|Ship of the Line: Humanities Loss
Author: Methos2523 PM
When Ethan's Halloween spell changes the world drastically for Xander and Ms Calendar, the dynamic of the scoobies, and the world, is forever changed with the introduction of technology and races that should never have existed in their world...Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Xander H. - Words: 33,924 - Reviews: 86 - Favs: 252 - Follows: 338 - Published: 10-14-12 - id: 8610967
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Ship of the Line: Humanities Loss
Author: Methos - Methosfanfic
Disclaimer: None of the original characters or concepts belong to me, Star Trek belongs to the late great Gene Roddenberry, Buffy, Xander and co belong to Joss Whedon… anyone else that gets dragged into this crossover belong to their original creator, only the crazy idea belongs to me...
It wasn't actually a groan that sounded in the futuristic sick bay, more of a moan mixed with a whine as consciousness flooded back to Xander Harris, where he nearly slumped to the floor but managed to catch himself on one of the consoles nearby to steady himself while shaking his head.
"What the… huh?" He muttered out, looking around immediately to get stock of his surroundings.
The futuristic sight that greeted him was like something out of a geeks dream, the technology and surroundings were easily recognisable, the designs being so ingrained into the entire Star Trek mythology that even without looking down at the uniform he was wearing, he could tell it was a Star Trek style room he was in.
"Oh man, what the…" He trailed off, looking around and then down at his uniform, sure enough, it was the same uniform he'd been wearing for Halloween. The costume guy had sold it him cheap because of a stain on the back, nothing that bothered him really as it was barely recognisable against the black fabric. The blue undershirt and communicator badge came with the deal, only felt a lot more real somehow than the cheap props he'd bought earlier in the night.
"Hello?" He called out, looking around. He knew enough about Star Trek to recognise he was in a sick bay, the various beds around the room on the walls and the displays pretty much told him as much, though the way the displays were lit up and active told him this wasn't some simple prop room or fan decoration that had been done. "Uh, anyone?" He called out again as he gingerly walked towards the door, jumping back half a step when it opened with the familiar sound that any fan would recognise. "Hello?" He shouted, poking his head out of the door and looking from side to side for anyone else.
"I'm on America's Funniest right?" He muttered aloud, half hoping this was some sort of joke being played on him, but feeling the odd sensation that everything around him was far too real to have been built just for a practical joke on Halloween. "Computer?" He asked aloud, feeling slightly foolish as he looked to the ceiling. "Hello?" He asked when no response came. "Computer, identify crew members aboard." He asked again, wincing as a voice familiar from many episodes of Star Trek came back.
"Identifying, Lieutenant M'Rissa is in Engineering. No other crew members aboard." The computer responded calmly.
"Oh man, oh man," Xander whispered to himself in shock, half at how the computer had responded to him, and the other half in realisation that the computer was real, which meant the sick bay was real, which undoubtedly meant, the ship he was currently on was real as well. Tapping the badge on his chest he took a deep breath before letting it out and opening his mouth. "Lieutenant M'Rissa?" He asked aloud before waiting for a response.
The soft moan that left her lips was slightly marred by the shape of her mouth, making the moan of consciousness returning turn into more of a purr as she stood up and took stock of the situation she was in. Her eyes immediately going wide at the sight of a Star Trek warp core stretched out above her, lighting up the room with its soft blue glow, stretching up several floors and down three more, where she could see something around the base of the warp core that looked like one of those plasma balls that you touch for static, only flattened out and stretched around the base of the warp core like a doughnut.
"What happened?" She asked aloud, a bit shocked at the way her voice sounded coming from her lips, everything felt different somehow, even the inside of her mouth, for a start she could feel what she assumed were fangs coming down at the front of her teeth, and her nose looked off as she concentrated on looking down at it, crossing her eyes in the process. "No, no no no…" She breathed out, her breath coming quicker as she raised up her hand, only it wasn't her hand anymore, it was covered in dark brown, almost black fur, and the uniform she was wearing was feeling drastically more real than it had when she's tried it on earlier in the night.
Running over to one of the consoles by the side of the room she stared down at the display, for an instant ignoring the fact that it was lit up and working fully, like any Star Trek console on the television show, but looking past the lit up text and using the console display as some sort of mirror to gauge her appearance.
Where she'd had shoulder length dark brown hair before, the hair seemed to cover her entire face now. Her hair was still there, only there was no real discernible hairline, only where the fur that was on her face seemed to grow into hair instead. Her nose and mouth were elongated as well, turning into a mussel that was slightly protruding from her face, with a definite feline look to it; the ears poking out of her hair were definitely real as well, not the hairband ears she'd been wearing earlier in the night.
"Not good," She whispered out, refocusing her eyes at the display in front of her. "Definitely not good." She muttered, reaching one hand up and frowning at the furry appendage before tapping on the screen, her eyes going wide as the screen came alive and the colours lit up brighter and clearer for her to read. "USS Aventine, engineering." She read off quietly, rolling her eyes at the engineering part, any Star Trek fan would recognise the warp core engine of the ship, she was pretty sure any non-fan would recognise it as well, the design was that famous now and recognisable by most people around the world.
She'd only really picked the costume up on a whim, having been ordered by Principal Snyder to help with the 'outreach program', which basically meant accompanying the students from the High School, as well as younger children, out on trick or treating for the night. Originally she was going to head to a party afterwards, though the last thing she could remember was being in the school, helping one of the little girls with some of her makeup that had gone patchy.
She was broke out of her musing by a 'chirrup' sound coming from her chest, looking down she could see the comm badge that had come with the uniform, only that didn't catch her full attention as the tail she hadn't noticed before, that was flicking from side to side agitatedly, demanded more of her attention as shock started to set in.
"Ensign M'Rissa?" A familiar voice came over the comm link, causing her to flick her eye back to the comm badge and keep her attention on that instead of the tail that was begging her to check if it was as real as it looked.
She waited a few moments for anyone else to respond over the comm link before taking a breath and tapping it herself. "Hello?" She asked gingerly, not wanting to feel like a fool if this was all some elaborate prank by some of her students.
"Oh thank god," A relieved but familiar voice came over the link. "Uh, I don't know exactly what happened her, but I'm sorta, uh, on board somehow?"
"Hello?" She asked again, frowning at the feeling of speaking with fangs in her mouth, her entire body feeling very odd and alien at the moment. "Who is this?" She asked, hoping to get some sort of answer.
"My name's Xander, look, I don't really…"
"Xander?" She asked aloud, hoping it was the same Xander she knew from the high school. "Friends with Buffy and Willow?"
"Yeah, wait, how'd you…"
"It's Ms Calendar here, are the girls with you as well?" Jenny asked aloud, hoping at least to have someone here to help figure this all out.
"Ms C?" Xander's voice came back tinged with shock. "How'd you get aboard?"
"I'm guessing the same way as you," Jenny said thoughtfully as she looked around. "I'm in the engineering section, but I don't remember…"
"Same here," Xander's voice interrupted. "The remembering part, not the engineering. Pretty sure I'm in the ships sick bay. Is anyone else down there, crew or anyone?"
"No," Jenny replied as she looked around, sure enough there was no one in sight, the only sound was the eerily familiar hum of the warp core in front of her as she looked back to a door that looked to lead off of the engineering area. "Stay where you are, I'll come and find you."
"Sure," Xander's voice came back with half a laugh at the end. "This is some dream right, I mean, any second Seven of Nine's going to turn up in a silver catsuit."
"You wish," Jenny half laughed along as she walked to the doors, frowning as they slid open with a 'whoosh' sound. "Have you seen anyone else then?" She asked as she gingerly stepped into the corridor, looking around for anyone else before walking out into the deserted corridors.
"Not a soul," Xander's voice came back. "I asked the computer if anyone else was aboard, she just said Lieutenant M'Rissa, but when I tried the comm badge thing, I got you."
"Do you know the character, this M'Rissa then?" Jenny asked as she walked along the corridors, looking for any sign or map to help her towards the sick bay area.
"There was a M'ress on the Enterprise, back on Kirk's ship I mean, but this doesn't look like…" Xander trailed off.
"The computer called it The Aventine," Jenny replied quickly as she caught sight of a turbolift along the corridor in front of her. "M'ress, was she…" Jenny trailed off, trying to think how to put it delicately. "Catlike in any way?" She asked, looking at her reflection on the black panels of the wall that stretched out about half way up the corridor and ran the length of the walls.
"Yeah, she was a cat alien or something," Xander's voice explained. "I mean I'm sure her race had a name and stuff, but she had a tail and whiskers and stuff if that's what you mean."
"I think this M'Rissa was the same species," Jenny said quietly as she stepped towards the tubolift, the doors opening easily for her to enter. "This is all getting a bit freaky here." She muttered to herself as the doors to the turbolift shut behind her, her body instinctively pulling her tail in quickly to avoid it getting caught in the shutting doors.
"Tell me about it," Xander's voice laughed back. "It's all kinda real somehow right, like the computers and everything work, the comm badges and stuff, I'd bet the phasers and whatever else do as well."
"Don't touch anything," Jenny said quickly. "If this ship is real, then you could be firing weapons or anything down there." She said anxiously.
"I don't think sick bay has weapons control Ms C," Xander laughed back across the comm link.
"Still," Jenny trailed off as she looked to the ceiling in the turbolift. "Sick bay," She said softly, half feeling like a fool for talking to a fictional computer, but a small part of her mind was revelling in the futuristic technology around her. She barely felt the lift move as it started, the only way she could tell anything was happening were the lights moving at the various corners of the lift car. "Do you know anything about this ship then Xander? The Aventine?"
"Oh yeah," Xander's voice came back. "I was reading the books, that's kinda why I got the costume in the first place I mean."
"Who's the captain then?" She asked, hoping for a familiar name.
"Dax," Xander's voice came back, a tone of a smile with it. "The second Dax from Deep Space Nine, Ezri." He explained. "Or the ninth Dax I guess, I mean if you count Curzon and all the others but…"
"I know what you mean," Jenny cut him off, having been familiar with Deep Space Nine and the characters herself. "I didn't know Dax was a captain though."
"She wasn't, well not in the show," Xander's voice explained. "In the books she moved from being councillor to tactical training, then worked up to captain."
"I didn't know that," Jenny said thoughtfully, memorising the name to grab the books herself later to read.
"Yeah, the Destiny series is pretty good, it's supposed to tie up the stuff with Captain Riker on the Titan and everything together later on, there's only the first one out at the moment thought so…."
"I'm here," Jenny cut him off as the turbolift stopped and the doors opened with a 'whoosh' letting her out into another deserted corridor. "I'm not sure how…" She trailed off as a door several yards down from the turbolift and on the other side of the corridor opened to let Xander walk out.
"Ms C?" Xander asked hesitantly, looking at her appearance. Last he knew, Ms Calendar was definitely human, not the half-cat being that was looking at him down the corridor.
"It's me Xander," Jenny said with a nod, still feeling weird in her body and speaking through the elongated canines in her mouth. "Whatever happened here, I think it did this to me as well as the ship."
"Oh man, Giles is so going to freak," Xander said in shock, still looking at her. She was wearing the same uniform he was, only where his had a blue undershirt and stipe on the wrists of the sleeves, Ms Calendars was golden. "Oh man, you got lieutenant pips as well?" he asked, noting the two golden pips on her neck. "I shoulda got those; the costume guy said he'd sold the last set though."
"I was lucky I got there, he only had this uniform and a medical one when I went," Ms Calander explained. "Though I guess you got the medical uniform then."
"Doctor Xander," Xander grinned at her, getting more familiar with talking to her as she spoke, reassuring him that it was still Ms Calendar there and not an irate member of the crew ready to throw him out an airlock. "So, we're the only ones here?" he asked, looking up and down the corridors for anyone else.
"I haven't seen anyone," Jenny admitted as she looked around herself. "I was in engineering when I came around, whatever happened before that…" She trailed off, trying to think. "Last thing I remember, I was in the school helping a little girl out with some white makeup on her face."
"I was just on the street with four kids," Xander nodded in agreement. "Then I woke up here and kinda freaked out." He admitted with a small grin.
"I had my own share of that," Jenny nodded in agreement, looking down at her hands, which could easily be called paws now, and her tail that was still flicking around, belaying her agitation at the situation she was in.
"So, uh, what now?" Xander asked, looking at Ms Calendar. "Not that being on board a Star Trek ship isn't cool and all, but uh, how do we get back down?"
"I think the question should be, where are the rest of the crew, and more importantly, how this ship could even exist here?" Jenny mused thoughtfully. "Star Trek ships don't just pop into existence Xander, however this ship was brought here, we don't even know how long it'll continue to exist, it could vanish at any moment really."
"Vanishing us with it?" Xander asked with wide eyes.
"Or leaving us here while it disappears," Jenny said with a nod. "Either way, I think we should focus on getting off the ship as soon as possible."
"I'm with you there," Xander nodded enthusiastically, the thought of the ship vanishing suddenly and leaving them both hanging in space wasn't appealing to say the least. "I'm guessing transporters then?" He asked, looking at Ms Calendar for confirmation.
"Or a shuttle, but you're right, transporters would be quicker," Jenny admitted.
"I'm sensing a problem here," Xander said with a wince. "I haven't a clue how to work the transporters, let alone fly a shuttle, so unless you do…" He trailed off when Ms Calendar shook her head at him. "So, that's the transporters and shuttles out of the window." He said with a wince, leaving them back where they started. "Bridge?" He asked off hand. "We could at least figure out some controls up there, figure out what happened here in the first place."
"I think that's the best plan," Jenny nodded in agreement. "You said the computer said we were the only crew members aboard?" Jenny asked as she started walking back towards the turbolift, ignoring the feeling she had as her tail swished around behind her as she knew Xander was watching it. "Xander, focus please." She said as the turbolift doors opened.
"Uh, yeah, sorry," Xander said sheepishly as he stepped into the turbolift behind Ms Calendar. "Yeah, the computer just said Lieutenant M'Rissa was aboard, that's it."
"What about you?" Jenny asked curiously. "You don't have any pips, but your communicator thing worked alright." She said with a nod. "Bridge." She said as the turbolift doors closed behind them.
"I guess it didn't identify me because I asked for the crew," Xander hazarded. "Since I was asking, the computer just identified everyone else."
"Right," Jenny nodded in agreement as the turbolift hummed around them. "I think we can safely say that something pretty big happened tonight."
"Which means Giles was wrong," Xander grinned, explaining when Ms Calendar looked at him curiously. "Giles said Halloween was like deadsville for vampires or something, they all stay inside or something."
"Probably bored with how commercial it is," Jenny nodded thoughtfully. "Hopefully we can find out what happened here, perhaps find some way to reverse whatever…" She trailed off, gesturing down to her now alien body.
"Giles'll probably know," Xander said with a nod. "Magic I guess, or someth…" He trailed off as the turbolift came to a halt, the doors opening with a 'whoosh' and the sight of the Aventine bridge greeting them outside. "Wow." He whispered as he looked out of the doors.
"Seconded," Jenny nodded in agreement, the bridge of the ship certainly fit in with the futuristic and sleek designs that she'd seen around the ship on her way to find Xander. While it wasn't any design she recognised from the show, it was certainly a Star Trek bridge, only far more futuristic in design from anything she'd seen on The Next Generation or Voyager. "What do you know about this ship?" She asked curiously as she stepped out of the turbolift, looking around the deserted bridge for anyone before walking over and looking down at a sunken section that dominated the centre area in front of the captain's chair, where four sets of consoles were nestled around with a large panoramic viewscreen at the front of the bridge showed the Earth and sun outside. "Wow," She whispered looking at the view on the screen in front of them.
"I don't think we're in Kansas anymore," Xander quipped as he slowly walked past the captain's chair and down into the sunken area, looking at the futuristic consoles in awe. "Sensors, I think…" He said as he glanced at one of the consoles before looking at another. "Tactical, weapons stuff and shields." He nodded, feeling pretty sure about that one as he moved to the front of the sunken area. "Helm controls." He nodded at the large control section that swept around the front of the sunken section at the far end from the captain's chair, giving the captain clear view down the sloped area to all of the consoles and then directly across to the viewscreen.
"So this is the Aventine," Jenny said thoughtfully from where she was stood, having walked around the sunken area to the back of the bridge where a large display showed the ship layout along a standard Star Trek style interface, though the interface was muted blues instead of the yellows and pinks that she'd seen in The Next Generation and Voyager.
"I think this is the holocommunicator thing," Xander explained as he moved back towards the captain's chair, stepping around the large black disk that was in front of the chair and dominated the centre of the sunken area. "They had these in Deep Space Nine, at the end anyway, they were fitting them on ships so I guess the Aventine would have had one, I mean it was built after Deep Space Nine ended, so it's kinda up to date with all the technology stuff."
"But still doesn't explain how the ship could even exist here," Jenny mused aloud as she continued to look at the master systems display on the back wall. "Ships like this don't really exist, warp cores and phases are just fiction, not real."
"It's all looking pretty real to me," Xander grinned as he moved up and sat in the captain's chair, grinning as he ran his hand over the display that was off to the right and seeing it light up at his touch.
"Xander!" Jenny admonished him, turning around in time to see the displays around the ship light up ready to be used. "Don't touch anything I said."
"We kinda need to Ms C," Xander said with a grin. "Unless you wanna stay up here right?" He asked, gesturing to the viewscreen that was still showing the earth and sun outside. "Besides, that one's tactical right?" He asked, gesturing to the large console that was halfway down the sunken section in front of him, sweeping around to give a pointed look at one side. "Weapons control and stuff is there, so as long as we don't touch that…" He trailed off with a shrug.
Jenny looked at him for a moment, weighing up the options. Everything she could see around them was most definitely real, it was a far cry from being fake props or a fan creation, the reality of the walls, chair, and computer systems that was being shown on the displays were unmistakably real and usable, not some toy that had been mocked up to look like the real thing. "Fine," She nodded after a moment, walking down past where Xander was in the captain's chair to the second console along from the one he'd said was tactical. "You think this is sensors?" She asked as she swung the chair around, frowning as she tried to sit down and had to move her tail out of the way first so she wouldn't sit on it.
"It looks like it," Xander said with a half shrug. "I don't see an instruction manual or anything around though, just trying to find the ships… Ah, here, USS Aventine," He read off as he finally got the console to bring up the ships information. Surprisingly the computer system was reasonably easy to use, once he got around the idea of using the screens as a touch style interface like an ATM, instead of looking for a mouse or keyboard. "NCC Eight two six oh two, commissioned stardate… long string of numbers." He grinned as he looked up. "Vesta class, yeah, this is the ship from the Destiny books." He said with a nod. "Captain Dax's ship."
"Yet it's real and here, not the work of some writer who dreamt this all up," Jenny said as she gingerly touched the sensor controls and brought the console to life, frowning at the way she could feel the claws on her transformed hand tapping on the console instead of her fingers or nails. "Ok, this is the sensors console; I just need to figure out…" She trailed off as she tried to work out how to run the sensors.
"Computer?" Xander asked aloud. "Where are we?" He asked, fingers crossed and hoping the computer would respond kindly again.
"Holding geosynchronous orbit above central American continent, Earth." The computer responded to his question, causing Jenny to turn and look at him.
"Life signs aboard?" Xander asked again, wondering if they had missed any crew members aboard while they'd been making their way to the bridge.
"One life sign, Lieutenant M'Rissa, current location, bridge." The computer responded again.
"No one else aboard?" Xander asked aloud again while Jenny looked at him curiously.
"Negative, one life sign, Lieutenant M'Rissa," The computer responded again.
"Computer, who made the last information request?" Jenny asked curiously, turning the chair around to look at Xander so she didn't have to arc her neck around.
"The ships EMH requested crew identification," The computer responded, causing Xander to open his eyes wide.
"EMH?" Xander all but shouted as he jumped out of the captain's chair. "Computer, locate the EMH." He asked, wondering why he hadn't thought about that when he was in the sickbay.
"EMH program is currently running on the bridge," The computer responded, causing Xander to look around the bridge for the familiar sight of the EMH he knew from watching Voyager.
"Computer, recheck that please?" Xander asked as he looked around, finding only himself and Ms Calendar on the bridge.
"Confirmed, EMH program is currently running on the bridge." The computer responded.
"Oh Xander," Jenny said softly as she stood up and looked at him. "I think whatever happened to me, and the ship, I think it…"
"Uh uh," Xander shook his head emphatically. "No way, no way did the ship turn me into a frickin' hologram!" He shouted, panic starting to edge into his voice.
"We'll find a way, like you said, there has to be something, somewhere, that can turn us back right?" Jenny said as she walked over to the panicking teenager. "Just stay calm alright, if we can just stay calm and get in contact with Rupert, then we can figure something out." She said softly.
"Giles, yeah, Giles, he'll fix this, he can give me my body back, he'll know what to do." Xander repeated in a mantra as he sunk back into the captain's chair. "Oh man, freakin' ship turned me into some hologram thing."
"At least you still look like you," Jenny admonished him again. "It could have been worse; you could have a tail and whiskers like me." She said, keeping a lid on her own emotions for the moment as she focused on trying to get through this, knowing full well that if she let panic seep into her own situation, she'd be even more useless to Xander than she was being now. "We just have to focus here, we're the only two aboard, so we've got to fix this right?" She asked, looking down at where Xander was simply slumped in the chair. "Can you do that?"
"Huh?" Xander asked, looking up at where Ms Calendar's now feline face was staring down at him.
"Can you focus, the sooner we can get in contact with Rupert, the sooner we'll be able to figure out how to fix all this," Jenny explained.
"Giles, right," Xander nodded. "I can do that, get Giles." He said as he sat up in the chair straight. "Ok, sensors." He said, standing up and looking down at the console Ms Calendar had been sat at. "If we can find Giles, then we can get in touch somehow, I think."
"You know more about this than I do," Jenny said with a smile. "Just help me figure out how to work all this without opening fire."
"Right," Xander nodded as he walked down to the sensors console, taking deep breaths as he went to hold off the panic he could feel inside him. "Actually," He paused, leaning on the chair by the sensors console. "Computer, do you have maps of Earth, twentieth century?"
"Affirmative," The computer responded. "Topological surveys, geological records from era requested, and two dimensional geometric accurate surveys of earth taken in the late twentieth century."
"Display maps of California, main view screen," Xander said with a nod, getting used to working with the computer by voice and simply asking it for the information he needed.
The computer didn't respond this time, the view screen at the front of the bridge simply shifted view from where it was displaying the Earth and sun before, to a large map showing California.
"Focus on Los Angeles," Jenny asked, taking over from Xander's thoughts. "Town called Sunnydale."
"No records of a Sunnydale exist in database," The computer responded. "Los Angeles from era late twentieth century on display." The computer's voice came back as the map on the viewscreen shifted and refocused on Los Angeles.
"So Sunnydale doesn't exist in the Star Trek universe," Xander nodded with a shrug. "Guess Starfleet doesn't have to worry about vampires or Hellmouths or anything." He grinned.
"Lucky them," Jenny nodded in agreement. "Computer, run a sensor scan of Los Angeles on the planet below, focus on towns north of central Los Angeles, then overlay them on the map."
"Working," The computer responded. "Discrepancies to records of era detected, temporal variance detected."
"Temporal…" Jenny frowned. "Time travel, right."
"So the ship actually did exist?" Xander asked in shock. "Someone actually built this thing?"
"I don't think so," Jenny said thoughtfully. "Think about it, however this ship got here, it would have been far in the future for the Star Trek universe right?"
"Uh, yeah," Xander nodded in agreement. "Pretty far I guess… Deep Space Nine was set around twenty three seventy something and the books were a few years after that, so I guess twenty three eighty or somewhere like that."
"And we're in ninety seven," Jenny said with a nod. "Computer, can you confirm the date on the planet below?" She asked hopefully.
"Wireless communication array detected," The computers voice announced. "Specifications match cellular communication network used in the late twentieth century."
"Cell phones," Jenny said in excitement. "Can you patch in to the network?"
"Affirmative," The computer responded.
"Patch in and connect to the computer network, use that to confirm the date on the planet below," Jenny ordered, thinking about how they could use this to contact Rupert.
"Connection secured," The computer responded after a moment's pause. "Date confirmed, Earth standard, stardate five one two nine nine point seven."
"Can you convert that into the calendar used by Earth during the twentieth century?" Jenny asked hopefully.
"Confirmed, earth standard calendar, October thirty-first, nineteen ninety seven." The computer stated.
"What time is it in Los Angeles currently?" Jenny asked.
"Twenty two thirty six," The computer responded. "Connection with cellular network satellites confirm via Global Positioning System. Discrepancies with topological surveys detected, records of Earth in this period do not match with sensor data."
"Display sensor data for north Los Angeles, scan for a town called Sunnydale." Jenny ordered.
"Confirmed," The computer responded. "Sunnydale confirmed, latitude and longitude match records of Santa Barbara in historical database."
"Never heard of it," Xander said with a shrug.
"I guess that's the Star Trek version of Sunnydale," Jenny mused thoughtfully. "Can you connect to the cellular network for a phone call?"
"Audio communication is possible, holographic or visual communication not available given the technological limits of the cellular network at this time." The computer responded.
"I think that's a yes," Xander said with a grin. "So we can call people for help." He said, hope slipping into his voice.
"That's what I'm thinking," Jenny nodded as she moved over to the sensor console. "Computer, can you display a telephone interface for me please?" She asked, looking at the console in front of her.
"Confirmed, interface displayed on console alpha for use." The computer responded after a moment.
"Console alpha?" Xander asked, looking around the bridge, first checking the screens that were around the bridge on the main walls and then looking at the smaller consoles around the sunken area.
"Here," Jenny said quickly, calling Xander's attention over to the console by the side of the captain's chair. "Makes sense that console alpha would be the captain's personal console."
"Right," Xander nodded in agreement as he came over, watching as Ms Calendar sat in the chair comfortably and tapped at the console. "Giles?" He asked hopefully.
"First call," Jenny nodded in agreement as she dialled Giles' home number by heart and pressed the call button that was displayed in the same muted blues as the rest of the consoles around them.
"Yes yes, I'm coming," Giles muttered as he moved down the stairs in his flat, the ringing telephone waking him up after he'd decided to get an early night after dealing with the fallout from tonight's events with Ethan.
The very idea of having costumes possess someone definitely rang true for what he knew of his old friend, the chaos that had ran through Sunnydale tonight was definitely the sort of thing that Ethan would have wanted to witness, not to mention the fact that he'd somehow managed to repress the Slayer spirit in Buffy for several hours, which alone spoke of how much power he must have focused through the bust of Janus for the spell itself.
"Yes?" He asked by way of answering as he picked up the phone, half expecting it to be Ethan again gloating after he'd managed to escape the costume store.
"Rupert, thank god," Jenny's voice came over the line loud and clear.
"Jenny," Giles smiled as he sat down beside the phone. "I wasn't expecting your call."
"I know, I wouldn't be calling if it wasn't urgent," Jenny explained.
"Nonsense," Giles smiled again. "It's always a pleasure to speak to you. I managed to secure reservations at La Trattoria on Sunday for our meal, it should be…"
"Giles," Xander's voice broke in. "Not that hearing your date plans isn't freaky enough, but I think we've got bigger problems here."
"Xander?" Giles asked in shock at hearing the teens voice. "What are you doing with Jenny, I mean Ms Calendar?"
"Jenny's fine Rupert," Jenny's voice came back over the line. "We have a slight problem here, which I'm guessing you might know something about?" She asked hopefully.
"I trust you're referring to the events of earlier this evening," Giles said with a frown. "The possession of the students by costumes purchased from a particular store in town."
"Ethan's," Jenny filled in.
"Yes, quite," Giles said, dragging his hand down his face in resignation, having hoped that the fallout from the night would have been limited to a few bad dreams for the possessed people and simply serve as a cautionary tale of 'be careful what you wish for'. "Might I surmise that Xander was caught up in the night's events as well?"
"We both were," Jenny's voice came back. "Was anyone hurt?"
"Not that I'm aware of," Giles said with a nod. "I managed to end the spell with Willow's help in identifying where the costumes were purchased from, as far as I'm aware both Buffy and Willow are at home recovering from tonight's events."
"They're ok?" Xander's voice came back in.
"They're both fine as far as I know," Giles reassured him. "Willow was rendered intangible for a short time as a ghost of some description, while Buffy was possessed by the persona of an eighteenth century noble for some reason."
"Yeah, she had this purple gown thing and a wig," Xander's voice returned, explaining what he knew to Jenny. "Willow always goes as a ghost."
"Yes, well," Giles nodded thoughtfully. "The matter has been put to rest, though the man responsible for the spell itself managed to escape, I dare say we won't…"
"Rupert," Jenny's voice came back, interrupting him. "Whatever happened in Sunnydale, we've got a bigger problem where we are."
"Where…" Giles frowned at Jenny's choice in words. "Where are the both of you then?"
"A couple'a hundred miles up I guess," Xander's voice came back, a tone of laughter carrying over the telephone with it.
"A couple of…" Giles repeated what Xander said with wide eyes. "Please tell me Xander was joking just then?"
"I wish I could Rupert," Jenny's voice came back. "Whatever happened tonight, something pretty big changed for me and Xander, we're pretty stuck up here at the moment."
"Up here?" Giles asked thoughtfully, staring at the phone in bemusement. "Where would 'up here' be exactly?"
"The Starship Aventine apparently," Jenny's voice came back tinged with a wince. "We've both been stuck up here since the spell ended I guess."
"Since…" Giles frowned as he took his glasses off and polished them against the dressing gown he had quickly thrown on to answer the phone. "Good lord, an actual star ship?"
"We're on the bridge now," Xander's voice came back. "Ms C figured out how to get the computer to tap into the phone lines so we could call you."
"It's real Rupert," Jenny's voice came back. "Whatever spell happened down there, it had some pretty lasting effects up here as well." She explained, hedging around telling Giles what had happened to her.
"It turned me into a hologram!" Xander's voice cut in. "The ships emergency medical hologram, me!"
"Good lord," Giles whispered as his glasses dropped from his hand into his lap. While he didn't quite know what an emergency medical hologram was, he could grasp the idea of a hologram easily enough, having been familiar with watching Red Dwarf through his college years.
"Whatever happened, it did it to me as well," Jenny's voice came back softly. "I was wearing a similar outfit to Xander, only mine was with ears and a tail." She said softly.
"Ears and…" Giles trailed off. "You mean to say…"
"We're hoping you know something, maybe how to reverse this, figure out what happened with the spell and why we're both stuck like this?" Jenny's voice came back with equal mixtures of hope and worry colouring it.
"Well, I… I don't… The effects of the spell should have worn off," Giles said, picking up his glasses from his lap and polishing them again as he propped the phone between his shoulder and head. "Both Buffy and Willow returned to their regular selves as soon as the spell was disrupted here."
"About forty minutes ago?" Jenny asked curiously.
"Approximately that, yes," Giles nodded as he replaced his glasses. "You mean to tell me that both you and Xander were on board this star ship when the spell ended?"
"I woke up in the sick bay," Xander's voice came over the line.
"Engineering," Jenny confirmed. "Which apparently fits the uniforms we're both wearing here."
"Yeah, apparently Ms C's a Trekkie too," Xander's voice came back sounding like he was grinning wherever he was.
"Well, I must… this is quite unprecedented as far as I am aware," Giles said thoughtfully as he racked his brains trying to think of anything that could account for why both Jenny and Xander had remained as their costumed selves after the spell ended. "Though quite fortunate that the ship around you remained intact after the spell ended, should it have vanished at the time I disrupted the spell, I would think the consequences would have been quite dire for the both of you."
"I had the same thought," Jenny's voice came back worriedly. "For all we know, the ship could vanish at any time now."
"If it were to have vanished, so to speak, I would have thought it would have gone when I disrupted the spell that caused the possession of the costumes," Giles explained thoughtfully. "Though creating an entire star ship from magic is a feat of power I wouldn't have believed Ethan capable of."
"Well it's real up here," Xander's voice broke in again. "And we're kinda stuck up here at the moment."
"Yes, I could see that being a problem," Giles nodded thoughtfully. "I assume that both of you are familiar with the fictional origins of the ship in question, from Xander's comment about being a Trekkie as well, I can assume the ship is from the Star Trek series then?"
"The USS Aventine," Jenny explained. "Not the Enterprise or anything, but Xander's been reading the books apparently."
"I see," Giles mused thoughtfully. "Perhaps the spell focused on those thoughts, of the ship and the books he had been reading, as a basis for the ship, if he had been reading ones featuring the Enterprise, or another starship from the series, perhaps that would have changed the nature of the spell itself. Of course I'm only speculating here, without concrete evidence to the contrary I can only…"
"Rupert, focus please," Jenny's voice came back pleading. "At the moment, I'm up here on a deserted ship with Xander. He's been turned into a hologram, and I'm some sort of cat-woman alien, so a little help would be appreciated."
"Yes, quite," Giles nodded as he sat upright in the chair again. "Well, I would say that the first course of action would be to find a way for you both to leave the ship itself, returning to Earth so to speak so that we can find a way to return you both to your original forms."
"Problem," Xander's voice came back.
"You don't have to hold your hand up Xander, he can't see you," Jenny's voice interrupted again.
"Sorry," Xander's voice came back with a grin. "Uh, EMH's can't leave the ship, the one on Voyager couldn't even leave the sickbay for ages, until they found him a holoemitter," Xander explained.
"I see," Giles said thoughtfully. "And is there one of these devices there for you to use?"
"I don't even know how I'm on the bridge now Giles," Xander's voice returned. "No holoemitter or anything."
"I see, and you are sure that you were transformed into this, Emergency Hologram did you say?" Giles asked thoughtfully.
"The computer identified him as the ships EMH, but we haven't tested the theory," Jenny explained.
"No testing," Xander's voice came back. "Testing the hologram is a no no. What if you delete me or something, or turn me off and my programs lost?" Xander argued, panic starting to seep into his voice again.
"Yes, I can understand why you wouldn't want any interruptions like that to take place," Giles nodded, trying to calm the young man down. "Would it be possibly for you to come down here then? If the starship exists as you say up there, I would hope there would be smaller craft suitable for landing on a planet, though I confess I'm not as knowledgeable about the Star Trek series as Xander is."
"There's shuttles," Xander confirmed. "But we don't know how to fly them."
"Ahh, yes, an obvious draw back," Giles frowned thoughtfully. "Perhaps, I'm aware that Star Trek ships are equipped with teleportation devices of some sort, is there a way you could use those to teleport down to Earth?" Giles asked, feeling quite bemused at actually having this conversation.
"Again with the EMH's can't leave the ship," Xander's voice answered him. "But…" He trailed off.
"Xander, what…" Jenny's voice came back for a second before trailing off again.
"What's going on up there?" Giles asked curiously.
"Just trying something," Xander's voice came back. "If I can't get down there, then maybe…" He trailed off for a second. "Computer, can you identify the phone call?"
"Confirmed, cellular network connection to forty five Oakville avenue, Sunnydale, residence owned by Rupert Giles according to records in Sunnydale municipal council database." The computer answered.
"Good lord," Giles muttered out. "The computer itself is answering you both?" He asked after hearing the computers voice come over the phone call.
"If it hadn't been we'd have been stuck up here without contacting you," Jenny explained over the line. "Now if I can just see what Xander is doing then…."
"Computer, scan the location of the other side of the phone call," Xander's voice came back.
"Scanning," The computers voice came over the line again. "One life sign confirmed. Human male."
"Xander, what do you think you're…" Giles started to ask but was cut off by Jenny's voice coming back.
"I think I know what he's doing," Jenny said, interrupting Giles' question. "He's going to bring you aboard using the computer, so you can see the ship and what's happened up here for yourself."
"Xander, I don't think that's a…" Giles started but was cut off by Xander again.
"Computer, lock on to the person scanned, and transport directly to the bridge." Xander's voice came over the line, interrupting Giles' protests.
"Xander, don't do…" Giles trailed off as a strange sensation passed over his body, tingling through him for a second before the apartment around him faded into darkness.
"Anything that…" Giles trailed off as vision came back to him, finding himself falling backwards onto a hard carpet in a brightly lit area that certainly wasn't his front room.
"Rupert, sorry, if I'd have…" Jenny trailed off as she moved over to help Giles up, holding her hand out automatically, forgetting what she looked like now until she saw Giles' eyes widen at seeing her. "Oh, I did try and tell you about this." She said, still holding her hand out for Giles to take. "It's still me Rupert." She said softly, though the way Giles was still lying on the floor looking up at her hurt more than she would admit.
"Desperate times," Xander said as he walked over to beside Ms Calendar. "Sorry Giles, but we can't exactly get down there; I figured bringing you up here would be the easiest thing to do."
"Good grief Xander, you could have at least given some warning, some thought perhaps about what could have happened if that infernal machine hadn't worked like it does on the television," Giles complained as he finally reached out and took Jenny's hand, inwardly bemused at the feel of fur and claws against his own skin as she helped him up.
"It was either that or we stay up here alone," Xander argued back. "And I'm all for figuring out what the hell happened and fixing it."
"I wouldn't have done that exactly, but Xander's right Rupert. We need your help here." Jenny said softly, still holding on to Giles' hand with her own furry paw. "Look at me, I can't go back to teaching like this, whatever magic did this is far beyond anything I've ever heard of before."
"Yes, quite," Giles nodded. "I apologise, the sight of your, well, transformation, was quite a shock shall we say."
"Think of how I'm feeling," Jenny said softly as she flicked her tail around for Giles to see. "I can't even sit down without making sure this is out of the way first."
"Yes, I can… well, I can't imagine truthfully, though I can well empathise with your situation," Giles said with a nod as he tightened the dressing gown around his waist to cover up the beige jogging pants and white t-shirt he had been wearing to bed. "This, this is the bridge of the ship you say?" He asked, looking around the brightly lit area he had been abruptly brought to.
"Yup," Xander nodded as he pointed towards the captain's chair and then across the sunken area in front of them to the main view screen that was still showing a map of Los Angeles and Sunnydale. "Ms C can tell you about engineering, I only saw the sick bay and turbolifts on our way up here."
"I see," Giles said thoughtfully as he looked around, noting the various computer consoles that were on pretty much every wall, leaving two doors recessed around the bridge area, two to the back of the large bridge, and another two to either side at the front by the view screen. "Quite something actually, the power needed to bring a fictional star ship like this into being, well, I can't actually imagine how on earth Ethan managed to accomplish such a feat." He said, turning back to Xander and Jenny. "As much as I am at a loss to explain why the two of you failed to return to your original forms once the spell was disrupted, as far as I am aware, neither Buffy, Willow, or anyone else has suffered the same consequence following the spell, both Buffy and Willow returned to their regular selves following my interruption of the spell, by all rights, the two of you should have returned to your normal form as well."
"I think it's pretty obvious that isn't the case here," Jenny said, squeezing her paw against Giles' hand for confirmation.
"Yes, I can see," Giles nodded thoughtfully, taking his glasses off with his other hand and polishing them against his dressing gown awkwardly. "And the star ship, its computer system should I say, reacts to both of your questions and requests?" He asked as he put his glasses back on.
"That's how we managed to contact you," Jenny explained.
"Yup, sensors, computer control, we haven't touched anything else really, there's helm, steering and engines down there," Xander explained, pointing to the large console at the end of the sunken bridge area. "Weapons and stuff there," He said, pointing to the large console closest to them. "And sensors there." He explained. "We just used the computer though, the consoles use the Star Trek computer stuff, which is pretty advanced I guess."
"I'll take your word for it," Giles nodded slowly. "And the ship, I'm assuming from our conversation, is one you are familiar with from the books you are reading currently?" He asked, looking at Xander.
"Yeah, the Aventine," Xander nodded. "It's a pretty big ship, well, not huge like or anything, but it's a science ship, built for exploration and stuff."
"I see," Giles nodded. "Not to make light of either of your situations here, but have either of you given thought to the fact that this ship, orbiting Earth I can assume, would be detectable by the governments and military?"
Both Jenny and Xander went wide eyed at that, neither of them having thought much about anything that could have been going on outside the ship itself, as they'd both been focusing on the problem of their own transformation and getting off the ship itself.
"Oh man, it's been up here, what, two, three hours?" Xander asked, looking at Giles and Ms Calendar.
"I'd say so," Jenny nodded back. "More than enough time for any radar to detect the ship in orbit, NASA are probably going crazy down there trying to figure it out."
"Computer, any signs we've been detected in orbit?" Xander asked aloud.
"No other craft detected within orbit of Earth," The computer responded.
"Scan the planet," Xander ordered quickly. "Can you move the ship to a safe location?"
"Identify safe location," The computer responded.
"Behind the moon," Jenny jumped in. "That'll shield us from any satellites or telescopes."
"Manual control needed for impulse control systems," The computer responded again. "Course plotted."
Xander simply looked at Ms Calendar at this point, neither of them sure how to operate the futuristic computers needed for this. "You're the one who knows the ship," Jenny said quickly.
"It was your idea," Xander argued back.
"Good grief Xander, can you move the ship?" Giles asked, trying to interrupt the two of them.
"I… I'll try," Xander said after a moment, jogging down to the helm control and swinging one of the seats around for him to use. "Engines… engines… engines…" He muttered to himself as Giles and Ms Calendar came over to stand by him, Ms Calendar taking the seat next to him to help if needed. "Impulse, right." He said at last, gingerly pressing the control console and sliding his fingers up about half way for the engines.
"Controls limited to quarter impulse within gravitational pull of standard orbit, safety protocol six one alpha in effect," The computer announced.
"Thank lord for safety protocols," Giles said with a nod.
"Ok, I've got this," Xander said with a nod as he slid his fingers back down on the touch controls, bringing the lit up interface to around a quarter of the main bar, the computer beeping softly as he touched the console. "That's navigation," He said, pointing at the console displays in front of where Ms Calendar was sitting. "Computer, is the course plotted to the other side of the moon?"
"Course confirmed, quarter impulse engaged," The computer announced.
"Return view screen to main view," Xander ordered hopefully, waiting half a second and looking up as the view screen flicked back to the main view where the earth and sun were shown.
"Good lord," Giles whispered out as he looked up at the fantastic sight being displayed for them, with the Earth and sun slowly moving away to the left of the screen, the Earth eclipsing the sun completely after a few moments as the ship turned away from its orbit and towards the moon itself.
"I'm pretty sure that's it," Xander said gingerly, holding his hands away from the console in front of him. "The computer will stop the engines once we reach behind the moon." He explained, looking up at the main view screen where the moon was slowly coming into view from the right side of the screen.
"Scan complete," The computer announced. "Life signs registered and catalogued."
"Scan?" Jenny asked, looking at Xander. "You told the computer to scan the planet." She said after a moment's thought, trying to remember which orders they'd been giving the computer.
"Life signs displayed on sensor console," The computer announced again. "Five billion, eight hundred and forty million, three hundred and twenty four thousand, six hundred and fourteen human life signs at time of scan, three alien of unknown origin. One unknown alien lifesign detected, status confirmed."
Giles, Ms Calendar and Xander all looked at each other at this information. "I'm sorry, could you repeat that please?" Giles asked in shock.
The three of them waited for the computer to respond for a moment before Xander stood up and moved over to the sensor console. "Three aliens, three different types apparently," Xander said with wide eyes as he read the information that was being displayed. "The one in stasis is the same as one of the others apparently, or at least the computer says so."
"There are aliens, extra-terrestrials, on earth?" Jenny asked in shock.
"That's what the computer says," Xander said. "Two male aliens, one female, and the computer doesn't say about the one in stasis."
"Perhaps others that were altered by the nights events are you both were?" Giles asked with a ventured guess. "If both of you were somehow altered by this spell cast by Ethan, then perhaps there are others in Sunnydale that were altered as well."
"Could be I guess," Xander nodded in agreement. "But that wouldn't explain why the computer doesn't recognise them, if they were from the ship, then it'd have communication locks with their comm badges."
"Perhaps," Giles mused. "Would it be possible to bring them aboard as well, if they were altered by tonight's events as well, perhaps we could find a way to discern why the six of you were not returned to your original forms."
"Yeah, I mean we've got the transporter thing, we could beam them up like I did you," Xander nodded thoughtfully. "Computer, can you locate the alien life signs."
"Confirmed, sensor lock acquired." The computer responded.
"Can you beam the four of them on board?" Xander asked.
"Negative," The computer responded. "Sensor lock on subject four dissipated by stasis control, unknown interference detected."
"What about the other three?" He asked hopefully.
"Confirmed, sensor lock completed," The computer responded.
"Beam them to the bridge," Xander ordered aloud before Giles or Jenny could interrupt.
"Wait, don't…" Giles trailed off as three shimmering columns of light came into view on the main bridge, coalescing after a few seconds into recognisably human forms.
The column on the far left coalesced into the form of a tall and well-built coloured man, wearing obvious olive military fatigues who stood alert instantly and looked around the bridge area.
The other two had obviously been lying down when transported, as their transporter beams were wider than the first and the forms were lying on the carpet of the bridge comfortably as the transporter effect dissipated.
"We must talk about this impulse control problem you seem to have," Giles frowned down at Xander. "Thinking before you act would be a suitable thing when dealing with technology like this Xander."
"Sorry," Xander said sheepishly, standing up from the sensor controls and looking over at the three people he had transported aboard.
"What is the meaning of this?" The tall coloured man demanded, his voice low as he glared down at the three people who were stood in the section beneath him. "Why do you bring me here?"
"That was me," Xander said sheepishly as he held his hand up. "Sorry?" He said gingerly, looking at the well-built alien and thinking he could probably put Worf to shame with his muscles.
"You are Tau'ri?" The man asked, looking down curiously at Xander and Giles.
"Humans," Giles interrupted before Xander could say anything. "I apologise for the way you were brought here, my young friend has yet to learn any manner of self-control it seems." Giles explained as he walked up the sloped area by the captain's char, and around the sunken bridge area to greet the three newcomers.
"What vessel is this?" The man asked, looking around the bridge and at the view screen that showed the moon approaching. "I was not aware the Tau'ri possessed such technology."
"Tau'ri," Giles repeated as he came over, noticing the other two that had been beamed up by Xander were a young girl, ten, maybe eleven years old, and a teenage boy about Xander's age. "I'm Rupert Giles, Xander Harris, and Jenny Calendar." Giles explained, introducing the three of them in turn.
"Teal'c," Teal'c said, bowing slightly at Giles. "You are not members of the Tau'ri Stargate program."
"I'm not familiar with the word Tau'ri," Giles explained. "You mean humans?"
"Teal'c?" The young girl asked, coming around and waking up from the floor, obviously her sleep interrupted by the discussion going on around them. "Where's Sam and Janet?" The girl asked, standing up and moving to stand behind Teal'c.
"We will happily return you to wherever you were," Giles explained. "Obviously our computer system mistakenly identified the three of you as aliens, when it's clear that you're…" Giles trailed off as the young teenager on the floor started moving and waking up. "Hello?" He asked aloud, looking down at the young man but stepping away from him so as not to crowd him.
"Sorry guys," Xander said honestly as he walked around to move to where Giles was. "Computer mixup, really, it thought you were aliens."
"You are Tau'ri," Teal'c said, looking at Xander and Giles. "You are not; I am unfamiliar with your species." He said, looking at Jenny who was coming up behind Xander to stand with them.
"I see, Tau'ri would be human then," Giles said thoughtfully. "Which would lean towards the fact that you are not, appearances notwithstanding."
"I am Jaffa," Teal'c said with a nod.
"Who are you guys?" The teenager from the floor asked, coming around and alert pretty quickly once he realised it wasn't a dream and he certainly wasn't in his own room anymore.
"You may have complicated things quite more than necessary again Xander," Giles said, glaring over at Xander as he took off his glasses and started cleaning them. "Am I to assume neither of you are native to this planet either?" He asked, returning his glasses to his face and looking at the teenage boy and the young girl.
"I don't know what you're talking about," The teen said as he stood up, looking around the bridge as he did. He was wearing a simple set of jogging pants and t-shirt, but looked just as comfortable in them as he would in normal clothed, similarly both the young girl and Teal'c looked human, aside from the golden brand on Teal'c's forehead that separated him.
"Xander," Xander introduced himself, holding out his hand for the other teen to shake.
"Clark," The teen nodded, shaking his hand.
"I'm Cassandra," The young girl introduced herself nervously. "Are we back at the SGC where Sam works?"
"We are not," Teal'c answered before anyone else could. "We are aboard a vessel in space, observe." He said, indicating the viewscreen behind them.
"Wow," Clark whispered out, looking at the way the moon was now moving off to one side of the large view screen. "We're in space?" He asked, looking over at the two humans, and the obviously alien cat-woman that was with them. "You're aliens?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing," Xander grinned over. "So, you're an alien, Jaffa right?" He asked, continuing when Teal'c nodded. "And she's…"
"Cassandra is a native of the planet Hanka," Teal'c intoned. "How did you bring us here? Is there a Chap'pai aboard this vessel?"
"A Chap'pai?" Giles asked. "A gateway to the stars?" He mused after a moment. "Egyptian I would believe, third, maybe second dynasty."
"A Stargate." Teal'c said with a frown. "There is information you should have, Cassandra cannot be within the location of a Stargate, to do so would be dangerous."
"A Stargate?" Xander asked. "Nope, not got one of those, whatever it is." He said with a shrug, noticing how the young girl seemed to relax at this.
"It's ok, we're not going to hurt you," Jenny said, moving over and crouching down by the young girl.
"Well we're two for two here," Xander grinned, looking over at Clark. "Anything you wanna tell us?" He asked with a laugh.
"You think I'm an alien?" Clark asked with only a hint of laughter, it hadn't been anything he'd even considered before, sure, he was stronger and faster than anyone else he knew, but his dad had always told him to keep it a secret, though he was guessing by the way everyone else here was being open about things, he was probably safe, if not, he was still sure he was stronger than the rest of them, with only the man called Teal'c that looked like a fighter.
"The computer does," Xander smiled over. "It's been right so far."
"An alien?" Clark asked himself, thinking about it, it would explain a lot, but he still looked human, and as far as he knew, his mom and dad would have told him if there was anything else. Just because he was adopted, it didn't mean he was an alien.
"You look like a K'threl," The girl who'd introduced herself as Cassandra said after a moment, looking at Jenny.
"A K'Threl?" Jenny asked, looking at Giles first and then up at Teal'c.
"I too am unfamiliar with this word," Teal'c said after a moment.
"We have them as pets back home," Cassandra explained. "Sam said Earth has them as well, but Jack said it was a rule to get a dog instead."
"I believe Cassandra speaks of felines," Teal'c said with a nod.
"I guess I do," Jenny said after a moment.
"It's pretty," Cassandra smiled. "Can I?" She asked, looking at Jenny's hand.
"Sure," Jenny smiled, holding up her hand for Cassandra to feel, still feeling a bit unsure about her body herself, but willing to put it aside for the moment to help put the young girl at ease.
"Yes, well," Giles cleared his throat, bringing attention back to him. "As I say, I do apologise for bringing you here like this, it wasn't our intention to disrupt your sleep."
"I was not sleeping," Teal'c said clearly.
"I was," Clark frowned. "You guys really think I'm an alien?" He asked, slightly bemused by the concept himself, and more worryingly about how well it seemed to fit him.
"The computer could do another scan if you wanted," Xander said with a shrug. "It's pretty advanced, or the sick bay could probably tell you more."
"It can tell me where I came from?" Clark asked after a moment's thought.
"Well, I don't know about that," Xander hedged around the fact that the computer was from the Star Trek universe, so it probably didn't have the information on real aliens that it needed. "But it can tell you if you're human or not."
"I… yes, I want to know," Clark said after a moment, looking down at the floor as he spoke, not wanting to go against his parents' wishes, but wanting to know all the same about where he came from and why he was given up for adoption.
"I'll do it for everyone, it doesn't hurt," Xander said with a smile. "Computer, identify the people on the bridge."
"Bridge personnel, Lieutenant M'Rissa, EMH program, four guests." The computer responded quickly.
"Identify species," Xander said quickly, wanting to gloss over the EMH part until Giles could figure out a way to reverse it.
"Caitain, human, two genetically similar to human, divergent three point six percent and eight point one percent, one unknown species. Unknown explosive element detected during transport, element removed." The computer explained.
"Explosive?" Giles asked in shock.
"Confirmed, explosive element detected and removed," The computer reiterated.
"Cassandra was the subject of experimentation by the Goa'uld," Teal'c intoned. "Samantha Carter will be pleased you have removed the explosive."
"That's pretty conclusive I'd say," Xander said as Clark looked up at the ceiling as if to look to see where the voice was coming from. "What's the divergent stuff mean?" He asked, looking at Giles.
"I do wish you would think before acting on your impulses," Giles frowned at him. "We know little about this technology; did it occur to you that the three people here wouldn't want their secrets shared like this with complete strangers?"
"Sorry, I didn't…" Xander said softly.
"Didn't think, no," Giles admonished him before turning back to their new guests. "I can only apologise again."
"My being a Jaffa is no secret to the people of the SGC," Teal'c said simply.
"Why would it be a secret?" Cassandra asked. "Jack told me not to tell anyone, but you're not from Earth either, right?" She asked, looking at Jenny where she was still fiddling with the fur and claws on her paw. "Do these come out like K'threl claws? They use them for climbing and scratching."
"I don't know," Jenny answered honestly. "Who's Jack?"
"Colonel Jack O'Neill," Teal'c intoned. "I should contact him to inform him of our status, no doubt myself and Cassandra's absence will have been noticed."
"Colonel?" Giles asked with a frown. "You mean to say the American military has had dealings with aliens?" He asked, taking off his glasses and polishing them fervently as Teal'c nodded in agreement.
"It would be wise of you to allow me contact with the SGC," Teal'c said firmly. "They too fight the Goa'uld and protect the planet Earth."
"Good lord," Giles sighed aloud, looking around before moving over to one of the consoles by the side of the bridge and sitting at the chair there. "Xander, the next time an impulse like this comes over you, please, do us all a great favour, and do your best to curb it, please." He bit out, doing his best not to berate the young man too much.
"I just… I thought you were…" Xander trailed off. "What's the big? They're fighting aliens, we have a ship, we can do this." He said with a nod.
"I should call my dad as well," Clark interrupted. "If he knew about this, and… I should talk to him." He trailed off with a nod.
"Computer, do we still have communications with the cellular network?" Jenny asked, standing back up from where Cassandra was stroking her paw.
"Confirmed, signal degradation, eight percent due to distance from cellular network satellites, within acceptable range for audio communication." The computer's voice responded.
"I think…" Xander trailed off as he moved to the doors off to the left of them, stepping through when they hissed open to allow him entrance. "Yeah, Clark was it?" He asked, coming back onto the bridge. "You can call your dad from in here." He explained when Clark nodded at him.
"Quite," Giles sighed out.
"We can do it one at a time," Xander explained. "Clark then you guys, unless you want to go first?" He asked, looking over at Teal'c.
"It would be wise for you to allow us contact with the SCG as soon as possible," Teal'c said with a nod.
"I can wait," Clark said, nodding at Teal'c.
"Ok," Jenny nodded. "I'll show Teal'c and Cassandra how to call down, why don't you find Clark and Rupert something to eat or drink?" She asked, looking at Xander.
"We'll be in the conference room," Xander said, nodding at the doors over the other side of the bridge, inwardly guessing that was where the other doors led to from what he'd read in the books so far.
"Ok, I'll meet you there," Jenny said with a nod. "Shall we?" She asked, looking at Teal'c before heading off into the room Xander had just checked out with Teal'c and Cassandra following her.
"We can grab a snack over here," Xander explained as he moved past Giles and Clark to the other side of the bridge.
"Very well," Giles said as he stood up. "Lead on." He said with a sigh, following as Clark walked over and followed Xander through the doors into a small corridor.
"Computer, display the same dialling set as before on the terminal here please," Jenny announced from where she was sat, it was obvious Xander had found the Captain's ready room here, with a table and computer system ready to use, and a set of comfortable chairs along one side of the room beneath large windows that showed a breath-taking view of the Earth outside.
"I was unaware the Tau'ri possessed vessels such as this," Teal'c said as he looked around the comfortably set out room. It was obviously designed with both form and function in mind, as most Tau'ri living areas he had found, with comfort and aesthetics being used alongside function, where the Goa'uld placed more emphasis on how things looked over how functional they were. "Or does this vessel belong to your species?" He asked, looking over at Jenny and raising an eyebrow at the way he tail swished from side to side.
"I guess you could say that," Jenny said after a moment. "Do you know the number you want to call?" She asked as the dialling display came up on the computer terminal on the desk where she'd rotated it around for them to see.
"I do not," Teal'c intoned. "The SGC is located within a large mountain complex in Colorado Springs."
"Ok then," Jenny frowned as she thought about this. "Computer, run a scan of Colorado Springs, focus on mountain areas."
"Processing," The computer announced. "Facility designation NORAD located, unknown facility expansion detected beneath recorded area."
"Would that be it?" Jenny asked as Teal'c raised an eyebrow at the ease at which they had located the SGC.
"Indeed," Teal'c said with a small nod.
"Unknown device in use at designated coordinates, spatial disruption detected." The computer announced. "Disruption indicates stable wormhole present at coordinates indicated."
"The Chap'pai," Teal'c said.
"The Stargate?" Jenny asked with wide eyes. "It can create stable wormholes?"
"Samantha Carter has explained the workings of the Chap'pai several times, it is how she has explained it." Teal'c said with a nod.
"Can we connect to their telephone line?" Jenny asked, shaking off the shock of that revelation for the moment as she looked down at the computer terminal.
"Confirmed, connection in progress." The computer announced.
"So, uh, sorry about all this," Xander said as he led the way into the conference room, thankfully he had been leading them in the right direction, as the small corridor had simply arced around and connected to another room that he guessed was in front of the bridge, where a large table was set out in the middle of the room, with eighteen chairs around it, and a large panoramic view at the far end of the room, where the windows obviously looked out the front of the ship where the landscape of the moon was easily visible, though shadowed by the sun being on the other side. "Wow," He breathed out as he looked at the view, leading Giles and Clark into the room for them to get comfortable.
"Oh good lord," Giles muttered, going wide eyed at the sight that was dominating the room, a look at Xander and Clark showed that both of them were having the same reaction. "Yes, thank you for bringing us to the room that is quite possibly the most dramatic on the ship." He muttered aloud as he walked over and pulled one of the chairs at the table around for him to sit at.
"And these should be…" Xander muttered to himself as he walked across to one of the walls, noting the door leading away from this room separately from the one they'd entered through, noting to himself to explore it later. "One coke, and a box of twinkies please." He said, hoping he wasn't going to feel foolish by talking to a random console instead of the replicator he was sure it was.
"Unknown group, Twinkies, please specify." The computer announced.
"Uh, snack cake, cream filling," Xander explained waiting for a moment before a shimmering swirl of energy showed the replicator had been successful and had managed to find a suitable snack for him. "Help yourself guys." He said as he took the plate where three oddly shaped snack cakes had been replicated for him along with a glass of what he assumed was coke, which certainly looked like the caffeinated beverage he knew.
"Good grief, you mean to say we can request anything from this computer system, and it will simply deliver it to us?" Giles asked, looking at the plate and drink Xander had brought over to the table, even Clark seemed to be eying the device with curiosity now.
"It's called a replicator," Xander explained. "And yes, it has tea in the menu as well." He chuckled as Giles stood up and gingerly walked over to the replicator where Clark was eying it. "Please, after you." Giles said with a smile, taking the time to tighten his dressing gown again and wishing for the umpteenth time that he'd actually had time to get dressed himself before Xander had brought him aboard this strange vessel.
"A glass of milk please," Clark said after a moment, feeling a bit strange at talking to what was obviously an advanced computer system.
"Please specify, there are two hundred and forty seven patterns available." The computer answered him.
"You've got to be specific," Xander explained from his chair. "Try Earth milk."
"A glass of milk from Earth, please?" Clark asked hesitantly, watching as a swirl of energy worked in the gap where Xander had retrieved his drink and snacks from, it soon coalesced into a glass containing what looked like milk. "Thank you." He said quietly, feeling a bit foolish as he reached out and took the glass before moving back to the table and sitting down.
"Um, tea please, milk one sugar," Giles said hesitantly.
"There are six hundred and fourteen patterns available," The computer announced.
"English breakfast tea, hot," Giles said again, remembering what Xander had said about being specific. A few seconds later he watched as the swirl of energy coalesced into a cup of tea, complete with saucer for him to take. "Yes, thank you." He nodded as he took the cup and saucer and moved back to the table where Clark and Xander were sat.
"That's pretty amazing," Clark said as he took a mouthful of his milk, gingerly sipping it at first before being confident that it was milk and drinking it happily.
"Yeah, replicator technology is pretty cool," Xander nodded in agreement. "It's not just for food though, it can replicate pretty much anything really. There's limits on it obviously, like weapons and stuff, but anything else you can think of it can do."
"Quite a marvellous machine," Giles nodded in agreement as he sipped his tea, smiling when it actually tasted like proper English tea and not the terrible tasting drink he'd been forced to abide while in Sunnydale.
"So, Clark," Xander grinned across. "I guess the alien thing was a bit of a shock, sorry," He said sheepishly.
"I'm still kinda getting to grips with it," Clark admitted honestly. "I guess my mom and dad might not have known either, I've always been out of place I guess, this is just the first time anyone's been in a place to tell me for certain."
"Yes, well, tact is not one of Xander's strong points, for that I can only apologise," Giles said with a small smile. "Though as you see, you have nothing to fear here."
"I'm getting that," Clark smiled over. "The spaceship thing is pretty amazing though, and the other girl, the cat-woman?"
"Ms C," Xander smiled. "She's dating Giles, but…"
"Must we talk about privacy again Xander?" Giles admonished him lightly, interrupting whatever he was going to say.
"Sorry," Xander grinned unrepentantly, noticing Clark smirking along with him. "But hey, not the only alien on Earth, gotta count for something right? There's that Teal'c guy, and Cassandra."
"Your computer," Clark said, remembering what the computer had said when Xander asked it to scan them. "It said one of us was unknown, but two were offshoots of humans, or something like that. And since the explosive thing was in the girl, I'm guessing she and Teal'c were the divergent ones it talked about?"
"I'd guess so," Xander nodded in agreement.
"Yes, though who would place an explosive inside a young girl like that is a question that is troubling me," Giles admitted with a frown. "Mr Teal'c said she was experimented upon, perhaps he would be able to tell us more."
"Maybe," Xander nodded. "He didn't really seem the talkative type though."
"Yeah, he's got the strong and silent vibe going that's for sure," Clark said in agreement.
"But if you're wanting any scans or stuff, the sick bay could probably tell you more than the bridge computer did," Xander explained.
"Perhaps another time," Giles interrupted before Clark or Xander could say anything. "We should deal with the immediate problems before discussing any further uses of this technology." Giles said with a frown, glaring at Xander slightly.
"Yeah, right," Xander nodded, sinking into his chair slightly and taking a sip of the coke he'd replicated.
"Sir, we're getting a video link coming through on the main computer," Sergeant Siler explained, looking up from the control room main computer where they'd just sent SG-Four out on a standard exploration mission.
"A video link?" General Hammond asked as he came over from where he'd been talking with Captain Carter. "Who's trying to contact us?"
"Unknown sir," Sergeant Siler said as Captain Carter came to sit at the diagnostics console and brought up a few commands.
"Extremely powerful link sir," Carter explained. "I'm tracing it back to a satellite link, beyond that I couldn't tell you."
"The people responsible for Teal'c and Cassandra's disappearance?" General Hammond said with a frown. "Very well, patch it through." He said as he looked up at the three monitors above the main window into the Gateroom that displayed the video feeds from the MALP telemetry. His frown deepened however as the monitors all flicked up in sequence to display a logo familiar to anyone that watched Star Trek, a black background with a gold and silver Starfleet insignia displayed. "Is this some sort of joke Sergeant?" He demanded.
"No sir," Sergeant Siler said quickly. "This is what's…" He trailed off as the black screen vanished from view, only to return with a picture of an unknown alien female stood alongside Teal'c and Cassandra.
"Teal'c, are you alright?" General Hammond asked immediately.
"I am well General," Teal'c said with a small nod. "I am with Cassandra aboard a space craft orbiting the Earth moon."
"I can see Cassandra," General Hammond said with a frown. "Are you responsible for the kidnapping of two of my people?"
"Wait, you can see us?" The furry alien asked, her eyes going wide in shock at this point.
"I can," General Hammond frowned at the way the alien spoke English, though for all he knew they could be using some sort of translation software to help communication. "Why have you taken two of my people? What do you want with them?"
"Nothing," The furry alien shook her head quickly. "We're happy to return both Teal'c and Cassandra as soon as we can." She said quickly.
"Jenny Calendar has used technology to remove the explosive compound from Cassandra," Teal'c informed General Hammond with a simple statement. "I believe these people would be valued allies of the SGC General."
"You removed the naquadah bomb?" Captain Carter asked curiously. "We couldn't even get close to removing it with surgery without setting it off."
"Why did you take two of my people?" General Hammond interrupted Carter's dialogue by bringing the conversation back on track. "If you intend to return them without harm, why take them in secret."
"I believe it to have been unintentional General," Teal'c said simply. "Xander Harris and Rupert Giles have apologised for our presence her on numerous occasions."
"Those are the people that kidnapped you both?" General Hammond asked.
"Indeed," Teal'c nodded. "And a third being identified as alien."
"I see," General Hammond frowned. "You kidnapped my people because they weren't human?" He asked, wanting clarification on this.
"We scanned for aliens, and one of our crew beamed up the three of them before we had a chance to stop him," The furry alien explained over the video link. "Really, we didn't mean for any of this."
"I don't take kindly to the kidnapping of US citizens, accident or not," General Hammond glared up at the screens, knowing full well they could only hear him as the monitors at the SGC didn't have video capabilities for obvious security reasons. "Return Teal'c and Cassandra to us at once."
"We'll have to come back into orbit to do that," The furry alien explained after a moments pause. "We moved away when we realised you could detect our ship."
"Have NASA detected anything out of the ordinary?" General Hammond asked, looking over at Captain Carter.
"I'll find out sir," Carter said quickly, moving away from the video call so she could use a standard phone at the back of the control room to confirm this.
"We are being treated well General," Teal'c said with a nod. "Jenny Calendar has not threatened or attempted to harm me or Cassandra in any way." He explained curtly.
"That doesn't dismiss the fact they kidnapped you both without reason Teal'c," General Hammond frowned. "Who was the third person they took aboard with you?"
"A young male named Clark," Teal'c said with a nod. "He is with Xander Harris and Rupert Giles now acquiring sustenance."
"They're feeding you then," General Hammond nodded, thankful that his people were at least being treated right by these strange aliens. He'd already memorised the names that Teal'c had given them several times, and while they sounded human, the furry alien on the screen was definitely not human by any stretch.
"These the guys?" O'Neill barked out as he came into the control room. "Hey, T, buddy, where you been?"
"I am here O'Neill," Teal'c bowed on the screen.
"The cafeteria kinda saw you vanish in mid-air," O'Neill said with a frown. "All Star Trekkie shimmering with the transporter and everything."
"Jenny Calendar's ship is most impressive O'Neill," Teal'c explained over the link.
"Jack!" Cassandra smiled at hearing O'Neill's voice. "Can he see us?"
"I can see you Cassie," Jack said reassuringly. "Are you two ok?" He asked cautiously, staring at the obvious alien stood with them.
"We are," Teal'c nodded.
"Jenny let me stroke her paw," Cassie said with a smile. "She looks like a big K'threl from back home."
"I'm guessing that's cat?" O'Neill asked quietly, looking at General Hammond who just shrugged back at him. "T, where are you guys?"
"Jenny Calendar's ship is currently in orbit close to the Earth's moon," Teal'c explained simply.
"That's a long way up, they going to return you?" O'Neill asked hopefully.
"We will," The furry alien said as she came back into view from where she'd stepped aside to let Cassandra talk. "I explained to the General, we're really sorry about all this, we can come back to earth and transport them down as soon as you want."
"Now, now would be good," O'Neill nodded fervently. "In one piece and unharmed would be good as well."
"We have not been harmed O'Neill," Teal'c said with a nod.
"Apparently these people have also managed to remove the explosive within Cassandra," General Hammond explained, covering up the microphone to he could talk as Captain Carter came back to join them. "Well Captain?"
"NASA report picking up an unknown vessel orbiting earth from approximately seventeen thirty central time, to twenty-one thirty six," Carter explained. "They were in the process of moving a satellite to confirm the contact when it vanished from view, they were going over the readings and checking it wasn't a ghost on the radar when I called."
"I think we can safely say it's not a radar ghost Captain," General Hammond said with a nod upto the video screens. "How did they get in orbit without the satellites detecting their ship in the first place?"
"I don't know sir," Carter answered honestly. "NASA are feeding all of their data over to us, we'll be able to go over it in more detail once it arrives."
"Colonel?" General Hammond asked, looking at where Colonel O'Neill was stood simply looking up at the video screens.
"What's with the Star Trek stuff?" O'Neill asked, looking at General Hammond. "The uniform Catwoman's wearing, the badge, that's straight from Star Trek."
"I didn't know you were a trekkie sir," Carter said with a hint of a smirk on her face.
"Hey, I grew up watching the show, Kirk was my hero as a kid, got me interested in astronomy in the first place." O'Neill defended himself. "And I'm telling you, that," He paused, pointing up at the video screen. "Is straight out of Star Trek, not Kirk's ship, the later stuff."
"I'll take that under advisement," General Hammond said, taking his hand off the microphone and stepping back so he could see the video feed again. "We've confirmed your story with NASA, are you sure you're both being treated well up there Teal'c?"
"We are well General," Teal'c nodded simply.
"Very well," General Hammond nodded back. "I'll arrange with NASA for a time for you to return and return our people to us, at which time I would like to discuss further diplomatic relations with your people."
"Wait, what was that?" The furry alien asked.
"Please contact us again in three hours," General Hammond said, briefly wondering if these people even knew what an hour was or used some other standard of measuring time, from the way the Captain had spoken English, he was assuming they either translated her language somehow, or they understood it to a degree where an hour would make sense to them.
"We can do that," The furry alien nodded, causing her dark brown hair to fall over her face slightly. "And we're sorry again."
"Hammond out," General Hammond said with a nod at the apology, motioning for Sergeant Siler to cut the communication.
"I'll let Janet know that Cassandra's alright," Captain Carter said as she moved to leave the control room.
"Inform her that we'll need her to be on hand when Cassandra and Teal'c return, I want them both checked over to confirm what Teal'c said about them removing the explosive device from Cassandra." General Hammond said with a nod.
"Yes sir," Captain Carter said before jogging off to give Doctor Frasier the good news.
"Colonel, thoughts?" General Hammond asked, looking over at Colonel O'Neill.
"Star Trek motif aside?" O'Neill asked. "She seems friendly, Teal'c didn't seem threatened or under duress, Cassie seemed pretty happy up there." He said with a shrug. "If they've got starships like that, then we've got to guess they're pretty advanced, if they're up for diplomatic stuff, we should get Daniel in to talk to them. Maybe get some ray guns or something out of the deal. Could also be these are the guys behind the Thor's hammer thing we found."
"The Asgard?" General Hammond asked thoughtfully.
"Or another race, we've gotta assume there's more than just the Goa'uld out there right?" O'Neill shrugged. "That stuff we found on Ernest's planet said there were three other races out there aside from the Nox who fought the Goa'uld, Daniel reckons the Asgard were one of them, so maybe these guys are one of the other two."
"The thought had occurred to me Colonel," General Hammond nodded in agreement. "The names of the crew Teal'c gave us, all sound remarkable human though. Jenny Calendar, which I would believe is the captain of the ship, the one we spoke to. Rupert Giles and Xander Harris."
"Xander?" O'Neill asked with a smirk. "Could be short for something I guess."
"Have someone run those names, see what we come up with." General Hammond said with a frown. "It might be nothing, but I'd rather be sure with who, or what, we're dealing with here."
"Yes sir," Colonel O'Neill nodded as he moved off to pass on the order to someone else to check on the names he'd been given, at least Teal'c and Cassie were alright, and maybe they'd actually found a new ally at last against the Goa'uld, one, unlike the Nox, who were willing to help them.
"Well, that went… Well?" Jenny said in a small voice as the video link cut off.
"Indeed," Teal'c nodded at her. "General Hammond fights the Goa'uld well, Colonel O'Neill is a strong leader, it would be beneficial for them for you to join forces in the Tau'ri fight against the Goa'uld."
"Can you tell me more about these Goa'uld?" Jenny asked as she motioned for them to follow her out of the Captain's ready room and back onto the main bridge.
"They're evil," Cassandra said quickly. "They killed all the people back home, with their ships and bombs and viruses."
"The Goa'uld Nirrti is responsible for their death," Teal'c explained as he followed Jenny onto the bridge area with Cassandra.
"She killed everyone, and put a bomb in me so it would blow up Jack and the earth Stargate," Cassandra explained simply, her small voice belaying the horror she'd been through.
"They did that to a little girl?" Jenny asked, looking at Teal'c in shock.
"Indeed," Teal'c nodded as he followed Jenny across the bridge and into the corridor Xander Harris had indicated previously. "The Goa'uld would use any weapon to destroy or subjugate others and enslave their worlds."
"I don't like the sound of that," Jenny said with a frown as she led the way into the conference room, smiling softly when she saw Rupert, Xander and Clark sat at the table talking.
"Indeed," Teal'c said simply.
"Guess we're up," Xander said as he stood up from the table. "Come on Clark, I'll show you how to call your dad." He explained.
"Thanks," Clark said as he stood up, finishing the last of his second glass of milk as he stood up and followed Xander towards the door.
"I take it everything went well," Giles asked with a small smile at Teal'c and Cassandra as they sat back down at the table. "Do feel free to use the replicator if you're hungry or thirsty."
"I am fine," Teal'c said simply.
"Do you want something to drink?" Jenny asked, looking down at Cassandra who nodded at her. "Orange juice ok?"
"What's that?" Cassandra asked curiously.
"You'll see," Jenny smiled at her before making her way over to the replicator and motioning for Rupert to join her.
"I take it you spoke to the people Mr Teal'c wished to speak to?" Giles asked quietly as he stood next to the replicator with Jenny.
"General Hammond and Colonel O'Neill," Jenny said with wide eyes. "They think we're aliens who kidnapped Teal'c and Cassandra for something."
"Good lord," Giles whispered. "I take it you…" He trailed off as he realised what it must have looked like with Jenny looking the way she did and wearing the uniform she still had on. "Oh good grief." He muttered, taking his glasses off and polishing them against his dressing gown. "Can I assume they are not going to simply shoot us out of the sky when we return these people to their homes then?"
"They want to talk to us," Jenny whispered. "The General told me to call him back in three hours to arrange a place for us to drop Teal'c and Cassandra off. They've been dealing with aliens there for god knows how long."
"I gathered as much from Mr Teal'c's earlier words," Giles said thoughtfully.
"The Goa'uld," Jenny said. "Aliens who put bombs inside little girls." She whispered, motioning over to Cassandra. "Teal'c thinks we should join forces against them, and I'm leaning to his side on this one."
"Perhaps we should think this over before making any rash decisions," Giles said quietly. "I can understand the wish to protect people like Cassandra, but we are not equipped to fight aliens, let alone talk with the military about handing them advanced weapons."
"And what happens if you can't fix this?" Jenny hissed out literally, gesturing down to her body. "Or Xander, he can't even leave this ship anymore because of what happened, I'm surprised he's keeping it together as well as he is."
"I… I admit I hadn't thought about how this must be affecting the both of you," Giles answered in a small voice. "Once we return to Earth, I will endeavour to research spells to return you both to your natural form, I promise you that."
"And what if you can't?" Jenny asked, fixing Giles with a stare. "If this is all me and Xander are going to be, then this ship is the only place he can go, if he's stuck on board, then I'd feel a lot safer if we were up here with him, rather than giving him the run of the entire ship on his own."
"Point taken," Giles said with a nod. "Very well, when we contact this General Hammond again, we will discuss what we can do, though perhaps it would be best to discuss a story we can all give, rather than the frankly unbelievable truth about what happened tonight."
"They already think I'm an alien," Jenny said softly, her ears drooping down slightly as she said it. "We can use that I guess."
"I will do what I can to fix this, I promise you," Giles said softly, moving forward and embracing Jenny in a tight hug, doing his best not to fidget as the fur on her face tickled his own neck and cheek as he held her tight.
"Looks like Ms C left the dialling stuff up," Xander explained as he led Clark into the Captains Ready Room, nodding to the computer terminal on the desk that displayed a touch style interface that looked like the ATM's he'd used at Smallville banks. "I can wait outside if you want, I mean I don't…"
"It's fine," Clark said quickly. "If you're here you can help convince my dad that I'm not crazy by telling him I'm on an alien spaceship by the moon." He laughed nervously.
"Oh yeah, because that's going to go down well," Xander grinned at him.
"Here goes," Clark said, taking a deep breath before dialling his home telephone number and pressing the large dial button at the bottom of the screen. The dial tone started almost instantly as he stood there nervously waiting for someone to pick up the phone. "Dad's going to be mad at me for even calling this late."
Clark winced instantly at the irritated tone in his dad's voice as it came over the line clearly. "Dad, it's me."
"Clark?" Clark's dad's voice came back. "I thought you were in bed, why are you calling this late?"
"Don't freak out ok dad?" Clark asked hopefully. "I'm safe alright; I'm just, not exactly near home at the moment."
"Where are you Clark?" Clark's dad's voice rose in volume slightly as a tone of worry crept in.
"Dad," Clark started softly. "Am I an alien?" He asked after taking a deep breath.
"A… Clark, what did you find?" The voice came back, only relief was starting to creep in now instead of worry oddly enough. "Were you in the storm cellar again? You found it didn't you."
"Found what?" Clark asked, his eyes going wide at the fact his father hadn't denied anything. "I'm an alien and you didn't tell me?"
"Clark where are you?" The voice came back. "We should talk about this face to face, it's a long story son and I think…"
"Why didn't you tell me?" Clark demanded, leaning against one of the walls and slumping down to the floor. "I… you should have told me."
"Son, where you came from and how you came to your mother and me, it doesn't change the fact that you are our son," Clark's dad's voice came over the line. "Just tell me where you are and I'll come and get you."
"That's not really possible," Xander said in a soft voice.
"Who is this, what have you done with my son?" Clark's dad demanded over the line.
"Nothing dad," Clark said in Xander's defence. "I'm here with other aliens, like me." He spat out. "At least they're telling me the truth, not that you ever did." He shouted out, standing up and storming out of the door the shut quietly behind him.
"Clark… Clark?" The voice came back, calling out with worry.
"Uh, he's kinda gone," Xander said awkwardly.
"Now listen, if you've hurt my son, or done anything to…"
"Whoah, whoah," Xander said quickly, holding up his hands in surrender. "Really, we've done nothing. We're just talking here and Clark kinda got identified as an alien, it's pretty complicated, stuff happened I guess, and there's three others like him up here." He explained, counting Teal'c, Cassandra and Ms C for the moment.
"Other's like Clark?" The voice came back after a moment.
"Aliens right?" Xander said with a nod.
"And Clark's alright? You haven't hurt him or anything, so help me, if I find out you've hurt my son in any way…"
"Clark's fine Mr, uh, sorry, Clark didn't tell me his last name." Xander said sheepishly.
"Kent," The voice came back curtly. "Now put my son back on the line."
"I'll be going to find him as soon as I stop talking to you," Xander admitted quickly, thinking about what Clark could be doing around the ship without anyone to escort him around.
"You do that, and tell him to call me back." The voice came back before the unmistakable sound of a phone being slammed down echoed through the Ready Room and the line went dead.
"Riiiight," Xander muttered to himself. "Crazy parent number two for the win." He muttered as he turned and moved out of the Ready Room back onto the bridge to see if he could find out where Clark had got to.
Thankfully he didn't have to look far, he got out onto the main bridge before looking around and spotting Clark sat by some steps leading down off the side of the bridge into the side of the sunken area, where he was sat simply staring across the futuristic starship bridge.
"Hey," Xander said with a shrug as he came over and sat beside him.
"I guess he was pretty mad that I left," Clark said as Xander sat down on the step beside him.
"Pretty understandable, you doing to storming off thing I mean, not him shouting and everything," Xander explained.
"Why didn't he tell me?" Clark asked, looking at Xander for an answer. "I'm an alien from god knows where, and he didn't tell me."
"Is he always like that?" Xander asked, comparing how he'd heard the worry in Clark's dad's voice compared to the shouting he normally heard from his own father. "The shouting stuff." He clarified when Clark looked at him.
"No," Clark shook his head. "Well sometimes, but only if I break something, like a tractor or a wall or something." He explained. "He's always telling me to be careful, that someone might see, that they'd take me away from my family."
"Might see what?" Xander asked curiously.
"I… I'm strong, really strong," Clark said after a moment. "Bench press a tractor strong."
"Wow," Xander whistled out, imagining the sight. "Yeah, I can see people freaking out a bit if they saw that." He said with a nod.
"I guess," Clark nodded in agreement. "I get that he's trying to protect me, but he didn't have to lie to me all these years."
"Parents are good at lying," Xander said with a shrug. "At least yours worry, he was asking if we'd hurt you or done anything to you. My dad would have probably been too drunk to even answer the phone."
"That bad?" Clark asked as he looked over.
"Worse," Xander shrugged. "Then all this stuff happened, and I'm kinda on autopilot, with Giles telling me what I can and can't do, and I'm just here trying not to freak out about it all."
"Is he your dad then?" Clark asked curiously.
"Giles?" Xander laughed. "Nah, he's Buffy's… he's just a friend who got caught up in this, it's all been pretty crazy tonight, and we haven't really had time to sit down and figure it out really."
"I can understand that," Clark nodded in agreement, still a bit stunned about his father confirming he was an alien. "I think stunned and weird is part of the deal tonight."
"Definitely," Xander smiled at him. "Wanna go back, talk to him again?"
"Not yet," Clark shook his head. "Kinda just want some distance at the moment, figure it all out I guess."
"Well, don't think you can get much further from home," Xander grinned as he nodding over to the view screen. "Computer, display view to Earth from where we are." He said aloud, causing the view screen to flick over to a panoramic view that showed the Earth as a very small pebble against the blackness of space, with the sun in the distance behind it. "Don't think we can get much further at the moment." He said with a smile.
"Yeah," Clark smiled back, staring over at the view screen and smiling at how small the Earth looked there.
"What have we got?" General Hammond asked as he moved to sit at the conference table at Stargate Command, with Colonel O'Neill, Captain Carter and Doctor Jackson already seated and going over the documents printed out from the information NASA sent over.
"Not much sir," Captain Carter explained. "Satellites picked up something in orbit over the western coast early this evening, by these records, the ship was there for several hours before Teal'c and Cassandra were taken."
"Can we assume they spent the time scanning the planet somehow for alien life?" General Hammond asked. "The Captain did say they only beamed up three aliens, regardless of the amount of humans on the planet, it must have taken time for them to identify Teal'c, Cassandra and the other being in question."
"That's our current thought as well sir," Captain Carter nodded in agreement.
"Do we have any information on who this third alien they have taken could be?" General Hammond asked, looking around the table.
"No sir," Captain Carter shook her head. "We only have Teal'c confirmation that a third was brought aboard with himself and Cassandra, aside from the alien we saw on the view screen, which we're believing to be the Captain of the ship NASA identified, we have no more information about the ship or its crew."
"And let's not forget the whole Star Trek theme here," Colonel O'Neill said as he slid across one of the papers to General Hammond. "That's the shadow NASA picked up on radar sir." He said as General Hammond looked at it. "Now, tell me that's not what it looks like."
"I can't explain it either sir," Captain Carter said with a small shrug. "The outline of the shadow is too distinctly recognisable not to be one of the designs used in Star Trek, along with the uniform the Captain was wearing; we have to assume there is a link between the two."
"Do we have any explanation for this?" General Hammond asked as he looked around the table. "Doctor Jackson?" He asked, noting the papers Doctor Jackson was leafing through.
"Not an explanation as such, though it does deepen the mystery somewhat," Daniel explained as he picked one of the papers out and gave it to Colonel O'Neill to pass along. "I did some research on Star Trek characters, specifically the aliens really, and aside from the Vulcans, Klingons and the other well-known races from the television shows, this one popped up when I looked into feline aliens like Jack described the Captain to be."
"Lieutenant M'Ress?" O'Neill said with a raised eyebrow as he looked at the picture that had been printed off, obviously from the short lived animated series.
"A race called the Caitian apparently," Daniel explained with a shrug. "Here's one of the pictures from the movies, they appeared there as well." He explained as he handed over another picture, this one a screencap of one of the Star Trek movies that showed a male version of the species, obviously done with prosthetics and make up, though the similarities were easily visible to the Captain Colonel O'Neill and General Hammond had spoken with.
"I'd say we've found our alien," O'Neill said with a shrug as he handed over the second picture to General Hammond.
"We're fast running out of coincidences here people," General Hammond frowned as he looked at the photo Doctor Jackson had found. "Do we have anything on how this race could exist in the real world, as well as in a television series?"
"No sir," Carter shook her head. "The alien race Daniel found are just that, a work of fiction, there's no documented proof of a feline alien race anywhere out there."
"There is now," O'Neill shrugged. "We were talking with one about half an hour ago."
"Yes sir," Carter nodded in agreement. "I can't explain it sir, unless this species had contact with Earth before and influenced the writers of the series, I can't think of another explanation."
"If that's the Enterprise up there," O'Neill grinned. "Think of how cool that would be kicking Goa'uld butt." He grinned at the thought.
"We've yet to ascertain if they are indeed allies against the Goa'uld Colonel," General Hammond frowned at him. "Though I agree with your sentiment, let's be cautious on this one, whoever these people are, they are obviously in control of advanced technology, technology that not only scanned this facility, but transported Teal'c out and aboard their ship without interference."
"More Star Trek tech," O'Neill nodded. "But I get your point sir." He said with another nod.
"We have two and a half hours until the Captain contacts us again, by then hopefully we will have more answers than this," General Hammond said, standing up from the table. "Captain, coordinate with NASA for a time for our people to be returned, I'll be on line with The President and Joint Chiefs explaining the situation."
"Yes sir," Carter said, standing up with O'Neill and Daniel as General Hammond walked away from the conference room and back to his office.
"Big, big ray guns for Apophis when he comes calling next," O'Neill grinned at the thought. "Big ray guns."
"Guys, can we, uh…" Xander started, gesturing to the corridor behind him as he walked into the room where Giles, Ms Calendar, Teal'c and Cassandra were sat.
"Is everything alright?" Giles asked, immediately worrying what else could go wrong today.
"Let's talk out here," Xander said, indicating the small corridor that led from the bridge area into the conference room before walking back and waiting for Giles and Ms Calendar to follow.
"What's happened?" Ms Calendar asked as she came into the corridor with Giles. "Is Clark ok?"
"He's kinda freaking out," Xander said with a wince. "Apparently his dad didn't tell him he was an alien or anything; they're back there now talking about it all."
"I did try and warn you that some secrets are not ours to reveal," Giles said with a frown. "Despite Clark's family problems you have initiated, we also now have the United States military to deal with, as they have had their own dealings with aliens, and now wish to discuss terms with us." He explained.
"Great," Xander muttered sarcastically as he leaned against the corridor wall.
"With regards to your own situation, I do however have to apologise," Giles said, the glare softening somewhat. "I admit I hadn't given the situation you or Jenny find yourselves in much thought, much less how it was affecting either of you. Rest assured I mean to remedy the fact, and work on returning you both to normal as soon as possible."
"You think you can do that?" Xander asked hopefully, looking at the way Ms Calendar was stood with her tail flicking around again.
"I will endeavour to do my best, you have my word on that, both of you," Giles said earnestly. "I must ask though, have you yet tested your theory on being a hologram? Aside from the uniform, I fail to see anything that would indicate much has changed for you here."
"I…" Xander sighed. "I've been afraid to." He admitted softly. "I could try telling the computer to deactivate the EMH, but what if I don't come back online or something," He explained. "Maybe I'm just a glitch and the computer fixes it when I go offline?"
"I see," Giles nodded in agreement. "I agree with your worries there, though perhaps we should see if there is a way to safely test your theory without deactivating yourself, should the worst happen." He explained. "It would be useful to know what exactly has happened here so I have all the facts necessary to attempt to reverse the transformation."
"Yeah," Xander nodded back.
"Can't you just ask the computer to transfer you somewhere else?" Jenny asked thoughtfully. "If you're a hologram like the EMH, it should be able to just transfer you anywhere on the ship right?"
"It can do that?" Giles asked in surprise. "I would assume a simple transfer would not be as much of a shock to the system shall we say, as being deactivated would be?"
"Maybe," Xander nodded. "I could try it I guess, transfer myself to the bridge or somewhere?"
"The bridge would suffice, then you are close enough to come back through traditional means rather than transferring yourself back." Giles said thoughtfully. "Though we can do this another time if you prefer, we also have the matter of dealing with the military to discuss, an avenue I am not looking forward to I'll admit." He said with a frown, pulling the dressing gown around himself again.
"I should get you a uniform as well," Jenny said with a nod. "At least it'll be better than talking to the army types in a gown and pyjamas," She said with a small smile, an expression that looked slightly unnerving on her feline face.
"Yes, that would be appreciated," Giles nodded thankfully. "Present a unified front as it were when we have to discuss matters with this General Hammond."
"He seemed alright," Jenny said after a moment. "I think he was more worried about Teal'c and Cassandra than anything, we can't really blame him for that can we?"
"Clark's dad's the same," Xander explained. "Aside from the whole hiding he's an alien thing, he's just worried about Clark and wants him home safe."
"On that we can all agree," Giles said with a nod. "The sooner we have these individuals back where they belong, the sooner we can work on restoring the both of you to your natural forms."
"I can't wait," Jenny said enthusiastically. "This tail is driving me crazy, and the fur, look at these…" She trailed off, bringing her paws up for Xander and Giles to look at. "I don't even want to think about what my feet are like." She muttered, causing everyone to look down and notice how her boots were angled slightly oddly for normal boots, bending quite severely above where the ankle would be, and in the opposite direction the knee would normally bend. "I just want to get home, and take a long bath, which I definitely can't do like this." She said with finality.
"Soggy cat?" Xander half smiled at her.
"Laugh it up," Jenny glared over at him. "As soon as I figure out how to get these claws out, I'll be heading for the computer that's got your code in it." She mock threatened with her paw.
"Speaking of," Xander sighed, taking a deep breath. "Computer, transfer the EMH to the bridge." He said before he could second guess himself.
"Xander, I…" Giles trailed off as Xander shimmered in space for a second before vanishing completely. "Good lord." He muttered, staring at the space where Xander had been occupying moments before.
"Computer, locate the EMH." Jenny said loudly.
"The EMH is currently on the bridge." The computer informed her.
"Xander?" Jenny asked, jogging down the corridor and through the doors onto the bridge to see Xander stood over the large black circle he'd described as a holocommunicator before.
"Guess that confirms that," Xander said with a sigh as he walked up the sloped area in front of him and sat in the captain's chair. "HoloXander it is." He muttered to himself.
"Yes, quite…" Giles trailed off in thought as he walked onto the bridge with Jenny, taking a moment to stare at the view of Earth and the sun that was on the large viewscreen dominating the bridge. "Is this… I mean to say, would this be a diagram so to speak of this vessel?" He asked, walking past the captain's chair to the large master systems display at the back of the bridge.
"Huh?" Xander asked, looking around. "Oh, yeah, that's the systems stuff, diagnostics and all that." He explained as he stood up from the chair. "Haven't got around to looking at them all, just the helm stuff and sensors really."
"Perhaps it would be best for us to at least familiarise ourselves with the ship, should we need to use it in any degree aside from our return to earth." Giles said thoughtfully.
"Weapons are down there," Xander pointed down to the large console on the left of the sunken area. "You saw the engines stuff, sensors," He shrugged. "The rest could be anything really; life support I guess is somewhere…"
"A rather important factor on a spaceship you would agree," Giles said with a small smile.
"Yeah," Xander nodded in agreement. "Um, I don't know," Xander said honestly as he looked around, there were consoles and displays pretty much around the entire oval bridge area, leaving room for the four doors and the large view screen, but having at least seven other consoles around the walls that he had no idea what were for or what use they had in running a starship.
"This one says Astrometric sensors?" Jenny said from where she was stood at the right of the master systems display. "They had those on Voyager right?"
"Yeah, like long range sensors I guess," Xander nodded in agreement as he jogged over to the next console. "Environmental, guess that's life support and stuff." He said with a nod as Giles nodded in agreement.
"Quantum Slipstream Control?" Jenny asked as she moved across the bridge to the console on the left of the systems display console. "Quantum Slipstream?" She asked, looking at Xander for clarification.
"Oh, yeah, the ship has some experimental drive or something, like a transwarp wormhole thing or something," Xander tried to explain with a shrug. "There's only a few ships in the fleet with it in the books." He said as he walked onto the next large console that dominated the far wall of the bridge. "Engineering here." He said, reading off the console.
"Operations," Jenny called out from her side of the bridge. "And communications."
"And science," Xander called out finally, noting the last console that was active. "Jeez, guess they put all the bells and whistles on here." He said as he looked around at all the consoles they'd identified.
"All quite necessary in running a ship like this I can well imagine," Giles said thoughtfully as he turned back to the master systems display. "If I'm reading this correctly, the ship would have twenty three decks, including the one we're on."
"Sounds about right," Xander nodded as he walked over.
"Some six hundred and seventy meters long," Giles mused aloud. "I'd rather pictured the ships in Star Trek to be bigger somehow." He said thoughtfully. "This would indicate an enlisted crew of nearly six hundred." He said, pointing at the information on the systems display, where the number five hundred and seventy was in red, with a hundred and seventy five above it, is red as well, and a blue 'one' next to it.
"So, enlisted, officers, and crew on board?" Xander hazarded, looking at the numbers. "If the one is you," He said, nodding as Ms Calendar came to stand with them. "Then the hundred and seventy five would be the officers aboard normally. But since you're the only one here…" He pointed at the blue number one on the display.
"That would seem to be the case," Giles agreed with a nod. "Now, if we can…" He trailed off as the doors to the Ready Room hissed open to let Clark back onto the bridge.
"Hey," Xander smiled over. "Everything ok?" He asked, noting that Clark looked a little less down than he had before.
"I guess," Clark nodded over as he walked across the bridge area to join them. "Still thinking about it really, I get what my dad's saying, about keeping it a secret so nobody took me away from them, it's just…"
"Pretty huge," Xander nodded in agreement, thinking about what Clark must be going through.
"Yeah," Clark nodded back. "He stashed my space ship in the storm cellar, of all the places." Clark said with a small laugh. "I thought it'd have been in the attic."
"Small spaceship?" Xander asked with a smile.
"I'll show you when we get back," Clark said with a nod. "You can come down and help explain all this stuff to my dad."
"Uh, yeah, about that…" Xander winced, a forceful reminder that he couldn't actually leave the ship for the foreseeable future.
"Perhaps it would be better if I accompanied you for that Clark," Jenny said, noticing how uncomfortable Xander was getting with where the conversation was heading. "Perhaps if he could talk to me, I could reassure him about some things."
"That'd really help I guess," Clark said, looking over at the distinctly alien woman that was talking with them. With the other two that had been brought on board the ship like him, both looking as human as he did, he had to admit that the female cat-woman was the most alien of them all that he'd seen so far. Though he'd yet to look around the rest of the ship they were on, so for all he knew, there were dozens or hundreds of alien races working around and he just hadn't seen them yet. "Thanks." He said with a smile.
"It's our fault you're in this mess, the least we can do is try and help smooth things over with your dad," Jenny said with a smile. "We've got a few hours before we head back, is that alright with you?" She asked hopefully, not wanting to really take the starship back into Earth's orbit until they'd spoken to the General again about it.
"Yeah," Clark nodded. "As long as I'm back for my chores in the morning, dad'll really hit the roof if I miss those as well." Clark said with a small smile.
"I'll make sure you're back for those then," Jenny smiled back at him.
"I'm sorry," Xander grinned at him, clasping his hand up on Clark's shoulder.
"Why don't you head back with the others and help yourself to something more to eat," Giles said with a gesture towards the conference room doors. "Perhaps Mr Teal'c and Cassandra could tell you more about the experiences they've had with aliens." Giles explained, not quite believing he was saying even as he said the words.
"Yeah, I'd like that." Clark smiled. "Thanks, you know, for everything and all. Being so cool about this."
"We'll be in with you shortly," Jenny nodded at him as she watched Clark move off back to the conference room, waiting for the doors to close behind him before she turned back to Xander and Giles. "So, we've got two hours before we have to speak to the General again, any ideas at all what we should tell him?"
"Aliens," Xander said with a shrug.
"Yes Xander, we're all quite aware that we have three aliens aboard now," Giles said with a frown.
"No, tell him we're aliens," Xander explained. "We came to Earth, doing the whole explorer thing, scanned for alien life forms, and picked up those three to learn about the planet. Seeing as they didn't belong there, they'd be the ones who wouldn't freak out about the whole space ship thing."
"That's…" Giles mused thoughtfully. "Not actually a bad plan thinking about it." He said thoughtfully. "If we limit talks to the computer terminals, we can limit how much of the ship he actually sees."
"Until he asks to meet face to face I guess," Xander said with a shrug.
"We beam him directly to the conference room, like you beamed those three to the bridge," Jenny said confidently. "We can say we're limiting contact with his race until he proves he's trustworthy or something."
"If he asks to come aboard, which I'd highly discourage," Giles said thoughtfully. "I'd rather limit communications with the military as much as possible, I rather dread to think what could happen if they get a hold of this ship."
"What about the Goa'uld aliens?" Jenny asked, looking back at Giles. "They put a bomb in that little girl, if we can help the army in fighting them, I say we should."
"We should check out the armoury as well," Xander said with a nod. "Figure some phasers would go a long way on patrol with Buffy, not that I can be there to fire them or anything, but it'd help out right?" He asked.
"Perhaps experimenting with these phasers on patrol would be something to investigate at a later date," Giles nodded in agreement. "Though having them on hand if the military are confrontational, would ease matters slightly."
"For you guys," Xander said with a half-smile. "Bullets don't hurt holograms."
"Yes, though they would take control of the ship rather quickly without either of us here to help defend it with you," Giles said with a small smile, noticing what Xander was doing but wanting to ground him in the reality of the situation as much as possible.
"What about Buffy and Willow?" Xander asked after a moment. "We could bring them aboard as well, get them to help out with faking out the army guys? Slayer vs soldiers if they get pissy about anything."
"I had thought of that," Giles said thoughtfully. "Though I am reluctant to bring either of them aboard until we know what the military wish to talk about."
"Wouldn't it be better to have the Slayer on hand, just in case?" Jenny asked. "It couldn't hurt right, and we can always transport her back down if things get out of hand up here."
"Yes, I suppose…" Giles relented after a few moments. "I'd rather you gave them time to adjust however, rather than the abrupt manner in which you brought me and the others aboard."
"We transport uniforms and comm badges down," Xander said, clicking his fingers as the thought came to him. "We use the sensors to lock on, then replicate uniforms and badges, that way we don't have to keep using the sensors to find everyone, we can just beam them up and down whenever we need."
"Yes, that does seem a rather simpler way of doing things," Giles nodded in agreement.
"I'll use the replicator in the Ready Room to do the uniforms and stuff," Xander explained. "Get one for you as well." He said, nodding at Giles.
"If you keep an eye on our three guests, I'll accompany Xander and assist however possible in this endeavour," Giles said, looking over at Ms Calendar.
"We've got less than two hours here," Jenny said with a frown as she lent in and kissed Giles on the cheek softly before moving back towards the conference room. "Let's get it right."
"I would hope something, however small, could go right for us tonight," Giles said thoughtfully as Jenny passed through the doors, leaving him on the bridge with Xander to do their part of the plan. "Shall we?" He asked, gesturing for Xander to take the lead.
"So you've been fighting the Goa'uld with Colonel O'Neill ever since?" Jenny asked, having been sat with Clark listening to Teal'c's tale of how he joined the Tau'ri, which she'd learned was the Goa'uld term for Earth, with rapt interest.
"Indeed," Teal'c nodded slowly, taking time to drink some more of the water he had replicated for himself, while Cassandra and Jenny were each enjoying a small bowl of chocolate ice cream each. "The Tau'ri fight well, but do not have vessels such at this at their call, you would make a worthy ally in the fight against the Goa'uld." Teal'c stated clearly.
"You should fight them," Cassandra agreed. "If you don't, they'll just do to other planets what they did to mine." She said in a small voice.
"We're thinking about it," Jenny said with a nod, focusing slightly on clearing her canines with her tongue to get rid of the chocolate chips that had got stuck there.
"But you haven't come across any aliens like me out there?" Clark asked resignedly.
"I have not," Teal'c said clearly. "Though there are many planets to which I have not travelled, and many others without Chap'pai, it is possible your race is among them."
"Or they got blown up by these Goa'uld things," Clark said with a frown. "And my parents sent me here to save me from them."
"Like Sam rescued me," Cassandra smiled across at him.
"Indeed," Teal'c nodded again before looking up as the doors opened with a 'woosh'.
"How's it going?" Xander asked as he walked in, Giles following behind him wearing a similarly coloured uniform instead of the gown he had been wearing previously.
"Teal'c's just telling us about the Goa'uld," Jenny explained as Xander walked over to the replicator and ordered another coke. "They're like space snakes apparently; they worm inside you and take over." She explained what Teal'c had told them.
"Yech," Xander shuddered theatrically.
"Quite," Giles mused as he sat down at the table. "These Goa'uld are parasitic in nature then?" He asked thoughtfully.
"Doctor Jackson has described them as such on many occasion," Teal'c said with a nod. "O'Neill has also called the Goa'uld 'snakes' repeatedly."
"They're pretty bad from what Teal'c saying," Jenny explained, looking over at Giles. "They bomb planets, take what they want, enslave the people…" She trailed off as Giles nodded along.
"I'm getting a strong dislike for these guys," Xander said as he came to sit down at the table with them.
"The Goa'uld must be fought," Teal'c stated simply. "Your ship would prove valuable in the Tau'ri's efforts."
"I understand that Mr Teal'c," Giles nodded across the table. "Though I confess, without more information about these Goa'uld, I'm reluctant to get involved in a war we could do little to change."
"The Goa'uld will come for your world, much as they will come for the Tau'ri," Teal'c intoned. "If you do not fight them, they will stop at nothing until your world answers to their rule alone."
"Yes, quite," Giles said with a frown, thinking about what Teal'c was saying.
"They destroyed my world," Cassandra said, looking over at Giles. "Killed everyone just to get to Jack and his friends." She explained. "You have to help them." She almost pleaded over.
"I…" Giles trailed off as the comm badge on his chest chirruped. "Excuse me." He said with a nod, standing up from the table and making his way out of the room and back into the corridor and onto the bridge with Xander following him. "Hello?" He asked once he was on this bridge with Xander.
"Giles?" Willow's voice came back over the commlink. "What is this, some sort of radio or something? Did Xander do these somehow, it's the sort of thing he'd love to…"
"Willow, breath," Xander grinned as he interrupted.
"See, I knew you'd be behind these," Willow's voice came back. "How do they work, did you get a tiny radio or are they working on…"
"Willow, if you'd please give us a moment to explain," Giles interrupted this time. "I assume you found the uniform and badge in your room."
"Yuhuh," Willow's voice affirmed. "I woke up to get a glass of water and they were on the floor in my room. How did you guys get in here anyway, I locked up and everything, ohmygod, Xander! Did you sneak in my window again, 'cause my dad told you if he ever caught you…"
"Ixnay or the indoway," Xander cut her off with an embarrassed shake of his head. "Just put the uniform on ok?"
"Is this some sort of fantasy thing buster, because if it is…"
"I assure you, it is nothing of the sort," Giles interrupted her, taking off his glasses and polishing them against the freshly replicated uniform he was now wearing. "Please, just do as Xander says, and I shall explain everything shortly." He said before turning to Xander. "Perhaps it best you explain things to Willow, rather than she see Ms Calendar before we have chance to explain what has happened here." He said softly.
"Gotcha," Xander nodded back.
"I shall speak to you soon," Giles said as he walked back into the corridor and back to the conference room where Teal'c and the others were still sat discussing the Goa'uld.
"You still there Will's?" Xander asked as he wandered around the bridge idly.
"I'm… just…" Willow's voice came back in short bursts. "There, just putting the top on."
"Let me know when you're done," Xander said as he wandered over to the captain's chair and sat in it, looking around the bridge and across at the viewscreen and the view that was still on display for them all.
"I'm ready," Willow's voice came over the link. "Is there a convention or something, 'cause my mom and dad didn't leave much money for the weekend, I'm stocked up on food and stuff but…"
"No, no convention," Xander smiled at the idea. "Just put the badge on like normal, it'll attach on its own."
"What, is there Velcro or something…" Willow's voice trailed off as she was obviously examining the comm badge in detail now.
"Computer, lock on to the open commlink, beam directly to the bridge." Xander said aloud, standing up from the captain's chair as the space down the slope from him shimmered and glittered with the welcoming sight of a transporter beam in progress.
"Ohmygod!" Willow gasped out as the transporter faded, leaving her on the bridge in front of Xander. "What… where… how…. You…"
"All good questions," Xander grinned at her. "Welcome aboard." He said with a smile as he gestured to the bridge around him.
"But… you… how… where… how…" Willow babbled out as she looked around the bridge area. "This… where… where are we?"
"The USS Aventine," Xander said proudly with a smile. "Currently hiding behind the moon." He explained with a shrug. "Don't want to give people down there too many heart attacks at once, the hospitals wouldn't cope." He said with a grin.
"Xander!" Willow admonished him. "This… a real space ship? A Star Trek space ship, real?" She asked with wide eyes. "I need to sit down."
"Here," Xander said, stepping over and leading her up the sloped area before guiding her into the captain's chair. "Yes, it's real."
"Not a dream?" Willow asked in a small voice as she looked up from where she was sat down. "Ohmygod, you put me in the captain's chair!" She yelled, jumping out of the chair and looking around. "Where's the captain?" She asked, looking around for Kirk or Picard or someone to come onto the bridge and tell her it's all a dream.
"We're still kinda working that out," Xander said with a half-smile. "Ok, Halloween, Giles said you got ghosted right?"
"Uhuh," Willow nodded, still casting nervous glances at the captain's chair every so often.
"So, I was wearing the uniform, so was Ms Calendar, only she had a different uniform on, with… other bits…" Xander explained, trying to soften the blow slightly. "We both woke up on the ship, so once we figured out how to bring Giles aboard, then we thought about you guys…"
"Giles is here?" Willow asked, looking around the bridge again. "And Ms Calendar?"
"Focus Willow," Xander smiled at her. "Ms C was wearing… well, she's kinda furry now." Xander said finally, deciding the blunt approach was the best way here.
"Furry?" Willow asked in confusion.
"Catlike, you know, ears, tail, teeth and claws?" Xander said with a shrug. "It's a thing; Giles says he's working on it." He explained. "And me." He added after a moment.
"You?" Willow asked in confusion, still trying to imagine Ms Calendar with cat ears and a tail. "What happened to you, you don't have a tail right, cause I don't see a tail, you don't have a tail Xander?"
"I don't have a tail," Xander said honestly. "Whatever magic stuff brought this ship here, it… uh… kindamademetheEMH." He babbled out quickly.
"What?!" Willow all but shrieked out.
"The EMH," Xander said slowly, grimacing at the volume Willow managed. "Emergency Medical…"
"I know what an EMH is buster!" Willow interrupted him with a glare. "Wait," She frowned, looking around. "You can't be the EMH, the EMH can't leave sickbay."
"I can here," Xander said with a shrug. "Holo thingies all over the ship I guess, just a step up from Voyager's setup, guess they figured it was easier for the EMH to get all over the ship in an emergency, rather than having to drag everyone down to the sickbay."
"I… oh Xander," Willow said in a sad voice, moving over and hugging him. "Giles is going to fix it right? He'll fix you, get your body back?"
"He said he would," Xander reassured her. "We've got some other guys on board as well, and this is the amazing part, they're aliens." He said with a grin, stepping back from Willow's hug to see her reaction.
"They were on the ship?" Willow asked in confusion.
"Nope," Xander grinned at her. "Real life aliens, from Earth, or not from Earth, you know what I mean, real Aliens, not magicky Star Trek aliens." He explained.
"Real aliens?" Willow asked with wide eyes.
"Really really real," Xander nodded. "Want to come and meet them?" He asked with a grin, leading her around the bridge and back through the conference room doors.
"This… this is all…" Willow went wide eyed at the way the doors opened for them both to let them into the small corridor.
"Yeah," Xander grinned. "Oh, the guys in there, they, uh, they kinda think this is our spaceship…" He explained. "So, we're sticking with that, rather than trying to explain what happened and everything, ok?"
"You're lying to aliens?" Willow asked in shock. "Oh my god, aliens are real?"
"Breathe," Xander smiled at her. "Just try and stay with it, we'll explain everything when we get a chance ok?"
"You'd better," Willow said as the doors to the conference room opened and let them through to the rest of the group.
"Yes Mr President," General Hammond bit back the urge to sigh as he sat in his office chair talking on the red phone, doing his best not to argue back with The President who seemed to be as confused as he was about this all. "I realise how this looks, but we are certain this alien race pose no threat to us at this time."
He paused, looking up and beckoning Captain Carter into the room and gesturing for her to sit while he continued the phone call.
"Yes Mr President," He nodded over the line. "By our estimate, they were in orbit for several hours before leaving with our people, after talking with them, I do not believe they are hostiles." He explained his thoughts over the line.
Carter watched, nodding in agreement at what General Hammond was saying to the President.
"We are waiting for further contact from them, and will be discussing terms upon contact Mr President," General Hammond said calmly. "Yes sir, I believe this race could be a valued ally, I have our best people working on finding any information they can sir." He said with a nod, looking over at the papers Captain Carter had brought in with her.
"Yes Mr President, I'll do just that." General Hammond said, listening for a few more moments before hanging up the phone.
"I take it he's concerned about having an alien ship in orbit?" Carter said, stating the obvious as she stood up with the paperwork people had found for her.
"More than concerned Captain," General Hammond said with a nod. "What do you have?"
"We ran a search on the names Teal'c gave us," Carter explained, handing over the papers she had been holding. "Specifically looking for any connection between the three names that could lead us to information we could use, if these people had been to earth before, we assumed they left some sort of documentation or evidence to support that."
"And?" General Hammond frowned as he leafed through the papers.
"The three names all came up in connection with a small town in Southern California sir," Carter explained. "North of LA."
"Jennifer Calander, born Janna Kaldaresh," General Hammond read off the first papers. "Legally changed her name in ninety five?" He asked, looking up at Captain Carter. "Captain, this isn't the alien we spoke with today."
"No sir," Carter agreed, looking at the DVLA photo on the records she'd printed out. "The other names, Rupert Giles, an British National, also works at the same High School," She explained, gesturing for General Hammond to turn the page. "And Alexander Lavelle Harris, a student at the high school. It could be coincidence that these three names were the same that Teal'c gave us, or it's possible that these names are aliases for these people to investigate Earth on their own terms sir."
"That would mean these people have been here before, several times in fact, without us knowing?" General Hammond asked, looking up at where Captain Carter was stood.
"Yes sir," Captain Carter nodded in agreement. "We also have Teal'c's word that another alien from Earth was taken aboard with him and Cassandra, but without a name or records to test this…" She trailed off.
"Yes," General Hammond nodded in agreement. "This would mean that there are at least four of these people, having lived on Earth prior to this evenings events Captain, is that a likely scenario for us?"
"At the moment Sir, it's the most likely one," Carter explained. "We've been over the records from NASA several times, and we don't know the capabilities of their ship sir. Both Teal'c and Cassandra were taken from Earth using advanced technology; we've only seen this sort of beaming technology one place before sir."
"The device Colonel O'Neill destroyed on P Three X- Nine Seven Four," General Hammond nodded in agreement. "Thor's Hammer?"
"Yes sir," Carter nodded in agreement. "We have to assume there is a link between this race and the technology used in Thor's Hammer, the Goa'uld and other races we've come across, even the Nox, show no sign of advanced transportation technology like this. With Thor's Hammer as our only point of reference…"
"I'll agree with you there Captain," General Hammond nodded up at her. "Our first priority however must be the safe return of Teal'c and Cassandra, along with the other alien these people have beamed aboard from Earth. We can't have different races running around our planet without our knowledge here Captain, as far as I know, Teal'c and Cassandra were the only two extra-terrestrial contacts Earth has allowed."
"Yes sir," Carter said in agreement. "Both Teal'c and Cassandra came with us through the Stargate sir, we have to assume that this race uses their ship and transporter technology to bypass the 'gate system completely."
"Very well," General Hammond frowned as he checked the time. "We should be hearing back from Teal'c soon, have we coordinated with NASA on this races return?"
"Yes sir," Captain Carter nodded. "We have control over the Hubble telescope and long rage detection grid, information is being fed directly here to avoid any security problems, we're good to go as soon as you've spoken to them sir."
"Good," General Hammond nodded as he stood up. "Get as much information as you can on their ship while it's in orbit, I don't like the idea of talking with these people without knowing a thing about them."
"Yes sir," Carter smiled over at him. "This could be the first time an alien race has actually contact us sir, rather than us going out to meet them. If they do prove to be allies as Teal'c suggested, they could be valuable in the fight against the Goa'uld, given their level of technology, they might be the most advanced race we've met so far sir."
"I've made the Joint Chiefs aware of that," General Hammond nodded in agreement with her assessment. "They agree that we should endeavour to become allies with this new race."
"Yes sir," Carter nodded.
"Guys, this is Ensign Willow," Xander explained as he walked into the conference room with Willow in tow, wearing the same teal coloured uniform as he and Giles were.
"Hi," Clark smiled up at her.
"Holy…" Willow trailed off, having caught sight of the amazing view outside the large windows at the end of the room that showed the moon closer than anything she had seen before, then her eyes went even wider as she caught sight of the cat-alien woman that was sat along with Giles, wearing the same style uniform they all were, only with a gold undershirt and trim against the teal ones the three of them were wearing.
"Yes, quite," Giles smiled as he stood up and welcomed her aboard. "This is Clark, Mr Teal'c, and Cassandra," Giles explained as he introduced the three around the table.
"Hi Willow," Jenny smiled up at her, standing up so she could see it was still her, even though her body had changed completely, her voice was still somewhat the same.
"Ms Calander?" Willow asked in amazement. "Sorry, it's… I'm…"
"It's fine Willow," Jenny smiled at her. "Teal'c was just telling us about some of the other aliens he's met on his adventures."
"Other aliens?" Willow asked, her eyes going wide again as she looked at where the large coloured man was sat, aside from the golden emblem that was on his forehead, he looked like he could have fit in anywhere on Earth, likewise for Clark and Cassandra, both looked like they could just be students at Sunnydale, and no one would pay any attention to either of them.
"Yes, quite the story I'll admit," Giles smiled as he gestured for Willow to take a seat alongside them. "This Stargate, the Chappeye you called it I believe?"
"Chap'pai," Teal'c corrected him.
"Yes," Giles nodded, memorising the unfamiliar word for later research. "You say most planets have them?"
"Indeed," Teal'c nodded back.
"Some dohicky that lets them visit alien planets," Xander explained to her in a whisper. "Magic door is all I'm getting, but the big guy says its fancy alien tech."
"And the military have been using this device for… how long now?" Giles asked curiously.
"Colonel O'Neill granted me passage from Chulak six months ago," Teal'c said solemnly. "I have fought alongside the Tau'ri since then."
"So, over six months then," Giles mused thoughtfully. "Quite astounding when you think about it."
"The Tau'ri is our greatest hope against the Goa'uld," Teal'c stated simply. "They would benefit greatly from your assistance in their fight."
"Yes, I'm sure," Giles nodded in agreement. "Do excuse us for a moment." He said, standing up from the table and gesturing for Jenny, Xander and Willow to join him back in the corridor.
"Help yourselves to more refreshments, whatever you want," Jenny smiled as she stood up, indicating the replicator on the wall before following Giles and Xander out into the corridor and waiting for the doors to close behind them.
"Aliens?" Willow whispered out in shock as the doors closed. "You're lying to aliens?" She whispered, glaring at Xander first and then turning to Giles.
"Events made such a story a necessity, though I'll admit to the distaste in deceiving them like this," Giles said softly.
"The army are fighting aliens?" Willow asked, looking between Giles and Ms Calander, and doing her best not to stare at the fur, ears and tail that her computer science teacher was now sporting. "Bad aliens?"
"The worst," Jenny confirmed, thinking about the young girl who was in the conference room with Teal'c and Clark.
"Are we fighting aliens now as well?" Willow asked, looking at Giles. "'Cause I've got an algebra test on Monday and I don't think 'aliens kidnapped me' is going to work on Mr Stevens."
"I don't think we're quite…" Giles started but was interrupted by Jenny.
"We're thinking about it," Jenny said, fixing Giles with a soft glare. "These aliens, the Goa'uld, are trying to enslave Earth. I say we help stop them."
"I'm with Ms C," Xander said, holding his hand up. "Evil aliens, vampires, what's the diff?"
"The difference being, that the American military are already engaged fighting these Goa'uld," Giles explained with a sigh. "We know little to nothing about these people, why they fight these Goa'uld, or what their methods are."
"Well, we know the Goa'uld methods," Jenny said firmly. "Putting bombs in children and sending them through these Stargates to blow up planets. This ship could really help them."
"The books say this ship is one of the best Giles," Xander explained to him. "Top of the line, one of the Ships of the Line apparently. If it can fight Borg and Star Trek aliens, then I say we put it to the test against these bad guys."
"They put bombs in children?" Willow asked in shock.
"Cassandra," Jenny said softly. "The computer took it out when it beamed her aboard, but Teal'c says it's the sort of thing they'd do again."
"I don't like them already," Willow frowned, crossing her arms and thinking about the little girl she'd just seen in the other room. "What about Buffy, is she…"
"We're waiting for her to find the uniform and badge just as you did," Giles explained. "Given the time, it's likely she is on patrol however."
"She'll want to help," Willow said resolutely. "We should help them."
"Yes, the majority does seem to favour that course of action," Giles said with a sigh, taking off his glasses and polishing them against the black fabric of his uniform. "Though I am loath to get into dealings with the military regarding these matters without knowing more."
"We'll we're due to talk to the General guy soon right?" Xander asked, looking at Ms Calendar for confirmation.
"Twenty minutes or so I think," Jenny nodded back.
"Maybe he can tell us more, Clark's still getting to grips with it all as well, but I think he's ready to hate these alien guys as much as we do." Xander explained.
"And we know even less about this Clark, or his race," Giles said with a frown. "While I'm sure he has good motives, we know little about any of these people, and less about the ship we are currently on." Giles explained, bringing the three of them back to reality. "We don't even know if this ship would withstand combat with these aliens, let alone have the knowledge of how to use it effectively."
"We can learn," Jenny said with a nod. "The computer's reacting to me and Xander so far, there has to be some training manuals around that we can use to get up to speed."
"I hardly think reading training manuals would be the same as the knowledge needed to pilot a craft such as this," Giles said with a frown. "Though knowing more about the ships capabilities and resources would be a worthwhile endeavour, should we choose to help these people."
"That systems display had all the stuff on," Xander explained. "The menus there probably have more stuff to tell us, I could go through all that and see what it'll tell us."
"Perhaps," Giles nodded in agreement. "It would also be wise to find the books you were reading, perhaps they can offer some more insight to this ship and its capabilities."
"Oh, I can get those," Willow said with a nod. "If I go back down, I could get Buffy as well."
"Yes, that does sound like a good idea." Giles nodded in agreement.
"You should go with her," Jenny said. "Help convince Buffy that we need her up here."
"Yeah, since me and Ms C can't exactly get down there anymore," Xander said with a wince. "Well, I can't, Ms C just…" He trailed off with a half-smile.
"Yes, quite," Giles nodded in agreement, seeing what he was saying about his own situation and the changes Jenny had been through. "Very well, we shall return to Sunnydale to get these books of yours and Buffy."
"I'll beam you down," Xander said with a nod, having been getting quite comfortable with using the computer so far. "Just use the comm badges when you want to come back up alright?"
"Do we have phasers?" Willow asked, looking at Giles and Xander's uniforms and realising that none of them had any weapons on them at the moment. "Because that would be cool." She finished in a small voice.
"Perhaps once we have ascertained how these phaser weapons work, and had some training with them." Giles interrupted before Xander could say anything. "I'd rather not vaporise a building or each other because we lack the training in how to use these weapons."
"Oh, yeah," Willow said in a small voice as she nodded.
"Could you perhaps 'beam us' to the same location you left the uniform and badge for Buffy?" Giles asked hopefully. "Then we can collect those prior to finding Buffy and retrieving these books of yours."
"Uh, I think so," Xander nodded, heading out of the corridor and along onto the bridge. "I think, uh…" He trailed off as he jogged down the small set of steps into the sunken area and checked the sensors console. "Yeah, it's still locked on to the last transporter place, so I can just put you two there as well."
"Very well," Giles said with a sigh from where he was stood on the main bridge level with Willow and Jenny. "Do try not to do anything else to antagonise our guests, or anyone else, while we are away."
"Promise," Xander grinned as he directed the sensors on board the ship to lock on to the two comm badge signals he had named 'Giles' and 'Willow' for the computer to recognise. "Have fun." He said as a parting shot as he pressed the transport button and Willow and Giles vanished in a twinkle of silvery lights.
Jenny and Xander both looked around to see Clark poking his head out of the corridor doors looking for them.
"Hey, what's up?" Xander asked, looking up from the sensor console where he was checking Willow and Giles had both made it down to where he had sent them.
"I was… I was thinking," Clark smiled as he came out of the corridor and onto the bridge completely. "Could I not be here when the army show up?" He asked hopefully. "My dad's already kinda angry about me talking about this stuff with you, and if I tell him there's army guys up here as well, he's going to freak."
"We could transport you down before we talk to them, if that's what you want?" Jenny said curiously.
"Yeah, please," Clark smiled thankfully. "It's not that I'm not grateful and all, and this spaceship, it's amazing, I just…"
"Need to sort things out at home first," Xander finished off with a smile. "Sure." He smiled over as Clark smiled back gratefully. "We can give you a comm badge though, so you can come back if you want to talk or anything?"
"I'd like that," Clark nodded back. "Maybe bring my dad up here to see what I've been telling him about."
"He'd be more than welcome," Jenny smiled at him causing Clark to blush slightly as he smiled back.
"Oh good lord," Giles muttered out as he tried to focus his eyes on his surroundings, having been transported down from the brightly lit area of the starship bridge to a dark room in an instant hadn't given his eyes any time at all to adjust. "Willow?" He asked quietly, looking around and trying to focus in the dark.
"I'm here," Willow said from off to one side, patting herself down to make sure she'd arrived through the transporter in one piece again. The first time she was mostly in shock at going through it, but this time she knew what was going on and was slightly unnerved at going through the technology that should only exist in science fiction. "Where… oh, we're in Buffy's room."
"Buffy's…" Giles trailed off as he managed to focus on his surroundings and look around.
"Buffy?" Willow asked quietly, moving over to the bed where she could see a body under the covers.
"I shall… well…" Giles trailed off, turning around and walking towards the bedroom door, keeping his back turned to the bed area where Willow was waking Buffy up.
"Buffy!" Willow whispered out again, shaking Buffy's sleeping form to wake her up.
"Hmmmm?" Buffy mumbled, starting to wake up slightly as Willow rocked her on the bed. "Hmm?" She half groaned again as she opened her eyes and found Willow looking down at her. "Hmm, what?" She asked, waking up slightly and looking up at Willow.
"Hey Buffy," Willow smiled down. "We… we kinda need your help."
"Willow?" Buffy asked again, waking up more and looking up at her friend. "Why are you in my bedroom?"
"We've got something to show you," Willow smiled down.
"What are you wearing?" Buffy asked, looking at the uniform Willow was wearing. It looked like a plain black jumpsuit of some sort, with a soft grey band across the shoulders, and a light blue collar underneath.
"We've got you one too," Willow said as she stood up from the bed. "It's pretty amazing." She grinned down.
"Giles?" Buffy asked in shock as she sat up in bed, thankful she was wearing a vest top and pants to sleep. "What are you doing here?"
"I wish I were asking myself the same question," Giles answered as he stayed stood facing the door away from the bedroom area. "Though a situation has arisen that we could do with your help in resolving if you would. As much as I am loath to admit it, we have larger matters of concern tonight than vampires."
"Demons?" Buffy asked, looking around her bedroom for a weapon.
"Aliens," Willow said excitedly, bouncing slightly from where she was stood by the bed, causing Buffy to blink several times at her.
"Aliens?" Buffy said in disbelief.
"Quite," Giles said in agreement from the other side of the room. "Xander and Ms Calender are waiting for us, so if you would be so kind as to…" He trailed off, not wanting to turn around in case Buffy was still in bed or sat up.
"Here," Willow said, moving over to the base of the bed where they'd appeared and finding the uniform and badge Xander had transported down for her. "Hey, you got a red one." Willow said as she put the uniform on the bed for Buffy to look at.
"I had noticed the colour differences," Giles mused thoughtfully, thinking of the teal blue ones that he, Xander and Willow were wearing, in difference to the golden coloured trim that Jenny had been wearing. "I assume there is some significance to the colours?"
"Oh, yeah," Willow nodded as Buffy looked at the uniform curiously, eying the gold and silver badge on the chest with bemusement. "The blue ones are science, research and medical stuff." Willow explained. "Red is command and security."
"And the golden one?" Giles asked curiously from across the room.
"Engineering, operations, that sort of stuff," Willow explained. "They changed it from the original, where yellow was command, and red was engineering and security, I guess red just looks better for the command stuff."
"What are you guys talking about?" Buffy asked, looking between the uniform and then up at Willow and across to where Giles was stood.
"If you'd please, we are rather on a set time table here Buffy," Giles said from where he was stood by the door. "It would seem the adventures of Halloween had some rather lasting effects on Xander and Ms Calendar, which have led to several other revelations, most of which I am still trying to understand myself."
"We have a space ship." Willow beamed excitedly, causing Buffy to look up at her with wide eyes. "A spaceship Buffy, in space, with aliens and everything." She said, bouncing slightly on her feet in excitement.
"Have you been drinking coffee again Willow, 'case we talked about this and…."
"I assure you, the space ship, and aliens I am sad to say, are quite real," Giles explained from his space by the door. "Xander and Ms Calendar are aboard waiting for our return."
"I… they… a space ship?" Buffy asked, still looking between Willow and Giles with wide eyes.
"Come on, I'll show you," Willow said excitedly. "We've just got to grab some books from Xander's, then we can head back up there."
"Up… as in…" Buffy asked, looking out of her window and up at the night sky.
"Uhuh," Willow nodded with a smile. "Come on, get dressed and we can go back there." She said excitedly, thinking about the prospect of getting back on board the fantastic space ship she had been on moments before.
"My mom's in LA," Buffy said, looking over at Giles. "You can… uh…"
"Yes, quite," Giles smiled thankfully, opening the door and slipping out quietly before closing it behind him.
"Aliens?" Buffy asked, looking at Willow once Giles had left the room. "Are we talking like ET or Aliens aliens here?
"Kinda human looking aliens," Willow admitted. "Aside from Ms Calendar."
"Ms Calendar?" Buffy asked curiously as she got out of bed and held the uniform up against herself to gauge its size roughly.
"You know the Halloween stuff right?" Willow asked. "I got turned into a ghost, and you were a noble woman?"
"Lady Useless," Buffy nodded, thinking about earlier in the night where she'd nearly been food for Spike thanks to turning into Lady Useless for a night.
"Ms Calendar must have dressed as an alien or something, she's got ears and a tail and paws," Willow explained. "Only person sized, not cat sized, because that would suck right?"
"She's a cat?" Buffy asked, blinking several times at this bit of information. "Huh?"
"A cat alien," Willow nodded. "You'll see, Xander got turned into a hologram on the ship or something, it's all Star Trek stuff, I'll explain it when I can."
"Never watched it," Buffy admitted as she started pulling the uniform on over her vest top and pants. "Xander's a hologram?" She asked after a moment's pause.
"It is time," Teal'c stated simply. "General Hammond will be expecting you to contact him as you said." He announced as Jenny, Xander and Clark walked back into the conference room.
"Now?" Jenny asked, looking at Xander. "Could we not…"
"You gave your word you would return us once you have spoken to General Hammond at the allotted time," Teal'c said with a frown. "Do you wish to change your word?"
"No, it's just…" Jenny trailed off with a sigh. "I'll talk to him." She said, turning to Xander with a worried expression.
"We can call him from the bridge," Xander said, taking over for the moment. "He'll be able to see you guys and check we're not hurting you or anything there." He explained.
"That would be wise," Teal'c said simply, standing up from the table with Cassandra standing alongside him.
"Fine," Jenny said in resignation. "I bet Giles would be better at this," She whispered as she walked alongside Xander out into the corridor to the bridge again, leaving Clark in the conference room so he didn't have to deal with the military people.
"Don't think Giles likes the army guys much either," Xander whispered back as the doors to the bridge opened to let them onto the main area. "You do the captain stuff for now; give the General guy something to think about alright?"
Jenny simply nodded as they walked into the main bridge, heading over to the captain's chair and sitting in it gingerly while watching as Xander made his way down to the sensor station. "Ready?" She asked, looking at where Xander was hesitantly pressing buttons on the control panel in front of him.
"Uh, yeah, I think so," Xander said quietly as he brought up the communications logs from before, having found that button easily enough, and finding the one that Ms C would have used to talk to the army guys before. "Here goes." He whispered to himself as he pressed the connect button and mentally crossed his fingers.
"I feel like an idiot," Buffy complained as she walked down the street, following Willow and Giles as Willow led the way to Xander's house.
The uniforms they were all wearing weren't exactly low key, not to mention were easily recognisable as being from the science fiction television series, even to people who didn't watch it like herself.
"Though surprisingly comfortable," Giles admitted, tugging at his own uniform and loosening the collar slightly. "I would assume using technology from the era to regulate warmth and comfort as well."
"I guess so," Willow frowned as she tugged at the fabric of her own uniform, never having worn anything quite so tight before, aside from the outfit Buffy had her wear under the ghost costume last night. "They don't really go into it in the show, but I guess there's a reason for the uniform stuff."
"I would assume so," Giles nodded in agreement.
"This is just some prank right?" Buffy interrupted. "You know, get me dressed up like a geek and everything, some fantasy of Xander's right?"
"I assure you that is not the case," Giles said with a nod. "As much as I am loathe to admit it, Xander and Ms Calander know more about the technology that has come into our possession than either of us, rather Xander has effectively managed to pilot the starship itself so far, taking it away from Earth towards the moon."
"Xander drove a spaceship?" Buffy asked in surprise, her eyes going wide at the idea of letting Xander behind the controls of something like that. "He can do that?"
"I rather think the computer did most of the work," Giles admitted with a small smile. "Though yes, Xander was in control in piloting the ship itself."
"And it's still in one piece?" Buffy asked with a grin.
"Quite," Giles smiled back at her.
"Hey," Willow interrupted, defending her best friend. "Xander can do stuff like that, he's not book smart or anything like you," She frowned, looking at Giles. "But he can do his own things."
"I'm not saying he can't," Buffy backpedalled, seeing the ire in Willow's eyes. "It's just… Xander, piloting a space ship?"
"Could you do it?" Willow asked, looking at Buffy, and then at Giles when Buffy looked away. "Did you?"
"Well, no, but I rather think…" Giles trailed off at the soft glare Willow sent his way.
"Your friend turned him into a hologram, and you two and stood there talking about what he can and can't do." Willow said in Xander's defence. "Maybe you should both give him some encouragement, rather than telling him he's useless like his parents do." Willow said firmly before stalking off ahead of Buffy and Giles in silence.
"Captain Calendar I assume." General Hammond asked as the screens around the Stargate control room flicked from the previous familiar Star Trek logo to show the feline humanoid they had spoken to before. Only this time she was sat in what was undeniably a captain's chair on a starship bridge, with Teal'c and Cassandra stood alongside her. Only one other crew member was visible on the screen, what appeared to be a teenage boy wearing the same uniform as the Captain was.
"General Hammond," Jenny said with a small smile, standing up from her chair in respect, even though she couldn't see General Hammond, she could easily picture him after being told about him by Teal'c.
"Teal'c, everything ok up there?" Another voice came over the communications link.
"I am well O'Neill," Teal'c said with a small bow towards the viewscreen.
"You caused quite a stir down here Captain," General Hammond's voice came back. "We've coordinated with NASA and believe it safe for you to return to Earth orbit to return our people."
"Thank you General," Jenny said, looking down at Xander expectantly. "We'll return to orbit shortly and transport your people down to you."
"That would be appreciated," General Hammond's voice came back with a tone of relief that the aliens aboard with Teal'c and Cassandra were keeping their word. "I believe we have much to discuss once Teal'c and Cassandra are back with us, if you would care to transport down with Teal'c, we can discuss matters further."
"I… We…" Jenny frowned as she tried to think about this.
"We can come up there if it's easier?" O'Neill's voice broke in. "Beam us up like you did the big guy." He continued, a tone of a smirk coming over with his voice.
"I'm sure we can arrange something," Jenny said with a nod. "I'll send a communications device down with Teal'c so you can contact us for further talks."
"That would be acceptable Captain," General Hammond's voice came back. "When can we expect our people to be returned to us?"
"Within the hour General," Jenny said with a smile. "We'll do our best to get them back to you as soon as possible." She said, nodding at the view screen and feeling slightly foolish that she couldn't see the people she was talking to while knowing they could see her. "Aventine out." She said at last, nodding to Xander who cut the link quickly.
"We will return to your conference room," Teal'c said with a small bow to Ms Calendar.
"Thanks Teal'c," Jenny smiled back at him, returning the small bow. "We'll let you know when we're ready to send you both back ok?"
"Thank you," Cassandra smiled up at her. "Sam's going to love it up here."
"Indeed," Teal'c said in agreement as he led the way back into the conference room corridor with Cassandra following him, leaving Jenny and Xander alone on the bridge.
"Oh man," Xander breathed out in relief once the doors had shut behind Teal'c and Cassandra.
"Tell me about it," Jenny sighed as well, sinking back into the captain's chair. "OK, so now we've got to head back towards Earth?" She asked hopefully, looking down at Xander.
"Right, engines," Xander said, standing up from the sensors station and moving over to the helm control. "Impulse, thrusters…" He muttered, familiarising himself with the advanced layout of the console.
"Are you sure you can do this?" Jenny asked softly, standing up and moving down into the sunken bridge area to sit alongside him at the navigation console next to the helm controls.
"Yeah, ok, pretty sure, maybe, possibly?" Xander hedged around as he looked down at the controls. "Ok, so this is navigation," He said, reaching over to the console in front of Jenny and touching it, bringing the console to life where the lights became brighter. "See, Earth." He grinned, noting where the display was showing the planet along with the moon and their current position. "So if we…" He trailed off, reaching across and touching the planet display before sliding his fingers across so they touched a dotted ring that was surrounding the display of the planet.
"That's the orbit path," Jenny said with a guess, watching what Xander was doing.
"Yeah, so if that's plotted the course," He muttered, moving back to the helm control. "Then these should be…" He frowned, finding the impulse control and bringing it up quarter way, remembering what the computer had said before about its safety protocols. "Ok, there." He smiled in satisfaction as he looked up at the view screen, where it was showing the Earth still on the rear display from the ship, slowly moving over to the left.
"Jenny to Rupert," Jenny said with a smile, standing up from the navigation station and tapping her comm badge with a chirrup.
"Yes, um, hello?" Giles' voice came back over the link, causing Jenny and Xander to smile at his uncertain tone.
"We've just spoken to General Hammond up here Rupert," Jenny explained. "Xander's piloting the ship back to Earth so we can drop Teal'c and Cassandra back off."
"I can assume things went well with General Hammond then?" Giles' voice asked hopefully.
"As well as could be expected," Jenny explained. "They want to meet up for more talks, but I thought it'd be best to do that once we're all on board and everything's set."
"Yes, quite," Giles' voice came back. "Willow is just retrieving the books in question from Xander's bedroom, I believe we will be ready to 'beam up' as you say, soon."
"Ok, let me know when you're ready," Jenny said with a smile. "Aventine out." She said, tapping her comm badge again to close the link. "You know, these things are pretty handy to have." She said with a smile, watching as Xander was still sat by the helm control nervously. "You're doing great Xander." She smiled down, tapping her paw on Xander's shoulder.
"Thanks," Xander smiled up at her. "I'm just remembering stuff like this easier now I guess," He explained. "Benefits of hologram stuff I guess." He said with a shrug.
"Maybe," Jenny nodded in agreement. "Perhaps being a hologram, you have a faster connection to the computer system than the rest of us?"
"Makes sense," Xander nodded in agreement. "I'm part of the computer now or something, so guess it would be working quicker for me."
"We'll have to look into that later on," Jenny said with a smile. "If the computer has records of how to run the ship and which controls do what, then maybe we could run a crash course through your program."
"Like the way The Doctor changed his program to a command hologram," Xander said excitedly. "The computer could do that I guess, I mean there's got to be holodeck records on how to run the ship and everything right?"
"Exactly," Jenny nodded back. "So if we can run those through your program, then at least you'll have a bit of a step up with all the workings of the ship, enough to help show us how to work everything and what computers do what."
"Yeah, I could do that," Xander nodded in agreement. "Computer, change view screen to forward view." He said aloud, looking up at the view screen as it flicked over to change to a view of the Earth that was steadily growing bigger as they approached it.
"Ahem, Giles here?" Giles voice broke over the comm system as he activated his comm badge on the planet below.
"Hey Giles," Xander responded quickly, tapping his comm badge. "Ready?"
"Quite," Giles voice came back. "We have Buffy and the books requested." Giles' explained over the link.
"OK, one sec…" Xander said as he stood up from the helm station and moved over to the sensor console. "Badges, badges…" He trailed off as he flicked though a few of the buttons. "Gotcha." He said as the computer finally registered the three comm badges identified as 'Giles', 'Willow' and 'Buffy'. "Energise." He said to himself with a grin as he tapped the same buttons as before and beamed the three of them directly to the bridge.
"Xander, you'd better…" Jenny trailed off, watching the view screen as the planet in front of them was growing larger and moving off to the left side of the screen.
"I've got it," Xander said, darting back over to the helm controls and bringing the impulse drive down further to about half at what he'd put it at before. "Hey guys," He smiled up as the transport beam dissipated, leaving Giles, Willow and Buffy stood on the bridge looking down at where he was stood with Ms Calendar.
"Bu… bu…" Buffy stammered out, looking back and seeing the huge view screen that dominated the front of the bridge, or more intently, the display that was showing the planet Earth with the sun behind it, growing closer as they approached.
"Pulling back to stop," Xander said with a smile as he dialled the engines down further to a stop, stopping the ship's approach by hitting the forward thrusters button and waiting for the screen that showed their current speed to hit full stop. "There, done." He smiled, sitting down at the helm station in relief and looking up at Buffy, Giles and Willow.
"Well done Xander," Jenny smiled, tapping him on the shoulder again before walking up the steps out of the sunken area to greet the rest of their group.
"Yes, quite something," Giles admitted, nodding down at Xander in respect. Now he could actually see Xander had been controlling the ship, not simply relying on the computer as he had done before, an act he was reasonably sure he couldn't come close to replicating himself.
"Thanks guys," Xander smiled up. "Just outside standard orbit, didn't want to get too close or anything, so I figured we'd just hang here for a bit." He grinned, looking at the view screen that was showing quite a panoramic view of the Earth outside.
"You… you were driving us?" Buffy asked in awe, looking down at Xander and then back across to the huge view screen.
"I'm getting the hang of it," Xander smiled up. "I thought the security uniform would be best for you." He explained with a nod, indicating the red hue of the undershirt and trim on the uniform Buffy was wearing. "We haven't got the weapons or anything out yet, but, ya'know…" He trailed off with a shrug.
"Quite," Giles smiled softly. "I assume our guests are still…" He trailed off, looking at the doors that led through to the conference room.
"They're fine, we're ready to beam Teal'c and Cassandra down now if they're ready." Jenny explained. "Hi Buffy." She said with a smile, looking over at the Slayer.
"Ms Calendar?" Buffy asked in shock, looking at the furry face that didn't really resemble the teacher she knew from school. "Wow, I suddenly feel better about just remembering French and table manners." She said softly, looking at the changes Ms Calendar had gone through.
"Perhaps it would be best to transport our guests home first," Giles interrupted the discussion. "We can then talk without the worry of retaliation by the armed forces."
"Good plan," Xander nodded in agreement. "I replicated another comm badge for Teal'c to take, that way they can use it if they want to talk again."
"An excellent idea," Giles nodded in agreement. "If Mr Teal'c wishes to talk with us again, I believe it would be prudent for us to take precautions against bringing other people on board in future."
"Once we've beamed down Teal'c and Cassandra, we can check out the rest of the ship. Find out where the armoury is kept, things like that." Jenny explained.
"There's an armoury?" Buffy asked in shock.
"Starship Buff," Xander grinned up at here from where he was still sat at the helm station at the front of the sunken area. "Phasers and other stuff I guess." He said with a smile.
"Yes, quite," Giles smiled at the two. "As you say, once we've returned our guests, then we can decide what to do with the ship after I research why the spell cast by Ethan had such drastic effects on the both of you."
"Oh, yeah," Xander said, standing up from his console. "Ms C had a thought on that, well, since I'm a hologram now right? We figure the computer could transfer through some training stuff, kinda like it's done in the show before, helping out with command holograms and stuff."
"You mean transfer these training regimes into your memories?" Giles asked in confusion. "Are you sure that is wise Xander, without knowing exactly how this hologram technology works, or how the spell may have affected it…"
"It's the best chance we've got of figuring out this ship Giles," Xander interrupted him. "If we can transfer the training stuff into my program, then I can help out by showing the rest of you what things do. If these Goa'uld aliens are as bad as Teal'c says, then we could probably use this ship to help Earth and save everyone down there."
"The whatnow aliens?" Buffy asked, looking between Xander and Giles with a confused expression on her face.
"Space snakes that take over your body," Jenny explained to her quickly. "It's something we can think about anyway," Jenny said, turning back to Giles. "Another thing we have is the holodeck, which will have training courses and information we can use."
"Again, things to discuss once we have returned Mr Teal'c, Cassandra and Clark to their homes." Giles said with a nod. "Once we have taken care of these matters, we can look at further endeavours for the future."
"Come on then," Jenny nodded, leading the group towards the door into the conference room corridor. "We'll beam Teal'c and Cassandra down first, then Clark, I think he's going to want some of us to come down with him to help explain this to his parents."
"I gathered as much," Giles nodded in agreement as he followed Jenny into the corridor, with Buffy, Xander and Willow following them.
"This is just some dream right?" Buffy whispered to Willow and Xander. "A freaky dream like endless math tests or cheese taking over the world?" She asked hopefully.
"Nope," Xander grinned as he came up alongside her. "It's all real." He grinned at her as they walked into the conference room.
"Are you ready to return us?" Teal'c asked, standing up from the table as the group entered.
"We are," Giles nodded in return. "We have a…" He trailed off as Xander stepped forward, fishing a communications badge out of his pocket and holding it out for Teal'c to take. "Yes, you can use this to contact us should the need arise."
"General Hammond will be pleased you are open to further talks." Teal'c said, examining the small gold and silver device that was similar to the ones being worn on the chest of the five uniformed individuals in front of him before pocketing it.
"We'll talk with him again soon," Jenny said with a nod. "We've just got some things to discuss before we talk about the Goa'uld or anything."
"O'Neill would be disappointed if you do not agree to join our fight," Teal'c said simply. "He has expressed the desire for spaceships and ray guns on many occasion."
"Yes, well," Giles smiled over, wanting to get the discussion away from sharing Star Trek technology with the American military as quickly as possible. "Shall we?" He asked, gesturing back to the corridor behind them.
"Indeed," Teal'c nodded over, moving to follow the group as they all headed back towards the bridge area.
"So, now what?" Colonel O'Neill asked, looking around the control room where he was stood with General Hammond and Captain Carter.
"They've stopped sirs," Captain Carter explained, looking up from the computer system where NASA had rerouted Hubble control through to them. "We've got a clean picture of the ship, routing it through now sir."
"Bring it up Captain," General Hammond ordered, looking up at the display monitors.
"Ok, definitely Trek," O'Neill quipped as the image came up on the monitors, showing the sleek curves and lit up pylons there were synonymous with Star Trek ship design. The glowing blue that ran along the pylons at the back of the ship were easily viewable against the black background of space, as were the glowing red tips of the pylons and a large blue oval disk under the arrow shaped main section of the ship.
"That doesn't look like any Star Trek ship I've seen before sir," Carter said, stepping back and examining the Hubble images for herself.
"Probably 'cause it's real and not just some special effect," O'Neill said with a frown. "I guess we can rule out prank or…" He trailed off as a twinkle of lights came from the gateroom beneath them, drawing his attention down and away from the monitors to see Teal'c and Cassandra appear in the gateroom. "Ok, that was definitely a transporter beam." He said with certainty.
"Teal'c?" General Hammond asked, stepping forward and activating the microphone.
"It is I General Hammond," Teal'c said with a small nod. "Captain Calendar returned us as promised."
"I can see that," General Hammond nodded. "Did they give you any indication of further communications with us?" He asked hopefully.
"Indeed," Teal'c nodded again, bringing out the comm badge from his pocket and holding it up for General Hammond to see.
"Oh for cryin' out loud," O'Neill groused as he saw the gold and silver comm badge Teal'c was holding.
"I believe Captain Calendar would be a valued ally of the Tau'ri," Teal'c said with certainty.
"I'm sure they will be Teal'c," General Hammond nodded in agreement as Doctor Frasier rushed into the gateroom to see Cassandra and Teal'c, several nurses following her in case medical assistance was needed.
"Are we sure these people removed the bomb from Cassandra?" Carter asked worriedly, looking at Cassandra's proximity to the Stargate.
"They have no reason to lie Captain Carter," Teal'c said simply. "I believe they spoke the truth."
"I'll run some tests to be certain, on both of you." Doctor Frasier said, motioning for both Teal'c and Cassandra to follow her down to the medical level of Stargate Command.
"I want a full report Doctor," General Hammond said over the microphone, waiting for Doctor Frasier to indicate she'd heard him before turning the microphone off and turning back to Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter.
"They gave him a comm badge?" O'Neill asked in disbelief. "This is all getting a bit too sci-fi for me General."
"I agree sir," Captain Carter nodded in agreement. "The ship design is one thing; it's possible that the engines and design could have originated on their own without influence from the television series. The uniforms and badges however…"
"I tend to agree Captain," General Hammond nodded in return. "What are they doing now?"
"The ship is still just outside earth orbit sir," Carter explained, moving back to the computer terminal and checking the readings. "They haven't moved since approaching the planet."
"Perhaps they're waiting for us to contact them?" O'Neill asked with a guess. "They sent the badge thing down so we could talk to them right?"
"Continue monitoring the ship Captain," General Hammond said with a frown. "If Teal'c and Cassandra's checks come up clear, then we'll contact them for further discussion."
"Yes sir," Carter said with a nod.
"Inform me of any changes," General Hammond said thoughtfully. "I'll contact The President and keep him informed of the situation here."
"I'll go check in with Teal'c," O'Neill said with a shrug. "He was up there a few hours; figure he can at least give a heads-up on their technology, manpower, that sort of stuff."
"Agreed Colonel," General Hammond nodded. "See what you can find out from them both. I'll expect a full report as soon as possible."
"Ok, let's see what the Trekkies have to say for themselves," O'Neill grinned as General Hammond walked up the stairs to his office, leaving him to head down to the medical area to talk to Teal'c.
"Clark?" Jonathan Kent looked up from the kitchen where he was sat with his wife, both drinking a hot drink each and talking about what they should tell Clark when he returned, a silvery light from the living room lit up the doorway easily enough to signify something strange was going on, leading Jonathan to step forwards in front of Martha to protect her.
"It's me dad," Clark called back moments before he stepped out of the living room door into the light. "I don't want you to freak ok, but… I brought some friends back." He said, stepping out of the room and letting Jenny and Giles through.
Martha's gasp as she saw Jenny was enough, stepping out from behind Jonathan to get a look at the feline looking woman. "Clark, are you…"
"I'm fine mom," Clark said with a nod. "This is Ms Calendar, and Mr Giles." He explained, gesturing to the two uniformed people that had come in from the living room with him.
"I… I'm sorry," Martha apologised for her reaction quickly. "It was just a shock, seeing…"
"I'm getting used to it." Jenny said, her ears drooping somewhat as she nodded in acceptance of the offered apology.
"Jonathan Kent," Jonathan said by way of introduction. "Are you the one I spoke on the phone with with Clark?" He asked, staring at the man that looked about his own age.
"That would have been Xander I believe," Giles explained. "A younger member of our crew you could say, around Clark's age."
"Your crew?" Martha asked curiously.
"Mom, they've got a space ship, a real, huge one in space." Clark said with a smile. "I was there; I could see the moon out their windows, close enough to touch it."
"Clark, are you sure…" Jonathan trailed off, looking at the vaguely familiar uniforms that the two people that had accompanied his son were wearing.
"It's quite alright," Giles said with a smile. "The idea of space ships and aliens, as it were, is quite new to us all as well." He said with a nod. "Rupert Giles." He explained, introducing himself and stepping forward, holding his hand out for Jonathan to shake. "I apologise for tonight's events, things were put into motion, like your son, that could have been avoided if we'd been more careful. For that, I can only apologise."
"Accepted," Jonathan said after a moment, weighing up what Mr Giles was saying. "We've talked a lot tonight ourselves," He said, shaking the offered hand before turning to Clark. "And yes, we should have told you son. We only did what we did to protect you."
"I know," Clark said with a nod. "I didn't mean to yell on the phone, I just wish you'd told me instead of letting someone else tell me the truth for once." He said patiently.
"Again, I can only apologise for tonight's events," Giles said, apologising again for causing the Kent's any problem. "If you'd like us to leave, I completely understand."
"Nonsense," Martha said with a smile. "Clark called you friends, which means to me you're welcome here," She said simply, leaving Jonathan to simply look between Clark and his two guests. "Would you care for something to drink?"
"Thank you Mrs Kent," Jenny smiled over, her tail flicking around and catching Giles' leg slightly, causing Jonathan to go wide eyed as he noticed it.
"There's others as well," Clark explained. "Teal'c, Cassandra, they're aliens, like me." He said with a small smile. "Ms Calendar and Mr Giles just came with me so you wouldn't think I was crazy."
"Clark, we'd never…" Martha trailed off as she noticed the furry paws Ms Calendar had instead of hands. "Is… is tea alright? We have coffee, or milk, if you drink milk that is, or would it be bad for you like it is for a cat?" She asked in a fluster, trying to think what would be suitable for the cat-woman in their kitchen to drink.
"Water's fine, thank you," Jenny said with a smile, mentally reminding herself to check the computers when they were back on board, to see what the species Ethan's spell had turned her into could and couldn't eat. So far because she felt human, she had just assumed that everything else was normal, something that Martha's comments had just dashed as she reminded her that there were some foods and drinks that humans could consume happily, that cats couldn't.
"Tea, thank you." Giles said with a smile.
"I'm sorry," Jonathan apologised randomly, shaking his head and tearing his view away from Ms Calendar's tail. "With our only experience being Clark, I hadn't thought any other races would have looked any different to him." Jonathan explained. "Are you…" He trailed off, looking at Mr Giles.
"Human, quite," Giles nodded with a small smile. "Thank you." He smiled back at Martha as she finished pouring water from the kettle into a cup and left it on the table for him to add milk and sugar himself.
"Teal'c and Cassandra looked like me though," Clark explained. "Human really, but Teal'c was from a planet called Chulak somewhere."
"This is all quite a lot to take in son," Jonathan said, sitting down at the kitchen table and staring at his son. "You have a spaceship?" He asked, looking at Ms Calendar.
"The Aventine," Jenny nodded. "We used the transporters to come down; we're more comfortable using those than shuttlecraft for the moment." She explained, not wanting to get into details that none of them actually knew how to use the shuttle craft currently anyway.
"You should have seen it dad," Clark said excitedly. "I saw the moon, the Earth from miles away, it was like a pebble out there."
"Do you people do this a lot?" Jonathan asked, turning to Mr Giles. "Taking people from their homes aboard your space craft?"
"I assure you that is not the case Mr Kent," Giles defended himself. "The actions that brought your son on board were an accident; we meant no harm to come to him."
"They're telling the truth dad," Clark said, defending Mr Giles as well. "Teal'c and Cassandra were on board by accident as well, then went home just before I came back." He explained, omitting the details about the military for now. "Xander said he could use the ships computer to work out where I'm from."
"Son, I don't think…" Jonathan began but was cut off by Giles.
"I think offers like that are something to be discussed later on, for now we're simply here to return your son, and apologise for the inconvenience caused tonight." Giles explained. "I'm aware that you must have a lot to discuss with your son, as we have matters of our own to discuss tonight." He said, turning to Jenny.
"We should go," Jenny said, standing up from the table. "Thank you though." She smiled at the Kent's obvious hospitality.
"Wait," Jonathan said, taking a breath and looking at them both. "Was this Xander, did he mean it when he said he could help Clark?"
"I wasn't there when this offer to Clark was made," Giles nodded thoughtfully. "Though it's likely our ships medical facilities could help inform Clark about his origins and species, if he wishes of course."
"Dad," Clark said pleadingly.
"We'll talk about it," Jonathan said with a nod. "Do you have some way for Clark to communicate with you, if we decide to?" He said, shooting a look at Clark so silence any objections.
"Of course," Giles nodded, bringing one of the spare communicator badges Xander had replicated out of his pocket and placing it on the table, thinking it safer to put it on a neutral surface than hand it to either Clark or Jonathan directly. "I believe that will work to communicate with our ship as long as we are in orbit, perhaps further." He explained.
"I'll be in touch," Clark said adamantly, ignoring the look Jonathan sent him.
"It was nice meeting you," Jenny smiled over, turning to Martha who had been the most neutral so far. "Thank you for being understanding about this." She smiled, offering her paw for the woman to take.
"It was my pleasure," Martha smiled, hesitantly taking the offered paw and shaking it like a hand. "Please, feel free to come back any time. I'm sure Clark would love to talk to you some more once he's had a chance to talk about things."
"I'm sure that's the case," Jenny smiled at her before tapping her comm badge. "Jenny to Aventine, two to beam up." She said with a smile before her and Giles vanished in a twinkling of silver lights.