Building The Ranks
AN: Some people will get angry at me for not updating my other stories but I write them as I feel like it. Each story fits a mood I'm in at the time. I am sorry if I upset people by doing that.
Life for Xander had been odd since that Halloween night. His face had changed into a handsome mixture of his own and Raziel's, his hair had straightened and became as black as night. It had been shocking and definitely had taken a while to get used to it. Thankfully, the process had been slow. The mental ones, however, had been far more immediate. The anger and rage that Jessie's death had ignited in him had long since grown cold, but Raziel's zealotry had reignited them and given him something to direct it at: Vampires and Demons. Before he had been only helping Buffy in her fighting of the abominations, now he wished to wipe them out completely. He knew that he couldn't do this alone.
The memories of the warrior priest guided Xander in his training to become worthy of being the son of the High Inquisitor, driving him to heights never seen by those that knew him. The education and knowledge that Raziel had collected from his birth to his death now belonged to the boy who he had chosen to pass along his legacy. Even though they had not met, Xander looked up to him in a way that he never had to Tony Harris.
Though his skill with a sword had increased, Xander knew that it was not the weapon for him. It just didn't suit him, there was no shame in admitting that. He found a glaive to be much more to his tastes. Buffy had mocked him for his choice in weapons, but Xander knew that the great paladin Malek had preferred this weapon as well, thus felt no embarrassment in his choice. It would not be the first time that Buffy and he would see things differently.
Xander had inherited Raziel's ideals on vampires and the other creatures of the night. It seems that his views differed from hers. She believed that non-combatants or 'good demons' as she called them should be left alone, Xander did not. He believed that 'good demons' were bidding their time and would attack at the first sign of weakness. It wasn't murder, he had insisted, simply a preemptive strike. She hadn't liked that much.
Willow had, much to his surprise, sided with Buffy. He had thought that she would understand, instead she had looked sadly at him, as if she pitied him. He hated to see her side against him, not only did he loose her to Buffy, but he lost his prospective sorceress. How Buffy had been able able to wrap Willow around her finger in such a short amount of time as to make her, in his mind, betray him. He feared that his difference in opinion with the Slayer would pit him against his oldest friend. Only time would tell.
With the loss of Willow he had been forced to seek less than prime material for his first recruits. The daughter of the witch, Amy, would be acceptable as his first sorceress and Jonathan's, with his ability to memorize fantasy games and novels, would be only to eager to join him in his cause. He had considered Andrew, but the boy was too weak to be more than just a passing thought. Ms. Calendar's gratitude to Raziel for saving her from the pirate would be useful as his change in mentality was obviously the priest's doing. She would be easy to convert. If so, then she would be his first choice in a second in command.
As for the financial funding of the quest, vampires and demons had a surprising amount of artifacts and religious icons. He had thought of selling some of the ones he had collected but after looking them up in the library he had decided against that course of action. Many were far too dangerous in wrong hands and he definitely did not trust the cowards at the Watcher's Council enough to hand them over, however, they were not very well protected in his basement either. After asking around, see torturing the demons for information, he had discovered about the Vatican. Their goals coincided with his for the most part, but the difficult bit was that the Watcher's had kept the location of the Hellmouth a well kept secret.
He had, of course, tried to figure out a way in which to contact the Vatican in a tasteful manner, but it was for naught. He did not know computer systems well enough to send an e-mail let alone break through the Vatican's heavily encoded files. That left the traditional letter which he made sure to write in Raziel's flowing script. He thought it being written in vampire's blood would get their attention. In the letter he divulged the location of the Hellmouth as an act of good faith. He promised to give their agent when he arrived the items he had collected in exchange for letting him speak, if they chose not to agree with his idea's then he would drop the matter entirely and give them the items as a way of keeping good will between the Vatican and his burgeoning order.
He hoped that it would be Paladin Alexander who would be the agent sent, but he would take what he could get. He had followed the Iscariot agent's career with interest, it was quite impressive. All that was left was meeting this agent and he would see what would happen from there.
Which is why he was standing at the airport in clothing that he had only bought recently. Fashion was not at the top of his list of priorities, but he thought he had chosen quite well. Black slacks, burgundy button up, and a black suit jacket with the Sarafan Crest on the back. For some reason he found himself drawn to the color burgundy. As for shoes, he had gone for something a bit more practical, soft leather riding boots. His longish black bangs was parted to either side of his eyes. He was no expert but he thought the look suited him quite nicely. He would prefer to be wearing his armor, sadly, the inhabitants of Sunnydale were not *that* blind.
He saw the people as they disembarked from the Airplane, the part of him that was Raziel was still amazed at the creations. Of all those who left the plane, one caught his eye. The man was tall, at least six foot six, with blond hair and green eyes, he wore a five o'clock shadow and was dressed in gray slacks, white button up, and a gray velvet long coat with purple satin insides. It was the cross he carried that got Xander's attention, battered and bent it was obviously well worn and well used.
Recognizing the man as Paladin Alexander or 'The Regenerator' almost immediately, Xander made his way over to him. The man glanced at him curiously, no doubt wondering at his young age. Xander stopped a few feet from him.
"Tell me Father, if the Lord created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh, then what happened on the eighth?" Xander asked the man who was viewed by many as the scourge of the underworld. He saw the priest smile warmly at him.
"Why my child, that is a day we are still waiting for. The Lord measures time differently from we mortals, to him a day could be millions of our years. A man's life is but a glimmer in his eyes." The Regenerator replied, smiling thoughtfully at the young man.
"Ah, so the theory of evolution is sound but misguided?" Xander asked, a smirk upon his lips. "Strange that the world does not recognize this at all Father."
"The world is blind to many things, my son. Some of which can only be taken by our faith in God." Paladin Alexander said with sadness directed at mankind. "That is why it is our job to protect the faithful and help those that are confused to see the light. Sadly some are beyond saving."
"Indeed." Xander agreed. "You do me much honor with your presence at this unholy place."
"If a child has the courage to fight for God in this damned place, then we at Iscariot can not sit back idly when he calls for our aid. But I do wonder why you feel ready to start this 'order' of yours at such a young age and why do I see a man's eyes in a child's body?" The attack dog of the Vatican asked.
"I have in my head the memories of a warrior of God. A man from a different dimension that was overcome, much like this one, by abominations. He was a leading member of a group who opposed the unholy creatures that plagued their world, it was called the Order of the Sarafan Brotherhood or simply The Sarafan Order. He was ran through by a blue skinned demon shortly after ridding the world of a legendary evil, the first vampire Janos Audren. Though the sorcery of an idol worshiper who has since been dealt with, I was possessed by this man, who, upon learning of my dilemma, tricked the sorcerer into giving me his memories and making me his son genetically. In his memory I wish to reinstate this order on our world." Xander explained to the Paladin who nodded in understanding.
"But why not join Iscariot?" Asked Alexander Anderson curiously.
"As powerful as your organization is, it is still limited in the countries it can operate in, England for example. The Sarafan will have no such restrictions. We will operate separate from the Vatican rendering it plausible deniability and thus blameless of all actions we take. Also, any dangerous artifacts we uncover will be sent to Iscariot to be safely taken care of. All I ask is funding and resources to do God's work." Xander told the Iscariot agent, who nodded thoughtfully.
"I understand. I will observe the situation here and discuss further how your goals aid the cause. After five days and reliable information on the situation here, I will accept your generous gifts and speak to His Holiness personally. I believe that we can send the funding that you asked for to you in a week as well as any magical artifacts that may aid you in your crusade." Father Alexander told him smiling with a fanatical light in his eyes, one that was matched by the light in Xander's.
"You are too kind Father."
Father Alexander had been horrified and enraged at the situation at the Hellmouth. Demons meeting at well known places, vampires walking in graveyards or at clubs with impunity. It was disgusting to him how much the Watcher's let the unholy things run free. It could not be allowed to continue. The paladin also discussed with Xander the corruption that was obviously running rampant in the local government, stating that if Iscariot had been allowed to due their job then the situation would not have fallen this far.
But it was not always business that the Regenerator and Xander discussed. Xander often entertained the priest with the tales of the Sarafan's own paladin Malek and battles that Raziel and his brethren had participated in. Xander also talked of exchanging technology with the Iscariot division. How, though he wouldn't use the bioengineering, he did believe that upgraded armor which would help Sarafan Priests match the undead. Alexander promised to have the Vatican's scientists work to design such armor. Xander had showed him the design of the legendary Malek's own armor, as Raziel's was ill fitted for his own body.
It was one week after paladin Alexander left that Xander's bank account swelled to millions. Not the one he had in America of course, but the one he had set up in Switzerland. It was two weeks after that the power armor arrived. He had asked for several sets to be ready for new recruits.
The armor was a work of art. Technomancy at it's finest. It used holy magic to power the machines inside the armor allowing it to work the enhance strength that it gave it's wearer. The armor multiplied the strength of the individual four times that of their current state and the magic ensured that it's power wouldn't run out for the next fifty years.
At Xander's own request the armor was an exact replica of Malek's and with a gap in the top of the helmet for the trophies that he intended to collect from his kills. They had even sent him a custom made glaive with which to slay the evil entities. The glaive was a beauty. Made from South African Blood Wood for the staff and a silver alloy blessed by the Pope himself for the blade. It was a powerful weapon, one that Xander looked forward to testing on the unfortunates of the Hellmouth.
He was certain that Jonathon would find a way to improve the armor when he recruited him. The young man was quite the genius and what he lacked in physical strength he made up for in intellect. The boy was a walking definition of faith, what he didn't know was impossible he could and most likely would do. The boy only lacked motivation, a path if you will, one that Xander intended to offer him.
Amy would be fairly easy as well. She had been a long time friend to him, nearly as long as Willow, but he had not been nearly as close to her as he had with his red headed friend. It seems she was like that with many people, casual friends but no close ones. She had a talent with magic and a desperation to have friends of her own. A powerful combination, one that Xander intended to take advantage of. Besides, she was fairly attractive.
Ms. Calendar would be by far the most difficult to recruit. She was not a lost teenager with a thirst to prove herself like the others were. No, she was a successful and attractive woman who was powerful in her own right, what's more was that she knew it. But she did not have many friends in Sunnydale, even though she was acquainted with the Scoobies, she was on the edge of the group. That combined with her gratefulness toward Raziel from saving her from rape would be his way in.
The question was: Which one to recruit first? The answer was the easiest, Jonathon.
"You know what your problem is Jonathon? You lack direction. It's not a lack of confidence, you simply have nothing to be confident in." Xander told a startled Jonathon who jumped. Jonathon had been walking home from school when Xander had chosen to speak with him.
"So?" Jonathon asked hesitantly. Xander smiled at the boy's nervousness.
"What if I said that I could give you a purpose in your life? A chance to do something important, to fight against things that you thought only appeared in fiction?" Xander questioned seriously.
"What are talking about?" Jonathon asked as he wondered if Xander was insane.
"Oh, I know that you aren't stupid Jonathon. You've noticed the disappearances, chances are that someone you knew had either been killed by 'animal attacks' or 'gang members on PCP'. Am I right?" Xander stated, gesturing to emphasize his words. He saw Jonathon nod.
"I know you won't believe me if I told you the truth, but what if I showed you. Proved without a doubt that things go bump in the night, would you help me fight such abominations?" Xander asked the short boy.
"Maybe." Jonathon said. Things that go bump in the night?
"Meet me at Restfield Cemetery tonight at eight o'clock and I swear that you will be convinced." Xander said as he walked away. "Oh, and come prepared to get a little dirty.
"I don't believe it." Jonathon stated dumbly as he looked at the place whee a vampire had been a few moments earlier. "How could no one find out about this?"
Xander walked confidently over to Jonathon in full armor. "Because not many are ready or willing to believe, much like faith. I imagine that before tonight that you thought that even if vampires were real then they wouldn't be affected by crosses and holy water? Well, now that you have seen their effectiveness with you two eyes, will you still disbelieve?"
"No." Jonathon said as his mind comprehended everything. "But what do you want with me? I mean you obviously can fight these things. I sure as hell can't. Look at me Xander, do I look tough? Do I look strong? Do I look like I can fight these things?"
"Jonathon," Xander said as he put a comforting hand on the boys shoulder. "You have a skill that I do not, that of imagination, and that can be far more damaging to the unholy demons than anything I alone can do. True, it's not as glamorous as being a knight, but a scientist or a researcher can do far more to help people. This armor allows me to fight on a more equal ground these vermin yes, however without people like you who design and create these things then I would not be able to do nearly as much damage to the demons. So, I'm asking you: will you help me exterminate these unholy wretches?"
Jonathon was quiet for a while. To him this like was something out of Dungeons And Dragons. Xander was asking him to be his armorer. The one who provides the heroes with what they need to keep fighting and save the day. That's what Xander was: a hero and he needed Jonathon's help. A smile lit up his face. He was going to join a real Crusade and he was going to destroy evil things.
"I'm in." Jonathon said, feeling as if he was making the first good choice in a long time.
"Bravo, Jonathon, Bravo." Xander said, clapping slowly. "Now let me tell you the noble history of the Sarafan Order..."
END OF CHAPTER
AN: I hope you enjoy this chapter. Review.