TITLE: To Infinity And To Hell
PART: Prometheus-Verse Book 01
AUTHOR: Siege (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere just let me know 'K
DISCLAIMER: All things BtVS related belong to Joss Wheadon and M.E.
SUMMARY: Xander dies. But his death may have a greater purpose.
DEDICATION: To Vincent, my son. May Gene Roddenberry’s vision come true so that you may see humanity,
as it could be.
FEEDBACK: Please Do, and if you check My Website you will find "The Wall". I am trying to put everyone
who gives me Feedback on it to show that I read it and that I Thank you :-)
KEYWORDS: BtVS, Star Trek TNG, Voyager, DS9
RATING: PG13 - R
REVISED: 25/01/2004, corrections to Timeline, continuity grammar and minor content improvements.
REVISED: 14/04/2004, Second Beta Check and continuity errors.
BETA READ: By Lilli.
AUTHORS NOTES: I always promised myself that I would never, ever, do a Star Trek Crossover. But here it is anyway.
Two things spawned this drivel. First My Muse is a mad woman who sits on my shoulder and whispers strange things in my ear. I think I'll call her Millie. Being the male who am I to disagree with her?
Second, because I always like to shift the blame if I can, “norgco” posted his wonderful "Everyone comes to Quarks" on the XanderZone recently and I got to thinking that perhaps Star Trek X's were possible after all. So then Millie started her whispering and this poppycock poured out. Millie tells me that there is a possible series of stories in this.
Also the Prologue is damn right depressing, but after that it gets more cheerful. So Please persist with the story, as the prologue is not the best part. Siege
Restfield Cemetery, Sunnydale CA. October 2001
Xander ducked under another clumsy haymaker from the drunken man. Of all the things he had to deal with, this was the latest. They had finally dealt with Glory, but at the loss of Buffy and he had been taking up the slack personally with the patrolling. But this was plainly ridiculous. He was used to fast and strong demons and vampires’ fighting a human was, well, boring.
Xander then did the worst thing he could have done, he made the mistake of becoming complacent, at least until the drunken yob pulled out a switchblade. Xander, who was busily thinking about how to get out of the fight without hurting himself or the yahoo, didn’t notice it until the blade bit into his flesh.
Then he looked down at knife sticking out of his body. The drunk had managed to slip the blade between his ribs and angle it upwards. The man who had always lived through his heart now was going to die from it.
The yob looked at Xander in shock, he had only meant to scare the young man, not kill him. The alcohol immediately flew from his system in a surge of panic driven adrenaline. The drunkard’s mouth worked for a moment before finally getting out, “Oh god, I’m so sorry” He didn’t wait to see if his apology was accepted but instead ran off into the night.
Fate, it seems has a twisted sense of humor. He had not gotten thirty feet away before a vampire stepped out behind him. With a truly feral smile the vampire gave chase and ran down the hapless killer. It wasn’t long afterwards that the drunken man was fates snack.
Xander slumped to the ground, his mighty strength finally starting to wane. With every damaged beat of his huge heart his life’s blood was wasted on the ground. Xander could vaguely make out the dark pool of it as it spread around his prone form. He suddenly felt cold but was unable to find warmth in his jacket, that he pulled tighter around himself.
‘Well there you go’ he thought to himself as dark spots formed in front of his eyes. The Zeppo, the normal human was on his way to meet his first love, Buffy. He was scared for Dawn and Willow. He knew that without him they would feel lost. Willow still had Tara but Dawn, Dawn would be on her own and that scared him. Suddenly he didn’t want to slip into that darkness anymore, he didn’t want to die. He wanted to live, to look after Dawn, to hold Anya once again. To do so many things, but the darkness had a hold of him now and was drawing him deeper into its arms.
The dark spots turned into a blanket and Xander slipped away into oblivion.
In another strange twist of fate it was Tara who found him. She had an early class and was on her way through the graveyard. Then something seemed to draw her away from the beaten track. She followed her instinct and once she saw what was on the floor fell to her knees. Xander would never know it but all of his girls loved him in one way or another. Tara was no exception; his kindness and freely offered friendship were a boon to the shy girl.
She had sat with him for a long moment softly rocking his now chilled form silent tears running down her face. Then finally she had pulled out her cell and dialed the police. Straight away afterwards she called Willow and sent for the red haired witch.
By time Tara had completed these tasks, the police had arrived and had bagged and tagged the heart of the Scooby gang and taken him away.
Tara had then faced the unpleasant task of telling everyone else. On top of Buffy dying, one would have thought it would have been the straw that broke the camels back. Especially in Dawns case, but human beings are unpredictable and often surprise you. Dawn had been the only one who had held her cool. She had cried, of course she had they all had, even Giles. But she didn’t fall apart she felt responsible for her friends now. She decided that in Xander’s place she would be the one to look out for them all.
Anya had fallen apart quickly; only human for a short time she didn’t have the necessary shields in place to deal with such a loss. Willow had also been hit hard, but for Dawn she had stayed strong drawing strength from his memory.
The day before the funeral the police had rung. Xander had listed Willow as his next of kin. They were most apologetic and shamefaced but they had a worrying piece of news for the broken Scooby gang.
Xander's body had disappeared.
They had searched using a variety of means, both magical and mundane, but to no avail. Xander had disappeared as if from the face of the planet. Dawn was the pillar around which the gang finally built themselves back up. For her part she held firm for her friends. She knew that she was pretty much all that was keeping them all going.
A few months later Willow resurrected Buffy. It had taken a while but things finally got back to almost normal. Anya ran off and once again became a vengeance demon; she was unable to face being human. Willow and Tara stayed together. Buffy even managed to get back with a now human Angel, or Liam, as he liked to be called.
The world continued to turn as, it generally does. Even without Xander in it.
But until their respective dying days, of old age; all of the gang couldn’t understand what had happened to Xander’s body.
Chapter 01, To Begin Again
He felt cold, not uncomfortably so, just a little chilly feeling like he was on his bed rather than in it. He tried to pull the covers back over himself, Ahn sometimes stole them. It was his complete failure to find the sheets that finally roused him.
Xander awoke to find himself in whiteness. There was no other way to describe it. He was lying on a cold hard floor of what appeared to be an infinite room of purest white. It was painfully bright and Xander tried to shield his eyes from it. It was, however, to no avail, as the light appeared to permeate the room from all directions.
He got to his feet, the light finally not stabbing his eyes as they acclimatized themselves to it. He looked around him. Yep it truly appeared he was in a huge white room.
The last thing he remembered was dying so this must be purgatory.
“Wow!” Xander breathed, a goofy grin crossing his handsome features. Perhaps he would get to see Buffy soon.
“She’s not here.” a voice appeared out of thin air.
A man walked up to him, or more correctly swaggered up to him. Arrogance seemed to exude off of the man in almost choking waves. He was tall, just over Xander’s own height. Fairly slender and had a close- cropped head of dark brown hair. The man regarded Xander with a blue eyed and superior gaze.. Xander immediately felt uncomfortable and covered it as he always did, with either anger or humor. He opted for humor, but the situation sapped his usually inexhaustible supply of quips.
“Urm, Who?” Xander managed in the end.
“Your friend, the blonde slayer.”
“How did…” Xander began.
“…Know” the man enquired with a lifted brow, “I know everything.”
“No one likes a smarty pants,” Xander said under his breath. The man was annoying the hell out of him already. Of course if this was Saint Peter he could be in trouble.
The man ignored the jibe and paced round Xander with his hands crossed behind his back. He was wearing a predominately black, what looked to be, jogging suit. There was a flash of red across his shoulders and four pips adorned his collar. He appeared to be sizing Xander up.
“Amazing!” he finally concluded.
“What is?” Xander asked in confusion, the situation was becoming more and more surreal by the second.
“That you, of all the humans in eternity, are here for this.” the man shook his head in amazement of the strangeness of the cosmos.
“Who are you?” Xander demanded.
The man cocked his eyebrow “I am Q.”
“How is Bond these days?”
Q’s face went blank for a moment before he placed the young mans comment. The room appeared to dim and shadows formed where none had been possible before. “I’ve been watching you young man. So, lets cut to the chase and stop all the playing around,” Q said sternly. To anyone who had dealings with the godlike man before, this statement would truly have surprised them.
“Sure.” Xander said, finding strange comfort in the fact he had managed to piss this Q off already. Death, it seems, had not blunted his talent for annoyance.
“You are needed.” Q stated simply.
“That you will find out in time. I have only brought you here to have a look at you. I’m going to send you on in a moment. I just wanted to say”
Xander cocked his head in interest regarding the stranger with dark interested eyes.
Q looked around him, as if checking for listeners, “I’m not supposed to be doing this,” he told the young man in a conspiratorial whisper. “If the other members of the continuum knew...” he trailed off and made a slicing motion across his own throat.
He continued, “I told them not to do it, you humans are SO interesting. They seem to think that you are dangerous. I can’t think why.” He looked at the human in front of him with a spark of something, Xander couldn’t tell what, in his eye, but then smiled widely and carried on, “I’ve certainly had fun with you all. But your time comes to an end.” He prodded Xander in the chest with a single digit, “You are a wild card in the game. You died, so were removed from the game, however I’m spotting you for another innings; don’t fail me.”
“But what do you want me to do anyway?”
Q smiled at him, “What you always have my boy, what you always have”
Then there was a bright flash and then Q was by himself in the infinite white room.
“The Power’s had better be right about this,” he said resignedly.
***** The USS Enterprise, 1701-E October 2376
Picard stood at ease standing just to the right of the transporter console. He was awaiting the arrival of most of his immediate command structure. Riker, Troy and Data had beamed down to the planet they were now orbiting. The Beta Consulate of the planet had gone rouge and it was up to the diplomatic federation to once again put out a bush fire. There had been lots of these sorts of incidents since the end of the war with the founders. It appeared that several planets wanted to take advantage of the Federations temporary weakness.
In the last few months a whole host of petty dictators had arisen all across the alpha quadrant and it had been upto him to deal with them.
The first twinkle heralded the activation of the transporter. The miracle of quantum physics that shifted matter over staggering distances. It now moved his away team from the surface of the planet to the star ship in upper synchronous orbit.
The new Enterprise E was a marvel of engineering; the best minds in the federation had created it from scratch. As befitting the flagship of the fleet it was outfitted with the very latest technology, bio- neural circuitry that reacted faster than normal circuitry to a factor of thousands. The signal from planet traveling along the annular containment beam was shunted into the buffers. Once there the huge brain of the ships computer reassembled the quantum elements in place on the transported pad. It was one of the safest ways to travel. It was both secure and clean. Filters in the buffers neutralized deadly viruses and deactivated weapons.
It was therefore theoretically impossible to alter from the outside. So as the forms took place on the pad Picard had only a moment to wonder why there was a forth figure on the pad with his staff. They had not called and told him they were bringing a passenger which would mean this was either a terrible breach of protocol or…
Picard slapped his communicator, “INTRUDER ALERT, Transporter room 3”
Chapter 02, UFP
Xander felt like he needed to scratch all over, a seriously uncomfortable feeling had covered him for a short moment and then the next thing he knew he was facing a bald man who was pointing a weird device at his head. Then the others on the platform leapt into motion as they too pulled out their weapons and trained them on the hapless man.
Xander knew military training when he saw it so he carefully and slowly raised his hands. “I surrender!” he said quickly, hoping that they understood English.
The weapons still pointed at him unwaveringly. The bald man, who had the bearing of a man used to command, looked at him. “What are you doing on my ship?” he demanded his words full of command.
A security team chose that moment to burst through the sliding doors of the transporter room and Xander was now faced with four hand-held weapons and seven rifles. He tried to touch the roof of the transporter room with all his might.
Picard held up his hand to the security to halt their charge. They stopped dead in a testimony to their training and experience. They might not like the fact that officers were in a direct line of fire, but then they knew these officers.
“Now I asked you a question…” Picard said again his tone more commanding than before.
Xander was now sweating profusely at his somewhat dire situation took a moment to answer. “I don’t know. One minute I died, then this guy in a white room shows up then I’m here!” he said in babble.
The mention of a white room struck a chord in Picard. It was a loud resonant one; one of the more unpleasant experiences of his life had started that way. “What man?” he asked.
“Urm, he had a weird name, just a letter. Urm R or P or something” Xander stuttered out eyeing the assorted weaponry in fear.
“Q?” Riker asked.
Xander shot him a grateful look, “Yeah, that’s the one!”
“I see!” Picard said tiredly. After the week he and his crew had been having he had been secretly hoping for a little excitement. Q however was too much. Now he had another problem. He had an unidentified man in his transporter room that they knew nothing about and who was basically a total unknown. He could be a spy or worse Q in disguise.
Xander looked around him warily, he was checking out his situation without bringing any more bother down on himself.
On the platform he was on there were two men and a woman. The command guy was in front, seven other men and finally a man standing behind a console of some sort. Not great odds if he had to fight his way out of here. He had personally been able to take three or maybe four vampires at a push. But vampires were generally so arrogant it was usually easy to catch them off guard. These people were all consummate professionals, by the look of them, and they had hardness to their eyes. The weird looking objects, which he now assumed were weapons, were all pointing directly at him and he was sure they wouldn’t hesitate to fire.
The question was, were they friend or foe.
The man standing closest to him was humanoid but had strange yellow eyes and skin. His gaze was also unwavering but he also had a hint of curiosity in them.
Xander tried to think what Buffy would do. He had meant what he had said to her that night in the bronze. She really was his hero. He surmised that Buffy would explode into action and kick all their butts whilst making a stylish quip. So OK that plan was out. That left him with a possible action if things went bad. He could grab that yellow guy and hope that the others didn’t shot him through him.
“Security Team, Take our guest to a holding cell” Picard decided. He would have Beverly look over the intruder and go from there. He was about to slap his communicator to get her attention when the young man did something that was monumentally stupid considering. The dark haired man moved like lightning and grabbed Data in a choke hold simultaneously taking the androids phaser. It was only by sheer surprise that allowed him to get this far. Then he pointed the weapon at the android’s head before speaking.
“No, you don’t. I'm not getting walled up in some prison. I don’t want to hurt this guy so let’s all calm down yeah?” Xander said pulling the, surprising, weight of his captive backwards with him. His was now in the corner offering no part of his body for a trick shot. He also made sure to keep the strangely calm man in front of him to further ensure his safety.
Picard held up his hand to ward of the security guards once again. The thing that worried Xander was the note of amusement in the mans voice as he said, “That’s a good idea”
“OK, now who are you people?” Xander asked. He was desperately trying to think his way around this situation.
“I’m Captain Picard of the United Federation Of Planets, more immediately of Star Fleet”
Xander felt like he had been shot but tried to keep his head together, ‘just what the hell is going on’ he thought, “Human?” he asked simply.
Data caught Picard’s eye, who, by way of a slight shake of his head, held off the androids escape for a moment. If wasn’t that he didn’t trust the androids abilities, more that he didn’t know the young mans before him. It was quite a feat to catch the android unawares and it certainly warranted caution. He could see his first officer virtually champing at the bit and was stuck wryly amused. The man was in his middle years of life and was almost as impetuous as a teenager.
His ships councilor, Deanna Troi, was looking at the young man in confusion apparently picking up something from him. Picard wished he could gain her insight into this matter. But circumstances were not giving him that option.
“Yes” he said whilst nodding, “But other’s as well”
“Others… …Demons?” Xander said in worry. Humans allying themselves with demons it was almost unthinkable to the Scooby member.
“Demons?” Picard asked almost in amusement.
“Ah” Xander said, deciding to shut up about that for now. He decided to tackle his greatest fear at that point. He took a deep breath, “What year is it?” he asked.
Picard shot him a look, “2376” he said using the old calendar on a hunch.
Xander felt the bottom fall out of his world at that point, ‘2376, 375 hundred years in the future, well his future but their present. He suddenly felt his legs give way and was virtually hanging off of the yellow-eyed man. He made a snap decision and held up his weapon holding it pointing upwards, or at least he hoped so. He willingly relinquished his shield hoping that as they were humans they would take this as a sign of friendship and not of weakness.
Xander sat on a medical bed of some sort and was being scanned with every conceivable medical device available to them. Troi had stepped in and whispered to Picard telling him, what Xander had been feeling. The feelings he had of shock and fear, confusion and eventually mind-numbing resignation to his fate. She had also noted that he believed in demons when he had said it.
He had been quickly hustled off to the medical center in the heart of the great ship. Picard had changed his orders after hearing Troi’s insights. They had taken Xander's surrender in the manner in which it was meant. Still under guard and being watched he was given the status of possibly dangerous instead of just plain dangerous.
The buzz of the anatomical scanner was lulling Xander and he was starting to feel positively relaxed. But then he was far, far in the future all his friends were no doubt dead with the possible exception of dead boy and his family was long gone. On the plus side he was still alive. If it was indeed a plus side, he wasn’t sure yet.
The attractive auburn haired female doctor smiled at him gently. “You appear to be in perfect health” she remarked. She had a willowy grace about her, like that of a dancer. The dark haired woman from the platform was there as well. Her dark eyes were regarding him in a way he found positively unnerving. He could also feel an almost tickle at the back of his mind. She was otherwise, basically a knock out and in other circumstances Xander would no doubt be flirting with her. At the moment he was basically feeling too damn weird to make comment.
Crusher stepped into her office where Captain Picard was waiting for her. “Well, he appears to be mostly normal. In fact he’s in excellent shape except I detect both high levels of pollutants and carbohydrates in his system. The one note worthy thing is the presence of Chronotron particles in his lower brain stem.
Picard nodded, that would fit in with the hypothesis that this man was indeed from the past. He had yet to say from when but he was certainly displaced. He couldn’t for the life of him figure out why Q would do this to an otherwise average human. Then something struck him, “Mostly Normal?”
“Yes, there are traces of two feint and unfamiliar energy readings in his system. They are at such a low level they would in no way have an effect on him”
“He did manage to both capture and disarm Data, doctor” Picard reminded him.
“Data, is not full proof, even he has his moments, besides humans are not that weak, even compared against Data,” the doctor reminded him gently. They were old friends and in private were much more casual than protocol demanded.
“Beverly, is he a threat do you think?”
“Well, you will have to check with Deanna but he has been nothing but courteous during my examination, respectful even. He does seem distressed but that is more Deanna’s area of expertise.” The doctor thought for a moment, “He is, well, he brings out my motherly instincts to be honest.” The doctor said with a self-deprecating smile.
Picard smiled softly for a short moment, “I see, well thank you Doctor” he said and moved off to see this man again for him self. The loss of her son, or ascendance rather, had been hard for the red haired doctor and she had an almost preternatural knack for looking after waifs and strays lately. So if this young man caused that reaction in her, perhaps he wasn’t that dangerous after all?
Chapter 03, Q 2
Xander smiled at a pretty crewman as he sauntered down the corridors of the gigantic ship. He was on his way to Ten Forward. Data had told him about it during their last lesson. The android had befriended the time lost man in the preceding two weeks. It had all been a massive culture shock for him to start with then gradually he had realized that he needed to live his life and to acclimatize himself to his new surroundings. He missed his friends with all his heart but until he either found a way home or joined them in the afterlife, he had to live for the day.
To that end he had asked Data to teach him about this new time. After Xander had apologized for his actions he had found the android was exceedingly nice and very helpful. It didn’t take long for them to become friends despite their age differences. He had found he was a friend to most of the crew by now. His easy manner and sense of humor seemed to be an instant winner among the Enterprises’ crew. He still had his counseling sessions with Commander Troi to contend with and he was never very good at all that emotional stuff. However, that said, Captain Picard after consulting his staff had given him mostly a free reign on his ship. He was treated as a victim of Q rather than a possible spy as such his time had been pleasant and friendly.
The biggest shock had been when he had first encountered an alien. He had freaked basically and had thought the Andorian was some sort of demon. He soon found it was a he and actually a very religious and pleasant being called A’Torian. Thankfully the Andorian had seen the funny side as Andorian’s are much stronger than humans and he could have ripped Xander in two if he had chosen to. A’Torian had then personally undertaken Xander's education and introduction to the various alien species and members of the wide-ranging UFP. Xander had found that A’Torian himself was something of an oddity as one of the few Andorian’s serving in the Federation’s Star Fleet.
Technology has also been a tremendous shock. Humans had come a long way from cars and microwaves. Now they had transporters and replicators.
Xander shook his head at the enormity of it all. The one place he had yet to visit on this marvel of humanoid technology was the famous Ten Forward. Apparently it was the place to go. So of course he went.
The large double doors slid back to reveal a football pitch sized room that should have been intimidating. Instead it was welcoming and warm. The lighting was low and soft music floated through the air. He spotted the large bar and walked over to it saying hello to various known crewmembers as he went.
He arrived at the bar and was met by the serene hostess Guinan.
“Hi, what can I get you? You’re Xander aren’t you?” Guinan said smiling softly at the dark haired man.
Xander’s eye widened slightly, “Yep, That’s me, the Xand-man,” he said in a jocular tone. He was somewhat of a minor celebrity on the ship. After all he was currently the only civilian onboard and the rumor mills had been churning about him almost since his arrival.
Guinan regarded him with a piercing look for a moment and then started to open her mouth. Suddenly her whole bearing changed and she held her hands out in claws, “YOU!” she spat.
Xander thought for a moment she meant him; then he noticed the direction of her furious gaze. He looked over his shoulder and took in the man who had inspired the normally gentle and quiet hostess into such a display.
“Q” he said the single letter sounding like a tomb closing.
Picard looked at his ships councilor thoughtfully. She was giving him her weekly report on the health of the ships crew.
“What of our guest, Alexander?” he asked.
Troi thought for a long moment, “Yes, what of him. Xander Harris is an enigma wrapped in a puzzle.”
“How so?” Picard enquired. ‘This will be interesting’ he mentally decided; Troi was a consummate professional who was rarely foxed for as long as this. It had taken his considerable influence to keep the young man here for this long. Starfleet wanted to debrief him back on earth. Whilst he wouldn’t normally entertain the idea of doing a shuttle service himself, boredom and his own curiosity had gotten the better of him. The Enterprise, the Star in the Fleet’s crown was going back to Earth. The crew was long overdue shore leave anyway and the ship itself was scheduled for routine maintenance. So in all it hadn’t been too hard to effect the decision however, it hadn’t been easy either. As a sort of middle road Picard had agreed to make a stop on the way back to Terra. They were to pick up a dignitary, one with which he and his crew was very familiar with.
“He is very well liked by the crew; as you know already. He is both friendly and helpful and APPEARS to hold nothing back.” Troi paused for a moment, her frustration in not being able to fully unlock the Xander puzzle showing through for just a moment, “But he does. I am unsure how he does, but he does. Humans, generally, do not have much talent in that regard; no offence” she said in difference to the present company, “However Xander seems to be able to block his emotions from me totally.”
Picard’s eyebrows rose up on his smooth forehead, “Indeed.”
Troi nodded, “Yes, I have of course talked with him on this and he merely said some things are best left alone”
“…Demons” Troi started hesitantly, “He truly believes in the existence of them but will not be drawn into conversation about them”
“He is mad?” Picard asked but the question was almost a statement.
“Anything but, I am able to diffentiate between the belief of a neurotic and a ‘normal’ belief. He believes totally and utterly. That young man has shadows in his soul sir” Troi said feeling foolish for saying it. Her own culture of course had mentions of such demonic beings in it. Dismissed in latter years as taradiddles , something to tell around a campfire. The strange thing was, that all cultures had such tales. It was strange correlation in otherwise diverse cultures.
Some, such as the Klingon’s and others still believed in them. Others like her own race, the Betazoid’s, and the supposedly more enlightened cultures had all labeled them as either fairy tales or the ID.
Picard trusted her insight implicitly it had never once in the long working relationship, they shared, had it let him down. So despite his own views on the subject he wasn’t about to ignore it now. His own culture had shunned the very idea of the existence of demons. So he was dubious to say the least, “I see. What do you suggest Councilor?”
“We will be arriving in Betazed within a day…”
“I see, your mother” Picard said, if there were one person that Picard was scared of, that person would be Lwaxanna Troi.
“She is a much more powerful telepath than I, she could perhaps…” Troi paused, she didn’t like the idea of bypassing someone’s shields when her own were so important to her
Picard let her get away with it, “…I understand, will you ask your mother if she would be willing to help?”
Troi nodded enthusiastically, “We would probably have to stop her with a force field anyway” she said with a grin; Riker was starting to rub off on her.
Xander looked around at the apparently frozen room, only Guinan was still mobile. She jumped over the bar and got between him and Q.
“Leave him be Q!” she said her voice angry and commanding.
Q lifted an eyebrow at her then theatrically hissed at her, “Be calm woman, he is quite safe from me,” he told her in annoyance.
“Hey, right here you know!”
The two powerful beings suddenly appeared to notice him, Q looked at him in slight confusion whilst Guinan smiled, “It has begun,” she stated
“Yes, and sooner than I had thought” Q replied.
“OK, what the hell is going on here?” Xander demanded angrily getting off of his stool. He stood between the two his entire being radiating annoyance.
“Calm down Xander.” Guinan tried to placate him softly.
“Yes do, otherwise this could get very boring” Q said in his usual arrogant tone. He clicked his fingers and they all appeared at a table by the window, sat down with party hats and drinks with straws. “Happy Birthday” Q intoned with a flourish.
“Huh?” Xander said stupidly.
“It’s your birthday. The first day of the rest of you life.” Q told him. Guinan rolled her eyes.
“It is time,” she said looking him in the eye, “Ignore this buffoon. Soon the forces of evil will once again move against humans and not just them but Klingon’s, Vulcan’s, Bajoran’s the whole lot. Your friends, they closed the hellmouth, at least the one on earth for three hundred years…”
Q took up the story without missing a beat, “…Yes, that was the main one, the key. Without it the others all across the universe dwindled away. Some are still there, mere relics of what they were but now…”
“…The key is ’becoming” Guinan continued, Xander was looking from one to the other in total shock, “Once that happens all the others will open as well. It will start slowly at first but once the key opens…” Guinan slapped her hands together startling Xander, “…Boom, eventually the humanoid species will die off to be replaced by the demons. Some” she shot Q a look, “have decided that it is better that they do, that the humanoid races are making a mess of things.”
“Others do not agree!” Q said primly.
“The gate won’t just pop open but as before there will be an increase in demonic activity as it prepares to open. That means Vampires.” Guinan continued ignoring the impish Q.
“The slayer” Xander said. He had that dread feeling in the pit of his stomach. The same feeling he always had when the latest big bad came to town. But now it wasn’t just a town in was a universe.
“Yes, The Slayer” Q said with a smirk, “What is it; with you and slayers?”
“Huh?” Xander once again supplied to the conversation.
“Never mind that now!” Guinan redirected the conversation back on track, “Yes there will be a slayer; one will be called around about the time you get back to earth. But there is no watchers council anymore. At least not like there was, it is now a library of ancient books and librarians. They are considered to be just that; ancient”
“What do you want me to do about it?” Xander asked in confusion.
Q held up his hand to ward off Guinan, “First a story. Did you know you are totally unique? That in all of the alternate dimensions that you are the only Xander Harris left. That in every single other dimension you died, childless and alone protecting those you loved?”
Xander’s jaw slumped downwards, “What!” he managed to grind out. It appeared the First Slayer had been correct in that he would be the last in his line.
“Oh, well done!” Guinan said sarcastically to Q, “Just the way to make him feel better”
Q ignored her, “I saved you, because you are particularly brave, particularly resilient and resourceful. You above all the others have both the skill and the knowledge to carry this off. You, Xander Harris, are a survivor! We need that skill now” Q finished with a flourish of his arms and sat back in his chair with a wide smile.
Xander looked at the super being with undisguised confusion, Guinan patted his hand on the table, “What the idiot is saying is that we need you to train the slayer. Train her and others to fight demons and to survive. Without you and without them the entire humanoid universe will end.”
“But surely, with technology…”
Guinan cut him off, “…Humans have evolved, you must have noticed. What makes you think for one single moment, that demonic kind hasn’t as well? A Phaser may hurt a vampire but it won’t kill it, just like the guns of your day. Only the old traditional methods can do that. You know wood, silver, holy water and symbols. Those rules can’t be changed.” She cut a look at Q who was inspecting his nails.
“What? It seemed like a good idea at the time” he protested.
Xander did a classic double take and then shrugged, “OK, say I do this. How the hell am I going to get Starfleet to let me alone for long enough?”
“That my boy, you will find out in all good time. For now I must go. Guinan here will no doubt give you advice and all that; but I’ll check in on you from time to time”
Q disappeared in a flash of light and the entire room came to life once more. Guinan patted his shoulder as she got up. “Don’t worry you can do it!” she told him before leaving him to stare off into the stars hurtling away behind them.
Chapter 04, Through The Minds Eye
They arrived at Betazed exactly on time; nothing had caused them to stop or had gotten in their way. That was almost worthy of pause in itself. Xander, however, didn’t know that, he just knew that below him was a planet. He hadn’t really thought about it too much before but he was in space. Surrounding him was a vacuum that technology had made home for the hundreds of people currently aboard this ship. People lived and worked in space! Across the galaxy there were people living and working in space! It was a truly staggering thought to him. Humans had finally grown up! He knew that much from his lessons with Data. He was currently in a ship that defied the speed of light and traveled routinely at it. The warp engine wasn’t even engaged until Warp one, and that was faster than the speed of light. Some ships could travel at Warp 9.975. Amazing!
So, as he looked down at the beautiful rotating orb that was Betazed, all these thoughts flashed through his mind and humbled him. He actually felt humble, he wasn’t exactly an arrogant man, but he wasn’t used to feeling humble.
The Enterprise was patiently waiting for the arrival of some sort of ambassador from the lovely planet below. Also on their way to Earth. Xander figured that the dignitary must be important to be able to hitch a lift on the Enterprise.
He didn’t realize that Picard had redirected the great ship for him, or rather Picard’s interest in him, he had heard something about maintenance and gone with it. He knew that the Enterprise was legendary, starting with Captain Christopher Pike and then more notably Captain James Tiberius Kirk. Now the formidable Captain Jean-Luc Picard was at the helm of the single greatest ship in the history of the fleet.
This crew had traveled to the past and they had battled the Borg. The Borg, the mere mention was enough to give Xander the creeps. They had helped to beat back the Dominion and had saved more worlds than he even knew existed.
So he felt further humbled by that. Basically he was feeling damn right humble.
Now he had a job to do that would save the entire universe, He hoped! That didn’t make him feel humble, that scared the living crap out of him!
The indomitable Mrs. Troi breezed into her daughters’ suite. She was feeling good about herself, to cheer up her otherwise boring day she had put the fear, of well her, up the charming Jean-Luc and had unsettled Riker. All in all it was a good start to her trip.
“Darling, Where are you little one“ she called telepathically.
“Hello Mother” Deanna replied verbally as she often did.
“Well where is he?” Lwaxanna asked looking around the room.
Troi rolled her eyes, “He is on his way I expect. I didn’t expect you to come so soon.”
“Well, I must admit to being curious dear.”
“Yes it is an interesting case.”
“No, no I was thinking more of someone Jean-Luc is curious enough about to personally escort to Earth” the imposing brunette said with a large smile and a cheeky glimmer to her eye.
Troi was once again amazed at her mothers’ resourcefulness and power; she must have plucked it out of his mind. It sometimes made her a little nervous but she was more used to it and had better shields.
“Not that much better” her mother reminded her telepathically with a soft smile.
The door chimes chiming announcing a presence at the door interrupted Deanna's annoyed response.
“Yes who is it?”
“It’s god” came back a joking response. Once he had recovered his equilibrium, Xander’s some times maddening sense of humor had returned in full force. “I’ve come to view the woman, more beautiful than any of my angels”
Lwaxanna’s eyebrows rose as she sensed the man behind the door. There were some formidable mental shields protecting him for a human.
“Good afternoon Xander” Troi greeted her patient and guest with a slight chuckle. She, like the rest of the crew it appeared, had become fond of the time-stranded man.
“Hey gorgeous” his flirting had also returned, He noticed the older version of Troi and smiled at her, and “Your sister I presume” he asked with a small smile.
“I like him already” Lwaxanna said holding out her hand. Xander took it and rather than shaking it kissed it like an aristocrat. “Yes, he is a nice boy” she said once again smiling. But there was an edge to her smile as she worked her way through Xander’s shield. Already used to Troi brushing against his mind he assumed it was she and thought nothing off it.
Troi directed them both to the comfortable sofas laid out in her office suite. As they took their respective seats Lwaxanna finally made her way through his shields. It was a surprise to her that it had taken her this long. She started to dig around almost straight away sending a silent; "I’m in" to her daughter.
Troi smiled in acknowledgment and looked to Xander. But Xander was no longer smiling he was eyeing the older Troi with shock. “She’s in my mind,” he stated simply.
“Yes, I asked my mother to help. She is full Betazoid and as such not limited the way I am. I am sorry I wouldn’t do this ever if it weren’t for the fact we need to be certain of you and there are things you are hiding from me. I did get the Captains permission” she said the last bit as if it made a difference. Xander was upset but not overly so. He liked his privacy for sure but he trusted these people even though they didn’t appear to trust him and he wanted them to.
Realizing that there was little he could do about it Xander relaxed in his chair. “Fine, but you and me are going to have to work on our communication skills,” he said quipping gently and waiving his finger back and forth between them.
Deanna smiled at him apologetically and looked to her mother. They had decided that it would be best if her mother made the link and then used their own bond to conference. Despite her mothers greater mental power Deanna had more knowledge in the mind and its many corridors.
Lwaxanna flicked her eyes towards her daughter and received a nod. Then she opened her personal bond to her daughter; a bond shared between all Betazoid familial members.
Once the link was complete Deanna had full access to Xander's mind. The aforementioned Xander was feeling somewhat of a fool. The two woman in the room both had their eyes closed and were leaving him alone for the most part. Apart from the mind merging of course. He closed his own eyes and was immediately immersed in his own mind.
Millions of miles away on a small almost insignificant planet rotating around a small star was a sleeping form. The form was female, around twenty years old her long blonde hair flowing around her on her pillow. She was attractive with a slender and athletic body. Her name was Jacinta Adolpha Bali. Once a long way back in her families long existence they had heralded from India. Now several hundred years in the making the only vaguely Indian thing about her was her name.
Jacinta wasn’t one of the many people who had decided that their lives should be spent in service of the UFP she had other aspirations; she just wasn’t totally sure what they were yet. She had of course had to choose a college, which she had done. She had chosen to go to the simply named University Of San Francisco. So she was at the heart of the Federations own Starfleet academy but showed no interest in joining it. She had often watched the Ensigns and other trainees being shuttled around the town, going from one campus to another.
They had all seemed way to serious to her. She considered herself to be a lover of life and all that entailed. But just lately she had a problem.
She was plagued by dreams of death and destruction. She saw other girls her own age and younger fighting horribly disfigured people. Sometimes they lost and Jacinta had to watch as the horrible monsters they had been fighting slaughtered them.
The dream she was having at the moment was of a less violent nature but was still oddly disturbing. She was watching a group of friends laughing and joking under a bright sun. They were arrayed around a blanket and were eating sandwiches.
There were three girls and a boy as well as an older man who was having as much fun as they were. They were all good looking, a dark haired girl, a red head and the blonde she had seen before. The boy was also a blank to her though; she couldn’t even catch a glimpse of his face. The older man she was able to see easily, he was handsome in an older guy way. She was almost tensing up in anticipation of the violence that would surely happen. Of course those scenes had all been at night for some reason, or at least in very dark places.
The violence never came; the dream just faded away to be replaced by another scene. This one was much more violent and she suddenly wished she was able to go back to the other one.
She tossed and turned in her sleep piling her sheets at the base of the bed and was that way until the rising sun greeted her in the morning.
For some reason she always felt relieved when the sun came up.
Aboard the Enterprise the two Troi’s were being bombarded with images. The moment that Xander had finally given in and joined them; the memories had flowed. There is no way to describe what being in someone’s mind is like. It is a dead cert that what you are seeing is either a true memory or the imagination. The two Betazoid’s were experienced and intelligent woman. Deanna Troi was a trained empath and was easily able to distinguish between the two. Lwaxanna Troi had simply been alive long enough to garner the experience she needed to tell the two apart. So the two woman were the best qualified to say that what they were experiencing at that moment were memories and not fantasy.
Xander showed them nearly everything. Jessie dying, The Master, Buffy dying and him bring her back, Faith, Angel, Willow, Buffy, Giles, and all of his friends. All of the acts and all of the big bads ever to cross the Scooby gang’s path. The real problem with this sort of telepathic sharing is that it is the whole package. Not just imagery, but smell sounds and emotion were also passed down the link. So they not only saw but also felt Xander’s life from his perspective. They got all the joy, all the humor, and the betrayal of his violent parents and the pain of their attacks. They felt the love he had, and still felt for Buffy. They experienced the pain of her death’s and his determination not to let her down, ever.
It seemed to go on forever but was in fact an hour. Longer than Deanna had thought it possible to take, but the young man had seen and done many things.
By allowing them access Xander had been able to direct the flow somewhat. He had held nothing back, except what had happened in Ten Forward that he had kept to himself for the moment. Other than that they had seen it all. Xander was just waiting for them to slap on the cuffs and send him to a mental institution.
Lwaxanna’s eyes fluttered open, shortly followed by her daughters. Xander, who was already fully awake, regarded them with eyes almost as dark as theirs.
“So…” he trailed off suddenly self-conscious. These women knew more about him than any other single soul in his life, with the possible exception of Willow.
Lwaxanna blew out a long breath and looked at her daughter, “Well Xander you have certainly had an interesting life!” she commented her normally dancing eyes serious.
Deanna nodded along with her, “I’m so sorry Xander!”
“What for?” Xander asked in confusion.
“You have had such a difficult life. Fighting in a thankless battle for so long. It is a wonder you weren’t all overcome by Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome”
“I think we were at times, but we always had each other. That held us together” Xander replied with deep emotion in his voice and eyes.
Troi nodded her head sagely, “Yes, that is very possible” she said thinking of her own relationship with her crewmates.
“So what now? Are you going to tell the Captain?”
To his ever-lasting shock Troi did the one thing that he had never expected of her; she shook her head, “No. I will tell him that we have worked through this but I can’t and won’t tell him details. The Hippocratic oath holds me on this. I can tell the Captain general details, even in some cases more specific notes if they are a threat to the ship and crew. But this is in the past and, I hope, has nothing to do with the present; or this ship!”
Lwaxanna was also nodding, “I also have taken a similar oath, a long time ago. That binds me in a comparable fashion. I am not a professional like my daughter” she said with a proud smile that made Deanna smile warmly at her, “but I do believe in peoples privacy” she said, in blatant disregard of the facts.
Beneath a city and under a large bustling University a gateway was awakening.
The Hellmouth was becoming.
It wasn’t a conscious being per say but had a certain sentience. The forces pressing up and seeping out of it lent it certain intelligence. That intelligence had moved it from its old position in Sunnydale to a new locale.
The Hellmouth is not evil, how can an inanimate object be evil? Although computer users the world over will try to tell you differently. As it wasn’t evil it did nothing with a well thought out plan for destruction of the earth. It just simply was. It had moved not because it was hiding, it moved because Sunnydale simply put wasn’t there anymore. A large earthquake had sunk it into the ground two hundred years before hand, not long before the Eugenics war. No one had bothered to rebuild it. Sunnydale was not considered important enough. So the Hellmouth could not have re-emerged there; so now it was here instead.
Above the trembling entryway out in the open were the sun glared and the seagulls squawked was a simple sign outside the large building.
It read: -
“University Of San Francisco Est. 2300”
Chapter 05, Terra Firma
Bay Towers, San Francisco January 2377
Xander had stepped off of the transporter pad from the Enterprise a week ago. He had said his goodbyes and assured his new friends that he would stay in contact. Then he had to deal with the Federation’s constant questions. He had fielded them and finally he had pleaded ignorance.
The UFP had then graciously set him up. His situation was not unique and had apparently happened before. They had given him a spacious and attractive apartment in the middle of the huge city and offered him a position. It had made him laugh but he had accepted. Xander Harris was now a University student with part time job working in the library.
He wasn’t due to start either his studentship or his job for an entire week. Thanks to Data’s personal tutelage he had learnt at a vastly enhanced rate and had picked up things he had never thought possible before, especially in such a short time as a month and a half. He had been brought fully up to speed and Data had awakened in him a desire to learn and a thirst for knowledge. He now knew that it was truly the rubbish teachers back at Sunnydale and not him that had been at fault. He really was as bright as Giles had often told him. All of which meant he wasn’t feeling to afraid of the schoolwork he would get. He was, however, confused as to why anyone would need a library, let alone have one in a university. He had been gently told that some people were just old fashioned like that.
The Enterprise was docked at the Utopia Planetia near Mars so the crew was having some much-needed shore leave. That meant that Xander had several lunch dates set up with new friends, including both Deanna and Data. Both of who maintained apartments in the same building as his.
Xander was sat in his apartment looking out of the large wall sized window that gave him a view over the bay. Money wasn’t important anymore, that had shocked him. So he could easily afford a place like this. Mostly because it was a gift, in exchange for historical information and a promise to help out in anyway he could in future. That was a promise that Xander knew he would be able to keep soon so he had accepted graciously and very willingly.
The view was exceptionally breathtaking from his vantage point. It still struck him as strange to watch shuttlecraft zooming across the sky like that. It was, however, amazing what you could become accustomed to. He was already loosing that feeling of WOW that he had in such large supplies before. He wasn’t sure he liked that fact.
He would soon have to get ready. One of the advantages of being a celebrity was invites, that and being friends with some of the upper Enterprise crew, not to mention the Ambassador for Betazed. In other words Xander was aligned with some very important people. That meant he was invited so events such as the one due that night.
A crew that had been missing for 7 years had finally found a way home. From across the galaxy from whence they had been thrown. Voyager, a strangely suitable name for a surprising craft. One of the things Xander had quickly found an affinity for was the advanced spacecraft. He could pilot a standard shuttlecraft with skill. Once he had used the marvelous technology of the Holodeck to pilot the Enterprise. He wasn’t sure how or why it was just a knack he seemed to have.
Tonight he was invited to the return party for the crew of the USS Voyager, the intrepid class Starship that had been thrown across the galaxy. The captain of that ship, Captain Janeway had finally got her crew home and tonight was party night in their honor. Xander would be once again within the company of giants.
It had finally escaped. It had been confined for more than three hundred years. The very essence of vampirism leapt into the clear Californian night with something akin to glee.
It had but one purpose. One that is not very different from all living things. Except that this wasn’t a living thing it was a demon an aberration in the eyes of god some said. They are the ones who forget that god had created everything including this demon spirit. In much the same way as the first ones had left behind a remnant of their essence so it would propagate. Once more spreading it’s plague across the globe.
Now; all it had to do was to find a suitable host. It came across many and varied candidates. Some of species it had never encountered before. It temporarily ignored them. It would spread to those ones later. First it would find a more familiar host. One of the human scourges would be fine for now. It took some time until it came across a large dark haired man. He had both strength and already was lacking in morals. He would make a perfect host for the father of a new wave of vampires.
Jason Clark was walking through the memorial park slowly stalking his prey. His damn girlfriend Amanda, who had broken up with him the week before; it annoyed him that she had done so. It was up to him to end the relationship and he would show her. He would show her good. She was out with some smart arse from the academy. He hated the Fleeters and all they stood for, ‘sanctimonious arseholes’ he called them. Of course he had learnt the word by over hearing one of them use it. The irony of that escaped him though. Physically strong he was otherwise weak. He had always managed to get through life using his strength and size. He intimidated and bullied. He worked in construction, a job that was skilled and needed. He had managed to get the job because his dad knew the owner of the company. He had none of the skills required for the job. Thus he was relegated to the grunt work. Even with the advanced technology available grunt work was always needed. There were times when a tractor beam or transporter was unable to move things. That is where he came in. He was basically a packhorse.
He watched from a safe distance until the fleeter went away. They were annoyingly impossible to bully. All of them were trained in a host of physical combat and were so cock sure of themselves that it made him sick to his stomach.
All of a sudden and out of nowhere he was thrust into a world of pain that shook him to the core. He could feel a presence entering his very core of existence. Lacking in anything resembling self-control he had no way in which to battle the invasion. He succumbed to it within mere seconds.
He slumped down to the ground before he even had chance to cry out in pain. As he led there a metamorphosis appeared. His face became more jagged, his brow more pronounced and fangs were visible just sticking out from under his top lip.
Gold and red eyes snapped open and surveyed the world for the first time in more than three hundred years.
Chapter 06, Welcome Back
The room was alive with people and general good cheer. They had finally made it home and the congratulations were both sincere and in large supply. The entire crew of the Voyager had been invited to the party. From the lowest crewman to the Captain herself were there.
Captain Kathryn Janeway, originally the commander of the USS Bonestell and then the ill-fated USS Voyager, stood like an island in a sea of people. She had shaken more hands and smiled more smiles than she could remember ever doing before. So much so in fact that her face was starting to ache and her hand had cramps. It wasn’t that she wasn’t happy to be home, quite the opposite she was ecstatic. But the constant diplomatic grins and platitudes were not her style. She was and is even more so recently, a woman of action despite her diplomatic flair.
Her night was about to become more interesting. She noticed that there was a young man talking animatedly to Seven and none-other than Commander William T. Riker and Lieutenant Commander Data flanked him. Both the Starfleet officers were also in the same damn uncomfortable dress uniform as she.
The young man, upon whose words apparently even Seven was hanging, was not a fleet man. He did have a certain military bearing though and that slightly confused the Captain as he was Terran, and the only remotely military operation on Earth was of course the fleet. He would also, certainly, have to be of note simply because of the company that he kept. It was obvious that both Riker and Data knew the dark haired young man from their body language, well Riker’s at least. The other thing of note was Seven.
Whilst various teachings and tutors had finally made her into a more human ex-Borg she was still uncomfortable in large gatherings. It may seem strange when she had come from such a crowded past, or perhaps not. Her normal awkwardness was not apparent however as she actually smiled at something the young man said. For Seven it was equivalent to a belly holding laugh.
Janeway’s natural and instinctual curiosity once again got the better of her and she walked over to the small group.
“Hello” she said her almost gravely voice floating over yet another laugh from Riker. Riker looked at her with a wide smile but something was nagging at the back of his mind, like he knew her. Of course he ‘Knew’ her but in a more personal way like they had actually met before. He shook it off quickly and welcomed her, “Captain Janeway. It is a pleasure to finally meet you”
Kathryn hid a small smirk behind a larger smile, “Commander” she nodded at the pale skinned android, “Commander” then the blonde haired Borg, “Seven” and purposefully leaving the young man for last she looked at him expectantly
Who for his part, smiled disarmingly at her and held out his hand, “Xander, Xander Harris. It’s good to meet you,” he said.
‘Xander, interesting name’ she thought to herself, “Xander, that’s unusual?” she said.
Xander smirked at her; he was standing with an android called Data and a gorgeous woman whose full name was Seven of Nine, and she thought his name was weird. “Yeah, it’s short for Alexander. But everyone calls me Xander”
“I see” Janeway said hoping that she would find out what was making Seven laugh; or her version of it at least.
Seven appeared to read her mind, “Xander was just telling us about a small adventure he had when he was younger” she explained. She was very fond of her Captain and felt that the young mans story may cheer her up. “Perhaps you could recap?” she said looking at Xander with a lifted brow. The look had a devastating effect on the young man. No man could deny that look.
“Sure” he said with a laconic smile and he quickly launched into his story.
Blood dripped down Jason’s fangs as he finished draining yet another meal. He had set up several to propagate, as was his driving instinct. He had also fed mightily, it was, after all, thirsty work this expansion of the species.
He set his eyes upon his next target. It was a girl with long blonde haired that seemed to bounce with her every step. Jason decided that she would make a fine addition to his new family; and that the master-childe bond would reap him large benefit as well.
Xander smiled at his assembled group. He had retold his somewhat edited story of how he had met with Buffy and the gang as well as his relationship with Cordelia. It was that, that had everybody laughing. As well as his falling on his butt when he had first seen Buffy of course, that and a host of other slightly changed stories. Changed because he had no wish to be thrown in a mental hospital and for the key to be phasered out of existence.
It surprised him that anyone of these people would be the slightest bit interested in his stories. After all they had some wowzers of their own to tell as well, ones that blew his out of the water. He may have saved the world a couple of times but they had saved entire solar systems. He decided in the end it was because his stories were about small things, people and happenings. Things that giants such as these perhaps felt slightly out of touch with. Even Seven who had no literally frame of reference had enjoyed them. Especially once Janeway had arrived. He had been nervous at first but then he had relaxed quickly. Janeway was a highly personable woman and very likable. It was obvious that Seven looked upon her as a mentor and highly respected her. He also noticed that the Captain seemed to loosen up a little as well.
Eventually of course people decided that he had monopolized them for long enough and the Starfleet people, plus Seven, had been drawn away into the waiting throng. He took advantage of that fact and stepped outside for a moment. He was currently standing in the grounds of Star Fleet HQ, taking in a deep lungful of sweet clean air.
He was generally enjoying the peace and feeling of quietness when a scream suddenly pierced the night.
Years of training had implanted certain responses into Xander Harris. One of those was to run towards a scream. He was moving before he had even consciously heard the scream. He didn’t have far to run before he found a familiar scene. It was one he had hoped never to see again.
The vampire stood over an attractive blonde girl ready to sink its fangs into her. Xander just reacted. He reached over and snapped a branch from a nearby tree. The loud SNAP momentarily distracted the large vampire.
Jason looked into the calm and confidant eyes of Xander Harris and saw his doom. Of course the vampire didn’t realize that yet. With a roar he dropped the girl and ran towards the human.
Xander ducked under the vampires guard and punched out with a devastating blow to its midsection. The vampire folded slightly before straightening up and hammering out a punch of it’s own.
The blonde haired girl suddenly felt something go through her. This was so familiar to her that she knew what to do instinctively. Jacinta Adolpha Bali got to her feet with a set expression and walked up behind the vampire grabbing its shoulder. Jason spun round in shock and was suddenly face-to-face with its worst nightmare.
Jason’s demon hadn’t recognized her spirit before because until that very moment it hadn’t been fully activated. Now when the roundhouse punch connected with its host’s body it knew very well what would happen. It prepared itself and watched as the slender girl took the branch from the dark haired man and slapped it into its host’s chest. The Non-corporeal demon left the host and it disintegrated into dust.
Xander looked at the girl in shock. “What is it with slayers? Do they all have to be hot or what?”
Chapter 07, Slayer
The Grounds Of Starfleet Headquarters
Jacinta glared at the dark haired man, “What?”
“Sorry, didn’t realize I said that out loud” Xander said sheepishly.
Jacinta shook her head causing her blonde hair to dance in the moonlight, “No, what did you call me?”
“Ah, yes of course that would be too easy wouldn’t it” Xander said looking up at the stars and cursing Q. He gathered himself, ‘G-Man was the one for this, what would he say?’ Xander asked himself. He could still even after all this time clearly remember what he had said so long ago on that fateful day. He revised it slightly and just went for it.
“This world is older than anyone knows. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons demons walked the Earth. They made it their home their own Hell. But in time they lost their purchase on this reality. The way was made for mortal animals, for man. All that remains of the Old Ones are vestiges, certain magic’s, and certain creatures like Vampires.
The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon’s soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding. Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the Old Ones to return.
For as long as there have been vampires, there’s been the Slayer, The one girl in the entire world, the Chosen One.
She is the slayer with the strength, speed and skill to fight the forces of darkness.”
He stopped waiting for her reaction. It wasn’t long in coming, “You’re nuts!” she said and turned to walk away. Xander desperately searched his memory until something Buffy had once told him lit up his mind like a giant idea bulb.
“How are you sleeping?” he called after her. She faltered in her step and finally came to a full stop.
“What do you mean?” she asked warily. She really thought this guy was quite mad, but then he also seemed really familiar as well. Something she couldn’t quite get her mind round.
“You’ve been having the dreams haven’t you” Xander stated, he was beginning to feel a little strange. This was playing out almost in the same way as Buffy had related to him about her own calling.
Jacinta looked at him in total shock her jaw going slack. At her look Xander knew he had her. She tried to fight the feeling that she should trust this man, but it was uphill all the way. He knew, he knew about the dreams.
“They were past slayers. When a slayer is called they see the lives of all of the past slayers to have lived. Did they start with a scary looking chick with mud in her hair?”
Jacinta nodded dumbly.
“Who did they end with?” Xander asked curiously.
“A short blonde who seemed to be a very good fighter. She wore sort of modern clothes but not like ours”
Xander nodded with the strangest and saddest smile Jacinta thought she had ever seen, “Buffy” he said the one word like a prayer. Said softly it still carried to her ears and the tone made her heart almost break, so sad was his voice.
“What now?” Jacinta asked.
Just then a voice called out his name and he recognized Deanna’s voice. He glanced back at her to find that she had spotted him and was walking towards them.
“I have to go back in there. If you join me we could talk more afterwards” Xander said offering his hand to the young woman.
Jacinta stared at it for a long moment before finally giving into both her curiosity and her instincts. “OK” she said reaching out and taking his hand in a soft grip. Or at least so she had thought anyway.
“AHH, Slayer strength, slayer strength!” Xander said desperately trying to extract his hand.
“Oh god, I'm so sorry” Jacinta apologized letting go immediately.
“It’s OK, you will get used to it. Just make sure you are extra gentle from now on K’” Xander said shaking out his hand.
“Hey Deanna” Xander said over his shoulder. The attractive Betazoid faltered slightly, she had been sure she wasn’t making enough noise for him to track. It was an annoying habit of his that he had an almost preternatural sense when someone was coming up to him. Perhaps it was an ingrained survival instinct.
“Xander” she said by way of greeting, “Who’s your friend?” she carried on in interest.
“Why this is…” Xander trailed off to let the slayer continue
“…Jacinta Adolpha Bali” she supplied with a smile at the Starfleet officer.
“That’s a pretty name” Deanna said, she was getting some confusing feelings from the girl. Surprise and acceptance as well as something much more indefinable she couldn’t get a mental grip on so to speak.
“We were just on our way back into the party. They won’t mind if I bring a guest, will they?”
“No, the invite was for you and a guest after all”
“Okay, Come on then Jab lets go in”
“Don’t call me that!” Jacinta said but was horrified to find Xander smiling at her. “What is your name; anyway?”
“Xander Harris” he told her with a charming smile. With that he took the arms of both woman and led them back into the party.
Once they arrived Deanna went off to find her Imzadi and Xander led Jacinta through the busy party.
“Wow, who is all this for?” she asked him in an aside.
“Kathryn” he said automatically using the name that the Captain had insisted that he, as a civilian, should call her by.
“Who?” Jacinta asked with a furrowed brow.
“Captain Janeway, they just got back” Xander said with sort of a half shrug, he was more interested in eyeing the food table.
“Wow, I heard all about this, she’s a hero”
Picard chose that moment to walk past and nodded at Xander, “Xander” he intoned as he past.
“Captain” Xander said with a smile. He had found the Captain was very pleasant company despite his intimidating first impression. He had been invited to the weekly card game with all of the officers. That recently had also included the Captain as well.
Jacinta looked at Xander with something akin to amazement on her face. “What's up Jab” Xander asked her.
“You know Captain Picard?” she said, in her shock missing his nickname for her. “The Captain Picard, as in the Enterprise and all that”
Xander nodded, he was hiding a smirk and trying not to show he knew just how cool that really was. But apart from the fact they were all hero’s he also considered them friends and the Enterprise had after all saved him, after a fashion.
“Who are you?” She said in shocked exasperation. In the short time she had known him, he had helped to stake what could only be a vampire. He was at the most important party of the year. He called the infamous Captain Janeway, Kathryn. Not only all of that but he also knew Captain Picard, who was possibly the single most important Captain in the entire of Starfleet.
“I’m just Xander; like I said” he replied stuffing a pastry into his mouth.
Jacinta wasn’t to know that Xander had an almost magical ability to make people to both like and trust him. He had an open honest face and was fiercely loyal to his friends, perhaps not immediately apparent but his quick wit and easy smile were. People like someone who makes them laugh. The Starfleet personal were not so simple as to be pulled in by that alone. The secondary aspects of Xander had brought them across. These were his mind, which was both quick and clever and his heart, which was large and mighty in its capacity for courage and love. None had seen him in action but kindred spirits often recognized each other. In the case of the Enterprise crew he had also won them over by the way in which he had dealt with his arrival in the future. He had not whined or complained, he had asked for no special treatment, even offering to work off his passage. In fact he had been thoroughly pleasant company.
Basically Xander LaVelle Harris was a good man.
Jacinta, however, knew none of this and was standing aghast. She had to admit she was also impressed.
Her brow furrowed again after a moments thought, “Don’t call me Jab”
The demonic entity was once again homeless. It was lucky that it had not fully bonded with the human, if it had then its work may have gone unfinished, but then if the process had been truly finished then it would have obliterated all those who stood in its way.
Now it searched for another host, one that was more suitable than the first. Then it would bide its time. When it really considered the events of the night it had been a little hasty in its execution of the diabolical plan. Perhaps it would be better to be more cautious.
Marshall Boyd surveyed the Klingon with undisguised disgust. He hated Klingon’s and their stupid warrior ways. All the talk of honor and Klingon ways was boring him. He was the underworld boss of the entire bay area and for a simple reason. He was both brutal and efficient. He effortlessly evaded capture through his natural guile and had an almost preternatural ability to sense a trap. He was one of the few humans he knew of that could not only survive a fight with a Klingon but nine times out of ten win as well. He was a hugely powerfully built man and had no hesitations in using his strength. He was also fast, faster than a man his size had any right being. All of the attributes had served him well in his rise to the top. The Federation liked people to think they had all but eradicated crime. They hadn’t if his profit margins were anything to go by. Now he was sat in his club listening to a possible Klingon trade partner.
The Klingon, Mertek, was also a large specimen who had led a similar life to that of the human before him. His personal empire spanned his home planet and had leaked onto other worlds as well. He had thought that earth, the nest of Starfleet would be a no go area. That was until he had heard about Marshall Boyd.
The human had built an impressive array of operations based in the very heart of the damnable Federation. For a human he was also an impressive figure. Bald and imposing he surveyed the Klingon with a degree of contempt that Mertek found almost endearing.
Xander had offered that they go back to her place. Jacinta had refused as she lived in the university dorm and they would need privacy. So Xander had taken her back to his apartment traveling with Deanna, Riker and Data. Riker was ‘Visiting’ Deanna and Data was on his way home, he wanted to research a large Quantum thingy, and he had his research back at his apartment. Jacinta had spent the beginning of the journey feeling lost in the company of such famous heroes as the upper echelon of the Enterprises Command staff.
Xander, on the other hand, had been at home in the company of his friends. He wasn’t sure when they turned from being his captors, then inquisitors to friends. But friends they certainly now were. They had all offered both time and help if he needed it. He was touched by their concern and had thanked them but turned them down gently. He was fine; after all he had a job to do.
Eventually they had worked together to draw Jacinta out of her shell somewhat and Riker’s charm had her eating out of his hand within minutes.
Once they had arrived the Enterprise crew had all vanished to their respective destinations. Leaving Xander with an awed Jacinta and a lot of explaining to do.
He handed her a mug of tea and took a seat in front of her. He had arranged the apartment so that the main sofa faced away from the window with chairs facing it. That meant that Xander was able to see out of the window and watch the sun set in the evening. He was proud of this apartment; it sure beat the hell out of his old one.
“So…” Xander began slowly, “Did you get what I said before?”
Jacinta nodded so he carried on, “It was all true, Demons exist the bogey man walks the earth and most importantly Vampires are abroad. There is this mystical gate that is a portal to a dimension so bad that people called it hell. It was closed around 300 years ago by Buffy.” His voice caught for a moment as he thought about his first love, he had learned that she had died of old age in the end, for which he was very thankful. He also missed her; in fact he missed them all terribly. He quickly swallowed the memories before they swallowed him, “Now it is opening again. Well sort of, if it really opened it would literally be hell on earth but it is…Becoming”
“And this has to do with me, what?” Jacinta asked, her voice awed and more than a little scared.
“You are the slayer. It’s not great, but there you go. You have been chosen to hold back the forces of darkness.”
Jacinta’s jaw hung loosely as she processed what Xander had just told her. She was responsible for the entire world.
“Oh and, like you can’t really tell anyone. Well not many anyway. People would panic if they found out vampires actually existed”
Jacinta felt she had to answer that, “No they wouldn’t. People wouldn’t stand for it”
“Look, people are basically stupid. ‘People’ is a large animal with too many heads all telling the other one what to do. By time any sort of sensible attack plan was formed the world would already be gone. Remember, ‘People’ are stupid only a ‘Person’ is intelligent. Starfleet wouldn’t believe you” he said to cut off her next question. “Which is a general problem, you would be locked up; more than likely.”
“Oh!” was the only answer she had to that.
“Yeah I know what you mean. You do need friends and you WILL need some help. That’s where I come in.”
“What can you do” she asked, “You’re just normal, from what you just told me it’s my job now.”
Xander couldn’t believe he was hearing that, “God Damn!” he said, “I don’t believe it! Less than a day in the job and you are already shutting me out.”
“Look…” Jacinta tried to placate him, but he was on his feet pacing back and forth.
“Look, do you even know what a vampire can do?”
Jacinta shock her head.
“Well I do, them and a lot of other nasties. I can also train you to fight. I may not look much but I fought those things for 6 years without being a slayer or a friggin witch, werewolf or a souled vampire” Xander was really getting into his rant now. Which is why he couldn’t understand the small smile on Jacinta’s face. “What?” he asked his thunder deflating a little.
“You know you do the cutest little thing with your mouth when you’re angry!” Jacinta said smiling widely.
Xander did his world famous fish impression for a few moments. Eventually he gave up and flashed her his trademark lopsided grin instead. Jacinta found it affected her in ways she didn’t want to concentrate on at that moment.
Chapter 08, Watcher
UC San Francisco
Xander walked into the large building of UC SFC with a little trepidation. He was somewhat worried that it would be a repeat of high school and that he would be an outcast because he was different. That was just before he watched a blue skinned alien walk past him. At that, a wide smile crossed his face and he decided that perhaps he wasn’t that different after all.
His first stop was the Admissions Reception. He chatted vaguely with the secretary and was signed thought quickly. It wasn’t every day that Starfleet command sponsored someone into San Francisco’s non- aligned university. So now that they had, the college staff had been only too eager to please them. They obviously hoped that they might choose to do so again. The Federations Starfleet academy was the best school in the world and for most of the sector as well. They were both hard to get into and hard on their pupils. However, they also had a huge selection of courses and they turned out the best of the best. Shockingly to Xander, at least, a place had been offered to him, he put it down to a feeling of responsibility and of course his sponsors.
Lwaxanna Troi, after that the fateful session as well as the small fact of him saving her life, had taken upon herself to take him under her wing as well. That meant he had most of command crew of the Enterprise as potential sponsors and an important ambassador. But Xander had chosen not to pursue a career in Starfleet. It wasn’t that the idea didn’t have merit but he knew that he was needed on Earth right now.
After the secretary had given him his class schedule he was amused at the topics Data had picked for him. Willow would be proud and a little shocked, History, Computer Science and Economics. Not too many and an eclectic selection to boot. He wandered around the college campus until he found where all of his classes were to be held. He didn’t have a class until the next day, luckily, but he was due to meet with his new boss in the afternoon.
The Library was a large building in one corner of the campus. He walked into the main doors and was almost immediately at ease. The place just felt right to him somehow. It must have been all the time he spent around Giles and Willow. Before Buffy came to town he was very rarely in a library. Now he felt almost at home in one, certainly more at home than he had since arriving.
He was surprised. The library was large, much larger than he had imagined it. He walked round the shelves upon shelves of books until he stumbled across a section that shocked him to the core, out in full view was an entire section of demology books.
“What the F…” he trailed off, stunned.
“The students use them for Holonovels, a very popular section” came a feminine and English voice.
Xander turned to be faced with a woman. She was wearing a fairly old fashioned looking skirt that he could swear was the modern version of tweed. Her blonde hair was in an almost 50’s style and quite short. She had a slender figure but was curved in all the right places and despite her somewhat stuffy dress she was simply put very attractive.
“Gargle flurp” Xander said, and then paused and tried again, “Hello, I'm Xander”
“Xander, would that be Xander Harris?” she said her dark blue eyes thoughtful.
“Yes” Xander said wondering where this was going.
“Hello, I'm Maria Michaels” she said.
“Oh, Hi, I was just coming to see you” Xander said, Maria Michaels was the name of the Librarian he was to be working with and for.
“Yes I was expecting you a little later than this though,” she said smiling slightly. Her English accent like a bell cutting through the silence of the library.
“Well is now ok?” Xander asked.
“Of course” Maria said demurely, “If you would like to step into my office I’ll give you the history and then the tour”
“OK, Sounds like a plan” Xander said with a smile.
‘Unbelievable’ Xander thought, keeping his smile off of his face. The watchers council was now nothing more than a society of librarians. Maria had been proud of the fact that they had survived since before the eugenics war. It sounded like they knew nothing about the true nature of the world anymore. As he wandered along behind her whilst she pointed out sections and special areas of the library Xander was truly fighting the urge to laugh. Xander had also noted several books that they used to use for research. Unlike Giles’s library where they were all kept tucked away from prying eyes, they were left out in the open.
Maria halted in front of a large pile of books and a desk. “This is your desk. And I have prepared a little test for you” she said an almost evil glint in her eyes. “I would like you to catalogue these” she said waving a hand at the pile of books. If she expected him to groan or be shocked she was disappointed. Giles routinely gave him tasks much worse than this to do. He had often hung around the library in free sessions and as such was well versed in cataloguing. Instead he smiled and nodded and once Maria had turned on her heel he set to work.
Less than an hour later he walked up to her door and knocked on the door jam. Maria looked up in surprise. “Problem?” she asked.
“Nope, all done” he said
Maria smiled at him a little condescendingly but followed him as he showed her where and what he had done. It was all to the councils exacting regulations and without a single mistake.
The test was what had cost Maria most of her staff over the years. They invariably got it wrong and most were unable to get their mind around the system in the first place. That is when they either walked or Maria got rid of them. She was very exact herself and loved her books with a passion. People thought she was a little weird in this day and age of instant recall and speed reading machines. But she liked the personality of books and the smell she loved the smell.
Maria looked at Xander like he was the second coming, “How?” she managed.
“Oh, G-man was always getting me to do this stuff.”
“G-Man?” she asked vaguely. She was trying to think of a colony where a young man could learn this sort of advanced book care.
“Rupert Giles, to be exact” Xander said with a small fond smile.
Maria blanched, “Rupert Giles, of the Essex Giles’s” she said thinking that Xander knew a descendant of the line that had virtually created the council.
“You don’t know do you?” Xander said in a moment of clarity.
“I think we better go sit down,” Xander said with a sigh.
Maria allowed herself to be led back to her own office and gently directed to a couch.
“Miss Michaels” Xander began
“Mrs. divorced” Maria corrected him
“Sorry Mrs. Michaels. I’m not from around here. I’m not sure I should even be telling you this. But as we have to work together you will notice some oddities about me sooner or later. Probably sooner” Xander said with a self-deprecating grin.
“Go On” Maria urged him.
“I’m from the twentieth century. I was picked up by the Enterprise on the other side of the Quadrant and now I'm deserted 375 years from the last time I took a breath. I knew Rupert Giles then. I'm from before the Eugenics wars. From what you have said, you don’t realize just how old the watchers council really is. For instance what would you say if I said, Slayer” Xander paused with baited breath hoping against hope that she would at least have some idea. That the watchers council wasn’t totally defunct and that he would have to train Jacinta alone and that he would have some assistance; because he knew he needed it.
Maria looked Xander deep in his deep brown eyes before answering. “Sorry Slayer?” she lied. She did know the phrase; it was a common story at the college of Watchers. That once they were not just glorified librarians that last vestiges of book people. That once the watchers were guardians of a mystical being called The Slayer. No one really knew what the Slayer was. But a boy in her year had found an ancient document that had apparently been written by Rupert Giles’s own hand. That document had detailed the roles of a watcher and had mentioned the ‘Slayer’ several times, although no exact description of what, or who, a ‘Slayer’ was had been given.
‘Damn’ Xander thought vehemently. ‘That would have been too easy’ he supposed. Then he looked deeper into Maria’s eyes. Years of hanging around books had done little for her people skills and for her lying prowess. She was holding something back.
“Look, you can trust me.” Xander said in hope.
“Really, I’ve only just met you” Maria said snottily.
“Yes, and I just trusted you with a secret of national security, or whatever its called now.”
Maria had to concede his point there, “Do you? Know what a slayer is?”
Xander nodded, “Oh yeah! I’ve known three before I came here.” He paused wondering if he should tell her, he didn’t have to mention names after all, “I also happen to know that the latest slayer was called last night,” he said.
Maria looked at him in shock and her academic excitement soared, “Really, what is it?”
Xander laughed and got up. He walked out of the room for a moment and Maria wondered what the hell he was doing. He arrived back a few moments later with his arms full of books. “Look it up. Then we’ll talk. If you are able to get a hold of Rupert Giles’s Watcher diaries as well, then all the better”
Maria was already shaking her head; “Many books were lost during the eugenics wars. Book burnings”
“Again! When will people stop blaming books for their problems” Xander said, uncharacteristically angry.
Maria nodded her head, “I totally agree” she said with a small smile. Her latest assistant was turning out to be most suitable.
“I have to go!” Xander said after a moment of shared smile, “I promised I would meet someone. I have a while if you need anything else boss?”
“No that’s quite alright and Please; call me Maria” Maria said bestowing upon him a great honor. None of her other assistants had been allowed to call her anything but Mrs. Michaels.
Xander smiled at her and backed out of the office. He wandered slowly towards the library exit; he wasn’t actually in much of a rush. He had just wanted to give Maria some time to study and, hopefully, get a little more up to date. It was painfully obvious that he was on his own in training the slayer at the moment, at least. He did however, have G-man as his spiritual guide as it were. The memories of his and Buffy's training would help a great deal. The only trouble was that he had never met the legendary Merric. The man who had trained slayers from scratch for many years and who had trained Buffy to begin with as well. Buffy had thus come to Sunnydale fully trained and ready for action. Xander was somewhat unsure of just how he was supposed to make sure that his slayer was ready. ‘His Slayer’ he thought with a small smile.
He was about to walk out of the door when he noticed a strangely familiar form sat reading in an out of the way corner. He wouldn’t have seen her except that he just happened to be looking in the right direction and caught sight of her, through a small gap in the shelves.
Walking round the shelving he stepped up to her quietly and smiled. “Watcha Seven!” he greeted her cheerfully.
She glanced up her ice blue eyes taking him in then she gave a small smile, “Xander, hello”
“Watcha doing in the land of books?”
Seven paused, she liked this man, he made her feel most comfortable and he was totally unafraid of her Borg ancestry and wasn’t put off by her usual demeanor at all. “Hiding” she said truthfully.
“What from?” Xander said glancing around and lowering his voice.
“People” was her succinct reply.
“Oh! …” Xander paused, “…Did you want to be on your own? I could go”
“No; you are fine, it is others they make me… uncomfortable”
“Why?” Xander asked, his natural protective streak coming to the fore.
“Ever since we arrived here, I have been questioned and examined. I expected nothing less but I am growing tired of it!” Seven admitted with a slight sigh.
“I know the feeling” Xander said as he slumped into a chair across from her. She wasn’t in her usual skin-tight jumpsuit, or if she was it was hidden by her purple smock. It had a hood that covered her glowing blonde hair it was also pulled over her more obvious Borg implants. It was perfect to hide her identity. It worked well if you didn’t catch her eye that is. Seven had unusual eyes they were blue, and blue is a fairly common color but there was both pain and hope there as well as a healthy dose of intelligence and a little vulnerability. It was a strange but highly attractive concoction.
Seven cocked a perfect eyebrow at him, inviting him to explain his comment.
“When I arrived on the Enterprise they poked and prodded me as well. Eventually they dug into my mind. Not very pleasant let me tell ya. It was OK, Mrs. Troi and Deanna were both very gentle with me and they were trying to protect their ship. It was just a little unexpected and …” Xander paused searching for the words.
“…An invasion of privacy” Seven filled in for him and understanding just where he was coming from. What she didn’t understand is why. “Why were you under examination?” she asked.
“I’m surprised you don’t know. I thought all you Starfleet types knew.” Xander said.
Seven gave him a dark look, “I am not actually Starfleet and apart from the Voyager crew, they do not trust me with anything of note.”
“Oh” Xander replied then looked her in the eye, “I’m from the past,” he said simply.
Seven was surprised, not that it really showed. Just a slight lift of her eyebrow showed it. She was also grateful for his trust, something that had been in short supply since the Voyagers return to Earth. The Captain had of course been angry as hell and fought tooth and nail for Sevens’ freedom. Some aspects had wanted to lock her up. She was luckily saved from that fate. “Thank you” she said honestly.
“No problem. They will come round. When I arrived on the Enterprise it was at the business end of a phaser. But now, Deanna, Riker, Data even Captain Picard; well I count them as my friends. They helped me get a job, schooling and a place to live.” He said his smile wide.
“Yes, Captain Janeway has found me somewhere to live as well. I have yet to ‘Move in’” Seven told him tripping a little over the strange human expression.
“Bay Tower’s” Seven said her perfect memory supplying the address instantly.
“No shit, me too!” Xander said with a smile.
“Number 4” Seven told him.
“Number 5” Xander said with a laugh. “Small world” he commented.
Seven cocked her head at him, “Small World? Earth is of a average size.” She commented and looked at Xander in confusion as he burst into laughter.
“Sorry, you remind me of Data.”
“Lieutenant Commander Data?”
“Yep, that’s him. Great guy, just a little lacking in the lingo.” Xander said with a small chuckle.
“I would like to meet him again” Seven said. “We did not have chance to talk fully at the party”
“Come on, he’s at home, same building as ours. I’m supposed to meet him for a lesson anyway” Xander offered with a charming smile.
Seven nodded her acquiescence and they walked out together.
Unlike it’s hosted form the demonic sprit was quite at home in the daylight. It was just as well because it had found the perfect host. They were in the perfect position of power and had access to many possible minions. The spirit would change him that night; it had watched and learned many things during its so far short stay on earth. It knew just what it wanted to do that night once it had immersed itself in its new host.
Data looked up as his door chime was triggered. Spot, his cat jumped off of his lap and he walked with strangely mechanical grace over to the wooden-looking door. He opened it with a smile.
“Xander, welcome to my home” he said formally.
“Hey Data, I brought a friend, do you mind?” Xander said stepping through the doorway with a smile.
“No of course not” Data replied.
A purple-cloaked form walked into the room and waited until Data had closed the door behind them before removing her hood.
“Seven Of Nine. It is truly a pleasure to meet you again” Data said his smile becoming wider. The two of them had a lot in common. Both were unique in Starfleet and similar in thoughts due to the mechanic natures of Android and The Borg. Xander knew this and was looking forward to the conversation that would no doubt ensue.
He wasn’t disappointed and was soon forgotten about whilst the two shared thoughts and insights. He kept drinks coming and watched Seven and Data’s expressions, listening to the wide-ranging conversation. While petting Spot lazily just happy to be there.
Sooner than any of them realized it the darkness was drawing in on their conversation.
Xander interrupted them briefly and managed to get them to go to his place where he would make them all dinner. He knew that both Seven and Data could survive without food, basic nutrients were all they needed but they could both eat. Dinner was after all the traditional time for discussion.
Jacinta stared at the door holding her breath. She kept reaching up to knock and then changed her mind before once again reaching up. It was becoming almost funny.
Inside Xander’s apartment where they had just finished eating Data perked up.
“There is someone at your door, they seem unsure if they should come in” He informed Xander. Data’s advanced positronic brain and highly tuned senses allowed him to easily hear beyond the range of human hearing.
Xander smiled, “It’s ok I think I know who it is. You guys carry on I’ll go let her in”
As Xander walked away Seven turned to Data with an almost embarrassed smile. “He is pleasant is he not” she commented.
Data nodded, “Yes; he has a keen sense for making people feel welcome. He is also selfless. I feel guilty in indulging in our conversation as I was supposed to be teaching him today”
“I wonder how he does it? It would make my interactions with others so much easier” Seven said wistfully.
“I doubt he knows.” Data cocked his head sideways his hugely powerful brain offering him an idea, “Perhaps; with observation you could deduce what he does and emulate it. From all I have read you are quite capable of such a thing”
Seven nodded, “Yes” she said darting a glance towards the door, “Perhaps that may be a solution”
Data consulted his internal chronometer and schedule, “I have to leave, unfortunately. This has been a most interesting conversation. I thank you Seven Of Nine and I hope to meet with you again”
Seven nodded, “Yes It has. Your insights have helped me greatly. Xander said similar things actually.”
“He has told you then?” Data enquired. As a Starfleet officer he should be shocked at the breach of security but then it was Xander’s secret to tell, as long as he gave away no secrets that were not his. From what Data knew of Xander that would not happen.
UC San Francisco
Maria Michaels led the book down on her lap staring off into space. ‘Could it be true’ she thought to herself.
She had just finished reading everything that Xander had landed her with. It had taken her a long time but Maria had always been a quick reader. If the books were to be believed the world could be in trouble. She had a lot of questions to ask Xander and the sooner the better.
Xander walked back in with Jacinta in tow. He had arrived at the door just as she had tried to once again knock. Luckily he had caught her hand before it descended on his forehead. Slayer strength was not to be taken lightly.
“Hey guys, this is Jacinta, Jacinta everybody” Xander said smiling.
She mumbled “Hello” and both Seven and Data replied in kind.
Data stood, “I am afraid I have a prior engagement soon that I must go to. Thank you for dinner. I am sorry about our lesson”
Xander held up his hands, “No problems Data I’m just grateful that you are willing to teach me. A day off isn’t going to hurt” he said and smiled at his friend.
Data left shortly afterwards leaving them alone.
“So Seven, have you seen this place at night yet?” Xander asked
“Not really” Seven replied.
“Lets go out, there has to be a club around here somewhere” Xander mused out loud.
“There is” Jacinta said, glad to be able to do something to help. “The Diablo”
“The Diablo?” Xander asked her, “What the hell sort of club is that?” he said with a smirk.
The communications panel lit up like a Christmas tree and Xander stepped over to it.
He quickly tapped it to bring the communication to life, “Hello”
“Mr. Harris, It’s Maria Michaels”
“Hello Maria, did you read the books?”
“Yes, I have a lot of questions” came the almost excited reply.
Xander thought for a moment before an evil grin crossed his face. Perhaps it was time for watcher and slayer to be reunited. Neither would know of course but that was the funny bit.
“I’m just on my way to a club called The Diablo. Do you know it?”
There was a slight pause before the answer came back, “Yes”
“Meet me there” Xander suggested, “its better we don’t do this over the comms anyway”
“I’ll be there in half an hour”
“Sure” Xander said flicking off the comms.
“So Seven, you coming?”
Seven thought about it for a moment, it wasn’t normally something she would contemplate. But then she had resigned herself to fitting in with humans a little more and to observe Xander. Perhaps this was a perfect way to do that. She nodded her acceptance.
Xander smiled and looked at Jacinta, “Lead the way Jab”
“Don’t call me that,” Jab said in annoyance.
Xander just smirked at her unremorsefully.
Chapter 09, Demon
Across the universe in all of the known planets, and the not so known planets something was happening. Things were awakening. After centuries of misuse they were once again becoming. Hellmouth’s, dimensional portals like none the Federation or any other race has analyzed with their technology. Some things defied technology. These gateways to an evil place, they were growing stronger and things were starting to leak out.
It wasn’t by any means a fast process. But then they were in no hurry. Evil is not without its patience. But events were now in place that could cause all humanoid life to become extinct within a matter of years. Sooner if the chain reaction was started from the key. If that chain reaction, the key gateway being opened, if that were to happen all gates would open. Demons could pour into our reality and not only would earth be consumed but all. No one would be safe, no matter how ferocious they were or how logical they would simply be wiped away.
The key would be the slowest to form. It was the largest and as such wouldn’t be finished becoming for several months yet. But if someone tried to open it now, the results would of course be the same. It had spawned its demonic vampires spirit that had failed, at first attempt, to take a host. Others had been luckier.
On the planet of Klingon’s a tired traveler found that their gate was ready and willing. The vampire spirit sank into him and took him quickly. There was of course a mighty battle of wills. He was after all a Klingon but he still was taken.
A lone Vulcan sitting on top of their most spiritual of spiritual places felt a presence enter his mind. At first he thought Sarek had come to give his wisdom. But it was demonic energy overcoming his system. In the case of mistaken identity the spirit was welcomed into the Vulcan so it had no fight, from one of the few species capable of fighting off a demonic attack in such a fashion. So he quickly was taken as well.
A Bajorian was overridden in the streets of the capital city within moments. His prophets were unable to help him, but they knew all right. They felt it when the gate had formed, and they would fight its opening with all of their considerable might.
A member of the obsidian order was taken from his office on Cardassia.
A Betazoid in his home, another, an Andorian was taken in his sleep. The night was the night of the demon.
Earth’s very own demonic spirit was girding itself for its own take over bid, so as soon as the long dark-haired woman had left it leapt into action.
The music was pumping like an enraged artery the vibe of the club hitting Xander like a hammer. The music wasn’t what he was used to but Xander liked it nonetheless.
‘Not exactly Oz’s Band’ he thought to himself. He looked around the club and marveled at the eclectic selection of species.
He glanced to his left to see Jacinta already swinging to the music but to his right Seven was rigidly standing almost on guard. He gently took her elbow. “You OK?” he asked the ex-Borg
Seven was startled by the physical contact; Voyagers crew had quickly learned not to touch her after her arrival and none other than the Doctor and Janeway had bothered to try since. Xander’s gentle grip also belied the strength she could feel emanating from his fingers, which also surprised her. He was not overly large and as a non-Starfleet officer wasn’t subject to the highly concentrated training and fitness regimes they were. She could tell a lot from that simple touch, one thing seemed to stand out. Xander was a fighter his hands strong and rough with calluses, something she had not thought he could be before. The touch itself was actually, nice, supportive. She graced him with a rare but small smile and nodded.
“Too many people” he said, making to leave the busy club. ‘Should of thought of that’ Xander told himself off.
“No, Really I am all right” Seven said to stop him from leaving the club. She was touched by the thought.
“You sure?” he asked once again, his deep brown eyes full of touching concern.
Jacinta was by this point feeling something; jealous was what she was feeling. She wasn’t about to analyze the feeling. Xander was good looking and had been nothing but supportive and good to her so far. “Hey, wanna dance?” she asked virtually bobbing up and down on the spot.
Xander shook his head, “Nah, not right now at least I have to find Mrs. Michaels”
“Isn’t she the librarian?” Jacinta asked with a inquisitive tilt of her head.
“That and more Jab, that and more” Xander muttered to himself looking round the club. “Lets go find her” he said and led them away into the bowels of the club.
Carmel Grace was thirty-two and bored. That was why she had hooked up with Marshall in the first place. Excitement, the one word filled with a promise.
Carmel sighed and rolled her eyes theatrically at a clumsy pass from a boring Starfleet looking official. She pushed him away and stalked through the club. She had just left her supporter after paying her fee for a life of interest. She had been married; a good man that had looked after her, but oh god he had been boring. She valued excitement over everything else now. She had dumped the aging official in a heartbeat. The first time she had clapped eyes on Marshall had been the trigger. The attraction had been mutual, of course. Carmel was amazingly attractive with her long straight brown hair, finely sculpted Latino features and toned body. She was any mans wet dream, she became Marshall’s living sex toy in return for him keeping her from being bored and make sure she was always interested.
Just lately he wasn’t living up to his end of the deal, she was hers. She could make anyone’s eyes pop out of his head but Marshall. Marshall had been becoming more and more boring, she needed something to spice up the relationship a little, or even better a lot.
It was then her eyes caught hold of an interesting situation developing. A human had just insulted a Klingon’s honor, apparently. It was more likely the warrior was just bored.
Xander wasn’t sure quite what he had done but he was now facing a huge demon, sorry, Klingon. The warrior was shouting abuse at him and everything he had tried so far had failed miserably. Basically things were going south very quickly. There was something about him and Klingon’s that meant he just seemed to end up running a foul of them. Luckily for him, he had been keeping up his training and exercise. If he hadn’t he would have lost the important edge he knew that he was going to desperately need.
The Klingon finally seemed to have worked himself up into a rage. Xander thought it could have something to do with the fact Seven had offered to take the alien out for him. Xander had politely refused not wanting to lose face to anyone.
Charging towards him the Klingon attacked Xander arrogantly. One thing you could say for Xander was that he tried to learn his lessons well. Arrogance with an enemy had cost him his life, and he wouldn’t do that again.
Xander stepped out of the Klingon’s way without really moving very much. This sent the Klingon into a full rage. He turned around with a spray of spittle, the blood wine he had consumed removing his last brain cell. He launched a devastatingly powerful punch at Xander.
Xander stepped back and pushed the alien’s strong arm out of the way using no small amount of force himself. Then stepping back in he delivered his own blow. This one firmly struck the Klingon, the power behind it was the same Xander had to use to take out vampires. Xander was unusual in that he was one of the few ‘Normal’ humans able to fight vampires without coming off dead.
Practice and training had been the key. Training with someone who is light years better can do one of two things. One, you quit and go onto an easier regime. Two, like Xander, you get good really quickly. So with this sort of power and skill behind it the Klingon found himself on his backside looking up dazedly.
Then Xander followed through. Another important lesson, in a fight with a greater opponent in terms of strength or speed finish it, and finish it fast. His following kick was a perfectly placed and executed wheel kick that snapped the Klingon’s head round and knocked him out cold.
From her vantage point on one of the balconies Carmel had watched the entire fight. For the whole ten seconds it had lasted. She didn’t know anyone except Marshall who could take out an alien as strong and fast as a Klingon. She knew that Starfleet trained their people to be able to, but required a degree of skill in Aikido or using a similar method of fighting. She herself had a brush with Starfleet training and had learned Aikido as well. It was a useful skill when you are a beautiful woman in what was still, predominantly, a man’s world.
But that human had taken the Klingon with pure brute force, something Marshall liked to do all the time. It was strange he wasn’t like Marshall who was highly muscled and packed with aggressiveness. The man down on the dance floor was of a much more slender built as for aggression. He was helping the now conscious Klingon to his feet, so Carmel thought that he was obviously not the aggressive type.
Carmel shook her attractive head slightly and laughed, that was interesting; one could say it was almost exciting.
“You OK?” Xander asked the Klingon, ready for another round. To his shock the alien laughed loudly and thumped him on the back.
“HA, HA, A Good fight human” it said before lumbering off to get more blood wine.
Shaking his head with a smile Xander turned back to his female escorts.
“Well that was bracing,” he said with a smirk.
Seven was just looking at the human. He had once again surprised her. That was the last time she would underestimate him, she decided. Jacinta was beside herself with rage.
“WHAT THE HELL DID YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING? THAT WAS A KLINGON, DO YOU HEAR, A KLINGON, HE COULD HAVE MUNCHED YOU INTO TARG MEAT” she shouted causing a few stares.
“Urm, I’m OK” Xander said in exasperation. ‘Great another overprotective slayer’ he thought with wry amusement.
Marshall Boyd looked at the world with new eyes. He could feel the thump of his club in full swing and he could smell the sweat from his earlier session with Carmel.
He could also see very clearly. The room was almost pitch black but he could see as if it was daylight. He could sense his bodyguards outside of the door and hear their heartbeats. He found the noise was making him hungry.
“Boys!” he called out. The two large humans walked into the room. Dressed head to toe in black they were both African in origin and fierce warriors to boot. They had helped Marshall on several occasions.
‘I’ll turn one’ he decided and vamped out.
Maria Michaels was unprepared for the club. She wasn’t a club go-er. She wasn’t an anything much go-er to be honest. Why Xander had asked to meet her here was strange to say the least but she had come; her curiosity driving her.
She hadn’t bothered to change so she was rather like a nun at a brothel. She stood out.
It didn’t take her long to find Xander, there was a girl screaming at him whilst another surveyed the scene with a lifted eyebrow. She had arrived on the tail end of the fight to watch her new library assistant knock down a Klingon with a single punch. If what she had read were true then he would be accustomed to fighting against stronger foes. But a Klingon! and two simple moves at that, it almost set her heat racing to think what a slayer could do!
She was about to find out.
Jacinta finally lost her rag and launched a punch. The human who had just out moved and hit a much stronger foe didn’t stand a chance against a small blonde haired girl in a fit of jealous fear.
Xander went down like a bag of nails and stayed down for a moment holding his nose. Normally he would have stalked off in a rage of his own. But he kept reminding himself that she wasn’t used to her slayer powers yet. ‘Just remember not to get MAD!’ he screamed to himself. Seven ducked down to him straight away shooting a furious look at the young slayer in training.
“I’m OK” Xander said used to her nonverbal communication method. Eyebrows seemed to have become a method of speaking in this century.
Maria walked up to them and also knelt to view his nose. They all had a lot of First-Aid training at the Watchers College, although none of them truly knew why.
“I’m OK” Xander repeated getting to his feet. He grabbed Jacinta’s arm and pulled her close to his mouth. So when he spoke no one would overhear, “You have to be careful with those powers of yours. A little self control would be a good start,” he hissed into her ear. Jacinta who was heartbroken at hurting him just nodded her head with tears in her eyes. That was too much for Xander who lost his anger instantly and pulled her into a hug. “You’ll get used to it, I promise” He let her go much to her annoyance and turned to the others. “Now that, that little excitement is over, lets find a table”
Marshall wiped the blood from his chin with a face cloth. Having now fed he felt much better. It was just a case of turning the other one and he would be all set to start his plans.
Carmel watched them get a table with a predatory eye. She could see that the young blonde liked the dark haired man. Now another older blonde had joined them as well. By her count it was three blondes to one dark haired man. They were all attractive as well; drawing jealous looks from all the men around him. Xander was sat in a small pond of beauty, seemingly oblivious. He was either gay, or used to being around so many attractive women at the same time.
There really must be more to him than was apparent at first glance. He was strong and attractive. He obviously had a way with women because despite the youngest ones anger he had calmed her with a simple hug. Definitely more than first meets the eye.
If Marshall didn’t show soon she may just have to add a brunette to his group.
Marshall was working his way through the guards he had at his disposal. For one night only he had the ability to ‘quick change’ people. Meaning that he was able to create master vampires with just a drop of blood. He had called in all of his lieutenants and would be changing them as well. He was going to leave just few alive, for daylight operations.
The demonic spirit who had sired him also took the opportunity to fully embrace its host. It could have moved on, but this host was so like it in thoughts and deeds that it knew it was time to set-up a home.
Xander had answered all of the watchers questions in such a way as to appear to Seven to be talking about a Holonovel. It had worked like a charm and Maria, to her credit, had caught on straight away; Seven had even chipped in useful comments on the design of Holonovels. Some had actually given Xander an idea, but he wasn’t able to talk to anyone about that just at the moment because his brain had just shut down. His gaze was locked onto a single form. The most gorgeous brunette he had seen since Cordelia was walking across the club towards him. Her eyes were locked on his and he felt his heart expanding and pounding against his rib cage.
“Wow!” he breathed.
Unfortunately Maria heard him, she had been trying to describe her family line, proudly because she was originally a Giles. But Xander had become distracted and now had slipped a total non-sequentia into the conversation to boot. Then following the line of his eyes she spotted the attractive Latin American on her way across the dance floor.
“Men!” Maria exclaimed. Jacinta who had been describing the latest Holonovel she had played to Seven, Xander’s cover story spreading like wildfire, turned sharply at Maria’s exclamation.
She then saw the annoyed look on Maria’s face and Xander’s set expression. Then a stunning woman with dark brown hair arrived at the table.
“May I have this dance?” she asked her exotic accent doing things to Xander’s libido.
Xander who was fully under the beautiful woman’s spell was only able to just nod dumbly. She gently took his hand and led him away.
Jacinta scowled at his back.
Carmel looked at the slightly glazed expression on Xander face with a smile. “What is your name?”
“Xander” replied Xander finally snapping out of it. Or rather his brain finally told him that he wasn’t daydreaming and a gorgeous woman had really just asked him to dance. They reached the dance floor and something finally registered on his brain.
“Why is everyone dressed like the twentieth century?” he asked.
“Silly! This IS a theme club!” Carmel teased him with a flash of her perfect white teeth.
“Oh, I didn’t notice” Xander said, and he truly hadn’t, everyone was dressed as he had once done every night for the bronze. It just didn’t occur to him. He was grateful really; the Federation seemed to like Lycra a little too much for his liking. Despite what it did to a woman’s figure it wasn’t his favorite, it itched. But as he danced to the music with Carmel he was very grateful for long dresses with plunging necklines and high splits. Because that is what she wore and as he dipped her for effect a flash of her perfect leg was exposed.
She came back up laughing, “For someone who didn’t know the theme, you certainly dance like it well enough”
Xander lopsidedly grinned, “I suppose you could say I have an empathy for that time”
Marshall looked at his growing family with pride. The first would soon awake and the club outside had more than enough people to feed on when they did.
His demonic visage split into a wide smile and his frame was shaken by an almost maniacal laugh.
“Soon my children, soon” he said to the dead bodies littering his private chambers.
Carmel couldn’t remember having quite so much fun dancing before now. He really was a natural; most people who came to the club had no idea how to dance the old way. Modern dance was more separate and clinical. It was if he had taken lessons. He dipped her and swung her around and she found herself laughing more often than she would normally dream of doing.
It was, for her, a new experience. Normally she pouted sexily and men were a mess at her feet but this man was showing her a fun time. They had been dancing for several dances with the young blonde shooting her heated looks from across the room. Xander luckily was totally oblivious to anything but dancing with her.
Xander was in fact having a great time. The lessons he had taken in preparation for marrying Anya had taken their toll. He had never had the chance to even tell people they were going to get married but he had taken the lessons nonetheless. It was what Anya had wanted after all. He twirled Carmel, and her dress flowed around her as she span clearing a path around them. Then she returned and took to his arms, the music slowed down as the track changed to something totally different. It was the one thing that he found truly odd about the club, the eclectic mix of musical styles that they played here. It went from Rock to the Samba in one leap, yep a very odd mix. But then it allowed him to twirl Carmel so he didn’t mind at all.
It was a shame that he had a duty to perform and that he would have to end their dancing session soon and go back to the Watcher, Slayer and Ex-Borg. Not that any of them were bad company but he was enjoying being young for a change.
“I need a rest,” Carmel said butting into his thoughts, she took his hand and lead him back to his own table. “Be a darling and get me a drink, something long and cool”
“Any one else?” Xander asked the assembled woman at the table.
After he had taken their orders he left Carmel to take a seat. Using her full force of charm she smiled at the other woman at the table, “Hi, I’m Carmel”
“Hello, I'm Maria Michaels” Maria said politely.
“Jacinta” said a surly slayer.
Carmel turned a particularly large smile at her, “A lovely name that means Beautiful” she said.
Jacinta mumbled a response that was lost in the din of the club; Carmel had an inkling that it wasn’t a nice comment though. Smirking she turned her attention on the final member of the table, “and you are?”
Knowing that she would get too many awkward and above all annoying questions Seven Ad-libbed, “Sieben”, badly.
“I see” Carmel said trying not to laugh. Her name was odd to say the least.
Finally his last childe was awake and they were all clamoring to get free. He had just one more childe to turn but he would get her when they were in the club. She would be his single most important turning. She would make a truly wonderful vampire and it was certainly exciting enough for her.
Gathering himself and his tribe they swept into the club. All dressed in leather it looked as if the club was being invaded by a Matrix convention. Marshall himself had dressed as he saw fit for a master vampire. A black suit cut to the old style with a chiseled waist. It was topped off with a leather trench coat that billowed behind him as he walked into the club. He spotted Carmel sat with three blondes at a table on a lower floor. That gave him slight pause she didn’t normally bother with other women. Unless he begged that is. Then he saw a dark haired man returning to the table with a tray of drinks and realized her interest in the table.
He smiled grimly and made his way towards them.
Jacinta suddenly folded in two mid sentence, “Ahh!” she cried out softly.
“What is it?” Maria asked in concern
“Stomach pain, really bad”
Xander sat bolt upright “Shit!” he said eloquently, he knew what that particular sort of pain was caused by. He turned and surveyed the club to find about twenty vampire looking goons entering the club.
“We have to leave, Now!” he said sharply with all the tone of command that he could muster. The woman all leapt to their feet.
“Going somewhere babe?” a deep and slightly accented voice said from behind them.
Xander turned to be faced with a huge guy who had a predatory look in his eye. Jacinta was almost curled up in pain.
“Marshall, darling!” Carmel said.
“Come here baby!” Marshall virtually purred.
“Don’t,” Xander said his tone dangerous enough that Carmel was shocked into immobility. “He’s a vampire” Xander said with hate dripping off of the three words.
The demon within Marshall had almost bonded fully with its host now. The demonic memory wasn’t available to Marshall just yet. If it was he wouldn’t have shot Xander the surprised look that he did, “You know of my kind” Marshall intoned emotionlessly.
“You betcha fang face” Xander quipped
Marshall shrugged and his features shifted into his demonic face, “It won’t do you any good,” he said as he moved in a blur. Xander had already been moving and punched out at the demon. Marshall stood back after a second; a line of blood running from his nose.
He smiled widely, “Nice” he said and threw a punch at the human. Xander blocked it and kicked out at him only to have his leg captured and tugged. Xander fell into a powerful punch from the demon that rocked his world for a moment.
The demon let go of his leg and swung a powerful fist towards Xander’s head. Seven blocked the blow with a slender hand. Then Marshall found himself flying backwards as Seven snapped out a powerful side thrust kick. Her Borg enhanced body strong enough to send the large demon flying back.
Xander grabbed Carmel by the hand and Seven with the other, he looked back at the other two in his party, “Form up, we are outta here!”
They started a mad charge towards the door but the other vampires had started feeding, the place was quickly becoming a blood bath. Jacinta paused.
Xander looked back and cursed, he handed a stake he had been carrying to Seven, “If one gets in the way. Insert into the bastards heart, OK”
Seven nodded her Voyager trained battle instincts now fully in effect.
Xander leapt back and tackled the new Slayer to the floor. A vampire sailed over their prone forms and he quickly got to his feet, “Come on!” he said.
“No I have to help them…” Jacinta said; she was almost crying.
“…You are SO not ready for this; not yet! Live to fight another day. Come on!” the last part said in such a commanding tone that Jacinta’s legs were moving before her mind fully engaged. Xander dragged her towards their friends just as Seven plunged a stake downwards into a vampire. It exploded into ash at her feet. Xander steamed past her grabbing her hand on the way past and as a group they ran flat-out to the door. Once outside they ran all the way back to Xander’s apartment.
“Seven, can you make an untraceable comms for me?” Xander asked once they were safely inside.
Seven nodded and set to work. The Borg are the ultimate pragmatists. She wasn’t concerned about killing a creature that had attacked them. She also knew the importance of a tactical retreat. She quickly engaged a Borg encryption routine modified so it wouldn’t be traced to her and handed the modified hand set to Xander.
Xander called up the local security force and, using the encrypted channel, informed them what had happened. Encrypted, because he had no wish to have the fleet round asking awkward questions, at least, not yet.
He knew that by time they got there that there would be no one left alive and it bothered the hell out of him.
Once he had regained his sense’s Marshall had watched the human drag his intended target away. He had roared out in indignation but he knew that he would have the chance to get her yet. He just knew in the depths of his long gone soul that he would once again face the dark haired man.
Shrugging off the slight loss he surveyed the damage his family had inflicted on the other humans and aliens that inhabited his club. Then his smile returned. The night hadn’t been a total loss after all.
Chapter 10, Commencement
Maria Michaels was in a state of shock. But then she was not the only one, Jacinta was sat beside her trembling and crying and Carmel was staring into space on the other side of her. The only two that were not currently in the same state were Xander and Seven.
Seven was cool and composed, the only sign of what they had been through was a single strand of hair framing her face and her hood was thrown back. Her bio-neural implants now in the open.
Xander, however, was angry as a horde of thirsty Klingon’s. It was coming off of him in almost visible waves and he had his fists clenched at his sides. Maria had no idea why he was so mad. If not for him and Seven they would certainly have perished. Nevertheless, angry he was. Maria absently patted Jacinta’s back to console her and looked out into space herself. Things were now finally starting to make sense. However, all the reading she had done had not prepared her for the sheer horror of it all.
Xander tried to calm down, he knew that he was going to have to explain things to Seven and Carmel soon and it would be better but he felt that he had let everyone in that club die to save himself. He knew that intellectually, at least, he had done the right thing, but then he was more of the heart kind of guy.
Seven looked at the strange human who she had allied herself with wondering how he knew of the existence of vampires. The Borg collective of course knew of the existence of demons. As a space faring race they were very ancient and able to both communicate and travel great distances. Before 375 years ago the one race they couldn’t assimilate was vampires and their ilk. The process invariably turned the demons to dust. The Assimilation process was central to the Borg way of life, and as such was almost a religion. Certainly religious enough for the assimilation probes to be considered religious icons it appeared.
All demonic forms, however, had died out almost 400 hundred years ago and the Borg had moved on to other species more easily taken into the Borg’s collective arms. But then Xander had said he wasn’t from their time. Could he be over 300 to 400 years old? It was a possibility that was certain, he had said he was from the past, but from that far back, it was almost unbelievable. But then why was he here and why now? Seven had found that things rarely happened without a purpose. It was partly the Borg in her that said that everything should have a function and it was partly the human that believed in fate.
Maria suddenly bolted out of her chair with a scream of pain. Xander reacted a hair quicker than Seven and caught her before she fell to the ground. She was trembling and he could sense an almost electrical feel from her. He cleared the couch and placed her convulsing form on it, then he stood back just as a blue field enveloped her body. Xander was at a total loss as to what the hell was happening now. This had to be the worst night that he had, had in a very long time.
Then as quickly as the crisis had started; so it finished. The field dissipated and Maria calmed into a normal sleep. Xander knew that something magical had just happened but he had no idea what it could be.
Carmel finally gave in and screamed. Xander was with her in a blink and held her scared frame in a crushing embrace. Tears flowed down her face and she was bubbling out incoherent phrases. He shushed her wishing that he knew what to say in these sorts of instances.
“What. What happened?” she asked fearful.
“Vampires” Xander said simply.
“What?” she said numb. “Marshall?”
“Gone” the reply from Seven, “The demonic entity that killed him now inhabits his reanimated corpse. Nothing more. I am sorry” she said a final piece of humanity slipping in to her otherwise scientific assessment.
Xander shot her a shocked look but restrained from further comment; if she knew that was fine by him. It was, as far as he was concerned, one less person to worry about.
Carmel turned frightened eyes to him for confirmation and he nodded. She dissolved into sobs and he gently held her. He turned slightly and address the slayer, “How are you holding up?” he asked with a small smile.
“Not great. I can’t wait until I AM ready to get those bastards” Jacinta replied with fire in her eyes. It so reminded him of Buffy that he had to swallow past a sudden lump in his throat.
“Soon, I promise!” Xander said, his voice thick with anger.
“Good” she spat out vehemently her eyes flashing blue fire.
Xander had finally managed to get Carmel calmed down enough to get her to bed. Then he had installed Maria into another spare bed and put Jacinta into his own room. He and Seven had slept in his lounge. Despite the fact the ex-Borg had her own apartment, Seven had felt unwilling to leave his side at that point. So she had stayed and slept on the couch. Xander had insisted that she have that and he himself had collapsed on a chair.
So as the relief of the sun rose over the apartment it found that Xander was awake first. He had had only a few hours sleep in the end but it had rejuvenated him. As the sun rose so did he. He stripped off in the privacy of the bathroom and had a quick sonic shower to remove the grime. Then he switched on the water faucet and enjoyed a full and hot shower. Sonics were great for getting clean and they did ease away muscle pain but Xander enjoyed a hot shower followed by a cold one. It sharpened his mind and prepared him for the day.
Perhaps it was the fact he was used to living on his own or perhaps his tiredness but whatever the reason, he forgot to lock the bathroom door.
The door opened with a soft snick a slender form walked in and caught him in all of his glory. The woman’s eyes floated down the still unknowing form of Xander and admired the muscle tone of his body finally resting on a particular part of his anatomy.
Carmel let out a low whistle of appreciation startling Xander who whipped round and faced her. Her eyes ablaze with merriment Carmel just smirked at his look of shock.
“Nice” she commented.
Xander’s hands shot down in a classic pose to hide his manhood before realizing that she had already seen everything anyway. It didn’t stop him from trying to hide it all anyway.
Carmel’s smirk turned into a sultry smile and she reached behind herself for the zipper on her theme dress, the one she had replicated especially for the club.
“Urm, what ya doing?” Xander said, or more correctly squeaked.
“I think I need a shower,” Carmel said sultrily.
“No, No you look very CLEAN!” the word ‘clean’ was squeaked out at an even higher pitch as the red dress Carmel was still wearing from the night before pooled to the floor. Naked; she was even more astounding than she had been with clothes on. She reached back and flipped the lock on the door down to locked. Then she stepped out of her shoes and sauntered towards him with an exaggerated swish of her hips.
“Urm, Carmel” Xander started but she had reached him and put a finger to his lips.
“Shhhhh. Just let me,” she said in a pleading tone and such a sultry look in her eye that Xander felt himself giving in.
“We shouldn’t,” he said valiantly trying to stop her. Although he really wasn’t sure why he should be even trying, she was a goddess.
She silenced him once again; this time by going up on tiptoes and capturing his lips with her own.
Xander gave up, it was the last straw as he felt her breasts swing against his arm and the inner Neanderthal finally won through and he took her in his arms.
Carmel left him in the shower when they had finished. Xander’s head was still spinning as she had truly rocked his world. He lent his head against the wall as he watched her getting dressed and then leave with a smile tossed over her shoulder.
“Thanks” she said and walked out of the door.
“My Pleasure” Xander murmured turning the shower selector back to cold.
Jacinta awoke in a strange bed; it took her a full minute to remember where she was and what the hell she was doing there. She took a moment to stretch out in Xander’s bed enjoying the fact she was in his bed. She had to admit she was powerfully attracted to him and despite the fact she was twenty she was seriously crushing on him. He was older but not by much. Normally men were flocking to her but Xander didn’t seem to realize she was a girl.
Pouting slightly she felt the call of nature and got out of bed with a slight moan of annoyance, she so wasn’t a morning person.
She padded through the quiet home; then grasping the bathroom door with her hand she opened it to find a sight that caused her to grin stupidly.
Xander was standing under the shower his eyes closed with the water pounding down on his back. She had to say that a wet Xander was even better than a dry one. She dropped here gaze.
“Hi!” she said her grin almost cutting her face in half.
“Oh, hey! What is it with you guys?” Xander said in desperation this time reaching out and snagging a towel to cover his parts with.
“I think you’ll need a bigger towel” Jacinta commented whilst closing the door and backing away with her large smile still in place. She then turned and walked back into the bedroom. She was smiling the whole damn way.
“Wow” she said as she reached the privacy of the bedroom her back against the door she fanned herself with a hand.
Warehouse, Lower East Side District
Marshall was highly annoyed, one he was stuck in a cellar whilst the dark man and his girl were elsewhere and two the security team had raided his club forcing his family and he to flee, at least for now.
They had holed up in a dark warehouse in the lower east side. It was one of the few empty buildings in the city. The warehouse also, luckily, had a basement area that he and his family currently inhabited.
He was virtually clawing the walls in his frustration.
“Fuck” he swore hitting the wall and causing it to reverberate.
“Boss”, his first aide-de-camp, Vinny called in concern for his employer.
“It’s OK Vinny,” he said placating the overly protective man. He was a strong arm but intelligent with it. Vinny had been very important to him in life and was now in death as well.
Flashing his boss a smile, Vinny allowed his eyes to close once again and drifted away back into a light slumber.
Maria Michaels opened her eyes feeling as though she had gone three rounds with a vampire. She also knew exactly what that was like. She wasn’t sure how but she knew. Then the memory surfaced. She remembered things that were not her memories.
She remembered being a young man powerful and reckless. She remembered a father she had never had who had been both distrustful and arrogant mired in tradition. She remembered training and reading at Oxford. which was strange as she had been educated in Cambridge at the Watcher’s own college.
Most of all she remembered the demons, witches, werewolves, and a host of other nasty animals and demons.
She remembered loving a short blonde as her daughter, a red haired witch also. She remembered a dark haired boy who had annoyed the hell out of her but that she had loved as a son nonetheless.
“Xander” she said out loud and she knew her dark haired assistant in a very much more personal way than she had before. The one word opened a floodgate of memories that showed him at his worst, at his most annoying, at his most charming and at his best. His best was simply amazing, she remembered the feeling of pride and then she remembered the double whammy of the blonde, Buffy, dying and then so shortly afterwards Xander dying and his body disappearing.
Maria tore out of the spare room at a dead run and ran straight into the solid form of Xander. She hugged him in way that Giles never did but had always wanted to. His own firmly held manners never allowing him the flexibility to hug another man in such a way
“Oh god, we thought you had died!” Maria said in an almost whisper.
“What in the shower?” Xander asked in a clearly confused voice.
“No, when you died, your body went missing. A stab wound to the heart. Tara found you, it was so awful” Maria said in a jumble of words.
Xander stiffened, “What?” he breathed totally freaked.
“I don’t know, I remember, You, Buffy, Tara, Willow, Oz, Angel, Cordelia, everyone”
“Whoa!” Xander said. He directed the watcher to the sofa that Seven was now sat bolt upright on. She shot him an inquisitive look. He shrugged noncommittally at her.
“A spell. Willow and a spell, I think. They deactivated the Hellmouth. They closed it for 300 years. Giles, he knew that the council would fall apart. He wanted someone to remember just in case. He, He got Willow and they did a spell to effect his line. When Vampires resurfaced, he knew that his line would be first on in the battle somehow.” Maria paused her face flushed.
“Steady” Xander said soothingly, “Take your time”
“I’m fine, really. I tried to tell you last night. I am a direct descendant of the Giles line. He is held as the father of the council. But he wasn’t really. He just rebuilt it after the First. No, wait, that was after you left of course. Buffy beat The First Evil. She brought her back and they fought against evil for five years before finally they killed it. I think, I remember so much; it’s all so confusing a lifetime on top of my own. Oh god vampires. The slayer, we need to find the slayer”
Jacinta walked out of Xander’s bedroom and shot them a cocky smile “Did someone call”
Carmel piled her clothes into the replicator and hit the recall button; it turned the dirty bundle into free-floating molecules and sucked them into it for reclamation. Then with a thoughtful pout she punched in a few sequences and hit the energize button. Then with a smirk she pulled the outfit out of the area her dirty clothes had been and laid them out on the bed. A dark dusky purple dress cut high on the left but in a modern style with thick purple tights and boots. A fairly normal outfit but she knew that on her; it would turn heads.
She wasn’t a great fan of fashion as it stood, she preferred the more showy and exotic look that the club allowed her. But then the club was now a meat market and Marshall was gone.
She would have to find herself a new sponsor and she was thinking that Xander looked good right about now. He was young; but this apartment told of connections. Connections were always better than money. Connections can get money, power the whole package.
She dressed slowly enjoying the feel of the silken material against her naked skin and walked out her hair still damp from her shower with Xander. She had brushed it but preferred to let it dry naturally.
Jacinta frowned at her as she walked out, but then she did that a lot. They were all arrayed in front of the impressive window that Xander seemed to like so much.
Carmel walked over to the chair that Xander was inhabiting and perched on the side of it; she made sure to flash plenty of leg at him. She was disappointed and slightly miffed to find that he was fully focused on the eldest blonde, Maria Michaels, the English woman.
‘No competition’ Carmel decided despite the woman’s own personal beauty. Her only real competition in the looks department, in her own personal opinion, was the strange one, ‘what the hell was her name’ Carmel struggled to remember ‘Sieben’ she though mentally clicking her fingers. But that wasn’t what Xander had called her he had called her Seven. That vaguely rang a bell but she didn’t really keep up with current events. ‘Current events’ Carmel thought, ‘that was it something in the news’.
Carmel vaguely focused on what Maria was saying for moment whilst deciding the best way to attract Xander’s attention back to her and away from the blonde.
“Then Willow said the spell and we put the books in a pocket dimension. Once we get the books we will get the whole story. Rupert had focused on making sure his line remembered how to train slayers and look after them.” Maria finished what she could remember for now. It was still all jumbled up and confusing for her. She figured that it would become clear in time. She felt different, confidant and centered, despite her confused memories. She felt like she had a purpose in life. One of those would be to restore the watchers council. The key to that lay in the pocket dimension.
Xander nodded his head slowly. Shacking a few drops of water down onto his lap. Jacinta followed its course remembering seeing him in the shower. Then she noticed that Carmel also had wet hair. ‘My room didn’t have en-suite?’ she thought to herself. ‘It was the master bedroom as well.’ She continued her thought pieces of the puzzle falling into place, ‘The dirty rat’ she realized.
“What about fighting skills?” Xander asked.
“Some, mostly techniques and of course my body doesn’t remember like my mind does” Maria said wisely realizing the difference.
“I can help there” Seven spoke up for the first time, “That is if you want me to?”
“Are you sure? This is a nasty world” Xander said, “I don’t want you to get hurt because of me” A small hint of something else in his voice caused Carmel to shoot Seven a jealous look, that in turn caused Jacinta to smile secretly to herself.
“From what you have said the entire universe could be at stake. I consider it to be my duty,” she said blandly but there was a hint of fire in her eyes that spoke of her commitment. Then she smiled at Xander. The effect was truly amazing, it changed her entire being and seemed to light up the room, “But thank you for your concern” she said. She was coming on fast in her human interpersonal skills.
Carmel then realized that Seven was more competition than she had at first thought. When she smiled Seven was devastating.
“That OK with you Jab?” Xander asked the slayer.
“Don’t call me that and yes” Jacinta replied with an annoyed look. Maria leaned towards her.
“One thing from Rupert’s memories that is as clear as a bell is just how bloody irritating Xander likes to be. It is best to ignore it” Maria told the slayer in a whisper. Jacinta’s already growing slayer enhanced hearing easily picked it up, as Maria knew she would. But then Seven also heard her clearly as well and quirked a lip, for just a second.
“OK, then if we push back the chairs we have the perfect training room” Xander said unthinkingly giving up his flat for the new Scooby gang. “We could also move those demonic books here as well. That way they will be safe. You have no idea how dangerous they are”
“Oh, contraire I realize only to well; now” Maria said with a whole body shudder. “I will get them forthwith”
“God, you are so Giles it’s scary” Xander commented.
Carmel smirked at Xander and his group, “I should go too. I need to go home and rest a bit. I find myself feeling tired for some reason” she said with a sultry smile at Xander who blushed then nodded
“OK. Do you want to come back here after? I could arrange for you to be transported, I think”
Carmel looked at him askance, “Really, only Starfleet personnel can do that!” she said doubtfully.
Jacinta cut in before Xander could reply, “Xander has plenty of contacts in the Fleet, He knows Captain Picard personally!” she said proudly.
“Jab, please” Xander said blushing furiously.
Carmel’s Apartment, Bay Area
Carmel had taken him up on his offer and arranged for him to get a transport from her front door at seven sharp that night. She had then caught a public transport to her side of town and was now walking into her building. Marshal paid for the apartment so she could expect to lose it soon. It was a shame she loved it and it fitted her perfectly.
She stepped into the doorway of her large apartment with a large smile. It was quickly cut off as a large hand wrapped around her face and she was rendered unconscious with a hiss of a Hypospray.
Xander arrived at exactly seven o’clock PM. In the end it had been Seven that had arranged the transport. She had managed to get hold of a site to site and modified it to bypass Federation security systems. It was somewhat naughty of her but the Borg didn’t much care. She felt she was repaying the kindness of Janeway and her crew by helping Xander and the slayer. She was helping to protect all those she considered friends.
So it was by this method Xander found he was standing outside of an open door. He still didn’t much like transporting but considered it a necessary evil. Especially now that it was dark. He wanted to grab Carmel and get back to the safety of his home. They had a lot to prepare for before they could take on evil head to head.
“Xander, oh Xander…” Carmel’s sultry voice called out to him.
He stepped over the threshold warily looking around. Something didn’t feel quite right.
Carmel appeared round a doorway wearing a diaphanous white robe. It was almost completely transparent and showed she was wearing nothing underneath.
“Hi” Xander said keeping his cool this time.
“Xander, Oh, Xander” Carmel cooed again. Something really wasn’t clicking here. She virtually floated over to him and embraced him tightly. “Hello my sweet. I have a present for you” she said pulling back from him she signaled and ten vampires appeared around the room. They had been hiding in almost plain sight but Xander had been too distracted by Carmel to realize.
The sound of soft clapping directed his attention to stairs that lead to a half level. On those stairs was the imposing form of Marshall.
Xander looked back at Carmel to find her demonic visage mere inches away from his. He jerked backwards and she pouted playfully at him, “Ohh, Xander doesn’t want to play anymore daddy”
“You’ll have to excuse Carmel. She didn’t come through the change quite right” Marshall said as he descended down the stairs. He made a stirring motion his finger pointing to his head. “Not sure why, but there you go!”
“So what’s the plan, oh big bad vampire?” Xander said sarcastically. He had his hand in his pocket and looked almost casual.
“I was thinking of painful torture followed by dinner for 12” Marshall shot back.
Xander titled his head, as if in thought “Nah” he said finally and triggered the site-to-site transport.
“Fucking technology” Marshall said to his dispersing atoms, “I’ll get you Xander Harris. When I do I’ll rip your fucking head clean off” he looked over at the softly swaying form of Carmel. “Come on babe, let’s party”
“Ohh, I love parties. Is Xander coming?” she asked.
Marshall cast his eyes to the heavens, “Not fucking funny,” he told God before taking Carmel by the arm and leading her out of the door.
Xander arrived back at his home with a glum expression. Maria turned to him as he walked through the door. “Where is Carmel?” she asked.
Xander looked her in the eye, his own were as hard as flint, to cover his pain, “She won’t be joining us”
:::: The End ::::
OC Cast List
The New Slayer Jacinta Adolpha Bali Heather Graham
The Big Bad. Marshall Boyd Vin Diesel
The Big Bads Girl Carmel Grace Penelope Cruz
The Watcher Maria Michaels Charlize Theron