The new system worked beautifully for one week. Now everything is screwing up. Threats of rolling heads are being heard, as well as renewed talk about plant closure.
Oh, well, I can't control the outcome, so I have to let it go.
I decided that I need the release of writing, and I am determined that before I start anything else, I will finish the 12 WIP's that I have going.
I'm not kidding. 12 I bought a whiteboard to make a matrix and keep track so I won't forget what I've got going. Like I already had forgotten about two stories that are over a year old. One of them I promised my sister that I would finish last Christmas at Mom's house. I think I've written three lines on it since then.
In the spirit of storytelling, I am going to post parts one and two of my Buffy/Stargate Atlantis crossover. Part one was already posted on the_fund.
Title: Watching Atlantis - Part One (and Two)
Pairing: Buffy/Giles (eventually)
Crossover: Buffy/Stargate Atlantis
Rating: FRT A little violence, no sex or cussing. (not yet anyway)
Disclaimers: I do not own the characters used in this story and I am making no profit from it. This story is purely for entertainment purposes.
Summary: Giles is thrown into a strange New World.
This is for agilesreader who asked if anyone was interested in trying a BTV/STGA crossover where Giles finds himself in Atlantis. I hope you like.
The five demons sat at a table in the back corner at Willy’s. This was their usual table, and no one paid the slightest bit of attention to them.
There were those, if they had known what was being discussed, would have been very interested indeed. Some to help, some to hinder; but they all would have definitely been interested.
“Are you sure this is going to work?”
“Yes,” Maltz said patiently, “I got the spell from a very powerful sorcerer who has a thing against the Slayer.”
“Then why aren’t we going after the Slayer?”
Maltz wondered, not for the first time, if he really needed these morons to get the job done. Unfortunately, the sorcerer had emphasized that the spell needed five demons with magical abilities. And demons who could do magic didn’t grow on trees. At least, not in this dimension. “Because the sorcerer wants to hurt the Slayer, and the best way to hurt her is to get rid of her Watcher. Besides, we’ve all seen Slayers before. They usually last six months, a year tops. But this Slayer has been here for over four years. And why has she lasted this long?” Maltz looked around the group, letting the question trickle into their tiny brains.
When it looked like no one was going to answer him, he continued. “Because her Watcher goes out and fights with her. If it wasn’t for him, she’d have been dead a long time ago.”
“If this sorcerer wants to hurt her so bad, why doesn’t he do it himself?”
“That’s a good question, Dar’von. I asked him myself. Well, you all know that the Watcher knows how to do magic. He’s the one who has been teaching the Slayer’s friend. The sorcerer has come up against them before. The Watcher put a spell against him so that he can’t directly hurt the Slayer. He needs us to get rid of the Watcher so that spell will be broken, then he can go after the Slayer.”
“Why do we have to do a spell? Why don’t we just kill the Watcher?”
“Because,” Maltz said, with a little less patience, “if we kill the Watcher, then the whole Watcher’s Council will come after us. This way, we just send him to another dimension until the Slayer gets killed, and then the sorcerer will bring him back. But because the Slayer’s dead, he’ll leave and Sunnydale will be ours again.”
“Watcher’s Council? I didn’t know there was a Watcher’s Council.”
Maltz hadn’t known either, but he wasn’t going to admit that to them. “Of course there’s a Watcher’s Council,” he snarled. “Where do you think the Watcher’s come from? The sorcerer is paying us good money to do this as soon as possible. We’re all here and I have everything we need for the spell, so I think we should do this tonight. Does anyone have a better idea?” He glared around the table. None of the others looked back. “Okay, then let’s go.”
Maltz rose and led the way out of Willy’s. As they approached the park, a shadowy figure slipped out of the darkness and followed them.
Rupert Giles was preparing to meet his Slayer for the evening’s patrol. He smiled at his reflection, then frowned. He was primping. Like he was getting ready for a date. He turned away from the mirror and stalked out of the bathroom. A date with Buffy. How would she react to that idea? What was that phrase she and Willow used? As if.
No she was just asking her ‘old and gross’ Watcher to patrol with her because she was afraid he would leave. Even though neither of them had said anything to him, Willow must have slipped and told Buffy that he had been planning to go back to England. Oh, she had apologized for the remark many times, but deep down he knew she had meant it. To her he would always be old, and the thought of him as sexually active was disgusting. God forbid she ever discovered how he felt about her. Not that she would ever consider the possibility. She had her little solder boy.
The incident with Dracula had shaken her confidence and she was paying a lot of attention to him. His frown deepened. One could almost say she was clinging to him. Afraid of losing her substitute father, no doubt. The attention was a double-edged sword. On the one hand he was enjoying the additional time with her, even if Riley insisted on attending their training sessions. Talk about clinging. Riley was afraid to let her be alone with anyone other than Willow.
On the other hand being so close to her, now that he had allowed himself to acknowledge his feelings, was sheer torture. His body had reacted on more than one occasion during training, and he had seen in her eyes that she had noticed, but she had never said anything. Probably assumed that it was an automatic reaction. Which it was, but not for the reason she thought.
He had never thought he would be grateful to that little pillock, but Riley’s presence did help keep his libido in check. That and the memory of Buffy’s face when she and Riley had found him in the pit with Dracula’s brides. It had been the same as the look on her face when she had found him with Olivia; anger and disgust.
Giles gave a little huff. Maybe he should recruit Riley, since he was always watching Buffy anyway. He smiled to himself. Riley wouldn’t qualify; he wasn’t smart enough. The smile died. Not that she was interested in Riley’s mind. Oh no, she wanted him for that perfect, YOUNG, body. Although he kept himself in shape, after all he trained with a Slayer, there were just some things that age did to a body. And there were all those scars.
No, Buffy would never be interested in him in a sexual way. Intellectually he had accepted that, but his foolish heart insisted on hoping. His musings were ended by a knock on the door. Giles looked at his watch. Right on time. Another side effect of Dracula’s visit. Giles wondered how long that would last. He opened the door.
“Buffy, do come in.” He looked at the young man behind her. “Riley,” he nodded. The pair entered the apartment.
“Hey, Giles. I thought we would start over at Desert View Park. I heard a rumor about a group of demons seen there earlier. Is that okay with you?” She looked at him anxiously.
“Of course, Buffy, whatever you think is best.” Giles was amused by most of the changes since Dracula, but this one had him worried. Buffy was nervous around him, constantly seeking his approval. Giles was at something of a loss as to how to respond to this. Buffy had always been so assertive, so confident. Only time would take care of this behavior; time and his support. He picked up his weapons bag and the trio left the apartment.
Dar'von ran up to Matlz. "They're coming."
"Very well, get in position."
The demons went to the points of the pentagram that Maltz had drawn in the dirt. They bent and lit the candles at their feet. Maltz stood at the top point and peered into the darkness, looking for the Slayer and her Watcher. He saw them approach and began the chant. Frowning at the paper, he pronounced the words to the best of his ability, which wasn't really that good.
The man watching from the shadows winced. He should have asked if the idiot could read Latin, should have at least gone over the spell with him so that he could hear what it sounded like. It looked like Ripper wasn’t going anywhere. He’d have to try again later.
The man had started to turn away when a strange, blue, water-like portal appeared in the pentagram. He blinked in surprise. It had worked. Or rather, something had worked, because that wasn't the portal to the dimension where he intended to send Ripper. He felt uneasy. Maybe he had better put a stop to this.
He had taken a couple of steps towards the group, when they broke apart and charged toward the Slayer. Giles, also feeling very uneasy about the portal said, "Buffy, stay back." He pulled his sword and moved towards the nearest demon.
Dar'von did an impressive back flip, taking himself closer to the portal. Giles followed. While the others kept Buffy and Riley busy, Maltz and Dar'von closed in on Giles. They each grabbed an arm and threw him into the portal. The portal flickered, and winked out of existence.
The park rang with the anguished scream of the Slayer. "Giles!!!!!!"
"Dr. Weir," the voice called urgently. "A wormhole has formed."
The group in the meeting turned towards the door. Elizabeth Weir answered, “You mean that the gate has activated. What teams do we have off world?”
“No, ma’am, the gate didn’t activate, but a wormhole has opened.”
"That's impossible," Rodney McKay snapped, but he surged to his feet and hurried to the control room. What he saw had him halting in astonishment. The others, who had followed, bumped him as they jostled for viewing position.
The tech had been correct. The gate had not been activated; none of the chevrons were lit; yet the wormhole was there. "Is the force field on?" John Sheppard asked.
The tech shook her head. "Diagnostics says that the gate isn't in operation, so I can't activate the force field."
Sheppard clicked on his com. "Security to the gate room."
The words had scarcely left his mouth when a body flew out of the wormhole. It hit the ground with a sickening thud and rolled several times before coming to rest in a limp heap. A sword, which had come through with him, slid several feet across the slick floor. The wormhole winked out of existence. The body on the floor didn't move.
Sheppard descended the stairs and cautiously approached the body. As the rest of the security team rushed into the gate area, Sheppard knelt and turned the body over, touching the throat to try and find a pulse. He saw the face of an older man, creased with wrinkles and laugh lines, hair going gray at the temple, glasses that had somehow managed to stay on, and a rather large lump on his forehead. The pulse was fast, but steady. Sheppard looked up towards the group in the command center.
"Got a patient for you, Carson."
Dr. Becket nodded as he began his decent. "Trauma team is on the way." He also knelt beside the man, gently examining the lump. "He must have been running to come through so fast. He hit the floor pretty hard. You shouldn't have moved him. He could have spinal damage."
Sheppard shrugged. "Whatever. I'm going to post a guard in sickbay until we know who he is and how he got the gate to work like that."
Dr. Becket looked up in automatic protest, but stopped himself from saying anything. They were in a very precarious position here and what the man had done could be very dangerous for them. His trauma team arrived and he began the task of preparing the man for transport to sickbay.
Sheppard rejoined the others in the command center. "Well, Rodney, why didn't the force field work?"
"It's just what Lt. Davis said. The gate wasn't on, so the computer saw no reason for the force field to be on."
Elizabeth folded her arms. "Rodney, there was a wormhole. The gate had to be on in some form or other. Check the equipment again. Since Lt. Davis has assured me that no teams are currently off world, cut power to the gate. I don't want it accidentally coming on again. Next time it could be a group of Wraith. I want a status report in one hour." She turned and headed for sickbay. Sheppard followed.
Rodney watched them leave, gave an annoyed huff, and sent for his team.
Elizabeth and John entered sickbay to find it bustling with activity. "Well, Carson, how's our mystery guest doing?"
"Concussion and a lot of bruises." Carson frowned at his patient. "Most of them were pre-existing. It looks like he has been getting beaten on a fairly regular basis. He also has a large number of scars, some quite old and others fairly recent, including what appear to be bite marks on his neck." He turned to the others, holding out a wallet. "This says that he is Rupert Giles, a British citizen currently residing in Sunnydale, California."
Elizabeth moved closer to look at the man while John took the wallet from Carson. He examined the contents carefully then also looked at the man. “Where is Sunnydale California and what is a British citizen doing living there? More important; how did he get access to the gate and how did he get it to work?” He turned to Elizabeth. “Does his name ring any bells? Was he supposed to be part of the expedition team?”
“No, I don’t recognize the name. Is there any other kind of identification in his wallet?”
John started removing papers. “California driver’s license; English driver’s license with the home address being the city of Bath; a card saying to notify either Joyce or Buffy Summers in case of an accident; and a business card with his name stating that he is a member of the Council of Watchers, whatever that is, and that has a London address. There are a few pictures of some kids, late teens or early twenties.” John removed the pictures, turned the first over and read the writing on the back, “This one is Buffy.” He handed the picture to Elizabeth and flipped through the rest. “She’s in all of them.”
Elizabeth looked at the picture. At first glance she appeared to be a typical California teenage girl; blonde hair, short skirt, and perky smile. But there was something about her eyes, something that Elizabeth had seen before. Usually in the eyes of people who had seen too much of the bad things in life. And Cason said that the man showed signs of abuse. “Do you suppose that Buffy is his daughter?”
“It’s possible. He and the mother divorced. She moved to California and re-married. He moved there to be near his daughter. That’s not important. How did he get access to the gate, and where did he get the power to operate it?”
“We’ll know when he wakes up.” The pair stood and watched the activity in sickbay, waiting for the man to regain consciousness.
“Giles!!!!” Buffy screamed, momentarily frozen in place.
Riley moved closer and placed a hand on her shoulder, offering her comfort. He was startled when Buffy shrugged it off and growled at him. He stepped back, frightened by the look in her eyes. Before he could say anything she lunged towards the nearest demon, sword swinging.
In an amazingly short amount of time all of the demons were dead. Buffy stood, covered in demon blood, and looked around for another target. She caught sight of the man standing in the shadow of nearby trees. Their eyes met and he froze, like a deer caught in the headlights.
Buffy ran over and grabbed the man by his shirt. “You! You had something to do with this. Where’s Giles?”
Ethan shook his head. “I don’t know.”
Buffy backhanded him. “Wrong answer.” She slapped him again. “Where is Giles?”
“I don’t know.”
Buffy punched him, this time putting the full force of her arm behind it. Ethan was knocked several feet away and lay on the ground, dazed. Buffy stalked over to him, and in a move that was similar to one that Giles had once used on Ethan, grabbed him by his hair and hauled him to his feet. She pulled his head level with hers and looked him straight in the eye. “Where. Is. Giles?”
Ethan had only been truly afraid once before in his life; the night Eyghon had taken control of Randall. The look that was in Buffy's eyes now frightened him. "I don't know." Her knee lifted and only her hand in his hair kept him upright.
Buffy leaned forward and whispered in his ear. "Last chance, Ethan. Where is Giles?" Her hand tightened and twisted, beginning to pull clumps of his hair from his head.
"Buffy, maybe he doesn't know." Riley was worried that she might accidentally kill the man in her rage.
Her head turned slowly and she glared at him. "When I want your opinion, I'll ask for it. In the meantime, shut up." She turned back to Ethan.
Ethan swallowed, tasting blood. She had knocked out at least one tooth when she punched him. "Buffy, please, just listen. I don't know where he is." He flinched back slightly when she raised her hand. "Yes, I set this up, but the spell wasn't performed properly. Maltz didn't pronounce the words correctly. I was surprised that anything happened and I’ve never seen a portal like that before. It should have been yellow and it should have sent him to a tropical dimension for a little vacation.”
Ethan shrugged. “I heard about your recent visit from Dracula and thought Ripper could use some down time. Everything was ready for him; food, water, a little hut to live in, books to read. But, I swear, I don’t know where he is, and I don’t know of any way to find him.”
Buffy backhanded him again, letting go of his hair and allowing him to fall to the ground. "Well, you had better figure out some way of finding him." She stood over him, idly swinging the sword near his neck. "I'm going to give you one week to get him back." She pressed the sword against his neck, just hard enough to draw blood. "One week, understand?"
"Yes. I'll just go….."
"You're going nowhere without me. For the next week, I'm your shadow. I'll take you to where you'll find any supplies that you might need, but if you try to run, I'll kill you." She pulled him to his feet. "One week, Ethan." She knocked him down again. "And for the record, his name is Rupert, not Ripper. I hear you call him that again and you'll lose more teeth."
Riley stared at Buffy in shock. He couldn't believe that she could be so cold, so vicious. "Buffy, you don't really mean that. You're just…"
She interrupted him. "Grow up, Riley. I'm fighting a war here, and I need my Watcher. I'll do whatever it takes to get him back."
Ethan smirked. "It might be rather difficult to get him back if you kill me."
“Maybe, but don’t count on that keeping you alive if you cross me. Cause if all else fails I can contact the Council. They’ll probably have someone who could help. Remember that, Ethan." She hauled him to his feet again. "Let's get started."
Watching Atlantis - Part Two
See part One for disclaimers.
Elizabeth and John waited for a while, but when Carson told them he didn't know when his patient would regain consciousness they decided to return to the control room. Rodney and Dr. Zelenka were huddled over a computer terminal, deep in conversation.
"Have you discovered how he got the gate to work?"
Rodney and Zelenka exchanged looks. "He didn't."
Elizabeth glared. "Rodney, we all saw the wormhole. The gate was working."
"No, it wasn't." He held up his hand to stop their comments. "Just give me a minute. We," he gestured at his team, "have gone over all the data pertaining to the event. You all know that the event horizon for the wormhole is the back edge of the gate. The iris on the Earth gate and the force field here are fractionally in front of that edge. This prevents anything coming through from completely re-integrating."
"As you said, we all know that. What was different about this wormhole?"
"This, portal, for lack of a better word, formed three inches in FRONT of the gate. Not only that, but a more thorough diagnostics showed that there was a low level dampening field that was preventing the gate or the force field from working. Because he didn't come through the gate, we have no way of telling where he came from, or how he got here."
"We know where he came from." Sheppard handed the wallet to McKay. "Check the data base we brought with us and see if you can find out anything about Rupert Giles, Joyce Summers, Buffy Summers, or something called the Council of Watchers."
Giles became slowly aware of his surroundings, and the fact that he had a killer headache. Another concussion no doubt. Something else felt off, but he wasn’t sure what. He mentally went through a checklist, found nothing obviously wrong, but still had that feeling of something missing. Oh, well, whatever it was, it would come to him. Right now he needed to remember what had happened to cause this hospital trip.
Ah, yes, the Khravlak demons that were performing the ritual in the park. The thing in the pentagram that he had been thrown at must have been more solid than it looked. He had the strangest memory of moving through darkness for what felt like forever, then hitting something very hard.
Oh, well, time to reassure Buffy that he would be alright. Giles squinted at the bright light when he opened his eyes. He blinked a few times, then looked around in puzzlement. This wasn’t Sunnydale hospital. There was a window near his bed and through it he could see the ocean. Sunnydale hospital wasn’t anywhere near the ocean. The architecture of the building was strange as well. Also, what about the equipment that was attached to him? He had never seen most of it before, and god knows he’d had enough experience with medical equipment.
Giles sat up quickly, alarms going off at his movement and his increased heartbeat. There was no sign of Buffy, and he suddenly realized what was wrong. He couldn’t feel her presence. Since their first meeting in the library he had only lost his connection to her once before; the time she had run away. A short, dark haired man in a white lab coat rushed into the room and over to his bed.
“Where’s Buffy?” Giles demanded.
“If you will just calm down, I’ll call Dr. Weir and she can explain everything,” the man said in a soothing tone.
Giles looked behind the man and saw a soldier, gun drawn and held at the ready. A rage filled him. The Initiative hadn’t left Sunnydale after all. He grabbed the man by his coat. “Where is Buffy?” he growled. “If you have hurt her, I’ll kill you.” The man just stared at him, wide-eyed.
Giles gave him a little shake. “Where am I and where is Buffy?”
Out of the corner of his eye, Giles saw another soldier rush into the room. He looked at him and saw a strange devise being pointed at him. Giles tried to swing the man between them as a shield, but the devise made an odd noise. There was a flash of light and Giles sank into pain filled darkness.
Carson quickly checked Giles vital signs then angrily swung around. “What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing? This man has a severe concussion. We don’t know how being zatted will affect him. It could have killed him.”
“But, Doctor, he was attacking you.”
“He wasn’t hurting me. He was merely disoriented and confused. Next time wait until I give you a signal.”
“Sorry, Doctor, but my orders were to protect you. He seemed to be posing a threat and I did what I felt was best.”
Sheppard and Elizabeth ran into the room. “He’s awake?” Elizabeth looked at the obviously unconscious man and raised an eyebrow.
Carson made a face. “He had come around, but he was disoriented. He was worried about someone named Buffy and he got a little excited. The Corporal thought he was endangering me and zatted him.” He turned back to his patient. “Along with the fact that he does have a concussion, I don’t know how his body will react. It could be some time before he comes around again.”
Rodney walked in with a sheaf of papers. “I can give you a preliminary rundown on those names you asked about.”
“Starting with our guest, DR. Rupert Giles graduated from Oxford with a degree in ancient languages. He worked for RCOW Ltd as a researcher for a couple of years, then went to work at the British Museum in the Egyptology department.”
“What’s RCOW Ltd?” John interrupted.
“It stands for the Royal Council of Watchers. I’ll get back to them. He rose in the ranks until he was named head of the Egyptology department. Six months later he resigned and moved to Sunnydale California where he was employed as the school librarian at Sunnydale High School. That was four years ago.”
Everyone, who had been looking at Rodney during his discourse, turned to stare at the unconscious man.
“He left the British Museum to work as a high school librarian?” Elizabeth asked incredulously. “Rodney, that can’t be right. There must have been two Rupert Giles’ and there files were mixed.”
“Nope, same guy.” Rodney showed her the pages. They contained pictures of a younger version of the man in the bed. “He held that position until the school mysteriously blew-up last year. He has been unemployed since. However that’s not a problem. Dr. Giles inherited a large sum of money when his father died 10 years ago.”
John gave Giles a considering look. “Maybe he was forced to leave the museum, but they allowed him to resign to avoid a scandal. It looks kind of suspicious, a man his age suddenly moving to another country and getting a job that allows him to be around young girls.”
“It’s a possibility, but I couldn’t find anything in any of the files that would indicate any kind of deviant behavior.” He shuffled the papers. “The next name on the list was Joyce Summers. Her maiden name was Joyce Anderson. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in art history. Married Henry, usually called Hank, Summers her junior year. A daughter, Buffy, was born three years later. After college she got a job at a gallery that sold primitive art. After her divorce from Henry four years ago, she and Buffy moved to Sunnydale where Joyce opened her own gallery.”
He shuffled papers again. “Buffy Summers. This one is interesting. Typical California teenager, I suppose, couldn’t find anything on her until just after her 15th birthday, then she seems to have changed. First sign of trouble was when she was caught out after curfew. She told the police she was killing vampires.” Rodney paused and looked at the others for their reactions. They all looked at him blankly.
“Vampires,” John snorted, “sounds like she got into some bad drugs.”
“That was the general consensus, but any time she was tested there were no traces of any kind of drugs in her system. She was hospitalized in a mental institution for a month. Everything appeared to have returned to normal, until, during her parents divorce proceedings, she set fire to her high school gym during a school dance. Again, she claimed that she did it to kill a group of vampires. She was expelled from school.”
“I would imagine so.”
“The following fall, the only school in the state that would allow her to attend was Sunnydale High School, so she and her mother moved there. She started school two weeks after Dr. Giles began working there.” Rodney looked over the last page and frowned before continuing.
“Sunnydale is a very unusual city. It has the highest number of funeral homes per capita than any city in the United States. It also has more cemeteries than churches. Many of the police reports site ‘gangs on PCP’ as the cause of problems and the hospital reports a suspiciously large number of wild animal attacks. There was a newspaper account of the school blowing up during the mayor’s commencement speech. It was attributed to leaky gas pipes. The mayor and several people were killed. There was also a small item about the number of students who graduated that year. It seems that two-thirds of the class made it through the school year, as opposed to the normal half.”
“That sounds like an awfully high drop-out rate for a senior class,” Elizabeth commented.
“Not drop-outs.” Again Rodney received blank looks. “Newspaper files show that usually half the senior class died mysterious deaths, many of them by so-called wild animal attacks. I found a copy of the yearbook online. It made fascinating reading. The former principal was killed by a pack of wild dogs, the entire swim team was thought to have drowned on a day trip to the beach, but their bodies were never found. One event involved our Dr. Giles. The computer teacher, who he was dating at the time, was murdered in his apartment. Her body was left in his bed for him to find.”
Elizabeth glanced towards the man in the bed. “That poor man. That must have been an awful experience for him.”
“Many other strange things were alluded to in the yearbook, but what I found most interesting was this picture.” He handed it to Elizabeth.
It was a picture of two people in formal wear. The man was smiling down, affection clear on his face. The girl was looking at a gaudy, gold painted, umbrella. The caption read ‘Buffy Summers – class protector’. The man in the picture was the man in the bed. Elizabeth looked thoughtful. “Class protector? I wonder what that meant.”
“It meant,” said a drowsy voice from the bed, “that although the adults in Sunnydale were willfully blind to what transpired Buffy’s classmates knew what was going on and honored her for what she did to keep them safe.”
All eyes looked at the man on the bed. He appeared to be only half aware, his eyes slightly glazed over. In a soft voice Elizabeth asked, “What did she do to keep them safe?”
“She killed the vampires and other demons. She averted the apocalypse and prevented the Master from opening the Hellmouth.”
“Sunnydale. Boca del Infierno.”
“And Buffy kills vampires?”
“It’s her destiny. She’s the Slayer.” Everyone could hear the way he capitalized the word.
Rodney started to speak, but a look from Elizabeth stopped him. Still in the soft voice she asked, “The Slayer?”
“In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer. That’s my Buffy. Except she doesn’t stand alone; she has friends who help her and I am honored to be by her side as well. I am her Watcher.” Again, the capitalization of the word, showing its importance.
Rodney murmured, “The Royal Council of Watchers.”
Giles nodded. “The Council has been in existence almost as long as the Slayers, however we weren’t officially chartered until Elizabeth the First. She was recognized as a Potential, but Henry wouldn’t allow her to be trained. Thank God she wasn’t Called or the history of the world would be quite different.”
“Many girls are born with the ability, the potential, to become the Slayer. They are found and trained. When the Slayer dies, her power is transferred to a Potential, who then becomes the active Slayer. The Council has never found a way to tell who the power would go to, so all Potentials are separated from their families and trained by Watchers.”
“But Buffy was raised by her parents.”
Giles smiled. “The Council seers missed her. That’s why she’s lasted so long as the Slayer. Those pillocks on the Council didn’t get their hands on her until after she was Called.”
“How long has Buffy been the Slayer?”
A look of deep satisfaction came over Giles’ face. “Five years.”
John couldn’t keep silent any longer, but was careful to voice his question quietly. “How long does a Slayer usually last?”
The satisfaction became distress. “For the ten years before Buffy was Called, the average life span of a girl after she became the Slayer was six months. Buffy herself was killed just over a year after she was Called, but the Master chose to drown her and Xander brought her back with CPR.” He gave a quirky grin. “She was dead long enough for another girl to be Called, so now we have two Chosen Ones.”
Giles blinked, frowning. For a moment his eyes cleared and he looked around in confusion, then they glazed over again and he murmured so quietly that they almost didn’t hear him, “But there’s only one true Slayer. My Buffy.” He drifted back to sleep.
Elizabeth gestured for the others to follow her as she left the room. She turned to Rodney. “You said you had information regarding the Council?”
“Not a lot; as he said they were a research group chartered during the reign of Elizabeth the First. Their stated purpose at that time was to collect books and information about the occult. They are said to have the largest existing library on magic, demonology, ancient languages and prophecy in the world. The site claims that they have the complete works of Nostradamus.”
“Everyone has heard about the book of Nostradamus’ prophecies.”
“Yes, one volume. The Council site says that they have over forty volumes by Nostradamus, and almost a thousand more by other seers and prophets.”
John frowned. “Somehow that doesn’t sound like the kind of information usually found on a web site. And why was it included in the archive that we brought along with us?”
“Well, it’s not exactly on the archive, at least not on the main archive. Dr. Jackson sent along several disks with data that he has been collecting since he joined the Stargate program. He was interested in Dr. Giles because of his expertise in Egyptology and ancient languages. In fact, he tried to recruit Dr. Giles for this expedition. It was through Dr. Giles that he became aware of the Watchers Council and he gathered as much information on them as he could. From the things he has, I’d say he hacked into private files.”
"But why was he interested in the Watchers Council?"
"I don't know, perhaps he thought there might be some references to the Ancients buried among the books in their library."
Elizabeth stood for a moment, lost in thought. "Carson, you said he got excited and the Corporal thought he was attacking you. What happened?"
"At first he was just confused, disoriented. He was really worried about Buffy, wanted to know where she was. Then he saw the Corporal and became angry. From the few things he said before he was zatted, he seemed to be afraid that she was being confined, that we were hurting her. I think if the soldiers hadn't been in the room, I could have calmed him down."
Elizabeth nodded. "Alright, we'll try it your way. John, remove the guards from sickbay." She held up her hand to stop his objections. "If Dr. Jackson wanted this man to be a part of this team I don’t see that he’s a danger. Just to be on the safe side, let’s have Tayla come down here. If it should become necessary, she can handle him until help arrives. Carson, when he comes around bring him up to command. Rodney, dig through those archives some more. I want all the information you can give me on the Council, especially any references to Slayers or vampires. We'll meet again when our guest wakes up."
Buffy shoved Ethan through the door of the Magic Box. Willow, Tara and Xander looked up in alarm at the noisy entrance. Xander’s eyes widened. “This is not good.”
Willow got up and hurried over to the door. “Buffy, what’s wrong?” She stepped back at the look on her friend’s face.
“Ethan did something to Giles. I need your help.”
“What did he do? And oh, by the way, isn’t he supposed to be in a military prison somewhere?” Xander asked.
Ethan gave a huff of laughter. “They didn’t have the slightest idea what I was capable of. I was out in a day.”
Buffy glared at Riley, who had just entered the shop. “Why weren’t we informed that he had gotten away? After what he did to Giles we should have been told.”
Riley looked a little uncomfortable. “It was a need to know basis.”
“Bloody hell,” Ethan whispered and backed away from Buffy. Xander seemed to agree and he started inching his way towards the training room.
“Need to know? NEED TO KNOW??? Each of the times he’s come to Sunnydale he’s done things that have almost gotten me or Giles killed and you didn’t think I needed to know he was on the loose?”
“I’m in the military, Buffy, I have to follow orders.”
Xander heard Ethan chuckle softly and whisper, “Wrong answer.”
Buffy swung at Riley and he, foolishly, grabbed her right hand to stop her. She punched him in the stomach with her left hand and when he doubled over she hit his jaw with her right hand.
Riley lay on the floor, gasping for air and looking at Buffy in disbelief. She reached down and hauled him to his feet. “I’ll tell you something that ‘you’ really need to know. If we don’t find Giles, or if we do find him and he’s dead, so are you. Now, get out of my sight.” She opened the door and threw him out.
Buffy turned around to face four shocked faces, and one amused one. She turned to Willow. “I need your help," she repeated, "Ethan hired some demons to send Giles to another dimension, but they screwed up the spell and we don’t know where he went. Ethan has one week to find him and bring him home. Are you in?"
After a moment of silence there was a chorus of 'Yes's. Xander looked alarmed. "Is there some reason that we only have a week? Will the dimension seal, or something like that?"
Buffy headed for the training room, dragging Ethan behind her. "Deadline is for Ethan. Emphasis on the dead. If he doesn't find Giles by then, I'll kill him and call the Council for help." She disappeared into the training room, and alarming sounds were heard a few moments later.
Xander and Willow stared at each other. "She doesn't really mean it," Willow said uncertainly, "she's just trying to scare him."
"No, Will, I think she really means it." He looked around the room. "You start rounding up the books, and I'll go get the pizza. It's going to be a long night."