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.
Parts of the story have been influenced by many fanfictions that I have read in the past. When you read so many of them, it tends to flow together, but I want to thank all the authors I’ve read, especially for the great road trip or YAHF format stories that have been in circulation, both in tth and in the internet in general.
When Ethan Rayne moved into Sunnydale, California, he had a Plan.
It involved Halloween, Janus and causing Chaos.
There was just one thing he completely forgot about.
The words Chaos and Plan really
don't go together.
It was almost time. Not too long from now, night would fall and it would be time to let loose and unleash chaos. Yes, he Ethan Rayne, Chaos Mage extraordinaire, was going to unleash the might of Janus upon an active Hellmouth. How many other chaos mages could claim anything close to it?
It was all according to plan of course.
He had spent months on this project. The idea may have come to him randomly, but the mayhem it could potentially generate was immense. Transformation magic, an active Hellmouth and a day when demons stayed home. It was clean harmless fun. Of course, being chaos
magic, it would not be something he could control to any degree of surety, but it should go according to plan. And if people died? Well, people died every day really, and compared to being run over by a drunk driver, dying from a chaos spell would be a much more interesting way to go. And if all the costumed people managed to kill a lot of each other, well, massacres were chaotic affairs after all.
While chaos magic tended to be inherently random, using it in controlled amounts was a great way to earn quick amounts of cash. A little divination, a little petty thievery for seed money and a week in Vegas had netted him more than enough capital to set up his own minor costume business.
The costumes themselves were special. At one point they had all been raw material as cloth, plastic, metal and other random, if necessary items. They were then turned into actual costumes by magic, a rather ingenious means of tagging them with magic for the main spell to latch onto. It also had the effect of getting him a better quality stock than if he had tried to buy all those costumes by more normal means. Not to mention, he could specifically tailor his uniforms to the whims of Janus.
Of course, chaos or not, there was a method to his madness. The costumes were mostly typical fare, drawing from myth and legend thus pirates and Egyptians lay beside comic book characters and even ordinary occupations like doctors and firefighters. All told, there were enough to supply quite a few suckers from Sunnydale's population. Of course, seeing as the costumes were decided by chaos magic itself, there was no question that the costumes should go to exactly those who could cause the greatest chaos from them. Or something like that. Assuming they stepped into the shop.
Still, he expected to sell only a fraction of the costumes he had in total. However, he had still arranged for a shipment of random costumes that may or may not be sold in time for his masterpiece. Appropriately enough, he had asked for random costumes, playing off on the extra chaos to add to the spell, and to stave off on the consequences of too much planning for a chaos event. Janus could get huffy about things like that....
Still, it was CHAOS. It would be stupid to ignore the ever present danger of a spell going FUBAR.
Alexander “Xander” Harris looked around the store carefully. With Snyder having volunteered them for babysitting duty, Xander had been stuck with the task of finding a reasonably good costume and to appear to be in the spirit of things. Who knew what went on inside the head of that demented little troll? He really didn't want to risk a detention for “lacking enthusiasm”.
So far his plans had been to wear the army fatigues he already possessed and then buy a plastic gun from the store he was currently in. He had left before the girls though. He didn't need to be lectured about fashion today of all days, and even shy Willow had a tendency to switch to giggly fashion junky. That was so not of the cool.
His mind however was on other things.
Like the fact that this morning he had been completely humiliated by a well meaning slayer. Why did she have to rescue him like that
in front of the whole school? Was it not enough that any hint of manliness in his image had long been sucked out of his life?
Like the fact that he had no money that he could use to do a better job of his costume.
Like the fact that he was in a twinkie withdrawal that was souring his mood.
“Can I help you with something young man?" asked a male British voice behind him with a tone that sounded like the person was tired of appearing so cheerful to people.
Spinning around on pure instinct Xander barely stopped himself from lashing out and disabling the poor man. Instead it appeared that he had lost his balance and fallen in surprise. He heard the laughter from other costumers and expected the same of the owner but when he looked up he only found the man smiling in amusement and slight apology and holding a hand out to help him up.
"I'm sorry if I startled you young sir. I'm afraid that I cannot prevent myself from doing so to just about everyone no matter how hard I try." He said after he had helped Xander get to his feet.
"No problem I suppose this is karma getting back at me for all the jokes at Giles expense" he stated offhandedly trying to minimize his embarrassment.
"Giles? That wouldn't happen to be Rupert Giles now would it?" the proprietor asked. Ethan was quite startled. Giles was not the most common of names now was it? Especially considering that the only two he knew existed were Ripper and his father.
"You know the G-man? Wow talk about a small world! My name is Xander by the way" he answered.
"And I am Ethan Rayne. Now tell me, who would you like to be this night?" asked Ethan, seemingly curious about this acquaintance of his acquaintance. In actuality, his mind was spinning with possibilities. Somebody Ripper knew personally, now wouldn't that be the most delicious little morsel of chaos! And somebody who annoyed old Ripper like that was definitely somebody he could use.
It had been many years since he had last seen the man. After their little demon problem, they had parted ways quite messily. Last he had heard was that Ripper had joined the very same bunch of stuffy shirts he had tried to escape in his youth. Sad story that was.
"I'm looking for a toy gun. I have some old army fatigues at home but...” Xander trailed off, showing his extremely bare budget, and motioning towards a decidedly empty bargain bin.
“Oh dear! I see your difficulty. Its such a shame though. A friend of Rip- I mean Rupert having to be constrained to such minor...” Ethan mumbled towards the end, rubbing his chin in thought.
Ethan took a couple of seconds and then brightened, snapping his fingers.
“I've got it! Come with me!” he exclaimed, walking quickly towards the back. Xander shrugged and followed. Somebody who knew Giles and was British. He just kept a hand on his stake and prayed it would work out.
Ethan stood next to a rack of particularly odd costumes. He seemed a bit excited even. Of course, he really was. This was the set of “hero” costumes, the ones that had their specific set of personalities and traits. Whoever wore these would forever be changed, subject to the whims of fate of course. These were non generic costumes, carrying a will of their own. These would only be given on the day before and on Halloween itself. Even acquiring them demanded that they be bought by a person under the touch of chaos. Which in this case meant the act of frantically getting the costume at the last minute or under some amount of desperation, throwing planning right out the window. Chaos built upon Chaos.
“Come here my boy! And pick one of these. None of my customers so far recognized or wanted them, so I cleared these from the front. But I daresay I’ll have somebody wearing one yet!”
Xander frowned at the rack. These were good costumes. Not high class, but a fair bit beyond his normal means. Still, there was no conceivable reason why they should have been unsold.
“Why didn't anyone get them? Though, I gotta say that I don't know what they are either...”
Ethan seemed to slump a bit.
“They are mostly from Japanese comic books, 'Manga' I think they call it. In other cities, these sell a lot more quickly, but here nobody knows about them. I got a set to see if they were a good bet, but it seems that they're not well known enough here.” then he looked sheepish. “of course, it could be that my order was last minute and I’ve been stuck with the less popular characters but I don't know enough to be sure.”
Xander looked intrigued. These costumes were from Japanese manga. He knew of them, but hadn't got an opportunity to read much of the translated stuff that came to America. His superheroes were American after all. Still, it was an intriguing idea. To be somebody for a night who was not
a pirate or some other walking cliché.
Ethan's fake grin grew more real as he saw the kid thinking it over. He had so far managed to sell some shrine priestess costume, a robot pilot uniform(where do these people come up with this garbage?), a martial artist costume and a rather unique samurai ensemble.
“I'm not saying yes mind you, but how am I going to pay for it? My budget isn't all that much really.”
The shopkeeper gave a genuine laugh.
“My boy, I don't care about the money much! I’m rich enough you know. I'm just in the business because I love to see people discover a part of themselves they often hide, becoming somebody else they want to be!I don't care all that much about payment. I’ll take a dollar and you can have one of these on me. I really didn't know Rupert was in town you know. Its going to be a big surprise when he sees me. And anyone who can annoy that stodgy old chap is someone I do believe I’ll be getting along with!”
The mix of truth and lies did its job, as did the low level compulsion that was present in the rear, the place he brought his more promising customers to. It also tended to scatter their priorities and make them choose otherwise ignored costumes.
Xander finally gave a sigh.
“What the hell! For today, the Xan-Man will be one with the god of Halloween!”
And he quickly began to leaf through the little handwritten notes that came with the costumes, describing them and their original source. A minute into his search, Xander suddenly turned around.
“Say, you wouldn't happen to have anything British in here do you? Something I can really parade in front of G-Man? I can see the look on his face!”
Ethan grinned. It seemed his spell had finally taken effect. Now to really create some chaos. One metaphysical throw of the dice later,
“Oh I have just the thing!”
Ethan pulled out a costume at the end of the rack. It was a white shirt, a tie, blue vest and pants, a pair of leather gloves with some string wrapped around the fingers, boots, a wig and a monocle. A box carried extra stuff that held instructions on what to carry in what pocket.
Xander looked dubiously at the costume. Ethan moved to reassure him with his sales pitch for the character. A character from a series that had barely begun its manga run. A pitch that was tied to the costumes magic itself and one he couldn't hear himself. Chaos magic was not confined to a linear timeline as any practitioner worth their salt knew. Still, having to make a pitch at all when the room should have done it for him? Whoever this boy was, the chaos he would create would be legendary!
“You'll love this costume! The character is from a series called Hellsing. He is the butler of the head of an organization of vampire hunters.” said Ethan as if he was in an infomercial “Of course, he isn't exactly an ordinary man! He is a highly trained combatant trained in armed and unarmed combat and even uses his own special weapon to deal with threats. This is one man who is capable of holding his own against almost any supernatural enemy he faces! For more details please refer to the instructions inside.”
Ethan blinked out of his minor trance to find his newest customer already nodding wide eyed at his words. Just as well, for he was packing up the costume into its box and would soon be billing the kid.
“Just one more thing my boy. Try to stay in character would you? I’d imagine your Halloween experience would be the better for it. And try for that British accent. I imagine it will give old Rupert a heart attack!”
Xander readily agreed. More than he would if he could think about it anyway.
He went home quickly, trying to make sure he didn't get caught up in the Harris drunken festivities his parents engaged in. So it is entirely understandable that he missed the arrival of Willow and Buffy. And the entirely unintended set of sunglasses that fell into the box of costume back at Ethans.
Hours later, which included speaking in as good a British accent he could manage, Xander Harris was ready. Wait, scratch that.
Walter C Dornez was ready. Yes, especially after he had replaced that impossible to put on monocle was replaced by his shiny pair of orange sunglasses. Yes, this was as good a costume as he was going to manage. Now he just had to put in the stuff that came in the box into his pockets. He wondered why, but shrugged it off.
“Lets see, a bunch of keys, lots of id cards, British passport, credit cards...wow, this looks real too! A gun and five clips...is he a butler or James Bond?! Leather gloves, car keys, a handkerchief, two more handkerchiefs, a bunch of plastic knives..... talk about your vamp hunter kits...”
In a little over half an hour, he had managed to pack away his stuff in a relatively concealing manner. Another ten minutes let him get his wig just right. While he didn't look like the manga derived picture on the character card, he did look sufficiently British, and butler like that he was assured of uniqueness. Then he took the orange tinted glasses and slid them on. “Perfect”, he muttered and left.
He was happy with his costume and while not the most earth shattering, there was no way he was going to be a loser in this outfit. All said, those guys in tweed had some
style, as much as it physically hurt him to even entertain that very idea
..... And it seemed he was getting too much in character. If he didn’t control himself, he might even end up in*shudder* tweed!
Ethan swept through the curtain and knelt before the statue of Janus. He pressed his hands together and winced in pain. When he pulled them apart there were wounds in his palms, and blood flowed freely from them. The world that denies thee....thou inhabit
He dabbed the blood from his left hand with his right middle finger and
smeared it over his right eyelid. The peace that ignores thee
He dabbed the blood from his right hand with his left middle finger and
smeared it over his left eyelid. .....thou corrupt
He dabbed the blood from his left hand with his right middle finger again
and smeared a cross onto his forehead. Chaos, I remain..... as ever......thy faithful...........degenerate son
The eyes of the statue began to glow. 128 normal costumes and 11 special ones changed
Xander awoke to a blinding headache and too much pain in his body for him to even think about thinking. When he finally took about ten minutes
He was in a warehouse and was surrounded by a mess. Everything was sliced up. Well, almost anyway. Somebody human was a victim of the devastation, sliced into big hunks of flesh and clothes. What had happened?
He began to leave the building, unsure of everything and slightly hoping that things would not make sense.
He groaned as the memories started trickling in. He had been walking the kids in his much looked at, if not appreciated costume. He had given his advice and the kids had mostly followed it. He had just been past that old lady's house when, something(?) happened. That was when things went murky.
He was two blocks closer to his home in the dead of night when he felt the oncoming headache. Guessing that he wouldn't be making it home, he turned around and made his way back to the warehouse. Even in his funk, he could tell that he was safer inside with all the demons who inevitably roamed the town. As he opened the door and went in, he was struck by the thought that the outside of the building was completely intact. He managed to close the door and bar it before he passed out.
He was named Walter C Dornez. He was an orphan, born sometime 1930 to an unnamed mother who nevertheless pinned his name to his months old chest before leaving him at an orphanage.
His first few years were rather normal, growing up in one of the orphanages of the time, an afterthought of a corrupt system. He was abused, beaten and forced to work as much as his slightly malnourished body would allow. Oliver Twist held parallels to that life of his.
When he was nine, a proper English gentleman, young by modern standards, yet very much an adult by the recently past century came up to him and offered him a choice. “Come with me, for I have a use for you.” it was short and to the point. A hitherto unseen spark let him say yes, and he never saw St. Mary's again.
Arthur Hellsing was a man with a vision. He called himself a hunter. And as a hunter he wielded the greatest weapon of all. His blade was the no life king himself, bound to the control arts that were a product of the occult arts he practiced. And Walter saw all, and learned all. He was told that he was only there because he had a use to the man, and that as long as he was useful, he would be treated well. So Walter strove to make himself of use.
Their most plentiful enemy was the vampire, the blood sucking fiend, and the ghoul, his flesh eating minion, both an abomination of the human who it once was. Walter knew his purpose now. And so he made to fulfill it.
At ten, he already had a good grasp of the part of the occult that Arthur taught him, related to the weapon related aspects of the occult. The same arts that Abraham Hellsing had been a master of. Walters own focus however lay on wires. Making them, shaping them and using them. And to do it he trained. Strength, speed, and wire technique, faithfully recorded by some person of ages past. And he trained for three whole years until he could destroy ghouls with ease.
Of course, by then the second world war had been at full swing and he was rarely if ever sent to hunt. Alucard was the one to take care of most of the ever opportunistic Nosferatu that popped up in wartime Britain. And still Walter trained. And trained more. Until he could, on his own, tear apart regular troops armed with conventional weapons. He was stronger, faster and frankly a better front line fighter than any normal human could achieve. And then came his mission against the Millennium organization. Which was actually a bit blank, like portions of memory had disappeared. It was quite disconcerting, but such things were not dwelt upon.
He could remember fighting with The Captain, but couldn't remember how the fight or the mission ended. In fact, entire swathes of memory of the period 1944 to 1947 were missing. After that was a period of extensive training in non supernatural lines of work. Walter had the distinction of being one of the youngest active duty agents to ever grace MI6, the foreign branch of British intelligence. For reasons amusing to those in the know, he was called The Pianist, which was ironic because he hadn't used his wires in sight of human beings in that time. Still, Walter had thrown himself into his work, relishing the opportunity to do his job without the likelihood of a supernatural opponent to his work.
After that, his next stint was SAS, the special forces unit providing him with his first case of proper warfare, human against human. And so it was that Walter got his advanced lessons on projectile weaponry. Three years with them had given Walter the edge he needed to train the regular troops of Hellsing, something that Arthur Hellsing was eager to develop. He may have held the leash of the very powerful mideon Alucard, but like his daughter after him, he held a savage pride in humanity. Just like his ancestor who vanquished monsters, so too did he wish for humanity to destroy the threats to humanity. In the end, Walter trained as a butler after
most of his fighting, to serve the Hellsing family as their loyal servant.
The time from when he began as Hellsing retainer to the time when the incidents of FREAK chipped vampires began to rise was dotted with points of memory loss, the parts that were not missing
giving tantalizing hints to the nature of the omissions.
Then came the end of the millennium when Millennium chose to forgo subtlety and attack en mass. There were nearly no blank spots in his memory of the war between the pitiful vampires and the rest of the world. He remembered the attacks and the hunts, Hellsing and Millenium pitting their forces on a chessboard that was the entire world. And then he, turned from white to black in a display that left no doubt that the reason for his amnesia was the brainwashing he had experienced.
Unknown to him, Walter's history had been slightly changed due to the presence of a foreign set of glasses in Ethans spell. Instead of dying ignobly due to an improper FREAK chip vampire conversion, he found himself absorbed by Seras, at practically the last minute, a change that turned him from chip vampire to mideon familiar. After a judicious cropping of memories, Walter was able to serve out the next few years until 2005 as a loyal agent of Hellsing, his talents at practically everything reduced to conversing with the growing number of souls residing in Seras, even as occasionally he was let out to make a bigger gun for the increasingly bloodthirsty mideon duo. The entire Hellsing organization was a match made in hell. And now one Alexander Lavelle Harris was as close as one could get to being the living heir of Walter C Dornez.
Xander woke up to an ear splitting headache. He was still in the warehouse and he knew that it was best to ride out the pain before attempting to move. Whispered memories told him that rushing headlong in an impaired state was a bad idea.
The warehouse was still full of ash. Neat piles with footsteps dotted the large area, hinting at the battle that occurred here. At one particular sport was a pile of red flesh and blood, a corpse that had been sliced and diced quite thoroughly, and by the looks of the splatter, while still alive. A piece of sliced off skull revealed a pointed ear, removing any doubts that at the very least, the creature was part non human.
Xander noticed that for all the information in his skull, he still didn't have the faintest clue as to what actually happened during
However, his Walter memories were quite helpful in that regard. The walls showed the signature lines of wire work, his
The vampires had all been taken out in motion, probably decapitated as they were moving, seen by the vaguely tear drop shaped trails of dust. The closed nature of the warehouse hadn't kept the ultra fine dust in place, but the limited air circulation had ensured that he was looking at piles of dust, as opposed to a layer of dust. The corpse had been standing still. It was probably the leader of the bunch, and likely had a human ancestor within the last three generations for it to retain the red blood.
And now came the time to decide what to do. He didn't know what day it was. He didn't know where he was. All he could do was plan and then slowly make his way back to his house. When he did though, there were going to be some changes in his life.
Xander sat down and meditated, old mental training coming as easily to him as it did for Walter, though he doubted that he would be using wires any time soon. About an hour later, he was finally able to let go of the headache. Walters memories had finally assimilated to him. He may have not been physically impressive at this stage, but that was what training was for. Still, he did appear to have aged a bit, at least twenty years old now, rather like a college kid really. Oh this was going to be really
fun, he could tell. Still, there were other things to worry about.
He took some time to inventory himself. The magic that had been responsible for whatever had happened had made his whole costume turn real. It was strangely amusing to compare the before and after nature of the items on him.
His gloves had turned into Walters monowire version, the dull sheen of the wire showing up from looking at it. He immediately slipped those into its pockets. He didn't need accidents. His cheap fabrics had all turned into the special reinforced, anti puncture variety that Hellsing favored. And by the feel of it, his underwear had turned to silk. White plastic knives had turned into custom made daggers, boot and push knives. His cheap and quite pathetic looking green pistol shaped thing
had turned into a full size steel Israeli Jericho 941, a weight he had frankly not noticed in the front of his vest over his stomach. The concealed holster obscuring the weapons outline in the vest. A quick check of the magazine ensured that it was a 9x19mm weapon loading JHP shells. What really surprised him was that he had rarely used that pistol except on a range. His “standard” weapon was a Sig Sauer P 226 after all. A flip and he conformed that the bullets were partly if not completely silver(blessed?), as opposed to regular lead. He wondered how effective it would have been on the vampires here. The Hellsings dealt with a very different type of vampire after all, and demon animated blood sucking corpses were completely absent there. Mideons had souls.
His credit cards were now “real”, but didn't exist in any data base, same for his ID cards, which now held the face of a grim looking Walter, as opposed to the line drawings from a manga that they had been. Of course, the thought was followed by another on exactly how to fake and insert identification into western databases, especially if you knew the right people. Still, there was time to do stuff. The first thing he had to do was make sure that he got home intact.
But first, he needed to find where he was and if he could go find anything valuable before he left. Vampire lairs were notorious for building up stuff, valuable or not as their residents brought back whatever struck their fancy. It was not uncommon to find clothes, money, books, documents and weapons in a lair. The longer vampires stayed undead, the longer their collections improved. Giles had books that mentioned past hunters who had looted nests. While it was not advisable to raid such nests repeatedly, it was perfectly reasonable to loot them if they were empty, as this one seemed to be.
The warehouse was not empty. There were many crate distributed over the floor space, rearranged to provide passable furniture. The wood hadn't deteriorated much, though the writing had faded. Xander suspected this warehouse had been “lost” for a while. When he opened one of the crates he found that it was full of what had been some kind of plastic sheet material. The dates were from 30 years ago and hadn't taken to aging well. His best guess was that the people responsible for this product had been wiped out and the warehouse abandoned by whoever was sensible about things. Sunnydale set entire new standards for what passed for logic. Or reason for that matter.
After picking through the mess of crates, Xander finally hit the jackpot. Which it was when compared to the rest of the building. The first thing he noted were really old briefcases, discarded and dusty. Next to it lay wallets and purses, probably from the vampires victims. And after that came an actual safe. Which wouldn't have been so ridiculous if somebody hadn't left the thing open. He could even see a number scratched onto the shell of the device, presumably its own code.
Still, the safe was proof that there was a god in the world. It was stuffed full of hundred dollar bills. Really, did vampires have to be so messy? Cut up credit cards in a pile told the story of where some of it probably came from. Xander gave a short apology for taking the money of dead men and stuffed it into a briefcase. He could use it more than they could. He just had to wait till dawn.
Other stuff also lay around. Clothing of various ages and genders, including a disturbing number of torn female undergarments, a few vehicle keys on a crate, a television, a couple of cellphones, a whole pile of papers, a few pistols, and so on.
He took some the keys, some clothes that would fit him, including a relatively new duster, some of the more interesting paperwork and of course, the guns. California was notorious for its gun laws, yet, here was a small stash of perfectly salvageable firearms. Just how many people had these vampires gone through before getting that collection up to this? And how many other vampire nests still lay hidden, gorged with the spoils of the hidden war?
Well, it would be such a waste wouldn't it? Having all this knowledge in his head and not having the courtesy to make war on the enemies of all humanity. So what if there a lot more enemies? It just meant that he would not have to spend as much time searching. Search and destroy was his new motto. But first, he had to take care of things at home.
Still, the idea of wasting two million dollars in cash because you were a vampire....
Wearing a black duster and carrying a briefcase, even in broad daylight only made the residents of good ol' Sunny'D look away and forget about it. One or two did a double-take and quite visibly shook themselves from “seeing things”. That or he was too ugly to comprehend. It was, he reflected, quite amusing to be comparing himself to a Lovecraftian horror. Which, when considering the Hellmouth was not entirely out of the realm of possibility, at least in the future. He paused.
“Oh Xander shaped thought patterns, how I discard thee....” he murmured, but didn't stop. It was too late now. He wasn't Walter C Dornez. He
was just a temporary occupant. As far as Xander was concerned, he was not real. And whatever he had done while in that possession (and after the Hyena, he freely admitted to himself that he seemed easily possessed, whether it was true or not) had not been in his own memory. That was the biggest reason, that he considered the event a dream forgotten, yet reflected in reality. And admitting that meant that he could no longer go back to the Xander of old. The experience and the memories had changed him. And he would no longer willingly go back.
But that revelation came with its own set of troubles. He could no longer be a Scooby. It was simply impossible for him to even consider returning to the frankly pathetic behavior he had exhibited until this point. It was practically criminal, the way he lazed around, trying to save the world, yet doing nothing to improve his own capabilities. From here on though, his priorities would be different. There would be no waiting for the enemy to come to him. He was not going to let monsters like the Master flourish in wickedness, waiting for the perfect opportunity to destroy the world as he knew it. He had a perfectly valid strategy to lean upon after all. Search and Destroy.
A newspaper in a garbage dumpster told him at least four of days had passed since Halloween. He wondered what else had happened. So he dug through it with a convenient piece of pipe till he saw one marked the day after Halloween. Bold headlines partly hidden by mustard proudly announced that 34 people had died from a “gas induced hallucination”. Most were kids. What a joke. It was like this place existed to feed the demons that came to bask in the Hellmouth. And even if they were killed, more waited outside, ready to take their place.
He also had to get out of this ridiculous town. He wasn't going to limit himself to a single town in the middle of California. He was going to roam the country and destroy all evil wherever they might be found. After all, there was only one slayer, and she could handle the Hellmouth just fine. The rest of the world was not as fortunate. A world filled with monsters, not just a town filled with monsters.
There was a considerable distance that had to be crossed from where he had been to where he wanted to go. The warehouse had been in one of the less frequented areas in town, and his home was quite a distance away. Walter would have had no problems with it. However, he was Xander, and he barely had any stamina worth speaking. True he could dodge the occasional vampire, but he had no true staying power to back it up. He wondered why the Hyena had not left behind more, especially considering the gifts this last possession had given. It looked like he was going to have his work cut out for him.
His musings were interrupted by him turning a corner to his house to see stuff being laid out in front of it. He quickly confirmed that yes this was the Harris residence. And that was not how he remembered the front lawn. Because he didn't remember the front lawn as being this cluttered with stuff. A closer examination revealed that the “stuff” was a lot of garbage bags in cardboard boxes. A sinking feeling in his gut quickly became an icy fury as he examined the bags to see things that had once occupied his bedroom. Torn comic pages lay in fragments on the sidewalk and a a few bags seemed to be more ash than anything else considering the leaks. It also explained the need for boxes.
Xander let out a bitter chuckle. It seemed that his parents had finally done the deed and evicted him completely. And to finish off the process, they had burnt most of his stuff too. How ironic. Just when he had hopes for the better, this happens. He had no doubt that by now he was either reported as a runaway or dead. Probably the second considering this town. He wondered if they had gotten some form of insurance payoff for him. His chuckle turned into a throaty cackle as he realized that with this he was finally free. He was free to be alone. And nobody would care.
He was dead to his family. The evidence lay before him. He turned around and began to walk, uncaring of his direction as he took the time to think.
He couldn't go to his friends because they would most likely practically lobotomize him to get rid of the the extra memories. Buffy wouldn't like the idea of somebody else with any ability to dispatch the enemy. She hated guns and had a lone alpha mentality. She had even almost died for it in the Masters cave. Willow would sooner return him to his old self than admit any changes to her Xander shaped friend. Her reactions to his Hyena possession did not fill him with confidence. After Jesse had died, she had lived in the past. Some part of both their lives continued as if Jesse was an integral part of their group of friends. And when she didn't want to stay in the past, there was Buffy. Oh yes, his friends would be the first to gleefully wipe his mind.
Giles, he was unsure about. The British Watcher was an enigma. Although Xander had somewhat dismissed him as “that stuffy old guy”, his current thoughts were far more deeper than that. Giles was a Field Watcher
. That meant the Watchers council had to be pretty sure he could assist and take care of his slayer, especially on a Hellmouth. Walter himself had been one of those British stuffy shirts that the old Xander would have immediately dismissed. And he knew exactly what the old butler had been capable of. So the question was, what was Giles capable of?
In any case, the Watchers Council itself was a rather suspicious thing now that he took the time to consider them. Exactly how had they kept the world spinning if they had just one mystically empowered warrior who more or less reincarnated every now and then? Hellsing had its own mystical warrior in Alucard and a whole private army to take on the ghouls and vampires. Where was the Councils private army? Not to mention, the very word council reminded him of the Round Table nobles. Now there was a disquieting thought. And what of the other religious organizations? Where was the church? Where was the Iscariot Division of this universe? Too many questions.
His first stop was to the local second hand shop. He had things to do and he had things to get. This was as good a place as any. After all, this was where the contents of those houses without living inhabitants or claimants ended up in. The place had a lot of merchandise, and he tried not to think about the fact that almost all of this stuff was from dead people. not that he had any unnecessary guilt, but thinking about the dead was quite morbid, even if this was sunny
His shopping was light, mostly some outdoors clothing, warm and thick. A duffel bag, of really high quality. Two sets of fatigues in his size, which was not too short when he didn't slouch. They were probably from some unfortunate soldier from the Sunnydale National Guard. A couple of ankle length trench coats which seemed to be circulating around a lot. Did the vampires shop here? He even found a hunting rifle with magazines still half full of ammunition, which he ignored. He got leather gloves and tanker boots. The rest he would get from the mall.
The mall was more clothes shopping. Shirts pants and underwear. All high quality stuff he would have worn as a bodyguard of Hellsing. He also got a black suit, fitting it to him, waiting patiently. It was his most expensive purchase yet. He still went out in his current attire though. He did pick a set of orange sunglasses, rare find though it was, and a black fedora with the widest brim he could get away with. For today, he had to look the part.
When Xander had decided to make his move with the criminal element of society, he was stumped because Sunnydale had very little human crime. So where did he go to find his bucks worth of illegal government hacking?
The answer took a bit of thought but he eventually got it.
That rat bastard knew all the people and places in this town. So he also knew who to contact for what. And right now, he needed someone. After all, demons needed ID's too. It was a sobering thought.
Willy was quite cooperative. He had seen Xander before with Buffy, but he looked too different now to realize who he was. He walked to the table and slipped a hundred to the miserable man. “I was told to come here. By a person of my acquaintance. Find Willy's bar. He will get you to where you need
. And so Willy tell me, where do I go to get what I need?”
Willy had been most polite. There was a demon he said. In City Hall of all places. Whatever paperwork he needed would be done. Whatever he needed. Birth certificate, Drivers License, Firearms Licenses, Social Security, Bank Account, anything and everything. For a price. One visit five thousand dollars. Don't ask and don't tell. It was very convenient for the demons who want to set up shop here, peaceful or otherwise. And lets not forget the vampires eh? Just be sure to get all the details straight. No refunds, no records. Them big boys don't like it when small fry leave little reminders of their existence.
So he took two hours to write down everything he wanted into sheets of A4 paper.
The demon was very much human. He was perfectly ordinary. Brown hair. Brown eyes. Thin wire frame glasses. A small mole on an average jawbone. Perfectly ordinary if he wasn't sitting in broad daylight with a horn winding around his left temple and his ear. And if he wasn't sitting in a public office of a public building with the signboard that said “Kort Bed'zhe'nell. Identity Creator."
“So, new application eh? Cash first, Two grand, three more when the rest when its done. Extra two for special requests. Please make your checks to the "City Parks and Open Spaces Development Fund. Your payments may be made here.”
A very rehearsed speech.
A very rehearsed bureaucrats speech. The type you heard from someone at a counter who had to reel off the same speech day after day until the your mind disconnected with everything else, leaving your shell of a body to speak, listen, and do with German military precision while you wondered how the hell your life reached this point and why you hadn't died of boredom yet.
And the guy was a demon. This town was whacked. Let Buffy play here all she wanted. He was out of here.
The demon looked over the neatly hand written page with a great deal of interest. It was extremely detailed and he doubted that he had ever met anyone, human or demon who had managed to write down the relevant details of six new identities in such a detailed manner. And it made his job easier too. Who wanted to invent the inane details of some dumb demon anyway? He was not Shakespeare.
“You are very..... thorough”
Xander didn't move a muscle. Kort continued without missing a beat.
“Well, I’ll say this. This has to be the easiest big job I have to do yet. I wish all you people would be this helpful”
Xander's reply was a bit dry.
“Anyway, while we wait for the stuff to get inserted, would you like to get some of our specials? You know, human disguise amulets, special occupational identities, car sale?”
“Do you really have all those?”
“Sure. This town kills everybody. Hell, I’ll probably be gone tomorrow and somebody else will be wearing this nice shirt. You can get everything second hand here. This place is the spot to buy stuff. Discounts for those who are peaceful, like I’m guessing you are?”
Xander snorted but didn't disagree.
“I'm out of this town soon anyway. The Hellmouth is way too dangerous for my tastes. On the other hand I do need the stuff...”
Kort nodded wisely.
“Ah one of those folks eh? The boss encourages that. Doesn't want the town to go up now, does he? And here's a list. They began magically updating the damn things since last summer. Oh and requests? They have to go through other databases and the magic required costs us. So make it good”
Xander pondered the list of items before pointing to a black SUV that looked like something an FBI agent would drive. A closer look suggested that it was a Chevrolet Tahoe
“What about this one?”
The demon snorted.
“Oh that one? That's a funny story. See, there's this vampire, aaaaand.... OK, not interested in that are you? Anyway, its sturdy and bullet proof. It can take anything up to at least an anti tank round without a scratch. Lots of magic used on it. Enchanted shell, blessed too, if the vamps who try it are a clue. Current rate is a hundred grand. three times normal thanks to its awesome mods. Its still going cheap as they want the current lot cleared within the next three months. Not sure why myself, but the Boss said so. Don't have all that many left anyway. Now if I can just get someone to buy that semi.... Anyway, you're the only person in a month who I’ve seen buying anything. What everybody really wants is real estate. You won't believe how many warehouses this place goes through. Its like- Oh, the first ones done. Should come sooner now.”
The first set was for his primary identity, the one he would be flashing everywhere. The others would be used for more unsavory purposes.
“Does your specials include getting a military ID into the system?”
The demon shrugged.
“Sure, the Government has the habit of leaving blank id numbers into the system if they ever want to give someone a new identity, its quite funny really. So whats your gig? Alphabet agency? Armed Forces? Police? Once I even got a guy a slot in the navy SEALS. Not sure why myself, but hey! Free country and all that. So whats your choice? Just remember two grand per service”
“Air Force black ops. Pick a unit of your choice, maybe a couple of medals, something in anti terrorism. You know, a classified file. Black out everything until the Joint Chiefs.”
Kort whistled. ”Sheesh, make me work for it why don't you? Any reason you want this one? Never mind, better if I didn't know. Still, as long as you don't want to stir up too much trouble, who am I to argue? Better than hospital intern anyway...”
He quickly pulled up some files on the computer and wrote up a small history that Kort showed him. Xander's eyebrows rose at some of the stuff in it. Still, a twenty six year old retired colonel was something he could live with. So were the medals. He'd done similar enough stuff back at Hellsing.
Still, something about this stank to high heaven. These were demons. Where was the backstabbing? It was a bit surreal. Who knew demons were so chatty when you weren't trying rip each others hearts out?
“One last thing. This headband is a chaos mage memory vault. Its not something I usually give away, but after your spending, consider this on free. Its a record of memories for the things you are supposed to have done. Usually used by former demons for whatever reason. It won't change the past, or what you can do, but it will let
you remember what you supposedly did to have reached colonel at 26. Its pretty graphic stuff, so good luck!”
Eventually, he was the proud new owner of a lot
of stuff. A new car, a couple of bank accounts, his shiny permits to shoot, drive fly and ride almost anything. He was rated for fighter aircraft as recent as 1998 after all. Walter was a jack of all trades. He had several “real” ID's, documentation for each and the best part was, they were all real. And all it cost him was three hours and nearly a hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
He also loved his new ride. He guessed a priest had gotten to it, there was a very holy presence to it and somebody had painted a nearly invisible black cross in a metallic coat in front. The Chevrolet emblem in front had been replaced by a polished silver cross. He was half tempted to call it the Jesus Mobile, no offense to the man himself. Still, it was finally time to go. He filled his tank, rolled down the windows of his pine smelling SUV and rode out of town. It was time to go on his road trip.
On November 8th 1997 Retired Air Force Col. Alexander Wolf was on the road. He had to spend his retirement somehow right?