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When in Doubt...

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Summary: Three guys stumble across a 'new' way of doing things. Not so 'new' to the Old Man.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered
CSI > CSI Las Vegas
Harry Potter > Xander-Centered
Highlander > Xander-Centered
NetheusFR1311,6570136,86028 Nov 0728 Nov 07No
I don't own anyone or anything, the plot is mine. But to be honest, it would be in the best interests of Panzer Davis to throw Highlander to the fans. They wouldn't have Methos wearing black leather fringe.

A/N: This is the first thing I’ve ever put out into cyberspace. Please, any criticism is appreciated! Also, I’ve never watched CSI, but I saw Greg’s character in several other fics, so if I’ve got him wrong, please tell me, and send me something that gives me a better idea of him! Thanks!

Also, I won't be posting any additional chapters without a little feedback. To be totally honest, probably will never post anything ever again. I'm much better at writing academic papers at this point, anyway.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” –A.C. Clarke.

“Science is always discovering odd scraps of magical wisdom and making a tremendous fuss about its cleverness.” --Aleister Crowley

“When in doubt, fuck it. When not in doubt, get in doubt!” – Principia Discordia

There comes a point in every Magick workers life when they doubt their ability to interact with the rest of human society. They crave not only the company of those who share similar interests; they also want to have a conversation where they won’t get strung up for voicing these ideas.

This usually comes after they face down the idea of their own death, but before they face their ultimate fear.

The initiate does not know this fact at this particular moment. They are usually stewing in a pool of abject loneliness. They have atypically left whatever they had for a teacher behind, assuming they have learned all they can. After they have some through this trial, the initiate will cross oceans to find their teacher once again.

But this isn’t a good place for the story to start. First, explanations.

There’s magic, there’s magic, and then there is Magick.

The first magic is the one that most people are familiar with- sleight of hand, deception, and lighting. Very useful when trying to hide small amounts of cocaine from the police.

The second is the kind that seems like it isn’t real. Or at least it seems like it isn’t real. It’s the stuff most commonly seen in children’s story books.

Magick is real, there is no deception, and anyone can use it. If they know about it.

See, Magick isn’t something you can just pick up out of a book. It requires a little talent, a lot of concentration, and someone to tell you that you’re doing it wrong. A lot of it is unexplainable. That’s why when a teacher takes a student, it is an act of pure masochism.
Which is why this story is so strange. Teachers almost NEVER take on multiple students at the same time. But more on that later.

As interesting as the teachers can be, the students are always a little odd. These are the kids that grew up without a need for Caller ID. These are the ones that said bizarre things to their parents when they were toddlers. These are the ones that feel the urge to stop talking when in public places after a few years in public school.
Which brings us to our cast of characters.

When groups of Magick workers gather, there seems to be a pattern- the Magus, the Warrior, the Mother, the Imp, and Child. Unfortunately for our characters, this is not the case.

Maybe we should just begin.

There are very few times in the history of human events that this teacher has taken on a student of any variety, let alone 3 of them at the same time.

Adam questioned his sanity as he realized what had happened.

Xander had found a book during one of the usual research sessions that had actually taken his interest. It was a slim book, but it was more of an instruction manual than a reference tome on the breeding habits of the horned and scaled and slimy of the week. He took it when no one was looking.

Two weeks later, on a rare night off, he sat alone in the nearest 24-hour ‘family’ establishment, reading the book and sipping hot chocolate.

“Where did you find *that* book?” the stranger asked, sitting down without an invitation.

“The library,” Xander answered somewhat truthfully.

“Do you have any idea how old that book is?”

“Old enough that there isn’t a copyright date on the first few pages. Who are you?”

“My name is Adam,” he said as he extended his hand.


Innocent enough, certainly. The kid seemed like he might be able to do something eventually.

Greg was just an omen.

The kid wandered into the bar. He certainly didn’t look like the kind to enjoy the blues. But hey, everyone needed a drink from time to time.

“So kid, what brings you to a blues bar on a Wednesday night?” Joe asked the bewildered looking boy, handing him a Jack and Coke.

“I found a book that was mis-shelved at the book store. I mean, it looked REALLY out of place. So I picked it up, and started reading it. It said some real bizarre shit.” Joe was a little taken aback by the boy’s up front nature. “It said that once you open your mind to the impossible, the impossible will start to look for you. And it did. Then one night I got this feeling. Like I needed to go. So I did. It stops here, and I don’t know why.”

“That’s an interesting story,” Xander said from a few stools down next to Adam. “What book was it?”

Adam began to wonder after that just how many of the old books not only managed to survive, but how many had been translated, retranslated, and boiled down over and again into new forms. He was also beginning to wonder if he’d finally been knocked upside the head too many times. The kid came with them back to the dojo they were currently using. He didn’t leave.

The third one came from a rather flustered Joe.

”Adam, I wouldn’t ask, but it’s a special favor to an old time friend. He died and came back, but he didn’t heal completely. Nobody knows what is going on with him.”


“Free beer for life?”


“Come on Adam, he’s barely 18!”

“Free beer for the rest of your life, or mine?”

“Thanks, man. He’ll be landing in Seattle in an hour.”

It was at this point in his rather long lived life that he realized that not only were the Fates cruel women from beyond the grave, but also that he had obviously lost what little of a mind he had in the first place.

The third boy Joe sent him was not going to be getting up if he died again, of that much he was sure of immediately, but he needed to get away from where he had been, and Adam suspected he’d been an unfortunate accidental child warrior from wherever he came from. A point which the boy was mum about.

A couple months after Harry joined them, a head hunter came after Adam. The next day he decided to move them to one of the most Magickally charged places in the Western hemisphere. And didn’t tell anyone.

There are lots of Magickally charged places in the Western hemisphere. On the upper-end list are places like Salem (not just for the historical significance, but the school there as well), the pit formerly known as Sunnydale, Waco (for some strange reason that has yet to be explained- and as a weird sort of way, only certain spots in and around the small city, not contiguous), and Roanoke (not the current one, the original).

However, the most saturated in every kind of Magick and magic in the Western hemisphere was an itty bitty, teeny tiny, tourist trap in the Colorado Rockies. Sound familiar? Well that’s because with the exclusion of the front range, all towns in the Colorado Rockies are itty bitty, teeny tiny tourist traps. This one, however, maxed itself out on perception barriers and spells in the 1800’s, and they were still covering things up. It attracted an odd crowd.

But to Adam’s sheer joy, the entire state was covered in some of the best microbreweries he’d ever had the chance to taste. Almost as good as in the old days.

The boys had been a little confused when they got to his house. It looked like it was a one bedroom hippie cottage. The hippies that roamed the hillside probably gave off that impression. They disparaged at the lack of a yard, or garden as he and Harry called it. The mountain that his house was butted up against didn’t allow for very much free space.

He just shook his head and unlocked the door.

They expected the small front room with very little furniture, kitchen included. But the door at the back was a little confusing. So when Adam walked through it and didn’t come back for several minutes, they decided to look.

The caves were a bit of a surprise.

“The town is covered in hidden spaces- this is just the simplest means of covering it all up. The caves go back for quite a ways, I never found the end. I suppose at some point they meet up with all the others. The main chamber is rated for a direct 13 kiloton impact.”

“It’s a fallout shelter?” Greg asked in astonishment.

“No, it’s just rated. The big cave on the other side of town is only rated for a 5.”

“Why would the caves get fallout ratings?” Xander asked, looking around the inside of the cavern.

“Because we’re only 15 miles from the back door to NORAD,” Adam said with a sense of sadness. The whole Cold War people suspected the worst from both the USSR and America. Loosing this small town to nuclear fallout for 3,000 years was one of those nightmares he had that didn’t involve his past. “If the bombs would have ever dropped, this would have been Ground Zero.”
The boys were a little taken aback. It’s not often you meet a man with his own fallout shelter next to a primary target.

The End?

You have reached the end of "When in Doubt..." – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 28 Nov 07.

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