By: Wynna PenDragon
Rating: PG, so far
Warnings: Slight OOC-ness, Original character
Summary: Set 5 years after ‘Not Fade Away’.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy etc. etc. do.
Author's Note: This chapter would not be here without the ever-so-patient help of kitty_alex, my love knows no bounds.
**Everything he had ever worked for; redemption, acceptance, love... had all come to this.
Dying in an alley.
He awoke amid a pile of bodies, the rain pouring from above soaking into the heap, a heartless attempt to wash away the blood and gore. Nothing the powers did would make this city clean again, the filth eating away at your soul until you were nothing but a useless shell of what you once were... like these remains.
He crawled his way out of the pile, the pain in his skull making his vision hazy. His body felt sluggish and cold, his will to live slowly fading.
As he tried to move away from the heap, his body froze. Grunting sounds from up ahead were getting closer, feet stomping steadily to the mouth of the alley. He stumbled towards the pile and flopped bonelessly, affecting the look of a corpse. He landed in the open chest cavity of something that usually smelled worse alive than dead. He closed his eyes, not just to pretend, but to block the image of the creature's insides he was residing in.
They came ever closer, communicating to each other in a series of squeals and grunts. To his dismay, they started to sift through the bodies, finding the few survivors smart enough not to move...to pretend....
Smart enough to do the same thing he was doing.
His eyes popped open; he threw himself off the body, making a break for the alley opening. He only go two stumbling steps before he felt arms as hard as steel grab his arms, holding him in place. He took one last look at his only way out of this hell; his eyes widened as he saw the edge of a black leather coat disappear around the wall.
He gathered his last breath into his lungs to scream, "A-
A-” Will’s choked off yell tapered off as he awoke from the same nightmare that had plagued him night after night for ten years. It was his only memory he had since he woke up in a Gamorrean slave ship, and no amount of meditating would help him figure out anything more. He sighed, his shoulders slumping as he brought a hand to wipe the cold sweat off his face. The bright beside lamplight stabbed into his sensitive eyes, "Lights dim."
The lights dim to a faint glow, illuminating the Spartan decor in his quarters, next to his master's. A bed, a table with his lightsaber resting on it, and a closet sparingly furnished with the sacred robes of the Jedi.
He could not ask for anything more.
He stepped out of bed, his light sleeping pants barely keeping him from the chill of the night air. Padding to the closet, he took out a dark, soft tunic and wrapped it around his rangy frame while stepping out of his rooms; the lights from the great city outside illuminated their outer rooms in a faint, rose glow.
It was silent; he could barely hear his master breathing softly in his rooms, fast asleep. Without concentrating however, he could hear the sounds of Coruscant, the city that never slept. He grinned at that thought; he barely slept enough as it is.
He shuffled his way out to the balcony, looking out at all the lights and stars, watching as ships docked to various landing pads. He folded his arms, his thoughts returning to the dream, as it always does in the quiet hours before his master roused.
The life he knew with the Jedi, the things he had done while in their service, the places they had visited, the people he had met and saved...
He would not trade that for the world.
However, he could not help but wonder why he had not heard of anyone trying to find him. Traveling with his master, he met many different kinds of people from all walks of the universe, and if anyone was tailing a Jedi, even a training one, he was bound to be notified. He wondered what sort of person he was before, what sort of people he knew, and what he did to end up where he did.
What was in his past that made him so alone in the beginning?
"You had the dream again?"
Will jumped as he was startled out of his reverie by the question. He turned to see his master standing in the doorway of the balcony, his shaggy hair mussed from sleep. He too was wearing a loose tunic and light sleep pants, scratching at the stubble on his jaw. They were never able to sleep while the other was awake, a testimony of their close relationship. His master always commented that Will’s mind was too loud and insistent to be able to have a normal night’s sleep.
Will hid his grin behind his hand, faking a yawn, "Yeah well, when your mind is on a constant loop around one living memory, you tend to worry at it like a sore tooth." He sighed, "My apologies, master. It was... so vivid this time. I could feel everything, I was reliving every moment as if it was happening all over again."
"Hopefully once we reach Terra you will not have to wonder for long," the master walked to stand beside Will, resting his elbows against the railing. "Something is bound to jog your memory there." It seemed as though his master was going to say something else, but stopped himself, looking down at the traffic whizzing by below.
Will's brow furrowed, "Master-"
"I'm sorry, Padawan."
"For what? Is something wrong?"
His master turned around to face him, his back resting against the banister, his face drawn, "I am sorry that we never went there before...Terra, I mean. I-"
"You don't have to explain anything to me, you know. I understand-"
"No," He shook his head, "You don't understand at all." He wiped his face tiredly with his hand, "You don't remember what I saw when we first met." He looked around them helplessly, as if he too was reliving the past, "You were...broken, Will. There was no fight left in you, and when I came on board that ship..." He looked up, anger simmered in his blue eyes, "You begged for me to kill you."
Will looked away; there was nothing he could say in response to that, "I don't-" He stopped as he felt his master's hand on his arm. He turned to see him looking apologetically at him.
"I am sorry for bringing this up now, Will. When the Council told me our next mission, I...was concerned. For you."
He looked out again at the cityscape, "That place, Will, your homeworld...It did something to you. It seeped its way into your soul... we had a difficult time bringing you back from that. I just...didn't want that to happen again."
"Was it really as bad as all of that?"
His master snorted, "It has been ten years that we have been traveling together, and not once have we gone back to your homeworld. You tell me." He sighed, "I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, I just did not think time would fly by so fast."
Will grinned and joined his master at the banister, "Speaking of time, how long do we have before we must ship out again?"
The master yawned, "In a few hours actually. We need to be briefed by the Council first thing, that should take a bit, then we will be leaving on the Endeavor."
"I do so love that ship," Will chuckled, "So many memories..."
He snorted, "I am surprised that it is still functional, after that stunt you pulled last time."
"You planned it."
"Merely a suggestion."
There was a pause; the only sound was of the various noises that was the nightlife of Coruscant.
"Are we going to talk about it?" Will asked softly.
He sighed, seemingly frustrated, "You know I cannot tell you much. The Council barely spoke of it to me, just told me our destination."
"I know you," Will faced him exasperated, "You would not have just left it at that, considering your feelings of that place. Be honest, how dangerous?"
"It’s not like our mission to Kashykk." He supplied.
His master glared at him in mock-anger, "There's nothing more I can say about it. Besides, we will be given more information in a few hours anyway. What have I told you about patience?"
"That I have none."
He cocked his head, "That much is true." He said ruefully. He stretched his arms slowly above his head, giving a slight shudder, "I am getting old."
Will snorted, "Not so master, you are barely thirty-five. You will live on to annoy many more padawans."
His master shook his head in defeat, "No respect...No respect at all..."
* * *
"Jedi Master Wyn-Udiin Fiori, Padawan Will, the Council is ready to see you now." The two Jedi nodded at the robed woman, following her into the circular room that housed the Jedi Council. They bowed to the assembled masters as they reached the center of the freed space that their seating formed. There was something about this room, these people, reminded Will of something, he just couldn't figure out what it was.
"Master Fiori, it has been sometime since you have visited us," one of the masters intoned. "We trust all went well on your last mission?"
He saw Will’s face freeze, none of the other masters could see, but because of so much time they had spent together, he knew he was going to hear Will’s voice in his head in a few seconds, "Why all the pleasantries? Get on with it!"
He nearly chuckled, not nearly half a second, he thought to Will, “Patience, Padawan." He had never felt as deep a bond as he had with his padawan, not even with his own master. They got along so well with each other, which made Wyn grateful enough, but when he started feeling his padawan’s emotions early in their partnership, he was concerned. After hearing from the Council that to feel one another’s emotions, hear one another’s thoughts, and to speak in each other’s minds was proof of a deep Jedi bond, Wyn was astounded. He never believed he would ever meet someone as extraordinary as Will, and never believed he would ever achieve something as great as this. "With the exception of a few minor injuries, all went well. The refugees were successfully transported to Taris; their republic papers and mission statements will reach the senate in a few days' time." Master Fiori addressed the Council with his usual aplomb, "There was one reported death. A distressed refugee took his own life just before we arrived, we examined the body, but there was nothing we could do. His body is housed in the morgue of the health center in Taris, the family has been notified."
"Didn't you go over this with them yesterday?" He could feel his padawan's confusion in the question.
"We talked...about other things. I will tell you in a bit, once we are on the ship."
Jedi Master Merue, the head of the council, nodded, "And what of you Padawan Will? How fare you?"
"I am well, master," Will reported. “The healers stopped the bleeding fairly quickly. There were others that needed their help more than I."
"We were concerned when you stepped off the landing pad. You could barely walk without assistance."
Will smirked, "As you can see," He turned around in a circle, "I am whole and well. No need for concern."
"What? I grew tired of their dithering."
"You really need to treat the Council with some respect, they are your superiors. They have their own way of going about things-"
"And we should play along, I know. I'm just-"
"Anxious, yes, but you should not let that control you, Padawan. Experience your emotions, learn from them, then let them go. We will talk about this, after the meeting.",
He shook himself, "Yes masters, forgive my inattention."
Jedi Master Merue nodded, "Your next mission is to the planet Terra. We have reason to believe that it is rife with the force, however, it is tainted by a great evil..."
At this, Will felt a bone-deep chill, as if there was a great tremor in the force, one of the greatest disturbances he had ever felt. Out of his peripheral vision, he saw his master shoot him a concerned look out of the corner of his eye. "You feel it too, don't you master?"
He saw his master nod slightly, partly to what the council was explaining and partly to his thought. "We will treat this mission with the utmost caution, masters."
"We trust that you will, be sure to keep us abreast of the situations as they come. May the force be with you."
The two Jedi nodded, and left the Council room. As the door whooshed shut behind them, Will let out the breath he had been holding, "I never get used to going in there." They started to go to the landing platform, they were to leave immediately.
Master Wyn smiled, "You get used to it. How are you feeling though, really?"
Will's lips thinned, "Confused, anxious, scared, excited…worried mostly though."
"What are you worried about?"
Will rolled his head on his shoulders, hearing a resounding crack, relieving tension, "That's better. I'm worried what we will find there, what I am going back to...who I'm going back to."
Master Wyn nodded, "I understand perfectly, Will. It is natural to feel that way, but don't-"
"-let it cloud my judgment," Will laughed at the dismayed look on his master's face, laughing as they stepped into an elevator, "You know we spend way too much time together. You need to get out more, master. Ya know, do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight."
The Jedi Master turned and faced his padawan, a bewildered look on his face, "What are you going on about?"
Will looked surprised as well, "I don't really know. Just popped into my head."
Wyn laughed, "Something tells me this isn't just going to be a normal, everyday, hum-drum mission."
Will shook his head, "The strange things you say."
There was a pause, then they turned as one and shared a look.
* * *
"I'm telling you," Andrew said, frustrated, "The original trilogy was the only trilogy!"
"And all I'm saying is," Xander retorted, rolling his eye, "That the prequel trilogy was just a broad overview of the past, it’s not meant as gospel. There would be no way that they would be able to fit all the Clone Wars in Episode 2, physically impossible."
"Yes but the 'prequel' as you call it was almost entirely CG! The original trilogy was awesome because they did the best they could with what they had for the special effects. That's why the new episodes sucked; they did it mostly in front of a green screen."
Xander snorted, "Yeah you are right about the computer graphics, but honestly, can't you just sit back and enjoy the storyline?"
Andrew shook his head, "Can't, not with Manikin Skywalker stomping around like a whiney baby."
Xander jumped out of his seat in outrage, ready to defend the young actor when they were interrupted by a young slayer walking into the control room, "I'm sorry guys, but Miss Summers and Mister Giles need the both of you in the library."
Xander pointed a finger at Andrew, "This ain't over yet."
Andrew smiled, "You're on." It didn't take them too long to get to the library wing, jogging up two flights of stairs that left Andrew wheezing as they got to their destination.
They approached the library, and opened the doors quietly. Why? Xander didn't know, maybe it was a leftover courtesy from high school, but he always associated libraries with an almost church-type quiet. Strange way to think about it, but there wasn't much else he could do with his free-time.
As they stepped through the doorway, they were met with a bored slayer, an irritated watcher, and a library table strewn with open texts. All in all, it just seemed like any other Scooby meeting, only different surroundings of course. After five years of living in a castle in Scotland, he figured he would be used to everything by now, but then again, he is living in a freaking castle. In Scotland.
"So what's up?" Asked Xander, walking up to the table and fingering a page from one of the texts littering the table in front of him. Giles shot him a look that clearly said 'Don't touch that, its older and more expensive than you', and said, "We have reason to believe there will be yet another apocalypse."
Xander let out a breath in exasperation, reaching into his pocket and fishing out a twenty, passing it to Andrew who crowed in delight, "Ha ha! I knew it! My powers are developing nicely!"
Xander rolled his eye as he looked back at his two long-time companions, "What are we dealing with here?"
The older watcher gently picked up the volume he was examining and stood next to Xander, "This text tells of, I would say, a vision or prophecy that was foretold long ago by a group of monks-"
"Why is it always monks?"
"Because they want to drive me insane,” Buffy said disinterestedly, "What was foretold? A big-ass hell-god looking for a way to get back to its hell dimension? Oh wait, that already happened."
"A group of monks," Giles looked pointedly at Buffy, "That fought the forces of darkness, like the slayers or watchers."
"Like spiritual demon-fighters?" Xander's brow furrowed.
"Not just demon fighters, they were very exceptional." Giles set down the book, walked over to another one, and brought it to Xander, who took it with the same amount of reverence that the older man did. "They were stalwart, clever, and pious. They had some kind of connection to the Higher Powers, able to do things that normal demon-hunters could not even dream of. They traveled the world, fighting evil; through their travels they were able to find others just like them, brought them to their temples, and trained them in their ways."
"Like the Jedi?" Supplied Andrew. As one, Buffy, Xander and Giles turned their heads to stare in disbelief at him. "What?"
"You know,” Xander said in awe, "that actually makes sense."
"That doesn't make any sense at all!" Buffy walked to Xander to see the book, "Jedi are make-believe. It’s just a movie, there's no way that-"
"Actually," interrupted Andrew. "I have heard tell of an ancient group similar to the Jedi. There was a small temple that was unearthed in Australia, I took the liberty to go and see it on my last mission, after I sent the slayer back here of course," he said after receiving a look from Giles. "The markings on the walls, the floors, the main room, all were indicative to Lucas' scenery of the Jedi Council rooms. Granted, his story took place in space; some of their beliefs may have been different, I didn't get much time to explore, but all were reminiscent to the Jedi. Even the sleeping quarters, some were a little larger, meant for the master, with a smaller room offset from the main living quarters, meant for the apprentice. Also there were rooms that had a series of 'bunks' set into the wall, meaning these were for the apprentices who were not selected by a master yet."
"That was," Giles blinked, "very informative. Why haven't you supplied us with this information before?"
Andrew shrugged, "I just got back. Also, everyone seemed to be a bit busy what with the thwarting of apocalypses...I figured that no one would wanna hear-"
"We do want to hear about these things, Andrew." Xander put a hand on his shoulder, "Just because you think it’s too nerdy does not mean that it’s something you shouldn't let us know about. Do you think we would have hung around Giles so much otherwise?"
Giles glared at him, then faced Andrew, "Ancient groups and themes are always prominent in pop-culture references, Andrew, whether on purpose or by a fortunate accident. It helps that you took it upon yourself to investigate the temple, would you remember where it was perhaps?"
He bounced, "Yeah! Luckily I had my map with me; I marked it before I had to leave."
"The authorities?" Asked Giles.
"Didn't know I was there actually, I snuck in after them, they went really far in, and after a while I couldn't hear them talking. I just happened to look at my watch and realized I was going to be late for my plane if I didn't get a move on. Wanted to take some pictures but," he shrugged, "No time."
"Remind me to supply you with a digital camera on your next mission, there's no telling what you will find."
Xander smirked, "Yeah, Indy's found something at almost every place he's been sent to. I bet Spike would have got a kick out of this, Indiana Jones was one of his favorite movies."
Andrew chuckled nervously, "Yeah." He still didn't tell them about Spike, and wasn't planning on it. Even after five years, he kept his promise to the attractive vampire, out of some kind of loyalty, he didn't know. He felt horrible after they lost all connection to Angel's group soon after the two vampires met up with him in Italy, when he gave them the information about who they thought was Buffy, in reality she was one of the three decoys they deployed after Buffy started receiving death threats. It was one of Xander’s Golden Moments, of which he had many over the years. Later Andrew was told that he disappeared after the battle that went down, by Angel of all people, the battle that had killed Angel’s right hand, Wesley. He showed up in Scotland a couple days after the brawl, he looked...Lost, would have been Andrew's opinion. Buffy and him talked, worked out some things, and are now working together, to the chagrin of the existing Scooby Gang. Funnily enough, Xander didn't bat an eyelash. Maybe since he had turned thirty, a kind of maturity stopped him from saying anything. Maybe it was because they could all see the change in Angel; he seemed like all those people he tried to save, needing some kind of guidance after the fall.
Andrew didn't really care one way or another honestly. He didn't really connect with Angel, wasn't there in the beginning to form any kind of opinion of the vampire. The only opinion he had of him was...well, no use in speaking ill of the dead and all that. Andrew giggled at his own thought.
Andrew's head pooped up to see everyone staring at him, "Huh?"
Xander put a hand over his mouth to hold in his laughter, shoulders shaking in the effort, Giles brow furrowed, "I asked you what was so funny?"
"Oh," Andrew nodded, "Sorry, random thought."
Giles brow cocked, he always wanted to know how to do that, maybe it was just a British thing, "I was explaining the prophecy, or vision."
"You don't know which?"
"Well," Giles started, "There is no record of the foretelling of prophecies in this culture, some are fleeting visions of the foreseeable future, not necessarily will come to pass."
"Then why are we even bothering with this?" Buffy asked.
"Because of the importance of the vision Buffy, there is mention of a Hellmouth."
"Yeah the one we closed, and the one in Cincinnati." She supplied.
Giles lips thinned, "There are more than one Buffy. This vision foretells of the opening off all of them. Around the World."
"Aren't all of them open kinda?"
"Not so." He shook his head, "Some of them are active, some are dormant, but still demons and what have you, gravitate to them. I would say that the places that we have been picking up the new slayers, are hellmouths."
"Which explains a lot, if you think about it," said Xander. "Take all the crap that's going on in Africa. I mean, I found a couple of new slayers just last week, not to mention when we first started. More are awakening every day. Maybe this is the powers way of getting us ready for whatever is happening in the vision."
Giles nodded, "You have a point there Xander. This must be something big."
"Sunnydale big?" Buffy questioned quietly.
"Possibly," Giles answered just as quietly.
"So what does the vision tell us?"
Giles looked down, eyes narrowing, "It is written very strangely… I can pick out some markings. I mentions the hellmouths around the world...our warriors not enough...two champions..." He set the book down, pinching the bridge of his nose, "It’s no use, I don't understand the writing. We need someone who could possibly read this better than I."
Xander patted his shoulder, "We'll figure it out Giles. We have some contacts we could use. Don't worry."
"I hope we can decipher this in time."
* * *
The Endeavor gleamed softly in the early light of dawn, and as the two Jedi approached the landing platform, the exit ramp slowly descended. At Will’s look, his master grinned and motioned to the ship. As Will turned back, he smiled as he recognized the golden bullet hurtling towards them, Freya Yao. She was a golden-hued Twi'lek, nearing her twentieth year, and a joy to be around. She was found on the planet Corellia by Will and his master, it was clear that she was a strong force-adept, and was brought back to Coruscant. She was then quickly snatched up by a visiting master, Roben Drae; the two were very well suited for one another. It was tragic that just two years into their partnership that Jedi Master Drae was killed on an escort mission to Coruscant from Naboo, giving his life to save Naboo’s queen, but sacrifice was the life of a Jedi. The three friends had very little time in which to spend any time with each other, which led Will to wondering the cause of this reunion.
"Will!" She exclaimed as she nearly bowled the man over, "I missed you!"
He laughed as he embraced her small form, "And I you, my dear friend. How are you faring?"
"Great actually," She smiled at him, "For I am coming with you to Terra."
His brow furrowed as he looked up at his master, his master's gaze darting away, and started to board the ship, "Time is wasting, my young charges. The ship is already loaded; I suggest we relocate to our rooms until lift-off."
The other two shared a look, and then followed him into the Corellian freighter, their steps echoing faintly through the ship. Freya shoulders slumped, "Are you displeased with me, Will?"
She turned to see his face fold into concern, putting his hands comfortingly on her shoulders, "Nothing would make me happier than to share this mission with you, Freya. However, I am concerned over the circumstances of this endeavor. Has my master said anything?"
She shook her head, "Not at all. All I know is that I was removed from my classes with the orders to meet you and Master Fiori here on the ship."
He nodded and straightened, "I think that we should go to our quarters, and unpack some things before lift-off. Go ahead and take the starboard side, my master and I will take portside." He got halfway down the hallway until he realized she hadn’t moved a muscle from her spot, still looking after him, hurt. He walked back to her, “What’s wrong, Goldie?”
Her head ducked, a blush staining her cheeks, turning them a bronze-like color, "Is something amiss?" She asked in apprehension. She motioned at herself, “With me, I mean?”
He stifled a chuckle, "I think with your," he motioned at her, "I think it would be prudent to have gender-specific rooms, don't you agree?"
"Oh!" She blushed. "Yes, you are right. I'll just," she pointed behind her, "Run along now."
He grinned as he watched her scamper off to her rooms, the girl just didn’t know the power she could wield with one smile, and he hoped that he would be there the day she realized it. He shook his head and went to find his master; there were some things that needed to be discussed. He found his master sitting on one side of a bed, his hands loosely hanging between his knees, contemplating the floor. Will knocked softly on the wall next to the doorway, "Master, is everything alright?"
He sighed, "Everything is...fine. Just preoccupied is all."
"Could you tell me what just happened back there?" He walked into the room, sitting on the bed across from his master, "I mean, I do not want to judge you, or question your actions, but she shouldn't be going on what is to be a dangerous mission. I do not think she is ready for this."
"You do not know that." His master said quietly, he looked up at his padawan, "There are reasons why she is here, Will. I was hoping we would get some time to discuss our future, but so far, we have been so busy."
His master smiled slightly, "You are to be my padawan no longer after this mission, Will. Terra is your Jedi Trial. That is what the Council discussed with me after we arrived on Coruscant. I wanted to tell you, I just couldn't find the right time. I did not want to alarm you."
Will's eyes widened, "You mean," he breathed, "I am to be knighted?"
At this the master beamed, "Yes, Will. I hope that this is not a shock to you, after all, it has been ten years, and you are an exceptional student. There is nothing more I can teach you."
"I am honored, Master. I am shocked, a little, but it’s a good kind of shock." Will frowned, "I find it hard to believe that the Council would allow me to become a knight, I have no memory-"
"That does not matter," His master waved a hand, "We all knew that at one point you would regain your memory, even though it has not happened yet, the Jedi are not about to bind you to their cause yet. If you regain your memory before the mission is through, and want to leave the Order, you have every right to."
"But if I don't remember?"
"Then you still have a home with us. After you are knighted you will be sent on missions with a partner, some solo missions, and when you are ready, you can either teach at the Temple or take on a padawan. This mission to Terra is an opportunity for you to face your past; I have the utmost faith in you regaining your memories, familiar surroundings and all that. You will face the Trials with the same courage as you have displayed ever since I met you."
"Thank you, Master." He cocked his head, "But what of Freya?"
"She is to be my new padawan. She had shown great courage on Ryloth, not many her age would have displayed such bravery and calm in the face of adversity, she will make one great Jedi." Wyn-Udiin nodded, "I see a long future ahead of her."
Will nodded, "In any case, we have to get started. Otherwise, we won't have a mission to complete."
"I'll set the logistics to our destination, set the jump into hyperspace, and take inventory of our cargo bay."
"Shall I keep the youngling occupied, Master?" Will asked, not trying to keep the laughter out of his voice. They both knew of the crush the young twi’lek had on Will, and the master was sure that she would grow out of it. She would never grow out of her never-ending curiosity, however, which always made traveling with her an adventure.
Master Fiori turned in the doorway, "Just keep her busy in the cockpit, make sure we don't careen into any asteroids, and stop her from pushing any buttons."
"Yours or mine?"
The Jedi master rolled his eyes and walked into the cockpit, setting their flight coordinates and the jump into hyperdrive. He then stepped into the cargo bay and sighed, although the room was smaller than most freighters, there were still a numerous amount of boxes to go through. He pulled out his datapad and commenced taking inventory.
* * *
"So what can we do?" Xander questioned, motioning to the texts, "How are we going to figure out what the prophecy thingie says?"
Giles sat down, "I have no idea. The fact that we stumbled upon these texts in the nick of time
dissuades me. We need to find something or someone that could help us."
"I hate to even bring this up but," Xander held up his hands, reluctant, "what about Angel?"
"Angel doesn't need to be concerned with this." Giles shut down that suggestion with finality.
"Maybe our Willowy goddess may help us in our conundrum." Everyone turned to stare at Andrew, once again. Andrew took out his cell-phone, "Let's call Willow, and see if she has a 'Revealo' spell or something."
"I hardly think that this could be solved so easily as using a spell." Giles lips thinned.
"Well the rest of us aren't coming up with anything useful." Buffy stated while walking out of the library, "I'm going to go and oversee the girls, see if there's anything I can figure out. Let me know if you find anything."
They made the call, Willow enlisting her help along with the coven she was currently visiting, and they would get their answer soon. Xander, Andrew, and Giles sat down to try to decipher something of the text in the meantime, in Willow-speak, 'soon' could mean a few minutes to a few days.
"Okay," Started Xander, "You said you understood hellmouths around the world. Did it mention anything about them opening?"
Giles scanned the page, "Yes, it says here," He squinted, "They will open to the voice of ultimate evil." He sat back in his chair, "Hmm, I didn't see that before."
"Maybe the spell is working."
Giles shrugged, "Maybe." He read further, "Our warriors...not enough....Two champions fall in a blaze of fire in aide..."
"Maybe it was supposed to mention Los Angeles," Andrew surmised quietly, looking up to see if anyone heard him after the fact. He breathed a sigh of relief as they were engrossed in the documents, "Well, all we have to do is wait until we see a blaze of fire."
"The blaze of fire couldn't mean literally."
* * *
Alarms blared throughout the ship, and the master ran to the cockpit to join his charges, "What is going on?"
"Remember our last mission, Master?" Asked Will apprehensively, pushing a sequence of buttons to nullify the threat.
The master plopped into his seat, "And?"
"I don't think they ran a full diagnostics test before we shipped out. We are going to crash."
"There is nothing to crash into!" Exclaimed Freya.
Master Fiori's lips thinned, "Calm yourself, Freya. This is a minor set-back. We are in Terra's system; we just need to rig something to get us the rest of the way. What is the problem?"
"One would assume that due to the modification capabilities of this ship, some wires may have been crossed. I believe that some of the modifications used for added propulsion are acting against each other, basically shorting out the power output." Will flipped a couple switched over his head, and some of the alarms quieted, "Unfortunately, the hyperdrive is shorting out. If I redirect some of the power, it should buy us a little time."
The master nodded, "Do it."
"I can see it," Freya breathed, "It's so beautiful."
Will paused in his attempt at buying them a little time to see what see was talking about; a large planet loomed before them in a variety of green and blue hues, white clouds stretching across its surface, a soft glow illuminated the planet, and Will surmised it was the sun that was to the east of them. He supposed that it was beautiful, but he had seen many other beautiful planets holding dark secrets within its depths.
"Do not be fooled by its outer appearance," His master advised, taking the thought right out of his head, "This place is rife with an evil we had not the chance to meet yet. It is not like Korriban, displaying its evil for everyone to see."
"It is not the planet," Will said, almost dream-like, "It is the forces at work. There is some good left there." He shook his head, trying to shake the incessant thoughts away until they were safely on the planet. He opened the panel above his feet, shifting underneath to get at the wires. As Freya and his master discussed the up-coming mission and their role, Will searched for the right wires to splice together. He did not question the idea that formed into his mind before he started to fix the power, he acted on his instincts. Maybe it was a left-over skill he had from his former-life, a skill he was grateful to have. His eyes widened, eyebrow climbing near to his hairline as a dark shape above him was illuminated by an inner light inside the compartment he opened.
He reached up and delicately removed the object. On closer inspection, it looked like a mangled spanner, bent and shoved deep into the wiring. He set it down beside him, and shifted closer. Many wires were snapped, and he sighed at the amount of work he was going to have to do after they set down on land. He rolled his head on his shoulders, and started to fuse a couple wires together, redirecting some of the power from the power conduit to the propulsion generator, and hoped it would get them there before everything went pear-shaped.
He moved back into his chair, and a significant amount of the alarms stopped, "Well, it seems that a mangled spanner found its way into our control panel. I removed it, but it snapped a significant number of wires. Hopefully, we will have it up in running again in no time."
"You did a great job, Padawan." Wyn-Udiin squeezed his shoulder gently.
"Thank you, Master. Now where shall we land? Small secluded island until we get our bearings?" He indicated a small island above a large continent in the northern hemisphere of the planet.
"That would do fine, Padawan. Let's get this bucket on the ground in relative safety this time."
* * *
"Buffy, we have a problem." A young slayer walked up to the blonde. Buffy sat the sword she was polishing down and faced her, "A large group of vampires were located near our fortress. Shall I send a group of slayers to erase them?"
She surveyed the group of freshly-recruited slayers, the rest were deployed all over the world just yesterday, she wasn't counting on anything happening just yet, but that's what you get for taking chances, "Send for Xander, Andrew, and Angel, have them meet me out here. I'll get the girls suited up. Any word on Willow's spell?"
The girl shook her head, "They have deciphered some words, but that's all-"
"Oh my god," Exclaimed Buffy, looking up into the sky, "Is that a meteor?"
The other slayer looked up, jaw dropping, " I have no idea what that is, in any case, it’s huge! Should we send for-"
"No authorities," She held up her hand, her focus on the raging ball of flame plummeting to Earth, "We'll examine it when we are through with that group of vampires."
"It looks like its falling where we last saw the vampires; you may not have to split up the team."
Buffy nodded, "Good. Get the team, and inform the rest of the girls to be on red-alert until we come back, there's no telling what's in that...thing."
The team was assembled with due haste, Angel bringing up the rear. The rest of the slayers were still a little unsure around Angel, and he with them. No one questioned Buffy's reasoning about letting Angel join them, at least not to her face, but all felt the tension. Normally, he stayed away from everyone apart from training and the occasional mission, always with either Buffy or one from the original Sunnydale team; and many assumed it was because of the events that happened in Los Angeles, the reason why he came to them in the first place.
As one they set out to the 'crash site' as Andrew called it, however they didn't hear anything from the pasture where they surmised the ball of flame landed.
They came upon a battle.
* * *
The creatures set upon them immediately as they left the ship, their faces deformed, their eyes glowing. Something about them reminded Will of a memory, of another face like this one, only female. Her eyes glowed like the far-off suns of Coruscant, her dark hair gathered in an elaborate jeweled catch, curls gathered around her shoulders and framing her ivory face. She spoke in a haunting whisper, slightly accented, her ruby red lips framing nonsensical phrases about fish and effulgence.
He shook his head, the hood of his outer robe hiding his face from these creatures. If they survived he did not want them recognizing him for future retaliation. He had to be in the here and now in order to safely protect their young charge from any damage these things could cause.
He thrust out his hand, making an outstretched palm, the creatures falling back a couple feet, some to the ground, others hitting trees and promptly bursting into dust.
With an expression of amazement, Will gaped, “Force.” Suddenly he remembered another instance in which this happened. He could see himself in a large yard, various sized stones littering the ground in a type of strange mosaic. He saw as a young blonde girl fought a group of beings just like these, wielding a piece of wood as a weapon. Barbaric though it may be, it was effective as they exploded in a cloud of dust and ash, it seemed like it coated his throat as he swallowed.
He looked to his right to see his master do the exact same thing, with the same results, but it was as though they multiplied, kept coming at them. They both looked at each other, and nodded, they had to nullify this threat, there was no telling what they were going to do to them, or to anyone else if left to their own devices, the two Jedi had no choice.
As one, they drew their lightsabers, twin azure beams issuing forth from their hilts, at that moment, nothing was more clear and cleansing to the padawan than to hear the low hum of the blade. He thought he heard a cry just after they drew their blades, but after closer inspection, supposed it was just the wind through the trees, or a bird.
* * *
"Ohm-" Andrew gasped as he saw two hooded figures draw lightsabers, Buffy slammed a hand over his mouth and yanked him back, "Shut it! They'll hear us!"
"It looks like they may need some help." Supplied Angel quietly.
"We need to be sure-"
She looked up as all became silent in the glade. She saw neither head nor fang of the group of vampires that beset the small group ahead of them, she only saw the two hooded figures, and a small brightly colored...alien? behind them. They extinguished their blades, putting their hilts into their belts underneath their outer robes. The shorter of the two turned his back, facing the small figure behind him, clasping her upper arms. The other one's head turned, the dark void beneath the hood staring right into Buffy. She felt a slight breeze, warm and comforting compared to the other gales she was used to in Scotland. He stretched out a gloved hand, curling it inwardly as if beckoning her forth.
She stood up, and motioned her friends to do the same, "It’s alright," she said slowly. "They aren't here to hurt us."
"I should say not!" Andrew exclaimed disapprovingly, "They are Jedi, sworn to protect the innocent and saving the galaxy. Duh."
She stepped into the clearing, the other two standing beside the one who motioned her forward. He friends hesitantly following behind her, all except Andrew, who stalked forward beside her.
"Hey," she said softly, "We aren't here to hurt you. We just want to know what you want."
"We mean no harm," The taller one spoke, the quiet words softly accented. Angel cocked his head and sniffed, then shrugged in dismay. Something about these people confused him, their aura of peace dissuading him. The taller one nodded to his two companions, they reached to the folds of their hoods, the young one stepping to the side of him.
"My stars and garters," Andrew breathed, "She's a Twi'lek."
The young twi'lek seemed to fold in upon herself, shy at the attention she was receiving from these people. The shorter hooded figure moved closer to her, both of the hooded figures putting their hands on each shoulder in a clear sign of protection. They reached up and removed their hoods, revealing familiar features to the Scooby Gang.
"Spike?" Buffy choked out as Will's face came into view, pain infusing in the one syllable.
Will's brow furrowed, seemingly not able to understand. Wyn-Udiin could feel his padawan's confusion and dismay, his brow furrowed, "I am sorry, we do not know of whom you speak. I am Jedi Master Wyn-Udiin Fiori. This is my padawan, Will. The young twi'lek is named Freya Yao and is under our protection."
"Wesley?" Angel breathed.