“Are you certain of this Willow?” Giles asked. Everyone’s mood had darkened and a new fear was permeating them.
“Yes. Once I started talking about it I remembered more and more of the story. We have to do something Giles.” Willow said frantically.
“Well what can he do as Satan? I mean, this spell couldn’t really make him Satan could it?” Cordelia asked, a tremble evident in her voice.
“I really don’t know, I have no idea what spell this could have been and…” Giles suddenly looked again at Cordelia. “You’re a cat.”
“Yes, and if this goes at all like it did earlier I am so going to press charges,” Cordelia said with a glare.
“I think he means that you aren’t your costume like everyone else is,” Angel said from the side.
“Oh. Well I got mine at Partytown, I doubt that many were able to afford quality costumes. And the deposit is so gone on this,” Cordelia whined.
“Oh. Oh! We all got ours at the same place! Xander got his little pitchfork and Buffy her gown and me my ghost costume, so it had to be that, and I saw some of the kids I was taking around at the store too before they became little monsters and…”
“Willow…” Giles said, interrupting the girl. “Where did you get the costumes?”
“This new shop, Ethan’s.”
“Ethan.” Giles voice held such a note of fury that Angel shivered.
* * *
“And what are your other plans?” Daimon asked Xander as he moved nearer him, holding his newly made netheranium trident between them.
“The spell that made me will only last so much longer without one of us… altering it. But I think this body, this boy is of more use to us as the safeguard we had been thinking about,” Xander said as he willed his own netheranium trident away.
“Really, and how will he be that once you’ve vacated him?”
“He’ll have all of our knowledge, except for this conversation which you’ll of course remove before we go home.”
“As well as… other things that were bestowed by the spell. Plus I was thinking you might like to donate to his rather,” a dry chuckle came from Xander’s throat, “noble cause.”
“What makes you think he’s strong enough for all of this?” Daimon asked.
“What the fuck are you two being so goddamned cryptic about?” the pale punk girl asked.
“Nothing that concerns you Jaine,” Daimon said to his lover.
“Fuck it don’t. What concerns you concerns me,” Jaine said coming up to stand away from both of them, but between them.
“She is fiery, isn’t she. Maybe I’ll find one like her myself, well, at least maybe the boy will,” Xander said admiring Jaine. “Anyway, why don’t you take a look at see if you think he’s worthy. I know you will, afterall. The boy is fighting me as is, he’s strong. He’s strong enough for this.”
“We’ll see.” With this, Daimon moved across and stood behind Xander. His hands came up to the sides of Xander’s head and slowly his fingers sank into his skull.
* * *
“Angel, you stay here and keep them safe I’m going to go see about Ethan,” Giles instructed, the name coming out with a slight growl.
“If this person is dangerous maybe I should go see him while you stay here,” Angel said. It was only part of the reason though. Whoever this Ethan was, it seemed Giles knew him, Angel had the feeling that Ethan would have a better chance of surviving against himself than Giles.
“No Angel, if this is who I believe it to be then I’ll have a better chance at stopping him.” And with that, Giles left the library.
* * *
Daimon removed his fingers Xander’s skull and stepped back toward his throne as Xander slumped down breathing heavily. “I guess we do have good taste, he’ll be acceptable. And I agree he should be left with items to help ensure his survival. And since we recently took possession of the second gun…”
“That’s what I was thinking. The gun and the Fur Bible should work. He doesn’t know he has the talent yet, it was small before this but now…” Xander said, trailing off with a smile.
“Now he’ll be one of the more powerful spell casters. And we’re giving him a book that is in league with the Necronomicon, the Grimorium Verum, and the damned Darkhold. With what Loss has written in it this boy become a major threat to us.” Daimon’s voice held a note of humor at that.
Jaine growled low in her throat. “Are you both just going to ignore that I’m here?”
“Yes, we are,” Xander said with a quick look her way before looking back at Daimon. “We wouldn’t have it any other way for the boy, now would we?” Xander said, his face twisted in a smile.
* * *
Giles entered the costume shop and scanned it for occupants. When he didn’t see anyone initially he called out asking if anyone was home. With the silence still pressing on, Giles noticed a curtain to the back room partially open. Going inside he saw a small statue with green glowing eyes. “Janus. Roman mythical god. Division of self, of course.”
As he was looking at the statue the store’s owner came out and smiled, “It is a lovely little game isn’t it?”
Giles turned cold eyes on him, “Hello Ethan.”
* * *
Angel and Willow we both pacing the library. Angel out of concern for Buffy, Giles and oddly enough Xander. Willow was pacing partly because of nerves, but mostly because she couldn’t sit down as her ghost form would just fall through the chair. Cordelia Chase, however, was sitting at a library table doing her nails. Moments earlier when Willow had demanded to know how she could sit there so calmly, the cheerleader replied “Because so far your little loser group has managed to win, I guess you’ll keep up that record. Besides, I’m not my costume.” The first half of the reply eased Willow’s tension a little, while the second had her thinking of how she’d haunt Cordelia through eternity if the spell wasn’t fixed.
The virtual silence of the library was broken when Buffy woke up and screamed for some strong man to take her from this wretched place.
* * *
“I can feel the spell nearing its end,” Xander said with a determined look.
“Very well, I’ll destroy the memories of for you and leave the rest intact. Also,” Daimon started, and looked to Jaine, “would you fetch the Fur Bible and the second Breathing Gun.”
“What the fuck do I look like, your goddamn dog? Fetch it your fucking self,” Jaine said with a glare.
“Well you are my favorite bitch,” Daimon said, ignoring the look on Jaine’s face. “Very well. I’ll get them myself, but you Jaine, will be paying later.” Moving beside Xander, Daimon smiled. “I do hope you’re ready.”
“Of course,” he replied. Just after this he began screaming.
* * *
“What? No hug? Aren't you pleased to see your old mate, Rupert?” Ethan asked with a grin.
“I'm just surprised I didn't guess it was you. This Halloween stunt stinks of Ethan Rayne,” came Giles reply.
“Yes, it does, doesn't it? Don't wish to blow my own trumpet, but it's genius. The very embodiment of 'be careful what you wish for'.”
“It's sick, brutal, and it harms the innocent. Including one of my charges,” Giles said, barely restraining himself.
“Oh, and we all know that you are the champion of innocents and all things pure and good, Rupert.” Ethan’s voice was thick with sarcasm. “It's quite a little act you've got
going here, old man.”
“It's no act. It's who I am.”
* * *
Angel rushed to Giles office to try and reassure Buffy, Willow closely behind him. Cordelia walked over casually and watched Angel try and comfort the distraught Slayer. “What’s her deal?”
“She thinks she’s a 18th century noblewoman,” Willow said without looking at Cordelia.
“So she’s an annoyingly self-centered, sheltered bitch?” Cordelia asked.
“Sounds familiar doesn’t?” Willow muttered under her breath.
Buffy then saw Willow and Cordelia standing in the doorway. She stood and walked over to them, her nose firmly in the air. “I will not have such harlots near me. You go peddle yourselves to the men at the docks or whatever bordello you cater from.” Turning she then addressed Cordelia exclusively. ”The shame, to wear such tight and revealing clothing, you look like some feline floozy. I will not have you in my presence. Be gone or I’ll have this man escort you loose women away.”
Willow was intangible, and unable to stop what she saw about to happen. Angel was still a few feet away and even his vampiric speed couldn’t move him there fast enough. And Buffy, she simply didn’t see it coming as the others did. Which is why she felt Cordelia’s fist hit her chin just before she fell to the floor unconscious.
With a low growl Cordelia ripped off her cat ears and threw them on the unconscious Slayer. “I am never dressing as a cat again.”
* * *
The screaming continued as Daimon’s fingers probed inside of Xander’s skull. Jaine stood back smiling, having not had the chance to see this quite before. She doubted she’d ever see it, but now to not only see it but see it done on someone who wished it. This might never happen again. So she stood there and watched as the screams echoed around the throne room.
* * *
“Who you are? The Watcher, sniveling, tweed-clad guardian of the Slayer and her kin? I think not. I know who you are, Rupert, and I know what you're capable of.” Pausing as a thought came to him, Ethan then continued. “But they don't, do they? They have no idea where you come from.”
“Break the spell, Ethan. Then leave this place and never come back.” A dark note held within the voice.
“Why should I? What's in the bargain for me?”
“You get to live,” was the simple reply from Giles.
Sarcastically, Ethan said: “Oh, Rupert, you're scaring me.”
With quick moves, Giles threw a punch to Ethan’s stomach, following up with a knee to his face.
* * *
Daimon swiftly withdrew his fingers from Xander’s skull and stepped back as the boy fell face first to the floor. Daimon walked over to Jaine and pulled her into a hard kiss for a moment, then released before punching her. “You should have fetched.”
“Fetch it yourself,” she replied before scratching four long furrows in his cheek with the claws she brought forth to her fingers.
“I’m going to,” Daimon said, waving his hand over his cut face making the blood and scratches disappear. This done he left his throne room.
Jaine looked down at the unconscious boy and grinned, “My, you’re going to be a handsome one some day.” Rolling him over with her foot she bent down and ran her hand down his chest to his crotch, “Handsome and big. I might have to look you up myself.”
* * *
Beaten and laying on the floor, Ethan smiled painfully at Giles. “And you said the Ripper was long gone.”
“Tell me how to stop the spell.”
“Say ‘pretty please,’” Ethan said, earning himself a hard kick in the kidney from Giles.
* * *
Daimon returned shortly carrying two plainly wrapped packages. Upon seeing Xander’s body rolled on to his back and Jaine nearby he smiled. “Jaine, did you rape the poor boy while I was gone?”
“Wasn’t enough time, but if you’d care to leave for a bit…” Jaine said, trailing off with a mischievous glint in her eyes.
“I would, but I’m sure he’d enjoy your having your wicked way with him much more were he awake.”
“Well then, let me wake him up.”
“No, I have too much planned for this one to let you take his innocence away so early,” Daimon said as he put a brown leather floor length trench coat on.
Jaine’s lower lip stuck out, “But I could so go for a nice virgin. It’s so fun to steer them around the curves and,” Jaine licked her lips, “show them the ropes.”
“Maybe you can introduce him to bondage later.”
* * *
Ethan’s body is shaken by another kick from Giles as he lays on the floor trying to breath. “Now tell me how to stop the spell.”
Struggling to get it out, Ethan said, “Janus. Break it’s statue.”
Giles grabbed the statue and lifted it over his head and brought it down swiftly, smashing it on the floor.
Turning back around to further deal with his old friend, Giles found himself alone in the shop.
* * *
In the library, Willow, who was still pacing through a table, vanished at the same time a moan was heard from Giles office. Angel and Cordelia both looked confused for a moment before Buffy could be heard saying, "What the hell hit me?"
"I think the spell's worn off," Cordelia said looking nervously back toward Giles office.
"I guess so, I'll go check on Buffy," Angel said already moving.
To his back Cordelia asked quickly, "You don't think Buffy will be mad that I hit her do you?"
* * *
Daimon pulled Xander up from the floor and casually hoisted him over his shoulder before he left the throne room. Jaine fell in step beside him and asked "You're taking him back?"
"Yes. I want to see how he'll do if he's left alone, see how he'll handle the powers and responsibility he's being left with. See how he handles. everything that he'll have now," Daimon said moving toward his chariot.
"But why not just send him back, why take him back personally? If you stay we could have some fun."
"We'll have fun later. I want to make a proper impression on his friends and then I'm going to make contact with some of my father's former holdings in that dimension. Set things up to get updates on him."
"And what kind of impression are you planning to make on his friends?" Jaine asked with a knowing smile.
Before he left on the chariot, Daimon replied. "A lasting one."
* * *
Giles had returned to the library only moments before Willow had. Buffy had taken off her costume and changed into the spare set of clothes she kept in the library while Angel hovered a few feet away from her. Cordelia, meanwhile, was casting nervous glances at Buffy afraid she might still want to pay her back.
When Willow had opened the library doors Giles let out a sigh of relief. "I take it you were returned to your body when the spell was ended?"
Willow nodded, "Yeah, right back to the porch I was on, that's what took me so long to get back here." Taking a look over everyone she asked what others had asked, "Where's Xander?"
"I'm afraid Mr. Harris hasn't shown back up. And with him having summoned forth a. . . a means of traversing dimensional plains he could be anywhere I'm afraid," Giles said with a sad weary tone.
Willow walked to the table and sat heavily on a chair, her eyes on the spot Xander usually occupied. "You mean we may have lost him forever?"
* * *
Hecate, Agnon and Set landed gently outside of Sunnydale High School as their master surveyed the school. "A school on top of a Hellmouth. People seem to be even stupider in this dimension."
Setting Xander down inside the chariot Daimon removed his trench coat and lay it over the boy. Then he removed his shirt, tossing it on the floor of the chariot. Daimon's face changed then, from his more human appearance to one closer to the demonic appearance his Darksoul could show, the pentagram birthmark on his chest fully in view. Picking up
the packages he wrapped them in the trench coat and held them under one arm as he put Xander over his shoulder with the other arm. With a quick look to see he had everything he sent the horses away before entering the school.
* * *
"There has to be something we could do Giles, if the spell wore off on him too he'd be defenseless in some dimension. We have to do---" Buffy was interrupted as the doors to the library opened and a demonic looking, bare-chested man came in with Xander over one of his shoulders.
"I believe I have someone that belongs to you?" Daimon said has he looked at the mix of faces and used the boys’ memories to find the names to go with them. The older man named Giles seemed shocked, but he was quickly coming out of it. The brunette and redhead, Cordelia and Willow, both seemed frightened but an odd steel could be seen in their eyes that said they wouldn't be running. The vampire named Angel seemed to be fighting the urgings of his demon to show respect, he stood tall and met the gaze of Daimon, unknowingly earning himself a modicum of respect. Finally, the blonde, Buffy, had seemed to push her fear away quickly, covering it with anger as she charged him.
Buffy's attack was laughable, as Daimon casually kicked out striking the girl's stomach and sending her flying into the vampire. "I'm not here to fight with you, for which you should be eternally thankful to whichever deaf god you usually thank for such miracles. I'm simply returning this boy who came to my dimension. His mind is rather impressive, so I took pity on him and brought him back. He had, you could say, piqued my interest."
No one had spoken or moved since Daimon had kicked Buffy, at least they hadn't until he moved over to the table. Cordelia and Willow both moved away swiftly has Daimon set Xander on the table. Finally Willow spoke, "Is he going to be okay?"
"Yes, he'll probably have a headache. Having your mind wandered through can be pretty taxing, but he'll be fine for the most part. More so, actually," Daimon said, the smile on his face looking sinister thanks to the demonic face.
"What do you mean more so?" Giles asked as he moved over to look at Xander closer, keeping the table between himself and Daimon.
"The spell that was used will have different, long lasting affects on him than on others because of my nature. But I'm confident he'll handle things well, which is why I'm leaving him a couple of gifts," Daimon said as he placed the bundled trench coat on the table beside Xander. "Though if he can't handle things, I'll simply return and kill him."
The gasp from Willow and Cordelia was drown out as Buffy shrugged out of Angel's hold and moved quickly to stand in front of Daimon, looking up into his eyes. "You try and kill him and you'll have to go through me."
"I could go through you so easily Slayer that it wouldn't be worth the waste of my time to dispatch you. I'd simply walk through whatever pathetic attempt you tried, kill him and then leave. You may be a boogeyman to demons Slayer, but I am so far out of your league that you cannot comprehend it," Daimon said meeting the gaze of the Slayer. His eyes flashed quickly as their eyes were locked, and Buffy, in fear blinked and stepped back into the table.
"You'll have to get through more than just her," Angel said moving to stand beside his love. At this move Giles moved to stand beside Buffy also, followed by Willow and finally, in a move that surprised the others, Cordelia.
Daimon smiled for a moment, then with a wave of his hand Angel fell to the floor screaming for a few seconds before they cut off. Buffy tried to check on him, but it ended too quickly. Moving to again attack Daimon she was held back by Angel holding her wrist. Looking at them, still smiling, Daimon spoke, "You are truly remarkable, even if you are still so pathetically outmatched. At any rate, I returned the boy and now I'll depart. Oh, and I advise you not to touch what I left him, especially the book, without his permission. And when he wakes up, tell him that Patsy's favorite spell and a note for him are included in the back of the book."
The group did not even have a chance to reply as Daimon's right arm stretched out and his netheranium trident appeared in his hand. Putting the points down flames emerged over the exact spot of the Hellmouth, with a casualness that was hard to be believed by the others in the library, Daimon simply stepped inside the flames and disappeared.
* * *
In the offices of Wolfram & Hart. Holland Manners was frightened by the appearance of a man in his office. He could not clearly see the man as he was standing in shadows that did not exist, but he could feel that this man had to be among those known as the Senior Partners. Quickly composing himself he stood, "Hello Sir, I'm sorry for being startled I wasn't expecting anyone. Can I get you something Sir?" Holland said respectively.
The man in the shadows tossed a file folder onto Holland's desk. "In that folder is a list of names, addresses and information on how to contact me. I want everyone in that folder watched, discreetly. I want no actions at all to be taken against them without my express consent. You will contact me once a week to update me and you will have it arranged that should something happen to you one of your underlings will take over this task, but you are not to speak of this to anyone. Especially the other Senior Partners. Do you understand me?"
"Good." With that, the man disappeared and Holland sat down at his desk and opened the folder.
* * *
Xander had awoken shortly after Daimon had disappeared to find several worried eyes upon him. Sitting up with a grunt Xander asked, "What hit me?"
"A spell," Giles said. "It turned you into the character you were dressed as. Completely so in fact, I'm still not sure how the fictional character you turned into was able to show up here."
"Different dimensions, his dimension is apparently accessed on a subconscious level by the people who wrote his books, or the books created a different dimension," Xander replied off-handedly before noting the looks. "I read a lot of comics. Plus, it seems right
with. . . whoa."
"Are you okay, what's wrong?" Buffy asked from beside him, concern on her face.
"It seems I've got some knowledge shoved up in here," he said tapping his forehead.
"Do you remember what happened tonight?" Giles asked gently, as he helped Xander off the table and into a chair.
"Yeah, most of it. Which reminds me, um, sorry for punching you Buff. please don't pay me back for it." Buffy grinned at that and Xander knew he was safe from retribution. "And Cordelia, um." With a blush Xander looked at the cheerleader. "Sorry about what I said, and insinuated. It was him and…"
"Whatever loserboy, probably what you really thought knowing you. Just keep your eyes and comments to yourself or I'll knock you out like I did Buffy," Cordelia said with a glare. Buffy, at hearing this gave an outraged "Hey!"
"Wait, you knocked Buffy out too?" Xander asked, rather amazed.
"She was being more bitchy and annoying than usual, so I punched her. She went down easily, not that that's really surprising." Cordelia said, oblivious to the look of murder Buffy was shooting her.
"Excuse me," Giles said trying to rein in the conversation. "Could you tell us more about what you remember? Buffy has said that she barely recalls what went on during the time."
"Well, I remember dropping Cordy off and then going to Hell, I remember going into the throne room and seeing Hellstorm and then. I'm waking up here. But I can remember all the events of his life up until the spell, stuff that isn't in the comics. His memories are mine now like I lived them. It's. . . disturbing, I'm still me but I just remember this whole other life."
"Um.. That is to say." Giles stopped, took his glasses off, cleaned them and then put them back on. "That's amazing Xander, but are you really okay?"
"I'm fine, really." He said, to prove it he gave Willow, who was looking worried yet happy to see him a big hug, jarring her out of her silence as she held on tight and cried into his shoulder.
"Xander," Angel spoke, catching Xander's attention has he hadn't been speaking. "Hellstorm left something for you." Angel motioned toward the trench coat. "And he had a message for you, something about 'Patsy's favorite spell' being in the book along with the note for you."
"Well, let me see what's here," Xander said as he unraveled the trench coat. He took off the trench coat he himself had been wearing and put it over one of the chairs. Inside Daimon's trench coat there were two wrapped packages. Going for the larger one first he unwrapped it to find a leather book, it took him a moment to recognize and when he did
"What is it?" Giles asked, peering at the book but not recognizing it immediately. Xander opened the book and when Giles saw inside, he made a rather shocked noise. "My lord, that's written in Angelic Scripture. Why would he give you something you couldn't possibly use?"
"Giles, I can read it," Xander said. The shocked look on Giles face was nearly enough to set Xander off laughing. "It's holdover from being him I guess, but I can read this as easily as I can read English. And this isn't just a book. . . this is the Fur Journal, or Fur
Bible I guess."
"What's so important about this Forgernal thing?" Buffy asked.
"This. . . avatar, I guess would be the appropriate term. . . for the Assura, who run a Heaven dimension, spent nearly a hundred years searching out and destroying dangerous occult texts. But before he burnt them, he transcribed them into this journal. It's full of some of the most dangerous spells and magic that had ever been imagined," Xander explained as he leafed through the book. "What's more is that the book is made of the flesh of the first man."
That final statement elicited "Ewws" from Willow and Cordelia, looks of shock from Angel and Giles and a disbelieving look from Buffy. "This is made from Adam, you know, Adam and Eve?"
"No," Xander said offhandedly as he looked through the book for the note that Daimon had left him. "Adam was the first fully working man, first off the assembly line so to speak. This is the flesh from the first prototype." Pausing a moment, Xander digested what he had just said. "That's more stuff from Hellstorm. So please don't ask."
There were general nods around.
"As fun as this is, can we get a move on so I can go home? I want someone to at least escort me after tonight," Cordelia said plaintively.
"Just a second," Xander said as he read the note he finally found. His face paled slightly, the others noted, before he shook his head. "Okay, next package."
"Wait, what was the note?" Willow asked curiously.
"Just telling me how to properly use the book and a bit of an explanation on the other package," Xander said swiftly without meeting anyone's eye as he tore open the other package. Once open a slight hissing sound could be heard as Xander pulled an odd looking, but still recognizable for what it was, gun. It was notable as it seem the gun was actually breathing as it hissed. Checking the barrel Xander saw six bullets already loaded.
"A gun, Xander we don't use guns here people could get hurt," Buffy said as she moved to take it from him.
"I wouldn't mess with this gun Buffy. It's one of two Breathing Guns, it's one of the few weapons on Earth that can kill demons. It hisses when occult forces or danger are near. I think it's hissing so because Angel is near, but since there's no danger it's not louder. Plus it's bullets are apparently sentient," Xander said. Giles had again begun to clean his glasses as Angel stepped forward to look at the gun.
"Demons are easy enough to kill, a stake, beheading it's easy. So it's a gun, whatever put it away before you hurt someone Xander, now," Buffy said sternly.
"Buffy, you don't understand. I mean that it kills all demons, not just vampires but if a true demon were to appear one well-aimed shot from this can kill it. This can kill demons or angels, devils or gods." There was silence in the library, apart from the hissing of the gun, as everyone turned this over in their minds.
"Okay, well, we have big ammo now I guess. Just, give it here and we'll lock it up," Buffy said as she grabbed for the gun, the hissing increasing.
"No Buffy, leave it to Xander," Giles said, surprising Buffy and the others. "Hellstorm left it for Xander to use, he advised us not to touch these things without Xander's permission. Let it go Buffy." The stern look from Giles was enough to get Buffy to cease her actions.
"This has been a long night, why don't you all go home now and rest. We'll meet back up here tomorrow around noon and discuss things more then if need be," Giles said as the group began to disperse with Angel walking Cordelia home, before he’d head back to see Buffy, while Buffy walked Willow home. Xander stayed behind to get a ride home from Giles.
"Xander, find someplace safe to keep those items. They may be the difference in saving the world one day," Giles said as he picked up his keys.
"Don't worry Giles, I know. I know too much about that now really," Xander replied as he put on the trench coat Daimon had left him and put the book and gun in it's pockets. "I'll be very careful."
"Very good Xander, I trust you in this."
* * *
After getting as much sleep as he could, Giles went back to Ethan's shop to see if there was any sign of his old. . . acquaintance. Giles found the store to have been cleaned out, all that was left was a note. "Be seeing you."
* * *
The group met at the library of Sunnydale High School at noon on the first day of November to discuss the night's events. Everything was brought out, explained and worked through. No hard feelings for the punches or actions of others were left. Peace was made and the group that had saved the world was content with each other.
* * *
Later that day, in the early evening, Ethan Rayne was paid a visit by a mysterious man. Mysterious in the fact that it seems shadows bent to hide the man from being seen. Ethan immediately began to backpedal and apologize for whatever he may have done when the Mystery man spoke. "Your spell last night had consequences that have brought about my ire, my ire focused on Janus who is now going to focus it's anger upon you. If you do not do as I tell you."
"Janus would not attack me, he reveled in what I did," Ethan said in defense.
"He did, until I was angered. Now he's afraid and angry at you. So if you do as I tell you, you will live a nice long life I suspect. It's simple what you'll have to do for me." The man said.
"What do you want then?" Ethan said, he could feel the power from the man and he did not want to risk anything while he had the disadvantage.
"Simple," the man said tossing a folder at Ethan's feet. "Inside the folder are the names and contact information for the heads of the largest Satanic Cults and Churchs in the world. You're to contact each of them and bring them under one banner and with the guidelines I've prescribed for them. You will do this and you will contact me as prescribed in the folder. You do this and you'll live a nice life as well as have the courtesy of my protection. Should you try and flee I will hunt you down and make your death so horrible Vengeance demons will ask for tips on how I did it. Am I clear?"
"You're clear, but what makes you think this will work? These people are fools, and worse they'll need some kind of reason to do this."
"Simple. Tell them that Satan wishes them to do so," the man said.
"Yeah right, like." but Ethan stopped as he looked again at the man hidden in shadows. "You can't be."
"Can’t I? Use your abilities to help convince them, if they need more than that let me know. But remind them I am not patient, and if they try my patience I will slaughter them all. Is that understood?"
"Yes," Ethan said, suddenly more frightened than he had ever been in his life.
"Good," the man said before he, and Ethan's vision, were engulfed in shadows.
* * *
Late that night found one Xander Harris in his home, standing in front of a mirror staring at his bare-chest. He looked at his reflection and saw that where he had made marks with a pen for the night before, there now was a birthmark etched in his chest. The pentagram that now adorned his flesh dwarfed the scars he already had on his chest and arms. He reread the note from Daimon Hellstorm and then again looked in the mirror. With a sigh, he recited the archaic words on the paper and watched his reflection as where there were once scars, there was now smooth flesh.
Walking out of the bathroom he had used for the spell, Xander moved to his bed and sat. With a sad sigh he lay back and looked at the ceiling and spoke what he felt was most damning from the note left to him. "Not all that was bestowed upon you by the spell will be removed. Learn to deal with what is left to you, or contact me to end your problems."