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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 8:49 pm 
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TWENTY-SIX

“Are you sure about this?” asked Giles. “It’s a desperate gamble you’re taking.”

“I know,” said Piper, folding a piece of paper and putting it in her pocket. “But I don’t think we have any other choice. I think this is our only hope. I don’t believe for a second that Lishtak plans to leave my body once I get home. This is the only way.”

“You’re as gutsy as our Piper,” said Angel.

“Sort of a hazard of the profession,” said Piper. “Is the enchantment still on the manor?”

“No,” said Leo. “When I got back from the Elders I checked. I can orb out again.”

“Well, if what Lishtak said is true,” said Piper, “it won’t matter until he inhabits me.”

“There was nothing in the Book of Shadows,” said Phoebe, “just as Leo said.”

“The Elders didn’t know much more,” said Leo. “Lishtak was a high level demon. You pretty much know the rest.”

“From what we’ve learned,” said Giles, “Lishtak needs a living body to exist outside his domain. It would explain why he didn’t try talking to Angel when he held the amulet. As a vampire, Angel would be useless to him.”

“He told me as much,” said Piper. “And I think he needs me to cooperate before he can inhabit me. Otherwise, he’d just move in and take over.”

“Historically,” said Giles, “demonic possession involves the weak or impaired. Drug addicts, alcoholics, that sort. And there are some who just don’t have the strength of will to resist a possession. As a Charmed One, he could never inhabit you unless you allowed it. Your power is just too great.”

“He probably won’t be able to just force me out, either,” said Piper. “I think I’m going to have a fight on my hands before this is all over.”

“We may never know if you’re successful,” said Buffy. “Once you return to your own dimension, they’ll be no way to let us know.”

“Think positively,” said Prue. “We’ve kicked enough demon butt before. I’m sure Piper and her sisters can handle this one.”

“With Leo’s help, I’m sure we can,” said Piper. “My Leo, not you.”

“I understood that,” said Leo, smiling.

“There’s really no difference between the two of you,” said Piper. “Other than you’re Phoebe’s husband here. Besides that, you’re virtually identical.”

“Then I know he’ll be as glad to get you back as I would be to get Phoebe back if the situations were reversed,” said Leo.

“And I will be glad to have my Piper back as well,” said Giles. “She’s very much needed here. And I must confess I miss her more than I thought.”

“No matter how alike we may be,” said Piper, “she’s still your Piper. I’m not. She belongs here, I don’t.”

“So,” said Prue, “any idea how to get hold of Lishtak to let him know you’re going along with his deal?”

“It shouldn’t be hard,” said Piper. “I’m thinking if I concentrate hard enough, he’ll hear me and open that door he talked about.”

“Well, if it’s like the last time,” said Angel, “we won’t even realize it. It was only a brief moment for us. You’ll have to let us know if it works.”

“I will,” promised Piper. “I’m pretty sure he’ll go along with me. Especially if he thinks it’s a way out of that void area.”

“I suppose we’re as ready as we’ll ever be,” said Giles.

“Before I do,” said Piper, “I want to thank all of you for your help. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.”

“What are sister for?” asked Prue. “Even if we are sort of extended sisters.”

“Be careful,” said Giles.

“I will,” promised Piper.

Piper closed her eyes and concentrated on Lishtak.

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"One day we are going to look in our microscope and find outselves staring into God's eye. And the first one to blink is going to loose his testicles." - Peter O'Toole in "Creator"


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:15 am 
:clap :clap :clap :clap Great new chapter, Jerry! :) I liked it! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:44 am 
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Well hopefully the rest of the story will be as good as it has been so far.

Jerry

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"One day we are going to look in our microscope and find outselves staring into God's eye. And the first one to blink is going to loose his testicles." - Peter O'Toole in "Creator"


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:20 am 
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TWENTY-SEVEN

“Are you here?” asked Piper looking out into the field of gray all about her.

“Of course,” replied Lishtak.

“I’ve thought it over,” said Piper. “I’ll go along with this. But there are a couple of stipulations.”

“I thought as much,” said Lishtak.

“First,” said Piper, “you untangle the cords and put the other Piper back where she belongs. Before you send me back.”

“Acceptable,” said Lishtak.

“Second,” said Piper, “after that, I want a few minutes. To say goodbye to the others.”

“How do I know you’ll keep your end of the bargain if I do?” asked Lishtak.

“I’m a witch, remember?” said Piper. “One of the good guys? You have my word that if you do what I ask, I’ll let you hop a ride with me back to my own dimension.”

“Very well,” said Lishtak. “I suppose the word of a Charmed One is sufficient. Is that all?”

“No, one other thing,” said Piper. “I have to agree to the body you take over. I don’t want you trying to take over a body that’s already inhabited.”

“I accept,” said Lishtak. “Is there anything else?”

“Yeah,” said Piper. “Once we get back, I don’t want you trying to read my mind or anything like that. I need some privacy.”

“As I’ve said,” said Lishtak, “I can’t read your mind. It’s not one of my abilities. We will simply be occupying the same body for a time. Your thoughts are your own, as are mine.”

“Okay,” said Piper. “Now, what do I have to do?”

“Nothing,” said Lishtak. “I will separate the cords. When I am finished, you will return to your normal physical appearance. There will be no discomfort. You simply need to close your eyes.”

Piper didn’t fully trust the demon. She knew at the first opportunity, he’d turn on her. She also knew she had no choice. She could only hope her strength as a Charmed One would protect her. Piper closed her eyes and waited.

“Piper?” she heard Prue question after a moment. “Are you okay?”

Piper opened her eyes. Prue was standing in front of her, holding her by the shoulders. Everyone else stood around looking at her.

“I’m fine,” said Piper. “Lishtak agreed to everything. He’s supposed to untangle the cords and bring your Piper back here.”

“He did,” said Angel.

That’s when Piper noticed the young girl Angel had his arm around. She was a young Piper, about sixteen years old. Piper moved over to a mirror in the manor entryway and looked at it.

Her normal reflection stared back at her. She was no longer the sixteen-year-old girl she had been when she had arrived here. Apparently, Lishtak had kept his word. So far at least. Piper turned and looked at the group.

“So far, so good,” she said.

“It’s good to be back where I belong,” said the young Piper. “I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I’m glad it’s over. No offense, but your dimension is kind of screwed up.”

“That’s what I was thinking about yours,” said Piper. “I assume my sisters were able to figure out what was going on.”

“Not everything,” said the young Piper. “They knew I wasn’t you. And I was able to convince them I wasn’t a demon impersonating you. But they don’t know what happened. It was totally confusing.”

“I know the feeling,” said Piper. “I’ll be sure to fill them in when I get back. I’m sure Giles and the others will do the same with you.”

“We’ll fill Piper in on what’s been happening,” said Giles. “You should be going. Lishtak is bound to be very impatient.”

“Thanks,” said Piper, kissing him on the cheek. “For everything. Thanks to all of you. I couldn’t have done this without your help.”

“Thank us by vanquishing Lishtak,” said Phoebe. “Have a safe journey. And kick a lot of demon butt for us when you get back.”

“I will,” said Piper. “Well, I guess this is it. Another trip over the rainbow. Maybe some day we’ll get a chance to meet again.”

Piper closed her eyes to contact Lishtak. As she did, the younger Piper pulled Angel out of the living room.

“We need to talk,” she whispered to him. “Something about a moment of true happiness and the consequences.”

“Oh, that,” said Angel.

“Yeah,” said Piper, smiling at him, “that.”

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"One day we are going to look in our microscope and find outselves staring into God's eye. And the first one to blink is going to loose his testicles." - Peter O'Toole in "Creator"


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:09 pm 
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TWENTY-EIGHT

“It is actually a simple matter,” said Lishtak. “Moving from one dimension to another is as easy as opening a doorway. All one has to do is step through.”

“Well, you kept your part of the bargain,” said Piper. “I guess it’s time for me to keep mine. As soon as we get back, I’ll find a body for you.”

“That should not be difficult,” said Lishtak. “Any body should be adequate. Now, when my essence enters you, you must not resist. Once I enter you, I will be able to open the doorway to your dimension.”

“Just no tricks,” said Piper.

Lishtak didn’t respond. Piper could feel his essence beginning to enter her. She fought the impulse to resist. It was a natural reaction to being possessed. She had to resist the urge to shut Lishtak out. Within moments it was over. Piper could feel his presence in her mind. It was unsettling. She wasn’t sure if he had told the truth about not being able to read her mind.

“It’s done,” said Lishtak in her mind.

“Okay, now what?” she replied.

“I’ll use the power of the amulet,” said Lishtak. “As before, you may lose consciousness. It is a natural reaction to interdimensional travel until you become accustomed to it.”

Piper felt herself become dizzy. She didn’t like the risk of loosing consciousness with a demon inside her. But if she was to get home, it was a necessary evil. Suddenly, her vision blurred and she blacked out.

* * *

She was staring at a ceiling. That was Piper’s first thought when she opened her eyes. And from the looks of it, it was the ceiling of an attic. She sat up and looked around.

It took her only an instant to recognize where she was. She was in the attic of the manor, lying near the window. In the doorway stood Cole. He had apparently just been leaving the attic with a shoebox in his hand. He was half turned in the doorway, looking at Piper.

“Piper?” he questioned. “Phoebe, Paige, Leo, get up here.”

Cole put the shoebox on a table near the door and moved over to help Piper. As he pulled her to her feet, she pressed a piece of paper into his hand.

“Piper, are you okay?” asked Cole, as the others rushed into the attic.

“Piper, thank God you’re back,” said Leo. “We were afraid we might have lost you.”

“Leo, Phoebe,” said Piper, looking at her family. “Okay, before we go any further, are you two married?”

“What?” asked Paige, stepping into the room. “What makes you think they’re married?”

“Oh, thank goodness,” said Piper. “I just wanted to make sure Lishtak brought me back to the right place.”

“Lishtak?” questioned Cole. “He was vanquished thousands of years ago. Where did you hear his name? And what does he have to do with anything?”

“I’ll explain everything,” said Piper. “Just let me catch my breath.”

“Just so we’re all clear on just who is who,” said Paige, “you don’t have the urge to slay vampires, do you?”

“Not particularly,” said Piper, smiling. “I much prefer being a Charmed One to being the Slayer.”

“I guess this is our Piper,” said Leo, hugging his wife. “Looks like whatever happened has corrected itself.”

“Well, not exactly by itself,” said Piper. “It had some help. Let’s go to the living room and I’ll tell you all about it.”

She started to head for the attic door but found she couldn’t move.

“I don’t think so,” said Lishtak in her mind. “I find I like this body. It provides so much more power than that fool, Collier. Once I force your essence out, it will serve me well.”

“You lied to me,” Piper replied.

“I’m a demon,” said Lishtak. “You were a fool to trust me. Now, you will pay the price for that foolishness. Not even your power as a Charmed One can help you resist me for long. In a matter of moments you will be gone, and I shall be in control of your body.”

Piper knew he was right. Even now she could feel herself being forced out of her own body. It wouldn’t take long before she weakened and Lishtak would win.

_________________
"One day we are going to look in our microscope and find outselves staring into God's eye. And the first one to blink is going to loose his testicles." - Peter O'Toole in "Creator"


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:28 am 
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TWENTY-NINE

“We had a deal,” Piper said in her mind.

“I’m altering our deal,” said Lishtak. “Do you think if I could inhabit just any body I would still have been in Collier’s body? When he found the amulet, I made the same deal with him I made with you. He was easy to force out. His power was minor.”

”You’ll find me a bit harder,” said Piper. “I’m not just a witch. My power as a Charmed One is far from minor.”

“Which is why I’m so satisfied with your body,” said Lishtak. “Once I take over your body, I’ll gain that power. Added to my own, I will become nearly undefeatable.”

“You have to force me out first,” said Piper.

“I will eventually,” said Lishtak. “Your power is limited. I can replenish my power from two-dozen dimensions. As you grow weaker I grow stronger. Eventually, you will be unable to resist my power.”

“There’s no need for this,” said Piper. “We can find you a body.”

“Not like yours,” said Lishtak. “Outside my realm between dimensions, I cannot exist. I must have a physical form. But that form cannot be mortal. I must have a magical form or my magic would burn the body up within moments. The form of a witch is perfect.

“And the form of a Charmed One is even better. Even Collier’s form required me to recharge it, so to speak, from time to time. I won’t have that problem with your form. It has been prepared for generations to accept the power that is your birthright.”

“That’s why Collier couldn’t steal a witch’s power,” said Piper. “It wasn’t really him. It was you inside his body.”

“Yes,” said Lishtak. “But while his body provided me the necessary vessel to enter different dimensions, it was not strong enough to allow me to use my own powers. That will change when I have your body.”

“My sisters will stop you,” said Piper. “Once they figure out I’m not me, they’ll vanquish you.”

“Not while I have the amulet,” said Lishtak. “It will protect me from their power. I will use my power to absorb them. I will add the Power of Three to my power. And I will become invincible.”

Time was running out for Piper. She was stalling, trying to give her sisters the time they needed to help her. But every moment that passed she could feel herself slipping farther away. In a few moments, she’d be gone.

* * *

“Piper?” questioned Leo. “Piper, are you okay?”

Piper stood in front of the attic window. Her eyes were closed and she seemed to be concentrating.

“She seemed okay when we came in,” said Phoebe. “I wonder what’s going on.”

“I think I know,” said Cole, shoving the paper Piper had given him into his pocket. “This should be easy to fix. Just stand back for a second.”

Everyone looked at each other and then took a step back. Cole looked at them and then took hold of Piper. Before any of them could react, he suddenly shoved Piper out the attic window.

“Cole,” screamed Phoebe.

“What are you doing?” shouted Leo.

“No time to explain,” said Cole. “You need to get down there now.”

Leo and Paige immediately orbed out. Cole and Phoebe turned and headed for the stairs. As Cole and Phoebe ran out into the yard, they saw Leo and Paige kneeling over Piper’s unmoving body.

“I can’t do anything,” said Leo, tears in his eyes. “Her neck is broken. She’s dead.”

_________________
"One day we are going to look in our microscope and find outselves staring into God's eye. And the first one to blink is going to loose his testicles." - Peter O'Toole in "Creator"


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:15 pm 
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THIRTY

“Try,” said Cole, grabbing Leo’s shoulder.

“It won’t do any good,” screamed Leo. “I can’t raise the dead.”

“Then you don’t have anything to lose, do you?” asked Cole.

“Leo, he’s right,” said Phoebe. “It can’t hurt to try.”

Leo looked at Phoebe and then placed his hands over Pipers’ body. He activated his healing power and concentrated as hard as he could. For a few moments nothing happened. Then, suddenly, Piper opened her eyes and groaned.

“Oh, that hurt,” groaned Piper.

On the verge of rage, Leo jumped up. He grabbed Cole by the lapels of his jacket and slammed him up against the side of the house.

“What was that about?” demanded Leo. “She’s done everything she could to help you and you try to kill her? You’d better have a damn good reason for what you just did.”

“Leo, no,” said Piper sitting up. “He wasn’t attacking me. He was helping me.”

Leo let go of Cole and moved over to help Piper to her feet.

“I don’t think I understand,” said Leo.

“Let’s go back inside and I’ll explain,” said Piper.

* * *

“So, when Cole pushed me out the window,” finished Piper, “I died from a broken neck. Lishtak was forced out because he couldn’t inhabit a dead body.”

“But you were dead,” protested Leo. “I don’t understand how I was able to heal you. I can’t heal a dead body.”

“The amulet,” said Piper, holding it up. “It prevented me from moving on just as I suspected. The Leo in the other dimension said that even after someone dies, there are a few seconds afterward before the spirit leaves the body. If you could get to me in time, there was still a chance to save me.”

“Cole,” said Leo, “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand what was going on.”

“No need to apologize,” said Cole, taking the paper out of his pocket. “She explained it all in here. When she stopped responding to us, I figured she was fighting Lishtak. I couldn’t say anything for fear he might find out what she had planned. I can imagine what you thought when I pushed her out that window.”

“You took a hell of a risk,” said Paige to Piper.

“I didn’t see any other choice,” said Piper. “I had to get back here and Lishtak was my only option. That’s why I wrote it all down. I didn’t know if I’d be able to tell you what was going on. And Cole was the first one I saw when I returned.”

“I don’t ever want to go through something like this again,” said Phoebe. “Loosing one sister is enough.”

“Once we get rid of this amulet,” said Piper, “I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that.”

“I’ll take care of it,” said Leo, taking the amulet.

“I want to take a trip to Sunnydale in the next few days,” said Piper. “I learned what it’s like to be the Slayer. I’d like to have a chat with our Slayer, if there is one. I think maybe she could use a friendly ear from time to time.”

“You won’t have to,” said Phoebe. “Buffy and Giles are staying in a hotel nearby. When you, or rather the other you, kept talking about being this Slayer, we contacted them. They’ve been helping us figure out what’s been going on.”

“They’re coming over later this afternoon,” said Paige.

“What about Angel?” Piper asked. “Is he here, too?”

“I guess we need to explain that to you,” said Leo. “Things aren’t quite the same as they were in the other dimension.”

“Maybe later,” said Piper. “Right now I want to make an entry in the Book of Shadows about Lishtak while it’s still fresh in my mind. We don’t know for sure if he was vanquished or just sent back to his domain. There should be an entry on him just in case.”

As Piper headed for the attic, Leo orbed out to dispose of the amulet.

_________________
"One day we are going to look in our microscope and find outselves staring into God's eye. And the first one to blink is going to loose his testicles." - Peter O'Toole in "Creator"


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:45 pm 
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EPILOGUE

Cole shimmered into the underworld. Several demons stood in the chamber and turned to face him.
`
“Who’s in charge here?” demanded Cole.

“That would be me, Source,” said one demon with a smirk on his face.

Cole raised his hand and cast a fireball at the demon, incinerating it where it stood. The rest backed away in fear.

“Your meddling nearly ruined my plans,” spat out Cole. “By hiring Collier to go after the Charmed Ones you almost caused me to expose myself. I won’t tolerate that.”

“You saved the witch,” said the Seer, entering the chamber.

“Are you involved in this?” demanded Cole.

“Me?” questioned the Seer. “No. But like you, I knew where to look for those who were.”

“Yes, I saved her,” said Cole. “I need Phoebe’s power intact for my plans. Killing Piper would have changed that. And it would have hurt her to lose her sister. She’s to be my queen and I’ll not tolerate anyone hurting her.”

“Of course,” said the Seer. “The queen of the underworld must be kept happy if she is to provide you with an heir.”

“That’s right,” said Cole. “And killing her sister is not going to keep her happy.”

“They only sought to please you,” said the Seer. “By getting rid of your enemies for you.”

“If they want to please me,” said Cole, “they can do that best by staying away from Phoebe and her sisters. I’ll deal with them in my own way and my own time.”

“As you wish,” said the Seer.

“And you,” said Cole, turning to the remaining demons, “if I have to come down here again for something else like this, you’ll all regret it.”

The demons nodded, keeping their eyes on the floor. Cole looked at the Seer, and then simply shimmered out. The Seer smiled. Her plans were progressing nicely. Without a word to the demons she shimmered out leaving them alone in the chamber

The End

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find more “Charmed” stories at my website, http://www.geocities.com/killeenmale/ . You can also post your own “Charmed” stories if you like to write fan fiction.

_________________
"One day we are going to look in our microscope and find outselves staring into God's eye. And the first one to blink is going to loose his testicles." - Peter O'Toole in "Creator"


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 12:35 am 
:clap :clap :clap :clap Great ending to this story, Jerry!!! :) I loved how you kept it going with me wondering what was coming! :lol:

I want to say a lot but basically I'll just say I think you did a good job with the suspense of what was happening to both Pipers and then the whole demon and his role in the dimension thing. I thought he was going to be a help to her!! :) So you got me believing what Piper believed! :lol: Finally you showed me a side of Cole that I didn't expect after he helped Piper. Okay, I've gone on enough, I just liked the story, thanks for sharing it, Jerry...:)

I think it was well-writtten. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:47 pm 
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I agree with Angie this is one great story

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:24 am 
It really is...:)


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