Margarethe von Rauber has been living a long life due to her connection with the Supernatural. She was the matriarch of a long line of noble witches. All strong girl children born to the family and born to be the leaders are given the name in honour of the daughter of Martha Schuler from which they were told that they were the woman’s descendents. (...i...)
Von Rauber was original last name too, in comparison to the Americanized version of Robbins chosen by other family members when they had moved to the United States of America. However the Von Rauber name and branch was still just as strong as it ever was, since during the Witch Trials and Burning Times in the old country.
A matriarch is always chosen from among the girls with the strongest gift and her name was always changed to Margarethe upon taken up the mantle, as Head of the Family.
The current Margarethe was waiting with near perfect patience for her grandson to arrive with a small group of varied individuals, a friend from work, a young man who claims to live in a town situated on a Hellish Nexus point and a demonic vampire. That last one was a surprise to her and yet she ‘knew
’ that something else was coming.
“Grandmother,” her daughter, Anne, called her attention. “The tea is ready.”
“Good,” the old woman said. “Now all we need is our guests. Would you be kind enough to let them in?”
“Of course,” her daughter replied. She knew that the men had just arrived, in the same way that her own mother knew that they were there. The winds told them. She opened the door before they could knock and greeted her son.
“Albert,” she said reaching out to him. “It is good to see you.”
“You too, mother,” he said giving her a hug. “May I present Gil Grissom, my good friend from work? These young men are Alexander Harris from Sunnydale and Spike.”
Al’s mother looked at all the men and then said, “Spike you are invited into our home for this day only.”
Xander blinked at the phrasing and then asked, “If you phrase the invite that way, does that mean that the next day the invite is no longer valid?”
The woman smiled and said, “That it correct.”
“Cool,” the young man said. He grinned wickedly at the nervous looking vampire, but then he eased up and said, “Don’t worry Spike...I’m not going to tell the others about this. Your invite in my home is permanent so don’t you worry about that. I’m just looking forward to using that on Deadboy.”
Spike grinned wickedly at the thought of his old poofy sire having only limited access to the boy’s home. With a human sounding exhale and a deep chuckle, he said, “Thanks pet.”
“Follow me,” the woman said. “Grandmother is waiting and the tea is ready.”
“Wonderful,” Spike said inhaling the scent of old world tea. “It even smells like it was made proper.”
“I wouldn’t insult you by serving anything less,” the elderly shrivelled woman at the end of the table said. “Greetings gentlemen, please be seated.”
She received grins and smiles from the men around her. She was pleased that they were at their ease and that they were unharmed. “Now boys,” she said after they had been served. “Please tell me about the Mordeloch Demon.”
“Grandmother,” Al asked in a questioning tone.
“Ma’am,” Gil asked in confusion.
“The Mordeloch Demon has been taken care of,” Xander said. “It’s been completely destroyed and no little Mordies will be generated from its ooze either because we made sure of it.”
“I beg your pardon,” Margarethe said. “You defeated it?”
“Destroyed madam,” Spike said looking at the woman in order to judge whether her reaction would be in their favour or if it was not something that she wanted to know.
“They cannot be destroyed,” she stated in such a way that she was voicing her doubts in the matter.
“They can,” Xander responded with confidence. “If you have the proper tools, anything can be destroyed, in this case liquid nitrogen helped.” He paused to look at the woman and then said, “It wasn’t even a good or even passive demon and it was doing too much damage, so we completely destroyed it. Did we do something wrong?”
“Gods and goddesses no,” the old woman said. “I was merely curious about the wording. So many warriors say that they defeat their enemy or foe, believing it destroyed, when that is never the case. However you said ‘destroyed
’. I was just making sure of your own interpretation of the situation.”
Xander looked at the other men and shrugged. He never cared about the wording of things, but he had long since learned that the wording of things mattered, to many people. It truly mattered in prophecies and especially with spells. He looked back at the old woman who looking at him, but slight off centre to his gaze.
She had the same look that Tara got from time to time. So he asked, "Do you see something in my aura?"
Margarethe slowly blinked in order to come back to the here and now. “What a curious question,” she said. “Why would you ask that?”
“We got us a Green Witch in the town that can see Auras too,” Spike said. “She’s nice.”
“Ah,” the old woman said. “Your Aura is unique. I can sense that forces are attempting to influence you, but they don’t seem to be succeeding. Of course they affect the people around you and will continue to do so, if you choose to continue living in that town.”
Xander smiled and shrugged. “I had a feeling that it was something like that,” he said. “But I can’t leave the town without someone to help them out. I am a Police Officer after all.”
“And a junior coroner,” Spike said.
“And a budding pathologist,” Gil said.
“And, I suspect an emerging forensic expert,” Al continued.
“And one of the better Slingers, too,” Xander said with a grin thinking about the time he made a demon explode with a potion filled glass pellet from his hand held slingshot.
“That last one I’m not familiar with,” the old woman said with a grin in reply to the list of the boy’s skills.
“Ah, that’s just a term in our town for those that play with sling-shots,” Xander said sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck in slight embarrassment. “It doesn’t mean much in the Policing community.”
“I see,” Margarethe said with a kind smile. “Weapons and tools are made to be used. I believe that you’ve done the best you could and improved on some of the baser ones as well.”
“Thank you ma’am,” Xander replied with a wide grin. He took a sip of his tea and wondered just why they had been asked to come to this place.
The others too were curious and it was Al that asked, “Gran, why did you ask us to come?”
“You requested copies of some pretty specific books,” she said seriously. “I needed to know where they were going before even contacting my sources to get them for you.” She looked at the boys and said, “Why do you need books related to the Nexus towns and Slayers.”
Xander glanced at Spike, who looked back at him. They both looked at Al, who shrugged and said, “I only said I needed the books. The rest of the story is yours to tell.”
Spike sighed and said, “One of the Slayers lives in Sunnydale.”
“That town is known to have one of the biggest portals to Hell,” Xander continued. “The first year that the Slayer was there, she took on the Master Vampire of the Aurelius Vampire line. He died, but so did she. That still prevented the Hellmouth from actually opening.”
“How can a Slayer still be living there,” Margarethe asked.
“That would be the Whelp here’s fault,” Spike said. “From what I heard tell, he used CPR on the girl and revived her. That’s why she’s still living there. That and her mum never moved away either.”
“Interesting,” the old woman said. “It’s too late now for the Slayer to leave.”
“Yeah,” Xander said. “That’s what Al told us, but we don’t understand why.”
“A Nexus or Hell Portal is a fluctuating thing,” the old woman said. “It pulses up like domino tiles in many places on this Earth and when one is taken out another begins to grow in size. They have varying frequencies linked to other dimensions, not necessarily Hell dimensions. There are many dimensions out there, but that is not for you to speculate on. Knowledge of various dimensions will never let you know the full gamut that exists for such things. Such knowledge would be too much for a human or even for a demon based vampire to comprehend.”
“We understand that,” Xander said. “I’d rather stay here and do my bit to protect ‘my
’ world. It’s doesn’t matter to me if I don’t have any special powers or not. It just wouldn’t feel right to me if I didn’t do what I could to help out in the fight against demons and others, especially since that is my hometown.”
“I understand,” the old woman said sipping her tea and nibbling on a biscuit.
“What I’m curious about,” Spike said, drawing the attention of everyone at the table. “Is why it’s bad for the Slayer to have lived that long in a town that contains a Hellmouth? Seems to me that every time I’ve been to an area of the world where I met up with a Slayer there had always been a Hellmouth nearby.”
“That might be true,” Margarethe said. “But the problem is the timeline. A Slayer stationed in a Nexus town draws the attentions from the various forces. If she remains in such a town for any time period of substantial length, she inadvertently causes Apocalyptical Prophecies to surge. The longest time that a Slayer has lived in a Hellmouth town was two years, but even then an end-of-the-world situation occurred and she had to close that Hellmouth by losing her life to it.”
“I’m not surprised,” Spike said.
“So until this particular Hellmouth is closed for good,” Xander speculated. “We have to stay put or else some bigger badder nasty will come forward and then our Earth is doomed.”
“That is essentially what will have to happen,” the old witch said. “You will have several trials to go through, but I believe that you are doing the right thing. The old Watcher’s Council seems to have forgotten quite a few things or else...”
“Else they haven’t provided us with the right information to make truly informed decisions,” Xander said. “I wouldn’t be surprised about that at all. We hate them and they had actually withdrawn the meagre support they used to provide until about four months ago.”
“What happened four months ago,” Al asked.
“Giles sent them a few toys that he had found in one of the local occult shops,” Xander said with a grin. “It was special made and didn’t need a Slayer to wield the power behind it.”
“You made the item, of course,” the old woman said.
“What makes you say that m’am?” Spike asked, wondering just what else the old woman was seeing.
“It’s the way he said it and there was a touch of pride in his voice about it,” Margarethe explained. “You have a right to be proud, if it is so effective. Do you have a sample with you now?”
“I do,” Xander admitted. “Never leave home without it.” He pulled out one of the four stakes that he had on him and handed it to the woman to examine.
“Interesting,” she said lifting it up and spinning in between her fingers. “The balance is very good, what did you use to treat it.”
“I soaked the wood in holy water and blessed incense,” Xander said. “A local priest who knows about the things that go bump in the night has agreed to bless whatever I bring him, as long as I patrol a few of the Church areas from time to time. Some of his parishioners are of the not-quite human set, but he said that belief does not belong to humans alone. I have to agree or else the books of foreign Gods and Goddesses that we research through are just plain fiction.”
“What else,” she asked knowing that there was something more to it.
“This particular one has a silver rod inserted to give it heft,” he explained. “It also helps to maintain its shape and will not become dust once a vampire is staked with it.”
Spike’s eyebrows rose up. “Bloody hell,” he said. “That’s why you never seem to lose a stake.”
Xander just shrugged, accepted his stake back and put it away with the others he had on him. “It took time to figure it out, even if I was using some old potion book to try figure out a work around solution.”
“Potions,” Al’s mother said, sitting up. “What kind of potions?”
“Just a few here and there,” Xander said. “I first played with them to figure how to ID the demon du jour and then how to defeat them. Most were types of poisons specifically to coat knives and such in order to take down particular creatures. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t know,” Anne said. “I might have been thinking of some other type, like healing or... Actually I can’t say more than that.”
“That’s all right,” Xander said. “I understand what you’re not saying, but at this point I was only looking for solutions to the problems we have in Sunnydale. Most of the potions I was able to load into clear balls, plastic and glass, to use with the sling-shot that I use. There were a few books related to healing and I’ve brewed and tested some of those formulations. They work, but sometimes the ingredients for those no longer exist, so until a substitute can be found the potion is just funky drinking water.”
Spike snorted and said, “You could’ve asked me about some o’ that. I do know a thing or two about chemist work since I had an uncle that was a druggist.”
“I know,” Xander said. “I was going to ask you to take a look at a few of the recipes to help me out, but only after we got back to good ole’ Sunnydale.”
“Sunnydale,” Margarethe said in a tone that made everyone pause whatever conversation they were having. “I thought that that Nexus was closed.”
“What?” Xander asked. “What was the story behind that? As far as I know it never was closed, it might have seemed like it had been, but I can tell you after living there for near twenty years, it’s still a creepy town.”
“Josiah Wilkins was one of the first settlers of a small town on the coast,” Anne began. “He was a simple farmer, but his daughter was special. Unfortunately that town’s history disappeared and all that we could ever figure out was that she died.”
Xander snorted and said, “She was murdered by her father in a ritual that would mask the town’s supernatural activities. It was one that let the evil influence of the growing Hellmouth continue uninterrupted.”
“How do you know that,” Spike asked, wondering just how the young man could know that information.
“It was when we did all the research into Mayor Wilkins,” Xander said. “You know before he failed to ascend during my High School graduation.”
The vampire snorted and remembered that day. It was interesting to say the least. It was at a time before he was leashed by some unseen microchip that just wouldn’t turn off. “That was a bloody glorious day,” he closed his eyes remembering the blood and feasting that he had done. “Night-walkers out during the day, blood nearly running in the streets and power sending magical static shocks to the demons in town. It was a bloody good day to remember.”
Xander grinned and said, “Yeah. I got to blow up the school and no one accused me of that action. Sunnydale blinders on and it was blamed on faulty underground gas lines.”
The other men at the table were horrified at the thought of what could possibly cause the young human to blow up his high-school. The women in the room were also horrified, but for a different reason. They knew what a demonic ascension was, especially in terms of it happening in a Nexus town.
The group chatted, discussed and argued into well into the night, before the older set of men had to return to their positions at the Crime Labs. Both Doctors Robbins and Grissom took their leave of the two young men that they found fascinating.
“Thank you for your help, Xander,” Grissom said with a handshake. “I hope that the next time you’re in our town, you’ll have a chance to visit our lab for a longer period of time.”
Xander grinned and asked, “Are you offering me a job?”
“Maybe,” the older man said. He turned to find Doc Robbins telling Spike that work in a morgue or pathologist lab might suite him because it was difficult to get people to work nights.
“I’ll think about,” Spike said. “Have to consider me mate here, since he’s the go to in the cop labs back in Sunnydale.”
“We’ll talk about that when we get back,” Xander confirmed. “You never know when they’ll need someone with a stronger stomach down there.” Spike only snorted at that and they both watched the men drive away.
Before they left the Robbins’ house, Margarethe agreed to have a few esoteric volumes sent to Xander’s home in order to aid him in improving his knowledge of modern potions versus the older volumes that he had been using. She even agreed to provide him with copies of works related to Vampire Slayers and Nexus towns because it appeared that the Watcher’s council was guarding a dangerous secret by not revealing the troublesome issue.
Xander knew just how that would turn out, when he showed them to Giles, but after he finished with them. The man was going to blow a gasket and possibly lose a glass lens from over polishing his frames. He couldn’t wait and Spike was smirking and thinking nearly the same thing.
They looked at one another with a grin and then Xander huddled in his seat, going to sleep, while a certain William Spike Harris drove until his human companion had to take over before the morning light hit the windshield. XSXSXSXS
(...i...) Web page - http:// www. phm-se. com/ Schulerstory .htm (remove spaces)