“Perfect,” Kivas Fajo stared at the display in front of him. “I’ll bet you thought you were the only one.”
The detail was remarkable. Human appearing skin, complexion perfect down to having pores and small hairs. If the head hadn’t been detached from the torso with wires sticking out, he’d have thought she was a human being who was just sleeping.
Despite himself, Lieutenant Commander Data found himself echoing his captor’s sentiment. “You are saying that this is from the early twenty first century.”
“Pre-eugenic wars,” Kivas said. “Possibly the first actual android created in human history. It was found in the ruins of Sunnydale in pieces.”
“Is there enough to reactivate her?”
“I thought you might like to take a crack at it.”
The prospect was enticing, despite the continuing pressure from Kivas to obey him in every aspect of his new existence.
“I’d prefer to return to the Enterprise,” Data said, “As tempting as this prospect might be, I have duties to Starfleet.”
“That’s not going to happen. The crew of the Enterprise believes you to be dead. There’s no one coming to rescue you. You may as well sit in your chair and make the perfect display. Humanities first android and its’ last. I love the symmetry.”
“Then I’ll be forced to rescue myself.”
“You’ll give in eventually. They all do.”
Data shook his head but didn’t respond. He’d made his intentions known; there wasn’t any point in giving the alien collector any information he might use to keep Data trapped.
“It’s not just the age that makes this such a valuable specimen,” Kivas said, oblivious. “Take a look at
Beside the display with the disassembled female android was a massive cylinder with a frost covered view port. Kivas pulled a cloth from his pocket and wiped the rime from the window.
Inside was a humanoid female who was at least superficially identical to the android.
“She was made in someone else’s image,” Data said, studying the features of the woman inside the capsule. She was frozen in time. “Who is this?”
“Haven’t you read your history books? This is General Buffy Summers, one of the most notorious figures in the eugenics wars.”
The engineers had lied when they had promised her a dreamless sleep. She’d left earth in defeat and she hadn’t wanted to remember anything.
Instead, she’d remembered everything, trapped in the endless void between worlds.
Destroying the nexus, the seed that had allowed magic into the world had been intended to save the world. She hadn’t realized at the time that she’d instead been condemning it.
The demons had never been particularly effective at taking over the world because they had insisted on working from the shadows. They’d used antiquated methods and they’d fought among themselves as much as against the humans. They’d been like crabs trapped in a bucket, always pulling down the ones that attempted to rise to the top.
With the demons gone, and magic faded to an almost imperceptible background noise, the world had been left to the forces of science.
Modern technology and augmented intelligence had done what ten thousand years of mysticism and prophecy had not. It had been the beginning of the end.
The slayers had tried to fight, but an Augmented sniper could shoot a bullet from a mile away. By the time the sound reached them, they were already dead.
They’d learned, but the rest of the world had seen what they could do, and they had been assumed to be no better than the others. They’d been labeled Augments, and no matter how much they’d tried to explain, it had never gone away.
So Buffy had taken on the mantle. She’d worked to turn the Augments against each other, and in the process she’d started a war. It had reminded her of the battle against the First; a hopeless war against an implacable foe, except that the cost in human lives and blood had been so much higher.
At the same time she’d worked hard to create an image in the minds of the public and the world that she was the one Augment who was on their side.
She’d lost everything and everyone she’d ever cared about; some had turned against her, and others had been lost in battle.
She would have been happy to return to heaven, if she’d thought she still deserved it. But now she had a river of blood on her hands and her only thought had been that she had to be ready to return. If the others won, she had to be there when they’d least expected it, to give the resistance hope.
Vanishing into the night she’d keep the tyrants from ever truly feeling peace. As long as she was unaccounted for she would always be a thorn in their side, a rallying point for those who would remain free.
Sometimes a legend was more effective than the real thing.
Buffy had known from the moment that she stepped into the pod that her odds of being revived were slim. She’d expected to drift into a deep, endless sleep that would eventually end as the power gave out or something mechanical went wrong.
What she hadn’t expected was more than three hundred years of slowly dreaming of rivers of blood. In the end, all she could do was wait.
One of the seers, his powers reduced to almost nothing had predicted that Buffy’s return would come about on the eve of the return of magic to the world.
She hadn’t believed him, but some of the dreams of blood had the taste of being Slayer dreams.
Disclaimer: Buffy and Star Trek belong to people who are not me.