Time and Affect
Author: David Mycock
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of the characters from the show, they belong to Joss Whedon. I also do not own any of the characters from Andromeda they belong to Gene Roddenberry.
Pairings: Xander/Jenny and Dylan/Rommie
Notes: The first half of this story is set during the actual run of the series Andromeda and the second half will run before the series, just before the betrayal of the Nietzschean's of the Systems Commowealth. There will also be flashbacks of the past of how Xander and the gang survived so far into the future.
Summary: Xander and his friends are forever cursed to protect Earth and the Universe.
Xander looked around as his crew worked hard to prepare the ship for battle. He rubbed his eyes and wondered if they would be able to make it through the coming battle. He doubted it, as the Magog invasion continued to run rampant, the traitorous Nietzschean's helped the chaos, as they continued to try and destroy what was left of the new Commonwealth and its fleet. He felt tired. He and his friends had been through this all before, when the old Commonwealth fell and even before that.
They had been cursed by an angry group of Powers that Be for disrupting their plans far too much, so in return they were cursed with immortality and a small touch of invulnerability to be the constant defenders of first Earth and then the universe. They had failed, as Earth was now nothing but bits and pieces, having been destroyed by the Drago-Kazov pride and now it would seem they would fail to save the universe. He looked across the deck where Jenny stood at her station, looking worried. Next to her Buffy prepared weapons. Tara was in the medical bay, whilst Giles and Faith were somewhere below. Willow was at sensors and communications and finally Dawn in the center of the bridge as the pilot.
He looked over to the viewing screen, which showed the fleet, which his ship was a part of. In the front were the Andromeda Ascendant, Dylan Hunt's ship, and the only other man who knew that history was repeating itself. He turned and took his own station and read the reports coming in from all decks. He nodded pleased to see that his crew were holding their nerves together.
"Captain, message from the Andromeda," Willow reported. "The Magog are coming and so is the world ship, time of arrival is estimated at two hours," she informed him.
Even after all these years she felt strange being so formal with Xander, when they had first become a crew in the old commonwealth, Xander had quickly advanced to the rank of captain and with friends like Dylan Hunt and others within the fleet, he had managed to get all of his old friends transferred to his new ship. Of course the destruction of the old Commonwealth had left them with no where to go. Earth was quickly over run by first the Magog and then the damn Nietzschean's had taken it by force.
She remembered that day well, it had hurt to realize that they had failed in their duty to safe guard Earth and the universe seemed to be following it. They had endured the long night as best they could, with only themselves to rely on, fighting to survive in a universe gone mad. Then Dylan and the Andromeda had escaped the black hole and begun to restore the lost Commonwealth and Xander had quickly signed them all up to help. Of course they'd had to come up with a cover story, as to how they were still alive after three hundred years.
She wondered what would have happened had they not been cursed by the vengeful Powers that Be. Then shook her head, knowing it was pointless especially now to think about such things. She glanced at Buffy and noted how tense she was. Buffy had not been the same since they had become cursed. The loss of a lot of their friends in battle and then old age had scarred her badly. It had been hard for all of them, as each time they made friends and family they lost them and now they were the last. She wanted to see Tara, but knew her lover was busy in Medical.
"Understood Willow," Xander replied. "Any news from the rest of the galaxy?" he inquired.
"Just multiple wars and small attacks are being fought between nearly every species in the universe," Willow responded. "It is exactly like Trance and Dawn said, complete and utter anarchy," she added frowning.
Dawn's powers as the key gave her the same mystical powers as Trance and her people, in fact Trance had stated on more than one occasion that it was possible the key was something her people had created and misplaced centuries ago.
"How can we possible stop this?" Buffy exclaimed, beginning to feel it was hopeless and facing Xander who now stood near Jenny, his wife since just before becoming immortal.
Xander had managed to save her from Angelus, with help from Kendra who had showed up unexpectedly. From there they and the rest of the Scooby gang had worked hard to stop Angelus. Sadly Kendra had been killed and in the last big battle Buffy had been forced to sacrifice Angel, who just had gotten his soul back, thanks to Jenny and Willow's spell to stop Acathula from sending the world to hell. Xander and Jenny had started to get closer from that point on, as Jenny and Giles had decided to call it quits.
The strain had just been too much for them to handle, with the lies on both sides. Buffy still being slightly upset over the loss of Angel, although she understood now that Jenny had never known how the curse would be broken, until it was too late. The group had gotten stronger and when Faith had arrived even more so, until the accident that had resulted in a man's death. Faith had gone postal and it had taken along time to get her back on the right path.
"Maybe we can't stop it Buffy," Xander snapped, annoyed by her defeatism. "But we are going to try, no matter what," he added with passion.
He knew Buffy had not been the same since being cursed and having to lose so many loved ones, but sometimes she said the wrong thing at the wrong time just to annoy him. He closed his eyes for a few seconds, before opening them again and looking at the rest of his bridge crew.
"Understand this, maybe the last battle to ever be fought by the known worlds is about to take place and nothing we will do will stop it coming, because the damage has already been done thanks to Tyr and the Abyss," he explained. "But some people still believe in us, they still believe we can hold back the night and so we will try. That is our duty as High Guard and if we must go out, then it will be on our feet and not on our damn knees," he shouted.
The crew all cheered, inspired a bit by his words and quickly redoubled their efforts. Willow and Jenny shared a small smile between themselves, whilst Dawn hugged her sister, trying to comfort her. The Dawn Twilight's Avatar, which was modeled after Cordelia, watched it from the far side of the bridge. She was aware of the true nature of her captain and his friends and so knew there was a deeper meaning to his words than the rest of the crew knew.
Dylan was busy with trying to get his ship prepared to meet the onslaught that was about to come down on them. He had failed to stop the Magog and he had failed to stop Tyr's damn rebellion. That had been the beginning of the end for them all. He couldn't believe it was all happening again, the fall of the Commonwealth and soon the universe would follow. He looked up as Rommie, his ships avatar, walked onto the bridge followed by Beka and Rhade.
"All weapons and defense batteries are ready, Dylan," Rommie reported. "Harper reports engines are at max and should last through the battle," she added.
"That's if we even survive that long, considering what is about to descend on us Rommie," Beka shot back tightly, her nerves on edge. "We'll be lucky to last five minutes," she added.
"Easy Beka," Dylan said, knowing his first officer and friend was just blowing of steam. "I admit we're basically facing annihilation here, but we can't run as there is nowhere to run to and you know that," he said, grimly feeling drained. "All we can do is stand and fight and maybe, just maybe a miracle will happen and we will win," he stated with very little belief in his own words.
Even he could not see a way out of what was about to come to pass. He had spent his entire life fighting the odds and somehow managing to pull off amazing wins, but now he was beat and he knew it. He had summoned every last Commonwealth or allied ship to arms and they had come. He had one of the largest fleets in the known worlds and yet even with that he doubted they would survive.
"If this is the end Captain, then a glorious end we will have," Telemachus Rhade said. "Nearly every Commonwealth world has been over run or attacked including Tarazed, which was done by the Nietzschean's who joined Tyr's rebellion. All we can do is try and stem the tide," he pointed out.
"Captain, we've just gotten a return signal from Dawn's Twilight, asking to send an advance party to engage the world ship, with a full nova bomb deployment authorized," Andromeda's AI reported.
"Looks like Alex is getting a little uneasy with the waiting," Dylan mused with a shake of his head, knowing that his old friend hated waiting. "Tell Alex his request is denied, no one is to leave the fleet," he ordered.
"Yes Captain," Andromeda responded with a nod, before vanishing from the screen.
"It might work you know," Rommie spoke up. "We did manage to damage the world ship by launching a nova bomb into the sun that powers it," she reminded him. "If we launched multiple nova bombs at the world ship we could destroy it completely," she advised.
"I know that Rommie, but the cost in life would be enormous and we don't know for sure it would work and considering the waves of Magog swarm ships that are with it, I doubt we'd get close to even enact the plan," Dylan argued. "In the end all it will most likely do, is rob us of ships and people we can't afford to lose," he added, rubbing his eyes and leaning against the wall.
"So we just wait and pray," Beka said, after a small silence had descended on them.
Xander shook his head, as Cordelia reported Dylan's response, granted it wasn't actually Cordelia, but it was programmed with most of her memories and personality. During the long night he and the others had reprogrammed the Twilight's AI and Avatar: it was not like anyone could complain with the Commonwealth gone. Seeing another friendly face helped them deal with the chaos a little better. The memories and personality had been provided by Willow and Tara's magic. Granted they couldn't use it much on board the ship, but they still practiced it. He leaned back in his chair, as Jenny entered their room.
"I can't believe, that after so many battles, so many wars we're so close to the end at last," Jenny said, as she sat opposite him. "A part of me can't wait for it to be over, so we can finally see all our lost loved ones again," she admitted.
"I know how you feel Jenny," Xander nodded sighing. "Even we can't survive this, somehow I get the feeling that the Powers have revoked our invulnerability completely," he told her, locking eyes with his wife. "This is what they intend to be our final fate," he stated clearly.
"You'd think after all this time they would let go of their grudge for what we did all those years ago?" Jenny sighed, hating the Powers for their cruelty.
"We stood up to them and ruined their plans and for that we will never be forgiven, don't forget, to them we are nothing more than pawns," Xander reminded her, standing up and paced around.
Jenny watched her husband pace, knowing he was correct. The powers did not take kindly to their pawns standing up to them. All those years ago it had seemed like a good idea. Now she wasn't so sure. Even with all the things she had seen and done in the last couple of centuries she wasn't sure it was worth the price they all had paid. She frowned before rethinking that.
She'd shared a love that had lasted centuries with Xander and friendships that had lasted just as long with Buffy and the others, once they had sorted out their problems when they had learned who she really was and why she had come to Sunnydale all those years ago. She had used her real name off and on over time, but for now she was once again Jenny.
She had seen amazing things as earth had finally united and begun to explore space. She had seen the amazing things that had happened once Earth had joined the Commonwealth, thinking on all that, maybe it was worth it.
She finally got tired of watching Xander pace. She stood up and grabbed him, forcing him to turn to her before catching him in a deep passionate kiss. She moaned, enjoying the sensation as she always did, before finally pulling away and resting against him.
"This may be the end for our immortal lives, Alex, but we will have eternity in heaven, to spend with all of our loved ones," Jenny said, with a deep belief she was speaking the truth. "I think after all we've been through we deserve our reward," she added.
Xander couldn't help but agree with her last statement. They had fought, bled and sacrificed so much in the course of their duty. They had never stepped away from the fight, not once, and if this was to be their end, well as before it would end in a fight.
"We fight to the bitter end," he finally replied. "And make Joyce, Jessie, Cordy and all the others proud of us one last time," he continued, with a smile she quickly shared.
They finally headed out of their room and back to the bridge, nodding to crew members as they went. They were joined by Tara and Faith on the way. Faith, like Buffy, looked very tense and unsure, but looked ready for action as she always had. Tara was calm and peaceful, but then he would expect nothing else from her. Tara had always been a believer in her goddess and what would eventually be gifted with when it was time. He smiled and was glad that she was still with them. Finally making it to the bridge he accepted the reports from one of his crew and noted the ship was ready for the battle to come. He took a deep breath, as they all took their positions, as Giles joined them on the bridge.
"Time until the Magog arrive?" Faith inquired, still wondering why Xander had made her his second in command.
She remembered that day very well and had been shell shocked that he had not asked someone like Buffy or Willow, hell even Jenny would have been a choice she would have expected from him. Instead he had chosen her, telling her he trusted her to have the ship and crews best interest at heart should she need to take command and that she would not buckle under the pressure. That had blown her away, but he had seemed to be correct as she had not buckled. Many times she'd been forced to take command during both the old and new Commonwealth, if she was honest with herself she enjoyed those times.
She had come a long way from the scared girl, who had run into Sunnydale after Kakistos killed her first watcher. She wondered what her choose mother would think of the future, of the things she had seen since the group had been cursed. She still missed her first watcher, who had been like a mother to her, but now she had to focus as the ultimate battle was about to be engaged.
"Ten minutes," Buffy responded, glancing only briefly at Faith, as Giles took a stance beside her.
She wanted to be anywhere but here, but Xander was right, where could they go? The Commonwealth was about to be swallowed by the combined attacks of the Magog and the Nietzschean's. She had once thought she knew exactly how her life would end, but in the end she had no clue. She had led her friends against the Powers and she had born the brunt of the responsibility for their cursed. Instead of being angry or vengeful they had been understanding and helpful, but as the years passed and their friends and family died, she began to hate and despise herself.
She still had nightmares of walking in and seeing her mother dead, of seeing Anya crucified by a twisted vampire called Karis and even Angel's violent end. She faced each day knowing she would see another friend die, another innocent wiped from existence. She was tired of it all and wanted to rest, but the damn Powers would not allow them to. Now it seemed the she would get her wish, maybe.
(Ten Minutes later)
Xander, Dylan and every other captain in the fleet watched in dread, as the largest swarm of Magog ships entered their system, followed closely by the world ship itself. They waited only seconds, before giving the order to go to battle stations.
Trance watched from the back of the bridge, as the Magog advanced on them in huge waves, she shivered knowing it was all over and once again the universe was going to be destroyed.
It was time, she thought, for desperate measures. Dylan could no longer help stop this, not at this point in time. She quickly advanced and grabbed him and Rommie who were standing side by side and vanished from the bridge.
Beka was stunned by Trance's move, but then reconsidered, maybe her mysterious friend had a plan to save them all. She quickly stepped up and took command, making sure no one lost his or her heart.
Trance quickly relaxed as they appeared on the Twilight with a smile. Dylan of course was annoyed, but he was well used to Trance's actions so he contained his annoyance. Rommie looked around, noting many of Xander's bridge crew were dead. The ship was beginning to buckle under the pressure of the Magog's weapons.
"Dylan, how did you get here?" Willow asked confused, as she noted the new comers before realizing Trance must be behind it. "Trance, what is it?" she asked, turning to the gold skinned girl.
"Good, you're all here," Trance said, as Xander and the others moved towards them. "Listen and listen quickly, we do not have much time. What is happening here can no longer be stopped and going back again by myself will not stop it either, so I am going to do something that is a last resort, but to do it, I will have to have Dawn's help," she explained.
"What are you going to do?" Tara inquired, not really liking Trance's tone.
"I, with Dawn's help send you all back 300 years, back to before the fall of the old Commonwealth," Trance answered. "It's the only way now, our last hope to save the universe, when you arrive Xander tell Dylan and Rommie the truth about yourselves, they can be trusted," she said sadly. "You will awake in your younger bodies, but with all of your memories intact. Your mission is simple, stop the fall from ever happening," she stated, looking them all in the eyes. "I will find you as soon as I can, another one will also join you on this mission," she finished.
"Who Trance?" Dylan asked, not really believing Trance could do what she had said, even with Dawn's help whatever help Dawn could give, if any.
"Before this time line came into existence, another one played out where you died during the battle of Hephaistos, killed by Gaheris Rhade. It was he who went on to be frozen on the edge of the black hole and he who went on to try and restore the Commonwealth," Trance answered, as the ship buckled again. "He failed, but he was able to come back in time during all that mess with the Tesseracts machine Harper built to kill his younger self and take his place, so he could ensure you survived the fight and restore the Commonwealth. He was loyal in the end Dylan, all he wanted was to safeguard his people," she explained, stunning Dylan into silence.
"Why did you never mention this before, Trance?" Rommie inquired, wondering if it was possible even knowing Trance's origin.
"It was not important at the time Rommie. Anyway this Gaheris will also be sent back to aid you, as you will need him to convince the Nietzschean's to remain in the Commonwealth," Trance responded evasively. "Everyone, hold hands, we have to do this now, before this ship is destroyed," she added.
Everyone did as ordered, knowing they had nothing left to lose. Trance quickly joined her mind to Dawn's and began to draw off her energy. Dawn quickly became aware of the truth of her existence, she smiled and allowed Trance to do what she needed to do, as well as she understood that this was the last throw of the dice.
If they failed to stop the fall then everything that had happened in the last few years would happen again. She closed her eyes and prayed they would be successful. What was left of the crew watched as their captain and his command staff, as well as Captain of the fleet Dylan Hunt and his Avatar begin to burn with an orange light, which they soon could not even look at, finally there was a large pulse and they were all gone.
The Powers snorted in disgust, as the Sun Avatar saved Summers and her friends by transporting them back in time. They shook their heads, annoyed by this turn of events, but sure that nothing they tried to do would stop them from finally dying. Their curse had been fun and served as a good punishment, but they wanted to see the end of them now, but as usual they survived.