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A Generation Unforeseen

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Summary: (BtVS/Bleach/Others) Plans. We all make them and we all hope that everything happens like we want them to. However the future is nothing if not unpredictable.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > BleachShadowMasterFR2110139,658128623,70324 Sep 115 May 14No

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A Rock Thrown

“A Generation Unforeseen” by Shadow Master aka Ryley Breen
(Bleach/BtVS/?)

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the copyrighted material contained herein. They are the rightful property of their respective creators and associated companies. I make no money off of this whatsoever. I write because I enjoy it and because some people like reading my works.

Note: In terms of timeline this happens 10 months prior to Aizen leaving with Gin and Tousen for Hueco Mundo in the Bleach anime series. In BtVS it happens around the much used and sometimes abused Halloween episode in the BtVS universe.

Note 2: I know that the Bleach Anime series didn’t begin until October 2004 and the manga didn’t start in “Weekly Shonen Jump” until August 2001 but those are just dates from our world. I cannot recall a single time in the Bleach manga or Anime where Ichigo clearly stated the date in terms of month, day and year. If by some chance a character did specify a date where all the events were happening in that much detail…just consider this an AU where all the relevant events happened in a sequence that makes my story feasible.



A Generation Unforeseen



Soul Society, Seireitei, Technological Development Department, Morning
Twenty-Two Years Ago, Akon’s P.O.V


“Watching the mortal world again, Hiyosu?” Akon asked as he entered the room where the terminals for viewing the mortal world were located.

“Oh, shut up! I got bored waiting for the series three tests to finish so I decided to see if there was anything worth watching.” Hiyosu replied, sounding like he thought that finding some entertainment was more important than work.

“You should be more careful with what you say. You know the Captain would be tempted to open up your skull just so he could cut out the part responsible for that thought,” he warned as he walked up to where his colleague sat.

“No need to worry about that. He’s in lab three dissecting the latest specimen,” Hiyosu said with confidence. “He seemed so excited going in, I won’t have to worry about him for another two hours and by then I’ll be looking over the results of the tests.”

As much as he’d prefer that his fellow scientist focus on his work, he had to admit that the bulbous eyed one had a point about the Captain. The leader of the 12th division had been rather excited about the dissection since the specimen arrived this morning and, unless the body turned out to be a complete waste of his time, no one would hear from the head of the Technological Development Department for quite some time.

“I hope your hobby doesn’t contaminate the findings of those tests or you’ll be the one the Captain dissects next,” he said, looking at the screen his friend was watching to see if it was anything worth looking at.

It appeared to be a human television program and, after listening for a few minutes, he learned it was focused on the topics of eugenics. The people behind the show were explaining both the good uses as well as the ways they’d been abused in the past by groups like the Nazis. He, of course, tuned out all of the moralizing and ethical parts of the show, choosing to focus instead on the science involved. It wasn’t anything too revolutionary but he was fascinated by some of the predictions made about what eugenics could accomplish in the future.

“Interesting.” He said as he scratched his chin in thought.

“What do you mean?” Hiyosu asked, turning his chair to face him.

“I just found the concept of pairing two specimens with the intent of creating a third with the most favorable traits of the first two to be intriguing,” he replied as he continued to let the ideas conveyed by the television show to feed his scientific imagination.

“What? You’re planning on starting a project or something?” Hiyosu asked, sounding a little confused.

“No. The Captain would never allow it. Too ‘boring’ for him,” he replied with a small sigh of disappointment. “Perhaps after I retire I can start something suitable but until then I’ll stick to the projects Kurotsuchi-taichou would approve of.”

He stayed until the show was over but after that he left the room to return to his own duties in the 12th division. He might not have a series of tests waiting for his attention but, as one of the senior researchers, it was often his job to handle the little things that the Captain didn’t want to bother with.

One example being the paperwork that every division had to deal with, no matter how tedious it might be.

Still it had to be done and he remembered all too well what happened the last time he’d approached the Captain with the idea of ^him^ helping with the paperwork.

With a shudder he reached up and touched the horns that he hadn’t been born with and not had on his forehead until twenty years ago. He had grown used to them but that didn’t mean he wished further ‘enhancements’ done to his body as punishment for bothering the Captain with such ‘trivial matters’. So, without further delay, he began the long walk back to the main office of the 12th division where a large stack of papers would be waiting for him.

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Outside the Living World Observation Room, Same Time


“How interesting!” Came a voice that spoke of intelligence and absolutely no morals whatsoever. “Perhaps I won’t break those two down to their individual parts after all.”

With those words a form began to emerge from the wall bit by bit until the form of a man could clearly be made out. Then, as though the wall could no longer contain the form, bits of paint and plaster began to flake away from the form, it was revealed that the eavesdropper to the conversation was none other than one Kurotsuchi Mayuri, Captain of the 12th division of the Gotei 13 and Head of the Technological Development Department.

While normally he would not have given the meaningless activities of his subordinates any attention, the utter disappointment he’d felt after examining the specimen he’d so been looking forward to dissecting prompted him to do otherwise. The young man had been a Quincy and the reports he’d received from those in the field had implied that he possessed an ability previously not found in any of the subjects he’d looked at in years past. He’d been so excited at being able to properly study the phenomena, it had taken a full hour before he could not come to any other conclusion than the reports had been in error. No matter what piece of equipment he used nor what part of the male he cut up, he could find nothing that set him apart from any other Quincy he encounter in the past. It had put him in such a foul mood that he’d immediately ordered his useless daughter to dispose of the body and assign the people responsible for getting him all worked up to the most humiliating task possible.

He had no idea what assignment Nemu would come up with but he’d put enough intelligence into her that he felt it was unlikely she’d fail to find something horrible enough.

It had been while he was walking through the halls towards the main labs that he’d seen Akon enter the living world observation room. In a foul mood at the time, he had at first intended to verbally dismember the fool for slacking off on the job but then he’d heard the sounds of something coming from inside the room. Curious, he used stealth to approach the door and listen in on what was going on inside. After learning that it was merely that gilled tub of fat Hiyosu partaking of his childish hobby, he’d been ready to follow his first inclination in dealing with these slackers when the topics of the television broadcast caught his fancy. The more he listened, the more be became intrigued by the possibilities those mortals were going on about as well as some of the bolder methods used by the Nazis. By the time he’d heard Akon moving towards the door, his mood had improved and he was able to use his environment melding technique to disappear into the wall outside the observation room with time to spare.

Now, though, it was time to begin his new project.

First he needed the appropriate thesis or theory that he wished to prove and it took him less than a minute to come up with it. He would call it ‘The Superior Spirit Experiment’ and its purpose would be to determine if it was possible to create a superior specimen using spiritual genetic material taken from spirits with acceptable traits. With a little chuckle he found himself quite amused by the possibilities that his prodigious mind was already coming up with and so proceeded to his private laboratory. There’d doubtlessly be distractions every so often, such being the price of being a member of the Gotei 13, but he’d make sure that Nemu would stay at the Technological Development Department anytime that he was unavoidably called away. With her being his creation, he could count on her at least to not ^completely^ ruin things for him whereas any of his other subordinates would no doubt bungle things entirely.

It didn’t take long to make it to his private lab but, by that time, he was literally humming a jaunty tune as his interest in his new experiment was making him quite happy. Once inside he immediately began to make some space on the main table since the first thing he would have to do would be to take stock of what he had and what he would need.

~So much planning to do!~ He thought as he went over to a bookshelf where his catalogue of samples from the various spirits he’d taken notice of was located.

As he began to see what spiritual DNA samples he had in cold storage, he couldn’t help but chuckle at the scientific progress he’d make with this experiment. Done correctly, the Gotei 13 would no longer have to bother sifting through the dregs of Rukongai for potential Shinigami. All they would need to do would be to place an order with him and he would have a small army of powerful Shinigami ready for use within three months at most.

The possibilities being produced by his scientific mind were truly wonderful!

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Two Years Later, The Hallways of the Technological Development Department, Late Evening
Lieutenant Kurotsuchi Nemu’s P.O.V


~No one appears to be following me~, Nemu thought as she pretended to fix her shoes. ~It would seem as though the tech bug collected its samples without being detected.~

Not that she believed that it would be detected considering it was the size of a housefly and the majority of Seireitei would be asleep at this hour. Nevertheless, Mayuri-sama would be upset with her if she endangered what had quickly come to be his favorite project by being careless. It had been two years since she’d originally been informed by the Captain of 12th division about his new project and what her duties would be with regards to it. Her duties were to monitor the experiment when he was away on official business, to deliver the samples from the tech bug to him and to take over leadership of the division when the experiment required his undivided attention. Fortunately this was the way it always went when something caught Mayuri-sama’s attention, so she was able to perform those duties without much difficulty.

Rising to her feet, she proceeded to walk quietly towards her Captain’s private lab, knowing that he would likely be there until early tomorrow morning. There were no experiments important enough to warrant her creator’s direct involvement or any Gotei 13 business that would cause him to be missed enough for someone to come looking for him. As such, no one aside from herself had interacted with the Captain of 12th division something he required for his project was held up, thus requiring that he leave the lab to remedy the situation. The last time that had happened was two weeks ago when one of the experiments in the same wing of the building caused a temporary disruption in power, resulting in the computers in Mayuri-sama’s lab to lose all unsaved data. It had not been much, less than a day’s worth of information, but it had been enough to put her creator in a foul mood that had been vented entirely on those responsible.

All three were currently recovering from being test subjects for the 12th division Captain’s newest poison and it’d be another week before they would be fit for duty.

When she eventually made it to the private lab, she found Mayuri-sama making notes on the readings that the four large containment tubes were displaying on their control panels. As she approached him with the latest samples, she could hear him making some positive ‘mmmm’ sounds, implying that he was satisfied with the progress of the organic spheres inside the tubes. From what she could understand of the experiment itself, her creator had spent the past two years refining the processes that would aid in him in achieving the results he desire. He’d taken what the humans in the mortal world were working with and then used technological advances found only in Soul Society to upgrade them until they were easily thirty years ahead of what existed in the world of the living. It had been her understanding that he was now running trials on the various approaches involved in eugenics to find the one that met his standards.

“I have the latest samples Mayuri-sama,” she said as she held them out for him to see.

“You certainly took your time, you bumbling incompetent.” Mayuri-sama snapped without looking away from the notepad in his hand. “Put them on the table. I’ll look at them later.”

With only a moment of hurt at his words existing in her mind, she quickly turned to do as she had been commanded to do. Once she had completed that task, she waited a respectful distance away for her next orders, whether they were to leave or to aid him in the experiment, even if it was only to provide an extra set of hands. Minutes passed and she thought that he had forgotten about her entirely but when he finished writing down one final note he turned to her.

“Continue monitoring the specimens until morning and then dispose of them.”

“Dispose of them? Did they not meet your expectations, Mayuri?” she asked with some curiosity since she’d been under the impression the opposite had been the case.

“Be quiet, you mentally deficient woman!” he snarled as he looked back from his position at the door to the lab. “These were never the true subjects of the experiment. They existed only for the purpose of resolving the final flaws in the experiment. Nothing more.”

With that he left the lab for an unknown destination, leaving her the sole occupant of the room. With a mental sigh she picked up a fresh notepad from a nearby desk and began to monitor the four containment tubes as she’d been ordered to do.

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Three Years Later, The Private Laboratory of Captain Kurotsuchi Mayuri, Morning
Kurotsuchi Mayuri’s P.O.V


“Good, GOOD, the specimens are progressing even better than I’d originally projected.” Mayuri declared as he looked up at the small humanoid forms floating in the containment tubes.

It had been three years since he’d used his superior intellect to combine the eight chosen samples together to form the four specimens and thus far he had no reason to feel disappointed. Their development from small embryonic spheres to forms matching the physical characteristics of two year old children had been steady and without complications of any kind. Already they were showing signs of possessing reiryoku powerful enough to produce a measurable field of reiatsu within their containment tubes. He even noted a handful of physical characteristics that they almost certainly got from the sources of their DNA but those were minor things as far as he was considered. All that mattered was whether they would come to surpass their ‘parents’ in terms of power and Shinigami prowess. That was what he had decided would be the factor that would decide whether or not the project would be a success. It would still be four years before their bodies would be mature enough to begin learning the ways of the Shinigami but he had already taken steps to give them a head start. Thanks to the bands he had placed around their heads a month ago, they were getting the equivalent of the first year at the Shinōreijutsuin and the rest of the meaningless drivel that they would need to know in order to be more than brainless flesh dolls.

By the time they were physically six years of age they would be ready to leave the containment tubes and undergo the first series of tests to truly see what level they were at. After all, they were, at the moment, unconscious, almost sleeping one might say, so their reiryoku was likewise at rest, making it impossible to do more than speculate about what their current upper limits were. He had considered introducing some appropriately traumatic stimuli to the rest of the information he was downloading into their minds in case it could trigger a suitable reaction but had chosen not to. Considering who their parents were, it was possible they could create quite the mess if they went too far and attracted attention he would rather not have aimed in his direction until much later. Once he felt the four were ready to be unveiled to the rest of the Gotei 13 as shining examples of what he could do for Soul Society, then he’d remove the shroud of secrecy.

Until then, only he and that witless woman Nemu would know the truth.

~Speaking of that worthless play doll, what is taking her so long with those fresh samples?!~ He thought with some mild irritation as he walked over to the console that was hooked into the security cameras.

Since the project had begun, he had taken countless samples from a wide variety of Seireitei and had collected them always at night in order to minimize the likelihood of the tech bug being noticed. However, in the last week, he had found himself lacking samples large enough from two of the candidates he’d selected, so he’d ordered Nemu to dispatch the tech bug to collect the samples even though the sun was just peeking over the horizon. In his mind, the two candidates were probably still asleep and, even with the less than pitch black sky outside, he was confident the samples could be obtained without risk of discovery.

If that was the case then why wasn’t that emotionless wretch back yet!?

He received his answer one minute later when three people walked into view at the front gates of the Technological Development Department. One he immediately identified as Nemu but it was the two others that caught her eye and made him personally promise to give his creation a severe punishment for causing him such trouble. Walking behind his lieutenant in a manner obviously implying that they were forcing her to lead them to him was none other that Captains Kuchiki Byakuya and Soi Fon. He could not see their faces well enough to discern what they were thinking but it was not necessary as he was all too aware what sort of people they were. Not that it mattered what they were thinking since all that truly mattered was what he was going to do next.

That, of course, was to enact his primary contingency protocols.

Unlike some of his subordinates, ^he^ had the foresight to plan ahead and anticipate potential problems before they occurred. In this case he’d already put into place certain features into this lab in the event one of his personal projects was in danger of premature exposure. For this project especially he’d prepared a method of continuing it in the event that his personal lab was no longer safe for continued experimentation.

Walking over to the consoles at the foot of each containment tube, he initiated phase one of his contingency plans with just a few quick keystrokes. With the final button pressed on each console an eerie blue light began to fill the tubes and, once it reached sufficient brightness, the bodies inside began to fall apart like a sand sculpture in the wind. However, unlike what some imbeciles might think, he was not terminating his specimens but rather preparing them for travel to their new containers. It didn’t take long and by the time it was done all that remained in the four transparent tubes were four glowing spheres of light.

Once he was satisfied that the last of their physical forms had been destroyed, he brought online his own version of the Senkaimon. It was smaller and nothing larger than an average person’s head would fit through but, unlike the World Penetration Gate, there was no Parsing World to travel through. The objects sent through went straight into the realm of the living and so there was no need for a Jigokuchō or a living person to guide them to their destination. As four swirling pools of blackness appeared at the bottom of each tube, he immediately began to input the destination co-ordinates for each individual specimen. Three of the four would be going to one location while the final one would go to another. The reason for this is that he wanted the last specimen to act as a contrast sample so he could determine the effects the energy fields of the two locations on his specimens. It only took three minutes to prepare everything and a final push of a button for all four to vanish into the holes of darkness, eliminating the most incriminating of the evidence in the lab.

With that witless woman leading them, he suspected he had another ten minutes before they arrived at his lab and so he began going through the documents scattered throughout the room. He destroyed those that would be hard to explain and ‘spilled’ some ink on the more questionable parts of the remaining pieces of paper. True, with some work it was possible the ink could be removed but so long as he didn’t do anything to warrant a deeper investigation, he doubted the effort would be put forth to do so. When the last of the documents taken care of, he stood in the middle of the room and waited for his unwanted visitors to arrive. He already had an effective cover story pretty much finished in his mind and all that was left was to measure the level of their resolve. Once he had an accurate read on that factor it would be all too easy for him to adjust his story to fit things perfectly.

There was no chance of them seeing through his carefully planned deception.

They weren’t scientists.

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And so the years did pass, both in Soul Society as well as in the world of the living, changing things in strange yet interesting ways. In Soul Society, Kurotsuchi-Taichō was moderately reprimanded for taking DNA samples from several Soul Society residents, including several prominent members of the Gotei 13. However, since there were no suitable replacements for his role both as captain of the 12th division and as the head of the Technological Development Department, he was simply placed under observation by 2nd division. When two full years passed, all observation was withdrawn, allowing the demented scientist to resume worth without any distractions.

As for the four specimens he’d sent into the mortal world, they found a new means of living on by taking residence in the bodies of four women pre-selected by Kurotsuchi. Possessing a measure of reiryoku, they were suitable incubators for the four specimens until the quartet were capable of sustaining themselves on their own. Concealed within mortal shells, the protection on them was doubled when taking into account the energy fields inherent in the area in which they lived making sure that unless someone specifically knew where to find them they would never be found.

However, like all hidden things, it was inevitable that they would one day be found.

The manner that lost things were found differed from case to case but it was safe to say that few indeed could have predict the scenario that was about to unfold.

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October 31st, 1997
Sunnydale High School, Library, 2:30p.m
Xander’s P.O.V


~Snyder you ^asshole^!~ He thought as he entered Giles’ place of work. ~I swear, when it rains, it fuckin’ pours!~

First Snyder had roped the gang into chaperoning a group of ankle-biters rather than enjoy a night in watching horror movies and then Buffy had practically dusted his rep among the guy’s of the school. He might not have had a good reputation among the teenage guys to begin with but at least they didn’t think of him as a sissy-man that needed a tiny blonde to fight for him up until today. Whenever he thought about what he’d be in for tomorrow, he couldn’t help but feel bitter towards Buffy and perhaps just a little bit angry. He would have preferred to get his ass kicked by Larry in front of the whole school since at least then it would have been him fighting his own battles. He didn’t mind getting help with vamps and demons since, while he had some pride, it wasn’t worth getting himself killed over. Now, though, he’d have to rebuild his rep from the ground up and hopefully by the time he graduated he’d have earned back at least some respect from his peers.

At the moment, though, he had to take a quick flip through some of Giles’ books to get an idea for his Halloween costume. He’d originally planned on just using some army surplus fatigues he’d purchased a week ago and then buy a toy gun when he went with Willow and Buffy to the new costume shop that had recently opened. A week ago that would’ve been good enough but now, with his reputation in pieces, he needed something with a little extra coolness to it. A simple soldier didn’t have that. So he was hoping if he looked through some of Giles dusty books he’d get the inspiration he’d need for his new costume.

Picking a random bookshelf on the upper level in the back of the library, he began to read the titles on the side of every book in the hopes that something would jump out at him. That plan didn’t work out all that well at first since some of the books were written in a language that made about as much sense as trying to understand the difference between sea foam green and slate green (which, according to Buffy and Willow, was huge). Eventually, though, he came upon a book about seventeenth century Japan and this brought up images of all the badly dubbed samurai movies he and Jesse had watched growing up. It had been mostly corny stuff with bad fight scenes and some stupid lines but every once and a while they managed to catch one that was cool. The way that they lived and fought had been enough to bring about many a duel of honor in the backyard of Jesse’s house with pieces of wood for swords. Of course this had also led to quite the lecture from Jesse’s mom when he’d accidentally hit his best friend in the arm, breaking it. He hadn’t been invited over for three whole weeks, by which time Mrs. McNally had forgiven him enough to let her only son play with him again. Flipping through the pages of the book, his old love of samurai and battles for honor were returning, bringing nostalgia over times past with them.

It was when he came upon a picture that took up an entire page though that something clicked within him and he knew he’d found the inspiration. The picture was of a tall man in typical samurai outfit, like the type that they’d wear at official meetings, with a sword at his hip and an eye patch over his right eye. According to what he could make out of the writing, the guy was a powerful swordsman during the seventeenth century in Japan who’d taken down many powerful demons. The name was too hard for him to say so he wouldn’t bother using it, but the overall look was exactly what he’d been looking for; a badass samurai warrior wearing a sword at his hip and known all over Japan for his ability to chop demons into tiny pieces. Definitely manly and intimidating so, with a little luck, it’d take the edge off the humiliation he suffered earlier. With that in mind he took out a piece of paper from his backpack and immediately began to write down what he’d need to come up with costume that looked exactly like it. Some stuff he figured he could get from the local hand-me-down store but as for the rest… well, he’d probably have to raid what used to be his mother’s sewing room.

Once upon a time, Jessica Harris had actually had the ambition to open up a seamstress shop in Sunnydale. She’d even converted a room in their home into a small workroom where she could work on any jobs she took home with her. However those plans had come to a crashing halt once Tony had taken a look at how much it would cost to start a place like that up. Then, as it was now, the abusive drunken bastard was the main money earner in the family whereas the rest of them were more or less dependants. So since it was the old man’s money, the deadbeat father had control over it and what he said went. Needless to say spending money on patching up clothes belonging to strangers didn’t appeal to Anthony Harris as much as spending money on some quality booze. That was the end of that but the room was still there filled with some odd supplies, including a few rolls of fabric that would suit his costume well.

~There! Don’t know how good it’s going to look when it’s all done but it’ll be better than nothing.~ He thought as he finished his list and put the book back on the shelf.

Folding up the piece of paper and putting it into his back pocket, he quickly left the library since he knew he only had a little over half an hour before he was due to meet Willow and Buffy at that new costume place. Snyder had let them off a half hour early to prepare for their chaperoning but he knew that was something the Principal had done with great reluctance. As far as the troll was concerned, any excuse he had to make the lives of the students under his charge more difficult had to be used and milked for all it was worth. He figured one of the teachers or maybe someone on the PTA had forced Flutie’s replacement to show some flexibility.

He’d have to remember to find out who it was and thank them.

He was almost out of the front gates when he spotted something odd to the right and so, being the curious person he was, he turned his head to see what it was. He immediately spotted Cordy walking up to her expensive car in the parking lot and ^boy^ did it look like the she was having a bad day. Oh, she didn’t show it, obviously, but to someone who’d encountered her a dozen times over he could tell that she was tense and perhaps a bit distracted. Thinking back, he thought he could remember a few other times he’d seen her like that but whenever he’d felt concerned enough to ask her what was wrong, she’d just lash out at him before waltzing away with her nose up in the air. Eventually he’d gotten a clue and stopped trying to help her when she was acting like she was at the moment figuring it had to be something personal.

Maybe her father had cut her allowance again or something.

With a shake of his head, he turned away from her and continued out of the front gates of the school before turning left towards the hand-me-down store. He knew the old man who ran it since that was the place he often had to get new clothes when the old ones became too worn out for him to wear. Contrary to what he claimed when others made fun of him, he didn’t actually ^like^ those god awful shirts but he’d rather others think he did than pity him for being so damn poor. Still, with his father drinking away most of the money that came into the Harris home, he couldn’t afford to be picky about what he wore.

In any case, he dropped enough cash in the place that the old man who ran it occasionally cut him a deal or set aside some of the better stuff. With a bit of luck he’d be able to find everything he needed quickly enough that he wouldn’t be late meeting up with the others at ‘Ethan’s’ so he could get the final piece of his costume.

The one thing he wouldn’t find in a hand-me-down store or in some abandoned room in his home.

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Ethan’s Costume Shop, 3:15pm, Ethan Rayne’s P.O.V


~Well, well, well! What do we have here?~ Ethan thought as he took in the three teenagers entering his shop.

It had been a busy day with many people, both young and old, stopping in to buy last minute costumes. They probably thought that he’d sell them at a reduced price considering Halloween night was upon them and the outfits would be worthless tomorrow. Considering he wouldn’t have any use for the costumes or the shop after tonight, he’d decided to oblige his customers and charge only half what he actually spent on the various get-ups. Also considering he’d gotten the funds for this little game of his from a man who claimed to like stirring things up, he didn’t mind one bit since it wouldn’t cost him one red cent. All that mattered was that he had to maximize the chaos that would be produced tonight in order to make sure that Lord Janus got his fill.

Still, it got rather tiresome putting on a ‘friendly face’ while playing the role of humble shopkeeper.

With the arrival of these three, though, he had a feeling things would get a bit more interesting. One of the things he’d done before even passing through Sunnydale’s borders was gather information on all the big players in town. Whenever one was about to play in someone else’s sandbox, it paid to learn in advance who owned it as well as who played in it. He hadn’t been able to get a name on the top dog of Sunnydale, everyone he asked claimed not to know, but the various reputable players he had learned quite a bit about.

The first thing he learned about was that Spike and his insane bird, Drusilla, were the current celebrities on the Hellmouth with rumor saying that the Billy Idol look-a-like had come here to get his girl’s strength back. Both were dangerous former members of the vampire group known as the Scourge of Europe and not to be taken lightly. That was why he’d made sure to place wards both the store and the place he’d rented for two months. They were only temporary but it would be enough for his needs.

However it was the other group he’d learned about that had caught his interest the most, the group that his old friend Ripper was a part of and guided.

It had been years since he’d last spoken to his old chum, with the most he’d learned since they’d last stood in the same room being that Rupert had gone back to his father with his tail between his legs. He hadn’t believed it for the first five years or so but, when he stopped hearing about the exploits of the Ripper he knew, it had to be the truth. Now here his old friend was, Watcher to a Slayer, acting all stiff and proper while valiantly fighting against the demon hordes.

It was enough to make him vomit. It disgusted him how much his old friend had fallen.

However, in the three teenagers that had entered his store, he saw a way to have some fun at his old friend’s expense and thumb his nose at the natural order of things that the Slayer represented. Oh, yes, he knew that the blonde, one Buffy Summers, was the Slayer and had racked up quite the reputation having already vanquished both Lothos and The Master. Most of the stories he’d been told implied that she wasn’t a Council-raised Slayer and that she wasn’t the sort that would conform to the wishes of that group of bores.

He rather liked that about her. Not enough to make him spare her but enough that place a one-time protective spell on her costume that would disappear after saving her life precisely once.

~As for her friends… well, let’s take a peek at them, shall we?~ He thought as he muttered a quick incantation to activate his Mage Sight.

Mage Sight was an ability that all magic users had to one degree or another but ^what^ they saw was dependent on their power level. A weakling would, at best, be able to tell if there was something odd about what they were looking at. A user of moderate strength would be able to pick up on specific details of that oddness and perhaps specifically identify the phenomena being looked at. The high-class users could make out every detail of the supernatural or magical phenomena and even see the flow of energy itself. He was a moderate user and so he could see quite a bit but what he saw in the trio had him puzzled to a surprising degree.

His Sight allowed him to see the Slayer essence imbued within Summers and it allowed him to see that the redhead had the potential to become a great magic user. The young man wasn’t to be left out as he had the residue of a possession stuck to his aura as well as a certain… smell of chaos about him. That brought a smile to his face. However that was not what had him puzzled but rather the signs of a powerful binding spell existing in all three of them. He couldn’t see the spell itself, much less identify it, but the ripples it was giving off and the effect it had on the rest of their bodies was plain to see. Such a sight made him curious and his curiosity had ever been a weakness of his, so of course he had to find out just what was being bound within the three of them.

Especially if what he learned could be used to push Ripper’s buttons.

With that in mind he promised himself that he would add a little something extra to their costumes that would open a crack in the binding spell. Nothing too large and, if he was right about the spell, it would heal over on its own within a day or two of the crack forming.

Watching as the trio made their way around the store, he waited for precisely the right moment to strike and slip his little extra something into their purchases. Seeing the young man separate from his two lady friends, he decided to make the boy his first victim and slowly made his way towards the lad. By the time he was roughly ten feet away from the ally of the Slayer, he could tell that the teenager was sifting through the various plastic swords that had been placed in the bargain bin. A bit discouraging that the boy was looking for an accessory rather than a full costume but perhaps he could persuade the lad to go the extra mile for a full costume. Not that it was strictly necessary for the spell, a single item would have the necessary effect on the customer, but it would provide him with a better opportunity to slip his ‘cracking spell’ into the mix.

“Is there something I could help you with young man?” he asked, bringing his ‘shopkeeper impression’ to its greatest level yet.

“YIPE! Don’t ^do^ that!” exclaimed the young man as he turned around in surprise.

“Terribly sorry. My name is Ethan and this is my store.” He said with a passable look of regret on his face, “Now is there anything in particular that you’re looking for?”

“Yeah, do you have any samurai swords?” asked the young man, taking a glance back at the bargain bin, “I see a lot of swords for knights in shining armor but no katanas.”

~A samurai? Not exactly chaos-inspiring.~ He thought before asking, “I think I might have something to your liking. Could you perhaps tell me a bit more about whom you are dressing up as?”

“I was thinking of going out as this badass wandering samurai,” replied the teenage boy, clearly enthusiastic about his costume idea. “No master and no home. Just his skills with the sword.”

~A masterless samruai whose life revolves around his skills, eh?~ He thought as a bit of a grin as his mind came up with a few possibilities.

“I think I might have just the sword you’re looking for,” he stated with an encouraging smile. “If you’ll wait right here, I’ll back in just a bit.”

Seeing the boy nod, he briskly walked to the back room of the store and, once he was sure that the curtain was securely shut, he went over to the boxes containing his prop shipment. Opening up the cardboard box, he began to look for a katana as the boy had asked and was, for a time, annoyed as he discovered nothing but European style plastic swords. He was almost ready to give up when he happened upon what he sought and, after checking it over to make sure there was nothing wrong with it, he began to move back towards the business area of the store. However, just as he reached out to part the curtain, his eyes snagged on a small box of trinkets. The box was only half full as the rest of the contents were already next to the cash register but when he looked at what remained, a whim hit him, causing him to select three things from it that he would offer to the young man. They wouldn’t clash with the lad’s idea and it would increase the hold Janus’ power would have on him when the spell was cast.

It would be interesting to see what effect they had on identity he would assume.

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Sunnydale, The Summers Home, 3:40pm, Buffy’s P.O.V


~Angel is going to go totally non-verbal when he sees this!~ Buffy thought as she twirled for the tenth time in front of the full-length mirror in her room.

They had gotten back from the costume shop about ten minutes ago and immediately had gone up to get dressed. Willow was in the bathroom slipping into the clothes that had been purchased at the store and hopefully wouldn’t be much longer. They had twenty minutes to get from her home to the school or else Snyder would have another excuse to give them all detention or worse. Xander would be arriving soon in his outfit and, she had to admit, she was a little curious as to what precisely it was he planned on dressing up as for tonight. All she’d seen him purchase at the store was a plastic sword and a small bag that had something in it.

Was he going to be a pirate? Or maybe a knight in shining armor?

She had to smile a bit at that image since it seemed oddly suitable for Xander to pretend to be a noble defender of justice.

It was something to look forward to at the very least but her thoughts were derailed as she heard the door to the bathroom open. Turning to see how her best friend looked, she was pleased to see the things she’d picked out went together so well on the redhead. A long sleeved, skintight, red shirt started things off that showed of an ample amount of her trim stomach that would totally draw the eyes of any guy. A mini-skirt was next that, while not as short as it could have been had been, it was as far as she thought she’d be able to convince her friend to go in that department. As for footwear she gone with some black shoes that came up halfway to her knees with heels that would give her a little more height then she otherwise would have. When the two other pieces were added to the way her hair was done up, she was positive that this would put a crack in the ‘little sister’ image Xander had of Willow in his head. Helping the straight ‘A’ student in her quest to become girlfriend to Xander’s boyfriend was the least she could do after the only daughter of Sheila and Ira Rosenberg had been so supportive of her relationship with Angel.

“B-Buffy…I’m not sure i-if this is such a good idea.” Willow said, sounding like she was one more doubt away from running back to the bathroom to change into more comfortable clothes.

“Wills! You’re never going to snag Xander if you keep looking like someone’s shy kid sister,” she said, bringing her friend in front of the mirror she’d been using. “You gotta make yourself so hot that any thought of calling you sister will go poof like a staked vamp.”

She could see Willow’s desire to get Xander to look at her in a romantic manner giving her some strength but whether it would be enough to keep from hiding later on was anyone’s guess.

Hearing the doorbell ring, she turned to Willow, “That must be Xander! Wait three minutes and then follow me down. He is so going to drool when he sees you!!”

Without waiting to see or hear what her friend had to say, she left her room and made her way down the stairs to see what Xander had come up with for a costume. Careful not to stumble over her own dress as she went, she got to the bottom of the stairs and opened the front door. The sight that greeted her was odd but it worked for the first friend she’d made when she’d arrived in Sunnydale.

Starting at the top she could see that his hair was pretty much the same, if a bit messier than usual and hanging from one ear was a fake earring with a little bell hanging from it. However her noticing the earring came second to the patch he had over his right eye, given the detail and quality of the accessory. It definitely wasn’t one of those cheap plastic kinds but rather looked like actual leather with some sort of Japanese letter or word embedded into it with something dark red. Moving on down she saw that he wore some sort of black karate outfit with a sleeveless white coat over it, as though it was supposed to be a sign of importance. A plastic katana was tucked beneath the white belt around his waist and on his feet were some white socks with sandals. All in all he looked like quite the samurai, even if the white coat looked a little raggedy around the edges.

“And what’re you supposed be, Xand?”

“Miyamoto Sōzaemon,” he replied with a decent bow. “A wandering swordsmen with no home and a past he’d rather not remember, doing his best to live an honorable life.”

“Sounds pretty badass!” She declared with genuine admiration before hearing someone approaching the top of the stairs. “But wait until you see—“

Turning around, she expecting to see Willow in her smokin’ hot outfit but instead what she found was a big white sheet with eye holes poked in the right spots. She’d seen Willow sneak something in with their outfits when they’d gone to the cash register to pay for them but she’d been distracted speaking with Xander, so she hadn’t gotten a good look at it. Now she realized it must have been one of those ghost costumes in the plastic bags by the cash register. She had to sigh at the sight before her as it meant that Willow had chosen to retreat back into her shell rather than take a brave step forward.

“Nice lookin’ boo ya got there, Willow.” Xander said with a friendly half-smile on his face.

“You look good too, Xander,” the redhead said from beneath the white sheet.

“Thanks. Well, we’d better get going if we want to get to the school on time,” Xander said as he half turned back towards the closed door. “No doubt Herr Snyder is just waiting for a chance to dump more detention on us.”

“Then lead on, noble swordsman,” she said, doing her best noblewoman impression. “Let us be off.”

The silence lasted for a full three seconds before they all burst out laughing at the corniness of her little act. She had to admit it was a bit silly but it was Halloween after all, so it was a night when you could act as crazy and weird as you liked without having to worry one bit about the repercussions. Without a word being spoken they left the 1630 Revello Drive and began walking towards the school where their own group of little brats waited for them to chaperon them around town trick or treating. She knew she shouldn’t call them names like that but, when Giles had told her that Halloween was dead to the undead, she had been so hopeful that she could have the night off and spend it with Angel. She knew that it was only two hours that she had to take the kids around for, but that was still two hours that she could have spent getting ready for her date.

~Still, the kids don’t deserve my bad attitude.~ She thought before taking a deep breath to release some of her annoyance.

She knew what it was like dealing with someone older in a bad mood from all the time she bumped into Snyder. No kid as young as the kind she’d be taking care of deserved to have their Halloween ruined by a chaperon snapping at them every five minutes. Instead, they deserved someone who’d help them to have fun and maybe learn a few tricks about getting more candy then they otherwise would if they’d gone about on their own. It would certainly improve her mood to see the smiles on their little faces so that maybe when she dropped them off Angel wouldn’t sense that anything had been wrong to begin with.

Then they could have their date without a bad mood hanging between them and she could make up for being late last night, for being late and for leaving him with ^Cordelia^ of all people!

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Warehouse Vampire Lair, Same Time, Spike’s P.O.V


~Slayer likes to play and play well she does.~ Spike thought as he continued to review the recording of blonde’s fight the previous night.

He’d been standing in front of the TVs for almost the entire day watching the same fight over and over again to learn as much as he could about the little bird he was going to kill. Normally he wouldn’t have bothered but there was something… different about this one, something that set her apart from the other Slayers he’d killed since becoming a vampire, and it wasn’t the fact that she had friends or family. It was something else and, until he figured it out, he wasn’t going to be a bloody idiot and fight her carelessly. That’s the way that those straight from the ground fought and look how they ended up, staked and dusted.

He, on the other hand, was smart. He knew the value of stalking your prey before going in for the kill and Summers was definitely someone in need of stalking.

He was about to rewind the tape one more time to watch the fight when he heard the sounds of someone moving around and moving things around quickly coming from Dru’s room. That was a bit odd since none of his minions were allowed back there and Drusilla was usually pretty quiet during the day. Setting the remote control down, he walked to her room to see what was up and found his lethal lover frantically packing her suitcases as though she was racing the clock. This was odder than usual for her and, seeing as how she was a few chips short of an order, that was saying something.

“Pet? Is something wrong, luv?” he asked evenly while the insane lady vampire continued to stuff her belongings into suitcases.

“Must run! Must get away! The emissary of blood and death comes tonight!” Drusilla exclaimed without looking in his direction. “He shall awaken the four and all shall fall to dust in their wake!”

“Emissary of blood and death, huh? Sounds like the sort of bloke we could use on our side to take the Slayer down a peg.” Spike said, wondering what sort of demon his Dru was so worried about.

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, the lady vampire stopped dead in her tracks and fixed him with a surprisingly lucid look, a look that clearly said ‘ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND!?!’.

Again, considering how insane she usually was, this made something of an impression on him. The last time she’d been this worked up and this lucid had been just before that mob in Prague had found them and the two of them had barely managed to get out of that tight spot in one piece. If another one of those nights was about to come about, it’d probably be in both their interests to leave Sunnydale within the hour. The only thing that made him reluctant to do so was that the Hellmouth was the most promising of the various places he’d heard could restore Dru to full health. Nothing would ever be good enough to piece her mind back together, not after the job ^he^ did on it, but at least he could physically make her better. He didn’t want to leave Sunnydale unless he absolutely had to.

“Alright, alright! How about I go take a look see around town tonight?” he asked in an effort to change the look she was giving him. “If I see this so-called ‘emissary of blood and death’ and he’s as nasty as you say, we’ll leave as soon as I get back. That alright with you, pet?”

This got a nod out of her before she resumed packing her things as though she was sure he’d come to the same conclusion as her before the night was out. Shaking his head, he left her room and began moving to the entrance/exit he usually used. With a gesture or sharp word he grabbed a couple of minions along the way to follow him about. If the one Dru was so worried about really turned out to be death on two legs, then he’d need them as cannon fodder if nothing else to buy him time to get away.

Not that he was a bloody coward or anything. He just didn’t fight battles that he couldn’t win, that was all. Any moron who threw his life away fighting a battle he couldn’t win was too stupid to live and deserved to die.

He, on the other hand, was a survivor. He’d be around until the sun went out and the last mortal thing on planet finally dropped dead in front of him because ^he^ was the one that ripped its throat out.

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Sunnydale High School, Student Lounge Area, 3:58p.m, Willow’s P.O.V


“God must have taken pity on you and your gang, Summers.” Snyder growled as he approached them, “You actually managed to get here on time. Now get over with the others so I can explain everything!!”

~Cranky as usual.~ Willow thought as she walked beneath her ghost costume along with the others to where the ‘volunteers’ were gathered.

Then again, the only time she’d ever seen the high school principal in a good mood was when he was in the middle of making someone else’s life miserable. The rest of the time he acted like his life was miserable and he was going to make everyone else know it and feel the same sort of misery, whether they liked it or not. For what had to be the hundredth time she wondered who had decided that putting Snyder in the position of high school principal was a good idea. Not that she’d ever say anything out loud to that effect while she was on school property but, just like her friends, she’d muttered something bad about the little troll when it was safe to say so. She was pretty sure that, with the exception of a few suck ups, every student and every teacher had similar opinions of the man in charge of the high school. However, as the teachers wanted to keep their jobs and the students had to attend classes, both parties did their best to just put up with the bully while counting down the days to when they could leave him behind for good.

Being one of the smartest people in school, she hadn’t been the focus of his bad mood all that often. In fact, the majority of the time he did choose to ruin her day was to ridicule her for hanging out with Buffy or Xander since Snyder was convinced they were losers or troublemakers. She didn’t care what that man thought. Xander might not be a star athlete or Buffy a straight A student, but they were true friends and that made them precious to her.

Whether they’d be precious enough to throw away her academic future over, she wasn’t quite sure yet. She guessed that it’d depend on the circumstances.

Turning her attention back to Principal Snyder, she waited for him to begin his explanation.

“Alright, you degenerates! This is how it’s going to be,” Snyder said, looking at the lined up teenagers before him. “The ‘children’ have been separated into twenty groups. I will assign you a number and that will be your group. You may ^NOT^ trade them with each other if you don’t like the kids. Now shut up and let me give you your number.”

For the next few minutes she watched as the principal walked to each ‘volunteer’ and slapped a sticker on their chest that matched the one they’d been given. For her, she’d gotten the number twelve, Xander had gotten the number eleven and Buffy the number two. The most powerful man in Sunnydale High seemed to take pleasure in slapping down the stickers hard enough to make them wince but fortunately handing out twenty stickers along with twenty numbers didn’t take that many minutes to finish.

“The ‘children’ will now be brought in and they will go with the student they’ve been assigned to,” Snyder said, stepping back from them to glare at the group as a whole. “You will not speak to them any more than you have to. They don’t need any of your bad influence rubbing off on them.”

With those words the angry little man walked to a nearby classroom with the chatter of children emerging from it once the door opened. Looking at the others, she could see that none of them had had their moods improved by Snyder’s presence or by how he’d given them their groups. When she saw the children begin to file out of the classroom, though, she had a feeling things would only get worse since the kids looked like they’d been placing bets on who could make their chaperon crazy first.

In other words, your usual spoiled brats.

It soon became obvious that the reason why students were being asked to show the kids around rather than a member of their own families; it was to give their families a break from the punk kids who made their lives a living hell every other night of the year.

~Lucky us!~ She thought unable to keep herself from rolling her eyes.

“Are you ugly under that costume, lady?” asked the kid in the pirate costume in front of her.

~This kid is going to be lucky to make it to puberty with tact like that.~ She thought while trying to figure out a polite way of answering the little boy’s question.

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Ethan’s Costume Shop, 5:15pm, Ethan Rayne’s P.O.V


~Well now! I believe it is time to get this party started.~ Ethan thought as he finished locking the doors to his shop.

He’d just sold the last costume of the night and had seen off the last of the customers with the last of his ‘friendly shopkeeper’ routine. A silent prayer of thanks was sent to his Lord for that because if he had to put forth one more of those false smile, his mental twig would have snapped for sure. Still, it had been a means to an end and now it was time to bring about that end in the way he’d originally intended. Walking across the half empty store, he parted the curtains to reveal the object that would set the entire night in motion: a stone bust of the Roman god Janus.

With ease born of over fifteen years of practice, he knelt before the bust and, with equal ease, he pressed his palms together using a chip of ice made out of a unique substance to break the skin so that his blood could flow.

“The world that denies thee, thou inhabit.” he said as he dabbed a finger in the blood coming from his palm before smearing the substance over his right eyelid.

“The peace that ignores thee, thou corrupt.” he spoke as though changing as he repeated the previous action with his left eyelid and draws a bloody cross on his forehead.

“Chaos. I remain, as ever, they faithful, degenerate son.” He stated finally as the words served to establish a mystical connection with his Lord.

He could feel the tingle that always came with the bond and savored it with the knowledge that it would only grow in potency as the Roman god ate of the chaos that would be born this night. Indeed it would be the world’s greatest high and much more potent than anything he had experienced since first pledging himself to his Lord. Before tonight, the largest area he had tried to cast a spell of this type on was a big apartment building in Canada and that had left him giddy for days. The feeling he’d get from casting this spell on the entire town of Sunnydale would likely put him on cloud nine for a full month.

~Before we get that far though, I’d best put my little addition into play.~ He thought as he reached for a small vial with a faintly glowing liquid inside.

Placing the vial on the top of the bust, he imagined what would come next when it was time to put everything into play. When the main spell for the costumes was cast, the energy released would set off the liquid of Delphi inside, mixing the two energies before causing them to roll over the town. For most people they would feel nothing of consequence but based on what he had detected from the Slayer and her two friends, the released energy from the liquid should significantly destabilize the binding spells on them. It would be through his connection to the primary Janus spell that he would be able to take a peek at what lay within the seal. The unstable flux wouldn’t last for long, nor did he expect it to be enough to release whatever had been bound, but it would allow him see what he wanted to see.

As the light coming from the eyes of the bust reached their peak, he knew it was time to raise the curtain on this classic spell of chaos.

“Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe noctem pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas.” He chanted, feeling the forces that the spell allowed him to manipulate rise up invisibly to all except those with the eyes to see them.

It was quite a beautiful sight when you got right down to it but he did not let his concentration waver in the slightest. Mistakes could not be tolerated when performing a spell of this scale or else it could harm both caster as well as the receiver. While he might not care what happened to his ‘customers’, he very much cared about what happened to him and so he kept his mind on the task at hand.

“Persona se corpum et sanguium commutandum est. Vestra sancta praesentia concrescet viscera. Janus! Sume noctem!” he chanted louder than before, even though volume wouldn’t change the effect the spell would have.

The energies rose, weaved into the desired pattern and then with the shattering of the vial flew away from the focal point above the bust like ripples in a pond as they sought out the costumes they were meant for with the Delphi energy along for the ride.

“Showtime!” he said with a gleeful smile as he waited for the tingling within his body to begin its rise to unparalleled heights.

Little did he realize that the consequences of his actions would reach far beyond himself and those who had visited the store.

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As the spell swept over the town, those who bought items from Ethan Rayne’s store were overcome with changes both in mind and body. The little children became demons, teenagers became pirates and visiting college students turned into Big Foot-like creatures in the time it took to blink. Blinded as the populace usually was to all manner of supernatural and demonic phenomena, this event took them completely by surprise. The ones that survived past the first few minutes were the ones that accepted that those who had been costumed human beings had changed into potential threats to be wary of. Those that died in those first few minutes were those who clung foolishly to the idea that such transformations were impossible and that those that stood before them would not harm them.

The truth of those deaths would never become known, though.

Those who died would simply be written off by the police as victims of ‘gang members on PCP’.

Those who had perpetrated those acts while under the influence of the spell would either ruthlessly suppress the memories or be committed to asylums for the insane.

It would be different for five residents of Sunnydale, though.

Ethan Rayne had made a miscalculation when he made his little addition to the Janus spell. Had he not cast the spell to open a crack in the spell that bound something within four of them, the seals might have been enough to keep that which was within contained. However, with the crack created, the power of the being that would possess one Xander Harris had all the opening it needed to shatter the binding spell entirely, releasing that which was trapped within. More than that, the destruction of the spell in one of them resulted in the shattering of the seal in the other three as though each had been linked to the other. The reactions of the Slayer and her friends to the breaking of the binding spell varied but they were one in the undeniable consequence they would all have to face.

None of them would ever be the same again.

As for the fifth resident of Sunnydale, he would express disappointment that the binding spell he had placed on the four was no more. He would be angry because now there existed a threat to him that he had thought over and dealt with seventeen years ago. A threat that, with the help of legal aid from Los Angeles, should have lasted until the grim reaper came to claim the four.

This fifth person would spend the weeks that followed investigating what had happened and only the chaos Ethan Rayne served would keep him from being found right away.

As for the four once bound by the spell of the fifth… only time would tell how their futures would now unfold.

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The Location Where Xander Harris Once Stood


“What the… where the hell am I?” asked the form belonging to one Xander Harris, “An’ why the hell do I sound like some punk kid?”

Those were just two of the questions that were buzzing around his head as he tried to get over not being where he remembered being a few seconds ago. Last time he checked, he was in a meeting with the old man and the rest of them, talking about something and then he found himself here. It looked like some place in the mortal world but definitely no place Japanese if the writing on the street sign was any clue. Definitely not among the places he’d thought he’d pop up without warning.

Deciding that if he couldn’t figure out how he’d been brought to this place, he might as well figure out why his voice wasn’t right, he walked over to a nearby car he looked at one of its windows. He got the answer to his earlier question about sounding like a punk kid but it sure as hell wasn’t what he’d been expecting. Looking back at him wasn’t his usual ugly mug but someone who looked like he was fresh from the academy back in Soul Society. Still, there was something about the face that was bugging him a bit. He didn’t know what it was but, after taking a minute to think about it, tossed it behind him as something unimportant that could be dealt with later.

It only took a second for him to decide to start looking around the place to see if he could find someone who knew why the hell he’d been brought here and how he could get back. It was as he took his first few steps, though, that he realized he’d let his reiatsu slip a bit as everyone he could see was on the ground looking like their brains could barely remember how to breath. Not wanting to have to sit through a lecture by the old man about making a mess in the living world, he reigned it in by quite a bit. When he saw the people around him breathing easier and a few even managing to push themselves to their feet before stumbling away from him as fast as they could, he snorted.

Wimps.

Maybe in a couple of years they might be worth fighting if they bothered to try and make themselves stronger but right now they weren’t worth his time.

Walking through the streets, he caught a few things here and there that didn’t make sense. He could see puny demons running around making a fuss and he saw people that shouldn’t have been more than characters from some kid’s manga. It didn’t make any sense at all but he had to admit that it was more interesting than walking around someplace boring and normal. Some of the wierdos actually seemed strong enough to do some damage, seeing as how they were smashing up cars and concrete pretty easily. His mood lifted as he wondered if he might actually be able to find a decent fight in this town after all. If some were this strong, then maybe he could find someone good enough to give him a light workout or maybe even a real fight. With that in mind he stretched out with what little spirit sense he had to see if he could find out where the strongest in the town was. He didn’t care about any of the weaklings that might be running around and, while he’d settle for some of the decent ones if they crossed his path, the one that he ^wanted^ to fight was the strongest.

One by one he tried to sense who was the strongest and, while it was harder because something was stinking up the place enough to make it harder to find people, he eventually found the one he was after. It wasn’t reiatsu he was sensing but rather some other kind of energy but he didn’t mind. All that mattered to him was that it was strong and that he could probably get a good fight out of whomever it was so long as they had any idea of how to fight with that power. With an opponent in his sights, he broke into a run in order to find this person before someone stole them out from under him, forcing him to be satisfied with weaklings.

Making his way through the town, he didn’t let anything or anyone get in his way and used his reiatsu to smack aside anything that dared to try. A few minutes later he reached what looked to be a park but it wasn’t the trees or the benches that he had his eye on, but rather the red-clad being standing in the center of a circle of dead or unconscious bodies. He didn’t much care which but the sheer number of them made it undeniable that this was the one he wanted to fight and he wouldn’t let the man leave until they had fought.

“Well, isn’t this interesting,” he said, looking at the wounds on the bodies to get a feel for what the guy could do.

“Isn’t it?” asked the crimson-clad person as he turned to reveal sunglass-covered eyes. “I was quite surprised when I found myself in this hell-soaked town and this lot thought to take advantage of that. I don’t think they much liked my response.”

“Heh! Probably not.” He said as he drew his sword from its sheath, “But I’m thinkin’ that it’s one I’d like. Howsabout you let me hear it?”

With a glance he could see that the sword in his hand wasn’t his; it wasn’t chipped along the cutting edge for one thing, but that didn’t matter to him. It looked decent enough and he wasn’t having any trouble channeling his reiryoku into it, so it’d be good enough for what would come next.

“I suppose someone like would like it,” spoke the man dressed in red before reaching into the darkness and pulling out a dark sword inscribed with glowing red script.

“Before we get started, I think it’s only right that ya know the name of the guy that’s gonna kill ya,” he said before bringing his sword up into a ready position. “I’m captain of the 11th squad of the Gotei 13, Zaraki Kenpachi!”

“My name is Alucard of the Hellsing Organization,” stated Alucard as his red eyes gained a bloody glow to them. “Pleased to make your acquaintance!”

With the introductions out of the way, he charged forward while preparing to deliver an overhead slash to his foe but, when he brought it down, it was stopped about half a foot before it would have carved open the man’s head. Pushing down harder on his sword, he was pleased to see only a slight trembling of the blades and couldn’t help but smile. When he had originally sensed the man, he’d expected nothing more than a workout but now it was looking as though he would actually get to have some fun. Pushing off the enemy blade to get a little distance, he swung his sword from a different angle but found that to be blocked as well, though this time sparks flew from the friction between the two blades.

Hopping back about five feet, he looked at Alucard and was overjoyed to see not a bit of weakness coming from the man. No panting, no sign of any strain at all, but more than that it looked like the guy was enjoying the fight as much as he was.

“Nice power ya got there!” he said as he brought his reiatsu up a bit more, “You keep it right there! Don’t you dare let it go down ‘cause I’m havin’ way too much fun!!”

With that he pushed off the ground with his legs, closing the gap between himself and Alucard in the blink of an eye, causing their swords to come together with a clang that was heard for blocks in every direction. It would only be heard, though, because thanks to the power that the captain of the 11th division was letting loose, no being in possession of a spirit of any kind could summon the will to do anything but breath within a certain radius of the battle.

It only got worse as time went on.
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