by P.H. Wise
An Angel crossover fanfic
Chapter 3 – Discoveries
Disclaimer: I don’t own Angel. I don’t own Stargate. Please don’t sue me. This story contains spoilers for the final episode of Angel. Note: This story is the sequel to Epigoni. If you haven’t read that story, you will not have seen the character growth that got Illyria to the place she begins at in this story, and the story will probably not make much sense besides. Epigoni: Atlantis contains spoilers for Buffy, Angel, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and for Epigoni.
'How to Prepare for an Alien Invasion in Six Easy Steps,' by Jack O'Neill. There was no such book, but there should have been. At least, that's what Major John Sheppard thought. It was a funny thing, trying to get the city ready to repel a major invasion fleet. Not so much funny 'ha ha' as funny 'oh shit,' but funny nonetheless. Still, with the Wraith armada inbound, the one major comfort to him was that the Asgard were here to help. John wasn't a scientist, but he was a smart guy, and seeing the way Rodney's eyes lit up when Thor described the mechanics of the Asgard power sources, he figured they might just have a chance after all. He sat in the briefing room with the other staff officers, listening to the little gray alien speak.
"... and although our own power sources can not equal what you call Zero Point Modules, we have successfully interfaced several of them with the subsystems of Atlantis sufficient to grant you control of most major systems, though at less than optimal levels."
"Woah, woah, woah, woah," Rodney said, "What kind of 'less than optimal' to you mean? Less than optimal we try to fly into space and all die in a vacuum when the shield can't hold up against it?"
"The city's life-support systems should function reasonably well in a vacuum, with or without a shield, Doctor McKay," Thor replied. "Our scientists are currently installing Asgard life-support arrays which will utilize the same principles as your existing artificial gravity systems to sheathe the city in a bubble of atmosphere. The atmospheric bubble should extend seven meters above every city surface."
"So no pole-vaulting," Sheppard said. "I can live with that."
"How long will these power sources last?" Weir asked.
Thor blinked. "I do not anticipate their failure within the lifetime of any human currently living, Doctor Weir."
Rodney's eyes lit up like a child who had just been told that Christmas was coming early this year. Weir looked relieved, and John felt relieved.
"Doctor Zelenka," Weir said, "You and your team have been going over the city's subsystems?"
Zelenka nodded. "Yes. We have good news and bad news. The good news is that the Asgard power generators are giving us enough power to run the shield, numerous secondary systems, and a number of secondary weapons batteries. The bad news is that the city is almost out of drones, and even if we weren't, we don't have enough power to run both the shield and the Chair at the same time."
"Have you tried..." Rodney began.
Radek cut him off. "My team thought of that. The risk of overload is great enough that we must recommend against..."
Radek jumped in once more before Rodney even had a chance to finish describing his suggestion. "Yes, we thought of that too. Even if we managed to create a stable reaction, the Chair would only have enough power to fire one or two drones before the naquadriah was completely consumed."
"But..." Rodney started to look flustered.
Radek smiled grimly. "I'm afraid we have already discounted..."
"You don't even know what I was going to say!" Rodney snapped.
"You were going to suggest that we adapt a wraith power source."
"Well, yes, but how did you...?"
Radek shrugged, muttered something in Chech, and then said, "When you work with man for a year, you understand how he thinks. Besides, these are all the same suggestions you made at brainstorming session the week before the Second Fall."
Rodney flushed red, though it was hard to tell if it was because of embarassment or because of anger. "... Fine," he said sullenly.
Another day, another strange awakening.
Today, Dawn woke up feeling safe, warm, and horny as hell. That sort of thing is to be expected when one goes to sleep with the Cuckoo sisters, and by sleep I mean have rabid monkey-sex with until all four of them collapsed, utterly unable to continue.
It had taken most of the night.
Now that she was awake again, it was time to – the narrator trailed off as Dawn discovered something altogether unexpected. “Celeste?” she called as she sat up. “Mindee?” No answer. “Phoebe?”
The awareness of her existence in this reality returned to her, and she winced. As if a switch had been thrown in her brain, the personality of the other Dawn simply shut off, and she was her self again.
“What the hell?” she wondered aloud, rubbing her head and frowning deeply. “Why am I dreaming about...” she trailed off.
She was pretty sure she wasn’t a lesbian, so why was she dreaming about having sex with a set of female identical triplets, concurrently? Baffled, she glanced about; Illyria was not present, so she tossed off her sheets and headed for the shower.
She was going to need a long shower.
A very long shower.
Damned lesbian triplet dreams.
Later - some time later - a considerable amount of time later, Dawn emerged from the shower, got dressed, put on some makeup, and headed out to start her work day. As she went, it occurred to her that the makeup she had with her was probably the last she’d ever see. That thought put a thrill of dread through her. No more makeup? Yeah, probably. Unless they started producing more of it here at Atlantis, there would be no more makeup. No more of a lot of things, actually.
This was a city, though, wasn’t it? They had to have some sort of manufacturing capability, right?
She promised herself she’d ask someone about it.
Hours later, Dawn grunted faintly as she struggled to do yet another pair of leg curls on the weight machine. Her skin glistened with sweat. The scent of the gym was all around her, but her awareness was focused on her legs alone, on making them curl one more time and thereby to lift the weight again. It felt good to exercise. It was just physical enough to take her mind off of... other things. Things a long day of catologuing relics from Earth-That-Was just didn't do anything to take her mind off of. Especially not the Playboy she had found, with its centerfold that bore more than a passing resemblance to one of the Cuckoos. Not that she had been looking at it. It was just one of the things in the stack she'd been archiving, that was all. That was all...
The weight clattered noisily back down as her legs gave out, and she harumphed irritatedly.
A beautiful, extremely fit young woman with dark skin and light brown hair looked down at her, smiling a friendly smile. She looked strange. Not an ethnicity that Dawn recognized at first, and it was a strange experience to not immediately recognize something that you rarely give a second thought to. 'Because it is so clear, it takes a long time to realize...' Oh! She was an Athosian. Right.
"Are you in need of assistance?" the Athosian woman asked.
Dawn realized with a start that she had been picturing the woman naked, and she blushed. 'Bad Dawn! No picturing strange women naked!' "Um... no, I'm good. I just lost my concentration." She climbed off of the weight machine. She was taller than the other woman.
The woman nodded. "I see. If you require assistance, I can provide it. I am Teyla Emmagan."
She was blushing again. Damnit. She really wished she hadn't had that dream. "Dawn Summers," she said. "I'm sorry if I worried you. I so don't normally go all..." She trailed off, and shook her head. "Sorry," she said nervously.
Teyla looked somewhat nonplused.
Dawn blundered on. "I guess you come here a lot?" she asked, and she felt the heat rising in her cheeks. Even as she said it, she was certain it was an idiotic thing to say. She couldn't seem to think clearly.
"Often," Teyla replied, arching a cool eyebrow as she gave Dawn a considering look.
"Right. Someone who's all Xena would have to work out pretty often. I'm Dawn. Did I..." Dawn flushed even redder, and wished for all the world that she could sink into her shoes.
"Yes, you mentioned that." There was a new thing in Teyla's expression: amusement. "As I said, if you require assistance, I am here often. Good day, Miss Summers." She smiled faintly, and turned her attention back to her own exercises.
"Bye," Dawn managed after a moment. Then she cringed, grabbed her things, and rushed out of the gym. Her face felt like it was on fire. "... I have got to do something about these dreams," she muttered.
Teyla walked into the Cafeteria. They all called it that. The others were 'soup-kitchens' to the Atlantis expedition members, but this, this was the original cafeteria, where they had taken meals before the arrival of the refugees from Earth. So it was 'The Cafeteria.' Since her encounter with Dawn, she'd finished her own exercises, gone back to her quarters, bathed, changed clothing, and was now ready for dinner. So it was that within a few minutes, Teyla put her tray down on the table and sat down across from John Sheppard.
"Teyla," he said. A stack of papers lay on the table in front of him; his plate was empty.
"Hello John." She studied his stack of papers for a moment, took a bite of her green jello, swallowed, and then asked, "What is all this?"
Sheppard pushed the papers aside. "Nothing that can't wait till later."
Teyla raised an eyebrow. "You are finding that being in charge of Atlantis' military is somewhat overwhelming?" she asked.
John half-smiled. "Yeah," he admitted. "Though that's only part of it. I just wish..." he shook his head. "Did you know that the people down in the Botany lab just created a new kind of fertilizer that should double the size of the Athosian harvest?"
Teyla blinked. "No, I had not heard. This is very good news, is it not?"
"Elizabeth is trying to work out the production and distribution. Apparently, it's really easy to make a little bit in the Botany lab, but very hard to make enough for the whole Athosian harvest."
"I see," Teyla said. Clearly, this was not about an improved Athosian harvest, for all that it thrilled her to know there would be one.
"She's also got people working on setting up a sustainable fishery off the northeast pier. We've got one of the survivors from the SGC in charge of the project, a Master Sergeant, last name of Siler."
"That sounds like a lot of work," Teyla said diplomatically.
"Yeah. Then there's the dozen or so trade deals she's trying to set up with other worlds, and then the Atlantean Congress, and now the Wraith Armada..."
A stab of jealousy shot through Teyla then, but she was careful not to let it show on her face. "She is fortunate to have so many close friends who care about her," Teyla said. She smiled. "I had the strangest encounter today, Major."
"Run into McKay in the middle of his analysis of the new Asgard power sources?"
"No. It was in the gym. I believe the Earth-girl, Dawn Summers..." she shook her head. "I believe she may be... attracted to me." Even as she said it, she felt a strange sinking kind of feeling, as if she were doing something she shouldn't, and yet the encounter HAD been strange, and she did want Sheppard's insight... "Is it common for women from your world to display clear attraction to other women?"
"Dawn Summers? Huh. That's odd. Last I'd heard, she had a major crush on..." John trailed off, seeing Teyla's annoyed look. "Did it make you uncomfortable?" he asked delicately.
"Not uncomfortable exactly, it was just... surprising. I've never received such attentions from another woman before."
"Well, I'm not exactly an expert on how to deal with homosexual interest. The United States military has a policy of 'don't ask, don't tell,' as far as that goes," John said, somewhat nonplused. "Haven't people of the same gender ever gotten together among the Athosians?"
"... It has happened from time to time, but it is an activity which is generally discouraged. Such couples do not produce children, and a certain amount of population growth is required if my people are to survive the periodic cullings."
John shrugged. "I'm sure it's just a harmless crush. I can talk to her about it, if you're uncomfortable."
"That will not be necessary," Teyla said. "I am more than capable of discouraging one lovesick little girl."
"You know," John said, "I say the same thing all the time, and nobody ever believes me..."
Teyla rolled her eyes.
John's radio clicked before another word could be gotten in either way, and a moment later, Lieutenant Ford's voice sounded from its speaker, "Sir, we've got a situation here."
A frenzied, screaming female voice could faintly be heard in the background as the Lieutenant spoke. John and Teyla exchanged glances.
John seized the radio. "This is Sheppard. What's the situation, Lieutenant?"
"It's one of the civvies, sir. She's gone crazy. She attacked Doctor McKay, and now she's attacking anyone who comes close."
John shook his head. "Use a stunner, Lieutenant."
"That's just it," Ford replied. "We did. Twice. It didn't do anything. Uh... sir? She's also glowing green."
John blinked. "... I'll be right there. Just keep her contained." He rose to his feet. "Sorry. Look, Teyla, I hope you can get your problem sorted out, but I gotta..."
"Good luck," Teyla said.
John smiled, nodded, and walked out of the Cafeteria.
Sometimes, the future is shaped in grand, sweeping gestures, as an artist bringing his brush across the canvas in a broad, sublime flourish. One girl in all the world becomes every girl on every world. The birth of the new Slayers brings with it the birth of a goddess. A hell-god's attempt to return home nearly ends the world. But sometimes, sometimes it is the small, tiny, nearly unnoticed thing which change the future forever. A weary warrior gives in to the pleasing promises of one who is untrustworthy, and the world ends. A powerful witch can't let go of her dead friend, and Immortality touches the Slayer line.
For Dawn, it was sitting down to read a romance novel taken from her job of catologuing the artifacts of Earth. Not that 'Melanie's Pirate Passion' held any great transformative value in itself, but sitting down to read it in her quarters was the last thing Dawn remembered before everything changed.
One minute she was settling into the steamy world of bodice-ripping pirates and passionate young women, the next, the whole world flickered before her eyes, and she felt the most peculiar sense of twisting, and she was elsewhere.
Gone were the smooth lines of Atlantis, replaced now by the cold concrete of... wait, what? 'Stargate Command? Earth...!'
She looked up, and stopped short, shocked to the core. She stood in the embarkation room of the SGC, and marines were pouring into the room. High above, she could see the shocked faces of the technicians and and what she could only assume was the command staff, the most prominent of which was a rather portly, balding man who carried himself with an air of command.
Dawn did the most sensible thing she possibly could have done in this situation: she fainted.
"... OK," Jack O'Neill said from General Hammond's side. "Who bet 'strange girl appears out of thin air before we even get through the gate?'"
Walter - a gate technician - raised his hand, staring down at Dawn's unconscious form in shock. "That would be me, sir."
Walter nodded faintly, completely nonplused. "Guess it's my lucky day, sir."
Doctor Weir walked into the observation area of the isolation lab and frowned deeply. "What's the situation, Carson?" she asked.
Below, visible through bullet-proof glass, Dawn Summers paced back and forth angrily. "LET ME OUT!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. "I'm not supposed to be here! I don't know how you took me out of the Places Between, but you people are in a lot of trouble! Willow will know, and when she and Buffy get here, they're gonna kick all your asses!" Each step the young woman took seemed to enhance her anger.
Oh. And she was glowing green.
Weir blinked. "... Carson?" she asked.
Doctor Beckett shook his head. "I don't know any more than you do, Elizabeth. I can't get close enough to check her vitals."
"John?" she asked, turning to Sheppard, who stood peering down at Dawn curiously.
"Got me. All I know is that stunners only make her mad."
"Where's Illyria? Why isn't she here?"
Carson and John exchanged glances. "Right," John said, "Illyria." He spoke into his radio, listened to the reply, and then nodded. "Bates says he'll find her."
Elizabeth nodded. "Then we wait."
"Who are you?" Dawn asked, staring suspiciously at the man sitting across the steel table from her. The room was bare - just her, the handsome man, the table, two chairs, and an observation room a mirror that was so obviously one-way glass that it was almost painful. "Where am I? Where's Illyria? How did you get me off of Atlantis? AM I off Atlantis? I guess this could be another dream, but it doesn't feel like a dream..." Dawn's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Celeste, Mindee, and Phoebe aren't here, are they?"
The handsome man managed not to look totally confused. "... No, I'm reasonably sure that whoever you're thinking of when you name those three, they aren't here. My name is Daniel Jackson, and you are in a top-secret United States government facility. The fact that you appeared in the middle of our embarkation room is slightly, uh, worrisome."
Dawn blinked. Of all the possible answers she could have received, the one she had been given was not what she'd expected. "...What?"
Daniel coughed, and adjusted his glasses. "Ah, yeah. See, that's not the answer I was hoping for. I suppose you have no idea how you got here?"
Dawn shook her head. "One minute I was reading a book in my quarters, the next, poof! Here I am." Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. "There is no United States government. Not anymore. All the survivors from Earth-That-Was were evacuated to Atlantis. Who are you really?"
Daniel looked somewhat perplexed. He glanced towards the mirror, then at Dawn. "Right," he said, clearly not believing her. "Will you at least tell me your name?"
Dawn thought about that for a moment, then shrugged. She couldn't think of any reason to keep her name from these people, at least. "I'm Dawn. Dawn Summers."
"Where are you from, Dawn?"
Dawn rolled her eyes.
"... Atlantis, huh?"
"We've got a live one, here," Dawn said dryly.
"Right." Daniel stood up. "I'll be right back."
As Daniel departed, Dawn shook her head and sank back into her seat. Whatever situation she had stumbled into, it was probably going to take a while.
"What's the last thing you remember before you found yourself here?" Doctor Weir asked.
Dawn stared sullenly at Illyria, who stood silently off to Weir's left. "I remember you," she said. "You tried to convince me to become a monster."
Weir looked at Illyria questioningly, but the Old One's face was like stone.
"... It didn't work. And neither will this. You may have Angel fooled, but you don't fool me. When I return to Earth, I'll tell him what you did when Buffy was fighting that vamped out Slayer, and all about your attempt to trap me here, in this... wherever this is."
Illyria tilted her head to the side, birdlike. "You are Dawn Summers," she said, and there was a sense of realization in her tone. "You should not be here."
"You're telling me?"
"What do you think?" Daniel asked. They were seated around the briefing room table - he, Teal'c, Colonel Carter, Jack O'Neill, and General Hammond.
Jack rolled his eyes. "I think," he said, going out of his way to make what he was saying sound sarcastically obvious, "That she's nuts. Kookoo. Out of her mind. A few fries short of a happy meal. A few roses short of a dozen. Crazy."
"Her story does seem unlikely, Sir," Samantha Carter added.
"I admit I'm skeptical," Hammond said. I asked Agent Barrett to do a little checking. Dawn Summers is the daughter of Hank and Joyce Summers, birthplace Los Angeles, California. Her family moved to Sunnydale, and they lived there until the town's destruction. She and a group of her friends were the only survivors of those who had not already evacuated."
"I'd read about that," Carter said. "The whole town fell into a natural cave system that nobody had known was beneath the town." Her expression grew troubled. "Wasn't that a hotbed of Sub-Terrestrial activity before the Los Angeles incident?"
General Hammond nodded. None of them liked thinking about what had happened in Los Angeles last year. Faced with clear and public evidence of the existence of the sub-terrestrial world, the President had felt it necessary to show the public that the government was taking action, and had declassified some of the files relating to an NID project called 'The Initiative.' He was pretty sure that what had been released had been whitewashed significantly, but even that was troubling. The thought that here on Earth were creatures every bit as dangerous as the Goa'uld was not a pleasant one. Especially not for a doting grandfather. "It seems Miss Summers has a habit of being in cities that are about to be destroyed. She was last seen in Rome, just before..." he trailed off. He didn't need to complete the sentence. Everyone knew.
Daniel drew in a hissing breath. "This isn't looking good," he said.
"I do not believe she is lying, O'Neill," Teal'c said.
"Her story is a little unlikely," Jack shot back.
"Indeed. Nevertheless, I do not believe she is lying."
Jack glanced General Hammond's way. "Is this going to delay your little trip to Atlantis?" he asked hopefully.
Hammond seemed to consider that for a moment, then shook his head. "No. Atlantis is too important. The Prometheus will depart on schedule. Doctor Jackson, I expect you to be ready to go within the hour." He rose to his feet. "She's your problem, Jack. Good luck."
"Great," Jack said. He turned towards the monitor on the far wall, on which an image of the girl in the isolation lab was displayed.
She hadn't been here more than three hours, and already Jack could tell, she was going to be trouble.
END CHAPTER 03