More Things in Heaven and Earth . . .
Disclaimer: Stargate and BtVS are not, never will be, mine.
Setting: sometime mid-season 8 for SG1 (by broadcast dates, fall of 2004), but before RepliCarter made contact in the episode "Gemini." Also with a little twist to something earlier in the SG1 timeline but that's for the ending of this little ficlet. This would fall into the comic BtVS Season 8, except I'm not using their timelines or events.
"Okay, that's bad," muttered one Daniel Jackson, peering closely at the tablets recovered from the Ancient outpost in Antarctica.
"Daniel?" a voice drawled, cutting effortlessly into the academic's concentration after so many years of life-and-death situations. Daniel jerked upright to see he had guests to his office. Familiar ones.
Jack O'Neill led the way in, followed closely by Sam Carter and Teal'c. The massive Jaffa closed the door behind him at a slight motion from Carter.
The three arrayed themselves around Daniel's office and settled themselves. After so many years working together, they were all fluent in "Daniel-tone." Minor changes in inflection that would indicate everything from "Jack forgot to pack the coffee" and "I need Teal'c over here to move this rock" up to and including "the world is doomed" and "we're all about to die."
This time it was a slight variation on "we're utterly boned" with a little bit of "holy shit I can't believe what I'm reading" thrown in.
Daniel waved a hand across his main work table, where a half dozen stone tablets crammed with Ancient text lay. "You remember these, right?"
"The Outpost dig, right?" Carter said, peering at them. "What are they?"
Daniel took a deep breath and a grabbed his coffee mug. "They're a record of events leading up to the Ancients' departure from Earth."
"It talks about those plagues we learned about?" Jack asked.
"That's the problem," Daniel said flatly. "They lied to us. There was no plague disease."
"Eh?" Jack returned, confused. Sam and Teal'c shared the confusion.
Daniel sat down on his stool. "It's something that's bugged me ever since we were told about it. Disease? That the Ancients, with all their incredible technology, could not isolate and cure?"
"Technological advancement doesn't always include medical knowledge, Daniel," countered Sam. "Maybe it was just something that their medical technology couldn't work on."
"Weak argument, Sam, and you know it," Daniel fired back. "We're talking a race that could pack into a crystal the size of my forearm enough energy to power the entire Earth at its present tech level for a thousand years. They traveled from one galaxy to another as easily as walking across a room and did so – from what I can tell they journeyed relatively frequently between Stargates in the Asgard Galaxy and Pegasus. What's more, we know that some of must have had projected healing abilities similar to the Nox or the Goa'uld healing gauntlet. No, it wasn't a disease. It was an invasion."
"Invasion from where?" demanded Jack. "And why couldn't they stop it?"
"Because the invasion didn't come from this universe," Daniel replied.
"Then where did it come from, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c asked.
"Remember that Ancient device you guys found while I was dead? The one that let you see bugs?"
Jack grimaced. "Not a good memory, Daniel, but didn't we determine that the bugs were a "look but not touch" deal?"
Daniel leaned on his table and brushed his fingers over one of the tablets. "The device and the bugs weren't the problem. The problem was a larger application of the technology." Daniel let his eyes sweep over his friends one by one. "The larger version opened gates into dimensions where life had taken different paths. The thing is, when a being actually steps across those dimensional barriers, they are permanently changed."
"Like Ascension," Sam interjected.
Daniel shook his head. "Ascended Ancients are still in our dimension, they just exist on a higher level within it. This was life not native to our dimension at all. And when they came across, most of them went completely insane, from what I have here."
"Ok, that's bad," Jack muttered. "Go on."
"The lifeforms that came to our dimension were the problem. One type it says here was larger than a man, with easily ten times the strength it should have. There's mention of horns and a paralytic spray it would use to immobilize people so it could eat them. Energy weapons were useless, and it was only a desperate civilian throwing decorative table utensils at it that killed it."
"Say what?" Jack groaned.
"Silver, Jack," Daniel said. "The only thing that had any effect on this thing was silver. It was barely pricked by a knife and it died instantly."
"What, like a werewolf?" Sam said skeptically.
"Funny you should mention werewolves," Daniel shot back. "A later emergence manifested as an energy being that infected an individual. The infection could be spread by being bitten, and those infected transformed when the moon was full into beasts that were partially humanoid, partially canine. While transformed, they were completely feral, and actively hunted and preyed on anything that came near. They would die when hit with silver also, but it took longer for them to die and usually required that the silver inflict an otherwise mortal wound as well."
"Daniel, werewolves are fantasy. They're not real," Sam sighed.
"Werewolves are fantasy and not real," Daniel agreed. "But the Ancients' experiments into other dimensions resulted in people who reflected all the signs of what we would call a werewolf."
"I've got this bad bad feeling, Daniel, that you're going to say it didn't end there," Jack groaned.
"Well, it didn't," Daniel said. "I've been looking over these tablets, and there are several other creatures which I recognize."
"Which ones?" Sam asked, unable to help herself.
"Well, this one is a blood-borne infection spread. Swallow some blood from someone infected with this particular other-dimensional energy being, and it apparently triggers a miniature portal good for another one to slip across to our world. The newcomer seems to copy all the memories of the individual but lacks anything resembling a moral imperative. Once the copying process is complete, the newly infected no longer has a beating heart or needs to breath. It survives by consuming blood, apparently preferring human blood, and is effectively immortal. It will, however, spontaneously combust when exposed to unblocked sunlight, and turns to ashes when decapitated or stabbed in the heart with any sort of wood product."
"A vampire. The Ancients made vampires," Jack said dully.
"Not their intention," Daniel argued. "But the end result did seem to be the creation of just about every type of monster and demon we see in folklore. Except for this last one."
"What is it?" Sam asked.
"Well, the thing was, not all life that came across went nuts, remember? Some stayed completely sane, and even integrated into Ancient society completely; they had kids, lives, and everything. Thing was, the kids reflected some changes that their parents didn't. They had the ability to apparently temporarily rewrite the laws of physics even as the Ancients understood them through willpower alone. Granted, they worked better with a timing ritual of some sort, but it was really just them willing it to happen. And when things were apparently going straight to Hell, a few of those descended got together to try to curtail the loss."
"You're talking magic now, aren't you?" Sam groaned.
"Clark's Third Law, Sam," Daniel argued, only to be cut off.
"Argue later. What'd they do to stop it?" Jack asked. "I mean, if the oogly booglies of myth are real, most of them I recall being really tough to kill, and I can't see just a few people taking out what had to be thousands of beasts."
"They took another of their line of descent, and infused her with strength, speed, and some other abilities, like a natural ability to fight and use various weapons. They even keyed it so that when their chosen warrior died, the infusion would move on and settle into another, continuing the cycle."
"A chosen warrior, with strength and speed to fight these creatures. How much is written concerning this warrior, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c asked, clearly interested.
Daniel shook his head. "Take away all technological advances, and drop him into a room filled with Jaffa or even some System Lords, and I'd be placing all my money on the warrior."
"These warrior guys were that good, eh?" Jack mused.
"Well, I said "him" but maybe I should have said "her." There's mention of four of the chosen's successors. They were all female," Daniel explained.
"So what happened then?" Sam asked.
"Near as I can tell, by the time the Warrior was active, Atlantis and the majority of the Ancients were long gone. By the time things had somewhat settled into a status quo and humans weren't being marched right into the cook pots every night, most of the survivors seemed to have lost their own history. All they recalled was the hellish nightmare of the demons and monsters ruling the world. The Ancient who wrote the tablets finished them and sealed them away in the Outpost. After that, who knows."
"This Warrior," Jack muttered. "Think there's still a woman out there with the abilities?"
"I don't know, Jack. The tablets were written hundreds of thousands of years ago. It's possible, but unlikely."
"Damn," the graying general said. "Be a big help to have that kind of support to fight the nasties out there."
"And do we know for sure that there are no more "nasties" here on Earth for someone like that to fight?" Sam said uneasily.
The four friends traded worried looks.
The vampire dusted, and Buffy quickly stepped to be upwind of the dust cloud. She hated having to wash vamp dust out of her hair.
The last vampire down, Buffy walked back over to where her friends were standing guard. The man they were watching didn't look like much, but nearly the first thing any Slayer learned was that appearances meant nothing.
"So, have you thought about what I said, Miss Summers?" he asked, pointedly ignoring the crossbow that Xander had aimed at his belly. "It's not like you're really needed here anymore with all the Slayers active, and this world does need defending."
"And we should trust you why, again?" Willow jumped in. "I've looked up your records."
The man shrugged. "I'm not a nice person, I know that. You wouldn't be working with me anyway, though."
"Like you'd keep your fingers out of it, or your buddies in the NID for that matter," Willow scoffed.
"The last time the NID got involved with trying to do your job they were nearly at the point of saying "this operation is no longer covert." The death toll and destruction that Adam was gearing up toward still gives everyone nightmares. And for the few who've come along since who think it's a good idea to try again, well, there's a reason we're regarded as bad guys."
"What, you kill them?" Buffy demanded.
"Yes, Miss Summers, we do," the man said in a flat tone. "Trying to mess with the supernatural blew up in our faces in less than four months. We want to have a world to live in, after all. And since I know you're going to ask, we usually take the most vocal person advocating we step on that landmine again and toss him in a room with a couple of vampires. Then we make his supporters watch as the vamps do what they do. Then we show then the few surviving tapes we edited to keep your faces out of it. After that, those idiots are usually singing the praises of all the rest of us who want to keep our hands the fuck away from everything you do."
"So why would we poke our noses into their business?"
The man sighed, and passed over a tape. "As far as you guys being outed to them, you're not. Yet. But Daniel Jackson rates as one scary researcher. And he's got a thread to follow now, from a source he knows to be accurate. The guy's got a track record for nailing down exactly what he's looking for, and he's looking for you now."
"So what are you looking to get out of this?" Xander asked.
"A safe world to live on. The road to hell and all that," the man said tiredly. "I want a world safe for me to enjoy, and I freely sold my services to the NID to make it happen. I don't work for them anymore, but my ambitions for a safe world keep me working to make sure it does happen. And if that means sending the lot of you to work with people who want me very very dead, then that's what I'll do."
Buffy mulled that over for a few moments as her friends traded glances. "If – and that's a big if – we were to do this, what is the sequence of events you've got planned? Bear in mind, your name is something we'd be dropping early, and that won't help us one bit."
The man chuckled. "Actually, my name is the first thing my plan has you dropping as you make the initial contacts. By being upfront about it, you'll likely get through the red tape faster."
Buffy's smirk was a knife. "We cut through red tape a lot faster than you seem to understand. But that aside, keep talking, Harry Maybourne."
Author's note: Buffy-verse and Stargate-verse and making the two possible in the same world, without changing anything in the modern day. Ancient history, sure. Though honestly, I never understood how human life would spring up on a world created by demons nor how a civilization as advanced as the Ancients clearly were could possibly be routed by such a simple thing as a disease.