TITLE: To Go Again
AUTHOR: Siege (firstname.lastname@example.org)
GROUP INFO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Fevered-Imaginings/
DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere, Just let me know ‘K
DISCLAIMER: All things BtVS related belong to Joss Wheadon and M.E. Star trek and all that belong to someone else, not me. Big Sigh.
DEDICATION: To Vincent, my son. May Gene Roddenberry’s vision come true so that you may see humanity the way it could be.
SUMMARY: Part 9 Of the Prometheus-Verse. AAAANNDDD We're Off again.
FEEDBACK: All Feedback is gratefully received and I listen, please check the wall, available at the URL above, because I add those who send me feedback there as a thank you.
KEYWORDS: BtVS, Star Trek TNG, Voyager, DS9
DATE: Begun (10/10/2004), Ended ()
WORD COUNT: 70,000+
BETA READ: 1st Beta : Graham Hands.
WARNINGS: Spoiler's from All Seasons Buffy, Voy, TNG and DS9, plus Track I of Prometheus-Verse.
AUTHORS NOTES: Part three of Track II.
In Orbit around Earth,
Miles above the earth, a sleek shape cut through the ocean of night that was space. In orbit around an M type planet she was as undetectable as if she were not there. She was waiting, waiting for her captain who was currently down on the planet below doing one of his many deals.
She, was Judy, the one and only Judas class star ship ever created by the fleet. Stolen by her captain and put to work against an agency within the federation that had so wronged him. Branded him a pirate, so he had taken up that mantle. Captain Blackheart was now THE most wanted man by the Federation Security Forces, not to mention being right up there on Section 31's very own black list.
So, when the call came through on an emergency transponder frequency she reacted accordingly. Her sensors reached out, tagged the transponder and recalled it along with the form holding it into outer space back into the safety of her embrace. It wasn't until the pattern was formed on the transporter pad that she realized the form she had just retrieved was NOT her captain, but a total stranger. For a nanosecond she thought about bouncing the trespasser back to earth. If she did that, however, she wouldn't know how this person, this male human, had got a hold of one of the captains very own transponder signals.
Judy, you see, hated an unsolved mystery. Some would scoff at that, why would a ship care. Judy is special; an AI to rival Data or Lore. She was capable of the full gamete of Human emotion, including curiosity.
Then if she had one, her heart would have skipped a beat as the man on her transporter pad walked to the edge of the pad and sat down.
Xander sat down and looked up, "Hey Judy, how's it going?"
Silence was his swift reply so he lent against the warm, slightly damp bulkhead and stretched out his legs. "So, how are you? Hope your well, Where's Gabe?"
"When I say Gabe, I do of course mean Captain Black heart AKA Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Masters, ex Section 31 Agent, but he's still a nice guy."
Again silence was his only reply. Xander figured that Judy must be up here by herself, otherwise Jenkins would have hauled ass to the transporter room by now.
Xander smirked, "You know, I'd heard you were a total rust bucket."
THAT did it. The air in front of him wavered and Judy's corporeal photonic body appeared in front of him, "I AM NOT A *RUST* BUCKET!"
Xander smiled warmly at her, "I never said you were. I just said I heard that."
"WHERE!" Judy demanded still in a loud voice.
Xander smiled, "Just Scuttlebutt, they say a pirate ship, even one as fast as you can't be in very good shape"
Judy placed a hand on her hip and glowered at him, "Who are you?"
"I'm the best friend you've never met; yet!" Xander said. "I'm here to give you and your captain a new lease of life."
"Who say's we need one?" Judy asked her ire rising.
"Judy, you do realize you're gorgeous when you're angry don't you?" Xander said with a raised eyebrow and a lopsided grin on his face.
Judy preened for a moment before she suddenly stomped her foot, "Hey! Stop trying to butter me up!"
Xander just smiled at her, "I just don't want us to get off on the wrong foot here Judy"
"How did you get that transponder?" Judy demanded as he flicked it up in the air, like he was tossing a coin.
"Gabriel gave it to me."
"Gabriel sent you?" She asked calming down.
Xander shook his head, "Nope, he has no idea that I'm here and no idea who I am; yet!"
Judy narrowed her eyes at him, "If you don't stop dancing I'm going to space you" she threatened.
Xander smirked at her, "That's an empty threat and we both know it."
"Is it?" Judy bluffed.
"Protocol 18 dash 6 9 zeta 5, states that you must not endanger the life of any human on board at any time through direct action on your part" Xander said quoting from memory.
Judy looked at him in utter shock.
Xander smiled, "Oh Judy I know a LOT about you."
"Are you section?" she asked, "Because if you are, I will send you straight back down..."
Xander held up a hand to halt her tirade, ".. I'm not, I hate section. I'm Lieutenant Xander Harris, currently attached to Star Fleet command while they decide what the hell to do with me." he told her with a laugh, "But don't worry Fleet doesn't know you exist and I won't be telling them."
"Why not?" Judy asked curiously.
"Because, I need your help and I need Gabe's"
"You do realize he HATES being called that."
"Where I'm from he let me eat wax fruit, he'll learn to live with it" Xander remarked with a smirk.
"Where are you from?"
"Alternate Dimension and a totally different time line." Xander replied glibly.
Judy beamed at him, and started to rattle off a theory of alternate dimensions that made Xander's head spin. Q on the other hand was actually impressed.
"So" Judy continued, "If the alternate Y was crossed with the alternate X and Z then..."
"Whoa!" Xander said, "I'm getting a nose bleed. I'm from an alternate dimension, that doesn't mean I know jack shit about the science. Add to that I'm also 375 years out of date on science..." he trailed off, with a 'you get the idea' look on his face.
Judy goggled at him, "You're from the past as well?"
Xander just shrugged, "What can I say, weird shit is ALWAYS happening to me."
"What do you want with me and Gabriel"
"Gabriel and I" Xander corrected, "I need your help with a small transportation problem I've got."
"What is it you want transported. The Captain and I often do transport jobs for the right price. For those awkward places to reach for instance."
"Judy, you sound like a car salesman, I'm not here to hire you both, I'm here to recruit you."
Judy looked at him like he had grown a third head. "What?"
"Some bad things are coming Judy, I need you and Gabriel to help me. I know that you are both tired of revenge, that you in particular never really wanted revenge. You wanted a cause. This; is a cause worth having. Revenge is dirty business. Believe me I KNOW. At the end of the day Revenge is about death. A Cause is about life, and this one is about all humanoid life that exists in the universe. THE UNIVERSE." Xander told her, adding emphasis on the last two words with his hands.
Judy sat down beside him on the step and looked at him, her big blue eyes wide, "I am tired, but I am also loyal to Gabriel"
"I wouldn't have it any other way Judy" Xander said with a smile. "So, what do you want to do while we wait for Gabriel to get back?"
"Tell me about this alternate universe?" Judy said with an excited expression on her face. "How did you cross over?"
Xander smiled warmly at her and began to regale her with stories.
"Oh yeah, I'm going to make damn sure I do" were the first words that Gabriel master's heard as he became solid matter once again. He frowned when he saw Judy sat cross legged in front of a standing man like she was a child at story time.
Veteran of many nasty situations Gabriel reacted instantly. A knife was pulled from it's sheath on his hip and he was across the transporter room in a flash.
Xander looked, carefully, down at the man who had him pushed against the wall, a razor sharp knife under his chin. "Hi" he said smiling "That's a nice hello"
Gabriel eyes bored into him, "What are you doing on my ship?"
"He's here to offer us an alternative" Judy said, stepping forward and placing a hand on her captain's shoulder, "Let him talk" she told him forcefully.
Gabriel trusted very few people, but Judy was within that number, "So talk" he said stepping back.
"I'm just going to take off my boot" Xander said drawing a bemused look from Gabriel.
Xander pulled off the boot and tossed it underhand at Gabriel, "It's not smelly" he said with a smirk, "Check it out. Look familiar?"
Gabriel turned the boot around in his hands noticing that it was constructed in the same way as his own. He twisted the heel and was almost unsurprised to find his usual stash of technical wizardry inside. "Huh" he commented, tossing it back to Xander. "Does that mean there is a small phaser in the other one?" he asked.
Xander nodded, "Yep, but I'm not going to draw it, so you needn't worry."
"Where did you get that?" Gabriel asked, now curious.
"Actually, you gave it to me."
"Really, funny I don't remember that!"
"Not this you. Another you." Xander said with a smirk. "You see, I'm not from around here."
"He's from an alternate reality"
"Okay, so I said the wrong thing" Xander said with a smirk at Judy, "So sue me, I'm no scientist."
Judy laughed, which caused Gabriel to look at her a little stunned, "What's with you? You don't normally like strangers, let alone pick them up when they ask."
"Hey!" Xander said a little anger slipping into his voice, "Don't tell her off, I had a transponder, just like yours. You see, where I'm from I am or was Captain"
Gabriel laughed, "Oh really!"
"He knew my protocols off by heart. Even called my bluff" Judy added.
"Judy! Not now" Gabriel said sharply. Judy winced and Xander's eyes flashed in anger.
"There's no need for that!" Xander said just as sharply. "I'm here to talk to you both, I talked to Judy first because you weren't here, or I would've done it at the same time. I consider Judy a friend, just as you do. I try never to snap at my friends, I thought you were the same!"
Gabriel glared at him for a moment before letting out a sigh and turning a charming smile onto Judy, "Sorry Judy, it's been a bad day, and this is just plain odd."
Judy beamed at him and he knew he was forgiven. It struck him as strangely add that it was a perfect stranger that had reprimanded him for his behaviour and what was more, he'd listened. "So, urh I didn't catch your name?"
"Call me Xander." Xander told him.
"My name is..."
"Gabe, yeah I know" Xander said smirking at Gabriel's slightly annoyed expression, "I know a lot about you Gabriel, you and you're dealings with the federation and Section 31 in particular. I'm not telling you this as a threat, but because I want to be totally honest with you both. I'm here for your help and friendship. I'm not here to scare you both into something. You want me gone when I've said my peace than fine, I'll go and no one will ever find out from me that you even exist."
"Really?" Gabriel said with clear disbelief, "Why should I believe you."
"Because I'm willing to prove it." Xander said. "There's trouble coming Captain Masters and i need your help to stop it, and I need it now. This is a whole change of direction for you, but I happen to know that you are both tired of this pirate shit. Why, because you told me, the other you in the other reality."
"Talk fast Mr..."
"Lieutenant, actually, Lieutenant Harris"
"You're FLEET!" Gabriel said his anger blowing up.
"Sort of, I'm actually commissioned by an Admiral from the future." Xander told him, "Weird huh"
Gabriel glared at him for a moment and then smirked. The smirk turned into a smile and eventually a guffaw escaped his mouth closely followed by several more until Gabriel found himself laughing harder than he had in far too long. After a minute he finally managed to get it under control again and smiled at Xander, "For making me laugh, you've got ten minutes to explain to me what is going on."
"I'll do it in five, but I'll need you to come to the planet with me after sun down in SFC"
Gabriel looked at him with a smile still on his face, "Okay." he agreed.
"I'll keep a lock on you at all times" Judy said, "Now Xander, tell him about the space monster!" she said with excitement.
The transporter released them both in the middle of the park surrounding Star Fleet HQ as per Xander wish. Night had fallen and there was an eerie sort of calm over the park. Using Judy's LCAR's link to the main computer on the moon Xander had done a little quick checking and had found what he thought could be a hot spot.
It wasn't long until he was proven right. Gabriel followed Xander as he walked slowly towards what looked to be a young couple making out. As they approached Gabriel eyes widened as Xander pulled a gleaming Katana from inside of his frock jacket, letting it run along the ground as he walked.
Sparks flew upwards as the duo alloy scraped against the hard floor of the side walk they were currently on and the noise that came from it was enough to wake the dead.
The couple seemed to spring apart, it was then that Gabriel saw that it wasn't a couple at all, the woman slumped to the floor, her body now nothing more than a boneless collection of skin due to her state.
"Dead, yes" Xander told him with a flat voice. "I got here too late this time. But this one won't be around to do it again."
The vampire sneered at Xander, "You're the one aren't you" it said. In live it had been a handsome man, fleet by the looks of him and an ensign according to his rank pips.
"The one what?" Xander said coming to a stop just out of reach of the vampire.
"The one the Master wants." the vampire said puffing out it's chest with pride it continued, "I'll be at his right hand for this."
"You and I know that Vinny would kill you if you tried to take his place. " Xander commented conversationally.
The vampire glowered at him, "That human!" it spat, "I don't know why the Master keeps him so close, a pet perhaps?"
Xander chortled, "No, not a pet, a Lieutenant, which, ensign, remind's me. What ship were you from?"
"That is of no concern to you human." The vampire said shifting into it's demonic form, angular plans appearing from nowhere and gleaming yellow eyes glowing with malice taking form from light grey.
Gabriel had been warned and he had scoffed, but no he wasn't so sure. He had led the way in this direction, so it wasn't a set up and he could not see any sigh of holographic projection equipment. He flipped open his tricorder, non fleet issue but almost as accurate and scanned the area.
The point of Xander's sword tapped the floor, "Shall we?" he asked as the vampire growled at him.
The Vamp didn't need any more encouragement than that and leapt at Xander with claws outstretched. A stupid end to a stupid vampire. Xander's sword swept up in a graceful arc, cleaving the vampire in two with ease, the double handed blows force caused the two halves of the vampire to fly to either side of Xander's body. Gabriel watched entranced as the two pieces of body exploded into dust as they past by Xander, leaving him standing in the eye of a storm of vampiric remains.
"Idiot" Xander commented, "You don't bring claws to a sword fight."
Gabriel looked down to find his tricorder was still recording and smiled. He would have Judy analyse the readings later, now he needed to talk to the man he was starting to realize was a real life demon hunter.
"What was that?" he asked.
"Vampire, one of the lowest forms of demonic possession but it's also the most prolific. They have an average speed and strength that is higher than the host by a factor of about 4. With age, they can get stronger and faster as well as exhibiting other more arcane abilities." Xander said, sounding like he was reading from a book.
"Jesus" Gabriel said, "This is what you want help with?" he asked.
"Not exactly. You see..." Xander paused then smiled, "Tell you what, I've got to find her anyway, come with me to find someone. You'll meet one of the reasons I need to be space flight able."
Gabriel just nodded, "Sure, but I'll have to let Judy know I'm okay."
"Of course," Xander said then smirked, "If you want to pop back up to your quarter's for say, some fresh underwear I'm cool with that."
Gabriel laughed, "You're a very odd man Xander."
"How I wish I hadn't heard that before," Xander commented sliding away Q into his home inside of his jacket and phased just outside of the now. "Come on, We don't have a lot of time, it looks like Marshall has got things going a lot faster this time."
"What makes you say that?" Gabriel asked, walking over to check on the woman that had been attacked. He let out a sigh when he found that Xander was correct, she was indeed dead.
"There are ten times as many attacks for this time frame as there were in the original track." Xander said his tone and expression grave.
"What about her?" Gabriel asked looking down at the dead body.
Xander let out a sigh, "She's dead, there's nothing I can do for her now." he said, "Sorry"
"Don't be; I understand." Gabriel told him, taking the other man by the shoulder, in a friendly and supportive gesture.
Xander smirked a little darkly, "I was talking to her."
Xander paused his knuckles halfway to the door.
Gabriel looked over at him in concern, "What is it?"
"She doesn't know what she is yet, this could be interesting." Xander commented.
Just then one of the other members of Jacinta's dorm walked up to them. He looked at Xander's collar and put two and two together and came up with six. "You're from the security team right?" the young guy said.
"Glad you cam by, we're really worried about her."
"Isn't that why you are here, because Jac has disappeared?" the young man asked in confusion.
Xander growled, "That son of A BITCH!" he spat, "I'm going to fucking kill him. That lying sack of SHIT!"
The young man bolted down the corridor.
"What the hell is the matter with you?" Gabriel asked in concern.
#Can he do this?#
#No# Q said his own tone dark, #And Lucifer should know better, there has to be another explanation#
#If he's hurt her...# Xander trailed off, and could feel Q's agreement without any words needed. He looked at Gabriel's confused gaze and calmed himself, "I'm about to break a good 50 federation laws" he commented conversationally.
Gabriel smirked at him, "You think I'M going to report you?"
Xander laughed and held out his hand, "Can I borrow your Tricorder?"
Gabriel passed it over without a word.
Xander flipped the slender device open and looked at it for a long moment, "This isn't LCARS" he said.
"No, it's not" Gabriel told him.
"Shit" Xander said succinctly, "Looks like I'll have to do this the hard way" he finished and pulled out is Q sword and rammed it into the wall next to the small security panel. It let out a small puff of electric death and the door clicked open.
Xander pulled the sword out of the wall with a squeal of metal on metal as Gabriel watched in a sort of horrified amusement.
"That sword isn't entirely normal is it?" Gabriel said, taking a shot in the dark.
#I'm NOT a CAN OPENNER!# Q yelled into Xander's mind.
"No, it's worse" Xander said, pushing open the door and looking into the darkened room.
"So how does a time stranded man know LCARS anyway?" Gabriel said stepping into the room with Xander and pushing the door closed.
"Honestly no clue"Xander. said #Was that you?# he asked Q, he hadn't really thought about it before.
Q sighed, #Actually, no it wasn't. Is it so hard to believe that you are just naturally good at something?#
#All you, don't forget you could do both before I gave you Riker's skills. Really, you could have a little more faith in yourself. This is the trouble with humans, they're either riddled with self doubt or so incredibly arrogant they can't move their heads.#
Gabriel looked at him, "What's funny?" he asked looking to where Xander was looking and seeing nothing but a picture. "Wow, she's amazing" he said when he spotted a picture of Jacinta with her family.
Xander smirked, "Nothings funny I just had a thought, and that my friend is the easiest way to tell a slayer. By how gorgeous they are"
"Slayer?" Gabriel asked looking more closely at the photograph.
Xander was about to answer when he noticed something on the small writing desk. It looked to be a PADD, but it was the wrong colour for a SFCU PADD. Xander walked over and picked it up. He tapped it to bring it to life and snarled at what came up. "Boyd!"
"Who, Marshall Boyd?"
Xander shot Gabriel a sharp look, "you know him?"
"Of course, in the past I used to ship half my cargo though him."
"I didn't know that" Xander said with a frown, "I'm surprised you never told me that before."
"Maybe I didn't in the other time line" Gabriel said.
"The time tracks should've been identical up until my arrival" Xander said his eyes hard, "So either you did and didn't tell me, or something screwy is going on."
"Actually i think I 'might' know where he'd take her."
"The Diablo" they said together. Xander smiling at Gabriel's shocked look. "Told you before Gabe, I know stuff."
"Fine, then all knowing man from the past, what now?"
"We go to the Diablo" Xander said with a smug smile, then became serious. "But first, there's something I need Judy to do for me."
Gabriel looked at him, "Go on."
The club was in full swing by time they arrived, the music loud and the club's atmosphere was intoxicating. It was, in fact just the way that Xander remembered it.
The two dangerous men walked into the club with impunity, which actually managed to surprise Xander, after all. If Marshall was expecting him, he would've thought that the man himself would be here to greet him as it were. As they made their way across the dance floor both of the professional men were on their guard looking out for any sort of danger at all.
After what Gabriel had seen in the park only that night, he was being particularly cautious. However, it didn't stop either of them from being momentarily distracted as a particularly attractive woman walked past winking at both men.
Xander walked into something solid and turned around when someone roared indignantly at him. "Oh boy, not again" he said with an annoyed sigh as a large Klingon, the very same Klingon on the very same night as before towered over him.
"You will PAY!" The huge Alien said with anger and blood wine dripping down it's warrior's uniform.
Xander rolled his eyes, "Come on big guy just let me buy you another drink and we can just forget this hey?"
"You dishonour me?" the Klingon asked, "I challe ...." He was cut off as Xander's head rocketed into his teeth and a knee smashed into his stomach. Then as the warrior bent over Xander's elbow smacked into the warrior's back sending him to the ground. With a swift kick Xander knocked the powerful warrior into the land of sleep.
"I HATE Klingons!" Xander commented in an aside to Gabriel as the two pushed their way through a shocked crowd.