Beneath Glastonbury Tor
Willow, the most recent guardian of Myrddin's legacy, waited in darkness. The vibrations that she had felt earlier had ended. The only question now was whether or not the intruders had perished or escaped. If they had survived, it was only a matter of time before they would return to her location to retrieve the treasure. She activated the sword's protective ward, just in case.
- - -Washington, DC
General O'Neill strode through the corridors of the Pentagon, four MPs following in his wake. Given the late hour, they encountered only a few personnel as they headed towards their target, the office of one soon to be retired general. They met General Bauer only a few yards away from his office.
“Going somewhere,” Jack growled.
- - -Beneath Glastonbury Tor
Willow quietly moved further back into the shadows as she heard the intruders returning to the main cavern.
“So, who gets to play King Arthur,” a voice asked.
“I do,” a feminine and decidedly perky voice declared as the voices drew nearer.
A resounding no, in multiple masculine voices, echoed as the intruders entered the cave.
“Guess I'll do it then,” the first voice said.
Flashlights panned across the area, stopping at the embedded sword. Willow watched as the four figures surrounded the stone. One, presumably the owner of the first voice, stepped closer and grasped the sword's hilt.
“Yeouch!” Mitchell quickly released the sword and stepped back, blowing on his fingers.
“Problem?” Daniel asked.
“Yeah, you could say that. It damn near electrocuted me.”
“Daniel, you said that the treasure would be ours if we solved the puzzle,” Vala pouted.
“Quiet,” Teal'c said.
“What,” Vala asked.
“There is another in this place.” Teal'c swung his P-90 in a wide arc. “Show yourself.”
The cavern filled with light. Willow stepped forward.
“Okay, I'm guessing she's not Merlin,” Mitchell quipped. “Who are you?”
“The Guardian,” Willow responded.
“The Guardian of the treasure?” Vala asked eagerly.
“So, what is it?”
“What do you think it is?” Willow stalled as she tried to think of a way that she could avoid killing the intruders.
“Gold? Jewels?” Vala turned to Daniel. “What was that holy thing you mentioned earlier?”
“The Holy Grail,” the man with glasses, presumably Daniel, replied.
“The Holy Grail,” Willow almost giggled. “Okay, which one of you is Indiana Jones?”
“That would be Dr. Jackson. I'm Lt. Colonel Mitchell, the treasurer obsessed one is Vala Mal Doran,” the owner of the first voice said.
“And your gun pointing friend with good ears would be,” Willow prompted.
“I am Teal'c,” the fourth intruder stated as he lowered his weapon.
“Fine, now that we've introduced ourselves,” Vala said, “where's my treasure?”
“It's not your treasure.”
“Hey, we passed the tests. The treasure is ours,” the leather clad woman said.
“Myrddin's legacy is not meant for you.”
“But the tests...” Mitchell began.
“Were merely a delaying tactic,” Willow said sadly. “There things that you don't understand and aren't ready to face.”
Daniel was getting a bad vibe from the redhead. He was probably not going to like the answer but he asked the question anyway. “So, why use a delaying tactic that might prove fatal?”
“To spare the Guardian from having to do the deed.”
“Kill the intruders? So, I guess that you're not an Ancient as they generally don't interfere let alone kill people,” Daniel said.
“Have you forgotten DanielJackson, what OmaDesala did to Heru'ur's Jaffa on Keb?”
“No, but...” Daniel began.
Daniel Jackson. Dr. Daniel Jackson. Willow's heart lightened. Maybe there was a reason not kill them.
“Dr. Daniel Jackson? Two doctorates Daniel Jackson? Graduated high school at fifteen?”
“Yes,” he said slowly.
Willow smiled and began to draw power from the earth. Her eyes turned black as her hair turned white. Sparks began to dance on her fingertips of her right hand as she slowly raised her left arm towards Daniel and the others.
“What the hell,” Mitchell sputtered.
The sparks became small lightening bolts just before a large bolt exploded from her left hand.
Mitchell dove to the left as did Vala. Teal'c dove right. Daniel was a split second slower. It didn't matter.
Willow collapsed in exhaustion, her eyes and hair returning to normal.
“Oh boy, that does take a lot out of a girl,” she said as she stretched out on the floor and rolled on to her back. The position was undignified but there was no one left in the cavern to observe her. She hoped that Buffy would appreciate her gift as the coven was not going to be pleased.
- - -Washington, DC
General Bauer was not having a good night.
O'Neill, along with the four MPs, had escorted him back to his office and dismissed the aide who had not yet left for the evening. Three of the MPs remained outside of his office but were likely aware of exactly what was transpiring just a few feet away from their position. A phone call had been placed from his office to the White House and President Hayes proceeded to verbally rip him to shreds before announcing that he expected Bauer's resignation on his desk within the hour. Once the call was over, O'Neill stood over his shoulder as Bauer typed out his letter of resignation.
“You've been wanting to do this for years,” he spat at O'Neill as he composed the letter.
“Whatever makes you say that? Oh, wait. Maybe it's because you were one of Kinsey's stooges,” O'Neill ground out. “This time not only have you risked the lives of SG-1, you have also pissed off one of our oldest allies. The British are threatening to pull out of all of our joint operations. All of them, Bauer. And don't think that the Free Jaffa aren't going to exact revenge if we lose Teal'c over this.”
“I hardly think...”
“No, you didn't think. You bypassed the chain of command and made decisions without knowing what the hell you were screwing with. We were preparing to negotiate through a third party to get access to the site. Now, we have the mother of all diplomatic incidents. Keep typing, you've got less than thirty minutes left.”
- - -Colorado Springs
Buffy woke with a start. The bedroom was only dimly lit from a nearby street light and the LED display of her clock radio. The hallway beyond the closed door was dark, with no light peeking in from the bottom of the doorway. She concentrated on the faint sounds coming from below. Something, or someone, was in the house that wasn't supposed to be. She identified two distinct voices, one male and one female, but the latter was definitely not her sister's. A change in Jay's breathing signaled that he, too, had awakened.
Jay turned to Buffy, who raised a finger to his lips. He made to get up and she shook her head. He frowned as she quietly slid out of bed. She stooped to grab what he realized was his undershirt and slipped it on over her head before moving to the cedar chest at the foot of the bed. She opened the chest and removed several objects that he couldn't make out. The last item she pulled out was a sword. Okay, that's it, he thought. He should of known she was too good to be true. His new girlfriend was a few fries short of a happy meal. He sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed and grabbed at his boxers off the floor. Buffy looked at Jay in dismay and motioned for him to stay where he was. He ignored her and stood up and put his underwear on. She stepped towards him with her sword lowered, much to his relief.
“Stay here while I check downstairs,” she whispered.
“Buffy, are you nuts? If that's a burglar downstairs you do not want to face him with a sword,” he replied.
“Don't worry, I know how to handle myself, Jay.”
“Just because you dropped Neidermeyer doesn't mean you're Wonder Woman,” Jay said in a low tone of voice. “That was just a fluke.”
At her look of death he relented. “Okay, maybe not a fluke, but you have no idea who is down there, how many there are, or what they might be armed with.”
“That's why I want you to stay here, ” she replied.
“Not going to happen.”
“I'll explain later but I know what I'm doing.”
“Fine, see what you can use then,” she gestured towards the chest. “But not the crossbow, it's got a hair trigger.”
Jay went over to the chest and selected a ka-bar knife (he would have preferred a P-90 but her collection of bladed weapons was nothing to sneeze at) before following Buffy to the door and out into the hallway. Going to meet an unknown danger in the company of a hot blonde he thought with a small grin. As crazy as it undoubtedly made him, it seemed just like old times. All that was missing was one Jaffa and an archaeologist.