The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: >>NEW STORY<< Update 15/6/07
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:45 pm 
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21. Geek Infested Roots

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Okay something of a disaster struck. had the next chapter ready to upload and then last night my PC stopped dead, with the emphasis on 'dead'. The good news is that I have a new PC and I should be able to recover my files but it's going to be a few days before I know for sure and how much is salvageable. Worst come to worst I can rewrite the chapter. Sorry for the further delay but these things happen.


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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: >>NEW STORY<< Update 15/6/07
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:37 am 
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21. Geek Infested Roots

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Well 1 new PC and a hard drive caddy later we finally have the next chapter...

[center]3. ‘The Hard Word’[/center]

Admiral Haas let his gaze roam across the three large screens on the wall of the briefing room and he didn’t like what he saw. Each screen was occupied by the representative of one of the partners in the Starshield project and none of the looked happy. Granted General King who was the liaison on behalf of the European Federation looked sympathetic but then he was a fellow military man who at least had an understanding of the problems in involved in such a complex operation, the Russian and Chinese representatives were both politicians.
The Chinese representative was a small sharply dressed woman who looked as though she belonged in an expensive law firm rather than being a Peoples Commissar of the Chinese Communist Party. Perhaps that view was coloured by the way she was cross-examining the admiral, “And you still maintain you have no clues as to who was behind the sabotage?”
“So far we haven’t come up with anything concrete, the perpetrators have been quite elusive,” in ways I’m not even going to try and describe, Haas added to himself.
“Perhaps we should have insisted on Starshield being placed under our control, I certainly believe we could have done a more effective job of managing security.” The Chinese representative stated coolly.
And perhaps if you were a little less dedicated to security you wouldn’t be dealing with strikes and riots every other weekend. Luckily Haas had enough diplomatic sense not to mention that, and he was spared saying anything as the Russian jumped in with a comment that was something of a backhanded compliment, “I do not believe that the admiral is incompetent at all, he simply chooses not to share what he knows with us.”
The Russian might look like a used car salesman but he was far too astute for Haas’ comfort, “I assure you that if I had anything relevant,” or believable, “to share with you I would.”
General King nodded and got in ahead of the Russians or the Chinese, “While I agree that it is important to discover what happened to the Starshield perhaps we should be focusing on our alternative strategies to deal with Nemesis.”
Somehow the clipped upper class tones of the Englishman seemed to cool the anger of the other representatives and instead they looked rather embarrassed, “At this time my government feels it would rather work on those plans privately until other matters have been resolved.” Without giving Haas a chance to ask any questions the screen showing the Chinese representative went dark.
“I must concur with my Chinese colleague.” The Russian stated hastily and Haas was left looking at King.
The British general shook his head, “It was rather inevitable I’m afraid but you do still have assets available to you Admiral, of course you have to recognize they are assets first.”
Haas was still trying to figure out what that meant when King cut the connection. Alone Haas decided he had better head back to his office and prepare a report on the meeting and the search for the Rosenberg/Maclay clan; he wasn’t sure which was going to be worse.
When he got back to the office his adjutant practically leapt out of his seat, “Admiral there are two men waiting for you in your office.”
“I wasn’t aware I had an appointment.” Haas asked dangerously.
“No sir but they said it was urgent and they had vital information on the search subjects.” The aide explained anxiously.
Haas was intrigued, though his expression remained stern, “Who are they?”
“Colonel Riley Finn and a Mister Elias Carter.”
That did stir Haas’ curiosity; he had never heard of Finn but Carter was an old friend of the Rosenbergs and Maclays. When he had been interviewed by the FBI Carter had made it clear that he didn’t know where the women were and if he did he wouldn’t share that information. Had also had a few choice things to say about declining standards in the military, and now here he is having a change of heart, “All right then I’ll hear what they have to say but have security monitor the meeting, just in case.”
Neither Finn nor Carter rose when Haas entered the office but the admiral decide to ignore the lack of respect and instead turned his full attention to Elias, “I certainly didn’t expect to hear from you again Mister Carter.”
“And you wouldn’t have, if Colonel Finn hadn’t persuaded me that my presence would make it more likely that you would give him a hearing.”
That made Haas focus his attention on Finn, “And what is it that you feel you have to offer Colonel Finn? I was under the impression that all relevant departments had already offered up what information they had on Rosenberg and Maclay?”
Finn smiled genially, “I’m afraid that’s not true sir, in fact much of the information you have on them is either incomplete or fabricated.”
Haas sat down rather heavily behind his desk, “That is a very serious allegation.”
“It’s not an allegation admiral, it’s a simple statement of fact. What do you know about their background? That they attended high school and university in Sunnydale California?”
“Yes that I know.” The admiral interrupted impatiently.
Finn was unfazed, “And nothing struck you about that period as unusual? Nothing noteworthy?”
The admiral was beginning to have a very bad feeling, “No there wasn’t anything outstanding; pretty much the same as millions of other people their age.”
Finn picked up the briefcase sat beside him and placed it on the table, “In here there are details about several military projects but the two major ones you will want to focus on are the Initiative and Project Cerberus, both of which were based in Sunnydale California.”
Haas was too startled to say anything at first, and he simply stared at the briefcase before drawing it closer and opening it, He hesitated as he saw the files and computer disks inside, “Has this material been cleared for release?”
Finn shrugged, “Your security clearance is more than adequate admiral but this is an unofficial action on my part and I’ll face the consequences; so long as you read the contents of the files.”
Seeing Haas looking dubious Elias chipped in, “ Admiral you are making a tragic mistake with regard to Willow and Tara, and that goes tenfold for LJ. They could be an asset beyond price, or any enemy you really don’t want to face.”
Carter’s abrupt manner didn’t do anything to endear him to Haas but the use of the word asset reminded the admiral of what General King had said, there was no way Arthur King could know anything about Willow Rosenberg or Tara Maclay but then King had shown a knack for knowing things he shouldn’t, “All right I’ll read what you’ve given but I can’t guarantee that my next step won’t be to order your arrests.”
Finn and Elias rose and walked towards the door, and Elias couldn’t resist one last comment, “You can arrest us admiral but what makes you think you could hold us?”
Haas didn’t have answer for that, instead he just glared at them as the door closed behind the pair. Once they were gone the admiral began to feed the computer files into his terminal, cautiously checking them for anything that might harm his system. The scan said they were exactly what they claimed, official files using exactly the same encryption as the ones already on the system.
With that reassurance Haas began to study the contents, and found himself plunged into another world, a world where universal laws could be bent, a quiet California suburbistan had been the centre of a primal battle between good and evil; and the warriors on the side of good mostly seemed to be a group of teenage girls…
[center]4. The Road Ahead[/center]

Willow frowned at the display on the screen and LJ shook her head, “Well it is an actual flying saucer from outer space, what more do you want?”
“Something that wasn’t just a burned out carcass.” Willow countered.
That was something that LJ couldn’t argue with. Even though it was a long shot they had begun searching various military and civilian databases for any spacecraft that might be used with Reese’s space folding machine. Naturally they had started with the military, and that led them to the infamous area 51, which turned out to encompass a group of test and development facilities that were no where near that infamous chunk of Nevada desert. There were indeed a number of covert programs, concealed mostly because they involved the development of nuclear propulsion, which was still inclined to provoke a hysterical reaction in certain quarters.
Unfortunately all of them had been put on hold for Starshield and several had been cannibalized to build that vessel. There had also been the UFO, which willow had been embarrassingly pleased to find. Again though it was a dead end, what the military had was the hulk of a vehicle that had crash-landed; not in Roswell in the 40’s but near Colorado Springs in the 60’s. That whoever flew it wasn’t human was obvious but there had been no way to extract any secrets from the scorched remains.
Willow gave the images one last look, “All right let’s move on; I think we can skip the NASA stuff for the moment and go straight to the commercial outfits.” NASA and the other national and international space agencies did have manned vehicles but the Space Shuttle was long gone and the various replacements were 60’s style ‘tin can on a rocket’ designs that weren’t remotely suited to the family’s purpose, if they had been they would have been used for Starshield. LJ told herself.
As she looked at the various commercial projects Willow became increasingly dejected, “I suppose we could always buy a ticket on one of these space buses, we’ll have a great view when Nemesis strikes.”
“Come on mom, some of them have got stuff in development that might do the job.”
“If they had a lot more time or an awful lot more money,” Willow observed, “face it Rockhopper was the only serious deep space commercial venture, and that was just a front for Starshield.” She was trying not to get dejected but it was hard not to when they seemed to be running into a brick wall. She was about to pass over one more glossy website belonging to another bunch of space wannabes when something caught her eye.
Willow flipped to a sub page that detailed an ambitious future project. It was all artists’ impressions of a huge nuclear powered spacecraft. Those didn’t interest Willow so much as the logo that made up the background of the page. That was somehow familiar. Willow looked at LJ and that was when she made the connection. It wasn’t something she had seen, it was something described to her and seen second hand when Tara shared a dream with her.
It had been a dream of Paris, a dream where Tara found herself talking with LJ while Willow and her lay unconscious in the Initiative. Tara had shared it and Willow had burned the details into her brain, along with Elias carter’s description of how LJ had save Buffy. One detail came back to Willow now, of the strange outfit LJ had worn, and the patch woven into the shoulder. The patch had shown a starry background surrounding a strange machine picked out in gold thread with the word ‘Pathfinder below it. It was the same emblem that made up the background of the webpage.
LJ was startled when willow abruptly shutdown the computer and announced, “That’s who we need to see, and the sooner the better.”
LJ shook her head, “What makes them better than any of the others?”
Willow gave her an enigmatic, not to say annoying, smile before announcing cryptically, “Oh lets just say you persuaded me.”

Tara could read Sabrina’s unhappiness about being paired off with her without resorting to any of her magical talents and she understood it in the circumstances. It wasn’t that Sabrina would have preferred to be with LJ, she knew that LJ’s power might be needed at a moments notice if Admiral has and his minions decided not to see reason and had fully accepted that. No on this occasion it was a resentment aimed fairly and squarely at Tara Maclay, and a resentment that was practically inevitable because Tara had been unable to accept the story Sabrina had passed on from her informants.

“Wicca? You’re saying Wicca are behind the sabotage?” Tara had demanded while Sabrina sat in an armchair with a concerned LJ hovering over her, “I find that hard to believe.”
“Why?” Sabrina demanded, “The Athenai were happy enough to turn their hand to anything that suited them, and they kept telling me it was for the greater good.”
Tara wanted to hotly point out that the Athenai were not Wicca but they had used a lot of Wicca philosophy in concocting their philosophy. It was rather like taking Christianity and Satanism to be the same thing because they sprang from the same theology. She decided though this wasn’t the time for a philosophical debate, “But what could any Wicca, however twisted have to gain from something like this?
Sabrina shrugged, “We should ask them that, or maybe their demon buddies.””
That was when Willow intervened, “The Nehavara.”
“That’s the name I got but I admit I’ve never heard of them.”
Willow went into professorial mode, “They’re a species of fire demon. They used to live in volcanoes and hot springs until humans started to build civilizations, then they found they preferred forges, foundries, and they’re real big fans of nuclear energy. I’ve seen some stuff in the old Watchers material that suggests they may be the real reason Russia started losing nukes after the end of the Cold War.”
“Sounds like a fun bunch.” LJ commented, “But if they’re into nuclear material then maybe they would be able to mess with those propulsion pods.”
“If you could sneak them in, which a group of serious Wicca might be able to do.” Sabrina stated firmly.
That had left Tara boxed in, and with only one practical choice, get faced to face with the suspects.

The headquarters of the Silver Tree coven was a little different from the other houses in the broad semicircular cul de sac in that it was built from wood, stone, and stucco. It wasn’t that unusual though, lots of ecologically minded people built like that these days. Few of them were quite so strenuous about avoiding any trace of steel and concrete though. The only piece of metal Tara could see was the bell hanging by the front door, an actual bronze bell inscribed with pastoral scenes and a braided hemp rope hanging to one side of it. Tara tugged the rope and the bell jangled melodiously
She was just considering pulling it again when the door was opened by a twenty something woman in a white blouse and dark skirt, “I’m doctor Tara Maclay and this is Sabrina Harrington, we’re expected.”
Like the fly making an appointment with the spider, Sabrina’s thought was broadcast to Tara, who did her best to maintain her composure despite it all.
The woman was apparently oblivious to the interchange, “Of course, please do come in.”
Tara led the way with Sabrina just a pace behind. For the moment Tara was concentrating her aura reading skills on her daughters girlfriend, fearful that she was going to something that got them thrown out before they got a chance to ask any questions. A quick glance at Sabrina’s aura said the resentment was still there but wrapped up in a sort of steely determination that wasn’t exactly reassuring.
Before she could frame a telepathic enquiry they were led into a broad lounge dotted with potted plants and comfortable chairs, a tranquil room that practically radiated an aura of its own; harmonious and tranquil. There was a man sat in one of the chairs and he rose as the pair entered, “Welcome to the Silver Tree doctor Maclay, and this is?”
“My research assistant, Sabrina Harrington.” Tara supplied quickly. She wasn’t comfortable with lying but it was necessary.”
“I’m Trevor Scallion, and I must admit I was intrigued as to what sort of research you wanted to speak to me about.” He gestured towards the chairs and Tara and Sabrina took the offer, though Sabrina kept a distinct physical distance from Tara.
Tara ignored that and focused on Trevor, “As I said when I called I’m a psychiatrist and working on a paper, one intended to emphasize the positive benefits of Wicca for mental health, counteracting some published material that’s created a negative image.” That wasn’t actually a lie, Tara had been planning to write such a paper, just as soon as there was a break in the world saving.
Sabrina wasn’t inclined to be so smooth, indeed Tara could see a palpable hostility in her, “Some people do abuse the beliefs though, to justify pursuing some goal, all the while telling everyone it’s for the greater good.”
Tara was horrified by Sabrina’s appalling bluntness, only for the sensation to transfer it to Trevor. She had expected the man’s aura to show indignation or surprise, not a sharp spike of pure panic. It was hastily repressed as the rational part of the mans mind reasserted itself but it was clearly there and just as clearly driven by the fear of discovery, and what could they be doing that left this man so afraid, and still willing to go on?
Out loud Tara managed to maintain her poise, “I’m sorry about Sabrina, she’s had some bad experiences in the past, with people who did exactly what she was suggesting.”
Trevor’s aura flowed into a smoother, calmer pattern, though there was still that current of fear and anxiety blended with an absolute determination running underneath it, “Well that is tragic but hardly representative of the true Wicca way, I hope I can persuade you of that and help doctor Maclay persuade others.”
Tara nodded but inside her thoughts were darker; I wouldn’t bet on that.

After they finished the interview Sabrina didn’t seem to be in any great hurry to get away, “Let’s just take a walk, some place nice and quiet.”
“You’re expecting trouble?” Tara asked quietly.
“You’re not?” Sabrina countered.
Tara couldn’t say no, the whole atmosphere at the Sliver Tree seemed to be tainted once she latched onto Trevor’s deceptiveness and had been eager to get out; too eager maybe because now she didn’t doubt that Trevor was going to take action, or some minion of his at least.
She let Sabrina select a quiet back alley to turn into, it was just about perfect for an ambush and when it came it was hardly subtle, a figure dropped from a roof. The figure was wrapped in a thick grey wrapping like a sort of fibrous bandage. As it landed it planted a hand on the concrete, which sizzled at the touch. It rose up and reached towards the pair, a wave of heat preceding it.
Sabrina pulled Tara back and stretched out her free hand. What looked like a giant crystal snowflake flickered into existence before shattering into shards that raced towards the bandaged figure. They erupted in puffs of steam as they hit and the figure screamed as if Sabrina had just poured acid on it, “I take it we’re believing my info now?”
Tara nodded and now the pair teleported out and as they materialized Sabrina was triumphant, “Well I guess we found our saboteurs.”
Willow and LJ didn’t seem overwhelmed by the news, and LJ’s first comment told her why, “We got a message via Reese, the admiral wants to talk.”


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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: NEW CHAPTER 7/7/07
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:15 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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:pinky I am glad for a update I had my popcorn all ready and you delivered this is intense and full of action and drama with good old fashioned romance to boot I am so loving it :kgeek

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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: NEW CHAPTER 7/7/07
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:23 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Great update.

I love how you're gathering up threads of the story that were started ages ago, and weaving it all together. I'm also impressed at the amount of planning you must have done to achieve this. It's very complex with the time travel to the future and the past, not to mention throwing in possible alternate futures - wow.

thanks,
Anne

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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: NEW CHAPTER 7/7/07
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:53 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Wonderful update, I will be checking back for more. It is truly amazing how you have managed to write the future, past, present and the undetermined and blended them into this very complete and enjoyable story.


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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: NEW CHAPTER 7/7/07
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:37 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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I thought I would drop a line to see if there is any chance of an update in our future. ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: NEW CHAPTER 7/7/07
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:04 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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luv it


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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: NEW CHAPTER 7/7/07
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:44 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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This has always been a great story... FINISH IT... We've been in suspense for far too many years now... DON'T FAIL US BY NOT FINISHING THIS STORY!!!!!!!!

mstrykl


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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: NEW CHAPTER 7/7/07
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:52 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Aw man, I thought this was an update!

But yes. Finish this, unless this is an epic way to troll your fans, in which we will not find out what happens for 17 years. But please don't do that :)

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 Post subject: Re: RC 2018: NEW CHAPTER 7/7/07
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:19 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Wow.

Embarrasingly, i just found this story.

And read throught its epic-ness.

Only to discover it's not yet finished.

Please finish it?

It's got to be 90% finished already.

Please-please-please? :bounce

R :flower

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