Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or Star Wars. Buffy and related characters belong to Whedon. Star Wars and related characters belong to Lucas.
A/N: Picking up from a series I started near the end of last year’s August Fic-a-Day, this is the third in that series. The first in the series was called Force of a Slayer, with the second being called A Fair Trade. This can be read standing alone, though. You get less of a surprise that way in some cases, but definitely able to stand on its own as I do little catch up things throughout each fic. Also, I hope my backwards typing is up to par. You’ll understand soon enough. Hope you enjoy!A Slayer in Coruscant’s Court
The world was fuzzy and full of strange noises. For a moment, Buffy half expected to see the Shadow Men standing over her, ready to speak to her of all her mistakes as a slayer. It took a second more, but soon she realized that that wasn’t the case. She wasn’t lying on a dirty stretch of African soil in a time long past. No, she was lying on some cool metal surface in a place that looked like every sci-fi movie she had ever seen.
Several whirring noises sounded constantly overhead, and Buffy realized that she wasn’t alone. A crowd—a really massive one—of various humans and demons (aliens, she amended to herself, had to be aliens) was doing its best not to step on the crumpled slayer. Feeling more than a little stupid, she hurried to her feet.
“Are you quiet all right?” a voice asked from somewhere on her right.
It was high, the voice, and distinctly Giles-sounding—that was to say, British. Buffy blinked and turned. A robot, gleaming gold, seemed to be eyeing her. She looked all around, watching as the passersby remained oblivious to the strangeness of her arrival. After all, she had just fallen through a mystically summoned portal right into the middle of their walkway, if she remembered correctly. At least she would be able to tell Willow that the demon-Buffy switch spell worked just as well when switching worlds with a supposed “Old One” named Luke Skywalker. Locking eyes with the golden figure once more, she pointed a finger at herself.
“Were you talking to me?” she asked.
The robot nodded and moved a bit closer.
“Indeed I was, Mistress Summers. Allow me to introduce myself. I am C-3PO, human-cyborg relations.”
“Oh. Hi. Um, I’m Buffy Summers, slayer.”
“I know who you are, Mistress Summers. The Powers That Be have told me everything. I’ve been sent to be your guide.”
Buffy’s brow arched. “My guide? To what? And you know The Powers? You might want to tell them that I have a bone to pick with them.”
C-3PO sighed—which Buffy thought sounded unnervingly human—and shook his head. He walked a few steps closer to her, and she suddenly noticed that the crowd wasn’t as observant of them as she had originally thought.
“You’ve been brought here to learn, Mistress Summers.”
Buffy held up a hand. “Um, Buffy, please.”
C-3PO stopped, his metallic head turned to one side. Then, with a slightly frantic wave of his arms, he sighed once more.
“Very well. Mistress Buffy.”
Buffy groaned, and C-3PO continued.
“As I was saying, you’ve been brought here to learn that which must be learned. I’ve been sent as your guide through these matters. These people surrounding us are nothing sort of a feed, of some sort, from the past. You can see them, but they cannot see you as they replay their lives from this day so very long ago.”
Buffy glanced around, taking in the surroundings beyond her place on the metal platform. It was a sprawling city all around her, every building attached with its own metal walkways, and flying vehicles of all shapes, sizes, and colors zooming about. Turning to her left, she noticed a bunch of smaller robots cleaning away debris that looked like normal, everyday rock that had been carved into some sort of figure.
“I’m in the past?” Buffy asked.
“Yes, ma’am. Several thousands of years so.”
The slayer’s eyes narrowed. “Where am I?”
“The city planet of Coruscant, one day past Master Luke’s disappearance.”
Hearing the name of the strange man she had found, newly awakened in a odd metallic coffin in the Deeper Well jolted her. Her mind filled with hundreds of questions, and it was a little hard to sort through them all. Finally, she shook her head.
“The spell. This one. I’ve been involved in it before. I was in Africa talking with the Shadow Men. I almost got pure demon essence put inside of me.”
“I assure you, that will not happen this time.”
Buffy huffed. “Thanks. But what I meant was… who was my fair trade? Who got sent back, and are they currently trying to kill my friends and family?”
It was strange, but the movement of the light in C-3PO’s eyes seemed to suggest that they had widened.
“Heavens, no! The Powers have granted a kindness in exchange for what must be done. The trade made with you is one who will carry the memory of seeing Master Luke for the last time for the rest of her days. They, The Powers, hope that it will bring them both a measure of peace.”
There was sadness in the golden robot’s voice, and that made Buffy’s heart ache. Perhaps Luke had gotten the harder side of the spell after all. Shaking her head, she shrugged.
“So what do you have to show me?”
C-3PO nodded. Turning, he gestured over at the pile of carefully carved rubble that the smaller robots were sweeping inside of themselves.
“It all began as soon as the Empire fell. The Jedi misunderstood the prophecy.”
Buffy held up her hands. “Slow your roll. What prophecy?”
“When Master Luke’s father was discovered, it was prophesied that he would bring balance to the Force. Then, he turned to the dark side. However, with the aid of Master Luke, he was able to complete the prophecy by destroying the evil Emperor Palpatine.”
Buffy made a “huh” noise, eyeing her new mechanical friend. “Sounds pretty straightforward to me.”
“Alas, the mistake was not in the reading of the prophecy, but in the enacting. You see, it was not meant for Anakin Skywalker and his son. It was meant for Master Luke… and you.”
Buffy’s eyes narrowed, and she found her gaze shifting. Now would be the perfect moment to spring that ol’ demon essence on her again. She felt her body tense, readying for a fight.
“What do you mean?”
C-3PO turned, gesturing toward the doors of the large building in front of them.
“Please, it is not my place to explain. I am merely to guide you to Them. They will answer all your questions, as they did with mine.”
There was a beat of silence. A brief moment where neither slayer nor robot moved, as Buffy eyed the golden thing, trying to figure if he had it in him to jump her or something from behind. This whole thing reeked of trouble, but, to her naked eye, there was no trouble to be seen. Finally, she nodded, walking ahead.
“Through the glass doors, please. This building used to serve as the Senate building in both the New and Old Republic, you know,” he said as Buffy arrived at the entrance.
The doors slid open without a noise, and Buffy entered into a corridor carpeted in rich tones of red and purple, with matching curtains hanging from the high, high ceiling. A tapestry, as long as the curtains, hung to her immediate left. It depicted a young woman, about Buffy’s age, with chocolate brown hair, bright brown eyes, and sweet smile. She was dressed in a beautiful gold gown, her hair pulled back in a strange combination of two buns and long tresses.
“Senator Amidala from the planet of Naboo,” C-3PO said. “Please, this way.”
He led her straight up the hall, where the well dressed men and women and aliens on the inside paid the two no mind. The robot had fallen into the lead, continuing straight ahead, until, about thirty or so feet away from the entrance, he turned toward a large set of ornate, faux gold doors.
“Inside,” he said, and it sounded more like a request than a demand.
Buffy pushed on the doors. The room she found on the other side was nothing like she expected. She had anticipated more carpeted floors, perhaps an office of some kind. Instead, a hallway lit by blue lights and done entirely in cold, unfeeling silver metal—which shone the blue back well—lay before her. C-3PO gestured further, and the slayer slowly made her way up the hall. She was still just waiting for that demon essence—or whatever the space equivalent of that would be. The other shoe, as it were.
The hallway, narrow as it was, opened up eventually into a room full of strange buttons and consoles. It was empty, save for the flashing of lights of all colors. She turned toward her guide.
“Patience, you must have.”
Eyes narrowed, Buffy whirled on her heel. Her eyes scanned the room. Finding nothing at first, she tried again, this time lowering her gaze. Sitting on the floor in front of her, dressed in tan colored robes with a walking stick in his green hands was the strangest little thing she had ever seen. It was an odd mix between creepy and cute, with a small, round, wrinkly head and long, pointed ears that extended from either side of his head.
“Hmm, this form I have taken. Discuss we must the future of the Force.”
Buffy blinked, and for a moment was sure someone, somewhere, was playing a joke on her. In fact, she even found herself looking around for a hidden camera. Satisfied after a moment of searching, she turned back to the little green man.
“Who are you?”
“The Powers That Be you know me as. Taken the form of Jedi Master Yoda I have currently.”
Buffy knelt down so that she could stare the little creature in the eye. She glanced back up at C-3PO.
“Okay, guide,” she said. “Guide me. What the hell is going on?”
“The Powers That Be have matters to discuss with you, Mistress Buffy. And this is the best way they knew how. They knew that you would venture into the past to seek answers about Master Luke’s origins, and his disappearance.”
“Balance you have disrupted, Miss Summers. Restore it we must.”
Balance out of whack. Buffy had heard that before. Twice, at least. She had even heard it in Luke’s own story. She shifted, moving to sit crossed legged in front of the manifestation of The Powers.
“How did I mess up the balance? By being brought back to life?’
Yoda laughed, shaking his head. And Buffy suddenly had the strong urge to hug him.
“No. Knew that would come we did. Balance with the making of many you disrupted.”
Buffy bit the inside of her cheek. She knew there would be repercussions. She was messing with a plan older than herself. Older than time. But she had done it, done what she had to do to ensure the survival of her planet. She was not sorry. And Yoda—The Powers, whoever—knew that.
“So, what? Do you want me to take away my girls’ powers? Because I can’t do that,” Buffy said with more than a little bristling involved.
“Disrupt it further that would. No. For balance to be returned, more there must be.”
Buffy shook her head. “I don’t get it. That sounds a little like two wrongs making a right.”
“Not slayers. Gave you the means we did. Foreseen this we have. At your disposal he is. Powerful Jedi. No idea you have of the resources at your disposal all along.”
“Luke? Are… are you saying that Luke’s awake—that he was sent so far into the future of another planet
to fix my mistake?”
Yoda nodded. Buffy felt sick. Her fault. His family losing him. The loss of the life he had known. It was all because of her. After a beat of silence, the little green manifestation waved his three-clawed hand.
“Enough. Time for you to leave it is.”
“What?” Buffy said, jumping to her feet. “But—”
However, by the time she was fully erect, Yoda was gone. She felt a cool, hard hand on her shoulder, and she turned to see C-3PO staring at her, the light in his eyes dim.
“You have what you need now. If you please… give Master Luke my regards.”
But the words had no sooner left her mouth than she saw a bright flash of blue-white light and felt her body collide with something very much like a floor. When her vision cleared again, she was back in Castle Slayer—the name given to the slayers’ new headquarters in Scotland—and staring up at Willow and Luke.
It was Luke she looked to particularly, as his eyes had immediately found hers. And his were clearly wet with tears.
“My sister,” he muttered by means of explanation.
Buffy sighed, resting her forehead against the cold stone of the castle floor. So much for The Powers’ kindness.End Part III