Willow started back violently upon seeing herself, memories of her vampiric doppelgänger running through her head. Without the Scoobies around (or, oddly enough, any Airmen) to save her, Willow couldn't help but imagine what a vampire who seemed to be about as sadistic as Angelus, and apparently had a thing for her, would do to her if given a chance. Especially with her powers acting up.
So Willow was rather surprised to see her doppelgänger start backwards at the same time she did. Willow wouldn't have thought that Vampire-Willow was capable of being fazed by anything - after all, she had taken to finding herself in another reality like a duck to water. Or, more accurately, like a master vampire to a Hellmouth town.
But the other Willow was definitely afraid, probably as much as she herself was. Which didn't make any sense, unless she wasn't her vampire doppelgänger. Which in turn meant that something exceedingly strange was happening here.
Apparently, the other version if Willow was thinking the same thing, because they both took a hesitant step towards each other at exactly the same time.
This sparked an odd thought in Willow's head. So far, Other-Willow had reacted in exactly the same way she had. To test this, she waved a hand, which Other-Willow did at exactly the same time. So, perhaps she was looking through a magic mirror of some kind?
No, that couldn't be it. When Willow raised her right hand, Other-Willow also raised her right hand, so they weren't mirror images. Besides, the corridor behind her didn't match. So, there were two Willows, both identical. Willow wondered if the other one was having problems with her powers too.
However, Willow soon found that she had to stop following that train of thought when the Airmen finally arrived - and aimed guns at her. Both of her.
With her powers on the blink, Willow really didn't think that it would be a good idea to get into an argument with people that had enough firepower aimed at her to fill her with more holes than Swiss cheese. So she threw up her hands and said "Don't shoot! I surrender!”
Willow was oddly pleased to see the other version of herself do exactly the same thing at exactly the same time.
Meanwhile, in Sunnydale, Dawn had just woken up. For the first time that she could remember, she hadn't had a single dream - normally her sleep was filled with fantastical worlds and incredible stories, none of which she remembered upon awakening but always knew that she had had.
At least the crippling pain that had plagued Dawn's every movement had gone, although her vision was still as faded as it had been before. It led to a little difficulty in telling things apart, because everything looked alike in their nondescript-ness.
Dawn didn't really feel any need to get up. Not because she was still tired or anything, but because she just didn't see that getting up and doing something or staying in bed were any different. Which was mildly surprising, given that, unlike most teenagers, Dawn didn't like sleeping in.
Eventually, Dawn decided that she should get up, if only to reassure Joyce that there was nothing wrong with her.
Dawn didn't notice that she hadn't opened the door before she left the room.
Back at the SGC, both Willows were being escorted to the infirmary on General Hammond's orders, along with Jolinar. Neither of the Willows had managed to work up the courage to talk to each other yet, even after Hammond had told them what had happened, and Jolinar was trying to think what she would say when it was revealed that she wasn't Sam.
Normally, Janet disliked having SG-1 in the infirmary - not because she disliked them personally, but because Jack invariably made a huge fuss about everything, and when Sam and Daniel were injured, they always tried to leave before they were ready, and Willow, despite putting a brave face on things, was mildly scared of hospitals. Teal'c, though, was an ideal patient - even when he was injured, he usually went to meditate it off.
This time, though, Janet was actually looking forward to examining them. If they were as identical as they seemed, it would be the greatest medical breakthrough since penicillin - and just think how it would help solve the Asgard's cloning problem!
So Janet was annoyed when she tried to scan Jolinar, ignoring her tensing as she did so, and came up with nothing.
Not that Janet didn't find anything unusual. She couldn't even find Sam. She scanned her more than once, but each time, it seemed as though Sam wasn't there. Janet knew it wasn't faulty machinery, because when she scanned herself it showed up just fine.
Janet found that exactly the same thing happened with both Willows, and she didn't doubt that she would find the same if she scanned the rest of the team too.
Janet informed the General of this, out of earshot of the patients (and so she didn't notice when Jolinar suddenly relaxed, having heard due to superior Goa'uld senses) and told him that she would like to take blood and tissue samples and examine them physically (Jolinar tensed again).
"How long would that take?" Hammond asked, contemplating the proposal.
"Honestly, sir? I don't know. I don't even know why they aren't showing up on my scans. It could take weeks, maybe months." Janet answered.
Hammond shook his head. "I can't wait months, Doctor. If the Stargate is inactive for that long, we'll get shut down." he said (Jolinar relaxed) "I have to get both Carter's working on a solution, and see if the Rosenbergs can help" (Jolinar tensed again. If Sam was Sam, she would instantly see that Jolinar wasn't Sam).
"So how do you want to proceed, Sir?" Janet asked.
"Well, I'd like to talk to them before I release them. The two Rosenbergs, at least, seem to be themselves. Or herself. I can't imagine anyone else being too shy to talk to herself. Or themselves. Although, that said, I can't imagine why Carter's so jumpy that she keeps tensing every time that you suggest running tests on her. Or, for that matter, how she managed to hear us." said Hammond, who had noticed Jolinar tensing. "Isn't that right, Carter?" he said, loudly enough that the Willows could hear too. It interrupted them staring at each other and acting as though they'd like to talk but couldn't quite figure out how.
Jolinar realised that the game was up. A good agent knew when to tell the truth. "Actually, I'm not Sam. I'm Jolinar of Malkshur." she answered.
Well, Hammond hadn't expected that.
After Buffy had sprinted to the Magic Box to tell him about the weird, glowing green ball, she had expected Giles to know something about it. Giles always knew something, even if it turned out to be wrong.
All Giles managed to come with was that some magic-user with a grudge and a talent for portals was sending one after Buffy, but given that the only magic-users that fit the bill had either turned into a snake and then been blown up (the Mayor), been possessed by an extra-dimensional being (Ethan) or vanished after rebounding a spell off of a mirror (Amy's mother), Giles didn't think it was that. Although, of course, some vampire or other could've hired outside help, but Buffy hadn't seen any evidence since Dracula of there being any kind of Big Bad.
Which, unfortunately, left him with nothing to do but research. No, that wasn't quite true. Giles had to research and run a shop.
In the sewers beneath Sunnydale, the insectoid creature that had come through the green, glowing ball was having some problems adjusting to this dimension.
For a start, it was far, far away from the hive mind, which left it feeling lost and alone. Secondly, everything was so bright away from the subterranean caves in which his kind ruled supreme - with teeth harder than diamond and a carapace hard enough that a cave-in wouldn't even dent it, how could it not be top of its food chain?
Besides, the creature was, by human standards, only semi-sentient. It was driven for months at a time by the simple biological impulses of breeding, which wiped out all of its capacity for higher thought (which it generally used to catch food and think of ways in which to impress its desired mate in any case).
So it was baffled by the fact that it was having urges to try and communicate, of all things! Like there was any kind of hive mind it could join around here.
Nevertheless, it knew that it would give in to the urge at some point, but until then, it was going to see if it could find something to eat.
The creature borrowed through the wall of the sewer as easily as it would move through air.