Disclaimer: I don't own Charmed, but the WB does.
AN: This is the first arc of my "Charmed: Essence of the Demon" story; I decided to break it down arc by arc, because I'm afraid it's length my detract people. So if you recognize it, that's why. Review and tell me what you think!
Chapter 1: No Man's Land
Leo landed with a thud in what seemed to be a dungy cell. Scanning the area, the former Whitelighter, now Elder, couldn't figure out where he was; or better yet, he had no idea how he even got there in the first place. The last thing he remembered was talking to Chris, then orbing up to the other elders.What had happened? Had his orbs been scattered or something, he thought. A deep voice coming from the shadowy alcove behind threw him from his ponderings. Turning, Leo was startled when he saw three demons standing outside the cell door, giving him an appraising look. They studied him as if he were a piece of meat, and they themselves were butchers.
The middle Demon, who seemed to be in charge, smiled at him. It was a toothy grin that was clearly in a mocking fashion. "Greetings, oh wise one." He said in a singsong voice.
Leo scowled at the evil being, not allowing his fear and confusion to show. "Who are you? What do you want?" He questioned harshly, hoping to find whatever answers he could.
The demon contiued smiling at him, mocking him as the seconds passed. "Who we are is of no concern to you." He shrugged, gesturing to his comrades. "What we want is simple; tell us where you hid the Grimoiré, and we shall let you go."
Leo spat at the ground the demon was standing on, shaking his head vehemently. "And let evil gain the power of the book. Never!" Leo noticed a figure in the corner of the room, but quickly turned his attention back to the demons.
The demon gave out a hearty laugh, as he inched closer to the bars. "You amuse me, Elder, as if not telling us the book's location is an option? " Nodding to the demon on his right, he opened the cell door and allowed the monster in. "We have other…methods to learn of the location."
A tall demon with spiked brown hair walked into the dingy cell. Leo tried to use his powers to escape be it orbing or fighting, but they were not working; some how the cell was blocking his powers out. Moving faster than Leo could see, the demon quickly put his fingertips on Leo's temples and closed his eyes in concentration. After a few moments, the demon smirked, dropped the unconscious Leo back on the ground, and strutted out of the cell. "The book is in a Mountain of Rock in the West Andes. Turns out that Oracle knew what she was talking about. I will remember to…repay her for her services." The muscular demon snarled.
The first demon smiled in pleasure. "Ah, good work, Vassago! I trust he will not remember this occurrence upon waking?" Seeing Vassago nod in response, he continued, "Good, then go get the Grimoiré." He watched as the Demon shimmered out.
The figure in the corner finally made his presence known. " I have done all that you three have asked of me. My comrades will be safe after your plan is fulfilled, correct Xaphan?" He said, moving out of the shadows.
Xaphan, the demon who talked to Leo, smiled, this time a true smile; out of pride and satisfaction. "Yes, the warlocks will be reinstated into the Underworld's Hierarchy. Job well done, Chris. Tricking the white lighter into turning the sisters into gods was a brilliant tactic. Your cleverness far exceeds your years. You still refuse to tell the secret of how you stole the white lighter's powers, I presume?" The young man nodded with a smirk.
The third demon, who had remained quiet throughout the exchanges, decided to speak at this point. His voice was shaky, almost in fear. "Xaphan, are you sure this is a wise idea? There are others who are just as powerful as him. We can use them to rule the Underworld."
Xaphan sneered at his companion, flames of fury in his eyes. "That is not an option, Melchom. His power is nearly limitless, and he is young. We will be able to mold him into the ruler we wish to have. The others of whom you speak of have their own ideas; their own ways, their own views. Freeing them will do us no good."
Melchom nodded in understanding, though grudgingly. "How is he even still alive?"
"The magic inside his cage is keeping him alive. His power, mixed with the spell on the cage, is keeping him in some sort of suspended animation. We need the book to not only break the cages magic, but also awake him out of the animation. This will not be an easy task." Xaphan answered, turning as a noise from Leo stopped their conversation. "We should be going Melchom, Chris. The magic on the cell has worn off. The Elder will wake up any second, and will have the ability to orb. If we are seen our plan will be halted." With a nod, the two demons shimmered out, while Chris orbed out.
Up on Earth, the three sisters had just finished up the celebration meal; Darryl and his wife had just left. Paige and Phoebe watched as their older sister cleaned the dishes, as if she didn't have a care in the world.. She seemed so full of cheer it was almost eerie. After all, here she was, whistling a happy tune, while her husband had just left her to become an Elder.
Paige broke the silence, hoping to find out just what was going on. "Piper, are you sure you're alright?" She asked with a hint of worry in her voice.
Turning at the sound of her sister's voice, she smiled and answered. "Of course, I am hunny, why wouldn't you think I am?"
Phoebe answered her older sisters question. "Because your husband wont be around very much anymore. We're just worried about you Piper, that's all."
Piper smile faltered a bit, but she would not show her true pain. She was too strong for that, too independent, she told herself. "Oh nonsense, Leo could never truly leave. He'll be here, Wyatt needs him after all. Now, no more of this talk." She said, turning back to the dishes. The witch ran the water from the faucet, allowing the clear liquid to rinse the sudsy plates.
Paige and Phoebe just looked at each other in response, each frowning in confusion. Shaking their heads, they continued on with cleaning up the dishes. As they were just finishing up, Leo orbed into the kitchen, halting the process. Upon seeing her husband Piper gave both her sisters a smirk. "Leo, what are you doing here?" She asked, walking his way.
Leo looked dazed, and confused. "I don't really know. I woke up a few minutes ago in a cell. When I orbed here I realized I was in the underworld."
The Charmed ones faces turned serious. "Do you remember how you got there? How long you were therefore perhaps?" Paige asked, starting the investigation.
Leo shook his head in the negative, shrugging a little. "No, I don't remember anything. I don't know what happened before I woke up, either."
Piper inched closer to him, as she put a loving arm around his broad shoulders. "Well, everything's alright, your fine, we'll look into it later." She whispered, kissing him on the cheek.
Leo grinned down at his beautiful wife, making eye contact with her beautiful brown eyes. Oh what he would give to be with her all the time; to be able to love her for all eternity. "Alright, but I am going to check this out further."
Paige yawned a bit, making her way out of the kitchen. "We all will, Leo, but right now I'm going to bed. Good night." She called back, stomping up the stairs. It wasn't long after that Phoebe, and Piper followed suit. Each sister promised to figure out the situation with Leo within the coming days.
Xaphan paced slowly around a cage, as he waited for Vassago's return. The cage was in a sealed cavern, located in the deepest pits of the Underworld. Not many knew of this place, and those who did couldn't even enter. It took a great deal of power to break down the enchantments on the tomb door, almost the sum total of power Xaphan had. It would take an even greater deal of power than his own to destroy the magic on the cage itself. That's why they needed the Grimoire. With out it, they would not know the spells in which would have the power, for the Grimoire contained spells and magic long since forgotten. A demon shimmering in caught the demon's attention . The evil being smiled upon seeing whom it was. "I trust your mission was a success Vassago?" Xaphan sinisterly said.
The demon in question took a book out of a bag he had dangling around his shoulder. The book was the blackest of black, darkest of dark, and most evil of evil. Evil emanated from the ancient tome from all ends, as an aroma would popcorn. Placing the Grimoire down on the alter, the demon opened the book up to the correct page."Ahh, here it is." He whispered, running his hand over the black papyrus.
Xaphan rushed over to the book, and stared down at the unholy pages. The passage was written in some ancient language, but Xaphan and the other two understood it perfectly. "Well, shall we?" Xaphan said with a smirk. Melchom, and Vassago looked at each other and smiled as well.
The Demons crowded around the book, and looked down into the cage. What seemed to be a sleeping demon baby laid at the bottom. His blue and black skin accentuated his demonic tattoos, as tiny fangs peekd out of his mouth. Even for a little baby, you could see his body was strong, and well put together. With a nod to each other, the three demons began to chant in an ancient language long forgotten.
"AkBre isth gicma in hichw ndbis. LpHe us dtroyes tath hichw ldhos. Ehantmncent be oneg, ouy heav emt ouyr ofe. Refe tish demon, in hichw si stdowe."
The chanting stopped, and the cage was engulfed in a bright light. A chilling sound, almost eerie, was released from the cage, as the magic that was protecting it dissolved into nothingness. The demon baby slowly opened his eyes and immediately began to cry. It was a loud, evil wail, which would make no mother want to hold the baby for comfort. Xaphan turned a few pages, and began to chant again.
"Everto of valde vox, orior oriri ortus in aevum intus hora. Grow ex parvulus, ut adult, satus processus per a jolt."
Vassago smiled, realizing their time had finally come. "So how long should it take?"
Xaphan waited to catch his breath before he answered. The spell took more out of him then he would ever admit. Even with the help from the book, the magic that protected the cage was almost too powerful. "An hour. All we have to wait is an hour for eternal glory." He laughed maniacally.
Piper followed Leo up to the book of shadows as they continued to argue. They had been arguing for quite a bit, since there were no leads, nor was there any evidence that Leo had even been abducted. She persisted that he might have been dreaming, while he flatout denied that was anywhere close to the truth. "You don't remember anything, Leo. How do you know you just didn't orb down there yourself?" Piper said from behind.
"Why would I orb down there, Piper? Why would I orb myself into a cage?" Leo growled, continuing his march up into the attic.
Piper rolled her eyes, an action she had been doing since Leo had concocted this story. "I don't know, Leo. What do you remember before waking up in a cage?"
"Well, I was talking to Chris about him being your new white lighter...wait a minute, where is Chris?" Leo said while turning and facing his wife. A look of realization dawned on his face, as an idea came to him.
"I don't know. I haven't seen him since yesterday." Piper replied, shrugging.
"It was him! He sent me there." Leo scowled out, anger over taking him. "He scattered my orbs."
"Leo, listen to yourself. How do you know for sure it was Chris?" Piper asked, trying to get him to realize just what he was saying. A white lighter out to hurt an Elder? It was absurd!
"Call him." Leo responded, crossing his arms in impatience.
"If it'll stop you from blaming him I will. Chris. Chris, come here." Piper waited while her supposed white lighter came. After a few minutes she tried again but to no avail. "Why isn't he answering?" Piper worriedly stated.
Leo's scowl deepened. "Because he tricked us all. He wanted me down in that cage, but why?"
"Leo, don't you think you're getting a little a head of yourself. I mean, perhaps he just didn't hear me?" She said, beginning to wonder what was up herself.
"No, Piper, you're his only charge. He'd hear you alright." Leo stopped and looked up to the ceiling. "I got to go Piper, the other Elder's are calling. I'll be back when I can." Leo gave Piper a quick kiss and orbed up.
"What was that all about Piper?" Paige asked from behind.
Piper shrugged, tossing the idea off to the side. "Leo has this crazy notion it was Chris who sent him to the underworld."
"Well, maybe he's right. I mean we don't really know anything about Chris. I haven't seen him since before Leo came back from the cage. Maybe we should look into it?" Paige returned, furrowing her brows in thought.
Piper rolled her eyes. "If you think it'll help, then by all means." She said, gesturing to the book.
"I will." Paige said nodding. Then, as an after thought, "After all I have nothing better to do."
"Get a job, then." Piper called out, walking away.
"Hey, being a full time witch is work enough." Paige yelled at Piper's retreating form.