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Scarlet Witch

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Twin Cities". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: The problem this time is scientific, not magical, and the only one who can help is on the run from pretty much everyone. Can Willow find her in time?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > EurekaMediancatFR133167,7031620751,59913 May 129 Aug 12Yes

In Unison

In Buffy terms, this is set after season 7; I don't follow season 8 continuity.

In terms of the other show, it's set after the Astraeus astronauts have been repatriated. After that, it spins off on its own.

As for Buffy, though, it and all of its characters are the creation of Joss Whedon. Eureka was created by Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia.

X X X X X

Willow came racing into Council Headquarters in Warren, Maryland, Kennedy a half-second behind her. “What's going on?”

“Faith didn't tell you?” Andrew said nervously.

“All Faith said was that something had happened to Buffy and Dawn – but that they weren't dead -- and I needed to get back here as soon as possible.”

“Oh.”

“Oh?” Kennedy said. “That didn't sound like a good oh, Andrew.”

“What happened?” Willow asked, panic in her voice.

“Um, maybe --”

Kennedy had Andrew slammed against the wall before he could get out another word. “Spit it out, or spit out your teeth.”

“Maybeitwouldbebettertoshowyouthantellyou!” he gasped out.

At Willow's nod, Kennedy let Andrew down. “Follow me,” he said. He led them through the corridors into the medical wing.

At least it wasn't the morgue.

Finally, they went through one last door, into a room. Dawn was on one bed, Buffy was on the other. They were both conscious and both lying on their backs.

“Willow!” they said in unison.

Looking at Andrew with a puzzled expression, Willow said, “They seem fine.”

“You'd think, wouldn't you?” they also said together. “Try again.”

“Some kind of spell?” Kennedy asked.

“No clue,” they said. “It started gradually, a few days ago. I'd say something and Dawn, three miles away, would say the same thing. Or I'd be dancing and Buffy'd be doing the same thing. And believe me, that's no fun when you're trying to kill a vampire. Fortunately, the vampire found the whole thing hilarious and laughed herself sick, and before she could stop the spell ended and Buffy managed to kill her. Last time I went out, believe me. Since then it's only gotten worse.”

“I thought you said it wasn't a spell,” Kennedy said.

“Like a fainting spell, not like magic spell,” Andrew said.

Willow said, “How did this happen?”

Andrew replied, “We have no idea. Faith and Vi are leading a troop of Slayers out beating up anyone and everyone who might know something, much like Batman would have, while Mr. Giles and some of our witches are trying to find out what spell it might be.”

“You sharing everything?” Kennedy asked.

They shook their heads simultaneously. “No. I don't know what she's thinking, thank the gods, and I don't know what she's thinking either, though it's probably something about shoes. Hey!”

Willow said, “I've never heard of something like this. Not in any spellbook I've ever read. Good or evil. Not that I read the evil ones all that much anymore.”

“All that much?” Buffy and Dawn said sharply.

“I don't read them to pick up tips, missy – missies – but I do have to know what's out there I might need to look out for. You know? Anyway, what would the point of a spell like this be?”

“Obviously, to take me out of circulation,” the sisters said.

Rolling her eyes quickly – Willow saw it, but she would've bet demons to diamonds that Buffy didn't – Kennedy said, “Lousy way to do it. They could shoot you, poison you, or do half a dozen other things. It'd be a lot easier and take a lot less work.”

“Not everyone's as blunt as you are, Kennedy,” the sisters said.

“It's part of my charm,” Kennedy said.

“I'm going to check something,” Willow said before Kennedy-Buffy part XIV could begin. (They respected each other as Slayers, but still didn't like each other much as people. They would and could work together when they had to, but that rarely stopped the sniping.) “Hold on.” And then she closed her eyes and a wave of magic crossed the room, then back, and held steady over Buffy and Dawn.

After concentrating for a few seconds, Willow said, “It isn't magic.”

“What?” Kennedy said.

A second later Buffy and Dawn echoed the sentiment. “What do you mean?”

Willow said, “That was a full checkup I just did, head to toe, inside and out, and there's no magic at all in there that shouldn't be there.”

“Um, then what's causing the problem?” Andrew asked. “I mean, I'm no mighty witch like you, but I do know something about magic, and this sure seems magical.”

“Yeah, it does, but it's not,” Willow said.

“You think we're doing this for shits and giggles?” the sisters said. “Faith's a bad influence. Still, Dawn has a point. If it's not magic, what is it?”

“Science.”

Everyone said simultaneously, “What?”

X X X X X

A few hours later, after Faith and company were back from their forays into creative interrogation and Giles had come up for air, everyone, minus Buffy and Dawn, who had enough difficulty making their way around their one room without a problem, (and the less said about bathroom trips, the better), and Xander, who was still stuck in the New Delhi airport, gathered so that Willow could explain what was going on.

“Are you certain that this is is scientific?” Giles said.

“That's a big yes,” Willow said. “I double-checked and triple-checked and then had a couple of the other witches independently verify. This is one hundred percent science.”

“What are they?” Giles asked.

“I don't know. Not exactly. If I had to specify, I'd use the word nanobots.”

“It's aliens!” Andrew said.

“It's not aliens,” Kennedy said firmly.

Andrew, a bit whinily, said, “It could be aliens . . .”

“Actually, he's right,” Willow said.

“I am?”

“He is?”

“Fuck.” This from Faith, on the off chance you couldn't guess. “Aliens? Seriously?”

“Well, I'm not saying it is,” Willow said, “Just that it's a possibility. This is well beyond any science I've ever heard of. It's possible it could be something incredibly high-tech that hasn't been written about, and I'd say that's more likely than aliens, but I'm saying, don't write them off.”

Vi said, anxiously, “Can you fix it?”

Shaking her head, Willow said, “No. Not quickly, anyway. I tried to shut them off magically and they both started having seizures. Then I tried to simply put a field between the two of to block it off, and the same thing happened. It's not actually hurting them at the moment, so I stopped trying.”

“Indeed,” Giles said. “We have not yet reached the point where we are willing to try anything to solve the problem. Faith, did you and Vi have any luck tracking down the perpetrator?”

“Yeah. All bad. If this is any kind of plot against us no one we've talked to knows a damn thing.”

“What she said,” Vi added. “One of them even asked why we thought they'd bother. Seemed like a good point, actually.”

“Maybe,” Kennedy said, “to keep us busy fixing what's wrong with Buffy so we're not paying attention to something else going down.”

Giles nodded. “A good point. Faith, increase the patrols tonight and tell everyone to keep their ears to the ground, if you would.”

“As for me,” Willow said, “I'm going to work the science angle. If this is something from this planet, then it's probably a government project, and if it's that, then we know someone who can help.”

X X X X X

“Willow?”

“Hi, Riley.”

“Got back to you as soon as I could.”

“What'd you find?”

“I can't tell you on the phone. Can we meet somewhere?”

“Sure. There's a Baja Fresh a few miles away from here; see you there in an hour?”

“See you then.”

X X X X X

Willow was waiting at the restaurant when Riley Finn got there. They ordered and sat down. “Do you know any privacy spells?” Riley asked.

“Sure, but I'd like to get my food and we won't hear them call our number if I cast it now.”

So they engaged in small talk for a few minutes until their food was ready. Then, as Riley dug into his burrito, Willow surreptitiously cast the spell and then said, “And once again with the what'd you find?”

“Something you're not going to like. And it ties back to the Initiative.”

“Of course it does,” Willow said. “If I wasn't committed to the side of good and, you know, thought that resurrection spells were ideas beyond bad and well into uberhorrible, I'd cast one on Maggie Walsh just so I could let Buffy beat her up for a few weeks or so.”

“I'd be right behind you,” Riley said. “Anyway, here's what I found, and it took a lot of digging and favors to get even this much. One time when Buffy came to the Initiative, hurt, Colonel Walsh insisted she be bandaged up. Seemed weird to me at the time, but she was persistent enough that eventually Buffy said yes, probably just to shut her up.”

“Mistake?”

“Big time. From the records I was able to read, the bandages were coated with a kind of experimental nanotechnology designed to let someone take control of someone remotely, if they had the right device. But Adam killed Colonel Walsh a few weeks later, and the machine was destroyed in the last firefight.”

“Why didn't Adam use it on Buffy, then?”

Riley said, “He wouldn't have been able to. It needs a human on both ends, and he wasn't close enough.”

“I suppose we can thank our lucky stars for that, anyway,” Willow said as she bit into her quesadilla. “Could you find the plans?”

“No. I found a description buried deep in a file that had nothing to do with the Initiative, but that's it. It lists everyone who worked on it and pretty much all of them died during the last battle.”

“So the machine's destroyed, the people who created it are dead, and the Initiative's buried under tons of concrete so I can't even get to the computers to try to hack them.”

“Willow, I would have been able to tell you “sorry, can't help” over the phone. Pretty much all of them died. There's one who wasn't. I got you her name and the last place she was seen.” He took a deep breath. “Unfortunately, she probably won't be there; at this point she's marked down to be arrested on sight by pretty much every law enforcement agency in the country.”

Willow sighed. “Tell me her name and address, then; I'll go from there.”

“Her name's Beverly Barlowe,and the last place she was seen was a small town in Oregon. It's called Eureka.”
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