not being enough air in the cavity to last until Teal’c can dig through to the surface. With an extra person, who doesn’t need to breathe, we could halve the time and at least double Teal’c’s chances.”
“Indeed,” said the big black bloke, speaking for the first time. His voice was deep and sonorous. “However I will not be a part of compelling a sentient creature to serve as a slave. That would make us no better than the Goa’uld.”
“Rest easy, Teal’c,” Hammond said. “That’s not how we do things at the SGC.” He raised his eyes to the SFs who stood on guard behind Spike. “Unshackle him,” he ordered.
“Sir!” The chains were immediately unlocked and removed.
Hammond put his hand to his shirt pocket and pulled out a small black object. “When they sent you to us,” he said to Spike, “they sent this as well. They tell me it can activate a computer chip in your head and cause you severe pain.” He set it down on the table, as Spike flinched, and pushed it across in the vampire’s direction. “I’m not going to use it. This isn’t the Middle Ages. Forcing someone to obey my orders, with something that’s far too much like a Goa’uld pain stick, sticks in my craw. Keep it, son.”
Spike reached out and picked up the little device. “Thanks,” he said. He stared at it for a moment.
“If you’re thinking of destroying it,” the blonde woman said, “I’d advise against doing anything drastic until I’ve had a chance to check it out. It might have an anti-tamper mechanism or a fail-safe. Smashing it might make the computer chip activate permanently.”
Spike hastily put the remote down again. “Good thinking,” he said. He looked into Hammond’s eyes. “So, who are you blokes, anyway?” he asked.
“I’m Major-General George Hammond, the commander of this facility,” Hammond introduced himself.
“The very model of a modern Major-General, eh?” Spike said. “I’m Spike. William the Bloody if you want to be formal.”
The glasses-wearer extended a hand to Spike. “Daniel Jackson,” he said. “So, vampires are real? That would explain why the Sumerian myths of the Ekimmu
don’t match up with anything we know about the Goa’uld…”
“Later, Dr Jackson,” Hammond said. He gestured at each of the others at the table in turn. “Major Samantha Carter,” he said, indicating the pretty blonde, “Doctor Janet Fraiser,” the red-head, “and Teal’c.”
The big black guy inclined his head as the General pointed at him. “Greetings, Vampire Spike,” he said.
“You know, I get the feeling that you’re not from around these parts,” Spike said.
“Indeed,” Teal’c replied. “I am from Chulak.”
Spike raised an eyebrow. “Where’s that? South Africa?”
“It’s two thousand light years away,” Hammond explained. “Teal’c is a Jaffa, that’s a race of alien warriors, and this is Stargate Command. We explore other planets.”
Spike’s eyes widened. He raised a hand to his cheek and pinched himself. He stared at Teal’c’s impassive face and then looked back at the General. “Well bugger me sideways,” he said, after a moment’s silence. “And I thought me being a vampire was weird.”- - - - -
“They led me to believe that you were not much more than a dangerous animal,” Hammond said. “It’s obvious you’re more than that. I’ve never heard of an animal that quotes Gilbert and Sullivan.”
“A Mynah bird might, or a parrot,” Spike said, “although not a dead one.”
“So I’m going to treat you as if you were an alien,” Hammond went on, ignoring Spike’s comment. “I’m under strict instructions not to let you go, and I’m not going to let you eat anyone, but apart from that we can negotiate. If you don’t co-operate you’ll be treated as a Prisoner of War. If you agree to help us out, on the other hand, you can have the same privileges as the officers of the SGC.”
“Ciggies?” Spike asked.
“There are only a couple of areas on the base where smoking is permitted,” Hammond said, “but yes, if you stick to those areas, you can have cigarettes.”
“Video games, a chance to watch the Premiership footie on telly and catch up on ‘Passions’, a CD player and a few classic punk compilation albums,” Spike went on. “Don’t need all that much, really.”
“Soccer,” Major Carter translated. “It’s not a problem. We can pick up the UK satellite transmissions through NORAD. I used to watch it myself once in a while, although I’ve been too busy with the particle beam generator lately.”
“Oh, yeah, and a regular supply of blood, of course,” Spike added.
“Those terms seem perfectly reasonable,” Hammond said. “What we want you to do in return is assist in a rescue mission. My second-in-command, Colonel O’Neill, is stranded on an alien planet. A meteorite impact buried the planet’s Gate under a covering of molten rock. We’ve got it working again but it’s lying on its back under an unknown depth of rock. An empty chamber was created when the Gate activated and we estimate it will hold enough air to last one person four hours. Not a lot of time to breach the rock. Two people would use up the air twice as fast – unless one of them is you.”
“Doesn’t sound too bad,” Spike said, “except, what happens if it’s daylight when we break through? Instant crispy fried Spike.”
“It would be impossible to work in a full Hazmat suit,” Carter mused, “but we should be able to come up with something lighter that would protect you from solar radiation. There wouldn’t be any need for breathing apparatus…”
“Get on it, Major,” Hammond ordered. He turned back to Spike. “Assuming we can protect you from sunlight, will you assist in the rescue mission?”
“Sure, I’ll do it,” Spike said. “’S not like I’ve got anything else to do. Could do with some blood first, mind, I’m bloody starving.”
“I take it you don’t have to drink it straight from the source?” said the woman doctor.
“Much more fun that way, but no, it’s not essential,” Spike told her. He had assessed the probability of anyone here being stupid enough to volunteer to be a living drinks dispenser, decided that the answer was zero, and so there wasn’t any point in lying. “Been getting by on the bagged stuff for a while now.” He didn’t mention that he’d been existing mainly on pig blood; he was sure this lot would be able to come up with human.
The doctor’s mouth twisted slightly and her nose wrinkled up. “We have a large stockpile of blood for transfusions. Some of it is getting close to its expiration date. You can have as much of that as you like. I’ll have to do some checks on you before you can go through the Gate. I need to know if your… condition is infectious.”
“Not as such, no,” Spike said. “I’d have to drink your blood ‘til you were nearly dead, make you drink some of mine, and then when you died you’d come back as a vampire. Not something that can happen by accident.”
“You might not be an impartial source of information,” the doctor said. “I’ll check it out for myself.”
Hammond nodded. “Very well. Go with Dr Fraiser, Mr. Spike.” He nodded to the guards and they fell into position ready for escort duty.
“Hang on a mo’,” Spike said. “Still haven’t got my head around what’s going on here. Aliens, other planets, it’s all a bit much to take in. And what the Hell’s a ‘Gate’?”- - - - -
Three hours later Spike, who had been hastily briefed on Gate travel and given instructions for the mission, saw the Stargate in operation for the first time. “Looks a bit like a toilet flushing,” he commented, as the vortex erupted from out of the ring.
“That is an analogy that has been made by others before you, Vampire Spike,” Teal’c said. As soon as the event horizon had stabilized into a shimmering blue surface he fired a harpoon gun through it. He shouldered a pack of drilling tools, gripped the rope that now trailed out from the Stargate, and turned to Spike. “Remember that if you fall back through the Gate you will be totally destroyed. Travel is one way only.”
“Yeah, I got the memo,” Spike said. “I’ll be careful. Being totally destroyed isn’t on my ‘to do’ list. Okay, I’m ready. ‘To boldly go’ and all that crap.”
The pair advanced up the ramp, stepped through the event horizon, and disappeared.- - - - -
Professor Walsh’s back was to the monitor as she explained to Riley the circumstances behind Buffy’s tragic death. She didn’t see the image begin to move and then Buffy’s face appear on the screen. She saw Riley’s expression change but thought that it was in reaction to what she was saying.
“It’s hard not to blame myself,” Walsh said, and then broke off as sounds came from behind her.
“Professor Walsh,” Buffy’s voice said, her tone harsh, and Walsh turned around hastily. The screen showed a close-up of Buffy’s face.
“That simple little recon you sent me on,” Buffy continued, “wasn’t a raccoon. Turns out it was me trapped in the sewers with a faulty weapon and two of your pet demons. If you think that’s enough to kill me you really don’t know what a Slayer is. Trust me when I say you’re gonna find out.”
Buffy’s face rose up, disappeared from view momentarily, and then came back into shot. “Oh, yeah, and I guess you’ve just proved that it was you who took Spike. We want him back. He’s an asshole, sure, but he’s our
asshole. Let him go or this is gonna happen to you.” Her face vanished again, there was a brief crunching sound, and then the screen went blank.