I do not own any of the characters portrayed within, only the plot (bunny) is mine.Summary :
When John ‘Reaper’ Grimm found himself roped into another shady UAC plot, his gut was telling him he was in for a world of trouble. But not even he knew the Hell he had let himself in for.Spoilers :
Set during the end of season seven of ‘Buffy’, and after the film ‘Doom’; thus huge spoilers for both.xXxYou Reap What You SowxXxProloguexXxIn the distant reaches of time, in a universe much like our own...
Boredom. Eternal boredom.
The watcher sighed as it pondered on what to do next. The eternal ennui that plagued it was, in truth, the primary reason for more actions than even the watcher had realised. For now, all that was of concern was that of all the many and varied plans held against the future, none would prove fruitful any time soon. Or even in the next millennium. So the boredom was truly profound.
Then it happened.
A presence brushed against the watcher’s attention. A small and insignificant mind, yes, but one that should have not have been there. Intrigued, reaching out with the most delicate and ephemeral of its senses, with great surprise it found a gap where no gap should be. A... weakening… in the fabric of reality, similar to the one the watcher used to access its favourite playground, yet different. Very different. On the other side lay a new realm, a realm unheard of and untouched by those it called its peers, few though they were. A realm that, until now, had been beyond even the watcher’s powerful perceptions. A pristine realm.
Shaking off irrelevant musings, with a vengeance it set to absorb as much information as possible, uncoiling intangible mental tendrils into the mind that had awoken its interest. Tasting the flavour it encountered, the watcher was shocked to recognise the mind as belonging to a human; but what a human! He was like none it’d touched before. This
mind was organised and alert, thoughts running like streams of light through its consciousness - nothing like the apelike creatures that currently inhabited its playground.
Realising the possibilities suddenly within its grasp, it probed gently through the human’s memories searching out and absorbing the knowledge the human had gleaned through decades of hard work, glorying in the science that it now had access to. Oh, the plots within plots it could create via this puny mind! Its interest sharpened with the knowledge that for this, the consequences of breaking the Law would be worth the risk.
All in all, it was well pleased.
Pulling back for a moment, allowing itself to fully absorb and comprehend the strange new knowledge just gained, the germ of a truly evil idea formed in its demented psyche. Pawn or not, for this the human must be willing... Choice made, it set to the task. The single spike of the focussed probe thrust deep into the human’s subconscious, carefully placing a single impulse where it would do the most harm.
That accomplished, it drew back, smirking darkly. Now came the wait and, though such patience was tiresome, there would be only a few short years before the fun could really begin.
Work complete, the ancient one looked upon the shadow of its labours, and saw that it was good.
All in all, the First was pleased.xXx
Sighing, the First tapped ethereal fingers on the arm of the conjured throne. Why did humans consider these things so important? Personally she found them irritating and uncomfortable; and for an entity that could take almost any form, that was saying something.
Finally it was time.
The human was about to breach the barrier between their realities and find himself before his soon to be god. Eagerly awaited though her new pet’s arrival was, the First was profoundly unwilling to show anything so crass as excitement, especially in front of a lower being. This did not stop the feelings though.
Suddenly the air was filled with ozone, and an odd heaviness filled the cavern. Barely catching herself from sitting forward in anticipation, the First watched with interest as a bizarre metal device melted into existence, seeming-liquid coalescing out of nothingness. In defiance of gravity, it swirled and grew around the apex of the device for a moment before shooting up into the air and hovering about four feet off the ground. If the First had not witnessed such an event in the mind of her soon to be subject, she might have been shocked. Instead, she knew the time was nigh.
He was about to arrive.
The liquid suddenly billowed, size increasing exponentially as it surged and leapt until, with a flash of light, a man tumbled out of it and slammed into the ground. With a burst of mischief the First cloaked her form, and waited to see the reaction of her latest acquisition while he thought himself alone. No matter that soon, the only thought running through his head would be how to please his master.
If not for the manner of his arrival, at first glance there would have been nothing exceptional about him. It would have taken more than a second glance to see the intensity that gave presence to an apparently ordinary frame. And the fanaticism that burnt within.
Shaking his head, the man raised his eyes and raked them swiftly over the chamber’s empty walls, before letting his gaze come to rest on the seemingly empty throne. Puzzlement crinkling the corners of his eyes, he slowly gained his feet and warily moved closer. Just before he reached it, there was a swirl of inky smoke and out of the darkness stepped…Her.
She wore human form, but it was careless convenience. He could feel what she was. He could see what she was. Eyes…
Eyes are the windows to the soul.
The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Belated survival instinct clawed at him, and surreptitiously backed him towards the escape of his Ark; alas it was not to be. A dark smile, a negligent gesture, and many fates were sealed.
“Ah, thanks to you your race will feel death and destruction beyond their wildest nightmares. You have no idea of the horrors your actions have released.”
She paused to savour the fear that filled him, then continued.
“But you will.”
Without warning, the power she had been gathering unnoticed suddenly poured through her and into his mortal frame, inundating him with the blackest of magics, distorting the very nature of his being.
Instantly the impulse so skilfully buried in his mind all those years ago, the obsession that had driven him beyond all reason, to break the barrier between them, swarmed up and swallowed him. Falling to the ground, convulsing wildly, he twitched and trembled as his very psyche was rewritten to conform to her goals.
Within moments it was all over. The old personality was destroyed in the flames of birth, and all that remained was her creation.
“Goddess, command me.”
Good. Not only had the possession worked flawlessly, but the knowledge so vital to the plan was still intact in what was left of his brain. Revelling in triumph, the First reluctantly pulled her attention back to the slave kneeling before her and began his instruction.
This was going to be so much fun.xXx
It had worked even better than the First had planned. Using the scientist’s knowledge, and a smattering of her darkness, her pet had created a serum that would seemingly give all the humans in his reality superhuman abilities and powers. Increased strength, speed and stamina. Increased mental acuity. Enhanced healing abilities. Extended lifespan. Everything that the hearts of petty mortals could possibly desire or want.
However, this was only true for some of the race. For the rest, those with the genetic marker for insanity, the marker for evil, it would cause them to mutate and change into horrific monsters and go on bloody rampages to slaughter all those who were not like them, and to turn with an infected bite those who could be.
The plan had gone off without a hitch.
Her puppet had spread the discovery of the serum, hyping it as a wonderful thing to extend and improve lives. No matter what tests were run on the serum they had all come back saying the same thing, that it was safe to use on humans and caused no adverse effects.
And so they injected themselves, and the fun truly began. With the secret agenda she had given her minion, and the knowledge of the outcome, he had taken special care to track down those who had worked with the Ark, finding those who would turn, and neutralising those few who would not. There was no one left to prevent him from lifting the safety protocols which should have protected the Ark from non-human use.
In essence, no matter where they ran, the children of the First could follow. And with the infusion of darkness, the First had a mental connection to all the changed; though she was still in her own dimension, her mind was following the mayhem they were causing. All the mayhem that they were all causing, at the same time.
The feel had been intoxicating, almost as good as the primordial wars between the Old Ones, so long ago.
Death and corruption scythed through the human ranks at a horrendous rate, but even as they spiralled into the abyss there were small flickers of hope and defiance. Not all the changed fell to evil. Contrary to the First’s desires, some souls were too bright for the First’s darkness to overpower them. Outnumbered hundreds, perhaps thousands to one, those few fought back. They fought back with a strength, with a speed, with a skill, that no human had ever reached before.
It was almost enough.
But not quite.
One by one she watched them fall, those last champions of humanity, swallowed by the endless horde.
The universe was hers.
The human race was almost completely annihilated, her pets had fulfilled their purpose, and were down to cleaning out the last few pockets of resistance amongst the far-flung Ark-worlds. It had done no good to seal themselves behind the Arks, shutting them down completely, for the infection had travelled with them – all their efforts only succeeded in delaying the inevitable.
And so the slaughter continued.
Only one world amongst many had escaped her minion’s depredations. Knowing there was nothing she could do about it, she brushed aside her annoyance. Compared to the success of her plan, one anomaly was an insignificance.xXx
It was over. The fighting was done, the scattered worlds dead or turned, the army of the First had won. Only that one Ark was left, completely inaccessible – only those humans were safe. But in their fear, they had dared not allow any serum childe, changed or not, access to this last sanctuary. The risk was just too great. On this world, the First had no foothold. But nor were there those who would have been able to protect it.
Now her forces, though successful, were scattered, and it was time to bring them to heel. The First called them, summoned back her darkness within their beings, commanding them to come. Across the vast distances, they heard her call, and obeyed. One by one, they gathered at the First’s Ark. The one Ark that broke the laws of reality.
One by one they passed through it. They did not need to know that for them time would be suspended, that they were merely pawns in an aeons old plan.
Their numbers so great, it took days, weeks, months for them to all pass through.
Eventually the endless line was finished, almost. There was but one left. This one, however, was different. In this one’s eyes shone the light of intelligence, twisted as it was. This was her general, the one she had blessed with her touch. Her right hand.
Alone among the host, he was untouched by the serum. Warped by powers so black, he wore his humanity as a disguise, masking the truth that lay within. He belonged to the First - body, heart and soul.
The First was filled with exultation. With this new army, unknown to her foes, the chances of her failing were remote. All she need do now was make use of her ace in the hell…xXxNow…
Ex-Corporal John Grimm sat in a hard metal chair, in front of a small functional table, in a featureless room. Though it had been three years since he and his sister had escaped the hell that had been Olduvai, he had figured it would be only a matter of time before the UAC came for him. The only thing that surprised him was that it took them this long.
Lost in his musings, he nonetheless was well aware when footsteps approached the door from the outside. Hiding his smirk behind a façade of disinterest, he waited for the barrage to begin. He wasn’t disappointed.
First came the threats against his sister, for the loss of the scientific data she had been ordered to retrieve but had instead destroyed. They had both known the consequences - with all the rules that UAC had been willing to break to run such tests, the loss of the data would be unacceptable. However, they both, John and Sam, had agreed that destroying it was far safer than allowing the knowledge on how to create chromosome twenty-four to be released on Earth.
So, though hearing the threats was unpleasant, they were not themselves unexpected. Letting the drama pass him by, John was grimly amused that they didn’t actually know he had taken the serum – but they were suspicious about how he had managed to get both his sister and himself out with only minor wounds. In fact, while Sam had suffered a broken leg and multiple contusions, he had been completely unmarked when he reached the surface - despite the damage he had taken…
His ex-superiors might not know exactly what had gone down on the other side of the Ark, but they knew enough. No one walked unscathed out of the kind of bloodbath that could take down a UAC Complex and an entire squad of RRTS. Even Reaper, reputation notwithstanding, was not that good. Or at least, he hadn’t been…
So, either he was lying, or something had gone live that they really, really wanted a piece of.
They had enough information to wonder whether the man known as Reaper was any longer quite as human as he might appear. So, he was more than slightly surprised that they didn’t arrest him on the spot.
Not that he would have let them, but the thought of having to kill his own had left a bad taste in his mouth.
Hopefully they wouldn’t attempt to gain the answers now, for if they did they would truly discover how changed he was.
It was just lucky that the round from Sarge’s BFG had continued to melt through the wall and into the computer mainframe behind it. The retrievable information had been fragmented at best, sufficiently so that there was no evidence of him being injected.
Not realising the range of his hearing, two technicians complaining about it after his initial debrief had clued him in to the situation. At that dark time, it had been a ray of sunshine he had gladly passed on to his sister.
Finally, seeing as their threats had no effect, the interrogators glanced at each other, smirks on their faces. John felt a warning tingle in the back of his mind. After three years of training himself in his new abilities, when his instincts warned him of danger they were always right. He shifted his position slightly, ready to fight his way out if necessary.
But as they laid out the cold, hard facts, he knew that escape was no longer an option. Not for him, and not for Sam.
It seemed that they had been working hard on deciphering the data, fragmented as it was, this entire time, and had finally managed to reconstruct some of the video footage. It was partial at best - but it showed the worst possible information.
He knew because as their trump card they played it for him. He watched, with a leaden feeling growing in the pit of his stomach, he and Sarge faced off in the Ark embarkation room, as they tossed each other around like they weighed nothing, as they effortlessly bent metal cables into pretzels.
Most importantly, he watched as he threw Sarge through the Ark, followed by an ST grenade, killing the man and sealing Olduvai forever. For the first time he saw the look of surprise on the face of his younger self, as he gazed in shock at the hand that had been shorn in two, and found it now whole.
He didn’t need to see their faces to recognise their satisfaction. They had him.
Closing his eyes, he focussed his mind in the way he had discovered.
‘Sam? We have a problem.’xXx
End of Prologue
xXxAuthor's Note :
I know I know, evil place to stop it, but it worked for me. Sorry.
The idea for this came about when I went hunting for good Buffy/Doom(film) fanfiction, and couldn’t find any. I think I have a good thing going here, and I hope you enjoyed it.
This story had been longer, but some ruthless editing on my part dropped about six hundred words. That hurt me more than you can imagine.
This chapter may
change in the future, depending on how the story evolves. I will give warnings if it does.
Rated FR15 for possible later content.
Though reviews are not needed, they are always welcome and much appreciated. Even flames are welcome, as long as they are constructive.Punster-Zero