Scoobies and the New Guys, part II
A/N: This is a sequel to “The League of Extraordinary Women”. It will make a lot more sense if you read that first.
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. If you want details on ownership and all that jazz, you’ll want to read the appropriate intros in “The League of Extraordinary Women”.
A/N2: This is more of the sequel to “Scoobies and a Retiree” and also “Scoobies and a Reject”. Because my muse is less like Calliope and more like Annie Wilkes.
Daniel Jackson was still unsure if he had done the right thing. He had talked to the FBI and even a couple really irritating guys from the State Department. It turned out that Dr. Rupert Giles was really the guy who had visited him, and Dr. Rupert Giles was not only not a con man, he had been knighted by the Queen in the last couple years, and had a diplomatic passport.
Daniel was feeling a lot better about Dr. Sir Rupert Giles. He was just feeling less like Daniel Jackson was the man that Sir Rupert ought to be hiring. He still wasn’t really sure why Sir Rupert would need someone who did research in his areas. Surely Sir Rupert’s people had already researched the hell out of this field, probably centuries ago.
He had been worried for several days now that the whole point was getting him out of the public eye. Maybe the job would be some sort of sinecure so he sat in a room and reviewed material they already had studied, and no one outside Sir Rupert’s group ever heard from him again. If these people were intent on keeping this whole ‘vampires were once real’ issue under wraps, then making him disappear would be important.
Although it would have been much easier for someone of Vi’s strength to make it look like he had committed suicide. That was an uncomfortable thought that still popped up every couple days.
And there was a young blonde with a sign that had his name on it, and she was looking right at him. So were a young redhead and an older man who was probably some sort of chaperon or greeter. Probably chaperon. The guy just had that parental vibe. He was far too wary to be the ‘greeter’ type.
Daniel walked over to tell them that he was Dr. Daniel Jackson, but the girls apparently already knew what he looked like.
“Dr. Jackson! Hi!”
“This is great! Do you really speak Russian and Latvian and Estonian? I never get to speak Estonian around here!”
“Giles says you’re a really good researcher, and Andrew can’t wait to meet you!”
Wait, they refer to Dr. Giles as ‘Giles’? He thought back and realized that Vi had called him ‘Giles’ as well.
He realized that he had missed something while he was thinking that over. All three of them were staring at him. The man finally asked, “Luggage? You know, big hollow things with clothes inside ‘em?”
The redhead tried not to snicker. The blonde stared at the guy like she was surprised he would say such a rude thing.
The guy extended a hand. “Jack. The two babblers are Nat and Eileen.” He tilted his head at the blonde first, and then the redhead. ‘Nat’ was probably short for Natalya, given the Russian accent.
Daniel shook the hand and said, “Daniel. Daniel Jackson. And I have one suitcase, plus four boxes. All four boxes are unfortunately over the weight limit.”
The man – Jack – asked, “How many languages do you speak? Nat’s hoping you’re fluent in Russian. My Russian is pretty weak.”
Nat slid smoothly into Russian. “Do not listen to him. His Russian is good enough, and his accent is excellent.”
Daniel replied in Russian as well, “My accent is not ‘excellent’ but I do speak a number of Eastern European tongues as part of my research interests.”
Jack smirked, “Okay, Daniel-Daniel-Jackson, let’s get your luggage too, and get out of here.” He glanced at the redhead. “Unless there’s someone else you have to pick up?”
“Nae, just you two.”
Oh. So Jack wasn’t a greeter or a chaperon, he was another collection. Daniel asked him, “What are your areas of interest?”
Jack gave him a grin. “Hockey. And ‘The Simpsons’. Maybe… beer.”
Daniel knew he wasn’t particularly good at the social interaction thing. Too much time being an outcast and being that one ridiculously young student in the class. But he tried again, anyway. “I mean, are you a researcher too?”
Jack just said, “Not unless watching all the episodes of The Simpsons too many times counts as ‘research’.”
Daniel had never been good at handling sarcasm. It looked like he was going to have to work on that, starting now. “There probably are some academics who write papers on tv shows and consider that it’s really research.”
Jack smiled, “Well then, think of me as having a Ph.D. in Bart and Homer.”
Eileen ran off at a ridiculous speed to collect his luggage, while Nat stayed and chatted with him. Jack just strolled along right behind them. Nat asked, “So… what other languages do you speak?”
Daniel said, “Well, I also speak French, German, Danish, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Yiddish, Gaelic, Arabic, and Urdu, along with a few others and some dialects. And I read another couple dozen languages if you consider tongues like Middle French and Old German, along with a few classical languages like Latin and Ancient Greek and Akkadian and Hebrew, along with some oddities like Sumerian and Ancient Egyptian that I learned one summer when I was working on a dig in Egypt for one of my professors.”
Nat bounced happily on her toes and grinned, “No wonder Giles wanted you to come here and work with us!” And she proceeded to speak some very rough Ancient Greek at him. He just corrected a few things and gave her a few pointers as they took the down escalator to the luggage area.
It was frankly disconcerting. He knew a couple attractive women who were linguists or archaeologists or anthropologists, but based on his high school and undergraduate experiences, his expectations for beautiful blonde teenagers were a lot lower. When he had seen Nat and Eileen, he had assumed he was looking at the classic American bubble-brained cheerleader type, not a girl who was excited about ancient languages.
He tried once again, “So Jack, if you’re not the researcher type, what sorts of jobs do you do?”
Jack gave him that grin that Daniel was already beginning to suspect meant ‘I am about to lie to you in a way I find amusing’. “Oh, Xander’s probably after my skills as a fisherman and zymologist”
Hmm… that would be from the Greek, and presumably meant one who studies fermentation. So probably a beer brewer or winemaker. Unlikely at a school full of underage children.
Nat chimed in, “Oh, Colonel O’Neill knows lots of stuff! And he has a Masters degree in aeronautical engineering, and two patents on telescope components.”
A colonel? A Masters degree and patents didn’t sound like any kind of colonel Daniel had ever run into. And Jack didn’t seem to like Nat’s revealing the ‘colonel’ part.
Jack insisted, “Oh no, I’m just Jack now. I haven’t been in the U.S.A.F. for a few years. They had to boot me out. I just could not get those funny corners done on the bedsheets.”
Daniel let Nat text a couple times, after which she led them out to the short term parking. Eileen was already there, loading his boxes into the back of an RV like they were weightless. That was unnerving, even after he’d seen Vi.
Wait, there was only supposed to be one Slayer of the Undead at any time. The old texts were pretty specific about that. He had been researching the topic ever since Sir Rupert left him that plane ticket. Was this a secret of their organization? If there were several Slayers at all times, and they just kept them far apart, they could maintain the whole ‘there can be only one’ concept while flummoxing their opponents. That meant he was now in possession of a very dangerous secret, and they had to know that he knew, and that they could protect that secret just by making sure he couldn’t ever tell anyone else.
That wasn’t good.
Jack sat back and tried to look relaxed, while Daniel-Daniel-Jackson desperately hung onto the ‘oh shit bar’ above his window. Nat and Eileen were driving them off to the Joyce Summers School outside of Cleveland, assuming Eileen didn’t run them off the road at ninety per and kill everyone in the SUV. He didn’t know if this was a test, but Eileen drove like she was possessed by the spirit of Danica Patrick. Or maybe Popeye Doyle. He tossed out a ‘Bullitt’ joke but no one got it, not even Dr. Jackson.
Eileen darted through spaces that looked like they couldn’t possibly fit an SUV, and crossed lanes like she was part hummingbird. She wove her way through the traffic like a NASCAR driver facing down soapbox derby kids. But she never hit anyone, and she never overshot her mark. He’d seen some pretty impressive evasive driving in his day, but this kid was amazing.
Jack had spotted Danny’s face when Eileen easily tucked his boxes in the trunk, so he knew she had to be as strong as Nat. He just couldn’t figure out where the strength came from. You simply could not make someone that strong without making them muscular enough first. Eileen and Nat were toned and fit, but neither one had the sheer muscle bulk to do what they did, and they did it without any effort. Now he was seeing that Eileen had the reflexes of a cat. Maybe a tiger, because he sure wasn’t looking at a pair of housecats.
Xander had mentioned swords. Either of these girls could probably wield a broadsword or a claymore like it was an epee. Or a Fairbairn.
Maybe that ‘little catfight’ between Tandy and N’Peli hadn’t been a hair-pulling, girly slapfight. Maybe it had been more like Ali vs. Foreman. And if Xander wanted him to train teenaged girls who were this strong and fast, then what were they fighting? And why? And for whom?
Hey, he could use correct grammar when he wanted to.
Jack kept watching. At Eileen-driving speed, it didn’t take that long to get to the school, which was outside of Cleveland proper, out in the suburbs. And Dannyboy hadn’t cried or screamed even once, so the guy was tougher than he looked. Okay, maybe he was a little paler than when they got in the car.
They pulled up to a big wrought iron gate in a large stone wall. There were two girls hanging out in a little stone structure on the inside of the wall, and based on the sound, Jack was assuming they were busy listening to Katy Perry. Not that he was going to admit that he recognized the song, even if it was impossible to avoid hearing certain hit tunes over and over and over and over and over whenever you went to a mall. The girls were apparently dressed in halter tops and heels, which made him wonder if this was some sort of pro forma
gesture rather than serving any sort of real guard duty. But he reminded himself that those girls could be just as strong and fast as Eileen and Nat, so maybe the look was part of a deception to get people to underestimate them.
Inside the wall was a couple acres of well-groomed park with half a dozen buildings at the center. Two buildings looked about fifty or sixty years old, while the other four looked very new. One of them was obviously still under construction.
Someone obviously had bucks to spend. Lots of bucks. Buildings like that were not cheap. The new construction virtually shouted out ‘not a terrorist group’, because they were obviously based in the establishment with major legit funding sources. But that didn’t mean they weren’t performing terrorist – or at least nefarious – actions in other countries.
He really wished he had a handle on what the hell was going on here.
Eileen pulled past the building you were obviously supposed to go into. She drove around back to the second old building, saying, “We’ll help you guys get your stuff up to your room, and then we’ll make sure whoever’s supposed to take over from us… takes over. I dunno. Maybe Xander.”
Danny looked a little shaky as he clambered out of the car, but he managed not to throw himself on the ground and kiss the grass and shout “I’m safe!”
Jack walked around to the trunk and opened it, but Nat grabbed his suitcase and Danny’s. “I have them!”
“I can…” Well, he had been about to tell her he could take his own suitcase, but she had already bolted into the building.
Eileen asked, “Jack, could you take one of Dr. Jackson’s boxes? I’ll take the other three.”
Danny volunteered, “I can take one.”
“Okay.” Eileen handed one box to Danny, one to Jack, scooped up the other two in a stack balanced in one arm, and locked the car with the other arm.
Maybe they didn’t care about revealing their strength when they were on their home turf. Maybe they were even stronger than they had shown. That was a pretty scary thought.
The building looked like a three-story dorm that had seen better days. Especially in the entryway hall. Oh, the hall was nice wood, with a big staircase going up the right side to the second floor, but it looked like someone had dropped a wrecking ball in there. Somehow.
Four feet of the stair railing were shattered. A dozen balusters were broken. A stairstep was half ripped out. The floor to the left of the stairs looked like someone had hit it a couple times with a sledgehammer. A closet on the opposite wall was being rebuilt, with a smashed door and broken wall panels moved off to the side. Xander had power tools going, and he was cutting lumber while two teenaged girls – one very black and one very white, both in really ugly coveralls – were hammering nails into already-cut 2x4’s to hold them in place. The girls looked like having to wear the ugly coveralls was a worse punishment than having to help rebuild the closet.
Jack noticed that the black girl had a distinct swelling on one side of her jaw, while the white girl had a black eye and a split lip. That was definitely not from hair-pulling.
Xander stopped cutting lumber and pulled off his workgloves. He turned his head, “Tandy, N’Peli, keep working. No breaks ‘til we’re done.”
He stepped over and shook Jack’s hand. “Hey, glad you could make it. We’re a little crowded right now – okay, we’re a lot crowded – until we get the new dorm finished, so you’re gonna have to double up with Dr. Jackson. But don’t worry, it’s only temporary, and Giles says he’s a good guy.”
Jack looked over as Tandy gave N’Peli a threatening look and then drove a nail all the way into the wood with one blow. Damn, these girls were strong.
Xander glanced over and turned back. “Don’t worry. They went through our Home Ec class, so they know what they’re doing. And the rule here is: you break, you fix it.”
Jack just nodded. But how could they break that much? Unless they were both as strong as Nat and their catfight was with sledgehammers like in ‘Streets of Fire’. But then why weren’t they in traction?
Crap, what if they were as tough as they were strong?
Jack casually strolled closer so he could get a better look. The hair stood up on the back of his neck. Those dents in the floor weren’t shaped like the head of a sledgehammer.They were shaped like a girl’s fist.