****I DON’T OWN BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER OR ANY OF THE DC COMICS CHARACTERS THAT MAY APPEAR IN THIS WORK OF FICTION. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER IS OWNED BY JOSS WHEDON AND MUTANT ENEMY. DC COMICS IS STILL OWNED BY THEMSELVES.***
Dinah Lance-Queen, better known as the Black Canary, entered the Sunnydale High School library. The librarian was arguing with a younger man but it was clear that the man wasn’t a student. She noticed that the same wall that Metallo had blasted through earlier last week had already been repaired. The town must have worked rather quickly to repair the building. The librarian noticed her presence. It would have been hard not to as she was dressed in costume.
“May I help you?” He asked.
“Actually, considering the circumstances, I am here to help you.” She said walking over to the table in the center of the room and setting a newspaper on it.
The older man picked up the paper, dropped it, and began to clean his glasses saying something that sounded like Gaelic. The younger man picked up the paper and after reading it a bit, he swore in another archaic language.
“How could this bloody woman be this dense?” The younger man asked. “Does she not realize the Council will silence her?”
“Like your Council is going to do much after the UN rips them a new one for their various crimes against humanity though Travers won’t be tried.” Black Canary said. “I think they found a toe in Las Vegas. He must have really pissed Deathstroke off but I’m not here to talk about that. Rupert Giles, I’m here to offer you a job.”
Giles was confused. “I don’t understand.” He said.
She looked over at Wesley. “Wesley Wyndham-Price, I presume?” She asked.
He nodded only to receive a sharp uppercut from the chairperson of the Justice League of America. Wesley collapsed to the floor as Black Canary rubbed her knuckles.
“That felt good.” She said with a smirk. “So, about the job offer?”
“Miss, uhh, Canary, I...” Giles began to say before he was interrupted.
“Sorry, I forgot to introduce myself.” She said. “My name is Dinah Lance-Queen but I’m better known as the Black Canary. The job offer pertains to the Justice League team that will be stationed in Sunnydale. Since this area seems prevalent to supernatural activity, it would help to have someone who would be able to research more efficiently.”
“You must be Jonathon’s mother though I wonder why you would offer this to me.” Giles replied. “After what recently happened, I didn’t think anyone remotely associated with the Watcher’s Council would be on your Christmas card list as people here say.”
“True but several of the team members for Justice League Sunnydale requested you and they must have for good reasons.” She said. “I would rather drop you naked on Apokolips but that’s just me.” Spiteful bitch.
Giles thought to himself. “So, who else is on this team?” He asked.
“You already know them but I’ll reiterate. They are Zarina Zatara, Slayer, Blue Bowman, Calypso, Spectrum, and Delphi.” Dinah said to him. “I felt it best to use them here.”
Cordelia walked into the library and smiled when she saw Dinah as well as letting out a laugh when she saw Wesley laying on the floor. She lay a dagger she had been carrying on the table.
“Calypso and Slayer pulled it off of a group of demons that were extremely ugly.” Cordelia said. “Zarina, with Tara’s help, was able to translate the symbols on the knife as the Sisterhood of Jhe.”
He was sorely tempted to clean his glasses again but he refrained from it. Giles looked back over to Cordelia.
“Where are they right now?” He asked.
Cordelia shrugged. “Zarina said something about a rescue mission.” She replied.
Zarina, Slayer, Calypso, Spectrum, and Blue Bowman stood in a clearing with seven crystal pillars in front of them. Each of the crystal pillars glowed with the colors green, violet, blue, orange, indigo, red, and yellow. The pillars pulsed as the colors alternated between themselves.
“This is going to be really dangerous.” Zarina said.
“Well, duh, we’re ripping a hole in the space time continuum.” Slayer replied. “If it was safe, everyone would do it.”
“Spectrum will stay here to maintain power on this side. Myself, Slayer, and Calypso will go through and rescue Jenny. Bowman will stay here and help guard the portal as well as making sure nothing passes between the two times.” Zarina said. “We grab her and replace her with the Dopel Doll so that the Doll will complete destiny’s chain of events leading up to this.”
They nodded and Spectrum began to pour energy into the crystals until the crystals shot out energy towards a single point. The colliding colored lights began to glow with a white brilliance.
“.emiT fo setaG ediw nepO” Zarina said.
The convergence began to pull itself apart and they could see dusk on the other side of the portal. Since it was already night, that meant they had succeeded. Stepping through, they found themselves back in the past.
“Doesn’t look much different.” Slayer said. “So, where to?”
“.hgiH eladynnuS ot su ekaT” Zarina said teleporting the trio into an empty classroom. “Let’s find Miss Calender.”
Zarina led the way to Miss Calender’s computer classroom and was happy to see the raven haired teacher of gypsy descent was there. She knocked on the door to get her attention. Jenny looked over at her a bit confused.
“I’m sorry, do I know you?” She asked getting a small laugh from Zarina in response. “What’s so funny?”
“I’ll explain later.” Zarina said. “My name is Zarina Zatara.”
“Related to Zatanna Zatara by any chance?” Jenny asked receiving a nod in response as Slayer and Calypso walked in. Jenny recognized Calypso. “Kendra, everyone thinks you’re dead.”
Calypso smiled. “Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” She said. “I am Calypso.”
“We have to tell Giles about this.” Jenny said before being stopped by a thought she was having. “Why are you here?”
Zarina frowned. “You may want to sit down.” She said. “Calypso, get the door.”
Calypso closed the classroom door as Jenny sat down at her desk chair. Zarina looked down at the floor before turning her gaze back on Jenny.
“Calypso, Slayer, and I are from the future.” Zarina said. “About eight or nine months to be exact, I think.”
“I’m going to die, aren’t I?” Jenny asked quickly realizing the truth.
“Yes and no, you are ‘destined’ to die but you aren’t going to.” Zarina said taking her top hat off of her head and removing what looked like a small white doll.
Zarina put the doll on the floor and muttered a spell under her breath. The doll grew in height as it began to transform. When the transformation was complete, a perfect replica of Jenny stood in the room. Jenny got out of her chair and walked over to it.
“This is amazing.” She said. “Your work?”
“I visited your grave and found my magical signature within it...” Zarina began to say as Jenny’s eyes widened.
“A pre-destination paradox, is that what this is about?” Jenny asked. “Basically, you had to travel back and bring me to the future. But, how will this thing act like me?”
“Touch its forehead.” Zarina said. “It will automatically program itself to act like you enough to fool the Scooby Gang. I even ran it past Drusilla who couldn’t tell a difference.”
The mention of Drusilla made her jump back from it a bit. “What do you mean by that?” She asked.
“Drusilla will end up killing you but she ends up getting a soul from Madame Xandu.” Zarina explained. “She’s helps us in our time.”
Jenny reached out and touched the doll’s forehead feeling a mild electrical shock from the doll. The doll’s eyes began to blink rapidly and Jenny looked over to Zarina.
“What happens now?” She asked.
“Now, we take you to our time. The doll won’t take long to complete the program.” Zarina said. “.latrop eht ot su ekaT”
Zarina, Jenny, Calypso, and Slayer teleported to the portal and stepped through it. Blue Bowman tackled them to the ground.
“What the hell, Bowman?!” Slayer exclaimed.
“Sorry, blue android showed up and attacked.” He replied. “Spectrum is fighting him right now.”
Spectrum glanced over to them taking her attention away from the android. She smiled and raised her right hand bringing the still charged crystalline pillars into the air. With a flick of her wrists, the pillars were hurled like missiles into the android’s chest. Spectrum clenched her fists and the pillars exploded in a brilliant flash of white light. When the dust settled, the android laid on the ground as if it was in shock. Spectrum flew back over to the group.
“Let’s get out of here.” She said. “I don’t want to try to fight something that took an explosion of white light and is still around while Ms. Calender is in proximity.”
Spectrum used her powers and teleported the group to Zarina’s house. Slayer pulled off her mask and looked over at Zarina.
“I’m going to jump into the shower.” Faith said. “Maybe you should tell Lady J what’s up.”
Faith ran up the stairs as Jenny sat on the couch. Spectrum transformed her costume back into the red halter top and skirt she had been wearing earlier and Jenny was surprised when she recognized who the girl was.
“What’s going on here?” Jenny asked.
“Do you remember the last Halloween you experienced Jenny?” Zarina asked.
“Of course, Giles’ old friend decided to enchant the costumes in his shop. We lost Xander that night.” Jenny said. “Everyone was devastated.”
“Xander wore a magician’s costume that night.” Zarina stated which caused Jenny to jump to her feet.
“How in the hell do you know that?!” She asked angrily. “I’ve never met you before until now.”
“Jenny, I am what is left after Rayne did his spell. Xander’s costume came complete with a top hat wore by my mother, Zatanna Zatara. Rayne stole the top hat from one of her shows. When he did his spell, he accidentally tapped into True Chaos rather than Janus’ power. The spell ended up copying Zatanna’s soul and left Xander’s body stuck as you see me now. The copied soul and Xander’s soul fused together leaving me.” Zarina explained. “I came back because Doctor Fate told me the situation was getting worse here.”
Jenny smiled and sat back down. She did have a sad look on her face as the smile seemed a bit faked.
“How did Rupert and the others take the news?” She asked.
“Buffy, Giles, and Ms. Summers found out first. Everyone else found out when we confronted Buffy about Angel being alive because apparently she had killed him and she blabbed my secret to everyone.” Zarina said. “Willow then decided to try to separate the Xander part of me with a spell. She almost killed me. Doctor Fate bound her powers and left her in the tutelage of our high school principal.”
Jenny glared at her. “Snyder knows magic?” She asked in confusion.
Zarina shook her head. “No, Quark is dead. Our principal is a really great guy by the name of Jason Blood. He knows his magic, trust me.” Zarina replied.
“England is not going to take this well.” Jenny said with a laugh.
The azure android walked down the streets slightly perplexed. He had woken up from the conflict he had been involved in as his systems began to reboot from the damage he had sustained. Portions of his memory banks had been erased because of the unusual energy used against him. He heard a scream and his databanks registered the sound as that of distress. His creator had built him based upon another android called Red Tornado but with significant modifications so he flew towards the sound of distress. Upon reaching the location, he detected a small human boy no more than seven years old being pursued by three adult humans. A more detailed scan confused him. The three adult humans had no pulse nor was their body temperature above the ambient temperature of the air. He flew over and landed between the three anomalies and the child.
“Statement: step away from the child.” He said standing in a fighting stance.
The three anomalies laughed. One of them approached him.
“What are you suppose to do about it, Tin Man?” He asked before his face distorted.
“Statement: I will do this.” The android replied.
The android’s arms twirled rapidly until tornado force winds ripped into the three anomalies. It didn’t take long for the winds to reduce the three anomalies into dust and the android turned his attention to the child.
“Query: where do you live?” He asked.
“112 Oak Street.” The boy replied.
The android nodded and picked up the child. He flew into the air and landed at the specified address. Releasing the boy, he watched as a female who seemed to be the boy’s mother rush out to hug him. The android detected a strange sensation that coursed through him. He classified the feeling as satisfaction. The mother looked over to him.
“Thank you.” She said.
“Statement: you are welcome.” He said. “Statement: I must leave now and gather more data on the anomalies in this settlement.”
He took to the air hearing the boy say good-bye to him. The android wondered where it would get the necessary information.
Giles looked up to see Zarina enter the library. He was relieved when he saw the young magician smile towards Willow. It told him that the two girls’ friendship was beginning to mend itself. Zarina turned to look at Giles.
“Giles, the rescue mission was a success.” Zarina said.
“That’s good.” He replied. “Who did you rescue by the way?”
Jenny walked into the library to the astonishment of Giles and Willow. She smiled at the English librarian.
“Hello, England.” She said. “It’s been awhile.”
Giles dropped the book he had been holding and ran over to the raven haired woman wrapping his arms around her tightly. He couldn’t believe what was happening.
“How is this possible?” Willow asked.
“Pre-destination paradox.” Zarina said. “I visited her grave and found my magical signature within it which meant I would have had to have been here but I wasn’t.”
“So you went back in time and somehow switched her out with whatever got killed by Drusilla.” Willow said filling in the obvious blanks.
“Exactly.” Zarina replied. “I doubt anyone is going to complain.”
The library doors opened and the azure android strolled into the library. Zarina put herself between the android and the others.
“What do you want?” She asked it.
“Declaration: I require information about the anomalies that exist in this settlement. Statement: these creatures should not exist.” The android said.
“Zarina, what’s with the robot?” Willow asked.
“Giles, could you help our mechanical ‘friend’?” Zarina asked. “I need to talk with someone.”
Zarina left the room after seeing Giles gesture the android over to a bookshelf. She was glad she knew remembered her teammates schedules. Walking into the history class that Aura had, Zarina noticed the look of relief on the girl’s face.
“Miss Blonsky, Mr. Giles sent me to get Aura.” Zarina said.
Once they left the classroom, Aura turned to talk to Zarina.
“What the hell is going on?” She asked.
“Remember the android from last night, it’s in the library.” Zarina replied. “I think you may have given the Tin Man his heart.”
Aura froze as if she was remembering something. “White light.” She said.
“Excuse me.” Zarina said. “What does that have to do with it?”
“Green light of willpower, yellow light of fear, violet light of love, blue light of hope, indigo light of compassion, orange light of avarice, and the red light of rage. When you combine those lights together, you get the white light of creation. Essentially, it is divine power.” Aura explained. “When I overloaded the crystal pillars we used to rescue Ms. Calender, the white light from the explosion might have created a soul for him. I can‘t create white light often. It tires me out.”
They went to the library to see the android sitting at a table reading an old leather bound book. Jenny seemed to be amused and Giles seemed a bit pleased.
“England’s training a Robo-Watcher.” Jenny said with a laugh.
“Hello again, I would like to take you somewhere we can repair the damage you sustained.” Zarina said to the android.
“Statement: that would be acceptable.” The android said.
“I’ll see you later, Aura.” Zarina said. “.rewothctaW eht ot em dna doirdna eht ekaT”
Zarina and the android teleported up to the Watchtower. Mister Terrific seemed a bit surprised to see them.
“What’s up?” He asked.
“Damaged android; think you can get Reddy up here?” Zarina asked.
“You got it.” Mr. Terrific said.
Harmony walked down the halls towards Warren. She didn’t like meeting publicly like this but after what she managed to witness while she spied on Zarina was forcing her hand. Warren was talking to his friend, Andrew, as she approached.
“We need to talk.” She said to Warren before stamping a foot on the floor. “Now!”
“Look, Andrew, looks like Harmony needs me to tutor her some more.” Warren said lying to his friend. “I got to go.”
“Sure, we still on for the Star Trek movie marathon next week?” Andrew asked.
“You bet.” Warren said. “Later.”
Once Andrew was clearly out of earshot, Harmony turned her attention back to Warren. He seemed a bit alarmed by her presence but he tried not to show it.
“Why is that android that you built to kill the local heroes is acting like it’s their pal?” She asked.
Warren shook his head. “I don’t know.” He replied. “It didn’t return last night.”
She grabbed him by the throat and lifted him up against the wall. The act did betray a physical strength that her figure didn’t seem to possess but she didn’t care. The first reason was that they were alone for the moment in the hallway. The second and final reason was that it instilled a bit of fear into Warren. Fear was a very good motivator.
“Apparently, it switched sides.” Harmony said. “I want to know why. NOW!”
She chucked him to the floor where he slid a couple of feet before stopping. He got up off the floor and glared at her.
“I expect results.” She said before walking away.
The azure android lay on a table as a bar emitting a green light passed over him. A red android better known as Red Tornado worked on a console typing in commands as data flashed across the screen. The smile on his face seemed a bit creepy to Zarina.
“What is it, Reddy?” Zarina asked.
“It appears that whomever built your friend here went into a great deal of detail in his creation.” Red Tornado said. “To paraphrase a rather famous android, ‘he is fully functional.’”
A surprised look came over Zarina’s face as the words sunk in before she let out a laugh. She put a hand on Reddy’s shoulder.
“I wouldn’t let that little bit of info get out otherwise he might get really popular.” She said.
“Are you kidding?” Red Tornado asked. “I haven’t had any luck designing anything similar for myself. I’m stealing the design.”
Zarina brought a hand to her forehead and shook her head violently.
“I so did not need to hear that.” She said. “Is the damage bad?”
“Nothing that can not be repaired.” Red Tornado said. “He should be ready in about an hour.”
Zarina walked over to the android. He looked over at her as if inquisitive about his condition.
“Red Tornado said you’re going to be okay.” Zarina said. “Have you thought about a name yet?”
“Declaration: I do not have an iota of knowledge of what would be a good name. Statement: A name would mean I know what it means to be human.” The android said.
“What about Iota for a name?” Zarina asked. “You said it yourself. You do not have an iota of knowledge of what it means to be human or what would be a good name. Iota fits you.”
“I am Iota.” The newly christened android said. “I believe I have a good human name for myself.”
Iota’s appearance shifted into a human male with brown hair. He didn’t seem to have modesty yet and Zarina turned her eyes away from his well chiseled physique. She could hear Red Tornado tapping in a few commands into the console he was working at.
“You can turn around now.” Red Tornado said.
“You sure, Reddy.” She replied. “I don’t want you to have suddenly developed Wally’s sense of humor or I’m hexing you into next Tuesday.”
She turned around to see Iota dressed in brown leather dress shoes, tan slacks, and a gray long sleeved shirt. Zarina looked over at Red Tornado.
“Your doing?” She asked.
“Yes, I downloaded suitable male garment files as well as a few files to fix his grammar.” Red Tornado said.
“Yes, I will no longer say what type of sentence I am using when I speak.” Iota said. “Thank you, Reddy.”
“No problem.” Red Tornado said. “You said you came up with a human name as well.”
“Yes, I believe the name Iolaus Tanner will be sufficient.” Iota said. “Is the name sufficient?”
“It’s a good name, Iolaus.” Zarina said. “What about you, John?”
“It fits plus it utilizes the first two letters of your first and last name.” Red Tornado replied. “Those are excellent holographic emitters.”
“Thank you. My creator based them on the show, Star Trek.” Iota replied. “I should feel like a normal human.”
Zarina felt her way down Iolaus’s right arm and was surprised to find that it felt real to the touch. She lifted up her arm away from the android.
“It feels quite real.” Zarina said. “I’m going to get something to eat but I’ll come back to get you when you’re finished.”
“Okay.” Iota replied.
As soon as she could, Discord arrived at the secret headquarters of the Secret Society of Sunnydale. She wasn’t thrilled by the fact that the supposedly unstoppable android was not only stopped but had apparently switched sides. Discord knew she should have listened to Hawkette about using that damned thing. Hawkette, who Discord had failed to get her real name not that she actually cared about it, had mentioned that it was too cliched for robots to rebel against their original programming. Killswitch had grumbled that he lost twenty bucks in a bet with Hawkette.
“I love what you did with just one warehouse.” An unknown female voice said.
“Who’s there?!” Discord shouted.
The female voice laughed and a figure stepped out of the shadows. She was dressed in purple robes that had a strange gold trim. Pulling back her hood, her face was revealed and Discord recognized her.
“Amy Madison, I am surprised.” Discord said. “What do you want?”
“First, the name isn’t accurate. My name is Amelia Faust.” Amelia said introducing herself. “I’m here to prove myself against my equal.”
“Faust, I believe I’ve heard that name before. So, you’re Felix Faust’s daughter.” Discord replied filing the information away for later. “Who is your equal?”
“Before I knew who my father was, I had thought it would have been Willow but my father came and took me away from here. He used very complex magic to give me the training I need in a very short amount of time.” Amelia explained. “The only person about my age with similar skills has a rather alliterative name.”
“Zarina Zatara.” Discord said when she realized who Amelia was referring to. “Why her?”
“To truly be great, you have to defeat someone who is your equal. It’s classic and a universal truth. This is why Superman and Lex Luthor battle, why Batman and Joker will battle, and why the Green Lantern Corps will always battle the Sinestro Corps. It is fate.” Amelia replied. “Battles between equals forever define them.”
“Good, I needed some magical assistance.” Discord said before looking around.
Amelia used her magic to shove Discord across the room. “I’m not here to assist your play group.” She replied. “I’m here to test myself.”
“And what if you fail?” Discord asked with a smile as a plan was forming in her head.
“I won’t.” Amelia replied with a scowl.
“But if you do, you will work for me.” Discord told her. “I’ll even have my Society members assist in an escape if Zarina thwarts you. You can’t beat her from prison.”
Thinking a moment, Amelia answered. “Deal.”
Amelia teleported out of the warehouse in a puff of green smoke as her Society walked towards Discord. Killswitch seemed a bit agitated.
“Why are you betting on that Zatara bitch is going to kick her ass?” Killswitch asked. “She seems pretty damned impressive.”
“Her father taught her everything she knows and how many times has the League beaten him?” Discord asked replying to his question. “I am going to let the League know that she’s here.”
“How in the world are you going to do that?” Hawkette asked. “You’ll give yourself away.”
“I can be quite discreet.” Discord said with a smile.
Buffy walked into the library and was visibly shocked as she saw another person she thought had been dead standing in the library. Giles was talking to his old girlfriend as in the same old girlfriend who she was sure had been killed by Drusilla in this very same library last year. Her watcher looked back over to her.
“What the hell?” She asked. “Zarina happened, didn’t she?”
“You’re right.” Giles replied.
“Zarina and her friends rescued me from the past and replaced me with a magical substitute that died in my place.” Jenny explained to the blonde Slayer. “It was a pre-destination paradox.”
“A pre-destiny pair a ducks?” Buffy asked not understanding what she had just heard.
“Don’t try to understand time travel, Buffy.” Giles said. “I doubt anyone can.”
“So, you going to be the computers teacher again because they’ve had such a long string of substitutes who don’t seem to know what they’re doing and then become vamp food or they wise up and run away from town.” Buffy said to Jenny.
“Think I can get my old job back, Rupert?” She asked her former boyfriend.
“You would have to talk to Principal Blood about that.” Giles replied. “He’s rather fair and should give you your job back.”
“I guess I should go see him.” Jenny said. “I’ll see you later, England.”
Jenny got out of her chair and walked out of the library giving Buffy a wave goodbye . Buffy walked over to the librarian.
“Why didn’t Zarina tell us she was going to do this?” She asked.
“I don’t know but I assume that I’ll find out later.” Giles said. “The chairwoman of the Justice League of America came to see me with a job offer.”
Buffy smiled. “I don’t see you wearing tights, cape, and cowl.” She said with a laugh.
“As Black Canary explained it, it will be a supportive role much like what I did as a Watcher.” Giles explained. “With the Watcher’s Council all but finished because of Travers’ stupidity, I was rather lucky to get the work.”
“Why do you say you were lucky?” Buffy asked.
“To quote Black Canary when she talked to me earlier, ‘I would rather drop you naked on Apokolips but that’s just me.’” He replied.
“Spiteful bitch.” Buffy replied which caused Giles to laugh. “What’s so funny?”
“My thoughts exactly.” Giles said.
Jenny entered the office of Principal Jason Blood and began to feel a rather ominous feeling from the room. Jason looked over at her.
“I heard you were dead.” He said casually as if it was just a rumor he had heard. “I see Zarina was able to perform what she said she was setting out to do.”
“She told you what she was planning but not any of her friends here.” She replied a bit puzzled. “I don’t understand.”
“When Zarina was first I guess one might say born, I became something of a mentor for her along with a few others in the League.” Jason informed her.
“You’re in the Justice League?” She asked. “So, a principal by day and a superhero by night, that’s an odd combination.”
“I am a magic user that has been called upon by the Justice League when they needed my aid.” Jason said sliding a few forms across his desk. “Oracle has already brought you back into the world of the living, Ms. Calender, and as you are not dead; you can start back whenever you’re ready.”
“Thank you.” Jenny replied. “There is something I have to ask you about.”
“What is it?” Jason asked.
“Your lessons with Willow; why wasn’t someone teaching her already?” Jenny asked. “I assumed that Rupert may have taught her after my ‘death’ but I see that wasn’t the case.”
“According to Willow and Zarina, Willow is mainly self-taught which is fraught with danger. Willow tended to experiment too much with any spell she got her hands on. She had the telltale signs of a magic addict if she had been allowed to continue on the path she had been on. To be honest, I was among those who thought Miss Rosenberg should be spending the rest of her life in the Shadowcrest prison but Zarina asked Doctor Fate for leniency. Doctor Fate then requested that I teach her.” Jason informed her. “Her magic is bound while she is not participating in my lessons.”
Jenny was clearly angry over this but Jason was wondering what she was exactly angry about but she wasn’t happy. She glared at the former knight.
“You mean to tell me that no one bothered to train her!” She exclaimed before beginning to curse in a tongue that Jason was surprised that he didn’t recognize. When she quit cursing, she said. “At least you’re picking up the slack.”
“Zarina had thought about training her but realized that the magic she knew was incompatible with the way Willow was already performing.” Jason replied. “She asked around about anyone interested in training her. She didn’t ask me but I came to examine Miss Rosenberg from a distance and the position of principal gave me a good opportunity to do so.”
“Mr. Blood, what can you tell me about the spell that Willow did to Zarina?” Jenny asked. “I haven’t been getting any clear answers from anyone.”
“Willow received the spell from Felix Faust and believed that it would separate her friend Xander from Zarina. What it actually did was split Zarina into several aspects of her personality that had to be searched out and found.” Jason explained. “If it had not been for Drusilla, Zarina would have died because of Willow’s spell.”
“So, Drusilla’s on ‘our’ side now?” She asked.
“To be perfectly honest, Drusilla has made the point very clear to me that she was on Zarina’s side as that is where her loyalty truly lies. Though we are dating, she cares for Zarina in a way I could only describe as a bond an older sister may share.” Jason replied. “Drusilla went to Madam Xandu, who happens to be Zarina’s godmother, to regain her soul. The spell that Madam Xandu used was unlike the curse that your clan used to curse Angelus. Her spell won’t break if she experiences a moment of pure happiness and allows for her to gain redemption for what she had done as a vampire. As she gets closer and closer to redemption, the weaknesses inherent in her demonic vampiric nature will weaken until she becomes human once again.”
“I guess I should be going then.” Jenny said. “I have to get ready for classes tomorrow.”
Before she left the office, Jason told her. “Do not become too attached to your job here. Drusilla said that this school will not survive graduation.”
Zarina teleported herself and Iolaus back into the library to the surprise of Buffy and Giles. Iolaus smiled over to them.
“Who’s your friend?” Buffy asked.
Before Zarina could answer, Giles said. “He’s my nephew.”
“Iolaus Tanner, a pleasure to meet you.” Iolaus said to Buffy with a British accent to his voice.
Zarina smiled though not for the reason Buffy might have been thinking of . She was genuinely surprised that Giles had created a spur of the moment but she was willing to run with it if everyone else was going to run with it.
“Giles, I didn’t know you had family.” Buffy said.
“My sister lives in Wales and Iolaus thought to come visit me.” Giles replied as Willow walked into the room.
“Hey Zarina, where’s the android?” Willow asked.
Buffy looked around the library. “What android?” She asked. “What are you talking about Willow?”
Zarina sighed and looked over at Iolaus. “You might want to drop the disguise, Iota.” She said to the android.
The holographic form of Iolaus Tanner faded from sight and was replaced with the android, Iota. Iota looked over at Buffy.
“It is good to meet you.” Iota said. “My creator has given me detailed files on you.”
“Who’s your creator?” Buffy asked. “Why does he have files on me?”
“I do not know. Portions of my systems were damaged in battle against Spectrum.” Iota explained.
Buffy’s eyes widened and she looked at Zarina. “If Spectrum fought Robby the Robot over here,” she said. “why isn’t he scrap metal?”
“Spectrum accidentally gave him a soul when she fought him.” Zarina explained.
“How in the hell do you accidentally give anything a soul?!” Buffy asked.
“She combined the energies she was using which created the white light of creation.” Zarina replied.
Iota shifted into his Iolaus disguise as the library doors opened and Cordelia walked into the library over to Zarina. She seemed relieved that Zarina was here.
“Is something wrong?” Zarina asked.
“I was standing by the trophy case when someone brushed against me and I had a vision. It looked like that girl, Amy, but she was wearing these weird robes with this gold border to them.” Cordelia said.
“Damn, sounds like she was trained by Faust.” Zarina replied.
“Isn’t Faust the same person that gave Willow the spell she used on you?” Giles asked.
Zarina nodded. “It seems that that was the real reason he gave the spell to Willow was to distract everyone while he grabbed Amy but for what purpose I’m not sure.” She said.
Willow looked over at Zarina. “Have you ever noticed that Amy doesn’t look anything like her father?” She asked.
“I always thought she looked like her mom.” Zarina replied.
“Is there a picture of this Faust guy we can look at?” Willow asked. “Maybe Faust is really Amy’s dad.”
Zarina shivered a bit from the thought. “It’s a good thing that most supervillains don’t have kids.” She said. “Could you imagine the Joker at a Parent-Teacher conference?”
This got a chuckle out of most of the people there but Iolaus didn’t seem to quite understand the joke. Cordelia seemed a bit puzzled but she gave him her patented thousand-watt smile.
“HI, I’m Cordelia Chase.” She said.
“Iolaus Tanner.” Iolaus replied extending a hand.
Cordelia shook his hand and shook her head. “You can drop the disguise now.” She said.
Iolaus shook his head. “I would prefer to retain my disguise for the time being, Cordelia.” He said. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Chase.”
Iolaus kissed her hand before releasing it and stepping back a little. Strangely, it seemed as though Cordelia was touched by the gesture.
“Figures the only romantic male on Earth is a robot.” Willow said.
“You’re still better at it than most guys are.” Cordelia informed the android.
“Thank you.” Iolaus replied.
Later that night, Zarina was walking through a graveyard when a fireball erupted from out of no where that flew in her direction. She threw herself to the ground as she barely was able to dodge the fireball. A tree happened to be the unfortunate victim of her dodge and Zarina could hear a small laugh coming from someone walking towards her.
“I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.” Amelia said.
“What are you up to Amy?” Zarina asked standing up off the ground.
“My name isn’t Amy. My name is Amelia Faust and I’m testing myself against my rival.” Amelia replied.
“Funny, never saw you as mine.” Zarina said.
“I’m a Faust and you’re a Zatara.” Amelia said explaining her position. “We’re born rivals. Ignis!
Amelia let loose another magical fireball that Zarina deflected with practiced ease. The child of Felix Faust didn’t seem pleased. “Goddess Hecate, work thy will. Make the unclean thing...”
Amelia began to say.
“!xeh reh odnU” Zarina exclaimed quickly with a counter-spell.
The counter-spell hit Amelia like a Louisville Slugger to the chest sending the girl to the ground. Amelia forced herself up and felt a sharp pain in her left arm as she realized the limb had been broken. She glared daggers at the magician.
“!dnuorg eht ot reh maR” Zarina exclaimed hurtling her foe to the ground. “Give up, Amelia. You don’t stand a chance. Faust may have taught you a few tricks but he hasn’t taught you everything he knows.”
“My father has taught me a great deal and not all of them are mere parlor tricks.” Amelia replied making an obvious verbal stab at Zarina’s mother.
“I know everything my mother knows and I have been taught by Doctor Fate and Jason Blood.” Zarina said. “You are the daughter of a worthless bastard who couldn’t pull a rabbit out of a top hat without the rabbit, a flashlight, a top hat, and directions.”
Amelia was enraged by Zarina’s words. How dare that Zatara bitch say things like that about my father?
She thought to herself.
“At least my mother doesn’t parade---” Amelia tried to respond only to get a swift kick in the mouth for what she was about to say.
“Sorry,” Zarina said with a smile. “were you about to say something about my mother parading on stage in revealing clothing? At least my mother never bodyjacked me just so she could relive her youth.”
Amelia wiped the blood away from her mouth and then responded in a way her father wouldn’t really approve of. She lashed out with her feet knocking Zarina to the ground. Amelia tried to kick out at Zarina but her foot was caught by the raven haired magician who gave it a violent twist. She screamed in pain when she felt her ankle shatter. Zarina got up and a smile crept across her face.
“Did I forget to mention the few months I spent on Themyscira?” Zarina asked rhetorically. “You can’t exactly spend a few months there without learning a few moves, you know.” Damn it!
Amelia yelled at herself. I can’t believe I was beaten this easily.
“Surrender.” Zarina ordered her.
” Amelia shouted teleporting out of the graveyard.
Zarina looked down at the ground that Amelia had occupied only seconds ago. She shook her head as an errant thought crossed her mind.
“I never thought that I would be forced to fight a friend from my previous life.” Zarina said. “I’m sorry, Amy. But you made your choice and I had to make mine.”
Amelia reappeared in the headquarters of the Secret Society of Sunnydale. She limped a couple of steps but she was quickly surprised when Warren appeared to help her over to something he referred to as a medical bay. She didn’t pay any attention as Warren worked his machines over her as the young genius healed her. However, she was aware that she was being watched.
“So, I see you’ll be working with us after all.” Discord said from behind her.
Amelia didn’t bother to look at her. She knew that she would keep her word. Warren did look at Discord.
“Her injuries won’t be difficult to repair. Unfortunately, my android somehow disabled the safeguards I had placed to prevent something like this from happening.” Warren explained.
“Alpha, Hawkette, and Killswitch will either retrieve him intact or in pieces.” Discord said. “I believe you have something I can use as a gift for Mayor Wilkins.”
From within her robe, Amelia pulled out a small black box and handed it to Discord who smiled as though she was appreciative. Discord walked away from them and Amelia shook her head which Warren noticed.
“Don’t beat yourself over this.” Warren said. “I’m not even worried about my android. With the way I built it, I doubt the three of them could bring it in even in pieces.”
“I’m not beating myself up.” Amelia replied. “I’m just trying to acknowledge my own shortcomings. I didn’t think I had any.”
Warren rolled his eyes. “We all have shortcomings and usually an exaggerated ego doesn’t help. I know that I’m no Lex Luthor but I’m cool with that.” He said with a laugh. “Then again, I don’t have a psychotic obsession with proving myself better than a man with the powers of a fucking demigod. I‘ve heard some guys have feelings of inadequacy but trying to prove yourself better that the Man of Steel is retarded. ”
Amelia was forced to laugh at that comment. “What bothers me is the amount of training that Zarina seems to have had.” She replied. “She’s eighteen but could probably hold her own against any of the magic users on this planet or maybe even one of the New Gods.”
“You’re jealous.” Warren said noting her response.
“Of course I’m fucking jealous!” Amelia exclaimed. “I’m going to have to redouble my training efforts if I’m going to last longer against her than I did.”
Oz had thought today had been a good day. Thought being the key word as his van was suddenly knocked on its side. His van’s attacker landed on the fallen vehicle and he was a bit shocked. Her costume reminded him of Hawkgirl but the coloring was completely wrong. The coloring of this Hawk-person was red and black. She did seem to swing a mean mace as the massive dent on the side of his van could have only come from the mace. The werewolf didn’t notice any way her wings could have been attached and his nose did smell feathers which led him to the realization that the wings were real. A black and white clad Killswitch stood next to her. Oz knew from Faith that Killswitch was really Larry from school but he wasn’t about to argue that with him. A chill went up his spine though when he heard a familiar voice.
“One, two, Alpha’s coming for you.” Alpha said slowly walking towards the group. “Hello, pup.”
Oz took a step back and Alpha laughed at this display of fear. Killswitch’s hands sparked with electrical energy but his attempt to attack the teenage werewolf was interrupted as a large controlled tornado of air. Oz looked up to see Iota used his wind powers to keep himself suspended in the air.
“Thanks.” He said to the android.
“It is not a problem. You are a valued member of your social group.” Iota replied. “I have signaled the others. They will arrive shortly.”
Without warning, a dumpster collided with Alpha’s back causing the hyena man to stumble forward slightly. The hyena man looked behind him to see Calypso dusting off her hands as it was clear that the Themysciran beauty had thrown the large metal object. Slayer stood next to the Themysciran and pulled out what looked like at first like a katana hilt but missing its blade. Adjusting her stance to act as though the hilt had a blade attached, the blade began to appear as though it unfolded out of the hilt. It reminded Oz of something he had heard about called memory metal, a metal that could on command resume a specific shape.
“I see someone who would make a more interesting mate than any Slayer.” Alpha said leering at Calypso.
Slayer handed a katana hilt to Calypso who quickly activated the memory metal blade. Calypso smiled when the blade fully formed.
“Looks like a dog needs to get fixed.” Slayer said joking with the Themysciran warrior.
“Mr. Barker is quite adamant about the subject.” Calypso replied.
“Get the werewolf, Hawkette!” Killswitch exclaimed an order at the crimson clad girl.
Hawkette never got the chance as a green bird cage construct enveloped her. The winged teenager glared up to see Spectrum looking at her.
Aura hadn’t told everyone about all of her abilities that she had but they were staggering to say the least. Along with the ability to control every wavelength of the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum, she was directly linked to anything that drew power from the Spectrum as well. This meant that she could not only teleport herself anywhere in the universe but she could also teleport anyone wearing a power ring anywhere in the universe as well which was a very frightening thought. In a particularly twisted thought she had, she could even teleport every member of the Sinestro Corps into a star which wasn’t a comfortable thought for her to have. The tomes known as the Book of Oa and the Book of Parallax were memorized instantly once she became aware of them. She could even create the items that corresponded with each Corps which that slightly terrified her as she could easily hand out the most powerful weapons in the universe and there was nothing anyone could do to stop her. Another ability that she had was kind of poetic in the sense that she could see a person’s aura to tell how they were feeling. As she looked at the girl that had been referred to by Killswitch as Hawkette, she did not see the color that she had been expecting. She had been expecting to see the color red to signify the rage that her capture should have brought about. Instead, she saw yellow with only a hint of red.
“What are you afraid of?” Spectrum asked.
Hawkette yelled and struck at the birdcage construct with her Thanagarian mace. The Nth metal that the mace was made out of was able to disperse the cage, much to Spectrum’s surprise. The winged girl hit her with the mace which rattled her for a second before she managed to capture Hawkette in a mechanical claw arm construct which pinned the girl’s arms to her side.
“What are you afraid of?” Spectrum asked again.
“What does it matter?” Hawkette asked.
“You don’t need to be afraid.” Spectrum told her in a comforting tone. “Is this why you’re doing this?”
“WE’RE DIFFERENT!” Hawkette yelled. “YOUR POWERS DON’T MAKE YOU A FREAK!”
“You’re not a freak.” Spectrum said. “So you have wings; that just makes me think you look like an angel.”
“I’M A FREAK!” She yelled trying to struggle against her restraints.
Before Spectrum could respond, she was hit by a blue Caprice that Killswitch had thrown at her electro-magnetically. This broke her concentration allowing Hawkette to escape who immediately hit Spectrum with her mace. As the two teams recovered, Killswitch glared at the android.
“Hey Tin Man, you’re suppose to be on our side.” Killswitch exclaimed.
“While it may be true that my creator made me for that purpose, it is no longer my purpose.” Iota said in response. “My creator may have built my body; the Justice League Sunnydale has given me my soul.”
Without warning, the three villains were teleported away. Spectrum looked down at the ground and didn’t notice Slayer approach her.
“Something wrong?” Slayer asked.
“I think I just saw a glimpse of what might have happened if I didn’t get the help I had received.” Spectrum said to her comrade. “You didn’t see the fear that she had.”
“I can understand. I probably would’ve been a twisted bitch if Zarina and her mom hadn’t been there for me.” Slayer replied. “You going to be at the Bronze later? Jonathon plans on introducing Iolaus on everyone.”
“Sounds like fun.” Spectrum said.
Zarina was nursing a Coke as she rewound the battle she had with Amelia Faust. She didn’t even notice Faith walking up to her until the Slayer spoke up.
“Something bothering you?” She asked.
“I fought one of my old friends tonight.” Zarina responded.
“I’m guessing by old friend that you mean when you were a guy.” Faith said getting a nod from the magician in response. “Don’t beat yourself up over it. It isn’t your fault that she went over to the Dark Side of the Force.”
“I still feel bad about it.” Zarina replied turning to look out at the crowd. “How is Iolaus acclimating?”
Faith rolled her eyes. “Knew I shouldn’t have got you that Word-A-Day calendar. Pretty well, I think. I’ve seen a few ladies eyeing him up not to mention Cordelia and Willow after you mentioned the little fact that he’s a walking vibrator.” She said.
“I knew I shouldn’t have said that.” Zarina said with a smile.
“I don’t really see it. Calypso seems a bit more interested in Jonathon and Robin Hood seems to be more interested in Cordelia.” Faith replied.
“Anything else I should be wary of?” Zarina asked.
Faith smiled. “What’s this I heard from Calypso about you and these Themysciran massage oils?” She asked.
Zarina saw through the obvious hint. “If you’ve been good, I’m more than happy about showing you.” She said.
“What will the youth of this town think of next?” Mayor Richard Wilkins asked himself as he held the small black box in his hand. Someone knocked on his office door. “Come in.”
“You wanted to see me.” Finch said.
“Yes, I have a present for you for your years of faithful service.” Wilkins replied placing the box on the desk.
Deputy Mayor Alan Finch walked over to the Mayor’s desk and opened the box. His face lit up when he opened the box and took out a platinum watch.
“I don’t know what to say, Sir.” Finch said.
“Thank you would be sufficient.” Wilkins replied with a smile.