AN: See, new chapter! Good author...
I own nothing. Really. And I'm not just talking about Buffy
************ Trick-Or-Treat: Chapter Seventeen ***************
Sam groaned inwardly as the entire troop tromped down the stairs to
the gate room so that they could 'welcome' their Tok'ra visitor.
The Colonel was NOT a happy camper, hadn't been BEFORE Anise had
arrived. Mentally, she hastily planned some very intense lab time
and reminded herself to tell Daniel to get scarce after the
Teal'c, Teal'c could take care of himself.
"You are SO getting latrine duty next time we go off-world," her
commander hissed, eyes flashing dangerously.
Sam tried not to roll her eyes. Didn't quite succeed if Jack
O'Neill's narrowed glare was any indication. She started to school
her features into a semblance of polite civility for their guest.
Anise wasn't Samantha's favorite alien- for a supposedly advanced
being the woman had some supremely stupid ideas- but Anise was here
because they had asked her to come.
Well, not her specifically, but, still they HAD asked...
It wouldn't be nice to be openly hostile to someone who was doing
them a favor. Though, if Xander Harris did hold the key to repelling
symbiotes, this little test would be doing the entire race of humanity
a favor, in a 'saving the galaxy' kind of way. "Try to be pleasant, sir,
He scowled at her, clearly offended by the idea, before sighing. He
ran a hand through closely cropped silver hair. "I got the name of
the organization Xander was involved with."
Sam's patently false smile slipped a bit as her brain processed this
important bit of information. "He told you?"
Jack O'Neill winced. "Not quite. Slipped up cause he thought we
already knew. I doubt we'll get more out of him for awhile, but I
want you to dig around and see what you can find. It's a hell of a
lot harder to hide an entire project, no matter how disastrous."
"I'll get right on it, sir. What's the name?" Looks like lab time
had just become computer time...
Colonel O'Neill frowned as they entered the gate room. "The
Jack was more than a little pleased that his 2IC was so busy
considering the name he had given her that she barely realized when
the little delegation stopped in front of Anise. Jack, somewhat more
obviously than he'd have liked, managed to wedge himself in the back,
next to Teal'c, who regarded him with bland amusement.
Hard to read or not, the big Jaffa was about as fond of this
particular snake as he was.
General Hammond, diplomatic as always, smiled genially. "Welcome,
Anise, thank you for coming."
The Tok'ra inclined her head slightly in acknowledgement, a small
smirk curling her lips, as her eyes flickered directly to Jack's.
Oh come on...
"I am most pleased to offer any sort of- assistance- that I can,
Jack tried desperately to hide behind Teal'c. Damn snake lady and
her too tight clothing.
"Well, we'll have Major Carter fill you in on the way to the VIP
rooms. If you'll..."
"Unauthorized Off-World Activation!"
Hammond's eyes snapped up to the control room where technicians
were clustered around the computers, fingers flying as they typed.
The group containing SG-1, Ferretti, General Hammond, and one very
unwanted Tok'ra backed away from the Gate itself as SFs poured into
the room, P-90s at the ready.
"It's SG-3!" Alberts shouted.
"Shit," Jack breathed. They weren't due back for hours...
"Open the iris!" Hammond bellowed. "Get a medical team down here
The iris slid open to reveal the familiar shimmering blue. There
was a beat of silence in the room before SG-3 came tumbling through,
first a single man who sprawled, bloody and dazed on the ramp, then
followed by the other two men on the team, equally ragged, who held
the fourth of their number- Sergeant Rick Mailer- between them.
"Close it!" wheezed Lieutenant Larry Moss. The wormhole was
terminated immediately as good ol' Doctor Frasier and team burst in,
took the scene in with a well-practiced glance, and headed without
pause for SG-3.
The other three of the men looked like death warmed over. Mailer,
Mailer looked worse. Of course, a lot of that probably had to do
with the fact that his face was transfigured, wrinkled and twisted
into some sort of Halloween mask, complete with bloody fangs. He
snarled and bucked within his teammate's determined grasp until one
of Frasiers patented sedatives was administered directly into his
neck. He slumped forward with one last half-hearted growl and
slipped into sleep.
"What the hell happened?" Hammond bellowed gruffly to the three
conscious members of the team, who winced and fidgeted as the medics
put field bandages on.
"There was an ambush, some sort of monsters..."
"General Hammond, perhaps you could delay your briefing until I've
seen that these men have had adequate medical attention?"
Jack whistled internally. Not many people used that tone on their
commander. He and Janet were some of the few. Janet was the only
one who got away with it. General Hammond, despite his shock, wasn't
the kind of man to put the well-being of his people above anything,
absolutely anything, so he nodded and gave his gruff assent to Dr.
Frasier's pointed, though politely phrased, demand.
Things were starting to get more and more interesting...
"And how did Colonel O'Neill's little meeting with Agent Barrett go?"
Benjamin Locke winced and started to hate his job just a little bit
more. If only he didn't have to deal with politicians, especially
self-righteous pricks like Senator Kinsey. Unfortunately, Kinsey was
a major league player in the NID. Like him or not, trust him or not,
Locke couldn't very well withhold information from him without
suffering for it.
Suffering in an 'end up dead in a ditch' kind of way.
It was a very bad idea to get Kinsey involved in this increasingly
entangled fiasco though. For all his brilliant manipulating, Kinsey
had a damned short fuse and just enough arrogance to ensure that it
was ignited on a regular basis. He wasn't going to take O'Neill's
involvement with the Harris kid well but that wasn't what really
worried Locke. What really worried Locke was what would happen if
Kinsey believed all the Initiative files were going to come out into
the relative open. Then the gloves were going to come off.
"Colonel O'Neill was very close-mouthed about how or why Alexander
Harris is being held at the SGC. He was, at the time, unaware of Mr.
Harris's ties with the Initiative."
There was a short bark of laughter. "But he's not willing to leave
it, is he?"
Locke sighed and hated himself, just a little bit more, when he
replied, "No. No, he's not willing to leave it."
Senator Robert Kinsey hung up the phone with a speculative gleam in
his eye. He would really rather not have the Initiative files
re-opened and re-examined. His role in that particular project had
been obscure in that he had been high enough up that few knew of his
influence, but as it was- he had been the only politician involved,
period, who still had a viable career. And he was VERY fond of his
Colonel O'Neill wouldn't be able to go public with any information he
gathered, but he could make life uncomfortable for Robert. But, if
the cat was going to be let out of the proverbial bag that opened up
a whole new set of options...
He had left that girl- the Slayer, the Witch, and their little
friends alone in the aftermath of the Initiative. It wouldn't have
done to bring them in and have had to explain why he knew about them.
But now, if Colonel O'Neill wasn't willing to let things go then
Robert could oblige him quite nicely.
Perhaps it was about time to read up on Buffy Summers and Willow
Rosenberg. Perhaps it was time to remember what he had been willing,
for his career, to forget.
"Well, that's interesting," Sam muttered to herself as she stared,
unblinking, at the computer screen.
"Find anything, Carter?"
She turned and looked up at her commander. "Some, sir. Less than I
had expected, but more than we had with Xander. How's Sergeant
Colonel O'Neill's lips twisted into a grimace, "Dead."
Samantha felt herself pale as sympathy welled in her for the Marine.
She'd escaped death often enough to know that her day, SG-1's day,
would come too soon. "I'm sorry to hear that, sir."
"I'm sure Mailer is too." Her face must have shown its confusion
because Jack sighed. "Frasier swears up and down that he's dead as
a door nail. No pulse, no heartbeat, no need to breathe. The only
thing that's even remotely active is his brainwaves. Oh and his
BODY. Because he woke up an hour or so ago and started flailing so
hard he had to be restrained."
"Oh," she replied softly, "my, that is a new one. The rest of
Jack rolled his eyes. "Banged up pretty bad with some nifty broken
bones and some interesting bite marks, but other than that, 100%
alive. Frasier is going nuts because she can't figure out what the
hell is going on. Hammond is debriefing the rest of the team now.
Anyway, enough of that for now, what's up with the Initiative?"
Sam turned back to study the computer screen. "Well, details are
pretty scarce, but I got a hold of a broad mission statement: 'To
protect the United States from the threat represented by
Sub-Terrestrials'. The project was in Sunnydale, California about
seven years ago, but only lasted for about eighteen months before
being disbanded. There's also a list of names for everyone involved,
though their records in relation to the Initiative are also blacked
out. I could probably run a general background check though, look
for some common denominators maybe."
Colonel O'Neill snorted. "Sunnydale is a common denominator for
Xander right there. Sub-Terrestrials, huh? Do a run on that term,
see what you can come up with. Let me see those names too."
He leaned over her shoulder and scanned them intently. She watched
closely and knew exactly when his gaze caught Xander's name. "Take
out all of the military. If their files are anything like Agent
Finn's there won't be much to look at in the general files anyway,
but let's see what comes up with the other names."
"Can do, sir. Anything else?"
"Yeah, let's hold off on supervised phone calls with Xander for
awhile, okay? Keep Teal'c away from him too, at least until things
calm down some and we can get Anise to feel him up, or whatever it
is she plans on doing."
Sam fought to keep from smiling. "What about the tests?"
Jack wrinkled his nose. "Hell, I don't know. They're important,
She nodded gravely. "Yes, sir, and time consuming. We are, we are
still working under a deadline, right?"
"You know that's up to Hammond, Carter, but as far as I'm concerned
Xander Harris still hadn't done anything wrong. He'll be going home
in what, a little over two weeks now because I sure don't want a
dozen and a half girls barging into Cheyenne Mountain demanding him
back, do you?" He smiled but it was brittle, wan.
"All right, if Janet doesn't have her hands full with SG-3 continue
with the tests."
"Thank you, sir."
Xander watched with morbid fascination as Dr. Frasier drew yet
ANOTHER vial of blood. At this rate he wouldn't have to wear a
cross. The Vamps back in Cleveland wouldn't even be interested in
him- the bloodless wonder. He considered making a smart-ass remark
about being the subject of a ritual bloodletting but held his tongue
for once, mostly because Janet Frasier looked like shit.
If Xander was a betting man, he'd put money down on it having to do
with the two 'off-world activations' that had been blaring over the
intercom yesterday, after his and Jack's little chat. Some bad
voodoo had gone down. Xander had lived through enough apocalypses
to recognize the signs of clean-up and imminent mental breakdowns.
Not that the government had any freaking clue about saving the world,
but, people still looked stressed. Xander understood stressed. If
he wasn't quite so worried about his own continued existence he would
have suggested donuts. But that would reveal that he was smarter
than the average civilian and after the fork stunt, he was perfectly
happy to be Dr. Frasier's silent pincushion.
A nurse, Beverly if Xander remembered correctly- and he probably did
because he had an eye for nurses- stuck her head into the room. "Dr.
Frasier," she said softly, "its Sergeant Mailer."
Janet Frasier nodded wearily as she slid the needle out of Xander's
arm and handed him a cotton ball. "One moment please Xander. Just
wait here." And he did wait, for all of about a minute, before he
jumped off the cot and cautiously made his way down the infirmary
hallway, cotton ball held firmly to the juncture of his inner elbow.
He hung back as Dr. Frasier conferred quietly with Beverly before
retrieving a syringe and softly opening one of the special rooms.
One of the ones that locked from the outside. Xander sure as hell
rememberd seeing those one of the first times he had come in for
Remembered being very grateful HE wasn't strapped down to one of the
beds in there.
He crept down and joined the blonde nurse, who shot him a
disapproving glare but didn't say anything about Xander misbehaving
after he shot her an innocent, charming grin. Just because normal
human women didn't want to date him, didn't mean that they weren't
usually nice to him. It had something to do with the eye patch.
Made him look very early 'Pirates of the Caribbean', before all the
crappy sequels. Beverly snorted at his gall but was smiling as she
studied the chart she held. He took advantage of her distraction to
lean and look cautiously into the window of the door before
"Oh fuck," he muttered, single eye wide at the sight of a Marine
Sergeant tied to a hospital bed.
The man, the NOW demon, was being held down by large leather
restraints, and was howling wordlessly, face morphed into its Game
Face. The damn thing probably hadn't had a bite to eat since it had
been turned, if its desperation was any indication. No wonder it was
going crazy... fledglings normally gorged when first Awakening.
Bile rose thick and heavy in the back of Xander's throat as he
regarded the Vampire from the other side of the glass. He wasn't
remotely afraid of the threat the demon's actual existence presented.
Xander was afraid of how the demon's presence compromised his own
tenuous existence at, well, wherever the hell he was. The tests that
he had been run through had been relatively painless to date and
Xander had NO desire to start in on the long expected medical
No wonder Dr. Frasier was stressed out, if this was the first Vampire
she had ever dealt with, and Xander, remembering the dark circles
under her eyes, believed that it was. Most doctors weren't too
pleased to deal with patients who were dead, AND vocal.
Xander watched, suddenly dry mouthed, as Dr. Janet Frasier bustled
around the room with an air of competency, despite her obvious
exhaustion. He wasn't afraid of the Vampire but he respected its
abilities. Knew exactly what it was capable of. Knew that Dr.
Frasier didn't have a freaking clue.
The Vampire snarled and tried to snap at the doctor as she stopped by
its side and checked the IV bag, confidently ignoring the starved
demon's thrashings and incoherent threats. She was so busy ignoring
the taunts and misbehavior that she didn't notice when the Vampire
redoubled its efforts against the leather straps holding it down.
Those straps would have held an ordinary human down with no problem.
Unfortunately, they were nothing against the superior strength of a
"Fuck..." Xander breathed again as he saw the first strap give way.
The Vampire roared and lunged for the startled Dr. Frasier.
The nurse next to him cursed as well, blue eyes wide as she watched
the horrible scene unfurl, her chart forgotten in limp hands.
All Xander saw was the doctor's neck being bared, and the glistening
of fangs, as the Vampire went to feed with a mindlessness that almost
guaranteed that Janet Frasier wouldn't survive the experience.
Beverly was only just getting around to pushing the emergency alarm
by the time Xander had the door busted open. He ignored her shouts
and flew into the room.
Dr. Janet Frasier was hauled up against the snarling ex-Marine, her
eyes glassy with shock, skin pale from blood loss, as the Vampire
gorged, its neck pulsing as it fed ravenously. Xander's one eye
searched the room with a practiced eye before he grabbed the wooden
clipboard Dr. Frasier had left on a table. He snapped the clipboard
against the bed railing with one swift flick of his hand, and grasped
a jagged part from the broken pieces. Even with the unfortunate
Initiative slip, it should have been more difficult to truly blow
his cover with the U.S. Government. It really should have.
But the Vampire didn't even raise its head from its meal when Xander
dove forward, spun the demon and its victim around to bare the
demon's back, and plunged the makeshift stake through the Vampire's
There was a beat of stillness, alarms ringing faintly in the
peripheral of Xander's hearing, before the Vampire exploded in a
shower of ashes that coated he and Dr. Frasier both. Xander caught
the woman as she fell, and cradled her bleeding form in gentle arms
as he spat out a mouthful of bitter tasting ashes. Bevelry's screams
bled into the cacophony of the alarms.
"So much for keeping a low profile," Xander muttered as his fingers
fumbled and found Janet Frasier's weak but steady pulse on her
wrist. Her neck, unfortunately, was a bloody mass of torn tissue
and exposed muscle. Fledglings always were messy eaters.
The cavalry chose that opportune moment to make their grand entrance
as about ten soldiers poured into the room, guns blazing, only to be
pulled up short by the sight of a civilian holding their half
unconscious doctor with a ruefully lopsided grin. "Clean up on