7. Riffing the Trip by misterq
7. Riffing the Trip Summary: Meeting new enemies.. 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. The Dimension of Geth, Quadrary Plane of Oblivion. 312th Perpendicular Injunction - September 2004
"You are positively the worst navigator in the history of, oh, ever
!" Mitzy Junior, or MJ as she called herself, ran as she yelled at her sister. She morphed herself to look as though she was dressed in a casual pants suit. Her brother was wearing a formal business suit that didn't seem to slow him down any. Her sister, on the other hand...
"This is totally not my fault." Skew said, laughing out loud. She was dressed in what could only be described as a mismatched 1980's Cindy Lauper outfit. "Isn't this fun
"Running while in mortal peril is not fun." Specs spoke out while grinding his teeth from stress and pain. He was the magical expert of the group, but none of his shields managed to stop or divert the enemy's weapons, just slow them down a little. So far, only his illusions that made the three siblings' edges indistinct just managed to, thankfully, ruin the enemy's aim a little.
"Very true, brother." MJ said as a whip made of pure portal energy sliced through her shoulder. The Old One spawnlet spun around at inhuman speeds, grabbing her severed arm before it hit the ground, and reattached it in one smooth motion. She turned to Skew. "We're good at teleporting and portals. That doesn't mean you can lead us to angry beings made up of trans-dimensional energy who use portals as a weapon! That is not good navigating! We're good at magical darkfire, but if you lead us to a dimensional plane where there are angry fire people who can use living flame, I will personally kick you right in the head! A lot!"
"Sure, blame the crazy one and ignore the one who let her pick the next realm to explore." Skew giggled. Her three multi-colored asymmetrical ponytails shook when a large portal passed overhead, barely missing.
"I only did that because, otherwise, you wouldn't stop singing 'One million bottles of Henry the 8th on the bus go round and round' over and over." MJ scowled and fired a blast of darkfire at one of the beings chasing them. They were vaguely shaped like the outline of a man in a black cloak, but that was where the similarities ended. It was as though someone cut out their shapes from reality-colored cardboard. The edges where they met the actual world glowed red while inside - there were glowing lights on black - like thousands of tiny moving stars in space. Since she was one of the strongest of the spawnlets in this field, Skew had tried to use the formidable telepathic abilities she had to try to convince the beings to stop attacking them for no determinable reason. Before her mind started aching with horrendous pain, all she got was the partial history of these beings.
They were what the Old Ones could have been had everything gone horribly wrong. They blended with their pan-dimensional abilities until only they defined them. In doing so, most of these beings lost all semblance of sanity. They just floated through the dimensional planes as mindless devourers and destroyers. Worse yet, their powers seemed to prevent any of the Black Clan spawn to be able to teleport.
"Damn Athanor!" MJ shouted as her darkfire was absorbed by a portal and then redirected back at her. The portal creature did slow down for just a fraction, but then was back to floating at its usual unrelenting mindless pace. The Old One just hoped they wouldn't run into any intelligent, but still belligerent ones. Or at least any that had half-way decent aim.
"You know, just because they kind of resemble the bad guy in that one sci-fi show, isn't that good of a reason to name them the same." Specs said. He was still angry that Skew shared all the pain along with the information she gleaned about the portal creatures.
"Well, I'm not going to call them 'Dementors' or 'Langoliers'!" MJ said.
Skew suddenly grinned a feral grin. "Hey. I got me an idea!"
Two Athanor blended into one huge one. The composite being then launched a massive portal. The flying rip swallowed the top 1/3rd of Specs' head and upper torso. His lower half reverted to a simple black sphere with long tendrils splaying out like a lazy sea urchin. Without Specs' illusions, the three Old Ones' edges went back from all fuzzy to being crisply defined again.
Skew skid to a halt. "That wasn't my idea. Not my idea at all!"
MJ looked around for a moment while dodging the flying portals. She looked at her incapacitated brother like someone eying the tastiest slice of warm pie of their favorite flavor. Then she saw her sister do the same thing. With a massive dose of self control, MJ pulled away and quickly ripped out two long day-glo orange cactus-like plants that dotted the strange purple landscape. She threw one of the plants to Skew. "He's still alive, and he better stay that way, sister. If you try to eat him, I'll try to stop you. And if you win, mother will do horrible things to you. She cares for us all. I should know, being her clone and all."
"Okay. This can work with my plan." Skew looked behind her as all the Athanor floated closer, approaching at a steady, unyielding pace. Finally, Skew shouted, "Now! It's the time for my plan."
Nothing happened. MJ looked at her for a moment. Then another moment. "What was your plan exactly?"
"Oh, right. I almost forgot." Skew grinned sheepishly, and then pulled out a vial of Dawn Summers' blood and consumed it to open a portal.
"You better not lead these abominations back home!" MJ yelled. The Athanor were getting close now.
"Don't you worry, sis. First thing's first, though... batter up! Big money, no whammies! Fore!" The crazed Old One yelled as she raised her orange cactus-thing like a golf club and whacked what remained of her brother into the portal - right before jumping in herself, shouting, "Last one in's a clone of Mother!"
"You're completely insane!" MJ yelled before hopping in herself. Sunnydale – Alternate Earth AE1997-101-R (Pathfinder Index Code) - Febuary 1997
Mitzy was happy. Things were going pretty smoothly during her first vacation, well, ever. Dealing with Catherine Madison was easy. She just knocked on her door a few days before the new cheerleading trials and after making sure Amy was away. Cathrine was more than happy to discuss her days as a cheerleader with someone who claimed she was making a Sunnydale High 'Great Cheerleading Moments through the Ages' montage for the yearbook. Once the door closed, Mitzy quickly hijacked the confused witch into her private dimension. Snow and Whisper reported that Catherine seemed to be doing better now that she had something to keep her occupied, even if it is being held captive and forced to teach magic to Mitsco employees and adepts.
Amy filed a missing persons report - which the Sunnydale PD promptly ignored. The young witch tried a skrying spell which also failed miserably for obvious reasons. Mitzy then had Catherine make a letter that stated that she got an sudden offer to go on a lecture circuit in Asia, but the catch was that she had to leave right away.
Last she saw, Amy seemed happy and reconnecting with her father, even though she was a reserve cheerleader.
And now, her prey was walking down the stairs to the basement, carrying the unconscious former occupant of the house.
"So, you brought a snack?" Mitzy said with a smile, startling the woman. "None for me, thanks. I filled up on a vampire that thought he was Freddy Kruger or something on the way over. Had knife claws and everything."
"Who the hell are you?" Hissed the She-Mantis woman, still in her sexy human form.
"Mitzy. That's my name. Yours is Natalie, right? And you want to take on the last name of 'French' so you can get a cover as a biology teacher at school. Poor Dr. Gregory is the only virgin that teaches at the school. But then waiting until marriage coupled with a life of a geeky science teacher and shame for a massive fetish for anthropomorphic cat girls does not make for a prolific dating scene. It does make for interesting viewing once I cracked the password on his hard drive, though."
"How did you know all that?"
"Well, first you can try the brute force approach to password cracking, but theres a few tricks I've picked up along the way." Mitzy grinned. "But really all it took was a little breaking and entering, a well placed spy camera, and a little patience. It was 'Sexykitty111' if you were wondering."
Miss French just hissed at the Old One and held the previous owner's unconscious body like a hostage. Mitzy didn't smell human. In fact, she didn't smell anything from her at all. None of her seven senses, other than sight and hearing, were picking up anything from this intruder, and that was worrying her.
"Look, as one horrible shape-shifting man-eating horror from beyond to another, I felt I should offer you a chance. I can send you to a dimension where you can eat all the bugs you want. The dominant species is a bug-like demon a little smaller than yourself in your true form. Most of them worship this stupid fallen power named Jasmine, so not much for conversation, and the air is a little full of chlorine; but you should be okay, um, I think," Mitzy smiled. "So what do you say?"
The She-Mantis woman transformed into her bug state, threw the unconscious human at Mitzy, and made for the stairs to escape. She never made it.
"Hmm.. not bad. A little crunchy. Not very bright." Mitzy said to herself after setting down the passed out bachelor onto the floor while reforming her right hand from the mass of shifting tentacles it currently was. "I wonder if I could find more of them later."
The She-Mantis' memories slowly flooded into the Old One's mind, including the locations of the rest of the She-Mantis people. "Ha, of course I can! Maybe send the kids a treat for doing a good job so far."
Mitzy closed the door and happily walked back to her house, enjoying the California evening air and laughing lightly as she wondered what would happen if she suddenly morphed a pair of cat ears during biology class. 'Maybe Dr. Gregory could be like my Giles, for when I need adult to sign off on things, since the real one and Buffy are in Cleveland.' she mused. Life was good.
She never noticed the Citroën driving up the street, hitched to a small U-Haul trailer full of ancient books and personal effects. Or that the driver was complaining to himself about how the council decided there needed to be at least a watcher on the most active hellmouth, so of course, they'd send the most expendable one. Original reality - Osaka, Japan - September 2004
Eri was a frazzled Japanese red fox demoness. She missed her best friend for more than the last than twenty-five years, Mitzy. Running Mitsco along with all the other corporations under the umbrella of the official holding company took up the greater chunk of her time. Along with the business side, there was the mystical side, and the constant effort to not have any of the companies appear on the radar of anyone that would stick their nose in the business. Sure, Snow helped out, and even Whisper to an extent; but it wasn't the same.
Also, ever since Mitzy went on vacation to an alternate reality, there was a slow trickle of vampires that started to come back to Japan. Eri, unlike her Old One friend, could not teleport all over the country until she felt the familiar blood sucking fiends around. Sure, she had a few squads of cybernetic ninja clones on motorcycles looking out for them around heavily populated areas, but it was no where near as effective as Mitzy herself. At most, it just kept the weaker and stupider vampires at bay. Worse yet, were the rumors of the Yakuza trying to reform the old deals with the various demon clans.
In addition, Eri tried to fill in the few spaces in her busy schedule with trying to work out a viable plan against the First Evil. Her original idea of letting the First's and Jasmine's forces eliminate each other was on hold until she got some better intel. Even after Mitzy came back from the future, there were still vast holes missing from what they needed to know about the entities involved.
One of Eri's more ambitions ideas, a plan called 'Willow didn't do enough', had them use the advanced slayer scythe Mitzy brought back, along with a large team of magic users, to divide a very large chunk of Mitzy's essence among everyone. And by everyone, Eri meant everyone
! Not just the few girl potentials out in the world, but six and a half billion people with slayer strength and speed!
The Turok-Han wouldn't stand a chance... at first. That was when Eri started to see the holes in this idea. Not everyone was made equal among the humans. And even if one-on-one, an enhanced human could rip the head of a Turok-Han; what about worse odds in dark alleys. Or if the former uber-vamps made it into a nursing home. An enhanced human vampire would quickly seek to restore the balance, with the negative effect that the only vampires would be minions of the First. Not to mention, that some of the worst monsters in history had been humans with a soul. Add to that the fact that after donating that much of her essence, Mitzy would have to spend about three seconds recovering per human. That amounted to more than 618 years that her friend would be laid up in a healing coma.
There were other plans, but they were still in the embryonic stages. Eri sighed, remembering when she was younger. She had been so free. She could take on her fox form and go chase rabbits or play a trick or two on unsuspecting humans at any time.
She looked at her schedule. There was a one hour block of free time coming up. Carefully, the red-haired kitsune smiled and penciled in 'Go to the park, run around, and chase both my tails'. The 'hell' dimention of Uthon Lo, Prime Plane of Earth. Third Primary Parallel - September 2004
General Granthos was returning from another successful battle across the barren wilderness of Uvu. Why should he and his legion be unsuccessful? They were loyal to the one true higher being - the one that promised perfect joy to everyone. And wasn't joy and contentment worth fighting for against the ones who continued to wish for the savage old ways? Jasmine promised happiness, unity, and an endless reprieve from the numerous super-predators that developed in all the planes where his people resided. Even with near-impenetrable rock hard skin and unsurpassed strength, his tribe lost close to twenty people from the uroth and bamuntos attacks.
Granthos never wondered why these predators followed his people wherever they tried to settle, only that Jasmine was promising an endless reprieve from their attacks. Now these blasphemers show up, wanting to try to find another place to settle on their own. Somewhere that Jasmine had not approved. Granthos reeled back in horror at the thought. Their ideas must be stopped and soon, less others join them and leave their small population even less. There were only three realms where their kind existed, and that was the number put forth by Jasmine, herself.
The rock beast's musings were cut short as a portal opened up two hundred feet away from his marching army. A dark spiky ball of... something fell out and landed on the rocky soil. This was followed by two human-looking women. One whispered to the other one briefly and the woman that was not dressed in blinding clashing colors started to hold the shrinking portal open.
Granthos did the first thing he knew of when faced with something he could not understand. "Weapons ready!" He growled out. His men readied crude spears and clubs - most made from their own bodies' bone growths, but some, wielded by those that helped slay one, were made from an uroth.
"None of that! You shouldn't worry about us!" Said the woman with the horrible multi-colored hair, skirt, and outfit that was currently wielding a long staff-like orange plant of some sort. "Here, I'll even sing you all a song!"
After clearing her throat, she started singing loudly and off key, "This is the song that never ends! It just goes on and on, my friends! Some people started singing it not knowing what it was! And they continued singing it forever just because! This is the song that... StIcK iN tHeIr MinDs
Skew concentrated, and suddenly, the entire legion of rock creatures let go of their weapons and dropped to their knees, clutching their heads; that horrible song repeating and reverberating all through their minds.
"Think fast!" Skew said as she used the orange cactus thing to flick the fragment of her brother at an incapacitated rock beast. The follower of Jasmine had no chance as he was quickly engulfed.
Specs, newly reformed, stood up a moment later and looked around. He turned towards MJ who was still keeping the small portal from closing. "This seems to be the only world with Jasmine's rock beasts that mother's agents found before the last reset. But.. why are they all singing 'The Song That Never Ends?'"
"Because they really, really like Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop." MJ rolled her eyes and pointed at Skew. "Why do you think?"
"Ahh, I see." Specs nodded. "Is it too late to request a transfer to the underground construction of Venus?"
"Yes!" Shouted MJ.
"So.. " Specs sighed at MJ. "Tell me again. Why do you let her navigate?"
"Shut up! That's why!" MJ yelled and glanced back through the portal. "Also, we better go. Now!"
"Gotcha gotcha!" Skew said as she used another vial of Dawn's blood to make another gateway to somewhere else. "Don't forget to do your business before we leave and no fighting or I mean it, I'm gonna turn this portal around!" She had just enough time to snatch two rock beasts and engulf them before jumping into the new portal. MJ grabbed two and followed suit, as did Specs - who grabbed three more rock beast soldiers. Then the new portal closed.
Although it was easier now that those three horrible creatures were gone, Granthos was still struggling at getting the awful song out of his mind. That was when the first portal glowed and a living animated trans-dimensional being floated out. It was followed by another, and another. Near invulnerable rock skin didn't even slow down the dimensional whips of the newcomers. The last two thoughts that passed through General Granthos' mind were 'I hope, by Jasmine, that horrible portal will close soon.' and 'Some people started singing it not knowing what it was...'