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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-CenteredEnergyBeingFR133964,81428544,8172 Sep 123 Feb 13Yes

Chapter Thirty-Three

Buffy didn't stay long with Riley after she noticed what his hand was tracing. Not only because she didn't know what to make of what his hand was tracing, but she didn't know why he didn't just tell her.

Buffy always thought better when she was walking. She'd come up with some of her best plans while out on patrol - she'd once even mentally written an entire English essay while slaying a couple of vampires. It had helped that they had been very bemused that she kept quoting Dickens at them - so she decided to take a longer route back to Giles's house in order to have more time to mull things over.

However, this being Sunnydale, the long route back was only marginally longer than the short route. During that time, the only thought that Buffy had had was that Riley was too scared of someone in the Initiative to talk to her about it - and perhaps this was the same person that had let Adam in in the first place?

Given that both Walsh and Engleman were dead, Buffy couldn't suspect them, although they were the obvious choice. Also, as Buffy wasn't well acquainted with many people in the Initiative, her suspects were limited to Forrest and the rest of Riley's friends, none of which Buffy really thought were on the side of Adam.

Which left some idea that Buffy hadn't had yet. Fortunately, by the time that Buffy had thought all of this through, she had arrived back at Giles' house. There were plenty of people that she could bounce ideas off in there.

Or perhaps not, thought Buffy, as she pushed open Giles door (she vaguely wondered if the Watcher even had a lock on it) to find the room empty apart from a large diagram on a large piece of paper for some kind of machine, surrounded by extremely complicated looking equations, and Giles, sipping tea and reading from one of his ancient tomes.

"Where is everyone?" Buffy asked, making sure to make a little bit of noise first. Once, she had spoken to Giles when he had been so deeply engrossed in a book that he hadn't heard her come in - although Giles had blamed her Slayer powers rather than his own inattentiveness for that - that he had spilled tea all over a priceless book. Giles had ranted at her for hours over that, and so Buffy made sure never to do it again.

"They've gone to buy various gadgetry to help make one rather large gadget, from what I gather." Giles answered, looking up. "And where did you sneak off to?"

Buffy ignored the sneaking suspicion that Giles already knew - or had already guessed - where she had been and answered the question. "I went to see Riley."

"Yes, I thought as much." Giles muttered into his tea cup.

"There's something... off about him." said Buffy, trying to articulate what she had felt upon meeting him.

"I should say so. I would think that anyone who wanted to shoot Willow would be more than a little off, don't you?" Giles answered.

"He traced a message to me, Giles. He wrote "Adam came" over and over again. Why wouldn't he just tell me?" Buffy complained.

"Buffy, he's suffering from drug withdrawal. He's hardly likely to be rational." Giles replied reasonably. "Riley could be referring to the incident in which you met Adam yourself. Alternatively, it could just be paranoia."

"No, Giles, I know that Riley wasn't delirious. I could tell. The only reason I could come up with for him not to just spit it out was that he was scared of someone in the Initiative." Buffy said.

"You think that there's someone on the inside working with Adam." Giles said astutely. Buffy didn't answer, she just nodded.

"Well, Buffy, you might be right. Although why anyone would want to work with Frankenstein's monster with added technology is beyond me. Besides, what can you do about it? You may not like the Initiative, but they do have the best medical care in Sunnydale. It's unlikely that Riley would get better care anywhere else, and it didn't seem like Adam actually hurt Riley, did it?" Giles said.

Buffy conceded that he had a point. There was nothing she could do - right now. But she was the Slayer, she wasn't going to sit idly by and let some shady organization let some monster near her hospitalized sort-of-boyfriend, not if she could help it.

"Hey, Buff, you're back!" came the somewhat strained voice of Willow from the doorway. Buffy turned to see her friend standing there, the others following her, each weighed down by bags. She vaguely wondered what went into making a Tesla coil that required so much stuff.

Nevertheless, Buffy moved over to Willow and took the heavy bags from here, carrying them with ease.

~*~

While Sam would've been the best qualified to supervise the construction of the Tesla coil, she decided to leave it to Willow, who could do it equally well, and concentrate on something else.

The Tesla coil would be fairly big, and the range of the lightning would probably be thirty or forty feet or so, and said lightning would be very dangerous to any human who might happen to pass by. So Sam needed a place to put it, which was harder than it might seem.

They suspected that Adam had some kind of lair beyond the woods, but, even if he did, the gang could hardly bring the coil all that way - if only because there wasn't an extension lead nearly that long, and the type of industrial batteries they would need to power the coil were simply unavailable in Sunnydale. Which meant that the coil would have to be plugged into a step-up generator, which Willow was also helping to build, and run on power from the mains supply.

Having already discussed this with Willow while they were still formulating their designs, Sam had found that the only suitable place for the coil was Sunnydale Square, a largish plaza in the centre of town.

However, that location also had its problems, namely the fact that it was in the centre of town. Sunnydale wasn't so small that there wouldn't be people passing through there, and it probably wouldn't be the best of ideas to expose them to bolts of lightning that would almost certainly kill them, not to mention Adam, who certainly would.

Which was why Sam was calling Jack. Sam knew that she needed to have to evacuate that whole area, but she didn't know anyone in authority in Sunnydale who could arrange that (and given that Willow had told her what had happened to the Mayor last year, Sam wasn't entirely sure that was a bad thing) and she didn't really have the time to make these contacts.

Which was where Jack came in. Although he was currently transporting the currently unconscious and soon to be amnesiac Hailey back to the Airforce Academy, Jack was still the ranking officer of the group, and he was the only person who had the time to persuade Hammond to use his influence as the General of a top-secret base to evacuate Sunnydale.

"What do you want, Carter?" asked Jack as soon as he picked up the phone.

"Can't I just call my colonel as a social call?" Sam asked jovially.

"No, you can't. If you were Daniel, maybe. But not you, Carter, you don't do social calls. So why don't you tell me what you want." Jack answered.

Sam sighed. "I want you to call Hammond, arrange for him to evacuate the town." she told him brusquely.

"Why? You bring in a horde of Airforce cadets that are in danger of getting slaughtered?" Jack said, voice dripping with sarcasm.

Right about now, Sam wished that she hadn't called Jack. She'd forgotten how poorly he did when he was trapped far away from the action - and Jack tended to take his frustrations out on those around him.

"Jack..." said Sam, warningly.

Jack made a sound which might've been him sighing. Either that or blowing into the mouthpiece in annoyance. Sam thought it could've been either. After a moment, Jack said "I'm sorry, that was uncalled for. No doubt you've put the actual citizens of Sunnydale in danger of being slaughtered."

"No! Well, actually, kind of yes. We're building a device that we think might kill Adam, but it's dangerous and we need to put it in a central place. We're not too keen on collateral fatalities, so we need that area to be evacuated at the very least." Sam answered.

"Let me guess... it's not a bomb, you're not that type. I doubt you've got a pit of acid hidden around somewhere, so not that. So what are you going to do, electrocute him? I'm right, aren't I?" Jack said triumphantly.

"Yes. How did you know?" said Sam, somewhat taken aback.

"I know my Sam. So, I'll get Hammond to arrange a storm warning or something, alright?" Jack asked.

"Yes, thanks, that would be perfect." said Sam. "Bye."

"See you." Jack said, before hanging up.

Then Sam got to work helping to build the Tesla coil and the step-up generator, thinking as she did so that at least it was an excuse to keep her from having to wake up Spike and tell him that they needed him to turn on a machine that would electrocute him.

She wasn't looking forward to that.

~*~

Author’s note: as for the length of lightning made by a Tesla coil, Tesla himself only managed one a little over a hundred foot long, which is the record. Other than him, the record was something like seventy feet long. Therefore, thirty/forty feet is perfectly reasonable.

Also, there is a spin-off from this story, "The Adventure of Dru the Ensouled", is now finished. You need to read it before I upload he next couple of chapters, otherwise you won't understand what is going on.
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