: Not mine. All thing Buffy belong to Joss. Star Trek is Gene Roddenberry's creation, though this particular flavor owes much to Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman.
Faith frowned. She could have sworn the floor was shaking, which was odd, because her cage was a marvel of technology.
She’d given up keeping track of time, so she had no firm idea how long it had been since the day Spock had stopped by. He’d been the only visitor she’d had since making the shrink pee her pants.
He hadn’t been allowed in. She’d had to talk to him through a transparent wall. She’d rolled her eyes at that.
“The security protocols surrounding you have been altered,” he said by way of greeting.
“Yeah, I was bad,” Faith replied with a shrug. “Good to see you, too. Before you say anything else, you’re also not allowed to tell me how long it’s been since you were here. They might not have told you, just to see if I’d behave. Anyone else likely to stop by?”
Spock looked at her, and she could practically see him parsing that statement and filtering it through logic.
“I am uncertain,” he replied. “Our last mission was what I believe you term ‘interesting’.”
“Let me guess- I’m not allowed details.”
“That is highly probable. I am probably also not supposed to tell you that Jim has been demoted-“
“WHAT?” Faith gaped. “No way.”
“-and I am being reassigned to the Bradbury,” Spock continued as if she hadn’t said a thing. “I wanted-“
She didn’t get to find out what he wanted, because his apparently willful violation of her increased security had cut the visit short. The white noise generators or force fields or whatever they used were good, but Slayers hearing was better than the Starfleet jerks knew, so Faith could hear the muffled argument on the other side. Guess somebody was a little cranky. Spock might not show it as much as a full human, but he did have a bit of a temper.
But now, as she was increasingly certain that the floor was indeed shaking, Faith was suddenly sure that it hadn’t been very long since Spock’s abruptly terminated conversation. Less than a week, if she had to guess.
The shaking increased, and abruptly all the walls went transparent. What she could see outside wasn’t good. Her prison was in serious trouble. It would have been amusing but for the fact that so far, the force fields that kept her in were still holding, despite the building looking to be on the verge of structural damage.
Did they not engineer for earthquakes in California anymore? Or had they moved her somewhere else?
“Let me out of here!” Faith bellowed at the chaos in the control room.
The tech who met her eyes looked terrified, and with good reason- the room was shaking to pieces around her. Faith registered the sudden full volume out the outside world just in time to leap straight up as her cage went into downwards motion.
She grabbed a support beam that hadn’t been visible before, hoisting herself up. The shaking wasn’t natural, she realized.
“Huh, maybe they do have apocalypses here after all,” she muttered, shimmying down the strut as it became increasingly vertical.
She seemed to be on an upper floor of a building that was tearing itself apart, although the shaking seemed to be subsiding now. Faith kept moving until she found more solid floor and then took off running. She let her instincts guide her, and it didn’t take her long to make her way to a gaping wound in the wall with nothing between her and freedom.
No normal human would have contemplated the jump in front of her- it was a good thirty feet- but for a Slayer it was cake, especially after being caged so long with no way to burn off the relentless energy that was meant to be channeled into the hunt.
She landed lightly on an undamaged section of a lower story roof and gazed out at what she thought was San Francisco Bay. Something really big- Enterprise size, she realized with a sinking stomach- had come down into it, hard. From the looks of it, a crash landing, and one that had done serious damage to the city.
Then she looked again. The section of wreckage closest to her had someone moving. She peered at it, willing her more than human eyesight to be good enough- and abruptly punched the building, inflicting more damage.
No, this Earth didn’t have apocalypse season. But it did have a problem that was hers to settle.
She scrambled down the side of the building- it was easier than rock climbing, to the point where she wondered if the architects of the future designed with recreation in mind- until she hit street level. She didn’t pay attention the myriad of ways this city was not the city she’d known. She just focused on figuring out where that shifty bastard was heading.
Then she took off running. She managed to get to the right street just in time- she heard Uhura’s furious shriek and Spock’s bellow- sounded like someone had finally managed to pull the stick out of Mr. Pointy’s butt.
She wanted a weapon so badly. She stopped, and concentrated. She hadn’t always paid the best attention, but she had listened to Red sometimes. If there was any magic at all in this Earth- an Earth that still recognized her connection to it, still bowed to the presence of humanity’s protector- any at all…
The street in front of her split open like she’d pressed a button. And it was there. Not Buffy’s, and not shared- not in this world. Hers alone, equal parts blessing and responsibility.
She started to pick it up, then pulled her hand back, leaving it where it was. She turned around, standing tall. She was ready when he landed.
“Well, if it isn’t my favorite bastard stepchild. Hello, Khan, how do you like the future?”
Now it was his turn to bellow in rage.
Faith smiled, but with no warmth whatsoever.
“Me. Guess there is a reason I ended up here. After all, we did promise that whenever one of you popped up, one of us would be right there waiting.”
He prowled, trying to find any angle of attack that might work. She shifted as he did, making sure his attention stayed on her. Faith didn’t smirk- she knew perfectly well he’d been one of the slipperiest of the Augments. She was confident she’d beat him, but she needed to focus. It was a hell of a way to get back in the game.
“Of course you did. It’s good to see you, Mother,” he smirked, getting himself under control.
Faith let her fury show, and had the satisfaction of seeing him pale slightly. Good, he hadn’t forgotten their last encounter.
“Seems to me you were warned if you ever called me that again, I’d end you.”
“Go ahead, it will probably earn you a spot in my cryo chamber- assuming they don’t kill you. Starfleet has been rethinking their non-violent approach of late.”
“I just bet they have if they’ve been dealing with you. But you know what? As long as you die first, I’m good with whatever happens after.”
As he rushed her, Faith grinned. Ever since she stepped out of the Enterprise
’s shuttle, she’d been itching to really hit something, and months of being kept caged had only made it worse. And Khan Noonien Singh had just volunteered to be her punching bag. It was like a month full of Christmases all at once.
She didn’t hold back.The impact from the first hit travelled up her arm and she could have sworn the Earth moved- Khan definitely did, as the hit was accompanied by a crunch of ribs giving way before overwhelming force.
Faith lost herself in the flow of the fight, and it wasn’t until Khan was battered and bleeding that she let him get in a hit he probably thought was a good one. It sent her flying backwards- right to where she’d been standing when he first hit the ground. Buffy would have been proud.
“And you were talking of killing me,” he smirked. “For all your natural adaptations, you’re still inferior- just a human.”
Faith rolled and came up swinging the Scythe.
about me,” she snarled.
He roared in pain as the Scythe connected with his arm. Faith was pretty sure she’d broken it a few minutes ago, and if she’d judged it right, it had been about halfway healed. She let the blade hit bone before she pulled back.
“I heal almost as fast as you do,” he spat. “You can cut me all you want- we’ll still be doing this until I get the upper hand.”
“I don’t think so,” Faith responded sweetly. “See, there’s one thing I’ve found works on pretty much everything I’ve ever fought- decapitation. I think it might work for you, too. Why don’t we find out?”
It was lucky she had control as well as power, or it would have been too late. As it was, she stopped her swing with the blade just a few millimeters from his neck.
He started to smile, then met the ice in her eyes and thought better of it.
“You so much as twitch the wrong way, and I’ll finish this,” Faith told him flatly.
She didn’t turn her head, but she knew Uhura and Spock were behind her.
“Explain why you don’t want me to kill him, and make it quick. I know this asshole too well to give him time to think.”
“We need him to save the captain!” Uhura gasped.
Faith raised an eyebrow. Both of them were breathless, probably because getting to street level from the flying vehicles Khan had picked for his fight with Spock was less easy for them than it had been for Khan.
“Jim’s in trouble?”
“He’s dead,” Uhura said, trying for steady but not quite achieving it.
Faith’s grip tightened on the handle of her weapon, but Spock laid a restraining hand on her arm.
“Khan’s blood can restore necrotic tissue.”
“Translation, please?” Faith asked, directing her question toward Uhura, eyes still on Khan.
“We can use him to bring the captain back,” Uhura replied. “At least, that’s what Dr. McCoy thinks.”
“If Bones thinks so,” Faith said grudingly. “How exactly were you planning on restraining him this time? Seeing as putting him down for the count doesn’t last as long as you thought.”
That was when the other Starfleet personnel caught up with them. A veritable sea of red and blue shirts swarmed around Khan, training weapons on him, putting him in cuffs that Faith knew from experience would hold even a very pissed off Slayer, and slapping a blood extractor onto his arm.
Some of the red shirts approached her, but Spock waved them off.
“She is with us,” he informed them in the crisp tone of an order.