Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the property of Joss Whedon & Mutant Enemy Inc.Mass Effect is the property of Bioware & Electronic Arts Inc.
Buffy passed in and out of consciousness, her awareness of her surroundings fleeting. Light, bright and blinding… hurts. Loud sounds, discordant and distorted… painful, gradually separating into the sounds of the beeping from medical equipment, the clatter of metal on metal somewhere in the room, and hushed conversation from outside.
“…find no physiological explanation for… Walsh's test results don't… response off the charts… muscle mass density within… cardiovascular system normal… no real useful data… project Lazarus…”
Soft footsteps approaching, blurred silhouette blocking the light, an urgent female voice calling out.
“Ms. Lawson! she's awake!”
Door opening, hurried steps across a tiled floor, another shadowy figure joins the first, exclamation of surprise, female.
“She should still be sleeping… enough sedative to… another 10cc's of…”
Cold metal against her skin, a stinging prick… darkness.
The next time Buffy woke in a room that would be dark for anyone other than a slayer, she was lying beneath a surprisingly warm sheer sheet on a narrow examination table surrounded by various quiescent medical apparatus that she couldn't identify. Sitting up slowly, she swung her legs off the table the sudden exposure to the room's cold air making them pimple with goosebumps. Taking stock of her situation, the slayer realized she was clad in a hospital gown of indeterminate material and a pair of full knickers, that not even her mother would have been caught dead in.
The room itself was practically bare, other than the examination table she was sitting on there was only an empty metal trolley and what appeared to be a locker of some sort in the corner. The only other features were the closed door and a large window that showed nothing but stars. Buffy rose unsteadily to her feet gripping the table for support as she took a small tentative steps towards the window. Muscles that hadn't seen use in too long protested as the slayer's staggering steps approached the window.
“Dear God, I'm not in Kansas any-more” Buffy muttered as she stared at the vastness of space before her.
Sinking to the cold floor she wrapped her arms around her knees, as she desperately tried to work out what was going on. Her fogged mind tried to dredge up her last clear memory, but all she could get were blurry impressions, a fiery sense of determination, shock leading to grim realization and hardening resolve, the heat of battle burning in her veins, disbelief, weary acceptance… then blood, lots of blood and intense pain swiftly followed by darkness.
Buffy shivered at the vague remembrances, disconcerted by the thought that they might mean she'd died, again. Glancing up at the star filled window two questions kept circling in her mind. 'Where the hell am I, and how long was I gone this time?'
The room suddenly brightened, blinding the slayer as she heard the door hiss open and the sound of approaching steps. Blinking rapidly to clear her vision, Buffy looked up to see a young woman with, long brunette hair and a full figure had entered the room bearing a tray. Clad in a skin tight, white and black body suit she cut an impressive figure as she slowly made her way across the room. Her perfectly proportioned face held an impassive expression as her dark eyes regarded the huddled slayer.
“That floor can't be comfortable, Ms. Summers. Perhaps you should return to the bed.” Her diction was impeccable as she placed the tray on the trolley. “Come. I've brought you some food.”
Buffy warily scrambled to her feet, her eyes never leaving the other. “Who are you? And where
the hell am I.” The slayer's voice was raspy with disuse.
“Miranda Lawson, and you're on the Lazarus Research station. Now, please sit and eat.”
Moving cautiously, Buffy sat on the bed, looking at the bowl on the tray with suspicion as her nose caught the unappetizing aroma of the bland appearing food. Miranda sighed with exasperation as she rolled her eyes.
“Really Ms. Summers, would we go to the expense—in both time and money—of reviving you, only to turn around and poison you at the first opportunity? Your system is incapable of handling richer foods than this for the moment. Now, eat.”
Buffy reluctantly picked up the spoon and began to eat the meal. The gruel like food tasted like a horrible mixture of unsweetened porridge and tofu and had the consistency of cold custard, but was easy for the slayer's throat to swallow and the glass of tepid water helped wash the food down. Miranda watched silently as she ate, after Buffy had consumed the last spoonful she began to speak.
“The year is 2184, humanity has reached the stars, and you've been dead for one hundred and seventy-three years.” Miranda began bluntly. “Cerberus, the organization that I work for, needed a test subject before going ahead with the final implementation of this project. Your body was deemed to be a viable choice for that test and was made available from another branch. They requested that we try to revive you, and that after a suitable period of observation, you be turned over to them if the procedure was successful.”
“How, who, why… Huh?” Buffy spluttered her head spinning from the information overload.
“How we did it, is unimportant. The who and why however
…” The brunette paused. “Ms. Summers, the Watchers Council has need of you again.”