Albino on the Hellmouth
Title: Albino on the Hellmouth
Feedback: Yes. Please. It is the coin of the realm
Story-type: Halloween, Crossover
Disclaimer: All characters used don't belong to me but to their respective owners, namely J. Whedon, UPN/FOX/Warner for the TV part (i.e. Buffy-characters) and for the book part it is Pabel-Moewig Verlag KG and the various authors that wrote and write for them (Perry Rhodan novels)
Author's notes: I just had to try my hand at a Halloween fic when this plot bunny ambushed me and didn't let me do anything else. On top of it, it is a must for a Xander author to write at least one and I can't get enough of reading them, so here is my try. I know not many here will know the crossover but I'll try to keep it all simple and yet detailed enough for all to understand. For those in the know the character I chose will be from the 4th cycle timeline wise (i.e. around 2320-40 AD)
For those English speakers wanting more information I can recommend going to either of these sites:
www.perry-rhodan.us or www.perry-rhodan-usa.com/index1998.htm or
Notes the second:
Speech = "…."
Thoughts = *…*
Mental conversation = #...#
Telepathy = +…+
Notes the third: the music tip of this story is: "Perry Rhodan – Pax Terra" by Christopher Franke, especially track no. 3
Archive: XanderZone, Fanfiction.net, Twisting the Hellmouth; anyone else, please inform me
Ethan's Costume Shop
While Buffy and Willow where off to the other side of the shop oohhing and aahhing over some costume Xander was busy browsing through the less popular and less common costumes. Here were the costumes for characters from indie movies as well as those from novels that weren't really mainstream.
And then he spotted the costume – one of the characters he liked best and could reasonably pose as, as he was not small enough for a not even 5 foot high mouse beaver and way too small for a Haluter. A black uniform with rank insignia and a small shoulder patch reading USO, a weapons belt with a futuristic gun, a dagger, reddish contact lenses and a white-blonde wig, a silver, egg-shaped amulet on a chain completed the costume.
The character and his adventures were one of the best parts of Xander's youth, especially when he read the booklets Uncle Rory had given him under his covers while his parents had another drunken shouting match in the living room he could escape into a better world.
While Xander was a bit lost in his memories someone had stepped close behind him.
"Ah, I see this classic has caught your eye, young man," Ethan said from just inside Xander's personal space causing him to jump slightly as he was jolted from his thoughts.
"Gah, don't do that man. I could have had a heart attack. Who are you anyhow?" Xander groused.
"I'm terribly sorry. Rayne is my name, Ethan Rayne. I'm the proprietor of this locale."
"Wow another Brit. First Giles invades high school and now you take over the costume business."
*Giles? No that couldn't be. He is with his stuffy Watcher friends in London. But then again this is the Hellmouth, maybe he pissed someone off and got sent here.* Ethan thought to himself, aloud he replied, "Giles? I know the chances are low but may I inquire about his full name? He might be an old friend of mine, despite low as the chances for that are."
"Sure, why not? His name's Rupert Giles."
*It is him! Janus, thank you for this present, I'll give you the most chaos this place can produce for that.*
"Bad luck, sadly that isn't my friends name, but thank you. Now back to business. Am I right in my assumption that you are interested in that costume over there?"
"Interested, yes, but I have no idea if I can afford it. I see no price tag on it."
*Hmm, it a good character, but I need something to act as a counterweight to all the demons and other evil costumes I already sold and rented out.*
"Well, considering that the costumes on this rack have garnered less interest than I had hoped for I'll make you a good price. What would you say about 5 dollars for just the night or 50 dollars if you want to keep it?" Ethan proposed
"Cool. Could I take it for the night and if I like it – and get the rest of the money – pay the reminder tomorrow?" Xander inquired, an elated spark twinkling in his eyes.
"Of course you can," Ethan replied magnanimously. *If I'm still here and you managed to survive...*
Together the two went to the cashier where Ethan rung up the bill and packed the costume into a large bag for Xander. Whistling a jaunty tune Xander left the store and headed home to get ready before meeting the girls at Buffy's.
A few hours later Xander rang the bell at the Summers' home and waited for someone to open the door. He didn't have to wait long as nearly immediately he could hear someone loudly running down the stairs. Seconds later the door was forcefully thrown open by the youthful bundle of energy called Buffy's little sister Dawn. When she saw him she first showed a flicker of disappointment but that was quickly swept away as she took in Xander's appearance, the black uniform showed a more finely tuned physique than the baggy clothes he usually wore ever promised to hide.
Xander who had noticed the first disappointment couldn't help teasing her a bit, "Hey Dawn, sorry that I'm not your date. But I'm willing to stand in for him if you get stood-up."
"Xanderrrrr," Dawn moaned exasperated, then she continued with an impish grin, "But I must say you don't look too shabby. Maybe I should exchange you for Steve I'd probably get some money back too."
Xander put a hand over his heart and mimed a mortal wound. "Dawn you words strike me deeply. Now what are you going as Alice in Wonderland?" Xander asked as he took in the costume she wore.
"Yes, but not the normal Alice," Dawn replied pointing to two large knives stained with fake blood that were partially hidden by the plant next to the door. "I chose American McGee's Alice, she's way cooler."
"Does your mom know of the difference?"
"God no! She'd have a cow if she knew," Dawn exclaimed. "You won't tell her?" she added fluttering her eyes at Xander.
"Fear not, fair lady. Your secret is safe with me," Xander replied.
"Back to costumes, who are YOU?" questioned Dawn.
"Why, Lordadmiral Atlan Gonozal of course. If you are interested I can lend you some booklets with stories about him."
While he explained a bit more about his character to Dawn Buffy came down the stairs. As he saw her in the old gown he couldn't help but exclaim in wonder, "Buffy, Duchess of Buffonia, Captain of the Ship of Buffdom. You look fabulous, I totally renounce spandex."
Buffy smiled, obviously pleased. "Oh that's nothing, just wait until you see Willow… the friendly ghost." Buffy ended with a decidedly sadder voice as she saw Willow on top of the stairs in a classic ghost costume, complete with a BOOO in bold letters on the front.
"That's a mighty find boo you got there Willow," Xander commented. Then he continued to Buffy, "Don't be disappointed, Willow's been going as a ghost for the last five years."
Willow sounded decidedly unhappy with the turn the conversation started to take as she quickly interjected, "Come on guys, we have to hurry or we'll be late and get detention for the rest of our school lives."
The Arkonide Atlan looked around in confusion. *Where am I? This isn't Quinto Center.*
#You seem to be on 20th century Terra, you fool.# his extra brain, that special part of his brain activated by the Ark Summia, gave its analysis with the usual sarcasm.
*But you know as well as I do that those kinds of cars never existed on Earth.*
#Then we must be on an alternative earth. IT could be playing again.# the extra brain replied with maddening logic.
Upon contemplating this analysis Atlan listened for the usual telepathic laughter IT was fond to project when playing with his favourites but nothing was to be heard, except for the redheaded girl running in his direction calling for a Xander, whoever that might be.
Willow came to a stop in front of him and said, "Xander there you are, why don't you react when I call you?"
"You must be mistaking me for someone else miss. My name is Atlan not Xander."
"Come on Xander don't play stupid, it's me Willow."
Before Atlan could reply to that a small horde of little demons came howling running towards the two teens. Atlan drew his combi-blaster at once and gave a warning shot, a lance of superheated plasma shot out and buried itself in the ground in front of the horde. They quickly saw the advantage of choosing another direction to run to and veered off to the left. Well, all but one that headed straight for the two Scoobies, Atlan adjusted his aim at once for a more direct aim.
"Xander, don't kill him. It's just a child that's been possessed by his costume."
#Follow the advice for now, if necessary you can still use more lethal force later.#
With a flick of his thumb he changed the weapon's setting and fired. A barely visible shimmer broke free from the barrel and when it hit the faux-demon it seemed to freeze in mid-movement, after a moment the possessed child toppled over and laid still on the ground.
"Xander! I told you not to kill him," Willow exclaimed.
"I didn't kill him, he is just paralyzed and will be all right again in a few hours. And don't call me Xander all the time, I told you already my name is Atlan."
"O.k., let me explain Atlan. It is Halloween and you are in Sunnydale, California and if I'm right you have never been here before or even heard about it, right?" Willow asked, when she saw the current Arkonide nod she continued, "Somehow most people have been turned into their costumes. And you, you are Xander but not at the moment, at the moment you are your costume, which would be you, you."
"I see…" Atlan replied. *Maybe this is the work of one ore more mutants that have reality altering powers.* #Insufficient information for this deduction, you have to learn more about the situation.#
A moment later he asked, "And as what have you costumed yourself? It seems as if you haven't been affected."
"Ehm, not true, look," Willow replied and moved her arm wildly around, moving it through a lamp post and, if it hadn't been immaterial she would also have given Atlan a black eye when her hand moved straight through his right nostril. "I dressed as a ghost and see, totally ghostlike abilities."
"The ghost of whom?" Atlan couldn't resist asking as he considered the daring clothes Willow wore.
"Eeeep," Willow squeaked a bit and flushed bright red – quite a feat for a ghost – before she had herself under control again and she replied, "Buffy said Halloween in come-as-you-aren't-night and convinced me at first to wear that, I later added my trusty ghost sheet: But that isn't important at the moment, now we need to find Buffy. She's the Slayer. She's got to be able to help."
"Then lead on to where we can find her or do we just search the whole town?" the founder of the USO inquired in a sardonic voice.
With a huff Willow turned around and led Atlan in the direction she had seen Buffy lead her group of trick-and-treaters. They didn't have to search for long before they heard a girl scream in panic. Willow recognized the voice as Buffy's at once and took off at full speed into the direction the scream had come from, closely followed by her possessed childhood friend. Three houses down the road they found Buffy cowering on the ground, cringing away from am idling car.
"Back, demon," she whimpered her whole body shaking in freight.
With a critical look Atlan asked Willow, "Are you sure that she knows what's going on? I seriously doubt that someone who is afraid of a car can be of much use in this situation."
"Damn she too must have been possessed by her costume."
Before they could examine the problems of the situation any closer they were disturbed by the arrival of three large groups of demon-children that at once formed a single, huge group that advanced onto the front yard position the three Scoobies were occupying.
"I can't hold them all back without at least some breaking through. We have to find a better defensible location," Atlan yelled over the din the possessed children fabricated.
"Let's get to Buffy's house. It's just down the street, that way," Willow shot back, pointing in one of the few directions not blocked by the horde.
Atlan quickly grabbed Lady Buffy's arm and dragged her after him when she made no effort to get away from the rabid children. While it had the desired effect of moving Buffy along, it produced a totally unwanted effect too. Buffy began to fight weakly against Atlan's grip, hindering their progress.
"Unhand me at once, you ruffian," she screeched
"If you don't want to be eaten you come along with us. And if you don't stop being difficult I'll throw you over my shoulder and carry you to our destination and once there you'll get the spanking you richly deserve," to himself he continued, "Terran barbarians, never listening to common sense. Always more stubborn than a donkey."
"You, sir, are no gentleman," Buffy said huffily, but she stopped resisting.
After this admonishment they covered the remaining ground decidedly faster, now that they could concentrate their strength on getting to the Casa de Summers.
Buffy watched in wonder as Xander turned on the lights in the living room by flicking the switch next to the door. After a moment where she visibly gathered her whole courage she tired using the switch, and as when it worked she turned the light on and off repeatedly until Atlan in Xander had had enough and sent her into the room, away from the door and the light switch.
While Xander stood guard at the front window Buffy walked around the room her eyes wide with wonder as she took all in. Her eyes finally came to rest on a few pictures that showed Buffy and her family or friends or friends and family.
"That girl could be me, she looks so similar to me."
"That's because she is you," Willow commented when she saw what Buffy was looking at.
"No, no, that can't be. I would never wear such lowly apparel. I'm a lady of standing and not some trollop."
"But Buffy, that IS you. Don't you remember anything of this?"
"No. I don't understand what you mean. I don't like it here, and I don't like you people, I just wanna go home!"
While Willow tried to bring Buffy back into the 20th century Atlan let loose a salvo at thermic setting to chase off a few demon-children that had come too close for his liking. Buffy shrieked and cowered into the far corner of the room.
For a while it was quiet outside. Then a girl's scream cut through the night somewhere close to the house but outside the field of view the front windows provided. Atlan opened the door and went to look for the source of the scream.
"He surely won't abandon us, will he?" inquired Buffy from her corner of the room.
Willow didn't deem that question worthy of an answer and only snorted in derision, wondering how the normally strong Buffy could have been transformed in such a snivelling person.
Atlan quickly spotted the screamer. It was Cordelia in a cat-girl costume running from a really large and hairy creature.
"Xander! Help me!" Cordelia screamed as she ran towards him.
"Come inside, quick!" Atlan yelled back and opened fire with the weapon in paralysator mode, while he hit his hits didn't have the full desired effect. The creature just got slowed down to a crawl but it still advanced on the house. Only a lance of fire that burned itself into the ground in front of it stopped it from following them further.
Once inside the house Willow's voice greeted her, "Cordelia!"
"Wait a moment," Cordelia shot back, and then she saw Buffy in the corner and continued with the first question that came to her mind. "What's going on here?"
"Okay, you are Cordelia, you're not a catgirl, you're going to Sunnydale High and we're your friends. Well, sort of friends."
"That's nice to hear, Willow? And you're telling me that why?"
"You know us?"
"Yeah. Lucky me, of course I know you. Much to my everlasting sorrow. Now what's with the name telling?"
"A lot's going on," Willow said.
"No kidding. I was just chased by Jo-Jo the dog-faced boy. And look what he did to my costume! There's no way that Partytown's gonna give my deposit back now," Cordelia ranted, showing them the costume's torn sleeve.
Willow absolutely didn't want to hear more of Cordelia's ranting about the unfairness of the destruction of her costume. So she decided to get Giles and ask him for help with the situation.
"Listen guys, you stay here while I go get some help. If something tries to get in, just fight it off."
"It's not our position to fight. Surely some men will protect us?" Buffy asked in a strange mixture of indignation, fear and hope.
"What's her damage?" Cordy wondered.
"It's something like amnesia. They don't know who they are. Just stay here."
"Who died and made you the boss anyway?" Cordelia groused and was about to start a new rant only to stop suddenly as she saw Willow walk through the outer wall.
Buffy just stared in open mouthed awe and not a little dose fear, Atlan on the other hand didn't react at all – partly due to having already learned of Willow's incorporeal existence and partly because some members of the Terran mutant corps displayed similar powers.
Then the Lordadmiral took command of the situation and sent Cordelia upstairs to check the windows and lock as many doors as possible. Then he upended the table in front of the large window to create a barricade against intruders coming through the window and fixed it in place with a chair from the dining room.
"Surely we can go somewhere. To a safe haven."
"No we stay put as the woman said. Reinforcements can find us easier that way."
That said he left Buffy to her own devices and took a closer look at the rooms checking for potential fallbacks and chokepoints. While he did that his gaze fell on a series of pictures of Buffy, Willow and Xander.T though he didn't recognize himself as Xander it made him think and quickly he reached the conclusion that maybe the pictures might be enough for Lady Buffy to revert back to teenage Buffy, so he brought the pictures along as his survey brought him back to Buffy.
"How do you explain that you look just like in this photo but still you say not to know the persons on the picture?" Atlan asked while showing her the photograph.
"I don't! I was brought up a proper lady. I wasn't meant to explain things. I'm just meant to look pretty, and then someone nice will marry me. Possibly a baron or duke."
"This isn't a social happening. Sooner or later you will have to fight!"
"Fight those lowborn curs? I'd rather die," she replied snottily and crossed her arms in a final gesture.
"Then you'll die."
At that moment Angel entered the room from the kitchen where he had jimmied the backdoor open.
"Oh, good! You guys are alright. It's total chaos out there."
As one the noble Arkonide and noble Lady asked, "Who are you?"
Meanwhile Willow had reached the high school.
*I hope Giles hasn't finished with the card catalogue yet.*
As she didn't want to waste any time Willow forwent the usual route through the corridors and rushed straight through the wall, directly into the library. And directly into, or better said through, the table Giles used to work this night. Startled by the sudden appearance of his student he jumped back, out of his chair and nearly landed in an ungainly heap on the floor as his feet got tangled up in the chair's legs.
"Hi." Willow grinned sheepishly and gave a little wave.
"Ok, you take the princess to the kitchen, if necessary you can fall back into the cellar. The entrance should be well defendable until we can come over to help," Atlan ordered, pointing at Cordelia when he reached the fallback option. To Cordelia he continued, "You Catgirl are with me, we take the front of the house."
"All right, but can you keep it in mind that my name is Cordelia and not Catgirl, dweeb boy?"
Atlan gave her a grin that was frighteningly close to a typical Xander grin and told her, "That should be no problem with a photographic memory."
Meanwhile had Angel and Buffy left the kitchen, though not without vocal protests from Buffy's side. Not much later the sounds of a fight could be heard from the kitchen closely followed by Angel yelling, "Buffy, don't!"
Giles removed a few books from the cage and after blowing the dust of them he carried the tomes over to the table Willow stood at, looking at a book.
"That doesn't work. I don't know what to look for and I can't even turn the page."
"Well, alright, then let's recapitulate the evening. Uhm, so everybody became, uh, whatever they were masquerading as?"
"Right, Xander was that character from a sci-fi book series and Buffy was an 18th century girl."
"And, and your, uh, costume?" Giles questioned.
"I'm a ghost!" came the prompt and indignant answer from the redhead.
Giles became visibly embarrassed as he tried to find a polite way to phrase the next question that came to his mind – whose ghost was she portraying. Willow recognized what he was about to ask and beat him to it with a defensive reply.
"That's nothing. You should have seen Cordelia. She has a unitard with cat things, like tail and so, as a costume."
"Good heavens! She, she became an actual feline?"
"No. She's bad enough as she is, she ripped her costume. Hold on… Partytown. She told us she got her costume from Partytown."
"And all those who changed acquired their costumes where?"
"Well I know that Buffy, I and Xander got it from that new place. What's its name again? … Oh, I got it, Ethan's Costume Shoppe."
When Giles heard that name in connection to what had happened this night in town the puzzle clicked together resulting in a very bad picture. He couldn't suppress a growl.
"Willow, go to the others and keep me appraised of their situation. I think I know the solution to this situation."
Without bothering to check if the girl-turned-ghost followed his instructions he went over to the cage again and removed a broad sword from it. Then he left the library, heading straight towards Ethan's
"Are you sure she went this way?" demanded Xander.
"No," was the monosyllabic reply Angel had to offer.
"She'll be okay," Cordelia said with utmost confidendce.
"_Buffy_ would be okay. As whoever she is now, she's as good as helpless. C'mon!"
Long minutes later the threesome heard a loud shriek that simply had to come from Buffy, quickly they hastened towards the source of the commotion. In the alley they see Buffy retreating from a pirate that did his best to corner her between the crates that littered the alley. Just as he grabbed for Buffy with the intent to rip her bodice open Xander tackled him and pushed him into the warehouse wall. Pirate-Larry managed to push Xander far enough away to draw a wicked looking dagger.
Immediately Xander fell into the Siima-Lay stance like only a Dagor master could. With deceptively slow and weak movements that reminded Angel faintly of aikido he disarmed Larry before he went on the offensive. Once he attacked he efficiently knocked Larry out.
"It's strange, but beating that pirate up gave me a weird sense of closure and satisfaction," Xander told the others who now came over to him.
Then they saw movement on the other side of the alley, it was Willow who ran towards them through crates and whatever other obstacle was I her way.
"Willow!" answered Angel.
"Guys, you gotta get inside," she looked back over her shoulder down the alley, prompting the others to do so too.
What they saw was not good a huge horde of child demons led by an adult vampire who had obviously a Billy Idol fetish.
"Spike!" Angel ground out, then louder he continued. "We have to find a defensive point," after looking around for a moment he points to a warehouse, "This way! That warehouse over there is open."
While proceeding with the others towards the warehouse Xander who had heard Angel calling the leader by name asked, "You know that bleached guy?"
"Yeah, Spike. One of the most vicious and dangerous vampires in the last two hundred years."
"So I can kill him? He isn't just a costumed civilian?"
"Yes and no to your questions. But despite what your melee skills are, you can't defeat him in hand-to-hand. A vampire is several times stronger and quicker than a human."
"Good to know, but I hadn't planned on going hand-to-hand unless absolutely necessary," Xander replied and drew his weapon from its holster, with practiced flicks he set the weapon on the finest beam diameter possible and on plasma fire. Then he took a steady, two handed stance and aimed for Spike's head so that any miss would go over the children's heads.
"Idiot, guns don't work on vampires," raged Angel, loud enough for Spike to hear who immediately started to laugh at the thought of being shot at with a pistol, he even stopped and spread his arms in a unmistakable invitation to try shooting him. Spike already anticipated the special note Xander's blood would have after the disappointment of being unable to kill him with that gun of his.
"You know that that is no normal gun?" Xander inquired in a low voice while at the same time caressing the trigger with his finger. Letting a bolt of white-hot plasma fly towards Spike's head.
A fraction of a second later Spike's body stood in the alley without a head. The cauterised wound had no time to smoke from the heat that had passed it before the body also crumbled to fine dust.
Then all seemed to happen at once.
In the costume shop the bust of Janus broke into thousand shards
In their warehouse Drusilla screamed with pain, rage and grief, sending the minions into plan less flight just to get away from her.
The costume-possessed children reverted back to normal costumed children out to trick and treat. When they saw the unusual surroundings they were in many began to cry and scream.
"I want my mommy!"
"Wow, it's good to be back. It is so much better to be me than her," exclaimed Buffy, before the wailing of children silenced her.
"Welcome back, Buffy," Xander greeted her.
"Yeah! You, too."
"You guys remember what happened?" Cordelia asked curiously.
"In full Technicolor. It was way creepy. It's like I was there, but I couldn't get out," Xander explained.
"Yeah, I know the feeling. This outfit is skin-tight."
"Well it was worth it in your case," Xander said with an overplayed leer.
"Hey," Cordelia said in an annoyed tone, playing along with Xander, "But you didn't look too bad either dweeb boy. Maybe you can become something more than the looser you are now."
Shortly thereafter they were rejoined by a once again bodily Willow who had found herself back at the veranda she had 'died' on. Together they took stock of the children and assigned them back into their starting groups.
"Ok, let's get the kiddies back home, before their parents call Snyder. I for one don't want to have detention until I'm old enough to retire," Xander said, gaining complete approval from the other Scoobys. Angel had once again pulled his vanishing act and was nowhere to be seen.