This story is a reworking of an older tale I posted over at FF.Net. It has been modified to fit inside a brand new series I have decided to create in order to close off a few unfinished projects prior to the reboot of Cobra Regenerated which will focus on a solely GIJoe aspect. In fact Cobra Rgenerated 1.0 is where we first started this story. In the last update, which sadly has recieved no reviews letting me know how the fans took it. Anyway I'm going to just stop here and let you see this story, which will hopefully be enjoyed by all.Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters belong to Joss and ME Productions respectively. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe belong to Mattel predominantley with MVCreations being the owners of the new cartoon from which this is taken from. Transformers and all related characters belong to Hasbro Inc. I make no claims otherwise.Prologue
“To understand the events that I am about to tell you, it is necessary to review an alternate timeline of events. But rather than info dump we shall use the bullet points system to save time.”
A human being from the planet Earth Prime was tasked with saving the very Omniverse itself, most of these adventures are detailed in stories written by the Chronicler Sithicus, located on an online service dubbed Fanfiction.net.
This human eventually became a great hero; he married, had children and raised his family. Eventually they left Earth Prime to take up residence on Earth Nine Hundred and Twenty-Nine.
He formed a team of Omniversal Protectors dubbed Salvation. One of this teams’ early missions was to travel to the planet Eternia in one of the off-shoot realities, in this version the dreaded Hordak had escaped his imprisonment from the desolate realm of Despondos by utilizing the Dark Matrix Annex. A chamber in which the remains of Unicron the Dark God of Chaos were trapped and given to powerful Decepticon Leaders who followed Unicron’s orders.
Hordak used the Dark Matrix to decimate all of Eternia. Primus entrusted Roma with the task of sending Salvation to Eternia to limit the damage caused by the incursion of his enemy’s Herald. The evil Nemesis Prime. During the skirmish many heroes and villains fell at the hands of Hordak, Nemesis Prime eventually reclaimed the Dark Matrix and atomized Hordak. He left, but not before Force Captain Adora discovered her true heritage and reclaimed the Sword of Protection.
It should also be noted that Skeletor was sent to Despondos by Hordak for his betrayal, but following the events of this adventure Skeletor returned with no reason given.
The great chronicler Sithicus has yet to reveal in detail the events of that mission, however he has revealed what happened in the aftermath. What follows is a retelling of events which reveal the origins of your first recruit Xander Harris, you knew her as Buffy Summers. Now she is simply called Unity…
Despondos was a realm of desolation; there was little to no vegetation and countless miles of oppressive nothingness, a vast desert under a sky of a hue that belied the sense of hope, it was here that Hordak had been imprisoned for eons ever since his fall at the hands of King Grayskull. But thanks to the appearance of that strange talisman he had escaped and was most likely wreaking havoc on Eternia. But first he had granted his former ally a fitting punishment; naturally he had imprisoned Skeletor within that self same land of exile, not before destroying Skeletors’ Havoc staff though and rendering him almost completely powerless.
Skeletor was currently musing over his predicament. He had to free himself, but his magic was limited no thanks to Hordak, and he doubted very much that Evil-Lyn would release him if his hated rival was defeated by He-Man.
“You wouldn’t be far off Skeletor,” a deep voiced being remarked startling the lone Master of Evil.
“Who’s there?” he demanded glancing around the barren landscape for a source to the voice and finding nothing, just as before.
“A friend,” the unseen being returned. Skeletor couldn’t tell if it was male or female due to the way it spoke almost as though with two voices of both genders. “I will free you from Despondos on the understanding that you perform a small favor for me at some future date,” it stated its’ tone seemingly smug.
“What kind of favor?” Skeletor wondered keeping his options open; it was unwise to accept offers from unseen benefactors, but listening never hurt.
“Nothing you can’t handle; merely the extermination of my enemies, of course when the time comes you won’t have much choice in the matter,” it replied in a casual tone of voice. Skeletors’ eye sockets flared red, he was nobodies lackey.
“And why should I agree to such a questionable arrangement? I don’t even know you or your so called enemies,” he returned. It laughed openly causing the entire realm of Despondos to shudder, as though whoever or whatever it was had even greater powers then Hordak himself.
“Perhaps I was mistaken, another less questioning individual such as Evil-Lyn might be more eager to assist me,” it remarked in an obvious ploy to upset Skeletor, a ploy that unfortunately worked all too well.
“She is a worthless trollop. I will accept your proposal, with the understanding that I won’t be your underling,” he stated it chuckled slightly causing the realm to tremble once more, only this time it was less of an impact and the sands did not shift so much.
“Of course not Keldor, this is merely an exchange of mutual beneficence. I have the power to aid you and in turn you have the power to assist me,” it revealed cryptically before Skeletor found himself miraculously free of Despondos and once more upon Eternia, he was standing partially up the summit of Snake Mountain remaining unseen to those below.
He watched in some surprise as a large mechanical being of some kind raised his weapon and proceeded to vaporize Hordak the creature was mostly black with an intermixing of red, dull silver and a tan, light brown combination on certain body parts.
Surprisingly enough he seemed to have the body parts of some organic beast grafted upon numerous sections of his body Skeletor watched this fascinating behemoth vaporize his rival and then simply vanish into a dark vortex of energy.
“A fitting end for a fool,” Skeletor stated smugly before making his way back inside Snake Mountain he had to begin plotting his next move while the rest of Eternia believed him to be gone, and there was the little matter of re-asserting himself as leader of those who had survived the conflict with the Horde.The Pact
Several months passed. Skeletor now currently sat upon his throne brooding over the many countless failures he had been faced with, a very long time ago when he was still Keldor he had been so close to the Elders power he could almost taste it, but now…
Beaten at every turn by those accursed Masters and what’s worse now He-Man had that little whore She-Ra helping him out, twice the power, twice the humiliation. He couldn’t bear these constant failures and despite the incompetence of his minions he knew deep within himself that part of the blame fell on his shoulders, He-Man was just too strong he had a power… a power Skeletor strongly suspected was tied to the secrets of Castle Grayskull.
His forces were vastly depleted because of that business with the Horde, but at least he could take some small comfort in the knowledge that fool Randor was dead as well.
“Ah Skeletor,” one of his minions spoke up breaking him from his silence his eye sockets flared with red fires of rage as he turned to glare at Beast Man.
“What is it Beast Man?” He inquired a dangerous edge to his tone, which caused the reddish furred henchman to cower slightly when Skeletor was in this kind of mood it was wise not to make him wait for reports.
“Mer-Man’s back from his little scouring mission,” Beast Man replied standing a little straighter as Skeletor did not immediately explode in a rage his master nodded and the mostly dark green armor clad individual, who had been waiting in the shadows of the entranceway, took this as a sign to enter.
“Well?” Skeletor prompted in impatience Mer-Man simply shook his head.
“I searched the entire Sea of Rakkash from one end to the other in all possible locations… there was no sign of the artifact or vessel you were hoping to find,” he informed in his customary bubbling tone he always sounded like he had a mouthful of water, Skeletor fumed in silence. It had taken him months just to discover the existence of this particular derelict somewhere on Eternia, his searching could not end in vain, he refused to believe that something so massive could simply vanish completely from the face of Eternia.
“You are most certain that you searched the entire Sea of Rakkash?” Skeletor demanded Mer-Man nodded.
“Even some of the lesser accessible locations,” he added in a semi-hopeful tone that Skeletor would not punish him for failing.
“How is it possible that the Etherian vessel could simply vanish after its crash landing on Eternia?” Skeletor mused aloud. “I am aware that the great unrest caused that fool Randor to lose his trade routes with our sister planet, but even so when they required aid that pest Angela did send a supply ship,” he stated revealing some of the history of Eternia that he had discovered to his underlings Beast Man snarled slightly.
“What do we need with an Etherian ship anyway?” he dared to ask Skeletor eyed him briefly in rage, but then seemed to calm down.
“If you will recall before Hordak freed himself he did attempt to send a mission to Etheria while we were still trapped behind the Mystic Wall,” Skeletor reminded, “he even requested that I give him several troops as you know that is how we lost a few of our allies.”
“Yeah, but what could there be on Etheria that we need?” Beast Man wondered continuing to test Skeletors’ limits and yet seemingly oblivious to that important fact.
“Because some of the Hordes’ weapons are still on Etheria, it is entirely possible that were we to venture there we might discover a device that could breach the barrier surrounding Castle Grayskull,” Skeletor calmly explained Beast Man roared slightly in a mocking gesture.
“Like any of those old toys still work,” he muttered Skeletor glared at him. “Why not just use a portal to travel to Etheria?” he questioned.
“Because I’d much rather put my trust in a vessel magical travel between planets is difficult at even the best of times, and I have never personally seen the surface of Etheria. We could inadvertently wind up on the bottom of some ocean and drown,” Skeletor snapped his patience at last at an end. “Now leave me!” he ordered both of his minions turned to comply when suddenly Snake Mountain itself began to tremble under some unseen force.
Mer-Man toppled to the hard stone floor and slid along its’ length coming to a stop at the foot of the throne Beast Man ducked low to the ground and covered his head to prevent rocks from damaging it growling at the unnatural phenomena, Skeletor however remained seated barely gripping the armrests to his throne, he would not cower to anything or anyone in his own home.
“I have come to collect,” a very familiar entity spoke up as the tremor subsided Skeletor recognized the being who freed him from Despondos months earlier.
“Now isn’t the best time,” he returned doing his best to show no fear. It chuckled darkly and the tremor returned even stronger this time.
“You have no choice in the matter.” It growled and with a brilliant explosion of mystic energies Skeletor, Beast Man and Mer-Man were taken from Eternia.
The Sorceress gasped fearfully as she sensed the sudden display of power someone had just taken Skeletor from Eternia and that did not bode well, for here Skeletors’ evil could be contained. He-Man and She-Ra were destined to protect Eternia from his evil, but someone with even greater power took him for an evil purpose and wherever he was now there were no defenders capable or powerful enough to stop him.
“Adam, Adora come to Grayskull immediately, something is terribly wrong
,” she called telepathically to her two young charges she only hoped she could act in time to prevent Skeletor from doing something truly evil wherever he was now.
The planet Earth was not a world used to sudden jarring changes definitely nothing as extreme as receiving three beings from another planet in the middle of its’ sunrise, one lone sun similar to Eternias’ shone down upon this strange paved roadway.
Skeletor was clearly enraged at being abducted from the planet Eternia in such a manner as evident by his tight grip on his precious Havoc staff and the flaring redness within his eye sockets. Beast Man was merely confused at the jarring change of scenery while Mer-Man was busy regaining his footing after the tumultuous journey.
“How dare you remove me from my domain!” Skeletor growled loudly looking around for the source of the power which had brought him here.
“You have no rights here Keldor I brought you here for a purpose, and you will do as I order or I’ll return you to Despondos where I found you,” it stated in a low dangerous voice, a voice that seemed different to Skeletor for some reason. Beast Man eyed his boss curiously while Mer-Man who had fully recovered his senses was now looking about for the source of this strange voice.
“Very well.” Skeletor began. “I shall do as you wish, for now,” he reluctantly agreed it chuckled once more only this time the ground did not tremble, if this was indeed the same entity it was obviously weaker on this alien world.
“Excellent. Then allow me to introduce you to your target,” it said as though speaking to a hit man and then a young woman materialized before the three Eternians, she was dressed in a strange style of clothing with two primary pieces. Something that would have to be pants and a strange looking shirt with an odd symbol and alien writing indecipherable for the moment to Skeletor. She was dirty blond with hazel colored eyes and as she drew closer to the three of them she smiled seductively Beast Man was unimpressed he could break this wench with one hand, Mer-Man was silently curious and Skeletor was completely incredulous.
“This puny woman is your worst enemy?” he exclaimed with a sneer of contempt, or what approximated as one on his skull face, the woman tilted her head and crossed her arms.
“I ain’t kidding,” she snapped back with an odd slang, “much like your He-Man she has been chosen to be my own nemesis… she has been given the powers to deal with my own minions,” she explained suddenly right before their eyes her form shifted into that of the long dead King Hsss. “Sssso I decided to look elsewhere for beingsss she couldn’t fight,” he informed with a wicked smile before the body of the entity morphed into Randors’ form. “So here we are all you have to do is defeat her utterly and completely, but don’t kill her…” he added as a warning pausing so his body could change once more into the form of Hordak. “I want her to suffer,” the dead leader of the Horde stated darkly with a twisted smile that seemed impossibly wide.
“How’s he… she… uh, it doin’ that?” Beast Man muttered aside to Mer-Man.
“How am I supposed to know,” Mer-Man shot back defensively. Skeletor ignored their murmurings and eyed the woman once more, for it had become her again. He was committing that face to memory and yet at the same time he couldn’t help, but feel as if this creature, this shape shifter. Was in fact something else something that had not been the one to free him from Despondos, a pretender, perhaps his true target even.
“How exactly do I make her suffer?” he wondered shaking aside his doubts he was intrigued by this woman now. It smiled revealing perfect white teeth.
“My friends aren’t as strong as me,” she remarked with a little pout now obviously putting on an act of innocence and fear, “and I love my friends so very much. Whatever would I do if someone hurt them…?” She gasped in mock horror. “Or killed them,” she finished smirking wickedly. Skeletor was now displaying a wicked smile of his own, or at least the closest approximation to that expression.
“Ah yes the direct approach,” he quipped internally laughing at his own clever little joke, which really wasn’t that funny if you considered it then he broke into a wild and insane laugh. Beast Man and Mer-Man didn’t know how to react so they laughed along until Skeletor shot them a glare. “Come along you two I’m going to require your assistance,” he stated with a short dark chuckle.
“Uh if we’re gonna fight this little girl, where do we find her?” Beast Man wondered in his snarling-growling means of speech in response the odd shape shifting creature pointed to a sign, Beast Man growled angrily for the words were meaningless to him.
“He can’t read,” Mer-Man snickered until he too looked at the sign and realized he didn’t understand it at all.
“This is another planet,” Skeletor reminded with a brief sigh and then a yellowish glowing light escaped from the tip of his staff and swirled about the three of them, now they could all understand the native scribbling including the ‘Bad Girl’ writing on the shirt the facsimile was wearing.
“She’s in this town,” it informed sashaying over to the sign and licking her lips sexily, “Thirteen Sixty Revelo Drive, you can’t miss it,” she added. Skeletor nodded and strode confidently passed the sign, Beast Man spat at it before trailing after the Overlord of Evil and Mer-Man was left last in line.
“They better have a pool or something somewhere my skin’s getting flakey,” he muttered with a burble the strange entity smirked as it stood next to the sign watching the three Eternians make their way into the town.
“The Slayer is in for a world of hurt,” she remarked, “welcome to Sunnydale Keldor,” she added with a dark chuckle.
Buffy Anne Summers was currently bored out of her mind as she sat in her counselors’ office at good old Sunnydale High. With more and more people evacuating the town due to the uneasy feelings being passed around there weren’t a lot of kids left to teach, let alone help deal with typical emotional distress which actually made her wonder why the school was even still open.
Sighing she tossed a paper ball into the trash bin and scored another ten points for her imaginary team.
“Knock, knock,” Principal Wood called out from the doorway Buffy jerked in her seat startled at the sudden interruption and turned to face the man who signed her paychecks.
He was actually the son of a former Slayer killed by Spike and was harboring mixed feelings about the ensouled Vamp being stashed in Buffys’ house, he was also a very handsome African-American who stood roughly six foot eight inches give or take, had a tendency to wear an earring, and sported a slight mustache.
He was also bald seemed to like wearing plain suits that still managed to accentuate his attractiveness and had a slight charm to him, of course he was at least a far cry better then Principal Snyder had ever been.
“What’s up?” Buffy asked smiling.
“I’m afraid the school board is going to close us down in another day,” he returned with a sigh, “not enough students,” he elaborated for the sake of clarifying things even though he knew Buffy probably was smart enough to figure that out.
“These things happen…,” Buffy countered picking up another balled up piece of loose leaf and handing it to him he smiled and tossed it at the garbage bin. “It’s better if they get out of town anyway,” she added with another sigh of her own the current situation was highly stressful and she really didn’t think she could handle it much longer without breaking down.
“Any luck?” Wood asked Buffy shook her head.
“The Bringers are getting more aggressive it’s getting harder to keep the girls safe, and I’m no closer to finding a way to stop the Firsts’ plans,” she admitted Wood really didn’t know what to say to that, and before he could even attempt anything a scream was heard down the hall followed by a very out of place growl.
The two adults shared a knowing look and ran out of the office at the opposite end of the hall was quite the horrific sight, a teenage boy lay on the floor bleeding from a very nasty leg wound. Standing over him was a very strange looking demon, it wasn’t something Buffy had ever seen before, nor could she recall seeing it in any of the books she’d actually done research in over the years.
He, for it was obviously male, was covered in thick fur mostly subdued reddish in color, his face however belied a sense of intelligence she’d never seen in a demon before and he had very sharp looking teeth. He was wearing some sort of dark brown leather ankle guards with attached spiked knee guards, and a matching colored guard on each elbow which was small enough not to hinder mobility. Twin sick green smaller spiked metal wrist guards and a matching green belt-like thing, with darker green furred loincloth combination rounded out the modest clothing on the hulking gorilla-like demon. Other then this there was no distinguishing marks or clothing with one notable exception the large shaggy mane which draped upon his shoulders and hung down to his stomach accompanied by strange bone-like protrusions that might have been the teeth off of large carnivores, mane however wasn’t the right word to describe what she was seeing. It looked nothing like a lion’s mane for it wasn’t attached to his head or neck as that animals’ mane was known to do, it looked more like some sort of pelt from a trophy, but it attached to his body and was clearly his fur. Buffy shook aside her insecurities about not knowing what she was looking at and adopted her resolved face now was not the time to try to classify the beast.
“What kind of demon is that?” Wood asked out of the side of his mouth though he didn’t show it he was still healing from his scrap with Spike about a week and a half previously and didn’t relish having to fight the massive eight possibly nine foot tall brute, it was hard to tell his height since he was hunched over.
“Don’t know.” Buffy began her eyes narrowing at the sight of the kids’ blood on the demons left hands’ claws. “But he’s so going down,” she stated before charging recklessly down the hall the hulking brute, who happened to be well aware of the Slayer and Principal scrutinizing him, smirked causing his fangs to glint in the sickly neon light of the hall.
Buffy tried to drop kick him in the chest he avoided her flying leap in a highly fluid motion and grabbed her by the leg in one massive paw as she passed by, she would not give up though and proceeded to punch him repeatedly in the stomach and chest trying to get him to release her. With each punch he seemed to grow more amused and Buffy was forced to hide her concern, for her bones and limbs actually jarred with each impact causing stabbing pains to run up into her shoulder blades.
“Heh, heh, heh… looks like Skeletor was right,” he remarked in a guttural voice filled with the occasional snarl, “when we only found those other pathetic girls and the old man at your house he figured you had to be somewhere in this puny little village,” he continued with a pleased smirk, “just my luck I found you first, a shame I don’t have time to play with you, but Skeletor was adamant about lettin’ him handle you personally so here’s the message,” he informed opening his other tight fisted hand revealing a crumpled picture of Buffy, Xander and Willow. Buffys’ eyes narrowed angrily somehow this demon had gotten into her house, and if he’d hurt any of the potentials or her friends then he’d really know the meaning of the word pain.
“Relax.” He began seeming to pick up on her growing rage. “We didn’t actually hurt anybody… too much,” he revealed grinning wickedly, “Skeletor just wanted to get your attention he’ll be back tonight to finish what we started.” The beast finished with a deep throated laugh before tossing Buffy into the nearest collection of lockers she crashed into the metal hard enough to dent it and injured her back in the process, she slumped to the floor in obvious pain.
The gorilla demon laughed loudly as he leapt out the nearest entrance leaving a secretly frightened Slayer behind she had failed to injure him in any fashion, and just who was this Skeletal person? Buffy groaned as Principal Wood rushed to help her up she brushed his aid aside however, her pride already wounded.
“What was that all about?” Wood wondered eyeing the fallen picture briefly Buffy shook her head and eyed the still swinging doors.
“Trouble,” she replied simply, “end of the world level trouble I think the First just stepped things up,” she added with a wince as she applied too much pressure to her twisted ankle she had to get home quickly, find out what had happened there before it was too late… she was just glad Dawn had been here with her today if anything had happened to her she didn’t know what she’d do.
The Sorceress looked up in surprise as Adam, Adora and Marlena arrived within the grand throne room of Castle Grayskull surprise because she hadn’t expected the queen to be with her children.
“Marlena your presence is unexpected,” she remarked. The queen nodded with a small smile.
“I understand, but if there are dangers to Eternia I feel the need to know,” she returned the Sorceress nodded in silent understanding and floated down from atop the throne, the Sorceress was an ethereal beauty, almost ageless in appearance despite her true physical age. She was dressed in a green and golden armor heavily influenced by the ancient Aztecan cultures at least that’s what Marlena always was reminded of whenever she stood before this woman. The white skirt-loincloth combination did little to cover the womans’ shapely legs. Marlena always felt that perhaps her wardrobe could stand an improvement even with the mostly brown almost knee high boots and green metallic knee guards, considering that her sixteen year old son tended to spend an awful lot of time within the walls of Castle Grayskull, as himself and his alter ego He-Man.
The most defining features about this woman were the highly stylized headdress reminiscent of an avian species of some kind and the large white feathered wings that swept out from her back granting her the gift of flight. These wings were not a perfect white, but more of a white with gold russet undertones upon the feathers Marlena was always impressed by these wings and of course the long golden staff that showed the womans’ station, but part of this came from her own cultures background.
“Then know you shall,” she stated turning to regard both champions of Eternia with a very concerned expression, “a creature… most certainly a great being of unspeakable evil has taken Skeletor from Eternia, I can not classify this entity. It is elusive as though not of this realm. I have scoured the universe and discovered Skeletor is now on Earth,” she informed. Adam and Adoras’ expressions were ones of uncertainty, shock and partial joy. Marlena was frightened after all Earth had been her home once long ago before she found her way to Eternia by accident, and she feared for its’ inhabitants.
“What can we do?” Adam asked instantly recognizing that he and his sister would have to resolve this problem in some way.
“We have to go to Earth,” Marlena returned in a soft tone startling her children with the ferocity in her tone and emphasis on the term we, the Sorceress agreed with this assessment and swiftly chose to expand upon the simple response.
“It is the only way. You must journey to Earth and somehow bring Skeletor back to Eternia before he can cause too much harm, already the balance of your mothers’ home world has shifted,” she informed gravely Adam nodded accepting her words at face value, Adora however was still new to the ways of Eternia and harbored some uncertainties.
“Can we even fight Skeletor so far away from Castle Grayskull and its’ powers?” she wondered cautiously. The Sorceress smiled once more and placed a hand briefly upon the slowly recovering teenagers’ shoulder.
“The powers of Grayskull can help you wherever you may be within this universe all you need do is call upon the Elders and they shall come to your aid, as you do now,” the ethereal beauty replied. Adam eyed his sister briefly with quiet surprise, he really never thought about that before, he always assumed the powers of He-Man would be his as long as he possessed the sword of power.
Shaking aside his concern he turned to his mother already beginning to formulate a plan Skeletor would be in a world he did not know after all, it should be relatively simple to defeat him.
“You’ll have to tell the Masters that we’ve gone on a special mission with He-Man and She-Ra.” He began he still felt strange about his mother at last knowing the secret Man-At-Arms had constantly instilled caution in him about sharing the secret, but there was little he could do when Hordak blasted him with the Dark Matrixs’ energies.
Marlena shook her head cutting him off before he could say anymore Adam trailed off confused.
“You’ve never been to Earth before you’re going to need a guide,” the queen countered Adam looked worried, with his father dead he was even more protective of his mother even though she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself.
“But mother, if there’s danger you could be hurt, or worse,” he stated his voice cracking slightly with the fear of losing another parent despite all he’d done as He-Man he was most definitely not ready to assume the mantle as King of Eternos.
Marlena smiled softly and drew closer to her son reaching out to caress his cheek as a mother often does with her children.
“Relax Adam I can help you and I can handle myself, remember the Snake Men?” she asked with a brief chuckle. Adam knew he couldn’t convince her otherwise, even his father had, had trouble convincing the queen to remain behind when danger was close. Reluctantly he bowed his head deferring to her wisdom Adora seemed anxious, but kept her feelings to herself.
“How will we get to Earth?” she asked she really hadn’t much cared for her mother accompanying them, but she knew better then to change the queens’ mind, she hadn’t known her mother as long as Adam, but she still noticed how stubborn she could be at times.
“I shall use the power of the Elders to send you where you are most needed,” the Sorceress stated gripping her staff tighter and folding her wings closer to her body steeling herself for the amount of energies she’d be channeling through her. “Stand closer together if you will,” she requested waving her free hand to express her request further Adam and Adora moved to stand on either side of their mother and Marlena took each one by the hand.
“We’ll need appropriate attire and money as well,” the queen remarked with pursed lips the Sorceress nodded and with a wave of her staff the trio were changed, the queen now wore a forest green shirt and beige pants, a dark red purse hung over one shoulder on a thin strap and her hair had even been shortened.
Of course her crown and earrings were gone although the earrings were replaced with smaller diamond studs, she looked almost like she had the day she arrived here.
Adam received faded black jeans and a rich red muscle shirt his wrist gauntlets were gone and a watch was strapped to his left wrist, though he didn’t understand what function it possessed because it looked nothing like an Eternian time keeper.
He was also wearing a long brown duster to conceal the power sword he regarded this strange styled coat with a slight smile, it fit like a glove and looked pretty cool. Adora was dressed similarly to her brother, her jeans were blue however and she was wearing a more tasteful loose fitting violet hued baby tee, her duster was a darker brown almost black in color and her shoulder length blond hair was now tied up in a ponytail with a reddish gold hair clasp.
The Sorceress took a deep breath opening herself to the powers of the Elders and waved her staff a second time. The power of Grayskull opened a portal almost instantly, which swept the royal family up and sent them on their way to Queen Marlenas’ former home planet hopefully they would arrive in time to put a stop to the threat of Skeletor.
Buffy raced back home as fast as she could after recovering from the gorillas’ attack when she reached the house she found Xander outside working on the front entrance with the limited tools at his disposal, without so much as a word she barged into the building searching for an enemy that was long gone.
She searched through the entire house from top to bottom assessing her home as though it were a fortress whose walls had been breached, three of the potentials were in Dawns’ room being tended to by Willow and Kennedy. Chao-Ahn had a broken arm, Tiffany had a very nasty looking gash across her forehead and Amanda was nursing a broken foot, Buffys’ eyes narrowed dangerously when she saw her charges injured.
Giles and Spike were in the basement training the remaining potentials in combat and Andrew and Anya were sitting in the corner leafing through piles of books Buffy figured the two powerless individuals were sticking with Spike because of what happened.
“Giles what happened?” she demanded marching straight up to the Watcher and doing her best imposing Slayer face, the man sighed.
“Nothing too unsettling unless you count an attack by two demons in broad daylight nothing,” he returned rubbing the bridge of his nose, “Anya and that bloody twat have been researching for hours but so far we have no leads on the identity of our intruders,” he elaborated with a second sigh.
“Hey!” Andrew exclaimed from the corner, “that bloody twat is right here,” he added in a hurt tone Giles ignored him while Spike chuckled slightly before eyeing the Slayer.
“How’d you know somethin’ went down?” he asked. Buffy eyed him briefly. “I can smell the perspiration,” he pointed out.
“One of them attacked me at the school,” she revealed, “I don’t know if it was one of the ones in the house big red gorilla with a Tarzan fetish,” she added. Anya snorted briefly before glancing up from her own book.
“Yes that was one of them,” she stated and then tossed her book aside and climbed to her feet with a look of disgust, “this is pointless I’ve lived longer then anyone else here and I have never seen any gorilla demons or green scaly fish demons like the two from this morning,” she informed in a snippy tone Buffy didn’t know why Anya was so upset, but she didn’t have time to start analyzing former vengeance demons.
“Andrew?” she prompted the self-proclaimed former super villain wannabe shook his head. “Fine quit researching and go restock our supplies, if we’re going to be visited by these creeps again tonight I want to make sure we’re all well rested and properly fed,” she stated before trailing off and seeming to realize that the potentials were almost all right there and listening in on every word. “Giles can we talk upstairs for a minute?” she asked softly the Watcher nodded and followed the Slayer back upstairs into the living room where Xander was putting the finishing touches on the coffee table, having given up on the door apparently.
“What’s troubling you?” he asked Buffy smiled briefly, Giles always seemed to know when something was on her mind.
“The one that came to the school and warned me about tonight…” She trailed off momentarily making sure no one else was around, Xander didn’t say anything, but he was one of her closest friends and she could trust him to keep this secret. “He was fast Giles… wicked fast and my punches didn’t even faze him,” she informed a slight hint of fear in her tone she began to pace back and forth anxiously as Giles whipped his glasses off and began to vigorously wipe the lenses. “What am I gonna do if I can’t even fight these things?” she demanded.
“Looks to me like the First has brought in the muscle it’s always bragged about,” Xander quipped bitterly, “maybe if we could bring Angel and his group in to help,” he mused out loud Buffy pretended she hadn’t heard that and rounded on her former mentor.
“Giles the Turok-Han was bad enough, but this… I can’t fail again. If I lose the First will destroy the Earth,” she ranted releasing emotions she didn’t know had been bubbling around Giles obviously didn’t know what to say to that, he knew Buffy was under tons of stress lately. The Firsts’ open challenge towards the balance that had always been enforced was unsettling to say the least, and Buffy really wasn’t ready to handle this level of evils’ power unleashed or at least he believed so privately.
“I’m telling you guys it was like something out of a sci-fi or fantasy epic,” Andrew exclaimed as he, Anya and several potentials suddenly appeared from the basement. “And if we can’t find them in our demon guides then maybe, just maybe they’re like aliens or something,” he added with a big goofy hopeful grin. Buffy shot him a glare because he was interrupting a personal discussion, but just then both Dawn and Principal Wood came home to find the front entrance still smashed in. Well the debris wasn’t there, but it was obvious something a lot bigger had busted down the door and both Buffy and Wood had seen it earlier.
“Ok Giles I want the potentials armed at all times, all
of them,” Buffy ordered burying her insecurities in the role of leader a role she was comfortable with and could deal with right then. “Spike’s going to be invaluable if… when they show up so try not to kill him Wood,” she added glancing briefly at the Principal, now ex-principal actually if the school was closed. “And you two,” she said shooting a glare at Anya and Andrew, “I thought I told you to get more supplies.”
“What’s going on?” Dawn demanded Buffy shook her head.
“It’s nothing,” she replied lying in an attempt to protect her sister from the truth turning she headed for the kitchen.
“Like hell it’s nothing,” Xander spoke up with a sharp glare, “they’re going to come back and I think everyone deserves to know the truth,” he added pointedly leveling his gaze upon the slayer by now Willow was standing in the stairway eyeing her friends with a brief look of concern, she could tell she’d missed something.
“Not yet Xander,” Buffy returned in a soft almost pleading tone of voice. “Not until we know who they are and what exactly is going on,” she stated steely resolve snapping back into place with minimal effort.
“What’s to know?” Anya asked innocently. “The First got some new big bad level demons Buffy can take care of them easily,” she said in a casual tone of voice tinged with deep conviction. Buffy lowered her head briefly, allowing a moment of weakness to slip through.
“Ahn,” Xander warned adopting her nickname.
“That’s not good,” Dawn interjected before anyone else could speak, “but like Anya said, Buffy can handle’em,” she reiterated shooting her sister an encouraging smile Buffy got a haunted look on her face before taking off looking for something or someone to hit, she couldn’t let the team down, not like this and not now. “Did I say something wrong?” Dawn wondered turning to eye the others confusedly Xander and Giles shared a knowing look, but said nothing they didn’t feel it was their place to go against Buffys’ wishes even in such a situation as this.
Unseen outside Mer-Man was crouched in one of the larger sized trees he smirked, with his hearing he’d heard every word being spoken in the house. Time now to let Skeletor know the target was home and get his scales wetted again, it was far too dry on this planet for his tastes. Then again he didn’t know about the ocean not far away because Skeletor had kept a tight leash on his minions, if he had known he might have had a better opinion of the place. Flipping out of the tree backwards he rushed off he just hoped he could remember how to get to that stupid vineyard exactly, whatever a vineyard was.
Queen Marlena, Prince Adam and Princess Adora appeared on Earth in front of a large structure the sign out front read Sunnydale High, the twins looked around curious to learn as much as they could about their mothers’ home planet.
For Marlena something seemed wrong with what she was seeing, but she couldn’t place it at first and then she realized the problem, there weren’t any people around.
“Something is wrong,” Adora spoke up breaking the others from their thoughts. “Where are all the people?” she asked.
“It looks like they’ve abandoned this village,” Adam remarked eyeing the strange metallic vehicle with the four wheels.
“It’s town here,” Marlena corrected, “most villages on Earth are called towns, while the larger ones are known as cities the term village hasn’t been used in many years,” she informed with a tiny smile. “At least in most corners of the globe,” she corrected herself.
“What’s that?” Adam asked pointing out the large yellow and black vehicle standing on the stone roadway.
“It’s a school bus Earth vehicles are all loosely based on the combustion engine, we haven’t developed transports as sophisticated as the Wind Raiders yet,” his mother replied she headed for the bus and found the door open with the keys still in the ignition. “We’ll use this to get around it’ll be faster then walking,” she decided. Adam and Adora shared a look, shrugged and headed over to the vehicle.
“Do you know how to drive it?” Adora asked Marlena smiled as she turned the key and the engine roared to life.
“It’s the same as handling a car,” she said dismissively Adam sat down behind the drivers’ seat and smirked.
“So that’s where Adora gets her driving skills,” he quipped Adora punched her brothers’ shoulder playfully before sitting down across from him, Marlena shut the bus’s door and pulled out onto the roadway if people were abandoning this town then the best chance to find Skeletor would be to go where there were people.
Willow sighed as she tossed the book aside for the tenth time the limited amount of resources just couldn’t tell them what those demons were, she’d never come across any such references before.
A knock at the door broke her from her inner thoughts and she smiled at the sight of Kennedy the potential slayer had been a great blessing for her, even though she still felt at times that she’d moved too fast after the death of Tara, but Kennedy was helping her to cope with everything.
“Hey baby,” she greeted moving to embrace the younger woman who kissed her briefly.
“Any luck?” Kennedy asked curiously. Willow sighed a second time and shook her head, she had a feeling things were coming to a head and fast.
“There’s just nothing in any of these books on giant red furred gorilla demons or scaly… whatever that other one was,” she stated with a slight frown. Kennedy shrugged and twirled the axe she’d brought with her one handed.
“Still dead from beheading,” she returned with a smirk, Willow smiled though she hid her fears as best she could and she wouldn’t say anything about Angels’ friend Lorne who couldn’t die from decapitation… if even one of those two demons shared that uncommon trait well it would definitely be a bad thing for the Scoobies.
“Will!” Buffy’s voice called from downstairs.
“Yeah!” she called back pouting at the interruption to what might have developed into smoochies.
“Is Dawn up there?” Buffy demanded Willow eyed Kennedy before both of them rushed to check Dawns’ room.
“No, no she’s not,” the potential supplied beating Willow to the punch, Buffy swore under her breath and it sounded like she was hitting something or perhaps someone down there.
“She’s not in the basement or out back with Giles and the others damn her she’s probably run off with Andrew and Anya.” She growled then the front door slammed, only to be opened a few moments later and Buffy stormed back in realizing that she couldn’t leave at this crucial time. “Willow get down here now I need you,” the slayer ordered. Willow sighed, her friend was acting a lot pushier of late ever since running into that demon at the school.
“I’m coming…” She began only to be interrupted by the phone ringing she could hear Buffy answer downstairs, but she couldn’t tell who it was. Willow arrived at the bottom of the stairs in time to be handed the phone, Buffy looked clearly upset claiming the receiver she held it up to her ear slightly tentatively. “Hello,” she greeted in a questioning tone the person on the other end said a few words of greeting in turn, but quickly got straight to the point. Willow nodded without saying a word. “I’ll be there,” she informed before hanging up and turning to Kennedy and Buffy who’d been watching during the brief conversation.
“Just go,” the slayer snapped, “we should have realized.” She began moving off into the kitchen where the sound of banging cupboards could be heard.
“What’s wrong?” Kennedy asked Willow sighed.
“It’s Faith.” Was all she said before offering her girlfriend a quick squeeze and a longing kiss and then rushing out the door, the engine of a car could be heard moments after and then the sound of Willow driving away.
“Who’s Faith?” Kennedy wondered speaking to herself.
“I bet he’s some kind of alien like a Klingon or a Gorn or something,” Andrew remarked pausing as he examined the steak Anya shook her head.
“Aliens don’t exist stupid,” the ex-vengeance demon shot back grabbing the meat out of his hand, sniffing it and tossing it in the cart.
“How would you know,” Andrew retorted snatching some chicken breast off the refrigerated shelf.
“Look what I found,” Dawn spoke up joining the other two and holding up a box of Scooby-Doo Cinnamon Blasted cereal.
“Oooo marshmallows,” Andrew crooned snatching the box out of her hands. “Definitely need more,” he added reaching into the box and scarfing down a handful Dawn shot him a glare, but headed towards the cereal aisle once again.
“At least we don’t have to pay,” Anya remarked grabbing several different packs of hamburger.
“Uh isn’t that too much?” Andrew asked Anya shook her head.
“Of course not silly, look at all we went through with only one slayer those potentials eat like pigs,” she countered.
“Still sexy as hell though,” Andrew muttered under his breath before a loud shrieking sound was heard forcing the two of them to cover their ears. Both of them looked around desperately to find the source of this odd noise, Andrew was the first one to notice the three dull possibly golden colored tipped prongs scratching a large hole through the far wall.
The wall collapsed within moments revealing the massive form of the dark green, web footed scaly demon now holding a large possibly golden trident.
“Oooo Skeletor will be pleased,” he remarked in his bubbling tone of voice, “looks like Beast Mans’ report was true the two weakest links and the sister are here,” he added smiling wickedly. Andrew was shaking like mad as he began to back away, for some reason he just couldn’t run despite what his mind was screaming at him.
“Listen you I’m a vengeance demon… well, ex-vengeance demon, and I’ve got powerful friends,” Anya spoke up rather foolishly perhaps, but she was trying to be brave. The creature chuckled darkly and proceeded to approach the duo so far Dawn hadn’t returned from the cereal aisle and for that Andrew was glad, the demon removed a piece of his armor that looked kind of like a seashell shaped bowtie.
With a deft tap of his index finger the attachment revealed itself to be some kind of magically compacted sword, he grinned wickedly and stalked towards his victim touching sword tip to trident prongs and causing both to start glowing with energy.
“I don’t want to die,” Andrew pleaded desperate to remain alive.
“Don’t be a coward Andrew, besides I’m certain Buffy will swoop in any moment now and rescue us like always,” Anya countered defiant to the last as the demon unleashed the seemingly magic blast and struck her down with a jet stream of water of all things, she let out a scream large welts spreading mysteriously over her arms and face and she collapsed in great pain writhing with the agony.
“Kill her friends and she will suffer,” the creature murmured happily prepared to finish both humans off, but fate conspired against him.
While Mer-Man had been cutting his way through the stores’ rear wall a certain school bus happened to pass down the alley and Adora spotted the beast from Eternia.
Pointing him out to her mother and brother Adam nodded and climbed to his feet as Marlena brought the bus to a complete stop, pulling out the power sword from his inner jacket he brought it up to the heavens with both hands almost struggling.
“By the Power of Grayskull!” he cried unlike on Eternia here the power came from within the sword itself, and Adam was transformed in typical fashion into the most powerful man in the universe. His body bulked up considerably its size doubling as though he were in his late twenties, despite his sixteen years of age He-Man would always be more massive and taller then Adam no matter how much he grew.
The Snake Armor covered his body a remnant from his days fighting against King Hsss and the snake-men, he’d requested that this be his permanent look upon transforming to He-Man because the armor offered an advantage in battle against Skeletor and his minions. “I Have the Power!” He-Man proclaimed to the world holding his sword high in one hand then he leapt off the bus and quickly made his way into the store after Mer-Man arriving in time to see him blast Anya. After Mer-Man muttered his little sentence He-Man rose his right arm and shot the capture claw device at the evil minion, it snagged Mer-Man around the waist and He-Man bodily slammed him into the ground knocking his sword from his hand and causing his head to start ringing.
“What hit me?” Mer-Man grumbled rubbing his head the tip of the sword of power hovered inches from his neck and his eyes bugged out when he saw his attacker. “He-Man,” he cursed although his voice was filled with fear.
“Hello Mer-Man,” He-Man greeted with a smile, “you, get your friend outside there’s some help on the school bus,” he called over to Andrew the frightened young man nodded and hauled Anya into the cart, he knew she’d be uncomfortable, but he had to get her out fast.
“Dawn! We’re leaving!” he called over his shoulder before rushing out the entrance Mer-Man had made Dawn came out of the cereal aisle where she’d been hiding lugging a few more boxes of cereal, which she promptly dropped when she saw the massive hottie towering over the demon.
He was huge at least equal in height to the demon, about six feet five inches maybe and he was dressed in a strange looking armor. The armor tended towards only covering his right side body wise, yet moved over the left hand side where modesty was required thus giving a very good look at his pectorals and the flesh was something Dawn was loving, as evidenced by the slight open mouthed expression on her face.
The right side shoulder had a larger piece of armor acting as a sort of half shield, there was a red circle painted on it and in the center was a golden symbol that looked like the profile of a snake intertwined with a sword. A symbol that appeared on his gold and red belt buckle as well, his left wrist was covered with a wrist guard and in that hand was a massive sword, bigger then any Dawn had ever seen.
It was at least four feet long from tip to hilt and covered in intricate etchings and symbols the hilt possessed a strange six sided symbol, and four sharp looking prongs that acted as a hilt guard.
“You can’t be here,” Mer-Man exclaimed sweeping He-Mans’ legs out from under him and flipping out of reach not to mention giving Dawn a very clear shot of what was under the blond mans’ skirt like lower body armor, unfortunately for her his nether regions were covered, but the thigh muscles alone were enough to make her heart race with a lustful passion she knew she shouldn’t be feeling. “It’s not fair nobody here was strong enough to stop us this time…” He trailed off as he reclaimed his sword and trident, which he’d also dropped earlier, but which He-Man hadn’t seen where it landed. He-Man charged him swinging his mighty sword, Mer-Man caught the blade on the edge of his own and spun his trident around managing to hit the hero upside the head. The battle was on, but He-Man was more then a match for Mer-Man or at least he would have been if the First hadn’t interfered.
As He-Man prepared to end this brief skirmish with one punch Randor suddenly appeared before him startling him and shaking him from his combat mode, which resulted in his punch going wild.
“Adam,” the First called in Randors’ voice standing inches away from Dawn who’d been rooted to the spot by the muscle bound hottie she didn’t seem to see him though.
“Father?” He-Man asked clearly unsettled.
“Yes Adam, it’s me,” Randor returned with a deep scowl. “I am very disappointed in you,” he stated marching to within a hairs breadth of his son, “you shame the family name parading around as a court jester and lay about and allowing He-Man to do all your work,” he finished in a disappointed tone of voice.
“It’s not like that father, if Skeletor or his warriors every found out,” He-Man tried to counter, defend his past actions to the ghost of his father the way he was reacting to someone no one else could see made Mer-Man hesitate.
Dawn however had a fear that she knew what was happening she tried to say something, but Mer-Man moved first finally finding the courage. As He-Man kept staring at his dead fathers’ ghost Randors’ face took on a twisted gleeful expression just as Mer-Man drove his trident into He-Mans’ right thigh, eliciting a great scream of pain.
Blood seeped from the open wound and He-Man lost his balance tearing his leg free of Mer-Mans’ weapon and ripping the wound open further.
“Skeletor will reward me for this,” he proclaimed raising his trident for a second fatal blow.
“Get out of here you idiot She-Ra is also here,” Hordak commanded suddenly appearing in front of Mer-Man, the evil minion blanched slightly and began to make good his escape, pausing as he spotted Dawn.
“Tell She-Ra that if she follows me the girl dies,” he ordered He-Man secreting his sword and trident on his person he snatched Dawn up who screamed for help and flailed about in his grasp, and then Mer-Man leapt out the rear loading door instead of going back out through the entrance he’d made where She-Ra was no doubt waiting.
Hordak reverted into Buffy as the First eyed He-Man pleased with its’ ploy, He-Mans’ eyes teared up with pain as he stared dumbly at the blond.
“What are you?” he demanded ignoring the pain as best he could.
“Primal,” the First returned with a seductive smile and then Buffys’ image vanished He-Man tried to get up, but he couldn’t support his weight.
“Adam?” a voice called as Adora took a step through the makeshift door of Mer-Mans’, she gasped when she caught sight of her brother wounded and leaning heavily on his sword. “Brother!” she exclaimed in fear He-Man chuckled slightly trying to put a brave face on, but this was the first time anyone had ever drawn his blood in combat.
“I’ll be fine sis.” He tried to dismiss her once more attempting to regain his footing Adora shoved him back down into a sitting position.
“No you will not, not if you don’t let me heal this,” she retorted concern filling her voice it had only been five months since she found her family again, she wasn’t about to lose another member now. “Besides, Teela would never forgive me,” she added with a knowing smirk. He-Man laughed again gritting his teeth through the pain. Adora pulled her own sword out from under her duster and held it over the wound. “Sorceress hear my call, by the power of Grayskull heal my brother, for the honor of Grayskull make him whole once again,” she recited. He-Man had trouble keeping a straight face, no matter how many times he’d heard this plea he always thought it sounded corny. The sword of protection sparkled with energy and the Sorceresses’ countenance appeared within the jewel at the center of the hilt.
“Adora I hear your words,” she stated looking upon the wound with great concern and pity, “with the courage and love in your heart He-Man shall be healed,” she continued and a beam of light emerged from the jeweled center bathing He-Mans’ leg in a white ethereal glow, within seconds his thigh was as good as new.
“Thank you Sorceress,” Adora whispered as she hugged her brother tightly He-Man smiled as the both of them climbed back to their feet.
“Mer-Man took the other girl,” he revealed with a bitter sigh.
“We’ll get her back, but right now I think you should revert to Adam so we can conserve ourselves,” Adora suggested, “I trust the Sorceress, but we don’t know how many times we can become He-Man and She-Ra on Earth Grayskull is so far away after all.” He-Man nodded and held his sword up high once again.
“Let the power, return!” he cried out and with a second flashy display He-Man became Prince Adam again, Adora helped him outside and back on the bus since he was walking with a slight limp.
“Where can we go for help?” she asked the frantic looking dirty blond guy he eyed the two briefly and then looked back expecting Dawn and the armor clad muscle man to come out. “Mer-Man took her and He-Man is following,” Adora lied not knowing if she should trust this man yet. The stranger looked really upset now.
“Oh the Slayer is going to be so pissed,” he remarked wringing his hands nervously.
“Young man,” Marlena prompted from the drivers’ seat.
“Oh right…Thirteen Sixty Revelo Drive,” he offered before turning back to the badly injured woman Marlena nodded, closed the bus’s door and drove off hoping that Skeletor wouldn’t harm the prisoner.
“He-Man and She-Ra! Here!” Skeletor screamed his eye sockets practically on fire with his rage Mer-Man cowered doing his best not to irk the Master of Evil any further. “Raaaaaaahhhhhh!” he cried blasting several Bringers into dust with his Havoc staff.
“I did manage to injure He-Man,” Mer-Man spoke up apparently knowing when to be silent only for so long, Beast Man scoffed at that with a snort.
“So what She-Ra has those fancy healing powers,” he grumbled. Skeletor ignored these remarks his rage having tapered off into a silent fury, he stopped pacing and sat in the makeshift throne his magic had fashioned.
“If the accursed defenders of Eternia are here now I will need a power source equal to that of Grayskulls' in order to finish this blasted favor,” he mused tapping the fingers of one hand upon the wooden armrest.
“What about that scythe in the basement?” Beast Man asked Skeletor shook his head.
“That paltry weapons’ power is even less then Evil-Lyns’, no I need something even stronger,” Skeletor countered wondering if a planet as weak in magic as this appeared to be could ever hope to meet his needs.
“Well I’d better go kill the Slayers’ sister,” Mer-Man grumbled turning to leave he wanted to at least do something right today.
“What was that Mer-Man?” Skeletor asked all previous trains of thought forgotten. “You have the Slayers’ sister?” he demanded.
“Uh yeah, I stashed her in the other room,” Mer-Man returned as though just now remembering that bit of good news Skeletor appeared suddenly calmer and eerily enough quite happy.
“Bring her here,” he commanded Mer-Man shrugged and left the room for a few minutes, when he returned he had Dawn tucked under one arm. Having tied her up and smeared some of the slime from his pouch over her mouth to shut her up, as soon as Skeletor saw her he could sense massive amounts of power. “You’ve done well Mer-Man,” Skeletor praised climbing to his feet and approaching the girl she screamed a muffled scream of terror when she first laid eyes upon him and he smiled pleased with that reaction, at least the people of this planet knew enough to fear him. Of course Dawn was not afraid of Skeletor in the typical sense of the word she did not fear him because of what kind of powers or strengths he might have, but because of his physical appearance. No one on Earth not even a demon had ever been seen walking around with only a skull for a head, a being with such a feature should not be even capable of remaining alive especially since the rest of his blue skinned body looked relatively normal for a human, well save for the blue skin.
“What’s so special about her?” Beast Man muttered Skeletor ignored the clear tone of resentment in his minions’ voice and cradled Dawns’ cheek with his free hand.
“She is no mere child,” he bothered to explain a rarity in itself where his minions were concerned. “I can sense great mystical energies now dormant within her I believe she is just the source of power I will need,” he remarked before cackling with mad glee Dawns’ eyes widened in fear and she began to wonder how Buffy could avert this apocalypse, defeat this oddly terrifying demon, and whether she’d survive this encounter.
Xander had just finished repairing the door when the school bus pulled up out front he eyed it suspiciously until Andrew and a strange sixteen year old came out carrying a badly injured Anya.
“Ahn!” he exclaimed running out of the house and rushing up to his ex-fiancé. “What happened?” he demanded helping to carry her rapidly to the house.
“She was stricken down by a blast from Mer-Mans’ trident,” the stranger replied two more unknown people followed them in, Xander was so preoccupied with helping Anya he didn’t notice Dawn was missing.
“Oh my God what happened?” one of the potentials exclaimed as she entered the living room.
“I think it’d be better to explain that once everyone is present,” the red haired woman replied as she began to examine the injuries the blond teenaged girl eyed her fearfully, upon closer examination Xander noticed that there were a few similarities between the sixteen year old boy and the girl, as if they were twins. Most notably was the exact same shade of blond hair, which was genuine blond unlike Buffys’ who tended to lean more towards the dirty blond side.
The matching leather dusters also gave off an air of sameness these two kids were twins, of that he was almost certain, but he was more concerned with Anya then learning about these helpful strangers.
“Couldn’t you heal her?” Adam whispered aside to Adora she shook her head.
“The magic of the sword had no affect on her,” she revealed, “I fear she won’t live much longer, Eternian magic seems to work differently on this world,” she added with a sad expression. Xander was trying to sooth Anya, even though she’d lost consciousness soon after the attack and couldn’t feel the pain anymore.
“We’ve got to help her,” he exclaimed frantically looking around for his friend Willow, by now many of the potentials had come in and were looking upon the scene horrified and afraid for Anya’s life the three strangers became relatively unnoticed. “Where’s Willow?” he demanded.
“She got a phone call from somebody about someone called Faith and ran out of here pretty fast,” Kennedy replied kneeling beside the frantic young man and passing him a first aid kit.
“Dana, get Buffy,” Shannon ordered the two strange teenagers took this opportunity to slip out of the living room and moved into the dining room.
“Now that Skeletor has a hostage we’ll have to find him quickly,” Adam remarked Adora nodded in agreement.
“Why did you hesitate?” she asked. “Mer-Man has never injured you like that before, no one has,” she stated clearly confused, Adam averted his gaze.
“I don’t know… I think I saw fathers’ ghost, but I just don’t know,” he returned clearly upset.
“Probably the First mate,” a new person remarked Adam glanced up in surprise to find a bleach blond man in a black tee-shirt and matching black pants drinking out of a large mug.
“The First?” he prompted the man nodded taking a sip of whatever he was drinking.
“It’s the current big bad, well, actually the ultimate big bad,” he returned. “The First evil the thing that all us lesser evils owe for creatin’ us, so to speak… yep sounds like it, he, she or it likes to use the image of our dead loved ones to mess with our minds,” the stranger informed with a small smile his tone of voice was different sounding a little cockney however his words made Adam think.
“Brother there is something wrong,” Adora whispered Adam eyed her curiously, but a commotion from the next room prevented him from asking anything, both royals raced into the room to find the dark haired man clutching Mer-Mans’ victim to his chest tears flowing freely.
“There was nothing we could do,” their mother whispered lightly placing a hand upon the strangers’ shoulder the other assorted teenagers and young women were also in mourning, Andrew had seemingly disappeared and another adult had joined the group along with a dirty blond haired girl. The adult wore glasses, a rather plain looking beige shirt and a dark maroon pair of slacks, the girl, or rather young woman standing beside him looked exactly like the image of the First Adam had seen as He-Man.
She was dressed differently though a dark red tee-shirt and tight black jeans as well as a black leather jacket, Adam had the feeling she was dangerous, but he didn’t know why.
“We’ll get the demon that did this Xander,” she assured trying to console the distraught young man.
“Demon?” Adora repeated confusedly. “Mer-Man isn’t a demon, whatever that is,” she countered.
“Of course he is what else could he be?” one of the young red headed girls with violet hued eyes and Caucasian skin tone asked. Adam eyed his mother she nodded encouragingly and he smiled in turn letting out a slight sigh.
“He is of the Aquarian race from the planet Eternia,” the prince revealed this caused a great silence to fall upon the group, save for the quiet sobs of grieving from the man called Xander.
“Good lord,” the older man murmured removing his glasses and wiping it with a cloth from his inner shirt pocket. “You can’t be serious,” he said shooting a very dark glare at the three interlopers.
“I believe we have much to discuss,” Marlena remarked glancing about the room slightly. “For clearly whatever evil you now face has allied with Skeletor,” she continued the dirty blond girl who had called Mer-Man a demon shot her a skeptical look.
“Skeletal,” she repeated messing up the name, “Planet Eternity,” she added with raised brow, “this is gonna be good,” she muttered crossing her arms over her chest it was then she realized that everyone was in the room except one very important person. “Where’s Dawn?” she demanded eyeing Andrew pointedly as he had rejoined them upon hearing the term planet brandied about he began to noticeably tremble at the question.
“Ah that’s another thing we should have mentioned,” the male blond remarked running his hand through his hair in a nervous gesture.
Dawn couldn’t move trapped as she now was in the strange mystical circle she was floating above the floor, her bonds had been removed, but the strange skull headed demon chose to leave the gag on. She was suffering a great deal of pain and she couldn’t even scream the gunk having hardened so that her mouth was now fused shut, the skull headed guy was currently sitting in a throne beside her.
It was cobbled together out of wood that seemed to have grown from the floor itself a gnarly, almost skeletal looking throne that seemed to give off an air of menace and bony countenance heightening the fear factor involved. He appeared pleased and the strange energy crackling between them was the cause of his pleasure, she knew it had something to do with her being the key he’d claimed the power was still there yet dormant.
Which filled Dawn with a great sense of fear if the powers were still there could reality itself be destroyed if she was bled again? But she’d hurt herself and bled before now, before this without any mystical portals tearing open, so dormant must mean just that, completely worthless to anyone without the knowledge to tap into it as bone head was doing now.
She feared him greatly his skull face offered no true glimpse into his emotional self, and the blue skinned human-like body made her wonder just what kind of demon he was supposed to be anyway, only half breeds ever looked human.
“Skeletor,” the gorilla demon spoke up entering the room, “that creepy body changing thing sent its’ Bringers to some place called… eh, Sunnydale High,” he informed.
“What for?” Skeletor wondered and the other creature shrugged.
“No clue, but I sent Mer-Man to keep an eye on’em,” he returned.
“Good job Beast Man… however this arrangement is beginning to concern me,” Skeletor admitted, “if it has such formidable minions why did it need us?” he wondered aloud Beast Man didn’t have an answer for that, in fact he hardly had an answer for anything.
“I do not trust this being I’m beginning to suspect it was not the same entity that freed me from Despondos.” Skeletor continued to speak aloud Beast Man eyed him expectantly, knowing that any minute now he’d probably have some order or task that had to be done. “Once I have absorbed the power from this girl I shall be strong enough to deal with it and the first order of business will be to bring the others here,” he decided Beast Man chuckled darkly.
“And then He-Man won’t be able to stop us,” he surmised Skeletor nodded breaking into insane evil cackling, a stray tear managed to escape the immobile girls’ eye she feared that no matter what her sister wouldn’t be there in the end.
“So allow me to see if I understand you correctly.” Giles began pacing around the kitchen counter. “You’re from this alien world and you were sent here because the First brought your enemies here, most likely to have them eliminate us unopposed,” he repeated Marlena nodded sipping the tea she’d been offered, it had been quite some time since she’d enjoyed the beverage, Eternias’ equivalent just didn’t have the same taste.
This small grouping of people were certainly different and yet in some ways they shared a similarity with the Masters of the Universe.
The man, Rupert Giles, was the last member of the Watchers, or at least he assumed so. The Watchers were a secret organization of men and women whose job it was to find all potential Slayers and train them, they also watched out for the current Slayer; although Giles had seemed to dismiss his former colleagues’ capabilities at said endeavor.
The Slayer was the dirty blond haired young woman only twenty-one or thereabouts and already she’d known more pain and misery then any young woman should ever have to face, being from Earth Marlena had, had no idea that such a calling existed. It made her wonder if Adora might have been called had she been born here instead of Eternia. Buffy Summers was the oldest living Slayer on record, save for another woman named Faith, the story was complicated. Suffice it to say Buffy drowned and was brought back to life via CPR by her friend Xander who was currently out back digging a grave for Anya, an ex-vengeance demon apparently.
The rest of the group consisted of a powerful Wicca by the name of Willow Rosenberg, the slayers’ sister Dawn and the man known only as Spike apparently he used to be an enemy, but now he had his soul back or something like that and his Vampiric tendencies were no longer a problem.
“What I want to know is, if you’re from some other world how come you look like us?” Buffy demanded Adam decided to field that question, since his mother was still savoring the tea and a little lost in thought.
“We can’t explain that maybe our ancestors somehow came from Earth, maybe it’s just a fluke, all we know is that Skeletor has to be stopped and returned to Eternia,” the young prince stated the others silently agreed with that assessment, Buffy however was starting to get angsty again.
“Look I don’t know if you’re speaking the truth or not, because frankly the two of you are giving me major wiggins from the Slayer sense. All I know is my sister’s in trouble and you seem to know more about her captors then we do,” Buffy ranted clearly upset, “so what’s the plan?” she demanded.
“The plan is to stay here while we handle this,” Adora replied, “you are clearly no match for Skeletor or his evil minions,” she added in a dead panned tone of voice.
“Oh no my sister is in trouble I come with,” Buffy retorted Adam and Adora shared a secretive look.
“Uh that’s not exactly a good idea.” Adam tried to counter.
“Like hell it’s not,” Buffy shot back, “I’m older then you pretty boy I’ve been doing this since I was fifteen, and I don’t care if you are Prince of Eternity you’re on my turf now so I’m coming with,” she announced. Marlena smiled and placed a hand on her sons’ shoulder.
“Of course you can come,” she returned taking the siblings by surprise.
“Uh sure,” Adam agreed smiling crookedly.
“Just one question,” Kennedy spoke up attracting everyone’s attention, no one had really wanted her here during this particular meeting since the potentials didn’t really need to know the whole story, and Andrew was driving them batty with all his questions so they’d told him to look after them. But in Willows’ absence Kennedy had argued and rightly so, that someone should hear what had to be said and let her know. “How are we going to find them?” she asked Adam eyed Adora thoughtfully while the others appeared even more downtrodden, if that were possible.
“I believe I have a solution,” Marlena spoke up startling the others. “if someone has the proper components we could try a locator spell,” she added with a smile.
“Mom you know magic?” Adora asked surprised Marlena smiled and patted her on the shoulder.
“How else do you think I found my way to Eternia?” she asked in turn. “I was dabbling in teleportation magic I’m not sure how the spell grew so powerful as to transport me to another planet though, another dimension or plain of existence maybe, but not another planet,” she elaborated everyone else was eyeing her confusedly now while Adam and Adora were even prouder of their mother.
“She’s originally from Earth,” Adam explained to the collected group of Scoobies as Buffy had called them.
“Interesting,” Giles remarked, “I would love to hear more about this, but first why don’t I get you those locator spell ingredients,” he added taking his leave from the room the others settled down to wait for Marlena to perform the spell. Adora took this moment to attempt to comfort the young man known as Xander, a part of her felt partly to blame for Anyas’ death, she found him outside near the newly dug grave. He wiped his brow and tossed the shovel aside before hopping into it to make sure it was solid enough.
“I’m sorry we couldn’t help your friend.” She spoke softly though she really wanted to say that she was sorry she personally couldn’t help her, Xander glanced up and smiled forlornly.
“It’s ok I’m sure you did your best,” he muttered in a soft spoken tone filled with loss Adora felt for him as she looked into those deeply emotional eyes, seeing his very soul and knowing he’d have a hard time getting over this.
“It’s never easy to lose a loved one,” she remarked glancing up at the alien stars and wondering what names they had, “my father was killed before my eyes before I ever knew who he truly was,” she revealed. Xander shot her a look that said he understood her pain and was grateful that she understood his own and was trying to comfort him even though she hardly knew him. “She must have been very special,” Adora observed Xander sighed softly and sat down next to the Eternian who’d took a seat on the back porch during the conversation.
“She was we were going to be married once, but I screwed up and our relationship kinda fell apart,” he revealed Adora eyed him in a new light, she didn’t know what to say, that’s when Adam stuck his head out the door.
“Mom’s done the locator spell,” he informed, “it was pretty neat actually,” he added with a wide grin.
“Where’s the bastard that killed Anya?” Xander demanded rising to his feet a dark conviction in his eyes, Adora reached up and placed a hand on his shoulder to calm him.
“Xander please we’ll handle Mer-Man,” she insisted Xander shrugged her hand off and shot a glare at her, he no longer was looking or wanted pity, he wanted revenge.
“I’m going too,” he stated darkly. Adora lowered her head knowing she could not convince him otherwise, Adam clasped the older mans’ shoulder in turn a serious expression on his face.
“Let’s go.” Was all he stated Xander nodded and together the three of them left, for what dangers none could say, but Adora fervently hoped the young man wouldn’t be hurt or killed in his blind quest for vengeance.
The First was unsettled Skeletor was becoming more powerful by the second and there was little it could do to stop him, it was beginning to think accepting the bargain it had made with him
was a mistake. The Bringers were preparing to unlock the seal of Danthalzar the only true way to prevent Skeletors’ ascension was to step up its’ plans, which did not bode well since the Slayer line still lived.
But it could not be helped and Caleb had proven less then worthy although his sudden unexplainable demise proved most suspicious, and highly convenient for the one
pawning off this Skeletor as a worthy successor. If the First was a creature susceptible to such things it might believe some unseen manipulator was attempting to throw the proverbial monkey wrench into its’ plans, but no one could manipulate It
Still there was something to be said for hedging ones’ bets, as other villains in the past had once remarked to their underlings, of course that was a fictional television show and this was reality, still there was little difference.
The bus pulled up to the old vineyard not long after having left the Slayers’ home Buffy, Xander, Adam, Adora and Marlena regarded the building curiously and with clear trepidation, for they were about to venture into unknown territory.
“So where’s this He-Man guy?” Buffy wondered turning expectantly to the prince a slight smirk curling her upper lip at the mention of the champions’ name she’d considered it a rather stupid name when she first heard it, Adam shrugged and shot her a goofy grin.
“Who can tell with He-Man, but… Adora and I will go find him,” he volunteered before grabbing his sister by the shoulder and leaving the bus before any of the others could even voice a protest.
“Rather odd behavior don’t you think Buff?” Xander mused. Buffy shook her head and slipped silently off the bus sword in hand, so far no sign of any Bringers. Marlena smirked and turned to the young man still seated behind her.
“My children have this unusual habit of avoiding the big fights,” she stated managing to keep a straight face it was rather difficult pretending that her son and daughter were two separate people from He-Man and She-Ra, now that she knew the truth.
“Just keep that engine going I have a feeling we’ll need to make a fast getaway,” Xander returned before slipping off the bus and joining Buffy outside.
“I think this is far enough dear brother,” Adora remarked with a sly smile now that they’d gone a block and a half back down the street.
“Right I just hope Skeletor doesn’t detect our transformations,” Adam returned pulling out his sword and preparing to raise it.
“The Hellmouth Buffy mentioned will probably throw off any senses he may have,” Adora countered also removing her hidden blade Adam nodded briefly before thrusting the sword high.
“By the Power of Grayskull!” he cried out.
“For the Honor of Grayskull!” Adora chanted alongside him with a flare of mystic energy their transformations began, first Adam bulked up and then of course the Snake Armor once again covered his form. Meanwhile alongside her brother Adora was transforming into the Most Powerful Woman in the Universe, her body underwent a physical transformation much as Adams’, though her bulk was lesser and did not detract from her femininity. A shower of rainbow colored sparks flew down from the tip of her golden blade altering Adoras’ clothes at the same time as her body gained in height, weight and girth.
She was adorn in a primarily white outfit trimmed with gold and yellow the outfit was all one piece a feminine styled armor that ended in a skirt, her wrist guards and boots were completely golden in color with only the barest hint of red, a golden choker wound around her neck and her head was adorn with a great golden tiara fashioned as though a Viking helm with the great wings sweeping back from both sides of her head.
A red cape billowed behind her as she held her sword high the transformation reaching its climactic finish her blade was smaller then He-Mans’ for it had been crafted after the fact upon the birth of both twins to Randor and Marlena. The blade was cast all in gold and stood at least four inches long from tip to hilt much like He-Mans’ sword there were a few etchings and symbols running the length and breadth of the blade and the intricate detailings on the hilt proved too small to be fully defined by the human eye.
The large oval jewel in the center was a clear gem of unknown origins for it had been crafted by the Sorceress and she had not deigned to tell what it was called exactly, all the princess knew was that it was what gave the Sword of Protection its’ power and allowed the transformation. Her hair lengthened past her buttocks growing to match the cape and further render her different from Adora as the transformation completed she brought the sword down to chest height and stared into the clear hidden depths of the jeweled center. “I Am She-Ra!” she announced to the Earth and the Universe itself.
“I Have the Power!” He-Man exclaimed his sword held aloft in one hand with their transformations now complete both champions regarded the vineyard now fully prepared to end this little adventure. “Shall we teach Skeletor the error of coming to Earth?” He-Man asked turning to his sister. She-Ra smiled and sheathed her sword in the scabbard resting on her back.
“Let’s.” She agreed striding confidently towards the building.
Buffy was about to barge into the building when a mountain of a man and an almost equally powerful looking woman emerged from the shadows each one wearing semi-skimpy armor and carrying a sword on their back.
“I take it you’re He-Man,” she remarked the muscular blond nodded with a smile.
“Guilty as charged this is She-Ra,” he stated by way of introduction Buffy smirked at the name, somehow it was at least more believable then He-Man, Eternians must really hate their children to give’em names like that.
“We shall enter first and distract Skeletor and his minions long enough for you to free your sister,” She-Ra stated in a tone that would brook no argument.
“What about me?” Xander wondered popping up beside the trio without warning his eyes were hard, and yet some spark of life entered them when he caught sight of She-Ra, but it was still too soon after burying Anya to think about that.
“Assist Buffy,” She-Ra returned, “this is not your fight,” she added briefly placing a hand on the young mans’ shoulder before unsheathing her sword and making her way into the building, He-Man shrugged as if to apologize for She-Ras’ bluntness and quickly followed after her.
Skeletor glanced up as both champions burst into the makeshift throne room his magic had altered the very appearance of the room taking away the quaint looking vineyard and replacing it with a dark and sinister base of operations, though it was a far cry from Snake Mountain back home. The evil one smiled darkly as Beast Man leapt down from the rafters the Slayers’ sister in one hand limp and apparently lifeless.
“Release the girl Beast Man,” He-Man ordered levering his sword on the master of beasts Beast Man snarled and broke into a deep throated chuckle joined shortly after by Skeletors’ mad cackle.
“You aren’t in control anymore He-Man,” Skeletor proclaimed his eye sockets seeming to glow with a strange luminescence.
“What are you talking about Evil one?” He-Man wondered confusedly if he could just keep them distracted She-Ra could make her move.
“This,” Skeletor replied deadpanned raising his Havoc staff a great aura of green energies erupted from the tip and engulfed Skeletor, a strange armor appeared covering his upper torso and head. It flickered with red and purple flames and other changes seemed to have occurred as well, for one his Havoc staff had altered into a rusty flame-like color and a large thick covering had wrapped around the upper portion of the staff, even the rams head had altered and was licking with flames where the rams’ horns had been previously. He-Man was stunned at this odd display Skeletor had never wielded such power before. “Do you like it He-Man? Apparently there’s some company out there in another reality making toys out of us,” Skeletor revealed with a wicked grin. “I’m rather partial to this look myself, they call it Fire Armor,” he added before blasting He-Man with a burst of flames the champion of Eternia was hurled back into the wall, but didn’t break through it despite how hard he’d hit it, Skeletor had mystically strengthened the building for this fight so he could savor it.
She-Ra leapt into action rushing Skeletor she only took three steps before an energy beam blasted her from somewhere in the shadows. Tri-Klops emerged alongside Trap-Jaw, Evil-Lyn and Mer-Man all of them smiling wickedly although there was briefly something in Evil-Lyns’ eye that belied her sense of calm, a deep rooted fear of Skeletors’ newfound power.
“You will not win Skeletor,” He-Man proclaimed taking a step forward Skeletor laughed darkly as he blasted He-Man yet again with a tongue of flames.
“Fool, you are no match for me now that I have the power of the Key,” Skeletor announced flourishing his transformed Havoc staff with reckless abandon and causing the wooden stills nearby to burst into flame. “You and your so called secrets of Castle Grayskull are now laid bare before me, how such a one as you could ever thwart my plans I’ll never understand, your highness,” he mocked revealing the extent of his newfound ultimate knowledge before unleashing a massive burst of mystic energies that shattered the wall and brought it crashing down upon He-Man.
“No!” She-Ra exclaimed fearfully Skeletor turned to her with a smirk and began secretly charging up for another strike.
“Farewell wench, give my regards to Hordak,” he stated before blasting She-Ra into the sky she was sent hurtling from the vineyard and crashed into the bus with enough force to shatter all the windows and burst the tires, Marlena rushed to her daughters’ side fearfully, yet She-Ra still breathed.
“Adora?” she whispered eyeing the massive burns on her arms and legs and the badly damaged and singed cape that draped slightly around her back.
“And now for the pretender who dares lay claim upon me.” Skeletor growled rising up into the air in a ball of flames.
“We’re not going to finish them off?” Evil-Lyn asked disbelievingly.
“I have defeated them Evil-Lyn killing them serves no further purpose, let them live to witness and suffer their ultimate failure,” the self-proclaimed Overlord of Evil returned he took off for Sunnydale High, Beast Man dumped Dawn to the ground and summoned the steeds Skeletor had transported to Earth. The evil warriors hopped onto the Griffins and the steeds swiftly took off after Skeletor, who had become a glowing red dot on the horizon by now.
“This is not of the good,” Xander remarked as he began to dig He-Man out, which wasn’t easy as usual he had been forgotten during the heat of battle and had witnessed much. He wasn’t exactly sure what he had witnessed though a part of him knew Skeletor had managed to get a lot of power and knowledge, he had said he had the power of the key, but that was impossible.
Buffy came back upstairs from the basement where she’d vanished to for some reason before the fighting began she hadn’t even seemed to notice that Beast Man guy brandishing her sister around like a doll. She was holding a red scythe with a wooden tip on the opposite end in one hand and was eyeing it as though enraptured by it, glancing up though she finally snapped out of her strange stupor upon seeing Dawn and raced to her sisters’ side.
The rubble pile shook slightly and Xander backed up amazed that He-Man was even still alive the powerful hero smashed his way out and swayed slightly on his feet.
“Skeletor appears to have upgraded,” he remarked woozily using a term he’d heard his friend Man-At-Arms use once when referring to the new Wind Raider designs.
“He has the Keys’ power,” Dawn rasped hoarsely leaning against Buffy for support she was very drained, her mystical half had been stripped of her mortal half in a most violent manner and it would take some time for her to recover fully.
“I thought you didn’t have that any more?” Xander wondered curiously Dawn coughed slightly, she looked pretty haggard.
“Still there, but dormant,” she explained in a halting way of speaking He-Man took a step and winced, for the second time that day he’d been injured extensively.
“How can we stop him now?” Xander wondered moving to help the big guy before the place burned down around them after all Skeletors departure had caused the roof to start smoldering and that had led to the rest of the mostly wooden construct to catch aflame while the heroes were talking, it was just fortunate that this big hole in the wall gave a clear escape to the outside.
“We’ll have to consult the Sorceress,” He-Man replied with a grimace. Buffy, Dawn and Xander eyed him curiously, but he didn’t offer any further advice and together the quartet abandoned the doomed vineyard.
The Bringers fell to Skeletor effortlessly incinerated with one blast, Skeletor then smashed open the seal of Danthalzar with the tip of his staff not caring if the whole Earth died because of it, the howl of pain that escaped the very bowels of hell however could be heard throughout the entire planet. Though most did not know what it portended to those of evil nature knew that someone had hurt the First.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Hordak demanded materializing before Skeletor.
“I am going to kill you,” Skeletor stated his voice filled with surety and confidence.
“You can not kill me I am the First Evil, I am immortal, absolute,” Hordak argued Skeletors’ eye sockets flared and he chuckled with dark amusement.
“You are a creature of darkness, but you are not absolute,” he proclaimed beginning to descend into Hell itself like some vengeful God the illusion made all the more impressive by the trailing tongue of flame that licked at his shoulders and Havoc staff. “Everything eventually dies and makes way for something else, you are no exception,” he reminded before pointedly ignoring the First and banishing its’ incorporeal form with a flare of mystical energies. And deep within the furthest level of Hell the First trembled as it knew fear for the first time in its’ very long existence.
The injured band of heroes returned to Buffys’ house on a severely incapacitated School bus they’d managed to scrounge up some replacement tires that were big enough and thanks to He-Man change them quickly, but She-Ra was still unconscious and He-Man showed clear signs of having a twisted ankle and possibly other internal injuries.
Willow had just returned with Faith from L.A and Andrew was filling them in on everything surrounding the current threat. He-Man carried his sister into the house and laid her gently upon the couch a look of worry clear across his features.
“Mother will she be alright?” he asked doing his best to keep his voice low, but apparently not succeeding because Buffy was eyeing him curiously she’d reached an important decision though and needed to let everyone in on it.
“Giles I want you to take the potentials and get them out of here it’s not safe anymore now that Skeletal has the powers of the Key,” she stated.
“Good lord,” Giles exclaimed whipping off his glasses and wiping the lenses with his ever present cloth handkerchief the collected potentials eyed the former librarian confusedly, Andrew was a bit more in the loop however.
“This is not good,” he remarked Marlena and He-Man were listening in briefly, but both were more concerned for She-Ras well being and He-Man was secretly concerned that perhaps Skeletor had injured him more then he was allowing himself to believe.
“Why not?” Robin Wood asked having returned to Slayer central after spending most of that day packing up his things and moving them to his car. Buffy didn’t have time for lengthy explanations right now she spun to face He-Man and glared up at him her height affording an almost comical effect as she stood trying to threaten He-Man who stood tall enough that his head was almost brushing the ceiling.
“Where’s this Sorceress? And how long will it take to get in touch with her?” she demanded. He-Man groaned slightly as he turned to the still unconscious form of She-Ra.
“Not long at all,” he replied slipping back into He-Man mode and losing the slight hint of Adam that had been creeping through. “Your majesty could you give me She-Ras’ sword?” he requested Marlena nodded doing her best to hide her concern for both of her children, she took the Sword of Protection from She-Ras’ weak grip and presented it to He-Man who proceeded to hold it aloft.
“Say where’s the Prince and Princess?” Andrew wondered suddenly glancing around everyone had forgotten about the two Eternian Royals, but they were more concerned with what was happening now and so most of the potentials shushed him.
“Sorceress,” He-Man called in a loud clear voice, “Sorceress, we need your guidance,” he added the jewel in the center of the blade lit up and an image sprang from it revealing the upper torso of the ethereal beauty that was guardian of the secrets to Castle Grayskull.
“He-Man there is grave danger,” she stated an urgency in her tone the champion had rarely heard before, “Skeletor now possesses the knowledge of the multiverse unlike the child, Dawn Summers, he is master of the keys’ powers, and he knows your secret and that of She-Ra as well. After he destroys the First he intends to return to Eternia and claim it as his own, you must stop him,” The woman informed. She held up a hand to forestall any questions and eyed each individual in the room with a hint of sadness.
“Eternias’ only hope, your only hope, is to give the Slayer Buffy your power, temporarily of course. With it she will be capable of not only defeating Skeletor, but retrieving the keys’ energy from him and erasing his memories of his time spent on Earth,” she stated finished with her explanations.
“I don’t understand how can I give her my power?” He-Man wondered the Sorceress smiled and indicated the scythe still clutched in Buffys’ hand.
“The weapon of the Slayer line is gifted with mystical properties it is how Buffy found it tonight drawn as she was to its’ resting place,” she revealed.
“I was wondering about that,” Buffy remarked the Sorceress turned to eye her briefly with a hint of knowing before resuming her explanation to He-Man.
“You and She-Ra must cross your swords and recite the words of power,” she stated most everyone in the room was enraptured by her beauty save Buffy, Faith and the Eternians of course, even the girls, but Xander still had a heartache from Anyas’ demise and so was the first to break through the strange spell of stupor and spoke up.
“Ah there’s a problem there.” Xander spoke up. “Your champion She-Ra is still in dream land after her tussle with Skeletor,” he revealed the Sorceress turned to eye She-Ra and grew concerned upon seeing the extent of her injuries.
“Could I just heal her with her sword as she has healed others?” He-Man wondered the Sorceress shook her head.
“Part of being She-Ra is the power of healing,” she explained, “and you also suffer grave injuries. No I will have to do this, Marlena please take the sword to She-Ra and He-Man please move to stand beside your sister,” the Sorceress requested. Marlena nodded and gripped the hilt of She-Ras’ sword, the feeling at touching the source of her daughters’ power and destiny however brief it was, was exhilarating and daunting all at once.
“Is this close enough?” the queen asked the Sorceress nodded and Marlena held the sword out as high as she dared while He-Man stood beside the couch as best as he could.
“With the courage of Grayskull you shall be whole She-Ra, He-Man, with the love your family has for you I shall make you whole,” she recited careful not to outright say Marlena was their mother the energies of the Sorceress passed across the great distance between the two women and emerged from the swords’ jeweled center bathing both champions in a warm golden glow.
In a matter of seconds She-Ras’ injuries vanished and He-Man seemed to stand straighter slowly She-Ra opened her eyes, glancing up at the image of the Sorceress she smiled gratefully.
“Thank you,” she whispered the Sorceress inclined her head.
“I must caution you Slayer,” she stated turning back to Buffy with sudden dire warning in her expression, “you shall be given a greater responsibility once given the powers of Grayskull and you can not kill Skeletor, he is still key to maintaining a balance on Eternia. When the time is right He-Man shall defeat his greatest nemesis as it has been foretold,” the Sorceress proclaimed and then simply vanished without warning Xander eyed the sword thoughtfully.
“Kinda impolite,” he quipped.
“Healing She-Ra and myself took a lot out of her,” He-Man returned eyeing his sister briefly before turning to the others. “I think it would be wise to vacate this town as quickly as possible. I do not want to risk any innocents,” he stated Buffy nodded briefly eyeing her friends, her charges and her father figure.
“I agree totally I’m not going to pretend to understand everything that’s about to go down, but if this guy is going to take down the First chances are Sunnydale won’t be here if he succeeds,” she stated.
“I guess it’s a good idea we started packing already,” Andrew remarked all this time Faith had been relatively quiet, mainly because she didn’t have anything to say, but now she decided to speak up.
“Ok not that this isn’t cool or anything, what with the massive hottie alien right here and all,” she stated eyeing He-Man with an appreciative stare momentarily and causing a very large grouping of potentials to follow her lead, including Dawn who was still a little drooly when it came to He-Man. “But how’s B gonna take down someone that’s bad enough to outright kill this First Evil dude?” she wondered He-Man smiled at that, but She-Ra beat him to the punch.
“With the power of Grayskull,” she stated simply, “the Elders of Eternia possess great strength and great wisdom it is why they became a non-sentient storehouse of all that power, it was the only way to prevent Keldor from getting his hands on it,” she explained causing many to grow confused.
“Once combined with her own natural Slayer skills it will most likely create the ultimate defender,” He-Man added.
“Is she gonna be ok?” Willow wondered.
“Of course,” Marlena returned, “now let us leave this place quickly for there is not much time,” she added.
Faith sat on the bus as it drove out of town she was highly skeptical concerning the origins of the so called Eternians, but then again as a Slayer she’d seen some weird stuff before she went to jail, massively powerful aliens shouldn’t really be that hard to swallow. Principal Wood was driving right now the man was a major hottie, but He-Man beat him in the looks department, although he was a little too buff for this Slayers’ tastes. Faith shifted slightly to eye the woman who claimed to be Queen of Eternia she did have regal bearings, but she’d seen a lot of posers who knew how to play the part, especially in prison.
She was beginning to wonder why she’d even needed to come it looked like B had everything under control, so here she was sitting on the sidelines like she wasn’t good enough again, but… well she knew better then that if these aliens hadn’t shown up B probably could have used her, desperately even if things were as bad as all that, this First dude was seriously bad vibes. Shaking her head clean of disturbing thoughts she toughened up if she had to brawl she’d be ready, but there was no telling what they’d find after they got clear of Sunnydale, but she’d be ready.
Hell was not a place one should ever be inclined to visit an army of Turok Han vampires had once called it home, until the day Skeletor came, his flaming magics turned them all to dust within seconds. Other creatures of evil imprisoned here chose not to become involved they could sense that things were about to change, the First had underestimated Skeletor, and for that it would pay.
Skeletor easily found his way down to the First and its’ physical form is so unspeakably horrifying, all around twisted and maddening that it can not truly be described as any one thing. The battle with Skeletor was intense both forces seemed equally matched and as the titanic warriors clashed much of Hell suffered collateral damage.
In the end however Skeletor had it at his mercy the First did not beg, nor did it curse its’ fate, for it knew that it had been bested by a true equal. And so when Skeletor sent it into oblivion it did not make a sound it simply accepted the hand fate had dealt it, Skeletor however caused a great imbalance in the natural order of things by killing the First. The Powers that Be who up until now believed a vastly different outcome to this fated conflict began to show genuine concern if the imbalance was not rectified soon, chaos itself would be the order of the day and humanity would have no hope ever again.
Sunnydale trembled the Earth itself tore asunder and the town once perched upon the Hellmouth was in fact swallowed by it, but it did not remain a crater for long a great mountain exploded from the ruins of the city. Crafted in the very depths of Hell itself and made in the image of one that resided on Eternia, the rather large band of survivors stared up at the foreboding edifice from the craters’ lip. Or at least a few feet away from it they stared and they trembled with trepidation and uncertainty, a river of fire burst forth from the maw of the great serpent, which coiled around the mountain and four griffins circled it briefly before entering the mountain proper through a large opening up near the top.
“Snake Mountain,” She-Ra remarked, “it looks different somehow though, more malevolent,” she noted.
“Gives me the wiggins,” Vi, one of the potentials, remarked clutching her shoulders in an unseen chill.
“It’s time to end this,” Buffy stated clutching the handle of the scythe so hard her knuckles turned white.
“Oooo cool new weapon B, can I try it sometime?” Faith asked a hungry glint in her eye.
“Sure,” Buffy returned, “ok guys,” she added turning to the Eternians, “make with the mojo.”
“Hold your scythe high,” She-Ra instructed and Buffy complied, both champions nodded and removed their blades crossing them tip to tip above their heads they prepared to give their combined powers to Buffy.
“For the Honor of Grayskull!” She-Ra began and magic began to build in the center of the crossed blades.
“By the Power of Grayskull!” He-Man cried the magic growing stronger and brighter the scene was so enthralling that the rest of the group was reverently silent.
“I am She-Ra!” She-Ra cried at the moment of almost total mystical release.
“I Have the Power!” He-Man exclaimed in time with his sister and the swirling dancing energies reached the climactic fever pitch that was needed. The blast struck the Slayers’ scythe with an intensity that rivaled the suns both He-Man and She-Ra reverted to their alter egos, much to the surprise of all save Marlena. And Buffy instantly changed her body practically doubled in size, and gained a similar muscular physique to She-Ras’.
Her clothing vanished replaced with a more primal combination of practical fighting gear and armor, something akin to the mythical Amazon tribes her hair grew longer, her face seemed to break out in strange tribal markings and she screamed thrusting the scythe higher still.
“We Are Unity!” she bellowed before her gaze snapped to the top of Snake Mountain. “It is time to end this Skeletor will not prevail,” she stated and then she leapt into the air and seemed to vanish everyone else was pretty much too stunned to talk, Andrew sidled up to Adam a hopeful expression on his face.
“Can I borrow that sword sometime?” he practically begged.
“No,” Adam returned wearily before returning the sword to its’ hidden sheath and taking a seat, that had taken a lot out of him.
Unity charged into the throne room of New Snake Mountain with a speed that belied the natural laws of physics her entrance was not without casualties, poor Mer-Man and Trap-Jaw were sent spiraling into the wall and collapsed unconscious. Skeletor was no longer wearing the odd flaming armor instead he had reverted to his former appearance, Beast Man and Tri-Klops foolishly charged the transformed Slayer, and were swiftly subdued.
“You have violated this planets’ natural balance of Good and Evil Skeletor,” Unity proclaimed leveling the scythe upon him, “this will end now,” she stated practically.
“You can not defeat me,” Skeletor returned calmly. “I am Skeletor, Overlord of Evil!” he proclaimed rising from his throne and flaring his arms out in a grand flourishing gesture. “And I have truly become Master of the Universe!” he added before unleashing a blast at Unity she raised her scythe and deflected the energy off to the side, Skeletors’ eye sockets narrowed in anger. He growled and leapt at Unity swinging his Havoc staff at her head intent on bashing her brains in, Unity met the blow with her scythe and the two became locked together staring into each others’ eyes with neither one giving ground.
Skeletors’ staff flared with the energy seen before Unity was forced to dodge the green blast and lashed out with a side-kick in the process, Skeletor flipped out of the way and brought his staff perpendicular to his chest.
Unity made the next move striking at Skeletor with a series of fast punches that the evil one easily blocked single handedly she tried to impale him on the stake end of her weapon to little avail, Skeletor was just too skilled and fast, plus his power sprang from the key itself, Unity knew she had only one choice. She had to give herself completely to her slayer half that part of her, which was ancient beyond even the human race itself. Upon doing this the battle escalated Skeletor and Unity began to fight with such a force of blows that the replica Snake Mountain itself trembled, the onlookers below were unaware of the titanic clash going on within, but they could tell the fight against Skeletor was not going easily.
Unity screamed as Skeletor broke her leg and ran her into his throne breaking it and impaling her back she didn’t let the pain stop her though as she charged knocking the Havoc staff aside, she moved in now that he was unarmed. But he blocked each punch or kick with an open palm and flung her back into the center of the room Unity knew she needed to take the keys’ energy back to end this, but since both opponents were so evenly matched she didn’t know what to do perhaps if she had help of some kind.
Once again Skeletor became bathed in the energies of the key, when it was over he stood in a new set of armor, it was a sickly looking green in color with a scaled serpentine motif, his hands were covered in the skulls of two giant serpents their bones coiled up around his triceps. A helmet with large serpentine fangs rested over his cowl and his sunken skull face was covered in shadows, with a roar of raw fury he lashed out his arms elongating and coiling about like whips slamming into Unity one after the other damaging her flesh even further.
“Where’d he dig that up?” Trap-Jaw wondered shaking his head.
“Search me,” Beast Man returned mystified.
“I will crush you like a rodent trapped by a snake,” Skeletor declared, “how fitting that this form is called Snake Crush Skeletor in that other reality.” He laughed madly and grabbed for Unity with both hands intending to trap her arms in his new hands.
“Buffy,” a woman whispered inside her head as she continued to attempt pummeling Skeletor into submission managing to avoid his attempts at ensnaring her, it was the only thing she knew as the Slayer. “Buffy this is the Sorceress, can you hear me?” the woman asked urgently.
“I’m a little busy now,” Unity returned all the while blocking several bone jarring hits from Skeletor.
“I know, but you can not defeat Skeletor with simple brute strength,” the Sorceress returned sagely. “In order to force the powers of the key to separate from him you must get his staff and destroy it,” she informed, “his power is tied to the Havoc staff.”
“You mean with all the power that this guy has he still has such an obvious flaw?” Unity demanded rolling with the next strike and coming up for an uppercut to Skeletors’ face, which sent him reeling back momentarily.
“Skeletor can not help himself his arrogance is a part of him and even with all the knowledge of the Multiverse gleaned from the key he can no more correct this flaw then foresee his own failures,” the Sorceress returned. Unity smiled as the fistfight resumed, trust the villain to always have the most obvious of weaknesses. Rolling under his next high kick she swept the feet out from under him and leapt upon the Havoc staff discarding her own scythe momentarily climbing to her feet she gripped the staff in both hands and swiftly snapped it in half.
“No!” Skeletor cried out clutching his head in pain as the green energy that made up the key poured out of him and transferred strangely enough to Unity, he returned to his former appearance falling to his knees and breathing shallowly. “Where am I?” he wondered dumbfounded as all the knowledge slipped away Evil-Lyn stepped forward from the shadows just then a contented smile on her face, she’d observed these events and now knew that once again Skeletor was weak, easily malleable to her own ends.
With a wave of her own magical staff she managed to tap into the last mystic energies keeping this version of Snake Mountain intact and opened a portal back to Eternia.
“You’ve been tricked Skeletor He-Man has tried to imprison you in this facsimile, but I’ve found you just in time,” she proclaimed and with a second wave she brought everyone including the griffins back through the portal. Unity let them go for she had greater concerns to occupy herself with. The key had passed to her and with it came the knowledge that Earths’ balance was shifted too far, there was only one thing she could do and it tore herself up inside. Snake Mountain began to crumble all about her yet she paid it no mind, stepping out of the throne room onto a stone balcony she raised the scythe high.
“Let the Power return!” she exclaimed instinctively knowing what to say the energy of castle Grayskull left her and spiraled off down to the foot of the mountain where it returned to Adams’ and Adoras’ swords, Buffy stood on the shaky ground alone now and looked down at her friends sadly.
“What’s she doing?” Shannon wondered a fearful tone in her voice as the mountain continued to sink back into hell itself.
“No, not again,” Dawn cursed trying to run forward to stop her, but Xander grabbed her by the arm and wouldn’t let her go silent tears running down his face.
“This time we gotta let her go,” he said though his voice cracked with grief Willow was crying, she suspected something like this might happen ever since they realized bringing Buffy back is what gave the First the chance to disrupt the balance. Something flew through the air Faith caught it one handed and saw that it was the Slayer scythe.
“I love you all,” Buffy whispered tears running down her face and with one last fond look at her friends she turned around and re-entered the crumbling Snake Mountain. Its destruction was short lived and the entire group remained somber and filled with a grief they couldn’t understand Adam, Adora and Marlena felt out of place in this moment of sorrow, but remained respectfully silent.
Spike was in the bus because he couldn’t go out this close to sunrise with his new soul and the absolute certainty that the Firsts’ hold on him had vanished when Skeletor destroyed it, he ached the most for a lost love. After everything he’d gone through he just couldn’t believe the stupid git would do this to them again his tears were those of genuine loss, and despite his feelings towards him he understood his Grandsire a little better at just that moment.
Early that afternoon the bus pulled up next to an old looking motel halfway between crater Sunnydale and Los Angeles everybody needed to rest and recover, of course nobody really had enough money to afford that many rooms, except Marlena who graciously signed in under an assumed name for everybody. The potentials took up two whole rooms and fell asleep rather quickly the Scoobies and Eternians took up one room for themselves, but they couldn’t really sleep.
Most of them were thinking about what was going to happen now their friend was dead, the Watchers’ Council was gone and the First evil had been utterly destroyed by Skeletor.
“What does this mean for us G-Man?” Faith asked glancing up at the former watcher. “I mean the ultimate big bad is gone won’t all the rest of the demons just, pft?” she wondered.
“I hardly think so Faith,” Giles returned his voice sounding older then he really was, “nature abhors a power vacuum something will move in to take its’ place and we’ll be business as usual,” he elaborated with a world weary sigh.
“But we’ll probably get a few years to pick up the pieces right?” Xander wondered not really looking for an answer, but feeling the need to voice the question.
“Not bloody likely,” Spike muttered dispassionately.
“What about the keys’ energies?” Dawn wondered. “Where did it go?”
“Most likely someplace where it could do no harm,” Adam surmised eyeing his mother thoughtfully, “we should get back to Eternia strange that the Sorceress hasn’t contacted us yet,” he remarked.
“She is most likely exhausted with everything she’s had to do,” Adora returned, “mother could we use the magic you mentioned to return to Eternia?” she asked. Marlenas’ lips pursed slightly and shook her head.
“The spell I used originally wasn’t meant for that, I don’t even know how I managed it in the first place,” the queen explained Willow regarded her curiously.
“What kind of spell was it?” she wondered.
“Standard teleportation spell I stumbled upon it the last year of college, I thought if I could master it I could save time getting places,” Marlena admitted with a sheepish expression she closed her eyes briefly and tried to recall the exact events that led to her initial arrival on Eternia. “I believe I used all the correct components,” she added.
“Components?” Willow repeated. “Those types of spells are usually spoken there’s rarely any components needed, do you remember them?” she asked Marlenas’ eyes became slits as once again she tried to remember, everyone else was silent so as not to disrupt her in any way.
“The bones of a small rodent, a bushel of ivy, crushed rose petals and the eye of Ra,” the queen recited Giles coughed slightly at that and once again began to wipe his lenses on his pocket kerchief.
“Did you say Eye of Ra?” he inquired softly.
“Yes that’s what the book said,” she confirmed Giles sighed and muttered something too low to be heard by the others.
“What you just described sounds like the components to a dimensional transport spell a very powerful one too, and highly suspect,” Giles explained, “the last time someone recorded its’ use as far as I can remember a rather horrifying beast appeared, ransacked an entire Eastern-European village and vanished into a dormant volcano,” he elaborated with a rather heavy sigh. “Quite frankly I’m amazed you survived it,” he admitted thoroughly confused.
“The portal is ready to take you back to Eternia,” the Sorceress suddenly spoke up from all around and a shimmering doorway appeared revealing the interior of Castle Grayskull on the other side. The Sorceress stood patiently waiting alongside her was Teela who smiled when she caught sight of Adam, Man-At-Arms, Cringer and Orko also waited.
Adam bid a swift though fond farewell and rushed through the portal as soon as he appeared on the other side he swept Teela up in his arms and gave her a very hard kiss hello. Adoras’ farewell was more subdued and she passed through the portal slowly, once on the other side she and Adam appeared once more attired in their Eternian garb and Willow looked a little hungrily at the semi-skimpy outfit and the curves it showed off, but shook it aside.
“Trolly molly Adora what was Earth really like?” Orko wondered his voice carrying faintly through the portal. Marlena turned to the collected group with a sad smile, she moved over to Dawn who’d been quietly sobbing for most of the conversation.
“I am sorry for your loss young child,” she whispered in full motherly queen mode, “and I’m sorry all of you were caught up in our struggle with Skeletor,” she added turning to address them all. “I think you’ll need this,” she said passing her purse to Giles.
“Marlena I can’t accept this,” the British gentleman returned upon seeing how much money was left he tried to give it back, but Marlena refused.
“Please consider it a gift if you will,” she insisted taking a step back. “We shall always remember our friends here on Earth especially the brave young woman who helped thwart Skeletor,” she added with a soft smile.
“Thank you I doubt we’ll be able to forget you as well,” Giles returned.
“Yeah it’s not every day we meet aliens from another world,” Xander agreed with that same goofy grin he always wore, but his expression seemed less joyful this time.
“It was certainly something else,” Principal Wood chimed in from the doorway speaking for the first time in what seemed like hours he hadn’t much to do after he said he’d drive the bus, and they’d kind of forgot about him.
“Uh… can I come with you?” Andrew asked hopefully the Queen shook her head with a laugh and entered the portal, it did not close right away however and the Sorceress took a step towards the group.
“Should you ever require our assistance again simply use this to contact me,” she stated passing a strange looking talisman through the vortex to Giles, who took it with a grateful smile. And with that the gateway to Eternia closed completely leaving the champions of Earth alone to consider their future and its’ many possibilities.
“Curse He-Man and his treachery he shall pay for what he did, I shall have my revenge!” Skeletor ranted seated once more on his throne with a newly crafted Havoc staff.
“Uh shouldn’t we tell Skeletor the truth?” Trap-Jaw wondered glancing to his fellow warriors.
“Are you crazy?” Mer-Man shot back. “If Skeletor ever remembers what really happened he’ll punish us for failing to kill He-Man and She-Ra when we had the chance,” he pointed out.
“Uh yeah, so we’re all agreed then, nobody breaths a word about this to Skeletor?” Tri-Klops asked the other three nodded.
“But what about Evil-Lyn?” Beast Man spoke up. “She might blab if we’re not careful,” he grumbled
“Hardly she’s the one who fabricated that shaky story about He-Man in the first place,” Tri-Klops argued.
“I still say we should keep an eye on her,” Beast Man stated the others shared a look and chuckled.
“Well of course, we always do,” Trap-Jaw reminded Evil-Lyn turned away from her own scrying pool with disgust, this whole thing proved suspicious. Just who took Skeletor to that planet in the first place, and why? She doubted she’d ever know the truth fully, but at least thankfully it was all over now.
The entity known as Horde Prime to some smiled within his domain his plan couldn’t have been more successful, now that the First was out of the way Earth was a more viable target for his armies. And Skeletor had managed to pass his first test quite adequately there was still much ground work to be made before he could replace the fallen Hordak, but it should be effortless to ensure total success.
“A pity Hordak succumbed to that puny bauble,” the being remarked, “and I had such high hopes for him as well,” it added in a mocking tone of pity. “At least he managed to destroy or enslave all of Etheria before moving on Eternia now as long as Skeletor can defeat the champions soon I will be able to return to that realm and lay claim to it,” it stated grinning widely as though a chesire cat his anticipation of complete victory could not be denied, he was certain of it, just as he was certain that the sole remaining Slayer would pose no true obstacle. “Ah yes it is only a matter of time,” it stated falling back perhaps on a clichéd villain stereotype, but it couldn’t be helped for all such entities eventually proved hopelessly arrogant.The EndEpilogue
She was alone now truly alone, the unique singular entity that was aware of all things Multiversal. She saw Buffy Summers dieing while fighting the Master in a world ruled by Vampires. A Buffy Summers who created an army of Slayers with the Scythe, a Buffy Summers who was traveling aboard a strange starship working with someone she couldn’t see and this Buffy looked strange, her eyes glowed.
Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer, a warrior who had lived for far too long fighting the fight against Evil, she had been too young to start up such a life. But now there was the Unique One, she who even now had no idea what she should be doing, what it was she was spared for.
“You were spared to join me,” Xander said emerging from a doorway in the vast nothingness that was Limbo.
“Xander, how did you?” Buffy stopped as the powers of the Key gave her insight into exactly who this version of her Xander-Shaped friend was and where he had come from, also why he was here. “Wow, I had no idea my life was someone else’s creation.”
“Uh, technically we’re all the creation of someone else, God or whoever.” Xander observed with a slight smirk.
“Should I call you Snake-Eyes now?” Buffy asked with a warm smile, it was nice to know that even in death her sacrifice was not in vain and once more she had a purpose.
“Please just keep calling me Xander for now, unless we recruit another Xander.” Xander sighed and turned back to the doorway. “Come on Unity, we’ve got to learn more about the allies I’ll be picking up, so I’ve got to watch their lives in that viewing globe thing.”
“Where’s the fun in being just an observer?” Buffy asked with a playful smile. “They’re going to be part of dead universes anyway soon enough, what say we go on a ‘road trip’ do some damage before the big brouhaha with Warren and his new allies?” Xander smiled at the question and eyed the sky, or what passed for a sky in this featureless expanse.
“I suppose it’d be better then getting cramped from hunching over that damn globe for so long,” he said.
“Good idea,” Writer suddenly spoke up from nowhere and everywhere at once, “Unity catch.” And a sword came flying out of the nether. Buffy managed to catch the sword without much effort. “I call it the Sword of Honor, you can use it to reclaim some of your lost strength when fighting some of the nasties you and Snake-Xander are about to meet up with. And believe me you are going to need it,” he said cryptically before his presence faded away again.
“I’m already uber-key girl Buffy, what point is there in carrying this around?” she muttered with a pout.
“Oh come on, you know I’m the same geeky type Xander you knew in your own reality, so to speak.” Xander smiled pleadingly. “Please, for me?”
“Fine,” Buffy relented with a sigh, “say how to I use this thing anyway? There’s no instruction manual,” she wondered.
“I’m sure you can figure it out,” Xander said with a smile, “where should we go first? Pick up a version of Willow? How about Oz or maybe Tara?”
“I’ve got a better idea,” Buffy decided strapping the Sword of Honor to her back via the scabbard included with it. “Hold on I’ve never traveled via Key portal before,” she said. Cutting her palm slightly she managed to tap into the mystical properties of her newfound existence and a small glowing yellow portal opened in front of them.
“Kind of looks like the portals used in the classic He-Man cartoons,” Xander remarked casually.
“Don’t even start,” Buffy warned, “come on all this knowledge type stuff is giving me a major headache.”
“Wait, but how do you know where we’re supposed to be going anyway?” Xander asked nervously.
“I’m not The Writer, but I do know a little bit more about this situation than you do mister, or are you afraid you’ll wind up food for the Xander Harris who turned himself into a Pack Alpha Velociraptor?”
“He did what now?” Xander blurted.
“Just go already,” Buffy snapped pushing Xander towards the portal. He went flying headfirst into it and vanished, sighing Buffy stepped in after him, she could just tell this was going to be a long and annoying trip. “Writer, you so oh me a cabana boy or two when this is all over,” she complained.
“We shall see little Slayer,” Writer whispered after Buffy disappeared and the portal closed. “First though I gotta figure out where you’re going next and who should be the focus of your little adventure, perhaps they
can help me if I asked them in a Poll? Hmmm, Marvel, Star Trek, Star Wars, so many possibilities so little time… Hey are you still reading, well what are your thoughts then hmmm. Oh and by the way it’s over, we’re all done here, so go on shoo, see if I care. Yeah, yeah I’m breaking the Fourth Wall so sue me, Yeesh!”To Be Continued in… Still Working on It, I’ll have to get back to you. I’m open to suggestions.