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Pandora's Box

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Pandora's Box". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: The 1st story in the Pandora's Box series. Along with the Goa'uld and Jaffa invasion of Earth, Buffy struggles with the memories and with her role of leader in a world buckling under the weight of war.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Buffy-CenteredpezgirlFR1848,1811297,60014 Apr 1118 Aug 11No

Chapter One

This series is based on the Stargate SG1 season 1 episode 'There But For The Grace Of God'. This series is also set after the BtVS season 2 episode 'When She Was Bad.

Warning: Dark! fic, a lot of character death.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters you can recognise as being in either of these two fandoms. BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon, Stargate SG1 belongs to Brad Wright, Jonathan Glassner etc.


Date: 3/19/1998… 19th March 1998
Location: Sunnydale
Character: Buffy Summers


Buffy listened to the sound of her breathing, to the breaths of everyone else around her. No one spoke, not even a whisper. Just like the others she had come to treasure the moments of complete silence; they were few and far in between.

The darkness surrounding her was a blanket of safety, an illusion, but a welcome one. She tried to pretend that the cellar she resided in was her room, and that her best friends were staying over; that they were dressed in pajamas and eating brownies-

Buffy smiled involuntarily, she could almost taste them- no!

Her stomach burned with hunger, and she felt her mouth begin to fill with saliva; she shook herself from the daydream and cleared her mind. She pulled her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms them.

The gravel that coated her shins scraped the skin of her forearms; she ignored the gritty feeling and blinked up at the small square window above them all. All she could see was the dark sky, the millions of glittering stars, she’d always liked starry nights, and they always looked so peaceful.

And they always gave the impression that Earth was so alone.

Deceitful little bastards; now they all knew what lay beyond the sky.

Everyone knew.

Buffy smirked grimly to herself as her ‘job description’ ran itself through her mind again, -the vampires, the demons; the forces of darkness-. Funny, she didn’t think that Aliens were ever brought up in that particular conversation with Giles.

But then, he’d never known either.

He’d never known a thing.

She blinked furiously, and glared up at the tiny excuse for window; several deceptively-small crescents glided past momentarily and then disappeared out of sight. Her palms stung as her nails bit into the skin; she loosened her fists and flexed them. They itched for the feeling of a weapon-

-or an Alien’s neck.

She was a Slayer after all. She slayed things…or was it ‘slew’?

Whatever it was, it’s what she was supposed to do. Kill evil.

No matter their species.

“Buffy?”

A soft, familiar voice met her ears; breaking the silence. Buffy closed her eyes at the loss, sighed and spoke, “Give it a few minutes, Will.”

A rustling sound at her other side had her relaxing the tight grip she had around her legs, it was almost time to leave. They couldn’t afford to stay for too long, if they did the Alien’s would find them eventually.

And you can’t exactly fight them. Not when they’re all the way up there…

Damn cowards.

Bomb towns and cities, decimate whole countries- kill god knew how many people- but they’d do it safely up in their weird spaceships.

“Yeah, they’ll probably do a double-take,” reminded Xander, flatly. “They’re meticulous, those Aliens.”

Willow remained silent, her breathing scarcely met Buffy’s ears. Brooding? Waiting?

Both, probably.

“Granola bar?”

Buffy smiled, her stomach cramping at the thought, “Had one a while back. But thanks.”

Okay, so that was a lie. But, she was the Slayer.

She didn’t need it half as much as Will and Xan did. For the moment it would probably be the last source of food- at least until they found another place to squat in.

What wouldn’t she give for a lasagne? A cheeseburger?

Hell, even a Twinkie would be nice.

Xander had taken the last one about...a week ago, maybe a little less. Who knew? None of them kept calendars, and all communication had been down since the broadcast of Air Force One’s destruction.

That had been the day that everything had really gone to hell.

Date: 12/10/97… 10th December 1997

Buffy couldn’t feel the ground beneath her feet. She was almost floating amidst the insanity of the past four days. Her face felt like steel as she stared up at the pile of televisions in the shop window. The window in front of the pile was smashed; shards of broken glass littered the ground around them.

Of the mound of television sets only one was still functioning, one of the few sets that looters hadn’t had the chance to steal yet- or they just couldn’t carry anymore.

She discarded the thought, and stared at the blurring face of the News Anchor on the screen, she couldn’t hear what he was saying; but his expression and the footage were enough to communicate to anyone that it still didn’t look good.

Actually, the live recording wasn’t as bad as things she’d seen over the past few days. The News Anchor wouldn’t be in the thick of it; not if he wanted to stay alive anyway. The Aliens were destroying everything that they looked at, most of America; most of the world.

Giles had commented, in an unusually desolate tone, that the Aliens had wiped out his home country; that a group called ‘The Watchers’ Council’ had been amongst those attacked by a fleet of Alien-occupied spaceships.

Maybe that why he’d been so careless, he’d probably lost family back there; Giles look-alikes wearing tweed, and polishing glasses, she pictured.

She’d wished he would have talked to them about it; to her.

She banished the train of thought quickly as she felt the familiar volcano within her pulse red-hot hatred. She needed a clear head, and her friends were her responsibility.

Buffy studied the footage on the screen intently, a bitter taste in her mouth.

They’d taken Colorado, Buffy stared at the mountain onto which the spacecraft was landing; she shook her head slowly feeling a steady stream of adrenaline enter her system. She watched the footage of mass fires.

Dark shadows of flailing bodies, illuminated by the firelight for all to see.

She gritted her teeth, and clenched her hand around the plastic handle of the axe she was wielding; she ached to swing it; to take an Alien’s head clean right off. She hated being back here, watching television while the whole world went to hell.

Buffy’s head jerked away from the screen as a sound of shattering glass met her ears; she swallowed and scanned the area around her. Embers danced along the glistening ground, trash lay strewn everywhere mingling with shrapnel- no hiding places there, and no creeps that she could see.

Where had the noise come from?

“Ow!” came an exclamation. “That hurt.”

Buffy closed her eyes in frustration at the familiar voice. “Xander!”

Cordelia’s sniping voice also reached her ears, “Hardly my fault if your feet are two sizes too big for you, Harris.”

“Buffy?”

Cordelia scoffed, “I’m Cordelia! C-o-r-d-

As Buffy walked towards the source of the noise a figure came stumbling out from the deserted video store, it was Xander- a very dirty Xander.

He turned back, “No, it’s Buffy!”

Buffy felt a touch of amusement as the cheerleader glowered at Xander’s back, even as she wondered of the Aliens a happy smile tugged at her lips. She’d been trying to find Xander and Cordelia for the last few hours; she was glad that they were both safe.

She sniffed against Xander’s shirt as he hugged her, she flinched a little at the ripe stench he gave off- but, then, he’d probably been running from those weird ‘Kree-Jaffa’ people. She wished that more of them would be on the ground; easier targets…and hey, at least they could run.

She ignored the smell, but pulled away reluctantly; they had to get back to the house, Willow would be freaking right about then, and mom- hopefully she hadn’t found out Buffy was missing yet.

Otherwise she’d be grounded, never mind their world was being trashed.

“We should go,” Buffy said feeling tired. “Willow’s probably wigging.”

She said this to both Xander and-

Where was Cordelia?

“God,” she heard the girl murmur.

Buffy turned to see that Cordelia was in the same spot she’d been in minutes before, staring at the television screen. The girl’s face was suddenly ashen, eyes dark and stormy.

“Cordy,” she started, “unless you want to meet more of those ‘kree-jaffa’ amigos we should go.” She glared, exasperated, as the girl ignored her.

Buffy sighed and shared a look with Xander, shaking her head she was about to pull her away from the television when her pager bleeped shrilly- horribly shrill in the quietness of the…

She turned to Xander slowly and hoped that he was on the same mental frequency as her, “Xander, it is way too quiet.”

The beeping stopped as she glanced briefly at her pager- it was mom.

“Cordy,” hissed Xander, pulling at the girl’s arm, “we’re going.”

Then Xander froze, and turned back to Buffy with obvious difficulty, “Air Force One...it bit the dust.”

His casual wording was at odds with his stunned expression; his skin as pale as Cordelia’s.

Buffy felt disconnected at that moment, and walked forwards to see the screen better. The News Anchor was shell-shocked but still managed to mouth the words that told them all they needed to know.

Air Force One…attacked…Aliens…no response…

Buffy dimly wondered when she’d gotten so good at lip-reading, Sunnydale High didn’t teach it- maybe she’d study it anyway… Since when did she care about her studies so much?

She shook her head, clearing it as Cordelia started rambling irately.

“…no President!? They can’t…” Cordelia looked furious, and a little afraid. “Oh…those Alien-psychos are in for a world of pain!”

Xander piped up dejectedly, “Well, at least he won’t be around to see his country burn to the ground.”

Buffy heard, in the distance, an ominous metallic clunking sound. She frowned, it sounded as if someone’s shoes were a little too big and heavy for their feet. She tuned out Cordy’s indignant ranting and listened intently; if it was what she thought it was, they’d have to bail.

“Jaffa, kree!”

Commence bailing.

She shushed the cheerleader and ushered both through the open door into the dilapidated store Xander and Cordy had previously exited, they clambered over the broken mess of shelving that had once exhibited video cases. The entire store looked as if a bomb had recently detonated.

Maybe it hadn’t all been the work of looters; the Jaffa-kree brigade seemed to be very animated with their funky weaponry.

Hopefully they’d pass up on killing them.

“Are you sure they’re Alien?” Xander questioned, dubiously as they flitted from shadow to shadow. “They look pretty human from where I’m skulking.”

They were skulking?

Buffy smiled briefly, “I doubt it. Did you see those weapons… those spaceships?”

No, those guys weren’t human…

Were they?

Cordy hissed angrily, albeit quietly, “I don’t care if they’re human!”

Maybe she could throw Cordelia at them; that much venom would bring down most vampires, probably.

She glanced at the girl and decided that Cordy’s glare alone would probably petrify them, not unlike a basilisk.

Cordy fingered the ripped hem of her blouse; teeth exposed in a snarl, “This shirt was two hundred and fifty dollars!”

Buffy sighed. They had more problems than a ripped shirt- and if Cordy was so rich… “Get another one.”

“I bought it in France!” she growled, vexed. “Are your parents wealthy enough to afford a plane!?”

Buffy stepped over more debris, and finally spotted a way out.

“Cordy,” Xander snapped, impatiently. “Shut up.”

She pushed the quarrelling twosome in front of her, “Guys, not now.” She turned back as she heard a clatter, followed by a crunching sound of glass under shoes.

“Kree tal shal mak!”

Why did she get the feeling they were talking to them?

Xander sprinted to the back door…way; the door had been torn off. He glanced around, obviously taking stock of the area; he glanced back and waved them over, “Coast’s clear.”

“Identify yourself!”

So, they did speak English! What language had the guy been spouting before?

Something about shellfish…

Buffy ducked behind a fallen shelf not a second before hot blast passed her by; singeing the skin of her shoulder. As the blast impacted the wall behind her she felt her anger growing in response to the attack, turning to order her friends through the door, she froze.

Two of the Aliens must have sneaked up behind them; the metal-clad beings had both her friends in a tight grip; hands over mouths; their cold eyes promising an ugly death for all.

Buffy studied her friends briefly, taking note any possible injuries; none that were obvious.

Xander’s facial expressions were alternating between fury, guilt and fear; Cordy just looked livid.

Buffy heard the telltale clank of the Aliens’ footfalls coming up behind her; she had to take them out; quickly. She allowed herself to relax, to ‘hone her senses’ as Giles had once said.

Ascertaining their positions, she whipped around and delivered a roundhouse kick, catching Alien number one off guard; she cheered internally as he stumbled; barely managing to remain on his feet. She let her momentum carry her body around until she faced him, and then brought her elbow up to meet his face.

Her gaze was already locked on her next target, Alien number two, even as the previous fell heavily- and loudly- to the ground; instincts primed, she clenched her fists and-

“Enough!” exploded one of the Aliens behind her. “Or your friends will pay with their lives.”

Buffy grit her teeth, itching for a little confrontation. She slowly relaxed her posture slightly, before turning to face the Alien who’d spoken up.

Alien number three.

His glare met her own over Xander’s head, she watched as his grip around her friend’s throat loosened; the Alien ignored the boy’s choking coughs and pushed him forwards, he angled his staff towards them as his friend did the same.

Cordy bounced off Xander, but kept her balance; she gave the Alien who’d held her an icy look, “Watch the hands, tin man, geez!”

“Silence, hasshak!” Alien number three barked.

What had he called Cordelia?

Xander turned to her, confusion clouding his eyes, “Did he just call Cordelia a haddock?”

Despite the situation, Buffy smirked with vague amusement, and wondered whether or not that was the last straw for the cheerleader.

“What did you call me?!”

Any answer…verbal, or otherwise… was interrupted as a strange, metallic ball clattered through the front entrance behind them. They all watched silently, taken by surprise, as the ball rolled to a stop.

Then Buffy’s whole world consisted of white, blinding light and unearthly screams; pain ripped through her body, sending her to the ground. She groaned, wishing the screeches would stop.

And then, they did.

Buffy felt her body quaking, her head ached horribly; she had momentarily lost all feeling in her limbs; her mind was fuzzy.

Maybe they’d all been killed.

She couldn’t see anything…very little, anyway.

“G-guys?” she hated how weak her voice sounded.

Slowly, she sat up and tried to clear her vision.

The blurry outlines of the Aliens, of her friends, were all she could make out; they were still in the video store.

They hadn’t died.

That weird device hadn’t killed them- but who’d thrown it?

Buffy leapt up quickly, hoping she hadn’t wasted too much time; those Aliens could be waking up already, she could take care of herself, but she wouldn’t risk Xander and Cordy.

She had to get them out.

To drag them out; both were unconscious.

What the Hell had that ball-thingy been?



~*~

A/N: Feedback is, as always, greatly appreciated.
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