Richard Wilkins I, II, III (and now no chance of ever making it to IV) was leaning back in his office chair and staring blankly off in the room's distance, trying to understand just how it'd happened. The rest of the basic newspaper questions - what, who, where, when, and why - were more easily answered.

What, where, and when: The Mayor of Sunnydale had just been deliberately outmaneuvered in such a way that every one of his mystical debts had promptly been called in, and five minutes from now, when the office clock struck midnight (unsurprisingly, the dark being having the lien on his soul was an adamant stickler for traditions), he was going straight to Hell for the rest of eternity.

Who and why: A mysterious enemy, of course, for their own enigmatic reasons. Wilkins seriously doubted that an unknown political opponent had recently done it all - destroyed his forces, completely cleaned up the California city of all its former demonic inhabitants down to the very last vampire, and gotten the best of the Mayor - simply for their idle amusement.

That lead back to the exact manner in which it'd all happened. Frankly, Wilkins had the faintest hope that when his spirit was roasting over the coals in the depths of the Underworld, it would be some kind of comfort if he could just know how-

Behind him, a throat was politely cleared.

That sound was not just the noise of someone giving a soft cough, as if to remove something blocking their airway, or to considerately announce their presence. It was also a succinct declaration that "I'm not only fifteen moves ahead of you, I've taken down the banners, put away the chairs, and counted the proceeds from the chess tournament. So, kindly refrain from any dramatics such as pressing an alarm button, shouting for your guards, or reaching for a weapon. Let's get down to business like proper gentlemen, shall we?"

(Well, we did say it was succinct.)

After several frozen moments, Richard Wilkins slowly turned around in his swivel chair, to then stop his spin after a half-circle, as he thoughtfully regarded the black-clad figure standing there before the rear wall where the secret entrance was located and calmly returning the Mayor's gaze, as this stranger leaned on his walking cane. Eventually, Wilkins nodded once to himself, and he now offered the resigned comment, "Would this have something to do with the Hellmouth itself?"

"Partially," answered the office visitor in his composed tone, who plainly appreciated the practical mood now in the room. "More to the point, during last Halloween, a Chaos mage decided to sell his costumes here that changed their wearers into those characters, resulting in the effect lasting a bit longer in my case than any other victim."

"Ah. Well played, sir," said a satisfied Wilkins to his unexpected caller, who in turn civilly inclined his close-cropped head towards someone that obviously had no problem with losing to the best, even if that victor had previously been merely a fictional character from an enjoyed series of fantasy novels.

In the very next instant, as the office clock began to chime, an immense flash of reddish light filled the room, causing the stranger to rapidly blink away the glowing spots this event had left in his vision, and to also lift his free hand to wave away from his face the thick stink of brimstone. Once this had been done, with the clock also finishing striking midnight, the thin man clad in a clinging black outfit that rather gave him the air of a predatory flamingo then limped over to the now-empty office chair, and placing his cane on top of the desk, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork sank down into this chair.

Experimentally trying out a few spins in the swivel chair, Lord Havelock Vetinari made a mental note to have the dwarves install something like this in his own office when he finally returned to that malodorous city firmly under the thumb of the Patrician. This inward reminder finally produced an actual reaction from the person presently sharing their consciousness with the man from the Discworld, as Xander Harris stopped being just an observer to instead now dryly comment, *You seem so sure that you'll eventually get back there, sir.*

"Oh, quite," absently answered Vetinari, as he started going through the desk drawers. "It doesn't appear to be all that difficult, what with the amount of magic in this town, plus the documentation in Mr. Giles' records about various dimensional portals. No, I believe there'll be enough time to accomplish the rest of our plan before I take my leave, young man."

*You really think that you can finish the job before next Halloween? Even if we agreed that I'd let you use my body for the whole year until then, getting control of the Hellmouth and Sunnydale took at least four months since I dressed up as you in one of the outfits from that bastard Ethan.*

Pausing in his investigation, the Patrician allowed himself one of his rare cold smiles, since there was nobody else physically in the office to witness this. "Mr. Harris, I'm utterly confident that it should take far less than that, since the entire Watchers' Council together possesses perhaps a tenth, at the most, of Mayor Wilkins' shrewdness and cunning. No, the takeover and the resulting restructuring of that organization into a new group that actually aids and supports the Slayer in her demon-battling endeavors should be fairly easy, even with your somewhat recalcitrant stipulation that your friends learn nothing about this until we inform them of our success."

*But the look on G-man's face then will be priceless! He won't know what hit him!* mentally sniggered Xander, causing the Patrician himself back again in his examination of Wilkins' records to softly sigh, as Terry Pratchett's creation thought in the cynical privacy of his own portion of their shared consciousness, that even in another dimension far away from Ankh-Morpork, he was still forced to live with another, younger version of Samuel Vimes.