Vistors of All Kinds
Authors Note: I am so sorry this took so long. This chapter did not want to write and between being sick and work…well yeah need to find more time to write. Hope you enjoy.
Chapter 12 - Visitors of All Kinds
Xander sighed and grumbled to himself as he walked, he really wasn’t looking forward to trying to explain this to Daniel, but he really didn’t know what else to do.
~pep up kid, he’s got smarts~ Xander rolled his eye. “Okay I really don’t need comments from the peanut gallery.” Ever since the talk with Faith and the trip off world, apparently they had decided to become more vocal, and by now Xander could tell who was saying what. He had been a bit worried they might try to take over his body and speak through him like the Tok’ra did. But the response was another snort ~I ain’t solid boy, ain’t interested… we just.. here to help you… be all you can be.~ the drawl ended in gales of laughter and Xander was tempted to start beating his head on the wall.
Xander knocked on the door, which swung in a little so he stuff his head in “Daniel.. you in here?”
A muffled voice from behind a table stacked with books on and under it replied, “Yes… come in… over here Xander.”
Xander wandered over to find Daniel behind the table, pencil in mouth, digging through the books. “I know I had it here, an old transcription of some writings found in Australia.” Daniel was grumbling to himself as he kept shuffling through the various books.
Xander sighed and leaned over “You mean this one, filed in your Aboriginal people pile?” Handing Daniel a slim book.
“Oh.. yeah.. I guess that would make sense.” Daniel replied grabbing the book and flipping it open. “Ah ha.. I did remember correctly, that symbol was used to mean ‘air’ and ‘ships’ the original author translated it as ‘ships moved by air’ like sail ships, but I think it really meant ‘ships in the air’ like space ships.”
Xander knowing Daniel would get lost in his research again if he didn’t stop him now broke in. “Remember you wanted more mystical information or aspects?”
Daniel marked his place and looked up at Xander “Why is your Giles ready to come up here and meet?”
Xander laughed. “Not yet, he is still muttering about the Council, and honestly he probably is that busy. I think he almost has funding cleared up, and then his life will be easier, and he might have some free time to come out here. But that is not what I wanted to talk to you about.” Xander said uneasily, sitting down in one of the chairs.
Daniel tilted his head looking at him. “Faith isn’t pregnant is she?”
Xander choked, turned red, and stuttered “Well.. um.. hell I hope not.. 'cause.. well if she is… I mean.. last time I checked you needed to have sex… I mean for that to happen.. well.. “ Xander took a deep breath and glared at Daniel. “I doubt it, and if she was it is not mine, but I would say she gets first choice as to whom to tell, NOT me.”
Daniel sank into the chair. “Okay.. okay.. sorry… so what is up.”
It took Xander a minute to regain his train of thought and the peals of laughter in his head from the solider and the hyenas comments of ~good idea, why she not with pups~ did not help at all. “You really didn’t want to hear this did you?”
Daniel snickered a little “Well have to say that was not the reaction I was expecting, but it was funny… no go on.”
Rubbing his nose in a very Giles like manner Xander asked, “What do you know about possessions? Spiritual, not alien life form based.”
Daniel leaned back in his chair thinking, “Most of the stories are either obviously either stories, a disease, or alien. So for the most part I don’t know of any actual spirit possessions. Why do they exist?”
Xander snorted, “Short answer Yes.” Shaking his head. “I have experienced two different types.”
Daniel sat up straight in his chair, eyes gleaming “Really? What where they..” He stopped as Xander held up his hand.
“This will be easier if I just tell you then you can ask questions, okay?”
Daniel nodded, but grabbed a note pad to jot things down as Xander talked. “Back in high school, sophomore year, a shaman cast a spell that pulled the primal spirit of hyenas into myself and a few other kids. I got the alpha, the female alpha. Eventually my friends cast the spirits out, but mine apparently never left completely. I occasionally had flashes of impulses, and regardless of what I told everyone, I always remembered everything we did….” Xander shook his head a sad frown flashing across his face.
“Later that same year.. or the next.. I can never remember which… “ He trailed off lost in thought for a moment then shook his head. “Look I know you and Sam have an issue with magic and its existence, but it does exist, trust me I have cast spells, been in the middle of them, and summoned demons.” He held up his hand as Daniel started to speak. “Just let me finish this. Halloween that year, a chaos mage was in town. He decided to cause some chaos by enchanting any costume purchased from him to make the wearer become in fact that costume. Some kids became demons, a friend became a 17th century noblewoman, Willow a ghost… and I became a solider. Well once the spell was broken those personalities just faded away from everyone…except me. For the longest time I could dismantle a gun, clean it, and put it back together blindfolded. Eventually it became harder to remember, but I didn’t worry about it, it meant less dreams about Vietnam. But.. something changed… I had thought it had to do with leaving the hellmouth but after the information Thor passed on, I realized it had started when Caleb gouged out my eye.”
Xander paused as he saw Daniel’s frown. “Caleb was this anti preacher working for Evil, he was determined to destroy us all, and he caught me and put a thumb through my eye. It was very…un-fun.” There was a twist of a smile at Daniel’s snort. “But back to what I was saying. Since I lost my eye I started knowing things I had thought I forgotten and occasionally react slightly strangely to things. As time passed and eventually I came here I started hearing voices. For the longest time I thought you guys had a telepath you had not told me about and I was catching their thoughts to me. Well it turned out it was the residents in my head making peanut gallery remarks. Well apparently they have decided that wise ass comments aren’t enough and are training me.”
Xander stopped and took at deep breath and then looked at Daniel. “So now you know about them, and since I don’t see you headed for the phone with the whole ‘he’s nuts’ look in your eyes, I guess you at least don’t totally disbelieve me?”
Daniel looked down at his notes and then back to Xander and replied very seriously. “Xander if even half the stuff your and your friend went through is true, and given everything you have told me, plus the stuff you haven’t.” Xander snorted at that thinking of the syphilis incident. “I have to say you are one of the sanest people I have ever met, for all that you are crazy.”
Xander frowned and looked hurt. “Why do you say that?”
Daniel started to laugh. “Xander, sane people can’t handle this place. They wash out in weeks. We have lost more people because they could not handle the twist of their reality this creates. We are now at the point in our screening process that we prefer people who are a little “off”. RPG’s, comic book collectors, sci-fi freaks, all of those do better here than the straight-laced by the book people. You barely blinked when you found out, and you had already dealt with alternate realities, demons, and other things. Yet you have no cracks to your psyche, you respond normally to situations, and I have yet to see anything faze you for more than a minute or two. So yeah you are extremely sane for being a bit crazy.”
Xander had started to snicker near the end and nodded. “K, I guess I see your point. So what about my two visitors?”
Daniel shrugged. “I can’t see them being much different from the Tok’ra or the Ascended.” Xander felt a strange shudder go through his brain at that, accompanied by a low growl echoing through his mind. “And they can’t really talk to anyone else… can they?” Daniel looked up at Xander with an arched brow.
Xander thought for a moment. “I don’t think so… they say they won’t take control of my body, but that doesn’t mean they can’t. But… neither has any desire to live again and Hyena regards my body as too fragile to bother with. So I think not. ‘Fraid they are my private voices.” Xander stopped and sighed. “Great.. I have my own invisible friends.”
Daniel laughed “See, you will fit right in with the rest of us. Here is my advice. Tell Landry and Dr. Lam, she will want to run tests to see if that explains your odd EEG activity at the beginning. Then the rest is up to you as to whom you want to inform. Don’t worry we aren’t losing your over this. Just more skills at your beck and call.” Daniel said with a grin.
“Joy… but.. thanks.. I will go let Landry know, and prepare myself for the barrage of tests I KNOW Dr. Lam will set up. But… thanks again.” Xander turned and headed for the door and the General, when he stopped and glanced at Daniel with a grin. “And I will be sure to let Faith know you were asking about her condition. I am sure she will repay your thoughtfulness next time she needs a sparring partner.” Fighting down a laugh as Daniel paled. Faith on a rampage made Teal’c look bored. Still snickering he headed out the door, ignoring the mumbled “I’m dead” coming from Daniel’s office.
Landry was relatively easy to find and after explaining all of it again, and agreeing to the tests, Landry seemed mostly undisturbed by this revelation. When he caught Xanders’ confused stare he just grinned and said “Xander if you were normal, you wouldn’t be here.” And Landry walked out whistling at Xanders’ dumbfounded look.
Dr. Lam was a strange mixture of excited and disbelieving, but when Xander proved it with three different EEG reading, she was both fascinated and worried. It took a week of being at her mercy, but finally the only thing they had to prove that Xander was not completely insane was the EEG readings, and the odd bits of knowledge that Xander really should not have, like details about fights in Vietnam. But over all nothing really changed other than Xander getting a bunch more blood drained out of him. He decided to leave it to the few who knew, even though when Sam found out she was going to read him the riot act, and Cameron would rag him unmercifully, but for right now, Xander kept it relatively quiet.
Ever since the talk with Faith; Xanders’ dreams had been more and more intense, leaving him waking up in the morning feeling like the inside of his head had been stretched a bit. One morning he woke up with the word MEDITATE ringing through his head like a bell.
From the pressure his guests were applying to him, Xander figured there weren’t any excuses he was going to be able to offer them to get out of the mediation thing, so he didn’t even try. Instead having heard Sam and Daniel talk to Teal’c about his meditative Kel’no’reem, he decided to talk to Teal’c. He was still very curious about the man who was the reason he was here. Xander had tried to get to know him better but between the Jaffa Council, the Ori, and Xanders training, it had been difficult. So this was a dual-purpose visit.
Xander knocked on Teal’c door and hear the rich deep voice through the wall. “Enter.” Xander pushed open the door and looked around. He saw a room laid out exactly like his own, with burgundy candles giving the room light. A low bed was on one side of the room; against the wall where Xander had his entertainment system was instead a wall of weapons, all hanging neatly. A dresser against the other wall with a single picture of the original SG-1 team in a frame on it. Teal’c was in the middle of the room, his impressive structure again causing a flash of envy to race through Xanders’ mind.
Teal’c tilted his head rose smoothly from his kneeling position. “Xander how may I be of assistance to you?”
Xander smiled his trademark dopey grin, which Teal’c had come to realize long ago was a very skillful mask. “I seem to have developed a dire need for meditation… and I was wondering if you would mind teaching me your kelreeno?”
Teal’c tilted his head. “You mean the Kel’no’reem?” I would be honored to teach it to you, however most humans have found it less than satisfactory as it is primarily a way for Jaffa to communicate with their symbiotes, allowing them to heal faster. As humans do not have a comparable aspect, they often find it less than helpful.”
A wry chuckle was wrested out of Xander. “Well once again I am the exception, let me tell you about my two friends.” Xander proceeded to tell Teal’c about his inhabitants, Teal’c listened gravely and then nodded at the end.
“Then perhaps the Kel’no’reem may indeed be effective for you. Join me?”
Xander followed Teal’c in the center of the room, where a candle was burning on the floor, and tried to mimic him as he sat down on the floor. Teal’c made the lowering of himself look smooth and graceful, Xander on the other hand ended up flopping. “Teal’c if this is mostly to talk to your symbi, why do you still do it as you don’t have one any more?” Asked Xander, trying to get himself into a comfortable position.
Teal’c looked at him with a slight smile. “While I now sleep where as before I did not, I find the ritual of Kel’no’reem soothing and helpful in organizing the events of the day. It is… comfortable.”
Xander nodded, “K that makes sense, you keep doing cause it makes you feel better emotionally.. even if you don’t really need to do it.”
“Indeed Xander. Shall we begin?” Xander nodded watching him, not really sure what was going to happen. Willow use to try to get him to mediate, but usually he just fell asleep quickly. “With Kel’no’reem you need to focus inside you and find that which you normally ignore. Look for the essence inside and find where it lies.”
Teal’c fell into a breathing rhythm, which Xander found easy to duplicate, long slow breaths in and out, no holding, just steady, oxygenating breaths. Xander listened to Teal’c voice focusing on the flame of the candle. “See the flame, feel the connection to it, the warmth and danger that all warriors are. Now sink into yourself and find that duality, the danger and the warmth. Once you are there, search for the other parts of you, that which makes you, you.
Xander focused, the flames growing in his mind, seeing how it light and warmed the room, but knowing the burn and bite if you were careless. He thought about himself, whom he had thought a Zeppo, but the warrior in him. The jokes he gave to all, and the willingness to die to save them. Slowly his eyes closed, still thinking about who and what he was, he sank deeper into a trance, the steady rhythm of Teal’c voice acting as a hypnotic, then slowly inside himself where he was looking two figures began to form as his awareness of them intensified. A man, older in his late 40’s, slightly graying hair, an easy smile, but with military stance slowly made himself real. Next to him a hyena, in her prime, old scars tracing her body, but pride and power in her movement. The man looked at him and smiled.
“’Bout time you got here kid.”
Xander smiled, as he finally met his two guests and he knew he was whole.
~Fourth Horseman Starts Here~
Xander and Faith knew something was up when the base locked down. It didn’t take them long to learn about the plague, and then they were busy staying out of Dr. Lam’s way. What was odd was neither of them got sick. Xander figured for Faith it was her slayer bennies, but he really wasn’t sure why he hadn’t until a smug voice growled through his head. ~hurt my pup? I fixed that, rended and tore, no more.~ This was followed by a cackle of hyena laughter. Xander decided not to mention this to Dr. Lam, not really sure how mystical spirits killing a virus translated in to medical terms. Email was locked down but Xander had talked to Willow via the necklaces, just asking if they were okay. Willow was cheerful, no on was sick and she was pretty sure she could heal anyone that got sick. Xander filed that away as a last ditch effort. He wasn’t sure if you had to be willing to become a prior, because if not the idea of the Ori getting their hands on Willow was enough to make him consider blowing up the Star Gate
When Orlin showed up, both Xander and Faith were relieved, thinking that surely a previously ascended being would solve this problem quickly. But everyone was affected as hours then days passed without a cure.
Xander had more problems heaped on him when he bumped into Orlin in the cafeteria rather than just seeing him from a distance, and was rather disturbed when Orlin stopped and actually looked at him, then laughed commenting. “They will find out you two are still here and they will not be happy.” The smile faded. “Too bad I won’t be in any condition to watch that fight.” He shook his head wand wandered off hi mind again engrossed with the virus.
Sam came up to Xander looking at him quizzically. “What id you say to make him laugh? He has been so serious lately.”
Xander who was pale and suddenly not hungry shook his head at Sam. “Honestly I didn’t say a thing.”
Xander dumped his food quickly, leaving a very confused Sam, and headed to find Daniel, but no one had time to talk.
Xander played with the puzzle pieces he had; white and gray orbs, spirits, his dreams, meditation, and Faith until the three different puzzles started to come together. The piece that helped snap them together came from Orlin, and his confrontation with the Prior where the Sodan lived. When the information came back about what Orlin said about the Ori gathering power form the worship, it fell into place. Excited he bounded into Faiths room to tell her, as Daniel was still swamped with other stuff.
“Faith! I think I got it!”
Faith looked up from the college catalogue she had been reading. She had earned her GED, passing with flying colors, so now she was toying with the idea of more education. “And what’s that?” She asked smiling at his obvious delight.
Xander plopped down on the bed. “You heard what Orlin said when he faced down the prior, right?”
Faith frowned, “Something about the Ori needing people to worship them for power?”
Xander jumped off the bed bouncing on his toes. “Yep… and that led me to figure it out, the white glowly balls I saw were faith and worship. While the gray ones were fear, they can feed off of both. Which is why the first few visits to a planet are always minor miracles, but progressively they are more and more powerful. Because they gain power as people worship and fear them!” Xander was all but dancing around the room at this point.
“Wow, that sounds great! Have you told Daniel or Sam or even Cameron yet?”
Xander sighed and slumped down on the bed.” Nah… everyone is a bit busy with the plague, so it will have to wait.”
Faith nodded, “Yeah.. have you thought about calling Willow?”
Xander made a face. “Yeah but not sure if the risk would be worth it. Just worried about it. Gonna give the doc’s a chance. If Teal’c was here, he might understand the consequences of telling about Wils.”
Faith shrugged. “Maybe.. when is he supposed to be back from Chulak?”
“I don’t know, but ever since Gerak converted to a Prior, things have not been good.
With a sigh Faith leaned against Xander, enjoying the warmth. “Never thought fighting anything but demons could be this scary.”
“Me neither.” Xander replied with a quick on armed hug, turning his head towards Faith, and leaning down slowly, looking in her eyes, when the off world activation alarm sounded, and they both pulled apart reluctantly. “Come on, let’s see who is knocking.”
Xander said, heading for the door resolutely ignoring the muttered voice in his head with a southern drawl. ~curses foiled again~
They moved a bit too slowly and caught a glimpse of Teal’c headed to the observation room and Gerak walking into the infirmary. “What the hell?” They both asked looking at each other. Picking up the speed they saw Cameron, Daniel, and Sam running into the observation room also, but before they could get to the door, a bright white light, so bright Xander swore he saw white glowing b alls through his eyelids. Frozen they looked at each other then turned rushing in the infirmary door, but Gerak was gone, only the faint hint of smoke in the room to indicate anything odd had happened here. Formerly sick people were now up and moving, looking much better.
“Damn Teal’c did it, and Gerak, but why the floor show?” Asked Faith looking around the room. Xander was staring fixedly at the area where Gerak had been.
“They disappeared. There were like or two grey balls floating towards the room, but they are gone completely.” Muttering more to himself than anything.
Faith tugged at his arm. “Ya need to tell them what you figured.”
“I will, figure by tomorrow everything will have calmed down enough for me to talk to them.”
It actually took about three days for clean up and things to calm to the point where Xander could get a meeting with everyone. Finally with General Landry, Teal’c, Faith, Daniel, Sam and Cameron in the conference room Xander stood uncomfortably, public speaking was not his forte. “Umm.. okay.. uh.. remember the report where I saw the white or grey floaty things?” Blushing a bit at Sam’s arch look at his descriptions, he hurriedly rephrased it. “The un-identified colored energy balls?” Everyone nodded watching him. “Well the information Orlin gave us when he confronted the prior” nodding a bit to Sam, who closed her eyes, “gave me the key to figure it out. Orlin stated they needed the power that comes from worship. I think the white balls of energy are in fact worship consolidated.” Everyone frowned a bit but Sam and Daniel’s eyes narrowed and they nodded. Xander continued. “What more, I think that the grey blobs are fear, and they feed off of that also. Possibly like the difference between high octane fuel and a low octane fuel.” Cameron’s eyes lit up, that he understood. Xander cleared his throat and kept going. “Now this is all just… um.. theory.” Grinning a bit at using the word correctly. “but I think that they collect the power when they visit worlds, most likely with those staffs. That is why their shows of power get larger and larger each time they come back to a planet. More and more energy is waiting for them each time.” Nodding to Sam and Daniel “I think your device actually prevents them from tapping that power stored in the staff. Now I didn’t “see” how Gerak destroyed or stopped the virus, but I think part of it is that he completely drained the staff doing it, and his flame out was part of the back lash mixed with the physical fail safe Sam and Daniel guessed at.”
Xander stopped reviewing through his points. “Um.. that’s it… I think.” And he sat down abruptly.
There was a pause and then everyone started discussing the theories he had put forth, but at the end Sam summed up the general feeling. “Basically the priors use the emotional energy of worship or fear to fuel them and given what Orlin told us, they bring the excess back to the Ori to utilize in their bid to break out.”
Xander thought for a moment then nodded. “Yep!”
Cameron and Daniel looked worried. “That is not good. While it might be possible to convince large populations to not worship them, to not fear would be nigh impossible.” Pointed out Daniel. Everyone looked grave and finally the General shrugged.
“Well for right now we really can’t do anything with that information, we just need to be aware of it if it becomes something we can act on. Xander we needed to know this, but right now I just don’t know how to take advantage of it.”
On that note the meeting broke up.