To Boldly Go--Hmm, Prepare to Be Ass--No...Chap 10
Death Moves to Sunnydale 10
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... Joss/ME characters and others. I do not and cannot make money off of this, but for feedback I try to churn out a quality product.
The two days went by in a whirlwind, with Alexander and Cordelia being declared officially of age and expressing an intention of lying low around the country over the next few months enjoying the early inheritance granted by William Randolph Chase. Her parents were not amused, but as the elder Chase paid off the IRS and left them with a net of ten million, the tax evasion charges looming sealed the deal. Withdrawing a million in cash, of which two hundred thousand was left with Giles to support ‘the gang’ the night of departure came all too soon.
And Liam O’Rourke showed up with a folder of papers and a large duffle bag.
“Angel?” Buffy asked with trepidation.
“Buffy…” he breathed. “I might not be able to help here, but I might be able to help somewhere out there if this works. I with the possibility of Angelus coming back…I have to do this.”
“I, I know…”
“Live life in the sun, Buffy. Always.”
And with that, her Dark Avenger raced to the plane. Only Xander remained. He’d already said good-bye to the girls several times. He shook hands with Giles and Ms. Calendar.
“Giles, look after them. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m foreseeing.” He looked soberly at Jana of the Kalderash, and held up his right hand in a well-known salute (no, the nice one), “Live Long and Prosper.”
She beamed at him, “You’re never going to forget my Spock remark are you?”
“In that case I have no choice, Alexander,” she smiled placed her thumb on her nose and waved at him. He actually laughed.
“There should be more like you, Jana.” And with that he turned and left. Buffy frowned.
“What did you just do?” she asked her teacher, not getting the joke.
“I just thumbed my nose at Death, Buffy. Something you do every night.”
“Oh… Oh! That’s cool.”
Meanwhile, in the plane, they found Coyle was acting as the pilot. William Chase stared at the man nearly as old as he.
“What are you doing here, Coyle?”
“You promised me a lifetime contract, remember?”
“I didn’t mean that literally.”
The plane started taxiing.
“Sorry sir, you’re the second of four generations of Chases. I’ve turned things over to Luisa and Antony. They’ll do fine, sir.”
“You realize I’m not coming back.”
“Yes, sir,” he called back over the escalating noise of the engines. “But I’ve saved my vacation and sick time; figured I cash it in. Master Alexander understands, don’t you sir?”
“January 5th, 1998, massive stroke and coronary, Bill. Not nice. Too many little problems for known medicine to handle.”
“Oh, well,” the billionaire conceded graciously. “For however it turns out, Coyle, welcome aboard and you’re fired!”
“Thank you, sir. I appreciate and share the sentiment!”
It took a few hours for the corporate jet to land in Colorado Springs, and another hour to reach the main gate of Cheyenne Mountain Complex. As the limousine pulled up, Alexander gestured slightly with his hand and the guards seemed to drop in place.
“What did you do?” Cordelia asked as they continued by along a route Alexander had previously directed.
“I stopped them for three minutes, which from this gate will give us time to reach the rear entrance of something called the SGC, which is under NORAD, but does have one set of elevators marked for its cargo use.”
“Yes. I don’t like doing it, but this is the easiest. They are temporarily out of service.”
“I, okay. So what is the SGC you’ve talked about? Why would the Air Force have a Ring of the Gods?”
“It is in English called a Stargate, which will allow all of you to transit to another world.”
“What about you?”
“I don’t *need* one, but all of you do. And there is only one planet where it is night there. So it will make things easy.”
They noted the next set of guards, and Xander repeated his gesture and the USAF staff succumbed.
“Okay, everybody out,” Xander told them, some boyish enthusiasm evident. We should be able to get downstairs in just under the three minutes if we hurry.”
Coyle had a sidearm in hand as they progressed. Death was impressed.
“You shouldn’t need that until we are in the actual area of the Gate, Coyle. I … stopped all personnel on the base.”
His companions, laden with various survival-oriented possessions, stepped up the pace in hopes of not finding it necessary to threaten or end human life.
It was a long couple of minutes in the elevator to the bottom level, and as they got out, Cordelia had to ask.
“How do you know about this place?”
“It is a place of…heroes. Some of them died within the last week, returning from a mission. So I know a little about this place. And … coordinates.”
They approached a blast door that was open, as people began to stir. Entering a room, they watched as Death stared at the Ring and it quickly spun and made clunking noises as the chevrons locked into place telekinetically. A bald gentleman was rushing into a control room and demanding they stop. When soldiers entered the room, Alexander looked pained as he waved and they dropped again.
Alexander waved the others through the vortex, and as he headed up the ramp gave George Hammond and a responding SG-1 an apologetic look.
“Sorry General. But my time here is precious. I am not a Goa’uld and not your enemy. My apologies.”
And with that he stepped out of the Stargate onto the world known in legend as Kheb, the sun having set an hour before, and a warm breeze in the air. The others looked around at the trees, and Cordelia smirked.
“You make us throw up just to look at trees?”
Coyle stepped by, having rechecked his gear and seemed to have picked up firearms.
“You do realize sir, that ‘Cor’ is an affectionate nickname for ‘heart’ don’t you?”
Cordelia looked smug until the young Force of Being winked at her. “I know. And now she does.”
“At least call me Alex…Cor,” he laughed softly as he began leading them in the direction in which he felt a Presence. A curious one. He tried to emote friendship at it. Some time later, they reached the ‘monastery’ grounds.
“What now, sir?” Coyle asked. “Looks like a place I once visited in Bhutan, I believe. Quite nice, actually.”
“In that case, maybe we should take off our shoes, and leave your weapons here.”
“Hmm, alright sir. I suppose if the people we’re seeking this transformation of have that type of power we’d just tick ‘em off, right? Plus it’d be rude, and I’ll not have Mr. Chase look poorly on my account.” The former butler looked at the vamps. “Alright, you lot. None of those demon faces if you can help it. A little respect and all. Ms. Easter, let me help ya luv. Until this whole Ascension thing happens, Mr. Bill and I will watch out for ya. The people in unfashionable clothing are enhanced enough to handle themselves.”
Bill smiled at Coyle, knowing he was being toyed with now. The ex-butler looked mock-serious as he perfectly turned and saluted Death.
“We who are about to not strictly speaking die, salute you!”
“Coyle, I hope you’ll visit if you can.”
“I’ll visit a few nice pubs, sir,” the man smiled, pretending not to understand. “Bill hasn’t gotten out near enough the last few years and hopefully I can break him of that effete wine he’s gone on about. If we’re going to be *next* to heaven, that means plenty of good quality stout.”
Xander turned and led the shoeless into the structure, where they encountered a monk. Alexander looked at the figure.
“You should know who I am, and why I’m here. Please dispense with the playing around.”
The figure transformed into a glowy woman.
“Greetings…Alexander who seems to now personify…Death?” he nodded. She stared at the others, except Cordelia who stayed near Xander. “Fascinating. Vampires…ah, souls. Ones that have seen such that they truly are ready.”
She cocked her head and looked at the two men with English accents, “And two men full of life that want to do Something Else before the Next Place calls them at last. And a Watcher who is a Mother to a Slayer.”
Oma Desala bowed to her slightly, showing respect to a woman who’d had to show great subterfuge in raising her own daughter to be a Slayer.
“Normally, the path must be followed for a variable amount of time…”
Death raised a hand, “But your collective will allow this, if only to be able to ask a return favor in the future.”
She seemed to listen to those not there.
“And if they do not agree?”
“I would let the Ori know of them.”
“We are not mortal.”
“I am Death, and I foreseen an end to your kind within ten years of recontact between the galaxies. They have forgotten you.”
“But those close to you will also die.”
“And you don’t believe those close to me are here now?”
She couldn’t read him, and the Others couldn’t either, but the appreciative looks in the girls’ eyes and that of the humans at least reinforced his declaration.
“To force their Ascension is against our ways; they need to try on their own.”
“As that human only a few days ago?”
“Circumstances, and I’ve been…cautioned.” She looked up. “They, they are willing to, to fully heal them so they can pursue their own paths—though not return to Earth as their commitment.”
“And how many years would Bill and Coyle have?”
“We will make them thirty again. But you will not reveal us or this galaxy to the Ori.”
Edith spoke up.
“I want to … Ascend—”
“Me too,” William Ragsdale agreed. Easter agreed.
“If I’m givin’ up my family, then Ascension for me.”
Angel shook his head, “I, I would still like to try to make a difference.”
Bill and Coyle nodded, “Indeed.”
Alexander turned back to Oma Desala, and then stared into the eyes of those mortals couldn’t see.
“Grant this, and I will not say anything to the Ori. I will not provide coordinates for the others to return to Earth, but after a couple of years, if they encounter Earthmen and end up back on the planet, so long as they do not reveal this place, it will be acceptable.”
“And you will not present us with any more humans to Ascend?”
Oma nodded, as did the dozen former Ancients that materialized around her in white-squid splendor, “Agreed.”
And suddenly those who’d chosen Ascension were transformed into white-squid-people, and those ‘remaining’ found themselves *perfectly* healthy thirty year olds, even Angel who when alive had been younger. He stared at all of them.
“Another seventy years if outside influences don’t occur.”
Cordelia smiled and hugged her grandfather, then Coyle.
Alexander nodded happily at the new squids, and out of respect for the Ancients.
The squids departed, a book of poetry by William Ragsdale dropping into Angel’s hands. The human looked through it.
“Looks like Billy found his rhymes,” he responded with only a slight lilt. “what do ya know.”
Bill Chase turned to Coyle.
“Alright, we’ll camp here for the night, but suddenly I’d really like to find a pub or two, now that you’ve mentioned it.”
Cordelia hugged Xander, and after a pleasant moment and an amused and begrudging nod from Bill, he hugged her back and after another moment placed a kiss on the top of her head. “You’re welcome, Cor. Hey, wanna explore the Galaxy a little? It’s dangerous, but we should find our friends here a good place for them to get started. What do ya say?”
“I say I’m all in favor of wandering off after shiny objects.”
Author’s Note: Maybe a temporary end now, while I follow up on other stories. I’m marking it Complete, but I’ll eventually reopen it if enough people liked this very different ending than I bet any of you expected. Thanks for reading and reviewing.