Chapter 7: Futures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
High Guards of the Multi-verse: Foundation Disclaimer:
I do not own characters or storylines from Buffy the Vampire slayer and (animated marvel feature) Doctor Strange, X-men, Andromeda TV show and Firefly TV show Summary:
Dressing as Doctor Strange has far reaching consequences for Xander. Especially when Doctor Strange decided to help Xander in his battle against demons. Crossover:
Btvs/multiple Chapter 7: Futures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Reality 0 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer alternate verse
Jenny followed the others into the spacious pilot deck. She had been lead here when she first boarded the Eureka Maru, to see the proof as they blasted off into space. Then she had went with everyone to the mess area as Xander explained all that happened, followed by that trip into another reality, and then seeing the whole ten plus years of life passing by in their reality without them.
The emotions she had felt for the past few hours had been beyond amazed. Now she simply felt resignation that her whole world view had drastically shifted in a single evening.
“Xander.” Rommie said in greeting as they walked in. “So how are all of you? The sensors detected a space/time distortion in the mess minutes ago. That was you weren’t it?”
“Yeah, brought the group to do some sightseeing in another reality.” Xander said with a grin. “Sorry about the metal resource Rommie, I used most of them.”
“It’s alright, we have eight storage full of refined metal. Those few bars of gold and silver you took didn’t even make a dent in them.” Rommie said shaking her head. “If we ever come to a day where we run low, we can send the mining droids to one of the asteroids or planets to get more metals. You’re the Honorary Commander of the ship, you’re entitled to their usage.”
“Eight storage full of refined metal?” Cordelia said in a cracked voice, she was looking at a smug looking Xander wide eyed.
“How are crew members of the ship paid exactly?” Xander asked Rommie idly, stringing Cordelia along.
“They’ll be paid according to the roles they serve on the ship by High Guards standard. But in circumstances where we have no common monetary currency, we’ll pay in metal resource in accordance to the currency of their homeworlds.” Rommie said with a smile, seemingly understanding what Xander was doing.
“Alright, how do I sign up?” Cordelia said, eyes shining with an unholy light.
“Let’s wait until we’re on board Andromeda. Then we can decide what ship role to fit you under and what training to provide you with.” Rommie said as she manipulates the controls before her. “Andromeda’s coming into view in ten seconds.”
In the dark expanse of space, over the glowing planet of Venus hung Andromeda, a sleek beautiful silver ship, orbiting the planet in the darkness. Jenny moved forward, drinking in the beautiful sight greedily with her eyes. Back on Serenity, she had not experienced the same sense of awe as she ventured into space as she did now. Serenity was more run down, look less powerful and impressive… the small cargo ship did have its own particular charm however.
“We’re going into the hangar bay.” Rommie said with a smile as Andromeda became larger and larger in the view port. A part of the ship opened. “Get ready for decompressurization. It’ll be a little bumpy.”
OoooO Reality 0 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer alternate verse
Willow felt a sense of awe as Rommie lead the group through a large hangar bay filled with many different ships around Eureka Maru’s size. Leaving the hangar bay, they were taken down a corridor, passing several doors, took a turbo lift down several levels, before arriving at the command deck of Andromeda, a large area filled with consoles, with a view screen showing the depths of space.
Several droids were on standby in the command deck, and Willow was startled when a holographic projection of a woman looking like Rommie, but dressed differently, appeared. The woman smiled at everyone.
“Hello. I am Andromeda.” The holographic figure said. “I feel as if I’ve already known you, from watching those recorded ‘futures’ we took of this reality before we entered.”
“Ah yes, Xander had explained to us what had happened.” Giles spoke up. “And I’ll be interested in viewing those recorded ‘futures’ for myself.”
“Of course, I’ve prepared some tablets and have input the recordings into them. You can take them for viewing.” Andromeda said as the few droids on standby, stroll to the group, handing out the tablets, which seemed to be some sort of mobile high tech computer device.
“About this joining of the crew thing, what exactly must we do?” Cordelia interrupted, asking the question foremost on her mind.
“This ship is currently run by myself, using the ship droids to accomplish different necessary tasks.” Andromeda explained. “This however meant that my efficiency is reduced to until only 30%. This will cause dire results if I enter a battle situation as I may not be able to react fast enough… unless I let go of other ship wide tasks. That’s the reason I need a living crew, and there are lots of roles you can fill in the ship. There’s the life support, engine support, artillery, navigation, just to mention a few.”
“Those ship roles sound amazing.” Ms. Calendar said. “But unfortunately none of us have the appropriate training for them, not to mention if we’re to receive training from scratch, it will take a while before we’ll be proficient in any of the roles we take up.”
“The problem with knowledge can be easily solved.” Andromeda answered. “I am not sure if Xander had told you of the destruction of all the worlds in my reality. But after that destruction, when only Rommie and I were left, we had visited those destroyed world, scavenging whatever technologies that we could find. Among them was the neural data transfer technology.
“In the past, before the attack, that particular technology is proprietary to a powerful company. It allows knowledge to be transferred to another via neural data transfer. The device is something like an electronic skull cap that the target wears while data is transferred into his head.” Andromeda said. “The process takes a few minutes, after which the target gains access to a new pool of knowledge. However, the user will need to rest for a day as they will experience slight nausea through the day as the knowledge settles in.
“Before the destruction of my worlds, this technology could only be used by the very rich, as it cost large sums of money for a neural data transfer. Now… well I have the technology… and it will prove useful to pass all of you the relevant data that you need.”
“That sounds interesting.” Mrs. Summers said thoughtfully. “But is there any danger in using the technology?”
“By the time I retrieve this technology from the ruins of a glassed planet, it had been improved until it works with 100% accuracy and non-complication. The corporate organisation that created the technology catered to the very rich, they can’t have anything going wrong with their users.” Andromeda said with a smile. “There are limitations through. Everyone’s brain and mental pathways are different. There’s a different safe data transfer limit for everyone. Some might be able to handle more data transferred into their heads, others will go into a coma if that happens. We’ll need to test all of you for your safe data transfer limit before usage of the device.”
“Instant knowledge.” Xander said with a gleam in his eyes. “Sounds like my kind of thing.”
“It could be useful, though I have my doubts about it.” Giles said hesitating. “And Xander, there’s still Kaylee’s situation.”
“Kaylee?” Rommie asked curiously.
“She’s a girl we met in the reality we visited.” Buffy said, a look of worry in her eyes. “She was shot in the stomach.”
“I see, blood pills and an injection of medical nano bots should do the trick in mending her injuries.” Rommie said looking at the group. “Is her situation dire?”
“She has been operated upon, but she hasn’t woken up yet.” Xander answered. “That’s why we came back, to see if you have any medical appliances that can help. We were taking a cruise in a ship when the incident happened.”
“A ship?” Rommie asked looking at Xander. “You went back to that space flight human civilization we found, in that blue-green reality while we were testing out your powers?”
“Yeah, sort of to get everyone used to space travel before I asked them to be crew of a starship.” Xander said with a grin, gliding over the hidden fact that he had brought the group reality travelling because he had wanted to see Rommie and Andromeda’s true selves as time in their home reality passed. “You know maybe we should start identifying those realities. Maybe numbers will help. Reality 0 is our home reality. Reality 1 is Rommie and Andromeda’s home reality. Reality 2 shall be the reality where Kaylee and the others are in. For the rest of the realities I’ve briefly explored with Rommie during the experiments, they can be named with incremental numbers once we explore them further.”
“Your unique power does open up a lot of opportunities and resources for everyone.” Andromeda said approvingly. “It is wise to begin planning how to best use it, and categorise those realities you’ve been to.”
“Yeah, but in the meantime, after my discussion with everyone, they would like to all join the crew.” Xander said as he met the eyes of the group. “Is it possible to show us the available roles? Let us decide what roles we wish to fill, and then make use of the neural data transfer technology to obtain the relevant information to fulfil those duties?”
“But if we begin the process now, we’ll be down for a day.” Giles said with a frown. “Kaylee…”
“Will be fine.” Xander said comfortingly. “When we return to Kaylee’s reality, we’ll return at the exact moment we left. She was still asleep when we left, she’ll be fine until we return. And if time did pass in her reality, I can always reset it.”
“That power of yours, it is incredible.” Mrs. Summers said shaking her head. “But it does put my mind at ease about the poor girl. Some medical knowledge will be useful. So Andromeda, how will we get access to a list of available roles?”
“I’ll be transferring those data to the tablets.” Andromeda said with a smile. “Take your time to choose your roles. Rommie will bring you to the medical lab where the neural data transfer device is stored. I’ll open up the crew quarters and assign a room to each of you. It is best for all of you to rest in your room once the transfer is completed.”
“Great.” Xander said with a grin as he look down at the list of ship roles that appeared. “There’s so many things I want to know about. Hmm… an engineer, that actually sounds interesting.”
OoooO Reality 0 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer alternate verse
Giles’ head throbbed as he stumbled into the large crew quarter assigned to him. He had made his choice of the ship roles, as a linguist, diplomat, and cultural expert. Tentatively submitting himself to the neural data transfer device, his head felt like it had been stretched once the procedure had completed, with his head cramped full of instant knowledge that he could access easily.
The feeling of nausea had swept over him soon after. Thank god for the pills that Rommie had given all of them that would settle their stomach. A droid had guided him to his new crew quarter and Giles had sunk into the large soft bed thankfully.
He closed his eyes, waiting for the nausea to pass, before switching on the tablet in his hands. Ever since Xander had first told them of his power, of Andromeda and Rommie, of the experiments he and Rommie had conducted, Giles had been worried about the two new entities Xander had brought into their reality, and the supposed recorded ‘futures’ of their reality while Xander was gone and time had passed.
Giles’ fears about the starship and Rommie had been settled after he had witness their actions in a period of ten plus years of time that had passed in this reality while Xander had taken them away in another. Andromeda and Rommie, for all the fact that they were artificial intelligence, were surprisingly noble creatures. They had taken over the duties of keeping the supernatural in check on Earth while the group was not around, even helping Earth progress, achieving space flight by the time ten years had passed. The cloned civilization of their own reality they wished to create was also full of peaceful race of beings, made up of humans and several different types of aliens. There had been nothing to fear from Andromeda and Rommie. At least in the ‘futures’ they had seen.
Now that he knew he did not have to worry about the two beings from another reality, Giles was determined to see the recorded ‘futures’ of his reality for himself. The way Xander had briefly talked about those ‘futures’ had set off his internal alarm bells. Xander had refused to give details in his explanation, just saying that they would need to see everything for himself. Something in the boy’s eyes had made him worry.
There were three recordings in the tablet, which fits Xander’s story of recording the ‘futures’ of their realities on three different experimental entries. The first one was the longest, and Giles began with it.
It started with a car zooming passed an empty road before it focused on the group in the library… time passed as he watched the recorded ‘futures’ and Giles’ eyes widen in horror.
OoooO Reality 0 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer alternate verse
It had been a long day, a very very long day with her evening spent on a starship, then a sudden trip across reality, on another starship cruise, teleporting back into her reality, getting on board Andromeda, the neural data download of comprehensive horticulture and life support operation knowledge, a short nap which Giles had interrupted as he sounded the alarm for what he had found.
Cordelia was now seated in the longue with the others, grouchy with the feeling of nausea and tiredness sweeping over her, even as she started her tablet and began watching the recorded ‘futures’ with growing horror and amazement. And to think Xander had been content to stay silent, without warning them about what would happen, aside from telling them he had recordings of their ‘futures’.
“Angel become Angelus… I have a magical clone of a sister… and mom… she died!” Buffy was raging to Xander. “You didn’t think that’s important to warn me about first?”
“It’s going to take years to happen for most of them.” Xander was saying. “If those ‘futures’ ever happen again. There’s nothing major happening in the next few days according to the recorded ‘futures’. I thought it might be best to let all of you digest it at your own pace. I have so many things to show you guys. I didn’t want to overwhelm you.”
“A daughter… Dawn.” Mrs. Summer was saying, tears in her eyes. “You’re saying she might not be my daughter again?”
“Well… I did reset the past. During the timeline when we’re not around, and there’s only Rommie and her group, Dawn was never created… Rommie killed Glorificus pretty early on, there had been no need for the Key to be send to anyone.” Xander said looking uneasy, even as Mrs. Summers looked devastated.
“But the past is reset again with us here.” Ms. Calendar said as she patted Mrs. Summers’ hand in comfort. “Dawn might be returned to you again.”
“We’ll need to get you check out!” Buffy was saying frantically, her eyes looking wild as she grabbed her mother’s hands. “The blood clot…”
“Wouldn’t happen for a while yet if it happens again.” Mrs. Summers said firmly. “Buffy, I am the ship’s doctor now, with advanced medical knowledge in my head. I know how to get rid of a blood clot using medical nanites.” As Buffy just hug her mother in tears, shocked by the ‘futures’ she had seen, her mother patted her comfortingly. “It’s going to be alright Buffy, I am not going to die so early this time round.”
Cordelia tried to block out Buffy’s sniffles, absorbed with seeing her own ‘futures’. The first recording was the longest and most detailed. Unfortunately it was also extremely disjointed. The recorded ‘futures’ focused on Buffy at a certain time during one moment and then switched to Willow and then to Angel… It took a while to get used to it. She paid particular attention to sections of her own ‘futures’, watching in shock as her family lost their fortunes.
She left for L.A., becoming a struggling actress, before joining Angel who had arrived by then. Years of her life flashed in the recordings as she helped Angel and several others to keep L.A. and the world safe. Cordelia had been surprised at the person she had become. From someone shallow, to a strong woman with character. A strong woman who had died in the end after being taken over by a powerful entity. Tears sting her eyes as she watched her death.
Cordelia rubbed the tears away quickly. Looking up, she was not surprised to find she was not the only one unaffected by the recordings. Willow who was seated across her was trying to stop her waterfall of tears. Cordelia could understand. Willow had become a super powerful witch after Xander disappeared, who had nearly ended the world by opening the Hellmouth for more power to bring Xander back from wherever he had vanished to.
Her werewolf boyfriend had left her, and not long after, she became attached to a girlfriend who was also a witch. Being the conservative girl as she was, Cordelia was sure Willow was pretty shocked by her sexual orientation in the ‘futures’. Then Willow had gone heads on with a Hell God, fought the First Evil and her uber vampires, and activated all the Potentials in the world, turning them into Slayers.
She spent close to three hours watching all the recordings. By then her eyes were dry and almost everyone were finished with their viewing as well.
“Well those recorded ‘futures’ certain put things into picture for us.” Ms. Calendar said grimly, a haunted look in her eyes. The computer teacher never managed to survive more than a few months before Angel who became Angelus killed her. “Buffy, for what it is worth. I am sorry for keeping Angel’s curse a secret.”
“Things have changed, now that we know what are to happen.” Giles said in a tight voice. The man looked very tired and weary. “We’re going to need to discuss plans about how to deal with them. Prepare for the future, especially since we’re also now the crew of Andromeda.”
“But not now.” Mrs. Summers spoke up. “I can tell everyone’s too tired to think straight. Let’s continue this discussion after a good rest. After that, we’ll need to make a trip across reality to help Kaylee and maybe that boy Simon and his sister as well.”
“Yes Joyce, that’s a good idea.” Ms. Calendar said with a nod.
“Very well, let’s rest for now.” Giles said looking at his watch and his eyes widened in surprise. “It’s already midnight on Earth. Not to mention the hours of time we spent in the other reality. Time has really passed. Lets’ meet here again in ten hours’ time. That should be enough time for all of us to be rested. After that… well, this new timeline that has been reset, will change. Hopefully for the better…”
OoooO Reality 0 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer alternate verse
It felt good to have a crew, a living crew on board Andromeda again. Rommie trusted Xander even though she had only met him two days’ plus of time, after all, he had been the one that saved her and Andromeda from the Spirit of the Abyss, giving them a chance to re-clone their old civilization.
As for those Xander had invited on board, Rommie was sure they would do fine. The recorded ‘futures’ had shown those individual as people of integrity and character. In fact with the years of their recorded ‘futures’ in their databank, Rommie and Andromeda already felt they knew the new crew pretty well.
Right now Rommie was in one of the five science labs left on Andromeda. During the long years back in her reality with Andromeda, Rommie had converted many of the empty rooms on board into actual habitats to contains plants and animal lives she had rescued off different planets. Keeping habitats and maintaining daily contact with something living, even though they were not sentient, had been what kept her and Andromeda from spiralling off into madness.
Rommie had discovered back in her reality that as long as she did not re-clone sentient life, the Spirit of the Abyss would pretty much leave her and the ship alone, as though they were insignificant bugs not worth crushing. The only hope Rommie had in later years was the plan to escape far enough out into a different galaxy altogether that was out of the malevolent entity’s grasp, and re-clone her civilization, using the clone bank that she had salvaged from one of the ruined Systems Commonwealth planet.
Xander had however hastened the plans she and Andromeda had made. Now in a new reality, they could finally fulfil their wish. After Xander had given his agreement, Andromeda had sent the droids to begin setting up the necessary cloning technologies to first create the old crew of Andromeda that were in the clone bank. By the time Rommie returned with Xander and the others in the Eureka Maru, the cloning process had begun. Rommie had stayed in the science lab where the equipment were set up, keeping a silent watch.
“Seems pretty hard to believe that in a few hours, we’ll be seeing Rhade, Beka and Harper again.” The holographic projection of Andromeda said as she appeared. “But we have to brief them on what had happened during the long years… how we’ve been defeated…”
“The clone templates made of them were several months before the final war. The clones of our old crew will not have memories of what happened after that.” Rommie agreed with a nod. “I wonder how they will take it, finding out the how Systems Commonwealth had been wiped out. That we’re in another reality after centuries had passed… ready to re-clone those Commonwealth citizens we have in the clone bank we salvaged.”
“Rhade will probably be glad at a second chance at life, especially with his three children, whose templates were in the clone bank. It is a pity his wife died before the cloning technologies were ready to be used.” Andromeda said sadly. “Harper will be delightedly at exploring a new reality or realities, depending if Xander will bring him on his inter-reality trips. Something like that will stimulate his scientific mind. Beka… after what she had to go through to escape the Route of Ages after Dylan and Trance were killed… and the war that followed, I think she’ll be glad to be able to live in peace.”
“Twelve more hours, after which the cloning process will be complete and we can see them again, together with Rhade’s children.” Rommie said wistfully. “What do you think? A bit of alone time with them before we introduce them to Xander and the new crew?”
“I think that’s for the best.” Andromeda said with a smile. “They’re going to need some time to get over the shock that things have changed. Not to mention Harper’s going to scream bloody murder that his science lab had been deconstructed to make way for a habitat area…”
OoooO Reality 0 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer alternate verse
Xander stretched lazily as he got out of his quarters. With the new knowledge implanted within his head, he had a good grasp of most technologies on board Andromeda now. Stopping a droid, he had placed an order for a meal to be brought to the longue.
Almost everyone was already there, with the exception of Cordelia who was most probably still in her room. Xander seated himself beside Willow at the big table in the room while she consumed a soup of some kind which had arrived via droid service.
“Morning.” Willow said tiredly before giving a grin. “Sorry I mean afternoon. All the reality traveling and messing of time has screwed up my chronological clock.”
“I get what you mean.” Xander said with a nod as he accepted the plate of chicken and rice that had arrived. Xander wondered where the chicken came from. Andromeda had not been exactly expecting living human guests when he had found her in another reality. With only Rommie and herself on board, the ship was probably not stock up on any food. But then, there were the many habitat areas on the ship that Rommie told him about. It was most probable the droids slaughtered some chickens in a habitat, or maybe even clone them.
“So… those ‘futures’…” Willow sounds hesitant. “I’ve been thinking. Not all of the ‘futures’ are bad.”
“You mean the part where you have a boyfriend and then a girlfriend?” Xander asked with a grin.
Willow blushed hotly as she glowered at him. “I was talking about Buffy’s sister and activating all the potentials.” Willow said hotly before calming down and giving a sigh. “Though that part where I went all evil while Angelus was around, and tried to open the Hellmouth to get you back was super creepy.”
“At least you learn to control your powers and emotions after that, becoming one of the most powerful witches on Earth.” Xander pointed out. “That part where you went all uber witch on the Hell God and after that, during the activating of the potentials were amazing.” He looked up as Cordelia walked into the longue, still rubbing her eyes tiredly.
“Alright, since everyone is here.” Giles was saying. “Let us begin discussing all that happened yesterday.”
“Obviously since we know the ‘futures’, of what will happen now, we’re better equipped to counter all of them.” Ms. Calendar was saying. “I’ve been talking to Joyce. We’ll be coming out with a list of all the supernatural encounters and events that will take place in the future, and try to pre-empt them before they happen.”
“But that unfortunately will change the future, making it increasingly unpredictable.” Giles continued. He turned to look at Xander. “However, Xander’s new ability to reality travel and seeing the ‘futures’ that have happened in a reality while he was away, pretty much ensure that there’s a very small chance we’ll be caught unaware by any major events around us.”
“So you want me to keep using my power of reality travel just to know the changing ‘futures’ in our reality?” Xander asked looking at Giles. “If that’s the case I’m going to need to set up bases of operations in different realities so I can stay there until enough time has passed in our reality.”
“Yes. And that in essence will take a lot of work and resources.” Giles answered. “I’ve checked the ship record. Andromeda’s metal resources and her ability to mine more, means we have something to exchange for currency in other realities. I am thinking of proposing to her and Rommie to be involved in these operations as well as. After all, it will benefit all of us. It will be helpful for her to know the ‘futures’ of her cloned civilization in this reality as well.”
“That sounds like a good plan to me.” Xander said with a grin. “My experimentation trips with Rommie had unearthed several interesting realities. I’ve been planning to go back to them anyway.”
“Then let’s invite Andromeda into the discussion.” Giles said with a nod as he called to the air. “Andromeda, privacy mode disabled. Crew code X78-102. Please if you don’t mind, inform Rommie to come find us. We’ll like both of you to join us for a discussion… about our future together…”
OoooO Crew of Andromeda
Alexander Lavelle Harris – Honorary Commander, Engineer, Pilot
Rommie – Ship’s avatar
Rupert Giles – Linguist, Diplomat and Cultural Expert
Jenny Calendar – Navigator, Engineer
Joyce Summers – Medical Officer
Buffy Summers – Security Officer, Artillery Officer
Willow Rosenberg – Chemical and Physic Scientist
Cordelia Chase – Horticulture, Life Support Officer Author's Note :
The first draft of this story goes way back, before my Dungeon Monk Xander fics. I posted it in a very old blog that I am no longer maintaining and forgot about it, until ivanjedi sent me a pm asking what happened to it. After that I've re-read the old draft, toyed with the ideas, revamp and came up with the subsequent six more chapters. Here's to you guys and ivanjedi :) Happy Halloween!