Chapter Five

Everyone was gathered in the briefing room. For the moment, General Hammond waved off the cleaning crew, wanting answers more than he wanted the rubble cleared away. The bodies of his dead soldiers had been removed to the isolation room that Anise had perished in. He also placed the base under Level 1 Quarantine, and ordered anyone that had engaged the Seeker to the infirmary for a complete check-up and to notify Dr. Frasier immediately if they had so much as a stomach-ache. He didn't want to take the chance that one of them had been infected like the Tok'ra scientist had been.

"Now, will someone be so kind as to tell me exactly what the hell that thing was?" His voice was soft, but steely. He'd very nearly had a foothold situation on his hands and he did not take those types of things well.

"It's called a Seeker." Willow said. "It's sole purpose was to seek out whatever it's master was looking for, and bring it back, or return with it's location."

"And how do you know this?" He asked suspiciously.

"We have Sineya's knowledge," Willow answered. Buffy and Dawn settled back in their seats with little smiles as they recognized Willow slipping into 'teacher-mode'. "and she'd created a few of her own in her time. We could probably make one of our own, but they kill the host."

"How?" Sam asked.

"They're like an infection, but instead of compromising the cells and tissue and organs of the host body, they absorb it as fuel until the host is destroyed, and all that's left is the Seeker and the previous host's body. If you could do an autopsy on one, there wouldn't have been anything inside the body, probably not even a brain."

"That's why Dr. Fraiser could find no heartbeat, even though the thing was obviously alive." Garshaw realized.

"Well, I want to know how you killed it." Jacob said, staring straight at Buffy. "That Seeker thing ran through bullets they weren't even there. The wounds just closed right back up. The damn thing didn't even slow down."

"Well, it was a demon, and Slayers kill demons." The Slayer shrugged. On both sides of her, Willow and Dawn rolled their eyes.

"Buffy." Sam said, chidingly. "I think what Dad wants to know is how your weapon worked against it and ours didn't. By the way, where did you get the weapon from? I know you didn't come down here with it."

"The Scythe is an extension of my power." Buffy answered. "I can call it to me whenever I need it."

"A useful ability." Garshaw observed. "Can anyone learn to do this?"

"No." Buffy said carefully. "For one thing, you have to be mystically tied to the weapon in question. This isn't science. Hell, it's not even magic, really. It's something way, way beyond that. The Scythe is a mystical weapon, created specifically for me." She paused in thought for a moment. "Well, not me personally, but for the Slayer that I evolved into after everything that happened to me. I supposed it could have happened to someone else..."

'Buffy!' Willow's voice broke into her musing. 'Focus.'

Buffy gave her mate a sheepish smile. "Sorry. Anyway, it's not something that would happen to just anybody. As for why it worked against the Seeker, that's what it was made for. To destroy demons."

"Can I take a look at it?" Sam asked, her eyes bright with excitement. "It cut through the iris. That alloy is ten times stronger than steel. No metal on Earth should have been able to penetrate it. If we could find out what type of metal that it's made of, it would help greatly in our fight against Anubis' supersoldiers."

Buffy gave her mother an amused look. "You really don't get the concept of 'mystical weapon', do you?"

Willow sent her mate an exasperated look before she turned to Sam. "We don't know what kind of metal the Scythe is made from, but I can tell you that it wouldn't be as effective in anyone's hands other than Buffy's. It was made for Sineya's Avatar. Faith can do some serious damage with it, but in Buffy's hands, nothing can defend against it. The Guardians knew of the prophecy. They created this weapon to combat pure demons. Most of the demons running around today are hybrids, of sorts, or they are lesser demons that can usually be killed by the usual normal means..."

"Beheading is always best, by the way." Buffy interjected. "Kills just about anything."

Willow nodded before continuing. "But if the Seeker had been able to completely regain it's strength, the bullets wouldn't have even managed to penetrate it's skin."

"If that thing has a Master with a grudge against Earth, how are we going to defend ourselves?" Jacob asked, for a moment slipping back into the persona of a General instead of a Tok'ra. "The last thing any of us needs is for this Master to join up with System Lords."

"Very few of the minions will be at that level," Buffy said. "and this type of demon is the 'bow down or die' type. It's not going to join up with your System Lords. At best, this 'Master' will turn a few of your Goouds into it's own personal servants and just intimidate the rest into submission. The ones that it takes won't be Goouds anymore, though. Like what happened to that woman, it will take the body and replace it with a servant that is blindly obedient."

"I don't like where this is going." General Hammond finally spoke again. "It sounds as though we are going to have yet another war on our hands."

"Hopefully, it won't get this far." Willow said. "Now that we know one of them is already on the move, the other should be waking by now. We'll have Giles and the others go through the books to see if we can't find out where the Angelic was taken. Since events are now in motion, we should be able to find it."

"What do you mean?" Janet asked. "You make it sound like you wouldn't have found this information if you looked before now."

"More than likely, we wouldn't have." This time, it was Dawn that answered. Her voice was soft and bitter for one so young. "In situations like these, where prophecy is involved, information tends to be hidden until it's needed. Then it'll be right there like it was always there for the reading. Or, you know, until after the fact and it's useless."

"I was under the impression that this war that you have been fighting was no longer on Earth." General Hammond growled. "Now I find that there is something out there actively looking to destroy this planet?"

"It is." Willow told him. Sam had finally told them about the prophecy that Anya and Giles had revealed a few months ago. It had given them time to come to grips with the fact that sooner or later, the Avatars were going to have to leave their world to keep the boundaries of the Eternal Battle from overtaking the universe. "This is probably more of a personal vendetta. You have to remember that humans were thought of as slaves and food, and for us to have risen up and defeated a demon as powerful as one of the Nine, isn't really something that they're going to accept lightly."

Hammond mentally cursed as he took that into account. Until now, he had been content to let these superpowers fight it out amongst themselves as long as they left Earth out of it. He had ordered his SG teams to keep their ears open for any information of what was happening, but not to get involved if at all possible. Now, it looked like they were going to have to take a more active role.

"You are one of them," he said, looking directly at the two young women, "can you at least tell us how to defend ourselves?"

~~~ BtVS ~~ SG-1 ~~~

Eyes whiter than the purest snow opened for the first time in countless ages. Rising from it's resting place, the creature went out to look upon the world it had been exiled to. There was nothing outside of the melting ice wall of the cave but barren whiteness.

'The time has come,' the creature mused 'as the Elder prophesied. I wonder how the world has fared? Did Delcathas succeed in his plans for domination?'

Those questions, and other idle concerns, flitted in and out of its mind as it waited for the ice to melt. It could have forced the way open, but it was content to wait and regain the strength that had waned during its slumber.

Strength returned quickly to the creature. It took stock of its body, and discovered a restriction. It looked at the odd shackles that encased it's wrists. They did not inhibit it's powers, but it did neutralize the ability to alter form. It noted that it's current form could be looked at with mortal eyes.

'Now, what purpose was there to this?' The creature wondered. 'I have no intention of returning to that world.'

Still wondering, it sent out a light pulse of power, which shattered what remained of the melting ice wall. It stretched out it's senses to determine where in the universe it was, and found the most odd of things. There were humans out there in the cold wasteland of this long dead world.

'I suppose that we are not done with humans after all.'