Final Invasion, Chapter Seven
POWER RANGERS:- Demon Wars
Cameron Mitchell had done a lot of crazy things in the years since joining the SGC. A deep strike behind the lines of an inter-dimensional invasion force, into the heart of a fortress swarming with monsters, was still pushing it. Wryly Cam smirked to himself, after all the enemies they'd dealt with so far this was just a natural progression.
Landing from the Asguard beam Cam crouched and pivoted. Checking the area, thankfully they were alone and were where they should have been. Not where they wanted, but you couldn't have everything. Their job was simple, take out the Crystal at the heart of the complex with C4. They wanted to get a lot closer but the damn thing was putting out some sort of interference. The boffins on the Apollo could cut through it enough to get them in the walls but that was about it. They had to fight their way through the base and complete the mission. Once the objective was complete they were to take out as many of the enemy as they could and pull back. Ready for the second phase of the plan.
Cam stood up and snapped off a few orders to secure the site, a corner room on a tower. The complex was really a large castle, an outer wall with five towers like a pentagon with the objective in the keep at the Centre. They had to get from here, the further most point, through the court yard full of demons before they could get there.
With Jackson and Teal'c off world and with Sam still heading up Atlantis he'd been saddled with SG-13 for this mission. Instead of taking what he considered a heathy precaution with their equipment they just had their standard P90's and side arms. He knew Johnson, their usual CO, had an old M60 striped down in his pack, along with it's optional grenade launcher, but in a fire fight he wouldn't have time to put it back together.
Cam knew it was going to be difficult so he'd come prepared, his SAW heavy machine-gun should give him the stopping power to take out a battalion. He had a spare drum of ammo for it in his backpack, along with one for the already loaded automatic shotgun strapped to its side. His own sidearm was tucked into the small of his back and a zat strapped to his thigh.
It was their four new allies he was most concerned about. Teenage girls armed with swords and sharp sticks. General O'Neill and the Rangers had vouched for them, but as the Ranger's themselves were only kids he wasn't happy. He got their leader's attention. "Kennedy, I want you and your team to keep close. Stay out of our line of fire. If they get too close then you come into play."
Almost too fast for him to see, let alone react, the girl grabbed the knife he'd kept for emergencys. In one smooth move she drew and threw the blade, at the same time pushing him out of the way.
Through the window behind him Cam saw a figure, with what looked like a crossbow, get picked up by the knife, spin in mid air and then tumble over the battlements nearly quarter of a mile away. "Sorry, what was that?" she asked sweetly.
Cam looked back at her and then to the window. The damn thing was a slit barely a handspan across. "You owe me a knife." He told her before pointing at a random door. "We're going this way. You stick close and keep your eyes peeled."
"Okay." She shrugged doing a bad job of hiding a grin. "Got any grenades?"
Cam glared at her, he knew he'd forgotten something. "Damn it."
Dawn watched Jane blush before she gave her a glare almost worthy of Buffy. Given a few years she might have pulled it off. She had, of course, thrown up the moment she landed and didn't look like she was going to forgive any of them any time soon.
She never would if she could see the grins Dawn knew were plastered across the faces of the Rangers. Not for the first time she was glad people couldn't see through their helmets. "You alright?" Cassie asked, ever the doctor.
"You've not got something for motion sickness have you?" The blonde Slayer asked.
Cassie barked out a laugh and Jane tried to glare again. "Ma'am, we should be moving." One of the Marine's said. Either he wasn't as nervous as the rest of them, or had left his sense of humour in orbit.
"He's right," Dawn nodded and drew her Flute. "We'll go this way. Keep us covered."
The Green Ranger got two steps before Sari cough. "You mean this way, don't you?" She was pointing down another blind corridor, in the other direction.
"Do I?" Dawn asked, not sure what the Yellow Ranger was getting at.
She looked embarrassed. "Internal compass." The half robot explained. "And a built in GPS unit."
Ignoring the snickers of laugher from the two Slayers Dawn stalked down the right direction.
Buffy's team was the last to be beamed in. If she was really lucky she wouldn't have to do that again. Teleporting from one place to another might have sounded cool, but it just didn't feel right to her. More than that the Airforce's version, with the bright light and sudden vertigo, felt all too much like the last time she had died.
She noticed that while the other Slayers had the same trouble gathering their wits the fly boys that they'd brought with them had hit the ground running. Their guns up and scanning the area like seasoned professionals. Unfortunately one of them just wasn't fast enough and one of the demon warriors burst out of the shadows, knocking the machine gun to one side. The Marine stumbled backwards and landed on his backside.
Buffy was the closest and was able to catch the Demon's down coming blade with the crosspiece of the hammer. All it took was a deft twist and the rusty lump of black metal went flying from its grip, a quick double kick from her pushed it back just enough for her to spin around and upper cut with the Troll Hammer. The blow not only picked the hapless warrior up but literally splattered it over the ceiling.
"Oh, great." A Slayer muttered behind her. "It's going to be a messy one."
Buffy helped the solder up and noticed his name badge, Gregor, "You alright?" She asked as he checked his weapon.
"Five by five, ma'am." He looked up at the smear above them and then back to her. "I owe you one."
"You'll get a chance to pay me back." Buffy admitted, getting serious Sunnydale flashbacks. "What do you guy's say, lock and load?"
"Damn straight." he grinned.
"Cool," Buffy looked around. "Anyone know which way we're supposed to go?"
Giles looked at the clock on the screen and then to the General. O'Neill looked like one of those career military officers that regretted promotion. He sat on the bridge of his ship, looking out of the main window, drumming his fingers on the armrest. If the old Watcher had to guess he'd say the other man had only been behind a desk for a couple of years. Given his rank, that meant he'd either done something fairly monumental or someone wanted him out of the way. Possibly both.
Truth was Giles knew what it was like, since the collapse of Sunnydale he'd been de-facto head of the Council. Having to deal with the nearly endless requests, committee meetings, unruly Slayers, complaining former Watchers he'd been forced to press in to service and, of course, his own batch of Slayers had him longing for the days when he was organising library books and dealing with Buffy's hormone driven problems.
"How long have they had?" O'Neill asked and Giles glanced at the screen again.
"Ten minutes, Sir." One of the Sergeants answered, almost as if he'd expected the question at that exact moment.
Giles decided to jump in. "Waiting's always the worst part."
"Tell me about it."
"Don't worry, I once spent two weeks waiting for a demonic raising only to discover it was only because someone sneezed during the original transcription." Giles remembered. "The prophecy really read there will be a sunny day."
The Air Force officer frowned for a moment. "That happen a lot."
"Frequently." He admitted.
"But you missed the whole invasion thing?" Giles winced and O'Neill noticed, "What was that?"
"There were prophecies, rumours even a few outright warnings. Telling of the coming of the Warlord and his armies." The Watcher remembered. "The problem is you often can't tell just what a prophecy means until it's right on top of you." Giles looked out the forward window, out on to the planet Earth and the stars beyond. "Worse, the older prophecies are some of the most obscure. Having been translated time and again throughout the aeons. Often to the point where even the original prose is lost altogether, let alone the information."
O'Neill frowned, obviously a man of action over scholarly pursuits. After a moment he shrugged offhandedly. "Makes sense, I guess." A beat. "Walter?"
"Twelve minutes Sir."
The two star General nodded and slumped in his chair. "Come on, come on."
Giles caught the look Walter was giving him and smirked, getting the feeling any in-depth discussion would get the same result as talking about it to Xander.
Speaking of the one-eyed former carpenter Xander was both happy and un-happy at the same time. It was obvious he wanted to be down there fighting along side the Slayers, Rangers and everyone else. At the same time he was in a dream come true, an actual, honest to goodness, spaceship. According to Dawn they had advanced weapons and energy shields, two things that had the younger man behaving like a child in a sweet shop.
At the moment he was deep in discussion with an attractive young woman with the name Hailey on her uniform. Shrugging internally Giles wished him well. He'd taken a long time getting over Anya's death. Maybe he could move on.
O'Neill sighed loudly, "Wal…"
"Thirteen, sir." The ever efficient Sergeant reported.
"Oh for crying out loud. Come on!"
The first part of the plan had called for stealth, which was a good idea. The problem was, for a Slayer, stealth wasn't the first option. Give Buffy a huge, heavy, Troll Hammer and stealth was something that happened to other people. Willow's best friend didn't so much as walk through the hoards of demons as knock down walls and walk through those.
Willow hadn't been in the caverns beneath Sunnydale but Kennedy had. Between her insistence on just how cool it had been to let lose for the first time with Slayer strength her lover had admitted, quietly, that she'd been terrified. Now she could understand why.
Corridors leading one to another, blind corners leading into rooms she didn't want to guess the purpose of. Most had chains dangling off the walls, some still had parts attached. Buffy saw this and her face went blank. Knowing her like she did Willow could see Buffy was in full Slayer mode after seeing just what these castles were for first hand.
The rooms that weren't cells were full of weapons. Swords and axes of all shapes and sizes, made from what looked like hammered black metal and natural, unpolished, wood. There were also a few crossbows. Amy, one of the Slayers that had come with them, had picked one up and easily broken it. Much like the demons themselves they didn't seem to be built very well.
All it took was one or two good blows, or a few well placed shots from the guns, and the Demons were steaming, smelly, puddles of goo. The problem was for every one they killed five more took their place. Willow had already given up throwing fireballs into every crowd and the Marines had to be be running out of bullets.
They had to get to the Crystal and fast, otherwise this would all be for nothing.
Dawn blocked a sword strike with her Flute before striking with her palm at the warriors nose. Or at least where its nose should have been. As it staggered back she knee'd it in the gut and drove her blade into the side of it's head. "Keep moving, don't stop!" She ordered.
"Where's Black and Blue?" Kay shouted and Dawn spun around. They were two Rangers, one Slayer and both Marines down already.
"Got separated!" Connor shouted hacking a warrior in two with his Blade-Blaster. The corridors were too tight and the fighting too rushed to use anything bigger. As it was their best advantage was that the demons were having even more trouble swinging their swords in the cramped space.
"What do you mean separated?" Kay asked.
Connor dropped, flipping his blaster into laser mode he lay down a spread of scarlet beams. "The fork back there. They went right, we went left." He called over his shoulder.
Dawn bit back some choice swear words before playing her Flute. A burst of emerald lightning cleared the path ahead.
"We don't have time to go back and get them. We'll have to meet up on the other side!" Sari joined with Connor, her Blade-Blaster leaving golden traces.
Dawn pulled close to Kay. She was nervous and Dawn couldn't blame her. They hadn't met before and she was a bit on the young side, even for a Slayer. "This the first time you've done anything like this?" Dawn asked in the brief lull.
"N…No. I've killed, s… slayed, a vamp before." She admitted and Dawn's heart froze. "And I've seen a chaos demon. Once."
Dawn was horrified "What are you doing here?"
"I… Live nearby." She admitted. "Two towns over."
Dawn put her hand on the kid's shoulder. "Stick close to me, you'll have something to tell your kids." Kay wasn't going to die. Not here and certainly not now. "Keep moving guys."
Cam slammed a new drum into his heavy machine-gun and took up position. They were fighting their way down and heading for the courtyard. Every step forward meant checking your six for another ambush or facing down another on rush of nightmares. While untrained and having no real idea about military protocol the Slayers were their best asset. The four of them cutting a bloody, well Goo-y, swath through what ever came close. As soon as this was over he was going to put in a request to draft a few of them into SG teams.
That was if he didn't get his ass cut or bitten off before then. "Save your ammo, concentrated bursts!" He barked over the sound of weapons fire. This last rush was intense, they crowded the corridor both in front and to one side. Pinning the team in the archway to one of the torture chambers they'd come across. The smell from inside alone was enough to keep them outside. "Did anyone bring any grenades?"
"Yes sir." Jones barked, pulling one out of his vest pocket.
"Kennedy, put one where it counts!" He ordered. Jones passed it to the girl and she threw it like a bullet straight at down the corridor behind them. Smashing into the skull of one of the monster's. Killing it instantly.
For a moment Cam tensed but nothing else happened. "….The hell?" he asked.
"Oh, I was the one supposed to pull the pin thing out?" Kennedy said and Cam wasted a precious second to look at her. "I didn't know, though he'd done it!"
Cam shuddered at the idea of handing a live grenade over. "Want to try again?" He asked laying down a hail of bullets, forcing the next wave back.
"Sure." She nodded. Jones passed her his second grenade. This time she remembered the pin and it blew down a section of the corridor, letting them focus on the ones coming head on.
"Twenty six minutes. Sir."
Jack had lost all patience. "Close enough. Engines to military thrust, ready the shields and charge the Asguard beams." All around him the crew burst into activity, hitting switches and controls he wouldn't know where to begin using. Not for the first time he felt woefully under qualified for the job of commanding a ship. While there were more qualified people he was responsible for agreeing to Dawn's plan, hell he was the one that agreed to work with them in the first place. That made it his responsibility and he wasn't going to let anyone else take the blame when it all blew up in their collective faces. "Walter, take us down."
The problem was there wasn't much of a back up plan. They had all their resources committed to this one attack. If none of this worked there were three long-range bombers at the nearest air base with enough naquahdah enhanced bombs to level the city. There were also a couple of mark twelve tactical missiles with co-ordinates locked in.
The failsafes had been in place since it all started, but he didn't think either of them would work. If this plan didn't work, well it would take a lot more than a few expensive fireworks to get the job done.
"Entering atmosphere." Walter reported.
"Shields up as soon as we're in range."
"I hope we gave them enough time." The englishman said from his seat in the corner.
"Me too. Leiutenant Hailey?"
She'd only been promoted a week before, but she'd already proven herself to be a capable officer "Sensors are still disrupted by the… buildings." She finished uncertainly.
They hadn't made it, at least not yet. Jack resisted grinding his teeth. "Primary target?"
"We have to get closer, the Asguard sensors weren't built to detect wood."
"Alien sensors that can't detect wood? Didn't see that coming." The dark haired boy quipped.
Ignoring him "Shields up, Walter."
"I guess it's time to rock and roll."
"Isn't there somewhere else you can be?" Jack snapped at him.
The boy laughed; "With what's coming, I wouldn't miss this for the world."
End Chapter Seven