“Nice little doomsday machine you have there.” Angel said. He stood next to Cordelia with his arms folded.
“A girl gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.” Cordelia said never taking her eyes off the great machine below.
“What is it exactly that you’re doing?” Angel asked. He had to know he was making the right decision.
“This is our last defense.” Cordelia said. “We won’t permit Messiah to rise. We won’t let the Old One’s into our sacred space.”
“You’re a snob.” Angel said to her. Cordelia looked at him briefly then shook her head.
“It’s about power.” She said. “If the Old Ones make it to where we are now then everything will change. They will cramp our style. So a few billion humans burn in the process, big deal.
Power can never be shared.”
“Wrong.” Said Angel. He showed his vampire face. His fangs appeared. In a blink of an eye he was on her. Angel sank his teeth into Cordelia before she could move. Her eyes rolled upwards. She desperately reached for any power she had left. It was too late. This is what the Senior Partners feared billions of years ago. As they worked feverishly to acquire power they knew the vampire could take it away with a single bite.
Angel released her as all the powers of the Powers that Be flooded into him. It felt like his head was exploding. Billions of years of knowledge slammed into him. He saw the trillions of galaxies in creation and the trillions of galaxies in the universes beyond this one. He saw his life and how it fit into the plans of the Powers That Be. He saw the tedious grasp they had over reality. He knew what they feared and what they wanted most of all. With all of their power and all of their knowledge all the Powers That Be really wanted was the approval of their parents. Angel could see the Engineer standing over him. It was well over ten feet tall and well built yet it’s features were soft and curved. The engineer had a short button nose and doll black eyes.
It’s head was bald. The engineer looked at him. Angel couldn’t tell if this was a memory or a real time connection.
“A second order meta-recursive parasite.” The Engineer said to itself as it examined the energies that sustained Angel. “Impressive. We should have taken more for study.” The Engineer was clearly talking to someone just out of visual range.
“Please, sir.” Angel said humbly. “Messiah is rising…” The Engineer stared at him. Then he understood what Angel was asking. A pained look came over his face. He understood the terrible choice that had to be made.
“The Old Ones are an anachronism. We don’t need them anymore. We have other specimens. If they return we will have a place for them. If not, our experiments will go on. You have a choice to make vampire but you may not have options.” The Engineer cut the connection. Angel understood. As the powers of the Powers That Be sang in him he stepped over the body of Cordelia to stare at the hellish machine below. He knew the Engineer was right. Mesektet was their last defense against the rising of Messiah and the resurrection of the Old Ones. He had a choice to make but he didn’t have any options. Angel ordered the calibration of the machine to continue.
They entered the portal. Buffy numbly walked behind Illyria in her Alien form. She was sad and angry. A friend of hers had just died. Around them the arctic remained but now they were in a space adjacent to the world. They stood upon a black disk thousands of miles wide. The sky above was a strange mix of pink and white. There was no distortion to the horizon. The land was flat black to infinity which merged into the sky. Buffy knew where Illyria was leading her.
“So where is Messiah?” she asked.
“You standing on him.” Illyria answered.
Buffy looked down. The ground beneath her began to rumble.
“You’re too late.” Illyria said. “Did you think someone like me would need the full three days? It is finished, Hive. Messiah is rising.”
18. chapter 18
The land was humming. Beneath Buffy’s feet the landscape that was Messiah vibrated with an insistent hum like a trillion bees trapped in a box thousands of miles wide. This spoke of fantastic power aching to break free of the mystical prison that held it. The surface of Messiah was smooth, almost glass like. Buffy could hear the clicking of Illyria’s feet as the alien paced back and forth. She was still grieving the loss of her friends. Hours ago a Yautja hunter she had come to know had been torn apart by Illyria. She and Buffy were kindred spirits. They were both hunters. The lost of the predator stung. It felt like dull throb in her chest. Willow too was dead. The magics of the Alien had lead to her brutal murder. Buffy let her grief simmer in her, It well on its way to becoming a slow boiling rage. She watched the alien and silently reached her deadly conclusion.
“We have need of you Hive.” Illyria spoke in her mind.
“Is this the part where you reveal to me your evil plans?” Buffy said sarcastically. “So you’ve gone all Austin Powers on me, huh?” Illyria had no idea what Buffy was talking about.
“We have need of you.” Illyria said again. “We are old. The Powers That Be are Old. The Engineers are older still. You are new. You are something never seen before. You are alien. You are a force that is no way connected to this cursed place. You will fight with us against the Powers That Be.”
“So you want me for team ancient age? Buffy said. “Sorry grandma, the cheese stands alone.”