A/N This is a look down the line from my story "The Right Man for the Job". It is crossed with Stephen King's immortal, "The Stand". This is not a happy fic. As always I have no proprietary claim on either the works of Stephen King or BTVS.
Releasing the Hounds
The Angel Raguel, formerly Xander Harris, briefly materialized in a laboratory. He touched two devices and was gone almost before he became fully visible. When he re-materialized again, he was standing about a hundred yards away from some lonely compound in the desert. He knew that it was his job. That he was, to steal a quote, the striking hammer of God; and that meant that sometimes he did things that he didn’t enjoy.
Not like dealing with the Powers; that had been something that he had thoroughly enjoyed. Jerking those uptight assholes away from their champions until they could bring order to that Discworld place; and compelling them to do it without any direct interference still brought a smile to his face. But this job was different. This one wasn’t subtle or poetic or anything creative; this was just an out and out smite. On an entire world.
It was so close to the world that he had originally come from that it almost scared him. He had even tracked down his analog out of curiosity. The man was a speech therapy teacher in Los Angeles named Kelly who was married to Willow’s analog, whose name was Lily. They had two children and a pleasant life. That was about to change.
There were only two major differences that Xander could find. One was that there were no monsters, vampires or anything overtly supernatural here. The other was that religion, belief in God had waned to the point that less than five percent of the entire population believed in a supreme being. Xander had looked into why that was and came up with a surprising answer. Cheap and easily made paper. In the world that Xander had originally come from, cheap and plentiful paper hadn’t made the scene until the late 12 to early 1300’s. In this reality the formula had been devised and spread about in 1125. This one simple development had allowed Alchemists, who were the first true scientists and empiricists; to spread their ideas and techniques further and faster than the Catholic Church could contain. This jump started the education of the common peasant and that change undermined the control that both the church and the various monarchies had over their subjects. The persecution of Copernicus and the trial of Galileo finished the job of destroying any influence that the Catholic Church had.
As far as Islam went, the Sunni and Shia branches had done such a thorough job of wiping each other out in the years directly after Mohamed’s death that the entire religion was now more of a curiosity for scholars than anything else.
This had left the Jews pretty much alone and surprisingly their beliefs stagnated and fell away without the persecution of the Christians and Muslims to toughen them. This vacuum opened the way for Shinto, Confucianism, Buddhism and other belief systems that emphasized the individual and did not have one God. Which was why Xander was here. It wasn’t something that Xander enjoyed, but as Michael had once told him, “Sometimes you nurture, sometimes you fertilize and sometimes you have to cut away the dead wood so that the living plant can flourish.”
He focused back on the chain link fence, the usual Government warnings were on hanging on metal signs near the entrance; and waited. He was aware when an agent of the Enemy appeared in the form of a Crow, but he didn’t look away from the compound that the fence enclosed or acknowledge the other in any way. All too soon claxons started going off, then the screams of fear and panic could be faintly heard from inside the compound. Still Xander stood there, doing nothing but watching, waiting for the last scene of the opening act of this death play. All too soon he could hear an engine revving and a dusty blue sedan was speeding towards the entrance, an entrance that was still open. The gate started to close, and then Xander gestured at the thing. It paused for a fatal second and then continued on its way, but now it would close too late to keep the car and its occupants from escaping.
As the sedan sped down the road, the Crow gave a caw of triumph and flew away as a tear rolled down Xander’s face. Captain Trips was free in the world.