by P.H. Wise
An Angel crossover fanfic
Epilogue: The Second Fall
Disclaimer: I don’t own Angel. Angel belongs to Joss. I don’t own Stargate. I’m pretty sure that belongs to Sci-Fi. Please don’t sue me. This story contains spoilers for the final episode of Angel.
Illyria woke in the dark cave, the only light the pale, flickering light of the dying flashlights. Groo’s body lay there still, eyes wide open in death, cold before the now dormant machine. Faith and SG-1 were nowhere to be seen, and their weapons and clothing lay empty on the cold floor of the cavern.
Illyria took up one of the flashlights; guided by its pale, fitful, flickering light, she slowly made her way out of the darkness of the shattered Hellmouth. Past the many dead Jaffa, up the long, winding stairway, past the two corpses of Slayers, all the way to the broken seal.
The First was there waiting for her in the form of Faith as she arrived at the base of the final stairway that lead to the surface. Illyria did not immediately meet her gaze.
“Yo, don’t be like that, Bluebird,” the First said. “You did pretty damn good. Came within inches of smacking me down. Not many can say that. Well, unless you’re B. But even she lost in the end.”
Illyria looked wearily at the First but said nothing. At the threshold between the rising sun and the darkness below, she paused.
The First smiled knowingly. “The time of humanity is over. I know it. You know it. You can’t go back to that. That door is closed to you now. Those humans that are left will die out soon enough. You know as well as I do that your place is here, Old One. With us. In the dark.”
Illyria stepped into the light.
Like most stories, ours begins with a girl.
Well, no. Actually, it begins well before that. It actually starts with a Champion. And he was the greatest Champion in all the land. All the monsters were afraid of him: he was such a hero. Then one day he falls in love: with a human girl. She can’t stay, though. She leaves, and he follows her back to her home. Only thing is, just because someone hops a dimension or two is no guarantee that things will work out.
That’s when our girl enters, stage right. She’s a pretty little thing, if you go for Old Ones incarnate in human form, that is. And she and the Champion decide to work together. The Champion sees all the horror and sadness of the human condition, and he gets it in his head to fix it. To make it all right - to end the Apocalypse on the side of light.
He gets his chance. Because of him, every man woman and child gets taken up to a higher level of existence. Ascended, even. They’re given the power and the knowledge of gods, and the ability to become perfect.
We weren’t ready for it. Them higher ups have a rule, see. Anyone who ascends should be able to do it without outside help. That day, we all saw why.
They called it the Second Fall. Them that didn’t just call it ‘Hell,’ that is. For one, brief, shining moment, all the wrong things were made right. But human beings were still human beings. They made war on each other, and the Others – the Ancients – had to step in and put a stop to it before they threw the whole universe for the loop.
Mankind was cast down from paradise onto the blasted earth, and this time, there was no doubt about what had just happened. Nothing but the knowledge that they’d had everything: perfection, nirvana, enlightenment, heaven – and now it was all gone. And they had no one to blame but themselves.
They called it the Second Fall.
Our girl, though, her story was just beginning...
Pretty much the only military force to survive the whole ordeal relatively intact was the SGC. Prometheus was barely operable in the wake of the Ascension. Even its Asgard-built shields had not been able to protect it from the celestial war. Half of the F302 squadron that accompanied it to the Hellmouth had been lost to the whims of humans playing with cosmic toys. The other half, led by one Captain Cameron Mitchell, newly recovered from his extensive injuries, had managed to escort the heavily damaged Prometheus to the Alpha Site for dry dock and repairs. Prometheus’s sister ship, the newly christened Daedalus, was also spared, having been out on its shakedown cruise at the time of the destruction. They and the off world teams returned home to find nothing but blasted earth and shell-shocked survivors. Cheyenne Mountain was still intact, more or less, and it wasn’t long before the SGC started gathering up all the survivors they could find and ferrying them off to other worlds.
It was perhaps the most difficult undertaking in human history, and many died before they could be rescued. Earth was no longer habitable. Nothing would grow in the soil, and the air had been fouled to levels such that prolonged exposure was dangerous. With the help of the Asgard, however, a good half of those that survived were evacuated successfully. All told that was about ten million people, mostly from China, Russia, and the United States. Ten million out of nearly seven billion.
Among the evacuees were Illyria and Dawn. The Groosalug lay dead in the bowels of the Hellmouth, slain by Illyria’s hand. Of SG-1 and Faith, there was no sign. Jack O’Neill, who survived the forced descension back into human form, held out hope that his team was still alive. Certainly he would not count them dead until he saw the bodies.
In time, Atlantis and the Alpha Site became the last refuges of the Tau’ri. Earth-That-Was, or what was left of her, cradle of the second evolution of the human form, was left to the demons, the vampires, and the forces of darkness.
I hope you all have enjoyed reading this story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Thanks, and God bless. The sequel, which is now in the works, will focus on Illyria and Dawn, and the fate of Atlantis. As for the Alpha site, I think I’ve given all the hints that really need to be given for what happens next there.