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The Lost Book 1: Forgotten Realms

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Summary: Multi genre crossver beginning at the end of Chosen. Changed the Title now, The Lost Book 1: Forgotten Realms; Part 1: Escape From Undermountain. Re-written chapter 1 has been posted 3/7/09

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralAsmodeusFR18539,8330135,36520 Mar 0828 Feb 09No

Chapter One

The Lost

By: Asmodeus38

New Disclaimer: All characters, names, settings etc belong to their respective copyright holders and creators:

TV series: Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series, Walker, Texas Ranger, Stargate SG-1, Martial Law, V.I.P., JAG, Eureka, Firefly, Jack of All Trades, Relic Hunter, X-Files, Roswell, 24, Highlander The Series, Highlander: Raven, Stargate: Atlantis, ST: E, ST: TNG, ST: DS9, ST: V, The Soprano’s, Special Unit 2, Fall Guy, Bionic Woman (New), Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, Heroes, China Beach, Charlie’s Angels, Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, Wrestling, Wonder Woman, Dresden Files, Dark Angel, D.R.E.A.M. Team, Dr. Quinn; Medicine Woman, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, Space: Above and Beyond, Charmed, Fast Lane, Hannah Montana, TJ Hooker, BSG 2003, A-Team, Magnum PI, Kindred The Embraced,

Games: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Dungeons & Dragons) first, second and 2.5 rules editions used up to Skills & Powers, third and 3.5 rules editions referenced only. Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Mystara, Ravenloft more will be added as they’re used and placed here.

Movies: Blade: Trinity, Serenity, Pirates of the Caribbean, Highlander, The Mummy Returns, Fight Night II, Harry Potter: OotP, Lost in Space, The Replacement Killers, LotR post RotK, The Last Legion, Charlie’s Angels, The Avengers, Return of the Three Musketeers, Dead or Alive Movie, Van Helsing, Where the Boys are ’84, GI Jane, Sleepy Hollow, Arabian Adventure, Navy SEAL’s, Azumi 1 & 2, True Lies, FATHOM, Tomb Raider, First Blood, Street Fighter The Movie, Mortal Combat, Blood Rayne the Movie, Cutthroat Island, War, Inc., Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, New York Minute, Miami Vice Movie, Epicenter, Iron Monkey, Drunken Master, Sniper, The Lost City of Gold, Underworld: Evolution, New York Minute, The Legend of the Shadowless Sword.

Books: The Gatekeeper Trilogy by Nancy Holder & Christopher Golden. Ryan verse by Tom Clancy,

Fanfiction: Arana’s Tale Book 1 by Kudara, Changing of the Guard by Ecolea, SG-13 Suicide Squad & Stargate Murders by CesarH

A/N1: This story begins verbatim from the last chapter of the novel Chosen as it was written by Joss Whedon until the end of the battle where it goes AU.

A/N2: This was inspired after reading Forgotten Slayer by Malaskor posted on journeyverse.

A/N3: This is the first of the re-written and overhauled first five chapters thanks to my beta reader Drake. Please review after reading.

A/N4: Finally Please review and let me know what you think

Prologue, Departure


June, 2003
Sunnydale High School
Sunnydale, Ca
Earth


Sunnydale High School: the last stand, the last battle, the last day as the sun finally rose and rose too fast.

Robin led the girls into the empty corridors of the building. He stopped at the big space at the bottom of the stairs.

“Welcome to Sunnydale High,” he told them in a booming voice. “There’s no running in the halls, no yelling, and no gum. Apart from that, we have only one rule.”

He stopped and turned.

“If they move, kill them.”

Buffy began to move her warriors into position as she announced, “Potentials are in the basement. Follow Faith and Spike.”

As they began to leave, Xander called, “If you have to go to the bathroom, it’s on the left. If you don’t have to go to the bathroom, picture what you’re about to face. Better go now.”

Robin turned to Willow and said, “Willow, my office is through there.”

“It’s right over the seal,” Buffy reminded her.

“I’ll start getting you set up,” Kennedy said to her mate.

“Thanks,” Willow murmured gratefully.

“Okay, civilians,” Robin gestured as he spoke. “The vampires get upstairs, we have three areas they could get through to another building and down into the sewers.

“Down the hall in the atrium; the north hall here; and the primary target, through the lounge to the science building. Odds are, most of them will head there. Easy to find, big, no sunlight.”

Giles spoke up. “Teams of two, then, and I suggest you and I take the lounge.”

“I concur,” Robin replied.

“Xander, I want you with Dawn,” Buffy said.

“I concur,” Xander said.

“We’ll take the atrium,” Dawn Announced.

“So that leaves me and the dungeon master in the north hall,” Anya concluded.

Andrew was speaking, “We will defend it with our very lives.”

“Yes,” Anya put in, “we’ll defend it with his very life.”

“Don’t be afraid to use him as a human shield,” Xander told her.

“Yes. Good. Thanks,” Anya said.

“And I just want to say how proud I am to doe for this really special cause with you guys,” Andrew said. “There’s some people I’d like to thank, both good and evil . . .”

He was holding a paper, which he now unfolded, and began to read. “A shout out to my brother, Tucker, who gave me the inspiration to summon demons, and also—“

“Nobody cares, ya little monkey,” Anya said, not without affection, as she dragged him off.

Robin left, too, and Dawn announced, “I’m going to check out our field of engagement.”

She started down the hall. Buffy followed.

“Dawn.”

“No,” Dawn turned back, not waiting for Buffy to speak. In a choked voice, she said, “Anything you say is going to sound like good-bye.”

Resolutely, she turned back around, and left. Buffy silently watched her, working hard not to lose it, for if there was going to be a moment when she would falter, this was it.

She made it through.

Then she turned back around and joined the group.

The Four: Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander.

Us. The originals, Buffy thought. Everyone else came later. These are my comrades, my dearest friends. I am the Slayer who did not walk alone.

They kept me in the pockets, only I didn’t realize it . . . until almost to late.

The Four.

The Slayer, the Watcher, the Witch, and the One Who Saw.

“So,” Buffy said, taking on chipper. “What do you guys wanna do tomorrow?”

Willow considered. “Nothing strenuous.”

“Mini-golf is always the first thing that comes to mind,” Xander said, weighing in.

Giles looked mildly disappointed. “Well, I think we can do better than that.”

“I’m pretty much thinking about shopping. As usual,” Buffy announced.

“There’s an Agnes B. in the new mall,” Willow told her excitedly.

“I could use a few items,” Xander said.

“Well, no, aren’t we going to discuss this?” Giles asked. “We’re saving the world to go to the mall?”

“I’m having a wicked shoe craving,” Buffy said.

“Aren’t you on the patch?” Xander asked her.

Willow shook her head sadly. “Those never work.”

“And I’m just here, invisible to the eye, not having any say . . .” Giles whined.

And the three younger champions headed off, leaving the older one to watch them.

“See, it’s the eye-patch thing,” Xander groused.

“Right,” Buffy said, “do you go with the full black secret agent look—“

“Or the puffy shirt pirate-slash-poet feel,” Willow suggested. “Sensitive yet manly . . .”

“Now you’re getting a little renaissance fair on me,” Xander told her.

“It’s a fine line,” Buffy admitted.

Giles turned away from them.

“The earth is definitely doomed.

* * * * *

Then the three peeled off from each other, Willow first, the Xander, much with the casual chatter as they would have, any other day . . .

. . . and Buffy was alone . . . with memories, with voices:

Xander: “Oh, me and Buffy go waaaay back. Old friends. Very close.”

Cordelia: “If you hang with me and mine, you’ll be accepted in no time.”

Willow: “Do you want me to move?”

Giles: “I’d much rather be home with a cup of Bovril and a good book . . .”

Angel: “Let’s just say I’m a friend . . .”

Then she was in the basement at the end o the hall, where Spike was waiting.

“Time to go to work, love,” he said.

He gestured to the Potentials. Some were crowded outside the Seal chamber because there was not enough room inside. But they parted respectfully for Buffy. Her gaze ticked toward a few of them. They were so brave, and yet so terrified. Maintaining their control so well . . . she was so proud of them. She wanted to save them, all of them, not lose a single one, ever. For no one to die, ever, in the world . . .

She moved into the room and stood beside the Seal, next to Faith, who held out Andrew’s mystical knife.

“You’re first, B,” Faith said.

Buffy took the knife, cut her hand, and let her blood drip onto the Seal. Faith took the knife and said, “Pucker up, ladies. We’re going to Hell.”

Then she sliced her own palm with casual aplomb.

Then all the girls around the circle held out their hands . . .

The Seal started to open.

Steeling her gaze, finding her center, Buffy started down.

* * * * *

In Robin’s office, Willow sat on the floor, the scythe in front of her, her own athame and bowl at her side. Candles and incense; the trappings of witchery, as Kennedy watched her from the other side of the room.

“They should be in place,” Willow said. “Okay, magic time.” She gazed at Kennedy. “You ready to . . . heh, heh, . . . kill me?”

“Starting to be,” Kennedy replied pointedly, but with warmth and love and all vibes good.

“Great. Fun. Right.” She took a deep breath. “Brace yourself.”

She shut her eyes, and Kennedy said softly, “Come on, Red. Make it happen.”

* * * * *

Down among the dead men, into the cavern, Buffy and Faith and a few of the girls went as more followed.

And Spike, with the amulet around his neck.

“Not to be a buzzkill, love,” he said, “but my fabulous accessory isn’t exactly tingling with power.”

“I’m not worried,” Buffy told him.

“I’m getting zero juice here,” he went on. “And I look like Elizabeth Taylor.”

“Cheer up, Liz,” Faith said to him. “Willow’s big spell doesn’t work, won’t matter what you wear.”

“I’m not worried,” Buffy said again.

But her voice said otherwise, and the others gazed in horror as they moved to the precipice, which looked out over an endless cavern, and in that cavern . . . thousands of Turok-han.

Thousands.

“I’m not worried,” Buffy said, practically catatonic.

“Really?” Rona whispered. “’Cause I’m flashing back to Xander’s whole bathroom speech.”

“Buffy?” Amanda asked shrilly.

Buffy closed her eyes. “Now Willow now Willow now.”

“Buffy?” This time Amanda almost screamed.

“I’m not worried!” Buffy proclaimed. “As long as Willow can work the spell before they . . . see us.”

As one, the vamps caught sight of the girls. Screaming they charged.

“Willow,” Buffy whispered.

The battle had begun.

* * * * *

WordstotheGoddessprayerstotheGoddessprotectorofwomanofwomenthepoweroftheGoddessQueenoftheMoonoftheEarthAirFireWateroftheAngelsofGuardiansandofSlayersofSlayersofSlayers

“Willow?” Kennedy asked, alarmed.

Willow stabbed her a look and kept chanting.

GoddessQueenoftheMoonoftheEarthAirFirWateroftheAngelsofGuardiansandofSlayersofSlayersofSlayersofSISTERS

Willow tensed up, eyes widening, as light began to fill the room, coursing through her, through everything” flowers in Paraguay and the coven back in England, all the Wicca, and there she was in Willow’s soul. Jenny Calendar . . . and all who had fought for good, with magicks and with their souls and spirits . . .

“OH

MY

GODDESS!”

Willow cried.

Kennedy fell back, slammed by something unseen. She grunted, shouted . . . and was filled . . . filled as Buffy had dreamed she would be, when she had given each Potential her choice:

“What if all you could have that power? Now. All of you. In every generation one Slayer is born because a bunch of guys that died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men.”

And here she had pointed to Willow, and said the things that made Willow so uncertain:

“This woman is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rules. I say my power should be our power. Tomorrow Willow use the essence of the scythe, that contains the energy and history of so many Slayers, to change our destiny.”

“From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer, Every girls who could have the power, will have the power. Who can stand up, will stand up.

“Every one of you, and girls we’ve never known and generations to come . . . they will have strength they never dreamed of, and more than that, they will have each other.

“Slayers. Every one of us.

“Make your choice.

“Are you ready to be strong?”



Kennedy was ready. Her head reared back, her eyes sparkling with power.

* * * * *

As the Uber Vamps swarmed to crush them, the Potentials were ready; the power was a rushing wind, a hammer blow, a slap and an embrace and true love and sure death. A fever dream . . . all, it was all, it was . . .

. . . happening everywhere:

In India, a girl fell to the floor as the power and knowledge coursed through her.

In an inner city school, a young girl fell against her locker, dazed . . . and new.

Ina trailer park, a young girl blocked the ham fist of her drunken, abusive father.

On a baseball diamond, standing at the plate . . . a little girl straightened, grinning a wicked happy grin.

In Japan, a girl backed away from the dinner table, changed utterly and forever, trying to take it all in.


. . . take it all in, take it all in . . .

“Sweet fancy Moses,” Amanda gasped.

Buffy and Faith beamed at each other.

“You feel that?” Faith asked the Slayer.

“I really do,” Buffy told the Slayer.

Faith looked ahead; the Slayers steeled themselves—dozens of them, ready and uncertain, pumped and hanging on, hanging in, hanging tough.

“Everybody, hold the line,” Faith said.

“These guys are dead,” Vi said coolly.

The first wave of vampires hit, frenzied evil spilling over the girls in a blur of teeth and axes and spears, talons and muscles and no fear of pain or dying. They swarmed, enormous killing things . . .

. . . and the Slayers went into action.

Roundhouse kicks, uppercuts, sidekicks, leaps—punching and twirling in a jaw-dropping battle dance such as the world had never seen before. They were to the Power born. Each Slayer, cloaked and anointed in the Power, burning bright as they fought back the horde, slaying as if they had been doing it all their lives.

The Chosen, the valiant, heroes to a girl, the Champions of Good, beating them back.

Spike held off others, but there were so many—the army of darkness was endless. But he fought, waiting for the amulet to bestow power, not waiting to wade into the war and hold the line.

It was brutal and dark and bloody; it was why there were Slayers.

Why they were here, glimmering, shimmering with Power.

* * * * *

. . . Glimmering, shimmering . . .

Kennedy was still feeling it, still mesmerized by the Power as it worked inside her, coursing through her. It was like a drug, a high, and she was taken over by it.

Then she opened her eyes and gasped, “Willow?”

For Willow was more than Willow, too—she was the Power incarnate, blown by a force so powerful, so loving, that she was bathed in a pure white wind. Her hair was actually white, streaming out behind her, her smile a bowl to catch her tears.

Transcendent, forever altered . . . cleansed, forgiven, purified.

The loving wind sucked out of her and her appearance returned to normal. She was clearly completely spent.

Kennedy said wonderingly, “You are a Goddess.”

And Willow replied, filled with joy, “And you’re a Slayer.”

She picked up the Scythe and tossed it to Kennedy.

“Get this to Buffy,” she said.

Kennedy gazed at her one last moment, and then she raced away.

Collapsing to the ground, Willow giggled like a dope.

“That was nifty,” she said to herself.

* * * * *

On the precipice, the Pride Rock of Doom in the endless cavern . . .

Buffy hovered near the edge, fighting every vampire she could touch: She tossed a Turok-han over the side, staked another, then took a couple of brutal hits.

A fearless warrior jumped through the Seal opening: Kennedy, shouting, “Buffy, Catch!”

She hurled the scythe at her; Buffy caught it in mid-fight, not even looking back, and dispatched two vamps immediately.

Kennedy was attacked and jumped high, kicking hard—pummeling the enemy with her newfound Power.

“Oh, I could get used to this!” she exulted.

Spike fought as he had never before; Amanda, Vi . . . everyone was pumped and armed and filled with it. War cries echoed over the frenzy: Faith and Buffy, vamps and Slayers, leaping at each other above the heads of the warring crowd. A sprawling, brawling mob: Armageddon.

Having breached the line, some of the vampires saw the Seal opening and scurried up it. More followed.


Robin and Giles heard them coming. Giles had rolled a cigarette—traditional last one before battle—and he offered it to his comrade in arms. Robin declined; one last drag for Giles, and then he stamped it out.

They hoisted their swords.

They were ready.

* * * * *

In the atrium, Xander and Dawn prepared.

She turned to Xander and said, “You were going to take me to Oxnard?”

He shrugged. “I know some people there.” He added, “You’re in my blind spot.”

She gingerly and swiftly changed sides with him.

* * * * *

In the north hall, Andrew and Anya geared up for the fight.

“I think they’re coming,” Andrew said.

Anya nodded, swallowed. Her heart was pounding so hard she could barely hear her own voice.

“Oh, God,” she said, “I’m terrified. I didn’t think . . . I just figured you would be terrified and I would be sarcastic about it.”

Terrified indeed, Andrew whispered, “Picture happy things. A lake. Candy canes. Bunnies.”

Anya’s eyes narrowed.

“Bunnies. Floppy, hoppy bunnies,” she said

Her sword came up, all her fear gone.

* * * * *

The Turok-han made it up and through the Seal; they came barreling down the hall toward Giles and Robin, whose blades were at the ready. Vampires to the right of us, vampires to the left of us, volleyed and thundered . . .

They were a matched pair of warriors; they fought expertly—Giles scoring a beheading—but they were only managing to hold them off, being driven slowly back . . .

* * * * *

. . . while Anya and Andrew fought. Anya was a swordswoman, Andrew was Jerry Lewis, but they also managed to keep them at bay . . .

. . . as a group of five Bringers appeared in the hall behind them, all armed with knives and swords . . .

* * * * *

In the cavern, as Spike fought off in a corner, he was startled by a surge of power from the amulet on his chest.

“Uh, Buffy?” he called, but she was in the heat of battle. “Whatever this thing does, I think it’s . . . Ahhhhh!”

He dropped to his knees, stunned by pain.

* * * * *

The army of the bad was not getting smaller.

Buffy watched a Turok-han leap down on a young Slayer, tear into her; the girl went down.

Faith battled her way over to Buffy’s side, exhausted but game, as she said, “Think it’s too late to talk this thing out?

Buffy called out to the girls, “Keep the line together! Drive them to the edge! We can’t let them—“

Pain.

Unbelievable pain.

She looked down to see the point of a sword extend from her belly, then retract. She had been run through.

Silence covered her thoughts; vaguely she realized that Faith was tackling the vampire who had stabbed her; Buffy fell slowly to the ground face first.

“Buffy?” Faith cried, running to her sister Slayer.

Buffy gazed up at her and rasped out, “Hold the line.”

She held out the scythe—symbol of their Power—to Faith. There was a moment, then Faith took it. She stabbed the vampire behind her without looking at him.

Then she went crazy with battle frenzy, and started taking them out, one by one by one.

A vampire got her around the neck from behind; then more, dogpiling her. Her skin tore; the stench of the monsters assailed her. She tasted blood.

She looked around, saw Rona, and shouted, “Rona!”

As she was buried beneath the vampires, she tossed the scythe to Rona.

Who took it, and started hacking.

* * * * *

In the atrium, Xander swung his sword as he was driven back by vamps. Then Dawn yanked a rope, pulling a tarp off the skylight, sunlight pouring in and setting the three vampires ablaze.

“We call that the greenhouse effect,” Xander explained. “Very dangerous.”

Another leaped on Xander, tackling him, weaponless, as Dawn grabbed a sword and swung.

* * * * *

Three Bringers rushed Giles and Robin as the vampires pushed from the front. Robin turned and hurled a knife into one of their throats with perfect precision.

But another took its place; they fought hard; Robin found himself thinking of his mother, imitating her moves; all right, she had died a Slayer, but she may have saved his life because he had been able to observe her, first-hand . . .

Then the Bringer’s crescent-shaped knife sliced across his chest.

I’m out of the game, he thought in shock as he collapsed.

The Turok-han ran past him and Giles, free to escape into the next building.

* * * * *

Anya and Andrew . . .

They were here. They were driving them apart, Andrew toward the north hall, Anya down the adjacent hall that lead outside.

Okay with the dying, not with the pain, Andrew thought. Okay with that . . . not so much, oh, God, I am so scared . . .

Then a Bringer went down, holding out his sword like a limp . . . noodle, as a Bringer jumped onto him with a knife.

And Anya . . .

She slashed one.

Dropped it.

I’m winning!

I’m terrified!

And then another one came from the side.

She turned—

--Mrs. Xander Harris, that is who’ll be . . .

--Aud.

--Anyanka.

--Anya.

--and the Bringer gutted her.

He stabbed her repeatedly.

And she was dead.

--Forever, Anya.

* * * * *

Spike.

Searing pain wracked his body; he tossed away a vampire as confusion and pain contorted his body; he clutched his stomach.

He was burning from the inside out.

* * * * *

And Buffy . . .

As Amanda dropped right in front of her, eyes wide.

Amanda was dead.

Two more Slayers fell; Kennedy was backed against the wall, her weapon knocked from her hand. She was steadying herself, preparing.

On the ground, her vision hazy with pain, Buffy looked up to see her own boots, her own legs . . . her own self . . .

But of course it was The First.

“Oooh, ow, Mommy!” The First mocked her. “This mortal wound is all itchy!”

She leaned in and said to Buffy, “You pulled a nice trick.” She smiled pleasantly and added, “Hey, you came pretty close to smacking me down. What more do you want?”

Buffy pulled herself up on her hands, shaking with fury. She was not done, not yet.

“I want you . . . to get out of my face,” Buffy told her.

Then she rose: Resurrection.

The First backed away, vanished.

Sweaty, bloodied, hair in her face, Buffy took a step forward; two stumbling, hunched steps . . .

Rona saw her, and threw her the scythe. Buffy caught it, and stood a little straighter.

She screamed, swinging the back of the weapon like a bat, knocking five vamps back and over the edge in one blow.

* * * * *

And as if her Power communicated itself to Faith, the Dark Slayer kicked her way out of the dogpile and rose as if from the dead—also bloodied, also unbroken.

The tide turned then: The Power surged in all the Slayers, and it used them to force the vamps back, many of them falling over the edge, and at least one Slayer going with them.

But they were on the offensive now; they were pushing and screaming as if reborn . . . hallelujah, as Caleb would have said . . . in the mighty throes of the Power, as they battled to save the world.

* * * * *

And Spike.

He staggered under the Seal opening, paused, and said, “Oh, bullocks.”

Then energy shot up from within him, straight through, like a geyser, piercing the Seal, and bursting through Robin Wood’ s office floor, narrowly missing where the still-prone Willow lay; she watched in astonishment as the brilliant plume crashed through the ceiling, bathing her in sunlight as she murmured, “I didn’t do that.”

And Spike:

The sun hit him hard; and he was pinned, pain and something else building inside him . . . he called out to his dearest love—

“—Buffy . . .”

She saw him, raced to him.

“Spike!” she shouted—and had to dive out of the way as a prismed ray of pure, soulful sunlight blasted out of the amulet and into the cavern.

In an instant, hundreds—thousands of vampires were incinerated.

Then the teeming cavern began to tear apart, walls crumbling, rocks tumbling like bombs; the ground shook and the foundations roared.

“Everybody out! Now!” Faith yelled.

The girls fought their way to the exit; everything was shaking.

Buffy came to Spike. He remained pinned in place, energy still blasting from him.

“I can feel it, Buffy,” he murmured.

“What?” she asked, choking with emotion, fighting to keep present, stay present, be her for him, with him.

“My soul,” He gazed at her with wonder. “It’s really there.” Grinned faintly. “It kinda stings.”

* * * * fanfic starts here

The Slayers ran out of the Seal room and up to the schools main floor. They crashed through the door leading to the basement, running down the halls, footfalls clattering, racing from the collapsing building, staying on course

Dawn and Xander were each fighting a Bringer. Xander got inside his Bringer’s defenses and decapitated him with a swift swing of his battle axe.

Looking for Dawn, he found her to be hard pressed by a Bringer. As he turned to assist her he heard the door to the basement, the Seal room, crash open.

He glanced over his shoulder and saw some of the young girls, Potentials, now Slayers, running from the basement toward safety, but not all. Some were missing, most notably, Buffy and Faith.

He turned his attention back to Dawn ready to take down her Bringer and tell her it was time to leave, when the unthinkable happened.

* * * * *

Fighting her Bringer, Dawn found herself to be on the defensive from the fanatical Bringer’s attacks. Suddenly she saw her opening to strike. As she attacked, she heard a door crash open. She turned her head slightly and saw most of the girls she knew as Potentials, now Slayers, run towards the exit, some were missing, but none more important than her sister.

Unlike Dawn, the Bringer wasn’t distracted by the sound. Her distraction though slight, was enough. The Bringer took full advantage of his opponent’s distraction and struck.

With his dagger armed left hand he penetrated her defenses swinging across his body from right to left striking Dawn’s right forearm, her sword arm, drawing blood, causing her to cry out in shock and pain, dropping her sword. Without hesitation he stabbed forward with his right arm penetrating deeply into her stomach with his other dagger. Then in an act of pure malevolence, in retribution for the arrogance of this mortal to try and interfere with his god’s plans, he twisted the dagger one quarter turn and withdrew the dagger cutting left and downward, causing her scream out in agony and pain she had never dream of, effectively eviscerating her.

As the mortal girl staggered backward trying to escape him, he approached and in a final act he drew his left arm back across his body, swing hard he back-handed her with enough force to cause her to fly backward and through an open door into an office. His victory was short lived, however, as he felt a strange sensation in his chest. Lifting his right hand he felt the blade of a sword exiting his chest.

* * * * *

Quickly recovering from the shock of seeing his best friends little sister killed, Xander raced over placing his ax in its back holster and picked up the sword Dawn dropped and ran the Bringer through, back to front until six inches of sword had exited the Bringer’s chest, ignoring the three Bringers rapidly approaching him. As the Bringer reached up and felt the sword, Xander felt a certain satisfaction and sadness that he had avenged Dawn’s death with her favorite sword.

* * * * *

Inside Principal Wood’s office, Willow was starting to recover, getting herself together. She sat up against the wall, preparing to stand and leave the office when suddenly a body flew through the open doorway and into the office.

For a moment her mind refused to acknowledge what she was seeing, but there was no doubt that is was Dawn. In shock she watched as she hit the floor hard sliding to the very edge of the hole, causing her right arm, her bleeding right arm, to fly up over her head and land inches from the opening that the pillar of light was streaming through.

Still hindered by the after effects of the spell Willow struggled to her feet and stumbled towards her fallen friend, falling to her knees halfway there and crawled the rest of the way. When she reached Dawn’s side and knelt cradling her head in her lap.

“Dawn, sweetie, can you hear me?” she asked desperately as she cradled the young girls head. “Come on Dawn, stop scaring me,” Willow demanded weakly as her gaze locked onto the girl’s bloody abdomen. Without conscious thought she tried to staunch the flow of blood, even to the very dangerous point of trying to call on her magic to stabilize her friend. The immediate pounding in her head as well as the cacophony of battle noise all about her prevented her from concentrating enough to pull in the necessary magic to render help, not today.

Suppressing a wince, Willow, tried desperately to think of something, anything she could do. She looked around frantically hoping to find an inspiration and cursing herself for not bringing along any medical supplies. Even her fanny pack as full as it was didn’t have anything useful in it.

It was then, through the haze of shock and denial that she noticed that the blood dripping from Dawn arm was forming a little rivulet and slowly moving towards the shaft of light. Her magic began screaming at her that this was a bad thing, a very bad world-end-age-y thing

She desperately leaned over to stop it, too late; a single drop of blood reached the edge and fell. A drop of Dawn’s blood, the blood of what was once known as the Key, fell presumably towards the amulet that Spike was wearing.

Quickly grasping the possible significance of this, she realized that she could do absolutely nothing to stop what might happen, she did the only thing she could think of doing at the time.

‘At least now we’ll know if Dawn’s still the Key,’ she thought and closed her eyes, taking a deep calming breathe to center herself, to prepare herself for what might lie ahead. As she calmed herself subconsciously running her hand through Dawn’s hair, she felt a slight sense of falling and vertigo that she usually associated with teleportation spells that she used, ‘Uh, oh,’ she thought to herself, trying to hold onto her almost little sister.

* * * * *

Suddenly Xander, the Bringer still impaled on Dawn’s favorite sword and the three other Bringers he had previously ignored were encompassed in a green aura, followed shortly by a falling sensation and then blackness.

* * * * *

As the cavern fell . . .

Buffy stayed with Spike, who said to her, “Go on then.”

Buffy shook her head, “You’ve done enough, you can still. . .”

“No,” He managed, burning, “you beat ‘em back. It’s for me to do the cleanup.”

“I love you,” she told him shaking.

He was about to respond when movement from above caught his eye.

Something falling.

Something small.

Something red.

Even before his eyes could identify the small falling object, his vampiric senses of did. It was blood, a single drop of human blood. More importantly this drop of blood belonged to someone that he cared for as much as he did for Buffy. It belonged to Buffy’s sister, Dawn, the girl he’d sworn to protect ‘til the end of the world. The girl that might still be the Key, he realized in sudden desperation.

He tried to reach up, to bat the thing away, but the magic of the amulet pinned him in place. His hand moved slightly, but even his much vaunted vampire strength failed to move his hand but for a slight twitch.

All he could do was look up and watch it fall, fall directly towards the amulet he was wearing.

Still looking up, hoping beyond hope that it would miss, knowing that it wouldn’t, he uttered the only word that came to mind, “Bugger.”

Buffy was looking at Spike with a strange expression on her face at his response, when Faith called from the entrance of the cavern, “Buffy, come on.”

As Buffy continued to look at Spike, she saw what Spike was looking at, just as it hit the amulet.

Instantly an immensely brilliant green light pulsed out from the amulet, surrounding her, Spike and Faith in a green glow. Buffy felt a sudden sensation of falling, followed by blackness.

Faith ducked some falling debris and then was gone.

* * * * *

Kennedy walked through the doorway to Principal Wood’s office to check if Willow had already left and if not intending to help her to safety. As she entered she saw Willow kneeling next to Dawn, cradling her head, not moving.

She started to call out to Willow, approaching her, when a brilliant green light pulsed from the pillar of white light, the intensity of the light caused her to falter mid-step and close her eyes.

After what seemed hours she slowly opened her eyes and froze in disbelief, her lover, Willow, and Dawn were both gone. Nothing remained. She just stood there unable to move as the building crumbled around her.

A passing Slayer saw Kennedy and grabbed her, dragging her catatonic, disbelieving form free of the school and towards the bus.

* * * * *

Giles was helping Robin, who saw the girls and said to them, “The bus! Get on the bus!”

“Everybody,” Giles yelled to them, “This way!”

Toward the bus and final safety . . .

. . . Both of them promptly disappearing in a green light unnoticed as the girls ran to safety.

* * * * *

And Andrew . . .

Completely dumbfounded as he stabbed his attacker and the Bringer fell down dead, Andrew’s sword in his chest. He was bloodied but alive . . . and completely astonished by that.

“Why . . .?” he murmured.

A newbie Slayer rushed to him, intending to grab him and haul him to safety. As she reached out to him, she recoiled in shock as Andrew was surrounded by a green light and simply disappeared without a trace. Without a second thought the newbie Slayer turned and left.

And so didn’t see as the green light also encompassed the still form of the fallen Anya.


* * * * *

ELSEWHERE
ELSEWHEN

In an another plane of existence a group of many beings met, representing law, chaos, good, evil and neutrality.

“This was not foreseen,” said one known as The Powers that Be, ‘PTB’ to the Scoobies. “The Key was not supposed to partake in the final battle.”

“Agreed, this is most distressing,” said another who was one half of the Oracles.

“We must discover who is responsible for this,” said one of the PTB.

In a brilliant flash of light one of the more powerful beings arrived.

“We should have known,” said the PTB.

“What have you done this time?” asked the Wolf, one of the beings that was part of the Senior Partners, the group running a pan-dimensional law firm known as Wolfram and Hart.

“Me?” asked the new arrival, attempting to sound hurt at their accusation.

“Yes you,” further accused (actually moaned) the being known by his followers, the Magog, as the Spirit of the Abyss.

“This is just the thing you are known to do,” accused the father of the Greek Pantheon, Zeus.

“Ah, I see, you wound me,” said the newcomer, both hands over the place where humans were known to have there hearts, “However, this time you are wrong, I had absolutely nothing to do with this,” concluded the near omnipotent being while radiating his amusement over the ignorance of these supposedly superior beings.

“If not you, then who?” asked the Oracles.

“Yes, name them,” demanded the PTB.

“Why you of course,” the newcomer said with authority.

“Me?” asked all the PTB at once.

“Yes you. You allowed the Key to be made human and with that gave her a very annoying human trait,” said the new arrival.

“And what trait is that?”

“Why, free will of course,” he said more than a little condescendingly, smirking gleefully.

“Explain.”

“As I have learned, humans tend to do the most unpredictable and unexpected things. Not always in the best interests of the big picture,” he told the assemblage of powers, as if speaking to children.

“This is unacceptable; we must return everyone to there rightful places. Before our plans are disrupted.”

“Why must we do anything at all?”

“The balance . . .” the PTB attempted to argue.

“. . . Is perfectly fine,” he finished. “With The First defeated, for the immediate future, and all those . . .” he paused to think of a term to use, after a moments hesitation he continued smirking at the only entity he loved to annoy more than Jean Luc, “. . . ‘Mini’-Slayers running around, the balance is fine. As for the others, if they follow the intended course they will eventually find a way home, but then again free will being what it is they may just decide to stay where they are.”

“That is unacceptable, our champions must be returned,” stated one of the beings collectively known as the Elders.

“Must be returned?” It wasn’t said aloud, but everyone present understood the implication of the question.

“Yes of course, why would the not choose to be returned to their proper place and time?”

“Including those that were once dead in your service but now live?”

The Elders hesitated before answering, “They died in battle for the cause of Good as was their Destiny.”

“And you think that the sisters would allow her to die again after having her returned to them? Besides there are quite a few worlds that I think they would find acceptable, even without their sister’s life being at stake.”

“Such as?” the Elders questioned not believing that their champions would even entertain the thought of abandoning their Destiny.

“Let me see, besides Toril, there’s Oerth, Mystara, and Krynn but to name a few. Though any world they don’t have to hide their powers in would qualify to some degree.

“They may also choose a reality without magic to retire from the fight like the United Federation of Planets. They would probably perceive it as a utopia. Unlike some, you give them some type of reward, but what about their prospects for their personal futures, or have you forgotten some of your champion’s greatest dreams?” ‘Q’ said looking to the different beings surrounding him. “In your desire to look at the ‘Big’ picture you tend to forget that most of your champions are children who want to live a normal life and retire at some point but cannot due to being dead or having acquired enough enemies that they can never rest.”

“This may give them the chance at some peace. Then of course there are innumerable planes, both inner and outer, they might find to be desirable,” ‘Q’ stopped and let his argument sink in.

Silently he reflected on the possibilities, especially the entertainment possibilities. He would have to see to it that they visited a few of the more exotic locales. He hesitated for a moment, but then included one of his acquaintances pet projects, the Demi-Plane of Dread. This could offer a unique opportunity.

That was worth some additional thought. He contemplated for a moment on the entertainment value of some potential duels; Buffy the Vampire Slayer versus the Vampire Lord, Strahd von Zarovich, the Red Witch versus the Lich Lord, Azalin, and the Dark Slayer versus the Death Knight, Lord Soth. Of course that would be post-conjunction. Now as for pre-conjunction on the other hand, it would be interesting to see how they would handle Hykosa’s prophecy.

After a moment he discarded the notion. Destroying the entities known as Domain Lords however temporary would be entertaining, but ejecting the First Evil permanently from the Prime Material Plane would be far more satisfying. Yes he would have to think about this some more.

“What do you suggest we do then?” queried the PTB, pulling ‘Q’ from his thoughts.

“Why, we watch of course. It should be quite . . .” thinking of a word which wouldn’t offend the sensibilities of some those around him too badly. Finally he said, “. . . educational.”

Just then two other beings of great power, one male and one female, entered the assemblage, along with an escort of three males.

The three escorts had blonde hair and wings of black feathers, they were dressed in red and black bronze armor and had a sword strapped to their side.

They were the Creator’s ‘Arch-Angels’ known as Gabriel, Raphael and Michael, most deadly of the three for he had never been defeated in battle.

All others already in the attendance immediately prostrated themselves in submission before these new Powers and their escorts.

“RISE,” commanded a medium sized human looking male with shoulder length black hair and equally black eyes.

All rose.

“We . . .,” the one known as Metatron began but stopped as he took in those present, “. . . There seems to be someone missing.” He finished with a long suffering sigh. The others began looking around trying to figure out who it was that dared to be late to this summons.

“We’re waiting.” As soon as Metatron completed his sentence a bright light appeared in the center of the gathering. When the glare dissipated a small miniature sun about four feet in diameter hovered in space. Slowly it morphed, changed and coalesced into the form of a girl. A girl with blonde hair, golden skin and a mischievous twinkle in her purple eyes now stood in place of the sun.

“About bloody time you showed up.” The girl bowed her head slightly in acknowledgement of her superior.

“My apologies Lord Metatron, but I was unavoidably detained.”

“Explain.”

“I received your,” she nodded towards Metatron’s companion, “summons but could not get to a place of isolation. I had to wait until the Key was activated so I could leave without being noticed.”

“Ah, finally an excuse that’s actually believable,” Metatron said while glancing at several of the beings present, most of whom had the grace to look embarrassed.

“Now . . .,” Metatron attempted to begin again.

“What is he doing here?” The golden girl asked heatedly, pointing at the Spirit of the Abyss.

The god of the Magog began moaning his answer as he was in the habit of doing with his minions.

“Speak English!” Metatron commanded, “We are not your minions.”

“Your pardon Lord Metatron,” the Spirit of the Abyss replied in an uncommonly high pitched and girly voice.

“Now at least I know why you moan everything,” the golden girl muttered sarcastically. Some of the others present also snickered at the remark.

Glaring at the golden girl, “I have as much at stake as the Fire Princess, perhaps more.”

“How do figure that?”

“I must have my revenge on the crew of the Andromeda Ascendant for not only thwarting my plans but escaping me.”

“Must?” Metatron queried.

“Forgive me if I misspoke myself. I will take my vengeance with all means that I am allowed.”

“But. . .,” the Fire Princess pouted mightily to Metatron. His companion just looked at her and smiled.

“Enough children!” Both immediately became silent. Metatron’s companion softly placed HER hand on his fore arm. Metatron immediately felt all anger escape him. Turning towards the Spirit of the Abyss now more calm and said, “Just because a group of mortals out smarted and defeated you does not give you the right to claim vengeance.”

“As you wish Milord,” the Abyss bowed his head in acceptance. The Fire Princess smiled victoriously.

“However, you may be given the chance,” the Abyss looked up hopefully, “but no Magog may leave their realm, remember that.”

“As for you Fire Princess,” Metatron continued.

“I go by Trance Gemini now Lord Metatron.”

“Of course you do. Now what pray tell are We going to do with you?”

“Allow me to return to my companions?” Trance asked hopefully.

“And what’s to keep you from revealing what you have just learned?”

“As you know I haven’t given them any information in great detail, even if it would have greatly aided them in their battle the Spirit of the Abyss. I’m great at vague-ing things up.”

“And in their currently situation?”

“If something comes up I’ll just do the usual and tell them something suitably vague about future probabilities or nothing at all, because of all the chaos that brought us here and things being so different than in our own universe it would be believable. As you know I have not broken any of the rules so far.”

“I see,” then turned to look at his companion, who nodded Her agreement.

“Now that that’s settled where was I? Oh yes . . .,” Metatron said, cleared his throat, “We have been listening to these proceedings and have made a decision. All your arguments have merit. However, it was your inattention,” looking directly at the PTB, “and lack of interference that allowed the Key to be made human in the first place, leading to the current situation. You did not interfere then and you WILL NOT interfere now, therefore it is HER decision that you”, Metatron said looking at all of the assembled beings, “will take no direct action to either help or hinder their progress. If any of you has any other ideas you will face HER wrath.”

All bowed their heads in acceptance.

Looking around He found the power He was looking for, “Lord Ao, since they are beginning their quest in your realm, the deities under your direction will not initiate contact. They and you may only respond if called on by name. Is that understood?”

“It is my Lord Metatron,” Lord Ao responded.

“That goes for everyone else when and if they find a way to your spheres of influence,” Metatron said looking at the other powers present.

“Excellent,” turning towards the being known in one universe as ‘Q’, he continued, “As you have said, this should be very, ‘educational’,” turning to the others he finished grimly, “for all concerned.”

“And quite amusing I’m sure,” added the female companion of Metatron with a slight grin on Her face and twinkle in Her eyes.

“One more thing Lord Ao,” Metatron added then stepped aside as his companion approached. Lord Ao immediately dropped to one knee and lowered his head in deference to the Creator.

Metatron’s companion lithely approached and stood before Ao, leaned over slightly and whispered in his ear the information She wished to impart to him alone. Ao’s face showed a slight shock at what he was told.

“Truly?” he asked. Metatron’s companion just nodded her head then blithely turned and returned to stand at Metatron’s side.

“With your permission?” Lord Ao asked respectfully. The Creator nodded Her head slightly. With that approval Lord Ao sent an aspect of himself to the reality in which the ‘Q’ were pretending to be him and his deities, a concept that had him more than a little confounded. He was gone for an eternity and a blink of the eye. When his aspect returned to him he knew everything about Arana’s world and found that he was a little concerned about how the initial meeting with Arana and her chosen deities would transpire.

With slight trepidation ‘Q’ approached the pair, for he knew that for all the near omnipotent power his race wielded the Creator or Lord Metatron for that matter could remove him from existence with but a thought, “I have one small request.”

With a frown Metatron asked, “What is it?”

“Some of the people from my universe have ‘biomechanical implants’ that require much maintenance and regeneration.”

“And . . .?” Metatron asked sounding quite put out, knowing full well what was to be asked.

“Without the tools and infrastructure needed to support them they will be dead within a month. I would request that these implants be made maintenance free for the duration or at least modified sufficiently for magic to maintain them.”

“Have I not just stated that we would not directly intercede?” Metatron companion gently place Her hand on his shoulder.

“Of course, my pardon, but this wouldn’t give them any advantage that they don’t already have; it will allow them to function normally and give them an equal chance of completing this quest.”

“What of the need for regeneration of these implants?”

“I would humbly suggest that they would eat and sleep as a normal human would. That would act as their regeneration cycle.”

After thinking about it and glancing at the Creator who nodded slightly, Metatron said, “Very well, since it will give them no undue advantage, only put them basically on an even footing so to speak with the others, we will grant this. The implants shall maintain themselves and regeneration requirements shall be replaced by basic human needs. Anyone else?”

Looking to one another, no one said anything. As the pair readied to leave, another, darker, being stepped forward for the first time and spoke in the form of a young blonde human female. Some immediately recognized who this being was trying to defile by taking her form and felt contempt for the entity’s display.

“I have a request,” The First said in a sweet Californian accent.

“Evil,” Q said disgustedly.

“I have a concession I wish heard,” The First pouted.

Metatron rolled his eyes annoyed, “No doubt to conquer the known universes.”

“Nothing so grandiose I assure you, just something to ensure the current balance.” Evil replied.

“What is the concession?” Metatron asked before he said something that could be twisted by this corrupt being.

“Some of these individuals have extremely powerful and technologically advanced items that will no doubt upset the natural order of things and quite easily allow them to succeed in their quest.”

“Still not hearing a request yet,” Metatron sarcastically replied. “We don’t have all day,” he added looking to his companion. Truth be told they could spend an eternity here without consequence, but he knew their disgust with the other was mutual.

Bowing ‘her’ head, Evil continued, “To balance ‘Q’s concession I would asked that their advanced technology be disabled, permanently.”

“That’s a pretty broad statement, which advanced technology?”

“Their weapons.”

“Again, that’s a broad request. Be more specific, which weapons?” Metatron replied rapidly growing annoyed, realizing what it was that The First Evil was trying to do, but not showing any type of said annoyance to Evil so it could figure out what he was trying to prevent.

“Their energy weapons to . . .” Evil started but was immediately cut off.

“Fine, done.”

“I wasn’t finished yet.”

“You would like more concessions?”

“What?!?”

“One small concession was granted to the side of good and now, one to the side of evil, the balance is kept. If you would like another concession then you would allow of course another concession to the side of good, correct?” Metatron reasoned, even though he knew that Good’s concession was insignificant compared to that of Evil’s. Though knowing the likely course of events, it was funny that both concessions actually aided the other side, one more than the other. ‘Ah, such short sightedness.’

A moment of doubt flickered through ‘her’, as ‘she’ considered what those weapons could have accomplished on ‘her’ side but decided that it would have aided Janus and his ilk. Sooo, “Of course, I wish no further concessions.” Evil reluctantly ground out.

“Excellent. Oh, and one more thing, Evil, just to re-enforce HER point. Your side will not directly interfere, by initiating any events, with what is to come. Should you do so, HER wrath will be swift and brutal.”

“Understood, My Lord.” With that Evil departed, more than a little upset, followed swiftly by Metatron, the Creator and their escorts.

Everyone else then departed in rapid succession to make preparations for the future leaving ‘Q’ alone.

With a mischievous grin one his face, ‘Q’ thought, ‘I think entertaining will be a much better description of what is to come. This is going to be fun. Let the Games begin.’

And with that ‘Q’ disappeared in a flash of light.

* * * * *

Metatron and the Creator appeared on their home plane commonly referred to as ‘Heaven’ by the humans of Earth in many realities.

Once there they looked about the swirling mass of peace and contentment for a specific soul and summoned her to their presence in the corporeal form as she appeared in life.

The woman appeared confused and unfamiliar with her corporeal body, and looked around without really focusing on anything. Her eyes came to rest on the two that had summoned her, and she froze; a moment later she dropped to one knee and bowed her head.

“Please rise, I have summoned you here to offer you a choice,” the ‘woman’ said kindly.

“A choice?” she asked as she stood facing the two beings.

“Yes, Metatron would you explain?”

“Of course. Where to begin?” Metatron wondered, “Yes, you may have noticed that you no longer feel your daughter’s presence here?”

“Yes,” she said cautiously, she had wondered about that.

“I’m truly sorry, but her tasks weren’t yet complete. She was needed to perform one more task that only she was strong enough to perform, so I allowed the Red Witch to resurrect her to complete this task.” The woman explained kindly, Her soft voice comforting on an instinctual level.

“After completion of this task,” the man now known as Metatron continued, “your daughter was supposed to die and be returned to you.”

Joyce nodded her head attempting to understand what she was being told.

“Unfortunately as is the case in most instances with your daughter, she didn’t cooperate with the big picture.”

“Buffy’s still alive?” Joyce asked hopefully and yet saddened that she couldn’t be with her.

“Yes,” Metatron said simply before continuing, “However, this time it was more the case of the other ones’ actions.”

“Dawn? What about Dawn?” Joyce asked scared for her youngest child.

“You do realize that you did not give birth to her? That she was made from your daughter’s blood to house a magical artifact,” Metatron queried, glancing quickly towards the woman.

“She is my daughter in all the ways that matter,” Joyce said forcefully, “Has something happened to her?”

The Creator looked at Metatron with a look that said ‘I told you’.

Metatron looked back to Her, “Of course.”

Then he turned to look at Joyce, “She partook in the final battle at the Sunnydale Hellmouth,” He noticed the shocked look of anguish on her face and quickly continued, “as a result of her fighting minions of The First Evil she was grievously wounded.”

Joyce gasped, “Is she alive?” she asked quietly.

“Yes, but as a result of her injuries her blood was spilled and came into contact with an ancient artifact of immense power. This caused the Key to be activated and sent shockwaves through the fabric of all Creation. These shockwaves in turn caused your daughters, many of their friends and many other people to be thrown out of their own realities and dimensions and be swept up by the maelstrom she created; a maelstrom raging not only across space, dimensions and realities, but across time as well. Basically the artifact known as the Key was used for the first time used at its nearly full potential, but without effective control.”

Metatron paused to allow her to absorb what was being told to her.

“Are my daughters in danger?” Joyce asked in the tone of an extremely concerned parent.

“Yes,” was all Metatron got out.

“Can you . . .?” Joyce began.

“That is your choice, you can . . .,” Metatron began but was cut off by an angry Joyce Summers.

“Choice! You tell me that my daughters are in danger one of them grievously injured and you think I would turn down a chance to help them?”

The Creator seemed inordinately satisfied with her answer. An answer SHE would have expected from any concerned and loving parent. SHE nodded to Metatron.

“Right then, you’ll be returned in the human form you had before.”

“I’d like to be sent to Dawn,” she requested hesitantly, now knowing that she was injured badly.

“Of course, you’ll also retain your memories. It’ll be of little use if you don’t.” At her confused look Metatron explained sadly, “unfortunately if you don’t retain your memories of this place you will have a difficult time convincing your daughters, especially Buffy, that you truly are Joyce Summers; since they’re going to need all the strength and support you can give them, it is necessary. One other thing, when you die again as with your daughter, Buffy, you’ll both be judged again. Are you ready?”

“Yes.”

“Then good luck,” with that Joyce Summer disappeared in a flash of light with a smile on her face. She was going to see her children again.

* * * * *

As Joyce departed Michael arrived with his charge in tow. When they stood in front of Metatron and the Creator they both bowed their heads in respect.

“You have been brought before US for a reason Callisto,” Metatron said, “Not long ago Xena saved your soul from damnation because she realized it was she who caused you so much pain in your life.”

Callisto looked on knowing what was coming next and knew she too had to take responsibility for her actions.

“However, though Xena started those events and gave you reason to hate and seek vengeance it was you that choose to follow that path.”

Callisto bowed her head in shame. Metatron spoke truly, when she had been saved by Xena her soul had been purified and all memories of all the evil she had done was purged. Gabrielle, upon seeing her angelic form, became outraged and had accused her of committing great acts of evil and wickedness; Michael had then unwillingly shown her the truth of her life. She had been horrified that she was capable of such things. Since then she had been trying to atone and make amends.

“An event has come to OUR attention that may be right up your alley as humans are wont to say.”

Callisto looked at Metatron with a question on her face. And hope.

“This event has offered you a unique chance to make amends. It has pulled Xena, Gabrielle, Hercules and Iolaus from Earth and into another dimension placing them in great danger.”

“I’ll do it,” Callisto stated before any offer could be made.

“You’ll do it? You don’t even know what it is yet.”

“I beg your pardon Lord Metatron; I was hoping that you would offer me the chance to aid Xena.”

Looking to his companion he mumbled, “Am I getting that predictable?”

The Creator just smiled a knowing smile.

Looking back at Callisto, “Just so, you would be returned as human with all of your memories intact. Understand this, as a human you will be vulnerable to temptation and weakness that can not touch you in your current form. You will have your free will returned to you to be able to choose your path, but when you die again your actions, good or evil, will be judged and this time there will be no second chance. Do you agree to these terms?”

“With all my heart,” Callisto responded a small smile on her face.

“Very well.”

With a thought Metatron sent Callisto to Xena.

* * * * *

After Michael and Callisto had left them, another soul was summoned before them in the form of a young girl with long dark brown hair that was almost black and eyes that were equally dark. She had a clear face and was wearing a very modest black Victorian dress. As she became corporeal for the first time in well over a century, she looked around frightened by her surroundings.

Looking at the two beings before her she bowed her head and asked in a decidedly Cockney accent, “Why am I 'ere?”

The male spoke first, “You are here to be given a choice and a chance . . . Drusilla,” and began to explain the situation.
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