20. Confrontation

Disclaimer: same as always.


Office of Homeland Security

Xander Harris cancelled all his appointments for the day. Something was troubling him. The only way to relax was to work out as only a Sith could. He reserved the gymnasium and ordered his clone troops to guard the entrance, while inside Xander Harris assumed the preferred persona of Darth Mortalis.

Sending up four custom-built combat droids, he prepares by sitting in the center of the mat. In moments the four droids activate red lightsabers and move to attack, Darth Mortalis, eyes closed, quickly activates his lightsaber and parries the first blade. His riposte slices the attacking droid into two halves.

Using the Force, he summons the second saber into his left hand. Now using both blades, he parries the next two droids that try to attack at the same time. Xander pushes off and flips past them.

He charges at the third droid, who stood back, with his left hand lightsaber he catches the droid's blade, and easily uses the other to decapitate the droid.

Sensing the remaining two attacking with a thrust and cut behind him, he leaps forward, rebounds off the wall and uses his momentum to quickly leap over the two droids. A quick block and parry ends another droids existence.

The remaining droid reacts by jumping back and retrieving another blade from a fallen fellow. Xander moves to attack and finds his blade blocked, he quickly parries the counter strike with his left saber. Both combatants are now bound by their lightsabers. With a twist of his left wrist, Xander pushes the droid's duel blades upward, one intersecting the other. Quickly spinning inside, his freed lightsaber pierces the center of the droid's torso.

He hears the sound of someone clapping behind him. Twirling to face the intruder, he relaxes, slightly. Judge Michael Dansey is at the entrance way clapping.

"I gave orders not to be disturbed." Xander states.

"I'm sorry, master, but to see you in action was sheer poetry. And I thought I was a good swordsman, but you are simply amazing."

"The droids are still too slow and stupid. After I defeated the first they should have all attacked me, as I took each one down, they should have picked up each other's weapons and worked like the last droid. There are times I really hate the level of technology here."

"Whatever you say, all I saw was a master at work." Dansey replies.

"And you wonder why I think you and your cronies are blind. Why are you disturbing me? Would you like to duel with lightsabers now?" Xander directs both of his crimson lightsabers at Dansey. Seeing fear fill the old man's eyes he deactivates his blades.

"I'm not that blind, I too felt a disturbance. I hate quoting from that film but 'there is a grave disturbance in the Force.' Dansey mutters.

"Are your people in position to find the cause?"

"Yes milord, one of my best men, McVae is on the case. He has a reputation for ruthlessness in achieving desired results."

"So you think it is this girl, Faith, is the cause?" Xander asks amusement in his voice.

"Absolutely. She displayed a level of skill with the power, I mean, the Force in escaping. What else could it be? By tomorrow we shall have her back in custody."

Idiot. Xander thinks, the disturbance I've felt did not come from a possible Force sensitive child, it was something much more powerful and vaguely familiar.

"I hope you are right Dansey, your deluded cronies and pathetic Order has been placed in a position of trust and responsibility. Do not disappoint me. I have enough with the President complaining about the foreign diplomats screaming about their rights, to public support eroding due to our actions abroad."

"Why do you put up with that fool?" Dansey asks.

"Kinsey has his uses; for one thing he sees things better than you." As Xander moves off the mat and drinks a bottle of water, Dansey notices a necklace with 5 rings around his neck.

"I see you still haven't called off that contract. I don't understand why you take such a risk; it only takes one to get lucky? It would be a simple matter for me to call them off."

"The Order of Teraka amuses me, they keep me on my toes, did you know the last assassin actually turned into bugs? They certainly have some interesting members. When I tire of them, you may rescind the contract."

"Here take this as a token of my respect." Xander says and presents one of the four lightsabers from the shattered droids to Dansey. "I hope you can see well enough not to slice off your own head." Xander laughs and walks away.

Judge Michael Dansey stares in surprise at the lightsaber in his hand. He activates it and takes a few practice swings feeling the way it moves. Soon Harris he thinks, I will reclaim my position and you will someday call me Master.

Xander showers and changes, laughing inside as he thinks of Dansey, like a Jedi a Sith must also learn to build their own lightsaber. By doing so, they will know every component and configuration of their lightsaber. Dansey is too blind to realize that I gave him a training saber. I'd love to see the look on his face if he ever tries to kill anyone with it. I'll have to take a closer look at his cronies.

I've had Oz busy sending recon patrols through the stargate. Soon the galaxy will know the power of the Sith. Which Goa'uld will earn that privilege has yet to be decided. Perhaps Oz won't mind doing a little training with Dansey's people. If any survive, they may be worthy after all.

Now I will have to see Kinsey and see about resolving his constant complaints about 'approval ratings.'

Cleveland General Hospital

After a grueling six hour wait, Dr. Silvagyi came out of surgery. "Mr. Pryce, Miss Summers, the surgery appears to be a complete success. We managed to get the entire mass. Thanks to new less invasive procedures that we now use, your mother should be home in a few days. We just need to keep her for a few days for observation."

Buffy just smiles and tears of joy appear. "Thank you doctor. Thank you very much." She hugs Wesley who starts to complain about breathing problems. It is a much-relieved trio that rushes to the post-op surgical suite.

An hour later as the sun begins to set, it is an exhausted group that leaves the hospital. Wesley treats them to dinner at a local restaurant before taking them home.

Leaving Dawn at home, Buffy insists on escorting Wesley back to his apartment.

"Buffy, while I appreciate the gesture, I'm perfectly able to look after myself."

"Sure, Wes, rogue demon hunter, I'm ready, the faster we leave now, the sooner we can get back. Dawn, we'll be right back, just have to help Wes pickup some of his stuff and we'll be right back."

Jeremy Young, ex-SAS, and Council Retrieval Team leader, peers through the night vision scope at Mr. Wyndam-Pryce's apartment. "Eric, are the boys in position? I want magical support with glamour and memory spells in place to limit any collateral damage."

"Yes sir. Any sign of Pryce or Summers yet? They can't have gone to ground yet. Do you think a warning got to them?" Eric West, Jeremy's second in command, asks.

"Unlikely, but I'm sure he or his Slayer will be by soon. We just have to be patient."

"The Council wants Summers alive, technically, but if the next Slayer is Called, that's alright too. Everyone understand?"

A chorus of 'yes sirs' comes from the communication gear.

Eric West wonders, Wes old boy what did you do and who did you piss off this time to get yourself in this mess. He shakes his head and continues to watch the premises.

"Contact, we have contact, two people approaching his apartment. Bugger, their just two women, pretty birds too, are we sure this is Pryce's apartment?" Team Charlie asks. Team Charlie consisted of Edward Carnby and David Carns. David was his mage assistant. They managed to infiltrate the apartment complex and seize one a few doors away from Pryce's.

"This is the last known address that we have on record. Why?"

"Cause those two birds just ducked into his pad." Eric confirms.

"So either we have the wrong place or Mr. Pryce is going to be shagging and partying tonight. Keep me posted."

Eric thinks, Ed thought one of those girls looked vaguely familiar. This op is just getting better and better.

"Horry, he's still not here and if this Wes guy does live here, let's wait for him inside. I don't want to be caught outside during curfew. I don't like the look of those troops a few blocks down." Faith argues, "Besides, it's not like we need a key anyways," as she focuses intently on the door. A click later, the door was unlocked. "See it's five by five."

"I'll have to concede your point this time, Faith, but I really don't want to make this a habit. Breaking and entering is not something we should waste your abilities on. You're not going to be taking up a career in safe cracking next, are you?"

"Relax Horry, last thing we need is to explain to a wandering patrol why we're sitting in the car waiting. We can wait inside and surprise your old friend too."

"Mr. Pryce was not a friend per say but more an acquaintance. I'm hoping he can help us with this pickle we've found ourselves in with his contacts. Maybe you can train along with his Slayer too, you have been slacking a bit and becoming far too dependent on your new found abilities."

"Fine you can talk tea and crumpets then, I'll check out this Slayer chick. What's her name anyways?" Faith asks.

"I believe the name is Buffy Summers. Please behave Faith, the last thing we need is for you to insult the Slayer."

"You've got to be kidding me. I'm so looking forward to meeting her." Faith says with a smirk.

Living on the hellmouth for three years has made Wesley Wyndam-Pryce a very cautious man. When the nightmares are really coming to get you, paranoia is a good thing. Faith's actions has triggered one of those precautions.

"Wes, why are we pulling over?" Buffy asks.

"Something's tripped the wards in the apartment. The Council team may already be there. I want you to make a perimeter check and see if you can find any of them. Be very careful, the teams normally work as a two-man crew with magical support. These are not demons but professional killers remember your training with firearms. Try not to hurt them too badly."

"No prob, Wes, I'll teach them a lesson about coming into my town."

Captain Schuler was happy to be back in his old U.S. Army Class-A uniform, the green uniform was less intimidating and more comfortable than the white and black armor that was slowly becoming the standard. He chose to take Hank with him while Steve waited at the Crate. A rental car later they were on their way to meet with Mr. Wyndam-Pryce.

Buffy slips out of the car and into the shadows. Quickly leaping up to a higher elevation she slowly and cautiously scouts around. Knowing that magic may be masking her opponents she, closes her eyes and uses her enhanced senses to listen and feel around her. Moving from rooftop to rooftop, she suddenly hears the unusual sound of a weapon being cocked. As she closes on the source, her skin tingles with the recognized feeling of magic.

Like a predator stalking her prey, she waits in the shadows. Unless someone is looking exactly in the right direction with prenatural senses, nothing would have been able to detect the slight shifting of the shadows as it reflects off an illusion of an empty clearing, nothing that is except a Slayer.

While Buffy hunted, Wesley attempted to discern who was in his apartment. A few months ago, he would have just contacted the local constable for help, but now, calling for help from locals would only invite military intervention. The last thing Wesley wanted was for colonial soldiers to be trampling through his apartment. The problem was further complicated as the location of his penthouse apartment was on the 7th floor of his seven story complex.

Wesley opened the trunk of his car, retrieved a long coat and under a tarp, a benelli M-2 12-gauge shotgun and some ammo.

Jeremy Young his eyes on a careful watch of the apartment. "Do you think those two women could be burglars?"

"It's possible. Wouldn't that just make Pryce's day? Getting robbed and meeting us on the same day." Eric comments.

"We haven't considered the other possibility. He could already be there and that's why those two women went in." Jeremy whispers. "One of them could be the Slayer."

"The report on Miss Summer's did say she was not a council trained potential but grew up with her parents. Her father was killed by vamps a few years ago."

"Poor lass but we have a job to do. Let's be about it. All units report in."

"Charlie here standing by." Ed Carnby reports over the wireless.

"Team Bravo have you guys fallen asleep out there?" Jeremy asks angrily. Team Bravo was in charge of ensuring our transportation and escape. They were suppose to be magically camouflaged until it was time to move out. Frank Barns and Joe Craig were going to be in deep shit if they fell asleep on this op.

Jeremy and Eric made their way quickly to the magically camouflaged site. As they entered the site of Team Bravo and lift the tarp, a fist is the first thing Jeremy Young sees. Reacting as a veteran he quickly counters and blocks, if his foe had been anyone other than a Slayer the counter would have been perfect, instead his arm feel as if he'd tried to block a steel girder, the follow up kick mercifully stops the pain.

Eric West reacts just as quickly bring up his tranquilizer pistol, but a roundhouse kick sends the pistol flying out his hand. A small blonde form grasps his collar lifting his large form upwards.

"I surrender!" He pleads, recognizing the furious Slayer.

He glances around and sees the fallen forms of Frank Barns and Joe Craig, their broken rifles littering the floor around them.

"Are they alive?" Eric asks tentatively.

"Alive with a migraine later to look forward too. Now, who's in charge?" The blonde Slayer demands.

Eric points to Jeremy's fallen form.

"Nuts! Is this all of you? How many of you do I have to beat up before you get the message that we quit your stupid Council."

Eric looks on bewildered. Quit the council, unheard of, no wonder the Council was so adamant about this case. "We were told you'd gone rogue." Eric can't help but smirk. "I don't think they ever had any Slayer tell them that they quit before."

"Well there's a first time for everything." A voice behind him states. "Hello Eric, I see you're still following that git Jeremy around, thought you'd be leading your own team by now." Wesley calmly states, a shotgun under his arm.

"After this op, I probably will. Jeremy isn't known for sharing intel and it seems to always bugger us in the end." Eric replies.

"Well done Buffy. Find some rope and we'll take them with us. It wouldn't do to leave them to become a vamp's free meal, despite being under this magical tarp. Handy thing."

"Eric, be a good chap and carry Jeremy would you? Buffy and I will take the other two. I trust I have your parole or do you require Miss Summers to ask for it?" Wesley asks. Eric wisely nods his head.

A quick pat down for additional weapons and the group is escorted and carried to Wesley's apartment. Wesley notices the light under the door and motions for silence. He waves for Buffy to quickly move forward. Eric remains silent.

"You're people Eric?" Wes whispers.

"No, we thought they were with you or burglars."

"Buffy do you sense anything?"

"No, Wes, whoever they are they're not demons, I'll go in and flush em out. You stay here and watch your friends."

"Be careful Buffy." Wesley silently unlocks the door.

Faith was getting antsy. She'd always been action girl, this sneaking around was starting to get to her. Horry's patient manner as she worked to prepare some tea was not doing anything to calm her nerves. Whoever this Wesley guy was he certainly had a nice pad though, she thought as she examines a beautiful Japanese sword rack with a katana and wakizashi.

Sensing something, Faith quickly lifts the wakizashi just as the door flies open. A blonde figure bursts into the room. Faith draws the blade and rushes forward to intercept. She brings forward in a swift thrust. Impossibly the blonde girl sidesteps at the last instant. Faith swings again in a series of slashes. Amazingly the girl steps back and dodges each of her strokes. Faith is feeling her anger rising as she jumps back and looks over her opponent.

Buffy is surprised to be greeted by this sword wielding dark haired girl. She certainly seems to know how to use that thing. Let's see if she can defend with it too. Buffy moves to attack. Closing quickly, she launches a series of punches and blocks. Her arms and wrists catching the blade on the flattened side as she attempts to negate the swords reach and avoid the lethal edge.

Isobel Horrocks is busy pouring herself another cup of tea when she sees Faith attack the intruder. She is surprised by the martial display and quickly moves to halt the fight before Faith is hurt. This girl could only be the Slayer. Amazingly, Faith appears to be holding her own against the Slayer.

Faith is shocked to feel her sword being blocked by the girl's arms and hands. Suddenly the sword is trapped between the girl's hands. She tries to move it and can't. Letting go of the sword, she lashes out with a front kick.

Buffy falls back, the sword falls to the floor. Both girls move into a fighting stance.

"Alright, stop right there!" Wesley shouts as he steps behind Buffy, shotgun pointing at Faith.

"Ah crap. Just when it was getting good too. Nice moves B." Faith relaxes her guard.

"Mr. Pryce, please call off your Slayer. Would you like a cup of tea?" Horry asks. "Faith, please stop playing with Miss Summers."

"Mrs. Isobel Horrocks?" Wesley recognizes the lady approaching.

"Please forgive the intrusion Mr. Pryce, but we were rather desperate and our calls to you were never answered. Our messages are all still on your machine."

"Eric, get in here." Wesley orders outside the door. "Buffy, please help me get the rest inside."

After the three unconscious men are herded into the room, Wesley and Buffy are seated across from Faith and Mrs. Horrocks. Eric West sits by his men who are tied up in the corner.

"Mr. Pryce, can you explain why the Council has sent these men?" Mrs. Horrocks asks.

"Mrs. Horrocks, it seems the Council did not appreciate our resignation and sent these men to force us to reconsider."

"Way to go B." Faith gives Buffy a smile of approval.

"Travers was a bit miffed and sent us apparently to bring back Miss Summers." A distressed Eric West adds in.

"Are you really the Slayer, B? I kinda pictured you being a bit, taller."

"Hey, there is nothing wrong with my height! Keep that up and we'll start round two, F." Buffy retorts.

"Faith, please stop we don't need Mr. Pryce's apartment in ruins."

"My compliments on your training Mrs. Horrocks, Faith's skill at holding her own against Buffy was most impressive."

Faith beams at the praise. "Horry's been showing me the moves."

"I will certainly file a complaint about Travers horrid treatment of this episode. Did you realize the Council has been outlawed by the Americans? We were arrested in Boston and only escaped thanks to Faith's skills."

"Unfortunately, Miss Summer's mother is currently hospitalized right now which is why I've been unreachable. We had a plan to escape to a safe house, but circumstances have altered our plans. If you wish you and Faith could use it until Buffy's mother is better and we are able to join you. Excuse me a moment." Wesley turns and walks over to Eric.

Eric kicks Jeremy until he awakens. "Jeremy! Wake up you greedy wanker."

Jeremy Young awakens to the sight of Wesley's shotgun pointed at him.

"Mr. Young, I am Miss Summer's Watcher, if anything were to happen to her, I would make it my personal mission in life to make you into a eunuch. Am I clear?"

Jeremy can only nod in fear.

"Now, Eric here will update you on the truth about things that Quentin Travers failed to disclose to you before you came here. You will report back and reiterate our resignations to the Council. Any further action by the Council against Miss Summers or me will be met with swift retribution. Am I clear?"

Jeremy Young can only nod as he stares at the rather large bore of Wesley's shotgun.

Faith whispers to Buffy, "Wow, B, is your Watcher always so scary?"

A buzzer startles everyone. Wesley approaches the intercom. "Hello?"

"Mr. Wyndam-Pryce?" asks the voice on the intercom.

"Yes, but I'm not interested in buying anything." Wesley replies.

"You're mistaken, Mr. Pryce, I'm with the government, Captain Richard Schuler, United States Army. It's important that I speak with you. It's a matter of national security. Can we come up?"

"I'm rather busy at the moment and it is late. Can you come back another time?"

"I'd rather not, Mr. Pryce, we flew in from out of town just to meet with you specifically."

"Well, I suppose, I can spare a moment." Wesley presses a button to unlock the entrance door.

"That name sounds familiar." Faith wonders.

"Please everyone, I hope, we can all be civil until I can get rid of this man. Mr. Young, please secure your men's parole. I'm entrusting their behavior to you. Faith, please untie them."

Jeremy Young nods as Faith unties him. "I look forward to speaking about this with Mr. Travers. Eric, wake those two up. How do you know Mr. Pryce?"

"He was head boy at the Academy years ago. Miss Summer's has really made a change in him, I always remembered him as rather pompous git."

"Buffy, please show our guests the upstairs' rooms, it would be best if everyone hid until I finish answering this man's questions and departs."

"Wow, nice place. Guess the Watcher's Council must pay well." Hank Masters comments. "The rent in this place looks like three times my mortgage."

They knock on Mr. Pryce's door.

A man with glasses opens the door. "Captain Richard Schuler I presume?" He gestures for them to enter.

"Thank you for taking the time to meet with us Mr. Pryce, this is my comrade, Sergeant Hank Masters."

"Gentlemen, please have a seat. Would you like coffee or tea?"

"Coffee, please." Both men answer.

From above, Buffy is at the top of the stairs listening intently, Faith sits next to her. Both are anxious to hear what's happening.

"There are two men, Captain Richard Schuler and a Sergeant Hank Masters, having coffee with Wes."

"I knew the name sounded familiar, that's the same guy that turned us in." Faith angrily explains.

"Shhh, Wes is asking to see their ID. Now they're asking him questions about the Council."

"Got any weapons up here? If they come up, I want to carve a piece of that sucker." Faith asks.

"On the third floor, there's a practice room, you'll find some swords and crossbows." Buffy answers as she points upstairs.

Faith makes her way to the upper floors. Wow, she thinks, not as good as Horry's pad but not too shabby either. She finds the dojo and looks around for the weapons.

Buffy remains at the top of the stairs, listening intently to the conversation below. Mrs. Horrocks and the Council members are in a quiet discussion in the bedroom behind her.

"Jeremy, I know this op is a bust, but don't do anything stupid. There are two government agents downstairs and it turns out the Council is now declared outlaw. We don't want to start anything. Did you know the truth about why we were sent after Miss Summers?"

Jeremy briefly looks away. "You bloody greedy idiot! You knew and still agreed to it?" Eric furiously accuses.

"We're mercenaries. We get paid to do lots of dirty jobs. Don't you start getting a conscious on me West. This is not the first Slayer we've taken down. We do the job, we get paid." Jeremy counters.

"Yes, but I actually believed that those Slayers had gone rogue. This is different. Unless you lied about those cases too?"

Jeremy turns away. "What!? You did know!" Eric West sits stunned.

There is a loud crash downstairs. Buffy jumps down the staircase.

Eric looks up, worry on his face. "Can you contact Team Charlie?" Eric asks.

"I was hoping that Ed and Dave would have the sense to sit tight until they heard from us."

The scene Buffy sees downstairs is a confusing scene from one of those action movies that Dawn and Dad use to watch. The front door lies broken open and two men in black are in the doorway pointing guns at Wesley and the Army men.

As she turns to launch an attack, one of the men begins to fire at her. "Nooo!" screams Wesley and the two Army men. She almost reaches the men but stumbles as six tranquilizer darts pierce her chest. Wesley races to her side. The two Army men reach for their weapons, but the second man points his gun, gesturing for them to drop their guns.

Wesley holds Buffy tears in his eyes, "Buffy, hang on girl, the chemicals should wear off soon. You've got to fight it." He angrily removes the darts. Fear in his eyes as he sees that all six delivered their payload.

To normally stop a Slayer, only 1 or 2 darts are required to deliver the proper chemicals to subdue. Buffy had taken three times as many. While one or two were potent enough to stop a charging elephant, six were enough to kill.

"Getting so sleepy, tired, wanna sleep. Tell mom and Dawnie, I'm…" Buffy goes limp.

"NO!!" Wesley's screams, holding her tight.

Captain Schuler and Hank Masters didn't know what to make of the scene before them. They were interviewing Mr. Pryce when two men burst in and shot a young blonde girl racing downstairs.

The guns appeared to be some sort of dart gun so the delivery was silent. From Mr. Pryce's reaction though, whatever chemicals they contained were dangerous.

"You men are in so much trouble. I'm a Federal Officer and there is no escaping this." Schuler quietly and sternly delivers.

As the two men seem to decide to shoot the rest of them too, lightning from the doorway quickly strikes the two men and knocking them unconscious to the floor.

A grey haired man in a green cap and black armor steps in holding a strange weapon. "Hope we arrived in time. Please everyone stay where you are until we sort this out."

As he enters, a tall blonde girl, a man with glasses, a tall black man, and a face from the past follows. "Colonel Maybourne?" Captain Schuler asks.

"Sam, please see what you can do for the girl. Harry is this Schuler?"

"Yes, Jack its Schuler. You can lower your zat."

Sam Carter rushes to the distraught man grieving over the young girl. "I'm a doctor, please sir, May I see?" She gently asks.

Sam checks her airway and eyes. She feels for a pulse and finds none. "Daniel, I need you to help with CPR. Sir, please step back, do you know what they hit her with?"

Wesley seems to move in slow motion at the tableau before him. A Watcher's worst nightmare is to witness the death of their Slayer. Right now, he was frozen with despair. Unable to think clearly, seeing only her limp form. "Sir?" Daniel asks him again.

"She was struck with a chemical tranquilizer strong enough to bring down a rhino. She was hit with six darts."

From the stairway, Jeremy, Eric, and Isobel Horrocks arrive downstairs too. Immediately, Jeremy moves to the two men.

"Wait! Who are you and where do you think you're going?" asks an angry Colonel O'Neill who intercepts him.

"Those two men may have an antidote to counteract the chemicals on them."

"You go sit back down there." He points with his zat. "Murray, bind and search those men."

Teal'c searches and finds what appear to be atropine injectors in their leg pockets. He hands them to Sam.

"Sir, are these them?" She shows them to Wesley.

"Yes, those should be the antidote." He confirms.

Sam is nervous, normally she would be reluctant to just pump any unknown compound into anyone who was already drugged, but the CPR was not having any effect and time was running out. She makes a decision. She pulls the top of the injector and plunges it into the thigh of the young girl. The spring load fires a needle through the thick leg muscle tissue and delivers the antidote into the bloodstream.

"Use the other one too; she did get a triple dose." Wesley advises as hope flickers.

Sam complies. She resumes CPR and watches the time.

The minutes tick away silently.

Until a pulse, is felt. Samantha Carter is relieved as she again feels a pulse. Surprisingly the pulse quickly gains strength. She and Daniel are startled when the girl's eyes snap open.

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce engulfs Buffy into an embrace. Whispering, thank you to Buffy and no one in particular.

Colonel O'Neill also shares a look of relief. The scene reminds him too much of his son, Charlie's accidental shooting death. He looks over the two gun men's unconscious forms. "Guess you boys got lucky and will just get attempted murder."

Relief appears on everyone's face as Buffy pushes off the floor. Sam tries to keep her down. "Miss, please you've just been shot and your heart and breathing stopped. You shouldn't be up."

"But I feel fine now, stronger." Amazed Sam checks her pulse again in disbelief.

"Excellent job, Carter." O'Neill praises.

"But sir, her signs have all returned to normal, after a near death experience like that, she couldn't just get up from that as if nothing happened, it's uncanny."

"Chalk it up to your outstanding medical skills, Janet will be so proud." Jack smiles in reply.

"Now, I think, while Murray tries to reattach what's left of the door, some introductions should be made before we have tea and crumpets."

"I'm Colonel Jack O'Neill. The doc is Major Samantha Carter. That's Dr. Daniel Jackson" he gestures to the man with glasses, "and Murray" as he points to the tall stoic black man with a cap over his head.

"Colonel O'Neill, I am eternally grateful for what your team mates have done. I'm Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, at your service."

He gestures to a middle aged lady who smiles, "This is Mrs. Isobel Horrocks, a co-worker of mine, who came by for a visit." She smiles in greeting.

To the two other men that came down, "This is Jeremy Young and Eric West, Frank Barns and Joe Craig, two more men are upstairs, they were part of the same team those two men comprised. They are mercenaries."

"My apologies, Mr. Pryce, those two, acted before we could update them of the change in the situation." Jeremy quickly explains.

"You're very fortunate Mr. Young, if she had died, I would have held you responsible." Wesley states in an ominous tone.

"The two Army gentlemen with me are Captain Schuler and Sergeant Masters."

Everyone turns, startled by a noise as someone jumps and lands at the stairway landing. "So is there anyone's ass I need to kick?" A dark haired girl is smiling and wielding a broadsword. "Crap, did I miss all the fun?"

"And that is my Faith." Mrs. Horrocks introduces.

A few moments later as Wesley and Mrs. Horrocks brew more tea and coffee for the unexpected party.

Colonel O'Neill approaches the group, "Well campers, we didn't really expect to meet all of you. We came to have a chat with Captain Schuler and Mr. Pryce here, but this will work too."

Jack hands a paper to Captain Schuler and asks him to pass it around. After he reads it, a stunned expression is on his face that is quickly duplicated around the room.

Harry Maybourne looks confused and asks, "What's that paper Jack?"

"Just a letter from the President on official stationary that tells in far better words than I can tell that he's still alive, don't trust Kinsey, and the country is in trouble, blah, blah, blah, you get the picture."

Mr. Pryce is the first to ask, "Is this paper real? How do we know that it's not a forgery?"

"It's real." Captain Schuler responds. "I've been having doubts about what's been happening recently and it all makes sense now. Damn, never thought I'd be so happy to believe that it's all real. I didn't want to believe that my beloved country had gone nuts on purpose.

What do you want us to do, Colonel? I really don't trust Colonel Maybourne enough to have believed it if that same letter had come from him."

"Hey!" Harry exclaims.

"You were right Harry, I like him already."

After an intense hour of discussion and planning, it was decided that Captain Schuler and Sergeant West would resume their duties but act as informants for the growing resistance. They would also work to spread the word quietly about the truth to their fellow servicemen who felt the same as them.

Sam Carter gives Captain Schuler a small com unit. "This device when attached to a computer can quickly encrypt and relay information to us. Safeguard it and we'll send you updates periodically. Thank you and good luck."

They approach Mrs. Horrocks, "Ma'am I'm really sorry for what happened in Boston, please forgive my actions. I hope you can pass on my apologies to Faith as well." Asks Captain Schuler.

"I'll pass on your apologies to her too, Captain. God speed and good luck." The two men leave Wesley's apartment.

Buffy returns from using the phone. "Wes, I still can't reach Dawn, there's no answer." A worried expression is on Buffy's face. "We did tell her we'd be back quickly; do you think she's just asleep? I've tried to call her three times now and there's no answer."

"I'm sure she's alright Buffy, we'll be done here in a moment."

"Any more questions, campers?" Jack asks.

Other than Jeremy Young and Eric West, the rest of the Council Retrieval Team was banished to wait for further orders on the 2nd floor bedroom. Faith and Murray stood guard over them.

"I wish to make amends for our earlier actions, Colonel, I will see to it that the Queen and British government get word of this coup'detat as well. My men are with you."

Daniel Jackson asks, "Currently the real President is in hiding and it will be up to us to rally enough forces to drive Kinsey and Harris out. I can't believe this is the beginning of the 2nd American Civil War."

Harry disagrees, "Not like the Civil War, more like the 2nd American Revolution. A new fight against tyranny."

"I will seek to also contribute what aid I can when my responsibilities allow. My first priority is to Buffy though."

"Mr. Pryce, as the Army men are now gone, I believe we can disclose the truth to these as well." Horry states.

"Are you sure, Mrs. Horrocks?"

"If this alliance is to begin on the bases of trust, then we must show trust to them as well."

"Huh?" Jack asks, confused. "What truth?"

"Go ahead Wes, you know you want too." Buffy encourages.

Wesley takes a deep breath and begins, "This world is older than any of you know. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons demons walked the Earth. They made it their home, their Hell. But in time they lost their purchase on this reality. The way was made for mortal animals, for man. All that remains of the old ones are vestiges, certain magicks, and certain creatures like vampires.

The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding... Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return.

For as long as there have been vampires, there's been the Slayer. One girl in all the world, a Chosen One."

"And that's me." Buffy states proudly.

"Impossible, the Slayer is an HST myth!" Harry Maybourne argues.

"Wes, could you hand me one of those tranq-guns."

"Careful with that, wouldn't want to have to go through that again, you nearly dying and all." Jack warns. Nervous when any child holds a gun.

Wesley checks to ensure the gun is empty and hands it to Buffy.

Buffy holds the gun and proceeds to effortlessly crush and bend the barrel around until it almost touches the handle. She then passes it to Harry.

"Scratch one off the myth column. I'll have to review a lot of my old notes and revise them." Daniel Jackson comments.

"Is that why you recovered so quickly?" Sam asks Buffy.

"Yeah, Slayer healing, I never leave home without it."

"So this is the closely guarded secret that the Watchers Council holds?" Daniel asks.

"Yes, and please keep it to yourselves and those you really trust. Governments will want to control her and she's hunted enough already."

"But why a little girl! She shouldn't be involved in this. She almost died today because of this Chosen crap. She should be out there getting dates not fighting a war." Jack complains.

"We don't know who chooses the girls but I've worked to keep Buffy alive so far."

"Mr. O'Neill, being a Slayer is part of me, I too hated this Calling at first, but Wesley has helped keep me alive. My mom had the same reaction as you did. I've been given this gift and I can't just stand by and not use it. I've been fighting now for about three years here in Cleveland, I started when I was in LA. Wes's books say that I'm the longest living Slayer for this century. He must be doing something right."

"That is true until today." Wesley whispers.

Buffy hears it though, "Don't you dare blame yourself for that, and it was my fault for rushing down and not assessing the sitch. And look I'm still here thanks to the good doctor Sam."

The phone rings in the background. "Ohh, that might be Dawnie, my sister." Buffy rushes to get the phone.

Immediately, she drops the phone. "Wes, we have to move out now. That was Captain Schuler, he said that as soon as he was driving out, he saw soldiers running toward our building."

"Crap!" Jack O'Neill shouts. "Murphy's doing overtime today. Alright, let the gang upstairs know too, we have to move out."