: Daria and Co. are owned by Glenn Eichler and MTV; characters, etc. from the Number of the Beast and its offshoots are owned by the estate of Robert A. Heinlein; characters from the Kildar/Dark Paladin series are owned by John Ringo. None are mine, no infringement intended, making no money. The plot of The Author as a Lesbian
is mine, however.
"Please," Oleg nearly begged, "I would consider it an honor if you opened Lydia and provided her with the bride-price. We have discussed this."
"What?" The Kildar, aka Mike Jenkins, aka Michael Harmon, aka "Ghost," aka a few other monikers and titles, was aghast. He had just opened his mouth to ask why, really, he should sleep with the bride of one of his team leaders when the alarm sounded. "We'll continue this discussion after whatever this is, is dealt with," he said, as he turned and jogged up to the communications center. "What's up?" he asked Gildana, the operator on duty.
"Kildar, one minute ago, this
appeared on the caravanserai lawn." She manipulated the pickup to show what Mike recognized as a M113A3 APC with the weaponry stripped, and painted...he closed his eyes. Most combat vehicles were painted in some combination of bland colors to encourages the eye to slide past it; this one was painted in primary colors, and seemed to be inviting the viewer to stare at it.
"How did it get there?"
"I told you. It appeared there, now two minutes ago." Gildana looked at him with narrow eyes. "Did I not say it correctly?"
Mike thought about patting her shoulder, but - this whole discussion with the Fathers was still on his mind. "You did fine, Gildana." He levered himself to his feet.
"Where are you going?"
"When someone knocks on the door, it's only polite to say hello." He grabbed an MP-5 from the rack as he went out on to the lawn, where he found the back hatch of the APC open, and several girls that were in the same league as the Keldara for looks sitting down, apparently waiting for someone. Not quite pointing his weapon away from them, he walked up. "Can I help you ladies?"
One of the redheads looked up with a smile, until she saw his weapon. "Could you point that somewhere else, please? I really hate guns." Her eyes grew wide.
"I'm afraid I can't. You might be planning to do something bad to me, and if I turned it away, you might hurt me." He smiled to ease the sting of his distrust.
He heard someone clearing their throat, and turned to see another redhead, this one with dark auburn hair, looking at him. "Listen, Casper, whether you turn your weapon away has no effect on her ability to hurt you. And it wasn't a request. Turn. the. damned. gun. away. And yes, I said Casper
Mike's jaw dropped. None of these were any of the UGA girls, and yet...she knew his team name. And the way she danced around saying it spoke to her knowing why it would be a bad idea to spread it. But - he jerked his hands back as his weapon suddenly grew too hot to hold, cooking off the rounds (thankfully away from everyone). After waving his hands to cool them, he looked back at the girls. The original redhead now had pure white hair. "Shit."
"Told you it wasn't a request." The second redhead smirked at him. "Now, since we're obviously in Georgia, the country not the state, we've got one or two questions for you. Have you lost any of the Keldara to battle?" Mike shook his head. "Good," she replied. I suspect you were just talking with the Fathers. Get the Mothers, as well. We have a lot to talk about."
All eleven of them(including yet another
redhead) stood up and followed him as he turned and made his way back into the mansion proper, lost in thought. When they reached the small parlor (still large enough to hold the Mothers, the Fathers, Mike, and his "guests"), Mike turned to Oleg. "Go up to the commo room, and ask Gildana to get the Mothers, ASAP." As Oleg hesitated, he added, "All of them."
"Yes, Kildar." He turned and was about to leave when the second redhead cleared her throat.
"It probably wouldn't be a bad idea if you brought Chief Adams, Colonel Nielsen, and Sargent Vanner in on this." Oleg looked at Mike, who nodded.
Mike sat down and gestured for them to do the same. "I'd ask your names, but there are so many of you, you'd probably just be finished when everyone came in, and you'd have to do it all over again." He turned to the Fathers. "These people appeared in an APC in the caravanserai garden a few minutes ago, and asked to speak to me, you, the Mothers, and my lieutenants. Since they apparently have the power to back up their requests, we're going to talk with them."
The Fathers all nodded. Father Kulcyanov wheezed, "Even if one is going to fight, it is best to learn what you can."
When the Mothers arrived, the second redhead spoke up. "I'm Daria Lane, and these are my wives, Jane and Jen Lane." She then briefly introduced the others, and then turned once more to Mike. "Mr. Jenkins, I'm sure that you're very confused as to how and why we came here. Can you at least admit that we very likely have information that you don't?" Mike pondered a moment, and then nodded. "Then please listen with an open mind." She turned to the two that she had introduced as Buffy and Willow, and said, "Ladies, the floor is yours."
The two young women stepped up and pulled out pendants from under their shirts, then motioned for the two who Mike now knew were Oz and Faith to stand, as well. "The symbols might be slightly different, but we are daughters of the Goddess, she whom you know as Freya or Frigga," Willow said as the red drained out of her hair.
Buffy reached behind her back, pulled a very large axe out, and held it in her hands, while Faith did the same with the largest god-damned hammer Mike had ever seen. Oz, who had yet to say a word, didn't reach for anything. His whole form shifted, and in less than a minute, a wolf stood before them, panting.
"What the hell is this?" Mike asked, almost shouting. He stood up and backed against the wall.
"They needed to know that we are who we say we are," Buffy said. "We aren't here in defiance of their beliefs, but in accordance to them." She looked at the assembled Fathers and Mothers. "Do you all believe that we are from Freya and the All-father?"