The Scooby Gang
The Scooby Gang - Book 4 Babylon 5
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 fourth book of the Scooby Gang. The group has found a ship in the yellow space; this leads them to a space station named Babylon 5, the last best hope for peace. How will the chaos that seems to thrive around Xander survive on Babylon 5, how will the manor reaction to space travel in normal space?
Sequel to 'The Scooby Gang Book 1, 2, & 3'
Multi-Ships: m/f/f/f/f f/f/f f/f m/f
Crossovers: Harry Potter, Stargate, Honor Harrington, Highlander, and Babylon 5
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.TSGB-TSGB-TSGBBook 2
With LeVelle Manor displaced to between the realms due to Dawn's Talent strengthening the wards they must secure their human needs which they do mostly by utilizing runes. The only land mark of between is a large "Stem" that seems to be almost plant like and turning or they're orbiting. Unable to get back home they attempt to connect by means of a portal and Dawn's blood. The wall first connects to the Archway in the Department of Mysteries inside the Ministry of Magic. They spy with runic magic and then make some friends with students of Hogwarts and a traveler sent thru the Vail in a battle at the department.
The making of the first Doorway they plant one in LeVelle Manor and one in Grimmauld Place (Doorway 1), the headquarters of the order of the phoenix. Dawn's blood may not have been needed but it supplied a firm extra kick just in case.
The portal shifts and the new world is a Goa'uld world and they rescue a Goa'uld victim of a sadist rapist. Egeria stays with them as part of their family and they rob the Goa'uld blind and do some damage before the portal shifts again leaving no way back to that realm.
The future world with antigun laws and advances methods of mater conversion is the second doorway (Doorway 2) to be set up. They set up an estate utilizing some of the technology Egeria pilfered from her world.
The Hogwarts kids are staying at the Manor and helping out. They start to explore their own relationships without the common limitation of monogamy, following Xander's example.
The next time the portal shifts it is to an ugly world, a machine world. They save and adopt a survivor named Eric Connors and seed a good portion of the area around the portal with blocks that dampen all electricity. They don't leave a doorway there.
The next shifting of the portal is to an Earth that is in the year 4002 AD and they explore a bit. They manage to use some of the technology the have from the other realms and eventually make it to the Star Kingdom of Manticore, the best choice they could find to offer any form of alliance with. They set the doorway for this realm on the ship they procure (Doorway 3).
The portal shifts again and a fairly normal and modern world but lacks any demons or aliens, or even immortals, as far as they can tell. However they find out that it has a Chappa'ai because Egeria can feel it when it is working. They set up a forth Doorway (Doorway 4) here.
The portal shifts again and they go to a world that they never left and it is two years later. They explore the differences at party for the Dawn that had not been born for three and half years after she was in their world. They set up a doorway here as well, (Doorway 5).
Through Doorway 1 Immortals are revealed to the group, the wizarding world ends their war with deatheaters, the new year at Hogwarts starts, and using the advanced technology from the Doorway 3 to help the immortals, Amanda and Duncan, produce offspring.
Technology is shared with Manticore and the group is on their way to an area that is sure to have Naquadah in it.
The party to celebrate Dawn's birthday, the younger one from the newest Door, they get sent way from the stem like large thing. Will the Doors still work? The portal is dead.
Dawnie's party continues, after the party Dawn checks over Cordelia from LA and they help repair the damage she thought was caused from the visions. Dawn shares with them what they suspect of the 'creature' and the visions as well as the power's interference with them.The Joyce
heads to the Yeltsin System which is a system that should be ripe with Naquadah.
Tara's birthday relief comes when Xander LeVelle shares that the wards won't let anyone hurt her and after seeing her mind that he doesn't believe she is actually a demon. Ted Maclay is no more and his two sons are eunuchs by fire.
Yeltsin System is in the Christmas Season. Contact is made after Naquadah is confirmed, Commander Hill with Orbital Four and then Steadholder Mayhew, Michael.
The slayers spend time in Sunnydale slaying and other stuff. Giles spends time with Giles; they seem to find the other's company quite refreshing and it allows them to catch up with the different parts of the two groups.
Doors are put on Grayson after Giles brings it up spontaneous thinking about it. VPs monitor a number of broad spectrum EG Scouts for the Yeltsin System but isn't very affective.
Xander grows closer to some of the men on Orbital Four, Tyler and his S-wives mostly. Nothing as open as anything he has with group from the manor, Sunnydale, or even Hogwarts but still a friendly association that he could think on fondly.
Hogwarts kids start to spend Hogsmeade weekends and such at the Manor for fun. They're board with Hogwarts a bit and learning new things as well as Ron missing Egeria much to her pleasure. The Animagus potion is brought up and tried everyone has a form, Xander LeVelle is a treecat, Harris is a panther, the Dawns are both a phoenix, Willow is a lynx, Cordelia is a lion, the Buffys are a wolf, the Angels share the bat form for their vampires sides and Buffy's Angel has a wolf as a secondary form while Cordelia's Angel has a hawk, the Giles share a Great Dane, Janna is a fox, Kendra is a coyote, Allen is a Chewelah, Harriet is a squirrel, Frank is a Doberman, Janet is a poodle, Michael is a Russian Blue, Amy is a Persian, Aura is a Black Beagle (beset hound dog), Nancy is a big red dog, Egeria is a griffin, Harry is a Falcon, Ginny is a falcon, Luna is a hawk, Hermione is a eagle, Ron is a lion, Susan is a porcupine, Duncan is a dog, Amanda is a raven, Anya is a ferret, Riley is a hedgehog, Joyce is a hippogriff, Tara is a snowy owl, Willow of Sunnydale is a black footed cat, and Cordelia of LA is an eagle.
Dates between the universes and times make for interesting issues when Frank is dealing with multiverse corporation management.
Xander treats the work on Orbital Four as more of a job and production achieves almost 80 % increase and 12 % better quality. He makes a load of money (Austins).
Manticore (Willard Neufsteiler) sends updates on LeVelle Industries of Manticore. (Feb 15).
Remus Marries Tonks (Dec 14) and is a silenced worry wart about it. Sirius Pranks him on his wedding night to loose his hair. Runic Paddles are introduced as a joke but take quite a spin in their exploration (sexually)
Molly is upset at the kids spending Christmas at LeVelle manor instead of the burrow and joins them some of the time there.
Xanders wax philosophy together.
Weekly pay outs from Orbital Product and such are changed to every other month. Grayson Planetary Security is at a quandary on how Xander gets to his Apartment without their knowing it.
Amanda and Duncan have a tubed fetus growing past the first trimester successfully and are very happy about it.
Giles goes on a booty call to Olivia in England, Willow and Anya make a mess with Olaf the former boy friend of Anya's and current troll. Tara and Harris tell them to handle their own arguments and leave to the manor to avoid it.
Giles asks Tara if she's going to ever tell the other girls she wishes to bed Xander and suggests a girls' night to discuss it.
Asgard show up with Replicators on the Chappa'ai world, SGC is discovered, approached, and given what they need to defeat the replicators.
High physics is briefly touched on with the SGC, the soul being the cause of the Entropy Cascade Failure as every cell would be slightly different with the exposure to different foods or chemicals and such.
Xander not wishing to get too involved with the SGC as he is already involved with Grayson and enjoying it; he gets Allen and Harriet to be there in an advisory capacity for now at least.
Asgard cloning issues are discovered and Dawn delivers all of the information they have on medical science in the library from both the Beowulf and Egeria's homeworld, thought Egeria's homeworld has very little.
Asgard agree to stretch the limits of the Treaty after their help and share the idea of cryogenic frozen prisoners of war.
Riley and Buffy take a break for a week before they are going at it as Friends with Benefits.
During the Hogwarts Apparition Class the former Horcrux Diadem is found when Hogwarts helps guide some students she likes to the room of requirement.
Watchers try to help with sharing about Glory.
Xander then Tara picks up on April the Robot.
Tara gets Anya and Willow onboard her Bedding Xander Plan
Advances made and magic compared to tech in both theory and practice.
SGC - A Jaffa seeks help as she's communing with her Primta and they provide a clone with internal security for the Tok'ra to monitor and help him. They kill him when he tries to kill the Jaffa for her insolence.
The Tok'ra's Arm Band study and Allen's idea helps them secure a mother ship and keep the Jaffa as Cryogenic prisoners. They now have an orbital base to house the stargate, labs, and such. This forms the EDC, Earth Defense Center, which has SGC as a sub section on it.
Jack and Sam get ill from after affects of the Arm Band Virus and are aging, Harriet and Allen are upset at the gullibility of them to believe the corrupt government about the 'destroyer of worlds' when it they learn about the Dargol Pesticide and her trying to help people.
Xander attends to SGC to help with checking Lynnea's memories and helping, he brings the Pensieve Cordy made. Lynnea was framed when she tried to help people and then had a very hard time on the prison planet.
Harris gets his three girls, the night before Glory is found by the traps, he's extremely sore when they defeat Glory and Angel drunk declares Xander his hero much to the Buffys' amusement.
The Sunnydale group goes to Blasedale realm to Hawaii for a holiday, Riley however goes to meet up with some of his solider buddies in South America, Kendra goes with him and he takes the first portable collapsible Door Xander made.
Xander gets word from Manticore and rushes off to meet them at his financial manager's request.
On the long ride to Manticore Xander develops a new Door, an Iris that transports and he utilizes a diamond to help power the two way transportation device across greater distances.
New tech for communication is going to be explored by BuShips, so Xander meets with Klaus Hauptman, Raoul Courvoisier, and several others about it.
Xander gets an apartment and invites Willard to see the Manor.
A ship is found in Yellow space.
Chapter 1: Babylon What?
AN: Special Thanks to CJ-Cold, for his help in looking this over
Inside The Joyce
, docked at Manticore, Dawnie had just announced "There's a ship in the yellow space!" rather loudly. Between Dawn and Dawnie only Dawnie could achieve that level of excitement. It was one way she definitely differed from Dawn. The younger girl rushed back out of The Joyce
not waiting for their reaction. This was another thing telling gesture; Dawn would have recorded their expressions for posterity. For Dawnie it was as though she would miss the ship if she didn't get back to see it right now.
Giles gaped at the Iris Dawnie left thru for a full minute before he rushed after Xander, who had already moved thru it in that minute of contemplation.
The Iris to The Joyce
connected to the Manor's 'yard'. It made it easy to see the ship floating outside the wards, floating or flying depending on your definition of the two. The Iris had been set up there to make it easier to get larger things in and out without having to deal with the cramped space inside a room or hallway, not that it had been an issue, yet.
Willow sees Xander and Giles and she gestures to a ship that looked to have four thrusters and some guns of some sort; it was clearly out matched in the current conflict. She points, "That dark ship that looks like a spider of some kind turned towards us before it fired on the Last Starfighter looking ship thing."
Xander sighs. "That isn't a Gunstar, Willow. This one looks much more fragile."
She huffs smacking his shoulder pulling a chuckle at her reaction from her lover. He looks out and focuses. He'd not tried to mentally focus beyond the wards before. Now that he has he finds it's almost easier to focus through the expanse in the yellow red space than it was when he'd tried to focus his mind thru the normal space during his time on The Joyce,
though he could only guess at the distance's differences as even the perceived distance here seemed to be skewed. He pushes his focus towards the victim
ship which was currently attempting to evade fire.
'It seems that Michael Garibaldi and Warren Keffer of Babylon 5 are extremely worried.'
He had this fleeting feeling that Warren had seen this ship before only once but it was enough have a very strong dislike for it.
Garibaldi had seen one before too but for some reason it didn't compare to this one. Xander wasn't digging so he had no idea where they'd seen them before; just that they had there was enough mental shouting to know that.
Focusing on the spider ship, Xander held in his blanch, barely. After a second he refocused and his focus held some anger not just at what he'd felt but that the ship had then turned to the manor and fired on the wards.
"Incoming" he hisses a moment before they'd actually got off the shot. The shield wall that the words produced dimmed just a touch before flaring stronger and seemed to give off a slightly more solid color. The shot from Mr. Spider bounces away unevenly as though it was a laser hitting a spherical mirror; there was no give in the curvature of the ward's surface.
The focused thought and emotion from Xander hit the ship. The ship seems to twist and turn before it actually shattered. Xander might say it was exploding but that description didn't seem to fit quite right.
Xander let out a sigh. He knew the strangers had started following the spider like ship only because they couldn't leave this expanse of yellow and red space without finding a beacon and the expanse wasn't very accommodating when trying to locate said beacon.
Xander gestures to the ship. "We need to pull them in past the wards."
Giles nods. "I will leave you to figure out how." He gestures to the Iris, "I do believe we've already been cleared to disembark from Manticore's docks."
Xander sighs. The ship was approaching them but seemed to avoid the shield, simply examining the Manor and the people. Xander decided enough was enough after a half an hour and pulled out a snatcher and VP and sent it up. It didn't take much to catch the Starfury. Initiating the snatcher's grab immobilized the insides of the Starfury and cut their ignition.
Warren Keffer mutters, "What the fuck?"
It was just loud enough for Garibaldi to hear, so with concern the Chief asks the pilot, "What is it?"
"The controls just froze and we're now heading thru that shield."
"Shit!" the chief of security for Babylon 5 mutters and then unnecessarily adds, "Hold on!"
The shield didn't seem to have an affect on them and they both sighed as the snatcher set them down gently. The craft was right side up at least, it stood about twenty-some feet tall, was almost three times as long as was tall, and twice as wide.
The top popped up a bit and the two gentlemen sniffed the air as though they weren't sure it was poisoned or not, and then slowly got out, the smaller one was in the front and the small ledge about seven feet up was obviously used to get in and out with ease, they went towards the down angled wings on that side and hopped the four feet. There appeared to be some kind of steps to allow someone to climb in but it would be a climb not a simple step in.
As the two hit land Xander smiles, "Hello!"
Michael Garibaldi sighs with a touch of relief. He glances out at where the shadow craft was and back at the man he was sure destroyed it lifting an eyebrow.
Holding out a hand he lets them know, "I'm Xander LeVelle!"
"Michael Garibaldi and this is Warren Keffer, with Babylon 5." The Chief said while he gestured at the still stunned pilot.
"Pleased to make your acquaintance" was Xander's almost formal response said with a half bow. "Do either of you know what the hell that was?" he gestured.
Open communication was important for any first contact situation that will require prolonged or revisited contact. It not only allows them the ability to underestimate you because they always think they have more facts than they do, they also are more trusting with the facts they give you. Xander wasn't about to tell them that he'd gotten a pretty good picture of what they knew already concerning the craft. Besides he hadn't dug deep and talking about it might bring more thoughts of them to the surface, they felt darker than most demons.
Warren Keffer stiffens. "I do," he nods, "Well I've seen one anyway. It was what killed Ray Gallus back in February." He was informing Garibaldi more than Xander and it surprised Garibaldi to know the man had seen one before.
"I've never seen anything like that in space or hyperspace until now."
He wasn't even sure that the black ship he'd once seen on Mars was the same as the one he'd just seen destroyed, but he suspected this latest one was another of the same ship he'd found along side Sinclair when they first met so long ago.
The frustration of not knowing what it was, that was very real and the half grin he gave spoke volumes of it. Of course Xander had to wonder who this Lord Refa and Londo Mollari were, that the mind screaming 'honest cop' had wished to catch out in the act. Not that Garibaldi knew what the act was.
Glancing at the house and ground Garibaldi continues, "That isn't saying much, as I've never seen anything like this ship in space or hyperspace either."
Xander smiles and laughs as he tells him, "I'm not sure I would call this a ship. It's a home, and we are protected from that out there but we haven't really done much to gain any propulsion."
Taking a better look around the chief nodded, "I see."
Suddenly Michael and Warren blinked in unison, eerily similar in their display of shock while the hippogriff landed near them and cocked his head peering at them.
Smiling at their reaction Xander introduces them, "This is Buckbeak, he's just curious."
The hippogriff seemed make a sound that sounded half like bark and half like a screech while looking at Xander.
"You should give him a half bow," he said. "This is Michael Garibaldi and Warren Keffer, gentlemen meet Buckbeak."
They both gave a half bow.
It was startlingly quite for about five or ten seconds before Xander speaks up, "You guys want a soda or something?"
The offer and sudden noise surprised Garibaldi and Mr. Keffer. After taking the Coke, name brand, in an aluminum can was making him very uneasy. The can had an actually date on it from the nineteen hundreds. Michael Garibaldi had a feeling in the pit of his gut. He really hoped he'd be able to see his friends again but somehow he wasn't holding his breath.
The two had quite a few questions and Garibaldi was put into the position of asking things he didn't have any idea on the answer. Those types of questions weren't a common occurrence for the Chief of Security for Babylon 5. He liked to verify information and have an idea of what the answer was going to be before ever asking the questions.
Xander was aware of the fact that he was frustrated and antsy so tried to anticipate some of his questions, asked or unasked. This awareness had almost the reverse affect as Garibaldi. It seemed he distrusted telepaths, the idea that there was a section of their population, not limited to human populace, that were telepath twigged Xander's paranoia to a great degree.
"No, we've not been floating around for the last few centuries!" Xander said amused.
Garibaldi stiffened a bit and sighs out, "How did you get into hyperspace and how long have you been here?"
"Hyperspace?" Xander's voice broke. "That's what you call this? Alight. We've been here about a year. The first area we were in had this…" he paused, "landmark" he smirked at the name. "It went as high as you could see, and was about the same below what you could see, and the distance from us to it was about the distance Earth was from the sun, give or take." He didn't remember how far it had been from the stems. They'd only shared it once and he wasn't sure if anyone else remembered or not either.
That got a shock from both of them, "What?"
"Oh yea; we believe that the Stem was somehow connected to the universe's quantum placement, and not just this universe but all those connected to this… well, maybe realm is a better description. You see we have a few people that are practitioners of ancient magics, arcane arts of energy manipulation, something that most likely will eventually be thought of as high physics and genetic predisposition for specific talents."
"Magic?" the chief might have laughed but Xander snapped his fingers and held out a small fireball.
"No tech involved; just a bit of mind over matter. I wasn't that committed to learning it, and though others might be able to produce fire this is one of my specialty talents. I'm what others call a fire elemental. We don't know what level I'm at yet because I don't practice as much as I should." He was sheepish at that.
The guests were speechless so Xander continues, "I have a bit of talent for etching or inscribing and empowering symbols; we call them runes. Runes are a basic instruction to the universes raw potential energy. I'm the best at runes but I lack the power to do even third year spells right now."
Xander nods pleased to have them verbal again. He pushes his cup off the table, allowing it to fall and break on the floor. He pulled out his wand and tried to cast the repair charm… it didn't quite work right.
With a sigh Xander growls out, "…And sometimes I can't even do third year charms."
He looked at the malformed cup and growled again.
Shocked out of his stupor Michael nods, looking at the wand with a curious expression he asks, "May I?"
Shrugging Xander hands him the wand, "Sure!"
Garibaldi felt something almost right away but brushed the feeling off. He attempted to do the same command. Xander groans when the cup straightened just a bit, not quite where it was but he was now glaring at Garibaldi.
He snatches back his wand and whines to man that just entered, "I give up, Giles!"
Garibaldi would guess that he'd come in from the doorway of some sort he could see from the window.
Caught off guard Giles asks him, "Give up?"
"Trying spells that don't work for me!" he stipulated. "When a guest that isn't even using a matched wand does better then me… ON THE FIRST TRY!?" He growled at magic in general.
Giles burst out laughing. "Stick to runes and fire, my boy. You might wish to simply go thru all the spells in the school books and find which ones you can cast without further effort than a moderate attendance. Simply work on what you can do and leave the rest to others."
Xander pouts at the idea that Giles was telling him to leave the exciting things to the grown ups, even if that wasn't what Giles was saying it was what Xander felt like Giles was telling him.
Garibaldi, realizing that it was a common thing evidently, gave a brief chuckle before asking him, "Is that how you destroyed that… spider looking thing?"
Xander shivered. "We made these." He pulled out a thin leather strap on his neck. "They let us use pictures and our memory of a person and send them a message in the mind. Anyone can use one but in order to send the message you have to have full visualization. Even twins will have a slightly different mental feel to them regardless of whether you consciously realize it or not. This is because the human mind can perceive the aura which will be unique. Every soul is unique." He shrugged.
"When I tried to reach out to send you a message I couldn't quite get it to you. I wasn't close enough or familiar enough with you. When I tried to send that thing a message…"
Xander shivers, if Garibaldi was watching he might have noticed that several of the residents were eavesdropping.
"I've felt demons that were less sick in the head than that thing was. Its entire aura was filthy and evil. Corrupted beyond anything redeemable, when I felt it, I really shouldn't have, not to that extent, it was…" he sighed and took a drink of his soda.
"It was then that I pushed… instead of a message, I sent all my anger, hate, love, joy, and fear, every emotion I could attach to any messages, and I screamed
Garibaldi blanches at that.
Xander nods. "I've never done it with any one, even a demon, but I would hazard a guess that the reason it exploded was because it was susceptible to mental attack. I'll set up a runic array and see if we can record the emotional burst it would take to disrupt one, don't know exactly how I'll test it."
He glanced at them with an old fashioned look.
Garibaldi ever the security specialist asks him, "So it wouldn't work with a normal ship?"
Xander shook his head. "It might give them a headache and I doubt I could keep it up long enough even with the array to be much more then a distraction, though…" he paused. "I suppose we could get Fawkes to sing and record the emotion from that; it would inspire any troops or ships that were fighting on the same emotional footing as Fawkes." He was seriously considering it because the Dawns wanted to chat with the old bird.
"He's a phoenix. I'm getting off on a tangent. We were talking about the stems being somehow connected to the different realms of this universe. The reason we know that is because of Dawn," he gestured, "and Dawnie. They have a gift in dimensional-control. Dawnie has just started but Dawn had been practicing for quite a while."
"Are they twins?" he asked and the two shook their heads.
Dawn answers him, "We're analogs, born different times in different realms."
"You… visited different realms" he asked or stated, he couldn't be sure if he was asking or stating in disbelief. It was as though it was no longer academic and he needed confirmation.
"Yea." Xander nodded. "We had no idea that we were in a realm at all. I'm still not convinced we are. We set up a few Doors after we established a portal to the different places we believed were accessed through the stem. After we made sure it was safe we set up a Doorway," he gestured, "so that when the temporary portal went out we'd still have the ability to go to and from that Earth, or world, as we moved, and we left a Doorway on a couple of them."
"Earth," Michael perked up a bit, "you can go to Earth?"
"One Earth" he shrugged explaining, "is from around 1997 or thereabouts; you can check the calendars. The Earth from the 4003 wasn't nearly as nice as some of the star nations from that realm. As far as I could tell from there they have very few intelligent alien life forms but they do have a few such as treecats which I've been researching and the then there's the Medusans who have no joints and swivel to walk." He shivered, "They look like they belong in a B-Rated horror flick."
Garibaldi blanched just a bit. He started thinking of the other alien races out of instinct and Xander had been reading him while he did it.
"I know that there was a lizard like people that were around about a hundred thousand years before Mankind in that realm but they either de-evolved or moved on."
"So there are no wars there? I mean we recently had a war with Minbari?"
"Oh yea, same things as usual – religion, land, rights…" he shrugged.
"Why didn't you stay there if you could…?" he gestures at the Iris.
"Why would we? We'd assumed this was in between realms so it was perfectly safe. We used runes to ensure fresh water and air. We set up UV lighting for outside and… it's our home."
The others were smiling.
"I doubt any of the Doorways you have takes you to our world. Do any of them have aliens that look human, at least for the most part? I mean the Narn are like Africans but without hair, and they have spots, and Centauri they have… seven sexual organs and hair that stands up in the back."
Surprised Warren Keffer can't help but asks, "They do?" Up until now he'd been mostly quite.
Garibaldi nods with distaste "According to the medical files on general Centauri anatomy."
"Wow, I didn't know that; I mean, how do they…?"
Xander spoke up quickly and firmly, "Let's not talk about that!"
Garibaldi shot him a thankful look.
Teasingly Xander added, "You can always ask him after hours. I don't know about your world but when you talk about sexual organs and how they pack them, it usually is a personal matter."
As he was blushing Dawn decided to even the score, "It is dear? I mean we don't normally limit what we discuss…"
Joyce warns, "Dawn!"
"She's right though." He added, "I just didn't want to discuss male anatomy. Now if you know about how their females are different…" he smirks wiggling his eyebrows in a Groucho Marx fashion.
Garibaldi groans. "You and Sheridan will get along great when we finally get back home."
Xander winces giving him a nod. "We can try to get you home. You mentioned that there's a beacon that is marking the area that can open the gate to normal space and that it sends a signal to the gate to open?"
Gesturing affirmation at the young man, he stayed silent.
"I wonder how this jump gate tech will affect the hyperspace that the other realms developed, and why is it" he adds a bit of whine to his voice, "that each of them insists on calling it hyperspace?"
Garibaldi blinked and glanced at the Doors. He wasn't a geek but he wasn't stupid either. "You know maybe you can give me a brief outline of the worlds you've got Doorways to? I wouldn't mind exploring a bit."
"Sure. I think Egeria would likely be the best when it comes to understanding the Tech of the worlds, or magic as one world the Magic is almost to the same level of the technology in the other."
The Chief sighs; he was going to have to curb the impulse to automatically assume they're whack jobs because they're talking about magic as though it's real.
Garibaldi's mind had a distinct tactical understanding of the races coming to Babylon 5. The fact was the Minbari, Vorlon, and even some of the ships for the Centauri were much faster, as far as Acceleration goes, than anything Xander was aware of in the Manticore fleet. Of course the use of hyperspace might be different and the Manticore junction… Garibaldi wasn't too aware of ship to ship battles, even having Earth Alliance live thru the war, barely; he wasn't much on battle field tactics. In fact the only reason he knew as much as he did was because of the former Babylon 5 Commander.
Stating the obvious Xander prioritizes, "We need a method of getting there and a method of finding out where there is."
Egeria asks hopefully, "Do we know exactly what direction it is?" She was really hoping for a general directional sense but didn't voice that.
Mr. Keffer shook his head and offered an explanation that he'd grown use to when it came to jumpspace, "Hyperspace is far too fast and there is nothing straight here. Even directions alter with perception. Hell, color shifts as well. In fact, some say they see the color swirling at the gravity sinks like the water down a drain."
Xander frowns. "Let's not get into hyperspace physics right now."
This was directed at Egeria more then Mr. Keffer. She knew it too as she frowned petulantly at him before she sniffed. Egeria was remarkably comfortable with Xander and at the moment she had no desire to bed him. She wasn't sure if this was because she had shut off the hormonal surges after the decision to bed Ronald before any other or if it was because she'd started to feel as though he was some kind of sibling. The fact that she wasn't opposed to the idea of sex with Xander meant that she couldn't quite think of him as a sibling but then again she really liked to tease him without flirting.
"So we need a direction from here first. I'm thinking a modified point me but I'm not sure it would work with me because I've never see a beacon much less this beacon."
Dawnie offers her idea, "Mr. Garibaldi could use your wand, or maybe we should take him to Olivander's to get his own wand and then we can teach him the point me spell."
Xander pauses and then gives her a shrug, "If you want to. I mean that will solve some navigation issues. I'm not sure that you, Warren, are magical. We can try and match you to a wand but I'm not sure it would work."
"Don't feel bad" little Eric spoke up helpfully. "I'm not magical either."
Warren smiled and razzed the boy's head. He liked Eric, he was a smart kid that reminded him of his kid brother; he'd died in the war with Minbari.
"I have no desire to have a wand kid."
Eric peered at him speculatively. He wanted a wand, but perhaps Warren was right and he didn't need one.
"I'll set to work on a rune set to explode. The wards should prevent any damage and we can set them to release their potential energy as soon as they're into a vacuum. I'm not sure exactly how long that would take though."
Mr. Keffer shook his head. "That would take far too long. The Thunderbolt can accelerate up to just over a Kilometer every second. After a full minute's burn you're going at sixty kilometers a second as your velocity with the added acceleration to add to that. We're at least ten minutes burn away from the beacon so that means were at least I don't know the math but six hundred kilometers a second was the speed when we cut the burn. That puts the possible range from here as, what two million kilometers? That's if it was a straight line and we go don't deviate which is hard to do in hyper. That doesn't count the five or ten minutes that we weren't burning and we really have no way to tell how fast we were going speed wise then because there's no relative positioning."
Xander had wide eyes and sighs before asking him, "How big is the beacon?"
Garibaldi shrugs. "It's just about big enough to see unaided at a hundred or so miles, if that."
Warren Keffer nodded his agreement.
"I guess… wait you can shoot the beacon the code to open up the gate when you get near enough, so that's fine, but you're right about the acceleration. Dawn, you feel up to giving them a tour of Diagon Alley and getting Michael suited for a wand? I'll talk to Egeria about setting some type of propulsion up. Maybe we can fabricate a system with higher acceleration and a bit more control as well."
"Sure dear, I'm taking Dawnie too…" she turned to her mother and quantified that last statement with a quest of permission, "If that's alright?"
Joyce smiles giving her assent, "Just behave. Take the floo and make sure you have the Portkeys to Grimmauld Place in case you get separated. Pick up a few extra for our guest, and explain how to use them."
The Fidelius was no longer active because Grimmauld Place was no longer the order of the phoenix, it made it so that anyone that knew the address could share it easily.
Dawn took the time to briefly explain what a Portkey was and Garibaldi was surprised. He glanced over at the small device that Xander and Egeria were using and he was sure they'd fabricated the shell of an ion propulsion motor. It wasn't like fusion propulsion, from what he could tell but then again he was more at home with a motorcycle then he was with ship design.
Xander hadn't paid much attention to the Goa'uld verses Manticore armor, though he knew well that Manticore utilized armorplast. A mix of elements to make a durable shell for the ships and very light weight in comparison to what the Starfury Thunderbolt was made of. Armorplast, crystoplast, ceramacrete, these were the things that had made up the majority of the ships from Manticore. It was much easier to mold into a form and fuse than it was to keep a constant temperature to materials and then worry about the areas that didn't quite keep the same temp. That was what caused weakness and the mix of the new ceramacrete and cryosplasts were constantly improving. There were millions of combinations that would help or hinder particular stresses, but thinner walls meant less rad-sheilding and Xander didn't think that was a problem with Garibaldi's verse.
Not only did he know that, but he also had a minor understanding of why the accel worked so well with the Minbari. The chief had heard it explained to one of the Minbari on the station that the artificial gravity was also a means of inertia dampening. It wasn't the same thing as simulated gravity which was more common.
It seemed that some things were almost a given like they were shown how to do them to help facilitate progress rather then learning on their own, and Xander somehow doubted that the gift of technology was completely altruistic. He would have to think on that, he wasn't quite being fair.
The Sunnydale group had returned, but Xander and Egeria were busy, so after a quite howdy-do to Joyce, Giles, Angel, and Buffy, they fled back to Sunnydale and out of the way. They were aware that they had guests but had been a bit high from vacation and sun so hadn't inquired too deeply.
"So far from what I can tell without getting into the craft itself their fighter here has actual thrusters rather then impellers," Egeria said. "That is unique to most. I would wager the death gliders were of similar quality in munitions and acceleration. Though it looks like this…"
"Starfury, a thunderbolt according to Mr. Keffer." He told her and she nodded.
"The Thunderbolt is very much the same; however it lacks the limited force field and seems to be much thicker metal."
He nods. "The puzzling fact is that it shows, here" he touched the pad she had the schematics on and she looked down, "that it has a fusion reactor."
She nods, frowning in thought. "A small one." She agreed, "I doubt it would be even half as much power as The Joyce
He shrugged. "I just found it ironic that they utilize similar technology in some aspects to Manticore but they're still using metal
as the base for their ship to ship armor. I know Grayson is using it because it's cheaper and they don't have the industry that others have, but I don't think even the advanced races in this world are supplementing it. Is this going to work?"
Egeria looked everything over and then gave him a look and shrugged before giving him a non answer. "I don't see why it wouldn't. We just need to make sure the nacelle is outside of the wards when it goes and because its outside and the wards, at a guess would prevent the physical manipulation from outside forces…"
Xander frowns in thought, "I think I'm going to inscribe a holding rune to it."
"First" he said as he and she walked towards the table that had the rune powered wood burner. "I want to make sure the part that stays inside is secure to the board, and that the board can only be physically moved by a willful hand in contact. I'll use the point of relative distance from the center of the wards and we should be able to put three of them up and then angle them down or up as well as side to side."
She sighs with a frown and grumpily tells him, "I will start to make three more."
He smiles at Egeria.
Cordy comes outside with Eric in her arms. "Do you need some help, sweetie?"
He looks up and shares a small little shake and a smile before gesturing to the little boy. "He tuckered out?"
She nodded with a pleased smile and coos, "He's growing so fast."
He let her know, "The Sunnydale group returned from their vacation. Joyce says they said to say hi"
She nods and asks, "Are Dawnie and Joyce returning to Sunnydale?"
He shakes his head. "I doubt it, both Buffys like her being here; Dawnie for some reason has made it abundantly clear she wants to stay here. She's even taking lessons from Egeria on science and math, from Giles on languages and culture, and Janna on Computers and English. I have a feeling Joyce would insist she stay simply because she's never seen her daughters work so hard at schooling."
Cordy agrees and explains, "I think she wants to attend that university on Manticore."
That surprised him. "I didn't even think of that. But a big part of that is history, I'll make sure we keep up to date on the history of Manticore and the other star nations… that's going to be a load of work." he grumbled.
Cordy smiles widely and nods. "It will but I have a feeling that Egeria wishes to go too and so will others."
Xander grumbles not wanting to think about future education at the moment, "Blah, school!"
Cordy laughs, "You're learning more than you would've in high school. You have an advantage others don't in that you understand what people mean, even if you don't understand the details from your own perspective. All of us that were exposed to the aspect will find that type of communication easier the more we use it. You use yours more often and that means you're picking up information you need from what your subconscious thinks it needs simply because of the routine exposure."
"Really?" He asks rhetorically then thinking on it nods.
She nodded as well, understanding the tacit fact that he agreed.
With a depreciating humor he tells her, "That makes sense, I wasn't always this smart."
He yelped as she smacked his arm and it wasn't soft.
"I think we've all told you about that," she told him sternly and then informed him with a no nonsense tone, "you were smart, you just lack motivation! I know for sure that only smart kids get into those classes Willow and you shared."
He grumbled and went about his wood burning noticing Cordy's smirk of victory over the self deprecating humor. Soon enough Eric was laid down and Cordy returned to Xander's side to 'help'.