Disclaimer :: Stargate SG-1 and all related characters are copyright Brad Wright, Jonathan Glassner, Showtime and the SciFi Network. No infringement intended. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright Joss Whedon and ME. No infringement intended. The quotes in this story are taken from the Buddhist Scriptures and they're worth a read if you have the time.
Synopsis :: The final battle brings a loss that the white hats never foresaw and with it a hero may learn another form of peace. “Do not preach and try to convert, only explain if an explanation is sought...”
On the day that the Holly King defeated his brother the Oak King and night began to devour more of each day, the champions of one universe, waged war on the darkness. With their power at its peak and their followers at their greatest numbers, they had begun the battle at dawn as Ra allowed the sun to encompass the Earth and spread its warmth through the trees and into the clearing where warriors for both sides seemed to fall without rhyme or reason.
The light waned through the day as the sky shifted its focus or clouds of smoke blocked the rays of warmth. The darkness pressed forward and the pure demons stretched their essence outward to envelope the world, to shift it to their design and faced the two greatest warriors of a generation.
The dark and light Slayers, like the Goddess Maat were more of a concept than a reality to those that followed them. They were held on pedestals of truth and order, they represented the honor and integrity of the soldiers following them. Generals that required no names for the army of women they lead in the onslaught against the darkness. Dark and light fought with a determination that bordered on obsession. They fought for the ability to one day, die a peaceful death surrounded by friends. Free.
The champions and warriors of an era pressed back the darkness and pure demons as the sun sank into the horizon and the moon filled an unblemished sky triggering the beginning of the end as the White Witch opened the mouth of hell. The portal shimmered and stretched beneath its children and slowly began to devour them whole. The witch, caught in the magics that harnessed the gate, was swarmed with the essence of death and fell beneath its assault. Caught by her knight she was lowered to the dirt, wrapped in his embrace as the key watched an unforeseen error in their plan begin to unfold.
The multi-verse stretched out from the perfection of the first universe. Growing younger with ever 400th extension of its layers. As the light years spread outward the differences between realities could be as vast protons being just 0.2 percent heavier, causing them they to decay into neutrons. Leaving that universe in a lifeless world of darkness or the difference could be as trivial as a certain Colonel making it to second base with Amy Vandenburg.
Some beings, through the vast alternate realities differing in age and ablities began to understand the infiniteness of their own universe and thus opened the gateways to the multi-verse. They could watch the lives of the other creations of the cosmos, with abject detachment or mild amusement as the younger or older realities traveled through their own existence.
Oma Desala had always observed the passing of others with interest. The flow of their time different from her own and yet much remained the same. Human nature was still as ageless as it was in her own universe. The lowers never ceased to amaze or worry her, in some dimensions like the one she watched, there were those that fought for the lives of a world that ignored them. They fought for the freedom of their race.
They proved that the only truth in this world and the next is that all you can truly control is whether you are good or evil. And in this particular reality, evil appeared to be getting its ass kicked.
She watched the end of an era as a dark force was shoved from one realm and into another, with an innocent caught in the recoil of their magics. Oma watched the delicate woman make peace with her death as her family watched in horror.
The young one would be pulled into the darkness, lost to it. Her essence may never escape and the warrior knew this. She accepted her fate because it would allow her friends, her world to go on.
For the Ascended to act it could unbalance the way of all things. She may very well unravel the folds of time if she were rash. She had to be certain of the innocent’s worth.
Oma watched her, judged her and decided her fate.
Cuyahoga National Park had been formed from glacial movement thousands of years before man stepped onto its native soil. It is unclear if the Hellmouth had been forged at that time and if it was the introduction of mankind that aggravated its presence. The white hats forced the demonic powers to take notice of them as they placed all of their eggs in one basket and opened the last mouth of hell in the hopes that it would swallow them all.
Buffy Summers stood, her gaze transfixed by the swirling power of the Cleveland’s Hellmouth. It gapped open and stretched wider devouring the last of the pure demons from Earth. At twenty-nine she was the oldest living Slayer in the history of the linage and she could feel the ebb and surge of the power as it wrapped its gossamer tendrils around her form. She was going to die.
Third times a charm.
This was what they had strived so hard for and as she met her sister’s horrified gaze she threw the Scythe. Dawn caught it easily and Buffy’s last image of the taller woman would forever be imprinted on her psyche. Dawn fell to her knees, Buffy's name an anguished cry pulled from her throat. She watched Faith, her equal, run forward the fresh stab wound in her abdomen weeping blood just as her eyes did tears.
Her friends, Willow had collapsed under the strain of the magic and Xander who even now compressed the witch’s broken form while he pressed his lips to hers over and over. His focus solely on his best friend as he forced air into her dead lungs. She prayed that Willow lived. They needed someone who could be strong, someone who would take up the reigns like she had when Giles had passed on. The army of Slayers watched as their general of light, order, and integrity succumbed to the darkness for them and they mourned.
Buffy felt the portal seal around her like a frost consuming her body. Or was it terror? She shuddered in the vast nothingness that surround her form. Did she have form? She tried to draw breath, but found no air in the darkness and just as panic began to blindly fill her, she was surrounded by trees. Beautiful trees that towered over her slight frame as she stood in the center of a massive forest.
Her brow drew downward as Buffy lifted her head to watch the clearest sky she had ever seen. The stars winked at her from an ocean of endless night as soft breeze caressed her checks and she let her head fell back. Inhaling the scent of pine made her smile and wonder if this was a different form of heaven.
She stiffened at the feminine voice and turned to her right. A tall woman dressed in a simple beige tunic stared at her. Buffy frowned at the soft glow that seemed to encompass her form.
The woman stepped forward. “You wondered if this was heaven and it is not.”
Buffy took a small step back. “You can read my mind?” The woman nodded and she frowned. “Anyone ever tell that’s rude?”
A small smile pulled at the corners of her lips. “All that we are is our thoughts.”
She blinked. “O-kay.” The blonde glanced around the small clearing. “Where am I?”
“You are where you belong.”
Buffy frowned at the woman who could have given Angel lessons in cryptic. “And where I belong is?”
The woman gave the same smile as before, the one that failed to reach her eyes.
“You did not belong in the place of darkness. I brought you here so that you may begin your journey.”
The Slayer cocked her head to the side, as she understood some of woman’s words. “I was going to the hell dimension with the demons wasn’t I?” The woman simply nodded. “You saved me.”
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
Buffy sighed. “Yah, riddles.”
Another smile graced her lips as she walked toward the Chosen One. “Your path until now has been shadowed by darkness. The one that lies ahead brings light if you are willing.”
“My path?” Buffy shook her head. “Who are you?”
“I am Oma Desala.”
The Slayer blinked. “Interesting name.”
The other woman raised a brow. “As you say, Buffy.”
“Funny…I’m not in my dimension any more, am I?”
She nodded and tilted her head back to gaze at the stars once more. “Am I dead?”
“My sister? My friends?”
“They will live long lives.”
She smiled, that was good to know.
Then Buffy frowned, could she trust someone who wore a smock? Was Oma good? Stretching out her senses she focused on the woman before her and stiffened at the contentment Oma's essence filled the Chosen One with. She felt like peace, eternal, beautiful. She felt like home, but the Slayer in her would not give up.
“Can I go back?”
Buffy sighed and focused on the brightest star as it shimmered above them. “What now?”
“Never fear what will become of you.”
Oma watched the Chosen One as she struggled to find herself. The Ascended knew she had made the right choice in saving her. Bringing her safely into this reality, where she could find her true path.
“Do you ever speak in normal?”
A surprised laugh escaped the blonde and she lowered her head to stare at her savior. “Where do I go from here?”
“You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself.”
The Slayer shook her head. “In other words?”
“You can not reach enlightenment unless you believe you are worthy.” Oma walked forward her steps graceful and nearly motionless. Buffy watched her as a small child would a tiger. Fascinated, eager and just slightly afraid.
“Enlightenment? Me? Are you sure you have the right person?”
Oma paused just before her form and smiled. “To walk the path you must first believe.”
“But aren’t you suppose to be wise to reach enlightenment? I’m not nearly smart enough.”
“A jug must fill drop by drop.”
The blonde threw up her hands. “Would you stop that! I’m having a hard enough time comprehending where I am, let alone try and figure out Oma speech.”
“You are on Earth.”
The Slayer stopped in her tirade to stare at the other woman in hope. At the saddened expression on Oma’s face her shoulders fell. “But not my Earth.”
“It is not your time.” At Buffy’s confused glare she allowed a small explanation. “Our universe is younger than your own. The year on this Earth is what your historians would have called 213 B.C.”
“You could live out you life in this time, in this place and die a mortal death. If you wish.”
“Or?” Buffy felt her stomach roll at the thought of being alone in a world she could never comprehend.
“When the mind is enlightened, the spirit is free and the body matters not.”
She stared at Oma and then slowly nodded. “Teach me.”