(USS Defiant, 7 hours later)
Jadzia was surprised to say the least when a partial record appeared on her PADD. She read what was there and frowned as she noted some of the words were either missing or cut in half which was annoying. However if she was reading this right, Sunnydale had disappeared into a sink hole four to five years from the current date. There were also some curious mentions of events that had caused it. Again if she was reading this right it talked about some kind of battle taking place. She almost dropped the PADD as she saw the word dem begin to form, but was cut off at the end and yet her mind filled in the rest... demon.
"You okay Dax?" Kira asked, coming up behind her friend and noticing her surprised and unsure look.
"I'm fine Nerys. I was just caught a little off guard at finding something on that town we found ourselves at," Jadzia responded with a small smile and a shake of her head. "Considering the date on the planet and where we just came from, the idea of a record surviving is mind boggling," she continued.
"I bet," Kira said with her own smile. "Kinda hard to believe, but sometimes these things survive the passage of time," she reminded her.
"I better show this to Benjamin," Jadzia said after a short period of silence. She got up and quickly departed the bridge, all but ignoring Worf as he tried to get her attention.
However instead of going to see Benjamin and report her findings she found herself heading to sickbay, to find Julian staring at a console in disbelief. She stayed quite and watched as he shook his head and began to pace, she could not remember him ever being so... worked up... was the only word she could find to describe his current state.
"Julian, are you okay?" she asked, finally alerting him to her presence.
Julian spun around at the sound of Jadzia's voice and forced himself to relax as best he could. He gave the Trill a small smile and tried to make her believe he was okay, but he knew she was not buying it.
"What is it Julian?" she asked again. "What has you in such a state?" she pressed.
"I was running a check on the scans I did of Cordelia and Xander and I decided to run a DNA check to see if it was possible they may have any descendants still alive in our time. A long shot considering things, but I thought it might be interesting to see the results anyway," Julian sighed, before he began to explain. "I mean how many chances are we going to get at this anyway?" he added.
"I see," Jadzia responded. "And what you found has you stressed?" she asked.
"Jadzia, Xander's DNA check showed a match in the data banks. The computer is sure there is a 90% probability that he is a part of my family tree," Julian admitted.
Now Jadzia was shocked to say the least at this piece of news. It did not seem possible, but a 90% probability factor was not to be ignored. How was this possible? None of what had happened in the last couple of hours was making sense to her and she could tell by looking at Julian that he was struggling for answers the same as her.
"Can I see the results?" she inquired.
"Of course," Julian replied and led her to the console and watched as she began to study the results. "I ran the scans three times and they each came back the same," he told her running a hand through his hair.
"I almost don't believe it Julian," Jadzia told him. She turned to face him and found his face inches from her own, much to her surprise as he had been looking over her shoulder. "But the computer seems pretty adamant about it," she added.
Julian did his best not to react to the fact that he was in such close proximity to Jadzia and even more to keep his eyes on her face and not on her lips. He had not meant to get so close. Jadzia could see the effort Julian was making in keeping his eyes off her lips and she began to suspect she might have been wrong in believing he did not feel anything for her anymore, which surprised her.
Finally looking away she went over the results of the scans once more and tried to stay focused on it, which was hard as her mind was now playing what if with her. Julian shook his head and pulled back and did his best to try and ignore what had just happened. It was a nice moment, but he had to remind himself she was supposed to be starting a relationship with Worf or already had done.
"If you think that is the only strange thing Jadzia, then have a look at this," Julian said and guided her to the console that showed the results from his brain scans of Xander.
"What am I looking at Julian?" Jadzia inquired not sure she was reading the screen right.
"Xander's brain scans shows he has three different brain patterns which are linked together," Julian answered. "Which should be impossible and what is more confusing is I do not know how it is possible," he continued. "I did not detect any alien parasites or other such things," he stated.
"None of this is making sense Julian," Jadzia said, beginning to get frustrated. "Here read this," she told him and handed over her PADD.
She watched as Julian read what she had found in the computer archives and noted how his eyes widened in surprise, it was probably the same look she'd had when she first found it.
"This is disturbing as well as amazing," Julian finally said. "The idea a record from this time could have survived to make it into our archives is just incredible, but what is disturbing is that the last word seems to form the word demon before it is cut off," he told her.
"I know, that is how I felt as well," Jadzia responded as she sat down. "Is it even possible there was an entire piece of history we knew nothing about? Is it possible there were vampires and demons running around the earth of the past?" she asked.
"I would say no way is it possible, had we not taken this trip and seen what we saw down there Jadzia. What we saw was not human and it was unlike anything else I've seen or ever heard of," Julian replied as he sat down as well and wondered what the hell was going on.
"Me either, and that is truly an amazing thing when you consider all the lives Dax has lived," Jadzia admitted with a smile. "In fact considering how this is turning out to be a real mystery, I am very interested in getting the answers to those questions and so is Dax," she added.
"Maybe we should tell the captain what we've found so far," Julian finally said, having enjoyed the conversation, but knowing they should get back to business.
"You're right," Jadzia agreed. "Download your results to a PADD and let's go see Benjamin," she told him before she stood up and headed for the captain's quarters, followed soon after by Julian.
Xander yawned as he woke up, feeling a little sore from sleeping on the couch. For a few seconds he was confused as he looked around and took note of his surroundings and realised he was not at home. Then the previous nights events came back to him and he remembered he had stayed at Cordelia's after they had been attacked whilst on a date. He also recalled the strange events they had witnessed.
He was still not at all convinced by what they had been told. The guy in charge seemed very nervous as he spoke. Then there was the whole teleportation thing, as far as he knew mankind did not have that kind of technology yet. He guessed it could have been classified stuff, but still something about it just screamed wrong. He ran a hand through his hair before he saw Cordelia come down, dressed in nothing but her nightgown and felt his mouth go dry.
Cordelia hid the smile that graced her features as she noted Xander's response to seeing her in her nightgown. She had wanted to tease him and see what he would say or do. Risky and not something she would usually do, but the growing closeness between them was making her want to do things she would not usually consider. That did not mean she was going to rush things, no way was she ready for that kind of relationship yet. Heading into the kitchen she began to make them something to eat, she had given the maid the night off and so had to do this herself not that she minded.
Xander finally seemed to shake himself from his stunned stupor and got up and headed into the kitchen and did everything he could to keep his eyes on Cordelia's face. She looked even more incredible than usual. He shook his head and wondered for a few seconds if he was still asleep and just dreaming all this. He ran a hand through his hair and just waited for her to say something.
"Good morning," Cordelia finally spoke, still grinning at the look on his face. "I hope the couch was okay?" she inquired.
"Yeah it was okay Cor," Xander responded. "I found it a very comfortable couch, much better than the one I used to sleep on when I would stay over at Jessie's," he told her before looking away, feeling a sadness well up in him as he said the name.
Cordelia noted the look and his eyes told her he still felt the loss of his lost friend even now, she had little good memories of Jessie due to his obsession with her, but she knew he had been a good guy just a little over taken with his hormones. She knew all to well how close the two had been back in the day before Buffy had come into their lives. She moved away from the counter and pulled him into a hug.
"I know you still miss Jessie, but maybe just maybe he is in a better place now," she said trying to comfort him. "Maybe there really is a heaven. I mean there must be if there is a hell, right?" she added.
"I hope so," Xander replied holding her close for a few seconds before he began to get uncomfortable and moved away before anything embarrassing happened.
Cordelia nodded and then finished off the breakfast she was making for them both. They ate quietly at the table before washing the dishes and then having a separately shower and getting ready for school.
"Do you think we should tell Buffy and the others about what we saw last night?" she asked, as they got into her car.
"I don't think so. Let's keep it to ourselves for now," Xander answered after thinking it over. "Most likely they would not believe us anyway, I mean if we had not seen it ourselves would we believe it?" he asked. "Even for us it is a stretch of the imagination," he pointed out.
"You make a good point," Cordelia agreed as she started the car and took off, just missing her maid returning to the house. "I wonder what they were up to?" she mused as she thought over the meeting.
"Can't say, but something tells me they lied when they said they were special ops," Xander admitted his own thoughts on the matter. "The guy who seemed to be in charge was very nervous, more so than is normal for a ops guy being discovered by a couple of teens," he added his left over memories from Halloween telling him as much.
"Any ideas on who they were then?" she inquired. "And how they suddenly appeared out of thin air?" Cordelia added a second later.
"Not really Cor, but I don't think we have that kind of tech yet," Xander pointed out to her. "I mean it could be new or classified, but usually there are leaks about those kind of things," he continued, as they pulled into the car park of the school.
"So what, they are aliens?" Cordelia asked with a smile.
"Wouldn't surprise me one bit," Xander shot back with his own smile as they got out. "I mean come on, we live in a world where demons and vampires exists, so why not aliens?" he asked.
Cordelia just burst out laughing at the idea and placing her arm through his. They strolled into the school and were ignoring the looks she still received from some of the other rich kids for dating what in their eyes was a loser. She was well past caring about what they thought of her relationship with Xander these days, the disaster of Valentine's Day had showed her the error of caring about such things.
Benjamin Sisko yawned as he heard the chime for his door and quickly got up and went to his bathroom and splashed some water onto his face. Looking into the mirror for a few seconds he noted how tired he looked before shaking his head and heading for the door. He opened the door and was not too surprised to see Jadzia standing outside with Julian close behind her. He looked them both over before inviting them in.
"I take it you've both found something?" he inquired as he sat down at his desk and faced them.
"Yes sir," Julian replied before handing over the two PADDs he had brought and began to explain what he had found.
Sisko listened and whilst the first part seemed a real mystery it was not exactly out of the realm of possibility. No what threw him for a loop was the fact that according to the computer Xander Harris was apart of Julian Bashir's family tree. It did not seem possible that they would run into anyone connected to the crew, not this far back. The odds were beyond anything he could imagine.
"Doctor, is there any chance the computer is wrong?" he inquired facing the younger man and looking him dead in the eyes.
"I do not see how sir," Julian answered as he considered it. "I ran the results three times and each time they came out the same. I know how strange all this is sir, but I can't think of anything else to explain it so it must be true," he explained. "Somehow, someway Xander Harris is connected to my family, maybe even the beginning of the branch that will lead to me," he stated.
"We don't know that Julian," Jadzia broke in. "He could be just a relative of the line that created you," she pointed out. "But I would suggest we be very careful if we go down again sir, it is possible we could be facing a paradox if Julian is correct," she suggested. "If this Xander is part of the line that will lead to Julian and he dies due to interference from us being here then we could loose Julian," she admitted, feeling a deep sadness and pain as she considered such a result.
Julian had been a friend from the minute she had gotten onto the same shuttle that had brought them both to Deep Space Nine. That friendship had grown over the last couple of years and she had to admit it could grow into far more if she wanted it too and if Julian really did have feelings for her and the idea of losing him was not something she wanted to contemplate.
"I would be wiped from existence, as if I was never born," Julian stated as he digested what his friend had said. "The minute you returned to the future you would forget I was ever a part of the crew," he added.
"Let's not get carried away here," Sisko cut in as he contemplated everything that had just been said. "We will take extreme measures to ensure we do not cause any paradox's whilst we are here, but our answers as to how and why we were brought here might be down on earth, so we will have to go back," he informed them. "Is there anything else?" he inquired.
"Yes Benjamin, I found a partial file in the archives which talks about Sunnydale falling into a sinkhole," Jadzia answered and handed over her own PADD.
Sisko read the file and felt shock and surprise hit him that something from this time period could survive all the way to their own time. Granted it was in bad shape and not a complete file, but still it was impressive. He too could not help but note how the last few letters seemed to make the word demon form.
"None of this is making sense," he finally spoke, wishing he could stand up and pace a little, but the quarters on the Defiant were small and with three people in it there was just no room. "We need answers and so we are going back tonight. We need to know just what the hell is going on," he concluded. "Have a security team, Worf and yourselves ready to go. We'll return to Sunnydale and see what we can find, not only on the truth of what we saw last night, but also see if we can find any alien presence on Earth," he told them.
"Of course Benjamin," Jadzia replied. "I suggest we all get some sleep before tonight then," she added to which Sisko nodded in agreement and watched as his friends left.
He quickly fell back onto his bed and began to fall asleep within minutes, but not before he wondered just what they would discover tonight when they beamed back down.
Xander walked into the library having just had a very boring math class. Buffy and Willow were already inside with Giles discussing what they would be doing for patrol for tonight. Oz and Cordelia soon joined them after having English, they all sat down and relaxed.
"So how did your date go last night?" Buffy asked with a smile.
"It went great until the end. We ended up being chased by a damn vampire and sadly we had no stake on hand," Xander answered. "Hold up Buff, before you start telling us off. I know we got careless, but we managed to survive and stake the vampire," he added as he noted the look the blond was directing at him. "Next time we will be more careful," he assured her.
"You were lucky Xander, maybe you should be more aware of what you are doing instead of doting on Cordelia," Willow suggested, still finding it hard to believe her best friend was dating their childhood enemy.
"Hey back off Willow, ok it was stupid to forget what is really going on in the world, but we made it through ok," Cordelia shot back, seeing the jealousy rage in the red head's eyes. "It's not like you and Oz are any different when you go on a date or even Buffy and Angel," she argued. "So don't try and make it seem like we are the only ones who make mistakes," she finished.
"Cordelia has a point," Jenny Calendar said after just having entered and hearing the tail end of the argument. "We all get carried away when we are on a date. The danger we know exist fades into the background and we want to enjoy ourselves," she continued, as she sat next to Giles and shared a small smile with him before facing the teenagers. "Next time I am sure they will be far more aware of their surroundings, just be glad that luck was on their side this time," she stated.
"Jenny is right, be thankful they survived," Giles agreed.
"Ok Giles, we get the point," Buffy said wanting to avoid another argument between Willow and Cordelia. "So anything else happen last night?" she asked.
"Not a thing," Xander replied after exchanging a short glance with Cordelia, which was missed by the others except for Oz and Jenny.
Oz quickly dismissed the idea they were hiding anything, except something embarrassing and connected to their relationship. He doubted Willow wanted to hear it and it pained him she still obviously felt something for her best friend. However he was confident she would finally move on fully to him, he had to have hope that it would be the case.
Jenny however was far more practical and as she replayed the look she began to believe it was far more than a personal secret. She just did not know what it could be. However she decided to keep an eye on them and see if she could find any clues on what they were keeping secret from the rest of the group. Granted not that she had much room to talk in that regard, she was still hiding who she really was and why she was in Sunnydale. She feared just what would happen when the truth finally came out. Then again maybe, just maybe, it would not need to come out at all.