Jack O'Neill stared at the five foot tall blonde across from him steadily, hoping that she would simply surrender. He knew his duty, and these girls (along with Mr. Eye Patch) had broken into the most secure military facility in the United States of America, displaying abilities which marked them as superhuman, to say the least. Even so, the part of him which had been a father shied away from even pointing his zat'nik'tel at what looked to him like little girls, to say nothing of the far more lethal P-90s carried by the airmen accompanying him. In the end, it was that hesitation which cost him.
Faster than he had ever seen, the group's blonde leader rushed towards him. Of course, Jack O'Neill was a soldier with decades of experience in black operations, so, even though her charge was closer to a blur than anything the colonel generally associated with human locomotion, before she had taken more than a few steps, he had pumped a shot from his zat into her. The young woman momentarily staggered, and then, gritting her teeth, she kept moving forward.
Jack only hesitated a second before firing his second zat blast, but that was a second too long. While the girl seemed to have been slightly slowed by his zat, she was still blindingly fast, closing the small distance which remained between the two of them in an instant. Jack's second shot struck the floor, as his opponent forced his arm downwards with strength a girl her size should not possess.
Drawing on his extensive self-defense training, SG-1's leader tried to grapple with the the young woman, instinctively attempting to use his superior size against her, but his effort was futile. Just before he lost consciousness, Jack O'Neill heard the sound of escaping gas hissing from above his head.
The SGC's airmen had little better luck than Jack O'Neill. Just like the soldiers outside the base had discovered, they found that their P-90s were no match for Willow Rosenberg, who stopped their bullets in midair before tearing their machine guns right out of their hands. Then, moving preternaturally swiftly, Faith Lehane and the two younger slayers accompanying her were among them, sending one airman after another to the floor.
By that point in the slayers' mission, Willow was tired. She had blocked two volleys of bullets and overridden some fairly sophisticated technology already, carefully making sure not to draw on a dangerous amount of magic all the while. After that sort of exertion, she was starting to reach the point where she might not be able to manage more than two or three more big spells without opening her taps up completely, something which would almost certainly force her to go through another round of mystical detoxification. Even so, when she heard the hiss of escaping gas above her head, the Wiccan knew that they would need at least one more big spell right away. After all, while the slayers might be able to resist the sleeping gas for a little while, even they would succumb eventually, while she and Xander had no such resistance. Fortunately, this was not the first time Willow had dealt with gas, so she had a ready made solution.
Gas had to come from pipes, and, while her eyes could not see those pipes, her senses could feel them out and twist them closed. There were a fair number of pipes ferrying gas into the hallway she and the slayers had been penned into, but Willow was a rather powerful witch, so, with a brief exertion of her will, the flow of gas to the corridor was cut off. Even so, whatever had been piped into the room in the few seconds before she closed the pipes was obviously fairly potent, as she was already feeling rather light-headed, and Xander looked shaky. Even the slayers, particularly Buffy, looked more winded than they should have been after fighting a dozen or so soldiers.
Then, just as the colonel had promised, more than twenty airmen, wearing gas masks, flooded into the corridor. At their head, a tall, black, broad-shouldered figure dressed in beige Jedi robes strode towards them, a lit, violet lightsaber held confidently in his hands.
“Samantha Carter, Daniel Jackson,” the large man, who Willow identified as Murray, intoned, pointing towards the red-haired Wiccan. “Beware. The Force is strong with that one.”
Willow simply stared at him dumbly. Was that a joke? However, the man's solemn gaze seemed to indicate that he was serious. Then the alarm klaxon began to sound, as flashing, red warning lights gave the entire hallway a crimson hue.
“Alert. Base self-destruct sequence has been initiated. Alert. Base self-destruct sequence has been initiated.”
Willow's jaw dropped. Why the heck would the government's deep space stargazing facility have a self-destruct mechanism, or even the capacity to pump gas into its hallways, for that matter? Also, why was it so well defended? Willow had figured that there would be maybe ten or fifteen guards at the most. She glanced at Murray briefly. Alright. To be fair, some of its defenders were a little bit eccentric, but, even so, what kind of telescope needed this many guards?
Apparently, Buffy was beginning to feel the same way as Willow, as, before any of the airmen behind Murray could get a good angle from which to open fire on the slayers, she pointed at Murray with an accusing finger.
“Just what kind of tv repair shop is this? I mean, okay, I get that you navy guys really don't want to miss your daytime soaps, but, don't you think that this is kind of overkill?”
For a brief instant, everyone in the room stopped to stare at Buffy. Then Murray spoke up.
“This is not a tv repair shop, Fluffy Winters.”
“What?” the blonde slayer replied. “But don't you guys do like radio television or something here?”
“We do not. This facility performs deep space radar telemetry.”
“Huh? What's that?”
“I do not know. Perhaps you should ask Samantha Carter.”
“But, if you work here, shouldn't you know what you do?”
Teal'c was not quite sure how he should proceed. Most likely, the entirety of Stargate Command was going to explode in less than three minutes, and yet, rather than attempting to either do battle or flee, the leader of those invading the SGC was attempting to engage him in a discussion about deep space radar telemetry, acting as if she had absolutely no idea what went on at Stargate Command.
Most likely, she was attempting to carry out some sort of deception. However, even if there was only a small chance that her confusion was genuine, it might be best to pursue the matter, as engaging enemies capable of defeating Colonel O'Neill's team, while the entire base was about to blow up, when a peaceful alternative might exist, would be foolish. Thus, Teal'c decided to attempt a bluff.
“I am a deep space repair man, Fluffy Winters. This job does not require an understanding of deep space radar telemetry.”
“Oh,” Buffy replied. If he was only a repair guy, even some kind of astronaut repair guy, then maybe he wouldn't actually know what went on here.
“Wait a second,” Willow cut in, staring at Murray suspiciously. “Deep space repair man? Is that even a real job? I mean, what exactly do you do here, and why are you dressed like that?"
At that point having realized that this discussion might go on for some time, Xander decided to raise what he felt was an important point.
"Um, guys, maybe it's just me, but if this place is going to blow up soon, do you think that this is really the best time for this discussion? I mean, sure, this place seems pretty suspicious, but couldn't we-"
"Just a second, Xander," Buffy interrupted him. "I've been kind of confused about what they do here ever since Giles explained it. Something about this place just doesn't add up."
"Right, right. Just ignore the man who doesn't want us all to get blown up."
Becoming increasingly confused with the SGC's invaders, who really did seem completely clueless, Sam attempted to salvage the situation, her voice distorted by her gas mask.
“He means that he repairs the machines which monitor the satellites providing data to this facility, of course. But that's not what's import-”
Buffy interrupted her, arching an eyebrow upwards sceptically.
“Then why didn't he say that, then? Also, what's 'deep space' about that? That sounds like just a normal repair guy. Now that I think about it, it seems pretty suspicious that the navy would really have this big a base out here just for radio televisions.”
Sam gritted her teeth behind her gas mask. This girl was really annoying.
“Firstly, we're the air force, not the navy, and, secondly, Teal'c already told you that we do deep space radar telemetry, not radio television, whatever that is.”
“Wait a second. Since when is his name Teal'c?”
Buffy pointed at Teal'c, her eyes narrowing.
“I thought he was Murray. And what kind of name is Teal'c, anyway?”
Teal'c glowered down impassively at the SGC's five-foot tall invader.
“One who dwells within a crystalline domicile should, perhaps, not sling rocks, Fluffy Winters.”
“Wow,” Willow exclaimed to Xander, eyes wide. “That guy's almost as bad about mangling sayings as Buffy is.”
Buffy's sharp slayer hearing caught Willow's remark, and she briefly took a moment to glare at her old friend, before turning back towards the black guy with two names and his anonymous, masked goons.
“Just a minute,” another one of the masked goons spoke up. “So, you're saying that you have no idea what we do here. Then why are you invading our facility?”
“Well, you kidnapped one of our people, and we want him back,” Buffy replied in a tone of voice which sounded far too reasonable for the sort of lunatic who would break into arguably the most secure military base on Earth without even, apparently, knowing where she was. “I mean, Andrew's a bit of a geek, and he did accidentally destroy some property, but no one was badly hurt, and even if he had hurt someone, he doesn't deserve to have the military performing evil experiments on him. Oh right. Also,” Buffy pointed at Teal'c again, “I want his lightsaber.” * * *
Far away from the increasingly ridiculous conversation proceeding near the entrance to Stargate Command, General Hammond watched the cameras showing the base’s entrance with steadily increasing perturbation.
As soon as Jack O’Neill's team had gone down, General Hammond had activated Stargate Command’s automated self-destruct device, which would destroy not just NORAD’s headquarters, but also a substantial portion of the surrounding state of Colorado if it went off. This device had been designed to guarantee that aliens attempting to assail Stargate Command would not be able invade the planet using the Stargate if the SGC fell. Unfortunately, rather than attempting to eliminate the intruders who had invaded Cheyenne Mountain, the three members of SG-1 who he had sent to back up Colonel O’Neill had apparently decided to try carrying out a discussion with the invaders.
Now, he understood why they might do so. So far, from what he had seen of their opponents' body language and facial expressions, the general would guess that the invaders honestly had no idea what was going on at the SGC, as ridiculously unlikely as that might seem. Thus, for a team like SG-1, which was primarily tasked with making first contact with often hostile alien species, attempting to resolve matters peacefully might seem to make sense.
However, after having watching the self-proclaimed Fluffy Winters – he was sure that had to be a pseudonym – trick the gate guards with a similar, if, to his eyes, less genuine, display of naivete and silliness, George Hammond could not be certain that his people were not being fooled. If they were being fooled, he could not afford to have the gate room fall to whatever kind of aliens Miss Winters' people might be. At the same time, if their invaders really were as clueless as they appeared, General Hammond really did not want to blow himself and all his personnel up in – he checked the time remaining before the mountain exploded – 82 seconds. He had granddaughters to go home to, after all.
Thus, while confused and more than slightly apprehensive, General Hammond still felt mostly grateful when both the SGC's invaders and its defenders vanished in a series of familiar flashes of white light. He had no idea why the Asgard would have abruptly decided to teleport both his own personnel and those invading Cheyenne Mountain wherever they had just gone, but at least it meant that he would not have to blow up a large chunk of Colorado today.
Confirming on the remainder of the base’s security cameras that the invaders had not simply been moved to another part of the SGC, General Hammond breathed a sigh of relief, as he called Lieutenant-Colonel Billings over to his side in order to deactivate the base's self-destruct sequence. He did not think that he would have ever forgiven himself if he had ended up killing tens of thousands of people over a misunderstanding. He certainly would never have forgiven Fluffy Winters.