In a AU version of Los Angeles, California, the former Ringwraith called Michael lives in the shadows and depths of the city, helping people in his neighborhood to survive in their daily lives with discreet uses of his Vengeance Ring - and occasionally going out for his favorite meal at a little twenty-four hour cafeteria. After saving a pair of waitresses from vampires and a fellow Ringwraith (who wasn't aware of his presence in L.A., thus showing that Vengeance Rings can't track one another the way Defender Rings can), Michael retreats to his underground domicile - where a thirty-something Helen Barksdale (a senior associate for the law firm of Wolfram and Hart) is waiting inside.
Helen annoys 'Michael' (not his real name) as she demonstrates a vast knowledge of his background - both his personal history, and that of the Corps of Ringbearers, including the alien-spawned zombie invasion on 'D-476' that inspired the creation of the Defender Rings and the Corps itself. She even knows about how he gained his Ring, the evil he did and how the Ringmasters themselves felt compelled to track him down themselves in order to punish him. Ignoring Michael's veiled threats, Helen demonstrates her knowledge of how he ended up on the Earth he presently resides (including the bittersweet love affair he was involved in and how isolating himself, even as he works to help people) will lead him to no good end. Helen leaves her business card as she leaves, implying that Wolfram and Hart are perfectly willing to work with a being such as him (for their own benefit, or course).
- The work on The Paperpusher
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