XANDER HARRIS: THE IRON TAU'RI
Disclaimers: Nothing belongs to me other than this insane idea I have that just won’t let go. Iron Man belongs to Marvel, Stargate SG1 belongs to Paramount. Buffy belongs to Joss.
Break in continuity: A few days after the infamous Halloween fiasco.
Summary: Xander goes as one of his favorite marvel comic characters, but gets more than he's bargained for.
"The Ninth Symphony"
The young man many knew as Alexander Lavelle Harris sweated profusely as he tried to balance his body upside down between two rings that were tied to the ceiling of his recently acquired warehouse while doing a series of equations in his head in the wee hours of the morning. If anyone ever knew the extent of the changes in him, they would probably have locked him up just on the basis of the math running around inside his crammed skull alone.
It was scarily beautiful.
Emphasis on “scary”, because other memories came with it.
Some were memories of a man that was born a child prodigy with knowledge that was off the scale.
Some were memories of a boy turning into a man and hiding his innate intelligence in the later years once he inherited his father’s company and legacy…
Some were memories of a man living a lie as a womanizer and an alcoholic to hide the fear of being alone, until that lie turned replaced the truth.
Some were memories of becoming a Technophile, a doctor, and a Sorcerer Supreme…
The rest were a blur of being a madman, a saint, a bum, a degenerate, and various other variants he’d just as soon forget.
Xander flipped off in a perfect dismount to land on his feet, the equations that roared in his mind died down for a while as the answers he sought within for a project that needed to be done came to him. He took the towel off the balance horse nearby and wiped off the excess sweat he had accumulated and strode to the mesh of the of a crudely cobbled Cray computer made out of junk parts that he had gathered since that night. In fact, most of the stuff he had inside the warehouse he now called home was once all scrap until he was able to make something out of it. It had taken him about a month and some nights filled with lack of sleep that made it all possible. If nothing else; he made sure that the computer he had assembled would be the first to come online so he could start on everything else.
Sadly, as the memories within his mind clashed with the woefully inadequate tech that his current reality produced made for some interesting shortcuts that would never see the light of day if he had anything to say about it.
Absentmindedly scratching the spot where a certain chest plating would have been had the rest of costume had been complete when the possession occurred, he clucked his mouth into a wry grin as the antiquated computer system booted up faster than normal with his modifications and started typing.
Tapping out commands on the tweaked auto-cad he had rewrote into the system, he made some changes in the design specs for the armor he would have to rebuild when the suit of armor he wore had turned back into its un-enchanted state after that night. After the spell was over, it had just become another piece of plastic and cardboard made to look like one of his armors. Thank God he forgot to wear the dummy chest plating over the heart that kept the original Tony Stark from becoming a corpse since the armor turned back to plastic, he surmised that the chest plating would have reverted too if he had worn it. Wearing it could really have killed him if that had happened, he thought with sick realization, and he really didn't want to find out even if it didn't.
He winced at that last thought. There were times when the line between him and the memories of the personas that possessed him weren’t even there. Yes, “personas”, since the original him was an ass and couldn’t decide on which Anthony Stark/Iron Man to go as during that night; that indecision caused the dark spell to merge and download EVERY single variant of Tony Stark into his head, leaving behind all the combined memories and intellect into a very inferior space. The result being that the spell made further changes in him to accommodate said knowledge, and with the help of one of the downloaded personas, also bringing him to a point of human evolution where the mind can handle information at such an insane rate that the body also had to adapt. To test out that theory that he had changed in more ways than one, he snuck into the hospital and used some of the medical equipment to run a baseline analysis on himself.
What he found out sent him reeling. While the tools found in the hospital were substandard to him, he was able to get the gist of the alterations the spell had made on him. He realized woefully that one of the Stark variants; namely the memories of the one who had become Sorcerer Supreme in his reality, had made some modifications to the spell itself before it ended. Said persona also thought it would give the young man a leg up since in his reality, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was a televised series that had ended over a year ago.
It made a scary sort of sense really; the only way for a normal human body to adapt to an overload of possessions of different variants of Anthony Stark cramming into one skull was to alter the human host to a point where it would be able to survive a very unique and severe case of MPD. One of the versions of Tony Stark that became the Sorcerer Supreme in his reality made it so that Xander would be able to make use and integrate said personalities into an even balance. Which was why he cringed when he saw that the new baseline norm for his body, after all the alterations were finished were almost comparable to a Slayer in terms of speed, strength, and healing. He knew that because he managed to nab Buffy’s medical files on a lark and collected enough data to match his own observations whenever she trained while he tried to act like twit in front of them to keep up appearances.
He found out that his new heart rate was slower than normal, but not outside of human norms. The readings had indicated a person at rest and deeply asleep. His bone structure and musculature however had increased in density, theoretically giving him more than almost three times the normal range of human limits when brute strength was applied. The accelerated cell division found in his DNA also told him that the Sorcerer Supreme variant also somehow managed to slow his aging and allow him heal from almost any wound. He was not – however – bulletproof, and he was still quite mortal, he was just harder to kill than normal now.
The inherited intellect and alcoholism addiction aside that was now part of his newly formed psyche; the core of each Anthony Stark persona were almost identical in essence that it was almost a mirror image of what the other would turn out due to different circumstances and opportunity. The merged core personalities had to hide the truth of who they were deep down inside that the lies themselves become so much as fact and that what was left of the original truths were flushed down the metaphysical toilet of the mind. Speaking of alcoholism, he also managed to check for any kidney and liver damage and was relieved to find that none of that baggage from his possessions carried over. While they were fond of the sparkling bubbly, Xander Harris was in no way fond of liquor – the evidence to that lay in his former abode, and the parents that supposedly raised him.
It didn’t however curb the urge for it sometimes, and Xander was struggling not to give into it so as not to lose hold on what little sanity he had left in that area. He certainly didn’t want his new body abused in the way the merged personas had originally abused theirs.
The Tony Stark that became predominant within his head currently assisting him in his equations after all the noise had settled had demanded him to make use of the accidental gifts that came along with the baggage so as not to be useless. So with that in mind – literally – he started to break his own rules and distance himself from his friends so they wouldn’t catch the fall-out of his new endeavors.
Hindsight was indeed twenty-twenty and he knew that somewhere down the road it will bite him on the ass. But for the paranoid genius part of his new psyche, he thankfully had contingencies over contingencies. If worse come to worse, he would tell them what he had been up too these last few weeks, but on terms of his choosing. But then again, nothing in the Hellmouth would always remain on an even course.
After he made a few adjustments to the armor designs slowly taking shape in the auto-cad, he shifted his attention from that to another screen which was computing metallurgical and chemical variables of what would soon be the alloy for the armor he was designing.
That is, if the mathematical equations would fit. Adamantium, was after all, the hardest to get right the first time using substandard parts and materials that were and weren’t available in his reality. Hopefully, the algorithms and equations he fed to the poor machine assigned to that task would not fail him. And if it worked, he’d have to scrounge whatever materials he could find to make sure that becomes reality.
Once he was done checking on that one, he moved on to another computer that was busy searching for alternative power sources for this grand scheme in the making. Granted that most of the original Iron Men that possessed him used their cybernetic heart to power the damn suits, his heart was nowhere near that state thanks to his pathetic budget that night. So now he had to make do with something external to help power said suit if he ever got around to building it.
Glancing at the display that showed several hits regarding scientific papers on alternative power, he was disgusted to note that none of them even came close. And those that had the barest hint of potential took the starting size of the one powering the Hoover Dam. The rest were gagged and had needed top secret clearances, easy for him to hack into, but he’d rather not ruffle any feathers since he couldn’t do anything about it right now. But that didn’t stop his interest when he spotted a file buried so deep that the only thing he got out of it before he had to close that connection in fear of being found out were the initials S.G.C.
That meant that none of them on the mainstream publication came close to what he had in mind, unless he got creative and started messing with ZPE equations, and he didn’t quite trust himself with that. Sighing, he noted that as an alternative possibility. Well, as a last resort anyway. He knew if he messed up on that one, he’d wipe a third of the United States of America off the face of the map if he made one slight miscalculation. But all the same, he stopped the search program and redirected it to start new computations and simulations as he fed the beginnings of the Zero-Point Energy equations into the machine and included Arc reactor feasibility given the current level of non-classified tech this world had to offer. That was probably his best bet thanks to some of the memories shuffling inside his crowded head.
He asked the computer to start with something big since he was working with substandard equipment. He shook his head; it will be a long while till he can find something that will help him refine something like that into the size of large D cell battery pack if he had the same stuff the original Tony Stark can play with back in his universe. As it was, he was never going to get off the ground the way he had wanted.
At least he was able to jury rig some almost "palm"-sized repulsor pistols, unfortunately, they each had only one charge apiece – the power source was a tweaked large D cell battery – so best used only in extreme emergencies and not miss. It was also, in his opinion, butt ugly. Having something looking like an old fashioned hair dryer as a weapon would get him laughed at.
At least I’ll have the last laugh after I pull the trigger, he thought. None of the pistols had a lower setting, so whoever or whatever would be on the receiving end of the pistol would get the full brunt of the blast.
On a lighter note, one of the machines he had assigned to keep watch on world trends and stocks market updates was working like a dream. He had sunk everything he had from his road trip savings into one commodity and it was now reaping the benefits under an assumed name and corporation. He would have to sell his share soon and then move on and split his earnings to two more items he had his eyes on. It was slow, but if it panned out, he would be able to afford some of the more expensive equipment to further his goals.
Glancing at the large neon wall clock that would have been at home once in a sixties diner, he cursed as it was almost time to go to school. Shaking his head once more, he placed the whole system on standby monitor mode so as to conserve power while they still continued their preprogrammed duties; he headed for the shower to get ready for the day. He had enough time to swing by his old house and make it look like he still lived there. Changing in a fresh set of clothes he had prepared the night before, he jogged towards the door at a brisk pace while palming one of the repulsor pistols and shoved at least five fresh D cells into his backpack for extra ammo as he called out his usual standard exit command to the computer.
“Jarvis,” he said, “Initiate security lockdown level five. See ya later!”
“Level five security lockdown engaged,” the A.I said as he primed the warehouse defenses. “Have a nice day, Mr. Harris.”
Ah, Xander thought as he settled into a nice jog into the morning sun, the joys of having “Just a Really Very Intelligent System” working for you once you had it up and running was priceless. Although the complete AI was lacking, he wasn’t going to be picky with what he had. There would be time for that later on when he can upgrade his current style of living.
All that was missing now was a PA named Pepper. On that thought, a pang of sadness crossed his face as he neared his former home to keep up the ruse that he still lived there, Virginia “Pepper” Potts may have been fictional in this world; it didn’t stop him from remembering the different variants of Pepper from his merged memories of just how integral she was to the life of a few of the Tony Starks running around in his skull.
Glancing around to make sure he wasn’t being followed, he sneaked into his room on the upper floor to truly start the day.
-- TBC? --
I started this fic on a lark to pass the time while my beta reader for my Xander/Guyver/Stargate fic gets back to me.
I made a challenge a while back when the Iron Man movie first came out and after watching it for the second time i was plot-bunnied to try out my own challenge.
The challenge can be found here: