Thanks to The Unicorn, Destiny's Dragon, Gaul1, G. Zan, DevilsTears, Mixer, Shawn Pickett and rankonun alpha. I greatly appreciate the feedback.
The Unicorn: All good nitpicks, thanks for the constructive criticism.
DevilsTears: Actually, France originally colonized Canada, but lost a battle over the land to Britain. The British, now with several thousand French colonists on their new land, allowed them to act as a separate state on the land while the British colonized the rest. That's is why Canada has one French speaking province, the French colonists formed Quebec. Sorry to shoot you down, but I live in Ontario so I know the history pretty well lol.
G. Zan: I know a lot of people like to see Jack/Buffy but I just think that Jack is too old for her, plus he has too many deep feelings for Sam IMO.
Anyways, that's all I have to say so on with the story.
The group moved down into the ruins of the town. Most of the buildings in the town were still in fairly good condition, but had clearly been abandoned for some time. Throughout the town were ancient weapons. Spears, katana and staffs sat on racks outside the buildings.
"We think the Goa'uld drove these people out." The scientist stated, pointing to several black marks on the wall of a building. "You can see damage and burn marks from staff blasts around the city."
"You sure the burn marks aren't from that thing lying in the town square?" Xander asked.
"Ah, no." the scientist replied. "There are a couple of buildings near the square that are clearly the work of that thing." As he finished, the massive skeleton of the beast came into view. Buffy immediately decided Xander was right, this was the skeleton of a dragon. But unlike the one she had seen when Glory had tried to tear down the dimensional walls, this one was big, as in BIG big. Not only that, but Buffy decided that it was evil, right down to it's core. Maybe other dragons were just big predators like a T-Rex but this thing was pure evil. It was a huge beast, clearly able to fit a couple of people into its mouth in a single bite. The shiny black bones that spread the length of a subway train glinted in the moonlight, making it easier for Buffy to identify the wicked claws that could have torn apart a tank with ease and the wickedly curved teeth that reminded Buffy of Death's scythe. The bones of the wings spanned the entire square and seemed suspended above the ground, despite the lack of muscle holding them up. Even in death, it seemed to be grinning wickedly, and Buffy saw the buildings that the dragon had destroyed. It was easy to identify the work of the dragon, as nearly nothing but some small sections of wall remained, and they bore long gashes in the stone from the claws.
"Okay, I never want to meet a live one of these." Shannon said, shuddering.
"With you one hundred percent on that one." Faith said. "If the First had a body, this would be it for sure."
"I'm beginning to understand why the Jaffa didn't follow the path." Xander said. "This thing has been dead for a long time and it's still freaking me out."
"Look at this!" Vi said, standing in front of the skull of the beast. The group walked to her and saw the large stone tablet she was standing in front of. On it was a huge amount of writing in what looked like a dialect of Japanese.
The scientist, who had fetched the rest of his group, arrived. "Ah yes, the tablet." He said. "It's clearly Japanese, but none of us can read it."
"I bet Daniel can though." Buffy said. "Let's get back to the 'gate. We can send you guys home and tell the SGC what's here."
"I like that plan." Another member of the survey team said emphatically. "Dr. Coombs." He said, nodding to Buffy. "Thanks for saving our collective asses."
"We're not out of the woods yet." Shannon pointed out. "There are still a few Jaffa out there."
"That's true." Buffy said. "But judging by the last group we fought, I think we can handle it. Just stick together, and stay alert."
"Let's make this our best run yet." Xander quoted. Everyone looked at him and his face fell. "Are you telling me no one here has seen that movie?" Everyone continued to stare. "I'll just shut up now." Xander said, hanging his head.
"It's okay Xander, I'm sure it was funny to you." Faith said with a laugh.
The group headed back out of the town, and just before they reached the cave SG-Slay's radios crackled to life. "SG-Slay, this is General Hammond. Ms. Summers, are you there? Please respond."
Buffy picked hers up. "Buffy here. What's up General?"
"I've been waiting to hear from you." Hammond replied. "Is everything alright?"
"Yeah we're all fine sir. We found the survey team hiding in some ruins, and we're on our way back to the 'gate now." Buffy reported. "Though there are a still a couple of active Jaffa in the area."
"Negative, I dispatched SG-3 a couple of minutes before I contacted you. It's seems the remaining Jaffa had found their comrades and were about to dial out for reinforcements. They've been taken care of and SG-3 reports all clear. I admit I was concerned when we tried to contact you half an hour ago and got no reply. Why were you out of contact?"
"We must have been in the cave at the time sir." Buffy replied. "By the way, I suggest you send Doctor Jackson out to meet us here, there's something you should see in the ruins."
"What would that be?"
"Well, there's a large tablet written in what looks like Japanese. But it's not so much the tablet as what's the tablet's in front of." Buffy explained.
"And that would be?" Hammond asked.
"The skeleton of a very, very big dragon." Buffy replied. "A very big dragon with shiny black bones."
There was a long pause. "Doctor Jackson and Teal'c will meet you at the 'gate. I'm also sending you a new member of our staff, a Miss Tonks."
"You might as well send Willow and Giles too." Buffy said. "Whatever's here, it's important."
"Understood." Hammond replied. "They'll be on your side within an hour. Hammond out."
"Okay you heard the man." Buffy said. "Let's get back to the 'gate."
Daniel poked his head into Giles office, where Willow, Tonks and Giles were immersed in research. "Doctor Jackson." Giles greeted. "What can I do for you?"
"You can come with me." Daniel replied. "Buffy requested we join her on P4X-792."
"When you say we, you mean you and Giles right?" Willow asked nervously.
"No, I mean all of you." Daniel said with an apologetic smile. "Relax, the Stargate is a piece of cake. It's actually kind of fun."
"Do you have any idea what the Stargate does to you?" Willow asked in horror. "It just isn't right, it disobeys the laws of physics."
"Don't you disobey some laws of physics with magic?" Daniel countered.
"Yeah but not so blatantly!" Willow exclaimed.
"Yes well, regardless of how blatantly it disobeys the laws of physics, Buffy asked her to join us on the planet, and it sounded pretty important." Daniel said. "So come with me and we can grab you some BDUs."
"What is the situation?" Tonks asked.
"Something about the ruins of a Japanese village and the skeleton of a huge dragon." Daniel said. "That's all I know, we'll find out more when we get there."
The three researchers exchanged worried looks before following Daniel out of the room and down the halls of the SGC.
The Stargate shut off and Giles, Willow, Tonks, Daniel and Teal'c looked around. Waiting for them at the bottom of the steps were SG-Slay and a very relieved looking survey team, who were clearly eager to depart.
"I don't understand, why was Willow so worried about traveling through the Stargate?" Tonks asked Teal'c.
"The Stargate rips you apart at a molecular level, then reassembles you on the other side." Teal'c stated stoically. "When one stops to consider the science behind it, it can seem... unsettling."
"Especially if you happened to get stuck in the 'gate, eh Teal'c?" Daniel said with a wry smile.
Buffy bounded up and gave Willow a hug. "Hey Wills, how was the trip?"
"I think I left my stomach back on Earth." A very pale Willow replied, giving herself a quick once-over.
"Everything where it should be?" Buffy asked with an amused smile.
"I think so, it's just that something feels different." Willow said. "I can't put my finger on it, but I feel like I've lost something." She snapped her fingers. "There's no magic here! Not a trace of it."
"So you can't do any magic?" Faith asked.
"Nothing where I would need to draw magic from my surroundings." Willow confirmed. "What about you Tonks?"
Tonks pointed her wand at a rock and said, "Wingardium Leviosa!" The rock lifted off the ground and hovered comfortably a few feet up. She shrugged. "Since I draw power from only myself, I don't think it will affect me."
"Since when is there more than one kind of magic?" Xander asked. In reply Tonks gave him a shy smile.
"We should get moving." Vi suggested. "It's going to be completely dark soon."
"Actually you won't have to worry about that." Dr. Coombs said as he passed by on his way to the 'gate. "There's a second sun, it will rise in about 15 minutes."
"A second sun?" Xander echoed.
"Yep." Coombs confirmed. "This is a binary system, one of only a few with an active Stargate. Usually the gravitational forces of the two stars cause interference which can not only wreak havoc with wormholes, but can also, can also..." Coombs trailed off, staring at the completely blank expression on Xander's face. "Yes. Two suns." He confirmed.
"That's all I needed." Xander said.
Daniel nudged Teal'c. "Remind you of anyone?"
"The similarity to Colonel O'Neill is unquestiinable." Teal'c replied.
"Okay everyone, let's head for the ruins." Daniel ordered. "Buffy would you lead the way?"
Buffy nodded and headed down the path with the rest of the group in tow.
Daniel stared in awe at the skeleton of the dragon. In the light it was even more impressive, in fact it seemed flawless, like it was carved from a solid piece of obsidian. There wasn't a single crack or dent in the bones, something that seemed unbelievable considering their age. "This has to be one of the more disturbing things I've ever seen." He commented.
"It certainly reeks of evil." Giles commented.
"It was." Willow confirmed. "This is the only place so far where I've felt any magic at all on the planet. It's still giving off power, but not all of it is coming from the dragon."
"What do you mean?" Giles asked.
"Well I can still feel the undercurrent of evil, but it's like something has pushed it aside. Some other force is inhabiting this skeleton, one that isn't necessarily evil."
"Maybe there's something on the tablet." Buffy suggested.
Daniel walked over to her and stared at the tablet. "It's an early form of Kanji that is a little similar to a pictographic language."
"Can you read it?" Xander asked.
Daniel leaned in closer. "It's a story." Daniel said. "Looks like the people who once lived here were brought in a ship by a Goa'uld around 500 A.D."
"I thought the Goa'uld stopped visiting Earth after the Stargate was buried." Willow said.
"No Ra stopped coming but other Goa'uld took portions of civilizations, we've seen it before." Daniel explained. "Anyways it seems this Goa'uld took some kind of horrible monster with him, I'm guessing this beast here, which the people refer to as the Black dragon. It seems Kagutsuchi, that would be the Goa'uld, was experimenting on it but lost control of the dragon. It escaped and for years terrorized the people here. All the Jaffa who came here to kill or capture it met horrible, and in many cases, fiery deaths."
"Well something got it." Faith interjected. "I'm guessing this thing didn't just die of old age."
"I wasn't finished." Daniel replied. "Anyways looks like three warriors arrived here several hundred years ago. They were, according to this, members of a ninja clan on Earth."
"How did they get here?" Buffy wondered.
"Maybe they stowed aboard a ship." Daniel said. "Or found some magical method of getting here or something. Anyway they claimed they had come to hunt the last of Black dragon. They believed that killing the last of the beasts would nullify their power, and free the clan from their terrible burden of hiding the, let me see here. Dark Dragon something?"
"The Dark Dragon Blade!" Tonks exclaimed. "These ninjas must have been some of the original members of the clan."
"Pity their plan didn't work." Giles commented.
"It says here that of the three, only one had a weapon. The leader, who's only referred to as, 'the great warrior' possessed only a single straight edge katana. However when the dragon came close, he fought anyways. Though he fought bravely, he was no match for the dragon with only a small weapon, and though he was fast he tired faster than the beast."
"So how did he beat it?" Buffy asked.
"The dragon swallowed him whole. As a last act of defiance, he lashed out from inside the dragon, slashing its' throat before he was incinerated."
Xander grimaced. "Now that is a crappy way to go."
"The people saw a bright flash of light from inside the dragon after it hit the ground."
"Perhaps the warrior ascended." Teal'c stated.
"Maybe, but the other two ninjas claimed that since the sword had been used to destroy the last Black Dragon, it had become everything that the Black Dragon was not."
"Kind of like a Light Dragon Blade?" Willow asked.
"I guess. The two believed so strongly in this that they cast one final spell, one that required both of them to commit their entire being to complete it. Not sure what that means."
"It means that they had to kill themselves to finish it." Tonks clarified.
"Oh. Well the spell makes sure that no one without a pure soul will be able to touch the weapon, and even then you need the permission of the clan in the form of some kind of artifact, I can't quite make it out, the tablet has eroded away down there. But my guess is it's something that will fit into the top of this pedestal." Daniel said, pointing to a large, perfect indentation that sat atop the tablet. "Kagutsuchi must have tried for years to get that weapon, which would explain why this town is covered in staff blasts. He must have thought the people were the key."
"If we can get this sword it could give us a huge advantage." Giles said. "Even if Anubis were to attain the Dark Dragon Blade, we would have something to counter it with."
"If it exists." Teal'c stated. "A bright flash of light immediately after the death of a human is evidence that they have ascended."
"Yeah but I don't think that the two others would be willing to kill themselves unless they were sure." Buffy pointed out. "I wonder if they've done that to protect the other sword as well."
"I don't think so." Willow said. "Dark magic's are insidious, they can twist even the best of intentions. A spell like that could go horribly wrong if it was interacting with something that was pure evil."
"Well regardless we need to find this ninja clan." Daniel said. "Let me take some pictures then we'll head back to the Stargate."
Jack sat down at his desk in the room he had been given and let loose a long sigh. Muggle studies had been a disaster room of rapid-fire questions, only half of which even made sense. After that he had been badgered throughout the halls of the school by hordes of kids who wanted to know what other planets were like and how he lived without magic. To make matters worse, the Slytherin kids seemed determined to give his whole contingent the hardest time possible. Jack had been tempted to zat a few of them more than once throughout the day.
A knock at his door caught him by surprise. "Yeah?" he called.
The door opened and a pale man with greasy black hair walked in. He was thin and seemed to have a serious case of permasneer. "Colonel O'Neill." The man greeted. "My name is Severus Snape, I am the Potions teacher and the head of Slytherin."
"Right, hi." Jack greeted. "What's up?"
"My students have informed me that they refuse to be coached in this muggle sport, hockey, I believe, by a muggle." Snape said.
Jack sighed. "Great, just great."
"However," Snape continued, "many have expressed interest in the opportunity to 'compete' with their fellow students, especially those in Gryffindor." Snape said, finishing with a sinister smile. "That is why I have decided that I will perform coaching duties myself."
"Oookay." Jack said. "Do you know anything about hockey?"
"I will be prepared for the beginning of the season, I assure you." Snape said coolly.
"Okay well you are the head of the house, it's your decision." Jack said with a shrug.
"Very well then. Good day." Snape said, turning to leave. He closed the door behind him and Jack went back to leaning on his desk, then decided he still needed to burn some energy and got up.
As he was reaching for the door however, it swung open and standing in front of him was Colonel Morrison. "Sir." He said. "There are some figures moving around the edge of the forest, thought you might want to take a look."
Jack just stared. "Are you going to come and get me every time you see something moving at the edge of the forest?"
"No sir." Morrison replied. "Though I thought you'd be interested this time because we have identified at least two Jaffa among then."
End chap 19
Are the Jaffa getting ready to storm Hogwarts? Find out soon! In the meantime, thanks for reading and don't forget to leave a review!