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Summary: Berserk crossover! The Mayor, having caught wind of Ethan Rayne's shop beforehand, decides to take advantage of the situation. No knowledge of the crossover needed, hopefully.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > BerserkAlanPFR715,682152,65722 Aug 0522 Aug 05Yes
Summary: The Mayor, having caught wind of Ethan Rayne's shop beforehand,
decides to take advantage of the situation.

Crossover: Berserk, Flame of Recca, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Disclaimer: I don't own what other people do.

Feedback: (I don't write *this* part -- you do! Think of it as the
audience participation aspect.)

Pre-fic Comments:

I really need to get the rest of the manga for Berserk... still don't
know what happens.

I heard this really dirty joke about Americans once... and, right after
that, someone said, "So thats why they call them 'Yankees'..." If I
knew anything about American manga, there would be some of their
characters in here.

And no, no one will be turning into red goo. No one will be making
huge-ass dragons made of flame. There may well be people cut right in
half, though.



Ethan smiled, taking in a deep breath of plastic scented air as he
approached the doors to his new shop to open for the first time.

Then paused.

The script was supposed to go 'open doors', then 'sell stuff'. Not 'open
doors', 'negotiate with local bureaucracy', then 'sell stuff'.

"Hello, Mister Mayor," Ethan said cautiously. "What can I do for you?"

"Hi, Ethan," Mayor Wilkins the Third said. "Mind if I come in for a
brief chat?"

"Not at all," Ethan said. "Cuppa tea?"

"No thanks, I won't be that long," Wilkins said. "These are some nice
costumes you have here."

"Thanks," Ethan smiled. "I've got a wide variety here -- not just rubber
masks and witch hats."

"And they all have magic spells on them, don't they?," Wilkins beamed.

"Ma-magic?," Ethan asked nervously. "That's a good one. Magic."

"I heard that you were coming to my little town," Wilkins said. "You're
still quite famous. Ethan Rayne and Ripper Giles."

"It's nice to know I still have a reputation," Ethan said. "What can I
do for you?"

"Well," Wilkins began, "I don't want any deaths of anyone under, say,
sixteen from this."

"Done," Ethan said immediately. He'd had countermeasures in the costumes
for that anyway.

"And the local highschool has some volunteers that have to escort the
children from Sunnydale Primary School, too," Wilkins said. "There are a
couple of them that I'd like to have specific costumes."

"How will they be paying?," Ethan asked, pointing out that spells or no
spells he was selling to make a profit.

"Oh, Sunnydale High will foot the bill," Wilkins said. "All part of
ensuring our students have a wide variety of life experiences."

"Who are the lucky few, then?"

"List, list, list, where'd I put the list?," Wilkins said rhetorically,
patting down the pockets on his suit. He produced an A4 sheet of paper
triumphantly, neatly typed up. "I've got the list here, complete with
descriptions for you."

"Wonderful," Ethan said, eyes wandering down the names marked out in
Courier New. "I'll send the bill to Sunnydale High, then."



Xander groaned. "Why'd he have to snap me for Halloween escort?"

"Because he loves you," Willow said promptly.

Xander then made puking noises. "And thank you, Willow, for that lovely
mental image. I'll be sure to send you my therapy bills later in life.
Where am I gonna get the money for a decent costume?"

"Harris, Rosenberg, Summers," Snyder said, catching up to the trio.
"Your costumes have already been decided -- go to Ethan's Costume
Shoppe, and the man there will supply you with the materials."

"Right," Xander said. "There's just this leeetle matter of... say, the
moolah."

"The school is /paying/, Harris," Snyder snapped. "Get to class before I
decide to give you all detention."

"Is that Snyder, our beloved Fuhrer?," Xander hissed to Willow as they
made their way to English.

"Detentions, general hissy fit at the world, sure seemed like him,"
Willow confirmed. "Why?"

"It was just... the school is paying for my costume?," Xander said
incredulously. "I mean, I'm not knocking the free stuff, but... free
stuff from Snyder?!"

"I say we go with the flow and take advantage of his Momentary Lapse Of
Reason," Buffy said, putting an end to the discussion. "Willow, can I
borrow your homework for the book study assignment?"

"The one that's due in five minutes?! I think you're... um, a little too
late for that."

"Unless Slayer powers include speed reading and writing," Xander chimed
in unhelpfully.



"So... I'm this Guts guy?," Xander asked the weedy looking Englishman,
wanting to be sure.

"Indeed," Ethan said, rapidly becoming annoyed with this slow yank.

"And I get to wield this kick ass sword?," Xander continued, wanting to
be sure.

"Correct."

"For free?"

"To you, yes!"

"SWEET! It's a wrap!"

Willow laughed, looking at the leather and steel armour, the huge sword,
and the long, black, tattered cloak. "It's you."

"And your name is?," Ethan asked Buffy.

"Oh, Buffy Summers," Buffy said. "What do I get?"

"A kunoichi, or female ninja, called Anko Mitarashi," Rayne said. "A
change of hairstyle will be required."

"What kinda hairstyle?," Buffy asked.

"Neck length at front and side, with top and back pulled into a wild
ponytail at the rear of the head."

"Well, a change could be good, I guess," Buffy dithered.

"Better than detention 'till we're fifty, you mean?," Xander asked,
pointing out what their Principal had threatened them with.

"It's doable, then."

"Um, and me?," Willow asked. "I could wait if Buffy wants her costume
first."

"No, it's not a problem," Ethan said, looking at his list. "Hmmm... Rui
the Formless."

"Formless?," Willow asked.

"The woman in question is very, very skilled at altering her appearance,
and thus received her moniker. She is trained in ninjutsu as a
kunoichi."

"What is it with you and ninja?," Willow asked rhetorically. "No
witches?"

"I pride myself on my creativity," Rayne said. "Thus, all Highschool
students are assigned unique costumes."

"What about Cordelia Chase?," Buffy asked, priorities straight as
always. "Who's she going as?"

"Hmmm... Chase, Chase... ah, here we go. Misato Katsuragi, a military
tactician."

The three friends looked at each other, imagining the high society
butterfly in fatigues.

Xander caved in first, laughing out loud.

"What, may I ask, is so funny?," Ethan asked, eyebrow raised.

"You... kinda have to know Cordelia to get it," Willow said
apologetically.

"Well, shall I package your costumes, then?," Ethan asked. "I do, after
all, have other customers to attend."

"Oh! We're sorry," Willow said immediately.



"What's with the lonely glove?," Buffy asked Xander as she met him at
the door.

"Apparently Mister Guts doesn't have a left hand and makes do with a
fake one," Xander said. As he spoke, the tattered black cloak settled
down around him to hide all but his head, the huge sword (which was a
sneeze away from scraping the ground), and steel boots on his feet.

"Cool," Buffy said.

"I havta say, I really like your costume," Xander said, looking up and
down Buffy's body.

The Slayer was in a short fishnet dress, with a solid miniskirt
concealing her groin, and an open yellow coat somehow contriving to
conceal the most interesting (to fifty percent of the population)
features of her upper torso. Her hair was dyed black and pulled into a
ponytail, fanning out behind the scrunchy, with a head protector and
shin guards finishing the ensemble off.

"You've got the whole 'manly' look going with your armour there," Buffy
said.

"I know," Xander agreed. "Say, where's Willow?"

"I'm coming," Willow said grumpily, emerging from the stairs in a white
dress with a black sash.

The dress seemed like a very finely made bathrobe more than a
traditional dress, made of fine cotton and floor length. Long black hair
hung down to the curve of her butt, and a stylized black rose was drawn
on the top of her left breast, barely visible under the dress.

"Willow," Buffy said, exasperated. She yanked the front open so that
nearly all of Willow's cleavage was exposed to the world and the rose
was fully shown. "The dress is supposed to hang loosely open! You read
the instructions!"

"Don't worry, Wills," Xander added eagerly. "We can't see all of them."

"I don't like that people can see any of them!," Willow snapped.

"All ready to go?," Xander asked.

"Uh, sure. Say, how are you carrying that huge lump of iron you
laughingly call a sword?"

"Easy. It's made of cardboard."



PART 2

Summary: The Mayor, having caught wind of Ethan Rayne's shop beforehand,
decides to take advantage of the situation.

Crossover: Berserk, Flame of Recca, Naruto and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Disclaimer: I don't own what other people do.

Feedback: (I don't write *this* part -- you do! Think of it as the
audience participation aspect.)

Pre-reader: Chandra Bridges

Pre-fic Comments:

I'm not entirely sure of my characterisation of Guts... so, if I really
screw it up, tell me and I'll revise this part. Hopefully my pre has
caught most of the mistakes.

The PRC pack for Neverwinter Nights is amazing... I'm playing as one of
the races the PRC implemented, Drow, and I'm honestly starting to REALLY
hate the sun in NWN... 'cause whenever my character goes out in it, I'm
mostly blind, can't see a thing, and my combat stats go down.

All Japanese is within "*speech marks like this.*"



On the one hand, Xander really, really wished the sword on his back was
real. These kids were really, really annoying. On an annoyance scale of
one to ten, he rated them a twenty.

On the other hand, he was pretty sure he'd cave in under the sheer
weight of the sword if it was real, and was also sure that claiming to
be really annoyed probably wouldn't sway a jury. Even in Sunnydale.

On the third hand, he was scoring an unusual amount of lollies from old
ladies who called him a sweetie for helping these little darlings around
at night and then gave him a double handful of lollies 'for his
troubles'.

Deciding that the surprisingly large haul outweighed the unusual mental
torture, Xander resolved to volunteer for escort duty next year, as
well.

"Okay, guys," Xander said. "This is the last house, then we're heading
back."

A chorus of "Ohhhhhhhh...." greeted this, signalling their displeasure
with this course of action.

"Hey!," Xander said, holding both hands up defensively. The metalwork on
the left hand's glove scratched his skin lightly. "Don't blame me -- the
only place we haven't cleaned out is the street I live on, and you're
more likely to get Mars bars from the Principal than anyone living
there."



Buffy's night was so-so. She'd gotten two 'You whore!'s, three 'Ladies
really shouldn't dress like that!', and five 'In front of children, no
less! reprimands.

For some reason, though, she couldn't care less. Maybe it was the hair
dye -- with the new style, she felt almost like a new person.

Hands in her coat, she looked down at the kids she'd been assigned.

"What did Mrs. Davis give you?," she asked.

The pretend monsters pulled out toothbrushes.

"She must be stopped. Let's hit one more house," Buffy decided. No use
in the last house being a downer. "We still have a few more minutes
before I need to get you back."



Willow followed her group to the last house, hands hidden in the long
sleeves of her dress.

She'd gotten some comments from the houses they'd visited on her
costume. Most had said the dress was nice, but she should do it up more
around her upper half.

"C'mon, guys," Willow said.

One of them nodded eagerly, knocking on the door loudly. As the old lady
answered, he hurriedly pulled down his green mask.

"Trick-or-treat!," the short group chorused.

"Oh, my goodness, aren't you adorable!," the old lady cooed. She picked
up her plastic pumpkin basket, looking inside it. "Oh, dear! Am I all
out?"



Ethan Rayne smiled. He had put extra effort into the costumes for the
highschool escort students, since Wilkins had asked him to assign those
specific costumes. Hopefully, the older man would see it as owing Ethan
a favour.

It meant that he felt weaker than he otherwise would after the
spellcasting, but it was worth it.

"Showtime!," he said theatrically, feeling a rush of power leave him.

All over the town, changes occured to varying degrees.

With most of the children, their skin and the first five millimeters of
flesh or so were altered to conform to the appearances of their masks,
with the God Janus sponsoring various spirits to possess the still human
brain to move the outwardly different body. Ethan didn't consider it
worth the trouble to completely alter the kids, since they'd change back
anyway.

With the students, though... they were changed, from the very molecules
of the valves of their hearts to the shallowest layer of dead skin and
the hair. He didn't want a reputation for bad work, and it was entirely
possible that Wilkins would check on the spell's targets. Even the
cardboard and plastic costumes were transmuted to the real things.



Guts winced minutely as the world spun around him.

Where was he? At a guess, he'd say some rural village... but the
buildings and grounds were far too well executed to be that. A city
quarter of minor nobility, maybe, rich enough for fine buildings and
gardens but not manors?

He began walking, looking for someone who could tell him where he was.
He had a particular God Hand to hunt, after all. The brand on his neck
from being a sacrifice for the 'Ceremony of the Coming Lord' started to
bleed.

A vicious smile could be seen on his face, both his open left eye and
his empty right socket creasing with joy. The blood meant that an
apostle of the God Hands, and thus an answer, was nearby. Distant shouts
were in English, which he had encountered before when fighting as a
mercenary alongside men from those lands.

Time to get some answers. Hopefully the would-be demon around here would
have more answers than that snake warlord.



Rui the Formless clutched her head for a moment. Where was she? She
/had/ been at the village of the Hokage Ninja, preparing for a mission.
Time for an inventory check.

Clothes... check.

Limiter armband... check.

She was fully equipped. She was a Hokage Flame Master, after all. And
even clothes weren't necessary -- all she needed was her limiter to stop
her inner flame from consuming her alive, and her innate skill with
flame illusions. Rui had a lot of experience with using her flame, and
nothing else, on infiltration missions where weapons would be
suspicious.

"*Where am I?,*" she asked.



Anko looked around, as well.

She had been on the way to the Forest of Death as the examiner for the
Second Exam for the Chuunin exam, to see which of the apprentice ninja
could become journeymen, but the world had swirled around her and she
found herself... here. Wherever here was.

Partly out of paranoia, partly out of habit, the kunoichi sauntered
through patches of darkness to find some answers. She pulled a couple of
kunai, or throwing daggers, from her pouch.



A slight sensation came from Guts' brand as a deformed man tried to run
past. He 'felt', for lack of a better term, like a demon. Less than an
Apostle, most definitely less than a God Hand, but still supernatural.
It would know where a better informed person would be.

Guts grabbed the man by the collar with his right hand. "Where am I?"

"Go fuck yourself," the demon growled.

He slapped the demon hard with his iron left hand. "Where am I?"

"Sunnydale, moron," the demon said, rolling it's eyes. It then tried to
bite Guts. "Still, this beats going out for tea!"

As the demon started to try and suck Guts' blood, he punched it, and it
landed several feet away, sliding across the rough ground.

"You wanna play?," the demon said. "You're gonna die, in the end...
hell, I might even turn you!"

A stupid demon, then.

Guts took his sword off his back, and held it in front of himself. With
only his right hand.

"Okay," the demon said. "Maybe I made a slight miscalculation here...
you wouldn't hold it against me, would you?"

The Black Swordsman swung the blade through the midsection of the demon,
and it fell onto the ground in two halves. Still alive, of course --
demons didn't die that easily. He then cut off the demon's arms, and
picked the torso and head up by it's short brown hair.

"Where is your master?," Guts asked.



Anko wasn't sure she believed what she was seeing.

Weird creatures flooded the town she was in, no one spoke a decent
language, and she still had no idea what was going on.

Spotting a man with the same racial appearance as herself and the rest
of Konoha, she jumped down to land before him.

"*Where am I?,*" she asked.

"Ni-Ni-Ninja," the man stuttered. "O-Omae wa ninja?!?!"

"Hai, hai," Anko said, impatient. "*Where the HELL am I?!"

"S-Sunnydale."

She rolled her eyes. It was obvious that she'd get no answers out of
this stupid civilian.

As the shinobi disappeared, the man clapped his hands twice then prayed
before hurrying home.

True, before he'd discounted the stories his grandpa had raised him on,
but after that... he wasn't taking any chances.

A week later, having encountered a Polgaran demon and a vampire (in a
somewhat passive, voyeuristic capacity), the man would be packing his
bags for Japan, where they had priests who could use ofuda against
demons.





PART 3

Summary: The Mayor, having caught wind of Ethan Rayne's shop beforehand,
decides to take advantage of the situation.

Crossover: Berserk, Flame of Recca, Naruto and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Disclaimer: I don't own what other people do.

Feedback: (I don't write *this* part -- you do! Think of it as the
audience participation aspect.)

Pre-reader: Chandra Bridges

Pre-fic Comments:

Got a few more volumes of Berserk. Got a case of the enthusiasms again.
(Inktank, WW. Yaaay!)

If you want a soundtrack to this, imagine 'Annihilation of Hammerfest'
by Amon Amarth playing in the background.



Misato groaned.

"*Why did I have to be in America?,*" she whined.

"What?," the old lady asked.

"I said, why did I have to be in America," Misato repeated -- in
English, this time. "Man, the beer here sucks, and you can't get cheap
ramen..."

Misato was unceremoniously kicked off the porch she'd woken up on at
that announcement, with an admonition to act like a proper lady and not
a hooligan.



Dru looked up at Spike mournfully.

"Look, if it's all that bad I'll take some of the cannonfo--uh, minions
with me," he retorted, sounding tired of arguing.

"We're cannonfodder?!," a lesser vampire demanded to know.

A pair of glares (one more than slightly unhinged) shut the fledgeling
up.

"The big bad wolf is out tonight," Dru whined. "He's out for blood, and
not even the stars or the Heart of Evil can stop him!"

"Big bloody deal," Spike growled. "He's just another nutter with a
stake, he'll go down easier than a fifty cent whore."



Finch shifted his feet from side to side. "Sir, was it really wise?"

"What?," Wilkins the Third asked. "The costumes, you mean?"

Finch nodded. "They're rather powerful, and what if--"

Wilkins waved a finger at him playfully. "Now, now, I have to do
something to help the kids -- they are our future!"

"But the Black Swordsman?!," Finch yelled, fear of death overcoming his
fear and respect of the Mayor.

"We just have to survive this night, and then we'll be down one white
hat," the Mayor said, appearing highly satisfied. "I doubt anyone
could survive Mister Guts' memories and remain non-catatonic."



Spike lit a cigarette as he wandered down the street, three foot tall
demons running past him.

"Well... this is neat," he commented. "Kinda reminds me of that little
town in Surrey."

He then appreciatively eyed up a bird in a fishnet dress, with a jacket
on top.

"'Ello, luv," he smirked. "'Ow much you charge, eh?"

He started to worry when the woman pulled out four knives at once.

"What you say?," Anko Mitarashi demanded.

"'ell with it, I could use a feed about now," Spike grinned, his face
gaining ridges, yellow eyes and fangs.



Giles sipped at his cup of Earl Grey delicately.

He'd just received the box of Dilmah tea this morning, and it promised
to be one of the best cuppa's he'd ever had. If all Dilmah tea was
this good, he'd have to change from his normal Twinings rubbish.

Closing his eyes, he drew the steam rising in through his nose, smelling
the tea and the Oil of Bergamot mixed finely.

No, it was the simple pleasures that made life worthwhile. Good food,
excellent beverages, and loyal companionship.

*BANG*!

He spat his mouthful of tea over his weekly report to the Council, as
the double doors slammed open, then fell off their hinges.

"I can feel it," a tough looking, muscular man said out loud as he
entered the library. An immensely huge slab of iron hung from his back,
for surely it was too big to be a sword.

"You what?!," Giles demanded.

"Demons are close by," the man said. "A large concentration of them."

A mental lightbulb went off in Giles' head. "Ah! You must be a demon
hunter. Yes, there is a Hellmouth about thirty feet below us."

The man turned to Giles, right hand rising to the hilt of the blade
rising past his head. "You're one of them."

"One of...?," Giles asked. His expression turned to horror as the man
began to lift the blade! "Nononono, I fight against them now! It was a
mistake in my past that I'm still atoning for!"

The man let the blade rest on his back again. "I don't know why, but I
think I trust you. Normally it takes longer than this."

"I'm not complaining, believe me," Giles said. "Oh, excuse my manners.
Rupert Giles, at your service."

"My name is Guts," the man said.

"No last name?," Giles enquired.

"... no," Guts said. "I never knew my blood family."

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry," Giles said. "Look, if you tell me what it is
you're after I can research it for you."

"Research?"

"Look up information on the topic."

Guts considered this, his remaining eye half-lidded.



Spike ran, as gunshots rang over his head. Normally, he wouldn't be
worried at all, but a lot of people were out tonight and gunfire would
draw attention he'd really rather not have.

What was wrong with this town tonight?!?!

The first bird he'd come across had been some kind of snake witch, and
he had his ration of craziness living with Dru.

This bird was a complete nutter, though. Maybe the purple hairdye had
seeped into her brain and poisoned it or something.

Honestly! Him, an Angel?! Did he look like his Grandpoof?!

Maybe he'd have better luck with the broad ahead. Long dress, top pulled
almost wide open... maybe he'd get lucky as well as a feed. Hmmm. A rose
tattoo. Maybe she was kinky, too.



Spike cursed as he ran.

That was it.

That was IT!

He did not appreciate someone trying to roast him unalive. All he was
was trying to get a feed, and the silly bitch tryed to fry him alive!

Well, the first order of business would be to round up a posse, to
dogpile that stupid flame bitch. Then he'd get around to those others.



Rui had met another kunoichi.

One barely worthy of the title. A fool fond of theatrics, acting like a
samurai with a grudge rather than one meant to work unseen, unheard.
Anko was still better than working alone, especially in a strange land
where no one spoke the language. Her... techniques were still noisier
than an elephant in a china shop though, in Rui's opinion.

Things seemed... unsettled in the small town they were in. It was
obviously not her homeland, but she doubted that demons running around
terrorising people was... normal. The local daimyo wouldn't allow it,
for one. In her experience, they tended to be possessive. In a daimyo's
opinion, the only one allowed to maim and kill the local populace was
the Daimyo.

"*What's that sound?,*" Rui said, angling her head as she heard
something.

"*Fighting,*" Anko said. "*Destructive... I wanna go see!*"

Rui nodded in accord. It wasn't as if they had anything better to do.





PART 4

Summary: The Mayor, having caught wind of Ethan Rayne's shop beforehand,
decides to take advantage of the situation.

Crossover: Berserk, Flame of Recca, Naruto and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Disclaimer: I don't own what other people do.

Feedback: (I don't write *this* part -- you do! Think of it as the
audience participation aspect.)

Pre-reader: Chandra Bridges

Pre-fic Comments:

Remember, folks, if you don't like it, comment. If you do like it,
comment. If you think I've gotten something wrong, comment.



Beings of light sat in council in the Heavens, as they conferred upon
the destiny of the world, and their actions to ensure this. In the
center of the forum sat what could be termed a chess board, save for
it's vast scale exceeding the eight by eight size of the mortal game.
The pieces scattered across the board are all white, black, or varying
shades of gray but with no visible pattern as to their placement. But
there was something special about all the pieces, as each one represents
a being living on the world. The representation portrayed the entire sum
of the being represented, their present and their future. Four pieces on
the board were different than they should be thanks to the Mayor and the
Chaos Mage Rayne. But one piece in particular was the cause for alarm,
the piece representing Alexander Harris.

"We are in agreement, The One Who Sees has outlived his usefulness," a
male being said. "We shall have our avatar contact the--"

Slow clapping interrupted the male, as a tall entity walked into the
forum. He was seven foot tall, wearing a three piece business suit. His
hair was jet black, yet his eyes were a glacial Nordic blue.

"Bravo, I say, Bravo," the man said. "I knew you were short sighted at
times, but this is absurd. Simply because the boy will no longer dance
to the music you selected, he must be destroyed. I would truly hate to
be one of your toys, as they have a very low survival rate when you are
at the helm. But thankfully I am beyond your control, as is the boy.
Effective immediately."

"You have no right to even be here, half-breed!," another being said.
"Formynder, you forget your place."

"What, Helios? Or is it Apollo today? My place as a child of the Dark
Lady, and the Warlord of the Gods?," Formynder asked, arching one brow
as he deliberately reminded the forum of the higher powers he could call
in.

"Forgive my brother," a female entity of light said. "But you can not
protect the boy -- he will cause the down fall of our domain! He must
not live past tonight!"

"Regardless Diane, I will not condone executive action against Harris.
Rayne's little contribution to the game has altered the scales more than
you can comprehend. Unless the appropriate actions are taken the Godhand
will gain access to this plane."

"Many have tried to defy the Council of Light," Apollo said, attempting
to rein in the taller man.

The seven foot man stared at them evenly, eyes half lidded.



Guts frowned. The repentant man had told him it would take a while for
him to 'research' the Godhand, so he had left to not distract the man.
As Raider Leader for the Band, he'd found first hand the value of
intelligence and intelligent men. He'd been told to look in either the
graveyards, the warehouse district, or a 'nightclub'. He had no idea
what a nightclub was (he doubted the man meant a city militia
nightstick) and had no intention of going near the spirit infested
graveyards, so that left the warehouses.

"Hey, mate," a British voice called out. "You feel like... something
weird. Feel like 'avin' a go at a Slayer?"

Guts turned to see a pale, thin man with pale white hair, dozens of
demons around him. Half of the posse were six feet, the other half were
three feet tall. "Demon?"

"Yep, that's us," Spike said, game face appearing. "You comin' or not?
I'm not waiting all bloody night."

"Funny," Guts said, lifting his weapon from where it hung on his back.
"Where's your boss? I don't have all night."

Spike stared in disbelief at the sword. It was taller than a full grown
man, and that was just the blade. The hilt was another two feet on top
of that, and it was wide enough to resemble a slab of iron rather than a
blade. To top it all off, all the short demons ran for it.

Spike really wasn't liking this. The man had nicks and scars all over
him, and the armour indicated considerable prowess in battle. After
considering the matter, he decided on his strategy. "Get him!"

"That's it for him," Spike said, turning to go.

Unfortunately for him, he'd underestimated the reach of Guts' blade, and
as the top half of his head was separated from the rest of his body, he
swore to himself.



"Spikey!," Drusilla sobbed. "The big bad wolf has taken away my bright
eyed boy! Who's going to tell Miss Edith her bedtime stories now?!"

"Should put out a call to kill the guy who did it?," a servant vampire
asked her.

She studied him thoughtfully. "Something's wrong..."

"Er, what?," he asked nervously.

She reached out and stroked his lower jaw. "Too much."

With that, she ripped out his jawbone.



Rui had found Anko surprisingly apt at more arcane arts -- her ability
to understand and create what seemed like magic. Borne of her research
into her 'curse seal', the kunoichi was surprisingly adept in tracing
the flows of magic that both ninja found tied to themselves.

"*So all the flows go back to this shop?,*" Rui asked her.

Anko smirked at her. "*Absolutely. Are you sure a pretty-girl like you
is up to the task?*"

Rui held her right palm in front of her chest, and brought forth her
inner flame that was integral to a Hokage Flame Master.

"*Cool,*" Anko said, as she kicked in the door to the shop and drew a
short, simple kunai dagger.

"I'm afraid that we're closed at the moment," Ethan said, coming to the
front of the shop. "But, if you're willing to come back tomorrow, I'm
sure I could sort something out."

"You make jutsu?," Anko asked, in broken English.

"If by that, you mean magic, then yes," Ethan beamed. "One of my better
creations, don't you think?"

"*He's the culprit?,*" Rui asked.

Anko nodded.

Rui kicked the man onto his back, putting a foot on his chest. As he
began to struggle, the fire wreathing Rui's right hand slowly descended
until it hovered over his face.

"Release, now," Anko said. "How?!"

"Break... the statue," Ethan said. One of his private rules to live by
was not to piss off powerful women -- they tended to be far more vicious
than powerful men.

"Where?!"

The Brit pointed towards the curtain at the back of the shop.



Guts' breathing was heavy. This was the first time he'd come across
demons with blue or green blood -- every Apostle of the Godhand he'd
come across had had red blood. What was different?

He began to run, Dragonslayer held in both hands, after the three foot
tall demons that had run initially. Mid-step, a flood of power lying
over Sunnydale was lifted.

His physique returned to that of Alexander Harris, as his left arm grew
back, and all the scars and nicks were smoothed over. Xander panted as
the leather and metal armour was returned to plastic and cloth, the huge
blade to lesser materials.

The memories remained, though.

Memories of being raised in a mercenary camp. Being trained with the
sword. Fighting as a mercenary, fighting as the raider leader for the
Band of the Hawk, and later searching for a dream.

Fighting for sheer survival at the Ceremony of the Coming Lord, where
the Band had been betrayed by Griffith, the leader, in exchange for
power. Where his friends and companions had been slaughtered like cattle
by demons for food and toys, where Caska had been broken.

Struggling for his very life afterwards. Struggling against all the
demons who saw the Brand of Sacrifice and tried to take /him/ as food.

Xander's hand rose, shakily, to the only remaining physical sign of
Guts' involuntary possession of him, where a brand lay on the back right
of his neck. With the proximity of the Hellmouth, it bled faintly,
constantly. And it was an even bigger demon-magnet than his good old
Harris bad luck curse.

He began to laugh. "That's great. Just ducky, as the G would say. God! I
am soooo dead. I'm even more deader than if I'd stolen Buff's makeup for
the day."

"So that's it then. Is it? The game has changed so now you're done?," a
voice asked him.

He whirled to see a tall, almost seven foot man with black hair and
Nordic blue eyes in a black three piece suit. "Hell no, I'm not rolling
over and dying."

"Glad to hear it," the man said. "My name is Formynder."

"Xander, Xander Harris," he returned, still dazed and depressed. "I wish
I knew what was going to happen."

"I don't know everything," Formynder said. "But I do know some things."

"Like?"

"I'm cutting a deal with the Godhand -- you're not going directly into
their grubby paws when you die, if negotiations proceed as I expect."

"There's a bright spot in this crapfest."

"In future, possibly, if you improve enough, I'd be willing to help you
in... shall we say, certain matters?"

"Certain matters?," Xander asked. "Certain apocalypse type matters?"

The End

You have reached the end of "Preknowledge". This story is complete.

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