GODs of War 2: prologue
God(s) of War 2: Spartan Reborn
Summary: Xander goes through some changes, finds some truth, meets new people, goes places, and starts screwing up some of the unhappy “Powers That Be” and their plans. Hears them cry “mommy”. Oh yeah, he also gets a few weapons that scare the shit out of everyone. Generally, “almost” everything scripted after the Halloween episode flies out the window and gets rearranged Xander-style!
Disclaimers: I do not own anything except for the plot. All characters belong to their respective owners except some original characters, items, and mythologies created solely for this story.
//No Gods or Demigods were harmed in the making of this fan-fiction – at least not much, but I can’t say about the demons though – they generally get their ass kicked all over the place//
Previously on God(s) of War: Ascension:
The tale of Pandora’s Box remains to this day. After the weapon was taken from the temple, the structure endured. Cronus, the Titan, lived for another thousand years wandering the desert floor, but that was long ago. The temple has grown silent, and the beast who wore it for so long, has died – relics of a world long past into the sands of antiquity.
But all myths may not be for the ancient times. Soon, a band of explorers will someday make their way inside the giant, forgotten structure, and find that the dangers, and many of its secrets, still remain.
And as with all greatness, a new hero will emerge to brave the dangers within, and claim that which has long waited for its master to wield.
Out in the desert, a few hundred miles beyond the walls of where ancient Greece once stood, a joint military exercise open to the public led by the United States were practicing a series of international war games. It’s goal is to conduct an experiment of how well the weather guidance systems would fare in desert conditions - for commercial, and military use. In this case, two newly state of the art Apache helicopters were outfitted with the new systems and currently flying across the sands, constantly testing themselves against the sudden sandstorms that habitually littered the particular region. And with them, David Jaffe, a top-notch reporter with his news crew was along for the ride on separate helicopters.
“Damn,” David said over the pick-up from behind the pilot. “I can hardly see out there. Are you sure the new guidance systems are working fine?”
“It’s working fine, Mr. Jaffe.” Replied Lt. Joan Andersen, keeping an eye outside the canopy while glancing at the digital readouts on her console. Then her eyes narrowed as she saw a spike in the screen showing that showed an alarming build up of what appeared to be a localized tornado heading straight for them. “Ah shit!”
“Shit?!” The reporter shrieked, “Don’t give me that shit, I don’t do shit! What the hell is happening out there.”
“I don’t know sir,” She responded, her voice tight as she concentrated on getting them through the ordeal in one piece. “Hang on!”
After radioing her chase ‘copter, she felt the first wave of airborne sand slam into the helicopter as she struggled to fly over the sandstorm. With no visibility and the rotors whining in protest as she coaxed whatever power they had, she gritted her teeth as struggled with the yoke. Nature and machine battled for dominance for at least ten minutes; then just as suddenly as the spike in her readouts appeared, it vanished.
The chilling calm that followed made them all uneasy as the sands started to fade and die down. All of a sudden, proximity alarms from the guidance systems blared out a warning, signifying they were too close to an object larger than the craft itself. Trying to get a clear view from the sand blasted canopy, Andersen slowed the Apache to a hover, letting the rotors help in blowing the excess sand off to allow better visibility. When they could see, they saw that they were a few meters off from smashing into the base of a mountain – but that wasn’t what shocked them silent.
Instead of the natural uneven slope that all mountains had at their base, they saw an exposed skull larger than a four-story building buried halfway in the desert floor. And further down, skeletal remains of a titanic hand that could have easily swiped the advanced machine out of the air.
And on top of the mountain, uncovered from the sands for the first time in thousands of years, lay an ancient temple.
Meanwhile, back in Sunnydale, Xander finally awoke from his three-day mystically enhanced sleep.
Prologue: Eleven hours after the discovery, the US military sent a reconnaissance team inside the giant structure after spotting the shadow of an opening from an NRO satellite currently above the area. They were transmitting audiovisual communications from inside the superstructure of their foray into the temple for two hours until they were never heard from again. Their last comm chatter was recorded as follows:
“Oh god, they’re every where. What are these things?” (Frantic gunfire erupts in the background showing only shadows, then the camera failed as the joint chiefs hear the screams of the rest of the recon team with the last recorded sound was of several grenades going off.) They were able to squelch the news about the team’s disappearance from the media, but it was too late for them to hide the news of the discovery of the temple. The joint chiefs each shared a look of worried frustration after watching the recon team's last message.
“Get me General Hammond!” The Big Man said as he reached out and spoke into the red phone connecting to Cheyenne Mountain.
(opening credits and cue music: “Navras”—end theme music from Matrix: Revolutions with flashbacks of God Of War video game montage mixed with scenes from GOW: Ascension)
Giles awoke from the floor with a start, wondering why he was on the floor and not on his bed. Remembering what had transpired last night and who visited them, he quickly glanced at the couch where his young charge lay.
Only to find it vacant!
“Xander!” Giles’s voice rasped in alarm, scrambling to his feet to begin his search for the young teen, only to stop as he heard a noise coming from the kitchen. Rummaging in a nearby weapons trunk, he extracted a one handed blunt mace and crept towards the sound. He peeked around the corner and his eyes widened at the sight before him.
Barely recognizable as the gangly young teen the Watcher knew, Giles saw a young boy transformed into a man. Gone was the slight youthful frame, in its place was a body packed full with pure muscles, there wasn’t even a single ounce of fat anywhere. The childhood scars he knew the lad had when he was dressing his wounds the other night were gone. And gone, too, was the innocence and exuberance he knew Xander had in spades. But it looked as if the lad’s over-active appetite remained the same.
“Hi, G-man!” Xander said, his voice held a deeper timbre than before, not bothering to look up from his actions of shoveling food into his mouth like a conveyor belt, while he reached for the switch to lower the volume on the small kitchen television. He knew exactly where the Watcher was even though he couldn’t see him. “Have a seat, I fixed us some breakfast, and cleaned out your fridge in the process.”
Giles almost groaned. “Why didn’t the change also include his smart mouth?” he complained to himself and to whoever was listening. Seeing as how Xander cooked, he lay the mace by the counter and sat down to eat the breakfast, which looked suspiciously like a modern version of an early Grecian feast.
“Since when did you learn how to cook unleavened bread?” Giles asked, taking a portion of the large “loaf” and placing it on the plate provided.
“Mflrgh blkg phlm.” Xander said, his mouth full. The young man reach for a glass of water, downed it, and then cleared his throat. “It’s probably the leftover stuff from what happened last night.”
“Xander,” Giles began, “You’ve been unconscious for almost three days.”
Xander stopped in mid-bite, suddenly losing his appetite at that bit of news. “Almost three days?” He looked up from his food to face the librarian, startling the man as he got a first look at Xander’s eyes.
Instead of the warm chocolate brown, the young lad’s eyes were now silver.
“Dear Lord!” Giles exclaimed, “Xander, have you seen your eyes?”
“What about them?” Xander asked, starting to get a little scared as he saw Giles’s reaction.
“’Scuse me.” He said, dashing for the bathroom to confirm whatever startled the man who he had come to think of as a surrogate father.
What he saw as gazed into the mirror made him back up in surprise. He knew that there would be some changes from the hint Athena had dropped. “The power of the gods now flow within your veins, young Alexander.” Athena had told him, looks like the eyes and some of the physical changes on his new physique were the obvious ones that can be easily seen. He’d probably have to get contacts to hide his silvery-blue eyes, which at this point, if he squinted even just a little, he could see tendrils of lightning flash across the irises.
“Whoa!” He said, then he tried concentrating at the area around him and noticed that he could somewhat see beyond normal range of vision allotted for human. It looks as if he had perfect night vision, infra-vision, and if he tried hard enough he could make out shapes of things in the next room. He was pleasantly surprised to find out he could also see which ones where tainted with magic! A nice bonus, especially if you lived on top of a doorway to hell. At least he’d know which ones had some power and which ones had none, even if he didn’t know for what.
He turned his gaze back towards the mirror and yelped to find that his eyes had turned into an opaque glow. The glow covered his entire eyes, the kind he found cool in one of his comic books! “Cool!” he said, thinking he’d also have to find some way to cover his eyes as they would give away his tactical advantage if he was ever sneaking up on somebody, they may be handy, but it’ll be disadvantageous in sneaking around.
“Hm”. He thought, a darkened diver’s goggles or something like it would help mask the glow in battle unless he didn’t need it. He could see fine with one on, and the contact lenses would definitely hide the now silvery-blue irises once the goggles came off.
Perfect! Once satisfied with his solutions for his eyes, he strode back to Giles’s kitchen to finish his breakfast.
Giles watched him return and sit back down with a smile on his face, the silver eyes making the effect eerie rather than reassuring. “It’ll be all right ‘G,” Xander said at the older man’s inquiring gaze. “I’ll have some contact lenses made up to help me hide them, and maybe some goggles to help hide it further when I go do any sneaky stuff.”
“Anything else you want to add to that?” Giles asked, “Aside from being unconscious for the past few days, you were also surrounded by a golden glow as it made some changes to your physique”
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Xander replied, going through memories that weren’t eve his to begin with. “It probably has to do with the person I went as.”
‘I know a little about the ancient spartan who tried to earn his redemption by becoming the champion of the Greek deities.” Giles cut in on Xander’s explanation in his lecture voice, a hint of extreme curiosity coming from him. “It was believed that he acquired a tremendous amount of power to finish his last task for the gods, to stop a rampaging god gone rogue that was destroying ancient Athens.”
“That’s true,” Xander said, throwing a bone to the hungry-for-knowledge Watcher. “Kratos found and used Pandora’s Box.”
“Good God!” Giles exclaimed.
“My words exactly.”
The sound of glasses being polished into oblivion echoed in the silence.
Giles didn’t know how much more he could handle if the shocks and revelations keep on coming. Pandora’s Box, my God, someone had actually been able to find it and use it as a weapon? And that particular Spartan was able to succeed where others had failed? If what Xander had said was true, then the young man in front of him would probably be just as strong as the slayer at her highest level of strength, if not more than that if the supposed energies of the box also included godhood.
It also made sort of a logical sense that the box would be one of the weapons a mortal could wield against a divine. The Watcher’s thoughts careened off on differing tangents as he tried to put into perspective the true implications of what had happened to the young man before him. He knew from personal experience that power left unchecked had the tendency to be abused and/or corrupt the user. He could only hope that Xander realizes that glaring fact.
As if reading his mentor’s thoughts, Xander stood and made his way towards his older friend. “I swear to you and to all that bear witness to this day that I will use what has been given to me for the protection of mankind.” He swore, “I shall protect those that cannot protect themselves; the weak, the powerless, and those that seek no harm on their fellow beings – be they god, mortal, demon, or monster. And I shall do so in whatever aid I can provide.”
Giles stared, such a vow would not go unheard of. Short of a written confirmation, Xander had basically stepped up to the proverbial plate and announced that he would be a champion of light of his own free will. Giles could only nod in silence, a mute witness to the young man’s vow. The Watcher almost did a double take as he saw two ghostly figures, one of whom he was certain was the Archangel Michael nodding their heads as they too bore witness to the young man’s pledge before they faded into nothingness from behind Xander.
“Good Lord.” Giles could only say.
Then Xander began telling the Watcher what he remembered of his mystically induced coma, minus the part when Kratos had attained godhood and the end of Ares. The young warrior had suspicions that Kratos’s ascension into a god was kept a secret. That a mortal can kill a god was something no deity ever wanted advertised. Even today, as far as he knew, the only recorded Greek god of war was still Ares.
Which begs the question: if Kratos is now a god, what did he –Xander- become? And furthermore, that Buffy and the rest must never find out the truth of all of his new abilities.
Well, at least not yet.
Rupert Giles felt emotionally worn out by the time Xander finished telling his tale. Xander, it appears, now carried the memories of a condemned hero who sacrificed himself to foil a war god’s attempt to destroy Athens. The nightmares that Kratos carried with him on his route to redemption could very well leave the young lad in a state of permanent post-traumatic stress syndrome. But so far, Xander did not exhibit any signs of instability as of yet. As a matter of fact, the young man was as lucid as he had ever been. He reached for the remote to switch to a news channel to see if anything in the world was amiss.
And by a fateful stroke of luck, the television blared, showing a taped commentary from a reporter showing what appeared to be a gigantic structure behind him.
“…a recent sandstorm has unearthed the archeological find of the millennia!” The reporter, named David Jaffe by the title blurb on the bottom, exclaimed over the gust of wind that habitually rose and fell around a familiar landscape intimately known only to a select few currently alive at this time.
“The hell?” Xander said, shocked to be able to recognize what was left of one of the inhabitants of the Desert of Lost Souls as it was today. Stunned to what it had chosen to reveal to the entire world.
“By all that is Holy!” Giles whispered in awe as the reporter moved aside to fully expose the huge structure behind him. What was left of the towering structure that housed Pandora’s Box lay in ruins, yet still seeming to appear to stand just as proudly as it was long ago. The beast that carried it for so long, now lay beneath it, a dead shell of the mighty god it once was. The skeletal remains of the large skull of the first of the Titans lay exposed to the desert sun, revealed a man over a hundred times the size of a normal human. The final resting place of Cronus and the temple of Pandora lay for all to see.
A deep sadness welled within Xander as he gazed at what once was the herald of the golden age of its time. His reminisce drowned out the words coming out of the tube as he rummaged through memories not his. No matter what the old god did, the sight both disgusted and intrigued him. He wanted nothing more than to banish the sight of so noble a creature laid so low and intrigued at the very sight that seemed to call out to him. For a second, he thought he saw a minuscule glint of light coming from the temple, a light he could only see with one mode of his enhanced vision. That one which could detect magic not of this world.
“Giles.” Xander said softly beside an awestruck librarian. “I need to get there. Fast.”
“For Heaven’s sake, why?” Giles said, managing to tear his gaze away from the screen to stare at the young man in confusion.
“I think Pandora’s Box wasn’t the only thing the Greek gods hid in there.” Xander’s voice deepened to almost mirror Kratos’s.
Somewhere, in an elegant English estate:
“Hillary, I need a travel pack prepped for my next foray out, please.” The exotic looking woman said, depressing the intercom stud to end the call as she thoughtfully studied the frozen image of the ancient structure shown repeatedly all over the world on her large screen monitor.
“Call Randall Clairebourne.” she said to thin air, knowing that the electronic pickups would detect that as a command and turn the large monitor in front of her into a video-communications device. It was time to chat up England's premier Greek mythologist.
A/N: This is gonna be the first installment of GOW2: Spartan Reborn..... but updates won't be as fast as I would like it to be, seeing as I am currently without my own pc. So please be patient. By the way, check out the first part of this “series” that introduces Xander and company to the “God of War” 'verse that's mixed up with a lot of others.
Full disclosure of all the crossovers will be at the end of GOW2 (if I do finish it on time), though I know most of you will recognize most of them as they come into the picture.
Please read and review to let me know what you think.