This post is part of the series The Witch Hunter
Title: Buffy AVP: The Witch Hunter
1. Chapter One
All characters from the Buffyverse are the property of Joss Whedon. The character of the Alien and the Predator belongs to 20th century Fox. Everything else belongs to me.
**Prolog: Berlin 1941: During the Allied bombing**
The sound of thunder echoed in the air. The ground shook as the bombs from hundreds of allies’ planes pelted the city. The last cache of Nazi scientists left in the city gathered around the Petri disk that contained the sacred object they had so desperately been looking for.
“They’re perfect are they not?” remarked Mengele. He viewed the single-cell lifeforms under the microscope. His mouth opened in silent awe at what he was viewing. The single cells in the Petri disk were beyond anything seen by Man. They responded to neither extreme heat or cold or radiation. When injected into the Jewish prisoners the prisoners became stronger, faster and smarter. It took over a hundred S.S. Solders to hunt and bring down the child they had used to incubate the remarkable genes. They managed to locate the child outside the camp in the woods nearby. They spent over a thousand rounds bringing it down. That’s when the true power of the genes became evident. As the S.S. Soldiers were preparing to return the body back to the labs for dissection, it began to move. The small bullet-ridden corpse lumbered to its feet and began to shuffle towards them. The genes had healed and resurrected the body. A solider that had been a woodsman in his former life came across the idea of cutting the boy’s head off.
Mengele watched the single-cell creatures swim around in the nutrient mixture made of simple sugars and human blood. “This will please the Furier.” He said. “What is the source of this blood?” Mengele asked.
“Prisoner #7486. Ida Rosenberg” One of the Scientists remarked. The ground shook as the bombs hit again. Dust fell from the ceiling of the bunker. A strange and faraway look came across Mengele’s face. “I must have this power.” He thought. Mengele took a standard hypodermic needle and drew a sample of the blood. The ground shook again. The bombs were getting closer. Mengele injected himself with the blood. The effects were immediate. He felt fire fill his veins. The arm where he had injected the blood spasmed as the power shot through him. Mengele dropped to his knees as the bombs hit. A single ten-ton deep penetration “Tallboy” earthquake class bomb penetrated the bunker. Everything was incinerated. The bunker was utterly destroyed. Body parts and concrete were scattered for hundreds of feet. Nothing survived. Hours later there was a stirring in the rubble. Something moved and shambled away into the dark and burning city.
**Now: The Big Playground – The Yautja Solar System**
It was the last world on the Big Playground. The ice world of Intron 10 was in a permanent deep freeze as it prowled the outer darkness of the Yautja solar system. Before, a long time ago, before the Engineers came, there were twenty planets on the Big Playground. Five of them were now missing. Three had been used to create a planet killer to protect the Yautja from the cursed place. One had been used by the Engineers for their profane experiments in the creation of artificial lifeforms and then moved clear across the galaxy to a star cursed by the Senior Partners to kill Vampires and one planet had simply disappeared from History. None of this mattered to the hunting pack of Andorra Null. She and her four cousins were here hunting the last of the Great Old Ones. Andorra was unique in all her species. She was the only Yautja that remembered their purpose. She was the only Yautja that remembered why they hunted at all. The Yautja were augmented by the Engineers to hunt the Great Old Ones as a way of preventing the galaxy from being infected by the microscopic cells they constantly shed. The Engineers used the sacred CHON to build artificial molecules. These molecules were then used to create artificial DNA. The DNA expressed itself as the Great Old Ones. The genes of the Old Ones encoded for both protein and magic. The Old Ones were being of great power designed to explore certain theories of creation. These very same genes were in all Yautja. They were only active in Andorra.
The Yautja stomped across the snow-covered plain. They were in the classic diamond formation. Andorra had the lead. Her three cousins formed a “V” shape in back of her. They marched across the snow-covered plain to the lair of the last Great Old One. “I’ve got Movement!” One of the Predators shouted excitedly. His handheld scanner began to beep loudly. Up ahead, a field of white began to move against the white background. Freezing winds cut against Andorra’s face as she squinted to see what was moving. She had learned her lesson from her time hunting with the Buffy Summers on Earth. Andorra had learned to be careful. The last time she rushed to her prey she had been torn in half by Illyria. Andorra adjusted her faceplate. The display showed her a swam of ice spiders rushing towards them. Ice Spiders were vicious carnivores. They were only worth a few points each. But there were thousands of ice spiders rushing towards them. The Predators brought plasma rifles into position automatically. None of them moved as they allowed the herd to approach.
Alojzy Null squeezed the trigger of the two-hundred-kilowatt pulse plasma rifle. A blue spark jumped to his target. The snow exploded. The Exchange noted the kill and increased his score by a few hundred points. The other Predators joined in. Soon, the landscape was lit up by the blue-white strobe light of plasma fire. But it was not enough. Andorra could see beyond the snowbank ahead another wave of snow spiders coming towards them.
“Fall back!” She yelled. Andorra sprinted to the mouth of the cave ahead. As Pack leader, it was her job to keep them safe. This felt like Jupiter all over again. In the solar system of the cursed place, she had hunted and killed a phantom known as the First but only after it had killed thousands of her family members. She stopped the First after it had burned thousands of her cousins alive. That was not going to happen again. Andorra stood as two of her cousins rushed past her to safety. Alojzy was behind them laying down suppressor fire. Andorra could hear the sound of his plasma rifle as it fired at the snow spiders. Long crystal legs blew into the air. Sharp teeth glittered against the white snow. Andorra could tell her cousin wasn’t moving fast enough. The spiders were gaining on him. Alojzy tripped and fell backward. The spiders were on him in a moment. His screams echoed off the cold and distant mountains. Andorra turned away. She would have time to grieve with the rest of the family later. A text came across her facemask. It was the Exchange asking permission to transfer the points earned by Alojzy so far into his immediate family’s account. Andorra authorized the exchange. In a few generations, his descendants may have enough points to even buy land on the homeworld.
Andorra turned towards the inner parts of the cave. Her research and her genes had guided her here. She came to a wall covered with arcane symbols. She did not recognize the language which seemed to be hieroglyphic in nature. There were thousands of images of things with an unnatural number of wings and eyes and legs. Neurons’ clicked in her head. Suddenly it all made sense. Andorra touched her fingers against a sequence of symbols in rapid succession. The letters glowed yellow-white. The wall before her lifted revealing the dark vast cavern behind it. Something huge and brown with long tentacles could be seen sitting in the dark.
“Come, Hunter,” The booming voice said. Andorra felt mesmerized. She walked into the cavern without any fear.
“I’m here to kill you,” Andorra said. The compulsion to end the Old One was stronger now.
“The dogs have returned.” The Old One muttered to itself. “I am not the one you should be after.” It said. Andorra was curious. The Old One was talking to her. “This must be some kind of tactic.” She thought.
“What’s more important than killing you?” Andorra asked as she checked her armband. She flipped a micro switch on the bottom of it signaling her ship.
“He has returned!” The Old One said. “Beware, the children of the shadow are again in the cursed place! The Age of Oberon has begun!”
“You mean the Engineers that created you?” Andorra asked.
“No” replied the Old One. “I mean the *other* engineer, the one that tried to kill us.”
Andorra’s armband began to beep. “Time to go.” She said. Andorra turned and sprinted from the cavern.
“As reliable as ever. The Old One said. “The Engineers made you too well.”
Andorra tapped her cousin’s shoulder as she ran past them. They understood and fell in step behind her. Half a mile above the ice cave her ship decloaked. It was following the instructions programmed into it by its master. Andorra’s ship decloaked and fired a high energy beam of collimated anti-protons which sliced into the mountain and hit the Old One dead center. The world went white in a blinding thermonuclear blaze that blasted Andorra and her pack into the air and leveled everything out to a distance of twenty miles. When it was done Andorra shook herself awake, stood and looked that the smoking remains of the devastated mountain.
“Oberon, the Cursed Place. I need more information.” She thought. That’s when she decided to head to the Exchange.
2. Chapter 2
All characters from the Buffyverse are the property of Joss Whedon. The character of the Alien and the Predator belongs to 20th century Fox. Everything else belongs to me.
She woke with the rising sun. The woman laid in her warm comfortable bed caught in the hazy dreamlike state between sleep and awake. She squeezed her legs together as she rubbed her nipples against the cotton sheets beneath her. Willow Rosenberg woke with a smile on her face. As she lay on her side she gazed out the window into the bright sunlight of the California morning. It felt good to be alive again. To be something other than memories in the mind of Hive. Willow repressed the memory of being eaten alive and becoming disembodied blood memories. She smiled as she turned on her back. Her eyes turned from the bright sunlight to the black slime covered the face of an Alien. A scream died in her throat. Her eyes became saucer wide. The Alien opened its mouth to reveal a second set of teeth. She could feel it crawling on top of her. It felt warm through the sheets. She could see the crystal teeth of its second mouth. The Alien lunged forward. Her horror gave voice. Willow screamed until her throat was raw as she awakened from her dream.
Willow took deep breaths as she waited for her body to stop shaking. Her dreams had become more explicit over the last few weeks. It had been nearly six weeks since the end of the Old One named Messiah. Willow had spent days trapped in the mind of Buffy who was caught in the confluence of a glamor that activated the blood memories of an Alien race and the full power of the enjoining spell. She called herself Hive and was hands down the scariest thing Willow had ever come across during her time with the Slayer. Hive, Angel and a Predator named Andorra had stopped Messiah from rising and resurrecting the Great Old Ones.
Messiah was the last hope of the Old Ones. The Great Old Ones were artificial lifeforms built from the sacred CHON by an ancient race known as the Engineers. As a response to tragic events in their history, they began to seek answers to certain questions of creation. Key among these questions was how does the Spirit interact with the Flesh. The experiment was simple. They would use the sacred CHON to build artificial genes one molecule at a time and then use those genes to create beings that would show them exactly how the Spirit and the Flesh interacted. They called the process synthesis and had achieved a small success with Buffy Summers and the Predator Barik Null. The result was a monster that called itself Hive that tore apart a million ship Predator fleet with her bare hands.
Willow mediated over the obvious mistake the Engineers made. They were so busy focusing on the Great Old Ones they forgot all about the single-cell animals they had created in their labs. The simple single-cell organisms found a way to endure long after the Old Ones and Engineers were gone. The artificial genes created by the engineers found a place in the new order of life emerging on Earth. Three billion years later Willow Rosenberg was born.
Before Messiah was destroyed by Angel, using the Wolfman and Hart planet killer, she and the Predator named Andorra were resurrected like any Old One. Across the Earth thousands of people, one thought dead were resurrected with no idea of how they returned. Not only was Willow one of them but her grandmother Ida Rosenberg was resurrected as well. Willow was going to see her today.
**The Yautja Solar System**
Traffic control had finally let her land. Andorra parked her personal ship in one of free spaces of the Null family private spaceport. She noticed the parking space reserved for her older brother Mortok was empty. He was probably off somewhere hunting. She gathered her satchel of throwing stars and grenades and headed to one of the city shuttles. Even on the homeworld she never traveled unarmed. It would be just her luck to run into some punk kid trying to earn a few points by hunting a member of the esteemed Null family. She caught the shuttle to the capital city. She was on her way to the Exchange.
The Exchange was the central focus of Yautja’s life. The Exchange generated and kept an accounting of all hunts. The Exchange was the living history of the Yautja race. Andorra had questions. The Old One she had hunted on Intron 10 had warned her of the return of a being named Oberon who was somehow connected to the Plague. She needed more information about this Oberon. She needed to know what weapons to bring.
The shuttle dropped her off in front of the main Exchange building. Andorra grabbed her bags and briskly walked into the lobby of the Exchange.
The lobby was huge. It was at least three thousand feet across and hundreds of feed high. Thousands of Yautja stood at terminals reviewing their accounts or signing up for new hunts. Hunt Masters stood along a wall hundreds of feet long barking for crews to sign up for new hunts. Andorra found it hard to focus on the great vista before her. Her newly activated genes were going crazy. They were screaming at her to kill. She could defiantly feel the presence of a Great Old One nearby.
A young Yautja female walked up to Andorra. She had a data pad which she studied religiously.
“Andorra Null?” She asked as she stopped in front of Andorra.
“Yes.” Andorra answered.
“This way, please.” The young girl said.
Andorra followed the girl to a large pair of double doors hundreds of feet high. The doors opened by a set of hydraulic pistons. Andorra walked past the girl to the darkness within. It took only a few minutes for her eyes to adjust. She was awed and amazed. She was staring into the core the entire Yautja economic system. Before her, a huge pink brain floated in a nutrient pool hundreds of feet wide.
“I remember the day we built you.” It said. She could hear it in her mind. “You species were animals who ran on four legs. We took what you were and bent you to our will.” As the great mind was speaking to her Andorra could see great swaths of time as images of prehistoric Yautja moving across the ancient jungles of the Home World. Above them, in the faded blue sky were pale white ships miles wide.
“You are Engineer?” Andorra asked. The Great Mind growled in contempt.
“Those pathetic lost creatures…” It murmured to itself. “I am more than Engineer, I am more than your so called Old Ones. I am something they did not see coming. I am a divine mutation. I was born as one of their experiments, I have all of their knowledge but none of their vanity.” Andorra let those words sink into her. From her visions aboard the Aerial Strike she knew the power of the Engineers that had created the Great Old Ones.
“How do you think points are assigned and updated?” The Great Mind asked. Andorra didn’t have a clue. Like all Yautja she assumed that faster than light communication was made possible by Yautja technology.
“I can hear you.” It said. “The Yautja naturally emit a signal that can be detected across light years. The Engineers refined that into a communications network that spans the galaxy. I can tell the precise moment a kill is made. I assign targets to be eliminated by the Yautja. Your entire race has been hunting dogs for me for millions of years.”
“You’ve been manipulating the hunt? Andorra was shocked. The Hunt was the most sacred aspect of Yautja life. To know that it was being manipulated for a hidden agenda was to know blasphemy.
“Why are you were telling me this?” Andorra asked. They both knew that if the blasphemy of this was widely known the entire Yautja race would fall upon this building and tear it apart with their bare hands. But she also knew that the Exchange held the only official record of trillions of points. If the Exchange fell then the entire Yautja race would be bankrupt. They would have to go back to hunting with sharp sticks and teeth. Suddenly, Andorra had the answer to her own question.
“What do you want from me?” She asked the Exchange.
“Messiah has raised that which should be forgotten. Ancient enemies long dead and turned to dust have been bought back to this life. There was a war between the Engineers. Some believed that the Old Ones were an abomination and should have never been created. Some believed that the Old Ones were our only salvation. We burned worlds to the core for this war. Do you recall your final vision aboard the flagship “Aerial Strike”? Andorra nodded. She remembered seeing an Engineer impregnated by a plague drone. Hours later all the knowledge and memories of that Engineer was added to the library of Blood memories of the Xenomorphs.
“He has returned! “ Andorra could feel the sheer panic and anger emanating from the great mind. The God of the Plague and blasphemer of the great work has been returned!”
“Yes,” said Andorra. “But what do you want from me?” she asked. Behind the great mind, thousands of monitors showing hunts across the galaxy in real time began to change. Each display showed the same image at different size and resolution. It was all the same face. It was the face of Willow Rosenberg.
“Oberon has returned in Human Form! The Second Great War has begun!” It said.
“Why should I?” She asked.
“One billion points.” Answered the Great Mind. “I have assigned a bounty of one Billion points for the successful hunt of Willow Rosenberg. Oberon will not rise from her.” It didn’t matter of she took the assignment or not. A billion point bounty would draw every hunter within a thousand light years of Earth.
“Why does any of this matter?” Andorra asked. “Why the Great Old Ones?”
“The sacred CHON, Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen is the dirt common to most planets. It is the basis of all natural life. CHON can capture and hold almost any Spiritual force. The engineers wanted to know how this was done. That knowledge is of ultimate importance. This is what the Engineers found, this is what drove their experiments. The found out that the divine is real. They found out that the Stars are Gods and that they can come for us at anytime.”
She was finished dressing. Willow was planning to visit her grandmother who had died years ago but suddenly found herself resurrected by Messiah. As she gathered her car keys and purse from the kitchen counter her doorbell rang. Willow walked over to the door and opened it. A warmth blossomed in her body. Her hand flew to her mouth. She was flooded with an overwhelming joy. Willow smiled.
“Hi Oz.” She said.
3. Chapter 3
All characters from the Buffyverse are property of Joss Whedon. The character of the Alien and the Predator belongs to 20th century Fox. Everything else belongs to me.
“Hi!” Oz said. Willow stood there a moment overwhelmed by intense feelings she had long ago taught herself to forget.
“Hi Oz.” She said back to him. Willow just stood there lost with nothing to say. Her feelings for him rose up like a deep hungry ocean threatening to drown her. She desperately wanted to grab him in her arms and mount him. She wanted to catch Oz so deep within her that he could never leave her again.
“Uh, I heard you were dead.” He said politely. He realized that was a ridiculous and awkward thing to say.
“Yeah, Buffy killed me. Willow replied. “But I got better.”
“I didn’t know you could do that.” Oz said. “I mean I knew the slayer came back a couple of times. I didn’t know you could too.”
“Yeah, but it takes the presence of an Old One from another dimension.” Willow stepped out of the door and locked it behind her. She hooked her arm into his and led him towards her car.
“I ‘m on my way to grandma’s house. Wanna come?” Willow asked.
“Sure.” Said Oz. “If you don’t mind how disturbing close this is to a brothers Grimm story. “ Willow smiled as they got into her car.
Adler Braun stepped onto the walkway of the Berlin Metro platform. It had been a long day with his attorneys. He had just finished hours on the computer and the phone informing the world that he was still alive. Six months ago he had suffered a heart attack and died soon after his thirty-six birthday. Soon after that the bank foreclosed on his home. His social security number had been removed from the system. All of his banking accounts had been closed. Dying had ruined his life. Six weeks ago he had dug himself out of his own grave. He, along with thousands of people once thought dead had been resurrected. No one knew why. All anyone knew was that days before the North Pole was struck by what scientists called a solar flare of unbelievable power. It melted the entire ice shelf. Resulting in the almost total flooding of Greenland and North Europe. His phone rang. Adler stopped and fished the phone from his jacket pocket. Something moved at the edge of his vision. Light rippled along the edges of an invisible humanoid form.
“Guten Tag” He said. There was no answer. Adler looked at his phone. He didn’t recognize the number. The Predator stepped forward as it dropped his shields. A woman screamed. Two foot long metal claws came out of nowhere and stabbed Adler in the gut. The impact was strong enough bend him over. He split blood as the Predator pulled the blades out. Adler stood there a moment in wide-eyed shock. The Predator struck again with a blood covered machete cutting his head off. Buckets of Blood splashed on the walkway. By now the crowd had scattered. The Predator stood there a moment before kneeling down and pouring a dark blue liquid over the body. The flesh of Adler Braun dissolved into an undifferentiated organic soup. Any cellular remains of the Old Ones was destroyed. The Predator activated his shields disappearing from the wavelengths of visible light. He had hundreds of other names to process.
The Shinkansen Bullet-Train hit the Fukushima prefecture at well over three-hundred kilometers per hour. All the cars were full. A conference on the Resurrected was being held in Osaka. Thousands were attending. There were hundreds of Resurrected aboard the train. The Predator ship came in low from the direction of the setting sun so that no one would see it. Three buttons were pressed. An armor piercing shell exploded against the head of the train. It swerved on the tracks then exploded. Bright red fire lit the sky. The Predator ship landed nearby. Two hunters disembarked to hunt down the survivors.
Willow and Oz entered Ida’s bedroom. Beneath dark covers Ida Rosenberg lay. She had appeared at her daughter’s door weeks ago long after she had been pronounced dead and buried at the local cemetery. She was a woman in her mid-nineties. Her face held deep lines. Her hair was grey. She appeared weak and frail.
“Hi Nanna.” Willow said as she sat in a chair next to the bed. Oz stood next to her.
“Willow? Is that you” Ida asked. She sat up in the bed. Willow was one of her favorite grandchildren. Ida took one look at Widow and recognized what she was instantly.
“We are in danger.” She said in rushed tones. “An Old enemy has returned. “ Ida extended an arm. She made sure Willow saw the tattoo on her arm. There was a serial number tattooed on her arm. “I got this in the camp.” She said. “They experimented on us.” Willow was shocked. She had heard none of this before.
“I’m sorry nanna.” Willow said.
“No time child.” Ida said. “They found something in me. A Power they craved for themselves. Tell me child, have you been feeling different lately, since you’ve come back?” Willow responded in silence.
“I dream of black dragons. I dream of Monsters with two mouths and acid for blood.” Ida said. She suddenly looked at Willow as if a puzzle piece had just slid into place. Ida’s hand turned blue. A cool sapphire flame blossomed from it. Willow looked down at her hand. It began to respond to the energy unleashed from her grandmother. Her left hand began to glow orange. Willow could feel waves of Alien energy moving around inside of her like a million tadpoles.
“I dream about them. “ Willow said. Buffy called them The Children of the Shadow. But what is that Shadow?” Willow asked.
“I fear we are.” Ida answered. “We are Oberon.” At those words the energies inside of Willow came together. Willow arched her back in pain as something huge burst out of her chest. Bits of blood and bone showered the room. The Alien black and slimy stood over Willow. A moment later her body twisted again as another Alien came forth. After every birth the wound in her chest glowed a bright golden light and her flesh healed. In her head she saw the young and molten Earth. She saw ships miles wide floating overhead. The magics of Oberon kept her alive. Something sparkled in a dark corner of the room.
Andorra dropped her shields as she stepped forward to kill Willow.
4. chapter 4
All characters from the Buffyverse are property of Joss Whedon. The character of the Alien and the Predator belongs to 20th century Fox. Everything else belongs to me.
Four Alien heads turned in sync to look at Andorra. They growled as they started moving towards her. Their bodies gave off blue sparks of mystic afterbirth. Andorra extended her wrist blades. They made a metallic sound as foot long razor blades locked into position. Close quarter combat with four Xenomorphs was not her favorite scenario but she had a few tricks up her sleeve. Her shoulder cannon fired twice. Bright blue balls of plasma exploded against two Aliens. Chunks of black shell spattered backwards. Acid blood began to eat at the floor. Willow snapped out of her birth pains. She turned to Oz her eyes wide.
“Go!” She said. “Get her outside!” Willow said indicating her grandmother. Oz hesitated a moment before sprinting across the room. He kept one eye on the Predator as he grabbed Willow’s grandmother’s arm. He had never seen a demon like this before. It used technology and fought other monsters he didn’t know what was happening be he had been in enough scrapes with the Scooby gang to know when the shit had just hit the fan.
An Alien leapt at Andorra. She grabbed it by the neck and squeezed. She wasn’t trying to strangle it. The Xenomorph could survive in the absolute vacuum of space. It didn’t need to breath like other lifeforms. She was trying to control it. Andorra slammed the alien to the ground as the other Alien jumped her.
Oz kicked the front door open as he carried Ida out into the front yard. Willow’s mother followed him.
“What’s happening here?” Willows mother asked. She was afraid. The last time she had seen the Xenomorphs was the day Buffy had confessed to killing her daughter. “I thought we were done with this?” Willow’s mother said to herself. Oz sat Ida down. The woman looked frail to Oz but he could feel something strong and dangerous within her. Oz turned to back to enter the house. Ida grabbed his arm. Oz turned to look at her. His head twisted slightly.
“She’s my girl.” Oz said. “I gotta be wherever she is.” He said. Ida patted his arm.
“You are such a brave young man.” Ida said. “You would have liked my Abraham. “ She said and smiled. Blue lighting flashed from inside the house. The screams of monsters could be heard outside.
“Willow…” Oz murmured. He said her name like a prayer.
Andorra reached across her waist for her knife. She slashed up and across the second Alien’s throat. Acid blood splashed on the wall and began to burn. The Alien did not stop. Long black fingers scratched at her faceplate leaving long deep scratch marks. Her shoulder cannon fired again at the Alien on the floor. It exploded into black pieces. The second Alien jumped backwards. Andorra grabbed her battle staff. She flipped a switch. It expanded to its full six foot length. The Alien charged. Andorra stabbed it. The acid proof spear went cleanly through the alien. Andorra twisted the handle. Razor sharp blades popped out along the length of the spear. Andorra yanked it out. The Alien fell dead.
Willow was relived. “Wow that was cool.” She thought to herself. She wondered just how many times Buffy’s friend was going to keep showing up to save her life. Andorra coldly turned and pointed her shoulder laser at Willow and fired. The elder energies of the Old Ones sprang to life. An energy shield sprung up around her. It grabbed the intense laser light from Andorra and fed upon it. Her laser was adaptive. It increased its output to achieve the targeted illumination. The problem was that Willow’s shields absorbed the entire output of Andorra’s laser. Her shields glowed hard white with gigawatts of power. In the entire history of the Yautja, nothing had ever survived more than a fraction of a second under the full output of the shoulder laser. They never had a reason to program in a safety switch. The entire five hundred gigawatt output of her laser poured into Willow. Her shields held all of that energy then gave it back in one bright moment. The house exploded. It was vaporized to the foundation.
The Men folded their parachutes after landing in the Rosenberg yard. They had performed a HALO jump from ten miles up opening their parachutes when they were less than a thousand feet above the ground. They scurried to the smoldering mess that was the Rosenberg home.
“Got one!” a man yelled. “Never seen a sub-terrestrial like this before.” He said. Their leader rushed over. They grabbed the Predator, placed it into chains and rushed it to a black van that had appeared out of nowhere. Oz recognized the leader.
“She’s still in there.” Oz said. He was afraid.
“Sorry Man, got orders. I’m just here for the monster.” Said Riley Finn. He and his men piled into the black van and sped away.
5. chapter 5
All characters from the Buffyverse are property of Joss Whedon. The character of the Alien and the Predator belongs to 20th century Fox. Everything else belongs to me.
He looked over the Alien equipment spread out over his desk. Riley Finn was impressed. The monster they’d captured had every tool for cutting and piercing flesh imaginable. He’d had never seen anything like it before. He poked his head out of his office back to the holding cell where the creature lay. It was damn impressive. The creature stood over six feet tall, it had broad shoulders and thick arms. Riley could tell it was clearly female, it had hips and breasts. He also had the sneaking suspicion she could tear him apart with her bare hands.
It had almost two years since the branch of the Initiative under Sunnydale had been closed, actually destroyed by Buffy and the Scoobies. His boss at the pentagon had assigned him to a secondary site in north California. After the Sunnydale branch was shut down he spent a year hunting demons in South America. That’s where he met Samantha his wife. The Pentagon had actually sent a team to Brazil to retrieve him and assign him to his current post. It was only after he had returned home did he find out about a million ship fleet hanging over Los Angeles, specifically over the Wolfram and Hart building. That fleet was full of these Hunters. Why they came to Earth was a complete mystery to him. All he knew was that they were killers. A pack of these Hunters had taken out a bullet train in Japan killing nearly everyone aboard. There were reports from all over the world of these Hunters killing the Returned. Riley knew enough from his Sunnydale days that people rising from the dead was not a good thing. It meant serious magic, serious *dark* magic.
“Willow what have you done?” He asked himself. Riley stood and walked to the prisoner’s cell. She had deep gashes and cuts over her body. These Hunters were tough. She had managed to survive a blast that had left a home a smoking hole in the ground.
“What are you?” Riley murmured.
Andorra let the Human watch her. She could hear, she could *smell* him approach her cage. She laid there and pretended to sleep. She saw all the guns and weapons on the men who had brought her in. They excited her greatly. Patience was the essence of the hunt. She could tell the hunting here would be good. Andorra made up her mind to wait patiently for her captives to make a mistake. Then she would hunt them all.
At one time there were over ten billion members of the species known as the Engineers on the homeworld. They were a moderately successful industrial race that had managed to tame their planet and gain access to the resources of their solar system. After they had gained mastery of Land, Air and Power they began to examine the last frontier, themselves. They were barely in the early stages of genetic engineering when the Event occurred. In a single day over ninety five percent of their race just disappeared. Billions upon billions of people were yanked out of existence. There was no trace of violence or bloodshed. They were just gone. In the resulting chaos the project was born. There were less than one hundred thousand members of their species left for an industrial base that could support billions. They began to use the power of their industrial base to investigate the nature of the universe they lived in. What they found shocked them to the core. The void between the stars was not empty dead space. The space between the stars was the sacred void. They called it *Tohu wa Bohu*. They found that the universe was crowded with life both grand and monstrous. They had been observing the true masters of the universe for thousands of years and had never noticed. These masters created worlds on command, built life from the sacred CHON and when the time came took that life back into themselves. What the engineers found was that the Stars were gods and that they can come for us at any time.
This was the day everything had changed. Billions of years ago on Earth the Children of The Shadow were everywhere. The name of that shadow was Oberon. He was their creator and their god. They poured from his body like a black slick rain. They immortalized the soul by destroying the body. They impregnated a host and bonded with it keeping it alive in the blood memories. One day a Child of the shadow impregnated an Engineer. Thousands of years of cabalistic knowledge poured in to the blood memories of Oberon. He knew what they knew. He knew the stars were gods and the creators of all life in the universe. He knew the multifold path of creation and he knew how to communicate with them. Oberon was tired of constantly warring with the other Old Ones. So, he asked the star of the Yautja to burn the world. But before it could be done Wolfram and Hart had convinced the Old One’s to move the Earth clear across the galaxy to a star cursed to kill vampires.
In the central Sunnydale hospital, Willow Rosenberg slept. Her doctors kept her in a coma in order to heal her. After pulling her body from the wreckage of the destroyed home Oz drove like a maniac to the nearest hospital. She had cuts and burns over ninety percent of her body. Inside of her, the energies of Oberon continued its agenda. It could sense the Old One’s sleeping on this planet and the engineers far away. It would contact the star of this world and have it burn the Earth to the ground.
Oz sat with Ida in the waiting room. They were surrounded by dozens of other people waiting on their loved ones. Ida tugged at his sleeve.
“I know what this is.” She said. “This power we share speaks to me. I know what it wants” Oz nodded as if agreeing. Truth was, he didn’t have a clue as to what was happening. All he knew that he was back in the Hospital with Willow. The last time they were here Angelus was threating to destroy the world.
“There is a book we must get.” Ida said. “It is old and it is powerful.” Ida looked at Oz. Her eyes twinkled. “We must find “The Book of Creation.” She said.
6. chapter 6
She dreamed of a hundred worlds. Andorra Null lay in her internment cell deep within the second initiative. She used her powers the way the Exchange had shown her. The Yautja were hardwired to speak to each other across the stars. Andorra floated in a dream state that showed her hunts happening right now across a dozen solar systems within a few light years of Earth. These hunts made her jealous. Others, were hunting and racking up points. She was stuck in a dirty cell doing nothing. Andorra lifted herself up on her elbows. She stared at the Humans beyond the bars of her cell. She was tired of being on the sidelines. It was time for her to Hunt.
The Human Pack leader Riley Finn had taken all of her weapons of metal and any obvious tools she had. But the Yautja used a weapon that could never be taken from them. This was their first weapon. This was the weapon used since the first days of the hunt. Andorra grabbed the bars of the door of her cage and ripped it off of the hinges. The Yautja were strong. This was the tool that had had taken them to the stars.
A pack of Humans came at her. They wielded primitive kinetic energy weapons that fired small pieces of metal at great speed. Andorra used her bare hands to break bones and tear them limb from limb. These tiny men were too far down the pecking order to be of any interest to her. She wanted the strongest one here, she wanted their leader. She wanted their pack commander, she wanted Riley Finn.
Andorra snapped the neck of the last of the men as she made her way to Riley’s office. It was empty. Her weapons were spread out over his desk. She took them back. She took back her throwing stars and her retractable spear, she attached her blade gauntlet to her wrist. She made a fist. Foot long blades shot outward. She took her diamond laced bullwhip back and coiled it along her utility belt. Her shoulder cannon slid easily back into its mount. She ran diagnostics. The shoulder cannon read in the ninety percentile. Finally, Andorra slid her mask into place. The cool metal slid over her face. The facemask provided multispectral viewing and multi band communications. She could see in the dark with this mask and manage a small fleet of ships simultaneously. Her facemask was beeping. It was her ship calling her. The A.I missed her. Her ship was frantically looking for her. Andorra answered her ship. She gave it orders. She commanded darkness.
Above the Second Initiative, there was a powerful electromagnetic burst. Lights exploded, power generators shorted out. The Initiative went dark. Andorra switched to infrared vision. She turned at the sound of someone behind her. She leapt from the office in pursuit of her prey. The Predator started her hunt.
He stood over Willow. Oz held her hand and stroked it gently. He hated seeing Willow this way. It broke his heart. He had returned to Sunnydale after getting an email from Xander. Willow was dead and Buffy had gone crazy. He returned to Sunnydale to face his deepest fears. But there she was, alive and well and looking kind of sexy. Willow always amazed him. She was the only one in the world that could make everything better just by smiling at him. Oz held her hand in both of his. He held her hand close to his face. His eyes were pregnant with plump and gestating tears. She was the reason he had decided to fight the wolf within him. She was the reason he had decided to find a way to control the beast within. He had managed to deny the wolf for the last two full moons but he could feel the wolf pulling at him. The next full moon was only a few days away. If he lost Willow now, he didn’t know if he would have the strength to fight the change.
“Ozzie?” Willow was stirring from her slumber. Her eyes were droopy. She squeezed Oz’s hands. “You look terrible.” She said. Oz forced a smile.
“Hey yourself.” Oz said. “You’re supposed to be taking it easy.” He said to her.
“Whatcha doing?” Willow asked. Despite her body being asleep her senses were active. She had felt Oz and Ida watching over her the last few days. Willow’s hand tightened in his.
“It’s alive.” Willow said. “I can feel it inside of me.” Willow’s voice was clearer, stronger now. “Oberon is alive. It’s active. “ Oz could hear the fear in her voice.
“Shhh, it’s ok.” Oz said trying to comfort her.
“No it’s not.” Willow said. “Oberon hates the Engineers. He knows what’s in the deeper well. He knows how to talk to the stars. He will bring them here to clean the Earth.”
“Oz.” Ida said. She had come into the room after hearing Willow stirring. “It’s time to go.” She said. “It’s in a temple only an hour away.” Ida had used Oz’s phone to do an online search for the “Book of Creation.” Oz had found copies of it on Amazon for under twenty bucks. Ida had laughed at him.
“We need the annotated version.” She said. “Real, old school magic.”
Willow looked at Ida strangely for a moment. While she had never been orthodox, she knew something of her heritage. She knew the “Book of Creation” was dangerous. The last time it was used was by a group of rabbi’s during the last world war to kill hundreds of Nazi soldiers.
“Be safe.” Willow said to two of the people she loved most in the world. Ida pulled at Oz. It took him a moment to stand. He hated the thought of leaving Willow again. He held his feelings as he and Ida walked away. Willow curled up on the bed, her knees to her chest.
“Oberon is coming, Oberon is coming.” She thought over and over to herself. She knew what her visions had told her. Oberon will call out to the stars and have them burn the deeper well then the entire planet to a crisp.
7. chapter 7
The conference was winding down when the power died. Riley was on a video conference with his bosses at the pentagon who wanted as much information as possible on the Hunter. They knew that the Hunters had been coming to Earth for thousands of years for the sport of killing. For years they were content to just let them bag a Human or two in the hopes of making a trade agreement with them one day. That illusion was shattered when a million ship fleet showed up over Los Angeles directly above the Wolfram and Hart building. After only an hour they had simply departed. No attempt was made by either side to contact the other. The Pentagon was still scratching thier heads over that one. The power went out all at once. The video monitor blinked as the room went black. This was unheard of. The second initiative had a redundant power system and its own generator. His solider instincts told him what was happening.
“Now we party.” Riley thought as he swung his feet off the conference table and dashed into the hall. He opened his gerber combat knife preparing to handle anything he met in the darkened hallway. He remembered the crash of the first initiative. It was chaos. Riley expected no less now. It had been nearly a year since he’d has seen any real action. His nastiest fights now where with paperwork and bureaucracy. He was eager for a little hand to hand. Riley could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. His hands shook a little. The micro tremors was a side effect of the super solider serum they had pumped him full of. Riley was stronger than most men. The serum in his blood made him at least as strong as a slayer.
Andorra was patient. She waited calmly on the catwalk above the main cafeteria. The low level Humans stumbled about in the darkness. They were too worthless to hunt. She knew the one she wanted. She came here to hunt the Alpha. She knew he had been augmented with organic upgrades. She knew he would provide good sport. She spotted his heat signature in the dark. Riley saw three red dots appear on his chest. He stopped for a moment.
“Huh?” he thought. Then he remembered his briefing. Riley flicked sideways as a ball of plasma whizzed past him. It exploded against the wall sending out yellow white sparks. The firelight briefly lit up the room. Riley could see the outline of the Predator in the catwalk above. His Glock G17 rang out hitting his target twice. The Predator stood and extended her wrist blades. Andorra shrugged off the low caliber projectiles as she leapt to the killing floor. Riley watched as the beast approached him. She was over six feet tall and strongly muscled. A crown of proud dreadlocks radiated from her head. Her black hair was covered in trophy beads. It made a clicking sound as she walked. All but one of her wrist blades withdrew. Riley understood. This was going to be a fair fight. This was about honor.
The Predator sped up as she rushed him. The single blade slashed downward only a fraction of an inch from his face. Finn flicked his knife across her chest drawing blood. The Predator yowled and stabbed upward at Riley. The blade skidded off of the body armor he always wore. Still, his ribs were bruised. By instinct he punched her in the heart, or at least where a heart would be on a human. Andorra coughed and stepped back. Andorra roared, extended all of her wrist blades then charged forward. His Judo training kicked in. The way of Hane goshi was known to him. Andorra smashed into him. Her breasts pushed against his face. Riley pivoted placing her weight across his hips. He took her momentum and used it to fling her down the hallway. The Predator twisted in midair and landed on her feet. She charged at Riley again. This time she knew better. She slashed down with her Gauntlet blades. His gerber combat knife sent sparks into the air as it dinged against the edges her sharp blades. The two inch blade of Riley’s knife sliced along her arm. Green blood shot into the air. This made her angry. Andorra grabbed Riley by the neck and slammed him to the ground. She sat on him. Her two hundred plus pounds penned him to the floor. She extended her wrist blades an additional two inches. Andorra stabbed Riley once in the chest shredding his heart. His flesh was torn from the inside as she yanked the serrated blades out of his body. Andorra was in the full blood lust now. The demands of ritual came to her. Andorra stood and turned Riley’s body over, she cut the skin and muscle from around his spine in the way her father had taught her as a child. She pulled at his head. His head and spine unzipped from his body as one piece. Andorra held her trophy up and howled. Flecks of blood and tissue rained down upon her face. Her scream echoed in the dark and empty hallway. It was a good hunt.
Oz and Ida arrived at Temple Beth Israel just before sunset. It was a hard drive here. Oz drove like a maniac. He wanted to get here and get this over with as quickly as possible. He hated the thought of leaving Willow all alone at the hospital. They made their way into the Temple. Ida had called ahead and had spoken to the Rabbi. She explained what she wanted and why she was coming here. The rabbi met them in the parking lot. He looked familiar to Ida but not at all like the man she’d known since she was a child. The rabbi approached her. He had the “Book of Creation” in his hands.
“It’s been a long time.” The rabbi said to her. Ida just stood there, her mouth open in shock. She recognized the man and was loathe to be near him.. She remembered the day they had burned a serial number into her arm in the camp.
“Herr Mengele” Ida growled. An old horror had come back to visit her.
“Fräulein Rosenberg, I am afraid the owner of this book is not available at the moment.” Mengele said in dark tones. “I know why you want this book and I will stop you.” Oz could hear the true evil in his voice and knew right then that he was not the only monster here.
8. Chapter 8
“You know Ida, when I first met you, you were but a wisp of a girl.” Said Mengele. His tone was friendly.
“When we first met you had me standing in a tub of ice water for three days just to see what would happen.” Ida replied coldly.
“As I recall. You exceeded all of our expectations.” Mengele boosted. “You survived what others could not. You flesh refused to die.”
“You caused me pain.” Ida growled. “I suffered. “My beloved Abraham died on the operating table in one of your cruel experiments.” The expression on Mengele’s face did not change. He was proud of the work he had done to further the third Reich. The work he had done made it possible for the Americans to go to the moon only twenty-five years later.
“We…” Mengele was about to say when purple-white fire shot out of Ida hand burning his face.
“*ut hoc ignis adurat*” Ida muttered. The simple spell drowned Mengele in boiling flames.
“Get the book!” Ida said to Oz. Oz lunged forward to grab the “Book of Creation” from Mengele’s hand. He fought back striking Oz across the face. The magics of Oberon healed Mengele quickly. The robe he wore was now burned away revealing a body covered in boils. Ida gasped as she stepped back. She wondered if the same thing would start to happen to her.
“Do you know what we are?” Mengele asked Ida. She forced herself to listen. “Do you know *what* we are?” Mengele asked again. “We share a power unknown to Human Flesh! We have the power of a god inside of us!”
“Not my god.” Ida said softly.
“Yet, you would use his name to create and breathe life into a Golem.” Said Mengele. Ida stopped cold. He had figured it out.
“Oberon needs a body.” Ida said. “It’s not enough his power is trapped in the prison of our flesh.”
“You sound like an Engineer.” Said Mengele. The power of Oberon has revealed that name to him.
“The Engineers…” Ida said dismissively. Her tone displayed the contempt she had for them. “They were blasphemers, perverters of the divine. The answers they sought with the Great Old One’s was staring them in the face the whole time. How does the Sprit bind to the flesh? The Sprit *creates* the vehicle of its conveyance. We were built to be possessed. We are the ark of the divine and they can come for us at any time”
Mengele froze. A long lost memory came back to him. Something dark and scary skittered along the edges of his memory. Oberon found something billions of years ago. Something that had turned faith into a weapon.
“The stars…” Mengele muttered. “The stars are gods…”
“…and they can come for us at any time.” Ida completed. The two stared at each other for long moment drinking in the full horror of that revelation.
“The Book, Mengele.” Ida said with steel in her voice. “I will have the book else I will say the four words and call fire down from the sky.” Mengele knew she was serious. He could feel the buildup of mystical energy around her.
Mengele tightened his grip upon the book. “No.” he said.
Ida spoke in the Old Hebrew. *”בואו”* Mengele’s eyes opened wide. He recognized the spell. “Give me the book.” Ida said again. Oz could feel the tension building between them.
*”שם”* Ida said the next word. Circular clouds began to form in the sky. The blueness of the sky began to turn dark.
“I don’t believe you will do this.” Mengele said with a twinge of desperation in his voice. “Not even Oberon dared.”