Author’s note: this is the sequel to ‘I am You’. While this will probably make some sense without having read that, it will make a great deal more if you have.
I do not own Buffy or Doctor Who. This story takes place during the Doctor Who episode “The Impossible Planet.”
This is a birthday story for Nathan Fillion.
Caleb was unconcerned by the fearsome looking creatures in front of him. While their tentacles and cries of “We must feed,” seemed to come right out of a horror movie, Caleb was well aware that if there was anyone here that belonged in that genre, it was him.
After the skinny man had dragged him into his ship, Caleb had been cut off from The First and the network of evil that his connection to that primordial evil entity afforded him.
But here, wherever here was, he was strong. Stronger than he had ever been on Earth, where he had already been unbelievably strong. He could feel the evil pulsing beneath his feet, rushing up into his skull to give him an incredible rush. It felt wonderful.
If it came to it, Caleb was positive that he could tear apart these creatures with one hand tied behind his back.
One of the creatures reached out, banging the glowing orb it held against its palm. “We must feed… you, if you are hungry.”
Okay. Caleb hadn’t expected that. In his experience, ominous creatures didn’t invite you to tea. “Pardon?” Caleb said, wondering if it was ploy to throw him off-guard so that they could eat him anyway.
The First, still wearing Buffy’s body, appeared at his elbow. “Be careful, Caleb. This place is important. There’s something you must do here.”
“Sure.” Caleb replied. “But can I kill these things first? I don’t like the way they’re looking at me.”
The First vanished, and a grey-haired man came through the same door as the tentacle creatures. He looked at Caleb as though he had never seen a human before. “How did you get here?” the man asked warily.
Caleb spread his hands and put on a beatific smile, as befitting a man of the cloth. “The power of the Lord has brought me here. I would not question His design.”
“Right.” The man said sceptically. He held his wrist to his mouth. “Captain? We’ve got some kind of crazy religious guy here. He appeared out of nowhere.”
“Jefferson, that’s impossible.” Came the reply.
“God works in mysterious ways.” Caleb said, the word leaving a sour taste in his mouth. He didn’t know why he was here, but he got the feeling that killing these people and painting the walls with their brains wouldn’t be the best of ideas. So best to continue the preacher act.
“Ah, hell.” The captain said. “Jefferson, ask your mysterious man if he’s gone anywhere near the drill. We’ve sped up.”
“Sir, that’s impossible.” Jefferson replied.
“Yeah, well, there’s a lot of that going on at the moment. At this rate, we’ll hit bottom in about five minutes.”
The First appeared again, and Caleb knew that it had only appeared to him. “You have to go down there, Caleb. It’s vitally important that you do. Don’t let anyone get in your way.”
Jefferson took Caleb roughly by the arm. Caleb contemplated tearing it off and beating him to death with it, but decided not to. He needed someone to lead him to the bore hole, anyway.
So Caleb let Jefferson drag him away.
He didn’t pay any attention when he was dragged into a room full of people who all seemed incredibly shocked to see him. Caleb could feel the drilling beneath his feet, a counterpoint to the maleficent pulse. He could sense where the vibrations were coming from. And he knew that at any second-
“Huh.” The captain said. “We’ve reached the bottom.”
- they would reach the bottom. Caleb strode to where he had felt the vibrations emanating from.
He barely slowed when Jefferson stood in his way, levelling a gun at his chest. Caleb seized the gun’s barrel, effortlessly twisting it out of shape at the same time he hit Jefferson in the chest so hard that he broke all of his ribs, leaving him a broken, wheezing man dying on the floor.
Everyone got out of his way after that.
Caleb didn’t stop until he got to the pit, a hole in the floor that seemed to make the room darker just by being there. There was a cord, something he could lower himself down on, but Caleb didn’t need that. Not with all the power he could feel rushing through his veins, power emerging from the pit in front of him.
So he jumped.
Sometime later, and several miles further underground, Caleb hit the ground, the impact no worse than if he had stepped off of a curb.
The cavern Caleb found himself was dark. The kind of darkness you get when something ad never, ever seen any kind of light.
Not that stopped Caleb from being able to see. The darkness welcomed him, revealing things in more detail than he would have seen even had there been light.
But Caleb wasn’t bothered by the statues. His attention was drawn to the trap door that took up most of the floor. Whatever he was looking for was down there, beneath that seal.
So he decided to break it.
With a blow of such force that, had it hit a human, it would have spilt them in half, Caleb smashed through the seal. Shards of stone rained down into the abyss it had been covering, and the earth shook.
Caleb almost fell over, but not from the earthquake. The sheer power radiating from the abyss was overwhelming, burning through his veins and singing in his blood. Compared to this, the power The First had given him in Sunnydale was nothing, nothing at all.
So, in order to get closer to the energy source, Caleb jumped again. It wasn’t nearly as far a jump as it had been down from the human base above. It wasn’t until he landed and instinctively took a breath that he realised that he hadn’t done so ever since his first jump. Caleb supposed that either The First or whatever was in this abyss had been protecting him, ensuring that his more-or-less human body didn’t asphyxiate.
When Caleb looked up, examining his surroundings, fire leapt up, almost blinding his night-sensitive eyes. When he recovered, Caleb was stunned by what he saw there.
Through his connection with The First, Caleb had seen a lot of impressive things. None of them, however, quite matched up to the satanic figure towering above him, with eyes of flame. It wasn’t often that Caleb felt small, but this thing dwarfed him and just about everything he had ever seen. Its smallest tooth was bigger than he was. It could’ve used sky scrapers as baseball bats.
The First appeared next to Caleb. It’s face was exultant, inhuman. “Behold! It is me!” it said grandly.
Caleb looked up at The Beast. “That’s you?” he said incredulously. He had become used to The First being incorporeal, lending its strength to him so that he could act for it. But The Beast was definitely solid. He could feel the heat washing over from him as fire curled from its mouth. The sheer power almost drove him to his knees.
The First shrugged. “It was.”
With a voice that felt like a shard of ice had been lodged in Caleb’s brain, The Beast spoke.And it will be again
Almost before Caleb had a chance to recover from the voice of Satan, The First said “You have to break the urns. Send us flying into the black hole.”
Now, Caleb had never had much schooling, but he was pretty sure that sending them into a black hole wouldn’t be good. On the other hand, if The Devil itself was urging him to do it…
“You have to do it. I can’t act here. Set me free, and one day, elsewhere and in another time, I will regain my corporeal form. On that day, darkness shall walk.”
“Well, when you put it like that…” Caleb said with a shrug.
He turned and smashed the urns.