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Manhattan, N. Y.
Green Witch Sandwich Emporium.
"...and then I tell him he's no longer my favourite cousin, 'cause hello...asshole with delusions of grandeur...say, Will..."
"...Yes Buffy?" Willow was hopelessly lost in her friends green eyes, 'it's hopeless. I'm totally heads over heals, but does she see it? That's a big fat 'NO'. What will it take?'
"Do, do you think an asshole can have delusions of grandeur?" She asked seriously.
'Has the bleach finally won? Is she like clueless to how I feel?' Willow hummed as if she was giving the matter serious thought. "No..." She replied hesitantly, "I don't it can. Asshole are usually deficient in brain matter so it would be really hard for them to come up with any kind of thoughts."
"SEE! That's what I thought too, but..."
Willow has had enough, it was either kill her or kiss her. Since she was her best friend, and those were really hard to replace; she reached over grabbed both cheeks in her hands and kissed Buffy senseless.
At first Buffy freaked. She wanted to break the kiss, but at the same time she didn't want to insult Willow. She was trying to come up with a plan to get out of the kiss that never ends, ‘Talk about lung capacity...’, when after another minute she noticed that she was really enjoying the tongue action. 'It’s been a long time since my last kiss, and she is sooooo cute. Ah who cares...?’ She broke the kiss grabbed Willow's hand and dropped some money on the table with her other and proceeded to dragged Willow behind her.
"Wh, where are we going?" Willow was still a little breathless from the five minute kiss.
"I'm taking you to my hotel room to ravish you properly."
Willow's smile was huge. It ate up her entire face. "Okay, but could you please hurry up. I feel that if you don't do it soon; Darth Willow is gonna show up and eat you alive."
Buffy unbuttoned two more buttons and yelled, "Taxi!"
This being Manhattan she was almost run over by several taxis competing to take the two super models, with the bra showing anywhere they wanted.
Kree Sentry 459 flew over the Pacific Ocean gathering data. The signal to activate had finally reached the Giant purple and metallic blue robot. It was flying at a leisurely pace of mach 5. This speed gave it plenty of time to analyze the background radiation and the abundant microwave energy broadcast all over the planet.
It noted the changes since the last time it was active. Back then it’s duty was to monitor the inhuman colony. A colony its masters had created in an effort to duplicate the Celestial’s Evolutionary Practices.
Its AI was curious why it was not given the instruction to follow through on the results of the experiment. It decided that better to follow through with it’s current set of instructions and when those were achieved it would go back and complete its original mission.
The deep space sensor alerted it to a several large presences in the solar system. It tried to access them, but its efforts were repulsed by AIs of terrestrial design. It logged the attempt and results. It would send them along with the rest of the report on the current level of development of the planet.
“Director Fury, sir several attempts were made by parties unknown to hack all of our space assets. The ones currently carrying an AI managed to repulse the intrusion. The rest were breached and are reporting significant looses of data.” Commander Hill had alerted Fury as soon as the reports started to come in.
“Do we know who did it? And are they still at it?”
“It is unknown at this time. We are however tracking a moving signal in the south Pacific moving at mach 5. We cannot get a visual lock, but we are able to track where it’s been from the huge volume of air mass being pushed in it’s wake.”
“Send an intercept squadron from wake. I need eyes on the target as soon as you get it.”
“Right away sir.” Hill began issuing orders as she walked out of the office.
Fury pressed a couple of buttons on his display panel and connected to the new space navy on the far side of the moon. “Colonel Bridge...”
“Director Fury...I take it you’re calling about the attempt infiltrate our systems?”
“What’s going on up there G.W.?”
“We got a hit a few minutes ago, but the new AI system that’s supposed to be in charge of the main Gravity Canon detected and blocked the attempt. Otherwise the hostile would have walked though our security like it wasn’t even there. Is it supposed to do that? ‘Cause that bit of vital information wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the briefing, or documentation I got from the Stark rep or his tech boys when they were installing the canon.”
“Stark and Richards mentioned something about protection against this kind of this. I didn’t think they’d put a full blown AI. Those boys really mean business. What are your recommendations?” Nick asked. What he really wanted was for G.W. to say that they should take one of the AIs apart and find out how it works.
G.W. was used to working with Nick. He narrowed his eyes and sent his boss a clear message, “If it ain’t broke Nick...’don’t fucking try and fix it.’ And that there system is doing its job, and mine...” Colonel George Washington Bridge added reluctantly, “I am not rocking that boat Nick. We’re in a fucking tin can in space. If something goes wrong up here...?”
“I understand G.W. it’s your call.” Nick didn’t think that was going to work, but he had to take the shot that it might. He knew that G.W. was right. It was his ass on the line. He ended the call, and “FUCK!” he said in the relative privacy of his office. “Who the fuck is playin’ me now?” he asked the four walls.
Manhattan, N. Y.
After eight hours of uninterrupted sleep with Faith by his side, Xander had awakened fresh and ready to take on the world. He noticed that he was in bed alone when he turned over and found the bed empty. From the scent left behind he estimated that Faith had left about three hours earlier.
He went into the bathroom and took care of his ‘morning’ ritual. When he dressed and left the bedroom, still no one noticed. He ghosted out of the penthouse and jumped from the landing pad to the plaza below.
He walked around at first looking at the sights and the massive construction effort underway almost two month later. From what he could see he estimated that there was a boom in the construction industry that would fill almost every possible position on the eastern seaboard for the next year or so.
Hi wandering feet had taken him by the Times Square arena. He looked around like the tourist he was and tried to come up with a realistic method of reaching Dawn and the kids. He could still feel the connection to all of his kids. Alex and Jenny here on good ole ‘Terra Firma’; while the rest of his family lost in deep space felt just as close.
He wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings. He wasn’t worried about his personal safety. He noticed the two dark vans and thought nothing of it. He figured they were SHIELD agents who picked him up as soon as he landed in the plaza.
The doors to both vans suddenly opened and twelve men who wouldn’t be out of place in a ‘Men in Black’ movie rushed over with drawn weapons. They had him surrounded. He noticed that there was a slight similarity between the energy weapons they carried and the new energy blasters used by SHIELD these days. Phil had shown him his new side arm while the rest were watching Tony’s presentation.
“Hands over your head now super soldier. If I see you reach for a weapon, we’re frying every civilian you see.” the leader threatened menacingly. Xander could tell that this man was on edge and scared, but he was more than ready to carry out his threat.
“Okay, but I’m calling shotgun.” Xander used a friendly smile instead of a snarky one. He didn’t need to upset the frightened kidnappers too much. ‘I wonder why they’re so frightened. And why he called me a super soldier?’
Xander had forgotten the footage of him and his team was broadcast throughout the globe while he spent the last two decades in the 'Land of Timeless Mists.', these men hadn't. The footage of Xander using his black sword up close against the aliens and the deadly accuracy he displayed with his Uzi of endless ammo, was still fresh in their minds. From the way he was able to match Captain America move for move cemented the fact that he was at least a modern day equivalent of the good Captain.
Xander walked slowly to the van and made no sudden moves. He'd take care of these guys when he found out a little more about them, who sent them? Why? Etc, etc, etc.
Once in the van the men inside kept their guns pointed at his head at all times and the ones outside closed the door as soon as he was out of the street. They raced into the other waiting van and drove off as quickly as the nighttime New York traffic would allow.
One of the men wanted to blindfold Xander, but he gave him a glimpse of the hyena and that derailed that plan. No one wanted to get too close and they wanted this mission over and done with as soon as possible.
No one man should be this scary. When they were watching him walk around he didn't give off any bad vibes. Now, they couldn't wait to get away, and they were the ones with the guns pointed at his head.
Soon enough they all pulled into an underground parking lot. A concealed secret ramp opened up and the drive made sure that the coast was clear before driving in.
As soon as the vans stopped the men in the lead van got out first, and fanned out to cover the second van with the prisoner.
"Out. Move slowly or you'll regret it."
"Seriously? I'll regret it? Who writes your dialog, soap opera hacks?"
One of the men snickered.
"Shut up Frankie." the man who threatened Xander told the snickering man.
"I'm not the one who watches passions Robby."
"No way. That crap will rot your brains. Why I knew this bleach blond guy who watched that crap for years. it drove him nuts. After a while he thought he a vampire, 'cause he never saw the sun anymore. Started avoiding it when he had to. he'd put this blanket over his head when he had to go out and would wonder why there was smoke coming out."
"Was there smoke coming out?" Frankie asked.
"Yeah, but that's because he was a chain smoker..."
"I said shut up." Robby waived his blaster around.
"See that's like the first sign." Xander pointed out to Frankie.
"What is?" Frankie asked.
Despite himself Robby was listening to this crap. 'No way this shit is true.' "MOVE!"
"Hey easy with the shouting Robby. You know the boss hates that."
"Shut the fuck up Frankie, or I swear." the blaster moved from Xander's head in the other man's direction.
"Hey. Hey. C'mon man he didn't mean nothing by it. Right Frankie?" Xander asked.
"Yeah Robby. I was just like givin' you free advice. Ya know how the boss gets sometimes..."
Frankie mimed zipping his mouth.
Robby let it go. He'd deal with the moron after the mission was done.
"Hey thanks for speaking up for me back there man." Frankie told Xander.
"No problem man. I know how those passions watchers can get. I'd transfer to another team as soon as you can if I was you. Ya' know."
"I hear you. Thanks again. If I can I'll tell the boss to go easy on you."
"Thanks Frankie you're alright."
Robby charged the blaster and got ready to blast both men.
Frankie backed off, "Jeez alright..."
Robby was reinforced by another team. He had a feeling that something wasn't right. This was far too easy. he saw this man earlier this morning in the training video kick an alien ten feet at two other aliens that were about to shoot him, and he then spun around and sliced two more that got too close. The three aliens then went on for another five feet and hit the wall of the next building across the street. 'So if this guy is so tough, why is he letting us take him like this without a fight?'
The two teams led Xander into a large chamber where a lot of men were practicing all manner of armed and unarmed combat drills. Every kind of small arms possible was being used. From infiltration teams using silenced weapons, to explosives experts demolishing obstacles in their path.
“You know, if it was up to me I wouldn’t let anyone talk me into letting them practice demolitions underground. But hey, that’s just me.” Xander gave the man in charge a friend smile.
“How very droll Mr. Harris.”
“I thought so too. What do you think Frankie? Seven, maybe eight?”
“That was kind of weak Mr. Harris. Maybe a six if I’m feeling generous.” Frankie shrugged it was okay, nothing special.
“Who is that man?” the leader asked.
“That’s trooper Frank Sullivan. He’s part of the capture teams.” Robby replied.
“Did he perform well?”
“...” Robby hesitated for a moment, but he wasn’t as ruthless as he thought he was and Frankie wasn’t all that bad. He did lose over half his paycheck to Robby regularly, so he decided to stand up for him this time. “Yes sir. The mission was flawless.”
“In that case have him disposed of mercifully as a reward for his good service.” He commanded.
“Hail Hydra.” Robby saluted as he assigned a couple of men to get the job done. He definitely wasn’t that ruthless or bloodthirsty to kill a man he trained and fought with for years. ‘If only they didn’t pay so well.
"Meh." Xander pretended that he was disinterested.
"You don't seem too worried about your fate Mr. Harris. Our Hydra scientists will soon discover all your secrets after they dissect you alive." the leader said with a nasty smile.
"They wouldn't find much?" Xander shrugged.
"Are you saying that you do not have any abilities that are far beyond those of normal men?"
"No. What I'm saying is that as a 'Watcher' they're mystical in origin and the treaty 'forty seven' between Hydra and the council means that we would eradicate you if you interfered with our agents for no good reason." Xander explained.
"That, that can't be. The council does not operate in the open, in such an obvious manner."
"Really didn't have a choice with a 'Mad God' on the lose. We do anything to prevent Apocalypse. We can always come with an explantion for after. Hard to do that after the planet is destroyed. So...anything else on the agenda or can I go?" he asked resonably.
"...and the woman who fought beside you?"
"You mean my slayer?"
"Obviously..." Sigfried sighed. 'What a cluster fuck. He's telling the truth. He knows too many secrets that are shared only at the top levels of our organizations for him not to. And as the Watcher to the Slayer it means that the council keeps close tabs on his whereabouts and those of his charge. Fuck. We can't remove him either. Their service to the planet is too important. Not much fun in wining against the governments of the world, just to see the demons burn the place down because we removed the ancient protections.'
"If you don't mind my asking Mr. Harris about your abilities..."
"Not a secret really, Primal possession for the strength, speed, toughness, and a whole lot of mojo from the strongest witch in a thousand years to keep the whole package stable, that and a decade and a half of fighting nightmares on a daily, or is that nightly bases, and you get one of me. Sure any fool can give you the Primal package, but that just leaves the animal in charge. Not much good in a high combat environment." again Xander made with the shrug to show he wasn't worried about much.
Sigfried had to agree. There wasn't much he could do to the man, "What about you assossation with Stark and the government?" he asked trying to salvage something.
"You think I'd turn down the biggest party animal on the planet?" xander snorted at the mere suggestion.
"Of course." there goes that line of thought, "and your current friendship?"
"High living after being in the trenches for so long has it's own kind of appeal."
"I'm sure it does. And Nick Fury?"
"You're not the only global organization we have to deal with. Look...say what's your name anyway?"
"Sigfried I don't like the ass munch, but I do have to deal with him..."
"You don't want my last name?" Sigfried asked offended.
"No...the less I know about you, the less reason I have to nuke your ass..." he waved his hand at the base and to indicate the mess in general, "...all this, is just to say hello. I get that. So far no real harm done, except for Frankie, by the way, that's the price. I want Frankie..."
"Why do you want that soon to be dead idiot?" he asked suspiciously. He was still put off at the off hand dismissal. He was an important man in Hydra, with important connection, how dare he dismiss him like this.
"Vamp bait. It's hard to find good soldiers that are willing to work, as bait and I don't think Frankie will figger that out too soon if he survives his first encounter. 'Sides his usefulness to you is done, and you're not getting out of this breach of protocol scott free."
"As a penalty, I must say that is pretty cheap."
"I'm not out to bleed you, but a point must be made."
"I understand. I thank you for your generosity..." he faced Robby and said, "Delay the termination order and have that man turned over to Mr. Harris's custody."
Robby saluted again and touched his throat mike to give the order. Hopefully Frankie was still alive...
Manhattan, N. Y.
Hidden Hydra Base.
After Xander had left with his 'Penalty Prize' Sigfried was called away to his private office.
"Sigfried..." the figure sighed in disappointment.
"Barron Von Strucker. It is an honor..." it wasn't, he was quaking in his boots. He knew he fucked up, and the upper echelons of the party were about to make him pay for his blunder. He saluted anyway, "Hail Hydra!"
"Hail Hydra!" he did not sneer, but it was a near thing.
"Explain to me Sigfried why I should not have you shot for your utter stupidity?" Baron Strucker asked casually.
"Her Baron, the mission was to capture one of the Avengers..." Sigfried began, but Baron Strucker cut him off.
"That is correct. How did you come to the conclusion that the director of the North American operations for the council was an Avenger? Has he ever been seen operating as such since the alien invasion? No! His involvement in that disaster was well in keeping with his role as the one in charge of all things supernatural in North America. He and his Slayer do not fight crime, nor do they interfere in the purely human affairs. Such things are beneath their notice and we want to keep it that way. We do not want the council as enemies. their usefulness as protectors of all things human are too important to leave in the hands of amateurs. When we are ready we will take over that responsibility, but until then do not put us in jeopardy of going to war with another organization whose roots go back to the dawn of the human race. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS SIMPLE INSTRUCTION?" he made sure that he was loud and clear, because the fool obviously needed to have that spelled out. The Baron made a note to have the fool replaced at the soonest opportunity. His father's influence be damned.