A Blend of Dark and Light
Word count: 881 Disclaimer:
This is a work of fanfiction intended for entertainment only. No money is being made and the author makes no claim to copyrighted material. BtVS and Angel are owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Thanks to the Stargate universe for the Alterrans.
The metaplane that was home to the beings known to the Slayer and her allies as "the Powers That Be" was difficult to reach for a reason: The PTB had no desire to deal with the minutiae of their champions' lives. Instead they maintained their distance – created seers to pass on messages (often of dubious value) or sometimes, using the title "Oracle", one or more of them would act as a direct intermediary but only if the Plan was at a particularly sensitive phase and required more direct contact with the Mortal Plane. Sometimes they even sent their lesser servants – such as the demon known as Whistler – with direct messages.
The Powers were therefore rather put out when a visitor came from the Mortal Realm without any kind of permission.
They were even more disturbed when they found themselves gathering perforce in a space that had been shaped to mimic a Greek amphitheatre. None amongst them had shaped this place, and each of them had been… compelled
… to attend.
In the centre of the amphitheatre was a small human woman. She had red hair and green eyes and was wearing clothing typical of the time and place of Slayer Summers. This, they all knew, was the Witch – Summers' friend.
The Witch was tapping a foot, arms folded in a manner which Whistler could have told the Powers indicated great irritation. The Powers, though, had no understanding of human body language. Why would they need it: Humans and Demons alike existed only to serve the Powers' purpose after all.
The Witch raised her head and cast her gaze over the assembled Powers. She did not look at all impressed – nor cowed, fearful, awed, or terrified. In fact, none of the emotional states that most appealed to the Powers' vast egos.
The Witch spoke, her voice pitched to carry, amplified by the amphitheatre. "I am told that the Powers exist to maintain the balance between Good and Evil. That the sufferings of your Champions are necessary because those same sufferings serve the balance. I am also told that humans – even Champions – have free will…"
A Power interrupted the Witch. "You do not belong…"
The Witch ignored the Power completely. "… Did you know that Cordelia woke from her coma? No? Perhaps you had written her off as a failed pawn.
"Did you know that Cordelia passed her visions to me? No? Oh, that's right; you were looking the wrong way at the time." An entirely malicious smirk spread across her delicate features and she unfolded one arm and made a quick gesture.
An image appeared as though through a misty window. Willow and Kennedy were eating lunch together in a park. The skyline suggested they were in LA.
"I guess you were watching this Willow. She's been living the life of the Red Witch for a while now, doing all the things that Willow should be doing: Eating, sleeping, researching, shopping... She's a completely functional duplicate". Her grin widened, showing teeth.
"So, going back to my monologue: I now have Cordelia's visions and also the vast knowledge she gained when your pet demon Skip persuaded her to Ascend…"
She was interrupted again as a Power attempted to protest "But you can't have…"
Willow smiled again. Powers slightly more aware than the others stepped backwards, away from the metaphorical sharks. "I could, can, and did. You have no idea what I can do."
She paused, waiting. When no further protest came, she continued. "Jesse died because he could have been a powerful force for Good in the world. Free will, you would say; he chose to go with Darla that night. Of course he did; he was fifteen and had no idea what was waiting in the dark. Two slayers so one of them had to Fall. Again, you say free will. I say it was easy to manipulate the situation and direct Faith down the path you wanted her to take. So many lives ruined, destroyed, shattered, all in the name of Balance."
A frisson of fear rippled through the assembled Powers. As the human spoke, her voice was deepening and syllable by syllable they felt their strength ebbing away. It was almost as though she were bespelling them somehow – but such a thing was impossible. Wasn't it?
The Witch paused, lowering her chin to contemplate her feet. Then she looked up and in her eyes the Powers saw condemnation.
Her voice echoed about the amphitheatre, rolled eerily over skin and shivered down nerves; sank claws into egos. "I was born in the Mouth of Hell and consumed power sourced in Darkness. I raised Proserpexa. I used the Scythe to awaken all the Slayers and in that act I blended the Dark with the Light and made Grey.
I am the Living Balance. I stand between Good and Evil, Dark and Light and I hold the knowledge of the Ascended Alterrans."
She made a slashing motion with her hand, and the Powers shrieked as their essences were shredded, destroyed, eradicated.
The Witch smiled grimly, her gaze flicking towards the window in which Willow and Kennedy were now walking hand in hand.
Balance. Neutrality. Equilibrium... To hell with the Powers' precious Balance and their self-serving Plan.
Humming cheerfully to herself, the new Power transformed into her energy form. She had much work to do if she was to achieve her own blend of Dark and Light.