September 22, 1998
Rupert Giles’ Home
“Man,” Xander said. “Somebody really doesn’t like their peace.”
“I’m sorry,” Angel said. “But what did you say?”
“Men-clar is Persanese,” Giles explained. “I’m over 90 percent certain it means ‘The Bringer of Peace’.”
“Then why would someone want to kill the child?” Willow asked.
“I don’t know,” Giles said. “All I can tell is what is written in the prophecy. As I said, it is all very strange about the order it was written.
“The texts that actually use the word Men-clar are far more recent. The Persanese scribes date to around the year 1500. The oldest documents I can find are written in Latin dating to 350 AD.” Giles removed his glasses and wiped them off. Never before had he come across a prophecy like this.
“The oldest texts are actually Judeo-Christian apocrypha. They are religious texts, not sanctioned by the Church. I’ve managed to translate the Latin.” The Watcher grabbed a notebook and began to read the translation.
“In the dawn of the third millennium, there shall be a time of global unrest. It is a period when all of His lambs shall come into conflict. It is the Seven Years. It is a time when mankind will turn on itself, and walk the road to Armageddon.
“From this time shall emerge a Warrior. He is the Tro-clan.” Angel’s head snapped up at the mention of the Tro-clan. “Only by his bravery in battle will mankind not meet its ruination.
“From the ashes of the Seven Years will arise a Phoenix. She is the Men-clar, The Bringer of Peace, and sister to the Tro-clan. In the darkness following the Seven Years, She will be the Light. From a time of hatred and chaos, She will bring love and order. Mankind shall unite under Her leadership.
“But there shall be those who oppose Her, who in the end will be Her ruination. Her sacrifice will mark the dawn of the Golden Age, a thousand years of peace. Her death shall mark the salvation of mankind, and lead humanity to the end of the third millennium, when He shall pass His judgment on all souls.”
Giles tossed the notebook aside and fell back in his chair. His brain was still trying to grasp the concept that the prophecy spoke of. He could only imagine what was going through the minds of Angel and Cordelia at the moment.
“I don’t get it,” Buffy said. “I mean, the child is…”
“The child is basically the Second Coming of the Messiah,” Giles finished for her. “An individual, who sacrifices their life for the salvation of humanity.” Giles laughed and tossed his glasses to the table. “I can see what the text is considered apocrypha.”
“Why?” Willow asked.
“Because it says the Men-clar is a woman,” Oz said. “Considering how sexist religion tends to be, it’s understandable.”
“So I’ll have a daughter?” Cordelia asked excitedly. “I’ll have a girl who’s the savior of mankind. How kick ass is that?”
“Indeed,” Giles answered dryly. “Angel, may I speak with you a moment privately?”
Angel froze at the request. The last thing he wanted right now was to deal with questions. He just learned the true destiny of his daughter. He’d have a daughter! Like Cordelia, the excitement he felt over the knowledge was tremendous. And the realization of the role she would play flooded him with emotion. Pride, joy, wonder, fear, and innumerable others flashed through his mind.
“Oh, sorry,” the vampire apologized. He reluctantly followed Giles into what appeared to be a study. Angel let out a low whistle. The man’s book collection was quite impressive.
When he felt Giles’ eyes on him, Angel turned to face the man. The Watcher studied the vampire. A few years ago, Angel would have squirmed under the scrutiny. But not now. Not with so much at stake.
“I don’t know how it could be possible. I’ve tried to tell myself that it can’t be. But our worlds are far from the ordinary. Things outside the realm of normal possibility seem to be the norm. So I am going to ask you this question, and I’ve given you the courtesy of doing so in private, so I expect an honest answer. Are you the father of Cordelia’s child?”
Angel stared at the man for several long moments. “I don’t want her to know. I don’t want anyone to know. The distraction it would cause, the anger that would stem from it, it would be best to avoid it.”
“So it is true,” Giles stated. Angel nodded. “How can it be?”
“Like you said,” Angel smiled slightly. “The lives we lead are far from normal. Things outside the normal realm of possibility are the norm. A few well placed prophecies, a couple entities in high levels of power. You’d be surprised at what can happen. Nothing short of miracles.”
At that moment Giles whole perception changed. Before him was not a monster. It was a man. A man who would stop at nothing to protect the family that he loved. That was what this was all about. Salvation of what is important.
“The prophecy made note of another child.”
“Yes,” Giles said. “Do you know who it is?”
“I do. He has yet to be born.”
“Are you the father?”
“Is Cordelia the mother?”
“Then who is? Buffy?”
“It doesn’t matter who the mother is,” Angel said. “As long as I can stop Allison from killing Cordelia, his birth will transpire.”
For the time being, Giles would accept that answer. His mind was still reeling from the confirmation of his suspicions. “What should I say if anyone asks any of the questions I posed you?”
Angel smiled at the watcher. It was still strange for Giles, to see the vampire smile without a trace of malevolence. “Just say I stonewalled you. Traces of the old Angel that everyone came to know and despise.”
Despite the situation, Giles had to laugh at that. If Giles hadn’t just read the Men-clar prophecy, he would have sworn that Angel making a joke was a sign of the apocalypse.
“I have to ask. How did you arrive here?”
“Allison had a device. A palm pilot looking contraption. Somehow she could use it to travel across time. She dropped it when trying to escape. A friend from my time analyzed it. She said it had enough energy in it to make a roundtrip here to back home.”
“Where is the device?”
“It’s in a safe place. I didn’t want to risk it being damaged, or risk Allison finding it.”
Now it was time for the big question. “What do we do about this assassin?”
“Simple,” Angel said. “We draw her out into the open. Then I destroy her.”