Chapter 20: through the Looking Glass
Episode 3 Chapter 20
Through the Looking Glass
“Ani, got a minute?”
Anakin looked up from the forward mandible of the Millennium Falcon
where he was making repairs to see his sister (older sister, he corrected himself, remembering he now had a younger sister as well) leap up from the ground onto the mandible beside him. Anakin put down the welder and removed his safety goggles to look at Buffy.
“Sure. The repairs are almost finished anyways. We’ll be ready to go in about an hour.”
“Good,” Buffy replied. “The trip should take about a day, giving Olee enough time to get everything situated for the move. I swear, she's like a younger Giles, without all of the repressed anger.” She paused for a moment to consider. “Though, I bet if we locked Giles in a room with Palpatine….”
“He’d be fried,” Anakin reasoned. Buffy nodded.
“Probably true, but I bet he’d get a few licks in. Don’t discount old Ripper.”
Anakin chuckled and Buffy was heartened by it. It was good to see some of his good humor returning, especially after all he’d been through. “Look, before we drop off the kids I need you to follow me in the Falcon
. I need to park the Prometheus
someplace safe - I have a feeling I’ll need it again in the future and I sure as hell can’t take it with me.”
“Of course, sis,” Anakin replied. “Where will you be leaving it?”
And so it was a few hours later when two small ships reverted to real space inside the Yavin system. The ARC fighter Prometheus
, followed by the YT-1300 freighter Millennium Falcon
, made way for the fourth planet of the system, just beyond it red giant sun.“Falcon
, this is Prometheus
,” Buffy said into her mike. “Follow me down to the planet and land beside the temple. I’m going to take her into the temple itself and park her inside.”
“And you think it will still be there in twenty years?” Anakin replied. “And why here?”
“Call it the will of the Force, Ani,” Buffy replied, bringing her fighter down through the atmosphere. “As for it still being here - I’ve packed this ship with generators, all hooked up to the cloaking device. Baby’s got enough power to stay cloaked for fifty years.”
The two ships put down in front of the largest temple on the surface. It was sealed tight, but a gesture from Buffy and the Force opened the large doors on he ground level. “Just sit tight, I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
And sure enough, after Buffy had secured the Prometheus
deep inside the temple, cloaked it and locked the doors behind which it was hidden, Buffy made her way out of the temple. She absently closed the door as she entered the Falcon
. She headed up to the cockpit, where Padmé and Dawn sat, both holding a tiny infant in their arms. She moved to the co-pilots chair and relieved Qui-Gon, who moved to the hyperdrive computer and started plotting courses - one for Tatooine and one for Naboo.
“Where to first, Captain?” she asked as the Falcon lifted off.
“Naboo,” Anakin replied.Theed Province, Naboo.
Ruwee and Jobal Naberrie lived a relative simple life; albeit one in comfort. However, no comforts they had could assuage their grief when they had been told their youngest daughter had died mere days ago. At first they had cried - they, along with their oldest Sola. But soon the tears ran dry and all they had left was the numbness of loss.
Imagine their surprise when Padmé showed up at their door, surrounded by three Jedi, a young, dark haired girl and two tiny infants.
“Hi mom,” Padmé said apprehensively. “Did we come at a bad time?”
“They announced your deaths on the holonet,” Jobal said, passing cups of tea to everyone. “Said your ship was destroyed by some remaining rouge Separatists over Mustafar. They also said that Maser’s Kenobi and Skywalker were killed in action.” “Well, for once, the rumors of our deaths have been greatly exaggerated,” Buffy said with a small smile. Padmé nodded.
“But it must not seem that it has,” she added. “For the good of us all, especially you, I must remain dead.”
“But why?” Sola asked. “Why not just come home?”
“Because of what I am about to ask of you,” Padmé replied sadly. She looked down to the tiny bundle she carried. “This is Leia, my daughter. And Anakin is holding Luke, our son.”
“Your son?” Ruwee exclaimed. Anakin nodded.
“We were married in secret a little over three years ago.”
“We apologize for not telling you father; mother, but we couldn’t. Marriage is forbidden to the Jedi and he was needed in the Order because of the war.”
“And now our children are in danger,” Anakin continued. “A Dark Lord of the Sith has taken control of the government. He has hunted down the Jedi and killed them and he wants Padmé and I, as well as our children.”
“Chancellor Palpatine!” Ruwee exclaimed. Padmé nodded.
“Yes, Palpatine,” she replied. “He fooled all of us, even the Jedi. And now we will suffer for it. That’s why we need your help.” She took a deep breath before continuing. “I need you to take Leia.”
“What?” Jobal breathed, looking at the infant.
“She needs to be kept somewhere safe; somewhere she will be loved and cared for. I know you can do this. I’m begging you to do this.”
Ruwee moved to kneel in font of her daughter and clasped her small hands in his. “Padmé, you never needed to beg us to do this. Of course we’ll take her. But why can’t you…”
“Where we are going, they can’t follow,” Padmé said sadly. “They need to be raised here. Bail Organa has already promised me that he will check in from time to time and sponsor her when the time comes for her to join the Senate.”
“And Luke?” Jobal asked.
“Luke will go to my mother on Tatooine,” Anakin said. “Qui-Gon Jinn will be watching over him.”
“And we’ll be watching over these two,” Buffy said, gesturing to the married couple.
“And I promise that they’ll be by to visit as often as it’s safe,” Dawn added.
Jobal nodded and then looked to her daughter. “Can you at least stay, for a little while?”
Padmé looked to Anakin, who smiled and nodded.
“We can stay for a little while,” she conceded.Lars’ Moisture Farm, Tatooine
The Millennium Falcon
set down just outside the Lars’ homestead, kicking up a large cloud of dust in its wake. As the dust settled the ramp lowered and the small group exited the ship as was greeted by Owen Lars.
“Anakin!” he called out, grasping the Jedi’s hand and shaking it. “Welcome back. We’ve been fearing the worst since the news hit the holonet.”
“How’s mom?” he asked Owen, heading towards the home.
“She felt a lot better when she saw that ship land. She knew it had to be you.”
“Ani!” Shim cried, rushing out of the house as Anakin descended the stairs. Anakin swept her up into his arms in a warm hug.
“We’re okay, mom. We’re okay.” Shmi smiled and wiped away an unshed tear and then turned to Buffy. “Oh, Buffy,” she exclaimed softly, enveloping the small Slayer in a hug of her own. Buffy smiled as she pulled away.
“Mom, there’s someone I’d like you to meet,” she said as she stepped back and guided Dawn up to the front. “Dawn, this is Shmi Skywalker, the woman who took me in like her own daughter. Mom, this is Dawn, my sister.”
Awkwardly, Dawn moved forward and raised her hand in greeting. Shmi smiled broadly and stepped forward herself, enveloping the young girl in a warm hug. “Buffy’s told me so much about you, Dawn. I know this must be incredibly awkward for you…”
“Yeah, just a little bit.”
“Well, I don’t expect you to call me mom. I never asked Buffy to, either; but she did anyways. Just know that I care about your sister, Dawn. And I care about you, as well.”
“Thanks. I’m glad she had somebody looking out for her here.”
“Not to rain on this parade,” Cliegg said, hobbling out on his new artificial leg. “But to what do we owe the pleasure? And who’s the little one?” he indicated the infant in Padmé’s arms.
“This is our son, Luke,” Padmé announced. “And we have a very large favor to ask….”
“The Jedi are on the brink or extinction,” Qui-Gon explained as the group sat around the kitchen table. “The Emperor’s purge has nearly wiped us all out. The survivors are preparing to leave for a safe haven of sorts, but unfortunately there are two who cannot make that journey. Luke here is one of them.” “They need to be raised here, Shmi,” Padmé said with unshed tears in her eyes. “But with Palpatine looking for us, Anakin and I have to leave. As much as it pains me, we have to leave them behind.”
“But what about your daughter… Leia was it?” Beru asked. “Where is she?”
“She’s with my parents.”
“For their safety, they needed to be kept separate,” Qui-Gon continued. “Not permanently - the Naberrie’s have already told us that they will bring Leia by at least a few days a month and will arrange for you to come to Naboo. But they cannot live together for an extended period of time. The Force is too strong with them.”
“Then what about his training?” Shmi asked.
“Luke will receive no training, until the time is right,” Qui-Gon said sadly. “In the meantime, I will remain close by to watch over and protect him, as well as protect all of you.”
“And we’ll visit when we can, mom,” Anakin added. “It won’t be often enough, but it will be something…”
“And you’re sure this is the only way?”
“We are,” Padmé sighed. “Lords how I wish it wasn’t.”
“Then it’s settled. We will gladly take Luke in,” Owen said without hesitation and then looked right at Luke. “And we will make sure he knows how much his parents love him and how much they sacrificed for him.”
Anakin smiled and grasped Owen’s hand. “Thank you, Owen. I know you’ll take good care of our son.”
“We give your our word, Ani,” Shmi said, placing an arm around her son. “He will be loved here.”
A few hours later the Millennium Falcon
took off from Tatooine two passengers lighter. Qui-Gon had assured Anakin and Buffy that he would acquire a small homestead somewhere in the Jundland Wastes and that he would watch over Luke until it was time for him to begin his training. Still, it was hard for them to leave the old Jedi behind so soon after finding him again. Anakin briefly thoughgt over their final farewell, where he had given the Jedi Knight his lightsaber to pass onto his son when the time was right; then tried to keep his mind occupied by taking the stick and flying the group back to Polis Massa, while Buffy busied herself in the engine room. “Penny for your thoughts?” Dawn asked as she walked into the compartment. Buffy sighed and set down her hydrospanner.
“Just wishing there was some other way for this to play out. I hate leaving the twins behind, even if they will be with family. And Master Qui-Gon…he was the one to rescue us from Tatooine. If it hadn’t’ been for him, Ani and I probably would have spent out lives as slaves. We probably would have been separated eventually. I just wish he could have come with us…”
“Don’t use the ‘W’ word,” Dawn said absently, looking around the cramped engine compartment. “And besides, Qui-Gon wanted to stay. On Tatooine, he can watch over Luke and prepare him for the future ahead.”
“I know,” Buffy looked sideways at her sister. “And you? How are you holding up?”
“Okay, I guess. It’s just…” Dawn took a breath as she struggled to explain her feelings. “It’s only been a little over three years for me since mom died. I know you had more time and harder circumstances. And I know Shmi took care of you and all and I’m grateful for that, but…”
“But you just can’t think of her as ‘Mom’,” Buffy finished and Dawn nodded. “Dawn, you don’t have to. In a lot of ways Shmi reminded me of our mom, so I didn’t have too much trouble calling her that. But like she said, she doesn’t expect that of you. Just know that if you ever need to talk to someone while we’re here, she’ll be there for you. Okay?”
“Alright,” Dawn agreed and then chuckled. “It seems like my family just keeps growing, you know.”
“It’s a good feeling, isn’t it?”
“Little bit.”Polis Massa
“How’s everything going, Starstone?” Master Shryne asked, glancing around at the assembled crates. The young Padawan looked up from her list and gave the Master a light smiled.
“Everything’s packed and ready to go. Clothes, training material, lightsaber components, the archives… everything. Nearly a hundred cases.”
Roan nodded absently. “How will we transport them?”
“By hand. According to both Faith and Mr. Giles, travel via a portal can sometimes be rough. No one, save you Masters, may have enough control to move the crates with the Force. So we’ll give a crate every Padawan, Knight or Youngling that can carry one. Once we’re on the other side, we can move them with ease to wherever we are staying.”
“Very good, Padawan. You’ve done a good job organizing all of this.”
Olee smiled meekly. “Thank you, Master. I’ve had help…”
“Yes, you have,” Roan agreed. “But still, the amount of work you have pulled off by yourself is admirable. You will make a great Jedi Knight, Olee. Never doubt that.”
“Thank you, Master.”
“Now, we best gather everybody in the main hall,” Roan said. “It’s almost time to leave.”
“Is everything alright, Master Skywalker?”
“I just hate to let the girl go.”
Buffy stood with Bail Organa in the main hanger of the Polis Massa complex, looking lovingly on the Millennium Falcon
one last time. Knowing how recognizable the ship had become and how if it remained here and was found, the Empire would bring their wrath down upon the citizens of the asteroid, it had been decided by Buffy that the ship should be sold to new owners; a task that Bail had agreed to carry out.
“The buyer owns a small shipping company,” Bail told the Jedi. “He acquires ships all of the time, especially derelicts. If the Empire stops him in it, he can say he recovered it from deep space and was salvaging it. That would also give Anakin a nice cover of a falsified death to turn the Emperor’s attention away from him.”
Buffy nodded. “Who’s the buyer, anyways? Anybody I’m familiar with?”
“Probably not. He’s a small-time operator - Soro Calrissian. He runs his shipping company with his son, Lando.”
Buffy nodded absently, still looking at the Falcon. “I hope he takes good care of her. Listen, Senator…”
“Call me Bail.”
“Alright, Bail…I just want to thank you…for everything. And I know Padmé and Anakin appreciate it as well.”
“It is an honor, Buffy,” Bail replied. “And anytime you need anything, just let me know."
"Actually, there is one more thing."
"Artoo and Threepio. We can't really bring them with us, as we don't have the means to care for droids on Earth, nor do we really need them. I'd like you to take them."
Bail nodded. "Very well. I promise to take good care of them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go say goodbye to Padmé.”
Buffy nodded and the statesman exited the hanger. Buffy took one more look at the Falcon
, her hand settling on the hull as she smiled sadly.
“Goodbye, Jacen,” she whispered and then turned her back on the Falcon
A short time later, Buffy stood outside the main area of the complex while the last of the Jedi marched in. Buffy spied Xander moving towards her and smiled. “Xander. Everything set?”
“Yup. Giles is getting read to work his mojo and Dawn’s got the GDO. Listen, Buffy - about Willow…”
“What about her?” the Jedi asked indifferently, causing Xander to sigh.
“She’s a wreck right now. I know you have your problems with her right now, but when we cross over, I need you to keep Tara away from her.”
“Because she’s a wreck!” he exclaimed. “She barely talks to me right now; she can’t handle seeing Tara.”
“Well Xander that may be a bit difficult, seeing as we are going back to Earth and all…”
“Dawn and Giles set aside rooms for both of you,” Xander replied. “I’m just asking you to head her off while I get her to her room.”
Buffy thought for a few moments before nodding. “All right. But make sure she knows she will have to speak with her eventually.”
“I will. It wouldn’t hurt if you talked to her, you know,” Xander added, then flinched slightly at the cold look Buffy gave him. Finally Buffy couldn’t hold it any longer and sighed.
“Someday. Not anytime soon, but someday…I need time too, you know.” She looked into the hall and saw that everyone had gathered. Everyone that was left. “You’d better go get her. We’ll be leaving shortly.”
Xander nodded and hurried back down the hall towards Willow’s room, while Buffy turned and walked into the hall. As she entered, Faith came running up to her.
“Hey, B. Giles is almost ready to go.”
“Good. The sooner we’re out of here the safer I’d feel.”
“Yeah, look…” Faith said as she started walking with Buffy to the head of the room. “There’s something you should know before we get back to Earth.”
“Funny. It’s about the other Slayers.” Buffy turned a questioning look on her sister Slayer, who sighed. “Look, you may have been gone for a while, but you’re…well, you’re kind of a legend.”
Buffy looked at Faith, emotionless. “A legend.”
“Because you were the longest living Slayer on record, a mark that has been greatly extended thanks to your stay here. Because you broke every rule and law the Council laid down for you and then spit in their faces by quitting them. Because you broke all conventions, formed a team and took down some of the most feared Big Bads the Council had - the Master, Angelus, you beat Spike and Drusilla several times; you beat a government-created Frankenstein, a Hellgod and forty-foot ascended snake demon and yes, a rogue Slayer turned homicidal maniac. You’re like a rock star to them, Buffy.”
“But they’re your girls, Faith. No,” she held up a hand to still the other girl’s arguments, “your thoughts betray you, Faith. I haven’t been a Slayer for fifteen years and I doubt I’ll take up that mantel again unless I’m needed for a patrol or two. Faith, listen to me - not many could walk the dark path and come back from it. But you did and you are stronger for it. The Slayers can look up to me all they want; but I look up to you. And I’ll let them know that they couldn’t have a better teacher than you.” With one last smile, Buffy turned to head to the front of the room, pretending not to notice Faith as she wiped away a few errant tears.
Buffy moved to teh head of the room and stood in front of the small assemblage, the remains of the mighty Jedi Order. Six Masters, 18 Knights, 24 Padawans and 32 Younglings. Conspicuous in his absence was Master Yoda, who had left already to make his home on the far off planet of Dagobah.
“Everybody, your attention please,” she said at length and the hall fell instantly silent save for the quiet chanting of Giles. “Everybody here knows the score. Everybody knows what we are being forced to do. We are fleeing the Re-the EMPIRE, I’m sorry, and settling in a place where the Emperor’s forces cannot touch us. You all know this, but most of you don’t know where we will be going or how we will get there.”
Giles finished chanting and with a loud woosh, a large, bright cloud of floating white energy formed behind Buffy. Dawn aimed her GDO at it and activated the device and instantly the portal changed to a purple and white cloud of swirling energy. Buffy jerked her thumb at the portal, paying no heed to the astonished looks of all of the Jedi.
“We will be walking though that. It’s a portal that will take us to my home dimension, to a planet called Earth. Now, I have to warn you - Earth is a primitive planet. All of the comforts and luxuries you have become accustomed to - most, if not all, do not exist there. There are no hovercars. No space flight. No hyperdrives. We live, breath, eat and sleep planet-side. Above all of that, Earth had had no contact with alien species. So until we can discover a secure method of disguising you, all of us will be remaining at our destination.
“Where is our destination, you are asking. We will be staying at the Watcher’s Council, my alma mater, with the Slayers whose lineage I share. Once there and once we are settled, we will begin the task of rebuilding our Order and training all of you. Make no mistake - everything is about to change. Everything,” she emphasized, looking directly at the Masters. “But that is a discussion for another time. For now, everybody grab a case and prepare yourselves - travel through a portal can be disconcerting.”
“Giles and I will be going first,” Dawn announced, “so we can tell any Slayers guarding the embarkation room to stand down. Buffy will then send though the rest of you and Faith and Xander will bring up the rear. Any questions?”
Zett raised his hand and Dawn nodded at the young Knight. “Are we there yet?”
Dawn shot the boy a sour glance, which she then turned on her sister. “I blame that on your influence, Buffy.”
Buffy smiled and then hefted a crate. “And you’re right to do so. Now, everybody grab their stuff - it’s time to step through the looking glass.”
“What do you mean, seal the room!” Spike roared. “They’ve only been gone a few hours!” The embarkation room was in bedlam, pure and simple. Inside the room were several Slayers, along with Angel, Fred, Wesley, and Cordy. Tara and Kennedy stood off to the side with Andrew and Jonathan. And in the doorway stood Lord Nigel Ambrose-Bellairs, the head of the Watcher’s Council, who was determined to be rid of his ‘problem children’, by any means necessary.
It had been a risky move on his part, backing that idiot child Summers’ plan to open a portal into another dimension in some vain attempt to find her long-dead sister. But the containment system the Burkle woman had designed had been brilliant and to make things even better, Dawn had taken almost everyone that had stood in his way of rebuilding the Council into the glorious organization it had been once. And to make things even better, he could use the same shielding technology to keep them out.
If only these damn people would leave…
“Now you listen here, vampire,” he sneered, showing no fear in the face of one of the most ruthless vampires in two hundred years, soul or not. “If they had found them, they would have brought them back already. That they haven’t tells me that they have been compromised. Now, I will not have some hell-beast open a portal and waltz right into my Council-” he was cut off as a bright purpled cloud of energy suddenly flashed into existence.
Before Sir Nigel could say anything more, Dawn leapt through, followed closely by Giles. Both looked around in confusion, obviously not expecting such a large crowd.
“Uh, hi!’ Dawn waved. “Don’t shoot! We got refugees coming through!”
“You have WHAT!” Sir Nigel exploded. Giles looked at the man with narrowed eyes and then looked at Spike, who still stood uncomfortably close to the man.
“Spike, what’s going on?”
“Your esteemed leader decided to seal the room. Fortunately, we wouldn’t let him.”
“Define seal the room.”
“He wanted to make sure you couldn’t get back, Rupert,” Angel said, staring daggers at the head of the Council. Giles considered this for a moment and then hauled off and slugged Sir Nigel, sending him crashing to the floor just as Master Shryne came through. He looked to Giles, then to the man on the floor and finally back up to Giles.
“Has the party started without us?” he asked casually, setting down his crate and directing the arriving Youngling to a far corner of the room. He warily kept his senses on the few Slayers in the room, all who had visibly stiffened as the children started coming though. He wasn’t the only one to notice and Dawn started moving between the Slayers, calmly telling them to take it easy and that the kids weren’t a threat. Roan was amused to see that a few times Dawn had inadvertently put the Force behind the suggestion and made a mental note to inform Buffy of how powerful she seemed to be.
There was silence as the Jedi poured through the gateway, each carrying a container, until finally a figure stepped through. Her arms were crossed in front of her, hands concealed in the selves of her robes and the hood was up to partially conceal her face. She turned back to the portal, just in time to see Anakin tumble through, his arm wrapped protectively around Padmé.
“Dawn,” the figure said, “could you show Anakin and Padmé to my room, please? Padmé could probably do with some sleep.”
“No problem, Buffy,” Dawn replied, causing the crowd to gasp as they finally realized who the hooded figure was. Padmé nodded in gratitude as Dawn led the two out of the room. Buffy the gathered her courage and then drew her hood back and turned to face the crowd.
She was both elated and saddened to see so many familiar faces. Elated to see them alive and well, but saddened in how much she had changed and how little they would truly know her anymore. Her eyes found Angel’s handsome face and for the first time she could look at him without any of the usual feelings stirring in her heart. With a start, she realized that there was nothing for her there anymore. Any love she had felt had presumably died with Jacen. Her eyes passed over several unfamiliar faces before finally settling on Tara’s familiar blonde head. The witch smiled and then gasped as Buffy felt the ripple in the Force she had been waiting for. Without hesitation she headed off the witch, who had been rushing to the newly-arrived Willow.
“Tara, wait…” she asked, stopping Tara before she got halfway. She could hear Willow whimpering behind her and Xander quickly escorted her out.
“Willow!” Tara cried out, trying to get around Buffy. The Jedi wouldn’t let her. “Buffy, what…”
“Tara, I need you to listen to me,” she explained calmly, laying her hand gently on Tara’s shoulder. “Willow has been through a lot. More than you can possibly know and she’s in no condition to see anybody. Give me some time to get my students settled and then I promise I’ll tell you everything. Okay?”
Tara wanted to argue, but felt the truth behind Buffy’s words. “Alright,” Tara relented. “But make it soon, Buffy. I want to know what happened.”
Buffy shook her head sadly. “No, Tara. You really don’t.”
Faith finally leapt through the portal, which snapped closed behind her. “That’s everybody – why is Sir Nigel on the floor?”
They all turned to face the head of the Council, who finally staggered to his feet. Spike grinned at Faith.
“Mainly because dickless here wanted to seal the room and strand you in whatever hell dimension you were in.”
Silence reigned in the room and Buffy turned to Sir Nigel. “Is this true?” she asked quietly.
“Yes, it’s true,” Faith replied. “This man has no dick.”
“Why you insolent little-” he started, but came up short as she came face to face with Buffy.
“You would seal your own people in another dimension, simply because they don’t agree with your policies?” she asked sadly, shaking her head. “I see now how little this Council has changed in my absence.”
“Now you see here! I don’t know what all of these…things…are, but they-”
“These ‘things’ are my students. My responsibility,” she said calmly, then subtly waved her hand in front of his face. “We were told you would gladly allow us to stay here.”
“Of course we’ll allow you to stay here,” Sir Nigel replied at once.
“And you won’t mind if we stay awhile,” Buffy continued, waving her hand again.
“”No, I don’t mind at all.”
“And I doubt that you will ever have to bother with us. In fact, I believe that Giles could easily handle our dealings with the Council.”
“No, I’ll leave your dealings with the council to Giles.”
“Good night, Sir Nigel.”
“Good night,” the elder Watcher replied before turning and walking out of the room, leaving a group of composed Jedi and awestruck Slayers behind. Buffy turned to face them and smirked.
Faith laughed outright. “Goddamn, B! Can you teach me how to do that?”
Buffy shook her head. “Sadly, no.” she replied and then moved over to Angel. “Hello, Angel,” she said warmly, pulling the vampire into a hug. She was surprised and a bit relieved that the hug was purely platonic on his end, too. A flash of annoyance from next to him gave her all of the answers she needed and she pulled away.
“It’s been a while,” Angel observed, taking in her aged appearance. Buffy nodded.
“It certainly has.” She turned to the tall brunette next to him. “And hello, Cordelia. It’s good to see you again. How long have you and Angel been together?”
Cordelia blinked in surprise. “Uh, just over a year now. You’re not…”
“I’m not,” the Jedi assured her, pulling the seer into a hug as well. “I’m happy for you. Both of you.”
The two chuckled and Buffy turned to the other brunette. “And you must be Fred. I’m told you’ve had ideas how to make the portal process a little easier?”
“Uh, yeah!” Fred said. “I have some ideas. I just need to draw up the plans. And make them, of course, Just need to get Dawn's input and in a few weeks, I could have something for ya, if you want.”
Buffy smiled warmly. “I do. It’s not imperative, but it will be necessary.” She moved on, and blinked in surprise. “Wesley? Damn, you got hot!” she exclaimed glibly, causing the slightly scruffy looking Watcher to blush slightly. Buffy chuckled at his discomfort and then pulled him into a hug. “It’s good to see you, Wesley. Dawn’s told me how much you’ve helped out around here.”
“It was nothing,” Wesley said. Buffy smiled and then turned to the door where the one last person she knew stood.
Buffy strode up to the vampire and pulled him into a hug. She stood on her toes to whisper in his ear.” Thank you, Spike. For looking out for her. For everything you did for her.”
Spike pulled back, a small smile on his face. “I did what I had to, luv. And I’d do it again.”
Buffy smiled and then moved to the center of the room. “You all know who I am,” she started, looking to the Slayers. “In time, I will get to know who you all are. But please, be aware of this - the people who have come back with me are my students. It is my job and the job of my fellow Masters, to train them. That being said, while I won’t have much time for Slaying, I will gladly fight along side any one of you.”
With that, she turned to her old Watcher. “Giles, if you could show us to our new quarters, I would appreciate it. Students, gather our belongings. For the next few years, this will be our home. In the next few days, my fellow Masters and I will have a plan of action, but for now, let us rest. And may the Force be with us all.”
Under the direction of Faith the Slayers moved out and back to their dorms. Kennedy led Tara back to their room, promising her she’d talk to Buffy herself to get some answers. And Giles led the group of eighty Jedi out of the embarkation room to their new home in the Council’s unfinished Travers’ wing.Quite appropriate
, Buffy thought, that the safe haven I’m taking these children to is named after the same man who made my life hell when I was a Slayer.
Those thoughts were pushed out of her head by other, more pressing concerns, as she planed out in her mind the changes that she would bring to the Council during their exile.And may the Force be with me in this, as well…Finite
To be continued in Star Wars Episode 4: Hope RebornA/N:
I seriously considered holding off this update until July 7th- the one year aniversary of the birth of this story. But who am I to deny my readers? My thanks to my two wonderful beta's Winterd and Fallenstar2, and special thanks to all of you, for sticking with this story for so long. I'm already hard at work on Episode 4, but don't expect it for about a month- I wan't to get a lot written before hand before I start to post.
And for the first time ever, a special sneak peak at ‘Finding Avalon
’, my Stargate SG-1/Battlestar Galactica crossoverChapter OneWhere it all begins…again…
“Incoming wormhole!” Walter Harriman, the sergeant in charge of dialing operations, called out as the alarms sounded in the SGC. The usual bustle of activity started as Marines positioned themselves in the gate room. Major General Hank Landry came down the stairs into the control room just as the wormhole formed behind the iris.
“Receiving IDC. It’s SG-1, sir,” the sergeant announced. Landry nodded.
“Open the iris,” he commanded and then watched as the iris spun open to reveal the water-like substance of the wormhole behind it. Even after a year an a half, the Stargate still amazed him. He could still recall the day when Jack O’Neill came by his office at the Pentagon, carrying a folder so classified he should have been arrest for carrying it out in public. Landry had stared at his friend, his clear blue eyes wide in astonishment as Jack had told him about his most recent assignment - the Stargate. How he had traveled across the galaxy, how he had forged alliances (okay, how Daniel had forged alliances) with alien races and how the United States Air Force now not only had fight-interceptors capable of space combat, but also had starships. Starships, or all things! And then Jack had dropped the bombshell - how he was finally retiring, not only because of his age (and knees) but because he had fallen in love with his second in command and no longer wanted to deny his feelings.
Strangely enough, of all of the things he had heard in their meeting, that last bit had surprised the stocky general the most.
So now here he was a year and a half later, the commanding officer of the United States’ most secret project watching as his flagship team stepped through the gate.
Their was Teal’c, of course. Once the First Prime of Apophis, Teal’c had helped the original SG-1 escape from Chulak and had been a part of the unit ever since. He had briefly left the SGC before he took over to help Bra’tac set up the new Free Jaffa government, but had eventually returned and become something of an ambassador between the two organizations.
Then there was Daniel Jackson, the man who had opened the gate for the first time and the man who had arguably given up the most in its use. First his wife, then his ‘family’ on Abydos, not to mention his life (at least twice, something Landry was still a little fuzzy on), the archeologist had been moments away from leaving the SGC forever to go to Atlantis when fate interceded in the form of Vala Mal Doran. He hadn’t been to upset in the long run, though, as her interference had led Daniel to evidence of yet another Ancient City that he had spend the last year and a half trying to locate. Judging by the look on his face, Landry was guessing he had finally found something.
Next was Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter, one of the most brilliant women on the planet. She was a founding member of SG-1 and the current love of Jack O’Neill’s life. She had been distracted though over the past few months since Jack had suddenly disappeared. While she didn’t think anything bad had happened (that was life in black ops), she couldn’t hide the worry, especially from her friends.
And last came Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell, hot-shot pilot, one of the heroes of Antarctica and the current commanding officer of SG-1. Mitchell was everything Jack O’Neill wasn’t - down to earth, almost always followed his orders to the letter, but still improvised enough to give him and his team a staggeringly high success rate. He was also less abrasive than Jack had been, much to the relief of the brass.
Landry nodded to Walter, who shut down the gate and then proceeded down to the gate room.
“Welcome back, SG-1. I take it something….” He trailed off as Daniel mumbled a greeting and rushed out of the gate room. “Was it something I said?”
“Sorry about Daniel, General,” Mitchell said with a small smile. “But I think he found something interesting.”
“We didn’t have a chance to find out, sir,” Carter replied. “He found a tablet and then said we had to get back immediately. But if I had to guess, I’d say he found a clue to the city, as well as a name.”
“What name would that be, Colonel?” Landry asked.
Before he could say anything more, alarms sounded. “Incoming wormhole!” Harriman called out over the PA.
“Close the iris!” Landry yelled as he ran up to the control room, the remaining SG-1 members behind him. The wormhole opened as they made their way into the control room.
“Receiving a signal. It’s Atlantis!”
‘They’re early,” Landry noted and then turned to the Sergeant. “Put it on the screen.”
The computer screen next to them flickered for a moment, before coalescing into a visual of the Atlantis control room. Front and center was a worried-looking Dr. Elizabeth Weir.
“Stargate Command, please respond. This is Atlantis. We have an emergency, please respond.”
“Open a channel,” he told Harriman, then looked into the camera over the screen. “Dr. Weir, this is General Landry. What is your situation?”
“We were discovered by the Wraith,” Elizabeth responded without preamble. “In order to keep our existence from the other Wraith, we were force to work with them on developing a weapon. You received our file on the drug Dr. Becket had been developing, and the file on Michael?”
“Yes, we did.”
“They wanted to weaponize it. To keep our secret, we worked with them. It was the only option open to us at the time and we even seemed to benefit from it - they gave us everything we needed to know about Wraith technology. Unfortunately, the files they sent were a Trojan horse which has compromised our computers.”
“Do you still have the files?” Landry asked, looking for something good out of all of this. His hopes were dashed when Elizabeth shook her head.
“No, they corrupted themselves. But not before they sent information on us back to their fleet. Information that included the location of Earth.”
Silence reign in the SGC for a few moments, before Mitchell spoke up.
“How long do you think we have before they get here?”
“We know their hyperdrives aren’t as advanced as the Asgard hyperdrives we use,” she replied. “There were two hive ships and one destroyer in their fleet. We’re estimating that it will take them about a month to get to Earth. The Daedalus is already en route and should be there in two weeks.”
“What about your defenses?” Landry asked.
“We’re clearing our computers as we speak and all systems should be operational by tomorrow. Plus, we have been able to re-arm the city with the drones from the Tower and we now have the Orion. Dr. Zelenka is hard at work finishing repairs on her as we speak. One last thing, General. Dr. McKay and Ronan are being held on one of the Wraith ships and Colonel Sheppard is MIA. If you can manage, please try to get them back.
“We’ll see what we can do, Doctor. Now if you excuse me, I have a few phone calls to make.”
“Of course. Atlantis out,” Weir replied and then severed the connection. A few moments later, the Stargate shut down once more.
“Well, this is a problem,” Mitchell observed. “At least we have some lead time.”
“Only a month. And right now the Prometheus is dry-docked for an overhaul. The only operational ship we have right now is the Odyssey; and the Russians have the Korlev. But two ships will not last against two Wraith hive ships.”
“I will contact the Free Jaffa Council on Dakara,” Teal’c announced. “Hopefully, we will be able to put together a fleet in time to stop the Wraith incursion.”
“Good. Thank you, Teal’c,” Landry said and then turned to Carter. “How about the Asgard? Do you think they can protect some of those protected planets now that the Replicators are gone?”
“We haven’t been able to contact them for the past few months, sir,” Carter said sadly. So I wouldn’t count on them.”
“What about the Titan?”
Carter shook her head. “It’s still at least four months away from completion.”
Mitchell looked confused. “The Titan, sir? Another 304?”
“X-305, actually,” Carter said, automatically switching into what her team fondly called ‘geek-mode’. “Mid-size tactical recon and attack vessel. Heavily armed and armored, but nowhere near battle-ready.” She turned back to Landry. “Sir, even with Lieutenant Hailey working on her, I don’t see the Titan being combat-ready in a month.”
“Well, unfortunately that’s all we have,” Landry said with finality in his voice. “Colonel, you and Mitchell go to dry-dock. We need that ship operational in less than a month. Teal’c, please contact the Jaffa Council and get as many ships as possible. Dr. Jackson,” he turned, only to remember the Doctor wasn’t with them and then sighed. “Okay, I guess I’ll contact the Russians. Let’s get going, people…”