Epilogue – Hank and the Red Phone
A/N: Disclaimer, spoilers, notes on the minor AU issues, and relevant backstory points (from the first story in the series) are listed in chapter 1.
U.S. Air Force General Henry ‘Hank’ Landry sighed inwardly and did as ordered. He just wasn’t sure if he was about to get himself a Section Eight in the process. After all, he was under orders to give a full and accurate accounting of the incident to the President of the United States. And if the President didn’t know about vampires and demons, this was not going to go well. Even if the SGC had video footage of the entire ‘Vampire Harmony’ event.
Or perhaps especially
because they had video footage of the ‘Vampire Harmony’ event. Xander Harris and his Plan H was the most disturbing thing Hank had seen since Jack O’Neill talked Sam Carter into that ‘night of the living jello’ prank. And the less said about that the better.
He still had trouble believing in a vampire, much less a vampire named Harmony who appeared to be a Valley Girl with fangs. That was more ridiculous than a senile Gou’a’uld, like Yu.
He picked up the red phone and made the call.
Of course, it wasn’t as simple as just picking up the red phone. The President of the United States had his schedule packed with meetings and such, and there were hundreds of people who could make an emergency call on the red phone, many of whom weren’t even in this country. He got right through to one of the key staffers and the Secretary of Defense, but he was under orders not to give details about the situation to anyone except the President, so that led to his having to wait.
Thirty-five minutes later, the President called back on the red phone. Hank answered it at once. “Yes sir. General Landry here.”
“Now Hank, can you give me that full, detailed report in short form? I have… seventeen minutes, and then I have to attend a meeting I’d rather not go to. If I could stay here and talk to you for the next two hours and seventeen minutes instead, believe me, I would.”
Hank took a deep breath and said, “Yes sir. Anise of the Tok’ra went walkabout last night, using an invisibility device we didn’t know she had. She went into Colorado Springs, met a young man, had dinner and drinks, and then a lot more drinks, and then ended up in a motel room with him. Unfortunately, the young man is Xander Harris of the NSAWC, and he knows enough Latin and ancient Egyptian to parse some of the things Anise shouldn’t have said, and so he worked out that we have the Stargate here, and that Anise isn’t a hundred percent human.”
“I can’t say that surprises me, Hank. Xander Harris is known in certain circles as ‘The One Who Sees’. He’s a lot sharper than he acts. And there are a lot of people in the NSAWC who are far smarter than him.”
Well, that little admission went better than he was expecting. “Sir, we brought Harris into the SGC to find out what Anise had told him, and whether her device might have had unfortunate effects on him. He used that to his advantage. He orchestrated what he called Project H. Two NSAWC people showed up at the gate with… an ordinary pine coffin.”
“And it wasn’t empty, was it?”
Hank said, “No sir. There was a corpse.” He was beginning to think the President was enjoying his discomfort. And he was pretty sure the President had a good idea what Xander Harris and the NSAWC did, if he knew the coffin wasn’t going to be empty. “Colonel Carter instituted lockdown procedures and only let it in as far as the NORAD triage station on level one. We didn’t want another Hathor incident, or worse. But Colonel Samantha Carter, Dr. Carolyn Lam, and Major Jennifer Hailey all ran tests on the corpse and the coffin before concluding it really was a dead body in an ordinary pine coffin. Then something happened.”
“Did you get video of it?”
Hank said, “Yes sir. For reasons I don’t understand, two of our cameras simply wouldn’t record Miss Kendall’s body or the clothing she was wearing, but the CCD system Colonel Carter had installed did
get the imagery. And you know why, sir.”
“That’s right, only I’m not allowed to tell you by the arrangements we have with the NSAWC. However, there’s nothing in the arrangements that says you can’t figure it out for yourself, or be in a situation where the NSAWC tells you themselves.”
He groaned inwardly. So it was all political. He really hated politics. “And so you already know that Harmony Kendall died seven years ago, and is now a… umm… vampire. And there are vampires and demons out there, threatening our planet. And that Willow Rosenberg is a phenomenally powerful witch. And Buffy Summers, Faith Lehane, and Violet O’Connell are Vampire Slayers, as are an enormous number of new Slayers, almost all of whom gained their powers the day that Sunnydale collapsed.”
“And did Xander Harris tell you all of this?”
He said, “No sir. Major Hailey was tasked to investigate using internet data sources, and she worked almost all of it out. Xander Harris gave us confirmation on some of this, and we witnessed some more. Also, Colonel Carter and Dr. Jackson worked out large pieces of the puzzle. Apparently there are some very old texts in dead languages which actually talk about the Vampire Slayer, and there is at least one of these texts which actually explains how a Slayer led the revolt that chased the Gou'a’uld off Earth originally. We are currently negotiating to get that intel for Dr. Jackson to study.”
“Excellent, Hank. Really excellent. I can’t tell anyone about the NSAWC, but I can’t help it if you work it out yourselves. And similarly, there’s no way I could authorize telling an international NGO that has dealings in places that include embargoed countries about a U.S. military secret like the SGC. But there’s nothing I can do if, say, the NSAWC found out for themselves.”
Hank groaned, “Yes, Mister President.”
“And we didn’t have Violet’s name, so well done. We also didn’t have the link that the change in numbers happened the day of the Sunnydale disaster, but there used to be only one, and now we know there are at least a hundred.”
Hank said, “Colonel Carter ran a quick computer simulation based on some data Hailey put together, and she’s estimating well over a thousand.”
“Whew! Well, if you ever get an offer to incorporate some Slayers in some of your SG teams, or even as protection at the SGC, you just jump on that with both feet. And if Buffy Summers or Willow Rosenberg ever shows up on your doorstep, you just treat them like royalty. No, better than that. Treat them like a five-star who already has Need To Know, and has your budget money in his back pocket. And if either of them ever asks you for something, no matter how insane it sounds, you should just say ‘yes ma’am how high’. Got it?”
He raised one eyebrow, and was glad the President couldn’t see it. “Really, sir?”
The President laughed at his tone and said, “Just like I do, Hank. Just like I do.”
Oh shit. If the NSAWC could boss around the President of the United States, was there any limit on their powers? He just said, “Yes, Mister President. Will do.”
“Oh, and try to keep Willow Rosenberg separated from Samantha Carter, if you can.”
Hank said, “They already had a web conference that Xander Harris set up. They seemed to hit it off well enough. Even if I don’t understand half of the notes Carter took.”
“Oh, that’s good. That’s very good. I was worried that Colonel Carter’s science background might make it difficult to deal with some of what Ms. Rosenberg is capable of.”
Hank cautiously asked, “Is it true that she could have teleported Xander Harris out of here whenever she felt like it?”
“I assume so. I also assume that if the Ori ever manage to get at us again and we can alert Ms. Rosenberg ahead of time, those Priors will be very, very sorry.”
Not for the first time since he took this job, Hank Landry swallowed hard.
“Good luck Hank, I think you’re going to need it with the NSAWC.” It almost sounded like the President chuckled as he hung up the phone.
A/N: There are no plans for another sequel. I did put half a dozen sequel hooks in the first story (feel free to go find all of them), but my muse isn’t motivating me in that direction right now. On the other hand, my muse could change her mind at any second. She usually alerts me to this by hitting me in the back of the head with a half-brick inna sock.
A/N2: I always look forward to reviews, so feel free to tell me what worked and what didn't work. My writing improves (in theory) if I see what was wrong with previous writing. I also look forward to recommendations, so feel free to rec this story, or any of my other stories. I still have three stories running, and two of them may run for quite a while.