Disclaimer: Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
, its characters, puppies, jazz solos, and other accoutrement are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and 20th Century Fox. Evil Dead
, Army of Darkness
, its characters, Book of the Dead, evil monsters, boomsticks, clattos, veratas, and neckties are the property of Sam Raimi and his kin. Don't mess with them, baby.Not-the-Author's Note:
I did not write this. My brother wrote this. He refuses to get an account of his own, and he laughs at me, because all the reviews that get emailed to me are for his fanfics and not for mine. I think he's very lucky that I post these things for him. You should tell him so. Just saying.Buy Hard
Xander marveled at the sight before him. Aisle after aisle of the worlds greatest treasures lay available to him for surprisingly reasonable prices. Xander smiled as he realized the extent of the utopia at his fingertips. All his wants and desires would be fulfilled. He felt close to Nirvana. He was at... the S-Mart Superstore (Open 24 hours).
//I know that these huge monolithic corporations crush small businesses and destroy American culture, but as long as I can buy snack cakes in bulk number for wholesale prices at 3 AM, I don't care.//
Xander pushed his cart down the snack aisle grabbing boxes.
//Ding Dongs.... Ho-Ho's.... Must not forget the Twinkies. The gold standard of snack cakes, literally.//
Xander had been driving all night through Utah, when he had to pull over for gas. Across the street from the gas station was the S-Mart Superstore, and Xander realized he needed to stock up on supplies.
In the half hour he had been shopping, Xander had already stocked up on toiletries, energy and sports drinks, grabbed some extra t-shirts, underwear, and socks, and picked up a couple Star Wars novels. He was just finishing up his snack food run, when he saw a banner announcing a sale on CD's.
//Might as well stock up. I need to replace all my Johnny Cash CD's since they were lost when Sunnydale disappeared.//
Xander looked around the section of the store. It was mostly empty this time of night. Xander had seen three other shoppers so far, and maybe half a dozen store employees. Xander wandered around until he spotted a stockboy and walked up to him.
“Excuse me. Could you tell me where the CD's are?”
The stockboy looked up. “Um... sorry, this is my first day. Hold on, let me check. Mr. Williams? Which way to the CD's?”
Xander turned and saw the manager walk up. He glanced down at the name tag that read 'Ashley Williams'.
“I told you already, none of this mister crap. Call me Ash.” the manager said.
“Sorry, sir. This customer is looking for the CD's.”
“Electronics. Go straight down the way, past housewares and automotive. It'll be on the left hand side.”
Xander noticed the hand the manager was pointing with.
//Is that a metal glove? No. It's a prosthetic. Looks like it was made by a blacksmith.//
Xander looked up and saw the manager was now staring at his eye patch. The manager caught his eye, then looked away.
The two men stood a few feet from each other.
Finally Xander muttered. “If you don't ask, I won't.”
“Deal.” Ash responded.
Xander pushed his cart down to the electronics section.
//Let's see. Oh, DVD's. Let's see, classic comedies... My Three Sons, Pleasantville, Andy Griffith Show. What else do they have? Pretty big Sci-Fi section. Got Star Trek, all flavors. New and old Battlestar Galactica. Galaxy Quest, original and the Journey Continues.//
“Hey! Let me go!”
Xander's head popped up as he heard the yelling. He saw the commotion a couple of sections back down the aisle.
//What the hell's going on?//
Xander saw two large men pushing and shoving an older couple towards the front of the store.
//Is this a robbery?//
Xander gaped as an eight foot demon walked up to the group.
//This is not a robbery.//
“Have you found the Keeper of the Book yet?” the demon asked.
“Not yet. We're still rounding people up. When can we feed?”
“Not until I have the Necronomicon in my hands.”
//Great. Vampire henchmen. And I think they're going to be heading this way.//
Xander ducked down and ran to the back of the store.
//Okay. Left all my stakes, holy water, and crosses in the car. They've probably got the doors covered. So I have to improvise something in the store. Let's see... camping section right here. Lighter fluid and matches. That'll do.//
Xander grabbed the bottle of lighter fluid and book of matches and crept down the aisle.
//Wish I had my stakes with me. I'll have to rig something up. Maybe get a broom and break it into three. Or a mop. Any....//
Xander slowed then looked down. Right in front of him were wooden tent stakes for camping.
//Or I could just use these.//
Melvin stalked down towards the automotive section.
He had only been a vampire for a few years, but this was the best gig he had found. His sire tried to make him a lackey when he was first turned. But then his sire tried a power grab in the gang and got himself killed.
Melvin looked around for a gang to join. All the vampire gangs only wanted him as a lackey. And the only reason they needed lackeys, is because the boss would kill a couple of lackeys every week when he got angry.
The demon organizations would let him join, but the only way to advance would be to kill a member above him. Assuming he wouldn't get killed during the attempt, he would then have to worry about people below him trying to kill him.
But working for his current boss was the best offer so far. His boss only wanted some rare books Melvin didn't care about. And Melvin got to eat the people they stole from. So everybody wins. He had his eye on the ten year old kid they grabbed with her mother. Melvin called dibs on her, but wanted to get back before anyone else fed on her.
Melvin looked up and down the aisles for customers and employees.
//I'm in my stalking mode now. I am the hunter and I know my prey is out there. It can run, and it can hide. But I will find my victim. And there will be no mercy. There will be no- //
Melvin slipped on some liquid on the floor and fell on his back.
//What the hell? What did I slip in?//
He dipped his fingers in the liquid and smelled them.
//Is this lighter fluid? Why would there be lighter fluid on the floor? There's a big pool right here, and a trail of it going down the... is that a flame?//
Melvin's thought was cut short as Xander dropped a lit match at his end of the lighter fluid. The flame quickly ignited the trail and set Melvin aflame.
Xander walked up with a fire extinguisher in his hand. He calmly watched as Melvin burned, then dissolved into ash. Xander walked up and quickly put out the fire.
//All right. One vampire down.... An unknown number left... who probably heard that one screaming... plus that other demon I don't know how to kill. So, I'm still pretty screwed, but slightly less screwed now. But as long as I keep calm and stay aware there's no way they can sneak up on -//
“Hey, Bloodbag. Where's Melvin?”
Xander turned and saw a vampire standing behind him.
“Is he in the can again? Shit, I told him to go before we left.”
“Yeah. He told me to wait here... or he'd rip my throat open... it was really scary.” Xander muttered, fumbling for the stake tucked in the back of waistband.
“Well he better get back soon. That kid we grabbed is looking pretty tasty.” The vampire looked down at the ashy ground where Melvin had died moments before. “Huh. Need a clean up.”
The vampire looked back up at Xander. “And you better just, um, stay here until he gets back... Or I'll..”
“Rip my throat out?”
“Yeah... cuz we're... Seriously, how can he call dibs when he didn't even gab the kid? Which bathroom did he go to?”
Xander pointed down the aisle. The vampire leaned to look down the aisle. He stiffened as Xander slammed the stake into his back. Xander smiled as the vampire crumbled into dust.
//This may be easier than I thought.//
Two booms echoed through the store.
//Aw, crap. They've got guns.//
A half hour later, Xander had dusted three more vamps as he worked his way to the front of the store. He saw the group of hostages rounded up, being guarded by eight vampires and Damon.
“WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYONE?” the demon bellowed. “Tobias, how many are missing?”
The vampire named Tobias stepped forward. “Fifteen, master.”
Xander listened intently. //Fifteen? I've only taken out five.//
“Enough of this. The Keeper has not shown himself yet. You six go down to where the gun shots came from. Kill anything you find there. You two. Start killing the prisoners. Maybe their screams will bring him out.” the demon ordered.
//There goes the 'slowly take them out one at a time strategy'.//
Xander looked down at his weapons. He still had the lighter fluid and matches. Four stakes. An improvised torch, using a broken broom handle with a towel wrapped around it, soaked in kerosene. Several number 2 pencils. And a water bottle. Xander watched as eight of the vampires ran the other way down the store. He took a deep breath, then sprung into action.
Simon grinned as he grabbed the young girl and pulled her head back.
“I've been waiting for this all night.”
Simon lowered his fangs slowly, savoring the moment.
“Thank god I found you! That maniac is killing them!”
Simon looked up at the new arrival. The man was waving his arms and shouting.
“It's the Keeper. He killed Melvin and ... the other guy. He's coming this way. I barley got away. He's right behind me.”
Simon and Davis dropped the prisoners and ran in the direction the newcomer pointed. “Yeah well he picked the wrong guy to... Wait. Who are you?”
Simon turned back to the newcomer just as a lit torch flew through the air and hit Davis in the chest. Davis went up in flame, screaming. The screams cut out as Davis crumbled to dust.
Simon turned back to the new comer. “You're out of fire, one-eye.”
“Okay, try some holy water then.”
The one eyed man threw the open water bottle at Simon. The water splashed Simon's chest and face. Simon screamed, as he held up his wet hands and saw... they were unharmed.
“Hey that wasn't -”
His observation was cut off as man slammed a stake into his heart.
Xander watched as the dust floated to the ground. He looked up at the prisoners watching him.
“Everyone get out! Now! Before -”
The sole demon remaining grabbed Xander by the throat and held him a foot off the ground.
“So the Keeper reveals himself at last. You will find my much harder to dispose of than my minions.”
“Yeah, that's the way it tends to go.” Xander whispered as he struggled for air.
“You have bravery and cunning in you mortal. But you will not escape your fate. You will die tonight. But if you hand the Necronomicon over to me, it will be a quick death. Now tell me where the book is.”
Xander pounded at the hand crushing his throat. After a few seconds, the demon dropped him to the ground.
“Okay, okay. You want the book. I've got it just right over HERE!”
Xander stabbed the handful of pencils into the demons neck. Or at least he tried to. The pencils shattered against the demon's thick hide.
Xander looked down at the broken pencils, then up to the demon. “Huh. So you wouldn't want to tell me any strategic weak spots you have, would you? You know, to give me a sporting chance. Honorable fight and all that? No? Okay.”
The demon roared and smashed his fist to Xander's side, knocking Xander across the floor.
“WHERE IS THE BOOK?”
Xander scuttled back in retreat. “Look, I'd love to help you, but I don't know what book you're talking about. I just came in for a snack run.”
“You take me for a fool! Only the Keeper would dare oppose me! Anyone else would be an imbecile to throw their lives away by angering me!”
“Now you're just calling me names.” Xander answered. “Besides, you were going to kill everyone no matter what. So I'm just defending myself here. I don't see why you have to get all huffy over it.”
“You waste my time with your babbling. Any delay in finding the Necronomicon cannot be tolerated. I will make your death slow and painful for it.”
“Wouldn't that just delay you even more? Tell you what, you go get this book you're looking for. Then if you still want to kill me we can meet back here tomorrow. Sound good?” Xander asked hopefully.
The demon did not reply, instead it let out a roar and leaped at Xander. As it descended on him, a gunshot rang out. The strike hit the demon in the side, knocking it away from Xander. Xander looked up and saw the one of the employees standing before him, a shotgun in one hand, and a chainsaw in, no instead of the other hand.
“You picked the wrong all night superstore to attack, princess.”
“The Keeper finally shows himself.” the demon sneered.
“I had some riff raff to take care of first. We have a very strict 'No soul, no service' policy here.” the man answered.
//So that's what happened to the rest of the vamps.//
The demon rose to its full height. “Sad to see the fate of humanity rests in the hands of a stockboy. Once I have the book, I will tear the flesh from your bones, mortal. ”
“Get in line, cupcake. And I'm not a stockboy. The name's Ash.” Ash pumped the shotgun, ejected the empty cartridge and loading the next round. “Assistant Night Manager.”
“Then let the Endgame begin.” the demon challenged.
“Come get some.” Ash answered.
Given chainsaw waving around and shotgun rounds fired rapidly, not to mention the swinging claws of the demon, Xander decided that the better part of valor was to avoid the pitched fight before him and direct the former prisoners to safety.
Xander crept back to the fight, staying low to the ground. After ten minutes, an inhuman scream sounded out, and a heavy thud resounded through the store. Xander heard a chainsaw rev up and then muffled sounds as the chainsaw bit into flesh.
Xander cautiously walked up to the front and saw Ash dismembering the demon's body.
“So....” Xander started. “Guess you got this covered....”
Ash looked up, dark blood splattered against his face. “Any others out there?”
“Nope. I took out the vampires down that end of the store. I assume you took out the ones on the other end. When I got up to the front, I took out the last vamps. Then you showed up and took out tall, red, and ugly here. So does the chopping it into little bits keep it from rising up or something?”
“No, I'm just really pissed off at it. This is the third time this store has been attacked. It's really starting to bug me.” Ash said.
“Bummer.” Xander said. “So, they said something about a Necronominicon or something. And a Keeper of the Book. What's that about?”
Ash sighed. “I spent the weekend at this haunted cabin, and had this whole drama deal go on. At the end, I survived, but I'm stuck with this unholy tome that evil overlords are always after. It kinda sucks.”
“Sounds harsh. Too bad you can't get rid of it.”
“Tell me about it. I'd toss it in the trash, but some undead jackoff would probably stumble across it.”
Xander nodded, deep in thought. “Say. I work for this group, the Reformed Watcher's Council. You heard of them?”
“You the guys that observe the immortals?”
“No. That's another group. We're with the Slayers.”
“Hadn't heard of them.” Ash answered.
“Well, occasionally we come across some cursed artifact or spell book of evil. Basically bad stuff we have to get rid off. The head man Giles has a service set up. He could probably get rid of that book for you.” Xander explained.
“Yeah, right.” Ash scoffed. “Even if you throw it in the ocean or bury it underground, it'll come back. It's got a whole One Ring vibe going on it.”
“Then we can due the whole Mt. Doom thing on it. Throw it into a live volcano.”
Ash looked up, intrigued. “You can do that?”
Xander shrugged. “Let me call Giles and see what we can work out.”
Xander quickly got Giles on the line.
“Hey, Giles.... No I'm not in Colorado yet. I had a stopover in Utah. Look have you heard of a book called the Necronomicon?”
Xander held the phone away from his ear, as Giles's voice screamed out.
“Okay, Giles. Chill. Look, I take it it's bad news... Yeah, can we arrange a disposal of it? The guy who has it right now is really tired of guarding it...” Xander turned to Ash. “Sorry, he's in his Librarian rare book squee mode right now.”
Xander turned back to the phone. “Okay, I'll let you two figure out the details of the handoff.”
Xander handed his phone to Ash. “I'm going to get my cart. I still need to get my supplies.”
Xander pulled his cart up to the front. Ash looked up and handed his phone back.
“So you took out some of the vampires? How'd you handle them?”
Xander smiled. “Well, I left all my weapons in my truck. So I had to improvise. Grabbed some stuff on the shelves and took them out one by one.”
Ash looked up. “What'd you grab?”
“Some lighter fluid, book of matches. A set of tent stakes. A wooden broom. A hand towel. And a box of pencils.”
Ash smiled. “And you took out vampires with those? Nice. Just bring your stuff over to the checkout and I'll ring it up and the supplies you used.”
Xander nodded. “Great. I really needed these snacks. And.... Are you charging me for the stuff I used on the vampires?”
Ash looked up. “Well you did use them.”
“To kill vampires!” Xander protested.
“But you still used them. Look, if you ate an apple before the fight, I'd have to charge you for that.” Ash explained.
“But, we didn't charge you for setting up the disposal of the book.”
“You do that for any evil artifact you find. The stuff you took was for sale. It didn't say free vampire killing supplies.”
Xander stared at Ash. “Whatever. Just ring it up. It's on the Council credit card anyway.”
Ash rung up the sale and bagged it for Xander.
“Hey, no hard feelings right?” Ash asked Xander.
“Right. By the way, Ashley is a girl's name.”
Ash watched as Xander loaded his truck up.
//Sorry, man. But I have a store to run. Nice of him to arrange for the disposal though. I guess when you come down to it, we all.... is he stealing the cart?//
Ash ran outside as Xander jammed the cart in the back of his truck, jumped in and took off.
Xander sped away with a smile on his face.
//Show him for charging me to save his customers' and employees' lives. Now onto my next stop. Colorado Springs. Get to check out the possible Slayer there. Cassandra Fraiser.//