A/N: By popular demand—namely, Dean's—the saga continues...


Magic Carpet Ride
By San Antonio Rose

Prologue

The fact of Sam and Dean Winchester's existence had been a foregone conclusion since 1968. Orders had come down from somewhere to the cupids that Mary Campbell was to marry John Winchester and bear him two sons, and the cupids would see it done. So the arrival of an adult Sam and Dean Winchester from some distant-to-humans future in 1969 didn't cause all that many waves... at least, not at first. But then they started changing things, and then they drafted Gabriel to help them change things. Gabriel had even gone along with it, up to and including helping the boys take out Azazel in order to give both Lucifer and Michael a giant poke in the eye.

But some things couldn't be undone. Gabriel had watched both boys anxiously as they lay comatose while the effects of killing Azazel worked themselves out in their minds, bodies, and souls. And true, a lot of memories and scars faded. But some damage went too deep to erase.

To be more specific, Dean still bore the mental and emotional scars of having broken in Hell, and Sam still had demon blood and the knowledge that in that other timeline, he had killed Lilith.

Gabriel didn't know if that was enough, somehow, to qualify for breaking the first and last seals, and if he didn't, neither would Mike and Luci. But somehow he needed to keep anyone from figuring out the answer and starting the Apocalypse way too soon. The easiest solution, of course, would be to just kill the boys, but Gabriel didn't want to do that. He liked Sam and Dean. There was a spark of cleverness there, of wit, of promise that he hadn't seen in humans in a long, long time. And besides that, they were damn good at dispensing justice with their own particular flair, which Gabriel could appreciate better than almost anyone.

The IMF was a wild card that worried Gabriel. Sure, the boys had done a good thing in signing up, but too many IMF members didn't believe in the supernatural, which could leave them vulnerable to possession. And there was too much Sam and Dean didn't know about their team members, especially the newcomer, Paris. So Gabriel decided to keep an eye on Jim Phelps, at minimum, just to make sure they weren't in for any ambushes due to someone Downstairs—or Upstairs, to be honest—making use of him.

Thus it was that Gabriel happened to follow Jim to a rendezvous on which he picked up several photographs and a tape containing this message:

Good afternoon, Mr. Phelps. The man you're looking at is known as Eric Schachtschneider. We believe this name to be an alias, since he is known to be a German national but we have no record of anyone by that name entering the country legally. Yet we have been unable to identify him further. Whatever secrets Schachtschneider may be hiding, they are known only to this man, Gunnar Herjulfsen, his closest friend and confidant. About Herjulfsen we know even less, though he was living in the US legally prior to World War II.

Sometime in the last decade, Schachtschneider and Herjulfsen appear to have taken control of a cell of the American Nazi Corps headquartered in Effingham, Illinois. The Nazis are no more popular in Effingham than they are anywhere else in this country, but anyone who dares to oppose them openly dies soon thereafter. The means are not always clear, but the connection is too obvious to be coincidental.

Six weeks ago, news reports began to surface regarding the American Nazi Corps cell—through its political front, the National Socialist Workers' Party—amassing funds through means that are less than ethical, if not illegal. Shortly thereafter, Effingham began to experience a sudden increase in deaths attributed to wild animal attacks. We cannot yet determine the reason Schachtschneider wants money now, though past experience with neo-Nazis suggests that an attempt to overthrow our government is a likely explanation. However, even if his only intent is to enrich himself, more lives may be lost in Effingham if he is not stopped. Yet so far, evidence of wrongdoing has been minimal; he remains beyond the reach of conventional law enforcement.

Your mission, Jim, should you decide to accept it, is to stop Schachtschneider and put an end to his organization. As always, if you or any member of your IM Force should be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.

Gabriel had to stop himself from whistling audibly. He knew Effingham. He knew what was really going on there. And he knew that even for Jim and his exceptional team, the difficulty level of this mission truly verged on impossibility... unless they employed some... special help.

Jim resisted Gabriel's whispered suggestion, of course. After the problems the team had had in June, Gabriel expected nothing less; some random fluke had thrown that mission into a tailspin that ended with Sam having to summon Gabriel to bust Dean out of a Soviet-controlled jail before Dean's interrogation-induced flashbacks could cause permanent damage to anyone. But Gabriel persisted in whispering in Jim's spiritual ear, and eventually Jim was persuaded.

By the time Gabriel left Jim's apartment, Jim had—of his own free will—added Sam and Dean's picture to his stack of chosen agents for the mission.