By Sam James
Disclaimer: Buffy characters and situations/background are owned by Joss Whedon/ Mutant Enemy/ and 20th Century Fox. Stargate characters and situations/background are owned Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. Moreover this fic is based on Dopplegangland by Joss Whedon and includes some dialogue from the show. I claim no ownership of anything save some plot ideas that did not appear in the show.
This one is for Lisa Roquin who wanted action with humor/angst and with a snarky Jack but no super-anyones or saint anyones. Chapter One: The Dopple Effect
In retrospect, Willow wondered how she could have been so stupid. Yes, she was trying to show that she was not ‘Old Reliable’. Yes, she was trying to show she could do something more rebellious than eating a banana before lunchtime. Still, performing the dark arts because a stranger girl said she had lost her necklace was more than a little unsafe in Sunnydale, where the dark Hellmouth emanations tainted everything, especially spells. Why couldn’t she have offered to help Anya search her house, first, before resorting to the mojo?
The two performed the spell, sand going through Willow’s hand opening up her mind to glimpses of a strange nightmare distortion of her reality. Anya’s face, horribly disfigured, Buffy attacking a possessed Xander, Oz attacking a version of her, a strange snakelike entity crawling out of her head, and finally Giles saving everything by smashing the demon girl’s amulet. But something happened aside from the visions, she could feel the magic being worked although no necklace was present when the vision faded.
“Okay, that's a little blacker than I like my arts,” Willow said, after she had recovered.
”Don't be such a wimp.” Anya sneered, as if she had not asked this favor of the witch.
”That, that, that wasn't just some temporal fold,” Willow reasoned. “That was some weird hell place! I don't think you're telling me everything! There were these snaky parasite demon-thingies and they were being implanted in the people and everyone walked like an Egyptian and all.”
Then when Anya swore that she was just trying to find her necklace, Willow asked, “Well did you try looking inside the sofa in *hell*?” and stormed off, grabbing her chicken feet so Anya could not try again.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Willow, outside the high school, in a position directly opposite Willow’s on a circle centered around the Hellmouth, the being that called herself Tamises woke up. “This is weird,” she said, in voice that was deeper, vaguely more mechanically sounding, than that of Willow Rosenberg. Her hair, while the same color, was cut shorter, going only down to her shoulders. She wore the ceremonial golden robes of an Egyptian priestess – or a goddess – studded with precious gems and woven with real gold. In all other respects save one, Tamises’ body was that of the Sunnydale hacker. But the controlling force in her mind was that of Tamises, an ancient goa'uld, member of an alien race of parasites who used their technology to make the primative humans of ancient Egypt think they were gods and who continue to rule much of the galaxy seeded with humans taken from Earth.
Tamises turned around to a strangely pastorial Earth. There were no sycophants standing close to do her bidding. There were no Jaffa warriors to guard her. The pyramid over the energy source which it was her job to control apparently had vanished, replaced by a boxy building full of immature humans. The Goa’uld-free landscape resuscitated the Willow memories in her mind of the world before the Goa’uld came. Clearly, this was not her world. Either the whole world had changed or she had. Only two things could have caused such special transference. One, the device called the quantum mirror, the other, much closer at hand, the energy source a few humans called the Hellmouth.
Tamises opened herself up to the energy. Her host, the human once known as Willow, had been specifically chosen for her ability to manipulate these magical energies. She had grown up in this village, absorbing this power without ever learning to use it herself. But Tamises had the knowledge and now, with Willow’s body, the power.
She walked up the hill toward the entrance of the school. Ignoring the calls of a human with long dark hair who made a comment on her changed hairstyle, she made her way to the center, to the Hellmouth, in a room full of books.
“Well, well, well, Miss. Rosenberg,” came a voice. Tamises looked and saw a small rodent-like human standing in her way. “Shouldn’t you be tutoring right now?” He cast a glare in her direction. Tamises smiled a cruel smile that did not belong on Willow’s face. Before the principal could react, she pointed and activated a ribbon device that flung Principal Snyder into the wall and knocked him out. Several students saw this and quickly chattered amongst themselves carefully staying out of her way. Tamises made her way to the Hellmouth without further incident.
She opened the swinging doors and stopped. Tamises stared, even with her Willow memories, she still half expected to see the machines harnessing the eldritch energies of the Hellmouth, energies which the Goa’uld used in their conquest of the Earth, power which she helped shape and control. But here were masses of paper books, catalogues, and popular magazines.
“Oh, good, Willow,” said a tall older man carrying a tome that looked hundreds of years older. “Can you give me a hand with this…”
“Willow is dead,” said Tamises in her deeper, mechanical voice. “Only Tamises remains.”
The man dropped his books in shock and looked closely at her. “Tamises?”
“Query: There are no other Goa’uld here?” Tamises asked looking at Hellmouth area with her second sight.
“Goa’uld? I’ve heard the term of course, but I don’t think there has been a sighting in several hundred years.”
“Ah, that will change. The world's no fun anymore. I’m gonna make it the way it was, make things right with the Goa’uld as your gods.” She raised her hands and red energy flashed from the circle where the Hellmouth had materialized the night the Master had died and circled around what was once Willow’s body. Then Giles saw metallic-looking rings cover her body and then she disappeared.
Just then Buffy and Xander burst into the doors. “Giles…” Buffy began. “I heard something in the halls about Willow.”
“She KO-ed the principal.” Xander interrupted.
Giles took off his glasses and rubbed them carefully. “I’m afraid that Willow is, well, not exactly herself…”