Disclaimer: Check the other chapters.
Author’s note: Yes, I know it has been a while since new electrons were formed for this story, but life happens, and as this in an avocation instead of a vocation it got put on the back burner. I would like to thank all that have reviewed this story, and those that kept asking about more from it, knowing that people were waiting for this story with anticipation helped keep the plot bunnies in their cages. After this chapter, I am going to do a “Halloween” story that has been rattling around in my head for a couple of months. No, it is not a Xander goes as something else, but more of a horror type of story than is my norm.
Now, on with the story…
Xander stepped through a door in the gym into a very non-descript, painfully white room. As he looked around, he felt the close presence of his escort. Close in personal space close. It was comfortable, relaxing. In other words, it felt too good. It had been too long since he had the type of closeness, intimate closeness, the kind that confirmed that you were not alone against a hostile universe. He sighed as he stepped away from Power Girl, inwardly cursing himself for doing it, and for allowing her to make him have these feelings.
He changed his face back to the in awe that they expected. “So, this is the training area? It’s kind of Spartan. Though there isn’t much to break, I guess that is a plus.”
Kara smirked as she lightly thumped him on the forehead. “Smart-ass, holography and robotics make this thing go. Don’t ask me to explain it all, I just come up here every so often and break things,” she said with a shrug.
Xander chuckled at her. “So, is there any chance that I could get a demo? Of the fancy gizmos, not the breaking, I totally believe you on the breaking of things.”
“We thought you might be interested in that.” She pressed the pressure pad next to the door, and turned around, “Don’t worry, we won’t be too tough on you.”
“Gee, thanks,” quipped Xander as he took off his jacket. “I’m not used to fighting super villains, so don’t be too critical on my tech…”
Xander was actually at a loss for words as the white room was replaced in a wave by a major city street. Where it had once been almost too intense white light was replaced by the muted tones of an urban shopping area at night. He had to admit, it was impressive.
“So, what do we do now?” Xander said as he closed the distance between him and the blonde powerhouse.
Any ideas of dropping a romantic line were dashed by the explosion down the ‘street’. Power Girl chuckled at the look of disappointment on his face. “Don’t let it get to you. Happens like that all the time.”
As the debris settled, Xander could make out a large hulking form heading out of the smoke and fire. Large, pale, and surrounded by five smaller shapes, with small being relative in terms. The tattered clothes on the central figure were the final clue that Xander needed. “Solomon Grundy is a zombie, correct?” questioned Xander.
Power Girl nodded, “Does that make a difference?”
“All the difference in the world, I know how to handle zombies. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any salt or thread, so we’ll have to do this the Sunnydale way.”
A puzzled look crossed her face as Xander closed with one of the fleeing thugs. She watched as he used a judo throw to send the muscle through a window of a shop, and follow him in. Not knowing what he was doing she decided to play defense and struck the ground with a blow from her fist, sending the other four henchmen to the ground, but barely rocking Grundy.
Xander gently climbed out of the window making sure not to catch anything on the broken glass. Emerging from the shop he carried a spear and a battle axe, “Got to love clichéd antique shops.”
He looked upon the situation and smiled, “Think you could zoom past gruesome there and get him to turn around? I should be able to handle things from there.”
Kara smiled, “In a heartbeat, anything else I need to do?”
“Just look beautiful, but you always do that,” Xander said without thinking, and quickly blushed. “I mean, well, that is…”
“Let’s finish this, and then we can talk about that more.”
Xander nodded and she took off. He was briefly distracted by the leotard clad derrière departing his location. As she passed the hulking zombie, it turned to track her just like Xander thought. Launching the spear at the abomination Xander started to close. The spear struck the back beneath the right shoulder. Xander picked up speed to finish closing with the muscled undead. He quickly ducked a wild swipe as the foe turned to see what had hurt it.
Xander jumped up, grabbed the shaft of the spear with his left hand, and swung up to the brutes back. Using the momentum, he brought the axe around, burying it deep into the monstrosity’s neck, causing the form to topple. Breathing heavy, Xander wrenched the axe from the tree like neck and sighed. He noticed that Power Girl was looking at him in shock.
“I was lucky that I got the spinal cord in one shot. That doesn’t always happen.”
“But you killed him.”
“No, I didn’t. He was a zombie. Zombies are already dead, just reanimated. Without being big on the mojo, having salt and string to put in the mouth, the only other way is severing the head. Actually you just need to sever the spinal column, but most people make sure and remove the head.”
“But you went for a kill right away. We could have restrained him and…”
Xander held up his hand. “And what, waited for the police to take an undead entity, that has no standing in jurisprudence? Someone that has killed people a multitude of times in a cell that you know will not hold him? No, sometimes you have to make the hard decisions. True, zombies don’t proliferate armies like vamps do, but given time, they can get stronger and harder to stop. Most of them are bound to a priest or sorcerer, true, but some are free will. The problem is that after a while the brain decomposes and they lose cognizant thought. At that point they are worse than a feral animal. They get flashes of their previous life, but it is nothing more than something for them to focus the bestial part of the existence. They wind up attacking and destroying that which they once loved.”
Xander looked her in the eyes; there was sadness obvious in his. “It never ends pretty, trust me on it. Do I ever feel regret? Sometimes, but it is more for the people that we failed, the ones that didn’t ask, or weren’t looking to be turned or converted, those that we failed.”
Kara could see the pain in his face, in his entire body. She had seen this before in the older members of the JSA, the results of living through a war. She knew that there was nothing that she could say, so she sat next to him and put her arm around him and held him.
Suddenly claxons blared and the sound of reinforced blast doors dropping rumbled the room. “Program Omega has been started. Prepare for confrontation,” announced a computerized voice.
As Xander and Kara scrambled around trying to figure out what was going on, there was a loud BOOM! They looked at the end of the room and in a large circle there was a figure that Xander thought was a golem. “Bow before your master.”
“Darkseid,” Kara said under her breath.