Faith wondered how that pointy-eared demon had got the drop on her. And what the hell was that beeping sound? Looking around, she immediately got that creepy "hospital" vibe. No way. Time to get the fuck out.
An old, turkey-necked guy in high waters walked in, talking to some white-bread guy. A glamazon in an enormous blond beehive and the shortest skirt since Buffy graduated high school followed them.
"She's completely human, Jim. There's no doubt about it. But there's something else. I've never seen anything like it," Turkey-neck was explaining. He suddenly noticed her watching them.
"How are you feeling, Sleeping Beauty?" he asked, waving a fat lipstick case over her torso, but not touching her, thank god.
"Five by five. You're a doc, right?"
"That's right, little lady."
She rolled her eyes. Christ. He seemed nice enough, but the country gentleman bit was too much.
"I'm good, so what do you say I just get going?" she tried, swinging into a sitting position.
White-bread piped up. "I'd like to ask you a few questions, if the doctor thinks you're medically fit."
Turkey-neck snorted. "Fit is the least of my worries, believe me."
They didn't seem threatening, at the moment, so she figured she could ask now, slay later. "Not to be all typical, but me first. Who are you people and where am I? And why?"
"You're on the starship Enterprise. I am Captain James Kirk, this is Dr. McCoy, and our own Nurse Chapel. You were found by my first officer while he investigated a dilithium deposit on what we thought was an uninhabited planet. Apparently you attacked him. I'd like to know why, and I'd like you to tell me about your planet."
"My planet? Are you high? My planet is Earth. I live, if you can call it that, in Sunnydale, California, North America. Any of those ring a bell?"
The weirdos looked at each other in surprise. Glamazon finally spoke. "Wasn't Sunnydale obliterated in the Sinkhole of 2003? It's like saying she lives on Krakatoa or the Titanic!"
"What the hell are you talking about? It IS 2003! I was chasing some vamps into those stupid caves, when this pointy-eared demon ran into me and we started throwing down!" She stopped, and realized that she was talking too much. These guys didn't seem ready to pull out the butterfly nets, though. In fact, they were grinning at each other.
"Heh. Pointy-eared demon. He's going to love that one," chuckled Turkey-neck.
"Wait," said White-bread. "You say it was 2003, and that you were on Earth? You were chasing what, now?"
Faith was not liking this.
"Look. Captain, was it? I'm sorry I tangled with your pet demon or whatever, but how about you just point me to where you found me and we'll both get back to our own business, okay?"
The captain compressed his lips. "When my crew is attacked, I am . . . less cooperative than I might be otherwise. I'm sure you understand . . . what shall we call you?"
"Faith," grumbled Faith.
He turned to the doctor. "What was it that you found so extraordinary about . . . Faith?"
"Well, she's human, like I said." Faith snorted. "But she's a bit more human than usual. Her bones are denser, but not heavier. Her muscles are more tightly knit, which would make her very strong for her size. Her nervous, circulatory, and respiratory systems are amazingly efficient. Her immune system is fantastic. It's perfectly balanced. Injuries must heal at an incredible rate. She's the most perfect woman I've ever seen."
Faith had to admit that she didn't mind hearing that. At all. She didn't think this old guy was trying to get into her pants, either. But she batted her eyelashes sarcastically, anyway. "I'll bet you say that to all the girls," she purred.
Doc Turkey-neck actually laughed at her lame joke. "Honestly, no. It's god's own truth." He turned to Cap'n White-bread. "It doesn't explain why she attacked Spock, but it does explain why he broke a sweat for once."
As if on cue, the pointy-eared demon walked into the room. He had pointy eyebrows too, she noticed. And a wicked shiner and a split lip. Her fingers itched. Not a demon. Or, not an aggressive demon. Maybe.
"Captain. I have the report on the dilithium deposit. It is sufficiently rich to notify Starfleet. There is a strange energy field in the area as well, which will require further study. Have you discovered the origin of this human?" He regarded Faith with curiosity, but no anger. She relaxed a little. Time to apply some of her new 'people' skills.
"Um. I'm sorry if I went off on you. I was in a sorta combat situation, and when you ran into me . . . I might've overreacted." All of the sudden, she felt worse. "You got off a lot easier than the last guy," she muttered miserably. He nodded.
"Faith, this is Spock. Spock, Faith," broke in the doctor. "She says she's from Earth. Earth in the year 2003."
"Fascinating," said Spock.
"Spock, could this energy field you found be responsible for something like this?" asked the Captain, softening at the lack of apparent threat from Faith.
At that point, Faith tuned out and just observed the animated conversation between the three men. Well, two men and a demon. A demon who seemed okay. A little flat, maybe, but Angel wasn't exactly an emotional Himalaya, either. Faith wasn't prejudiced. She was just a little quick on the draw. All part of the Slayer package, she guessed. She resolved to work on that.
"If she's willing, we could try it," Spock was saying.
"I don't like it," said the doctor. "It's too dangerous."
"It's up to her," said the Captain. "We don't have any other choice. This isn't her world."
They explained their theory about the energy field being a temporal fold or some crap like that. How she could maybe get back to SunnyD by going in the same way she came out. But that there was no guarantee that she wouldn't end up someplace else. Or maybe nothing would happen. But she was free to stay, if she wanted. Yada yada. It was like a Scooby meeting with more Y chromosomes. Or with more versions of Giles. She hated meetings.
"Let's do this," she declared, hopping off the black examining table.
Shrugging, they indicated that she should follow them to someplace called the "Transporter Room". Once there, she was directed to stand on a little circle on the floor of this stage, while Spock stood on another. The doctor and the captain stood at attention, watching her, while some guy named Scotty fiddled around with something that looked like a sound board. There was a weird noise, and then she was standing at the mouth of a cave, with dirt under her feet, Spock beside her.
"Whoa. Head rush. Do you guys do that all the time?" she asked. "Because that's a real trip, you know?"
He answered with some stuff about ship-to-ship and ship-to-surface transport, and she'd finally had enough.
"What are you, man? I've never heard of a demon like you. Do you have a soul too, or something?"
He looked confused. "Demon? I am a Vulcan, from the planet Vulcan. The existence of the 'soul' is a metaphysical debate to this day, so I cannot give a definitive answer to that question."
Okay. Not a demon. Alien. Huh. She accepted this, and allowed him to lead her into the caves. He kept looking at his 8-track thingy, and finally pointed to a spot that looked just like every other spot in there.
"The readings are strongest here. I can see your footprints leading away from this point, but there are no prints just past it. This must be where you came through. Returning may be as simple as retracing your steps. Are you certain you wish to continue?"
"Yeah. I've got to get back into the fight. I'd just like to know, though . . . no hard feelings?"
"I am no warrior, Faith, but I believe I understand your situation. I will heal and I hold no grudge. Live long and prosper." He held his hand up in an odd salute.
"Um, okay. You too, man. Later."
She strode a few steps deeper into the cave. When she turned back, he wasn't there. She took out her knife and marked the spot on the cave walls and floor. Of all the freaky things she'd seen and done, this little (mostly non-violent) incident was definitely the freakiest.
She found the vamps and dusted them on the way out of the cave. She was in Sunnydale, all right. She should probably tell somebody about the "Sinkhole of 2003". Giles, if he was around. She had a feeling that, if she told the whole story, Andrew was going to wet himself.
"She was beautiful, wasn't she? Like Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons, slain by Achilles. Do you think she was the Queen of the lost tribe of the Amazons?"
McCoy gently unwrapped Kirk's fingers from the glass he held. "Wrong millennium, Jim."
"I could have loved her. We met on the field of battle, fiercest enemies, becoming timeless lovers . . ." Kirk hiccuped.
"I really don't think she was your type, Jim," consoled his friend, tucking him into his bunk.