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Fragmented Path

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Summary: The final battle brings a loss that the white hats never foresaw and with it a hero may learn another form of peace.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Buffy-Centered > Theme: Friendship(Moderator)AvaFR181021,5112012952,2065 Apr 0623 Feb 08Yes

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR13

Chapter Nine

Wraithlike tendrils of light swept over the sky and lowered slowly to the circle of flame. Harrid and Sallis looked up, their fear and shock slipping into reverence as the cloud filled the last bit of space between them and certain death. A fine mist settled over their skin, cooling their flesh and starving off the heat.

Sallis blinked through the thin fog and watched stunned as the flames of the Ori were squelched and the Prior of their village raised his staff. Her stomach rolled as the images before her eyes became a blur of color and sensation. Starlight and shadows danced across her vision and spiraled past her as she grasped her husband’s hand and prayed to false Gods.

The thin man wished for the ability to wrap his arms around his shivering wife. Soft light encompassed them, protected them as they flew between time and space without the appearance of a destination as the exposed skin of his hands and face crawled with the power that cradled them.

Time held no meaning until their forms slowed as they approached a planet of blue and green, more beautiful than the flames of the Ori. Harrid flinched as they dropped through the sky and fell toward the planet’s surface with dizzying speed. His eyes widened as they traveled through the dirt and deep into a structure of stone and metal.

Sallis cried out as the people in odd clothing turned toward them with stunned faces, held at bay by the barrier of mist. The ethereal light that had protected them in their journey began to slip forward, fold inward before them. It melded into the form of a beautiful woman dressed in a black gown of shimmering clothe. It was as fitted to her skin as a chemise and braided with ropes of silver and gold.

The couple fell to their knees and bowed deeply to this new representation of their Gods. As they raised themselves they spoke in unison their voices revered. “Hallowed are the Ori.”

Harrid watched stunned as the creature’s face twisted with a grimace. He stiffened, realizing he and his wife had overstepped themselves and opened his mouth to apologize, beg forgiveness but she raised her hand. “I am not the Ori.”

Daniel fumbled with his glasses before he was able to perch them across the bridge of his nose, only to close his eyes and reopened them. No, Buffy was indeed standing before him, along with the two people he and Vala had inhabited.

“B…” He caught his slip and amended, “Nemesis, what are you doing here?”

The Ascended sighed at the stunned faces and the fact that the red light in the far corner had begun flashing as soon as the petite brunette in the lab coat had spoken into a phone on the far wall. The force of her personality bombarded Buffy’s consciousness and she knew her name was Dr. Carolyn Lam and she was now the Chief Medical Officer of Stargate Command.

Harrid watched the beauty before him and bowed again, followed by Sallis. Buffy turned back to them her voice exasperated. “Stop that! I’m not a God, get up!” She stepped back from them as the room filled with military personal now holding her at gunpoint and she rolled her eyes.

Daniel stiffened as she met his gaze and spoke, “They are not following the path, who resort to violence to achieve their purpose.”

With her words the soldier’s guns levitated out of their hands and floated before them. With barely a shift in the focus of her will Buffy released the clips from their weapons and allowed them to fall harmlessly to the ground. The useless guns where then returned to their respective owners once more.

“Neat trick, now can you pull a rabbit out of a hat?”

Buffy turned toward the large opening in the wall that acted as the entrance to the medical isolation ward and allowed the knowledge of the one that stood beside Teal’c to fill her thoughts. Lt Colonel Cameron Mitchell kept his weapon holstered but remained vigilant as he stepped fully into the room.

The couple she had saved became unstable with the sensory overload and began to panic. Buffy looked down at them and lulled them to sleep. Their eyes darkened and both slowly laid themselves to the cool concrete with Harrid pulling his wife into the safe haven of his arms as they lost consciousness.

Teal’c stepped forward and Daniel rose from his hospital bed to move toward the Ascended being. Mitchell raised a brow at their casual body language around someone who just appeared on base and had them on DEFCON 3.

“Why have you come, Warrior Nemesis?” Buffy smiled at Bra’tac’s name for her coming from the large Jaffa.

“I didn’t know.”

Daniel blinked at the sudden admission. “You didn’t know what exactly?”

“It was kept from me. This knowledge.” Buffy kept her eyes averted and watched the stunning brunette push herself from the hospital bed and winced as the cold concrete met her bare feet.

“The Ori.”

Buffy flinched at the first stirrings of outrage in the linguist’s voice and nodded, “The others knew what I would do.”

“And what would that be?” Mitchell would ask why mentions of a Nemesis had been kept from mission reports later.

Buffy turned toward him. “Destroy them,” she shrugged, “or die trying.”

“Nemesis—”

She shifted back, her face hardening. “I was dangerous in the past and Harmless is now the name I bear.”

“Your past was over two thousand years ago, you can’t be what you once were.” Daniel stopped and frowned. How did he know that and how had he understood what she just said?

Buffy blinked and the stirrings of a true smile played at the corners of her lips. “Somebody’s regaining bits of themselves.”

Daniel ignored her amusement and Vala’s presence as she came to his side and stared at Buffy with a falsely bemused expression. “How did you know about Harrid and Sallis?” At her arched brow, his eyes widened. “You’ve been watching over me.”

“Don’t worry when you’re naked I avert my eyes…usually.”

Vala snickered beside him and Buffy sent her a wink. “I’ve always pictured Ascended beings as—”

“Stuck up tight asses?”

Vala blinked at her supplied answer and smiled. “I like you.”

Cam leaned into Teal’c. “Jackson is so screwed if those two team up.”

“Indeed.”

Daniel glared at the pair before turning back to Buffy. “You can’t fight the Ori.”

“Hypocrite.”

“Excuse me?”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “You tried to stop Anubis.”

“She is correct, Daniel Jackson.”

Daniel sent Teal’c a glare as he sighed, “And look what happened.”

“You got turned human.”

“With my memory wiped and no clothes.”

“The last part was my fault.” She turned towards Cam and Teal’c explaining, “Oma was trying to get me to laugh.”

Vala raised a brow. “Did you?”

“Did you?”

A silent moment past as they shared a look of amusement and Daniel realized he was screwed. “Can we focus on the dire threat to mankind in this corner of the universe for just a moment.”

Buffy frowned as the others’ will bombarded her own and tried to pull her before their collective gaze. Her image began to give off the soft radiance of her true essence and Vala watched her slightly amazed. “You’re glowing.”

Buffy smiled wanly. “I have to go.”

Daniel frowned. “Why?”

“The others call.”

“Don’t go!”

Cam frowned at the pitch to Jackson’s voice but agreed with him, “Yeah, stick around. Tell us more about your plans to destroy the Ori.”

“You’ve broken their laws by helping them,” Daniel motioned to the sleeping couple that Lam was currently checking over. “The others may destroy you.”

“Where minds die, where breath stops, there you will find bliss.” As the last words fell across the room Buffy allowed her true form to unravel and fold out from the core of her essence.

Vala watched as the woman before her became nothing more than a shimmering cloud of light. Tendrils spiraled outward form the center and blues and onyx shadowed the brilliant white. The thief watched as the Ascended rose upward and disappeared, humbled.

~~~@~~~@~~~

A sharp knock pulled Daniel’s attention away from the notes scattered across the small table in front of him and toward the door leading into the guest quarters he had been confined to while still connected to Vala. He suppressed a shudder and rose, making his way to the door and tugged it open. His brows rose with the sight of Mitchell and he stepped back, motioned the other man to enter.

Cam nodded as he passed him, “Jackson.”

“Is there something I can help you with?”

He was shot a wire grin, “I can’t stop by to see how the SGC’s resident linguist is holding up?”

Daniel’s brow rose, “You could but I don’t see that as being the whole reason.”

“Fair enough. I have a question about your girlfriend.”

He sighed and shook his head, “So go ask Vala.”

“Wrong girlfriend.”

Daniel inclined his head and moved to the settle himself on the footboard of the bed and motioned Cam to have a seat at the table. “I have another girlfriend? Could you clarify that for me?”

The Lt Colonel moved to the table and grabbed the back of chair, dragging it to sit in front of Daniel and flipped it around, straddled it so that he was facing the linguist. “Cute blonde. Went by the name Nemesis. You know the all-powerful-thought-they-weren’t-allowed-to-interfere-on-that-kinda-level-Ascended-being.”

Daniel blinked at the excessively worded title. “Alright.” He cleared his throat, “What is that you wanted to know?”

Cam crossed his arms over the back of the chair and rested his chin on them. “Why was she left out of mission reports? I mean you and Teal’c seemed unsurprised at her appearance.”

“Oh, we were plenty surprised.”

Cam’s lips thinned, “Really? You didn’t act all that shocked to me.”

“Well you can never really tell with Teal’c.”

“True.”

“As for myself.” Daniel paused, struggled for the right words and settled for, “She’s saved my life before.”

Cam leaned back and snapped his fingers, using the same hand to point a finger at him. “Exactly! Now why wasn’t that put in your dossier?”

“Classified.”

He blinked, “Excuse me?”

Daniel frowned, “Nemesis’ involvement was deemed to be classified—”

“Really? By who?”

The linguist made a startled, almost girlish noise that Cam planned to bring up at a later date as he stood. Daniel spun only to blink at the sight of Buffy lying casually against the pillows of the bed he had been using the last few nights. He stiffened as he felt Cam move to his side and swallowed when he realized she was in nothing more than a man’s button up dress shirt.

He frowned, “Is that my shirt?”

A brow rose and she cocked her head, “Incorporeal, remember?”

Cam cleared his throat and drew her attention toward him, “Hi there.”

“Hi.”

The Colonel’s smile stretched as he stepped forward and resisted the urge to offer his hand to a being that couldn’t grasp it. “Cam Mitchell.”

Her head inclined, blonde hair shifting around her shoulders as she crossed her legs and smiled, “I know who you are Colonel.”

His eyes gathered in a rather attractive way as he took another step closer to the bed and Daniel spared him a frown as he asked, “How went the Ori destroying?”

She blinked, “The who?”

Daniel and Cam exchanged a glance before the linguist turned back to her, “The Ori. You followed me to their galaxy just a few days ago.”

Buffy shifted forward and came to kneeling position in the center of the bed. “Daniel I didn’t follow you anywhere.”

“Yes, you did.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did.”

“No, I—” A shrill whistle interrupted Buffy from continuing in her and Daniel’s moment of age regression. They turned in unison to watch the Colonel free his fingers from his mouth and lower his hand while giving them a reproving look. A look that seemed at odds with the carefree demeanor she had just witnessed before allowing her presence to be known.

“Alright boys and girls, this isn’t getting us anywhere.” He looked to Buffy, “You followed Jackson to a part of the universe controlled by a bunch of Ascended beings that call themselves the Ori. You saved two of their followers from knowing how a hotdog feels and brought them to us to keep them safe. And now you’re telling us you don’t remember any of that?”

Her legs sank through the bed and she stood, walked forward through it and Cam took a step back but Daniel remained in place, met her gaze and softly stated. “It’s true.”

She inclined her head and asked. “Show me?”

Daniel cleared his throat, “How?”

“Don’t move.”

Cam opened his mouth; prepared himself to tell Jackson maybe that wasn’t the best course of action when Nemesis began to glow and long effervescent tendrils slipped out from her form and arch forward to engulf the linguist. Jackson showed no reaction other than his eyes falling closed and the Ascended followed his example. Both trapped in brilliant, white light that Cam stepped back from and moved toward the phone along the wall beside the door.

Daniel’s eyes opened before the cavalry could arrive and he flinched as the light surrounding them darken and pulled back from him, tightened around the blonde. Green eyes opened, stared up at Daniel and he swallowed at the rage he saw building, burning up her humanity and her will to cooperate.

He frowned with the flash of insight but pushed on, attempted to calm her, “Nemesis—”

“That’s not my name Daniel.”

He blinked and her image faded into the light, “Wait!”

The light shuddered, ebbed with his shout but rose upward and disappeared. Daniel sighed and turned to meet Cam’s concerned gaze as the door to the guest quarters burst inward and filled the room with armed men.

~~~@~~~@~~~

Author's Note :: Special thanks to Meri for helping to make Cam sound more Cam like. Thanks for the help sweets!
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