Hellmouth - New Beginnings
Copyrighted: June 2014
Category: Crossover
Rating: PG-13 - Small amount of foul language and description of violence
Spoilers: A few, but who cares?
Keywords: X-Files/Highlander/Buffy the Vampire Slayer Crossover with a few guest stars.

Summary: An Immortal Demon Hunter comes to Sunnydale and teams up with Buffy to hunt down Angelus, Spike and Drusila.

Highlander: All rights and properties owned by Rysher Entertainment.
The X-Files: All rights and properties owned by Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and the FOX Network.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: All rights and properties owned by Joss Whedon, Warner Bros. and Mutant Enemy, etc.

WildCats based on an original idea by Mark Pacetti.

Fallon Carrington Colby’s return and reference to “The Final Countdown” suggested by Mark Pacetti.

The following are authors whose characters Steve borrowed for his original little story and I kept in the revised version. They may play minor roles, but all have been giants:

Don Pendleton
Mickey Spillane
Jim Shooter
Stan Lee

Any character whose names and descriptions are used are the property of their original owners, and no copy right infringement is intended or meant.

No money can be made from this story. It can be distributed freely so long as it is kept in its entirety, with all notices and copyright information intact.

The characters Wanderer/Steven St. Wolf, Frank Iverson, Brother Aaron and Robert McCallister and this story are Steve’s.
  May he rest in peace.  The revised (or reedited) version is mine.  I can be reached at perngypsy@yahoo.com

Comments and Criticisms are appreciated, please post to the above referenced E-mail.

Original Author's Note's: When I started to write this story I decided to change some things concerning the characters.

X-Files Mulder and Scully are married and Immortal - So Non-Relationshippers beware.
Highlander: Richie Ryan shouldn't have died in the end of the fifth season. So here he hasn't.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Nothing really.


Hellmouth - New Beginnings

Prologue
(Let's Just Get the Bullshit Out of the Way)

They pass through history. . .
Living lives longer than any normal man can imagine.
Some pass through with hardly a ripple,
Others are like tidal waves, crashing on the shore.
They are the Immortals.
This is the story of the Wanderer. Warrior, Champion, Teacher, Demon Hunter.
These are his Chronicles. . .

Frank Iverson, Watcher, 2033

*****

Part 1- The Death
(How to become Immortal - Cheaply)

Dearborn, MI
August 1999

His name is Steven St. Wolf, the Wanderer, he is Immortal. This is his story:

<Fuck, it would be the only two minute light in all of Dearborn.> It was a late August day in 1999 while Steve St. Wolf was quietly cursing the length of time the light in front of him was taking to change. As he waited for the light to change, he noticed the kids from the school across the street play in the schools playground. As he watched his mind wanderered back, and he thought about Kathy his late wife and the lives they could have had.

<Oh, Kathy. How I wish we could have had a long, normal life. Just you, me, a couple of kids, and maybe a dog. Instead of this crappy hand we were dealt. With the exception of meeting, and marrying you I sometimes feel like the most unlucky person alive.>. Steve thought to himself as he waited for the light to change.

Just as the light was changing he heard the driver in the car behind him very loudly, and very annoyingly honking his horn. Shaking off the memories Steve puts his sunglasses back on and got ready to move. <Alright already! I’m moving, I’m moving!> he thought to himself as he glanced back at the annoyed driver behind him. Just as he turned back around he heard a car door slam shut, and noticed a tall man with a maniacal gleam in his eyes get out of a nondescript black sedan.

Steve always had a great sense for detecting possible dangers, good common sense, and solid street smarts. All three were sending constant red alerts about this guy. Especially since for such a warm day the man looked really out of place wearing a long black trench coat. It almost looked like he was hiding something under it.

Suddenly, there was a slight gust of wind which moved part of the man’s coat allowing Steve a clear view of the AK-47 that he was holding in his gloved hand. Taking a quick glance to his right it only took Steve less than a minute to figure out what the nutcase was planning on doing. He was going to shoot the kids in the playground!

<Did I say I was really unlucky? I have to do something fast before those kids really have an unlucky day.> Steve quickly thought as the trench coat man pointed the AK-47 at the kids in the school yard. It was then that Steve decided on what could be the stupidest, or luckiest course of action he could think of.

< Shit that bastard's about to shoot those kids. > He thought to himself as he gunned his Harley Soft Tail and aimed it straight at the bastard with the AK-47, screaming at the top of his lungs. The son of a bitch quickly turned and saw Steve coming straight at him. Instead of trying to get out of the way, he aimed the rifle at Steve and fired.

The kids on the playground started screaming at the top of their lungs as the teachers risked their own lives trying to get them out of harm’s way. Steve felt the pain of the bullets as they struck, and his final thoughts were, < Can I take this bastard down with me and save those kids? > Just as the world was starting to go black Steve inadvertently jerked the bike to the left. The right side of Steve’s bike hit the guy head on. Steve felt, and heard the impact followed by a short series of loud cracks sounding like breaking bones. He silently hoped that he hit the bastard hard enough to kill him as he finally wiped out with his bike.

Steve's lying in the worst pain of his life while he slowly drifted in and out of conciseness. Having spent enough time in the Army Steve knew that he is dying. Lying there he quietly asked himself the last question anyone in his position would ask <I’m dying. I wonder how long it will take?>

Steve is not sure how long he had laid there. Everything passed by in a blur of images, and sounds. His next conscience memory is opening his eyes, and seeing that he's in an ambulance with a paramedic with a name tag that read “Jackson” working on him.

 "Are the kids all right?" Steve asked the first, and only question that comes to his mind.

Jackson quickly looked at him with a surprised expression on his face. <Wow> Jackson thought as he continued to work on his patient. <Most guys in his position would be praying, crying, and even offering us everything they own just to guarantee that they survive. This guy regains consciousness, and the first thing he wants to know if the kids he saved are alright. They don’t make too many men like him anymore. I sure hope he makes it.>

"Yeah, they're alright. None were hurt, thanks to you,” he said. Steve visibly relaxed a little.

"So, how bad is it?"

"You're going to make it,” Jackson replied. However, in reality he wasn’t too sure.

"You're lying to me. I know I'm dying, please don't lie."

"We're doing our best. We'll get you to the trauma unit in a couple of minutes. Just hold on!!" Jackson told Steve.

"I'm dying, I know that. Just tell me one thing, did I kill that bastard with the AK?"

"Yeah, he was dead at the scene. You saved all those kids." Jackson replied.

"Then one good, decent thing came out of this whole mess" Then a wave of pain hit Steve. He closed his eyes, and let the world slip away. His last thoughts are for his wife Kathy. < Kathy, I'll be with you soon. >

The last thing that Steve heard as the darkness begins to swallow him was the paramedic screaming "We're losing him. His pressure's bottomed out. I can't feel a pulse. God Dam it, don't give up the fight now man.”

Pounding of the back wall of the drivers cab he yelled at his driver, Danny, “We’re losing him! Can’t this hunk of junk go any faster?”

Danny yelled back at him, “I’ve got the gas pedal all the way to the floor now! So unless this ambulance comes equipped with warp drive this is as fast as were going. Hang on, were almost there!” Danny turned the ambulance so sharply into the hospital’s emergency entrance it almost took the right turn on only two wheels.

As they skidded to a stop both Jackson and Danny hoped that they had made it in time.

*****

The ambulance rushes up to the hospital emergency room doors and Jackson rushed his patient out as he began informing the doctors of his injures. Before they go five steps into the hospital the doctor checks him. Sadly, and slowly he shook his head. Jackson rushed forward and demanded, "Can't you do anything?"

"It's too late. The bullets shredded his heart and lungs. There's no way we could save him. We try anything now and we're only prolonging his suffering." The doctor told him.

“Dam it!” Jackson shouted. “I thought for sure we had a chance to save him.”

The Doctor put a reassuring hand on Jacksons arm, and then started to go back deeper into the emergency room. Jackson stopped him before he got too far, and asked “Listen, Doc. Can you make sure that the ME who does the autopsy treats him okay?”

“I don’t understand?” the Doctor asked clearly confused.

“That guy sacrificed himself to keep some nutcase from gunning down a school yard full of kids. The only time he came to on the way here the only thing he wanted to know is if the kids were all unhurt. That man is a real hero in every sense of the word. I just want to make sure he’s treated with the respect he deserves.”

The doctor has a stunned expression on his face. Some of the kids from that shooting were on their way here to be checked out for various minor injuries. The Doctor now understood Jacksons comment. If it hadn’t been for the man they brought in the events at the school could have been so much worse.

“I understand.” The doctor said. “Don’t worry. We’ll treat him right.”

“Thanks, Doc.” Jackson replied. Then he turned, and quietly walks away out of the hospital to talk with his driver, Danny.

 Danny watches as his partner of two years walks slowly out of the emergency room and entered their ambulance sliding into the passenger seat. He turned to Jackson and asked. "Too late?"

 

"No, he was beyond any help. Heart and lungs were shot to pieces. Nothing to do." A saddened Jackson told him. "I thought, that when he came out of it and asked about the kids, we had a chance."

"Frank, you can’t save everybody. If you could you’ll be God, and let’s face it. Do you honestly think God would be stuck in this job?"

"I know, but it hurts when one of the good ones dies."

Before Danny can answer, someone knocked on the ambulance door. Jackson turned and saw his visibly shaken wife Carol. “Carol, why are you here?” Jackson asked as he quickly got out of the ambulance walking over to her.

"They're bringing Frank Jr. here. He was traumatized by a shooting at his school. Do you have any idea what happened? “Carol managed to get out while her husband grabbed both of her arms to help her stop shaking.

Suddenly it hit him. The school across the street from the shooting was the one that his son attended. “Oh God, now I really wish we could have saved that guy!” Jackson yelled to the sky.

Seeing the puzzled look on his wife’s face he explained “The man we just brought in here was the one who got shot by that nut job. He gave his own life to stop that maniac, and save those kids. He saved our sons life.”

When he finished himself, Carol, and even Danny all had tears in their eyes. Jackson gave Carol a massive hug, holding her as tight as he could. Silently he asked <Please God, accept him into your kingdom for the noble deed he has done.>

*****

Later that night, Steve woke up in a drawer in the hospital morgue. <What’s happening? Where am I? Why is it so cold? Why am I still alive? For that matter why am I naked?> he thought as he examined the confined space he was in. After realizing where he was he quickly kicked open the door to the refrigerated drawer he was in. <I don’t really understand why I’m still alive, but I do know I need to get out of here as fast as possible.>

Steve started looking for some clothes to wear when he suddenly heard a door squeak open. Steve quickly hid in the shadows just as two morgue attendants burst into the room.

“I tell you I heard a noise in here,” said one of the attendants with blond hair.

The one with dark hair answered back “Alright, you *think* you heard a noise in here. We’ll take a quick look, and then get back to work. We have more important things to worry about like trying to explain to our boss how we accidently misplaced three bodies.”

“You better make that four.” Said the blond. His friend was wondering what he meant when he noticed what his coworker was pointing at.

“OH NO! We’re really in for it now! We just lost the guy who saved all those kids this afternoon! The boss is really going to blow his top.”

“Gee, you think somebody took him.”

The dark haired guy just glared at the blond. “No. He got tired of laying around, and decided to go stretch his legs. Of course somebody took him, Dr. Dimwit! Dead people don’t usually get up and just leave by themselves!”

“What do you think the boss is going to do when we tell him about this?” asked the blond.

“Well, here’s how I see it. Maybe on the way over to his office we’ll get lucky, and get hit by a truck.”

“What if we’re not that lucky?”

“Then when we get to his office we go in, calmly tell him what happened, and start praying really, really, fast. Either that, or quickly learn how to break the speed of light on foot.” The dark haired guy started for the door as he added, “Come on. Let’s go to the break room. We might as well be comfortable while we decide what to tell the boss.” The blond followed his friend out the door and into the hallway.

After they left Steve stepped out from where he was hiding. Luckily Steve discovered a set of medical scrubs, and a set of disposable slip on shoes that he quickly put on. After getting dressed Steve knew he needed to get out of the hospital as fast as possible.

Steve doesn't know how he got out just that he did. Somehow, he made it back to his apartment. The trip between the hospital and his apartment was all a blur. He pulled off the clothes he *borrowed* and quickly thru them into a corner. <The clothes I was wearing were soaked with my own blood. That I remember.> Steve thought to himself.

Steve turned on the TV news, and the top story of the night was the attempted mass murder at the school yard. The reporter was going on about how a brave Samaritan had given his life to save the children. Then the reporter comments on several bills before the State House calling for tighter gun controls. < God, how I hate those gun-control nuts. If I had been carrying my .45, that bastard would've been dead from a bullet and not my bike. > Steve thought to himself.

Then, Steve began to think, < Why am I still alive, and not filled with bullet holes? >. Steve knew that he can't stay here now. He had to leave. The ink on his fingers told him that the police have probably already found out that he was wanted in Texas for killing the bastards that had raped his wife and then brutally murdered her. Which meant they'll be coming to this apartment soon.

He grabbed some clothes, his second fake ID and Colt Auto with a dozen magazines and all of the cash he had in the apartment < Good thing I don't trust banks < G > >.

Steve thought to himself. < Good thing I have another bike in the garage, my dirt bike. While it's not strictly street legal, it will get me out of town. Besides it's registered to my second fake ID and I will have to start over somewhere else under that identity. Besides, I'll need some sort of transportation. I think that I better get out of town and head west this time. Walker might think I headed south to the Carolinas. I think Seattle sounds good. I'll lose myself in the crowds there. >

*****

Dearborn police detective Jason Russell had just come into the police precinct he was stationed at. He walked into the squad room, hung up his coat and hat. Then he went to his desk, sat down, and put his feet on his desk making himself comfortable, and quietly began reading the Detroit Free Press.

Just then his partner, Adam Cole walked up to him and told him. "The LT wants to see us, pronto."

"What about?" Russell asked as he calmly looked at his partner while folding the top half of the paper down.

"The guy who saved those kids. His body's disappeared from the morgue. Plus there's a, get this, real Texas Ranger on the phone, asking questions about our dead man."

"You're kidding?" replied Russell as he nearly fell over trying to get out of his chair.

"Nope. Now, get your lazy ass in gear." Cole told him as he turned and went to Lt. Robert Jackson's office.

As they both walked into Lt. Jackson's office, they find him on the phone, talking to someone called Walker. "Yes, Ranger Walker, both detectives are here. One minute please.” Jackson pressed on a button on his phone then hung up the handset. “You’re on speaker, Ranger Walker. Go ahead.”

"Thank you Lt. Jackson," Walker replied from the speaker phone. "Detectives, my name is Cordell Walker, I'm a Texas Ranger. What can you tell me about Carson Jamieson?"

"Well, Ranger Walker," Det. Russell began, "He was using the name Anthony Banks, while he lived up here. He worked a steady job and basically kept his nose clean. The only thing we could find on him was that he once stopped a mugger who was trying to rob an old woman. May I ask what the State of Texas wants with this man?"

"The man you knew as Anthony Banks was wanted for six counts of first degree murder."

The three Dearborn detectives looked at each other and wondered. Lt. Jackson asked. "Why'd he do it?"

They heard Walker sigh over the phone, as he told them. "The six men he killed, gang raped and murdered his wife. He let us have them, but a crooked court clerk screwed up the case and they walked. Jamieson killed them a week after they walked out of court laughing and making jokes about her ‘skills'."

The detectives looked at each other, knowing the pain and grief such a situation could cause. "How'd he do it?" Det. Cole asked.

"He walked into the bar where they were hanging out and calmly shot each man in the head twice. Then he apologized to the bar tender and walked out. We never found him after that."

< Damn, that's cold. > "Pardon me for asking, but why do you want his body?" Lt. Jackson asked.

"I want to bury him next to his wife Katherine. Carson was a friend of mine and I want to do right by him."

"We have a *small* problem with that." Lt. Jackson replied.

"What kind of problem?"

"The body is missing. Someone stole it from the hospital morgue."

"Can you find him?"

"We'll try, but no guarantees."

"Do your best. He was a good man."

"Understood, thanks for the call." Lt. Jackson told Walker as he hung up. Jackson then turned to his two best detectives. "I want this man's body found. You have twenty four hours."

"What happens after that?" Det. Russell asked.

"The case gets dropped as a non-priority."

Russell and Cole looked at each while quickly nodding their heads at the same time in a silent agreement.

“Then we’ll just have to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Russell explained as Cole backed him up. “After all how hard can it be to find someone carting around a dead body. I mean it’s not like the guy got up and left on his own.”

*****

Part 2- Discovery
(A Road Picture without Bob Hope and Bing Crosby)

Steve had been traveling now for three days, keeping off the main roads and just generally taking his own sweet time.

While riding the back roads he spotted, and stopped at this road house in Montana. He wanted to get himself a beer, relax for a few hours, and get out of the mid-day heat.  When he stepped inside he was pleasantly surprised. The place didn’t look like much outside, but was very classy inside.

After a few hours, and few beers he was finally starting to relax. He was minding his own business at the bar, passing the time talking to the bartender, a guy named Jake. Steve was asking him about the weird Y shaped tattoo on his wrist  when he suddenly felt a pain in his head that felt almost a hundred times worse than the worse headache he ever had. It felt like a very strong buzzing sensation.

Jake leaned over and asked "Hey, Steve, you okay man?"

Steve looked up at him and replied, "What'd you give me, Jake, bad beer?"

"Couldn't be? I'm drinking' the same stuff" Jake replied as he sniffed at what was in Steve’s glass.

The door then opened, and a stranger wearing a trench coat walked in. He came over to where Steve's leaning over the bar. < Ah, a newbie. This should be fun. > He thought to himself with a wild gleam in his eye.

"Are you alright son? I'm a doctor, let me help you." He asked as he puts a hand on Steve’s shoulder.

As soon as Steve looked at him, the buzzing suddenly goes away, as if it never occurred. "I feel better now, thanks any way." Steve replied.

"Here, let me take you outside. You probably only need some fresh air." The stranger told Steve.

Thinking back to way he just felt Steve reconsidered. “Maybe I could use some air.” Steve agreed  as he accompanies the stranger out the back door.

*****

Jake, meanwhile was watching everything.  He recognized the stranger, and thought to himself. < Shit, Steve's a new Immortal, and Markham is going to take his head. > Jake then made a decision. He reached for his shotgun and goes out the back way.

*****

The man called Markham walked Steve outside, and around the corner from the entrance.

"I'm feeling much better now, thanks. I think I'll head back into the bar." Steve told him.

"You must be new to the Game, too bad." The stranger replied.

< The game? What the hell is he talking about? > Steve then saw the sword < Where did THAT come from? >.

"Hey dude, I don't want any trouble" Steve told him.

"Too bad, you die tonight! There can only be ONE!!" He said

< I am NOT going to take this shit from anybody!! > Steve thought to himself as he pulled out his 45 revolver, and shot the bastard in the knee. He fell down screaming, the sword was still in his hand.

"Who are you?!" Steve yelled at him. He had no idea what was going on, but he wasn’t going to ask questions first and shoot later.

"My name is Richard Markham, and I will kill you for this. Maybe not now, but someday I will kill you." Markham answered.

"The fuck you will!!" Steve countered, shooting him between the eyes and in the heart. Steve then took his sword, a beautiful civil war era saber.

"Dumb Fuck, wasn't he? Bringing a knife to a gun fight. For that matter why was he even carrying this thing in the first place? “Steve heard a noise behind him. He quickly turned around and saw Jake standing there with a 12-gauge pump shotgun pointed at him.

"Look, Jake, I didn't start it. He tried to kill me with this sword." Steve tried to explain holding up the saber. He really hoped that Jake will believe this wild tale. <Who am I kidding? Not even the Three Stooges would believe this.>

"It’s okay Steve. I know. I saw and heard the whole thing. Leave, I'll clean up the mess here. Won't be the first time."

Steve listened to Jake. When Jake was finished Steve thought < Don't ask, just leave > He quickly nodded thanks, and puts the saber under his saddle bags. Then, he got on his bike and left

As Steve left the bar, he decided  to go cross country, to get away from all of the strange events that seem to be happening to him lately.

*****

Jake watched as St. Wolf left. He looked back onto Markham's body in the back of his road house and then went back into the bar.

< Well so much for me trying to save Steve's life. > Before closing the back door, Jake gave Markham's body another look, < He'll wake up and be gone in a few minutes > Jake thought.

 "Hey, Jake what was that racket out back?" A rather drunk local asked..

"Oh, just some guys settling their differences." Jake replied.

"Anyone hurt?"

"Nah, nobody hurt. They both left." Jake quickly locked the back door. He wanted to make sure that someone drunk, or not wouldn’t accidently stumble on (or over) Markham’s body before he had a chance to leave.

Jake reached for his phone and dialed a Seattle number. "Joe's Books," says the man who answered the phone.

"Joe, this is Jake over in Montana."

"Hey, Jake, long time no hear, how's the retirement?"

"Not so retiring, I just had two of them come in here, today."

"Who were they? Was there a fight?" Joe asked.

"One of them was Richard Markham, remember him? The other was some guy I've never heard of before, called himself Steven St. Wolf. Yeah, they fought, but it wasn't the usual kind of fight."

"Care to elaborate on that." Joe asked.

"Well Steve was sitting at the bar and talking to me when Markham came in. The "Buzz" hit him pretty hard. He's new, isn't he?"

"He probably is." Joe answered

"Markham claims to be a doctor and he walks Steve out back to ‘get some fresh air'. Then he pulls a sword on Steve and tries to kill him."

"What do you mean ‘tries' to kill him" asked Joe clearly puzzled.

"Steve sees that Markham is trying to kill him. So, he pulls out a 45 revolver, and shoots Markham in the knee. Markham starts to threaten him. Steve shoots him in the head, the heart, takes his sword, and leaves. He was headed west, cross country on a dirt bike with Michigan plates."

"Damn, he doesn't know, does he?" Joe commented.

"Probably doesn't, do you think he'll survive?"

"How quick was he with the gun."

"Very quick, when he had to be." Jake replied. Jake then gave a description of St. Wolf to Joe for his files.

"Damn Jake, thanks for the information, and keep in touch" Joe said, and then hung up the phone.

< I wonder what's going on in St. Wolf's head right now? > Joe thought to himself, as he booted up his computer to put the information he just received into the Watcher Database.

*****

Part 3 - Decisions - Seattle
(Swords R Us/Immortality & Swords 101)

< God, doesn't it ever stop raining in this town? > Steve asked himself as he drove into Pioneer Square. He noticed an antique shop on one of the corners. Steve then parked his bike in front, next to a meter, and went in.

The owner, a Mr. Ferguson, greeted him politely and asked what Steve wanted. Steve showed him the sword and explained that he's looking to sell it.

"Where did you get this?" Ferguson asked.

"I inherited it from an uncle who died recently"

"I don't deal in swords, so I can't help you. However, I do know someone. Hold on a second, let me find his card" Ferguson puttered around behind the cash register and pulled out a business card holder and flipped through it until he comes up with a card.

"Ahh, here it is. Now hold on a minute, young man, and I'll write down his address for you" Steve watched as Mr. Ferguson wrote down the card's address on a slip of paper. After he finishes, he put the card holder back under his register and handed Steve the slip. Steve looked at the name on it.

"MacLeod's Antiques," Steve looked questionably at Mr. Ferguson.

"Yes, Mr. MacLeod is a specialist in antique edged weapons, and is one of the most well respected and honorable men I know."

Steve thanked him for his help and asked directions to MacLeod's shop. Ferguson told Steve it’s in the International section of town and gave him directions to it.

"Oh, one more thing, say hello for me will you?"

"Yes, sir, I will. Thanks again for the help." With that, Steve left Ferguson's shop and headed toward MacLeod's shop.

*****

Steve made it to MacLeod's shop in about an hour. He pulled up to the shop, parked his bike, put some money in the meter, and went on in. Once inside he saw that Mr. Ferguson sent him to the right place. There were edged weapons ranging from European rapiers to Japanese katanas hanging on the walls and in the display cases.

Just then Steve saw a gorgeous blond standing behind the stores main counter.

"May I help you, Sir?" she asked in a French accented voice.

"Hello, my name is Steve St. Wolf." He replied, "I'm trying to sell this antique saber, my uncle left me." Steve placed the saber on the counter in front of her, and took a step back. "Mr. Ferguson, who runs an antique shop on Pioneer Square recommended your shop, and he sends his regards as well." He explained.

"Mr. Ferguson is an old friend, and my name is Tessa, Mr. St. Wolf. Can you wait for a few moments while I get Duncan from the back? He will give you a fair price for this saber, I assure you."

"I can wait. Would it be alright if I looked around? This is a rather impressive collection Mr. MacLeod has."

"But of course, you may. The collection is his passion, Duncan is very proud of it." Tessa replied with a smile. < God, is this MacLeod a lucky guy, or what? > Steve thought to himself as Tessa walked to the back of the store. He was admiring Tessa more than the swords on display.

Steve heard her call back to Duncan in the rear of the store, and Duncan replied that he would be right out. As Steve looked at a magnificent Katana, edged with silver and gold and enameled in dark blue, he heard Tessa's footsteps coming up behind him.

"See anything you like?" she asked.

"Nothing that I can afford at this stage in my life." Steve replied with a smile. Then it hit him, that damned ‘Buzz' that he felt in the road house in Montana.

"Mr. St. Wolf, are you alright?" Tessa asked with a worried look on her face.

Steve looked at her. Steve started to reply, when he saw a dark haired man with a sword moving up behind Tessa.

"I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod." He stated, as if it's a challenge.

Steve quickly moved to the left, getting Tessa out of his line of fire. He then pulled out his 45 and shouts: "I don't know who you are, or what the shit with the swords is, but if you take another step, I *WILL* blow your freaking head off!!!"

Duncan looked at Steve, "You can't use that! You know the rules!" he said.

"Rules? What the fuck are you talking about? All I see is some nut case trying to cut me up with a sword. You're the second person in one week, and I've never met either one of you before in my life." Steve replied.

"You don't know *WHAT* you are, do you?" Duncan stated as he put down his sword. "Don't worry, I won't hurt you. I just want to talk. Listen to what I have to say. I'll explain everything."

"I don't know what you're talking about, but the only thing I came in here to do was to sell that saber over there." Steve nodded his head toward the counter.

Duncan put his sword away, and Steve put his 45 back in its holster however he keep his hand near it. Tessa is standing off to one side, looking worried, but she's remaining calm. Duncan walks over to the counter and examines the saber.

"Where'd you get this?" he asked

"The first guy who attacked me tried to use it on me."

"What did you do to him?"

Steve then told Duncan and Tessa everything that happened at the road house in Montana.

Duncan looked at Steve and smiles

"So you meet Richard Markham, huh?" He asked.

"I left him dead."

"No, you didn't kill him. Just pissed him off." Duncan replied. Steve looked at him like he's crazy.

"No, I'm not insane. Let me explain to you what we are." Duncan then started into one of the weirdest stories Steve's ever heard. Steve continues to listen as Duncan told him a story of Immortals, the Game they play, and some of his own history. Steve looked over to Tessa < She believes him, Oh God, what have I gotten myself into? >

Duncan's next question threw Steve for a loop: "Where and when did you die, the first time?"

Steve told them about what happen to him in Dearborn. They looked at each other, remembering the news reports. How he left, and why. Steve also tells them about what happen in Texas, how Kathy was murdered and what he did to the men who did it. Duncan looks at Steve with respect and understanding. Tessa reaches out and gently squeezes his arm. He looks into her eyes and see that she also understands, most women wouldn't.

"You know Markham will be coming after you again, don't you?" Duncan told Steve..

Steve looked at him like he was crazy < I head and heart shot that bastard >.

"Think back to Dearborn." Duncan said. "How many times were YOU shot?"

< Dear God, he's right. How do I fight someone who can't die? > Steve thought to himself.

"Steve, you're in trouble and I'm willing to help you." Duncan told me.

"What do you mean ‘Help me'?"

"Well it's obvious that you know absolutely nothing about yourself, the rules or how to properly defend yourself. I'm willing to teach you."

"Why?"

"Because I think you will make an excellent student. Also, from what you've told me, and from your actions earlier, especially how you got Tessa out of your line of fire I don't think that you'll abuse what I teach you. Also, you'll help out in the shop when I'm not teaching. The money you make will help you get started in your new life. So, do you accept?" Duncan asked.

"I accept."

"Good, you can use the spare apartment in the back for yourself. Tessa and I live above the shop. Training will begin at 7:00 am, tomorrow."

*****

Outside, and across the street Joe Dawson watched what just happened inside the Antique store thru a high-powered set of binoculars

<Well. Now I’ll be able to tell Jake that St. Wolf is now in good hands.> Joe thought as he got up, and made his way back to his car. Once he sat in the driver’s seat he pulled out his cell phone, and dialed Jakes number in Montana.

**********

. The phone rang and Jake answered it."Jake's Roadhouse, can I help you?"

"Jake, this is Joe."

"What's up, Joe?"

"Your boy, St. Wolf, has found himself a teacher."

"Who?"

"Duncan MacLeod."

"The Highlander? Well, at least he's in good hands."

"That he is, my friend that he is."

"Thanks for telling me Joe. I was worried about the guy."

"One other thing, we ran a check on him. Do you want to know what we found out?"

"Yeah, lay it on me."

"Well, he died under the name of Anthony Banks. You may have heard about him. The guy who saved those kids in Dearborn last week."

"The guy who died ramming some AK-47 armed nut case with his bike?"

"Same guy, but get this, Anthony Banks wasn't his real name. It was Carson ‘Cherokee' Jamieson."

"The guy who offed those six pieces of shit in Texas last year? The same bastards who did my cousin, Heather, in New Mexico?"

"The very same."

"And now he's an Immortal? There is a God, Joe."

"Amen to that brother."

"Thanks for telling me. I appreciate it."

"Not a problem, old friend. Take care." Then Joe hung up the phone.

Jake looked at the phone and started to laugh. Tension that had built up over the last three years is finally released as he offers up a silent prayer. < Heather, your killers are dead and the man who avenged you still walks the earth, now as an Immortal, watch over him. > After he offered up the prayer. He shouted out. "Everybody listen up, the next round is on the house."

The patrons cheered. No one caring why Jake was being generous, just that he was.

*****

The following is copied from Steve St. Wolf's Journal:
May 15th, 2000:

I spent the last eight months with Duncan and Tessa. I remember those times as some of the best in my life. I learned a lot from them, besides the friendship they openly gave me. From Duncan, I learned much about honor and gained the skill to face my enemies and win. From Tessa, the courage to go on, and not blame myself for Kathy. Also the ability to seek a new life, and to make the most of it. Tessa's gift was the most important one.

On the day that I was leaving, Duncan and Tessa gifted me with that exquisite blue Katana.

I tried to refuse it, but they insisted that I needed a good sword

"Just never be a stranger, and live," Tessa said as she hugged me goodbye.

As I reached to shake Duncan's hand, he grabbed me in a hug and says, "Steve consider yourself a part of my extended family. Call me if you need anything."

I don't know how some people feel about leaving a place where you know you're loved, for me it's a hard thing to do. However I remembered something that I once heard. Home is not a place, it’s wherever your passion takes you. It’s something that has to be. I quickly turn so neither of them sees the tear in my eye, and go.

*****

Part 4 - New Beginnings - Sunnydale - February 2014
(Greetings from the Hellmouth)

From Steve St. Wolf's Journal:
February 2nd 2014:

It was a Tuesday, at 2:00 am on a chilly February night when I rode into Sunnydale. I had spent the last fifteen years wandering the world. Maybe looking for myself.. Trying to get over Kathy's death, definitely. I had been working as an antiques buyer and locator, a job I learned from Duncan and Tessa, but I was tired of constantly being on the move. I wanted to settle down, at least for a short while.

In my travels I had seen many strange and wonderful sights, and made the acquaintance of many other Immortals, and also other non-Immortal beings. Most had been good, caring people. However a few had tried to kill me. Even though I swore never to play the Game, I was forced into taking their heads.

I had run into Duncan, in Paris, and asked if he knew anyone who had a job opening back in the U.S. He introduced me to a Robert Lancaster, an antiques dealer in the small town of Sunnydale, California. We talked, and I gave him a description of the work I had been doing for the last five years and he hired me on the spot. The only catch was that I had to move to Sunnydale within the next two weeks..

No problem, I would like to live in a nice quiet small town, I told him.

*****

As Steve rode into Sunnydale, he saw a gas station that was still open. He pulled in to get some gas and directions to a motel. As Steve got off his bike, he saw the attendant coming toward him. A cheerful looking twenty year old kid. The name tag read

 

"Matt".

 

"Hi, can I get a fill up of super, and directions to the nearest motel?" Steve asked.

"Sure, no problem, buddy," the attendant replied cheerfully.

Matt filled up Steve’s tank. Then Steve turned around to get his money to pay him. After Steve’s back is turned the attendant asked, "Hey, buddy, mind if I have you for dinner?"

 

< Dinner? What the hell was this guy talking about? > Steve turned around and looked at the attendants face, it’s no longer the cheerful twenty year old, but the face of a monster with fangs.

"Damn, another vampire." Steve muttered < I hadn't seen another vampire since Prague, about seven years ago. >

It smiled and replied, "Yes, I'm a vampire and you are my dinner."

Smiling evilly it moved toward Steve, stalking him like Steve once saw an Alaskan timber wolf stalk a caribou, its chosen prey. < Well this piece of meat has fangs too. > Steve doesn't have enough time to reach his sword, so, he pulls out his Glock and fires five rounds into the vampire's chest and knees.

"I will kill you slowly for that," the vampire vowed, still smiling, walking toward Steve as if nothing had happened to it.

Thinking quickly, Steve saw a spray can of engine starter close by, and grabbed for it. Just as he reached it the vampire was on him. Steve turned around and sprayed the starter fluid into the vampire's face. It staggered   backwards, wiping the fluid off its face. He only gained a couple of seconds breathing room, but Steve saw that it’s still not enough time to grab his sword, or a piece of wood to stop it.

Steve reached into his coat pocket and got out his trusty Zippo lighter, as the vampire was coming back at him he lit the spray like a flame thrower. The vampire let out an unholy scream, and it quickly burned up leaving nothing but ashes. As Steve's catching his breath, wondering what the hell he had gotten myself into, he heard a low growl. He turned around again and there is another one, a female. Steve waited for it to come to him, and he sprayed it with the engine starter flame thrower. It died the same way the first one did.

Now Steve was in full alert mode. He got his sword out now looking around, for more targets. Steve suddenly heard a noise coming from the office of the station. He checked it out cautiously, in case there are more vampires around. Instead he found a guy without a shirt, tied up and gagged on the office floor. Steve reached down, and pulled out his gag.

"Where are those things?" the tied up man asked.

"Matt, I presume."

"Yeah, that's me. Where are those things?"

"Well, they just disappeared," Steve told him as he's untying him. "Look, Matt, I pulled in here to get some gas and directions to a motel, can you help me?"

"Yeah, go up the road about two miles, there's a motel there that will give you a room. The night manager is my cousin, he'll treat you right." Matt informed Steve.

Just before Steve left, he reached into his pocket tried to give Matt a ten dollar bill.  "Here, this is for the gas I filled up my tank with tonight."

"Nah, man, keep it, thanks for saving my ass."

"Not a problem, dude." After making sure that Matt was alright, and not in need of a doctor, Steve got on his bike to head for the motel.

*****

It took Steve a couple of minutes to get to the motel. The manager, a stocky, dark haired guy in his late forties was sitting behind the counter. He gave Steve a look when he walked into the motels office. Steve thought he probably was wondering if Steve was going to try to rob, or murder, him.

"Hi, I'd like a room, please. Matt from the gas station recommended this motel."

"My cousin, Matt, told you to come here?" the manager asked.

"Yeah, he said you would treat me right."

"Hold on a second." The manager said. Steve heard the phone being used and the manager talking to someone quietly. Steve was sure he was probably talking to Matt to verify what Steve had told him. The manager hung up the phone, and came back to the counter.

"Matt says you saved his life, that true?"

"Actually, I was saving my own ass, Matt's was just there as a bonus."

The night manager laughed. "Heh, heh, that's a good one. My name is George. Here's the key to room 17. It’s on the ground floor. Take your bike inside with you, while you're sleeping, so nothing happens to it."

Steve reached into his pocket pulling out a couple of twenties. George saw this, and waved his and said: "Don't worry about paying for tonight, at least. You saved one of my family, I owe you."

"Look, George, I've always paid my own way. I've never lived off of anyone."

"That shows good character, son. It's not a free ride. It's a gift and a thank you, from me and Matt."

"Thanks"

"Sleep tight, and *DON'T* invite anyone inside, no matter how they look, until its daylight. You hear?" George told him.

"Understood" Steve replied. < What have I gotten myself into now? >

As Steve entered the room, he swept it with his gun drawn. Steve checked the entire room including the bath room. He made sure all of the windows are shut and locked, and that the closet didn’t hold any surprises He even looked under the bed, and checked the walls for any hidden passages and/or entrances.

As a friend of his who had served in both Afghanistan, and Iraq after September 11th once told him “There are only two types of people around these parts. The suspicious, and the dead. Paranoia in the right amount is a *VERY* good thing to have here .It will keep you alive.”< He was talking about a war zone, but I think it defiantly applies to this town to.> thought Steve.

Needless to say, Steve was sleeping  with one eye open. His gun cocked, and ready. His sword  was drawn, and lying in bed next to him. < If I move too much in my sleep, I'll either shoot myself in the head, or cut off my privates. Both are conditions that I definitely want to avoid. > .

*****

In the morning. Steve awoke instantly. He heard a key turning in the lock. He picked up his gun, and sword as he slipped quietly out of bed to stand by the door.  He was ready to deal death to whatever demon, or monster that was coming through the door for him. < Like I said, paranoia is a good thing. >

As the door opened, Steve stuck his gun to the head of whoever (or whatever) is coming through and said, "You better be the cleaning lady."

“I am the cleaning lady,” replied a young Hispanic girl, about twenty two. She looked at the gun, and said in a quivering voice: "I'm here to bring you extra towels, Senor, and clean up the room."

Steve looked, and saw the only thing she has in her hands was a bunch of towels and noticed a cleaning cart outside the door.

"Sorry, Senorita.” Steve began to say as he put his gun, and sword away.” I'm just a little jumpy today. Are you all right? My apologies for the rude greeting."

She looked Steve in the eye and saw only caution and concern.

"No apologias, Senor, many of my friends have disappeared in this cursed town. Your caution is well merited. I will give you, your towels now, and come back in an hour to clean the room."

"Gracias, Miss?"

"My name is Constance, Senor."

"Gracias, Constance, most people just call me Wanderer."

"Wanderer, Senor?"

"It's a name, Constance. Just like any other"

She smiled and left Steve to clean up the other rooms. He took the chance to grab a quick shower, and changed into some clean clothes. The rest he packed away into his saddle bags and puts the bag back on his bike. He then rolled his bike out the door, and headed to the office to settle up his bill with the day manager.

The day manager was a slightly older version of George, < Probably his brother > Steve saw as he walks into the office and dropped his key onto the counter. The day manager turned around looking at Steve, and the key.

"You the guy who saved Matt's life last night?" he asked.

"Yeah, that's me. What do I owe for the room?"

"Like George told you, it’s on the house. My name is Frank, thanks again for saving Matt."

As Steve turned to leave, Frank told him: "Son, if you need to stay some place tonight, come back here, I'll save your room."

"Thanks, Frank, I might just take you up on that offer. By the way, how do I get to Spring Street from here?" Frank gave Steve directions, and told him it shouldn't take more than ten minutes to get there at this time of day. Steve thanked him for the directions and drove off.

*****

Part 5 - The Dillbert Experience
(Meeting the Boss's Sexy Wife)

As Steve was driving through town, he noticed that this does look like a nice town, during the day. < I wonder if anybody notices the darkness at night. >

Steve made it to Lancaster Antiques, in about thirty minutes. It was a large warehouse with a store front off to one side. He parked in front of the store. As he entered the shop, a bell rang. A woman's voice called to him from the back of the shop.

 

"I'll be with you in a second, please wait," the voice said. So, he waited for a couple of minutes. A little later, two women walked out of the back of the store. One was blonde, in her mid-thirties who appears to be in extremely good shape. The other was brunette, also in her thirties. Both were very good looking.

"Can I help you, Sir?" the brunette asked.

"Hello and yes, my name is Steve St. Wolf. Is Mr. Lancaster here?"

"No, he's not, he's in Europe for several more weeks. Is there anything that I can help you with, Mr. St. Wolf?"

"Well, I met him in Paris last week, and he hired me to work for him."

"Oh, yes he told me about you a couple of days ago, but I didn't expect you here for at last another week."

"Well, Miss..."

"It's Carol, I'm Robert's wife. Let's sit down and talk, Mr. St. Wolf." Carol said as she led them to a conference table close by the front door.

"A pleasure, and its Steve, by the way. I was able to bum a ride on a friend's plane and get here sooner."

"A friend's plane?" the blonde asked.

"A friend of mine was coming to L.A. to attend a seminar, and he offered me a lift in his plane, as well as cargo space for my bike, Miss..?" Steve looked at the blonde.

"Oh, I'm sorry, this is Joyce Summers.  She runs an art gallery not far from here," Carol informed him.

"Please, call me Joyce." Joyce added.

"Okay, Joyce. I’m pleased to meet you. Carol, did Robert explain what my job would be here?"

"Yes, he said that you locate antiques, and specialty items for people all over the world. He also mentioned that you have a huge amount of contacts and clients. Also, that you would be using our antique store as your base of operations for a clearing house."

 

"That's it in a nutshell. I use computers to keep in contact with my clients and vies-versa. I have an extensive database of clients that contains specific items that they are looking for, and what types, and classes of items that they show an interest in collecting. It also contains general information on how much money they want to spend, credit card information, and other such details. Robert wanted me to go through your collection, and see what I could sell to my clients right away. Then to set up a system that could help increase your sales overall."

"So, where is all of this equipment that you will need for this work?" Carol asked.

"Well, I normally just use my lap-top computer for most of my work and that will do for now, but the store will need to get a web server installed. There is no hurry with that though. It can be installed anytime."

"How does this help us make sales?"

"Well, your store is just a local antique shop now, but by the time I get everything done it’ll become an international trading house, open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. It will be accessible from anywhere that our customers can access the internet." Steve finished explaining everything to Carol, and Joyce as their eyes lit up.

"How much is this going to cost us?" Carol asked warily.

"Well, the initial startup costs are a little expensive, about five thousand dollars. Give, or take a couple of hundred for the equipment. The maintenance and web fees will be about one hundred fifty to two hundred dollars a month. The setup time will depend on how much time it will take to categorize, photograph, and the number of antiques that need to be input onto the web site. We'll need some temporary help for that job, mostly weekend and evening work. Some of the students from the local high school could handle that. After that, either you, I, or Robert will be updating the site as needed, answer the messages, and requests as they come in."

"That's not too bad. One more question Steve, did you and Robert come to an agreement about your salary?"

"Yes, we did. I agreed to work on a commission basis. Twenty percent of the profit, plus reasonable expenses."

Joyce looked at me strangely as she asked. "You agreed to that?"

"Yes, I did. I have been able to make a decent living in the antiques business for the last five years. I'm not greedy. Most of my clients know this, and they respect me for it. Knowing this, they also trust me not to cheat them."

"When are you going to be able to start?" Carol asked.

"In a few days. First, I have to find a decent place to live in, and get my personal belongings sent here. Do either of you know of any apartments, or homes that can be rented now? At least until I find a more permanent place?"

“I have a friend nearby who’s a real estate agent, and a damn good one. If anyone knows about all the places in town that fit what you’re looking for it’s her. Let me get you her address.” Joyce opened a nearby phone book, and wrote some information on a card. She handed the card to Steve.

Taking the card Steve thanked both Carol, Joyce, and left on his bike headed to Joyce’s friends real estate office. Shortly after arriving there he has a list of quite a few available rentals. Steve quickly spied a listing that came with a picture of the house, and its surrounding neighborhood. Liking what he saw, especially that it was in good condition he decided to take it. He quickly made  the arrangements to move right in. < I’m surprised nobody ever noticed the large number of available rental properties in this town. Something I might have to look into in the near future. > thought Steve as he signed the rental agreement.

*****

“You know, maybe I’ll try and fix Buffy up with Mr. St. Wolf.” Joyce told Carol just after Steve left the antique store.

Carol glanced at Joyce with a surprised look on her face. “Joyce, are you sure that’s such a good idea. We’re both belong to the Standing Amazon family. That’s a title not to taken lightly. We don’t really know everything about Mr. St. Wolf are you sure it’s such a good idea to introduce him to your daughter. What if he is dangerous?”

Joyce smiled as she asked “Carol, you met Steve yourself just now. Trust your instincts. Did St. Wolf really strike you as someone who deliberately go out of his way just to hurt someone?”

Carol thought for a moment, and then told Joyce. “No, you’re right. If anything I got the feeling he’d do whatever it took to save every life he could. Even if it meant losing his,”

“Besides I have a twofold reason for trying to set him up with Buffy.” Seeing the confused expression on Carol’s face Joyce continued. “First, it will help to get her mind off of losing her last boyfriend, Angel. Also it will put us in a good position to learn a little more about Steve.”

“How do you figure that?”

“An old saying that Lady Felicia once told me. The one who could hurt you the most is the one you know the least about. The closer Buffy gets to Steve the more we find out about him.”

“Not a bad idea, but is it right to use Buffy that way? You should really get closer to Steve you seem to be closer to his age.”

“No, I think Buffy is the better choice. Steve seems like a real caring individual, and after everything with Angel, I think Buffy could use someone like Steve right now. I don’t honestly believe that he would ever willing hurt my daughter. Besides, if he did try anything I’ll personally rotate his ears.” Both Carol, and Joyce smiled at Joyce’s comment as they left the store to get a bite to eat.

Part 6 - House Warming
(Fire Fight in the Night)

After Steve took a look around the house he just rented he was glad that it had everything that he was looking for. It was big, comfortable and had a large well equipped gym built into it.  The previous owner had mysteriously disappeared, and his family was looking to unload the house. < I think I just might buy it outright, after renting it for a few months. > Steve thought as he stood in his new living room.

Joyce’s friend had just finished showing Steve around, and Steve signed the last of the rental papers along with a year’s lease. He paid the real estate agent the rent for the entire year, and two months security in advance. Joyce’s friend was really smiling her head off when she left while Steve was making himself at home. He figured that he would get the phones turned on tomorrow. At least the electricity, and water were still on and it was partially furnished < Guess his family didn't like leather and wood too much >.

Steve calls Sidney Meyers, his business manager in New York on his cell and gave him the new address. Sid would make the arrangements to send out Steve's belongings by fast freight, and he should have everything in about three days. < I’ll check the house and make a mental list for what I need to get over the next couple of days. >Steve thought to himself.

As Steve gave the house a more thorough going over, he noticed that the previous owner had some secret panels put in. < Mm, I could use those for my weapons, and other stuff I don't want lying out in the open. >. He opened several of them and found a large quantity of drugs. Needless to say the toilet was working overtime. <The alligators in the local sewers are going to have a lot to celebrate tonight.> Steve was done by around eight o’clock, and quit hungry. After letting his fingers do some walking in the phone book he ordered a pizza from a local pizzeria.

At 8:40 the pizza delivery driver rang Steve's door bell. Steve checked through the peep hole and saw the delivery driver. When Steve opened the door, he got the driver thrown into his face. As Steve's rolling, and flipping the kid out of the way he saw three vampires, a male and two females, shoving their way into the house.

As Steve's got up, he asked, "What’s going on? I thought vampires couldn't enter into a home without being invited?"

The leader, a big burly guy standing about 6'2", looked at Steve and smiled.

"We can, when it’s our own homes," he snickered.

"So, you're the previous owner. Weren't you a drug dealer?"

"Yeah, I still am," the big, burly guy said.

Steve grinned wickedly, and informed him: "No, you're not. I destroyed all of your stashes, earlier today. The alligators in the sewers are *VERY* happy tonight."

The burly guy screamed his rage and rushed Steve < Which is what I wanted >. Steve side stepped the vampire and stabbed him with the pencil that he was holding. The male vampire disintegrated into dust with a stupid look on his face. <Boy, I really wish that I had my camera. I would have love to capture that expression.>

The other two vampires haven't moved yet, but that won't be for long. Steve grabbed a wooden chair by the door. He smashed it into the closest vampire and splinters it. She's a little stunned, as Steve stepped to her side and stabbed the other one with the chair remains. She disappeared as he turns back to the second vampire and stabbed her as well also causing her to disappear.

Steve looked around the room, shaking his head at the mess this little Donny-brook made. He heard the pizza delivery boy moaning. Steve rushed over to him and examined him for any injuries. He only looked a little shaken up.

"Kid, you alright? Can you tell me your name?"

"My name's Ted, Sir. Where are those guys who grabbed me, and shoved me in?"

"Ted, they ran after they saw that I was armed and had my gun out." Steve showed him the holster on his belt. Ted saw it and whistled. He looked up at Steve with a worried expression.

"Uh, are you going to use that on me?" Ted asked.

"No, Ted, I only carry it for my personal protection." Steve told him. "Are you going to be alright, do you want me to call the pizzeria? See if your boss will come and pick you up if you can't drive?"

"No, Sir, I can drive. Thanks for caring. Uh, I never got your name."

"My name is Steve St. Wolf. Just Steve will be alright. C'mon, let’s see if the pizza survived?"

Steve looked around on the porch, and saw the pizza box was sitting in the corner by the door. Picking it up he opened it, and saw the pizza was undamaged < Well, at least this was unharmed >. Steve thought to himself. He paid Ted, and gave him a decent tip for the delivery.  “Combat pay” he called it, and told him to call when he got back to the pizza parlor. Steve gave Ted the number of his cell, and watched as Ted got into his car and leaves.

About ten minutes later, Steve sat down to eat the pizza, when his cell phone rang..

"Steve here."

"Hi, Mr. St. Wolf, it’s Ted, I'm back at the pizza shop safe and sound."

"Keep safe, Ted." Steve told him and hung up the phone.

As Steve's eating, he considered what has happened since he arrived in Sunnydale< I've been attacked twice in the last two days by vampires. This town is full of them. And they think they own it. Well, looks like I'm about to pull a hostile takeover. And here I was worried, I'd get fat and lazy in this tranquil, pleasant, little town. >

Before Steve went to sleep that night, he checked every room on every floor, especially the basement. He made sure everything is locked down tight. As he fell asleep Steve was sure the next few days were going to be very interesting indeed.

*****

Summer's Residence
Same Time Frame
(Butt Talk)

At the Summer's house, Buffy was having dinner with her mother, Joyce. They're going over the news of the day.

"Buffy, Mr. Lancaster hired a new salesman for his shop. I met him today. “Joyce said. Silently she added <Now’s a good a time as any to start putting my little scheme into action.>

"Is he cute, mom?" Buffy asked, hoping for a negative answer.

"He's what you would term a hunk, dear," her mom replied.

Buffy rolled up her eyes thinking that her mother was going to try and date this dweeb. She imagined a gray haired version of Giles, with thick glasses, slightly overweight, and wearing a bad suit with equally bad hair.

"So, are you going to ask him out, Mom?"

"Actually no, he's only twenty four years old. I was thinking you might want to show him around town, since he's moving here from Europe."

Buffy perked up at hearing this. "C'mon, Mom, dish the dirt. What does he look like?"

Joyce replied, "Well, he's extremely polite, has good manners and is highly intelligent, well-traveled, and a specialist in European antiques." While thinking < Well, at least she is still interested in something. >

Buffy looked at her mother with a look of pure venom, while thinking < God, please don't let him be a dweeb, please. Oh God, he probably is. >

Joyce relented, "Okay, honey, don't give me the look, please. After he left, it was all Carol Lancaster and I could talk about the way he looked and moved < And wishing we were both twenty years younger >. All right here goes, he stands about 6'2", weighs about 180 to 200 pounds, no fat, all muscle. He has brown eyes and hair. He walks like a dancer and drives a motorcycle. And he has the tightest butt I've seen in a long time" Joyce started to lose it and begins to giggle, seeing the look in her daughter's face.

"Mother, the tightest butt? You mention that around any of my friends and I'll never be able to live it down!" Buffy said in a huff, then bursts into giggles. "So, when do I get to meet him?" Buffy asked, grinning.

"Not for a few days, he's looking for an apartment and will need to settle in." Joyce answered.

*****

Part 7 - Preparations - Sunnydale
(Remember the Boy Scout Motto:
Always Carry More Fire Power Than The Enemy,
When in Doubt, Massive Quantities of C-4 Works the Best)

Steve woke up at 6:00 am the next day. He got up, showered and got dressed. The first thing he did is call Sid, in New York, to see if he sent his stuff out yet.

"Sid, have you sent out my stuff yet?" Steve asked after the usual round of greetings.

"No, I haven't. Do you need anything else?" Sid asked

"Yes, send me the black section as well."

There was a long pause before Sid started speaking again with a nervous tinge to his voice. "Steve, are you going to war? You told me that you hoped to God never to ask for those things, again."

Steve explained to Sid, what has happened to him over the last two nights.

"Sweet God in Heaven. Steve, you're going to fight them," Sid asked.

"Yeah, you know I tend to get a *little* pissed off when I see innocents getting hurt."

"You'll have everything by late tonight, and Steve,"

"Yes, Sid."

"God go with you, and good hunting."

"Sid, in case I don't survive, don't come here to avenge me by yourself. Use the envelope that's in your safe. Contact the people on that list. They'll care take of everything."

"Steve, if you die there, there will be no place they can hide from my vengeance, or God’s."

"Go with God, Sid"

"God be with you, Steve. I'll call you back as soon as I make the preparations."

*****

New York City
The Offices of Meyers, Meyers & Randall
(These Are NOT The Offices of Dewey, Screwem and Howe)

 

Sid Meyers was looking out the window of his twenty second floor corner office. < My God, the kepiloth - ‘empty ones' - still exist. > Sid made his decision as he reached around and picked up the phone and dialed a number. The phone at the other end was picked up after only two rings..

"Hello, Iverson Air, can I help you." The voice on the other end asked.

"Myra, this is Sidney Meyers, put me through to Frank," Sidney demanded.

"Sid, what can I do for you today?" Frank Iverson asked over the phone.

Sidney explained what the situation is, and told Frank that he will meet him at the warehouse in thirty minutes. After Sidney got off the phone, Iverson started to plan the run into L.A. and made arrangements to deliver the items to Sunnydale, personally.

As Sidney left his office, he turned to his secretary, Jane and told her "Jane cancel all my appointments for today.”.

Seeing the look in his eye, Jane doesn't ask any questions.

*****

At the warehouse, Iverson led Sidney to the black storage section and unlocked the doors to the sealed room with a special remote control. The doors slide apart with a noise like the automatic doors from the original Star Trek series.

As Iverson opened the doors, he turned to Sidney, "You know Sidney, I hoped to God that I wouldn't have to open this room ever again. Let alone this soon."

"You and me both, Frank," Sidney mused.

They enter the room as the lights are automatically turned on. As soon as the lights come on weapons of every description could be seen standing on racks. Ancient edged weapons shared the space with the most modern assault rifles. Axes stood next to anti-tank missiles, knives next to handguns. Swords next to rifles.

Iverson's cell phone rang, shattering the quiet.

"Iverson, here. We can leave in three hours? Good. I'll need some help packaging the stuff. Have Antonio and Toby come here to help immediately. Also call Wanderer in California and give him our schedule."

A few minutes later, two men entered the area, and stood by Iverson. Looking at the black room, the shorter stockier man, Antonio asked, "Oh shit, it's going to be a bad one, isn't it?"

*****

J. Edgar Hoover Bldg.
Washington D.C.
(Spooky Theater)

"Scully, I want you to see this DVD. I just got it from the Lone Gunmen." Mulder told his longtime partner Dana Scully as she entered their shared basement office.

"Oh, what's on it? Teen-age cheerleaders in action, or is Frohike trying to propose to me again?" Scully replied with a grin as she puts down her briefcase, and coffee.

Mulder just shook his head and put the DVD into the player.

"This recording was made at the Sunnydale shopping mall, a couple of weeks ago. The DVD was given to the Lone Gunmen by one of their sources. You'll find this very interesting."

Scully took a seat as Mulder started the DVD in the player. The DVD showed a mall entrance. It winds for a few minutes until a group of strange people came through the doors and stood atop the landing, leading down into the mall. The man in the center was in the costume of a devil. His skin is blue with horns on his head. Scully turned to Mulder and asked "Mulder, is this a joke? That guy looks like a devil crossed with a giant Smurf."

"Just keep watching, Scully."

She watched as the footage continued to roll. The group split up, leaving a man, and a woman standing beside the blue devil on the landing. A man wearing a light trench coat walked up the stairs to exit the mall. As he approached the group, the man in the devil costume touched him, and the man burns up.

"Mulder, this can't be real."

"Keep watching, Scully."

The DVD kept on going. Scully watched as rays shot from the blue devil and attached themselves to everyone, except the two people standing next to him. The blue devil looked like he's enjoying himself Scully thought to herself.

Suddenly, the blue devil jerked just as the rays disappeared. He reached up to his chest and pulled something out throwing it to the side. Scully read his lips as he said: "<No weapon forged of Man can stop me!>" He was looking at someone in front of him, out of the camera's view.

The man, and the woman at his side suddenly start to jump down from the landing. The blue devil looks puzzled as he muttered, "<What is that?>" Suddenly a streak of light struck the blue devil, and he exploded into a thousand pieces. The man and the woman who stood at his side are knocked down by the blast, but managed got up to run away. The video went blank at this moment.

"Mulder, what did I just see? This can't be real. And if it’s real, then who and what destroyed the blue guy?"

"I had the Gunmen blow up sections of the tape. When the rays disappeared, he was struck with a crossbow bolt."

"Mulder, what are dealing with here, William Tell?"

"It would appear so, but when the devil threw away the bolt, and showed that he wasn't hurt they used a Strella Anti-Tank Missile. That's what the streak of light was."

Scully looked at her partner in disbelief. "An Anti-Tank missile, where would someone get something like that? In the yellow pages under Rent-A-Missile?"

Mulder tossed a report to Scully. It's a confidential, U.S. Army CID report about the theft of a Strella Anti-Tank missile from a California depot.

"Nothing so amusing. I just think they borrowed it from the Army, Scully."

"Mulder, that's a confidential CID report. Where did you get it?"

"From the Lone Gunmen, of course. And they also provided this."

Mulder then handed Scully a folder full of newspaper clippings about strange things that have happened in and around the town of Sunnydale for the past two years.

"Well, Scully, I don't know about you, but I think that I would like to pay this place a little visit. You interested?" Mulder asked his partner with a grin.

Scully looked at her partner with disgust, knowing that he had trapped her into going to Sunnydale with him. < Well, at least we are getting away from a very cold February in D.C. >

*****

Part 8 - House Shopping
(Building Your Own Arsenal - The Quick and Easy Way - Mail Order)

After calling Sidney, Steve decided to go out and set up his utilities, buy some necessary items for the house, and get the lay of the land so to speak.

< Well, the telephone was easy enough, they promised me that everything would be set up and installed within a day. So I won’t need to keep using my cell all the time. The  electric, and phone companies were no problem either. Neither was the gas . However, getting furniture delivered in this town is nearly impossible. I’d have an easier time trying to get Niagara Falls to fall up than getting my furniture delivered.> Steve thought to himself ruefully.

`Steve stopped by the antique shop, and informed Carol about his new address and telephone numbers. She is impressed by how quickly Steve got things done.

"Carol, I'll be ready to start work on Monday morning, what time do you open?"

"Steve, we don't work on Monday. Tuesday at 10:00 is the earliest that you can start. Is that fine?"

"No problem, Carol, it just gives me more time to get to know this town better and take in the sights."

"What are you doing this afternoon? Shopping for more furniture?"

"Yeah, I've still got to get a new bedroom set. By the way, do you know anybody in town who will deliver today by 5:00 PM?"

"Hold on a second, let me make a phone call." Carol reached for her phone, and called a local store owned by a friend of hers. "Hello, Nancy, this is Carol. I have a friend here who needs a bedroom set, can you help him." She wrote down an address and a store name for Steve.

"Here, Steve, go see Nancy, at Bedrooms ‘R Us. The store is two blocks over and three blocks up, on Green Street."

Steve thanked Carol and left.

*****

Steve finished all of his errands by three o'clock and made it home, just as the phone company pulled up. The tech finishes up as the furniture arrived. The delivery guys helped Steve place the furniture in the house. By four o'clock, they're finished setting up the bedroom set. Just then, Frank Iverson arrived to deliver the rest of Steve's belongings. Steve offered the furniture guys an extra hundred apiece to help get the stuff in the house. They finished in thirty minutes.

*****

"Steve, this is nice looking town, I hope you don't demolish it like the last place that pissed you off." Frank commented as he and Steve unpacked the stuff he brought.

"Frank, I didn't start this the vampires did." Steve told Frank, as they are putting the weapons away into the hidden closets.

"Look, Steve, me and you have been through some strange stuff together, but vampires?"

"You want to go out tonight and see for yourself, Frank?"

"Yeah, I do."

"Well then, let's set up the reloading equipment in the basement and then we'll go out and take a look. Just remember, like the name of that old 1950’s TV show said You Asked For It.”

Frank wondered just what he’d gotten himself into as they finished setting up the re-loading equipment in the basement by around eight o'clock, and then prepared to go out.

Steve geared up for the night with his katana, Glock 21, several wooden knives, and a cross. Frank equiped himself with his H&K Spec Ops 45 and several wooden stakes as well.

*****

Part 9 - A Stroll in the Park - Sunnydale
(Research - Vampires?
- Endangered Species or Just Another Duck Hunt?)

Willow was running very hard and fast. She was very scared, because of the three vampires chasing her through the park. She was mostly afraid of what will happen to her when they catch her.

Willow can't believe how stupid she was. Staying late at Oz's place and then walking home alone. < I can't believe my luck. I run into Angel and eight vampires as I'm leaving Oz's house. > Willow thinks back to Angel's offer.

 

"Ah, Willow, out for a late night with the boyfriend? Too bad," Angel commented with a Cheshire cat smile. "Let's make this a little more fun. Willow, if you can out run my vampires, I'll let you live. You'll have to get across the park, before they catch you. Otherwise, you're dinner. I'll even give you a two minute head start."

 

Willow started to run. Angel looked at his watch, barely thirty seconds have passed before he says, "Go get her." The vampires hesitated. "I said NOW!!" Angel screamed as three vampires take off after her. Angel looked at the five remaining vampires and says, "Let's go." As he followed Willow and the three vampires.

*****

Willow saw the meadow in front of her and she knows that the park ended a couple of hundred yards away from the other side. She turned her head to take a quick look behind and saw the three vampires gaining on her. She screamed and spurts forward gaining some distance. Unfortunately, she didn’t see the depression in the dark, and fell spraining her ankle. Her last thoughts are, < Buffy, where are you. Oh God, I'm going to die, or worse become one of them. > Before the world went dark.

*****

The night was quiet as Frank and Steve walked out the door of Steve's new home. Steve had scouted out the area and figured that the most likely spots to find any vampires would be around one of three places, the park, the cemetery and a dance club called "The Bronze". As they walked towards the park, they scanned the shadows on the lookout for anything trying to attack them.

As they entered the park, a scream broke the silence. Frank saw a young girl running from three attackers. Both Frank and Steve ran to help. The girl tripped on a depression in the ground, and her attackers caught up to her. Frank yelled a warning and the three turned to face the intruders, their demonic faces showing.

"Shit, what the hell are they?" Frank whispered when he sees their faces.

"Well, Frank, you asked for proof that there were vampires. There they are not so live, and in person. They sure aren’t some street gang on PCP?"

The three rushed Frank and Steve. Frank took out his colt .45 and shot the first one in the chest, twice. It doesn't even slow him down.

"Frank, use your stake, shove it into its heart!" Steve told him.

Steve moved to the side and kicked the second vampire in the groin. As it doubled over, Steve beheaded it. The third one rushed forward hoping to catch Steve off guard. Steve suddenly ducked down, slicing off its leg. The first vampire is still on Frank, trying to wrestle him to the ground. Steve followed up the leg slice with a cut to the third vampire's neck, slicing off its head, and causing it to go POOF. Steve turned to help Frank, but he saw that Frank had managed to beat the vampire back, then he pulls out his stake and shoves it into the first vampire's heart, which makes it disappear.

"What the fuck happened to it?" Frank exclaimed.

"They tend to disappear, when you kill them. Either a stake to the heart, or taking off its head works. Makes cleaning up the mess a whole lot easier," Steve explained. "Let's go see if the girl is alright."

They moved to where the girl was laying on the ground where she fell. They examined her to make sure she was alright.

As they approached her, Steve noticed that she's young, couldn't be older that eighteen with long red hair. She looked very innocent laying there, but you can't be sure < The innocent looking kid at the gas station pops up in my mind >. Steve thought to himself as he bent down to examine her, he pulled out the cross, to make sure they don't get any rude surprises. He touched her with it. Nothing happen, so Frank checked her pulse and saw that she's still alive. Steve kept an eye out while Frank tended to her.

"How is she, Frank?"

"Looks like she just passed out when she fell. I don't think she hit her head on anything."

Just then the girl’s eyes popped open and she looked at the two strangers with fear in her eyes.

"Frank, keep an eye on the woods make sure nothing comes at us without warning. I want to ask this girl a couple of questions." Frank got up and started scanning the perimeter, while Steve talked to the girl.

"Hi there, out a little late aren't we?" he asked her.

"Hmm, you're not with the guys who were chasing me?" The girl asked. < Who are these two? They're not vampires, I hope. >

"No, we're just a couple of concerned citizens out for a walk. We heard your scream and came to help. Do you have a name?"

"Yes, my name's Willow. Who are you guys, what happened to the three vam.. guys chasing me?"

"Well, Willow, when they saw me, and my friend, they just sort of went to pieces and disappeared," Steve told her with a grin.

Willow looked up at the stranger's comment, wondering what he meant by saying that ‘they went to pieces'.

"Steve, some more people are coming this way, and I don't think they're the friendly types." Frank called over.

Steve stood up helping Willow to her feet.

"Ouch, I think I sprained my ankle when I fell. I can barely stand, I don't think I can walk," Willow told Steve, a worried look on her face.

"Don't worry, Willow, neither Frank nor I will leave you here. You can bet your life on that," Steve reassured her.

"You don't understand, those are vampires, the other three probably went to get help. We have to get away from them," Willow informed the two strangers.

Steve looked over to where Frank is pointing, as a group of six more vampires was moving towards them, at a trot.

"Frank, you ready this time."

Frank pulled out two stakes, and smiled his evil smile. "I know what I have to do Steve, don't worry about me. Give the girl your cross, and let's send these bastards back to whatever hell they came from."

“Sounds like fun to me.” Steve said as he hands Willow his cross and a wooden knife. Willow looks at Steve with wide eyes, but immediately grabbed the cross and knife, holding them with a practiced ease. < She's scared, but she'll fight for her life. Good. >

"Frank, let's take the battle to them. Don't let any of them get past you."

*****

Willow is shocked to see the tall stranger handing her a cross and wooden knife. As he turns around to face the vampires, Willow wonders < Who are these two guys. And how do they know about vampires? > Willow looked at the new group of vampires. She noticed that the three that were chasing her are not in the group. < What happened to the three that were following me? > Then she remembers the stranger's comment ‘They went to pieces'. < My God, they killed the three vampires that were chasing me. > Willow looked in wonder as the tall stranger who spoke to her, pulled an incredibly long sword from out of his coat!? < Where did that come from? And why is it glowing blue? > She wondered to herself.

*****

Frank and Steve moved forward about ten yards and stopped. The vampires saw them and noticed that these two strangers were not running away. Steve lifts his katana and calls out a challenge: "You guys want something?"

The six vampires stop in their tracks and one stepped forward.

< Who are these two, and where are the three vampires I sent after Willow? If they ran away from these two mortals, I'll kill them. > "My name is Angelus, and that girl is my dinner. Walk away and you two will live."

"Angel" Willows cried out in fear.

"Ah, Willow, Buffy will be very angry  when she finds out that I've killed you." Angel smiled and licked his lips.

"Come down here and I'll stab your heart out, Angel." Willow retorted, holding up her knife and cross.

*****

"Frank, do you think they know each other?" Steve asked, grinning like a fool. < God, this kid has heart. >

"Yeah, I think they do, but I don't think they like each other much, though." Frank commented. He turned around and gave the girl a thumbs up sign and a smile.

Angelus looked at the two strangers again, "I thought I told you two to beat it.”

“Sorry, this store is closed. Go try another market.” Steve tells him.

“Oh well," Angle says as he turned to his vampire cronies, while pointing at the two strangers, "You can have these two for dinner. Willow is mine."

The five vampires split into two groups, three going for Steve, two for Frank. Steve threw his wooden knife, killing one vampire with a hit to the heart. The other two see this and come straight at him. Steve used his katana to cut open the stomach of the second one, while ducking under the third one. He then stabs the third vampire in the stomach, from a crouched position. As the third one is doubled over, Steve straightens up and brought his blade back and beheads him. The second is just getting back up when Steve cuts his head off with another stroke of his sword.

Meanwhile, Frank had managed to kill his first vampire with a quick stab to the heart. The second gets his groin kicked and as he doubles over, back stabbed.

Frank and Steve turned around and moved back to help the girl called Willow. She's standing her ground. Angelus is trying to get past the cross and wooden knife she has.

*****

"Willow, I promise that it will be quick." Angelus told her.

"Angel, I used to like you a lot when you had your soul. You were my friend then, now you’re just another monster," Willow replied..

*****

Steve clears his throat and asked, "I know this is a touching reunion, but Angelus, old son, why don't you face me or my partner, instead of a wounded, slip of a girl. Or aren't you man enough?" Steve challenges.

Angelus turned around and saw Steve and Frank standing there.

"How in the hell!!" Angelus exclaimed, looking for the five vampires he sent after the two strangers. "Who are you two? No mere mortals could have killed five vampires."

< They killed five vampires in less than a minute!! > Willow thought to herself. < Who are these guys? > Willow now noticed that Angel has his back to her. She decided to try and finish Angel for Buffy's sake. She reached out, thrusting with the wooden knife, aimed at his heart.

Suddenly Angel moved away, and Willow's sprained leg doesn't let her catch up to him.

Steve and Frank saw Angelus move suddenly to the side, Willow had attempted to stab him in the back when he turned to face them. < This girl has potential. > Angelus sees that the odds are against him and started to run back into the woods. Frank pulled out his H&K Spec Ops. 45 and goes through the rest of his magazine, shooting Angelus in the back.

"Frank, you know that bullets won't stop them." Steve commented, as he puts his katana away.

"Yeah, but it just makes me feel so good knowing that I ruined pretty boy's nice leather jacket." Frank replied, giving Steve that evil grin, as he replaces the spent magazine.

Frank and Steve turned to look at Willow. She in turn is looking at the two of them. < Probably wondering what we're going to do. > Steve thought to himself.

"C'mon, let’s get out of here before he brings back any more of them," Steve told Frank and Willow. "Willow, do you want us to escort you home?"

"There's a pay phone not far from here, I can call for a ride from there. Can you help me get there?" Willow asked. "Hold on a second, let me get my purse."

Willow bent down to retrieve a small purse and one of Frank's shell casings, Steve noticed. < Girl definitely has potential! >

"Lean on me, kid," Frank said, "I'll help you walk there. Steve will keep guard on both of us."

As they're walking out of the park, Steve asked Willow some questions.

"Willow, that Angelus guy knew you, and he mentioned someone named Buffy. Would you care to explain what he was talking about?"

"No, I can't right now. You have to understand these are my friends and I don't want anything to happen to them," Willow explained. "Hmm, why are you walking like that for?" Willow remarked, as she noticed Steve turning around at random times and walking backwards.

"It's a patrol method called the 'Belfast Stroll'." Steve replied with a grin. "I'm not going to ask any more questions. We understand, Willow, you have your friends' confidence. You need to talk to them first, before you can tell us anything. After all, everybody has secrets they need to keep and confidences that can't be shared."

Willow looks relieved at Steve's words.

As they exited the park they arrived at the pay phone. Willow reaches into her pocket for some change to make the call, but comes up empty.

"Drat, I must've lost my change in the park." She muttered

Steve reached into his pocket and gave her a quarter, and a dime. "Here, make your call, we'll wait you until your friend comes."

Willow dialed a number, and asked her mother to pick her up. She explained that she tripped and sprained her ankle in the park, and couldn't make it home. She tells her mother where she's calling from, giving the cross streets where she's standing.

After Willow hung up the phone, she turned to Steve, and Frank, "I just want to say thank you for saving me back there. Is there any way for me to contact you tomorrow, after I've talked to my friends."

Steve gave her his cellular phone number to call to arrange any meetings. While they waited for Willow's mother, Frank and Steve kept an eye out on the park, making sure nothing came rushing out of it without any warning.

A few minutes later, a car pulled up to the phone booth. A woman got out of it. Willow moved toward the car and called out to her mother. Frank and Steve started to walk away, checking the area. As they're walking away, the car pulled up to them. The woman gets out and approached the pair. Steve saw Willow sitting in the front seat embarrassed.

"I understand you helped my daughter, Willow, out of the park." The woman asked.

"Yes, ma'am, we found her with a sprained ankle in the middle of the park." Frank told her.

"I just wanted to say, thank you, for helping her."

"No problem, always glad to be helpful." Steve replied.

She got back into her car and drove away.

"Steve, that girl knows what's going on here. Why didn't you question her more thoroughly?" Frank asked

"Frank, I don't think that she could have handled an interrogation, not in her state. Besides, it’s obvious that she was going to be a victim tonight of that thing. I think that we have just gained ourselves an ally in this town."

"Yeah, I can see your point of view. Just who is Buffy?"

"I don't know, but I'm sure we're going to find out sooner, or later, probably sooner. Let's go back to the house."

*****

Rosenberg Residence
One Hour Later

"Mom, Dad, Uncle Mike, I'm going to bed now." Willow said as she headed up the stairs.

The moment she got into her room, she dived for the phone and called her best friend, Buffy.

"Please be home, please be home," Willow whispered as the phone rang..

 A sleepy Buffy answered on the fourth ring “Hello, this better be important?”

"Buffy, this is Willow, are you awake?"

"I am now, Willow. What's so important, that you have to wake me up?" Buffy asks.

"Buffy, I was attacked by Angel tonight."

Buffy is instantly awake, "Willow, is Angel holding you prisoner? Tell him I want to speak to him, right now."

"No, Buffy, I'm at home and safe. Let me explain."

Willow then told Buffy about her run through the park, being chased by three vampires, falling and waking up to see two strange men. She then told Buffy how these two men stood up to Angel and five vampires to protect her.

"Willow, are you sure it only took a minute for these guys to kill FIVE vampires?" Buffy asked in wonder. <I don’t think I’ll believe that even if I live to be a thousand, and in my case that is very likely.>

"Yes, I'm pretty sure it was less than a minute, because Angel only got five steps before the other five vampires were gone. Buffy, I think they also took out the three vampires that Angel had sent after me earlier."

"Eight vampires, Willow? Are these guys really that good? You couldn't have imagined it? Maybe Angel is playing a game, trying to set us up?"

"I don't know, Buffy, but they gave me a phone number to call to arrange a meeting. How about everybody meets in the Library tomorrow morning before first period?"

"Good idea, I'll round everybody up, you go straight to the Library." Buffy told her.

After Willow hung up Buffy thinks to herself <Two guys take out eight vampires in less than five minutes. What else could happen around here? Here I thought I had seen everything when I became Immortal, and had Jenny train me. Well, we’ll just have to wait, and see what happens tomorrow.>

*****

A Deserted Factory - The Vampires' Hiding Place
(It Ain't the Ritz Carleton, But the Screams Are Free)

Angelus slammed his hand against the wall in frustration punching a sizable hole in it. He then turned to Spike and Drusilla.

"I can't believe those two strangers killed eight of our brethren tonight." Spike commented, looking at Angelus.

"Believe it, Spike," Angelus answered. "I hadn't gone more than five yards before they were challenging me to a fight. It took them about a minute to destroy five vampires. A fucking minute. And probably less to do the first three. Can you believe that? Plus, add the fact that they rescued Willow makes this even worse."

 

"How so, Angel darling?" Drusilla asked.

 

"Because the first thing that she will do is contact Buffy, and if these two join with her then we're in deep trouble. Can you imagine the Slayer allied with two hunters who are possibly as deadly as she is?" Angel commented.

"How can you be sure that they will join forces? Maybe the Slayer won't have anything to do with them. After all, how can she know that they're on her side? All of the Slayers in history have been loners. Why should she be any different?" Spike replied.

Angelus turned to Spike. "Spike, this Slayer is different, she has friends, a family. She doesn't hunt us alone. She might welcome the extra help. We have got to lay low for a few days, maybe these guys will go away by themselves. Pass the word to the other vampires. No more hunting for at least three days. Do I make myself clear?" Angelus commands several vampires who immediately left to spread the word.

"One other thing, we'll need to add more vampires to our ranks. Make ourselves stronger, just in case." Angelus angrily stated as he threw his leather jacket in the corner. "Oh yes, somebody find me a new jacket, one of those bastards shot mine to pieces."

*****

Part 10 - A Gathering of Forces - Sunnydale High School Library
(How to Save the World as a School Project, But No Extra Credit)

As Willow entered the library, she saw that Buffy had already rounded everybody up for the meeting. Oz got up from his chair and helped Willow to her usual spot next to the computer. All eyes are on Willow as she sat down.

"Hi, guys, I take it Buffy already told you about last night?" Willow asked.

Mr. Giles, the Librarian, checked his glasses and asks, "Willow, would you mind going over what happened last night, again?"

Willow nodded and went over in great detail what happened in the park last night. She also pulled out the cross, wooden knife and the shell casing that came from one the stranger's guns.

Xander picked up the shell casing and whistled.

"Xander, do you know what it is?" Mr. Giles asked.

"Yeah, my guess is a bullet. Seriously, all kidding aside it's a modified .45 Colt Auto. Very NASTY stuff. It also doesn't have any manufacturer's marks. So that means we can't find out who made it, or where it was bought. Without the manufacturer's marks, we can't track the bullets. The only people that would have access to and use this kind of stuff would be special or black operations soldiers."

"Would you mind explaining in English what you just said?" Cordelia asked.

Xander looked around the table and saw the blank stares. He then explained "Oh sorry. Remember that Charlie Sheen film, 'Navy SEALs'. Well, the guy who fired this bullet, belongs to the same type of group."

Giles cleared his throat and asked, "Xander, would you care to explain to me, what is a Navy SEAL?"

"Well, Giles, imagine a soldier trained to fight on the land, in the air, on and under the sea. They're some of the best of the best, Giles. Trained in weapons, explosives, hand to hand, and stealth fighting techniques. These guys have been through some of the toughest training in the world, where eighty to ninety percent of the volunteers washout."

"So, in other words we have a pair of highly trained well equipped killers roaming the streets of Sunnydale." Giles replied as he turned to Willow, "Willow, can you look up the words ‘Belfast Stroll' on the Internet, please."

Buffy looked up, and asked the questions on everybody's mind, "So, just who are these two Rambo’s? What's their reason for being in Sunnydale, and just whose side are they on?"

"Those are the questions that need to be answered." Xander replied.

Giles turned to Willow, "Willow, have you got a match yet?"

"Yes, I did Giles." Willow replied. "The term ‘Belfast Stroll' according to the Internet article I've pulled up from Soldier of Fortune magazine, refers to a patrol method used by British Special Air Service and Royal Marines in Northern Ireland."

"My word," an awed Giles, muttered.

Buffy turns to Giles and asked, "Uh, Giles, who are these guys?"

A pale, shaken Giles cleared his throat, "The British SAS and Royal Marines are the two most elite branches of the military back in England. Also, the units have won international fame for defeating terrorists all around the world. These men are trained to fight and think. I think this answers the question of how they defeated five vampires in less than a minute."

"What do you mean, Giles?" Oz asked.

"Simple, the vampires meet a foe that knew their weaknesses, and how to capitalize on them. In the words of your vernacular: ‘They kicked the vampires' ass'."

Giles turned to Willow, "Willow, you said they gave you a telephone number to contact them."

"Yes, here it is." Willow handed Giles a slip of paper.

"Let's call and arrange a meeting shall we?" Giles explained.

“Are you sure that it’s safe?” asked Willow.

“We need answers to our questions, and we won’t get them just sitting around here,” said Giles. Willow quickly realized that Giles was right.

"But where can we meet that is reasonably safe?" Buffy asked.

"Let’s see where they want to meet. If it’s public with a lot of people, then they might be friends. If it’s secluded, then most definitely it's a trap," Xander reasoned.

The group got up and walked over to the library counter where the speaker phone is. Oz moves a chair, so Willow is comfortable, Xander locked the doors, so no will interrupt them. Giles dialed the number on the slip of paper.

"Hello, Steve here," the voice on the phone answered.

"Hi, Steve, this is Willow. I've talked to my friends, and they want to me to arrange a meeting with you and Frank. Tonight, if possible."

"Sure, how about the food court at the local shopping mall, around six o'clock sound about right?"

Willow looked at her friends and saw them all nod, yes.

"I'll wait for you there, with a couple of my friends," Willow replied..

"Bye, Willow."

"Bye, Steve," and the phone is hung up.

"Giles, what do you make of their choice for a meeting place?" Cordelia asked.

"It's too public, it will be hard to trap any one there. What do you think, Xander?" Giles replied, as he noticed him drawing a sketch of the food court and its general area.

"Yeah, I agree with you, Giles. No one could plan an effective trap here. Too many witnesses, too many exits. You couldn't cover them all unless you had an army with you, and that would be VERY obvious. Also, it's a great place to hold a meeting. No one will notice one taking place, just a bunch of people sitting down to eat." Xander explained.

Giles looked impressed with Xander's train of thought. "So, who will be there first? Us or them?" Giles asked

Xander considered the matter. "We'll be there first. They'll be late, about ten minutes I think." Xander looked around and once he saw the blank stares continued, "They will want to check the area out first, make sure that WE are not trying to trap THEM. These two are real pros. Buffy, these two guys are probably a lot more dangerous than anything you've faced before, even the Order of Teraka."

"These men are more dangerous than the Assassin's Order? I find that hard to believe." Giles answered.

"Giles, the Order has some tough people working for it, I'll give them that. But face facts, they normally go after people who have never fought more than a cold their entire lives. Giles, the order is a bunch of wild dogs that goes after sheep. These two guys we're meeting are more like a pair of alpha class timber wolves."

The sound of the first attendance bell broke the silence. Giles got up, "We have a lot to think about, we'll meet back here after school. Go on to class." The meeting broke up, everybody heading to their first period classes deep in thought.

*****

St. Wolf Residence
(Bat mobiles for Sale - Cheap)

Frank and Steve were having a light breakfast when Steve's phone rang.

"Hello, Steve here."

"Hi, Steve, this is Willow. I've talked to my friends, and they want to me to arrange a meeting with you and Frank. Tonight, if possible."

Steve looked at Frank, and made an impulsive decision. "Sure, how about the food court at the local shopping mall, around six o'clock sound about right?" Steve had been to the mall yesterday, and the food court looked like a perfect set up for a meeting. Public, but private with no easy way to control it.

"I'll wait for you there, with a couple of my friends."

"Bye, Willow."

"Bye, Steve."

"That was our young friend from last night, setting up a meeting." Steve informed Frank.

"Girl’s a fast worker." Frank commented

"That she is. Let's go over to the mall and scope out the area, before the meeting."

"Good idea, I need to get some more clothes any way. I only brought my overnight bag."

"After we do that, let's stop by a car dealer, I need a car."

"I've got an associate in L.A., who can fix you up ‘Special'."

"What do you mean by ‘Special,' Frank?"

"Oh, how about armored and bullet proof, with all of the bells, and whistles?" Frank explained with a grin.

"Alright, let’s pay this guy a visit. Do you think he can provide something today?"

"I don't know, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask."

The stop at the shopping mall only toke about an hour, so they headed into L.A. to visit Frank's associate. They pulled up to an auto body shop in South L.A. Steve looked at the decaying buildings on the block, and wished he had on bullet proof underwear. He didn’t feel too sure about this guy.

"Steve, always remember ‘don’t judge a book by its cover'." Frank commented as they pulled up to a gang-banger. "Hey, Amigo, tell Paco that Frank Iverson is here." They watched as the kid pulled out a small radio and spoke into it.

The kid turned back to Frank, "Senor Iverson, Senor Garcia says to send you in immediately." The kid pointed to a garage door that's rolling up as they speak. Frank drove right into the building, where a man is waiting for them.

"Paco, Mi Amigo." Frank called out to the man. "How have you been? How's Carmen, and the kids?"

"Frank, long time no see. I'm fine, Carmen's fine, and the kids are great. What can I do for you?" Paco got right down to business.

"My friend here needs a very "Special' car." Frank answered pointing to Steve.

Steve explained to Paco what he was looking for and that he hoped to have it either today, or tomorrow.

When he finished telling Paco what he needed Steve added, “I’m very impressed with the operation you have here. With all this high-tech equipment it makes it look like a cross between Thunderbirds, and Space: 1999.”

Paco just shook his head as he smiled "Thank you for the compliment, Senor. Now normally I would tell you to go screw yourself, but you have luck. A client couldn't take delivery on his vehicle recently and I still have it. Would you like to see it? If you like it, we can work out a deal." Paco then leads them to a tarp covered vehicle.

Two of Paco's mechanics/bodyguards uncovered a dark blue, four door, Chevy Tahoe Blazer. Paco, then described the modifications and improvements made to it. Steve, and Frank are impressed.

"How much, and can you get me the ownership papers cleared up today." Steve asked.

"Senor, the person who ordered this vehicle put a substantial deposit on it, but alas, he cannot accept delivery now. < Being dead > I can sell this car to you for $75,000.00. I can also get you the title, plates and insurance today."

"How much more for the registration and insurance?"

"Another $3,000.00, Senor."

Steve pulled out his check book, and wrote a check for $78,000.00. "Who do I make the check out to?"

Paco looked over to Frank, who nodded his head. "Senor, make the check out to Paco Garcia Auto Body." He then turned around and called out to one of his workers.

"Manuel, is your sister working over at DMV today?" The man nodded yes. "Go to my cousin's insurance office, and pick up the papers she gives you. Then come back here." The man put his tools down and left.

"Senor, I'll need some information please." Steve gave Paco the info he needs. "This will take about an hour, why don't you have some lunch then come back. I recommend the Mexicali, it’s just around the block, tell the hostess you're my guests."

 

Steve gave Paco, his Sunnydale address, as well as his California driver’s license. Paco then called up his sister and started to make all the arrangements to transfer ownership of the car.

 

An hour later, Paco delivered the car to the restaurant. He handed Steve a portfolio filled with papers and his driver's license.

 

"Three beers, please." He told the waitress. "The car is yours, Senor, enjoy it, and lunch is on me." The waitress delivered the beers, and the three men toast to close the deal.

 

They chat a little longer, then Steve noticed the time. "Frank, we have that six o'clock meeting tonight, remember."

"Paco, its nice seeing you again, but like Steve said, we have to go. Paco, can one of your guys return the rental car for me? I'll ride back with Steve."

Paco called over to a kid sitting by the door. Frank gave him the rental's keys and one hundred dollars. The kid smiled and promised to return the car immediately. Paco whispered something in the kid's ear and he got very serious.

 

"Your rental will be returned immediately, Frank." Paco confirmed.

 

As Steve and Frank got into Steve's new car. They found a computer printed instruction manual on the passenger seat. Frank picked it up and started to read it and whistled.

 

"Steve, I don't know who wanted this car, but they really got it tricked out. It’s like something out of one of those XXX movie with Vin Diesel. James Bond would've drooled over this thing." Frank grinned, then started to detail the ‘extras', his friend Paco had put in.

"Frank, I have a feeling that we will find out very soon, how well Paco made this car." Steve commented as they pulled out into the early afternoon traffic and headed back to Sunnydale.

*****

LAX - The Same Day
(Bull shit - Washington D.C. Style)

Mulder and Scully had just deplaned from their morning flight from Washington D.C.

"Scully, did you see the weird look that stewardess gave us when we didn't check our coats in?" Mulder commented.

"Yes, but do you want her to wonder why we're each carrying a katana in our coats? You know, we should have checked them with our luggage."

"Are you kidding Scully? They would get ripped off in a minute. Besides, I always like to keep mine handy."

"A little bit of sword envy, Mulder?" Scully commented with a nasty grin.

Mulder gave her a look, but it goes away and he smiled. "Scully, if I didn't know any better, I would swear that was preposition."

"Only if you're really lucky, Mulder." Scully shot back.

Before Mulder could comment, a man dressed in a very expensive FBI regulation suit walked up. "Are you Agents Mulder and Scully?" He asked, flashing his identification.

"Yes, we are." Scully answered for both. "And you are?"

"My name is Joe Tanaka, Agent in Charge Daniels wanted me to meet you and give you a hand on the case that you're working on. Come this way, the cars are parked in the secure lot, just below the terminal."

Mulder looked at Scully who nodded. "Agent Tanaka, the only help we need is the use of a car while we're here and directions to a suburb called Sunnydale." Mulder informed him.

"Sunnydale? Why are you going to Sunnydale? Nothing ever happens there. It's just a sleepy little town outside of Los Angeles." Agent Tanaka informed them clearly confused.

"Well that's where our case is taking us. So if you don't mind we'll work it from there, alone." Mulder responded.

"I'll have to inform Agent Daniels of this breach in protocol." Agent Tanaka stated.

"Please do so, he can take it up with Assistant Director Skinner, back in Washington D.C." Scully replied coolly. "And he will want to know why Agent Daniels along with members of his staff are attempting to assert authority over us."

Agent Tanaka got the message, and stopped complaining. He led them to their loaner car from the LA office and gave them the keys.

"Maps are in the glove box, but the fastest way to Sunnydale is by the Los Angeles/Coast Highway." Tanaka informed them and wished them, "Good luck."

As their car pulled away Mulder turned to Scully, sitting in the passenger seat, "You almost took his head off, Scully. He was only following orders from his boss." Mulder commented.

"Mulder, after what happened to us in New York I really don’t like someone trying to play with my brain.” Scully snapped..

Scully's mind went back to the night that she and Mulder had died at the hands of Immortal madman, named Kale, and how they came back to life as Immortals.

*****

CENTRAL PARK
JUNE 2012

Mulder and Scully were chasing a serial killer wanted in a series of decapitation slayings. They had followed their main suspect, Russell Nash, into the park.

As they were moving through the underbrush, they heard a clanking of metal on metal. As they rushed to the sound, they came upon a sight they couldn't believe. Russell Nash was fighting a scarred and disfigured man. Their weapons were swords.

Mulder got up and cleared the underbrush shouting, "FBI, freeze, you're both under arrest. Put the weapons down or I will shot you." Scully was standing next to him, holding her gun on the two suspects.

The scarred man, and Nash break apart. The scarred man spun around and pulled out a gun. He then quickly, and calmly shot both Mulder and Scully down.

"That was uncalled for, Kale," they heard Nash say as they lay dying. “They couldn’t do anything to hurt you.”

"I don't care Highlander, I want your head. Those two just got in the way," Kale answered.

"Mulder, I'm sorry, I love you," Scully gasped as she lay dying.

Mulder crawled to where Scully is lying, "Scully, please don't leave me. I love you." He reached out to her and with his dying strength, hugged her to him. Then he looked over to where Nash has beaten Kale down and beheaded him. Mulder watcheed as what appears to be lightning came out of Kale's neck and entered the man called Nash. Then, the world went black.

Mulder awoke with a start. He saw Nash standing over him with a sword. Nash was smiling.

"Glad to see you’re awake."

"But Scully, she's dead. I can't leave her," Mulder replied.

"No, she's not. Wait for it," Nash told Mulder.

Mulder looked at Scully's body and watched the bullet holes heal. Scully jerked awake and her eyes popped open.

"What's happening? Why are we still alive?" Mulder asked as a shocked Scully looked on.

"C'mon, let's get you both out of here. We have to leave. I'll explain everything at my home," Nash told them.

At Nash's home. He told Mulder and Scully what happened to them. Who and what they are. Nash told them of the Game, and of his own history.

"I can train you for this, if you're willing. I can teach you how to defend yourselves and how to change your identities when you can no longer keep your present ones.

Scully listened to this in disbelief. "Mr. Nash, how can we believe this story?" Scully asked.

"Weren't you killed tonight? Shot several times by Kale in the chest? Just look at your's and Mr. Mulder's clothes. What does it take to make you believe, Ms. Scully?" Nash replied

 

`"You know Scully, this explains everything about this case. The murders, the weapons, the unbelievable forensic evidence we've found about the victims," Mulder commented

*****

< God, how things changed that day, for us both. > Scully thought to herself as they approached Sunnydale.

"Scully, penny for your thoughts," Mulder asked coyly. "Deep in thought about this case?"

"No, Mulder, just thinking about what happened to us two years ago," Scully replied.

"Yeah, I think about that sometimes myself. At least one good thing came out of it."

"What, Mulder, the fact that the Bureau's medical expenses have gone down drastically over the last two years?" Scully replied with a smile.

"No, silly, the fact that we love each other, and that we finally did something about it, Mrs. Mulder."

Scully reached over and clasped his hand and looked at her husband of less than one year. "Too bad, we can't tell anybody, or else the Bureau would split us apart."

"So, what's the first thing we do when we get to Sunnydale?" Mulder asked

"Go to the local police and see if they have any information that the Lone Gunmen missed, but I doubt that. Your friends are quite thorough. However it would be a good idea to interview the police officers who answered the call. Then we go see the scene of the crime, so to speak. You know, I could get some new clothes while we're at it," Scully mused

"Scully, can you actually go shopping while we're on a case? I am shocked," Mulder sarcastically replied.

They reached Sunnydale by three o'clock, and located the police station almost immediately.

The police are not so forth coming with information as Mulder liked. As they leave the station Mulder commented to Scully.

"You know, I do believe that they are hiding something from us, Scully. What do you think?"

"Normally, Mulder, I would say no, but these cops were some of the most tight lipped, I've ever seen. Can you believe the story they gave us: ‘Gang kids on PCP'. It’s one of the lamest stories I've ever heard. Look, it’s almost four thirty, let’s get to the mall. We call look at the scene, and grab some dinner at the food court afterwards."

"Oh yum, mall food," Mulder replied

"Hey, after what I've seen you eat, mall food is a step up."

They make it to the mall by five o'clock. As they approached the landing that they saw on the DVD recording, Mulder commented, "Scully, the Strella probably was shot from on top of that counter."

Scully walked over to the counter and looked at the angle of trajectory the missile would have had to take to hit the blue devil.

"I agree, Mulder, this is the probable the place where it was fired from. Do you think that any evidence is left? It’s been over a month," Scully mused as she and Mulder examined the landing and its surrounding area.

"Well, Scully, I don't think we'll find anything here. Let’s go see what they have to eat at the food court. It's almost six o'clock and I'm hungry."

"Alright, Mulder, let’s go. Maybe we can do some shopping afterwards, we passed this shoe sale over by the food court."

 

"You mean over by Jerry's shoes?" Mulder asked, remembering the poor shoe guy trying to force a shoe onto a 300 pound woman. To Mulder it looked like a scene from Married…With Children. Poor guy looked like he wanted to kill himself. < If he gets it on

her, he deserves his own X-file. >

*****

Part 11 - A Convergence of Forces
(Light on the Soy Sauce and Heavy on the Ammo, Please)

Frank and Steve made it to the mall with time to spare. The first thing that they did was recon the area in and around the food court, making sure there are no surprises waiting for them.

A little before six they saw Willow. They watched as she, another girl, and a boy make their way to the food court. Steve then looked over to Frank.

"Frank, none of those kids looks to be older than eighteen."

"Maybe Willow is using her friends as a cover for the meeting. Making it look like nothing special is going on. After all, we did save her life in the park, and we didn't try to force information out of her. Maybe she feels that we won't do anything to her friends. She's right about that, girl’s a good judge of character."

As Frank and Steve watched, the kids make their way to a set of tables off to one side, where a man and woman are sitting. The kids sat down with them.

"Frank, those two adults, do you think, they're the leaders?"

"Probably are. Let's go meet them." Frank replied.

As they approached the entrance to the food court, Steve noticed a man and a woman in trench coats coming toward them. He felt the ‘Buzz' of another immortal. Steve motioned Frank to back him up as he met the man and woman in front of a woman's shoe store. As Steve approached them, he recognized the man: Fox Mulder of the FBI. Steve glanced back at Frank, he recognized him as well.

"Agent Mulder, long time no see," Steve commented "I see that you're a member of the club now, or is it the lady?"

"Hello, Wanderer," Mulder replied, not very pleased to see Steve again. "It's actually the both of us. I see that your partner is still with you. I take it that you're both Immortals as well?"

"No, Frank's not one of us,” Steve suddenly grew serious as he asked, “Is this a chance meeting, or are we going to find some place private?"

"No, Scully and I are here on a case. What are you doing here, Wanderer? Last time we meet, you were hunting down a serial killer in Europe."

"I live in this town now, Mulder. Why don't you introduce me to the lady?"

"Sorry, this is Agent Dana Scully, my partner.

"In more ways than one, I see." Steve could feel the attachment, the bond, between these two. If these two aren't married, or at least sleeping together his respect for Mulder would go down quite a few notches.

"Hello," Dana Scully said upon our introduction. "What Mulder didn't mention was that I'm also his wife as well as being his partner and a member of the club."

Steve smiled. < Good, he isn't a complete idiot then. Letting a woman like this go would be a crime. > He also noticed that Mulder is shocked that she told him about their marriage.

"Scully you don't know who this guy is, you don't know who he works for, or that he can be trusted. Why are you telling him this?" Mulder angrily asked her.

Scully turned to Mulder, smiling and explained, "Mulder, don’t worry we can trust him. If my cousin, Frank, is working with him, then he can be trusted."

Both Mulder and Steve turned to Frank. "Her cousin, Frank?" Steve asked..

Mulder looked at Scully, "Your cousin? I've never seen him at your family affairs, or a picture of him in any Scully house," Mulder stated.

"It’s really simple to explain, Mulder. Frank is the black sheep of the family. My father and Frank hated each other. Also with him resigning from the Navy, in disgrace, didn't help much either," Scully informed both of them.

After saying this, Frank and Scully hugged  and talked quietly with each other. Frank naturally wanting all the details about how Scully discovered her Immortality.

Steve turned to Mulder and shook his head. "You know, Mulder, I had no idea."

"You and me both, Wanderer." He muttered, looking at Scully and Frank.

"Wanderer, do you have a real name?" Mulder asked.

"It's Steven St. Wolf. Just call me Steve."

Steve looked at his watch, the time is 6:12. He turned to Frank. "Frank, the family get together will have to wait. We have to attend that meeting, right now."

 

Frank and Scully stop talking and Frank turned to Steve, "Steve, I know this may sound crazy, but let’s include Dana, and Mulder in the meeting. They can help us."

"Frank, they have their own case to work on." Steve looked at Mulder, and he nodded his head in agreement.

"Mulder, Steve, I think we're both working on the same case,” Scully informed them.

"You're here hunting vampires?" Steve asked in shocked disbelief.

"No, we're here hunting a blue skinned demon, or possibly, the person that killed it with a Strella," Mulder replied smiling.

Needless to say it, but Steve is in shock. This was a turn of events that he couldn't have imagined in his wildest dreams. It stunned him for a second, but he makes his decision to include them in the meeting. < After all this couldn't get any weirder, could it? >

"Mulder, Scully, Frank and I have a meeting set right now with a source, do you two want to attend?" They looked at each, silently communicating before both nodding yes. "Good, but Frank and I run the show. You okay with that." They both agreed, and with that, all four now head to the food court and to the meeting with Willow and her friends.

*****

Sunnydale High School Library
4:00 PM

Willow and Oz walked back into the library. Everyone is back, even Jenny is there.

"Jenny, glad you could make it," Willow said, greeting the lady who taught Buffy about being an Immortal.

"I thought I could use some help, so, I spoke with Jenny this morning, and told her what happened, and she agreed," Giles told her.

Buffy stood up from her chair. "Alright, guys, have any of you have any ideas what to do about tonight?"

"Giles, guys, I asked Amy to join us." Xander stated. "She's running a little late, so can we hold the meeting until she comes in?" Amy walked in just as Xander finishes explaining.  "I know the type of guys we're dealing with, and I figured we could use a hole card. I explained the situation to her and she agreed to help us."

"What can Amy do to help us against two professional killers?" Willow asked.

"Well, I have read up on some defensive and offensive spells. Xander and I don't think that they will be expecting a magical attack, if they try anything," Amy spoke up.

Xander cleared his throat, "Buffy, we agreed to the meeting. We have to be there. Not all of us, but at least Willow and one, maybe two people."

"Do you have a plan, Xander?" Giles asked

"Yeah, here's how it works: Willow, Buffy, Miss Calendar, myself and you, Giles, will meet with these two guys. Cordelia, Amy and Oz will keep an eye on us from a table on the opposite side of the food court. That way, if anything happens, they won't be caught with us, and maybe be able to help."

 

"First thing we do, is Oz and I will check out the area at about five o'clock. Make sure that there is nothing unusual happening. After that, we split up, and I go meet Buffy and Willow at the Foot Locker. Oz will meet Cordelia, and Amy by the Sach's. Then, we'll go to the food court in stages. First, Giles, and Miss Calendar go in at about fifteen minutes to six. About ten minutes later, Cordelia, Amy and Oz.  Then finally about five minutes after that, Buffy, Willow and I will meet with Giles, and Miss Calendar. I don't think anything will happen, but this will cover all of the bases

"Xander that is a well thought out plan." Giles remarked, "Anyone got any comments or additions?"

"Why are me, Amy, and Cordelia on the sidelines? Why not Buffy, and you?" Oz remarked looking worriedly at Willow.

"Because if they checked Willow out, then they know about me, Buffy, and Giles already.  Probably Jenny as well. You three are too new for them to have found out about, in this short time." Xander explained.

"Willow did you dig up any more on information, or made any matches?" Giles asked

"No, nothing at all. I've checked all of the computerized reservation systems from all the motels, and hotels in the area nothing matches these two. It’s as if these two guys are from nowhere," Willow sighed.

"I'm not surprised, Willow, these men are trained to blend into their surroundings. They will be hard to spot," Giles replied.

"Alright, we have our plans set and ready?" Xander asked, "Good, Oz and I will go in his van, we'll park by the Sears. Willow, Amy, Buffy and Cordelia, in her car, park by the Nieman's. Giles and Jenny in her car, park by the Model's."

"This way we have multiple escape roots, if we need them," Willow said

"Agreed," Cordelia said.

"Right," Buffy added. "Okay, let’s go. Xander, good job."

"Thanks, Buffy." Xander replied

“Okay. I think we’re as read as possible. Should we go? “Giles asked.

Just then the group broke apart, and went to their respective cars..

As Xander and Oz are making their way to the mall. Oz turned to Xander and asked.

"Xander, when did you become Patton? That plan you worked up, knowing what that shell casing was, and knowing about the kind of guys we're dealing with. How did you know all that?"

"Remember last Halloween, when everything went freaky, kids becoming their costumes?" Oz nodded, remembering. "Well, my costume was a soldier, and I became one. After the spell wore off, I still remembered everything. Later on, I went back to the Army surplus store and asked the owner about who the uniform used to belong to. He told me it used to belong to a guy who was a Green Beret. I think that I may have his memories and experiences."

"Cool," Oz replied, as he parked his van in front of the Sears.

Oz and Xander checked out the food court, while Buffy, Willow, Amy and Cordelia split up and headed to their individual meetings.

"Willow, do you believe how Xander is acting?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah, I guess the soldier from Halloween is still with him the way the cat burglars from Halloween are still with us, Cordy, and Jenny. I think that is a good thing, especially now, and getting Amy to help was also a good idea," Willow replied

"Yeah, I guess so," Buffy commented as she sees Xander coming up to them.

"Okay, let's get this show on the road," Buffy said as they headed toward the food court.

Xander checked his watch, "It’s almost six o'clock, let’s go meet with Giles and Jenny."

As they entered the food court, Buffy saw that Oz, Amy and Cordelia are well away from the meeting place. < Good, at least those three, are safe. > Then the three move to the table shared by Giles, and Miss Calendar.

"Anything happen?" Buffy asked

"No, nothing strange." Giles answered. <Of course normal happenings around here would be considered strange just about everywhere else.>

The three friends joined their mentors at the table waiting for their contacts. Buffy turned to Xander.

"Xander, do you think they'll show?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah, they'll show. If fact, I think they're here already. Willow, turn around and sneak a look over by the shoe store." Xander said.

Willow looked over at the four by the shoe store. "My gosh, that's them, but who are the people that they're talking to? I've never seen them before."

"Alright, all four of them are coming here, something's changed, be ready to move out in a hurry," Xander whispered as Buffy and Jenny suddenly gasped.

*****

Part 12 - The Meeting
(Truth and Consequences Time)

"Buffy, Jenny, are you all right?" a worried Giles asked.

"I've got this triple ‘Buzz' in my head, and it just won't stop. We have multiple Immortals!" Buffy gasped.

“I have it, too,” Jenny added.  She looked around and, as the ‘Buzz’ stopped, spots the newcomers.  “By the shoe store.”  Buffy looked that way, too, and nodded.

As Steve, Frank, Mulder and Scully moved towards the table that Willow is sitting at, they see the blonde girl, and brunette woman sitting with her looking at them. Steve feels the ‘Buzz' of approaching Immortals. He turned to look at Mulder and Scully. They both nodded their heads in agreement. It's the blonde, and brunette, they’re Immortal.

Steve noticed that they looked like they were trying to make up their minds whether to stay, or flee. Steve spoke up quickly.

"We’re just here to talk,” Steve said “We are not here to hurt any of you. We arranged this meeting to get some matters cleared up.  Alright, everybody calm? Good, allow me to make the introductions on my side. My name is Steven St. Wolf, though I use the name Wanderer sometimes. The man on my right is Frank Iverson, the man on my left is Fox Mulder, please refer to him as Mulder, the lady is Dana Scully. Willow would you make the introductions for your side, please."

 

 "Yeah, uhm, sure. This is Buffy Summers (Willow points to the blond), that's Xander Harris (a dark haired boy), that's Rupert Giles (the older man), and Jenny Calendar (the older woman)," Willow informed them.

 

"Now let’s get to the matter at hand. Last night, Frank and I were out walking in the park, where we found Willow being attacked by a group of vampires." Steve noticed Mulder, and Scully giving him a look along with Frank.  "After killing the first three vampires, we were attacked by another group of six, we managed to kill five of them. The sixth one, calling himself, Angelus managed to get away. Did I leave anything out?" Frank confirmed the details, Willow looked pale, but agreed with Steve's narrative. Steve then told them about his first and second nights in Sunnydale and the five vampires he had killed by himself.

"Now the question I wanted answered, which Willow wouldn't at that time is, are there more of them than the eight Frank and I killed last night plus the five I took care over Tuesday, and Wednesday?"

Willow and her friends exchanged looks, they can't believe what they just heard. The girl, Buffy looked at Steve.

"I want to know something. Why do you want to know if there are more vampires out there?" Buffy asked.

"Good question, here's a good answer. The woman that I loved was brutally raped and murdered. The people who did that to her have paid for their crimes, but there are more monsters out there. I have spent the last four years of my life hunting down and killing those monsters, human and demonic alike, all over the world. Whether they're human serial killers, or demons from the pits of Hell, they all share the same common trait: They hurt innocent people, and, I can't sit idly by watching it happen. So, while they're out there hunting normal people, I, and a few friends, hunt them. Oh, if you think I get a kick out of this, I don't. It's purely revenge for what happened to my wife Kathy and all of the others who were murdered by these psychos. If every one of them died tomorrow, I'd be a happy man. However, we all know that won't happen," Steve told Willow and her friends.

"Frank and I have been working together on and off for the last four years. Mulder and I have tracked down a several serial killers together. There are others, but I won't mention who they are because, right now, they aren't your business."

The kid, Xander, asked, "Who trained you? No, normal person can kill one vampire, let alone five."

"I served three years in the Green Berets. Frank served seven years in the Navy SEALs.

"Scully and I are with the FBI." Mulder informed them. "My specialty is profiling, and Scully is as a forensic pathologist. We work the X-Files."

"The X-Files? I've heard that name before," Jenny remarked, looking very worried.

"We investigate the cases that deal with the paranormal, or that can't be explained within the normal boundaries of science," Mulder explained.

Willow's little group looked very worried. They can't make up their minds to run, or to find out more. The blonde girl, Buffy, looked at the four strangers, wondering what else they wanted from her.

Steve broke the silence. "Look we came here to talk and maybe work together. Why don't you tell us what is going on here."

Giles looked at his friends and they nodded their ascent. "Well, how can I explain this without sounding crazy?"

"Mr. Giles, I have just admitted to killing ten vampires, Frank, three. Mulder and Scully are hunting a blue skinned demon, would you care to top that?"

"Did you say, a blue skinned demon?" Buffy asked nervously.

 

"Yes, we have a DVD recording of a large blue skinned man, with horns, who causes people to spontaneously combust with a touch. The recording was shot here on the security cameras. The DVD also show him being blown up with an anti-tank missile called a Strella," Mulder explained. "We're here to find out what happened."

Buffy and her group looked very nervous at this.

Mulder looked to Scully, a thought passed between them. < These people know something about this. >

"Look, Giles, just start at the beginning. We won't make any judgments," Steve told him.

"Very well, but let me start at the true beginning," Giles states. "This world is older than any of you know, and contrary to popular mythology it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons, Demons walked the earth; made it their home -- their Hell. In time they, the Demons, lost their purchase on this reality, and the way was made for the mortal animals. For Man. What remains of the Old Ones are vestiges: certain magic’s, certain creatures, and vampires. As long as there have been Demons and Vampires, there has been the Slayer. One girl in all the world, a Chosen one, born with the strength and skill to hunt vampires, and other deadly creatures. To find them where they gather and to stop the spread of their evil, and the swell of their numbers.

"The town of Sunnydale sits on top of the Hellmouth. The Hellmouth is the sole remaining way that demons can re-enter this world. If it is re-opened, then the demons can come back. Because of this, it is also a mystical convergence that draws such magical creatures as vampires and demons here in greater quantities than would be normally seen. The previous Master vampire attempted to re-open it but was stopped by Buffy and us. Buffy was killed during this. Buffy was the only Slayer for this generation for quite a long time. Since everyone here knows about Immortals especially how you become one, a new Slayer called Kendra was called when Buffy died the first time.

“Right now, Kendra works out of Jamaica,” Giles continued “After we discovered what had happened to Buffy, Jenny agreed to be her teacher.”

"And what is your purpose in this, Mr. Giles?" Steve asked

"I'm her Watcher," Giles stated. "A Watcher serves by finding the next Slayer, leading her on her path. It is the destiny of the Watcher to guide the Slayer. Also when one Slayer dies, the next is called and trained by the Watcher."

"Mr. Giles, would you mind showing me the wrist of your left arm?" Mulder asked.

Giles exposes his left wrist wondering about the strange request. There is no tattoo there.

"The group that Watches the Slayer, which Giles belongs to, isn’t the same one that Watches us Immortals,” Jenny said to Mulder. 

 

"I died last June,” Buffy said.  “Jenny taught all of us about Immortals.”

 

"I see.  For now let's relax a bit, Frank could you and Xander go get us all something to drink?" Xander and Frank get everyone's orders and went to the Donut Shop.

"When they get back, can you tell us everything that has happened around here with your group?"

"First we would like to know what your plans are," Giles says.

"Let’s wait until Frank and Xander get back, before we start any more discussion," Steve replied

No one bothers to talk until Xander and Frank came back with the drinks and a dozen donuts.

"So, did we miss anything?" Frank asked.

"Nope, no one spoke a word."

"You owe me five bucks, Frank," Xander commented.

Everybody looked at Xander and Frank suspiciously, as an embarrassed Frank handed over the five dollars to Xander.

"You two are quite buddy-buddy, since when?" Steve asked.

Frank smiled and looked at Xander. "The kid bet me five bucks that no one would talk until we came back. I figured, knowing both you and Dana, that it was a safe bet."

Scully shot her cousin a dirty look while Mulder chuckled.

"Let's get back to business. Mr. Giles you wanted to know what our plans are, correct?" Giles nodded "Well, I just moved into this town, and I won’t be run off by vampires. Also, knowing there are vampires out there, I won't sit idly by either. I plan on hunting them and killing as many as possible."

"You're going to hunt the vampires. Do you know what you're getting yourself into?" Buffy stated.

"Yes, as Willow can attest, I can handle myself quite well."

"What about your three friends here, what are they going to do while you hunt?" Giles asked.

"Mulder, and Scully are based out of D.C., they can't stay here long. Their superiors in the Bureau won't allow it. Frank has a business in New York City which he can't run from here. They will be leaving, I'm staying."

"Why are YOU here Mr. St. Wolf? Why are you staying?" Giles asked

"Well, before I knew there were vampires in town, I agreed to go into business with someone local here. I won't break my word to them, and now I can't leave with a clear conscience, knowing what I do."

"May I ask what business is it that you do?" asked Giles.

"Certainly, I deal in antiques."

Buffy suddenly spoke, "You're the new sales guy hired by Mr. Lancaster at Lancaster Antiques, aren't you?" she asked.

Steve looked at her before answering. "That's correct. May I know how you came about this information?"

Buffy giggled, her friends looked surprised. "Well, you met my mom. She was talking to Mrs. Lancaster when you came into the shop on Tuesday." < Mom, was right, this guys is a major hunk. >

"Your mother is Joyce Summers?"

Buffy nodded. "Small world, huh?"

"Yeah, getting smaller by the minute it seems."

"Now, would you mind giving us a run down on what's been happening around here? Can’t sound any stranger than what we heard so far."

“Don’t bet on it.” Xander said.

Giles looked at each of his friends and each nodded in turn.

"Very well then." Giles began a history of the past two years, listing multiple attempts by the local vampires to commit mass murders. Various demons. Possessions. Animated corpses. Witch craft. Invisible people. Werewolves. An android (?), and the Order of Teraka.

 

Steve, Frank, Mulder, and Scully sat in stunned disbelief. Steve turned to Frank with an expression of awe on his face. Mulder and Scully have the same expressions. They can't believe this bunch of kids has done so much, in such a short time. It boggles the mind. Added to that the fact that they didn't get any outside help really surprises Steve. Steve's respect for them goes up quite a few notches.

"Well, Steve, you said these kids had potential, but this much?" Frank commented respectfully.

"Well, I guess that solves the case we were working on." Mulder commented. "Don't worry, we won't arrest you for stealing that missile. As far as the Bureau is concerned, it never happened, and we'll run interference with the Army CID as well. We'll make sure the investigation gets buried."

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief at Mulder's comment.

"This does leave one question: Where do we go from here? What are our options?" Giles asked

"There are three options," Steve stated. "The first one is that we work together, helping each other in all ways, including training and weapons. The second is that we work together occasionally, but still trade information. The third is we work completely separate, neither group acknowledging the others existence. I prefer the first.” Steve looked at his watch, and noticed the time. “It’s getting late. Why don’t we call it a night, and meet up again tomorrow?”

Giles considered this a moment. “That sounds like a great idea. How about tomorrow before school?” he asked Steve.

“Why not make it after school? That would work better for me.” Steve replied

“Very well, we’ll see you in the school library after classes tomorrow.”

“I’m looking forward to it.” Steve said as everyone got up to go their separate ways for the night.

*****

Steve then turned to Mulder, and Scully. "Scully, Frank and I will meet you on the Main Street side of the mall. I'll be driving a dark blue, four door Blazer."

"Why are we meeting you?" Mulder asked.

"Because I accepted his invitation to stay at his house while we're here." Scully informed her partner.

"Scully, we hardly know this guy." Mulder stated.

"Mulder, I know my cousin Frank." She turned to Frank. "Frank, do you think anything will happen to us at Steve's house."

"Other than the odd vampire attack, no." Frank replied with a wicked grin.

Mulder turned to Steve, "Steve, thanks for the invitation. Hope you don't regret it."

"Why,"

"Because Scully snores rather loud... Oomph," Mulder's reply was broken off by the judicious placement of Scully's elbow into his ribs.

Frank and Steve watched them go. "Frank, those two make quite a pair." Steve commented

"That they do, Steve that they do." Frank replied.

Frank and Steve get to their car and get to the Main Street exit just as Mulder, and Scully pulled up. Steve rolled down his window.

"Mulder, just follow me. It’s only about ten minutes from here."

*****

Part 13 - A Midnight Meeting
(Pizza Comes with Two Free Toppings - Vampires are Extra)

Mulder and Scully followed Steve back to his house. They pulled up next to his car just outside the garage.

"It's a lovely home, Steve." Scully replied as they entered.

"Thanks, but I just moved in. I'll order some pizza for dinner.”

“Considering the night life in this town I would love to have the garlic concession around here.” Mulder quipped. “It must be a really popular topping for pizzas around here..”

Steve ignored him as he asks “Does pepperoni, extra cheese and mushrooms bother anybody, no, good? Soda and beers are in the fridge. Your room is just up the stairs, first on the right." Steve informed them as Frank and Mulder moved the luggage up there.

Steve ordered the pizza from the same place as before. Ted took the order and said he'll be over as soon as the pies are done.

"So, Scully what do you really think of the place?"

"Steve, like I said, it’s quite lovely. Somehow I just can't imagine you living here though." She told Steve.

"I just moved in, three days ago, the previous owner was a drug dealer that had been turned into a vampire. He and two friends visited me on my first night here," Steve told her in greater detail what happened.

"You flushed almost forty pounds of drugs down the toilet? Why didn't you report it to the police?"

"Because they would have taken over the house and attempted to seize it under the RICO statutes. Then, where would I live?"

Mulder, and Frank joined Scully and Steve in the living room. Scully had slipped her shoes off, and was sitting Indian style on the couch.

 

"So, any interesting conversation topics, Scully." Mulder asked as he sat down next to her on the sofa. Frank tossed Steve a soda, and handed Scully hers while Mulder poped open his ice tea.

 

"So what have been doing with yourself these last couple of years, Wanderer?" Mulder asked

"Mulder, just call me Steve. Well, you remember that first serial killer we were both hunting?" Mulder nodded, remembering his first case as an FBI agent. "Well, he turned out to be a three hundred year old sorcerer. He was collecting the souls of his victims to bring back a couple of demons. Ask Frank, he helped me on that one."

Frank nodded his head, "Yeah, I remember that one all too well. I had to clean dragon shit out of my plane for a week after that one."

Scully looked at Frank, "Dragon shit? What do you mean by that, Frank?"

"Dana, this nut case friend of mine found six baby dragons, and, can you believe this, a virgin princess, in that sicko's castle. He had me help him rescue them before he blew up the joint." Frank then told them the entire story:

*****

Paris, France
March 2002

Frank Iverson was walking down the Chane de le Say, looking for an open bar, when he heard a fight going on in an alley. He decided to walk away, but the scream of a child forced his hand.

He pulled out his gun and rushed into the alleyway. As he moved purposefully in the darkness of the alley, he saw a sight that should have come from a horror film.

A man was standing in front of a group of seven children, fighting off a pack of what couldn't possibly be dogs. They were too large, and misshapen. All fangs, claws, and bones. He watched as the man stood his ground fighting the things with a sword.

 

<Why, in the world is that guy using a sword?> Frank thought as he watched the man's sword glowing a pale blue in color as it cuts the animals down. Each time the sword cuts one of them, they scream an unearthly screech before disappearing. Frank moved forward, and rests his Colt 1911 on a box preparing to shoot several of the animals to give the man and children a chance to escape. As he placed his notched sight on the head of the first dog he's going to kill, a bright light filled the alleyway, and suddenly a man is standing in the midst of the dog pack. He looked around and saw the man defending the children.

"Mortal, I am the sorcerer Marcus. Those children are my master's property. Leave now and I'll let you live, continue interfering and I'll destroy you," he tried to command the man with the glowing sword.

Frank watched as the man straightened up and calmly told him, "Go fuck yourself, asshole. These kids are under my protection and I'm going to return them to their parents."

Frank grins in the darkness, liking this guy already. < This guy's got balls, he's still facing at least a dozen of those monsters along with this weird guy, and he tells him to go fuck himself. Man's definitely SEAL material. > He then adjusted his aim and calmly got Marcus into his sights.

As Marcus started to wave his hands, Frank shot him in the back of the head. The results are spectacular. The man suddenly withers and turns to dust as the bullet splatters his brains across the alleyway. The dogs split into two groups and four rushed Frank, while the remaining eight rushed the man with the sword. Frank calmly shoots each dog in the head as they come after him and the dogs just disappeared.

As Frank shot the last dog coming after him, he watched the man with the sword clean house with the remaining eight. The man is now facing three dogs all that remained of the eight that went after him. Frank watched as he moves to get a better angle to shoot them down. One of the dogs rushed forward and feints back, while the other two attack to either side. The man rushed forward and the two dogs collide with each other. The swordsman moved quickly and cuts off both of their heads. While he does this, he left his back exposed. The third dog rushed forward and leaped onto his back, racking it with his claws. Frank winches at the pain the guy must be feeling. As he watched the man slammed the dog into the wall by rushing it backwards. The creature yelps and let’s go. The man quickly turns around, and slashes it open from head to hind legs. Frank watched as the swordsman stood there, breathing heavily, watching the shadows. Frank then moved into the light and asked. "What the hell just happened here?"

 

The swordsman started at the question turning to see Frank facing him with a pistol. He smiled. "Thanks for the helping hand, friend. Those things might have gotten past me to the kids." The man lifted  his head, as though he heard something. "We'd better get out of here. The local cops will be here in a few minutes and I don't think they'll believe us if we tell them the truth about what happened here tonight."

Frank is about to argue, but one of the children asked, in a fearful voice. "Misters, are you going to take us home? I want to see my mom and dad."

Frank’s reply is caught in his throat as he moved to help the swordsman with the children. < This guy can't be bad, these kids aren't scared of him. >

"C'mon, I have a friend close by. He'll give us sanctuary," The swordsman told Frank as they hurried down the street with the children in tow.

Frank is doing drag, making sure the kids can keep up. The swordsman led them down several blocks until they came to a church. The swordsman knocked on the door and he stepped back as the door opened. A monk stood in the doorway, and looks over the scene before him. He looks at the swordsman and asks, "What happened, Steve?"

"Your information was correct, Darius. I found the children where our friend said they were. Now I need to get them safely inside, before we have anymore unwelcome guests."

The brother nodded and led the group into the church, another monk stood there, awaiting. Brother Darius orders, "Brother Michael, get some warm milk for the children, and some coffee for our two friends."

"It shall be done, Brother Darius." Michael replied as he bowed slightly to Brother Darius, before rushing off to do his work.

Brother Darius sits down by the altar. He then calmly asked the children to come forward. He blessed each child in turn asking them to quietly sit down in the front pew. The children do as they are instructed. Frank watched what's going on and asked himself. < What the hell have I gotten myself into this time? >

Brother Darius and the man called Steve now are standing quietly together talking. Frank walked over and asked, "What the hell is going on here? Who are you people? Who are these kids? And what the fuck happened in that alley back there?"

Both men turned to Frank, one with amusement in his eyes, the other with worry. The man called Steve introduces himself. "Sorry, friend, sometimes, I forget my manners. My name is Steven St. Wolf, this gentleman is Brother Darius. And you are?

"Frank Iverson."

"Very well, Mr. Iverson, the children, were kidnaped from their families yesterday. Darius found out about the kidnaping and since he knew I was in Paris, he asked for my help in getting them back."

"Alright, Mr. St. Wolf, I'll believe that. Now just what the hell were those things in the alleyway? I've never seen dogs like that before. Also who exactly was that Marcus guy who just appeared out of nowhere?"

Brother Darius answered those questions, "Those things were called hell hounds, Mr. Iverson. They're controlled by a very evil man who wanted to hurt those children to further his power and ambitions. Mr. St. Wolf prevented that from happening. The man calling himself Marcus was this man's principle and most trusted lackey. Thank you for removing him from this fight. It'll make things much easier for us when we face his master."

"Face his master? Are you two nuts? If he can control those things, what else can he control?" A shocked Frank asked.

"If our information is correct, quite a bit actually," St. Wolf calmly replied.

"And you're still going to fight, knowing that?"

"Yeah, I have this bad Don Quixote complex. I just can't sit idly by and watch innocents being hurt." St. Wolf replied with a grin. Brother Darius just smiled and clapped his friend on his shoulder.

"You people are nuts. How the hell did I ever get involved is beyond me."

"Your reasons are behind you, all seven of them." Brother Darius replied with a smile.

Frank turned around and looked at the seven children he helped save earlier. He felt the truth of Brother Darius's statement. Frank mentally kicked himself for what he said next. "What can I do to help take this bastard out?" Frank turned back around and found both men smiling at him. < Shit, what did I just agree to? >

"First, what kind of ammunition are you using in your gun?" Steve asked.

"Hollow point, Silver Tips. Why do you ask?"

"Because normal ammunition shouldn't have killed them. May I see one of your bullets?" Darius asked.

Frank pulled out his gun and released the magazine and pulled a round out. He handed it to Darius, putting back the still loaded magazine. Darius looked over the round and smiled. He turned to Frank and Steve telling them. "These bullets contain a large amount of silver. No wonder those hell hounds died when they were shot with these. Silver is a deadly poison to them. Do you know where we can get more of it?"

"Yeah, the dealer I use had a whole case of the stuff. I can get more of it tomorrow. Can I ask a question?"

Both men nodded their heads in agreement.

"Why did your sword glow blue when you fought those things in the alley?"

Steve smiled as he pulled out the sword. "The simplest way to explain it is to say that my sword is enchanted." Frank looked dubious. "The long explanation is that the sword was created by Merlin in Japan about a thousand years ago to aid humanity in its fight against the darkness."

"The same Merlin who created Excalibur?" a shocked Frank asked.

"The very same, except in Japan he was called ‘Fire'," Steve replied with a smile as an owl landed on his shoulder. He turned to it and asked "So, Archimedes, have they located King's lair yet?"

Frank is shocked when the bird replied in a cultured British accented voice. "Yes Wanderer, they have. King is in an ancient castle located in the Pyrenees Mountains. You'll need to get there in a hurry, the bastard is getting ready to sacrifice six young wurms, and a virgin princess. Since he lost Marcus, he doesn't have anybody he trusts enough to guard them, so he's going to sacrifice them now."

"Can Fragnar make it in time to help?" Steve asked the bird.

"No, he's fighting a demon lord in South America with the Knights of the Grail. They're winning, but it'll take a while."

"Damn, I'm going Darius, can you get me a plane tonight?"

"I don't have anyone for at least three days, Steve."

"Yes you do." Both men turned to face Frank.

"What do you mean Frank?"

"I'm a pilot and I have a DC-3 ready to leave now."

"Frank, you don't have to do this. This isn't your fight."

"Bull shit!! The moment I saw those kids in trouble, it became my fight. So don't try and talk me out of it. It might work," Frank replied with a grin.

Both Steve and Darius laughed, as they clapped Frank on the shoulder. Steve then asked. "So, Frank, got any combat experience?"

"I was a Navy SEAL for seven years. Care to top that?" Frank prompted Steve..

"Sorry, old son, I was a Special Forces Pathfinder/Sniper for seven years. That makes us about even, I'd say."

"How many tours did you go on?" Frank asked about the number of classified missions completed by the man called St. Wolf.

"One hundred, thirty one, completed and confirmed."

Frank shook his head in awe. "God man, I thought you were crazy earlier, but I see now that's a normal state of mind."

Darius laughed and Steve just chuckled

"Let's get some sleep. We'll need it for tomorrow." Steve commented.

"Where?" Frank asked

"The pews, this way we can guard the children as well."

*****

Frank awoke the next morning to the smell of coffee. As he stretched, he fell out of the pew. He jerked up when he heard the giggles coming from the children in the pew in front of him. He gave them a dirty look, but when they started to laugh, he relaxed into a grin. He noticed Steve and Darius standing off to one side drinking coffee. He went over to them to find a cup waiting for him as well.

"Good morning, Frank." Both of them tell him as he reached for his cup.

"What's the plan for today?"

"First we get weapons and some explosives. Your friend wouldn't mind providing such things to us?"

"Jean-Claude? If the money is real, he won't have any problems."

"Good, then we will leave in about fifteen minutes. Darius will stay, and protect the children."

"Why not just return them to their parents today?" Frank asked.

"Because King will try to steal them again. Then their parents will be hurt, probably killed in the process. Darius and the church will protect them, while we deal with King, permanently."

"What did you tell the kids?"

"The truth. For some reason they believed us, and understand the dangers," Steve told Frank as the oldest boy walked up to them.

"Sirs, my name is Timothy Higgins," He began. "We would like to thank you two for saving us last night. We know we should have done so last night, but we were all tired and needed to sleep." He stammered, nervous at talking to the three strangers. "So, on behalf of all of us, thank you."

"You're welcome, Tim." Steve calmly told the boy. "You and your friends understand, that Frank and I have to go soon and finish this fight?"

 

"Yes sir, we do. We also understand that we have to stay here to be better protected by the Brother. Sir?" The boy stuttered, "May I ask who are you, and why you rescued us? You don't have to tell me, if you don't want to."

"Well, Tim, my name is Steve St. Wolf, this man," Frank nodded his head. "Is Frank Iverson, the Brother is named Darius. The reason we rescued you was simple. You needed our help and we helped because it was the right thing to do."

"Thank you, Mr. St. Wolf, Mr. Iverson, and Brother Darius. I'll tell the others." Then he goes back and talked to the other children.

Frank felt a lump in his throat as he watched the children sit and talk amongst themselves. He started as he heard Steve tell him.

"Kind of, gets you right in the heart."

"Yeah, gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, I haven't had in a long time."

"Feels good doesn't it?"

"Yeah, I could definitely get used to it."

"Well," Steve replied as he looked at his watch. "We'd better get over to your friend's place."

As they exited the church, Steve walked over to a nearby garage and gave the man sitting there a ticket. The man got up and left A few minutes later he drove out a green Land Rover. Steve tipped him as they both got in. As they pulled away, Steve asked, "Which way to your friend's place?" Frank gave an address in the dock area of Paris.

Twenty minutes later they arrived at Jean-Claude's warehouse. As they entered they can hear two men arguing.

"I tell you, Jonathan, none of my sources have been able to locate him." A French accented voice spoke out.

"I don't care, Jean-Claude. Thomas and I'll search every building in this city to find my grandson. Now please give us the weapons we asked for." An English accented voice ordered

"Higgins, calm down. You said so yourself ,Jean-Claude will help us. Just give him some time," an American voice urged.

Frank and Steve turned to each other and shook their heads. "It can't be." Frank muttered as they turned the corner, they saw three people standing at a counter. A short man dressed in a three piece suit wearing a beret. Another man slightly taller, about 5'6", dressed in khaki and the third man was wearing jeans, a shirt and a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. He stood about 6'2". All three turned as Frank and Steve entered the office.

"What do you want, Iverson?" Jean-Claude asked, angry at being interrupted.

"I need some more of that Silver Tip ammo, and some guns." Frank replied.

"Why?"

"Because my friend and I have some business to finish. The ammo will help and if you have them, two Thompson machine guns equipped with silencers, as well."

"Yes, I can sell those to you. It'll cost you ten thousand American. When can you get me the money?"

"Right now." Steve replied as he tossed Jean-Claude a packet of money.

Jean-Claude opened it a huge smile formed on his face as he counted it. A few seconds later he asked. "When do you need the weapons and ammunition?"

"Right now. We'll load the magazines ourselves."

 

"All right, let me get you your things, then you can leave. I have other business to finish today. How many magazines will you need?"

 

"Twenty five per gun, plus the Silver Tip ammunition. Do you have any Colt 1911 magazines as well?"

"Yes, would ten a piece, plus ammo, be enough?"

"Yes, it will, thank you."

 

Jean-Claude yelled out orders to one of his men, standing off to one side and the man rushed off to get the weapons. Before he turned back to his two other customers, Jean-Claude asked. "Iverson, have you heard anything about some missing kids? Mostly American and some British?"

"Why?" Frank asked

"Because these two men are looking for them."

Frank and Steve look over the two, and then shook their heads. "No, we haven't heard a thing."

Suddenly a tapping sound is heard at the window. Everybody turned to it and watched amazed as an owl tapped on it. Steve turned to Jean-Claude, "Can that window be opened?"

Jean-Claude nodded and pressed  a switch, the window rose and Archimedes flew in and landed on Steve's shoulder. "Archimedes, what is it?"

"Wanderer, King has sent another of his lackeys, and two dozen hounds. They're going to try to take the children back. Darius doesn't know if he can hold them back. You have to come back."

"Shit, you know we have to go. If that bastard kills the wurms, I don't know what Fragnar, or his people will say or do."

"You don't have a choice."

"Yes I do." Steve told Archimedes as he turned to the three men looking at him strangely. After all talking to an owl, and having the owl talk back is not something you see every day.. He looked at the man dressed in Khaki and asked, "Are you looking for a ten year old boy named Timothy Higgins?"

The man in Khaki rushed forward and grabbed Steve by the shirt and forced him against the wall. Archimedes hurriedly flew from Steve's shoulder and landed on a girder. Higgins's eyes blazed anger as he rasps out. "He had better be alive and sound, or so help me God you both are dead men."

"Your grandson is alive and well, sir. Frank, and I rescued him along with six other children last night from where they were being held. We left him in the care of Brother Darius, who lives at St. Mary's church on Rue Morgan. Now if you'll let me go, I'll explain what's going on.

"First, we call the church." Thomas told everyone. He then grabbed a phone and requests the phone number from information. He got it and dialed the church. He spoke briefly with Brother Darius and then handed the phone to Higgins, who immediately spoke with his grandson. He listens to his description of what happened the previous night and then tells his grandson, "Thomas and I will be over in a short while. We'll see you then."

Steve then explained the situation to Higgins and his friend Thomas. As he continues, he can see disbelief in their eyes as he explained what he has to do. As he finished, Steve sees Higgins back stiffen up and his eyes take on a cold, hard gleam. He turned to Jean-Claude and asked, "Jean-Claude I would like to order the same items as these two men have, plus a pair of Colt 1911s."

"I'll also need some grenades, plastique and an answer to a question." Steve added.

"A moment, gentlemen, and I will get you everything you need." Jean-Claude told them as he called for five of his men. He gave them an abridged version of the story and all five move to prepare for the coming battle at the Church.

"The question, sir?" Jean-Claude asked

"Where did you get the ammunition?"

"Why?"

"I want to know where to purchase more of it at a later date."

"I don't know, Monsieur. It was gotten off an unmarked truck. The original shipping documents call for it to be delivered to the U.S. FBI's Bureau 13. I've never heard of it.

"Neither have I. Thanks for the information though, Jean Claude. What do I owe you for the grenades and plastique?"

"As you Americans say ‘it's on the house'."

With that Steve, and Frank gathered their weapons, magazines, and ammunition. Soon they are preparing to leave. Higgins stopped them both at the door and took their hands. "Gentlemen, I apologize for my earlier behavior and thank you for saving my grandson and those other children. I also want to wish you luck on your mission."

"Just guard them and the church well. Brother Darius is a dear friend and I don't want anything to happen to him."

"I will lay my life down for the man, rest assured sir," Higgins told Steve.

*****

Mulder and Scully sat quietly entranced by the story as Frank told it. Scully looked to Mulder and then asked, "Bureau 13? I thought that was only a FBI myth."

"You mean you've also heard of it?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, there's always rumor's going on about them. Though no one's ever been able to prove anything," Mulder commented.

"Interesting, do you think we'll ever run into them?"

"No, they're only a myth. Nothing but stories told around the cafeteria to scare rookie agents," Mulder replied with a grin. "Now finish the story Frank."

*****

Frank, and Steve left the warehouse immediately heading to the airport. Thirty minutes later, at the airport, Frank called in a favor and the Rover is allowed through without a search. They loaded up the plane and Frank called in for flight clearance.

As Frank's DC3 is taxing up the runway, Steve entered the cabin and grabbed the co-pilot's seat. He grabbed the head phones and asked Frank, "How long until we get there?"

"About two hours."

"Good, I'll field strip the guns and load the ammo, while you fly."

Frank grinned, "Just make sure you don't forget my firing pin."

Steve grinned back. "Sure, not a problem. I always forget the triggers any way."

Frank looked at Steve's grin and lauged..

*****

Two hours later, Frank's DC3 landed on a deserted stretch of road near the castle. Both men got out and checked out the surrounding area. As they looked, a quiet rustling is heard in the bushes. Steve held up his hand and waited. After a few seconds they moved out again. The noise followed them.

As they approached a clearing the noise intensified and both men stood at the edge and waited They watched as a large wolf entered the clearing and stood up. Franks hissed between his teeth. Steve looked at the werewolf and grinned. The werewolf growled rushing them. Steve picked up his Thompson firing a short burst into the werewolf's chest and the animal let out a long howl of anguish as it falls to the ground, dead.

Frank turned to Steve and asked. "How'd you kill it?"

Steve grinned as he replies. "The only way to kill a werewolf is to shoot it with a silver bullet. Our bullets happen to be made out of silver."

"Oh, yeah. Forgot about that."

"Let's go, there shouldn't be any more guards out."

"Why?

"Because werewolves hate everybody. If King sent out any other guards the werewolf would kill them as well."

The pair then moved to the castle proper and silently entered through an open gate. Steve and Frank checked each shadow as they moved silently to the front door.

As they entered the castle, Steve spotted a guard sleeping in a chair near the door. Steve snuck over to him and put away his rifle, and side arm, handing them to Frank. As the guard awoke, Steve placed the barrel of the Thompson into his mouth. The man doesn't make a noise as Steve asked, "Where's King?" The man pointed to an archway off to the left. Steve smiled and then takes the barrel out and slammed the guards headed with the butt stock. Frank winced at the noise his skull makes.

Frank asked in a whisper. "Was that really necessary?"

Steve looked at him and spoke in a calm, controlled voice. "That bastard is one of King's ‘trusted' servants. How many people do you think he has helped King murder? That piece of shit doesn't deserve any mercy."

Frank shuddered at Steve's resolve, and pressed on. They entered through the archway on the right. Frank looked around, and asked. "Why are we going in a different direction?"

"Because that bastard was going to send us to our deaths. I'd lay money down that he was pointing to a trap. So we do this the hard way."

A few minutes later, as the duo is rounding a turn, a beautiful girl ran past them screaming at the top of her lungs. Following her closely are a half dozen guards. As she passed Frank and Steve, they let loose with the silenced Thompsons and all six fall into a heap. The girl is lying on the floor in a quivering heap. They carefully moved to her, and Steve checked her, while Frank covered the hall.

"Can you hear me?" Steve asked in English as he touched her shoulder.

The girl jumped and looked around and saw the guards, bleeding from being dead. She looked at Steve, and Frank noticed that they are strangers. In German she asked, "Who are you men? Do you serve the evil sorcerer?"

Steve replied in German, "No. We're here to kill him. Who are you and where can we find him?"

"My name is Katherine. The sorcerer is through that door way." She pointed at a door located at the end of the hall. "He waits there to feed me to six young dragons. When I saw what was going to happen, I kicked one of my guards, and ran away. Please don't take me back."

"We wouldn't, but we have to kill him. Do you want to stay here, wait, possibly risk getting captured by his other guards, or come with us and help us fight."

The girl's back stiffened with resolve and she told Steve. "I'm a daughter of the House of Hapsburg. I'll fight." With this, she got up and took several knives off the dead guards, leaving their guns.

Steve took Frank aside and told him. "The girl's name is Katherine. She told me that King was going to feed her to the baby dragons, so I think she's the virgin princess. I told her she could stay here or fight. She wants to fight." Frank grinned, liking the girl already.

The trio moved to the door in question and enter. The sorcerer has his back turned to them. As Katherine moves forward, she stumbled. The noise is noticed by King. He doesn't bother to turn around as he orderd. "So, you bumbling fools finally caught her. Don't just stand there, throw her into the pit."

Both Steve and Frank grinned at each other as they raised their submachine guns emptying their magazines into the dark sorcerer.

Each Thompson spews forth fifty rounds of silver coated death. As the bullets smashed into King’s head, and back, the sorcerer tried to turn around. Finally, he fell to the ground, and laid there. Steve immediately changed out his magazine, and emptied it into the supine form of the sorcerer. Frank followed suit, sending all fifty rounds into the head and shoulders of the body, turning it into a red and gray mass. Steve, then took out his sword and cuts the body up. Then he, with Frank's help piled up the parts and laid a Thermite grenade under it. The trio moved to the side as the grenade incinerated King's body.

Katherine watched this in wonder. She then turned around and asks Steve. "Will you also kill the dragons?"

"No, the dragons are coming with us. Their families will want them back."

"You deal with dragons? What sort of man are you?"

"I'm the man who has just rescued you. Don't ask too many questions and we'll get along just fine." Then Steve turned to Frank, "The dragons will stay here for now. I want to clean out this castle, and get them some food. The bastard has starved them in order to make them want to eat Katherine."

Frank nodded his head, and they left the pit room. They searched the castle for more of the sorcerer's lackeys, but it appeared as though they have all run away when King was killed. Still searching, they found King's treasure throve and marveled at the loot. Steve grinned as he drew a circle around the gold and jewels while uttering an incantation. The treasure disappeared. Frank is shocked and asked, "Where did the treasure go?"

"To a safe place," Steve grinned as he walks out the door. Frank shook his head and followed/.

Soon, they finished the search and headed back to the kitchen. There, all three loaded up on meat and headed back to the pit. At the edge of the pit, they threw in the meat and waited. After a few minutes the dragons settled down and finish eating. As they finished, Steve lowers himself down and pets the nearest dragon. The dragon just looked at him, as he calmly removes a charm, and lets the dragon sniff it. The baby immediately rubs itself against Steve, and softly hisses. Steve then calmly picked it up and handed it to Frank, who pulled it over the edge. The baby dragon moves over to the side and waited, watching Frank, and Steve lift the rest of its brothers and sisters out. After they finish, Frank asked, "What is that thing?"

"It's a charm a friend of mine gave me. It shows other dragons that I'm a friend and will help them."

"Where'd you get it?"

"From another dragon."

"Oh," Frank replied as it dawned on him.

After all of the dragons are out of the pit, Steve and Frank planted explosives around the castle. After they finished, they led the princess and the dragons a short distance off and blew the place up. The group watches as the flames engulf the castle and they turned around and left.

All six dragons followed Frank, Steve, and Katherine back to the plane. As they got near the plane, Katherine asks asked "What manner of plane is that?"

"It's called a DC-3." Steve explained.

"Are you going to take me home?"

"First the dragons go home, then you." Steve replied.

"I am royal blood. I demand to be treated as such."

< A royal pain is more like it. > Steve thought to himself as he replied. "I am taking the dragon’s home first, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Am I understood?"

"You are no gentleman."

"I never said I was."

Frank looked on as Steve and Katherine argued, finally he asked Steve what's going on. "That royal bitch wants us to take her home first. However, I have to get the dragons back to their families as soon as possible, before some other nut case tries to steal them."

"I got no problems with that. Where do I take them?"

"You'll see." Steve replied with a grin.

When they get to the plane, Frank lowered the rear ramp and all six dragons scampered up, into the plane. After all of the dragons are secured, Frank went through his pre-flight check list and wondered why Steve calmly sat there in the co-pilots seat. As Franks started up the engines, the dragons roared a challenge, but immediately quiet down. Katherine started to complain in German about unwanted animals while Steve calmly told her something in German. The girl immediately shuts up. Curious, Frank asked, "What'd you tell her?"

Smiling an evil grin, Steve translated, "I told her, that if she didn't shut up, I'd throw her from the plane."

Frank laughed and started the plane down the road runway.

"Frank take her up to 20,000 feet."

"Not a problem."

A few minutes later, the plane leveled off at 20,000 feet. Frank turned to Steve, "What now?"

Steve took out the dragon charm and told Frank, "This charm will open a gateway to Dragon Valley. We'll leave the babies there under the care of the adult dragons."

"You're kidding?"

"Nope. Be ready for a little turbulence," Steve told him as he activated the gateway. Suddenly, a shimmering appeared in front of the plane and Frank's instruments go crazy for a second. Then they're through and Frank couldn’t believe the sight in front of him. Full sized, adult dragons were flying escort to his plane. As Steve held up his charm the dragons banked away and Steve pointed to a road. "Land the plane there. Some of the council will be by in a few moments to take the kids."

Frank nods dumbly and quickly landed the plane. As he and Steve got out down the lowered ramp. Five of the largest dragons landed directly by the plane, several hundred landed on the cliffs, watching. The largest dragon lowered his head and spoke, "So, Wanderer, you are back among us. What brings you and your companions to us, this day?"

"Hello, Smaug. How's the leg?"

"It heals. Thank you for asking. Now, what business do you have here?"

"Just bringing back a few things." Steve replied as the six baby dragons came down the ramp. The five adult dragon's toke a deep breath and let out a roar, which is taken up by the dragons on the cliffs.

Frank looked around him, scared. He turned to Steve and asked. "What the hell is going on? Why are they roaring?"

Steve smiled at the sight and told Frank, "They're welcoming back their lost children and honoring us in the bargain."

Frank and Katherine looked on in wonder mixed with awe. The sight of so many dragons is spectacular.

The roar quieted down and Smaug addressed the three humans. "I, and all of my kind thank you for giving us back our children. Wanderer, we have had our differences, but I see now what Fragnar sees. You are a true friend to us and I ask your forgiveness for the harsh words I spoke against you."

"Forgiven and forgotten, Smaug. I never held those words against you. You were merely being careful. I can understand that."

Smaug lowered his head as he replied, "What of your companions? You are always welcome here. What about them?"

Steve turned to Frank and Katherine and told Smaug. "They know dragons exist, but not how to get to this valley. I will leave my charm here and the council will open a gateway for us, allowing us to leave. Dragon Valley will remain safe."

 

The council nodded their heads in agreement. Smaug spoke for them. "Very well, my friend, it will be done as you wished. We will always remember you as one of our truest friends. Thank you."

 

"Thank you, my friend. However we must leave now. The plane was at 20,000 feet when it went through the gateway. I don't want the area searched for a downed plane it might raise too many questions."

 

"The gate way will send you back only seconds after you entered it my friend. Never fear," Smaug replied as the council begins a chant.

Steve turned to Katherine and Frank. "Alright, people, we've got to go. A pair of dragons will escort us to another gateway. Let's go."

Frank skipped the pre-flight check and quickly turned the plane around and lifted off. Two adult dragons immediately placed themselves on either wing tip, guiding the plane to a patch of shimmering sky. As Frank was about to enter the patch, both dragons, let out roars and banked away. The DC-3 passed through and they found themselves flying over the destroyed castle, on their way to Paris.

*****

"So what happened to the princess?" Scully asked with a grin.

"We dropped her off in Paris. Her parents picked her up. They gave Steve, and me a million dollar reward for her safe return."

 

"What about the kids and Darius?" Mulder wanted to know..

"Higgins and his friends were able to defend the church. When we got there, the police were guarding the place. It turns out Jean-Claude was really working for the French Intelligence Service, their CIA."

"Why did your sword glow blue? And where did you get it?" Scully asked.

"I found Smaug stuck under a landslide in 2001. I used my sword to pry up the rocks trapping him, and it broke in the process. Smaug tried to kill me, but Fragnar stopped him. Fragnar told him that he owed me his life because I only sought to free him and not kill him. The sword was a gift from Fragnar, as token of his appreciation. By giving me the sword, he said that I could do a lot of good in the world. He told me the sword's history and its powers. I've used it quite a bit since then and it's never failed me." Steve explained “Except for the glowing part this sword looks exactly like one my first teacher, Duncan MacLeod gave me.”

"And what happened to the treasure trove?" Mulder asked with a grin.

"Steve and I split it. I used the money to start my air service, and Steve invested his. So, now I have a successful air service and Steve is worth sixty million dollars." Frank replied with a grin.

"Damn, that's a lot of money," Scully replies with a grin. "So, how badly did the dragons shit in your plane?"

"Badly, the guys at the airport almost keeled over because of it."

As Frank finished the story, the doorbell rang "That must be the pizzas." Steve commented.

"Do you want anyone to cover you while you answer the door?" Frank asked merrily. Scully started to giggle while  Mulder looked perplexed.

 

"No I DO NOT need anyone to cover me while I answer my front door, Thank you," Steve hotly informed Frank.

 

However, as he approaches the door, he loosens his gun in its holster. Frank, and Dana start to laugh. Mulder still looked confused, Dana leaned over and whispered in his ear. Mulder started to chuckle.

As Steve opened the door, he saw a smiling Ted standing outside.

"Hi Ted, what do I owe you"

"Hello Mr. St. Wolf, that'll be $26.40, for the pizzas."

"Here's thirty, Ted, keep the change."

"Ah Mr. St. Wolf., can I ask you something personal?"

"Depends, Ted, what is it?"

"You know a lot about guns, right?" Steve nodded as, Ted went on, "Can you teach me how to use one?"

 

"First question, Ted. Why?"

 

"Because I don't want to end up like my best friend, Mike, who was the other driver. They found him dead, last night."

Steve nodded, understanding Ted's problem. "Next question, do you have a gun"

"Yes sir, I do. Will you teach me?"

"Come back next Saturday afternoon at around three o'clock, and we'll talk about it some more." Steve told him.

"Thank you, Mr. St. Wolf."

"What took so long at the door?" Frank asked.

Steve told Frank, Mulder, and Scully about Ted's request and the way his face looked at the telling of his best friend's death.

"I am starting to hate Sunnydale. Kids don't need to bury their friends this early in life," Mulder commented

"That's what I want to change. However to do that, I'll need Buffy and her friends," Steve stated.

"What are we, chopped liver?" Frank commented, feeling cast aside.

 

"No, Frank. You, Mulder and Scully can't stay here permanently. It would raise too many questions in the wrong areas. However, if you decided to take a short vacation, now and then, to visit an old friend. No one will think it suspicious, and I won't mind putting you up in a guest room."

"You're right about us not being able to stay. Do you think that Buffy, and her group will work with you?" Mulder asked.

"Yeah, I think Buffy will let me help her. I’m sure Jenny taught her a lot, but I think there is more she can learn. She appears to really understand what her situation is here. I just glad you’re here Dana in case she has more questions about us.”

"What do you mean, Steve?" Scully asked.

"Dana, we all heard what that girl has been through the last couple of years. She's strong, and smart. She'll want to know as much as possible before making her decision about accepting me. I just think that the only person she might feels comfortable with to find out additional information from is you, another woman. Of course, she might accept me without needing more information, but I’m still glad that you’re here just in case."

Looking at the clock, Steve saw that it’s almost midnight. He turned to his three guests to wish them a good night.

"Look, it’s been a long, grueling day for all of us. Let's get some sleep. Breakfast will be at eight o'clock. I'll make scrambled eggs and bacon for all of us." He offered

"Sounds good to me." Mulder said. Dana, and Frank also agreed

"Alright, I'll cleanup here now. You all go get some sleep." Steve told them as he grabbed a trash bag from the kitchen.

Frank and Dana started to clean up the pizza boxes helping put them in the trash bag. After everything is cleaned up, Steve took the trash out to the cans. < Got to find out when trash pickup day is. >

As he's put the bag away in the can, something jumped him from behind trying to bite Steve on the neck. Steve threw it into the wall, by the side of the house.

*****

Frank, Mulder and Scully rushed out to see what all the noise was. Scully quickly putting her shoes back on. The vampire got up from where Steve had thrown him. When he saw Scully appear he suddenly thought he had a chance at a quick snack so he rushed at her. Scully pulled out her gun telling it to freeze. The vampire doesn't even slow down. Scully fired her pistol twice into the vampire. It doesn't feel a thing.

"What the hell!?" Scully said as she saw that her bullets didn’t do a thing.

`Meanwhile, Frank grabbed a piece of wood and reached over Scully stabbing the vampire in the heart, just before it reached her. The vampire turned to dust almost instantly.

"What was that thing, and what happened to it?" Mulder asked.

"Well, that was a vampire. The only ways to kill one is to stab it in the heart with wood, or behead it." Frank informed them. “Of course, there is the old standby. Set it on fire.”

The wail of police sirens broke the night as three Sunnydale police cars screeched to a halt in front of the house. < One of the neighbors must have made the call. >

"Halt, put your hands in the air or we open fire." One of the officers called out.

"Officer Carlson, isn't it?" Mulder called out.

"That's my name, who are you?" Carlson asked.

"FBI Special Agents Mulder and Scully, Officer Carlson. Remember we were talking to you this afternoon about those weird cases?"

"Using your left hands, take your badges out." Officer Carlson requested. Mulder and Scully complied. The other officers lowered their guns.

"What happened here? Why were shots fired? And by who?" Officer Carlson demanded.

Mulder stepped forward and explained. "Well Officer Carlson, we were having dinner here with Agent Scully's cousin Frank and his friend Steve." Carlson looks at them suspiciously. "Steve had just taken out the garbage when we heard him being attacked. We all rushed out to help, and saw Steve throw his attacker down the driveway. Dana, pulls out her service gun and tells the attacker to freeze, but the attacker just goes after her. When Dana sees that the mugger won't stop, she fires twice at him, missing both times. This causes the mugger to run away.

"Can you describe the mugger, Sir?" Officer Carlson asked.

"Yeah, a young adult male, about twenty five, Caucasian, dark hair, about six foot, wearing black clothing. Looked like he was high on something." Steve told the officer.

"I concur, officer, the mugger looked like he was high on PCP." Scully informed Officer Carlson. Mulder and Frank also agreed to the story.

Officer Carlson closed his note book. "A couple of detectives will be out tomorrow to see you all. Agents Mulder and Scully where will you both be staying?" Carlson asked.

"We'll be staying right here, Officer." Mulder informed him.

From the expression on Carlson's face, he didn't like the idea, but can't do anything about it.

"Very good. The detectives will see you all tomorrow then. Have a good night." Carlson put away his note book and left.

After the police left Frank said “I can’t believe that any competent person would believe that nonsense about muggers high on PCP to explain away all the vampire attacks in this town.”

“Whoever said that the Sunnydale Police Department is competent?” Steve replied.

“I know. It just sounds so stupid. I mean what’s next. Claiming that all the bodies with vampire bite marks are really the result of a large number of accidents with BBQ forks.”

Mulder, and Scully, closely followed by Frank, and Steve went back into the house.

In the living room Mulder, and Scully turned to Steve. "You’re going to be fighting those things with only the help of a bunch of kids? Are you nuts, Wanderer? You have absolutely *NO* Fucking right to involve those children." Mulder angrily stated.

"Hold on one minute Mulder, let me point out one fact: ‘Those children' have been fighting those things for two years *BEFORE* I came to this town. They have the edge on experience for fighting those things, not me." Steve reminded him.

Mulder thought back to the meeting earlier tonight. "Yeah, you're right Steve. You're not getting them involved. They're already involved." Mulder mused.

"Let's get some sleep, tomorrow's going to be a long day, and I want to be ready."

*****

Sunnydale High School Library
That Same Night

 

As the Slayer, and her friends left the food court at the mall, Oz, Amy and Cordelia joined them.

"Let's all meet back at the library. We have to talk about what just happened here," Giles said, Buffy nodded her agreement.

Everyone agreed to this plan of action as they headed back to their individual cars.

At the library, a grim group met to discuss the evening's events.

"Buffy, Giles, what do you two make of those four people that we met tonight?" Willow asked

Giles ponders the question a moment before replying. "Willow, Mr. St. Wolf and Mr. Iverson are probably, the two most dangerous individuals that I have ever met. They have the look of men being able to kill without a qualm. Also there are those two FBI agents, Mulder and Scully. They are probably just as dangerous in their own rights."

"They're even more dangerous, Giles." Jenny replied.

"Jenny, what do you mean? How can that be?" Giles asked.

"Simple, those two have been a team for about five years. In that five years they have personally defeated some very nasty people, and helped to bring down some very powerful individuals. Also, they have some very major people protecting them. Some people have tried to kill them, and suddenly found themselves very dead instead. Whoever is backing Mulder and Scully has some major fire power to back them up with." Jenny told them.

"There's something else." Amy stated, as all eyes turned to her. "I tried a scrying spell on them. The spell lets me see if they are carrying any magical items on themselves, or have been near any magic in the recent past."

"What did you see, Amy?" Giles asked.

"Does the description ‘Christmas Tree' mean anything?" Amy replied.

"You mean they have access to magic?" Jenny asked in a shocked whisper.

"Yes, some very strong magic. If that Mr. St Wolf had anymore magic, he might have blinded me." Amy commented

"Is he a sorcerer, then?" Giles asked.

"No, but he has some very potent magic. So do that pair in the black trench coats." Amy explains. "The guy who went with Xander to get the food had the least, but it was still quite noticeable."

"What about these ‘Others', St. Wolf mentioned. There could be an entire army backing these guys up." Xander mentioned.

"I think we're missing the point here," Giles commented. All eyes turned to him.

"The question that must be answered is: Do we work with them, merge our teams, so to speak? That is the question. What do you think, Buffy?" Giles asked looking at Buffy.

“We should,” Buffy replied.  “Can we break up this meeting and go home. I'm feeling really tired."

"Alright, Buffy, that’s a good idea. We are meeting Mr. St Wolf again after classes tomorrow, and you do need your rest." Giles said. The others nodded their agreement.

"Thanks guys. Cordelia, can you give me a lift home?" Buffy asked

"Yeah, sure no problem, I'm happy to be everybody's taxi service." Cordelia grouses.

The second meeting breaks up and everybody goes their own separate ways deep in thought.

*****

Part 14 - Girl Talk
(No Butts About It (Well Maybe a Little):))

At the breakfast the following morning, Steve recapped the events of the last three days with his three guests.

"So, what's on the agenda for today?" Frank asked

"I think that I'm going to start a wood working hobby today." Steve commented.

Mulder looked at him with a funny expression. "Steve, I've never imagined you as the Norm Abrams type."

"Mulder, where else am I going to get those wooden knives I like to throw at vampires?" He replied. "At the local K-Mart or Lumber supply house?"

“I was guessing at the local TARGET.” Mulder quipped.

"So, where are you going?" Scully asked.

"Probably to the local Sears, I noticed a sale on woodworking power equipment there yesterday. You three want to come along?"

"Not me," Scully said, "I'm going to type up the report concerning our little visit to this town. Mulder, you go with them."

 

"Why, Scully?" Mulder asked, grinning like a ten year old going to visit the toy store.

"Because every time power tools are mentioned, men tend to act like little boys. My father always acted like a small boy every time he went to the hardware store. I don't think you're any different, Mulder. You'll start pouting the moment these two leave." She pointed to Steve and Frank. "So go, have your fun. I'm staying," Scully said.

“Don’t put his wood working skills down, Dana. He couldn’t be any worse than this one fella who we meet in a small town in Northern Canada called Possum Lake. He had this handyman type show that broadcast out of this old road house called Possum Lodge.” Frank explained. “This guy had absolutely no idea what he was doing in the realm of anything having to do with tools. He also had a rather strange fixation with duct tape. This fella made Tim Allen’s character from Home Improvement look like Bob Villa.”

After listening to Frank, Mulder mentioned, “Possum Lake. There have been reports of some really crazy stuff happening up there.”

“Well more than likely this guy was probably behind it all. Apparently if something goes missing, goes haywire, gets run over, crashed into, or just plain blown up more than likely this guy had something to do with it. He’s kind of easy to spot thought with those red, and green suspenders he always wears,”  

"If you're staying, Scully, let me show you this." Steve said quickly changing the subject. He moved over to a part of the wall and showed her how to operate the hidden switch to one of his weapon's lockers.

He opened the locker and showed her the weapons contained in it.

"Steve, I count three assault rifles, one shotgun, a dozen grenades of various types and enough ammunition to fight off the local police and probably the National Guard. What are you planning for, a war?" Scully looked at him in disbelief.

"No Dana, I plan on being the last man standing if anything serious goes down. If that bothers you, I'm sorry."

"Dana, Steve's got the right idea, concerning this place. Those things don't play by the rules. You can't arrest a vampire," Frank commented.

"We did, once." Mulder replied

"Really? What happened?" Steve asked, curious.

"It escaped. When it escaped, it killed a lot of good people. When we found it again, we had to kill it and two that it had found. There was no way to control them," Mulder told them.

"Case in point. Let's go shopping guys.  We’ll take my car.” As Steve got his coat, he asked "Dana, you need anything while we're out?"

"Yes, bring me back something for lunch. Mulder knows what I like." Scully told them as they're going out the door.

*****

Part 15 - History Lessons
(School Work as Hobby? Forget About It.)

"Hi, Lucy, I'm home." Mulder does in a very bad Ricky Ricardo voice. "Have you and Ethel been cooking up plans to sneak into the show again?"

Dana started to giggle at Mulder's impression.  "Mulder that is the WORST Ricky Ricardo that I have ever heard," Dana commented between giggles.

Mulder reached down and kissed Scully on the cheek. "C'mon you two, let’s eat. Steve wouldn't let me nibble on anything on the way back here." Mulder complained.

"Steve, how did you keep him away from the food?" Dana asked. "I've never been able to."

"Simple Scully, I just left the food in the back of the car with Frank and told him to break Mulder's arm if he tried to sneak anything out."

“Speaking of Steve’s car, Frank here tells me that the darn thing is actually armored, and bulletproof.” Mulder told Scully as she was dishing out the food.

Scully did a double take, and said, “Mulder, I think Frank was pulling your leg.”

“No, he couldn’t reach it. Seriously, these two have an armored, bulletproof car with enough spy-type gizmos that would as Frank put it “make James Bond drool.””

“It’s true, Dana. Just like Mulder said. I bought it that way.” Steve told her.

Seeing the serious looks on their faces made Scully asked, “Steve, were in the world you get a car like that from?”

"Dana, I bought this car from a gentleman who specializes in ‘Very Special' cars for ‘Very Special' people.  The entire frame and body have been reinforced with steel plates.  The glass is bullet proof, up to a fifty caliber round. It has various weapons, and as Frank put it earlier, ‘This car would make James Bond drool’”. Steve told her.

 

Scully just shook her head. “You shouldn’t have told Mulder about the car. Now he won’t stop begging you to drive it. While, I, on the other hand will ask politely.” She smiled at Steve as she handed him a plate of food.

“Thanks for the cheap shot,” Mulder said half heartily. “Now let’s eat. I’m hungry after all of that work.”

"Work? What did you do?" Scully asked.

"When we got to the Sears, they had a demonstration of a new equipment line going. We spent the better part of two hours trying out every piece of equipment there. Frank and I had to pull Mulder away to let someone else get a turn," Steve commented merrily.

Scully started to laugh. The sight of Mulder working with power tools and enjoying it would have been a sight to behold.

"Just wait until I get you upstairs. You'll regret that laugh." Mulder seductively whispered into her ear.

Dana's face turned red.

"Mulder must be on testosterone overload," Frank commented seeing Scully's face.

"Yeah,” Steve laughed.

"Your one to talk Steve, you seem to have the same problem with girls from time to time.” Frank mentioned.

“What do you mean by that?” Scully asked, a little worried.

“I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. I mean just with Steve it seems like sometimes, being Immortal he kind of has as amplifying effect on things like hormone changes most people ignore. I think that could be something all Immortals share. It’s probably just something you have to get use to like a regular person has to get used to what happens when we get older. I get kind of envious when I think of that fact you won’t have to worry about stuff like that.  After all you three have all the time in the world, literally.”  Frank said.

All of a sudden a cloud seem to pass over both Mulder, and Scully. A fact that Frank didn’t fail to notice. “Are you so sure about that?” Scully asked in a quiet voice.

“Did I say something wrong? “Asked Frank.

“I think it was your comment about “all the time in the world”. I think you might have forgotten one little kink in that statement.” Steve explained.

As soon as Steve finished speaking it hit Frank like a ton of bricks. “Oh, you mean the Game to be the last Immortal.”

“I sure wasn’t talking about checkers,” Steve told him. “Remember, we haven’t told them about that journal we found in the Himalayas while exploring that ancient temple, yet.”

Mulder's and Scully's curiosity is piqued. "When were you in the Himalayas?" Scully asked.

"About a year ago. I found a map to an ancient temple and I found out the secret to the Game," Steve replied. Both Mulder and Scully are shocked.

"Well spill it. What is the secret? Every Immortal we know would kill for it," Mulder commented.

"The secret to the Game is in its history. I found the journal of a Immortal named ‘Krevar', if he was alive today, he would be over eight thousand years old. The journal took almost a year for two Shambalah Masters, to translate it. In the journal, he admits to starting the Game as a hoax, to ‘relieve' the boredom of existence." Steve saw two angry faces stare back at him.

"In the journal, he goes on to state that he had told two of his students about the Game as a great secret and the two students promptly went out and killed each other. When he told the surviving student that it was only a jest, the student didn't believe him. He ran away and told this secret to other Immortals and that's how the Game came to be.

"There is no prize, no great thing at the end, just loneliness. The last Immortal will be just that: ‘The Last Immortal'. This stupid joke has killed off so many great ones. Darius, Brother Spencer, just to name a few." Steve angrily stated.

"What are you going to do about it? How will you get it to the other Immortals?" Mulder asked.

"I thought about giving it to Joe Dawson and have his Watchers leave copies of it with their respective Immortals. It'll be up to each of us to believe it or not."

"I think most of us will believe it. I don't want to kill any one. I only want to spend the rest of my life with Fox." Scully said as she reached for Mulder's hand and held it.

Both Steve and Frank smiled as they watch them.

“Well, now that we got over that little speed bump why don’t we finish our meal? Then I think I have some time to set up some of that wood working equipment that I bought before I have to go, and meet up with Buffy and her friends again at the school.” Steve told them.

Part 16 - A Merging of Forces
(How to Hang With Teenagers and Not Get Arrested)

 

As Steve gets ready for his meeting with Buffy at the school , he loaded up with his katana, Glock 21, several wooden knives and a couple of grenades. Scully looked at this with suspicion.

"Steve, why are you taking all of those weapons?" Scully asked.

"Because, I've learned early in life to always be prepared for any contingency."

"Like the Boy Scouts?" Mulder asked.

"No, like the Green Berets."

 

As they head out to the car. Scully turned to Steve and asked. "Where exactly are you meeting them at the school?” 

 

“In the library.” Steve replied.

 

"Interesting location,” Scully said.  “I guess they have complete access to the library?"

 

“Looks that way.” Steve said as he starts the car. “See you guys in a little while.” Steve finished as he pulled out into traffic.

Steve made good time to the school. Parking his car, he quickly locked it then made his way inside, and straight to the library.”

As he went into the library he notices Willow waiting for him.  "Hello, Willow," Steve said "Nice seeing you again."

"Hello, Steve, let me introduce my boyfriend, Oz."

"Nice meeting you, Oz."

"Cool man. I hear you’re one mean dude when it comes to taking out vamps." Oz replied from his place at the large table next to Willow in the middle of the library.

Steve looked at Willow, "Willow, is Oz one of your group?"

"Yes I am," Oz replied before Willow can answer. "And if you try anything fishy. I'll rip your throat out."

Steve looks at this kid, who couldn't weigh more than a hundred, twenty pounds. < Damn, he's threatening me. Like I told Frank last night. These kids have potential. > Steve just shook his head and smiles.

Buffy sees the expression on Steve's face and misinterprets it, "Oz, calm down."

"Look Buffy, I care for Willow a lot, and I don't want anything to happen to her, or to you as well, Buffy. I don't know this guy or what he's selling, but I'll tell him straight out. Anything happens to either of you and his ass is mine," Oz stated.

< God, these kids have heart. > Steve thinks to himself as he replies. "Look Oz, you weren't at last night’s meeting. I laid my cards on the table then and will do so again at this meeting. I have never played the Bull Shit game, and I don't intend to start now." Steve told him.

The group waiting for them has an additional two girls, besides Oz. Then it hits Steve as he glances around at the now complete group sitting around the table. < These three were at the food court last night as well, but sitting away from the rest of them. These kids were smart enough to keep a reserve. Damn, wait until Frank hears about this one. >

Buffy turned to Steve and introduced the other two girls, Cordelia and Amy. Steve took off his coat and sat down next to Buffy. Giles toke his seat and got right down to business.

"Shall we call this meeting to order, then? Mr. St. Wolf, let me begin by asking what your plans are?" Giles asked.

"Well, I’m sure that Jenny was able to teach her everything she needed to know about Immortals, but I’d like to add to those skills ones that will help her as a Slayer. Also, in the off hours, I would help her hunt."

"May I ask what skills you’d like to add?" Giles asked “Jenny and a couple of friends have been training Buffy in martial arts and have given her some basic firearms instruction.”

"Okay, you have a right to know. I was hoping to teach her the martial arts. Specifically, Okinawan-style karate, kung fu, tae kwon do, Zen sword and Philippine stick fighting as well as archery. However, it looks like Jenny’s done that already.  I’d also like her to learn the art of the ‘Shootist'.”

"‘Shootist', what is a ‘Shootist'? I don't understand that term," Giles said.

Xander spoke up at this time. "Giles, a ‘Shootist' is a professional gunfighter.” When Xander saw the weird expression on Giles face he thought <Probable  trying to picture Buffy acting like John Wayne> Out loud, Xander added,” No Giles, not the kind you see in westerns, but a real pro, an assassin with a gun in other words." Xander explained and turned to Steve “What sort of weapons would you be teaching, pistol, shotgun, rifle?"

 

Steve looked at this kid, < Shit, the kid knows his stuff. > he thinks to himself, before he replied.  "Actually, I was going to teach her everything up to and including light missiles, like Strellas, for example," Steve informed Xander, grinning slyly.

"Mr. St. Wolf, since you are an Immortal, may I ask how old you are?" Giles asks.

"I'm actually thirty nine years old, Mr. Giles. I stopped aging at the age of twenty four."

"Mr. St. Wolf, do you know anyone older than you that is an Immortal?" Giles asked

"Yes, my first teacher, he's almost five hundred years old. He has several friends, whom I've met, who are over a thousand years old. One of them is five thousand years old. He's the oldest of us, still alive."

Steve turned to Jenny and asked, "Jenny, did you tell them everything they need to know about Immortals?"

"Yes, Steve.  I did,” Jenny said. 

 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. You know as well as I do that not every Immortal, or mortal for that matter is completely trustworthy.” Steve quickly added.

"You all have to understand” Steve addressed the group again.” Immortals are just like people, you have good ones and bad ones. When I first became an Immortal, the first one of our kind who I met tried to kill me. He didn't succeed obviously. The second Immortal I met, became my teacher and friend. He taught me to love life, hold it sacred. He doesn't play the Game and tries to instill that in all of his students. That's part of the reason that I hunt monsters, because they don't hold life as sacred."

Buffy's friends digested all of this. Willow got up from her seat and came over to Steve and gave him a hug.

"Welcome to the team, Steve." She turned to the rest of her friends. "I'm sure everybody here is happy to have you join us."

"Thanks, Willow."

Xander is the next to give Steve the thumbs up, followed by Cordelia, Oz, Amy and Jenny. Giles appears to be apprehensive about accepting him.

"Just one more question. Why did Mr. Mulder wish to see my left forearm last night?" Giles asked.

"When you mentioned you were Buffy's ‘Watcher', he thought you might be a watcher."

"I might be the only one here, but that made absolutely no sense at all," Xander stated.

Jenny laughed lightly. “I can’t believe you guys don’t remember I told you about a group of mortals that recorded the lives of Immortals. That group is also known as Watchers. Same name different group. All they do is chronicling our history. They don’t interfere with us. Just watch. Well just how do you think that they identify each other? Secret handshake?”

“I’m guessing some kind of identifying mark. Which is why Mr. Mulder asked to see my wrist,” Giles said.

“Exactly right, Giles. They all have this ‘Y' shape in a circle tattooed to their left forearms. Each Immortal has one, possibly two watchers following them around everywhere they go."

“Do both of you have these ‘Watchers' following you around at this time?” a worried Giles asked.

Jenny laid a hand on Giles arm. “Giles, you worry too much. I’ve probable have had a watcher since I became Immortal. If that’s true I’ve never noticed them. They’ve never bothered me. Like I said all they do is just watch us.” <I just have to make sure that Giles doesn’t find out about that incident with James Horton, and the Hunters. That will really set him off.> 

"No, the watchers have never been able to keep up with me” Steve reassured him “Quite a few of my watchers have died trying to follow me. I finally got fed up with bringing their bodies back, that I told their leaders not send anymore out to follow me."

"What happened to these watchers, who died while following you?" Xander asked.

"Very simple, Xander, do you think that any normal person could follow Buffy around and survive, especially when she doesn't know they're out there?"

"They would become an easy meal for any vampire out there," Willow stated.

"The watchers stopped sending out people to observe me after what I did to the last three."

Giles looks up curiously at this comment. "May I ask what you did to these people?" he asked.

Steve's mouth spreads into a wicked little grin. "Well, two watchers ago, I left the guy tied up in the Presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton in New York and charged the bill to the watcher's credit card. It took them five days to find him. The one before the last one, I sent on a first class world cruise, non-refundable, at their expense of course. The last one was with me at an auction; I forced him to buy most of the auction. It was VERY expensive to say the least," Steve explains. "I figured that making it expensive to follow me would stop them, without hurting anyone."

The kids are having a good laugh at the story, even Jenny was giggling. Giles looked at Steve and just shook his head.

"Those sound like stunts that Xander would pull," Giles replied..

"Giles, man, don't have a cow," Xander rose to Steve's defense, "He got rid of the watchers following him without hurting them. That was his plan, what was he supposed to do, kill them?"

"Yes, but he did it in such a childish manner," Giles commented.

Steve looked at Giles, "Giles, how well do you know your English history?"

"Quite well, I assure you," Giles replied, a little stiffly.

"Well let me ask you a question." Giles nodded his head, Steve went on. "How did Queen Victoria the first, prevent, a noble from revolting or causing an uprising, without bloodshed?"

"She used to visit them for long periods of time. By the time that she left the noble would be nearly impoverished and therefore unable to revolt. My God, you're using Victoria's tactics, Mr. St. Wolf, I am impressed," Giles said.

Steve looked over to Buffy. She's happy that he had impressed Giles. < Giles' approval must be important to her, I guess. >

"Mr. St. Wolf, my name is Amy, and I have a question.  Where did you get your magic items from?" she asked.

Steve looked at this girl named Amy, "I don't know what you’re talking about. Magical items? What magical items?" he replied with a straight face. < How in hell did she know? > He thought to himself.

"Would you mind if I cast a little spell? It will make the magical items glow a blue color. It won't harm anything, or affect the item in any way."

Steve turned to Buffy, "Buffy, you didn't tell me you had a witch in your little group."

Buffy gave him a smile. "Well, Steve, you know what they say, ‘always be prepared for any contingency'"

Steve picked this up. "You mean like the Boy Scouts, Buffy?"

Buffy gave Steve a sly smile. "No, Steve, like the Green Berets." Seeing the expression on Steve’s face she said, “That’s something I heard from Xander.

Both Buffy and Xander laugh. The rest of the group looked at them, wondering what the joke is. Steve is also wondering where Xander had heard that comment, and decided to ask him about it at some point.

"Well, are you going to let me cast the spell or not?" Amy asked Steve again.

Steve sighs, and agreed to it. He moved to the end of the table and stood there as Amy recited a scrying spell. When she finished it various items that he was carrying start to glow a blue color. Steve removed each glowing object and placed it on the table.

His sword was first, followed by both boot knives, shortly followed by his wrist bands, ring and necklace. Steve's charm bag is last and that glows almost as bright as his sword. Giles looked over the items spread out on the table top and inhaled deeply.

"Mr. St. Wolf, do you realize what these items are?" An awed Giles asked.

"Yes Giles, I know exactly what each of those items are. Do you want to tell them, or shall I?"

"No, I think I do, too. Please correct me, if I'm wrong." Giles told him.

"The katana was fashioned by the Japanese wizard called ‘Fire' if I'm not mistaken, its name is, roughly translated, means ‘Demon Slayer', a truly magnificent weapon, lost over two hundred years ago. The two boot knives are called the ‘Fangs of Tyr', they were fashioned by the Norse Rune Priests to defeat the Jotans, or Frost Giants. The wrist bands were supposedly fashioned by the God Hephaestus, for Hercules. The necklace contains a druid charm. The charm is for protection against evil. The ring I don't recognize. And the charm bag is from a Shaman or Indian Medicine man, I don't know the tribe." Giles finished

"It's Cherokee and its magic is protection and valor in battle." Steve told him.

Jenny got up and touched the ring. "The ring is from an elder of the Romany. Its power is to protect the wearer from all evil. It's an ancient and powerful item of the tribe. It wouldn't have been given up for any cost." She turned around and looked at Steve. "Where did you get it and how?"

Steve looked Jenny straight in the eye, "I got the ring from an ancient gypsy woman. Her great grandchildren had been kidnaped by a group of demon worshipers. They were to be used as a sacrifice to the demon they worshiped. I rescued the children and killed all of the demon's worshipers. She gave me the ring as token of her respect, since I wouldn't take any payment for my service, other than a thank you."

Jenny looked at him as he told her the story. "What are you, Steven St. Wolf? No mortal or immortal man could have fought and destroyed such evil in your short life. I called a kinsman who knows about me and gave him your name. He told me to help you in any way that I could. He said that the honor of our clan was tied to you, and not to aid you would be a dishonor to the entire clan."

Steve sat back and looked at Buffy and her friends. "I am a man who has spent most of his life training to be, or being a warrior. Somehow it became my calling. The nuns who raised me, recognized it early on. They knew that I could become a force for good, or evil. The Mother Superior who ran the orphanage I grew up in found me teachers. Men who would teach me the right path. My first teacher was a Cherokee medicine man, called Eagle Soars. He taught me the ways of his people and he put me on the path of the warrior. After him, I learned from a Shaolin priest, he put me on the path of enlightenment. After Master Khan, I lied about my age and enlisted in the Army. I became a Green Beret. I fought in many battles over the next few years, plus various special operations. .After seven years I left the Army, to marry my childhood sweetheart, and tried to start a family. I was working in Houston when she was brutally murdered. The six men who did it, walked on a technicality thanks to a crooked court clerk. However, I made sure they paid the price for their crime." Steve feels Buffy's hand holding his and she squeezes it in sympathy, He squeezes back. "After that, I moved north, to Dearborn Michigan. That's where I died, the first time, saving a group of children from a psycho with an AK-47. Since then, I've wandered the world fighting the good fight, protecting the innocent. During my travels, I have made the acquaintance of people like myself. Those that fight the darkness, because they won't sit by and watch it destroy the world. You meet three of those people last night. Mulder, Scully and Frank have stood on the edge and have seen the darkness and are willing to fight it with their dying breath. There are more, you Buffy, and your friends are not alone. If you want the help, just ask, I can have a small army here within a week. Just please understand this, if you ask for help, you'll get it, but then you'll be obligated *TO* help, if you're called on. Over the last hundred years, there has been a startling number of increases in demons, vampires and other evils all over the world. We have stood before that evil and struck it down time and again, but it keeps coming back in one form or another."

"Mr. St. Wolf, who is ‘we'? Who do you represent?" Giles asked in a shaken voice.

"I represent no one, Mr. Giles, just myself. But, I have fought beside the Knights of the Order of the Grail, Priest Warriors of the C'est Dei, The Millennium Group, Wizards of the Circle of Merlin, the Sons of Asgard, Druids and High Priests and Priestesses of Wicka  just to name a few. I’ve even encountered a few WildCats.”

When Giles heard that his head snapped around so fast to look at Steve that he almost gave himself whiplash. “Steve, when you said WildCats you meant the legendary variety not the animal I take it.”

“That’s correct, Giles,” Steve told him.

Seeing the expression of Giles’ face Buffy asked him, “Giles, what is it? Exactly what is a WildCat?”

“No what, Buffy. Who. According to my research books there are many old legends, many as old as the Slayer, about a very special tribe of women from a far off land who have dedicated their lives to protecting innocent people from harm. Against threats both man made, and supernatural. They were called WildCats. They use to roam everywhere always with a companion animal, a large cat usually a tiger, or other variety. They could all be identified by these necklace’s they wore with a gem on the front resembling a cat’s eye.” Looking at Buffy he added, “With all the powers they were rumored to have in terms of strength each one could be just about as strong as a slayer.” Turning back to Steve he asked, “How could you have meet any of them, they are only legends? Besides, my books said that they all disappeared around the time of the dark ages.”

 

“Not exactly correct, Giles” Steve explained. “They didn’t exactly *disappear*. More like they just went underground.”

Giles is shaken at the groups that Steve has just mentioned.

"If these organizations exist, then how is it that I have never run across them?" Giles asked.

"Because, Giles, the Watchers are too insular, too closed up. Your organization has the Slayer and they don't want to share her with anyone else. When your organization formed, it was localized to a small area. Well things have changed; the world has gotten smaller and much closer together."

"Those other organizations that I have mentioned have adapted. They've pooled their resources, personnel and information sources to fight the darkness at every turn. There is no more ‘My Religion/Belief/Organization is Better Than Yours', now its ‘How can We Defeat the Evil Without Blowing up the World in the Process?'. You don't realize it do you, Mr. Giles? What do you think would happen if a bunch of vampires got their hands on a nuke? Or a biological plague?"

A shaken group looks at Steve. Giles is the first to speak. "I have never thought about that. It is a truly disturbing thought. What are our options?"

"First of all, I have a complete computer hook up to the various organizations at my house. I'll let you get access to it. Is there any way we can shift this meeting to my house?"

"That shouldn't be a problem," Buffy stated. The rest of the group agreed.

"Alright, here is my address." Steve wrote it down on a scrap of paper. "I'll meet you all there in an hour."

"May I ask why in one hour? This address is only fifteen minutes from here?" Giles asked, after looking at it.

"Because Buffy, Xander and myself will be stopping by the store to pick up some sodas and snacks. I think my house guests have drank and eaten almost everything edible by now."

 

"Your house guests?" Jenny asked.

"Yes, you meet them last night. Remember Mulder, Scully and Frank?"

*****

Part 17 - The Meeting Continues
(How to Have a House Party)

As Buffy, Steve and Xander leave, Steve told Buffy to drive the car. Xander is surprised. When he enters the car he notices its differences

"Steve, is there's something different about this car. I've been in Blazers before, but this one is different," Xander commented.

"Yeah, Xander there is, it’s all tricked out. The body is armor plated, the glass is bullet proof and there's a weapons system to make James Bond drool,” Steve told him with relish.

Xander looked around himself, at the truck and asked, "You're letting Buffy drive it? Man, I hope you've got good insurance."

Buffy gave Xander a dirty look, as Steve laughed. He reaches for the phone to call home and Scully answered..

"St. Wolf residence," Scully said.

"Hi, Dana, this is Steve. Listen, we're moving the meeting over to my place. I'm going to pick up some sodas and snacks. I'll be there in an hour with Buffy and Xander. Please let her friends in and make them comfortable until we get there."

"Not a problem, Steve. I'll be here to let them in."

"Dana, keep Mulder away from Giles. You know how Mulder likes to play those mind games on so-called para-normal professionals."

"Don't worry, Steve. I'll keep those two children under control. Bye." Dana replied over the phone. Steve could just picture Scully smiling as she looked at Mulder and Frank, who would be looking at each other and grinning evilly.

As Steve hung up the phone, Buffy asked Steve a question.

"Do you think it's a good idea to have Mulder and Giles in the same room?"

"So long as Scully keeps an eye on them, yes," Steve replied as they park the car in front of the local Winn-Dixie

"C'mon, let's get some sodas and munchies," Xander commented.

After a quick thirty minutes they leave the market, Steve turned to Xander. "Well at least we have enough for a few meetings here."

"Steve, this stuff will barely last the night. Don't forget, you've got six teenagers here, plus six adults," Xander commented.

Steve looks at the food, thinking about how much he has just paid. "I don't think that I can afford to feed us too many times. I've only got sixty million in the bank."

Buffy looked at Steve in awe. "That's dollars, right," She asked.

"No Buffy, Pesos," Steve replied, grinning. "Just kidding."

A few minutes later, they got back to the house and Buffy parked the car in front. Xander and Steve grabbed the groceries and lugged them into the house. As they turned to go back out for the rest, Oz volunteered to help, so Steve let him help Xander with the rest of the groceries.

Frank is on the grill in the kitchen making hamburgers for everyone. As Steve passed him, Frank asked, "Hey Steve, how do you want your burger?"

As he reached for a cold soda, he replied, "Well done, Frank. Do you need any help?"

"No, Willow, Amy and Cordelia are helping me," Frank replied. "Steve, you know, I haven't had this much fun in a long time. I like this group of kids."

Steve enters the living room to see Mulder and Giles discussing various myths and monsters they had encountered. It’s almost like the scene in Lethal Weapon 3, when Rene Russo and Mel Gibson are comparing scars.

As Steve sat down in a chair to enjoy the exchange, Buffy sat down on its arm. She watched as Giles and Mulder sit and compare notes.

"You know, Steve, I've never really seen Giles enjoy himself like this before. He's always seemed so stuffy. Like he was born not having fun. This is a new side to him." Buffy looked over to where Jenny and Dana are sitting. "Did you see how Jenny and Dana have their heads together? It looks like they're plotting something," Buffy told Steve as she got up.

 

Steve looked over to where Dana is sitting with Jenny. < Definitely two women plotting something for their respective mates. I really feel sorry for Mulder and Giles (But not too sorry. Better them, than me.) > Then he notices Buffy taking a seat next to Dana and all three of them start to giggle. < Oh Shit. I better start the meeting before anything gets too far with those three. >

 

"Frank, you almost done in the kitchen? Can we get this meeting started?"

"No Steve, give it another ten minutes." He yelled back to Steve.

Steve's urge to flee is suddenly increased (Yes, I will leave Mulder and Giles to their fate. They deserve it,) to a point where he's checking all of the exits for routes of escape.

****************************************************************************

Author's Note (written by Steve): The scene I'm describing above happened to me about four years ago. A friend (no longer) invited me to a dinner party. I went alone, having broken up with a longtime girlfriend, two months previous to the party. A few friends who were happily married, (ie. The Women) got together to get me together with a female friend of theirs.

Since then, I have learned to watch for the telltale signs: Women with heads together, giggling, trying to observe you and not be obvious about it. And to keep a route of escape handy, several, if it can be helped. Don't look for aid from your fellow males, they won't (They want you to share in their blissful married ways, after all, misery just loves company <G>).

For those readers, both male and female, who have never had a similar situation and don't believe me, your time will come.

*****************************************************************************

As Steve watched Jenny, Dana and Buffy talking, he started praying for a vampire attack. The front door bell suddenly rings instead. He got up to answer the door.

*****

Part 18 - The Local Talent
(Should Cops be Limited to Donut Shops?)

Dana looked up and asked, "Steve, do you need any cover fire while you answer the door?"

"No, Dana, only when I take the garbage out," Steve replied, as Dana, Jenny and Buffy started to laugh.

He looked out the peep hole and saw two men. Steve pulled open the door partially and asked, "Yes, can I help you?"

"Good afternoon, Sir. I'm Detective Stein, and this is my partner Detective Murray. Are Agents Mulder and Scully here?"

"Oh, you must be the two detectives investigating last night’s shooting. Hold on a sec, I'll get them." Steve replied as he turned around to get Dana and Mulder. However, before Steve got a step away from the door Detective Stein indicated he wanted something else.

"Mr. St. Wolf would you mind letting us into the house, please? We also have questions for you, as well," Det. Stein told Steve.

"There might be a little problem with that. I have other guests here. In fact, I'm holding a little house warming party."

"That's alright, we don't mind talking to you individually in a room off to the side."

 

As Steve's about to tell him where to go, Buffy walked up to him and asked, "Steve, why are you at the door for so long. Mulder and Frank are about to launch a rescue mission. Oh, hello, Detective Stein, nice seeing you again." Buffy stammered out when she sees who's at the door.

"Miss Summers, I'm surprised to see you here. May I ask how you know Mr. St. Wolf, and his friends?" Det. Stein asked.

< This guy is starting to piss me off. > Steve thinks to himself. He turned on Det. Stein and told him. "Look here now, Detective. You are not here to interrogate my guests. If you have questions, for Agents Mulder and Scully or myself and Mr. Iverson, then ask them, if you try to interrogate my other guests, then I'll kick you out of here and any questions you have can be answered through my attorney. Am I understood?"

Det. Stein is taken aback by Steve's manner. He doesn't know what to make of it, but he won't back down. He looked Steve straight in the eye. "Mr. St. Wolf, we are investigating a shooting. We have every right to ask anyone in this house questions about it."

"Very well then, Det. Stein, you have exactly thirty seconds to leave this house. Otherwise, you are trespassing and will be treated as such. Now, you can leave by your own volition or be thrown out, pick one," Steve warned him.

"Mr. St. Wolf," Det. Stein rasps out, "I am a police officer of this township and I have the right to question anyone I choose to."

"No, you don't, and you know it." Mulder told Det. Stein as he and Scully walked up.

"And who are you two, his attorneys?" Det. Stein asked.

"No, I'm Special Agent Fox Mulder, this is my partner, Special Agent Dana Scully. We're with the FBI." Mulder told him, as he held up his badge.

 

"Your investigation is limited to myself, Agent Scully, Mr. St. Wolf and Mr. Iverson. The rest of the guests at this party are not a part of it. If you insist on interrogating them, then I will file harassment charges against you, with your department. And if that isn't enough to wake you up, then I'll go Federal with them. Am I understood, Det. Stein?" Mulder angrily informed him.

Det. Stein looked at Mulder, Scully and Steve and finally realizes that here is a group of people who won't be intimidated by his badge.

"Alright, Agent Mulder, I'll limit my questions to only you four. But I don't have to like it." He angrily agreed.

Mulder, Scully, Frank and Steve go over what happened last night, taking turns talking to the two detectives. Finally about an hour later it's finished and the detectives turned to leave, Det. Stein asked to see Buffy for a moment.

"Only if she wants to, detective, is that understood?" Steve gave him a warning glare.

Scully goes out to get Buffy, and Steve waits for them to come out by the door.

"I want to talk to Buffy alone, Mr. St. Wolf." Det. Stein told Steve.

"Buffy is only seventeen. So, she has to have an adult present if you ask any questions. Take your choice, either myself, Agent Mulder or Agent Scully, detective." Steve told him. < I will not let this shit head play head games with Buffy. >

"Agent Scully can stay with her." Det. Stein told Steve. < I do not like this bastard at all. I wonder who the hell he is. I am going to make him my ‘special' project. > Det. Stein thinks to himself.

Dana and Buffy come out to talk to Det. Stein. Steve left, and went back to the party. Mulder, Frank, Giles and Jenny were waiting for him.

Steve turned to Giles and Jenny. "Who is this shit headed cop? What's his problem? And why is he picking on Buffy?"

"Well, Steve, Det. Stein was investigating Buffy for the murder of a man called ‘Ted'. Ted had been dating her mother, Joyce, and Buffy didn't like him much. So, one night she came home and found him in her room going through her personal journals and items. He struck her and she fought back, killing him, supposedly. It turned out that ‘Ted' was an android that had married and murdered four women previously and he tried to do the same with Buffy's mother. Xander, Willow and Cordelia found the remains of the four previous wives and called the police. ‘Ted' had risen from the dead and tried to kidnap Buffy's mother. Buffy stopped him and destroyed him. We disposed of his body after that. Det. Stein tried to solve the case and wound up being a laughing stock. He blames Buffy for it," Giles explained.

"So the bastard blames Buffy because he can't solve anything in this town? He's, pardon the expression, blind as a bat and he blames a seventeen year old girl for his problems. This guy is seriously in need of a new job."

Xander spoke up, “Where exactly? The Sunnydale Police seems rather notorious for hiring people who can’t get jobs in law enforcement anywhere else in this country.”

“You’re kidding. Aren’t you?” asked Steve.

“Steve you haven’t been here that long so let me tell you something. Just about all the really competent people in this town will you the exact same thing. The entire Sunnydale Police Department couldn’t close an umbrella much less a case. Some of the guys still seem to have trouble trying work doorknobs.” Xander told him. “They’re the F Troop of Police Departments.”

“There really that bad?” Frank asked Xander.

“Try to picture the Keystone Cops being led by The Three Stooges.”

“That’s an interesting picture,” Frank said with a goofy grin on his face.

Mulder and Steve heard the front door slam shut. They turned around as a teary Buffy comes back into the room. Steve can see by the rage in Scully's eyes that Det. Stein was lucky to leave this house alive.

Steve reached out and gave Buffy a comforting hug. She doesn't resist. Buffy put her head on his shoulder and just cried. Steve looked at Scully.

Scully took a deep breath. "Steve, if that man didn't leave just now, I would've shot him."

Steve looked down at Buffy, and asked, "What did he say to you? If that bastard said anything that wasn't proper, I'll have his badge."

<That wouldn’t do any good> Xander thought to himself <Stein could just get a replacement out of another box of Cracker Jack.>

"He just told me that two girls that I knew from school are dead. He made it sound like it was my fault. If Angel did it, it probably was," Buffy told Steve.

Steve walked Buffy over to the couch and sat her down; she leaned against him as he put his arm protectively around her. Everybody in the house noticed this, and he also noticed Willow smiling.

Mulder took the floor sizing the moment. "Alright, I'm getting tired of this shit. These vampires have the run of this town. No offense, Buffy, but there are too many for you and friends to handle alone. I say that we start hitting them back tonight. Let's get a plan of action together and give them a little payback." Mulder turned to Giles, "Do you know where the vampires are hiding, some of their meeting spots or hangouts?" Giles nodded, "Then, we hit them there."

"Mr. Mulder, do you realize how many vampires we could be facing?"

“Of course, that’s what make it fun.”

*****

Part 19 - Reach Out and Touch Somebody
(Just Dial 1-800-Commando, and Watch the Body Count Rise)

"It doesn't matter, Giles. I'm calling in some favors. I can have at least a dozen warriors here overnight. They will only be expecting Buffy, and maybe the two of us. But, what do you think would happen if I bring in an assault force made up of dozen professionals." Steve told them, as he got up to get the phone.

Steve first dials Duncan's Seattle number, Richie picked up the phone. "MacLeod Dojo, can I help you?"

"Hello, Richie, this is Steve St. Wolf, is Duncan there?"

"Hey, Wanderer, long time no hear. Duncan's right here, hold on."

Duncan took the phone. "Steve, how are things in California, is Robert treating you well?"

"Listen, Duncan, I need some help." Steve told him as he explained what's going on in Sunnydale.

After Steve finished, Duncan thought for a minute. "Steve, I'll be there by tomorrow morning, I'll bring Richie and Methos with me."

"Duncan, also bring Joe Dawson as well. I think we could use his input as well."

"No problem, he probably wants to ask about those expenses your last three watchers incurred," Duncan added with a laugh.

"Thanks, Duncan, it'll be nice seeing you again." Steve told him as he gave Duncan the travel directions to his house.

Steve hung up on Duncan and dialed another number, this one in L.A. The phone is picked up and a woman answered. "Kyra here, who is this?"

"Kyra, this Steve St. Wolf, I need some help."

"Steve, where are you now?" Kyra askd.

Steve quickly told her his location and what was going on.

"I'll be there in an hour." Kyra told Steve as she hung up.

Steve then called Lieutenant Horatio Caine in Miami. “This is Lieutenant Caine”, Horatio stated as he answered the phone.

“Horatio, this is Steve.  I could use your help”, Steve replied.

 

"Wanderer, last time I worked with you was one of strangest moments I ever got involved in. Not even being around Pearl Harbor on Dec. 6th, 1941 and seeing a modern day aircraft carrier suddenly appear out of nowhere topped my mission with you. What exactly do you need my help with?”

"Well, Horatio, this time we're hunting vampires in California. They are about to take over a small town called Sunnydale," Steve explained.

Steve could only hear his breathing, then, "Wanderer, you really do seem to come up with some really fun jobs. I'll be there sometime tomorrow with my fiancé, and one other detective.”

Steve shook his head, “I didn’t know you were engaged. Congratulations. Do you think that it’s safe to bring her, and does she know anything about Immortals?”

“I wouldn’t worry about that, Steve. Natalia Boa Vista is quite capable of taking care of herself, and both she and Detective Ryan Wolfe know all about me and about Immortals. Besides Mr. Wolfe is my Watcher.”

Steve removed the receiver from his ear after hearing that. He looked at it for a few seconds like he couldn’t believe what he just heard. He finally returned it to his ear, and starts talking again.

“Is it just me, or does it seem like more Immortals are finding out about the Watchers a lot easier than they should be?”

 

“Changing times, my friend. Nowadays it’s not so easy to stay hidden like it was two thousand years ago. We’ll see you tomorrow.” Steve heard as Horatio hung up. Steve quickly dialed another number.

"St. Francis of Assisi Monastery, this is Brother Phillip, can I help you?" The brother asked.

"Hello, Phillip, this's Steven St. Wolf, can I please speak with Brother Aaron?"

"Brother Steve, how are you? It has been too long since you last visited us. Are you planning on visiting us, soon?" Brother Phillip asked..

"No, Phillip, I need to talk to Aaron. I have need of his services, for a mission."

"Hold a moment please." Brother Phillip told Steve as the phone is switched over to another extension.

"Good Evening, Brother Steve, this is Abbott Michael. It's a pleasure to hear from you again. What do you want with Brother Aaron, if I may ask?"

"Abbott Michael, I have need of Brother Aaron's skills." Steve told him, as he explained what was happening in Sunnydale.

"This situation is most troubling. How can Brother Aaron come to you?" Abbott Michael asked.

"I'll pick him up tomorrow morning, Abbott Michael."

"He will be ready, Steve. And Steve, God go with you, my son." Abbott Michael told him.

"Thank you, Abbott Michael. God help us all get through this unscathed. Good bye."

"God be with you, my young friend, and good night." Abbott Michael replied.

Steve hung up the phone. Then he turned around, and noticed that everyone is waiting for his news.

"Alright, we have the following forces. Duncan MacLeod is coming down with Richie Ryan, Adam Pierson and Joe Dawson. Kyra will be here in about an hour. Lt. Horatio Cain is bringing some friends from Miami.  I also have a warrior priest of the C'est Die to pick up in the morning."

Buffy and her friends looked shocked at the forces that Steve has gathered in less than twenty minutes and four phone calls. Giles looked at his little group and speaks up.

"Steve, who are these people? Why are they coming here to fight just because you called them?"

 

"Remember what I told you earlier about your group not being alone? Well this is an example of the cooperation that exists between different groups. Our only common bond is the fact that we fight the evil that seeks to destroy the world. Giles, that makes us, and I mean all of us here, parts of the same army. An ‘Army of the Light' if you will. We may come from different places and follow different paths, but the cause is the same and every one of us knows it." Steve explained to them. He saw Buffy's friends stand a little taller, and notices the gleam in their eyes that wasn't there before.

"Now, let’s plan our attack. Kyra will be here in an hour. Tonight, we'll do nothing. We don't want to tip our hand. Tomorrow afternoon, we'll do some light scouting. Tomorrow evening, just before sundown, the attack begins, we will limit ourselves to their main hiding places and we will hurt them. It is time that those things learned to be truly afraid." Steve informed them.

As Steve finished, he notices the look of determination in everyone's face. They wanted that payback. Buffy and her friends had only been reacting to the vampires, defensively. Now it was time to go on the offensive.

"Giles, we'll need a list of possible hiding places and hangouts as well as blueprints for them. Can you get it for us?"

Giles turned to Willow, "Willow can you access the city hall records from here?"

"I need to see Steve's computer set up," Willow replieed.

"Willow, my computers are in the room I’m using as an office, near the front. C'mon I'll show you."

Steve led her into his office, where his computers were kept. Willow looked at the system in front of her.

"Uhm Steve, what is this system. I've never seen one like it before, and where's the monitor?" Willow asked.

 

“Do you think you could handle this, Willow?" Steve asked. When he didn’t hear a reply, he turned around and saw the shocked expression on Willow's face. "Willow, what's wrong?".

"Steve, this system shouldn't exist" Willow gasped out. She turned around and called Jenny into the room. "Miss Calendar, can you come here, please?"

"Sure, Willow, do you need any help?" Jenny asked as she, Dana and Buffy entered Steve's office. Jenny and Dana both have shocked expressions on their faces when they see Steve’s computer set up.

"This can't be real." Jenny gasped after Steve told them what the system is.

"My God, most of this equipment should be classified Top Secret," Scully stammers.

"It looks like something out of Tek Wars, or Close Encounters," Buffy murmured.

"Can you ladies handle this equipment, or do you need my help?" Steve asked.

"No, we can handle it. But, where did it come from?" Jenny asked.

"Like I was about to tell Willow, some friends gave it to me recently."  He explained to them as he showed them how to access the Internet from his system

"I wish I had friends like that," Scully muttered

As Buffy and Steve headed back to the living room, she sliped her arm around his waist. Steve doesn't complain.

As they entered, they saw that everybody else is making plans and lists for the pending assault. Giles, Cordelia and Xander are listing out likely vampire locations. Frank and Mulder have taken various weapons out of storage and were field stripping them, Oz was helping them. Amy was getting refreshments for everybody. < This was a great bunch of kids. > Steve thought to himself.

Buffy and Steve looked upon the scene in front of them and Steve muttered under his breathe, "This is going to be a very bad day for the vampires. I hope none of our friends get hurt."

Steve felt Buffy's arm squeeze his waist, as she replied, "I hope so too, Steve. I'll never forgive myself if anybody gets hurt."

"C'mon, Buffy, let’s go make some stakes."

"In the kitchen? I really don’t know how to cook that well," she asked.

 

"No, silly. In the garage. All my wood and wood working equipment is in there."

"Oh," she replies, with a sly smile on her face.

They made their way to the garage, where Steve notices that Mulder and Frank had already finished setting up the equipment. < Must've finished it while I was gone. > As Steve reached for a board to start cutting, Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him deeply.

As they come up for air, Steve told her, "Buffy, we have to stop. I know you recently lost Angelus, and I don't want to be the rebound guy. I can't do that to you."

She broke away from him and gave Steve a hurt look. Tears are beginning to form in her eyes. Steve reached for her and wrapped his arms around her < she's tense > and looked down into her eyes as he told her, "Buffy, I want you, but not like this. I know you feel hurt about Angel, but throwing yourself at me won't help. It's not right. You need time to heal. And any man who takes advantage of you in such a situation doesn't deserve you."

As Steve's telling her this, she looked into his eyes and sees only concern and care there. She wrapped her arms around his neck and they kiss again.

"Thank you for being the man I thought you were, Steve," she whispered as they broke apart.

"Now, let’s make some stakes." Steve told her. "Do you want yours well done or medium rare?" he jokes. Buffy made a face, and giggled.

They spent the next forty five minutes turning twenty 2" X 1" boards into stakes. By the time they're finished they have about a hundred and fifty stakes ready. As Steve's finishing the last stake, they both feel the ‘Buzz'. Steve turned to Buffy, "I guess that Kyra's here."

"Who’s Kyra?" Buffy asked suspiciously.

"Just an old friend," Steve told her as they walk back into the house and go to the front door. As Steve opened it, he notices five people waiting outside, one of them is Kyra.

"Kyra, you made good time. Who are your friends?" He asked her with his sword in his hand.

"Steve, don't worry, these are some old friends of mine. I was having dinner with them when you called. I explained the situation to them and they volunteered to come and help."

Steve opened the door all the way and lets them come in. They entered the living room which is quite crowded at this time. Kyra makes the introduction for her friends.

"Steve, this is Cara Sinclair (a stunning brunette), Reagan Cole (a gorgeous blond), Katherine Raven (another stunning brunette), and Kath's husband, Nick."

Steve introduced his friends in turn to Kyra's. Then he asked, "Kyra, are all of your friends Immortal?"

Kyra looked a little worried about discussing the issue. Steve told her not to worry. "Kyra, everybody here knows about Immortals." That shocked Cara and Reagan. Katherine and Nick just grabbed some couch space near Jenny and waited for an explanation.

Jenny looked at Katherine, who nodded.  “Steve, Katherine was my teacher.  She and Nick helped me with Buffy’s martial arts and firearms training and both know that she’s the Slayer.”

Steve digested this as he spoke to Kyra again "Kyra, we're here to destroy a large group of vampires. Do you think that anyone in this group is going to be shocked at the existence of Immortals?"

"Alright, Steve, all of us, but Nick are Immortal. So, what's the plan?"

"First, we are going to get some rest tonight. I'll be leaving early tomorrow to pick up another of our group. Also, nine more people will be joining us by early afternoon. I'll arrange rooms at a local motel for them and anybody else who wants one. When we all get here, we will work out a plan to take those things out."

Steve checked his watch, it was almost ten o'clock, and turned to Buffy and her group. "Buffy, Giles, it’s almost ten. You guys get home and get some sleep, we'll all need it."

"Hold it, Steve, I have a question," Steve turns to see an angry Reagan Cole addressing him.

"Go ahead, Reagan, ask."

"How in God's name, could you involve the rest of these children in this mess? Buffy I can understand since she’s Immortal, but the others! Have you gone insane?"

Before Steve could reply, Buffy steps forward, and looks Reagan in the eye, "Miss Cole, for your information, I've been fighting these vampires for over two years. Steve just came here less than a week ago. One of those bastards killed me when I was sixteen. Besides vampires, we have fought demons, animated corpses, witches and the Order of Teraka. Steve, Frank, Mulder and Scully understand that we won't be shoved aside. You all may be a thousand years old for all I care, but we've been here, fighting, these things for the last two years and WE WON'T BE TREATED LIKE CHILDREN."

Kyra and her friends look at Buffy's group and see a group of warriors just as dedicated as they are. Most of them probably haven't seen twenty yet, but they all had the look of people who've seen the grimmer side of life and understood what was expected of them. That was something that all of them could understand and respect.

As Steve turned to the front to say good bye to Buffy's group. Buffy walked up to him and asked, "Steve, can I go with you to pick up Brother Aaron?"

"Yeah, that's not a problem, but can you get here by five am?"

"Don't have to. I'll sleep here tonight, if that's all right with you?"

"What about your mother?"

"Willow will cover for me," she replied, giving Steve a mischievous grin.

Nick sitting by Katherine watches this little scene unfold, and noticed the looks on each of his female companions. < Oh boy, the girl, Buffy, has the hots for Steve. I don't think any of Katherine's friends like it one bit. > He sat back to enjoy the fireworks.

Steve saw that Kyra, Cara, Reagan and Katherine are giving him the eye, Nick just grinned. < Bastard's waiting for the women to lay into me, well I won't let it happen >

Frank looked over to his friend Steve and wondered, < How in hell is he going to get out of this one. >

 

"Alright, now for those of you spending the night here, the sleeping arrangements are as follows. Mulder and Scully, you stay put. Nick and Katherine, you get my room. Cara and Reagan get Frank's room, and no Frank you can't stay." Steve added, grinning, Frank looked disappointed, "Kyra and Buffy get the last bedroom. Frank and I will sleep on the couches out here." Steve sees the disappointed look in Nick's face, and the sly grin on Frank's face.

< Steve's been hanging around with Sidney too much. He’s starting to think like a lawyer. > Frank thought to himself.

"Those of you who have pajamas, use them, those that don't you'll find a few of my shirts in the closet that will do fine." Steve told them. Reagan and Kyra gave him dirty looks. Cara and Buffy just smiled.

"The morning briefing will be handled by Frank and Mulder. They, Scully and Giles will collate the information Willow got for us. They will also lay out a preliminary plan of action. When everyone gets here we'll finalize it. Now, I'm going out for a little stroll, Buffy, would you care to join me?"

*****

Part 20 - Midnight Crossings
(The Strangest Things Happen At Night
Or How To Settle Old Scores)

 

Buffy just gave Steve a relieved look. Kyra and her friends have been giving her the ‘eye', and they're probably wondering about him as well. Steve reached for his coat and weapons. He tossed Buffy a couple of wooden knives. She catches them underhand. He turns to Frank, "We should be back in half an hour to an hour.  Frank, don't wait up."

They go out the front door. Buffy leaned against Steve as they strolled down the street with Steve's arm around her waist. As they walked, they just talked. They talked about anything, but what is going on. As the two make their way back, Steve noticed a couple of shadows in the darkness near his home. As they approach, the shadows move into the moon light. It's was a pair of girls about Buffy's age, one blonde and the other brunette.

Steve turned to Buffy to ask if she knows them, but he sees that she does and she's scared for some reason. He asked her, "Buffy, what's wrong?"

"Steve, those are the girls that Det. Stein told me died last night."

As they approach, the blonde called to Buffy. "Buffy, Angel sent us to say hello to you and your new boyfriend." As the girl said this, her face turns into its now familiar demonic form.

Steve looked to Buffy, "Buffy, if you can't do it, I will."

The two vampires moved to attack. Steve pulled out one of his wooden knives and threw it into the blonde’s heart, she disappeared in a cloud of dust. The brunette sees this and rushes Steve. Before she reached him, she disappeared.  Steve saw Buffy standing behind her, stake in hand.

Steve looked around the area to make sure that no more surprises were waiting for them. He looked back at Buffy and watched as she stares at the pile of dust that was a friend of hers. She looked to be on the verge of tears. He walked over to her, and hugged her from behind, just lending support to her, because she needed it.

As they're standing there, a car pulled up next to them. Both felt the ‘Buzz' of several immortals in it. Steve pulled Buffy behind him and issued a challenge. "Whoever you are, be warned the girl is under my protection and I will kill anyone who tries to hurt her."

"Hello, Wanderer, it’s been what? Four years since you almost killed me," a familiar voice told Steve.

"Salazar, so you're still alive and you brought friends this time. I thought you didn't have any?" Steve slyly replied.

"Wanderer, I'm going to gut you and then cut off your arms and legs. Then once I'm done I’m going to let you watch me rape your little friend, there, until she begs for it to end."

Steve heard the front door of his house opening up. As he turned in that direction he sew Frank as he walked out. Frank walked over to where Buffy and Steve were standing and stops. He looked at Salazar and smiled his patented evil grin.

"Hello, Salazar, is your butt still in one piece? I'm surprised," Frank told him with relish.

Salazar's face turned a bright red when he saw Frank. "You bastards are still together? Good, this saves me the trouble of finding you. Amigos, come out and help me," He called back into his car.

Three more men got out of the car, armed with AK-47s. They looked like the type America's Most Wanted would have ran week after week, until they were caught and hopefully shot.

"My three friends here will help me beat you two down, then they will have some fun with the girl." Salazar told them.

Suddenly they all felt a major ‘Buzz', as a familiar voice in the night says, "You know, Wanderer, you have some of the most interesting parties that I have ever attended," Kyra told Steve. She is stood off to one side with a mini Uzi SMG in her hands.

"I tend to agree, but these party crashers take it to a new extreme," Mulder commented, holding an M-16. Scully is stood next to him with another Uzi.

Steve's house guests had surrounded Salazar and his friends with enough firepower to shred them into little pieces. This little fact is not lost on them either, from the look of fear in their eyes.

"Now shall we take this to someplace private? And settle matters in a befitting manner," Steve told them.

"I want that bastard, Salazar, first," Steve heard Reagan Cole state. "He murdered an entire village in 1478, trying to get to me. I owe him for their blood. You can have the others, Steve, but I want Salazar."

"I want Malcolm Dietrich." Katherine stated. "The bastard had three of my mortal students burned at the stake for witchcraft in 1650. Their only crime was that they refused to tell him where I went. He's mine." Steve saw one of the men turn pale at the venom in Katherine's voice.

"I take it that you two are not immortal." Steve askd the other two men. They nodded their heads, a relived look on their faces. < Won't they be surprised when they die. > Steve thought to himself.

Steve turned to Buffy, "Buffy, is there any place in town that we won't be disturbed, is open and a light show won't get noticed?"

"Yeah, I know just the spot, I'll take you there."

Steve saw the rest of his friends and guests as they nodded their heads.

Mulder and Scully had handcuffed Salazar and his three friends and led them into the cars. Frank, Kyra and Cara stayed behind.

The group took Steve's car, Mulder's and Salazar's. Buffy drove Steve's Blazer as Steve kept an eye on Salazar in the back seat. Scully rode shotgun. Buffy led the other two cars to a deserted power plant about thirty minutes away.

They parked in the lot facing the plant. Steve turned to Buffy.

"Any vampires here?"

"No, Angel told me the plant somehow scares them. They won't go near it."

"Okay, let's get out."

As everybody exited the Blazer the other two cars pull up and everybody got out. Salazar is released and his sword is thrown to him. Reagan is already waiting for him. Salazar turned to Steve.

"Wanderer, you can't let this woman do this to me. Let me go and I'll never bother you again," he begged.

"She challenged you. Take it up with her," Steve coldly told him.

Salazar spat at Steve. "Pendahoe, you let a woman do your fighting for you. You are nothing more than a Puta."

He then turned around and suddenly attacked Reagan. She was expecting it as she side stepped the attack, and cut him across the stomach. Salazar fell to his knees as he was holding in his stomach.

Reagan stood over him and lifted her sword for the beheading stroke. Salazar tried a final desperate move. He lifted his sword and tried to stab Reagan in the stomach. She saw this move coming and blocked it, knocking Salazar's sword out of his hand.

Reagan again raised her sword for the final stroke. Salazar lowered his head and exposed his neck. The sword fell as the head rolled away..

 

The Quickening rose from Salazar's body. Buffy watched in rapt silence as the lightning entered Reagan's body. Reagan's body jerked as each bolt hits it. The sight is both beautiful and scary. Reagan's face is a combination of rapture, pain and bliss. Then, as suddenly as it began, it ends with. Reagan falling to her knees.

 

 When she sees Reagan fall to her knees, Buffy looked away. Steve looked down at her. Sensing this Buffy looked up at Steve saying, "I’m sorry, Steve. Jenny explained what to expect during a challenge especially the Quickening, or at least tried to. I thought I knew what to expect, but seeing it the first time like that is a little overwhelming.”

“I understand, Buffy,” Steve told her. “We all felt the same way the first time we each saw a Quickening.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

She turned her head just as Scully helped Reagan to the car. Nick and Steve moved the body out of the way. Steve turned to Malcolm Dietrich and asked, "Dietrich, who are these two. They're not Immortals."

Malcolm looked at his two accomplices. "Their names are Garcia and Morales. They work for Salazar. They do a lot of his dirty work for him."

"So the world will be a better place without them?" Steve asked.

"Morales likes to hurt small children with a knife. Thinks it's a real kick. Garcia likes young girls. The younger the better." Malcolm then turned to Katherine. "Katherine, I just want to say I am sorry for what happened to those three girls."

"They're still dead, Malcolm. Burned alive at the stake," she angrily replied.

Malcolm shook his head and took up his sword, ready. Katherine entered her stance. The fight began again. Katherine is both quick and deadly. Before their swords have crossed three times, Malcolm's head is on the ground. The Quickening comes again. This time Buffy doesn’t look away.

After Nick has helped Katherine to the Blazer, he, Mulder, and Steve have turned to Scully and Buffy. "Buffy, take Scully, Reagan and Katherine back to the house. Mulder, Nick and I have some other business to finish here."

Buffy and Scully looked at Morales and Garcia. Scully nodded her head and led Buffy to the Blazer. After climbing in Scully drove them quickly away.

Buffy looked out the rear of the Blazer and saw two flashes of light in the darkness. Buffy turned to Scully and asks, "Dana, what are they going to do with those two guys?"

Dana looked straight ahead as she replied, "They are going to do what is necessary. Those two men probably were the monsters that Dietrich described. The world will be a better place without them."

"Dana, Steve, Nick, and Mulder couldn't kill anyone in cold blood, could they?" Buffy asked not sure if she actually wanted to hear an answer..

"Buffy, this can be a cold, hard world. Mulder, Steve, and Nick have seen its worst sides. They know what has to be done. Believe me, Buffy, those men should have stood trial for their crimes, but they never would. They would sell our secret to the highest bidder, and then we would find ourselves under a scalpel being cut up for examination, while those two go free." Dana explained to her. Scully looked back and saw the headlights of her, and Mulders rental car as it followed them.

At the next light Nick, Mulder and Steve pulled up to the Blazer. Mulder rolled down the passenger side window and told Scully, "Scully, we'll follow you back to the house."

A quiet, somber group reached Steve's home thirty minutes later. Frank, Kyra and Cara met them at the door. They asked no questions, the group’s facial expressions told the whole story. When everybody got in Buffy, now carrying the duffle bag she’d left in Steve’s car, excused herself and immediately went in the direction of her room. Steve looked at Scully, who nodded and followed Buffy taking Kyra with her as well.

As Scully and Kyra opened the door Steve heard Buffy crying. He started to go to her, but he felt a restraining hand on his shoulder. Steve turned to see Reagan standing there looking at him. She looked into Steve's eyes and told him, "Steve, I know you want to go in there to comfort her. But don't, if she's to make it, she has to resolve these feelings without you. So, stop being her knight in shining armor, she doesn't need one. And get some sleep, you have to leave at five to pick up that priest."

“I know your right, Reagan. She has to do this herself, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

Steve went to sleep on the couch worried about Buffy.

*****

Just Outside Sunnydale
3:00 am

A group of vampires that had answered Angelus' call came upon a car with a family of four in it as they pulled into a 24 hour Seven-Eleven. The man and woman got out of the car, and went into the store leaving their two children asleep in the back. The vampire leader, once he saw the parents enter the store, decided to take the children as a midday snack.

The woman, a statuesque redhead asked directions from the shop keeper, when she heard glass shattering. She turned and saw a group of people reaching into her car and taking her children. Her husband is already going out the door as she immediately follows. The clerk, seeing what's happening, immediately calls 911 asking for the police.

The moment the man and woman have left the store, the vampires attack them thinking them an easy meal. What happened next happened so fast that the vampires barely had time to realize their mistake. The two immediately began to use advanced forms of the martial arts to fight their attackers. In the first minute, four of the vampires went down with death wounds that would have killed mortals. The rest of the vampires once they saw that these two were too much for them, scattered, taking the two girls with them. The man and woman run after the vampires who took their children, only to be out runned by the faster vampires.

As they made their way back to the Seven-Eleven, they saw a sea of red and blue flashing lights. The police alerted by the clerk’s phone call had come out in force to help. Detective Stein is on the scene and in what passes for his version of being in charge. He approached the couple, as he held up his badge.

"I'm Detective Stein, you two are the parents of the kidnaped children?" he asked.

The redheaded woman was angry. "Det. Stein, who are those people who kidnaped my children, and why aren't you and your police searching for them?", she demanded.

Det. Stein is not in the mode to handle angry parents. There are currently four bodies on the ground in front of the Seven-Eleven. Killed with single blows from what the clerk had just told him were caused by the couple who stood in front of him. "My officers will begin to search immediately, but I have questions that need to be answered," he told them.

The couple patiently answered all of Det. Stein's questions, which took the better part of an hour. When the leader of the search party reports back that the suspects have entered the sewers and the officers won't follow them without major backup, the woman went ballistic.

"What kind of police force do you have? Our children are kidnaped and your men wouldn't find them?" she screamed.

"Miss Scarlet, my men know that if they go down there without major backup, they won't be coming back up." Det. Stein explained. "The major backup is on the way but it'll take a couple of hours to get here."

"Forget it. We'll go find our children ourselves." Scarlet turned to her husband, who nodded his head. They get into their car and quickly drove away, leaving a confused Detective in their wake.

A couple of blocks away they pulled into the Sunnydale Motel and checked in. In their room, they changed into their battle clothes, and prepared their weapons quickly. They understand that to get their children back, time is of the essence.

After leaving the motel, they find a sewer entrance a couple of blocks away and they climb into it to start looking for their children.

*****

Part 21 - Road Trip II
(Bob and Bing Still Won't Come and Dean and Jerry Won't Return My Calls)

 

Sometime later, Steve felt a hand on his shoulder. He woke up instantly, he saw Buffy standing over him, her eyes red from crying. She sat down next to Steve on the couch and huged him.

 

"You alright?" Steve asked, returning the hug.

"Yeah, Dana and Kyra explained the situation to me. I think I'll live through it."

"So, you still want to come with me to pick up Brother Aaron? Or get some more sleep."

"Yep, I've never been to a monastery, besides, I can probably sleep on the way down."

Steve saw that Buffy wanted to leave the house and do something. So he went ahead and got ready. As he's getting his coat and carry weapons, he finds a Glock 26, which he gave to Buffy. Steve then spent a few minutes explaining the basics of its operation. She looked at it and puts it away in the holster Steve then gave her.

Once the both of them were set Steve quickly writes a note telling Frank, and the others where he and Buffy had gone. After that the two got in Steve’s car, and drove away.

The trip to the monastery outside of San Diego is quick, and not very noteworthy. Buffy sleeps through most of it. As they drive up the monastery's curving driveway, Steve woke Buffy up. She looked at the monastery and immediately felt the peace here.

"God, it’s beautiful here," Buffy commented..

"The brothers take very good care of it, Buffy. Part of their day is spent tending the grounds. This place is considered a national treasure by a lot of people."

"I can believe it."

They pulled up to the front door. A group of brothers is waiting for them there. Steve noticed Brother Aaron standing next to Abbott Michael. He pointed them out to Buffy. As they pulled up, they both feel the ‘Buzz'. Buffy turned to Steve.

"Steve, Brother Aaron is one of us?" She asked.

"Yep, so's  Abbott Michael and a few guests as well."

"What do you mean by guests?"

"I'll explain everything on the road back. Now, let’s go meet Brother Aaron and Abbott Michael."

As they got out to the car, a brother rushes up to Steve and picked him up in a bear hug. Steve hugged him back. Buffy looked worried. A smiling Aaron along with a  bemused Michael walked up to her.

 

"Don't worry, Miss." A smiling Abbott Michael began "Brother Franklin is happy to see Mr. St. Wolf again. It's been two years since he last visited. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Abbott Michael and this." He pointed to the brother standing next to him. "Is Brother Aaron. And you are?"

"Hi, my name is Buffy Summers,” she told them.

Abbott Michael smiled at this, as Brother Aaron commented on Brother Franklin.

"Yes, Brother Franklin is happy to see him again. He prays nightly for Brother Steve." Brother Aaron told Buffy.

Buffy looked at Brother Franklin and gave Aaron and Michael a questioning look.

"Miss Summers, Brother Franklin suffers from a severe form of mental retardation. He has the mind of a six year old in a grown man's body." Aaron explained to her.

Buffy face gave a look of surprise. “He's an Immortal. How can he be retarded?"

"We don't know." Brother Aaron began. "When Steve brought him here, twelve years ago, he was like that. To be safe from other Immortals, his condition forced him to live in a wilderness, in the high north. Steve never said what he was there for, just that Brother Franklin needed some place safe to stay. And here he has chosen to stay."

 

Buffy watched Steve as he talked with Brother Franklin, a small smile on her face. “Small children, and puppies.” She muttered under her breath.

Abbott Michael heard this, and smiled. "They're usually the best judges of character in a man."

Buffy felt the ‘Buzz' again as a man walked up. He stood about 6' 6", very muscular, with sand colored hair. He introduced himself as Robert McCallister.

 

"Hello, Abbott Michael, Brother Aaron, who’s the gentleman with Brother Franklin, and this charming young lady." He askd.

 

Abbott Michael does the introductions. Robert McCallister is over 1,800 years old and has known Abbott Michael for 600 years, they are old friends. Abbott Michael turned to Buffy.

"Miss Summers, may I tell Robert of your cause?" Abbott Michael asked.

"Please clear it with Steve first, Abbott Michael." Buffy replied.

Abbott Michael nodded his head and called over to Steve. "Brother Steve, a moment of your time, please?"

 

"Of course, Abbott Michael. Frankie, please excuse me, I have to talk to the Abbott. I'll come and visit soon, I promise." Steve then turned to Abbott Michael and the stranger.

 

"Steve, allow me the pleasure of introducing you to my oldest and dearest friend, Mr. Robert McCallister. Robert, this is Steven St. Wolf sometimes he is referred to as Wanderer." Abbott Michael formally introduced the two men.

 

Steve is impressed, the name, Robert McCallister, is spoken with respect in quite a few high places. "A pleasure, Mr. McCallister, your reputation precedes you, Sir." Steve respectfully tells him, as he extended his hand to him.

"Your reputation precedes you as well, Mr. St. Wolf. Your name is not unknown to me. Brother Franklin thinks the world of you, and speaks of your bravery often." He shook Steve's hand as he added. "It’s not often I meet a man of honor, but it is always a pleasure. Michael tells me that you have a mission that I could help with."

Steve turned to Abbott Michael with a questioning look. "Abbott Michael, may I ask what you have told Mr. McCallister?"

"Nothing beyond the fact that you have a mission and that his skills could be of use to you."

"I could use someone of your skills Mr. McCallister., but I must confer with Buffy. If you'll excuse us for a brief conference?" They nodded their heads in agreement and walk a few yards away from Buffy and Steve.

 

Steve whispered to Buffy, "Buffy, this guy is supposed to be one of the deadliest men alive. What do you think of him? Could we use his help, if Abbott Michael recommends him?" Steve noticed Frankie talking to Abbott Michael and McCallister. They seemed to be on friendly terms. An idea struck him. He called Frankie over and introduced him to Buffy.

 

"Frankie, what do you know about Mr. McCallister?"

 

"You mean Brother Robert?" Frankie asked. Steve nodded. Frankie then told how he got lost one day trying to find a kitten and another Immortal had found him and tried to kill him. McCallister had be passing by and saw what was going on. He defended Frankie and brought him back to the monastery, unharmed. Since then, he had been friends with Frankie, visiting whenever he could.

 

Buffy and Steve looked at each other and nodded. They thank Frankie and go over to where Abbott Michael and Mr. McCallister are waiting for them.

 

"Mr. McCallister, Buffy and I hope that you will help us," Steve told him. "Buffy can explain what has to be done. She's the one most familiar with it."

"Very well, Miss Summers, please explain what has to be done," he asked Buffy.

Buffy gave him a complete run down of everything that has happened to her and her friends over the last two years. After she completed her story, Steve told him everything that he had done and what their plans were. McCallister turned to Abbott Michael. Abbott Michael only nods.

McCallister took a deep breathe, and let's it out in a sigh. He turned to Buffy and Steve with a smile, "It is truly refreshing to see the younger generations actually fighting for something worthwhile, and not each other's heads. I'll help."

"We're leaving in about fifteen minutes. Are you joining us or going by yourself?" Steve asked.

"I'll join you. It'll give me time to get to know you better. Now, I must pack."

Abbott Michael watched his friend go pack. He turned to two young Immortals. "He has needed a noble cause for a long time. Thank you for giving it to him."

Buffy and Steve waited by the car for Brother Aaron and McCallister to come out. Buffy turned to Steve.. "Steve, are most Immortals like these guys?" she asks.

"Like I said before, Buffy, Immortals are like everybody else. You have all types, good and bad, and everything in between. You just lucked into meeting a bunch of hero and saint types, your first time out," Steve replied with a smile.

"Oh, and which type are you?" Buffy asked with a smile.

Steve reached down and took her into his arms. "The hero type, because some of my thoughts concerning you, certainly don't make me a saint." Steve replied as he reached down and kissed her. She doesn't refuse.

"Ahem, shall I post the bans at this time?" They heard Abbott Michael ask them.

"No, Abbott Michael, it's not necessary," Steve told him quickly. Buffy looked puzzled. Steve then saw Robert and Aaron coming with both their overnight bags, and swords.

"Time to go. Abbott Michael, always nice to see you again. I'll be back soon to visit. Tell Frankie goodbye for me, please." Steve told him as they quickly get into Steve;s car.

As they are leaving the monastery, Buffy turned to Aaron and asked him, "Aaron, Abbott Michael offered to post the bans for me and Steve. What does that mean?" She asked.

Steve winced, hoping that Aaron wouldn’t answer her, but as luck would have it, Aaron is curious in turn.

"May I ask what brought that comment about?" he replied. Buffy told him how Abbott Michael caught them kissing. Aaron gave Steve a grin and a wink. "Abbott Michael was asking if you two had set a marriage date." He told her.

Buffy blushed a pretty shade of pink, at this comment. She looked back at Aaron, who has a smile going from ear to ear. Robert is also smiling.

 

"I hope that you two know that Michael is rarely wrong about such things. If he told you to post bans." Robert lets the rest of the comment go.

Needless to say that set the tone for the entire trip back. Buffy enjoyed the ride immensely. She chatted with Robert and Aaron the entire way down. Steve wanted to hang himself, at least twice, by the time they got back to Sunnydale. The only relief that he got was when he called Frank at the motel and got the rooms that he needed for everybody.

*****

St. Wolf Residence
9:00 am

Frank is up and about, preparing breakfast, being helped by Kyra, Reagan and Scully. The rest of the group is sat in the living room going over the notes that Giles had put together. Almost everyone is there, except Amy who had just called to say she was coming over a little later. The doorbell rings and Willow goes to answer it, expecting Amy, but saw the Immortals tense. Willow knows that her friend wasn't at the door as she moved out of the way to let Frank answer the door instead. Everyone else pulled out weapons, while they wait.

Frank walked up to the front door. He looked out the peep hole and saw Amy standing there with four men who he immediately recognized He pulled open the door. The tall, dark haired man with a pony tail, on the other side smiled at the sight of Frank.

"Hello, Amy, I see you've meet Duncan and his friends already." Frank commented.

"Hi, Mr. Iverson, these guys were looking for the house. I found them lost about two blocks over and brought them here when they stopped and asked me for directions. I told them I was coming here anyway, so they gave me a lift." Amy explained.

"Still getting lost, I see, Duncan," Frank commented with a smile. < God it’s fun getting Duncan's goat. >

"Steve gave bad directions, Frank. I do not get lost," Duncan replied defensively.

Joe Dawson whispered to Amy, "Only in the bathroom, and even then, it’s sometimes a close call.”. Amy started to giggle.

Duncan gave Joe a dirty look, which just made Amy giggle more.

Frank led them into the house and told them to find a seat. He introduced Duncan's group to everyone. Frank turned to Giles and asked, "Giles, would you mind bringing Duncan and his friends up to date on our little mission?"

Giles nodded and started to explain the situation to Duncan's group, when every Immortal suddenly tenses. The front door bell rang again and Frank went to answer it.  At the door were Mike Hammer, Mack Bolan, Horatio Caine, Ryan Wolfe, and Natalia Boa Vista. They were followed by Det. Mac Taylor and Det. Danny Messer from New York.

In the living room, Duncan and Giles were talking, when Mac Taylor comes in with plenty of friends. When Duncan saw one of the men Mac brought with him, he got up and walked over and grabbed him by his collar.

"Hammer, you son of a bitch, remember New York back in 1978? You almost killed me there. Those drug dealers would have cut me up after they shot me. I barely revived in time to kill them," Duncan told him with an angry tinge to his voice.

"Yeah, I remember New York. I also remember four children who had to be saved. It was them or you. You're still alive, so quit bitching about it," Hammer angrily replied.

"What do you mean?" Duncan asked clearly puzzled.

"Those bastards had four children. They were using them to test their product on. They offered me a choice. Get them to a hospital and save them, but by doing that, they could kill you. Also I could have tried and save you, but then I would let them die. I didn't hesitate in my choice. I would do it again. So would you," Hammer angrily told Duncan.

Duncan looked into Hammer's eyes and saw that he's speaking the truth. "I didn't know," he told Hammer in a soft voice.

"You would have found out if you had met me later that night, but you hopped on a plane to Paris, before I could tell you," Hammer told Duncan.

"I was angry. I wanted to kill you for leaving me behind," Duncan replied. "I apologize for my rudeness."

"Apology accepted, now let's get down to business," Hammer said.

The entire room breathes a collective sigh of relief.

“Well, I’m glad I’m not going to be investigating a murder in this house today,” Det. Taylor said.

As soon as he saw Det. Taylor, Duncan quickly shook his hand. “Mac, how you doing? Connor treating you alright in New York?”

“Just fine, Duncan. He’s a great teacher. I just glad he was able to help me when I got back to the states from Lebanon, and what happened there with the Marine Barracks. Before I forget, this is Det. Danny Messer, Lindsay’s husband and my Watcher.”

“Congratulations,” said Duncan.

“Thanks. If it wasn’t for the lack of being able to find someone who could watch our five year old daughter, Lucy, she’d be here, too. I can tell you both she, and Stella are going to be sorry they’re going to miss this little shindig.”

“Why couldn’t Stella come?” Duncan asked.

“She had to appear in court for a case since she was the arresting officer. The necessities of law enforcement,” Mac explained.

“Excuse me please. For those of you who just arrived, my name is Rupert Giles. Steve asked me to start filling you in on what’s going on here in Sunnydale. If you would like to try to find someplace to sit I’ll do my best to be brief,” Giles said once again starting his explanation..

Giles stood before a captive audience as he explained what was happening in Sunnydale. The new arrivals are pissed by the time Giles finished his lecture.

  Danny turned to Giles, and asked, "Mr. Giles, you mean to tell us that the cops in this town are hiding their heads, collectively up their assess, over these vampires?" he asked.

"Yes, it appears so. But in their defense, most people in this town don't seem to notice the number of vampire related murders. They chalk it up to the large number of drug gangs in LA. It somehow doesn't register on the human psyche that vampires really exist," Giles tried to explain.

"Bull shit, most of us here are or were law enforcement officers, at one time or another. We would have gotten to the bottom of this situation in record time, vampires or not," Horatio replied. "This is stupidity and cowardice of the worst magnitude."

“You can say that again. I’m Fox Mulder, and the redhead next to me is my partner Dana Scully. We’re both special agents for the FBI, and in my professional opinion after what we’ve seen going on here I can honestly believe one thing – which is the vast majority of the Sunnydale Police Department could get lost in a telephone booth.”

The conversation continued on this vein for a while. Willow, tired of the constant kvetching, decides to get some fresh air and heads to the side door.

*****

Part 22 - Welcome Home
(What is a Home? Just a Fancy Bunker)

As Steve pulled up to the house, he saw two new cars parked in front, both four-door airport rental SUVs.

Steve parked by the garage. As they got out, Robert and Aaron felt the ‘Buzz' of multiple Immortals. Robert turned to Steve.

"Steve, how many of ‘us' are in that house? I have never felt so many of us in one spot, at one time."

Before Steve could answer, Willow came out of the side door. She saw Buffy and rushed over.

"Steve, Buffy, am I glad to see you here. Your friends from Seattle, New York, and Miami are here. Your friend Duncan came in first, shortly followed by this Horatio Caine guy with two friends of his. Not all of them are Immortals. One of them and that Duncan guy don't exactly get along, but at least they're not trying to kill each other, either."

Steve entered his home to find a small army waiting for him. Willow, Buffy, Aaron and Robert followed close behind. Off to one side of the room the rest of Buffy's friends were clustered, with Frank, Mulder and Scully keeping an eye on them. Near them is Kyra's group, keeping an eye on Mac's tight little group. Duncan and his friends were sitting together, as they watched everybody. Joe Dawson, was sitting next to Duncan, not believing the number of Immortals present in this house. Methos was looking a little worried as well. < Probably afraid for his head in this crowd. I pity any bastard pissing off this gathering. > As he entered the living room, all eyes go to Steve, the son of a bitch that got everyone in this room out of a warm bed, on a cold Saturday in February.

Steve turned to Horatio, "Horatio, nice to see you again, would you care to introduce your friends?"

Horatio turned to his friends, who nod their heads. He then said, “The gentleman is Detective Ryan Wolfe, my Watcher.  The lady is my fiancée, Detective Natalia Boa Vista, an expert archer.”

 

“She’s also a WildCat,” Amy suddenly mentioned.

 

Natalia, Horatio, and Ryan looked a little worried. “I don’t know what you mean. Ms.?” Natalia said as she spoke to Amy.

 

“Just call me Amy. I can tell you’re a WildCat. You have the necklace that Giles says was mentioned in his reference books.”

 

“Ah, Amy.” Xander began. “She’s not wearing a necklace?”

“Actually, I am.” Natalia said as she touched the base of her neck, and a small, metal necklace with a cat’s eye gem on the front shimmered into view. The necklace was only large enough to be able to fit snuggly, but comfortably around her neck. After it appeared Natalia addressed Amy “Since you were able to see it even thought that perception filter I’m guessing you must be a witch, or at least have access to some magical abilities.”

“Witch, actually,” said Amy.

Giles was floored by Natalia’s claim. “Ms. Boa Vista, I’m Rupert Giles. I would like to ask you quit a few questions about the WildCats if you are willing. My intentions are purely for informational purposes. I don’t intent to use anything you tell me against you, or your friends.”

“Well, if Steve and Horatio can vouch for you I don’t have a problem with it.”

“There is one thing I would like to ask you right now though. Do you know of any other WildCats?

 

“I personally know of four WildCats in New York City,” Natalia said.   “Three have Bengal tiger companions; one has a white Siberian tiger as a companion. My companion is a female black leopard called Shadow Fire.”

“Oh, so you’re that friend in Miami that Stella and Lindsay went to meet that one time that was so important,” Mac Taylor said.

Natalia did a double take, “Mac, good to see you. You too, Danny. Aren’t Stella and Lindsay with you guys?”

“No, they couldn’t get away for various reasons. You know they would have loved to be here for this.”

“Excuse me. Confused person here,” Xander said. “Just who are these two people you’re talking about who are missing this party?”

 “Sorry. That would be Det. Stella Bonesara, and Det. Lindsay Messer formally Monroe of the New York City Police Crime Lab. There two of the four WildCats that Natalia mentioned are in New York. Stella’s companion is the Bengal tiger called Tiger Claw. Lindsay’s the one with the white Siberian called White Fang.” Mac explained. “The other two work for Manhattan’s Special Victims Unit. Det. Amanda Rollins with Ghost, and Det. Olivia Benson with Rajah.”

“Boy, that must be one well protected town,” said Frank.

Duncan grinned at Frank’s comment when suddenly he, and Kyra both dropped their drinks, Duncan asked "Robert McCallister?" Steve nodded his head. "Steve, how in the hell did you get McCallister, to join in this little party?"

 

"Simple, Duncan, I asked politely." Steve replied with a grin. McCallister just laughed.

McCallister stepped forward and stood before the assembled Immortals. His name is legend among the Immortal community, though none, until now have ever met him. Some Immortals thought  he was Methos, but those who know, him know better. Everyone is silent waiting to hear what he has to say. "Steve is correct. I'm here for one reason, and one reason only. I won't sit idly by and watch innocents being butchered by vampires. Also, let me add, that it brings a warm feeling to my old bones seeing you, younger Immortals, standing here together, fighting for a just cause, and not each other's heads. Thank you, for letting me see that there is some hope for all of us."

 

"Actually, there is more hope than you can imagine." Steve then told everyone about Krevar's journal, that he and Frank had found in Tibet, and its translation. It's Steve's turn to shock the entire room. Robert turned to him.

"Steve, if this manuscript is genuine, then all the senseless butchery can stop. I hope to God that it’s true," he told Steve. The other Immortals also have a look of hope on their faces.

"Tell me, how are you planning on getting this information to every Immortal still alive?"  Reagan asked.

 

Steve looked at Joe Dawson, who nods his assent. "For those of you who don't know this, it may be a shock. But, I'll be blunt. There is a society of mortals who have been chronicling the history of us Immortals for the last three thousand years. They are called the Watchers. Each of us has at least one Watcher on him at all times, keeping a history of our lives. Now, please understand this, they do not interfere in our lives, just keep a record, so that what we are and have done is not lost." Steve saw the shocked expressions on many faces at this bit of information, but he goes on. "What I'm plan to do is provide a photo copy of the journal, along with its translation, to them. They could arrange to have it delivered to every living Immortal in the world within a couple of days."

"Do you think they'll do it?" Horatio asked.

"Yes, I do. They're basically a good group of people. I don't think their consciences wouldn't allow them to hide this information from the other Immortals. After all, they could just make the copies and Fed Ex them to everybody. Let each of us make that decision, and not involve themselves any further," Steve explained. He sees Joe nod his head slightly at this plan.

 

"Now, let’s get to the matter at hand." Steve told them, everyone goes quiet, "We are here to destroy a large number of vampires that are planning on feeding off this town. The preliminary plan is as follows. First, we will go over a list of possible nest sites. Second, groups of us, led by Buffy and her friends will scout the areas that might hold the most concentrations of vampires." Everyone in the room looked at Buffy's group. "Third, we will attack about an hour before dark, hitting only secondary targets, today. Tomorrow, we'll hit the primary ones at nightfall when the vampires feel the strongest, but are the least observant. Also, Buffy's group, Frank, Joe, Danny, Ryan, and Nick will not be joining the assaults." Steve saw that Nick and Frank are very angry about this, so are most of Buffy's friends, but he continued. "I am not down playing your role in this believe me, but you are not immortal, and you can die much more easily than the rest of us can. At present, there are, including myself and Buffy, eighteen Immortals here. Most of us have combat experience and weapons training that far exceeds anything that you could possibly have. Besides, we will need a tactical reserve and support, which will be you people." Nick and Frank relax at the thought that they're not going to be left out.

 

“What about her?” Nick said as he pointed at Natalia. “She’s not Immortal either. She’s playing a more active part just because of some fancy necklace.”

Before Steve, and Mac could say anything Ryan Wolfe spoke up “Look, buddy. I’ve known Natalia both before, and after she got that “fancy necklace” as you put it. Once she got it she quickly went from being a once battered woman, and a constant target to someone quit capable of holding her own with even the most highly trained Immortal here.”

When he saw the expression on Nick’s face Ryan continued, “One time, not long after Natalia first got her powers, the three of us along with Sergeant Frank Tripp, and a couple of officers had to arrest a suspect. This guy was a multiple black belt, trained by the Army in hand to hand combat, and was ranked the number one martial arts fighter in the south east.”

“Wow, what happened?” Cordelia asked extremely interested in hearing the answer.

“Well, not long after we got to where he lived he decided he was going to try to make a break for it. He quickly laid out me, Sergeant Tripp, Horatio, another detective we brought named Eric Delko, and the two officers. He then ran out the door, jumped in his car and started the engine. By the time we all untangled ourselves he would have been long gone. Except that was when he ran into Natalia.” Ryan paused a moment, then continued. “After we finally got ourselves off the floor we ran out the guy’s front door to see what could only be described as a very incredible sight. Natalia was standing in front of the guy’s car with both hands on the front edge of the hood keeping it from moving. From the amount of smoke his back tires were generating our suspect apparently had it floored, but he wasn’t going anywhere. Just then Natalia punched her right fist thru the hood of the car, and pulled out all the wires from the spark plugs. Needless to say his engine died right away. Natalia then walks over to the driver’s side of the car, pulls the suspect out of the driver’s side window while calmly telling him “there was no charge for the tune up”.  She then dropped him to the ground intending to arrest him. However, he had other ideas. Not caring about the fact of what Natalia just did to his car he proceeds to attack her. That move could easily be said to be the single biggest mistake of his life.”

“What happened?” Xander asked.

“Let’s just say that in about the span of five minutes this highly trained man went from the number one ranked martial arts fighter in the south east to being number two,” Ryan said. “Not to mention the large numbers of medical bills he ended up with.”

After Ryan finished everyone looked at Natalia with a new level of respect, including Steve and Frank.

“Steve, if it helps matters. I don’t mind being in the reserve group. Besides, my being with them would be good insurance in case a group of vampires should stumble across us,” Natalia explained.

“I can’t argue with that logic. Okay then. Giles, you, Joe, Willow, Cordelia and Oz will make up our communications and computer section, believe me, when I say, we'll need it. This operation will have to be coordinated, and I think you can handle it. Frank, Nick, Xander, Danny, Ryan, and Natalia will be our tactical reserve. I have six anti-tank rockets. They're to be used as bunker busters, if we need them. You six will be responsible for getting them to us and using them. Amy, you’re our only witch," Steve saw several of the Immortals stir at this comment. "So, you'll be teamed up with Frank's group, who will also be responsible for you.  Natalia, we’ll see about getting you wood-shafted target arrows.”

 

“I already have sixty cedar-shafted target arrows in here,” Natalia said, tapping the case beside her.  “It doubles as a quiver and I can carry it several ways In fact after this is over I might have to start thinking about maybe coming up with some other kind of anti-vampire arrows.”.”

 

"Very well.  Primary weapons for this operation will be wooden stakes and edged weapons, secondary weapons such as pistols, should be carried, but not used. Also, each unit will be given a pump shotgun loaded with Dragon's Breathe shells for those crowded moments. For those of you wondering about the use of assault rifles, forget about it. They won't affect vampires. The only ways to kill them is to stab them in the heart with a wooden stake, behead them or burn them up. Most of us here have experience beheading opponents with swords and axes," Steve added lightly. Most of the Immortals laughed at this joke. "Now any questions?"

Mac Taylor got up, "All well and good, you've detailed out a good attack plan, but what are the groups going to be and the command structure?"

"The groups will be as follows, Horatio, you, and Mac will be with Duncan along with Richie, Adam and Aaron. Kyra's Group will be augmented by the addition of Robert." Robert looks at Kyra's group of Valkyries and smiles. "My group will be Buffy, Mulder, Scully, and Jenny. The command structure will be as follows, myself, Mac, then Duncan, Horatio, and Kyra in that order. Any questions? No, good."

Steve turned to Willow and Jenny, "Willow, were you, Jenny and Dana able to access the building records for the buildings we're going to hit?"

"Yes, Steve, we got all of them, including renovation up dates. I stored everything in your hard drive. Now, we have to pull them up and print them."

"Everything's in the hard drive?" Willow nodded. "Good, Frank, give me a hand with the projector." Steve and Frank go to the office and picked up a small device nobody had ever seen before, as well as a portable keyboard, and placed them on the coffee table in the center of the room.

Willow and Jenny were curious about the device. "What is it, Steve?" Jenny asked.

"Just watch," Steve replied with a grin.

As he turned on the device, a computer screen floated in the air above it. "It's a holographic projector," Steve explained, as he's accessing the computer. He then pulled out a three dimensional image of the town, including the sewer system. All of the target buildings are shining in red. Steve touches one of the target building's and created a three dimensional display for the tactical review of that building. Mac immediately started to take notes and make comments about the building structure and the assault possibilities. Willow and Jenny noted the program that Steve's using and wanted to give it a try.

Mulder turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, where in hell did you get this device? It’s beyond anything that I have ever seen."

Steve looked at the projector, and answered. "Mulder, let's just say that this was given to me by a friend for whom I did a favor. A really big favor."

Mulder just shook his head and commented. "This case is one for the records, for every answer we dig up, I have three more mysteries to solve." He looked pointedly at the projector.

Mulder then noticed something. Everyone seemed quite amazed with the holographic projector except Mac, Danny, Natalia, Ryan, and Horatio. “How come you five act like seeing this is no big deal?”

“Why should we make a big deal about it? We use this kind of stuff all the time,” Danny told the apparently stunned FBI agent.

< Mulder's a good man, but sometimes, he asks too many question. > Steve thought to himself.

The assembled group looked at all of the possible hiding places and decided that they couldn't hit them well enough to put a dent in the vampire population, so the plan was changed to one of the classics, the bait and switch.

The order of attack was decided on. The first scout trip would be Buffy, Frank and Steve. They would pay Willy, the squealer, a little visit at his bar and make life a little painful and drop some misleading information on him. The second scout trip would be the sewers, also by them. They would make Angelus and his friend think that Buffy had joined forces with Frank and Steve. The scouts would be lightning quick and hard. The plan was to make them hate the trio and want to get at Buffy Frank, and Steve as fast as possible. They would be the bait in the trap.

 

Steve and Buffy decided to hit Willy's Bar first.

*****

Part 23 - Dialogues and Conversations
(Beating the Hell out of a Piece of Slime)

Frank and Steve went to his bedroom to get ready. They grabbed a pair of black dusters and watch caps out of the closet. They then changed out of their pants and shoes to fatigue bottoms and combat boots. Besides his katana, Steve grabbed a pair of Glock 21s out of the arsenal, a couple of grenades and five wooden knives. Frank grabbed his H&K Spec Ops .45, an Ithaca ‘shorty' 12 gauge pump, and four wooden knives and a pair of throwing axes. After they ‘load' up, Steve tossed Frank a pair of dark sun glasses, they put them on at the same time.

As they entered the living room, Buffy's group is stunned. Frank and Steve see that their ‘Hollywood' bad to the bone looks has the right effect. Everyone else just started to laugh.

Horatio manages to get out between laughs, "Wanderer, couldn't you and Frank steal any more clichés? You guys look like Terminator wannabees."

"Just make sure you don't go into any liquor stores," Danny cracked, between laughs. "Or we'll have to bail you out, if the owner doesn't shoot you on sight."

Steve took off his sun glasses and smiled. Buffy and her friends don't understand what the joke is. Steve explained it to  them, "Buffy, the reason everyone is laughing is because, no true professional would be caught dead, dressed like this. What we want to do is make Angelus and his friends think that we're just a pair of amateurs who got lucky that night. We want to make them come after us in force."

Buffy looked confused, "Why do you want all those vampires to hunt us? They could kill us all, if enough of them got together."

"Buffy, that's exactly what we want. It'll make it a lot easier to kill all of them. Especially, when they think, they have only you, and two amateurs, who you have to protect, against them all. Not twenty professional killers."

*****

Their first stop, Willy's bar, is in the really bad section of town. Buffy entered first followed closely by Steve, and Frank bringing up rear. Once they entered the bar, they saw Willy, a short, nervous guy; talking to three guys you won't want to meet in an ally. Hell, you wouldn't want to meet them in a police station.

Buffy grabbed Willy and threw him to the bar. Frank and Steve covered Willy's little playmates.

"Okay Willy, where do I find Angel?" Buffy asked. "Tell me before I rip off your lying face."

< Now that's a polite girl. Gets right to the point. > Steve told himself. One of the hard cases decided to get up and help Willy. Frank clubbed him down with his shotgun.

"Now, now, they're playing nice. Don't interfere," Frank, grinning evilly, warned the three toughs.

Buffy slammed Willy against a wall. < Just getting his attention > Steve thought to himself.

"Willy, I'm not playing here. Tell me where I can find him, now!!" Buffy angrily told Willy.

"Look, I don't know where your boyfriend, Angel, hangs out. But I can tell you that they're scared of your two friends over there, and want to get rid of them, as fast as possible."

Buffy pulled Willy off the wall and turned him around. "What do you mean? What are they planning?"

"I just know that they put bounties on their heads with the Order of Teraka," Willy informed Buffy.

Steve turned to Willy, leaving Frank to cover the three hard cases. "Angel put a bounty on my partner and me?" He asks, grinning. "What did he offer? What's the bounty?"

Willy looked at Steve, then at Buffy. He saw no way out of this situation, but to tell the truth. "He offered a hundred thou for each of your heads, delivered to him. Preferably, minus the rest."

 

"Only a hundred thou? Man, I feel insulted. Frank, do you feel insulted?" Steve asked Frank.

"I feel insulted, Steve," Frank commented.

"What about me?" Buffy asked

"He told them to leave you alone. You were his," Willy told her.

"Willy," Steve asked. "Who are your three little playmates?"

Willy stiffened and looks at Steve. "They're nobody. They're just here to get a drink."

"Oh, I kinda find that hard to believe, Willy. They look like the type the Order would send after the two of us."

Buffy turned around and goes to one of the men. She grabbed his right hand and looks at a ring on his hand. "This guy is one of them." She informed Steve and Frank. She then checked the other two. "These two as well."

 

"Well gentlemen, you three are members of the Order of Teraka," Steve stated. "The last time I meet with your little play group, it cost you twenty of your members."

The three looked at Frank and Steve with nervous glances. The largest one looked at Steve.

"Who are you to brag about taking out twenty members of the Order?" As he asked, a look of recognition, dawns, on his face, quickly followed by fear.

Steve looked at him and smiled. "Just call me Wanderer. The place was Istanbul, about five years ago."

The three turned a very pale shade of white. They must have heard what happened.

Meanwhile, Willy is having a stroke.

"You’re Wanderer!? Oh shit man, please don't kill me. I'll tell you everything. Just don't do me." He wailed.

Buffy shut him up with a slap. "Shut up, Willy." She told him. She then turned to Steve. "Steve, what are you talking about? You killed twenty of them?" She pointed at the assassins sitting in front of him.

Steve keeps his eye on the assassins as he explained to her. "The Order of Teraka killed an old doctor, about five years ago. The man was a decent human being, who cared for people. The Order killed him because he gave sanctuary to one of their targets, a small child. He refused them entry, and they then targeted him, as well. I was in town buying some items and one the man's followers knew me. She told me what the situation was, and naturally, I got involved. I have a very low tolerance for child killers. I protected the old man and child for a month. It cost the Order twenty of their best assassins, before they quit."

The big man with the scared face glared at Steve with hate filled eyes. "The only reason the Order let the child live was because the bounty was lifted on the child. Otherwise you would still be protecting him."

"Why was the bounty removed?" Steve asked, curious.

"The client who wanted the child dead refused to pay for more assassins to kill you. The Order wanted at least ten million dollars to kill you. That price still stands, and if your friend here is with you, the price for him goes up as well. This contract, now that we know it concerns you, is terminated." Scar face told Steve. "We will leave this town immediately."

"There is a problem." Steve told them. "After Istanbul, and that man's death, I made myself a promise that I would kill any of your members that I came across in my travels."

"You wouldn't dare!! We are the Order of Teraka!! We have existed for centuries and killed thousands. What makes you think that you can destroy us without dire consequences?" Scar face haughtily asked.

"Simple, a promise to an old man. This is for Akbar." Steve told him as he shots each one in the head, point blank. Steve next turned to Willy who has just pissed his pants. "Willy, can you contact the Order?" He nodded his head, yes. "Tell them what happened here. And tell them that this is just a warning. If any more of them come to Sunnydale, I'll start hunting them full time." Steve turned to leave, taking a shocked Buffy by the arm, followed by a worried Frank.

As Steve leaves, he turned again to Willy. "Oh, and Willy, if Angelus finds out about this, I will be back for you," Steve told him. If possible Willy turns even paler still.

Buffy turned to Steve after getting back in the car, and angrily said "Steve, how could you kill those three men like that? They weren't going to do anything,"

 

"Buffy, they would have gone straight to Angelus and told him who I was. Then, every vampire in town would have left. I don't want them to leave. I want all of them dead. As to me shooting them down like that, ask yourself, how many people have those three bastards killed? Every member of the Order of Teraka has killed at least a hundred people before they're offered a chance to join. Who is going to avenge them? The law? Forget it; the Order is beyond the law. Most law enforcement agencies are scared shitless of these people. Let's go back to the house. Frank and I have to change our clothes. The plans have changed."

*****

Part 24 - Hauntings From the Past
(History Lessons II)

Buffy looked a little scared, and doesn't say anything the entire trip home. When they got back, she got out of the car and headed straight to the house without a word. She goes straight to Giles and Jenny and takes them to the side, and tells them what happened at Willy's bar.

"Giles, Steve just butchered three members of the Order of Teraka. He shoot them down like they were animals," a scared Buffy told them.

Giles and Jenny are shaken by this turn of events. He turned to Steve, who sat down on the couch after coming in, and was waiting for his reply.

"Mr. St. Wolf, we are not in the business of coldly butchering down human beings, even members of the Order of Teraka. If they were vampires, I could understand, but normal humans? Sir, this is beyond redemption."

Mac looked at Steve, and asks, "Steve, who did you just kill?"

"Three members of the Order of Teraka. Angelus put a bounty on mine and Frank's heads. We found them at Willy's bar and one of them recognized me. I did what I had to."

Joe Dawson perked up at my comment. He gets up and approached Steve.

"Steve, you didn't tell them, did you?" he asked, as Steve just glared at him. "No, you didn't. Well, I'll tell them."

"Joe, it's none of their business," Steve told him.

"Yes, it is, and don't give me any crap about it," Joe angrily replies to Steve, as he once again took a seat. Everyone sat quietly, and waitied for Joe to tell them what has gotten Steve so angry. Steve then takes this opportunity to leave the room and go into his office to sit alone and have a good cry.

"For those of you who don't know me, I'm Joe Dawson. I'm also the head of the North American branch of the Society of Watchers."

 Most of the Immortals give Joe ‘the eye' at this revelation, but remained quiet, waiting for his story to unfold.

"The story begins in Istanbul, about five years ago," Joe began. "Steve had just purchased a piece of art for one of his clients when a young girl came running up to him. Steve had rescued this girl from an attacker, a couple of days before, and she trusted him. She told him about the man who had raised her, and the trouble he was in. The girl led him to a large house where a man named Akbar, a retired doctor, was housing and raising homeless street children. He also ran a school there for the children and a clinic for the entire neighborhood. An old woman came to the house the day before, carrying a small child. She gave the boy to Akbar, to protect him from the assassins sent to kill them by an enemy of her husband. This enemy had all of the woman's family killed because of a vendetta against her husband. As she was leaving, the Order of Teraka found her and killed her. They attempted to gain entry into the house but Akbar somehow stopped them. The Order then tried to break in, but the house was protected by something. By the time the Order found a way around the protection, Steve was already at the house offering his services to the old man. For a month, Steve protected them, killing any member of the Order that tried to enter the house. At the end of the month, twenty members of the Order of Teraka laid dead, trying to fulfill that contract," Joe told a rapt audience.

He took a drink from his beer, before continuing. “The Order finally stopped trying. They sent a third party to tell Steve that the contract on the boy had been withdrawn. Steve then got the boy out of there and got him hidden away safely. He thought that with the boy gone, Akbar and the rest of the children would be safe. He was only gone for two days. In that time the Order attacked Akbar's house and brutally murdered all of the children there, as revenge against Akbar's stand against them. They crucified Akbar to a wall in the house and slit his eye lids to force him to watch, as each child was murdered in front of him. It drove him mad."

 Joe's eyes turn cold as he continues, "Three of my Watchers, Mike Anderson, Pat Samuels and Robert Thorpe, tried to stop them. The Order killed them and left their bodies in the street. When Steve came back the next day, he found Akbar still crucified to the wall and all of his children dead, at his feet. The bodies of my Watchers had been taken by the local police and put in the morgue. The police wouldn't go into Akbar's house for fear of the Order. Steve had to take the nails and boards off Akbar himself. The worst part was the children. Steve had to take each child out of the house and bury them himself. No one local would do anything to help him. The Order had made sure of that. Two of my Watchers, Frank Drey and Tony Driscal, saw what he was doing and went to help him. That's where he learned about the Watchers, and the sacrifice three of us made for Akbar and his children. Steve, Frank and Tony buried seventy four children that day, sixty three of them were ten and younger," Joe told them. His audience sat there, listening to the story unfold. Many of them now with cold gleams in their eyes.

 

"It was also too late for Akbar, no local doctor would help him. By the time Steve, Frank and Tony were able to get him out of the country, and to a doctor, a deep infection set in. Akbar died three days later from blood poisoning. His final words were for Steve. He said, ‘The children and I do not blame you. These men would have killed us anyway. You gave us life for another month, and showed us what a single good man could do. Just remember us in your heart.'"

As Joe finished his story, he sat back and gauged the reaction of those around him. The Immortals in the room, those that have seen many years and wars have a cold rage in their eyes. The younger Immortals and mortals are much more open in their hostility. Giles is the first to speak.

"My word, no wonder he just gunned them down. If I had seen that, I wouldn't have hesitated myself in killing them," Giles commented.

Buffy meanwhile headed towards Steve's office. She opened the door and sliped inside. She found him asleep on the couch softly crying. She gently reached out to him and touched his face.

*****

Steve awakens to find Buffy gently stroking his face. He reached for her and pulled her towards him and she sat down, next to him. Steve looked into her hazel eyes and saw understanding in them.

"I guess Joe told you the whole story about what happened in Istanbul," he asked her.

Buffy wrapped her arms around Steve and just held him tightly as she told him, "Yes, he did, Steve, I'm sorry for over reacting like that."

"No, you didn't over react. Just hold me, that's all," Steve told Buffy as he gently hugged her and laid his head against her shoulder.

Frank chose that moment to enter the office. He smiled at the sight of Steve and Buffy, before he cleared his throat.

"Steve, Buffy come back into the living room we have some major plans to make."

Buffy got up,and pulled Steve up with her and led him back to the meeting and to the matter at hand.

As Buffy and Steve walked back to the meeting, Giles came up to him and apologized.

"Mr. St. Wolf, I wish to apologize for my earlier remark," Giles told Steve as he offered his hand.

As Steve took his hand, "I understand, Giles, you didn't know the whole story, so no harm done."

Danny started the meeting with, "Steve, do you think this Willy guy is going to stay quiet?"

Steve shook his head, "No, Danny, this little turd is going to roll over at the first threat. Angelus is definitely going to find out about me. And I think, Buffy correct me if I'm wrong, that this will make Angelus come after me with everything he's got."

Giles and Buffy put their heads together and compared notes. Giles turned back to Steve and told him, "From our experience with Angel and the notes in the Watcher Journals, we can expect him to attack you and Frank as quickly as possible. He will not tolerate a serious threat to himself or to his game with Buffy, and you two are definitely that."

"This boy is one sick puppy," Mulder commented. "How does this help us?"

"Simple, Angelus will probably surmise that we will be calling in the cavalry, and he will want to hit us before we can get reinforcements in and get organized," Steve looked at the assembled group and grins. "Poor bastard probably thinks it'll take us at least week to get something together. Too bad for him. The three of us were planning on being bait in our revised attack plan, this makes it easier. We hit them hard now, taking out as many as possible. Make them think that we're the only ones on the hunt and then lead them into a trap. The place will have to be enclosed, where they will have limited room to move in and run, but they can enter freely. Anyone know about a place like that?" Steve asked Buffy and her friends.

Xander perked up, "Yeah, you're talking about the high school gym. We can make Angel think we're headed to the library and let him corner you guys in the gym. The gym has only four entrances, and those can be easily blocked."

"That sounds like a good plan," Steve commented. "Do we have access to the gym, available to us?"

Giles looked up and replies, "Yes, I have a complete set of keys to the school, as well as the security codes. Principal Snyder is attending a meeting in San Francisco so we don’t need to worry about him. We shouldn't have any problems."

"Good, it’s Saturday, let's go scope out the place, right now. We'll all meet at the high school in fifteen minutes." Steve turned to Buffy, "Buffy, have one of your friends go with each car, this way," He looked pointedly at Duncan, "no one will get lost."

Every one of Duncan's friends started laughing.

“Hopefully, I’ll be the one who kills Angel,” Jenny said.  “You see, I was the Kalderash girl he raped and murdered.”

“I was her teacher,” Katherine added.

“As I understand, that happened when you were a teenager,” Giles said.

“You can thank mages from the FBI’s Bureau 13 for helping me grow up,” Jenny explained.

Mulder and Scully reacted to this. “You mean Bureau 13 is real!” Mulder exclaimed.

“Very real,” Jenny tells him. “They’ve also provide me and the rest of the Scoobies with black fabric catsuits, made of a synthetic stretch armor, something like Scarlett Johansson wears as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and communicators that look like Bluetooth earpieces, as well as arranging for Father O’Brien of Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church to bless our weapons.  I have a number where I can reach them in case of emergency.  We’re all wearing the catsuits and communicators and have related gear and weapons in our duffle bags.  Steve, I’ll assign you a communicator and lend one to whoever you want.”

 

“Jenny, he’s yours,” Buffy said.  The others nodded..

*****

Part 25 - How to Set Up a Party
(Combat - One Part Preparation, Two Parts Determination,
Four Parts Pure Insanity and Twenty Parts Pure Luck
Where's Chance Harper When You Need Him?)

The group met over by the school gym and scoped out the place. Mac is the first to speak up.

"This place is perfect. The building is built like a bunker and the windows even have steel shutters on them. No vampire that enters here is going to leave here, except as dust," he commented.

"We can use the office and the equipment rooms to hide in until the vampires are too busy fighting Buffy, Steve and Frank. Those rooms also give us an excellent cross fire, if we need it," Xander added

Mac gave Xander a speculative look. < Who is this kid? He walks around us old soldiers like he's one of us. Let's see if he can back up his act with action. >

"Alright, Xander, since you know so much about these things, why don't you just give us the attack plan?" Mac asked with a grin. His friends, along with Kyra, are waiting for Xander to take the bait and get his ass handed back to him.

Xander gave Mac an ‘I'm not some civilian, playing a make-believe soldier' look. He took a deep breathe, letting it out slowly before he began, looking him straight in the eye. "Mac, I really don’t know how old you are for an Immortal, or just how many wars you fought in, but, I've been fighting here for over two years. I've watched my friends being murdered and turned into vampires. My best friend since childhood, a guy named Jesse, was turned into one of them. I had to kill him to save innocent lives. I've seen the bodies of my friends lying in coffins and in chalk outlines. And gone to, god alone knows how many funerals. Yeah, I know about these things, and to tell you the truth, I hope that I can kill as many of them as possible. Just to get a little payback," Xander angrily told him as he shed a tear for his boyhood friend. "Now, can we get started setting up this little party?"

Mac, his friends and Kyra, are surprised at the strength and honesty behind Xander's words. They've all been there. The constant battle. The fear, the not knowing whether today you'll die or one of your friends will, instead of you. Never knowing when you'll wind up dead or live to fight another day, starting the same cycle over again. They look at this kid, turned into a man before he should have been, and they see themselves. Whether the battles were in the Sahara Desert, Viet Nam, Gaul, the Rubicon or any one of a thousand other places or times, they've all been there. They see that Xander is truly one of them, a brother soldier who has been in combat and seen much of the dirtier side of existence, but hadn't let it destroy him, just made him stronger.

Mac felt a lump in his heart. He wished he could give this kid a normal childhood, but it's too late for that. The only thing Mac can think to say. He said, "You're right, Xander, it's time to give these things a major payback for all of the pain and death they've caused," Mac replied and smiled, as he reached over and clasps Xander's shoulder while saying, "Like you said, let's get started planning this little party."

Buffy and Steve watched this little drama play itself out. Xander's remarks strike home in many of the people present and they understand where he is coming from. Most of them wish they didn't, but they do. Steve leans over and whispered to Buffy, "Looks like Xander has made himself some new friends."

Buffy smiled, "I can't imagine a stranger group than that."

"WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?" Principal Snyder shouted as he enters the gym. "Who the hell are you people?"

"Principal Snyder, weren't you supposed to be attending a meeting in San Francisco?" Giles asked

"The meeting was canceled. What are you doing in this gym on a Saturday, Giles? And who are these, and I use the term loosely, people?" Snyder ordered.

Before Giles could answer, Mulder and Scully stepped up with their badges open. "Mr. Snyder, I'm FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and this is my partner, Special Agent Dana Scully." Mulder nodded his head toward Scully. "We requested the use of the gymnasium from Mr. Giles," Mulder told him.

"Why?" the Principal asked.

"I'm afraid I can't tell you at this time. You'll be given a full report on Monday, no sooner," Mulder told him.

"Alright, but it better be good." Snyder told Mulder. As he stalked out he saw Buffy standing next to Steve.  Snyder walked over and told Buffy, "Summers, I’m keeping my eye on you.  If I don’t like what I see, I'll have you in detention for a month."

"That is no way to talk to someone whose love for learning you’re to nurture,” Natalia spoke up.

“Who are you, girl?” Snyder demanded.

“Detective Natalia Boa Vista of the Miami-Dade Police Department, my jug-eared friend,” she replied

“I don’t care who you are you can’t talk to me like that. One more comment like that, and I just might blow my top.” Synder shot back.

 

“Judging from appearances, I’d say you already blown it.” Natalia told a shocked Synder.

Horatio then spoke up, “Principal Snyder, I’m Lieutenant Horatio Caine, also of the Miami-Dade Police Department.  I’m also Buffy’s uncle.  From what I’ve seen and heard, I don’t consider you an effective principal.  I think I’ll speak to some friends of mine in your state’s Educational Department about you.  You just might find yourself without a license, and, therefore, a job.  I may also talk to friends in the Attorney General’s office and in the state police about your incompetent police department.”

“We have an excellent police department,” Snyder snapped..

“Oh, then why has Detective Stein been harassing my niece?”

Synder was taken aback by Horatio’s comment. He was about to say something else when Natalia spoke up again.

 

“Oh, by the way, Synder, about your comment about having an excellent police department. That doesn’t mean much from someone whose face looks like it was stuck on his butt.” Natalia told Synder.

Snyder, once he saw the look in Natalia’s eyes, used the shocked silence to make his leave.

“That was very well done. With insults like that you’d make a terrific New Yorker.” Danny told Natalia.

“Thanks for the compliment,” Natalia replied.

“Just don’t you think you might have gone a little too far?”

“No!”

“Just checking.”

"Uh, who was that guy? With those ears he could stand in for a hang glider,” Steve asked.

"That was Principal Snyder. He detests all of the students, especially Buffy and all of her friends," Giles informed him..

"No wonder the American education system is so bad, with people like him running it," Steve commented.

"Wanderer," Horatio began, "The rest of us can get this place set up. You, Summers, and Iverson should go and start the ball rolling."

"Change in plans, Horatio," Steve told him. "I'm not taking Frank with us." Frank started to protest. "Frank, don't!! We need to take another Immortal with us on this one. I want to make it look like all three of us are wounded." Steve saw the grins start to show. Predators always go after the wounded animals with the most stubbornness. "Mac, you and Frank look enough alike to fool anyone who doesn't know you, would you be willing to play the wounded goat with Buffy and me?"

"Yeah, no problem." Mac replied.

*****

Part 26 - Discoveries - Willy's Bar
(The Information Tree, Shake It and See What Falls Out)

Willy is having a *very* big drink. Normally Willy avoided drinking too much, especially with his clientele, but after what has just happened and the following phone call he was scared shitless.

< Wanderer, teamed up with the Slayer. Man-o-Man what have I gotten myself into here? > Willy thought to himself. His head jerked up at the sound of the sewer entrance being opened. < Who the hell can this be? > Without turning around Willy yelled out "We're closed, come back later."

"But, Willy, you have such interesting lunch specials," Angelus told him as he examines the three dead assassins. Willy starts to sweat heavily. After looking at their rings Angelus got back up and turned to Willy.

"What happened here, Willy? Those three are the assassins the Order of Teraka sent here to help me. Who killed them? Who has the balls to go against the Order of Teraka?" Angelus questioned him.

"Angelus, my man, it was just a little disagreement that went out of hand, nothing more." Willy explained nervously.

"A LITTLE disagreement Willy? There are three dead members of the Order of Teraka sitting in your bar, shot through the head. Who did this, and is the Order going to do something about it?" Angelus demanded.

"I just got off the phone with the Order. They're not sending anyone else here. Your money is being sent back to you. As far as the Order is concerned, Sunnydale is too hot for them and they won't come back here," Willy explained to Angelus.

Angelus is taken aback, the Order of Teraka, too scared to come to Sunnydale? "Did they say anything else, Willy?" Angelus demanded.

Willy nodded his head, "Yeah, they said you and your vamps can go to hell for setting them up like this."

"Set up? What the hell are you talking about, Willy? Who in their right minds, sets up the Order? Tell me everything, Willy, or so help me, I'll rip your guts out."

"It's your old girlfriend, she got some professional help to take you out, Angelus," Willy told him.

Angelus looked at Willy closely, asking, "Alright, Willy, just who are these two guys and why is the Order so scared of them?"

"I can't tell you who they are. They'll kill me if I do," Willy wailed.

"Willy, listen to me. I'll kill you slowly right now if you don't tell me everything, and I mean everything." Angelus demanded

"Look, Angel, you're a tough guy, but this guy really scares me. I'm too afraid to tell you anything," Willy explained.

Angelus took Willy and slammed him against the wall. As Willy slid down the wall, Angelus leaned down and whispered in Willy's ear, "Willy, either you tell me, or I will change you into a vampire and then you'll have to tell me."

Willy paled visibly, "Okay, okay, okay Angel. The guy that the Order is scared of, is called Wanderer." Willy pauses and waited for Angel's reply.

Angel growled low in his throat as he told Willy, "Tell me more, I've heard rumors about this guy, but I need more information."

"I don't know anything." Willy told Angel. "The only stuff I've heard about this guy is that he's one of the deadliest SOB's on the planet. He admitted to killing twenty members of the Order right here, in front of me. In less than a month. And the way those three were looking at him, confirmed it. Then, he just blew those three sitting there away, like they were nothing. I've also heard rumors that this guy actually took out a Demon Prince of Hell."

Angel released Willy and let him fall to the ground. He then turned and left via the sewer opening in the back of Willy's bar. He hurried to the factory where Spike and Drusilla are waiting for him.

As he entered the factory, Angel calls out, "Spike, Drusilla, get out here, now!!"

Both of them hurried over, wondering what has Angel so hot and bothered.

"Angel, darling, what's wrong?" Drusilla asked..

"I just got back from Willy's bar. I had gone there to meet the assassins the Order of Teraka had sent to help us with our problem," Angel told them.

"So, Angel, what happened? The buggers didn't show up. Mighty cheeky if you ask me," Spike commented..

"Oh they showed up alright," Angel replied as he hit his hand against a wall.

"So, what's the problem? The Order will take care of the Slayer's two new friends in quick order," Spike commented.

"The assassins are dead, Spike. One of Buffy's new friends killed them in Willy's bar. He shot them down like they were animals. And the *mighty* Order of Teraka will not send any more assassins to Sunnydale because they're afraid of this guy," Angel told them.

Spike and Drusilla jaws dropped. “Just who would have the backbone to do that to the order?”  Spike asked in awe.

Angel paused before he answered, "Ever hear of a guy called Wanderer?"

"Bloody Hell, not him," Spike exclaimed, visibly shaken.

Drusilla started to whimper. "Please, Angel, make the bad man go away. He hurt us in Prague. He killed every one of Miss Edith's little friends."

Angle looked at his two brethren, "So, I take it that you've heard of him," Angel replied. "Care to tell me what you know about him?"

"Well it started in Prague, about seven years ago," Spike began. "Me and Dru, had been in town for a couple of months enjoying ourselves, when a mortal raised the Demon Kretrag, and Kretrag promptly ate him. After that, the Demon started to gather a few of us vampires, with certain mortals, who were truly evil, together to help him. It wanted to raise a few more of its fellow Demons and start killing more mortals. In order to do that, we had to gather a large number of mortals for a blood sacrifice. Everything was going fine, until this group of mortals attacked us. They destroyed almost all of us vampires in the first few minutes." Angel looked surprised at this, but remained silent, and waited for Spike to continue.

 

 "There were almost fifty vampires and a Demon Prince of Hell in that room. The only reason that Dru and I survived was because Dru got hurt and we ran, but we saw this Wanderer bastard take on Kretrag and kill him. They fought for almost ten minutes. Kretrag should have killed him, but this mortal just kept taking everything Kretrag gave him, and kept coming back for more. Everything Kretrag threw at him was absorbed by his damn sword, ‘Demon Slayer'." Angel jerkd at this information. "Finally, he cut off the Demon Prince's head with that sword of his and one of the other mortals, a priest, blessed the body, completely destroying it. We got out of Prague that night," Spike told Angel as he finished his story.

 

"Who were the other mortals helping him? Did you ever find out who they were?" Angel askd.

 

"Yeah, I did, and it scares me. One of the mortals who was helping us survived and escaped, before we drained him, he told us what he knew. He found out that the priest was a Monk of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi. Also, judging by the description the mortal gave of their uniforms, three of the warriors were Knights of the Order of the Grail. The other two were Japanese Ninjas," Spike told him.

Angel looked at the wall, deep in concentration. After a few minutes, he turned to Spike and Dru. "So this guy is everything Willy claimed him to be. Now this presents a major problem. Tell me, Spike, how many vampires do we have here in town, right now?" He asked.

"About a two hundred, maybe a little more, if any of the new vampires we made wake up early," Spike answered, "Why?"

"Because, we're going to hit them before they hit us. If we give them any time, don't you think that this Wanderer guy is going to call in his friends? And how long do you think we can stand against a small army of professional warriors lead by the Slayer?" Spike and Drusilla looked really scared at that prospect. "How long do think it will take to assemble them and attack Buffy and her two new friends, as well as everybody else?" Angel asked.

"Not long. You do realize that a lot of them wouldn't be coming back from this little mission." Spike commented.

"So what? Who cares if a few vampires die to take out the Slayer and this Wanderer guy?" Angel commented “Just as long as we survive!”.

*****

Part 27 - Sewer Scouting
(No Ralph, Norton is Not Coming With Us)

The Sunnydale Sewers are large. For some reason the designer had the construction company build them six and a half feet high and wide, making it the perfect place during the day time as a travel route for vampires. Go figure.

Buffy, Steve and Mac got back to Steve's house and changed into black clothing, armed themselves with pistols, swords and wooden knives. Besides Steve's usual combat rig of katana, Glock 21 and stakes, he carried an Ithaca ‘shorty' loaded with Dragon's Breath shells. Buffy, in addition to her normal stakes, was carrying her katana and a Kyber Bowie she found in Steve's collection as well as the Glock 26 he had given her earlier. Mac had his saber, Desert Eagle 44, stakes and a couple of smoke grenades. Each was also given fifth generation night vision goggles.

“It’s too bad Natalia couldn’t go with us,” Mac mentioned.

“Why? I admit she’s strong from the sound of it, but what could she do in the sewers?” Buffy asked.

Before he answered Mac tapped the night vision goggles he was wearing. “You see these goggles? Natalia wouldn’t need them. Like all WildCats she has naturally available night vision. She could see better in the dark by herself than we can using these. She can see slightly into the infrared and ultraviolet parts of the spectrum as well.  Think how effective someone would be against vampires if they could just pick them out of a crowd by their lack of body heat.”

 

Buffy digested this as Mac continued “Not to mention all her senses are ramped up to superhuman levels. She, and all the other WildCats, are basically human polygraphs, forensics lab, surveillance equipment, and medical examiner’s office all rolled into one.  Each one of them is basically a one woman police precinct. There is a lot more they can do, but we don’t have time right now to go into that.”

Buffy whistled, “The more I learn about them the more impressed with them I get. I almost wish I was one instead of the Slayer. I can say, however, I wish we had a least one of them around here full time. It would make my job a little easier.”

“Who knows, Buffy? Just like us Immortals they know what would happen to them if the wrong people found out their secret. So, who knows, there might be one a lot closer to you than you think.”

“Okay, you two. If your done let’s get going,” Steve told them.

**************************

Their first target is a group of four vampires. They hit them hard and fast, taking all of them out. Buffy dropped kicked the first one into the wall, as he bounced off the wall, she staked him, quick and dirty. The second vampire was Mac's. He was quick and brutal. He grabbed it by the throat and stabbed it through the back to the heart. The third and fourth vampires were Steve's. They made the mistake of attacking him at a crossing. Steve cut them both open with a single slash of his Katana. As they fell to their knees in pain, Steve cut off their heads.

Mac noticed Steve's style comments, with a wry grin, "Keeping in practice, I see."

As Steve wiped his blade clean, "Always got to keep up the style, Mac. You never know," Steve replied with a smile. Buffy just looked around, trying to sense anymore vampires.

 

"Got a lock on anymore?" Steve asked Buffy when he noticed what she was doing..

"Yeah, about ten of them, to the south of us, about a half mile," Buffy answered.

"That's quite a range Buffy. Can you always sense vampires that far away?" Steve asked.

"Normally no, but Amy used a spell to heighten my vampire sense, and it appears to work fine," she told Steve and Mac.

"Isn't that kind of dangerous?"

"Normally yes, but we need the extra edge. So I took the chance."

Steve decided to change the subject. "Do you think they heard us?"

"No," was Buffy's short reply.

Then, in Steve's best John Wayne he said, "Well then, Pilgrims, let's mount up and ride."

"You know, Steve, Duke would have shot you for imitating him that badly," Mac told Steve.

As they moved south, Buffy asked, "Mac, did you know John Wayne?"

"Yep, I met him once in Hollywood not too long before he died. One of the greatest actors and gentlemen of our time," Mac replied wistfully. "That's our main curse, losing good friends and loved ones."

Buffy held up her hand, "The vampires are around the corner, I can feel them."

Steve eased forward and checked around the corner. He saw the vampires, all eleven of them. They're scaring a couple of young girls, who are huddled in a corner, tied up. < Man, I hate it when someone plays with their food. > Steve thought to himself as he moved back to Buffy and Mac.

"The vampires are there, but they have a couple of kids with them. Both are still alive. But I don't think that'll last long," Steve told them. "I think the best way to get them is to rush them, and take out as many as possible, protecting those kids."

Buffy and Mac nodded their agreement. As they started moving forward they heard gun fire in the tunnel ahead of them.

*****

Part 28 - A Convergence of Forces II
(Sewers Are Not Just For Turtles Anymore)

Steve leaned over and asked Buffy, "Is it more vampires?"

"No, something else is there; let's hit them while they're distracted," Buffy reasoned

Mac and Steve agreed and they rushed forward to saw a man and a woman, armed with guns and swords, fighting the vampires, protecting the girls. All of the vampires have their attention, so Steve, and his freinds are able to sneak up on them and take out six of them before the rest can react. The first three are taken out with stakes in the back. The next three got the same treatment. Of the final five, three are wounded by the man and woman, and fall back to be decapitated by Buffy, Mac and, Steve. The man and woman, saw that the three strangers are helping them, stood their ground protecting the children, while the strangers took care of the rest of the vampires.

As Mac decapitated the last two vampires, and turned them into dust. Then the three turned to the man and woman. They’re still on guard, as they waited to see what would happen next. Steve puts his sword in its scabbard, Buffy and Mac followed suit. He turned to Buffy.

"Buffy, any more vampires in the area?" The man and woman stiffened when they heard this.

"Nothing for at least a mile, Steve."

"Any of them coming this way?" Steve asked, worried if the gun shots would bring any more.

"No, I don't think they heard anything."

Steve turned to the man and woman, still standing there, on guard. "Hi there, I don't know who you are. But if it'll makes things any easier, I've always believed the expression, the enemy of my enemy, is my friend.'"

The children, at this time, started to cry, the woman gave a worried look to the man. The man nodded and both put down their weapons. The woman turned to the children and began to untie them, as he softly whispered to them. As she untied and removed their gags, the two girls, begin to cry, "Mommy, Daddy, you came for us. We were worried."

The woman, an imposing redhead, turned to the three strangers. "Who are you people? What were those things that took my children?" she demanded.

"Well, we were just, sort of, passing through, and saw the kids in trouble, and decided to rescue them. As we were moving forward to attack, you two jumped them before we could. While the vampires were distracted, we attacked them from behind, killing all of them," Steve explained.

"Vampires? Are you serious? They can't exist. They're only myths to scare children," the redhead stammered. Her husband remained quiet.

"Well, Miss, why do you think they disappeared into piles of dust, when we staked them or cut off their heads, but wouldn't die from your bullets?" Steve replied evenly.

The redhead was about to tell Steve where to go, when her husband lays a hand on her shoulder. She looked at him and he just shook his head. Steve noticed a strange tattoo on the husband's arm. He'd saw it somewhere before, but nothing came to mind.

"Get your children out of here and out of town as fast as you can," Steve told them. The woman started to say something, but Steve held up his hand, and continued. "Things are going to get very hot here in a little while, and we don't want any innocents getting hurt."

The man and woman just looked at the three strangers, but nodded their heads in agreement.

Steve turned to Buffy and asks, "Buffy, where is the closest opening that we can get to?"

"About a quarter mile north of us. But I can feel about a dozen vampires coming in from that direction. We should be able to get these people out before they get there. Then we take out those vamps," Buffy explained. The man and woman each picked up a girl and followed.

Buffy took point and Mac does drag while Steve stays by the family.

As they're moving out, the woman came up to Steve and asked, "Who are you people? You three act as if you've fought these things before."

"Listen, Miss..? You know, I never did ask your name."

"It's Scarlet, no last name, what's yours?" she asked "And don't worry, my family owes you three for helping us rescue our children, we won't betray you.

 

"I can live with that, Scarlet. Just call me Steve, the young lady is Buffy, and our associate is Mac.  But, as far as the vampires are concerned, yes, we've fought them before. And we probably will again. You mind if I ask a couple of questions?"

"Go ahead, it's the least we can do."

"Who are you two? Very few people know how to use swords like you two were doing earlier."

"We learned them in the Service," Scarlet replied with a straight face.

"In the Service, huh?" Steve smiled "Just one more thing, your husband hasn't said a single thing. Can he talk?"

Scarlet looked at Steve. "Just barely, he lost his voice in a helicopter accident, saving my life."

Steve looked at her and realized that he's stepped into a sore area. He quickly changed the subject. "Look, Scarlet, when you get to the exit, get out of town as fast as possible. At night fall, go to a large hotel and don't let anyone in during the night. Vampires can't enter unless you invite them in."

"What about you three? What's going to happen to you?" she asked.

"Don't worry about us. We're going to kill as many as possible. We won't stop until all of them are really dead," Steve told her as they reached the exit.

Just as they are leaving Scarlet turned to Steve, Buffy, and Mac."Good Luck. Snake Eyes and I will be back to help, as soon as our daughters are safe."

 

"Scarlet, the help is appreciated, but not necessary, the three of us are more than able to take out every vampire in town." Steve told her. < Snake Eyes? Who the hell names their kid Snake Eyes. >

Buffy tensed suddenly. "Steve, the vampires headed in this direction, they're almost here. Get ready. Oh Damn!! There's about twenty of them. Let's get ready."

Scarlet was outside with the two girls. Snake Eyes looked at his wife and nodded his head in silent communication. She looked worried, but she understood. Honor demanded that he stay with the three strangers and help them. If it wasn't for the girls, she would've stayed as well.

Snake Eyes came up to where the three are standing and took a stand to Steve's left. Steve looked at him and he nodded his head. "Couldn't leave, could you? You and Scarlet aren't the types to leave a fight half finished," Steve replied with a smile. Snakes Eyes smiled as well.

The four stood about 200 yards from the turn off when the vampires came around the corner. They saw the four people standing in the tunnel and charged, hoping to get them before they could exit the sewer. Steve quickly calculated and tells Mac, Buffy, and Snake Eyes, "Form a line, and let them come to us." He then reached for his Ithaca ‘shorty' loaded with Dragon's Breathe shells. "Let them come at us. I'll fire the gun at about ten yards. When I say ‘fire' close your eyes or you'll be blinded."

At about twenty yards the vampires are clumped together real tight. Probably hoping to overwhelm the small group. At ten yards, Steve yelled "FIRE!" And let loose with the shotgun. The Dragon's Breath shell lived up to its name. It released a fifty foot fire ball which engulfed the entire hoard of vampires, leaving nothing in its wake. The air is sucked right out of their lungs, but they don't mind, every vampire is gone.

Buffy, Mac, and Snake Eyes are completely shocked. Buffy turned to Steve with a look of pure wonder.

"What was that thing you used to make the vampires disappear?" she asked in awe.

Steve gave her that devil may care grin, that tended to piss women off. "It's called a Dragon's Breathe shell. Think it lives up to its name?"

"That it does, that it does." Mac replied with a smile. Snake Eyes just nodded his head and grinned.

"Buffy any more vampires in the area?"

 

"Yeah, about ten more coming this way from the same direction as these guys were coming from."

"Okay, don't forget the plan. We have to let these guys hurt us bad enough to get the rest of them to come after us in force." Steve turned to Snake Eyes, "Snake Eyes, you cover the opening and protect it. It'll be our means of escape." Snake Eyes didn't like that, but he would do it.

As Buffy, Steve, and Mac moved to attack the vampires, the vampires saw them and rushed the group. Steve took out his first vampire with a straight stake thrust to the heart. Buffy, slammed a fist into her first vampire's throat and a stake into its heart. Mac had side stepped his first attacker and cut its head off with his saber.

After this, the three let everything go to shit. Steve's second vampire is able to grab his arm and broke it. Buffy staked her second vampire, but another one hit her with a lead pipe shattering her collar bone. She went down and Steve rushed over to help her. Steve used his last knife to stake the vampire with the pipe. As he helped Buffy get up, another vampire attacked them, Buffy used his support to kick its face in. Meanwhile, Mac is holding off the rest of the vampires. Steve reached for his communicator with his good hand and called Cordelia to come and pick them up.

"Cordelia, can you hear me?"

"Yes, Steve, we hear you, and have you located. We'll be at the entrance in a couple of minutes. Get out now."

Steve grabbed Buffy by the waist and started to the entrance. Seeing this, Snake Eyes, moved forward to help Mac fight the rear guard action. At the entrance Xander reached down and grabbed Buffy with her good arm. Steve pushed her up to Xander's waiting hands. Then he climbed up and called to Mac and Snake Eyes. As Steve reached topside, Xander leaned in with a huge sprayer and let loose on the vampires who immediately retreated back. "Holy water." Xander replied. The holy water allowed Snake Eyes and Mac a chance to climb out of the sewer. As Mac is climbing out, one of the vampires, braving the holy water bath, stabbed him in the leg with a large knife. Xander and Snake Eyes pulled him out and over to Steve's Blazer.

"Everybody in and let's get back to the library." Steve yelled out hoping the vampires heard him.

As they rushed to the Blazer, Scarlet pulled up next to it. Steve turned to Snake Eyes, "Look, thanks for the help, but get out of town. I don't want your kids growing up without both of you."

Snake Eyes glared at him, but his children made their presence known. "Mommy, is Daddy coming with us to Grandpa’s. I'm scared," they heard.

He looked to his car, where his wife and children were waiting for him. "Go," Steve told him. "Be a father to them, not a memory." He went, but not willingly. Not because he had to, but because Steve wanted him to go.

Steve then climbed into his Blazer. Cordelia peeled rubber getting them out of there. As they headed to the library, they saw Scarlet enter the freeway, headed out of town.

*****

Scarlet turned to her husband, "Carl, I know you didn't want to leave, but those people knew what they're doing. < I hope. > Besides, they told you to go, it's not like you deserted them." She told him. Snake Eyes just nodded his head. "One other thing, darling," Scarlet's voice pulled him out of his dark mood. "While you were busy helping our new friends, I called Tommy. He said that he would have the rest of the clan by my father's house by tomorrow night. Then, along with my brothers, we are coming back here to do a little payback. I hope our three friends survive the next two days," Scarlet added.

Snake Eyes then saw something written on the pad between the seats. He lifted it up and gave Scarlet a questioning look about it.

"Oh, that's that Blazer's license plate. I figure we could get Jinx to pull up the owner's name. Even if he isn't one of them. It will probably lead us to them," Scarlet explained.  Snake Eyes started to smile for the first time since this morning.

*****

As the Blazer headed toward the library, Xander asked, "Steve, who was that ninja guy that came out of the sewer with you?"

"Don't know, Xander. Ouch," Steve replied as his arm popped back into place. "But he calls himself Snake Eyes, his wife's name is Scarlet, any more than that, your guess is as good as mine. They were in the sewers to rescue their children. That's something that I could understand," Steve replied, as he turned to Buffy, "How's the shoulder?"

 

"Fine, a little sore, but fine." She replied.

 

"Mac, how's the leg?"

 

"Already healed up. Are we going to play the sick and wounded at the Library?" he asked.

"Yep, we want to give these vampires a real show. So let's make it good, people."

"You know guys, I can never get over how you just heal like that," Xander commented.

"Sure saves a bundle on medical insurance. But the clothing cost is a bitch," Mac replied with a grin.

*****

Part 29 - The Walking Wounded
(We Ain't
Gonna Win Any Oscars)

When they got to the library, Steve got out of the car first and then helped Buffy inside. Xander helped Mac inside while Cordelia covered them with the Super Soaker.

As they're walking, he whispered to Buffy, "Any vampires lurking around?"

"Yeah, six of them. No, make that four, two of them just left in a hurry," she replieed with a smile.

When they entered the library proper Giles is standing there with a worried look on his face. Most of the rest of the group was also there.  A dark-haired woman, wearing an old-style flight attendant’s uniform, sat nearby.  Several pieces of luggage are beside her.  "Is everything alright?" he asked.

Steve let Buffy go, reluctantly. She walked over to Giles and gave him a hug.

"I'm fine. One of the vampires shattered my collar bone, but it healed in about five minutes. Steve had a broken arm and Mack was stabbed in the leg. Both of them are fully healed as well."

"My word, this is incredible," Giles stammered.

"The good thing is that the vampires think we're wounded and will be easy game. They're probably on their way back to Angelus now. Now, who exactly is this young lady,” Steve commented.

“Would you believe that a flying saucer dropped her and her bags off in the parking lot,” Willow explained.

Steve and the others that he just returned with couldn’t believe what they just heard.

“Willow, just for clarification purposes, you did say flying saucer right?” Xander asked.

“Yes, I did.”

“That’s what I thought you said. Here, I thought nothing could top what’s happened already this week.”

Giles spoke next, “Just who are you, Ms. I don’t know why, but you seem very familiar to me for some reason?”

“I’m Fallon Carrington Colby,” she said, wringing her white-gloved hands nervously.

Every single jaw dropped open with that statement.

“My word!” a startled Giles said. “No wonder you seem so familiar. I remember reading about your disappearance back in London. Your mother, Alexis, had dual citizenship so what happen to you was major news in England, but that was in 1987. Just what happened to you? The prevailing theory was that you either met your end when you went wandering in the desert where your car was found, or someone might have kidnapped you.  Of course, nobody ever dreamed that the kidnapping theory might involve a flying saucer. Just where have you been all this time?”

 

“I was kidnapped by a rich businessman who was from a more advanced alternate Earth. He and his wife were looking for someone to replace their deceased daughter. I was the lucky candidate.  For twenty-two or so years, I lived, under the name Sabrina Crawford, on that Earth.  After graduating high school and college, I worked first as a hospital staff nurse, and then as a flight attendant for Caledonian Spaceways, that world’s version of British Caledonian Airways.  When I was returned here, to prevent the police from arresting me, I was told the truth and given my old identification.”

 

“I thought the uniform looked familiar,” Giles said.  “Isn’t that the Cunningham Tartan?”

 

“Yes.  Sabrina thought it was gorgeous and, through Alexis, I’m a member of that clan.”

“Why were the police after you?” Horatio asked.

“I’m also a cat burglar,” Fallon responded.

“This past Halloween, a chaos-worshiping mage enchanted the costumes he sold,” Buffy said.  “Xander was a Green Beret.  Cordelia, Jenny, Willow, and I were all cat burglars.  We still have our skills and gear.  We may need them, and we may need you.”

“Will you follow orders?” Steve asked.

“Your friends, Willow, and Mr. Giles, explained what was going on. I don’t know how much help I’ll be, but I’ll do what I can,” Fallon replied.  Then she added, “If you like, I can change into my cat burglar garb.  I have it in one of my bags.”

“Jenny, can you show her where to change?”

“Sure.”

“Friends of mine from the FBI’s Bureau 13 may be able to help you,” Jenny said.

“I have a quick question,” Cordelia asked Fallon. “I’ve seen pictures of you in some old newspaper clippings my mother kept. You look exactly the same age you did when you disappeared in ’87. How is that possible?”

“I don’t really know. All I do know is that for some reason I’ve seemed to have stopped aging along with suddenly discovering I now have a British accent. Before I sounded like every other American,” Fallon replies.

“Boy, I really would like to have that beauty secret? Not sure about the accent thought.”

Just then Steve noticed someone seemed to be missing. “Hey, Guys. Where is Mulder?”

“Oh, Scully, and Natalia are keeping an eye on him while his wound finishes healing,” Willow explained.

“Wound? What wound? I don’t understand. Exactly how did Mulder get hurt?”

“Scully stabbed him in the stomach,” Willow replied.

Steve couldn’t believe what he just heard. “Scully did what?! Just what possessed her do something as crazy as that?!” Steve really wanted to know.

“Remember the flying saucer that we said dropped Ms. Fallon off in the parking lot,” Giles said.

“Yes.”

“Well, let’s just say that Mulder got a little *over excited* when he saw it,” Giles told Steve.

“Oh, that explains everything,” Steve said suddenly understanding Scully’s actions. “I’ve encountered Mulder’s *over excited* streak before.”

“Okay, now that we have that all sorted out, what’s next, Steve?” Buffy asked.

“Now, the wait begins." Steve commented

*****

Vampire's Hidden Lair

The two vampires rushed into Angelus' presence. They saw him talking to several wounded vampires. Both approached and waited until Angelus had finished talking to a second group of vampires.

"Alright, so you know the plan. You are to attack the orphanage and hold those kids hostage until I say different. Do you understand?" Angelus asked. The vampires nodded and left the room, going to do as they were told. As he finished, he saw the two waiting for him. He called them over.

"You two were part of the group I sent to watch the library. Why are you here?"

The first vampire spoke, "Angelus, we were at the library when the Slayer and two men came in heavily wounded. We could smell fresh blood on all three of them."

Angelus started to smile. The previous vampire had informed him of the fight in the sewers, and how Buffy and her two friends were seriously wounded. "Go back to the library and inform me of any changes." Angelus told his scouts. < Now the fun can really begin. > He called to Drusilla and Spike. "Spike, how many vampires are here now?" Angel asked

"About a hundred and fifty," Spike answered.

"Good, because we're going to kill the Slayer and her friends at the library right now." Angelus told  him.

"Oh goody, we're going to have a party," Drusilla exclaimed, clapping her hands together and jumping up and down. "And the Slayer is going to be the main treat. Oh, may I have her friends, Angel darling? Miss Edith could use some company."

"We'll see, Drusilla," Angelus told her as he turned to the mob of vampires before them. "The plan is simple, we will all go to the school, right now. We will kill everybody there, but the Slayer. Now hear this, I want the Slayer alive. She is my personal property. Anyone who tries to kill her, will answer to me. Am I clear? Good. Now any of her friends are fair game. You can kill all of them," Angel told them.

Angel points to one of his scouts who had just come in. "What's going on at the school?" He demanded.

"They've moved the Slayer and her two friends to the nurse's office in the gym. I overheard one of the Slayer's friends complaining about the blood on her clothes," the vampire told Angelus.

< That would be Cordelia. > Angelus thought to himself. "Alright, this is it let's move out in small groups. I don't want any of you stopping for a snack. You can do that later, first the Slayer and her friends, then the rest of the town," Angelus exclaimed. The vampires all cheered.

They moved through the streets in groups of ten or less. All of them fixated on a single point: Get the Slayer and her friends

*********************

“Okay, what.” Joyce Summers said as she woke up from where she fell asleep on the couch. “What’s going on?”

Just then another loud knock sounded from her front door. Looking at her watch she thought <Nobody who knows about the night life in this town would be out after sunset except for Buffy. So it’s got to be a vampire. Maybe if I just ignore him he’ll go away.>

“Joyce. I know you’re in there! Come on, and open up! I’m alone! This is important!” Carol Lancaster yelled from the front door into Joyce’s living room.

Hearing Carol’s voice caused Joyce to immediately come to full wakefulness. <Carol! What in the world is she doing here at this hour?>

Joyce jumped off the couch not bothering to put her shoes back on. She hurriedly padded to the front door. Before she opened it she goes to where her jacket is hanging by the door, and reached into the secret pocket sewn inside one of the regular larger pockets. Joyce pulled out a small squirt gun that was filled with holy water.

Holding the squirt gun in her right hand she opened the door with her left. When the door opened she promptly let a stream of holy water fly at the person on the other side. When she noticed that nothing happened to Carol, except for suddenly getting a wet shirt, Joyce invited her in.

“Sorry about that, Carol,” Joyce explained. “I just had to be sure”

“No need to apologize. I’d do the same thing if I was in your place,” Carol told her.

Growing serious Joyce asked “Carol, just what are you doing here at this hour. You know it’s not safe to be wandering around Sunnydale at night. Buffy keeps telling me that all the time, and I have to keep pretending that I have absolutely no idea about vampires, or that I really know she’s the Vampire Slayer.”

“Funny that you should mention Buffy. Do you know where she is?” Carol asked.

“She’s sleeping over at her friend Willow’s.”

“Not unless Willow has taken to sleeping in the high school.”

“What are you talking about, Carol.”

“Joyce, in the last twenty-four hours something strange is going on. According to our little spy network we have in this town all the vampires appear to be massing for some kind of raid at the High School. Word also has it that it involves Buffy, that new guy Steve, and a friend of his.” Carol paused for a second before continuing. “According to the word out Buffy’s old boyfriend Angle is out to try and finish the three of them off.”

“How many vampires does he have with him?” Joyce asked getting a little worried.

“Not counting Spike, and Dru about a hundred and fifty. However, Steve called in a lot of extra help, and from the looks of some people he’s been seen with recently those vampires are outnumbered.”

“Carol, you could have told me all this over the phone. Why are you really here?” asked Joyce.

“I can never put anything over on you. I thought maybe you, and I could go and crash their party. Helping to take out a large number of vamps sounds like a lot of fun. A lot more than what Robert had planned for my last birthday. Come on, we can change into our spare Amazon Battle Armor that we keep here, and join the fun.”

Carol was so looking forward to going that Joyce’s one word answer stunned her. “No.”

“No. What do you mean no, Joyce? Don’t you want to go and help Buffy?”

“Of course I would. I’d like nothing better than putting on my armor, heading over there, killing all those vamps, and finally telling Buffy everything. That I know about vamps, her being the Slayer, and that she doesn’t have to worry about me because she thinks I’m incapable of protecting myself against Sunnydale’s night life.”

“Then what’s stopping you?”

“Need I remind you that we both promised Lady Felicia Standing herself, the matriarch of our whole clan that we wouldn’t  reveal ourselves, and the existence of Amazons to Buffy, and her friends unless absolutely  necessary, or if they discovered the truth about us themselves. We’re both honor bond to follow that order”

“Wouldn’t you call this absolutely necessary? Buffy could use the help,” Carol asked

“From what you already told me, Buffy already has a lot of help. So she really doesn’t need us there. We’ll just have to wait to see what happens.”

Carol realized that Joyce was right, but she couldn’t help to voice her frustrations “You’re right, Joyce. It’s just I hate sitting around doing nothing.”

“I know, but something tells me that sunrise is going to mark the beginning of a brand new era.”

*****

Part 30 - Showdown
Sunnydale High School Gym
(It Ain't the O.K. Coral, But It'll Do)

 

Steve didn't know which the worst part was. The waiting or the fighting. Buffy was nervously flipping around a stake as they waited for Angelus to take the bait. Mac was checking and re-checking his weapons. Steve was constantly checking all of the exits, his watch and his weapons.

Xander suddenly called from the south side of the building, "Guys, get ready, I see a major bunch of vampires moving in. From the south, about forty of them and from the west, another forty. Angelus is leading the pack from the south. Drusilla the west."

 

Joe called from the north and east sides. "Man, Wanderer, what'd you do to get them this pissed off? There must be at least fifty vampires coming in from the north and another thirty from the east. A blond haired guy looks like he's leading both groups."

 

"That would be Spike," Buffy commented..

 

"Alright everybody let's get ready. It's show time." Steve quietly told his friends.  “Natalia, we might need your friend’s help.”

 

“Right.”  She touched her choker and whispered, “Shadow Fire, will you join us?”  A roar accompanied Shadow Fire’s appearance.

 

Steve, who witnessed this, said, “She’s beautiful.”  Natalia smiled while Shadow Fire purred.  Steve heard the soft clicks and scraps as weapons are readied and unsheathed. He heard Aaron, softly praying, Horatio, checking everybody's placement, making sure they're not visible to the vampires outside. Joe Dawson, Fallon, and the rest of Buffy's friends are on the track above the Immortals, well hidden, ready to do their part, in this trap. They're being guarded by Brother Aaron, Nick Raven, Natalia, Shadow Fire, and Frank. The doors leading to the track have been spell warded by Amy and Brother Aaron. No vampire would be able to get through to them.

Natalia reached into her jacket, and pulled out what looked like a foot long cylindrical carved piece of wood. The thing is tastefully decorated, with two small cat’s heads on either end of the cylindrical piece. The heads are joined together by a stretchy, black, cord.

Buffy sees Natalia press a hidden switch. Just then there is a pneumatic-like sound, and the two cats’ heads quickly moved away from the cylindrical piece to their prescribed lengths. Natalia is now holding her long bow.

“Wow. That sure is an interesting little gizmo you have their, Natalia. Where did you get it?” Steve asked. He apparently had saw Natalia getting her bow ready, too.

“Well, Steve. Just like your computer. A friend gave it to me,” Natalia said smiling.

After hearing her answer Steve went back to checking everything.    

The doors on the ground floor level have been locked, but not spell warded, yet. After all they couldn’t make it too easy now, can they? They waited for the vampires to come to them. Buffy, Steve and Mac are armed to the teeth and it looks like they're making their last stand. Going done hard all the way.

All three doors are smashed in at the same time. Angelus, Spike and Drusilla lead all of the vampires inside. Steve recognized Spike and Drusilla from Prague, almost seven years ago.

"So, I see you two made it out of Prague," Steve told them.

Spike, looked at Steve, surprised that he remembered his face. "Yeah, we made it out of Prague, just barely. It'll be a pleasure to kill you tonight."

"I see you brought some of your friends. What's the matter, can't fight on your own? You have to have an army backing you up, like the last time. Well at least there's no Demon Prince of Hell to kill," Steve commented. Buffy stiffened next to him and gave Steve a what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about look. "I'll explain later," Steve whispered to her.

 

Angelus looked at Mac intensely. Then it hit him. < This isn't the same guy who shot my leather jacket to pieces. It could be his brother, but not him. Oh Shit!! This is a trap. > Angelus thought  to himself as he turned to Spike and Drusilla, "Spike, this is a trap, we've got to get out of here, now!!" He shouted at them. He grabbed one of the newly made vampires to get him out of his way. Angelus’s expression changed to one of complete shock when a wooden arrow struck the vampire squarely in the heart, and all Angelus is left holding is a handful of dust.

Then suddenly, the doors sealed themselves shut, trapping all of the vampires inside with the three Immortals.

Steve saw one of the vampires in the rear try to open a door and he got blasted into dust from the magic ward guarding the door. <Ain't magic wonderful? > Steve thought to himself.

Angelus turned to the three Immortals before him with a hiss. "You three are going to die. I'm going make sure of it."

Steve smiled as he pulls out his Ithaca ‘shorty' shotgun. Buffy and Mac both follow suit. "The only things that are going to die are you and your vampires, Angelus."

"Are you insane? You're outnumbered a hundred and fifty to three. And if you think those shotguns are going to help. Think again. Buffy should have told you that bullets can't kill vampires," Angelus told Steve. "Don't you good guys ever give up?!"

 

“No! That's why we're the good guys! Angelus, do me a favor and just stand there," Steve told him, as he pointed his shotgun directly at him, Buffy and Mac pointed theirs about thirty degrees away from Steve in different directions.

 

Angelus, Spike and Drusilla, sensed something was foul, and ducked. The blast from the three Dragon's Breath shells took down three wide rows of vampires. Cutting down the odds from a hundred fifty to less than a hundred odd vampires.

The shotguns are the signal for the rest of the Immortals to attack. The battle is joined by the Immortals against the vampires on the gym floor. Buffy's friends started to spray the entire gym with holy water. Steve moved to the side and staked one vampire and cut off another's head. Buffy was in her element, killing vampires with abandon and glee, finally getting some payback for the last two years. Mac moved to the side and starts to lay into the vampires with his saber, cutting off heads left and right. Horatio and the rest of the Immortals moved in and started staking and cutting as well. Natalia’s arrows kept finding their marks as she took care of some of the less courageous vampires.

Xander, standing on the running track, turned to Cordelia and said, "Man, I can't believe what's happening down there. I'd never thought, I'd say this, but, I'm glad that I didn't volunteer to be down there."

Cordelia just nodded her head and kept on spraying holy water down onto the vampires.

Joe Dawson turned to Giles, "Giles, can you believe what is going on down there?"

"No, Mr. Dawson, I find this situation to be something beyond my experience. I don't believe in the entire annuals of the Watchers that this many vampires have been killed by a Slayer and her allies, ever. I must say though, it is most refreshing to be slaughtering them, rather, than them slaughtering innocents," Giles replied

It was a dance of slaughter on the gym floor. Immortals were stabbing and cutting into the vampire host with reckless abandon. Most of these vampires had never seen a sword before, let alone faced true blade masters. Mulder (after he changed his shirt) and Scully worked as a team, cutting down vampire after vampire while covering each other's backs. McCallister lived up to his reputation, any vampire that came within five feet of him, wound up dust in seconds. He is remorseless.

Horatio moved with the grace of a leopard, using strokes and slashes that could only be seen in Renaissance paintings. Regan Cole was using a wooden knife as a Main Gauche, slashing with her sword and stabbing with the knife.

Mac worked like a machine, cut, chop, lob. Taking out vampire after vampire. Hammer lived up to his name. He hammered the vampires down with his sword or fist and cuts off their heads.

Kyra, Cara, Jenny, and Katherine worked together as a team, doing sweeper duty, making sure no vampires can attack the rear of the Immortals. Methos, Duncan and Richie rolled up the other side of the gym driving the vampires into the massed Immortals' blades.

Angelus and Spike tried to rally their vampires to fight back. Drusilla is cowering between them, in terror. They are slowly backed up to the wall in an ever tightening circle of steel and wood. The number of vampires was rapidly declining and they can't do anything about it. Spike turned to Angelus, "How could this have happened? Who the hell are these people?"

"I don't know. But it looks like we'll have to use the alternate plan." Angelus told him. Spike nodded his head.

"You think so?" Spike sarcastically replied as he got up on a bench and yells out, "ALRIGHT EVERYBODY, *JUST STOP*. *STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING*."

The remaining few vampires, about twenty of them, heard Spike's command and immediately stop fighting and hugged the wall. The Immortals stopped killing them and eased back a bit, but keep their guards up and ready.

Angelus saw Buffy standing next to Steve and smiled. "I see you've got yourself a new boyfriend. Too bad you can't give yourself to him like you did me," Angelus snickered.

Steve got pissed. < No one, not now, not ever talks about Buffy like that in my presence. > He moved suddenly forward and stabbed Angelus in the gut. While the wound is not fatal, it's painful as all hell. Angelus faell to his knees in agony.

"Now was that necessary?" Spike commented.

"Yes, it was." Steve told Spike as he pointed his sword at Spike's throat. Spike coule feel the magic in the blade.

"Just asking, is all, mate," he replied holding up both hands.

"Now, what do you want, vampire? If it's mercy you're looking for. Don't," Steve told him.

"Well, we have this little option for you. Our lives for the lives of the children of the Sunnydale orphanage," Spike informed the assembled Immortals.

"Would you please clarify your last statement?" McCallister asked

"Simple, we are holding the children hostage at the orphanage. We will release them, alive and unharmed, if you let us go," Spike explained.

"I find it hard to believe that you would keep your word on anything," Steve told him.

"I can be quite honorable, when I have to be," Spike replied smiling.

Horatio stepped forward and said, "Listen here, puppy, most of those here are far too old to fall for that kind of scam."

Spike took exception at being called a puppy. "Listen here, mortal, I've been a vampire for over a hundred and fifty years. While you've probably not seen more than forty years," Spike replied.

"Pup, I've walked the earth for one thousand years. Compared to me, you're still a wet behind the ears child," Horatio told him.

"You are delusional, man," Spike replied.

Before Horatio could reply, Drusilla spoke  up. "Spike, darling, that nasty man is not lying. He is speaking the truth. I can sense it. None of these people are mortal. They are something else. Even the Slayer. There is also something else here besides them, and the Slayer. Something very powerful, and dangerous to us. Something that sees with the eyes of a cat.”

 

<Well, I guess my reputation precedes me.> Natalia thought realizing Drusilla was talking about her.

"What are you? You're no vampire." Spike asked Horatio, clearly worried.

Horatio grinned. "I'm an Immortal.  I’ve seen many sights in my time.  I’ve fought the good fight and sailed with Columbus and a number of other explorers.  I was even in Pearl Harbor when the U.S.S. Nimitz traveled from the 1980s to December 6, 1941.”

 

<Wow. I have an X-File about that back at the office. I’ll have to talk to Horatio about that before he leaves,> thought Mulder.

 

Spike is scared, this is something that he wasn't expecting. < What the hell have we gotten ourselves into? > He thought to himself. He looked to Angelus, who was getting up, his wound was healed, but he was a little unsteady on his feet.

Steve made a decision, he raised his sword and yelled, "Every one of them, but the three stooges." The Immortals knew what to do. They kill every vampire, but Spike, Drusilla and Angelus. Within about thirty seconds, they stood alone, against the wall, surrounded again by steel and wooden blades.

Spike can't believe what has just happened. The shear brutality of the Immortal's action is not lost on Spike. It's something that he could respect. "Bloody hell, you people are truly ruthless, aren't you. But, I can respect that," Spike replied with a smile, "Well listen to this. One of my vamps has a suicide bomb with him. The bomb is armed with a dead man’s switch. If you make like the Light Brigade, he will blow up the orphanage, children and all."

"Alright then, here's what's going to happen," Steve told him. "Xander, did you hear everything?"

"Yeah, I did," Xander replied grimly.

"Take Horatio and his group, as well as Robert, Kyra, and Cara and get to that orphanage. Make sure that those vampires leave the children alive and whole."

“Horatio, where do you want me?” Ryan asked.

“Here.”

“Okay.”

“Just a minute, Steve,” Natalia said, “Wait until I join you. Shadow Fire, stay here with Ryan, and help keep fang face and his friends company.” Collapsing her long bow she replaced it in her jacket, closed and secured her quiver, and then quickly, with little effort, jumped off the running track to land on her feet on the gym floor. If possible Drusilla tried to make herself disappear when she saw Natalia.

“Wow, that was quite impressive,” Buffy said.

“Thanks. Now, exactly where is this orphanage, and how far is it from here?”

“About ten miles due south of here. Just off the main highway. Why?” Buffy asked.

“Only ten miles. Should take me about five minutes to get there,” Natalia said as she moved to the only temporarily open door.

Xander and his group joined them on the gym floor. “About five minutes to get there from here. How are you going to pull that off?” Xander asked.

“Simple. I’ll be traveling about a hundred twenty miles per hour.”

“Are you kidding? You can’t drive a car that fast thru Sunnydale, even in the middle of the night.”

Natalia gave him a thousand watt smile as she said “Nobody said anything about me using a car. I’m going to run.”

“Run, are you nuts!”

“Hey, Xander!” Mac Taylor said as he came up to him. “You know what the fastest land animal is, don’t you?”

 

“Yeah, a cheetah.”

 

Which is a member of the cat family, right.

“Right, so what?” replied Xander as he caught sight of Mac glancing over at Natalia.

“You mean...” Xander started to say.

“If you’ve never seen a cheetah run get set because you’re about to.” Just as the last word is out of Mac’s mouth Natalia is out the door, and on her way to the orphanage in a blur of motion.

“Wow!” Xander exclaims.  Cheetara lives!”

“Don’t just stand there saying wow, get on your way. Natalia’s probably at the highway already,” Steve told Xander.

Xander's group left immediately, not wasting a minute. Steve noticed Cordelia going with him. < I hope he knows what he has in that girl. > Steve mused as he turned back to Spike. "I take it you can communicate with your boy at the orphanage?" Spike nodded and pulled out a cell phone. "Alright here is my deal. You three will walk out of here, on my personal word of honor, when those vampires leave the orphanage. You'll have a one hour grace period, and then I start hunting you. Do we have a deal?"

"You've got a deal, man. Just let me say this, next time we meet, I will kill you and suck you dry." Spike said to Steve.

"The feeling is mutual, pup.  Of course, Jenny gets to kill Angel."

“Why?” Angel asked.

“I’m the Kalderash teenager you raped and murdered,” Jenny replied.

“You can’t be,” Angel said..

“Recognize this?” Jenny asked, showing him her necklace.

“Yeah,” Angel replied.  “Now I believe you.”

Everyone waited in silence for close to ten minutes. Xander finally called back on the radio. "Steve, this is Xander we are at the orphanage. We have the vampires in sight, there are four of them and they have the children and social workers in the main living area. One of them has a plastique vest with a dead man’s switch. The bomb guy is standing in the middle of the children," he reported.

"Alright, Spike, make your call," Steve told him.

Spike opend his cell phone and dialed a pre-programmed number. The vampire at the other end picked up its phone. "Spike, is that you?" it asked.

"Yes, it's me, you dolt. Who else would be calling?" Spike replied. "You are to leave the orphanage immediately. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT harm any of the hostages."

"But, Spike, we're hungry," the vampire complained.

"You can get take out later. Now go," Spike ordered. As Spike closed up his cell phone, he started towards the door. Steve's sword went to his neck. He doesn't go any further. "Ah, I think that I'll just stay right here, until you tell me to go." Angelus just glared at Buffy. Drusilla is softly humming.

Steve radioed Xander back, "Have the vampires left the orphanage?”

"Yes they have. We are moving in to check on the kids right now," Xander replied.  “Natalia’s lined up on the vamp with the explosive vest.  She’s going to hold her fire until they’re clear of the orphanage.”

"Tell her to fire at her own discretion," Steve ordered.

Spike can't believe what he has just heard. "Man, you are one ruthless Son of a Bitch. You're almost as ruthless as a vampire. I like that in a man," Spike told Steve with a smile.

Steve just gave him an evil grin. "Don't worry, Spike, the only thing keeping you three undead is those children. Anything happens to them and you all die."

"Oh, I don't doubt it for a minute, mate." Spike replies.

Just then Xander radios in. "Steve, it’s done.  Natalia dusted the one with the vest when they were all in their getaway car. Once she did he dropped the dead man’s switch. I think you can guess the rest. That was one really satisfying explosion.  The children and the social workers are safe. Repeat, the children and social workers are safe."

 

"I read you, Xander. Tell Horatio and rest we'll meet back at my place," Steve told him. He turned to Spike. "I gave you my word, you can leave. You have one hour, better make it good vampire. Because I'm coming after your head."

"Right, mate, I'll be seeing you." Spike cheerfully replied, as he, Angelus and Drusilla headed out of the gym.

As they reached the exit, Drusilla pulled back. "Spike, darling, the exit is spell warded against vampires. If we touch it or try to cross it, we'll be destroyed."

Spike angrily turned to Steve. "You Bastard, you Son of a Bitch. Let us out of here!!" Spike yelled

 

Steve smiled an evil grin. The same grin is shared by everyone in the gym, but the vampires while Shadow Fire, who has been staying close to Ryan, bared her razor-sharp fangs. "I said I'd let you go. I never said that I would remove the wards on the doors. You now have fifty eight minutes and counting," Steve told them.  Spike grabbed Angelus and smacked him across the face. "Get out of it, Angelus, we have to get out of here. Is there another way out of this place?"

Angelus shook his head, clearing his foggy mind. "Yeah, a sewer opening, no one knows about, in the equipment storage room. It's under the basketball cage. Let's go." They made their way to the equipment room and entered the sewer.

Steve turned to his friends, "They have fifty minutes left." Steve informed them. Steve knew the others understood that the three vampires had to be let go. Innocent children couldn't be sacrificed. If they had let the children die, then there would have been no difference between them and the vampires. There would always be another day to catch those three.

*****

Part 31 - Aftermath
(Vampire Massacres Don't Come With Maid Service)

 

Steve, Buffy, Giles and Frank surveyed the damage done to the gym. It is a little extensive. Parts of the floor have been charred, some of the walls had smoke damage. Also there were large piles of vampire dust all over it. Steve turned to Giles, looking at the dust on the floor. "Giles, can this much vampire dust be harmful to humans?"

"Mr. St. Wolf, I don't think that there has been this much vampire dust in one spot ever. I just don't know."

"Okay," Steve reached for his cell phone and dialed an old acquaintance.

The phone is picked up after three rings on the other end. "Garibaldi here," the voice on the other end said.

"Jack, Steve St. Wolf here. I need a favor. Do you still own a lead paint abatement company?"

"Steve, how are you? And yes, I still own Garibaldi Abatement. What's up?" Jack asked.

"Listen, Jack, you remember those things that killed your daughter, Gina?"

"You mean the vampires that no one believed me about, but you and my wife, Rita? Yeah, I still have nightmares about it. Why do you ask?" Jack replied.

Steve went into detail what happened at the gym. He also stated his concern about the large amount of dust being hazardous to anyone. After Steve finished his conversation, Jack is silent for a moment. Then Steve heard sobs on the phone. Jack quickly got control of himself.

"Steve, don't worry about the cost. I'll pay for everything in memory of Gina. My cousin, Frankie, will be coming as well to make any repairs that need doing to that gym. Thank you for calling me. I'll have a crew out there tomorrow morning, around ten o'clock. Tell your friend’s thank you from me and God bless."

"Thanks, Jack, give Rita and Carla my regards and good night."

"Good night, Steve, I'll see you in the morning." Jack told Steve as he hung up his phone.

Steve turned to his friends, and explained. "Jack Garibaldi was attacked by vampires about a year ago. He lost his oldest daughter, Gina, in the attack. He wanted me to say thank you for doing this," Steve explained. Everyone felt a lump in their throats. People like Jack were worth fighting for, and every one of them knew it.

Garibaldi Residence - East Oakland

Jack puts down the phone and started to openly cry. His wife, Rita, heard him from the living room.

"Jack, what's wrong, honey?" his wife asked.

"Remember Mr. St. Wolf?" Rita nodded, thinking back to the leader of the mercenaries who had rescued their daughter Carla and a group of her friends, from a group of White Slavers in Libya. Jack explained what had just occurred in Sunnydale and the request that Steve had made. Rita sat back and crossed herself and offered a quick prayer of thanks to God. She then reached for the phone and called her cousin, Frankie, and explained the situation. He would be there in the early afternoon with a crew to do the repair work. Gina was his god daughter and he felt the pain of her death as much as his cousin and her husband.

Rita then called Father O'Brien. She told him about what happened in Sunnydale and what her husband was planning on doing in the morning. He immediately asked to join in the cleanup. He would let Father Ricci handle the Sunday Masses. He would meet Jack by his office at 7:00 am.

Jack then called his chief supervisor, a man named Albert Mendoza. He told Mendoza that the request is from Steve St. Wolf. After Mendoza finished talking to his boss, he pulled out his phone book and called the men he needed. Some of the men balk at having to work on Sunday, but when told who had asked for the help, they immediately plan on going.

*****

The Sewers

Angelus, Spike and Drusilla are running for their undead lives in the sewers. They can't believe that Buffy and her allies had managed to destroy most of Sunnydale's vampires in one trap. However, the worst part was who had helped Buffy. How the hell did she find all those Immortals? Let alone get them to help her. It must be her new boyfriend, that Wanderer guy. That bastard must have set up this trap and gotten the extra muscle, and who the hell still uses swords these days?

They made their way to the garage that housed Spike's car. He checked his watch. They still had twenty minutes left of their grace period and four hours of darkness. Angelus was sulking in the back seat.

"Cheer up, Angelus, old man," Spike told him. "We got away. And now we're getting out of town, while the getting's good. We'll be back. Bigger, stronger, and ready next time."

Angelus just growled. He can't stand it being beaten by that little girl. He should have killed her when he had the chance, but no, he had to have played games. Now he was running from her and her friends, and he didn’t like it one bit.

Spike checked his get-a-way funds and turned to Angelus, "How does Chicago or New York sound to you?" he asked.

"Just get us out of town Spike, before Buffy and her friends find us," Angelus replied as their car left Sunnydale. "I want to start rebuilding our numbers as soon as possible. And then, I want to come back and destroy the Slayer."

*****

Sunnydale H.S. Gym

Steve checked his watch, the grace period is up. He turned to Buffy, "Buffy, can you locate those three?"

"No Steve, I felt them pulling away really fast. I think they grabbed a car and vamoosed out of town."

Steve took a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. "Okay, everybody, that's it for tonight. Let's get back to my place and then you'll go to the motel to get some rest." Steve looked to Aaron, still standing on the track. "Aaron, can you give this place a heavy blessing before we leave?"

"But of course. Give me a moment to prepare." Aaron told Steve. Then he began the blessing. Those Immortals who were Catholics, knelt, holding their swords in front of them, point down on the ground.

As Aaron finished, Willow stepped forward and offered a Talmudic prayer for the safety of the living. Aaron smiled and gave her a nod as he told her. "It's always a good idea to cover all your bases."

After the prayers, everybody left the gym.

*****

St. Wolf Residence

Pop! Goes the champagne bottle. Steve had broken open a couple of bottles of 1984 Don Perigon Champagne when they came back to the house to celebrate their victory. Everyone had a glass for the toast.

 

"To Victory." Steve lifted his glass. Everyone took a drink.

Giles was next, "To a battle that will go done in Watcher history." Joe Dawson added, "And in the watcher chronicles."

Robert McCallister was last, "To friends old and new, new beginnings and to hope for the future."

Everyone drinks to that.

After the toasts are done Steve asked if any one feels up to a barbeque tomorrow to really celebrate. Everyone agreed. So, Steve sent everybody to the motel. Frank, the motel guy, is waiting for them with enough rooms for everybody. Mulder, Scully, Aaron, Robert and Frank stay at the house with him. Before everyone leaves, Buffy and Steve stand by the door to wish everyone a good night. All of the Immortals congratulate Buffy on a battle well fought and won. Buffy's friends are the last.

Steve took Buffy over to the side and told her, "Buffy, I want you and your friends to help with the barbeque. This way you stay away from the school tomorrow. I don't want you or your friends to be associated with what happened there. I'll see you all here at 9:00 am."

"I understand, Steve. We won't show up, but is it alright to call and check up with you?"

"Yes it is, you have my cell phone number, use it."

As Buffy and her friends leave. Steve had a feeling that the quiet wouldn't last too long in this town. He turned to his house guests. Friends, old and new, and bid them a good night.

*****

Epilogue I - Sunnydale H.S. Gym - 9:00 am The Next Day
(Your Momma Doesn't Slay Here, So Clean Up Your Messes)

Everyone woke up early the next morning. Steve called Giles up and he confirmed that everyone will meet by the school in about twenty minutes. Originally Steve thought of taking only Frank and Aaron, but Mulder, Scully and Robert decide to go as well. Buffy and her friends come by then and Steve gives her his credit card and she went with Willow, Oz and Xander to get the barbeque stuff. Jenny, Cordelia and Amy stayed behind to get everything started.

Jack Garibaldi and his crew were already waiting by the school. Frank and Steve recognized most of the men present. They were the fathers, brothers and uncles of some of the girls they had rescued in Libya. Security on this work site would be tight, and none of these men would talk. Aaron noticed the priest and went to talk to him.

Steve reached Jack and shook his hand and introduced him to Mulder, Scully Robert and Giles. He was glad to see Frank and Steve again. He called over his supervisor, Albert Mendoza, and Steve explained what the dust was. Albert upon hearing  this, called over an older man. He introduced Steve's group to Enrico Vasquez, a mystic, from Albert's home village in Mexico.

 

Steve explained to Albert and Enrico what happened the previous night. After Enrico gets over the shock of what the dust is, Albert ordered his men to done the self-contained breathing equipment and Haz-Mat Suits. Enrico's knowledge of folklore is extensive and agreed with Albert's precautions for his men and with Steve's plan to dispose of the dust in smaller amounts, rather than disposing of it as a single load.

 

The idea is simple. They would use the HEPA filter equipped vacuum cleaners, fill them up completely and dispose of them whole in drums. The Haz-Mat Suits would be disposed of, as well. The drums would be labeled a different hazardous material and so each would go to a different dump.

 

"Jack that's going to be expensive as hell. At least let me pay you for half the cost of this clean up, and the other expenses," Steve told him.

"Don't worry about the cost, Steve. I'm doing this for my little girl, Gina. Those things took her away from my family. This is my way of paying them back."

Albert and Enrico came back from where the crew is donning their equipment. Albert told Steve, "Senor Garibaldi, Enrico and I have informed the men what the dust is. None of the men wish any payment for their work today. Those ‘things' have been preying on our people for generations, and all of us have lost family to them." He then turned to Frank and Steve, "Senors, when I last met you, I thanked you for bringing back my daughters to me. And I, and many of those men over there have prayed for your safety after that. Today, I and these men thank you again for this noble deed."

Needless to say Steve and every one of his friends have lumps in their respective throats.

The cleanup takes about three hours to complete. Aaron and Father O'Brien have blessed each barrel as it is brought out and sealed it with holy seals. The barrel is then put into a hazardous disposal unit which in turn is sealed and welded shut. After the crew leaves the work site, they inspect it and approved of the work done.

As the crew filed out the door, each one gives their thanks. Giles is speechless. He had never thought that normal people would appreciate the work that he did. But, as each man shook his hand and gave  his thanks, he felt a little prouder. The last man to leave is Albert. Steve reached into his back pocket and gave him an envelope and told him. "This is for the men and their families."

He looked into the envelope and saw a large number of hundred dollar bills. He handed the envelope back to Steve. "We can't take this. The work done here today was God's work."

Father O'Brien stepped forward, "Albert, take the money and share it with your friends. Take your families out tonight and lift a glass to the men and women who fought here last night and to the memory of those who were lost."

Albert nodded his head. "Si, Father, it will be done as you say. Gracias Senor, I and my men thank you again." He then walked away. The crew picked up all of the remaining equipment and stores it in the truck taking the six barrels of dust for disposal.

Jack's cousin, Frankie, arrives just then with his crew. Jack introduces him. After handshakes all the way around, he went into gym to access the damage. He came out a little while later and gives his assessment.

"You guys did a number in there, but most of it is superficial. The floor will have to be sanded down and re-varnished in spots. Certain spots, that have bubbled up will have to be replaced, but that's all do-able. The walls will have to be cleaned and repainted. The entire job will take about four hours,” Frankie explained.

"Go ahead," Steve told him. "Whatever it costs, just get the gym ready for tomorrow."

"Don't worry about cost, it's on me and Jack. Gina was my god daughter, I owe you for putting paid to those things."

Buffy called Steve at one o'clock to see how the work is progressing. He gave her a quick rundown and she's surprised at how quickly things are getting done.

"Buffy, how are the preparations going for the party?"

"Oh, everything is going fine. Everybody is here already, and helping. Xander and Horatio are cooking on the grill out back. And Kyra, Natalia, Katherine, Nick and Cara baking in the kitchen. Everything should be ready by the time you get back here."

 

"Good, we'll see you in about two to three hours." Steve replied and hang up.

Two and half hours later, the work is completed and as Frankie and his crew prepared to leave, Steve handed him another envelope. He looked inside and offered it back. Steve told him. "Look, split this among your crew, as a bonus, for a job well done. They did excellent work."

Frankie just grinned, and handed the envelope to his supervisor and told him, "Carmine, split this among the men, and take a share for yourself. It's your bonus, for a job well done."

Carmine looked into the envelope and his weathered face split into a grin. "Thanks boss." He turned to Steve. "And thank you, sir, for the bonus." Carmine then headed back to the crew, who have just finished putting away their tools and equipment and started to count out equal shares, giving each man their share before taking his. The crew, from what Steve sees, likes the bonus.

Jack turned to Steve, "So Steve, what are your plans now?"

"Simple, Jack, I'm having a party at my house, want to come. Frankie and Father O'Brien are invited as well."

"Sorry, Steve, I've got an early meeting in the morning. I'll have to take a rain check." Frankie explains.

Jack and Father O'Brien also backed off. They wanted to make sure nothing happens to the drums containing the vampire dust. But they requested that Steve extend their thanks to the rest of the group.

*****

Epilogue 2 - Party Time

As Steve parked his car, he heard the party going already in the large backyard behind the house. Everyone is there. Horatio and Xander were handling the barbeque. Everyone was just sitting around enjoying themselves and the food. The day was sunny and warm, just made for this party. Buffy was moving around, acting as the hostess, making sure there was plenty of food and drink to go around.

As Steve made his way through the crowd, Buffy came around and gave him a hug and a kiss. As she's hanging from Steve's neck, she told him, "Steve, I haven't felt this happy in two years. Thanks for everything." Then she kissed him again.

As Steve gazed into her eyes, he suddenly feels a little self-conscience. Everybody is staring at them. Robert and Aaron are just standing there grinning from ear to ear. < If they break into the wedding march, I will do them bodily harm. >

“I really hate to interrupt,” Mac Taylor said as he came over to them “I just got off the phone with Stella, and told her what was happening the last few days.”

“What did she say, Mac?” Steve asked.

“Basically she said ‘Mac Taylor, if you ever go to one of Steven St. Wolf’s parties without me again I’ll kill you, wait for you to revive, and then kill you again.” The three of them shared a laugh together.

The rest of the party was going great, people are mingling and enjoying themselves. The atmosphere was relaxed and the pressure from the last couple of days was gone. Steve noticed Giles and Joe Dawson approach him.

"Buffy, Steve, Jenny," Giles begins. "Mr. Dawson has just offered me the job of being your watchers."

"You mean for Buffy, don't you?" Steve asked.

"No, for all three of you. If you should ever split up, I would become Buffy's exclusive watcher," Giles told Steve.

Steve turned to Joe, "Joe, is this your way of getting even with me for the last three watchers you assigned to me?"

"You bet, your ass, it is," Joe gave Steve an evil grin, knowing that he finally had him.

"Joe, if I didn't like your music so much, I'd be tempted to tell you what I thought of that idea."

"Speaking of music," Duncan began, handing Joe his guitar, "here's your guitar, Joe, how's about a little blues to celebrate the occasion?"

Joe began to sing a slow, bluesy tone just right for slow dancing.

Horatio, and Natalia both noticed Fallon sitting off to one side. Natalia looked at Horatio who nodded his head. They both walked over to where Fallon is sitting.

“Hi,” Natalia said as she sat down next to Fallon while Horatio stood. Natalia slipped her feet out of her shoes to get more comfortable. “You seem rather calm despite everything you went thru last night.”

“Well after being kidnapped by a UFO, having my brain washed, pressed, and starched, and spending over twenty-two years on another planet thinking I’m someone else entirely fighting vampires seems rather normal.”

“Touché. The two of us were wondering just what you’re going to do now?”

 

 “I really don’t know. I can’t go home. Most of my family that I remember have either passed on, or moved away to start lives of their own. I can’t stay here. I’d feel too uncomfortable being stuck between Steve and Buffy.”

“Well we think we might be able to help with that. Horatio, and I were talking and we would like you to come with us back to Miami at least until you get back on your feet. A fresh start somewhere else might be just what the doctor ordered. Plus, with our labs resources we might be able to figure out just what they did to you to cause you to stop aging, and whatever else it might have changed about you.”

Fallon wasn’t too sure if she wanted to find out if anything else about herself had changed, but she didn’t like having so many unanswered questions hanging over her head. However, before accepting Horatio, and Natalia’s offer she did need to know one thing.

“If I accept, are you sure that I won’t just be in the way with two instead of with Buffy, and Steve.”

“No, not at all,” Horatio told her. “It’s not like you’re going to be under house arrest. You can come, and go as you please. Natalia and I thought it might be easier to adjust to your new situation someplace a little more normal.” The three of them smiled remembering what happened last night.

With that Fallon made her decision, “All right, I accept. Thank you.” Horatio smiled putting on his sunglasses while Natalia gave Fallon a big hug. Horatio noticed what Steve, and Buffy are up to just as Natalia let go of Fallon.

Steve turned to Buffy and they began to slow dance to the music. Everyone who has a partner began to dance. Horatio asked Natalia to dance. Natalia said she will, but only if he danced with Fallon first. To maintain peace he agrees. Those who don't have a partner just stood there listing to the music.

Steve looked down into Buffy's eyes and drunk them in. She tilted her head to the side and they kissed. The party went on for hours, but they hardly noticed the time. At one point Willow told Buffy her mother is calling on her cell phone. They have a short conversation where Buffy tells her nothing unusual happened last night except having a quiet night at Willow’s. After a couple more minutes Buffy told her mom she’ll see her later, and hung up breathing a sigh of relief. Before long, Steve's bidding goodbye to all his guests and quite a few neighbors who came when they heard Joe's singing.

Before Buffy could leaves with her friends, she pulled Steve to the side. "Steve, I'm glad I met you, but we have to take this slowly. I've just lost Angel, and I don't want to be hurt again, so soon." She told him.

Steve smiled as he took her into his arms. "Buffy, we're Immortal, we have all the time in the world. Take all that you need."

As she turned to go, Steve asked one final question, "Buffy, before you leave, have you decided whether or not you want me to teach you some new skills?"

She walked back to him and whispered in his ear, "Of course I want you to teach me. How else am I going to get to know you better?"

Steve smiled as she left. Frank walked up to him. "That's some girl, Steve. Think you can handle her?"

"Oh, I think I can. But let's see what the future holds," Steve replied with a smile.

As Frank and Steve started to clean up the mess. Mulder, Scully, Aaron and Robert joined in. Steve turned to them. "You don't have to do this. Frank and I are more than capable of cleaning up here."

Aaron turned to Steve and said, "Steve, none here are strangers to work. And as the saying goes, ‘Many hands make work short'."

The back yard was cleaned in a few minutes, and all of the garbage was put out for pick up the next morning.

Steve turned to Mulder and Scully, "You know Mulder, I want to be there when you tell that little pissant principal off tomorrow."

Mulder smiled an evil grin, "Yeah, that's going to be real fun."

*****

Epilogue 3 – Amazon Report (some new players take the field)

Summer’s house – several hours earlier during the party

Joyce Summers hung up the phone after talking to her daughter.

“Well, what did she say?” Carol asked curious.

“Just what I thought she’d say. That nothing happened last night. She still thinks I don’t know anything about vampires, and all the rest.” Joyce paused as she looked over at Carol. “Are you sure the information our people have is accurate?”

“Abso-fracking-lutely. The information is solid. It was verified every way possible. According to our little spy network the vampire population in Sunnydale suffered a very sharp decline last night, and bottomed out at a new all-time low. Like zero. This town is vampire free for the first time in I don’t know how many years, and apparently whatever Buffy, and Steve did last night at the high school played a big part in it. The only question now is what happens next?”

“Steve, Buffy, and their friends still have no ideas that we Amazons still exist. So we’re still honor bond by our promise to Lady Felicia not to reveal our presence until they do find out. Besides, we still don’t know that much about Steve yet. So even if we could tell him I’m not sure we should.” Joyce took a deep breath before continuing. “I think that leaves us with only one option. Come on.”

Joyce got up, and indicated for Carol to follow her. They left the living room, and went upstairs to Joyce’s bedroom. Once inside Joyce locked the bedroom door, and moved over to the closet.

Walking into the closet Joyce tripped a hidden switch that activated a sliding panel that revealed a secret compartment containing two items that Joyce now removed. The first was what looked like a solid black briefcase made from hard leather. The second item was a small box about the size of a soda can.

Placing the briefcase on her bed Joyce placed her thumb on the portion where the latches would normally be to let the thumb print scanner do its work. When the case finally unlocked itself Joyce opened it to reveal a satellite phone on a special dedicated frequency. Next she opened the other box which contained a high tech looking component. Joyce plugged the component into a slot on the satellite phone.

Carol realized what Joyce was about to do, and quickly asked her “Joyce are you sure you know what you’re doing. You’re going to call Lady Felicia on her direct line, and using the scrambler. Maybe you should just use a regular land line.”

“No. I don’t want to run the risk of her not getting this information. We need to talk to her direct without fear of having someone listen in,” Joyce explained.

“I know you’re right,” Carol said “It’s just that her direct line is only to be used in case of a possible emergency.”

“This town, a vampire hotspot, has gone from having almost two hundred vampires to zero overnight. In part because of two very powerful, heavily armed vampire hunters that we still don’t know that much about who were able to pull together a small army in less than twenty-four hours to assist Buffy. I think this would qualify as a possible emergency situation, don’t you?”

All Carol could do was nod her head in agreement while Joyce activated the satellite phone. After this, things around Sunnydale would never be the same again.

Epilogue 4 - The Principal's Office
(Snyder Gets His)

Mulder and Scully, accompanied by Frank and Steve walked calmly into Snyder's office. As they walked up to Snyder's secretary, Mulder asked, "Is Snyder in?"

The woman smiled and asked, "Yes sir, he is. Do you have an appointment?"

Mulder grinned as he walked past her. "No."

The woman reached for the phone to warn Snyder, but is stopped by Scully flashing her badge. "FBI. Snyder is expecting us." The secretary quieted down and said nothing as they passed her.

Steve and Frank just grinned and followed Scully inside. Snyder's voice could be heard coming out of his office.

"I don't care who the hell you people are. You cannot destroy my gym and get away with it," Snyder angrily tells Mulder as Scully, Frank and Steve walked into the room. Mulder calmly sat down and Snyder can't stand it. No one treated him like a nothing in his own office. "I will call your superiors and have you fired."

Mulder grinned, "What damage are you talking about, Snyder?"

A pissed off Snyder looked at Mulder and told him. "You people ruined my gym. I stopped by on Sunday morning to see what happened, and I found a war zone. Now, I don't care how you do it or how much it costs, but I want my gym back."

Mulder calmly got up and told Snyder, "Let's go see this damage that you're talking about."

"Very well then," Snyder testily replied.

As the group walked over to the gym, Buffy came around the corner, late for class. Snyder immediately picked up on this and yelled. "Summers, you have detention for the next week for being lat. . .Umph."

 

Before Snyder can finish, Scully slammed him up against the wall and told him, in a low, threatening voice. "Don't you DARE to take out your bad temper on her. If you have a problem with us, then you take it up with us. Not your students, not your subordinates, US. Or aren't you man enough?"

 

Snyder looked away from Scully's piercing glare and sputtered. Any type of reply is lost as Snyder attempted to regain his composure, but before he can regain it or reply, Scully dumped him on the ground. He got up from where Scully dumped him and straightens up his suit. He glared at Scully and started to say something, but Mulder, Steve and Frank immediately back her up. Snyder does the only thing he can do. He shut up. Snyder, knowing that he is outclassed, lead them to the gym. As he entered, he quietly felt a sense of power over these four people that is until his eyes scanned the room, he sputtered in disbelief. "How? This place was a disaster. No one could have fixed it up in less than twenty four hours." Snyder cried out in anguish, his power base gone. He turned to the foursome and demanded "How'd you do it? How did you get this place repaired so quickly?"

Mulder just grinned as he told Snyder, "Repaired what damage? This place looks the same as when we were standing here on Saturday."

"This place was practically destroyed on Sunday morning. No one could have fixed all this up in that short a time. No government agency would have bothered to fix the damage that quickly. I demand to know who you people are?!"

Steve easily pushed himself away from the wall and stood in front of Snyder. "Mr. Snyder, when you think about all of the intelligence agencies in the United States, the FBI, CIA, NSA, as a family. Think of us as the uncle no one wants to talk about."

Snyder took a deep gulp and asked. "What do you want from me?"

"Simply this: You never saw us, never heard of us or know what we look like. Am I clear?" Steve asked

"Crystal clear. What does Summers and her friends to do with you?"

"They helped us. What they did or helped with is none of your business. Anything else?"

"No, that's enough. I'll lay off them." < For now. >

"That's good to know." Steve replied as they leave Snyder standing there, shaking in suppressed anger.

As they leave the High School, Mulder and Scully headed to their rental and said good bye to Steve and Frank. As they watched Mulder and Scully leave, Steve turned to Frank, "You know, this was kind of fun. Think we should do it every year?"

"What, hunt down a large number of vampires?"

"No, scare the hell out of Snyder," Steve replied with a laugh.

"We should," Frank agreed with an evil gleam in his eye.

The End