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For Lack Of A Sheet

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Summary: With no ghost costume available, another choice in costume causes a chain of events which reawakens a forgotten galaxy.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Games > Sci-Fi > Mass Effect Trilogy
Stargate > Willow-Centered
RubyPaladinFR18520,98954716,00312 Dec 123 Apr 13No



Chapter Five


----From The Journal Of Alexander LaVelle Harris---

---February 7th 2083---

I believe that if Willow had an option about how she would have reunited with her Uncle Jack she would have chosen better circumstances. But like all of us, we learn that life doesn't give you what is fair or what you deserve. You just have to make do with what you get.

Several months had passed between her 'death' and the reunion she had with her uncle. Amalia had destroyed the headquarters of the Watchers' Council with a thermonuclear device. I have to give her credit for overkill. She did loot the place before she destroyed it so that helped smooth things over with her and Giles. It also helped that she began to pay Giles a salary that he actually deserved plus unrestricted access to the contents of said loot.

Cordelia had been secretly meeting with Joyce to help her deal with the emerging memories of Matriarch Benezia. The emergence of the memories had somehow made Joyce a natural biotic but she still needed a biotic amp. She could have used biotics without one but she would have ran the risk of having a massive cerebral hemorrhage. As the months went by, Buffy became more displeased that her mother began to become more dominant in their relationship. Joyce even forced Buffy to reveal that Angel was a vampire after she threatened to hit him with a singularity followed by a warp. Rather dangerous considering she has the biotic power and control of an asari matriarch. Joyce forced the breakup after explaining to Buffy the inability of a vampire to allow Buffy to have any children of her own. After I heard that, I didn't want to hear anymore of the argument.

Jenny had put her new skills to great use designing new software as well as helping with the newer technologies Amalia was bringing out. Several of the advanced technologies were already saving lives which was always a good thing, right?

As for myself, I kept training both my combat skills as well as my cooking. Both were greatly appreciated by a certain slayer.

The bizarre object that orbited Pluto had perplexed her ever since they had entered the solar system in the Goa'uld cargo ship that her father piloted. Their original goal of rescuing Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c from the ill-fated X-301 had been completed and they had intended to head for Earth except she had managed to peak the attention of both her father and his Tok'ra symbiote, Selmak. The centuries old alien had never seen a relic quite like it and they had managed to get General Hammond's permission to investigate it.

The arifact was a large bright blue device with a swirling mass of energy within it. It was almost hypnotic looking over at the swirling mass of energy. One end of the artifact was open as if it was suppose to fire something out of it.

“That's a really big blue...what is it, Sam?” O'Neill asked still recovering from oxygen deprivation.

“I'm not sure, sir.” Samantha replied. “Dad, can you get closer?”

As the cargo ship moved closer, Samantha Carter noticed something else was missing.

“Charon's missing.” She said.

“How can a moon go missing?” Daniel asked.

“Good question.” Jacob replied. “I think the object is where Charon was.”

The distance between the ship and the object closed. An energy current erupted from the object and grabbed a hold of them. The ship began to shake violently and Jacob Carter frantically worked the controls as he attempted to free the cargo vessel from its predicament.

“Jacob!” O'Neill yelled. “Get us out of---”

The cargo ship pitched forward and O'Neill fell to floor hitting his head on the back of the pilot's chair as the ship suddenly shot forward.

O'Neill opened his eyes and began to rise off the bed he was in He rubbed his head as he checked out his surroundings. He saw that he was in some sort of advanced security cell which he noticed was across from his second in command's own cell.

“Colonel, you're awake.” A man's voice said.

O'Neill walked over to the energy barrier that enclosed his cell to see a man who appeared to be around his age though he would put the man as slightly older than him. The man was clad in a blue uniform and O'Neill judged by the rank insignia that the man had a very high rank. There was something about the man though that made O'Neill want to trust the man despite not the lack of knowledge about him in the first place.

“As I was telling Captain Carter, my name is Admiral Hackett.” He said to him. “Welcome to Arcturus Station.”

“I have to tell you one thing, Admiral.” O'Neill replied. “Your guest accomodations suck.”

“You're going to have to make due considering the circumstances pertaining to your arrival. There are several people who wanted to destroy your cargo ship after it emerged from the Sol Relay. Those people found even more supporters when we recovered your ship and found the Goa'uld pilot and his pet Jaffa.” Hackett informed him. “Fortunately for you, the Council received word of your arrival and requested a meeting. One of their Spectres will be arriving to take custody of you and your team.”

“Jacob's not a Goa'uld. He's a Tok'ra.” O'Neill replied.

“Call it whatever you want, Colonel, but that thing in him is still an alien parasite.” Hackett said. “As luck will have it, Commander Shepard will be the one who will take you to the Citadel.

The man walked away from him and O'Neill looked over at Samantha.

“How is everyone, Sam?” He asked her.

“Everyone's fine.” She replied. “They put some type of explosive collar around my dad's neck. I think it's suppose to insure Selmak doesn't do anything.”

“Paranoid much.” He said with obvious sarcasm.

“It's a good security procedure.” Samantha replied. “Apparently, they have a substance that reacts rather violently with naquadah.”

“Daniel! Teal'c! Jacob!” O'Neill shouted.

“I am here, O'Neill.” Teal'c said.

“Here, Jack.” Daniel replied.

“I'm here, Jack.” Jacob said as he tugged on the collar. “Damn, this thing isn't comfortable.”

The conversation they were about to have was nipped in the bud as they heard footsteps coming down the corridor. What appeared to them as a female teenager dressed in white sneakers, blue jeans, and a grey hoodie that had an N7 emblem on the front of it with a red stripe that ran down the right sleeve. The hood was pulled up which hid her face from their view. She stopped in front of O'Neill's cell and pulled the hood back.

“Uncle Jack, what in the hell are you doing here?” Willow asked as she glared at her uncle.

“Me! What the hell are you doing here, young lady?!” O'Neill shouted.

“Excuse me for a moment but remind me which one of us is in the high security cell.” She replied.

“Good point but I think I should know what my niece is doing here.” O'Neill said to her.

“That will take time, Uncle Jack.” She replied.

“We're waiting for someone named Commander Shepard.” Samantha said to her.

“Yeah, you're speaking to her. I am Commander Willow Shepard, Uncle Jack.” She informed them though she directed her response to her uncle. “Besides, what in the hell are you doing here with a Jaffa and a freaking Goa'uld?”

“I'm not a Goa'uld.” Jacob said quickly in his defense.

“You look like a duck.” Willow replied.

“I am a Tok'ra.” Selmak informed her.

Willow put her right hand on her forehead. “Goddess, why can't I find anyone normal? I always find the oddballs.”

“Must run in the family.”

O'Neill looked from his cell and spotted Daniel as he tried to look nonchalant. “Traitor.”

“Okay, I'm going to have a squad of marines escort the 'Tok'ra' to my ship.” Willow told her uncle as he saw an orange glow encompass her arm. “So, what's your story Mister Tall, Dark, and stoic?”

“Your uncle convinced me to turn against Apophis and I consider him my friend.” Teal'c replied. “My name is Teal'c, Willow Shepard.”

“Just Shepard or Commander or Commander Shepard.” Willow informed him. “Calling me by my first name is kind of frowned upon.”

“Any reason why?” O'Neill asked.

“Not one I'm willing to tell so are we done talking or do you want me to let you out of those cells?” She said to him.

Before any of them could reply, a large Hispanic man came walking down the hall. He wasn't large as in obese rather he was large in the sense that O'Neill wondered if the man could beat Teal'c in a fight.

“Yo, Lola, you bringing MacGuyver back to the ship?” He asked her.

“MacGuyver?” O'Neill asked before he saw his niece cracking up laughing.

“I'm sorry.” Willow told him. “There is this old vid...well, old to Vega and me, and the main character looks like a much younger version of Uncle Jack but with a mullet.”

“A mullet?” Samanta said questioning the explanation as she tried to picture her superior officer with that type of hairstyle.

O'Neill walked around the station with his niece and noticed how the soldiers they passed as well as dozens of people watched them as they went by. He saw that they first noticed his niece and then their eyes went to him and his team. The look on the faces of the soldiers brought him back to his own time in the Air Force Special Operations Command. It was the look of people who knew that you could get any job done that needed to be done. It was not a look he had ever thought could have been associated with his niece.

“Shepard.” A female voice exclaimed in their direction.

O'Neill and his team turned to see a blue skinned alien woman run over to his niece. His niece seemed very comfortable around the woman. The alien woman looked remarkably human except for the blue skin and the head tentacles that she had instead of hair. Willow held the alien woman's left hand with her right and she turned back towards him.

“Uncle Jack, I'd like you to meet Liara.” Willow said.

“It's always good to meet my niece's friends.” O'Neill replied.

“Colonel, I don't think your niece and Liara are just friends.” Carter said which caused both Willow and Liara to smile.

“She's right.” Willow replied. “Liara and I are getting married in a few weeks.”

“Married?” O'Neill asked. “You've only known each other for months.”

Liara looked over at Willow. “You haven't told them yet.” She said.

“Liara, it's not easy to say that I use to be a thirty two year old woman who rallied the galaxy against a threat that kills all advanced sentient life every fifty thousand years and somehow managed to beat them.” Willow replied. “It's not that easy.”

“Apparently, it is.” Liara said with a grin.

“You know me too well.” Willow remarked.

“Congratulations on your pending marriage.” Teal'c said to her.

“Thank you but...” Willow began to say to Teal'c before her unoccupied hand went to her ear. “EDI, what's wrong?” A few moments passed before Willow's eyes widened. “Oh crap! Recall the Normandy crew back to the ship at once. We're on the way.”

Willow nodded at Liara as if the two were having a silent conversation between themselves. She looked back to her uncle.

“Okay, the tour is over and we're heading to my ship so run fast.” Willow said before she took off running.

Liara was right behind her with the members of SG-1 right behind her. After a few minutes, O'Neill had a question.

“Why are we running to your ship?” He asked his niece.

“Miranda's going into labor.” Willow replied as she pushed someone out of her way. “There is no way in hell I'm missing the birth of my daughter.”

“Wait a minute, your daughter!” O'Neill exclaimed.

“Weird long story short,” Willow said. “I got one of my best friends pregnant with my child.”

“How?” He asked as he noticed his niece and her alien fiance neared a set of what looked like sliding doors.

“That's complicated.” She replied as she opened the airlock's door. “Well, here's my ship. The Normandy SR-2.”

Carter paused. “That was the name of the ship we began to salvage eig---”

Almost everyone was surprised when Willow stopped in mid stride, twisted around, and hit Carter square in the jaw. The astrophysicist toppled to the ground with equal parts pain and shock as a look of rage was seen on his niece's face.

“I lost twenty good people and I was killed when the original Normandy was destroyed.” Willow told her with barely contained anger in her voice. “If I even hear of any word that the crash site was desecrated...”

“It wasn't, Willow.” O'Neill said as he tried to reassure his niece.

Willow's gaze turned to him and a feeling of dread washed over him. It was a look that was completely alien to him. He regularly faced off against people that wanted to kill him that the look shouldn't have phased him but it did. It made him want to hide under the nearest rock that he could find and unfortunately for him, he was on a space station.

“My name is Shepard.” She replied before she turned her attention away from them.

She walked away from them and O'Neill turned to his second in command.

“Did you have to mention the crash site?” He asked.

Willow looked over at Joker who had his trademark grin as he looked back at her. To his left at the moment was EDI who was studying the displays even though as the Normandy's AI, it wasn't needed.

“So, why'd you lay out blondie?” He asked.

“Apparently, Uncle Jack and her were trying to salvage the original Normandy shortly after I left Earth.” Willow told him.

“Wow, glad you decked her.” He replied. “I probably would have broke every bone in my hand. Worth it though.”

“When can we get underway?” She asked her pilot.

“Not for a while.” Joker replied. “A bunch of idiots who should never have been allowed anywhere near a joystick let alone the controls of a ship decided to have a good old fashioned forty-seven ship pile up near the relay.”

“Damn.” Willow said. “Let me know when we're underway.”

“Can do.” The pilot replied.

She walked away from her pilot to see her uncle emerge from the airlock. He seemed a little bit displeased with her.

“Uncle Jack, can you accompany me to my cabin?” She asked before she looked over at Liara. “Liara, can you show his team to Deck 3?”

“I'll be happy to.” Liara replied.

After nodding at his team, O'Neill followed his niece to the elevator. A short ride in the elevator brought them to another door which Willow went through with her uncle following close behind her. O'Neill looked around the cabin and liked how it was decorated though the strange head he saw was a little morbid. He heard the doors close behind him and saw the demeanor of his niece change. She became more relaxed and spun around to face him. A smile crossed her face and she quickly walked over to hug him. He returned the hug.

“I'm glad you're here.” She said. “It feels like years since I last saw you.”

“I came over to your home for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago.” O'Neill replied.

“I know.” Willow replied as she broke away from him. “But I have my other set of memories that are just as real as any other. Uncle Jack, how familiar are you with alternate universes? Parallel timelines? Things like that?”

“Daniel found this strange mirror that sent him to another reality where Earth was being attacked by the Goa'uld.” O'Neill told her. “Why do you ask?”

She seemed to be hesitant as she answered him. “In another universe, humanity began to reach out into the stars thanks to ancient alien technology that was found on Mars. We found out later that we weren't alone in the galaxy. The hard way of course; humanity never had known how to do things the easy way.” She said.

“So, we fought the aliens.” O'Neill replied.

“One race, the Turians, during what is known as the First Contact War.” She continued. “It didn't last long and humanity began to emerge into the galactic community.”

“What does this have to do with you, Willow?” He asked.

“Please, Uncle Jack, call me Shepard. Things happened in my life that make me not want to be called by my first name.” She told him quickly. “I was born in that reality and I grew up to become an officer in the Systems Alliance military. Because of certain events that happened in my career, I was selected to become the first human Spectre. If I managed to become one, it would show the rest of the galaxy how far humanity had came.”

“What's a Spectre?” O'Neill asked.

“Basically, a Spectre is an agent for the Citadel Council that is given almost ulimited authority to safeguard the galaxy by whatever means necessary.” Willow replied. “I became a Spectre and my first mission was to hunt down the very same Spectre who killed my mentor.”

“Very 'A New Hope', Luke.” O'Neill joked. “So, Vader kills Obi-Wan and you go after him.”

“Yeah, and in the process,” Willow continued. “I became the hero of the galaxy. Then, I died.”

“Died.” He said as he processed that information. “So the crash site we found...”

“That was my old ship, the original Normandy SR-1.” She said. “The Collectors attacked and I was spaced in the attack. Miranda, the woman who I rushed backed to the Normandy to try to get to be with her when she gives birth, led a Cerberus project that managed to bring me back from the dead.”

“Cerberus?” O'Neill asked.

“A pro-human terrorist group that was responsible for a great deal of bad things that occurred. Human colonies were disappearing in the Terminus Systems and no one else was willing to do anything about it so the Illusive Man brought me back as well as building me a new ship so that I can go do what I do best.” Willow continued. “I assembled another team and defeated the Collectors. After that, I had to unite the galaxy to fight the Reapers.”

As she finished her sentence, she sat down on the couch that was in her cabin. O'Neill sat down as well but not before he poked the silver orb that hovered over the table. He heard what might have been a stifled laugh come from his niece.

“So Reapers, that sounds bad.” He remarked.

Willow's gaze went to the floor. “The Reapers overwhelmed the defenses of every world they came to in force. I was on Earth when the Reapers first arrived. I was ordered to run away and I hated it.” She slammed her right hand on the table. “Thessia was even worse. I told them I would save them but I failed.”

“You did everything you could, Shepard.” EDI said to her. “The Crucible allowed you to save them all.”

“Thanks, EDI.” Willow replied.

“What the hell was that?” O'Neill asked.

Willow chuckled at the confused look on her uncle's face. “That, Uncle Jack, would be one of my very good friends. Her name is EDI and she's the Normandy's AI.”

“It's good to talk to a member of Shepard's family especially one with your service record in the Alliance.” EDI replied.

“EDI, he's not that version of my Uncle Jack.” Willow quickly informed the AI.

“My mistake.”

“Wait, what version?” O'Neill asked.

“You know how I lived another life right,” She said as she tried to explain. “you were there too but you died.”

“I died.” O'Neill replied.

“Yeah, you received the Star of Terra posthumously for saving a colony from batarian slavers.” Willow informed him. “Even managed to save all of the slaves they had in their ship's hold despite taking several severe wounds.”


“The lounge is to your right and around the corner; you'll find the mess hall.” Liara explained.

Doctor Daniel Jackson turned to his right and headed for the lounge. Samantha Carter wasn't pleased.

“Where's my father?” Samantha demanded.

“He's being watched.” Liara replied.

“Where is he?” Samantha asked as she followed Daniel and Liara towards the lounge.

“Having a glass of Salarian whiskey.” Her father's voice exclaimed from the open door of the lounge

The members of SG-1 were equally surprised to find Jacob seated at the bar within the lounge as an older asari tended the bar. The asari seemed pleased to see Liara.

“Dad, I thought you were going to be in some kind of security cell.” Samantha said to her father.

“With the collar around his neck, EDI can activate it if he misbehaves so I thought he could use a drink.” The asari said.

“All I have to say is that this is the nicest cell I've been in.” Jacob Carter replied.

“Besides, if it wasn't for that snake in him” The asari said. “I'd consider showing him how similar asari are to humans.”

“Father.” Liara exclaimed.

“What? He's got a great ass.” The asari replied.

“Major Carter, Doctor Jackson, Teal'c, allow me to introduce you to” Liara began to say as she was about to introduce her father before she was interupted.

“Name's Aetheyta, like Liara said, I'm Liara's father which in a few weeks will make me Shepard's father-in-law.” The bartender replied.

“But you're female. Wouldn't you be Liara's mother?” Samantha asked completely confused.

“No, I didn't pop her out or anything.” Aetheyta replied. She looked over at Jacob. “She isn't your brightest child, is she?”

Before Jacob could come to her daughter's defense, Samantha fired back. “You can't be a father because you're not male.”

“You're a little fiesty. If you're so curious, I could show you how asari mate.” Aetheyta said. “Liara can watch the bar.”

Liara stared at her father. “Father!”

O'Neill paced the room while he listened to his niece talk about her life. If he had to be honest with himself, he never paid that much attention to how the other alien governments he previously encountered before. That he pretty much left up to the Space Monkey also known as Daniel. This time around made him pay attention. She talked about the various alien species she had encountered. She talked about the Citadel Council as well as the System Alliance.

Willow also talked about the people she had met and a few of them O'Neill wanted to meet himself. Admiral Hackett made him think about General Hammond. Then again, so did this Admiral Anderson she talked about. The way she talked about Anderson though made him feel as though he might have been more of a father figure for her and less than a commanding officer.

“I know you're not...comfortable with me out here fighting.” Willow said to him.

“You could make money on that bet.” O'Neill replied. “You're only seventeen going on eighteen. You shouldn't be out here fighting aliens bent on galactic domination.”

“If it wasn't for me, Uncle Jack, only you and whomever you could scrounge up would be the only ones fighting.” Willow said as she got back to her feet. “Come on, there's something you should see.”

Willow walked out of her cabin with her uncle following behind her. They entered the elevator again and returned to the Combat Information Deck. He followed her past a security checkpoint as well as a conference room to a room that O'Neill could easily identify as a command and control center. He wished that he could have a similar setup at the SGC. Willow walked over to the center of the room and a map of the galaxy appearred.

“Every one of those dots is a mass relay, Uncle Jack. This is what it looked like before the Reapers invaded.” She said before she adjusted the controls and the number of dots increased exponentially. “This is what it looks like now. From this room, I receive any and all information related to the war.”

“Why? Wouldn't your allies keep some information to themselves?” He asked.

“Two reasons, Uncle Jack. The first is that I'm a Council Spectre.” She replied. “The second reason is while the races in general might not always get along but they do trust me. Actually, I have a third reason that any information I might not get from legitimate sources the Shadow Broker is more than happy to supply.”

“Shadow Broker?” He asked.

“The galaxy's most notorius information broker. With the information the Broker has, wars could be started in ten minutes.” Willow answered.

“Not exactly a reputable ally.” He told her.

“Actually, the Broker is someone I can put absolute faith in.” Willow replied.

O'Neill thought it would be better to let the subject drop as he noticed some activity on the map. He pointed at the area.

“What's going on there?” He asked.

Willow worked the controls and brought the area up for a closer look. Several multi-colored ships could be seen and O'Neill recognized a few of them as Goa'uld ships.

“The first and second Turian fleets, several STG ships, the second and fifth Geth fleets, and thousands of krogan.” Willow replied. “It's a Jaffa world named Chulak.”

O'Neill's eyes went back to his niece. “Willow, Teal'c's family is on that world. We have to get them to safety.” He pleaded with her. “His son's only---”

“Joker, are the ships clear?” Willow exclaimed.

“Just finished now, Commander.” Joker replied. “We're on our way to the Citadel now.”

“Change of plans, Joker. Set course for Chulak and have SG-1, Liara, and Garrus report the the shuttle bay.” Willow told him. “We're going on a rescue mission.”

The End?

You have reached the end of "For Lack Of A Sheet" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 3 Apr 13.

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