Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and DC Comics characters are the property of their original owners.
His face a mask of stunned horror, the short, bald man looked up at the gigantic snake presently curled in its coils on the commencement stage, a monster that a few moments ago had been Mayor Richard Wilkins III. Just seconds before, this folksy, well-mannered politician had unbelievably transformed into an enormous reptile, right at the same time an unforeseen eclipse had taken place, darkening the vicinity. Anybody who had the slightest acquaintance with Principal Snyder might have expected what happened next, as this panicked school administrator then did the most stupid thing imaginable, running towards the stage while shouting incoherently at the top of his lungs. Perhaps Snyder was threatening this would be going on somebody’s permanent record. In any event, all that was accomplished by the most desperate member of the Hair Club for Men was to quickly attract Wilkins’ attention.
Lunging his massive, scaled head towards the puny human which had just stopped dead in his tracks on the stage as if just realizing how much of an idiot he was, the Olvikan demon opened wide his fanged jaws in a gaping maw that easily gobbled Principal Snyder in one swallow. As Wilkins lifted his upper body back up, the descending lump in the snake’s throat was easily discernable to every member of tonight’s graduating class of Sunnydale High while these students frantically pulled out the smuggled weapons from under their commencement robes.
Regarding Snyder, this same person was still alive inside the snake, despite the absolute blackness, crushing pressure, and scorching digestive acids, the last of which was mysteriously failing to consume the human as he smirkingly congratulated himself:
An hour earlier, a grumbling R. Snyder had been summoned to the front door of his home by a very firm knock upon this panel by an unknown visitor, who then rang the doorbell far too long. He didn’t have time
for this, not when he was leaving right away for tonight’s commencement! Putting a customary scowl on his face, Snyder yanked open the door, about to thoroughly harangue whatever impolite person was presenting standing upon his threshold in full daylight, only to confront there…his exact double.
Mouth falling open in utter disbelief, Snyder then had that exact part of his body abruptly slammed shut by the powerful uppercut which unerringly landed on the sweet spot of the principal’s chin, instantly knocking him out. Collapsing to the hallway floor, the most detested staff member of SHS clearly wouldn’t be coming around for the next couple of hours, at the very least.
Absently rubbing his bruised knuckles, the other Principal Snyder now strolled into the house, stepping over the comatose body of his perfect twin. Bending down to grab the collar of the limp man, that unconscious individual was dragged further into the residence until there was room for the front door to be closed, which was promptly done. Turning back to regard with a malignant gleam in his beady eyes at the helpless victim lying upon the ground, the upright Principal Snyder then ruefully sighed to himself, “Dammit, if I’d known about this just a bit sooner, I could’ve brought along some superglue and Buffy’s spare makeup kit!”
Shaking his head over priceless lost opportunities, Xander Harris in his Chameleon Boy persona then went off in search of some rope, or failing that, a couple of bedsheets or towels to be torn into restraints. Five minutes’ work later, the original Snyder was wrapped like a mummy and roughly deposited into his bed. Disdainfully making sure there was no possibility of his least-favorite principal suffocating, Xander then headed towards the garage while mentally adding an item to the list of his to-do plans for the day. Hopefully, a couple of hours from now, a phone call would be anonymously made to the cops about a bound and gagged Snyder. Of course, he and the rest of the Scoobies needed to be alive after their graduation ceremony for that to happen, but, hey, ol’ Baldy would just have to pray things worked out for the best. If not…
Shrugging, Xander slid into his principal’s car (a Volvo, naturally), pushed the garage-door opener button, and started the vehicle. While waiting for the door to fully open so he could drive to the school, Xander allowed himself a minor measure of revenge by changing the radio settings to Sunnydale’s classic ‘ROCK YEAH ROCK!’ station and flipping this to its full volume. Wrenching the gear lever into reverse without showing any mercy whatsoever for the transmission, Xander stomped on the accelerator, and he peeled rubber backwards. A moment later, the car was hurtling down the formerly quiet street, as somebody remarkably resembling Principal Snyder stuck their head out of the open driver’s side window, and loudly serenaded the suburban neighborhood in chorus with the radio blasting a window-rattling version of ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ done by Little Richard at his gettin’-down best.
Curled up inside the giant snake, Xander felt his unharmed body come to a rest, which meant he’d probably reached the stomach of the monster that had just consumed him. In the very next instant, the Olvikan demon started moving forward, all according to plan. True, Xander had to come up with everything on the fly while behaving earlier in the commencement exactly like Snyder normally would have done so. Fortunately, the Scooby Gang member already had a pretty fair idea how to imitate the principal, and it seemed to have worked out nicely: just suck up to every superior in the area and treat anybody else like pond scum. Glaring at some stray students while forcefully jotting down notes on a spare graduation program was also the perfect cover, along with next surreptitiously passing this piece of paper along to Rupert Giles containing the written explanations for what had happened to Xander, his current disguise, and what was going to next occur, assuming everybody obeyed their new instructions.
Feeling a thump as the snake dropped off the stage, Xander grinned in the dark, knowing that the crowd of students, their families, and the other members of the audience had just backed up, weapons ready against the possibility of being attacked by the Mayor’s forces consisting of additional hostile Sunnydale demons and vampires, all summoned and protected by the eclipse. It was a real pity that earlier the Chaos magic from the long-ago Halloween which had transformed him today into the character from the DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes wouldn’t allow Xander to use Chameleon Boy’s power to change into any imaginable, utterly destructive alien creature and then shred Wilkins into tiny mayor pieces without having to go through the graduation ceremony in the first place. Unfortunately, the politician was still totally invulnerable until he actually became a real demon that could then only be killed by a volcano or some other serious natural catastrophe.
Of course, once that Mayor McSnake had made such a dumb move like swallowing Xander whole, this young man could now turn into a Chameleon Boy special, right from the comics. Such as…a Mercury Volcano Bear. Xander hastily visualized that planet’s totally fictional and unique life form which utilized its innate magnetic fields to gather around itself and then shape into a protecting exoskeleton from solid layers of previously molten lava that still retained stupendously-scorching temperatures. Concentrating, he then made the little mental twist that would instantly change Principal Snyder into three tons of sentient, red-hot rock.
The entire Scooby Gang and the rest of the students in the know about Sunnydale, all who’d been briefed about tonight’s events, were desperately reassuring those formerly unaware family members and other elements of the crowd of humans. Everyone was urged to hold still and stay calm. If there was a general panic and the entire crowd stampeded, the vampires and demons a few dozen yards away standing in a line and hungrily eyeing their prey would instantly attack, ripping into those fleeing for their lives. Shouting as loudly as they could, Giles, Buffy, Willow, Cordelia, and even Oz all said the same thing, just a few seconds more and it’d be--
The snake screamed.
Everyone’s head, either human or demon, twisted around to stare in shock at that bellow of sheer agony, as they all incredulously watched the huge reptile holding its upper body vertically while howling upwards to the sky, with actual steam spewing from between the gaping jaws. In the very next second, as boiling body fluids reached their flashpoint, there came a vast but still muffled explosion, with the center of the snake violently bursting apart.
The whole crowd, including Spike and his minions, promptly dove for cover. Gobbets of demonic flesh came plummeting down among these people, ranging from fist-sized pieces to bloody chunks larger than suitcases. The two biggest remnants of the Olvikan demon, consisting of the head and tail, were thrown away from each other, causing the ground to shudder as these multi-ton fragments hit the earth. After a few seconds of stunned immobility caused by the unexpected detonation, the onlookers warily lifted themselves up from where they were cowering. Hastily glancing around, it was seen by everyone that nobody looked to be actually injured by the organic debris, but not a single bit of clothing had escaped unscathed. Various sounds of severe disgust were vociferously expressed, until an overwhelming roar abruptly brought their attention back to the spot where Mayor Wilkins had recently gone to that great big reptile house in the sky.
There, standing in the middle of a serpent’s dissolving corpse, the colossal stone bear loomed. Ten feet high and covered in rocky plates that had heat ripples rising from the surface of this natural armor, lines of glowing red cracks covering the plates matched the equally scarlet inner radiance lighting this bear’s eyes and open mouth, as it continued to deafeningly announce its victory.
From behind the gawking mob, there came the sound of running feet, and all there, including the Slayer and her group, then apprehensively spun around, ready for an expected attack from the Billy Idol look-alike and his gang. Instead, the Scooby Gang now stared at the retreating backs of every single demon running away as fast as they could. See, from Spike down to the lowliest underling, it was sensibly decided there was no bloody point in continuing a hopeless cause, what with their leader blowing up, and all that. As for the soddin’ teddy bear over there, who could both crush and bake any member of their fiendish company with a damn hug…oh, bollocks. No, best to find the deepest hole possible and spend a good while lying low.
Still in his Chameleon Boy alien ursine form, Xander began to nonchalantly edge away from the very relieved crowd that was still looking off in the other direction. Thank god for that, given Xander could feel the Chaos magic which had turned him into a Legion of Super-Heroes member starting to wear off. So, it was well past time for their oversized rescuer to somehow sneak away and find a reasonably private place in order to change back into a normal human guy. Successfully ducking behind the commencement stage, Xander wryly mused on exactly how things were going to be explained about every bit of what had happened today. A gas explosion, probably, accompanied by the fumes which had caused everyone to have really, really vivid hallucinations of giant snakes and bears and whatnot.
A truly glum thought then also occurred to the teenager who’d just graduated from Sunnydale High: in all this, they’d never actually gotten around to blowing up their school. Crap. Now they were going to have to get back in there and defuse all the volatiles the Scooby Gang had previously hidden in the building, as part of their original plan in dealing with the Mayor. Which in turn lead to a more pressing question. Such as, how the hell were they going to safely dispose of a couple of thousand pounds of ANFO whipped up by Soldier-Boy?
In a sudden shimmer of light, Xander looked down to find himself considerably closer to the ground and once again in possession of his regular body, while standing in the middle of a circle of scorched earth. As the teenager’s head came up, a genuinely evil inspiration abruptly presented itself to Xander. Yeah, they had to get rid of every scrap of boom-stuff, and, hey, there was an absolutely perfect place for this, not to mention it would be easy-peasy to talk the other Scoobies into it, and frankly, it wouldn’t trouble his conscience at all
to frame Principal Snyder for possessing enough high explosives to blow up the Rock of Gibraltar…