Xander starts to translate the journal.
As the torches that lit the chamber flickered, Xander bent over the journal and continued the arduous task of translating it’s text. Year... I have no recollection of how long I have been down here, in these caverns, so the official year means little to me. I think I shall it year one. For the first time in recent memory my solitude is disturbed: the screams of departed, vengeful, souls echo throughout the underground maze I now call home. Though the mighty fortress I have raised in these caverns with my magic is beautiful to behold, I still find myself longing for the simple hut I called home, oh so long ago. My fortress just doesn’t warm my soul the same way, no matter how much I try to make it more -what's the word I’m looking for? Inhabitable... No, that’s not quite right, just about anything can be inhabitable... Homey, perhaps? No, that’s not it either- but it’s as close as I can get at the moment. Anyway, the souls wail, carrying with them news of the outside world. The damned fools on the Isle of Alduin did something that even I, a wretched necromancer consider far too evil to be ever performed.
Xander shook his head, grinning slightly. He could practically feel the contempt Mal Keshar had for those who lived on Alduin rolling off the pages. Turning back to the task at hand, Xander began to read once more. Not content with creating a second sun, thus disrupting the entire globe’s ecosystem (not to mention giving everyone a nasty case of insomnia; almost makes me glad I’m stuck down here), the wretched Magi have torn open a hole to, well, Hell. This has lead to an invasion by many hideous beings, monsters, even more evil than the wretched orcs that destroyed my home, my village. The wailing of the souls give me a name for the invaders. They are call themselves Demons, and they view any mortal, be they human, elf, dwarf, or orc as little more than food. And that’s in the very best of cases. The worst... well they look good at the start; being trained to fight, getting the best of food, good arms and armor, even a decent roof over your head... but slowly, oh so slowly, they begin to take things away. Not material items, but something more important, be it your mind, your heart, or your soul. The last is always taken eventually, leaving something else in control of your actions, your body. They change you into one of them.
Closing the book, Xander groaned, rubbing his eyes. Looking at his watch, he started on his way out, astonished at how much time had passed without him noticing. As he passed through the portal, palmed a stake, half expecting to be jumped by a Vamp.
Mayor Wilkins stared down at his last surviving spy in barely contained disbelief. “You mean to tell me that he found some sort of portal in The Master’s lair?”
The faceless, but not quite mindless minion nodded frantically. “Yes, boss! The others tried to follow him, but they got dusted as soon as they touched the wall with the portal in it! I thought you ought to know, so I came here straight away!”
“Well Gosh! That sounds like some hefty warding, who would have thought Nest would have the resources to put something like that up?”
“I don’t know if it was him, boss. He was stuck because of an earthquake, but it looks like he was as far away from it as he could get. Also, some of his servants recalled him saying there was something ‘unpleasantly pure’ near where the portal was found.”
“Hmm. Warded against the forces of darkness, then,” Flashing one of his legendary campaign smiles, the Mayor dismissed his minion, before settling down to work.
As Xander entered the library, he rubbed his eyes, groaning softly as exhaustion overtook him. Slumping in a chair he tried to regain some of his strength so that he wouldn’t be dead weight when it came to patrolling. Just as he began to succumb to drowsiness, Rupert Giles came around the corner, carrying a large stack of books.
“Xander, what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be out on patrol?”
“They left already? I’d best hurry and catch up to them...” Try as he might, Xander couldn’t keep the fatigue out of his voice.
“Your exhausted. What are you doing to tire you so?” While annoying, Xander had
saved his slayer’s life, so he had earned some concern from Giles.
“I’m sweeping the masters lair,” Xander’s response was short and to the point. It was also a cover story, but like all the best lies it had an element of the truth in it. That was what he had been doing when he found The Portal.
“Well, it would get rather dusty, I suppose, but why would you put that much effort into cleaning up the house of an enemy?”
Looking up at the somewhat clueless librarian, Xander groaned and shook his head. After that, he began to explain what was actually happening.
“It’s a military term. Mean’s I’m looking for enemies that might have hidden themselves. Don’t want The Masters minions blind siding us with any nasty surprises.”
Giles took off his glasses and began polishing them, not that Xander was in any shape to notice.
“That’s actually a good point. He was so old that his demon side was permanently on display, so it’s entirely possible he had a plan to deal with anyone who slew him. Vampires don’t get that old by chance. Just don’t touch anything in his lair. There is no telling what sort of dark artifacts he had acquired.”
“Kay,” was Xander’s sole response before starting to snore.
Giles shook his head and put his books down to one side, then covered him with a blanket he had retrieved from the office.
“There’s such a thing as too much dedication,” Giles chided gently.
“I thought you told me I didn’t have enough dedication,” came a perky female voice from behind him. “Something about not taking my calling seriously enough.”
Giles groaned, wondering what he did to deserve this. “I was talking to Alex, Buffy. He’s overworked himself.”
“Xander’s overworked himself? Ohmygodwhatshouldwedo?” Came the worried and quite rapid response from a bubbly red headed girl.
“Calm down, Willow. He just needs some rest. Apparently he’s been out looking for The Master’s minions, and trying to dismantle his command structure. He doesn’t want any unpleasant surprises sneaking up on us courtesy of a vampire we’ve already dealt with. I must say that it is impressive actually thought about what he was doing.”
“He’s WHAT?!?” Came the cry from both girls, waking Xander.
“Uhh? Is it school time already?”
AN: Ok. Somewhat longer chapter this time. I would have preferred to keep going, but this just seemed like the right place to stop. I’m also suffering from a bit of writers block. Which is odd as I just started this, but such is life. I’ll be doing my best to come back to this, however.