AU after Chosen. The Season 8 abomination will be ignored. Star Gate SG-1 AU before Heroes to a certain extent. Joss Whedon created Buffy; Devlin, Glassner, Wright and Emmerich all had a hand in creating Star Gate in its various forms.
Cassie blinked. Then looked at the door handle that was in her hand rather than on the door. This door to her closet had always stuck a little; but when she had given it the same old yank there had been a crunch and the door not only blew open, but the handle broke off. Looking closer she could see the door was slightly askew; one of the hinges had pulled from the wall. Which was really strange; Jack had anchored that a year ago using some serious wood screws right into a strong beam; he had been rather proud of doing it; telling her it would take a lot for that to get pulled loose.
This was really weird.
IT wasn’t enough that she had had a really bizarre dream (nightmare?) last night.
Monsters some of it; vampires and such. But also this blonde woman asking
“Are you ready to be Strong?”
Buffy sighed. IT was over; the Hellmouth was closed; Sunnydale was a sinkhole. And she had lost almost half of the potentials. Amanda and Robin were barely hanging on; luckily there were medevac helicopters waiting for when they had managed to get the school bus away from the ever increasing sinkhole. Robin and Amanda had been flown right out; she hoped they would make it.
They had brushed off the authorities pretty well and headed to LA to the Hyperion; where as usual a brooding and worried Angel waited. She really did not want to deal with him right now; Spike was on her mind. She hoped he really had believed her; she did love him. Just not sure what kind it was. They had had such a mixed up relationship that it truly defied description.
She knew also she was still hurting from the rejection of her family and friends; getting kicked out like she had been had hurt worse than anything else that had ever happened to her; except for being yanked out of Heaven. IT would take a long time to repair the damage; if it could be done. She was not certain that it could be; or frankly that she cared that much.
She sighed. Her sister was still so young; but it had hurt so much to hear that from someone you had DIED to save.
Giles stood off looking at his slayer; pensively staring out the window of the first floor conference room. He sighed; he knew he had hurt her terribly; and he absolutely had no excuse at all for his actions. He could not believe he had treated her this way.
Buffy could sense that Giles had come into the room; it was weird how she could pretty much sense all of those close to her. Not just Faith and the other slayers; Dawn, Willow, Xander as well. Another question to answer; this had also just started.
“Well, what do we do first Giles?”
He blinked. Even with her incredible hearing he had no idea how she could have identified him; this room was almost 100 feet long and they were at the far ends from each other. There was carpet on the hall and in the room as well and the door had been open; and it was a wide door.
Buffy smiled slightly to herself; she was willing to be bet that Giles was very surprised she could tell it was him. She would not have been able to before; she would have known SOMEONE was there but that was all. Well this would be a halfway decent way to start the conversation neither one of them wanted to have.
“I can sense you, Dawn, Willow and Xander. Faith and the Slayers of course. But for you guys this is the first time.”
Giles felt his mouth drop open slightly and he closed it with an audible click.
“Buffy, I have no idea. I could understand Dawn; she is your blood. But you say it is just happening; then it cannot be any leftover from the bond we did to defeat Adam.”
She sighed and turned towards him. “Just one of many questions we have no answers to. Not that it is really important right now anyway.”
He understood that she was as reluctant to talk about their damaged relationship as he was. But he felt he had to try.
“I was totally wrong to treat you the way I did. There is no excuse; and I cannot believe I did it. I understand that our trust is badly damaged; but I promise I will do my best to make up for it. If you will let me; I can quite understand if you do not. I have not exactly been there for you for the last two years. Not the way I should have been.”
He still could not believe he had left her to cope with being yanked out of heaven; looking back it was insane. All he could come up with was that he just could not handle it; emotional cowardness.
Buffy stared at him; thinking. She could see and sense that he meant it; it was at least a start. But then he was the one that seemed to be able to be up front about things more than the others could be; she doubted they would be able to do the same.
Dawn took a deep breath and looked at the others. Xander and Willow were in her room; she had asked them to come.
“We need to try and fix things with Buffy. We treated her terribly. And not just recently.”
Willow cringed. “Goddess, I know. I cannot believe we did the things we did to her.”
Xander was still reeling from the loss of Anya; more guilt piled on top of guilt. He could not handle it.
“There was fault on both…”
“Cut the crap Xander. This was hugely more our fault then hers. Stop trying to make it equal or even close.”
Xander dropped his eyes from those of the angry teenager. He sighed.
“I know.” It was very quiet but it was there.
Willow looked at her oldest friend and reached over and gave him a hug.
“I know losing Anya hurt more than you thought it would.”
Xander began to cry. “I was so stupid; so much of a coward. So DAMN WEAK!”
Dawn could not stand it and came over to hug him as well.
“I am the Zeppo. A total Zero. God, Buffy has been through so much and we just added to it.”
The three just held each other and they all cried; for those they had lost and those they had hurt.
Cassie wondered what was going on; first the door handle and now the shower faucet in her bathroom. She had given it a tug and it had BROKEN off. Like it was made of paper. She stared at it and realized something was going on. She took a deep breath and dried herself off; she needed to talk to Mom.
Janet blinked as Cassie told her; then she went to her room and looked at the closet then the faucet. She chewed her lip; then looked at her daughter.
“Something does appear to be going on; but let’s not panic here. You seem to have gotten a lot stronger suddenly. Clearly you have not gotten snaked. Your eyes are not glowing and you certainly do not have any Gou’ald attitude. Not to mention even Tok’ra attitude.”
Cassie, even worried as she was; had to grin at that.
“So true.” Then her grin dribbled away. “Mom.” That was all she said but more than enough for her mother to enfold her in a comforting hug.
“We will figure it out.”
Lt Colonel Janet Fraser, MD, US Air Force could not believe her eyes.
“This is not possible.”
Her slender teenage daughter was at the moment showing that she was lifting almost 500 lbs on the machine; which was its highest setting. This would be a fair lift for Teal’c; if not near his maximum. She looked around; luckily no one else was in the small workout room; most of the Gate personnel used the larger one on the next floor; one reason she had brought Cassie here.
Cassie slowly let the machine go. “Mom, I don’t think that was as much as I can do either.”
Janet slowly nodded. Duty to report this warred with the Mother inside her; the mother tore duty to shreds and stomped on its dismembered corpse. But what could she do? They needed answers.
“Like I said, what is first, Giles?”
He sighed. He could tell she would not get into it anymore; he just hoped that she would accept his gesture to try and repair things.
“I will be contacting some of the Council contacts who were not blown up; specifically the finance side. We are rather low on funds.”
“Luckily we have a place right now and there is no great hurry; with the destruction of the Hellmouth things should be quiet for a while.”
“What about the other one in Cleveland?”
“Since a Hellmouth, the active one, has never been suddenly shut down before we cannot tell what will happen. But it is exceedingly unlikely that Cleveland will suddenly become much more powerful. Very active Hellmouths are rare; Sunnydale only became much more active due to the First; and perhaps assisted by Mayor Wilkins. IT had only been truly violent for the last 20 years.”
“But we cannot be sure.”
“But it is likely we have some time.”
Buffy nodded to herself. OK, first question settled. She had one of her own.
“What do we do about Faith?”
Giles sighed. “Technically she is an escaped Felon. The authorities will be looking for her.”
“Well they are not getting her. She has proven herself; and that is what matters. And we need her. The Mini’s we have left are not even half trained with the exception of Kennedy and a couple others. I will need help training them let alone leading them. Angel is now in charge of this batch of evil lawyers; time for them to do some good. And if necessary I will give Riley a call; they owe us and it’s time to collect.”
He nodded; it was good to see her thinking and acting; he knew the last few days had been horrible for her. Frankly the last few years; and if he was going to be honest the whole time since she had been called more than 7 years ago.
Buffy then headed for the door. “Angel first.”
Janet had thought hard and decided to try Daniel first; their relationship had slowly started to get closer and she had hope that it would become much more; besides which this was clearly a matter for research first. She had done a couple of blood tests on Cassie and had found absolutely no change; no explanation for her sudden massive strength.
Daniel Jackson had thought he was getting used to being shocked; all these years in the Stargate program should have inured him to any more. No such luck. Seeing Cassie lifting 500 lbs took care of that. He looked at Janet.
“Nothing has changed?”
“Blood tests, scans, even checked her DNA. NOTHING has changed.”
He sat and thought for a moment; then gestured them to follow him back to his office where he looked around at the library in the next room; it had taken a long time for him to finally get a separate room for all of his books but finally. Then he reached for a very old looking book. He leafed through it then read out loud.
“This is a legend that was written about over 1000 years ago; incredibly strong young women who fight Demons. I came upon this a couple of years ago; but have found nothing else to support it. Frankly the author has very little credibility. But this is the only thing I have ever heard that even comes close. It gives no details other than what I just told you.”
Cassie took a deep breath. She had not told her mother about the dreams.
“Demons?” He looked at her and nodded.
“Last night I had a dream about monsters; demons; and Vampires.”
Her mother looked at her in shock; Daniel’s face matched hers almost exactly.
Then he shook his head and asked for details.
Janet had then gone to Sam; who was just as shocked but also fascinated.
“No explanation at all? Except for a book that is 1000 years old written by a crackpot?”
Daniel sighed and nodded. She sighed; then remembered part of what Cassie had said about her dream. She looked at the teen.
“You said this young woman appeared to be dressed in modern clothes; then she asked you if you were ready to be strong?”
Janet went to her computer. “Start describing her; I have one of those artist programs that I might be able to get a picture of what she looks like.”
It took over an hour before Cassie slowly nodded. “That is her. As best as I can remember.”
They all looked at the conceptual drawing. Janet nodded. “OK, I can put out a general enquiry with her picture and general description. Not sure we will get anything but you never know. Not like we have much else to go on.”
Angel was thoughtful. “Faith was under age; we can show that. I think we can probably get everything thrown out; as far as we can tell she never had a lawyer and her age was never mentioned. There was very little evidence other than her confession.”
Buffy nodded. “Get right on it; get it done as fast as you can; right now we will keep her here out of sight. But what about the jail break?”
“A lot of prisoners got loose; it would not be hard to justify running what with things that were going on; I do not see much of a problem there. One thing about Wolfram & Harts lawyers is that they can drive a semi-truck through a half inch crack in any case.”
Buffy really did not want much to do with any lawyers; let alone evil ones (she was not exactly sure how you could tell the difference). But they needed Faith free to move and help out.
Giles was talking to someone in the land of Tweed; he seemed somewhat optimistic as he put down the phone and looked at her.
“Since I am the only Watcher currently in contact; and what with everything that is going on, I am right now the Head of the Council. Since it was virtually destroyed except for some support sections elsewhere that is not likely to change any time soon. So I have full access to our accounts. The accounting section was not located in the HQ; it was elsewhere so not bothered.”
“OK. So we have money. How much?” Then she noted his discomfort and her voice got much harder. “How much Giles.”
“The total worth of the Council is approximately, counting properties and art works and funds and bonds and the like is …” He trailed off and Buffy got very hard.
“Spit it out.”
“$4 billion dollars.”
There was nothing but silence for a moment.
“And they would not pay me any expenses. So I had to scrimp and work at a fast food joint. Scratching and clawing to keep a roof over our heads.”
Buffy got quieter and quieter and Giles made himself stay very still. He did not think he had ever seen her so enraged.
“I remember you saying you paid for Kendra’s body to be sent back to her family. The council never paid did it?”
He slowly shook his head.
Buffy slowly walked around the room. Then stopped.
“Of course you do not need to pay tools a salary. Especially expendable tools that will not be around very long.”
“You make sure of that by using the Cruciamentrum just in case they are better than most of the others so that they are not around for very long no matter what.”
“Very efficient. I imagine the accountants were quite happy.”
“Not like they could spend some of that money just paying for the Slayer’s expenses or the like. Or maybe employing some tough types to maybe watch the Slayer’s back. You know, so that they might live a few months longer. But that is what they would have called money thrown away, right Giles?”
She held up a hand and he stopped.
“We will never speak of this again.” Then walked out of the room.
Janet had sent the enquiry out the previous day; so far nothing had come back. She told Janet that it might take a while for something to ping. Meanwhile Janet had noticed that Cassie was withdrawing; she tried to give her a hug and Cassie had backed away.
“I might hurt you mom; I have no idea how to handle it.”
Buffy had gone to the roof of the Hyperion to get away from everyone; amazingly today there was not too much smog. She sat for a while, trying to calm down. It was a good thing Travers and company were dead; the way she felt at the moment she would have staked all of them. Then the door opened and Faith came through.
“Yo, B. Fang Just told me he is pretty sure that he can get me loose. So what is next?”
“Probably Cleveland to see if it is going to heat up; Giles seemed to think it was not likely to happen anytime soon, though, if ever. Apparently a really active Hellmouth like Sunnydale is really rare; and that might have been the First as well.”
“Cleveland? Well it could be worse. Detroit.”
Buffy had to grin at that; she felt herself begin to relax as slowly the anger began to leach away.
Faith nodded to herself; Giles had asked her to speak to B. Said she was pretty pissed off; that was easy to tell for Faith; she had a connection to B like never before.
“So this connection thing; just between Slayers?”
“Mostly; but I can feel Willow, Xander and Giles as well; plus Dawn. Have no idea why.”
Faith wondered if she should say anything; but figured that B needed to cool down some more. She found it hard to believe how the Scoobs had treated B; that was just out there.
Buffy sighed and looked at Faith. “The council is worth $4 Billion.”
Faith felt her jaw drop. “B as in BILLION?”
Slowly Faith shook her head; she had heard how B had had to work in a Double Meat to keep a roof over her and little D’s head.
“I was just thinking they are lucky they are dead; I would have cheerfully staked them then danced on their graves.”
Faith shook her head. “Killing humans really messes up a slayer, B. I ought to know.”
Buffy smiled slightly. “Faith, you were so messed up you hardly knew what was up or down.” Then took a deep breath. “I was so jealous of you when you showed up; you were so free and out there; not giving a damn what anyone thought. I know now you were in bad shape; but I was just jealous, young and stupid. I should have been able to see through that. I am sorry I did not do better by you.”
Faith felt herself flush then smiled softly. “More my fault then anyone else’s B. You all tried to help some and I just was too fucked up to see it.”
Buffy smiled. “Well at least we have a second chance.”
Janet had not told Jack yet nor Teal’c. And of course not General Hammond; who was due to move to Washington as the new head of Homeworld Security. General Landry would be taking oversight; while Jack was fighting tooth and nail to turn down the promotion to Brigadier General that would for all intents and purposes end his time in the field. But with Teal’c due to start helping out Bra’tac more to build the Free Jaffa nation, SG-1 was slowly going away anyway. Sam had so much to do now; and Daniel as well, that getting out of the Gate was going to be tough anyway.
But she was increasingly worried about Cassie who had gotten depressed and was not responding.
Cassie had always known she was a bit of a freak; the last survivor of her people; now she was a bigger one than ever.
Buffy had gotten everyone together for a meeting once she had cooled down.
“OK. First things first; we have to start finding all the new slayers and get them trained; right now they are vulnerable. Giles, what kind of count are we looking at?”
He pulled off his glasses and slowly cleaned them.
“Most of those killed by Bringers appear to have been those with Watchers; apparently they were able to find the watchers more easily than the potentials.”
Willow blinked. “Why was that?”
“It appears that the First was able to mark the Watchers somehow for his Bringers to find. The good news is that any potential without a Watcher was mostly just found by bad luck by the Bringers.”
Buffy shook her head. “Well I guess that is good. Numbers?”
“IT is theorized that there are around 500 at any time ages 14-18. You cannot be called before 14 and after 18. There were 50 potentials that had watchers; only 30 of those potentials made it to Sunnydale; 14 are left. Only Kennedy and Amanda had more than a year in training.”
Buffy mulled that for a moment. Then looked at Giles. “Any indication any of that changed by the Calling?”
“Not at this time but it is too early to know.”
Willow sighed. So that means we have 400 or so out there that have no idea.”
“That is correct.”
Buffy shivered. “Giles, Slayers draw vamps and demons to them. They are hanging out there with no idea what to do or that they are in danger. We have to move fast.”
Willow took a deep breath. “Giles was able to find the locator spell; I can do it; and if I can contact the Coven at Devon we can power it up even more.”
Buffy was thinking hard. She looked at Giles. “Is there any way we can call them to either here or somewhere else; get them collected? There is no way we can get to 400 girls all over the world very fast. It would take months if not years.”
Giles looked at Willow who shrugged. “I think I need to talk to the Coven ASAP.”
Buffy nodded. “Do it now Wills. Giles, start doing a locator spell now; we can at least start going after the ones not very far away.”
Riley sat back from his desk; this was very strange.
“You say someone is trying to find Buffy using a picture made up by software?”
Sam nodded. “Major Paul Davis just called. It came across his desk; he is in charge of keeping an eye out for things like that. All he would tell me is that it came from a program almost as secret as the Initiative was.”
Graham looked at the two of them. “That does NOT give me the warm fuzzies.”
Grimly Riley nodded. “We need to get on this right away; while the NID might have finally been taken down, we know there are still rogue elements out there.”
Sam shook her head. “Davis seemed to imply that these were good guys; no threat. Just would not give any details.”
“Well he will. If I have to go all the way to the President.”
Major Paul Davis groaned; he should have known this was coming. What with the word coming out of California, it seemed clear that besides the Hellmouth being closed down something else was going on. Major Finn had a pipeline right to the White House and he had used it; the current President might even be more inclined towards Miss Summers and company then to the Star Gate program.
“Yes Mr. President. I will brief them in right away; Major Finn, Captain Finn and Captain Miller. And we will find out why the Stargate Program is trying to find Miss Summers.”
Sam sat back fascinated; as did Graham and Ri.
“Wow. They have been through almost as much as Buffy and her people have been.”
Riley shook his head. “But they had a lot more support than she ever had.”
Graham nodded. “Though it looks like they will finally have the financing they were missing.”
Major Davis agreed. “That is true. However the rest of their support system went up in that blast in London.”
Sam snorted. As did Riley who grimaced. “Support? They never got any support from the Council; Buffy had to work at a fast food place to pay the bills. Frankly with the council gone but with the money they had she is way ahead of the game now.”
Major Davis stood up. “A jet is waiting for us; it will take us right to Colorado to Cheyenne Mountain. General Hammond and General Landry will be waiting for us. General Hammond just got promoted to head of Homeworld Security; he will be nominally over your program as well. From all accounts he is a good man.”
The three others nodded; they had heard about this a month ago and had made sure to check from all possible sources this General Hammond; he had come back looking clean from all sources. Better yet it was known he had been one of the chief sources that had finally taken down the NID. Once Kinsey had been removed, all their political support had disappeared and the wolves had come out of their dens. The NID had managed to tick off just about every other intelligence and special ops group on the planet; a marked achievement that ensured they went down very bloodily and very fast. Nowhere to run or hide.
General Hammond looked at Colonel Carter. “Your enquiry had very telling effects; a very secret group is coming to talk to you. This is right from the President; they are to be given total cooperation and you are to be completely frank about why you were looking for this young woman. I have nothing more at the moment.”
Sam left his office shaken; this was not good. She headed right to Janet.
Cassie looked up as her mother came in the door. She knew right away something was wrong.
“Sam’s looking for that young woman apparently set off some major alarms. A very secret group is coming to talk to her and they have total support from the President to ask her anything and she is supposed to tell all.”
Cassie could see that her mother was scared; and that scared her.
“What do we do?”
“Sam is going to meet them; she has arranged with Jack to signal him if it looks bad; we then run.”
“I don’t know honey.”
“Mom, you once mentioned that Sam could be tracked now by satellite due to the Naquadah in her blood; even the trace could do it. That means they can track me as well.”
Janet hugged her daughter.
Jack was a little angry that Janet had not come to him; but he could understand it. Especially now the way things seemed to be coming apart. He had tried to find out what he could about the group coming; but they had clearances and security ratings even above the Star Gate program, which he had not thought possible. This was not good. Sam had a way to signal him; and he would contact Janet; but he was very worried. They could track Cassie by satellite due to the Naquadah in her blood. They would have to head to someplace like the Amazon or New Guinea or the like; the only places in the world that those special Satellites did not cover. North America, Europe, most of Asia was. As well as every other hot spot on the planet.
Janet already had Cassie in a rental that she had had a friend rent for her; that might buy some time; but they had to get out of the country; out of the continent frankly. They were heading west; if Sam and Jack could delay things for a few hours at least they could catch a plane for Australia; from there to a couple of not too primitive Islands in the Pacific that would not be covered by satellites capable of tracking Cassie.
Buffy looked at the map of the Western US; there were scattered glowy things on it; each indicated a Slayer. She looked at one that seemed to be moving their way. She sighed.
“Well I guess we can start there. One seems to be coming our way.”
Janet and Cassie were on a puddle jumper out of Colorado Springs to Salt Lake City; she wanted to avoid Denver since it was likely it might be looked at first. They would fly from Salt Lake City to LA; and from there to Perth, Australia. Then she would use cash and charter a plane to take them off the map.
Samantha Carter had her hand on the small button that would sound a buzzer in Daniel’s lab. He would then signal using a low frequency signal that would be able to reach Jack who was outside the Mountain waiting beside a public phone. He would then call a throwaway cellphone that Janet had gotten. They all hoped that this would buy Janet the time she needed. They were not terribly confident.
Riley looked around; this was deep underground; deep under NORAD which was in the process of being moved out. Frankly he thought that was a mistake; it was much better protected here. But maybe this SG bunch needed more room; they seemed to have more clout.
General Hammond calmly waited in his office. He did not formally know what Janet was doing but he could guess; Sam had quietly told him the concerns and he had agreed to their plans. If it went wrong he was going right to the President; no matter what. But he had a very bad feeling that whoever these people were they just might have more power with the President then the SG command did; he had no idea how that could be.
Janet sighed as they waited for the plane to take off from Salt Lake City. Still no word.
Buffy had been fascinated watching that one glimmering spot move their way; it was now in Salt Lake City; Willow was able to tell it was at the airport. Buffy had decided that if as it looked just likely they were coming to LA she would head to the Airport; no slayer could hide from her anymore.
“General Hammond this is Major Riley Finn, his wife Samantha Finn, and Captain Graham Miller. The president has directed you to fill them in on the Star Gate program in full. You have confirmation?”
“I do. Please sit down. This will take a while.“ And I will make sure of that.
Buffy took a taxi out of the Hyperion towards LAX. The Slayer appeared to be on her way to that airport and would land in an hour or so.
Riley was getting a feeling that General Hammond was stalling; he seemed to be making sure to go over a lot more detail then they really needed. He gestured.
“General Hammond. Sir, we can tell that the Star Gate program is very important to Earth. But what we are involved in is every bit as important and frankly more immediate since it concerns Earth and only Earth. The person that Colonel Carter is trying to identify is extremely VITAL. We need to talk to her NOW. Sir with all due respect that is what needs to be done.”
Sam calmly watched the four people accompanying General Hammond into her office. He had bought more time by bringing them here rather than having her come to his office. She looked at her watch; Janet should be landing at LAX pretty soon. But they needed to buy at least another twelve hours for them to get to Australia; more than that Sam did not know and did not want to; what she did not know she could not be made to tell.
“Colonel Carter, this is Major Paul Davis; Major Riley Finn, Captain Samantha Finn, Captain Graham Miller. They want to talk to you about your enquiry.”
Riley did not want to waste any more time.
“Colonel, why do you want to find this woman?” showing the picture she had sent out.
“Major, I have come across some information that makes it vital that we identify her and talk to her.”
“What is that information?”
“It is highly classified.”
Davis shook his head then handed her a document.
“This is a presidential order for you to be completely forthright as regards your reasons. No classification over rides this. You can verify this with General Hammond if you wish.”
Hammond sighed. Looked at her and nodded.
Sam tried to delay, carefully examining the order. She had not expected them to be able to move this fast with this sort of direction. Luckily she had made a contingency plan with Daniel. Time to use it.
“Dr. Daniel Jackson has found something and we need to talk to him.” She got up and headed to Daniel’s office, them trooping behind her.
Daniel made a show of finding the book. Then reading the passage out of it.
The three officers looked at each other; clearly this was something second or third hand about the Slayers; but since it did not even use that word…
“Dr. Jackson, by your own admission this book is over 1000 years old. How is it that you are looking for a woman living today?”
Samantha Finn could tell they were all stalling and she was not having it.
Daniel was desperate; he could not think of anything else; Sam shook her head.
Riley sighed. “General Hammond, it seems clear that what we are dealing with here is some kind of cover up. Dr. Jackson, Colonel Carter and yourself are very clearly trying to delay.”
Major Davis sighed. “I did not want to do this but you leave me no choice.”
He pulled out another document from his briefcase. Then handed it to General Hammond.
Hammond looked at it and sighed. He turned to Daniel and Sam.
“This is authorization to take anyone these officers suspect into custody for interrogation and possible court martial.”
Daniel pressed the button. Jack closed his eyes at the sound; then dialed the number.
Janet had just left the aircraft when her throwaway phone rang.
“Doc, keep on going. Good luck.” Then there was only the dial tone.
Buffy had never liked airports. Luckily she was waiting outside the security zone so she still had a stake; if nothing else. She raised her head as she sensed a slayer coming.
General Landry shook his head. “This is very irregular. These people are NOT CID or anything else.”
Major Davis was calm. “Sir you can call the president and verify this. But we are taking General Hammond, Colonel Carter and Dr. Jackson with us. They have not answered the questions fully.”
Cassie had this strange feeling; it was like someone she knew very well was nearby; she had never felt anything like it before. She looked around; tensing.
Janet noticed Cassie looking around as they headed towards the gate that the plane to Australia would be heading out of in an hour.
“What is it honey?”
“I can sense someone; someone I should know. It is really weird.”
Buffy sighed. Whoever it was clearly was not staying in LA; they were going somewhere else. Well time to use some of the authority that they had gotten just the previous day. She walked up to a security guard.
“Officer. I am Agent Summers with Homeland Security.”
The head of LAX security and TSA blinked; this young woman had some serious power; he had called to verify her credentials and the word had come back that whatever she wanted she got no questions asked.
Buffy pulled out an innocuous looking electronic box; she would use this to act like it was leading her somewhere while she tracked the Slayer.
“This will lead me right to her. She will be a young woman; age somewhere between 14 and 18. She might be alone and she might not. She is not a suspect in anything; she is a witness.”
“If someone is with her?”
“More than likely a relative, especially if she is under 18.”
“I will order all outgoing flights held; and all planes just landing will not disembark.”
“This should not take long. She is not far away.”
Janet was depressed; a life on the run could be no life at all; but at least it was life. Cassie was still looking around; clearly something was up.
Buffy had made it plain that only a couple of people would go with her; she wanted to make as small a scene as possible. She was getting closer.
Cassie turned away from the gate and looked down the hall. Whoever it was – they were getting closer.
Buffy noticed that this was an international gate; destination Australia; good thing she had acted when she did; they were due to take off in half an hour; boarding would normally already have begun.
Janet sighed; they should be boarding but they were not; this was not good.
Buffy sighted the slender teen staring at her and stopped. Then nodded to her.
Cassie stared at the woman from the dream; who nodded to her. Somehow she knew everything was all right; she would make it all right.
Janet saw Cassie staring and looked; her jaw dropped.
Buffy looked at the other agents. “Stay here. I will try and make this inconspicuous as possible.” They nodded; they were quite happy to leave her to it. She walked towards the young Slayer.
“Welcome Sister. My name is Buffy Summers.”
Janet was very tense; the fact that Cassie had suddenly relaxed made no sense.
“What do you want from my Daughter?”
Buffy smiled softly at her. “Just to let her know what was going on; why suddenly those things have happened to her.”
Cassie smiled. “It is OK mom; she will make it all right. I can feel it.”
Buffy nodded. “I will do my best; meanwhile we have to have a talk and it cannot happen here. We are staying at a hotel in LA. It is kind of old but still in decent shape; you should be reasonably comfortable there. All we have to do is get your luggage delivered to you.” She turned and motioned to the other two agents.
“Give these two your tags; they will make sure it gets here. When you get these have them delivered to the Hyperion Hotel in downtown LA.” She then led a bemused Janet and a very curious Cassie out of the hotel where a Police Car with escorts was waiting. Buffy wanted to keep up the appearance as long as possible.
Janet tensed at the police car; then realized it was not a normal one but more of an armored type meant to transport important people. An officer opened the back door and Buffy ushered the other two in. Then turned to him.” Hyperion Hotel.”
Buffy sat back and looked at the other two; she could tell that the mother was still very tense; but that the Slayer was not.
“Let me guess what has happened. You suddenly found that you can pick up a small car and toss it?”
Cassie blinked while Janet’s jaw dropped.
“And some weird dreams came with it; plus you saw me.”
Janet shook her head. “What is going on here?”
Buffy smiled at the Slayer. “What is your name?”
“Cassie Fraser; this is my mom Janet.”
“Cassie, first I must apologize to you. What I did I had to do; literally the world would have ended if I had not. But you got caught up in the mess. There are about 400 other young girls ages 14-18 all around the world who are having the same thing happen to them.”
Janet shook her head; Cassie was not from Earth. What was she talking about?
Cassie had the same feeling. “But I am not from Earth; so how could it affect me?”
“Mom, we can trust her. Just like we would trust Uncle Jack and Sam and Daniel and General Hammond and Teal’c.”
Buffy picked up on the General. “A general?” She looked at Janet. “You are in the military?”
Cassie nodded. “She is a doctor and a Lt Colonel in the Air Force.”
Buffy sighed. “Nuts. Really do not want the military involved. The last time they were it was a really big mess.”
Janet was about at the end of her rope. “Involved in WHAT?”
Buffy had been assured that they could not be overheard in the back of the vehicle; and just in case she had Willow put together a charm to make sure. She debated waiting; but the mother seemed ready to snap. And it would be half an hour or more at least before they got to the Hyperion. Probably more.
“Cassie is now a Slayer; a mystical warrior that for the past 10,000 years or so, probably a lot longer, has fought demons and vampires.”
Cassie slowly nodded; now it all made sense. Janet just sat there with her mouth open.
The President sighed; this was not good. Earth owed a lot to the Star Gate command; but frankly to be brutally honest if the Gate had stayed buried they would have been better off overall. But the Slayers were fighting every day and night, especially at night, to protect mankind here on Earth and they had just scored a huge victory. In the end they were more important.
“I am sorry General Landry, but this program has priority; and the person that they were trying to find is even more important than anyone in the Star Gate program, frankly a lot more. We must know why they were trying to find her.”
General Landry sighed and hung up the phone and looked at the others.
“The president was very clear that we are in second place in importance to whatever program these three are involved in. They have full authority to question or detain anyone they want to.”
General Hammond was frankly stunned. Just who were these people and what did they do?
Cassie suddenly looked at her mother. “Mom. Sam and the rest. Buffy can get them off the hook.”
Buffy looked at her. “Off what hook?”
Janet sighed. There was not much point in hiding any longer.
“We made up a picture of you and circulated it around the top commands trying to identify you. Apparently it stirred up a real hornets nest and some people came stomping in to ask why. We were getting out of the country.”
Buffy looked at her. “These friends were willing to take the fall?”
Cassie nodded. “That is what friends are for, right?”
Buffy was pensive. “Yeah, supposedly.”
Cassie looked at her. “Supposedly?”
Buffy sighed. “My friends; frankly my only family; pretty much rejected me just less than a week ago. We had been together for years up against it and they all turned on me. Right before the battle too.”
Janet looked at her. “Battle?”
“Sunnydale. That was where the Hellmouth used to be. And it is exactly what it sounds like.”
Cassie’s eyes got huge. “There is only a crater and a sinkhole there now.”
Grimly Buffy nodded. “NOW.”
Janet sat back stunned; good god. Slowly she sat up again. She could tell that Buffy was hurting badly by the betrayal; as young as she was it must have been very hard. Then some of what she had said came back to her.
“How long have you been doing this?”
“I was called when I was 15. And not on the telephone. Coming up on 8 years now.”
That shocked both of them into silence for the rest of the ride in. Just before they stopped Cassie shook herself. Then looked at Buffy. Then at her mother.
“Mom. Give Buffy the number to General Hammonds office. So she can fix things.”
Buffy nodded. “It might take a bit; I doubt anyone there knows me so they will have to make other calls; but I can get it started.”
Janet nodded and told her. Buffy got out her cell phone and called.
General Landry, in General Hammond’s office frowned at the secretary.
“I said I did not want to be interrupted.”
“I am sorry General but there is a young woman on the phone saying she needs to talk to you about taking care of the mess. Said that it was ok and no rack or thumbscrews would be needed.”
He blinked. “WHAT?”
Riley grinned suddenly. “Would that young woman be named Buffy Summers?”
“Let me talk to her.”
Buffy was about to get out of the car when a familiar voice came on the phone.
“Riley? You guys are the ones raising hell?”
“That is us. They were trying to find you and we wanted to know why.”
“It’s cool Riley. One of the new Slayers. That was who they were trying to protect.”
Riley was thoughtful. “Faith died?”
“Nope. We have more. Lots more. Don’t want to say much on the phone Riley; but you need to get all of them and head to LA. The Hyperion Hotel. Big things have happened.”
“We should be there this evening.”
“Be seeing you.”
Riley hung up the phone and looked thoughtful. Graham and Sam looked at him worriedly. HE smiled at them.
“No one died. At least I do not think so. Sounds like Buffy did more than we thought she did; a lot more. We need to head to LA and get the word. They are there now.” He looked at Major Davis. “Looks like it is not a problem after all; the people here were just protecting one of their own. As far as Buffy is concerned, there is no problem.”
He nodded. “So who do we take?”
General Hammond and General Landry almost at the same moment
“Who is Buffy Summers?”
Sam and Graham looked at Riley. He then looked at the rest of them.
“If you could give us a moment we need to talk.” They left the room and moved down the hall to an empty room and Graham closed the door.
“Who do you think?” Sam was thoughtful.
Riley mused. “Clearly we still have a responsibility to keep it as quiet as possible; but these are good people who are fighting in a war just about as important.”
Graham agreed. “I think this Colonel O’Neill is part of it as well; frankly let’s do all of them. General Hammond is going to be briefed in anyway soon; and it would be better for General Landry to know as well.”
Major Davis sighed. “I will need to get some more non-disclosure forms.”
As soon as the door closed Sam looked at the rest of them. “Buffy Summers?”
Daniel shook his head. As did the two generals.
Cassie almost stopped dead as she went through the doors of the Hotel; suddenly she could feel more Slayers. Buffy pulled her along.
“Come on Cassie, time to meet your sisters.”
Janet following along, trying to make sense out of it all.
Buffy gathered Faith, Giles, Willow and they found an empty conference room.
“This is Cassie Fraser and her mother Janet. Guys this is even bigger than we thought since Cassie is not from around here.”
Willow looked at her. “What do you mean?”
Buffy grinned and pointed up. The three of them looked up and then Willow’s eyes got huge.
“Outer Space!” she squeaked.
“Bitchin.” Said Faith.
“Good Lord.” Said Giles as the glasses came off.
IT took surprisingly little time to whistle up an Air Force Executive Jet to stop by the mountain air strip and pick up the party. Major Davis had made copies and handed out the non-disclosure forms.
The SG personnel shrugged and signed them; what was one more? Then Sam pulled out the DVD and set up the presentation. The last few minutes of the film from the Initiative started it off. Then she began the briefing. While the others still had their mouths wide open.
“This world did not begin as the Bible claimed; or I should say it began before the Bible began; we still are not sure about it. One thing we need to make clear: there is a Heaven and there is Hell; probably more than one of each. Now whether there is one God or not we do not know; but Holy things like Holy Water and Crosses and the like have an effect on Demons and Vampires. Demons dominated earth for who knows how long; certainly thousands of years; perhaps millions. Some theories believe that after the Yucatan meteor hit was when Demons began. Who knows? At any rate for the last 10,000 years for certain; and probably for two or three times that many there has been demons and vampires preying on Humans. And for a lot of that time there has been the Slayer.”
The SG officers began to wonder if they had ever really had any idea what weird really was.
Giles was very pensive. He looked at Janet. “Is there any idea how many worlds humans are on?”
Janet was not sure just how much to say. Clearly Buffy had authority all the way to the White House; but still the habit of secrecy was strong.
Buffy could see the conflict and reached over and took her hand.
“Janet, I can call in and you can talk to the President if you feel you need to.”
Janet sighed. “We do not really know. Dozens for sure.”
Willow was scribbling. “We make it at about 1 Slayer or potential to 12 million. Do you have any idea how many of them have a population that large?”
“Not very many; most of them only a few million at most. Abydos and a couple others I know are that big or bigger. There is one that has about 30 million that we know of.”
Giles was thoughtful. “I wonder if only Cassie being here on Earth allowed her to be called; it is very possible that none of those planets have Hellmouths and therefore have no need of slayers.”
Buffy was thinking as well. “How did they get there from here?”
“They were kidnapped hundreds if not thousands of years ago by our enemies, the Gou’ald. Breeding populations for new hosts and slave labor and the like.”
Buffy looked at Giles. “I wonder if they would be called if it was that bad; Hellmouths or not?”
He shook his head. “We have no idea.”
Janet decided that she might as well give all she knew that was pertinent.
“We have never heard of anyone with the gifts of a Slayer. There are Jaffa, but they have been genetically modified to house a premature primta, a very young Gou’ald, that gives them added strength and healing capabilities. If there were Slayers out there I believe we would have heard of them; certainly the Gou’ald would have noticed.”
Buffy let out a sigh of relief; they would have a hard enough time tracking down all those Slayers on Earth without going elsewhere.
Cassie had been thinking since Giles had explained about tracking down all the new slayers.
“Mom, the Air Force could really help out bringing in all those Slayers out there.”
All of the scoobies grimaced at that; Janet noticed.
“You have a problem with the Military?”
Giles sighed and explained the Initiative. Both Janet and Cassie were horrified. Cassie glared at the wall.
“How much you want to bet the NID was involved?”
“Who?” came from Willow.
Janet shook her head. “A very nasty intelligence agency that just recently got what it deserved. Might as well have been the American Gestapo and SS combined.”
Buffy was grim. “That pretty much described the so called leadership of the Initiative.”
Willow smiled though. “But there were some good people there; they are coming with your friends.”
Faith had not said much. “So the thinking is that there are probably potentials out there but no slayers?”
Giles nodded. “That would be my guess at this time.”
Buffy was very definite. “But we need to know for sure.”
It was just over 3 hours after Buffy and the others arrived at the Hyperion that Riley and his group showed up.
Cassie had been given over to Faith to introduce to the other slayers; and Janet and the rest had huddled.
Buffy while a little leery of any Military could see the benefit of being able to get to the slayers fast. She was very worried about how vulnerable they would be.
Willow had managed to contact the Coven and they were working on a way to contact the Slayers and get them to call in or gather so they could be picked up. Buffy would need to speak to them again. It was decided that when Riley and the rest got there they would start it all. Buffy and Willow could Teleport to Devon and make the call; then have the slayers gather or call in and then have the fly boys pick them up.
Jack and the others had had some time to come to grips with the situation; but it was still hard to swallow.
Sam of course was having the most difficulty dealing with it all; especially magic.
“Magic is JUST not POSSIBLE.”
Graham smirked. Sam Finn sighed. Riley shook his head.
“Colonel, it exists. Get used to it.”
Graham had a thought. “Wasn’t Willow at one time working on some scientific formulas as regards magic?”
Riley nodded. “Yeah she was. She was trying to see if it followed any laws and the like; which makes sense.”
Carter perked up at this. “Who is Willow?”
Graham could not resist. “A witch.”
Riley had mercy on her. “She is also a really big brain. True computer nerd; very much into science. If anyone could explain Magic in a scientific way she could.”
Carter very much wanted to speak to her.
Riley looked at the old Hotel. Did not look that bad; of course it was starting to get dark so maybe that helped; looked kind of dark and brooding. Perfect place for Angel, he smirked inside.
Dawn was waiting and squealed when she saw Riley and gave him a hug.
“Good to see you Riley. Come on, Buffy and the others are waiting.”
Carter immediately gave Janet a hug as they entered the room.
Janet hugged her back and then looked at the others.
“Hope it was not too bad.”
Jack shrugged. “Nah. Just weird; even for us.”
They all settled down and Buffy looked at Riley.
“You do the explainy?”
He nodded. “They got pretty much the whole story up until the last few days. Which sounds like some big changes happened.”
She nodded. “We called all of the Slayers. All of the potentials 14-18 are now Slayers.”
Riley, Sam and Graham looked dumbfounded. The SG people blinked. Carter recovered first.
“Around 400 we believe.”
Daniel was fascinated. “But how was Cassie called? Her people have been off earth for thousands of years.”
Giles started to polish his glasses. “We believe she was only called because she was a potential of the correct age and she was here on Earth at the time. We think, but do not know for certain, that no one off of Earth was called.”
Buffy was very hard on this. “But we will find out. We have a duty to everyone that was called no matter where.”
Jack did not need a diagram to see what was coming. “You will want to use the Star Gate to find out?”
Giles nodded. “It is our Duty.”
Willow chirped. “We think there is a minimum number of people to generate a Slayer or Potential. 1 in 12 million is what the Ratio is here on Earth; I doubt that would change anywhere else.”
Carter nodded. “There are only a few planets with anywhere near that population that we know of. However we do know some that could tell us for sure.”
Willow nodded. “The Tok’ra.”
General Hammond sighed and looked at Janet but before he could say anything Buffy jumped in.
“I let her know she could tell us anything that mattered to what we needed to know; I made sure that she knew that this would come from the President if necessary.”
Riley nodded. “Buffy, the president made it clear that full cooperation was not an option; it was an order.”
“Good. We will need to borrow the Air Force anyway to pick up the slayers here on Earth.”
There was some argument on that but Buffy just rolled right over it.
“They are out there and do not know what they are; but the Demons and Vampires can sense them. We need to get to them as quick as possible.”
Giles was very quiet. “To be frank, it is possible that some might have already fallen to Vampires already.”
That shut up the protests.
An hour Later Willow teleported Buffy to Devon; while General Hammond started to make phone calls. General Landry had decided that he needed to get back to the Star Gate command and see to things there.
At Carters request, Willow had stayed behind to talk to her about magic. Buffy had wanted Willow to come along but bowed to Janet’s request to make her friend more comfortable with magic. It did not take Willow and Carter long to descend deep into geek speak, as Jack put it. He was pulled along to watch the Slayers work out; while Daniel and Giles began to geek speak as well. Janet talked to Graham, Riley and Sam Finn about what the initiative had been like; she also wanted to talk to them about Buffy.
In a separate room she quietly mentioned what Buffy had said had happened in the last weeks. Riley was very pensive.
“That is hard to believe; they have been close for so long. But then I left before she died the second time.”
That got Janet’s attention.
“The second time?”
“She was drowned by a Master Vampire but her friend Xander gave her CPR; it was just long enough to call a second Slayer. But 3 years ago just after I left the group she ran into a Hell God.”
“A Hell God?”
“Glorificus was the name of that Bitch. She tried to drop the dimensional barriers and Buffy died stopping her.”
Janet was quiet. “They do not have Sarcophagus’s do they?”
Riley very quietly shook his head. “Buffy was dead and buried in her grave for over two months when Willow pulled her out of Heaven. She woke up in her coffin and had to dig her own way out. I don’t think she has ever really gotten over it.”
Janet shuddered. “Who possibly could get over that? How in the world has she kept her sanity?”
Riley sighed. “It was very bad. I only got part of the story not too long ago. Still do not have it all.”
Janet sat there and thought. “PTSD for certain; yet she seems incredibly able to still function.”
“Buffy is the strongest person I have ever met; or ever expect to.”
Dawn had been hoping to get them together to speak to Buffy; she felt this needed to get done. But things kept happening to postpone it. She was very worried about that; the longer things festered the worse it would be. Xander was very withdrawn and she worried about him as well.
Buffy centered herself as the First among Equals of the Coven directed her. They had decided to have a gathering spot among the major cities; and to give out a phone number for them to call as well. This would be a mess anyway you looked at it, but there was little choice. She had asked if they could teleport the Slayers to the Coven; but the First had shook her head.
“The Slayers are of a type of mystical magic that we can do very little with. It would take time to craft the necessary spells.”
“You all remember me; my name is Buffy Summers. Remember this phone number; call it if you can; if not I am in Los Angeles, California. Make your way to the nearest big city. We will try and find you and explain everything. Remember you are in danger; those of evil will try and destroy you.”
Those unable to call they would locate and Willow would teleport in; and then they would call the Air Force to fetch them. They all knew this was going to take time; they could only pray that not too many would be lost.
The President once informed of the situation had given the rescue of the Slayers top priority. Nothing else would override it. He had also been able to speak to the British PM; who had just been clued into the Slayer situation due to the bombing in London. The Brits had a lot of contacts all over the world and would be helping as well.
Giles was most worried about those in the countries that worked to keep women down; the Muslin countries and others of a culture used to that way. But he realized that it was all that they could do.
In the Hyperion Giles had quickly collected as many people as possible that spoke other languages; Daniel Jackson had been roped in as well. His gift for languages loomed large. A bank of Phones had been set up. Within Minutes of Buffy’s message they began to ring.
Jack O’Neill had left the training room very introspective; watching those young girls do the things they did made a very deep impression. Part of him was horrified at what they had had to do; yet he could see that there had been very little choice. He had always hated the thought of Child Soldiers.
General Hammond had found himself willy nilly the go to man as regards the transport of the Slayers. The US Air Force had aircraft all over the world; and he had been empowered by the President to call on all of the services. Carriers near certain countries would be of use as well. A massive operation began to move.
The Coven teleported Buffy back as soon as she was done; promising that they would take care of any in England. She popped back into the empty room they kept closed up just for that purpose and for a minute just stood there, thinking.
Every Slayer in the Hyperion knew when Buffy was back; Dawn was talking to Amanda who had just been released by the Hospital; she was still on bed rest but was already itching to get back to Slaying. It had been very close though, and Dawn made it clear that she was going to be resting still. She had gotten close to Amanda over the months in Sunnydale and was very guiltily aware that she was happy that Amanda was here while so many of the other potentials she had known were dead in the sinkhole over the closed Hellmouth.
Amanda stopped talking and zoned out; then smiled. “Buffy is back.”
Dawn quickly headed down the hall to the room they kept just for return teleports when Willow was not going along.
She knocked on the door to Xander’s room.
He slowly opened the door and Dawn looked at him closely; at least he did not look as bad as he had before. She pulled him along.
She saw Willow walking down the hall with Colonel Carter; the colonel seemed animated as they were talking a mile a minute; Xander managed a small smile.
“Willow found another geek?”
Dawn nodded. She went up to them. “Colonel, need to Borrow Willow here for a minute.”
Sam nodded. She needed to think about some things; what Willow had told her had helped but she still needed to think on it.
Willow found herself being pulled down the hall. To the teleport room. Dawn opened the door to see Buffy just standing there; clearly thinking.
Buffy looked at her sister and her two oldest friends.
“What’s up guys?”
Now that the moment was at hand Dawn did not know what to say.
Surprisingly it was Xander who made the first move.
“Buff. I am so sorry for the way I have treated you over the years. It was not right. And there is no excuse.”
Willow had tears in her eyes. “Same here. I will never be able to forgive myself for pulling you out of heaven. That is what got the First going; this is all my fault.”
Dawn managed to speak. “You died for me. Why I don’t know; not like I was worth it. I sure proved that recently.”
Buffy was silent for a moment. Then slowly shook her head.
“It hurt a lot guys. On top of all the pain over the years. I do not know if we can ever get back what we had. But I hope we can. I want to try.”
Dawn through herself into her sisters arms and then it was a mass hug. Many tears were shed. Finally Buffy extricated herself.
She took a deep breath. “This is a start. But we have a long way to go; there is a lot we need to talk about. And right now we do not have the time. But the first chance we do, we need to all set down and get it all out; everything that has been building up since I first met you two. And Dawnie, since the Initiative since that was when you first were really here.”
Giles had roped in all the Slayers, the three Initiative Officers and even Andrew on the phones; as well as Cordelia, Gunn, Fred and Wesley. None of the lines were open for long. Janet stood back and watched and shook her head as Jack came into the room.
“All over the world; from every culture.”
Jack nodded. For once no wisecracks. She noticed that and cocked her head. He sighed.
“Just watched a couple of 16 year olds beating on each other that would have made any Seal Team green with envy. And thinking about what they have already faced and what they will face in the years ahead.”
“I hate the thought of Cassie doing this.”
“At least she has a choice on whether or not to fight.”
Janet sighed and looked at her friend. “Jack, you know very well that Cassie has been trying to find a way to fit in ever since I adopted her; there is no way she is not going to do this; she already has a bond with the other Slayers that no friendship outside of it can come close to.”
He found himself for once with nothing to say.
All over the world US Air Force transports; Army Air planes; Navy transports; Marine Transports; in some areas Royal Air Force transports; some helicopters off of US Navy carriers began to retrieve their precious cargo.
Within a day they had over 200 heading towards LA. There were of course some problems of the immigration and custom kind getting them out of some countries; but the President had made it very clear that none of that would happen in the US.
Buffy looked at Cordelia. “How many rooms have you here?”
She looked thoughtful. “Never really counted them.”
Andrew piped up. “There are 400 rooms; but probably only half of them are ready for anyone to stay in them.”
Buffy nodded and looked at him. “Drop the phones; get on this. We will be having slayers here real soon. If one or two of them want to room together that is fine; but we will not force any to. They are going to have a huge adjustment to make; they will need time alone to think and figure things out.”
After 8 hours the calls began to dwindle. Over 300 had made contact. Buffy brooded on those that had not. She looked at Giles.
“Buffy, some of them probably do not have access to phones. Some of them are probably already moving to the cities you mentioned. Hopefully they will call when they get there.”
“What about those that cannot call or do not know how?”
“Let us wait a day or two; then you can make another message. We will look at the locator map again and see who is left and where they are. This is not going to end anytime soon; you must realize that.”
Before the calls began to peter out, Slayers began to arrive. Some in the US were near enough to be picked up right away; some made it on their own.
Willow organized a registration table in the lobby. She made sure that at least two Slayers were on duty at all times.
Andrew had dashed around and ordered furniture and sheets and pillows and the like for the rooms; then had had a thought and talked to Dawn.
“What about clothes, shampoo, deodorant… “then he got a little red and stopped.
Dawn smirked. “Tampax and midol and…” and he put his hands over his ears.
She nodded. “I will get a couple of the Mini’s on it. Good thinking though.”
Sam Finn stood in the lobby watching the first of the Slayers arrive. Riley turned off his cell phone.
“The first Air Force Transport just landed at LAX. There are a dozen there from the East coast. We will be having planes arriving steadily for the next few days at least.”
Graham nodded. “Already have people ready to pick them up and bring them right here. Using just the LA police right now.”
Sam nodded. “Good idea. We need to keep the federal types out of this as much as possible. The Air force crews are ordered to escort them in so there will be no messing around with customs or immigration.”
Riley shook his head. “I just know we are going to have trouble with some of those anal types.”
Graham smirked. “Buffy was hard core; she said any of them that give the slayers any hard times at all are to be arrested and tossed in the LA county drunk tank until it is all over. I heard her tell the LAX Security chief that.”
San shook her head. Then grinned. “Wouldn’t mind watching that.”
“What are you doing; I was doing my job and now I am under arrest!”
“You were told not to bother these people and you still stuck your nose in. So now you are being placed where you cannot do that anymore. No one to blame but yourself. Now get in this police car before I bend this baton over your head.”
Officer Jenkins of the LA Airport police had never liked the customs guys anyway.
Slowly over the next two days the Hyperion began to fill up; displaced young girls and women from all over the world; some partially in shock at being taken from all they knew; yet once there and in the company of those they suddenly realized were their sisters things just seemed right. Those that spoke the same language began to gather together. Jet lag impacted anyone including Slayers so they spent time sleeping it off; but Slayers of course bounced back faster; so usually they were only asleep 4-6 hours.
Buffy blinked and looked at Giles. “Is it just me or are things going a lot better than we had a right to expect?”
He nodded. “They are. So far we do not have any word of any lost to demons and vampires; which is amazing.”
Buffy sighed. “But then again maybe we never will know if we lost any.”
They walked into the conference room where Willow and The rest had gathered here on the evening of the second day of the great Slayer retreat. Buffy closed the door and had just headed towards the end of the table when with a pop Whistler showed up. Buffy was on him like stink on a skunk and had him plastered against the wall with his feet dangling.
“Whistler, you better have good news or I am going to rip out your ribcage and use it as a hat; or better yet make a couple of Whistler Skin boots.”
Whistler groaned; he ought to get combat pay every time he came near her.
“Good news this time. Really.”
Glaring at him she slowly let him down and backed up a step; then pulled out a large knife and began to clean her fingernails, smiling very scarily.
Janet and the rest of the SG group observed this. Daniel turned to Jack.
“She reminds me of someone.”
Carter smirked. “Jack every time he sees the Tok’ra?”
Jack looked offended. “I have never held any of them up against a wall and had them dangling.”
Janet grinned. “Because you couldn’t does not mean you did not want to; and I do recall a couple of inventive threats.”
Whistler straightened himself out.
“The Powers decided that since you did so well you ought to get some breathing space. The Cleveland Hellmouth will not be as active as Sunnydale was; but it will heat up. Just not right away. At the moment all the Slayers not here have a protective shield around them so that no vampire or demon can sense them. You have a week to get them all. As regards the humans off of earth, that is up in the air right now.”
Buffy growled; a very frightening sound; and she began to advance on Whistler again.
He held up his hands. “The Powers only have sovereignty over Earth. Outside of Earth it is pretty much the wild wild west. Though there are no hellmouths on any other planets. No slayers will be called because of that; but there are potentials out there. If you want you can go there and call them; they would only be called on that planet.”
Giles was suspicious. “And if they are called?”
“Then the line will continue there. When one dies another will take her place.”
They all contemplated that. Willow then thought of something else.
“More Slayers will be called here then?”
Whistler nodded. “Only now they will get their powers on their 14th birthday from this day forward.”
Buffy sighed. “This is permanent; every potential gets called on her 14th birthday.”
He nodded. “You changed the game, Slayer. The rules are permanent whenever they are changed until someone changes them again.”
Giles thought of something else. “What about the First?”
“He is badly weakened; he has been working the past 1000 years building up and he lost it all when you closed the Hellmouth. Not much he will be able to do for a very long time.”
Then he popped out before Buffy could get near him again. She sighed.
“Oh, well, it could have been worse.”
Jack was curious. “That was a messenger from these Powers That Be that you talked about?”
Giles nodded. “This time they were unusually helpful.”
Xander snarked. “First time they were ever this much help.”
Willow thought about that. “Something else is coming.”
Buffy agreed. “They wanted to make sure we got all the Slayers here safe and sound. They have a reason, no doubt of that.”
Dawn shook her head. “But what is it? He said Cleveland would not be as bad as Sunnydale and it would take a while to heat up anyway. The First is out of it for a long time. That just leaves our common variety vamps and demons; and with 400 slayers that is not going to be a problem in a few years.”
Giles shook his head. “The Pergamum Codex will rewrite itself; but I do not see what threat there is that we would have to worry about. And that is not good.”
Willow summed it up. “There is another war coming.”
The SG crew looked at each other. Jack slowly closed his eyes and Daniel slowly nodded. Buffy saw this out of the corner of her eye and glared at them.
“You guys either know something or suspect something. Spill.”
Daniel took a deep breath. “From what you have said these Powers have never been this much help, right?”
“They do not do things just because you guys did well.”
Buffy snorted as did Angel and the rest of his people.
“I am willing to bet that Cassie being called and everything that went with it was manipulated.”
Giles was silent for a moment. “From what we can tell the Powers have very little sway over how Slayers are called. You are a potential at birth; nothing can change that.”
Jack was thinking hard. “But I heard someone mention that they give a nudge here and a wink there and that sort of thing.”
Angel nodded. “That is what we have seen.”
“The only way you would have gotten all the slayers here unharmed is with our help.”
Giles nodded. “That seems clear.”
Buffy sighed. “Your war.”
Jack slowly nodded. “That is what I think.”
Willow and the rest slowly nodded as well; it made too much sense.
Riley and the others looked at each other and agreed. He looked at his wife.
“With all these slayers going all over the world, it won’t be long before we are out of a job.”
Graham sighed. “I do not feel like going back into the regulars; even SOCOM. I have been spoiled by not having to follow all the chickenshit you have to put up with.”
Riley grimaced as he realized it would be very hard to work with his wife in the regular military; fraternization and nepotism regulations being what they were.
Buffy had listened to that; then began to smile. Jack noticed it and raised an eyebrow at her.
“Maybe I have only known you a couple of days but already I can smell the wood burning.”
She smirked. Then cocked her eye at him. “Because you are in the Air Force you and Sam cannot bump uglies.”
Carter got very red; Jack sputtered; Janet, Daniel and Cassie burst out laughing.
Buffy took a deep breath and looked at Major Davis. “I can pretty much write things up the way I want to.”
He slowly nodded. “With presidential support and a little guardhouse lawyering, pretty much so.”
At this point everyone in the room was watching this with great interest.
Willow got it first. “Buffy that is so sneaky. I am so proud of you.”
General Hammond looked over the proposal. Then looked at Buffy Summers who sat there as if butter would not melt in her mouth.
“You will be trampling over a considerable number of UCMJ regulations regarding the military.”
He sat back and thought about it. He was due to leave for Washington the next day; it had been a week since everything had gotten strange; even for the Star Gate Program. Now she had just dropped another hand grenade into the cauldron; then he looked at the proposal again and reevaluated that. More like a tactical Nuke.
“There will be considerable resistance to this from the Military commands.”
“Not my problem. The President signs off on it and that is that. Sort of comes with the Commander in Chief, right?”
“It is not quite that simple.”
“Yes it is. This is going to be something so far out there that normal military regulations and the like are useless and could cause problems. IF necessary I will go the route of making the Slayers and all that work with them part of a foreign nation agreement. That way your Umwhatever has nothing to say about it. Does not matter to me.”
Giles who was sitting next to Buffy had to admit he was very impressed. So far she had only mangled one part; and he knew that had been deliberate. He wondered how much of the mangling she had done over the years had been real and how much had been her having fun at his expense. He had a hunch it was a lot more than he had ever suspected. And right now she was maneuvering very well indeed. He wondered if he had fallen into the same trap so many others had of underestimating just how smart she really was.
General Hammond was pensive. He had wanted to find a way for Jack and Sam to be together for years; but there never really had been a chance; certainly not while Kinsey and the NID were around. Both were gone now; but it still would be very hard. Here was this young woman delivering the solution virtually on a silver plate. And she had a point; too many rules and regulations that had no bearing on reality caused enough trouble as it was. Slowly he nodded and was almost blinded by her smile.
Giles shook his head.
Riley was listening to Sam as she went over it.
“It will take at most 6 months to train the Slayers. Then they will be set up in 10-20 Slayer teams. And they will start to hunt all over the world. In two years, and that might be optimistic but somehow I do not think so, there will be only scattered demons and vamps that are dangerous and hostile left on this planet. Then they will be out of a job.”
Willow nodded. “That is what I am figuring; there really are not that many places on the planet that have a lot of Vamps and demons that like to snack on humans. We will wipe out the major concentrations in the first year; then after that it will be hunting down those hiding. Certainly after the first year we will be in the situation of having a lot more slayers than we will need.”
Jack took over from there. “As they are released from that duty, we start training them up on the Star Gate and the weapons and tactics needed there. One slayer can take on half a dozen Jaffa easily once she is fully trained. With their huge edge in speed, quickness and strength the Jaffa will really be up the creek.”
Carter looked thoughtful. “With our fleet of F-302’s to start building this year; and the next model of the Prometheus Class building as well, we will not be as dependent on the Star Gate. We can start hitting the Gou’ald like they have been hitting their targets over the centuries.”
Jack nodded. “As slow as they have shown themselves at adapting to changes, most of the system lords will be heads on the wall before any of them can figure out how to respond.”
Daniel was pensive. “How long before that war is done then?”
Jack shrugged. “Five to ten years.”
Daniel looked at the others. “Then who will we have to send the Slayers after?”
That struck them and they blinked. And looked worried.
Deep in the galaxy something stirred.