FIC: Flight Of The Morrigan (4/?)
Xander let out a shocked wail as the sleekly-lined ship twisted, tossed, and turned, flinging them around with wild abandon. Xander gritted his teeth as the ship let out a series of loud creaks almost as if being pulled apart by a pair of giant hands.
The lights of a thousand stars flashed before his eyes as the spacecraft was pulled through wormhole after wormhole, the ship shuddering and juddering like a boat at a stormy sea. Xander caught glimpses of a hundred different wonders, some horrible and some wonderful. Ships shaped like giant crabs, glinting menacingly in the sky, other craft like giant angel fish, sentient planets that seemed to reach out and touch his mind, a skyscraper-tall figure dressed in purple and blue, a fleet of huge oval-shaped ships that glowed in the centre, and another fleet of greyish ships with a hammer-style head and wings to the side. All these inexplicable images and a thousand more flashed before his eyes as the space ship threw them heedlessly about.
Suddenly the ship lurched to a halt. “Ooooh my head,” Xander mumbled. “I’m never gonna complain about travel sickness again.” Xander choked back bile as he pulled himself upright, his companions doing the same around him.
“Xan!” Faith called out from the bridge entrance where she and the other Slayers had congregated. “What in the blue hell just happened?”
“If I may hazard a guess?” Everyone looked towards Ethan. “As I said earlier, dimensional walls have been weakened by whatever madness unleashed those monsters in the states. As a result when we called the characters into being for our ‘Halloween’ spell, the walls were weakened still further, and flung us randomly into space.”
“And you knew this might happen?” Xander queried suspiciously.
Ethan raised his hands in supplication. “Trust me when I say, as bad as things were on Earth, I have absolutely no desire to be just thrown into potentially hostile space, filled with lord only knows what threats and monsters. Better the devil you know, what?”
“He’s telling the truth,” Wood looked towards Xander and smirked. “I can tell, ‘cause Jedi, you know.”
“Yeah.” Xander blinked, a small smile tugging at his lips. He hadn’t realised before, but he felt better than he’d felt well ever. More energetic, stronger, more alert. “Has everyone else changed?” Xander nodded as a series of affirmations followed his question. “Great,” he took a second to luxuriate in the new him. No matter what else was happening, he was fitter and smarter than he’d ever been before, and in charge of a kick-ass space ship.
Of course, none of that mattered if they couldn’t get back and save the world.
Xander looked around, specifically at those who’d been possessed by Andromeda characters and one other. “Okay, this is my ship and I’m in charge of it,” he said in a tone that brooked no argument, “from now on, at least two from myself, Sam, and Michael stay on board this ship until we get home, no matter what.” Xander looked around. “Andrew, you’re my chief engineer now. I have two duties for you, check over the engines and get my AI on-line.”
“Right on it boss,” Andrew shot him a sloppy salute before hurrying out.
“Michael,” Xander looked towards the former goth mage. “Congratulations, you’re executive officer. I’ve already checked the ship’s inventory on computer, I want you to check it in person.” Xander’s fellow Sunnydaler nodded silently before stalking off the bridge.
“Sam,” Xander glanced at Mrs. Finn. “You’re our helms officer. I want you to get some practice in flying the Morrigan, but make sure you stay out of the way of any other space craft and populated space lanes, we don’t need to blunder into any trouble. Riley as our resident air force officer, I want you to watch and learn from what your wife does.”
Riley half-grinned. “I always do.”
Xander looked towards Amy. “Amy, you’re our medical officer now, familiarise yourself with the medical bay.” Xander looked towards Willow. “Willow, after that spell, I want you to go with Amy, make sure you’re just exhausted and nothing more. You too Mr. Rayne.”
“Such concern warms my heart,” snarked Ethan before following Amy and Willow from the bridge.
“And should the rest of us just twiddle our thumbs?”
“You can if you want.” Xander grinned at Giles’ typically British sarcasm. “However if I’d just had a whole new cool skills set uploaded to my noggin, I’d have to go and practice it in the gym maybe?”
Giles’ glare lacked heat. “Smart arse.” With a nod Giles led the other newly-created Jedi out of the bridge.
“What about us, dude?”
Xander smirked at Faith. “Eight ladies doubtless have concerns about fighting cellulite, why don’t you all go and run laps of the ship?”
“You’re welcome to inspect my ass for fat anytime, Harris.” Faith winked and chuckled. “Another remark like that, and I am so gonna kick your behind.” Faith glanced at the other Slayers. “Come on gang.”
“Morrigan reporting for duty.” Xander started at the cold, formal voice behind him and turned, eye widening at the sight before him. The tall, slender brunette had the look of a young Claudia Christina. “You’re the new Captain?”
“Apparently,” Xander smiled uncertainly at the avatar. When the hologram didn’t respond, he sighed and shook his head. “Okay, your first job is to tag the immediate vicinity of whatever galaxy we’re in? Use interstellar chatter, galactic news to tag planets and systems into a galactic chart or map.”
“You don’t know?”
The emotionless avatar did not sound confident in its Captain. Xander shared its lack of trust. “We were dragged through a number of I guess you’d call them wormholes. We really have no idea where we are.”
“Ah,” Morrigan nodded brusquely, “I’ll get right on it.”
Giles couldn’t help but grin as he looked around the busy gym. He felt fantastic, like thirty years had rolled off him in an instant. And yet he didn’t feel like him at thirty, he felt like someone better, a honed athlete with a health and vitality an Olympian would envy. And he felt something else too, an inner peace that wasn’t at all the Rupert Giles who’d often raged against the path life had forced upon him.
“It’s really quite amazing.”
Giles glanced towards Robin. “You feel it too?”
“The power,” Robin shook his head, “it would be intoxicating if one hadn’t had decades of training.”
“Decades in the blink of an eye, the click of a finger,” Giles shook his head. “Amazing.” Giles looked around the room again, reaching with his newly created powers. Of all of them, Oliver was just about the most powerful of them, then himself, then Robin just behind him, and Harri, with the rest falling in behind them in a tightly packed group.
“Our captain gave us an order.”
Giles looked up at Robin. “I beg your pardon?”
“He said to practice our new gifts.” Wood set himself, a smile playing on his lips. “Care to duel?”
“One has never turned his back on a challenge before.” Giles rose. “And one doesn’t intend to start now!”
Sobriety replaced humour upon his companion’s face as Giles Force-pushed against him, the African-American’s Force-shield holding firm. “You’ll have to do better than that,” Robin declared.
Giles’ smirk widened at the younger man’s taunt. “Oh I will do.”
“I’ve got the inventory,” Michael reported as he hurried back onto the bridge to find Xander sat in the captain’s chair and Sam busy flying the ship.
“Great,” Xander opened his eye and looked towards him, expression expectant. “Hit me with it.”
Michael sat down before beginning. “It’s looking pretty good. We have enough food stores and supplies to keep a group of our size going for decades. All our sensor systems appear to be working at 95% or better efficiency. According to Andrew our engines are the same. We have a full complement of kinetic projectile weapons and energy weapons, and our ship’s armour appears to be running at 100% or as near damn it. ” Michael paused. “This is a little interesting. We also have a thousand droids on board, seven hundred designated security, two hundred and fifty designated engineering, and fifty designated medical.”
“Okay,” Xander interrupted. The droids would come in very handy running what was an under-manned craft. “The security droids are under your control, the engineering are Andrew’s responsibility, and I want the medical droids to report to the medical bay to work under Amy.” Xander raised an eyebrow. “Anything else?”
“Yeah,” Michael nodded. “In addition to the normal 16 ES-115 Oracle heavy sensor/attack drones , 8 ES-14 Janus light sensor/attack drones, 36 RF-42 Centaur tactical fighters, 76 RA-26 Shrike strike fighters, and a dozen AF/A-9 Phoenix atmospheric attack craft, we also have five Stealth Hawks.”
“Huh, the last are a bonus, they’ll come in handy if we have to sneak planet side,” Xander mused.
“My thoughts exactly,” Michael glanced at his hand-held pad. “And that’s about it.”
“Captain, I have a rough star map for you.”
Michael’s jaw dropped at the hologram that materialised at the front of the ship. “Is that-.”
“It certainly looks like it,” Xander agreed as he slumped back in his seat, amazement filling him. Of all the universes in the world, they had to be there. This was insane, simultaneously a boy-hood dream come true while also, rather more realistically, dropping them into one of the more turbulent universes ever created. And that was without the added complication of just who some of their crew now were.
“What are we going to do?” queried Riley, the former solider’s eyes shining with awe.
Xander licked his lips before replying. “Morrigan I want you to replay all the audio snippets you’ve picked up so I can guess a date. Sam, keep us out of the way of traffic. And in the meantime,” Xander hesitated then shook his head, “lay in a course to Coruscant.”