Since I am a poor chickadee with no wealth to speak of, I think it's safe to say that neither BtVS nor Stargate SG-1 are mine. ^^;Written for: TtH August Fic A Day Challenge
// Bitter End challenge
by QbastSummary: The enemy has taken one of their own. They will have vengeance, and they will destroy this new threat to the Earth.Author's note:
Season 8 and beyond of BtVS do not exist. I have, however, stolen characters from them. This is the first in at least a two part series. Mentioned character death.
She was not broken- she refused
to be broken. Broken was useless, broken was shattered and alone, broken was unable to take vengeance on the cowards
who had stolen her oldest, her most beloved friend from her. She wasn't useless or shattered or alone; she was angry
and she was powerful. They all were, with the passion and fury of their pain driving them. Anya would have been proud of them, had she seen what had happened to the man she'd loved, and how those left behind would deal with this new threat. Deal with those who had murdered
"They will pay for this." Her voice echoed, pain and rage laden in her deepened tone. Red locks were already bleached white with crackling power, magic that rippled along her form. It was different from all those years ago, when another loss had sent her over the edge of darkness, because this was for Xander
. For the one who had brought her back from that precipice, for a yellow crayon, her anguish took another route. She would not dishonor his memory, and everything he had stood for. They would take vengeance, yes, but they would do it the right way, by defending against and destroying the people who threatened to destroy the Earth.
"I promise. What intelligence do we have on their installation, Wills?" Buffy's words were clipped, steel, her gaze just as solid. She hadn't cried for their loss, just as Willow hadn't, not yet. She herself had spearheaded the team that rescued Xander's body from their enemies' grasp, had rescued Giles at the same time. Their return to Cleveland had been anything but triumphant, but it hadn't phased the eldest Slayer, and instead had only spurred her to take the title that mini-Slayers had been whispering since its reveal in an ancient prophecy regarding the spread of the slayer essence. She was the Slayer Queen in every way; the strongest of the Slayers, the fastest, her dreams the most prophetic, and she wielded the Scythe with the most skill and fire. And now, with a new, more personal than ever, war to wage, she was the Queen in command. No one had argued against Buffy's ascension, not with what and who they'd lost.
"They're well protected against a physical assault." A wordless spell brought forth a three dimensional representation of the mountain beneath which the cowards hid. "They already blocked off the entrance you broke through last time." The entrance Xander's body had been carried through, sightless and empty of her best friend's very self. Nothing but a lifeless shell of who he had been. She didn't repeat her past mistakes, as she had with Buffy, with Tara, she only moved forward from the thought. The defenses employed by the enemy highlighted with orange on the representation. "We won't be able to take them through brute force, or breach their security with a direct attempt. But-" A quick shift of magic, the orange fading to leave blue points shining within
the mountain, far deeper than where the orange had been. "They have zero magical protection."
"Then a magical attack it will be." Giles, even wheelchair bound from his injuries, had refused to be left out of the command decisions. He was exhausted, bandaged and physically broken, but his eyes were as steely as his Slayer's were. His rescue from the mountain had been a near thing, as the demon that had killed Xander had very nearly killed the Watcher as well, before Buffy and her team had arrived. "You can teleport us into the mountain?"
"Yes." The representation of the air force installation magnified, the mountain above disappearing to show only the lower levels as Willow easily manipulated the magic with a thought. "Their magical knowledge is pitiful, even with the snake demons they are working with. I will teleport teams into these three spots," and the blue points lit up, one by one, "and we can proceed from there. They won't have a clue what hit them."
"Understood." Buffy nodded, something like a cold smile quirking her lips, except that there was no room to smile. Not with the reason for this war. "We'll start with three alpha teams of twenty-one; fourteen Slayers, three magic users, three Watchers, and the team leader. There will be at least six back up teams of the same composition. I will lead the first team to teleport in."
"No, Willow." A thrill of anger raced through her at the denial, but Buffy wasn't finished. Green eyes locked with hers, and the blonde shook her head, understanding written in that gaze. "I need you at coordinate the assault, to teleport the teams in, and keep us connected." Unvoiced, but thought, across a link that should have included one more, 'I know you want to be there, but you'll do the most good here. You'll help Xander the most by doing this.
She was right. Willow knew she was. And even as acceptance that she wouldn't personally destroy the monster that had destroyed her best friend settled in, she knew that she would be satisfied with making sure they were all
destroyed by directing those who would
physically destroy them.
"Who will lead the two remaining alpha teams?" Giles, understanding that Willow would accept the reasoning, voiced the next question.
"Dawn?" Buffy's gaze fell to her sister, who nodded swiftly. As the dark haired Summers answered, Giles' hand fell to rest on Willow's own. Together, they would lead from Cleveland.
"I got it." A Watcher in her own right now, well versed in magic, and as full of fury as the others, she was a perfect choice, Willow knew.
They turned as one, to find the speaker framed in the open doorway. Faith held the Scythe tightly in her white knuckled gasp, covered still in the gore of the demons she had slain to exorcise her personal demons and pain. No one argued with her.
"Alright. Rona, Vi, Robin? You will lead the second set of teams." Each of the named nodded sharply, and Buffy continued with ease. "The third set of teams will be led by Satsu, Rowena, and Andrew." Another set of nods, from both mentioned Slayers, but Andrew sputtered, eyes wide.
"Me? B- but-"
"Yes you, Andrew. You're fully qualified now, with enough experience as both a Watcher and a magic user to lead a squad." And, Willow knew, he was wonderful with many of the minis. "You've been a member of this team for as long as any of our leaders, and you will
be able to handle this. For Xander."
For Xander. The same reasoning she had given Willow. The same reason they all had in their hearts. Andrew visibly swallowed and, finally, nodded as well. Buffy's eyes swept over them all, taking in their determination and furor, and then she too nodded. Willow released the magic holding together the mountain representation, and turned eyes to the next to speak, as the Slayer Queen passed the floor to her Watcher.
"Giles; you know the most about these demons. Brief us on what we're facing."
"They are known as the Goa'uld," he answered, voice strong despite his condition. "And they are in league with an installation of the United States Air Force, the Stargate Command."
Xander would be avenged, and they would destroy these demons, and any humans that stood with them. Willow would make sure of it.