The Truth Behind a Summers – Part 6
Most of characters here are Whedon's; Tony and Ice are mine; Gorthaur is Tolkien's.
To say that Buffy was disgruntled when in an eyeblink she got transported from her house in Sunnydale, California, to… someplace else, would be an understatement. She was red-hot angry.
“What is the big idea?” she snarled, glaring at Summers Senior. “And where did you get powers anyways?”
“Child, didn’t you hear me? I am a Maia. In this here dimension, this makes me a God!”
Buffy didn’t look impressed. “Look, cut the posturing already! Unlike the others, I did read Lord of the Rings – the original novel, thanks to Giles, and I know that with the Ring gone, his – or yours – power was gone with me.”
“Buffy, do you remember when you were little? You put-in your dolly’s hair shampoo into the microwave – do you remember what happened then?”
Buffy blushed. “Yes. The can of the shampoo exploded. The cleaning lady had to clean the kitchen for six hours. I was grounded for two weeks.”
“And why did it happen, that explosion?”
“Let’s see if I remember my physics and chemistry correctly… heat breaks-up the bonds between the molecules… are you saying that you somehow re-absorbed all of your magic from the Ring?.. What am I saying – of course you did not, otherwise you wouldn’t have disintegrated – or rather, he wouldn’t have.”
“I didn’t disintegrate to begin with. See, the Ring had one more function that Olorin forgot to tell the mortals: it was my anchor. It tied me to the flesh of Arda. Once it got destroyed, Manwe and the rest of the Valar evicted me with ease.”
“Oh, I came here of my own volition. Before I decided to settle back on Arda, I was already experimenting here, persuading various tribes of giants and trolls to accept me as a god.”
“And did it work?”
“Hello! Would we be talking if it didn’t? There’s more to being a god than just immortality, as you will learn!”
Buffy blinked. “Well, that brings me neatly to my next point: like why I am here? You didn’t bring me here to just brag, did you?”
“Yes, I didn’t. Let’s talk Slayer.”
“What are we going to do, what are we going to do, what we are going to do…” Willow droned on. Anya gave her a slap and the red-head fell silent.
“Thank you, Anya,” Giles said wearily.
“You welcome, now what we are going to do?”
Giles barely overpower an urge to groan. “Anya. I was thinking of interrogating this Ice woman.”
“Ask,” Ice said, looking decisively unimpressed, “and I will answer. After all, it’s unlikely that you will be able to do anything with the information other than fall into despair.”
Giles blinked. “Don’t be so sure. Anyways, why did he taken Buffy?”
Ice looked at him sharply. “That’s classified information!”
“Ice, be nice!” Spike spoke-up from his corner.
The tiefling sighed. “How about I tell you the long version instead.”
“Originally,” Holland Manners spoke in his best lecturing voice, “Gorthaur was a Power of the Norse – the Vikings, the Normans, and so on. Only they didn’t worship him – the giants did.”
“The giants? They still exist?” Lilah couldn’t help herself.
“Sure do,” Tony spoke-up. “Ocean giants. Saw two of them myself, and boy, don’t they like lawyers!”
“Thank you, Tony,” Holland nodded, serenely, “but I am talking about the frost and stone giants instead, and also about trolls, and they are largely extinct by now.”
“No,” Ms. LeHane suddenly shook her head. “They are not extinct. They have merely left.”
“Oh? For where to?”
“That, Mr. Manners, is a very good question.”
“My boss,” Ice began to speak in a flat, casual tone, “despises people in the same way that people despise bugs. He even tolerated me only because I’m a tiefling, and there’s blood of the ice devils in my veins.”
“And why is that? What have we done to him?” Dawn interrupted.
Ice looked at the shorter girl, who visibly wilted, but didn’t back down. “Oh, that’s easy. You’re not his. A different power than he – or his master – has created you, humans, and for that boss hates you, for he is a jealous god.”
“He is not a god!” Willow protested.
“I am afraid that he is,” Giles said slowly. “It’s been a long time since I read the complete collection of Tolkien’s works, but even now I remember that in his cosmology, the Maiar, let alone the Valar, were pretty much gods.”
“Uh, G-man? You are saying that he didn’t just write that one book about the ring?”
“Xander, I know that your education spawns horrible gaps, but for now – cram it!”
“Yes sir!” Xander snapped, and Giles turned back to Ice.
“So, he wants to destroy all of mankind?”
“Well, I think he’s more of an enslavement kind of a person, but destruction is also good,” Ice nonchalantly shrugged.
“Anyways, let’s get back to Gorthaur,” Holland Manners spoke-up, after it became obvious that Ms. LeHane won’t be revealing anything anytime soon. “As I said before, originally he was treated as just one more negative power of the Norse – just like Loki and his spawn, the demon gods of the frost, stone, and fire giants, and so on, and even the fact that some lycanthropes – mostly wolves and bears – joined his worship, didn’t shift the opinion of the paranormal investigators, mostly the Watchers’ Council. However…”
“When Gorthaur’s influence had moved southwards – to Scotland, and north of Germany and France, that point of view got to be corrected very quickly. Apparently, he was not as crude and primitive as he appeared to be, and when his initial congregation of giants and trolls began to, ah, vanish, he quickly found new worshippers amongst humans, usually granting them powers of lycanthropy and vampirism. He also brought forth new kinds of demonic creatures – shadurakuls and haraknins, who… well, let’s skip about them, oh, and he is also big with various kinds of undead; in fact, that ill-reputed tome, Libris Mortis, is thought to be written by him, or at least with his participation.”
“Uh, sir, can we speed this up a bit? I’m losing your point of thought.”
“My point is that Gorthaur was a very powerful, but rather enigmatic entity. If one ignores that certain incident in which a certain king Charles lost his head and the Watchers’ Council didn’t experience its best days either, well, he was never the one for open confrontations.”
“Because he was biding his time and strength,” Ms LeHane spoke up suddenly, “and now, I fear, he is ready to change that.”
The three lawyers stared at her. “What? Obviously he has been holding back for a reason, and now that he has sent this giant cat after you, means that he is changing his tactics now for some reason, and how much would you bet that they are not anything good, like declaring the Age of Aquarius?”
“I see. And what you are going to do next?” Holland Manners asked, looking intense.
The look on the face of Ms. LeHane proved to be decidedly unpleasant.
“I believe I am going to visit an old friend of mine, yes.”
Tony exchanged a look with Lilah.
“You mean Angel, don’t you?” the female lawyer asked.
Ms. LeHane merely smiled in reply and said nothing.
Upon hearing Ice’s latest words, the Scooby gang fell into a profound silence, at the end of which everybody looked at Spike and Anya.
“What?” the ex-demoness snapped. “Do I have a booger or what?”
“Anya,” Giles said slowly, “You and Spike know Gorthaur; he knows you and Spike, so spill.”
“Like what exactly?” Spike spoke-up instead of Anya.
“Everything would be a nice start.”
“Then it all started about eleven hundred years ago, add-subtract a decade or two, when me and Anya were just young girls,” Ice spoke-up. “I was the village freak, and she… was just plain unpopular. It was then that Gorthaur offered me a job. I accepted, and as for Anya, D’Hoffryn learned about her existence, right?”
“Yes,” Anya nodded.
“As for Spike, we’ve met a few decades ago, in concern with a territory dispute – the boss didn’t even have to personally participate in it.”
“So what you’re saying is that neither of them really knows him?”
“Well, actually, there is someone who knows him.”
“Oh? Who it is?”
“A vampire of Spike’s line who went under the name of Angelus back then.”
Another silence descended onto the Scooby gang, this one even more profound than the first…
“Fine. Let’s talk,” Buffy said, seemingly not affected by the sudden twist in the conversation. “What do you want from me?”
“Want? That’s a good word. See, I got myself quite an army nowadays, full of giants and devils and some of my old guard, but I feel that I could use something – or someone really special to give my invading force a real extra punch. And that’s where you come in.”
“You expect me to work for you? Impossible, I shall not do it! I am a Slayer-”
“Not after you’ll be re-forged,” Gorthaur smiled. “Oh, and have I mentioned that you only other alternative is to kill me?”
“Gladly!” Buffy lunged from her seat… only to have it, and a part of the floor, fall from under her feet into a fiery pit, taking her along for the ride…
Emotionlessly, Gorthaur looked at the splash from underneath his hovering feet. “Slayed by my own blood, indeed. I will be victorious!”
The Truth behind a Summers – part 7
Most of the character's are Whedon's; Ice and Shuluth are mine; Gorthaur's Tolkien's.
The day, Gunn mused, started rather mundanely and routinely, minus the usual hijinks that composed the life of a paranormal investigator. Oh well, all the better for him – he could use a break. A polite cough broke his reverie. He looked-up.
An astonishing-looking black-haired girl looked back at him. “I need to talk to Angel – it’s very important,” she spoke-up.
Gunn wanted to ask just how did she know him, but at that moment the phone rang. “Yes?” he spoke into it.
“Who is it?”
“Gunn who? Is this Angel Investigations?”
“Then tell Angel that we’re coming, for Buffy’s been kidnapped.”
“Right,” Gunn nodded and hanged-up.
Unfortunately, the black-haired girl was already gone.
Buffy was in agony. Never before, not even when she jumped into the void to save Dawn, did she experience such pain, not even when she had to bust out of her own coffin due to Willow’s spell, and the hellions’ interference – no, not even then. This was something else; this was a veritable ocean of pain.
“My poor child… what is he doing to you?”
“Mommy?” Buffy whispered, not sure what was going on. “Where are you? Help me!”
“I am here, my child,” and Joyce Summers appeared, dressed in a simple white dress. Another figure dressed in white – but quite masculine and winged, was semi-hovering behind her. “Indeed,” that figure rumbled – the voice was quite masculine too – “you will be aided. So it was written, so it will be done.”
“Yes, it will be done,” another feminine voice spoke, and another winged figure appeared on the scene. (The light from the male blinded Buffy, and the pain made it hard to concentrate, but she felt that the newcomer was different form her mother and her friend – she was more corporeal, perhaps?) “I will not abandon what is mine – not even to that blowhard! An annatar, my foot! She was promised to me!”
“Gwethy-“the male figure began, but the newcomer was a role.
“Don’t Gwethy me. I’m always Gwethy when my services are needed, and when they are not-“
“Please. Help my baby.” Joyce Summers suddenly spoke, and the newcomer lost all of her steam.
“Yes, Mrs. S, I will,” she said, suddenly weary
Something familiar singed Buffy’s hearing. She frowned, trying to remember what, but the scene vanished, and she returned to her loneliness.
To her loneliness and her pain.
“What do you mean, Buffy’s bean kidnapped?” Angel’s roar all but broke all the windows in his apartment, irregardless of the heavy curtains.
Gunn winced and glared at Fred, who looked like she would climb under the bed and won’t come out until Angel calmed down somewhat. Chicken. He certainly couldn’t do that – it wasn’t manly, although…
“Anyways,” Angel snapped, calmed down somewhat, “what exactly is Giles doing? Catching crows with his mouth or what?”
“They are coming here.”
“Well, that’s what I got.”
“Yo! Peaches! We’re here!” Spike’s voice came from downstairs.
Fred and Gunn exchanged looks and wondered as to whether or not they should hide under a bed all the same.
“Spike!” Angel growled as soon as he descended from his flat. “What the Hell is happening on the Hellmouth?!”
“Patience, Peaches, patience,” Spike smiled nastily. “We’ll give you answers, all right, but first you’ll need to make a little trip down the memory lane.”
“What the Hell are you talking about, whelp?
”Angel,” Giles looked-out from behind the younger vampire. “What can you tell us about Gorthaur?”
Angel’s face abruptly fell.
“Gorthaur? Oh shit.”
It was some time later. Upon hearing about Gorthaur Angel’s rage had evaporated, whereas upon seeing Ice it became a complete depression, one that Angel increased by using alcohol.
However, on the other hand, he was not the only drinker in this room: Giles, Xander, and Willow & Tara also took some drink. Spike also asked, but he was denied, and so was Dawn, and then it was story time.
“We’ve met Gorthaur – remember, Spike? – some months before that Gypsy incident. Master Nest had come into a… confrontation with some svartalves, and very quickly it reached an impasse. So, master Nest began to search for new allies, and very quickly discovered a gang of the fomorians, who worshipped Gorthaur-“
“Worshipped him?” Giles interrupted. “You mean he already was a god?”
“What do you mean, already? Many giants worshipped him pretty much since the beginning of time, and fomorians were amongst the lowest on the totem pole.”
“So where does Ice came from?”
“Hello, she’s his mouth!”
Giles blinked and turned to the tiefling. “So, you’re the mouth of Sauron?!”
“Yeah, you could say that,” Ice shrugged.
“That’s not how I see her,” Spike added, almost smirking.
Xander glared at him, but the blonde vampire ignored it.
“Anyways,” Angel continued, “to shorten a long story, I had to do the main negotiations, and in return – since I’ve impressed the other side with my skills, this Gorthaur gave me a means to contact him if I ever looked for a job.”
“It wasn’t a ring, perhaps?” Giles asked, somewhat wryly.
“How’d you guess?”
“Well, where is it?” Willow asked instead.
“Dru. When she saw it she went completely berserk, and Darla, when she saw what was happening to her, decided to cure her, and… let’s just say that after two weeks during which none of us gotten any… we left it in a bank, run by the kobolds of the Tyrolean mountains.”
There was a pause once again. “So how do we get to the Tyrolean mountains?” Anya finally asked.
“Mayhaps, ladies and gentlemen, we can be of some assistance?” a new voice then spoke.
“Master,” Shuluth slowly slithered through the darkened chambers. “Everyone is ready, all the way to the least spinagon. When is your order to start?”
“Just as soon as my last recruit emerges from there…” Gorthaur pointed to the magma pool that suddenly began to violently shimmer… “or maybe not. Maybe it’s time to try our forces all the same.”
“Excellent! Where, then?”
“My latest favorite spot – the LA.”
And from beneath Gorthaur’s hovering feet, something truly gargantuan was emerging…
To be continued…
To Angeluslover: I am reasonably sure that Aragorn and Co. won’t be in this story, not any times soon anyways.
To Banner: you just wait, the scare isn’t over yet.
To Antonio: my bad, and as for Faith, she has just started to come out…