4 - The Second time Around by misterq
4 - The Second time AroundSummary: 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. Sunnydale – Alternate Earth AE2024-049-P (Pathfinder Index Code) - March 2024
The battle wasn't going well for Rebecca/Enyo. She had found the corporeal first striding around what remained of one of the Earth worlds that had been devastated by an unrelated plague about twenty years back. The Turok'Han swelled in front of the forty-foot tall monstrosity like a gibbering tidal wave - shredding anything alive in front of them. Not that any humans remained any more.
Portaling above the mass and falling at terminal velocity scythe first seemed to be a good idea at the time, but all that happened was that her new scythe was now stuck in the heavily armored back of the First Evil. He didn't take his new 'gift' very well and proceeded to let Enyo know - starting with a backhand that launched her 50 feet in the air. She would have kept on going had the First not teleported himself and swatted her again. And again. And again. That pretty much set the mood for the remainder of the battle. Finally, an injured Enyo opened a portal to a random world - hoping to loose the First and not lead him to home base if he decided to follow.
The First didn't. He was in no hurry. Also - his Turok'Han didn't seem to outnumber the dominant life forms in the world that that pest of a Old One's spawn vanished into. With a grunt, he commanded his forces forward and never noticed the silent, stealthy form that appeared behind him - seemingly rising out of the ground. Not until he felt a huge mass impact him with a force that would leave wrecking balls in envy.
It made the First Evil stumble forward before turning around - and immediately teleporting 500 feet away to avoid a giant tentacle to the face.
"An Old One?" He said after seeing the giant distinctive battleform that towered at more than twice his height. Thousands of cloned cybernetic ninja warriors were portaling in around it and engaging the Turok'Han with stubby flashlight-like pistols that shot some sort of black glowing disintegration orbs with a very, very high rate of fire. "And what do you have against me?"
Mitzy would have rolled her eyes if she had been human. She had never felt the need to quip during battle. And it wasn't because she was horrible at it. That wasn't it at all. Nuh-uh. She responded with an attack that may have been a bit more forceful than usual - she teleported right behind the First and ripped out Enyo's mark 3 Scythe - portaled backwards out of the First's claws, still spinning - then forward again as the momentum took her all the way around - slicing the scythe across the monster's face. Then Mitzy practically threw the scythe into her own dimension.
To say holding it was extremely unpleasant for her would have been an understatement. But for brief moments - it was possible. And useful since even her sharpest tendrils were rebuffed against the First Evil's hide. The First snarled, teleported, and counterattacked. His claws raked across Mitzy's tall battleform - severing a tentacle. Another tentacle caught the severed one and reabsorbed it. If she could have, Mitzy would have smiled as she went on the offensive once more.
During the Primordium, Mitzy had never come across someone that was on more-or-less even footing with her - fighting wise. Her own family and clan were less than intelligent and were easily lured into traps while trying to hunt her down when she was young. Other Old Ones relied on magics and shields that could be taken down with her dark fire attacks - especially if she could wait until they were at their weakest and least aware. Mitzy thought that one of her full power dark fire attacks could defeat the First. Unfortunately, it took time to build up and the First had a nasty habit of teleporting far, far away anytime he detected a large flash of light. Her only other fight that took any great amount of time was with Illyria, herself. And the God-King had time manipulation abilities as well as being a veritable god of strategy - contingencies and plans for just about everything.
When she first saw the corporeal First Evil while using microscopic energy-masked portals to follow up on the Slayers' and a remarkably more human-society-integrated Illyria's progress, she thought - for a few seconds - that the First could have been a lost scion of her clan. He had the powers to shape shift (at least while incorporeal), mind reading, teleportation, and could take a phenomenal amount of damage. But the lack of dark fire and a very different magical signature dissuaded her of the notion of being related. Instead, Mitzy started to plan on how to defeat this threat to a world that she had quickly grown to like.
Being the equivalent of a giant magical amoeba - as Eri had teased her while watching the episode of the original Star Trek that featured a space-borne single-celled organism - Mitzy could take a massive amount of damage with relatively few ill effects. Unfortunately, The First could dish out huge amounts of damage while taking much less in return. She couldn't blast immense globs of dark fire if she wanted them to hit, and the smaller faster bolts were just ignored. It dawned to her as the battle progressed, that as things were going - even using the borrowed scythe, she wouldn't be able to win.
The First seemed to come to the same conclusion at the same time. "You can't win. You know this. What are you going to do now, Old One?"
Mitzy needed more time to activate plan b. The advanced cyber-ninjas armed with dark fire guns could hold their own against most anything, but with 1000 to 1 odds, it was only a matter of time before they were all overwhelmed. Then the hordes of Turok'Han would be upon her and she couldn't be distracted for the few critical moments she needed.
Mitzy teleported away from the First, concentrated on her plan and how the Turok'Han needed to be held off - then she did what she had never permitted herself to do before. Never in her entire existence that spanned almost countless millennium.
"Hey, First!" Mitzy spoke for the first time and used her high-pitched human voice but amplified. "You know, you seem like the the type who likes cute babies!"
Then, she spawned.
The dozens of blob-like young dark Old One spawn quickly landed in all directions and shifted into more human forms. Mitzy knew they all had racial memories and 'remembered' everything that she experienced up to that point - just like she 'remembered' everything her mother knew (what little there was). Mitzy also knew that her spawn would be instinct-bound to see each other as well as herself both as prominent threats and tasty-treats. It was why she invested so heavily in magic and genetic engineering. She wanted to be able for her children to be able to easily co-exist with her. Too late now.
Her spawn looked at each other - then at the Turok'Han and went after the most plentiful prey - the uber vampires. They all knew they needed to consume enough of the Turok'Han in order to at least make it to Mitzy's private dimension. The First roared in fury and went on the offensive against the small Old Ones - crushing one after another into paste unless they were able to teleport away - as Mitzy just stood there, concentrating. Some spawn grouped together and tried to attack and stall the behemoth, but the First threw them off, squeezing two of them to oblivion with his hands.
As the last cyber-ninja fell under the vampire onslaught and self destructed, Mitzy was ready. She sent out a mental signal of 'now' and her remaining children vanished into her dimension.
"You know, I only have one regret." Mitzy said as the First strode towards her. "I regret you've never played the Final Fantasy series of games to appreciate this."
The destruction of the Primordium killed off 99.8% of all life on the planet. It was the event that resulted in the dimensional boundaries on Earth weakening enough for the Demons to take over and turn what remained into their own paradise. Still, there were many bright, sunny pockets where demons did not dwell. Eventually, civilizations rose in those areas. One civilization, the peaceful Lemurians, managed to find the prototype of the device. Like all technology from the primordium, it was durable in the extreme. It still worked.
So it was *not* a good thing when they started doing the equivalent of pressing buttons randomly. Shortly after the immediate mass extinction event, the unfortunate Lemurians as well as the other less intelligent dinosaurs, were no more. And although both existing copies of the device were destroyed, there was still one being in existence who had worked with the enemies of the Primoridum and knew how to make a new one.
Mitzy screamed, "Meteo!!" and suddenly vanished back into her dimension.
The First Evil had time enough to look puzzled, then look up at the shadow of Greenland-sized asteroid that suddenly appeared within the atmosphere - still traveling at full velocity.
He teleported, but almost didn't make it. None of his Turok'Han, at least the 75% of his total forces, did. Dimension Unnamed - Location Inexplicable - Time Irrelevant
Mitzy appeared back in her dimension, still in her battleform, amidst her remaining children, leaving only a tendril back in the former alternate Earth to watch as the planet's crust slowly broke apart as the immense rock did its best to exemplify Newton's Laws of Motion.
Then the world changed.
The tendril was forcibly detached and reconnected with the Mitzy of July 2004 - who was busy eating salad at a restaurant with Eri and Taro, the lead of her science division. To those two, it looked like their friend suddenly suffered a seizure and fell from her seat onto the floor. Eri, who had seen this before, stood up, announced to everyone: "Don't try the special!" Then, she calmly dragged her unconscious friend to the waiting limo as Taro shrugged apologetically and payed the bill.
Meanwhile, in her own dimension, things were more dire. Most of her remaining children started to look at Mitzy's unconscious form like a pack of wolves.
"No one touches her!" said one of the spawn who currently looked like a young woman with long red hair down to her waist. She pointed to a woman with two black pigtails with a mad gleam in her eyes - it was the one who led the suicidal charge against the First and survived. "That means especially you!"
"What? You just want her all to yourself?" accused the twin ponytail girl.
"Yes." admitted the redhead, "But that's not the point. The point is that mom still has the doomsday device inside her, and if you remember from mom's memories, she installed a deadman's switch to go off if she's killed. It will work even here and we can't deactivate it. Mom used various other genetic, psychic, and magical material in addition to her own. The device wouldn't recognize us."
The redhead walked over to another sibling, a tall curly blond haired girl that was gnawing on one of Mitzy's tentacles, and smacked her on the head. "That could set it off, too!"
The black-haired one with the twin ponytails smirked and eyed her other siblings with a wild look, "But there's nothing wrong with thinning out the competition, is there?"
"Look, calm down and spread apart!" the redhead almost shouted. "We all just had a nice Turok'Han feast. Let's just wait until mom wakes up. Okay?" Now the redhead grinned. "Besides, there's no reason why we can't link to mom's network of crematoriums?"
It was a long while, but Mitzy did eventually wake up and look around at her surviving children sitting around her, evenly spaced. She took her human form and spoke. "Um.. it's good to see you all survived. All fourteen of you. Wow - usually only one to three made it in the 'good' old Primordium times. I've never been a mother before. Heck, I'm the first one of our kind to not have her instincts completely overwhelm her intelligence. I guess the same applies to you guys. Thanks for not eating me while I was asleep."
The one with the curly blond hair looked a little sheepish.
Mitzy continued. "Well, I guess you all need names. Our clan never had any before, but this is a new world. Let's see, how do I do this. My mom didn't have a name - despite me calling her a 'giant blob of hate and rage'. I was named by Illyria with my name meaning 'One who hunts in stealth' in the old tongue. Hmm, how about you open your minds to me so I can see what happened after you were spawned - then I can name you based on that!"
The children agreed and so went the naming.
"So now what?" said Thorn, the one with the two black pony tails and the wild eyes. Mitzy knew she would probably be the first one to challenge her. "We can't stay here forever or nothing."
"She's right." said Brook, the smart redhead who was able to flow through both problems and Turok'Han like water. "I mean, there's just too many of us. We can't share your crematorium food network forever. We'll outgrow it soon, literally."
"We have to spread out." Mitzy agreed. "I still have my trans-dimensional machine and the stock of Dawn Summers' blood I gathered with small stealth portals while she was asleep." She didn't know if Buffy would kill her or thank her if she ever found out. But her sister had been more subdued and tired on the days after, well, maybe slightly less hyper. "Can you guys operate in groups of three without turning on each other?"
The children all thought about it and then nodded. "Good. Because we need to find a way to defeat the First. Also, if there's an easier way to take out Jasmine and her forces other than pure attrition. Next, try to figure out the origin of the Key. If we can duplicate it - we won't have to rely on Dawn's blood and our now 20-years-behind-where-they-were cloning facilities. Lastly, I want a way to modify our instincts. I really don't want to look out at my children and have my first thought being 'ooh, delicious bon-bons'."
"All right, each team will visit a world and see if there's anything there we can use. Don't attract too much attention. It looks like one of Illyria's group did the go-back-in-time cheat again - so they'll probably have a way to travel through dimensions and alternate realities much, much sooner. I still don't have too much to offer them in an alliance, provided they even want one - and provided I even want one." Mitzy thought about it for a moment. Did she want to go back to work with Illyria? For Illyria? Against her? No - not yet. She didn't want to be seen again as just another weapon. Just a black-clan brute. A mindless eating machine. She wanted to see how far she can make it on her own. In this new world, anyone can be great. They didn't have to be brilliant or ruthless or great in strategy or magic. It just took hard work, a bit of luck, and patience. And she could do that.
"So, here are teams." Mitzy looked over her children - the survivors of the battle with the First. She had used a lot of different genetic material to make them all. If she looked closely and felt out at their auras, she could even tell who the fathers (even if the one donating was a 'she') were. "Brook, Thorn, and Nibble. (the girl with the blond curly hair. Not very smart - only about human average, but the largest and kindest of the children. Also, the hungriest.)"
"Next is Mitzy Jr., Skew, and Specs. Beam, Hawk, and Sledge. Lastly; Coffee, Psalm, and Razor. You four teams will travel the dimensions. The trans-dimensional machine is here, so here is home base. To prevent another time shift from happening, Whisper and Snow will remain here. You two have the best stealth skills so you two will remain here and observe Illyria's group. You will also help Eri and my business crew with integrating the developments they made in the next twenty years. See if you can get the technomages to reverse engineer Enyo's scythe if they could, preferably without destroying it in the process."
"What about you?" Thorn drawled. "It seems that Whisper and Snow will be running the businesses. What'll you be doing?"
"Me?" Mitzy grinned. "I'm going on vacation!"
"Vaca..wha?" Thorn started to say but Nibble grabbed her arm.
"Isn't it great! We get to be a team!" the tall overenthusiastic blond beamed and grabbed hold of Brook. "We can be like the Powerpuff Girls!"
Nibble looked over the stunned faces of her teammates. "What? I can be Bubbles."
Thorn turned around an pointed one accusatory finger at Mitzy. "You! You did this on purpose!"
Her mom, as well as every other sibling not on her team broke out into laughter. Sunnydale – Alternate Earth AE1997-101-R (Pathfinder Index Code) - January 1997
Few people remember that time is a dimension in itself. In actuality, it is three dimensions. Just like the three spacial dimensions - length (lines), height (planes - like a window), and width (cubes); time has time lines, time planes (or worlds where one different choice or action caused the path to deviate - like branching frost on a window), and parallel times - or worlds where no amount of choices or actions could create the result - like the rails in train tracks that never intersect one another.
Thus, there were some worlds that were sill in 1997 while most others were in 2004.
In one younger world, a young two-eyed Xander Harris was skate boarding towards Sunnydale High School when he caught sight of a girl walking towards him that he had never seen before. The thoughts running into his head make him totally oblivious to the metal railing. Colliding with the railing, Xander falls - right into the path of the new girl, tripping her and making her spilling her books. As smooth as he can, the dark haired boy leapt up and said the first thing he could think of when he saw the spilled books.
"Hi, I'm Xander. Can I have you.. er.. I mean"
He wasn't expecting the cute girl with the short dark hair to laugh pleasantly. "Hi. I'm Mitzy. And if you collect enough cracker jack box tops and trade them in, you just may."
It was a stunned Xander that watched as the new girl gathered up her books and walked inside the school. Then he smiled. It looked like the future was looking a little brighter than before.