Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy: The Vampire Slayer or Mass Effect that I am about to play around with for this story, they remain the property of their respective creators.
~~~///~~~Chapter TwoSunnydale Streets
Buffy looked up from her small posse of increasingly sugar-high kids as her Slayer senses tingled and a strange wind began to blow across the city, a wind that seemed to have sprung up from nowhere. The essence within her, the part that gave her the strength and powers of the Slayer, stirred and screamed that something was suddenly very, very wrong.Damn it Giles said Halloween is always quiet,
she thought as the feeling of wrongness grew to the point where she abruptly felt like there was liquid nitrogen running through her veins instead of blood. She started to reach into the purse that was part of her outfit to call Giles on her mobile phone when an incredibly powerful wave of magic washed over her and she dropped to her knees. From what seemed like far away she could suddenly hear strange roars and howls mixed with terrified screaming and the odd car alarm but it was fading as a strange darkness enveloped her thoughts.
With Slayer determination she tried to fight back against it, against whatever was happening to her but she couldn’t do anything and the world faded away into nothingness.
Willow smiled as she guided her charges along a path to a house. She had to admit she was actually quite enjoying the role of shepherd for the younger kids not that she wouldn’t be relieved when they returned to the High School and she’d be free to head off to the Bronze with Xander and Buffy. With luck the disco wouldn’t be over before they got there.
“Come on guys,” she said as one of the kids wearing a green mask rang the door. A moment later it opened and an old lady appeared prompting a chorus of ‘trick-or-treat’ from the pint-sized posse.
“Why aren’t you all adorable,” the lovely old lady said smiling at the pack of kids, “let me see what I have,” she said looking down into a plastic bucket that she was holding and frowning when she saw it was empty. “Oh have I run out,” she mused neither she nor Willow noticing two of the kids stiffen as they began to transform into true monsters under the malicious influence of Ethan’s spell. “I could have sworn I had more candy,” she said bending down to the kid’s eye level “I’m sorry mister monster…”
Abruptly the kid in the green goblin mask snarled and grabbed the woman’s neck with inhumanly strong hands and began choking her. “What are you doing,” Willow screamed as she started forward to stop the kid before he killed the elderly lady even as the others started screaming and running crying for their mothers, “stop it let her go.”
Before she could intervene however the remaining kid who’d transformed into a red-skinned, horned demon snarled and attacked the child-turned-goblin. Immediately the goblin released the old woman who fled inside, slamming the door with a scream of abject terror, and attacked the far more serious threat.
“No stop,” Willow yelled but before she could reach the fighting pair a strange lightness filled her and her breath caught in her throat. Eyes widening in fear and panic she tried to breathe and found herself completely unable to. Stumbling she dropped to her knees then rolled onto her side and closed her eyes as darkness enveloped her.
The sensation of being unable to breathe stopped and her eyes flew open again. That was weird, she thought getting back to her feet, feeling an odd momentary tingle like static electricity as she did so. The two fighting kids had vanished and all around kids and adults alike seemed to be running around most in panic and confusion while others were roaring and howling and generally acting like real demons or monsters instead of children and teenagers in costumes.
Looking down she screamed in shock when she saw that her arms were uncovered and that she was wearing the sexy outfit that Buffy had badgered her into putting on instead of the ghost costume. Freaking her out even more a body covered in the ghost costume lay beside her, with a familiar set of boots sticking out as the body lay on its side.
“Oh my god, I’m a real ghost,” she said before looking around again at the scene of unfolding chaos and suddenly understanding that something nasty was going on here, something that she bet had something to do with the Hellmouth. But I thought Halloween was supposed to be quiet. Xander, Buffy I have to go and find them, then go find Giles maybe he can explain what’s going on here,
she thought beginning to walk and being relieved that her feet didn’t sink into the floor or anything as she headed towards where she’d last seen Xander. He was closer to her than Buffy’s group which had been a few blocks further down, each of them having decided to take their posses of kids to different blocks.
She just hoped what had happened to her hadn’t happened to him as well.
~~//~~This isn’t the Citadel,
Commander John Shepard thought frowning as he gazed around in complete and total confusion. Instead of being in the Catalysts chamber trying to reason with the ancient artificial intelligence that controlled the Reapers he appeared to be standing on a city street that from the buildings looked to be somewhere in California. Yet something was odd about it, as not only were the buildings in a very old style but there was no evidence of any damage from the Reaper invasion, none of the machines twisted cybernetic abominations were roaming the streets battling with allied forces attempting to liberate the planet. Despite their absence the streets were far from quite however as aliens unlike anything he had ever seen in his life before were running around causing absolute pandemonium.
And if that wasn’t enough the pain from his burns had vanished, his hardsuit was completely intact and he had all the weapons he’d left the Normandy
with when they’d led Sword Fleet through the Sol relay to engage the Reaper forces holding Sol in a battle that would determine the fate of the galaxy. What in the world is going on here,
he thought before a roar caught his attention and he turned to see a creature that looked like a classic Frankenstein monster – green skin and neck bolts and all – charging towards him, hands raised to crush his throat.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he muttered incredulously before reacting to the threat by making a few very slight muscle movements sending a charge of electricity racing through the tumour-like element zero nodules melded to his nervous system. As the familiar blue aura of biotic power materialised around him he pulled his left arm back turning his wrist so the palm of his hand was facing the creature. Abruptly he thrust his arm forward and a ball of dark energy flew from his hand and struck the creature with a full force biotic throw. The creature emitted a cry of shock and confusion as the blast picked it up and violently slammed it into a nearby lamppost with an audible clang. As the biotic field dissipated the Frankenstein monster slumped to the ground unconscious from the impact – leaving a visible dent in the metal.
“Whoa Xander how did you do that,” a shocked sounding female voice said from behind prompting him to spin around drawing his phalanx heavy pistol from his belt and allowing his biotics to flare brighter even as he aimed the pistol at a red headed young woman who looked to be in her mid-to-late teens a young woman who was dressed in old fashioned – yet undeniably sexy and provocative – clothes and who was looking at him in shock.
“Who are you,” he demanded.
“Xander stop fooling around it’s me its Willow,” the teenager replied.
“I don’t know anyone named Willow and my first name is John not Xander,” Shepard answered confused and wondering why the teen seemed to recognise him yet at the same time didn’t know who he was. He didn’t see how that was possible as in his experience everyone automatically knew who he was as his face had been all over the extranet on and off for years now, even before he’d been chosen as humanities first Spectre. Saving a colony from Batarian slavers and pirates single-handedly did kind of have the effect of making you a celebrity, though he’d never enjoyed at as he’d simply been doing his job though he did understand why people made such a big fuss about it everyone needed heroes after all.
“Oh god its happened to you as well,” Willow exclaimed before mentally berating herself for not having realised it, the fact that Xander was literally glowing biotic blue should have clued her into the fact that whatever had turned her into a real ghost had turned him into one of the biotic variants of Commander Shepard. “You dressed as Commander Shepard for Halloween and now you are him.”
Shepard frowned in confusion. “Why would I dress as myself,” he asked wondering if the woman in front of him was in some way crazy.
“Okay, okay this isn’t going to be easy to explain and it’s probably going to sound totally insane to you but… commander you’re not real. You’re a character – specifically the protagonist – in a video game series called Mass Effect created by a game company in Canada called Bioware. You’re really my best friend, Xander Harris. He dressed up in a recreation of your armour for Halloween and has somehow turned into you, just like I wore a ghost costume over this get up and now I’ve been turned into a real ghost.”
“Your right that does sound insane,” Shepard replied before reigning in his flaring biotics and lowering the gun. This girl had to be crazy as what she was saying sounded absolutely insane even by his standards.
“Welcome to Sunnydale,” Willow answered reaching out to put a hand on his arm, only for her hand to pass straight through. On the other side of the glowing blue visor she saw Xander/Shepard’s eyes widen in shock as he saw what happened.
“What the hell?” he exclaimed in shock before looking at her with a mounting suspicion “are you a hologram? Did The Illusive Man, Harbinger or the Catalyst send you to play with my head?”
“I’m not a hologram I told you I’m a ghost,” Willow replied starting to a little irritated by the sceptical response she was getting, though in away it was understandable. Fortunately there was a way of proving that she was telling the truth. “Look if you don’t believe me take a look at your reflection in one of those car wing-mirrors.”
Shepard raised an eyebrow but after a moments thought decided he might as well humour the girl and went up to the closest car to look in the wing-mirror… and gasped in shock. The face that looked back at him was that of a stranger. It was the face of a much younger man specifically someone in his mid-to-late teens and it wasn’t even his own face as he well remembered what he’d looked like as a teenager.
“What,” he breathed running a hand over his features as well as he could with the mnemonic visor in the way hoping that what he was seeing in the reflective surface of the mirror was some kind of hologram – though truth be told he’d never seen a hologram that looked so flawless in his life as the colours were perfect and this Willow wasn’t transparent – but it wasn’t, the face was real. “Okay,” he whispered mind almost as numb as when he’d first truly realised the threat posed to the galaxy by the Reapers. After a few stunned moments he mentally shook himself and looked back at the patiently waiting Willow, “okay let’s say I believe you how the hell did this happen?”
“I have no idea,” Willow answered. “That’s why we need to find, Buffy and then go and see Giles. That’s the only way we’ll get some answers,” she saw the smirk that had appeared on his face clearly something she’d said had amused him, “what?”
“It’s just Buffy? Who on Earth calls their child Buffy?” Shepard replied struggling not to laugh at the absurd name, “I’ve travelled all over the galaxy and heard some very strange names in my time but Buffy takes the biscuit.”
Willow couldn’t help but smile she had wondered just what Joyce had been thinking when she chose that name though from what Buffy had told her it was more likely to be her estranged father – Hank Summers – fault that she had a name that was unusual even by the quirky – as Giles would say – standards of Californians. But before she could speak a loud aggressive roar caught their attention and both spun to see several transformed children racing towards them wielding a hodgepodge of different makeshift weapons.
Shepard started to raise the phalanx again to target the new threat. “No,” Willow screamed seeing the action, “don’t kill them. Those are kids they’ve just been transformed the same as we have.”
“Al right,” Shepard replied flipping a small button on the pistol telling it to prime a concussion round before firing. A tiny metal slug shot out of the pistol with the familiar boom of a mass accelerator weapon being fired, it crossed the rapidly closing distance between them and the lead kid/monster and detonated on impact with his chest as opposed to punching through or burning. The concussive force of the blast broke up the charge knocking the impacted monster and the two on either side of it off there feet. The whole load stopped gaped in shock before turning and running off to seek easier targets, the three knocked down monsters picking themselves up moments later – look fearfully at them – before turning and running away.
“What!” Willow wondered aloud not recognising the ammo type used as unlike Xander she hadn’t played Mass Effect half a dozen times having far more important things to do – like study for school which wasn’t always easy given all the vampire killing, demon hunting and general supernatural butt-kicking they did on the sidelines.
“Concussion round they’re not harmed beyond getting a few bruises and some dented pride,” Shepard answered before a terrified feminine scream caught their attention coming from further down the street.
“That’s Buffy,” Willow said before turning and running towards where she believed Buffy to be.
“What have you gone and gotten yourself into this time, John,” Shepard muttered to himself before following her.
After a few moments they came upon the person he assumed to be this Buffy person. A teenage girl, who looked like she had just walked straight out of an eighteenth century ballroom given the frilly, red ball gown she was wearing, lay sprawled unconscious on the side walk. A car with its headlights full on was nearby, half wrapped around a palm tree and with steam rising from its ruptured radiator. The driver’s side door was open but no one appeared to be inside.
“Buffy,” yelled Willow fearing the worst as she raced up, dropped to her knees and tried to check her pulse only for her hand to pass right through. Xander/Shepard squatted down opposite her and activated his omni-tool before running a basic medical scan of the young woman in question. She seemed to fine and was only unconscious.
“She’s fine,” he assured the worried looking Willow as he completed the scan and closed the omni-tool down before standing back up. “No injuries. She’s just unconscious my guess is she fainted when the car accident happened.”
“Oh thank goodness,” Willow said relief settling on her for a moment as the fear that Buffy hadn’t been knocked over by the abandoned wrecked car receded. Before she remembered the situation they were in. “We need to get her out of here.”
“Agreed this area isn’t very secure, is there anywhere nearby where we can take shelter?”
“Buffy’s house is only a few streets away it should be safe there,” Willow replied, “once we’ve got her there I’ll go see Giles he’ll be able to tell us what is actually going on.”
“That’s the second time you’ve mentioned, Giles who is he?”
“He’s Buffy’s Watcher, she’s the Slayer or she normally is, if she’s been affected by whatever’s happened then who knows who she is right now.”
“The Slayer what’s that and what’s a Watcher?”
“It’s complicated come on I’ll explain on the way.”
Shepard nodded before gently picking up the unconscious woman and slinging her over his shoulder into a fireman’s carry. “Then lead the way,” he said. Willow nodded and began leading the way towards Buffy’s house, all the while starting to give Shepard the same ‘the world is older than you know’ speech that Giles had given her and Xander back when they’d first learned the truth about Sunnydale last year.
~~//~~Elsewhere In Sunnydale
That Same TimeWhat the hell is going on,
Angel thought to himself as he stepped out of the condominium where he currently made his home and into a chaotic scene. Everywhere that his eyes could see and everywhere he could hear there was total pandemonium with a multitude of different creatures – that to his enhanced sense of smell smelt human but at the same time not human – running around causing total uncontrolled mayhem. Clearly something strange was going on as while Halloween could get somewhat on the mad side in this day and age this was far, far worse than anything he had ever seen before.
“I better go find, Buffy,” he said softly to himself before starting to move in the direction of the Slayer's home, “she should be back from trick-or-treating by now and she might know what's going on here.”
He was walking down a road between two of the many apartment condominiums that dotted this part of Sunnydale – a path he knew would cut his journey time to the suburb where Buffy lived by several minutes – when a deep, ferocious sounding growling noise from the deep shadows reached his ears. What,
he thought turning to look in the direction a second before a werewolf burst out of the darkness clawed hands raised to disembowel him.
With ease he evaded the initial sweep and retaliated with a sharp kick to the werewolf's torso. The werewolf flew back propelled by his vampire strength giving a moment to metaphorically catch his breath and glance up at the sky. Strangely there was no full moon to explain the werewolf's presence in this alleyway instead the moon was only half full, clearly this particular werewolf was being affected by whatever was going on tonight. Before he could really process the revelation the werewolf started to come at him again, roaring loudly in an attempt to intimidate him.
Before he could defend himself from the renewed attack a strange blue bolt of energy came shooting out of a side street and smacked into the werewolf. The blast impacted the werewolf surrounding it in a strange blue aura and making it float in the air as if the planets gravity around it had simply been turned off, a second pulse slammed into the lycanthrope sending it slamming hard into the wall with enough force that Angel reflexively winced knowing that hurt, a moment later the blue field evaporated and the werewolf dropped to the floor unconscious. Turning to look where the blasts had come from he saw a young man around the same age as Buffy approaching. The teenager was dressed in advanced looking blue armour and was holding an assault rifle that like his armour looked like it had come out of a science fiction show or a video game.
“Are you al right sir,” the young man asked.
“I'm fine,” Angel replied eyeing the young man curiously, he looked familiar from somewhere but for the life of him he couldn't think of where he'd seen him. Probably the Bronze, he thought recalling all the times he'd hung out there with Buffy even before they'd gotten together. “How did you do that?”
“You've never seen biotics before,” the young man asked.
“No I haven't what are they some kind of magic,” Angel replied racking his memory for any magical power that he could have seen in his long life first as Liam, then Angelus and now Angel that worked like those glowing blue bolts had. Try as he might he couldn't think of anything prompting him to make a mental note to take it up with Giles later, maybe the Watcher would know.
“Hardly,” the young man replied with a derisive snort. “There is no such thing as magic. No biotics is simply the controlled manipulation of mass effect fields.”
“What are those,” Angel asked with a puzzled frown.
“You don't know,” the young man asked sounding incredulous. Angel shook his head. “Okay what's going on here,” the teenager asked, “not being familiar with biotics I can somewhat understand as there aren't many human biotics. But not knowing what mass effect fields are that shouldn't be possible. Oh where are my manners Major Kaidan Alenko,” the teen held out his hand.
“Angel,” Angel answered taking the offered hand and shaking it before emitting a small yelp as a small arc of energy zapped him. “Ouch.”
“Sorry,” Kaidan said having felt the static discharge. “Can you please tell me where I am? One minute I'm in London about to engage a platoon of husks with Lieutenant Vega the next I'm here wherever this is?”
“You’re in Sunnydale, California. About two hours drive up the coast from Los Angeles.”
“Never heard of it and how the hell did I get to California?”
“I have no idea,” Angel admitted, “but I know someone who could probably tell us and also explain exactly what is going on here tonight. I was on my way to see her anyway.”
“Yes. But she has away of knowing these things,” Angel replied evasively not knowing how to explain that Buffy was the Slayer to someone who obviously had no knowledge of magic or the supernatural in general.
“I see. Very well we'll go which way?”
“This way,” Angel said resuming walking down the street. Kaidan fell into step with him and this close he caught a faint whiff of ozone coming off the teen. He didn't truly believe that the teenager was a major – he looked far to young to even be in the army let alone have such a high rank – but he got impression that whoever he really was he'd been affected by whatever was going on here tonight, something that had made him believe he was who he said he was.
They were just coming into the more suburban streets when a loud yell caught their attention. A moment before a man dressed up in a classic Dracula costume flew past them surrounded by a blue glow and collided hard with a brick wall, slumping unconscious immediately. A moment later a goblin joined him. A moment before a beautiful, brunette woman wearing a black and white jumpsuit and surrounded by a glowing blue aura appeared from behind a bush and approached, after a second Angel recognised her as being Cordelia Chase.
“Major Alenko is that you,” Cordelia asked looking right at Kaidan and Angel was startled to hear Cordelia's voice but with a pronounced Australian accent.
“It's me Miss Lawson,” Kaidan confirmed frowning as Miranda didn't quite look like the Miranda he'd seen in pictures on Shepard's desk or in the horror of the Cerberus facility on Horizon. “You look different.”
“So do you,” Miranda agreed reigning in her biotics. “I don't understand how but I don't think these are really our bodies or this is really our time. The technology I've seen here – wherever here is – is far too clunky and primitive. They actually still use internal combustion engines in their ground cars instead of hydrogen cells and my omni-tool can't pick up a trace of element zero anywhere.”
“Apparently we're in some place in California called Sunnydale,” Kaidan replied frowning at Miranda's words but he couldn't deny that something was seriously odd here, as now that he really thought about it his voice didn't really sound like his own and his body felt well wrong somehow. There wasn't the strength in his limbs that he was used to yet he'd somehow not noticed it before now, clearly this body wasn’t in as good a shape as he liked to keep himself. “If these aren’t our bodies then how as we still able to use our biotics? Any idea what's going on here Miranda?”
“I don't know to either of those questions,” Miranda admitted.
“This man says he knows someone who might be able to give us some answers,” Kaidan said gesturing to Angel.
“And you are,” Miranda asked looking over the other man, he was handsome she would admit that though his clothes were old fashioned in the extreme.
“Angel,” Angel replied growing more confused by the minute that Cordelia/Miranda didn't seem to recognise him even though they'd been sharing a coffee in the Bronze the other day not to mention he'd seen her at Sunnydale High at night once or twice. Some kind of magic had to be at work here to explain the madness that had descended upon the Hellmouth but who could do something like this and why would they do it?
“No just Angel. And we do need to move I’m as eager to get answers to what’s going on here as you are.”
Miranda frowned and carefully studied him, decades of experience first with her father and then during her service to Cerberus told her that there was something this Angel wasn't telling them. For a moment she considered confronting him about it but ultimately decided against it, everyone was entitled to their secrets and truth be told any chance that got them some answers as to what was going on here was worth taking. She just resolved to keep a very close eye on him.
“Very well lead on,” she said at last.
“This way,” Angel replied resuming walking towards where Buffy's house was located several streets away. Two sets of footsteps behind him informed him that the other two were following him and with his supernatural hearing he clearly heard Miranda/Cordelia speak to 'Major' Alenko saying that they should keep an eye on him and getting an agreement. Clearly they didn't trust him which was fine as he didn't really trust them either but he had to get to Buffy and see if she was al right and maybe finally get an explanation for the bizarre events that had overtaken Sunnydale.
Shepard's mind was a whirl as he gently set the unconscious Buffy down on her living room couch. The red-head young woman/ghost that had called herself Willow had spun an almost unbelievable tale about demons, vampires and the existence of the Slayer – one girl in all the world who had the speed, strength and combat prowess to stand against them – and the fact that there was a whole secret organisation called the Watchers Council out there whose purpose was to find and guide the Slayer in her duties. It sounded like something out of a television show or a comic book and not something that could possibly be real.
“No disrespect intended but that sounds well nuts,” he admitted.
“I know its hard to accept,” Willow replied, “I know I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen a friend I'd known since I was in kindergarten was killed and turned into a vampire. I saw him crumble to dust when a stake was driven through his heart.” She closed her eyes for a moment remembering what happened at the Bronze just over a year ago and the death of Jesse. She still missed him and knew that Xander did as well.
“That's an understatement if ever their was one,” Shepard muttered before a soft groan from the couch caught both their attention. They turned to see that Buffy was starting to come around, Willow scooted over just as Buffy's eyes opened...
...and she screamed.
“Whoa there calm down,” Shepard said softly as the young woman's eyes flashed back and forth frantically. “It's okay your safe.”
“Who are you,” Buffy demanded in a whiny tone. “What is this place? Where am I?”
“You're home Buffy,” Willow replied.
“Whose Buffy my name is Elizabeth,” Buffy answered sitting up before frowning as she looked at Willow, “why are you dressed like that? Are you some kind of prostitute is this some kind of brothel.”
“No I know this must seem confusing to you but this is your home,” Willow explained as someone abruptly knocked at the door.
“Buffy,” a voice called from outside.
“That's Angel,” Willow exclaimed, “let him in.”
Shepard nodded and moved over to the front door and opened it. A moment later Willow watched the ensouled vampire came into the premises a frown of total confusion on his handsome, deceptively human features and he wasn’t alone. Trailing along behind him was Cordelia dressed in some kind of black and white jumpsuit and wearing her thick black hair loosely and a shorter man about the same age as her and Xander. After a moment Willow recognised Jonathan though neither she nor Xander had hung around him much since Jesse died. The other teen was dressed in a similar combat hardsuit to Xander only his was blue with white trim and lacked the distinctive N7 markings.
“Buffy,” Angel asked blinking for a moment as he saw Buffy dressed in an old 18th century ball gown. Where the hell did she get that and whys she wearing it, I hope its not to impress me or something I used to hate those snobbish noblewomen back then,
he thought for a moment before turning back to what had brought him here earlier than he’d originally planned “it’s a total madhouse out there? I know Halloween can get somewhat crazy these days but this is insane even by Sunnydale standards I was about to tangle with a werewolf of all things and we're no where near a full moon when this guy came along and used something called biotics to knock it into a convenient wall. Shortly after that we met Cordelia though she's not acting as she normally does. So what's going on Buffy?”
“Your the second person to call me that, my name is Elizabeth not Buffy and I would ask you sir to use that name,” Buffy answered in a vaguely patronising tone that made Angel want to bang his head against the wall. Great just great whatever’s going on has affected her as well,
he thought mentally groaning.
“Ugh Angel I don’t know what’s going on,” Willow replied. “All I know is that somehow some of us have been turned into our costumes. I was wearing a ghost costume over this and now I’ve somehow been turned into a ghost, Xander dressed as Commander Shepard now he is Commander Shepard, Buffy dressed up like that for you and now she apparently thinks she’s an eighteenth century noblewoman.”
“Terrific,” Angel answered noticing out the corner of his eyes noticing 'Miranda' and 'Major Alenko' move up to where Harris was standing dressed in advanced looking black and grey armour. Miranda immediately seemed to hug Harris before the three started to talk amongst themselves.
“Shepard are you al-right,” Miranda asked.
“I'm fine, Miri,” Shepard replied smiling fondly at Miranda before putting an arm across her shoulders, “Kaidan that you?”
“It's me,” Kaidan confirmed. “What the hell is going on here? The last thing I remember is I was about to jump a posse of husks with James when suddenly I’m in this place, don’t look like me any more and there’s total mayhem going on around us. Oh and there are unknown aliens and mythical monsters like werewolves running amok all over the place so what’s going on?”
“You got me. One minute I’m on the Citadel talking to the A.I that controls the Reapers next thing I know I’m here with a woman who appears to be really a ghost,” Shepard replied. “I also have all my weapons again, my hardsuits back intact and my amp’s working again so I can use my biotics. That glancing hit from Harbinger’s lasers really did a number on me.”
“I saw,” Kaidan replied shivering as he recalled Harbinger tearing apart the Hammer forces advancing on the Citadel beam with his secondary laser cannons. “I still don't know how you survived that.”
“I'm not sure but I suspect all the cybernetics kicking about inside me had something to do with it, Miranda did some amazing work during Lazarus.”
“Thank you,” Miranda replied smiling and looking at Shepard affectionately being able to tell somehow despite the differences in appearance that the person with her was the same John Shepard she'd fallen head over heels in love with during the mission to stop the Collectors and the man who'd helped her see through the Illusive Man's eyes and see Cerberus for what it really was.
Kaidan smiled at the obvious love there but before he could make a comment a shrill scream caught their attention and they looked over to see Buffy backing away from a mirror. Seeing the oddly dressed woman rapidly becoming hysterical Kaidan moved away from Shepard and went up to her. “Miss are you al right,” he asked kindly.
“It’s not me,” Buffy replied her mouth trembling as she struggled not to cry. “My reflection it isn't me. What is this place? Whys this happening to me I just want to go home.”
“Easy miss,” Kaidan replied gently at the rapidly becoming hysterical young girl to calm her he activated his omni-tool and gently pressed it to the side of her neck, administering a small sedative from the tools medical program. Immediately her eyes rolled back in her head and she slumped unconscious, Kaidan catching her before she could hit the floor and gently carrying her over to the couch before setting her down.
“What did you do,” Angel asked concerned for his girlfriend.
“Administered a sedative from my tools medical program,” Kaidan answered holding up his omni-tool in emphasis. “She’ll be out of it for a little while.”
“What is that thing,” Angel demanded gazing at the orange glowing glove around the teenagers forearm.
“My omni-tool,” Kaidan answered and frowned at the totally blank look he got in response. Before remembering what Miranda had said about this not being their world and the technology being less advanced than they were used to. Omni-tools were such a ubiquitous technology back home that it was easy to sometimes forget that they were actually really advanced and complex pieces of technology. “I guess you don't have anything like these then?”
“No we don't,” Angel replied as the glowing glove disapeared. “I think that it’s quiet obvious that there is some sort of magic at work here a very twisted magic but magic nevertheless.”
“I told you earlier there is no such thing as magic.”
“Apparently there is in this world Kaidan,” Shepard replied, “though I don't know how to explain how it exists it just does.”
“I think Angels right magic is behind this. Which is why we need to talk to Giles,” Willow replied her features slipping into her 'resolve' face. “I'll go talk to him. He said he was going to stay at the High School tonight and just enjoy the peace and quiet for once.”
“How far away is the High School,” Shepard asked.
“Not far only a few streets,” Willow answered.
“Then you’re not going on your own,” Shepard replied, “hologram or ghost or whatever you may be its madness out there. One of us will come with you.”
Willow frowned and started to open her mouth to argue that it wasn't necessary, as a ghost she didn't need any escort, but one look at Xander's face dissuaded her from speaking. Xander/Shepard had a look on his face that resembled her own resolve face and for the first time she began to realise just how it was impossible for either Buffy or Xander to refuse her when she used the expression herself. “Fine,” she said at last.
“The rest of us will stay here,” Angel decided. “I'm not going to leave Buffy undefended.”
“Plus this place looks secure,” Kaidan agreed.
“Alright then I'll go with Willow to see this Giles, Kaidan, Miranda stay here with Angel if any 'monsters' break in use concussion rounds and non-lethal biotics only to disable them.”
“Aye aye sir.”
“Shall we,” Shepard said to Willow breaking away from Miranda before moving to the front door, opening it and slipping out into the chaotic night. Willow followed a few paces behind him. “Which way?”
“This way,” Willow answered before leading the way into the night heading straight for Sunnydale High School, Giles and hopefully some answers as to what exactly was causing the bizarre events that had turned Halloween this year from a normal annual celebration into anything but.