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This story is No. 2 in the series "Waifs and strays". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The second (much longer) installment in the Waifs and Strays AU. Covers season 1. Please READ THE SERIES INTRODUCTION!

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Joyce-Centered(Current Donor)vidiconFR1598780,0851591496402,05828 May 115 Jul 14No

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR13

Jagged cries and Computer games

Author’s Note:

 

Thanks very much to my Beta, Letomo.

 

The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. And you can thank Twilightwanderer for the Abbott and Costello.

 

Speech: “Who’s on first.”

 

Thought: *What’s on second.*

 

Vision: #I-don’t-know’s on third.#

 

Thanks to the latest to recommend me: MOT

 

Reviews are much appreciated, they inspire me.

 

The Mummy was created by Stephen Sommers and most likely the property of United Artists.

StarGate was created by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin and Stargate SG-1 by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner. I do not own, not claim ownership, to either. If I owned Buffy, season 8 and 9 would be way different.

 

 

 

Chapter 48: Jagged cries and computer games

 

The Director was not worried. Many people over the years had gained knowledge of his operation. All of them had died. Some of them had been in very high positions. The Director smiled reminiscently. It was one of his better memories. Not even a President could be considered more important than the Nation, and the Nation was best served by the Program. Happily there were those in the Government and Legislature of the United States of America who knew what was needed to keep the nation safe and strong. Who were willing to do what was necessary. True Patriots.

 

He walked to roll up desk and unlocked it with a brass key he took from his pocket. He rolled up the tambour and then unlocked the little doors behind it with a silver one. A small drawer behind that was opened with a gold one and three muttered words. The large green emerald dangling from his old fashioned gold key chain glowed. From the drawer he took out a sheet of paper and read it carefully. Then he walked back to his desk, sat in the leather upholstered wooden chair, read the words on the paper once more, picked up his black lacquer fountain pen, unscrewed the cap with a deliberate motion and placed it on the end and carefully filled in a name in the blank spot, and signed the death warrant of one Jonathan J. O’Neill, Colonel USAF.

 

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Jack O’Neill sat morosely on his chair, listening to his team and General Hammond talking about what they needed in the way of scientific support. Two dissected, different coloured pens lay in front of him, waiting to be put together like a Frankenstein’s monster. Of pens.

 

Daniel was pontificating. “Sir, with all respect, we cannot do without a dedicated archaeological research team. There are half a dozen people out there who would be incredibly useful. We need more than just physics.”

 

Hammond sighed. “Dr. Jackson…the sort of expertise you are talking about does not grow on trees. Who exactly did you have in mind?”

 

“Well, if I could take my pick from everybody in the world, second on my list would be Professor Arlene Ellis, of Chicago University. Her combined knowledge of biology and archaeology would be of great use.”

 

Jack froze. *Oh God…please no… Not Arlene…Anybody but Arlene…*

 

“Yes… Dr. Jackson…we can hardly send another civilian out on one of our teams.” The General pointed out wearily.

 

“She’s not civilian. Last I heard she was still a captain in the Army Reserves.”

 

Hammond looked interested. “Really? A captain? What sort of experience?”

 

“She flew helicopters in the Gulf war, relief and rescue missions mostly, I think.” Daniel shrugged, as if to say that his colleague’s military career had not had his primary interest.    

 

Sam fingered her chin. “I never met her, or heard of her. But then Army and Air Force didn’t mix much in Iraq.”

 

Jack grinned to himself. Time to play his card. “Perhaps you have heard of Bomber Harris, Captain?”

 

Hammond turned towards the captain quickly. “Wait, this Captain Ellis is Bomber Harris?”

 

“Bomber Harris?” Daniel asked. “What does a World War II General have to do with Professor Ellis?”

 

Jack chuckled. “She dropped a flour bomb on car full of high ranking officers once.” He saw Hammond’s flinty look. “Would that have included you, sir?” He asked solicitously.

 

Sam hid her smirk behind her coffee cup as Hammond flushed slightly. “Yes. It did. Where is Captain Ellis?”

 

“I would assume in Chicago. That’s where she teaches.” Daniel shrugged.

 

Sam frowned. “So, who’s your first choice? I mean, as choices go,  this Captain Ellis sounds almost perfect. Who’s better?”

 

“Dr. Jonathan Carnahan. He’s a retired British officer…and one of the world’s greatest Egyptologists and mythologists. He also published a number of works of fiction which show an uncanny knowledge of things we would call classified. And he did it in nineteen-forty-eight.” Daniel said with something akin to awe in his voice.

 

Hammond, who had begun looking interested, sighed. “I’d imagine he’s a bit too old for active duty, then.”

 

Daniel nodded. “He’s not done much the past few years. But his knowledge might still have been invaluable. I believe he’s retired in Florida. I’ve heard rumours he might be suffering from Alzheimer’s.” He added sadly.

 

Jack swore under his breath. “No. He’s not. He’s living in New York. Healthy as a horse and bright as a button.”

 

Everybody at the table looked at him. Hammond was the one to speak. “How would you know that, Colonel?”

 

“He’s my Grandfather. Maternal.”

 

Sam and Daniel sprayed the sips of coffee they had taken across the table, managing to hit each other. Jack silently marked his scorecard. “Nice aim, captain.” Sam, to her eternal embarrassment, blushed. Daniel was merely gasping for breath, his eyes wide in shock.

 

“Your Grandfather…How old is this man?” Hammond asked.

 

“He was born in 1895.” Jack said succinctly.

 

“Well, he’s too old. We can’t take the risk.”

 

“Your GRANDFATHER IS JON CARNAHAN!!!!!?!?!” Daniel screamed, having apparently mastered breathing again.

 

“Yes.” Jack too a small sip. “I travelled with him, after the last mission. Hamunaptera is a wonderful place.”

 

Daniel glared. “Wonderful. And I suppose you went to Bembridge as well?”

 

“No, O’Connell Manor. Aunt Evy and Uncle Rick find the sea climate a bit much these days.” Jack replied blandly.

 

Daniel groaned.

 

Jack grinned. “Don’t worry. I can probably swing you an autograph. If we live.”

 

Hammond glared at Jack. “That is not the sort of attitude that will win us the war against the Goa’uld, colonel.”

 

“The Goa’uld don’t worry me, sir. It’s my grandfather who does.”

 

Daniel blinked and then voiced the question on everyone’s lips. “Y-you’re grandfather?”

 

“Yeah, when he finds out we actually opened the Stargate he’s gonna pick it up and bash our heads in with it. He’s gonna be tremendously annoyed.” Jack said the last two words in a British accent.

 

“W-what?” Daniel stammered.

 

“Danny, think it through! How do you think he knows all the stuff he wrote? He was there when they dug it up! You know that report by Agent Osiris? The one that told the Brits not to give it to us, that we’d only be stupid and try and open it? He’s Agent Osiris.”

 

“Wait, your Grandfather knows about the Stargate?” Sam looked at him in disbelief.

 

“I’d like to know why you didn’t see fit to tell me this before, colonel.” Hammond said in a cold voice.

 

“It’s not a breach of security, sir. He’s known since 1928.” Jack pointed out. “Well, 1934, when he first managed to translate the copy of the cover stones, but you get my point.”

 

Daniel ran a hand through his hair. “He translated…”

 

“The Coverstones. Yes.” Jack shrugged helplessly. “I didn’t find out until after we opened the gate the first time…He knows about Goa’uld, too. He just calls them false gods…And he arranged for the DHD and the Gate to go to two different places. He did everything in his power to keep the bloody thing shut, because he thought it far too dangerous to open them until we had advanced a lot more, technologically. If ever.”

 

“Colonel…You still should have told me.” Hammond said coldly.

 

“No sir, I was under orders not to do so.”

 

“Under orders? Whose? Your grandfather’s? They outweigh your duty to your country?” The general scathingly responded.

 

“No, sir. One of Granddad’s old unit members in Korea. You can call him, sir, on the red phone on your desk.” Jack replied evenly. “And he’s not going to be happy to have to explain to granddad that we did open the Stargate and that he didn’t tell granddad earlier.”

 

“You seem to have a very high opinion of your grandfather’s prowess.” Hammond inquired.

 

“Yeah…I read his file…the one the Pentagon has on him isn’t complete and still classified above my level, mostly…he’s got more black ink in his than I do, Sir. He’s got a VC, two DSO’s and a Medal of Freedom. He fought in both World Wars, Korea and did intelligence work. And Hearts of Fire.”

 

Sam, Daniel and Teal’c exchanged puzzled glances at the term, or as puzzled as Teal’c got. Hammond stiffened, recognizing the code phrase for operations involving the supernatural. “Ah…I see. Thank you, Colonel…I think it might be wise to get into contact with your grandfather. Captain Carter, if you would be so kind as to locate Major Ellis? And please, if you remember others who might be of value to this operation, tell me about them. Dismissed.” 

 

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“That looks so awesome on you!”

 

“Yeah, well, the beard tickles.”

 

“The hat is really you.”

 

“Tell you what, you go as that…And I’ll go as this”

 

“Hmmm…Think I’d get that by mom?”

 

“If you can get it past Aunt Arlene and Aunt Clarice…”

 

“Have you seen what sort of stuff Aunt Clarice is looking at? All I have to do is whisper ‘Patrick’ and she blushes.”

 

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“I can see my navel when I look down…”

 

“Just your navel? It’s obviously the wrong costume. Let’s try this one…”

 

“ARLENE!!”

 

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“He picked that for you? When he could get anything in the store?”

 

“Yeah…he didn’t even look at the, you know, really revealing stuff.”

 

“You didn’t make a fuss about this?”

 

“Well, I promised he’d get to pick…and I…ummm.”

 

“You look really good in it? You’ll look even better if we do your hair right.”

 

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“Wow, nice choice.”

 

“Thank you. It might take a while to do the make up…”

 

“Just come by, we’ll help. We’ll need plenty of this white stuff.”

 

“Thanks!”

 

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“I can see my navel again. Are you trying to make a point?”

 

“It’s cute? Does Patrick prefer an innie to an outtie?”

 

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“Well? What do you think?”

 

“Uhm… Well it’s sort of neat…but isn’t it a bit, you know, nerdy?”

 

“I have two PhD’s. You don’t get much nerdier than that. Also I think I can see my bellybutton. I’d say mine is better than yours.”

 

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The costumes were packed in the trunks of the cars and the teens were chatting.

 

“So, any of you know anything about a great big white bird in SunnyD?  Buffy asked. “One came by and picked up the vamp leader I fought yesterday. Then dropped him on the spiked railing around the cemetery.”

 

Willow squealed. “Ohh! The White bird! That is supposed to bring luck, they say it flies around helping the helpless and stuff, it’s supposed to be an old Indian spirit.”

 

Amy frowned. “I heard it ate the hearts of children…But that is what Catherine told me to keep me inside…” She shrugged.

 

Xander grinned. “Don’t look at me; all I know is that the guy at the comic store swears that it once stole a bag of comics from a kid, but left money.”

 

Buffy blinked. “So…we got a heart eating, people saving, comic reading, legendary, huge white bird thing…I think we’ll need to hit Giles for the research.”

 

Dave sank deeper into the back seat and Willow burrowed deeper into his arms. *Great…Just great…I hope the ruddy big idiot doesn’t get himself killed before I can chew him out.*

 

Buffy grinned widely. “But you know the most amazing thing of the whole night? Gran can set vamps on fire with a wave of her hand!”

 

Dave breathed a sigh of relief at the change in subject.

 

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Sam Carter grinned as she sat at her office desk. Grinned like a coyote, and let out a huge, piercing yell. “YES!!!” She punched the air for extra emphasis. The door flew open and an armed guard stood there, weapon at the ready. The sounds in the corridor showed others hand been disturbed by the noise. Sam ignored them and picked up her phone. “I’ve got a lead, a hot lead on Nerdanel! I’m sending it now.”

 

The guards blinked. Colonel O’Neill leaned against the doorjamb, a yo-yo in his hand. “Care to explain why you caused that little ruckus, captain?” He asked mildly.

 

“Nerdanel, sir. I got a lead. I sometimes try and help find hackers, and I looked into some of the stuff that was happening when we had the Meltdown, and right there, in the middle of it, was Nerdanel, clearing up some of the mess. He went back into hiding very quickly, but I’m sure it was her. And I think we may have a lead on Lebannen too.” Sam looked unbearably smug.

 

Jack sighed. Even he had heard of the so called greatest Hackers in the world. The current top ten was a nightmare to every government agency. Not for the damage they did, but for the things they saw and read. Nerdanel had been a thorn in the flesh of the US government for five years. He didn’t know who Lebannen was.

 

“Are you certain?”

 

Carter became serious. “Deadly, sir. They’re not actually dangerous to the net. They love the net. So they would do their best to help restore it. Some of the programming they did to do it is wonderful.” Sam looked almost guilty for thinking it.

 

Jack grinned. “One can admire one’s opponent, Captain, as long as you defeat them.” He waved at the armed guards and they left. He sat by Carter and looked expectant. “So, what happens now?”

 

Carter grinned back. “We wait sir. I’ve got a tracking worm on her, and even if Nerdanel is good, the Web is still a mess right now. She was looking for something in the Pentagon, more closely guarded than she could get at without leaving tracks the way things are now. Normally we wouldn’t even have noticed.“ She said with grudging admiration.

 

“What was she looking at?”

 

“A personnel file, a General Meier…” Carter’s eyes widened. “Holy Hannah!”

 

“Why the hell was she looking at Old Bloodybones’ personnel file?” Jack looked confused.

 

“I don’t know, sir. I honestly don’t know.”

 

General Hammond came in and demanded to know what was going on. After being briefed he ordered that any significant change be reported and left to finish more paperwork, a task Jack really should return to. Instead he sat with Carter, asking questions about her search program. Carter carefully explained, rather surprised at the considerable basic knowledge the Colonel had, despite his dislike of all things technology and science related.

 

“You seem quite, err, informed about this, sir.”

 

Jack smiled. “I’m a hunter, Captain. Whether I do it in the mountains or deserts of some forsaken foreign country or on a computer, the basics are the same. You find the scent, the trail, you follow it.” He sipped his coffee.

 

Then her screen beeped, just like she knew it would. Her tracking worm had found Nerdanel. A quick search revealed an online profile.  She blinked. Willow Danielle Rosenberg, age…fifteen? One of the world’s ten most Wanted Hackers was a bright, pretty fifteen year old girl with green eyes and a sweet, quirky smile.

 

Jack sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Crap. She’s a kid.”

 

Carter nodded all her joy in her find suddenly gone. “She lives in Sunnydale, California, with her foster parents. Dr. Simon Meier and Ms. Joyce Summers…” her eyes widened. She looked at the name again. “Sir…she was looking at her foster father’s file.”

 

“She’s his foster daughter? Old Bloodybones is actually allowed near children?” Jack asked aghast.

 

“According to the note on her website, yes sir.”

 

Jack groaned. “Great. Just great. I have an awful feeling we have to hand this stuff over to JAG…”

 

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AJ Chegwidden was not happy. This was due to the fact he had just been handed a hot potato. The Chiefs of Staff had asked him to take over the investigation into the near mythical Nerdanel, who apparently was the foster daughter of General Meier, who had met enough of the Senior officers of the Army JAG offices that it was decided to hand it to another Service, and a coin toss had landed it in his lap instead of Air Force. No doubt Joey Unster, the Air Force’s JAG was thanking Heaven on his bare knees in the Air Force JAG office right now.

 

Or maybe it hadn’t been a coin toss and he’d pissed somebody off… He swore. The case was only marginal JAG, the perpetrator was a minor and most of the crimes had been committed before she became the General’s foster child, but still…  It was all political. A lot of people would love to tear down even part of the General’s image down. The phone rang and Chegwidden picked it up.

 

“What?” He barked.

 

“Good afternoon, Admiral. From your tone I take it you’ve read the brief on your latest case?” A familiar voice on the other end asked. Familiar from television, rarely heard in person.

 

 AJ took a deep breath. “Yes, Mr. President. I apologize for the way I answered the phone, Mr. President.”

 

There was a brief chuckle. “It’s alright Admiral. I’m calling about the case. Bury it.”

 

“Sir?” Chegwidden was surprised at the bluntness with which the Commander in Chief gave the order. Usually such orders were given in such a way that only the uniform would fall and the politico would remain squeaky clean.

 

“You heard me. Bury it. She was instrumental in helping to stop the Meltdown, and she has been helping restore the damage as well. It’s a Hearts of Fire matter. Without that girl, we might not be here. Washington might be a smoking crater. This is not about General Meier. This is about repaying that girl for the things she suffered. And I admit we owe the General a debt or two as a nation. That is the excuse we will use if anyone asks. The fact that the girl is a minor will help. It will also help explain our willingness to cover up. Not to mention that a fifteen year old getting through our electronic defences is not good publicity.” The President’s voice was absolutely serious and AJ did not doubt for a minute he was telling the truth.

 

AJ grinned. He didn’t have to throw the book at this girl and it was for reasons he could accept, both for her sake and her father’s. “Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!”

 

“Don’t thank me yet. You get to call her foster mother. The woman who tamed Old Bloodybones.” The President said with a smile in his voice. Then he chuckled. “Sometimes, it’s good to have my job. Delegation can be such a wonderful thing. Have a good day, Admiral.”

 

“Thank you, sir, you too.” AJ grinned as the Commander in Chief rang off. Not many politicians would have given him the reason for the cover up. It was a good one. Anyone who dealt with something that could bring down the internet and most of the world’s computers deserved to be cut a little slack, especially if it was a Hearts of Fire matter. He turned to the short biographical information on the girl’s foster mother and noted that he’d seen the name somewhere before. He shrugged and reached for the phone on his desk.

 

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Joyce hummed as she quietly altered a painting from ‘exhibited’ to ‘sold’ in the inventory system. She grinned as the phone went. All in all it had been a good day. Travis and Consuela had already met Roger Pritchett and had not been impressed, they had been more than willing to form a front with Simon, or more accurately, the Meier Foundation for the Arts, which also administered the family art collection. Happily Simon had a veto on that board… She grinned evilly. Roger and the museum’s Board of Directors were in for a rude shock or two.

 

And she’d sold not just one, but three of the larger and more expensive exhibited pieces, as well as several prints. It was a good day. And this evening, Simon was taking her out on their first date in ages. And the look in his eyes when he’d kissed her that morning. Joyce shivered slightly. She’d better wear the blue satin dress…he liked that one.

 

The phone rang. “Sunnydale Gallery, Joyce Summers speaking. How may I help you?”

 

“Ms. Summers? This is Admiral Chegwidden, Judge Advocate General of the Navy. Are you the guardian of one Willow Danielle Rosenberg?”

 

Joyce’s heartbeat quickened. “Yes?”

 

“I have to inform you this conversation will be recorded, but the recording will be classified to the highest degree. Are you aware of Miss Rosenberg’s extra curricular activities, Ms. Summers?”

 

“What are you referring to?” Joyce asked, cautious. *If this is about the hacking, Willow Danielle…*

 

“Her…computer related activities.” The admiral said blandly.

 

Joyce winced; glad he could not see her face. “Yes. I am, but only recently. What has she done now?” She asked resignedly.

 

Chegwidden noted the ‘now’. Apparently Ms. Summers was aware of some of her daughter’s activities. “She hacked the Pentagon to look at General Meier’s file. But the major thing…have you ever heard of a hacker who goes by the handle of Nerdanel? Miss Rosenberg…Willow…has been identified as being her.” 

 

Joyce almost swore. But that wouldn’t do. “I can’t say that I have…I read up on hackers when Willow first confessed she was hacking, a few days ago. Ummm. I take it Willow being Nerdanel is not good?”

 

“Yes Ma’am. She’s on the top ten most wanted hacker list There’s no hard ranking, except for Witch_queen…but that one hasn’t very been active for two years or more, but Nerdanel, Willow, has been, so…”

 

“Ah. Well, I’m no expert on hacking even if I am fostering Willow…errr. This may be a stupid question, but why is the Navy JAG office calling about this and not the Army?”

 

“Not a stupid question at all, ma’am. Usually you would be correct but I’ve been asked to handle the case since I’m not Army and all appearances of favouritism had to be avoided. General Meier is well known to most higher ranking officers in the Army JAG office.”

 

“I see. Why are you calling me and not Simon, Admiral?”

 

“Err…This is going to sound bad…The General is not know for his…calm temper.”

 

Joyce grinned in spite of the situation “You mean he tends to chew out subordinates until junior officers run crying. Simon is completely different with the children than with subordinates, Admiral. I have to handle the discipline because he’s too squeamish.”

 

Chegwidden, unseen by Joyce, goggled. “Oh. I see.” *Wish I could use that bit of information. I could make a bundle in bets.*

 

Joyce sighed realizing she had to get to the point. “What’s going to happen to Willow?” She asked anxiously.

 

“Well…nothing. Since the Meltdown of the Internet was partially averted by her; and the damage partially repaired…And since General Meier is owed a debt or two by the government and the people of this Nation…Nothing official is going to happen to her.”

 

Joyce smiled grimly. “I can assure you, Admiral, that unofficially my daughter is going to be in a lot of trouble.”

 

Chegwidden chuckled. “I won’t ask for a report. But you can thank her, unofficially, for what she did. All our salary records are computerized and I rather like getting paid.”

 

Joyce chuckled as well. “I can imagine.”

 

“Well then…tell her to be very careful that her future efforts are only to support her…other extra curricular activities. And to be careful, that is a dangerous business.”

 

Joyce sighed. “Thank you admiral, but the last thing Willow needs is even the slightest official sanction for what she does.”

 

Chegwidden let out a short, barking laugh. “I see. Well then, good day Ms. Summers. I hope I haven’t spoiled it too badly.”

 

Joyce sighed. “No, it just means that a conversation I had planned to have with Willow will be brought forward. Thank you for your consideration, Admiral, good day.”

 

They rang of simultaneously. Joyce Summers glared at her reflection in a framed engraving of the Washington monument. *Willow Danielle…you are in such trouble!*    

 

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They did not often call on Penelope Garcia. MIC had their own dedicated group of hackers, and yes, Penelope admitted, they were good. Very good. If MIC called her in, they needed results and needed them fast. Which was why she’d been flown out here, to Sunnydale. Why her parents thought she’d won some sort of prize or scholarship and were annoyed she hadn’t even told them she’d participated in a contest…why she, and three others, who landed on the tarmac of Sunnydale Airport at almost the same time, were currently sitting in an MIC company car, on their way to where ever they were wanted. MIC never did things like this. They sent her a code and she’d log onto the network and she’d hammer out with their geeks a way to deal with whatever was bothering them.

 

They’d first stumbled upon her when she’d tried to breach the security around what the Hackers, in awed, hushed voices, called the Central Tower, the main information centre of MIC. And they caught her within minutes. Minutes!  None of the MIC hackers knew who ran the Tower, but all knew that he went by the name of ‘Alan’ and that, while they were good, no one, no one, was better than Alan. Alan was freaking scary.

 

The other three people in the car, besides the huge, battle scarred driver, were silent. One was a slightly overweight geeky looking boy with overlong mousy coloured hair, who looked to be barely into his teens, one was a slightly older girl, she did not look even sixteen to Penelope, who was dressed like a gothic Lolita, which made her seem younger anyway. Her cheerful burbling had been stopped dead by the great Slavic bully glaring at her and putting his hand to his belt in a threatening manner.

 

The third was a lanky man in his early thirties or late twenties; he’d taken out a pair of glasses as soon as he got in the car and had started reading a brief in the front seat next to the driver. He was the only one in the car who visibly wore an MIC code card. Four stars, gold, a picture, no name, only a barcode, Penelope noted. Massive clearance. None of the hackers she knew went above three, black. 

 

She turned to the others in the back seat. “I’m Penelope Garcia. I go by Belladonna.” The boy goggled. “Wow…errr…I’m errr… Tim, Tim McGee. Well, I go by Elflord.”

 

“You’re Elflord?” Penelope was impressed. “Cool.” She turned to the little Goth, who looked at the driver as if he was about to get his belt off and wallop her.

 

“D-dark_wrecker. Abby Sciuto.” She muttered fearfully, while looking at the glowering driver.

 

The boy beamed. “Awesome!” Then his face twisted. “Oh man…I hope they don’t want us to go after the new one, Lebannen…or maybe they want us to find Nerdanel…” His eyes grew very wide. “Y-you think they got Witchqueen? Or White_knight and Dark_daemon?”

 

The lanky man in the front seat snorted. “We know exactly were Nerdanel is. She’ll be here later, Witchqueen…is unavailable.”

 

The three in the back seat gulped. The boy whispered “Shit….they found Nerdanel, and Witchqueen.”

 

Penelope scowled. “Okay, why are we here? I’m not doing anything illegal!”

 

The man snorted again. “That’s an interesting sentiment coming from you, Miss Garcia. We’re almost there, I’ll brief you then.”

 

The huge black BMW with the huge, Slavic looking man behind the wheel drove up to a factory and research facility. It looked like it only recently had been taken back into operation. She got out of the car before the disconcerting man with the short blonde hair who stood waiting could open it for her.

 

The three youngsters were moved quickly into the building. A group of workmen were busy, even on a Saturday, to mend the fence around the place, clear up the parking lot and loading dock, and hanging a new sign. Sunnydale Research, an MIC company. They were led to an armoured elevator and then down into a basement corridor, lined with doors. Armed guards stood by the doors. The large white painted room they entered was filled with technicians setting up computers. Couches, easy chairs and recliners dotted the space, as did refrigerators and sound systems. A Caf-Pow machine was being set up in a corner. In the middle stood a large table, on which three laptops sat. By the table stood a large recliner and in the recliner lay an old, painfully thin man with a bald head and very pale skin. The man opened his eyes and grinned at the MIC man. He himself wore a badge, five gold stars…Penelope swallowed.

 

“David…good to see you. This is your cadre?”

 

“Stephen. You’re looking good…better than last time. How are you feeling?” The man addressed as David sat on a chair next to the older man, taking his hand.

 

“Tired…even with the new therapy my days are numbered. But I hear that Jennifer and you are expecting another bundle of light?”

 

The younger man grinned. “Yeah. And it will be a Stephen or Stephanie. And you will be there to hold him or her.”

 

“David…” The old man said gently.

 

“No! You will! You will be there!” The younger man sounded as if he hoped sheer forcefulness could extend the older man’s life.

 

The old man smiled. “Well, if you insist…I will do my best.” He turned to the young hackers. “You are three of the best hackers in this country, if not the world. All three of you are also out-of-the-box thinkers, and we need that now. The security on these laptops is some of the best in the world. My name is Stephen Falken. This is Dr. David Lightman.”

 

Dark _wrecker sat down heavily on a chair by the table. Penelope supported herself on the back of it. Elflord just gulped, very loudly.

 

“Holy shit…”

 

David snorted, which seemed habitual to him. “Nerdanel will be here shortly, as will White_knight.” Lightman grinned at the groans of the young hackers showed that had hoped at least one of their number had escaped MIC’s net. “Now, you are here because yesterday afternoon five men, probably members of an illicit government organization tried to kidnap Dr. Simon Meier’s niece.”

 

 

End Note:

 

I own none of the used properties; Joss Whedon owns Buffy the Vampire Slayer and NCIS, Timothy McGee and Abigail Sciuto are the property of Donald P. Bellisario and Don McGill. Criminal Minds and Penelope Garcia are the creations of Jeff Davis.

WarGames, a United Artists movie was written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes and directed by John Badham. David Lightman and Stephen Falken are characters from that movie.

 

Nerdanel is the wife to Fëanor and mother to his seven sons and appears in the Silmarilion. She comes of a family of artists who are the only known red headed elves in Tolkien’s legendarium.

 

Edited for Captain/Major confusion, thanks ayg.
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