"text" - speech
'text' - telepathy
Of Vampires, Slayers, and Jedi Knights
"-and then I took off, and headed straight here. I figured you'd want to know whats the what," Buffy said, flopping down on Giles' couch. Her Watcher removed his glasses and cleaned them absentmindedly.
"Ah, yes, this is certainly of interest to me. However, your description of the demons captured leaves something to be desired," he said wryly. Buffy shrugged.
"Hey, I just kill 'em," she said. "You're the expert."
"Based on your description of the, er, the tablet and the amulet you saw I may be able to discover what the demons were, and perhaps see if the Initiative was after the demons, or the artifacts you saw them remove from the crypt," Giles said, walking over to one of his many bookshelves. "I'll begin on it right away. I'll call you tomorrow and let you know what I find. Until then, why don't you go home and get some sleep," he said, not unkindly.
"Alright," Buffy stood up and grabbed her bag. "I'll bring Willow and Xander by tomorrow, they're better at the whole research thing than I am."
Suddenly, a bright light flashed outside Giles' apartment in the courtyard.
"What on earth..." Giles wondered outloud. Buffy dropped her bag, but not before grabbing a knife out of it.
"I'll go check it out," she said, making her way to the door. Opening it, she stopped short. "Uh, Giles?" she said, her voice containing a hint of confusion. "I...really have no idea what I'm seeing here."
Giles frowned and dropped the book on his desk before making his way over to where Buffy stood. Peering out from behind her, Giles saw exactly what had her so confused.
"Have you ever seen anything like that?" his Slayer asked.
"Uh...no, I can't say that I have," the Watcher admitted.
Laying on the ground in the courtyard was a large, hairy, humanoid creature that was easily over six feet tall.
"Should I kill it?" Buffy asked.
"Buffy, I really think it might be a better idea to see what its intentions are. Kill first, ask questions first is not always the proper philosophy."
Buffy nodded once. "Okay. Sure. But I'm pretty sure that thing could rip both of our arms off without even trying."
The creature groaned, then let out a noise that wasn't quite a roar but Buffy wasn't sure what else to call it. It stood up, and a small voice sounded from – was that his belt talking? Buffy wondered.
"No, Master Lowbacca, I do not know what that light was," it said. The large creature "raarred" again, and the voice responded once more. "How should I know where we are? This is utterly unfamiliar to me. Oh dear, I hope we aren't too terribly lost, that would be quite horrid indeed!" it exclaimed.
"Uh...excuse me?" Buffy said. The creature jumped and turned to face her, seemingly surprised by her presence. After he turned around, Buffy could see that it wasn't the creature's belt talking, but rather a small robot attached to it. "Hi there," Buffy said. "Uh, if you don't mind my asking, who – or what – are you?"
The creature made a wuffing noise, and the robot spoke up again. "Ah, greetings! I am Em Teedee and this is Master Lowbacca. We hate to intrude, but we seem to have gotten terribly lost and separated from our companions."
Giles and Buffy stared blankly at the two for a few moments. Giles was the first to really recover. "Well, so far it doesn't seem to be overly hostile," Giles pointed out to Buffy. Raising his voice, he stepped away from the door pulling Buffy with him. "Would you like to come in for a bit?" Giles asked politely. The creature made a noise that Buffy could only interpret as a sound of agreement. The robot chimed in again.
"Oh yes, that would be wonderful! I thank you on behalf of Master Lowbacca and myself," Em Teedee said as they entered.
"So, what are you?" Buffy asked after she closed the door.
The creature made some more noise, but Buffy obviously had no idea what he was saying. Luckily, it seemed as though the little robot was his translator or something.
"Master Lowbacca is a wookie, and I am Em Teedee. I specialize in human-wookie relations you see, and I serve as Master Lowbacca's translator." Giles was sure that he detected a hint of satisfaction and pride in the little droid's voice. "We were on Yavin 4 with Masters Zekk and Jacen and Mistresses Jaina and Tenel Ka. Have you seen any of them around here?"
Giles started. "I'm sorry, Yavin 4? I don't believe I've heard of any such place..." he said, taking a handkerchief out of his pocket and cleaning his glasses once again. "That bright light though, it's possible you come from another dimension," muttering to himself, Giles placed his glasses back on his face and went back to his bookshelf and selected several volumes.
Buffy turned to the wookie. "Hi, I'm Buffy Summers," she said extending her hand. Lowbacca took it and shook it with surprising delicacy. "That over there is Giles. Well, Rupert Giles, but everyone just calls him Giles."
Lowbacca whuffed in understanding before Em Teedee piped up again. "Master Lowbacca is pleased to make your acquaintance Miss Summers, as well as yours Mr. Giles." Buffy laughed.
"Buffy is fine, Miss Summers sounds old," she said making a face. Lowbacca made several wuffing noises that sounded like laughter to Buffy.
Behind her, Giles returned to his desk and picked up the book he had originally been looking at before their guests' arrival. "It's possible that Lowbacca's arrival and his - Em Teedee, was it? - and what you saw the Initiative commandos remove from the crypt earlier are related," he mused. Buffy looked at her watcher.
"You think?" she said, pausing to think it over. "Okay, I'll buy it. After all, there are two things I don't believe in: leprechauns and coincidences." She sighed. "I'll call the rest of the gang then," she said, picking up Giles' phone. Before she could begin dialing however, Lowbacca said something else.
"Master Lowbacca wishes to inquire if you have seen any of his friends. He believes that they came through with him," Em Teedee said.
Buffy paused. "No, but that doesn't mean they're not here. I'll go out and look for them after we get an idea of what's going on."
A cemetery somewhere in Sunnydale
Jacen had no idea where he was. He had landed in a small clearing. Around him were trees and strange tablets sticking out of the earth, as well as statues of people with wings.
"What the kriffing-" he stood up, brushing dirt off his jumpsuit before looking around to get his bearings.
"Definitely not on Yavin 4 anymore," he mused to himself grimly. Relaxing, he closed stretched out with his Force abilities to see if he could locate his sister or one of his friends anywhere.
Tenel Ka was near by. Jacen focused on her location. Snapping his eyes open, Jacen began to move to the east to find the girl he was in -like? love?- with. The red-haired warrior girl could take care of herself, true, but...Jacen just had a bad feeling about all this. The bright light, this unfamiliar world...Jacen decided that he'd feel better when he had found his friends and his twin again.
At least, he hoped so.
Moving quickly through the strange area, Jacen honed in on Tenel Ka. When he heard the sounds of fighting, he broke into a run. Coming around a stone structure – what was that anyway? It was like a small stone room outside – he saw the Dathomirian girl fighting a man. His face was wrinkled and strange, and his eyes glowed yellow. Jacen had arrived just in time to see Tenel Ka plant a particularly well-aimed kick right on his solar plexus. The man staggered back, slamming into a tree. Jacen ran to her side.
"Hey Tenel Ka," he said in greeting. "Need help?" Tenel Ka shook her head.
"Friend Jacen. There is something strange going on. The Force is telling me he is not alive, but...how can that be?" she questioned. The man was coming back for another round, and Tenel Ka kicked him in the leg and punched him quickly. Jacen frowned at her words. He reached out with the Force as well, feeling the man in front of them.
Tenel Ka was right. Something was wrong here. Jacen unhooked his lightsaber and ignited it quickly. "Let's finish this," he said grimly. Tenel Ka gave him a quick nod and took her lightsaber out as well. The man stared at them.
"What the hell?" he asked. "Man, I was just looking for a quick snack, and I thought Little Miss One-arm there was an easy target, but now you have weapons out of a science fiction movie or something." He stepped away. "I'm outta here!" the wrinkle-faced man exclaimed, and with supernatural speed, he took off.
Jacen and Tenel Ka allowed him to leave and after he had vanished into the night turned off their lightsabers.
"Jacen," Tenel Ka said seriously, turning to face her friend. "I am glad we have found each other. I am unsure what is going on, but I do not have a good feeling." Jacen laughed humourlessly.
"Me too, Tenel Ka. Me too." He reclipped his lightsaber on his belt. "You're not injured, are you?" he asked, his eyes scanning her for injuries. In the dark it was hard to tell if she was hurt though, he thought to himself.
"Only a minor wound," the braided girl responded unconcerned. "He bit my neck."
"He what?!" Jacen exclaimed. "Let me see it," he commanded. Tenel Ka rolled her eyes.
"I am fine, Friend Jacen, it is only a scratch."
"Just let me look at it."
"Very well." She tilted her head to the right and exposed the left side of her neck. Jacen stepped forward, and placed his fingers on her shoulders. The moon surfaced from behind the clouds, bathing them in it's light. Jacen couldn't tell how deep the wound was with the blood covering it. He reached into his pocket and removed a small piece of cloth. He had stuck it in there earlier for some reason – he couldn't remember for the life of him now, but he was grateful for it nonetheless. Dabbing the blood away, Jacen could see that Tenel Ka had been truthful, it was only a surface wound.
"You were right. It's not too deep," he said softly. "We should clean it as soon as possible though." He turned his head slightly to make eye contact with her. It was then he realized exactly how close they were.
"Friend Jacen..." the princess murmured. Jacen swallowed nervously.
"Tenel Ka, I..." He slowly began to lean in, when suddenly-
Jacen startled, jumped away from Tenel Ka. The princess raised one eyebrow coolly. The moment had been lost. Jacen cursed his twin's bad timing. "It's Jaina," he told her.
'Jaina?!' he telepathically replied, making sure to send his annoyance through the Force bond he shared with his sister.
UC Sunnydale Campus
Zekk and Jaina had found each other fairly quickly in this strange, new world, and were currently wandering around what was – unknown to them – the college campus.
"Let's sit over there," Zekk said, pointing to a bench. Jaina shrugged.
"Might as well. Have you been able to sense the others at all?" she asked. Zekk shook his head.
"No, my connection with the Force isn't as automatic and strong here. I have to concentrate more to get in touch with it," he said. Jaina bit her lip as she sat down.
"Me too." They sat in silence for awhile. "Alright, you keep a lookout. I'm going to try to reach Jacen. Our Force bond was extremely strong before, hopefully I can find him here pretty easily," she decided.
Zekk nodded in agreement. Jaina closed her eyes, and reached out with the Force, searching for her twin. She could sense the cord that bound the two together, and grabbed onto it. Following it, Jaina found her brother through the Force. He wasn't far away, maybe about a mile or so, and it seemed as though Tenel Ka was with him.
'Jacen?' she asked telepathically.
She could sense his surprise and annoyance. 'Jaina?!'
'Yeah, it's me. I found Zekk,' she 'told' him.
'Oh good, I'm with Tenel Ka. Do you think Lowie came through too?'
'I didn't even think to look for him yet!' Jaina responded guiltily.
'Are you in a pretty safe place?'
'Yeah, I think so. Zekk is keeping watch.'
'Okay. Tenel Ka was being attacked when I found her – don't worry, we're both fine, she can take care of herself after all – but I don't want to stop and search for Lowie. My connection to the Force is...off here. I can still tap into it, but it requires more concentration than normal.'
'I understand,' Jaina replied. 'Zekk and I noticed the same thing. I'll see if I can sense Lowie anywhere, you two keep moving. I'll get back in touch with you soon.'
Opening her eyes, Jaina turned to Zekk. "Jacen said he noticed the same thing about his connection to the Force," she told her friend. "He found Tenel Ka. She was in a fight when he found her, so he doesn't think it would be a good idea for them to stop and try to sense Lowie," she said.
"Makes sense," Zekk mused. "I wonder if we're in an entirely different galaxy all together, and that's why our connections are messed up."
"It's possible. I'm going to search for Lowie, keep an eye out?"
Zekk smiled gently at her. "Of course."
Willow hung up the phone. "That was Buffy, I got to go to Giles' place. There's something new, possibly magical going on. There's a creature or something that Giles thinks is from another dimension, and Buffy thinks the Initiative had something to do with it." She looked at her girlfriend. "If it's magical, then we could use your help on this. You know more about magick than I do." Tara blushed.
"I – I don't wa-want to intrude or anything," she said softly. Willow reached out and grasped her hand, smiling.
"You aren't," she promised. Tara nodded shyly.
"I'd be ha-happy to come with you to your friends," she said. Willow's grin grew.
The two witches exited Tara's dorm and headed out towards Giles' place. On the path in front of them was a bench that held a strange looking couple - Willow could have sworn it looked like they were wearing flightsuits, but why would anyone wear a flightsuit? - when Tara froze, staring at them. Willow looked at them again.
The boy had long black hair pulled back into a low ponytail, and the girl was a brunette who looked like she was meditating. Willow was busy wondering why anyone would meditate at night, when Tara spoke up.
"Didn't B-Buffy say something about a creature fr-from another dimension?"
"Yeah, why?" the redhead asked. Tara pointed.
"They're not from here," she said. The black-haired boy caught sight of them then, and eyed them suspiciously. Willow looked at her girlfriend.
"Are you sure Tara?"
"I'm sure," the blonde witch replied. Willow grasped her girlfriend's hand firmly.
"I guess we should bring them with us to Giles' then." The two witches walked over to the bench.
"Uh, hi," Willow said nervously, introducing herself. The brunette's eyes snapped open.
"Hey," the boy said suspiciously.
"This is going to sound weird, but, um...you're not from here, are you?" Willow asked. The girl shook her head.
"No, we're not. Our -" she paused. "Our friends are here too, but we were...separated," she said, eyeing the two witches in front of her.
Willow smiled at them, and Tara offered a shy smile from behind her hair as well. "We might be able to help you," she told them.
The strange couple shared a look.
'What do you think Zekk?'
'I don't trust them Jaina, but the Force is telling me to go with them.'
Willow and Tara watched as the two strangely-dressed people in front of them seemed to share a silent conversation and come to a conclusion.
"We'll go with you. I'm Jaina," she said, standing up. "This is my friend, Zekk."
Zekk stood up as well. "Hey."
Willow's smile grew. "I'm Willow, and this is Tara," she said, pulling her girlfriend forward.
"N-Nice to me-meet you," the blonde stuttered nervously.
"You as well," Jaina replied easily. "If you don't mind my asking, how did you know we're not from here?"
To Willow's surprise, Tara chimed in.
"Your auras," she explained. "Th-the two of you glow i-in a way I've never seen o-other people glow before." Zekk whirled to face her, grabbing her arm.
"You have the Force?" he asked excitedly. Jaina rolled her eyes and pulled him away from the blonde, who just stared at him confusedly.
"N-no, I'm a witch," Tara replied. "So is Willow," she said by way of explanation.
Zekk visibly deflated at this. "Oh."
Willow jumped in. "I don't know what this "force" is that you're talking about, but I think we'll get some more answers when we get to Giles'," she said. Jaina nodded in agreement.
"Giles is the person you think can help us?"
"Yeah, or at least he'll have some ideas about all this."
Jaina gave the red-headed witch a lopsided grin.
"Well then, what are we waiting for? Let's go!"
Buffy was sitting on the couch, talking to Lowbacca (and therefore Em Teedee as well) about his life where he came from, when her friends arrived, with two others in two. Xander, his girlfriend Anya, and the two witches had all arrived at roughly the same time, which didn't surprise Buffy. Sunnydale was a small town after all, it didn't take much time to get around in it. What did surprise her were the two people Willow and Tara had brought with them – and were they wearing flightsuits? - and Lowbacca's reaction to them. With a load, excited roar he stood up from the couch and bounded over to them. Em Teedee's tinny voice ringing out in greeting.
"Oh Master Zekk! Mistress Jaina! It is wonderful to see you here! Master Lowbacca and I were so worried about you, and were afraid we were all alone in this strange place!"
The girl and boy, Jaina and Zekk Buffy mentally noted, seemed just as happy to see the large wookiee.
"Lowie!" the brunette girl exclaimed, leaping onto him and hugging him.Zekk was more restrained, but looked no less happy than his companion. "Oh man, I was looking for you through the Force but then we met these two girls and I got distracted and I'm so glad you're here!" she exclaimed.
"Good to see you," Zekk put in after Jaina had released the large wookiee.
Lowbacca roared and whuffed at the two, and Em Teedee provided the translation.
"Master Lowbacca wishes to enquire whether or not Master Jacen and Mistress Tenel Ka are on this world as well?"
Jaina nodded. "Yeah, I contacted Jacen, he told me he found Tenel Ka, but I don't know exactly where they were. I'll try again though," she told him.
Xander cut in."Uh, what's going on?" His girlfriend, Anya, had already made her way into the kitchen and was going through Giles' pantry unconcernedly. The ex-vengeance demon was hungry. Buffy's call had come right as she and Xander had been about to have popcorn and watch a movie and make out and probably more than that. She had a right to be annoyed, and she didn't care if it was considered rude to just go through someone's kitchen. Xander rolled his eyes at his girlfriend's behavior, but turned his attention back to the scene in front of him.
"Seriously, I'm at a total loss here," he said. Giles looked up from his desk and seemed to notice the large group in front of him for the first time.
"Ah!" he exclaimed. "I see everyone's here. I've made a few discoveries, but there's still more I don't know," he said regretfully.
Buffy opened her mouth to speak when Xander chimed in.
"Okay, once again. What. is going. On?!?!"