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Happy Hunting

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Summary: Halloween and Sunnydale are a disturbing mix. so much so that it twisted the world just a bit more than it should have. Xander centerd

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered > Theme: HalloweenWomgiFR18216,64753910,1391 Jun 124 Sep 12No

Chapter Two

Disclaimer:

I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Hellsing. They belong, as ever to Joss Whedon and Kota Hirano respectively. Characters or plot elements from these media are not mine. I do not derive any money from this story, directly or indirectly.
Warning: certain parts may be disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.

***

The heavily modified black Chevrolet Tahoe roared down the highway at a pace that was a good deal higher than it was originally capable of. Los Angeles loomed ahead, a silent wraith like mausoleum.

Xander was headed to LA. There were many reasons for this, but the biggest one was that he was trying to get out of his accursed hometown as soon as possible. That demon infested sinkhole was not one he was prepared to face as he was now. He had no muscle definition to speak of. He had to rebuild his muscle memory. He had to get some time on the range. Frankly, he had a lot to do. Not to mention, he had to get some weaponry that he could use and train in. unlike the Hellsing universe, blades were a very versatile tool here, far more so than guns. He would have stuck to his wires, but he didn't trust himself not to decapitate or dismember himself yet. He was from from the best he wished to be.

Still, at the moment, he was legally safe. He had enough permits that he couldn't be flagged down for anything too ordinary. He also needed to get some more cash. He wondered if he could invest based on his understanding of the economy of another world. After all, almost all of the history was the same. He had a vague plan that could make him rich quickly enough if he could get the history right. The history before the Millennium attack was broadly the same, even if he remembered different names for the world leaders. Millennium was not too focused on the corporate sector. Their goal was power, and their economic activities were solely on the funding front. Still, he had some idea as to what he had to do.

First thing to do was get his exercise in. he had already had a training regime ready which would have made the old Xander cry. Upon reflection, he had noted that he wasn't totally hopeless. The magic induced aging had left him with some muscle mass. The only problem was that it was bad enough that a 12 year old Walter could have totally demolished him. And since he was alone, he had his work cut out for him. He would have to do some meditation and see what else he could do. It seemed that he was staying in LA for the near future. He absently wondered how his old friends were doing.

***

There was not much to see in the less affluent parts of LA. A lot of homeless people, a lot of garbage. It was as depressing as any other major city if you thought about it. Every now and then, as he slowly cruised the darkening streets, he would see the uglier sides of humanity at play. Hookers, thugs and other small time criminals, lazing around and sometimes eying his vehicle speculatively. Thankfully, the big SUV and his rather grim looking countenance turned away any interest people may developed in going near him. In a rather ironic kind of way, he looked like an enforcer, especially through the tinted glass.

He didn't take a chance in a motel. Not this night. He slept in his car, assured by the mystical contract that guaranteed the enhancements on the vehicle. He wanted to scout the city out before he tried to do anything that may be stupid. A good daytime walk was just what he needed. He needed to figure out things like how likely he was going to be seeing a vampire. Still, he had time to spend. And things to do.

His first stop was a gun shop. It must have been quite a sight. Nine am, right after the store opened, he swooped in and strolled into the shop, probably startling the middle aged fellow with his black outfit. He didn't say much, just muttered a hello as he was passing over the front of the store. He examined the rifles with some interest but eventually passed over them. This place didn't have the really interesting stuff after all. Still, for a gun shop in California, it was very large, and until he could find the illegal places, this was all he'd get.

He paused over the pistols, looking at the variety he had to choose from. A lot of the selection were various types of 1911style pistols, that he ignored. He eventually settled on a H&K USP in .45 ACP. With the Federal Assault Weapons Ban as it was, he could not get the slightly higher capacity magazines, but he knew that he could circumvent that before he put them to real use. There were plenty of gunsmiths and armorers everywhere you looked. The question was finding them. But he could do it himself. He was one after all.

However, he soon found that buying a firearm as an ordinary citizen was a rather hideous process. He couldn't even get the USP without waiting for almost two weeks. He calmed down with the rather cathartic exercise of remembering Integra's youth. Instead, he let it go and only brought spares and magazines for his in hand firearms. Two 1911s that he had recovered from the vampire nest that he quietly noted as “primary” while he got a couple of knives and then two machete's. Cheap and not very high quality, but enough to work with for the time being.

He also got plenty of .45 ball rounds and 9mm hollow points. He had a feeling he would need them.

***

He had spent six hours driving around the city, familiarizing himself with its most visible sights. He had finally got a general idea of what was where, at least in the not small section he had visited. Still, he had a lot of work to do.

He emptied his Jericho mags of their current ammunition and set them aside. He had to get a feel for the pistols he was now carrying. Knowing how to use them and being able to use them were very different things.

So he went to a range, purchased a lot of ammunition and began firing away.

At first, his shots were well and truly horrible. All three pistols (the two 1911 included) sported 3 dot sights(which was unusual for the older weapons), and only the Jericho was properly calibrated. One 1911 tended to shoot to the right and the other tended to shoot even further to the right. Still, a bit of careful adjustments and help from a helpful guy later, he got both of them perfectly sighted. He then proceeded to celebrate by shooting at targets one after the other.

Nobody realized it, but Xander was taking his time to set up his shots. Each shot was a bit different. He didn't use the “ideal” stances, and he didn't try to do anything remotely competition like. His goal was the annihilation of the target. So at a comparatively long range, he used all three pistols, one after the other, taking times to reload the magazines. He aimed high, he aimed low. He made sure that his shots, whether in the 9mm Jericho, or the other two .45 pistols were here they were going.

He spent till the range closed at night, buying ammo and shooting it, exhausting his hands and fingers in the tedious task of firing the weapons and reloading the magazines. He tried to simulate situations, adjusting his starting points, timing himself, checking his accuracy and the time he needed to pepper a target. All in all, by the end of the day, he didn't feel totally useless. He was close to the average soldier in conditioning at the moment. He just needed to work his way up using the patented Hellsing training regime that turned boys to men in the shortest time possible, if he didn't get killed. He really needed the Hyena gifts.

Still, he slept in a motel with a bit more hope, remembering to put his free headband on. The dreams were enlightening.

***

When Xander awoke, he could feel the effect of having worn the headband. He was sweating all over and could feel the exhaustion in his limbs.

This was new.

He had just spent two years in the life of Alexander Wolf. And he was one tough bastard. The created memories were not only graphic, they were brutal and too realistic. He had felt the agony of basic training, the boredom of ordinary posting, the terror of being ambushed. He remembered nearly losing it, attacking with near suicidal rage and somehow surviving through sheer dumb luck. He had immediately volunteered for more difficult duty, and he had been allowed despite his own surprise because his commander, who he had managed to save, said “He's not a madman, he's untrained. And we need him yesterday.” They were all ape shit crazy. He highly suspected that this was not how things were supposed to go. The supernatural angle was looking extremely suspicious.

The rest of his time was spent in some weird program that was removed from the official special operations branch. The country had several of them up at any one time, and they were all highly selective “We pick you” outfits. He was put through several different fields of study simultaneously, even as he was sent on missions as soon as he passed the required criteria. His “exams” were operations in South America. By the end of those two years, Wolf had been a battle hardened veteran, someone even Walter would have respected as a soldier. He did his duty without complaint.

Xander looked at his mirror and was surprised to see a more weathered face than he had gone to sleep with. A detailed examination in his shower showed him that he had improved his body physically, partially gaining the physical abilities his newest memories had remembered having. He wondered if it was something specific to the headband or a remnant of the Halloween incident, but he shrugged. He couldn't find it in himself to care one way or another.

His previous nights had been a slow recap of his life as “Alexander Wolf”. His childhood in foster care, an intense desire to prove himself to the parents who finally adopted him, the impact of their murder by a drug crazed gunman. He had immediately thrown himself into studying, burning himself up in an effort to prove himself to the memory of two smiling faces. High grades, high scores, good athlete. That was what he was, before he eventually made it to the air force. What happened next had just been covered yesterday night.

Still, his six o clock morning had begun with lots and lots of exercise. He ran and did calisthenics, including the beginning exercises for the style of motion Walter had employed. It actually held a lot of common features with Parkour, at least in the basic principles.

At about ten, he finally finished up, surprised at his leaps and bounds in ability. It had been barely a few days since he had arrived in LA and he was already past a good deal of the trouble he had expected in getting in shape. Still, he was nowhere near what he needed for trying his wires.

As he had been doing, he went to explore the city more, dressed casually under his menacing coat. He had been enjoying the city, one without the overwhelming oppressive nature of the Hellmouth hanging over it. He felt light and free, even with his newly assimilating memories, whose terror was diluted as they were by the years of service given by Walter.

That evening he went to a local gunsmith, deciding to get his current weapons to a semblance of his standards, so both 1911s were given to be renewed. The pistols would in a few days be in a condition which was resembled new and customized. It was a slow week for the man and he had been able to do the job quickly.

The new pistols were a very much improved version of the old ones that had all but disappeared. The excellent condition frame was almost the only remaining part of the once ugly pistols. The stainless steel slide and frame were now accompanied by wooden grips. And it now sported a ramped barrel, chromed. The springs had been adjusted for a lighter trigger pull. New sights had been raised and calibrated. The spur had been replaced by a ring hammer. The tang had been extended. The rest he would do himself.

***

It was time to go out and find a place of residence. That much was clear. He had finally decided that a place on the outskirts of LA was not a bad idea at all. So he went house hunting.

It was rather amusing to think that it was much easier to buy a house in LA than it was to buy a gun.

Still, his search had paid off and he had found a person willing to sell a small mansion in the outskirts of LA, away from Sunnydale. The only odd thing about it was that the windows were noted to be tinted and the fact that the place had to have its gas bills paid for the previous three months. It was not prime real estate, so he got it slightly cheaper than he might have otherwise. Furnished, it was a bargain, amusingly enough because the guy selling it was an ex air force pilot from the Korean war, and was happy that his unused home was going to a fellow war veteran, even if they served in different times.

By the end of his second week, Xander could say he had more or less settled in LA. He had his base now, and a place to fall back to. He spent the next three days rearranging and cleaning everything. He paid the outstanding bills, replaced a few broken lights, thoroughly cleaned out every nook and cranny and mowed the grass. And as a bonus, he now had plenty of space to run, the area as a whole not too urban for his tastes.

***

A few nights later, his headband showed him the last year of Alexander Wolf's life.

While his first 2 years of service was mostly guard duty followed by special ops training and missions in a covert unit, his later few years had turned into more classified missions. As a rule, his unit specialized in solo jobs. This meant that they were young, fit, and could do practically anything they were ordered to do.

The covert operations unit “Hawk” consisted of twenty five men and women who were based in Virginia. They were typically sent for missions that sometimes even the President wasn't aware existed. Usually, this meant going into places and causing havoc. The African continent was especially volatile and killing the wrong (or right) person could start a war. Or end it.

Wolf was one of three dedicated “hunters” of the group. Others in his group were infiltrators, saboteurs and trackers. His particular task was to kill people, in a variety of ways, and make it seem like a particular someone did it. In his missions he had managed to assassinate approximately eighty six mission targets. Half of them were in Africa. His missions were normally assassins work, but he did his orders without complaint. Occasionally, he was also told to rescue people or groups, like a UN peacekeeper platoon that had been bogged down by rebels. In missions that required that he save people, he had gotten injured more than once, like the time when he had to kill the second in command of a highly protected African warlord. Thanks to his necessarily visible actions in such missions, he got a few medals, including an Air Force Cross.

Despite his personal success, Hawk itself was eventually disbanded as its members died, sometimes in missions, but mostly in accidents. At one point, a Black Hawk crashed and killed seven operatives in one swoop after it had been struck by lightning. In the end, there were just six soldiers remaining. Five chose to be reintegrated into normal units, but Wolf chose to retire. He was tired of being a silent killer. So he just let go. His file was so classified he himself couldn't see it. The medals he got when he actually saved people and got thanked for it.

The twenty sixth year of Wolf's life was marked by his fiery death at the hands of an assassin. He was driving down a deserted stretch of road in the Californian desert when a shot shredded his front wheel, making his car flip and crash. As he crawled out of his wrecked vehicle, a man in a suit quietly walked up to him and shot him in the head with a machine pistol in full auto. His last memory was the contemptuous look the man shot him as he pulled the trigger.

When Xander woke up, he had a very familiar headache. He took that as a sign that the memories were assimilating properly. But the thing was, he didn't remember going to sleep in a all encompassing abyss.

“Where the hell am I now?!”

His shout didn't echo, and he didn't get a reply. Instead, a figure in a red costume that was very similar to Alucard's stepped out of the darkness.

“Well, isn't this a surprise.”

Walter looked different. The man in front of him was about thirty years old, in the prime of his life and had red eyes and fangs.

Xander decided that he was dreaming. Walter shook his head slowly.

“No you are not dreaming. Well, in a way you could say that, but honestly, its more of an structured internal visualization of your pseudo sentient fractional consciousness.”

Xander slowly nodded.

“I see...”

Indeed, after years of devouring comic books, he could actually extract some vague understanding from the statement. Especially after he had run it through his head more slowly.

“So what am I doing here? And why now?”

Really, the coincidence in timing was appalling. Run through a fictional character's life memories and suddenly, he's stuck in a weird mental plane with a cosplaying past possessor. Wait, if Walter was here, then....

As if in response to the thought(which it likely was) Walter's left sleeve slowly dissolved in a parody of Alucard's nightmare inducing battle mode. It slid down to the floor like a stream of hot tar and slowly bulged and contorted grotesquely until it reworked its form into a four eyed Hyena, its tale connected to Walters elbow. Which promptly began cackling. Xander felt a horrified fascination with the sight and was struck with the disconcerting thought that this was all inside his head.

“And as to why you are here....”

Walter grinned in that creepy manner Alucard did when he was fighting Anderson and the Hyena cackled

“Why, we just found an intruder to this body. And we just had to show it to you!”

Xander sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. More possession magic? Did he have a neon sign over his head that said “Prime Possession Real Estate! Vacant!” or something?

“Who is it this time? A freaking clown?!”

It was a sad fact that no amount of possessions or extra memories would cure Xander's Coulrophobia. Sad but true.

“Actually, its the soul of your supposedly fake air force covert operations medal winning retired colonel guy.”

The Hyena coughed and gagged and threw up something that looked like a human. The human promptly stood up and glared at Xander, displaying a face that he had seen only in the mirror in a dream. Wolf opened his mouth, but no sound came out. But he did manage to notice a cloud of faint ghostly words floating around the mans head.

Ah, seeing the world through tinted glasses...

“Isn't it interesting? They do everything to convince you that Sunnydale has the most people friendly counters ever, even if staffed by a demon.... and then they do this! I must say, its simply wonderful how they think that every person who wants anything is a sucker. HEHE HA HA HA...!”

Xander looked at the drool covered figure in air force BDUs for a moment then turned back to the madly grinning Walter.

“So why is he here? Wasn't he ignorant of the supernatural side of things?”

Walter nodded, a very odd sight with his huge hat.

“Of course! This is actually not his fault at all! It seems that somebody who knows a thing or two about him arranged for him to be resurrected under a geas. So the poor fool is the unfortunate victim of another. He will forever be bound to the caster in this plane. Its a very interesting method. Did you know that the reason you were so specific in your military request was because of a spell? Somebody was supposed to be the lucky person to host him, who would be completely under their control. Guess who lucky number One is?”

Xander felt an ironic chuckle pass between his lips. He also knew what to do though. Somebody controlled against their will with no way out. In a different world, a different Xander would have been less likely to even consider such a thing. But he had been shaped by two sets of memories, both of which told him that there was only one possible solution to this situation.

A black SIG-Sauer P226 materialized in his hand, he took a breath.

“In the name of God, impure souls of the living dead shall be banished into eternal damnation. Amen.”

A gunshot rang out in the darkness. A body with a hole in its head fell backward and vanished to nothingness.

***

In the office of particularly chatty demon named Kort, a book written in some ancient language flipped open and flipped on its own to a very specific page. Then under the astonished gaze of the bureaucrat a page turned black and disintegrated.

“Huh. Would you look at that. And that was a damn fine vehicle I sold him too...”

***

Xander awoke with a familiar headache. He spent thirty seconds willing the pain away. Then he gave it up as a bad job and got up anyway.

He walked to the bathroom slowly, letting the sounds of his feet dragging over the cheap carpet drown out his pain. He stepped in front of the mirror, looking at his slightly more scarred face, a product of an incomplete possession. In particular, he noted the scarred cut in his cheek from a particularly sneaky knife carrying corpse. The corpse part came after he got stabbed though the cheek, filling his mouth with coppery blood, even as his own silenced 9mm M9 cleared the modified holster, blowing tiny holes through a thick skull.

Today was real. The memories he remembered were also real. Alexander Wolf had been real. He was the one who had been stabbed in the cheek. And yet he, Alexander Lavelle Harris, was now the reality behind the concept known as “ Alexander Wolf”. Because now a dreamed up scar was on his face. And in a way, Wolf was more real than Harris, because Wolf was on a lot more federal databases. Especially if you considered that destructive weapons permit. Because that was as real as he got in this twisted world. He really needed to stop philosophizing. He wasn't Walter, not by any stretch of anyone’s imagination.

And that was when the headache disappeared. He celebrated by brushing his teeth.

***

Exercise was easy. In fact, for some reason probably mystical in nature, he was now stronger than Wolf was at the top of his game.

Maybe because he was supposed to be a mind controlled Wolf and his master needed him in top condition.

Maybe it was because he finally had a subconscious realization of his Hyena remnants.

Or maybe it was because of some other wild reason he had no intention of caring about. He certainly had the muscle mass for his current strength. Today was a good day to use it. It was time to go hunting. And maybe see what the city had for arms dealers.

So he took his Tahoe and went to the range, whiling away his time by fine tuning his aim. It was not something that an ordinary marksman would even consider. Not the way he was shooting. His objective was to be able to pull out and shoot his pistol in the least amount of time possible. And for him, it was very fast. After a few days of training, he found that his reactions and ability was extremely good. He suspected, that this was again the work of whoever enslaved Wolf. What was the use of resurrecting a soldier into the body of some snot nosed kid? No, they had wanted somebody who was as capable, if not more than the original. He idly wondered if some megalomaniac was currently swearing at the failure of this particular plot.

Not that it mattered. A look at his watch told him that it was almost sunset. It was time to wander around.

The streets were still busy. The large population of LA made it seem that all the vampires in the world wouldn't have bee able to drain the human throng in one go. It was almost intoxicating to see people out after dark. He never got tired of it. Still, vampires and demons also existed, lurking in shadows, preying on the unaware.

Xander didn't join the crowd. No, his prey was not the humans here, so headed towards more unsavory parts of town, where a vampire could be just another demented wacko with a blood fetish. Where humans were monsters, real monsters thrived. It was amazing how much he actually retained from Giles's books.

Parking his ride in an unobtrusive spot, he climbed out, fully armed and ready. He was confident that the SUV would still be there when he returned. There was way too much power in that car.

Simply walking away from the vehicle peeled back the security of the vehicle interior. A dark aura settled on him, a primal darkness that warned away those with innocence in their hearts and resonated with the darkness in humans. It was a palpable aura, built up by the protracted misery of those who dwelt there, the cry of a thousand souls seared in agony. It also deadened the instinctive fear of things that go bump in the night.

He spent half an hour quietly dodging the sidewalk haunts of hookers and thugs. In his attire, that stood out yet didn't, he was untouchable. He was a predator and even the stupidest of humans realized it. Monsters of the night were a different story.

They approached him, confident and graceful, smiling angelically at him. They wore clubbing clothes, light and tasteful. One approached him, giggling a bit, a touch of excitement in her pale face.

The vampire looked young and pretty. She approached him in spite of his foreboding aura. The surety of her undeath assured in the way her cold hands caressed his face in a lustful fashion.

“Hey Handsome-”

That was as far as she got before she inadvertently touched a black cross on his neck. It was an interesting idea. Would the vampires notice a black cross on a black shirt in the night? Well, this one did, but not soon enough.

Even as her face twisted into her demonic appearance, his hands were reaching inside. When her face melted back into a furious human one a second later, he was already moving. The vampire drew her arm back in a whirl of motion, as if to slap him into the wall, something even a fledgeling was easily capable of. As her arm swung forward she made a choking sound and dusted. Xander turned to her companion grimly, stake still in hand.

He didn't have to wait long. The other girl shifted to her vampiric face and charged, heeled shoes proving surprisingly quick. As she punched him though, he managed to sidestep her, and thrust a knife with his other hand. It went into her throat and out the back of her neck. The vampire choked and fell limp, her nerves cut off by a slab of steel. No matter how strong or fast, you cant run paralyzed from neck down.

Xander dragged her to a back alley. Nobody was there and nobody would be. In this part of town, you could get away with daylight genocide, and it wasn't exactly daylight. He dragged the undead corpse, knife and all behind a dumpster and laid it on the ground. The vampire moved her lips in a silent scream, her facing switching appearance every few seconds.

Once the body was laid out to his satisfaction, Xander quickly rifled through her possessions. A purse held a thousand dollars in cash, probably from her last victims. Assorted knick knacks that didn't interest him he put back in. Then he took out a handsaw, blessed and slowly but surely cut her limbs off. The blessed tool made sizzling sounds on undead flesh. The arms and legs were cut off at the joints to the torso. The limbs dusted once they were hacked off, the wounds stopped smoking. The end result looked disturbingly like a cheap sex doll.

Preparation complete, he pulled the knife out of her throat. A few seconds later, the vampire was almost sobbing. The pain from having your limbs cut off in that manner hit her all at once. It couldn't have been pretty. The moment the throat healed up, she began yelling.

“You Bastard! You killed Suzy! And what are you going to do to me huh?!” The rest of it was pure swearing.

Xander smiled grimly and then slapped her. Vampire or not, she was helpless. And they both knew it.

“Oh nothing like what you imagine. I just want to know a few things really. Tell me what I want, and we'll settle this in a painless manner.”

“All this to ask me questions?! You're a sick fuck, you bastard!”

Her following diatribe was less than positive. Xander was not amused. Ten seconds of listening to her later, he whipped her face with the stake.

“Well, can't have that can we? See, her's how its going to be. I’m going to ask you questions and you're going to answer truthfully. Lie and we'll have problems. What problems you ask? Well, I have a quart of holy water and a detailed knowledge of anatomy. Lie, and I’ll finally find out how painful holy water really is to a vampire.”

Perhaps it was his appearance, perhaps it was his psychotic grin as he said the last part, but she was really quiet. He didn't even have to demonstrate his knowledge of torture, adapted from what he saw in South American cartel encampments. Some people could be really inventive with acid.

The black clad man listened, and asked questions. Occasionally he pulled out a bottle. Sometimes she screamed. Twenty minutes after he entered the alley, he returned alone.

***

He managed to get three more vampires that night. LA's higher population seemed to be serviced by a lower active vampire population. Or it could be that it was a population density thing. Or maybe it was the fact that there was an extremely vampire friendly town just outside the big city for them to go to? Either way, he had other things to worry about.

His last kill actually knew what the score on human crime was in the city. The ugly looking fellow had been turned as a reward for his dedicated service to a vampire crime boss. Not that he knew the boss was a vampire at the time of course. What was useful was his knowledge of who was who in this twisted city. Thus Xander learnt about “Mike” who operated a drug trafficking gig that supplied everything. “Joe” who could get you any kind of girl or boy you wanted, for a price. “Sarah” who turned illegal immigration into organized slave labor. “Ray” who oversaw California's illegal arms and ammunition needs, and four other states after. “Holland” ran the most useful business of them all, his firm was a universal get out of jail card. And this one was actually a business! Though, even the vampire was very afraid of them. It was....ominous.

Still, he didn't bother with most of the names. He had no intention of tangling with human crime. Supernatural events were enough thank you very much. The Punisher, he was not. Still, the next day, he went to the LA's distribution center for weapons and went up to the dealer.

The Man did not offer a name, and didn't ask for one. The only obvious feature anybody noted was the scars on his left cheek. It was not something you talked about. His whole face, well aged seemed pristine, save for that ravaged patch of skin. As they conversed though, Xander noted that one more detail that hinted at a horrible past, a faded black number tattooed on his arm.

Their meeting was cordial and pleasant. Xander introduced himself simply as “an interested party”.

The dealer introduced himself as “a local retailer”.

They spent the next hour chatting about anything and everything, simply a way for the two to get a feel for each other. In the end, The Man asked him if he wouldn't mind demonstrating some marksmanship. Xander quietly followed the man to the indoor range, which was across a thick door and walked up to the table.

“Please, a weapon of your choice, five rounds center of mass. I do not like to deal with idiots. While whatever you do after you receive the merchandise is on your head, I would like to think that the person I am dealing with is not a pathological nitwit with delusions of competence.”

Xander smiled and nodded. A professional was somebody he could work with. They may straddle whatever line of morality or legality there was, but he could respect a professional, especially when they were not the scum of the earth.

The table was several feet long and had a variety of weapons on it. Further weapons laid out on the wall, even a fifty caliber Ma Duece. He ignored the heavier weapons and moved to a SIG-Sauer P 226. the empty pistol was disassembled in a couple of seconds, Xander testing the spring and examining the gun that had not been used since being cleaned and oiled, relatively recently. Reassembling the gun, he took the magazine and loaded five bullets of 9mm into it. He pushed the magazine in, locked it and racked the slide. Pointing it down range, he squeezed of two quick shots, readjusted his aim and fired three more.

“Excellent! Your favorite?”

Xander nodded. “I have fond memories of that weapon.”

The Man grinned toothily. “Very good. Most of the imbeciles seem to have an unnatural fascination with those tiny sub machine guns. It has been quite a while since I dealt with somebody who actually knew what they were doing. In any case, the rules of purchase are as follows. We operate on a trust system. You buy the weapon and ammunition and you pay for it without hassles over paper or electronic numbers. Negotiations are conducted face to face, and any payments are private and unrecorded. If you do not pay, we do not transact again. It is as simple as that. No messy contracts, no unnecessary revenge. You will simply lose access to any armaments that you want, from me at least. The system is of trust. Do you understand?”

Xander nodded. This guy was much better than the people who he dealt with in Africa. Those gun runners kept to AK style rifles. Here at least you had variety. And he wasn't naive enough to think that he could dismantle the gun running operations, with or without help. Maybe Alucard could, but some taints you cannot exorcise. Besides his policy was actually quite logical. And he assumed that if somebody was out to particularly rip them off, they had some means for retribution.

The paper work was surprisingly minimal. Xander filled out a paper that essentially consisted of name, features and quantity. He marked down two P226R in 9mm, eight 15 round magazines, two HK USP in .45 with rails, eight 12 round magazines, Jericho and magazines, two MP5Ks, ten magazines. A few different grenades, flash bangs and flares and a G36K with five magazines, Accuracy International, Arctic Warfare rifle, .338 Lapua Magnum. And as an afterthought, an FN P90 with eight magazines. Finally, he wrote down one last thing, A Barret fifty caliber anti material rifle. And lots of ammunition for everything. It was a long list. The Man looked at it and quirked an eyebrow.

“Starting a war, Mr Interested Party?”

Xander shrugged. “Perhaps. I have lost my tools, and now I replace them.” These old people always spoke in metaphors and analogies. Perhaps it was a conspiracy. The Man nodded.

“That is something I understand all too well. Would you be interested in the services of a qualified armorer?”

Xander thoughtfully nodded. “I would, but only if they are prepared to accommodate odd requests.”

The Man raised an eyebrow..

“How odd are you referring to?”

“Blessed silver bullets.”

There was a pregnant pause as The Man looked at him searchingly. It wasn't that odd. Lots of people blessed bullets. In Africa, he had once seen Shamans perform rituals which included crates of Kalashnikovs, ammunition and grenades. And compared to people who wanted their bullets in a particular manner, like exact composition, internal layers and the like, plain silver bullets were almost normal. But not totally, because its still over the line between normal folks and nutters.

“It can be done. I will point you to somebody who is......professional. They will not judge. In any case, this shall be done in a week. Payment once you are satisfied.”

“Thank you.”

And that was that. Another week spent in training and marksmanship later, he was ready for his pickup. Of course, he did his bit of hunting. It seemed that the vampires in the city were a bit weaker than the ones in Sunnydale. Still, racking up kills on what were essentially oversized mosquitoes was not something he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing, no matter how profitable, so he stopped hunting and used the time for beginning his wire training.

***

This was the place. Caritas. A demon bar. It had taken three vampires to agree this was the place before he even thought of coming here. And when he entered it, he wished he hadn't.

The place was modern and some would say classy. He might have even liked the atmosphere, if he could here his own thoughts above the groaning funeral music that permeated the air. A look to the stage confirmed that this was demon Karaoke. Popular too, if the cheers were a sign. He really didn't want to know.

He went to the counter contemplatively observed the organized chaos. He turned around to find the barkeeper looking at him with a grin. He was a green skinned horned demon and looked really really friendly. This was probably Lorne.

“Hey there bubaloo! The name's Lorne. What can I get for you?”

“Beer.”

The man(?) nodded as he turned around and retrieved the beverage. Then like the energizer bunny he was back to grinning at him. “House Brand, you'll love it!”. Xander took the beer and nodded, “Thanks”. Lorne was immediately besieged by a rather irritable vampire complaining about the quality of blood. Xander shook his head. He didn't want to know.

He turned and watched the singing demon with a critical eye. He couldn't even guess at the name of the song the ugly creature was belting out. Of course for all he knew, that six foot hulk of brown flesh was the demonic equivalent of Marilyn Munroe, and the song could have been more appealing than whatever latest pop sensation was around the block. Had it really been so long that he couldn't reel a name off the top of his head?

The rest of the bar was also quite the sight. The anti violence ward must have been incredible. He could see at least three species of demon who had been violent back in Sunnydale sitting at the tables, drinking and chatting. It was amazing to watch. When was the last time he had been in the vicinity of a demon that didn't want to eviscerate, consume, posses or copulate with him? It was a wonder that he wasn't grinning like a loon. Still, he was convinced that there really wasn't anything more sinister than a peaceful bar. He would be damned if he was going to waste his time on anything that did not need fixing. The world needed fixing. His body needed fixing. Caritas did not need fixing.

So he left, having spent a grand total of three minutes in the building, long before the green man could ask the victim of a whole lot of chaos to sing for him. So it was that Xander passed through Caritas and didn't give poor old Lorne a headache. And for a while, that was that.

***

The building he was looking at was plain, unadorned and resembled every other building on the street. A long time ago, this particular region was subjected to the experiment of building low income apartment buildings. As such, the dull gray three story apartments were built one next to the other on both sides of a then new street. Unfortunately, there was no demand and the whole area quickly became a ghost town. Property values were non existent and the few who lived were quickly evicted by whatever criminals lurked around. They had found that the barely up to code buildings were perfect hideouts from a police force unconcerned with an officially vacant set of city blocks far from the more important places. Now, the two lane street was cracked and potholed, the paint chipped buildings were covered in graffiti and the people who lived here were “poor unfortunate souls who the good lord ought have shepherded to the afterlife a while ago, before they fell into the embrace of unearthly sin”. Xander resolved not to ask for directions from well meaning fanatical evangelists.

Still, this was the address for the armorer recommended to him. And this particular building was slightly different. For one thing, the locks were new. For another, they were some pretty big locks. And the windows were solid glassless and sealed. Simply by walking to the door, Xander was aware that this was not a safe house. This was a vault. And considering that the person who was there worked with weapons, the security was probably too troublesome to think about.

Getting into the place was very easy. Apparently, he was on the list. A set of runes decoratively set into the wall confirmed that someone knew how to use magic of a fashion. Possibly a truth and identity check of sorts. He was told to go into a room where his new weapons lay piled, all appropriately packed into cases. Two half full crates completed the rest of his order, ammunition included. He checked the guns, quickly slotting and disassembling them and checking for any visible problems. Satisfied, he moved on to the nearest door. It had, conveniently enough, a sign that read “Over here”.

It was an amusing little distraction, so he passed it and opened the door. The two inch steel door with a pressure seal. Talk about paranoid.

The person at the other end of the door was a woman. A very young woman. Wearing a tank top and jeans, the mid twenties woman stood hunched over a workbench. She was apparently engaged in adding some custom detailing for a pistol slide. She put down her tools and stared at him. She was not pretty by the definitions of Xander's former classmates. However the hard eyes and the sheer force of will she conveyed without saying a word told him enough. This was a woman who reminded him, if a little of Integra. Respect was conveyed in his countenance.

“You the Punisher?”

That caught him entirely flatfooted. If this was an anime, his face would be on the floor. Thankfully, it was not. So all the woman saw was him lose his composure completely for a whole split second. She smirked. She nodded to herself. Sure it was the same man. The photos did not lie, but it was always nice to catch them off guard.

“The name is Sofia. My uncle referred you to me. Nice impression, he said. Blessed Silver Bullets, he said. Well, if you have the cash, I’ll make solid gold bullets too.”

This time Xander was able to note the slightest hint of an accent and was surprised to note the Russian tilt to it. Who was this supposed to be? Black Widow's successor? In any case, he had orders to place and plans to make.

“Glad to hear it. This is what I will need.”

And then he proceeded to explain in great detail how he wanted his bullets made, the exact composition of powder, the brand of shell casing he wanted and the modifications to the guns themselves, all of which began with the engraving of words into the exterior of the weapons. Yes, it was complex, detailed and left no doubt as to what the guns would be used for. Finally, Sofia looked at her detailed notes and thought to herself.

“Daemon hunter. Should have known. Better get some more durable clothes and a magic user on your side before you start something. I’ll start the making these according to specs, but it will take some time. Good luck and good hunting.”

He was then shoved out of the building in the polite way that only determined women can accomplish. Not before he was left enough contact information though. And a Russian greatcoat that was in his size. It had enough pockets and pouches to confirm that this was somewhat special. He shrugged and put it on. And the boonie hat. An odd look, but distinctive enough. He did remember to pick up his new guns and the appropriate ammunition.

As he stepped out of the building, he noticed that his path was watched by three vampires, loosely surrounding him on the roofs. He wondered how it had become night so quickly. The vampires were obviously here to kill him. So he slowly buttoned his coat up a bit. He pulled on two black leather gloves and stretched his wrist and fingers. Thin wires began to snake from the tips of the gloves. He walked forward and as the vampires began to attack, he had only one thought in his head.

“Damn I’ve missed this!”







A/N:

First of all, lots of guns. I personally advocate gun control. At the same time, I’m also convinced that there is little more beautiful than a little piece of metal flying in that beautiful arc, all due to human engineering. Not to mention the sheer grandeur of the weapons themselves. A gun is the product of centuries of human ingenuity at its finest – that in the pursuit of killing each other. So on that note. Stop killing each other dudes. Dead people are a wasted resource.

Second the training of Alexander Wolf is completely fictional. Its basically a way of filling in what actually happened with the skills that the people resurrecting him need without being childishly blatant about it. Xander kinda guessed. Besides, magic dude mindprogrammer probably got shafted by the mayor and this is his petty revenge. Cue obviously fake training montage.

Third, Caritas. Every fic where Xander meets Lorne has led to me setting up the seemingly unthinkable scenario where Lorne does not read Xander. *GASP!* besides, it keeps him out of trouble before the real fun starts. Less butt monkey the better.

Four, The Man has no name. Yep, he's just one of those random OC's who resemble certain NPC's in rpgs.

Five, Holland is from Wolfram and Hart. Anyone wanna guess who is gonna be taking an interest in our intrepid young hero?

Six, Russian gun babe. Can't go wrong with the classics. Or something like that anyway.

And lets not forget the finale! Monowire Gloves! The most awesome weapon to ever grace a badass butler.



Ps sleep deprived final edit. Any corrections and opinions are the gift of the reader gods. REVIEW!!!!!



and for the last word, a quote from Loveless:



“Even if the morrow is barren of promises

Nothing shall forestall my return“

posted 5/9/12

The End?

You have reached the end of "Happy Hunting" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 4 Sep 12.

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