6. Introductions by misterq
6. Introductions Summary: Meeting new friends.. and stuff.
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series, and all associated characters are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, United Paramount Network, and Fox Television. This work is not for profit, and no ownership of aforementioned copyrighted material implied, nor any infringement intended. I own debt. You want it, you can have it. Sunnydale – Alternate Earth AE1997-101-R (Pathfinder Index Code) - January 1997
"So.. you're a goddess?" Jesse asked. Him, Xander, Willow, and Mitzy were all sitting around one of the tables in the empty Sunnydale Memorial Hospital cafeteria. Xander had a bandage slapped on his neck and was just there for overnight observation. Mitzy guessed that the hospital just didn't want to release any patients during the darkness of night - just to probably see them again soon after.
"A chaos demon goddess, technically." Mitzy answered. So far, she and Xander had gotten them all to believe in vampires and demons. She gave them her version of the origin story (Once, there were powerful beings that had a civilization on Earth. It blew up and demons came in like scavengers. Eventually, humans and higher powers drove most of the powerful ones out of this dimension. Now, there are skyscrapers, boy bands, and ice cream that is called Chunky Monkey, but has no actual monkeys in it, chunky or otherwise.)
"A.. a chaos demon goddess of what, exactly?" Willow asked.
"Surprise!" Everyone but Mitzy looked around expectantly. She just sighed. "I'm the goddess of surprise. Technically, anyways. I don't have any followers and I don't think I've ever been worshiped, and Murphy's Law was around long before I was. My name is kinda close to the Japanese sun goddess', but all I think that happened is some of our history was mixed up. I never locked myself in a cave, but technically demons did come out after I was sealed in a place without time."
Xander spoke up. "So, surprise - like parties?"
"Yes." Mitzy sighed. "And assassins. Technically, any place stealth and the unexpected is involved. And really, that's only my field because I'm so good at it."
"Right." Jesse said. "Assassin parties."
Willow's eyes widened as she thought of something. "Wait, you're a goddess. Does that mean I can call upon you for spells and favors and stuff?"
Mitzy frowned. "I suppose. I've never had priests or disciples before. All I know is, we can get a small portion of power from each time someone calls upon us or worships us. But also, to one like me, that tends to be addictive. First, they're all about helping the people that like them. Then, like some junkie, they start getting greedy for more power - even trading some of their own internal power for more followers. Finally, you have religious wars on an epic scale. Not of the good. And if they loose all their followers and they traded too much of their internal power earlier - then they die."
"Wow." Willow spoke.
"Yeah. No calling upon the Mitzy without it being an emergency." Jesse added.
Willow said wide-eyed. "I still can't believe that these things are real! Gods. Demons. Magic. Vampires. Magic. Oh, wow!"
"So why are they here?" Xander spoke up. "I mean, this is sunny California goodness, but still..."
"It's the Hellmouth." Mitzy explained. "When the ancient civilization blew up, the destruction caused several rifts to form. They're called Hellmouths mostly because the places that connect to them are those with higher magical pressure - and usually not much good happens to human types when really powerful magical beings rule realms. Also, the name is catchy. Hellmouth. And one of them is here."
Everyone but Mitzy started to look around again.
"Not in the hospital."
"Yeah, it's actually under the high school."
Xander nodded at the stunned faces of his friends. "You know, that actually explains a lot."
"I'm sure the fact that you don't study enough and not on any sports teams has nothing to do with it." Jesse piped in.
"Nope. Not at all." The wounded boy grinned.
Willow spoke up. "So, how come you don't do - well, more? I mean you have all this power, but you're just, um, going to high school?"
Mitzy though for a moment and sighed. "Imagine there's a park. And in that park, there's a sandbox. There, a group of ants have made an intricate anthill and are going about their business pretty single-mindedly. There are kids in the park, also. Some are on the swings and others on the jungle gym. But, some are watching those ants with amusement. There's an unspoken agreement not to actually go into the sandbox, but they could still help by tossing some crumbs here and putting in a red army ant to fight off the spiders. Some, for whatever reason, even help the spiders and scorpions prey upon the ants. Now, imagine that one girl who is very good at hiding, decides to sneak up to the sandbox and covers herself up with a camouflaged tarp. Then, she takes out a small, mechanical ant on a stick and uses it to interact with all the other ants on their level. Since it's just an ant on a tiny stick, no one notices, even if she uses it to swat aside the spiders and such. But, if she were to stand up and walk into the sandbox, well, everyone would notice. Then they would want to go into the sandbox, themselves. And with that many children's feet in there, you can imagine what would happen to the anthill and the ants - and even the spiders. Squish, squish, squish. Skys turning red as blood, a giant melted popsicle falling on New York City, cats and dogs living together, and so on."
"Like giants in the playground, not caring who they step on." Willow nodded, then blushed when everyone stared at her. "It was.. a quote on Babylon 5 the other day."
"So, you see us as ants?" Xander frowned.
"No." Mitzy shook her head and smiled. "More like cute, but sometimes angry, fuzzy monkeys."
"I suppose that's better than bugs." The boy said after thinking briefly.
"Wait." said Jesse. "If that body of yours is just a mechanical ant, er.. fuzzy monkey - then what's your real form like?"
Mitzy smiled. "Bigger."
"Like 'basketball player reaching the ceiling with their head' bigger, 'Can't fit on an empty bus' bigger, or 'I'm here to fight Godzilla' bigger?" Jesse asked.
Mitzy's grin got bigger. "The last one." Original reality - London, England - August 2004
"This is the Darkfire projection gun Mark 2." The gun in question was placed on the conference table by Mr. Gregory Hanzen, the representative from the R&D department of the Europe branch of Mitco Research, one of the main industries owned by Mitzy's holding company. Gregory was a thin tall man with a receding hairline, but whose eyes spoke of the burning intelligence needed to be an executive director of a combination supernatural and technological research firm. "With the updates Miss Amitsarue brought back, we have made quite a few improvements."
Snow nodded, trying not to show her boredom. She knew about the weapons. She had helped develop them since the alternative was to spend time in silence in the observation-post dimension with her very, very quiet sister, Whisper. Currently, because their mom was on vacation, she was taking up some of the duties - namely assuming her shape and form when attending boring meeting that told her something she already knew. Briefly, Snow wondered if she had ADD, not HADD, human attention deficit disorder since her not being human and all. Mentally, she cursed her 'father'. Sure, mom could reproduce asexually, but all her children would have been like Mitzy Jr. - boring little versions of her. How the heck did mom even get Willow Rosenberg's DNA? Oh right, micro-portals. Still, she had a much greater affinity for magic than most of her siblings. Only her genetic twin, Coffee, could match her, but Coffee also seemed to inherit their 'father's' (second mother? human mother? whatever) er.. Willow's ability for non-stop verbal babbling, while she, herself, could at least contain it to the mental realm. Snow shook her head and tried to focus on the meeting - especially when she realized everyone was staring at her. That's right, she was supposed to be her mom.
"Yeah, um, like the original Mark 1, this version has an effective range of only 100 yards but is accurate to fifty or so. It is a short and mid-range weapon, sidearm class. Unlike projectile guns, it fires a three inch diameter ball of bio-plasma with a magical component. It is harder to dodge than a bullet, even though the exit velocity is sub-sonic. Also like the previous version, the Mark 2 uses a six-volt battery cell connected to a small piece of, er.. old one. This gives it a near infinite ammo. Instead of a firing rate dependent on pulling the trigger, the Mark 2 has a burst and auto mode that just sends out an electric pulses three times or continuously as warranted. The main difference, is that unlike a dimensionally displaced piece of, um, myself - these weapons use a proto-spawn. This means that they can continue to fire even when I am not in this or a nearby dimension." Snow stated.
Jonee Montesque, the young French lady in charge of coordinating several Chinese manufacturing plants stood up. "Wait, proto-spawn? Does this mean these weapons are powered by Old One fetuses?!"
"Pretty much." Snow nodded, thankful that she was an old one spawnling and not a human. A human would be blushing if they had the same thoughts she did. She was only a few months old, technically. While it was bad enough she remembered the first steps of when Mitzy decided to spawn due to racial memory, it would be years and years before she was mature enough to do it herself. Her mom came back a few weeks ago and split off enough proto-spawn for a few hundred of these weapons. Snow was thankful, that unlike Whisper, she had not walked in while that was happening. There are just some things children, whether human or old one, should just not see. Whisper was even quieter than usual following that occurrence. She kept shaking her head at odd times, looking like she was trying to dislodge the memories out.
Snow continued, "This adds an extra feature and danger to the weapon. If needed, one could twist the firing rate selector dial all the way until it comes off. Then you have about ten seconds to throw the gun as far as you can and run, preferably in the other direction."
Jonee asked, "It will explode?"
"No." Snow shook her head (that was still shaped like her mother's). "It will let the proto-spawn loose - who will immediately try to consume anything in the area. After consuming an equivalent of about 30 human-like beings or 20 vampire types, the proto-spawn will develop into a spawnling newborn."
"And a newborn is supposed to help?" Dr. Hadrian Veran, head researcher of energy weapons for Mitco Research, asked.
Snow replied, "An old one newborn of the black clan can easily rip the head off of a Turok Han vampire. Also, as a newborn, it will be sentient. So if the weapon's owner survives the feeding frenzy, they can try to convince the spawnling newborn to fight - provided anyone is left. Still, the option of releasing the proto-spawn should only be used in extreme emergency situations."
"Thank you." Nodded Mr. Hanzen and stood up. "For longer ranges, we have developed a prototype dark fire stream carbine, or DFS carbine, and the DFS Rifle. Both fire a thin stream of swirling darkfire. The magic keeps the stream cohesive rather than a pulse-like ball. The rifle's longer barrel is enchanted to keep cohesiveness farther, increasing maximum effective range by more than half again of the carbine's 150 meters to about 250 meters. This places the rifle at the very low end for accuracy, although their ability to emit a continuous stream rather offsets their initial inaccuracies. Both make very effective assault weapons for close and medium range combat. Unfortunately, both weapons only have the ability for one and a half minutes of continuous firing, which they will do unless the trigger is released."
"In the works, are plans for guided darkfire weapon, a bazooka-sized long range area-effect weapon, and technomantic adaptive armor - a combination of what Illyria wears combined with the latest technologies, alloys and protection enchantments. The cloning facilities are being retooled as we speak, with a prototype armor scheduled for the end of the year. Also of good news is that we have a few conventional weapons we have retooled to trans-dimensionally load ammo. This, of course, means that all a person would have to carry is the weapon itself. Ammunition will be stored in a separate dimension and would not weigh down the user. Also, far more can be stored than would be convenient in a clip. We have a prototype H&K MP5KA1 submachine gun with cooling and anti-jamming enchantments on the barrel that can now fire 10000 rounds. At a firing rate of 900 rounds per minute, that is more than ten whole minutes at full auto. I do not recommend trying to do any fine work with your hands afterwards, though."
"Also, much better suited for high rates of fire with plentiful ammo, we have a hand portable modified version of the M134 minigun with variable firing rate. The gun, itself, only weighs about twenty pounds, but with the trans-dimensional ammunition, it can fire between 2000 and 4000 rounds per minute for twenty minutes on the lowest setting. We are working on a modified prototype M-61 Vulcan cannon for Mitzy to use personally. While this modified gatling will be made to be lifted by someone of human proportions, unless you can personally swing about a two meter long, 120 plus kilogram (250+ pound) enchanted cannon, not to mention handle the kickback, it will not be for you." Mr. Hanzen sat down, signaling someone else could stand up and speak.
Snow stood up, smiling; thinking that she had better get one of those Vulcan gatlings as well just for sitting thought this meeting. "Thank you, Mr. Hanzen. As I've said before, overkill only happens when your weapons starts adversely affecting yourself as well as your enemy. So, just in case, make about fourteen extra units of the Vulcans. Now, there have been improvements to the Cyborg Clone Infantry, or Terminator Ninjas, as I've heard several of you refer to them. They still all have the same cloned mind, but we have uploaded updates to the martial arts and military techniques that will make them effective. The mechanical and magical enchantments have been upgraded to increase their strength and durability to Turok Han levels. Unlike the primitive vampires, the CCI units can handle ranged weaponry easily and have a very firm grasp of tactics other than 'let's swarm the enemy'. Each one has now a quad targeting sensor system built in. That means they can track four separate targets at the same time in all 360 degrees. There are no blind spots. With a gun in each hand, combined with new shoulder-mounted auto-tracking darkfire guns - yes, we stole the idea from the 'Predator' movie, make the Cyborg Clone Infantry a very, very deadly presence at both close and mid ranges. The predator's stealth field is still in the research stage, if you were wondering. Also in development, is a mystical self-repair pack. Having powerful weapons and soldiers is a good thing. Having powerful weapons and soldiers that can repair any damage almost immediately is much better. Now, any questions?" The 'heaven' dimension of Ca'Volo, Prime Plane of Air, 52nd Tritary Parallel - August 2004
Hawk was not a happy old one spawnling. It wasn't the fact that his team was sent in the opposite direction from most hell dimensions by mom's perverse sense of humor. Ca'Volo was composed of forests, cliffs, and meadows in a slated landscape that looked like some giant child emptied a huge bag of immense legos onto the floor. Tiny fluttering pixies danced from flower to flower as giant peaceful bird-like things soared overhead in playful formations.
The serenity of the place didn't really affect him as he and his team made their way to the major one of the massive bustling trading citadels that looked like it was carved out of the cliff-side. He actually enjoyed the fresh air and the politeness of the few people they encountered. The aura of peace and tranquility that permeated almost everything worried him, though. It was an actual aura, and that meant a powerful being. But that wasn't what really bothered Hawk.
No, the thing that really bothered him was his two siblings who were trudging behind him. Beam was enthusiastic. All the time. About everything. All the time. She was slowly, but surely, driving him insane. Currently, she was skipping along, shaped like a Shirley Temple-esqe pre-teen girl, with a head full of golden-blond curls, a yellow beret and matching sundress. She was also, among Mitzy's children, a true master dark fire wielder. During the battle with the First Evil's forces, Hawk remembered her laughing and giggling while continuously blasting masses of rampaging Turok Han into ash.
His other companion, along with Thorn and Skew, was one of the three survivors of the direct assault against the Corporeal First. Sledge was immensely massive and incredibly tough as a newborn spawn and only became more massive and tough as he aged. His human form topped seven feet tall and more than half that in width. His almost palpable field of unrestrained violence and rage was only helped by a large black trenchcoat and heavy boots. Sadly, in this realm of butterfly people and flowers that bent over to give you their fruit, Sledge stood out like a seven-foot tall demon at a puppy nursery.
The natives they met took one look at him and politely, but quickly, walked (ran) in the opposite direction. Sledge did prove useful when Hawk bartered for three of the elephant-sized food animals that served the three old ones as snacks. Otherwise, though, Hawk gained a good amount of his mother's stealth and infiltration and could teleport with great precision, but between Beam's loud introductions and constant barrage of questions, and Sledge's mere presence; it was a long walk into the Citadel.
By the time they arrived, they were very much expected, thanks to the rumor mill. It wasn't a spaghetti western welcome, with women closing shutters and grabbing children off the streets as strangers came into town, but it was close. Nervous glances, people trying and failing not to be overly evident as they hid their stares, and a few nervous welcoming waves greeted the trio as they were escorted into the heart of the citadel's tower. There as they entered the gilded throne room, full of gold, mother-of-pearl, and white marble, the aura intensified nearly tenfold.
"Hmm, interesting. Now, what exactly are three Old Ones of the extinct black clan doing wandering through my lands without trying to devour everything in sight, including each other?" The ruler resembled a very tall man, in that he was eight feet tall, with golden white hair and the perfect physique that would make an underwear model jealous. His youthful face was held high in perceived nobility, but his posture indicated he was ready for battle.
"You must be U'rel." Growled out Sledge, before Hawk had a chance to say anything. "Or Uriel, fourth archangel of fire and judgment, as you are more commonly known by these days back on Earth. I am pleasantly surprised to see an undiminished Old One of the white clan still around these days, though."
Hawk just looked in astonishment between his brother and the white clan Old One, sparing a brief glance at his softly giggling sister. Sledge just shrugged towards his smaller brother. "What? I just asked around a bit and read up on a little research. You just seemed so distracted lately."