A Long Time Ago, In a Hellmouth Not Very Far Away
“Divergence” By Shadow Master AKA Shadow Master
Disclaimer: This is to make it clear to all who read this that I do not own in any way shape or form the characters from BtVS or the Star Wars Universe. I am making no profit off of this fanfic and have no intention of charging readers in the future whatsoever (no matter how profitable it might be!). This is completely for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of other fan fiction readers. So please do not send anyone to my door to collect on anything because they wouldn’t get anything.
IT IS A TIME OF TURMOIL FOR THE SCOOBY GANG AS THEY ARE CONFRONTED BY AN ADVERSARY UNLIKE ANYTHING THEY HAVE EVER FACED BEFORE. GLORIFICUS OR GLORY AS SHE PREFERS TO BE CALLED HAS SEARCHED RELENTLESSLY FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS FOR A MYSTICAL ITEM CALLED ‘THE KEY’. WITH IT SHE HOPES TO BE ABLE TO RETURN HOME TO RECLAIM HER POSITION OF POWER FROM HER YOUNGER BROTHERS.
HOWEVER IN AN ATTEMPT TO KEEP THIS SOURCE OF POWER FROM THE FORMER HELL-GODDESS A GROUP OF MONKS MADE A DESPARATE CHOICE. UNABLE TO KEEP THE KEY SAFE THEMSELVES THEY CAST A SPELL TO SEND IT TO THE ONE PERSON WHO MIGHT BE ABLE TO KEEP IT SAFE, THE SLAYER. USING HER OWN BLOOD THE MONKS TRANSFORMED THE SPHERE OF ENERGY THAT WAS THE KEY INTO BUFFY’S LITTLE SISTER DAWN. ALONG WITH THIS CHANGE IN FORM THE MEMORIES OF ALL WITH A CONNECTION TO THE SUMMERS FAMILY WERE CHANGE IN ORDER TO MAKE IT SEEM AS THOUGH SHE HAD ALWAYS BEEN THERE.
FOR MONTHS THE TWO SIDES STRUGGLED WITH EACH OTHER WITH THE SCOOBY GANG ONLY BARELY BEING ABLE TO KEEP GLORY FROM SUCCEEDING. NOW THOUGH THE TIME FOR RUNNING AND HIDING IS OVER AS THE FORMER HELL GODDESS NOW HAS WHAT SHE SEEKS. WITH LITTLE TIME TO SPARE THE SCOOBY GANG RUSHS TO FOLLOW AN MIND ADDLED TARA AS SHE SEEKS OUT THE CALL TO WORK SENT BY THE MINIONS OF GLORY. THEY MUST NOT FAIL IN THIS FINAL CONFRONTATION FOR IF THEY DO THE BARRIERS BETWEEN DIMENSIONS WILL BE DESTROYED AND ALL THEY KNOW WILL COME TO AN END.
~I hope that Dawnie can hold out until we get there.~ Xander thought to himself as he trotted along with the rest of the gang after an insane Tara.
Things were coming to a head and he was not certain what it would mean one way or another if they should win or if they should fail. On one end of the scale was the young woman who despite the fact that she had been manufactured to be the sister of Buffy Summers was close and dear to all of them. On the other end was the safety of not only the people of Sunnydale but the entire world if Glory should be able to enact her plan to bring the barriers between dimensions down around their ears. It was because of this difficult balancing act that they were all moving as fast as they could after Tara in the hopes that they would be in time to save the world yet again. It was getting to be almost routine the way they beat back the baddies again and again the same way most people go to work and come home every day. It was routine almost to the point of being second nature and if all went according to plan they would be partying at the Bronze the very next day.
He took a look around to try ald make a guess at their eventual destination but the only thing that he could tell for certain uas that they wepe somewhere in the industrial sector now. Other than that he had no clue as to uhere they were or where they were heading at the moment but he just wished that they would get there so they could get this over with. The waiting, the tenseness of it all, was driving him nuts and he was pretty sure that it was getting to the others as well. Buffy certainly hadn’t made it any easier for them with her pronouncement as to what would happen to anyone that tried to kill Dawn in order to shut the ritual down. It wasn’t that there was anyone all too eager to do it in fact he wasn’t sure than he himself would be capable of doing it if the deed fell to him to do. The little woman had earned a place in his heart whether that was due to manufactured memories or just because she was who she was where it mattered. Still how could he sacrifice countless other innocents the world over to the chaos that would no doubt erupt if the portal should open or remain open too long. Giles hadn’t gone into too great an amount of detail as to what exactly would happen when the barriers came down but it was easy for his imagination to fill in the blanks on its own. It was times like these he really wish he could look at things logically like a Vulcan and believe it when some one said ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.’.
~Unfortunately things are never that easy.~ He thought to himself as they turned a corner and what he saw caused him to stop in his tracks for a moment.
It was in a vacant lot where the town of Sunnydale stored all their raw materials, construction equipment and other things they would need for basic city maintenance. In the center though was a tall tower that looked like it had been put together in great haste as it was clear that it was thrown together by the sight of the mismatched parts and pieces. He had been in the construction business long enough that he was getting a feeling or intuition for what was good work and what was bad work. He could tell just from looking at the tower that it was either done by idiots or done by professionals who didn’t intend for the structure to stick around long. He shook his head to get his head back into the game he was glad that the others were also a bit dumbfounded by the sight but no less ready to get the show on the road. He watched as Willow fed instructions into the Buffy ‘bot via a cable link up hidden beneath the hair and then double checked his own gear to make sure that he wasn’t caught unprepared when things got busy. The plan was to send the Buffy ‘bot ahead to both distract Glory and soften her up for when the real Buffy would come in the orb that seemed to have an adverse effect on the ex-hell goddess. From there it would pretty much be keep the minions off of Buffy so that she could focus on getting to Dawn and squishing Glory with the troll hammer she was packing.
~Good plan in theory but then again since when have any of our plans ever worked out the way we wanted them to!~ He thought to himself as he watched Willow disconnect her laptop from the robot and press some kind of activation button as a few moments later it toddled on off towards the tower just like they planned.
Shaking his head and sending a silent prayer to whomever might be listening as well as perhaps being sympathetic to their side that they would win just one more time.
Twenty Minutes Later, Inside the Construction Zone
Battle well under way
“The glorified bricklayer picks up a spare!” Xander crowed as he looked through the hole in the wall he had made to where Glory had landed after being hit with the wrecking ball.
Hopefully that would make things a bit easier for Buffy and give her the opening she would need to make a break for Dawn who apparently was at the top of the tower. As for him it was time to rejoin the rest of the gang in harassing the moronic minions so as to keep their attention where it would do them the least good and the Slayer the most good. Unfortunately though it seemed as though the minions of Glory and the insane folk had forced the gang into a tactical withdrawl. Giles, Spike and Anya were hiding behind a portable generator while Willow and Tara were reasonably safe hiding behind some left over building materials. Not the good situation that he had been hoping for when he had slammed that wrecking ball right into Glory but given that they were going up against someone who could survive having a semi hit her it was respectable.
“How we doin’?” he asked as he joined with Anya’s group while keeping an eye on the enemy to make sure one of them didn’t get overly ambitious with a knife.
“So far it’s a tie.” Anya replied while keeping a firm grip on the baseball bat in her hands.
“We haven’t gotten up to Dawn but neither has anyone else.” Giles said as he seemed a little short of breath.
Not that Giles was out of shape or anything but rather that his lifestyle wasn’t tuned properly to make him ready for such an intense battle. Watchers by their very nature were only meant to engage in battle when it was absolutely necessary in order to protect the Slayer or ensure the safety of the world. For the most part they were the brains of the operation whereas the Slayer was the brawn which meant the only muscle they were meant to keep in prime condition was their brain. Still Giles was pretty above average in the fighting shape department as he had taken a more active role in the slayage than most other Watchers. Still he would have to stick close to the Watcher the next time they made a rush for the minions just to play it on the safe side.
“Somebody’s up there.” Spike said as his keen vampire eyes spotted movement atop the tower other than the visible struggling of Dawn.
Not liking the vampire but unable to refute the sounds that were coming from the top of the tower.
“Okay we gotta charge or something.” He said as his mind began to sift through various scenarios that might get them past the goons and up the tower.
“We tried that already.” Anya said as if implying that it was stupid to even try it.
Shooting her brief look of annoyance at her pessimism he almost missed Spike looking about like a loon.
A moment later the vamp’s insanity was confirmed as he said “Yeah .. loud and clear.”
He seemed to listen to something for a moment before saying “Yeah, can’t tell who.”
“Are you talking to us?” Xander asked with doubts as to the undead idiot’s sanity came further into doubt.
“Yeah but ..” Spike tried to say but was cut off by whomever was on the other end of the conversation.
Then without further adieu he charged the group of people loyal in one way or another to Glory and it was right then that the Zeppo thought that peroxide boy had completely lost it. However just as the vamp was about to enter striking distance of the crowd they parted before him like Moses parting the red sea clearing a path for him to begin climbing the tower. It only took him a moment to realize that Willow must have been speaking to Spike telepathically or something and then telekinetically shoved Glory’s minions aside. He just hoped that chip-boy didn’t screw up because there was no guarantee that Willow and the newly sane Tara would be able to pull something like that off again. That was probably why the rest of them were still cowering behind the portable generator instead of trying to follow Spike up the staircase.
Looking over to where Buffy was still trading punches with Glory he was glad to see that the hell bitch wasn’t completely invulnerable. Blood was trickling down from her nose and it looked like Buffy was all too willing to add to that crimson mess covering the lower half of the bottle blonde’s face. He winced again and again as Buffy continued to pound and wail away with the troll hammer. Not that she didn’t deserve every single bone crushing blow but still it was painful to watch as Buffy didn’t seem to be going for the quick kill but rather she was going for the pain. His attention however was quickly refocused as he heard Dawn scream in fear and pain and when he looked up the only thing he could make out was the sight of Spike being thrown off the tower and falling hard to the ground below. Looking back up at the top her couldn’t help but wonder what exactly could be strong enough to one up the killer of two Slayers as well as wondering if he should chance it and go up as the substitute Slayer. Looking over to Buffy he was just in time to see her deliver a series of crushing blows with the hammer and then his mind went kinda wonky. When his senses returned though he saw Ben from the hospital take the place of the ex-hell goddess and shook his head in disbelief at how a guy and a girl could be sharing the same body like that. A few words were exchanged between them but he was too far away to hear them clearly but he presumed that Buffy was making a few promises of a painful death if either Glory or Ben came anywhere near Dawn.
~If that doesn’t convince the hell bitch to stay away nothing will.~ Xander thought to himself as Buffy took off for the stairs to the top of the tower.
As he was looking at the Slayer disappearing from sight behind the mish mash of metal sheeting and pipes it was movement at his side that notified him of Giles leaving his position by his and Anya’s side. He wondered for a moment where the former Watcher was going but found his question quickly answered as it became obvious he was approaching Ben. Kneeling down at the side of the badly injured host for a hell goddess Xander presumed that the former tweed wearing man was adding his own Ripper like promises of death and misery. What he witnessed however was something that reminded him that while Giles was normally an honest and honorable person he had a dark side to himself that he worked hard to keep at bay. He looked away as Rupert covered Ben’s mouth and pinched his nose shut not wanting to taint the image he had of Giles as a surrogate father. He wasn’t blind to the fact that it wasn’t just demons that could be called truly evil and he knew that some of them deserved to die but it was one thing to agree with the death penalty it was another to actually perform the deed yourself. He even kinda felt sorry for Ben as he doubted the guy had any say in the matter when he got saddled with Glorificus. To actually live with someone else inside your body and take it over at random moments must have been bad enough without coming to wearing a dress and female under garments. She must have played hell with his social life if not his career in medicine but no matter how much he might sympathize with the man killing him was the only way to stop Glory for good.
As he began to walk over to Giles to offer his support and reassurance that he had done the right thing he was momentarily blinded as a bright light filled the sky. Looking up a cold ball of fear manifested in the core of his being as he saw what seemed to be a rapidly growing storm cloud of energy. He had little time to take stock of everything as less than a second after he noticed the light cloud the ground began to shake like the ‘Big One’ that seismologists were always predicting would hit the west coast. Accompanying this, as if a storm cloud of light and an earthquake wasn’t bad enough, bolts of lightning seemed to leak out of the sides of the light cloud like a container that unable to contain what lay within. He could only imagine what was happening where the bolts touched down, picture demons suddenly appearing and buildings suddenly warping into horribly distorted forms. It was then he realized that no description could do justice to the reality of seeing a dimension slowly come unraveled and beings that belonged in the darkest nightmare appearing right before your eyes.
Looking at Anya he knew that this could very well be all she wrote as far as their lives were concerned and if that was the case then he’d be damned if he left anything unsaid. Walking toward her he was so focused on his love at he failed to see what was happening above and behind him at that very moment. The only warning he had was the look of sheer horror on Anya’s face and the beginnings of her charging towards him before his being was infused with a butt-load of pain. For the others it seemed like one minute he was there and the next minute he was gone, like a blinking light coming into existence for only a moment then vanishing as quickly as it appeared. For him though it seemed like an eternity of pain as he felt his entire nervous system become charged with the otherworldly energy of the Key that made up Dawn’s blood. It was so overwhelming that he was completely unable to form a coherent thought even though if he could it would probably consist of farewells to his friends and a declaration of love for Anya.
However those thoughts would forever be unknown to his friends and lover for with a wink of light he vanished from sight leaving them in pain. This pain would be compounded by the loss of their friend and protector Buffy Anne Summers for she would sacrifice her own life to ensure that the only family she had left, Dawn, would have a future. It was on this night that the heart and soul of the Scooby gang vanished from the world in which they were born leaving their friends to search for a way to continue on. Giles would end up choosing to stay in Sunnydale to care for Dawn, Willow and Tara in their grief rather than retreat to his homeland of Great Britain. Dawn would decide to take up the position of leader in what remained of the Scooby gang and while one hallowed night they would succeed in resurrecting Buffy Summers Xander would remain forever lost. For while it was possible to recall a soul from the ether of the spirit world it was virtually impossible to find the dimension that their dear friend had been transported to when the energy bolt hit him. Willow would try for years to find a way to bring him back but eventually even she was forced to admit that he was beyond even her ability to save. In his memory though she made it a point to visit his gravesite every year on the anniversary of his death no matter what important matter might have come up whether it be business or a personal matter.
On his tombstone it was written:
Alexander LaVelle Harris
1981 – 2001
Forever a White Knight Defending the Innocent
It would be in his memory that his friends would continue the fight and with him in mind that they would eventually defeat The First. However this was not the end of this man, not the end of his story, for him things were only beginning to take the shape he desired.
A Galaxy Far, Far Away
The Galactic Republic, Corusant, Jedi Temple, Main Council Chambers
“Anything further to discuss is there?” asked the Jedi Master Yoda as he looked about the room at the other members of the Senior Jedi Council.
It had been a meeting of quiet importance as aside from the usual day to day handling of Jedi affairs the topic of the re-emergence of the Sith had come under close scrutiny once again. It had been roughly five years since the Trade Federation had attempted to seize control of the planet Naboo aided apparently by Sith warrior of the Zabrak species. The main point that caused the most concern was determining whether the Sith had been the Master or the apprentice as it was a given that there was indeed two of them. It had been a matter than troubled them all for not since the time of Darth Malak had the Sith been so visible to Jedi and Republic citizen alike. For untold centuries those that had devoted themselves to the Dark Side of the Force had been little more than a fable used to scare little children and warn Padawans against following that path. While it was true that there had been scattered reports over the years of warriors wielding crimson lightsabres dressed all in black they never lasted long. Now though it seemed that a new power was on the rise that threatened to turn a centuries old fable into cold hard reality and only by determining the source could the Jedi Order hope to maintain peace and order.
“No I believe that concludes our business for the day.” Replied Mace Windu as he gathered his robes around him in preparation to leave.
No sooner did he rise to his feet though then a tremor shot through the Force with such strength that at once every member of the High Council stood at attention and sought out the source of the disturbance. They had not long to wait as without warning a tiny speck of light appeared two feet down from the roof and while at the beginning it was no bigger than a marble it was growing quickly. The members of the council were at a loss to identify this phenomena and all they could tell for certain was that it was causing violent ripples in the Force. These ripples grew more and more powerful in direct proportion to the size of the cloud of energy as it continued to expand outward. For a moment it seemed as though it would engulf the entire room but just as Master Windu was about to suggest evacuating it slowed to a stop. With their safety no longer a concern the Jedi Masters and members of the High Council of the Jedi resumed trying to discern what it was and how it came to be.
“What do you think it is?” Ki-Adi-Mundi asked to no one in particular but nonetheless hoping for an answer from someone.
“Some kind of energy disturbance obviously but how did it form?” Depa Billaba asked as she began to move around the perimeter of the room to examine the disturbance from all sides.
“More importantly why does it cause such a violent reaction within the Force?” Plo Koon asked with some visible concern in his voice.
Before any other members of the High Council of the Jedi Order could comment on the spectacle that continued to pulsate and flash above them a column of lightning suddenly and violently shot down from it striking the floor below almost punching a hole to the floor directly below the council chambers. However unlike most bolts of lightning who appear only for the briefest of instants before vanishing into nothingness this bolt of energy remained as it was neither progressing down into the floor nor retreating. It was as if it had established a connection to this place and time rendering it incapable of passing on as its nature demanded. As the moments continued to pass though the first clue they were to receive as to the how and the why appeared as within the column of energy a form began to manifest within. It was barely perceivable at first, no more than a faded shadow being held against the whiteness of the energy that surrounded it and not a consistent shadow in the beginning as it randomly flickered out before reappearing. Slowly but surely it became more solid and as it did each member of the High Council could sense that whatever it else it was it was most certainly alive.
“Natural it is not. In conflict with the force it is.” Master Yoda said before he closed his eyes in an attempt to learn more by probing it with the Force.
“Could it be some method of transport? A form of matter/energy conversion?” Master Galia suggested as a possible explanation.
“Unlikely. Republic scientists have been experimenting with teleportation for years without reliable results.” Master Windu said shaking his head in the negative as all he knew of science told him teleportation was impossible.
“Whether teleportation is possible or not is irrelevant at the moment.” , Master Koon stated as he seemed transfixed by the form that was gradually gaining substance, “What does matter is that there is a living being taking form within this column of energy and what we should do should it remain after the disturbance has passed.”
“That may not be an issue for much longer Master Koon.” , Master Galia said as she walked into a close proximity with the column of energy, “I sense the life energy of the being beginning to diminish. If we do not do something soon it will perish shortly.”
To this bit of information a complex problem of why and how seemed less important than their duties as Jedi and their commitment to the protection of life. It was Master Yoda who took the first step as he took the energy and concentration he had been putting into learning the nature of the phenomena and diverted it elsewhere. He knew he could not take control of the energy in front of him but he was fairly certain that he could attempt to bring order to the chaotic flow of energy that the disturbance consisted of. If order could be achieved then perhaps the column of energy could complete the materialization of the figure within the column before the spirit returned to the Force. He was aware if Master Galia being the second among the High Council to join him the preservation of this being as she seemed to be trying to contact the being itself. Her purpose perhaps was to try an discern if the being knew anything about the phenomena it was engulfed in so that they all would have a better idea of what to do to help.
However her involvement was apparently exactly what the phenomena was waiting for as without warning and acting faster than the two Masters could react energy from the column shot out and struck them both dead center. While they were not engulfed by the energy like the entity was bolts of stray energy did cross-cross their bodies and no matter how hard they willed it to be they could not move from where they stood. The remaining members of the High Council tried to free them either by physically moving them away from the pillar of light or by using the Force to sever the connection. Some were even prepared to ignite their lightsabers and use them to cut the connection but fortunately it did not come to that for five minutes after Yoda and Galia had been struck the bolts vanished. Whether it be due to the efforts of their fellows or because the energy itself had decided to release them they were now free and apparently only mildly disoriented from the experience. The column of energy itself though was another matter as it seemed to be affected a great deal by the temporary interface with two Jedi Masters.
The earlier chaos that seemed to govern its existence was gone as if all it had needed to do its job was the input of two appropriate individuals. Where before it seemed to be struggling to complete its task it now pulsed with a purpose with a being taking shape within it showing no signs of falling apart as it had beforehand. It pulsed with purpose three times, each time the light being given off was brighter than the previous pulse, before finishing with a blast of light that forced all present to look away. When the light finally faded it took each member of the council a different amount of time to recover their sight but when they did they saw something that none could have foreseen. Laying on the floor where the column of energy had hit was a male of a species none of them could quite recognize but that possessed traits that were all too familiar. It seemed to primarily be human in appearance as far as the main body and number of limbs was concerned. However sitting on either side of his head were two pointed ears each as long as your average person’s hand from the heel to the tip of the middle finger. His hair was a weird combination of brown and white with the former being located primarily at the tips whereas the latter seemed to stay near the roots. It was as if the phenomena had taken a sample of Master Yoda and Master Galia’s DNA and merged it with the form that had already been within the column of light. In any case though this was one conclusion to a meeting of the Jedi Order’s High Council that none of them was going to forget for a long time.
Jedi Temple, Corusant, Infirmery, Twelve Hours Later
~One of these days I really have to learn to freakin’ move when something not of the good heads my way!~ Was the first thought to enter Xander’s head as he began to regain consciousness.
As his senses came back to him so too did the memories of what happened before losing consciousness which made him hope that nothing bad had happened to gang while he was out. He knew that Giles and the others were probably alright as most of Glory’s minions had scattered upon the former hell-goddess’ death but that left the core of the Scooby group for him to worry about. He knew that Buffy would have reached Dawn just as or soon after the storm of dimensional energy began which would leave her with a choice that would wind up costing her either way. That choice that she would be forced to make made him curse a lot of people from the monks who saddled her with the Key to begin with to Glory for being so selfish so as to be willing to destroy one world to return to her own. He didn’t regret knowing Dawnie at all and considered her a little sister but if the Monks that made her wanted to keep her safe they could have just handed them a mystical container and told them to keep it safe. Why did they have to give it human form and give the rest of the gang fake memories to make sure that they’d protect it? It would have been easier for them emotionally if they just had to protect and take care of a thing or an object. When it came to protecting something alive and even more so if it was sentient there was a boat load of emotional baggage that came along with it. He could only imagine the pain that Buffy had been forced to go through when it came down to choosing between the world and the only real family she had left.
~Well look at it this way Xan-Man! If she chose Dawn then chances are they would have been killed within the hour so she wouldn’t suffer for very long!~ , Xander thought with some levity in order to improve his mood, ~If she chose the world though then at least she’d have him and the rest of the gang to help her through her pain and hopefully keep the part of her that made Buffy who she was from being destroyed.~
As more of his senses came back to him he waited to hear the predictable pinging of the hospital machines and the distant sounds of the hospital intercom. It was a little embarrassing to that he had spent enough time in the hospital to know the various sights and sounds off by heart but that was what you got fighting the forces of evil. However as minute after minute passed by none of the sounds he had been expecting made themselves known. Instead all he heard was a muffled series of sounds that while he couldn’t make them out weren’t exactly threatening either but it still left him puzzled. Puzzled went straight up to scared and confused though as his sense of touch informed him of yet another thing that did not match up with what he was expecting. Instead of the warm but uncomfortable bed sheets of a hospital bed he felt as though he was immersed in water but whatever the liquid was that he was in was much thicker than H2O. About the only thing that seemed even remotely familiar was the feeling of suction cup life sign monitors and hospital issue boxers. All this together made his decidedly uneasy and so he tried to open his eyes and see where the hell he was and hope that he was in a better situation than the one that his imagination.
What he saw though did not improve his state of inner turmoil but rather actually caused it to get worse with every passing moment. He was indeed submerged in some kind of liquid and that liquid was kept contained in a transparent class tube not much bigger than a hula-hoop in diameter. What was freaking him out though was the fact that on the outside of the tank was an assortment of beings that he had never before seen anything like outside of a Sci-Fi movie. On the one hand there seem to be robots of various shapes and sizes arrayed all around the room with one of them apparently operating the controls of the tank he was in. The other group of beings were a combination of demons he had never seen before and humans dressed in weird white and brown robes that made them look like they belonged in a monastery. Add to that the fact that the technology that was arrayed about the room was definitely not of Earthly origin and that meant only one of two things. Either he had been sent to another dimension that looked like it came straight out of Star Trek or he had gone completely insane and was coming up with all of this himself. Neither possibility was of the good which meant that sticking around here was not at the top of his list much less any sane person’s either. Looking around for an exit he was surprised to find that there was to cover on the top of the tank at all but far be it for him to look this gift horse in the mouth. Using his legs he pushed off of the bottom of the tank and reached for the top edge of it using the momentum to help pull himself out.
“ijugy fye hu cue buct.” came a mechanized voice from the robot that had been operating the tank but it was speaking in some language that he didn’t understand one bit.
Not that he was all that interested in anything they had to say at the moment as he hastily removed all of the suction cups and wires from his body before jumping from the top of the tank to the floor. He landed a bit unsteadily as it seemed that his body still hadn’t completely bounced back from the trip here but as soon as he regained his footing he made a break for what he hoped was the exit. He had made it about half way before a tray of medical tools that seemed to be floating in mid-air of its own volition shifted right into his path blocking him. He tried to move around it but it acted as though it had a mind of its own as it anticipated and blocked every one of his attempts to get past it. Hearing footsteps behind him he turned and saw a few of the humans in monk outfits approaching him cautiously with their hands up to grab him. Knowing that his capture was imminent if he didn’t move he grabbed the tray and tossed it at them while running for the door at the same time. He had no idea of where he could go in a dimension he knew nothing about but he intended to cross that bridge when he came to it. For the moment all he wanted was to put as much distance between him and those mad scientists as possible with finding some decent clothes coming in a close second.
In keeping with the Sci-Fi motif that seemed to be the theme of this hell dimension the doors opened automatically as soon as he came within range which was really handy since he didn’t want his escape to be thwarted by not knowing where the doorknob was located. When he entered the hallway outside the high ceilings and floors made of stone reinforced that he was in some kind of temple. That kinda clashed with what he knew of how things went between religion and science since they kinda came into conflict when answering such questions as to how the universe came to be. Still who knew how these particular demons thought or whether they bothered to split the two distinct areas of contemplation up or not. In any case so long as their god or goddess didn’t make an appearance directly in his path he couldn’t care less. Going with his right handed instincts he turned right and hoped that he could find a way to get outside and then hopefully to a forest or something to hide in until he could come up with a better plan.
Unfortunately for him he had made no more than three turns down separate hallways before a sound that could only be an alarm sounded loudly all around him. Obviously the demons in the room he had woken up in had decided that they couldn’t find him on their own and decided to get the entire temple after him. Which meant he had to make himself scarce from the hallways since it would be pretty hard to miss a guy running around in boxer shorts and nothing else. Looking to other side of the hallway he was currently in he spotted only one door nearby that he could get to before someone would likely come running around the corner and spot him. However Mr. Murphy decided to throw one more hurdle his way as this door did not open automatically like the other one had as he learned painfully as he ran into it. Fortunately all he had to show for it was a sore nose and not a sore nose as well as a sore rear end but it still left him with something of a problem. Looking for a door knob or something to open the door with all he found was some kind of a key pad and cursed his luck as it would probably require some kind of password or key code to open. For all of one moment he contemplated experimenting with certain combinations of buttons but chances are this place was rigged so that if someone typed the wrong code in three times in a row an alarm would sound. With that in mind he reached out to try and pry the cover off of the key pad and hot wire it open but the moment his hands came into view all thought of that went straight out the window as instead of the pinky skin of a human a dusty dark green hand with claws came into view.
“What the fuckin’ ^hell^!” he yelled out loud before clamping down on his mouth and looking around to see if anyone had heard that ill timed exclamation.
In any case he decided he would have to figure out what the hell had happened to him later because right then and there he had to get out of sight. Hopefully this was some kind of janitor’s closet or a storage room or something that he could hide in until the heat went down a bit and they stopped looking for him. Then he could go about learned just what they had wound up doing to him in that god forsaken tank that he had woken up in. When he had successfully managed to pull the cover off he was happy to see wires and circuit boards inside and not some kind of information crystal or plastic computer chips. While he wasn’t exactly an expert when it came to wiring the places he had helped to build with the construction company he still had managed to pick up a few things from the guys. So while a few wrong choices resulted in some painful shocks he eventually succeeded in getting the door open and without any hesitation he charged in as he heard foot steps coming from the direction of the room he had been in. In the days and weeks to follow he would keep in mind that it was generally unsafe to charge into a room whose contents you knew nothing of.
Unsafe and embarrassing.
For no sooner did he enter the room and the door close behind him than he found himself in a room that was distinctly not a broom closet or supply room. Not unless the local female population got changed into their workout clothes in broom closets or supply rooms. In any case there he was standing in a pair of boxers frozen to the spot looking at a group of females, some human and some of other species, in various states of undress who were likewise looking at him with a variety of looks. For a moment, as a male and admirer of the female body, he looked them over appreciative of the fact that they seemed to be in quite good shape from what he could see. However his common sense, modesty and the fact that females tended to react violently when a man sees them as they were now encouraged him to turn right around and exit the room to look for a new sanctuary. Not before he grabbed a brown bathrobe that he saw hanging on a nearby hook and threw it over himself as he exited the room and hung a left hoping that he could get out of sight before whom ever he had heard coming from the opposite end arrived.
With a little more in the way of clothing he felt a little more comfortable wandering aimlessly around the temple he was in but he doubted he was going to get over the scene he had walked in on a few moments before anytime soon. Not that he hadn’t daydreamed about seeing what went on inside of the girl’s locker room back in high school but he would like to think that he had matured a bit since then. Besides his past bad luck with women, with the exception of Buffy and Willow, had taught him to tread carefully when it came to the opposite sex. After all virtually all the women whom he had dated in the past had either left him, just wanted to be friends or tried to kill him after the first date. When that was combined with the fact that the ladies he had walked in on had absolutely no reason to restrain themselves or even try to understand him and that meant that running for his life was the only way to avoid what they would most certainly have thrown at him had he stayed any longer. Still at least he had gotten a robe out of the incident even if it did feel slightly big on him despite the fact that it had looked to be the right size when he had grabbed it. Still he dismissed it as just an error in judgment on his part and continued to look around for some place to hide until he could come up with a plan.
~C’Mon! Where’s an empty guest room when you need one?~ , Xander thought as he continued to try and find a door that gave him some idea of what was inside, ~Heck at this point I would settle for a stall in the men’s washroom at this point!~
Finally he hit the jack pot as he spotted what could universally be recognized as an elevator but was forced to duck around a corner as it opened to let some bearded guy out. He looked to be another of those monks but without the bath robe on leaving him in something that looked like a martial arts outfit. Maybe these guys were some kind of warrior monk types which might be a good thing unless they worshipped some kinda being that was the embodiment of death and destruction. Still those types of religious nuts tended to prefer darker colors and blood colored clothes but that was the color scheme he recognized back on Earth. There was no telling what color blood the people here had or what they consider evil and bloodthirsty colors so that meant he would have to stick with his initial belief about these people and remain paranoid. He waited until he could no longer hear the man’s footsteps before striding silently over to the door to the lift. Looking at either side about waist level he quickly spotted the buttons for ‘up’ and ‘down’ and suddenly found he had not decided which direction would be the best for him. He had no idea if he was on some sub-level below the surface or on the umpteenth floor high above some city street or ground level. In the end he decided on up since he had seen a distinct lack of windows anywhere he had run and generally most people liked to look at the scenery if it was possible and if they were below ground there would be no scenery.
Pressing the button he was gratified when the doors opened on the first try since he had half expected there to be a password or code he would have to type in here just like the last door he had tried to open. Stepping inside he looked for the next universal part of an elevator which was a set of buttons with each one representing a floor that could be accessed. He cursed this place for being so alien to him as he couldn’t find anything really that told him which button would take him to the ground level or ‘L’ for the lobby or something. Eventually he spotted something that looked like a rather crude pictograph for the sun and so with no real other alternative for getting out of this place he pressed it. As the lift began to move he found he had some time to consider his situation more beyond the idle cursing of his luck and the need to inflict some pain on someone for making him green and giving him claws. He could only presume this was some kind of science facility and he was their latest guinea pig in some bizarre experiment to cross demon DNA with human DNA. That in and of itself was strange since just about every demon he had ever encountered looked at humans as a meal at best and dirt beneath their heels at the worst. Not exactly the kinda species they’d want to willing mix their genetic material with if they had any say in the matter. Perhaps they were experimenting on him because they considered him expendable and didn’t much care if he survived the procedure or not. That would be more in keeping with a demon’s way of thinking, don’t risk your fellow demon when some human cannon fodder is available. Well this bit of cannon fodder wasn’t about to wait around and let them add a tail to the mix or antlers or some other demon appendage to his body.
~Hopefully they weren’t in the middle of something when I decided to break out.~ , Xander thought as he started tapping his right foot with impatience, ~I’d hate to make my getaway only to keel over because they gave me a bad demon heart or something.~
Just as he was about to start some mental game like ‘name five things connected to Britney Spears’ the walls of the elevator suddenly became transparent and he was treated to a view that instantly made him re-evaluate where he was at the moment. What he saw was a sprawling city of the future with metal buildings as far as the eye could see with lanes of flying cars flying around on an invisible streets high in the air. There was nothing that even remotely looked like technology from back home but also nothing to suggest that he was merely looking at some form of magic made to look like technology. It looked like he wasn’t far off the mark when he had made the earlier comparison to Star Trek since those ‘demons’ he had seen earlier could have been aliens. Not that the fact did a lot to improve his state of mind as to his current situation. After all there were plenty of horror movies and tidbits of imagination in his head where aliens actually turned out to be worse than demons if that was at all possible. That only meant that he would have to find a way to turn this bucket around and head down since he seemed to be way way way too high up in the air.
He turned back to the series of floor buttons and looked for one that was halfway between the top where the sun pictograph had been and the bottom portion where he was sure that he had just come from. Pressing one at random that seemed promising he was upset to find that nothing had changed as far as the direction the lift was going. Pressing another one hoping for a better reaction he went from upset to angry when still nothing happened to improve his situation. What that meant likely was that he would have to wait until he reached whatever floor the sun pictograph was programmed to drop him off at before choosing another destination. Hopefully there wouldn’t be anyone on the receiving end of this trip waiting to get on because he had no idea how to say ‘could you please wait for the next one’ in Klingonese or whatever the language was they spoke here. Making sure that the bath robe he had on him was properly tied and covering what it should he hoped that no matter what happened he could keep whatever dignity was left to him at the moment. What he saw when the doors opened though was probably worse than what he had seen when he had walked head first into the ladies locker room in this place. At least then he had some eye candy to look at before he made a hasty retreat which made up for the mortal level of embarrassment resulting from him walking in on them wearing a set of boxers.
No the sight that welcomed him was an array of people, twelve people in total, arranged in a semi-circle around the entrance to the lift. The thing that made him worry was the fact that they seemed to have been waiting for him as every set of eyes, some consisting of more than two, were fixed on him. How they could have known he was coming was something of a mystery but he presumed it had something to do with the security system this place must have. He probably tripped an alarm somewhere or showed up on some hidden security camera somewhere and they had been following his progress ever since. That would also explain why the elevator had refused to change directions despite his insistent pressing of several other buttons to make it go anywhere but here. They had probably seized control of it the moment he stepped in and were probably still in control which meant that he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Sighing he muttered to himself “Stick a fork in me, I’m done!”
Jedi Temple, High Council Chambers, Half an Hour Later
“So basically what you’re telling me is that a cloud of energy popped in during one of your meetings, you sensed me inside and tried to help, and that’s why I look this way?” Xander asked as he tried to keep his cool while the translator droid relayed his question to the members of the High Council of the Jedi Order.
It had taken some placating on the part of the Council to get across that they weren’t going to kill him or stick him back into that tank but once the translator droid had learned English and was able to translate things went a lot smoother. They explained how a smaller version of the cloud of dimensional energy had appeared in this very room and put on a spectacular show. He had done a botched beam in thing inside of a column of energy that had come from the cloud and when they had tried to help him the cloud had somehow sampled Master Yoda’s and Master Galia’s DNA and combined it with his own. This hadn’t really hit home though until they had given him a mirror to look at and he was able to take in the full scope of the changes. He had already known about the dusty dark green skin and the pointy claw-like finger nails but what he hadn’t known about was the rest of the deal. He was now sporting two point ears on either side of his head the looked less like Mr. Spock ears and more like Puck ears from that cartoon show Gargoyles that Disney put out awhile back. His hair was no longer the uniform brown that he was used to but instead a combo of brown and white making it look like he had been a natural white blonde and done a shitty dye job trying to turn it brown.
However the thing that was probably the most bothersome was the fact that he had shrunk by almost a foot placing him in the same height range as Buffy seemed to be stuck in. Not because he had been hit by some kinda shrink ray or a fluke of some of the medical treatments they had given him to help his body recover. Apparently Yoda’s species had an exceptionally long lifespan and when a bit of his DNA got mixed with his own he wound up being regressed back to fifteen years old. His current theory was that some remnant of the spell that the monks back home had used to forge the Key into one Dawn Summers. It had been the going theory that they had taken a sample of Buffy’s blood from some unnamed source and then used it in the spell to act as a base for Dawn’s appearance and form. When he had been brought here the bits of the same spell that came along for the ride needed a DNA sample from someone in order to form the base for his new identity. When Master Yoda and Master Galia attempted to help him using ‘The Force’ whatever that was it was the same as volunteering for that supposed honor. The only saving grace though was that because a little more than half of his current DNA was human he wouldn’t have to be worried about looking like a one of the little folk from Ireland. In any case at least the spell didn’t work all the way and re-arrange everyone’s memory including his own to make it look like he had always been there. He would never want to forget the gang back home and all the good times that they had fighting the good fight back in Sunnydale. That of course brought things to where they were right now since it had been established how he had gotten here and that was what were they going to do about him now.
“Apparently so from what Master Windu has explained to me.” The translator droid, who he had come to refer to as G-Bot because of his prissy English sounding accent, who had relayed his question to the bald black man who apparently led this group.
“Well than I guess the next question to be answered is where do I go from here? I doubt that they can send me home which means I’m stuck here.” Xander said with a bit of bitterness in his voice at his current fate.
It had been something he had pretty much accepted in his head when he had first realized that he had been transported to another dimension. It had taken the power of The Key to send him here and it was unlikely that anything less than that would be able to get him back home. Add to that his genetic changes and he doubted that things could go back to normal even if he was able to get back to Sunnyhell. Besides which the closest thing these people seemed to have to magic was this Force thing with the rest being pure science and technology. He had no idea what this Force could do but if they had never seen anything like the cloud of dimensional energy before it was doubtful they knew anything about opening doorways to other realities just by willing it or something. It wasn’t until he had clued into the involvement of the Key after seeing his appearance and hearing their side of things that his heart had finally accepted the truth of the situation. It left him in a bit of bind though as far as his future went though as he essentially had ties to nothing and no one in this world.
He waited for the translator droid to listen to Master Windu’s response to his inquiry and hoped these guys would have some kind of idea as to what to do now.
“Master Windu has stated he and the rest of the High Council are unsure as well as to where to go from here. He has however asked me to assure you that you are welcome to stay here in the Jedi temple until a decision can be reached by all concerned parties.” G-Bot said politely and in a very English manner.
Relieved a bit that he at least wouldn’t have to worry about finding a place to stay he stated “Tell Master Windu thanks for allowing me to stay here. I owe him big for this.”
The droid was about to pass that message along to Master Windu when Xander had a sudden thought and grabbed the droids arm to stop him.
“Yes sir?” G-Bot asked curiously.
“Also ask him if he wouldn’t mind extending my apologies to the ladies I accidently walked in on in the changing room near the infirmary where I woke up.” he stated while trying to maintain his composure.
“Very well sir.” The droid said before resuming his job of translating between Xander and Master Windu.
The truth of the matter was that Xander doubted that he could face all those women and be able to keep the image of them in various states of undress out of his mind long enough to spit out a decent ‘I’m sorry’. Add that to the fact that he didn’t know the dominant language or the customs and beliefs of each of the women which meant he had no idea how far he would have to go to appease each of them if they were angry with him. For all he knew for an unknown man to see them like that without permission required them to kill him or worse castrate him. Better if it came from someone they respected on his behalf and he doubted they would pursue the matter further if it came from someone on the High Council. It might be a cowards way out but if even half of them were the equivalents of Slayers in how well they could fight as well as their tempers and he would rather jump from the top of this building and go splat. It would probably be less painful than having to find ways to avoid them and eventually living some kind of a peaceful life.
He waited after G-Bot finished relaying his request along with his thanks for providing a place for him to stay and hoped that everything would go smoothly. Unfortunately for him his discomfort at having to confront so many women and apologize for his actions and while some were gracious enough to keep their mirth confined to their eyes a few of them broke out in amused grins. He knew from the heat in his face that his skin must have turned a darker shade of green at his embaressment but thankfully they seemed to take pity on him an reigned their amusement in. Mace Windu turned to the woman that had been identified as Master Galia and said something before speaking to G-Bot to presumably send him his reply.
“Master Windu has agreed to deliver your apology to those you encountered.” , G-Bot said before extending an arm to indicate Master Galia, “He has also asked Master Galia to show you to guest quarters that will be given to you for the time being.”
Nodding in thanks he waited for Master Galia to reach him before turning to the lift and getting in with her and G-Bot. As the lift began to descend he wondered how he should act towards the Jedi Master given that at least some of her genetic code was now a part of him. He knew that it technically didn’t need to do anything as the only connection that he had to her was genetic and nothing else like Dawn had been handed when she had been created. In truth he could quite safely just act the way he normally would to someone he didn’t know or was just beginning to know as a person. Still it didn’t seem right to him, they were connected in a very close way and if he was caught in anything he did wrong a DNA match would connect her to that bad act as well. Regardless if they just told the authorities the truth, that he only had her DNA because of a fluke incident, she would still be tarnished by the bad press. So would the little green gnome back in the High Council chambers and making two prestigious members of that Council mad at you for giving them bad press was not a thing he wanted to do one little bit. After all he needed them more than they needed him at the moment and he wasn’t about to bite the hand that was willing to feed him. Just then he realized something that almost made him wish he really had been fried by that bolt of energy from Dawnie’s dimensional storm cloud.
~I don’t know the tech, I don’t know any of the customs of these people and I’m essentially a minor again!~ , he thought to himself as he fought to keep himself from rolling his eyes, ~It’s going to be like high school all ^over^ again!~