GET THEE BEHIND ME, BUFFY
Previously: A Special Torture
Themesong: Magical Mystery Tour by the Beatles
Buffy huh? Cool. Let’s do this. Age is set by origin huh? Interesting. Okay, where’s slayer. Gotta be a slayer… wait, where the heck is slayer? Not under origins… mmmm… grrr… it’s got to be here somewhere. Can’t let Faith and Buffy have all the fun… wait, if I save Kendra does that stop Faith showing up?… no. Wait… Can do both. Just have to be near Kendra when she dies. Temporary death is enough… getting ahead of myself… mmmm Spike’s chest… snap out of it me… right… ah, it’s a perk. Discounted for Spare Key? Well, since I want to be Slayer and a Sorceror… and I don’t want to be a WR&H lawyer or a Thricewise Demon… no… I don’t want to be a demon… tentacle demon… no… naughty SJ. So Spare Key it is… roll dem… ew, the die is squishy and squirmy.
Fifteen, excellent. Lovely… I can do that… again. For the third time… Right. I’m the backup plan. This body has been created for me out of an extra special energy source. I am one of the few things stopping a god of hell from blending all possible realities and unleashing suffering across dimensions. The Mentally Ill will recognize me on sight as something unworldly. Soon there will be a Second Key (Dawn, the primary) so Glorificus might not come for my head. Proximity to the slayer should keep me safe, and so I’ll be inserted into the family of one of the Scoobies as a sibling. Memories of my family will be modified to think I’ve been there all my life. They’ll be used to my personality, but won’t be aware of my special powers. I still have no better idea of who anyone in town is if they weren’t featured in the show.
‘High Stakes Fighter’ is free for Slayers. Which is soo meh. “You have at least a theoretical knowledge of jujutsu and aikido, but when it comes to combat you have a general aptitude for punching people in the face with a style all your own.” Joy. At least that reflects the local fighting level in general. Could get a discount on Just Plain Snarky, but I’m pretty snarky already, no need for an augment there.
Let’s snag Slayer [700/1000] and Sorcery Savant [100/1000]…. Well that was fast. Blah. Slayer, Bane to all vampires. The slayer is called by destiny to fight creatures of the night and possesses strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and intuition to handle common vampires easily. They are truly dangerous to fight. Prophetic dreams will occasionally alert me to upcoming events. Sure, I’m already most of those, but the boosts are nice and the intuition for supernatural enemies should be good. Also, Watchers have some nice books if I can get my hands on them. Sorcery Savant means I have a general aptitude for learning spells and possess a far greater natural ability to perform magic. Well duh, I went to Hogwarts. Anyway, the spells I perform will be on the same level or possibly above that of the greatest witches on Earth once I gain more experience. Or rather, even more experience.
Oh… Fliiiiight… want… want flight. “The ability to fly is now yours. No wings or anything, it’s a purely magical ability. You can go kinda fast using this… it peaks at around 70 mph (112 km/h). The wind at this speed won’t bother you either, just avoid flying into things.” But it’s 500. Crap. even without gear, I need 400 more. That means drawbacks. Let’s see the 300s… “Soulless?” Yahg. No. Tabula Rasa… noo amnesia baaad. “Penalty Box”… do I feel like being tortured for ten years just to get some powers? Naw. Zane would rescue me… but fuck it. No way. “The Perfect Heart?” Those Goons from the silent episode attack every so often and kill people… wanting to end with me. No thanks.
200s? “The Body?” Yeah, one friend dies every year… like the show. No thanks. “Bugger, I thought you’d gone”? Villainous Monologues weren’t my schtick when I was one. Don’t need the headache. “The Sunnydale Effect”? I keep forgetting that danger exists at night and that some people have magical powers… Riiiight. Sure, why not. I’m a Slayer. That’s 300… “The End of Magic”? Oh… crap. A fail state unless I guarantee that the End of Magic gets reversed? And I can’t just stop it from happening? Eh… I like challenges. Fine. That’s 500.
Zane watches me bounce around the warehouse giggling and singing “I can fly, I can fly, I can fly!” I pause long enough to tell him that companions import free as high school students, so anyone who wants to come with can. Also, apparently I get an unbreakable paduak stake. So yay? I have approximately 8 years to plan for the end of magic and to do something about it.
I can do that. Not like my existence is on the line.
I hit the ground running as the saying goes. I’ve got just under 8 years on the clock and that clock is ticking. Failure means an end to the adventure and I’m not up for that. Not yet. Too much left undone. Too many places left unseen. No. Failure is not an option.
I’ve got a plan. Sure, I could let things play out as they did. Lots and lots of people died, but the Seed of Magic, the very thing that makes magic work in the word, does get restored after it gets shattered. And the drawback said it would definitely get shattered. And that I’d have to restore it or I’d fade away. Well, I’ve got (as I said) a plan. And a giant warehouse. So my plan is to stockpile absolutely every magical object I can find… or that my companions can find. They haven’t been imported into this world. They’re not tied to the plot. They can travel, explore, beg, borrow, or steal the magic we need. But that’s the easy task. I’ve got the hard one… high school.
The first thing I have to accept, galling as it may be, is that people are going to die. This is Joss Whedon, people you care about will die. Angel will become Angelus. The Mayor will turn into a demon. Bad things are gonna happen. They kinda have to to make everyone strong enough for what’s coming. But not everything has to play out exactly as it did.
Of course, the first thing that doesn’t play out as I expected was I was assuming I’d be a Summers. Jet Summers maybe, or Jenny… but no… I’m a Rosenberg, because apparently, being Jewish means you get incarnated into the Jewish Family. SJR, Sylvia Jane Rosenberg. Woo. I’m Willow’s twin, apparently, which is okay, but means seducing her would be kinda… weird. I mean, once we’re old enough to date and everything. But maybe this is a good thing. I can stop Anya from… no… shouldn’t interfere. Strong Allies to fight Glory. Grrr… Don’t get me wrong. I totally wanted to see just how much I could fubar a setting with metagaming… but with Glory gunning for my (or Dawn’s) essence and the End of Magic guaranteed even if I did take out both Buffy and Angel… it just wasn’t worth it. Maybe some other jump.
I won’t go too much into the details of the high school years. They were deeply frustrating on any number of levels. First, I had to not kill Drusilla… which I sooo wanted to. Also had to not kill Harmony… Or Cordelia… or… like… everyone. Could have. Thought about it. But something would just screw it all up.
Also, the Sunnydale Effect? Arrrgh! I cannot tell you how many times I forgot that magic was a thing other people could do. Still, during the day I was good. Dunno when Buffy slept, but it’s a damn good thing I’ve got a perfect memory because studying for high school would have been a pain. I got straight A’s because, quite frankly, it was easier than thinking about it. But what I was really studying was Giles’s library. As fast as I could in fact. And the local occult store’s stuff, and all the books I could track down.
Mostly for practice, I re-ensouled half a dozen vampires just to see if I could… then a few more to see if I could remove the happiness limitation. Turns out Gypsy Curses aren’t that hard to modify. Snatched up the Box of Gavrok once the mayor was done with it… still lots and lots of creepy bugs in it. Wasn’t planning on keeping it. Went into the collection.
When Halloween rolled around, I dressed as D’artagnan on the theory I might learn some fencing. Seems to have worked… also now my french sounds Bretton, not Parisienne and I seem to know way too much about the workings of the Sun Court of France, but hey… swashbuckling and musketry.
My first lifesaving trick was Jenny Calendar. Didn’t get there in time. Angelis lingered too long. My second was Kendra. Got there in time, just barely. Stupid Drusilla. Stuck Kendra in my med bay’s cryotube. Figured I’d thaw her eventually… kinda forgot about her to honest.
Seriously, what is up with this town? Why is it soo hard to remember that there are dangers…. Everywhere. I was constantly being surprised. Like the first time non-vampire demons showed up… I’d forgotten there were non-vampire demons. I mean… not forgot… just… you know… it slipped my mind. I was actually shocked to learn Oz was werewolf… or that there were witches at school… or that Willow had started practicing witchcraft. I mean… I knew she was going to… it just slipped my mind, you know?
Still, totally not surprised when the Buffy Bot showed up. Took me about three days to make my own. Not a buffy bot… but a maid bot. Shut up… the place needs a maid… and Vivian likes dancing apparently. I didn’t give the bot a personality. It was essentially a walking Romba, but I had used ME and TOS tech in building her and that meant the House VI could pretty easily use it as a remote body… or fifteen. Turns out Vivian liked it so much that she’d turned all the Warehouse bots into Butler Bots named Wooster. All 15 of them. Vivian’s silly like that.
I got to slap Xander, which was fun. Totally deserved it. Got to slap Cordelia too… soo much more deserved it. May have ridden the Wesley express… what can I say, he’s a hunk.
Time passes, as it does, and the enemies rose and fell, as they do. Dusting vampires was loads of fun. They’re not very tough, but if you play with them enough so they think they have a chance, it can be amusing. Saving the Scoobies from some of their idiocy, that was a challenge. Sparring with Buffy and, occasionally, Faith or Angel, was fun. Teaching the lot of them a few tricks was more fun. Neither of them ever realized I was a Slayer until the whole Glory fiasco. Got to do two things that were big on my list for the Buffyverse. I got to save Joyce. Really, the doctor in me had been screaming for a chance to prevent that aneurysm for… like fifty years now? So that was nice.
Nicer still was slapping Buffy and telling her to get over herself. Seriously? Whining that your friends loved you enough to raise you from the dead because Heaven was nice? Well, so fucking what? Act like a person and suck it up. I made myself scarce during the “Once More With Feeling Episode.” No one needed me to open up with the truth.
I did consider killing a few humans, but figured that would taint me in this word and I wasn’t willing to risk taking the chance. I seriously considered killing Warren Mears… but opted for the much safer plan of just saving Tara. By that time, Glory was gone and the only real threats left were The First, The End of Days, and the End of Magic. But I also kinda wanted to watch Willow flay Warren alive. So, with that in mind, I called up Osiris and made him a deal. Sure, it involved trading Warren’s soul to Osiris in exchange for him kind of lying to Willow, but eh. Probably better in Osiris’s keeping than wherever he actually ended up.
I layered all sorts of wards over Tara… after first making sure I had the process down by having Zane shoot me several times. I could take it. So Tara gets shot and dies, momentarily, at which point her system goes into stasis for 20 minutes or so while Willow yells at Osiris, then, while Willow’s off draining all the books I’d already memorized, I revive Tara and slot her into another cryotube. She might have looked at me funny when I told her she could come out in Season 9, but I wasn’t really listening. I had a show to catch.
I know it’s wrong to take pleasure in the torture of people, but Warren Mears deserved everything he got and more. Buffy and Xander were all “You’re her sister! Stop her!” And I was all, “Hell no! This is great! Have some popcorn.” Yes, I brought popcorn to a flaying… what else does one bring?
That said, the events of season 7 and 8 were not fun. Not in the slightest. An awful lot of the Slayer Legion died. And though I, finally, could go all out, there wasn’t any way to save enough of them. I did my best though. I slaughtered Turok-Han by the hundreds, but there were thousands of them and some of the Potentials died. But most lived. As the Hellmouth destabilized, I told everyone to run while I strengthened the road out of town. It was the biggest single working of Ice I’d ever made.
But that just made year 8 all the more frustrating. Angel, that fucktard, was running around killing the Potentials because some proto-reality named the Twilight was feeding him a line of bullshit. Finally, the Seed of Wonder, as was promised, was shattered. Wasn’t any way to stop it. Had to happen, right? Right.
But you know what’s really quite excellent at fixing shattered objects? Burstone Shards. And I’d spent 8 years waiting for that exact moment. I grabbed Willow’s hands and pulled her into my Mind Palace, freezing time in the outside world as the Seed’s bits began to fall. I said “You trust me, right?” She narrowed her eyes and said something snarky like, “Not with the ice cream.” But it wasn’t really the time for snark.
“Remember what you did with all the magic in the store when Warren killed Tara?” She grimaced, but nodded. “Well, we’re going to do that again… but we’re going to do it with 500 times as much stuff as was in the shop… and we’re going to focus it all through something that looks like this.” and I showed her an image of the Shard.
“What is it?” she asked.
“A Shard of the Unbroken Whole.” I responded.
“What does it do?”
“It saves us all.”
“Is that all?”
“It very well might explode.”
“I haven’t been able to test this. That’s the problem with something that can only be done once.”
“Why can it only be done once?”
“The Seed is the source of all this world’s magic. With it gone, the magic will fade. I have, I think, enough magical stuff to restore the Seed. But if it doesn’t work… there won’t be enough magic to try again.”
She gulped. “So what do I do?”
“You Drain… and then you pass the power to me.”
“I shape the whammy.”
“Thanks. I’ve been working on it since the day I arrived.”
“Is this what you’re the Key for?”
I cocked an eyebrow at her.
“Once I knew what Dawn was, I looked for more. Found you.”
“Didn’t say anything.”
“Why should I? You’re my sister. Plus, you totally punched Slutty Vampire me in the face.”
“Yeah, well… the evil me was creepier.”
“Yeah… the goth look doesn’t work for you.”
“We gonna do this?”
“Sure. Nice place you got here.”
“Thanks, I decorated it myself. Any questions?”
“Where were you keeping all this magical stuff? In your pokemon backpack?”
“Hahah… no… in my Pokemon Warehouse.”
“You have a Pokemon Warehouse and you never told me?”
“I have Pokemon and never told you. We make it through this, I’ll give you an intro. Also? I can totally fly.”
“I sooo hate you right now.”
“I have a broomstick too.”
“Love you sis.”
“Love you too. Oh. And if we succeed… I have a present for you.”
Well… we succeeded. Of course we did. The magic had barely had time to begin dissipating, the bits of the Seed were still falling when time resumed and Willow and my combined magic lashed across the chamber, freezing things in place both in ice and in time. I opened the floodgates to the Warehouse and the Woosters, as they’d been instructed to, had already arranged for the 10 foot tall balls of magical items to roll out of their chute into the chamber. Willow sucked them dry, the power flowing into her faster and faster as I focused on the Shard I’d had memorizing the Seed for 4 long years. It had taken me the first 4 just to locate the damned thing.
There was a sound very much like all the eggshells in the universe being squished all at once, and the Seed reformed… absorbing my Shard in the process. (I’d already made a replacement out of the ruins of Sunnydale… an entire destroyed city has a lot of Fragments). At which point I promptly shoved the damned thing into my Warehouse. Willow, drained, gaped at me.
“W… what did you do?”
“The seed had to be broken to sever the link with Twilight. That was the only way to save this world. But the Seed must remain outside the world for long enough to drive all the demons from this world. I’m afraid we won’t have much magic to draw on for the next week or so.”
In the end, it was more like 6 months. I’d bring Willow into the Warehouse to recharge from time to time and in the meanwhile we mowed down anything that wouldn’t play nice with humanity. I may have seduced Spike to console him about Buffy hooking up with Angel. He so didn’t deserve her and Spike was clearly the superior choice… once he got his soul back and starting atoning for what the Demon did. Almost invited him to come along… but didn’t want to take the chance with his passenger. Also? He’s still a vampire.
Anyway, long story, blah blah blah, finally put the stupid Seed back where hopefully it would be safe, under every ward Willow and I could think of… and then I pulled Tara out of Cryo and let the two of them have their reunion. It was… tense, and awkweird, but touching. Also not really my story. Left the two of them alone while I went and beat up… I mean… instructed some of the potentials in the finer art of Anything Goes Martial Arts. Spike’s a good sport, letting me use him as a punching bag.
In the end, me and my companions met on the beach at the end of ten years. I’d long since said my goodbyes to the Scoobies, and absolutely beat the crap out of Angel for being an idiot… really, I’m much much stronger and faster than him when he’s not pumped up by Twilight. As the world froze around me I sighed with relief.
“Didn’t enjoy yourself?” Zane asked.
“Fuck no. It was almost universally horrible from day one onward. Got a little better when Cordelia left, but… no. On the whole, I’d say that the Buffyverse might have had its moments as a show, but it’s pretty damned miserable world to have to live in. I used it for fighting practice and magical practice, and it ran me ragged. But I didn’t like it. I missed you guys and… really… if it hadn’t been for the whole season 6-8 arc, I’d have tried to tank this place on my own. And the initiative… oy. Terrible people. So wanted to kill them all. Killing Adam was probably my favorite bit… and when your favorite bit is offing a 2-bit Frankenstein’s Monster knock off…”
“I just remembered something” I said as the last of the Sunnydale Effect wore off.
“I still have Kendra in a cryotube.”
Next: World 14 – They ain’t Heavy, They’re my Brothers