Ares kept himself and Angel in the space between worlds, not wanting to be seen,
at least not yet. The God of War shook his head, the amount of power in this
Godforsaken place was astonishing. And Godforsaken it was. Not one person in this
dark, dank place had any kind of connection to any God, they had all given up.
Ares heard a voice raised in prayer and moved closer. A dark skinned woman knelt
on the floor and called out to her God. It only took a second to determine that he
was listening, but the woman had lost all hope of having a prayer answered so didn't
hear his simple reply of, 'I am here.'
Ares shook his head and looked at Angel. "How do they live like this?"
Angel shrugged, "I don't know, but there are worse places. Much worse places."
Ares shivered, he couldn't imagine how anything could possibly be worse. Even the
people in Tartarus knew that someone heard their prayers, but this silence, this
was worse than any punishment Hades had ever imposed.
"Let's find Faith and get out of here. This place makes my skin crawl."
Ares looked for the signature flow of power that indicated a Titan was near. She
wasn't hard to find. All of the negative energy of this place was heading in one
direction and Ares followed.
They found her in a small cell with only a simple cot bolted to the wall and a toilet
in the corner. Nothing else. "Why is she here?"
Angel looked uncomfortable, "I think this is solitary confinement. Sometimes if
a prisoner gets in trouble they put them here."
Ares snorted in disgust, "Sick bastards, what are they trying to do? Drive her
Angel shook his head, "No. Some of these people actually care, but they still have
to follow the rules."
"Rules. I hate rules." Ares stepped out of the void, pulling Angel with him. The
dark haired woman sitting on the cot looked up, but didn't seem the least bit surprised
to see them.
"Faith?" Angel asked.
She nodded. "We've come to take you away from here. Come with us."
Faith shook her head no.
Ares rolled his eyes, "Yes. You don't belong here. It's too dangerous."
Faith suddenly burst into laughter, but it was silent. She raised her head and
pointed at the mangled scar across her throat.
Ares snarled and put his hand on her head, reading her memories easily. She had
tried to stop one prisoner from killing another. She had her throat slashed for her
troubles and the young woman she had been trying to protect had still died. The
doctors saved her life, but couldn't repair the severed vocal cords. After her
release from the infirmary, she'd been put in this place. For her own protection
the Warden had said.
Ares grabbed her chin and made her look in his eyes. "Do you know who I am, girl?"
Faith shrugged, it was obvious that she didn't really care. "I am Ares, God of War.
And I choose you, Faith, to be my Champion and my Sword. Do you accept?"
Angel knelt down next to Faith and took her hand, placing in on his chest. Her eyes
grew wide when she felt a heartbeat beneath her palm. "He's telling you the truth,
Faith. Please, accept the offer."
Faith looked up at Ares, studying him for a long moment before finally nodding.
Ares grinned, "It's about time. Come on, we have places to go and asses to kick."
Hades was still trying to absorb everything Giles had told him when Ares and Angel
reappeared, with a dark haired woman in tow. Hades recognized her instantly. "Bia?
What are you doing here?"
Ares shook his head, "This is Faith, she's a decendant of Bia's."
Crius came forward, looking at Faith carefully, "You look just like my granddaughter,
you're definitely one of mine."
Faith looked at Ares, a question in her dark eyes. Ares pointed at Crius, "This
is Crius Stormwind, the Titan of Violent Change. He's your grandfather, many,
many times removed."
Faith looked at Crius and nodded once, then she turned very, very pale. Ares looked
up and saw Xander standing next to Crius. "Hello, Faith."
Faith hung her head and tried to back away, but Xander grabbed her hand, "Faith, it's
alright, I'm not mad. Really."
She looked up at him from beneath her lashes, Xander smiled, "Guess what? Crius is
my grandfather too, we're cousins."
Faith's eyes rolled back in her head and Ares barely managed to catch her before
her head hit the floor.
Xander shrugged and said, "Oops."
Hecate saw Wesley stiffen when Ares appeared with his new champion. "Wesley? What
Wesley pointed at Faith, "My greatest failure. Faith was called as a Slayer, I was
her Watcher. I failed her, badly. I couldn't control her and I couldn't train her.
As a result, a man died and Faith turned to the darkness. Then she tried to kill
me, she almost suceeded."
Hecate took Wesley's hand and pulled him to the back of the room, "Sit down, Wesley,
we need to talk."
Wesley took a seat on the small sofa in the back of the room, Hecate sitting next
to him. "Wesley, you didn't fail. Faith is decended from Titans, specifically Bia,
the Titan of Force. There is no way you could have controlled her, even a God would
have had a difficult time. Titans use the energy of nature, young Xander there can literally
control and absorb the power of a tornado and use it to do what ever he wants.
But Faith, violence would feed her, and violence feeds upon itself. With no way
for her to safely spend that energy, she had to resort to physical action. It was
purely instinctive. I know she hurt you, but if she'd wanted you dead, Wesley, you
would be. But I think Ares will be able to handle her. There is a great deal of
work to be done, that should keep her out of trouble."
Wesley nodded, still watching Faith. "Thank you, Hecate, that does make a great deal
of sense. But there's something wrong with her, she's acting odd."
"What do you mean?" Hecate asked, then gasped when Faith fainted.
She and Wesley ran over to where Ares was holding the unconscious girl, "What happened?"
Ares brushed the hair off her forhead, "She's been hurt and I'm afraid this was all
a little too much for her to handle. She'll be alright, she just needs to rest."
"I'm sorry," Xander said quietly, "I didn't mean to upset her."
Ares looked up and shook his head, "It wasn't just you, Xander. We found her locked
in a tiny cell. They put her in there after she tried to save another prisoner's
life." Ares brushed a finger over the scar on Faith's throat. "She can't speak.
She needs time to heal."
Crius started swelling, "Who did this, Ares? Have they been punished?"
"Calm down, Crius. Faith accepted my offer, she's my Champion now. If something
needs to be done, I'll handle it." Ares looked at the others, "I think it's time
to move this party back to Olympus. We still have a lot to do."
Crius stepped back, "I will return to Tartarus. When she awakens, we would like to
see her. There is much she needs to know."
Ares nodded, "Agreed. I'll bring her to you soon. Give us a day or so to get her
Crius turned to Xander and Joxer, "You should come with her. The rest of the family
wants to meet you and you'll need more training."
Xander and Joxer both grinned, "Okay, Grandpa. We'll see you soon."
Crius flashed back to his wife, his booming laughter echoing in the room.
Xander smiled at Cupid, "You've been awfully quiet."
"I wasn't sure if you were going to stay." Cupid said quietly.
Xander rolled his eyes and smacked Cupid's shoulder, "Duh. Don't be a dweeb. My
family isn't going anywhere, I can see them anytime. But for now, I'm hungry, and
I'm kinda tired. I want to eat and then have a nap." Xander said said while wiggling
Cupid grinned and kissed Xander on the end of his nose, "I think I can handle that."