Chapter One - Birth of the Ultimate Peasant
Story Title: Rise of the Ultimate Peasant Crossover:
BtVS/ Warcraft III/ Stargate/ Multiple Disclaimer:
I do not own, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Warcraft games verse, Stargate TV verse, or any other fandoms I will be dabbling in. This is a work of fan fiction. Written without profit, for the enjoyment of fans of these great fandoms. Summary:
He is the One who can Build Anything. He is Alexander Lavelle Harris. Halloween night has changed him. Now things will never be the same again. Prologue – Birth of the Ultimate Peasant
The cold, damp and slimy ground beneath him was what woke him up. Buffy raised an eyebrow as she caught sight of his dark brown tunics, and what looked like a styrofoam pick-axe weapon of some sort in his hands. “Now that's new. I thought you were going as a Soldier for Halloween night.” He gave an awkward grin. “My army uniform met an unfortunate demise in a tale that reeks of alcohol and a drunken parent. So I thought since I needed to get a whole new costume, I might as well get into the mood of Halloween and dress up as something I really want.” He said, swinging his pick-axe dramatically in front of him. “Meet Alexander Harris, The Ultimate Peasant of the Warcraft games! Master Builder of all constructions in the Warcraft verse, and the One who can Build Anything!”
He opened grimy eyes, a growing hunger building in his stomach. A moment of disorientation, and the Ultimate Peasant Alexander Harris found himself snatched from the castle and deposited in what looked to be a street filled with demons, fairy tale creatures and humans dressed in costumes, all running amok. The first thing he realized was that he felt horribly weak. He had also lost all access to his skills and powers. His pick-axe was now a simple metallic tool with no traces of magical enchantments on it. Looking at the chaos around him, the Ultimate Peasant Alexander Harris' eyes widened in bewilderment. “Where's Mi Lord?” He asked in shock.
The stench of the tunnel hit his sensitive nose, he growled, fangs protruding out of his mouth. He was not real, created from dark magic based on the Halloween costume choice of a young man. A young man whose body he was inhabiting right now. “I'll need to find Giles. He'll know what to do.” The girl, Willow, currently a ghost, left him, alone with two other girls, one who was similarly affected by the dark magic, with the thoughts and memories of a noblewoman possessing her. There was also a good vampire aiding the group, as far fetching as the idea might seem. The situation was so bizarre that if young Willow had not found him and informed him of what had happened, he would not have believed it. But now everything made sense. Why his skills and powers were non-existence, and why he could not feel the instant connection with his Lord. They were hiding in one of the girls' house right now. One Buffy Summers, who had been possessed by a pure blooded noblewoman who was frightened by the littlest thing. A noise in the kitchen startled them, then what looked like a demon burst into the living room, sending Buffy screaming out of the house, the vampire Angel trying to hold back the demon, and Alexander following after Buffy, trying to get the woman back to safety. After all, it was the role of the peasants and other common folks to look after those of noble blood.
He froze in fear. His hands reaching up, shaking as he felt the long sharp fangs protruding out of his mouth. “So the Slayer's pet has come to play.” The vampire before him snarled as he nursed the split lips where Alexander had punched him. Alexander had managed to get to Buffy the noblewoman in time to rescue her from the vampire Spike and his two vampire minions. “Begone undead, you will not have mi lady!” Alexander bluffed, swinging his pick-axe threateningly in front of him. Spike looked at Xander with amusement. “That's a very strange weapon you're carrying, not that it will do you any good.” Alexander's stumbled back in shock as the vampire sprung forward, slamming a punch in his face. Pain exploded in his head, he held his face in agony, dropping his pick-axe. Behind him, he could hear Buffy screaming. Then several other voices called out at once. It seemed that the vampire Angel and the cat suited woman Cordelia had arrived. A hand grabbed his body, and suddenly, Alexander found himself held in a death grip against Spike. Through groggy eyes, he could see Angel wielding a sword while Cordelia held an axe threateningly. Her horrified eyes lingered on Alexander who was struggling helplessly against the vampire Spike. “I will get you back another time.” Spike snarled to Buffy as he and his minions fled, with Alexander taken as hostage.
The sharp incisors broke the skin on his fingers. The tangy scent of his own blood tickled his nostrils, bringing to life a hunger deep within him that he barely controlled. Alexander struggled to no avail as he was dragged into the sewers by the vampires. This new and weak body he possessed was unable to defend himself from the undead around him. The vampire Spike suddenly stopped, giving Alexander a fierce grin. “I can't get the Slayer this time round, but I've got you. I wonder how the Slayer will feel if her pet rises as a vampire?” Alexander cried out in horror as Spike’s fangs pierced his neck and the vampire began draining his blood. Pain and weakness overcome his fragile body and in moments, Alexander ceased to move. As he hovered at the edge of death, he tasted the blood of the vampire Spike as his Sire cut his own hand and forced the blood into his mouth. And then he knew nothing more.
His hands reached for his chest. But there was nothing. He felt cold, and his heart was not beating. Memories of his Halloween counterpart merged with his true self and he realized what he had become. Alexander Lavelle Harris screamed in terror.
How long he remained in a haze of horror he did not know. But he received a second shock when his eyes finally focused in the dark, on the slimy sewer tunnel walls all around him. “Sunnydale Sewer System. Home to fifty-three vampires, twenty Murblork demons, ten Furilog demons... Building cost 5,090 Gold and 4000 Lumber. Deconstruction regains 15,000 Gold and 8000 Lumber. Normal Units for hire: Vampire costs 70 Gold, 1 food unit, Murblork demons cost 100 Gold,...”
Xander gasped at the onslaught of information pouring into his mind, his brain trying to cope with the impossibility of it all. Then bright white light shone behind him, cutting off whatever thoughts he was contemplating. Turning around, Xander stiffened as he saw a man walking out of a veil of white light, dressed in a black suit, with a bowler hat on his head.
“Who are you?” Xander asked with apprehension, even as he tried to deal with the horror of becoming one of the undead, and the info dump that he had just experienced. Now that he was beginning to calm down, he felt something off
with his new undead body. There was a feeling of disquiet, like there was an ocean of energies bubbling just beneath his skin.
“The name's Whistler, I am a Balance demon, working for the Powers that Be, the Higher Powers that watches over this world. I was sent to inform you of what had happened.” The man, Whistler, introduced, his eyes observing Xander with pity. “During Halloween night, a powerful chaos mage cast a dark spell on those who have bought costumes marked by him. Using the residue energies of the Hellmouth, he jump started a specially crafted spell, turning those wearing the tainted costumes into what they were going as for Halloween. The spell was powered by the magic reserves of the victims, a real ingenuous piece of magic.”
“You mean a mage is what caused all of the chaos during Halloween night?” Xander asked with barely concealed anger. “A mage is what caused me to become what I am now?”
“In a way he is the cause of what happened to you. His spell was meant to cause chaos, and it worked. Since the spell was powered by the victim's own magic, after the Hellmouth's residue energies jump started the spell, the amount of change the victims undergo was proportionate to the amount of magic the victim possessed. Most people only have enough magic to be possessed by the memories of their Halloween counterparts. Others have enough magical energies within them, which the spell uses to physically change them to become similar to their Halloween counterpart.” Whistler continued, looking gravely at Xander. “You, Alexander Lavelle Harris, have only enough magic to barely turn your weapon real, and replicate the memories of the Halloween character you were going as.”
“That however changed when the vampire Spike sired you. The Watcher, Rupert Giles, managed to break the dark magic right at the moment when your soul hovered at the edge of life and death. When the Halloween spell was broken, the magic which fuelled the spell should have dispersed harmlessly. However, your death and subsequent life as an undead, right at the moment the spell broke, attracted all these magical energies to flow into you.”
“Your body might become an undead, but your soul remains, bond by the residue energies of the Halloween spell, made up of the magic of hundreds of victims during Halloween night. Within your blood flows the magic of a hundred people. You were empowered, gaining the full memories and powers of your Halloween counterpart. Your blood
has power. Tell me Xander, do you feel the power within you? The power of the Ultimate Peasant who can build anything? Surely you must have seen something when your eyes opened to the sewer system around you.”
“Powers?” Xander said, startled at Whistler's words. “Something did happen when I look at the sewer tunnels the first time... but it is impossible! The character was someone I custom created based off the Warcraft games, he is just a game character, he is not real...” Xander trailed off in panic and disbelief. Whistler had said he possessed powers, and there was the constant buzzing of energies he felt singing within him. Surely all these were not real... surely there was some other explanations. But his self-doubt did not stop him from reaching into the source of power within him. Something connected... Powers and abilities of the Ultimate Peasant hummed brightly in his mind. The Power of Construction, a passive ability that allows the Ultimate Peasant to construct any buildings or structures using gold and lumber as resources, within seconds or minutes. The Power of Seeing, a passive ability that allows the Ultimate Peasant to analyse all the buildings and structures he saw in his immediate vicinity, including whoever and whatever are within, storing the details in his mind. The analytical blueprints would then be used to construct these buildings based on gold and lumber requirements. Those within will become units for hire, and any magical items or artifacts of importance will become objects for sale. The Power of Repair, a passive ability that allows the Ultimate Peasant to restore any buildings or structures back to their prime conditions in a matter of seconds or minutes. The Power of Deconstruction, a passive ability that allows the Ultimate Peasant to de-construct any buildings or structures back into the raw resources of gold and lumber, within seconds or minutes.
“I see you now realize the truth of what I have said.” Whistler said smugly as he watched Xander stumbling in shock. “The power within you is something that the world has never seen. With the left over magic from a hundred over people, all four abilities within you were powered to their highest level.”
“What does this means?” Xander asked, stunned by Whistler's explanation. “Is there anyway to change me back? Back to being alive? I will rather lose these powers than become a vampire!”
“Turning you back to life, back to a living human being, would require great acts of power that goes against the laws of the Powers that Be, thus breaking the balance of power in the world. The Higher Powers are not willing to do that.” Whistler said, looking at Xander seriously. “The Powers that Be however wanted me to pass you a warning. Your great power will attract the attention of the darker elements of this world. That is if they did not already know of your existence. They will attempt to terminate you due to your allegiance to the Slayer. You might even be coerced or forced to choose another side of the fight.”
“The Powers that Be will not take your free will from you, seeking to take a neutral, non-interfering stance with you. But they sent me to warn you. Do not misuse your new gifts Alexander, because if you tip the balance of power in this world too far, the Powers that Be will be forced to act.” Whistler intoned darkly, even as he began to fade away.
“Wait! Wait!” Xander cried out, rushing forward. But it was too late. The only ones left in the tunnel was himself.
OoooO Chapter One – Powers of the Ultimate Peasant
After Whistler had left, the first thing Xander did was to attempt to leave the sewers, in order to find Giles and the others. Surely the old watcher would have some way to change him back! Xander did not totally trust the words of a demon, even if he said he was working for the Higher Powers.
Near the sewer entrance however, Xander ran into a major problem. It was already day time, bright light was shining through the entrance, and being an undead, even for one with a soul, Xander was unable to step close to the patch of light near the entrance without being burnt. For a rash moment, Xander seriously contemplate just stepping into the sunlight and end his undead life. But something within him, the instinct for survival, and maybe the hope that Giles might be able to change him back, stopped him.
Shivering with anger and fear at what he had become, Xander retreated back into the sewers, trying to find another way to contact Giles and the others. His stomach growled hungrily, thirsting for blood, but he ignored that hunger with iron will. He might have become a vampire, but he would not submit to drinking the blood of another human being.
He remembered the High School having a sewers access, so as long as he reached it, he might be able to enter the school. The problem was that now that he was underground, he had no way of knowing which was the direction to the High School. It was going to take a lot of trial and error to reach his destination. He did have the blueprint of the Sunnydale Sewer System within his mind. It was a bit surreal when he tried calling up the blueprint and view it with his mind's eyes for the first time, but unfortunately the blueprint was not of much help.
He knew every tunnel, every structure, every access point in the sewers. The problem was that the access points of the sewers were coded in numerical plates. A plate that said “A13B2” was not going to help him much if he did not know if that was the way out of the sewers into Sunnydale High, or a detour to the local cemetery.
The blueprint of the sewers also did not show him where the various vampires and demons he had “scanned” with his new powers were in the sewers. It would be one big mess if he was to stumble into a nest of hostile demons. It meant he had to tread carefully even with his knowledge of the sewers' layout. Fortunately for him, he had a lot of time on his hand for exploration, since he could not leave the sewers during daylight.
A few minutes of walking, Xander passed his first sewers access, the door of which was hanging open. Going through it and walking up the stairs, he found himself in a dimly lit warehouse. The moment he sighted the interior of the warehouse, information rushed into his brain, as one of the Ultimate Peasant's passive ability activated, analysing the warehouse and turning it into a blueprint. “Abandoned Warehouse 1. Home to five vampires. Building cost 150 Gold and 100 Lumber. Deconstruction regains 500 Gold and 100 Lumber. Normal Units for hire: Vampire costs 70 Gold, 1 food unit.”
Xander paused at the onslaught of information, still blinking at the impossibility of it all even though he was somewhat prepared now.
He was familiar with the Warcraft games. There were four different races in the games, and the objectives was for each race to build their own special buildings, hire units from those buildings and lead those units to battle against each other. The main resources in the game were Gold, Lumber and Food. Good and Lumber were used to construct buildings and hire game characters. Food was one of the main resources consumed once a character was hired.
The peasant was the builder unit for the human race in the game, and Xander had dressed as his own custom created Ultimate Peasant, gaining the ability to build anything. His new powers meant that other than being able to build anything, any buildings he built would allow him to hire the denizens who had lived in the buildings when he analysed it. And when he deconstruct any buildings, any living beings or units within the building would count towards the deconstruction cost.
His powers were based off the game logic from a fictional game. It was incredible. It was also unbelievable. If Xander was still human, he would have taken a deep breath to steady his inner turmoil of emotions. As it was, being an undead, he had no way of breathing. He looked around the warehouse. Based off his new abilities, he knew that somewhere within the warehouse were five undeads. It would be perfect to test out the rest of his new abilities.
He had no gold or lumber to build any of the Warcraft verse buildings he possessed from his Halloween memories. Neither could he build the warehouse he had just scanned without any resources. But one of the Ultimate Peasant's ability was the Power to Deconstruction, to turn any buildings back to resources. The in game peasant would use his pick-axe for any construction actions he would take. Xander however did not possess the magical pick-axe of the Warcraft verse peasant. He was however fairly sure that his passive abilities would allow him to use whatever tools to do the trick.
Xander hammered his hands onto the gravel floor, feeling power flared within his body, striking out into the structures of the warehouse. He hammered the ground a few more times, feeling the very structures of the warehouse breaking down.
“Hey what are you doing?” A voice snarled as a vampire appeared from behind some crates. “This is our territory! Find your own damn space!”
Xander ignored him as he continued hammering the floor, he could feel the power humming in the air, any second now and... a rush of blue green energy swirled around Xander as the warehouse and the vampires within dissolved, converted into pure resources. As the energy seeped into his body, Xander instinctively knew that he now possessed 500 Gold and 100 Lumber, though where these resources were contained, he had no idea.
The cloak of energy disappeared and the full force of the morning sun slammed into him. Xander screamed in pain, stumbling quickly back through the sewers entrance. Behind him, the morning dock workers stared in disbelief at the wide open space where an old run down warehouse used to stand. That very warehouse had disappeared right in front of their eyes.
Gleaming cities above the sea glittered with impressive tall towers. Flying vessels were crossing the air above the cities at great speed. Then an eruption of colours surrounded one of the cities, ripping it apart. The storm of energies began attacking the nearby cities, pummelling on the powerful energy shields of the surviving cities.
She cried as the visions assaulted her, at the glory of destruction before her. Then a powerful glow of white appeared before her, and a robed sandy haired man came into being. Someone holy, someone powerful... one of the Elder ones.
She cowered before him. Her vampire essence surged from her body, her face transforming into her vampire form. She hissed, she tried to move back, but trapped within the vision, she had nowhere to go.
“Before you lies the birth of magic, the creation of the Seed of Wonder, through an experiment gone wrong.” The man said, regarding her with pity. “You are a unique vessel Drusilla. The power of Sight was bestowed to you because you were a mortal descendant of the Ascended, yet it was corrupted to the side of the Triad, to the Powers of Darkness, by your vampire essence. You are a tool of both sides of an eternal struggle... but you can choose to be free.”
Vision of the cities floating on the seas, vision of the powerful storm of energies disappeared. Now the vision showed her in the sewers of Sunnydale, looking on as powerful swirls of magic flowed into an unconscious boy. It was Kitten, the Slayer's pet that her lovely Spike boasted of siring. Kitten sparkled with powerful magic, causing Drusilla to lick her lips.
“Young Alexander Lavelle Harris, born a normal human being, yet chose to fight for the good of others. Now he is cursed with a vampiric essence. Chaotic magic flowed within him, brought to order by his very soul. He belongs with neither the Ascended nor the Triad. He sought not to bring balance nor destruction. He just is.” The sandy haired man said with a smile as he looked at Drusilla. “Drink his blood Drusilla. His blood will heal you, body, mind and soul. The power within his blood will set you free. And perhaps through this union, you can set him on his proper path.”
The vision before her changed. She saw space, she saw planets. She saw space ships with glowing eyed humans who brought other humans to submission through power and fear. She saw humanoid aliens that sucked the life out of other humans. She saw a dozen other races brought to annihilation, destruction or slavery. Aliens, spaceships, things out of this world.
“This is a powerful moment in time. A pivotal point for the Milky Way galaxy and all other galaxies around it.” The sandy haired man said in a powerful voice that resounds in Drusilla's head, causing her to whimper in pain.
“The Triad, the Elder demon gods, could not leave Earth, trapped within the sphere of the Seed of Wonder, source of all magic on Earth.” The sandy haired man said. “The Ascended, or as they are known to some on Earth, the Powers that Be, believed in non-interference, and only do enough to maintain the balance of power on Earth. In the meantime, outside of Earth, billions, millions, even trillions of lives are crying for help. Help which few could provide, help which young Alexander can only give if you guide him to the proper path.”
The man turned to face Drusilla, his radiance of power striking deep into Drusilla's body, causing her to cry out in pain.
“Make your choice Drusilla. For your choice will decide what will happen to the worlds outside of Earth. Heal yourself, bind yourself to young Xander, and save hundreds of worlds... or remained weakened and soon to be dusted when events in the future leads to the demise of you and your childe... Spike. Alexander is coming... He may yet become a saviour of worlds.... or a casualty of darkness... make your choice...” The man said as everything faded to white. The visions snapped apart and her eyes opened, the phantom pain in her body already fading. A smile crossed her face as she licked her fangs. She got out of the bed carefully so as not to disturb her sleeping partner.
“Kitten's coming.” She whispered in maniac glee. “Kitten's coming and I have to make my choice.”
The burns on his face and hands smart painfully, healing slowly over the next few hours he spent trying to find a way to Sunnydale High School. The only good thing that came from his random stumbling about was that he gained several more building blueprints from his “Seeing” ability as he tested out the various sewers access points to see where they lead to.
So far he had come out of the Sunnydale Hospital, Sunnydale Library, the Sunnydale Mall and a few private residences and structures, giving him a rough direction of where he was now. The various units available for hire which were tagged to the new building blueprints he received also gave him insight to the population of Sunnydale.
For instance, he had no idea that a clan of demons were living under the Sunnydale Mall, or that several doctors in the Sunnydale Hospital had enough potential to appear in the hospital blueprint as Hero class units for hire. Hero class units were special characters in the Warcraft games. They were set apart from the normal in game units as they were more powerful and have up to four special abilities as they level up. That some doctors within the hospital had the potential to be Heroes were an eye opener.
A brief experimentation and he had discovered that the Gold and Lumber were somehow stored magically within him, and that he could call them out any time. It was an eye opener when a large block of gold appeared in front of him when he willed it. After the initial shock, he began to get used to his new absurd abilities. With his new powers, it seemed that he was not totally defenceless, he wondered what would happen if he dropped piles of lumber/gold on top of a vampire. Instant dust pie he hoped, though he had no way of testing his theory anytime soon.
One wrong turn in the sewers however, brought him to an ironic twist of fate. He came out of another sewers access to the basement of an abandoned mansion, and not just any abandoned mansion. “Abandoned Mansion 1. Home to seven vampires. Building cost 350 Gold and 200 Lumber. Deconstruction regains 1030 Gold and 200 Lumber. Normal Units for hire: Vampire costs 70 Gold, 1 food unit. Hero Units for hire: Master Vampire Spike costs 180 Gold, 3 food units. Master Vampire Drusilla costs 150 Gold, 3 food units.”
Blinking in shock at the new blueprint, Xander realised in mere seconds that somewhere within the mansion lurked Spike and his minions. The same Spike who had turned him into what he was now. Xander growled with barely contained rage. There was no doubt about what he would do, Spike would pay for what he had done.
Xander slammed a fist down on the basement floor sending his powers of deconstruction through the mansion. He slammed another fist down again.
“Kitten has become all sparkly.” A silky voice said from the other end of the room as Drusilla came into view. Xander froze up in horror, his eyes wide as he scanned the surroundings for Spike and the others.
“Shh... Spikey and the others are all asleep.” Drusilla said in a conspiring tone of voice, a crazed light in her eyes. “Miss Edith says you are our new Kitten Master. “The stars are singing. The worlds are crying out in pain. I have made my choice. Your blood will heal me, you will make me strong!”
Xander gave a startled cry as Drusilla lunged for him before he could do anything, clamming down on his arm with sharp fangs. She broke off, her mouth filled with Xander's blood. It was at that moment Xander saw his blood for the first time, his blood which seemed to sparkle with a myriad of energies and colours. He paled as his shining and colourful blood began to diffuse into Drusilla. Xander watched in shock as a glow of golden light began to emit from the female vampire. She collapsed to the ground, writhing in agony.
“Magic from a hundred living beings in your blood, tied to your powerful soul.” Drusilla gasped, her eyes seemingly lost their sense of craziness, an expression of pain on her face as she looked at Xander. “Your blood has healed my body and mind, it has given me back my soul. Hurry young one! Spike is coming!”
Xander stared at the writhing Drusilla on the floor in shock. It took him a moment to fully comprehend Drusilla's words, and then he was ignoring the wound on his left arm as his right fist hammered the floor.
As he looked to the floor, a new blueprint, almost similar to the old one, flashed in his mind. “Abandoned Mansion 1. Home to seven vampires. Building cost 350 Gold and 200 Lumber. Deconstruction regains 1110 Gold and 200 Lumber. Normal Units for hire: Vampire costs 70 Gold, 1 food unit. Hero Units for hire: Master Vampire Spike costs 180 Gold, 3 food units. Master Vampire with a Soul Drusilla costs 230 Gold, 3 food units.”
Blinking visions of the new blueprint away, he hammered away at the floor, hoping there was enough time to deconstruct the mansion before Spike arrived.
A door slammed and Spike burst into the basement, his minions trailing after him. His eyes lighted on Xander near the sewer access and Drusilla on the floor before him. A look of rage crossed Spike's face as he ran towards Xander.
“You! What have you done to Dru!” He roared as he lunged forward. Xander flinched back, but at the last moment, Drusilla stretched out her hand, grabbing Spike's leg as he passed her.
“Hurry!” The now sane Drusilla cried out hanging onto Spike who was staring at his mate in shock. “Hundreds of worlds, trillons of lives crying out in pain. You are the only one who can save them, set them free! You must survive!” Drusilla shouted as she held down Spike who was beginning to struggle.
Xander did not know what Drusilla was sprouting about, but he was not going to waste anymore time. He continued slamming his fists into the ground. He was already flinging himself through the sewer entrance as the mansion behind him deconstruct into swirls of energies, together with Spike, his minions, and Drusilla who now had a soul.
His internal resource counter updated as he now possessed an additional 1100 Gold and 200 Lumber. Bright light streamed across the sewer entrance, but his mind was still on Drusilla as he lay panting on the floor with fright and exertion.
Somehow, through drinking his blood, Drusilla had regained her soul. His blood which was filled with the leftover magic of hundreds of people after Halloween night. Xander stared at his bleeding arm where Drusilla had bit him, the wound was already beginning to heal. When Whistler had said his blood had power, he had thought the Balance demon was talking about his new Warcraft verse abilities, not because he had become some sort of holy grail to the vampire race. In hindsight, he should have questioned the mouthpiece of the Higher Powers more thoroughly, now it was too late.
Even now, Drusilla's crazed words ran through his mind. “Hundreds of worlds, trillions of lives cry out in pain. You are the only one who can save them, set them free! You must survive!”
What the hell did Drusilla mean? Were those just the words of a crazy vampire? Or were they something more? He really needed Giles' help for all of these!
Picking himself up, he tried to find his way to the Sunnydale High School.
A cup of tea in his hands, Giles' eyes stared at the stack of books in front of him. His eyes looked lost. It was eleven in the morning and class had already started, with no one else but him in the library. Willow had called in sick to school, Buffy was still out in town somewhere trying to find any signs of Xander, though after the events of last night, he was most probably... lost to them now.
Ethan Rayne, a blast from his past, someone who used to be his “friend” when he had dabbled in dark magic during the folly of his youth. The rogue mage had come to Sunnydale, cast a piece of powerful dark magic during Halloween night, using the dark energies latent in this town to cast a spell, turning those wearing his tainted costumes into what they were going as for Halloween.
Even now, Giles had no idea how Ethan managed to cast and craft such a spell that bend reality around hundreds of individuals for Halloween night. Such magic should have been impossible unless a group of powerful magic users were working together. Yet Ethan had managed to cast it on his own. The magical potential of Ethan Rayne as always managed to frighten Giles with what the man could do.
Giles had managed to break the spell, but it was only later that he found out from Angel and a distraught Buffy that Xander had been taken away by Spike after the vampire had failed to kill Buffy. Even taken over by his Halloween persona, Xander had managed to save Buffy who was a helpless noblewoman then. What Spike would do to Xander was anyone's guess, but based on information within the Watcher's Diaries regarding Spike, Xander was most probably no longer among the living.
Buffy had fallen into a deep rage, combing the town for any signs of Xander, staking any vampires she found. Angel, Willow, Giles, and surprisingly Cordelia had gone with her. Angel had even brought them to Sunnydale's demon bar, ran by a snivelly man named Willy, whereupon Angel and Buffy had tried to use physical violence to make the man cough up Spike's location. Unfortunately, all Willy, the bartender, had known was that Spike and his minions had taken over an abandoned building somewhere in the western side of Sunnydale.
The search had proceed till day break, after which Giles had with great reluctance sent everyone home, with Buffy stubbornly insisting that she would continue looking a bit more. Giles had returned to the library, reading through the Watcher's Diaries, hoping for any clues about Spike that the group could use since a confrontation with the Master vampire was most certainly in their agenda now.
Something crashed into the shelves, causing Giles to jump up, his hand instinctively reaching out for a heavy book to throw at any threat. Something clad in an old moth bitten blanket walked out from behind the shelves. Giles' mouth dried as he saw the pale face of Xander and his bloodied clothes. He was already reaching for the stake in his pocket, when something he saw in Xander's eyes stopped him. Xander's eyes still looked human, with none of the bestial hunger and rage found in newly fledged vampires, and more than that, Xander looked frightened.
The two of them stared at each other in silence for a few stunned minutes before Xander seemingly broke down, his shoulders sagged as he sat on the floor, leaning against the shelves.
“Giles, you may not believe me, but everything I am going to tell you is true. I am a vampire now... a vampire with a soul.”
When the call came saying that Xander had been found, Willow had snapped out of her grief and rushed to school. But once there, with Buffy and Cordelia who had also received the news, they had discovered to their horror that Xander was now a vampire. Somehow the events of Halloween had changed him, granting him powers and turning him into a vampire with a soul. Giles had confirmed his story, a simple spell revealed that Xander glowed with the magical energies of hundreds of people, a constant renewing pool of energies that bubbled from his undead blood, bathing him in a glow of incredible aura.
Ms Calendar had been approached for help casting a difficult piece of magic that determines if Xander had retained his soul. The woman had at first been unnerved by what Xander had become, but had shown pity and regret after it was confirmed that Xander did possess his soul, a soul that had shone with a pure bright light after Giles and her had done a combined spell casting.
But when Xander had broken into tears after Giles and Ms Calendar had told him that there was just no way to make him alive again, Willow had realised that this vampire Xander was still the Xander she had known, the Xander she loved. Her horror disappeared at this realisation and she had crossed the room engulfing the sobbing Xander in a hug. Then Buffy had come, making it a group hug. Even Cordelia had let go of her repulsion at what Xander had become, and laid a hand on his shoulder.
“Hey snap out of it geek boy.” Cordelia said, giving Xander's shoulder a shake when it seemed that he was not going to stop crying any time soon. “Look on the bright side. You still have your soul, you're not a mindless beast going around sucking people's blood, and you're never going to grow old now.”
Buffy shot her a dirty look. “That's not helping Cordelia.”
“Hey, he's going to face what he has become sooner or later. Better to do it now in one clean shot, like pulling out a bad tooth.” Cordelia said with a shrug, looking down at Xander. “Don't mope Xander, that's so not you. Anyway, isn't Angel also a vampire with a soul? What's so bad about that?”
Xander gave a muffled choke even as Ms Calendar broke in with a bit of heat. “Don't compare Xander with Angel Cordelia. Xander retained his humanity, his soul even after he became a vampire. Angel however did not. Even with my... limited knowledge of the supernatural, I have heard about the vampire Angelus, an inhuman beast which had killed hundreds, before he was cursed with a soul and become Angel. Xander did not have the sin of killing hundreds of people like Angel have.”
Giles gave Ms Calendar a look of surprise. “Jenny, I wasn't aware your knowledge of the occult was so diverse.”
“I am a witch.” Ms Calendar said with an embarrassed laugh. For a moment, Willow thought she saw a look of guilt in the computer teacher's eyes, but it was gone in a flash. “I do have a bit of occult knowledge. When all's said and done, Xander's as different from Angel as day and night.”
“But Angel has a soul now, he is repenting for his past.” Buffy spoke up, sticking up for her crush. Ms Calendar just shook her head, seemingly about to say more when Xander interrupted with a raspy voice.
“Cordy's right though, I shouldn't mope.” Xander said with a bitter laugh, wiping at his tears. “I can feel the hunger within me, but I can suppress it. I don't think I will ever go into a blood sucking frenzy any time soon. And there are things I can look forward to I guess, things I can do to help in the fight. My new powers for example.”
“The powers you've gotten because of who you dressed as for Halloween?” Giles asked as he looked at Xander with a doubting frown. “Forgive me Xander, but they do sound a bit unbelievable, even more then the Higher Powers sending an emissary to provide guidance to you. To be able to build or deconstruct anything in seconds? Or gain a blueprint of a building just by looking at it. Those powers… they are a bit... out of this world.”
“I don't know how I can prove it to you.” Xander said, before he paused thoughtfully, a suddenly impish look crossing his eyes. “Maybe this will help though.”
He held up his right hand, even as Willow and Buffy released their hugs from his side. A glow of golden light surrounded Xander's hand and as it fades, a large slab of gold bar rest in Xander's outstretch palm.
Willow's mouth opened in surprise. Buffy breath in sharply, while Cordelia walked forward, eyeing the gold bar hungrily.
“I deconstructed several buildings with vampires in them while exploring Sunnydale's sewer system, finding a way here. Let's just say I have 2980 Gold and 810 Lumber within me now, and I can call them out any time.” Xander said with a small grin, though his face looked unnaturally pale.
“But if that's true... You said you can build anything, even hire people out of the buildings you've built.” Giles trailed off in shock. “That's defying the logic of reality!”
“I am pretty sure being a vampire with a soul, with the magic of hundreds over people flowing in me is defying the logic of reality as well.” Xander said bitterly. “Now that I have become an undead with no way out, I might as well embrace these new powers. Who knows, they might even help us in the fight against vampires and demons.”
“What do you mean Xander? Don't tell me you actually wish to use those new abilities you have?” Giles asked trying to be the voice of caution. “Xander, there's a lot we do not know about your abilities. They might be dangerous.”
“Then it's best to begin experimenting with them so I know what can be done or what is going to be dangerous.” Xander reasoned, as he looked out of the library windows which were covered with blankets to block out the midday sun. “I'll be careful Giles, I promise. In fact so far I've tried out two of my powers with no ill effect. I have an idea how to test out the other two.”
The moon was already out by the time Cordelia's red convertible and Giles' ratty old car pulled off the high way leading from Sunnydale towards Los Angeles. They drove into the desert for half an hour before pulling to a stop in an open patch of sand. The doors opened as the group stepped out of the cars, Cordelia shivered in the cold desert wind, pulling her sweater closer to her. Around her, Buffy, Willow and Ms Calendar gathered. Angel stood at the edge of the crowd, Giles stood a distance away with Xander as all of them watched Xander kneeling on the sand and began hammering his fist into the ground before him.
Ms Calendar and Willow shuddered. “Magic, I can feel powerful magic in the air.” Ms Calendar said as Xander hammered the ground again. Her sharp eyes fell upon Willow who was also shivering with each of Xander's fist impact. “Only a magic sensitive can feel it. Willow, can you sense the magic as well?”
Her words were cut off by everyone's collective gasp however as with Xander's fifth fist strike, the very air before him glimmered, the wooden framework of a building appeared, and in the next few seconds as everyone watched in rapture, the building began building itself from inside out, until a small yellow roofed and white stone cottage appeared before them. The soft glow of lamp light was shining out of the two front windows.
“It actually worked.” Angel muttered in surprise. Buffy had been the one that insisted Angel to be added to the group and told of Xander's new circumstances, due to his status as another vampire with a soul. Xander had reluctantly agreed since Angel might be the only one who truly understood what he had now become.
“This is a farm, a building from the Warcraft games, it produces six food resources which would be used whenever I hire a new unit.” Xander explained as he turned to the group, his voice carrying in the cold desert air. He walked up to the building and opened the door, looking back at Cordelia and the others with a grin. “Want to take a look within?”
Cordelia and the others moved forward, entering the building that Xander had constructed in minutes, looking at the interior of the building with awe and a bit of trepidation. There was however nothing to fear as the cottage was empty of any signs of people. Instead the whole cottage was one large room, with a large table, chairs and cupboards full of food. There were bottles of milk, ham, fish and vegetables stacked in the many shelves in the cottage.
“Oh my.” Giles said in astonishment as he removed a bottle of milk from a cupboard only for a glow of white light to appear over the place left empty. When the light fades, a new milk bottle stood in the place where Giles had previously removed the item. Giles looked cautiously at the bottle of milk in his hands, uncapping the bottle and sniffing its contents. “It seemed fresh, and the cottage seemed to be magical in nature, replicating what was removed.”
“You can say that again.” Cordelia said dryly as she looked at a stack of radish in her hands. A new stack of similar vegetables having appeared where she had taken them. She gave a shrug, putting the vegetables in her hands on the table. “When you say this cottage produce food Xander, it really
“I never imagined it would replicate the items in the cottage though.” Xander said in bemusement. “I wonder how it would feed the units I will hire.”
“Must we really test out that aspect of your powers?” Giles asked with a grimace. “What if the creatures go out of your control?”
“Well Buffy and Angel are both here in case anything happen. And I have this instinctive feeling that I'll have full control over those I created.” Xander said with a shrug. “We do need to know my full capabilities after all. And if I can really control those I hire, it will really help us out.”
“I am really not sure about this mind control of living creatures.” Giles was saying, but Xander had already walked out of the cottage. The older man gave a sigh as he followed Xander out, with everyone trailing behind him. Xander was already crouched in front of bare sand by the time everyone walked out. He struck his fist into the ground continuously until the outline of what appeared to be a large tree took form. Twenty strikes into the ground later, and a large menacing tree stood before them, Cordelia shuddered at the sight of what looked like a face on the bark of the large tree.
The branches of the tree moved, caressing Xander as he stood up, and that was when Cordelia realised with shock that the tree was alive.
Xander's eyes were wide as he turned to Giles. “I can feel it in my mind Giles. Its life, its thoughts, I am pretty sure I can control it as well.”
At Xander's words, the tree gave a groan, the ground shuddered as the giant roots of the tree erupted from the ground as the living tree began moving sideways at a slow pace. Then the roots of the ground sank into the dry sand as it took root again.
“This is incredible.” Ms Calendar said walking up to the tree, laying a hand on the bark. “It is also a little frightening the amount of power you, Xander, now possessed.”
“That Xander can control those he creates with his mind is also worrying. No man should have such power.” Giles said looking troubled.
“Well, I don't plan to take away the free will of whoever I create. This Tree of Life I just built, is a Night Elf building in the Warcraft games, it is also alive and possesses its own thoughts. It is totally unlike the game where everything is just bits of inhuman data.” Xander said looking at the living tree with a bit of awe. “Now that I know this, I will not just hire or create living beings to use them as muscles. In exchange for helping me, I'll let them live their own lives, as long as they do not do harm to other living creatures. There is also the fact that I can only access their thoughts and control them if I am concentrating on the units. If my attention is away from them, they are able to indulge in their own actions. Their free will is not compromised if I leave them to their own devices.”
A globe of white light, like a Will'o'wisp appeared next to the tree, hovering in front of a delighted Ms Calendar who held out a hand for it to rest on.
“That's a wisp, a Night Elf unit I just hired from the Tree of Life. It also possessed its own thoughts and sentience just like the Tree of Life.” Xander said as everyone began crowding around the wisp in wonderment. “I can sense its thoughts and control it if I want to, just like my control over the Tree of Life and the farm I've created. I... I am starting to feel scared now I really know the extent of my new powers. What I can do... What I will do...”
Giles lay a hand on Xander's shoulder, looking at him with understanding in his eyes. “That just shows you are not foolish. The powers you now have allow you to have dominance over anything you build or hire. Even I am frightened by the powers you now wield. You are almost a god of the little world you can create. The important thing is to never lose sight that those you create are every bit as alive and as deserving of their lives as you are, and never to use your powers thoughtlessly.”
“I don't think I'll ever forget that, not when I can feel their every thoughts and lives within me just by reaching out to them mentally.” Xander said with a smile. “Cordelia's right, I am a vampire now, but even then, there's some good out of this situation. The powers I now have, are powers which I will use to keep everyone safe. And there's still something I must do, something I need to know.”
Angel looked at the large mansion Xander had constructed before them, a mansion where Xander had with an eerie calm, stated that Spike and Drusilla had reside, before he had deconstructed it. He had told the group the events that led up to it, how Drusilla had gained a mouthful of Xander's blood and became ensouled, and according to Drusilla's own words, healed in mind and body. Xander had wanted to gain access to Drusilla's thoughts to see what had really happened, and to find out about the ominous words the vampire had uttered before she had been deconstructed.
Buffy stood on high alert at Xander's side in case anything goes wrong, with Angel nearby while the rest of the group lingered at the back, together with the Tree of Life and the cottage. Angel wanted to caution Xander about what he was about to do. After all, if Drusilla was truly healed and ensouled, his face might not be one that she would want to see if she walks the world again. After all, Angelus was the one that had tortured her during her mortal life, before turning her into a vampire.
But as the misty glow of magic formed near the mansion before them, Angel knew it was already too late for any warning.
Drusilla appeared, her eyes snapping wide, her mouth stretched into a growl as she launched herself at Angel, slamming a devastating right hook into his jaw. Angel stumbled back, intent on protecting himself from the vampire out for revenge, he never expect Xander to growl in similar rage, giving him a painful uppercut.
As he lay dazed on the ground, he could see Buffy frantically trying to get Xander to stop while she struggled with Drusilla in her grasp.
And then Xander's right leg landed powerfully on his head and the lights went out.