Imperium rising Chapter 2
Ethan rolled onto his back, feeling the pain lessen a little bit, but not enough. Clearly something had gone wrong. He was weak and defenseless. He groaned and wondered what he had done to displease Janus. He was so sure he had gotten everything right for this spell, but clearly he had missed something. He could only pray the pain would go away soon or when Ripper arrived, as he was sure he would, he would be in no position to defend himself. this was not what he had planned.
The Emperor looked around, seeing the madness consume the town, yet his precognitive sight showed him that the smaller demons were nothing but possessed kids. Victims of a cruel spell powered by something, akin to Tzeentch, changer of the ways. For once he did not feel the constant threat of the Chaos powers. He knew he does not belong here and he knew he should not be alive, at least not in body.
His last clear memory of being alive like that was just before he was chained forever into the golden throne, after suffering life ending wounds from Horus, his fallen son. His body would eventually heal, but only when he needed it for the last great battle with Chaos. Yet here he was in a body that he knew was not his own. He could feel the changes that it had gone through. This was bad, the young man who he now possessed could become a great danger, if not taught to use his powers carefully. They would not simply vanish, once this spell ended, he was sure of that. As he went to move on, a red headed girl rushed over to him, but he quickly deducted that she was no more than a spirit.
"Xander, there you are," the girl said, looking scared. "Are you okay?" she asked.
"I regret to inform you that Xander is not here at the moment, spirit," the Emperor responded, quickly assuming that Xander was the name of his host. "Whatever foul magic is at the root of all this, has suppressed his consciousness completely. Who are you?" he explained and asked at her wide eyed stare.
"Oh no," Willow whispered, feeling dread well in her heart at hearing that, but then focusing on the matter at hand. "My name is Willow, Xander is my best friend and somehow we've all turned into our costumes," she babbled.
"Explain that carefully please," the Emperor commanded, surprised by how fast the girl could talk.
"Ok this is Halloween and everyone was dressed as something different, say like witches, demons and I saw Larry as a pirate even," Willow began. "Xander dressed as one of his favorite characters from a board game he and Jessie used to play and I dressed as a ghost. We were taking the kids trick or treating when something happened and the next thing I know is that I am a ghost and the kids had transformed into their costumes," she continued. "Buffy... oh god we have to find Buffy, she went as something completely useless in this mess," she suddenly shouted, as she remembered the blond and what she had gone as.
The Emperor ignored her for a minute, as he took in everything she had said, noting certain points. It did not give him a lead as to who was responsible for this mess, but it at least explained how he had gotten here.
Anyway what mattered now was protecting as many people as he could. He raised his bolter and prepared for battle, even alone he was more than a match for most evils he might encounter.
"Follow me Willow and stay close," he ordered, before moving forward. He extended his senses to locate any humans.
Willow followed behind Xander's possessed form, trying not to shiver at the lack of emotion in his voice. She tried to recall what she knew of the character Xander had gone as. She had never been a big fan of the game like Xander and Jessie had been, so she did not know much about it and had usually ignored them when they discussed it, but she did recall certain things about the character.
He was the leader of Earth and the empire it controlled. He had amazing powers, but she also recalled that his body had been all but destroyed in battle. She feared what would happen once this mess was sorted out. Would there be any side effects for Xander or anyone else, who had been transformed?
Prue Halliwell could only stare in surprise, as she looked around the town she was in. She was dead, she knew that for a fact. Her last memory had been being hit by an energy blast from Shacks the Source's hitman. She couldn't help but ask herself where she was and why she was here. Something was very wrong she noted, as she watched chaos reign. Finally an idea came to her and she called out.
"Leo," she shouted, hoping her whitelighter would hear her. "Leo," she shouted again.
Finally a few seconds later she saw the comforting assembly of lights, before they condensed into the form of Leo Wyatt, husband to her sister Piper and the Charmed ones whitelighter.
"Who are you and how did you know to call me?" Leo asked, very confused at been summoned by a witch on the Hellmouth out of all places.
Taking a quick look around, he soon noted the chaotic actions going on around him. He shivered at seeing so many demons and monsters running loose. What the hell was going on? He wondered.
"Leo, are you nuts? It's me, Prue," Prue growled, in no mood for games. "I need help and who else can I call?" she added.
"Prue is dead," Leo shot back, angered by the mention of his lost charge and sister in law. "You are not her, granted you have a slight semblance to her, but you are not her," he added, very confused now.
"I know I'm supposed to be dead Leo. The last thing I remember is being killed by Shacks, yet here I am and what the hell do you mean I don't look like myself?" She demanded to know, really getting annoyed with him.
Leo really didn't know what to say, but he had to hand it to the girl she sounded like Prue and seemed to know how Prue died. Was it possible some kind of possession was going on? He thought. "Ok lets for a minute say you are Prue. Tell me, what did you do to disrupt the wedding between myself and Piper?" he asked, deciding to see just what she knew and no one would know this, bar those in the family and Cole.
"My astral self got out of control and started visiting a bar, which in the end got me booked for murder and a guy I met there crashed the wedding, almost ruining it completely." Prue answered. "At the end of that mess I finally admitted to Phoebe I was feeling caged in, without any room for love in my life," she continued.
Leo could only stare at her in surprise, because it was the right answer. Somehow, someway this was Prue Halliwell. He wondered if he should alert her sisters, before shaking his head. No, this might not be permanent and they did not need more heartache than they already had. "Ok Prue I'm convinced. Somehow you've ended up possessing a witch, by means I do not know," he finally told her.
"So this is not my body?" Prue asked, before pushing Leo out of the way and instinctively raising her hand and unleashing her personal power at an oncoming demon, which sent it flying into another, causing them to start fighting each other. "Well I seem to have my powers," she stated.
"Prue, that shouldn't' have been possible," Leo told her wide eyed. "This is not a normal possession. Somehow you've integrated with your host, this could be bad," he said, running a hand through his hair.
"Go talk to the elders Leo and find out what is going on. In the meantime I'll try and see if I can find out who is behind this," Prue ordered before pausing. "Are Piper and Phoebe okay?" she asked with clear worry in her eyes.
Leo's eyes softened, as he heard the underling pain in Prue's voice, as she asked her question. "They slowing coming to terms with your death Prue. Piper took it the hardest and she does not like being the elder sister," he answered before wavering on whether to tell Prue about Paige, before deciding she had a right to know. "Plus they had to also deal with finding out about the fact you have another sister. A half sister at any rate, named Paige the child your mom had with Sam her whitelighter," he informed her, noting the look of shock Prue gained at this.
Prue could hardly believe what she was hearing, but she doubted Leo was lying. She closed her eyes for a few seconds, before quickly focusing on the real problem at the moment and so opened them again. "Tell me about it later Leo. Go talk to the elders," she told him, before she turned and ran off.
Leo watched her go with a heavy heart, wondering just what had brought the eldest charmed one back from death. Finally he orbed out and headed straight for the elders, hoping they had answers.
Two streets down Paul Atreides ran towards a scream he had heard, hoping to help whoever was in trouble. However in the back of his mind he was constantly trying to figure out where he was, as this planet looked nothing like any in the empire he had seen before. The technology he could see was primitive and unlike anything he was used to. The monsters and demons he had seen were also not something he recognized, but he was confident he could deal with them.
He had trained since he was a child with the best weapon masters in the empire. Men like Duncan Idaho, Gurney Halleck and Thufir Hawat, as well as he had training from his mother Jessica in the Bene Gesserit ways and finally with the best Fremen warriors there was, like Stilgar, Otheym and even his beloved Chani.
Finally he made it around the corner, he found a young teenager with fair skin and black hair and startling green eyes being backed against a wall by a brigand. He quickly attacked and forced the brigand away from the girl, who collapsed to the floor in tears.
He ducked the rather loose swings of the man he was fighting with ease, before lashing out with his enhanced speed, knocking the sword from the brigands grasp and then following it up with a palm strike to the man's face, knocking him out cold, as well as breaking his nose.
Quickly he made sure that there were no more threats and then he turned to the girl, helped her to her feet and checked her for injuries.
"Are you okay?" he inquired.
"I think so," the girl replied. "What is going on Max?" she inquired, looking up at the tall boy, before pausing, as she looked into his altered eyes and wondered where he got the contact lenses for his costume.
"My name is not Max, it is Paul," Paul stated, before pausing as his prescience showed him there was truth in the girl's words.
He had to admit his body felt very different and given how nothing he had seen was recognizable, including the clothes the girl was wearing and it painted a very worrisome picture. The girl seemed not to have heard him and just moved closer to his side, looking around he wondered if there was any safe harbors around.
"Stay with me and don't run," he commanded, before he headed right. He was indented on locating either some help or the person responsible for this madness. He was pleased to note the girl obeyed him. "What is your name?" he inquired.
The girl did take notice of his strange behavior this time, but she decided that maybe it had to do with this madness. "Aura," she replied, as she made sure to keep close to him.
Two blocks away from this Sonja pulled her sword out, as soon as she got over the fact she was once again alive, in some manner. The last thing she recalled before dying was seeing Lucian's despairing look, as her own father ordered her to be burnt alive by sunlight. She closed her eyes, as she remembered the unbearable pain she had felt when the sunlight had hit her. She quickly shoved that memory out of her head and then she looked around to see if she recognize anything, but nothing she saw was familiar.
She did not know how she came to be here, but she was determined to survive. Then she would seek out Lucian and after that she would turn her attention to settling accounts with Victor for what he had ordered done to her.
He had not just killed her, but her unborn child as well. She turned and headed down the street, swiping her sword into a cutting arc as a demon charged her. The blade cut the monster in the chest, making it howl before it turned and ran away.
That was strange she thought, as most creatures would continue to attack its intended pray, like the wild Lycans. Something was very off she concluded.
God smiled, as she watched the four moving towards a very important meeting. She had ordered the changes, which had taken place, because she had become angry and frustrated with the Powers that be and the Elders refusal to take better care of their chosen champions.
She had decided that what were needed were some curve balls in the lines of fate and these four would do. They were her champions, not that they knew that yet and no one else knew it either, bar the Metatron.
Even given, that it was dangerous to introduce such powerful people into the fight at the same time, two of the chosen four were powerful figures with god like powers or at least they had in their own worlds and dimensions. Here their power was not total and the other two... They would prove the ultimate curve ball in what the powers and elders planned she was sure.
She had created both of these factions to oversee the war efforts against the underworld, but sadly they had become a little egotistical in her opinion and seemed to think they no longer needed her approval for their actions. If this continued she would have to take direct action against them and remind them of why she was the creator. It was times like this she was pleased to have sorted out Loki and Bartleby after that mess in Wisconsin, as they were now her new trouble shooters in heaven. Resurrecting them after their human deaths had been simple and they had learned their lesson, so they would never make that mistake again. Loki especially disliked the powers for their attitude towards her.
The Emperor followed Willow, keeping an eye out for any threats. His senses were going wild, as he began to pick up true demonic signatures. Clearly this madness was bringing out the true monsters. That meant any innocent people outside were in terrible danger. He paused as a loud scream tore through the night. He jogged around the corner where he found Willow with a dark haired girl, who like himself and the red head was also overcome by the magic cast this night.
"Demon, demon," the girl cried out, pointing to what looked like a jeep to him.
"That's not a demon Buffy, that's a car," Willow said, wondering why in the world she had agreed to Buffy going as someone so useless, especially in this town.
"What does it want?" Buffy asked skeptically as she glanced at it again, before concentrating on the armored figure coming towards her.
"Peace young one, I will not harm you," the Emperor said calmly. "You are amongst friends, even if you do not yet realize it," he added, as he picked up the stray thoughts the girl had without even trying.
"Ok we have to get off the street and somewhere safe, whilst we work out what to do," Willow said, impressed with how Buffy calmed down and seemed to pay attention to what she was saying.
"No we hold here Willow. I sense four people approaching our position and three of them feel like myself," the Emperor contradicted her.
"What do you mean?" Willow inquired, not exactly liking his suggestion, but not seeing a reason to argue, as the demons seemed to be giving them a wide berth at the moment.
"I am not supposed to be here Willow. I know this as fact, the three I mentioned feel just like me," the Emperor responded with a smile. "One is powerful like me, almost a pysker. The other two are out of time in a sense, yet both have power within them," he explained.
"I believe someone or something is bringing us here and sadly I am afraid that it will have consequences for this world," he added with a sigh.
Willow tensed up as she heard the Emperor finish, as she did not like what he said at all. To her that sounded like a whole heap of trouble. A scream tore through the night and they turned to see, what to Willow was a very familiar figure running towards them, being chased by a powerful demon, which looked like a deformed lion. She noted the angered frown that appeared on the Emperor's face, as he quickly moved to help with his sword held high, ignoring his bolter entirely.
The Emperor could not say entirely why he felt so compelled to aid the young woman coming toward them. He had felt a spike of anger at the demon for chasing her. It was almost as if his host was influencing his behavior which meant his host knew this person. Maybe it was someone important to him. Either way he had to help and so he approached with his sword ready, as he knew this demon was actually real.
Cordelia soon noted the hulking figure of Xander coming towards her and quickly increased her pace, hoping to reach him before the thing behind her sunk its teeth into her flesh. She also noted Willow and Buffy standing near Xander, watching the whole thing. She wondered why Buffy was not doing anything, as this was supposed to be her thing, with being the Slayer and all and yet she just watched wide eyed. She jumped behind Xander, as soon as she could and then backed off from the demon. Then she watched in horror as Xander engaged it in battle.
From three different directions Prue, Paul and Aura, as well as Sonja came upon the scene. Aura quickly ran and joined Cordelia, Willow and Buffy and began talking heatedly.
Paul soon noted more demons heading for the armored figure and quickly moved to intercept them quickly deducing he was a good guy. Sonja quickly moved to back him up and Prue moved to the side and prepared to help.