Chapter 4: Adjustment
AN Despite my best efforts I still don’t own BTVS, Marvel or DC.
The two super-powered teen’s standoff continued; Xander unwilling to risk damage to something that was -incredibly- important to him and his unknown opponent unwilling to engage someone who was emitting enough energy to make the warning lights on her staff flash through a kaleidoscope of colours almost faster than her eyes could perceive.
“So….” began Xander, only to trail off as for what was probably only the second or third time in his life he was actually lost for words. In all fairness it wasn’t like he had ever expected to find himself hanging a mile over Arizona protecting his family jewels from a blonde dressed like her most desperate ambition was to be the stars and stripes. ^Actually, with the way my life’s been going for the past few years I probably should have expected something like this^.
However his musings were soon interrupted by the Worldmind:
*Scans indicate that your opponent’s belt and staff are the source of the energy fluctuations.*
^I’d never of guessed^
*The belt appears to be an augmentation device of some kind; likely physical. The staff’s purpose is most likely direct energy manipulation; it is highly probable that it is her flight source*
Before Xander could reply however he was distracted by a piercing whistle from his apparent adversary, who had obviously noticed his distraction. Satisfied she had his attention she motioned towards the west with her staff and a carefully enunciated:
Nodding his assent Xander took off from his hovering position and flew off in the indicated direction, ignoring Worldmind’s protests that he was unwisely endangering them. Eventually another sharp gesture, this time downwards indicated that he should change direction. Landing with a stumble Xander noticed that she had manoeuvred him out into the middle of nowhere. The only company he could see were the towering saguaro cacti. Considering how far he could now see that really was something.
Flag-girl settled down about 15 feet away with considerably more grace and aplomb than he had achieved, before closing the distance so she was perhaps ten feet away. Xander noted that she was actually quite tall. Shorter than him but still tall. And kinda hot.
“What is it with me and dangerous blondes?” he muttered, before clamming up having realized that he had said that out loud. ^Curse you brain!^ he raged internally before immediately bursting into speech to cover his faux-pas.
“What I actually mean is please don’t zap me I come in peace” Judging by what appeared to be a small grin on her face he hadn’t succeeded.
“So you’re not the guy who attacked GL like, two hours ago?.”
“You know, green uniform, green ring, green glow the guys pretty monotone”
“Yeah I saw him” Upon seeing her raise the staff he quickly back pedalled “I didn’t attack him, It was self-defence!”
A snapped “Like I believe that” and a glowing golden beam that erupted from her staff before wrapping around him were her response. “I’m taking you to the watchtower for questioning.”
Upon hearing this Xander did something very unexpected and shot straight
upwards, dragging his captor with him.
He then started to rapidly spin, whirling the surprised girl in rapid circles before she released the beam. He then shot towards her and grabbed the staff before wrenching it from her hands despite a surprising amount of resistance. It was only as she began to fall that he remembered that Worldmind had said that the staff was how she flew. He dived down and caught the rapidly falling girl with his free hand before slowing his descent and gently setting her down on the ground and darting back up into the air.
“I only want to talk” he called down to her, gesticulating freely with the staff in his left hand. This proved foolish as he accidentally fired a crimson bolt of energy straight up into the sky.
*Nova, in future do not toy with advanced technology*
Tuning out Worldmind Xander focused his gaze on his enemy who appeared to be more than a little angry with him if the glare and clenching fists were any indication.
“Look, umm what’s your name?”
“Stargirl, now give me back my staff so I can hurt you with it!”
“Ok, not gonna happen. Seriously though I don’t want to fight with you”
“What the hell was that then?” she shouted back, the anger evident in her voice.
“Sorry about that” was Xander’s sheepish response. “Look, how about I-” He was abruptly cut off as he jinked left to avoid what appeared to be a giant robot that had just tried to smash him into the ground. Seeing it come around for another pass Xander shot upwards and began rapidly moving left and right whilst trying to think up a way that this could end without violence and with him knowing what the hell was going on for once.
^Say what? Run again?^
*It is imperative that we have more information on your enemies. A fully diplomatic meeting at an appropriate time would be far safer for all involved*
^Ok^, and with this agreement Xander barrel rolled to avoid the robots second attempt to hit him, this time following up with a boot to the head that spent the robot smashinginto the ground where it slid for a good thirty feet. Stargirl immediately ran towards the downed machine, but stopped when Xander set down a few meters to her left. She was most surprised when he simply threw her staff at her. Even as she reflexively caught it he shot up into the sky and turned North West before really opening the taps and vanishing with a succession of sonic booms.
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Xander set down in LA and grabbed his bag of clothes from its position under a dumpster, where it had been tossed before his brief confrontation with the thugs. He then jumped straight back up into the sky, landing on the outskirts of Sunnydale. It was just beginning to get dark as he changed again and started to make his way towards Giles’ apartment. He needed advice.
*It is not wise to reveal us to Giles. You would be best served by finding a secure location in which I can begin the reconstruction of Xandar. In my previous universe system X-6723 contained the vast majority of the required resour-*
“Would you shut up for a minute? I need advice on magic and the G-man is the best option!”
*Nova there is no need to vocalise. You are only succeeding in further compromising our security*
Xander looked round, and the few people on the darkening street had indeed been looking at him, though they rapidly turned away the moment he caught them with his eyes. He ducked into an alley that led towards the back of Giles’ building and began to hurry down it; he was however halted by a hissed
“Time to die bloodbag”
The vamp then lashed out with a vicious right hook that smashed into Xander’s nose. Unfortunately for the poor vamp Xander’s face was significantly tougher than its knuckles, which broke with a sickening crack. Even as the vamp staggered back, clutching its ruined hand and cursing Xander shook of the shock of the attack and stepped forwards, lashing out with a brutal kick into one of the vamps knees, which shattered satisfyingly under his boot.
Xander then began looking around the alley for a convenient piece of wood to stake his downed enemy, who was currently writhing in agony of the floor, attempting to clutch its ruined limbs with its one working hand.
*You do not need a stake*
^Ummm, yes I do, you know you kinda have to have one?^
*You possess physical strength far in excess of the level necessary to decapitate a vampire with a simple twisting motion*
^Oh yeah. Thanks. So I just twist and pull right?^
Xander then put actions to words, moving towards the vamp, which was now dragging itself towards the alley’s exit; he took its head in an iron grip and placed his foot on its back, pressing it into the ground. Then he pulled, and with an ugly tearing noise the vamps head was torn from its shoulders, before it turned to dust in his hands. Xander smiled and wiped his hands clean on his pants, thinking ^Now this I could get used to^.
Xander then continued on towards Giles’ apartment, now wearing a large grin. Nothing cheered him up like dusting a vamp. As he turned out of the alley he mused that for once the way that magic just went weird around him had actually –helped- for once. The whole superhero gig was really cool and he could finally really help out, instead of just hanging around the edges like he usually did. Sure there had been a few times when he’d been one of the vital players, like the graduation battle but there had been far more times when he’d been the side-kick.
^Every side-kick deserves their own show eventually though and I guess this is mine.^
With those thoughts in mind his grin got even larger and he felt the almost irresistible urge to do the snoopy dance. That would have to wait though. He still needed to get through explaining exactly what it was he had been doing lately and how he’d done it to the G-man and the girls. He felt his grin twist into a frown as he realised that this was one conversation that was likely to majorly suck.
Xander turned the final corner on his route and walked the remaining 20 or so yards to Giles’ front door deep in thought as he didn’t have any idea whatsoever on how to explain things to Giles that wouldn’t immediately cause the watcher to pull out the books and start finding ways to take away his new powers. Taking a deep breath he took the plunge and pressed the buzzer for Giles’ apartment.
“Hi G-man, umm can I come up ‘cause I really need to talk to you?”
“Xander? Aren’t you supposed to be on vacation?”
“Yeah, but can I explain inside?”
“I’m buzzing you in.”
Xander entered the building and headed up the stairs before knocking on Giles’ door. It was opened a moment later and Giles stepped to one side in the traditional Sunnydale invitation. He shut the door behind Xander and moved towards an armchair and sat down and said:
“I believe you said you needed to talk to me?”
“Yeah…” So Xander talked. He started with the failed ritual and carried on from there to the present day, leaving nothing out, from the Worldmind and space travel to super heroes and fights. At the end of it all Giles stood and gestured to the door.
“Xander why on Earth would you tell me something so ridiculous? I think it best that you go home. I’ll drive you.”
Xander sighed and began to remove his clothing, ignoring the Watchers increasingly angry questioning. The questions died away when the Watcher saw the black suit that covered Xander from neck to toe. Then Xander returned his uniform to its normal state. Once the flash of light faded Giles blinked before hurrying into his kitchen. He returned with a carafe of brandy and a glass. He rapidly filled and drained a glass before stating simply:
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“Xander I don’t understand how on Earth you could have done something like this? The Rites of Arbosaz don’t do anything but kill you in a rather horrific fashion. Many talented mages and witches worked for years to make it do -something- but it never worked. And superheroes? There is no way that the Council would not have heard of such a thing!”
“Shut up! Don’t you understand what you’ve done? Now that I take the time to look carefully you are creating an incredibly large change in the local magical field! Don’t you understand? You are giving out a signal powerful enough to push through the interference created by HELL. It’s a wonder that that the more powerful demon and indeed, Buffy haven’t already arrived to investigate. And this Worldmind, are you sure that you can trust it? It-“
“Giles, Worldmind can hear you. Anything I can hear it can, and more besides. When you consider the fact that I can now hear conversations in LA and that you have a budding termite infestation then it can hear a lot. And you’re right. Buffy is on her way, as you would know if you looked out the window-oh wait she’s gone, ETA 20seconds.”
*Nova I must insist that we leave the area now. It is unsafe to remain here any longer than necessary. Giles has been informed. It would be prudent to allow him time to reflect.*
^Fine…I guess it is a lot to heap on him at once. And I think he’s a bit drunk.^
*His blood alcohol level is 0.11*
“Giles I’m going now. I’ll be back in a couple of days. Let you think it over. Bye now!”
Buffy however had different ideas. Deciding that the door handle was a completely unnecessary thing she simply smashed through it and hit Xander with an axe-kick that did two things. Firstly it sent Xander through a nearby window which wasn’t that bad as he simply shrugged his shoulders and shot away; and secondly it smashed her shinbone into fragments which was a bad thing as she immediately fell to the floor clutching her wounded leg.
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“You’re going to Baja. Bring in this Nova. Preferably willingly but if necessary…”
“With pleasure sir.”
AN I’ve got to apologise for the long absence but a rather pressing disagreement with my appendix put me out of any mood in which I could write. Anyway have a new chapter to cheer you up and don’t worry there will be more soon.