chapter 10 of 14
Crossover With: Star Wars, the Oz books, My Chemical Romance. Kind of. In a way.
Warning: Extreme Mary Suism.
Disclaimer: All characters who belong to Joss and co, belong to Joss and co.
Summary: post-Chosen: A group of watchers and slayers taking a creative writing class are assigned a simple lesson in author intrusion. But nothing’s ever simple when magic is -- literally -- in the air.
Mary Stu Got Harried, Chapter Ten: Revelations
(In which things are revealed, which is kinda the definition.)
Kara was due on guard duty, and she needed to find out what had happened to Dana -- although she suspected her roommate was just wandering around in the halls, in one of those dreams sometimes induced by the memories of former slayers. She’d never done any real harm in those cases, at least not while in the building -- with the memorable exception of the time she’d tried to burn Giles’ desk.
But for all her worries, Kara wanted a moment to speak with the little girl who’d proclaimed herself to be Dorothy Gale of Kansas -- her new address being the Emerald City of Oz. So she compromised by talking while heading again down the hallway, and tarrying only a little.
“So the books are real?” she asked Dorothy, while wondering if this Dorothy was real.
“Well, the first ones were. Frank and the others kind of added their own details, but they were mostly true at first. Later they got pretty off the mark, so Ozma decided to break off contact with the rest of the world, and all those other books were made up.”
“But if those other books were made up ...” Kara gave the younger girl a suspicious look. “Then how do you know about them?”
Dorothy just laughed. “I meant Ozma decided not to let anyone into or out of Oz anymore; I didn’t mean we didn’t keep an eye on the outside world. We liked seeing how people were treating Oz with the books and all -- that moving picture with Judy Garland was my favorite.” Then her expression darkened. “But some of those people who used us as characters weren’t very nice.”
“No,” agreed Kara, thinking of the graphic novel Andrew had smuggled in, detailing the sexual misadventures of Dorothy, Wendy from Peter Pan and Alice of Wonderland fame. “But I guess you can just be happy where you are.”
“I am happy. It’s not paradise like Frank made it out to be -- but it’s pretty close.”
Kara heard voices down the corridor where the older watcher’s quarters were, so she drew Dorothy aside before they reached the intersection. “I have to ask just one more thing. The hair ...?”
“Oh!” Grinning, Dorothy pulled on a strand of her blonde locks. “I was brunette, just like in the first book. But Ozma and I got to be good friends, and before she sent me home after our first meeting -- the book with the Nome King?”
“He was way nastier than Frank wrote him. Anyway, Ozma made me a princess of Oz and asked if there was anything she could do for me before she sent me back. So I asked to be blonde! You can ‘magine the shock on my aunt and uncle’s faces.”
“I sure can,” Kara agreed, remembering the time she’d dyed her hair orange, and her father almost had a stroke.
“Well, that’s how Frank and I met. He’d heard this tale of a girl who kept disappearing, and came back the second time with her hair magically blonde -- really blonde, not to mention people didn’t dye theirs much in those days -- so he came to see for himself. When he lost his first illustrator, he just had the second one draw me like this.” She gave a little pirouette, and Kara was once more hit with a strange feeling, as if she herself had just fallen down a rabbit hole -- to use another book’s example.
“Well ... let me do the talking at first. I think I’m handling you being here a whole lot better than the adults will.” She led Dorothy around the corner, and was surprised to find not only her father, Tara and Andrew, but Giles, Willow, Kennedy, a black woman whose picture she’d seen on Giles’ desk, and a girl she wasn’t familiar with, who looked a lot like the actress Natalie Portman. New slayer?
“Um, guys, we’ve got a problem.”
Richard turned, took in their new arrival, and put on a comical expression as if he’d been electrocuted. “My God! Dorothy Gale!”
“How d’you do?” Dorothy gave a polite curtsey.
“From Oz?” Tara and Andrew said together.
“She’s blonde,” Willow and Giles commented at the same time.
“Who?” Kennedy asked.
Kara stepped forward, preparing to defend the reality of what was before them even though she wasn’t sure of it herself. “Okay, I know this sounds strange, but I -- feel -- that this really is Dorothy.”
The others nodded, except for the new girl, who regarded Dorothy with interest.
“What -- none of you are going to argue with me?”
Her father shrugged, and gestured toward the new girl. “Kara, I’d like you to meet Padme, who you may know as Queen Amidala of Naboo.”
Richard kept throwing amazed glances at Dorothy and Padme as Giles led them toward the only other known mystery -- the artificially constructed members of My Chemical Romance, who he very much hoped were artificially slumbering away. Although Tara hadn’t mentioned it -- possibly to spare the feelings of the two girls -- Richard assumed they, also, were constructs.
But he was more concerned with Dana’s disappearance. It had taken on frightening implications, now that the group was getting a clearer idea of just how much magical energy was being released in the building. Threats had to come first, and Dana certainly could be a threat.
“It’s possible the new magic’s unraveled the healing spell used on Dana,” Willow suggested, as they piled into the building’s elevator. “There’s all sorts of magic in the air, white and dark.”
As a group they shifted uncomfortable, remembering tales of what Dana had done before she was made sane.
“How is that connected to all these strange people showing up?” Kennedy demanded, earning protesting noises from Dorothy and Padme.
“I’m not sure it is,” Richard told her. “They’re characters from stories, and each of the students whose stories was effected got hit by that bolt of black magical energy.”
Tara shivered. “I got hit by that bolt -- thanks to being physical --” she shot Kennedy a glare “-- and I wrote about Dracula!”
“But you’re not alive, strictly speaking,” Giles said. “That may make a difference.”
That made Richard think, and he almost shivered, himself. “I hope you’re right -- Bottie wrote about an invasion of evil robots.”
Tara looked troubled at that. Then, just as the elevator doors opened, she cried out. “Bottie may be alive!”
Everyone stopped. “Who’s Bottie?” Padme asked Dorothy, who shrugged.
“What do you mean, alive?” Giles’ eyes narrowed dangerously.
“She’s been hit by magic -- four times, now? And ever since the second time, when the same spell that healed Dana put the Buffybot back together, they’ve both been acting very strangely. For one thing, Buffybot sleeps now -- really sleeps, and gets tired if she doesn’t. She’s been breathing, and sweating, and after that fight outside of Las Vegas last week she was bleeding a little.”
“She’s designed to mimic all those human actions,” Willow protested, as Andrew leaned forward to keep the door open. “If her power level’s low she acts tired; if she gets overheated, she breaths to bring in cooler air. The sweating keeps her artificial skin moisturized, and the blood is a lubricant that also colorizes her skin.”
“Robot,” Dorothy said to Padme, who nodded.
But Tara stubbornly shook her head. “You haven’t been spending time with her, Willow -- I have. She’s developing emotions, and ... I can’t explain it, but she’s different.”
A sudden thought struck Richard, and he leaned forward to touch Tara’s shoulder. As he did he noticed Willow give him an alarmed look, and realized she still felt protective instincts toward her former lover. “Tara -- was Buffybot there when the Camelot spell was used on you?”
Looking worried, Tara nodded.
“You four -- you, Bottie, Kara, and Dana -- have been inseparable. People are even starting to call you the Four Friends. I submit that if Kara’s and Dana’s willingness to sacrifice themselves was enough to bring Tara back to a form of life, it might have worked on Bottie, too.”
They were all silent, digesting that, until Andrew said in a small voice, “Are you saying there could be an army of robots on their way here right now?”
Padme fingered the lightsaber at her side. “This is where I came in.”
“Maybe they’re on the way to the town on Passions,” Tara suggested, earning confused looks from everyone except Richard.
“We’d better find out.” Giles finally led the way out of the elevator, then stopped in the lobby, turning to the others. “Willow, would you go to central control? Check the security system, and use the intercom to wake up Xander.”
“We still have three dozen slayers sleeping in the building,” Richard reminded him.
“Yes ... Have Xander and Clem gather the girls in the gym, and arm them. I don’t want them to come into contact with anyone who may have been contaminated.”
Nodding, Willow hurried off, and Giles turned to her girlfriend. “Kennedy, if you would, go get the Buffybot and meet us in the hallway outside the new watcher’s quarters, where the bandmates are. Since everyone else here is directly connected to this mystery, we should stay together for now.”
In other words, Richard thought, he wanted to keep an eye on anyone who might be “contaminated”. That was fine with him -- he’d never considered himself a natural leader anyway, so having Giles here to take charge, and a powerful witch as backup, could only be good.
The group finally rounded the corner to the new watchers’ quarters, only to find -- nothing. The hallway was brightly lit, but silent and empty.
“Your security isn’t terribly impressive,” Olivia noted.
“I’m late,” Kara muttered, glancing at her watch.
“It doesn’t matter,” her father told her. “Suzy and Teagan wouldn’t have just left. Something’s wrong.”
“Something else,” Andrew corrected.
They were standing there, pondering their next move, when the shrill notes of “God Save the Queen” broke the silence. Giles started, then guiltily pulled a cell phone from his pocket and glanced at the display. “It’s Willow -- I forgot, the intercom isn’t yet set up in this hallway.” He put the device on speakerphone.
“Guys, we have even more problems.” Even through the small speaker, the redheaded witch sounded stressed. “I checked the security recording -- not only did Dana leave the building, she took Xander and Bottie with her.”
“Voluntarily?” Richard asked.
“It looked like it. That’s not the worst, though: I used a spell to find Suzy and Teagan. They’re not alone.”
“Who are they with?” Giles demanded.
“Um ... that’s a little hard to explain.”
But Richard, who had used the time since Giles took over to consider the entire puzzle, suspected he already knew. He also suspected Giles would be very, very unhappy with the answer.