The Scooby Gang
Book 2: Traveling the What
Disclaimer: I have no property rights to any published or copyrighted material that is reserved to those that make money from ideas which I do not.
Summery: The gang must pull together to face new challenges in their new environment. How will they deal with it? Where the Hell – are they, and is that literal?
Sequel to 'The Scooby Gang Book 1'
Multi-Ships: m/f/f/f/f f/f/f f/f m/f
Crossovers: Harry Potter, Stargate, Honor Harrington, Highlander, and Terminator
Previously on: The Scooby Gang Books 1
The Powers That Be have had their plans to control, murder, and finding allies to fight the Scoobies thrashed for the last six months, ever since January of 1998 things have spiraled into darker and darker waters.
The plan to have Angel loose his soul to Buffy birthday romp was waylaid and Janna's Gypsy Clan were able to add another layer of the curse which triggers the heart to beat with life whenever it wanes or weakens rather than releasing the soul.
Xander ensured Angel was safe after Buffy's slayer portents concerning his possible demise, for Buffy's sake, and in the process starts to unite with him against the adversity and eventually trusts him enough to put him 'under' vampire hypnosis to verify Dawn's former status as 'ignored' was natural or unnatural.
Dawn's ignored status until now was due to the Powers' plans and a temporally placed key in human form.
Cordelia and Willow explore their new 'friendship' and talk about how they feel about Xander. The decision is made to share him and entice him into an open relationship to avoid the hurt that both feel the potential for in Xander and it allows them to realize their own sexual tension. Dawn and then Kendra are absorbed by the two's open sexually and Xander.
All is for naught with Powers' plans, they send bigbads after them in quick secession; things that were planed for slow confrontations over the next years were tossed into the melting pot and the Scoobies defeated them all but were still unable to anticipate their murder of Joyce.
Xander's talents surface as a runic master and possible fire mage, not to mention he has a blood connection to the Kalderash. An errant wish and a rebellious Demon Lord of Justice allow for Anyanka to download ten thousand years of runic knowledge into his head. Cordelia has a small magical core and a runic talent but is less focused on runes than Xander. Willow's a magical powerhouse and barely has any ability with runes at all. Dawn's magic is different and vast.
With Angel's killing of Glory, a hell goddess, the group decides to step up the timetable and set the wards, 'now' to ensure they don't somehow send Angel into a coma.
CHAPTER 1: Lost in This
Outside the wards was an environment without a visible horizon outside the offing of the edge of the wards. The 'sky' seems to be made up of yellow or gold with red blotches or red with yellow blotches depending on how focused your eyes were when looking. Off in the distance was the only 'landmark' in the entire setting outside the wards and looking closer they could make out some kind of string-like thing. It was vertical with the house but that wasn't exactly saying much. The string stretched upwards all the way, that is to say that it went on until it was at least out of sight and it did the same below the offing of the wards.
After the almost silent purview of the situation Buffy voices a worry, "Are we in some kind of Hell because there's like – no sun?"
She couldn't help but wonder, academically, where the light they were seeing with was emanating from.
Allan voices an answer for her, "I don't know, but we seem to be floating in this yellow and red glowing ocean so…"
His wife Harriet looks around and frowns. "Look really close towards the edge, where the dirt ends." They did and she frowns more severely, "The edge is almost, it's like we're inside a bubble."
Janna nods, "The wards did this but I'm unsure as to why."
"That's the wards?" Harriet asked, pointing to the edge of the dirt.
Janna looked and nodded silently.
With the thought of being stuck anywhere, Frank Doyle almost groans, "So we are stuck here?"
Giles gives the group a nod, "It would seem we are. I too am curious about why the wards brought us here as warding and translocation are two separate bits of magic."
"Actually" Xander spoke up, "They aren't that different and I can think of two or three reasons for the wards would move us off the top of my head."
They all turned to Xander.
Giles, curious about what he missed, voices the question on all of their minds, "What is it Xander?"
The others might have looked to the Watcher or Janna even for answers but he'd already admitted to not knowing and here Xander was with a semblance of understanding if not a small amount of confidence in that understanding. With Giles asking it was all they needed and all their eyes were on Xander at that moment.
With all their eyes on him, Xander couldn't help but hesitate for at least a moment, "Well… if while we were casting that last bit of the wards, the world was in the process of falling into a hell, I'd think it would be enough of a push to remove us from the rest of the world or realm as the case may be."
Xander held up a hand to stall any of their commentary, "Just an example another one however is that our goal for wards was to remove us from the Powers' influence, to separate us from it." He shrugs and gestures at the yellow and gold colored 'sky'.
They were all silent at that digesting what he was saying.
Xander added credence to his second hypothesis, "I'm fairly sure everyone casting had that in mind when they cast and we all learned that the intent or caster's will often is the major source of influence when casting any type of magic."
Several people nod, they could follow that understanding.
Xander continues, "So, what if the PTB's influence in that realm was world wide? What if the influenced was much stronger than the wards could defend against while staying in the same location, err, a realm? That being the case the wards needed to act in a way to allow us to escape the PTB's influence thus…" he gestures around again.
He couldn't quite decide if it there was more yellowish gold or more red. He wanted to say red but he just could decide. For those that knew him, Xander wasn't just silent because he was finished, he was silent because he couldn't believe he'd used the word 'thus'. He made a mental note to read a few more comic books before any type of research just to balance out the literary excellence.
Janet Doyle spoke up, "You said 'three.' What's the third possibility?"
Janet thinks as she listens to him start to answer her question, 'The gifted young man has an understanding that belies his age.'
"It might have been a combination of those factors as well as in addition to any of the unseen factors we aren't aware of yet." It was a general 'this, that, a combination of it or something else entirely' explanation that needed no further elaboration. "My main concern right now is that without being… on Earth, in Earth's realm, or whatever…" he growled at not having a for sure understanding of 'where' they were. "What we do have in the way of air, oxygen, H2O? Because with that…" he gestures at the sky and needn't finish his verbalization of worry.
With the silenced deafening, he took charge as it was obvious that nobody else was, "I'm going to start working to increasing the Oxygen levels and reduce the carbon in the air. Then we need to go over our food supplies. After that, I'd like to go over the runes used on the ward-schema with Giles, Miss C, and our casters, just to make sure I didn't make a simple mistake before we search for a way back home."
Frank Doyle gives the boy a look over, the young man had a sound mind and was a much better thinker on his feet than he'd expected. He was more apt to think things thru then most of his employees, or former employees as it were as he wasn't about to hold his breath pun intended concerning their ability to return to the messed up world they'd lived in.
Frank nods, "While you're handling the air, Janet and I will start in on the kitchen."
Harriet smiles at her cousin in-law and volunteers, "Allen and I will survey the grounds." She gestured around at the 'outside' of LeVelle Manor. "There might be some deviations in the yellow space outside the wards."
Giles smiles and gives the others a nod before he too volunteers his time, "I will go over the books and the spells with the girls and Janna. We might be able to spot out something that we've previously missed. We might perhaps see if Glory's visit caused some deviations from the ascribed instructions."
"Research!" chirped in Willow. "We can work on trying to find out what that actually is! We do have all of Giles' books here."
Angel and Buffy helped with research but mostly Angel was holding Buffy and visa versa, they were distracting themselves from the situation and the books. Cordy and Dawn spent most of the time with Janna and Giles. Cordy because she knew the runes well and could coordinate what they did to what part of the spell was affecting them. Dawn because she thought perhaps her talent could be of use.
It was dinner time and Xander addresses the others of the group, "The air ain't a problem anymore. It was still mostly level, would've lasted a good few months without the runes I put up before we started to pass out and such."
Willow was next, her voice depressed, "The books have nothing about what's out there." She growled, really wishing she could go online to check.
Jenna smiled at the kinship she felt for Willow's emotional state.
Giles glances at Xander, "You were right about the reasons for our translocation. Dawn is fairly sure that her talent—"
At the curious looks from others, Dawn shrunk a bit. She'd not really shared about her special talent, and it was unpredictable.
Giles continued softly, his gentle voice carrying without any anger or reproach, "Dawn is fairly sure that her talent had an impact on the casting and guessing… we believe we might be in the in-between, the places that separates earthen or earthly realms."
Dawn whines; she couldn't help it, "I didn't know this would happen!" With that out of the way she started to imitate Willow's trademark babble, "I've never changed realms like that, I mean the most I did is collect a few things from TV shows
. I had no idea making fake things real would have this impact."
The others at the table nod at the distraught girl; it really didn't make any logical sense to them either. Giles sighs, the Watcher couldn't find it in his heart to issue Dawn any form of recrimination or reprimand and this was why; she was doing more than he could ever do with self effacing guilt.
Firmly Xander spoke up, but mostly it was directed at Dawn, "This isn't anyone's fault. If you want to blame someone, then blame the damned PTBs who were so hell bent on controlling and or killing us."
Dawn nods and sniffles.
Giles was in full agreement, getting back on track he reiterates what Nancy's parents, Janet and Frank, had shared with him, "We have enough food to last a few months."
Giles had already conferred with Cordelia concerning this information. "I have to tell you however that the idea to put runes on the containers of food was a wonderful use of the runic talent."
He was looking at Cordelia who blushes furiously. She didn't do many rune projects and she'd not told anyone what she'd done after Xander had shown her how to draw a particular rune set during their training, but she had made a really good use of it.
Confused Buffy asks her Watcher, "Months?"
He nods, "Yes, it seems the flower, oil, and a number of other cooking materials have what is labeled on the Pantry Inventory to be 'ever full'
Frank had been the one to put together the inventory and Janet was a wiz at helping him make sure everything was properly in their place to keep it organized.
Cordelia's grin of enjoyment showed thru as she tells them, "They're really neat, the first time I used the rune was on my shampoo. It's rather expensive and only available in LA. The bottle only has two, or at the most three, washes in it before there just isn't enough in it left to clean a buzz of hair." She was smirking at Willow now.
With a husky smile Willow growls, "The smell's rather lovely."
Xander wasn't sure if the smell of the shampoo in a buzz
of hair or Cordelia's hair was what smelt lovely and wasn't going to ask. Most would have taken the buzz to mean a military like hair cut but he supposed it could mean pubic hair.
Frank and Janet blink in surprise at the sexual overture. The promiscuous effect they had expected the casters to feel after the warding was long forgotten. The new environment had shocked them and now this was coming at them from the side.
Cordelia continues with a sexual glance or two at the others, mostly at Willow and Xander. "It was about fifty or so uses before it just no longer smelt like it should. I had Willow test a bottle of acid. She'd have to tell you what the details are but it took about two hundred half drains of the acid before it looses its bite." The word bite had a leer to it.
"Yes" Giles said and smiles slightly flustered at the innuendo but doing well to cover his flustering up. "That will most defiantly help. I had not realized you had taken it upon yourself to do that to the groceries." He smirked just slightly.
She flushed and almost whines at the amount of work put into it, "I really wanted to do something and preparing to ward the house I needed to strengthen my magic."
Allen Doyle altered the subject just a bit, "That dark string-like things over yonder outside the wards seem to be getting closer."
Xander thought of it and frowns, turning to Angel and Buffy he thinks of their supernatural sight and asks openly, "Do we have a set of binoculars we could use?"
Buffy offers, "We'll check on it for now, if you can find a set. If not you might maybe MacGyver up some runes or something with that left over wood."
It wasn't that Buffy minded utilizing her ability to see further than others. It was that she knew, intimately, how frustrating it was to rely on interpretation of what was seen or heard when she felt she needed to know.
Seventeen people were housed in the manor. Giles and Janna, Buffy and Angel, the two married couples, and Amy and Michael, all shared their rooms which was good because the manor only held fifteen bedrooms. Xander and the four girls shared three bedrooms. It just wasn't feasible to shared one or two bedrooms, two might have been possible but tight with clothes and extras. That meant eight rooms were used and seven left available.
Xander was thankful for the size of the manor in that some of the unused rooms had extra things that they'd brought with them. They had preplanned to live there for a couple weeks after all. Not everything was brought in by Frank and Janet but quite a bit. Harriet and Allen had some of their things that would have been in storage until they found a house of their own if they'd not thought they might move into the manor.
Another reason to be thankful for the size of the manor was that it wasn't hooked up to the city sewer, or wasn't before they were here, instead it had its own buried septic.
It had been four days in the new 'yellow haze', they longer you looked at it the more yellow it was at times. It was almost as though your eyes adjusted and weeded out the red a bit. It had seemed longer than four days but Xander thought his watch worked fine so assumed it was only four days. It had been rush, rush, rush these last four days and he'd taken probably two or three naps not getting a proper nights sleep, of course the fact that there was no night sort of defeated the purpose of a proper night's sleep.
After fixing the air and dinner the next task had been water. Luck had it that the hot water heater was full which gave them some of the substance which needed to be sustained. Sustaining a substance was much easier than producing it.
There was now a huge bucket of cool water that was always full. They had a runic pump that took loads of work to pipe into the manor. The water heater had its own runes which he had to take the water heater apart to place the runes properly. All said and done Xander was quite pleased the job was over with.
The fact that the water tasted fresh, clean, and would hold no bacteria while in either the hot water heater or the bucket was bonus he didn't even bother to share. It took a bit longer to set up the hot water than he thought it would.
Ready to call it the end of the day he went to one of the rooms, Dawn was in there, "Any luck on finding out if we can get back home?" he asked Dawn as he sat beside her. She had been the most focused, the fact that she was the Key, they all were fairly sure on that, and her own spermatic talents, added to her desire to help and worry that she caused it.
"Oh Xander, I have no idea how close or far away I am. It seems every time I think I got a clue I mess it up." She was whining now.
"Come here." He said and kissed her.
She moaned and he lifted her up so she could spread her legs. She sat on him straight and ground her hips against his with need. That was the start of the sex, they'd actually held off that at first due to the fact that they were where they were, wherever the hell that was, pun intended.
Xander had to work fast when the second day had hit to ensure they had water, which wasn't quite as important as that first day's air. Today Dawn had known he was working on the water issue again. She rather enjoyed the resulting hot shower she'd taken not even thirty minutes prior to his arrival in the room.
Now it was time to show her appreciation for that hot shower. She pulled back a bit and reached down. He groaned as she relieved him of his pants and somehow his underwear as well.
She looked at him and her eyes said it all, she mutters as she lines him up, "I want you inside me, now!"
She shivered as she pushed down around him and rotated her hips moaning in pleasure.
"That's it Xander." She added with a whine. "Right there" she moaned as he slowed down and adjusted to hit her spot.
How he could remember the different spots on the different girls he would never understand but he was thankful he did. Dawn groaned as she had an orgasm.
Glaring at him she whines, "I was supposed to make you cum first!"
She pushed him back down and started to use her hips to slam down onto him before lifting off him as fast as she could. This served to turn her on faster as she knew it would but it also served to increase the heat and pleasure for her man.
Xander didn't mind and looked down enjoying the sight of Dawn shimmering up and down on him. He looked her in the eyes and kissed her; they both climaxed at the seal of the kiss.
The runes on the generator were enough to keep it in power and there wasn't much running off it. The refrigerator was on runes now as well as the water and lights.
"I think I know why I can't get back home." She informed the group. She glances at Xander. "You remember how you said we might be here because the entire world was influenced by the Powers?"
He nodded feeling nervous.
She tells them, "The wards' main intent, our intent when we made them, was to prevent the Powers' influence from gaining any influence inside the wards! If we were to go back, it would mean that we cede that much more influence to the Powers. I mean they could make a nuclear blast or an asteroid fall which I think could destroy us rather easily by simply killing everything around us off completely."
They all frowned.
"The thing is I think I could make a portal, a doorway to home, but it wouldn't be stable."
Giles curiously asks, "What do you mean stable?"
Dawn shrugs, "When I first found out magic was real it was because I had made something make-believe real. I think now that I know I'm this key thing the bitch was talking about, well I think I was pulling it from whatever universe it came from."
"That makes sense" Xander said and then snaps his fingers, "the Lightsaber."
She blushes, "I got it on Halloween when I found that I was missing the key component of my costume. I was upset and my power spiked, the Lightsaber literally fell into my hands."
Giles gapes at her, "Good lord!"
Dawn flushes and whines, "But the power is only there when it spikes. I have to get like way emotional and I don't know the first thing about making an actual portal."
Xander speaks up, "You'd need something to help stabilize your power into a constant flow. I'll put some runes and their meanings down and we'll try and arrange them in a way that could make use of your talent."
Dawn sighed and nodded.
Buffy perks up, "That will take some time. The string things are turning. Or maybe we're like orbiting them. I'm not sure. Any idea on what they are yet?"
"They're huge!" Allen announces, he'd been watching them with his wife and the other married Doyles. Neither Frank nor Janet had much to contribute in the mystical side of things so they stayed mostly listened and remained silent on those aspects. Once in a while they would have a spontaneous idea and when they did they'd shared, they just didn't want to interfere too much if they could help it.
After the other turned to them Allen with a glance to Harriet continues, "That gun thing Xander made for me shows that they are about half the distance from us as the Sun was from Earth." Harriet had been the one to know those numbers.
Xander sighs, "That brings me to something else. I think we might be able to affect the realm out there. We need some form of protrusion to do that."
They all blink but Giles voices their curiosity as he was apt to do instinctively, "You think we can move on our own accord?"
Xander nods. "I don't know if that thing is a demon or not but I think we should get a closer look."
"Agreed" Harriet said, "And if it's that big, I doubt it's a demon."
Dawn points, "Hey, look at the fourth one from the left."
They all looked.
Xander asks, "What are we looking for Dawn?"
She sent him a mental image and he widened his eyes and looked a bit higher to find what she was looking at.
"Found it." He said, "At about forty degrees from the deck."
They all found it.
Allen nods, "It branches off into to two similar stems."
His wife shook her head and shared, "That means that all of these might have come from a single one thing rather than been like weeds in a garden."
"You know that one next to it looks almost like it has pictures on part of it."
"It does?" several voiced the question.
"I think they all do. In fact" Xander shook his head, "Never mind that's just stupid."
"What?" was a united question, they all wanted to know, now.
Xander shrugs, "I was just thinking that they could be universes, like on Men in Black."
That didn't help, they still looked confused.
Suddenly Dawn gets it, "Like the galaxy on Orion's belt?"
Smiling he nods, "Yea, like that but instead of a galaxy, it's a galaxy in time."
He points down, south of their perception, "Way back to the beginning when there was only one."
Giles was confused, "Only one?"
"How often I thought of it. We think the demons were kicked out by humans, I've often thought of the Hellmouth and the Earth realm
" he said that last with emphases. "I usually completely skip over the thought of demons or aliens on other planets in the universe. I mean, what if the reason humans are on Earth was because the aliens came and conquered the demons and set us up as a colony? I've read about some of the demons, the old ones. I can't see how we beat several Judge level demons. I mean without chemistry and science, I know magic has its place but to use something like that and then downgrade? The runes I know now seemed to have much more than anything on Earth, or our Earth, right now. What if that's because they didn't come from Earth? For that matter are there demons on other worlds too?"
"I honestly don't know." Giles said, "But you do bring up and interesting point. Some demons are peaceful; others are actually non-sentient and useful, such as a Vigos'oz. It's a slime that produces a large amount of nitrogen in the soil but takes blood to do so." He stated. "It's one of the few things that are actually actively studied by the Council." He said bitterly.
"Giles, I was just saying that the Earth is not the center of the universe, but that is not to say it doesn't have an effect on the rest of the galaxy or the realm."
Still confused Giles asks, "And you think that those are universes, going back to one?"
"Yes," Xander nods, "one universe, and every time a major change occurs the energy is used to produce a twin that will work on her own as a separate realm, a twined realm. Those" he gestures to the stems, "I was thinking were pillars."
"I see" he said and actually thought of it. "You might be right after all if we are tossed between universes it might be that we are seeing exactly that."
"And we have no way of knowing which one is ours. Or how to navigate once we get into actual space and time rather then outside it." He wasn't actually thinking of being in space so much as space being in a normal or quasi normal environment rather then in between realms.
A sudden realization hit Giles, "Damn, I didn't even think of that; we might not actually be in a vacuum."
"One way to tell, I think I got a spare water balloon I'll put some air into it, very little of course and toss it out of the ward sphere."
Harriet said, "Good thinking Xander!"
He flushes before he responds, "Thanks ma'am."
He ducked his head and Harriet grins.
The test was successful. The balloon expanded quickly and popped.
Shocked at the realization Giles confirms, "These wards are keeping air inside them?"
"Yes and the dirt as well, it is eliminating completely the influence outside the wards that might be harmful or intentionally manipulative. A vacuum is defiantly harmful and changing the gravity inside the wards from what it was when the wards were cast would be manipulative." They all nod that made a strange twisted sense.
The next week was spent with Xander trying different methods of using wood and runes as a propulsion system. It was a very 'try and verify' method and it was working to a degree. They could not be sure they were moving that fast but they were getting closer to the stems.
With the kitchen organized the boredom was getting to Frank and Janet both. They'd had two fights, about little things and made up, loudly made up. The younger part of the family had been extremely eager to be alone at that time. Aura had found it funny and Nancy found it embarrassing to no end.
Dawn was finally finished with the wall. "I think I got the portal working" she gestures to the center of the naked wall, and flushes, "I'm just not sure where it goes."
"What do you mean?" Giles asked. "It goes someplace right?"
"What I mean is that the connection for the portal is there. I've tested the magic of it and the runes run clear. It goes to a calm place that is governed by the living, as in natural beings, but…" she paused, hesitating to put her thoughts into words.
"I feel something is off, like I'm holding thin stiff string and the other side… it's all over the place. Right now the location is set but I don't know how long it will stay that way."
Giles frowned just a bit before glancing out at the Stems and nodding, "I see, is it possible that…?" he gestures towards the Stems.
Not getting an answer he clarifies his question, "Could it be that we are moving around the phenomenon and that because our location is changing it is affecting the magic you are feeling overall?"
Not giving her a chance to answer right away he clarifies further, "I mean if that is as Xander suggests, it may be the portal is actually a string attaching to a section while you are actually holding it in place with magic and runes."
Dawn looked lost, she really didn't know. "I don't know" she whined, "I think Xander's idea about the Stems holds merit. But that's because I think it feels right somehow."
She glances at the Stems and nods, "I get that low down feeling when I look at that, like when I'm on patrol…" she ignored Giles blushing at her words.
"When Xander stakes a vampire I'd missed completely. That nagging 'I want to jump him' feeling is there when he talks about his ideas on that thing and that tells me he hit something I should have seen but missed."
He was very red now. Dawn was far too young for sex in his opinion, at least when she's talking about it. He's better now than he was a few months ago but it is a work in progress and he can't say she's not mature enough to handled it, nor would he begrudge the girl, not after the Powers fucked her over. Just thinking about it brought Ripper that much more to the surface.
"I see." He managed out now sure what else he could tell her.
She realized she'd been talking about sex and sighed changing the subject a bit away from the sex talk. "Xander said he'd work on a probe to use for the portal. It would be some kind of remote viewing rune set. He's going to make it from some wood blocks but making them is going take time to inscribe and test."
Giles nods, "I do believe there is an abundance of bored residence that could use a bit of distraction, if he or you need any assistance."
Dawn grinned at that and Giles gulped at the grin, "Willow and Cordy seem to have found enough to do." Her voice was laden with innuendo.
Giles groans as he nods agreement. "They seem to have found a way to occupy their time without worry. At least they are now staying in your rooms while doing so." He added that last bit with a sardonic tone.
Dawn laughs and grins, "It is fun to join in when I enter the rooms but I could see how you might not want to." He looked both relieved and worried about what she was going to say next.
She picked up on his unease as she had planned her words carefully, "Why don't you go find Janna. I'm sure she'll appreciate the thought."
Giles fled post haste, there was no need to open up to more sexual innuendo with the young female that so enjoyed torturing him with it. Dawn giggled.
Xander's blocks took everyone a few hours to cut and sand before Xander took a few more hours to burn and empower the runes. While the others were cutting and sanding blocks that were generally the same size and shape Xander was working on the Null Boxes and viewers. He had seven each because he had a way to set up a basic seven signals without too much extra work.
As he burned the block to be one of seven options he put them into the null box designated for the viewer and went on to the next. Finally he was done and sighed.
"We're set!" Xander said with some excitement. "It's working, see." He pointed and then with exaggerated glee he rubs his hands together in a fashion that was that of mantic scientists about to do something terribly ill advised, he mutters with exaggerated glee, "Now, let's see what I can spy with my little eye."
The others all looked at him with different degrees of amusement. With Xander around entertainment was not often far off.
Ignoring their looks he told them, "The remote viewers here are like little wooden computer monitors, or receivers, only instead of a two dimensional aspects you'd normally see these will have radial three dimensional plots." He gestured and they all smiled and looked at the little room the display showed. It only showed the room square instead of circular because the walls were square.
"Now, anyone of you should be able to use this as it only requires a nugget of magic, of course more magic or more control of runes you have the easier time you'll have using the RVs."
"RVs?" asked Doyle, Allen Frances that is.
"Remote Viewers" Dawn said with a grin. She liked the name, it sounded like a special power.
Xander nodded with a waving gesture as though the name wasn't the import part. "The point is that the more affinity available to you the less frustration you'll have when you do specific or detailed tasks, or when you give instructions to the probes."
Willow asked him, "So because Cordy has slightly less affinity with runes than you it will be harder for her to do the same thing you do, and for the rest of us merely mortals it will be next to impossible for those self same tasks?"
"I believe so, it's the same thing with the collars we have so everyone has the potential to use it and with practice it will seem equal to what Cordy or I can do but have any of you noticed that when we send a message it seems almost instinctual where as the others here need to focus a bit more?"
"Enough" Cordy said. "Time to test this out with a out of sight observation" her tone was prim and proper as if she was a hostess or doctor, "Into the next room with it and get naked so we can watch." she shooed him out with a wide smile. He looked at her shocked and decided to do just that.
The Embarkation Observation Room, or EOR as it would soon be called, was cleared of most occupants within moments. Most didn't want to see Xander do a strip tease for his girls, of course that meant Buffy was leaving but she did move much slower and glanced over fondly a few more times than she would have a year ago.
"I take it the controls on the block work, as well as the scanning
capabilities?" Cordy flushed at Giles question.
Giles usually didn't use the technical jargon exactly correct but he had this time because he was teasing her.
"Um, I think so." She said then admitted, "We didn't get to test them all though."
Giles raises an eyebrow. "Distracted were you?" he asked
She flushes and nods with a smile on her face clearly telling him to quite while he was ahead or hear how they reacted to being distracted. "The question is Giles, if they'll work thru the portals."
He nods, "Yes, I can see that is indeed a question. We can but try. Is the portal is still open?"
"Yea" Dawn nodded, "We didn't know if it would take a monumental effort to make another and we don't have an unlimited supply of walls to use." She wasn't sure if they could use the same wall or if it would work the same way on a different wall.
"Than we should see if it does move, the portal I mean, and perhaps there is a way to anchor it or tell how long the portal will stay in on location."
"We could also see if there was a way to focus a burst of magic to open a portal from there to here without too much trouble as well."
Dawn nodded and scrunched up her nose.
"We'd need a focus crystal, something hard with enough resonance magically to pierce the divide."
"Like a diamond?"
"One step at a time; let us adjourn to the room and collect everyone for the first field test. I dare say that they are currently bored enough to watch you and the girls procreate from a distance."
Xander and Dawn both blush. Cordy beams with a pride and says, "That was excellent, Giles!"
The other two present looked at her astonished as Giles blushes.
"What?" Xander knew he was missing something. Giles had already turned to go collect everyone.
"He used sexual innuendo and didn't polish his glasses or turn tomato like." She said with a wide smile. "He's seeing us more as equals with" her next two words were said with a husky come hither tone, "dirty minds than wards and children."
"The first test" Xander said with a grin as Cordy flushed slightly, "Thru the portal." He added and she restrained her glare he would be suitably punished tonight.
"Send the box thru, would you Buffy? Give it a hard throw." Kendra grinned at the eagerness of the elder slayer. She had been sparing a bit more often lately to deal with the slayer edginess.
"Right Xander" she said and took the cube of runic construction and threw it hard at the center of the wall and thru the portal. Xander was on guard for it and as soon as the screen seemed to change he tapped the rune display.
"We have contact still. The area seems dark, faintly lit." He said and a three dimensional stage was shown for all to see.
Buffy points and asks, "Did it just come out of that archway thing?" it was nut a few feet away and floating. She almost whines, "Didn't I throw it hard enough?"
When she looked over at Xander and seen him smiling widely, while valiantly attempting to stifle his laughter. With one look Buffy had known she'd been used, nastily and dirty like. Her slayer strength was wound up and tossed aside.
Buffy narrowed her focused eyes on Xander, this meant one thing; Xander would suffer greatly. She would seek Dawn's help in ensuring she was able to tickle him thoroughly.
"Doing a gravitational scan of the area" Xander said and the screen shrunk as it showed the Earth and the Sun, colorless of course.
Distracted temporarily from her fantasy of retribution Buffy asks, "What's that mean?" she was pointing to the black and white images that seemed to be shrinking.
Xander nodded, "I think that the cube is at least on Earth." He said explaining what he was doing without explaining exactly what she pointed at, distractions could make him loose focus on his runic control.
Giles looked at the display with a critical eye; the image for gravity was black and white. He was sure he could make out the general shape of the ocean. "Could you enlarge it; I mean go back a bit on the scan, slow down so I can see the general area? I'd like to know where on Earth the probe is located."
Xander nodded but it took some extreme focus. The runes were set only the amount of magic pushed into them would give the controller control.
"How does it know when there is water or land on Earth?" Dawn asked.
Cordy is the one that answers. "It's a way to tell a substance by the gravity they emit."
Willow beams at her while Xander nods his agreement saying "Exactly, the frequency of the gravity dictates the mass, size and therefore density and with the density you can estimate the substance."
Dawn nods, that made sense. Of course he knew this because he'd designed the runes to show the practical interpretation.
Very curiously Dawn asks, "What is the limit of the scan?"
"It depends; the limit of that one is anything within the sphere of influence on the Sun's gravity; unless there's another gravity center that the Earth is victim to."
He glances at Willow for an answer.
Willow shrugs and offers up, "It might show us the entire universe. Can you zoom in on another area?"
Xander nods, "It would be extremely degraded if we were going on gravity alone." He told them all and showed them the moon, before it snapped back out to a larger viewing. "And it can't be set to watch without someone like me or Cordy at the controls on the Remote Viewer."
The same controls that controlled the movement of the probe or scout would when doing the gravity scan control the gravimetric scanning. There was only one rune to signify the gravity scanning ability and the rest of the controls that were for Zoom, Motion, and illumination intake were compatible for the scanning for gravity.
There are twelve motion runes that are strictly directional, well eleven as one rune was the all stop or twist and spin rune. Xander had used this rune to stop the scout's motion after Buffy threw it through the wall's portal. Lift, Drop, Aft, Stern, Port, and Starboard were the two general planes of movement but then there were runes to combine the to directions and give a better semblance of control to the operator at the Remote Viewer.
It was simple for runic talent to split focus by simple touch, Xander could do it easily, it was almost as though he was typing and just knew where the keys on the keyboard were which meant that those without talent were likely to be a bit slower but they could practice.
Everyone understood the nature of the controls and that Cordy would be up there with him on most things to do with runes.
With a fond smile that mixed pride and homesickness Giles stated, "It would seem that the geography is showing it to be in where London should be."
Xander tells them, "We'll send a second scout out in about twenty minutes. According to the scan it is currently night." He added that last.
Curious Giles asks, "Is there any way to see what season it is; or what year?"
Xander's response was bland, "I'm not up on astronomical or meteorological time." He didn't say it wasn't as a subtle hint that maybe someone else was. Nobody took it up and he shrugged.
"We'll just need to wait for the second scout and send one out to see if they can find some kind of calendar or something. That is if they end up in the same place."
Giles nodded and sat down beside Janna to watch the three dimensional display. It was almost as though this was more technological then magical, at least by appearance. He briefly wondered why anyone knowing this would not share it and let it grow or develop it and sell the products.