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The way it should have been

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Summary: AU NEEDLESS TO SAY. Buffy gets help when it matters from unexpected places

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Trek > Star Trek - The Next GenerationburmafrdnowFR151676,00387328,69814 May 112 Jun 11Yes

Chapter One

This time Buffy gets help that matters. My way of playing with things. Endof 4th Season BTVS and goes AU; start of 4th season ST-TNG and goes AU. Needless to say but they want me to say it: this is just for fun not profit. ALL HAIL Gene Roddenberry for creating Star Trek; Paramount owns it. Joss Whedon created BTVS.




Q was bored. And anyone that knew him at all would tell you was that was when he was the most dangerous. A near omnipotent being that was also immortal; or as much immortal as it was possible to get, anyway. Which meant that just keeping oneself occupied was a full time job. After enough millennia went by there was very little new to be seen.

Then he had gotten THE IDEA. He was obliged to inform the rest of the Continuum about it, of course. Even THEY had some rules. But he was not worried; there would be no permanent harm done; certainly not in THIS dimension. And that was the key; he was VERY surprised it had not occurred to anyone else. To use a term from the Vulcans, it was only logical. Teasing and tormenting Vulcans had gotten old quickly; frankly boring. Humans were a lot more fun.

There were a limitless number of dimensions; most of them VERY different from the one he came from. All things were possible; literally.

But then he found out why no one had tried it before; because they thought it was impossible. Nothing was impossible to a Q. At least he had been sure of that.

Then he tried and found he could not. He could not leave this dimension. That puzzled him. Why could he not leave? Humans and others had traveled in time; different dimensions should be as easy to go to. He took that up with the Continuum and found that some of the older Q had indeed tried over a million years ago and had not been able to do it either.

Q was very stubborn when he wanted to be and this was one of those times; the opportunities dimension hoping promised was just irresistible. He decided to torment his favorite Star Ship captains, starting with Jean Luc.

Captain Jean Luc Picard had been able to put the time as Locutus in the back of his mind; he reasoned that it had happened and what point was there in agonizing about it. He had not asked for it and he had fought it the best that he could; and in the end they had triumphed. He knew it would come back to haunt him now and then but that was life. It had been three months but he was doing better. He looked at the report from Commander Shelby; the goal of rebuilding Star Fleet was proceeding well. He smiled to himself as he remembered Will talking about her.

“Perhaps the most ambitious officer I have ever met; but she is just about as good as she thinks she is. Did a fine job as my Executive Officer.”

Will’s battlefield promotion of her to full Commander had been approved by a grateful Star Fleet and she had launched herself at flank speed into rebuilding the fleet. Over 50 ships had been lost in the battle at Wolf 359; but already they had replaced 10; with another 20 building. There were some on the Federation Council that still grumbled about the pace; but they were in the tiny minority as most realized that the Borg could come back at any time. R & D hoped to have the first prototypes of new weapons and shields within the next year; Jean Luc just hoped they had the time.

Jean Luc also knew he was going to have to let Will know that it was time for him to take his own command; and Star Fleet needed proven captains very badly. He had already talked to Admiral Hudec, chief of Star Fleet Personnel. A brand new Sovereign Class was at the moment on the drawing board; and in a year the first would be built. Jean Luc intended Will Riker to be her commander. By that time Jean Luc felt any lingering problems with his time as a Borg should be receding and he would not need Will here. He intended to make Data his executive officer; one problem would be that he knew that Deanna would be going with Will and he would thus need to get a new ships Counselor. That would be a real problem; she had been the best in the Fleet. At least he would still have Worf, and Geordi and Beverly. The other shifts would have to take in young officers; the fleet would need some of his more experienced officers. But that was normal.

Jean Luc suddenly knew something had changed and quickly looked around; then groaned. Q was lounging in the chair of his desk in the ready room.

For a moment he just closed his eyes; hoping when he opened them Q would be gone. No such luck. Sighing he bowed to the inevitable.
“What is it this time Q?”

Q smiled. As always teasing Jean Luc was one of the highlights.

“This time it is nothing very difficult, Jean Luc. Just some questions.”

Picard went to a side chair and sat down and looked across the room.
“Ask away.”

“You have been in different dimensions, correct?”

Picard raised an eyebrow. This was certainly different; he really wanted to know.

“A mirror universe; Captain Kirk traveled to one; there have been other cases. Now a different dimension; I would ask that question be clarified.”

“Not a parallel universe; a different dimension that has different physical laws.”

Picard hated to admit it but this was fascinating.

“One in which Warp Drive is not possible?”

“Or for instance one where Magic is possible; a different type of energy.”

Jean Luc sat back and thought. “There have been hints; but nothing has been proven. It seems logical that different dimensions should be as possible as mirror universes.”

“Details, Jean Luc. How did they get there.”

“Dimensional or subspace rips are the only examples I have heard of.”

“I tend to think those were more mirror universes. I have been around the Delta Quadrant and the Borg got themselves into a nasty fight with a species that I now believe must have been from a different dimension. I wish now I had been more curious about them. Alas the continuum has forbidden Time Travel so I cannot go back and find out; those particular Borg got themselves destroyed so I cannot find out that way.”

At the mention of the Borg Picard became even more intense.
“Someone defeated the Borg badly?”

“More a case of SOMETHING. What little I was able to find out seems to indicate that the life form was extremely different than anything the Borg had run into before; totally resistant to assimilation.“

Disappointed, he sat back. “Nothing that would help us the next time they come.”

“Non, Mon Ami. Nothing at all. But you did fairly well; it is not likely they will come calling again for a while. You will have time.”

Picard figured that was as good as he was going to get and had to admit that was a relief. Going back to the question, he pondered it again.

“Different physical laws. One would think you would be able to sense that somehow even here.”

“You would think so; but apparently not. It may be that the Continuum is too deeply rooted in this dimension to be able to detect it. Other older Q have tried and failed to find others; but logically they must exist.”

“You mentioned magic. That is not possible in this universe, is it?”

“Not in this one no. You have given me an idea. And since you helped you should be part of this as well. See you soon Jean Luc.”

And he was gone. Picard groaned.

“And that is what he said, Admiral Hanson. So more than likely very soon we will get pulled into one more of his side shows.”

“What will be will be, Captain. It is so noted so if the Enterprise disappears we can at least hope you will be back. Things are quiet for the moment so I will pull you back some; replace your patrol area. If you can warn us do so; but as I recall he usually does not give much of that.”

“We will try Admiral.”


The staff of course just groaned as well.

Jean Luc decided to talk to Guinan; she might have an idea. Her experiences were unique; and she had a running feud with Q anyway.

“Troublemaking son of COSTANZAN’s.”

Picard made a note to ask her sometime who they were. She had reacted as expected.

“Guinan, have you ever heard of anyone using what could be called Magic?”

“Not as you would define it; as humans would think of as magic. Merlin and the like. As much as I hate to agree with anything he says, he is right about that not existing in this Universe. Or in a parallel universe since the physical laws are the same there.”

“You have experience with such.”

“Once and fortunately brief; it was not a good place.”

“Captain Kirk ran into one and it was NOT a good one.”

“It is comforting to know that someone else got in more trouble than you have so far, Captain, isn’t it?”

Picard had to smile at that; and the truth to it. James T Kirk had indeed gotten into more outlandish trouble than he had; so far anyway.

“Q seemed fascinated by the thought of magic. It is my guess he is trying to find a way to get to a place where it exists.”

Guinan shook her head. “The physical laws of such a universe would have to have some very significant differences for that to exist alongside everything else. My guess is there would be tradeoffs; something that can be done here cannot be done there. And vice versa.”

“Balance.”

“Balance is the true universal constant.”



Data had been fascinated with the concept of different dimensions and had been disappointed upon his foray into Star Fleet records to find no real proof that any existed. But he did agree that it should be possible.

“Of course the question is Captain, is how to get to one and how to get back once there.”

Meanwhile Q had been looking into anything that described magic; all too much of it was mystical hoodoo and the like. The Humans had believed in such before their industrial age; and had made it a popular part of their culture up until they had gone out into the stars; it had gradually disappeared soon after. Some of their most interesting entertainment inventions had involved such. He dug into the archives on earth and found some very interesting ideas. What were called motion pictures and television shows had been made about them; the concept had actually been very well developed. He decided to concentrate on magical creatures; Witches.

Giles had finally given in and had started to teach Willow simple magical spells; he could no longer avoid it; and it was better that she be given some basic training then continue to let her do it on her own. The defeat of Adam using the bonding spell had whetted her appetite. He was very surprised how quickly she picked it up; but figured that had more to do with Tara than himself. He was very glad to see the influence the gentle Wicca had on Willow, who had been drifting dangerously after Oz had left. Tara was very good at following the rules; and the de ratting of Amy had been a major accomplishment. Amy was still recovering but seemed to be doing much better; and Willow was very happy to have gotten her other friend back.

“Giles! Anything going on?”

“Yeah, G Man. Any new apocalypses to be found?”

Giles sighed as his Slayer and Xander came bouncing into the Magic Shop. He had decided it was futile to try and stop Xander from calling him that.

“At this time there seems to be nothing going on.”

“Buffster, he just jinxed us!”

“Giles, you should know better than to say that!”

Giles felt a headache coming.

Willow and Tara came in at the same time; followed by Dawn. Something still niggled at him about Dawn; but he had decided it was something to do with the Hellmouth and felt no use wasting time on it.

Dawn bounced in and sat on the counter; he had given up on trying to stop that as well.

“So what did Giles jinx us on?”

“I asked him if there was an apocalypse coming and he said there seems to be nothing going on.”

Dawn opened her big blue eyes and stared at Giles.

“He didn’t!”

Her older sister sighed and went over and checked the Troll Hammer. It still fascinated her. “He did.”

Willow looked at him in disappointment.

“Giles, after the whole Anya mess you should know by now to NEVER say anything that can tempt the gods or anything else.”

Xander blinked.

“What Anya mess? Anya is not a mess.”

That got a general snicker from the rest of the Scoobies. Tara shook her head sadly.

“Anya is doing much better.”

A dreamy look came over Xander. “She sure is!”

Dawn snickered and her sister glared at her. “Dawn.”

“Buffy, we are taught this in school now. Not like in the dark ages when you were growing up.”

Giles tuned out the youngsters with the aide of some meditation skills he had neglected too long.

“I am really stoked; they are finally going to do some more Star Trek.”

All present rolled their eyes; Xander still had great love for science fiction; which probably made sense. It was a lot happier world then the one they lived in.

Dawn was at least slightly interested.

“It has been a while though, since the last movie.”

“The original cast was getting too old; but the legal battles with Gene Roddenberry’s estate delayed everything for almost ten years. Not sure what they are going to call the next series; but one can hope it’s at least half as good as the original.”

He held up a newspaper article he had cut out. Then read it.

“Paramount has announced that a new series based on the Classic TV show and very successful 6 motion pictures will go into production next year. This has been rumored for many years; but legal issues prevented anything being done until just this year. No cast has been announced; the concept is rumored to be a new Enterprise and crew that are somewhere in the area of 80 to 100 years past the last movie; thus taking care of those comparisons with the first edition. Surviving members of the original series and movies have commented that they think this is a wonderful idea and the fact that almost 15 years will have passed since the last movie makes this a fresh idea and possibility of maintaining what is considered the only science fiction genre that rivals Star Wars.”

Willow had snagged one of the books on magic that Giles was perusing and was eagerly looking through it. Her eyes widened at something she read and pointed it out to Tara; she looked at it and her eyes widened as well. Willow bounced over to Giles.

“Giles. This spell talks about reaching out to beyond the mists?”

“That means beyond this time and place.”

“The future?”

Giles gently took the book and looked at the page.

“Actually not; more looking at a different world.”

Willow was very interested. “Parallel universe?”

“I believe not; a different dimension more than likely.”

“What is the difference?” came from Dawn, always interested in magic though never really certain why.

Willow bounced in excitement. “Parallel universe has the same physical laws; like the one where my double was a vampire.”

Buffy grinned. “Skankpire.”

Willow blushed a bright red. “BUFFY!”

Tara and the others laughed at the blushing young witch.

“So a different dimension might be one where there is no magic?”

Giles nodded at Dawn’s question. “That would qualify as one. There are legends about such, of course, but I have not seen any evidence that anyone has actually gone to one. But it must be considered very possible; if a mirror universe is then that should be as well.”

Willow blinked at him. “But here is a spell; it must have come from somewhere.”

“This book talks about magical legends; that is one. The spell is very difficult; and requires some very rare ingredients.”

“Can we try it?”

“Certainly not. For one I am not sure that the ingredients are available; and might be very expensive if they are. And for another it could be very dangerous.”

“But if one is just looking how dangerous could that be?”

Dawn had snagged the book and was making a list of the ingredients.

“Hey. I think we have everything here already to do it; and it says right here at the bottom that it has to be performed near a Hellmouth.”

That got all their attention and Giles took the book back and looked at it.

“Good lord.” And began to wipe his glasses. Everyone knew what that meant and Buffy walked over and after taking a quick look around put the closed sign up on the door and pulled down the shade; and locked it as well. They all watched the Slayer as she did that then walked up to Giles.

“There is no such thing as coincidence, Giles. You have said that many times. So we might as well do it and get out it of the way.”

Giles sighed. His Slayer had a tendency to fasten on something he had said and once she did a bulldog had nothing at all on her. But he had to admit it was very suspicious. He looked at the list that Dawn had already made.

“Very well. This does seem like something we are meant to do. Willow, Tara, start gathering these items.”

Not an hour later they were in the training room; and preparing to do the spell. Giles was very cautious and wanted to make very sure that they only looked; but did not allow anything to actually get through the opening they were about to make.

Willow had gotten a lot better at Latin but Tara was still the best of all of them. Better than Giles; though Dawn was quickly learning. She was showing a great gift for languages. The ingredients were mixed; and Tara began the slow chant.

They had been looking for what they should aim for and Xander had flat out said that a place without Magic would be interesting; and then had waved the Star Trek article.

“See if there is one without Magic and with Star Trek?”

That had gotten snickers from all of them but Giles had actually decided that was a good one to try; since it was very likely not to work; and if it did nothing of a demon type could come through no matter what.

So Tara made the chant and then said, in Latin:

“Boldly show us where the Enterprise flies!”

A puff of smoke began to appear and then grow and then it seemed to start to harden; and began to clear. A glowing white oval was too bright to look at but began to dim and turn into a window. Carefully they moved closer.

Q looked up from where he was observing something in the Beta Quadrant; he had been looking for a trace of magic and he thought he now sensed something; in the Alpha Quadrant. Near the Enterprise. In a flash he was halfway across the Galaxy.

“Captain; we are getting a sensor reading on a type of energy never before seen. It is off our port bow; distance 1 kilometer; it is pacing us.”

“Yellow Alert; raise the shields!”

Lt Commander Worf quickly raised the shield and began to power up the weapons.

“Mr. Data, I need more than that.”

“Captain, it is small; about 3 meters in diameter; the energy is constant. At least what the sensors call energy; but that is a default setting. That is used when the sensors pick up a reading that has never been seen before. It is holding position. Neither growing stronger nor weaker.”

“All stop. Hold this position. I want a full scan now.”

Those in the magic shop were transfixed. Through what seemed to be a window they could see some kind of a ship in space. Xander almost poked his head through but was pulled back by Buffy. Unabashed he cried out
“That looks like a Star Ship! Something like the Enterprise, but different. Bigger maybe; newer.”


“Captain the energy reading is absolutely constant; no fluctuation at all.”

They could see it; it seemed to shine but looked like a hole in space.

Then Q popped in.

“Jean Luc! My congratulations. You have found it; or more likely it has found you.”

Picard glared at him. “What is it?”

“Magic.”

Picard blinked. Data would have if he had thought to. Riker and the rest just shook their heads in disbelief. Deanna was looking hard at the image. Picard noticed that.

“Counselor?”

“Captain I sense … thoughts… jumbled emotions. Some fear; a lot of delight; great curiosity. Captain I think someone is on the other side of that looking at us.”

Q was almost bouncing. He looked around. “Well, Captain Jean Luc Picard, who are you going to send to look at this world that has come looking for you?”

“Why should I send anyone and how could they go?”

Picard could have kicked himself; he knew the very moment he said it he had made a BIG mistake.

Q grinned. “Voila!”

And Picard, Worf, Troi and Data disappeared.

Riker stood up and yelled “RED ALERT!”

The Scoobies were still entranced at what they were looking at when the window began to pulse. Sensing danger Buffy quickly pulled everyone back.

“Look out!” She had taken the precaution of bringing the troll hammer with her and she had it in her hand just as the mirror pulsed again and spat out 4 things.

The Scoobies immediately hit the floor; Giles cursing, Willow squeaking, Dawn whimpering, Tara praying, Xander moaning “here we go again.” Only the Slayer stood still and waiting, hammer at the ready.

Jean Luc Picard groaned and started to sit up. He looked around. He appeared to be in some kind of gymnasium; he recognized some old earth gym equipment. Then he saw a young woman; small but very determined looking holding a hammer that seemed much too heavy for her. Her eyes were cold and hard.
“OK, who are you and what are you doing here?”

Worf slowly got up and stared at the small human and pulled out his phaser; checked that it was on Stun and pointed it at her.

“Back away from the captain!”

Buffy turned and glared at what could only be a demon; then began to advance towards him; ignoring the strange thing in his hand.

Worf pointed it at her and fired. Nothing happened; he checked the phaser; it was dead. Growling he tossed it away and advanced on her.

Data had reset his systems and now stood up. Picard had seen Deanna still unmoving and had knelt next to her; he felt that Worf could handle the young woman; she was very small.

Buffy saw the demon was unarmed and decided she needed to be fair – and since he had nothing but his bare hands dropped the Troll Hammer and went to meet him.

Data was looking around; he did not have a tricorder and therefore his only ability to analyze was his own optical and aural capabilities. He looked as Worf and the small young woman began to battle. He too expected Worf to quickly subdue her. So he was stunned when they grappled and the small young woman threw Worf at least 10 meters into the nearest wall which he hit with a very audible sound and the room itself seemed to shake.

Picard was glad to see that Deanna was breathing; she just seemed unconscious. Hearing a thud and feeling the room shake slightly he looked up and was stunned to see his Security Chief slumping down the wall a good 10 meters from where he had been an instant ago.

Worf blinked and recovered as fast as he could; unfortunately not fast enough as the small woman moved quicker than he imagined anyone could and had a grip on him much stronger than anything he had ever felt before.

Data, seeing that his shipmate was in trouble advanced and was then knocked over as the young woman threw Worf into him. The impact was impressive.

Buffy looked at the other demon and wondered how strong he was; so she decided to find out and picked him up; he then moved VERY fast and grappled with her; and she found out he was very strong indeed.

Data had decided that he needed to talk to this very interesting person so he made to grapple with her. He was very surprised at her strength; beyond a Vulcan or Romulan. Not as strong as his maximum but still much stronger than any biological being he had ever encountered before.

Buffy strained as she battled him and realized he was stronger than she was; and then fainted right and moved left and managed to throw him off but it was very close and his speed was incredible.

Jean Luc Picard was astounded as the young woman seemed almost a match for Commander Data; and that had to mean she was an android as well.

“Buffy STOP!”

This from Xander.

Buffy backflipped out of the way and glared at him.

“DEMON!”

“Buffy, how many demons wear uniforms?”

Worf had recovered and seeing the hammer tried to pick it up; he needed a weapon. He was astounded as he was unable to do more than barely lift it. But SHE had been handling it like it was made of paper!

Picard realized he needed to take action.

“I am Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Federation Starship Enterprise. Despite how this looks, we did not mean to come here and we certainly did not mean to fight you.”

At this the scoobies; who had been collecting weapons ready to join in; except for Xander who was looking at the strangers with a goofy grin, stopped dead.

“Good lord.” The scoobies all quietly agreed with Giles on this one.

Data blinked and cocked his head as he looked at where Worf had been unable to lift that hammer looking object. Noticing that the young woman had backed off and while wary seemed to be willing to talk rather than fight, he moved over and picked it up. He was astonished at the weight.

“Captain, this hammer weights 250 kilograms. I am barely able to use it. This is not logical; the young woman was holding this as if it weighed less than 100 kilograms; even compensating for her extraordinary strength she should not have been able to wave it as she did.”

At this point Deanna began to groan. Picard went back to her.

Deanna Troi felt the mother of all headaches; it seemed to be pulsating. She opened her eyes and saw that Captain Picard was kneeling over her; looking worried. She managed to gasp out.

“Outside of a very bad headache, I believe I am unharmed, Captain.”

He helped her sit up and then get to her feet, holding her arm. She looked around and realized what was giving her a headache; there were roiling emotions from all the humans in the room outside of her shipmates. Beyond that she felt something pressing on her. She groaned.

“Captain, they all have very strong emotions of varying types; but something else is pressing down on me; it is malevolent and angry and other emotions that are confusing.”

Giles had been wiping his glasses trying to figure out what to do when he heard that.

“That is almost certainly the Hellmouth that you feel.”

Data perked up. “Hellmouth.”

Buffy had settled down and was beginning to realize just what they had.

“Mouth of Hell. It’s just a little over that way. And it is exactly what it sounds like.”

Jean Luc Picard stared at her; then at the others who were sadly nodding.

He then looked at the one person who seemed mature enough to give a understandable answer.
“Explain.”

Giles took off his glasses and began to rub them.

“You have been brought here from another dimension using magic. I know how that sounds but in this dimension magic is real. It is an energy that is allowed here.” He then launched into his spiel and the four Federation officers gaped at him in disbelief.

Willow was bouncing like she had just gotten a cup of espresso.

“Magic is just another form of energy. It has rules and limitations just like any other energy.”

Data immediately began to question her and soon they were heavy into Geek land as Xander called it. Willow had been studying the scientific properties of Magic in order to better understand it. Tara was helping as well.

Jean Luc Picard studied the situation and felt a headache coming. Worf was meanwhile warily watching Buffy since she clearly was a threat. Deanna just did not look well and Dawn approached her and coaxed her to a chair; then went to the small refrigerator and got a bottle of water for her. Picard then looked at Giles again.
“Vampires, Demons. Magic. We have nothing like that at all; these are all merely legends of the past.”

Xander had left and had run to his apartment and in record time was back with several magazines and books. He went up to Picard and showed him one.

“Is James T Kirk a legend in your Star Fleet?”

Picard looked at the magazine and it took all he had not to let his jaw drop. On the magazine cover was a picture of the Enterprise NCC1701-A and a picture of someone that very closely resembled Kirk. But not quite.
“That is the Enterprise of Kirk; but that is not him. Close but not quite the same.”

Giles was thinking hard. “Star Trek and everything about it was invented by Gene Roddenberry, a TV Show producer in the 1960’s. That is a little over 35 years ago. It is currently the year 2000.”

Xander was bouncing on his own. “He came up with it all by himself; no one else. Somehow he knew.”

Giles was thoughtful. “Or he was somehow told. But clearly in very great detail. I would be interested to see just how close our view of the Federation and Star Fleet matches what exists in your dimension.”

Picard took the rather thick Star Trek Compendium and began to look through it; the details were amazing. Some of it was incorrect; but the vast majority was either amazingly close or dead on.

“This is incredible; there is some here that is classified top secret. Clearly someone from my dimension came here and gave this Gene Roddenberry a history that was incredibly detailed.”

Q could not remember the last time he had had so much fun. Watching the Federation officers attempt to adjust to this dimension was hilarious. And just what he had seen so far was so delicious. Looking closely at the group that had opened the door for him, he was very impressed. For a group so very young their accomplishments were extremely impressive even to him.

The door opened and Spike walked in. Giles glared at him.

“That door was locked.”

Spike shrugged; winding up the Watcher was always fun.

“Not a dead bolt Watcher. Not going to stop me.” He then looked over the group and his jaw did drop.
“Slayer, what in the world did you do now?”

Buffy huffed. “Tara did a spell that was just supposed to allow us to look into another dimension but somehow they got pulled in here.”

Picard shook his head. “This was not her fault; Q was the one that pulled us here; for his amusement.”

“Q” asked Giles. Picard then gave him a brief rundown of Q.

Giles slowly nodded. “A chaos God is what we would call him. Loves to meddle and mess with people and events.”

Picard looked thoughtful. That was about the best description he had heard of Q yet.

DATA had been examining Spike. “Are you what is called a Vampire; my optical sensors only register you in a secondary manner; my primary sensors do not see you at all.”

“William the Bloody at your Service. Spike to those that fear me.”

Xander rolled his eyes. “Likes to think he is still the big bad even if he has been neutered.”

“Oi!”

DATA was fascinated. “Neutered.”

“Nancy boy soldiers put a blasted device in my head; won’t let me bite people.”

Spike had been looking at Data. Cocked his head. “You a robot?”

“I am an Android.”

“Same thing. How come you have a soul?”

That stopped everything dead.

Data looked absolutely stunned. “I have a soul?’

Jean Luc Picard went very still. He knew that Data had been inquiring into that area; and had not gotten any encouragement at all from any religious source.

Spike nodded. “It is not all sparkly like a regular soul, but you got one.”

Giles was fascinated. “Spike are you sure? He is an android and this should not be possible.”

“Watcher, after all the time with the Poof do you think I would not be able to tell?” Snarked Spike.

Willow looked at Tara and they immediately ran out into the main office; and were quickly back with some ingredients. Giles understood what they were doing and found the necessary book. The Federation officers looked on in bemusement.

Dawn explained. “They are going to do a spell to see what it is about Data’s soul that is different from a normal one. But the real bottom line is that Data has a soul.”

Spike meanwhile was eyeing Worf. “Slayer, is this one of their demons?”

“I am Worf, Son of Mogh, I am a Klingon Warrior.”

Xander was fascinated. “In the time of Kirk, Klingons looked like humans.”

Picard nodded. “They were genetically changed to blend in; a way for the Klingons to spy and find out information on Humans without being obvious. They were changed back about 10 years after Kirk’s original 5 year mission. Now they all look as Worf does. He is the only Klingon in Star Fleet; he was brought up by Human parents. He is my Security Chief and Tactical officer.”

Spike was grinning blood thirstily. “So not human.”

Buffy sighed. “Spike, no feeding on him.”

“Not wanting to Feed Slayer; probably tastes bad. But I am thinking we can have a spar.”

Buffy cocked her head and thought about it; Spike was stronger and Faster but Worf was a good bit stronger and faster than regular humans. And was very skilled. He might hold his own.

Worf meanwhile looked at his captain hopefully. Picard sighed and nodded; he knew Klingons needed to let off their aggressions regularly or there was trouble.

About one second later Spike and Worf were going at it in the far part of the room.

It was surprisingly balanced; Spike did not want to kill; it had been a while since he had had a really good fight. Worf was still stung by the way the small woman had easily thrown him around. His greater skills and strange types of hand to hand styles mostly offset Spikes greater speed and strength.

Buffy pulled up a chair and watched in fascination; she was always interested in seeing different fighting styles; she had learned a lot from fighting Spike.

Picard was startled at how well the vampire fought; he was not unskilled either if not at the level of Worf. He moved closer to Buffy.

“Spike seems to be very skilled for a being that is what, 180 years old?”

“Spike has always been an odd vamp. He loved another Vamp named Drusilla for over 100 years despite the way she treated him. And love for a Demon is incredibly rare. He also likes to fight Slayers; he has killed two of them and has tried to kill me several times. He learned Chinese Martial arts to kill a Chinese slayer not long after the Boxer Rebellion.”

“He has killed two of your kind; yet he seems if not welcome tolerated. Why is that?”

Buffy sighed. “Ask me a question I can answer. I don’t know why we let him hang around. My mother really likes him and gives him hot chocolate with little marshmallows whenever he comes to visit. Dawn for some reason really likes him and he likes her for some truly unknown reason. HE has helped out a couple of times. I don’t know; maybe the fact that he can love like no other demon we have ever heard of has something to do with it.”

“Very strange.”

“Captain, if you wanted to find strange you came to exactly the right place.”

Giles looked around and realized they were ready. “Buffy we are ready but we need quiet.”

Buffy then gave out a piercing whistle that had just about everyone grab their ears except Data who just cocked his head.

“OK, you two; play time is over.”

Worf was puffing some but looked a lot more relaxed, Picard was glad to see. He walked over and picked up the Phaser and looked at it again. Then he blinked and narrowed his eyes.

“Captain, this phaser indicates the power pack is inactive. Commander Data’s power supply is based on the same principle, generally. Why is he operating?”

Picard’s eyes widened at that as did everyone else’s. Data blinked. He walked over and took the phaser and looked at it closely then at the Captain.

“That is correct, captain. If this is not operating neither should I.”

That had everyone scratching their heads; finally Giles shrugged and he and Tara began the ritual and Willow carefully took notes. The four Star Fleet officers watched in fascination. Suddenly Data glowed briefly. Then it went away. Giles blinked.

“Commander Data does indeed have a soul; it is not a human soul but has the same basic properties; somehow apparently there is a way for some machines, robots, whatever to have souls and he has one. This is incredible.”

Data stood there and thought. Over the last two years he had been looking into every possibility as regards religions and souls; not one religious figure from any religion had given him encouragement. What if only here did he have a soul. He looked at Giles.

“Is it only here I have one?”

Giles sighed and polished his glasses. “I wish I could give you a firm answer, Commander. But I cannot. If your dimension has no room for magic at all that should realistically not matter as regards a soul.” He thought very hard. “But here you do; I cannot see a reason why you would not have your soul no matter where you are. I cannot give you proof of that But I am quite prepared to say that you are a souled creature wherever you are.”

Jean Luc Picard stood there and realized that this was a truly profound moment. One of the great questions about sentience and the like revolved around the concept of souls. Here in this dimension they could be seen and identified. He realized that no matter what happened, this had made this trip worthwhile, if for no other reason than that. He looked at Giles.

“Thank you for that. Mr. Data has spent considerable time trying to find out if he had one and not one single religion gave him any encouragement at all.”

Giles sighed. “Religions are notoriously inflexible. That does not surprise me.”

As fascinating as this was for Deanna, the constant drumming of the hellmouth was getting worse for her; she could screen out and cope with the very strong emotions of all those in the room; but the Hellmouth was getting to her. Dawn noticed how pale the woman was getting.

“Giles, is there anything we can do for her? The Hellmouth is really doing a number on her.”

Willow was thoughtful. She looked at Tara. “A shielding spell?”

Tara nodded. Giles told them where to find a certain book and they headed out. He explained to the Captain.

“There is a spell we can do that should be able to block off her feeling the emissions of the Hellmouth.”

Picard was grateful. “Anything you can do to help her we would greatly appreciate.”

Minutes later the spell had been done and Deanna sighed in relief.

“I really do not know how long I could have remained conscious. That is so much better.”

Xander looked at his watch. “Getting dark people.”

The Scoobies nodded. Buffy was frowning. She looked at Willow.

“Willow, your parents are still gone, right? You would have room.”

Willow nodded. “Never understood why they got that big ol house for just the three of us. Mom never wanted to have more children. 7 Bedrooms is ridiculous but right now it comes in handy.”

Buffy frowned again as she looked at the Star Fleet Officers. “Worf is not a problem since the Sunnydale effect is on; but they really need to blend in a little better.”

Willow smiled craftily and pulled something out of her wallet. It was a credit card.

“Only for emergencies and this is one, right?”

Buffy and Dawn smiled. “MALL TIME!”

Picard watched this and felt the hair on the back of his head rise up. He looked at Giles who looked resigned. “Why do I get the feeling this is dangerous?”

“It is only dangerous if you get between Buffy and a pair of shoes she likes.”

“Hey!”



The scoobies then began to collect weapons from a cabinet in the training room. Crossbows were the norm; stakes were passed out. The four Star Fleet officers looked at this in puzzlement. Buffy looked at Worf then pulled out a sword.

“You know how to use one of these?”

“A Klingon Warrior is skilled in the use of a sword. Though we prefer batleths.”

“Well here you go. If you come across a vamp cut their heads off. And here is a stake; put it in the heart and they go poof.”

“Poof?”

Giles then explained about how to kill vampires. Much to the discomfort of Spike.

Picard and Deanna frowned. “Killing is not something we do unless there is no choice.”

Buffy got hard suddenly and the whole room felt it.

“Captain, do you let innocents die when you can stop it?”

Picard blinked. “Of course not.”

“If you do not kill any vamp you come across; just drive it off, guess what it will do? It will find the nearest person whether it is a man woman or child and kill it. So any vamp you come across you do not kill you are sentencing some innocent somewhere else to death.”

Picard and Troi blanched; they looked at Giles hopefully but he was shaking his head.

“She is absolutely right. Outside of Spike here any vampire you do not kill WILL kill someone else; and then again and again. A typical vampire will kill anywhere from 100 to 200 people a year. And they will turn some of them so that they become vampires as well. They are a plague, Captain. Treat them as such.”

Buffy nodded. “So captain your almighty principles will kill hundreds if not thousands. Now do you get it?”

Picard took a deep breath; this went against all he knew but he could not deny their logic. In this dimension thou shalt not kill had some serious qualifiers.

Giles saw the conflict and decided to give him an out.

“Remember Captain what you see is no longer the person; it is the demon. The soul is gone; it is just a thing. It has the memories and mannerisms of the person but what made that particular human what he was when alive is gone. That vampire is already dead; it is an animated corpse and no more.”

Deanna Troi was a great believer in nonviolence; in understanding and bridging differences. But in this situation she realized she would have to put that aside. She looked at the Captain.

“They are right, sir. Remember this is a different dimension with different rules and laws and culture.”

Picard slowly nodded and reached for a sword. “I understand; I do not like it but that does not matter.”

Buffy nodded. “It takes a while to accept it; some never do and end up dead or worse.” She looked around.
“OK. We head out and drop off Willow and Tara and these four at her house after we do some shopping. We might as well drop off Giles and Xander first since I doubt they want to shop?” She grinned as they both blanched and quickly shook their heads.

Dawn was bouncing at the thought of shopping even if it was for someone else.

“It’s great it is a Friday at the beginning of August. No school to worry about and apocalypse season is 9 months off.”

Buffy grinned. “Ya. That makes summer the best of all times.”

Data was curious. “Apocalypse season?”

As they headed out the door Willow gave a briefing on what that meant; the Star Fleet officers were horrified as they got into details.

Picard was stunned; unless they were lying and Counselor Troi had already told him they were not, these young people were basically all that stood between humanity as it existed in this time and place and Armageddon at best and total destruction and death at worst.

Troi was equally stunned; it was horrible that these young people, barely out of their teens, were basically responsible for protecting a planet from a danger few knew about.

Data was baffled at the illogic of it all; a more inefficient and dangerous system he could not imagine; if he had an imagination.

Worf was very impressed; a great responsibility that these young humans seem to carry easily. He began to think of ways that he could help; and an idea began to form.



They had just gone down the street when suddenly from an alley about 20 vamps appeared.

Their leader was a rather large one in sports apparel; he had a very cocky manner that was reminiscent of Spike but just did not have the panache to carry it off.

“Slayer. And Spike. This is great; I get to kill you both and all your friends.”

Buffy rolled her eyes and looked at Spike. “You are telling me this is the wannabe new Master of Sunnydale?”

Spike nodded sadly. “I know; it is pathetic. The Poof on his worst day was better than this nothing.”

The wannabe Master grew angry. “We will see who is laughing in a minute.”

Then attacked.

The Scoobies had their crossbows out and quickly dusted several around the edges; Tara and Willow began to utter incantations and fireballs hit two more. Spike and Buffy jumped into the middle of them and started going at it.

Picard looked at his people. “Counselor stay back; Mr. Data and Worf help them out.”

Data advanced on a fledge that threw a sloppy punch that hit Data in the face and did not move his head at all. The fledgling howled and held his hand.

“What the hell are you?”

“I am called Data and I am sorry for this.” He then reached out and as directed by Buffy previously snapped the vampires head off; and he dusted.

Worf leaped into battle with great joy and beheaded one vamp and began to battle two that had a tire chain and a club.

Picard hung back as he realized this fight would be over very quickly. Buffy and Spike were now fighting back to back; Spike was battling the Master wannabe and Buffy appeared to be fighting what seemed to be his chief lieutenant. Neither fight lasted long and several that tried to flee were hit by crossbow bolts from Xander and Giles or fireballs from Willow and Tara. Dawn had hung back with Deanna with her crossbow ready; Buffy had told her to keep an eye on the counselor. Dawn was happy that Buffy was finally letting her learn to fight and even take up a supporting role.

Picard had to admit that he was impressed. Outnumbered more than two to one the battle had lasted only minutes. For all their looks of disorganization and lack of discipline, the small group was very efficient when it mattered. His people had helped but they had done most of the work.

Deanna was at once impressed and saddened; impressed by their abilities and saddened that they had to do it at all.

Buffy looked around at the dust in satisfaction. “Well this is of the good. Got rid of the wannabe and 20 minions. That is a real good night. Now to celebrate let us hit the mall.”

They dropped off Xander and Giles and then did indeed hit the mall. Picard, Troi and Data were stunned that no one seemed to find anything unusual about Worf.

Tara explained the Sunnydale Effect.

“Mr. Giles believes, and Willow and I agree, that this is a byproduct of the emissions of the Hellmouth. It makes people want to believe that anything other than demons and vampires are around; people in makeup; costumes and so on.”

Picard shook his head. “What about the authorities?”

They were then given a history of Sunnydale and Mayor Wilkins.

Picard wondered what else was to come. To call all of this bizarre was woefully inadequate.

Data meanwhile had been thinking about the power situation.

“Captain, I am unable to come up with an explanation why I am still functioning. If the laws of this dimension are indeed different as I surmise, I should not be. If the power pack of the phaser is not active, neither should I be. While different the principles are the same. “

Picard shook his head. “Perhaps this hellmouth has something to do with it. But if the physical laws are so different, it would explain why this dimension is so far behind ours as regards space flight. The computers of this time are roughly equivalent from what I have been able to gather from Willow. And there are some things that are actually ahead of our time in the same year. Genetic research is very far behind; there is nothing like Khan nor is there likely to be.”

Data nodded. “The original experiments that make Khan and the rest of the supermen started in the early 50’s and he was created in 1968; offshoots of the Nazi concentration experiments into Hitler’s master race. Here those experiments were never continued. At least as far as I can determine; this thing called the Internet was much greater than what our dimension had at the time. I will do a search on Willow’s computer this evening; but I expect there is nothing like it going on. Perhaps the physical laws here prevent it. She did mention the government project called the Initiative that tried to build a cyborg. But that was clearly the creation of one that truly could be called as they put it, a Dr. Frankenstein wannabe.”

Picard nodded. “Perhaps they will be spared a third world war here. The Soviet Collapse never happened as it did here; that had a huge effect. The cold war never really stopped until after the third world war.”

“That is indeed likely, Captain. That is also a reason that the space program here atrophied. In our dimension, it continued from the shuttle to an improved shuttle that happened several years ago; 1995 to be precise. Here there seems to be no follow on. And the third generation shuttle can be truthfully called the first real spacecraft that could take off and land on its own without boosters or other assistance. But once again that was spurred on by the continuing rivalry between the two sides of the Cold War. Here that is not present; and many advances in technology have therefore lagged.”

Picard was pensive. “If warp drive is not possible here, due to the physical laws, what possibilities of faster than light travel is there?”

“I am uncertain at this time; I will need to research. But I would hypothesize that wormholes or some other kind of such travel may be possible here. Even in our dimension there were many theories about how to travel faster than light. I find it hard to believe it is completely not possible here.”

Willow had been listening. “That is what many think; that it is not possible. I personally believe that Einstein’s theory is not complete; we just do not yet know enough. From what you say, Zephram Cochrane was an incredible genius; perhaps the greatest of all time. To come up with a warp drive and all the other parts that are needed to work; virtually by himself seems impossible. I think he must have had some kind of help; maybe some that he did not know about.”

Data nodded. “That has been theorized by many over the last 3 centuries. But no evidence of that was ever found.”

Picard was thinking hard. “That has been something that I have always wondered myself. It seems too much for one man. Theory of warp drive; then being able to manufacture anti matter without dilithium to focus it. Yet I have seen his ship – it is currently in the Smithsonian in my dimension. It has been gone over many times over the years. The Vulcans that he first met were as impressed as they have ever been. They too found it hard to believe he had done it all by himself; and they looked very hard for signs that someone had helped him; but found none. Debunkers over the years have tried as well; not a single trace of evidence was found. But then of course only ten years later Zephram Cochrane disappeared and despite a search by everyone was never found.”

Willow blinked. She looked at them. “There was a story about Zephram Cochrane in the first Star Trek series. He had left to get away from the fame and notoriety and had gotten stranded on a planet with a strange life form that he eventually married after she became one with a human woman that was dying. Kirk promised him to never tell anyone where he was. It seems he kept that promise.”

Data and Picard were astonished. “One of the great mysteries of the Federation would be solved if we could get the details.” Data was showing as much excitement as he ever did. Willow smiled at that.
“Xander has every episode of the series on tape and in the novel form. And of course the Compendium. But I guess only what Gene Roddenberry wrote can be considered the actual gospel. Much has been added over the years that is probably far from the truth.”

Picard slowly nodded; this could be indeed the treasure trove of Federation history if it was accurate. So much of the early star fleet years; and especially Kirk’s time, was still shrouded in mystery. Clearly Kirk had left a lot out of his captains logs. Picard could understand in the Cochrane case; if the man wanted to be left along he had certainly earned that right.

Data was thinking as well. “Kirk is gone; Dr McCoy passed recently. But Ambassador Spock is still alive. Perhaps when we get back a private conversation with him would be in order.”

Picard nodded. “If we get back.”

Willow pffed. “While this Q got you here, I am pretty sure we can get you back. Will have to do some magical research but I bet we can.”




Commander William Riker, Executive officer and currently acting captain of the Starship Enterprise, was communicating with Star Fleet Command.

“There is no doubt Q is responsible, Admiral. The Captain, Commander Data, Lieutenant Worf and Counselor Troi were taken by him through that doorway or whatever it was. It has gone away but our sensors still have a faint trace of it.”

Admiral Hanson sighed. “I am beginning to see why Jean Luc hated Q as much as he does. You are to remain there as long as possible. At least for one month; after that we will have to evaluate.”

“Understood Admiral.”

Will Riker sat in the Captain’s ready room and looked up as Guinan came in.

“Guinan. Do you have any insight on this?”

She sighed and sat down opposite of him. “When Q decides to play his games there is nothing anyone can do but wait for him to get bored and quit playing. The only good thing is that somehow he seems to like Captain Picard so he will most likely bring them back when he gets bored.”

Will sighed and rubbed his forehead.




The shopping lasted a good two hours before Buffy and Dawn decreed enough had been bought to last the four for a while. Deanna was a little dazed; in her time they used the replicator; trying on dress after dress was not done. But she had to admit it was interesting. She was now dressed in a pants suit that she liked and she had three other dresses and blue jeans and the like; not to mention they had also hit the local Victoria’s secret. The three men had been somewhat easier to dress and had gone relatively quickly. As the Mall was starting to close they headed off; Buffy had borrowed her mom’s SUV and they had Giles Little car so there was just enough room for the 8 of them; barely. Willow had insisted that she and Tara drive; Buffy’s complaints notwithstanding.

Safely ensconced at Willow’s home the four of them talked quietly.

Troi looked at the Captain. “While Tara is not as confident, she also believes that they will be able to send us back.”

Picard nodded. “I would much rather return then wait for Q to get bored with his game. That could last for months.”

Data was contemplating the situation. “Captain, while here, we have a unique opportunity to study a culture and dimension far different from our own. We should take advantage of that as much as possible.”

“I agree. I am very interested in finding more about this Gene Roddenberry. I think there is no other possible explanation for what we have seen as regards what they appear to know about the Federation and Starfleet then someone from our dimension saw fit to supply him with a tremendous amount of information.”

Worf too had been thinking. “Captain, I believe it is no coincidence that a lot of what they know should only be known to a few in Star Fleet; and as regards what they know about Zephram Cochrane only Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy and Ambassador Spock knew about. Dr. McCoy would not have said anything or even written it down; neither would have Ambassador Spock; so no one could have stolen their diaries or notes.”

Troi nodded. “That is true of everything I know and have heard about either of them.”

Picard also nodded. “I have met Ambassador Spock and I agree.”

Data nodded as well. “I have met Dr. McCoy and he would not have ever mentioned it anywhere anytime from what I could see of him.”

They all looked at each other. “Kirk.” Picard spoke for them all.

Data was clearly looking at his memory banks.

“The event on the Enterprise B was never truly explained. BUT the best that could be found at the time was that those found had been in some kind of either holding area or perhaps a different dimension and were taken out; it is very possible that instead of being killed Kirk was sent there. NO trace of his body was found at all.”

Picard mused. “I once talked to someone whose father was part of that search. He told me that they spent three months going over that area and where the Nexus had been looking for any trace at all of Kirk’s remains. Nothing was found; so the theory was that he was disintegrated. But while talking to Ambassador Spock I got the distinct feeling; and now I think it more likely; that Spock did not truly think Kirk died then.”

Troi was very thoughtful. “It is known that Kirk mind melded with Spock on several occasions; and it is known that if that happens a Vulcan retains a connection that only death breaks. Above all others Spock would know if Kirk had died.”

Picard was thinking hard about that encounter. “I believe that Spock somehow knew that Kirk did not die; but was still forever lost to that time and place. Which would be explained if he was in another dimension. Such as here.”

Data was fascinated by the theory. “Since this is a different dimension, the Prime Directive does not really apply. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the supermen have not appeared here. Of all people, Kirk would want to prevent their creation.”

Picard was equally fascinated by the possibilities. “It all depends on when he came here if he did.”

Troi was thinking just as hard. “The Nazi doctors were protected because of their knowledge by members of the Allied Governments. What if someone made sure that in this dimension that did not happen?”

Data was processing quickly. “If someone knew the likely future; he would be able to arrange it so that the governments in question would be given a choice; get rid of the Nazi’s or face exposure.”

Picard nodded. “Kirk could be very ruthless if the need was there; I have no doubt he would have been quite willing to do whatever was necessary to prevent the supermen from coming into being. Spock was killed once because of it; and the final result was the death of Kirk’s son.”

Worf was solemn. “Kirk was an honorable warrior. The Supermen were abominations. He would indeed have done whatever was necessary to see to it that they never came into being.”

Data concluded. “The likely possibilities have Kirk being thrown here in the late 1940’s to early 1950’s. Once realizing where he was he would have immediately made sure they never got a chance to become the threat they did. After that; I can hypothesize that he worked to make sure the disasters of the late 20th Century and early 21st Century did not happen. Which means that there is likely no program that eventually came up with the addicted soldiers of Earth of the early 21st century.”

Troi added. “The Warsaw Pact collapsed in 1989 according to Willow; and the Communists were thrown out of power almost everywhere in Europe within a few years. Communism was completely discredited as a political system.”

Picard thought about it all. “Kirk was 59 when the Enterprise B happened. Assuming he came here in say 1950 would mean that in all likelihood he died some years ago. Probably no later than the 1980’s.”

Data agreed. “Which would explain many things that have not happened here 1950 to 1990 that happened in our own dimension. While the physical laws prevent any kind of Warp Drive.”

Picard was going on. “Kirk was not an engineer; but he clearly was well versed in such. I do not doubt he was able to early on find out that this was not his dimension; and that what worked for us would not work here. I find it hard to believe he would not have tried to start some kind of research and the like to find alternative forms of FTL drives.”

Troi nodded. “He loved space and traveling; the thought of this dimension not having that would have made him all the more determined to find alternatives. And with his knowledge of what was going to happen, he would have been able to quickly establish himself as a very wise man; and gain position and power to enable him to get things done.”

Data was working it through. “But he would have been doing this all behind the scenes as it were; out of sight and public scrutiny.”

Picard was pensive. “The wizard behind the screen. The power behind the throne.”

Data had been learning to work Willow’s computer while Tara and her were cooking dinner. He had quickly mastered it.

“Captain; this computer software is very advanced; more advanced than our dimension would have had at the same time. This Windows is much easier to use and more flexible. More like our more advanced systems were about 200 years ago. The computer hardware is also advanced to what was commonly available at the year 2000. At least 10 to 20 years greater; possibly more. The internet is much faster and more versatile then our own network of that time was.”

“Possibly this is more of Kirk’s influence.”

“It is possible. I see that this Bill Gates began working on Windows in the late 1970’s. He clearly is a very intelligent man; as were the other computer pioneers of this dimension. Ours had no equivalent.”

“That would have meant that just about the most likely time that Kirk was probably going to pass on, they came up with these very advanced concepts that took them years to make work. I would surmise that he left notes and suggestions for them; and they picked up from there.”

“No mention of anyone helping them is found; it would not be out of the realm of possibility for Kirk to have carefully leaked some vital details to young people he saw that had great promise.”

Data was doing more searches. “Medicine of this time is also advanced in some areas; especially in diagnostic equipment. Much of the ones currently used had their origins in the 1970’s or earlier. Once again at least several decades earlier than ours.”

“Data, did most of these advances have their beginnings in the 1960’s?”

“Yes Captain, from what I have been able to find out.”

Troi looked at the Captain. “I doubt we will be able to prove anything at this date; he most certainly would have been very careful to cover his tracks.”

Data was searching. “Most of the great breakthroughs came because of the US Space Program; or government research. It was only the computer advances in software that came from non-governmental sources.”

Picard was pensive. “Kirk somehow got great influence in the US government; and carefully guided certain areas of research. Those that he believed would have the greatest impact. We know what he looked like. It should not be beyond our capabilities to identify who he was here in this dimension.”

Troi sighed. “Captain, what would be the point? Captain Kirk is certainly dead; probably for many years. It does not matter now.”

Picard opened his mouth to respond, then closed it and thought.

“You are correct counselor. There is no point.”

At that moment Q popped in and clapped his hands.

“At last! The great Jean Luc Picard gets it.”

Picard stood up and glared at him.

“Q. Send us back now.”

“Don’t worry, mon ami. It will not be too long. Your precious first officer is almost chewing through the bit; and star fleet command is resigned to it being a while. You still have things to learn and above all to accept. OH, by the way. You are correct that Data should not be able to operate. But I have made it possible; with only a little help, mind you.” And then he was gone.

Willow had come out hearing the raised voices and had just gotten a good look before he left.
“Huh. I have seen an actor who looks exactly like him. Has the same attitude as well.”

Picard was as usual frustrated. “And you can see why we do not like him at all.”

“Sure do. I could not help over hearing some of what you said. It makes sense in a lot of ways if your Captain Kirk was helping out. Bill Gates really came up with a lot that astounded everyone. So not surprising that he had help. Same with Steve Jobs. Some other places where we have had great advances in the last 50 years do stand out with how fast they came. Explains a lot.”

Data had been going through searches at a tremendous speed. He paused.

“Captain; I am seeing indications that many of the physical laws we know are not operational here. For instance they are having a great deal of trouble starting fusion reactors here. In our dimension there were already working models by now; and in secret government labs even more. The sleeper ships used to exile the supermen for example had fusion drives; the precursor of our impulse drives. Here they are not close to making it work; they have not been able to yet come up with a magnetic bottle that is stable. And they should have. I will need some time to be certain, but it seems likely that they cannot make magnetic bottles under the physical laws here that we can.”

Picard sat back and thought on that. “The sleeper ships had a crude drive that allowed them to travel in 200 years a good distance; I remember learning about them at the academy. They were VERY advanced for their time. Some of the features there were used on Zephram Cochranes ship. Perhaps someone had come to our time with advanced help as it appears Kirk came here. And then later on arranged for Cochrane to get help that made the huge leap he accomplished possible.”

Troi shook her head. “Captain, these revelations will shake the history of Earth and the Federation to its foundations if we can prove that someone helped us to advance as we did.”

Picard thought on that. “More and more that seems the explanation. Of course much of what we have here is unsupported speculation. But it does seem to rather neatly fill in some holes that many have wondered about for centuries.”

Willow had been listening carefully. She slowly nodded. “What if there is someone out there that goes along to what they feel are vital areas of various parts of the galaxy and see to it that they get a little critical help to advance.”

The four of them considered that possibility. “An organized effort? That is possible. There are several examples throughout the Federation and elsewhere of planets advancing much faster than they should have.”

Data interjected. “And other planets going much slower. Captain, could it be that some of the more dangerous races were somehow held back. The Romulans should have been a threat much sooner than they did; the Klingons as well. Humanity advanced with incredible speed; less than 70 years from powered flight to landing on another planetary system. More specifically the period 1920 to 1970 was unprecedented in Federation history; no civilization in any way has matched that period. Perhaps Captain Kirk was positioned here and others as well.”

Picard considered this. “1920 to 1950 was very fast; but just barely in the bounds of possibility. 1950 to 1970 though was mind boggling in the advances. Both here and in our time; but there were differences. In our time space programs kept steadily advancing to the detriment of other areas; and mankind paid a very high price for that. Here the space program has become stagnant; but many other areas are showing great advances. Perhaps not only due to different physical laws; but the help was being applied in different areas.”

Troi completed the thought. “Someone with different priorities.”

Picard sighed. “We will never know. But it does explain much.”

Willow smiled. “Dinner is ready people; you are lucky. The only two of us that can cook are Buffy’s mom and Tara.”

Tara had come out and blushed softly. “I am ok but Joyce is a great cook.”

The four officers agreed later that Tara was a good cook. The foods were different than they were used to but tasted good.

Buffy and Dawn upon getting home had talked to their mother.

“Mom, it was really strange even for us.” Buffy summed it up.

The next morning Xander had stopped by as requested at Willow’s house and had brought all his Star Trek stuff with him. Data had been able to ascertain a great deal from the internet but the compendium and the fact that what Xander had was what Gene Roddenberry had written in the late 60’s narrowed things down a lot.

“Captain, there is no real doubt. Somehow someone supplied Mr. Roddenberry with a tremendous amount of details about Star Flee and the Federation. And I see no real alternative to Kirk himself. There is too much here that is not in any star fleet database I have seen. And I early on memorized every log entry that Kirk made in his first five year mission. It is possible that some were classified top secret; the Guardian of Forever for example. That planet was swallowed up by a Super Nova just 20 years after Kirk visited it. A super nova that was completely unexpected. That cannot be an accident.”

Picard was astonished. “A super nova manufactured for that purpose?”

“Captain, it can be done. It is very difficult, but a subspace warp drive activated within the atmosphere of a star can destabilize it to the point that it can go nova. I theorize that it was decided the Guardian was too great a threat and was destroyed in a way that while questions were asked, no one thought much about it. It was an old planet long abandoned. In a part of the galaxy of little interest to anyone.”

Troi was nodding. “A machine with that capability would be a huge danger to us and every planet; someone could go to any planets history and change it so that it never becomes a space capable civilization. As Dr McCoy almost did inadvertently to Earth.”

Picard nodded. “Genesis has been locked up in a federation vault with no one allowed to enter for over 80 years. Other races not part of the Federation monitor that vault; no one wants anyone to have that technology.”

Data agreed. “Clearly someone decided that the Guardian had to be destroyed. And I cannot in good conscience disagree with that decision.”

Picard summed it up. “The Nexus or whatever it was; whoever it was; sent Kirk here sometime in the early 1950’s. He saw to it that some things were prevented from happening; the Supermen to start with. And probably as a side or something of the like saw to it that Gene Roddenberry was given the details of our dimension.”

Willow was pensive. “Star Trek inspired many people in the 60’s and 70’s to go into science and the like; it still does today. Many of the things talked about became reality; medical scanners and diagnostic beds and the like. Cell phones are like his communicators. How much Kirk actually had to do with it we will never know; but nothing is more powerful than an idea.”



Buffy and Dawn had come over as Giles had and they talked about things. Giles had done research into his magic books and would go to the Magic Box that day to make sure, but he believed they would be able to send the four back to their time. However they would have to find a way to communicate with them; or open the portal right in the Enterprise somewhere so as not to dump them in space.

Worf meanwhile had been questioning Buffy on who fought vampires. Her responses saddened him. He later talked to Giles about it; and that evening brought it up with his captain.

“Captain, these vampires are truly a plague. They are all over this planet; hiding mostly. But every night it is likely that a thousand or more are killed worldwide. Perhaps ten thousand. The few who do anything about it are as blades of grass in a field. Yet I can see how Klingon warriors would want to come here and hunt vampires; and there are other demons much more dangerous. If there could be a way to bring them here, it would serve two purposes. One, it would allow warriors to prove themselves without consequences to our dimension. And two, it would be a great service to the people of this planet.”

Picard sat back and tried to think about this logically. He wanted to dismiss it out of hand but what Worf said could not be ignored. Brutally and pragmatically the thousands that died on this planet in this dimension did not concern his dimension. Despite the wish to see innocents protected. But his contention about Klingon warriors was something he knew Star Fleet and the Federation were worried about. Like pressure in an old fashioned steam boiler building up; if there was no safety valve there would be an explosion. Only in the Alpha quadrant it would mean a war. Still the logistics of this would be very hard to work out.

Deanna Troi and Commander Data were consulted; each considered it carefully. Troi sighed. “It would be a good thing to save all those lives, Captain. But could it be done?”

Commander Data processed the question. “Magic is the key; I have discussed this with Willow and Tara; they are quite familiar with spells that would have people not notice anything different. Therefore Klingons could walk freely here. Hunting parties is an interesting concept. And it would indeed be of great use in allowing Klingons to vent their natural aggressions in a constructive way.”

With that Q popped in again. “I am impressed. You have truly learned. In such a short time. I always had hope for you, mon ami.”

Jean Luc Picard prayed for strength.

Q smiled at the effect. “Oh, by the way, you need to gather the Scoobies as they call themselves. Apparently the local Powers that Be are not happy about all of this. From what I have learned about them, they would be better off if their PTB’s abandoned them.”

The four of them looked puzzled then Deanna went into the next room and talked to Willow who came out and looked at Q.

“Angel told us something about them. They sent a messenger named Whistler to see Buffy once. She swore if she ever saw him again she was going to tear out his ribcage and use it for a hat.”

Q was impressed. “Now THAT is a creative threat. I would imagine we will see him if they all gather here.”

Very soon after Dawn and Buffy arrived with Xander and Giles in tow.

Buffy looked at Willow.

“Why the sudden call?”

Willow pointed at Q who had popped back in as soon as the rest had come in.
“This is Q. Apparently the Federation people have a plan to help you out but the Powers that Suck are not happy.”

Worf then explained the idea. The thought of getting lots of help made Buffy smile brightly.

At that moment in popped Whistler who looked at Q.

“They make it very plain that you will leave; and that no help will be brought in from the outside.”

Q smiled. “Let them try and they will find out how insignificant they really are.”

The room started to brighten and a pure white column, almost too blinding to view appeared in a far corner.
Q was unimpressed and waved a hand and the light disappeared to show a pulsating cloudy mass.

“You will leave.” The voice – disembodied-intoned.

Q deliberately found the best easy chair in the living room and lounged in it.

“As I said to- what was the Slayer’s term- oh yes- your MINION. You are welcome to try.”

The mass pulsated; you did not have to read Powers That Be body language to see the anger.

“You will not stay; when you are gone you cannot do anything.”

Q smiled again; only this time it was the smile of a predator. He looked up and said. “I think we have been challenged.”

In a moment they were all moved- in space- perhaps in time. All of them including the pulsating column were now in an area that seemed to have no limit; they were standing on a floor that they could not see; there was nothing all around.

Suddenly from all sides there were figures appearing; hundreds of them.

Q now walked to the center of the area.

“We have been challenged by these so called Powers That Be. They say that they can bar us; and can stop us. I say to the Continuum. What say you?”

NO. It was not really spoken; it was felt by all present.

Another Q appeared. Apparently an older one. His figure and face were not clear.

“Q. You did go to another dimension. This has not been done before.”

Q shrugged. “And does that matter? I have opened up other possibilities for us to investigate and see. But these claim they will stop us. I could probably handle them by myself; but it seems clear they are willing to challenge the entire Continuum. Will we allow that?”

NO. It was just as clear. Q smiled. He then turned to the pulsating column.

“Care to make your threats again for all to hear?”

It was silent. Whistler looked around. “I think they got the message. They are talking now about leaving.” He looked at Buffy.

“Slayer, if they leave there will be no help for you again.”

Buffy snorted. “How much help have they been over the millennia?”

Whistler shrugged. “They did save Angel with that snowstorm.”

Buffy nodded. “How many times have they interfered- taken a stand and helped one of my ancestors?”

Whistler looked uncomfortable. Q looked at him. “She is your chosen warrior. She deserves an answer, does she not?”

Whistler sighed. “It works out to about once every thousand years.”

The Scoobies and everyone else then glared at the column. Willow in particular was angry.

“Angel said that all you cared about was balance. Sounds to me like all you care about is not to be bothered. I see no balance.”

Buffy was as mad as she had ever been in her life.

“Thousands of Slayers over millennia have fought and died. And you have seen fit to help one in a thousand at best. You are worthless. Now someone offers real help, and you are angry because they will do what you refuse to do. You are worse than worthless. You might as well be on the other side.”

Giles looked at it with contempt. “Be gone. We will celebrate your leaving.”

Q smirked. “It cannot leave without our help. You think it wanted to come here? Once the door was opened by your spell we can come and go as we please; we just had to be shown the way. IT on the other hand has not the power or ability. It was all I could do to not fall down laughing when it gave out its threat.”

He then waved a hand and it disappeared.

The older Q then looked around and nodded. “So be it. Q you now have the responsibility they have abandoned; though it was clear they never truly took up the burden. It is the will of the Continuum that they be replaced by one of our own; and you are chosen. Do you accept?”

Q nodded. “I accept.”

Xander had to snark. “Well it’s not like you would have to do much to do better than they did.”

Q cocked his head and nodded. “That is true. So I have to make sure I can hear you when you call.” He then held out a hand and a pendant appeared; it seemed to glow and sparkle. He handed it to Buffy who looked at it in curiosity. Then at him.

To her unspoken question “From this point on any slayer will be able to communicate to me or the Continuum if I happen to be out of touch. Just hold that and call for us. Oh by the way.” He held out his hand and a strange looking ax like object appeared in it.

“This is yours; the ancient weapon made for the slayer many millennia ago. The Powers That Be did not think you needed it. There is an old woman waiting for you.” He then looked at Whistler who really looked lost.

“Since they abandoned you as well you will now be the designated Q representative on Earth. You will be keeping an eye on things. To warn them when something big is coming. Fail in this duty and I will give you to the Slayer to do with as she wishes. She mentioned something about a ribcage for a hat?”

Buffy grinned in a feral way. Whistler gulped then nodded.

Jean Luc Picard had seen many things; extraordinary things; in his years in Star Fleet. But this was a singular moment. He looked around at the assembled Continuum. The power he felt was indescribable. Then at Q.

“You are taking on a duty that will last for Millennia, Q.”

Q smiled . A relaxed smile. “Something to do Mon Ami.”

He then waved his hand and they were all back in Willow’s living room; except for Whistler. Buffy was waving the Scythe around a little then stopped. Blinked. “It is called the Scythe; it spoke to me.”

Q nodded. “It has that power if it so chooses to use it; it is not alive but it is aware. The one you look for to teach you about it is called the Guardian; and she is located nearby. It will be up to you to find her; I can’t do everything for you. Now Mon Ami I can take you back to your ship where you can start, as those here would call it, the ball rolling.” And once again waved his hand and he and the others disappeared.

Giles had a dazed look on his face. “This is incredible. More help for the slayer than she has ever had in all history. Since the beginning so many thousands of years ago.”

Buffy was pensive as she handed the Scythe to Dawn who was avidly looking it over. She stroked the Pendant.

“Why me? Of all that have fought and died, why am I the one to get so lucky?”

Tara smiled at her softly. “Because you refused to be just one of many, Buffy. I think that is why. If not for you than none of us would be here; and I mean here of our own free will. I would still be running from my family.”

Willow nodded. “I would still be the geek who hid behind her computer.”

Xander nodded. “I would still be the Zeppo. Doomed to become like my father or even worse.”

Tara took Buffy’s hand and squeezed it. “Because you were different and tried to have a life beyond being a Slayer things changed. And that is why this all happened.”

Giles walked up and put an arm around Buffy. “And I would have been just another stuffy watcher locked up in the Watcher Headquarters doing nothing with my life. Yes there have been losses; but my life is so much better than it would have been with any other Slayer but you.”

Buffy smiled a little mistily and nodded. “OK. I will try and not feel too guilty that I am so lucky. Now we need to make plans. We will have to contact them to arrange how things will go. I guess the same spell only more focused?”

Giles nodded. “That should do it.”

Jean Luc and the others appeared on the Bridge of the Enterprise just as suddenly as they left. Dressed differently though. Picard in a leisure suit; Data as well; Worf in jeans and t shirt; Deanna in a Sun Dress that Will Riker immediately appreciated.

“Captain! Glad you are back. It has only been two days. We had no idea how long it would be.”

Picard looked around and sighed. “Will, we need to talk immediately. Come into my ready room. Counselor, Commander Data, Lieutenant Worf.” And led them in.

It took about an hour to explain it all. Will was dazed.

“Incredible. And Q will be helping?”

“As incredible as that seems, he has been chosen by the Continuum to replace those Powers That Be; who must have been some type of ascended beings; though not as powerful as Q.”

Deanna shook her head. “Those Powers That be were virtually worthless. All those young girls dying over thousands of years and they did nothing to help them.”

Picard nodded somberly. “That was a horrendous crime. I wonder if there was some higher power that decided enough was enough and nudged all this to happen?”

Q popped in at that point. “Who knows, Mon Ami. It is possible. There have been hints of such for as long as there has been a continuum. But we have never seen any real evidence. However if whoever that is has that kind of power, we would never see anything unless HE chose to let it happen. This is a debate that is as old as the Continuum itself. And it does not matter.” He then conjured up a pendant like had had given Buffy. “This will allow you to contact her and make arrangements. Oh and by the way “ he waved a hand and suddenly there was a pile of yellow bricks in a corner of the Captain’s ready room.

“Since they still use money there this will be used to pay expenses. The Watcher’s Council has so far refused to pay the Slayer a wage or even expenses. That will stop as well. See to it that she gets this. They will know how to use it. As regards the Watcher’s Council, I will leave that to her. I have a feeling that she will take care of them in her own due time. I will have to remember to make sure Whistler keeps me up to date; I will not want to miss that. This has the promise to be very interesting for a very long time.” Then he was gone.

Data had taken a tricorder and had examined the pile. “Gold, captain.”

Picard nodded. “Well one cannot say that when he wants to Q is niggardly about doing things. Now the question is how much do we tell Star Fleet command?”

That debate lasted much longer. In the end it was decided that Star Fleet command would be told nothing of the plan to help out the slayer; Worf would contact those he knew who would then contact the Chancellor. He had no doubt of the enthusiastic response by warriors itching to prove themselves in hand to hand battle.

Spike had wandered by the magic Box that evening and was astounded by what was going on.

“So have you told the Poof yet? Peaches will be all out of sorts and brooding again; without any Oracles and the like to make happy.”

Buffy sighed; she had completely forgotten about Angel and his crew. The last she had heard from him was that he had recruited Wesley and Cordelia and someone called Gunn. But they clearly needed to be told about the big changes.

As it turned out they did not; Angel had gone to the Oracles and found it empty and abandoned. Whistler then popped in and told him things had changed and he needed to talk to the Slayer.

“OK, what did little miss likes to fight do now?”

“All Whistler said was that there had been big changes and that I needed to talk to Buffy.”

Wesley was thinking hard. “The Oracles place was completely abandoned?”

Angel nodded. “It was as if they had never been there; there was a feeling of complete emptiness.”

Wesley shook his head. “The Powers That Be would not willingly abandon here.”

Gunn snorted. “From everything you guys have said they were pretty useless anyway.”

Cordelia nodded. “Pretty much. But still they were around.”

They all piled into Angels sedan and headed to Sunnydale.

They got to the Magic Box and found that it was closed; then headed to Buffy’s house and there Cordelia went up and knocked on the door. Joyce opened it and blinked at Cordelia.

“Oh, I bet you have come to talk to Buffy about what has been going on. They are all over at Willow’s home. It is nice and big and with her parents gone they have taken to meeting over there. I think Buffy said something about you would be along pretty soon.”

Cordelia was brooding about that; something big usually meant something bad.

“It’s not even Apocalypse season!”

At Willows home they were bemusedly looking at the pile of gold bricks sitting in the basement. Picard had contacted Buffy and they had decided to see if things worked well with the spell they had come up with and chose the Bricks as the best things to try it with. It had worked just fine.

Willow had her calculator out and was looking over the numbers.

“100 bars each weighing 20 lbs troy. The difference is that there is 12 ounces in a troy pound vs a regular pound. 240 OZ’s per bar. 100 bars equals 24,000 ounces. The rate as of today is right at $605 an ounce. $14,520,000. As of today.”

They were all dazed once again. Buffy took a huge breath. “OK. I certainly do not know much about high finance and the like but we will need to be careful about this so that the IRS does not find out.”

Willow nodded. “We can melt the bars into smaller ingots; say 10 ounces or so. Then go in and at various places around LA we can sell them. Then we can quietly buy things using cash; so there are no transaction records using checks or the like. It will take some work but it should not be all that hard to do. We can even make jewelry and chains and the like and sell them instead. Bottom line is that there is plenty of money to take care of all our needs. And no one needs to know about it outside of us.

At that moment the doorbell rang and Buffy looked up. “Angel is here.”

Moments later Angel and his crew were looking at the pile of gold bricks. Dazedly.
He looked at Buffy. “And you say this is the smallest of the big changes.”

She grinned. “Yep.”

About an hour later the dazed glazed look was still on Angel and his people.

Wesley shook his head. ”The Powers that Be have been replaced?”

Willow wrinkled her nose and thought about it. “More like they got snotty like little kids told to shape up or ship out; and they picked up their ball and left. Q got appointed to take over. Already he has done more for us and the Slayers then the Powers That Be have done in millennia.”

Gunn shook his head. “Sure looks like it. When someone drops a ton of gold on you that is really stepping up.”

Noticing Cordelia looking at the pile with total lust, Buffy grinned. “Have a bar, Cordy. I know you have not particularly been happy since your Father got nailed by the IRS after your mother pulled that stunt.”

She quickly walked over and managed to pick up a bar then had to sit down and put it down. But she kept it close.

Buffy looked at Gunn and Wesley. “Fair is fair; guys. You all get one to pay expenses with; I get the feeling Q would have no trouble sending another load to us sometime when we need more; we just have to make sure we do not waste the bulk of it.” They quickly took her up on it and she then grinned at Anya as well. “Go ahead, Anya. I admire the fact that you have been able to control yourself so far.”

Anya smiled and picked one up and put it next to her chair. “I have plans. A big bed and a new apartment. A really big bed.”

Xander got an especially goofy look then.

Buffy then looked at Angel. “You still own the mansion in town, right?”

He nodded. “Was going to sell it but never got around to it.”

Spike who had been tossing a bar around and then bored dropped it on the stack snorted.

“Like anyone would buy it even here in Sunnyhell. It’s never been repaired from the fight there; and there was other damage as well.”

Angel frowned at Spike. “It is still sound structurally. Would not take that much to get it fixed up.”

Buffy nodded. “OK. I was thinking that until we thin things out here that is where we will put the Klingon hunting teams. Then we will move to LA and clean there; and then gradually around the world to every vampire and demon hot spot.”

Buffy then took a deep breath. “Angel, how is Faith doing?”

Everyone got very quiet. They all knew to keep still as regards THAT subject.

“Better. I really think that prison has helped her to get herself together.”

Giles was looking at Buffy. “Buffy, what are you planning?”

“Giles, as long as the Hellmouth is this active, it needs a Slayer to watch it. Now at the same time we need to have a Slayer with the hunting team. So once we clean up Sunnydale then head out we still really need a Slayer either right here or nearby. If Faith has gotten her head together then we can either send her with the hunting team or she can stay here and guard the Hellmouth. I either stay or go with.”

Xander, Willow, Dawn, Cordelia and Wesley all winced or muttered something. Angel was quiet. Gunn did not know her so he kept quiet.

Buffy took a deep breath again. “Guys part of the reason for her going off the rails was our fault; mine especially. I should have been able to see through the front she put up; she was scared and messed up and really on the edge.”

Giles nodded. “I failed as well. I have even less excuse since I should have noted those things.”

Wesley nodded. “I should have seen it too. But remember she did not want to talk about it and the Council refused to say anything; so a lot of the blame lies there as well.”

Tara put her hand on Willow’s arm. “She deserves a second chance.”

Slowly Willow nodded. Xander frowned but slowly nodded as well. One by one the others assented.

Buffy looked around. “OK. Once Angel has talked to her and he thinks she really is doing ok, we see about getting her out. Giles, do we need the council for that?”

Giles frowned. ”They undoubtedly have kept an eye on her; so yes we will.”

Xander shook his head. “Why don’t we give the Council the Heave Ho as well. They were little better than the Powers that Suck.”

Buffy was quiet for a moment. “That will come in time. But when we do remove the council we need to make sure that we keep their resources, especially the Library.”

Giles and Wesley gaped at her. “Remove the council?” squeaked Wesley.

Giles sighed. “Buffy I know…”

She put up her hand. “There is no excuse Giles for the Crucimentum. And that is not even the biggest reason why they have to go. You admit they have massive resources; but they barely pay you a salary and me nothing. They could employ those willing to fight to help out where the Slayer cannot be; they could employ those to watch the Slayers back. How many could have lasted so much longer just if there had been someone to watch her back? HOW MANY THOUSANDS HAVE DIED THAT WAY GILES?” Her voice almost became a scream.

The room was utterly silent as the enraged Slayer slowly got herself back under control. When she spoke again her voice was dead calm.

“They will be removed, Giles, from ever hindering the fight again. That is final. Now not right away; this will have to be carefully planned. You said they have a charter from the British Crown?”

Slowly he nodded.

“I am willing to bet they have a liaison that has contact with the Queen?”

He nodded again.

“I bet that the understanding was that the Council was supposed to support and take care of the Slayer, right?”

Once more he nodded.

“I bet the queen would NOT be happy with the way the Council has ‘supported’ the Slayer over the centuries, right?”

He sighed but nodded again.

“Well there you have it. When the time comes to move we simply bypass the Council and see to it that the Queen and the UK Government find out how WELL the council has supported the Slayer.”

Once again the room was silent until Wesley blinked and nodded.

“That would certainly do the trick. My father once admitted to me that they make very certain that the liaison is carefully manipulated.”

Giles sighed. “I heard my father talk about it on a couple of occasions. That is what I got from it as well. Buffy, I agree that the Government would not be happy at all. Those that know would undoubtedly be furious about how the Slayers have been made into virtual slaves over the centuries.”

Buffy nodded shortly. Her anger had not died away yet.

“When the time comes we will move and they will be no more. We will control the Council; we will BE the Council.”

The power of the Slayer crackled and hissed throughout the cool basement.

Worf stood before a group of Klingons.

“I challenge you all to come with me. Fight hand to hand with creatures stronger and faster that will tear you apart if you are not good enough.”

“We will come with you and see, Son of Mogh.”

Buffy stood in the mansion; in the month since it had all started they had gotten a lot done. The Mansion had been repaired and other things had been done.

Willow, Tara and Giles were ready with the spell to transport the first group of Klingon warriors. Worf and 10 others.

Just like that they were there. The Warriors looked around suspiciously then focused on the small human in front of them.

“My name is Buffy. I am a Vampire Slayer. I am stronger and faster than you are and I can kick your butt easily.”

Needless to say that went over very well so she showed them. After they recovered they stared at her amazed.

Krunge, son of Kord, looked at her is amazement.

“You are not truly human.”

“I am the latest in a line of warriors that goes back over 10,000 years. Since before you called yourselves Klingons. Since before you were anything other than savages living in caves. I fight in a war that never ends. Interested?”

Spike had been out trolling and had managed to taunt and irritate over 30 vamps and several Chaos demons; plus a few others. They were all in the process of chasing him down; to tear him to pieces. He led them right into the park at Midnight; no one of course was around. Except the Slayer and 11 Klingons with Batlef’s.

Buffy looked at them then at the Klingons. “They are all stronger and faster than you are, if not quite as strong and fast as I am. Make one mistake and they will dance on your bones.” Worf had talked to her about how to wind up Klingons.

In minutes a full out Melee was going on. The Slayer had the Scythe and was dancing and slicing and dicing; the Klingons were roaring and howling and using their batleths right and left.

It took about 15 minutes and a few vamps had managed to escape but no one else. Two Klingons were down; but not dead. Worf checked them over and pronounced they would live.

Krunge raised a bloody batleth and gave a Klingon howl of Victory.

They all joined; it echoed and was heard for miles by demons and others who somehow knew this was VERY bad news.

Krunge looked at Buffy. “You say there are many like this?”

“Tens of thousands. All ready to fight and die like those tonight.”

“Now THIS is a way for a warrior to prove himself!”

This group stayed a week; one got careless and killed and Buffy witnessed a Klingon ceremony; what they called welcoming a new recruit to the Black Fleet.

But they destroyed well over 200 vampires and demons and pretty much cleaned Sunnydale out. Giles and Wesley and the others had witnessed a couple of fights.
Giles looked at the other Watcher and shook his head. “This changes everything.”

Wesley nodded. “It certainly does. Much for the better.”

Krunge bowed to Buffy as did the other surviving Klingons.

“We will be back. MANY warriors will seek to prove themselves in combat such as this.”
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