"Well, to put it in D&D terms, my young friend," Older Xander said with a grin, "Would you rather be a warrior, a rogue or a wizard?"
"Uh, why do I have to choose just one?" the younger version of the Founding Scooby asked with a frown. "'Cause in D&D, you could choose to have more than one class. Even if you were a human.
"Although, if you decided to be a human, you could only pursue one class at a time," Young Xander clarified his comment parenthetically.
"Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner here, folks," the elder Harris grinned approvingly at his younger doppelganger. "Ya know, I'm glad to see that you're one of the versions of me that can still think outside the box.
"*And* that you're not one of the asshole variants who've also got a humongous stick up their ass," Older Xander added with rueful expression. "Believe it or not, I actually stumbled across a version of us out there that's pretty much a male version of Cordelia Chase, ya know? Or at least how Cordy was during high school, anyway.
"Man, I gotta tell you, that guy was pretty much a complete putz," the older Harris declared with a sigh and a shake of his head. "At least, he was until I straightened his ass out, and showed him what was what.
"And yeah, you're definitely right about not choosing to specialize in just one type of career, kid," the elder doppelgänger continued his spiel, returning to their previous topic of conversation.
"That game rule was really stupid, and if you'll remember what one of the designers said at a convention, it was only put in there because they thought they needed it for 'game balance'," the interdimensional traveler added, complete with finger quotes and an eye-roll. "Also remember what Heinlein wrote in his books: 'specialization is for insects.'
"But, again, all that's also totally irrelevant to what we need to talk about," Older Xander noted with a notable change of expression and body language, "so let's just table that topic in general, and get down to discussing why I'm here, okay?"
"All right," Younger Xander agreed. "So what, exactly, are you here to do?"
"Like I told you a minute ago, kid, I'm currently traveling through a whole bunch of universes, looking to shake things up a little, in the hopes that things will go differently than they did in my universe," Older Xander informed his younger alternate self.
"Just for my own curiosity, what happened in your universe?" the native version of Harris inquired, a concerned expression on his face. "Did the demons win and take over everything? Is humanity in danger of being wiped out?"
"No, or at least, not exactly," Older Xander said, shaking his head as a scowl took possession of an older version of Harris' face. "Something a lot worse than that happened –
"The so-called 'Good Guys' won, and because of that, humanity ended up being almost completely wiped out," the elder Xander stated, his words producing a look of complete and dumbfounded shock on his younger variant's face.
"Say WHAT?!!" Younger Xander yelled. "Did you just say, we *won* – and that's what gonna cause the end of the human race?
"Are you NUTS? Or am I just stupid, and I'm not hearing things right?" the youth demanded loudly. "'Cause I thought that winning a war was a *good* thing!"
"Yeah, well, usually, it is, kid," Older Xander agreed, although he was frowning as he said that. "And if we were dealing with rational people, who didn't have their heads up their asses, you’d be right.
"Unfortunately, though, a lot of the people we ended up allying with during the eventual war, turned out to be either bigots or extremists. Basically they started trying to exterminate *every* demon they could find in this world, whether they were evil or not," Older Xander elaborated. "And that's really where all of our problems started.
"Look, I'm not gonna go into the details, because it's not really all that relevant to this particular situation, and also – well, it still hurts too much for me to talk about," the newly arrived traveler said.
"No. That’s not good enough," Younger Xander demanded emphatically. He knew that since his alternate self came from a world where time ran faster, what had happened there stood a good chance of happening here as well. "And if you’re an older version of me, you should know that!"
Older Xander sighed. "Yeah. Okay, fine, then listen up – the Reformed Slayers and Watchers Council managed to get virtually all of mankind united behind them at the beginning of the war against evil demons, but after that was over and things started winding down, there were a number of extremist asshole factions who decided that anything that wasn't human was evil, pure and simple," he explained.
"And in their infinite wisdom, they took to killing off any neutral or peaceful demons they found," the newly-arrived traveler added with a grimace.
"And then, when the Council started objecting to their doing that, those same asshole bastards decided that we had to be evil, too. So, they declared war on Slayers, witches and pretty much anyone else who disagreed with them, which basically ended up in a gigantic civil war for humanity," Older Xander informed the intently listening youth.
"The problem was that, since the assholes who started all of this had a lot of powerful politicians and industry leaders backing them, who saw their doing that as a way to ensure that they maintained their power, the Council and its allies ended up being the next ones who got hunted down – by a lot of the same people we had been fighting side-by-side with, only a year or two earlier," Older Xander explained.
"And while those bastards were busy hunting us down and killing us when they could, most of the demons they had been trying to exterminate a couple years previously were banding together, to find a way to wipe out humanity.
"Anyway, to make a very long, and very painful story short, kid, the demons found a way to do exactly that. So unsurprisingly, they unleashed a series of simultaneous genocidal attacks which killed off almost all of humanity in my home dimension," the dimensional traveler stated, and his younger counterpart witnessed an almost palpable expression of loss and pain slide across his double's face as he spoke, before almost instantly disappearing.
"And *that's* what I'm trying to help prevent from happening to you and your friends, here and everywhere else around the Mandala," the elder Xander Harris declared, with a grim, sorrowful expression on his face.
"So, kid, now that you know why I'm here, what exactly do you want to do?" Older Xander asked.
"Exactly what choices do I have to pick from?" the native-born Scooby Gang founder asked his older doppelganger, a far more sober expression on his face now, as he looked at his older doppelganger.
"You asked me if I'd rather be 'a warrior, a rogue or a wizard' earlier, but exactly what kind of warrior, rogue or wizard are you talking about?" Younger Xander inquired. "Are we talking about a D&D type warrior or a Warhammer 40K Space Marine?
"And as far as the rogue thing goes, are you talking about the Grey Mouser type of thief, or maybe Marvel's Black Cat or Gambit? Or would I be more like James Bond or Ethan Hunt from the Mission Impossible series?" Harris went on, apparently starting to channel Willow's ongoing babble style of discourse.
"And exactly what kind of wizard are you talking about?" Xander inquired as he continued his line of questioning. "If you're talking about a D&D type wizard, then I'd have to spend a lot of time deciding what spells I'd want to have available, and then have to spend even more time studying them.
"Unless, of course, you're talking about sorcerers, instead," Younger Xander amended himself, caught up in his enthusiasm and not noticing the grin his incessant rambling had brought to the older Harris' lips, "'cause being a sorcerer would be really cool, what with being able to do any kind spell I wanted, whenever I wanted to do it.
"Of course, being a 'Charmed' kind of witch, with natural-born powers in addition to bring able to cast spells, would be incredibly cool, too," Younger Xander declared with a smile. "Would I be able to do something like that?
"And hey! Is there any reason I couldn't be a cleric or some kind?" the native-born version of Harris inquired. "'Cause being able to make holy water anytime we needed it, or bless our weapons so that they do more damage to any bloodsucker we hit would be majorly of the good!"
"Well, considering that the group of beings I'm currently representing are in a fairly helpful mood," the elder Harris grinned at his younger twin, "why don't you tell me what kind of training and/or upgrades it is you're looking to get, and I'll see what sort of arrangement we can come to, okay?"
"Okay," Native-Xander nodded. "What I'd like is…"