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The Box of Yfrak

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"When one creates phantoms for oneself, one puts vampires into the world, and one must nourish these children of a voluntary nightmare with one's blood, one's life, one's intelligence, and one's reason, without ever satisfying them."
- Eliphas Levi
Ethan didn’t know what was going down in L.A., and to be painfully honest, he didn’t care. All he knew was that Cyvus Vale was fated to die tonight. He had seen it with his own two eyes in the Tradescan Codex. His contact hadn’t understood it, of course, hadn’t realized that the reference pertained to Vale. How could she have? Only Ethan knew what was needed to be known to make sense of the reference.

Which meant he had knowledge that the Watcher’s Council lacked. And knowledge, as everyone knew, was power.

Now it was only a little while before that power would be made absolute.

He made his way through the corridors of Vale’s palace, twisting his way to the center, to the core. When he got there, though, he froze. He had come too early. There was Vale, wounded but alive, in a corner of the massive room at the center of his palace. Several yards away, a woman stood over a wounded man.

“It's gonna be okay,” the woman said, crying. “It won't hurt much longer, and then you'll be where I am. We'll be together.”

The man looked back up at her. “I love you,” he said.

”I love you,” she responded. “My love. Oh, my love.”

Meanwhile Vale had pulled himself to his feet. “How very touching his meaningless death was, but this fight was never for mortals,” he said. “Take your best shot, little girl.”

And Ethan watched in amazement as the woman’s clothing, her hair, her face all transformed as her fist made contact with Vale’s face, shattering—yes, shattering—it into a thousand pieces. Vale was dead.

But now Ethan had other problems. The now-blue-haired woman turned and looked at him. “You are an intruder,” she said simply. “You are not welcome here.”

“I think I could probably say the same about you,” Ethan offered.

The woman nodded, accepting this. “I am Illyria. Once the god-king of the primordium. No longer.”

“Ethan Rayne,” Ethan answered. “Pleased to make your acquaintance.” He made his way to the wall, began to search for what he was looking for. “Offenbaren Sie sich, der der verpasst zu das das ist gefunden, im Geheimnis von schlecht übersetzten Beschwörungen.

In obedience to his incantation, the wall slid open, revealing what he had wanted. The Box of Yfrak.

“I think I’ll take that, thank you,” a voice called out.

Ethan turned to see a dark-haired woman flanked by two other young women, all armed with swords. Vampire Slayers.

“What are you doing here?” How much more wrong could things get?

“Do you think the Council is really that stupid?” the lead Slayer asked. “Dawn knew exactly what she was showing you. And you walked right into the trap.”

“Faith, Illyria, thank you.” Another figure entered, this time someone whom Ethan recognized. The vampire, from Sunnydale. The one with a soul. Angel.

“Do you know what this does?” Ethan asked, holding the Box close to his chest.

“It does what all magic does,” Angel answered. “It turns imagination into reality, nightmares into demons, fantasies into truths. Everything in our world that is magical emanates from the Box of Yfrak—vampires, vampire slayers, demons, magic—all the result of reality manipulated by will. We are no more than fictions, fragments, in a postmodern fantasy, and you know what? I don’t like the way the script is going.”

Ethan turned to Faith, the dark-haired vampire slayer. “You would put unlimited power into the hands of a vampire?” he asked.

“Just watch me,” she said, tearing the Box from him and handing it to the vampire. "He doesn't want to control magic. He wants to end it."

And as the vampire wound the box, and the music began to play, they all stood, preparing to face the end of their world as they knew it.

* * * * *

“Okay,” said Joss. “That’s a wrap. Eliza, Amy, Alexis, Robin, David, everyone: good job. It’s time to go home.”

And then they had an orgy.