Author's Brief Note:
Wow, not too many interested parties it would appear. Hence the delay, have a new chapter folks, perhaps it will loosen some tongues... Er... Or limber up some fingers. ;)
Willow felt it the moment it began. Storms raged across the globe, strange events decimating the entire planet. Demons of every shape and size had long since abandoned the Earth to its fate, whatever that may be; now Willow began to understand why all of her Slayers were trapped in a coma.
She had been in the process of meditating seeking to find answers to questions she couldn’t begin to understand, when she felt the first instance of true pain and despair she’d experienced mystically in a very long time. Not since her darker days in Sunnydale. Collapsing in a boneless heap Willow’s essence began to war against the very Earth itself as it took
her magic back from her. Something she had believed impossible.
Mentally crying out Willow tried to communicate with Gaia, the Goddess. What answered her was anything but what she expected.
“Gaia!” Willow’s mental cry of anguish sought out the very essence of the Earth magic’s her Wiccan beliefs allowed her to tap into. For Good or Evil.
“This infestation is beyond what I expected!” a booming voice answered. “Parasites everywhere using my powers without understanding the consequences.”
“Gaia?” Willow tried to see the source of this strange, alien voice, at first her eyes thought she was looking upon a shapely form. Her ears heard a woman’s softer tones. Then the image of two massive purple eyes appeared clearly before her and a mouth opened revealing a pulsing purple beat of life from deep within the being.
“Gaia is not my name, despite your puny mortal beliefs.” The being drew closer and began drawing away the remaining magic that Willow was desperately attempting to cling to.
“No! Who are you? What are you?” Willow tried to erect a feeble mental barrier, the being before her caused it to shatter and fail.
“I am that which gave life to this primitive planet’s denizens. Creatures born of my essence without my intent, no doubt a remnant of the taint of Primus’ chosen.” The creature’s hovering countenance within Willow’s mind took on a more solid shape, formed of the Earths crust. “I am Unicron!”
Willow’s hair faded from white, to black to red as the last of her magic was finally taken from her. “I don’t understand!” she wept in sudden abject terror as everything she was, her very essence was stripped of her. “I draw upon the power of Gaia, also known as Mother Earth, there is no Unicron in the beliefs of magic.”
“That is because your beliefs are misguided.” Unicron chuckled. “Such raw power, you were quite strong with my essence, and now you are just like the rest of these puny insects I shall destroy upon my full awakening. Farewell would be Goddess!”
Willow reached out feebly with her mind in one last attempt to reclaim the mystical energies she had grown accustomed to. “I will not surrender in this way!”
“Foolish creature, you do not grasp the cosmic significance of my being. You are…” The being known as Unicron ceased talking as all of his attention was suddenly diverted inwards and with one brief intake of breath his essence receded leaving Willow alone. And very much powerless.
Weeping as she regained consciousness Willow wrapped her arms around her naked form, as she always meditated in the nude to better commune with her Goddess, and felt violated. She could not understand what had happened, not completely at least, turning she tried to remember where she was. What she’d been doing. Instead she felt an emptiness in her soul and without even realizing it she began to seek out some means of filling this emptiness.
A tiny spark of energy still remained, what had tied her essence to that of the Slayer and the special weapon wielded by Buffy. This source of power had always been connected to the heart of the Slayer line, a line which did not owe allegiance to this dark being calling itself Unicron, but a different entity.
Across the Earth, where they remained either trapped in perpetual nightmares of Earth shattering, or doing what little they could to stave off their fears when faced with an apocalypse level event they had not ability to fight; the Slayers of the Earth felt Willow touching their essence. And then, one by one they lost their strength. One by one, until only two remained fully in control of their abilities.
Willow however had drawn this ability into her like a battery re-charging itself, only the charge was barely at half power. Some might consider it even less, her hair danced in an unseen breeze for the briefest of moments and then fell flat. Tears continued to streak down her face, she’d done something she never intended to allow. The forces of evil wouldn’t have any qualms in killing the now helpless former Slayers.
Then she heard the animalistic cry of Unicron from a great distance, as though something was doing battle against him. Willow also felt another power, one she couldn’t place, it didn’t appear to be magical in nature.
A gentle caring voice whispered to her. “Sweet child, you have had great abilities and you have learned the hardships abusing such abilities means. The one called Unicron is the very heart of your world, a transcended being of unimaginable power. His essence gave you life, as it did all of Earth’s inhabitants. Now he is being defeated, forced into a different state of being. But your world can not survive without a heart, a true essence to help nurture it and lie dormant within. Much has been asked of you, by many who would claim to represent higher beings. I have only one thing to ask of you at this time, will you transcend your mortal coil, will you do what you can to aid in protecting the children of Earth. Will you, Willow Rosenberg, accept the responsibilities of Gaia?”
Feeling at peace as the voice began speaking to her Willow offered the only response she could. A soft blue aura filled her replacing the emptiness that had been there moments before, it enveloped her, consumed her lit her as though a beacon to the stars. Willow’s body changed, her hair began to glow a warm and radiant blue color and her eyes shone with inner light even as her physical form began to fade away.
For the briefest of moments she thought she heard a chorus of voices crying out in rage, fear and anguish before everything faded once again.
When Faith rushed into her room after the numerous reports of Slayers losing their powers reached her, all she found was the burnt out husk of Willow Rosenberg; shriveled and drained of all water resembling nothing more than a mummified corpse. But strangely enough there was a serene smile on her face as though whatever happened to her had not been painful, but wondrously beyond description.
Deep in the center of the Earth, where a being’s remains continued to exist, change was occurring. The dark substance flowing through the veins was being replaced at a steady rate, the empty spark chamber where the essence of a creature of pure chaotic destruction had existed was beginning to shine with a new reddish toned light.
She could feel the Earth all around her now, every nuance, every connection; Willow was Earth. Somehow she had transcended her previous mortal existence, apparently drawing upon the essence of the Slayer line, and was now truly a Goddess. A very young and inexperienced Goddess, she had a feeling she would need help understanding her new role.
“My friends will grieve for me, Xander! Oh Xander’s going to be so devastated, isn’t there anyway I can still communicate with them? I mean I don’t have to sleep forever like Unicron did do I? Ewwww, icky Dark Energon stuff is still all over the place, it’ll take a long time to get rid of it. I guess this means I can never see Tara again now, oh wait I could just visit her, maybe… I don’t know much about how this all works, and who am I talking to anyway?”
The voice of her questioner chuckled all around her still sounding very faint and very weak. “Young beings certainly are talkative.”
“Oh, um… Sorry.” Willow would have blushed if it were possible.
“You may visit your friends if you so wish, though you will need to master manifestations before you can. As for communicating with them, I believe the Slayer scythe will aid you in that regard until you can resume a more, physical, appearance. Your abilities however will take time to master I’m afraid, time enough that those who previously fled this dimension may begin to return. And there is the last of the Old Ones to concern yourself with, Illyria will seek to claim the powers she once had.” Sighing briefly the entity began to experience a moment of uncertainty.
Willow calmed her mind and, for lack of a better description, stilled her essence from fluctuating so rapidly. “I’m ready to learn.”
“Good, for you have much to learn and I am afraid I may not be able to communicate with you for much longer. The essence of the Matrix has returned to me, for a time, but Optimus will rise again and reclaim what was lost. So, I believe introductions by this point would be proper etiquette.” The being’s tone suggested a warm and friendly smile of greeting. “My children know me as Primus, to them I am the God of Life. And I shall be your teacher, your guide and your friend, Gaia Willow.”
Willow would have bowed if it were possible. “Thank you, and I like the sound of that. It has a much better ring to it than Gaia Unicron.”
And Primus chuckled once more.End Chapter Three