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In Hell as it is in Heaven (Old version)

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Summary: YAHF: Some people don’t like rules. Others are expert at changing them when they don’t suit them. Thanks to the meddling of an old cosmic entity, Joyce Summers was about to become very familiar with someone from the latter category.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > Multiple Anime
Miscellaneous > Myths & Legends
(Current Donor)kedrannFR18528,332126814,41528 Oct 1225 Nov 12Yes


Author notes: When I decide to introduce another crossover like it’s the case in this chapter (the disclaimer in chapter 1 was updated), I ask myself a series of questions. They start with things like: “okay, I have this organization to fit in. What changes should I do to canon so that they fit seamlessly? Should I tweak their origin story, maybe expand on the areas never covered in canon? What do they know and how did they interact in the past with the factions of the crossover universe?” In other words, this is all about making them a fitting part of the merged universe, one that feels like it had always been there. 

Another point is that I chose to interpret something about a certain Norse god in a certain way. This is my take on it for this story, not a truth.

Willow woke up and looked at the small shape cuddled against her. She was really cute like this, asleep, her face free of that sadness that had wracked her the night before.

Skuld… my little sister. I remember so fondly our fights for the remote, my plans to get Keiichi and Belldandy finally act as lovers conflicting with your own to keep things ‘non-perverted’ between them and so many other things. It doesn’t matter that those are not really my memories or yours. You’re my sister.

She got up delicately, taking great care not to wake her up. She took her laptop and went down to the living room. She first sent an email to the high school secretary to explain that she had to skip today due to a family emergency.

“Let’s see my inbox… reply from Mo… Mrs. Summers, easier to think of her like that for now. Belldandy’s address… Living with Loki… if Frigga’s here, she’s gonna have a heart attack.”

Willow remembered some of Urd’s adventures with her half-brother Thor and their friend Loki. She went along rather well with the latter. Loki was a half-demon like her so they understood each other. Then Mr. Perfect came into play and things went down.

Balder… how much Urd hated him… self-righteous jerk who thought any trace of ‘uncleanness’ should be removed from Asgard, half-bloods like me removed from any access to Yggdrasil or goddess license if not cast out… If Loki hadn’t… Urd’s patience for her little brother was wearing thin. She more reacted to how Loki used Hoder and disregarded the demon that died at the same time because of the doublet system than to the act itself…

After Balder’s death, the Allfather had not been the same, losing himself in his work and too often forgetting to be just ‘Daddy’ to the Norns and their siblings.

“…Morning,” said Skuld as she reached the living room.

“Good morning, Skuld… or do you prefer if I call you Alice?”

“No… easier to just be Skuld for now, Urd,” said the girl, shaking her head. “Easier to forget…”

“You don’t have… family left? I mean: human relatives?”

“My grandfather in Oregon but… what will he say if I do that? He already thinks that computers are Satan’s work.”

She reached behind her back and pulled a tube-covered sphere the size of a tennis ball. Willow took it delicately as the child started to shake and laid it on the table. She hugged the girl that became her little sister as she cried.

“I… know,” said the girl, trying to dry her tears, “my parents, my human parents, they would want me to be happy to be alive but…”

“It’s all right to be sad, little sister. Just remember that I am there for you and Belldandy will too.”

“If she’s here… why didn’t the water…”

“Dunno. I like to think that you like me more. Or maybe it was just because I was in my bath at that moment.” 

“Maybe… you’re using Linux?” she asked while looking at Willow’s laptop.

“It’s a custom, I constructed it from selected spare parts and I use a tweaked Linux system for it,” replied the teenager, recognizing Skuld’s will to change the subject. “Before I became Urd, I was already a lot into computers.”

“Hmm… should have something in here,” said the child as her hand retrieved a cube from the non-space behind her back.

Willow recognized the thing. It was the Asgardian equivalent of a flash drive, this one tweaked to also accept USB cables.

“Your infamous Skuld OS?”

“Eh! It works perfectly well. It’s not my fault Keiichi’s computer is too backwards to handle…”

“Even a teraflop computer would be hard-pressed to manage your OS… We’ll see what we can do with the spare parts I still have later. We have a lot of things to do today.”

“We’re seeing Belldandy?” she asked, a smile fighting to appear on her lips.

“Yes we do. We also have to try to retrieve your things from the motel. Also, there is one thing. You will see demons in town… I mean our demons, probably Mara and Hild.”

The kid paled at that.    

“You’ll have to remember that they’re… just like us, humans that got changed. We have a truce and we’re all working to get rid of monsters like the one you napalmed.”

“But…” she started, obviously thinking hard and fast. “Okay, I’ll make an effort.”

“Good. Now come help me make us some breakfast.”

Her name was Kendra Young and she was the Slayer. She had been called during the last spring, when, according to what her Watcher had told her, Buffy Summers died facing the vampire known as the Master.

Contrarily to the Californian Slayer, the Jamaican girl had been raised by her Watcher, carefully prepared to fulfill her role. She felt no fear as she entered the old tunnels under that Spanish fort on the coast of Yucatan.  

“Don’t,” said a voice coming from the shadows.

Kendra readied her axe, looking at the girl she had somehow missed until she made herself known. She was a teen like her, probably partly demonic with those eyes and the purple hair cut in short bangs. She was wearing a blue-green cloak under which she could guess armored boots and bracers. The small throwing knife in her visible hand was however the thing that retained most of Kendra’s attention.

“Who are you?”

“Chloe… and you’re the Slayer, the one that was called when Buffy Summers faced the Master in Sunnydale.”

Kendra felt strange. This Chloe didn’t feel human to her Slayer senses but neither did she feel like a demon. She felt more like… family, maybe a cousin.

“Why don’t?”

“I already killed them… they would have interfered with my mission.”

Kendra concentrated, wondering if the girl was some kind of thrall used by the demons she was hunting to delay her. Her mystical senses picked up the energy of the demons and found it waning.   

“I still need to check if…”

“I have a message for your Watcher. Tell him that he must consult the sixth prophecy of Manethon. It’s already happening.”

“What’s happening?”

Kendra made herself ready to strike as Chloe brought her other hand in sight. She was holding a small stick that looked to her like some kind of electronic apparatus. With a precise move of her thumb, the purple-haired girl uncapped the top of the tube, revealing a red button that she pressed.

The catacombs shook as the tunnel the Slayer was supposed to take crumbled. Kendra’s gaze came back to the other girl, having been distracted for a second by the explosion. Of course, Chloe had already disappeared.

Milos Zeman was praying, kneeling before the altar of his church. He knew he had sinned many times and that he was probably not worthy of wearing the habit of a catholic priest. Too often he had watched what happened in Sunnydale without acting while he could have tried to fight and maybe gain some measure of redemption through martyrdom.

But there were orders…

Once again, he wondered if his superiors in Rome were really accomplishing God’s will, if they had not become too jaded to the people’s suffering in their fight against the forces of darkness. But with Halloween, something changed. He got up and went to the entrance of the church, looking at the street.

It was a nice, sunny day in Sunnydale and the town looked very much like the quiet Californian city it was supposed to be to the ignorant. Even to him, it seemed that the usual aura of malevolence that permeated the place had disappeared, which had make him wonder, at first, if the Hellmouth had not gone fully dormant. Then, he had started to notice things.

On the opposite side of the street, a young couple was doing a promenade with their baby in a stroller. He knew them well. He had baptized their child a few weeks ago. They waved to him and he waved back, forcing himself to act normally, as if he did not see the red marks on their faces, their horns and tails and did not feel the demonic power rolling out of them.

He took a step down the church’s front stairs, feeling the spell descend on him, masking all the blue and red marks on the townspeople faces. It was like in that old science fiction movie where the hero received sunglasses that allowed him to see past the illusion spun by the alien. He couldn’t be sure as only the wards of his church protected him from the glamour but he was more and more certain that the whole town was affected… possessed.

He took the newspaper left by some delivery boy earlier and went back inside the church. Like the people’s appearance, the newspaper was bewitched and would have looked nothing out of the ordinary… except inside of this church. The editorialist had signed a commentary on ‘proper spellcasting classes’ that would be introduced the following week and enjoined parents to teach their children to use their magic responsibly. He had signed it with the name Baalberith. Another article was an interview of Allan Finch, the Deputy Mayor’s assistant, who reminded people to be wary of outsiders, both demons and mortals. His picture showed him as a blonde man with long hair… and a halo. 

“They have to be a… new kind of demon… maybe… the Grigori angels of the book of Enoch?”

Suddenly he felt it, a huge demonic presence pushing against the church’s wards and tearing them apart like if they were tissue paper while all the statues started to cry tears of blood.   

“Forgive me father, for I have sinned…,” said a voice in his back.

He knew who had this voice. He had observed her many times because of who she was: Joyce Summers, the Slayer’s mother and a good woman. But now… he turned to face her.

“You are the last human in Sunnydale, you know,” she said. “The wards of this church were well designed, with their own cloaking field to prevent the demons from noticing them…”

He looked at her, seeing the changes in her, the arrogant stride, platinum blonde hair, burgundy eyes and dusky skin. Yet, despite the flaunted flesh, she did not look like some harlot. Her inhuman perfection rather made people want to worship her and the ground she walked upon.

Ô toi, le plus savant et le plus beau des anges, Dieu trahi par le sort et privé de louanges*…he thought as Baudelaire’s verses assaulted his mind.   

“Indeed,” replied Joyce, a smirk on her lips. “Though… but let’s not reopen the dispute on the gender of angels.”

He raised his cross in front of him, knowing that his soul was bare before her, before Satan.

“I… I already reported to Rome.”

“I know. That’s how we were reminded about the loose end you represent. As you certainly noticed, we had a lot to do these last days…”

“This is not some remote place you can isolate from the world…”

“Very true… Arranging everything so that regular people like delivery men did not notice anything has been… a rush. Anyway… things are now under control. Can you look at the obituaries page?”

He turned the newspaper’s pages. The obituaries were empty, only announcing some services for deaths that happened before Halloween. This was completely unheard of for this town.  


“Please, do you really think I would bother with lying to you? I can crush your will with a thought.”

“It might be a game for you…”

“Hmm… yes it could be and She knows that I will have earned some fun next weekend but… I will only spend what I can spare of my Sunday on the beach with my daughters… and have dinner with my ex-husband. But to get back to the point that made me visit you, I am here to tell you we consider you to be the Apostolic Nuncio for our fair city.”

“You… you want to establish diplomatic relations with the Holy See?” he asked with disbelieving eyes.

“We do. I have no sympathy for the demon lords you are familiar with and I think this world could do without their menace. For this, we need allies and I have it on good authority that the Catholic Church still has soldiers around the world.”

Milos felt his head spin. The Devil herself was offering an alliance against the demons. That… wasn’t so unbelievable. All people knowing about the real demons also knew that they often warred among themselves.

But if we help this one gain ascendancy on the others…

 “I… I will contact them but… what of the humans of this town?”

“What happened here was not decided by me… but by someone higher. I am who you believe I am, mostly, but I am also still Joyce and the same goes for all people in town. Go meet your parishioners, discuss with them and see for yourself if they have been damned or just changed. Do not be bothered too much by the fact they didn’t come to you these last days. You see, they don’t need to believe in Her existence anymore… they know.”

He looked at her, being remembered that, if the tradition was true, those eyes had seen the Lord’s face.

“I grant you the gift to see beyond the veil we spun. I’ll also have my ex-husband send someone to repair those wards…”

“… and this all that happened, Sir,” said Kendra to her Watcher.

Sam Zabuto looked in his Slayer’s eyes, searching for traces of duplicity and finding nothing. This girl ‘that felt like a cousin’ was very worrisome.

“I do not have the text this Chloe refers to… but they should have it in London.”

“I have a question,” asked Angel.

“I suppose it’s about why I didn’t let the gods handle that priest?” said Joyce.


“The answer is as simple as it is paradoxical: I had better chances of success than a god. The priest knows that something is wrong in that town. When facing me, he has good reasons to be wary but… I’m just another demon and he can actually believe me to be somewhat honest. An attempt by the gods would have been interpreted as a seduction operation and automatically disbelieved. Ironic isn’t it?”

Angel looked at the Slayer’s mother. Valefor’s memories were only slowly asserting themselves so he was still rather… astonished by the changes that had hit Joyce Summers. He then looked at Spike who was resting against the car’s frame, taking the sun.

“Now to get to the matter for which I have you both here,” said Joyce. “I need you to take contact with Los Angeles’ demonic community and send some feelers for alliances. Among other things, I’m really interested about the Furies. So get there and do what I trusted Valefor and Loki to do.”

“Whistler will probably try to contact me if I leave Sunnydale,” said Angel.

“I let you judge on the matter but if killing him is necessary… you have my permission to make a hat with his ribcage,” she said with a bemused smile. “With that boys, I still have a lot to do. See you later!”

She waved them goodbye, smiling cheerfully as she dissolved into dark flames.

“Is it me or…” said Angel.

“Nope, it’s not you,” said Spike. “Anyone with two pennies of common sense should be scared of her. Particularly you if you intend to continue dating the Slayer.”   

“Let’s get to Los Angeles,” said Angel as they both climbed in the car.

“Morning, Giles,” said Buffy as she stood on the walkway surrounding their Yggdrasil and Nidhogg.

“Good morning, Buffy. You didn’t sleep well?”

“I should have… I mean Mom made sure Angel’s soul would stay in his body… bloody Gypsies had included the silliest escape clause in their curse. One moment of pure happiness and ‘welcome back Angelus!’ And as Angel is now Valefor too, a demon Hild respects, I have some hope she would not object too much to our dating… so I go to sleep all happy and… Slayer dream. How are things running here?”

“The basic power system is on. It does not have the reality management attributes of the original as this world follows different rules on this matter. We’re maybe at ten percent of the power the ‘originals’ have.”

“So that means nothing over class two effects…”

Giles took off his glasses and cleaned them, a half-smile on his lips. The gods and demons of Hild’s world categorized magic spells in three wide classes. Third class effects were what most human magic users could ever hope to attain, ranging from the merest parlor trick to something as energetic as a fireball with a power similar to an antitank rocket.

Second class spells involved effects that ranged from there up to things with the power of tactical nuclear weapons. Human sorcerers needed lengthy rituals to gather the power necessary to such spells and the minutest error could have disastrous consequences. Gods and demons needed training but this was still well within the range of the possibilities of most of them, with some fatigue as price. What the Halloween spell should have been, according to Ethan’s notes, was a class two spell.

Finally, first class spells were potential doomsday weapons or could prevent mass extinctions events. Gods and demons needed Yggdrasil or Nidhogg to do that. There was theoretically no upper limit to that class but Yggdrasil’s administrators had an unofficial ‘Class Zero’ that concerned effects affecting several realities at once and were the works of ‘cosmic entities’. The Halloween spell as it had happened was a Class Zero spell.      

“I suppose you came to tell me about your dream?”

“Yes… I was in Paris, on a café terrace in Montmartre. There was music coming from a pocket watch. It was an ancient thing with an engraving of two girls in toga kneeling, facing each other with drawn swords. Then I heard gunshots coming from a building… dream was skewed geographically speaking… I mean Mara spent a lot of time in Paris during the ‘Années Folles’ and I know the place… so there was a teenage girl with sad eyes killing people. Did a really nifty trick with a pair of sunglasses…”

“Good Lord…”

“I suppose you know what this is about?”

“There is a story my father told me… at various periods in history an assassin called Noir appeared. Watchers, however, have another name for her: the Antislayer.”

“Oh… it’s something like the Antichrist?”

“She, or rather they are they are always two, has no qualms on killing humans, that’s sure. The last Noir operated fifty years ago but from what my father told me, the people she killed were human monsters.”

“Maybe I should meet her. I had to revise my opinion about good and evil recently…”

“Things may not be easy in such matters. My father was fond to say: If love can kill people, then surely hatred can save them. He said it was a thought from a famous Watcher of the tenth century.”

“That’s… either it’s too profound to think about it at this time of the day or it’s so wrong I don’t know where to start. One thing I wonder, where do Slayer Dreams come from? From the Powers?”

“The Powers send visions to their agents, this is a well-known fact, but I rather think that the Slayer Dreams are a leftover of the demon that was used in her creation. Nidhogg would have raised a lot of alarm flags if you had been influenced by the Powers last night.”

“Speaking of Nidhogg… not too bothered by the fact you have to work on a supercomputer?”

“I… recognize the necessity and the possibilities opened by this way to do magic are… staggering…. and Jenny is also regularly teasing me with excerpts of discourses of people who spoke against Stephenson saying some absurdities…”

“Stephenson… you know Giles, a few days ago I would have happily made you notice I don’t know who you’re talking about… no such luck right now… because there is a part of me that was there.”

“And you, how are you doing with Mara’s memories?”

“From what I could discuss with Willow and Cordelia, I may be one of those who have the most leftovers among the teenagers… Most of the people at school have some vague things and they were allowed to stay teens. No such luck for me. I have a blank going from the moment Urd left for Heaven, back when Europe was still under ice, to the First Crusade but… that’s still a whole millennium to integrate.”

“The Beast has been destroyed… yet the Angel lives,” said the old Gypsy woman as she looked at the Devil, the Tower and the Star.

She took the tarot cards and shuffled them. She had felt the curse binding the soul of the human Liam to the vampire Angel falter in the last days, before being utterly broken a few hours ago. But what the cards told her was… unexpected, showing her not what she feared, the vampire becoming once again a soulless demon but the demon being destroyed, leaving the soul free to live a new life.   

“What did happen?” asked Enyos Kalderash to his aunt.

“A change, an earth-shattering one,” she replied as Death and the Tower appeared.    


“Chaos,” she said as the Fool appeared. “A careless sorcerer,” she added as the Magician followed.

“Why wasn’t it foretold?”

“The signs were deliberately obscured,” she said, turning the Moon, “by a force beyond our comprehension,” she added, raising the Judgment.

“What will happen?”

“A new order,” she said as she turned the Wheel of Fortune and the Emperor.

“And Janna? What is her fate?”

The old woman shuffled the cards one more time and drew three of them: the Temperance, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

“She is part of the new order. A choice lies before the Kalderash clan: we can forsake her or follow her through the change.”

“What are the consequences?”

“Both paths are fraught with danger and uncertainty,” she said as she drew the Tower and the Great Priestess. “We are to take sides in the coming storm,” she said as she added the Chariot.

“Thank you, Aunt Sara. I will leave for Sunnydale immediately.”

Drusilla answered the door and was greeted by a preteen girl hugging her while another older girl waved her from behind. Of course she recognized them. They were her sisters after all.

“Oh my… please do come in,” said the former vampire.

“Nice place you have here, sister,” said Willow.

“Thank you, but you know it was just one of those abandoned warehouses a few days ago… and I still need some genuine art to fill in some spaces. Please have a seat. I will make some tea.”

Skuld reluctantly let her other big sister go to sit on the couch, next to Willow.

“The… other you is British, Belldandy?” asked Willow who was wondering about Drusilla’s accent.

“Yes, though I traveled a lot since then… it’s probably better to put things out in the open directly. I was a vampire before Halloween.”

“But…” started Skuld, “how? I… your aura is Belldandy’s?”

“I think I can guess,” said Willow. “Skuld, you remember what happened when Hild replaced Belldandy’s angel with that demonic familiar?”

“Yes, it was changed into… something else, not quite an angel but… Got it, the nasty vampire could not resist my beloved sister’s power.”

Drusilla stifled a giggle. It was so good to see them both.

“That’s true,” said the middle Norn, “Belldandy restored my soul, a little like what happened to Angel.”

“You know him?”

“He sired the vampire me, long before his soul was forced back on him. He and my Spike are doing something on Hild’s request.”

“Spike being Loki?” asked Willow.

“Yes… It’s not easy for the part of me that is Belldandy but I am less innocent than she is, Urd. I understand Loki’s reasons even if I would have preferred for him to find another way to deal with Balder.”

“I know this happened before I was born,” said Skuld, “but… I remember Thor saying bad things about him, though never in Mom’s hearing range.”

“Contrarily to what we would like to believe, Skuld,” said Drusilla, “we gods are not necessarily good. To speak frankly, your big brother was a jerk, the kind who thought that certain people were worth less than others just because of their ancestry or looks.”

“Yeah,” said Willow, “people like me.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” said Skuld, “but I remember one of our neighbors in San Francisco, I mean in my human life. He didn’t like black people and once I saw him dressed in a white robe…”

“Hem,” said Willow, scratching the back of her head, “yes, Balder was like that. Skuld, if Loki hadn’t killed him, Urd would probably have done something and…”

“I know, you don’t do subtle,” said Skuld, taking a sip of tea.

“Anyway, we are going to have to learn to live together, both gods and demons,” said Drusilla. 

Buffy was thinking more and more about taking her GED. It wasn’t that the classes were badly taught. In fact, since Halloween, the teachers seemed to care a lot more and they had started in many cases to apply the teaching methods used either in Asgard or Niflheim. The latter would have seemed a little harsh to humans but one of their intent was to drill into demons that messing up had consequences, painful ones.

And we’re way sturdier than humans… anyway with mixed classes they can’t go for the full treatment…  

No, the issue was that millennium of memories she was slowly making hers. It was also making her grow up very quickly.

I will discuss with Mom on this tonight.

“Sir,” asked a demon girl to the history teacher, “but do we know what influence the… other demons had on this world? I vaguely remember doing something during that war, in a place called Verdun.”

“Actually not that much, Lamashtu. From the Watchers’ accounts I was able to study recently, supernatural influence seem to remain separate from mainstream history in this dimension. We have many attempts at direct conquest, but influence of history is beyond them, while this is a game our equivalents played very well on their Earth. This world’s demons are… socially primitive compared to us, to the point that… the Daimakaicho has been discussing with the Allfather about using another name for ourselves, so that our potential allies on this world do not mistake us with them… Yes, Kevin?”

“Do you know what will be used?”

“I think they want to use our old Indian names: Deva and Asura. They also have the advantage to be more neutral, as, in the old Vedas, they are two families of gods.”

And the identity of who’s good and who’s evil inverted in Zoroastrianism… thought Buffy.

The teacher brought back the discussion on World War I, detailing how the conflict ended and planted seeds that still had consequences. He finally gave them an assignment related to the subject, distributing documents and questions they would debate the following week. 

No… definitely not your average class…

The assignment given to her by Mark ‘Thoth’ Hartwell was complex, asking her to summarize how the French and British handled things with the Arab revolt and find examples of how it still influenced the policies in those areas.

She looked at her classmates. Some were grunting, particularly among the jocks, at the thoughts of the hours they would need to do this but most of them knew better, their god self probably already having been in some of Thoth’s classes. Demons were not grunting, but looked intensely thoughtful, probably thinking about strategies that would maximize efficiency to do this.

Hmm… he didn’t forbid us to do group work and there should be only a limited amount of subjects. Let’s find who else had the same as me…

“Your Eminency… do you think that the Watchers already realized?” asked a man in black monastic robes to his superior.

The cardinal James Carmody, head of the secret order of the Knights of Saint Jude, was busy helping his people going through numerous occult books. Earlier in the day, two emails sent by their agent in Sunnydale had revealed a major power shift in town.

“It all depends if their man was possessed at the same time as the others… given that the Slayer’s mother is concerned, it is possible that nothing was reported to them.”

“Your Eminency, I think I have it,” said a nun wearing a strange symbol on her white habit.  

“Hmm… let me see this, Sister Lori…”

The cardinal put on cotton gloves and unrolled the old papyrus, reading quickly a text written in Greek.

“This is part of Alexandria collection?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied the nun. “The original is attributed to Manetho and probably in the Watchers’ library now.”

“Hmm… Caesar certainly wasn’t an easy man but having his soldiers bringing secretly back the content of the library to Rome is just another proof of his genius. Yes… it’s here: ‘and me, Manetho, did under his orders research among the archives in the sacred script of the Double House of Life of the Great Temple of Heliopolis to assemble the prophecies done by the Heretic King that were hidden when his city was destroyed…”

He switched to a lower part of the text.

“... and Akhenaten said that on the day of… Brother Luca, can you verify the correspondence with modern calendar, please?” asked the cardinal as the monk near him took down some notes with his style on his computer tablet, injecting the data in a software designed by another member of the order.

“This corresponds to the 31st of October 2011 your Eminency.”  

“Thank you brother…. During this night of transition, the gods will emerge once again from the Noun, led by Amun-Re, creator of the staff of life, and his beloved Astarte, so beautiful as she rises in the morning sky. Sublime is their power as they stand on Atum’s Wound to accomplish Aten’s will… where did I see that?”

“Here, in Paatenemehb’s texts,” said Sister Lori. “We think it’s an Egyptian expression for a hellgate.”

“Thank you… They will make the new Heliopolis their earthly capitol, allowing all men and women who dared to stand on Atum’s wound to be reborn and elevated as their new courts. Then the vision becomes unclear as they battle against Apophis and the Shining Ones… and that’s all.”

“Your Eminency… I thought the gods of mythology were either the Powers or the demons playing with humans…”

“This is different. According to the records coming from the Shadow Men, the demons known as the Old Ones ‘lost their purchase on this reality’ or, in other words, God decided to make place for Man, letting the angels known as the Powers in charge of… lower management.”

“So this could be the Lord’s will?”

“Luca… how many demon-related catastrophes did our order prevent in the last decade?”

“Too many,” replied Sister Lori.

“Indeed. Even if the Watchers are fond to have the Slayer believe she’s alone, the world has always been too vast for that. Us, the Watchers, the Yukikaze ninja clan, the Soldats and some other factions and independent demon hunters… most of us with only very limited support from the Powers while the other side has structures like Wolfram and Hart. I can suppose that He realized how bad it was down here. But that’s only a theory… So we dispatch a team to Sunnydale and try to learn more.”

* This a quote from Charles Baudelaire’s famous poem ‘Les Litanies de Satan’. It translates roughly as “O you wisest and fairest of angels, god betrayed by fate and deprived of praise”

The End

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