Imperium rising Chapter 3
(Sunnydale High School)
Rupert Giles was relaxing in his seat with a nice book and a hot cup of English tea he had imported, as he hated what the Americans called tea. He was enjoying a quite peaceful night so far and he hoped it would hold, as normally Halloween was a quite night.
He often wondered why Halloween was so quite for the ranks of the undead and the numerous demons. Between the many costumed humans they would not be noticed. He guessed in the end, he should be thankful for small mercies.
It was not often he and the others had a nice quite night without having to worry about some kind of threat or some other danger running around. He rubbed his eyes, before putting his glasses back on and concentrating back on his book.
Paul watched the oncoming demons and was slightly worried. He had checked himself for more weapons, but found that he only had his crysknife on him, plus a small container of spice in a side pocket.
A shout from the side caused him to turn and catch the large bulky weapon the armored figure threw him, but he quickly figured out how to work it and turned around again and began to fire onto the oncoming horde.
Prue stood to one side and quickly raised her arm to unleash her personal power and watched in satisfaction, as a group of demons were flung away from them.
Sonja just in front of her readied herself with her sword in a guard position. Finally the first demon reached her and she lashed out, bringing her sword down in a cutting arc, slicing into the demons neck and cutting all the way through. She did not wait for it to fall dead in a spray of blood. She spun to avoid the claws of another demon and brought her sword down in another arc removing the arm of the attacking demon.
The Emperor battled with a rather large demon, easily blocking the powerful swings the creature launched at him. He was still wondering at the deeper emotion he had felt from his host, when he had seen the monster chasing the dark haired young girl.
He ducked out of the way, as the demon tried to pounce at him. He spun around and brought his sword ‘Imperator's Justice' down, catching the demon on its back, but not cutting deeply enough. The demon roared in pain and anger and it struck again.
Across from this Willow, Cordelia, Aura and Buffy, who still let out a scream every now and then, watched in horror and slight fascination, as the battle continued.
As Buffy was affected by the same spell, as the others she was being held in place by Cordelia and Aura, at Willow's suggestion. The other three however watched people they knew battle demons, with skill and powers they did not quite understand. Amy, Max, Miss Calendar and Xander seemed capable of fighting in ways they had not been able to do before, they were sure of that.
Amy's powers as a witch seemed very enhanced to Willow, as she watched the black haired girl raise her arm again and sent a large demon onto a spike, which was sticking out of a nearby fence, killing it.
She noted the way Max seemed to speed up and just vanish from one place and appear in another, without moving or at least that is how it looked to her.
Miss Calendar's skill with the sword was truly something to watch and she guessed whoever she had turned into had either no knowledge of witchcraft or was unaware her host could use magic, as for Xander he was matching skill with a demon, that almost dwarfed even his armored form and his skills with a sword seemed equal to that of Miss Calendar.
An assembly of lights startled them all as a man formed from them and they all noted the look of worry on his face, as he watched the battle progress.
Willow wondered who he was and what his purpose was here, as he moved closer to Amy's possessed form.
Prue sent another demon flying, as it tried to come up behind Paul, who continued to bring down the demons with the gun he had been loaned by the armored figure. She soon noted Leo moved up to her side and nodded for him to speak, whilst keeping a close eye on the battle.
"It's not good Prue. What has happened was not expected by the Elders, the powers or most others in the Heavens, and so I couldn't get any answers from them," Leo reported. "However I was then stopped by Metatron, the voice of god, and all he would tell is this. What has happened is going to have some very serious effects and it will be permanent in some way, as far as he knows.
There is a huge argument breaking out up there," he explained, as she knocked another demon back. "I did get one good piece of information and that is the cause of all this," he added.
"Go on Leo," Prue said, storing away everything he had said and not liking it at all, but also noting the very revered tone Leo had used when speaking of this Metatron, a new name she had never heard before from Leo, and the title had made her shiver.
"A Chaos mage is what caused all this, by evoking Janus the god of chaos, amongst other things. He laid spells on most of the costumes he sold for Halloween, but yours and the three you see over there were specially prepared, which is how you are here," Leo informed her.
"I can't leave right now Leo. They need my help" Prue shot back, again helping to defend Sonya from an oncoming attack.
She swiped her sword through the guts of another demon causing it to fall to the ground covered in blood.
"That's okay, you stay and help them as best you can Prue, but do not take risks with your host," Leo told her firmly. "There is a group of people here who can help bring this to a close," he added, before moving away.
Prue nodded accepting Leo's advice and she knew he was correct, as she had no right to risk her host's body. She was only a guest here.
Sonja moved closer to Paul, bringing her sword down on another demon, as it tried to charge her fellow fighter. She was wondering why the demons were attacking them so viciously.
Leo quickly moved over to the watching red head and the others. He had been briefed on the Hellmouth defenders and so knew they could aid in stopping this madness.
Sadly he knew the Slayer had been caught up in the spells effects and so would not be as useful, as she would usually be. He noted the weary expressions on the four girls' faces as he approached them.
"Ok my name is Leo, Willow I am here to help you put an end to this madness," he stated, as he came to a halt in front of her. "We need to get to the Watcher Rupert Giles and inform him of what is going on, so I want you all to grab onto me," he added.
"Why?" Cordelia demanded to know, not exactly very trusting of the new comer.
She winced as she saw Xander's possessed form being knocked down hard, only to roll back to his feet as the demon came at him again. She was worried how this was playing out. Seeing four people she knew fighting for their lives under the effects of god knows what, was nerve racking. She may have little to do with most of them, bar Max, but that did not mean she didn't care when they were in danger.
"So that I can transport us all to the library and out of harms way," Leo replied, understanding their skepticism and taking no offense at the girl's tone. "I'm a whitelighter, a guardian angel for natural born witches," he informed them.
Willow thought it over, before nodding her head in acceptance, as she saw no signs of threat from the guy, plus he had seemed very friendly with whoever Amy was at the moment. She looked back and gave the others a look that indicated they should trust the guy.
Cordelia was not to happy with this but knew if they had any hope of stopping this and saving Xander and the others then Giles was needed, especially with Buffy currently out of commission.
She hauled the protesting Buffy over with Aura's help and grabbed Leo's arm, whilst forcing Buffy to do the same as did Aura.
Willow was slightly worried she would not be able to be taken along, but found she could touch the so called whitelighter. Leo took one last look back to where Prue was helping the others, before he orbed himself and the others out.
The Emperor noticed this, as he took a breath from fighting his enemy. He was impressed by the display, but quickly refocused on his charging enemy, causing him to spin to avoid its claws. This demon was strong and fast, belying its size. He was reminded of one of the lesser demons of Slannesh and Khorne.
He again ducked its wild swing before lashing out with his sword, catching the demon in its side before unleashing a small pysic attack, which unbalanced the demon letting him stab it again. He backed off, as the demon regained its footing.
He was worried by the attack these demons had launched, as it was centered on him and his three companions, who like him had been brought here against their will. It was almost like the demons sensed the threat they might bring with them.
Paul and Sonya were both back to back, combining their enhanced speed and agility to stab and cut the demons as they came. The bolter lay on the ground.
Prue was now closer to the Emperor which kept her away from the majority of the demons, who seemed scared of the armored figure.
Across the town the vampire known as William the Bloody or simply Spike walked up a street, with a small group of fellow demons. He had come out on the recommendation of his lover Drusilla, who seemed convinced that he could find and kill the Slayer. Well the idea had appealed to him and now he could see why Drusilla had said what she had, some kind of spell was affecting people in very interesting ways indeed.
"Well this is just neat" Spike said with a wide smirk, whilst his fellow vampires just nodded and grinned. Hoping to find some easy pickings in whatever was going on. "Now lets go find ourselves the tastiest meal you will ever find in your afterlife," he added with a cruel smile, as he led his group onwards.
(Sunnydale High School)
Giles jumped straight out of his chair, spilling his drink, as he noted the sudden sparkling lights appear in front of him, before they turned into a man of middle height with blondish hair, who he had never seen before. He also quickly noted the presence of Willow, Cordelia, Buffy and someone he did not recognize.
"Willow, what the devil is going on?" he demanded, as he finally regained control of himself.
"Giles we have a huge problem and we need your help," Willow said rapidly.
"Everyone has been changed into their costumes for Halloween. That is not Buffy or at least not the one we are used to," she added, as she pointed at the currently dark haired Slayer, who was looking around the library with an interested look in her eyes at the many books displayed.
Giles stared at the red head in consternation, before removing his glasses and polishing them, as he tried to work out the rapid fire response. He felt like cursing as he realized Halloween was not going to be an ordinary quite night, as he had first thought.
"Will you please repeat that and more slowly please, Willow?" Giles asked, as he tried to get a handle on the situation.
"Allow me Mr. Giles," Leo said, interrupting before Willow could respond. "My name is Leo, a whitelighter, summoned here by events set in motion by a chaos mage," he explained. "He placed spells on all his costumes and then evoked Janus, transforming all the people into the costumes they bought. He prepared four very special costumes and at the moment they are being attacked by demons, who wish to eliminate them before they become a problem," he continued. "One of those special costumes happened to be a former charge of mine, hence my being here. Now you must locate the chaos mage and stop the spell and quickly," he stated seriously.
"Giles we have to move quickly like Leo said, because Xander, Amy, Miss Calendar and Max, another student, are the hosts for those special costumes," Willow spoke up.
Giles wanted to collapse into his chair, as he took all this in and especially felt worried when he heard Jenny had been caught up in all this. However he forced himself to concentrate on the matter at hand. He almost did collapse as he witnessed Willow walk right through the table and to the nearby window. Clearly she too had been caught up in this problem, although he noted Cordelia and her friend seemed normal.
"Willow quickly, where did you all buy your costumes from?" Giles demanded to know, as Leo orbed out as he had been ordered too.
"A new place called Ethan's. It must have been him, because Cordelia is fine and unaffected by this spell," Willow responded, indicating the cheerleader.
Giles eyes dimmed as the name was spoken. It was a name from his past that he had hoped would remain forever forgotten, but he should have known better. The past always comes back to bite people in the arse, he thought. Now it was his turn.
He dropped his glasses onto the table and removed his jacket and shirt, leaving him in a white t-shirt. Absently he rubbed a tattoo on his inner arm, before turning to the small group.
"Barricade the library and do not leave it under any circumstances, no matter what happens. I will return when I can," he instructed before he headed for the door, ignoring the looks he was receiving from the group, bar Buffy who had her head buried in a book she had found and was ignoring the strange people, she found herself surrounded by.
Prue was getting tired, as this fight seemed to have no end, but she refused to run and leave her comrades behind. So far they must have killed at least seventeen demons with a combination of magic, sword, gun and skills. But they continued to come. She again unleashed her powers, wishing her sisters were with her.
Paul and Sonya continued to fight back to back, but they too were becoming tired from the constant fighting. They were well trained soldiers and knew they could not retreat. They had to hold, until whatever had caused all this was stopped.
The Emperor was getting frustrated with the demon he was fighting and quickly began to build up a powerful pysic attack, which he hoped would give him the opportunity to kill the demon, which he had begun to suspect was the leader of the horde of demons attacking them.
(Sunnydale High School)
Cordelia backed away fearfully from the barricaded door, as the pounding became louder. Willow had gone through the wall to see who it was and had come back looking very scared. According to Willow, Spike was outside with a group of his followers, trying to get inside the library. She was just glad Angel had joined them through the underground entrance, she had never known about.
"What do we do?" Aura asked fearfully, knowing she would never again be able to ignore the truth of what went on in Sunnydale, as she had done before.
"We do as Giles said. We stay inside the library and hope the barricade holds," Willow said in reply, as she kept an eye on Buffy who was hiding in the stacks, reading to distract herself from the danger close by.
Angel watched all this from the side, worried on how this would all play out. He had been brought up on everything by Willow and his first instinct had been to go after Giles, but Spike had found them by that point and he refused to leave the group alone, especially Buffy.
He was prepared to fight to the death to protect them, if he had to. This was why Whistler had come to him all those years ago.
Giles entered the shop, prepared to counter any of his old friend's tricks. What he was not expecting was to find Ethan on the ground, clearly in pain. He walked over and knelt next to him, seeing his friend was still awake and lay next to a bust of Janus, which reeked of magic.
He rolled Ethan onto his back and slapped him across the face to gain his attention. He almost grinned at the look of annoyance and anger that flashed across the man's face, as he noticed who was above him.
"Hello Ripper, I had hoped to be able to greet you properly, but sadly the spell took more out of me than I expected," Ethan grunted out, as he recovered from seeing his old friend having arrived sooner than he had expected him too.
"Ethan, I am not even going to bother asking why you did this, as I know you all to well to know the reason," Giles responded. "Now tell me how to end the spell, before people I care about get killed," he ordered.
The Emperor pushed the demon away and let loose with the bolt of power he had forged, hitting the demon square in the chest, causing it to fall back and roar in pain. Giving him the chance to dart forward and ram his sword deep into the demons heart, which caused black blood to spurt out of its wounds, before it fell to the ground and the Emperor quickly removed his sword and decapitated it.
As soon as the demon died, the others in the horde stopped their attack. They roared in anger before they fled in discord.
They would be back once they had a new leader and they would have their revenge on these four.
Paul, Sonja and Prue watched the retreat with relief, as they all had been close to breaking point. They turned and looked to the armored figure that now moved over to them with a smile on his face.
"We must move quickly to aid those who left before. They are in great danger," he told them. "We can rest when they are safe," he added, before he moved on.
Sonja nodded and quickly followed, her vampiric gifts allowed her to push onwards. Paul and Prue exchanged weary looks, before they followed as well, knowing the armored figure was correct.
(Sunnydale High School, seven minutes later)
Angel lashed out and caught Spike on the chin, forcing him backwards, whilst Cordelia and Aura continued to use the weapons they had found in Giles' office. Willow was busy distracting any vampires she could, whilst Buffy even in her current guise flung books at the vampires to keep them away. But he knew they could not hold out for long.
He ducked the swing of Spike's next punch and came back with an upper palm strike, followed up by a right hook, which made Spike almost lose his footing. At that point four new people charged into the fight and Angel recognized Xander and Jenny Calendar, before he was forced back by Spike's return punches.
Ethan groaned, as Giles picked him up and hit him again in his gut, which combined with the pain he was already in for the spell was doubled now. He knew he had to give in and so he weakly held his hands up, causing Giles to drop him.
"Now tell me how to stop the blasted spell Ethan, before I really start to lay into you," Giles commanded ruthlessly.
"All you have to do is break the bust of Janus," Ethan replied, getting ready to run as soon as Giles back was turned, no matter what kind of pain he felt afterwards.
Giles glared at him for a minute before he went over to the bust and hoped Ethan had not lied to him before he picked it up over his head and then threw it down. As it smashed, a discharge of energy lashed out, sending him to the floor in pain, as it went smashing and exploding everything it touched.
He rolled over to see Ethan was gone and he cursed, as he knew Ethan would be back some day. He remained on the ground for now and waited for the discharge of magic to stop.
(Sunnydale High School)
The discharge of the spell hit the library at the same time, as it did the store. The vampires it struck were turned instantly to ash. Spike quickly chose to escape, whilst Angel chose to run and knock Buffy, Cordelia and Aura to the ground and as best he could shield them form the magical storm.
However the four others were hit as well and they screamed in pain and agony, as they collapsed to the ground under the assault. They had no idea what was happening, but they guessed it had to do with the spell that had brought them here.
God smiled, as the spell ended and then unleashed some of her own power, to ensure the changes she wanted made happened. These four were now her champions and would be very useful in creating a new future. One she knew would be better than what the Elders and Powers that Be had intended for her children.
Once the magical backlash finished, her champions would be ready for their fate, granted they would have free will, as was their right, but at times they would be needed to follow her orders.
The changes, she was ensuring each underwent, would make sure they could survive their new existence, as well as not tip the balance to much. The balance was important and helped keep the world spinning. The changes they underwent were important. She would have to send Metatron soon to explain what had happened and why, so that they would not do something stupid like trying and undo what had been done.