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Chapter: Prologue  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

When Darkness Falls
By L.A. Ward and Sanguine

RATING: PG-13 (for now)
DISCLAIMER: Not ours. Never ours. If they *were* ours we'd be a lot nicer to the characters than Mutant Enemy.
SUMMARY: When stars align, fate has a few tricks up its sleeve. Willow's trip to the dark side has unanticipated consequences, Spike struggles with his past, and Buffy is plagued by unseen forces working toward Armageddon. An AU Season 7 fic.

"God does not play dice."
- Albert Einstein

"But all evidence indicates that God is an inveterate gambler, and he throws the dice on every possible occasion."
- Stephen Hawking, Black Holes and Baby Universes

Prologue: Dice

It's a funny thing when stars align--no one actually knows it. There may be astronomers with their telescopes and astrologers with their charts trying to keep track, but they can't see. . .not really.

The light from one star might take two hundred years to reach the earth. The light from another might take a few thousand. By the time someone saw the cosmic connection it would have long since ceased to be, and, because of the world's limited vantage point, the alignment the person *did* see would only be an illusion.

We never see the real deal. The real deal happens without our noticing, and without our even having the ability to notice. Perhaps a mathematician of the genius variety, an Einstein or a Hawking, could figure it out if they knew what to look for, but there are so many stars. . .

With all the bits of light and matter following their own paths of motion, no one could be expected to sense the true moment when the connection had been made. And, given the speed of light and the distances traveled, by the time someone understood the connection all that would be left would be the light and shadow and aftereffects. Aftereffects like the mist enveloping the cliff where not too long ago a witch gathered forces too dark and too powerful for her to control. The black magic had been siphoned off her and channeled into the earth where, in the fading light of dusk, a gray tendril of preternatural brume stretches from the cliff down the hill to the graveyard where beings of unearthly power had violently been turned to dust.

Fate may have noticed the alignment. Fate may have foreseen the events that produced such consequences, and, if the Earth had been an inch to the left or spinning a fraction of an second faster, the whole mess would have been avoided. But Fate was a bitch and didn't really care. Besides, this was Sunnydale and stuff happens. . .

Continued in Chapter One: All That Matters

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