Two Hours Later
The door hissed back to admit Xander, Seven, Ethan and Maria. As soon as the door hissed closed Xander smiled slightly nervously Maria noted. “Everyone” he said clearing his throat and garnering the attention of all those present. This included K'Thall, Jacinta, Judy, Gabe and Zandra who had been talking, playing games and generally just hanging out.
“I'd like you to meet Maria. Jacinta... Maria is a watcher. Your watcher.”
Jacinta stood up, her eyes loosing their mirth as she looked at Xander but becoming much warmer as they landed on Maria. “I'm told you're the one that will train me and look after me.” she said to the other woman, “It's good to meet you.”
“Zan. Maria will almost certainly also look after you for a while too.”
Zandra stood up with a curious expression on her face. “Only for a while.”
Xander smiled, “If you'll agree to it, and you're happy with the idea. ... I'll be your watcher.”
“You?” Zandra said, not disparagingly, just curious.
Xander smirked, “Is that so bad?”
Zandra looked at him, “You kidnapped me, fed me a story about being a slayer, luckily proved it, but let's just say you're not my favorite person right now. Why do you think I'd want you to be my watcher?”
“You don't have to have me.” Xander said his face going blank.
Zandra smiled, “Gotcha. If I'm going to do this, then I'm going with the one who'll keep me alive the longest.” she glanced at Maria, “No offense.”
Maria smiled, “None taken I assure you.”
“I've been hearing some stories about you.” she said nodding at K'Thall and Ethan. “We all have. If only half the stuff they say is true then...” she trailed off with an expressive shrug of her slender shoulders. “I'm used to getting the best.” she added with a staggering smile.
“Well that's scarily flattering” Xander said with a bemused look, “But I have a few things to get in place before I can take up the position properly and you need some training anyway and Giles, sorry Maria here is the best person for that job and Seven if she takes me up on the offer I made earlier. Then you'd best be set for some jet setting.”
“Some what?” Zan asked with a confused expression.
“We'll be moving around a lot.”
“Oh, why didn't you just say so.”
Xander looked up and rolled his eyes.
#It's your own fault you know. It's no point in asking from help from a higher power#
Xander smirked, catching Seven's interest as he did. Sometimes it was honestly like he was listening to a voice that only he could hear.
“Well that's the preliminaries out of the way.” Xander said, “I suggest we talk about training. I'm guessing Jac...inta would prefer to work with Maria alone. I'd ask you to think about including 'Thrall in that as well Jacinta she's the most powerful slayer in history for a reason. She's even more powerful than Buffy ever was” he said the last to a disbelieving Maria. “Believe it, I've seen her in action three times now.”
The Klingons lips moved wordlessly for a moment, then she said, “How?”
Xander smiled disarmingly at her. “I saw you just before we first met 'Thall. A certain 'being' showed me” he glanced at Seven. His meaning clear. He could say no more with the current people in the room. He hated keeping anything from Seven, but he decided it was better to work out how to say that surprise later on, when he wasn't playing catch up with Marshall Boyd.
K'Thall smiled toothily at him and merely nodded to what he'd said but carried on about the training. “It will be honer to train with my sisters. Do not forget though X'nder what it is I was sent to do. I intend to carry out my holy task.”
“Now 'Thall, you know you can't come with me everywhere. It would raise a few awkward questions about why a lieutenant in fleet is walking around with a Klingon bodyguard.”
K'Thall had to admit that was true. She didn't know a lot about the fleet as it stood now but she was sure it would raise awkward questions.
“My apartment is yours to train in. Move all the furniture to one side and the lounge area makes for a good training area. Just... keep the noise down. I think my liaison with the fleet has an apartment in the same building, though that's just a guess. The apartment up from me unless I'm mistaken.”
“How do you know this?” Seven asked him curiously.
“Deductive logic.” Xander told her. “See I knew you wouldn't believe me.” he added at her raised eyebrow.
“In all the time I have known you, logic has not been your priority.” Seven told him with a twinkle in her eye that told Xander tomes of information about how he was having his leg pulled.
Xander just smiled at her. Then turned his attention to the amused people in the room. “I've got to go and be all... Fleet-like.” He glanced at his watch, “I've got an appointment with Janeway to give recommendations on security issues in twenty minutes and my 'liaison' is due to meet me in five.”
“Why do I get the feeling” Gabriel put in, “That you don't believe your liaison is who they say they are.”
“Because you're quite bright” Xander shot back with a smile.
Xander nodded. “You'd best fill in the rest about section while I go down to the planet. Coming Seven?”
Seven nodded, it was about time for her to go to her regeneration chamber. She was able to sleep normally now, but the chamber did wonders for her biochemistry.
“After you Milady.” Xander said, sketching out a mock bow and smiling.
Once they were gone Jacinta slouched against the wall shaking slightly. She was surprised at how hard it had been to be in the same room as the guy. “I still don't trust him” she said to herself, forgetting that her 'sisters' all had enhanced hearing too. Luckily none of them made comment about it, but Zandra and K'Thall did share a loaded look. Dissension in the ranks was an obvious weakness in their defence.
Earth, Xander's Apartment
The door chime went off slightly earlier than he had expected this time but Xander was still ready for it. He walked smartly over to it and opened it with a spoken command. It slid back to once again show Dee Amara looking as lovely as ever and he took a moment to truly take her in. He tried to put his emotions in check for a change and really look at her.
The obvious aside she was highly attractive. Beautiful in an exotic kind of way with dark looks and full cupid bow lips. Her dark eyes seemed to constantly hold a come hither expression that hid a darkness that Xander couldn't explain without drawing on pre-knowledge. She had a curvaceous body that was appeared more so in what was normally a very unflattering fleet uniform. Then he drew in a breath and felt his heart race slightly. Just being close to her was intoxicating. Could it be true that she either naturally had an enhanced level of pheromones. Or was it more insidious than that. That either with or without her knowledge Section had enhanced her in some way?
Xander didn't know, all he knew was that at this exact moment in time he had to consider a woman he loved as an enemy. Which sucked as far as he was concerned. It wasn't that long ago that he could remember being intertwined with her, but then the same could be said of Seven too. It was strange to him that he had difficulty thinking of one without thinking of the other. His emotions were so clouded on the issue of his love for the two women it was difficult to think about it at all.
Realizing he was in danger of becoming rude Xander smiled slightly and stepped back from the door, “Welcome Lt. Commander. You're early.”
Dee breezed past him and smiled to herself. She had caught him looking at her. That was a start, not the best start she had ever had. Still it was better than before. “Am I. Sorry. Perhaps we have time for a drink before we go?” she said turning to smile at her mark.
Xander tilted his head at her and walked over to the replicator never, Dee noted with interest, showing her his back. “Coffee again, or perhaps something else?”
“Coffee is fine.”
Xander tapped away at the controls.
“You're remarkably good at that for someone who has not long been in our time.”
“I worked for a while as Voyager's chef. To do that I had to replicate ingredients from time to time. Harry Kim showed me how to work the system and Seven Of Nine was tasked to bring me up to date. With teachers like that anyone would be able to work the system.” Xander told her, “Besides, it's a remarkably simple system, very... straight forward. Back in the 20th computers came in all shapes and operating systems, most with different configurations. It was hard to learn them back then. Now...” he shrugged with a smile, “Not so much.” He carried over two coffee's and handed one to Dee. “How are you today Lt. Commander?”
“Please, unless we're 'at work' so to speak call me Dee.”
Xander just smiled in response, maintaining his stiff formality.
“I'm well thank you. Yourself.”
Xander smirked slightly, “Tired.”
“Indeed it was.”
Dee looked at him carefully, “How's your friend?”
“I met her briefly the other day.”
“That was Seven. Seven of Nine.” Xander said neutrally. Knowing full well that making it seem that he and seven were in anyway intimately involved would be bad for Sevens health.
“I don't believe it.” Dee said, “I never expected her to be so ... normal looking.”
Calling Seven normal looking would be like calling Dee normal looking as far as Xander was concerned, but the surprise seemed genuine. If Xander was any judge then it would be a common response in the fleet despite their high value for tolerance. The Borg had killed a great many of the fleets ships in very few attacks and had wiped out entire races. It was a difficult stigmata for her to carry. With that realization Xander's respect for his friend went up a notch, because she seemed to be bearing it very well. “She is a good person and a good friend.” Xander said, his voice stiffer than he'd actually meant it to be. He didn't, however, like people insulting his friends.
Dee immediately realised her mistake and looked contrite, “I'm so sorry. I didn't mean any offense.” she told him, placing an hand on his arm and looking him in the eye.
#Damn she doesn't miss a trick does she#
#She is a consummate expert, her body language and tonal indicators are virtually perfect# Q replied. #Be wary of her#
#I know her well#
#You don't know her at all Xander, you had barely started a relationship with her before...# Q trailed off, his meaning clear.
Xander inwardly nodded, Q had a point.
“Are you okay?” Dee asked looking worriedly at him, and apparently she had stepped closer at some point during his ruminations as well.
Xander stepped back and smiled, “I'm fine I was just thinking that it must be hard for Seven right now with. I'm sorry. That kind of response you made.”
Dee looked thoughtful, “I suppose she must”
“I'll have to make sure I drop in on her at some point” Xander said off hand. “Now Dee” he added, “Shall we take a slow walk down to HQ. It's another great day out there.”
Dee wasn't about to turn him down, or take advantage of the slight melt in his attitude towards her.
Starfleet Head Quarters, SFC.
“Ahh Seven glad you could make it.” the newly minted Admiral Janeway said with a smile. Indicating that Seven should take a seat across from her.
“Ca...Admiral” Seven said.
“Funny Xander kept doing exactly the same thing. Like I told him, I'm still getting used to it myself. And please, unless it's official call me Katheryn.”
Seven smirked slightly, “I'm not sure I could actually Admiral.”
Janeway blinked then laughed, “I see our Lt. Harris has been an influence on you. He's said much the same thing to me in the past.”
Seven just smiled ever so slightly again.
“It's about Xander I wanted to talk to you actually Seven” Janeway said getting down to 'business'.
Seven became very still, but luckily Janeway hadn't yet noticed and kept talking.
“He's been talked into giving the fleet a little security advice. As you know he's quite good at that sort of thing.”
“That he is Admiral.”
“Well, now that he's actively working for the fleet he's been assigned a fleet liaison.”
“You knew that?” Janeway said looking pointedly at Seven.
“We briefly met”
“What did you think of her.”
“She is attractive according to human norms.” Seven said with a trace of distaste.
Janeway smirked, “Yes, I didn't like her either. Liaisons are not assigned randomly. They are matched according to skill sets and usually same sex for obvious reasons. It is more than slightly unusual for Xander to be assigned an attractive female member of the fleet.”
“What are you suggesting Admiral.”
“I think there's something fishy going on.” Janeway said bluntly.
“Xander doesn't trust her either.” Seven admitted.
“Yes I got that impression, but don't you agree it would be a good idea for someone to be watching his back?”
Seven nodded, “Are you suggesting that it should be me that ... watches his back.”
“Are you doing anything right now that requires you, really?”
“Not really. Starfleet seems to be happy with the knowledge they have gained from my debriefings and has set me to work in the research department.”
“Then I suggest I reassign you to work as part of Xander, sorry Lt. Harris's Security review team?” Janeway said with a smile and a gleam in her eye.
Seven sat back slightly and her eyes glazed as she thought. Janeway recognized the look and left her alone for a moment, instead shuffling some of her 'papers' around on her desk.
“In order for the ruse to work correctly, a team would indeed need to exist.”
“Yes, This Lt. Commander Amara would also be a part of that team as the liaison, with yourself as R+D. Xander would be effectively be heading up the team.”
“That would require a promotion.” Seven remarked wryly.
Janeway smirked, “Yes it would wouldn't it.”
Seven just looked at her for a long moment before her eyes sparkled slightly. “Is there something you wish to share Kathryn?”
Janeway blinked before a smile blossomed on her face. Yes, she was very much liking Xander's influence on Seven. It was almost a shame that she was so hooked on Chakotay. Janeway blinked, not quite able to believe she had just thought that. Damn her future double for telling her that little tit bit of information. “I may have a suspicion of what is in the time capsule.” Janeway admitted, “But only a suspicion.”
“In the past your suspicions have often born out to be proved.” Seven pointed out.
“Well I can't talk about it, even to you Seven. However, I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”
“It's been that long already?”
“Actually no, the admiralty has decided to open the capsule early.” Janeway admitted, “I tried to get them to hold off, but I am still only a junior in the ranks of Admirals.”
“Interesting. What do you think they hope to achieve by opening the capsule early.”
“A jump on the future I would imagine.” Janeway said with a shrug.
“There must be a reason that your future self required the capsule not be opened until the date she set out.”
“I'm sure, but she didn't share that bit of information with me.” Janeway said with a huff of breath. “That said, I have a hunch that she's already thought of this.”
“Does it not strike you as strange to talk about yourself in the third person.” Seven asked with a wry smile.
Janeway laughed, “Yes it sure does. Now I've got to get moving I'm due to meet with Xander in a few minutes.”
“Yes I know.”
“You saw Xander earlier?” Janeway asked surprised.
“I spent most of the morning with him and some of last night.”
“Good” Janeway said with a nod, “So, will you do it?”
Seven nodded, “I will, he has asked me for help with his assignment already. This way it will be official.”
“He did? I'm surprised but I suppose I shouldn't be. He seemed surprised when we asked him for help.” Janeway said carefully. She wasn't to know that Seven probably knew more about demons than she did.
“It does seem strange to ask a person from the past to help with the future of the fleets security.”
“Yes, but he comes from a more violent time, a time I'm afraid we seem doomed to repeat with outsiders this time. So he's unequally placed to help out right now.”
“I still say you're all crazy Ca...Admiral” Xander said, sitting back in the chair with a smile on his face, “But I do have a few suggestions.”
“Let's have them”
“First and most important what have you got in the way of war ships.”
“All Federations Vessels...”
“Not what I mean. I know the specs well enough. I mean a ship that is made for war, not peace keepers.”
Janeway frowned and let out a breath, “There are four ships such as the ones you're talking about.”
“Hit Me Admiral.”
“Their called Dreadnought Class. They are the heaviest armed ships we have to offer and they are kept quiet, so it goes without saying this is classified.”
“I understand. So what are we talking about here, bombs and stuff or more?”
“More, much more. Each has a platoon of Marines with support crew and vehicles aboard.”
Xander smiled, there it was, “Marines... Now we're talking, I was a Marine myself for a short while.” he said honestly. Though it had been all of a night in actual fact. “Firstly for ...” he glanced around, “are we secure.”
“Computer Seal the Office Omega Black Protocol.”
“Working... sealed.” the computer replied.
“We are now.” Janeway said with a slight smile.
“Get me some Marines to train. The attacks are demonic, I'm guessing you already know that?”
“I had surmised.” Janeway admitted.
“I can train the Marines to deal with Demons, then we need to get some nerds to work on weapons”
“Egghead? Genius basically, you must have weapons experts and the such. We need to show them a demon and get them to work. Or if we can't show them a demon tell them we need penetration, massive penetration and a weapon that kills, not cleanly knocks someone out or uses phased energy. We need brute force. Phasers for whatever reason don't work on Demons, there is a natural field around their bodies that stops it.”
“I know, I know. The doctrines of the federation, while laudable, are useless against a foe such as Demons. Lucy doesn't care about diplomatic channels he's out to rule the universe, possibly more.”
“Lucifer is the name of the guy who has taken care of demons since time began. Well to us at any rate.”
“Xander! You expect me to believe this?”
“No. But I can tell you that Lucy is a fallen Q that took demons under his wing, that he's powerful, frighteningly so and that demons range from beings that are only slightly stronger than say you or I to god like.” he said looking at her intensely.
Janeway suddenly got the pull Xander had with women, he was extremely intense sometimes and it was quite intoxicating. She ignored that part of her and concentrated instead on the problems in hand. “What can I do.”
“Bring me the USS Draconian. Frank and his Marines are the best. And we'll need a Dreadnought soon enough to protect shipping lanes. Is the Prometheus up and running yet?”
Janeway just sort of blinked at his knowledge of ships in the fleet. Her double had warned her, but still it was quite another thing to be faced with than hearing it. “I can do that and yes the USS Prometheus is just about ready for her first mission.”
“Then I need to borrow it.” Xander said with a smile. “Unofficially I can get around fine without it, but for appearances sake... Plus we don't want my Section 31 Liaison to know I have a ship now do we?” Xander asked with a smile.
Janeway just blinked at him.