Summary: In an ancient time a mage casts a spell to bring forth the instrument of his vengeance. It does not go as expected and the repercussions will be felt by the Slayer line for generations to come.
Disclaimer: I don’t own BtVS and never will. I can only claim ideas brought on by sleep deprivation and overdosing on caffeine and nicotine.
Rome 175 B.C.
Beneath the streets of Rome a battle was taking place. Robed cultists snarled and wielded hastily snatched weapon as their opponent moved through them. They were the ‘Sons of Carthage’ and they had gathered to complete the ritual that would bring about the destruction of the city that had destroyed their people and land.
They expected to face ex gladiators or soldiers not the slip of a girl who seemed to dance amongst them with short sword and dagger in hand. As she danced the cultists died and despite their best efforts no blade or club was able to touch her.
With the last acolyte down Alycana, the vampire Slayer turned to face their leader, standing in the middle of a mystic circle and chanting in a language she had never heard before. For a moment the young woman regarded the chanting mage then she remembered the instructions from her Watcher. Hefting her Gladius she drew back her arm and let fly.
The mage, who had given up his name to better serve the gods of Carthage, was vaguely aware of the cries and sounds of battle as he cast the spell. A spell that would bring destruction to the people of Rome for vengeance of the city of his grandfathers. Just as he was about to complete the ritual he felt a sharp pain in his chest. Looking down he saw the hilt of a sword jutting from his chest. Suddenly the strength in his legs gave out and he collapsed to the floor.
As his vision started to fade the mage tried to find the strength to gloat. Even though he was dead the ritual was complete. Soon the portal would open and ‘The Destroyer’ would be brought forth and this abomination of a city would fall in fire and blood. Not even the vaunted Legions of Rome would be able to stop it. With a wracking cough the mage died, not knowing that even before the spell was cast he had failed.
The ritual should have summoned forth a demon bound to the summoner’s will. Unfortunately for the ‘Sons of Carthage’ they had chosen to commence the ritual at probably the worst place. Less than one Roman mile to the north stood the temple dedicated to Jupiter and to the east was the temple of Mars. Neither god condoned the summoning of demons inside their city.
Both gods quickly intervened, ensuring that no creature from the Hell dimensions would come forth. But they had a problem, the ritual released a huge amount of arcane energy that needed to be dispersed. It was then that the god Janus took a hand.
As the god of beginnings and endings, journeys and portals Janus had a unique perception of history. Reaching out through time he used the mage’s spell to grasp someone completely unexpected. At the same time draining most of the energy that would have destroyed the city so that the people of Rome felt nothing more than a slight tremor.
Alycana was just about to move forward to retrieve her sword when there was a flash of light and a body fell to the ground. The slave girl blinked in surprise at the young man who had appeared in front of her. For a moment she fingered the hilt of her knife as she debated whether or not to kill this person and be done with it. But she could sense no taint of evil around him. Moving closer she took a better look.
He looked to be not yet twenty years of age with dark hair and was clean shaven, though dressed in strange garments. Frowning she approached and placed her fingers against his throat, first feeling warm flesh and then a strong, steady pulse. The Slayer nodded, this wasn’t a demon but a man.
Rising to her feet she walked over to the dead mage and collected her sword, wiping it clean on the dead man’s robes. Her master and watcher, Amicus Tiberius, was adamant that no weapons be left behind after a battle. Sheathing her blades she turned to regard the new arrival and debated on what she should do. She could just leave him here and return to her watcher but something made her pause, perhaps this man was something special? After all, he had appeared at the culmination of a major spell. So she reached down and picked up the stranger, her Slayer strength more than equal to the task and made her way back through the tunnels, wondering just what her master would make of this strange man.
Amicus Tiberius looked up from the scroll he’d been reading when he heard his charge return from her task. Moving out of his study he entered the courtyard to find his Slayer standing there with a body over her shoulder.
“Alycana, there was no need to bring back proof of your success.” He said as he approached, his experienced eye looking for injuries she may have suffered.
Alycana had the good grace to look slightly abashed at the chiding tone of her watcher before depositing her burden on one of the stone benches in the atrium. “Master I did as you bade me and stopped the cultists. But after the mage had been killed there was a flash of light and then he appeared.” She gestured to the body lying next to her.
Amicus frowned and moved to examine the body, while Alycana told him what had happened in the catacombs. While his Slayer made her report he checked over the young man now lying on the bench. Alycana finished and the former Centurion of Rome’s Legions nodded before sending her off to the bath house. Rising to his feet he clapped his hands, summoning his steward.
“Yes Domine?” The slightly plump, Greek slave asked as he entered the courtyard.
“Take our guest to one of the spare rooms and make him comfortable.” Amicus ordered before retiring to his study. Placing the objects he had found in the pockets of the stranger’s outlandish clothing he quickly trimmed the wick of his oil lamp and lit several more candles, carefully adjusting the polished bronze reflectors to enhance the light.
Taking his seat he examined the stranger’s possessions. There wasn’t much, just a few coins of silver and bronze, though he didn’t recognise the denomination or where they were minted. Putting them aside to study once the sun was up he then picked up the piece of folded leather. Inside were several small rectangles of some strange material with strange writing on them. One of the rectangles bore an image of the young man unconscious in the household, though Amicus did not know how a picture so small, with such life like colours could be done.
Along with the plaques were pieces of very fine papyrus. They were covered in a very complex design on both sides, several of them had a picture of some type of temple on one side and the other the picture of a sharp featured man with large ears and a beard that only covered his chin. It was very intriguing.
Putting the coins and the strange materials aside for the moment, he’d inspect them again once the sun had risen and there was better light he turned to the last two items.
The first was what looked like a gold cross on a fine chain. It was obviously a prized possession since it had been around his neck though why someone would wear a representation of the device used to punish rebellious slaves was beyond him.
The last item was perhaps the most perplexing. It was nothing more than a simple wooden stake, much like the stakes that his Slayer used in her sacred duty.
Putting the stake down Amicus got to his feet and walked over to the small balcony that opened out onto the courtyard, awash with moonlight. He smiled as he saw a figure flit from the bathhouse to the dormitory wing. Alycana had obviously finished her bath and was heading back to her cell for a few hours well deserved sleep. He must remember to tell his steward to let the girl rest in the morning, she deserved it after stopping the cult that had wanted to destroy Rome.
Looking out onto the moonlit city he came to a decision. He would not send a message to Alexandria and his superiors in the Council, not until he knew more about the young man who had dropped, literally, into his Slayer’s arms. He just hoped that the boy spoke a civilised tongue and not the grunting speech of a barbarian.
The following morning.
Xander Harris slowly returned to consciousness. Immediately he knew something was wrong. Even without opening his eyes he knew he wasn’t in his room at the boarding house he’d been staying at for the last two and a bit months.
“OK” He thought. “Not my room and definitely not a hospital, so where am I?” His musings were interrupted by the sound of a door opening. Looking up he saw a man, maybe a bit older than Giles, dressed in an off-white tunic and sandals.
“Bonus oriens, quis est vestri nomen?” the man asked. Xander looked blankly at the man.
“Yeah, we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore Toto.” He muttered.
Authors Note: Just an idea that has been sitting in my hard drive for a while after reading Colleen McColluch's excellent Republic seiries. Should I continue it? Feedback is always appreciated