See Prologue for all disclaimers and Summary
"There's a problem," stated Maddy as she barged into Jack's office.
Jack didn't bother questioning. He immediately put the agent he was speaking to on hold. He had no doubt this was about the Harris situation. Despite Alexander's willingness to listen, he still hadn't gotten any closer to the kid. Two weeks had gone by and they'd exchanged maybe three emails. "The N.I.D haven't found him yet," asked Jack.
"No. Worse. Your boy has been looking for magic workers," explained Maddy.
"Why?" asked Jack confused. Seeing as how magic was the cause of all the problems you'd think the kid would avoid it at all cost.
"From what I can tell he wants to bring the memories out fully," said Maddy settling into the chair across from her boss.
"Why would he do that," exclaimed Jack. "That's what started this shit storm!"
"Survival. You and I both know the N.I.D aren't going to give up," Maddy said with a shrug. "If Harris is anything he's a survivor. He probably figures his best bet is to have access to everything Bourne was. And honestly what better way to ensure his survival than being Jason Bourne."
Jack sighed feeling the beginnings of a headache. This really wasn't his area of expertise. But with Maddy and hopefully Harris' input it wouldn't be long before it was. "Where's the problem?"
"The shaman he's hooked up with. The man's bad news. Word is he's contracted with Wolfram and Hart."
"And this is bad," asked Jack puzzled. He wasn't to fond of the law firm himself but.... "No," he muttered shaking his head. "Don't tell me they're..."
"Worse than the N.I.D," Maddy said cutting him off. "More than likely the shaman's compromised. Which mean's we probably don't want him mucking around in Alexander's head."
"Great. Just great," groaned Jack, fingers drumming on the desk. "So, suggestions. Input. Something."
Maddy rolled her eyes as if she did anything without a plan. And several back ups. She held out a folder. Jack snagged it and began flipping through the contents. "This is a list of the more reputable magic users. Anyone of them would be qualified to do the necessary spells."
"Good. This is good. It might just give me the in I've been looking for," murmured Jack as he studied the files.
Before Maddy could answer the mild beeping picked up in intensity. Jack glared at the phone but picked up the handset. Maddy slipped quietly from the room.
Xander was nervous. As much as he wanted to just trust JR Bourne's instincts were screaming at him. Xander firmly squashed them. It wasn't like he'd done such a great job picking out a shaman anyway. Besides if this one turned out to be dirty as well.... Well, he could just join the last one in hell. Xander glanced around the back room, gaze narrowing as he studied the spell components the shaman had laid out. Thoughts flashing back to the last IM from JR. Where ever the man was getting his Intel it was damn good. He hadn't been willing to just toss his choice on JR's say so, but the man had been straight with him for the most part. So he'd taken his warning into consideration and studied the memory spells that were usually used in this type of ritual. And the blood runes the shaman had covertly sketched were definitely not included in any of the rituals or spells he'd researched. Score another point for JR.
"Ya, know. I think I've changed my mind," Xander said hands falling to his side as he took a step back. Glad the shaman was on the other side of the room.
The shaman straightened and Xander let his hand move to the blade at the small of his back. "Is there a problem, Mr. Harris?"
Xander shook his head. "None. Just decided this maybe wasn't the most brilliant of ideas. I'm sorry for wasting your time, and since it's no fault of your's you can keep the advance."
"I thought that's what this was about Mr. Harris. Changing your mind," queried the shaman advancing on him until he was half way across the room.
Xander really wished it wasn't heading the way he knew it was heading. He really didn't want to have to kill again. Though some tiny part of him -the part he swore was influenced by Bourne- was slowly losing that shocked horror his first kill had brought. A even smaller part of him worried that soon it wouldn't bother him at all. His hand tightened around the knife hilt. He tried one last time to get out without any bloodshed. "Yeah, well. I've decided I like being of two minds about things. And I'll take my leave," finished Xander backing toward the door.
The shaman's eyes began darken and the pupil's vanished. Xander didn't hesitate as the shaman's mouth opened with one fluid move he withdrawn and flung his blade. He grimaced as the shaman collapsed choking on his own blood. Moving quickly across the room, carefully skirting the blood runes, Xander crouched down beside the shaman and finished the job. Slitting the man's throat with ruthless efficiency he wiped his knife clean and then searched the dead man. He made sure nothing of his had been acquired or left behind. He had no wish to be the subject of anymore long distance spells. As he moved the body a faint glimmer caught his eye and he shifted aside the man's robes. There on the upper curve of his shoulder was a intricate tattoo of a wolf, ram, and deer. Strange. He made a mental note to look it up later as he stood. With one last glance to be sure nothing of his presence remained he slipped out the door and into the night.
"You look nervous Mr. Harris," said the slender woman entering the room.
Xander paled. He couldn't help it. Women and mojo and him definitely did not mix. "Uh, please don't eat, hurt, or otherwise mutilate me," he said without thinking.
Shamaness Sing laughed softly. "And why would I harm such an adorable child?"
Xander snorted. "Don't mind me. Gut reaction. I'm a mojo yo-yo. And I haven't been having much luck with it."
Shamaness Sing titled her head. "Yes, your aura does appear rather plagued with magicks. It's a wonder they haven't tainted your core. But rest assured I can clear all of that up."
"Uh, that's not exactly what I'm here for," said Xander fighting the urge to fidget. As cool as Bourne was, as smart as he was his relationships hadn't gone anymore smoothly than Xander's. Granted he had gotten laid a lot more. "I actually want a certain set of memories made clear. Or brought to the surface."
Shamaness Sing circled the young man slowly. She could sense not one but two different presences on the young man. One the fading remnants of a primal possession. She quirked an eyebrow at that. Matriarch. Well, the boy had a strong will. Not really a surprise. The second presence was human. She reached out a finger.
Xander forced himself to hold still as what felt like static shock shot up his arm.
"This is not a real human soul," murmured Sing. She contemplated for a long moment. Yes, she would do this. There was no soul to overwhelm the child. From what she could tell he had a strong enough will to deal with the influx of memories and skills setting the spell in his mind would bring. "It will not be difficult. What do you wish done with the primal?"
"Primal," Xander sputtered. "Oh, no. She's long gone."
"Yes. But there are remnants. Not much. I can either flush it from your aura," explained Sing. "Or integrate it."
Xander was shaking his head. He had no wish to let the hyena have any further stake in his body. "She almost took over last time. Get rid of her."
"You misunderstand, Mr. Harris. The primal is gone. There are just bits of the possession left behind," Sing hurried to reassure him. "Integrating would do nothing more than give you slightly better eyesight, maybe a bit of faster healing. Not vampire or slayer level. But a smidge above human."
Xander frowned, thinking. If what she was saying was true it would be to his advantage to accept. "You promise I won't get green funky eyes. Or suddenly develop a craving for raw pork?"
"My word to the Goddess, Mr. Harris."
Xander could see the amusement lurking at the corners of her mouth as she tried not to laugh again. "Okay."
"This way if you would, Mr. Harris.”