Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy nor Warhammer
It was the most detailed costume Xander Harris had ever seen in his life. It towered almost twelve feet tall; the exact height detailed in the manuals, and took up an entire corner of the store, dominating it with its presence. Every detail was rendered perfectly in gunmetal grey, and it only took a little stretch of the imagination to believe it was constructed from the strongest metals and ceramite, able to take close range lasblasts, mjioner armor had nothing on this.
Moving closer to the behemoth Xander could see Holy Scriptures detailed in gold, and the Imperial Eagle rampart decorating all parts of the armor. One massive shoulder pad bore the heraldry of a black and red field with a single starburst, while the symbol of a book pierced by a silver sword adorned the other. Dredging through long faded memories that had begun to stir at the sight before him, Xander dimly recognized the book and sword, sigil of the Grey Knights, which meant the other was a personal symbol. Tentatively he reached forward, as if he expected the armor to come alive at his touch, the machine-spirit flaring to life within it. Slowly he ran his fingers over the devotional texts, feeling them engraved into what had to be metal. Shaking his heads at that impossibility, as that would make the costume weigh a ton; he fingered the papyrus scripts of holy writing hanging off the armor, sealed to it with wax. Startled as his hand bumped into something solid he looks away from the armor to see a massive black and gold halberd leaning against the way, not able to stand straight up due to its massive length. Even in the dim light of the store the edge gleamed, suggesting it actually was a Nemesis weapon with a disruptive field designed to kill daemons and other denizens of the warp. Seeing the Nemesis halberd made Xander instinctively look for the other trade mark weapon of the Grey Knights. There on the power gauntlet sat a dual barreled Storm Bolter, seemingly ready to fire. Next to the gauntlet on a pedestal lay the helmet, seeming to stare at Xander. With shaking hands he grasps it and pick it up, almost staggering with the weight. Carefully sliding it on and still holding due to the large size and weight he looks out through the eyes, seeing the multiple lenses ready to slide into place and enhance vision even further, pierce the dark, or cut through smoke and smog.
He had to have this, but he shuttered at the thought of the price. This had to be an attention getter, meant only to bring customers in, for the detail put into this meant the owner could charge thousands easily. But suddenly he had hope for he realized the costume was in the back of the store not the front, nearly hidden, despite its great height, by the shelves. Gently putting the helmet down, though he did not think anything he could do could actually damage it, he rushed to the owner who had just finished dealing with Buffy.
“How much for the armor?” Xander demanded.
“Pardon me young man, but you need to be specific, I have dozens of sets of armor,” was the irritated reply he received.
“You know the one I mean, the only one worth considering, in the back.” Xander was almost afraid to name it, as if doing so would cause someone else to try to steal it from him.
The owner started intently at Xander, his eyes seeming to penetrate Xander’s very mind. Finally he named a price that almost shook Xander from his delirium. That would wipe out his entire saving, not just the money he had for his road trip. But one glance to the side and the sight of gunmetal grey sent him spiraling back into it, memories of long afternoons with Jessie, both of them escaping their homes to wage war on each other, resurfacing. Small unpainted figures, neither had the money for paint and only rarely for the figures themselves, and a set of battered rule books danced in front of his eyes. Dazedly he rattled off his bank account information and waited for it to be verified. With a nod the store owner sent him to wait out front, telling him he would pack up the armor. In what seemed like a second to Xander the owner was back again, a huge box on a pallet jack dragging behind him, what had to be the halberd wrapped in plastic and strapped to the top.
“Do you have any way to get it home?” questioned the owner. Nodding his head no Xander still continued to stare at the giant crate. “Fine” stated the owner abruptly, “You can take the pallet jack as well, but you must bring it back the moment you get home.” With a nod of agreement Xander takes the pallet jack and begins home, the walk seemingly passing in a blink of an eye. Standing in the garage with the crate, he didn’t even remember returning the pallet jack, he carefully unwraps the Nemesis halberd, staring as the plastic falls away to reveal gleaming gold and black. Cautiously he runs his finger along the blade, only to flinch at the nasty cut he received. Carefully he leaves the halberd against the wall and grabs the top of the crate, pulling it off to reveal the armor packed carefully away. Soon it is all arrayed in front of him on a tarp, the gold inscriptions and eagles shining in the dull light that filtered through the windows. Compelled he begins to put it on with no hesitation, wargear rites he never remembered learning falling from his lips as each piece begins to lock into place. Extra ammo is placed with no hesitation into the correct compartments as rites of cleansing and blessing echo in the garage. Finally all that is left is the helmet, staring at him from the top of the crate. Servos whine as Xander reaches forward, somehow easily managing to move despite the massive weight of the armor. With reverence he picks up the helmet and slides it on with no hesitation, revealing in its confining protection. Sure fingers lock breathing tubes and tighten catches. Finally he picks up the halberd and looks in the direction of an old, dust covered mirror. What he sees is a Space Marine, an Adeptus Astartes, a Grey Knight, fully prepared for battle, staring back at him. Tearing his eyes away from the mirror he glances at the clock and sees the time. The madness that has held him since he first glimpsed the armor fades. “Oh my god, I’m gonna be late to meet Buffy!” The vox box changes his voice, making it deeper and metallic. Hurriedly he strides out of the garage, servos whining as he goes.
A deep, almost metallic, knocking fills the house. Hurriedly Buffy walks down the stairs, being careful not to trip on the hem of her dress and leaving Willow alone with the ghost costume. Finally she reaches the door and yanks it open, only to take a step back in shock. A torso and set of armored legs fill the door, the head towering outside of sight. The figure takes a step back and leans down, staring at her through metallic eyes.
“Hello Lady Buffy,” the deep metallic voice thunders out.
“Who are you!?” Buffy demands, unable to recognize the voice or even hazard a guess whom could be in the armor.
“It’s me, Xander. Nice costume huh?” the armored form states.
“Xander?” she gasps, not believing the intimidating form could be her friend.
“Yeah, are you and Willow almost ready?” he questions.
Still barely believing that it’s Xander she replies, “She should be down in a minute. Wait till you see her costume…” she trails off as a sheet covered Willow comes down the stairs.
“Ready Willow?” queries Xander.
“Yeah it’s me, now let’s go. We’re gonna be late.”
The trip to the school passes in near silence, only the sounds of Xander’s costume filling the street. Finally they arrive at the school and Xander breaks the silence, his voice echoing. “We’ll have to split up here; I’ll have to use the courtyard double doors to get in.”
“We’ll see you when we return the kids.”
Pulling open the doors is a challenge with the thick gauntlets on, but he manages it and with both doors open and crouching down Xander he squeezes in. Keeping down he traverses the halls until he reaches the lobby, grateful the ceiling rises there. As he enters from the hallway a pirate blocks his path, facing away he doesn’t see Xander. Recognizing Larry he tilts his halberd forward and straightens up. “Move heretic or your pitiful life is forfeit.” His metallic voice echoes throughout the lobby and every eye is upon him. Startled, Larry spins around and finds himself nose to chest plate. Slowly he looks up to see the grim and unforgiving helmet staring down at him. He almost runs out of the way. Striding further into the room Xander stops in front of Snyder, who cowers in place. “Where is my group?”
“Wh-what-t do you mean?” stammers Snyder.
“You signed me up for this, so where is my group?”
“Wh-who-o are you?”
“Xander Harris, now where is my group?” Wordlessly Snyder points at a huddled group of kids. Striding over he towers over the children, almost four times their height. “Ready to get the most candy ever?” The kids nod, still intimidated by this gigantic figure. “The lets go. For the Emperor!”
Soon a wave of magic floods Sunnydale, leaving chaos and confusion in its wake as people become their costumes. When the wave passes Xander he seems to shudder before standing up. Pentagram wards flare to life on the armor, combating the daemonic taint of the Hellmouth before fading again, even as he senses the taint on his psychic senses. The machine-spirit of the armor springs to life, running diagnostic checks, verifying the atmospheric conditions, and linking with the wearer’s implants. The wearer opens his eyes, checking the various readings appearing in his vision. Tightening his grip on his Nemesis halberd he straightens up, scanning his surroundings. Justicar Alaric of the Grey Knights, elite daemon hunter for the Ordo Malleus, walked the night.
Alaric was confused, but his faith never wavered. He was resting in the Cloister of Sorrows, back at the Inquisitor Fortress Titan, the moon of Saturn, after the assault of the planet Chaeroneia, the daemon infested forge planet. His faith had been badly shaken when he confronted the monstrous daemon controlled Titan war machine and in the aftermath he sought counsel from Chaplain Durendin. It was after he received that counsel and was merely observing Saturn that the world seemed to blacken. Now he seemed to be on one of the more primitive worlds of the Imperium of Man in the midst of a Chaos incursion. Almost casually he flicks out the head of his halberd and beheads a daemon. A group of them rush around the corner of one of the dwellings only to stop at the sight of him, the very existence of an uncorrupt able mind trained since childhood to defeat them was anathema to them. Taking advantage of their momentary freeze Alaric charges forward, a Space Marine being most powerful toe-to-toe with the enemy. His halberd swings around in a brutal arc. He forges forward, every swing of his halberd battering back the hordes of daemons pressing against him on all sides. He leaves a trail of crushed, sliced, and pulped bodies behind him. Finally the horde abates, a single daemon running away. Raising his arm he snaps off a perfectly aimed shot, the bolter shot bursting into the creatures head then detonating, vaporizing the remains and leaving a pair of legs to collapse to the earth before dissolving
With all daemons sent screaming back to the warp for now Alaric took a moment to scan the vox channels, trying to get in contact with his squad-brothers, Imperial Guard, PDF, or even an Imperial ship. Flipping through the regulation channels and getting no reply he switches to scanning any available channel. Finally he hears voices. “This is squad car 14, we are under attack by gang members on PCP, I repeat we are under attack. With a litany to his armor’s machine-spirit the signal is traced and a marker is laid over his optic implants to show the direction.
Squad Car 14 was in trouble. The police knew the risks; they were all handpicked by the Mayor and Detective Stein, and looked the other way when told. In return they got extra large salaries and protection for themselves and their families. The only downside was the position was for life, when you retired you died, so said the contract. Tonight was supposed to be a slow night, in fact the entire department bid for the chance to wok tonight and enjoy a leisurely night of normal work. But now the car was under attack by a horde of screeching monstrosities. Neither of them were prepared for this and hadn’t taken the normal heavy weapons with them, just normal side arms. Officer Mendez, who had been on foot tonight, had been torn apart in front of them, banging on the door and begging to be let in before the horde grabbed him, fanged maws and claws easily ripping apart his flesh. Now they had broken in the windows and were trying to pull the officers out. Beating off the clawed hands and the serrated tentacles with their guns, having already spent their ammo, both officers were not hopeful. They were both hoping they died fast; the horde had taken pleasure in toying with and slowly killing Mendez. Suddenly the horde broke away, leaving the officers panting in exhaustion, bleeding form a large collection of cuts and light wounds. Under the almost no-existent lighting of the street light, they knew the Mayor did that on purpose, they could make out an absolutely massive figure tearing through the monsters. As they watched it grabbed the last one while still holding its weapon and tore it in half, blood raining down the street. As the figure turned toward the battered car, still dripping daemon ichors, the officers wished they still had ammo, though they didn’t think it would do any good.
Striding toward the battered Planetary Defense Force vehicle Alaric wondered where the Imperial forces were. To have an infestation of mutants and daemons running around so openly surely spoke of the deepest heresy, betrayal of the Emperor himself, but surely by now someone would have formed a crusade to crush the scum. Even the PDF should have mobilized more than a single vehicle by now. Reaching the vehicle he stared at the two bleeding figures inside, unable to place the shreds of their uniform to any of the hundreds of worlds he had fought on before. “Identify yourselves now,” he demanded of the battered soldiers.
“Sergeant Graf and Officer Molchany.”
“Of what unit, where are you based at, what planet? You are PDF?”
“P-p d f. What is that?” stammers Molchany.
“Planetary Defense Force. What planet is this and why is no one mobilizing to take the fight to the enemy? Who is in charge?” By now Alaric is getting irritated. These men seemed no better than civilians and had no idea what was going on.
“Planet Earth. And the Mayor is in charge. We’re the police, the only ones still on patrol tonight, Mendez got torn apart by those monsters. We heard Dave from the other car go insane and shoot Chris, so we’re the only ones left,” answers Graf, still slightly in shock.
“Five men for this entire settlement? Your Mayor is obviously either corrupted or criminally ineffective. As one of the Emperor’s own I, Justicar Alaric of the Grey Knights, am taking charge. Is your vehicle still operational?” Now at least Alaric knew his location, not that it did him much good or mattered much since he had never heard of Earth. There were millions of worlds in the Imperium of Man; this was just one more under siege by the fell forces of the warp.
“Y-yes sir.” Both officers manage to stammer out an agreement and acknowledgement that their car is working.
“You will be responsible for grabbing any civilians you see. Once your vehicle is full take them to your base of operations and arm yourselves and them. Contact any other military. Your Mayor is now considered the enemy. Either he was part of the plot or too inefficient to find out about it and crush it. You have your orders. In the Emperor’s name.”
“Yes sir. And what will you be doing?” asks Molchany.
“I will crush this infestation at its heart.” With that statement Alaric strides off into the darkness, on the hunt, leaving the officers alone for now.
“So do we listen to him?” questions Molchany.
“For now,” replies Sergeant Graf. “The Mayor would want us to try and control this somehow, as I know he wouldn’t have done this without informing us. It’s too hard to find replacement cops willing to accept the state of the town. Besides, my daughter might be out here somewhere, be on the lookout for a little girl dressed as a dog.”
Alaric was stalking through the night, hunting for whoever could be summoning these creatures. It had to only be a small portal; anything larger would already have begun to corrupt the landscape and the people, along with bringing more powerful daemons, not this lesser scum. Looking ahead, his enhanced eyes easily cutting through the darkness, he could see a gang of monsters, all types. Mutants, easily identifiable by their twisted heads and enlarged fangs, though the golden eyes might mean daemonic possession, a group of daemons, and a spirit tormenting what was probably one of the local nobles daughters, judging by the dress. Even if her father might be part of the Chaos cult responsible for this assault it was obvious she wasn’t by the way she was crying and screaming at the sight of them. Lowering his halberd he charged forward, covering the distance in the blink of eyes, enhanced legs covered in power armor easily carrying him forward. In an instant he was among them, halberd blade licking out to cuts throats and dismember limbs, the shaft crushing skulls and breaking bones. Several of the mutants broke and ran. He let them go, more concerned with the daemons and protecting the noble women. The spirit tried to rush him for some fell purpose, but the pentagram wards on his armor flared to life, burning brightly and dispelling it back to the warp. Reversing his halberd he stabbed the last daemon trying to sneak up on him then pulled up to bisect it from the chest up. Facing the noblewoman, he was almost overcome by her resemblance to Inquisitor Ligeia, the bravest person he had ever met. She had lost her mind to the machinations of the daemon prince Ghargatuloth, but enough of her had remained pure to give Alaric the knowledge he needed to defeat the daemon. She had been executed by the Ordo Malleus as a traitor and heretic for her madness, excommunicated and meant to be forgotten, until Alaric proved her insane babbling was actually the daemon prince’s true name, the only thing that could defeat the Prince of a Thousand Faces. The resemblance was only physical though, proven when the noblewoman opened her mouth.
“Thank you, Sir Knight, for rescuing me from those foul monsters. Will you escort me to my father’s castle?” Inquisitor Ligeia had been an independent and proud woman, taking the guise of a noblewoman to search those circles for information, a crack shot with her needle gun.
“No, I must wipe out these fell forces of Chaos before they gain a foothold, destroy their portal and summoner, or else the world will be lost. I advise you take shelter in one of the nearby buildings.” With that Alaric turns away to continue his search for the base, but is interrupted by a small hand reaching up to tug at his massive arm.
“Sir Knight, when those monsters were tormenting me before you came the foul spirit kept talking about Ethan’s shop. That might be a good place to start your quest.” Seeing the intimidating metal helmet staring directly at her with a terrible intensity she falters.
“Can you remember anything else at all?” Alaric questions, for this might be what he needs to stop the invasion.
A look of concentration appears on the noblewoman’s face as she tries to sort through all the insane babble of the spirit. “Elm Street. She kept saying we had to go to Elm Street.” Surer of what she’s saying the noblewoman nods as if to support the truth of her previous statement. “When she found she couldn’t touch me she must have summoned those other creatures as help.”
Alaric looks at the noblewomen in the tattered dress who might just have saved the planet. Perhaps she was more like Inquisitor Ligeia then just physically. “Thank you.” Heading to the closest building he raps on it with his fist, easily breaking the lock and sending the door flying open. “Take shelter here, you should be safe.” Leaving the noblewomen looking gratefully at his back he stalks off in search of this Ethan’s on Elm Street. With another litany to his armor's machine spirit it searches though his helmet recordings, checking for any sign of Elm Street or Ethan’s. With a beep a nav point appears overlaid on his vision. Alaric sets off at a pace usually associated with cars, leaving crushed concrete as he jogs toward his objective.
Causally decapitating come furred mutant that was chasing a young woman in tattered clothes, he made his way down Elm Street. Finally he spotted a shop with Ethan’s Costume Shop written in large letters on the window. The costume shop probably meant either Slaneesh or Tzeentch, after all a pleasure cult usually had costume balls and other such things while Tzeentch was known as the Mask Wearer and the Changer of Ways. Readying his Nemesis Halberd and checking his Storm Bolter, Alaric burst through the door, his armored form easily brushing aside the wooden door and surrounding wall. Suddenly his pentagram wards flared to life, electricity dancing a crossed his armor, leaving him alive but frozen in place as a figure steps forth from the shadows.
“Greetings Grey Knight, I am Ethan Rayne, disciple of Tzeentch. And I was expecting you.” After this Ethan stops and regards the frozen form. “Don’t bother to struggle, though I know you will, the trap has you firmly stuck in place.” Alaric noticed that despite his words Rayne still kept his distance. “Tzeentch took an interest in you after you defeated Ghargatuloth, his onetime most powerful follower. Then that whole Chaeroneia affair, where you beat a daemon that was as old as the Imperium, old enough to actually have forgotten what it was while on the mortal plain. So of course he chose you to be here for this, after all he did need a paragon of order to be here, Tzeentch is the Liar God, the paradox. And you wouldn’t believe the effort I had to go through just to contact the warp, let alone him. Then to bring you here took nearly a decade of preparation. To insure the right participate, create armor, the materials alone took years to gather. But it was worth it. You are alone here, minion of the Corpse-god. His protection does not exist in this dimension; neither do his armies or anything you hold dear. You are utterly alone.”
Alaric ignored the man’s insane and heretic talk, instead focusing on his faith. “I am the Hammer. I am the point of His Spear. I am the Gauntlet about His Fist. I am the Sword in His Hand, the Shield on His Arm.” As Alaric continues his prayer Ethan begins to back away, fear etched upon his face.
“You shouldn’t be able to talk! How can his protection exist here?!” With this Ethan turns and flees as Alaric begins to slowly move, his halberd raising.
When Alaric finally finished, “I AM HIS HAMMER!!!” he could feel the sorcerous bonds holding him shatter completely, giving him his freedom again. By now Ethan was long gone, but something in the shop still stung his psychic senses as corrupted and evil. Following his senses he burst in the back room to find an evil two headed statue glowing with a sickly light that constantly changed color, defying classification. Raising his halberd and with a prayer to the Emperor on his lips he sliced the statue, the pieces falling to the floor and bursting into multicolored dust that winked out of existence. The warp was sucked toward the vanishing statue; daemons pulled screaming from hosts, children changing back from the twisted monstrosities they had become. At the epicenter of the conflagration of magic was Alaric, pentagram armor wards flaring white-hot, the runic tattoos on his skin flaring as well, the psychic armor that kept all Grey Knights from corruption straining. Finally when the last dust mote winked out of existence, losing its hold on reality and sent back to the warp, the armor seemed to sag before straightening up, as if its wearer had just fallen asleep and jerked awake.
Alaric was worried. Having such a strange experience might be a sign of corruption. He immediately leaves the Cloister of Sorrows, once more back on Titan, and goes to find a Chaplain.
Xander was worried. He remembered everything, the selection from the Black Ships, chosen for his psychic talent, the brutal training, the gene-seed operation, the augmentation process, earning his armor, everything. Including the battles, those memories that if shared amongst a thousand lesser men would drive them all mad. Mind still n chaos he walked out of the ruined shop, making his way home to his garage. Once there he began to take off the armor, intoning the wargear rites thanking the armor’s spirit for protecting him. Finally it lay on the tarp again, just like earlier that evening. Now Xander stared at himself. Surgical scars from the augmentation process, black carapace implanted all over his body, just under the skin, a fused ribcage for extra protection, implant jacks, and a service stud driven into his brow stare back at him, though he must crouch to see himself in the 7 foot tall mirror. He can hear his dual hearts pumping and his four lungs working at supplying oxygenated blood throughout his body. He can also hear his neighbors talking quietly in the nearby house, and the police radio channel from the implanted vox box in his ear. Even with no lights on he can see the faint runic tattoos on his body, meant to protect against the corrupting power of chaos. It is not his body, but the body from his memoires, Justicar Alaric of the Grey Knights that stares back at him. And that means the armor is real now, no longer meant to fit a 5 foot person, but a nearly ten foot tall superhuman, bio-engineered warrior. He would worry about this in the morning. Locking the garage he heads to his room, bowing and offering a prayer to the Emperor before lying in the bed, wishing it was a meditative cell.
The first thing that registers when he awakens from his deep meditation at five in the morning is the psychic stench of the Hellmouth. Reaffirming his shields are in place like he has hundreds of time before in his memories he sets out to scout the town for a base, knowing his days of living with his parents are over. Forsaking his armor simply to avoid the awkward questions, despite the fact he feels naked without it, he sets out, planning to head to the school afterward.
The school day was over and Buffy was worried. Willow was in a coma and it was unknown if, no she corrected herself, when she would get better. Several children had turned up dead, and Xander was missing. Now she was sitting here in the library, simply waiting for Giles to find something, anything on what happened last night. Seeing a hulking figure out of the corner of her eye she abruptly jumps from her seat and lunges at it, stake in hand, only for it to catch her hand in one massive paw and lift her up till she was just barely touching the ground.
“Don’t do that again Buffy.” The voice wasn’t recognizable, deep, harsh, and grating, and the tone of one of command, the voice one who was used to being obeyed used. Staring at the face in front of her, she didn’t recognize it.
“Who are you?” she demands, stalling for time while plotting ways to try and escape his hold.
“Xander. I underwent some changes last night.” Looking at the face, deeply scarred with a metal stud in the forehead, she couldn’t find anything of her friend in there.
“Prove it.” Another stalling tactic while she tries to get loose.
“The Master. The prophecy. The cyber daemon. The hyena.” The figure stated all this in a flat tone, almost no emotion tingeing his voice.
“Xander?” her tone is questioning as she gently reaches her hand up and traces the scars around his eyes from the augmentation process, then following the scar a daemon left down his cheek.
“It really is me Buffy. We need to talk. Where’s Giles and Willow?” His tone brooks no argument.
“I’m right here Xander,” says Giles, standing in the doorway to his office. “And Willow is in the hospital, a coma; no one knows when she will wake up.”
At this Xander’s emotionless façade seems to crack, before reassembling itself. In his head he knew he should be grieving for his childhood friend, but he just couldn’t find it in himself to really care. The fact her spirit could be tainted from its time away from the body on the Hellmouth obliterated any guilt he might have had. It was his duty to banish that spirit last night. The same reasoning applied to the children he killed last night. There was no way of knowing if the children who dressed as daemons and monsters would have survived the night with their minds and souls intact, that they wouldn’t have stayed tainted and become agents for Chaos. Better they died then risk the world. He was actually glad he killed them, a sense of pride filling him that he ended the infestation. All of this whirled around in his head as he simply stood there, Giles and a now loose Buffy staring on.
“I did that last night. Both banishing Willows spirit and killing the daemon and monster dressed children. Justicar Alaric did his duty last night, and now I will do mine.” They both stared at him warily, as if expecting him to attack them. “The changes are permanent. I feel as if I have lived Alaric’s entire life, gone through his training, forged me into a weapon for the Emperor against the forces of Chaos. Every battle with forces that would drive men insane, every desperate fight against the Chaos champions, they are in my mind. That is my life now. I am Alexander, Grey Knight, Space Marine in the service of the God-Emperor of Mankind, may he reign upon the Golden Throne forever. My duty is clear. I must hunt down Ethan Rayne, he is a worshipper of one of the powers of Chaos and I cannot allow him to run free.”
After his passionate speech both Buffy and Giles stare at him and shudder and the cold hate they can feel off him at the mention of Ethan Rayne. “However, much as it pains me to admit, I no longer have the backing of the Ordo Malleus to do the searching for me. And I do not have the resources to work on my own. Starting a true faith for worshipping the Emperor would be a worthy effort, but would take too long to establish on my own. By the time it got operational Rayne could damn the entire world to the warp. I need to depend on an existing operation. That means the Watcher’s Council. Giles you will contact them for me.” With a nod, an extremely shaken Giles hurries over to the phone. Buffy and Alexander stare at each other while the sounds of a heated conversation come from Giles office. Buffy can make out Giles end, and static that would be the other persons, but Alexander can clearly hear both sides. Finally Giles comes back in.
“They will have a private plane for you here tomorrow,” is Giles weary explanation.
“I know; I heard your conversation. I will take my leave now. This is goodbye.” With that final statement Alexander leaves, Giles and Buffy both staring at the sight of his retreating back.
“So Giles, what do we do? I’m scared. Willow is gone and now Xander is leaving.”
Hearing the emotions in Buffy’s voice, Giles pulled her into a hug. “We pray to whatever god will listen that Willow gets better and Xander finds himself.” Trying to alleviate some of the sorrow he attempts a joke. “I’m even willing to try this Emperor Xander seems to worship now.” His attempt earns him a weak smile and they simply sit there, holding each other.
Staring at the silent body lying on the bed, hearing the heartbeat in time with the beats from the machine Alexander thinks. Willow was like a battle-brother, a comrade in arms. He was reminded of what happened to Inquisitor Ligeia in Alaric memories, but this time he could do something. The holy strength of his wards should have purified any corrupted part of her spirit, and the shock of it might have sent the spirit back to its body, since it didn’t belong in the warp but back in a body. Crouching down he began inscribe holy passages around the body, before writing them on the body itself. Hopefully they would pass as tattoos to the nurses and would serve to keep evil from corrupting the body while the spirit worked itself out. At least they would keep anything from possessing it in case the spirit was gone. With a final look at the body of his best friend he left. By the next night he and his armor were packed aboard a private flight to England.
The time in England passed quickly for him. One demonstration of his and his armor’s ability, along with his purity of mind and soul was enough for them. Setting up a factory to produce the ammunition needed and the tools for his armor’s care took longer, but the Council was generous with their money. While it was set up he spent his time pouring over old documents and books, Watcher Diaries and squad reports, looking for any trace of organized forces of Chaos.
While Alexander was in England, what remained of the Scoobies struggled with betrayal. Ford had shaken Buffy’s faith deeply, and it was only Willow’s awakening that prevented her breakdown. But Willow had woken up changed; she had an obsession with the Emperor, talking about how she had seen his Golden Throne in her coma. She had set up a shrine in both her room and the library, along with caring a golden eagle symbol, an Aquila, with her wherever she went. It proved surprisingly useful against both vampires and daemons. Soon the assassins, hired by Spike to mask his movements, came to town, along with the second slayer, Kendra. They managed to survive, if only barely. Their fight continued, up until Drusilla decided to reunite the pieces of the Judge. This combined with danger presented by Angelus was enough for the Council to take notice, and test out their new operative.
The first thing Alexander noticed when he stepped off the private plane was, once again, the psychic wound in the earth that was the Hellmouth. He had no idea how to close it or he would have tried by now. This time he resolved to set up wards before he left, along with Holy Scriptures he had hand written, and an Aquila symbol. Hopefully they would help contain the warp from leaking through. His boots crunched on the pavement as he walked forward, wearing his armor, toward the school.
Staring around at the assembled group Buffy couldn’t feel any hope. She didn’t even know who she could trust after Angel’s betrayal and the outing of Jenny Calendar’s secret. She was here to, they couldn’t turn her away, even if Buffy wanted to, they needed the help that much. Over there sat Willow and Oz, one of the few people to actually believe Willow’s speeches about the God-Emperor, and Cordelia, all reading books trying to find some clue on how to stop the Judge. Giles was back I his office, trying to contact the Council archives for any help they would give. Suddenly the library doors slammed open and seeing a hulking figure she launched herself at it, stake in hand. With an odd sense of déjà vu she found herself being held just above the ground by the figure.
“I told you to never do that again,” the giant states.
“Xander,” Buffy says with a questioning tone.
“Alexander,” his tone brooks no arguments. “The Council informed me of the rising of the Judge.” Before he can continue Willow is before him, staring up at his featureless grey helmet.
Suddenly she gives him the Imperial salute and drops to kneel before him. “All hail the Grey Knight, Guardian of the Imperium and Sword of the Emperor.” Rising she continues, “I have started his church here on Earth. I present to you Daniel Osborne, Oz, as my first convert.” Like Willow, Oz gives the Imperial salute.
Alexander stares at them before finally answering. “It is good that someone is bringing his divine light to this planet. Continue your holy work Chaplain Willow, I will assist you in any way I can.”
“Thank you for your generous offer Astartes, but you are the Sword and Shield of the Emperor, you have more pressing concerns.”
Slowly Alexander nods before answering. “You are correct; the Judge is my pressing concern. Where is the daemon?”
At this point Cordelia interrupts. “Just what do you expect to do to it? All the books say it took an army, and no weapon forged.”
The cold gaze of Alexander’s helmet turns to face her. “Faith is my weapon, and with the Emperor’s blessings, I am an army.”
“Well I hope so,” says Buffy, despair tingeing her voice, “because we haven’t come up with anything yet. I’ll show you to their lair.” With that the entire group sets off.
When they arrive they find the warehouse deserted, only the crashed TV sets revealing it was ever used. “They must have left to charge the Judge. It said it required sacrifices to be effective.” With that statement Buffy shudders at the memory of what happened to the vampire, how the lightening seemed to arch all over it, tuning what was left of its ill-gotten blood into a vapor that disappeared.
“Where would the most people be right now?” questions Alexander.
“The mall,” says Oz, “Since the Bronze is closed.”The group headed off again, hoping they would make it in time to prevent a massacre.
They arrived at the mall just in time to see the Judge preparing to burn the souls of the entire floor, hundreds of people. He was an intimidating sight, dark blue skin and bronze armor, with a crown of horns decorating his head, and sorcerous lightening flickering around his hands. He was interrupted when Buffy let fly with her crossbow, being the first of the group in the mall since Alexander had to run there, he wouldn’t fit in the van. The Judge causally caught the bolt, letting his lightening fade from the civilians, who all scattered.
“A pitiful attempt. I thought the worms of this planet would improve at least slightly in their attempts after almost a century.” His voice thunders through the mall, bringing to mind pictures of death and destruction, civilizations falling, and bloated corpses floating in a sea of blood. “Who are you to attempt to challenge me?”
At this point Alexander steps forward. “Look at the face of your defeat daemon, I will send you back to the warp from which you came.”
At the sight of Alexander the Judge almost falters, “A servant of the corpse-god here?” but then regains his composure. “Not matter. Your soul will make a fitting offering to Khorne and I will sack your skull on the top of those of this town’s inhabitants. Your weapons will not harm me.”
“Know this daemon. This armor and weapon was forged over ten thousand years ago with the sole purpose of destroying your kind.” With that Alexander lets fly with three precise shots from his dual barreled Storm Bolter. The explosive bolts streak toward their targets, Angelus, Drusilla, and Spike, only for the Judge to send lightening against them, destroying them in midair. Undaunted Alexander charges forward, halberd ready to bisect his foe. The Judge lets fly with another burst of soul-flaying lightening. It slams into Alexander, and he can feel it slamming into his pentagram wards and his own psychic shielding around his soul, sending him rocketing back to crash into a stand, and the Judge begins to laugh, preparing to slay the rest of the group, when Alexander rises from the wreckage, wards glowing white hot. “Don’t turn away daemon. Your death approaches.”
This earns a surprised look from the Judge, while the vampires flee. “So you survived. Your skull will be a worthy offering. You have earned the honor of dying on my blade; the last pitiful humans that saw it were the knights that temporarily stopped me.” With those words his lightening seems to coagulate, forming a long s two handed sword as tall as the Judge, with a wicked serrated blade that blood flowed freely down. His blade meets with Alexander’s Nemesis Halberd in a spray of sparks and blood. Alexander’s halberd spins around faster than any normal man could move, its head carving down at the Judge. It was blocked with a spray of sparks and more blood sprays out to coat the floor. The Judge grins, his teeth are ebony fangs. He lunges forward, his blade like chained lightening striking down at Alexander. He turns the blade aside and suddenly the duel is on. The Judge doesn’t just want blood; blood was for the mindless daemons just summoned from the warp. He wants to prove his superiority, it is why he existed. It was in proving his superiority that the Judge offered up his prowess to Khorne the Blood god. The ring of their blades is so rapid and relentless that it sounds like driving rain inside the mall. The Judge slashes to fast to see, but his blade rings off Alexander’s halberd. Alexander knocks the daemon back with raw strength, his greater reach letting him hack out arching blows, to artless to wound, but enough to force the Judge back step by step.
Alexander fires a burst from his Storm Bolter, which the Judge swats away like insects. He ducks low and cuts down at Alexander’s legs. Alexander blocks one strike with the butt of his halberd, swings the blade down to turn aside the follow-up strike, then kicks out to catch the Judge in the chin. A deep cut is opened in the Judge’s monstrous face, and from the wound reaches tendrils of blood, snaking toward Alexander’s limbs to entangle the Grey Knight and leave him defenseless. Alexander grabs the reaching tentacles and rips them out, letting them fall limp to the floor and liquefy. This move seems to stun the Judge and Alexander takes the opportunity to swing out with his halberd, the Nemesis blade cutting cleanly through the Judges neck, sending the head toppling to the floor. The body stays upright and Alexander takes the opportunity to dice it, his blade slicing through the limbs as easily as through butter. Finally he brings his halberd up, twirling it so the blade faced the floor and brings it down, impaling the head and sending the tendrils of blood, that were seeking to reattach the limbs to the body, limp.
Panting heavily he straightens and looks at the stunned Scoobies. “We will collect all the pieces, keep them separate, and then burn them separately with a flame I will consecrate in the Emperor’s name.” Nodding the Scoobies move to follow his directions.
Later that night after watching the pieces go up in flame, Alexander faces the group. “I go back to England now, contact the Watcher’s Council if you need assistance.” They say their goodbyes, Willow and Oz receiving his blessing in spreading the worship of the Emperor. An hour later Alexander is on his way back to England, performing the wargear rites to keep his gear clean and in shape on the plane.
Less than a month later he is back again. The Council had heard about Angelus’s constant attacks on the Slayer. They were distracting her from her duty, allowing a coach to turn the entire local swim team into a new breed of aquatic daemons. Now they wanted the thorn out of the Slayer’s side and to send a message to any other daemons by sending what was becoming their trump card.
Arriving at the school he is greeted by a most unusual sight. Jenny Calendar is holding Angelus and a group of his minions back with an Aquila. Striding forward he opens fire, a precise volley of bolter shots streaming toward his target. Angelus must have heard him coming, for even as Alexander opened fire he pulled a minion in front of him to take the shot heading toward him, while more of his minions dust around him in explosions of stolen blood. Angelus runs, ducking through a nearby door and out into the darkness. Alexander considers pursuing, but decides that any figure bearing a symbol of faith to the Emperor is more important than Council orders. Walking over he inspects Jenny for any visible injuries. “Are you alright?” he questions, wanting to make sure he didn’t miss anything in his visual scan.
Jenny found his deep, metallic voice strangely reassuring. “Yeah, I’m fine, but rather shook up.”
“What are you doing here so late, without any of the group?” Alexander was actually curious about this; he thought the Scoobies would be more cautious than this.
Jenny almost seems to break down at his question, sagging against a nearby wall. Gently he grabs her and moves to the library, setting her in one of the comfortable chairs Giles has. Taking off his helmet to give her some reassurance and a human face to speak to, not plain gunmetal grey, he asks her again, “Why were you alone?”
She takes a moment to gather herself before answering. “After you dealt with the Judge I was ostracized again, now that there was no massive daemon for them to focus on to block out what Buffy thought of as my betrayal. It got worse when Angelus became more active. Only Willow and Oz would talk to me, they thought punishing a daemon was a good thing.” She pauses to take a breath and look at the Aquila that saved her life. “That was also how I joined the faith. Tonight the Emperor saved me, he sent his Knight for my protection.” With that statement she looks up at him and smiles, letting her finger trace the scars on his face. She finally stops at his service stud, letting her hand drop. “I was working on the spell that was originally used to curse Angelus.” Seeing his harsh look she stopped and shook her head. “It wasn’t what you’re thinking. That spell is one of the few spells I have ever heard of that could be used from a distance. Most spells require either eyesight or something of the target to focus on. This one used an Orb of Thesalus, a relatively simple object that had nothing to do with either Angelus or the soul put into him. If I could break down the spell into its base components I could make a new spell that could burn him, or call down lightening or something, where ever he hides. He must of heard about me buying the Orb and thought I was going to use the original spell.” Her face suddenly crumples in disappointment. “It doesn’t matter now anyway. He destroyed all my work, including the disk I had stored my progress on.”
“Doesn’t matter.” The deep rumble of Alexander’s voice fills the library, softer without the metallic tones of his vox box filtering it. “I was sent here to kill it, so it won’t live long.”
A look of relief fills Jenny’s face at hearing this. “Good, the sooner Angelus is dead the better. He almost killed my uncle, only the Aquila I gave him saved him. He now believes in the power of the Emperor, hopefully he will pass that belief on to the tribe, though it might be tough to shake them of their belief in Count Dracula.” She continues to ramble like this for a minute, still slightly in shock.
Alexander actually smiles at hearing this. “It is good to know the faith is spreading.” Then it darkens. “But where are Willow and Oz? You said they stayed with you.”
“With Giles and Buffy, they’ve been keeping me informed.”
“Thank you for informing me of what has been happening. We will both go to meet the others tomorrow.” He cuts off her objection at his plan. “You know the most about my prey and it would be foolish to ignore that.” He suddenly smiles again. “Additionally you are one of the faithful and deserve the protection.” Seeing her objection fade he continues. “I do not think Angelus will leave his lair again tonight and you must be returned home.” With that he puts his helmet back on as she stands on shaky legs, the adrenaline from her earlier experience long faded. He easily scoops her up with one arm, holding her in a resting position against his chest with his Storm Bolter arm, leaving the other free to use his halberd in case of attack. He carries her home, dropping her off right in front of her door before heading to her garage, the only place big enough to hold him, and beginning to meditate in full gear, ready to go in a heartbeats notice.
The next morning comes early, as they both plan to leave before the town awakes, as Alexander will be in full armor and carrying Jenny. They reach the school and Alexander manages to squeeze his bulk into the library where they await the rest of the group.
Giles was having a good morning. Angelus had been quiet, which he couldn’t decide was good or bad, and no recent daemons had cropped up after the hospital one had been killed. He was a tad concerned about Acathla, at the museum, but after his meeting with the director last night he was assured that it would be shipped out to the Watcher’s Councils storehouse by this evening. His good mood was abruptly shattered at the sight of Jenny sitting in his library. “You! Why the bloody hell are you here?! More secrets or bad news to share?” what was shaping up to be a harsh tongue lashing was suddenly cut off by a deep, metallic voice.
“You are too harsh Giles. You too had secrets to keep if I do recall.” Turning Giles stares at the armored form standing in the corner, even as memories boiled up. Not long ago Eyghon, the Sleepwalker had come for his and his old friends’ souls, all except Ethan. It had taken over Jenny, then Jenny, and was driven into Angel and killed. When he questioned Eyghon before its demise he was told that Ethan now belonged to someone stronger then Eyghon, and Eyghon’s master was not pleased that Eyghon allowed him to be lost. That was the reason Eyghon was so desperate to get the others before they found a way out, to appease his master. He didn’t even want to think the master’s name. Hearing it was temptation alone, pleasure and pain together for eternity. Shaking himself from his memories he stared at Alexander’s armored form. “Jenny has been loyal, and she knows Angelus. You have been fools to ignore that.”
“She betray-” Giles started, but was cut off.
“Enough. When can we expect the other’s to arrive?” demands Alexander.
“Shortly. We’ve been meeting before school to check on daemonic and vampiric movements,” replies Giles. Just after he stops talking Willow and Oz walk in, both with changed appearances. Willow is bearing what has to be a custom made staff. What looks to be an oaken shaft, sharpened to a point and metal capped, with an eagle on top. The eagle wings’ are spread and they appear razor sharp. The head arches forward, with the beak a vicious point, able to hook and enemy and pull them closer. Oz bears an Aquila necklace, and a set of Aquila rings that look like they could pass as brass knuckles. Alexander took a half a second to wonder why Snyder allowed it, but then discarded it as unimportant.
They both see him and give the Imperial salute, which he returns. “Hail the Emperor. Alexander, it is good to see you,” says Willow.
“Agreed,” says Oz.
“May He reign forever.” A smile cracks Alexander’s face beneath his helmet, though none can see. “It is good to see you both again. I hear you have been spreading the faith.”
“Yes, many have taken up worshiping the Emperor. The faith is spreading and this town is in need of the Holy Light of the Emperor. It appears Christianity can easily be modified slightly to fit with the Emperor’s worship.” Oz nods in agreement with Willow’s assessment.
Alexander nods, before a solemn demeanor seems to engulf him. “But to the topic at hand. What can you both tell me about Angelus? He attacked Jenny last night with a group of minions, but I destroyed them. He ran while I checked on her. Did anything happen to you?”
They both shake their heads in the negative. “Just a normal patrol for us, with visits to some of the faithful when they are on the path. He’s been trying scare and guerilla tactics, but neither of us has any family located nearby for him to attack. He tried to attack one of our congregations to make up for that, but he couldn’t even get close to anyone, or enter the building.” Once again Oz merely nods in agreement.
Buffy and Cordelia both enter, arguing about something again. “All I’m saying is you have to do something about your crazy boyfriend. I invited him into my car! MY CAR! I’m not safe in there anymore. It’s not safe anymore! He could scratch the paint or something.” Cordelia actually sounds serious.
“I think we may have more important things to worry about then your car,” says Buffy with acid in her voice. Anything further she was going to say is silenced by the sight of everyone in the library. “Alexander? What are you doing here? Is there some new big bad I should know about?” Buffy asks, actually sounding confused.
“You know him already, and reportedly caused him. I am here to deal with Angelus.”
At Alexander’s words Buffy’s eyes go wide. “What?! But I can save him! I just need time.” Her voice is pleading and full of despair, as if her rational mind knows Angel is gone, even if her heart does not.
“It is time to deal with the daemon; he has been allowed to run amok for far too long. I start my hunt today.” While Buffy and Alexander have been talking Giles has been staring at his morning paper, getting paler and paler.
“I fear we don’t have that long,” Giles interrupts the growing argument with urgency and fear in his voice. “Angelus may be planning to end the world.” The entire room turns to face him. “I was asked to visit the museum last night; they had dug up something local they wanted my opinion on. It turned out to be a daemon, turned to stone and imprisoned, buried beneath the hills to hide it. Acathla was a daemon that was said to be able to take the entire world to Hell by inhaling. A knight with a blessed blade killed it before it could complete the process. The director was an associate of the Watcher’s Council and called in me as a consultant. He promised me it would be on its way to the Watcher’s Council’s storeroom by tonight, but the paper says the director was murdered and the form stolen. I fear Angelus has it.”
“No!” the cry of denial bursts from Buffy’s lips. “There is no way Angel would do that, he wouldn’t!” She collapses into tears, unable to deal with this final blow.
Soldiering, ignoring her tears in favor of imparting the critical information Giles continues. “He will take some time to learn how to awaken Acathla, but I don’t know how long. Especially with Drusilla helping him.”
“I must begin my search now; I’ll rendezvous with the group here at seven o’clock. May the Emperor be with you all.” Alexander leaves, the cry of “And may His Light guide your search!” following him out of the building.
“We will continue classes as normal; perhaps the gossip in the school might reveal something about his patterns or whereabouts from who has lost family and friends recently. And those who have lost loved ones may accept the Emperor’s protection as their own.” With that speech Willow leaves, Oz trailing behind her. Jenny shrugs and follows them. A bemused Cordelia leaves as well, absently wondering if there might be something to this Emperor.
Buffy pulls herself together just in time for a dark skinned girl, Kendra, to come in. “My Watcher sensed a dark power rising, he sent me to bring this.” With that statement she pulls a wrapped bundle from her back, unwrapping it to reveal a beautiful sword.
When Alexander returns that afternoon, it is to a completely different library. Bookshelves are overturned with their contents chaotically spread throughout the room. All the furniture is fit for little more than kindling, and everything is coated in a layer of dust. Cordelia lays slumped against a wall, unconscious, he can hear her heartbeat and see her breathing. Willow is using her staff to stand while Oz is cradling his arm, which is clearly broken with the hand purple with bruises, both of them standing over a dark skinned body, which Buffy is cradling, tears in her eyes. Almost immediately as Alexander steps in through the front double doors, two cops enter through the rear doors. “Freeze!” They aim their guns at the group, not seeing Alexander standing behind the shattered remains of a bookcase, even though it does not even come close to hiding his figure.
“Stand Down!” Alexander’s voice thunders in the enclose space. The officers whirl, both pointing their guns at the massive figure. Alexander recognizes them from Halloween, the men Alaric saved. “Sergeant Graf, call for a medical unit, at least 3 wounded, one possible fatality. Officer Molchany, provide what medical aid you can to the girl on the floor, try and stem the bleeding. The other one is steady for now, merely unconscious.” Both officers look at each other, but follow Alexander’s commands, knowing precisely what he is capable of. While the police go about their assigned tasks Alexander walks over to the Scoobies.
Seeing Buffy is in no condition to answer, mechanically obeying the Officer’s orders to apply pressure to the wound while he tries to keep her heart beating, Alexander asks Willow, “What happened here?”
She straightens up as much as possible and gives the salute with her off hand. “We were ambushed. Buffy went out alone because of a suicidal messenger she received during school today. We stayed here to research more, hoping to find some way to contain Acathla’s effects or banish him. While Buffy was gone Drusilla attacked with a huge group of minions. She attacked Kendra…” A fanatical gleam fills Willow’s eyes. “Her faith and soul were weak. She gave into Drusilla’s foul stare and was led like a pig to the slaughter. The Emperor protected his own from her evil temptations and we fought back. Drusilla sacrificed several minions just to get the Aquila from Ms. Calendar’s neck, they would burst into flame whenever they touched it, so strong was her faith. Eventually Giles and Ms. Calendar were cut off from the rest of us and overwhelmed, knocked unconscious. Drusilla took them with her and left the rest of her minions here to stall us. Buffy only arrived a minute before you.” She stops as more police and paramedics burst into the library, followed by Principal Snyder, who immediately begins to demand they all be arrested. Buffy, standing there with Kendra’s blood on her hands, still in shock, is immediately beset by the police. Before Alexander can take control of the situation, Buffy panics, throwing off the cops and dashing out the back door. A group of police go to give chase, but are stopped by Alexander’s massive arm snapping out and driving fist deep into the wall, blocking the door. Nervously they glance at the large appendage, following to the even larger armor clad body, before they retreat a few steps.
Alexander pulls his arm out of the wall then calmly opens his fist, letting the piece of the steel I-beam he grabbed drop to the floor with a loud clank, silencing all the commotion. He stalks towards Snyder, the police parting in front of him, as Snyder backs, having to take three steps for every one of Alexander’s. Finally Alexander corners Snyder and stares at him, his hand reaching to his belt to pull out… a set of papers. The disgust is clear in his voice as he speaks. “If you had waited before making your baseless accusations you would know that Buffy and the entire group are heroes. They held off an assault on this school be a set of very dangerous individuals and then Buffy supplied medical aid to the causality you see on the floor, aiding an officer.” The Sergeant Graf checks the papers and confirms them as giving Alexander diplomatic immunity with the United States of America and all United Nations countries, along with being able to temporarily blanket others with that protection, pending review if needed. The police back off at the Sergeant’s announcement, with Snyder still in shock and unable to give the Mayor’s orders. Ushering the remaining Scoobies into the care of the paramedics, Alexander reclaims his papers and marches out the doors; he had to complete his mission.
Leaving the burning wreck of the daemon bar behind him he heads to the Crawford Street Mansion, determined to stop the daemon from sending the entire world into the Warp. Arriving on the street he stops, hearing a heartbeat approaching from behind him he turns; wary of what could be out this late at night. Seeing Buffy he turns the halberd, pointing at the decaying mansion. “The daemon is in there.”
“I know,” is Buffy’s simple statement. What she says next brings him to full alertness. “Spike and whistler both told me.” He had heard both these names before. Spike was just another vampire, no threat to him. It was Whistler that had him worried, for the Council knew him by another name, Raezazel the Cunning, servant of Tzeentch A wild glint appears in Buffy’s eyes and instantly his guard is raised again. “Spike said he would take out Drusilla, and Whistler…” Her voice fades for a second before coming back, the mania in it even stronger. “Whistler said they were going to bring Angel back! Angel is coming back! Then everything will be alright!”
Buffy is shaken out of her madness at the fury in Alexander’s voice. “You have made a deal with the forces of Chaos! The enemy of mankind! You are traitor, heretic, cast out from the light of the Emperor. Repent your ways and you may know peace in death.” His halberd would be quivering with his urge to kill her if not for his iron self control. Buffy looks at him in shock as he steps closer. “Be gone from this place heretic, before I wet my blade with your blood. Repent and talk to Chaplain Willow or the next time I see you will be the last.” She stumbles backward, nearly falling to the ground before recovering. Slowly she gains speed, constantly looking back at the imposing and harsh figure of Alexander, his metallic gaze never wavering from her.
Turning away from the departing figure Alexander begins to run toward the building. He slams into one of the falls and goes through it as if it were tissue paper, appearing in the main room where the daemon is just as Angelus pulls the sword from Acathla.
At the same time Willow is resting in the hospital, her leg badly sprained, with Oz in the bed next to her. Suddenly her eyes snap open, completely black, and strange words in a lost language spill from her mouth. She can taste the power in those words, the power she can reach out and grasp. But suddenly she stops, the darkness fading as her Aquila, which she refused to give up, flares with a golden light. “No! Foul Powers I will not give in! The Emperor is my light and my savior! He is with me wherever I go!” The blackness tries to regain control, seeping into the edges of her vision, but suddenly another voice is there, joining her own in a hymn to the Emperor. The blackness fades again and this time does not reappear.
Angelus stares at the armored figure that just burst through the wall, for it is the first time he had seen it up close. He twirls the sword in his hand confidently. “So you’re the Grey Knight. I’ve killed knights before, the fact your bigger just means your slow-” His arrogant boasting is cut off as Alexander’s Nemesis halberd cuts easily through his daemon possessed body, his speed no match for a Space Marine. As the dust falls to the ground Alexander stares at the growing portal. He can feel the pull of the warp on his psychic shields and the wards are flaring at this close proximity. The surrounding building begins to change, growing eyes and mouths filled with saw like teeth. Tentacles form to wave around like ferns in a breeze while faces, souls, appear and disappear into the woodwork. As Alexander strides toward the portal, praying to the Emperor for guidance, he can see monstrous things forming at the edge, ready to leap through once the portal gets wider. Seeing movement Alexander turns, bolter raised, to see a stone daemon, Acathla, laughing at him.
“Fool. Arrogant servant of the corpse-god. The portal is forming and nothing you can do can stop it. Your pitiful blade cannot pierce my stone hide. Give your soul to chaos and you might stand before the coming storm.” His laughter is cut off as Alexander’s bolter round smashes into his body and detonates, sending stone flying everywhere, no piece bigger then a marble. Turning back to the portal, preparing to battle the legions of chaos as they pour through the portal, to give his life in defense of mankind, he is surprised to see the portal closing.
Slowly the portal closes, the screeching daemons on the other side frantically trying to force their way through the shrinking circle, until finally it winks out of existence. “Praise the Emperor.” Alexander looks around at the mansion, the tentacles still waving and attempting to grasp him and pull him toward the mouths, while the eyes stare hatefully at him. He reaches to a belt pouch and pulls out blocks of PE4, the British version of C4. Sticking a timed detonator in them he throws them around the Chaos tainted parts of the building, hoping they would be enough to destroy them. Hurriedly he seacrhes all the nontainted parts of the building, hoping Giles and Jenny were there, for if they were in the tainted parts there was no hope for them. Finding them wounded and unconcscious he grabs them both and dashes out of the building. Running outside he shields them as the building explodes, leaving a ruined structure behind. Still not satisfied he opens a vox channel and sends a prearranged signal. Five minutes later a dark shape streaks through sky, indistinguishable from the night it flies in. A shrieking fills the air and then the mansion burns white hot with flames that turn night to day. Alexander stands there, feeling the heat through his armor and waits until nothing is left by ashes that soon scatter to the wind. Nodding in satisfaction that mankind is safe from one more threat he walks into the darkness, carrying Giles and Jenny.