Chapter One: The Arrival
Disclaimer: I do not own the copyrights to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, X-COM: Enemy Unknown, or Stargate SG-1. Certain characters are inspired by (but not drawn from) the following fandoms: the Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings. A few other characters are from - or inspired by - Irish, Indian or Greek mythology. Additionally, there are a fairly large number of original characters inserted to provide structure to the stories. Starts post the end of Season 5 (The Gift).
She awoke to snow.
The world was white around her, with plains rolling off into the distance. Gentle snowflakes fell from an azure sky.
Her first thought was, This is not the tower.
The memories of the night flashed through her mind. Dawn. Glory. The Key. The portal. The tower.
Jumping. My blood is your blood.
She sat up. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.
It hadn’t been winter in Sunnydale. She hadn’t dressed for it…
Come to think of it, you can’t dress for heaven. Or hell. Or wherever this is.
Well, hell is hot....
It seemed a funny place to be heaven.
She got up.
Now where do I go from here? Can’t see any place with people. Or demons. Or, well, anything.
This could the middle of the Arctic.
She wasn’t dressed for the cold, she thought…
That was when she realized she wasn’t cold.
She glanced down at her clothes. Then did a double take.
She wasn’t in jeans and blouse anymore. Instead, she was wearing a fairly thick-looking green gown.
With little yellow sunny-shapes patterned all over it.Okay. So going through the portal changed my dress? Sure hope it’s magic.
She was also wearing shoes – not her slaying-and-patrolling shoes, but something made of shiny golden cloth. Very elegantly styled. She paused for a moment to admire the shoes. At least one item of the wardrobe is well picked…
Could some creepy guy have switched her clothes and shoes as she fell through the portal? Nah, there wasn’t time. Besides, creepy guys would not have any idea how to pick decent shoes… that looked like a girl’s work.
A thought struck her. She was somewhere else – probably another dimension – and had no idea of knowing how much time had passed. Different dimensions had different timescales – Angel’s hundred years in a demon dimension had been a few months for her – so she couldn’t tell… Which meant there might have been enough time for some unknown guy/girl to do the switching thingie. Maybe Willow will figure out that I’m in a different dimension and work out how to pull me back.
Of course, that assumed it was possible for Willow-level magic. Which, she realized, she had no idea of.
Well, even if Willow was to try something, she needed time to work it out.
On cue, Buffy’s stomach rumbled. That settled it – she needed to get some food into her. Otherwise she might be the only Slayer to die of starvation.Trouble is, I don’t know where there’s food – and it is winter.
Plus, there were no trees visible.
She saw the sun in the sky. It looked – different. A bit bigger...
Well, anyway, there was nothing to choose between directions. So maybe she should just follow the sun and keep going.
She tucked in the hems of her gown so that they wouldn’t get slushy, and began to march.
About sixteen hours later, she was still stumbling along in the snow.No bloody idea where I am, and still don’t know if there’s a single living thing out here. Even if there is, I could be going in completely the wrong direction.
Her stomach wasn’t too rumbly, which she noted with a faint sense of surprise – not eating for sixteen hours of forced march through snow should have burnt quite a few calories. Maybe there was a special Slayer trait which suppressed hunger when in danger. She’d have to ask Giles when she got back. If she got back.
She didn’t want to dwell on how slim the chances of that were.
She’d watched the sunset with some trepidation. Night was when any bad things would come out to play. She wasn’t scared of them – unlikely that she’d run into another hellgod just yet – but the cold emptiness was starting to get to her. Slayers weren’t meant to blunder around in a deserted landscape.
She’d watched the moonrise three hours ago and adjusted her direction to follow it. She was clearing the crest of a hill when she saw the moon rising again.Huh?
She checked overhead. One moon, yeah.
Another one just rising, yeah.
Okay. So she was somewhere with a sun and – two moons.Yep, definitely not Kansas anymore. Or Earth.
She was surprised by how little the knowledge affected her. Perhaps being in a different world should have had more of an impact. Still…. Perhaps the fact that she had known, deep down, that she was somewhere else made it easier to accept the objective evidence.
She was thinking that exact thought when her Slaydar went off.
She spun, to see the creature crawling towards her. Black, scaly, and with lots and lots of teeth.
At least her Slayer reflexes hadn’t deserted her. The thing was moving fast – very fast. She was faster.
It looked like someone had puffed up a lizard to the size of a crocodile and given it claws, jaws and teeth to match. The two-foot - beak? Mouth? Pincer with a tongue? – snapped where her head would have been.
She dodged. Then punched.
The beast seemed to be surprised. Then it went flying across the landscape, to land in a snowbank ten feet away.
Score one for Slayer strength.
The lizard-croc got back on its feet and charged. This time, she was ready. She jumped and brought her ankle down on where its skull should be.
There was an audible crack.
Blood from the beast’s split head was leaking into the snow.
She wondered if it was edible.
Then she smelled it.
It reeked of death and decay. Well, it was dead, but – still. She realized that her Slayer self was telling her not to touch it.
She backed away. She wasn’t hungry enough to ignore her instincts.
She turned and walked towards the rising moon.