Disclaimer: The author does not physically nor mentally own any of the characters, concepts, themes, or ideas belonging to the television shows Buffy: The Vampire Slayer or X-Files. The author relenquishs all control and all hints of ownership to the proper authorities, be it UPN, ME, FOX, et al. The author also hereby agrees that if any monies, royalties, or donations from this work come into the authors possession, the author will, under his own authority, send such proceits, divided equally, to UPD, ME, FOX, et al.
Concerning the X-Files, I needed to have Dana Scully fighting with cancer to make my idea work, plus I wanted to have Mulder and Skinner running around. As for the actual cases they work on, I didn’t particularly care. So, I’m setting this story somewhere during the cancer season without planning on following the script from there on out.
Concerning Buffy, I’m picking it up right after the end of season six. No, that idiotic speech of Xander’s won’t do any good in my world, so Willow goes all the way and destroys the world.
The Cost of Redemption
By the Lone Templar
I watched the small redhead weep, curled into a fetus position upon the cold and lifeless earth. I sent my mind out to sweep the planet, but the only sign of life I found was this broken being in front of me. I walked gingerly over to her, but she had already sank so far into her grief and despair that she paid no attention to my footsteps that loudly crushed the dead grass under my feet.
Looking up, I shuddered in revulsion to what she had done. Everything was dead. The grass, trees, people, animals, and even demons were no more. I was still in shock over how quickly she had managed this terrible deed. Everywhere I cast my eyes revealed more and more senseless death. Bodies had fallen to lie haphazardly upon the ground, some so peaceful looking as to suggest sleep. I shook off the shiver of apprehension that raced down my spine as I turned my eyes back upon the broken child sobbing before me.
Before I could open my mouth to say anything, I felt the slight shimmer of magic that announced the arrival of several of my fellow guardians. Quickly, before the child could react, I waved my hand and sent a burst of magic out to freeze her in place. Turning around, I could see the grave faces of my fellow guardians staring sadly at the child.
“Was there no way to prevent this tragedy?” Ares asked quietly, not lifting his face to look at me.
I sighed in defeat. “No.” I whispered, turning away from the child to watch him, secretly hoping for a way to fix this mess. “I was distracted when she pulled the power directly from the Earth.”
“Distracted?” Zeus snarled angrily. “You were too distracted to do what you were created to do?” He stalked over to me; his face only inches from my own. “You were the one to give the child more power than she could control! I warned you of this more than once, Hecate!”
“I know.” I whispered, bowing my head to stare at my sandaled feet. “She had such a pure soul in the beginning. I never thought anything would ever corrupt it.”
“She’s a mortal.” Ares said in his quiet but serious tone of voice. He shot a hard stare at me with his cold and expressionless eyes. “You granted her the power, Hecate. You violated the rules that we all agreed upon.”
“I know.” I shut my eyes in shame. This was my fault entirely. At the very least, I should have kept better watch over my charge. Instead, I gave her more power than anyone in the history of the world and let her run wild.
“This mortal must be destroyed before we rebuild.” Hera announced suddenly, drawing attention away from me. I was initially grateful until her words started to sink in.
“No!” I protested loudly, panic clearly evident in my voice. “Please, no. This is my fault. Don’t punish the child for my mistake.” I begged. For the first time, I begged for something and I didn’t even have to think about it first. The child was in pain and would be in even more pain before this was through. Once she realized what she had done, she would be suicidal. I had to prevent that at all cost.
“Hecate…” Zeus began, only to trail off to cast a helpless look at his wife.
“This mortal has destroyed all life on her world. You know what must be done.” Hera declared firmly, finally raising her eyes from the child to stab directly into my own.
“Isn’t there another way?” I cried, wringing my hands. “The child doesn’t deserve to suffer for what I have done.”
“I do not see any alternative.” Hera spoke gently, her eyes showing the compassion and understanding that I so desperately wanted to see even as her words wounded me to my very essence. “The child has done more evil than anyone else of her race. Once steeped in evil, she’ll never be clean. It must be destroyed.”
I stared at her for a moment, before turning my eyes back to the frozen child on the ground. I don’t know how long I stared at her, but I was surprised to feel a prickling on my eyes and feel wetness trail down my cheeks. I was crying over a mortal. Another first for me. I made no move to wipe the tears away, but let them fall naturally. The child was my responsibility. I raised my hand slowly and let the magic begin to build. At least the end would be quick and painless.
“There is another way.” Ares suddenly said, stopping me in my tracks.
“What way?” Zeus asked quietly, turning from the child to look at the War god.
“Banishment.” He stated quietly.
“To where?” I asked, lowering my hand and letting the magic dissipate. “I would need to watch over her, Ares. She is still mine.”
“Another universe would work well.” Hera stated flatly. She walked over to me and slowly cupped my cheek with her hand. “I would not see you suffer, Hecate. If you wish the mortal to live in banishment from all that she has known, then I will support you. I will even allow you to watch over her.” She smiled sadly at me. “But you must be certain of this. Once a level of power is given to a mortal, it can never be taken back. She will always retain the raw power necessary to destroy yet another world.”
“I do not believe that this is a wise course of action.” Zeus declared softly, shooting me a hard stare. “But I will not oppose this if you feel that it is right.”
“Thank you, father.” I whispered in response. “I do not feel that the child should suffer because of my mistakes.”
“She will have to be bound to someone that can control her.” Ares stated firmly.
“I will remove the darkness from her soul so that she may have a fresh start.” Hades said, speaking for the first time.
“I will form the bond between the two when the time comes.” Aphrodite smiled at me.
“I will search the universes for the proper mortal.” Hermes declared loudly, he was almost giddy with the prospect of the search.
“So it will be done.” Zeus sighed, turning to look down on the child. “Chronos will turn back time and we will prepare the mortal for her new life.” He shot a small smile at me before turning back to the child on the ground. “It is still against my better judgment, daughter.” He sighed again. “But I will support your decision on this matter.”
“Thank you, everyone.” My smile back in place, I was filled with joy at the opportunity to correct what I had wrought. The child would have another chance.