Author: Jedi Buttercup
Summary: Sufficiently advanced technology makes an appearance at the Magic Box. 750 words.
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Spoilers: Buffy Season 6; Stargate SG-1 Season 8.
Feedback: It's the coin of the realm.
Notes: This story is for the twistedshorts LJ challenge #7, "Theiving Thieves". I know the timelines don't match up with airdates, but cut me a little slack, here. )
The theft-prevention system in the Magic Box did not utilize anything as ordinary as a security camera. One of the first things Rupert Giles had done upon purchasing the business was to lay down a network of simple wards, intended to sound an alarm in the presence of a customer with malicious intent. It worked, most of the time. At least, when the malicious customer was not able to detect and thwart the wards beforehand.
Willow, trying to keep herself busy the summer after Buffy's death, had twiddled with the wards until they produced a complex visual alarm rather than an audible one. After all, there was no sense prematurely warning the bad guys they knew what they were up to.
Anya had appreciated the new security wards once the Magic Box fell under her full control, and had even suggested a few more modifications herself to better enable her to categorize intended perpetrators. Thus it was that when one day a red arrow began blinking in her peripheral vision and she turned to behold a human male fairly bristling with a pulsing red aura, she did not panic; instead, she reached for the baseball bat stowed under the counter and raised it to the ready position, glaring fiercely at the prospective thief and the decorative Egyptian funerary urn clutched in his hand.
He flinched, then narrowed his eyes at her and darted a quick hand under his jacket. A gun? That was abnormal for Sunnydale, but Anya was prepared anyway; she dropped to the floor, reaching for the cell phone she kept secreted at knee height for just such emergencies. Surprisingly, however, the shop did not fill with bullets; instead, a sudden white light lit up the room, brighter than the sunshine outside, and faded a moment later.
Anya waited a few minutes, still clutching the baseball bat in one hand and the phone in the other, waiting for something more to happen. There had been no footsteps, no sound of the bell over the door-- surely the thief hadn't just disappeared with her merchandise? How was a shopkeeper supposed to make a profit if people could just vanish with whatever they wanted without reimbursing her for its cost (plus mark-up, of course)?
As soon as she was absolutely certain it was safe, she climbed up off her knees, grumbling all the way, and dialed the police department. They were hopeless at investigating anything to do with the supernatural, but a carefully worded theft report was another story altogether. She had a good memory for faces, and she would be damned (if she wasn't already, just for being an ex-demon) if she would just let that man get away with taking something that belonged to her.
At least it had been a harmless piece of decoration and not a ritual object. After having sold exactly the wrong things to Glory the year before, Anya had become rather sensitive about what left her shop and in whose hands.
Daniel blinked, frowning at the document that was thrust into his hands. "Um, Jack? This is a police report... from a magic shop in California."
"I know what it is, Daniel," the graying General said, casually propping a hip against his friend's desk. "Flip the page. Read the fine print."
Daniel raised his eyebrows, glancing up over his glasses at Jack in mild irritation, then glanced back down and did as Jack asked.
What he saw there made his stomach sink as though filled with lead weights. A stolen canopic jar by itself might not have been cause for alarm-- only a tiny fraction of those extant in the world were of the right composition and time period to raise the question of Goa'uld origin-- but combined with a thief who inexplicably "filled the shop with bright white light, possibly with the intent to blind pursuers" before silently leaving the premises...
"The Trust," he said groaning. "Do we have any pictures of the jar? It might be nice to have some idea of which Goa'uld they're about to unleash on us." No matter what the rogue NID group's intentions were, it would get loose, and then they'd have another Setesh or Hathor on their hands. Not something Daniel was looking forward to.
"Nope," Jack said cheerfully. "I've cleared SG-1's schedule for the next week..."
Daniel groaned again. "How did I know that was coming?"
"Go. Investigate. Have fun."
"You're just glad you're not going," Daniel accused.
Jack smirked. "Rank hath its privileges."