Dragonlots aka Dana Bell
Rain fell thick, worse than any storm they'd ever had on Atlantis. Elizabeth shifted uneasily in the back leather seat of the limo. She wondered how the driver could possibly see and held her breath as he took another curve along the steep side of the cliff. All he had to do was make wrong turn –
She stopped her thoughts, reflecting on the reason for her visit here. Most of Weir's senior staff was at the SGC either choosing new recruits or replacements for personnel they'd lost during their first year in the Pegasus galaxy. She tried to banish the disappointment she felt both for Simon turning down the opportunity, and his decision to find someone new. Still, there was a part of her that couldn't blame him. Her ex-lover had been lead to believe she might never return.
The limo stopped. Elizabeth glanced out the tinted window, seeing only enveloping darkness. "We're there?" She didn't see any house lights and she turned disbelieving eyes to the driver.
Its thick neck turned, making her glad she'd never actually gotten a good look at him. Slowly it got out and came around to open the passenger door. She hesitated and made a wild grab for her umbrella. In all honestly, she didn't want to appear for her meeting with Senator Collins looking like the proverbial drowned rat. Though exactly where the front door was…?
"Dr. Weir?" a cheerful young voice greeted. "Hi. Welcome to the Old House. I'm Buffy Summers."
"Hello," she returned relieved. At least now she knew she wouldn't be expected to find her own way.
"If you'll follow me?" The blonde woman offered a smile and produced a flashlight and a second umbrella. "Luna says to stay here," she informed the driver.
With a nod it got back in the front seat. Weir wondered why the rain didn't seem to bother it.
"We're delighted to have you here," Buffy went on.
"I must admit I was surprised." Elizabeth stumbled up the muddy trail. She'd brought only one pair of dress shoes and now, they were going to be ruined!
Buffy pushed open the heavy oak doors and motioned Weir inside. After stepping inside, Elizabeth stopped to gaze about as she closed her umbrella and laid it against the cream colored wall. Flickering candles softly lit the entryway and she could barely make out a huge curved staircase. Hardwood floors ran the length of the hall and antique furniture was tastefully scattered about.
"If you think this is something," the younger woman commented beside her, "wait until you see the drawing room."
"You should have let me go." Weir's eyes darted to the door on her left. Standing in the faint light was a man dressed all in black.
"Better I went," Buffy teased back. "You tend to scare people, Angel."
"Not anymore," he grumped, taking Buffy's arm and leading her into the room.
Weir followed, liking the eighteenth century charm. A fire blazed in the massive ornately carved fireplace, adding warmth to the somewhat chilly room. She noticed several men seated in the various chairs and the colorful Oriental rug on the floor. More candles lighted this room as well and along one wall as huge built in bookcase filled with what looked like first editions.
One of the men rose to his feet and came toward her. She recognized Senator Collins and put on her best diplomatic smile while extending her hand to shake his. "Senator."
He took hers but instead of shaking it, he lifted her hand to his lips and planted a kiss on it. "Thank you, for taking the time away to accept my invitation and visiting my ancestral home." The senator turned to I introduce the others. "Miss Summers you've already met." Buffy offered a smile, though Elizabeth noted how close the younger woman sat to the man she'd called 'Angel'. " Angel." He indicated the man in black who nodded. Turning to next man she realized he was Italian. She certainly traveled enough to recognize his nationality. "Julian Luna." Elizabeth gave him a polite smile. Luna inclined his head. "Our last guest this evening wishes simply to be known as the Count." That was odd, she thought. The man had dark hair and eyes and had to be from one of the old countries, though which one, she wasn't sure.
Finally, the senator introduced himself, although he didn't need to. Weir knew all about him. "I'm Barnabas Collins."
"Dr. Elizabeth Weir," she replied. "Do you mind if I ask why I'm here?"
There was a brief silence before Luna spoke up. "We've had a number of meetings," he offered. "About the Wraith."
Crossing her arms Elizabeth suddenly felt chilled. "I've already talked with the president," she began.
"Our concerns are not his," the Count said. She frowned. Where had she heard that accent before?
"You concerns?" She frowned.
Buffy sighed loudly. The sound filled the room and caused the men to scowl at her. "They're vamps right?" the other woman inquired. "Stake in the heart," she made a downward thrust with her arm, "cut off their head." She swung her arm with an invisible axe. "No more problem."
"It's not that simple," Luna objected.
With a roll of her blue eyes, Buffy went on. "You tend to make things secretive and difficult. Dr. Weir," she addressed Elizabeth. "What they're trying to say in their vague and round about manner." The men shook their heads. "Is that they want you to take some slayers back to Atlantis."
"What are slayers?" she asked before thinking. She found it difficult to understand why everyone in the room knew about Atlantis, when it was supposed to be classified. The breech in security frightened her. Maybe it was time to leave.
"We're trained to kill vampires, demons," Buffy answered the question. "Whatever evil nasty comes along."
"The Wraith aren't mythical beings," Weir told the younger woman.
"Mythical?" Buffy gave her a knowing smile. "Guess you don't realize that you're standing in a room with four vampires, do you?"
Elizabeth felt faint and tried to reach out for the nearest chair back. Senator Collins grabbed her arm and yelled, "Willie!" He directed Weir into a chair.
"Would you leave the poor man alone," Buffy scolded. The blonde went to the sideboard and filled a glass with an amber liquid. She handed the glass to Weir. "It'll help."
The strong drink burned down Elizabeth's throat. She choked slightly and laid the glass unsteadily down on a table.
"Kind of a shock, huh?" Buffy sympathized.
Luna rose from his chair and went to stand in front of the fireplace. "The Wraith are a threat to us," he informed Weir. "Pests. We want them stopped."
Part of her mind comprehended what he meant. The full horror of his comment began to penetrate her mind and she reeled in the realization of it. "You want Earth for yourselves!"
"We aren't THAT horrible," Angel chided her. "Most of us don't kill humans anymore."
"And the ones who do," Buffy added. "We slayers kill."
Looking at the younger woman, Elizabeth wondered how that was possible. Buffy didn't look like she could kill anything.
"Taking slayers back to Atlantis," Barnabas continued. "Will ensure the survival of not just your people, but ours as well."
Maybe the senator was telling the truth and maybe he wasn't. There was no way Elizabeth could know for sure. She began to feel like the walls were closing in and rose to leave. "I should be going."
Buffy stepped in front of her. "Now without the slayers."
The blonde leaned forward and spoke quietly. "It'll be okay. Really." She turned her head slightly and yelled, "Girls!"
Five young women ranging in ages, from what Weir could tell, their late teens to early twenties, entered the room. The girls nervously glanced around before settling their attention on Buffy.
"This is Mable," Buffy said, pointing at a rather plumb girl who giggled. "Jeanine." The next was tall, thin, with limp black hair. "Rowena." Redheaded with a nice figure, the young woman smiled. "Terri, with an I." The blonde winked and the other girl shrugged. Terri seemed rather nondescript and wore baggy clothes. "And Brie." The last shifted from one foot to the other in ratty tennis shoes and holey jeans. "They're going with you."
Wanting to object, Elizabeth said, "You're not going to give me a choice. Are you?"
"No," the count answered. "We aren't."
She cast a look in his direction. "I'm leaving now."
Buffy stepped aside at Angel's nod. Weir exited the room in a dignified fashion, although she really wanted to run for the safely of the limo. She grabbed her umbrella and left, the five girls trailing. The ride back to DC was unearthly quiet as was the plane trip back to Colorado.
Once again in the SGC, Elizabeth introduced the girls to her senior staff members, but left out why they were going.
"They can't go to Atlantis," Sheppard objected, rising from the folder littered table.
"Oh, but they can." General Landry stepped into the briefing room. "Personal request from Senator Collins and backed by the president."
"Whoa!" John breathed impressed. He addressed his next question to Mable who blushed. "What are you going to be doing?"
The girl giggled and batted her eyes at John. "Pest Control."