: Stargate SG-1 and all related characters are copyright Brad Wright, Jonathan Glassner, Showtime and the SciFi Network. No infringement intended. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright Joss Whedon and ME. No infringement intended.Spoilers
: All of BTVS and Angel. Stargate SG-1 through most of season 7. I.E. Janet is still alive and Hammond runs the SGC.Note
: This was a challenge posted on one of the lists I am a member of and I give full credit to Kat for getting the plot bunnies hopping around. She's my Muse and thank you again.
Prologue: Hollow Places
Before humanity broke free of their prison of primordial sludge. Myths had been breathed life. Fear walked the Earth enriching the demons and land with its essence. The race of man had yet to be formed but their likeness and emotions were already free to walk the planet’s barren wasteland. In this emptiness two creatures were formed. They walked side-by-side, one slightly before the other, always leading but never alone. They were sisters. Lovers. Friends. Names lost to time, the rise and fall of nations and through it all their essence remained the same.
Terror and Despair.
They watched the demons fight for domination. Destruction and Chaos chased each other in circles of endless pain and violence. They were amused at our baser urges given form living out their own existences. The few mortal creatures given life trembled in their wake and through the eons mankind began to evolve as Nightmares expelled from cracks in the shell of the Earth, breathing panic into the minds of their prey.
Terror and Despair became bored, bored with the constant pulse of fear. The fear their brethren breathed into the mortal creatures had become a simple backdrop to their lives. So they decided to create. They had watched the Earth make life for so very long that Terror and Despair united, they stole pieces of the others to blend, Hate, Fear, Chaos, Destruction, the Nightmares and many more. A shuddering creature fell forth from the expulsion of power and as she rose, took her first stumbling steps her Mothers rejoiced. She was prefect. She was the embodiment of them all. She was Evil. The first. The only.
Evil embraced her power, helped her mothers as they pressed back the pulse of humanity, driving them to the brink of extinction again and again. Mortal life was weak; they were futile creatures with powerful allies. In the first moment Evil saw The Ancients she was curious. So resembling the creature that she feed upon and yet they seemed to bring light to wash away their darkness. She was unafraid and approached the living things and their essence burned. Evil had never danced with Pain before and she wrenched herself free.
She watched helpless as her brethren were locked away in stone boxes and the minds of the very creatures she fed from. Her demons wrapped their sharpened talons into the Earth and refused to be diminished. So the Ancients made the Earth that gave them life take them back. A hole was formed and guarded. Evil watched her subjects become ash and memories, tales to frighten human children.
Her mothers had become nothing more than emotions staining the minds of mortal creatures, wretched vile creations that no longer feared her glory. She shuddered in revulsion at the worthless chaos they twisted. The last of her subjects created half-breeds in the hopes of allowing her to live, to create, to be free. Their blood mixed with humans and Evil pulled out of the night. She paid attention. She saw that not all of her children had been banished. True only the weak had been allowed to survive the light but she would coddle them, infuse them with her essence and allow them to grow.
The Ancients realized too late that by sparing some they gave power to their maker. So they created as well. A warrior to fight back Evil’s subjects, a weapon for the Earth and all that derived from her. The Ancients stole some of the essence from Evil’s demons that they had locked away and the wild magic of the Earth, blending it with a human girl.
She too fell from the expulsion of power shuddering and confused. Her first breath shook the core of everything. She was first. She was prefect. She was the Slayer. She fought with the power of the demon, the skill of emotion and the magic of humanity. She pressed back the tides and kept the balance intact. There was only one flaw. She was mortal and like all mortal creatures she would die. As the first Slayer took her final breath the Ancients created a lineage, when one died the next was called, gaining the skill and power of her fore sisters.
Evil watched her subjects vanquished by a child and became enraged and began to infuse her essence with mankind. The Ancients watched helpless as the race they had strived so hard to empower became encompassed in fear and hatred, a vicious never-ending cycle. They could aid but not destroy. Trap but not kill.
Evil became less than she was but more. Stronger than her mothers she lived on with her own consciousness, watching, waiting for her chance to avenge her children. As time stretched on the Ancients left Earth. Others had come but few caught her interest like the Goa’uld, a race that preyed on the weak, lived beyond their intended time. Evil watched and embraced them, infusing them with her knowledge and power. They enslaved the Ancients’ beloved humans and Evil rejoiced at the small victory. Though she still waited for them to return and complete their annihilation of the mankind. She was patient. She was evil. She was the only. She was the First.
~~~@~~~@~~~@One Year Ago
Rain poured down in rivulets over Illyria’s ash stained and blood covered body. She raised her luminous face skyward as the heavens wept for the loss of her allies. She felt the shift of air as an axe was swung in a downward ark for her slim neck. A flash of metallic red sparked with the oncoming weapon. The demon tracked the flicker of blonde hair as the tiny Slayer defended her right flank.
Illyria had been fighting through much of the night when the army of Slayers had appeared and pressed back the tides of the appending apocalypse. They had caused her skin to prickle and hair follicles to stand on end. The memories of her shell, Winifred Burkle, whispered that the reaction was called ‘goose bumps’. Charles Gunn had proven her wrong by lasting nearly an hour before fading. His war cry had been proud and inspiring to the remaining three until the White Knight had taken a blow meant for their leader. She and Angel had watched as his ashes spread across the night sky, their matching howls of grief surprising them both.
That was when the battle had turned in their favor as twenty female children appeared within a flash of light. The tendrils of energy pushed back the onslaught and the surprise attack had pressed their advantage. The White Witch destroyed the dragon with velvet lightning, the once beautiful creature became a burnt husk as it fell gracelessly to the Earth. The giants where crushed by little girls with knives as Illyria had watched her leader fall.
His ashes covered the tiny Slayer and her anguished scream had caused her army to pause, having never heard the broken call of a mated creature losing their other half. Rage had sparked behind her green eyes crystallizing them into jade and she had sliced the demon who had served her this disservice in two. Her movements became a barbaric ballet, the Scythe shimmering in the velvet lightning created by the witch. Illyria found herself moving to the blonde’s side to aid her in battle, each of their movement’s a fluid compliments to other. When one left an opening the other defended her.
Buffy had become the only warrior worthy of Illyria’s presence and they fought side by side until the last of the Wolf, the Ram and the Heart’s minions were nothing but rotting flesh and soot. With the power gone Illyria swayed and fell to her knees, her battle armor torn and broken. She was alone—again.
The glint of silver caught her vacant blue eyes and she reached out. Her deceptively delicate fingers wrapped around a ring shaped into two hands holding a crowned heart. Her head cocked in confusion at the feelings the images invoked and her skin prickled once more as the presence of another moved to her side.
The immense feeling of unease in the void that had once been her shell’s stomach told her it was the warrior. She could sense the others in her army, silent and waiting. The tiny Slayer knelt before her and their grief filled gazes met, neither spoke as Illyria studied the pixie like face before her. Such a pretty package to hold all of that darkness, they were both deceptive in their forms. It had advantages.
“Buffy.” She offered her hand.
The demon blinked before pulling on the shell’s memories once more and a small sardonic smile quirked her lips. “I am Illyria.” Her hand grasped the other girl’s wrist and they shook up and down once.
“Dear Lord!” The demon’s gaze flicked shifted behind the warrior and saw one of the few men in her army staring at her in abject horror. He took a step forward as if to aid his Slayer but seemed to think better of it when he saw Illyria watched him. “Buffy, she’s…she’s…”
The demon’s attention was drawn back to the Slayer before her. “But Buffy, she’s one of the Old Ones. We simply can’t allow her—”
“To spend one more minute out in the rain.” A brow rose in question to the demon and Illyria’s eye’s narrowed but she rose offering her arm to the warrior. “Willow, ready when you are.”
The White Witch nodded but gave the demon a quick once over before raising her hands skyward and invoking the very essence of the Earth. The tear in space engulfed the battle wary group as they winked from the street.
The flashing blues and reds gave the darkened street a fanatical appearance as the police arrived on the scene. Death haunted each shadow, decomposing demons filled the night sky with the stench of decay and the first policeman on the scene lost his midnight snack. A slim shadow detached herself from the wall and smiled at the destruction. True she had lost several subjects but the pieces she had placed so long ago were beginning to fall perfectly. The First Evil smiled as the lights of the patrol cars failed to catch her form in their dance, she stepped back and faded into the darkness of the night.
The setting sun cast the rocks and ledges into iridescent layers, each telling a story the history of the Earth as it gave way to the erosive powers of water. The cascading Colorado River had formed and was still shaping the Grand Canyon after nearly six million years. A young couple, packs strapped to their weary backs stumbled quietly through one of several caves beneath the monument to Mother Nature. They had crossed the ‘No Trespassing’ signs two days ago; when the pair had stumbled onto a group of caves beneath the buttes Denise Martin had insisted they explore. She was convinced they were formed by old lava flow and that this was the entrance they were looking for and as they moved further into their only other companion became the trickle of an underground stream.
“Why are we doing this again?”
She turned to glare at her fiancé Alex. “Because we’re going to prove the Ancient Egyptians discover America long before 1492.”
Brown eyes rolled behind her back as he pulled his canteen from his pack and took a hesitant sip. “Same question. Hopefully a different answer.”
She stopped her exploration of a nearby shelf to flash her light into his eyes. He quickly raised an arm to block out the harsh glare. “You agreed with me!”
“Your thesis, yes. To hunt around caves all spring break when Las Vegas is only hours away, not so much.”
The two undergraduate students glared at one another, one studying Architecture and the other Archeology. Two people who normally seemed to fit into each other’s lives but at the moment they felt a vast space form between them.
Alex stepped forward ducking his 6’1” frame beneath a ledge to meet Denise halfway. He looked down into her puckered brow and reached behind her to pull at her ponytail. The wrinkle lessened until she smiled up at him and pushed his glasses back up his nose. “One more day?”
He grinned and placed a quick kissed on her upturned nose before he straightened, glancing over Denise’s jacket covered shoulder. As they got deeper into the caverns the temperature had grown progressively cooler and that was the reason for the sudden prickling of the skin on his arms. Not the soft glint that caught his attention as he stepped to Denise’s side to move around her.
His fiancé turned with him and tried in vain to see what had caught Alex’s eye. Her hazel eyes sparked with annoyance at their height difference. He was a good six inches higher than her and at the moment those six inches were just begging to be knocked off. He pulled away from her and flicked on his lantern, the cave was suddenly illuminated and Denise blinked trying in vain to catch her bearings.
After the blue spots disappeared and she could see, her breath caught in her throat as she saw the cave entrance before them. A sweeping structure had been carved out of the rock and arched downward. There was a bird shaped into the top of the entrance, eroded by time but still visible to the eye. Denise move quickly to get out her digital camera. The whirring of the motors filled the sleepy rocks and she angled the camera to take the best shots.
The flashing of the bulb didn’t distract her fiancé as he made his way deeper into the strangely smooth cavern walls. He paused lifting his light to examine the walls more closely. He could hear Denise behind him, “The Phoenix, Gazette was right! My God, Alex no one has been down here since 1909! Do you see these markings? Hieroglyphs! I knew it!” Her voice held the delight of a child who had gotten everything they wanted for Christmas and more. A small giggle escaped her as she caught more of the structure on the memory card.
“I can’t believe! Smithsonian wanted nothing to do with this, crazy bastards.”
“Tried to cover it up! Hah, when I get these pictures published—”
She jumped and spun towards Alex, the muscles in his back had tensed as he stared at the far wall. “What is it?” She asked her voice laced with annoyance with his interruption of her babble.
“Just look at this.”
She walked towards him, careful to avoid the debris on the cavern floor. “What…” Her voice trailed off as she caught sight of the markings before her. “This can’t be right.”
“Latin.” She paused and leaned forward as she lifted her light and traced a few of the symbols. “Or a derivative of it. I’ve never seen some of these.”
The wall held a large design of a circle engraved with shapes that reminded the undergraduate of Runes. The form of Latin surround the shape in what she would guess was a story of creation if she was translating it correctly. Spinning she raised her flashlight towards the other wall quickly scanning the hieroglyphics. “My God.” Her voice had lost her earlier excitement and filled the cavern with hushed whispers.
“If I’m translating this right…” She paused and shook her head. She swung back towards the wall behind Alex. Scanning the work of art quickly she shivered. “They both seem to say something about the…” She paused and went to one knee to the right of the Rune filled circle. She paled and flicked her gaze to Alex. “This civilization seemed to call it the End of Days.”
“Could it be a scared tactic to stop people from raiding this…” He paused unsure what to call the cave.
“It’s a temple and they give a date.”
Alex’s fell to his knees beside his fiancé. The chill of the caves seemed to deepen around them. “They give a date?” The disbelief warred with fear in his tone.
“Well maybe a date. There are numbers.” She pointed to three different symbols as she spoke. “Seven. Three. Zero. But they’re out of order.” Her voice steadied as she swiveled to the left and scanned more of the markings. “I could be translating them wrong.”
“But I thought most ancient civilizations didn’t use zeros?”
Her hazel eyes slide sideways to nervously look at him. “They don’t.”
Alex stood his back giving with a slight pop and he suppressed a groan, reaching around he began to rub absently at the soar muscles. He turned, arching his spine and stretched as he asked, “So what do we do now?”
Denise leaned back so she could look up and into his face. Her eyes were clouded with worry but she pushed it back, this was one of the greatest archeological finds of the century. She needed to focus and, “We need to contact Dr. Daniel Jackson.”
“The guy you based your midterm on?”
“This was his theory long before it was mine.”
“Okay, how do we contact this Jackson guy?”
Denise turned back to the markings and smiled softly. “I think I know.”