Straight, No Chases
Chapter 11: Straight, No Chases
Disclaimers: See Chapters 1 and 3.
Title is a play on words of the instrumental piece “Straight, No Chaser” by the late Thelonious Monk.
Sometime after Buffy had stopped chasing Dawn around the yard and the group had gone back to their discreet discussions of the extraterrestrial and supernatural, a general consensus was reached among the SGC personnel that in order to truly understand the supernatural they really needed to see it for themselves. Buffy although reluctant to bring ‘amateurs’ along on patrol, and their visitors were amateurs when it came to hunting the supernatural notwithstanding their extensive military experience, recognized that some things simply had to be seen and experienced before they were truly understood.
Once the decision had been made to accompany the Sunnydale native on what as apparently a routine nightly patrol of the town’s many cemeteries, Jack knew that they had to return to the Chase mansion in order for the SGC contingent to arm themselves better. Jack knew that they had faced difficult opponents in fighting the Goa’uld, but he had heard enough about how tough vampires and demons were during the barbecue to make sure that they made sure that they had sufficient firepower. The last thing he wanted to do was to lose one of his friends to a vampire after surviving the long and difficult fight to defeat the System Lords. While a staff weapon would be too out of the ordinary to take along, he certainly wanted to grab some incendiary grenades, P90’s and Zats, along with night vision goggles and some radios for communication, so that if they got separated assistance could be provided. Jack would rather not have any of his old team have to get close enough to a vampire to actually need to use a stake in order to try to kill it if at all possible, or the Sunnydale natives either, notwithstanding that doing so was part and parcel of the Slayer’s job description according to Buffy.
Jack recognized that the Sunnydale contingent, not having had any military training, would likely approach their mission to hunt vampires differently than the military would. The distribution of stakes and other medieval weaponry to those who would patrol was expected. Buffy coming down the stairs dressed as if she was going out to nightclubs for the evening was not. Jack couldn’t help but notice Daniel eyeing Buffy in a quite unscholarly way as she came down the stairs. Daniel wouldn’t admit it, but his friend was definitely interested in the Slayer in more than an academic way. Jack recognzied as soon as Buffy declared that she had several conditions that had to be met before the SGC group could join in the night’s patrolling, that notwithstanding her manner of dress that the Slayer was as deadly serious as any mission commander giving a pre-mission briefing.
Buffy’s proclamation that the first rule was an emphatic “Don’t Die!” met with the enthusiastic agreement of the entire SGC contingent as well as nods of familiarity from the Sunnydale group. Her second rule, that the SGC contingent was being allowed to come with the understanding that was emphasized in what she told them she called “soldier boy terms” that she was in charge of the evening’s mission and outranked all the “stars and other silvery stuff they wore when in uniform” notwithstanding, was met with more skepticism from the SGC contingent. Jack was a wise enough commander to know that Buffy and her group were the experts on the supernatural, and expressed the agreement of the SGC contingent, with the understanding that Buffy would listen to suggestions made by the SGC team given their tactical experience in combat situations. Jack suspected that even that concession was as much due to Buffy’s apparent trust of Daniel than any real confidence or trust in the value of military experience.
Dawn was as usual unhappily staying behind. Not that Buffy would let her patrol anyway, but she did have homework. Likewise, Willow agreed to stay behind to talk with Giles, as much as she wanted to accompany the group on patrol.
Tara would stay behind as well. Tara was certain that many of the concerns that Giles would likely raise regarding Willow’s use of magic were ones that she shared as well, and that perhaps the two of them could help steer Willow towards less impulsive behavior. Willow had tremendous magical potential that could result in her being one of the most powerful magic users in many, many years, but unless she learned to control her tendency to act before thinking, Tara knew how easily that dangerous and dark that power could become. Although the whole resurrection of Buffy, and the dark magic invoked in same, had not appear to have any negative consequences so far, it was just the latest in the dangerous course Willow was taking in making use of her power without truly understanding the dangers of what she was doing.
Before long, the group headed out towards the former Chase mansion, with Jack driving the lead SUV, Jack and Sam in the front, and Daniel and Buffy in the back. Teal’c accompanied Xander and Anya, who were in Xander’s car, which trailed behind. They had all agreed that it was better for everyone to accompany the SGC group back to their ‘rental’ so that the SGC group could further equip themselves, and that having the SGC trying to meet Buffy and the others after they had gone on patrol could just lead to them getting lost, and most likely, into trouble.
Buffy soon realized that they were heading towards the ‘rich’ section of Sunnydale, where the town’s most expensive houses, or rather mansions, were located. When they turned on to the street where Cordelia and her family used to live, Buffy realized with a bit of envy that the SGC group was actually staying in one of Sunnydale’s exclusive mansions. Her envy turned into shock as they slowed and turned up the drive of Cordelia’s old house. It wasn’t until Daniel turned to look at her that she realized that she must have expressed her surprise out loud.
“Is there something wrong about the house,” Daniel asked Buffy.
“It’s, it’s, Cordy’s house,” Buffy stammered.
It was Daniel who responded. “Cordy? Who is Cordy?”
“Cordelia Chase. Queen C. Xander’s ex-girlfriend. Ewww, I can’t even believe you made me think of that!” Buffy could see the blank expression on Daniel’s face in the light shining in from the lights lining the driveway. “You know, the person whose parents this house was before the IRS found out that Daddy and Mommy Chase thought paying taxes was of the bad and took everything they owned, including all of Cordy’s stuff, because her parents didn’t even protect her college fund.”
Daniel was not the only SGC member with a dumbfounded look on his face. Although the possibility was one they all should have considered, it never occurred to them that Buffy, Willow or any of their friends may have actually known the Chases. Only Jack had known to whom the house had belonged prior to their arrival, and since then all of them had been so focused on the revelations regarding the supernatural added to their already existing concern about Baal’s apparent involvement with the Initiative, that they had simply not considered the possibility.
All Daniel and Sam could manage was a soft “Ummm” as the two geniuses tried to figure out what to say in response, while Jack figured that the safest thing was to be silent and hope that Daniel would find something diplomatic to say. Fortunately Buffy got out of the SUV and headed towards the front door without further comment.
“Holy shit Buffy! Cordy’s mansion is a government safe house,” Xander remarked, as he joined the others. “I don’t know whether to cry or laugh my ass off.” As he glanced at Anya, Xander realized that laughing was probably the much safer option.
Jack swiped an electronic key card at the front door and pressed the palm of his hand against the plate at the doors side.
“The whole security set up looks so Wormhole X-Treme,” Xander noted as Jack did so, eliciting pained expressions from Daniel and Sam while Jack looked utterly exasperated. Even Teal’c’s normally expressionless face showed irritation.
Xander was surprised to the reaction to his mention of Wormhole X-Treme. After all, he was sure that he and probably only a handful of others had even seen the single episode that had been aired before the show was promptly cancelled. After all, if people had watched it, it wouldn’t have been cancelled. “Did I say something wrong?”
It was Teal’c who answered, with a hint of irritation seeping into his normally stoic voice. “It will be appreciated Xander Harris if that show is not spoken of again.”
It was at that moment that Xander made the connection between the Stargate program and Wormhole X-Treme. Somehow, someone must have found out about the program and done a show that was very loosely based on it. He couldn’t stop himself from laughing out loud. “Oh my God! Wormhole X-Treme! You guys! They based Wormhole X-Treme on you!”
Jack lightly banged his head a couple of times against the now open front door. “Can we make sure that we never, ever, again, mention the existence of the show that shall not be named?”
“It was a horrible show. Why Xander even bothered to watch it, when he could have been having sex is beyond me,” Anya added, as Xander’s face turned beet red. While Xander truly loved Anya, her bluntness and lack of discretion at times when it came to personal matters had a tendency to result in embarrassing moments.
“Talk about a terrible reason to pass on sex,” Sam commented, making clear her own immense dislike of Wormhole X-Treme.
Buffy gave Xander a quick light arm squeeze. “Don’t worry Xander. If they are joking with you it means that they actually won’t harm you for mentioning the unmentionable. Right?” She looked over at Daniel to get some signal of reassurance that there truly were no hard feelings on the part of the SGC group.
Reassured by Daniel and the other SGC members that they thought Xander was a nice guy as long as the great unmentionable was not mentioned again, Buffy and the other Sunnydale natives followed Jack and the members of SG1 into the house. Buffy was impressed with the comfortable and what looked to be expensive furnishing, as well as the impressive entertainment center in the living room with an appropriately large wide screen television. “You are so hosting movie night tomorrow,” Buffy said looking at Jack with an expression that dared him to say no.
“One condition,” Jack answered, with a mixed tone of sternness and humor.
“We know, no mentiony of the unmentionable show,” Buffy answered back, amused at Jack’s effort to ensure that the subject of Wormhole X-Treme would not be raised. “Now, can you guys get whatever weapony things you came to get so that we can patrol already? You know, vampires to dust, demons to turn to goo.”
Jack led the SG1 to a secure room that had been set up in the basement of the Chase mansion as a weapons locker as well as for storage of anything else that might need to be kept specially secured. Buffy, wanting to see what goodies the Stargate team had, followed. While under ordinary circumstances, someone who Jack had just met that day would not be welcome in one of the secure areas of the house, or even in the house itself for that matter, the Sunnydale situation was anything but normal, and he knew that Buffy’s expertise would be needed in order to make sure they armed themselves as effectively as possible. The quick ‘Killing Vampires 101’ lecture that Buffy had given at the Summers residence before they left had made that abundantly clear.
As Jack opened what was clearly a weapons cabinet, or weapons closet if one considered the size, Buffy noted a look of reluctance on Jack’s face as he looked at a wall that held what were clearly some sort of automatic rifle. It was clear that Jack wanted to bring some of them along, but was worried being seen walking around town with what would be very noticeable military grade weaponry.
“You know, I’m usually not much for the gun thingy, since guns really don’t do much to your typical vampire, but if you have them you might as well bring them,” Buffy told Jack as he continued to look at the various weapons. “This is Sunnydale after all. It isn’t like anyone would really notice anyway.”
Jack was skeptical. “You’re sure. I mean P-90’s are not something that you see the average Joe citizen walking around with in the park.”
“Do you know how many people have died of ‘barbecue fork’ accidents in Sunnydale? Or how many demon victims were the victims of attack by packs of wild animals? Pretty much everyone including the cops around here turn their brains off when it comes to anything having to do with Sunnyhell’s wonderful night life.” Buffy figured that the SGC group wouldn’t truly believe it until they saw how the overwhelming majority of Sunnydale residents were oblivious to all the supernatural beings and events which occurred in their town.
Buffy was wrong however. Sam had found that the paperwork they had been given on the plane to review on their trip to Sunnydale had made reference to what the Initiative had called Sunnydale Syndrome. While the NID was a bunch of despicable bastards, they were thorough and there was no reason to believe the information they had reported as to the amazing ability of the residents of Sunnydale to overlook what was going on around them was inaccurate.
“Sir, Jack, I think Buffy’s right. The reports that we read on the Initiative made reference to what they had called Sunnydale Syndrome. What Buffy is describing is exactly what those reports described.”
“And nobody told me this before we got on the plane,” Jack answered in response to Sam’s confirmation of Buffy’s claims. “I would have made sure that at least a couple of staff weapons were included in our gear.”
“Jack, we didn’t have the reports on Sunnydale until we boarded the plane,” Daniel felt necessary to point out.
“I know that Daniel.” Just because Daniel was correct, and just because the P90 was more accurate and a generally more effective weapon against most opponents than a staff weapon, did not stop Jack from wishing that they had a couple of staff weapons with them. The plasma burst delivered by staff weapons would likely be even more effective against vampires then the incendiary rounds they had for the P90’s.
Jack wasn’t sure how well zats would work against vampires or demons, but he figured even if the discharge might stun a vampire long enough for help to arrive even if they might be unlikely to stun or kill one, especially since vampires were apparently already technically dead. He also took a healing device, figuring that in an emergency, Sam would be able to focus enough to heal a life threatening wound sufficiently enough to get someone who was injured to a hospital for treatment.
Buffy noticed Jack taking the zats out of the case in which they were being stored. “You guys brought ray guns along? Those so do not look like US Army issue, or Marines, Navy or Air Force for that matter.”
“It is a zat’ni’katel,” Teal’c informed Buffy.
“A zat-ni-what?” Buffy asked, looking at the SGC contingent somewhat incredulously.
“We just call them zats,” Daniel told Buffy. He could see from Buffy’s expression that she was very interested in what zats could do. “It’s a personal sidearm used by the Jaffa. Basically one shot stuns, two shots kill and the three shots disintegrate.”
“You do realize that vampires are dead already.”
Once Jack explained his reasoning for bringing zats along, Buffy found she could not disagree with his logic. She was also curious to see what, if any, impact they did have on vampires, or on any demons they ran across. Daniel did say that zats could ‘disintegrate’ after all. If they actually did work, they were compact enough to bring out on patrol and she was sure she could charm her way into having some left behind for use in Sunnydale if they actually proved effective.
Once they returned upstairs, they found Xander and Anya lounging comfortably on one of the couches in the living room. Buffy perkily walked up to them, practically bouncing as she did, with an almost mischievous smile on her face. “They have ray guns.”
“Well they’re not ray guns. They actually work by…” Sam’s start to the detailed workings of zat’ni’katels was cut off surprisingly by Daniel rather than Jack, to both her and Jack’s amazement.
“We call them zats. They are not ‘ray guns’ as fiction has them, but they’re useful and fairly easy to conceal.” Daniel, while he was generally interested in and patient enough to listen to Sam’s detailed explanations as to how technology worked, was getting rather anxious to actually see what a real vampire actually looked like.
“Anxious to meet the nightlife, Daniel?” Jack was as interested as Daniel in seeing what they were facing, but wasn’t going to give any hint to the others that he was.
In her brief time knowing Daniel, Buffy had noticed that he could match Giles in enthusiasm on all sorts academic and esoteric topics. “Don’t be too anxious Daniel. You want to see the nightlife, not try to make with the handshakes with it.”
Buffy’s humorous warning to Daniel was a stark reminder to Jack, Sam and Teal’c that they were likely to run into things that night that while they were the subject of jokes from the Sunnydale contingent earlier that day, were extremely dangerous. Thus it was with some solemnity restored that they all headed back into the night to start the patrol.