A/N: I do not own, Buffy, Star Trek, or Stargate. They are the property of their respective rights holders. I am, however the primary designer of the Omega class C3 Cruiser as depicted in the January/February 1994 volume of the Galactic Engineer's Concordance - Link to the USS Omega specs in the TTH discussion 'Looking for an Angelfish'. (Requires TTH log-in)
Many thanks to ReadsaLot for the betaing pass on this chapter and agreeing to look at the next!Infinity BoxHave you ever stood between two mirrors on opposite walls and wondered what all the rest of the you's were thinking? Twisted response to Challenge 4242 AND 7035.PrologueFebruary 1994
The kitchen door to Willow's house crashed open as her two best friends spilled across the tile as a two-boy tsunami. “We've found her Wills! We've found her!” The two chorused while raiding her fridge for snacks.
As had become the norm over the last several years, thirteen year old Willow was self-sitting while her parents were again out of town for a psychology conference. In Jessie and Xander's eyes, this made the Rosenberg home party central. If you considered late nights of role-playing D&D, GURPS, James Bond, and Star Trek to be a party.
Willow shot a sharp glance that bounced between the two boys. “Who's this she? I didn't know anyone important was missing?” At least no one important to the three of them. After-all, in Sunnydale, there was always someone going missing.
“Not a her...” Xander bounced.
Jessie flipped a yellow and black covered fanzine onto the table. “...a she!”
Picking up Jessie's newest copy of the Galactic Engineer's Concordance she flipped it open, thumbing through the ships that the subscribers had submitted for publication. The two boys could tell when their red-headed bestest female bud hit the right page.
“Oooooo.” She began devouring the article.
Jessie and Xander leaned in from either side and kissed her cheeks. “So, Captain. You like the OMEGA?”
Blushing because Xander actually kissed her cheek, Willow nodded vigorously. “StillnamingourshipPROMETHEUSthough,” she babbled quickly.
“Hey,” Jessie grinned. “Guy stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. Prometheus is cool!”
Xander stood there beside him nodding. “Okay, Wills is Captain. Jess, you're the Chief Engineer...”
“Capt'n, I cannae change the laws o'physics.”
Xander and Willow both whacked Jessie across the back of the head.
“Ow. You gonna be First Officer this time?”
“Nope. That was SOOO boring.” Xander shrugged. “I'm CON.”
“Yep, always knew you had an adversarial side,” the taller boy quipped.
“Chief Of Navigation. The helmsman, you moron.”
Willow giggled as the three of them pulled out their copy of the Star Trek roleplaying game and began designing their characters to go with the new ship.
Hours later, their character sheets ready and the sun low in the western sky, the three of them stood at the front door of her house.
“Computer. Run program Sunnydale One,” Xander intoned.
Jessie made a beeping noise and shifted to a falsetto voice. “Acknowledged.”
Willow pulled the two into a hug. “Idiots. Get home safe.”
The two slipped out of her arms, scooping up their bikes off of the driveway and rocketing off to get home before sunset.~~~***~~~September, 1995
“Welcome to Con-Spiracy West! Literary forums are on Concourse B. The anime schedule is posted outside the Wilkins I Room. Network gaming is in Wilkins III. Swap shop is in Wilkins II. Sign-up for the Vampire LARP is the third table down. Roleplaying is in the Sunny-D ballroom. The costume contest runs from 1pm this afternoon until 6pm tomorrow. Winners will be announced at the costume ball tomorrow night.”
“Sooo Andrew...” Xander sidled up to the registration table with Jesse and Willow in tow. “Exactly how many times have you said that today? And how did you score this gig anyway?”
“Doesn't matter Xander. If I do it for three more hours, I get to participate in the rest of the Con for free. Some folks Tuck knows are the one's running things.” He waved at the three friends. “Hi Jessie, W-Willow.”
“Sweet deal dude.” Jessie glanced at his two companions, seeing if they had noticed the other boy's blush and stammer toward the girl in their midst. “We're wanting to test the PROMETHEUS out against some talented opposition and work out some fleet tactics, but we're also up for some actual roleplay with her as well. You in?”
“Sure!” Still blushing, Andrew tried to keep from bouncing in his seat. “Only Star Trek character I have rolled up is a Chief Petty Officer.”
“Hey, no big! In fact, it's kinda cool to have enlisted characters as something other than NPCs.”
“Sweet, can I bring Jonathan?”
The three smiled and nodded in the affirmative.
“Great!” He handed the three of them their name badges and registration packs. “I'll catch up with you guys in the Ballroom.”
With a wave, the three moved past the registration table. They were barely out of earshot before both Jessie and Xander were sing-songing on either side of their friend. “Andrew likes Willow.”
The look on her face, on the other hand did not bode well for her friend's characters, or their insteps for that matter.~~~***~~~January 22nd, 1997
Willow stood in the doorway to the dining room in her house. Spread across the table were stacks of books, character sheets, dice and notebooks filled with the past adventures she and her friends had gamed.
Adventures that were now done. Over. Would never be the same again.
Her eyes red, she picked up the notebooks, carrying them to the den where she curled up in her favorite chair and began to read. Read the fun that she and Xander and Jessie had created. A world that she desperately wished were real. Because if it were real, then Jessie...
...Jessie would not be...
Or if he was, then at least his death would have been heroic, and not the ignominious result of falling prey to a skank vampire.
That's not how he would have wanted to go. Not how he deserved to go.
Picking up her pen, she flipped to the next empty page.Captain's Log – USS PROMETHEUS
Commander McNally, Jessie is dead. And a part of all of us has gone with him. His sacrifice *sob* saved us all...~~~***~~~September 30th, 1997
Arm in agony from the staff blast the alternate Teal'c had hit him with Daniel Jackson stumbled through the mirror on P3R-233, landing hard on the floor with a scream of pain. The Goa'uld destruction of the alternate Earth still fresh in his mind he struggled to raise himself and look as his friends rushed through the door.
“Alright, let's get him back to Earth.” Jack's voice focused him as his consciousness swam hard against the currents of darkness attempting to claim him.
“No Jack! We're all in very big trouble.” SG-1 turned to look as their injured linguist struggled to his feet. “They're coming...”~~~***~~~October 25th, 1997
Operating against the orders shutting down the Stargate Program, the members of SG-1 huddled over the computers in the gate control room. A blue, liquid glow reflected off the equipment in the darkened room as alarms blared through the base, and thuds could be heard in the distance as men attempted to breach the doors that Jack's security codes had sealed.
“That looks like ancient Egyptian.” Daniel pointed at a line of hieroglyphics on the MALP feed monitor.
Teal'c looked at the screen. “Possibly Goa'uld.”
A flashing red monitor drew the linguist's attention. “They've gotten corridor C9 open.”
Jack hefted his P-90 as his eyes swept the room. “Alright, let's go!”
With that, the team swept up their equipment, storming down the stairs and into the gateroom. With a final glance over their shoulders at the pursuing security forces they charged up the ramp and through the open gate.~~~***~~~October 30th, 1997
“Ooo. Shiny!” The petite blonde bounced on her toes as she pulled a small silver oval with an odd gold shield grafted to it.
Her redheaded best friend spun to look at what she had found. “Buffy, do you know what that is?”
Willow cocked an eyebrow in her direction.
“It's the pretty broach that will go perfect on the dress I'm getting.”
Flouncing off, in a bee-line toward said dress, she left the other girl alone at the counter with the box of shields, pips and pins.
“So Willster, doing the BOO again this year?” Xander chirped, appearing behind her left shoulder.
Pulling out a couple more shields and a selection of pins, she spun in place, her resolve face already locked in. “No, I'm not. And you're not going as some grubby twentieth century grunt either. Are you Lieutenant Commander?”
Xander fishmouthed for several moments before straightening. “Ah, no Captain.” Neither of them had channeled their roleplay alter-egos since Jessie had been killed. Somehow, after almost a year it seemed right to do so again.
Reaching out, Willow dropped a shield, then two solid and one hollow pip into Xander's hand. “Excellent. In that case, I believe I saw our uniforms over there?”
With a grin the two marched through the crowd of shoppers to acquire the appropriate red and black uniforms.
“By the way. Does Buffy know that's a Star Trek comm-badge and not just some pretty piece of jewelry?”
Willow just smiled.~~~***~~~October 31st, 1997
The next afternoon found Xander standing on the porch of 1630 Revello Drive. Self-consciously he tugged the waist of his shirt downward. Something about the way the pull-overs were assembled caused their shoulders to want to slide backward, pulling the hem up.
He damn near jumped off the porch. “Mrs. Summers! I didn't hear you open the door.”
Joyce gave him patented mom look number twenty-three. Also known as the 'No-one expects the Momish inquisition' look. “Still got it,” she murmured, waving the young man through the door.
“The girls are almost ready. They should be down shortly. Why don't you have...”
The clip of heels on the stairs interrupted the usual pleasantries.
“I officially renounce spandex and lycra!” Xander sketched a bow. “Lady Buffy of Buffdom, it is an honor.”
“I must say, you look rather dashing in that uniform, good sir. Of course, a couple quick darts on the seams really made Cap...Casper...” Buffy and Xander's jaws dropped open as Willow stepped into view wearing a ghost sheet.
“Gotcha!” Willow whipped the sheet off revealing a well-tailored Starfleet Captain's uniform. Unlike Xander's standard red and black Next Generation uniform, hers had the black pants with the steel turtle-neck and the burgundy and brown leather jacket. Four solid pips adorned the right side of the shirt's collar while her comm-badge rode in regulation perfect position on her left breast.
With a glance Xander saw that the badge Buffy had bought was similarly positioned on her dress.
“As a security function, Commander Summers is going incognito tonight, Lieutenant Commander Harris.”
Xander's head whipsawed back to Willow. His jaw opened, but then he thought better of what he was about to say. Of course, his mouth decided to ignore the waves of common sense flooding down from his brain. “How'd I end up low man on the totem pole?”
The three women in the foyer all broke into distinctly non-regulation giggles.
“Do you need a ride to the school?”
“No Mom. We'll walk.”
“In that case, I'm gonna finish getting ready for my party,” Joyce started up the stairs. “Don't stay out too late at the Bronze tonight.”
“We won't Mom.”
The three waved as she turned the corner at the top of the steps.
“Chief of Security even!”
Xander shook his head slowly. “Willow?”
The redhead had to stifle her giggles. “I told her about the game and she wanted in. We rolled up the character this afternoon.”
“Besides,” Buffy interrupted. “Giles wants me to try to think more strategically. Willow says that joining your game will help.”
“Well then,” Xander crooked an elbow and offered it to the slayer. “Computer, run holodeck program Buffy one zero dash three one dash one nine nine seven.”
Willow whacked him on the back of the head as she leaned around to open the door. Two steps after leaving the porch, she was firmly ensconced on Xander's other arm.