3 - The First Time Around by misterq
3 - The First Time Around
Summary: On the other side of the world, a lone old one tries to get by - until it all changes.
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.
Authors Note: Written without a beeta.. I mean a Beta.Wolfram and Hart Building, Shanghai branch – Shanghai, China – July 1996
Teleporting all the way to China, especially since she had been there before, was not as difficult as Ametsaru would have thought. Waiting calmly in the receptionist lobby with three other people (and one demon) to schedule an appointment with the current department head, however, was entirely a different matter. The Old-One, currently wearing a sharp black skirt-suit and in her early 20-something Japanese girl form, was now used to portraying her own granddaughter. She was the heir of the sixty-eight year old Ametsaru who had officially 'passed away' three months ago, but not before willing everything to her newfound relative.
And now, here she was waiting patiently (and not attempting to eat the entire building as was her first idea) while swinging her legs almost playfully in an expensive chair that was a little too big for her just-under-five-foot current form. The two men, a woman, and a spindly Grag'noss demon tried and failed at not staring at the annoying motion of her legs. Ametsaru didn't care - she was upset and getting impatient at all the waiting.
Usually when that happened in the past, property values tended to fall toward zero; but here she was being all civil. She didn't even care about the thermal imaging satellites in orbit that prevented her from going swimming in her true form unless it was in her own dimension or in the immense underground cavern system she had created a few decades back.
Sliding around the heavy oaken coffee table, Ametsaru strode to the heavy oaken receptionist's desk. It seemed to her that all of the furniture and marble decorum in the waiting room was there just for intimidation's sake. The Old-One just sighed to herself at the attempt.
"Excuse me, when did you say Mr. Kim would be available?" Ametsaru, in perfect Mandarin, politely asked the buxom receptionist with the real waist-length hair and fake breasts. The woman looked up from her current thrilling game of minesweeper.
"As I've told the last two times, Mr. Kim is very busy and he's in a meeting. When the meeting is over, he will come out and let me know what additional meetings he will have in the next month. Once I know that, I will talk to all the people who came before you to get scheduled. Only then, I can go ahead and schedule you a meeting with him. Now sit down and wait patiently." The annoyed receptionist all but screamed at the short woman before going back to her game. .
Ametsaru sighed went back to her chair. Casually, she picked up a hefty wedding magazine. After examining it for a few seconds, she closed it - and then brought it to her human-seeming mouth and took a dainty bite through all 300-plus pages. After a few seconds, she took another. Soon, the magazine was gone and a new one - a Chinese entertainment guide, followed.
The other people in the waiting area all stared without trying to look like they were staring. The receptionist was still playing her game. Ametsaru didn't care. Once all the reading items were gone from the table, the raven-haired Old-One calmly reached over and with a loud crack, tore off a huge oaken splinter from the coffee table.
"Hey! What do you think you're doing?" screamed the receptionist when she saw exactly what Ametsaru was doing. "That table is expensive company property!"
"Sorry. When I'm bored or annoyed, I tend to eat." Ametsaru finished off her splinter and calmly ripped off a table leg and ate it. "Right now, I'm bored. You're making me annoyed."
"Look! You have to leave right now! No appointments for you. I don't care if you're the Princess of Hell itself." Ametsaru got up and started walking towards the receptionist's desk. "You're lucky I'm not calling security when you show this kind of disrespect to Mr. Kim. Seriously, you need to mmphhh!"
What ever else the receptionist had to say was cut off as suddenly, as all that remained of her was two shapely legs that quickly and silently vanished like noodles into the lithe Asian woman's black suit as though it was made of ink.
Ametsaru turned and looked at the remaining people waiting. As though they were one being; two men, a woman, and a Grag'noss demon rose up calmly from their chars and exited the room. She ate the remainder of the coffee table anyways.
The secretary's knowledge now flooding her mind, Ametsaru sat down at the computer and looked at what Mr. Kim really was scheduled in for today. When she was done with that, never being one to pass up an opportunity; Ametsaru activated all of the receptionist's latent blackmail plans against her boss with a few simple sent emails and one phone call (using a disguised voice) - and then walked into the locked room leading into Mr. Kim's office, leaving an almost cartoonish Ametsaru-shaped hole in the heavy oaken door.
She grabbed Mr. Kim's lover by his dominatrix suit's leather strap and, in one easy motion, casually tossed him upwards where he slammed into the ceiling; cracking it along with several of his ribs, before gravity reasserted itself and he fell back onto to the floor next to Mr. Kim, mercifully unconscious.
To his credit, the executive officer of Wolfram and Hart's Shanghai branch maintained his collective cool as he stood up, grabbed his clothes, and slid into his desk chair without batting an eye.
"What can I help you with today, Miss?" he asked while dressing.
"I'm here with a complaint about the death of one Mr. Hitori Ito."
"I apologize. That name is not familiar to me." Mr. Kim said while putting on his suit.
"In May of this year, you allowed a clan of Polgan demons to attack the Hwang Street orphanage in this city. This happened while my er.. grandfather was visiting, as he was part owner of said institution. Despite the brave defense, the demons won. I seek restitution for the death of a loved one, twelve employees, and thirty-eight orphan children under his care." Ametsaru almost hit herself on the head for almost saying that Hitori was her husband.
Mr. Kim looked at the young woman and nodded. "So I see. You do know that since our client, a Mr. Len, was also part owner of the orphanage; under Polgan demon law, we were with in our rights to allow them access to the hunting grounds. I regret that there will be no compensation to you from us. If you wish to seek grievances against the Polgan Clan, then.."
"Already done." Ametsaru replied evenly. "In my books, since your Mr. Len was only a minority owner, he should not have had the authority to order the Polgan hunt on the orphanage."
"Hmm, and if I still say 'no'? Besides throwing my lover against the ceiling, what pray tell, could someone like you do against Wolfram and Hart?"
"I'll… do…" Ametsaru tried to think of an appropriate retaliatory response that would make the evil lawyer executive quake in fear. "I'll do something… horrible."
"Something horrible?" Mr. Kim raised an eyebrow.
"Yes! After which, you'll wish for doom. A more pleasant doom, I mean." The young woman tried to clarify. "Not the horrible one I'll have planned."
"I see." The lawyer sighed. "I believe you know where the door is located. Please see yourself out, miss."
After the old-one in the form of a small young lady left, he called out to his secretary, "Miss Lee. Please make sure that there are no more interruptions like that in the future. And call the medical team. It seems that my friend is in need of their gentle administrations."
Not hearing an answer, he called out louder. "Miss Lee, are you present?"
He never heard the sniper's mystical bullet enter through the window and lodge itself into his brain. Nor did he see that Miss Lee's calendar had all her activities, following the current date, listed as 'Eaten'.
Upon learning of her husband's (and Qwa'ha Xahn) demise, Ametsaru's original grief-and-anger-laid plan was to eat the Wolfram and Hart's building's foundation and as many floors as she could before the entire structure started to collapse. Her friend and assistant for many years, a red haired (and furred in her natural form) kitsune woman named 'Eri', persuaded her to try diplomacy first. Also, Eri reminded her that going into her undiminished Old-One form would set off many alarms, both mystical and mundane, throughout the world.
Ametsaru thought it was great luck that she found someone that was good with strategy and the big picture to help her out when, about seventeen years ago, she eliminated a group of mafia shark demons and saved the two-hundred year old kitsune from her servitude as a criminal planner. Eri also seemed to like Hitori, and was a very good and capable secretary for both his private orphanage business and her chain of crematoriums. Plus on occasion, Ametsaru had someone for a much needed demon girl's night out as well as a friend who could also shape shift, despite the fox demon's shape being restricted by her mass. It was also fun to have a video game buddy since her husband used to detest them.
'Still, I need to get back at this stupid law office. Maybe I can clone some ninjas.. or create robots.' She thought as she walked through the building. She liked ninjas. They reminded her of the kind of work that she did during the Primordium. 'Maybe cyborg ninjas? Those are a demon lawyer's natural enemies, right? Or was that pirates? Zombie pirates?'
Shrugging her shoulders, Ametsaru pulled out a cell phone and dialed. "Hello, Eri? Yeah, it's Mitzy. Listen, do you know if anyone is close to making a cyborg or a robot with martial arts skills? Not really? Some rumors of a robot named Ted? Can he do a jump kick or throw a fireball? Bake cookies? No, I don't need a robot that can do that. Yes, I'm sure. I'll buy you some fresh cookies later."
A Wolfram and Hart assassin team burst into the hallway as Ametsaru was walking and chatting on her phone. They received all the blackmail files from Miss Lee's computer (courtesy of Ametsaru), including the ones that told of Mr. Kim's plans to overthrow his current superior. Said superior was not pleased and authorized several elite teams to quickly dispatch Mr. Lee and string up his body as a warning to others. These elite teams had trained with a good number of Special Forces members and martial arts weapon masters. By the time Ametsaru walked out of the hallway, still talking on her phone, the only thing left of the strike team was half of a sound-suppressed M3 submachine gun.
Ametsaru just kept on talking. "Never mind what that noise was, what about cloning? Can anyone implant the same, say advanced martial arts and modern weaponry knowledge into a cloned brain? What about using magical means? Well, with technomancy, how long do think it would take to create an army of magic cyborg ninjas? Yes, include the testing, casting rituals, and bug fixes. About ten years? No, that's fine. I can wait that long to unleash my horrible revenge against the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart and all their petty lawyers with their gay lovers and annoying secretaries with their tasteless artificial breasts... never you mind, and stop laughing! Hey, I didn't say 'start laughing harder'."
As she hung up the phone and walked into the empty lobby, the Old-One looked around and smiled. Using more of the late secretary's knowledge, she went over to the unattended security desk (the elite strike teams had already gotten to the guards). A few keystrokes later, and the fire suppression system was made to believe that all the alarms for the next day were simply tests and did not need any water or halon.
Then, she simply raised her hand and incinerated the desk and computers in a burst of black flame. Walking into the stairwell, Ametsaru raised her hand and concentrated. Her kind had evolved near (and in) prehistoric undersea volcanoes where the ambient temperatures was much, much higher than usual. After gaining sentience and magic, her clan made themselves very, very
resilient to just about everything they could think of; only later splitting off into other clans that specialized in magic or intelligence and strategy or temporal manipulation, and so forth. But even though the black clan had always focused on raw power and defense; they were still creatures of heat and flame.
Instead of her usual living black flames, normal red and orange ones leapt out of her palm and up the stairwell, catching each and every floor on fire.
As she left through the locked front doors by ripping them off their hinges, Ametsaru though that while it wasn't bringing down the entire Wolfram and Hart, turning this office building into a deluxe bar-b-q would be a nice start.Dimension Unnamed - Location Inexplicable - Time Irrelevant
Ametsaru woke with a start even as the pain receded. It felt like a piece of her body was suddenly chopped off and then a previous version crudely pasted back on with glue. On a human, she guessed, it may have felt like someone removing an arm with a chainsaw and then stitching a baby's arm in its place. And as she was giggling madly to herself over the image of a grown man waving around a wee little baby arm, Ametsaru realized that it was going to take her a little while to heal from this.. whatever had happened.Osaka, Japan - March 2003
Eri was excited but also in deep thought. This always led to rapid babbling. "So, while the majority of your body that you keep in your dimension remained the same, the fragment here on Earth suddenly regressed several years? Or did your main body duplicate as soon as you touched both your future human form and your current human form. Does this mean there is parallel timeline where both pieces of your body exist but several years into the future and this conversation never took place, I mean the original timeline, and a duplicate Mitzy in that timeline?"
"I don't know, Eri. Temporal mechanics was always instinctual to me, but this.. I'm not sure if there 'is' another me in the future timeline, if that timeline even exists. But I'm here, present and accounted, for in this one. Have my agents figured out what happened?"
Eri nodded. "Looks like word has come in from the Sunnydale hellmouth. Apparently, another Old-One has arrived by way of Los Angeles. She simply appeared, though best guess is from the future."
Ametsaru sighed. "Illyria is back early, though still in her diminished form."
The red-haired kitsune spoke, "In diminished form? So this Diet version Illyria; Illyria Lite - you mentioned she was your boss? You're not going to attack her for dominance or anything?"
The Old One shook her head. "I ignored her the last time around. Kept a watch at a distance, and that seemingly worked out fairly well. She was adjusting to her new shell last I saw, in the future, I mean. And although even diminished, she and her team took on Wolfram and Hart and destroyed the Circle of the Black Thorn. That earned a bit of respect from me. Too bad about there being other Circles. Of course, she was always brilliant at strategy. I was the defective Old-One. Born without ambition. Well, unless you count 'grow rich', 'have fun', and 'utterly destroy Wolfram and Hart and anyone else that hurts anyone I care about' ambitions."
"Those are more 'guidelines to live by'." Eri said with a smile. "So, you're not going to show yourself to her?"
"And say what? 'Hi, boss! Remember me? I used to be your chief assassin until I broke an unbreakable pact; and then rather than have every Old-One come after me, I attacked them all in a preemptive strike, destabilizing everything, until we fought and you locked me away in the dimension without time and the Primordium blew up. So, can I have that raise I would have been talking about had I known about such a thing as money back then?'" Ametsaru exclaimed. "Yeah, I can see that going down so well."
"Still, now your ex-boss just gave you a gift, even if she didn't intend to."
"Yeah, I know what will happen for the next few years."
"So this means that you'll be playing the stock market even better?" The fox demon woman said with a sigh. Ametsaru and Eri had found long ago that they both had an aptitude for finance and investments. Eri, because she was great at the technical aspects, checking out the companies, and making very good educated guesses; and Mitzy because, while her precognitive skills were nowhere near as good as someone from the red clan, she did have a very rudimentary seer ability which only translated to better than average instincts. That was coupled with the fact that she found most things that did not exist back in the Primoridum; such as stock markets and technology, completely fascinating. Together, they would compete on who could grow the most of their portfolios.
"Well, yes - but don't worry, I'll share the returns. And it's only for a few years." Ametsaru said. "But more importantly, I know what, where, and when the problems with the cloned cyborg ninja project will happen, and also how to correct all of them."
"Hooray for the 'Make-your-own-minions' project!" Eri laughed.
Mitzy nodded. "Why recruit when you can shake-n-bake?"
"Now that you'll have a clone army, just make sure you don't go all Sith emperor on me. I'm too pretty to wear Vader's respirator and mask." The red-headed fox demon added before shape shifting her body into Darth Vader's, but keeping her head the same.
Ametsaru just shifted her form to that of a menacing Emperor Palpatine. "I find your lack of faith, disturbing."
The effect was ruined when 'Palpatine' and 'Vader' both started to point at each other and giggle like little girls.