Xanbo II: Friends in Odd Places (Finis)
Sequel to Xanbo: First Halloween
Author: Tohonomike firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners...it will start off with the Joss/ME characters but any other characters aren’t mine either and any real-life folks are clearly not mine. NO money is involved. None are mine.
May 1998 - Nasya
SG-1 had been quite surprised to find themselves facing a unit of twenty soldiers when the Stargate disengaged; hidden by the blue light of the wormhole, the MALP and SG-1 could be watched as through a one-way mirror.
“What world or System Lord do you give allegiance to,” a large man with a Jaffa tattoo and wearing a green beret demanded civilly, weapons already covering the group.
“Um, we come from a place called Earth,” Daniel Jackson began in his earnest manner, “And are not under the rule of a Goa’uld.”
The soldiers reacted slightly when Earth was mentioned, unusual in most of the SGC’s contacts with non-Goa’uld. Though fresh from killing Apophis and Klorel above the planet, SG-1 might have caused some rumors in territories of the System Lords.
“Please hand over your weapons and accompany the unit heading from the tree line, Colonel,” the leader of the soldiers told O’Neill, who was surprised that as Daniel hadn’t quite gotten around to blurting out their identities, the man would recognize rank insignia; that is, before he noticed that the group wore US Army indicators of their own.
A group of light horse trotted over, the men leading extra mounts looking like across between Mongols and survivalists. It didn’t start to make *any* sense until Carter recognized the leader of the riders.
“Abu!” Captain Carter called out in surprise, drawing the man’s attention. He smiled as the rest of SG-1relaxed slightly. The horseman theatrically and (more importantly) successfully flipped himself off the horse and landed on his feet before strolling over.
“Sa-man-ta, SG-1,” the man greeted with a slight bow, then turned to the leader of the soldiers, “Colonel Turtek, these are not enemies; I relieve you of them, now.”
The colonel snapped off a salute and resumed his station behind the Chappa’ai. O’Neill turned to the Simarkan man with one-star rank insignia, but had his questions waved down.
“Please accompany us. When the machine was described, I hoped it would be you. Our intelligence people reported your success against Apophis; he is having a very difficult time regaining full control over his dominions.”
O’Neill interjected as he and Daniel both got on the horses, which had stirrups, on their own, as Teal’c and Carter were offered assistance.
“You mean Apophis isn’t dead?”
“I’m afraid not, Colonel. But we managed to leak his defeat in battle by mere humans quite effectively.”
“If it isn’t too personal of a question, Abu,” O’Neill began, realizing something, “Why are you and your guys speaking English instead of the common tongue everyone in the galaxy we’ve come across speaks?”
“For now, I will explain nothing, Colonel, but you will have answers soon enough. But we are not speaking English, Colonel…we are speaking American.”
An hour later, through several lines of defense, SG-1 was escorted into what seemed to be a refurbished Goa’uld governor’s compound well-guarded. O’Neill noticed that the men carried a mix of weapons he himself had used before: AK-47s, .45 ACPs, a few M-60s, and a few heavier weapons at strongpoints. That didn’t even start on a mix of knives, swords, zats and what looked like shortened versions of a staff weapon. He exchanged looks of concern with Teal’c and Carter. Then they saw a banner on a pole, causing O’Neill to stop in shock.
“I see it sir…”
“O’Neill, is that not reminiscent of one of the flags from your early national history?”
“Looks that way, T. I’m thinking there are very few people that might be out here that should know about such things.”
Daniel scrunched his face in thought, then understood, “You think Alex Rambo is here?”
“Yeah, but how he managed this in only six months…”
They stared again at Old Glory with twenty bright stars in a circle around a spiral galaxy.
While they waited, SG-1 noted Cimmerians, Simarkans, mixed Jaffa mainly of Ra and Apophis and a lesser snake name Ares, and others that were unknown to the SGC. Humans in black robes spoke quietly with Vikings and Mongols about upgrading a water and sewer system on a world called Minos.
“Anyone have a clue?” O’Neill asked at a group that seemed to interact comfortably enough, especially with Jaffa in the mix. Teal’c frowned and spoke first.
“The Jaffa … are not Jaffa anymore, O’Neill. And the man watching us from the main doors is a Hunter.”
“A Hunter? What’s that?”
“The closest description I’ve encountered on your world O’Neill, would be something between a bounty hunter and Marshal Gerard from the fugitive movie. They are in service to System Lords though are not employed as assassins like Ashrak Goa’uld.”
“Tough characters, huh? How do they compare to regular Jaffa?’
“You are mistaken, O’Neill. They are not Jaffa. They are of a race of humans that Goa’uld are unable to possess, even as larvae. The System Lord Ra destroyed their world and used some form of weapon to addict them to a substance. They are elite, but are also slaves to the Goa’uld. To see them here…is a curiosity.”
“Hmm, okay. What was that you were saying about the Jaffa?”
“They seem dangerous, but not as…powerful. But it is only a feeling.”
A voice from behind them, in the three feet or so at their backs, broke their musings with an answer.
“That’s because they don’t carry future slavers inside them, Teal’c of Chulak. But with intensified training, they’ve maintained most of their physiques, strength and speed. Their healing is only slightly better than a mainline human, but they are deadlier as now Goa’uld and Jaffa cannot detect them by presence alone.”
SG-1 had turned in surprise, but had remained quiet through the man’s explanation. He looked few years older, moved confidently, and dressed in a loose black vest and black karate pants. He wore sandals, and the only markings of rank were a pair of collar tabs that matched the stars and galaxy on the flag they’d seen earlier.
“Alex?” Daniel greeted, “How are you? Y-you’re not a Goa’uld are you?”
Xander laughed lightly, and offered his hand to shake, “No Doctor Jackson, I’m not an Enemy. I’m glad to see the SGC’s lead team is still intact. And since you’re not looking particularly ticked off to see me, I have to ask? What’s my status on Earth?”
O’Neill noted he didn’t say ‘back home’ as he assessed the young man, who in spite of his seemingly friendly welcome, screamed DANGER with his very presence. And the eyes of everyone in the room very much watching SG-1 as nonchalantly as they could with raptor’s eyes as he shook hands with the man, warned him against any fast movements.
“Well, as far as the public goes, you’re something of a folk hero. You’re in hiding, and even though the governments at different levels have publicly exonerated you, pardoned you and asked for you to reveal yourself, you haven’t. Officially, you’ve been MIA and we’ve kept our ears open in case the Snakes got you.”
“Not shoot on sight?” the man smiled as he exchanged bows of respect with Teal’c.
“We weren’t happy you used us to get off planet, and he general I think is still a bit sore about being hit in the head by a kid, you’d probably only have latrine duty for a couple months before he’d let ya go home.”
The two men chuckled, Xander then offering his hand to Carter and Jackson.
“Mind having dinner with my family and advisors, Colonel, or would you deny your curiosity and simply head back to the Gate with a list of worlds we don’t want you on for a few years?”
“Why wouldn’t we be allowed there…”
“The doctrine of twos, Colonel…and we don’t want anyone to muck it up.”
“This is impressive, but how much can you have managed in six months?”
Xander gestured at those around them.
“Dinner it is…”
“Good, we’ll use the Council table, then.”
The group was surprised to find themselves sitting at a large table three foot wide that circled a large and incredibly detailed map of the galaxy on the floor. The table could easily sit thirty people on the outer ninety percent, with an opening to allow central access at the door side. Xander sat at the ‘top’ of the ‘big horseshoe’ where a woman with two young children waited for him.
“Unless it makes you extremely uncomfortable, Colonel, since I’ve placed you and Doctor Jackson one-third of the way from me, and the Captain and Teal’c at the other. The acoustics are good enough we can all easily hear one another, and this way no one feels they are facing an inquisition.”
The officer considered it, and accepted, “Alright, seems fair. We going to talk about anything in particular?”
“Only the important things, Colonel. Like even though I’m originally a California boy, I’ll trade you an outline of my story in exchange for, I don’t know, the results of the last hockey season and if my friends and such are fine.”
They sat down, and noted that there were twenty people already seated, and three others entering behind SG-1. Turning, they recognized Bra’tac of the Jaffa Rebellion, and Lya of the Nox, but the other two for some reason made Teal’c feel uneasy.
O’Neill with some surprise greeted the Jaffa, “Bra’tac, it’s good but surprising to see you. Are these friends of yours?”
“That remains to be seen, Human. I was…summoned only an hour ago on Chulak and find myself here. Teal’c, old friend,” the older Jaffa greeted with an exchange of arm grasps, “as always good to see you.”
“And I you, Master,” Teal’c returned with a smile and a slight bow. Daniel meanwhile greeted the Nox. O’Neill noticed that weapons were secreted as soon as the Nox woman entered the room, and the guards left.
“Lya? It’s good to see you again…though I’m surprised to see you in a fortress.”
“It is good to see you all again,” the Nox greeted, “And this is not only a fortress, but a place to discuss peace.” With a gesture, a small part of the galactic map on the floor colored itself a faint but pretty yellow. The aesthetic change seemed to please her.
“I’m here to visit Shyla and her children; it is time for their next lessons.”
“As their mentor sponsor, which some cultures call godmother, I visit once every week to check on their progress and sip herbal beverages with their mother.”
“I thought we were…too young?”
“Yes, but Alex and the Council of the Federal Republic made it clear the Nox were never to grant weapons technology, and after discussions with Alex we have agreed to help by observing the children, suggesting better natural ways of countering disease, vitamin and nutrient supplementals, and how to increase education without the children losing their childhoods. It is very important to the Council.”
“Really?” Daniel responded, “Why would they think that?”
“Why fight for freedom Daniel if not to improve the lives of those who follow?” a Goa’uld-sounding voice from a tall, thin aristocratic woman asked. Realizing how she’d startled SG-1, the woman looked apologetic, using English instead of common, “My apologies, I am Garshaw of the Tok’ra.”
“Against Ra,” Daniel considered, “But since he’s dead…”
“We are a resistance against the Goa’uld.”
“But aren’t you…”
“What is the difference between German-Americans and Nazis, Doctor Jackson?”
“Nazis are evil?”
“Indeed, and so it is with us. So please refer to us as Tok’ra, not as Goa’uld.”
After a few minutes of polite discussion, and SG-1’s curiosity peaked when Shyla and the children were introduced as Alex’s, dinner got underway. Lya, Shyla and the kids left the room instead of participating for what in Lya’s case would be obvious reasons.
Bra’tac was seated on Carter’s side opposite Teal’c, as dinner began with Alex Rambo calling everyone to the table.
“Everyone here by now knows who our guests are, but if you speak up, please introduce yourself so they can become familiar with us. And unlike most of our working dinners, we’ll actually take a few minutes to enjoy our food before getting started.”
Polite chuckling acknowledging the truth greeted the last part of his statement.
O’Neill shook his head, this whole dinner party thing at complete odds with the fortress, armed soldiers, Rambo or Harris aspects he’d expect. That and no crazy woman had thrown herself at Danny, everyone was uninjured and the only snake so far had seemed quite reasonable. The only thing sane was the fact that the kid was a closet hockey fan and had seemed generally interested in last year’s season.
SG-1 was impressed with the mixture of Earth and derivative food items, ingredients and recipes, Daniel several times talking to the people around them about the cultural significances. But after a while, Alexander cleared his throat, stood, and raised his water glass. Other at the tables stood, followed by the new guests.
“To freedom, friendship and the fallen…”
The group repeated it, and sat down, Alex remaining standing for a moment.
“This meeting represents the opening of negotiations between the Earth nation known as the United States of America, and the United Federal Republic—”
“of America,” most added respectfully but insistently though he didn’t, only rolling his eyes with a smile.
“You only get to change the name of the Republic by constitutional amendment, and it doesn’t start until after the elections in five months…” he admonished gently. “Master Bra’tac is here because his group on Chulak might be interested in joining us, and knowing that we have our own presence on that world. As such, he is witness to our discussions with the Tauri.”
The Jaffa and SG-1 both quietly considered that information, and then listened to the story of the founding of the Republic. It began with the meeting of Alex and Aris, and ended with SG-1’s arrival. The various members at the table as the time came to relate their own world’s participation, stood and took over the story. After four hours, Xander passed a list to Colonel O’Neill. So far no force levels had been mentioned.
“This is a big list, Alex,” the colonel said, “And why are you handing it to us?”
“What is the primary mission of the SGC?”
“To acquire technology to defend Earth from the Goa’uld, and to make friends to that affect.”
“We have a few hundred thousands ready or training to move against the Goa’uld. Earth has…a thousand…maybe? We’ve managed the basics quite well, Colonel, one of our worlds was virtual reality chambers and you can’t tell real from not inside. Think of that for your training programs. We run them at four times normal outside speed. We’ve managed to copy quite a bit of the tech specs for a lot of stuff that could be produced by Earth within the next few years. We don’t have heavily-armed shock troops for hard urban battle, Colonel. And there are a good hundred planets of that type we need to crack open and not just nuke if we can.
“How many worlds are you operating on, ten or twenty at most?” he said, pointing his chin at the flag on the wall. He watched as the others at the table smiled.
“No Colonel, the twenty stars are free worlds; we have well over a hundred teams out there multiply cells. Hopefully in about eighteen months, we’ll be ready to move. Our main deficiencies are the lack of a battle fleet or massive enough defense shields to defend planets once liberated. That being the case, we have to think of expanding on what we have. Train to grab whatever vessels we can at the beginning of operations, and on as many worlds to which we can deploy even without a real native presence. We’re on a shoestring.”
“But you want AK-47s, and what looks to be enough stuff to support a half-million of your guys for a month…”
“That’s about right, Colonel. And if possible, we’d really like either training of our guys in your facilities, or building them here. It would help to give regular training in conventional warfare.”
“This is a big list. You have anything flashy I could show the brass?”
“The simulators are the best; in spite of the fact that we’re pro-American in how we do things, we aren’t going to encourage folks in the US of A to go medieval on the rest of the world.”
“Those sun shields from Hanson’s world? With the help of the Tok’ra, we’ve figured out how to hold out against one two major mothership blasts or one nuke of under ten megatons, before the thing gives out. And we have ten triads of them…with the ability to cover a circle of ten miles radius.”
O’Neill and Carter both looked impressed, and the colonel considered that the Mountain and DC could hold out against a surprise attack by the Goa’uld or terrestrial enemies long enough to launch a response.
“That might do it right there…the units and the specs?”
“The units which we’ve rigged to vaporize if violated, yes. But we want a real alliance if we’re going to give you everything.”
“I can take this back to my superiors. A lot of them will like this; especially if you’re going to be keeping the Goa’uld too busy to bother with us while we’re building up our defenses.”
“You might mention to them that if they treat it like a big ‘gun buyback program’ around the world, they won’t need to be as freaky about security that’d slow down us getting our stuff.”
“I don’t know about the training or advisors, though.”
The advisors are absolutely not negotiable, Colonel. I need my people as prepared as possible.”
“You don’t act like a, a nineteen year old…”
“I have ALL of John Rambo’s memories, Colonel. Almost forty years of Special Ops, then two years with the folks here at the table, especially my brother Aris,” The man solemnly acknowledged the relationship with a nod. “Outside of what I’ve been doing, I’m as lost as you probably are talking astrophysics with Captain Carter.”
“Fair enough—” O’Neill began as something started to warp a point in the middle of the room, much like a wormhole, but black and almost alive. Alexander stared into it as though looking at something only he could see.
“Aris, I need two long ropes now!” he called as he stepped toward the growing thing, the rest of the room stepping back as the room mobilized as one.
Spike’s New Warehouse, May 21st, 1998
Buffy, Trautman, Kendra and Willow were the only ones standing against the vampires. The gypsy woman had just finished the spell and tried to help, only to slip and be kicked by minions, Willow cutting through minions to protect her mentor and the injured Giles on the floor. The vortex was opening, Spike and Dru fleeing as Trautman fired his last magazine, all tracers, at them and through some cautious minions.
Fourteen minions (half smoldering from near shots) and a confused Angel were left, when two struck hard blows, one hitting a still-recovering Willow on her head wound, while Trautman was tackled by two vampires. Buffy engaged six of the enemy as the vortex seemed to grow. Suddenly in her peripheral vision she watched as two men jumped out of the vortex and began firing off blue lightning at the vampires, turning them to dust. Willow collapsed, and only Kendra, fighting back into the circle around Buffy, remained standing and fighting of the Sunnydale crowd.
A moment later, Buffy took a hard punch and went down hard as the men slammed Angel to the ground. Kendra faced the men, defensive stance as to protect the rest of the Scooby Gang. Four vampires went down and dusted to double-shots from the zats.
They noticed the girl’s deep wounds, and as she fainted from blood loss, Aris moved to help her as Xander went to help Buffy, who was struggling back to her feet.
“Yeah Buff, what’s going on?”
“Only blood will close the portal…before it ends the world.”
“You gonna be ok?”
“Are you really here?”
“Only for a moment…can you get the other’s to safety?”
“Gotta go, Buff,” he smield wanly, then noticed Trautman, “I’m gonna take him and Trautman with me. Take care of the other.”
“I will…” she sighed, and began getting up. Aris indicated that Kendra was dead.
Xander signaled Aris to help him with the re-souled vampire and Trautman, then they both gave yanks on their ropes…
Where two men had jumped five minutes before, four now returned, looking like they’d just fought a battle. And Jack O’Neill remembered the retired Major General from months before.
“So, Alex, you do this all the time?” he snarked as the portal disappeared.
“First time. Only had to help save the world from demonic invasion, Jack.”
“As long as this isn’t some new extreme sport you kids keep inventing, it’s okay then.”
“Just for that smart guy, please help me get these two on a table so the medics can help them.”
“Ya know, ya say that like it happens all the time…”
“I seem to be a trouble magnet…”
“I know what ya mean kid. I know what ya mean.”