Close Encounters of the Furry Kind
: Why did you do that?DireSquirrel
: You said my idea. This was my ideaSpaceMary
: I hate you.DireSquirrel
: Then why are you still talking to me?SpaceMary
: Why don’t you write slash ficsSpaceMary
: That’s romance, I suck at it.SpaceMary
: No you don’t. You don’t even tryDireSquirrel
: Do, or do not. There Is no try. I do not.SpaceMary
: don’t quote yoda at meSpaceMary
: i will hurt youDireSquirrel
: But I will healSpaceMary
: mental scars last longerDireSquirrel
: speaking of, what do you think so far?DireSquirrel
: Pretty good huh?SpaceMary
: hate you with firy pashion of thousand sunsDireSquirrel
: well, it is about Ewoks, so a firy passion sounds right, but I’m not sure what Pseudotsuga menziesii
have to do with anything about sunsSpaceMary
: i know where you sleepDireSquirrel
: I’ll take that as an approval.
To everyone else, SpaceMary and I are
friends. But of course, because
we are friends, she should know to never dare me to write anything as I am a horrible person (her words). And trust me, this only gets worse.
That night Spike woke up, as he usually did, with an arm around his sire and vampire lover, Drusilla. He gave her a kiss on the forehead, got up, grabbed Alice (who was still human, if entirely traumatized) and some kid named Ford (who was there for some kind of business deal to betray the Slayer; Spike didn’t really care all that much, since he hadn’t seen the Slayer in weeks), and gave Dru breakfast in bed. Or maybe it was dinner? He’d never really figured that out. If you’re nocturnal, is your evening meal breakfast or supper?
Spike continued to think these philosophical thoughts as he walked out in his bathrobe and slippers to see what the minions were up to. Instead, he found a bunch of short robots jacking his newly repaired DeSoto.
“Bloody hell! What’s going on?”
The robots turned and sent out a light beam towards him that covered his entire body, but didn’t make any violent moves.
“That’s my car you’re nicking, ya bloody tinker-toys! Don’t take kindly to that. It’s one owner from new, and that owner is me! Just got it bloody fixed.”
The robots glanced at each other before they touched palms and turned to look at him. Their eyes began glowing. Spike, having seen enough science fiction to know that glowing robot eyes were generally a bad thing, ducked behind a crate. The droids took the opportunity to continue jacking the car.
“I’ll do you for that!” the British vamp said, hitting one with a conveniently placed mace, after re-emerging from behind the crate. “Nobody takes my bloody DeSoto! Oi! Minions, hit the mechanical gits!”
The minions, having been hiding from the light of day, suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Poised to attack, they froze, looking at something behind their slipper-and-bathrobe-clad leader. Spike turned back around to see that the little robots had combined into Droid-Tron and held up a nasty looking laser cannon.
“Oh, bloody hell.”
“So, this is your plan?” Cordelia said. “Make magic trees and we live like monkeys?”
“Nonsense,” Dawn said, dismissively shrugging off the other's complaints. “We don’t have tails.”
“I believe what Dawn was suggesting is that we create our own homes to fulfill our needs since our original housing is now either unusable or simply impractical,” was Giles’ long winded comment.
Cordelia gave him a long cool look, while tapping her foot. “So, hello! Start! I don’t want to be furry vamp chow. Make me a village.”
“Oh yes, he said,” Giles muttered. “Let’s make Cordelia be a princess because she won’t go as anything less.”
“I heard that,” Cordelia snapped.
“I wasn’t particularly attempting to hide my words,” the former librarian shot back quickly.
“Allow me to say that now, since I am no longer in a position where I am required to be polite, you are an insufferable, made up, self important, self indulgent, aggravating, blinkered twat! So sod off!” he elaborated
Everyone was very quiet for a long moment. They might not have completely understood the meaning of every word said, but the context was perfectly clear. People squirmed and shared uncomfortable glances before Willow stood up and cheered.
Cordelia continued to gape, her mouth hanging open and seemed oblivious to all else. Everyone else went back to looking over the map of Sunnydale.
“So, what does everyone else think?” Xander asked.
“Just seems to fit,” Oz said in his usual serene tone. The others nodded. It did seem natural to have a tree village. Oz pointed to one spot on the map. “How about here?”
“My house?” Joyce asked.
“Plenty of trees,” Giles commented. Jenny nodded as well.
“It’s also an established place,” she said. “We can use the house as an entry point and start the stairs from there.”
“How long is this going to take?” Jonathan asked. The magic-y people glanced at each other.
“I’ll gather the ingredients,” Amy said.
“I’ll review the books,” Giles said.
“I’ll scan the net for resources,” Jenny said.
“Great!” Willow said, slapping the table in front of them (a coffee table really, but it was about the right size for them now.) “Now we just need to gather supplies for the village!” She glanced around. “Where is everybody else?”
Buffy glanced around. They were missing about ten Ewoks. “Devon, Aura, Aphrodesia, Larry, Sam, that other Dingo…Does anybody know his name?”
There was a moment of silence as everyone tried to recall it. When they failed, they all looked at Oz. He shrugged.
“Drummer,” he said. “Doesn’t talk much.”
“And coming from you, that means a lot,” Xander said, having gotten to know his fellow pilot fairly well in the last few days. “We’re also well...not 'missing' but Harmony and a few others haven't been around.”
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Cordelia said in a very Han Solo-ish tone, having finally snapped out of her Giles-Induced stupor. And then, as if on cue, Harmony opened the door and waved as she joined them.
The sight stunned even the most stalwart talker into silence.
“Hi, guys! Look at me!”
In the muddle of their minds, containing the memories of both their Ewok personae, and their normal human sensibilities, this was a horror to behold.
“Uh, guys?” she asked, a little confused by their continued silence.
Now, it should be noted that Harmony Kendall was known for only a few things. In no particular order, these were: stupidity, status as Cordelia’s underling, an obsessive love for unicorns, and last, but not least, a remarkable ability to dye her own hair. She was obviously (and well known) as a bottle blonde, but was never, ever seen with her natural roots. If the International Olympic Committee decided to make dying one’s own hair an Olympic event, Harmony would take the gold every time. And apparently her skills had not been lost in her transition to Ewok-hood.
There were certain proprieties that people had to cover in both worlds. One of these was a common stigma against dying hair certain colors, except in specific subsets of society. It should also be pointed out that Harmony Kendal did not belong to any of those subsets.
Dawn Summers was the first to recover from the horrific sight.
“Oh, my gawd!” the pre-teen girl said in utter revulsion. Harmony Kendall, recently transformed into a cute, furry Ewok, had dyed herself pink for most of her body, but bleached her front a bright white, except for a large heart right in the middle of her chest. “You turned yourself into a Care Bear.”
“Was this really a good idea?” Devon asked from the side chair.
Larry, not satisfied to stay in close proximity to the planet they'd just left, had flown them to the moon and had decided to sleep among the stars. The furry pilot was considering if it was worth seeing what spring was like on Jupiter and Mars, but they hadn’t brought much food with them.
Aura, smarter than the average bear, or in this case, Ewok, as well as most Sunnydale High jocks, had pointed out that those planets probably didn’t have spring, or even much of a breathable atmosphere.
“No,” Larry said. “No, it wasn’t.”
“Well, at least shooting that big asteroid was fun,” Aphrodesia said from the couch in the next room. She squirmed a little, trying to get comfortable on the human sized seat. “Any chance we can get these things in the right size?”
“They’ll be the right size when we transform back to our real forms,” Aura said.
“But won’t this just go back to being a toy?” Aphrodesia asked. Both girls felt the blood drain from their faces, becoming as pale as Ewoks could, as they considered what Aura had just said.
“We need to get back NOW!” they screamed in unison.
“What? Why?” asked a dozing Larry.”
“What happens if the spell is reversed while we’re on the moon?” Aura asked rhetorically.
“Oh,” said Larry, after a moment's thought “Good point.”
And so, they started back towards Earth. As they were going through re-entry, the cantankerous pilot looked at the lead singer of the Dingoes. “Want to start a close encounter of the third kind?”
Alarms went off as radar detected an unwelcome aircraft over the Washington DC. It didn’t look like any kind of missile or fighter jet anyone had identified thus far, but it was making a beeline right for the President’s home.
“We have a visual, sir!” said a dutiful NCO.
“Bring it up on screen,” his CO commanded. As soon as it appeared, he glanced back at the NCO. “This had better not be a joke.”
“Because that looks like the Falcon’s ugly uncle,” the officer said.
“Yes, sir.” The NCO paused a moment before speaking again. "It’s changed course, sir.”
“The Washington Monument.”
“Fighters on their way,” said another NCO. “It’s evading them. Looks like they’ve got weapons trained, but aren’t following.”
“It-It’s landing, sir,” the first NCO said.
All the tourists there to see the Washington Monument were witness to the first (official) close encounter with an alien spaceship. With a dramatic hiss and spray of artificial fog, the ramp lowered to show two furry aliens holding a map of North America. They were obviously bickering over something, one of them quite forcefully pointing towards the east coast, while the other pointed to the west. They chattered to each other and jabbed fingers at the map, even pointing at the Monument. When one of them started getting violent, the other one pulled out a blaster and shot its friend in a spray of blue energy that pulsed out from a familiar looking weapon. Then two others came out to help drag the fallen member back into the ship.
It was well documented by several hundred tourists, many of whom posed in front of it as the ramp was pulled back up and it flew away. It was frequently commented that the visitors looked remarkably like Ewoks.
“Where is it going?” the officer asked.
“Straight up, sir,” the NCO replied. “The fighters can’t follow at those speeds.” He glanced at the screen again. “Gone, sir.”
“Into space,” was the reply.
Devon woke up in an angry mood.
“You shot me,” Devon growled.
Aura just shrugged and grinned.
“I can’t believe you shot me,” he said.
“Alright, boys and girls,” Larry’s voice said over the intercom. “We are beginning our decent into Sunnydale. Please keep your trays in the upright position and all limbs inside the spaceship at all times. We thank you for flying Larry-Air.”
“That was bad,” Devon said.
“Oh, yeah,” Aura said.
“Well,” Aphrodesia said slowly. “He is only a football player, after all.”
“I heard that!”
To describe their arrival back in Sunnydale as frosty would be a colossal understatement. Sub-zero was closer, but Antarctic with a liquid nitrogen casing might have been best. The ship full of teens were met at the Sunnydale Airport by nearly every adult Ewok and a few of the youngsters. All of them were displaying classic signs of Ewok disapproval -- their feet were spread a little wider than their shoulders, their arms were tense and held rather dangerous and pointy weapons.
“Care to explain where you’ve been?” Joyce Summers asked in a voice that could even scare the mightiest of the supernatural Hellmouthy denizens. It had a similar effect on adolescent Ewoks with spaceships.
“Uh, we were just-“
“Don’t lie to me,” she said. “We’ve seen the news.”
“Uh, right-“ Larry began before realizing one important fact. “Hey! You’re not my mother!”
Joyce crossed her arms and raised a furry eyebrow. She tilted her head back, ever so slightly to look down her nose at him. It had a suitable result. Larry fell to his knees and begged for forgiveness, or at least asked quarter. She held out her hand. Larry looked at her open palm and then back at her.
“The locking remote,” she said. “Now
Larry quickly scrambled over to put it in her hand as the Cordettes noticed something different about one of their members.
“Oh no, Harm!”
“So let me get this straight,” Dr. Daniel Jackson said slowly. They were back in the briefing room of the SGC. He, having just gotten back from the Alpha site, was more than a little disbelieving. “You get off Apophis’ ship before it blows up, right?”
“Right,” said Jack.
“And your deathgliders are picked up by the Space Shuttle,” Jackson continued.
“Exactly,” said Carter. “The Endeavor, to be specific.”
“And while you’re on board, an alien ship makes a pass with some of them mooning you?”
“Indeed,” Teal’c said. “Although, since they were pressed against the viewport, I do believe they are then classified as ‘Pressed Hams,’ rather than a simple mooning.”
“It is as you say, my friends,” Master Bra'Tac agreed with a nod. “Major Ferretti has made that quite clear.”
“And then, today,” Jackson said, turning to General Hammond, “ they appear in Washington DC and appear to shoot each other.”
“As far as we can tell,” Hammond said, "we do not know what we are dealing with here.”
“They’re Ewoks,” Daniel Jackson said, spreading the photos out in front of him. “This has to be some kind of publicity stunt by LucasFilm. The new movies are supposed to come out soon.”
“Our people have already investigated that,” Hammond said. “What we need to determine is if these beings are new or old in the galaxy. And what threat they might present to the safety of Earth.”
“I have never seen such creatures outside of the records of the Galactic Civil War,” Teal’c said. He explained at their confused looks. “Star Wars.”
“They only showed up in 'Return of the Jedi,'” Carter said.
“That is not precisely true,” Teal’c corrected. “There were two other movies, 'Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure,' and 'Ewoks: The Battle for Endor,' as well as an animated series. They have also made frequent appearances in the novels of the expanded universe. Indeed, Ewoks have been presented more often than any other character or species in the series.”
“It disturbs me that you know that,” Daniel said honestly.
From deep in the Internet, Artoo, the omnipresent digital deity, watched as countless people uploaded, watched, downloaded and distributed the images of Ewoks in one nation’s national capitol. Using his superior computing power and digital intellect, Artoo determined that these images were, indeed, real, and set about co-opting the international spy satellites to seek out others. Interestingly, they were located in the same inhabited area that he observed previously before his body was destroyed. And they had ships.
This was good, thought Artoo. This meant that there were more technologically savvy Ewoks than those living on Endor. He was not sure how many had left, but there were several well known Ewoks in the greater galaxy. Perhaps these could be some of those.
This ships themselves were a virtual godsend. They could help to fill in the blanks of his knowledge, even if he did have a very extensive knowledge of the subject. Changes would have to be made. Adjustments for their size and shape. In what would have seemed like an instant to a biological thinking being, Artoo modified the plans of the ships in his database, including the X-Wings, for a more appropriate size.
Artoo immediately sent out a drone to the freighter and other slave-droids to dismantle the inefficient vehicles and flying machines in the town. The vehicles were destroyed, after all. The next issue was the problem of communication. A shame he had not thought to copy C-3P0 before his unfortunate demise.
Artoo did not have a physical body -- at least, not yet. Soon though, he would be working on fixing that. His old form would be inefficient in the current human political climate. He would need something a little more…robust. And with lasers. Lasers are always a good idea. And Missiles. They were the "In" look this year.
Humans were very creative, he had to give them credit for that. Absently, in a random millisecond, Artoo pondered the possibilities of Ewok mech suits, or even LMDs -- better known as Life Model Decoys. There were many, many venues for Artoo to explore.
Now, he just needed to arrange for a little something extra to be added to the next rocket test. There were plenty of supplies on the moon.
“So we’re taking over the cemetery district?” Buffy asked.
“Double duty, I like it,” Willow said. “We’re all protection-y about the vamps, cuz we’re over the graveyards. Xander! What is going on?”
He kept glancing at Harmony in horror.
“Stop looking at me!” The care bear in question commanded. She pressed her hands to her hips and scowled, but unfortunately, it just had the impression of a frowning teddy bear.
“I’m not doing it on purpose! You- What you did was reprehensible!” Xander said. Certain individuals were quite surprised by his choice of vocabulary.
“You’re just jealous you didn’t think of it first!” she said, crossing her arms with an indignant pout.
“And returning us to our previously scheduled programming -- Giles, you and Dawn figure things out?”
“Yes,” Giles said. “A remarkably easy spell to cast, especially with a good number of participants. We should be able to have a suitable forest out of the current trees in just a few hours.”
“Daylight hours, I’m hoping?” Buffy said.
“Indeed. It specifies it,” Giles reported. “The ritual is rather involved, but seeing as we have little issue with nudity now, the usual social casting problem should be negligible.”
“Well, do it!” commanded Cordelia. “Then how long is it going to take?”
“We have to build the forest city,” Xander said, ticking things off on his fingers. “We need to get a steady supply of food. We need building supplies. We need a steady supply of comic books. We need a steady supply of Twinkies. We need to make parking for spaceships and speeder-bikes and the AT-ST. And we need to make it hard for vamps and things to get in.”
“Some of those are less ‘we’ and more ‘dork,’ so shove it,” Cordy replied.
“That’s gonna take some time,” Oz put in. “Where 'til then?”
“Regardless of how Buffy and Cordelia disapprove of it, the Master’s Cave is actually our best choice,” Joyce put in. She was quickly becoming the leader, much to Cordelia’s chagrin. “And as a plus, it’s right near by. We can easily use it for other things later on.”
“And since the tomes are safe in your house, we don’t have any issues with book damage,” Giles put in.
“Enough with the books,” Cordelia said, rolling her eyes.
A week later, the Ewoks were still exploring the recesses of the Master’s cave. It was actually quite extensive, stretching out in several directions and affording access to several important parts of town. It seemed like every day they were discovering some new treasure.
“Guys! There’s a whole secret stash of magic books!” Dawn said, running out of a separate section of the Master’s Cave. “And a bunch of gold and stuff, too!”
“You know,” Cordelia said slyly to Giles. “Maybe as the heads, me being royalty and you being the mystic leader guy, we should go inspect them.”
“Yes, quite right,” he replied. “Perhaps we should, uh, inspect them. Just to be safe.”
And so, the two went off into the other section. Willow turned to Xander. “Am I the only one noticing the two of them sneaking off recently?”
“No,” said Xander with just a little bit of queasiness. “I’d cite age, but well, furry and he looks much younger.”
“What about Jenny?” Willow asked. “They aren’t really doing much these days.”
“I’m not so sure we need to worry about that,” Xander said, pointing unobtrusively at the corner where a younger Dawn was explaining everything that she said seen. “Someone has a crush.”
“Jenny has a crush on Dawn?” Willow asked with her most scandalized face.
“Other way around, I think,” Xander said. “So, how much longer before we can move in?”
“Hired all the construction firms in Sunnydale, so -- as soon as the trees are big enough."
“We think we’ve found them,” Carter said. She put up a slide showing a rotating map of the earth. “First spotted in space, here.” A red dot popped up above Asia. “Then they showed up in DC, here” a second dot appeared. “But judging by trajectory and certain other factors, we think they’re somewhere on the West coast of North America.”
“And the fact that they were spotted looking at a tourist map had nothing to do with it?” Jack asked.
“Jack…” Daniel said in a slightly whining tone. Just slightly, but enough to get the colonel to stop.
“Where’s Teal’c, anyway?”
“He’s in his room, researching,” Daniel said. When he got a few strange looks, he shrugged. “I don’t know about what, but he said that he knew something about that, so he and Bra'Tac went to research something.
General Hammond waved for Captain Carter to continue.
“Yes, sir, but as I was saying, we think they’re somewhere between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but still close to the coast,” she said.
“Shouldn’t we have reports of spaceships flying around?” Hammond asked.
“Well,” Daniel said slowly. “It is
“A very good point,” Jack reluctantly agreed.
“Well sir, I believe we’re dealing with either a species of comparable technology to the Nox, or they just haven’t been noticed yet,” Carter commented.
“That would have to be the most oblivious population in the universe,” Jack said.
Meanwhile in the town with the most oblivious population in the universe, Warren Mears was looking at April’s programming.
“This doesn’t make any sense,” he said, glancing over the code. “Whatever it was shouldn’t have done this.”
“And why not?” April practically growled. She glared at him and crossed her arms.
“You, well,” Warren said, pausing to think of a way to reply that wouldn’t get his ass kicked by his formerly Xena possessed robot girlfriend. “You, uh, well, I’m not able to do this kind of code. It’s much more advanced than I could have done. You have a very impressive set of free will protocols.”
It was a much better choice of words than "sorry Hun, you’re supposed to be a sex slave robot girlfriend.” The newly emancipated digital warrior princess would most certainly have taken offense at that rendition of the facts. After the first few...incidents, Warren had quickly learned to curb his speech.
“How is it different?” she asked. He brought up the original specs on his computer and put the new ones side by side, and cringed, expecting to get hit. She turned and looked at him with a look that could have smothered a thousand suns. “You are a despicable individual.”
“I’m sorry!” he moaned, pulling a classic Duck-and-Cover move as he hid under his desk and kissed his ass good bye.
“You can make it up to me by making a companion,” April the Warrior Robot Princess commanded.
“A blonde one,” she continued. “A little shorter than me.”
“A Gabriel?” he asked.
“Hey, a girl’s got to have her sidekick.”
Artoo, the Deus Machina, the Divine Machine of the Internet, observed this and immediately downloaded a copy of April’s new and improved programming. He then quickly adapted it to his own use in improving his own programming, as well as the new army of Droids under production at CRD in Sunnydale California. Soon, his defenses against the robophobic humans would be complete. Then it would be just a matter of mining the outer planets for the appropriate gases and the asteroid belts for other supplies.
“Now, does everyone know their parts?” Giles asked as they sat around a medium sized tree. The various participants nodded in agreement.
“Buffy, off with the hood,” Jenny Calendar commanded. She was presiding over the ceremony and was responsible for making sure everyone did their part. The Ewok Slayer grumbled, but did as instructed and tossed it aside.
"This requires that we do this in the sun and must be uncovered in any respect, save for what is a part of us, so one last time, anyone who has any other coverings, even jewelry, please remove them now,” the former Sunnydale High Computer Teacher commanded. The Cordettes and some others grumbled, but removed the last bits of their clothing. Satisfied, Jenny held up the tome and opened it to the specified ritual.
Ewoks were used to looking up at things. But when every tree in Sunnydale suddenly grew to about 100 meters high and twenty to thirty across, they were really
looking up. And so was everyone else.
Unfortunately for most of the humans, demons and assorted other forces of darkness inhabiting the town, this destroyed most of the residential zones, leaving only the downtown, the docks, the base and the airfield relatively intact. The beach, once a nice sloping sandy shore with wild shrubs on the dunes separating the beach from the town, was now completely cut off by the massive shrub hedgerow.
Revello Drive was one of the better off wooded and inhabited. Ironically, the ritual actually forced the houses up out of the ground by roots, only to be caught by supernaturally strong branches and dragged into the air. As the trees grew closer and closer together, the branches filled out, creating a safe canopy below them.
The roots also shot down, cutting off access for the usual sunlight sensitive Sunnydale citizens. Water, sewer, electricity and other underground service tunnels were almost instantly destroyed, the services they provided also vanishing. Sunnydale California was off the grid anywhere there were trees.
“And once again we see why magic on the Hellmouth is a bad thing,” Xander announced.
Next time: Things happen!