Author: Kevin Matsumoto <matsumotk010[at]hawaii.rr.com>

Disclaimer: Everyone knows I don't own any of this right? good.

Permission to Archive anywhere, just remember to give me credit:)

This is and isn't a crossover. Certain concepts and attitudes were taken from a movie but the beings in this story aren't the same as the ones in that.

For the record the first part doesn't have much Xander in it but he does play a significant role in the later parts. And no, this isn't a Xander gets a power story. So relax. :)

You know, I really think I need a new muse. The one that I've got seems to have A.D.D. I got sidetracked by this while writing part 13 of Excerpts and part 5 of Truth will out.

Summary: Two strangers arrive in Sunnydale at the same time that the demons in town start freaking. Coincidence? In Sunnydale? Are you kidding?

Chapter 1

Somewhere Else

"This is not how it was meant to be." The voice of its master roused the being from its work.

"Father?" the being bowed low as it approached, "Does something trouble you?"

"The Gateway is in jeopardy." The being's master replied, "What should not have been, is. This cannot be borne."

"What must I do?"

"Send the Harbingers."

"All of them?" The being looked shocked.

"No, just two will do." The being's master turned to his servant, a grim look on his face. "They will know what to do."

"As you will, Father." The being bowed before racing off.

Sunnydale High School
January 13, 1998

Harmony Kendall gave a low whistle as she caught sight of two cars pulling into the Sunnydale High parking lot. "Take a look a that."

Cordelelia Chase, the Queen of Sunnydale High, turned to see what caught Harmony's eye. She managed to keep a bored look on her face as the two very expensive cars parked side by side less than ten feet from them. "Not bad, but tacky much. I mean red? Everyone knows that basic black is the way to go. And what's with the white car? It looks like they really messed the paint job up."

"Are you kidding?" Harmony turned to stare at Cordelia, "The red car's a Lambo... You know how much they cost? And the other car looks like a Rolls."

"Eh," Cordelia shrugged, "They're probably look a like knockoffs. And a knock off is still a knockoff no matter how expensive it is."

"Whoa," One of the other cordettes gasped, "Check him out."

Cordelia followed the other girl's gaze was duly impressed. A tastefully dressed young man in his late teens, stepped out of the car and looked around. Everything about him, from the Armani clothes to the Rolex watch, practically screamed 'money and power'.

"He's not bad either." Cordelia told her 'flock'. "At least he knows how to dress himself."

"Oh. My. God." Harmony gasped. "Freakshow alert!"

"Ok," Cordelia almost laughed, "For once you got it right. Harm."

Out of the other Lambo stepped a young black-haired girl dressed like an escapee from the 'Mad Max' movies. Black boots and black leather pants were only the beginning of her outfit. A black leather jacket didn't quite conceal the fact that her shirt barely cover her breasts, nevermind her midsection. What really caught their eye was the black sword tattoo on her right cheek that ran, point down, from her right eye to the just above her chin.

"What the?" Now even the normally unflappable Cordelia was nonplussed as the girl literally linked arms with the new guy and headed for the School.

Once inside the school, the girl's fashion sense almost caused Snyder to have a heart attack.

"You!" Snyder shouted at the new student. "Come with me right now!"

The two new students followed him to his office. Snyder as so smugly sure of his position that he didn't even notice the barely contained rage in the girl's eyes.

"Now," Snyder turned to glare at the young girl, but was distracted by the young man that followed them into the office. "Who are you?"

"Me?" The young man shrugged, "Nathan, Nathan Mortisson."

"Do you want something?" Snyder sneered, "or are you just looking for detention?"

"No," Nathan shook his head, "I'm just here to keep you alive."

"Wha..." Snyder's response was cut of as the girl yanked him off his feet and slammed him against the wall. Snyder saw a six inch needle thin blade appear in the girl's hand.

"Devora." Nathan placed his hand on her arm. "This one still serves a purpose."

"This monkey?" Devora growled, "He's replaceable."

"Not without more problems than killing him is worth." Nathan told her. "Let him go."

Devora didn't argue, she simply dropped Snyder to the ground.

Snyder scrambled away from Devora and climbed shakily to his feet. "You..."

"Don't say a word." Nathan stepped forward to look Snyder right in the eyes. "If you do, I'll let her finish you."

Snyder opened his mouth for a second, then the look in Nathan's eyes convinced him to hold his tongue.

"Good," Nathan nodded, "Remember this, you Troll. As far as I'm concerned the difference between you and a trained chimp is too small to measure. You interfere with us and nothing, no one, not even the Mayor can stop us from terminating your miserable toadying existence."

Snyder saw the evil smile on Devora's face and whimpered. As he sat down heavily in his chair, Nathan grinned. "Good we understand each other."

As they left the office, Nathan bumped into a slightly harried looking brown haired young man. "Sorry."

"No prob," The young man replied, "Hey you just get the treatment by Snyder?"

"Yeah," Nathan smiled, "We just got here. He tried to read us the riot act."

"Well, don't let Snyder scare you." The young man held out his hand, "The name's Xander."

"Nathan." Nathan took Xander's hand in his, "And this is my lady. Devora."

"Nice to meet you," Devora took Xander's hand in turn. "Xander... That wouldn't be short for Alexander, would it?"

"Yah, Xander Harris." Xander nodded, "But the only time I hear that name is when I'm in trouble."

"Xander it is, then." Devora smiled at him. "Devora Spartos. This big joker's full name is Nathan Mortisson."

"Well," Xander grinned, "I gotta go, like I said. Don't let Snyder get to you."

"We won't." Nathan nodded as Xander ran off.

"That kid takes his name too seriously." Devora shook her head.

"Tell me about it." Nathan growled, "He's the reason the Slayer's still alive."

"Well, this is a story I haven't heard before." Devora turned to follow Xander path down the hallway.

"Nothing really to tell." Nathan shrugged, "The Slayer was all set to die. Then Mr. 'Defender of Man' there dragged the wuss down into the Master's lair and saved her."

"You're kidding me." Devora turned to stare at him. "Well I'll be... He's got a pair on him."

"Tell me about it." Nathan grinned. "He could be a problem."


Sunnydale Memorial Cemetary
8:00 pm

"Run!" The trailing young man told his friends. "Keep running, they're gaining on us."

"You're one to talk," The girl in the lead shouted back, "You're the one in the back!"

"Oh fuck!" Another of the runners stumbled as someone stepped out of the shadows.

"Hi!" Buffy said as she stepped in front of the four vampires. "What's going on? Macy's having a midnight madness sale."

"It's just the Slayer." The Girl growled trying to intimidate the Slayer. "Break past her!"

"What?" Buffy watched in shock as the four vampires ignored her at ran past as fast as they could. "Hey, I was doing the witty banter thing here!"

As she chased after them, Buffy suddenly became away of the sounds of someone coming up behind her. Whirling around, she saw two figures in dark trench coats right behind her. Before she could react, both figures jumped over her head, clearing her by at least five feet. She spun around again to see them land in the middle of the four vamps. Each figure pulled a long sword out of their coats. The smaller figures glowed a dull red color, while the taller figure's sword gleamed palely in the moonlight.

"Wow." Buffy watched in shock as the two warriors made short work of the four vamps. "Hey you two!"

Both people turned to look at her. Buffy couldn't get a good look at their faces but the glowing silver eyes didn't make her feel good about them. Before she could do anything, the two figures broke and ran into the darkness faster than she could follow.


Sunnydale Library
9:30 pm

"I'm telling you Giles." Buffy paced the room, "Those two 'people' took out four vamps like they were nothing."

"Of course." She paused her pacing. "I think the swords they carried might have had something to do with that."

"So they were hunters right?" Xander asked, "I mean they looked human?"

"They looked Human," Buffy nodded, "But the way they moved, they were just... Well, they moved like I do."

"But... but you're human." Willow stammered out.

"She's also the Slayer." Giles reminded her. "She's the chosen one."

"Stronger, faster, better..." Xander sighed, "We've heard the whole six million dollar man speech before. Hey! Could that be it? Could they be... you know, magical versions of Steve Austin?"

"Good guess, kid." A voice from the doorway replied, "But wrong."

"Who?" Everyone turned to see seedy looking man bleeding in the library doorway.

"The name's..." The man winced as he took a step. "The name's Willy, I'm the owner of a club called Willy's alibi room."

"And?" Xander asked, "While your telling what that's supposed to mean to us, you might wanna tell how you wound up looking like you went ten rounds with Tyson."

"I'm getting to that." Willy barely managed to sit in a chair without falling over. "The bar serves the real nightlife in this town."

"You serve Vampires?" Buffy growled.

"And Demons." Willy admitted. When he noticed the angry look in Buffy's eyes, he held his hands up defensively. "Hey, it keeps some of them off the street. Besides, I used to sneak info to Angel before he went psycho."

Xander stopped Buffy, "Let's hear him our first, Buff."

"Thanks, kid." Willy said, "Look, some of the demons in town don't want trouble. I provide them a place where they can get what they need without anyone getting hurt and I make a few bucks at the same time. What's wrong with that?"

"On the surface of it," Giles replied, "it seems like a good arraignment. B...but you haven't told us what happened to you."

"I'm getting to that." Willy winced again, "A couple of hours ago, these two 'people' walked into the bar. They looked like vamps, you know? Dark leather coats, shit kicker boots? That kind of stuff."

"One taller than the other by about a foot or so?" Buffy asked. "I think the smaller one was a girl."

"That's them." Willy nodded, "So you met them?"

"Yeah," Buffy sighed, "They were probably started chasing those four vamps from your club."

"Well," Willy continued, "I was all set to go help them, when I saw this M'nemeth Demon practically piss his pants when they walked by him."

"M'nemeth?" Giles frowned, "they're not usually afraid of anything. As a matter of fact if they weren't a scholar demon, they'd be considered one of the more dangerous breed."

"This demon, Dannoth, he likes to come to bar to observe the other's interacting. Says it gives him insight into the various breeds. Nobody, not even the Fyarls bother him." Willy paused to collect his thoughts, "Anyway, when these two walked past him. Dannoth freaks, I mean he really looked scared, he scrambled out the door so fast I knew something bad was going down."

"And?" Xander asked.

"I'm getting to that." Willy shook as he remembered what happened next.


Willy's Alibi room
8:15 pm

As the two walked over to the bar, Willy wished he could be anywhere but where he was.

"You," The man told Willy, "Bourbon, two glasses and leave the bottle."

"Su... sure thing." Willy took out a new bottle and the glasses and put them on the counter. "That'll be..."

"Here," The man dropped a roll of bills on the counter.

Willy picked up the wad, even a quick look told him there was at least thirty grand there. "um?"

"The rest is for the damage."

"Oh shit." Willy whimpered as the female downed her drink and proceeded to insult every demon there. What made it even worse, she was using the vilest insults in the their own languages.

She didn't even get a quarter of a way through the various demons before the fight started.


"Are you trying to tell me that two people knocked off a whole bar full of demon?" Xander asked.

"Naw," Willy shook his head, "Some of the smarter ones ran when they realized who they were facing. That's how I got hurt, they kinda ran me over getting out of the place."

"So what are the?" Giles asked.

"I found that out from one of the survivors." Willy replied, "They're two of the four. The Harbingers."

"Who?" Buffy asked.

"The Heralds of the Apocalypse."

Chapter 2

Sunnydale high Library
Same night.

"Good lord," Giles stared at Willy in shock, "Surely you're not referring to *the* Heralds of the Apocalypse?"

"Yeah," Willy nodded again, "The Four Horsemen."

"The Anderson brothers, Flair, and, Benoit?" Xander asked, then shrugged as everyone else stared at him. "Sorry."

"Cute." Buffy sighed, "Okay Giles, spill."

"The Hoursman are the Heralds, the announcers of the apocalypse." Giles picked up a small bible, "Depending on which source you refer to, their names are; Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, or War, Famine, Pestilence and Death."

During the discussion, Willow headed over to the cage and pulled out the first aid kit. As she tended to Willy's injuries, she asked, "So how do we know which two are here now?"

"And how to we stop them?" Xander added.

"Well, identifying them could be a problem." Giles admitted, "Although..."

Giles turned to Buffy, "You did say that one of the two carried a red sword?"

"Yeah, the girl had that one. The guy had a regular sword, at least I think it was a regular blade."

"Well, I think that the female is War."

"And we know this, because?" Xander asked.

"And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth," Giles intoned solemnly, "and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword."

"That's from the bible?" Buffy asked.

"The book of revelations." Giles told them. "It describes each of the horseman in turn."

"So," Xander frowned, "We're looking for a guy on a red horse and one on a pale hor... Wait, I thought Buffy said that it was a girl with the red sword?"

"Well," Willow paused her tending of Willy's injuries to answer, "Most of the civilizations at the time of the bible's writing were pretty much male oriented, having a female in that position of power would be... Hey how do you know the other guy's going to be riding a pale horse?"

"Oh, c'mon Will." Xander shrugged, "You don't think they'd send anyone but the big 'D' to face the Buffster did you?"

"I'm curious." Giles asked, "How... How is it that you know that Death rides a pale horse?"

"And I beheld a pale horse," Xander almost mocked Giles' tone, "And he that sat upon it was death, and hell followed with him."

"I didn't know you read the bible." Buffy said.

"Didn't.," Xander shrugged, "That's from the Eastwood movie "Pale Rider."

"I should have guessed." Giles sighed, "Actually I don't know whether they would be willing to attract attention to themselves by riding horses in this day and age."

"So maybe we should be looking for someone riding a motorcycle?" Xander asked.

"Possibly." Giles agreed, "Or they may not try to call attention to themselves that way."

"Hey, Willy." Xander asked, "Can you describe those two?"

"Well," Willy frowned, "The guy was just another pretty boy, You know male model type. But the girl, she was the weird one. She had a sword tattooed on her..."

"On her right cheek?" Xander interrupted, then drew his finger down his own right cheek, starting at this eye and ending just before his jaw. "From here to here, point down?"

"You've seen her?" Willy asked.

"Yah," Xander nodded, "Her name's Devora Spartos and she's going to Sunnydale."

"You have got to be kidding me." Buffy stared at Xander. "*War* is attending our school?"

"Both of them," Xander shrugged, "She was with this guy, Nathan Mortisson. He called her his 'lady'."

"Okay, so now the big question." Buffy asked, "How do we stop them?"

"I'm not sure we can." Giles admitted. "I'll have to..."

"Research it." The three scoobies said at the same time.

"Very drool." Giles sighed, then something occurred to him, "Willy, why would the Harbingers pick a fight in your bar?"

"I don't know," Willy admitted, "The girl, she just wanted a fight. I mean she was smiling, and I don't mean a 'Hi, I'm happy to see you smile' either."

"What about the guy?" Buffy asked.

"He looked bored," Willy shuddered, "He kept grabbing random demons and torturing them. I don't even know how he did it, they just started screaming. He leaned and asked them something. I guess that they didn't tell him what he wanted because..."

Willy shuddered again. "Man, I never want to see those to two again."

"Okay, so we know where they're going to be," Buffy asked, "Can't we just, I don't know ambush them?"

"Not a good idea," Xander told her, "One, it's too public, no way to cover for it if someone sees us fighting."

"And two?" Willow asked.

"Snyder'll pull us into his office for fighting." Xander shook his head, "That's the scariest part."

Buffy and Willow giggled. Willow shook her head, "Xan, be serious."

"I am sorta," Xander shrugged, "Sun Tzu said it best, Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected."

"What does that mean in English?" Buffy asked.

"Hit them when and where *they* least expect it." Xander told her. "They must know that the Slayer's in town and with you being so famous in the supernatural world. They've gotta know you go to Sunnydale, maybe they're hoping you'll try something there."

"I didn't think of that." Buffy admitted, "So, Mr. Tactics. What do we do?"

"Well, tomorrow I'm going to follow them and see where they're staying."

"And then we hit them?" Willow finished up the last of Willy's visible injuries.

"First we scout the place out," Xander corrected her, "Then we hit them. I'm voting for a surgical strike with a M1 Abrams Tank myself."

"Xander," Giles asked, "How do you know all of this?"

"Remember Halloween?" Xander grinned, "Soldier boy was career, he read everything he could about tactics. He was a real fan of Sun Tzu's."


Sunnydale High Cafeteria
Jan 14 1998

Nathan Morrison scanned the crowd of students in Cafeteria as he got what the cooks euphemistically called food. The almost bored look on his face flickered for a second as he noticed one of the local football 'jocks' heading for Devora.

Moving to intercept the Jock, the disinterested mask fell back into place. Sidling up to the Jock, he said, "Whatever you're thinking about doing? I'd suggest you forget about it."

"Why?" The Jock asked, "You think you can take me?"

"Don't intend to." Nathan shrugged, "Just some friendly advice."

"Keep your advice." The Jock sneered, "And watch a master at work."

"Your funeral." Was all Nathan said as the Jock's buddy's snickered at him. Then he sat down in one of the chairs to watch the show.

Larry practically growled as the headed towards the new girl. Sill fuming over how that wimp tried to tell him what to do. Just looking at the way the girl dressed, he could tell she was looking for some action. Sidling up to where she was sitting, he leaned in and placed his hand on her shoulder, "Hey there good looking, how about you and me finding someplace private to get to know... AH!"

"Trouble," Xander nodded to where Larry was closing in on Devora.

"Larry the lech up to his usual tricks?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah, but look who he's hitting on."

"Isn't that...?" Willow started then stopped as Devora moved.

Later everyone had a different version of what happened. Some people swore that Devora hit Larry with her chair, Larry himself always claimed he slipped and the girl jumped him. Only Buffy's eyes were fast enough to see what really happened. Devora reached over and grabbed Larry's right hand with her left. At the same time she straightened up and kicked out with her right leg, sending Larry almost vertical. Finally she twisted Larry around in mid-air so that he landed face first on the ground with his right arm pulled painfully up behind him and Devora's knee in the small of his back.

"Whoa," Xander whistled, "She's good."

"Scary good." Buffy agreed.

Larry struggled to free himself, then stilled as Devora's right hand grabbed his chin. Sputtering he told her, "Lemme go you bitch!"

Principal Snyder entered the Cafeteria intending to start handing out detentions when he saw who was involved. Even though his back was to Snyder, Nathan seemed to know he was there and turned and stared straight into Snyder's eyes. For a brief moment a grin flickered across Nathan's face and Snyder decided that he could give out detentions somewhere else, fast!

"Wow," Willow blinked in shock as Snyder took off. She'd seen Nathan turn and followed his gaze in time to the look of absolute terror in Snyder's eyes.

While this was going on Devora was giving Larry a demonstration in terror. She slowly pulled her right hand inexorably towards her, twisting Larry's head further and further around. When one of Larry's buddys tried to intervene, her head snapped to glare and him and her growl caused him to back off again in fear.

As Larry's head reached its maximum turning point, Devora spoke loud enough that everyone could hear. "Just a few more pounds of pressure and your neck snaps. Did you know that?"

As Larry whimpered, Devora looked up at Nathan. As Nathan shook his head, she pouted, and eased her grip on Larry's jaw. Nathan and Devora stared at each other until finally, Devora grabbed Larry by the back of the head and bounced it off the floor, just hard enough to hurt. She popped up to her feet and used her foot to roll Larry over. Resting the arch of her boot on Larry's throat, she growled at him, "If you ever try to touch me again without my permission, I'll teach a whole new level of pain. Got me!?"

"Ye... yes," Larry stammered out as Devora applied more pressure against his throat. "I won't do it again. I promise!"

Devora didn't even bother to acknowledge his response, she simply stepped over his body and headed for the exit.

Nathan sighed, then grabbed his burger and followed her out the door. As he caught up with her, he said, "You over reacted in there."

"That... that gorilla had the temerity to touch me!" Devora growled, "He... he..."

"I know." Nathan nodded, "They annoy me to. But, *you*. Over. Reacted. Father would be upset."

"I know." Devora whispered in a contrite voice. "Do you forgive me?"

"Nothing to forgive." Nathan smiled, he tore his burger in half and offered her a piece. "Hungry?"

"Thanks," Devora took the offering and smiled back at him. Then they both started laughing as they walked down the hallway.

Back inside the Cafeteria, Buffy, Willow and Xander started doing what everyone else was doing, talking about what just happened. Only they had a different reason for doing it.

"What just happened?" Xander looked shocked, "I think, she kicked Larry's feet out from under him and then pinned him, but I can't figure out how she did it."

"That's not the weird part," Willow told them, "Did you see Snyder?"

"Snyder was here?" Buffy asked.

"Why didn't he start in with his screaming?" Xander asked at the same time.

Willow told them what happened, even down to the look on Snyder's face as he left.

"Let's see, they've got Snyder scared of them and she just beat up Larry." Xander shook his head, "If they weren't evil, I think I might like them."

"Tell me about it," Buffy agreed. "I think she's at least as good a fighter as I am."

"That's not good is it?" Willow asked.

"Nope." Xander sighed, "I never thought I'd say this but I actually wish we had Angel back on our side."

"Yeah," Buffy said sadly. "So do I."

Chapter 3

Sunnydale high Library
Jan 27 1998
10:00 pm

"Explain to me again." Devora told Nathan as they walked through the woods near Sunnydale. "Why are we out here?"

Nathan didn't even bother to glare at her, "Hunting the Lycanthrope was your idea remember?"

"Oh yeah." Devora smiled, "I thought facing off against a were' would be fun."

"You two need to get lives." An annoyingly familiar voice told them.

"What do you want, Whistler?" Nathan growled as the Balance demon stepped out of the shadows.

"I want to know why you're here?" Whistler asked, "The Slayer..."

"The Slayer and your pet screwed up." Devora told Whistler, then she thought about it, "Literally in this case. It's our turn now."

Whistler looked really nervous, "Are the others coming?"

"No," Nathan shook his head, "We can finish this ourselves."

"Oh," Nathan suddenly moved, grabbing Whistler by the throat. "Maybe you can tell me something I need to know. Where's Acathla?"

"You can't do this." Whistler wheezed out, "I'm a balance demon... You can't threaten me."

"Hate to tell you this, Whistler." Devora peered over Nathan's shoulder, "But he's doing it."

"Now," Nathan smiled, "Where. Is. Acathla?"

"I don't know." Whistler told him. When Nathan started to squeeze, he gasped, "I swear, I don't know. All I know is that Angel was supposed to finish things."

"Yeah," Nathan nodded, "Right."

Nathan tossed Whistler into the bushes. "Don't cross our path again. Do you hear me?"

Devora laughed as Whistler took off running. "He's almost as much a coward as that wuss, *Angel*."

"Well, he's not as bad as the monkey." Nathan replied.

"Nobody could be as bad as him." Devora agreed, "But he's not a monkey."

"Oh?" Nathan glanced at her, "So what is he?"

"You said it yourself, he's a Troll." Devora told him with a wry smile on her face.

As Nathan laughed, Devora continued, "Either that or he's a Ferengi."

"Say that again?" Nathan's laughter died down a little.

"Ferengi," Devora told him, grinning. "Remember those big-eared monkeys on that show about how humanity's going to learn to get along and live in peace with each other?"

"Oh yeah," Nathan nodded, "You know, I think it was a mistake to let you get Cable."

"Oh c'mon." Devora nudged his shoulder, "You know that you like the shows too. Especially that one with the guy that build anything."

"They are amusing," Nathan frowned, then shook his head, "Hunting this Lycan is pointless, I'd rather be trying to find Acathla."

"Or at least Angelus." Devora nodded. "I'm trying to figure who warned him we were here?"

"We did let some of the ones in the bar go."

"I told you we should have just leveled the bar."


Sunnydale High School
February 18th 1998

Xander froze as Devora pulled him to one side and pinned him against the hallway wall. "Hey, handsome."

"Oh God." Xander tried to dig himself backwards into the wall. He noticed Nathan come behind them with a curious look on his face. Then he felt Devora's hand slide down from his hip to his thigh. It was when her hand reversed direction and started its way back up the inside of his thigh that he managed to break away and run. "I... I forgot I have to return a book to the library!"

Xander took off running down the hall faster than even he believe possible.

"I really hope that was an act and you didn't let that spell actually affect you."

"Relax," Devora started laughing, "Like that little amateur could ever cast a spell to influence me."

"So why the act?" Nathan's eyes followed Xander's retreat. "He's going to come close to dying today anyway."

"He's not going to die?" Devora asked.

"Well," Nathan shrugged, "I can't see the random events, but he's not supposed to die yet."

"Fucking wild cards." Devora growled.

"You want to follow him and watch the fun?"

Devora smiled, "Oh yeah."

It took more than either of them counted on to keep up with Xander. Devora almost gave them away when she just barely stifled her laughter as Willow tried to take an axe to the young man. What happened when Xander and Cordelia took refuge in Buffy's house caused both of them to pause.

"Sonovabitch!" Devora swore as Angel pulled Xander out of the second story window.

"Well, I'll be..." Nathan shook his head, "I wish I knew that all we had to do was follow Harris."

"Too bad, the wuss is going to kill him now." Devora interrupted.

"Nope," Nathan nodded, "Take a look."

"You're kidding." Devora stared as Drusilla saved Xander from Angel. "Why? Oh yeah the love whammy."

In the middle of her attempt to 'seduce' Xander, Drusilla stopped and turned to look straight at them. At first, she just stared at them, then she screeched and ran for her life.

"Well, that was interesting." Devora noted, "I guess her 'sight' let her see us after all."

"You two must be the pair that totaled Willy's place." Angel stepped forward, "I heard you claimed to be the Harbingers. I also heard that you were looking for me."

"We don't *claim* to be anything." Devora drew her sword. "But we have been looking for you."

"Really?" Angel grinned at them, "And why would you be doing that?"

"Well," Nathan pulled his own sword out, "I think that should be obvious."

Turning, Nathan peered into the darkness, "You might as well come out now."

As the five Fyarl demons stepped out of the darkness, Angel looked a bit shocked. "How did you know they were there?"

"I could see them," Nathan told Angel, "Or at least their deaths."

"Their wh... what?" Angel froze, A panicked thought began circulating through his head that maybe those crazy Demons hadn't been crazy after all.

"Deaths, hair gel." Devora shook her head, "Some creatures deaths are written so plainly on their destiny that anyone with the right sight can see it."

"What death?" One of the Fyarls asked.

"Yours, you pathetic egg sucker." Devora growled back using the demon's own language.

That one insult was enough to start the fight. With five to two odds, the Fyarls didn't think the fight would last very long. It didn't.

Nathan took out two of the Demons with a single swipe of his blade. As the blade passed through both Fyarls, they collapsed without a mark on them.

Devora took on the other three in a more brutal fashion. She took the head off of the lead Fyarl with one fast stroke, then followed through with a crescent kick that almost knocked the second Fyarl's head off. The third Fyarl tried to grab Devora wound up with its hands cut off for its trouble. As the last Fyarl got back to its feet, it looked around and saw the dead bodies of its comrades. Somewhere in the primitive violent mind of the Fyarl a foreign idea was forming, the Fyarl began to realize he was seriously outmatched. Unfortunately for the Fyarl, the idea wasn't quite fully formed when Devora drove her sword through it.

"That was fun!" Devora grinned at Nathan. When Nathan didn't respond she frowned, "What?"

"Ah...!" Nathan suddenly took off down the road at breakneck speed.

"Son of a..." Devora saw that Angel had lived up to their expectations of him and gotten a good head start running away. As she raced to catch up, she muttered. "Chickenshit coward."


Angel ran as hard and a fast as he could. Behind him, he could hear the two Harbingers racing after him. <Damn, why are they after me?>

Ahead of him, he could just make out the open Manhole he'd left as an escape route in case the Slayer had shown up. Putting on a last burst of speed, he dove into the hole head first.

Nathan was only a few steps behind Angel and followed him through the manhole. He landed ankle deep in a foul smelling sludge. A quick scan of the area showed him that the vampire had managed to escape into one of the numerous side tunnels. Swearing, he climbed back up to the surface where Devora was waiting.

"He got away, didn't he?" Devora shook her head, "We should have guessed he'd break and run."

"Yeah," Nathan agreed, "Yellow through and through. Well, all we have to do is keep following the Slayer and her allies and we'll get him."

"That reminds me," Devora asked, "Whose turn is it to cover the kid?"

"Mine," Nathan said, "I'll see you later."

"Right," Devora nodded, "I think I'll go hunting. Maybe I'll be able to scare up some info."

"Be careful, lady." Nathan told her, "Remember they can still overwhelm us by sheer numbers if nothing else."

"Don't worry." Devora nodded, "I won't do anything stupid."

As she turned to leave, Devora added, "You'd better be careful too, if the Slayer finds you spying on her sister, she'll gut you."

"I'm not worried about the Slayer," Nathan headed back to the Summer's house. Devora could just hear the last part of his reply, "I'm more concerned about that mother of theirs."

Chapter 4

Office of Mayor Richard Wilkins
February 20th 1998
6:00 pm

"Let me get this straight." Mayor Wilkins asked his aide. "The Harbingers are in town?"

"Y... yes sir." Alan Finch nodded, "At least two of them. Apparently they were spotted fighting several Fyarl demons under the employ of the Vampire Angelus."

"Ah, Angel." The Mayor smiled genially, "Such a go-getter. A bit hard on the Voting population but such a self starter, you have to admire that."

"Yes sir." Alan Finch had learned a long time ago to agree with everything his boss said. You lived longer that way.

"Just one question?"

"Yes sir."

"How long have they been in town?"

"Oh," Alan suddenly saw his life flash in front of his eyes. "About a month ago, sir."

"A month," the Mayor frowned, "A month... now that's disappointing. Beings as powerful as the Heralds of the Apocalypse are in town, and I don't find out for nearly a month? That's a black mark against you Alan, you do know that."

"Uh... Sir, I believe that the Harbingers have been systematically killing all of the older demons in town." Finch tried to defend himself. "Lurconis, Kelvarneth, and Asmokol have all been killed. Tzetnac... tztenn..."

"I know who you mean," The Mayor smiled, "don't try to pronounce it's name, you'll only strain your vocal cords."

"Thank you, sir." Alan sighed, "It and the demon mage Yanma have left town. Their message just reached us. Apparently they decided being anywhere near the Harbingers was hazardous to their health. Their messages said that you could consider any debts owed as being canceled."

"Well," The Mayor smiled, "Five of the demons that I owe favors to, gone. I may have to thank these Harbingers. But that still doesn't explain why I wasn't informed of their arrival sooner."

"Unfortunately," Alan continued, "Most of the demons killed were the ones on our payroll. The few survivors weren't really interested in giving us any information. The ones that did finally report in only learned of their arrival last night."

"I see," The Mayor who had been writing in his organizer, crossed out one line and smiled at Alan again. "Well then, these Harbingers are a bit of a problem aren't they? What should we do about them?"

"I believe that in this case, calling in professionals might be in order sir."

"Excellent idea, Alan." The Mayor beamed at his aide, "I'll contact the Terakans, they should do the trick."

"Yes sir." Alan agreed again. "Is there anything else you need me for?"

"Oh yes," The Mayor nodded, "I need someone to pick up my dry-cleaning."

"I'll get right on it sir!"

"Good boy."


Spike's lair
About the same time.

"Dru... Princess. C'mon out Pet."

"Is she still in there?" Angel asked as Spike knocked on Drusilla's door for the hundredth time inn the last two days.

"Of course she's still bloody well in there." Spike growled at the older vampire. "What the hell happened?"

"You know those rumors we've been hearing."

"You mean the ones that have had you hiding like the poofter you are?" Spike asked with a sneer in his voice, "The ones about the Harbingers being here looking for you?"

Suddenly Spike's eyes widened, "Oh bollocks. You're not telling me...?"

"Oh yeah." Angel nodded, "The Harbingers are here."

"I'm bloody well getting the hell out town." Spike wheeled back to face Drusilla's door. "Dru, pet. You can come now, we're leaving town."

Inside the room, Drusilla was curled into a ball whimpering softly. "The Heralds are here... the heralds are here..."

"Could you please stop that incessant whimpering?" A familiar voice caught the insane vampires attention.

"Miss Edith?" Drusilla turned to stare at her favorite doll.

"That's right," The Doll walked over to where Drusilla was laying, "You don't have to fear the Harbingers. She is coming. And when she comes, the Harbingers will be swept away."

Drusilla listened with rapt attention to Miss Edith's every word. Then she stood and headed for the door. As she left, 'Miss Edith' shook its head and whispered, "Pathetic."

As Drusilla opened the door, Spike took her hand. "Don't worry pet, as soon as the sun goes down, we're out of here."

"We don't have to leave," Dru tilted her head back and started to twirl in place. "Miss Edith says that someone is coming to remove the bad people."

"Well that's good news." Angel smirked, "So I can concentrate on the Slayer."

"Have you finally lost what's left of your bloody mind!?" Spike almost fell out of his wheelchair as he spun to stare at Angel. "You're just going to go back to trying to torment the Slayer? With them out there?"

"You heard Dru, 'Miss Edith' told her that the Harbingers will be out of our hair soon."

"You're taking the word of a doll, mate. You do realize that?"

"I'm taking the word of 'Miss Edith', wheelboy." Angel taunted him, "When was the last time Dru was wrong about something that the doll told her?"

"You've got a point." Spike conceded, ignoring Angel's dig. "But what happens if whatever is coming decides they don't like us either?"

"At least we'll have those blasted troublemakers out of the way." Angel replied ignoring Spike's concerns. "In the meantime, I'm going out."

"Bloody useless git." Spike growled, "I hope the bloody Harbingers find you."

"Now, now luv," Drusilla chided Spike, "Don't be like that. Once Daddy's gotten rid of the horrid little slayer, we'll dance on her grave."

"Not bloody likely, pet." Spike corrected her, "The big poof is having too much fun torturing the bint. Sooner or later, he's actually going to manage to kill one of her friends and then she'll really be pissed off."


"Has never managed to kill a Slayer." Spike told Drusilla. "And this one has friends and family, that makes her doubly dangerous."

He rubbed the back of his head. "That mother of hers alone..."


Willy's Alibi Room
February 22nd 1998
4 A.M.

"Not again." Willy whimpered as the four Terakans entered his establishment. The largest of them, a Japanese Oni locked eyes with him. As he glanced at the others, he recognized the one normal looking guy carrying the HK G-3 as 'Reinhardt', the only vampire to ever earn a place in the Terakan order. The other two demons, reptilian in looks, could have been twins. They were synchronized, right down to the way their hands moved.

"Can I get you anything?" Willy asked timidly, "Anything at all?"

"Where can we find the ones called Nathan Mortisson and Devora Spartos?" Reinhardt asked.

"I don't know." Willy cringed knowing what was coming.

"Bad answer," Reinhardt leaned over the bar and almost gently grabbed Willy's face, pulling him closer. "You know everything that goes on in this town, boy."

"He isn't lying." the Oni told Reinhardt, "But he isn't telling us everything either."

"Oh?" Reinhardt gaze moved lazily over to the Oni then back to Willy. "now then what aren't you telling us."

"Please," Willy tried to pull away from the vampire, but found Reinhardt had an iron grip. "I don't know *where* those two live."

"But you do know something?" Reinhardt asked. When Willy nodded, Reinhardt released him. As Willy backed away, Reinhardt reached in to his pocket. Reinhardt couldn't suppress his grin when Willy cringed, slowly he eased his hand out the pocket almost laughing at Willy's look of relief when a thick wad of bills appeared instead of a weapon.

"You get all of it, or part of it." Reinhardt placed the bills on the counter. "Depending on how valuable we deem the information you do have."

"Look," Willy eyed the money, "No one's been able to follow those two once they get moving. Not even the Slayer and her friends. But I did find out a couple of interesting things."

"Yeah," Reinhardt asked, "What?"

"The two of them have been hunting the Vampire Angel."

"Oh, him." Reinhardt sneered, "Let me guess, he's been holed up like a rabbit in his burrow ever since."

So that information is useless to us." Reinhardt continued, he began to reach for the money.

"Wait," Willy hesitated for a second, then asked. "Do you know who these two are?"

"Just a pair of troublemakers that the Mayor wanted taken care of." The Oni growled.

"He promissed usss much if we dealt with them." The Twins hissed in unison.

"Oh," Willy shrugged, "I found out that when they aren't prowling the graveyards, at least one of them is keeping an eye on the Slayer's house. I don't know why they're doing it."

"Anywhere else?" Reinhardt asked.

"Yeah," Willy nodded, "The High-school, for some reason they're posing as students there."

"Good." Reinhardt smiled, "You see, you did know something useful after all."

The four demons turned and left the shaken but richer bar-owner to count his cash. Once they were gone, Willy picked up the money and started counting. As soon as the Terakans were gone, Willy smiled, "You poor fools have no idea what you're going up against, do you?"


Sunnydale Memorial Cemetery
February 23rd 1998
7:00 pm

Buffy Summers sighed as the two demons moved out the shadows. "I so don't have time for this."

"Ssshe isss not the one we ssseek." The two demons said together, "We have no quarrel with you sssslayer."

"Oh great," Buffy shook her head, "I'm facing the demonic versions of Huey, Dewey and Louie."

"SSSSSS!" The two demons lunged at Buffy, "You will die for that insssult!"

"Huh?" Buffy ducked the first attack. "What do you know. Pop culture literate Demons."

Buffy quickly found herself on the defensive as the two demons launched a coordinated attack against her. The two demons acted in concert, as fast as she blocked one, the other would launch an attack that would keep her from doing anything other than defending herself.

"Whoa," Buffy blinked as the two demons reeled back in concert, She'd gotten off one lucky hit during the fight and was surprised to see both demons reacting to the blow. "So that's it. They aren't fighting like a team, they're fighting like one person in two bodies."

Quickly formulating a plan, Buffy leapt over the demons, landing so that one of the two was behind the other. Then she kept them that way. Anytime the one in the back would try to circle around, she'd move in the opposite direction. The constant maneuvering seemed to driving the one in the middle crazy. Finally she found an opening and delivered a hard side kick that send the one in the middle flying into his partner.

As the two demons crawled to their feet, they hissed. "Thiss isss a wassste of time. Her deathhh offersss usss no reward."

"Hey!" Buffy shouted as the two demons turned and ran. She started to give chase when the sound of a gunshot and dirt kicked up by the bullet right in front of her feet, caused her to stop in her tracks.

"So, you beat the twins." The one carrying the gun stepped out of the shadows. Buffy froze as the gun pointed at her. The bald-headed man smiled, then vamped out. "You're not the reason I'm here, but bagging a Slayer? Can't pass up that opportunity, Reinhardt the Slayer of the Slayer. Sounds good doesn't it?"

As Buffy tried to figure out a way out, Reinhardt raised his rifle and took aim.

Chapter 5

Reinhardt grinned evilly as the Slayer squirmed, there was no way he could miss at this range and he was far enough away that there was now way for the Slayer to get to him before he killed her. He playing now, biding his time and enjoying the sight of the fear in the Slayer's eyes when a sudden pain hit him. Dropping his rifle, he looked down at the quarrel head sticking out of his checks and started to swear. "Well I'll be fu..."

Buffy watched in shock as Reinhardt turned to dust. As the last particles of dust fell to the ground, she saw Xander standing there with a crossbow in hand. "Xander!"

"Hey Buffster." Xander managed a goofy grin, he held up a dufflebag, "G-man thought you might need the heavy weapons tonight."

"And you volunteered to deliver them?" Buffy took the crossbow from him and smiled, "Thanks."

"I heard the gun," Xander shrugged, "I figured gun, cemetery, you? Had to be trouble."

"Ooh, new toy!" Xander picked up the G3. Buffy watched as he ejected the magazine and put that in his coat pocket, racked the slide, causing a bullet to fly out of the rifle, then sighted down the barrel. "Nice"

"Okay," Buffy shook her head slightly, "Getting freaked here."

Xander had to do a little rearranging but managed to fit the G3 into the dufflebag. "Huh?"

"You, guns..." Buffy shrugged, "I'm just not used to seeing you..."

"What competent?"

"No," Buffy corrected him, "Scary. You didn't see your face while you were playing with that gun."

"Oh," Xander shrugged, "Sorry, Soldier boy instincts kicked in."

"So I gather." Buffy noticed something glinting in the dust, "What's that?"

Xander bent down and brushed the dust off the object. He picked up what looked like a old fashing signet ring, then his eyes widened as he recognized the insignia on the face of the ring. "Buffy, isn't this...?"

"The Order of Teraka." Buffy nodded, "That's their ring."

"Okay," Xander dropped the ring back into the dust. "Who besides Angel is mad enough at you to call on the Terakans."

"They aren't after me." Buffy replied.

"What?" Xander frowned, "So who are they after?"

"I don't know." Buffy shook her head, "But I do know how to find out. C'mon!"

Xander watched Buffy take through the cemetery at breakneck pace. Grabbing the Duffle, he tried to keep up. "Hey! How come I'm the one carrying the heavy stuff!?"

Buffy ignored Xander's complaints as she followed the twin Demons footprints. Thankfully, the twins weren't interested in stealth just speed, so it was easy to follow their trail.


The twins were well away, when the sound of a gunshot echoed through the cemetery.

"Reinhardt." They both acknowledged, "He isss after the Ssslayer."

After several more seconds of running, they said, "Let him have her, ssshe isss of no ussse to usss."

As neared the entrance to the cemetery, one of the twins saw something. Both stopped and waited as a dark haired young woman sauntered into the cemetery. "Isss it her?"

As the woman caught sight of them, she actually grinned. "Well I'll be, gemon demons? I thought you were all extinct."

"Ssshhheee issss the one!" The twins hissed in unison as they saw the sword tattoo on her face.

"Oh great," Devora rolled her eyes, "Your lot are still doing that duck thing?"

"Ahhh!" The Demons launched themselves at her.

"Oh nuts," Devora leapt backwards and drew her sword. "I don't believe they got that joke."

The twins found that Devora was just as a good a fighter as the Slayer. Add in the sword and they were hard pressed to even close with her, much less kill her. During one exchange of blows, Devora notice the ring that one of the twins was wearing.

"Terakans?" She frowned, "Why are you after me?"

"The Mayor hassss promisssed uss much for your death."

"My...?" Devora eye's blazed, then went silver. "You've got to be kidding. You really think you can take me in a fight!?"

"We havvve faced ssstronger than you." The twins hissed, "You will presssent no problem to usss."

"You pathetic lizards," Devora growled, "You have no idea who I am do you?"

As the twins frowned puzzled by their targets words. Devora continued, "I have stood at the heart of every army to walk this world, victor and vanquished. Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, they all heard my voice in their dreams. I am the first of the Horseman..."

Devora dropped her human guise. As she began to change, the Twins eyes widened and ran for their lives. Devora's words echoed in their heads. "I! Am! War!"


Buffy heard Devora's last words as she raced to catch up with the twins. From her angle all she could see was the twins turn and run as though the devil himself was after them. Then several gleaming blades hit both twins. One of the twins was pinned to the stone wall surrounding the cemetery, the other was literally shredded down the middle by blades.

"Whoa." Buffy stopped where she was, and ducked low behind a larger memorial. From behind a crypt, Devora Spartos walked over to the moaning survivor. Buffy saw silvery traces of metal disappearing from Devora's body, like threads being wound back onto a spool.

"Stupid Gemon demons." Devora kicked the dead one lying on the ground. "You really thought you could take on a Harbinger and live?"

"Oh boy," Xander whispered as he joined Buffy. "How'd she take them out?"

"I don't know," Buffy whispered back, "All I saw was..."

Buffy's voice trailed off as Devora turned and looked in their direction. Even though she was sure that the Harbinger couldn't possible see them, Buffy was sure that she was staring right at them. Then with a grin, Devora turned and walked out of the cemetery.

"Was is it me, or was that a little freaky?" Xander asked.

"It wasn't you." Buffy replied as she straightened up and headed for the twins with Xander following closely behind. She knelt and examined the one on the ground. "Yep, he's dead Jim."

Xander leaned in to check out the other twin still pinned face first to the wall. "I think this one is..."

The remaining demon opened its eyes. For one second Golden lizard like eyes stared right into Xander's, then "AH!!!!!!"

Buffy leapt up as Xander fell backwards. He managed to point a shaky finger at the still pinned demon. "He's still alive."


Buffy stood and checked out the other demon. As she moved into the demon's line of sight, it moaned. "Pleassse... have... mersssy."

"Mercy?" Buffy frowned, "You want me to let you go after you tried to kill me? Please, I don't think I'm that stupid."

Buffy realized that the demon was in terrible pain as it moaned, "Nooo, pleassse... Mercsssy... Let usss die... End thisss."

"Wait," Xander got to his feet and stared at the demon in shock. "You want Buffy to kill you?"

"We are already dead!" The demon wailed. "Pleassse... Do not condemn usss to thisss ssslow death."

Buffy bent down and picked up an axe from the duffel bag and raised the blade. The demon's actually filled with gratitude as the blade went back. It was the gratitude that caused the Slayer to hesitate, she'd seen hate and fear in the eyes of demons that she'd fought before, but never one grateful to die.

Xander saw the hesitation in Buffy's eyes and took the axe from her hands. "I got this one."

Buffy nodded gratefully. Xander stepped forward and readied the axe. This time the demon spoke, "Thank you."

Xander nodded once, then struck. The blade of the axe cut through the demon's neck with ease. As the blade came to a ringing stop against the stone, the demons body dissolved, leaving behind a pair of oddly shaped blades. Xander tried to pull one of the blades from the concrete, only to discover the blade was stuck fast. "Damn, she threw this thing pretty hard."

"Here," Buffy wrenched the blade from the wall. She examined the strange blade carefully, it looked for all the world like stretched out arrowhead. "Weird."

"Very," Xander motioned to the blade, Buffy nodded and handed it over. Xander turned the blade over a couple of times, "this is more like a shuriken than a knife."

"What's a sho ryu ken?"

"That's a move in the Street fighter game." Xander told her as straight faced as possible. When her eyes darkened in anger, he gave her his patented goofy grin. "A *shuriken* is a Japanese throwing blade, usually a star but sometimes it's just a pointed sharp dart."

"Like that one." Buffy nodded. "So War likes Japanese weapons, huh?"

"No," Xander shook his head, "I said this is more like a shuriken than a knife, but it's not exactly like one of those either. I don't know."

Xander hefted the blade his hand, he'd been practicing his knife throwing ever since the Halloween incident and this weapon was almost perfectly balanced. With a practiced flick of his wrist, Xander sent the blade flying towards a nearby tree. The blade left his hand and landed less than a hair's width from where he was aiming.

Buffy's eyes widened at how easily Xander had thrown the blade. She walked to the tree and noticed that the blade was sunk almost half of its seven inches into the trunk. "Were you aiming for that knot?"

"Yep," Xander nodded grinning. "I've been practicing."

"It shows," Buffy pulled the blade out of the tree. "I still don't know what this thing is made of. It's not steel."

Xander shrugged, "Let's take it to the G-man."

"You know what he'll say." Buffy grinned.

"I have to look this up!" Both teens said laughing together as they left the cemetery.

Behind them, the red-skinned Oni stepped out the shadows. Picking up one of the remaining blades from the ground, he growled. "Harbinger."


To say that Devora Spartos was not in a good mood would be an understatement. She was livid, and taking out her anger on any thing and everything in her path. She'd already dented several walls, bent a light pole over with a kick and scared two police officers into putting in their resignations. When the five vamps stepped in her way, she almost danced in happiness at finally having something to really pound.

"Oh I am ever glad to see you guys!"

The five vampires looked at each other in confusion. Finally one of them asked, "You're glad to see us?"

"Oh yeah," Devora grinned.

It was the pure maliciousness of that grin that caused one of the Vamps facing her to turn and run. Devora noticed this and yelled. "Oh no you don't!"

Before anyone could move, Devora leapt over their heads and landed hard on the running vampire. Her knee drove in between the vampire's shoulder blades. The vampire hit the ground with bone jarring thud, but the laws of physics dictated that the Harbinger's knee would continue until inertia caused it to halt. The result of that was the vampire had his spine forcibly relocated into his ribcage.

As the downed vampire screamed in pain, Devora bounced to her feet and faced the others. "C'mon, you punks. Show me what' you've got!"

The four vampires looked down at their screaming compatriot, then back at the girl. Finally one of them asked, "Is she the Slayer?"

"No," One of the others replied, "The Slayer's blonde and..."

The Vampire's voice trailed off as he remembered the rumors he'd heard. Something about a fight at Willy's. "Oh no..."

"Willy's." He whispered to the female vampire next to him. "Remember?"

"Oh shit," The female vamp replied, "Oh shit!!"

The two vampires broke and ran. The others turned in shock to follow their retreat, when they turned back to face their 'prey', they saw her barreling straight at them with a red longsword in her hands.

"Oh..." The vampires didn't have much time for more than that before Devora's blade took their heads off.

The other two vamps managed to get about halfway down the street when another figure stepped out of the shadows, a gleaming sword in his hand. Before either of them could stop, the blade came up and passed through both of them without a mark. They looked down in shock, then vanished into a cloud of dust.

"Hey, those were my vampires!" Devora shouted.

"Boy, what put the burr up your..."

"Finish that statement and I'll kick your ass." Devora growled.

Nathan sighed, "What happened?"

"That pissant wannabee, the Mayor, decided to send the Order of Teraka against us." Devora shouted. "I... I..."

"Calm down." Nathan frowned, then smiled, "You do realize this changes things."


"The Mayor." Nathan replied, "Being technically still human, he wasn't on our list. But..."

"Now that he's taken action against us." Devora grinned. "We are free to act?"

"Yeah," Nathan's smile turned into an evil grin, "He's fair game."

"Why don't we pay him a visit."

"He should still be at his office." Nathan turned and started strolling towards City Hall. Devora quickly walking at quick pace, overtook and passed him. As she turned and glared at him, he asked. "What?"

"Sometimes I hate you." Devora growled. "You never seem to be in a hurry about anything."

"Patience, my Lady." Nathan smiled softly, "Until the end of days, *we* have all the time in the world."

"Like I said," Devora's voice softened, "Sometimes I hate you."


In his office the Mayor was having a bit of a problem of his own. An angry Terakan was pacing the floor in front of his desk, demanding explanations.

"Your aide, gave us two names." The Oni growled, "And offered us five times the usual fee to eliminate them. What he failed to mention was that the two targets were the Harbingers. Explain."

"Well, I don't know." The Mayor didn't have to feign innocence in this particular instance. "Alan is usually more reliable than that. I know! Why don't we ask him?"

The Mayor pushed a button on his desk and spoke, "Alan, could you come in here for a second?"

After several moments passed with no sign of Alan Finch, The Mayor frowned. "This is very odd. Alan is very punctual. I wonder what...?"

Just then the door to his office exploded inward and Alan Finch was hurled into the room. The Mayor peered through the shattered remnants of his door to see two figures step into the room.

"Mayor Wilkins," The female part of the pair glared at him, "We'd like to have a word with you."

Chapter 6

The Summer's Residence
February 24th 1998
7:00 A.M.

"Hey sis," Dawn Summers grinned as her sister tromped downstairs. "You're going to be late for school again."

"Bite me," Buffy muttered as she poured herself a bowl of cereal. "Just because you're still getting over chickenpox..."

"Did you hear about the Mayor?" Dawn asked ignoring her sister's words.

"What about the Mayor?" Buffy asked, "Did he get impeached or something."

"Try or something." Dawn replied, "Here..."

She turned the sound up on the TV. Buffy's eyes opened wide as she heard the news report.

"Repeating the earlier news. At 5:30 am this morning the bodies of Mayor Richard Wilkins the III and his aide Alan Finch were found in the Mayor's office by the City Hall custodial staff. The police have yet to release the official cause of death, however the initial report is that Mayor Wilkins was killed by a single stab wound through the heart. The most puzzling part of the murder is the apparent lack of injuries to Alan Finch. According to one witness, it was as though Mr. Finch simply dropped dead in his tracks."

Buffy grabbed her bag and took off out the door. "Gotta go, bye!"

"Wow, she actually skipped breakfast." Dawn frowned, "Why was she in such a rush anyway?"


Sunnydale High School Library
Same day 7:45 am.

Buffy raced into the Library, looking for Giles. Instead she found Willow and Xander sitting and waiting at the main table. She skidded to a stop and frowned, "Giles isn't here?"

"I guess you saw the news too, huh?" Xander said, not answering her at first. "And no, we haven't seen G-man since we got here."

"Where?" Buffy's question was cut off as Giles entered the library. "Where were you?"

"I... I was questioning Willy about the incident with Harbingers." Giles told Buffy. "As well as asking about information regarding the Terakans."

"Why?" Buffy asked.

"You... you did see the news this morning?"

"Yeah," Buffy, Xander and Willow nodded. Buffy shrugged before continuing. "Doesn't take much for that incident to scream Harbinger, now does it?"

"No," Giles agreed, "But I did want some confirmation."

Buffy watched suddenly concerned as Giles sank wearily into one of the chairs. Sighing, he continued, "We already know that Devora Spartos is the Horseman known as 'War'. But I was trying to find some clue as the identity of the Second Horseman."

"I already told you who it has to be," Xander interrupted, "It's gotta be the big D himself."

"Xander!" Willow scolded, "You can't be sure of that."

"Actually," Giles told the group, "Xander might just be right."

"Say that again." Xander told Giles, "Because I think I'm hearing things. I could have sworn you just said..."

"I said, 'you might just be right'." Giles told Xander, "Willy told me that the ones that Nathan killed didn't have a mark on them. He just struck at them and they fell. I'm not sure but I... I think it's safe to assume that their powers will match their names."

"So, Pestilence and Famine are out." Buffy nodded, "I mean nobody got boils or suddenly developed anorexia or stuff like that right?"

"No," Giles nodded, "They simply died."

"Oh thrills." Buffy sighed, "So I'm really going to be facing 'Death'."

"Well," Giles started polishing his glasses. "You'll be facing the Horseman called Death. Not Death itself."

"Close enough." Buffy started to feel sorry for herself, then realized something. "Hey wait, why did they kill the Mayor?"

"Apparently the Mayor was the one who hired the Terakans in the first place."

"You're joking. Right?" Xander asked, then answered himself, "Who am I kidding, you never joke about things like that. The Mayor? Who would have guessed?"


Somewhere in Europe
About the same time

General Gregor, leader of the Knights of Byzantium, was preparing his forces for the move to America, when a slim asian girl walked into their stronghold. Grabbing his sword, Gregor confronted the intruder. "Who are you girl?"

"I'm a messenger." The Girl smiled, "I'm here to tell you to keep out of this."

"Tell your mistress, the beast, that we will not stop until the Key is destroyed."

The Girl sighed, "You know, I told Father you'd say that. I also told him you wouldn't believe who I really represent either. He told me that I had to give you the chance to obey."

"We have a holy mission to preserve the world." Gregor advanced on the girl, "We will not back down to anyone, not even God himself."

"You know," The girl shook her head, "I did try to warn you."

"Warn me?" Gregor laughed, then doubled over as his stomach cramped. "What...?"

"Sorry," The Girl apologized, "but things are too chaotic as is. We can't have you mucking things up even more."

"What did you do to us?" The General fell to the ground. He already felt feverish, and the stomach pains were getting worse.

"Nothing fatal." The Girl shrugged, "Just a variation of the flu virus. By the time you're fit to travel again, this will be over one way or the other."

"Who are you." The General managed to force out.

"Me?" The Girl laughed, "I am the third Horseman, General."

The girl's laughter echoed in the General's ears as he lay on the ground moaning.


Sunnydale Gym
February 24th 1998
1:30 pm

Xander looked around the gym puzzled, he'd been told by Principal Snyder to report to the Gym to help with some kind of clean up. He'd tried to protest, but finally gave up when Snyder threatened him with expulsion. Now, hard as he looked, he really couldn't see anything that needed cleaning up. "What?"

"Glad to see the Ferengi can obey orders." A voice very familiar to Xander spoke behind him.

"Oh god." Xander whispered as he turned in time to see Devora Spartos locking the door to the Gym. "Uh, Oh God, please don't let her be under that love spell again."

"Defend yourself." Devora said as closed with him.

"Thank you g... Huh?" Xander's eyes widened as Devora cocked back her fist. He barely managed to duck under the first swing. The follow up punch knocked him onto the mats in the center of the Gym. "Hey what did I do?"

"Don't give me that, Harris." Devora closed with Xander again. "We both know you hang with the Slayer. And you were out there last night... So you know who I am."

"Yeah," Xander nodded as he dragged himself back to his feet, "I gotta say from male viewpoint. You're a lot better on the eyes than Kevin Smith."

Devora's lips twitched upwards for a second, then she growled. "Don't even go there."

"I'm going to get my ass kicked, aren't I?" Xander started to look for a way out of the Gym. Then decided to resort to the old standby.


"Save your breath." Devora kept pace with Xander's frantic backpedaling. "Only one person can even hear what's going in this room, right now."

"That would be the big 'D' right?" Xander managed to keep acting just a bit cool about the situation, not an easy feat considering he had just run back first into the balance beam.

"Yes," Devora nodded, "I see you're more perceptive than we thought."

Xander smiled, until Devora elaborated. "For a monkey that is."

"Wha...?" Xander barely managed to dodge as Devora threw another punch. This one cracked the wood and steel balance beam like a toothpick. <Holy... she's not pulling her punches.>

As Devora grabbed for Xander's shirt, something inside him flipped. Xander understood the principle of what happened, it was commonly called the 'flight or fight' response. Adrenaline was released by glands in preparation for either running or fighting for your life. It was what happened after that rush of adrenaline that startled him.

Xander caught Devora's arm with his right hand, then twisted. As Devora bent with the twist to keep her arm from being dislocated, Xander snapped his left knee into the side of her head. Devora retaliated by stomping hard on Xander's foot with her own.

"Sonofa..." Xander released Devora's arm and stumbled backwards, almost hopping on his non-injured foot. In full on survival mode, it didn't quite click with Xander that he shouldn't even be alive at that point.

"Not bad," Devora grinned, "Not bad at all."

The fight that followed was brutal. Xander tried every dirty trick in soldier boy's memories, only to have Devora match him, block for block, punch for punch. He got lucky a couple times and scored a few solid hits, but was dismayed at how little damage the blows did. Finally, gasping for air, he asked, "You're just toying with me, aren't you?"

"Well," Devora shrugged, "I like to let people think they're doing their best."

Xander gaped at her, "Tell me you didn't just make a 'Princess Bride' joke."

Devora grinned again, then moved at full speed. She leg swept Xander off his feet and onto his stomach. Before he could get back up, she had her knee in his back and a blade at his throat.

"Not too shabby," Devora told Xander, "But I am disappointed, I expected a bit more from someone who trains with the Slayer."

"I don't train with Buffy." Xander told her through gritted teeth. "I just help."

"You know," Devora shook her head, causing the blade point to jiggle just a little against his neck, "I don't know who is the bigger idiot; you for not asking for training, the Slayer for not seeing how valuable you are to her, or the Tweed wonder for never considering that training the Slayer's allies might be a good idea!"

Xander felt Devora remove the blade from his throat. Then the pressure of her knee in his back vanished. As he carefully climbed to his feet, Xander chanced a quick glance over to where Devora was waiting. She was just standing there, arms crossed over her chest, tapping one foot rhythmically on the mat. "If I stand up, are you going to kick my ass again?"

"Maybe," Devora shrugged, "Or maybe I'll pay your red-headed friend a visit. Or the Slayer's kid sister, they've gotta be more of a challenge than you."

"You leave them out of this!" Xander bounced back to his feet and aimed a snap kick at Devora's head. Devora stepped backwards and Xander's kick hit nothing but air. The momentum of the kick spun Xander like a top and he wound up back first on the mat again.

"Now you're just playing with me." Xander complained. "Is it somekinda curse or something. Everything weird just has to find some way to humiliate me?"

"Maybe," Devora smiled, "You know, Nathan is right."

"About what?" Xander said refusing to get back to his feet.

"You take your name too seriously."

"HUH?" Xander pulled himself into a sitting position. "What does that mean?"

"You don't know?" Devora started to laugh. "Well, I'm not going to tell you."

Xander sighed, "Look, if all you want is to humiliate me, then consider me humiliated okay?"

"Actually," Devora stopped laughing, "I've got a proposition for you?"

"Uhhh," Xander got a panicked look in his eyes as teenaged male imagination met double etendre.

"Get you mind out of the gutter, monkey." Devora shook her head, "Teenagers. Look, how would like to learn how to fight? I mean really learn how to fight?"

"Why would you be willing to teach me to fight?" Xander asked suspicious.

"Call it, professional courtesy." Devora said off handedly.

"Oh great," Xander rolled his eyes. "First Princess Bride, now John Wayne. Next you're going to be quoting Arnie."

"Nah," Devora shook her head, "I like the other guy better. But 'come with me if you want to live' just doesn't work here."

Xander goggled at her. In his wildest imaginings, he couldn't have come up with 'War' actually using movie quotes on him. Finally regaining some control of his shocked body, he asked, "What's the catch?"

"No catch," Devora replied, "I swear, one warrior to another. Just training."

A part of Xander wanted to protest, tell Devora that he wasn't a warrior. Another part of him felt warm over the sincerity in Devora's voice. Finally he made his decision. "Okay, when and where?"

"Right here." Devora waved her hand around the Gym, "Same time. One hour a day. How does that sound?"

"I think I can handle that." Xander nodded, "Uh, can I go now."

"Of course," Devora nodded, "Alexander."

With a wave of her hand, Devora unlocked the doors to the gym. Xander realized that now he could hear the background noise of students from outside. He hadn't even noticed the absence until the noise returned. "Wild."

"Minor." Devora shrugged. "See you tomorrow, Alexander."

"Right," Xander left the gym. As he walked the door, he noticed Nathan leaning against the wall right next to the doorway. "Hey big 'D'."

"Alexander." Nathan nodded at him, the disinterested look on his face never wavered. But a flicker of annoyance reached his eyes. "Never call me anything remotely like that again."

Xander swallowed hard, "Got it."

"Good," Again, the barest hint of the smile touched Nathan's bored face. "Have a nice day."

Xander headed for the library as fast as he could. As he walked, he could swear that he could feel Nathan's eyes following him. In reality he'd be wrong, Nathan turned to go into the gym as soon as Xander headed down the corridor.

Inside the gym, Devora was working through a kata when Nathan walked in. "What's the deal with the kid?"

"He's one of mine." Devora smiled, "He just doesn't realize it yet."

"The Halloween incident?" Nathan frowned, "Having a soldier's memories doesn't..."

"No," Devora shook her head, "He was a warrior before that. Before life convinced him he was useless."

"He deserves better than that." Devora said finally. "A true warrior like him deserves better."

"Even if he's going to be standing against you?"

"Why?" Devora asked curious. "What did you see?"

"Just a brief flash." Nathan shrugged. "He's standing there pointing an assault rifle right at you. In at least one potential future, someone dies."

"Oh isn't that just great." Devora sighed. "Which one of them dies?"

"I'm not sure." Nathan shook his head, "To many variables. Free will's a bitch."

"I happen to resemble that remark." Devora complained as they left the gym.

"Yeah," Nathan nodded, "Getting cable was truly the worst idea I had on this trip."

Chapter 7

Somewhere in Budapest
February 24th 1998
5:00 pm GMT+1

Anyone looking into the monastery would have been surprised to see a drop dead gorgeous blonde in a sleek dress holding one of the Monk's head in her hands. A closer examination would reveal the truth, the Blonde's hands weren't holding the Monk's head, they were somehow penetrating through the skin and bone and were inside the skull. The Monk's body shook, then as he slumped forward, the Blonde's hand slipped free and he fell to the floor. Glorificus, the Hellgoddess, said petulantly, "This one doesn't know where my Key is either!"

"Forgive us, your gloriousness." An ugly human-shaped demon groveled before the Blonde. "We are trying to find the hiding spots of the remaining monks."

"You don't need the Monks." Someone said from the shadows. "*I* can tell you where the Monks sent your Key."

As the person stepped out the shadows, Glory looked over to where one of the other Monk's lay on the ground, the dead Monk was the exact twin of the person now standing in front of her. "Didn't I already kill you?"

"Lord, You really are a Blonde aren't you?" The Monk shook his head, "Look, you want to know where your key is or not?"

"Of course I do." Glory lunged at him only to find herself flying right through him. "How did you do that?"

"What a twit," The Monk sighed, "Look Blondie, your Key is in a place called Sunnydale, California. The Monk's turned it into a human being."

"Why are you telling me this?" Glory asked, "I mean aren't you one of the Monks?"

"Please," The Monk sighed, "I'm doing it because when you open your door home, my door into this world will be torn open and this realm will fall to me."


"I don't believe this!" The Monk threw his hands into the air, "What do you want? A map? Sunnydale. The Key's new name is Dawn Summers. Find her, bleed her and open the doors!"

With that, the Monk simply faded out of existence. Glory stared at the empty air and then smiled, "How quickly can we get to this Sunnydale?"

"Uhm, figuring the time to get to any towns of sufficient size to procure transportation worthy of your magnificence. Then travel time to America. Four..." The demon saw the angry look in Glory's eyes and reevaluated the time required, "I mean three, yes three weeks!"


"Your most radiant one?"


The demon scrabbled out the door as fast as possible leaving the Hellgoddess alone in the dark. As she looked around, Glory noticed something that truly upset her.

"No!" She wailed as she looked closer at the scuff mark on her shoe. "I just got these!"

1122 Pinecrest way
Sunnydale California
February 24th 1998
11 pm. pst

Nathan watched as Devora tromped into the house they'd rented and threw herself on the sofa. Grabbing one of the cushions, she covered her face and screamed.

"You know," Nathan shrugged, "In this town, you could probably scream that loud without the cover and no one would care."

"How the hell can any sane being, even these talking monkeys, spend five hours just looking at clothes!?" Devora asked, sitting up a little to glare at Nathan. "Five hours! Just... Is it just this one town or are they all that crazy?"

"You spend too much time keeping an eye on just the soldiers, Devora." Nathan smiled, "They're *all* that crazy, in one way or another."

"Agh!" Devora dropped her head back onto the couch. "When is *She* coming?"

"I don't know." Nathan admitted, "I've been watching the news, checking to see if there are any of the usual signs she's nearby. But nada so far."

"Nada?" Devora grinned at him. "I'm not the only one who being corrupted by Cable."

"Wha..?" Nathan looked non-plussed, Devora giggled, it wasn't often that she got to see normally unflappable companion bothered.

"So," Devora continued, still grinning at Nathan's discomfort. "She shows up. We settle things. Then we can go home, right?"

"Well, We've still got Angel and Acathla to deal with." Nathan reminded her. "Not to mention the Knights of Byzantium."

"I thought Yi Jie was dealing with them?"

"Temporarily." Nathan reminded her. "Never underestimate the sheer stupidity of these monkeys."

Devora nodded, "Still nothing on Acathla, either?"

"No." Nathan sighed, "And the wuss is still hiding."


Sunnydale High Gym
February 25th 1998
1:30 pm

Xander eased open the door to the Gym and slowly peered inside. After the initial shock of the offer had worn off, Xander began worrying about War's hidden agendas.

<There's gotta be more she wants.> He thought to himself as he stepped fully into the gym. The only reason he was still going through with it was the possibility that Devora might let something slip about the Harbinger's reason for being in Sunnydale.

"Right on time." A voice said from behind him.

"AH!" Xander spun around grabbing at his chest. "Are you trying to kill me!?"

"If I'd wanted you dead..."

"I'd already be dead," Xander sighed, "Yeah, yeah, I've heard it before."

Devora's lips twitched upwards, "You know something, Monkey. I like your attitude."

"Could you not call me that?" Xander asked, "I'm not sure, but I think it's supposed to be more insulting coming from you than from someone else."

"It is," Devora nodded, "I do apologize, Alexander. But sometimes I let my prejudices show."

"Prejudices?" Xander asked frowning.

"Yes," Devora shrugged, "As far as I'm concerned, you're all nothing but talking Monkeys."


"True warriors are the exception of course." Devora nodded at Xander. "That's why, I apologize, Alexander Lavelle Harris."

"Could you not call me that either?" Xander begged, "Especially never, ever mention the middle name again?"

"Lavelle?" Devora smiled, "Very. *Xander*, shall we begin?"

"Okay," Xander nodded, "So what are you going to teach me?"

"Nothing." Devora replied.

"Wha...?" Xander stared at Devora in shock, "I thought...?"

"I'm going to train you." Devora explained, she walked over to a small bag and pulled out a pair of kabar knives. Tossing the still sheathed blade over to Xander, she continued, "You already have the knowledge you need. I just have to get you thinking like a warrior again."

"That," Devora smiled, "And get you fit. You know that I've known girls that hit harder than you?"

"Oh," Xander sighed, then brightened a little. "How many of them were Slayers?"

"None," Devora sighed, "I'm talking warriors not Slayers. Joan could have kicked your ass in a second. And don't even get me started about Mulan."

Xander's face dropped a bit, Devora noticed this and continued. "You just need some training. The physical parts going to take the longest. Unless..."

Xander saw the gleam in Devora's eyes and got really nervous. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

"I'm not sure that I can get away with this." Devora frowned, "Oh well, can't hurt."

As she reached for him, Xander back pedaled again. "Whoa, hold on. You said nothing but training!"

"Oh hold still." Devora stopped Xander by grabbing his shirt. She laid her palm against his forehead. "This probably won't work, depends on what mood Father is in. But if it does... It might hurt a bit."

"WHAT!?" Xander managed to shout before Devora started chanting in what sounded like Latin.

Xander felt a slight tingle but nothing else as Devora ended her chant. He realized that she was watching him expectantly for something. Finally she asked, "Well?"

"Sorry," Xander still felt the tingling but nothing else.

"Well, I guess..."

Xander suddenly doubled. It felt like every muscle in body was on fire. He fell to floor gasping in pain. As he lay on the floor, he could see Devora standing above him grinning. "Yo... you ... bitch!"

"Take deep breaths," Devora told him, "The pain will pass shortly."

After several minutes, Xander found Devora was right, the pain was going away. It faded steadily until Xander could finally get back to his feet. As he stood, he noticed his clothes felt a little tight in places. "What the hell did you do to me?"

"I just took a shortcut." Devora explained. "The spell I cast just toughened you up a bit."


Devora sighed, "I cast a spell to increase your strength and endurance."

At the sudden pleased look on Xander's face, Devora rolled her eyes. "No, it didn't make the male equal of the Slayer. It just compressed several months of workouts into as many minutes without killing you."

"Oh," Xander thought about it, "So it put me the peak of physical ability?"

"Not even that, kid." Devora sighed, "You're just a bit stronger and faster, tough enough to keep up with my training schedule and not keel over. You're not Captain America either."

"Although," Devora continued, "If you keep up with regimen I'm going to put you through. There's no telling where your upper limit might be."

"Cool." Xander tried a spinning back-kick and wound up flat on his ass.

"I gave you strength and endurance, Xander." Devora sighed, "Your coordination and reflexes are the things that *we* are going to be working on."

"Oh," Xander stood and picked up the knife. Looking at the still sheathed blade, he asked. "What's this for?"

"Take it out." Devora told him. Once Xander had the blade out, Devora commanded, "Now try to cut me with it."

"Are you nuts?" Xander goggled. "I can't..."

"You can." Devora told him. "We're going to practice with the blades until you actually cut me."


"Listen, Xander." Devora said as patiently as she could. Which wasn't much. "Anyone, I don't care who can learn to throw a punch or shoot a gun. It's being able to use that skill when everything is going to shit around that separates a warrior from a dead man."

"You've got the knowledge up here." Devora tapped her head. Then she touched the center of her chest, "and you've got the spirit to fight here. Now all I have to do is teach you how to use that fighting spirit."

Devora held up her still covered knife. "We're going to practice, until using that knife becomes second nature, until you've integrated your knowledge of how to fight with you're body's ability to fight. Then if there's still time. We'll work on the harder things."


Sunnydale Library
Same day
5:30 pm

Xander checked himself once again. He still was surprised about how little was actually changed by the spell Devora did. His muscles were definitely more well defined, though he was by no means 'cut'. Thankfully, while his t-shirt showed off his muscles, the remainder of his street clothes still hid his new physique. His hand went to the small of his back where the Kabar was safely hidden under his shirt. Devora had told him to go though soldier boy's memories and practice every move he could remember.

"Hey, Xander." Willow said as she entered the room.

"Hey, Will." Xander answered, "What's up?"

"Oh nothing," Willow smiled, "I just stopped by to see if Giles needed any help with research."

Xander sat down next to his oldest friend in the world. He started to help her sort some of the books on the table when something that Devora said to him came back. "Hey, Will. Do names have meanings?"

"What do you mean?" Willow paused in her sorting.

"I mean," Xander thought about it, "Do people's names have any meaning other that what we call someone? Like I know Willow is a kind of tree but does the name 'Rupert' actually mean something or even 'Alexander'?"

"I don't know what Rupert means." Willow started.

"Actually," Giles voice interrupted her, "It... it an anglicized version of a German name. It means 'Famous one'."

That caused Xander and Willow to burst out laughing.

"Well," Giles said affronted, "I'm glad you find that so amusing. What caused you bring that question up?"

"It something someone told me." Xander replied, "They said I took my name to seriously. I don't even know what my name means."

"Oh," Giles frowned, "That's odd."

"Why?" Willow asked.

"Because," Giles told both of them, "Alexander is a Greek name. It means 'Defender' or 'Protector of man'."

"Oh." Xander blinked, "That's what he meant."


Sunnydale High
February 27th 1998
2:30 PM

Nathan's head turned as he followed the Computer teacher's path through the hallway. Devora noticed his intense gaze and turned to see Miss Calendar disappear into her classroom. "What's up?"

"After school, follow her." Nathan told her. "She's about to try something really stupid, and the Wuss is going to after her."

"Are you..." Devora shook her head, "Never mind, I know better than to ask that question. Why me?"

"Because it's my turn to keep an eye on the kid," Nathan shrugged, "Besides, I thought I'd give you the pleasure of dusting the Wuss."

"Oh," Devora grinned at the thought of finally getting a clean shot at 'Angel'. Then she frowned, "What about the nutjob?"

"Don't worry," Nathan smiled, "I called in a few favors and her visions about us have been blocked."



Angel's Lair
Same day
About 4:30 pm.

"Dru?" Spike maneuvered his wheelchair to where the insane Vampire was moaning. "Something wrong?"

"The wicked lady is trying to break up my happy home." Drusilla wailed, "She's trying take my Daddy away."

"Who?" Angel asked as he heard Drusilla's pronouncement. "Who is?"

"The nasty gypsy lady is trying to please the Slayer's Watcher." Drusilla whined, "She's trying to take Daddy away."

"Not going to happen." Angel rushed to the door.

"Five... Four..." Spike started to count. "Three... Two..."

He got that far before Angel rushed back into room and screamed in rage, "DAMMMIT!"

"Forgot it was still daylight out, didn't you? Peaches." Spike smirked at Angel's frustration.

"Watch it, Wheels." Angel growled, "Or maybe I'll forget that Drusilla keeps you around because she feels sorry for you and take you with me to see the Slayer."

As Angel left via the sewer access, Spike growled, lighting a cigarette, his smirk came back full force.

"You've bloody well forgotten something else, mate." Spike said so softly that even Drusilla didn't hear him, "And when they find you, they'll put you out of my misery."


Sunnydale High Computer room.
Same day
7:30 pm or thereabouts

Jenny Calendar out of the room as though the Devil himself was after her. In this particular case, the analogy was pretty apt. Angel had walked into her classroom just as the computer finished the translation of the ensoulment spell. He'd proceeded to destroy all of her equipment, then had pretty much given her a running start.

Jenny almost made it to the main exit before Angel caught up with her. "I think I'll leave you as a present for the Watcher."

"Excuse me," Someone tapped Angel on the shoulder. In shock he released Jenny and turned to see Devora Spartos standing there with a grin on her face. "Do you have a pass for this hallway? No? Well then I'm afraid that a severe punishment is in order."

Before Angel could do anything but gape, Devora slammed him against the wall and proceeded to beat the 'Scourge of Europe' to within an inch of his unlife. Angel had never been on the receiving end of such a viscous attack, not even from the Master. As he was allowed to slump to the ground, he could hear Jenny Calendar saying something.

"Don't kill him. I can restore his soul."

Angel barely managed to lift his head enough to see Devora draw a sword from thin air. Devora looked at Jenny Calendar with an incredulous stare on her face. Angel tried to raise his arms to block the sword, but just lacked the energy to even manage that feeble attempt to save himself.


Jenny watched as Devora Spartos administered a thorough and brutal beating to Angel. The only reason that Angel didn't fall, was that Devora wasn't letting up enough to allow that to occur. When Devora pulled a sword out, Jenny tried to stop her. She gasped out, "Don't kill him. I can restore his soul."

Devora gave Jenny a shocked look. For a second Jenny thought that she'd succeeded in convincing the girl to spare Angel's life, then Devora struck. The blade sheared through undead flesh and bone with ease. Soon all that remained of Angelus was sprinkling of dust falling to the floor.

Devora turned to glare at Jenny. She leaned in close and Jenny tried to move away but actually found herself too frightened to move. Devora stared eye to eye with Jenny for several seconds and asked, "Did I look like I gave a shit?"

Chapter 8

Summer's residence
February 27th 1998
8:00 pm

Xander, Buffy and Willow were watching a movie on DVD when Buffy pause the tape. "Xander I don't get it, what's so special about this movie?"

"I just felt like a John Wayne movie tonight." Xander told them. He took the remote from Buffy and hit play. Onscreen John Wayne was trying to teach James Caan how to shoot. Xander smiled as even the great John Wayne gave up trying to teach 'Mississippi' to shoot, as least he hadn't been that bad with Devora.

"I got it!" Buffy said as the phone started ringing. Xander watched her pick up the phone and start talking in a cheery voice. After several moments, her face fell and tears began to fall. She dropped the phone back into its cradle and started to slump down the wall. Xander bounced out the sofa, movie forgotten. Willow was just a split second behind him. "Buff?"

"He's dead... he's dead..." Was all Buffy would say as cried.

"Who's dead?" Willow asked. "Is it Giles?"

"She killed him." Buffy gasped out. "War... she killed him!"

Xander's face went white, then red with anger. He ran for the door, grabbing his coat from the sofa as he went past.


Xander was heading straight for the Library and the weapons when he spotted Devora heading for the Mall. He switched to an intercept course almost immediately. As he approached, he started picking up speed.

Devora was feeling pretty good about things as she headed towards to Mall to keep Nathan company while the kid was out and about. Dusting Angel had been the high point of the evening so far, although she couldn't deny that telling off that idiotic gypsy had felt even better. She was feeling so good, that she did something out of the ordinary. She dropped her guard during the walk. As a result, Xander's attack almost totally blindsided her.

Xander had quite a bit of momentum on him when he finally caught up with Devora. He put all of it into the right cross that he aimed at the Harbinger's head. Devora must have sensed something at the last minute because she started to turn and caught the punch squarely on the mouth.

The impact sent Devora sprawling to the ground. Unfortunately for Xander, it also broke the two middle fingers of his right hand. Even worse for him, Devora kicked up almost immediately and shouted. "What was that for!? You..."

Xander tried to pull his knife out with his left hand as Devora shouted at him in a language he'd never heard before. Of course it didn't take a linguistics expert to know that whatever she was calling Xander it wasn't very nice. Before Xander could get the knife free, she had him by the throat and in the air. "Explain Monkey! Because if this is your idea of gratitude..."

"Gratitude!?" Xander tried to kick her but couldn't quite make the angles work. "You killed him!"

"Of course I did," Devora growled and threw Xander to the ground. "He's had it coming for quite a while."

"What did Giles ever do to you!?"

"Giles?" Devora's anger drained away as confusion took its place. "What does the tweed wonder have to do with this?"

"You didn't..." Xander suddenly felt really stupid, "Buffy got a call, all she kept saying was 'he's dead, War killed him'."

"And you thought...?" Now Devora smiled. "You came out here by yourself to take me on?"

"I..." Xander frowned, "Why are you smiling?"

Devora helped Xander to his feet ignoring his slight flinch as she reached for him. Once he was on his feet, she patted him on the head the way a human might pat a dog. "You've got balls, Xander. I've got to admire that. Even if that probably the stupidest thing you've ever done."

"I..." Xander couldn't figure out why she wasn't mad at him. Then he thought of something. "I take my name to seriously?"

At the rhetorical question, Devora started laughing. Xander stared in shock, he'd Devora smile occasionally, though her proffered look of amusement was a nasty grin. He'd even heard her laugh once before, though that had been a mocking laugh aimed at Larry after the jock had turned and ran instead of walking the same corridor as her. But when Devora started laughing, all hard edges faded away and she looked like the cute teenager she pretended to be.

"You know something," Devora stopped laughing. "I like you Xander Harris. You're a genuine classic."

"Will I sound stupid if I say. What?" Xander asked.

"You've got the spirit of the warrior." Devora told him, "And the heart of the protector. You're a classic White Knight. I haven't seen one of you since... Well since..."

Devora blinked, "Wow, has it been that long?"

"I don't think I want to know." Xander told her, then he remembered. "Hey, who's dead anyway?"

"Captain Hair-gel." Devora told him, then actually slapped her hand over eyes. "Father, I've been around you American High School students too long."

"Captain...?" Xander's eyes widened. "Angel?!"

"Yeah," Devora nodded, "We've been trying to dust him since we first got here. He finally messed up and went after the Gypsy."

"You know," Xander said smiling for the first time since leaving Buffy's house, "I wish I could have seen that."

"I'll bet." Devora smiled. She noticed the way Xander was favoring his hand. "How's your hand."

"I think I broke something." Xander admitted.

"Let me see." Devora reached out an examined Xander's already swelling hand. "It's broken all right."

Devora passed her right hand lightly over Xander's broken fingers and a white glow enveloped them. By the time the glow was gone, so was the swelling.

"Cool." Xander wiggled his fingers, then looked Devora right in the eyes and apologized, "I'm sorry for blindsiding you like that."

"Oh about that." Devora suddenly lashed out.

"Wha...?" Xander went down hard, the left side of his face stinging.

"The next time you try this... You'd better damn well remember. Lead with the Knife!" Devora turned and headed towards the Mall.

"She was mad because I didn't use the knife first?" Xander shook his head. He stood up and took a shortcut back to Buffy's house trying to figure that particular bit out. He was back at the house before he finally decided something. "She's nuts. I just can't figure out if it's because she's a woman or a demon."

Xander opened the door to see Willow waiting for him. He tossed his coat onto the rack and turned to face the music, "Hey Will."

"Where were you?" Willow shouted, "You've been gone almost an hour! I thought you were Buffy's friend. How could you leave like that?"

"Will..." Xander tried interrupt her but couldn't find an opening. When Willow finally paused for air, Xander asked, "Where Buffy?"

"She's asleep." Willow told him, "She just kept crying and finally fell asleep. I'm just glad her mom isn't in tonight."

"Did she tell you it wasn't Giles that was killed?"

"What!?" Willow frowned, "Then who... Angel?"

"Yeah,"Xander saw Buffy laying on the couch. "Damn, you know, I was happy about that till now."

"How do you know that..." Willow noticed the bruise on Xander's face. "WHAT HAPPENED!?"

"Uhm," Xander looked embarrassed, "I kinda got mad and..."

"You went after HER!?" Both Willow and Xander turned to see Buffy awake and sitting up. "Have you lost your mind?"

"Kinda," Xander admitted, "I wasn't thinking to clearly when I left here."

"I'll say," Willow frowned, "Not that I'm unhappy you're alive. But if you attacked her, then why aren't you dead? Or at least maimed? I mean after what she did with Larry and the whole 'I'm War' thing..."

Xander's smile was one-sided because of the pain as Willow went into full babble mode. Finally as she paused to breath again, Xander spoke, "Honestly, I don't know why she didn't kill me, Will. She did say I had the spirit of Warrior though."

"Maybe that's it." Willow said softly.

"What?" Buffy asked.

"Like that guy in the John Wayne movie." Willow pointed at the T.V. "You know, 'call it a professional courtesy'."

That was it, Xander couldn't help himself. He started laughing. Buffy and Willow started worrying when they realized that the laughter had a slightly hysterical edge to it. Xander was finally reduced leaning against the wall, tears of laughter streaming down his face.

"Okay, wigging now." Willow said as Xander slumped down the wall. "It wasn't that funny."

"S... sorry." Xander managed to get out. "I think it was just adrenaline withdrawl or something. All I could do was laugh."

"Sokay," Buffy nodded, "We'd better get to Giles."

"What about Dawn?" Xander asked as Buffy got her coat.

"I'll just tell her we have to get something from Willow's house and not to let anyone inside." Buffy told them. "She knows better than to invite someone inside, even if she doesn't know why."

"I don't know," Xander told Buffy. "Maybe one of us should wait here?"

"I'll stay," Willow volunteered.

"Xander?" Buffy looked over to where Xander was grabbing his coat.

"I'm coming." Xander told her, "I need to ask Giles something."

"Let's go then." Buffy headed for the door.


Rupert Giles Apartment
Same night
9:00 pm

"Giles!" Buffy said shouted as she pounded on the door.

"Hello, Buffy. I rather figured you would be showing up soon." Giles told her as opened the door.

"What happened, Giles." Buffy asked as she and Xander entered the apartment.

"I... I think it might be better if... if Jenny explains it." Giles pointed to where Miss Calendar was sitting.

"I'm listening." Buffy told them.

Jenny explained everything that happened, from her attempts to translate the soul curse to Angel's attack. When she got the point where Devora dusted Angel. Buffy interrupted her.

"Are you saying she knew that you could restore Angel's soul?"

"I told her so." Jenny nodded, "Her response was 'Do I look like I gave a shit?'."

"So she killed him to keep from joining our side again." Buffy growled.

"Actually." Jenny shuddered. "She told me that I was meddling in the types of Dark magics that will cost a human their soul. That nothing was worse than ripping a soul from it's just reward just to placate the person..."

Jenny's voice trailed off as she realized what she almost said. Buffy didn't really notice this, she was too busy ranting about the Harbingers. "Giles we have got to find them and finish this. They're dangerous!"

"Uh," Xander stepped forward, "Giles?"

"Yes Xander," Giles asked grateful for the respite. "What is it?"

"Have there been any reports of the Harbingers killing anything other than Demons or bad guys?"

"What!?" Buffy whirled on Xander. "What are talking about of course... Well... I mean... What about the Mayor and his aide?"

"Well, actually." Giles replied, "They did hire the Terakans and I... I dug some interesting bits of information up about the Mayor that... that suggest he wasn't... Well let's just say he may not have been a very decent person."

"To repeat my question." Xander asked again. "Besides the Mayor and his aide, have the Harbingers killed anything not a baddy?"

Giles thought through every incident he'd heard about involving the Harbingers, "No. I don't think they have."

"What are you saying, Xander?" Buffy asked, "That the Harbingers are on our side?"

"I dunno," Xander shrugged, "I know that they've got their own agenda and for now it's like they're fighting the same people we are."

Chapter 9

1122 Pinecrest way
Sunnydale California
March 2nd 1998
5 pm. pst

"I've got the phone." Devora told Nathan as she picked up the annoying toy. "If this is someone trying to sell something, you're dead where you stand. Yi? Sorry, but someone's managed to get a hold of this number... yeah I know, you think we could get away with killing every telemarketer in the world?"

"Another one?" Nathan sighed, "I swear, I'm this close to..."

"It's Yi Jie." Devora told him. "They've got a line on *her*."


"Budapest. She went after the Monks."

"So she knows they no longer have the key?"

"Yi Jie thinks so." Devora nodded, "She tried to intercept *her* but those sycophants that follow *her* got in the way. Yi says that the only thing for certain is that *She* was headed west."

"Great," Nathan shook his head, "That means we've got a couple of weeks, max."

"Thanks," Devora smiled at something Yi Jie said, then hung up.

"Yi said 'watch out for the Slayer', she's heard that one is trouble."

"No duh," Nathan replied without thinking, then he groaned, "We have got to get out of this town and away from these kids before they completely destroy our vocabulary."

"Too late." Devora sighed, "Speaking of which, it's my turn tonight, right?"

"Yes," Nathan smiled, "Should be easy though. She got grounded last night."

"Oh thank you." Devora sighed. "Where are you going to be?"

"Hunting for the nutjob." Nathan told her, "She's going to be trouble."

"She's also better than the wuss at hiding." Devora growled.

"I know." Nathan got up from the sofa, "So what's happening with Harris?"

"Give me six more months and he'll be another Hector."

"Hector?" Nathan frowned, "Not Achilles?"

"Achilles wanted glory." Devora reminded him, "Hector's only reason for fighting was to protect his family."

"You're right." Nathan nodded, "He's a protector type all right. And an avenger type too, that makes him doubly dangerous."

"So he's worthy of your respect?" Devora asked amused.

"He's been worthy since I found out he entered the Master's lair to save the Slayer." Nathan told her. "I'm still not thrilled with your tampering."

"I didn't tamper as much as that 'Justice' demon that created the Slayer." Devora replied, "Besides, all I did was a little shortcut."

"That's probably why you're not in trouble." Nathan shrugged, he picked up his jacket and headed for the door. "Dinner after the kid's safely in bed?"

"Deal." Devora nodded as she grabbed her own leather Jacket. "I just hope she doesn't decide to sneak out tonight."

"You just had to say that, didn't you?" Nathan laughed as he walked out the door.

Devora thought about what she'd just said. Then sighed, "And he complains about me being corrupted by these kids."


Willy's alibi room
March 5th 1998
3:00 pm

"We're clo... Oh God not you again?" Willy whined as the two Harbingers walked into his bar. "Please, don't kill anybody this time."

Nathan looked around the empty bar, "You're the only one here."

"I know." Willy cringed away from them, "Look what do you want?"

"For one thing a drink," Devora smiled as she hopped onto the bartop. She crouched down, her boot heels scuffing the countertop. She examined the contents behind the bar and frowned, "Oh Father, don't you have anything worth drinking?"

Willy grabbed a bottle from under the bar and handed to her. Devora read the label on the bottle and smiled. Grabbing on the glasses, she hopped of the bartop and sat on one of the stools.

"This will do." She said as she poured herself a drink.

"Oh God please," Willy repeated himself.

"You're a funny one to talk about God," Nathan accepted a glass from Devora. He examined the amber liquid for a second, "Whiskey?"

"Bourbon," Devora took a sip, "Good bourbon at that."

Nathan lifted his glass to his lips and drained it in one long swallow. He smiled and held out his glass to Devora for a refill. "Very good bourbon."

"Look," Willy asked nervously, "Why are you here?"

"Aw, Willy." Devora pouted, it would have looked cute if she hadn't exaggerated it so much, "Someone would think that you didn't like us."

"Please, please, please." Willy whispered to himself.

"Relax, Willy." Nathan put his glass down, "Devora wanted a drink. This is only place in town where it's 'no questions asked', simple huh?"

"That's the only reason?" Willy asked suspiciously.

"Nope," Nathan pulled a small card out, "I should have given you this in the first place, but I was a bit distracted the last time."

Willy took the card, on it was a seven digit number, "What's this? A phone number?"

"You remember what we told you?"

"If I find out about any plans to open the hellmouth, I'm supposed to contact you immediately."

"You see, Devora." Nathan smiled, "He's not a stupid as you thought."

"Now for the real test of his intelligence." Devora finished her second glass. "Where can we find Drusilla?"

"Please, please, please." Willy began whining again.

"He doesn't know." Nathan translated. "I'm going to keep an eye on the kid. Play nice."

Willy nearly wet himself as Devora turned and flashed a truly nasty grin at him.


Sunnydale High Library
March 6th 1998
1:30 pm

"That was good." Devora examined the shallow scratch on her arm. Across from her, a sweating, exhausted Xander was about to collapse. He was stunned that the trick he used had actually worked on the girl. They'd had their usual training session, which pretty much consisted of him trying to hit her and Devora dancing out the way.

In desperation, Xander had used a trick 'soldier boy' used once during training. He'd kept his left hand just far enough below and behind his knife hand that it looked like a defensive move. As he lunged forward with his knife hand, he released the blade and caught it in his left hand. As Devora moved to block his now empty hand, Xander slashed in with the knife. To his surprise and her's, he'd actually connected, drawing the barest line of blood down her right arm.

"That was very sneaky as well." Devora smiled. "Sometimes the old tricks are the best."

"Old?" Xander shook his head. "I thought soldier boy invented it."

"Sorry Xander," Devora smiled, "That trick was old when the bronze age began. That's one of the reason's I've been teaching you to fight with either hand."

"So why did you fall for it?" Xander asked, he'd learned that Devora treated any questions, so long as they involved his training, no matter how silly sounding or potentially insulting, with straight answers.

"Even the best warrior can develop a blind spot, Xander." Devora told him, "That's a lesson for both of us, I think. Ever hear of something called 'Murphy's rules of combat'?"

Xander rummaged through 'soldier boy's' memories, "If it its stupid and it works, it wasn't stupid?"

"Actually," Devora smiled, "The one I was thinking of was 'A Purple Heart just proves that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive'."

Xander laughed, "How about 'If at first you don't succeed, call in an airstrike'?"

Devora's laughter joined Xander's. "I like the way you think Xander."

"Hey," Xander asked suddenly curious. "How old are those rules anyway?"

"Let's see." Devora frowned, "Well, a version was circulating during the battle of Troy."

"You're joking." Xander stared at her, "You're not joking."

"Devora," Nathan's voice caused both of them to turn in shock. "We've got a problem."

"What happened?" Devora frowned as someone tried to open the door.

"Your pet's friends are outside," Nathan told her, "and they don't look happy."

"Pet?" Xander glared at Nathan, who pretty much ignored him.

"That's Nathan's idea of humor." Devora said off handed. "That door isn't going to hold for..."

The door in question shattered inwards, driven by the force of the petite blonde now standing angrily in the now empty frame. On one side of her, an angry brunette stood tapping her foot, on the other an even angrier redhead with crossed arms glared at the two harbingers.

"Hey everyone."

"Okay Harris." Cordelia said, frost almost formed on Xander from the icy stare that was locked on him. "You've got thirty seconds to explain what's going on."

"Well," Xander sighed, "It's like this..."

Chapter 10

Previously on BTVS

"Okay Harris." Cordelia said, frost almost formed on Xander from the icy stare that was locked on him. "You've got thirty seconds to explain what's going on."

"Well," Xander sighed, "It's like this..."

"Gee, Xander-kins." Devora slid her arms around Xander's waist. Xander froze, Devora's voice was sugar-sweet, as a matter of fact she sounded almost like Harmony when she was trying wheedle something from a boyfriend. "Aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?"

"Xander-kins?" Willow goggled, "Xander! I thought you'd learned your lesson after Ampata!"

"I don't believe this!" Cordelia screamed at the same time. "You're cheating on me?"

Willow glared at Xander, "Are you under a spell or something?"

"All right, Dev." Buffy growled, "Drop the spell you've got on our friend, before I hurt you."

Xander noticed Nathan leaning against one wall, grinning. The Harbinger wasn't laughing but he looked close to it.

"You're no fun." Devora let Xander go, "Go away and leave me and my Xander-kins alone.."

"What!?" Buffy took a step forward.

"Devora, enough!" Nathan said sharply. "We're not here to start a fight with them."

"But they're so easy." Devora grinned. "I bet I can get them screaming at each other inside of the hour."

"You what?" Cordelia shouted.

"I said enough!" Nathan stepped between Devora and the three girls. "Devora hasn't put Xander under any kind of a love spell. So, I suggest you leave, now."

"And if I don't want to leave?" Buffy advanced until she was almost toe to toe with Nathan.

Nathan sighed, "Well considering that red and the princess aren't really fighters and that Xander's only just getting to competent. I'd say it's two to one and a half. In our favor. Not to mention that Snyder would just love to kick you out for fighting."

"Nuts to them," Devora nodded Xander, "See you Monday, Xander."

"Monday!?" All three girls turned to glare at Xander.

"Nuts." Xander sighed.


Sunnydale High Library
March 6th
About 2 pm

Xander could feel the eyes of all three girls burning into the back of his head as they entered the library. He'd managed to convince them to wait until they got to the library where everyone could hear his explanation.

Inside, Oz, Giles and Miss Calendar were sitting around one of the tables discussing Spike and Drusilla. Giles was the first to notice the way the girls were glaring at Xander and sighed, "Now what happened?"

"He's cheating on me!" Cordelia shouted.

"He's involved with War." Willow shouted at the same moment.

"I think he's under a spell." Buffy's voice mixed with the other two girls.

Giles took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose for moment. "One at a time please?"

"I think maybe I should explain." Xander sat down at one end of the table, while the three girls stood behind the Giles with arms crossed.

"Well?" Cordelia asked.

"I guess the straight forward explanation would be the quickest." Xander braced himself for the explosion. "Devora offered to train me, I kinda said yes."

"HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND!?" Buffy screamed.

"YOU ARE UNDER A SPELL!" Willow shouted.

"At least you aren't cheating on me." Cordelia said. When everyone else turned to stare at her, she shrugged, "what?"

"Nice to know your priorities are still the same." Xander grinned, "For the record, Buffy I'm totally sane. And Will? I'm not under any spells that I know of. The G-man should be able to check that out."

"Then why did you say, yes?" Buffy glared at Xander.

"Maybe because she offered?" Xander glared back. "Combat training, no strings attached. I figured the least that could happen was I'd get some training, and if I got lucky, maybe even find out why they're in Sunnyhell."

"Oh," Buffy deflated a little.

"But... but why didn't you tell us?" Willow asked hurt.

"Because, I knew that you'd try to talk me out of it." Xander replied. "Tell me that it was too dangerous."

"Damn straight it's too dangerous." Buffy told him.

"What... what did you learn about the Harbinger's mission?" Giles asked trying stave off the impending argument.

"Not much," Xander admitted, he frowned as he tried to sort what little he'd overheard of Devora and Nathan's conversations. "They're here watching someone. They keep checking about whose turn it is to watch the kid. Huh, maybe they've actually got a kid? I don't think so though."

"Why?" Willow asked.

"Because, whoever they're following is old enough to go shopping." Xander grinned at the memory, "That was the closest I've seen War come to whining. She kept talking about how could anyone spend that much time in one store looking at clothes."

"Okay," Cordelia smiled, "She doesn't like shopping. Yep, she's evil or nuts."

"Hmm," Xander actually saw Giles roll his eyes at Coredelia's remark. "Well, despite that. Xander's training had gotten the first real information about the Harbinger's plans. I suppose we could try trailing..."

His voice trailed off as the looks the scoobies gave him, reminded him that they'd already tried to follow the Harbingers. They disappeared like ghosts after school, only to turn up at the oddest of times.

"Oh yes." He sighed, "Well this could prove to be a bit more problematic than I originally thought."

"Yah think?" Xander asked sarcastically.


1122 Pinecrest way
Sunnydale California
March 6th 1998
11:30 pm

"Kid finally asleep?" Nathan asked as Devora stomped into the house. He was sprawled out on the sofa, idly flipping channels on the television.

"Finally" Devora threw herself onto the only other piece of furniture in the room, an old ottoman recliner. "At least she's still grounded."

"Yeah," Nathan smiled, "Makes it easy to keep track of her."

"I need you to take my turn watching the kid tomorrow." Nathan continued, "I think I've got a line on Acathla."

"Fine," Devora nodded, "I'll keep an eye on the kid. You go find rock boy."

"I'm not even going to say it." Nathan sighed. He stopped flipping channels and put the remote down.

From the television a voice said, "Now for two hours with John Tesh and Yanni, the concert at Stonehenge."

"Don't even think about leaving it there." Devora growled at Nathan.

"Wasn't planning too." Nathan grabbed the remote and switched to HBO.


Sunnydale University
March 7th 1998
9 am

"I'm sorry," The researcher told Nathan as he entered the lab. "But this area is off-limits unless..."

The researcher's eyes widened as Nathan pulled out his sword and pointed at him, "Shut up if you want to live."

"eep!" The researcher fled to the far side of the room as Nathan examined the odd stone obelisk they'd found.

"Bingo," Nathan grinned as he drew his blade back over his head. With a horrendous ringing crash his sword struck the obelisk at a barely visible seam. The obelisk split open, revealing a squat ugly looking statue with a sword sticking out of it.

"That's..." The researcher began, only to shut up as Nathan glared at him. "Shutting up."

"Okay," Nathan frowned, "This is going to be messy."

He closed his eyes and a look of intense concentration passed over his face. The sword in his hand glowed, then shortened and changed. When the glow faded, he was holding a heavy short handled hammer.

"What are you going to do?" The researcher asked aghast.

Nathan didn't bother answering him. Pulling the hammer back as far as he could, Nathan started beating the head of the statue. As the stone cracked, an odd moaning sound started coming from the mouth of the statue.

"I figured you wouldn't like that." Nathan told Acathla, "Now let's see. Oh yeah, that ought to work nicely."

Nathan aimed the final blow of the hammer straight at the sword sticking out of Acathla's chest. The Hammer hit the hilt of the sword and drove it like a spike even further into the statue. The statue started to split, then exploded into hundreds of fragments.

"That didn't take as much as I expected," Nathan grinned as he brushed the fragments of rubble from his clothes and hair.

"What the hell was that all about?" The researcher asked as Nathan left the room.


London England
March 8th 1998
10 am gmt

"Dreg!" Glory shouted, "Have you found what I asked you for?"

"Yes, your most radiantness." The Minion groveled. "Twenty of the most vicious demons in the country at your disposal."

"This is a bad idea." The Monk told Glory. "A full frontal assault against the main headquarters of the Watcher's Council? You are insane."

"You're the one that warned me that the Watcher's might try to contact the Slayer and ruin my plans," Glory brushed off the Monk's comments, "Besides the assault isn't the real attacks, it's a... What did you call it again, minion?"

"A diversion, your gloriousness." The Minion's bow was so low that he almost hit his head against the floor. "The main assault is just a diversion."

"I'm impressed," The 'Monk' replied, "I didn't even know that you realized what a diversion was. It seems, I chose well when I decided to offer you my aid."

As the Monk again faded away, Glory turned to her minion and asked, "What is a diversion again?"


Sunnydale California
March 8th 1998
4 am pst.

As the ringing of his cell phone alerted the two Polgara demons he was hunting to his presence, Nahtan cursed. The two demons recognized who he was and ran for their lives. Shrugging, Nathan opened his phone and said, "This had better be important."

"Yi?" Nathan frowned, "Calm down... What happened to Cornelius? Of all the... Thanks... NO! Whatever you do, don't come anywhere near here. I don't even want to imagine what'll happen if three of us are anywhere near the Hellmouth. I'll tell War, you make sure Famine's all right."

Nathan was so rattled that he didn't even realize he'd used their real titles. After hanging up, he hit the speed dial and waited until Devora answered. "Lady, we've got a problem. The Hellbitch hit the Watcher's council and blew it to smithereens. Famine was in the middle of it, he's pretty badly hurt... Well who do you think tipped her off? I know... I know... I'll see you at the house."

Sunnydale Library
March 8th 1998
11 am pst.

"Okay," Buffy looked sideways at Giles, "Why are we here on a Sunday?"

"I'm not sure," Giles admitted, "I received word from a Wesley Wyndam-Pryce that something very serious has occurred in England. I also received word from Sam Mobuto, Kendra's Watcher that he and Kendar were arriving in town today. All my attempts to contact the Watcher's council has met with failure."

"So what's happened?" Xander asked.

"I suspect that Mr. Mobuto will be able to fill us in when he arrives." Gile sat down, "They should be here in about 2 hours."

"So until then we check the books?" Oz asked.

"Oh, research party!" Willow exclaimed happily.

"Hey everyone!" Dawn said as she walked into the library.

"Dawn?" Buffy frowned at her kid sister, "What are you doing here?"

"I'm still grounded," Dawn pouted, "Mom told me that I had to stay with you while she was at the Gallery. Some kinda emergency."

"I'm gonna go get some snacks." Xander told everyone, "Any special requests?"

"Don't forget the Jellies," Giles said as he pulled an old book from one of the piles.

"And some glazed," Miss Calender reminded Xander as he headed for the door.

Dawn glanced over as Xander headed out the door. Through the swinging door, she could see Xander stop and talk with a girl waiting in the hallway. Her eyes widened as she recognized the girl.

"Hey, who's the girl Xander's talking to out there?" She asked her sister.

"What?" Buffy peered out the small window in the door. "I think that's Devora Spartos, why?"

"Because, I keep seeing her wherever I go." Dawn told Buffy, "I'm in the mall and there she is. And she always looks like she's bored. I don't get why..."

That was as far as she got before Buffy threw open the door and attacked Devora.

"You are soo *dead*!" Buffy told Devora as she grabbed the Harbinger.

Chapter 11

Xander Harris was heading out the Library door, when he caught sight of Devora Spartos waiting in the hall. "What are you doing here?"

"Actually, I'm following someone."

"You're..." Xander paused, he remembered what he'd already learned from them, "Dawn? Why?"

"Can't tell you that." Devora replied, "Not in the rules."

"So what can you tell me?"

"You know the axiom regarding problem solving?" Devora asked.

"Hmm," Xander frowned, then he thought of the one she was probably talking about. "There are few problems that cannot be solved by the judicious application of overwhelming firepower?"

"That's the..." Devora's voice stopped as the Library doors flew open and an angry Slayer ran through them.

"You are soo *dead*!" Buffy shouted as she attacked the Harbinger.

The other Scoobies ran out to see Buffy launching a furious assault against the Harbinger. Xander watched with a feeling of Deja-vu. No matter how fast or hard Buffy swung or kicked, Devora was just a little faster. Making a decision, Xander ran back into the library and into the cage. Opening the hidden weapons rack, he pulled out the G3 rifle that originally belonged to the Terakan, Reinhardt.

As he exited the library, Xander heard Devora taunting Buffy. "You just don't get it do you, Slayer? You can't beat me, if only because I'm the template that your abilities are patterned after. You're just a cheap knock-off."

"Ooh." Cordelia smiled, "Now that's a low blow."

"You evil, skanky demon bitch!" Buffy took another wild swing at Devora.

"What did you just say?" Devora's eyes went silver.

"Oh shit," Xander swore as he saw Devora's eyes.

"What's the matter?" Willow asked.

"Her eyes only go silver when she's mad or really ready to fight." Xander told them.

"Oh," Willow's eyes widened as Devora started her counter attack.

A flurry of kicks and punches drove Buffy backwards. Xander tried to get a clear shot but the rapidly moving figures didn't give him any openings. Finally Devora pulled her sword and managed to trap Buffy between the point of the sword and the wall. Their positions put them at right angle to Xander.

"Devora, drop it!" Xander ordered her as he aimed the gun right at her head. "I swear, I'll shoot."

"I believe you," Devora told him, not taking her eyes off of Buffy, "But *he* might have something to say about that."

"Wha?" Xander started to say when Nathan's voice interrupted him.

"I think what we have here is called a 'Mexican Standoff'."

Xander's eyes flicked over to a reflective surface that would let him see what was going on behind him. He felt his blood start to boil as he saw the sword sticking out of Dawn's body. He was about to turn and shoot when Nathan's words stopped him cold.

"If you pull off the blade you die, if I release the blade you die, if the blade gets pulled from your body without my permission, you die." Nathan told Dawn. "Do you understand?"


About 2 minutes ago

Nathan was entering the Library through the back door when he saw Xander running for the cage. Staying out sight, he watched Xander come back with the assault rifle. As he followed Xander, he could hear the sounds of fighting in the hallway. "Oh great, now what happened?"

He got to the door in time to hear Buffy call his lady an 'evil skanky demon bitch'.

<Just what I need, war has officially been declared.> Nathan thought to himself as he snuck through door. Slowly he maneuvered himself until he was directly behind the group and watched as Devora hammered Buffy into submission.

When Xander took aim at Devora, Nathan decided to take action. Picking the one person Xander was truly unwilling to let get hurt, he struck. The blade passed through Dawn's stomach, Nathan got everyone's attention by saying, "I think what we have here is called a 'Mexican Standoff'."

Dawn started to pull away from him, so Nathan told her, "If you pull off the blade you die, if I release the blade you die, if the blade gets pulled from your body without my permission, you die. Do you understand?"

"Yes," Dawn managed to squeak.

"Leave her alone!" Buffy tried to get out from under Devora's grasp, but stilled again when the point of Devora's sword pricked her throat.

"Bad Slayer," Devora admonished sounding a bit like Drusilla, "Mustn't move now."

Devora chanced a glance over at the visibly torn Xander. "Harris, I'm not going to insult you by asking you to drop the gun. All I'm asking is for you to stop pointing at my head."

"And if I do?" Xander asked.

"Well, so long as the Slayer agrees to behave. Nathan will free Dawn and we can talk this over like civilized beings."

"All right." Xander nodded, he lowered the barrel of the gun until it was pointed to the ground. From his body language, both Harbingers knew that he was ready to snap weapon up and start shooting at the first sign of trouble.

"Okay, Slayer." Devora sighed, "Now do we do this the easy way or does someone have to die?"

Buffy wanted to keep fighting, but the cold knowledge that she couldn't beat one Harbinger much less two of them, kept creeping into her mind. That and the sight of Dawn impaled on 'Death's' sword really had her scared, finally she said, "The easy way."

"Good," Nathan nodded and eased the sword out of Dawn. "Let's talk."

Dawn frantically checked the area where the blade had emerged from her body, only to find that the blade hadn't even damaged her dress. She turned to Nathan and glared at him, "My sister's going to kick your ass."

"Yeah," Nathan shrugged, and headed for the library, "I know. Just do me a favor."

"What?" Dawn managed a credible snarl as she followed him in.

"Don't tell your mother about it." Nathan told her, totally straight faced.

Dawn goggled at Nathan for a second then despite her anger, giggled. "I swear."

"Thank you," Nathan again replied in Mock seriousness. "All kidding aside? Your sister I can handle. Your mother on the other hand..."

"Yeah, Mom can be a real bear when one of her girls is threatened." Dawn replied, then she asked, "why me?"

"Because," Nathan nodded to where Xander still stood waiting for the others get inside before following. "You were the only one I could threaten and be sure that Harris and you sister wouldn't risk."

"Oh," Dawn pondered that for a second or two as everyone took their seats. She noticed that Xander was leaning against one of the stacks, rifle still at the ready. "Say why are you two following me around anyway?"

"That's the question I want answered to." Buffy growled from her chair.

"Actually," Xander told them, "I'm kinda wondering about that remark Devora made. About the Slayer being patterned after her?"

"So which question do you want answered first?" Devora grinned.

"DAWN!" Buffy growled.

"Okay," Devora grinned, "We were sent to keep Dawn safe from Glorificus."

"Whats a whois?" Xander asked, not very shocked. He'd figured that the Harbingers were acting like guards.

"Glorificus," Nathan repeated, "She's looking to use Dawn as a sacrifice to open a doorway back to her own realm."

"She's a demon?" Giles asked.

"No," Devora shook her head. "She's a hell-goddess."

"A what?" Willow asked shocked.

"A hell-goddess, toots." Another voice entered the conversation.

Everyone turned to see the a badly dressed individual come down the stairwell.

"Whistler!" Devora growled, "What did we tell you?"

"WHOA!" Whistler held his hands up. "I'm an official emissary this time!"

"Who the hell are you?" Buffy stood up and started for Whistler.

"He's a balance demon." Nathan pretty much dismissed Whistler's presence. "And inconsequential to this discussion."

"The powers..."

"The powers can go visit the Lightbringer for all I care." Nathan's indifferent mask slipped and rage filled his eyes. "They screwed up, that's why we're here."

"Okay, okay." Whistler backed up a little. "I was told to tell you that you forget about any aid from the Watcher's council. Glory's minions managed to blow the whole building up."

"Oh dear lord." Giles actually dropped his glasses at that announcement. "Are... are you sure?"

"Yeah," Whistler nodded, "There's a 20 foot deep crater where the main building used to be."

"All those people." Giles said softly.

"Now," Nathan said his mask of indifference once again back in place. "Tell me something I don't already know."

"You knew about this?" Buffy turned to glare at Nathan, "And you didn't do anything?"

"We just found out about it," Devora told her, "One ours was severely injured during the attack."

"A Harbinger?" Whistler looked shocked, "No wonder the Powers were freaking. I didn't know. How bad?"

"He'll live," Nathan replied, "But even our healing has its limits. Famine tried to go up against Glory by himself. She did a real number on him."

"So she's stronger than you are?" Buffy shook her head in shock, "And she's after my sister. Why is she after my sister. No, I mean I know why, but why Dawn?"

"Can't tell you that." Devora told her.

"Can't or won't." Xander asked.

"Either." Nathan replied. "That subjects off limits."

"All right," Willow frowned, "So this Glory is after Dawn, but... but she doesn't know where Dawn is right?"

When both the Harbingers and Whistler looked away, Willow said, "oh, this is soo not good."

"You said it." Whistler nodded, "She's making a beeline straight for Sunnydale now. I figure you've got a week at the most before she shows up."

"So what can we do?" Xander asked.

"Get ready for the fight of your lives." Whistler told him, no trace of humor in his face.

"Okay, now maybe you two can tell me something." Buffy asked the Harbingers.


"Why are you two interested in stopping Glory?"

Nathan frowned. "When Glory opens her doorway home, it'll cause a massive cascade failure of the Dimensional wall of this universe and a whole slew of nearby universes. By the time they heal themselves, the Hellmouth will be open and untold misery will occur."

"Why do you care?" Buffy continued, "I mean you are demons."

"Why you," Devora shot out her chair, eyes silver.

"NO!" Nathan stepped between the two females. "Devora, stop this."

"You heard her!" Devora shouted, "I'm not going to let a talking monkey insult me like that!"

"Talking...?" Now Buffy growled. "Who're you calling a..."

"THAT'S QUITE ENOUGH!" Giles' shout caused everyone to pause.

"I'm sorry," Giles told the Harbingers, "I'm a bit confused. If you're not demons, then what are you?"

"They really don't know, do they?" Whistler asked, snickering.

"No, they don't." Nathan told him.

Whistler stopped snickering. Turning to Giles, he informed the Watcher. "The Harbingers are the left-hand of God on this world."

"I beg your pardon?" Giles asked.

"They're Arch-Angels."

Chapter 12

Sunnydale High Gym.
March 9th 1998
1:45 pm

"You know," Xander told his sparring partner, "you never did explain that part about the Slayer being a knock-off of Devora."

"We didn't, did we?" Nathan paused, he glanced over to where Devora was sparring with both Slayers simultaneously. "Okay, I tell you what. Let's wait till they're done and I'll explain."

"Right," Xander nodded. He watched as Kendra landed a solid kick to Devora's stomach. At the same time Buffy's kick caught Devora on her jaw. The combined impact sent the Harbinger flying a good ten feet through the air. Instead of landing with a thud, however, Devora managed to perform a flip and landed in a three point stance. Both her legs were bent slightly and her left hand was splayed out in front of her, providing balance.

"Wow," Xander eyes went wide, "She's good."

"yep," Nathan nodded.

Xander shook his head as Devora bounced right back into the fight. For any other three people, what followed would have been called an all out brawl. For the three involved however, it was just a really good sparring session. As they mixed it up, Xander remembered the shock on the faces of Price and Mobuto when Giles gave them the 411 on the situation. Devora agreed to help in the training of the two slayers. At that point, Xander was sure he was about to be left out in the cold, when Devora asked Nathan to take over his training. So now he was sparring with one Harbinger while the three Watchers took notes on the two slayer's abilities.

"How much of a chance do you think we have against Glory?" Xander asked Nathan.

"I honestly don't know." Nathan told him, "It's not just Glory we have to worry about. There's someone else helping her."

"Tell me something I don't know." Xander smiled. "Someone had to tell her where Dawnie was."

"It calls itself the 'First'." Nathan told Xander. "It likes to claim that it's the first evil."

"You mean Satan." Xander said.

"No, not the Lightbringer. The first is, well it's a spirit more than anything else." Nathan shook his head, "And I think I should tell you, the Lightbringer really hates that name."

"Light...?" Xander grinned, "Are you telling me that you told the Powers that be to go to...?"

"Yep," Nathan returned Xander's grin, the first true smile that Xander had seen on his face. "I never liked the way they handled things down here."

"Look," Nathan continued. "Father turned over protection of this world over to the Powers a long time ago. Up until now, they've been competent. But they have this annoying tendency of simply sacrificing their soldiers whenever it was expedient. That always rankled Devora and I have to admit it bothered me to."

Xander glanced over and verified that the Slayers were still sparring and asked, "Okay so God exists right?"

"Yes, Father exists," Nathan sighed, "Let me guess. You want to know why he hasn't done anything about the Demons and Vampires, right?"

"Look, Xander." Nathan continued when Xander didn't say anything. "When Father first created all of the universe, he swept aside the demon realms. One demon, maybe even this 'First' managed to infect creation with the taint of the demonkind. Father sent us down to wipe them out, then we discovered something."

"What?" Xander asked, "I mean you should have been able to wipe them out, I mean you are Angels."

"We could have," Nathan nodded, "With our full strength, we could have wiped the universe clean of all of it. But in doing so we would have shattered creation like an egg between a hammer and an anvil."

"Oh," Xander imagined it, "Why?"

"Power," Nathan replied, "We were too powerful. The universe couldn't abide our fighting. Cracks started to appear. That's when God offered the compromise."

"A Compromise? Why? Why let them win?"

"He didn't," Nathan leaned heavily against the wall. "The only other option Father had was to totally wipe the universe clean. That would have meant destroying all the souls that were already here. Father couldn't bring himself to do that, so he made the Demon lords an offer. They didn't want to be wiped out of existence either, so they accepted. The Compromise forced all of the greater demons out of the universe. The remaining demons had their powers severely curtailed. In exchange, God bound the Angels with rules."

"What rules?"

"First, here on this plane of existence? We're mortal, we can die. And the only time we can use our full power is at God's direct instruction."

"Doesn't that mean he can still order you to use your full abilities?"

"Yes, except..."

"I knew there was a catch." Xander shook his head.

"Yeah," Nathan shrugged, "Basically Father promised only to intervene in cases involving his Chosen people, and then only under certain circumstances."

"So the Flood?" Xander asked.

"Happened during the first Demon war." Nathan replied. "Wasn't Father's doing."

"Sodom and Gomorrah?"

"That was Devora," Nathan nodded to the sparring Harbinger. "And before you ask, the ten plagues of Egypt? That was all four of us at different times."

"Wow," Xander shook his head.

"So what are you two talking about?" Buffy asked as she approached them.

"Ancient History." Nathan told her, "Xander wanted to know about the first Slayer."

"The First Slayer?" Wesley Wyndham Price asked. "There are no records of the origin of the First."

"Yeah, I know." Nathan smiled, "But we're old enough to give you the story direct."

"Okay," Buffy nodded, "Spill."

"Well," Devora smiled, "It starts with a tribe in Africa, a group of vampires and a Vengeance Demon named Athan who really hated vamps."


Southern area of Africa
A few thousand years ago

The soul survivor of the massacre crawled out from her hiding spot and began sobbing at the destruction surrounding her. Finally she screamed in rage. "I want revenge!!! Do you hear me gods? I want revenge!"

"The gods aren't listening right now." A young tribesman said as he came out the darkness. "But I can help."

"How," the girl asked through her tears. Her hand waved over the dead bodies. "Can you bring them all back."

"No," The Tribesman replied, "But I can grant your wish. How do you want your revenge? Maybe you want me to burn them alive? Or perhaps you'd rather that I peel their skin off an inch at time? Tell what you want?"

"I want the power to kill them all." The girl asked.

"All of the vampires that killed your family." The Tribesman nodded, "Very well, all..."

"No," The girl interrupted him. "I want enough power to kill all of them, everywhere."

"What?" The tribesman looked totally nonplussed. "I can't do that. Do you know how much power it would to take to wipe out every vampire everywhere?"

"Then..." The girl thought about it, "Then I want there to be someone to hunt them, to make them afraid. I want someone strong enough to hurt them and kill them, from now till the end of time. And, I want to be the first."

"Hmm..." Athan thought about it, <I think I can make that work. She'll need to be able fight. Let's see... skill, strength, and speed. I know! And it has the added benefit of pissing *her* off too.>

"I can do that." Athan told the girl. "All you have to do is wish it."

"Then I wish it." The girl told him.

"Good enough." Athan's face twisted into a dark hideous masked. "DONE!"

As Athan vanished, the girl felt the change come over. Power flowed through her, she could feel the strength pour into her. As the feeling past, the first Slayer turned and headed off in pursuit of her prey.


"Are you telling me that the Slayer was created by a wish made on a demon?" Wesley asked shocked.

"You'd better believe it," Devora growled. "The demon used my abilities and skills as the basic pattern for the Slayer."

"Except that he couldn't quite make the Slayer as strong or as fast as Devora," Nathan told them, "But it did work almost the way he expected."

"Almost?" Sam Mobuto asked.

"Yeah, well." Devora smiled, "The fool actually thought the Slayer would limit herself to the Vampires. Must have been a real surprise when a later Slayer staked him."

"Oh," Xander frowned, "Hey, why would a demon create a force for good?"

"He didn't," Devora replied, "He created a weapon of vengeance aimed primarily at Vampires."

"I guess that kind of back fired." Xander shook his head.

"Yeah, go figure." Devora grinned.


March 14th 1998
Sunnydale Library
10:00 AM

Xander walked into the Library to see everyone staring at him. "What?"

"Well?" Buffy asked.

"What?" Xander looked around, "The G-man called me and said there was a meeting."

"I did no such thing." Giles told the puzzled teenager, "You called me and told me that you had something to tell me."

"Actually, *I* sent for you." Some said from above them.

Everyone turned to see a man perched like a bird on the top of one of the shelves. He leapt down, the tails of his coat trailing almost like a bird's wings. As he approached, Buffy confronted him, "Who the hell are you?"

"Funny you should mention that." The man smiled, if it hadn't been for the fact that the smile never reached his eyes, he might have been charming. "*I* was once the brightest star in the heavens, most beloved of God's children."

"Then, like any love," The man's smile vanished, and in sing song voice he said, "it withered on the vine."

"This is not possible." Kendra shook her head, "You were banished to Hell."

"No," This time the smirk was real, "I was banished from Heaven and sent to Hell to rule there."

"You're the Lightbringer?" Xander asked in shock.

"I see you've been talking to my former brethren." The Lightbringer smiled, "You can call me 'Nick'."

"Look, I don't want to sound rude," Giles eyed the former angel, "however I feel compelled to ask. What exactly do you want?"

"Straight to the point." Nick shook his head, "I'm here to warn you that Glorificus has arrived in Sunnydale."

"Okay, now I'm confused." Buffy told him, "Why are you helping us? I mean I figured you'd be all hell on earth yay!"

"You would think that wouldn't you?" Nick smiled, "The First isn't one of *my* followers, and if he succeeds he'll create a Hell on Earth..."

"And that's one to many Hells for you, isn't it?" Devora's voice caused them all to turn.

"Ah," Nick actually grinned, "Lady War and Lord Death."

"Not funny, Lightbringer." Nathan shook his head. He stepped forward until he was nose to nose with the former Angel. Sighing, he brought his hands up to cradle the Lightbringer's head and slowly angled his head until their foreheads were touching. "Look at you Brother. You were once the greatest of us, second only to Father."

"Father stopped listening to me," The Lightbringer told him, "He turned his back on me, he'll turn his back on you as well. If you had joined with me, we'd be ruling Heaven now."

"No," Devora shook her head, "We couldn't join you, you know that. Father would never turn his back on us. He loves us all, even you..."

"Don't!" Nick pulled away. "He doesn't love me, he can't... Not after what I did."

"He still does," Nathan disagreed, "Your place there is still waiting, all you have to is ask Father for..."

"Never." Nick snarled, "I came to deliver a warning, not receive a lecture."

As he turned to leave, Nick gave them the rest of the bad news. "The First has servants, he's resurrected the Turok-han."

"How do you know all this?" Buffy asked, not really expecting an answer.

Nick actually stopped and turned, "What Glorificus is attempting is Evil, that makes it my domain."

With that, the Former Angel stalked out of the library.

"Okay." Xander shuddered, "that was just..."

"I think the word you're looking for is creepy." Buffy told him.

"Quite." Giles agreed.

Chapter 13

Angel's former Mansion
March 10th 1998
9:00 am

Glory looked around at the faded magnificence of her new abode. "I like this place."

"I'm *so glad*." The first rolled its eyes. It was presently in the form of the buildings former occupant, Angel. "Are you ready to go after your key?"

"Not yet." Glory whined, "Jinx informed me that a tower has to be built for the sacrifice. That's going to take a few days."

"Well, then," The First smiled, "Can I make a suggestion?"

"Oh go ahead." Glory sighed, "You always do."

"Tonight, attack the Slayer's allies while they patrol." The first suggested. "You can pick them off while they're separated. I'll even provide you with a few Turok-han as backup."

"It sounds like an excellent idea, your gloriousness." One of her Minions, Dreg, informed her.

"All right," Glory smiled, "At least I'll have someone to drain."

"I'll have another ally to back you up as well." The First told her, "They'll meet you here at 7 pm.


Spike frowned as he heard Drucilla singing. Ever since his poof of a sire, Angel, had been dusted by the Harbingers, his princess had spent most of her time wailing about her 'lost daddy'. Now hearing her singing so happily was actually scaring him. "Dru... pet? What's happened?"

"The Dark lady has come to deal with the nasty Harbingers." Drucilla said in a singsong voice. "She's going to punish them for taking my daddy away."

"Oh bloody hell." Spike snarled as he spun his wheelchair around.

"Don't be that way, Spikey." Drucilla wrapped her arms around the crippled vampire. "After tonight, the nasty Heralds will be out of our way and the world will burn."


Sunnydale Memorial Cemetary
March 10th 1998
10:00 pm

"Okay," Xander turned to his patrolling partner. "I gotta ask. What's Heaven like?"

"Imagine, the time when you were at your absolute happiest." Devora told him.

"Got it." Xander nodded. A few seconds later, Kendra followed suit.

"Now magnify that by a thousand and you'll be getting warm."

"That isn't a proper answer." Kendra told her.

"It wasn't a question that can be answered," Devora informed them. "Heaven is different for everyone. Each person creates their own individual idea of Heaven when they arrive."

"Alone?" Xander shook his head, "That doesn't sound like my idea of Heaven."

"No," Devora laughed, "It's more... You know it's impossible to describe Heaven in human terms? Look, just think of it like each person gets their own apartment suite to do whatever they want, no expense limit, no space limit. And they're all connected to each other."

"I get it now." Xander nodded.

"You do?" Devora shook her head. "I must have explained it wrong."

"If Heaven is so wonderful, why did you come to Earth?" Kendra asked.

"That's a little easier to answer." Devora sighed, "First, Father asked us to come down here."

"So what's the second reason?" Xander asked.


"You said first." Xander explained, "That usually means there's another reason."

"Hmm..." Devora nodded, "The second reason has to do with the Great War."

"WW 2?" Xander asked.

"No Xander," Devora sighed, "The war that resulted in over a third of my brethren dying or being cast into Hell. The War that ended when Nathan and Michael threw the Lightbringer to Earth."

"After the battles were over, I turned to look at my home and realized something." Devora continued a melancholy look on her face, "Heaven wasn't Heaven anymore, my brethren weren't..."

"They weren't your brethren anymore." Kendra finished for her.

"Right," Devora nodded. "When Father asked for volunteers to come down to Earth to fight the Demons, I volunteered and Nathan came with me."

"Whoa, hold on." Xander blinked, "the Big D didn't volunteer for this?"

"He'd better never hear you call him that." Devora snorted, "Nathan is obedient but he didn't think this world was worth fighting for."

"And you did." Kendra told her.

"No," Devora smiled, "I was just looking for a good fight."

"If you want a fight," Nick's voice came from the shadows, closely followed by the Lightbringer himself. "Try the Grissom Memorial Park."

"That's where Buffy and the others are!" Xander took of running.

"Impetuous, isn't he?" Nick smiled.

"A little too much, if you ask me." Devora told him as they chased down the running teen. "Every now and then, I get glimpses of the Warrior he might become. Then he goes and does something like this."

"He'll grow out of it." Nick told her. "You'd better hurry though, Sariel's there and he's no match for Glory alone."

"Harris!" Devora shouted, "We'll get there faster if we ride!"

"What?" Xander skidded to stop as a red Mustang appeared next to him. "Whoa!"

"GET IN!" Devora commanded as she practically dove into the car herself.

"Why is he coming?" Kendra asked as Nick jumped into the back seat with her.

"Because I'm as powerful as the two Harbingers in my own way." Nick told her. "And you're going to need my help."

"And you get to screw with Glory and the First at the same time," Xander pulled his seatbelt on as fast as he could. Since, from the way Devora was driving, he was certain that they were going to crash at any second.

"There is that." Nick nodded, "One of the perks of the job."

"Hang on!" Devora twisted the wheel, causing the car to almost go onto two wheels as it rounded the corner.

"Could you be more careful!?" Kendra shouted as, despite her seatbelt, she was slammed into Nick's body.

"You're a worse driver than Buffy." Xander said at the same time.

"Don't say things like that." Nick told him.


The engine of the Mustang suddenly roared as Devora stomped her foot down on the gas pedal, flooring it. Xander was thrown backwards into his seat by the acceleration.

"Oh." Was about all he could manage.


Buffy stared in shock as Nathan went toe to toe with Glory. They'd been patrolling when a blonde woman and a bunch of really ugly vamps had ambushed them. Thankfully they'd already been warned that stakes wouldn't work and had armed themselves with swords.

Right now, it was almost a stalemate. They'd managed to dust about half of the uber vamps and now the other were circling looking for an opening. Nathan was holding his own, just barely, against Glory. Of course, most of his success was due to the unrelenting savagery of his attack.

The sudden glare of headlights caused all of the combatants to freeze, Buffy's eyes widened as the car barreled straight for Glory and Nathan, running over a few Turok Han in the process. Nathan leapt straight into the air, clearing the car by several feet as it slammed into Glory and sent her flying.


"AAAAHHHH!" Xander screamed as the car slid to a stop less than a foot from the cemetery wall.

"He's right you know." Nick told Devora, "You are a worst driver than the Slayer."

"Shut up." Devora growled as she got out of the car. "You can't even drive."

"Uh." Xander pointed back the way they'd come from. "I think we pissed the neighbors off."

"Well... AH!!!" Everyone turned to see Glory throw Devora through a small grove of trees.

"That hurt!" Glory told the world in general, then she looked down at her clothes. "Look what you've done to this dress!"

"This is just screwed," Nick said as he held out his hand and a spear shimmered into existence.

"Uh..." Xander started when Nick growled at him.

"You even think about mentioning a trident, and I'll switch sides on general principal."

"Not saying a word." Xander turned to face the Turok-han charging them.

"C'mon you ditzy blonde." Nick growled at Glory, "I haven't got all day."

Nick was ready for Glory's attack, even so he wasn't prepared for the burst of speed she used to make the attack. His initial strike missed, the spear only tearing a bit of Glory's dress. Glory's return punch sent Nick flying. As he shook off the effects of the punch, Nick noted Xander and Kendra fighting back to back against the Turok-han as Nathan reentered the fight against Glory.

"Hey bitch!" Everyone turned to stare as Devora stepped out of the ruined trees. "We're not done yet."

As she stepped forward, a glimmering light started to form around her body. Her clothes began to fade as the light became too bright for anyone to look at. The Turok-han screamed in agony before running as the light burned them. When the light faded, where a human Harbinger once was, a female figure seemingly made out of quicksilver now stood. Silver wings extended from her shoulders flexing slightly as she stepped forward.

"So that's what those blades were." Xander said as the wings snapped forward and the silver 'feathers' ripped into the Hell-goddesses body.