The Adversary Evidentiary Cartulary
A/N: Disclaimer, crossover, spoilers, etc. are all given in chapter 1.
Buffy put as much sarcasm into her voice as she could. “Thank you so much, Miri.”
Sheldon pointed at Miri and said, “See? They’re still trying to trick us into abandoning the ‘aliens’ hypothesis. Maybe it really is alien parasites!”
Buffy just wanted to slap herself in the forehead. Or maybe slap Sheldon in the forehead. Even if she could slap someone hard enough to fracture their skull if she was careless.
Leonard complained, “Is there any further point to this? We’re already making one of our neighbors hate us, and we’re probably jeopardizing Penny’s job.”
Raj said, “Oh, that is okay. All of your neighbors hate Sheldon already.”
Sheldon’s voice rose about three notes as he insisted, “We haven’t even gotten to the evidence
Amy backed him up. “Yes, the Pergamum Codex purported to have information on ‘demons’. This could mean alien invaders, or mutants, or even several other options.”
Sheldon excitedly offered, “Or even a giant military-industrial complex cover-up going back centuries, led by the Illuminati!!!” He looked at Leonard and Amy’s faces. “Or not.”
Amy said quite severely, “Sheldon, as you would recall, we ruled that out, based on information dispersal theory.”
Sheldon looked slightly abashed, but he still stubbornly said, “You
ruled it out…”
Buffy tried to look calm. She knew that a lot of the things Sheldon and Amy would look for in internet searches would turn up nothing, because Willow had scoured Buffy’s records clean. So there was no record of Buffy being accused of torching the Hemery High gym, and there was no record of Hank Summers slapping Buffy in a nuthouse for months, and there was no record of the various charges that the Sunnydale police filed or just thought about filing. Sunnydale collapsing into a giant pit made some of that mucho easier.
Leonard said, “You’d better have some fairly incontrovertible evidence, because right now all I’m seeing is a boring bookcase and a pretty neighbor who’s getting really cheesed off at us.”
Sheldon snapped, “Leonard! Get your hormones under control! She could be an alien! She might not even be female! For all you know, her species reproduces asexually, or she might be a shapeshifter! She could be… the male of the species
Miri fell over laughing and Tia stuffed her hand into her mouth to keep from howling with laughter.
Buffy turned her head and growled, “If either of you tell Dawnie or Xander or Faith… or anybody
about that, you’re going to be running patrols every Friday and Saturday night for a year!”
“But those are date nights!”
Buffy flatly said, “Exactly.”
Sheldon tried once again to look at the bookcase, without success. Amy continued, “We found evidence. Very suspicious
evidence. Did you know Buffy Summers claims to be from Sunnydale California?”
Raj asked, “Is that not the coastal city several hours north of here which collapsed into the ground and filled with water, even though there was not a major earthquake? My parents almost made me move back home as soon as it hit the news.”
Buffy said, “Actually, I’m from Los Angeles. I just went to high school and college there. And it was a pit. Even before it became a real pit.”
Leonard asked, “Wasn’t there some con artist who was trying to run for the state legislature last year who claimed he was from Sunnydale?”
Buffy said, “Yeah. Rafael Santini. Totally not from Sunnydale.”
Sheldon said, “Real name Rafael Santos Viardelli, Canadian citizen, wanted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on twenty-four counts of fraud and attempted fraud in Ontario.”
Buffy was utterly not surprised that Sheldon remembered details like that. But Sunnydale was a hotspot for fake IDs and fake identities, just because there was no paper trail anymore, and there were no reputable sources of information from the city. The police department had been a joke, and most of the local politicians had been connected to Mayor Wilkins in one way or another. Heck, most of the surviving Sunnydale city councilmen she knew of were at least one-eighth demon.
Sheldon added, “And Willow Rosenberg, the theoretical physicist, claims to be from Sunnydale as well. Even though she is affiliated with universities in Rio de Janeiro.”
Leonard said, “So what’s the big deal with Lake Sunnydale?”
Amy replied, “It is most definitely not a lake. It has an outlet to the Pacific Ocean, so technically it is a bay.”
Sheldon continued, “And the crater is perfectly round, which is impossible under the circumstances, so that in itself is suspicious. Loring and Krishnamurti wrote a paper last year picking apart every geophysical theory for the development of the crater. Undoubtedly, that is because the crater was caused by some sort of alien weapon
Amy said, “I think we are still lacking on evidence for that conclusion, so you are not allowed to use the word ‘undoubtedly’.”
“Very well then,” Sheldon huffed. “Why don’t you reveal your next piece of evidence, and we’ll see how that goes?”
Amy nodded briskly. “Very well then. Synchronicity is not causality, but we looked for objective temporal connections with the Sunnydale collapse that could be linked in some way with what we know of Buffy Summers. And we found a spike in news stories. All over the world, there was an explosion of news stories about teenaged girls who were suddenly unusually strong, or unusually fast, or unusually athletically inclined. Some of them stopped crimes or rescued people. Some of them were playing sports. Some of them were arrested on absurd charges. One of them was a New Mexico girl of Hispanic ancestry who knocked her stepfather through a wall when he tried to molest her. Not ‘against a wall’. Through a wall. The reporter who interviewed the stepfather in the hospital said the man had a list of injuries that sounded like he was struck by a Terminator.” She looked to the side. “But it wasn’t a Terminator. Was it? Tia?”
Tia looked a lot paler than usual, but she just said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Amy said, “It would have been much harder to connect this to you if your stepfather hadn’t posted pictures of his injuries on the internet with a picture of you and details on his hospital files. Given that he’s over six feet tall and well over two hundred fifty pounds, and you’re maybe 5’5” and petite – and wearing pigtails and no makeup in the photo he used – the local police department apparently decided he was hiding the real source of his injuries and trying to blame them on someone who didn’t dare refute his claims.”
Sheldon insisted, “And so you used your alien weapons of destruction to make dozen of teenaged girls all over the world as strong as you are! And now that you have your army, you are no doubt plotting against this great nation!”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “How? By setting up a private high school in L.A.? That makes a sense that is… totally not.”
Sheldon snapped, “And how are we humans supposed to understand the workings of an alien consciousness? Just because most writers can’t envision an alien who isn’t a regular human with funny makeup doesn’t make it realistic
Buffy said, “And it doesn’t make it real, either.”
Amy said, “I note that you are not denying the temporal link between the collapse of Sunnydale and this collection of news stories.”
Buffy said, “Why should I? They obviously happened at about the same time. Okay, that’s weird. And suspicious. But, as you pointed out, it’s not proof of anything. And it’s definitely not proof of an alien invasion, because that makes no sense at all. If you can give me even one or two rational explanations for why an alien power who can do stuff like the Sunnydale collapse and simultaneously this so-called ‘girls all over the world get strong’ thing would do stuff like that instead of just taking over the planet, then I’ll listen.”
Amy paused. “That’s the problem some
of us had.” She shot a glare over at Sheldon, meaning he had refused to deal with that problem. “Empowering a private army is one thing. Alerting the entire planet by collapsing Sunnydale into a vast hemisphere is quite another. And, despite some
“Hypotheses!” Sheldon insisted. “Carefully reasoned hypotheses! Hypotheses which require proper evaluation, mind you!”
Amy went on, “-it is also clear that you aren’t training an army, you’re educating young women.”
Sheldon said, “But that’s so that her army can take over the planet from within
when each of them controls a city or state or country. Possibly a parish or county or tribe.”
But Sheldon was staring at the bookcase again. Buffy watched as Sheldon walked to her front door, closed his eyes… and simply re-traced his movements of the night before from memory. She would have said it was impossible for him to be that accurate, but apparently Sheldon’s eidetic memory was just that impressive.
He took two steps, halted, stepped sideways, and took three more steps. That put him exactly where he was standing last night when she handed him the book. He kept his eyes closed and reached out… to exactly the place she had reached last night. He put his hand on a book and lifted it off the shelf.
Damn. It was the right book. Was that possible? Buffy didn’t think that even Willow could do that.
Well, it had to be possible, because Sheldon had just done it. He was standing there, holding volume two of the Pergamum Codex. And since the book was in his hand and not on the shelf, the notice-me-not spell on the bookcase wasn’t protecting the book any longer. So she could either rip the book out of Sheldon’s hands or let him look at it. Both would be a problem.
Okay, she could throw a knife into his foot and cause a major crisis that would let her get the book away from him, but he wouldn’t forget that he’d found the book. Or how to retrieve it again. And Willow was adamant these days about not performing memory modification spells.
Oh, and she still had the bookmarks in it. Oops. When Giles found out, he was going to give her that ‘I am very disappointed in you’ look again. She hated getting that look.
Sheldon said, “And here we have clear evidence of an ancient conspiracy going back centuries, nay, millennia. Unless your so-called copy of the Pergamum Codex is a fake.”
Buffy said, “No, it’s the real thing. It’s one of only three complete copies, and I know the people who have the other two.”
Sheldon said, “And I still require an explanation for that psychoactive field that prevents even someone such as myself from studying your bookcase. It’s clearly an example of technology far beyond our own.”
Leonard said, “Or else psychic powers, or magic, or reality warping, or-”
Sheldon snapped, “Next you’ll be misquoting Clarke’s Third Law at me, or some such.”
“Clarke’s Law?” Buffy checked.
Penny said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Sheldon imperiously corrected, “Clarke’s THIRD Law. Clarke is widely regarded as having postulated three laws of prediction.”
Leonard said, “And right now I’m thinking the first law’s probably applicable here.” He quoted, “When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.”
Buffy smirked, “Well, I would certainly consider Sheldon as elderly, but distinguished? Not so much.”
Sheldon huffed, “I am most definitely not elderly!” He paused for a moment and insisted, “And I am considered quite distinguished.”
Nobody agreed. Not even Raj.