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Adjustment Phase

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Scoobies & Stargates". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: When Willow joins the SGC, you might think they'd ease her in a little. But no, she's pushed into the deep end with an Atanik bracelet. And it's not until after that that things start getting really strange.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Willow-CenteredEnergyBeingFR133964,81428444,4352 Sep 123 Feb 13Yes

Chapter Thirty

"Guys, we've got to go to the Initiative." said Buffy, brusquely.

"I appreciate that I might be missing something here, but why exactly?" asked Xander.

"Yes, I'm tired of traipsing around the place. Why is it necessary that we follow your crazy boyfriend? I feel that our time would be better spent here." said Anya grumpily.

"Well, Xan, if Riley's gone, then he's going to try and find answers about what happened to Walsh, and the only place he can do that is at the Initiative, seeing as he hasn't come to see us." answered Buffy, completely ignoring Anya.

"I've got to agree with Xander here. Why exactly are we going to follow the crazy guy who wanted to kill me into the headquarters of the crazy professor who wanted to kill you? Wouldn't they be better off being together?" asked Willow.

"Riley's suffering from drug withdrawal, not insanity, Willow. Besides, if he goes to the Initiative in his current state, he would almost certainly cause trouble there, which would probably be in our best interest to avoid. Especially with a boy-killing Frankenstein's monster on the loose." Daniel answered Willow before Buffy had a chance to.

"You're supposed to be on my side." Willow mumbled, too quietly for anyone to hear.

Buffy contemplated asking Willow to repeat herself, but decided that it wouldn't be worth the effort to do so. "Right, everyone who wants to help break into a top secret military installation in search of my boyfriend before he threatens to shoot someone who might actually shoot him back, raise your hands."

Sam, Willow, Daniel, Buffy, Teal'c, Oz and Xander all raised their hands, although Anya tried to pull Xander's down again. He said to her "I've broken into a military base before, it's not like it's anything new. I'm not even going to steal anything this time."

Daniel snorted with laughter, then said "In future, I'd recommend not confessing to stealing from the military in front of an officer." gesturing at Sam as he did so.

Sam smiled. "I'm sure he did it for a good cause. And that he gave it back afterwards." she said, glaring at Xander with mock sternness.

Xander ripped off a textbook salute. Sometimes having the memories of a soldier, however fuzzy, could come in handy. "Yes, ma'am. Used a rocket launcher to kill an invincible demon, ma'am."

"Although you did lose it promptly afterwards." said Giles, concealing a smirk.

Xander sagged slightly. "Yes, I'm still not quite sure how that happened. I've always blamed gremlins."

"Did you feed them after midnight? I understand that they can be most troublesome in that case." said Teal'c, seemingly perfectly seriously. It was impossible to tell whether he was or not.

"I - it was a joke." muttered Xander, evidently not sure whether he was being sent up or not.

Buffy, who had been getting increasingly more impatient as the nattering wore on, decided to interrupt it. "Okay, now that we've made the decision, shall we go?"

"Hey, do you have any of those cool stun guns? What did you call them, zits?" said Xander excitedly.

"Zats. And yes, we do have a spare." said Sam, seeing as how Jack hadn't taken one on his drive to Colorado. "Although, to be honest with you, I'd rather someone else took it rather than you."

"I'll take it." said Willow quickly, before Xander could protest. She guessed that, seeing as how she and Daniel had been sharing a body on the way here, they had only bought four Zats, and if the remaining members of SG-1 each had one, that left one spare. Willow felt more comfortable with one than most other kinds of weapons, considering she'd have to hit someone twice with it to kill someone, but it would be fairly easy to pull a Faith and accidentally kill someone with the melee weapons Buffy normally used.

Giles, seeing the mounting frustration in Buffy's face, said hurriedly "Okay, I think you'd better go now before Buffy explodes. I'll stay here and keep an eye on Spike." he said. Buffy smiled at him gratefully.

~*~

The group made their way to the frat house that Riley lived in, and where the only entrance to the Initiative that Buffy knew was. She thought that it was possible that they wouldn't have revoked her access yet, and that there would still be too much chaos for anyone to notice they were there, as long as it seemed as though they belonged there.

Unfortunately, as Buffy stood in front of the mirror (it had taken her a fair while to get everyone not to stand directly behind her) nothing happened. Apparently someone - Buffy hoped that it hadn't been Riley - had decided to revoke her access.

Sam was about to suggest they go in via the entrance that she had gotten Hailey through, when Teal'c pulled out his Zat and shot the door. Blue electricity flickered briefly over the mirror, and then the door that it disguised opened a crack, as its circuits were presumably shorted.

Fortunately, the elevator inside still worked (when Xander asked why, both Sam and Willow launched into a long explanation in which they finished each other’s sentences. What Xander managed to get from the conversation was that the elevator and the door were isolated from each other) so the group began their descent into the bowels of the Initiative.

Although the elevator only took a few seconds, to the somewhat crowded group inside it, the downwards trip seemed to take much longer than that. However, when it arrived and the group gratefully spilled out, they are glad to see the busy nature of the various scientists below. No military personnel were to be seen.

"Hey, it's Angleman." said Buffy, pointing at the man in question.

"Indeed." said Teal'c.

"What he means to say is 'Who is Angleman?'" translated Daniel. After spending several years with Teal'c, he had come to be rather accomplished in translating his numerous "Indeed"s.

"He's the guy who we're going to get our answers from." said Buffy shortly.

The group headed purposefully for the scientist who, seemingly without noticing that they were walking towards him, went off into a room adjoining the vast, central room. Of course, the gang followed, although Willow couldn't help but think that it was odd that no one had tried to stop them, considering that half of them weren't dressed as scientists and they seemed to be one of the few groups not milling around aimlessly.

However, it was too late for Willow to voice any concerns when they finally got into the room holding one nonchalant Angleman sitting at the computer. "Hello, Ms Summers. I'd have thought you'd have arrived somewhat earlier than this." he said, without looking up.

"Well, that means that you have had more time than you needed to think about what you want to say to me." said Buffy. "So start!"

"Or it might mean that he's had more time than he needed to set a trap for you." said Willow, having already been put on her guard.

"Yes, your friend is correct. Security will no doubt be arriving at any second. They will have seen your arrival on the security screens." said Angleman triumphantly.

At that moment, a surprisingly calm-looking Riley - although everyone couldn't help but notice the pistol on his hip and one of the Initiative's versions of the Zat gun (Sam wondered if the NID had been behind them) cradled in his hands - entered the room and said "I'm afraid not, sir. The screens have been down for ten minutes now, despite all our technicians have done to try and get them back up."

Willow's bad feeling intensified. "We didn't do that, did we?" she asked, knowing that they hadn't.

"No, but I'm going to make a stab at it and say that he did." said Oz, pointing at a curious blend of demonic green, human white, and mechanical silver standing on a balcony overlooking the room that they hadn't even noticed was there.

Even as they looked, the creature that could only be Adam vaulted down, landing with an almighty thump several feet away. "Yes, I have turned off your screens, and isolated you from the outside world. Isn't it interesting to watch you scurry like ants in your panic?" he said in a deep, monotone voice that was nevertheless more human than robot.

"I can safely say no to that one." said Daniel.

Before Adam could respond with some sort of suitably pompous and megalomaniacal response, Riley lost his calm and shouted "Who - What are you? Did you kill the professor?" Riley shot him with the stun gun before Adam could answer, but when that had no effect as he dropped it and pointed his pistol at the monster.

Adam shrugged. "I am what Mother made me. I'm a kinematically redundant biomechanical humanoid. It's is all in here. I've seen it." he said, and even as he spoke a slot like a CD opening opened in his chest, and a CD came out. It was so incongruous that several members of the group giggled nervously, before Adam continued. "I have a purpose."

"Yes you do. And Maggie would want you to stand down until you can achieve that purpose correctly." said Angelman excitedly.

Adam looked at him. "Yes, I suppose she would. But, you see, she made me too human, and not enough. I will not, like a machine, meekly await orders, but I cannot do anything else. I will do what I was made to do, and I will do it now. And Mother will not stop me." he said coolly. Angleman shrunk back as Adam spoke.

"You killed her, didn't you!" shouted Riley, never one to let go of a point.

"Yes." said Adam flatly, and Riley flinched as though he had been hit. However, he rallied and prepared to shoot at Adam, but Adam closed the distance between the two incredibly quickly, and knocked the gun out of Riley's hand with one contemptuous swipe of his arm. Before anyone had gathered themselves enough to respond to the sudden onslaught, a long, thin bone skewer slid out of Adam's arm and into Riley's side. The soldier dropped like a stone.

Then people reacted. Several Zat blasts hit Adam at once, but that did nothing other than make him pause for a second. Then there was a crunching sound, as of breaking bones, and a wolfman - Oz, apparently he could now control the amount that he turned into a wolf - leapt at Adam, knocking him back as Oz snapped and slashed at any bit of yielding flesh he could find. It held back Adam for a few moments, but unfortunately stopped anyone from getting near enough to help, or from shooting Adam.

However, Adam soon hurled Oz off him, and the flying wolfman hit Buffy and Angleman (the scientist had sidled around to hide behind her during the fight) with enough force to knock them both against the wall. Buffy got up promptly, only being slightly dazed thanks to Slayer durability, but Angleman, judging by the angle his neck was twisted at, hadn't been so lucky. Perhaps hiding behind Buffy hadn't been the best decision.

Then Adam turned and began rapidly scaling the wall like a spider. It seemed odd to the more militaristically inclined in the group that he was running away, seeing as how nothing they were doing was having the slightest effect - even Oz's wolf attack had left no more than superficial wounds, and the rain of Zat fire hitting Adam's did nothing but make him hesitate for a fraction of a second whenever a shot managed to hit him - which wasn't much, considering the speed he was moving at.

Nevertheless, as the kinematically redundant biomechanical demonoid vanished, that gave Willow an idea. She scooped up Riley's abandoned stun gun.

However, at that point, wherever by accident or design, an alarm went off and military personnel began pouring in, headed by Riley's friend Forrest. He knelt down by Riley to examine the wound, then said to a couple other men "Take him to the infirmary." then he turned to the group, who he glared fiercely at. "I think you've all got some explaining to do. From the cells."

Sam stepped forward. "No, I don't think so. I outrank you, Sergeant, and these people are under my protection. We will of course be happy to answer any questions you might have, but not here and not now." she said brusquely.

"With all due respect, Major, this facility is classified Top Secret, and unless you have sufficient clearance, you've just broken the law," said Forrest bluntly.

"We have been given clearance. I suggest you take the matter up with your superiors. We're leaving now. Don't try to stop us." said Sam imperiously. Buffy fought the impulse to stick a tongue out at the military men from behind her back.

The group swept out, leaving a gawping Forrest staring after them.

~*~

A little while later, in the infirmary, a now conscious and somewhat less drug-addled Riley had a visitor.

"Hello, Brother. I have something to tell you." said Adam.
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