Xander the Virtual Adept

Author: BookMouse <darkheartedbastard[at]yahoo.com>

Disclaimer: I own nothing but a bottle of White Out and a mostly empty thingy of Windex. If you want it, no need to sue, just ask.

Author Notes: I've been busy working, reading Fanfic, re-writing Birthright, and gaming on the weekends. This one popped into my mind and just would NOT get out. So I gave in and started writing, knowing that it would not be out in time for Halloween, but oh well.

Summary: Xander dresses up as a character he played in Mage: The Ascension (Which I do not own but do I wish I did) with Jesse and Willow before the arrival of Buffy.

Author Comment: It helps if you have played, or know about Mage: The Ascension. There is too much to write about other than it is a fairly excellent Pencil and Paper RPG that just begs for exploration.

The character that Xander played (in my own mind anyway) would have been one almost opposite of how he is in RL (or would that be Ficlet RL?) Anywho, I can see Xander playing a Virtual Adept and pulling it off very well. While he isn't the brightest bulb in the bunch, he defiantly has a way of seeing things differently, so I said why not.

Here below is the Character Sheet that I worked out, based on 5 years of Xander playing the same character.

You will defiantly need exposure to Mage: The Ascension to understand all that below. If you're curious, and you have no idea what Mage: The Ascension is (heathen!) send me a message. You will get thwacked with my wifflebat, but I'll do my best to explain in between whacks, you heathen! : )

Virtual Adept - Pattern Essence - Loner (Deviant)


Str 3 Cha 4 Perc 4

Dex 4 Mani 4 Int 5

Sta 3 Appr 3 Wits 4


Talents Skills Knowledge

Alertness 5 Drive 3 Computer 5

Dodge 3 Firearms 4 Law (Cyber) 5

Streetwise 3 Technology 5 Enigmas 4

Awareness 5 Etiquette 4 Cosmology 5

Subterfuge 4 Stealth 4 Science 5


Arete — 5 Willpower — 10 Quintessence — 3

Arcane — 4 Avatar — 5 Destiny — 4 Library — 5 Dream — 5


Correspondence — 5 Life — 3 Prime — 3

Entropy — 2 Matter — 4 Spirit — 5

Forces — 4 Mind — 4 Time — 4

Feedback is food, so please feed the author.

And now — the Story Begins —

Chapter 1
The Search

Xander was thinking about what to wear this year for Halloween. After looking through the available clothes in his closet, he decided that the fatigues he had would have to do. He knew that he, Willow, and Buffy would be going to the new shop that opened up later in the afternoon, so he decided to look through his trunk to see if he could find the medals that Uncle Rory had given him.

While digging through the trunk, he found a folder that he hadn't looked at since after Jesse died. He smiled sadly as he pulled out the folder and started looking through it.

"Cyber-X" he said softly to himself "he died the week before Buffy came into town."

He looked at the hand drawing that Willow had done for him, and then looked into his closet from the chair he was sitting in.

"I have most of this stuff" he muttered.

Inspiration struck. "I'll go as Cyber-X this year."

He showered, though skipped shaving, as Cyber-X always had a bit of scruff going on. He then dressed in a pair of dark jeans. Pulling on his black boots (too bad they aren't leather he thought. Though maybe the new shop All Hallows Eves has them.) He then pulled on a solid white tee-shirt, and then wrapped an old flannel shirt around his waist. Next were his grandmothers' hearing aid, his sunglasses, and a red bandana that he tied around his head.

He threw a pair of wooden colt 45s into his backpack, as well the shoulder holster rig that he got from his Uncle Rory that he planned on turning into a stake holder setup for patrol nights.

With that, he left his room, and headed over to the Summers residence to meet up with Buffy and Willow.

Chapter 2
All Hallows Eves Shop

Xander had found out from Mrs Summers that Buffy and Willow had already gone ahead to All Hallows Eves. When he had asked why they didn't wait for him, Mrs Summers had explained that Buffy wanted to 'Girl Talk' with Willow.

Xander shuddered at that, thanked her politly, and went off to the shop, hoping that he would get there late enough for the talk session to be over. While he was flattered to be thought as 'one of the girls' by Buffy, he did not enjoy listening into the 'Girl Talk' sessions.

"I so need more male friends" he muttered to himself as he walked into the 'All Hallows Eve' shop.

He walked into the door, and was greeted by the man behind the counter. "Good Afternoon, welcome to All Hallows Eve. I am Ethan, the store owner. Is there anything in particular I can help you find?"

Xander thought to himself 'Another Brit. Damn, they are coming out of the woodworks.'

"Yes" Xander replied "I'm looking for a pair of black leather boots, mid calf level, and 2 sets of full length forearm braces, in black, styled like what you would find from Doctor Who. Do you have them?"

Ethan thought for a moment. "The boots I know I have, might even have them in your size. Let me check my stock in the back for your forearm braces though."

Ethan went into the backroom thinking to himself 'The boots wont be enough, so I'll have to find those braces he wants.' Shutting the door behind him, he went into his office, sat in his chair, and cast a mental imagery spell, hoping to see exactly what the boy wanted.

He was in luck, and got a visualization of 2 fully covering forearm bands, quarter inch thick, with an inset keyboard, but no display.

Shrugging to himself, he walked out of his office, into the stockroom, and rummaged about in a box until he found some Hercules type armbands. He took them into his office, and transformed them through another spell into something close to what he saw, after all, an exact match would be slightly suspicious.

--- In the shop itself ---

Xander was waiting patiently by the counter for Ethan to come back out (hopefully) with the things he asked for when he spotted Willow chatting with Buffy.

"Wills!" he called "Buffster!". The two girls looked up at his voice, and walked over to him.

"Hey Xander, whats the what?" Willow asked.

"I'm hoping whats-his-name will have the things I asked for in stock" Xander replied.

"So whatcha going as this year for Halloween Xander?" asked Buffy.

"It's a secret. If he has the things I asked for in stock, only Willow will be able to figure out who I am going as." Xander replied.

"Awww come on Xand …" Buffy stopped speaking and just stared

"Buffy?" asked Xander "You ok there?"

Xander looked at where she was starring.

He saw an old dress on a mannequin. Lots of lace, ruffles, and florish. Xander sighed. 'She is thinking about DB again. You can tell by the disgusting look of bliss on her face.'

He turned to Willow. "So Wills, whatcha going out as tonite?"

Willow blushed, her face turning almost as red as her hair. "BuffywantsmetogooutasXenabutthatlookissonotmeitshowsofftoomuchlegandthetightclo\ thes …" she was hushed by Xanders hand over her mouth.

"Breath. Oxygen in, Oxygen out. Oxygen in, Oxygen out." Xander said.

At that time, the owner 'Ethan' Xander though 'that isn't a normal Brit name is it?' came out from the back and handed over the two forearm braces. "Here you go young sir. I hope these are acceptable."

Xander looked them over. "Considering that this is pretty much a last minute request, these rock!" he replied. "Where can I look at the boots?"

Ethan smiled. "Back wall. Those" he motioned to the braces "were to be part of a set costume, but the person who ordered it cancelled last night, so I'll sell them to you at cost. Just tell everyone that you got your entire Costume here at All Hallows Eve if you would please."

Xander smiled. "Deal!"

He removed his hand from Willows mouth. "I'll be back in a bit Wills, gotta check for the boots."

With that Xander left towards the back of the store.

Chapter 3
House of Summers

Xander was not quite the vision of Buffy that opened the door. The long frilly dress that he had thought looked tasteless on the mannequin looked hot on her. "Wow Buffster … Duchess of Buffonia. You look amazing!"

"Why thank you kind sir." Buffy replied. "You look …. roughly dressed tonite. Wait until you see Willow, she looks so good in the Xena outfit."

Xander had added the leather mid-calf black boots to his outfit. In addition, he had on a pair of rayban sunglasses, and his grandmothers' hearing aid in his right ear. A battered leather jacket is over his left shoulder, and the gun harness is plainly visible, with the obviously wooden guns showing. On his forearms are the two braces, the keyboards on the inner part of his arms. A pair of slim black gloves with the fingers cut off to the first joint finished the look.

Buffy quirked her head to the side, her hearing picking up Willow as she started down the steps.

"Xander, prepared to be amazed. I would like to present Willow the amazing" at that point Willow was visible, wearing her white sheet with the word BOO on the front "… Casper" Buffy faltered.

Xander laughed. "Buffy, Willow has been going as a Ghost now for 10 years." He looked at this watch. "We have got to go, otherwise Synder will give us detention for being late." He said with a roll of his eyes.

Chapter 4
The Change

There was a brief moment of … darkness? then he could see again. Looking around quickly, Cyber-X realized that he was not where he had been. "Did I shift myself from the grid?" he wondered aloud.

'Negative' replied his wrist comps in unison. 'Last recorded information indicates your vessel perished in conflict with Iteration-X vessels. Now we are here.'

Cyber-X blinked. "Are you saying I died?"

'Affirmative' his wrist comps replied in unison.

There was a loud growl behind him.

He turned and saw … something that he had never seen before, and it was charging at him.

With a quick jump to the left he got out of the way of the … whatever, his hands automatically going for his pistols.

'Engage track and scan visual and audio frequencies. Display on visor. Full 360 degrees. 100 feet. Exclude ground level and below unless terrain indicates otherwise.' Cyber-X thought.

And with that, his sunglasses began projecting the information into his eyes, and his earpiece began scanning all frequencies, filtering out non critical information.

Within seconds a full 3D map of the area he was in within 100 feet was mapped out. Meanwhile his wristcomps were scanning the creatures in the designed grid location, classifying each.

As he was about to shoot the … whatever, a warning flashed in his eyes. 'Scan indicates that hostile shell is not in it's natural form. It has been warped somehow from a human child, 97% chance of child being a sleeper, into it's current form. Form is somehow locked into place through an unknown form of magick. Additional information critical to your status available but delayed until your current vessel is in a place of safety. Safe points indicated. Awaiting authorization to shift.'

As there were no sleepers about, Cyber-X decided to take a gamble and risk a paradox backlash of a correspondence step rather than killing an innocent, even if it was currently trying to kill him.

With a shimmer, he vanished. At the same time he appeared in a store of some type.

His attention was focused on the Paradox reading. If he was lucky, it would stay under 20. If not, he was going to be feeling some pain.


He waited a minute.

Still 0.

"This can't be right." He said. "No paradox from a blatant use of magick?"

'Not enough information to read probabilities. Would you like the additional information on your current vessel now?'

Cyber-X shrugged. "Yes." He figured if the clown (why did his body shiver just now?) was going to show up, he'd deal with it then. Otherwise, he'd not worry. Cides, he thought, the Paradox spirits are going to be busy dealing with whatever bozo did this spell.

'Your mind has been relocated into this vessel. His possessions have been altered to fit your equipment before you died. Additionally we can sense the spirit of your current vessel is dormant. Perhaps your vessel has additional information that you can recover from it's software.'

Cyber-X thought for a moment. He slid his hands under his sleeves and began typing onto both keyboards while his mind worked out the ritual he would need to get in touch with the spirit of his host.

'Time … Spirit … Prime … Mind … Entropy … those will have to be bound into the ritual. Time to give us the chance to talk while nothing occurs on the outside. Prime to get in touch with the true self, along with Mind. Spirit to reach his spirit, and Entropy to boost the chances.'

After 3 minutes, he was done constructing the ritual.

'Authorize run of Communion-CyberX-version1.0' he thought. And with that, everything changed. He was no longer in a store, but instead, in a living room. There was a kid, looked to be in his mid teens in the room, pacing.

"Who the hell are you, where am I, and what the hell is going on?" the kid raged!

"Whoa. I'm Cyber-X." the kid jerked at that comment. "As to where you are, well, we're in a Spirit room I constructed so we could talk. As to what is going on, somehow I seem to have possessed you."

"Cyber-X" the kid asked. "Virtual Adept. Real name Luke Winters. Age 28. Am I right?"

Cyber-X blinked. "How the hell did you know that? I made sure that NONE of that information existed anywhere."

"Holy shit." The kid said. His eyes began blinking furiously. "Uh, my name is Xander. Do you suppose I can have my body back now?"

"Would if I could kid, but I died, and now I'm in your body. By the way, we got attacked by something. What the hell is this?" he concentrated for a minute, and an image of a Goatman appeared (Diablo 2 reference here).

"Uh. Goatman. From a game I played on Wills computer. Nasty little bugger, but the coloring on that one indicates it's from early in the game." Xander replied.

Cyber-X blinked. "Game? Something tells me I'm defiantly"

"Not in Kansas riding red riding hood to Grandmas house." Xander finished.

Cyber-X blinked again and chuckled. "Yeap."

Xander thought for a minute. "Ok. We have a problem. I don't have the time or memory to fill you in on the nightlife of Sunnydale. You have the tools though to grab my memories and process them. So do it. I want my body kept in one piece, and I'm hoping that somehow I'll get back where I belong and so will you."

Cyber-X nodded. "Already there kid. Only problem is it's a two way street, which is why I don't use it often."

Xander shrugged. "Like we have a choice right now? It's not like I'm going anywhere. After all, you're in MY body."

Cyber-X sighed and nodded in agreement. "Done kid."

And with that, the two traded minds.

With a jerk, Cyber-X got up from the floor. "Holy shit." He whispered to himself. "There is no Paradox here! No technocrats. No other of the groups. I'm the only Mage in this reality."

He began to laugh loudly as he considered the possibilities. He knew that if / when he left, the kid, Xander, would have his memories, skills, and powers. "Virtual Reality 2.0 here we come he whispered. But first, I've got to make sure the kids friends are gonna be allright."

Using his computers, he mapped Sunnydale (excluding everything below ground) and put in parameters to match for Willow, Buffy, Cordelia, Giles, and Mrs Summers. He thought about Angel for a minute, then shrugged. "Nephandi bastard can go fuck himself for all I care."

Within seconds, the grid locations for each were found.