Disclaimer:Buffy the Vampire Slayer
is owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, 20th Century Fox Television and others.EVE Online
are owned by CCP GamesStargate SG-1
is owned by MGM Television, Double Secret Productions and Gekko Film Corp.Betas:
Allen Baker, Greywizard and S.D. Cambron. They really helped.
Buffy arrived to a scene of utter mayhem.
Xander’s house was almost entirely destroyed, with the burning and partially molten wreckage of a SUV a little ways down the road, while a fairly large portion of Willow’s home was ablaze, with most of the smoke coming out of the basement windows.
The sound of screeching tires attracted the blonde’s attention, and she immediately started running in the direction it was coming from in order to try to cut them off.
There was no doubt in her mind that the sound came from the fleeing attackers.
Or at least she hoped it was.
She cut through the residential area, trying to reach the road leading out of that area before the assailants did. Sadly, she didn’t make it, and arrived at the intersection just in time to see the taillights of a dark SUV vanishing into the busy street. There was no way she could get to them, but she wrote down the license plate in the hopes of being able to trace it later, while hoping it wasn’t a fake.
She hurried back to the two partially demolished homes of her friends, but had to stop before getting there. The police had already arrived, in force, and cordoned off the area, with additional sirens and horns signaling the imminent arrival of the fire department.
Deciding there was nothing for her to do there, other than risk being caught, she started running back home, realizing that the only thing that could protect her mother and Giles now, was to be any place other than on Earth.
As she approached her home, she noticed a couple of SUVs, similar to the ones she’d seen at Willow and Xander’s houses. Again, she took note of the license plates, as well as anything else she could see, and dropped it on the local channel, almost as an afterthought.
She then readied her two Scrambler pistols, made sure they both had a full magazine, and got ready for action. She really wanted to just take out the vehicles right away, but until she was absolutely certain they were going to attack, she couldn’t take the risk.
She didn’t have to wait for long, as a group of armed people exited their cars, and headed straight for her home. With that confirmation of their intentions, she opened fire, first at the cars themselves, to remove their means of escape, and hopefully communication. Then she emptied both of her pistols into the attackers, aiming for the legs, mostly.
With her weapons empty, she started running, circling around the enemy, behind what little cover there was. She did so just in time, as the few attackers still able to fight, started returning the favor, also using scramblers, but firing with far less accuracy. None of their shots even got close to her, but the screams, and alarms going off in the houses behind her, told a tale she’d rather not have been involved in, since their neighbors were caught in the line of the returned fire.
She paused long enough to reload both her weapons, and then started to move back towards the remaining attackers. Two of them had managed to drag most of their wounded comrades towards the porch of her home. They were still looking for her, mostly in the general direction where she’d been when she had opened fire on them, though their attention was widening in anticipation of her likely having shifted her location. Had she been a normal human, they might have had a chance to find her.
She moved as fast as she could, towards the attackers, taking them by surprise as she more or less blindsided them. One managed to aim in her direction, but he never had time to fire, before Buffy had sent a plasma bolt into his chest. She jumped as high as she could, sailing over the next few bolts that were now being fired towards her previous position. She had to admire their ability to coordinate and respond. One shot, and most of them knew where she’d been.
Unfortunately for them, they had never been trained against someone like her.
Five seconds later, none of them would ever get the chance to improve their training. At these ranges, even a near miss wasn’t really a miss at all, and when hitting one, you pretty much also hit the one behind him.
Grabbing the restraints she noticed on one of the downed men, she quickly tied up all of the survivors, after removing their radios, before heading into her home and hoping to find her mother unharmed.
Bursting through the front door, Buffy barely had a split second to register the object coming at her head, and only narrowly managed to duck under the swing of a frying pan, of all things.
“Mom, it’s me!” she yelled to reassure her mother.
Satisfied that her mother was still uninjured, she jumped back on her feet, and started towards the rear of the house in order to get to her pod, when her mother yelled at her to stop.
She did, but only shortly.
“Mom, I’m getting the shuttle! I’m getting you and Giles out of here, to safety. Now please, hide!” she yelled back, as she started to rip off her clothes, as she carefully laid the two pistols on the coffee table. “Mom, take these, and trust no one!” she warned.
And then she was running again.
Not twenty seconds later, the night sky lit up in a blazing inferno, and most of Sunnydale was woken up to a monstrous thunderclap, a deafening shockwave which broke nearly every single window in the town.
Buffy had done one of the most insane things even the most hardened daredevils of New Eden refused to do. None had the guts to try it, or more accurately, they all had the common sense not
She’d engaged the warp from within the atmosphere.
Literally within minutes, she was back, descending through the atmosphere, far quicker than she normally would.
She set down the shuttle in her mother’s backyard. It was far smaller than that of the Rosenberg’s, so it was a tight fit. At least her mother had been calm and clear headed enough to get ready to evacuate, throwing a few bags into the shuttle before jumping aboard.
“What are your plans, Buffy?” her mother asked, as she was frantically trying to strap in, since Buffy had already taken off.
“I’m getting Giles, and then you two are going to stay on the Nyx ’til we have managed to figure this out,” she explained.
“Then I’m getting something with guns, and so help me, if I find whoever did this...” she trailed off, as she approached Giles apartment block, and saw gunfire being exchanged through his windows. “Hang on to something, mom, this will
get bumpy!” she warned her mother, before cutting the engines entirely, and letting the shuttle drop the fifty meters to the ground.
On the ground below, the attackers barely had time to react, when a shadow descended on them.
Buffy had aimed the shuttle perfectly, and the forward half of the shuttle slammed into the apartment complex’s yard. Five hundred tons of shuttle flattened everything, and everyone within, when the repulsor drives and shields did their magic, and halted the shuttle’s descent just before actually hitting the ground.
Buffy was still briefly surprised to see the alarms telling her that the shield had been depleted, and a chunk of armor had been destroyed as well.
“Shuttles were definitely not built as combat vessels,” she mumbled to herself.
Luckily, Giles had guessed the purpose of her arrival as soon as she hit the ground, and after taking a few more of the attackers out, he, together with a dark-haired woman, sprinted to the now open hatch, before jumping aboard. As soon as Buffy’s sensors told her they were inside, she took off again, this time aiming the nose up, starting towards space, though foregoing the rather explosive jump to warp before she had exited the atmosphere.
Once back on her carrier, she accessed the computers, and updated her guests’ access restrictions. She was about to ask Giles who the woman was, when she recognized her.
“Good morning, Miss Calendar,” she greeted her awestruck computer teacher, “Welcome on board.”
“Giles, I’ve given you the access you need to get to the lounge. Jenny, please don’t try to mess with my computers.”
Jenny nearly jumped out of her skin at the mention of her name from the intercom. “Buffy? Is that you?”
“It is. Now, I’m busy, but Giles, I’ll leave it to you to tell her what you think she can handle.”
“Where are you...” Giles began, but gave up as he noticed the pod had dropped out of the shuttle, and was heading towards some frighteningly large ships.
Though the one she eventually departed on was merely a few hundred meters long.
Xander never even knew what happened, as he woke up in a vat of golden fluid, followed by being flushed out onto a cold steel floor. Slowly, he opened his eyes and looked around.
“Aww, damn it!” he yelled, slamming a fist hard into the floor. Shakily, he got back onto his feet, and slowly managed to get cleaned up. Normally there would be medical personnel to help someone getting out of the clone vat, and back on his, or her, feet. None were to be seen here.
Having to do all these maneuvers alone took time, but he finally managed get cleaned up, while the machines in turn cleaned up after him. He then went to the medical bay terminal and paid for the new clone. It was one of those morbid little details very few pilots forgot, more than once.
“I have to let the girls know about this. We can’t afford this too often,” he muttered to himself, before starting towards the entrance, not even bothering to get dressed.
His thoughts were interrupted by the sudden movement of another clone pod.
“Oh no. Willow,” he said sadly, as he saw his friend inside. He rushed forward, trying to catch her as the vat opened up, and unceremoniously deposited her on the floor.
She started to grab frantically at her stomach and chest, just below her breasts, panicking, until her memories started to catch up to her. All the while Xander was trying to hold her, and spoke calmly to her.
Once she had calmed down a little, he quickly started helping her get cleaned up as well, still talking to her, to lessen her confusion. To lessen the shock.
“X...Xander?” She finally stammered, teeth now clattering even if the clone bay wasn’t that chilly. He looked around, but couldn’t see any clothes, or anything else that could help her keep warm.
“It’s me, Wills. Do you know what happened?” he replied. “The last thing I remember before waking up here, only a few minutes ago, was that I came home, and then went to bed.”
“I...I was...I’m naked!” she suddenly realized.
“We both are, Wills. There is nothing in here we can wear, but I promise we’ll get something soon. Now, please tell me what you know,” he almost pleaded. That he was here could mean just about anything, but if Willow was here as well, that was something far more troubling.
It took a little while longer for her to calm down enough, that he could get her back on her feet. He slowly lead her to the medical terminal, allowing her to collect her own thoughts as well.
“Remember to upgrade the new clone, Wills,” he reminded her.
“What? Oh, right.” She finished the transaction, and then her head snapped around, looking at Xander.
“We need to warn Buffy!” she said, and then she was practically running towards the medical bay entrance.
Xander caught up to her, as she was entering the elevator to the quarters in order to get to a pod. “I was on my way back when you arrived. Please tell me.”
“I was woken up by an explosion coming from your house. It was practically leveled in the process. I saw some men carrying what I think was you out of the ruins, so I grabbed my pistol and headed down the stairs and onto the street. I think I destroyed their car, but there were more of them, and they all had scrambler pistols...” She continued to retell the story as they rode the elevator, and then ran towards the entrance to the Capsuleer section of the station.
By the time they actually reached the entrances to the quarters, Xander was about ready to level Cheyenne Mountain for betraying their trust. But saving Buffy, Joyce and Giles had top priority, by any measure chosen.
He entered the pod, which was ready for him, and waited for Willow to do the same, before he opened communications.
“You know, once this is over, I have about another billion reasons to carve a chunk out of those bastards’ hides. I lost my implants, and most of them aren’t even available here,” he growled.
“I’m right there with you, Xander. And more!”
“Don’t tell me you had...”
“Full Slaves. And then some. At least I have spares for some of them in your cargo hold, but definitely not all of them.”
A full set of ‘Slave’ implants were expensive, to put it mildly. But the value they gave a combat pilot, especially when flying something like a Titan, made it all worth it. The added armor efficiency could easily mean the difference between being dead, or alive, and in a ship like a Titan, death is expensive.
They undocked from the station, and immediately headed towards the tower, to get some ships to use.
They arrived just in time to see a destroyer warping off towards earth.
“Buffy!” Xander called out over the local network, hoping she was listening.
“Xander? Are you ok?” Buffy replied, the concern evident in her voice. “Is Willow there, too?”
“We are both here, and no, I’m not ok, and neither is Willow. Those bastards killed us both!”
“They had scrambler pistols. All of them,” Buffy informed her two friends. “We need to have a little chat with SGC, and I think we should do it, right now.”
“Buffy, what about your mother and Giles? Are they...” Willow trailed off.
“They are both onboard my carrier. And so is Miss Calendar. They came after us all.”
“The same. She was with Giles when they came under attack. They put the Scramblers you gave them to good use, though.”
“I have to ask, Buffy, do you know if my parents made it out of the house?” Xander may not have liked his parents, but he didn’t actually want them dead either.
“I don’t know, sorry. If they were inside when you were attacked, I doubt they survived, Xander. The house was practically leveled when I got there. Willow’s was only a little better off; still standing, but on fire.”
“Do you have a target, Buffy? You took off in a destroyer just as we arrived at the tower.” Willow asked.
“No, and I’m coming back. Now that you two are here, I have a better idea. Please dock and suit up in your armor. We’re going to war.”
“Willow?” Xander asked cautiously.
“Buffy asked us to dock. I don’t think she meant into the Avatar.”
Jack was woken up by his phone ringing.
“O’Neill. I’m not at the phone right now. Call again in the morning.” he mumbled.
“Colonel!” he heard Major Davis all but yell, in order to get his attention.
“Major Davis? It’s...” he looked at his clock, “3:30 in the morning, what’s up?”
“Sir, we have a problem in Sunnydale. Something just went hyper sonic, at near ground level, leaving the town and heading towards space, and radar picked up the silhouette of one of the...Capsuleers’ shuttles returning there a few minutes later. The Army base and the Air Force contingent still in town have both reported in, and they’re heading towards town to gather information and to assess the damages.”
“Apparently, the shockwave of whatever it was, was severe enough to shatter most windows in the town.”
“I’ll be there in thirty. Wake the rest of my team. And tell them to prepare to move out to Sunnydale. I’m certain the General will give that order, anyway.” Jack hung up the phone, and groaned. Sometimes trouble just followed him home.
As Jack arrived at the entrance to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Major Davis was already waiting for him.
“Talk to me,” Jack ordered as they headed towards the entrance to the complex.
“We have limited information at this time, sir; however, you might want to have a look at this.” Davis handed Jack an image of a group of people, dressed in dark clothing, all of whom were severely injured, if not outright dead.
Jack studied the image closely as they were walking towards the jeep waiting for them, to take them further into the mountain. “Have they been identified yet?”
“No, sir. Unfortunately our people have been unable to approach them. These unknowns,” Davis pointed to the ones in the image, “were all killed in action. Judging from their injuries, and the state of some of their SUV’s, the Air Force officers at the scene are certain they were shot by the same weapons that destroyed the NID convoy last Friday.”
Davis paused, as they entered the jeep. “But that is where things get very weird,” he said as he handed Jack a few more pictures. “These operatives - we’re working on the theory they come from the same employer as the ones who assisted the NID - were carrying those, it seems.”
If the chill in the air hadn’t already done it, Jack would have felt the shiver running down his spine. “Take me to the sub level 25, secure weapons locker, immediately.”
“Yes, sir.” Davis snapped to attention.
“And get the Pentagon on the horn. We might have to lock down the base.”
Davis had no need to ask why. The only sources for those weapons, were the Capsuleers themselves or the weapons locker at SGC. He didn’t care one bit for either of those two possibilities.
But for the life of him, he could not figure out which scenario he cared the least for.
Jack strode briskly up to the entrance to the weapons locker, where they had stored the alien weaponry Saturday evening.
“Open it,” he ordered the guard. Once inside, he immediately realized that part of the shipment was missing. A large part of it: two crates of the pistols, and one of the two crates of the ammunition.
Someone had made it off base with what looked like twenty highly advanced and very powerful handguns, and five thousand rounds of ammunition.
He left the locker, after ordering the guard to lock it down and seal it. He then turned to Davis, “Tell the gate: no one leaves the base unless Hammond approves them. Then get the access logs for the base and this locker, and contact AFOSI. I’ll talk to the General, right away.”
“Yes, sir.” Davis nodded and ran off to get the base closed off.
Davis hadn’t gotten very far before he was stopped by Jack yelling at him, “And for crying out loud, tell the guards upstairs, to hold their fire when the capsuleers arrive!”
“Yes, sir,” Davis acknowledged the order, and ran towards the lifts as fast as he could.
“Come in,” Hammond yelled, when Jack knocked on the door to his office. “Sit down, Colonel,” he said, once Jack had entered.
“Just what is going on? I just received an interesting phone call from the guards outside the base, wanting to confirm that we are under lock down,” Hammond said.
“Davis made good time, then,” Jack observed.
“That he did. He’s a good man.”
“We’ll need as much luck as we can get a lot sooner than we’d like, sir.” Jack finished the quick exchange. “Twenty of the new pistols are missing from the secure weapons locker up on Level Twenty-five. And from what I can tell, they were apparently just used in Sunnydale, attacking people with relations to our three capsuleers.”
“And you think they are coming here?”
“I would be. We are the only ones known to have them; they’re bound to want to know where the ones from Sunnydale came from.”
“What do you suggest?”
“That we hold fire, and try to talk. We can’t win in a firefight. And frankly, I don’t want to get engaged in one.”
They were interrupted by the phone on Hammond’s desk. Well, one of them at least.
“General Hammond,” he answered.
“Yes sir, I can confirm that request.”
“With all due respe...” Jack raised an eyebrow at that, few wanted to cut the general off in the middle of a sentence.
“We had a break in into a secure weapons locker. Twenty sidearms are missing along with five thousand rounds of the special ammunition for them, sir.”
“No, sir. These are not
your regular sidearms.”
“Yes, sir, they are highly experimental.”
“Thank you, sir. I’ll have everything ready when your people arrive.”
Hammond hung up the phone, and glared at Jack. “Sometimes I think these people are more trouble than they are worth.”
“The OSI, sir?”
Hammond snorted, “No, these … Capsuleers.”
“They do excel at turning everything on its head, don’t they?”
“They remind me of a certain young Lieutenant I once met.” Hammond said, smiling.
“I wasn’t nearly...”
He was interrupted by a knock on the door.
“Sir, Davis told us to report to you right away,” Carter said.
“Let’s take this into the conference room. It’ll get crowded in here if we have any more people arriving.”
As Hammond entered the conference room, he took in the appearance of SG-1.
“Are you going somewhere, Captain?” he asked.
“Sir, that’s under my order. I suggested that you might be sending us to Sunnydale to investigate.”
“Good thinking, Colonel. Once we are done here, I’ll probably order just that, but I’d like for you to take SG teams 3 and 5 with you as well,” Hammond replied, while he sat down. “Now, tell me what you have so far.”
He was interrupted by Major Davis entering the room, hands full, with a laptop and a large stack of papers.
“Please be seated, Major,” Hammond said, “Maybe you can start by filling us in.”
“We don’t have much, sir,” the Major started. “But what we do have, looks grim, to say the least. At approximately 0200, an unknown number of operatives attacked four addresses in Sunnydale. Why that happened we don’t know, but we speculate that the residences belong to people affiliated with the Capsuleers.”
“The operatives are still of unknown origin or affiliation, though there seems to be ties to the unidentified mercenaries SG teams 1 and 3 engaged last Friday.” Davis shuffled around his laptop, having hooked it up to the main screen while he started his report.
“The Army and Air Force units in Sunnydale have been asking questions, though they were limited in whom they could talk to, without raising additional questions. We did have some luck on that front, though. The local fire brigade chief is a former Army Sergeant, and knew some of the people from the Army base, and he has been able to provide some information.”
“It is a mess, but we have this preliminary timeline,” Davis said as he called up the document on the screen. “There are several things that don't add up here, though.”
“I take it this is not the best way to run an operation like this?” Daniel asked.
“I’ll say,” Jack remarked.
“No, it’s not, Daniel. They clearly had the manpower, so why they decided to attack neighboring residences separately, defies explanation,” Davis explained, “more so than why these men went along with such an ill-conceived plan in the first place.”
“That brings us to the next information we have,” Davis continued. “About twenty minutes after the initial attack, something was launched from the area near, or more likely from
, one of the residencies attacked. This one, on Revello Drive. Whatever it was went hypersonic, at an altitude of no more than fifteen hundred feet, before disappearing. We never saw it on the radar after that. One of our analysts speculates that it was one of the pods the Capsuleers use, and that it might have gone to warp, while still inside the atmosphere.”
“Only a few minutes later, radar did pick up a vehicle entering the atmosphere, giving some credence to the speculation that the launched vehicle was a pod. The shuttle, if that is what it was, made a few stops, though we only have positive sighting at one location - that of the residence of one Rupert Giles, a British national, currently working at the local High School, as a librarian, from what we have been able to obtain, at this time.”
“One eyewitness has stated that there was a firefight in progress at the premises, when the shuttle came in over the courtyard of the residence, and hovered briefly, before dropping like a rock into
the yard. Several, now former, operatives, were literally flattened by the impact. Mr. Giles has not been seen since, and we’re currently assuming he was rescued by the shuttle.”
Davis was interrupted by an airman entering the room and delivering a note to the General, before leaving again.
“Let’s conclude this meeting as soon as possible. NORAD has just picked up a radar signature matching the MCC you described. It is heading directly towards Cheyenne Mountain. Colonel. Do you have anything to add?”
“I do. The reason we expect the Capsuleers to arrive, is that the operatives used some of these,” Jack put his own CAR-9 on the table. “And we are missing twenty of them, from our own secure storage.”
“Major, do you have any information regarding that?” Hammond demanded, looking at Davis
“No, sir. Not yet. Our security people are still reviewing the tapes and logs for the weekend. I had hoped we’d have a little more time to get some answers.”
Hammond stood up, and strode into his office. Less than a minute later, the alarms started blaring throughout the base and General Hammond’s voice could be heard through the PA system.
“This is General Hammond. I have placed this facility under lockdown, and recalled all currently off-duty personnel, until further notice. No one leaves this base without my personal authorization. Hammond out.”
He walked back into the conference room.
“The Air Force OSI have been called in, and should be arriving within a few hours,” he told the assembled group. “The lockdown will remain in effect until the OSI have completed their investigation into the theft of the alien weapons.”
“SG-1 and Major Davis, you are with me. We are heading up to ground level. Let’s see if we can prevent a war. Dismissed!”
“A complete lockdown, sir?” Carter asked.
“Major, this is my base, and I cannot tolerate a breach of security on my watch,” Hammond replied. He continued only slightly more softly, “Second, we cannot be seen to take this lightly - not in the face of the events with the NID, and Kinsey, but also in the face of our new allies, which I just hope we can talk into not making too much noise.”
The general sighed. “To be honest, Major. I’m just praying we’ll survive this night.”
“Should we start evacuate through the gate, sir?”
“Not yet, but we should prepare for it. Go on ahead; I’ll catch up with you in a few minutes.”
At the entrance of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, the peace of the night was disturbed by the appearance of two heavily armored figures dropping from the sky, then slowly rising from the gouges their landing had made in the asphalt. One carried what looked like a Gatling gun, the other a weapon crackling with electricity.
The figure carrying the Gatling spotted the people gathered just inside the arc of the mountain entrance.
“Jack O’Neill. We trusted you. You took our hand of offered friendship, swatted it away, and you stabbed us in the back, instead.” The figure strode purposefully ahead, still yelling.
“Because of your betrayal, two of our people were KILLED!
The barrels of the insanely large Gatling gun started spinning up fast, while the weapon in the hands of the second armored figure, also started to charge as well, sounding more like an oversized camera flash charging, along with a deep hum.
What Jack O’Neill said next, stunned everybody into silence.
“Oh, please Xander, cut the theatrics!”
Everybody was holding their breath, especially those on the SGC side of the confrontation, who were now fully expecting that their world would surely end.
“Carmen Baker,” she answered the phone on automatic, still mostly asleep.
“Director Sparks here, I’m sorry to wake you up agent, but we have an emergency for your team,” came the crisp reply.
“Sir,” Carmen was suddenly wide awake.
“We have a situation developing at Cheyenne Mountain, as we speak. They have reported the theft of some highly classified and experimental hardware. The commander of the base insisted that time was critical on this one.”
She looked at her watch. “At four in the morning, it better be, or I’ll...” she trailed off, briefly forgetting who she was talking to.
“I’ll gather my team right away, sir. Are we heading straight for the mountain, or are we being briefed at Peterson AFB first, sir?”
“You are to report at the mountain right away Captain, Major General George Hammond will be briefing you on the situation, when you arrive.”