A New Team Member
Notes: I've been sitting on this chapter for about a month. It seems unfinished but the end is in the right place. Like nail polish that covers the nail but not the very tip, the thickness. As far as feedback goes I'm always interested in both criticism [don't let the hyper defensiveness fool you] and ideas for where to take the story. I'm a chapter-ahead poster and not afraid to revise, so...
Chapter One: A New Team Member
George Hammond sighed. “I thought I asked you to limit yourself to two weapons on your person when you’re on base,” he said with a pointed glare.
The young woman sitting at the briefing table with him snorted delicately. “Everything
is a weapon in my hands, George,” Buffy reminded him. “I could even use those little insignia pins you wear on that uniform as lethal weapons.”
“Be that as it may, you are not to kill anyone or anything on this base unless Doctor Fraiser, Colonel O’Neill or I give you leave to do so,” the General reminded Buffy.
“I joined up for blood, mayhem and fighting, George,” Buffy said. “You’re not changing the rules on me, now, are you?”
George was saved from having to answer by the sound of a clap and two rough hands rubbing together in anticipation followed by Jack O’Neill asking, “Which snake do you want us to kill today, Sir?”
Jack was followed immediately by his team. Once everybody sat down George sent a warning glance to Buffy before he began to speak.
“As you are well aware, SG-1 sees more action than any of the other teams. Doctor Fraiser and I have both been growing concerned about your safety while in the field. We decided, and the President and Buffy here have been so kind to agree, to try adding a fifth person to your team. Initially this person will be there almost exclusively to assist in battle and minimize casualties for Earth.”
“And if this seems to work out?” Jack asked. He didn’t need anyone else and if the General’s saying ‘Buffy here’ meant the young blonde woman would be his fifth Jack needed as much information as he could get to make a good argument against this new idea.
George frowned. “We’re not sure yet. Buffy may get her own elite team to lead or she might be assigned to you permanently.”
“Or I might just tag along with any team going into an unknown situation where hostilities are expected to develop,” Buffy added.
“And who are you, exactly?” Daniel asked. He squinted at the young woman and took his glasses off to clean.
“I’m Buffy, the...” Buffy glanced at George, “Monster Killer.”
“Monster Killer?” Sam laughed.
Teal’c, who had been watching Buffy carefully, spoke up. “I believe she means she will kill Goa’uld and Jaffa, Major Carter.”
Before anyone had a chance to respond Buffy had leapt gracefully from her chair, over the conference table, and behind Teal’c. The Jaffa was the first to react which he did by wrapping one hand around Buffy’s slender neck. Jack, Daniel and Sam reacted at the same time, all standing up and moving to rush the blonde in their friend’s grasp. No one but Teal’c had noticed yet that Buffy had managed to snake her hand into his belly pouch and remove Junior, who she held in her left hand. All anyone else saw was the light reflecting off the four-inch steel blade she held in her right hand and seemed to have aimed at Teal’c’s abdomen.
” the General bellowed, pounding on the table. Daniel, Sam and Jack all froze and turned to look at the crimson face of their commander. Teal’c raised an eyebrow but did not release his hold on Buffy or look away from her. Buffy, on the other hand, raised her prim’ta-wielding left hand above her head and said, “But it’s so cute and squishy!”
Daniel found himself blinking in utter confusion. Cute and squishy? This woman who somehow managed to virtually gut the strongest man he knew thought a baby Goa’uld was cute?
George dropped his head to his hands. “What have I done now?” he muttered to himself in what did not seem to be mock despair. Without raising his head George asked, “Buffy, is it dead yet?”
“Nope! Wiggly and slimy as ever!” the newest member of the SGC responded. “Do you want me to put him back in Snake-boy’s belly?”
“Yes; that’s where it lives and without it–“
“Snake-boy dies, I know, you already told me,” Buffy finished for the General.
Daniel, finally finding his voice, spoke up. “Snake-boy... er, Teal’c... is my friend and if you don’t mind terribly I’d like to keep him in a living state.”
Buffy’s gaze jerked from Hammond’s shiny head to Daniel’s blue eyes. She looked into them as if she was slowly peeling back the layers of Daniel’s soul. Just as Daniel was starting to feel nervous and weak in the knees Buffy nodded.
One impressive burst of Slayer speed later Buffy was standing next to Daniel and had her knife back in its hidden sheath and her right hand wrapped around his arm, steadying him.
Jack and Sam kept darting their eyes from Teal’c to Buffy. Where did Junior go? Did Buffy jump over
“General?” Jack asked in a tight voice.
George muttered to himself and raised his head. He fixed O’Neill’s gaze with his own and said, “Buffy Summers is a highly skilled warrior who specializes in non-human combat. Due to some changes in her personal life Buffy has become willing to help us and we are extremely grateful for her experience and expertise as well as her super-human natural abilities.” George looked over the members of SG-1 on at a time. “I am giving you five days to train together and form a team bond before your first mission. Understood?”
Jack started to protest but George cut him off. “Until you have worked as a team I will not discuss the matter with you. Buffy,” the General’s tone and eyes softened a little as he glanced at her, “you can tell them as much or as little as you need to but you must cooperate. Understood?”
Everyone nodded mutely, upset for different reasons.
“Very well. Dismissed. And Colonel?” Hammond added as an after thought, “the training schedule is yours to determine.”
No one was surprised when Jack virtually stormed out of the conference room. Sam hesitated, trying to talk to Daniel with her eyes but couldn’t catch his attention. Worried, she left too, hoping to find Jack before he tore into someone who didn’t deserve it.
Buffy spoke in a voice gentler than Daniel or Teal’c had heard from her so far. “Can the three of us go somewhere to talk? I’d suggest the gym but it’s not very private,” she explained.
“Would my personal quarters suffice, Buffy Summers?” Teal’c asked.
“Sounds great. Daniel, where did your glasses go? Lead the way,” Buffy said in a single breath.
Once Daniel retrieved his glasses the three of them left the briefing room leaving the General alone. George agreed with Buffy that Daniel and Teal’c were the most likely to accept her but knew the whole team had to meet her at once and hoped things solidified like he needed them to.
Roughly five minutes later Teal’c was sitting on the floor of his quarters with Buffy Summers and Daniel Jackson on his bed. Teal’c was tempted to be nervous about the way Buffy did not seem to have let go of Daniel but there was something protective in the young warrior’s manner that made Teal’c hold his tongue.
Buffy cleared her throat. “My name is Buffy Summers. I am not part of the military but have worked with it before. This time I joined up because I’m having a really hard time living. The only time I feel alive is when I am fighting and sparing and training don’t do it for me anymore. As you may have already noticed I am freakishly strong and fast, both of which have made leading a normal life impossible for me. The President was the one who recommended this program, figuring I could do some good for Earth fighting the aliens, and that not having to worry about hurting good people would help me. Since I’m new you can ask whatever you want, although I might not answer everything, but this will likely be the only time I talk about my past so if you have questions, this is the time to ask.”
Teal’c and Daniel shared a long look. Where should they start?
Daniel figured it was best to get her talking before Teal’c started asking questions. “Do you know the President, Buffy?”
“I knew that he knew of me from the last military project I worked on and decided to try and call in a favor. If that didn’t work I’d have to get violent which wouldn’t have been too bad either. Turns out this program was trying to figure out how to get me anyway so everyone ended up happy.”
Teal’c frowned. “You do not sound happy, Buffy Summers.”
Daniel looked thoughtful. “You really don’t,” he said. “What did you mean earlier about having a hard time living?”
“You won’t tell the others until I know they won’t use what I tell you to hurt me, right?” Buffy asked in a thin voice. Again, Daniel and Teal’c shared a look.
“We will not.”
Buffy sighed. She didn’t really want to do this. If her years fighting had taught her nothing else, though, it was that the people backing you up need to know where you are weak.
“George wasn’t exaggerating when he said I’m super-human. The short version of the story goes something like this: Humans have free will and as such tend to ignore or rationalize what they do not understand. To make sure that humanity has someone to fight the nightmares instead of pulling the blankets over her head my line was created. It’s not a family thing; strong girls like me can pop up anywhere on the globe. But there is only ever one at a time.” Buffy finally took the chance and looked up. Teal’c’s gaze was fixed on her hands but Daniel seemed to be looking past her.
“Was your line crated the same way the Goa’uld created the Jaffa?” Daniel finally asked.
Buffy swallowed. “I’m a little fuzzy on the details, Daniel. There is something about godly or higher powers who have an active interest in humanity. These powers are supposed to be who I work for. But there is also something about priests and demons.”
Teal’c focused on the pain in Buffy’s eyes. He said, “The Goa’uld are often spoken of as gods or demons by those they enslave. There are also priests to enact the will of the Goa’uld in daily life.”
Buffy’s feet slipped back on the bed until her heels were flush against the backs of her thighs. She curled in on herself until her knees were tucked directly under her chin. One of Buffy’s arms hugged herself tightly. “The first of my line was a young woman who had something terrible done to her.” Buffy finally let go of Daniel and wrapped her second arm around herself as well. “There was something about being joined with a demon and having her heart replaced with a demon’s... something like that. It hurt...” Buffy trailed off.
“Are you the first you keep talking about?” Daniel asked.
Buffy shook her head. “I’ve talked to her though. Vision-quest-y things and visitations in death.”
Daniel frowned and filed the ‘death’ comment away to ask about later. “What happened to that girl, Buffy?” he queried gently.
“She died, fighting nightmares, like she was made to do.” Buffy didn’t realize it but she had started shaking.
Daniel did notice and scooted closer to her on Teal’c’s bed. “I think I’ve run across legends that sound similar to this, Buffy.”
Teal’c frowned. “I have not,” he said.
“Well, it’s a little vague, Teal’c,” Daniel stated, “but there’s a thread present in multiple cultures. Something about a warrior woman who fights demons, darkness, and–“
“The forces of evil,’” Buffy said with the scholar. “Yeah, that’s me. Us. A group of stuffy British assholes decided to watch, record and train us. They call us Slayers and themselves Watchers. Which is fitting, you know. We spend all our time fighting for our lives. They watch us do it.”
“Do they not train and assist you as well, Buffy Summers?” Teal’c asked.
“Girls who have the potential to be called as Slayers–to get the gifts when the current woman with them dies–are identified and taken from their homes at a young age. They spend all their time learning about demons and monsters and training to fight them. Once a girl is called the Watchers only watch while the girls, who are much stronger than normal humans, fight and die.” Buffy finally realized that she was shaking. Embarrassed to be so weak in front of strangers she tried to control it.
Daniel asked, “So you were raised without a family?”
Buffy shook her head. “I slipped past whatever radar the Watchers use. Only after I started being a freak did someone find and try to train me.”
Teal’c tried to follow Buffy’s story to some kind of logical conclusion. He could not. Instead he asked, “For how many years have you been the Slayer?”
“Two years, maybe. I was sixteen when the next Slayer was called.”
Daniel rubbed his head, getting an inkling of how he made Jack feel. “But you’re still alive, Buffy,” he said.
Apparently it was the wrong thing to say. Buffy began rocking back and forth and muttering to herself. Daniel started to panic; what should he do? Fortunately Teal’c spoke up.
“Listen carefully to what Buffy Summers is saying, Daniel Jackson,” the Jaffa said.
Daniel frowned and leaned in close to the distraught young woman. She was saying, “...Kendra didn’t need to die, sweety, I’m so sorry, you didn’t need to die...” Not sure what to do to help the young woman Daniel put his hand on her head. Buffy became quiet a few seconds later but kept rocking back and forth.
The next time Buffy spoke her words were conversation-loud again. “I was sixteen when I died. Sixteen. Sixteen. Slayer for two years. Then Kendra died and Faith was called. I almost killed Faith but I didn’t and she was in a coma and I had to keep fighting as Slayer but I wasn’t.” Buffy paused for breath. She looked Daniel in the eye. “I was okay, though, because it was my life. Then I killed myself to keep a crazy lady from killing my baby sister. This time I stayed dead.”
“How long were you dead?” Teal’c asked. He wasn’t sure what Buffy was trying to tell him but could tell it was important for her to talk.
One tear slowly rolled down Buffy’s cheek. “Four months. I spent four months in heaven, Teal’c. It was everything it is supposed to be. I got my reward for fighting to save the Earth. But my friends took it away from me. They ripped me out.”
Buffy seemed to wake up. She squeezed herself once more and wiped the tear from her cheek. “Is there anything else you think you need to know to work with me?”
Teal’c paused for a beat and then asked, “Is there anything else you feel you must share with us, Buffy Summers?”
Buffy’s head snapped to the side to look at the Jaffa warrior. “George said that you’re stronger than the humans of this planet and others.”
A full minute passed before Daniel realized that Buffy was done talking. Teal’c, being all Teal’c-y, heard this statement as it was meant to be. He stood up and gestured for Buffy to do the same. Daniel looked from Buffy to Teal’c and back. He opened his mouth to respond to Buffy’s seemingly hanging comment but was silenced by her hand over his mouth.
“Teal’c taking us to the gym now,” Buffy said. She removed her hand from Daniel’s mouth and moved to follow Teal’c out into the hall. She called behind herself, “Gonna come see who’s stronger?”
“Sir,” Sam started again, “it might not be so bad having another woman on the team.”
“Not the tact to take with me, Carter,” Jack growled into his jello. After storming out of the meeting Jack wanted nothing more than to eat some jello and beat something up. Leave it to Carter to follow him all over the damn place and take all the enjoyment out of jello. Jello, for crying out loud!
“But like Teal’c she is a fighter first. And maybe only,” Sam said. “Having someone else to fight could be a great help both to us and the entire SGC.”
Jack scowled deeply and turned towards his second. “Are you going to shut up and leave me alone any time soon?” he growled.
Sam blinked and sat back. Should she be offended? Jack was certainly being crueler than he needed to but for some reason Sam’s feelings just weren’t hurting. “No, Sir, I wasn’t planning on it,” she said.
“Then come with me,” Jack growled. He stood up, abandoning the rest of his fruity snack, and stormed away. “Be dressed to work out in three minutes,” Jack snapped over his shoulder at Sam.
“Uhm, Sir?” Sam questioned.
Jack answered without turning back to look at Sam. “If you’re determined to make me listen to you, you can talk while we spar.”
“But we don’t spar, Sir,” Sam hedged. Jack was getting angrier as time passed, not calming down.
“Forget changing!” Jack roared. “We spar now
Sam swallowed heavily and followed her commanding officer into the gym. Would he get madder from her throwing the fight or from losing to her? Sam wasn’t even sure she could
beat Jack, let alone by how much. Her thoughts came to an abrupt end when Sam walked into Jack’s back.
Jack didn’t even notice Sam walking in to him. He was too busy trying to see what was inside the circle of people that wound all around the combat area.
Sam hurried after Jack who was pushing his way to the front of the crowd. “What’s going on?” she whispered to an airman she recognized.
The airman looked at her with something akin to fear in his eyes. “Some civilian is sparing against Teal’c, Ma’am,” he said.
Sam’s eyebrows drew together in a frown. “I’m sure everyone on base has watched Teal’c spar before,” she said.
There was a loud grunt and the sound of a body being thrown against an exercise mat followed by an animalistic, if high-pitched, growl.
“Mister Teal’c’s opponent is unarmed, Ma’am. He is not,” the airman said. He saw the appalled look on Sam’s face and hastened to add, “It looks like a fair fight; that’s why everyone’s watching!”
Armed with this new information Sam pushed her way to the front of the observers and next to Jack. “Sir, are you alright?” she asked quietly.
Jack mutely shook his head.
Sam frowned. She walked as far into the training area as she dared and turned to face the assembled crowd. “Alright, everyone!” she bellowed in her best authoritative voice. “Colonel O’Neill is ordering everyone except SG1 out of the gym! This is a team practice session!” Sam paused to swallow and noticed that no body was leaving. “Move it, people!” she bellowed. “This is a team training session, not an exhibition!” Finally, people were leaving en mas. Part of Sam was sure it was because Jack had just stepped up next to her. The rest of Sam was doing her darndest to ignore that thought.
“Jack! Sam!” Daniel called. “You’re too close! Move back!”
“What the hell are you talking about, Daniel?” Jack yelled. “They’re all the way over the–“
Sam did a double take. Teal’c’s body flew past her and into Jack. Both men rolled a few feet before coming to a stop. “Sir!” Sam yelled, rushing to his side. “Are you alright?”
Daniel flew through the air and landed next to her. “You promised!” Buffy growled.
“Oww!” Daniel commented. “I tried, Buffy. They wouldn’t listen to me!”
Buffy stalked closer to the dazed Daniel and crouched Teal’c. “You said you could protect,” she growled.
Teal’c sprang to his feet. “Daniel Jackson did protect the others, Buffy Summers. You are the one who propelled me into O’Neill.”
Buffy’s eyes narrowed and her hands lowered. “Rules of the fight,” she said.
“You and I agreed to the terms, Buffy Summers,” Teal’c responded, “and Daniel Jackson helped to enforce them. O’Neill was not at fault; neither was Daniel Jackson.”
“Human,” Buffy snarled, clawing at Teal’c. She grabbed him by the t-shirt and threw him clear over her head. Ten feet away Teal’c landed on his back. He rolled backwards into a crouch, just barely missing the fist Buffy threw at his head.
On the other side of the mat Sam was helping Jack to his feet while Daniel looked on, dazed.
“What is that girl’s problem?” Jack asked. Thirty seconds later he knelt down next to Daniel. “Daniel, are you hurt?” he asked.
Again, Daniel said nothing.
Sam and Jack exchanged a look over Daniel’s head. All of Jack’s earlier rage was forgotten in the face of Daniel’s odd behavior. Jack put his hand on Daniel’s shoulder and squeezed gently. “Daniel, are you okay?” he asked. When Daniel still didn’t respond Jack suggested, “Maybe you should call Janet, Carter.”
Sam nodded and started to jog to a phone when Daniel finally spoke. “Don’t bother,” he said.
“What’s going on, Danny?” Jack asked gently.
Daniel pursed his lips and looked down. “Buffy told us that she was dangerous, animalistic, and that this wasn’t a safe enough place to test Teal’c.”
Sam chimed in, “Test Teal’c?”
“Yeah, to see if he was stronger than Buffy. If he fought as well as her.” Daniel sighed. “We really thought she was full of hot air. Then all of a sudden she went primal on us.”
“It was not sudden, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said from several feet away. “Buffy Summers warned us quite clearly that she could not ‘let herself go’.”
Daniel refused to look up. “Is she okay, Teal’c?”
“She’s standing right here, Tweedy!” Buffy exclaimed from behind Daniel. He started and jumped up to look her over.
“Are you really okay?” he asked.
Buffy looked sad. “I’m fine, Daniel. Teal’c said the code word.”
Jack stood up again and looked at Daniel and Buffy. “Code word?” he repeated.
It was Teal’c who responded. “We are not at liberty to say at this time, O’Neill.”
Daniel continued seamlessly from where his teammate left off. “Consider it privileged personal information Buffy isn’t comfortable with sharing, Jack.”
Sam could tell a fight was about to break out between Jack and Daniel. She was about to break in when suddenly Buffy spoke up.
“So, Jack, you wanna see what I can do when there’s not
an archeologist flying at you?” she asked.
Buffy smiled but there was no joy in her expression. “I’m a civilian, Jack. And this project has been trying to get a hold of me for over two years–not that I knew–which must be driving you buggy.”
Jack nodded. “It’s a bit disturbing,” he admitted.
“Sit down for story time, boys and girls,” Buffy said. “I’m not actually allowed to tell you this, so it goes no further than us, got it?”
Once everyone was settled on the mat Buffy began speaking again.
“By telling you this I am grossly twisting George’s words and playing ‘dumb California blonde,’” Buffy started. “If you feel the need to check up on what I’m about to say, tell me and I’ll get you in contact with someone who knows. Believe me, you do not
want the wrong people to figure out you know,” she stressed.
“Know what?” Jack snapped.
“Know that when I was nineteen years old I took down a secret military base like this one with the help of one severely injured marine, a construction worker who lived in his parent’s basement, a fellow university student and a former librarian. Less than half of the base’s personnel survived and less than half of those who did are alive now.” Buffy set her jaw and grit her teeth, waiting to see what Jack would say.
Jack’s eyebrows rose and he blinked. “You killed half the people on –“
“No!” Buffy yelled, color high in her cheeks. “I could only save
about half of them!”
“Save them from what?” Sam asked.
Buffy grit her teeth. “The command called them HSTs, or Hostile Sub Terrestrials.”
“Sub Terrestrials?” Jack asked. “As opposed to, what, little green men?”
Daniel glared. “No one we’ve met is green, Jack.”
“I thought the Nox were all shades of nature,” Buffy said.
Daniel turned to her with a thoughtful look on his face. “True, but I think ‘little green men’ generally refers to Roswell aliens.”
“You met them, too!” Buffy wailed. “They’re Norse gods. Except pale, grey and not so much sexy warrior men!”
“Sexy warrior men?” Jack asked.
“Yeah, like you!” Buffy declared. “All with the muscles and the tall hunkiness and yummy hairy sexiness and holy crap did I say that out loud?”
“Indeed you did, Buffy Summers,” intoned Teal’c.
Buffy looked down. She was sure her face would glow in the dark, she was blushing so hard.
“What?!” Daniel exclaimed.
,” Buffy blushed harder, “that I’ve never slept with a man with a hairy chest like that!”
“Nor have I, Buffy Summers,” Teal’c replied completely deadpan.
Daniel added, “Doesn’t make much of a pillow but chest hair’s fun to play with.”
End part one