Jack ran from the Stargate, firing his weapon at the Jaffa he was faced him. Behind and around him, he could hear the noise of the rest of SG-1 as well as the additional teams he had brought with him. It didn’t take long for the contingent of Jaffa that had been left guarding the Stargate to be overcome, the last of them falling to a blast from Teal’c’s staff weapon.
“Great work, guys. SG-10, you stay here and protect the Stargate. Maintain radio contact with Major Carter. The rest of you, with me,” Jack ordered before he heard the scream that echoed down the corridors and hallways of the ship.
“Move, now,” Jack ordered and they ran down a corridor from which the sound seemed to be coming. Jack tried to block the sound of the screams out as he hurried along, his knee protesting a little at the forced pace. It had sounded distinctively female and he didn’t want to imagine what on earth Ba’al was doing to Willow in order to make her produce a sound like that.
Willow’s screaming continued on, forcing Jack to think of the times he had awoken during the night to hear a sound similar to the sound that he was hearing at that moment. The screams at his home had never gone on for this long, Xander had seen to that. This scream was different. Jack could practically feel the pain that fueled it, although he wasn’t sure whether it was physical or emotional pain.
The group advanced through the ship, shooting down any opposition that they faced. Sam, Teal’c, Daniel and the others that trailed after them could see how much the teens meant to Jack, even after a few short months, and they were all loyal enough to Jack for each of them to know in their heart that they would do anything it took to get the two teenagers back safely in Jack’s arms.
Jack knew that they weren’t exactly being stealthy but he couldn’t bring himself to care. Speed was what was important. Get in, grab the kids, get back to the Stargate and go back home. That was the plan. It wasn’t exactly complicated but it was to-the-point and straightforward, so no mistakes could be made.
Of course, it was helpful that Willow’s screaming was leading them straight towards her. Naturally, Ba’al could have made a recording of Willow screaming her lungs out and was playing it in order to lure the team into a trap but Jack knew the men he had with them. They were prepared for a trap.
Ba’al needed to learn that NOBODY messed with Jack O’Neill’s kids.
Xander lay on the ground, dazed and confused after whatever it was that Ba’al had done to him. It had hurt, a lot. Xander had never experienced anything like it in his entire life. Now that it was over, his body just ached and he wanted to sleep. He fought off unconsciousness, focusing on the sound of Willow’s pained yelling, knowing that she was experiencing the same torture that he had. Xander wanted to try it but he felt like his body was made of lead and he couldn’t even raise his head off the ground, let alone do anything to protect Willow from getting hurt any further. Xander even felt as though he couldn’t speak, not loud enough to carry over Willow’s screaming. Still, he slowly felt like his body was recovering.
Willow’s screams died out as Ba’al dropped his hand once again. She collapsed beside Xander on the floor, breathing deeply and whimpering softly. Xander slowly moved his hand until it found Willow’s own hand and he gripped it as tightly as he could, reassuring her that he was there and perhaps reassuring him that she was there as well. Willow wrapped her fingers weakly around his hand and Xander felt himself relax slightly, knowing that Willow was okay.
Above them, Ba’al was saying something but Xander couldn’t understand it. It was some foreign language, probably demonic of some variety, but he didn’t bother trying to ask Willow if she understood it. If Willow felt anything like him, she wouldn’t be able to answer.
A commotion at the other side of the room made Xander stir and he turned his head towards the noise. He blinked, sure that he was hallucinating. It was Jack, Murray, Sam and Daniel and at least half a dozen more people in Air Force uniform, weapons raised shooting the guards.
“Xander, Willow, move,” Jack yelled. Adrenaline surged through Xander and he could feel Willow begin to struggle to move beside him. Above them, a blast hit, causing some of the metal piping that was overhead to break and fall to the ground about them.
“Not so fast,” Ba’al sneered, stepping forward and putting his foot down on Willow’s leg, trapping her. Xander looked over at Jack and the rest of the Air Force team. They were all preoccupied with facing the guards that were fighting them. Xander let out a yell when he turned to face Ba’al. The leader had taken something from one of his guards, a small, snake-like thing that looked rather nasty and demonic. He was holding it near Willow.
“No, get away from it,” Xander heard Sam scream in warning obviously trying to get towards them. Spurned into action, Xander rolled over and swung his leg up, connecting his foot with an area where no man, demon or not, likes to have a foot. Ba’al gave a rather high pitched yell and dropped the snake-like demon, clutching at himself and walking away. Willow sat up, struggling way form the demon, which was wriggling towards her. Looking around, Willow picked up a piece of metal piping and smashed the demon on the head with it, making a rather loud cracking noise. Xander watched, impressed as Willow hit the demon again and again until it wasn’t moving anymore, before he touched her arm, smiling at her proudly. Willow blushed, and then they both tried to get up. Tried being the key word. Willow fell to her knees after barely getting halfway up. Xander lasted little better, making it to standing for a second before his knees buckled and folded beneath him.
“This isn’t working,” Xander said. Willow nodded. They were very much in the open still and Ba’al was recovering from Xander’s kick. Both of them wanted to get away.
“You think you can make it if we crawl?” Xander asked, hoping that he could. Willow nodded and they both got on their hands and knees, crawling into a secluded corner of the room where they couldn’t be seen by Ba’al and were closer to Jack.
Even crawling was difficult, especially for Willow, whose arms often collapsed beneath her, leaving her flat on her stomach. Still, eventually, they made it, panting slightly from the effort, given the condition their bodies were in following Ba’al’s torture session.
Speaking of Ba’al, Xander scanned the room, noticing that the man was gone, having obviously slipped out of a side door. Jack must have noticed at the same time because Xander heard his father curse.
“Damn, where the heck did that snake bastard go?”
“I do not know, Jack O’Neill,” Murray replied, firing his long, stick-like weapon, similar in design to the ones that the guards were using.
“Xander, look at this,” Willow said, tapping Xander’s shoulder and redirecting his attention towards the corner where they were hiding in. There was a narrow window in the metal walls of the room and Willow was looking out, her skin losing some color.
“What is it? What’s wrong? Where are we?” Xander said. Willow opened her mouth to reply but she broke off and shook her head, simply pointing at the window, unable to say what had her so worried. Frowning, Xander crawled forward, peering out of the window. His jaw dropped.
Stars. What was he seeing, the inky blackness of space dotted with stars? Either it was nighttime (which was plausible, Xander and Willow had lost track of time) and they were in a very tall skyscraper, which didn’t seem likely, but they couldn’t see any lights from surrounding buildings or cars or traffic lights or anything, or… they were in space. Something hinky was going on.
Xander turned to face Willow, who shrugged, reading the question on his face.
“I don’t know, Xander. I just don’t know.”
They both looked out the window, looking at the stars once again. Xander searched in vain for any sign of civilization.
“I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” he whispered to Willow.
“Xander, Willow, you two okay?” Jack asked from behind them. Xander and Willow both jumped violently before turning around to face him. Behind him, they could see that the floor was bloodied and the bodies of the guards littered the ground. Even with Xander’s soldier memories from Halloween, it was gruesome. Beside him, Xander felt Willow reflexively swallow as she fought the urge to throw up.
“We’re good,” Xander spoke for both of them.
“You sure? You both look kind of… pale.”
Xander snorted. Pale? He hadn’t seen his own reflection but Willow looked half-dead, she was that pale. And Xander really hoped that they wouldn’t have to walk to wherever it was they needed to get to next because, pride aside, Xander knew that there was no way either of them could walk even to the door, let alone any farther.
“Let’s get you two out of here,” Jack suggested. Xander nodded as Daniel and another pair of men approached. Daniel and one of the strangers hoisted Willow up and Jack and the other stranger lifted Xander, with Xander’s arms over their shoulders and his feet barely touching the floor. With practically all his weight being supported by the two adult men, Xander found he could shuffle along with them, for the moment at least.
“Where are we?” Xander asked. “We found a window and there were stars outside.”
The other man supporting Xander coughed, trying to disguise a snort of laughter. Jack shot a glare at the other man over Xander’s head.
“We’ll talk about it when we’re back at base, Xan. Come on, let’s get out of here.”
“Sir,” Sam said, running up to them. “I just did an analysis of the ships systems. It’s going to self-destruct in five minutes.”
“What?! Damn it, Ba’al must have beamed to another ship. LET’S GO!” The last two words were yelled, unmistakably orders. Murray took the lead, followed by the rest of the unit with Sam as the rear guard. Xander found himself and Willow in the middle, being protected both from front and back as they moved through the corridors. He glanced over at her, in between Daniel and the soldier, her eyes sleepy-looking. Xander knew how she felt. His own adrenaline had begun to wear off, leaving him battling off unconsciousness once again.
“Stay with me, Xander, alright? We’ll get you looked after when we get back to base. You and Willow will get to spend some time with Janet in the infirmary and you can sleep all you like there.”
“Sleep good,” Xander said dopily. Jack walked a bit quicker after that.
Eventually they came to a large room where another smaller group of Air Force officers were positioned, their hands on weapons.
“Carter, dial us out,” Jack ordered.
“Yes, sir. Thirty seconds till the self-destruct mechanism kicks in,”
“We’ve got incoming, sir,” another officer reported. Jack immediately moved closer to the large circular structure behind the rest of the Air Force guys, Daniel, Willow, and the other two soldiers with them.
“We’ve got them, go,” Jack said. Xander felt all of his weight being transferred over to Jack and he leaned wearily against his father as another group of Ba’al’s men attacked, blasts of energy flying everywhere, just like in a shootout from the Star Wars movies. Xander smiled at the thought and he looked over at Willow. Daniel was holding her up alone now and she looked over at Xander.
“Star Wars,” she mouthed before smiling dopily.
“Are you okay, Willow?’ Jack asked, having obviously not noticed the exchange. Willow nodded.
“I’m okay,” she said softly.
“Carter, we need these kids home, now!” Jack called to Sam, who nodded from where she stood at an oddly shaped device. Finally, she pushed the middle button and a very odd-looking blue substance exploded out from the middle of the metal circle. Xander looked at it oddly. He’d never seen anything like it before. There were inscriptions on the outside but he couldn’t read what they said. They definitely weren’t in English anyway.
The attacking force broken off for now, an order from Jack (which Xander had failed to understand) sent them all heading for the metal circle, which now had a rippled, blue surface, like a pool of water, only it stood vertically in the air.
Jack pulled on Xander gently and Xander staggered a bit before he stumbled up a ramp to the circle.
“Ten seconds, sir,” Carter reported.
“Let’s go home,” Jack said to Xander before they walked through the substance together, Willow and Daniel at their heels with Sam and Murray bringing up the rear.A.N. Hi there. I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest chapter. As I might have mentioned previously, writing action scenes are not really a strength of mine, so I apologize if this wasn’t very good.
A special Call out to my beta reader, DarkenedShadows. If you enjoy reading Willow focused Supernatural, Harry Potter, or NCIS stories then I recommend looking her up and reading her work. She's awesome.
Anyway, next chapter hopefully will be up in approx two weeks (or maybe a little sooner.)