The Scales of Balance
Chaotic Rebirths-Chapter Three: The Scales of Balance
Summary: AU When Acathla’s portal doesn’t fully close, the Scooby’s perform a dangerous ritual to close the portal. But in the middle of the ritual Xander is summoned to a different universe, the powers unleashed destroy the buffyverse. What will he do with everyone he knows dead, and just where did the energy from the ritual go? How will Xander deal with the people who summoned him? Why did they summon him? BtVS/Marvel (MC2).
Warning: There is character death in this story. And the story is most definitely AU.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Marvel comics or almost anything mentioned in my writing.
-177a Bleecker St, The Sanctum Sanctorum, 2 hours after the end of Chapter 1
Xander woke up. The first thing he noticed when he opened his eyes was that he was most definitely not in his own bed. It took him a couple of seconds in order to recall what he had gone over inside of his own mind. He was no longer in his own universe, his own universe was gone. And whoever is currently present is the most likely cause of that situation.
‘I wonder if this universe has Twinkies?’ Xander thought to himself whimsically. Who knew if there was even an Earth in this new universe, let alone Twinkies. Xander, using the knowledge that he had gained from his own mind, stretched out his magical senses seeking knowledge about his current location, and about this universe in general. What he found was shocking. He was on Earth! But the magical feel of this Earth was very different from what Xander’s own Earth was supposed to feel like. This one didn’t seem to have the taint of multiple hellmouths, although it did have patches of strong dark magic, and there didn’t seem to be as many demons.
Narrowing his senses, Xander probed the building around him. It was most definitely the home of a magical practitioner, as was evident from the sheer amount of magical residue all over the building. There were also a large number of signals which matched those of powerful magical artifacts. Narrowing his senses further, Xander explored the room he was in. It was most likely a bedroom, and there were currently four other people in the room, apparently standing around his bed. One of the people was definitely a magician, and a powerful one at that, it was his magical signature which saturated the building Xander was currently in, while the other three didn’t really have much magical potential.
Satisfied, Xander decided to open his eyes. There were in fact four people standing around his bed. The man on the far left was lanky and moderately tall, with a sharp face, and brown hair, with a band of white on the edges, he was wearing a strange one piece blue body-suit, which looked like it was made of spandex, with a big stylized number four on his chest. Standing to the man in the blue body-suit, was another man in a blue body suit, however, this man seemed much more militaristic, with belts and a bandoleer, and seemed to be made of Kevlar. The third man was definitely the mystic that Xander had sensed, and he wore a blue oriental-seeming, long sleeved shirt, with a high collared red cape. The fourth man was the strangest of the lot, as he seemed to be encased in a suit of techno-armor, it was also worth of note, at least to Xander, that he was the only one not wearing blue, seeing as his armor was a bright red with a gold face-plate.
The four men hadn’t noticed the fact that Xander was awake yet, which was hardly surprising, given that they seemed to be having a quiet argument between themselves. It was the man in the armor who was speaking at the moment, “I don’t think that this person is who we wanted. I mean, look at him, he can’t be older than eighteen. What use would a teenager be against this threat?” The voice was somewhat distorted, hinting that whomever was in the armor was using a voice distorter.
The man wearing the cape answered him in a weary tone of voice, “My spell would not have summoned him unless he was capable of stopping this attack. Magic can work in unpredictable ways at times, but if he was the one summoned, then he will be the one who can defeat our enemy.” This statement was more than enough for Xander to establish that this man was definitely the one who summoned him, and by extension doomed his universe. Wanting to know more, and not caring about the mental privacy of the people who destroyed a universe, Xander used some advanced mental magics in order to break into the four men’s minds undetected.
Inside of the men’s minds Xander found lots of information. First were the identities of the four men, Reed Richards, Nick Fury, Steven Strange, and Tony Stark. The next thing that Xander registered, which would have made the pre-end-of-the-world him extremely excited, was the fact that three of the four men were superheroes who went around helping people, beating up supervillains and generally saving the day. However, to the new Xander this information barely registered, as he delves into their minds for one piece of critical information, the one thing he absolutely had to know. The why. The reason why these men would summon him, the reason why Xander’s universe no longer existed outside of his memories.
It was in the mind of the man called Steven Strange that Xander found his answer. Something had happened in this universe which was causing the natural forces to become out of balance, and because of that imbalance a new destructive malevolent being had arrived from outside of their own universe. There had been all sorts of warning signs, strange disruptions in the basic building blocks of the universe which Reed Richards and Tony Stark had picked up with their advanced equipment, and the formation of a new body of invisible mass just outside of the solar system which Nick Fury’s people had detected, and various magical prophecies which had alerted Strange himself. The four men had apparently shared their findings, and while they were unable to determine the cause of the imbalance, they quickly realized that the mass at the edge of the solar system was not what it seemed. After a dint of research, Strange had figured out what the mass really was, and the answer had been such that he had been shocked. The mass was in fact a sentient, extra-universal being of extreme age and power. Upon finding this information, the four men had quickly determined that between the various heroes of their world they did not possess enough power in order to defeat this new threat, so Strange had come up with the idea of seeking help from another universe using one of his magical rituals to summon a champion who could defeat this enemy. The ritual had required four people in order to work, so Strange had asked the other three for their assistance, and together they had performed the spell, which had summoned Xander, and destroyed a universe.
Xander debated this information in his mind, these men were trying to save their world, and they had not meant to cause destruction, but they had caused destruction. Their memories revealed that each of the men were good, and ultimately were trying to help people, but they each had major flaws. Strange was too quick to resort to his magic, and from time to time he resorted to powerful corrupting magics. Richards was intelligent, but occasionally was blinded by his own intellect into thinking he knows best. Stark was ultimately a good man, but he had problems with alcohol and his own arrogance. Fury was a contradiction to Xander, he was a man who tried to save the world, though whatever means possible, and he was willing to go beyond the limits of what was acceptable, if it meant that the world was safer in the end. Were these four men really to blame for the destruction of Xander’s home?
Xander came to a decision. No matter how noble their intentions were, these four men should be punished for their negligence which had unknowingly caused so much destruction, however, he would not kill them, even if there was a small voice in the back of his mind which wanted to enact bloody revenge. All that was left was to actually talk to them, and decide what their punishments would be.
Steven Strange, aka Doctor Strange, was somewhat annoyed at Iron Man’s disbelief in the power of his magic. While ordinarily he would have no contact with the armored superhero, the current circumstances were extremely troubling, and he had needed Iron Man’s help for the ritual to summon someone capable of defeating their new enemy. Reminded of the young man currently in his care, Strange glanced at the bed, and was shocked to find that the teenager that they had summoned was awake, and watching them.
Strange held up his hand to stop their conversation, and gestured towards the bed before speaking, “It seems our guest is awake. Perhaps we can just ask him how he can defeat our enemy?” He was interested in that answer himself, because despite his confidence in his magic, he was uncertain what use a teenager would be against their foe, however he knew that the ritual they performed had summoned the being most likely to be able to defeat their enemy.
“Perhaps introductions are in order first,” Richards spoke up, looking at the obviously aware teenager in the bed, before gesturing at each of the men present one at a time, “I’m Reed Richards, also called Mr. Fantastic. The man next to me is Colonel Nicolas Fury, the director of SHIELD, next to him is Doctor Steven Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, and the man in the armor is Iron Man. Perhaps you might have heard of us before?”
“Nope, can’t say I’ve heard of you before.” The recumbent teenager replied, “I’m Xander. So can I ask exactly why you would use such an overpowered summoning ritual in order to get me here?” Something about the teen’s tone of voice and answer caused alarm bells to ring in Strange’s head. After all, there were very few people who didn’t know who the Fantastic Four were, and how exactly did he know that Strange had used one of the most powerful summoning rituals that he knew, something wasn’t quite right.
Fury stepped up to answer Xander’s question, “Look kid, we have a problem, and we think that you can solve it for us. So how about you help us, and then we can send you home, sound like a deal?”
The teen on the bed laughed hollowly, and Strange’s sense of wrongness spiked, something was most definitely off about the teenager before them. However, any thoughts about what could be wrong were knocked out of the sorcerer’s mind by Xander’s next words, “I don’t think that’s possible, seeing as the four of you happen to have destroyed my whole universe.” The statement was strange, it was delivered in a calm level tone, but the words were strange. Did he mean that he thought that they were responsible for killing his family or maybe his friends? But that would mean that he would have heard of them before, and he had already told them that he had never heard of them before.
Iron Man was quick on the uptake, “What do you mean? We haven’t hurt anyone. We’re defenders, we don’t destroy. And I definitely think that between us we can return you home.”
Xander’s look was aged, and seemed to reveal some deep pain as he responded to the armored hero’s defense, “The four of you are directly responsible for the complete destruction of my home universe, and I do mean the entire universe. Everything that once existed back home was destroyed in a chain-reaction that you directly caused by summoning me. Countless trillions of sentient beings, boundless numbers of worlds, countless species, are all gone because of you. So, you’ll excuse me if I don’t really think that it’s possible for you to return me to something that doesn’t exist.”
It took a moment for the import of Xander’s words to penetrate Strange’s mind, but once it did Strange immediately felt a wave of disbelief. But then, Xander made some gesture with his hands that Strange didn’t recognize, and all of a sudden images flooded Steven’s mind. Images of countless worlds being destroyed as a gigantic wave of orange and red energy washed over them. Images of countless beings panicking as they anticipated their doom. Images of a red-haired girl with a sad look on her face as she’s consumed by the energy. So many images, Strange clutched his head in pain, falling to his knees, on the edge of his awareness he sensed the other three men likewise falling onto their knees.
“The four of you are responsible for destroying an entire universe, because you failed to check exactly where you were summoning me from.” Xander spoke to the four collapsed men as he rose from his bed, “I will defeat this First, only because the four of you are solely responsible, and the innocents of this world are exactly that, innocent. But first, I will punish you for your act of gross negligence.” With that Xander raised his hands, and with a couple of gestures, a bright light surrounded the four men. “Tony Stark, you allow your problems to rule you, you have many flaws, and you allowed the ritual to go ahead in spite of your doubts about it, I have decided that you shall be cursed with the inability to create a lasting legacy, you shall be forgotten, a hundred years from now, no one will remember the names of either Tony Stark or Iron Man, no matter how much you accomplish. Reed Richards, you are one of the most intelligent people on this planet, but you failed to think though your plans, a recurring theme, you shall be cursed so that every time you allow your arrogance to control you, that you allow your intellect to run without constraint, misfortune shall befall both you and those you care about. Nicolas Fury, you have always justified your actions in that you work for the security of both your county and the world, and that sometimes extreme actions are required. Well sometimes the cost of security is too high, and you go too far, so now I will curse you with the inability to rest until you save the same number of lives as those that you knowingly hurt or ruin in the name of security. And as for you, Steven Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, you of all people should have realized that magic often has unintended consequences, and that there is always a cost to using such powerful magics when lesser spells could probably sufficed, thus because you have proven yourself unworthy, I hereby remove all of your magical powers. If you cannot use them without consideration, then you don’t deserve them.” With that, there was a bright flash of orange energy, and all that was left in the room was four men collapsed on the ground as they clutched their heads as their minds experience the last few minutes of a dead universe.
Author’s Note: Well there’s the next chapter. Hope you enjoyed this chapter, it was a real pain to write, mainly because I can’t just have Xander spite an entire world if I want to have a story. Xander punishes, and I hope that I managed to give out some moderately fair, but not too extreme punishments.