1: Battle Dreams
Disclaimer: Not mine. Neither verse. The cross-over plot bunny, but the bsg and jossverse are geniuses far beyond my humble brain. ;-)
A/N: This chapter backtracks about a dozen years pre-BSG. Honestly, it just made sense to me this way. Back story is where this all started in my head. As I mentioned, it will be a few chapters before the verses cross in the traditional sense -- but they will!
And, to reiterate: this is NOT a Willow's spell works beyond Earth story. Willow is powerful and her magic will come into play. However, her magic is tied to the Earth and will not awake slayers anywhere but on Earth in this verse. Period. End of discussion. Besides, it would completely frak up my plot. ;-) Battle Dreams
Twelve Colonies: Looking Back Several Years...
Kara had known that she was different for years. When she truly admitted it, she'd always felt that there was something strange about herself. However, when the dreams began it changed everything. They started about the time she turned thirteen. Hell, they might have even started on her birthday. At first she just thought they were random. In fact, she really thought they were just arbitrary nightmares for a long time. Those alone didn't disturb her. At least, not at first.
They began infrequently as simple dreams about brave girls battling evil. She chalked it up to an overactive imagination. She even wondered if perhaps there was a secondary career for her as a novelist. After all, everything about them was a bit fantastical.
The stories in her head were always about teenage girls. Sometimes the girls seemed modern and everything about the places they ventured seemed similar to Caprica or Picon. Other times, it was different. Very different. These were the most vivid of the dreams she had as a young teen. The dreams held an ancient and substantial feel. Almost as if they were memories rather than her subconscious imagination at work.
In these she didn't watch the girl - she *was* the girl. Except, it wasn't her. It wasn't Kara. She literally was someone else. She would notice her skin only to find that it was dark rather than her usual pale tones. In one dream, she envisioned her reflection in the surface of a moonlit pond. Years later, she could still recall the cold sweat of awakening truly startled with the vivid dream memory still strong. She had been tracking a wild beast with bow and arrow. She'd stopped at the pond for a drink and expected to see her blond locks in the reflection – what she had seen was the opposite. Her skin had been the deepest brown she'd ever seen, perhaps truly black as night. Her face had been covered in a white paste and her thick and wild black hair was wild and unkempt. She had felt an unidentifiable power in her own reflection. That feeling of power remained almost tangible for long after she'd awakened in the morning.
In her fifteenth year, she'd begun attending the academy. The bottom line was that attending the academy did get her Colonial Marine Mom off her back about a career in the military. Kara had no desire to be a career officer like mom or a musician like dad…she had pyramid in her heart. While not fierce in battle like her imaginary warrior girls – she was a hellion on the pyramid court. Meanwhile her mother had aspirations that Kara would be selected to attend War College and Officer's School upon completion. Kara thought it wise to not to argue with mom about her real intentions after the academy. She’d learned long ago that arguments with mom too easily escalated into something far worse than verbal sparring.
For all the fighting in her waking life and the battling in her dreams, Kara did not desire a career in fleet and had no initial plans to attend a fleet sponsored program post academy. While the other cadets had grown up listening to tales of viper squadrons bringing peace to the colonies during the Cylon wars. Kara had been ushered from colony to colony and base to base learning the truth in all its gory detail. She knew that life in the fleet wasn’t all bells, whistles and hero honors. She recalled the many orphaned kids in every military family neighborhood. She still had visions of being dragged to funeral after funeral as a toddler. All the people in uniform saluting the dead weren’t a dream but a vivid truth within her memory.
While she might have initially attended the academy at her mother’s behest, she stayed because she was a born athlete. Her academics achievements weren’t worth a second glance, fleet had high physical standards and a hell of an athletic vigilance that called to something in Kara. If anyone ever asked her what she dreamed of or what posting she hoped for, Kara had only one answer, she would leave fleet behind to play pro pyramid on the big courts. Besides, math and people skills were seriously not her forte.
During her second year, she still shared living space with six other teens and she began to realize that her dreams were increasing in frequency If she was really going to acknowledge the truth to herself, she knew that they now occurred at least two or three times a month. Occasionally it would occur for several nights in a row about the same girl. Her bunk-mates had commented on occasion that if Kara should stop crying out in her sleep. Sybil was in the bunk next to her. One morning after a dream about the ancient one, she'd made a whispered suggestion that Kara should see a shrink about her nightmares. Kara’s eyes had narrowed as they always did when her temper flared and she replied in an over harsh tone, "I'm fine."
Her fellow cadet was not afraid of Kara's temper; she'd been living with it for almost two years. "Don't get upset with me Thrace. I'm your friend and I'm telling you that for three nights straight you've both cursed and cried in your sleep and last night you practically yelled, 'Stake them Dharma!' I'm your friend telling you that your behavior is not exactly normal is all. What if one of the officers notices? I'm just worried for you is all I'm saying."
Kara didn't know what to do. She just stared in her typically defiant manner for a while and then finally lay back down to stared at the cracks in the sealing above. "I'm OK. My best friend back at my mom’s last post just loved horror flicks and used to drag me to them all the time. She sent me a letter recently and reminded me of this scary vampire movie she loved. What a trip, that….Dharma…is. Plus, I'm studying about the Cylon Wars right now and the images of the monsters and the cylons together are messing with me in my dreams. It'll pass." She'd put her arms up over her head and stretched. Acting nonchalant and hoping her bunk-mate would buy it.
"If you say so. Just do us all a favor and read a good romance or something before bed tonight. Cylons and vampires together - that's just creepy Thrace."
That's when Kara began keeping track of the dreams. She was afraid to write anything down or someone would surely send her to the shrink. If that happened, she could be kicked out of the academy. Without the training and recommendations from the academy coaches, she could likely say goodbye to her pyramid dreams. Besides, the thought of living with her parents again was enough to make her stomach churn.
After a few weeks, she began to realize a pattern. There were fifteen girls in all. One for each colony -- of that she was certain. The more she focused on tracking the dreams rather than ignoring them, the more she remembered in the mornings. Each girl had at least two or more people with whom she regularly "worked" in her fight against the things that went bump in the night. She smiled at that one. A strange girl only a few years younger than her with hair a bit blonder and a slew of friends who helped her had pegged the phrase and Kara liked it.
That girl was Buffy and Kara pegged her as number thirteen. She'd found ways to identify the home colonies of all but three girls., The fellow blond always referred to her town as "good 'ol Sunnyhell." Kara searched for something that would match but had drawn a complete dead end and had no idea where the girl lived. Regardless, Buffy’s turns of phrase were truly funny at times. For all the blond battled evil, Kara would sometimes laugh aloud in the morning at the girl’s aptitude for punning with such humor under the most dire of circumstances. "Things that go bump in the night" was certainly more fun than, the Evil Undead as Christina of Caprica called them. Much better than the lengthy Enemies of Kobol as Lana of Sagittarius referred to the monsters. Then again, she was the religious one of the bunch.
Girl number fourteen was also hard to identify. The people in her city had an accent Kara could not identify. Kara felt of a kinship to this younger girl who held the same quick temper and unintentional ability to turn casual conversations into heated arguments. Faith was also the only girl without constant companions or friends. This struck her as interesting since Faith’s personality was the most like her own and Kara had a similarly tough time making any real friends. There was something sad and angry about her that also called to Kara.
Finally there was number fifteen…the ancient one. Or, bad-hair girl as Kara sometimes listed in her mind. Of all the girls, she was the only one that fought completely alone without even a guide to support her. Granted, she also lived in a cave and slept in animal skins, but that was an entirely different issue.
Regardless, all the dreams had become more and more vivid over sixteenth year. When Kara awoke from some of the almost world ending battles she could remember more and more. She was seriously considering seeing a shrink about it as she approached her seventeenth birthday. She'd avoided it for a long time because the active dreams didn't affect her sleep. She still awoke fully rested. In fact, when her slayer dreams came, she woke more rested then when they didn't. She'd do her best workouts on the days following such dreams. Somehow her muscles would remember the powerful and innovative moves of her fifteen mentors. Yes, she'd admitted it to herself at some point in the past year. She did think these girls her imagination had cooked up were something special to behold. They fought in secret to save the colonies from insanity. They were teenage superheroes. If she didn't make it pro in pyramid, she had a hell of a future in comic books.
Each girl even had sidekicks. She laughed to herself in the shower some mornings thinking about that one. Her creativity sure was in overdrive! Each girl had a "Watcher" or “Guide” who helped her train and who was a fountain of knowledge on all things evil. Then there were the wiccans - those girls and boys could sure come in handy when the dice didn't look good. Some of them weren't powerful, but she'd watched as some even saved her heroine at the critical moment of need. Some of the girls only had those two people in their lives who knew about their life as a slayer of evil. However, a few slayer warriors had larger circles of support. The strange blond had the biggest group. Plus, some of those had odd names that made it further difficult to identify Buffy’s colony. Kara had cataloged them all. If her instructors only knew what she was doing to improve her memory and information cataloging techniques they'd surely expel her in a flash. She'd repeat the names to herself in her evening run. This was why she was considering going to the shrink. At seventeen, she was willing to admit that this was slowly becoming a truly bizarre obsession. She'd probably be doing better in her science and math subjects if she were cataloging elements instead of sidekick names. She often chuckled at that thought.
She sighed as she laced up her shoes one evening and began her run. Frak the obsession, she felt like she needed to understand these young women better. Kara didn’t want to just play pro ball – she wanted to be the best warrior in the sport. These girls might be multiple personalities in her sleeping state, but they were still making her a better athlete. She'd learned moves from Buffy that had allowed her to beat out every classmate, male and female, on her martial arts squad. Yes, she had imaginary friends with names like Willow, Xander, Oz and Cordelia. Let's not forget the love of Buffy's life - Angel. She'd learned how to feint an approach from him better than any of her coaches. Bottom line was that her imaginary friends gave her confidence. Regardless of their tendency to be nightmarish, when she awoke from the dreams she felt powerful.
As Kara rounded the 10-mile mark and began her cool down walk, she made her decision. Frak it…she didn't need a shrink. These girls might be weird, but they were a healthier obsession than teenage romance reading.***********************
***********************A/N: Next Chapter: "What Dreams May Come..."
Kara's night time meanderings will take a significant turn and turn her world upside down.