***Groom Lake, Nevada***
Ethan Rayne was sitting in his rented jeep, waiting for ... an unmarked army issued jeep?
Seriously this guy! Robert Dobson may have gained his Doctorate and Masters in science, technology, and Janus knows what else, but he failed miserably at hiding if what he was doing was something the US Military would consider wrong– even if Ethan would only be borrowing a certain object. It was a good thing that he cast a spell on his jittery Doctor friend, so everyone that saw Dr. Dobson couldn’t' remember meeting or seeing Dr. Dobson that day.
"Ethan," the man was a nervous wreck and was sweating profusely as he greeted him. Just as well this was the last favor Ethan was owed from him – he'd hate for Robert to suffer a heart attack due to nerves.
"Don't sweat it, doc," Ethan said, clasping his shoulder and infusing a calming magic into the nervous man – knowing the employee of Area 51 from his younger days, and saving him once and lending him money, had given Ethan leverage on him.
"You'll keep your word, Mr. Rayne? After you're finished, you'll return it?" Dr. Dobson pleaded.
"Yes yes, after five days you will have the Quantum Mirror back in your possession." The man nodded like one of those dolls; for a second Ethan wondered if his head would fall out.
"Oh" Dr. Dobson reached into his lab pocket and pulled out a small rhombus shape like device "you will need this to navigate the mirror."
"Smashing," Ethan muttered as he pocketed the remote. "Should we move the object to my jeep before day breaks?"
"Ah yes, yes."
Later, Ethan, in his rented flat, was regarding the black shiny surface that did not reflect his image that was crafted inside gray chiseled rock. He picked up the remote to press the button that Robert said activated the Quantum Mirror – watching the black slab for any changes. As he pressed the button, the surface shimmered and started to reflect the room he was in, but not him – now he knew how vampires felt, it was an unsettling feeling. But that may be because he was not a vampire. Now he had to acquire the desired items but first he needed to do some … preparations. After all, it would not be beneficial if he found himself stranded in any of the Alternative Earths or worse got caught in his endeavor. That and there was the possibility of physical danger since he personally would have to step through the mirror to obtain the necessary ingredients. Now, the would not do if he ended up being caught stealing DNA and the objects.
Ethan was back in California, Sunnydale – and this time he would manage to induce some chaos that unlike Halloween, this would NOT be traced back to him. Chaos, oh glorious Chaos, and as a bonus, he had in very good authority that Ripper would be very annoyed AND as a special cherry on top: The Pillock Club as Ethan lovingly called that useless boy club in London he once belonged to – this will definitely made their collective heads spin. And he had just the thing to pull them all into his new Chaos Spell. Chance and a little luck were wonderful things. He had traveled to Ireland after Ripper tossed him out of Sunnydale ON that Halloween night – the Watcher had beaten most of the fun from him, granted Ethan did not count on one vampire to take initiative and join the night, which complicated matters - damn that William the Bloody. Besides, Ripper's Slayer and her merry band prevented Ripper from morphing into a proper poppet of the Council of Pillocks.
He owned them his thanks for that. Which was why this would do them good – in the, very, longer run. Unfortunately, for that Quentin Travers, he would hate it – Ethan did not care a whit for that pillock; he could just crawl into a Fyarl demon's bum for all Ethan cared. Now while he was in Ireland drinking and plotting he encountered one of the Fey descendants; the old bird did not know what she had – but Ethan did, and now he was in possession of five genuine Tír na nÓg amulets. After that, he made contact with one of the scientists that worked at Area 51 – and who conveniently owed him a favor. He met the bloke in one of the pubs. Dr Robert Dobson was notoriously light weight, and with a little alcohol in his juice, Ethan had the knowledge of a mirror through which you could travel to Alternative Earths with. Apparently, it came from the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado Springs – one of these days Ethan will visit Colorado Springs.
The Quantum Mirror was scheduled to be destroyed – Ethan made good use of it before giving it back and no one was the wiser. Now he was in Sunnydale, in another rented flat, using a smaller statue of Janus to imbue the objects and the hairs of the objects' owners, three females and two males from different Alternative Earth dimensions, with transfiguration magics of five people. Ethan stood up, grabbed some fancy suit, briefcase also overlies that workers at electric company used- and went to the blue van he rented. It was time to get the last of the ingredients, hair from Ripper's kids – it was a good thing that school was in session. All of the children were busy in the classroom or with Ripper in the library.
He rang the doorbell of the large house.
The Chases were rich bastards, he thought, and Principal Snyder probably kissed up to them as they were rich and friends with some key members – like the Mayor – of Sunnydale, which meant Ethan had to dress as an electrician, and not as a teacher looking to search the teens' rooms for drugs. A woman in a housekeeper uniform opened the door.
"Yes?" the housekeeper asked.
"Good evening, I am here to inspect the electricity. There were some … troubles with that at the power plants," then he offered the housekeeper his – fake – credentials.
"I see, right this way, Mr. Congeria." He stepped into the hallway, while the housekeeper went ahead and inside the living room, indicating that he should wait in the hallway. The bloody Chases think themselves to be British nobility...
"Who is it?" It was a woman's voice, probably Mrs. Chase.
"A man from the Electric Company is here, Mrs Chase" the housekeeper told them as he listened from the hall. "Show him what he wants, then pay him for his services," that was from a man- so both of the Chases were home. The housekeeper came out of the room, and closed the door where Mr. and Mrs Chase were staying. It was ridiculously easy after that … to get Miss Chase's hairbrush and set up the spell under the girl's bed.
He rang the doorbell.
This house had a shabby atmosphere to it.
A redheaded woman, with heavy makeup, opened the door. She leaned on the door frame.
"I'm Jan Congeria, I'm one of the teachers at Sunnydale High and I'm here to -" Ethan rushed with his explanation.
"We don't need any teachers here," a man that stunk of alcohol appeared.
"Tony," Mrs Harris chided her obviously drunk husband.
"Don't Tony me, Woman. There's no beer in the fridge."
Ethan seized an opportunity and pulled a couple of dollars out of his pocket. "I only need to see your son's room; here's five."
"Alright, teach, knock yourself out," Tony Harris grumbled as he pulled the bills out of Ethan's hands. After that, he did as he pleased in Xander Harris's room.
Ethan rang the doorbell and when the door immediately swung opened – he knew she was still home and not at the gallery.
"Good day, Mrs. Summers," he greeted.
"Hello, Mr..." Joyce Summers hadn't invited him in. Ethan was not certain if the Slayer's mother was aware of her daughter's activities – the last time he was in Sunnydale, she was blissfully unaware.
"Jan Congeria," he introduced himself, shaking her right hand, being polite. "I'm a teacher at Sunnydale High."
"Mr. Congeria, is ..." Mrs. Summers started, startled.
Ethan was quick to reassure her. "Not to worry, your daughter is no way in trouble."
"She is a good girl and she tries and..."
"Mrs Summers, I'm aware of your daughter's troubles, and I am appalled in Principal Snyder's treatment of teenagers in general and your daughter in particular."
"What?" Joyce sat down heavily on the couch in the living room, where she guided him from her front door.
"Principal Snyder took a particular dislike of your daughter. And whenever there is trouble, Miss Summers is accused. Even if she is in class or half a town away when the trouble is happening."
That's the plan – gain the trust of the mother, by defending the Slayer, and maybe sow some chaos for dear Ripper.
"There was one time, when Miss Summers was helping the school librarian Mr. Giles; he is British just like me. Nice chap. But absent minded and a notorious technophobe – there are no computers in the school library. And there was a theft and loitering reported and Miss Summers was immediately accused – do you recall -"
"Yes, during Parent&Teachers night, Principal Snyder said that …"
"And Miss Buffy was no where close to that, she was helping the Librarian move some books. And when the other students said that she was nowhere near the theft, the Principal chose not to believe them. He doesn't even believe the faculty when they correct him."
"I hope you didn't punish your daughter too harshly, and as for why I'm here, Principal Snyder sent teachers and bobbies … oh pardon,policemen to, as he said, 'troublemaker's' houses to search for the presence of drugs."
"My daughter is not …"
"Not taking any drugs. I agree, which is why I sent the good policemen to the Harris house. Perhaps when the copper appears on that drunkard door, the husband will stop drinking or at least young Mr. Harris will get some breathing space for a little while. And we are going to search your daughter's room – I'm sorry Ma'am, but I do need to have a look around but I would rather not search her drawers."
"I'll just look under her bed, closet, and behind the furniture. And her bathroom – if she has a separate..."
"Yes, she has separate bathroom." "Shall we start?"
***20 minutes later – Buffy Summers Room***
"Oh, are you alright?" Mrs Summers was asking, Ethan who was bend over. Ethan was choking, or more accurately, acting.
"I'm sorry Mrs Summers – cough – I'm alright. But perhaps a cup of tea … besides I only have to look in– cough- the closet."
"Alright – will you ..." "I'll be right behind you Mrs," Ethan waved her off, and when he was sure she went all the way downstairs – he returned to the bathroom, took a hair brush, and put it in his briefcase. At the same time, he took out some chalk and drew the Tír na nÓg symbol on the floor under the bed.
Next house was the Rosenbergs – Willow Rosenberg's home.
If Ethan remembered his notes correctly, both parents were rarely home at the same time. They took turns going to seminars and lectures so one of the girl's parents was always home. He rang the bell, and a man with shocking ginger hair, rimmed glasses, and green eyes opened the door. "Hello," he greeted politely.
"Hello, Mr Rosenberg, I'm Jan Congeria, I'm with the school board, here to discuss your daughter's education. I have some papers for you to look over."
Mr. Rosenberg shook his hand, then led him inside. Then Ethan handed him blank - spelled- papers, at which when Ira Rosenberg looked at them, he fell into a trance where he was not aware of his surroundings. As the man stared at the papers, Ethan grabbed his briefcase, raced upstairs to Willow's room, grabbed her hairbrush – full of long red hair – then with chalk drew the Tír na nÓg symbol on the floor under the bed.
He rang the doorbell, repeating the process for the last time.
***Magic Box – Sunnydale***
Task complete, he carefully treated each hairbrush and comb in a different crystal glass basin, full of clear water – then he added fine sand and some herbs while chanting a plea for Janus, combining the personal effects and stray hairs of the people from the other Earth realities. The changes he will wroth upon Ripper's Slayer and her little friends his latest reports saying the Slayer's circle consisted of Buffy Summers, The Slayer, Xander Harris, a normal teenager, and Willow Rosenberg, who was a star student, and those two others who are often sighted in the vicinity, Cordelia Chase and Oz – will be permanent. Now he only needed to find a person, an innocent to the world - or too stupid to survive in Sunnydale.
Because he or she would be the sacrificial lamb on the altar of chaos – after all, as Ethan's mum was fond of saying: “You can not make an omelet without cracking some eggs.” Currently, he had temporally, because the owner and shopkeeper of the store called Magic Box was on a two week vacation, taken the job in the store. It was just as well, because he was using the store's supplies – free of charge, for him as the other buyers paid for him without being the wiser. He was also using the back room for setting up his Transfiguration Spell. He had five faceless, made of Yew wood - because this wood's symbolism was life and death – three female shaped and two male shaped, mannequins Ethan will dressed in clothes he stole from their owners in his forays through the Quantum Mirror.
The first Yew mannequin had a female shape. Ethan put the first of the Tír na nÓg amulets on the mannequin then proceeded to dress her in bicycle shorts, a white flared mini skirt, a T-shirt, and a black cape with red lining – then he tied a lock of floor length hair onto the amulet– he picked them from a hairbrush he stole – and added a silver triangular gem on the silver triangular pedestal – he believed that it was called an Intelligent Device in that Alternative Earth. He also put a pet carrier cage with a fox pup beside the mannequin – he glued, with a biological substance, some hair that was shed by the girl's familiar on the fox cub. He put a bowl of water and a bowl of cat and dog food mixed with cooked rice in for the cub.
The second Yew mannequin was in a male's image, and again Ethan repeated the ritual: the Tír na nÓg amulet with – this time he fastened harvested blonde hair, sunflower yellow, of medium length with wire. Then he put on blue pants, a blue turtleneck, with a green flak jacket full of pockets filled with knives of all shapes and sizes, throwing stars and a three bladed throwing knives – no, kunai, with a thicker handle with writing on the brown surface. Then came a short-sleeved long coat, decorated by red flame-like motifs on the edges with a similar type of lettering to the ones on the knives written vertically down the back, that Ethan tied in front by thin orange rope. To complete the assembly he placed a scroll, with an image of a Chameleon drawn on it that he found in a haunted castle, in the mannequin's hand, and as one last final touch he fastened a blue headband with a metal plate on the forehead – there was a swirly leaf symbol etched on the metal surface.
Then he moved to the third mannequin, female, and put the amulet on with the longest, beaten-golden colored, tied on with a black lace ribbon, hair that Ethan ever saw. Unlike the rest, dressing this one proved a lot more complicated to put on, and he started with black lace tied high boots, then he attached the hoops at the waist with a wide leather belt – then came the black velvet dress. The bodice was fully lined with snow white with boning and poly lace at back. There was even embroidered lace overlay on the front panel of skirt that fell over the hoops to the boots with black lace hanging trim. The sleeves were wide and long with wide accenting ruffled lace hems. Then he put a black sable fur with white ruffled lace trim on the mannequin's shoulders. Ethan then hung at the elbow a black lace and ruffles Victorian style parasol and then he placed a lacy headband with a criss-crossing ribbon, adorned with small bows on either side, on the head. Then Ethan hanged a locket, he made it himself, with two coins and between the coins was a black and white photo of Joyce Summers – he took that one in secret on a chain. Finally, he pushed a cage with a larger and growling, solid silver gray wolf cub with glowing green eyes beside the mannequin's skirt.
Next, fourth, mannequin was male; with this one he had to saw off the left leg just above the knee and then he sawed off the right arm at mannequin's shoulder. Sawing off wooden limbs completed, he started to dress the mannequin, which came the amulet with blonde hair -medium long- attached. Then he fixed on the sawed limb's stumps artificial metal – automail, they called it – both for leg and arm. That done, he put on black leather boots with thick, red soles, black pants, and a shirt. Then Ethan put on the mannequin a bright red, long-sleeved, hooded cloak whose tail came down to its upper calves. Emblazoned in black on the back was a symbol depicted as a cross with a snake draped about it with detached wings and a crown above it. He then pulled out white leather gloves from his bag and put them on mannequin's wooden and metallic hands.
Finally, he moved to the, fifth and last of the mannequins. A female form: first he put, as always, an amulet with hair, then he pulled out a photograph of a blonde woman's back. After that he started to copy the large, ornate tattoo that covered most of the photographed woman's back onto the mannequin's. Then he took a blow-dryer and blasted the paint with hot air, to assist the drying process. After the paint was dry, Ethan put a black, short-sleeved turtleneck on. Then he dressed the mannequin in a dark blue uniform, complete with black military boots. He strapped on the mannequin's belt and shoulder 9mm handgun, Desert Eagle, Revolver, and Bolt Action Rifle. Then he pulled another cage with a Shiba Inu, black and white pup.
Finally done – he went upstairs to unlock the store, but left the 'We are Closed' sign. After all, now he had a summoning spell to cast – and only the person he needed would not see what the sign said. He lit the black candles around the double headed Janus, then sat cross-legged behind the store counter before the statue.
"O Janus," he chanted in the circle for a Latin spell, "Et ego invocabo quia sacrificum. Apparere! Sic faciet! Sic erunt!" then he thought of the person's attributes 'somebody connected in some way to all of them, to the people I want to rain Chaos upon, somebody too stupid or innocent – but NOT a child – to live here where demons and vampires freely roam.' The doorbell jingled, and Ethan heard footsteps, high-heels, a woman then, perhaps a teacher. He stood up to come face to face with a younger – teen – long blonde haired girl.
"Hello there, what may I help you with?"
"Hello, Mister Shopkeeper," she greeted looking around with her wide eyes, "Say are you related to that creepy British school librarian that skulks in the library and around the Losers?"
Ethan nearly choked in laughter but managed to disguise it as a cough. "Can't say that I am. Not every person with a British accent is related to one another," he chuckled good naturally, and this was his sacrifice for the spell? He thought, but just to be sure … a test.
"Can you help me with something?" he asked the girl that was looking around the shop, wrinkling her nose at jars containing preserved newts.
"Promise you won't do anything creepy; you are kinda old."
"Nothing of the sort, young lady. May I acquire your name?"
"Eww, no," her nose cringed, teenagers these days, "I'm not telling you that my name is Harmony!"
"Very well, Miss Harmony."
"How did you know my name; are you some kind of stalker?"
"I never saw you before – and you never came to this store before."
"Then how come you know my name?"
"I'm magical, and you came here because you have a problem, yes?"
"Yes," she nodded. "Can you help me save my friend, she … Cordy is dating that Looser Harris, and I'm sure he is forcing her somehow to do that and …"
"All right – I'll help you if you answer this question correctly: Which is closer, the sacrificial lamb that I see or the sun?"
"Oh that is easy, the sun – see, you can see it out of the window. And there are no sheep babies here, duh!"
Ethan blinked, then nodded. "I'll help you. Can you give me your address – I'll come with my things to fix this problem – tomorrow, your Miss Cordelia Chase along with Mr. Harris and his three friends will wake up to a new world."
"That's all right, we can go now; my parents are not home anyway."
Ethan smiled, that was perfect. "Splendid, I'll load the van. Do you have a car, young lady?"
"No, I came with a group … then I just had to enter ..."
"That is all right, you can drive … how is it you say, Shotgun?"
"Me in a van, eww. I can't bee seen in that."
"Then here," Ethan pulled out big shades and a shawl, "if it works for stars, it certainly will work for you, Miss." "This better work, Mr. Old-Brit shopkeeper."
Harmony's parents' residence was a nice house, and as she said, there were no adults in sight.
"So I just have to blow off the surface and pour this junk," Harmony questioned; somebody should re-name the girl – Stupidity, would have been more appropriate. "Over the wooden dolls?"
"Yes, and I will chant. We will do this five times. And then you will be important to Miss Chase again," Ethan said and handed her the chalice that contained the hair of Cordelia Chase. Then he positioned Harmony Kendall before the right mannequin, and as she poured the liquid over the mannequin's head, Ethan chanted.
"Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe Cordelia Chase pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas."
Until the last drop hit the wood, he could already see the pale yellow wood take the hue of human skin. Herding the girl to the next mannequin, the blonde chick blew over the surface then poured the contents over the next doll. Breathing air over the surface served a dual purpose. One purpose was 'breathing life' into the spell, and the other, well, Harmony was literally feeding her life force to the spell, for five life times. When the spell would be finished, Harmony Kendall would have no life for herself. She would be bound to the five lives she irrevocably changed.
"Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe Buffy Anne Summers pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas."
"Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe Willow Danielle Rosenberg pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas."
"Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe Alexander Lavelle Harris pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas."
"Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe diem, carpe noctem, carpe Daniel Osbourne pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas." As he finished chanting, he noticed that Harmony was tapping her foot in impatience.
"Well, did it work?"
Ethan regarded her for a moment … he almost felt sorry for her, but he deliberately specified the requirements of literally wanted an innocent, too daft of a person to survive. And Harmony Kendall certainly was that and more. Ethan wondered how she was still breathing.
"Only one thing left, pick up that statue and break it -" he positioned her so both she and the Janus statue were facing the five mannequins. "pushing it from the pedestal will do."
"It's ugly," she muttered.
"Well then, this is just another reason for you to break the statue, isn't it?"
And she did.
The Janus statue shattered upon impact on the floor and the whole room was enveloped in a harsh light. Ethan was momentarily blinded – but when he could see normally again, he turned on his heel and walked out of the Kendall's house.
Harmony Kendall had served her purpose – now he needed to drive away before her parents arrived to find a demolished room, five splintered mannequins in pajamas, a huge black scorch mark, and no Harmony Kendall.