Four months to Armageddon
The desk of the dark slayer.
Faith Wilkins Rosenburg, CPA, sat in her office at Harvey, Norman and
Bates, contemplating life in its variations and diversity. She was
now famous, and not simply as 'the second slayer', or 'psycho slut',
but as a hero who helped save the world regularly. She was married to
a woman she loved more than life itself, plus two others she was very
fond of, and a man she respected. So the information she was
reviewing disturbed her more than it might in her younger days, all
of five years ago.
One, or rather at least one, of the scoobies was not going to survive
the end of days. The prophecies were clear on that, the description
of two slayers and 'the companions' could be no other group. They
spoke of '...surviving members of the heroic band's shock and awe at
the diminution of their numbers...' and all she could hope was that
Willow was one of the grieving, not the grieved about. It was
selfish, it was shallow, but the red head and their child were her
"I'm an expendable asset, after all, I'm a slayer, and it's in the
job description." The dark slayer was well aware she was, 'in slayer
years', an old woman. She was 21 after all, of the thousands of
slayers in the Council records; fewer than 400 had lived to be over
18. "Ok, so the Crucimentum had something to do with that, but still,
21 is the equal of a normal person living to be 100 or something."
This was the sort of situation that Xander might best be consulted
on. He had always acted as if everyone else was more important than
him. All right, as a Super Soldier he was virtually unkillable, they
had been known to re-assemble themselves from dismembered chunks of
bloodied, burnt flesh, BUT HE HADN'T KNOWN THAT AT THE TIME.
It seemed fitting, somehow, that this document was his analysis based
on a discovery by Chloe Sullivan. She had noticed it, and its
importance, which was more than so many Karnak Chroniclers had. The
demon race was relentlessly logical, orderly, organised and
systematic - can we say 'born accountant' - but imagination was
severely lacking. The Smallville blonde was being paid $100 an hour
after tax because she had investigative journalist ability to piece
together clues in a way the Karnak could not. Apparently the
Chroniclers thought they had a bargain at the price.
"Xman will help protect Willow, she's his oldest friend, he'll
protect her, and he won't let me down." The former convict was
obsessing on this, and she knew it, but what else could she do.
Armageddon was coming, and the archives could not predict anything at
all about what would happen after. "I can't let them get lost in all
the 'big picture' thinking about this, and they will if we're not
She would have been surprised at how differently Xander Harris saw
The owner's office, White Knight Construction
The analysis did not change; regardless of how many different ways he
did it. The whole universe was up for grabs, and every species in it.
This was the final battle between good and evil for this entire plain
of reality. The human race was being asked to defend the existence of
every other non-demon species, and for that matter some of the demon
The alien invasion was planned for the same day as the Evil One's
arrival, by some miracle of Karnak influence. Hopefully the two would
kill each other off, leaving only the survivors for humanity to deal
with. They had better, the aliens were so far in advance technically
only divine intervention, or in this case satanic intervention, could
really allow victory against them. Victory was assured, by prophecy;
it was the cost he was concerned about.
"After all, the extermination of the human race would be a small
price to pay if we save millions of other intelligent species. We are
all His children, after all" the former Zeppo muttered to himself.
The Karnak were keeping their contacts off planet a closely guarded
secret, because the Consortium, the humans working for the alien
invaders, had contacts everywhere. The demons had contacts with a
rebel group of aliens who had been fighting without real hope of
victory for untold millennia, and who had their foes infiltrated. "If
I had spies planted high enough to get final invasion plans altered
like this I wouldn't tell me anything important about it either."
This seemed to be putting an enormous amount of faith in the Karnak,
but what else could he do. As one of the few - actually the only, as
far as he was aware - humans who knew the real situation, he was a
security risk. But then, he wasn't entirely human either, and maybe
they trusted his genetically programmed personality more than the
product of random genetic mixing by old-fashioned procreation.
"But they didn't program me, humans did." Humans who would still be
alive, after Armageddon, if this prophecy was true. Faith was
horrified at the idea of their being only a few scoobs left. He was
grateful beyond words that there were supposed to be ANY survivors.
Hopefully they would not be the only humans left alive, but with the
stakes this high someone looking only at 'the big picture' might
think having to restart the human race at Adam and Eve level was
acceptable. "Collateral Damage is an interesting concept, when you
think about it."
"I hope Willow and Jake come out of this intact, I'll talk to Faith
about it, I can count on her to put them first."
Area 51 maximum-security vault
Getting a mixed vampire and feyoral demon attack force this big
together, and then getting them in position to attack this important
an installation was the most incredible feat of criminal planning in
recent history. But it had worked, they were inside, and
the 'apparatus' was already loaded for removal. So were other
interesting items, like the UFO from the Roswell crash, but that was
for the money to be obtained from sale.
But the real prize was an apparatus invented by humans, in fact by
the physics team at the University of California, Sunnydale, based on
studies of Willow Rosenburg Wilkins. Working on the principle
that 'you can't do anything that is physically impossible' they had
felt that her magic had to involve scientifically study able, and
therefore reproducible, principles.
As is routine in pure scientific research, they had discovered
something totally unexpected that was vastly more valuable than what
they had actually set out to find. This is so common in science there
is a term for it, Serendipity, and another term, Synergism, for a
third thing that results from the interaction of two others that
could not have produced it independently. The interaction of the two
concepts is central to advanced research, a key to why people bother
to do it. The new things that come out interest them, such as the
apparatus that resulted from the synergistic reaction of their
quantum mechanical work and their study of Wicca Magic.
In this case, it was interest in the sense of the old Chinese
curse 'may you live in interesting times.' The 'apparatus' generated
a field that transformed any matter that crossed it, such as atoms in
the air, or toxic sludge, into energy. It had a potential to
eliminate the entire energy production industry and replace it with
absolutely clean power.
One kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of anything going into the field
generated energy the equivalent of 20 million tons of TNT, or one
thousand Hiroshima size atomic bombs. It had been instantly
classified ULTRA secret, the level above Top Secret, and moved here.
The demons, working directly under orders from the First Evil,
believed what he did, that it was a cover up to protect corporate
interests from competition.
The Evil One needed it to open, and KEEP OPEN, a dimensional gate
that could pass his demons from hell to Earth. With the carnage of
the last year or so, He needed to bring an army with him, because the
one he had been expecting to find already there was mostly dead. The
energy demands of such a gate were beyond any magic to produce, for
more than a few seconds.
The logic was flawless, but proceeded from a false premise.
The 'apparatus' was not being kept secret to protect corporate
interests, except in the sense that preventing the planet from being
blown up was in the interests of big business.
The Kent farm, Kansas
"Mulder, I'm so nervous, what if they hate us on sight, what if they
decide we can never see William again, what if..." Dana Katherine
Scully was not so much nervous as frightened out of her wits. Nothing
in 10 years with Fox Mulder had terrified her as much as meeting the
parents who had adopted her son. Giving him up for adoption had been
the hardest thing she had ever done, but with the Consortium's
remnants and the Genetic Super Soldiers after them it had been the
only safe thing to do. Even if they were found and killed the boy,
would be safe.
Fox Mulder was trying to comfort his wife, but he himself was too
worked up to be able to drive, which was why Lex had insisted on
taking them himself. The Kents were apparently so wholesome and all
American it was sickening, but that just meant they would be likely
to reject as bizarre a couple as the Mulder's. He looked at the
farmhouse as they drove up with badly disguised fear, expecting
failure, not knowing if his beloved Scully would be carried out by
him, or be carrying him out, after a total collapse.
They got out of the car and walked up to the front door, which Clark
opened. Mulder looked at Jonathan and Martha Kent, who's picture he
had seen but Scully had refused to even look at, not wanting to see
the face her son would grow up calling 'Mommy.' The red headed former
agent had refused to learn anything about Martha Kent, finding it
simply too painful. Now she looked at the woman in front of her, and
the farm wife looked at her, and both faces changed.
"Katherine, is it really you, I thought you married a dentist in
Philadelphia?" Martha Kent said. Mulder was immediately on guard; he
knew the context Scully used the name Katherine in.
"Mar, my god, Mar, I never thought I would see you again, I..." Then
the two women rushed towards each other and kissed with violent
intensity. Martha was the larger of the two, and kept moving forward
a little after blocking Scully's momentum.
"Well Mulder, at least we know Martha and Scully get along." Lex
commented. Jonathan Kent was in shock, staring at the scene before
him. He had expected to find out certain things about Dana Scully,
but that she was a natural red head was not one of them. Having Lex
Luthor and this Mulder guy learn that Martha was a natural blonde,
who dyed her hair black in college because she thought as a brunette
she would be taken more seriously and never got out of the habit, was
certainly something he had not expected either.
"As long as no one expects me to try and get along with Mr Kent that
well ..." The former agent said it with a smile, but meant it.
Scully's tastes were not a secret, at least to him, but he had always
wondered why she went for women with a certain look. Now he knew.
It was Martha's look.
"Martha, maybe you should move to the bedroom with your, ah, friend,
Martha, Martha, can you hear me, testing, testing, one, two, three,
four... Oh what's the use?" Jonathan Kent looked around to find that
Clark had vanished, presumably as soon as he saw his dear mother rip
another woman's slacks and panties down in one smooth, practiced
"Mr Kent, perhaps we should adjourn to the Talon for coffee and leave
the ladies to it. I don't think either you or Mr Mulder look ready to
join in, or likely to let the other live if you did." Lex Luthor had
seen many scenes like this before, the whole 'Club Zero' thing came
to mind, and Mulder seemed blasé about it, but Jonathan was in shock.
At least he was not shouting or going for a shotgun, which was
promising of some kind of civilised arrangement coming out of this.
"The Talon?" Mulder asked.
"A coffee shop in town, converted from a movie house, it was Lana's
idea actually, and we're partners. Best coffee and Danish in Kansas,
I guarantee it." The billionaire had bought a franchise from Xander
Harris, after tasting some pastries Faith had brought out on one of
her visits. It was the only one in Kansas, and if there was one thing
Xander Harris had ALWAYS been accepted as an expert on it was
delicious, empty calories to go with coffee. In Lex Luthor's far from
humble opinion they really did have the best Danish in the state.
"Yeah Lex, coffee, great, should we lock the door?" He could not
believe what he was seeing; Scully had her WHOLE HAND in Martha's...
"Just get your keys and lock up. I'm leaving a note so when they
finish they can join us." The boy billionaire said. He had experience
at things like this, and so he made a call to the castle, getting
extra bedrooms ready. The unresisting form of the elder male Kent was
moved out by Mulder, who also had already moved Jeff Kent, aka
William Scully, to the limo. The only surviving Luthor arranged
babysitting during the drive. The youngest Kent had stayed overnight
before and had his own room.
"Mr Mulder, I do hope you and your wife can come to my wedding." Lex
announced. He was assuming Scully and Martha Kent would be off the
kitchen floor by then. "I'm holding it here in Smallville, in four
"Four months, and here in Smallville, isn't that a little odd for a
man in your position?" For someone of Lex's wealth and fame a wedding
with thousands of guest, and entertainment expense sheet like a
medium size nation's defence budget was more normal. Mulder had been
the FBI's best profiler, after all, he KNEW people, had a real
interest in how they thought.
"Well I had planned to wait a year, but a friend of Clarks, Chloe
Sullivan, became very insistent that it had to be before her
birthday, so I decided to combine the two." Actually Chloe had looked
a little panicked about her birthday, like the world was going to end
or something. It was just her 18th, after all. "The whole Sunnydale
crew will be here, you both know at least some of them, and Oz and
his werewolves will be invited. It should be quite a blast."
None of them noticed the truck unloading a large, odd-looking
apparatus into a building being renovated down the street. It was a
small town and people noticed new people, but with the need for new
business investment no one pushed too hard in case they were scared
off. The plane from Nevada had unloaded at a small field an hours
drive away, and disappeared at low level to the Bermuda Triangle,
where a crash would be faked. Some of the deepest water in the world
is in the area, and no recovery crew would find out that the
apparatus stolen so violently was resting in a quiet farm town.
It was four months minus one day to Lex Luthor's wedding.
It was four months to Chloe Sullivan's 18th birthday.
It was four months to Armageddon.