Disclaimer: None of the characters used in this story belong to me, but are rather copyright their respective owners, except where they may be public domain. No infringement and definitely no profit are intended.
Author's Note: While I tried to include a lot of little vignettes in the "World War Tour" section of the story Shards, showing what was going on with the worldwide invasion of Cybermen, it started getting to the point where I felt any more would impede the flow of the story. However, some of the other stories still want to be told, so this will be the first of a series of 'outtakes' stories containing bits and pieces I decided not to include in longer ones. Yes, one could argue that some of the chapters that made it into Shards really belong here, but Angel, Connor, and Hellboy didn't seem extraneous at the time.
I'll start with the most serious omission on the "What's happening with the Scoobies" list.
Just outside Khartoum, the Sudan:
They were exhausted, and would have liked nothing better than to find cheap accommodations in the city before pressing on the next day. They needed to put some distance between themselves and certain parties in Egypt before attempting to get Farisa a flight out to England and training at ICWS headquarters. Not that she needed much training in anything having to do with weapons or ancient Egyptian demonology; her own people, the Medji, had taken care of that well enough.
Robin in particular could use some rest and recuperation, after his ordeal at the Alraune excavation the other night and the bloody battle that ensued. He'd practically been raving the whole time, something about vengeance by moonlight and being a conscious fist, or something like that, although Xander had to admit the former principal had kicked some righteous mercenary ass even while sounding like a loon. The cloak Robin had made of cloth from the ancient temple served to obscure his outline and keep their foes from getting a clear shot while he put them down one by one.
It was a little unnerving, but then Farisa claimed that applied to Xander just as well. He'd been in on the fun that night as well, stalking human prey with bare hands, freaking them out all the while with an echoing, cackling laugh from the shadows. T'Challa had been right about the spirit of Hiti, the Purifier, still being with him, at least on nights with a hunter's moon.
But now it was daylight, and the ghosts that had been appearing regularly in urban areas were back for a second time that day, and then they materialized into metal men whose amplified spiel sounded like the Borg from Star Trek. Small arms fire crackled from the locals, but Xander saw that it just spanged off the cyborgs' armor to no effect. It was time to let another aspect of himself out to play.
He went around to the back side of the Range Rover and started digging through duffel bags to reach the hidden compartment. "You see, Robin? I told
you it was worth the risk liberating this stuff from the mercs, then sneaking it across the border." He calmly and efficiently liberated the first metal tube from its hiding place, snapped it out to full extension, and found the range to the nearest group of metal men.
"Never underestimate the value of knowing where to steal a good rocket launcher."