Slayer, Mages and Demons, Oh, my...! Part IV by AntonioCC
Slayers, Mages and Demons. Oh, my....!
I own neither Nanoha nor Buffy characters, which are owned by their respective copyright holders. On board TSAB Armed Merchant Cruiser Crimson Lotus
When Xander arrived to the scene, the fight had already finished, with Kennedy lying in the floor, her face bruised and bleeding from several minor wounds, and Faith was keeping her there.
"I would love to leave that woman pummel you into paste, bitch. But, for some reason, Red still cares for you." Said Faith, in a low enough voice that only the nearest people could hear it.
A busty blue-eyed redhead and two young women that if it wasn't by their different hair and eye color could pass for twins were restraining a tall woman with short purple hair and yellow eyes, Tre, he supposed. While she was in a better state than Kennedy, she hadn't escaped the fight unscathed, she had a split lip, and a bruise was forming over her right eye.
"She's not worth it, Tre-nee." Said one of the almost-twins, a yellow-eyed redhead.
"Listen to Nove, Tre." Said the other twin, green eyes and blue hair this time. "And if you end going back to jail, who would take care of Sette?"
Tre struggled for a moment, before stopping as what Subaru had said sank. Despite looking like a grown woman, Sette was one of the youngest of her sisters, and she knew that the only reason because Sette stayed in jail and hadn't joined the Bureau, like Cinque, Nove, Dieci and Wendi, or taken orders in the Saint Church like Sein, Otto and Deed was because she felt lost without her "big sister" Tre.
"All right." She said, acknowledging defeat, just as Chrono and Graham appeared.
"Slayer Kennedy Tolwyn." Said Graham looking severely at the young brunette, as Faith lifted her to stand before the former Admiral. "What have you done this time?"
"I didn't..." started to say Kennedy, before she saw Willow appearing between the crowd looking at her with a disappointed expression in her face, something that made her guilty for a moment. 'It's her fault for leaving me, the bitch.'
she thought, trying to shift the blame, even in her own head.
While Kennedy kept avoiding her problems, Tre's anger had abated enough for her to realize that she may have blown it this time. But contrary to her spoiled opponent, she had been taught to take responsibility for her own actions.
"It's my fault, I overreacted a bit... a lot. It's just... I can't stand when people is pushy..." she said looking to the ground, while the people who were restraining her left her standing there.
"You know, I never understood that." Said Nove, tapping her chin thoughtfully "You are the strongest of us, if anything..."
"It's a long story." Said Cinque, other than Tre, the oldest of the Numbers to be in the ship "And it doesn't affect our current problem. Let's say that she has reason and leave it that way."
Something in the words and tone that Cinque had used made Fate flinch. She had a feeling that she really didn't want to know that story.
"Tre, you are confined to quarters until we decide what to do." Said Chrono, who then turned to Kennedy "And Miss Tolwyn... you aren't under my command, so I'll let the Watchers to decide your fate."
After this the reunion was quite anticlimactic, as it went quite smoothly. Apparently Admiral Harlaown had received orders to station most of the fleet in this dimension's Earth orbit, as only one ship would make the transit to the other dimension. It was obvious that Harlaown had thought that the plan was idiotic, that's why he had asked for the Crimson Lotus. The Cherry Blossom-class Armed Merchant Cruisers had kept intact the immense cargo bays of the cargo ships that they had been, in order to make able to serve in a pinch as fleet colliers or troop transports.
Also, he had requisitioned three Pegasus-class dropships, not the more modern or bigger in the TSAB Navy inventory, but able to drop half a battalion of Marines, or the gear needed to equip them and what was more important, they could operate from a Cherry Blossom without problems.
Although there were still some bits of bad news. While the Lotus engines were improved from the commercial ones that it had used before, it was still an underpowered, lumbering dinosaur compared with dedicated warships. It would take for the Lotus several hours to cross through the dimensional barriers to that other Earth. That was why the Lysander, that was the fastest ship present, would go ahead with a small team, with Admiral Harlaown and a small group of people from both Earth and the TSAB, given that it would need a bit more than 90 minutes to make that same trip. Also, it would allow Harlaown and the Council representatives, to talk with the SGC that had sent the message.
Tre and Sette's quarters. A couple hours before the trip
"I'm confined in my quarters. That Admiral said so." Said Tre with a hint of bitterness in her voice.
Cinque rolled her eye and answered.
"After talking with the Council, he had decided to let it slide." said Cinque "Apparently that Slayer had always been a bit problematic, and the only reason why she was pestering you was to make her ex jealous."
"Figures." Said Tre "You already said what you came to say, so, why are you still here?"
"It so difficult to believe that I want to talk with my sister?" said Cinque, patiently. Tre often behaved like a cold fish, but everybody knew about her temper.
"After you left us rot in that prison?" retorted Tre, a hint of venom in her voice.
Cinque sighed, feeling a headache coming.
"You were offered the same options than us and you rejected them, you know." Said Cinque "And it's not like we haven't seen each other since then."
Tre closed her eyes a moment and sighed, before looking back at her sister.
"Sorry, Cinque. It's just that... you know that Uno, Due, Quattro and me were made using our creator DNA." Said Tre.
"Of course. The rest of us were made using DNA from other sources that the Doctor had access." Said Cinque, nodding.
"That's what worries me. Uno is totally subservient to him, Due was a nasty piece of work, and Quattro..." She shivered "The less said of her, the better." she then looked to the ground "And there is Doctor Scaglietti himself. He cared about us as his daughters, but he was willing to use us as pawns in his games against the Bureau. Or let Quattro blow several of us, including himself, to Kingdom Come, in order to kill several of the most powerful Bureau mages, and activate one of the sickest escape plan in history."
They both shivered, remembering that. If he had died, one of the surviving Numbers would have given birth in a few months to a clone of the Doctor, who would quickly grow into adulthood with his full set of memories (1).
"So what does that make me? Am I the sane one? or I'm gonna snap and become a monster like Due or Quattro?" she said, crying, on the border of hysteria.
Giving Tre's strength and speed, Cinque knew that letting her go into hysterics would be, as one of the Slayers had said, of the bad. So she did the only things she could do, she hugged her taller sister.
"What?" said Tre, startled
"You are not a monster, Tre." Said Cinque. "You are the same girl who gave Quattro and me ice-cream after training, when Uno and the Doctor weren't watching. You are the one who tried to help Quattro the most, after... what happened to her. You are the one who took Sette under your wings, when it was clear that she wasn't... normal." She looked up to look her into her eyes. "You are aloof and have a bit of a temper, but you are also kind and considerate, and care about your family."
Tre stood there in silence for a moment, before hugging Cinque tightly and saying.
"Thank you, sis. I needed that."
"Tre...air." said Cinque in a strangled tone.
"Sorry." She said in a small voice, letting her go and blushing.
"Don't worry. It's not like it has happened before." Said Cinque, rolling her eye, and then added, seeing Tre's confused expression "Remember that I live with Nove, Dieci and Wendi, and of course Subaru and Ginga, who are type-zero cyborgs."
"How is living in a normal family?" said Tre, with curiosity.
"You see..." said Cinque, smiling.
They talked for quite some time, before the call came to transfer to the Lysander, as they were all in the group that would go ahead.
Just as Cinque was hugging Tre, in another part of the ship, a blonde doctor with violet eyes was patching up Kennedy with magic. Just as she was giving the last touches, Willow entered followed by a short redhead girl in a TSAB Air Force uniform.
"Hello, Wills, and who's the midget?" said Kennedy.
The girl smirked and glowed, blinding them for a moment. When she had finished, in her place was the same busty redhead who had helped to restrain Tre (2).
"I'm Vita, a magical construct with several hundred years of battle experience." She said, while in her hand appeared a long-handled hammer that looked a bit like a croquet mallet. "And I'm here to guarantee that things don't get out of hand between you too." When the doctor looked at her with a confused expression, she added "Shamal, from what Xander, the guy from the council with an eyepatch, told me, their last lover spat had as much collateral damage as one of Nanoha training sessions."
"Ouch. What did they do, wreck an entire building?"
"Demolish it, rather." Said Willow, her face the same color than her hair. "Good thing that it was insured and the only ones there were vampires."
Shamal and Vita retired a bit, leaving the two ex-lovers a bit of space. Willow took a deep breath and put on her best "resolve face".
"What the Hell were you thinking, Kennedy? It was bad enough when that girl, Suzuka, handed you your ass past month, but now you had to try to get into the pants of a fucking Combat Cyborg, who wasn't interested!"
"Kennedy, I'm gonna repeat it again, to see if you get it this time." Said Willow, starting to get annoyed "WE...ARE...THROUGH!." she said, slowly, as if talking to a child "There is no way that we will be back together." She looked at her and saw that it was not sinking in "You are a fucking spoiled brat, who had everything served to you in a fucking silver platter for so long, that you can't accept a fucking no for an answer."
She looked at her and saw... nothing, she wasn't getting it. So be it. Steeling herself, she took another deep breath and worked to get her anger under control. Going Dark now was the last thing that she wanted.
"Kennedy, you are in very thin ice with the Council just now." She said, finally, in a very cold and controlled voice "This mission is your last opportunity to prove that you can do something right. If you provoke another incident, your next assignment is going to be the Cooler."
THAT got to her. The Cooler was the nickname that the Slayer gave to the private mental hospital where the Watchers that had gone mad dealing with things that man is not meant to know had ended. Since the end of the Old Council it had also become the home for the Slayers who were too mentally unstable for fieldwork. It was a nice place, all things considered, but when everything was said and done, it was still a nuthouse.
"I'll be good..." she said looking downcast.
"For your own good, I hope that you deliver, Ken. Now, I have to go." Said Willow. Lysander Bridge. Sixty seconds to dimensional transition
The bridge of the Lysander was huge, a two level space, with the "bridge bunnies" down and the captain up, and Dawn privately wondered if the ship was like the TARDIS, bigger in the inside. Admiral Harlaown, or Admiral Chrono, as she had heard some people called him, seemed to be mildly uncomfortable not sitting in the captain seat, instead being in one of the temporary sets which had been added to the back of the captain chair in the upper level. Dawn, Xander and Faith were in the back of the bridge with him.
"Dimensional transition time minus fifty-five." Said one of the people manning the bridge stations.
"One thing that you have to know about going between dimensions is that the first time crossing the boundary through a particular dimension is always a bit... weird." Said Chrono "Some people are not affected at all, some get nauseous and some see things from the past, the future or from other worlds... "
"Ah, only that?" said Xander "For a moment I thought that we were going to become puppets or something."
The three people from the Council laughed, while Chrono looked at them with a confused expression.
"Past year, one of our allies got into a situation that left him transformed into an animated puppet for a while." explained Dawn, with an smile "One of his associates was so kind to sent us a few pictures."
"That's strange, all right." Acknowledged Chrono, who then leaned forward and said in a low voice "But not the weirdest that I have seen. Unadministered World 77... the planet of pastel colored talking ponies, that's really bizarre."
"You are making that up." Said Dawn
"Am I?" said Chrono in a perfectly deadpan expression.
"Dimensional transition time minus five..." said teh same crewman from before "Four... Three... Two... One... Zero!" Mid-Childa. Headquarters of the Saint Church
Carim Gracia wasn't what one would have thought when told that she was the head of the Saint Church. The blonde woman in a nun habit was too young and too pretty for that mental image. But nobody could deny that she was one of the most formidable women to become the head of the Saint Church. She was now ending the paperwork when she suddenly felt the headache that was the sign that Prophetinschriften, her prophetic ability was about to kick in. She closed the curtains on her office, pushed an well concealed button and closed her eyes, while holding her head between her hands as the headache become stronger, and a piece of parchment appeared floating before her out of thin air.
Suddenly she straightened in her chair, her gaze unfocused as she started to recite a poem in Ancient Belkan. Every word was promptly written magically in the piece of parchment as soon as she had said it, in a script reminiscent of Earth's gothic font. Ragnarok!Earth's moon orbit
The ship appeared out of nowhere in the orbit of Earth's moon. They had calculated that this would be a good point to arrive, because if other spacefaring civilizations had answered the call, Earth's orbit was likely to be crowded. After almost half an hour straightening issues with the several forces in Earth's orbit, who seemed to be answering political entities ranging from the United Nations to the Galactic Republic, passing through the United Federation of Planets (Xander had a bit from a geekgasm from those last two), they finally managed to get into contact with somebody from the SGC, although, apparently they were HWC now.
"I'm Colonel Samantha Carter, thank you for coming. And sorry if I seem a bit abrupt, but do you have some way to deploy troops quickly?" asked a woman, who from her voice looked to be a bit exhausted
"I'm Admiral Chrono Harlaown of the Time-Space Administration Bureau, Colonel. And we have teleporters capable to handling up to twenty people at a time." Answered Admiral Chrono "Where do you want reinforcements?"
"Where we don't want them?" answered the woman "But given the size of you ship, I assume that it's not a troop transport."
"No, it's a courier ship. A ship with a large complement of Marines will come later, but we have managed to squeeze here a group of elite..." he paused for a moment, with all what was going on they were not going to be dismissive of magic, but First Contact procedures were quite strict in pure tech worlds "...troops, as well as a Slayer contingent from our Universe's Earth."
"All right, we have a bit of situation on the town of Greenwich. Our people in the ground are nearly overwhelmed by an horde of demons."
"We'll deploy there in half an hour." Answered Chrono. Mid-Childa. Headquarters of the Saint Church
"Damn..." said Sister Schach softly, Carim's assistant and general factotum when she read the poem that was her boss new prophecy.
"My thoughts, exactly." Acknowledge Carim, who closed her eyes for a moment, thinking. "Take a platoon of the Church Guards to Earth and give this to Admiral Chrono. If he had traveled to the other Earth, follow him."
"Yes, Your Grace." Answered Schach while keeping his gaze on the poem. The first part was a repetition of the last prophecy but the last five verses were new. Devil and Reaper, Knights and their Mistress,
Rioters and Numbers, Dark Slayer, Witch neither Black nor White,
White Knight and Bound Key, and part of the Younger
Daughters of Sineya. Together against the old evil,
in a sphere beyond the sphere where everything began,
side to side with the Metal Giants of the Rising Sun,
Demon God Emperor and the Great Demon God,
Goddesses of love and beauty, and the Boss.
Fighting against Zero and the True Three-in-One,
and the mirror of the Devil, all will seem lost,
until, helped from beyond, Dead Heroes the tide will turn.
TO BE CONTINUED IN "CODE RAGNAROK: BATTLEFRONT"...
(1) I haven't made this up
(2) In the two anime series (and manga sequels) where she does appear, Vita stays looking like a nine years old in all her apparitions (often several years apart). As I don't care much for lolis, I have given her an "adult mode" so she can blend better (and not get O'Neill's pants in a twist more than necessary).