The All-Spark Teen
The idea for the way the nanobots work came from the Kerrelyn Sparks vampire books. Except that his feed off fat, making it easy to replenish without the teeth, they function identically.
Xander never told anyone about his Terrabots. He was intensely afraid of what could happen if someone found out about them. Losing his father was enough to almost break the teenager. He couldn’t lose another of his family.
He went back to school at Angel’s request and found so many things. His first crush that was quickly assuaged. The shouting match between himself, Willow, and Jesse. Losing Jesse and finally being told exactly what Iceflame and Hellfire had been fighting all these years. Only his hold on his family had let him keep his tenuous grip on sanity, but he became even more determined never to tell anyone, not even Willow, about his Terrabots.
That first year after Angel’s death passed quickly for Xander, more of a blur than anything else. Freecare made sure that the teen ate and kept Angel close when the ‘bot forced him to sleep. Through the ambulance’s constant supervision, Xander regained some of the weight that he had lost during the Dark Times, as the twins referred to it, and began to act more human. But even so, he was still insanely overprotective of them all. When the twins went out for their patrols, he stayed awake until Freecare pronounced them 100% healthy before allowing himself to collapse into Angel’s arms.
Unfortunately, the only carbon-based life form who would have noticed the differences in Xander’s personality, was more focused on the Slayer. Willow was research-girl so much that it and homework was all she had time for. And as how Xander was quiet except for the once-in-a-blue-moon comment, she barely noticed him and his newfound paranoia.
The summer after sophomore year, Xander stayed in the junkyard with his family 24/7. With Freecare’s help, he made improvements to the nanobots in his bloodstream, making it nearly impossible to keep an injury on him. An interesting side effect was that over a period of three days, he grew four inches, put on at least the same amount of muscle that he lost in fat, and all his senses were highly acute. The ‘bots were concerned at first, but Freecare gave the all clear after bugging their maker with thrice-daily checkups. It seemed that the nanobots fed on the fat cells that had previously inhabited Xander’s biology, using their (admittedly poor) programming to eliminate all non-DNA-explained matter. In the long term, Xander would now live a very long time…in the short term, he ate a ton of food everyday to keep up with the tiny ‘bots so that they didn’t eat him from the inside out. But they were working on fixing that problem. On the plus side, he was in the best condition of his life, and very handsome to boot.
That summer Xander also made another Terrabot from an almost-brand-new PSP he found dumped in a roadside trashcan. The little Terrabot was small enough to go everywhere with the All-Spark, giving him instant contact with every other ‘bot within a fifty mile radius. Gadget, as the little one was dubbed, also found himself keeping track of Xander’s many thoughts and ideas for projects to work on later. When school started again, Gadget became invaluable to the teen. Especially since the more he studied, the more he learned, and the more ideas the teen had. Though he had long since passed Angel’s regimen of schoolwork (unbeknownst to him, he now had three degrees: masters in Biology, Computer Programming, and a Doctorate in Engineering) he couldn’t stop his mind from thinking of how to upgrade technology, and new items to make life a little easier for everybody, and even some projects he started because they sounded like fun.
When Buffy returned from her vacation and began her bitch-fest, Xander finally acknowledged his differences between the two women and drew away. With the spare time, Xander set up a new lab in the junkyard for the more mundane projects and began to designs computer programs, phones, discs, memory chips, and more. The patents on the items came out of the lab every month or so, and the money rolled in.
Giles was the only one of the group that kept contact with the teen, having seen just how smart the boy was in comparison and not blaming the kid for wanting more than what he had. He had been the one to encourage Xander to get his GED and continue to college now while he could. So when he contacted Xander some time after he pegged the charts with his score and requested his help, Xander immediately began working. The Watcher didn’t know about the robots, but he did know how smart the boy truly was. When the vampire Angel became Angelus, he called the smartest person he knew: Xander.
Xander immediately asked his father Angel for money to begin working, since Xander wasn’t very good with money Angel had been elected to keep track of all patents, contracts, and transactions. Xander bought the largest warehouse in the area and began to build. First by…appropriating…a brand-new army tank and a wrecked 18-wheeler from the junkyard. Then starting from scratch creating the most advanced weapons he could come up with, which were admittedly very scary. Xander made several high-energy cannons where one shot could level a concrete bunker, a phosphorescent torch burning more than 8000 degrees Celsius, and two specialized lights with the artificial ability similar to actual sunlight to all vampires. Then he combined them with his All-Spark lightning to create the next Terrabot.
Requiem was the tallest Terrabot so far, towering over even Hellfire, and built for supernatural war. Only his programming to defer to his maker kept him from killing every demon he could feel immediately, and possibly leveling the entire town in the process. It took a few trial runs of decimated buildings before Xander felt his second in command had enough control and finesse for Angelus.
By the time Xander had built and deemed his newest creation ready to deal with the sadistic vampire, it was almost the end of the year and Angelus had become an annoyance to the entire Terrabot family. It was more than a few times Giles had called Xander to ask for help with the latest scheme the vampire was trying to employ to end the world. The Judge incident had put Hellfire in a sour mood since he had been unable to enter the mall without breaking anything, and Iceflame consequently had to endure Freecare’s kind ministrations when the vampire minions had attacked her after the Judge had gone down in one shot of the smallest Terrabot cannon. Both twins had complained enough even Angel told them to shut up.
Now Giled had called again with a new Angelus project, Acathla. Requiem was ready. Gadget was on com-duty, and they all heard the scream of the Slayer when she saw a ‘mechanical demon’ incinerate her love in one tightly controlled blast. Only Xander’s standing order of ‘don’t kill humans’ saved the girl from the ‘don’t let anyone see you’ rule. Though the newest Terrabot got an earful for letting himself been seen, the story was never introduced to the public and Xander eventually stopped twitching a the sight of a newspaper when a month passed and no headline. Buffy did leave after Requiem saved the world, so Freecare and Angel got the lovely job of daily hacking into all newspapers in the west coast to make sure of the no-liner.
Requiem, Iceflame, and Hellfire continued to monitor and subdue the demonic population that summer, and Xander began a new project in the, now empty, warehouse. He did create another Terrabot, Cradle, to be the mother to Angel’s father. Xander included in her the ability to carry the smaller Terrabots, if needed, in her second form, just in case of any significant injuries. Her first sentences were scolding the twins for a lack of hygiene, making Xander laugh for the first time in a long time. The twins didn’t mind as much after that.
Meanwhile, quietly and without Xander’s knowledge, the twins and Requiem ritually assassinated every high-level demon in a 100-mile radius, as far away as they could get and still make it home in time for the curfew without Xander noticing the pull on his soul. Xander didn’t pay attention to the news other than “Has Requiem’s show-and-tell become public?” that became asked less and less. So when the papers reported an almost 93% decrease in unexplained deaths and homicides, he didn’t notice. Nor the article that appeared in the Sunnydale Times that proclaimed the entire mayoral staff suddenly disappearing in late July.
Xander focused on his many projects, only the more tame making it to mainstream publicity, so much so that Angel and Freecare were constantly having to remind the teen to eat and sleep. A few times the medic had to drug Xander after being awake so long he was making them nervous, especially when he sleepwalked into the chemistry part of the warehouse. Gadget was kept so busy that Freecare requested a computer with a memory large enough to dump in all the projects and files when they got home, to which Xander had only blinked, shrugged and did as asked. Gadget didn’t mind, even having a permanent smile on his face for all the time he spent with his creator, the workload didn’t bother him. Angel and Freecare gave each other knowing looks, smiled indulgently, and periodically dumped Gadget’s memory banks so the little ‘bot still had enough processing power to function normally. And every time Xander made a better memory chip, the smallest Terrabot was the first to receive it.
The business that held all of Xander’s patents was the next Microsoft, just ask anyone. Though Zantara didn’t make anything, it came out with a steady stream of patents, and other company’s regularly got into bidding wars for the newest whosiwhatsit from the company. Zantara only received a percentage of the company’s profits from selling the item, but it was enough that in the first six months, Xander was a millionaire, and in a year and a half was a multi-millionaire…and he had absolutely no idea.
The three non-combatant robots kept up with all the transactions, money, patents, deals, contracts, etc. Cradle took over for Angel a week after she was created, but quickly started using the high-memory computer system, dubbed The Box, Xander had built to help. When their All-Spark wanted to buy an item for such-and-such, he went to them and asked for it, trusting their judgment to get the best deal of the best out there, and they them delivered it directly to the warehouse. So Xander never knew how much money he had, and he never asked. Freecare was concerned if the teen ever found out the medic would find out just how well he was able to repair organic machines, even with the nanobots to keep the kid alive.
Xander’s supposed senior year was filled with these projects and he was quite happy. Xander was free to create for a full year. This gave him much needed time to relax, unwind, and become more of the teen he was supposed to be. But the companies wanting new and better became less of a relaxation and more of a job, which introduced more stress. So when the next summer came around, Xander proposed a vacation.
Hellfire, ever the battle-eager Terrabot, volunteered to stay behind and keep the demons afraid, aka dead, and guard the Zantara warehouse. In response, Freecare rolled his eyes and voted to make sure the ‘bot didn’t overexert himself.
It was a sign of how much more relaxed their master had become after three years that he agreed to such a separation of his family.
Finally done. The All-Spark Adult should be updated within the next two weeks, after finals are over.