Disclaimers: JeannieWood came up with the great plot bunny of Xander the Gill Monster. You can read her original story at .net/s/5427580/1/Its_a_Wonderful_Life.

I don't own the rights to any of the characters or ideas from Buffy the Vampire Slayer nor the Stargate universe.

Also, I'm afraid I had to take some creative liberties with timelines and even some minor liberties with the characters. I hope you'll forgive me and enjoy the story anyway.

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"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you - ask what can you do for your country."

John F. Kennedy - Former President of the United States of America

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Kinsey scowled into the thin layer of amber liquid swirling within the tulip-shaped crystal. It was becoming increasingly obvious just how dangerous the Pandora's Box which Earth had opened with the stargate actually was. The planet-annihilating Anubis might be the most concerning threat at the moment but there were others, many others.

Earth's "allies" were questionable or self-serving. Stargate command was composed of hippies, reckless hotshots, and naive scientists. And the recent inclusion of Great Britain, France and China into Stargate Command indicated that the program would soon be under international control, with all the accompanying diplomatic delays, agendas and infighting which always occurred within such organizations.

The greatest hope for Earth's survival and eventual success lay in the lost mythical city of Atlantis. If Earth could locate the ancient city then it's advanced weapons and defenses could be used to defend against Anubis and the other threats against Earth. Without Atlantis, the Earth would likely be destroyed within the next year or two.

Kinsey breathed in deeply, savoring the rich aroma of the cognac, distancing himself from the terror which all too often threatened to overwhelm him. It was easier to do in his office, surrounded by subservient lackeys and constant reminders of his wealth and power.

The alcohol burned his throat pleasantly as he took another long sip, relishing the subtle hints of walnut, gingerbread, coffee and dried fruit.

Kinsey picked up the photo from his desk again with his free hand. The blank black eyes of a monstrous corpse gazed back at him from the glossy paper. A fish monster with scaly green skin, serrated teeth, fins and gills. A fish man, not an alien as had originally been assumed. DNA tests showed that the creature's DNA was mostly of terrestrial origin, human with the addition of sections of genomic sequences from various marine animals and a few "special extras."

The first creature had been shot while attacking a woman in her home. When a second, similar creature had been reported close to the location, a team had been deployed to investigate. The results of the investigation had been staggering.

Two more of the fishmen had been discovered and tracked back to their origin, a small town in California. Apparently, the two surviving scientists of a Soviet Union genetics program had fled to the United States after the project (with all associated personnel) was eliminated. The two researchers had eventually found their way to Sunnydale, California where they had worked at the local high school as the school nurse and a coach/biology teacher. At some point the pair had resumed their experiments upon the students and the surrounding population.

Initially, their experiments had been conservative and the ensuing results had been subtle- a change in hair color, an augmented olfactory sense, or slightly enhanced cognitive abilities. But, reveling in their successes, the pair had quickly intensified their experiments. The results had been very impressive and, eventually, equally horrific. While some of the experiments had produced viable results (such as an invisible girl currently in the employee of the NID) most of the subjects had eventually succumbed to psychological and/or physiological disorders.

The members of the school's swim team were all subjects of the genetic modification experiments. Unlike the majority of the test subjects, the swim team were aware that they were participating in an experiment but were falsely informed that they were merely receiving a type of steroid rather than being modified on a genetic level. The experiment successfully increased the physical abilities of the boys significantly, allowing the team to win several victories by large margins, but eventually caused four of the team members (Gage Petronzi, Cameron Walker, Dodd McAlyy, and Sean Dweir) to mutate into the fish-like creatures which had attracted the NID's attention.

According to student witnesses, the transformed fishmen had killed both Russian scientists before escaping through the sewers out into ocean. The remaining swim team members had all received plasmaphoresis therapy and had reported no further side effects.

The NID team had successfully captured both of the fishmen they had found but one had eventually died from wounds it had received during its capture. Study of the remaining test subject was still ongoing.

According to the NID scientists, the methods employed to genetically modify the boys was generations ahead of its time, although that gap might have been bridged somewhat by the technological advancements gained from the Stargate program. Despite the knowledge and technology gained from the Stargate, the NID still couldn't duplicate the results.

Given the potential benefits of the ability to affect such genetic modifications, Kinsey had authorized the capture of several of the more extreme test subjects from the Sunnydale area for study.

The sudden importance of Atlantis in Earth's struggle for survival, however, meant that Kinsey needed to alter his original guidelines for acceptable test subjects. A + B = C.

A) The Earth needed Atlantis.

B) Every story of Atlantis said that the city had sunk into an ocean.

C) The Earth needed people who could access an underwater city, regardless of the depth underwater.

The Stargate program was already working on advanced aquatic vehicles and underwater habitats as well as the next generation of rebreathers, powered exoskeletons, and personal force fields. Stargate Command hadn't considered a genetic solution, probably at least in part because such genetic modifications was completely beyond their grasp.

Just as it had remained tantalizingly just beyond the NID's grasp. Until now.

Kinsey swallowed the last of the brandy slowly before reaching for his pen and briskly authorizing the two proposed programs on his desk.

The first proposal authorized Dr. Maggie Walsh to initiate the next phase of her study of the "non-humans" in the Sunnydale area. Her Initiative was already providing invaluable advancements in medicine, cybernetics and genetics. It was time to allow her to take things to the next step.

The second proposal authorized the quite "disappearance" of the remaining members of the Sunnydale High School swim team. They'd already begun the transformation into aquatic humanoids. Finishing the transformation should prove much simpler than starting over from scratch.