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Zilch

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Summary: Everyone claimed he was nothing, until they realised that nothing was a power in itself. Captured and modified by the government, the former Zeppo must discover who and what he was and will be. It really hurts to start out as a Zilch.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > X-Men > Xander-CenteredBarefootXOFR1822,40034010,2783 May 0929 Oct 10No

Weapon X

I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or X-men. They belong to Joss Whedon and Marvel Comics respectively...

~~

Weapon X Initiative ~ Area 51
July 21st 2002


“What exactly do we have here, Agent Finn? I seem to recall hearing you state unequivocally that this particular young man had no abilities that might be harnessed for combating the mutant problem.”

“That is precisely what we believed, Doctor. Every situation he was placed in appeared to confirm what we believed to be true. He seemed completely unremarkable.”

“Then why have you detained a citizen of the United States and taken him to this facility, Agent? We do not need the President coming down on us for that sort of thing unless there is something we can show for it.”

“Back in early 2001, just shortly after I broke away from the group, I observed an incident involving a troll hammer hitting the subject. It should have hurt him a great deal more then it did. The tool had some very powerful magics in it, you see.”

“I do. It sounds like a fluke.”

“As I thought, too. And so I let it lie. But this is the big one, Doctor. Less then a month ago the Red Witch went on the warpath. She was planning to end the world. We had snipers ready to take her out, it was that dicey. He stopped her.”

“He stopped her? How?”

“He talked her down.”

“Talked her down? What’s his power, super-psychology?”

“No Doctor, you don’t understand. While he was talking her down she hit him with bolt after bolt of magical energy. Virtually anyone you could name would have been killed. Maybe Agent Wolverine could have survived it what with his healing factor, but not many if any…”

“How is this possible?”

“We’re speculating here. The problem with our speculation is that he hasn’t been tested against mutants. We think he is immune to the direct application of powers, mutant and magical…”

“How much checking have you done...?”

“He’s a mutant. Tests are conclusive for the M-gene. As I said, the power is so subtle that it’s hard to quantify. Vampires can still affect him well because their powers of strength and speed affect themselves directly. The hurt they cause others through it is secondary.”

“What about hypnosis? We know that Dracula managed to affect him.”

“We are currently speculating that vampiric hypnosis is not a power, so much as it is a talent, like regular hypnosis. It would explain why so few vampires have access to it.”

“Any other evidence?”

“Two-fold. First is the Judge incident. Drusilla’s precognitive abilities should have seen the rocket launcher coming, but Xander was the only one who knew the plan until it was show-time. Also, one might note that magic in general tends to misfire spectacularly.”

“The possessions?”

“He was too young. We think his powers only activate partway through his seventeenth year. He may have been a late bloomer.”

“Interesting. What’s his current designation?”

“Mutant 666. We’re thinking for a codename we could use Zilch.”

“Any other interesting abilities, outside of his talent for not being affected by abilities?”

“He seems to have an unusually dense bone structure. It would explain why he’s lived so long without many broken bones. It also helps explain the troll’s hammer a touch more. Even with the power neutralised, the hammer's weight was considerable and the troll was very strong.”

“Makes sense… Anything else?”

“Not as yet.”

“Keep studying him. We’ll figure out what to do with him soon enough. Good job Agent Finn.”

“Not a problem, Doctor Walsh…”

**

July 29th 2002

“What have you done so far?”

“We’re working on heavy duty memory suppression and brainwashing. By the time we’re done with him, he should be a fairly clean slate, completely loyal to us.”

“How is it going so far?”

“The memory suppression is working beautifully. The brainwashing is troublesome, though. I think the hyena and soldier instincts are bleeding through and helping him to fight it.”

“What would happen if we brought a mage in to complete the merging properly?”

“It would likely enhance his senses, reinforce his half-remembered military training, possibly render positive impacts on his speed and strength. The military training being further ingrained may also help to confer a sense of loyalty to the government and therefore the project by association.”

“Get a mage in here then. Worst case is that we make him better then he was, even if the added loyalty doesn’t take. Stop attempting to brainwash him for now. We’ll get back to that trouble later if this doesn’t do it for us. Make sure to complete his memory suppression though. It wouldn’t do for his memories of the Initiative to contradict his new reality, would it?”

“Of course not, Doctor.”

**

August 5th 2002

“Status report.”

“Mutant 666 has had his memories fully suppressed. It would take extensive work by a skilled psychiatrist to even begin to dig up his memories. He’s currently being kept in suspension to prevent a violent attack like we had with Wolverine back in the day.”

“What about telepaths?”

“Irrelevant. No telepath can even touch his mind. He’s a blank slate to them. There is no chance of restoring his memory except through extensive work and therapy.”

“Excellent. What is the extent of this talent of his?”

“No ability may directly affect him. Magneto, for example, would be unable to affect the iron in Zilch’s blood. However, Magneto would still be able to throw a set of metal steak knives at him?”

“Clothing?”

“There is a certain limited area affect element to his abilities which seems to affect his clothing somewhat.”

“Fascinating.”

**

August 19th 2002

Zilch awakened to find himself laid out on a strange table. There were machines connected to him, but they seemed to be non-functional. The lack of any type of light suggested a power outage. He could not begin to know, of course, that this had to do with a Brotherhood hit on the facility, hoping to retrieve Mystique. She had been recently captured by the government.

Zilch growled, something deep and primal compelling him to be free. A far more calm voice whispered to him about escape and evasion. Zilch himself knew only one thing. He was blowing this popsicle stand…

~~

For the record, no Xander doesn't have any claws. I decided against that.

Maggie Walsh's presence will be explained later...

Jasper
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