Recruitment Pt. 1
Here we are folks the second chapter of this maddeningly masterful stroke of genius. I'm going to sit down today and try and get out several chapters to my WIPs and this is the first one done. Try being the opperative word there. I decided to break it up into smaller chunks so I could share what I've cooked up so far in this new playground.
Giles was seated in his office overseeing several various files when – in a move that really shouldn’t have startled anyone considering Xander’s past exploits – Xander Harris appeared standing opposite his desk with a blonde woman dressed in leather armor.
Quite revealing leather armor in fact.
“We’re here for this?” the woman asked eyeing Xander suspiciously.
“Athena said heroes,” Xander pointed out. “And that means all types, not just the fighters.”
Giles took a moment to digest what little information he had been presented with so far. Removing his glasses from their customary perch and gently running a cloth handkerchief over the lenses he dutifully cleared his throat. “Xander, I take it something unexpected has come up,” he stated.
Nodding Xander broke into a wide grin. “Time for an old fashioned Scooby meeting, this time with a couple of special guests… Tell me, Giles, what do you know about the Greek Gods?” he asked with a knowing gleam in his eye.
“There’s no time for this!” the blonde complained.
“How do you know?” Xander shot back. “Besides we can’t all just teleport to one location like you can! We’re only mortals,” he added.
Giles understandably began to realize that this wasn’t the typical Scooby problem. And also he really needed to stop calling them that, considering they were mostly all adults now it was rather undignified.
“I knew I shouldn’t have agreed to follow your stupid rules,” Callisto muttered. “Very well, Xander, we’ll do it your way. But if we don’t get your precious band of heroic do-gooders together soon I’m going to start trashing this place out of sheer boredom.”
Xander sighed. “Why couldn’t the Amazon have come with me instead?” he asked himself.
Hercules had lived a long, long time. He knew he wasn’t the only Demigod to survive into this modern era, but he did know that after a while there wasn’t much good he was doing anymore. It had been difficult for him to continue fighting against monsters and demons and other creatures when the world was changing so much and now in the hands of a group worse than the Greek Gods.
He couldn’t fight them though. He knew as much from his brief trip to the Fates’ hiding place. The Fates had survived the destruction of their loom, but they had been weakened by it just the same, forced into a state of slowly growing madness where they could no longer interfere in the mortals’ lives. They had no means of enacting their purpose and so they had become prophets.
Hercules sought them out and through them learned that the Powers that Be as they chose to be known were manipulating this world to their own designs. They wanted the world to be in perfect balance – this meant that they worked both sides of the street granting aid to good and evil alike.
Unable to just walk away – Hercules did the best he could to upset their plans – he destroyed any demons he came across and helped to stop Bacchus’ newest pets, the vampires, at every opportunity. Bacchus being dead of course at Xena’s hand so long ago left his followers wide open for the change into worse creatures than even the Bacchai.
Occasionally he created a new identity for himself taking on different names and lifestyles to remain in hiding and unobserved by the Powers. They couldn’t find him, they couldn’t see him, being a descendant of Zeus had some advantages.
Of course Ares always found him and somehow managed to annoy him. Or goad him into acting against a common enemy. Ares seemed to have mellowed out a little in his methods.
Hercules frowned slightly. Perhaps Xena had been a better influence on his brother than Ares would like to think.
“We’re almost there,” the woman seated beside him remarked.
Hercules turned and smiled at Morrigan. Even after all these years she was just as lovely as ever despite the scar she’d received while dueling with a creature that had escaped from the Deeper Well. They had never really lost their feelings for each other and occasionally – seeing as how they were both Immortal – it made sense to hide together rather than apart.
“I know.” He briefly brushed his fingers through Morrigan’s hair.
“Do ya think she’ll be mad?” Morrigan wondered.
Hercules frowned in thought. He hadn’t fathered many children in his lifetime despite all of the opportunities that came up. Only his children with Deianeira. And after Hera murdered them all with the fireball he’d never really been comfortable fathering any children.
But that was ancient history and their daughter had become something of a surprise to the both of them. A moment of indiscretion on his part led to the birth of a happy baby girl, but in order to keep her true parentage a secret from everyone including the Gods themselves they’d been forced to stay away. They left her with enough money to care for herself once she was old enough to handle it.
“She might be,” he admitted finally turning back to his pseudo-wife. “After all we haven’t called her or talked to her in at least eight or nine years.”
Morrigan nodded. “True. I would have preferred ta raise her the Druish way,” she stated beginning the stirrings of an old argument.
“And I respect that, Morrigan, but you and I both agreed that the Powers couldn’t learn of her existence. She might never have developed any sort of Godly abilities since we’re both Demi-Gods, but it was better to be safe than sorry,” he gently reminded.
Morrigan rolled her eyes. “The Powers. And what threat are they now that we’ve learned the truth of the matter?” she demanded.
“Ba’al won’t be stopped easily, and a lot of good people could be hurt.” Hercules sighed. “But we have to help out and we also need the help of every one who might be able to fight… So we have to go see our daughter, to learn if she did develop any abilities despite her parentage.”
Morrigan smiled and leaned in closer to him. “I wish she could have known Bridgitte,” she admitted. “Do you think she’s grown up alright, considerin’ everythin’?”
“I know she has,” Herc stated with a soft smile bringing his arm over his wife’s shoulder. “With a name like Willow how could she not?”
Morrigan sighed. “I just hope she won’t be too upset when we tell her the truth.”
Hercules shook his head. “I doubt it’ll be easy for her, finding out she’s one quarter God on both of her parents’ sides. But I’m sure she’ll be able to cope… And remember all she’s known is that we’re Jewish, so please try not to convert her at the first opportunity?” he pleaded.
Morrigan smirked. “Why, Hercules, I do believe you’ve issued me a challenge.”
Shaking his head Hercules wisely kept his mouth shut and stoically adopted the guise of Ira Rosenberg – a simple Jewish psychiatrist returning to make amends with his daughter after almost ten years – an ability he’d mastered with the help of Aphrodite to better hide who he was.
Morrigan also changed into Sheila Rosenberg a woman whose identity had been carefully developed. She couldn’t let her true personality out and it pained her when she was forced to act contrary to her feelings – especially in raising Willow. She’d even been foolish enough to allow a demonic half-breed into her carefully crafted alternate mental state – she’d almost burned her daughter at the stake that night because of her inability to catch the intrusion of mental energies in time. Even a Demi-God wasn’t perfect.
Hercules turned to his ‘wife’ with a brief frown. “Did Willow ever tell you what happened to Tara?” he asked.
“No,” Morrigan replied. “But I suspect it’s something that’ll come out when we reveal the truth ta her.”
Nodding Hercules turned back and settled in for the final stretch of their journey.
The Immortal had many issues. None more so than the fact that he wasn’t who he pretended to be. He acted the big role that everyone – including his father – expected of him, but he didn’t like it very much. Still it was a necessary evil in order to remain unobserved by the Powers.
Dealing with Wolfram & Hart on several occasions had also kept the darker side of things from interfering in his life. But that didn’t stop him from hating every moment he played at being a disgusting degenerate low-life. He also hated the fact that he had to use such a pretentious title for himself, but after all when your father is the God of War what else could you expect?
“Still lamenting your lot in life I see,” Ares commented as he materialized in the room. His hair was shorter these days, his beard more trim, but he still commanded an imposing sight and he still favored the leather get-up he liked to wear.
“It isn’t exactly what I wanted, dad, I mean with my abilities I could end a lot of suffering in this world,” The Immortal reminded.
“Suffering is just a natural part of life, son,” Ares stated. “We’re not allowed to interfere in the mortal world anymore… At least not on the level your powers allow, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enlist your aid when we need it,” he said glancing briefly at a picture of a young blonde. “The Slayer? Interesting choice, you do realize of course she’s just a decoy right?”
“What can I say, men of our bloodline are simply drawn to powerful women,” The Immortal remarked with a dark laugh.
“True, true, but the real Slayer is mine, and don’t you forget it,” Ares stated with an arched brow.
“Which one?” The Immortal asked. “The blonde or that dark haired reminder of the past?”
“Both,” Ares declared. “I’ve laid claim to them both… Considering they are part of my new army.”
“How’d you swing that anyway?” The Immortal interrupted.
Ares smiled proudly at his own cleverness. “It took a lot of time to get all the pieces into place just right, especially since I did it under the noses of those pretentious wannabe Gods. Ironic really that the last key to my plan was dear brother Hercules’ precious new daughter,” Ares revealed with a chuckle.
“What do you want me to do?” The Immortal demanded fed up with the game his father was playing.
“You and I both know that already,” Ares informed.
“She doesn’t want to be disturbed,” The Immortal said in a half-hearted attempt to dissuade his father from doing this.
“Olympus needs somebody to guide it in our new war against this Ba’al character, I don’t want it, Aphrodite doesn’t want it, even those new Gods Athena had the mortal dig up don’t want the position.” Ares paced over to the window and stared out at the city of Rome. “All your precious mortals don’t stand a chance if Ba’al gets his way… so I say you really don’t have a choice in the matter.”
“Fine!” The Immortal snapped and with a wave of his hand she
Glancing around in some confusion for a moment she noticed the two men standing in the room with her.
Ares smiled proudly. “Hello, mom,” he greeted Hera with open arms. “It’s so good to have you back.”
“Evander,” Hera snapped whirling on the younger looking of the two men. “I told you I was not to be brought back to this plane for anything!” she stated with a cold glare aimed at her grandson.
“Sorry, Grandma, but dad here had a really convincing argument,” Evander mumbled averting his gaze. He wasn’t proud of what he did as The Immortal, but he understood why it had to be this way – that didn’t meant he wanted Hera to know what he’d been doing, especially when he played the terrible trick on those four vampires so long ago.
Glaring pointedly at her son Hera held up a hand to forestall any of what was to come. “I know!” she shouted. “Take me to Olympus,” she commanded with an air of authority both familiar and welcome to Ares.
Bowing his head he touched the pommel of his sword. “Thank you, Evander,” he told his son with genuine emotion before vanishing from the room along with Hera.
Turning to the window Evander stared out at the city of Rome and wondered if he’d actually done the right thing. In his mind he knew it was necessary, but in his heart he was uncertain that going against his grandmother’s wishes was for the best.To Be Continued