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Okay, I need to play with time a little for this to work, but I think it'll be fun. It is also my first attempt at a Halloween story, so please don't flame.

Zeppo: Xander Evolved

Xander looked around the costume shop in despair. His mom had thrown out the old fatigues he'd been planning to use for his Halloween costume, leaving him the proud owner of a toy gun and no costume.

He checked his watch: he had just under an hour before he had to be at the school or Snyder was going to skin him alive.

One last rack of costume stood un-rummaged at the back of the store, and he approached it with little hope. It was full of military uniforms of various types and origins, but they were all too expensive. He was about to give in and surrender to a life of detention, when a hint of green caught his eye, and he looked at the last costume.

He blinked. How could anyone have missed it? He checked the label: it was his size, but still too expensive.

"Look kid, I've got to close up soon," the store owner called out from across the room. "I'll make you a deal: the outfit you're holding now for $10?"

"Deal!" Xander span on his heels and hurried to the counter, ginning like a maniac.


Ethan Rayne knelt before the statue of Janus and completed the spell that would unleash chaos on Sunnydale. There was just one thing nagging him: the last costume to go out had been new in that very morning, and he hadn't had the chance to find out what it was supposed to be, other than it was military.

The tag had said something about Spartans, but it looked nothing like he remembered from his history lessons…


"What the hell?" The Master Chief blinked as a chaotic urban street, filled with strange creatures running around his feet, replaced the familiar terrain of Halo. His HUD painted them as hostiles. "Cortana?"

"I'm as confused as you are," the AI responded. "We don't even appear to be on Halo anymore. Hold here while I try to accesses any communications networks."

"Any time you like…" The cyborg raised his Assault Rifle and checked the ammo gauge: it was full, and he had five more full clips on his belt. He could feel the reassuring weight of a Javelin rocket launcher press down on his shoulder, the carrying strap crossing his chest providing a place to hold a pair of captured Covenant plasma grenades.

"This can't be right!" Cortana sounded confused. "It makes no sense…"

"I need options, not riddles," the Chief fired a short burst at a strange looking creature that attempted to attack him, knocking it down on its back. "Talk to me."

"We appear to be on Earth, but how is that possible?"

"This is not good…" The lone Spartan scanned the street, slowly moving forward, taking cover where he could find it. A pair of blue blips appeared on his HUD, and he decided to make his way toward them.


Willow could only look on in fear as Spike grabbed the confused Buffy and prepaired to drain her blood. She tried to grab the blond vampire, but her hands passed through his body without effect.

There was a sudden blur of movement and the butt of a huge rifle slammed into the side of Spike's head, knocking him to the ground.

"What the hell?" the vampire looked up to find himself looking into the barrel of a gun. "Who the hell are you?"

"A problem," a voice came from behind the golden faceplate and the gun fired.

Spike shrugged off the first few bullets, letting them pass harmlessly through his body. However, they were followed by an incendiary round. He burst into flame, leaving nothing but a pile of ash on the ground. Dru roared in anger and attempted to bite the stranger who had killed her partner, but she too burst into flames when her fangs hit his energy shielding.

"Anyone else want some?" a female voice asked from inside the armor.

The other vampires took off down the street as fast as they could, not willing to risk the stranger's wrath. The Master Chief waited until they were a safe distance away, and then lobbed a plasma grenade at them. It hit one of the vampires on the back and stuck fast.

The entire group disappeared in a flash of light.

"We need to find out where this disturbance is centred, and eliminate it." Cortana sounded more confident than before, "Chief, we need some wheels."


Ethan looked out the shop window and smiled at all the chaos he had created to serve his master: the entire town looked like a scene from Dante's Inferno, and Ripper and his Slayer had been unable to do anything to stop him.

The happy thought evaporated when the front of his shop exploded inwards, showering the Chaos Mage with glass and wood.

Dusting himself down, Ethan looked out into the street and felt the bottom fall out of his world: a massive four wheel drive car was parked in the middle of the road. A brooding man dressed completely in black was behind the wheel, his eyes fixed in a hateful glare. Rupert Giles stood on the back of the 4x4 at the controls of a distinctly nasty looking heavy machinegun, tracking his former friend's every move. But it was the 7-foot tall man in the green armor that caught his attention.

Or more precisely, the huge rocket launcher he had resting on one shoulder.

"Where is the statue?" the man asked, his voice full of menace, removing any doubt that resistance was an option.

"In the back…" Ethan pointed to the doorway, and then leapt for cover as the man raised the rocket launcher to the firing position and pulled the trigger. The high explosive round shot through the air and blast the remains of the shot to rubble.


"It's good to be back to normal," Buffy smiled as they made their way though the school hallways on their way to their first class.

"Tell me about it!" Willow nodded, "Being a ghost isn't that much fun."

"I still can't remember any of it." Xander shrugged, "Anyway, I've got a history test. See you two ladies later." He ducked into a classroom just as the bell sounded. He sat down at a desk and sighed: he knew that Buffy and Willow would be angry if he told them the truth.

"Okay people, you have half an hour to answer as many questions as you can," the teacher looked at the class as he handed out the test papers, "And anyone I catch cheating will fail."

Xander smiled to himself as he reached around to the back of his neck, apparently to scratch an itch, but really to activate the neural-transmitter imbedded at the base of his skull.

"Early 20th Century history?" Cortana's voice filled his head, "Should be easy…"

The End