Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Girl Genius, DC Comics or XCOM Enemy Unknown.
Holy $#!% it's been a long time since I updated this story! My muse turned her eyes to other fics but, she came back. I will try not to keep you waiting so long for the next chapter.A/N 2:
On other news, I got a job! Yay! Hehe, I'm sorry I just had to share that. Maybe now I will be able to buy a new laptop. My old one crashed, losing most of my data, and shortly after it committed seppuku in a clear attempt of regaining his honor for the sake of his little brother, the android tablet I'm using now.
Who knows? I might even have enough money to spend on small and inconsequential things, you know like food and rent.
Seriously though, I would like to buy a halfway decent gaming laptop. It doesn't need to be the greatest gaming computer in the world but I would like something that could handle the games I used to play like Total War, Mount and Blade, Endless Space and maybe Planetside 2 on medium to high settings.
If any fellow gamers out there can recommend a decent gaming laptop, or at least a good graphics card, that won't bankrupt me I would appreciate it if you could send me an email with your suggestions. Thanks.
Now, without further ado, enjoy the next chapter.
Xander was leaning on a desk, staring at a screen, while eating a sandwich. 'It's amazing how something so simple as a good nights sleep can make such a difference.'
The last few days had been hectic and recent events had taken their toll on him.
Xander's new room was nothing special. About the same size as his old room in the Harris residence, it contained a closet, a chair in front of a small desk and a bed. In fact, it was much like his old room with only three noticeable differences. The room itself was made entirely out of reinforced concrete, both the door and the frame where made of steel and there were no windows. The only opening, other than the door, was a narrow air vent too small for anything larger than a basketball to fit through. The similarities with a prison cell were hardly subtle.
Xander woke up early in the morning thanks to a fist knocking on his door. After dragging himself out of bed and smothering a glare at the squad of inconsiderate soldiers rudely banging on his door, he was given a small breakfast and quickly escorted to the lower levels of the facility by the ever present armed guards. Xander expected to be lead to a laboratory of some kind but was pleasantly surprised to find himself in a class room.
Doctor Vahlen was already there, waiting for him while going over some files with an older man in a faded white lab coat with balding grey hair. He introduced himself as Doctor Raymond Shen. Together they administered several cognitive tests. They began with a fairly standard inductive reasoning aptitude test by showing him several sets of pictures or words and then asking him to identify which of the pictures or words did not belong in the set. They then moved on to an intelligence quotient test followed by an extensive knowledge test that took most of the morning to complete before Doctor Shen left the room - presumably to check the results - while Doctor Vahlen administered a quick situational judgment test.
His protesting stomach was telling Xander lunch time was just around the corner when Doctor Shen came barging into the room. He ran towards them and stood there gaping at Xander while trying to catch his breath. Doctor Vahlen raised an eyebrow, annoyance radiating from her, and began to ask something but was dragged by the arm to a corner of the room by the older man before she could finish the sentence.
Amused, Xander watched as Vahlen began to tear into her older colleague - occasionally lapsing into strongly accented German - before Doctor Shen shoved a tablet in her face. Vahlen took the tablet with a frown, sending a final glare at her colleague before quickly skimming the device. Startled, Vahlen looked at Shen who in turn just nodded at the unasked question. As Doctor Vahlen read, her eyes slowly widening, Xander ruthlessly crushed the slight hint of panic trying to climb to the surface.
When presented with the tests Xander considered holding back, shaping his answers to produce an average result. It would allow him to keep a low profile and make his captors underestimate him.
But he needed to know. He needed to know he was not hallucinating. He needed to know that the years worth of memories in his head were real, even though they were not there a week ago. The fact that he recognized the all tests and their purpose, even though he really shouldn't have, was not enough. He needed independent confirmation. The scientist in him demanded nothing less.
So he answered all of their questions to the best of his ability and waited for the results to tell him if he was the latest addition to the Heterodyne family or if he was just losing his mind. Not quite sure what outcome to root for.
The exited whispers and the wide eyed glances shot his way were more than enough to tell him he had not lost his mind. At least no more so than any other Heterodyne.
While Vahlen began typing furiously at a computer, Doctor Shen rushed out of the room only to return with several people in tow carrying books, file folders and laptops. They tested Xander's knowledge on every possible subject ranging from biology and chemistry to physics and astronomy, becoming more exited with every correct answer.
So here he was, leaning on a desk and staring at a screen while eating a sandwich. On the screen in front of him was a complex yet incomplete physics equation. Behind him Doctor Vahlen was biting her nails while Doctor Shen paced back and forth. The scientists and engineers that assisted Doctors Vahlen and Shen administer the tests either tried to find something to do in order justify their continued presence or huddled in the back of the room hoping their superiors would not noticed them.
Xander didn't mind the audience, especially as one of them had brought up a tray of surprisingly good sandwiches. 'Hmm, bacon...' Taking another bite Xander glanced back at Doctors Vahlen and Shen. 'I probably shouldn't tell them I solved the equation ten minutes ago.'
The room's atmosphere was intense, almost suffocating. Vahlen and Shen appeared on the verge of a myocardial infarction but he could not bring himself to care. 'I've been locked in this room for hours and I deserve a few minutes to enjoy my lunch, dammit,' Xander thought popping the rest of the sandwich in his mouth. 'The fact that I get to watch them squirm is definitely a bonus though.'
Standing, Xander calmly made his way to the touch screen, took a moment to enjoy the exited mutterings that erupted around the room as he picked up a stylus and completed the equation.
As Xander calmly returned to his desk the room seemed to explode into action around him. People were either rushing to the screen to gawk at the now complete equation or to their laptops in an attempt to check his work. Grabbing a pastrami on rye from the tray, Xander smirked as he watched everyone run around the room like headless chickens. 'Well, they are easily excited! It's such a simple equation,' Xander mused taking a bite from his sandwich.
"So the kid is smart. What's the big deal?" Captain James Bradford asked, clearly confused about the source of the scientists excitement.
"No! You don't understand," Doctor Vahlen responded sharply, only to backpedal when Director Stone narrowed his eyes at her.
Upon completing the tests and reviewing the results, Doctors Eva Vahlen and Raymond Shen had immediately contacted Director Stone requesting a meeting in his office to discuss the project's latest reluctant recruit.
"Doctor Shen is smart. Why, even you are smart... in your own way of course," said Vahlen.
Doctor Shen shook his head with a small exasperated smile. Captain Bradford made a face, like he had just swallowed something unpleasant, but refrained from commenting on Vahlen's complement.
"This young man is a genius," Vahlen said. "His intelligence quotient is off the charts, literally. As in, standardized IQ tests are insufficient to accurately assess his intelligence."
That seemed to get their attention. "So, is he a savant or -"
"No Captain. Individuals with savant syndrome often have neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, or mental illnesses. In most cases savants, even though they demonstrate exceptional skills or brilliance in very specific areas, score very low on IQ tests. Although," she mused. "Sometimes it's a result of brain injuries."
"Brain injuries?" Bradford asked with raised eyebrows. "The kind of brain injuries one might get from crashing into the ground hard enough to make a crater?"
Seeing her colleague was once again about to snap at the Captain, Doctor Shen stepped in. "No Captain, our own medical staff confirmed the hospitals diagnosis. The young man is in perfect health. Any injuries he may have received on impact, including brain injuries, have completely healed."
"Even if they had not, brain injuries would not account for the wealth of knowledge he has exhibited thus far," Vahlen stated. "Several of the physics equations and mathematical problems we placed in front of him were stated to be unsolvable by the leading minds in their respective fields. He solved every single one. Of course, we will have to contact several of the worlds leading physicists and mathematicians in order to confirm -"
"No," said Director Stone, joining the discussion for the first time since the meeting began. "You will not be contacting anyone, Doctor Vahlen."
"What!? Why not?" Vahlen asked, outraged.
The Director did not answer. He just stared at Vahlen until her outrage faded and was replaced by nervousness. Eva Vahlen was an intelligent woman. She knew this was just one of the intimidation tactics the Director enjoyed using, but that knowledge did not lessen the effect.
When he was satisfied Director Stone replied. "Because if you supply these physicists and mathematicians with the solutions to previously unsolvable problems and equations the first question they will ask is..."
"Who solved this?" Vahlen grimaced.
"Exactly. And we can't exactly answer that question without sacrificing the secrecy of this project, now can we?" Director Stone asked.
No one bothered to answer the rhetorical question.
"How confidant are you in the boys work?" Director Stone asked.
"As confidant as we can be, under the circumstances," replied Doctor Shen, sharing a look with his distraught colleague. "As difficult as it is to admit, the equations and problems in question are beyond us".
"Beyond you?" Captain Bradford asked, with a slight mocking tone in his voice. "I was under the impression you were leading names in your respective fields. You know, multiple degrees after your name, valedictorian from some of the best universities in the world and all that. Are you telling me this kid went to a better school?"
"No," said Director Stone, ignoring the twin glares directed at his head of security. "We monitor universities and colleges worldwide for potential recruitment candidates . As do several federal and Intel agencies, not to mention private corporations, for the same reason. If this boy is half as smart as you say he is and attended any university on Earth for any length of time then he would have popped up on someones radar a long time ago."
"Home schooling," Doctor Shen muttered.
"Doctor? Do you have something to contribute?" Director Stone inquired.
"He could have been home schooled," said Doctor Shen.
Doctor Vahlen snorted. "Don't be ridiculous, Shen. He did not reach that level by staying home and reading school books with his parents."
"That, my dear, depends on the parents. Perhaps his parents hired one or several tutors to teach their son. Perhaps they were teachers themselves. I'm fairly certain that at least one of his parents was a scientist." Doctor Shen stated.
"Oh? And what makes you say that, Doctor?" Director Stone asked.
"While my esteemed colleague focused solely on the young man's scientific knowledge, I tested him on other subjects. His knowledge base is extremely impressive and it extends well beyond the various fields of science. Engineering, psychology, art and music, to name but a few. However the one that stood out the most was history, if only because his knowledge of history was inferior to all the other subjects," said Doctor Shen.
Pausing to take a sip of his, by now, cold lemon tea Raymond Shen was pleasantly surprised when no one took the opportunity to interrupt him with a question.
"Now, when I say inferior I am speaking in relative terms of course. His knowledge of history is extensive, more than enough to earn him a passing grade in any university level history class. However in his answers there were some rather glaring faults, from wrong dates of, significant events to the wrong names of famous historical figures. Whoever was in charge of this young man's education clearly invested a great deal of time and effort into it. The only way a key subject like history could have been neglected was if the person or persons in question considered history to be secondary to sciences. And I don't see a tutor making that decision. Not one that wished to remain employed at any rate," concluded Doctor Shen.
"Unless the tutor was someone that could not be fired, like a parent or at least a relative," said Doctor Vahlen, continuing her colleagues line of thought.
"Exactly," Doctor Shen agreed with a nod at Vahlen. "And when you consider the focus placed on science, well it's safe to assume that whoever it was, be it parent, uncle or cousin, they were scientists."
"Okay, I guess I can see that. But why did this kid's family go to all this trouble?" Captain Bradford wondered. "Why didn't they just send him off to college? Even if they couldn't afford to pay tuition someone as smart as this kid would have no problem getting a scholarship."
"His family probably could afford it but chose not to, believing they were watching out for his best interests. There are several studies that show that sending teenagers to college can be detrimental to their development. Even if they can handle the work load they can never truly relate to their older classmates. It can seriously hinder social development," Doctor Shen mused. "Of course, there are just as many studies disproving those findings. It's a matter of what you believe. His family most likely chose to advance his education at home and wait until he was older before enrolling him."
"Very well, do you have anything to add Doctor Vahlen?" Director Stone asked.
"He speaks German," the Doctor muttered. "He has a faint German accent."
"Are you sure Doctor?" Director Stone asked.
Eva Vahlen nodded.
"Can you narrow it down to a particular region of Germany?" Director Stone wondered. "Perhaps we can use it to locate his family."
Doctor Vahlen shook her head. "I'm sorry Director, the accent is far too faint for that. I doubt German is his first language but I'm certain he grew up around people that spoke with him in German on a daily basis. There are too many German expats living around the world for that to be of much help though."
"I see, that's unfortunate." Director Stone crossed his hands on his desk and leaned forward in his chair. "Could this... genius level intelligence be a result of his metagene?"
Doctor Vahlen frowned. "We have yet to confirm he is a metahuman. The genetic markers common to metahumans are not present in his DNA."
"Or you have failed to find them. Have you ruled out the other possibilities?" Director Stone asked.
"Well, he is human. We may not have found any signs of the metagene but we have confirmed that much," Doctor Vahlen said.
"So, we know he's not an alien," Captain Bradford muttered fiddling with his green sweater. "That's something, I guess."
"What about the more... supernatural possibilities," the Director inquired.
"Our knowledge of the energy commonly know as magic is limited at best," Doctor Shen said with a frown. "However, the few scans our operatives have taken from know magic users have given us a baseline, a small idea of what to expect. We have scanned him on several different occasions, including during that little test you set up with M1 and M2 Director, but none of the energy readings match the energy emitted by magic users."
Director Stone was silent for a minute then he leaned back in his chair. "Doctor Vahlen, Doctor Shen you will review your findings and continue to attempt to find answers to these questions. I want to know exactly who and what we are dealing with. Understood?"
They nodded their agreement. "Of course Director Stone."
"Captain Bradford." The soldier snapped to attention. "I want you to arrange a test of your own. Something of a more... physical nature. Let's see if you can encourage the boy... if you can encourage M4 to use what ever powers or abilities he may have."
After the white lab coat brigade ha retreated to the safety of their laboratories Xander was escorted back to his new room. He had crawled back into bed and tried to get some sleep. Something told him he was going to need it.
Xander felt like he had just closed his eyes when someone began to pound on his door, giving him a very unwelcome sense of déjà vu.
He was escorted by a different but just as heavily armed squad of soldiers through the concrete corridors until they reached a large open room full of treadmills, rowing machines, exercise bikes, free weights and heavy bags.
Xander scanned the faces of the men and women working out and recognized several of them as soldiers he had seen around the facility. A part of him, a new part of him, had insisted that he memorize every detail about them.
A tall man in a green sweater turned to look at Xander as soon as he walked through the door. Xander immediately recognized him as Captain James Bradford, the man who was introduced by Doctor Eva Vahlen as the facility head of security. Priority target, study him
Captain Bradford walked up to Xander and immediately began to describe, in a sharp and concise manner, the new test his captors had thought up for him. Apparently, now that they had tested his mental capacity, they wanted to test his physical skills. They were planning on doing that by having Xander fight every soldier in the gym.
Now, those were not the words Captain Bradford had used. The Captain had been very careful when choosing his words. He took the time to point out that they would only be sparring and that Xander would only be facing one soldier at a time. This was only a friendly sparring mach, after all.
The fact that Bradford had began referring to Xander as M4 in a way that people talk about their belongings and the fact that he was not being given a choice in the matter was not lost on him. Xander could read between the lines and, judging from the looks on the soldiers faces, so could they.
Now, these were professional soldiers. Men and women trained to fight and kill. Xander was sure that in order to be recruited for a project like this they had to be the best of the best. The elite. Xander knew he should be worried. Xander knew he should feel intimidated. From the smirks on their faces, it was clear how the soldiers believed this was going to end.
Just one short week ago Xander would have agreed with their assessment. Now though. Now he looked at these highly trained soldiers... and smiled.
At least he thought he had smiled. Whatever those men and women saw on his face seemed to wipe the smirks right of their faces. Some of them became so pale Xander wondered if they were going to lose consciousness before he had the chance to fight them. He was barely surprised when a growing part of him hoped they would not.
Xander walked over to the green exercise mats laid out on the floor in the middle of the gym and waited. The first soldier to join him on the mats was a big mountain of muscles that Xander had seen around the facility, carrying a light machine gun like it weighted nothing. The giant of a man seemed strangely reluctant to attack him. When he did attack, Xander understood why. The large, powerful fist headed for his face was so slow it seemed to be traveling in slow motion.
Xander felt like he had all the time in the world to reach out with his right hand and grasp his opponent's wrist. Swinging his left hand in a collision course with his right, Xander smashed his left fist into the back of his opponent's hand, feeling bones breaking and rendering the man's five strong fingers useless. A simple twist of his right hand fractured his opponent's wrist. Continuing the twisting movement it was easy to apply enough torque to destroy the forearm with a spiral fracture. Locking the arm in place Xander slammed his left fist into the elbow, shattering the joint like glass. Spinning on his heels Xander brought his opponent's arm over his left shoulder and pulled until he felt the limb pop out of it's socked, then he released it. If an arm attacks you, destroy it
Captain James Bradford saw one of his best men walk up to the kid in the center of the mats only to hit the ground like a sack of rocks three seconds later, with barely enough time to scream in pain before passing out from trauma induced shock. He swallowed, wondering why his throat was suddenly dry, looked at the rest of his men and yelled.
Some approached him with quiet caution, some with loud bravado and yelled threats. It made no difference, the result was the same. They all ended bloodied, beaten and broken. Rip doze guyz to schreads
Xander was barely paying attention to them, focused on the voices advising him. His mind busy reviewing memories that were both old and new.
His father the great Spark Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, teaching him how to move and evade his opponent's... his enemies attacks. Teaching him how to find and explore openings in his enemies guard. Strike fast, strike hard and without mercy
His mother Agatha Heterodyne, the most powerful Heterodyne Spark in generations, with a smile on her face and a sword in her hand dancing around the room destroying sword fencing clanks by the dozens. Keep your movements unpredictable, make your enemies eyes spin and their heads hurt
Even the Jägermonsters, the rampaging horde of the Heterodyne family, were with him. Ve kan teach hyu to fight like a true Jäger but hyu hef to promise not to tell your modder, dat gurl iz scary
Captain James Bradford looked around the gym and saw his men, the men and women he had spent so many hours training and shaping into a small elite army, broken and bleeding in a rough circle around a teenager with a very disturbing smile on his face. He saw the kid's smile change into something monstrous, his mouth stretch far too wide and display far too many sharp teeth. Had he always had so many impossibly sharp teeth? He saw the kid's hands flex, he saw his fingers curl up like claws and he had the urge to cry out a warning to what was left of his men.
He wasn't fast enough. Before even a strangled gasp could leave his mouth the kid jumped across the green and now red mats and buried his claws into his latest opponent's chest. The man barely had time to scream before he was dragged down to the mats. Then the blood started flying and the real screaming began.
That was enough, dammit! The kid had gone feral. He was going to kill his men. If the Director wanted to continue the damn test he could very well drag his ass down here and do it himself! He barked an order at the kid, commanding him to stop while bringing both his hands to his belt in search of the remote control to the shock collar around the kid's neck and his side arm, fully expecting his order to be ignored. Before he could draw his weapon or touch the remote, the kid did the last thing James Bradford expected him to do.
He stopped. One moment he was ripping a man to shreds with a demented smile on his face and the next he just... stopped. The kid stood up and slowly turned to face him. Bradford saw no signs of the animalistic anger or bloodthirsty joy he expected to find on the kid's face. He was standing there calm and collected while the blood of his men dripped off him. That was when Captain James Bradford realized the most disturbing thing about this kid.
The kid didn't go feral. The kid never lost control. The whole time he was destroying his men with a smile on his face... he knew exactly what he was doing.
James Bradford felt a chill crawl up his spine, like someone had just walked over his grave.
Xander was not afraid of the soldiers anymore. He knew they couldn't kill him.
Xander was not concerned about the scientists anymore. He knew they couldn't surpass him.
Xander was not worried about the steel doors and concrete walls anymore. He knew they couldn't stop him.
He was Alexander Wulfenbach Heterodyne.
He would go where he wanted and he would do as he pleased.
It was just a matter of how many people would die in the processes.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the new chapter. Please review and let me know. I'm not going to stick to any particular time line but I will limit the story to the comics and the animated TV shows. If there is any event in particular you would like to see or a good fight you think could benefit from having a Heterodyne Spark thrown in, just let me know. I will try to work it into the story, whenever possible.