Summary: This is my twist on a classical theme: Buffy comes back changed when Willow casts the resurrection spell. It is also my attempt to ‘reboot’ a classical comic, though you will have to read to know which one.
Rating: FR18 for now (may switch to FR 21 depending on if and how I continue this)
Fandoms I own nothing of: See end of chapter.Italics are for thoughts
Everything was dark in the oblong box. For a few months it had held the decaying remnants of a young woman, buried with much sadness near her mother’s by her sister and friends.
Suddenly, light exploded in darkness and the remnants tried to reassert themselves as a living body, but then the magic trying to force a soul out of the afterlife encountered an unexpected barrier. Matter was coming with said soul.
The corpse became dust, disintegrating as something materialized in the coffin and a sorceress screamed from the backlash on the surface.
The woman looked at the coffin, thinking she was thankfully petite enough to fit in it. Taking a small device from her belt, she considered her options as she read something on its screen.
“The regular six feet… No big deal and no worse than some of my parties in Father’s dungeons. Once I’m out… spanking Willow for being a naughty little witch seems a good idea…”
She took another device out of her belt and put it on her mouth and nose. Getting out of here would take her some time and the air in the coffin was already foul due to the corpse’s decomposition. Unsheathing her dagger, she started to attack the heavy lid, the material easily cut by the crystal blade. Hope the dirt is not too packed above… Should not be or all those vamps would not have such an easy time doing it…
She thought about what she had learnt from her friend’s mind during the brief contact the failed resurrection spell created. In a way, she understood her completely. The witch, considering the circumstances of her ‘death’ had thought she was in hell. But, as usual, she did not think about searching for all the facts before acting, like scrying on little old me… She would have been in for a surprise seeing her Buffy as me…
The master vampire known as Spike was looking at the person he had vowed to protect: Dawn Summers, the Slayer’s little sister. He did not really know what to do, what was actually happening as she glowed with intense green light, levitating one foot above the living room’s floor.
The light ceased and he caught her as she fell. Whatever happened to her had consequences. Her smell was a little different and her skin and face now showed subtle marks of an Asian heritage.
“Spike,” said the teenager, “Willow did something and… I felt her tear the dimensional walls, reach to…”
Her eyes started to glow with neon green light. She breathed and tried to calm.
“I can see it all, Spike…”
“See what, nibblet?”
“Something, no someone came through the portal Willow opened… It was not supposed to be like that. The portal was designed to handle energy… a soul and matter came through. Buffy! They were trying to bring her back!”
The light in her eyes faded. She got up and looked at the vampire.
“Buffy is back in Sunnydale, but not with the others. I can guide us to her.”
“Forget it, princess. Razor and his gang are roaming the streets and…”
She looked at him with that devastating pout she shared with her sister.
“You do everything I say without question, right?”
The teenager nodded.
The young woman was progressing through the earth and had a small thought for the mess this would do to her hair. She emerged in the cemetery, seeing traces of a relatively recent fight. Kneeling, she put a finger in a red puddle then tasted the liquid.
“Not human… a blood sacrifice… probably that fawn over here. You have really been a naughty girl, Willow, to delve so much in dark magic…”
A movement caught her eye: a hand was coming out of the earth in a nearby tomb. Getting up nimbly, she pressed a button on her dagger’s hilt, feeling it morph into a longsword in her hand.
With a decided stride, she walked to the tomb and the ‘man’ emerging from it. She had a bemused smile as he looked at her with hungry, yellow eyes on his ridged face. A swift strike and the head of the newborn vampire flew, soon fading to dust with its half-buried body.
“Well… welcome back to Sunnydale, I guess,” she said, sighing.
She concentrated, feeling the demonic energies coursing through the town. Before her ‘death’, it had been something at which she failed miserably. But Father made sure I mastered this, as everything else coming with the Slayer package and more… he really made sure I knew failure was not a healthy option. The Hellmouth is making much interference, but… the school is that way, so I can now ignore that signal… Demons in the streets, sowing chaos in my fief… unacceptable!
The woman known in this town as Buffy Anne Summers started to walk towards the nearest demonic source.
Spike was riding through the streets, Dawn sitting behind her on the motorcycle and giving him directions.
“Since when do you know how to do that?”
“It started after Buffy’s death. It was just some wild dreams at first, but I was mourning too much to care. After a while, I realized I could sense the Hellmouth, so I thought I maybe had something witchy but… Then, tonight, when I zoned out, I realized. I remember things, places I never went, at least not as Dawn or… rather not as this Dawn. But the Dawn that lives in space… or the other with the staff shaped like a key, they know and we’re all linked, each of us in every timeline since my blood opened the portal last spring.”
The vampire shuddered. He knew the girl was the avatar of something called the Key of Dagon that could, in the right circumstances, break the barriers between dimensions. To hide the Key from the Hell Goddess Glory, the order of monks tasked to guard it had made her human and inserted her in reality as Buffy’s kid sister, rewriting memories and records so that everything looked normal. It had worked until last May, when Glory had tried to use Dawn to get back to her demonic realm.
The ritual shedding Dawn’s blood at a precise point in time-space had started to tear the dimensions down. The fact it would destroy most of Creation was irrelevant to the insane goddess. In the end, Buffy had sacrificed herself to close the portal. But now… the monks created frickin’ Yog-Sothoth! A Dawn in every dimension, all of them linked and sharing power and knowledge… Calm down, it’s not the nibblet fault those idiot monks never realized there was a reason the Key was kept as a mindless energy ball.
He soon heard the sound of combat and, as he turned a corner, he saw a woman battling some of the demon bikers. He felt her familiar presence, stirring as always his demonic blood. He also noticed the outlandish outfit, lustrous chestnut hair and Asian, perhaps Chinese complexion, so similar to the one Dawn was now sporting.
Then he saw her face, the face of the Slayer he had loved and agonizingly seen become more and more worn out, until the exhausted Buffy welcomed death as a deliverance, five months ago. No such things now, only eyes with the hardness of diamond and an arrogant stride stating clearly and loudly that she was the alpha and that others only had to bow to her desires.
He looked with awe as she made a quick side-step, crystal sword sparkling in the night as it cut through vampire and bike alike in a single precise strike. A quick parry and the deadly blade sliced an attacking axe, right before plunging in a heart with a slight wrist move. Another step as she used the dying demon impaled on her sword as a shield before hitting a third enemy under the chin with a palm strike. Vertebrae broke with a sickening noise.
Again, this was not the way he was used to see Buffy Summers fight. The Slayer he knew had some grace, but she was mostly a brawler having learnt to fight and survive night after night. The woman in front of him had been trained to be a killer. Each strike and step was calculated, almost choreographed for maximum lethality. This was not the cat-like play Slayers often did. This was slaughter, clinical and pitiless.
Another group was coming down a street. Taking a disk similar to a hockey puck in her belt, the Slayer threw it in their direction, keeping a handle with a blinking button in hand. A sphere of blue-white light engulfed silently the approaching bikers, leaving only a crater of molten tar in the road.
That left her with only one adversary: a lizard-like, armored hulk, but he was obviously too near to use one of those grenades. He had to help her.
“No, please, stay here, Spike,” said Dawn in his ear as he started to dismount the bike. “He’s no match for her and you’re protecting me.”
He wondered if that crystal sword could cut through the skin of a demon reputed to be impervious to most blades when Buffy took the pistol in her belt holster. He had a thought that bullets would be no good either when the weapon fired a searing white ray. At first, the light seemed to only heat the armor plates, and then the demon started to fall apart, a sickly glow coursing through its flesh as it disintegrated.
“Raygun… she’s got a bloody…”
She put her pistol and blade - now reduced to dagger size - into their respective holsters, and came to them. Dawn dismounted from the bike and ran to hug her. Buffy let her fingers course on her sister’s face.
“By Tao! Did the spell ‘update’ you, Dawn?”
“I’m made of your blood, sister. You change, I change… It’s so good to have you back!”
Buffy hugged her little sister back, smiling. She turned her eyes to the blonde vampire.
“Spike… for being my sister’s gallant knight, you have my gratitude…”
He managed not to look too surprised by all this… wrongness. The Buffy he knew would have scolded him for letting the nibblet outside after dusk.
“Tell me, Sir Spike… how long since the battle against Glory and my swan dive in the portal?”
“Roughly five months,” said the blonde vampire.
“It was a lot longer for me and, as you both saw, I changed.”
“If Dawn’s certain you are you… I believe her. How much longer?”
“Years. I will explain, but let me do something about the chaos in town first, then we will find the others and I will tell you my story.”
“Finding them will…”
He felt the Slayer’s presence grow, heavy with killing intent, then explode in a magical dragon’s roar that every demon and sorcerer in miles could feel. Immediately, he felt an abject need to kneel before her, to beg for her mercy, but it was cut short by a tinge of neon green light covering him, and he seemed to hear the voice of Dawn whispering: “Mine!”
“That was mean, Buffy,” yelled Dawn! “There are a lot of peaceful demons in town! And Tara, she…”
“Peace, sister. They will be a little scared all right, but our enemies are now fleeing, fearing my wrath.”
“Okay… You have a lot to explain, but let’s find the others first. They’re probably at the Magic Box.”
Buffy nodded and checked one of the demons’ bikes, mounting it and starting the engine.
Dawn and Spike followed her as she rode through the streets. Again, the vampire felt that wrongness. That she knew perfectly well where to go was normal, but the ease with which she maneuvered the motorcycle was incompatible with what he knew about her style of driving. They dismounted in front of the shop known as the Magic Box and went to the door.
Xander Harris was worried. The vampire bikers had trashed the Buffy-bot, as they called the android they had used to give the illusion that the Slayer was still alive and maintain some level of control on the town’s demonic population. Moreover, the spell to bring Buffy back had some strange results. Willow was kind of delirious, blathering nonsense since they came back from the cemetery.
Then, a few minutes ago, Tara had started to scream and was still shaking, cuddling with Willow for comfort. She had said something about a dark presence and he thought he had felt something too, like the roar of a beast clenching his guts.
“An, did you…”
“I felt it too, Xander. Something just claimed this town and it’s far stronger than Razor and his gang…”
Anya Jenkins looked thoughtfully at her boyfriend. As an ex-demon, she had felt the wave, the kind of spell the demons rarely dared to use in this day and age, not when the idea was to stay hidden among the humans.
“It felt familiar somehow,” she said.
“It was,” said Tara, collecting herself a little. “It… it was the Slayer, but I’m not sure it was Buffy… It felt so dark and ruthless…”
“Xander,” said Anya, “the message in that wave was simple: submit to my rule or die. Buffy can be rough, but that was the kind of arrogance that makes my old boss proud.”
“My… my,” said a feminine voice from the door. “Should I feel flattered or annoyed?”
Xander nearly plunged on the crossbow that rested on the table and saw her raise an amused eyebrow. First, he saw her clothes, something that looked out of a kung-fu flick on ancient China but also curiously high-tech. Then he saw her face, at the same time familiar and alien.
“It’s her, Xander,” said the shaking voice of Willow. “May the Goddess help us, it’s her.”
“I was not in hell. It may have felt like it at some point, but it wasn’t hell. It was also a lot longer for me than for you.”
“Roughly thirty years. And before you ask, I don’t age like you Earthlings do.”
“You Earthlings,” asked Xander with round eyes?
“You see,” said the Slayer while sitting on the table, “the portal duplicated my body, but as the one on this side died from the fall, my soul went through with the other one. So I materialized in another point in space-time. The funny thing was that I did not change of universe. I only traveled some… well many light-years and thirty years in the past.”
“How do you know that,” asked the young man?
“Because Earth is on the maps of the place I spent that time. Not as an important world, but on it anyway. To get back to my story, I crashed in the lab of the man I would soon call Father. He was doing some experiments on dimensions that attracted me. I was a complete wreck, physically and mentally, but he saw an opportunity in me. A few weeks in a tank later and I was back to baby stage, with half of my DNA replaced by his, which explains my current tan.”
“He wanted an heir. He had noticed the Slayer and altered the spell bonding her to me, fusing us once and for all. Normally, the Slayer is still mostly human medically speaking, her magic powering her heightened capacities. In my case, my biology reflects what the Slayer can do and any children I have will inherit that, male or female.”
“Which means you will have to train me, sister, as the monk’s spell saw fit to update my biology to mirror yours,” said Dawn.
“Indeed. If you want to know how I could let that man do that to me, he also erased my memory. I only got it back… well five months ago, after living for thirty years as his darling daughter.”
“Could the powers have meddled to be sure you would not change the timeline,” asked Dawn?
“Possible, but nothing certain. Even Whistler would have a rough time getting into the Palace.”
“One question: I’ve seen you fight, Slayer,” said Spike. “Why did…”
“He have me trained so? Well… At one point, I had to escape nearly an assassination attempt per month, so I asked Father to have his own assassins teach me every trick of the trade… As he was raising me to be a scheming, backstabbing bitch anyway, that just became part of the resume for the heir to the imperial throne.”
“Who’s this ‘Father’, the Emperor of Draconia? No offence, Buffy, but you’re wearing something that seems right out of a Buck Rogers comics,” said Xander.
“Sorry, but my memories of Earth are… sketchy regarding folklore. As far as imperial court fashion goes, I’m dressed rather conservatively. The point here is that I will have to go back.”
“Because if I don’t, Father will look for me and turn his eyes on this ‘obscure body of the SK system’. At that point… probably bomb one city per hour with nuclear weapons until I’m returned to him. After that… I may be able to convince him not to vaporize the planet of my kidnappers and just conquer it. My best chance would probably be to say I want to govern it in his name as an exercise in power wielding. If I’m really persuasive, he will actually spare you public execution and allow me to keep you as slaves.”
“I would do it, because the alternative is utter annihilation for six billions of Earthlings. I would rule with an iron fist and drown rebellions in blood because if I do, in a few decades, this planet could prosper again as an Imperial Province, instead of being a collection of debris orbiting its sun.”
“He would… destroy a whole world for…”
“I have already seen it. He’s not called Ming the Merciless for nothing, you know.”
“You may have been our Buffy,” said Xander, “but I don’t think you’re her anymore.”
“I will not deny it. I am Aura, Crown Princess of Mongo.”
Disclaimer Addenda: I own nothing of either Buffy or Flash Gordon.
Author Note: I am really fond of Flash Gordon, meaning by that the original comic by Alex Raymond and the deLaurentiis movie from the 80’s that kept the same over-the-top spirit. Having recently discovered (and being really disappointed, though that’s my personal opinion) by the SyFy reboot on that mythical series, I thought I would give it a try, focusing on my favored character of the comic: Princess Aura.
I don’t really know yet where this will go, but I have some ideas, particularly on how to make a coherent Empire (The Metabarons series by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Outlanders by Johji Manabe will probably provide some inspiration). I don’t know yet if Flash, Zharkov and Dale will be there or their role taken by the Scoobies.
Now, dear readers, please give me your impressions.
EDIT 11 NOV 2012: As I honestly doubt that I will resume with this fic, I am giving it up for adoption.