Shuddering in revulsion at the noises coming from the house behind him, Xander Harris picked up his pace to turn his fast walk into something much quicker. No, not an actual run, no sireee. He wasn't running like a little girl who'd just seen a big, ol' scary spider. Nope, battle-hardened, brave, dimensional explorer here, who right this second was…ummmm…advancing in the opposite direction! Yeah, that was what he was doing, the man reassured himself in his mind, as he slowed down from his headlong sprint.

Stopping in the woods behind the place he'd just fled from, Xander cautiously listened, until the one-eyed man then breathed a sigh of relief, and he headed over towards a handy tree stump, welcoming the normal sounds of nature around him of buzzing insects, the crunch of leaves under his boots, and a birdcall or two. Just before he planted his ass onto the stump, Xander reached into the left back pocket of his jeans and he pulled out a notepad and a pencil stub. As long as he was here, he might as well fill out his report.

Shifting his butt on the tree stump into a more comfortable position, Xander flipped open the notepad to a blank page, and he got his pencil ready, as the man organized his thoughts. After a few moments, the Council member started writing.

Hi, Giles:

Hope you and the rest of the Scoobies and everyone else are fine. I'm okay, and really looking forward to getting back home. I'd be more than happy to come along with this note instead of having to wait until Wils' portal opens up again in a week, if only to tell you right away the bad news in person. Yeah, total failure to report. There's no way it'd be a good idea to bring back Anita Blake with me from this dimension.

I guess it might have been different if I'd gotten here sooner, but I know Wils warned me she couldn't guarantee I'd be sent to this dimension earlier in the books. Not sure exactly when - it's not like there's a big title floating around in the air to tell me which book I'm in, but it's got to be kind of late in the series, which is really sucky. That pretty much describes my whole attitude anyway, Giles.

As I remember, I told you how I felt about everything after I had to read those mint, autographed, first editions with the hand-tooled leather covers, courtesy of Andrew, who had them right at hand and was practically drooling on his books at the mere thought of meeting Anita. Gee, who'd have thought it? We really gotta find that guy a date, or for preference, start his chemical castration. It'll be no problem to sneak those pills in with his Flintstone vitamins.

Anyway, as you recall, I registered my objections (sorry about the chair) over having to come here and ask Anita to return with me and work for the New Council. Honestly, that fictional character wasn't all that appealing on the printed page, and now that I've actually met her in real life in the closest dimension that Wils could find where she actually lived, my level of loathing for that woman is approaching stratospheric heights.

If you've forgotten the specifics, let me lay them out for you again:

In Anita's world, numerous creatures of the night exist and are known to the populace at large, including werewolves of various species, ghosts, zombies, and vampires, with these latter people-snacking monsters claiming they're an ethnic group and deserve to live- well, exist, among their prey, all while plotting to dominate the planet and turn humanity into blood cattle during their ravaging of our womenfolk. Not to mention they think white, poofy shirts are an awesome fashion statement.

So, the fanged fiends took it to the voters of this country, and they won. Just one more example of the truth of the adage, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the gullibility of the American public."

However, some tiny remnants of sanity existed in the government's consciousness, so they set up certain federal agents with the power of executing those felonious supernatural beings who do the big naughty-naughty of munching upon Uncle Bert and his lovely family. No Miranda warnings, no "I'm telling the truth, I swear!" in those totally identical cop interrogation rooms (how come everybody on those Law and Order shows says those last two words when the entire audience knows that means they're lying?), no jury of their peers. Just, "KA-BLAM!" and reload.

One such agent was a woman named Anita Blake, who when presented in the first novels came along with additional information about her character from the writer that was supposed to win the reader's sympathy: a younger Anita had a hard life (sob!), she was short (sob! sob!), and unthinking people refused to do what she wanted even if it was for their own good (sob! sob! sob!). No, she wasn't being a bully at all, absolutely not, and if you say that again, she'll shoot you.

Perhaps the fact that, right off in the first book, this female also had the power to raise the dead from their graves for a nice chat, which might have given some people good cause for their doubting that Anita the necromancer had a full deck of cards in her mind. On second thought, other people managed to maintain their mental stability in similar situations, and if the author had just limited Anita to that mystical ability, everything would have been okay. But, no. In EVERY single book after the first, Anita gets even MORE powers, with subsequent severe stresses upon her sanity that led to this woman's behavior becoming, shall we say, a tad wonky.

Such as, fucking everything around her that moved.

Including werewolves. And vampires. With lots of accompanying love bites.

Setting aside the minor point that a HUMAN mouth is a bacterial cesspool, why would anybody kiss a being that probably ate roadkill an hour ago? Not to mention any vampire a couple of centuries old probably hasn't taken care of their teeth since the last time they were alive, when the concept of dental hygiene back then was limited to a toothpick, and when that didn't work, a set of pliers and a mallet.

I'm sure her numerous orgasms also caused Anita to ignore little details like the passing on of pathogens from animals to human can happen without all that much effort, and this transfer works best through…the…bloodstream! Even if the carrier isn't bothered by whatever bacterium or virus they have, either in themselves or in an accompanying parasite, what made Anita think SHE was immune? You ever hear of rabies, lady? Or bubonic plague? Or something new that would be named after her once that woman's liquefied body had been scooped up in a bucket?

Of course, anybody who wasn't totally nutso would have picked someone(s) else than what Anita did in choosing her chief sexual partners. It takes perfectly lucid consideration to pick as your main gimme-some-lovin' dudes a vacillating werewolf that makes Hamlet seem decisive, and a vampire who totally ignores the fact he's in a country that finds a thick French accent hilarious (Pepé Le Pew, Maurice Chevailer, Jerry Lewis, etc.).

So, essentially, a woman who thought in the first book that "Monsters are bad" later turns into someone firmly convinced that "Monsters, particularly the ones I'm draining of their essences three or four times an hour, aren't so bad, and even if those humans that I was supposed to protect in the first place get murdered by those well-hung muffmunchers, oh, gee, it happened off-page or a long distance away where I didn't see it or they really, really deserved it, especially those who interrupted my daily gangbangs, AND THIS TIME, WHEN ALL OF YOU SERVICE ME, EVERYBODY WEARS THE WHITE, POOFY SHIRTS!"

I'm absolutely convinced that in the last pages of the final book, it'll turn out that woman committed in her previous lifetime numerous sins of such utter depravity and vileness that when she passed on, the celestial court sentenced her to spend an eternity suffering in her own personal Hell, and those novels are describing her everlasting torment.

Well, Giles, as you can see, we don't really need all that trouble. I won't even bother to make the offer, so it'll be just me coming back. Hopefully, while I'm waiting for Wils' spell to yank me home in a few days, I can concentrate on keeping myself from staking every single vamp in sight and slipping the local werewolf population a handful of chocolate-covered laxatives into every one of their doggy bowls. Trust me, I'll do even worse if I ever meet Anita Blake again.

See ya soon,

Xander

P.S. Yes, I promise to be a bit more tactful when I deliver my report in front of everybody. Besides, Andrew's sudden sobbing will surely be enough of a distraction for us both to slip out and kill the rest of the bottle of twelve-year Talisker you keep in the left lower drawer of your desk. :)

As he finished drawing the smiley face on his notepad, a matching wide grin was also on Xander's features, and this cheerful expression was still maintained while he tucked away his pencil stub into a pocket, tore the filled-out pages from the pad, and held the stack of sheets in the palm of his right hand. As the man watched, these papers immediately shimmered, and right after, they disappeared into thin air with the sound of a faint 'pop!' following this completion of Willow Rosenberg's messenger spell.

Tucking away the notepad with the pencil, Xander's smile now turned into an actual smirk, as he congratulated himself for asking his red-haired friend to make sure his magical communications would stay private and confidential, with only Rupert Giles able to receive and read them. It really wouldn't have been a good idea for anyone else of the Scoobies, with their own past experiences, to peruse Xander's latest comments. Yeah, it was totally hypocritical of him, but considering that this time it wasn't happening to himself, his friends, or anyone else that he actually cared about, honestly, it had felt really good to say what he damn well pleased.

Xander now stood up, and he looked around the woods. Let's see, he could walk straight ahead for a couple of miles through the forest with its rough terrain, poison ivy, rattlesnakes, and other hazards, to then reach a road and stick out his thumb while waiting for the next ride from whoever stopped their car, with the good chance this driver would be a slavering serial killer anxious for his next victim.

Or, he could just go back to Anita's house.

Instantaneously making his decision, Xander Harris strode forward, muttering to himself, "Leaves of three, let them be…"