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Xander and Yet ANOTHER Demon

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Xander and the New 'Verse". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Three years after the fall of Sunnydale, Xander Harris is in a bar, and something that isn’t human just walked in. It has to be a demon, right? Even if this is Colorado Springs…

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Xander-CenteredDianeCastleFR133460,6152011397480,86812 May 1217 Jul 12Yes

Jennifer & the Debriefing, Part IV: Harris&Friends

A/N: See chapter 1 for disclaimer, spoilers, notes on AU, and why Xander has his eye back.

“But XanderHarris has two eyes. He is not wearing a false eye.”

She smiled smugly. “Exactly. Here’s a picture of Harris right after Sunnydale collapsed.” She put up a photograph from a newspaper. The caption was ‘the last bus out of Sunnydale’. It was a schoolbus on a now-deserted road. Standing in front of the bus were a dozen people, including Xander Harris, who was wearing an eyepatch. She pointed at some of the people in the figure. “Harris. Buffy Summers and her younger sister Dawn Summers. Rupert Giles. Willow Rosenberg. The young woman holding Rosenberg up was identified as Kennedy DaSilva. Andrew Wells, who is employed now by the NSAWC in Cleveland. Most of the others aren’t named.”

Sam interrupted, “We know one of them. Maybe two. The redhead standing back behind Rupert Giles, near the bus. That’s Vi. Violet Mary O’Connell. She’s the one Harris came out here to help. Her parents just moved back to Colorado Springs. And there’s an Andrew running things at the NSAWC call center. We heard him. That could be Andrew Wells.”

Jennifer said, “They claimed they were making sure people had evacuated, and had gone to the school to recover school records for the community. That was supported by the school principal, Robin Wood, who was on the bus and was seriously injured. They claimed that the earthquake struck while they were inside the high school, and they lost several members of their group as they ran out. According to their claims, the town collapsed behind them, and they almost didn’t make it out. The last person to run out and catch the bus just as it took off? According to one of them, it was Buffy Summers. Who had a stab wound that doctors said looked like she was run through with a sword.”

“Run through with a sword?” Dr. Jackson winced.

She nodded. “And not an epee, either. The medical record indicates she was stabbed in the abdomen with something the size of a claymore or a broadsword, and it went all the way through her. It’s impossible for someone with an injury like that to ‘run’ to catch a bus. It’s impossible for someone with an injury like that to walk. Frankly, it’s unlikely that anyone would survive a wound like that without immediate admission to a hospital and extensive abdominal surgery. But notice her image in the picture. She’s standing with her friends as if she has no injuries whatsoever.”

Colonel Carter said, “Perhaps she was still running on adrenaline, or she had been given some form of narcotic, or…”

Jennifer said, “After doctors examined her and patched her up, the very next day she checked herself out of the hospital AMA. There were other people with injuries. The most serious, other than Summers’ was to Robin Woods. Who just happens to be the current principal of the Joyce Summers School for Gifted Young Women in Cleveland Ohio. Which just happens to be where Xander Harris’ office is, and where the NSAWC call center is located. As far as we can tell from comparing telephone numbers, Harris’ office and the call center are probably in the same building on the school campus. So why does a private school share its campus with an office for a mysterious international organization?”

Dr. Jackson said, “If this was a novel, then it would turn out that the organization trains the girls to be spies, or assassins.”

“Indeed,” agreed Teal’c. “With appropriately painted underground tunnels connecting the buildings to secret underground training facilities.”

Privately, she had her own thoughts on the subject, which weren’t really all that different. She went on, “But the Xander Harris story doesn’t end there. A month later, Xander Harris gets a passport. It’s expedited by a hint from the British government. And here’s his passport photo.”

She clicked the control again, and there was another picture of Xander Harris, this time with both eyes. “That kind of regeneration isn’t possible with today’s technology.”

Dr. Jackson said, “But he could do it if he had a sarcophagus.”

She pointed out, “Based on the old fractures and scars Dr. Lam found, it couldn’t be a sarcophagus.”

Colonel Carter said, “But it could be someone who could operate a Gou’a’uld healing device. They primarily do localized healing.”

Teal’c added, “Or possibly someone who could make contact with the Asgard or the Nox, or several other advanced races.”

Jennifer said, “Yes, but not if he’s just an ordinary carpenter. We managed to track Harris through a credit card. He used a card paid for by the NSAWC for the next two years. Not very often, but often enough for us to get a rough feel for his movements. He flew to Africa, bought a second-hand Land Rover, and toured the continent. We know from other databases where his name turned up that he occasionally showed up at Peace Corps or Habitat for Humanity sites and helped with construction for a day or two or three before moving on. He also showed up in several reports from Doctors Without Borders, but it is unclear just what he did, only that he ‘helped them out’ in some way. In between, he would often be off the grid for weeks. We don’t know where he went or what he did, except that he was apparently traveling in some very dangerous areas with no backup. And periodically, he bought plane tickets for a couple teenaged girls, and he flew them to Cleveland so they could join the Joyce Summers School. A school which he happens to be listed as being on the Board of Trustees for. He had a sat phone, and we’ve managed to find most of the records on his calls. He primarily called the Summers sisters, who were in Rome, Rupert Giles, who was in London, Willow Rosenberg, who was in Rio de Janeiro, or the Joyce Summers School. We don’t have more than that. We tried the NSA, on the off-chance that they had recordings of his calls, but all they have for any of his calls is several minutes of static.”


Colonel Carter said, “That’s absurd. Unless someone recorded over the NSA files afterward. Because they don’t keep records which are pure static or have no usable data.”

General Landry said, “You’d have to have some friends in very high places to get your NSA files recorded over, and even then, it would be more or less impossible for anyone to record over every one of your calls without alerting the entire IT staff of the NSA due to your extended search.” He suddenly realized that several people were staring at him in shock. He complained with a grin, “What? I can’t have background knowledge too? It’s classified, but I was on a Tiger Team reviewing an NSA issue several years ago.”

Colonel Carter asked, “So, friends in higher places than being able to get someone in the British government to just ask for Harris to have his passport expedited?”

Jennifer said, “I think the next section will suggest who helped Harris with that. Because, after Harris finished almost two years in Africa and the Middle East, someone made him director of operations for North America for the NSAWC. And who’s the international director of the NSAWC? Why our old friend the high school librarian. Rupert Giles. Who is really Dr. Rupert Giles, the seventh Baron Graybourne.”

“Umm, could that be R.B.C. Giles, the expert in folklore and mythology?” Daniel Jackson suddenly asked.

Jennifer smiled. “Yes, Dr. Jackson. Rupert Bredon Carothers Giles, Ph.D.s in ancient languages and folklore, both from Oxford. Formerly one of the assistant curators at the British Museum. At the time he went to America, he was the Honorable Rupert B. C. Giles, heir to a peerage, and in line to be the head curator of the British Museum in another twenty or thirty years. But while he was in America, he was pretending to be some ordinary Brit who just happened to have a green card and got to play librarian in a California high school for a couple years. Since his father has passed away, he’s now Baron Graybourne. So it’s pretty clear he was working undercover for someone, with some ulterior motive, while he was in Sunnydale. We’ve checked with MI-6 and a couple other groups, and we were basically told to butt out or the Queen would be having some very rude things to say to the President. So clearly he has a lot of pull – far too much pull for a mere high school librarian.”

General Landry said, “I checked with a contact of my own after the major told me that news, and my contact said Giles was definitely not MI-5 or MI-6. However, there are several very powerful British NGOs – Non-Government Organizations – that might have been backing Giles.”

Jennifer nodded at him in thanks, and continued. “After the high school was blown up, Lord Giles stayed in Sunnydale. Why he did so will become clear as we keep moving along. He took over a small business called The Magic Shop, which did a surprisingly good business in what one would think would be a low-trade operation in a small town. It’s possible that he was doing some smuggling, given the amount of importing he was doing at the time, but that doesn’t really fit in with the other information. He maintained ties with all the other names on our list. Currently, he’s the director of the NSAWC, which apparently inherited the mantle of an organization known as the IWC, which stood for the International Watchers Council.”

She watched in surprise as Dr. Jackson suddenly spit coffee onto the table. He choked, “They used to be the IWC?” Once he was sure Jennifer was nodding, he said, “The IWC supported me on several of my digs! Well, they provided support for a lot of archaeological digs all over the world, but still…”

Sam Carter asked, “And you didn’t know what their initials stood for?”

He blushed uncomfortably. “Actually, I did, but it became a big joke in the biz. Once I was a laughingstock, a lot of the Egyptology community said that it stood for Intensely Weird Crap.” No one said anything for a moment, since they all knew Dr. Jackson had been correct, and no one could reveal that intelligence to the scientific community at large.

Jennifer said, “We don’t know what the ‘watcher’ part really means, though.”

Dr. Jackson said, “Observers. Quis custodiet ipsos custodies. Who will watch those same watchers? They were overseers on a lot of the digs they sponsored, and they worked as advisors for a lot of historical museums. Sure, things walked off on some of those digs, but people generally said that the really valuable artifacts were safer on IWC digs than most other sites, and the researchers were definitely safer.”

Sam Carter asked, “So, could the ‘WC’ in NSAWC still stand for ‘Watchers Council’?”

Daniel Jackson pursed his lips in thought. “In which case, the first letter could represent their reformation, so it might stand for ‘new’. And in that case, the ‘A’ could be an ‘and’. The New ‘something’ And Watchers Council.”

Sam Carter nodded. “That seems like a workable theory, at any rate. We could certainly try bluffing Harris with it, and see if we get a reaction.”

Jennifer said, “I’m not sure we want to do that, colonel. Wait until you hear everything we have, and then decide.”

General Landry said, “You have more? This is good work for one night, major.”

She said, “Well, we had four computer experts working away, while I collated data, examined patterns, and directed new search efforts. That’s a lot of person-hours.”

The general smiled at her. “Still impressive. What else should we know?”

Jennifer clicked the control, and the picture of a redheaded teenager appeared on the screen. “Willow Rebekah Rosenberg. Child genius. Daughter of well-known child psychologists Ira Rosenberg and Sheila Rosenberg. Author of several remarkable pieces of shareware while still in high school. Recruited her junior year by two major software companies. Accepted into every university she applied to, including Oxford, Harvard, Yale, and MIT, but for no apparent reason, she opted for UC Sunnydale. Money problems? Not given her parents, or the scholarship offers she turned down. Also, the NSA suspects that Willow was Sal1xScarl4t, a fairly notorious cracker, even if Sal1x didn’t ever steal anything valuable or damage any computers. However, Sal1x got inside the NSA and DOD computers at least once, and they’re fairly upset about that, not to mention they still don’t know how she managed one of the intrusions. It happens that salix is the species name for willows, and scarlet is a color of red not unlike her hair color. So, a simple computer nerd and science brain who spends too much time on computers that aren’t hers. After the death of her computer science teacher her junior year, she actually taught the class for the rest of the school year, right up until finals, when she ended up in the hospital with a serious concussion. A check of HMO records showed that Willow began appearing at the emergency room on a semi-regular basis, at the same time Harris began doing the same. And both of these starts coincided with the week after Buffy Summers arrived in town and continued until Sunnydale was abandoned.”

She clicked the control again. This time, the image was that of a punk kid with spiked purple hair. “Daniel Robert Osbourne, nickname Oz. Held back a year after failing to show up for most of his finals. Very high SATs and caught the attention of some high-tech companies, but no effort made on schoolwork. Bass player in a local band, Dingoes Ate My Baby. The school paper listed them as playing at a place called ‘The Bronze’ several times. After graduation, he attended UC Sunnydale for a couple months, apparently playing some band gigs as well, then abruptly left. Got a passport, left the country, and apparently ended up in Tibet for a couple months before returning to America. He’s been back to Tibet several times, but he apparently still wanders around the country playing music and not leaving many electronic traces.

“But here’s the really interesting one. Buffy Summers.”

A/N2: AMA (in this case) = Against Medical Advice
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