All Creatures Great and Small
Sunburst opened the door and was not particularly surprised when she saw the old Scooby gang plus a few guests standing outside looking uncomfortable. 'Come in, the ship doesn't leave for another few hours anyway.'
Buffy barged in and despite being a good foot smaller than Sunburst without armour, tried to intimidate the Power-master. 'What the hell do you think you are doing!'
'Its called fighting a war. I am the high commander of the Micromasters you know that. The last thing I can ever ask them to do is fight without me leading them.'
'…to their, and now your, deaths!'
'If need be, yes Buffy. Its my job yours is to fight vampires, mine is to fight Decepticons.'
'Sunburst,' Giles hovered between polishing his glasses and putting them back on. 'a General's job is to command the battle not to lead it. You can command your army from here if need be.'
'Yes see. No need to leave the planet and get killed. You can stay here and be the hero.' Buffy agreed a bit too fast.
' "Be a hero." Yes Buffy. That's exactly what I want to be. A hero face down in a pool of my own mec-fluid. You don't understand, you can't.' Sunburst walked over to her desk, several books lay open. Picking up one she tossed it to Buffy, then another to Giles and another to Xander. 'In World War One generals sat twenty miles from the trenches, casualties were numbers on a piece of paper. They called it a good day when they had less dead that the other side and poured in more men. How can I ask people to fight for their own world, give up their lives when I am not willing to take a stand. I could sit here and give orders and watch the figures increase knowing that each number was a life. In the end that's all they'll be to me. Numbers on paper.'
With tears in her eyes Sunburst stared at Buffy, trying to make her feel every word. 'I know at heart you don't believe me but listen. Every one if them is as human as you are in every way that matters. They grow, they can learn, love, hate, laugh and cry. They are born and they certainly can die. I didn't ask for this, I don't want it but I am the only person who can do it. And I will do it right.'
Wordlessly Buffy hugged her sister, when she had finished Giles offered his hand. 'I know your mother would be proud of you.'
She said her goodbye's and listened to their advice and gave some of her own. Mostly to stay in touch with each other and to always remember her.
As she left in the large shuttle, at the joint head of the invasion force, she risked a glance back wondering if she would see any of it again.
Almost twenty years later
'Receiving IDC. It's the Autobots.' The technical sergeant said
'Open the iris.' Major-General Sam Carter watched though the reinforced glass as two Micromasters stepped out of the Stargate. They were followed by a shorter one. Thinner, obviously female who's silver, purple and green paint work some how failed to clash with the blue of the wormhole event horizon.
Sam headed down to the gate room, she half laughed to herself. Over the years she had been able to understand Goa'uld, Asguard, Ancient and even Wraith technology. But she never understood even the simplest thing that the Cybertronians used. Sam's current hobby (one she'd had for he last twenty or so years) was a standard Decepticon blaster. At the moment she knew a little about the power source and the trigger mechanism but she had no idea how to replicate either of them let alone the idea that it ran off the elemental form of energy itself. She shook herself out of her thoughts.
'Sunburst. Welcome back.'
'Thanks General its been a while.'
'Mind if we go to the briefing room?'
'Not at all,' the young Autobot gestured to her bodyguards. 'These are my lieutenants, Bluetooth and Reddusk.' Bluetooth was thin and a sky blue in colour that blurred into silver at the edges, an oversized shield was attached to his left shoulder while a three pronged pike was attached to his right arm. At a guess it could also project some form of destructive energy. Reddusk was more of a dark scarlet than bright red. Very thickly armoured and as well as his heavy fists he had some form of cannon on his left shoulder and a relay dish on his right.
On their way to the briefing room Sam noticed something else, Sunburst had a short pony tail of brown/black hair coming from underneath her helmet, a throw back to her short lived, human, past.
Once they got there Sam got started 'What brings you to Earth?'
'Lets see.' She sat down on the far chair. 'The Decepticons surrendered last week, we just finished the party you know. So my job now is to see how well things are going on Earth and how things are going with your trans-stellar war. Oh and to say hello to the guys.'
'Nothing important then?' Sam joked back, her husband's sense of humour was infectious.
'I'm thinking of getting a manicure, but other than that just lots of shoes.'
About a day later Sunburst smiled to herself. The meeting with Pickmix, the Autobot's reconstruction team leader and representative to the Earths governments, went well (aside from some hero worship on his part that worried her). Shortly after the news broke with Earths media she had dodged some interviews. Now she was in Cleveland, in a nicely normal car. With a subtle mental command she activated her hologram pack. Something Wheeljack built for spying, a holo-pack could take the form of anything of equal mass and plaster it over the wearer. Prefect for what she planned.
Stepping out of the car she, and her two bodyguards looked perfectly human. She was an older version of her old self while the other two holograms were created from scratch. She knocked on the door and it was opened by a cute little girl with such dark brown hair that only her high cheek bones and long face showed any difference from Dawn at that age. 'Hello?' the child asked.
'Oh I'm sorry does Buffy live here?' Sunburst asked with a smile
'Yes. She's my mum.'
Bluetooth snorted with suppressed laughter and Sunburst scratched the bridge of her nose and barely stopped chuckling herself. A short man with mid length bleached white hair came to the door. 'What do you want?' he asked, tone verging on a demand.
Sunburst smiled, keeping her hand in place she knew he hadn't recognised her. 'I was asking this sweet little girl whether or not Buffy was here.' Then she moved her hand and stared him full in the face.
'She is. What do…' Spike trailed off, 'Little Bit?'
'How did you guess?' She laughed only to have the vampire try and crush her in a bear hug. Before shouting,
'Love get down here! We've got a guest!'
Sunburst entered while her guards followed. Buffy came down the stairs, the years had been kind. Aside from a bit of extra weight she hadn't changed and that much awaited growth spurt that had spectacularly failed to show any results.
The woman looked confused for a moment before looking at Spike who was grinning like a Chester cat. Sunburst smiled and with a mental command deactivated the hologram. 'Long time no see Sis'.'
Buffy jumped the hand full of steps and hugged her as fiercely as Spike had a few moments before. 'When did you get here!' Buffy squealed.
'Yesterday. Been busy though.'
'Come on, I'll phone the others.' Buffy looked down to see her daughter who was tugging on her leg for attention.
'Is she an Autobot?'
'Her name's Sunburst, Tara. Say hello.' Sunburst smiled and opened her face plates.
'I've already done that Mummy. Are you my ant?' Yet again Bluetooth laughed.
Sunburst got to her knees 'In a way. And I think its "Aunt"'
'Can you tell me a story?' Sunburst smiled, and looked at Buffy.
'You call the gang and I'll tell little Tara a good story.' She turned to the small girl. 'What type of story do you want?'
'A good one.' She replied dragging Sunburst into the living room. By now Reddusk and Bluetooth had deactivated their own holograms.
Sunburst sat down and watched as her niece sat cross-legged in front of her and started her story.
It was a lot more difficult than Sunburst first guessed, most of her experience came from having the wrong end of an X-ray laser cannon pointed at her however she had spent a long time reading earths history and one story came to mind. 'I'll tell you the story of The Battle of The White Mountain.
'A long time ago a man lived. His name was Sisker and he was blind so people called him Blind Sisker. Now at this time the Pope didn't like a lot of people. One of the people he didn't like was Blind Sisker. So…
Buffy got off the phone with Xander and was about to phone Willow. Glancing into the living room she could see her sister laughing as she told Tara a story. Spike seemed to find it amusing too which was worrying, her husband had a weird sense of humour at the best of times. She had to ask Sunburst what the story was…
'Was the Pope a bad man?' little Tara asked
'At the time probably, White Mountain was one of the first times cannon was used on the battle field. The knights weren't ready for it.'
'I think it's a good story. It's real.'
'A lot of stories are real Tara.' Sunburst looked up as the front door opened, Xander came in with Anya in tow.
'Hi Dawnie!' Xander had a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and Anya half smiled.
With a nod Bluetooth left Sunburst to catch up with her old family. He was never one for crowds and he found himself in another room looking at the pictures on the wall. Most were simple images, many of the group that was gathering in the other room. Then he came a cross one on its own, a sunny faced young human with dark hair. It took him a moment to realise that this was his commander in a earlier time.
'That's the 'ittle bit, a few years before the war.' Bluetooth span around. The short human who let them into the house was watching him.
'I'm sorry. I just don't feel comfortable in there.'
'Not a problem. I want to talk with one of you two any way.'
He seamed to breath out quickly from his nose in amusement. 'I know Summers women. They can be shot, stabbed, blown up and crushed on the same day and still insist they're fine. I'm Spike.'
'Bluetooth, it is an honour to meet you.'
He sat down at the small table and offered Bluetooth a seat. 'So your what, her bodyguard?'
'Myself and Reddusk.'
'Who gave you that job?'
'We volunteered, shortly after her surprise attack on the Decepticon command bunker.'
'Yes. In the first battle to recapture Cybertron we landed and were met with heavy fire from the Decepticons. Prime ordered a retreat. She shouted for volunteers and charged down the guns. It gave us the victory we needed, she said she got the idea from something called "The Charge of the Light Brigade".'
'The light brigade got massacred.'
'She mentioned that afterwards, only the three of us survived. At first we wondered what the point was then she turned the bunkers defences against the Decepticons and then tried something she called "blitzkrieg tactics". She had all the Autobots that could charge through that one point and back track, forcing the Decepticons to fight both in front and behind. It was brilliant, but dangerous. She never tried it again. When Prime suggested it she refused. We lost a lot of good Autobots in that charge, including my brother.'
'I'm sorry, and surprised you don't blame her.'
'When we were in the bunker she took a photon blast for me. I can't blame her for the casualties caused by the Decepticons. According to Telatran 1 the charge saved lives compared to a retreat.'
'I take it that you have a lot of respect for her.'
'We all do before the end even the Decepticons respected her battle skills. It was strange, every tactic and surprise manoeuvre she came up with seemed to have a story behind it. That one she told your child, White Mountain, she used it before. One time a commando team of Decepticons were destroying supply and medical centres behind our lines. She organised a convoy but disguised the heavy cannons it was comprised of as supply trucks. When the Decepticons attacked she had the artillery fire on mass. Not one survived.' Bluetooth said with little enthusiasm. 'Your world is a violent place, your people don't just fight wars you live them. We have been fighting for millennia and yet your people are more violent and more deadly.'
'That's the nature of man I'm afraid, we have so many differences and so many fears that we fight more and more. One day we might all live in a magical wonderland where everyone gets along but you'll excuse me if I don't think I'll live to see it.' Spike said
'But you are vampire, you cannot die of old age.'
'That's what I mean.'
Final Authors note
This could go on for ever (it feels like it already has) I know it's been a long time in coming but there it was. This story is now over, if any story can truly end. Whatever adventures, surprises and events that lie in the future your going to have to imagine them. Please review and tell me what you think.
Update:- 18th August 2005
The prequle to this story can be found in the Stargate SG-1 fan fic section. "The Awakening"
AKA Thomas Fishwick
April to December 2004