DISCLAIMERS: SG1, Clone-Jack, and anyone you recognize belong to MGM, Gekko & others that are not Scorpio. Xander & the Scooby’s belong to Mutant Enemy & the “Grrr Argh” Monster, not Scorpio.
The stranger snorted in dark derision. “I am not now, nor have I ever been one of your agents, D’Hoffryn. Think again.”
The tall alien shrugged, “Not in any formal sense, no. We have, however, had a long standing truce based on the fact that you and yours keep humanity from dying out and I don’t let my minions wreak vengeance upon you and your Slayers.”
The stranger gestured to himself, “Then explain this!”
“The humans of this reality are doomed, Xanris. They need you.”
That snagged Johnny’s attention like nothing else so far had. “What are you taking about? Why are we doomed and what the hell can he do about it?”
D’Hoffryn frowned and gestured to the stars in the sky. “I don’t have any details, nor any real influence in this reality. As I said, this particular timeline has very few demonic links to it. On the other hand, it’s a central reality very close to the timestream core. What happens here ripples out in ever increasing waves until it hits the outer realities and effects things there. It’s all very metaphysical and logic defying, I assure you. The seers of dark, light and neutrality have been frantic at the doom they see coming because it originates in a reality that they can’t access.” D’Hoffryn glanced over at the young man with the gobsmacked look on his face. “Until now that is.”
“No!” The stranger’s anger was growing again. “No, I will not be anyone’s butt-monkey. No trained Xander-on-a-leash! Find someone else!”
D’Hoffryn sighed and pinched his nose tightly against a headache. “Xander, stop being an ass and listen to me. I don’t know what it is that’s coming. The seer’s visions are too vague. Just that it’s huge and it comes from beyond the stars.”
Twin snorts came from the stranger and Johnny. They shared a quick glance and smirk.
“This world has no demons, or at least, very very few. Most of the threats they face are from beings from other planets around the galaxy. You see, on this world, the precursors to humanity didn’t dabble in the mystical and shatter the barriers between the dimensions by creating the Hellmouths. Instead, those people turned their minds to the scientific and created a gate between planets. As a consequence, the history of the galaxy in this timeline is extremely different from the one in yours. They aren’t prepared to face what’s coming. You are.”
Johnny was confused and starting to get more than a little worried here. The gate between planets was a perfect description of the Stargate, but apparently, the Ancients of Xan’s alternate reality didn’t build it. Instead they opened a gate to other dimensions. Weird, but it made sense in a strange way. It was the fact that this unknown enemy was not something that his reality could deal with without the help of this stranger that worried him.
“Why do you care what happens to us?” Suspicion reverberated in his voice.
The tall alien raised up one eyebrow and smirked. “How can I continue to torture humans if there aren’t any left?” D’Hoffryn waved his hand in a lazy gesture and was swallowed up by flames once again. When they faded away, he was gone.
For a long moment Johnny stared at the empty space that had just held the tall doom-saying alien and tried to convince himself that he was drunk or insane or something. Then the strange man shifted slightly and proved that he was also still there and as such not a figment of his warped imagination.
The man snorted and looked up at Johnny, his young face pulled into a wan smile even though his dark eyes seemed to hold pain and despair. “Look, kid. I’m sorry that you got pulled into this crap. Just…” he sighed, “just go on home and forget about it ever happening. It’s not something that you need to worry about or get involved in.”
Johnny blinked at him for a moment in confusion until he realized that the guy was trying to protect him from what he saw as a dangerous situation because he thought that he was the kid he looked like. Johnny frowned and reached up to rub his temples in an effort to fend off the headache that he could feel starting.
“First off, before you go off and get yourself in a mess by being an alien on my world, let’s have some formal introductions. That might make you understand some things. Okay?”
The guy shrugged lightly as if it wouldn’t bother him to humor Johnny a bit. “Sure, kid.”
A smirk twisted Johnny’s lips, “Fine. I’m Jonathan O’Neill, the teenaged clone of Colonel Jack O’Neill USAF, the 2IC of the program that deals with that gate to other planets that your friend was telling you about. I’m the result of a kidnapping by an alien mad-scientist and a botched cloning experiment so I’ve got the full set of memories and knowledge, but only a fraction of the age. You?”
The kid in the strange over-sized uniform blinked rapidly at him for a long moment as he processed all that Johnny had said and then shook his head slightly and sighed. “I’m Commander Watcher Alexander Harris of the United Slayer Army, Commander in charge of the forces assigned to the Middle East and Africa, specifically. In demonic circles I’m also known as Xanris the White Knight.” He shrugged lightly, but his eyes spoke differently, “I’m actually around 56 years old and used to have thinning gray hair, one eye and a knee and hip so messed up I could barely walk without my brace.”
Johnny chuckled, but it was an understanding and sarcastic sort of laugh, “Yeah. I get it.” He gestured to his own head of short brown hair, “Gray and going grayer,” then he flexed his knees meaningfully, “both of them were getting worse by the mission and it won’t be long until they give out on my original and then he’ll be riding a desk instead of in the field.”
The was a long pause where they both just watched the other, threat assessing, thinking and processing what they had learned and wondering just what the hell this was all going to mean once everything had been figured out. Finally, Johnny sighed and gestured with his head to the wooden stairs leading up to his apartment over Lou Ferretti’s garage.
“Come on. Let’s get you inside and fed if you’re hungry. I’ve got clothes that will fit you and you really can not wander around with those weapons. You’ll be picked up and tossed in the slam until they figure out what to do with an armed kid with no papers.” He shrugged and stared into the distance for another moment. “I hate to say it, but I should also contact my original. He needs to know about you and the supposed threat you’re here to deal with, plus he can get you papers and set up an identity for you.”
The other displaced teen tensed instantly, “Uh…I don’t know. I’m not real keen on being locked up in a lab and getting dissected by a bunch of military doctors so they can figure out how I tick, ya know?”
Johnny didn’t even try to tell him that something like that would never happen. If the NID caught wind of him, they would have just that in mind. “Understood. I feel the same way and I won’t lie to you, there are groups out there that would find dissecting both you and me a whole lotta fun. Jack isn’t with one of those. Hell, I’m a clone made by advanced alien technology and I’m not strapped to a table somewhere. And even if Jack wasn’t a stand-up guy, General Hammond is.”
“Hammond, Hammond.” Xanris glanced up at Johnny with a questioning look on his face, “General George Hammond, father of Samantha Marie Hammond-Finn?”
Johnny raised up an eyebrow and nodded, “Yeah. Him. Only, Samantha never got married in this timeline. She, um,,,she was killed several years ago in a car wreak when she was on leave up in New York.” He winced and then looked back up, “Sorry.”
Xanris nodded and sighed, “Yeah.”
There was a long awkward pause and Johnny wanted to get past that so he clapped his hands together and nodded. “Right. Let’s…just get this show on the road. Or, rather, into my apartment before the neighbors decide it’s time for them to take an interest.”
Xanris gave a bark of derisive laughter and shook his head even as he began heading up the stairs. “People are blind and stupid. They’ll only get involved if it is one – safe for them, two – won’t mess with their narrow vision of the world and three – will fuck someone else’s life up in the process.”
Johnny found himself nodding in agreement even as he smirked, “A touch on the pessimistic side, ain’t’cha?”
Xanris threw him a slightly amused look over his shoulder as he reached the small landing at the top of the stairs. “I was in the desert once and saved a lady from being eaten by a large reptile from a lower dimension. One that walked on its hind legs, carried weapons and growled out a fairly understandable version of the Arabic language. So, after she thanked me for killing it, she informed me that they grew their alligators real big in that area.” He snorted, “So, no it’s not pessimism, its realism.”
Laughing, Johnny opened his front door and gestured Xanris inside. “You think that’s bad? Let me tell you about this one time when I was on a mission….” And then he shut the door behind them as they walked into his living room.
END – WISH GRANTED