Author's Notes: Once again, heavy reliance on the transcripts for Avalon, parts 1 and 2, at Gatenoise and my trusty DVDs.
Beneath Glastonbury Tor
Deep within the shadows of Myrddin's cave, the guardian arrived as the armed intruders attempted to remove the sword from the stone. Cloaking herself in darkness, Willow quietly listened as one of the men translated “Myrddin's” message. Prove themselves worthy, yeah right. The tests were only a delaying tactic put in place by the coven ages ago ensuring that the guardian would have more time to arrange a defense. Of course, if the guardian was lucky, the treasure hunters would fail the tests and no longer pose a threat.
She watched as they split into two groups and left the cavern.
Now alone, Willow cast an illumination spell, dispelling the darkness and allowing her to investigate her surroundings. The coven sealed off and hid all the known entrances centuries earlier and had periodically checked to the area to confirm that no entrance had been missed.
“Now, how did they manage to get in,” she wondered out loud. She strolled around the room before seeing a circular impression near where the intruders had stood earlier. She stooped down and ran her fingers over the area.
“Hmm, what's this?”
Willow closed her eyes and mentally probed the circle. She opened her eyes and took a deep breath, gathering her strength. She stood and stretched out her hands. Lightening flew downwards into the impression, then upwards towards and through the cave's ceiling.
“One doorway, closed.”
There would be no escape, no reinforcements.
Willow walked over to stone with the embedded sword. She ran her hand over it, reveling in its latent power before retreating to the far end of the cavern. She sat down next to the wall and drew her knees up to her chest. It wasn't the most dignified of positions and Nelly would probably be horrified, as would most of the other members of the coven. She returned the cavern to darkness and settled down for what would probably be a long wait. She hoped that she would be one of the lucky guardians. She hated the thought that she would be required to kill. She rather just reset the traps.
- - -Colorado Springs
“So how did I manage not to meet the big bad sister?” Will asked his girlfriend as they sat through the previews of the next six months of releases.
Dawn tried angling her body closer to his, which turned out not to be possible, and giggled. “Her boyfriend suddenly became 'available'.”
“Didn't you say he was at the Academy?”
“Sounds kind of weird. They usually don't get off campus and certainly not 'suddenly,'” Will said.
“Well that's what she said. She was really excited since she didn't think there was any chance of him getting off of the grounds until the holidays so when this came up..” Dawn paused for a breath, “she wasn't going to waste a minute.”
“Still, it doesn't seem right.”
“Let's not a gift horse in the mouth. If we are lucky, she won't even notice when you take me home.”
Dawn went silent as the “featured presentation” notice flashed on the screen. Will put his arm around her shoulders and Dawn leaned in to his side. As they settled in to watch the movie, Will played back their conversation. If Jay had suddenly become available, he couldn't be Dr. Jackson as the archaeologist was currently attached to the alien pirate. Will smiled in relief. Dating the sister of Dr. Jackson's girlfriend would have been too awkward for words.
- - -Beneath Glastonbury Tor
Mitchell and Teal'c came to a small chamber off of one of the tunnels. As Mitchell entered, flames erupted from small rings around the outer edges of the room providing much needed light. In the center of the room was a pedestal, an irresistible temptation to the leader and sole member of SG-1.
“Hey, check this out,” he said to Teal'c.
Teal'c walked in and barrier came down over the door, sealing off the room.
“Okay, that can't be good.” Mitchell tapped his radio. “Jackson, come in...Jackson. Can you hear me?”
Giving up on the radio, he walked over to the pedestal. On its top was a row of stones.
“Alright,” he said. “I'm assuming...this is some kind of puzzle. Can you read this writing?”
Teal'c drew closer and took a look at the stones. “No,” he said curtly.
“Well, I think we're supposed to arrange the stone is some sort of order.” Mitchell said as he started picking up and moving the small stones.
Teal'c raised his P-90 and fired at the barrier only to have the bullets ricochet.
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Man. Bullets. Bounce!” Mitchell shouted as he turned to see what the Jaffa was doing. “Let's just try finding the right combination.”
Mitchell studied the stones and began to place them in what he hoped was the proper order. As he laid the last one in place, the room began to vibrate as the ceiling began to descend.
“Okay, that didn't work,” he said.
“Indeed,” Teal'c acknowledged.
“Oh come on,” Mitchell said as he began to reorder the stones with Teal'c's assistance.
In the main cavern, Willow felt the vibrations as first one and then another trap sprung. It looked like she might not have to act executioner she thought in relief. Still, she stayed where she was, just in case.
- - -Washington, DC
It was fortunate that generals at the Pentagon were not issued Goa'uld weapons or pain sticks Paul Davis thought as he watched General O'Neill's face take on a deadly mien. The blame for the current situation looked as though it could be laid at the feet of one General Bauer. The orders sending the Prometheus
to Glastonbury had come from his desk, chain of command be damned. And just minutes ago they had received word that the transport rings on the Prometheus
were fried, leaving Daniel Jackson, Teal'c, and the new guy stranded beneath half a mile of rock.
“Paul, I need you in Colorado Springs now,” O'Neill snarled. “Park yourself in front of her house if you have to but talk to her. Monday is not going to cut it. In the meantime, I'll do my best to make nice with the British ambassador.”
Paul made a mental note to grab his antacids and aspirin from his office before leaving the building. He also thought that it was fortunate that he didn't have access to a pain stick because the urge to use one on Bauer was almost uncontrollable.
- - -Beneath Glastonbury Tor
The ceiling continued its descent as Mitchell continued moving the stones into yet another pattern. Teal'c abandoned Mitchell to that task and began to search for ways to slow the ceiling's descent. Unfortunately, there was nothing in the room that would serve that purpose. Teal'c realized that he would have to use his body as brace, something that would ultimately fail but might gain Mitchell precious time to find the correct combination.
“Colonel Mitchell!” Teal'c called as the full weight of the ceiling began to press down on his back.
“Two down and only a billion more combinations to go.”
“Are you still having fun Colonel Mitchell?” Teal'c said with a layer of sarcasm that O'Neill would have appreciated.
“You ever get that bad feeling about something?”
- - -Colorado Springs
A smile graced Buffy's face as the arm around her waist drew her back against a warm body. Jay definitely had what Faith called “mad skills.” How and where an eighteen year old managed to pick up those skills were questions she decided weren't worth asking. Damn but that boy, scratch that, that MAN was something special. She hummed in contentment.
“Humming Buffy?” the man holding her asked.
“Um, hmm. That was totally hum-worthy.”
For the first time in a long time, Jay gave thanks for his teenage body as he realized that he was ready to go again. There wasn't much of a chance that he would be getting a another pass off the Academy ground until the holidays and he was going to make the most of this pass.
“Want to see if it was a fluke?” he asked hopefully.
Buffy's smile grew as she twisted in his embrace. “I don't think it was but I guess we should try again. Just to be sure that it wasn't.”
“Yeah,” he smiled in return, “just to be sure.”
- - -Beneath Glastonbury Tor
Daniel and Vala after escaping their room ran in the direction that Teal'c and Mitchell had headed down. When they reached what looked like a blocked doorway, they stopped.
“Teal'c!” Daniel yelled.
From behind the wall they heard first Teal'c, then Mitchell.
“Hey! We've got a little problem in here.”
“Mitchell, what's the puzzle?” Daniel yelled in response.
“There are eight stones with symbols on them and some ancient writing.”
“Describe the writing.”
From the other side Mitchell's voice answered Daniel. “Uh…U with a square over it. Chair with a square. Upside- down backwards L call that 7. Squares unevenly stacked. That chair thingy again. Big N and sad face?”
Daniel thought for a moment then responded. “Uh reflect…it means reflect.”
“Uh…reflect, reflect, reflect…reflect a meaningful path. Put those pieces in order to reflect a path to enlightenment.” Daniel said quickly.
“Yeah. That tells me exactly nothing!!” Mitchell's voice reflected his frustration and desperation.
“I'm sorry I can't help if I can't see the symbols on the stones you're suppose to put in order.”
Vala and Daniel could hear Mitchell's voice as he said “reflect. Double 8, 4 reflect 8…” and then the voice stopped. The sounding moving stopped seconds later.
“Teal'c!!” Daniel called out.
“Look I didn't hear any screaming or squishing sounds. So…” Vala shrugged as her reassurances fell on deaf ears.
Moments later, the barrier lifted revealing Teal'c and Mitchell lying on the floor. As the ceiling began to retract, they stood and exited the room.
“You did it,” Daniel congratulated Mitchell.
“Yeah. Thanks. The symbols are actually the numbers 1 through 8 and their mirror image.” Mitchel said. “Let's head back to the sword.”