Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes
Summary: Post WWIII and 250+ years on from the Black Thorn. Highly refined, purpose bred ‘Companion’ Alexander is ‘liberated’ by feral humans, consequently rescued by the Suzerain Spike’s forces, the head of which decides to ingratiate himself by presenting his Sire with a boy reminiscent of one of the former Scoobies.
Spoilers: Canon is AU - very post S5 AtS.
Warnings: M/M – if you don’t like boys together, don’t play here!
Disclaimer: Don’t own the characters nor make any money from stories etc, and bow down to their original creators Joss, et al., plus all the wonderful online writers who continue to give the Buffy/Angel verse characters life.
Suzerain = feudal overlord to whom fealty is due. Ruler of a large region with international boundaries but allows domestic sovereignty in exchange for loyalty and payment.
He huddled with the others in the middle of a large area that three hundred years earlier had served as a school gymnasium. At sixteen he was the youngest of the five ‘liberated’ in the middle of the night. He, like Samuel, put up a fight against his ‘rescuers’ – at least they tried to until hit by tranquilizer darts, waking up in a transport cage and shoved into the holding area ready for ‘release’.
The feral humans were organized and on a deliberate *mission* to rescue humans from their demon masters and release them back into their natural habitat – they were particularly targeting Companion breeding farms and feed lots. The aim was to stop all manipulation of human DNA and return the humans to their natural state. But the concept was flawed.
None of the Companions were capable of fending for themselves. Years of selective breeding and genetic modification, along with careful training from birth and a rarefied diet had rendered the Companions utterly dependent on their owners. They were extraordinarily expensive to buy and quite the show of status. Consequently their owners were most careful and caring of their pets.
Alexander was even more exceptional. Only the very few prize male Companions kept their manhood, since the breeding studs were most discerning regards the lines. Alexander had won numerous trophies, his holographic image gracing many a table since he was but five years of age.
Pretty as a youngster, he grew quickly and was just shy of six foot two as a fifteen year old, and coming up for seventeen, had a youthful athlete’s physique. He was handsome, with a slightly elfin youthfulness, and had the perfect quiet and affectionate nature, ideal for breeding and for a companion to a rich vampire or demon. There was no question of Natte having him gelded.
Alexander had learned to happily catch his seed in the receptacle as soon as he was able to respond to the stimulator, and in idle moments wondered which of Natte’s pretty females would carry his child. He was friendly with all of the women but natural relations were out of the question, only feral humans engaged in such hit and miss impregnation.
As the youngest of only three breeding males on the property, he was allowed into the women’s enclosure and enjoyed his days reading with them, braiding hair, massaging backs (and if they were pregnant… bellies). He had been the darling of the whole estate. Yet all that made no difference now…
Now he lay curled alongside his fellow four Companions, they just touched as all lay in foetal position on the cold wooden floor of a holding establishment, filthy, bereft and frightened. They had been placed in with *feeding* humans ‘liberated’ on the same night, who, due to the feeders’ breeding and drug implants, simply sat doe eyed and awaited their fate.
He knew he could not survive in the outside world. Master had always pampered and fed him. How could he get clean? Where would he find food? Warmth? He could read but not write. He could count so long as fingers and toes were involved and add using the same system. He knew how to play various sports and table games popular in the upper class demon circles, could mix drinks, and knew when to kneel and stand… But he knew that in no way was he equipped to survive in the wilds of the outside. He cuddled closer to the older Samuel, and the senior breeding male from the estate, technically his older second cousin, pulled the young man close.
The rescue was uneventful really. The Suzerain’s First, Angelus’ team was efficient and vicious. The rebel humans were unprepared for the onslaught, swiftly drained, an occasional pretty one turned as a minion, and the rest dumped in a pile of dead flesh within a matter of minutes
Most of the ‘freed’ feeder humans all simply sat or knelt bewildered in their places in the middle of the floor, but the Companions knew better, they shuffled over and prostrated themselves at the feet of the vampires who had saved them, muttered grateful platitudes and waited, foreheads touching the floor and for the most part, tears of thanks flowing.
The feeders were dealt with first, swiftly herded onto a truck, they all went willingly. Herding they knew and understood.
The Companions were treated with far more care. The First, Angelus, was adamant that they should have leads and be handled by professional Companion trainers. As a consequence it was some hour before they were led from their temporary prison.
Alexander assumed he was to be returned to his master like Angelus ordered be the actions for Samuel and the three others. But sadly, one of the feral liberating humans had ripped away and destroyed his ownership tags and that meant that technically he belonged to no one. Natte was against branding (it marred the skin – smooth and perfect all important).
The Companions knew better than to say anything, so Samuel simply looked on desperately as the vampire Angelus inspected the unmarked, unclaimed prize.
“Looks like today is a good one after all.” He turned to his group and barked instructions, “Take those turned back to the stronghold, and return these to their rightful owners – ask the usual fee. This one is mine to keep, he’s got no tags so finders keepers say I.” His men grinned, they all knew full well that the Companion must have been from one of the establishments the others came from, but the First had spoken so they simply followed orders.
When Natte inquired regards the other Companion stolen, the response was a simple “He was taken,” which the dear breeder interpreted as meaning he had been killed. He was so upset that Samuel was unable to convey the news that Alexander had his tags removed by their captors and consequently was claimed by another, until several months afterward. By the time Natte found out, there was no question of reclaiming him.
His wonderful Companion human now was apparently in the possession of the Suzerain. He consoled himself by beginning to groom two pretty little lads – both Alexander’s and hoping The Suzerain would appreciate the exquisite creature now gracing his presence.
The Suzerain’s favoured lieutenant and Childe, Angelus had intended to put the unclaimed one into the sales pens but really did enjoy the look of the dark boy so took him for his own. Something about him reminded him of a human he had known years before.
As he drove back to their stronghold he realized what it was
The boy was a little too refined and passive for his taste. He enjoyed a bit of feistiness in his humans, preferring to take less well bred Companions early and training them to his own taste. The two other women he had as Companions were attractive, blonde and, Alexander noted on the first night, highly trained in martial arts and pleasuring their owner rather than reading, drawing or dance, or any of his other skills. But Angelus found those things mildly amusing initially.
After a couple of weeks however, he bored of the boy so found another use for his bootie… He was hoping to ingratiate himself with the Suzerain and thought that this Companion might just make a fine tribute.
The Suzerain’s First was again out of favour apparently.
Angel, the Childe of the Supreme leader of three quarters of the planet, had displeased his Sire by turning three, what Angelus considered ‘pretty’, feral female human that he claimed to have ‘tamed’ post capture. The result was him having to dust the three blondes in front of his Sire, as each proved both extremely aggressive and none too bright.
Angelus would be two hundred and twenty this year – though technically more than double that – and desperate for his own region to rule. He was happy that Sire would always be the Suzerain… but he was tired of simply being repeatedly called to arms.
His status had changed a mere five years before the world changed. Just as the dragon was about to strike in the final battle with the Black Thorn, Illiria, in a blinding burst of energy that shook the city, eliminated an army and afforded her a transfer to another realm. It had also, somehow, tugged away Spike’s soul, and provided Angel his much desired Shanshu. Sadly the dragon Angel was so keen to fight had crashed to the ground with a gaping open mouth, tearing through the now *human* torso with a deadly set of teeth.
Charlie and Wes were already dead, and Spike, despite his new status, could not leave his ex-Sire on the ground to bleed out. He extracted him from the pile of dead dragon flesh and took him to ground… The Hyperion was still there.
Spike found the basement and stayed. He turned Angel just as the sun rose and the convulsions and coughing of blood signalled the human body’s last struggle.
His new Childe had been compliant and cooperative for a good fifty years, a devoted and loyal student despite their history being very different whenever either vampire cared to remember.
They had lived quietly as the Master Spike gradually built his territory, slowly but surely gathering a group of demons loyal to him and building a proper court of minions. They were still forced underground by the human society, but all that was altered in three catastrophic weeks as the human race imploded beginning on the anniversary of Angel’s turning fifty one as Childe.
No Hellmouth or alien race was needed to destroy human society. They were more than capable of doing it themselves.
The demons (Spike included) had simply been waiting and had prepared. It would be their time soon.
As the global weather patterns altered and crops failed, hostilities between first and third world escalated, lines were drawn and alliances made. The wholesale rising of the third world against first was far more dangerous than any of those involved realized. Eventually all the bastardization and hatred of the ‘other’ (be it on political racial or religious terms), and the subtle suppression of the poorer countries, bubbled over. Gone were the days of the massacre by Hutus of Tutsis, or the dilemmas in Bangladesh and Ethiopia and… and… and….being ignored. They united to hold the first world nations to their promises. And one nation in particular was mistrusted as the UN desperately tried to find a solution.
Like Rome the tendrils of the United States now stretched like an enormous spider, controlling the global media in particular, using it to control markets and nation’s opinions. But in the end…
The USA president broadcast disparaging remarks about the alliance of seventeen countries in Africa, and then went on to describe the “better part of the Western Asia and Arab regions” as “the primary source of criminals and terrorists” and singled out the Indian prime minister in particular to be a woman of questionable character.
The first shot didn’t come from India, however. And a single inter-continental missile from a silo in west Pakistan set off by a radical group was all it took. Five self directed warheads at twenty megatons each, wiped out the better part of New York, Chicago and a small town in Philadelphia (plus surrounding regions). Two more were successfully intercepted mid air, only to spread the fallout even further.
But it was the response that really caused the damage.
The following two days changed the world forever. Three more nuclear armaments were launched by the USA, North Korea and in the end one from France’s silo in the South Pacific all directed at key cities. Biological weapons were fired at and wiped out millions in Mexico City, Madrid, Beijing, Tokyo, London, Cairo, and Rio within hours. On day three in all the confusion, two captains in US submarines let fly with two more nuclear missiles, and on and on it went. Conventional weapons too played a part as the daily experience of people, as the atmosphere clogged with a deadly cocktail and the few remaining humans became more and more desperate.
Gaia stirred. Her response to the assault on her equilibrium was a series of massive earth quakes, several volcanoes reawakening. It was a decent measure of ‘I told you so’, were anyone listening. Weather patterns were utterly corrupted and the sky blackened, plunging all but the poles into complete darkness.
The demons who were still able, raced to preserve their food supply. They grabbed as many unscathed humans as they could targeting healthy breeding age individuals – particularly pretty males and females, and availed themselves to the in vitro storage vats wherever possible and grabbing frozen supplies of embryos, aware that the fallout effect could be sterilization.
By the sixth month they were simply taking any healthy breeding females. The humans who fought or found ‘flawed’ were simply used for food in the underground silos and subterranean networks the demon races had established years earlier.
In the ensuing two hundred and fifty years first below ground then finally in the last hundred of so, above, the demon cartels bred their food source. Their own scientists lent nature a hand, genetically engineering the progeny and carefully breeding the successful outcomes. They were also aided by the prestige of winning the ‘race’ to produce the perfect feeder human, and the perfect companion human. Within mere decades two new subspecies were established and recognized. The feeders were developed for their larger size, their regenerative capacity, docile nature, their very low IQ. Companions were developed for their gentle and affectionate nature, their intelligence and generally attractive youthful appearance. There were variations in colouration of course, but by and large, once the breeding parameters were established, any creature born who was outside the guidelines was swiftly terminated.
In the end close on seventy demon cartels were involved in the project. The convenience and consistency of the product led to a worldwide ruling declaring all other humans ‘feral’. Most on the surface now were deformed in some way and seen as pests. Though the argument for complete annihilation of the ‘ferals’ was argued against as many individuals genuinely enjoyed hunting them for sport.
The Suzerain Spike had his compound in what had once been Toronto Canada and had gained his current power and position courtesy of careful planning, vicious tactics and eliminating anyone or anything opposing him. He gradually annexed three quarters of the world over a period of 200 plus years some by stealth, others by intrigue and even more by force. All the important cartels on the planet now answered to him. He controlled the feeder prices and ‘owned’ the owners and breeders, in fact he controlled the prices of just about everything and openly indorsed protection racketeering and a plethora of other ‘law of the jungle’ type behaviours.
He was pretty and well behaved and (as Angelus’ sources had since found out) had an impeccable pedigree from a line that had been bred, genetically engineered and trained over generations for their purpose.
Alexander had been trying *so* hard to please his new owner, but the imposing figure of Angelus seemed to prefer everything he was not. He was certainly untrained at fighting and had no inclination to join his owner on a hunt or in bed. His dancing skills were snorted at and his offer to wash his owner’s hair then dress it was rejected out of hand.
When he heard the one way conversation, then the Master Angelus instructed the staff to prepare him as a gift to the Suzerain, it was a relief. He really had expected to be sold since his current owner really had no time for him.
The more Angel looked at him the more he was reminded of someone long dead. It came to him late one night. Harris. The irritating schoolboy who hung around with his old flame of more than two and a half centuries ago. Angelus stared hard through the one way glass at the boy now curled in a pathetic heap on his sleeping mat. Cleaned up he should make a fine gift for his Sire. And if he really liked him then just perhaps…
The ceremony of the presentation of the tribute was short and to the point. Angelus received his reward, a large brace of feeding humans for his trouble, and the Suzerain had immediately waved away the tribute. Alexander was led down a long corridor bewildered and confused as to why he was going *from* his new owner.
Two months later he still lay dejectedly in a holding pen. They hadn't even bothered to tether him on the first day, so he knew there would be a long wait. There was white on white and nothing to do, though he did keep to his training regime, even without equipment. Push ups crunches … everything he could think of. But the silence and the loneliness and the white!
The handlers were nice enough, but were only feeding him once a day and the food nothing like he was used to. It was dry pellets and a measured supply of water that he needed to take, humiliatingly, from a feeding bottle attached to the wall! There were no fresh greens, or any prepared fish like at home.
His bedding was changed every second day but even that merely consisted of some sort of synthetic straw and a covering of a thin silver ‘space blanket’ which gave no comfort, but he accepted. At least it was warm, though he did wish for... the soft bedding of the training school... at least that, but the Suzerain's establishment obviously didn't do those things.
Toileting was done in a tiny corner facility and he was only washed and shaved twice a week which distressed him.
Alexander was purpose bred and was well trained. He knew to wait and to behave with grace, but he was starting to find it hard.
What if the Suzerain rejected him outright? And with his current level of reduced fitness and hygiene? He worried as he waited.
Every Prize Companion had heard the stories of the ornery leader of the world’s cartels and the fate of those rejected. The rumours were that the exalted one was handsome beyond measure, but had been scorned in love, and hurt by others who merely wanted power. And that he was now was unwilling to have any relations other than slaves hired for the night and never seen again, and of late had even ceased that practice.
Alexander had felt was so honoured when he found he was to be the gift, so sure he would be seen immediately, but it was now a full moon cycle and nothing... and now he was even struggling to calculate the days. It seemed he was being punished for a crime of some sort. A crime he could not possibly have consciously committed.
The lights were always on and the artificial heat kept so steady. He knew now what his dear friend Navesh had been talking about. His sleeping patterns were getting more and more erratic and he was losing his sense of reality. If he stayed in the cells much longer he would be of little use to any but the public pleasure houses or for slaughter. He had heard of the fate of any crazed or unwanted Companions, they were usually used as a public spectacle for street theatre - drained by two or three vampires to musical accompaniment and the cheering of a crowd.
Just as he was contemplating his options and his own rising panic, a handler came, scrubbed him down and shaved his entire body as he stood compliant, then clipped a lead to his collar.
The Companion Alexander was to finally meet the Suzerain William.