Xander's ship and Oz's struggle
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy, Star wars or any other charater you recognize from my stories. They all belong to the respective owners and I had no part in their creation. This is done for enjoyment and not profit. Thanks!
“Is that really you?” Willow asked, tears in her eyes.
“Last time I checked my underpants it was.” Xander smiled and had to drop his helmet as both Willow and Buffy each rushed over to him. Holding both of his friends, Xander’s eyes closed as memories began to flow through his mind. The first time he met Willow, his crash when he saw Buffy and every other wacky adventure that had followed.
Riley watched the reunion and savagely suppressed a small feeling of jealously. Fingering the trigger of his taser he analyzed his emotions. Xander was Buffy’s dear friend, nothing more. There was never anything between them and there was nothing between them now. There was absolutely no reason to feel jealous. Calmed by his thoughts, Riley silently watched the reunion of the three dear friends.
While the scoobies were distracted, Spike took the chance to sneak away. Thanks to Dru he knew, by looking at the surroundings, that he was in Star Wars. Hell, Star Wars was one of the few things that calmed Dru down during the years she was injured. He knew more than he wanted to about this place, having had to put up with Dru’s ramblings about her ‘Dark Prince’, and the one piece of information that he did relish in was that this world would, hopefully, have a doctor who could remove his chip. After that, well, after that he would just have to see what this galaxy had to offer while he found a way home. A smile found its way onto Spike’s face, the first genuine smile since his chip was implanted. Oh yes, he would definitely have to find out everything he could about this galaxy before leaving.
As Spike’s form faded from view the group hug between the three old friends ended. Willow stayed close to Xander while Buffy moved to Riley’s side and gave him a small hug. Xander shot a questioning glance her way and was answered with a smile and a nod.
“Riley, this is Xander.” Buffy said, “Xander this is Riley, my boyfriend.” The two men exchanged pleasantries, followed by a short silence as they sized each other up.
“Any who,” Xander broke the quiet. “Now that you guys are here we are going to need to talk. Not here though. Back to my ship. Follow me guys.” He picked up his helmet and replaced it on his head. Without another backward glance, Xander left the alley. The small group shared a glance before following, Buffy in the lead and Riley bringing up the rear.
A few moments later…
“And here she is!” Xander announced with a flair of his arms. “The Corellian Gambit! She a bit old, having been constructed over twenty years ago, but she is a classic and is in mint condition. “ Xander’s friends silently followed after him as he crossed the space between the entrance to the docking bay and the ship.
“An Kuat Drive Yards Amphibious Interstellar Assault Transport/infantry, or a AIAT/I as we spacers call it, is quite impressive, if I say so myself. It has a height of 12.5 meters, a length of 31.5 meters and a wingspan of 30 meters. It has two oversized sub-light engines that is capable of 700 km an hour and armaments capable of leveling small outposts.” Xander’s love for his ship was evident in his voice, at least to Willow and Buffy.
“This leads me to my next point.” Xander continued. “I wanted to wait until I had proof before I told you this but you guys are no longer on Earth or even in the same galaxy as Earth. Believe it or not you are in a galaxy where Star Wars seems to be real.”
“Oh come on.” Riley interrupted. “You expect me to believe that Star Wars is real? Jedi and the force and all that?”
“Believe it or not its true.” Xander answered. “Unless you believe that the Air force has planes like that?” Not receiving an answer from the solider Xander continued. “We are currently on Nal Hutta, a Hut planet…”
Xander was, once more, interrupted. This time it was a short, brown reptile like creature with smooth skin. He was wearing glasses and a dirty brown outfit. He was carrying a small box and he walked straight past the four of them without so much as a glance toward them.
“Goon! Come here. I want you to meet my friends.” Xander called.
“No, no. No time. Plenty to do, no time to do it in.” The creature, obviously Goon, answered in a shrill voice. “Goon would be pleased to meet them but is too busy. Bye!” With that he disappeared up the boarding ramp of the Gambit.
“Well, he was awfully nice for a demon. Friend of yours?” Buffy asked.
“Yes he is a friend but not a demon, merely a alien. From what I can tell there are no demons in this universe, only different species of aliens.” he answered.
“Shit! Spike!” Riley swore. “We forgot all about him!”
“Spike? What about him?” Xander asked.
“He was close to us when the portal appeared and I seen him after we appeared. He must have sneaked away when we weren’t looking.” Riley answered.
“OK,” Xander’s hand rose to his armored forehead. “He could be anywhere by now and looking for him now would be pointless. The only thing we can hope is that he don’t cause too much trouble before we can catch him. Before you explain why you didn’t dust Spike when you had a chance lets get inside. Come on.”
Meanwhile on a small moon…
Riv watched as his pup, Oz, went through the steps of the kata once more. As Riv watched his pup he felt a sense of pride well up inside his chest. His pup had come along very well is such a short amount of time. Already he was at the second tier of the Art, as they called their form of martial art, and he was beginning to feel more at ease with himself. If it hadn’t been for the unwelcome transformations, which had occurred four times a month instead of the three he was used to, he believed that the pup would be further along in his meditation training. Looking up at the sky, and the clear view of the full second moon of Uvena III, Riv smiled and crossed the grass over to his young pup.
It took Oz several moments for him to notice his master, for want of a better term, standing at the edge of the clearing. Finishing his current kata he stood there and waited.
“Good, pup.” Riv told him. “You have came far in your studies. In fact, look up.”
Oz obeyed only to stare in shock at the bright full moon. It lasted all of a minute before the change overtook him. Riv sighed and signaled to the three young shistavanens he had ready just for this instance. They raced forward but were just a little too late. Oz had already finished his transformation and ran off into the forest. The three pups gave a happy yip/growl and chased off after him on all fours. It took them about an hour until they returned with a bound Oz and they quickly deposited him in the force cage they had rigged up to contain him. Oz managed to break free of his rope bonds just as the shields went up.
The next morning…
Oz slowly opened his eyes. His entire body was in pain and, while not unusual, his muscles felt as if they had went through a meat grinder. Giving a slight groan, Oz got to his feet and stumbled to the hidden compartment in the ground where both his clothes and the controls to the opaque shields that made up his cage were kept. Grinding his teeth in pain, Oz got dressed and ran himself through a series of exercises to loosen his muscles. As he finished he felt the pain dull to a acceptable throb and he shut off the shields.
As he had expected three of the wolfmen, as he liked to call them, were waiting for him. As Oz looked at them he got strange, flashes, of running through the forest being chased by these three. It was odd. Ever since he had began his meditation training he was able to remember more and more of what happened when he was transformed. He remembered being chased, them catching him, the fight that ensued and them taking him down through pure numbers. After that everything became quite blurry, the only other clear memory was him throwing himself at the shields holding him.
Shaking his head to drive the memories from his head, Oz raised a hand in greeting and continued on his way. As he walked Oz watched the other trainees work through the same exercises and meditations that he was learning. Every trainee was fifteen years old or older, some even as old as thirty. All of them had tired of the traditional shistavanen way of life and had decided to seek out the order to better themselves.
Oz stopped to watch a sparring match between two second tier trainees. It was apparent, form the damage that each trainees had sustained, that the match had been going on for quite a while. One of the trainees, a gray furred female, leaped forward bringing her claws down upon her partner’s shoulder. Her partner, a black furred male, was unable to dodge in time and received a deep gash alongside his bicep. Oz had to fight the urge to run to his aide. The shistavanens healed quickly, recovering from most minor wounds in a matter of hours and most major wounds in a matter of days.
The male quickly adjusted to the loss of his arm and launched his counter attack. He used his powerful hind legs and leapt straight up into the air. The female seemed to expect this and rolled under him just as he came crashing down in the place where she was a few seconds ago. The male was off balance for just a second but that was all she needed. She spun, grabbed the male by his shoulders, flipped him over her head and slammed him face down into the ground with her on his back. Try as he might the male could not get out from underneath her. After a few minutes of fruitless struggling he gave up and she helped him to his feet. All around them their audience gave growls of approval while Oz merely clapped his hands and moved on.
It took Oz several more minutes before he reached his master's hut. Entering the hut he bowed his head in respect to his master and waited.
It wasn't long before Riv spoke. “Well, pup, you have done what you wanted. You suppressed your beast.”
“I didn't.” Oz replied. “I still changed.”
“Only because I brought your attention to the moon.” he answered. “If you hadn't noticed it, you would've stayed human.”
“Are you sure?”Oz asked.
“Very sure. If you would like you can try it tonight. Maintain your focus, pup, and you will be fine. Have you thought about whats next for you. Pup?”
“Huh?” was the young man's response.
“Typical of the young pups.” Riv shock his head. “Never thinking ahead. You are more at peace with your inner pup, correct?”
“Well, ya.” He answered. “I have had less of a struggle lately with my inner wolf.”
“Did you ever think that you may be able to fully control the change?” Riv asked. “That you may feel what it is like to run through the forest on all fours, feel the wind rush through your fur as you hunt or even to be the hunted? Trust me on this, pup, it is a feeling that you wouldn't soon forget. It is one of the reasons that my people are obsessed with the hunt. Well, pup?”
“Do you think it is possible?”
Riv regarded his young student for a moment in silence. “Would you be able to forgive yourself if you didn't try or not ask yourself what could have been, pup?”
Oz shook his head. “Alright how do we begin?”
“Meditation form two.” Riv continued as Oz fell into his meditation form. “You are going to try and go deeper then you have ever before tried. Begin.”
Oz did as his master told him to, his body falling into the pattern he had been conditioning it to the last year. As he fell deeper and deeper into his subconscious mind he felt the primitive mind of his inner wolf rise to meet him. Holding the contact without suppressing it was difficult but Oz managed it. As he sat there he couldn't help but to let his mind wander back to the first time he managed to delve this far into his mind...
6 months earlier...
“Concentrate, pup, concentrate!” Riv told Oz.
“You know what would make it easier to concentrate? You not telling me to!” Oz retorted.
Oz winced as the small twig Riv had been holding hit his shoulder. “Focus on your thoughts, not me!”
Taking a deep breath, Oz focused his thoughts inward. His thoughts slowly bleed away leaving him alone in his mind. Even as his mind went silent another mind, a much more primitive mind, rose to meet his own. Before he could react the primitive mind slammed into his own and he found himself inside forest in the middle of the night. Looking up Oz could see a blood red full moon. Oz's attention was tore away from the moon by a growl. Turning towards the sound, he spotted a werewolf, a terror of a werewolf with seven inch claws and three inch teeth, enter the clearing.
Any surprise Oz felt was pushed from his mind the moment the werewolf charged him. Oz threw himself away from the wolf as he was attacked. The wolf's claws slashed through his shirt but, thankfully, missed his skin. Oz kept himself ahead of the wolf for the next few minutes before the wolf, getting angry, jumped and landed on top of him. As he felt the werewolf's teeth clamp down on his throat, Oz felt something inside of him, change. Fury and rage began to overcome his mental barriers. As his mental barriers fell, Oz felt power fill him.
Along with the power came a sense of euphoria that carried Oz away. Unknown to Oz as he was being carried away with his new feelings, his real body was undergoing changes that it usually only went through when under the full moon. Luckily, for Oz's conscience if not his body, the werewolf attacked the first creature he spotted: Master Riv. As the wolf jumped at Riv, the elderly master merely fell back and used his powerful legs to propel the wolf across the clearing.
The wolf landed, recovered and charged once more at the prone figure of master Riv. Rather than try to get to his feet, Riv twisted on the ground propelling his feet into the side of the wolf's snout. Instead of killing his momentum, Riv used it to come to his feet just ahead of the werewolf's claws. Ducking both claws Riv lashed out with his own, only just remembering in time to hold back to prevent Oz from suffering permanent damage. Both his claws hit the wolf square in the chest and Riv followed up by jumping on top of the wolf this time. Holding the wolf down, Riv gave out a loud howl.
By the time help arrived two minutes later, Riv found himself pant in exhaustion. 'The pup may not have skill,' Riv thought to himself. 'But his strength is amazing. Hes stronger then any of our pups.'
Oz mentally shook his head, bringing his mind back to the present. It had taken four of the young warriors, the same four who guarded him now in fact, to overpower his wolf and it hadn't been easy. In the end it took master Riv to knock him out while the four young warriors held him.
Oz felt the small twig snap across his shoulder. Opening his eyes he saw a disapproving look upon his master's face. “Listen pup, here is what you will do....” As Oz fell deeper into his mind the voice of his master's instructions were the only thing he could hear.
A/N: Sorry this chapter took so long. I would like to thank my new beta, Wyeth, for his aid in making this chapter readable and for his input on addiitions to it. Thanks Wyeth! I would also like to thank everyone who reviewed with all the lovely input and ideas. Thanks!
A/N2: For those who want a picture of Xander's ship, here it is: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/AIAT/i