Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland
ffutures

The Key to Byzantium - VII

Here's the final version of part VII - a lot of small changes since yesterday so I'm reposting it here. All of the earlier parts are archived at various sites including Twisting The Hellmouth, Fanfiction.net, Fonts of Wisdom, Gateworld, etc. The two that give best support to multiple chapters are TTH and FF.Net

http://www.tthfanfic.com/story.php?no=5220
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2063039/1/

First drafts are in my livejournal, but omit numerous changes that are in the archived versions.

I should have posted this much earlier but I accidentally flooded the kitchen and had to deal with that first.



This is a crossover between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stargate SG-1. For continuity details, credits, etc. see the prologue. Characters from these series belong to their respective creators, production companies, etc., and are used without any intent to deprive them of income or otherwise infringe on copyright. This story may not be distributed on a profit-making basis.

The Key to Byzantium
by Marcus L. Rowland

This chapter contains spoilers for Angel season 5 (in which Dana appeared) and the final episodes of BtVS season 7.

VII

Teal'c caught Dana's arms and tried to hold her off. She wrenched her left arm free and feinted at his eyes with clawed nails, then slammed her right hand into his stomach, ripping through his T-shirt and up to her wrist in his body. Teal'c doubled over, coughing explosively. Jack tried to grab her from the side, but she hit him with the elbow of her left arm, hard enough to knock him back into his seat, then punched Sam as she tried to grab her from the other side, smashing her head into the window so hard that she saw stars. Trying to reach her past Jack, Daniel glimpsed Kennedy racing down the aisle of the bus, crossbow ready to fire. Then Willow was touching a hand to Dana's head, her eyes suddenly black, and Dana crumpled to the floor. Kennedy slowly lowered the crossbow. Teal'c flopped back into his seat, his shirt red with blood.

"Are you okay?" asked Daniel.

Teal'c coughed, then said "I believe that the skin and several muscles are torn, Daniel Jackson, apart from that I think there is no permanent damage."

"But your..." began Willow.

"I am not constructed as you, there is a cavity there. Fortunately I also differ from most of my kind. Their sym.... they would be seriously injured."

"Are you sure?" asked Sam, rubbing her head ruefully, then looking in her shoulder bag for a first aid kit.

"I am. I will take an extra dose of tretonin, it will heal in a few hours. Are you hurt, Major Carter?"

"Nothing an ice pack won't fix."

"How about you, Jack?" asked Daniel

"Fine, I guess. Apart from my pride. Thanks for taking an interest."

"I hope that the girl is uninjured," said Teal'c

"What the hell did you say to her?" asked Willow, crouching over Dana and testing her pulse.

"She said something in ancient Egyptian," said Daniel, "which relates to ..um... our normal line of work. When I asked her about it she attacked him."

"Why?"

"For thousands of years my kind have been bred as warriors," said Teal'c, "bound to false gods. I believe that the girl remembered their banishment."

"What were they?" asked Willow, "Some kinda demon?"

"Something like that," Jack said hastily.

"Is that why you have a mark under your hat?" asked Willow, ignoring Jack.

"Yes. It is a mark of servitude." He lifted his hat to show the mark of Apophis. "I am sure that you did not have an opportunity to see it, how did you know it is there?"

"It shows in your aura. Okay, not the same as any of the Knights, I guess, and it's not ink."

"Even so, we're guessing there might be a connection," said Jack. "The Knights might have been influenced by them."

"Makes sense. What can you tell me about them?"

"Not much. Security."

"We'll probably figure it out eventually."

"I'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

"Will Dana be okay?" asked Sam.

"She'll probably be out for an hour or two," said Willow, "she usually is after one of these episodes."

"What brings them on?"

"Usually the memory of something pretty nasty. The downside of remembering the lives of thousands of slayers is that you remember their deaths too, and slayers tend to die young and messily. Most of them can tune it down, but Dana gets bits of everything, from the first slayer to the girl that was killed three weeks ago."

"Shouldn't she be..." Jack began.

"In an institution? In prison?"

"I guess."

"She escaped from one a few weeks after she became a Slayer. There's no way to keep a Slayer prisoner if she really wants to get out, short of killing her, and she'd kill people along the way. There are drugs that can reduce the powers temporarily, but they'd stop working or kill her eventually. While she's with us we can keep her under control, and she's making progress. She hasn't hurt anyone human since she joined us, and she's killed nearly a hundred vampires and demons."

"That's comforting."

"It should be. Look, I'm not going to tell you the situation's perfect, but it's the best we can do."

"Okay. It's your problem, I'll leave you to handle it."

"Thanks," said Willow. "Kennedy, would you take her forward and keep an eye on her? I think it's best if she rests as long as possible. You'd better rest too, we've got that vamp nest to deal with tonight." Kennedy effortlessly lifted Dana and carried her to the front seats.

"Okay," said Jack. "Excitement's over. Getting back to her dream, you said it began about three months ago?"

"That's right," said Willow. "About a week before the first attack. We've been waiting for someone to find the bodies, when they did we got Riley and his friends to find out who you were and get in touch with you. He was impressed, says you were already well on the way to finding us. How did you do that anyway?"

"When we searched the Winnebago we found a bottle of pills with Tara Maclay's name. That led us to the commemorative fund you set up, and that led us to you."

"Oh... yeah, I guess that'd work. Did you find anything else belonging to Tara? I lost nearly everything when Sunnydale was destroyed, all I've got is a couple of photos."

"I don't think so... but we've got someone's toy pig."

"You've got Mister Gordo?"

"Mister Gordo?"

"He belongs to a friend."

"Would that be Buffy Summers?" asked Sam.

"How did you know that? Did Riley mention her?"

"Phone records. We had your address in Sunnydale at the time the town was destroyed, the subscribers listed for that address were Joyce and Buffy Summers. The pig had the initials 'BS' on the label."

"Oh, you're good," Willow said admiringly. "Joyce died a couple of months before Glory made her move. Mr. Gordo belongs to Buffy. We never could figure out where he'd gone, I thought my cat had hidden him or something. Someone must have brought him along when we were running from Glory. Buffy'll be pleased to get him back."

"I'll bring him next time we meet."

"That'd be good."

"Is Buffy a Slayer?" asked Jack.

"She's the oldest living Slayer, until last year she was the only one... well, one of two, but that's another long story."

"Is that why the Key was sent to her?" asked Sam.

"Yes... hey, I didn't tell you that!" she said indignantly.

"Wasn't hard to guess."

"You really are good at this. Okay, I guess that's about it. If the dream comes true a lot of people are gonna die. It might be something we can handle on our own, but Dana seems sure that you're gonna be involved, and that it's gonna happen soon."

"When she's conscious," said Sam, "ask her to describe the buildings where the fight takes place. Anything she can remember, things like the names of shops, license plates on cars, that sort of thing. If you can get enough detail we may be able to identify the location."

"We've been working on that. Here's what we've got, from Dana and the others who have had the dream." Willow handed Sam five pages of notes. "Trouble is that they all describe it a little differently, I think some of it comes from the different cultures, or it's just possible that we're talking about more than one attack."

"That's a nasty thought," said Jack. "Okay, I'll get it to our intelligence analysts, see if we can narrow it down."

"Apart from that our main need is more information on the Knights of Byzantium. There must be some way to track them down, they had a whole little army out there, with everything from bows and swords to horses and a couple of minor-league wizards. They must have got them here somehow. If we'd thought of it at the time I would have tried to trace them, I guess it's a little late now."

"Horses?"

"Yeah. That's how they were chasing the Winnebago, on horseback."

"Horses. Riiight."

"There may be links to them through the Orthodox Church," said Daniel. "I know a few scholars in that field, I'll put out feelers."

"We've been trying that," said Willow. "Not much success."

"We may have different sources."

"And there are all sorts of laws about transporting animals," said Jack, "we may find something that way. Anything else, or are we done?"

"Give me some contact details," said Willow. "Here's my cellphone number, we'll need to stay in touch. And next time we meet, bring the pig."

"Okay."

They began to get up, Sam and Jack supporting Teal'c.

"Willow," said Kennedy, as they moved towards the exit, "aren't you forgetting something?"

"Am I?" asked Willow.

"The apology."

"Oh yeah." She turned back to Jack. "I need to apologise for dragging you into this. We try not to involve anyone that isn't already.. um.. involved with the supernatural, if you see what I mean, sometimes we just can't avoid it. But you've gotta understand, this stuff is dangerous, and we're kinda putting you at risk by getting you into it. I hadn't realised someone would be hurt this soon, but it's always risky."

"It's okay," said Jack. "It's different. Interesting."

"Hope you'll still think that if it turns out to be demons behind it all."

"We'll just have to see how it goes."

They climbed down. Willow let them out of the gate, then went back into the bus, while the team headed towards their car.

"How are the ribs?" asked Jack.

"They will mend. Fortunately I am not dependent on a symbiote. If I were it would be dead, and I am sure that Dana would have killed me. I felt her feeling for it before Willow Rosenberg stopped her, if she had found one I think she might have proceeded to rip out my heart."

"I've never seen a human move that fast," said Daniel, "except for the time we tried those armbands Anise gave us."

"How strong was she?" asked Sam. "Jaffa strong? Felt like it to me."

"Stronger, I believe. If the other Slayers are as strong they would be formidable fighters."

"Okay," said Jack. "We'll get this stuff faxed to Colorado. At the same time let's check out Dana, last name unknown, escaped from an institution some time between May 2003 and three months ago, and Kennedy, no other name or details. Give them as much as you can on appearance, age, and so forth. And see what else we can find out about Summers and Rosenberg. We still have no idea what Rosenberg patented, if the college didn't get it wrong, and I'd really love to know if whatever happened to the Wolfram and Hart offices was connected. Oh, and run a trace on the cell number she gave us, and any numbers it calls or that call it, see if that tells us much...."

Aboard the bus Willow borrowed Kennedy's cellphone and said "Giles, they just left. Looks like they're gonna be helpful, but we'd better make sure we know exactly where they're coming from. I'll look into it as I get time, maybe you could get Andrew and Dawn to check too. We saw the three Riley told us about. Not much to add except that the archaeologist spoke ancient Egyptian, said something that triggered one of Dana's flashbacks. When Dana comes round I'll try to find out exactly what he said. There was also a guy called Teal'c, spelling unknown, also known as Murray, Riley didn't tell us about him. He's black, looks human but isn't, from what he said I'd guess some kinda servant or warrior demon. There's a cavity in his belly, about fist sized, looks like it closes with four triangular flaps. Dana attacked him, hit him there, got the impression she knew what he was and knew how to kill him... no, I took her out before anyone was hurt too badly. Anyway, I think that there is normally something in there, he said he was different from most of his kind. He called himself a Jaffa... yes, like the oranges and the city... I'm guessing it's not a human language." Kennedy whispered something to her, and she went on "oh, and he mentioned something called tretonin, I think a drug of some sort, sounded like it was pretty powerful. He said his kind served false gods, and they seemed to think there might be some connection to the Knights. He had a kinda gold plastic tattoo on his forehead, not the same as the ones the Knights wore, but that doesn't prove much... yes, we're being careful. Okay, pass on my love to Buffy and Dawn... yeah, talk to you soon. We're gonna have to get moving, got some vamps to take out..."

TBC

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