Continuing on last week’s theme of decent Buffy the Vampire Slayer fics that I happened to be reading, this is another crossover incorporating Star Trek.
Stupid Portal by elementalv
However, this time, Buffy and Spike wind up on Picard’s Enterprise because the the three evil nerds (Warren Mears and co.) essentially want their own private crossover TV show to spy on.
What makes this story noteworthy is its blend of character and setting, with a story developing around a prophecy that Buffy and several others will save a race of demons who fled to the Star Trek universe. (Where their use of magic was written off as a weak variant of the kinds of powers used by entities like the Q.)
On the character front, having Spike stuck with Buffy on the Enterprise, later joined by Giles, allows for some engaging focus on Spike’s character and his relationship with Buffy. On the setting front, we get to see the Slayer spirit’s backstory fleshed out and explored with Buffy being the avatar of a primal goddess named Sendaru.
I also like the three original characters that the story introduces: Lieutenant Meg Burns (who volunteers to be a sparring partner for Buffy while she’s learning swordplay), Sendaru, and DB (short for Data’s Bastard), a program cobbled together by Data from Federation and Borg algorithms who became self-aware without anyone noticing. (I especially enjoyed the scenes with DB.)
When it comes to more specific events, I found it very entertaining to see Buffy tell Q exactly what her opinion is of those who associate with the Powers That Be.
That said, I do see two flaws:
First, until the last scene left the story feeling complete, I was wishing quite strongly that there was more time spent exploring DB as a character. A minor nit-pick, but something that could have been avoided with more skill.
Second, while it does peter off pretty quickly and it does have its uses to the story in the middle, having Worf develop an unrequited crush on Buffy in the omitted pre-story portion after Buffy and Spike fall through the portal feels like sloppy writing. (Though, once I made peace with how it was set up, the areas where it came into play turned out fine.)
All in all, given the work put into the characterization and backstory (especially DB and Sendaru) and how the ending left me feeling, I’d rate this around 4.7 out of 5. The final scene even felt sort of like the ending of a Buffy episode.