Summary: Buffy somehow managed to fall through another portal.
Categories: Crossovers > General Characters: Elizabeth Weir, John Sheppard, Major Lorne, Other, Rodney McKay, Ronon Dex, Teyla Emmagan
Genres: Action/Adventure, AU - Alternate Universe, Challenge, Pre-relationship
Chapters: 8 Completed: Yes
Word count: 9847 Read: 389
Published: 18 Dec 2016 Updated: 13 Mar 2017
Disclaimer: BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon, the Stargate franchise is the property of whoever holds the copyright.
A/N 1: Not beta read. Sorry.
A/N 2: This was written for the 2016 Fic-A-Day Challenge over at TwistedShorts on LJ / TtHFanfic.org.
A/N 3: 'Stjerneportalen' is simply a Norwegian translation of 'the stargate'.
A/N 4: This is set ca. season five with Elizabeth Weir still being alive.
1. Stjerneportalen by Mirrored Illusions
2. Den Tapte Byen by Mirrored Illusions
3. En Ny Virkelighet by Mirrored Illusions
4. Alene I En Annen Dimensjon by Mirrored Illusions
5. Første oppdrag by Mirrored Illusions
6. Tilbakerapportering by Mirrored Illusions
7. Klarsyn by Mirrored Illusions
8. Enhjørnings Planeten by Mirrored Illusions
'Stjerneportalen' is simply a Norwegian translation of 'the stargate'.
Buffy sighed. This was the fourth time in as many planets that had been attacked by the Wraith while she was there. Once again she was fighting for her life and the life of the villagers, who yet again fled rather than even try to fight. She had just cut the feeding hand off of a particular annoying Wraith and was about to repeat the gesture with his head when she suddenly heard the unmistakable sound of gunfire. It was completely out of place given the primitive people who seemed to live in this galaxy. Well, if you ignored the advanced weaponry some of them had.
Her head turned so fast she nearly missed the annoying creature firing his energy weapon, and only barely managed to avoid it. Experience of watching various people being hit with the thing had made her very certain that she did NOT want to get in it's direct path, or even to be graced by it. After quickly dispatching his head she ran towards the randomly firing automatic gunfire. When she rounded some threes she got a shock; on the outskirts of the village were four people. Three men and a woman. Two of the men and the woman were wearing BDU's while the fourth wore brown leather pants and a brown leather vest.
The apparent leader was tall and had dark, gravity defying hair and wiry body, but more interestingly there was a small patch on his uniform that looked suspiciously like the American flag. The second man was blond, slightly taller than the first one, and he was more pudgy around the middle. He also had a patch on his shoulder, but his looked more like the Canadian flag. The woman was about her own height, but with a much more generous chest. Her hair was reddish brown and about shoulder length. Best of all, she moved like a seasoned warrior and she was clearly a better fighter than the two men.
Her eyes roamed involuntary over the last man from the head and all the way down to his boots. He was a tall, slender man with some nice looking biceps which was clearly visible due to him being kind enough to wear a vest rather than a shirt or a jacket. His face was framed by long dreads mostly tied in the back, and he was tall. Really, really tall. He was definitely easy on the eyes, and her libido reminded her that it had been way too long since she'd had sex last. She squashed the thought.
She took in all of them in a second before she joined the fray. This was not the time to enjoy the view, no matter how pleasant said view was. Using the Scythe as her primary weapon she used it to alternatively slice and dice the wraith and their foot soldiers, and simply staking them with the other end of her very shiny weapon. Out of the corner of her eyes she saw the probable Earth-people take up defensive positions behind her and to the sides in order to cover her blindspots, and guard her flanks. Buffy gave a slight smile at that while cutting off another feeding hand on the downswing from taking off another head.
After dispatching the last one she turned around and smiled to the shorter of the three men, and inclined her head in thanks. "Thanks for the backup. When did you arrive on this planet?" The question was matter-of-fact, but still seemed to catch them off guard.
"About an hour ago. We had a look around before we noticed the Wraith." The leader guy replied. At least she thought he was the leader. "Are you from this world?" He clearly didn't believe that, but good manners were a wonderful thing. Sometimes.
Besides, her pink leather pants and the white tank top with 'PARENTAL ADVISORY. EXPLICIT CONTENT' emblazoned across it in a very familiar black and white logo was pretty much a dead giveaway. Thanks, Faith. She added silently to herself only half sarcastically. She had thankfully had a backpack with her when she fell through the portal, but it only had two sets of pants, two long sleeved tops, a t-shirt, and a black leather jacket in it. Along with some toiletries, a bottle of water, a half-eaten sandwich, her wallet, and her cell phone. The last two were completely useless to her at the moment as apparently you didn't get phone service in Pegasus.
But of course, the soldiers had to find her when she looked extra girly, with added attitude, and a body count. Go, go Buffy! Way to make a positive first impression! She thought to herself, this time with definite sarcasm.
"No, I'm from Earth. Actually I'm from California. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that little blue marble, would you?" A long time habit made her smile at the raised eyebrows.
"Maybe we should continue this conversation back at base?" Then as an obvious added incentive he said, "We have coffee." The last part made her laugh, but she followed him towards the Gateway anyway. It had been several months since she'd gotten her hands on that black, bitter goodness.
It was a ten-fifteen minute walk to what they called the Stargate, but it ended up being nearly an hour as she had to get her backpack and then talk to the village elders before she left their hospitality. But in the end they managed to convince her to go with them, despite her misgivings about secret military operations.
However, what got her to go along in the end was a promise to spar with Ronon, he of the very nice biceps, and Teyla, her fellow female warrior. The promise to check if she really was from their Earth helped, but Buffy didn't have high expectations. She had a gut feeling that this was another dimension or reality or something, but whatever it was there would be no way home. Not really.
'Den tapte byen' means 'the lost city'.
On the other side of the Gateway they were met by Marines pointing P90's, thank you Collective Slayer Knowledge for the random piece of information, straight at them. It made Buffy tense immediately. She didn't like being at the business end of any kind of weaponry, but projectile weapons least of all. It gave her flashbacks to several bad episodes back in Sunnydale.
They were quickly pointed towards the ground after being ordered to do so by Colonel Sheppard, and then a tall woman with shoulder length wavy brown hair came walking out of an office on the second floor. She walked over to a wide set of stairs, with some kind of norse writing on them. There she stopped and clasped her hands together in front of herself before greeting the returning team and asking about Buffy. Like everyone else she was staring at Buffy's outfit, not that she blamed them. It had to be kinda surreal to all of them.
It didn't take long for them to first be ordered to the infirmary, where she got a check-up before being pronounced the healthiest person the doctor had ever seen. No surprises there. Then it was off to a conference room where Dr. Weir was waiting to interrogate her.
All the while Buffy was admiring the building they had gated into. It was light and airy, with a blue-ish theme that seemed to go through everything, except for some more colorful stained glass windows. There was also some kind of water things in the hallways which bubbled. It was beautiful, but it lacked something, somehow.
The people here appeared to be for the most part either military, mainly Marines, or scientists. The military part made her feel uneasy. It had been years since the Initiative, but nearly every time she saw soldiers or someone in dress blues she flashed back to that particular point in her life.
Inside the conference room there were three tables placed in a horseshoe form with Dr. Weir at the helm. The two Pegasus natives, Teyla and Ronon, were on her left along with a blond, blue eyed, boy-next-door military man who gave her a guarded smile and a nod in welcome. He vaguely reminded her of Graham Miller, one of Riley's best friends. Hopefully without a blind loyalty to a psychopath. On her right was Dr. Rodney 'I'm the smartest man in two galaxies' McKay, who was thankfully silent at the moment as he was tapping away on a hand-held computer of some kind and ignoring everyone.
Col. Sheppard, who had really turned out to be both the team leader and the military commander of the not-so-lost city of Atlantis, preceded her into the room. He went straight for the vacant chair on Dr. Weir's immediate right while he told Buffy to pick a chair further down the same side. She chose the chair closest to the door, which just so happened to leave an empty seat between her and the overly talkative scientist.
The civilian commander didn't waste any time and jumped straight into it as soon as Buffy had gotten comfortable.
"Welcome to Atlantis. As I said when you arrived along with Col. Sheppard's team, I am Dr. Elizabeth Weir, the civilian commander of Atlantis. Col. Sheppard is the military commander, and my second in command. His second in command is Major Lorne." She indicated the Graham look-a-like. "You have of course already met Ronon Dex, Teyla Emmagan, and Dr. Rodney McKay." She gave a brief pause and a small upturn of her lips.
"Perhaps you could introduce yourself and explain how you ended up in our fair galaxy?"
Buffy mentally rubbed her hand over her face. This was the big moment. How much could she tell these people? How much of what she actually remembered, and how much of what she thought had happened to her? There was only one way to find out so she decided to give a heavily edited version of the events and then just take it from there.
"My name is Buffy Summers, and yes, my given name is really Buffy. It is not a nickname or short for anything." The last part was directed at the annoying scientist who scoffed at the name again. But thankfully kept his mouth shut.
"As I told Col. Sheppard back on Lareva, I'm originally from California. Specifically Los Angeles, but I haven't lived there in years. My most recent address was in Cleveland, Ohio but it was more of a base than an actual home. I've spent more than a decade working in security and travelling around both America and the world. The world, as in Earth that is" Unsurprisingly it was the second to last sentence which gained the most interest, or rather disbelief - especially from the two people who had not seen her in action.
"How can you have spent 10 years in security when you can't be more than a teenager, or very early in your twenties at the most?" Dr. Weir gave Dr. McKay a sharp look when he began interrupting and amazingly he actually stopped talking.
"I look very young for my age, but you can add more than a decade to your last estimate." Which was essentially true, but at the same time a rather big lie due to the deliberately wrong implication. She had turned 56 only a month before her unwilling trans-dimensional trip. But trying to convince these people of that would probably be an exercise in futility as it would not show up in her medical check-up, so she shaved more than two decades off her age in an attempt to not be treated as an errant teenager. Being the 'Queen Slayer' had both its advantages and its disadvantages.
"As for how I ended up here; I'm not entirely sure." Again a half-truth. "I was minding my own business when everything around me suddenly began falling apart and I thought my vision was going blurry, but I quickly realized that was not the case." At this point some random soldiers came in with several pots of coffee and seven mugs. Buffy, who had smelled the aroma even before the doors were opened, bent her head over the nectar of the gods as soon as she was given her own mug, and inhaled deeply.
There were several snorts in the peanut gallery, and she was pretty certain that the esteemed military commander asked her if she wanted some alone time with the coffee under his breath before getting an elbow in the ribs from McKay, but at the moment she could not bring herself to care in the slightest. There was honest to god coffee in front of her and she was going to enjoy it!
It took a while but eventually all the delicious coffee in her mug was gone and she looked up at her spectators and smiled a little sheepishly.
"Sorry, it's been a while and I didn't think I'd ever get coffee again. I don't even care that it's the cheap office kind because it's coffee!" That got her some more laughter and another cup of the beverage. This time she sipped it a little more slowly.
"Anyways, as I was saying. Everything seemed to be breaking apart around me. Buildings, trees, cars, the road. In the distance it looked like huge pieces of the Earth were breaking off and disappearing up towards the sky somehow. The sky itself was also being torn asunder. It was bizarre. And frightening. And believe me, I don't scare easily." She grimaced a little, seeing it again in her mind's eye. "Next thing I know a portal opened up beneath my feet and I fell through it and then out of a Gateway. And I've been here ever since."
Buffy finished up her tale. It was far from everything, but the rest was either not something these people needed to know about or it was too hazy for her to remember, even months later. Somehow the fact that she couldn't recall everything that had happened bugged her more than the apparent destruction of her entire dimension. Either way, there was nothing she could do. And while she had lost friends, they were more acquaintances than actual friends. All her family was dead, and Dawn had long since been turned back into the Key. Ironically the Slayer, the girl destined to die young and violently, had outlived every single one of her friends, and she had even survived a dozen Watchers.
The people sitting around the conference room would judge her, weigh her words, the credibility of those words, and hold it up against her outward form. The four people who had seen her fight the Wraith on Lareva would also judge her ability to fight. The question was, would they see it, her looks, for the veneer it was or would they simply dump her into the crazy, blonde box and keep her there?
'En ny virkelighet' means 'a new reality'.
It had been two weeks since she had followed John Sheppard and his team back to Atlantis, and on the first day there had been a long meeting where part of the upper management tried to get her to fit into one of their not-so-neat little boxes. It hadn't worked, but points for trying. Right? On the bright side Sheppard and his team didn't seem to worried about that, instead they just kept an extra eye on her. Well, McKay was worried, but it hadn't taken her long to figure out that that was pretty much his stand-by reaction to something he didn't understand but could potentially be dangerous to him.
She had given them her full name, birthdate, place of birth, and other essential information in an attempt to find out if she existed here - or if she'd existed here at some point in the past. Somehow she still doubted that they would be able to find anything on her, but if they wanted to waste their time on it then fine. Everything had been sent back to Earth in a weekly databurst, and she was told it would take a week or two before they would get a reply.
Oddly it seemed like she hadn't just crossed space but also time, as according to Dr. Weir it was 2009 and not 2037 as it had been when she left her own dimension. Not that she had revealed the real year she had come from, just that it was further into the future. It also meant that she would officially be '28'. Or rather she would be '27' for another 17 days and then supposedly turn '28' as it was January second here.
Maybe she could get herself a small celebration here for her not-really-birthday, preferably without any kind of supernatural interference or alien interference as the case may be in Pegasus. Then again, probably not. It would be just her luck that something bad happened on that date, real birthday or not.
On the much brighter side she had been allowed to spar with first Ronon and then the day after she'd had an even better fight with Teyla involving something called Bantos Rods. The sparring match with Ronon had drawn a lot of the military personnel who had heard about the incident with the Wraith on Lareva and wanted to see her in action. Especially after they got a look at her in person and it clearly didn't match their image of a female warrior. An image which probably looked more like a taller version of Teyla than Buffy's 5'2", blonde hair, and general girly-girl attitude.
The poor souls had been in for a rude awakening after she first kicked Ronon's backside all over the training room, and then repeated it again with over half the soldiers before Dr. Weir showed up and ruined her fun. There might've even been a little pouting at that, and not just from her. The non-combative audience had clearly enjoyed the free show and there had been several bets going on when it had all been brought to a halt.
She'd been allowed to go and shower but had then been told in no uncertain terms that she was to present herself in Dr. Weir's office immediately afterwards. It had eerily reminded her of being sent to the principal's office back in high school. Except she was in her mid-fifties now pretending to be in her early- to mid-thirties rather than the teenager she had once been. Although to be fair she had usually done something to genuinely deserve being sent to the principal, just like she had probably deserved to be sent to Weir's office.
The meeting hadn't been as bad as she had expected, evidently Ronon had pulled something similar when he first arrived in the city - except he hadn't really bothered to pull his punches like she had. The underlying words saying she wasn't able to cause the same amount of bodily damage as he had. It had been naive of the good doctor, but Buffy had seen no reason to correct her assumption at the time.
The next fight, err, sparring match had been with Teyla, who it turned out came from a world of traders and farmers called Athos. Ronon had been from a world of warriors called Sateda. She had chosen to spar with her chosen weapons, two sticks she called Bantos Rods. Buffy had been given another pair and was shown the basics of this particular fighting practise before they began.
It had still been an uneven match, Buffy's Slayer strength, speed, and agility easily gave her the upper hand, but Teyla gave as well as she got. Proving that she was both stronger and faster than a normal human, but still less powerful than Buffy. Nevertheless it had been the best sparring match she'd had since Faith nearly two decades before. Needless to say they'd repeated the exercise several times since, both to teach Buffy how to use the Bantos Rods properly and simply for the enjoyment it brought the two of them.
Then Buffy heard the distinctive sound of Elizabeth Weir's footsteps. Today was the day when the databurst would come and they had promised a reply.
Alene I En Annen Dimensjon by
'Alene i en annen dimensjon' means 'alone in another dimension'.
As soon as Buffy heard Dr. Weir's footsteps she stopped her nervous pacing and sat down on the office chair that had been included in her quarters. This was the moment of truth; was this an alternate dimension or reality like she thought, or had she somehow been transported to the Pegasus Galaxy - and for whatever reason also been thrown back in time as well?
When the polite knock on the door finally came she was calm and collected, or at least she appeared that way on the outside. On the inside her heart was beating hard against her chest, and she'd had to perform one of her breathing exercises to calm her breathing. There were only three people who might've been able to see the tension and nervousness in her, but all three of them were long dead. Faded memories of a much simpler time.
Buffy thought the door open. It was something she had discovered early on that she was capable of, but, like all her other abilities, she was careful not to flaunt it. Well, she definitely flaunted her fighting skills and some of her strength, but the rest was kept on the down low. The only reason she opened the door with her mind was that she had seen Sheppard do the same thing nearly every time he went first into a room. A few others had done it as well, but not as effortlessly.
The Civilian Commander entered her quarters with a raised eyebrow, but in light of the reason she had decided to come all the way to the guest quarters rather than simply summon their newly arrived warrior, made her leave her questions unasked. For now.
Weir wore her standard Atlantis uniform; black BDU pants, a red short-sleeved shirt, and a black jacket with with red inserts to identify her as a civilian. Buffy had quickly realized that the military personnel had black inserts, medical had yellow, the technicians were green, and the scientists had shades of blue. It was very nice of them to make sure they were color coordinated for everyone's convenience.
"Miss Summers," Dr. Weir greeted her as she walked into the room as the door closed behind her. She grasped her hands in front of her in a gesture Buffy now recognized as her way of stopping herself from fidgeting. "The databurst came an hour ago and Stargate Command sent me the result of their research into you and the people whose names you gave us."
"And?" Buffy asked politely, while silently indicating with her hand that she should sit down on the only other chair in the room. She had gotten up when her guest entered the room as manners dictated she should, and sat back down after her.
"You were right about not existing in this reality. There is no Buffy Summers or even an Elizabeth Summers currently alive in Los Angeles or anywhere else in either California, Ohio, or the rest of the United States. Nor, as far as the SGC can tell, has there ever been anyone with that name matching your birthdate or the weeks leading up to or after it."
Buffy nodded a little resigned; she had expected as much, but there was a finality in actually hearing the words. "What about my family and friends?" It was unlikely they would have alternates here, but one could never tell when something would surprise you.
"There are a few dozen women named Joyce Summers within your mother's age range, but none of them really fit your description of her, and about half of them have Summers as their maiden name instead of their married name. They got more or less the same result when using her maiden name." Dr. Weird stopped to draw her breath, more because she wanted to stall a little than any necessary measures.
"They found several hundred men named Henry 'Hank' Summers, but again many of them were eliminated from the seach due to not fitting your description of him. The same thing happened with Willow Rosenberg and Alexander 'Xander' Harris. There are no foreign nationals in America called Rupert Giles, and while there are several with that name in the UK they do not match either. However, the SGC sent pictures of the most likely candidates for your perusal."
Buffy nodded again. Naturally the military and their civilian handlers would want to cover all bases before giving it their stamp of approval. If her parents hadn't been born in this reality then the likelihood of her high school friends being around had pretty much been zero.
"And Sunnydale?" It wasn't the actual city she was interested in; it was about what it represented, why it was built in the first place. The Boca Del Inferno. The reason she and her mother had been manipulated to move there after Buffy had been Chosen. Even decades later she didn't know if her relocation had been set up by the Powers That Be or just by the Watcher's Council, or even a combination of the two.
"There is not nor has there ever been a city, town, village, or any other kind of settlement by that name in California or anywhere else in the country." This time she was unable to hide her relief and gave the other woman a plain but much more relaxed smile.
"Do you mind telling me why that makes you so happy? I was under the impression you spent half your teenage years and at least some of your 20's in this city."
Oops, Buffy thought to herself. Even now she would occasionally make this kind of slips, but it could've been worse. "While I have a lot of good memories from there, I also have a lot of horrible ones, and knowing there's no Sunnydale here makes me feel much better about it."
It was a thin excuse, but it was the best she could come up with on short notice, but it wasn't like she could tell Elizabeth Weir that the real reason she was so relieved was that there wasn't a passageway into a hell dimension in California. There could still be one in Cleveland or in any number of places though.
Their conversation continued for another 10 minutes or so before Dr. Weir excused herself and said she needed to get back to her office and her other duties. Prior to leaving though she asked Buffy to call her Elizabeth, and told her that if she was willing she could accompany Major Lorne's team on a mission the next week.
The only appropriate answers to that was, "Of course, please call me Buffy." And, "Great! When do I get to meet the rest of his team?"
'Første oppdrag' means 'first mission'.
Major Lorne, whose first name had turned out to be Evan, lead a team consisting of two Marines and an Astrophysicist. It soon became apparent that one of the Marines was a cheerful young woman named Laura Cadman, who was also an explosives specialist. She was upbeat and easy to talk to, and the fact that she was so comfortable with violence was definitely plus even if it was mostly of the bomb variety. Buffy mentally put her down as someone to at the very least be on friendly terms with if nothing else. Having female friends and allies who knew how to take care of themselves and fight was always good.
She had met Major Lorne's team the day before the mission, but she'd first had a one on one conversation with Lorne in his office the day after her talk with Elizabeth. In the meeting he had outlined how the Atlantis Expedition conducted their assignments to other worlds in the Pegasus Galaxy, what was expected of her both in Atlantis and off world, she was also given a list of the Expedition's objectives and their priorities. It was followed by a trip to the shooting range where she had to prove she was proficient in various guns and other projectile weapons. While she still did not like guns she also understood that it was unavoidable considering this was a military expedition and the Wraith weren't exactly up for cuddling. The human population wasn't necessarily all that friendly either. Still, she much preferred her sharp and shiny weapons, especially her Scythe.
He had skipped the hand-to-hand test since he had already seen her sparr with both Ronon and Teyla several times. To Buffy's amusement Teyla had somehow managed to talk him into sparring with her as well, despite his repeated polite rejections. He had naturally lost but he had been graceful about it. Which she had approved of as there were too many men out there who were unable to handle being bested by a woman.
Ronon had also taken his losses well, and had taken it a step further and asked for a trade: he'd teach her the fighting techniques of his homeworld in exchange for her teaching him the fighting techniques of her reality/dimension. Or as he simply said; your world. Buffy had accepted, both for the new skills she would acquire thanks to this deal, but also because she genuinely wanted to spend time with this warrior and find out if he was someone worth getting to know a lot better or not.
The meeting with the team had been nice. It wasn't a huge success but it wasn't a disaster either. Captain Cadman had been the most open and unreserved, while her fellow Marine, Lt. Josh McKinnon, had been a little sceptical but cordial none the less. The team's resident scientist, Dr. Werner Draum, had spent most of his time tapping away on his portable computer, much like Dr. McKay had during her interrogation on her first day in the city.
Regardless, the five of them were now on a supposedly abandoned planet. Another team had checked it out a few weeks before, but Elizabeth had instituted a standard procedure that the archeological teams were not allowed off world unless the planet in question had been thoroughly checked out for any and all kinds of problems. In off world scenarios 'problems' could be anything from hostile natives, to Wraith, to dodgy/Ancient technology, to dangerous woods, underbrush, mountains, rocks, the local wildlife, and anything and everything inbetween.
The planet they were currently on had some old ruins on it believed to be of Ancient origin. The last team had found some weak energy readings in the remnants of what appeared to be a small village, but had been unable to locate precisely where it came from. Hence the main reason they were there, other than give a secondary stamp of approval for the geek squad to come and do their thing. Major Lorne took Lt. McKinnon with him to guard Dr. Draum while he made an attempt to track down the elusive signal.
Meanwhile it was up to Buffy and Captain Cadman to check the perimeter. She extended her senses as they began walking; first she tuned out Cadman beside her, then the low chatter between Lorne, McKinnon, and Draum, then she identified each sound one by one and then eliminated them if she believed them to be benign. A few were put in the 'wait and see' box, but none came up as 'dangerous'. In other words there were no other humans in the vicinity, no Wraith, and as far as she could tell there were no other predators around who posted a danger to her temporary team.
A visual scan of the area turned up more or less the same thing, as did her supernatural/danger sense. Which was good, at least for now.
Six hours later and she suddenly heard the sound of hooves coming towards their general direction. In that time Cadman and McKinnon had switched places four times, but at the moment she was walking around the perimeter with Lorne. He'd turned out to be a nice enough guy, but with a good sense of humor and a penchant for sarcasm. As they walked into the ruins again she kept an ear out for whatever animals which were coming towards them. It was probably two or three of them, but they sounded heavy and they moved a lot faster than she expected.
Nearly ten minutes later and three unicorns stepped through the nearby foliage. Or rather they looked like unicorns before her brain caught up to the fact that they were green. Their coat was a sea foam shade of green and their mane was a dark shade of moss. In the middle of each of their foreheads they had a bright orange horn. An eye-watering shade of orange. Buffy blinked and stared at the strange horse-like animals for several minutes before she realised that one of them was charging Lt. McKinnon and another was charging towards Major Lorne. The third seemed content to simply watch from the treeline.
In a burst of Slayer speed she managed to get Lorne out of the way of the charging beast, but McKinnon was not as lucky and got a horn through the side of his body. Buffy added even more speed and caught up to the Lieutenant but not before the equine managed to step on him. She took a quick look at the wound while Lorne and Cadman scared the unicorn-like animals away with gunfire. Dr. Draum had hidden in one of the more intact buildings as soon as he saw the animals galloping towards their team. Buffy put her field first aid training to good use before picking the nearly unconscious man up off the ground and began running towards the Stargate.
Before she gained too much speed she yelled over her shoulder, "Wait five minutes and then send your code through to the city. Contact me when it's open. Don't hesitate." And then she was gone.
When she finally reached the DHD she was mindful of the injured man in her arms as she dialled. It was a little tricky and McKinnon was loosing a lot of blood. Thankfully she didn't have to wait long for Lorne to give her the go ahead.
"The door is open and medical is on it's way."
She didn't reply, moving her hand up to her earpiece would've caused unnecessary pain and discomfort to McKinnon, and simply ran into the water like surface. Someone on the other side would no doubt report back to him that she and her precious cargo had made it safely to the city. On the other side she didn't wait for the medical personnel to arrive and just ran towards the infirmary. Dr. Beckett, or rather his clone as she had overheard someone call him, met her about two thirds of the way there. She gently put the man on the stretcher they brought with them and then moved out of the way as the doctor and nurses took over.
She'd done all she could for him, all that was left to do now was wait. Wait for news if he would make it, and wait for Elizabeth to be notified and then come down to the infirmary corridor to ask her questions. And of course wait for the rest of the team to return to the city.
'Tilbakerapportering' means 'debrief'.
Two hours after her hasty return to the city and Buffy was sitting in the conference room along with Major Lorne, Captain Cadman, and Dr. Draum trying to explain to the Civilian Expedition Leader and the Military Commander what had happened.
"We left Atlantis at 8am SAT (Standard Atlantis Time) and arrived on M7A-772 at what appeared to be about an hour before noon. We walked to the Ancient ruins, and Captain Cadman and Summers secured the perimeter. Lt. McKinnon and I took turns guarding Dr. Draum, and about once an hour one of us would switch with Captain Cadman and join Summers on sentry watch." Lorne summed up the first, normal part of their mission, before he continued with the unusual part of it.
"Around the six hour mark Summers yelled out a warning and then dragged me out of the way of a charging green unicorn-like equine, before she ran over to Lt. McKinnon but she didn't get there in time to stop one of the other animals from impaling him on its horn."
"It was bright orange. The horn, I mean." Buffy could help but interrupt. It didn't matter that she was in her mid-fifties, there were some occasions where she just could not keep her mouth shut. "Sorry," she added when both Elizabeth and the two Air Force officers gave her a look which made her feel like she'd been accused of misbehaving in school again. It was an oddly comforting feeling. It also reminded her of an American and less stuffy, and in Elizabeth's case, female, version of Giles. In triplicate. She smothered a grin at the thought.
Lorne on the other hand chose to ignore her comment and just moved on with his report. "When Summers reached McKinnon she gave him a once over to check for other injuries than the obvious one before she rendered first aid. When she finished she picked him up cautiously and began running towards the Stargate. Before she got to the edge of the ruins she turned half-way around and yelled to me to wait five minutes before sending my code through, and to give her the go-ahead to pass through."
"Cadman and I lay down cover fire for her while she worked on McKinnon and to scare away any other equines who might decide to join the fray. Dr. Draum was hiding in one of the smaller more or less intact buildings during the episode. Once Summers left we packed up the camp, policed our trash, and then began the trek back to the 'Gate."
Elizabeth nodded. "Do any of you know why the... unicorns... decided to attack you?" It was a fair question but not one any of them could answer.
"There were probably about two dozen of them in the forest put together during the time we were there, but those three were the only ones who turned hostile and attacked us." Off Sheppard's raised eyebrows Buffy continued, "I was keeping an eye out for trouble but I also listened intently to everything around us. The forest had various animals in it and some of them came and stared at us from time to time. The three unicorns who assaulted us were the fourth group who came and checked us out."
None of them had seemed to have any kind of ill intent towards her temporary team so she had let them be and instead focused on other things. Obviously this had been a mistake.
Elizabeth nodded more slowly this time, "How were you able to get to the Stargate so fast? By your own admission down in the infirmary it took you less than five minutes to get back here while carrying a highly injured man nearly twice your size, but according to Major Lorne it took him and the rest of the team nearly three quarters of an hour of walking to return."
Inside Buffy's head an imaginary Giles looked at her with disappointed eyes before he took off his glasses and cleaned them without comment. Evidently her subconscious had no intention of being helpful with this particular mess. How was she supposed to explain her Slayerness without actually telling them about her Slayerness?
"I am faster and stronger than most humans. It's how I've been able to win all my sparring matches. It's also how I was able to carry McKinnon that quickly back to Atlantis." The truth was that she was both stronger and faster than any real human being she had ever met or even heard of. Even among the other Slayers she had been more powerful than any of the others.
Only Kendra and Faith had come even in the vicinity of her power, and that was most likely because they had been Chosen by the Slayer Essence rather than being activated by Willow's spell. It had come as quite the nasty shock for some of the Potentials-Turned-Slayers to discover that while they now had power it was a weaker, more diluted version of what the Chosen Two had gotten. Of course Buffy had swallowed some of the demon essence which had made the First Slayer, and as such had gotten a major power boost, and both she and Faith had been empowered by the Slayer Activation Spell. Still, the PTS's were weaker than she had been when she was first Chosen. When she'd discussed it with Faith the other Slayer had agreed with her assessment.
But that was neither here nor there. She couldn't tell these people any of that, or how she'd become a Slayer in the first place. Which meant evasions and misinformation to cover up the truth so she wouldn't end up as a guinea pig.
"Are all the humans in your reality like you?" This time it was Sheppard who asked.
"No, we're a small group of special little snowflakes." Small had been relative. There had been 2000 of them when Willow activated most of the Potentials, but as they were killed off it became obvious that they were not being replaced by any of the remaining Potentials. Instead the numbers kept dropping until there were only 45 of them left split over all seven continents. There were two in Antarctica, five in South America, ten in North America, and seven each in Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, and Europe.
"Besides, I'm 95% certain that my reality doesn't exist anymore, so it's irrelevant." It was dangerous territory for her mind to go to so she tried to deflect. She needed to be alone to go through what the adrenaline high had shook loose.
"Does it really matter? I'm here, McKinnon is going to live according to what little Dr. Beckett was willing to tell us before he kicked us out of his domain, and as long as no one tries to experiment on me or do something else unethical I am willing to help."
She managed to get them to wrap up the meeting by suggesting that there might've been something about the ruins, or rather something in the ruins which reacted to people going near it, and perhaps someone should look into that. She also managed to extract a promise to allow her to accompany Sheppard's team when they would go back to M7A-772 - or the Unicorn Planet as she called it in her head, once they had a working theory on what it could be and how to counter it.
Finally Buffy was allowed to return to her quarters, closely trailed by her Marine guards.
'Klarsyn' means 'vision'.
When Buffy returned to her quarters it was only for long enough to change into one of the exercise outfits she'd been given early on. After she had changed she threw her hair into a messy ponytail and left straight for the gym, guards in tow. The gym was thankfully empty, and so she began with one of her usual routines, starting with some simple katas to warm up. Once her body was ready for it she sped up, running through all the katas one more time before slowing down again to a more normal human speed and segueing right into her meditative Tai Chi routine.
She didn't really need to stretch beforehand as her body was made for action and was ready for extraneous activity at all times, instead it was more about preparing mentally for what was to come. In this case the mental preparation was for a repeat of a vision she'd gotten while running to the Stargate. It was uncertain if her ability to replay her visions at any time was a result of her long tenure as the Slayer or if it was connected to any of her power boosts. Faith had only had a handful of Slayer Dreams during her entire time as a Slayer, and had never been able to replay any of them. Neither had any of the PTS's, but a couple of the Potentials who had been Chosen after the number of Slayers had dropped down to a permanent number had gotten the ability after being active for various number of years.
As she emptied her mind of all distractions, all worries, and all of her fears, and after she had calmed down her thoughts she began to meditate while going through the familiar motions Angel had taught her so long ago. Long habit made her do all the moves properly, without taking any shortcuts. After some time her mind sank into the pleasantly empty space where she could review her Dreams, or the actions she had taken in many different situations, or simply to just relax without having to think about anything.
This time the last memory from her original dimension finally came into focus.
Buffy was fighting a group of vampires who, by the feel of their power, were just shy of celebrating their first centennial. Most of the group were of the minion sort; basically they had only been turned to serve a Master/Mistress and to at some point serve as a distraction and die instead of the 'real' vampires. On a general basis they were weaker than a Childe and were also taught less but ordered around a lot more. In fact, there were more minion vampires than Childe's and Masters/Mistresses.
Once the last of them had been dusted she'd taken a last walk around the cemetery before leaving it for the next one. Chicago was just another city she'd intended to slay her way through. She'd been at the outskirts of the city, having spent a little over three weeks inside the city limits and she'd just been stopping by one last cemetery before moving on to whatever city or town the road would lead her to next when everything around her suddenly began falling apart.
Next thing she knew a greenish portal opened up right beneath her feet and she fell into it with no chance of jumping to any kind of safety. Then as she opened her eyes again she'd felt like she was both floating in some kind of liquid and flying, or possibly falling, through the air at the same time. It was pleasant until a supremely bratty but very familiar voice abruptly shattered the silence.
"Buffy! This is not the time to get your zen on! Focus on me, we don't have a lot of time."
She blinked and stared at her 'sister'. Dawn looked just like she had when she first appeared in Buffy and Joyce's lives; like a bratty 14 year old girl with all the accompanying teenage drama which came with the age. Buffy remembered her mostly as a 24 year old student, although if pressed she wouldn't have been able to explain why that was.
"Yes. Now listen carefully, this is incredibly important and you need to remember it." But Buffy was mostly staring at her sister's blue eyes, the familiar shape of her face, and her long, straight brown hair, and only inattentively paying attention to what was actually said.
"Someone managed to perform a ritual which could only be performed by full, non-magical humans with the back-up of 13 evil withes and wizards, and accompanied by by at least 13 demons. As you saw before I caught you, it caused the fabric of reality to break down." The next couple of minutes went in and out of focus for Buffy before the sound became stable again.
"...So as you understand it's up to you to make sure they don't do something equally as stupid while the City is on Earth." The 'transmission' of the memory went on the fritz gain and Buffy sighed.
"-love you, please be careful. You're immortal, a true immortal as there is literally nothing anywhere that can kill you, but still. You can be tortured, and hurt, and lose limbs even if you'll get new ones overnight." Dawn kept rambling for several more minutes before she turned more and more indistinct.
"Last thing; I'm sending you to a dimension where there are no magical people or demons or, you know, other things like it, but you will still have evil creatures to fight! So you can be destructo Buffy if you want!" She rambled on some more before Buffy was suddenly 'ejected' from the memory by Colonel Sheppard clearing his throat pointedly.
When she turned towards him he began giving her orders, "We leave at 09:15 tomorrow morning so if you still want to tag along you need to get some rest." Then he added in a more normal tone. "And we'll be talking about the speed you did some of those katas some other day."
Admittedly she was more than a little miffed at being interrupted when she finally had a chance to get a few of her memories back, but on the other hand it wasn't surprising that the upper management followed her closely, including following her on the security cams. The latter was no doubt thanks to Dr. McKay's apparently considerable computer skills.
After some small chat, a fishing expedition where the colonel tried to find out more about her abilities, and finally some more information concerning the follow-up mission to the Unicorn Planet while Col. Sheppard walked her back to her quarters. He stated quite clearly that Major Lorne's team would also join the mission, minus McKinnon, bringing the total number of people going up to eight.
A quick, but heavenly shower later and she was in bed, clothed in loose sweatpants and a tank top.
The next morning she found no guards outside her door, nor did any of them join her later either. Buffy smiled to herself, seemed she'd done something to make these people trust her.
'Enhjørnings planeten' means 'the unicorn planet'.
The next morning found Buffy on the Unicorn Planet along with Major Lorne, Laura, Dr. Draum, and Col. Sheppard's team. This time there seemed to be a distinct lack of green equines with a horn on the forehead, something she wasn't entirely certain was a good thing or not. Either way she kept scanning the area both visually and by way of her enhanced auditory perception. There was no way they would be able to ambush the group again.
After showing the colonel and his team where the attack had happened, she was sent on sentry duty again along with Ronon who had no interest in either the ruins or the weak signal which was still coming and going. Predictably Dr. McKay had taken over the search for the maybe-Ancient signal and he conscripted Dr. Draum as his assistant, much to the other mans indignation.
It didn't matter though, if they wanted to squabble it was their problem. Instead she just walked the perimeter on the opposite side of Ronon. Three weeks later and he was still handsome, his biceps were still an enjoyable view and, as their sparring proved, not just for show. He also turned out to be a lot like Angel is verbal department, which was to say that he either kept quiet or he spoke in vague riddles. Okay, she admitted to herself, that last part wasn't entirely true, it just seemed that way to her because she wasn't familiar with Sateda, Atlantis, or either of their history. Sadly there were no makeout sessions to go along with the cryptic talking though. Which was a pity because the man appeared to be just her type; tall, broody, and dangerous. Oh well, she had only been with this group for a few weeks so there was still time.
That was when she heard it; hooves walking steadily over soft earth in the nearby forest. Her eyes roamed over the edge of the forest, scrutinizing it for the most likely place the unicorns would chose to leave the cover of the trees. She made a note to keep an eye on where they had exited the last time, but logically they would not take the same route. After a minute she looked up and met Ronon's eyes and gave him the pre-arrenged signal. Out of the corner of her eye she saw him get Sheppard's attention, and then like a domino effect everyone were suddenly aware of the upcoming danger.
In the forest the unicorns were closing in on them, and Buffy listened intently to try and make out how many were coming. A short while later she met Sheppard's eyes and held up one hand, showing all five fingers before closing the hand and holding up another two. There were seven of them, double of how many they had been last time. In her peripheral view she saw Laura come up beside her, on the other side of the ruins Major Lorne met Ronon as they walked back towards the group down in the ruins before stopping a short distance from them and entered a defensive stance.
A few minutes later she saw that Teyla had picked up the sound of the unicorns hooves; a minute after Ronon heard them as well, before finally the rest of them heard it. Everyone, including their two resident scientists, were standing in a comfortable defensive stance, waiting for... something. Maybe they would attack or maybe they wouldn't.
It wasn't long before the first three broke through the foliage and charged the group, head down and horn aimed towards three of the eight humans. Ronon used his blaster on one while Laura got the second, and Sheppard himself got the third. That left another four still lurking just out of sight. Buffy met Major Lorne's eye over McKay and Draum, who both looked nearly equally annoyed at being interrupted in their search, and she held up four fingers and then inclined her head towards the forest again.
There were still another four, but as far as she could tell there were no others. The only other animals were birds and other small creatures. It didn't take long for the rest to charge in as well, and like the other three members of their little herd they were gunned down.
Things were calm for the next few hours while Ronon and Laura checked out the equine carcasses, and the scientists did their scientist-y things. Buffy switched between walking around the perimeter and walking around between the ramshackle buildings trying to find something to occupy her failing. Over by the largest structure the two team leaders were discussing weather or nor they should try and bring one of the horse-things back with them on or not, and if so how they were going to accomplish that task.
Buffy tuned them out and kept walking until something inside one of the smaller properties suddenly lit up when she came up alongside it. Uh oh, she thought to herself. Over by the scientists something beeped.
"Dr. McKay, there's something over here that lit up when I came close to it." Just on the edge of her hearing she heard the now unmistakable sound of hooves, this time in a gallop rather than a walk. "And Colonel Sheppard, there are more unicorns coming. I don't think they liked me coming near this particular ruin."
She focused her hearing specifically on the sound of hooves and tried to count how many there were this time. It was made more difficult by the much larger number. In the meantime both McKay and Draum had come over and started messing with what turned out to be the machine that gave of the mysterious signal while they both made a running commentary which went miles over her head.
"Who cares? Turn it off! I'm pretty sure it's what's attracting the unicorns and making them charge us, and this time there's at least a dozen of them!" The last part caught the attention of all three officers and they immediately began surveying the edge of the woods again while readying their P-90's.
Dr. McKay actually listened to her this time and began looking for an off switch or the Ancient version of it at least. Judging by the incessant stream of words he didn't have much luck, and when the horses were a couple of minutes away she went over to Teyla, Ronon, and Laura who were standing right inside their established perimeter.
It proved to be a good idea to be there as there were a lot more than just one dozen, instead there were closer to fifty and they were all out to kill them. Sheppard, Lorne, Cadmam, Ronon, and Teyla were all shooting at the alien creatures while Buffy used her Scythe to behead them as she danced on the left side of the military half of their combined teams. There were only four left when she heard the whoop of success from Dr. Draum, and just like that the last few unicorns became docile. Before anyone could really register what had happened they turned and galloped back into the forest. Left behind were six very confused people, who turned to the two geeks for answers.
However it wouldn't be for another two days that they would get a proper explanation.
Rodney McKay was naturally the one who found the answer. "Remember the Flagisallus?"
A raised eyebrow from Sheppard and he drawled, "As in your friend Sam the not-whale? Yes, he and his buddies made quite the impression on all of us."
"Yes, yes. Turns out that the Ancients tried their little experiment with echo location on the Unicorns first. It failed, but they ended up becoming the guardians of something that is apparently hidden somewhere in the ruins. We need to find out what it is. Especially if it's ZedPM's."
And just like that team Sheppard had sniped the mission from Lorne's team, but Buffy didn't really mind. She knew there were other, more important things coming than murderous not-horses controlled by a long-dead species of human predecessors.
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