Author: Steve711 - Steve Pantovich
E-mail Address: Steve711@concentric.net
Title: The Chronicles of Wanderer - Calling Out the Clan
Copyrighted : March 1999
Rating: PG-13 to Heavy R - Violence, Sexual Situations, Foul Language and Description of Horrific Acts
Spoilers: A few, but who cares?
Keywords: X-Files/Highlander/Buffy the Vampire Slayer Crossover with a few guest stars.
The Following TV Series have been included in the story. Disclaimers appear at the end with the cast list.
Star Trek The Next Generation/Deep Space Nine/Voyager
Walker Texas Ranger
The Night Stalker
Kung Fu the Legend Continues
Xena, Warrior Princess
Trapper John M.D.
La Femme Nikita
The Following Book Series have been included in the story. Disclaimers appear at the end with the character list
Casca - The Eternal Mercenary
Conan The Barbarian
The Last Vampire
Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan
R.E. Fiests Riftwar Series
Summary: A series of vampire killings brings Mulder and Scully back to LA. They team back up with Buffy and Steve to put an end to the Queen vampire's plans to destroy the world.
All disclaimers appear at the end of the story.
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 mine. Anyone wishing to use them, please contact me at my e-mail address: Steve711@concentric.net
Comments and Criticisms are appreciated, please post to the above
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: Buffy is an Immortal.
Casca, the Eternal Mercenary: Various of Casca's friends are Immortal. Including the love of his life, Lida.
The Executioner: Mack Bolan is an Immortal. How else do you think he survived dying all those times?
I'd like to thank the people who helped me in writing this story. It took the better part of a year to complete, but I think that it was worth it, but they stuck with me, helping and encouraging me to complete it. They are:
Lil-wolf, Elizabeth Flynn, Goblin214, Candy Blakely, Sara the brown, Stone Cold, Doug Elder, Rebekah Sandell, Jason Weiser, Mark S Safransky, Dalton Spence, and Avatar236. Thank you all for your time and input on this story.
In memory: I'd like to dedicate this story in memory of four great writers, whose works have been a constant enjoyment and delight:
Gene Rodenberry, Don Pendelton, Mickey Spillane and Barry Sadler
I'd also like to thank all those great fan fiction writers out there, whose stories I've enjoyed. They showed me that I could let my imagination run. (Where it went I don't want to know :))
Thanks and here's the Story. Enjoy.
Frank Parker looks over the blue prints that have been handed to him and asks. "Why do I have to memorize these blue prints?"
The scarred man looks at Parker and smiles weakly. "Because you have to Mr. Parker. Those things will destroy humanity if you don't warn them."
"Who are you two? You suddenly appear from no where and tell us this all started in Los Angeles seven days ago. How can you be certain?" Talamadge asks.
"My name is Casey Romaine, my partner Fox Mulder and I were there when it started. We had the bastards. We could have killed them and prevented all of this from happening. Wanderer only made one mistake. He didn't take out all of the . . ." Casey's words to Frank Parker are cut off by the sound of a body hitting the wall behind them. Parker and the man called Romaine turn around and watch the security chief, Ramsey, slowly slide down the wall, leaving behind a blood trail.
Ramsey looks up at them through pain filled eyes and croaks out. "They've found us. You don't have much time. Get back there and stop them, Parker."
"Where's Donovan?" Parker asks.
"It killed him. That monster picked him up and just ate him whole. Now get your ass in gear and stop them." Ramsey orders as he slumps down, dead.
Parker's knocked out
of his reverie by the sound of gunfire as Casey fires into the monster that had
killed Ramsey. He picks up Ramsey's pistol and fires into the creature,
forcing it back. He quickly follows Olga out of the office and to the
hanger where the sphere is. Fox Mulder follows them, offering what little
protection he can. Casey Romaine
stays, holding back the monsters, giving them precious seconds.
Casey looks at the monsters
coming for him and quietly asks. < God, please let Parker fix this. I
can't see you allowing this to happen. But, if I die tonight, at least let
me be with Lida and my family. > As the first monster approaches, Casey cuts
loose with his machine gun and cuts it in half. He goes through the last
of his ammunition and reaches for his
Gladius and lays into the monsters.
Suddenly, a vampire attaches itself to his neck and sinks
its teeth to Casey's neck. The vampire takes a single drink of Casey's
blood, screams horribly and falls down dead. Casey's luck doesn't hold as
a demon of the second circle reaches him and cuts him apart with its razor sharp
talons. As he falls, Casey cuts open the demon and his blood quickly
poisons it. As his eyes close for the last time, he sees the face of God
as he accepts
him into his embrace and forgives him for his past deeds.
In the hanger Frank Parker has quickly donned his orange space suit and he straps himself into the chair. He hears Olga running an accelerated countdown and he quietly prays to himself. < Dear God, let me get to them. > Parker's forced out of his thoughts by the sound of Olga screaming. He quickly radios to the control room and asks. "Olga is everything all right?"
A strange voice, with a British accent, answers back. "No mortal, the lady is not all right. In fact she's making a fine meal for my Drusilla. The man with her is already dead. Would you like to be my next meal?"
"Fuck you asshole." Frank Parker yells out as he punches the button, starting his journey back.
Spike watches as the blue sphere disappears and grins as he comments. "Neat. I wonder where he went?"
Los Angeles - Eight Days in the past.
Robert Hascombe is feeling good tonight. His old friend, Quinn is coming by for a visit and dinner. Robert has just spent the last two hours gathering together the ingredients for Quinn's favorite meal. As he is reaching for the keys to his ground floor apartment, a pair of hands reach out of nowhere and grab him. His face is slammed against his closed apartment door and he's thrown onto the floor. The attacker, a large young man, easily overpowers the older Hascombe, as though he were a small child. Finally, he drags Hascombe into the stairwell.
He bends Hascombe's head back, exposing his neck. He rears his head, opening his mouth, baring his fangs, his face takes on a demonic form. Robert begs for his life, the vampire laughs as he savagely bites him in the neck, tearing it apart, sucking out his life blood.
A few minutes later the vampire gets up from his second victim of the night, sated, for now. As he gets up to leave, he hears the front entrance close. He immediately moves to the side of the stairwell door. Cracking open the door, he watches as a young girl enters the lobby. She looks directly at the grocery bag belonging to his last victim. She's blond and about 5'4" and about 110 pounds. She looks around the lobby trying to see what happened to the bag's previous owner.
The vampire decides to make it three for tonight, and attacks the girl. The vampire rushes out from his hiding place and with outstretched arms, attempts to drag the girl down and kill her. The girl turns around suddenly and kicks the vampire in the face. The force of the blow is enough to stun him. The vampire back pedals to get some fighting room.
This is no normal girl, the vampire realizes. She's entered into a fighting stance of some martial art form unfamiliar to the vampire. The vampire feints with a round house punch to the left and the girl moves to the right, going for it. The vampire smiles, he has her. As he moves into his real attack, the girl reverses his feint by grabbing his arm and twisting it and shoving him face first into the wall, at least a half dozen times. Hard.
As she let's go, the vampire falls to his knees and watches as the girl pulls out a Katana out of her trench coat. It's blade glowing a pale blue. He looks up at her and asks one final question. "Who are you?" Not believing that he could be beaten by this girl.
"I'm the Slayer." Buffy answers as the sword comes down taking off the vampire's head. The head and body quickly turn to dust.
She moves to the stairwell to check on the vampire's last victim. She looks at the neck wound and shakes her head. She didn't make in time. <Damn, another innocent life lost.>
Buffy puts her sword back into it's scabbard, as she walks out of the apartment building to the waiting car.
A tall, brown haired man sits behind the wheel of a dark blue Tahoe. As she gets in, he asks. "How'd it go?"
Buffy takes a deep breathe as the car pulls away from the building. "Not good, Steve. I didn't make it in time to save the victim. He looked like a sweet old man. *Damn It* I hate my life. Why can't I save everybody. The world would be a much happier place, wouldn't it?" She asks softly.
Steve looks at his student of five months, and replies. "Buffy, no matter how good we are, there will always be someone out there, who we can't save. Not even Superman can save everybody. We just have to do the best we can and go on." He tells her as he reaches over and squeezes her hand. Buffy just smiles and returns the squeeze, then leans her head on his shoulder for some moral support.
"How's about some food? We've spent the last four hours hunting down seven vampires, and I'm hungry." Steve remarks.
"Sounds like a good idea, there's a burger joint not too far from here, that I used to go to when I lived here, in LA. They make the best onion rings in town." Buffy tells Steve as they make their way down Nathan's Lane.
A few minutes later another tenant comes home and finds Robert Hascombe's body in the stairwell. The police are immediately called in.
The being known to Robert Hascombe as Quinn, walks slowly down the street to his old friend's apartment building. Hascombe and Quinn had been friends for the last thirty years and have always tried to get together whenever possible. Tonight was to be one of those nights. He had stopped at the bakery to pick up some pastries for desert. He had checked his watch and saw that he had time to spare, so rather than just popping into Robert's apartment, he decided to walk over, and enjoy the fresh air.
As he turns the corner onto Nathan's Lane, Quinn sees all of the police cars pulled up to the front of Robert's building. Worry for his friend quickens his steps as he hurries over to see if Robert is all right.
As he approaches the front of the building, a police officer politely stops him. Quinn, knowing that the police officer is just doing his job, doesn't blast him into atoms. Quinn asks about his friend, Robert who lives in the building. "Officer Russell," Quinn asks, reading the officer's name tag. "Can you tell me if my friend, Robert Hascombe is all right? He lives in apartment 1C."
The officer looks at Quinn for a second and asks. "Can you wait here for a moment please, Sir?"
The officer goes into the building and returns a couple of minutes later with a lovely young woman, who escorts him into the building. She identifies herself as Det. Tracy Vetter.
"Sir, can I have your name please?" Det. Vetter asks Quinn.
"Certainly, Detective. My name is Quinn." Quinn replies.
"Mr. Quinn, may I have your full name please?" Det. Vetter asks as she pauses in her writing.
"That is my full name." Quinn replies as they enter the lobby.
Det. Vetter looks up at the ceiling, rolling her eyes. <Only in California, Toronto was a lot better.> She thinks to herself.
The scene in the lobby is chaotic. Police and forensic people are everywhere. The detective escorts him to the chief investigator of the major crimes unit, Captain John Randall. Captain Randall takes one more look at the crime scene and turns to Quinn as Det. Vetter introduces him.
"Good evening Mr. Quinn. I'm sorry to tell you this, but it appears as though your friend, Mr. Hascombe, has been murdered here, tonight." Captain Randall tells Quinn.
"May I ask how this happened?" A very distraught Quinn asks. The box of pastries falls from his shaking hands.
Randall looks into Quinn's eyes and his gut tells him to give it to this man straight. "Someone grabbed your friend at his apartment door, slammed his head into the door and dragged him to the stairwell, ripped his throat out and drained all of the blood from his body. The murder happened about thirty minutes ago." Captain Randall bluntly tells him. "This is the twentieth murder like this in Los Angeles, this week.
Quinn is shocked. How could someone do this to Robert? Of all of the beings Quinn has known in his long life, Robert was one the most gentle and caring individuals he had ever known. Now this gentle, caring man was dead in a stairwell. Quinn was angry, somebody was going to pay for this. As he formulates a plan, he notices that Captain Randall is trying to ask him some questions, <Those questions will have to wait.> Quinn thinks to himself. <First, I have to save Robert.>
Quinn uses his powers to side step time and travel back to the murder, just as it happens. He witnesses the assault and watches as the being drags Robert into the stairwell. As the being laughs, Quinn stops time and grabs Robert, replacing him with a non-sentient double.
"Robert, open your eyes." Quinn tells him.
Robert opens his eyes and sees his friend, Quinn. Then he looks over and sees himself with the thing that was trying to kill him.
"Quinn, how?" Robert sputters.
"Don't worry, that's not you. It's a double I created and replaced you with." Quinn tells him. "Now I want to see what that thing is going to do."
They watch as the being rips into the double's throat and greedily sucks down the blood.
"My god, that's a vampire." Robert gasps out. "I thought they were only myths. Stories to scare children"
"Well it looks like this one is real enough" Quinn replies, as he watches, in fascination, as it completes it's feeding.
As Quinn is thinking of a suitable punishment for the creature, it suddenly moves to the door and opens it slightly, looking into the lobby. Quinn phases himself and Robert to the lobby, still out of time and observes the girl entering. They watch as the girl walks up to the spilled groceries and looks around. The vampire hiding in the stairway suddenly leaps out to grab the girl.
Robert, seeing this, turns to Quinn. "Quinn, you must help her." Robert pleads
As Quinn is preparing to help her, the girl slams a kick into the vampire's face, stunning it. Both Robert and Quinn are surprised at the turn of events and wait to see the outcome. They watch as the girl beats the vampire senseless, by repeatedly slamming him, head first, into a wall.
"My God, how can a little girl like that beat a vampire?" Robert mutters. Quinn is curious as well. They watch as the vampire asks in an awed voice "Who are you?" They continue to watch as she pulls out a sword with a glowing blade, from her trench coat, and the girl replies. "I'm the Slayer", and then she beheads it. Both watch, amazed, as the body and head turn immediately to dust.
The girl puts the sword back into her coat and goes to check on the double's body. Quinn and Robert both see how saddened she is by the sight.
As they follow her out, Robert asks. "Quinn, what's a Slayer, and where did that sword go? It should be sticking out of her coat, but I don't see it. And why was it glowing?"
"The Slayer part, I don't understand either, but the sword disappeared because of spatial displacement. Curious, humanity shouldn't have that knowledge, yet. The blue glow was something that I haven't ever run into before either." Quinn mutters, entranced by what has just happened. "Let's follow her." Quinn states.
They follow her to a dark blue off road vehicle, and listen to the girl and her companion's conversation.
Robert turns to Quinn. "Did I hear correctly? These two people have killed seven vampires this night?" He asks in awe.
Quinn nods his head. Turning to Robert, he says. "Let's follow them. This could prove very interesting."
"Ah Quinn, would you mind answering a question for me?" Robert asks.
"Sure, Robert. What is it?"
"How are you doing all of this? The double, people not being able to see us, everything." Robert asks in a hushed whisper.
Quinn takes a deep sigh and begins. "First
Robert, I'm not human." Robert nods in acceptance. "Second, I'm a
member of what's called the Q Continuum. What that is, is basically a
group of omnipotent beings who are superior to everything else in the
universe. We have almost ultimate knowledge and can bend reality as we see
fit. That about covers
it." Quinn tells him.
"Then why are you my friend? You could know anybody in the world, the richest and most famous. Why choose an old piano player?" An awed Robert asks.
"Because you never were anything but yourself and you gave me your friendship freely, Robert. You never asked anything of me either, just my company. Very few people are like that. It's something that I always liked about you. Besides, being omnipotent gets to be boring, real fast. And having good friends to talk to, or share an evening with is something that I've always cherished." Quinn answers.
"So what's to become of me now, Quinn? The police think that I'm dead and I can't just appear back in my apartment. There would be too many questions and the government would find out about you and try to hunt you down." Robert tells him.
"Oh that's no problem." Quinn tells him, with a smile, as he holds up a mirror. "Here's the present that I was going to give you on your next birthday." Robert holds up the mirror and looks into the face of a twenty year old. He touches it hesitantly, wondering if it was an illusion.
He turns to Quinn, and asks in awe. "How. . . , how did you do this?"
"Simple, I rejuvenated your body back to where it was when you were about twenty." Quinn tells him with a smile. "You're my friend Robert. I couldn't watch you die of old age, when you haven't even seen another world."
"Quinn, I don't know what to say, other than thank you." Robert tells him in a hushed voice.
"Just don't change on me, Robert." Quinn tells him with a smile.
They move in behind the couple as they sit down to eat at the restaurant. The man called Steve holds out the girl's chair. Robert smiles, acknowledging the man's sense of chivalry.
Quinn asks. "Robert, why did he hold out the chair for the girl? She looks able enough to do it herself."
"Quinn, it's not the fact that she could do it herself. It's the fact that he had the courtesy to do it for her. Manners say much about a man. And how a woman looks at him. And it's obvious that," Robert points to Buffy, "that girl adores him."
The waitress comes over the table shared by Buffy and Steve. She gives the day's specials and takes their orders. Buffy orders a cheese burger and Steve orders a couple of slices of pizza. While they eat, they go over the night's events. Quinn and Robert listen in wonder and awe.
"I wonder where all of these new vampires came from. I thought we had cleared LA last week?" Steve asks.
"Don't know, maybe the big conventions attracted them. It's been a while since we got seven of them in one night." Buffy remarks.
"They might think that hunting's easier with so many strangers in town. Let's check in with Giles." Steve comments as he reaches for his cell phone and dials Giles' home number. He holds the phone between Buffy's and his ears. Jenny picks up the phone.
"Giles residence, can I help you?" Jenny asks.
"Hi Jenny, you guys naked yet?" Steve replies with a smirk.
"Buffy are you listening in?" Jenny asks.
"Yes, I am," Buffy replies with a giggle.
"Then smack that boyfriend of yours for me. Really hard," Jenny tells her with a giggle.
Buffy smacks Steve on the back of the head.
Steve drops the phone on the table and looks at Buffy. "What was that for?" He asks.
"Jenny asked me to smack you, so I smacked you." Buffy replies with a smug look.
Quinn gives Robert a look and asks. "May I ask what is going on, now?"
Robert chuckles and replies. "Young love."
Meanwhile Steve and Buffy are having their usual argument with Giles and Jenny, their Watchers . . . .
"Listen Giles, next time Jenny tells Buffy to smack me, she gets to do the hand to hand combat practice with her." Steve tells them.
"Steve, you brought it on yourself. The idea that Jenny and myself are here, naked, pleasantly cool and tucked away, while we should be watching you hunt vampires on a hot, humid July night in Los Angeles is utterly preposterous." Giles replies. His smirk could be heard through the phone.
"Okay, so which one of you is wearing the top, and which one the bott.. Ouch!!" Buffy smacks Steve, again.
"What was that for?" Steve asks.
"For stealing my line." Buffy replies with a giggle.
"All right children, that's enough." Giles replies over the cell phone. "Can you two stop bickering long enough to give me a status report."
Buffy and Steve look at each other and grin evilly as both reply at the same time, "Yes Giles, Oh Supreme Watcher of Miss Calendar's Behind."
"Steven St. Wolf, you are a forty year old Immortal, but you act like a teenager. Buffy Summers, you should act more like an adult and not drag Steve down to your level." Giles replies in an exasperated voice. Jenny could be heard in the back ground, laughing.
Steve and Buffy are laughing at Giles' comment. The rest of the patrons wonder what's so funny, but the go back to their meals with amused shakes of their heads. Buffy and Steve manage to get a hold of themselves and get back to business.
"Are we through having fun at your Watcher's expense?" Giles asks.
"Yeah Giles, sorry, just relieving the tension. The hunt's been a little heavy tonight. We got seven tonight. We were just thinking that maybe a new vampire clan moved into town." Buffy replies.
"You might be right." Giles muses. "So far you've killed thirty four vampires this week and it's only Thursday." Giles replies. "The previous three weeks have seen much less activity."
"I wonder what the hell they're planning." Buffy comments.
"Nothing good." Steve replies.
Meanwhile, outside the Burger-to- Go, a group of fifteen vampires finishes off two of their latest victims. The leader, a large and burly vampire calling himself Thomas, decides to fill up for a couple of nights and maybe add a couple more vampires to the population. He points to the Burger-to-Go and orders. "Let's take over that place and drain it dry!!"
Thomas orders three vampires to the rear of the restaurant, in case anyone manages to escape out the back. The rest of the vampires follow his lead as he walks through the front door and orders everyone in the restaurant herded into a corner. His vampires move to comply.
Above the vampires, Billy and Jinx have moved into position and are making ready to attack the vampires. The rest of their clan was about ten minutes behind them, but the lives of innocent people mattered and they have decided to attack the vampires as they try to take over the restaurant, giving the patrons a chance to run. Hoping that the rest of the clan makes it in time to save their lives.
Robert turns to Quinn and says. "You were right Quinn. This is turning out to be a very interesting and enlightening evening."
Quinn takes a quick look by the door, and tells Robert. "And it's about to get more interesting." Robert looks at Quinn, wondering why he would say that. Quinn points to the door that's now blocked by a dozen vampires.
"Are you going to help?" Robert asks.
"Only if they need it." Quinn replies, happy just to be an observer in this situation.
Buffy suddenly jerks when the first vampire steps through the door. She looks over to the door and sees a dozen vampires. Steve notices her actions and quickly tells Giles, "Giles, a dozen vampires just walked in. Gotta go." Then he hangs up the phone.
Giles stares at the phone in his hands and he offers up a silent prayer for the girl that he thought of as his daughter and the man who has become like a brother to him. He turns to Jenny, worry showing on his face.
Jenny seeing the expression on his face asks simply. "How many?"
"A dozen. I hope they can win against those odds."
"Rupert, those two are the best. Don't lose hope."
"I know, but sometimes it's just so hard."
"Hush now," Jenny tells him as she wraps her arms around him. "You know they'll win. They have to."
The leader, obvious by his sheer size and attitude, orders the other vampires to herd the patrons and staff off to one side. Making it easier to pick and choose their victims.
Quinn and Robert notice Steve and Buffy moving to the side, away from the other patrons. Thomas, the lead vampire, notices this as well, so he orders four vampires to attack them, thinking them easy targets. As the vampires pounce, Buffy takes out a stake and stabs one in the heart, dusting him. Steve grabs a vampire by the throat and plunges a stake into it's heart. Buffy then ball kicks another vampire. As it doubles over, Buffy gives it a taste of wood. Steve takes out the fourth vampire with a straight arm stab to the heart. The four vampires are gone in less than a minute. Steve and Buffy haven't even broken a sweat.
Quinn, Robert and Thomas watch the man and woman defeat the four vampires sent against them. Quinn and Robert are impressed with the couple's combat skills. Thomas suddenly finds doubt in his ability to take these two.
Billy and Jinx hesitate in their attack. After seeing the four vampires being taken down, they decide to wait and see what happens and help, if these two needed any help.
As they watch Jinx asks. "Who the hell are those two?"
"Don't know, but I think the fight's just gotten interesting."
The vampire leader steps forward. "Who are you two? No normal humans can kill four vampires in less than a minute." He said.
"Oh, so sorry, we forgot to introduce ourselves." Steve replies sarcastically. "Allow me to introduce us. I'm called Wanderer." The vampire leader turns even paler. "And the pleasant young lady next to me is the Slayer." Several vampires start to move toward the door.
Buffy executes several back flips and lands next to the two vampires guarding the hostages. As she lands, both vampires attack her. Her sword cuts in a complete 360 degree circle, taking both heads. Both bodies and heads disintegrate before they hit the floor.
Meanwhile, Steve heads for the door. As he jumps over a table to block the
vampires trying to escape, he pulls out his Katana, and goes into a
tumble, cutting off the legs of a running vampire. As he gets up from the
tumble, he takes the vampire's head. Another vampire, seeing Steve
distracted attempts to attack him with a flying tackle. Steve,
seeing this, punches the vampire in the face with a tiger's claw strike. The vampire falls down to its knees, its face smashed in, stunned. A normal man would be dead from such a devastating blow. Steve takes a wooden knife out of his coat and stabs it in the heart. Then, he takes the same knife and throws it into the heart of the vampire standing by the door, dusting it, before he could run.
In less than three minutes the odds have dropped from twelve to two to three to two. The three remaining vampires are scared. One of them attempts to grab a child for a hostage. Buffy stops him with a thrown stake through the heart. The leader and his last vampire rush Steve, who is now blocking the door. The leader grabs his crony and throws him into Steve, trying to knock him down. Steve, seeing what is going on, ducks down and slices the vampire's head off as he passes over him. A cloud of dust lands in the parking lot.
Outside the restaurant, Billy and Jinx watch in fascination, as the man and woman take out the vampires. Jinx turns to Billy. "Billy, those two are incredible. I've never seen anyone able to draw a sword while doing a series of back flips, and then behead two opponents on the landing."
"Neither have I, Jinx. Didn't they come here in that blue blazer?" Billy asks as he takes photos.
"Yeah, they were the last people in before the vampires attacked."
Billy moves to the car and plants a G.P.S. tracker on it. Billy and Jinx then move back to the roof, the outcome in the restaurant beyond question.
The leader, seeing what happened to his crony, tries for a window but Buffy trips him with a sweep kick. He gets up and grabs a chair, trying to beat Buffy down with it. Buffy steps back, letting the chair pass by her. Then she steps in and cuts open the leader's gut with her Katana. He falls to his knees, holding in his guts in with both hands. Buffy walks up to him and cuts off his head. The battle's lasted less than five minutes, but both are tired.
As they make their exit, Steve comments. "I guess that this means no dessert."
Robert and Quinn standing off to one side, slightly out of phase are speechless. Quinn is the first to speak. "Never on a thousand worlds, have I seen a pair of warriors, this deadly. This is proving to be a real learning experience."
"You've got that right." Robert comments. "Are we going to follow them some more?"
"Yes, I do believe we will, Robert." Quinn states as they follow the pair to the dark blue Blazer in the parking lot.
Buffy looking at the large number of police car approaching, as they enter the Tahoe, comment wryly. "I think we should get out of here. The LA police doesn't like vigilantes too much. Especially when we've just killed a dozen vampires and left no bodies, but plenty of witnesses."
"So, shall we go home now?" Steve asks.
"Yep, but let's give Giles a quick update," Buffy comments.
Buffy picks up the cell phone in the Tahoe. She sets it on speaker and waits for Giles to pick up.
"Buffy, Steve. Are you both all right?" A worried Giles asks.
"Yes, Giles, we're both all right." Buffy replies.
"What happened at the restaurant?" Giles asks.
"Scratch another twelve vamps Giles." Steve comments.
"Another twelve? How long did it take you to defeat them? It's not even ten minutes since you hung up on me." Giles comments.
"About five minutes, Giles" Buffy replies.
"My word, you two are getting too good at this." Giles comments.
think our earlier speculation was right. Another large group
of vampires has moved in." Steve comments.
"It's possible. They might be filling in the vacuum you two have created by killing most of LA's vampires. I'll have to check with the other watchers and see who's on the move, so to speak." Giles replies.
"All right Giles, check it out tomorrow. We're calling it a night." Buffy tells him.
"Giles, who's doing patrol duty tonight?" Steve asks.
"Frank and a lady named Cassandra, are handling the patrol duties this night." Giles replies.
Steve smiles. His best friend, Frank, has had the hots for the Immortal Cassandra for the last seven years. And by the way she constantly made time to be with him, the feelings were mutual.
"We should make it back home in time for the final patrol. Want to make it a foursome?" Steve asks Buffy.
"Sure, it'll give me time to get to know the lady in Frank's life." Buffy replies with a smile.
The parking lot of the Burger-to-Go is filled with police cars. Captain Randall and Det. Vetter are on the scene. The police have found two bodies stuffed in the parking lot dumpsters. Both bodies had been drained of blood. < This case was getting too fucking weird. First that Quinn just up's and disappears with half the LA homicide unit watching. And now this. > Captain Randall thinks to himself.
All of the patrons questioned have basically given the same story. A dozen men had invaded the restaurant, and proceeded to herd the patrons and staff into a corner, and do what? That's where the stories split up. First, some of the patrons reported that a man and a woman had fought off the invaders with swords that glowed like light sabers. A second group had reported that the man and woman used wooden stakes. And the final group's story is the weirdest of the lot. Who could believe that two groups of aliens had fought it out? One group protecting the people, the other group, trying to drain their blood. The good aliens had won and left, destroying the bad aliens. But to top it all off, the security camera tape had been stolen by someone.
< Only in LA > Captain Randall thinks to himself. He turns to the FBI Agent assisting his team, Joe Tanaka. "Joe, what do you think happened here? I can't believe any of the stories those people," Captain Randall looks over at the witnesses, "are saying. It just boggles the mind. People do not turn to dust when they are killed."
"John, I can't make sense of this either. I don't want to do this, but it looks like I'll have to call them in." Joe tells Captain Randall.
"Who are you talking about, Joe. At this point, I'm ready to call in every psychic and gypsy in town to solve this case." Captain Randall replies.
"I'll have to clear it with my boss, but I'm going to request the 'Spook Patrol'." Joe tells him.
"The 'Spook Patrol?' Who the hell is that, the Ghostbusters' competition?" Captain Randall cracks.
"No John, it's the FBI's X-Files division. The two agents who run it, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, are nicknamed Spooky and Ice Queen, respectively." Joe tells him.
"You're kidding, I hope." Captain Randall replies.
"I wish I was. I meet them about five months ago, and they left a very bad impression." Joe replies, not mentioning that they had reprimanded him for attempting to interfere in one of their cases.
Officer Jarod Russell has just finished taking the statement of a young woman and looks over the scene in the Burger to Go. < What these people are describing is incredible. When I decided to involve myself in this case, I never thought that solving it would be beyond my skills. > Jarod fingers the vial of dust in his pocket. He would analyze it tomorrow at Cal State. < And what is a Slayer exactly? >
As he is standing next to Captain Randall and Agent Tanaka, he overhears their conversation and decides to look up Agents Mulder and Scully and the X-Files.
Meanwhile, across the street, Frohike of the Lone Gunmen, was standing there watching the chaos around the Burger to Go. He and his cousin Matt had stopped there to get something to eat and witnessed everything. Matt had grabbed the surveillance tape on their way out, before the cops came.
Matt, standing next to his cousin Frohike, couldn't believe what he just seen go down in the restaurant. The tape he had 'borrowed' contained the proof they needed to uncover another government conspiracy.
Frohike turns to Matt. "Let's get back to your place. I need to call my partners and Mulder about this." Matt nods his head and goes to his car.
On a rooftop, overlooking the Burger-to-Go, Jinx and Billy of the Storm Shadow Ninja clan watch as the police move about making notes and taking pictures.
"Jinx, I saw the battle, but I still can't believe what I saw." A shaken Billy comments.
"I know Billy. Those two were incredible. Do you think that it's the same people Scarlet and Snake Eyes told us about?" Jinx replies.
"Must be. Hope the photos I took come out." Billy replies, as Tommy, Nunchuk and Shuriken arrive.
Tommy noting the police cars asks. "What happened?"
Billy and Jinx quickly give a detailed report on the battle and it's outcome. Tommy looks down on the chaotic scene below and simply says. "Let's go."
The clan leaves the roof, going back to their base of operations.
In an alley across from the Burger to Go, the three vampires left behind by Thomas watch the scene before them. They had seen Thomas lead eleven vampires into the restaurant and get slaughtered by the man and woman. A vampire named Reggie decides to go back and tell their queen that the Slayer was in town and she wasn't alone.
At Matt's apartment, Frohike puts the tape into the VCR. They watch the video of the fight repeatedly. Especially the parts with girl in it.
"My God, she's a goddess." An awed Frohike states.
Matt is grinning ear to ear. He's heard his cousin only talk about one woman, Dana Scully.
Frohike reaches for the phone and calls Mulder's cell phone.
Mulder answers. "Mulder"
"Mulder, this is Frohike. I'm in Los Angeles and something's happened." Frohike tells him.
"What happened, Frohike?" A worried Mulder asks.
"I've got a video tape of government super soldiers armed with disintegrators, killing aliens." Frohike exclaims.
"Hold on Frohike, describe exactly what happened." Mulder tells him. Frohike then describes the situation at the Burger to Go and the two super soldiers who had rescued the people inside.
"Listen to me, Frohike," Mulder tells him. "Don't do anything. I have a friend in the area who will help you. Go to this address in Sunnydale." Mulder gives Frohike Steve's home address. "Tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 PM. He'll know what to do with the tape."
"Thanks Mulder, I'll be careful." Frohike tells him and hangs up the phone.
Frohike turns to his cousin Matt. "Can you tell me how to get to Sunnydale tomorrow?"
Matt nods his head. "Sure, no problem."
"Okay, let's boot up your computer, transfer this image to digital and send it to Langley and Byers, just in case." Frohike tells him.
After they finish uploading the tape, Frohike turns to Matt.
"All right, let's get some sleep. Tomorrow's going to be a long day." Frohike says.
At the Storm Shadow Clan's LA base, Billy has just finished developing and blowing up the photographs he had taken at the Burger-to-Go. He immediately takes the still wet photos to the conference room, where the rest of the clan is waiting for them. As he enters the room, a group of anxious people wait for him.
He places the photos on the situation board and then moves away. A man and a woman walk up and examine the pictures closely. After a couple of seconds, they turn to their 'family' and confirm the identities of the two people in the photos.
"It's them." The woman confirms. "The man is named Steve and girl is named Buffy. They're still alive." Her husband merely nods his head in agreement and smiles. Scarlet turns to Billy and Jinx and asks. "You only saw these two?"
Billy and Jinx nod.
"I hope Mack is also alive." Scarlet murmurs.
Tommy turns to Billy and Jinx and asks, "Did you get the license plate of the vehicle they were using?"
Billy replies. "No." Tommy casts his apprentice a hard glance. Billy smiles, as he tells them. "I planted a G.P.S. tracker on their car. I have it's current location on my computer map right now."
Tommy cracks a smile. "Good, we'll pay them a visit tomorrow afternoon. Now let's get some sleep. I have a feeling tomorrow's going to be a long day and night."
Scully's Apartment - Richmond VA.
Mulder wakes up to the sound of his ringing cell phone. He reaches for the phone, hoping not to wake up his wife, Dana. He hits the send button and answers. "Mulder."
"Mulder, this is Frohike. I'm in Los Angeles and something's happened." The excited voice tells him.
"What happened Frohike?" A worried Mulder asks.
"I've got a video tape of government super soldiers armed with disintegrators, killing aliens." Frohike exclaims.
"Hold on Frohike, describe exactly what happened." Mulder tells him. Frohike then describes the situation at the Burger to Go and the two super soldiers who had rescued the people inside.
Mulder could barely keep in his laughter. Frohike was describing a vampire hunt. Buffy and Steve were still at it, and Frohike somehow got caught in the middle of a battle.
"Listen to me, Frohike," Mulder tells him. "Don't do anything. I have a friend in the area who will help you. Go to this address in Sunnydale." Mulder gives Frohike Steve's home address. "Tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 PM. He'll know what to do with the tape.
"Thanks Mulder, I'll be careful." Frohike tells him and hangs up the phone.
After Frohike hangs up. Mulder lets out a long, wicked laugh. The laughter wakes up Scully, who's sleeping next to him.
"Mulder, what's so funny?" A sleepy Scully asks.
Mulder tells her about Frohike's call and where he sent him to drop off the tape. Dana starts to giggle.
"You are evil Mulder. Do you hear me? Evil." Dana tells him between giggles. "Oh I wish I could see Frohike's face when he walks into that house."
Just then, her phone rings. Dana gets control of herself as she answers it. "Hello, Scully here."
"Scully, this is Skinner." The caller identifies himself. "I've just had an emergency request for you and Mulder. Pack your bags, you're both leaving on the 10:00 am flight to L.A. But you have to report to my office first, at 8:00 am, for a quick briefing. Do you what me to contact Mulder and tell him?" Skinner asks.
"No sir, he's woken me up a lot of times in the middle of the night. Now, I'll have the pleasure of waking him up." Scully replies with a chuckle.
Skinner also chuckles. "Scully, you're starting to get Mulder's warped sense of humor. Enjoy."
"No problem, sir. Good night." Dana tells Skinner as she hangs up. "Well, it looks like I got my wish." Mulder arches an eyebrow. "Skinner's sending us to LA on the 10:00 am flight. Do you think we could make it to Steve's place before Frohike?" Dana asks.
"And you called me evil? Scully would you marry me?" Mulder asks.
"Too late, I already did." Dana replies with a grin. As she reaches for Mulder. "You know, we still have a couple of hours. And we could sleep on the plane."
Mulder takes her into his arms. "Why Mrs. Mulder, I do believe you want sex."
"Shut up G-man and turn off the lights." Dana tells him.
The vampire called Reggie approaches the figure sitting on the throne like
chair. Her name is Katherine. She was once an English noble woman,
but a vampire had changed that back in 1125. She now ruled several hundred
vampires as their leader. Thomas had been one of her best
lieutenants. Reggie approaches the throne and gets on his knees
before her. She looks up from the newspaper that she's reading and asks. "Where's Thomas?"
"Gone, Mistress." Reggie replies.
She drops her newspaper and commands. "What happened."
Reggie describes Thomas' plan to attack the restaurant and drain it's patrons dry. He then tells her about the battle he had witnessed inside the restaurant and how all twelve vampires were destroyed. After he finishes, Reggie kneels there waiting for his queen's judgment.
Katherine quickly digests the news that Reggie has brought to her. The Slayer was still hunting in Los Angeles and She had a partner. < So that's how she's been able to kill so many vampires. This could mean problems for my plans to bring back the Demon Throlog, the Merciless. I need time to think. > She calls over a female named Lisa and orders. "Lisa, take Reggie and the other two, and have Pamela draw sketches of what the Slayer and her partner look like. Then bring the sketches to me."
As Reggie gets up to leave, Katherine turns to him. "Reggie, you were correct in coming back here with this information. Good job."
Reggie breathes a sigh of relief, his queen would allow him to live a time longer.
Jarod is not having a good
night. He had almost been caught four times while he accessed Agents
Mulder and Scully's case files. The sentry program on their files was far
beyond what would be normal for the rest of the FBI. But his patience and
determination has paid off. He was finally able to get into their
files. And what he found there makes him
almost wish that he hadn't. Some of the cases these two had assigned to them were so far beyond the norm, that they should have qualified as science fiction or fantasy stories.
Since Jarod had escaped the Centre, he had
indulged himself in various aspects of real life. Last Halloween, Jarod
had read up on the witches, vampires and other things that go bump in the
night. But, he had never believed that he would see actual FBI files, case
histories and investigations into werewolves, vampires, aliens, mutants and
The mere fact that the FBI had two Agents with the credentials of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigating them was enough to raise the hairs on Jarod's neck. This pretend had just gotten really strange, but Jarod was determined to see it through to the end. The death of his friend Heather Michaels demanded it.
< Heather, why did you have to die? > Jarod thinks to himself as he remembers the young nurse who patched him up after one of his pretends almost cost him his life. She never asked anything for herself, just that Jarod finish his work. Jarod's head straightens up and his eyes take on a hard look as he looks over the files in front of him. < You helped me and now I'm going to avenge your murder, Heather. And nothing will get in my way. >
Steve and Buffy make it back to Sunnydale by 11:00 p.m. Steve calls his house to see if Frank and Cassandra are in. The machine comes on. He turns to Buffy.
"They're not at the house. Where do you think they are?" Steve asks.
"Probably hunting in the grave yard." Buffy replies.
Meanwhile, Frank and Cassandra are at the Bronze, having a dance. Two vampires had been dusted that evening and the last three patrols were fruitless. So they had decided to see what was going on at the Bronze. The dance part had been Frank's idea, so they would blend in. The slow dance had been the band's, thanks to the hundred that Frank had slipped to the lead guitar.
The mood of the club is shattered by the sound of the door smashing closed and the shriek of the lead guitar player being impaled by a spear. Frank and Cassandra turn to face three vampires wearing armor and carrying weapons.
"We want the Slayer." The leader shouts out. "If we don't get her, everyone here dies tonight.
Frank is pissed, they've ruined his evening with Cassandra. He steps forward and pulls out his modified H&K Spec Ops 45 and points it at the leader. Cassandra steps over to their table and pulls out her sword. She moves back to Frank's side, ready for anything.
"You bastards ruined my evening. Now I'm going to make sure you never see another sunset." Frank tells them.
The leader laughs. "Bullets can't hurt us, mortal. Go ahead and shoot." He exclaims.
Frank shoots all three vampires in the chest. They become dust. Frank just smiles, and puts away his gun. < Too bad they don't know about wooden bullets. > He turns to Cassandra, and says. "Let's go home. I think the night is shot."
Cassandra just nods, reaching for her coat and puts her sword away. The sound of police sirens could be heard in the distance. The rest of the Bronze's patrons are getting up from the floor where they went when the fight started. Everyone looks at the body of the lead guitarist, still standing, being supported by the spear.
When the police come, they clear out the Bronze and make the usual reports ruling the death an accident.
Frank and Cassandra get to the house just as Buffy and Steve are pulling out to look for them.
Steve and Buffy pull their car back into the driveway and wait for Frank and Cassandra to pull in along side their car.
"Frank, how goes the hunt?" Steve asks as the group makes it's way to the side door of Steve's house.
"Fine Steve, we got five tonight. Two in the cemetery, and three attacked the Bronze, trying to get to Buffy. The three in the Bronze wore armor and carried weapons." A tired sounding Frank tells Steve and Buffy.
"Did you say that the last three wore armor?" Buffy asks, as she opens the door and turns off the alarms.
"Yep, they wore armor, but the bullets got through it and shredded their evil little hearts." Frank replies with a grin. < When did Buffy get a key to Steve's house? >
"Damn! It's the 'Three' again. I thought the previous master destroyed them." Buffy tells them.
"Well, we'll have Giles look it up in the morning." Steve tells her. "Do you need a ride home? I'm ready to hit the sack."
"No, I'll stay here tonight." Buffy replies with a smile. "In one of the guest rooms. Besides, it'll give me a chance to talk to Cassandra."
"Who's covering for you? Willow?" Steve asks.
"Yeah, Mom thinks I'm studying over there tonight." Buffy tells Steve.
Meanwhile Frank and Cassandra are whispering to each other. They both turn to Steve. "Steve, Buffy." Frank tells them. "Cassie and I are going to bed. Goodnight."
"Rats. Now I don't get any dirt on Frank." Buffy pouts. Steve and Cassandra laugh, and Frank just glares at her.
"Listen here, little girl," Frank warns. "I am not your boyfriend. He is." Frank points to Steve. "Do whatever you want to him. Hell, I'll help. But keep out of MY life."
Buffy starts to explain, but she breaks down and starts to cry. Steve immediately goes to her defense.
"Frank, relax. Buffy meant no harm by it." Steve explains.
Frank turns to Steve, and angrily tells him. "Steve, you've always been the type who likes to settle down and have a permanent partner. That's why you don't mind how she's been setting you up these last two months. Me, I don't let anyone tell me how to live. If Cassandra and I want to stay together, we will. But no seventeen year old match-maker will do it for us."
Cassandra, walks over to Buffy and quietly talks to her for a couple of seconds. After talking to Buffy, she gently hugs her and gives her a tissue.
Cassandra then walks over to where Frank and Steve are arguing. "Frank, Buffy wanted to talk to me about her relationship with Steve. Her remark about you was just an excuse, so Steve wouldn't be suspicious."
The anger just drains away from Frank's face. He looks over to Buffy, who's crying on the couch. He goes over and talks to her.
"Buffy, I'm sorry that I exploded like that. Cassandra and I were having a good time when those three vampires ruined it. That really pissed me off. I didn't mean to take it out on you. Sorry." Frank stammers out.
Buffy gives Frank a smile. "I know where your coming from Frank. Twelve vamps ruined my dinner with Steve tonight. No bad blood." Buffy holds out her hand. Frank takes it and she gives him a hug.
"All right, if everyone is finished. Let's all get some sleep. Buffy, treat the last bed room on the right as yours." Steve tells her.
"You mean permanently?" Buffy replies with a smile.
< What the hell did I just do? > Steve thinks to himself as he replies with a sigh. "Yes, permanently, if you like."
"Cool." Buffy replies, as she bounces up, gives Steve a hug, and takes her overnight bag upstairs.
"What did you just do, Steve?" Frank asks with a grin on his face. Cassandra walks up to him and wraps her arms around his waist, waiting for Steve's reply.
"I think I just asked her to move in." Steve replies in a whisper.
"Well worst things have happened, and you got through them. So get
used to it. Good night." Frank tells Steve. Frank and Cassandra turn
around and go to their room, quietly having a good laugh.
Steve just stands there, wondering who set him up. Buffy couldn't have thought of this on her own. Or pulled it off by herself. It had to be either Frank or Cassandra, but probably both. He will definitely get even for this.
As Frank and Cassandra enter their room, both laugh. "Did you see Steve's face when he realized he was set up?" Frank comments between laughs.
"Yes, but he didn't look too pissed. I wonder what's on his mind?"
"Probably figuring out a way to get even with us. It's definitely going to be something nasty. Bet on it." Frank replies with a grin, not caring in the least.
"Those two need to be together. Steve is taking far too long."
"Steve knows Buffy's history and doesn't want to hurt her."
"Frank, sometimes going too slow, also hurts" Cassandra tells Frank as she turns down the bed.
"I know, but Steve also has his personal feelings to sort out." Frank explains as he gets into bed with Cassandra. "He hasn't been with a woman since his wife Kathy died."
"Fifteen years? Frank, that's not healthy. Even for an Immortal."
"Tell me about it. But Steve loved Kathy a lot and Buffy's the first woman that's ever gotten past the shell he's built up around himself. Just give them a little more time and we'll have to drag them out of the bedroom."
"And if they don't?"
"Then we lock them up together for a week and let nature take it's course." Frank replies with a grin.
Cassandra shares his grin. "Think the others will help?"
"Oh yes, especially Willow and Cordelia. Those two are getting pissed that Buffy and Steve haven't done anything yet."
"Sounds like a plan." And with a grin Cassandra rolls over and turns off the light. "Now get over here." Cassandra orders.
"Yes, Ma'am." Frank replies with a grin as he reaches for her in the darkness.
J. Edgar Hoover Federal Building - 8:00 am
Mulder and Scully were making their way down the hall toward Assistant Director Skinner's office. He had ordered them in to brief them on the situation in LA.
Skinner's secretary waves them in. Assistant Director Skinner is sitting behind his desk, working on some reports. He waves them into the chairs in front of his desk.
After finishing the reports, Skinner looks directly
at Mulder and Scully as he tells them. "There have been a rash of vampire
type murders in Los Angeles over the last two months and in the last two
weeks, they've escalated dramatically. The local police are stumped and
the FBI field office can't figure it out either." Skinner tosses a thick file
his desk. "The field office has requested your help. But they've asked me to rein in your attitudes," Skinner crosses his arms and looks directly at Scully. "Especially yours Agent Scully. Now I don't know where they got the idea from, and I'm quite curious. Care to explain?"
Scully shifts uneasily in her seat as she begins. "Director Skinner, the last time we were in LA, one of Agent Daniels' people, an Agent Tanaka, attempted to usurp a case that we were working on. I took the liberty of informing him that our orders came directly from you, and that Agent in Charge Daniels had no right to order us around. If he had any questions on the matter, to take them up with you, personally." Scully explains.
Skinner looks at Scully for a moment, before he says. "Well that explains it. Daniels always was an asshole, this just confirms it." Skinner replies with a grin. "All right you two, have a good trip and don't piss too many people off."
Mulder and Scully get up and leave. As they're going to their car, Mulder slyly comments to Scully. "Well that's a switch, this time they're complaining about you."
"Mulder, if you ever want to have sex again, shut up." Scully replies with a grin of her own.
"Ahhh Scully, why can't I have a little fun?" Mulder whines playfully as they get into their car for the drive to the airport.
"Because I don't want you to." Scully replies with a mischievous smile.
"Why Mrs. Mulder, I do believe you are having fun with me." Mulder comments.
"Of course I am, what else is a wife for?" Scully replies with a smile.
"Let me call Steve and tell him what's going on." Mulder tells Scully.
"Mulder, it's 5:30 am in Sunnydale, and Steve is probably still asleep. Don't forget he and Buffy spend their nights hunting vampires." Scully replies.
"I know." Mulder replies with a grin as he reaches for the cell phone.
Mulder dials Steve's home number and a sleepy Steven St. Wolf answers. "It's now 5:30 am, if the world isn't ending in twenty minutes or you're not a super model who wants to jump my bones, then you are dead, whoever you are."
Mulder snickers, as he replies. "Wake up sleepy head. This is your favorite FBI agent calling to say hello. Hello." Then Mulder hangs up the phone. Scully shoots a 'what the hell are you doing' look at him. Mulder just grins.
A minute later, his cell phone rings. Mulder answers it. "Mulder is not here right now. He is on his way to LA to investigate a series of vampire like murders. Please leave a message at the beep. BEEP."
"Mulder, I am definitely going to beat the hell out of you, next time I see you. Couldn't you have called me in an hour?"
"Sorry Steve, I couldn't resist. Listen, we'll be in LA in about six hours. After we check in with the locals, then we'll come by the house. Got any empty rooms available?"
"For you and Dana, of course I have a room. Are you two really investigating the vampire deaths in LA?"
"Sure are." Mulder confirms it.
Steve chuckles. "Now that's irony. Buffy will be happy to see Dana again. Frank and Cassandra are here as well."
"Sounds like we're going to have some backup on this case. We'll be over by 3:00 p.m. There's another matter that we have to discuss with you and Buffy when we get there. Nothing important, but I think you two will get a kick out of it."
"Okay, see you at three o'clock then. Have a pleasant trip." Steve says, then hangs up and goes back to sleep.
After Mulder and Scully leave Skinner's office, a back door opens and the man Mulder and Scully refer to as Cancer Man enters. He looks directly at Skinner and comments with a smile. "So the Los Angeles office is having a problem with vampires. This type of case is their speciality."
Skinner looks at the man in distaste. "I take it that they won't be stepping on any of your toes this time?"
The man chuckles evilly. "Definitely not. Keep them out there for as long as they need to stay and solve the case. If Daniels gives you any problems, back them up. I'll make sure that twit doesn't screw with them."
Mulder and Scully make to it the Dulles International Airport with time to spare. As they enter the boarding area for their flight, both feel the familiar 'buzz' of another Immortal. The look around and see four men walking towards them. The man in the lead is known to both. Five months ago, he had helped them, Buffy and Steve, destroy two hundred vampires. The man's name is Mack Bolan.
As Bolan's group approaches, Mack holds out his hand. "Mulder, Scully, it's nice to see you both again. It's been what, five months since we met?" Mack comments. His three companions share a common trait with Mack. They all have the look of professional soldiers.
"Hi Mack. What are you doing here?" Mulder asks taking his hand.
"Just wishing my friends here," He introduces Carl 'Ironman' Lyons, Herman 'Gadgets' Schwartz and Rosario 'Politician' Blancanales, "a pleasant trip. They're on the way back to LA for some rest and relaxation. Where are you two off to? Not LA, I hope." Mack replies with a grin.
Mulder looks at Scully, who nods her agreement. "In fact we are. There are a series of murders in LA that we're going to help investigate. You know the type, you helped us with the last one." Mulder tells him.
Mack thinks back to what happened five months ago, when he, Mulder and Scully, along with friends old and new, helped rid the town of Sunnydale of two hundred vampires. Mack makes a decision. Then he turns to his three friends, and calls them over. "Carl, I know I promised you three some time off. But Mulder and Scully may need some backup. Are you three willing to lend a hand?"
His three friends nod their agreement to help.
Mulder and Scully are surprised at Mack's generosity. They look at each other and silently agree, only if they need the help in the worst way, would they call in Mack's friends.
Mulder turns to Mack. "Mack, we already have local backup. Steve and Buffy are more than capable of helping us." Mulder explains.
"I know Steve and Buffy are capable, but if the shit hits the fan, call in Carl. He'll be able to cut through the bull shit and help you get things done. Especially with the LAPD." Mack explains.
Mulder and Scully look doubtful. Mulder voices his doubts. "Look Mack, Scully and I can't have a private vigilante group running around LA. The Bureau and locals won't stand for it."
"Mulder, have you ever heard of the Stony Man group?" Mack asks quietly.
"You mean the top secret, covert operations unit that doesn't exist, and answers only to the President? Nope, haven't heard a thing about it." Mulder replies with a grin.
Mack laughs. "Mulder, you are one dangerous bastard, I'm glad you're on our side. Let me introduce you to Stony Man's American operations group, code named Able Team." Mack nods to his three friends.
Lyons, Blancanales and Schwartz, who have been listening in, nod their heads in acknowledgment.
Lyons looks over the two Feds that Mack had introduced him to. They weren't your run-of-the-mill Feds. For one thing, they weren't full of themselves. Lyons looks over at Mulder and his partner, Scully in detail.
Mulder was tall and lanky. His eyes told his story. Grief, pain and loss. While most people would be down, it had only made this man stronger. Lyons could respect that in a man.
Scully was a head shorter than Mulder and well built. Her eyes mirrored Mulder's. These two had seen the dark side of humanity and survived. No, not just survived, become stronger as individuals, and as partners.
Lyons also notes one other fact. These two were partners in the truest sense of the word. They would back each other up, no matter what. < I wonder if they're sleeping together? Probably are, from how close they're standing together. > Lyons thinks to himself with a grin. His thoughts are shared by his two partners.
Schwartz is thinking. < Where have heard this guy's name before? > Then it hits him. < Bear mentioned this guy several times. > Schwartz doesn't remember what Bear was talking about, but he would definitely call him about it.
Mulder, Scully and Mack chat for a short while until the flight to LA is called. Able team and the two FBI agents board their flight. Mack wishes them all good luck and good hunting. As he watches the plane climb into the sky, he sends a silent prayer hoping Able Team survives this mission.
In the corner, off to one side, supposedly reading a magazine, an agent of the Cancer Man makes notes and takes photos of Mulder and Scully's meeting with Mack and his three operatives. After they board the plane, he gets up and follows Mack to his car and gets his license plate number.
The agent then goes back to his office and turns over his notes and photographs to his superior, who immediately gives him a fresh assignment.
The photos are developed, the license plate and it's owner are researched and a report is printed up. All of this is assembled and placed in the 'in' box of the Cancer Man's desk for his review.
Also in the 'in' box are the transcripts from Mulder's and Scully's phones, for the last 48 hours.
Buffy wakes up to the pounding on her door. She turns over and checks the time. It's 7:00 am. She rolls over and sleepily yells. "Mom, it's only 7:00. I don't have to get up for another half hour."
She instantly wakes up when a male voice replies. "Buffy, I want to get some early practice in this morning. Oh, and your mother's not here, so clean up your room." She hear's Steve's chuckle as he moves away from the door.
Buffy gets up and puts on a pair of sweat pants and her favorite 'Don't Trust Anyone Over 300 sweat shirt. As she goes to the door, she also gets her wooden kendo sword out for the practice. < Knowing Steve, I better be ready. > Buffy muses. As she opens the door, a sudden flash catches her eye and she brings up the blade in time to block the slash aimed at her head. She counters with a side kick and a slash of her own.
Steve back pedals and blocks both blows with his thigh and blade respectively. He starts to fence in earnest, cutting high, then low, then to the middle. Steve is setting up a rhythm to the fight. Buffy sees this and hopes that Steve will make a mistake and she can get past his guard. As he hits low, Buffy expects him to go to the middle, but he suddenly goes for her thigh. She barely gets her sword down in time to block the blow, but Steve follows this with a kick to her side, which does connect.
Frank and Cassandra are both rudely awaken by the battle outside their door. Both get up and are armed within seconds. Cassandra pulls open the door while Frank prepares to open fire on anyone outside the door. Frank watches as Steve passes the door. He gets ready to blast whomever Steve is fighting. As the figure draws past the door Frank sees that it's Buffy.
"What the HELL is going on here?" Frank yells.
"Well (ungh) Steve told me to get (omph) up and get in (ouch) some practice. This (ugh) is his (omph) idea." Buffy explains as she continues to fight Steve.
Steve is slowly backing down the stairs as he replies. "Sorry about (omph) waking you and Cassie (ouch) up, Frank. But (whack) I thought Buffy could use a little (mmgh) realism in her practice today."
As the two battle their way down the staircase, Steve sees his opportunity and stabs Buffy in the foot as she's stepping down. Buffy immediately loses her balance and falls forward. Steve, expecting the fall, drops his sword as he catches her in his arms.
"Couldn't let you break your neck." A smiling Steve tells her. "That would make you late for school." Buffy just smiles sweetly as she knees him in the groin. He quickly loses his smile as he bends over in pain. Buffy then touches Steve's neck with her practice sword and tells him. "Gotcha."
Frank and Cassie are standing on the staircase having a good laugh.
"He deserved that, Buffy." A laughing Cassandra tells her.
"That's for Damn sure." Frank adds between laughs.
"Okay, (umph)" A bent over Steve replies. "That's (ouch) enough practice for this morning."
"Thought so." A laughing Buffy replies, as she picks up her practice sword and heads back to her room to get a shower. As she passes Cassandra, Cassandra gives her a high five.
Quinn and Robert, still out of phase turn to each other. "Now that's a new way to wake up in the morning." Robert cracks with a smile. Quinn just nods and watches.
Meanwhile, in the vampire lair. . .
Katherine is looking over the sketches just given to her by Lisa, her assistant. The sketches are of the Slayer and her companion. She studies them in detail, especially the companion's. She turns to Lisa and asks. "What do you think, should we turn him to our cause?"
Lisa looks over the sketch and replies. "Well mistress, he's rather handsome and quite deadly from Reggie's description of the battle. He would make a fine general for you. But first the Slayer must be killed."
Katherine smiles. "Of course. Have copies made and spread around our community. I want the pleasure of changing him for myself."
Lisa bows as she replies. "It will be done as you ask, mistress." And as she leaves, Katherine gives another order.
"Lisa, tell most of our vampires to stay inside tonight. I don't want to lose any more to the Slayer and her companion. We can hunt them down after we free Throlog."
Lisa smiles as her queen gives an evil laugh.
A few minutes later, everyone is in the kitchen grabbing some breakfast. Steve then breaks the news. "Mulder and Scully are coming back today."
"Why?" A curious Buffy asks.
Steve's mouth spreads into a grin. "They've been put in charge of the case handling the vampire murders in LA."
"Talk about a Fox in the hen house." Frank comments with a chuckle.
"Yep." Steve replies, then turns to Buffy. "Buffy, could you have everyone here today at about two?"
"Not a problem. Giles and the rest will be happy to see Dana and Mulder again.
"Buffy," Steve reminds her. "don't forget to ask Giles about the 'Three'."
"Not a prob. He'll probably spend all day looking it up." Buffy replies.
At the school library, Buffy meets with her friends and mentors for a brief meeting before summer school starts. She gives a brief rundown on the previous night's hunts and passes along the information about the 'Three'. Giles is surprised.
"Buffy, are you sure it was the 'Three'?" Giles asks.
"Well, I wasn't there. But Frank and Cassandra described them to a 'T'." Buffy replies.
"Well, I'll just have to look this up in the Codex." Giles comments.
"One other thing guys," Buffy comments. "Dana and Mulder are coming back this afternoon. And Steve wants us by his place by two, for a meeting with them."
"May I ask the nature of their visit? Is it business or pleasure?" Giles asks.
"Business mostly. They've been put in charge of hunting down the 'vampire' serial killers in Los Angeles." Buffy replies with a grin.
"Oh my, now that is most ironic, isn't it?" Giles comments with a wry grin. Every body else laughs. And with that, the first period bell rings.
As they walk out Willow asks. "So how are things going with you and Steve?"
Buffy smiles. "Steve just gave me my own room. Frank and Cassie helped set him up last night."
"Does he know he was set up?" Cordelia asks.
"Yeah, but he's not going to do anything about it." Xander replies.
Buffy turns to him and asks. "Why?"
"C'mon Buff, you mean you haven't seen how he looks at you? The guys got it bad." Xander tells her.
"Oh please. He does not have it bad." Buffy replies.
"Yes, he does. Only the two of you don't see it." Xander says.
Willow nods in understanding, thinking of Xander and herself.
The flight to LA is uneventful, other than Mulder and Scully get to know the men of Able Team better. As Mulder, Scully and the men of Able Team deplane, they exchange local phone numbers. As they make their way to the luggage carousel, Agent Tanaka, finds them.
"Agents Mulder and Scully, I'm so glad you could make it out here so quickly." Agent Tanaka comments.
"Couldn't refuse a case like this one, Agent Tanaka." Mulder replies with a smile.
"Let's get your luggage. I have some bad news. We couldn't get you hotel rooms because of several major conventions in town. And all of our safe houses are full." Agent Tanaka tells them.
Scully smiles as she replies. "Don't worry about us, Agent Tanaka. We have a friend in Sunnydale. He'll put us up."
"Sunnydale? Isn't that were you two were going on your last case?" Tanaka comments.
"Yep, it sure was." Mulder replies non-commitadley, as he gets their suitcases.
Before Agent Tanaka can reply, Carl Lyons walks over. "Mulder, Scully, we're leaving now. You have my phone number in case you need some backup on this case. Otherwise, see you around." Carl, Gadgets and Politician then walk away.
Agent Tanaka obviously doesn't like the interruption, but Carl's large size and demeanor keeps him quiet. < Shit, what the fuck are THEY doing here? And talking to Spooky and the Ice Queen? The boss had better know about this. > As the three strangers walk away, Tanaka asks. "Who were those three men, Agent Mulder?"
"None of your business." Mulder replies with a cold smile.
"Very well then, let's go meet Agent in Charge Daniels and Captain Randall of the LA police major crimes unit." A stiff Tanaka tells them as he leads them to his car, waiting outside the terminal.
The ride to the LA office of the FBI, is quickly over. As Mulder, Scully and Tanaka pass through the office, Mulder accidentally bumps into a female agent and three of her colleagues. One of them is agitated about something.
"Sorry about that, ahhh, Agent Kowalski." Mulder apologies to the female agent as he reads her name tag. Her three colleagues hold back, waiting to see what happens.
"No problem, Agent Mulder?" Agent Kowalski replies, looking at Mulder's FBI identification. Her three colleagues relax. "Nice bumping into you." She replies with a smile.
Mulder, Scully and Tanaka watch as Kowalski and her friends leave. Mulder asks Tanaka a question. "Those three with Kowalski, they're not Bureau are they?"
Tanaka sniffs in distaste. "They're Kowalski's pet project, paroled ex-cons who work for the Bureau, doing stings." Tanaka explains.
"Interesting concept. Does it work?" Scully asks.
Tanaka just glares at her. Scully looks to Mulder and silently tells him // Guess it works pretty well then. Tanaka doesn't want to talk about it. Must be embarrassed by their success. //
Any reply is cut short as they're ushered into Agent Daniels office. In the office, sitting behind his 'power' desk is Agent in Charge Daniels. Standing off to one side is a pair of LA police detectives, being unimpressed by Agent Daniels. Mulder and Scully immediately take in their surroundings. The entire office screamed 'Look at Me, I'm Important'. < Skinner was right, this guy is an asshole. > Mulder thinks to himself. < He'll probably blame us and the LAPD if the case goes south. And take the credit, if it gets solved. >
Agent Tanaka introduces Mulder and Scully to everyone. Agent Daniels rises up and shakes their hands. Captain Randall and Det. Vetter only nod their heads in greeting.
< So these are the FBI's specialists in the weird. > Det. Vetter thinks to herself, looking the pair over. < They look pretty normal to me. >
Captain Randall gets right down to business. "You two ready for the weirdest case you've ever been on?" Randall asks.
"Depends on how you define weird, Captain Randall." Mulder replies with a straight face.
"How's about vampires, Agent Mulder? Is that weird enough for you?" Randall asks.
"Nope. Been there, done that." Mulder replies nonchalantly. Agents Daniels and Tanaka are shocked at Mulder's comment and nonchalant attitude.
"Agent Mulder, there is no reason to be flippant with Captain Randall." Agent Daniels tells him.
Mulder turns to Agent Daniels and tells him, "Agent Daniels, we've hunted down and Captured serial killers who 'thought' they were vampires before. < and the real thing as well. > This case is nothing new to me or Agent Scully."
Captain Randall looks Mulder directly in the eyes. After a minute, he shudders and turns away. < What the hell has this guy been through? He's too young to have been in Vietnam. No wonder they call him 'Spooky'. > Captain Randall thinks to himself. "All right, Agent Mulder, have you and your partner looked over the case files?" He asks.
"We looked over the abridged version on the plane ride over." Mulder replies. "Is there anything else to add to the file, since yesterday?"
"Yeah, there is." Captain Randall replies. "It appears as though our vampire serial killers have attracted a pair of, get this, light saber armed 'vampire hunters'."
"Light saber armed vampire hunters? What is this a Hammer/Lucas film crossover?" Scully asks.
"Yeah, light saber armed vampire hunters. They've been stopping the serial killers. We have several reports of a man and a woman rescuing people from the killers. Every time they show up the serial killers just disappear. We haven't been able to track those two either." Randall explains.
A thought passes between Mulder and Scully. < Buffy and Steve have been busy. >
"Do you have any ideas?" Agent Tanaka asks.
"Nothing at this time." Mulder replies.
"So, we basically start at the beginning, again." Captain Randall comments.
"No, not at the beginning. Is there any way that Scully and I can see all of the incident reports?" Mulder asks.
"Yeah, sure. Can I ask why?" Randall asks.
"We want to study them for patterns and similarities. Who knows, we may find something you missed. Our outlook and view on things might be different than yours." Scully explains.
"Sounds good. When do you want to get started?" Captain Randall asks.
"Later tonight. Right now we want to get settled in." Mulder tells him. Then turns to Agent Daniels. "We'll need the use of a Bureau car for the duration of our stay."
"Where are you two staying in town?" Agent Daniel asks, his voice hard with tension. < I don't like these two, one damn bit. >
"Since all of the hotel rooms are full, Scully and I are staying with a friend in Sunnydale. We left the address and local phone numbers with your secretary." Mulder tells him.
"Sunnydale? Nothing ever happens there. At least you'll have some peace and quiet." Captain Randall replies.
"That's the truth." Mulder tells him. < If he only knew the real truth about Sunnydale. He would have a heart attack. >
"That's it for today then?" Agent Daniels says, relieved that the meeting is over. "All right, Agents Mulder and Scully, we'll see you later tonight then."
"Yes, we should be back by 9:00 p.m. But we won't be here. We're going directly to the police station and review the files there." Mulder replies just before he leaves. "Oh and by the way sir, nice desk. My mother keeps one just like it in the garage. She uses it to arrange flowers."
"May I ask why you don't want to work at the Federal Building, Agent Mulder?" Daniels asks, put off, but ignores the desk insult. < For the present. >
"Because, all of the case files are at the LAPD. Why do they have to be dragged up here, when we can look at them just as easily over there? We'll also have an easier time interviewing the detectives and officers involved." Mulder replies to Daniels. Then he turns to Randall, who's smiling now. "Captain Randall, do you have a problem if we interview your officers and detectives, as they become available, at your offices'."
"No problem at all. In fact they'll appreciate it. I'll set you up with an office and a couple of desks." Captain Randall replies as he and Det. Vetter are covering the their grins. Mulder just told Daniels off. And insulted his 'precious' desk as well. He was starting to like this guy.
Christine Kowalski and her three colleagues walk into her office. As she closes to the door, she leans against it for support. Her friends can hear her mutter. "I can't believe they brought *HIM* in. My God, Daniels must be desperate."
"Brought who in, Christine?" Isaac 'Ice' Gregory asks.
"Oh sorry guys. You're not FBI, so you won't know about *HIM*." Christine replies as she sits down.
"All right already, who is he? That Mulder guy who bumped into you in the hall?" Charlie O'Bannon asks. Christine only nods her head.
"What's so special about this guy, Christine?" Ice asks.
As Christine takes a seat at her desk, she begins. "Well to begin with, he's one of the best profilers the Bureau has. When he was on the Violent Crimes Task Force, he wrote the proverbial book on serial killers. His profiles were better than ninety percent accurate, every time. That earned him the nick name 'Spooky'." Christine's three friends are impressed. Christine continues the story.
"He could have written his own ticket to any post in the Bureau. But, somehow he came across some open cases referred to as X-Files. Cases that couldn't be solved or were unsolvable. With his pull, he got the cases assigned to him, and the Bureau formed a division called the X-Files, that was about six years ago. A few months after the X-Files started, Mulder had a partner assigned to him. A woman named Dana Scully. She's one of the Bureau's best pathologists. That woman with Mulder was probably her. Since then, those two have gotten every weird and strange case that's come into the Bureau. And there have been some strange ones."
"A friend of mine in the Newark, New Jersey office told me about one of their cases dealing with a fluke man." Ice, Charlie and Alphonse stare at her. "Don't look at me. Donna told me that they had to kill it by cutting it in half as it tried to escape to the ocean." Christine tells them.
"So that's why Agent Mulder is carrying a sword?" Alphonse Royo asks.
Alphonse's three friends are shocked at what he just said.
Christine gets a hold of herself, as she asks. "What do you mean 'he's carrying a sword'? Where would he put it?"
"It was in his trench coat. When he bumped into you, his coat opened and I saw the sword." Alphonse explains.
"Now why would an FBI Agent be caring a sword?" Ice asks.
Charlie O'Bannon thinks back to stories his grandmother told him of the old country. "Because, sometimes a bullet won't stop what they're facing." He softly mutters.
Everyone looks at him. Ice asks. "What do you mean by that, Charlie?"
"Well, when I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. And she would tell me stories of the old country. Some of the things she talked about couldn't be killed with a bullet. You needed a sword or a cross or both to kill it. If those two are getting all of the real weird stuff, that the normal cops and feds can't handle, I can see why he's carrying a sword." Charlie explains.
Christine turns to Alphonse, remembering his request for a meeting. "Sorry Alphonse, what did you want to tell us, before we got started on this?"
Alphonse looks saddened and the news he gives leaves everyone sad as well. "Remember Jack Hastings and his family?" Everyone nods. They remember the scrappy little handy man who stepped forward, despite the threats, to testify against a mobster. "Well, I just heard from Francine that they found Jack, his wife and their four kids, all dead. Victims of the 'vampire' killers."
"Oh man, they didn't deserve that." Ice angrily comments.
"So, what are we going to do about it?" Charlie asks.
"Simple we're going to get involved in the case." Christine says as she gets up. "I'm going to see Daniels about getting assigned to this case."
"That's a fact." Ice replies as he gets up, along with Alphonse and Charlie, to follow Christine to Daniels' office. As they turn the corner, they hear shouting coming from Daniels' office.
Christine walks over to Daniel's secretary, Barbara, and asks. "What's got Daniels so pissed off?"
"Spooky and the Ice Queen weren't impressed by the boss' desk and they were even less impressed with him, and they made the fact known." Barbara giggles. "The boss just called Assistant Director Skinner to complain about their attitudes and to send them back to D.C. A.D. Skinner told the boss that if he wanted this case solved, he should keep them. Otherwise, the Director will want to know why two of the Bureau's best investigators were booted off the case." Barbara explains.
Kowalski and her crew are surprised. < Mavericks like Mulder and Scully had to be good if A.D. Skinner AND the Director themselves were backing them up. > Kowalski thought to herself.
Just then, Joe Tanaka opens the door to Daniels' office and sees Kowalski talking to Barbara. He quietly closes the door and turns back into the office and talks to Daniels. "Boss, Kowalski's outside talking to Barbara. Why don't we give this case to her and her three stooges? If anything goes wrong, we'll be rid of all of them, in one shot." Tanaka explains.
Daniels' face spits into an evil grin. He reaches for his buzzer. "Barbara, have Kowalski come in here immediately."
"Right away, sir." Barbara replies.
Kowalski walks into the office, immediately noticing the grins on Daniels' and Tanaka's faces. < Shit what did we do now? > She thinks to herself.
"Kowalski, I need Tanaka on another case. I'm assigning the vampire killings to you and your misfits. You will be in charge of this case. Fail, and you'll be working in Alaska, and your 'specialists' will be back in jail. Am I understood?" Kowalski just nods her head. "Then take the rest of the day off, and report to the LAPD major cases unit tonight with your 'people' and coordinate everything with Agents Mulder and Scully." Daniels tells her.
Kowalski doesn't say a word, she just gives Tanaka a glare and leaves the office. Outside, Ice, Charlie and Alphonse are waiting for her. She gives them the news as she walks over to Barbara and asks. "Barbara, how do I get in contact with Agents Mulder and Scully?"
Barbara just hands over a slip of paper with a Sunnydale address and phone numbers on it as she explains. "They couldn't get any hotel rooms, because of the conventions, so they're staying with a friend in Sunnydale. A guy named Steven St. Wolf."
Meanwhile in the parking garage, Captain Randall and his partner, Det. Tracy Vetter are going over what happened in Daniels' office.
"What do you think of the two 'specialists' the Febbies brought in, Tracy?" Randall asks.
"They are definitely not your usual Febbies. Did you see the way they treated Daniels? No one who cares about their careers treats a superior like that. Only cops who care about solving their cases." Tracy tells him.
"Yeah, I think we finally got the help we needed on this case. C'mon, let's go back and make sure they have an office to work in. It's the least that we can do." Randall tells her.
"Captain?" Vetter asks. "Think we should pick them up? Show them that we're willing to work with them?"
Randall thinks it over as he pulls the car out onto Main Street. "Not a bad idea, Tracy. Did you get their address?" He asks.
"Yeah, I got a copy from the secretary." Tracy replies as Captain Randall's cell phone rings.
"Randall." He answers.
"How's it going, John?" The voice at the other end answers.
Randall immediately recognizes his old partner's voice. "Ironman, what the hell are you doing in LA?"
"I've got a few days off. And decided to hang around the old neighborhood." Ironman replies.
"Sure Ironman, sure." Randall replies, not convinced, then asks. "Are any of your people working out here, right now?"
"Not to my knowledge, John. If they were, I'd tell you." Ironman replies. "Why are you asking?"
"Because we've got a couple of vigilantes out hunting the 'vampire' serial killers. I thought they might belong to you, since they follow your policy of 'take no prisoners'." Randall tells him.
"Like I said, I don't know shit about them. If you want some help, the guys and I will lend a hand, if asked." Ironman replies.
"Thanks for the good word, Ironman. I'll keep it in mind. Have a good time." Randall replies, then turns to his partner.
"Tracy, this case has just become something else." Randall tells her.
"What do you mean John?" Tracy asks.
"Ironman is in town with his two friends. And that can only mean trouble."
"Oh shit." Tracy replies thinking back to the last time those three were in LA and how high the body count got.
Ironman hangs up on his phone call with Captain Randall, just as Gadgets Schwartz has just finished talking with Bear, Stony Man's computer expert. He turns to Ironman and Politician and just shakes his head.
"So, it's that bad." Politician observes.
"It can't be. Mack wouldn't do that to us." Ironman comments.
"It's worse. According to Bear, Mulder and Scully are the FBI's experts on the paranormal. Their cases include aliens, monsters and the supernatural. Especially aliens. The NSA has constant trouble with those two getting too close to some of their operations."
"Bear pulled up a few of their cases. Those two have worked on cases involving, get this, werewolves, vampires, the Jersey Devil, mutants and all sorts of weird stuff. I'm sorry to say this, but I hope they loose our phone number." Gadgets laments.
"I hope not." Ironman comments.
"Why, Ironman?" Politician asks.
"Because, I've always wanted to try to take out an alien." Ironman grins. "But back to business, John Randall just asked me if we had anyone working the vampire case."
"Why?" Gadgets asks.
"Because there appear to be a pair of vampire hunters hunting the serial killers." Ironman replies with a grin. "And from John's description, they don't take prisoners. He all but said their style reminds him of us."
Jarod looks up from his microscope and rubs his sore eyes. He has just finished re-testing the dust sample for the fifth time and the results were the same. Decomposed human remains, approximate age, according to the carbon dating, 180 years old.
He thinks back to the events of last night and the descriptions the witnesses had given him. < Two people, a man and a woman, armed with glowing swords and wooden knives, fighting off the twelve men who attacked the Burger-to-Go. The man called himself, Wanderer, the woman, the Slayer. Every time they would kill one of the men, they would turn to dust immediately. What kind of weapons were these people using, that turned people into dust? Some of the people called the twelve men who were killed vampires. > As Jarod leaves the laboratory, he decides to do a little research into the vampire myth and see how all of these events coincide. In the library, Jarod asks about books on vampires. The librarian, a cute brunette, points him to the occult/mythology and popular fiction sections of the library.
A few hours later, an even more puzzled and worried Jarod leaves the library. He had read every factual book in the library on vampires (there weren't many to begin with) and some of the fictional stories as well. < That Anne Rice was particularly good. > The experience had left him wondering. The only thing of interest was the name Slayer appeared in all of the factual books. It was supposed to be some legendary vampire hunter gifted with mystical strength, stamina, speed and the ability to sense vampires. < Could both of these people be Slayers? That would explain the ease with which they took out the twelve vampires. >
As Jarod leaves the library, he decides to call his mentor, Sidney. As he dials Sidney's private cell phone number, Jarod wonders how to ask him about this. As the cell phone rings, it's picked up on the second ring and a cultured, Belgian accented voice asks. "Hello, this is Sidney."
"Sidney, this is Jarod," Jarod begins and asks. "I have a question for you, do you mind?"
"No, Jarod, please ask." Sidney replies.
"Are vampires real?" Jarod asks.
Sidney laughs. "No Jarod, vampires are not real. They are nothing more than myths and legends used to scare unruly children to bed."
"Then why does the FBI have an entire division dedicated to investigating such things?" Jarod asks.
"What do you mean by that?" Sidney asks, now curious.
"I came across some information recently and followed it to it's source, the FBI's X- Files division. They study and investigate paranormal type crimes." Jarod tells him.
"My God, I hope you're joking." Sidney replies.
"No, I hacked into their case files and the personal files of the two lead investigators. Did you know their system had better protection than NORAD? I wonder why? Broots is going to have a devil of a time trying to get in. Who ever is protecting that system almost caught me four times, before I could down load the files I was looking for. And to quote one of my new friends, the files are a real humdinger." Jarod tells him.
Sidney laughs, then asks. "Jarod, does this have anything to do with the recent rash of vampire like killings taking place in Los Angeles?"
"Yes," Jarod replies. "Heather Michaels was killed by one of those things and I'm going to make sure that whoever or whatever did it is brought to justice.
"Jarod, don't." Sidney asks. "Whatever is going on is too much for even you to handle."
"I'm not alone Sid, there are two other people hunting these things and I'm going to try and help them." Jarod tells him.
"What do you mean, Jarod?" An anxious Sidney asks.
"Last night, twelve of these 'vampires' attacked a fast food restaurant called the Burger-to-Go and tried to kill everyone inside. A man and a woman attacked them and somehow killed them all, saving everybody in the restaurant. They then left the restaurant without a word." Jarod tells him.
"Jarod, please," Sidney begs. "Leave Los Angeles immediately. You don't know what you're facing. Let the police and Federal authorities handle it. Just get out of there."
"I can't Sidney, you know that." Jarod replies as he terminates the connection.
The Centre - Blue Cove Delaware
Dr. Sidney Green closes his personal cell phone and stares up at the wall, contemplating his recent conversation with his wayward Pretender. < Jarod, hunting the vampire killers in Los Angeles? He doesn't know what he's doing. I've never prepared him to fight a myth before. > Sidney turns and picks up the phone and calls Miss Parker. "Miss Parker, this is Sidney. I have a location on Jarod. Please come here with Mr. Broots." Sidney then hangs up the phone and stares again into the wall, hoping he has made the right decision. A few minutes later, Miss Parker enters, followed by Broots, the computer specialist.
"So Sidney, where is Ratboy?" Miss Parker begins without preamble.
"In Los Angeles, hunting the vampire killers plaguing that city." Sidney replies.
"You're kidding?" < I hope. > Miss Parker asks.
"I wish I was. A friend of his, a woman named Heather Michaels," Miss Parker stiffens. "Was killed by them and he is seeking revenge for her death. He told me that he's looking to join up with a pair of vigilantes already hunting the vampires." Sidney explains.
A startled Broots asks. "You don't mean the man and woman who rescued those people at the Burger-to-Go, last night?"
A puzzled Sidney gives Broots a questioning look. "Why yes, Broots, that is exactly the pair I'm talking about. May I ask how you know about them?"
"Spill it Broots." Miss Parker tells him in a low voice.
"Well, you see, my friend Langley from D.C. sent me this digitized video early this morning. He wanted me to examine it to see if it was a fake. It's not, at least I don't think so." Broots hurriedly tells them.
"Do you have it with you?" Sidney asks.
"Yeah, I brought it with me to double check, using Centre equipment." Broots explains.
Miss Parker practically purrs. "Why Broots, using Centre equipment for personal reasons. I am surprised."
"Well, I was going to do it on my lunch hour and it wouldn't have done anything to the equipment, just used up computer time." Broots, halfheartedly explains.
"Broots, shut up and show us the tape." Miss Parker tells him.
Broots takes them to the computer lab and sits down in front of a large monitor.
"The video tape is one of those four in one shots. That means that the video screen is split into four different camera views of the restaurant. I've spliced the video into individual shots, so the resolution is much better. If you want to see the original, I can show that to you as well, but the resolution is not too good." Broots explains.
"Thank you Mr. Science. Now roll the damn tape." Miss Parker orders.
Sidney and Miss Parker watch first watch the four way view of the original tape, then they watch Broots' enhanced versions. Both are in awe by the time they finish watching the tape.
Miss Parker turns to Sidney. "Sidney, this can't be real. Those two people couldn't have done what I've just seen. And what the hell happened to the bodies of their victims?"
"I know Miss Parker, those two seem beyond human somehow. Broots, can you enhance their faces? Can we see what those two people look like?" Sidney asks.
"Sure Sidney. I blew up sections where their faces were clear. Here's what they look like." Broots tells them as he expands a pair of pictures, one of Steve St. Wolf and one of Buffy Summers into a split screen on the computer. Miss Parker and Sidney look closely at the pair of fighters who had decimated twelve people in a matter of minutes.
"The girl couldn't be over eighteen and the man looks like he's in his mid twenties. How could they become so proficient in fighting in that short a time? Could they be a project that got loose? Maybe something from the military?" Sidney comments as Sam, the sweeper, comes up behind him. Sam looks at the pair of photos in the computer monitor and screams.
All three turn to the scared sweeper. Miss Parker grabs him and smacks him in the face, telling him. "Get a hold of yourself Sam. Nothing can hurt you here."
"But, but, but the picture. That's HIM. Oh please don't make me go after him again. I can't face him." Sam stutters out.
"Face who Sam?" Sidney asks.
"HIM!" Sam points to the picture of the man from the Burger to Go.
"Do you know who he is?" Miss Parker asks, worried. She had never seen Sam react like this before. He had always been the quiet professional. A brick wall, always calm, never flustered.
"Yes, his name is Carson Jamieson. He's a private detective from Dallas, Texas. He's also responsible for the deaths of at least twenty six sweepers, three cleaners and three of Mr. Raines' 'Specialists', almost half the entire field security force the Centre had in 1982." Sam tells the stunned trio.
"Sam, are you sure it's him? The man in this picture couldn't be more than twenty four, maybe twenty six years old. I find it hard to believe that this is the same man." Sidney replies.
"Pull up his file then. The Centre obtained a copy of his military file." Sam tells him.
Broots immediately accesses the file, and as it scrolls across his monitor, he begins to read it. He orders the file printed for Sidney and Miss Parker, but as he reads more and more of it, Broots begins to have a bad feeling in his stomach. His stomach really sinks, when he reads the bottom of the file: 'Killed in August 1983, Dearborn, Michigan by Centre asset Trevor Howard.'
"Sidney," Broots calls out.
"Broots, what is it? You look like you've seen a ghost." Sidney comments on Broots' pale complexion.
"I might have. According to our files, Carson Jamieson has been dead for fifteen years." Broots tells the stunned group of people.
Cancer Man is relaxing at his desk, slowly smoking a cigarette. He's planning on a quiet weekend. < Maybe do a little writing this weekend. > He thinks to himself. His two major problems, Mulder and Scully were gone for the week, on a case that he and his superiors had absolutely no interest in. Suddenly his phone rings. His stomach sinks. < Not this soon, they haven't been in LA longer than two hours. > He reaches for it and picks it up, asking. "What is it?"
"Sir, this is Tanaka," Tanaka begins. "I retrieved Mulder and Scully from the airport as per your orders. But a situation has come up." Tanaka hesitates.
"What is the situation, Tanaka?" Cancer Man asks. < Damn. >
"Sir, they were seen talking with known operatives of the Stony Man Group. Specifically, their domestic anti-terrorist unit, code named Able Team." Tanaka tells him.
Cancer Man's stomach does a flip flop and he reaches for the Maalox. He then asks Tanaka. "Anything else?"
"Sir, there's one other item you should know about. Because of the hotel room shortage, they're staying with a friend in Sunnydale, a man called Steven St. Wolf." Tanaka gives him the address. "Also, they were in Sunnydale five months ago on another case."
Cancer Man writes all this down and then tells Tanaka. "Tanaka, good job, keep me posted of any sudden changes and keep away from those two." And then he hangs up the phone.
Cancer Man reaches for his 'in' box and reviews the surveillance file from the airport. He suddenly slams it down. The photos taken show Mulder and Scully amicably talking to Bolan himself. < Damn, what the hell are those two trying to do to me? Give me a heart attack? > Then, he grins ruefully. < Knowing them, they probably would do it just to see if I'd keel over. > He reaches for his buzzer and calls in his research specialist. The specialist immediately comes in and Cancer Man tells him. "I want you to pull everything on the Stony Man Group's domestic anti-terrorist unit, code named Able Team, that you have. Also, I want you to find out everything that you can about a man called Steven St. Wolf, who resides in the town of Sunnydale, California. Also Mulder and Scully were in Sunnydale five months ago, I want a copy of their reports and I want everything yesterday." The specialist nods his head and leaves to do his duty.
Cancer Man then reaches for the phone and dials a Los Angeles number. No one answers when they pick up. He speaks into the silence. "I want the house located at 317 Brandt Terrace in Sunnydale, put under immediate observation. And I mean immediate as of twenty minutes ago." Then he hangs up the phone.
Two hours later, the research specialist re-enters Cancer Man's office. As his employer waits, he produces seven thick folders, a thin folder and several note sheets. Cancer Man sighs deeply and waves him into a chair for what he knows is going to be bad news. How bad, he doesn't know yet, but knowing Mulder and Scully, it could be anything.
The specialist begins. "Sir, these first four folders are respectively, the team file on Stony Man's domestic anti-terrorist unit, code named Able Team and the personnel files on it's operatives, Carl Lyons, Herman Schwartz and Rosario Blancanales. These other two files are on the man called Steven St. Wolf a.k.a. 'Wanderer' and another man named Carson Jamieson a.k.a. 'Cherokee'." Cancer Man looks up in question. The specialist continues. "The man known as Steven St. Wolf has no records dating back past 1983. I ran his driver's license photo against every one in the files matching his description. The man called Carson Jamieson was a 97% match, but he died in 1983. The seventh folder is for a Frank Scully a.k.a. Frank Iverson, a known associate of Steven St. Wolf's. The last folder is a copy of Mulder's and Scully's field reports from five months ago."
"Can you give me a rundown on their last case in Sunnydale, first?" Cancer Man asks.
"Yes sir. They were investigating the theft of a Strella Anti-Tank rocket from one of the local military depots. The report concludes that the rocket theft report was erroneous. The rocket was actually used in a practice simulation. The report is wrong." The specialist replies.
"You mean Mulder and Scully were actually wrong for once?" Cancer Man asks.
"No Sir, they fabricated the evidence to show what they wanted to show." The specialist replies.
"The report was fabricated?" Cancer Man asks, surprised.
"Yes sir, Mulder and Scully convinced the CID investigators that the rocket was used during a simulation and the launcher had been misplaced. They even presented them with the launcher, sans rocket. Since the Army didn't want any bad press and they had the launcher, they went along with it." The specialist explains. "Also, there is a letter from the principal of Sunnydale High School. He complains about the damage caused to his gym, but thanks the Bureau for repairing it so quickly. He also complains about the attitude shown by Special Agents Mulder and Scully, especially Scully."
Cancer Man grins. "My oh my, Mulder and Scully fabricating reports and covering something up. This is a new side to them, especially Scully. Most interesting. < Maybe there's hope for those two. > Now tell me about St. Wolf and Jamieson. Specifically, how did Jamieson die or supposedly died?"
The specialist looks back over his notes and replies. "He was killed by a man named Trevor Howard in Dearborn Michigan. The report goes on to say that Howard was going to shoot up a group of elementary school children and Carson rammed him with his motorcycle before he could do it, killing him. Before he rammed Howard, Howard shot him twenty times for his trouble. Jamieson died on the way to the hospital, but his body mysteriously disappeared shortly thereafter. The local police have no other information on that case. The State of Texas had requested the body to be sent back to them."
"Why would Texas want his body?" Cancer Man asks.
"Because Jamieson was wanted in Texas for six counts of murder. The men he killed were responsible for the rape/murder of his young wife, Katherine Sinclair Jamieson. They walked because someone in the evidence room tampered with the evidence before the trial and the judge was forced to release them. After that, Jamieson hunted them down and killed them. A Texas Ranger named Walker was put in charge of the case, but he never seriously pursued it. Which is strange in itself."
"Why?" Cancer Man asks.
"Because this man Walker has been known to violate the Mexican border in hunting down his fugitives. Walker even makes the Mounties look bad in that respect."
"What is Jamieson's background?" Cancer Man asks.
"U.S. Army, 1975 to 1982. Psychological tests read him as extremely stable, with an IQ of 150. Military Specialty, Special Forces Pathfinder/Sniper. Service in Lebanon, Panama and multiple classified operations. Commendations, US Army - two silver stars, three bronze, two purple hearts, nominated for the Medal of Honor, declined because operation was classified. Commendations, Other, Victoria Cross for bravery above and beyond the call of duty in saving the lives of his fellow SAS troopers during an ambush in Northern Ireland. Specialized training includes Jungle Warfare School, U.S. Army Sniper School, Airborne Infantry School, Special Air Service exchange program, GSG9 exchange program, French Foreign Legion Desert Training and Finnish Special Forces Arctic Warfare Training. Non-Standard Training includes, black belts in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Zen Sword, Philippine stick fighting, archery, fencing and tracking, other skills are languages, specifically Spanish, German and French."
"My God, this man was a walking weapon. Why didn't we attempt to recruit him?" Cancer Man asks.
"We did. He refused the position. Interviewer's note states, 'Jamieson promised his wife Katherine to leave that world behind'. No other attempts were made to contact him."
"Did we have anything to do with her death?" Cancer Man asks.
"No sir, completely random occurrence. Ranger Walker was able to link those same six men to a dozen rape/murders in the States of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. I guess that's why Jamieson was made a low priority."
"One other note, sir." Cancer Man nods, the specialist continues. "There was a complaint about Jamieson from the Centre in Blue Cove. They requested help to remove him and you refused." The specialist comments.
"I did? Would you care to remind me of the specifics?" Cancer Man asks.
"Yes Sir. After he left the Army and married his wife, Katherine, Mr. Jamieson became a private investigator specializing in lost or stolen children. On at least one occasion he was responsible for recovering a subject that the Centre attempted to obtain. Mr. Parker and Mr. Raines felt that he was a threat to them and their work. They requested some help in removing him. You told them to go screw themselves and you had us warn him on the Q.T." The specialist replies with a grin.
Cancer Man shares that grin, remembering the faces of those two stuck up fools, Parker and Raines. Especially when they came back the second time complaining about the loss of two dozen 'sweepers', three of their 'cleaners' and three of their best assassins.
"Pity he's dead. Now tell me about Steven St. Wolf" Cancer Man asks.
"In six words, Sir?" Cancer Man nods. The specialist continues. "Modern day Indiana Jones style adventurer."
"You have got to be kidding." Cancer Man replies in a disbelieving voice.
"No, sir. Steven St. Wolf is a dealer in antiquities and rare artifacts. He's also well known as a treasure hunter and explorer. Also, he has at present, no less than four death sentences hanging on his head." Cancer Man raises his eyebrows at this. "Two are from Libya, the other two are from the countries of Iran and Iraq, respectively. Remember that raid that Kaddafi blamed on a US Marine Division, about seven years ago?" Cancer Man nods. "That was him and eight operatives rescuing a group of kidnapped American students from an international group of white slavers. They also crippled most of the Libyan's Air Forces as a bonus. He raided Libya a second time, two years later, to rescue a friend of his, a British flyer, a Sebastian Sinclair, who was shot down and Captured over the Gulf of Sidra. In Iraq, eight years ago, he rescued two downed U.S. Air Force pilots and a fellow antiques dealer, a Connor McLeod. He and McLeod were also responsible for taking out their main chemical storage depots. In Iran, ten years ago, he retrieved some stolen children and returned them to their parents. While he was there, he also rescued three CIA operatives and got them out, as well."
"Shit, what else is there?" Cancer Man asks as he watches the researcher's face.
"The CIA agents' control officer was Jack Ryan. And according to the files Ryan has used St. Wolf several more times over the last eight years." The specialist replies.
Cancer Man shakes his head and sighs. < Can it get any worse? > "Anything else I should know about?"
The specialist looks at his notes and replies. "There is the matter of the Order of Teraka."
"The assassin's order? What do those amateurs have to do with him?" Cancer Man asks.
"In India about five years ago, he protected an old man named Akbar from the Order. In the process he killed twenty of their members. Now they refuse every contract that has something to do with him." The specialist replies with a grin.
"Good for him. Those idiots have caused us all sorts of problems over the years. They deserve what they got."
"Bottom line, sir, this individual is one of the most dangerous men in the world. Taking him down would require a massive expenditure of resources and possibly incur the wrath of some very powerful people." The specialist comments.
"Can you tell me what his connection to Mulder and Scully are?" Cancer Man asks.
"There are three connections, sir. St. Wolf and Mulder worked on two cases together, before Mulder re-opened the X-Files. And the third is his associate, Mr. Frank Scully a.k.a. Iverson. Mr. Scully is Dana Scully's cousin."
"Why does he use the name Iverson?"
"He was disowned by William Scully Sr. He supposedly murdered a member of his SEAL team and escaped from the brig. William Sr. then disowned him and broke all ties with him. The name he's using now is his grandmother's maiden name. The Iverson family helped him while the Navy was actively hunting him and got him out of the country and set up his new identity."
"What were the cases that St. Wolf and Mulder both worked on." Cancer Man asks.
"Both were serial killers who specialized in children, Sir. Respectively John Dupree a.k.a. the Louisiana Butcher and Sebastian King a.k.a. the Gourmet. When both of these men escaped from our jurisdiction, and when the Bureau refused Mulder's request to hunt them down, St. Wolf went after them. He brought back Dupree alive, but he had to kill King to save a small child who would have been his 26th victim."
Cancer Man sits back in his chair and takes a deep breath. Then he turns to his specialist. "Is that all on St. Wolf?" The specialist nods. "Now tell me about Able Team and the men in it."
"Sir, Able Team is the Stony Man Group's domestic anti-terrorist team. It's made up of three individuals, Carl Lyons, the leader, Herman Schwartz, technical specialist and Rosario Blancanales, linguistics and heavy weapons. Their code names are respectively, Ironman, Gadgets and Politician."
"Lyons is a former LA police Sergeant, and Schwartz and Blancanales have served with Bolan in Vietnam and during his Executioner period. They have racked up an impressive record of kills over the last ten years and they have never been known to back down from anything. Their psych profiles state that all three are highly intelligent, have high moral and ethical codes and are extremely loyal to Bolan, the United States and each other." The specialist finishes.
"Thank you, you can go now." Cancer Man tells the specialist.
"Sir, may I add something?" Cancer Man nods. "Sir, St. Wolf has some major holes in his files. We don't know who all of his backers are, or if he has any friends inside the organization. This man is an enigma. Please be careful." The specialist then gets up and goes.
Cancer Man turns to his window and watches the people move in and out of the Capitol, going about their business. < You're right old friend, I'll be careful for both our sakes. Mulder, what the hell did you get me into this time? > He then reaches for the phone and dials a number in Los Angeles. "Is our operative in place?" Cancer Man asks.
"Yes." Comes the one word reply from the other side of the country.
"Good. Keep me posted of any changes." Cancer Man hangs up the phone, wondering where this was all going.
Miss Parker, Sidney and Broots have Sam, the sweeper, sitting in Sidney's office, answering questions about the man called Carson Jamieson. They had gone over the man's military and civilian records with a fine tooth comb, and were in awe of the man. Miss Parker turns to Sidney and asks. "Sidney, could this man be a natural pretender?"
"Possibly, but I doubt it. He might become one, with the proper training. But, I would classify him more as a McGyver type." Sidney replies. Broots snickers as Miss Parker glares at him.
"We have got to disconnect your Cable, Sid." Miss Parker comments, then she turns to Sam. "All right Sam, start at the beginning." Miss Parker tells him.
"Yes Miss Parker," Sam begins. "It was one my first projects for the Centre. In September 1982, Mr. Raines ordered us to abduct a child named Johnny Fredericks. Mr. Raines felt that Johnny had a lot of promise for one of his projects. The kidnapping went well and we were going to bring the child to the Centre in a couple of days time, after the heat had died down. It all went to hell when the parents hired Jamieson. He was a private detective working out of Dallas, specializing in lost or stolen children. That bastard started to hound us almost immediately."
"I still can't figure out how he found the safe house in Houston, but he did. The cleaner ordered me and another sweeper to get the kid to our secondary position, while he and the rest of the team took care of Jamieson. When we got to the next safe house, we checked back in with the office and we were informed that the cleaner and seven sweepers were in the morgue courtesy of Jamieson. Mr. Raines ordered in two additional cleaners and their teams to help at the private airport. Charlie and I were able to get the kid to the airport, but Jamieson and something were right behind us."
"What do you mean 'Jamieson and something'?" Sidney asks.
"I don't know what it was, but it was dangerous." Sam tells them. "We were at this rural air strip outside of Texarkana, when they attacked. The two cleaners had their men in place, but it didn't do them any good. Jamieson attacked from the front with a pair of 45s. It seemed that every time he'd shoot one of those guns, one of us were killed. Then, something attacked us from the rear. I don't know what it was. I only saw glowing red eyes and heard a low growl. Then, the screams came. The rest of the cleaners and sweepers were trying to fight off Jamieson and that 'thing' and they became hamburger."
"Those two didn't hesitate a second, every one with a gun was dead or dying. In a couple of minutes, everyone but me and Johnny were dead. I wasn't attacked, probably because I was holding Johnny at the time." Sam takes a deep gulp as he continues. "As the smoke was clearing, Jamieson walked up to me with something by his side. It was standing in the shadows, softly growling, so I couldn't see anything but the two glowing red eyes floating about five and a half feet above the ground."
"Jamieson offered me a choice, give up Johnny and live or die. No other alternatives. I gave him Johnny and he gave me a message for the Triumvirate. He said, 'Steal another child and I find out about it, I'll hunt you all down and kill you.' When the Centre plane came in with another sweeper team, I reported in. Mr. Raines and your father decided to leave the child alone after that."
"I find it hard to believe that my father and the burned out husk could just pick up and leave Jamieson alone. Especially after he killed all of those Centre operatives." Miss Parker states.
"They didn't," Sam tells her. "They sent three assassins after him. He killed everyone of them without a problem. The last assassin's head was sent to Mr. Raines in the mail with the note 'I know who you are.' After that, they left him alone."
Miss Parker just smiles. < I wish that I could have seen that corpse's face when he opened that box. >
"Did they ever find out what helped him at the airport?" Sidney asks.
"No, but some of the specialists wondered why the torn up bodies had teeth and claw marks on them and wolf hairs and the surrounding area had large wolf prints." Sam tells him.
The trio look at each other and shudder.
"Miss Parker, may I have the rest of the day off, please?" Sam asks.
"Why?" Miss Parker replies.
"Because, I want to get blind staggering drunk, Ma'am." Sam replies straight forward, Miss Parker nods and he hurriedly leaves the office and building.
"Sidney, what the hell has Ratboy gotten himself into?" Miss Parker asks.
"I wish I knew." Sidney mutters, then turns to Broots and asks. "Broots can you access the FBI?"
"Sure Sidney, no problem. What do you want?" Broots asks.
"I want access to something called the X-Files." Sidney tells him.
Broots immediately turns a paler shade and nervously asks, "Sidney, why do you want to access those files?"
Both Sidney and Miss Parker look at Broots and wonder what this man really knows.
"Because Jarod mentioned going into them, and he said that they contained some strange cases." Sidney tells Broots.
"Strange isn't the word for it." Broots mutters. "I hope for Jarod's sake he doesn't get involved with those two."
"Out with it Broots. What two?" Miss Parker orders.
Broots nods his head as he begins. "Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. They run the X-Files."
"And how would you know about these X-Files?" Miss Parker asks.
"My friend Langley and his two partners, Byers and Frohike, run a government conspiracy magazine called the Lone Gunmen. Langley told me about the X-Files a couple of years ago, when he asked me to help analyze a piece of a UFO." Broots explains.
The sound of a pin dropping could be heard as Sidney and Miss Parker stare at Broots' revelation.
"You must be joking." Miss Parker states, then see looks into Broots' eyes and sees the fear in them. Then she whispers. "Please tell me you're joking."
"I wish I was." A shaken Broots replies. "Mulder and Scully brought in a piece of what we termed organic metal, to be examined. And from the way those two were talking, this wasn't the first such case they had worked on."
"Organic metal? Broots such a thing is impossible. Humanity couldn't possibly have the capability to create such a thing." Sidney tells him.
"Who ever said the piece came from Earth, Sidney? According to Mulder, it was a part of a UFO that crash landed in Minnesota, about two and a half years ago. Mulder and Scully had found the ship and the alien remains. Before they could get it properly excavated, the military took the site over and everything, but that piece of metal, disappeared." Broots tells them.
"And these two people are involved with Jarod, how?" Miss Parker asks.
"They've been put in charge of the vampire serial killings in Los Angeles." Broots replies. "Langley told me this morning, as he downloaded the video."
"Damn it Sidney, we have to get him out of there!" Miss Parker exclaims.
"I agree with you." Sidney replies, then turns to Broots. "Can you get a location on Agents Mulder and Scully in Los Angeles?"
"Sure, Sidney. Federal agents have to register their location with the local office and I should be able to get a location. Give me a couple of minutes."
A few minutes later, Broots returns. "I've located Agents Mulder and Scully. They're staying with a friend in a Los Angeles suburb called Sunnydale. The address is 317 Brandt Terrace."
Miss Parker grabs the address and tells her two associates. "Good, let's go. The jet is waiting for us at the airport."
"Are we taking any sweepers with us?" Broots asks.
"No." Miss Parker replies.
"Yes you are." A deeply cultured voices tells them.
Miss Parker turns around with a look of venom in her eyes. Who would dare to countermand her order? As she finishes her turn she sees the face of her father. "Daddy, what is it?" She asks sweetly.
"I'm sorry pumpkin, but I can't let you, Sidney and Broots go to Los Angeles without protection. The situation there has been dangerous. So I'm sending Gar and Willy with two sweeper teams as backup. And I'm not taking no for an answer." Mr. Parker tells his daughter as he and Mr. Raines walk away. Gar and Willy and their sweepers stand in the hallway waiting.
Mulder and Scully reach Sunnydale at about 2:30. They pull up to Steve's house and park the car in the driveway. Mulder grabs their bags from the trunk.
As they approach the side door, they feel the familiar 'Buzz' of another Immortal. The side door opens, showing a smiling Buffy Summers.
"Dana." She cries out and gives her a hug. Mulder standing behind her watches the scene as the two women hug each other. Dana and Buffy had formed a close friendship over the last five months.
"All right you two, break it up. Before I get jealous." A smiling Mulder comments.
"Oh, shut up Mulder." Buffy tells him as she gives him a hug as well. Then she escorts the two into the house.
The group sitting around the living room is familiar to both agents. Steve St. Wolf gets up to greet both agents.
"Hello Mulder, Dana. How was the trip?" He asks.
Mulder smiles as he replies. "Uneventful. But I'm glad you got everyone together." Mulder grins an evil grin as he lays out the situation in LA. Then he brings up the little matter of the video tape Frohike has and his plan.
The entire room erupts into laughter. Frank stops laughing long enough to tell him. "Mulder, that is the most evil and conniving plan that I've heard in a long time. God, I can't wait to do it."
Outside, the entire conversation is being listened to. Billy and Nunchuk are laughing as well. Tommy and Scarlet, watching the house, stare at them. Billy stops laughing long enough to tell them what's going to happen. Both of them start to chuckle quietly.
Scarlet picks up her cell phone and calls the LA base. "Jinx, Scarlet here. It's confirmed these are the people we were looking for. Gather the rest of the clan. We're going to pay them a little visit tonight." Jinx confirms and the connection dies. Scarlet turns to a smiling Tommy, who's now listening to the plans being hatched against a man called Frohike. "Anything interesting?" She asks.
Tommy reluctantly gives the ear piece back to Nunchuk and smiles. "These people certainly have a warped sense of humor. I can almost feel sorry for this Frohike guy."
"Sorry enough not to watch?" Scarlet asks.
Tommy smiles an evil grin. "Definitely, not."
In a car not too far away Cancer Man's operative also has a good laugh. < Damn, this stake out could turn out to be fun after all. > He thinks to himself.
Robert and Quinn are also listening in, and enjoying the play between everyone present. "These people certainly have an interesting perspective on life." Quinn remarks.
Robert laughs. "They're people who enjoy life, Quinn. Nothing more. But, they do have a wicked sense of humor."
It's four o'clock and the front door bell rings. Mulder checks the video monitor and sees that it's Frohike. He whispers to Cordelia. "It's him. Remember the plan?" Cordelia nods with an evil grin. She goes to meet Frohike dressed in one of her sex kitten outfits. Everything's tight and shows as much as possible.
Cordelia answer's the door in her best air head. "Hello, who are you?"
Frohike's jaw drops, and he goes "Umina, umina, umina." Finally Frohike gets his eyes off Cordy's chest and asks. "Are you Mulder's friend." < I hope to God so. PLEASE LET IT BE SO. >
"Oh, you mean Foxy?" She asks. Frohike only nods and smiles.
"You must be his friend Frohike. Oh please do come in. Foxy told me to expect you today." She lets him into the house, as she continues. "Foxy never told me you would be soooo handsome." She tells him as they enter the living room.
Frohike following Cordy into the living room thinks to himself. < Man, I've definitely got to get Mulder something really special for his birthday. >
Cordy sits Frohike on the couch next to her. He can't stop grinning.
Willow and Jenny were in the office, running the cameras spread all over the living room. They were catching everything in full color and sound.
Willow and Jenny both grin as they watch Cordelia in action. "I thought Xander was bad, but this guy makes him look positively cool." Willow comments.
Jenny just nods, grinning evilly.
Cordelia moves onto the next phase. She moves over, giving Frohike a good look at her ample chest as she says. "Foxy never told me, he was sending such a handsome man to see me."
Frohike's mouth just hangs there, when suddenly the lights go out. Frank, Steve, Xander and Buffy sneak up on him and drop a black hood across his head and tie him up.
Frohike's quickly tied up and gagged. Then he's moved to straight back wooden chair. A few minutes later everything is set up.
Buffy and Steve stand in front of Frohike, while Xander and Frank remove the hood. When Frohike sees who's holding him prisoner, his eyes bulge.
"Hi there, remember us?" Steve tells him. Frohike shakes his head and tries to talk through the gag in his mouth. "Now, promise not to scream and the gag will be removed." Frohike nods. Steve nods to Frank and the gag is removed.
Frohike gulps several times before he begins to speak. "Who are you? Why are you holding me prisoner?"
Buffy smiles. "Well, we kinda heard about this video tape you have of us from last night. And since we're not Tommy and Pamela, we would like to have it back."
A scared Frohike immediately denies all knowledge. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh, I think you do." Mulder replies from behind Frohike.
Frohike freezes, as Mulder moves to the front, showing himself. "Mulder is that you?" Frohike quietly asks.
Mulder smiles as he and Giles sit down in front of them. "Hello Frohike, I see you're already familiar with my friends."
A confused Frohike sputters. "Mulder what the hell are you talking about?"
"Frohike, allow me introduce you to Steven St. Wolf and his partner, Buffy Summers. The gentleman on my right is Rupert Giles. He'll explain everything to you." Mulder tells him.
"What the hell is going on here, Mulder? And what are you doing here?" Frohike asks.
"Before I explain, I want your word that it never leaves this house, except to tell Langley and Byers." Mulder tells him.
Frohike doesn't like it, but he knows Mulder and trusts him. "You have my word."
Frohike patiently waits for Mulder to begin.
Mulder begins. "Frohike, let me begin by saying that this matter has absolutely nothing to do with aliens. The government might be involved, but probably isn't. What you saw last night was a vampire hunt. My two friends," He points to Buffy and Steve. "Are vampire hunters."
Frohike digests this and then replies. "You have got to be kidding."
"No, I'm not. Remember that video tape you gave to Scully and me about two months ago?" Frohike nods. "Well, that tape showed Buffy killing a demon called 'The Judge' with a Strella Anti-Tank Rocket. The people working with 'The Judge' were vampires. The Judge's purpose was to destroy all of humanity." Mulder explains, then turns to Giles. "Giles would you care to finish explaining?"
"Certainly, Mulder." Giles replies as he begins. "Mr. Frohike please let me explain the situation here in Sunnydale. But in order to give you all of the information, I have to start at the beginning." Frohike nods. Giles then begins the story:
"This world is older than 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 magics, 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. Buffy is the Slayer for this generation.
"This town, Sunnydale, sits on top of the Hell mouth. The Hell mouth 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.
"I am the Watcher assigned to Buffy Summers." Giles states. "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."
"For the last two years, we have been fighting a holding action against the dark forces. Up until five months ago, it was all we could do to hold them back, and we were losing."
"So what changed the situation?" Frohike asks.
"A convergence of forces came to Sunnydale. Your friends Mulder and Scully were an important part of the equation. Another part was Mr. St. Wolf here. Through them, we were able to assemble a small army of warriors. These warriors were able to deal a death blow to the vampire hoard running rampant in this town. Since then, through Mr. St. Wolf, we have been able to mount a stratified defense of the town and go on the offensive, attacking vampires in other locations, such as Los Angeles.
Frohike turns to Mulder, an expression of total disbelief etched on his face. "Mulder, I can't believe that you are buying this load of crap."
"Well, we hoped that you would believe us. Now we're going to have to prove it to you." Mulder tells him.
"May I ask how you're going to do that?" Frohike asks him.
"Simple, you're going hunting with us, tonight." A smiling Buffy tells him.
"You can't do that." A suddenly scared Frohike looks to Mulder for support.
"Don't look at me Frohike, last time we were here, Scully and I wound up fighting two hundred vampires." Mulder tells him.
"I don't believe it. Scully fighting vampires? The world has truly gone insane." Frohike states.
"Believe it Frohike." Scully tells him as she comes around and sits next to Mulder.
Just then, the front doorbell rings.
In his car outside Cancer Man's operative is staring in disbelief at his headset. < This can't be real. Man, wait till the boss hears this stuff. He's gonna have a coronary. >
Frohike can't believe what has just been told to him. < Mulder and Scully hunting vampires. What has the world come to? > His thoughts are interrupted by the front door bell. As he watches, everybody in the room pulls out various weapons. Almost as if they're expecting a fight. The strangest thing he notices is that everyone, including Mulder and Scully, were also carrying swords? What the hell was going on here?
Frank goes to answer the door. He hopes it's just a Jehovah's Witness, but he pulls out his H&K Spec Ops 45 just in case. < Opening Steve's front door could be hazardous to your health. > Frank thinks to himself with a grin.
He checks through the peep hole and sees a man and woman standing there. He pulls open the door and asks. "Can I help you?"
"I hope so." The woman begins. "We're looking for couple of friends, Steve and Buffy. Would you know where to find them?"
"Hold on a sec." Frank tells her. He turns around and goes back into the living room. "Steve, Buffy there's a man and woman outside who are looking for you."
"Willow," Steve calls out. "Pop up a holo of who's on the front porch."
In the office/computer room, Willow and Jenny immediately get the job done.
In the living room, a hologram of the people waiting on the front porch pops up in the middle of the coffee table. Buffy and Steve quickly exchange glances and both nod in recognition. Scarlet and Snake Eyes.
Meanwhile Frohike is looking at the hologram. < What the hell? Nobody can create holograms like that yet. >
Steve turns to Frank and tells him. "Let them in."
Xander turns to Steve and Buffy. "Steve, Buffy, aren't those the two ninjas from the sewers?"
"Yeah, that's them." Buffy confirms it.
Scarlet and Snake Eyes enter the house with Frank. He escorts them to the living room where everyone is waiting. As they enter, they notice Frohike sitting tied up in a chair, and decide not to comment on it. But, the most startling part was the number of young people present. Most of them couldn't be over eighteen. They knew about Buffy and Xander, but the sight of Cordelia, Amy, Oz and Willow standing there with weapons drawn and ready, really brings to mind how powerful this struggle was. Neither asks any questions as they approach Steve and Buffy. Scarlet begins with. "I said we'd be back to help."
"How are the kids?" Buffy asks.
"They're great. Their grandfather is taking care of them while we deal with the vampires." Scarlet answers. "Where's Mack?"
"He's alive and kicking. Scully and Mulder saw him this morning in D.C." Steve replies.
Scarlet lets out a sigh of relief. Snake Eyes just smiles.
"What took you so long to get back to us?" Steve asks.
"When we got to San Francisco with the kids, we met with our clan." Scarlet begins. "And we all agreed to come down here to help, but we got side tracked by a group of vampires attacking a group of tourists in San Francisco. Since Snake Eyes and I knew how to take them out, we attacked."
"We managed to destroy nine vampires that night. We also found out that there were numerous vampire type murders being committed in the Bay area and decided to stop them there. So, our clan, my brothers and later on, the San Francisco PD's Special Investigations Unit, joined forces and have spent the last five months cleaning out the Bay area. Now, the clan decided to move our operations to LA because of the rash of murders here."
"My brothers and the SIU will keep an eye on the Bay area while we're gone. We hoped to find you still alive and fighting. Glad to see you're all in one piece and not fighting alone." Scarlet finishes, looking over the group.
"Is everybody in this place crazy?" Frohike explodes. "Vampires are myths. Nothing more. They can't be real."
Scarlet turns to the tied up Frohike and tells him. "Mr. Frohike, my clan has been fighting these myths for the last five months. We have seen the slaughter these things have done and witnessed their insane hatred of humans. I have seen the bodies of children as young as my own, drained of blood and cast aside, as though they were nothing. I will not stand idly by and watch innocents, especially children, being slaughtered. My clan stands by me in this cause Mr. Frohike, can you and your Lone Gunmen say the same?"
"How the hell do you know me?" Frohike asks.
"Simple, we've been observing this house for most of today. And as to your identity, does the name Jinx mean anything to you?" Scarlet asks.
"Damn, you know Jinx?" Frohike asks.
"Yes, she and the rest of my clan are waiting outside." Scarlet tells Frohike.
Steve shakes his head and grins, "Frank take Snake Eyes outside and invite them in We might as well have a party while we're at it."
A couple of minutes later, Snake Eyes and Frank escort a small group into the living room. Scarlet introduces Tommy, Billy, Jinx, Nunchuk and Shuriken of the Storm Shadow Ninja Clan. Jinx immediately goes over to Frohike.
Meanwhile, Steve and Buffy introduce their friends to the Storm Shadows. As the introductions are made, Xander grabs a case of soda out of the refrigerator and passes it out.
"Frohike," Jinx smirks. "I've always said that you would look good tied up. Glad to see I was right."
"Jinx, been a while. Do you believe this crap about vampires?" Frohike asks.
"Yep, been fighting them for close to five months." Jinx tells him.
A shaken Frohike shudders. < It's like a nightmare coming true. > He thinks to himself. < Three of the five people I trust the most in the world are telling me something unbelievable. What the hell do I do? >
Frohike turns to Mulder. "Mulder, I still can't believe all this. . . . stuff. But, if you want my help, you'll get it."
Mulder goes over to Frohike and unties him. As he finishes. "Frohike, I don't want you to feel that we're lying to you or if you have any doubts. Come on tonight's hunt and see for yourself."
Frohike thinks it over. "All right, I'll go. But first, I have to contact Langley and Byers. Does this place have a decent computer?" Frohike asks.
Everyone in the room laughs, except for Frohike and the ninjas.
After a couple of minutes, Steve stops long enough to tell Willow. "Willow would you please show Mr. Frohike our computer."
A smiling Willow leads Frohike and a curious Jinx to the office. A few minutes later Frohike shouts. "What the HELL!!? This thing shouldn't exist."
Everybody starts to laugh again. Mulder and Scully the hardest.
Jinx comes out a couple of minutes later, and asks. "Where did you get that computer and can I get one and who do I have to kill to get it?"
Tommy turns to Jinx and asks. "Jinx, we just got you a top of the line computer."
"Tommy," Jinx begins. "What they have in that office, blows my P 2 500 MHZ out of the water. Frohike is in that office literally drooling over it."
Tommy asks. "What do they have Jinx? A Cray II?"
Jinx shakes here head and replies. "No, but according to Willow, they have a 2,000 MHZ Pentium 8.5, with 360 Meg of Ram. The hard drive is a stacked 150 Gigs. The Internet connection is accessed through a satellite dish on the roof, so the speed is roughly 400,000 bps."
"The monitor is awesome. It's a Heads Up Display (HUD) like they use on fighters, but it's merged with a holographic display. Everything is controlled by touching the screen and typing on the key board, no mouse." Jinx explains. "That system could blow anything away short of NORAD."
Tommy just shakes his head and smiles. His tech junkie ninja has found a new toy.
Christine turns to Ice as they pull up in front of 317 Brandt Terrace. "Your sure this is the place?"
"Yep, Christine. I am." Ice replies as they get out of their car with Charlie and Alphonse.
"Nice place this guy has here. Where would Mulder and Scully know him from?" Charlie asks.
"Don't know, but they must be good friends if he lets them stay here. Very few people like having cops stay in their homes, even family." Christine replies.
Before Charlie can reply all four are grabbed by strong hands and they look on in horror as they're dragged towards the back of the house and the darkened alley.
Tommy's conversation with Jinx is suddenly interrupted by the sounds of a fight coming from the front of the house. Willow calls out from the office. "Steve, ten vampires have grabbed a woman and three guys from the front of the house."
Immediately every person goes into combat mode. Steve orders Frank to take part of the group out the side door as he leads the rest through the front. Steve grabs Frohike from the office and takes him as well. "Well Frohike, looks like you might not have to go hunting tonight. Ten vamps just grabbed four people from the front of my house."
"I know, I saw the whole thing on the video camera. Let's go." Frohike replies.
The vampires have moved their prey to the side of Steve's house, out of view of the street. The group from the side door traps them before they can go any farther. Steve's group blocks any retreat that they could take. The vampires immediately show their demon faces and attempt to scare Frank's group off. Frank just smiles as he levels his H & K Spec Ops 45 and tells the vampires. "You have one choice, release those people or die."
The leader, a woman, just laughs. "Mortal, I've killed your kind for close to five hundred years. I'm not afraid of you, your friends or your foolish weapon."
"How about me?" Buffy asks.
"Who are you little girl?" The female vampire asks, turning around.
"Oh, just the Slayer, that's all." Buffy replies with a smile as she steps forward and pulls out her Katana and a wooden stake.
The female vampire immediately attacks. Buffy steps to the side and kicks her in the stomach. The vampire grabs her leg and throws her down. Before she can pounce and kill Buffy, Steve shots her in the heart with a wooden bullet. The vampire promptly disappears. With that, Frank shots another vampire and dusts it. Scarlet, using the flat of her sword hits one of the vampires, holding the woman. He goes down, stunned, releasing the woman. Xander grabs the other one by the throat and stakes him in the heart.
The other six, release their victims and try to make a break for it. Three try to pass Mulder and Scully who quickly cut them down and stake them. One of the vampires tries to force his way past Cassandra, who simply stabs him. And as the vampire goes down, she cuts off it's head. The last two make the mistake of going after Scarlet and Snake Eyes. The fight is quick. Scarlet stabs one with a stake and Snake Eyes throws a wooden dart into his heart. Both are dust.
The final vampire regains conscience and he immediately attacks Buffy. She ball kicks him and as he doubles over, stabs his heart through the back with a stake.
Mulder, Katana and stake in hand, walks up to the woman, and asks. "Agent Kowalski, correct?" The woman nods, staring at the Katana and stake in Mulder's hands. "What are you and your three operatives doing here?"
Kowalski clears her throat before she begins. "Agent Mulder, Agent Tanaka was re-assigned. I was put in charge of the case by A-C Daniels. We were coming here to confer with you and Agent Scully when these 'things' attacked us." She takes a deep breath and asks. "What were those things anyway?"
Charlie O'Bannon answers in a soft voice, not believing that he's actually saying it, "Christine, those were real vampires."
Kowalski and the other two jerk at Charlie's statement. She turns to Charlie. "You have got to be kidding, Charlie. Vampires are myths. They don't exist."
Frohike starts to laugh. Between gasps, he tells Mulder. "Looks like you got some more people to convince, Mulder. But, if it makes you feel better, I believe you now."
Mulder gives Frohike a rueful grin.
Before any discussion could started Steve orders everybody back to the house. Agent Kowalski and her three friends are escorted inside. As everyone makes themselves comfortable, Steve asks. "I don't know about you people, but I'm hungry. How's about I order some pizza? Pepperoni, extra cheese and mushrooms disagree with anyone here?"
Nobody complains so Steve reaches for the phone and calls Ted at the pizzeria, "Ted, Steve here. Can I get a dozen large pies with pepperoni, extra cheese and mushrooms?"
"No problem Mr. St. Wolf. I'll put a rush on them and be over in about twenty minutes. See you then." Ted tells Steve.
Steve then turns to Agent Kowalski and her three friends. "Now Agent Kowalski, I believe you like an explanation of what happened outside to you and your friends?"
"We would like that very much." Christine asks.
"Simple, you and your three friends were attacked by ten vampires. We destroyed those ten same vampires before they could kill you and your friends." Steve calmly explains.
A disbelieving and angry Christine disagrees. "No way. Vampires don't exist. It's some kind of hoax." Her three associates sit quietly and wait.
Steve turns to them and asks. "What do you three, think?"
Kowalski's three friends shift uncomfortably. They can't agree with her, nor can they disagree. Charlie is the first to speak. "I know those were vampires out there. But who are you people? We know about Mulder and Scully, but what's your, pardon the expression, stake in this?"
A few people break into groans at the terrible pun, but most smile.
Steve looks to Mulder, who clears his throat. "Agent Kowalski, as you know, my partner and I have for the last six years investigated the paranormal and strange. During that time we have made the acquaintance of various individuals and groups who, shall we say, also investigate those same phenomena. Sometimes they only observe and record these phenomena, but at an increasing rate these people have had to step forward and strike down paranormal phenomena that becomes a threat to humanity." Mulder stops for a moment to let what he just said sink in.
Agent Kowalski is quick on the uptake. "You mean to tell me that these people are monster hunters?" She asks in a disbelieving voice.
"Well actually, you walked into a meeting of two different groups of vampire hunters." Buffy replies with a straight face.
Kowalski is startled by this revelation. "You mean to say that there are actually two groups of grown people hunting vampires?" She asks. "Mulder, where did you get these people? The local Dairy Queen? Or was it the tabloid aisle of the Super Market?"
"Actually my group is made up of former members of the First Covert Special Operations Group, code named G.I. Joe." Tommy replies with a grin.
"My group includes ex-Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Occult Experts, as well as computer hackers and programmers." Steve calmly replies.
"Don't forget about us Techno Pagans." Jenny chimes in.
Kowalski just looks at the assemble group in front of her. She feels that the situation has gone far beyond her control.
Frohike, coming back from the office, clears his throat and asks. "Mulder, you mind if I show her the video tape from the Burger to Go?"
Mulder smiles at this. "That's not a bad idea. I think Agent Kowalski could use the enlightenment."
"Mulder," Giles begins. "I also have the tape from our first 'get together' of five months ago."
"Good idea, show them and Frohike that tape as well." Scully replies
Frohike then hands Mulder the tape and Mulder walks over to the large screen TV and puts in Frohike's tape first into the VCR. Frohike, Agent Kowalski and two of her partners get closer to the screen for a better view.
Charlie looks at the tapes only once. He sees the guy Steve St. Wolf and the girl, Buffy, fighting and destroying a dozen vampires, in a restaurant. Then he watches this entire group fight a huge number of vampires in what appears to be a gym. He watches how these people have stood up to the vampire threat and defeated it. While Christine, Ice and Alphonse look at the tapes a second time, Charlie thinks back to the story his grandmother told him about how a young girl rescued her family from a roving band of vampires. She had told him the girl was known as the Slayer. A girl, given mystical strength and powers to fight the vampires and other monsters of the night. He looks at the girl, Buffy, she couldn't be older than eighteen, but she was probably one of the deadliest people standing there, if the legends were true.
Charlie then looks over the other people in the room. < God, why are these kids here? > He thinks to himself, looking at Xander, Willow, Amy, Cordelia and Oz. Before he can study the rest of the people in the room Christine shouts. "I can't believe it. Vampires are *REAL*."
Charlie turns to watch as a shocked Christine turns to Mulder and asks. "What can we do to help?"
Mulder looks over Christine and her three associates, and tells them. "Help Scully and me keep the police off our friends' backs. They'll hunt down and take out the vampires as fast as possible."
"You do realize the LAPD is going to scream murder if we do that?" Ice replies.
"Can't be helped. If any of the police get in. . . . . ." Mulder's reply is cut short by an alarm coming from the computer room. Willow immediately goes to see what could be causing it.
A minute later she rushes out, looking terrified.
"Willow, what's wrong?" Mulder asks.
She takes a deep breathe. "Steve, there's some guy hanging up in the air in the computer room. He told me to get you immediately." She stammers out.
Steve, followed by Buffy, Mulder, Scully and Frank immediately enter the computer room with weapons drawn. They see an old man sitting in the lotus position, floating in the air, patiently smoking a pipe. Steve and Frank, recognizing an old friend, put up their weapons and grin.
"Merlin, you old faker. How are you?" Steve asks. Buffy, Mulder and Scully drop their weapons in shock.
"Where's my ten bucks?" Frank adds in with a grin.
Merlin gives Frank a glare and a grin as he replies. "Better than you two punks and no I don't carry any cash while I'm projecting myself." Merlin sarcastically replies, then he gets serious. "There's a major shit storm coming your way. And you two had better be ready for it."
"It's that bad?" Steve asks. Merlin nods, serious. "Listen Merlin, can you move yourself into the living room. All of my people are there, plus a few new friends. And I would like for everyone to hear what you have to say."
"Then move the crystal to the other room and I'll pop back in. Just warn them in advance. Knowing the type of people you and Frank associate with, they'll shoot first and ask questions later. You don't want to repair any bullet holes in your ceiling, do you?" Merlin replies with a grin.
Steve carefully picks up the crystal and carries it into the living room. Everyone is watching him closely as he puts it down on the coffee table. Steve then turns to everyone present and tells them. "An old friend of mine will appear above this crystal. So please, no one try to shoot him."
A minute later, an old man appears above the crystal. Steve introduces him. "Everyone, this is Merlin. Merlin, this is everyone."
The silence is deafening. Rupert Giles is the first to get over it and ask. "Not the Merlin of Camelot?"
"I'm afraid so," Steve replies with a grin.
"My God," Giles quietly whispers.
"Not God, son. Just an old wizard." Merlin replies with a smile. Then, looking over the assembled faces, looks directly at Cassandra. "Cassandra, been a while, hasn't it?"
"Been too long, Merlin." Cassandra replies with a warm smile. "What's up? Steve looks like something bad's going to happen."
"You're good kid. You don't miss much." Merlin complements her, as he starts to explain. "As I was telling Steve, there's a shit storm coming and you people have to stop it. Some vampire queen is trying to raise Throlog, the Merciless."
In the stunned silence, Steve raises the all important questions. "Where, when and how, Merlin? And what do we have to do to stop them?"
Merlin takes a deep sigh. "You know Wanderer, that's the problem with you. You always get right to the point. No idle chit chat, no hysterics, no screaming, just tell where it is and how to kill it and you go ahead and do it." Then he cracks a smile. "I've always liked that about you. Arthur always wanted glory. You just want to get the job done.
"All right, here's the situation in a nut shell. One of my tame demons told me that Throlog had been contacted by a vampire queen named Katherine Plantagenet. Investigating further, I found out that she's going to try to bring him back in Los Angeles, Sunday morning at approximately 2:57 am. The location, someplace where there is at least two thousand people to be used as sacrifices. That gives you roughly 32 hours to find them and put a stop to them.
"Now the ritual is quite exact. It can only be done when the planets come into the proper alignment, and that's about once every five hundred years. The people have to have their hearts cut out with an obsidian blade and then the heart is thrown into a fire, kindled with the bones of human beings. For those of you wondering about it. Yes, this is an Aztec ritual. Throlog was know to the Aztecs as Huitzilopochtli, their God of War. The best way to stop the summoning is simple. Kill Katherine Plantagenet and all of her vampires, before they can raise Throlog.
"Steve, you should also know that your friends in the Order of the Grail, the C'est Dei and all of the other organized groups are also fighting similar situations in different parts of the world. So don't look to them for help. I know this is going to be hard, but you and your friends will have to do it. I don't have anyone else in this part of the world.
"Now, should any of you have any questions, please don't call. I'm rather busy now trying to save the world. And adding Throlog to the mess would be bad for everyone concerned. Best of luck my friends and good hunting." Merlin tells them and disappears.
Stunned silence fills the room. Everyone is shocked at what Merlin has just told them. Steve turns to everyone in the room and says. "We've got a major situation folks. Any ideas?"
Cancer Man's operative spits out his coffee as he hears Merlin's news. < God, this can't be happening. First Mulder and Scully meet with a group of vampire hunters, then they're joined by a group of G.I. Joe Ninjas, shortly followed by those four FBI. Now Merlin tells them some vampire queen is going to raise the Aztec God of War in downtown LA? What the fuck is going on here? A Clive Barker Film? >
Christine Kowalski is shocked, < I have just seen Merlin?! What the hell did Spooky and the Ice Queen get me into. > She thinks to herself. She turns back to where Steve, Buffy, Tommy and Mulder have laid out a preliminary attack plan. Ice and Charlie are lending a hand.
"All right, so we're decided. Buffy, myself, Cassandra, Frank and Tommy and his people will attack in force the largest possible concentrations of vampires in the LA Basin, tonight and tomorrow. I'll contact Brother Aaron and Abbott Michael and see if they, plus anyone else that's at the abbey, can make it up here tomorrow." Steve states then turns to Frank. "Frank, take Xander and Oz, get the heavy weapons out and plenty of ammo for everybody."
Mulder then adds. "Steve, Mack introduced me to three of his operatives. They're in LA right now and are willing to help. Do you want me to call them in?"
"Yes, have them come here and they can work as support, with Xander, Cordelia, Oz, Amy and Giles. Willow, Jenny and Frohike will handle communications. Oh, and don't forget to ask what caliber weapons they're using. I'll give them ammo from my stock pile." Steve tells Mulder, then mutters. "Damn, I wish that I could get Aaron and Michael here, now."
As Steve reaches for the phone, a voice calls out. "Maybe my friend and I can be of service to you."
Christine watches as everybody in the room levels weapons of various designs and lethality at the originator of that comment. < Man, the guys at the ATF would have coronaries, if they saw all these weapons. > She looks over to see two men standing off to one side of the room. She hadn't see them there before.
Steve calmly looks over the two men, one dark haired, the other blond, and informs them. "Gentlemen, you are presently in my home. Without my permission. You have exactly one minute to explain yourselves, before you are removed from this plane of existence, permanently."
The blond haired man raises his hand and asks politely. "Uhm sir, what do you mean by that last remark 'removed from this plane of existence'?"
Tommy chuckles as he explains. "It means you'll find out what your next reincarnation is."
The two men look confused. Giles lowers his gun and explains. "What my two associates are trying to tell you, is that, if you don't explain yourselves, then we will kill you on the spot."
Both men turn to each other and say. "Oh." Then the dark haired one says. "That's what they meant? For a second there, I thought they meant us some serious harm."
The sounds of safeties coming off and slides racking back are heard after he finishes his comment. The blond haired man nervously gulps, and waits to see what his partner does.
The dark haired man turns to the massed firepower in front of him and just smiles. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Quinn. My friend here is Robert Hascombe. We have been following Steve and Buffy most of last night and all of today, observing you. I must say, you are quite the pair and your friends aren't far behind."
Steve and Buffy share a glance and a single thought. < How? > Buffy then asks, "How could you follow us without our knowing it?"
Quinn just smiles and replies. "I just phased us a fraction of a second out of time. This allowed us the opportunity of following you everywhere, without being seen or heard."
Buffy levels her Glock 19 and paints Quinn's forehead with her laser sight, as she asks. "Everywhere? Your next answer had better be the right one."
The blond haired man answers. "Not everywhere. We only followed you in the public areas. We didn't follow you into the bathroom or the bedroom. We respected your privacy."
Buffy puts her gun down, but not away. "Good answer." She replies.
Steve chuckles. "All right Quinn, now we know who you are, but not what you are or what business you have here."
Quinn smiles as he replies. "Robert is a friend of mine from Los Angeles. You," Quinn points to Buffy. "Killed the vampire, that tried to kill Robert. Remember the old man in the stairwell from last night?" Buffy nods. "That was a non-sentient replicant of Robert. I switched it for Robert, before the vampire could kill him. Then, I rejuvenated Robert as a gift for his friendship."
"That explains your friend, Quinn. But what are you? Wizard, Warlock, What?" Giles asks.
"As to what I am, I am a member of the Q continuum. We're a group of omnipotent beings not native to Earth, who can bend reality as we see fit." Quinn replies.
Cancer Man's operative spits his coffee out, again. < What the fucking hell is going on here? Now they have an alien teaming up with them? This is too fucking weird. The boss will be climbing the walls when he hears this tape. >
As Quinn finishes explaining what he is, Mulder starts to laugh. Everyone looks at him and Scully as Mulder tells her. "Pay up Scully, you owe me twenty bucks."
Scully makes a face and replies. "No I don't, Mulder. The bet was that Steve would be attacked by an alien at his front door or while taking out the garbage. From what I see that guy is just standing there talking. So you didn't win the bet. I did."
Mulder just rolls his eyes up and begins. "But Scully, that's a real live alien. We have found the truth at last."
"No we haven't, and you still owe me twenty bucks. So pay up." Scully replies with a grin.
Steve interrupts Mulder and Scully's exchange and asks. "If you two don't mind? We have two individuals of unknown powers standing over there, for purposes unknown." Steve waves in the direction of Quinn and Robert. "Now, will you two shut up, please?" Then he turns back to them as says. "Sorry about that. Now, what was your purpose here?"
"Not a problem," Quinn replies with a grin. < Damn, I like these humans. Nothing phases them. Anybody else would be either screaming threats, trying to shoot us down or begging for their lives. > "All I wanted to say was that I would like to help you fight these vampire things. They almost killed my friend Robert, last night, and I take exception to that."
"I can understand that. You two want to teach those things a lesson. So, since you're a omni-potent being, why don't you just wave your hand and make them all disappear?" Steve asks.
"Because that is the surest way to destroy humanity. Humanity has to stand on it's own feet. In order for your race to achieve the greatness that is it's due, you have to struggle. You have to overcome your enemies yourself. Humanity can't have some super being coming to it's rescue every time it gets a bloody nose."
"I'll help in little ways, like getting your friends Aaron and Michael here instantly. But you people have to fight your own battles and win your own victories. To quote one of your great thinkers, 'It's not the man who makes the struggle, but the struggle, the man. And only through struggle can man achieve greatness'." Quinn explains.
Robert is surprised to hear clapping coming from the group assembled before him. He also notices that all of the weapons have been put away as well.
"Well said sir, well said." Giles compliments Quinn.
Most of the group is smiling as well. They understand where Quinn is coming from and where he's going. Quinn would be a great addition to their team and cause.
Just then the door bell rings.
Steve goes to answer it, hoping it's Ted
with the pizzas. As he opens the door, Ted greets him with the dozen pies he ordered.
"Hiya, Ted. What do I owe you?" Steve asks.
"That'll be a $120.00 even, Mr. St. Wolf. Are you having a party?" Ted asks.
"Just the usual vampire hunters, magicians, ninjas and aliens from beyond. Here's a $140.00. Keep the change." Steve replies with a straight face.
Ted laughs. "God, you have to invite me one of these days."
"Sure Ted, but then where would I get the pizzas from?" Steve replies with a grin.
Ted just chuckles and leaves. Steve takes the pizzas into the living room and everybody grabs a slice, including Robert and Quinn. As they eat, they plan and re-plan. Using street information provided by Ice, Charlie and Alphonse, the attack radius is narrowed down to certain areas of Los Angeles.
Steve calls Abbott Michael.
"St. Francis of Assisi Monastery, may I help you?" Brother Philip answers.
"Brother Philip, put me through to Abbott Michael. This is important." Steve tells him.
"Brother Steve, give me a moment to transfer the call." Philip replies.
"Brother Steve, how may I help you?" Abbott Michael asks.
"Abbott Michael, listen to me." Steve explains what Merlin had just told them. "I need every Immortal that's at the monastery. And I need to get them up here now. How many do you have there, and can they be convinced to help?"
"Steve, including myself and Aaron, there are twenty seven Immortals here, right now. You can count on myself, Aaron and Robert McCallister at the very least. Give me twenty minutes to talk to them." Abbott Michael replies.
Steve asks Quinn. "Quinn can you take Buffy and me down to the monastery in about twenty minutes and bring everybody backup?" Quinn nods yes. Steve then tells Abbott Michael. "Listen Abbott Michael, Buffy and I can be there in twenty minutes, can you get everybody together?" "Yes I can." Abbott Michael replies, then hangs up.
Abbott Michael turns to Brother Aaron. "Aaron, Steve has brought another difficult problem to our attention. Now, he's requesting our help. Gather all of our 'special' guests in the cafeteria. I wish to talk to them."
"It shall be done, Abbott Michael." Brother Aaron replies. Then goes to find all of the 'special' guests. Outside, he finds Frankie sitting and admiring the stars. He stops and asks him. "Franklin, would you mind helping me gather all of our 'special' guests in the cafeteria?"
"Sure Brother Aaron. What's going on?" Frankie asks.
"Abbott Michael will explain everything." Brother Aaron tells him.
Fifteen minutes later all of the Immortals are gathered in the cafeteria. Abbott Michael stands in front of them, gathering his resolve. Finally he begins to speak. "My friends, I apologize for disturbing your meditations, but I've just received some rather distressing news. And I'm here to request your help in resolving the matter."
Robert McCallister is the first to speak. "Michael, what is it? Can you tell us the nature of the emergency?"
Abbott Michael nods his head, as he begins to speak, three people appear in front of him.
"Sorry about the entrance, Abbott Michael, but we had to get here fast." Steve St. Wolf apologizes.
"Good evening Brother Steve. May I ask how you just appeared here?" A calm Abbott Michael asks.
"In answer to you question, our friend Quinn brought us down here." Steve introduces Quinn to Abbott Michael, who shakes his hand in greeting. "Have you had a chance to explain the situation yet?" Steve asks.
"No, but you and Miss Summers can probably explain the situation better than I can. So, please go ahead." Abbott Michael replies.
Steve and Buffy then turn to the assembled Immortals and explain the situation to them. They describe the vampires' plan and what the outcome would be. Most of the Immortals shake their head in disbelief. Finally, Steve finishes and asks them. "We've given you all the information on the situation as we know it. We need to know your answers in the next few minutes. Otherwise, thank you for listening to us."
The group of Immortals looks dubious. They can't believe what they have just heard, but none of them want to walk out either.
A man known only as Hans sits off to one side. < God, they're young aren't they? Do they really realize what they are about get involved in? >
Robert McCallister is the first to rise and speak. "Steve, Buffy, I stood with you two, five months ago. It would be an honor to do so again."
Abbott Michael and Brother Aaron step forward as well, Abbott Michael speaks for the both of them. "Brother Steve, you have always stood on the side of God in all things. Brother Aaron and I shall also go with you."
One of the Immortals, a shorty, stocky man named Argus, stands up and asks, "Abbott Michael, Brother Aaron, who are these two? They come in here and tell some fantastic story about vampires and demons and they expect us to run and help them? Tell us why?"
Brother Aaron takes a deep breath, as he begins. "Brother Argus, I have fought beside Steven St. Wolf on three occasions. Each time, it wasn't for personal glory and fame. It was to protect innocent men, women and children from evil incarnate. Five months ago, I watched this man and woman face incredible odds to defeat a horde of vampires two hundred strong. On that day twenty Immortals banded together to fight evil and they won. Not for themselves, but for all of us. On that fateful day, we learned that the 'Game' was a sham, created by evil to rid the world of it's greatest heroes. You have the right not to choose to fight, but I ask you, please do so. Not for your own soul, but for the lives of the innocent people these things will murder."
Hans looks up in surprise. < These two led twenty Immortals to destroy over two hundred vampires? I don't believe it. >
A tall, lanky Immortal named Hanson, steps forward. "All well said Brother Aaron, but I've never seen a vampire, and I've lived for close to a thousand years. I'm sorry Brother, but without proof, I won't help." Many of the other Immortals murmured agreement.
"Then maybe I can show you the proof you desire." Quinn tells him. Then suddenly everybody's standing above the gym in Sunnydale, watching the battle against the vampires unfold below. "You are all standing phased out of time. You can watch and hear everything happen, but you can't change it." The Immortals stand aghast at who is fighting below, legends among the Immortals, Duncan McLeod, Mack Bolan, Kyra Adams, Regan Cole and Katherine Raven. They watch as the vampires disappear in puffs of dust.
Hans looks at the two young Immortals in a new light. How could these two young ones gather a force of elder Immortals that strong and no one tried to take someone's head? A tear runs down his cheek as he realizes that the manuscript copy that he recently got was genuine and what Brother Aaron has said is true. The Game is a fraud. Another tear escapes as he watches his cousin Gunther disappears in a puff of dust. < Rest in peace now cousin. Your soul can finally rest because the demon who destroyed you is now dead as well. > Hans' mind is set, he has found himself again and would join in this battle and help.
Quinn then takes them to a secluded resort, and they watch as a horde of vampires attack the vacationers and staff, murdering every man, woman and child with a brutal savagery never before seen by the Immortals present. Quinn then brings them back to the monastery, and asks. "Now you know what you face. Anyone who wishes to stay can go. Those going, get your weapons and be back here in five minutes.
The grim faced Immortals break apart and rush to their respective rooms to get their personal weapons and overnight bags. Five minutes later, all of them are back, ready for a fight. Quinn immediately transports everyone to the Steve's Sunnydale home. The rest of the group is surprised to see so many new additions to the fight.
Steve turns to Amy. "Amy, I need you to cast that locator spell on Buffy. She can use it to locate the largest gatherings and then we strike. We'll need to hit the vampires hard tonight and tomorrow night." Steve then turns to the new arrivals. "Weapons and ammunition will be issued to you. Please remember, only heart shots count. And if you have to use your swords, they have to be beheaded. I'm fairly sure most of us are familiar with that type of stroke." Everyone, but Frohike, the ninjas and Christine and her friends, laugh.
Steve then calls George at the motel and arranges thirty rooms. George is more than happy for the business. The rooms would be available for the next three days.
Christine turns to Mulder and Scully and asks about it. "Mulder what does he mean that they all know how to behead an opponent?"
"Inside joke," Mulder replies smoothly.
Steve turns to Quinn. "Quinn, I hate to impose, but can you take Buffy on a quick scouting trip to LA?" Quinn nods his head and they leave, but are back in less than a minute. Buffy has a sheet of paper with various addresses on it in her hands. She quickly lays out the location of four large vampire nests, containing at least fifty vampires each.
Willow takes the addresses and accesses the blue prints for each building via computer and prints out several sets of copies.
Weapons are issued and battle plans are prepared. The new Immortals check and re-check their weapons. One of them comments. "What are the water guns for and what are these bullets made of?"
Giles replies. "The bullets are made of condensed wood, wax from holy candles and holy water. The only things that could kill a vampire, besides fire and beheading. They have to be shot directly in the heart. The bullet then shatters with the vampire. Human beings standing on the other side will suffer no collateral damage. The water guns are just that. They're filled with holy water, which acts like an acid when it comes into contact with the vampire's skin. If a vampire has a hostage, spray him with it and the water will burn it, forcing it to let go. The water won't harm the hostage or your fellow warriors."
The Immortals and ninjas smile at this. Steve's armory is rapidly depleted with these new arrivals. Christine and her friends look at the arsenal spread across the living room and kitchen and shudder. < My God, how many weapons does this guy have? Some of that stuff looks like it's been banned by the Geneva convention. And these people, everyone of them, including the kids, look like they were born with guns in their hands. And what is it with all of the swords? > Christine thinks to herself.
Hans looks down at his Dae Woo K2 assault rifle with a new respect. < These young ones and mortals have certainly changed the way vampires are hunted. If these weapons work, then maybe the world will be rid of the vampire plague. >
Ice meanwhile is thinking thoughts along the same line. < These people ain't no joke, They're deadly serious about stopping these vampires. I hope they can. >
Charlie's thoughts and a prayer turn back to his grandmother, < Grandma, thanks for all of the old stories you told me. I hope you're watching out for us. > Charlie then feels a warm glow in his heart and thinks he smells lilacs, his grandmother's perfume. But he shakes his head and pushes the thought aside.
Alphonse's thoughts turn to his son, now a teenager. < I know I've been much of a father to you, Scott. But, I'm fighting these things so you can have a safe future. >
Frohike watches the preparations around him. He's busy checking out the communications gear the individual units would be taking with them. < Man, I never saw so much hardware in my life. How the hell did Mulder get involved with these people. First vampires, then Merlin and now an alien. What else is going to happen here? Byers and Langley will never believe it. >
Tommy looks around the room and watches how the preparations are progressing. < God, it reminds me of our days in G.I. Joe. I could just imagine Duke coming through the door with orders. >
Snake Eyes watches the youngest members of the group, clean and take down their weapons. He remembers back to his days in Vietnam, when young men as young as Xander and Oz stood beside him in the battle fields. He hopes to see them all survive the coming battles.
Scarlet looks up from her freshly reassembled assault rifle and let's off a silent prayer. < God, please let everyone come back from this. There are too many good and selfless people here for any of them to die. The world needs them. >
Just then, the front doorbell rings. Steve and Mulder go to answer the door. Standing outside are the three men Mulder asked to join them. Mulder introduces them to Steve.
The three men are escorted into the living room where they see the people working on the arsenal spread across the room, being readied for a fight.
Carl Lyons turns to Mulder. "Mulder, what the hell is going on here? You have a small army standing here and you asked us to join you? What the hell for?"
Mulder then explains the situation to them and they shake their heads in disbelief.
"Mulder you can't be serious? A vampire queen trying to raise the Aztec war god? Where did you get this idea from? Some sixties 'B' movie?" Lyons asks.
Before Mulder can reply, Quinn steps forward. "Save your breathe Mulder, I'll show them what they face." Suddenly Quinn and Able Team disappear. Three seconds later, they reappear. The faces of the three commandos are set in grim lines.
Carl Lyons looks at Mulder and asks. "Where's the special ammo?" Mulder points to Xander who's laying out boxes of the stuff and the three men walk over to him and start to unload already filled magazines, replacing their regular bullets with the wooden ones.
Steve asks Quinn. "Quinn, what did you show them? They look like they're ready to rip off every vampire's head in Los Angeles, with their bare hands."
"I showed them the same thing I showed the Immortals. Your fight five months ago and the ski lodge massacre. Turns out, two of the people murdered in the ski lodge were friends of theirs. They've been hunting the killers for close to three months, on their off duty days. Now they want vengeance for those people." Quinn tells Steve.
Ironman, Gadgets and Politician approach Xander. Xander looks up at them as he is stacking boxes of ammo on the table. Xander asks. "Hi, you must be the guys Mulder called for. Welcome to the team, I'm Xander." Xander extends his hand. Ironman, Gadgets and Politician each take it in turn, introducing themselves.
Gadgets looks at the kid named Xander handing out the ammo, and that's exactly what he is, a kid. He asks. "Xander, exactly how old are you?"
Xander looks Gadgets straight in the eye as he replies. "Seventeen."
Gadgets looks into Xander's eyes and recognizes the look. He'd seen it on countless young men in Vietnam. His body may not be visibly scarred, but his eyes tell him this kid has been through hell. Gadgets gulps and then asks. "How long you've been fighting vampires?"
"Two years." Xander replies.
< Two years? > Gadgets thinks to himself, < This kid has been fighting vampires for two years? > He turns to his comrades and sees the grimmer set to their features. He turns back to Xander and asks. "Xander, why do you do it?"
Xander looks at the three men standing before him loading their magazines. He sighs as he begins his story. "Because no one else wants to. I would like to have a normal life, but I can't. I've watched too many of my friends die because of these things. Besides, one of my best friends is the Slayer, and I don't leave my friends hanging." The men give him blank looks. "Sorry, the Slayer is the chosen vampire hunter for each generation. She hunts them and I won't let her do it alone."
"She? The Slayers a woman?" Ironman asks.
"Yep, she's the cute blonde standing between Mulder and Steve." Xander points to a young woman with her arm wrapped around Steve's waist.
"Kinda close, aren't they?" Carl comments.
"They get along. Since those two started to work together, life around here has been nice and quiet, almost normal. Together, they've managed to take out every vampire in Sunnydale and the surrounding suburbs. Lately, they've been hunting in Los Angeles, taking down the vampires there."
"Who's the tall redhead?" Gadgets asks, seeing something he likes.
Xander looks over to where Scarlet and Snake Eyes are checking their magazines. "That's Scarlet. The guy standing next to her is her husband Snake Eyes. They and the Storm Shadow Ninja clan have spent the last five months clearing out San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, now they're here to lend a hand."
"Storm Shadow Ninjas? Where the hell did Mulder get Ninjas from?" Gadgets asks.
"When we hit the vampires five months ago, Scarlet's kids were kidnaped by vampires. Buffy, Steve and Mack helped rescue them. Coming back was their idea of paying back a debt." Xander explains.
"Everyone here like that?" Ironman asks, impressed by these people's sense of duty.
"Yep, everyone here is the hero type. The only thing we need is a load of spandex and we're in business." Xander cracks. Able Team smiles at the joke.
Outside, Cancer Man's operative is in trouble. While Steve and Buffy have cleared out the resident vampires in Sunnydale, the town still had a major problem with vampires that were 'just passing through'. Two such vampires have watched him sitting in his car, and have decided he would make a satisfactory dinner.
Their attack is simple. Walk up to the car, smash the window, get in, grab the guy and drain him dry.
The operative sees what's going on and he knows what he has to do. These vampires had him and were going to kill him. He had one option left. The vehicle self destruct, he would take these two with him. He rasps out as reaches for the switch "I'm dead, but I'm taking you vampires to hell with me." The operative presses the switch down and the effect is nearly instantaneous. The inside of the car melts, leaving the outside intact. Everything inside the car is destroyed, including the vampires.
Any further conversation is halted by Steve's announcement of the battle order. "All right, here's the breakdown of forces. The main attack force will be made of two groups, lead by myself and Mulder. The forces will be made of the following individuals. " Steve lists off all of the Immortals present, split evenly down the middle. "The Storm Shadow Clan and Able Team with Frank will be our sweepers and flying reserve. Able Team and Frank will be issued the heavy weapons." Steve points to a pair of Stoner's and two M-60 E3s loaded with wooden bullets. "Observation, transportation and information services will be done by Giles, Amy, Agent Kowalski, Ice, Charlie, Alphonse, Oz and Xander. Communications and Computer services will be done by Willow, Frohike, Robert Hascombe, Cordelia and Jenny. Quinn will be our 'Ace-in-the-Hole'. In case it really goes down the crapper." Quinn just grins. "Now, any questions?"
"Yes, I have a question, how come the Ninjas and us are going to be the second string on this mission? All of us have combat experience and we're not afraid of these things." Carl Lyons asks.
Steve looks at the assembled Immortals, all of them nod their heads. These people would find out soon enough anyway.
Steve stands in front of the members of Able Team, Storm Shadows and Christine's group along with Frohike. He looks at Tommy and asks. "Can I borrow your knife for a second?"
Tommy silently gives Steve his Randall Combat Bowie. Steve holds up his wrist as he speaks. "The reason none of you were chosen for the main attack was because none of you is an Immortal." With that, Steve cuts his wrist to the bone. Buffy hands him a towel to catch the blood. Everyone watches in amazement as the wound closes before their eyes. After the wound closes, Steve explains. "We can't be killed, except if we're completely cremated or vaporized in an explosion (Steve lies). That's why none of you were chosen for the main force. We don't want our friends to die unnecessarily."
A shocked Scarlet asks. "Steve, you're an Immortal? How old are you, really?"
"I just turned 40, Scarlet. I'm one of the youngest Immortals here. The oldest is Cassandra. She's 2,700 years old." Steve calmly replies. "The average age of Immortals in this room is about 300 years I would estimate."
"My God, that's incredible." Christine mutters.
Any further conversation is stopped by the sound of the front doorbell. Steve goes to answer it. Standing at the door is a man and a woman. The man flashes his badge introducing himself. "I'm Captain John Randall, this is Det. Tracy Vetter. We're with the LAPD.
"Little bit out of your jurisdiction, aren't you?" Steve asks.
"Yes, we are," Captain Randall replies. "Are Agents Mulder and Scully still here?"
"Yes, they are. Can you wait a second. I'll get them." Steve replies.
Randall turns to Vetter and cracks. "Man, doesn't trust cops in his own home."
"Would you let in a couple of cops, who you don't know?" Tracy replies with a grin.
"Nope, they'd mess up my living room to no end." Randall wisecracks.
"He's got a nice place though," Tracy comments looking over the house and the neighborhood. "No wonder Mulder and Scully chose to stay here rather that in a hotel."
"I would too, if I had a friend who owned a house like this." Randall replies with a smile.
Steve goes inside and gets Mulder and Scully. "Mulder, there's a Captain Randall from the LAPD outside looking for you."
"Damn, what the hell is he doing here?" Scully asks.
"Knowing John, probably coming to get you two, so you wouldn't get lost." Ironman tells them with a grin.
"You know him Ironman?" Mulder asks.
"Yep, used to ride patrol with him." Ironman tells them with a grin. "Now Steve, let them in. John can be trusted, but I need to get even for a joke he pulled on me a couple of years ago. Do you guys mind helping?" He looks at everyone in the room as they begin to laugh softly as Ironman lays out a quick plan.
After the plans are set, Steve goes back to the front door and lets Randall and Vetter in. "C'mon in. Mulder and Scully are waiting for you in the living room." Steve tells them.
"Thanks." Randall replies as he and Vetter walk in.
They enter the living room to find Buffy, Mulder and Scully watching the Burger to Go video tape. Scully and Mulder are commenting about Steve's form.
"Mulder, why can't you do things like that?" Dana sweetly asks.
"Because I don't have a Slayer for a girlfriend." Mulder replies with a grin, taking a sip from his iced tea.
Captain Randall and Det. Vetter look at the video tape playing on Steve's big screen. They recognize the place and they recognize the two people in the video. They turn to each other and both immediately reach for their guns. Randall points his gun at Steve's head and Vetter does the same to Buffy's.
"You're both under arrest." Randall tells Steve and Buffy.
"May I ask for what?" Steve replies calmly.
"For murder, leaving the scene of crime, concealed weapons, and that's just for starters. I'll figure out more later on." Randall replies, a little worried. < This guy is way too calm. Something's up. >
"I think my friends might take exception to that, Captain Randall." Steve dryly comments. Quinn flashes everyone back from out of phase when Steve says the word 'friends'.
"What friends? There's only you, the girl and two federal ag . . . ?" Randall's remark is cut short by the sound of slides racking back and safeties being released. He slowly turns around and the empty living room is empty no longer. Randall takes a gulp as he looks into the barrels of at least twenty assault rifles. Tracy also takes a look and she promptly drops her gun and raises her hands.
"Damn," Randall quietly whispers. "I hope these are friends of your's Mulder."
"Actually, they're Steve's friends." Mulder replies with a grin.
"Nothing personal guy. Just doing my job." Randall quickly explains to Steve, but the gun doesn't waiver.
"John, there are at least forty guns pointed at us." Vetter nervously comments.
"I know Tracy." Randall replies calmly and then asks Steve. "Would it be too much trouble to ask your friends to put down their guns?"
"Just put your gun down and we'll talk about it." Steve replies calmly.
"Can't do it son. LAPD never. . ." Randall's reply is cut off by Ironman.
". . . Put their guns down. Unless the suspect is dead or we're dead." Ironman finishes.
Randall turns around and stares at his old partner. "Lyons, you low down, dirty, mother fucking, son of a bitch. If this is your idea of a joke, I am not pleased."
"Why John? Because I got you this time?" Ironman replies with a grin.
"No, because you've been holding out on me. Why didn't you tell me the vampire hunters were with you, when I asked?" Randall angrily comments.
"Because they're not. They're with Mulder and Scully." Ironman replies.
"They're WHAT?!!" An angry Randall turns to the two Feds. "What is the meaning of this? You Federal bastards have been involved in my case from the beginning? Working behind our backs and cleaning up after yourselves, while making us look like morons. I want a full explanation, *NOW*." Randall bellows at Mulder and Scully.
"All right Captain Randall, Det. Vetter, grab a seat." Mulder tells them. He then tells them the truth.
Twenty minutes later, after Mulder finishes his story and shows them the other video tape, Captain Randall looks at the two FBI agents and the massed group of vampire hunters and all of the weapons present, the look of determination in all of the faces. He still can't believe it. "Mulder, this can't be real, vampires don't exist. They're only myths and legends."
Before Mulder can reply, Lyons turns to Quinn. "Quinn show these two what you showed us." Quinn nods his head and the three of them disappear.
Three seconds later a shaken and angry Captain Randall and a furious Det. Vetter reappear. Randall turns to Mulder, Steve and Ironman.
"This guy, whatever he is, and believe me, I don't want to know what he is." Randall points to Quinn. "Just showed us what the fuck we're facing, up close and personal. What I want to know is what do we have to do to get this war rolling." He turns to Steve. "Quinn told me you have a special ammunition which will kill these things. I want a supply of ammo for my SWAT team. I'm giving you the Rangers as backup and support."
"I'm sure Cody will be happy to hear he's working with us again." Ironman smirks.
"I'm taking my city back. And no fucking vampire queen is going to stop me." Randall angrily states. "Get your people moving. I want this situation under control tonight. Every vampire you people ice is one less murder for me to solve.
Cancer Man picks up his cell phone and answers. "What is it?"
"Sir," the voice at the other end begins. "We've lost our agent in Sunnydale. He activated the self destruct in his vehicle and most of his recordings were destroyed. From what we've been able to salvage sir, it's way out there. It's just too weird, even for Mulder. If you want, we can transfer a digital recording to you."
"Did Mulder or any of his friends have anything to do with our man's death?" Cancer Man asks.
"No Sir, his final words were, 'I'm dead, but I'm taking you vampires to hell with me'."
Cancer Man shudders and then orders "Do it. I'll be at my office in thirty minutes."
"Yes Sir." Then the connection closes.
Cancer Man stares outside his window for a minute and shudders. < What the hell is going on in Los Angeles and how will the Others react to it? >
The Centre jet lands a LAX and proceeds to a secluded runway. At the end of the runway is a private hanger. Outside the hanger, waiting, are four Centre sedans. Black, sleek and powerful, they sit with their engines idling, waiting for the hunt to begin.
Miss Parker strolls down the jet's steps and walks over to the lead sedan. The driver, a Centre employee stationed in Los Angeles quietly waits for her to enter the car.
Unknown to the Centre sweeper team, five vampires have penetrated the Centre hanger and they are hungry. The two Centre mechanics on duty are their first victims. As they are drained, one of the vampires notices the people deplaning and the five move to feed some more.
Miss Parker is standing by the lead sedan as the rest of her crew deplanes and stows their baggage in the trunks. As the last bag is being put in, the four sweepers by the last car start to scream. Gar and Willy immediately go to investigate. She rushes toward the last car as gunshots are heard. Before she can reach it Gar grabs her and forces her into the lead car and orders the driver to get out of there. He turns to face Miss Parker, Sidney and Broots.
"What the hell happened back there Gar?" Miss Parker orders.
"Four of the sweepers were grabbed by something. We tried to shoot them, but they only laughed at us and grabbed four more sweepers. I ordered everyone into the cars and out of there. What the hell are those things, my bullets didn't even faze them.
Miss Parker shares a glance and a thought with Sidney and Broots. < What the hell has Jarod gotten us into now? >
"Where are we going?" Miss Parker asks.
"To Sunnydale." The driver replies. "There are no hotel rooms available in LA. The only place that I could find that was reasonably close was a Motor Lodge in Sunnydale."
"Oh joy." Miss Parker snarls as she lights up a cigarette. "First we're attacked by something that can't be shot. Now we're stuck in the boonies."
The decision was made, Randall and Vetter would run interference for the assault with the LAPD and the Feds. As Steve, Mulder, Ironman and Tommy lay out the plans, Quinn opens a portal to the Ninja's LA warehouse. The entire assault group starts to move through it.
As everybody goes through, Steve asks Quinn. "Can you give everyone black uniforms like Frank and I are wearing?" Quinn nods and suddenly everyone is dressed like Steve and Frank. Steve then turns to Randall. "Can you get us some vans to use for tonight?"
"Not a problem, I'll have the Rangers bring six vans from the motor pool with them." Randall replies as he takes his phone out. "Cody, this is John, Ironman is in town with a few friends, so bring along six of the large vans with you to the warehouse at Vine and Charcey. We're using it as our base of operations for tonight. And don't forget to pack your party favors, you'll need them."
"Not a problem John, see you there." Lt. Cody Rodgers replies.
Lt. Cody Rodgers hangs up the phone after his conversation with Captain John Randall and turns to his second in command, Sgt. Robert Devlin. "Bob, it's going to be a bad one. Ironman is running the show. John wants us to bring six of the big vans with us to a warehouse at Vine and Charcey. We'll be using it as a base of operations for tonight. And don't forget to bring our equipment. Sounds like the Captain has got a bead on these 'vampires' and he's going to hit them with everything we've got."
"Ironman's in town? Oh Shit, I'll get the team together. Do you want me to bring the new guy, Jarod, along?" Devlin asks.
"Yeah, It'll be a good learning experience for him." Rodgers muses as Devlin leaves.
Outside, Sgt. Devlin calls together the SWAT unit called Rodgers' Rangers. The group is made up of twelve officers, including Rodgers and Devlin. As the officers gather together, Devlin gives them the low down. "All right, I've got good news and bad news. First, the Captain has just called and ordered us to muster at a warehouse on Vine and Charcey. We're going to hit the vampire serial killers, tonight." Cheers break out, as the men and women finally get a chance for some action. Sgt. Devlin continues. "The bad news is former LAPD Sgt. Carl 'Ironman' Lyons is running the show." Groans escape from nine of the ten officers. Jarod, the only officer not groaning, looks around confused.
"What is so bad about this Lyons guy?" The man known as Jarod Russell asks.
"You're new Jarod, so you don't know about the Ironman and his two playmates. But take my word for it, when those three are around, the shit's about to hit the fan. And why they want six vans is beyond me." Devlin replies.
Sgt. Devlin then orders. "Now get your gear together, Ramos, Henry, Thompson, Franklin, Michaels and Russell, you six will be the drivers for these vans. Go to the motor pool and get them. You'll meet the rest of us at the warehouse. Do not, I repeat, do not enter by yourselves. We go in as a unit."
Twenty minutes later the Rangers are parked in front of the warehouse in question. They approach the building in a single group, with weapons at the ready. As they approach, Captain Randall comes out and greets them.
"Cody, glad you guys could make it." Randall comments.
"What's going on John? Is Ironman really running this show?" Lt. Rodgers asks.
"Yes and no. The guy running it is an FBI agent named Mulder. His seconds in command are his partner, a woman named Scully, Ironman, a guy named Steve St. Wolf and a woman named Buffy Summers. Before you get any ideas about going in there like you own the place, don't. There are fifty Black Ops soldiers in there, armed to the fucking teeth and ready to kill anything that moves. So no questions, no games, no jokes, just listen and do as you are told. Am I making myself clear?"
Cody stiffly nods his head and replies. "Crystal clear. Can you tell us what the fuck are Black Ops doing in LA, hunting done a group of serial killers?"
"I can't." Randall replies. "Just know this, those people in there are our best chance to stop some serious shit from going down. And I mean serious."
Randall then escorts the Rangers into the warehouse where he introduces the Rangers to the assembled Vampire hunters.
Rodgers looks over the assembled Black Ops soldiers in front of him and shudders. < My God, these guys are serious and they have the fire power to back themselves up. What the hell are we here for? > Rodgers wonders to himself.
Just then, Steve steps forward, introduces himself and explains the situation to the SWAT team. "Gentlemen, Ladies, My name is Steven St. Wolf. This matter is classified top secret. It is not to be discussed outside of this room by any of you. Am I understood?" The SWAT team nods their heads in agreement. "Very well, I'll give it to you straight, I won't lie to you. The situation is as follows. A month ago, a group of animal rights activists broke into a laboratory that was testing a Russian biological agent. The lab's purpose was to find a cure, but the activists' destroyed all of the research, and got themselves contaminated with the original plague virus." The SWAT team's faces pale. Steve continues. "Now the plague virus dies after thirty minutes of exposure to the air, and the only way to transmit it, is by transfer of a large amount of contaminated blood between the plague carrier and another victim. So, there is no chance of you catching it." The SWAT team breaths easier. "Now here's the fun part. The plague causes it's victims to believe that they are vampires and that they need blood to survive. It also makes them very sensitive to sunlight and for some reason, religious icons such as crosses and Stars of David. But it also gives them superhuman strength and enhanced healing ability. The only way to stop them is to shoot them in the heart with the modified bullets we are giving you, or behead them. Anything else, short of a flame thrower or anti-tank rocket will not work on them. Any questions?"
"Yeah St. Wolf, who the hell are you people? What agency do you represent? NSA? CIA? Military?" Lt. Rodgers asks.
Steve gives an evil grin. "That's classified and on an need to know basis. Let's just say we're here to clean up the mess, without the public finding out about the mess. And thereby causing a panic." Steve replies.
"Another Government coverup, by an agency that doesn't exist. Why don't you people just go back to chasing UFO's?" Sgt. Devlin mutters.
Mulder and Scully just smile at that comment.
Meanwhile, Jarod looks over the assembled group in front of him. Each of their faces share a common trait, a look of determination. Jarod realizes that these people are here to fight, not to stand around and wait out a situation. He starts to look over individual faces and he's shocked to see teenagers among the black Ops soldiers. Two of them walk up to Jarod and his fellow officers. They introduce themselves.
"Hi, I'm Xander," The dark haired young tells them. "And this is Oz." The red haired young man nods his head. "We're here to issue you people the specialized ammunition for your weapons. Please remove the ammo from at least five magazines, both rifle and pistol, and replace it with the ammo we give you."
Jarod looks at the two kids as he switches the ammunition for his M-16 and Beretta M92. Xander is armed with an AWP-308 sniper rifle slung over his shoulder, Oz has a H&K G3 battle rifle in an assault sling. Both rifles were equipped with night vision scopes more advanced than anything Jarod had ever seen. Each young man was also carrying a Glock Model 21 side arm, grenades, combat knives. Both men had body armor and night vision goggles that Jarod has never seen before. The armor was painted a flat black and looked more like a breast plate than a flack jacket. And the goggles are small and compact, not the large bulky pieces Jarod has seen. But Jarod wonders the most about is the other item both men were carrying over their left shoulders, < Why are both men carrying swords? > Jarod then looks more closely at the rest of the group < For that matter, why was everyone in this group carrying swords? >
Jarod's thoughts are put on the back burner as the order of battle is given and four sites have been marked for assault, two abandoned warehouses on the waterfront, an abandoned supermarket in the barrio and an old mansion in the Hollywood Hills. The blueprints and schematics of the sites are arranged before the team leaders and their seconds in command. The two warehouses would be hit first, then the supermarket and finally the mansion.
St. Wolf and Summers would lead the first group made up of sixteen Immortals, including Brother Aaron and the Storm Shadow ninjas. Christine, Ice, Frank, Oz, Xander and six SWAT officers under Lt. Rodgers would act as the reserve and as perimeter guards.
The second group would be lead by Mulder, Scully and Cassandra, it would have the rest of the Immortals, including Robert and Abbott Michael and Able Team. The reserve would be Charlie, Alphonse, Giles, Amy, and six SWAT officers under the command of Sgt. Devlin.
Quinn would remain behind, the ultimate ace-in-the-hole. Captain Randall and Det. Vetter would go back to headquarters to run interference for the assault and pick up the pieces afterwards.
St. Wolf Residence
Willow, Cordelia, Jenny, Robert and Frohike are manning the monitors and computers back in Steve's office. Frohike is downloading one of his hacking programs via satellite and as he prepares to run it, Willow, seeing what the program is, asks. "Mr. Frohike, what are you doing?"
"I'm accessing a National Reconnaissance Organization Satellite. A K-H series to be exact." Frohike responds.
"Why are you doing that?" Cordelia asks as she reaches for her gun. < I know Mulder trusts this guy, but those are my friends out there. And if he tries something, I'll blow his brains out. > Cordelia's sentiments are echoed by Willow and Jenny, as they both calmly reach for their guns.
Robert looks on and thinks to himself. < These women will kill him in an instant to protect their men. > Then smiles to himself. < I hope their significant others know and appreciate this. >
Frohike sighs and turns around. "Because the NRO satellite's thermal imaging system can tell us if anyone alive is still in the building, and where they're located."
"Oh." All three women say at the same time. Cordelia turns to Jenny and Willow and asks. "That's a good thing, right?"
"A very good thing." Willow murmurs as she starts to help him. "It give our people the knowledge to know where the victims are and then they can save them."
National Reconnaissance Organization HQ - Some Where in Virginia
Lt. Janice Ellison is sitting back and having her first cup of coffee for the grave yard shift. As she is taking her first sip, the entire situation room goes into red alert. Major Hoffmann rushes into the room bellowing at the top of his lungs. "Who the hell just pushed the red alert. If this is a joke, I'll have their balls."
"Sir, I pressed the red alert, Sir." A Sergeant named Paxton stands up, at attention.
"All right Sergeant, what's the emergency?" Major Hoffmann asks.
"Sir, we lost contact with Red Eagle One. Some one has hijacked her." Sgt. Paxton reports.
Major Hoffmann's stomach drops. < How the hell could someone steal one of our birds? It shouldn't be possible. Could it? > "Did you check your system Sergeant?"
"Yes Sir, I checked, double and triple checked and crossed checked with all six of the backup systems. Red Eagle One is gone, Sir." Paxton replies.
Hoffmann takes a deep breath and then he shudders. A moment later, he has regained control of himself. He begins to issue orders. "I want all of the intelligence representatives in the situation room, ASAP. Get me the Joint Chiefs on line now. And some one find me some Maalox. It's going to be one of those nights."
As he turns around to leave, Lt. Ellison notices that she has some e-mail. Out of curiosity she opens it and after reading the short message she calls out to the Major. "Major Hoffmann, sir, please come look at this."
"It had better be important Lt. or you'll find yourself vacuuming dust in the Mojave." Hoffmann gruffly replies as he walks over and reads the message on her computer screen. His face turns a livid purple as he screams. "I want this message traced. I don't care how. I don't care if you violate every amendment in the Constitution, but I want the person that wrote this found. And print me up a copy of that message, immediately."
After the e-mail is printed, Major Hoffmann takes it with him to the situation meeting room. Members of every intelligence agency in the United States, plus a few allies were present. As he approaches his chair, Hoffmann pulls it out and while still standing, slams his fists into the table, then bellows out. "Which one of you fuck ups is responsible for something called Section Seven? So help me God, if I find out which one it is, I'll shoot him down on the spot."
"Major, get a hold of yourself." General Douglaston, the Joint Chiefs' representative orders.
"Sorry sir, but I've just had one of my birds hijacked."
The room goes quiet. The CIA representative is the first to ask. "Are you sure it's not a computer error?"
"Yes, Sir," Hoffmann sarcastically replies through clenched teeth. "We always call for a red alert before we check for computer errors." The CIA man, embarrassed, shuts up.
"Now, what's this thing about Section Seven?" General Douglaston asks.
"Simple sir, when the satellite disappeared, we got this e-mail on our *SECURED* system." Hoffmann replies.
"Please read us the message, Major."
"Yes Sir, it reads as follows,"
Sorry to borrow your satellite without asking first, but we didn't have time to process the paperwork. Saving the world can get to be like that sometimes.
We'll return it to you in about 48 hours. Oh, and by the way, nice gun you got on
this baby. We'll make sure it doesn't accidentally go off.
"My God. This is real." General Douglaston murmurs. Meanwhile the CIA, NSA and various other 'intelligence' organizations silently ponder and look at each other, all asking the same question. < Which one of these guys has control of Section Seven? And how the hell do I get a piece of them? >
The NSA representative asks. "What do they mean by 'nice gun', Major?"
The Major sighs as he begins. "The Red Eagle series of K-H satellites are all equipped with a 200 Mega-watt laser guns. The gun's targeting computer uses the Global Positioning System to hit it's targets. What that means is it can hit a quarter from 250 miles in orbit, burn off George's face and leave the rest alone."
"Can they fire the laser?" The NSA representative asks.
"The codes to fire the laser are just as tough as the ones controlling the satellite." Major Hoffmann replies.
"So in theory they can also crack the firing codes as well?" The NSA representative verbalizes everyone's worst fears.
"Yes, in theory, they can crack those codes as well."
The room turns quite as each man tries to think of a solution to this problem.
St. Wolf Residence
Willow, Jenny, Cordelia and Robert have just finished laughing about the e-mail Frohike sent to the NRO. As Willow catches her breathe, she asks. "Wasn't that e-mail a bit much Frohike?"
"Nope, it'll keep them guessing and give us time to get our work done. Plus the orbital laser is a nice touch, don't you think."
"What can it do?" Jenny asks.
"Well it fires a 200 Mega-watt laser that can burn a hole in six inches of steel, in about a tenth of a second, and it can be aimed with pin point accuracy. I think that'll give any vampire or demon a major case of sun burn." Frohike replies with a smile.
The six vans make their way to the waterfront. Their targets, two warehouses filled with vampires. The vans bypass the first target and Buffy confirms the presence of at least fifty vampires. They move on to the second warehouse and Buffy again confirms the presence of forty five vampires. The vans move off and several blocks away they split up. Three going to the first warehouse, the other three going to the second warehouse.
Buffy and Steve lead the assault on the first warehouse. They drop off the perimeter guards first. Securing the exterior of the warehouse. Then they ram their van through the front doors and immediately start attacking the vampires found inside the warehouse. The vampires are literally caught dozing. Steve leads half the Immortals up the left side of the warehouse, Buffy, the other half, the right. They take out any vampires they see. The ninjas roll up the middle, causing mayhem and confusion. Frank aided by Christine, Ice and two SWAT officers guards the front door. The rear of the warehouse is guarded by Xander and Jarod. The sides by Oz and the other three SWAT officers, two on each side.
The attack is furious, the vampires have recovered from their shock and they attack in earnest. They are expecting LAPD, armed with shotguns and pistols, no problem for vampires. Instead, they get the Slayer backed up by twenty vampire hunters armed to take them down. The first wave of vampires, about twenty of them, their demonic faces showing, charge the three groups of fighters, only to be cut down by the massed fire power of the hunters. The vampire leading this group orders the rest of the vampires back. He orders five of the vampires to run and tell Katherine what is happening. The rest would act as a diversion allowing them to get away. The vampires then attack again in a wave attack, attempt to over whelm their foes, but they are again cut down by the massed fire power of the warriors facing them. Mercy is neither asked for, nor given.
Hans shifts his rifle to a more comfortable position. He has just shot his third vampire that night and watched it turn to dust. < Damn, this ammunition works. I hope they let me get some of it for myself. >
The five vampires sent to warn Katherine have split up, three going out the back and two on the left side. The three escape through a back door and as they are running, two of the vampires are shot down by an M-16. Both turn to dust. The final vampire runs away as fast as she can, but her heart is found by a sniper's wooden tipped bullet. Xander and Jarod stand together and look at each other.
Jarod asks. "Why did they turn to dust?"
Xander sighs and tells him. "Because they're real vampires. There is no plague. Just real vampires."
"I take it you're the group who rescued those people at the Burger to Go, last night." Jarod asks.
"Yeah, that was Steve and Buffy." Xander admits.
"Good, nice to know that we're on the same side." Jarod comments. < Maybe these people can help me fight the Centre, when this is all over. >
On the left side of the building, Oz is standing with Officer Rita Morales. The last two vampires exit out through a window. Oz shoots the one on the left, Rita the one on the right, both are dust.
Rita turns to Oz and asks. "What just happened?"
Oz keeps an eye on the warehouse as he tells her. " Real vampires tend to turn to dust when you get them in the heart with wood, or behead them."
"Real vampires? You mean we're fighting real vampires. What was this crap about a plague?" Rita asks angrily.
"People are more likely to believe a plague, than real vampires. It gave us a plausible explanation for hunting them down." Oz explains.
Rita crosses herself, then asks. "The restaurant, the vampire hunters, that was you people?"
"Yeah." Oz replies.
"Madre Dios!" Morales mutters and crosses herself.
Inside the warehouse the vampires have all been killed off. Steve orders a quick search. "I want a quick search done. Work in teams of three. Do not, I repeat, do not open any locked doors without backup. Spray all bodies with holy water. If it burns, stake it. Check all the boxes and any containers. Let's move people. I want to be out of here in five minutes." Steve then turns to Lt. Rodgers. "Rodgers, call Randall and give him this location. He can pick up the pieces." Rodgers nods and makes the radio call.
As Cody leaves to make his call, one of the search teams finds a locked and barred door. They pull it open and quickly spray the inside with holy water. The people inside are startled, but none of them start to burn. Steve leads in five Immortals to check the room. Each person is touched with a cross, before they are handed out. None are vampires. Buffy tells Scarlet to report the situation to Lt. Rodgers and to get some ambulances down here ASAP.
A few minutes later another room is found, stacked to the rafters with bodies. Dead bodies. The assembled Immortals look into a scene carved from their worst nightmares. Steve and Buffy look in and can only hold themselves close and ask themselves, < Why couldn't we get here sooner?>
Meanwhile Cody is reporting in. "John, this is Cody. We just hit the warehouse located on pier 17. Can you send backup?"
"Not a problem Cody. We'll be there in about seven minutes, clear everybody out ASAP." Captain Randall replies.
Just then Scarlet leaves the warehouse and she reports to Cody. "Lt., we found thirty people inside. All are suffering from blood loss. Several are seriously low. They'll need to be transported to a hospital. We've also found about a hundred dead. You'll need to move them later on."
Cody picks up his radio again and reports in. "John, Cody here again. We found thirty people still alive. They'll need transport to the hospital. Can you get the ambulances rolling?"
"You got 'em Cody. Just haul your butts out of there. I don't want the press to get a look at our 'friends'." Captain Randall orders.
"John, we also have about a hundred victims here. You'll need to move them as well." Lt. Rodgers tells Captain Randall.
"Damn, damn, damn," Captain Randall mutters as he slams the radio down. He turns to Tracy and tells her. "They got there too late to save a hundred people. Damn it Tracey, we're supposed to win. We're the good guys."
"I know John, but sometimes we don't get to win as cleanly as we want to. Sometimes the victory is almost as dark as though we lost. Can you imagine what it would be like if they won?" Tracey tells him.
Randall thinks for a minute and shudders. "You're right, Tracy, thanks." He picks up the mike again and orders Cody. "Cody, get your people of there. We'll be at the warehouse in five minutes. I don't what any reporters seeing our friends."
"Understood John, we'll be out of here in a couple of minutes." Cody replies.
Cody radios Jarod. "Jarod, get the perimeter guards in, we're moving out."
Jarod confirms and turns to Xander. "You take the right side, I'll go left, we'll meet in front." Xander nods and goes to get the guards on the right side.
Cody then goes into the warehouse and finds Steve and Buffy. He delivers Randall's message. "Sir, Ma'am, Captain Randall will be here in about six minutes. We have to move out."
Steve nods his head heavily and turns to the survivors. "The LAPD will be here in a few minutes. They'll take you to the hospital and make sure you get proper medical treatment. Please understand this, you never saw us. You were rescued by the Police officers that are coming here now. They are the heroes."
"Why?" One of the victims ask. "You people rescued us and probably saved our lives. You deserve the recognition, not the cops coming in now."
Steve takes a deep breath and tells them. "The organization that we work for does not officially exist, sir. We can not legally operate inside this country."
One of the other victims mutters. "Damn, finally a thing that my tax dollars paid for, that I'm proud of, and I can't talk about it." Everyone laughs as they mount up and leave.
One minute later, everyone is back on the vans and moving to the second warehouse. As they leave the scene, Buffy and Steve, along with everyone else watches a sea of blue and red lights wash over the warehouse. The LAPD was there, in force.
Mulder and Scully move their vans to their target, the second warehouse. The attack plan is the same as the one carried out by Buffy and Steve. First, the perimeter guards are dropped, then the lead van crashes through the doors of the warehouse. As Mulder and Scully are jumping off the tail of the van, weapons ready. They see the vampires are waiting for them. The vampire leader marches forward and mockingly tells them. "Ahhh, our dinner serves itself. Welcome brave officers, to your deaths."
Mulder and Scully grin, seeing the assembled vampires in front of them. Mulder walks forward and cracks. "So how did you know we were coming? We didn't send any announcements."
"Simple, my young meal, I had a sentry posted on the roof. We will have you all for dinner and then leave as we planned on doing, anyway." The leader replies with a smile as he shifts into his demon face.
Mulder just grins as he orders. "Everyone of them, but the big mouth."
"Oh look, the puny mortals are going to shoot us." A female vampire laughs. She dies with that laugh on her lips as the amassed hunters fire twenty assault rifles, two M60 E3s and a Stoner squad automatic into them. Two seconds and five hundred rounds of ammunition later, the vampire leader is standing alone in a cloud of smoke and dust. He looks around, and sees only piles of dust where his vampires had once stood.
Mulder sees the shocked expression on the vampire's face and orders him to be Captured. Before the leader could move, he's surrounded by cross wielding warriors. He has no place to run to. He watches as Mulder and Scully, calmly approach him. The vampire leader cries out. "Who are you people? What have you done to my children?"
Mulder looks the leader over and quips. "Bit melodramatic, aren't you?"
"I will destroy you and everyone here, mortal." The vampire vows.
"Oh please, you are going to be dust in a couple of minutes. Anything you promise is just wind coming out of your mouth." Mulder replies to the vampire, then orders. "I want this place searched. Robert, lead a team of six to the roof and make sure no one is up there." Robert McCallister nods and picks five people to go with him. Mulder continues. "Check all bodies with crosses and holy water. Make sure that there is no one alive or undead here. Work in three man teams and multiple teams check each room, box or large crate. Perimeter guards are to remain in place, shoot anything that tries to sneak out. Able Team, will do roving patrol duty." Lyons, Gadgets and Politician nod their heads. "Back up any team that needs the help." With that the group breaks up into three man teams and starts to search.
Sgt. Devlin is watching Mulder order the Black Ops troops and he wonders. < What the hell kind of ammunition did they give us. People just do not disappear after being shot. > Then he looks on as Mulder questions the leader. < What the hell are we involved in here? >
"Let's make this simple. Do you have a name or do we just call you 'Meat'?" Mulder asks the leader.
"My name is Eric Von Strasbourg, I am a man of the blood." The vampire proudly proclaims.
"Well Eric," Mulder begins. "You mind if I call you Eric?" The vampire nods his permission. Mulder and Scully exchange glances. Then Mulder brutally slams Eric into the wall, head first.
"Now Eric, tell me where is Katherine Plantagenet? And what are her plans for tomorrow night? Tell us now, and we end it quickly. Bull shit us and we'll make the pain last for weeks." Mulder tells Eric. Von Strasbourg spits on Mulder's boots.
Devlin looks on and thinks to himself. < They're going to torture him. I can't let this happen. >
Just then, one of the search groups comes back. The leader, a man called Thorson tells Devlin. "Sir, we've just found something you might want to see." Devlin goes with him to a refrigerated side room of the warehouse. Thorson enters the room followed by Devlin. Their flashlights show a seen out of Hell itself. The room was floor to ceiling and wall to wall corpses. Most them young children, runaways by the way they were dressed. Each of their faces bore the same expression, one of pure, stark, raving, terror. < None of these kids died easy. > Devlin thinks to himself. Devlin gets sick to his stomach, and suddenly the prospect of torturing that smug bastard doesn't sound so bad.
Devlin hears Thorson quietly mumble "I haven't seen something like this since Dachau, in 45. I hoped to God not to see it again."
Then another man, a guy called Argus replies. "I know, I helped to liberate Auschwitz in 45. It was just as bad."
Devlin looks at Thorson and Argus and wonders about that remark. < These guys couldn't have served in World War II. They don't look older than thirty. >
Devlin's radio buzzes. He picks it up and answers. "Devlin here."
"Bob, this is Cody. We've just finished over at the first target, everything clear. How about you?"
"Cody, everything's clear. We have no injuries. Also, we have a prisoner. Mulder is about to question him, hard." Devlin reports.
There is silence on the radio for a minute and Rodgers comes back. "Bob, I know how you feel about things like this. Just walk away. Let them handle it."
"Cody, I just found a trailer load of bodies here, mostly kids. I want this bastard to feel the pain those kids felt as they were killed." Devlin replies as he walks back to where Mulder, Scully and a man called Michael were questioning the suspect.
Devlin watches as several men literally crucify him to a wall. They nail his arms and legs to the wall with spikes and boards. < Damn, these bastards know how to torture someone. > Then his shirt and pants are cut off him with knives as they prepare him for questioning. He watches as Mulder reaches for the bastards face and puts a water gun(?) to his chest and shoots. The bastard just screams as steam literally rises from his chest, the skin bubbles as though acid was just poured on it. Mulder asks his question again
"Again Eric, where is Katherine Plantagenet?" Mulder asks. Von Strasbourg just laughs.
"Very well then." Mulder tells him. Then Mulder's partner, Scully, hands him a cross on a chain. Von Strasbourg shudders and calls Mulder all sorts of names, but Mulder just smiles as he puts it on him. He begins to scream an unholy scream. Devlin shudders and again asks himself. < What the hell is going on here? And who the hell are these people? And what are we really fighting? >
Mulder lifts the cross from the Von Strasbourg's skin, he stops screaming and he takes a deep breath, and spits in Mulder's face. Mulder wipes the spittle off, as he drops the cross back down. < Damn, that bastard Mulder has no heart. How the hell can he torture someone like that? > Von Strasbourg starts to scream again, Mulder walks away and starts to take reports from the other groups.
Thorson tells him about the bodies in the refrigerated room and Devlin watches as Mulder rushes over and looks into the room. Devlin watches as Mulder lets loose his own scream at the horror sitting in that room. His partner, Scully, rushes over to him and walks him out, a shaken and angry man. Devlin looks into Mulder's eyes and for the first time in his life, can understand what pure hatred was. Devlin feels a small amount of pity for Von Strasbourg. A very small amount.
Mulder walks back to Von Strasbourg and slams his fist into the cross. The vampire begins to scream anew and with more gusto. Mulder punches him along side his head, and again asks. "For the final time, where is your queen. I will not ask this question again."
Von Strasbourg lifts his head and grins. "I will not betray my queen. Beside I'm more in fear of her than I am of you, mortal."
Just then, Steve and Buffy walk in, followed by the rest of their crew. Von Strasbourg looks them over and smiles. "So Slayer, I see that you and your companion don't fight us alone."
Buffy looks over the vampire and asks. "What do mean by that vampire. And how do you know us?"
Von Strasbourg nods his head to the pile of clothes. "In my pants pocket, there is a drawing of your likenesses." Cody, standing next to the clothes pile, reaches down and searches the pockets. He finds the picture and hands it over to Buffy.
She looks over the drawing of herself and Steve and asks. "Where did you get this?"
Von Strasbourg chuckles. "After your raid last night, three vampires saw you both as you exited the restaurant. They reported back to the queen and she had them describe you two. The drawings were made from their descriptions. Her orders were to kill you, Slayer and take your mate alive. She wants him for herself, to convert him to our cause and make him her general."
An angry Buffy stalks forward and tells Von Strasbourg. "No one touches my honey and lives, vampire. I'm going to rip her heart out with my bare hands when I find her."
Von Strasbourg chuckles. "So, the two are more than companions. Good, my queen will enjoy ripping you two apart."
Buffy makes to stake him, but a slightly embarrassed Steve walks up behind Buffy and lays a restraining hand on her shoulder, calming her down. Steve leans down and tells her. "Don't think about it Buffy. He's only trying to make you angry so you make a mistake. Don't give him the edge."
Von Strasbourg looks at Steve and smiles. "So, we have a seasoned warrior at the Slayer's side. Good, you'll become the perfect general for my queen."
"I think not cousin," A voice replies from behind Mulder.
A tall man, bearing a startling family resemblance to Von Strasbourg walks forward. The walk, the mannerisms, the very way he held himself, Von Strasbourg starts. < Hans? It can't be. > "What foul kind of magic is this? My cousin Hans died three hundred years ago. You can not be him."
Hans smiles as he approaches the vampire. "Oh but I am." He then turns to Steve and Buffy. "You have my oath of service young sir and lady. I am forever your man for delivering this bastard to me."
"Would you mind explaining what's going on Hans? We're kinda lost here." Steve replies.
Rodgers and Devlin look at each other and ask. "How the hell can this guy still be alive after three hundred years. I know the guy crucified to the wall is a real vampire. I figured that out a few minutes ago. But what the hell does it make this guy?"
"Simple, he's an Immortal," Both men jump at the words spoken by Rupert Giles. "He's been given the gift of Immortality for his services in fighting the darkness that threatens to destroy humanity."
"Are you out of your mind? How can someone be Immortal. That's a fairy tale." Cody Rodgers replies unbelievingly.
Giles just smiles as he counters. "Aren't vampires myths and legends, but you see for yourselves they do exist. So why shouldn't warriors who are Immortal, who fight them down through the ages?"
"What are you people?" Rodgers whispers fearing the answer more than bullets.
"We're an army, so to speak, that has existed since the dawn of humanity. We recognize no boarders, no nationalities. Our only goal is to protect humanity. We fight the, shall we say, 'Darkness' that seeks to destroy humanity. Many of our warriors have become the stuff of legend. Our battles, epic sagas." Giles explains.
"Like who?" A curious Devlin asks, dreading the answer.
Giles smiles as lists some of the warriors. "Gilgamish, Beowulf, Arthur Pendragon, St. George, Hercules, need I go on?"
Rodgers and Devlin look at each other and shudder. Devlin asks. "Cody what the hell did Randall get us involved in?"
Rodgers looks over the assembled group standing around him and replies, a trace of pride in his voice. "A job that has to be done. We swore to protect and serve and that's exactly what we're doing."
Giles smiles as his lie is accepted by both men and the secret of the Immortals is kept.
Meanwhile back at the wall . . .
Hans Von Strasbourg clears his throat and begins his story. "Mr. St. Wolf, the story begins back in beginning. Eric and I were both born into the house of Strasbourg, a noble vassal house of the Habsburg Empire. In 1688, the French emperor, Louis the XIV, went to war with my overlord over some disputed land claims. The war lasted nine years and was bravely fought. All of the men of fighting age in my house, save Eric, went to war as officers for our king. Eric was chosen to remain behind to care for and defend our estates and families." The betrayal in his voice is clearly heard.
"After the battle of Neerwinden in 1693, my cavalry unit was fighting a rear guard action against the French, who were under the command of Louis' Field Marshal Luxembourg, I was wounded in the retreat. After the remainder of our forces escaped from that defeat, my commanding officer ordered me home to recuperate. As I was drawing near to my home in Strasbourg, I saw that the country had changed, become more dark. There were fewer people there and everyone looked at me with suspicion and dread.
"When I entered my ancestral home, no one greeted me. There were no servants about and house felt like a grave. As I got further into my home I drew my sword and pistol. I found Eric in our grandfather's study, draining a young girl. I ordered him to stop and he just laughed, then dropped her lifeless corpse.
"Eric walked toward me, his face reverting back to normal. When he stood about three paces away he finally spoke. 'So my cousin finally comes back from the war?' And then he laughed again. I asked where the family and servants were. His reply, 'They made excellent meals cousin, especially your lovely Inga. You know I used her for three days before I finally drained her. She loved every minute of it.' Then he laughed again.
"I went insane, I shot him and tried to stab him, but he was too quick. Then, as I was forcing him into a corner, someone knocked me unconscious from behind. I woke up a little later to see Eric again feeding, this time it was small boy of about eight years. I attempted to attack him, but was strapped into a chair. He laughed again and threw the boy's lifeless corpse against the wall and came before me and taunted me. He told me that a vampire had offered him eternal life and he accepted. Then he showed me the eight other members of our family that he had also turned. One of them was my sister Gretchen. The others were my cousins, Catherine, Ilsa, Helga, Gunther, Karl, Franklin, and Joseph. He allowed Gretchen to feed from me. As I was dying he offered me the same choice. I refused, so I died. As I died, I prayed to God to allow me a chance to avenge the deaths of my family and friends."
"I woke up atop of a pile of corpses containing my entire family and all of our retainers, almost one hundred and fifty people, older men, women and small children, dead and thrown away as though they meant nothing. I stumbled from there and onto the road. I got maybe two miles before I was attacked by another vampire. As I prayed to God to accept my soul, the vampire suddenly turned to dust. Standing a short distance away was a young girl, holding a staff with a pointed end. Next to her was an older man with a crossbow. I thanked her and the man for my life and asked for their aid. Before I could take another step, I again lost consciousness."
"I woke up several hours later in a camp the girl and her companion had made near where I fell. They had moved me under a tree and placed a blanket over me. As I rose the girl handed me a water skin. I immediately drank it dry. The girl didn't speak to me while she prepared a simple breakfast. A few minutes later the old man woke up and I properly introduced myself to him and asked him how the girl was able to kill the vampire last night. He introduced himself and the girl. His name was Janus Von Helsing and the girl was Brita Ingadautter, the Slayer."
"They were hesitant to talk to me at first. But after I had told them what had happened at my home, they opened up to me and told me of their duty. I asked to join their quest and became a companion to them. Janus was hesitant at first, but Brita accepted me immediately. Over the next five years Janus taught me everything he knew about hunting vampires and I stayed with him and Brita."
"On a cold December night in 1698, Janus died in his sleep. Before he died, Janus commented that he was the first watcher to die in bed, at rest, in two hundred years, then he laughed softly and said good bye to the both of us. Then his eyes closed and he quietly went in his sleep. Brita cried and felt so alone, I went to comfort her and told her that I wouldn't leave her. One thing led to another and two weeks later, on New Year's Day, 1699, we were married. Together, we hunted vampires for the next twenty three years. Until one night a master vampire named Lothos killed her. I have hunted him and the remainder of my undead family since then. Helping any Slayer that I met along the way and killing every vampire that I could find."
The warehouse is quiet as Hans finishes his story and everyone feels the sorrow and sadness behind his words. Mulder steps forward and asks. "Hans, do you want to end Eric's existence?"
Hans only nods.
"No one here will stop you, you have the right." Steve tells him.
"We're finished with him now. He won't answer any questions. So feel free." Scully tells Hans.
Hans only looks at the shell that was once as close as a brother and silently pulls out a stake and approaches him.
Eric just grins as he utters his final words. "So cousin, we finally end the game? I hope you know it's been fun leading you around for the last 300 years. Oh, if I only knew that you still lived and hunted me, I would have had more fun. I hope you enjoy your life, however short the rest of it is. Because my queen will make sure it . . . Argghh" Hans stabs his vampire cousin in the heart with his stake and Eric Von Strasbourg turns to dust.
Hans takes a deep breath and smiles. "Now that leaves only Gretchen and Lothos."
"Actually Hans," Buffy hesitantly begins as Hans looks at her, but she continues. "I killed Lothos two years ago."
Hans' smile broadens as he replies. "Brita would have found it apt that another Slayer killed him. It just makes my search shorter. Thank you for telling me." Hans then raises his head and calls out. "Now let us prepare, we have two more targets tonight, and I wish to see more dust flying."
The assembled hunters let out a cheer as they mount up and leave the second warehouse.
Cody calls Randall and gives him a situation report. "John, this is Cody. The second warehouse is clear. And we're on the way to the third target."
Captain Randall looks at his partner as he asks, a note of hope in his voice. "Were there any survivors?"
"No" Cody replies simply. "There's another trailer load of bodies there. At least one hundred, dead. The perps are dust."
"10-4 Cody." Captain Randall tells him as he hangs his head and softly sobs. Detective Vetter turns her back, giving her partner some privacy. A minute later, Randall gathers himself together and issues orders to the police officers present, sending half of them and half of the coroners to the second warehouse. Captain Randall and Detective Vetter follow as few minutes later.
Cancer Man walks into his office and boots up his computer. He checks his e-mail and sees that the files from California are on his system. He listens to the tape and as the part with Mulder's plan to mess with Frohike's mind comes up, Cancer Man laughs. < Oh, how I wish I could have seen Frohike's face. That would have been priceless. > He feels a little better knowing that Mulder's sense of humor was still working. He listens to the tape where Mulder and Scully are explaining their last mission in Sunnydale to Frohike. < So that's what happened to that Strella. A group of Demon hunters used it to kill a demon. > Cancer Man chuckles < And Mulder and Scully hid the truth. Especially about killing over two hundred vampires and hiding the evidence. Damn, there is hope for them after all. I'll have to reassess my opinion of them. >
The tape continues with the introduction of the Storm Shadow Ninja Clan. < Now this is an interesting development. > He continues to listen as the woman called Scarlet explains how they'd been hunting vampires in the Bay Area and why they came down. < Damn, where the hell did Mulder find all of these heroes? > He listens in interest to Jinx's description of St. Wolf's computer. < That system shouldn't exist. We will definitely have to pay Mr. St. Wolf a visit. > Then he listens as the entire group suddenly heads out to rescue some people from a vampire attack. Cancer Man chuckles, < Those vampires have made a very serious mistake doing that in front of St. Wolf's house. >
Cancer Man listens as the two groups lead in the four FBI operatives and how Mulder and St. Wolf convince them about existence of vampires. < I wonder if Frohike sent a copy of the tape to his partners? I'll have to check that out. > Then he hears the alarm and Merlin's conversation with the assembled hunters < Merlin? What the hell was he doing there? Mr. St. Wolf will definitely bear some serious watching after this situation is concluded. > He rewinds the tape to listen to what Merlin is telling the hunters. < A vampire queen is going to raise the Aztec God of War? Damn, something like this will be noticed by the Others. > Then he hears Mulder calling in Able Team to help. < Damn, this means Bolan's going to be involved. > The tape disintegrates into static after this. The entire conversation is lost until the operative flames two vampires.
Cancer Man then uses his computer to check the various electronic mail boxes the Lone Gunmen use and he finds the tape. He runs it and shudders. He recognizes St. Wolf/Jamieson and a young girl ruthlessly take down a dozen vampires. < Damn, these two are exceptionally good. I wonder if Mulder and Scully are just as good? >
Cancer Man sits back in his chair and contemplates what he has just seen and heard. < Mulder and Scully were working outside the Bureau to solve a major problem. They had assets that the Bureau did not know about. They were hiding information and altering files. They were also killing vampires and hiding the fact that vampires existed from the general public. > He chuckles ruefully. < This is exactly how I started out. > In the midst of his contemplation, the phone rings, he picks it up. "This had better be important."
"Sir, this is Hancock, over at the NSA." The voice shakily replies.
"What is it?"
"Sir, the NRO just had one of it's K-H RE satellites hijacked by someone called Section Seven."
"How the hell could someone hijack a NRO satellite."
"I don't know, Sir."
"Who the hell is Section Seven and why is the hijacking being blamed on them?"
"I don't know who they are, Sir. But they left an e-mail message saying they took it."
"Can you read me the message?"
"Yes, Sir. The message goes as follows," and Hancock reads the message to Cancer man.
After Hancock finishes, he hears something that he never dreamed he would. His boss laughing. Hancock shudders.
Cancer Man gets control of himself as he tells Hancock. "Don't worry about it. I'll take care of the matter."
Cancer Man starts to whistle a tune and ponders the information presented to him. < How the hell did they manage to hijack that satellite? Oh well, I will definitely have a long talk with Mulder and Scully when they get back. >
Sunnydale Motor Lodge
Miss Parker walks into the manager's office at the Sunnydale Motor Lodge. Frank is behind the counter and wonders what this woman wants. He gets off his chair and approaches her and asks. "Good evening Miss, what can I do for you?"
"Simple, you can give us seven rooms for the next couple of days." Miss Parker replies.
"Sure, no problem. Do you want ground or second floor rooms?"
"Ground will be fine." Miss Parker replies.
"I can give you a group of rooms right next to the office. Is that all right?"
"That'll be fine." Miss Parker replies as she takes the keys.
"Oh, one other thing. After sunset, don't invite anyone into your room that you don't know."
Curious, Miss Parker asks. "Why is that?"
"Because appearances can be deceiving and if you think you're helping someone innocent, you might be letting in the devil."
Miss Parker shudders and walks out and passes out the keys. The remaining six sweepers, Gar and Willie would share four rooms, while Miss Parker, Sidney and Broots would each have their own.
Miss Parker turns to Sidney, Willie and Gar. "Let's get some sleep and tomorrow, we'll check out these two federal agents and start looking for Ratboy."
The vans move out from the second warehouse and travel in column through the darkened and deserted streets of Los Angeles. Their next target is an abandoned supermarket located on Piedmont Avenue in the Barrio section of Los Angeles.
While traveling there, the team leaders meet in the lead van. Steve, Buffy, Mulder, Scully, Frank Iverson, Robert McCallister, Tommy, Carl Lyons, Cody Rodgers and Bob Devlin meet to plan out the next assault.
Officer Jarod Russell sits in the corner, manning the radio. He listens to the plans being discussed and nods his head in approval. < These people are good. They know what they're doing and I'm glad that we've teamed up with them. >
Suddenly, Steve's cell phone chirps and he answers it. "St. Wolf here."
"Steve, this is Willow, can you get a speaker for your cell phone?" Willow asks.
"No, I can't Willow. But hold on." Steve turns to Jarod and asks. "Officer is the radio equipped with a speaker?"
"Yes Sir, it is." Jarod replies.
"Then please switch to tact 4, one of my people needs to tell us something." Steve orders, then tells Willow. "Willow switch over to the LAPD tact 4 frequency."
Jarod looks over to Cody who nods his head. Jarod then turns the radio to tact 4. Willow's voice comes in clear. "Steve, Mr. Frohike has some news for you." Willow gets off and Frohike begins.
"Steve, Mulder, I've hacked into and borrowed an NRO Key Hole RE satellite and moved it over Los Angeles. I've been using it's thermal imaging system to keep track of any potential hostages in the target buildings. The supermarket has forty three warm bodies in it, at present. They're located in the southwest corner of the building. The area appears to be heavily shielded, so I'm thinking it's the store's refrigerated store room." Frohike tells the assembled leaders.
Jarod mind reels at what he has just heard. < How did they hack into a National Reconnaissance Organization satellite? That should be impossible. >
"Thanks Frohike, we'll take it from here. Now keep an eye on that mansion in the hills." Steve tells him.
Before Frohike can reply Mulder cuts in. "Frohike, what else did you do? I can hear the laughter in your voice."
"Oh, I just left them a little e-mail telling them I would give it back in 48 hours and I signed it Section Seven."
"Section Seven? Whose Section Seven?" Cody asks.
"Just something I made up to cause confusion on a few previous occasions. Think it'll screw up anybody?"
"No, but it'll drive the intelligence guys crazy. Too bad." Steve replies with a grin. "Frohike how long will it take you to move the satellite's sensors?"
"It'll take me about ten minutes to sight the satellite in, but you've got it. Oh, and good hunting guys. Over and out." Frohike cuts off.
The assemble leaders have a laugh, and move back to the blueprint of the supermarket and plan out the strategy.
"All right, Frohike's info helps us considerably." Steve tells the assembled group leaders.
"How so?" Cody asks.
"Because now we know where the civilians are and how many there are. We can work this plan so that none of them are hurt." Steve explains.
"How do we know that those forty three are non-combatants?" Bob Devlin asks.
Steve smiles as he replies. "Because vampires don't have any body heat."
"Oh" Bob replies.
Jarod listening to the conversation, silently agrees. < These people care. They don't like seeing innocents hurt. >
"Our forces will be dispersed as follows. Cody, you and the Rangers will be perimeter guards. You'll be augmented by Christine, Charlie, Ice, Alphonse, Xander, Oz, Giles, Frank and Amy. Take out anyone that tries to leave the building." Cody and Bob nod their heads. "Tommy, your group, aided by Able Team will head directly for the hostages, securing them." Both Tommy and Carl agree to this. "The rest of us will attack the vampires directly, taking out all of them. Mulder and Scully will lead the main force of twenty. And Buffy and I will lead the sweeping and blocking force of twelve. And let's try and get a couple of prisoners this time."
"The assault will be as follows. First we drop the perimeter guards, as before. Then Frank and Cassandra will send a couple of LAAW door knockers into the front of the building. The rest of the assault force will follow closely behind. Remember this is going to be close quarter combat, so fire arms will be strictly limited to hand guns only. The only exception will be Able Team. They keep the 60s and the Stoner. Everybody else will use swords and stakes as you can to prevent collateral damage to your fellow warriors. But if you're out numbered, don't hesitate to use your guns. Any questions?" No one asks. "Good, then lets go."
The orders are radioed to the other vans and everybody makes ready for the coming assault. The vans move purposely through the heart of the Barrio.
Officer Henry Ramos, a fifteen year veteran of the LAPD, looks out his window as he drives the lead van. < My God, this area is practically dead. No one is outside. Not even the dealers and hookers. > He thinks to himself. He then notices the street numbers. They're a few minutes away from their target. He reaches over and knocks on the door leading to the back of the van.
Cody opens the door and asks. "What's up Henry?"
"We're less than five minutes to target, LT. Thought you would want to know." Henry replies.
Cody turns back to the assembled leaders and informs them. He watches as Steve turns to Buffy and asks. "Buffy can you read how many vampires are in that store?"
Cody watches as the woman < God, she can't be over eighteen. > enters a trance for a brief moment of time and comes out with a gasp. She turns to her partner, St. Wolf and tells him. "Steve, I sense at least ninety vampires in that building." Cody looks on and asks himself. < How can she sense vampires? >
Jarod's remarkable memory flashes back to one of the factual books on vampires he read. < The books said that the Slayer would be able to sense the vampires and how many there were. This girl is the Slayer. >
The vans circle the supermarket, dropping off the perimeter guards. Then they converge in the front, and the assault force moves forward. Frank and Cassandra drop to their knees and fire their LAAWs. The rockets immediately fly from their launchers and strike the front of the market, blowing a large gaping hole where the front windows used to be.
Able Team, firing their machine guns, leads the rescue contingent, closely followed by Tommy and his ninja's. They immediately move to the southwest corner of the building where the hostages are. They blaze a field of fire and dust as they cut through the massed vampire hoard.
The vampire leader, a male named Archer, can't believe how fast his forces are being decimated. He recalls them to a central location and plans a counter-attack, thinking that Able Team and the ninjas are the main force. What he doesn't know is that Able Team and the ninjas were just the first wave.
The main attack force moves in, thirty seconds after the rescue team cut's through the vampires. The vampires in the supermarket are surprised and shocked and they're slow to respond to the second assault as it hits them from the side and rear.
The forces lead by Mulder and Scully immediately start to take heads and stake hearts. Steve and Buffy's group moves into the market proper and starts to herd the vampires back into Mulder and Scully's group.
Cody and Bob look on through a set of their night sights and can't believe the carnage being done in the supermarket. Cody turns to Bob and asks. "Who the hell taught those people to use swords?"
Bob shakes his head and shudders. Knives and guns he could understand, but swords scared the hell out of him. He then reminds Cody about what Hans was. "Don't forget some of those guys were actually around when swords were the only weapons available."
Cody grimaces. "Yeah, I forgot about that. Man can you believe someone living through three hundred years?"
"I can," Frank grins. "Cassandra is over 2,700 years old."
"How old are you?" Cody asks, afraid of the answer.
"Forty one. I'm not Immortal, just dating one." Frank replies, sounding like a credit card commercial.
"Man, talk about robbing the cradle." Bob comments with a smile.
Steve and Buffy have just led their teams behind the fruit section, and they were approaching the deli counter when a small group of vampires attack. A group of six rush out of the meat section and try to drag the Slayer down, but Hans is close behind her and he uses his Colt 1911 with devastating skill. Each shot fired is one vampire turned to dust. The final vampire sees that Hans can't shoot without hitting Buffy and he makes to grab her. Buffy cuts off his arm and stakes him as he writhes on the ground. The rest of Buffy's team catches up and they proceed to clean out the deli and meat sections. There are only seven vampires left here and the group deals death quickly. The grim faced warriors offer no mercy to the vampires who reside here. The bodies of their victims, hanging on meat hooks, like animal carcasses, are motivation enough.
Steve's team breaks up into two sections, Steve leading one and Robert McCallister the other. They work in tandem, one group attacking down the aisle while the other blocks and sweeps. They move purposely through the market and the vampires are reeling from the savagery of their attacks.
Mulder and Scully also break their team into two groups. Mulder leads one team into the market and drives a group of thirty vampires into the guns of Able Team. Scully and her group do pick up duty and cut down any vampire attempting to run out the front of the building.
Able Team is holding their own against the vampires trying to grab their former victims as hostages. Several times the vampires had tried to storm Able Team's defense position, but they became dust, thanks to Able Team's determination and machine guns. Carl Lyons and his partners stand like gods giving judgement to the damned at the end of their machine guns. The last of the vampires attempt to turn and run, but they can't because another thirty vampires have been herded into them. They realize their only chance was to get past Able Team.
In the refrigerator room, Tommy and his ninjas have entered the holding area. And find several vampires feeding. Jinx lets out a battle cry and jumps one vampire on it's back as it grabs a little girl. Jinx doesn't hesitate in taking it down with a stake. A vampire attempts to blind side Jinx, but Billy covers her back with a flying snap kick, breaking the vampires neck. As the vampire falls to the floor, Billy stakes it. Another vampire makes the mistake of trying to grab a little girl. Scarlet lets out a primal scream as she cuts it's guts out. As the vampire falls to the ground in massive pain, she beheads it. Shuriken and Nunchuk move to the wounded victims and give medical aid.
The vampire's former victims have pushed themselves against the wall as the battle rages. Among them is a Japanese history student named Nakao Matosumo. She had been kidnaped the previous night while walking to her dorm and had thought that she was going to die. She watches in fascination, as memories of her grandfather's stories come back to her. < Ancestor, these are real ninjas. What the hell are they doing here? > She gives herself a mental slap. < Oh yeah, saving our lives. > She watches as they go through everybody present and check them with a cross(?) and a water gun(?). One of the people, a young white guy, makes a break for it, but a ninja, dressed in a camouflage uniform, punches him out and down and then ties him up with handcuffs. < Man are these guys for real or what? > Nakao thinks to herself. She watches the man she thinks is the leader, press a cross to the guy's face and she watches it burn. < The guys a vampire? Oh man, this is too much. >
Suddenly one of the ninjas is in front of her with a cross. Nakao reaches out and touches it. Her hands don't burn. The ninja points her to the wall with the rest of the cleared people and she goes. She notices the Hexagonal tattoo on his arm. Her memory flashes back to her reading of the I-Ching and she remembers the symbol for chance. < Grandfather will never believe this. >
A sudden noise draws her attention to the doorway, which the ninjas had left unguarded. < Why don't they have someone guarding the door? > Nakao asks herself, then she gulps as the huge blond man with a VERY big machine gun walks through. She watches him approach and talk to the ninja leader. < Ancestor, he's a big one and a major hunk. > Suddenly, Nakao hears the sounds of another machine gun fire and someone shouts "Ironman". The big blond guy rushes back out. < So his name is Ironman? It fits. >
The sounds of gunfire come closer and Nakao watches as the man called Ironman and two more men slowly enter the room, firing all the way. The noise is deafening. The ninja's add to it by pulling out handguns as they begin to fire out of the room, giving the three men covering fire. < Ancestor, these men and women were magnificent. Like ancient Warriors fighting a battle for all of it's glory. Grandfather would weep with joy at the sight of this battle. > She sees the first vampires trying to enter the room and watches as they turn to dust, but more keep coming, ignoring the slaughter being done to them. < Shit, they're going to make it into the room. And then . . . > Nakao shudders at the image her mind has made up.
Suddenly the vampires in the doorway scream as they're hit from behind. Mulder's group sweeps into them, again, taking heads and staking hearts. About twenty of the remaining vampires are caught in the cauldron of steel and wood. Mulder's group presses forward, becoming the hammer, while Able Team and Clan Storm Shadow stand rock firm, the anvil, firing into the vampires holding them in place for Mulder's people to cut them into pieces. The fighting is brutal, but quick. The vampires are quickly killed by bullet, sword or stake.
Archer, the vampire leader, sees that a large group of his vampires are in trouble. He and a dozen other vampires move in behind the group led by Mulder. As they attack Archer suddenly notices another group of warriors coming up behind him. Cutting off his retreat and slaughtering his vampires. The most startling fact is that a small red headed woman is leading the men, most of whom are twice her size. Archer moves to attack her. The woman calmly steps inside his attack and cuts open his stomach with her sword. As she steps away Archer watches as the sword flashes back and all is darkness.
Scully calmly steps away from the unconscious vampire and orders two of her group to tie him up. She moves up to where Mulder's group is standing and gives him a kiss. "Hi sailor, you busy tonight?" She tells him with a smile.
Mulder ruefully shakes his head. "Afraid so, But I could use a long bath with all of this dust."
Any reply Scully had was cut off by Jinx. "Scully, we could use a doctor in there. A few people were hurt before we got here."
Scully gives Mulder a quick kiss and tells him. "Go kick some vampire ass, honey. I gotta go save some lives." Scully then turns to the two carrying her prisoner. "Bring him in here, we'll keep an eye on him, while you go and finish those bastards off." The two men grin and throw the shackled vampire at Scully's feet as Mulder leads the combined groups back into the supermarket and the fighting.
Nakao watches as the small red haired woman enters, carrying a Katana. She looks on in wonder as she watches all of the ninjas and the three large men give her deference as she snaps out commands. < Ancestor, she's the leader? > The ninjas begin to bring the wounded to a central location and the three large men stand guard by the door and over the two prisoners. She then watches as Scully pulls of her back pack and produces a serious medical kit as she begins to treat the wounded. < She's a doctor too? Who are these people? > Nakao watches a true professional at work as Scully repairs and patches the wounded and gives comfort to the traumatized. Nakao makes a decision and goes over to her and offers to help. "Ma'am, I've had some first aid training. Do you need any help?"
The woman looks up a Nakao and smiles. Nakao looks into a pair of caring green eyes that remind her of her grandmother. The woman asks Nakao. "What level of training do you have?"
"I passed the test for paramedic, but no position was open for me."
"Good, can you take the antiseptic spray and clean out the light wounds and scratches, then bandage them up?" Scully asks as she hands her the items.
"Yes ma'am. No problem." Nakao replies as she takes the spray, a bunch of bandages, cotton and a roll of tape. Nakao moves to the nearest victim, a boy about twelve years old and begins to clean the scratches on his arms and face. "Hi, I'm Nakao. Can you tell me your name?"
The boy whispers something and she moves in closer to hear what he has to say. "My name's Brian Jessup. Do you think my parents and older sister are still alive?"
"Aren't they here?"
"No, the monsters took them last night, before they brought you."
A lump forms in Nakao's throat < Ancestor, this is hard. > "I don't know. If they are, these people will save them. I'm sure of it. How did you get here?"
"My family was coming home from a trip to Disney World when these things grabbed us at a gas station on Monday night. It was my birthday gift." Brian tells her as he starts to cry.
Nakao gathers up the boy in her arms and holds him. She pulls him away from her and asks. "Brian, can you help me fix up the other people. They need our help right now."
Brian nods and picks up the bandages and tape and goes with her to the nearest victims, a woman and her daughter.
Scully looks on from where she is working on a man in a tattered business suit. < Good, she's keeping him busy. That'll help him in the long run. >
Brian and Nakao move on to the woman and her daughter. The woman looks up tears in her eyes as she whispers. "Who are these people? It's like they appeared from nowhere."
"I don't know who they are Miss. But, a part of their force appears to be ninjas." Nakao replies.
"Ninjas? I thought they only existed in the movies." The woman looks around at the watching ninjas and shudders. "Are we worse off? Could they be worse than those monsters?"
"No, they came here to rescue us. I'm sure of it." Nakao looks at Scully. "They even have a doctor with them."
"Then why haven't they moving us to a hospital?"
"Because those things are still out there and this is the safest place for us." Nakao's reply is punctuated with the sound of gunfire and screams. The woman hugs her daughter closer to herself, as Nakao and Brian bandage their wounds.
Six vampires attempt to escape through the rear loading docks of market. As they feel the night air on their faces the vampires smile at how they managed to escape the hunters in the market. As they move off to escape down the alley, all six feel a sudden burning sensation in their chests, just before they turn to dust. Xander, Jarod, Ice and Oz step out of the shadows, the barrels of their rifles smoking. Jarod turns on his walkie-talkie and reports in. "Lt., this is Russell, scratch six trying to get out the back. Will call back if anything else happens. Over."
"Russell, this is Rodgers, confirmed, six out, six down. Good work. Over and Out."
Mulder's group begins to sweep the vampires towards Steve's and Buffy's groups. The last thirty vampires are fighting a stubborn holding action against the combined forces, fighting from aisle to aisle. Mulder splits his group into two groups, with Abbott Michael leading one, and they proceed to clear the markets main floor, killing anything that was moving. The four groups meet in the center of the market, a dozen vampires boxed in between them. The vampires are lost and confused. Most of them have been vampires for less than twenty years. None of them have ever faced a foe armed with a sword. Guns, knives and clubs, yes, but never swords. The Immortals form a circle around the vampires. Mulder steps forward and commands. "Tell us where to find your queen. The bitch called Katherine."
The vampires are shocked. How can this mortal know of Katherine? One of the vampires faces Mulder and replies. "We will kill you mortal. You are no match for vampires."
Mulder smiles as he moves in and guts the vampire that had just spoken to him. The vampire falls to the ground and cries out in anguish. The other vampires are scared now. They have never faced mortals this ruthless and it's a shock to their minds. Another vampire steps forward and asks. "If I tell you what you want to know. Will you let me go?"
Mulder smiles as he promises. "Neither I, nor my people here will stop you from leaving the market." < But the people outside will. >
The vampire gulps and he starts. "Katherine will attack a meeting of some secret society tomorrow night. She estimates that there will be about three thousand people there."
"Very good. Now tell us where to find Katherine and the rest of her vampires." Mulder orders.
"Katherine is stay. . .Arggghhh." The vampire disappears in a cloud of dust. Another vampire stands behind him, holding a piece of wood in his hands Von Strasbourg moves forward and immediately beheads him.
Mulder now smiles. "All right, anybody else want to talk?" None of the remaining vampires moves to talk. They all eye each other and snarl. A full minute elapses before Steve orders. "Start killing them, one by one, until someone decides to talk."
The Immortals shift and suddenly the man known as Thorson moves out and stabs a vampire in the knee with his sword. While the vampires are distracted with the screaming of their wounded fellow. Argus moves in and beheads one of them. The vampires become enraged and try to drag Argus into their midst, but a field of swords and stakes prevents them.
Mulder again speaks. "Now that you know we are not playing. Tell us where Katherine is."
The vampires, acting in concert, attack Mulder. The Immortals were waiting for something like this and cut the vampires down. Killing all of them. A disgusted Mulder looks at the pile of dust and orders. "I want this place searched. Work in teams of three or more, but I don't want a stone left unturned. I want everything checked, from the basement to the roof."
Mulder motions Steve and Buffy over. "Well at least this narrows it done a bit. Let's go see how Scully and the hostages are doing."
The group walks over to where the hostages are and they greet Able team as they walk up. They make their way into the refrigerator room and see Scully working over a young woman with bite marks on her neck. Scully finishes up and brushes her hands on her pants and walks over to Mulder and gives him a hug.
Nakao watches the woman get up and approach the tall, dark man who is followed by another man and a young woman. All of them were carrying Katanas. < What the hell is going on here? A rival of seven samurai? > Nakao watches the red haired woman hugs the tall, dark man. < Damn, they're a couple. > The other two walk over and check the bindings on the two prisoners. Then come back and confer with the red haired woman and her tall, dark, partner. Nakao gathers her courage and tells Brian to stay put. She then gets up and approaches the four people. They stop speaking and she asks. "I know this might not be the time, but what's going to happen to us?"
The tall, dark man clears his throat and speaks loudly, so everyone can hear. "After we finish searching this place, making sure none of these things survive, we leave here. You will be staying." The victims groan. "About two minutes after we leave, the LAPD will move in and secure this location. They will take you all to the hospital and treat you there." The room erupts in cheers. After they quiet down, Mulder begins again. "The only thing we want is that you treat the police that come after us as the ones who saved you. You are not to tell anyone that you saw us. Am I clear?" The people in the room nod their heads in agreement.
A young man steps forward and introduces himself. "Sir, my name is Thomas Reilly, I'm a corporal in the 82nd airborne. May I ask what unit or organization you are?"
Mulder gives the young man a tight smile as he replies. "We're Section Seven Black Ops, corporal." < That should screw up quite a few people. >
Corporal Reilly immediately salutes and asks. "Sirs, Ma'ams, I request permission to volunteer for your unit. I owe these things big time and I want payback."
Steve steps forward, returning the salute and tells Reilly. "I'm sorry corporal, but our T, O & E is full right now. But, we might call on you, at a later date."
"Thank you, Sir." Corporal Reilly replies and then returns to his spot and quietly sits down.
Nakao walks over to him and asks. "What was all that about?"
Reilly looks up at Nakao and shudders before he replies. "Those people are from a group called Section Seven. They're what's referred to as a Black Operations Group." He looks at the confusion on the girl's face. "Their group doesn't officially exist, and they don't answer to anybody, except maybe, the President and then, maybe not even him. God, I just volunteered for their unit. Man, am I ever crazy."
An older man, laying down next to Reilly, tells him, in a soft Texas drawl. "No son, you're not crazy. You're what I like to call a 'doer' and these people are 'doers'. You want to do something about these things and the only way to do that is to join these people. Never be ashamed, son, that you couldn't help that little girl earlier. At least you tried, it took two of them to throw you off the third one and beat you senseless. That takes guts."
"What happened to you, Sir?" Reilly asks in a hushed voice looking over the damage the man has suffered.
The man chuckles. "I was their punching bag before you came here. I tried to stop them on six occasions. I guess it's just my stubborn streak, but I won't sit idly by and watch those things feed. The little red headed doc told me I have at least eight cracked ribs, and my right collar bone and both legs are broken. I also asked to join up with them. That little red head smiled the sweetest smile and told me 'they'd give me a call if they needed the help'. Then she told me that if I didn't stay in bed and let myself heal, she'd send over some of her men and tie me down. I told that wouldn't be necessary, my daughter could do it without any help." The man chuckles again and then smiles as he introduces himself. "But I'm being rude. My name is Joe Bradley, Texas Ranger, retired."
Reilly and Nakao introduce themselves and Reilly asks. "Mr. Bradley, what do you think of these people?"
"Like I said son, they're 'doers'. They're came here to take these things out and rescue us. I have absolutely no problem with the way they did it. I would have do it the same way if I knew what these things were."
Nakao reaches down and softly touches Reilly's shoulder and tells him. "I agree with Mr. Bradley. You wanted payback and these people are the ones giving it. < In Spades. > So it seems natural that you want to join them." She looks over at the four leaders and watches as another man quickly approaches them. He whispers something to them and all four immediately leave with him. < I wonder what all that was about. >
Nakao wanders over to the entrance and watches the four people approach a small gathering of their fighters. Unnoticed, Brian follows her to the door and they both watch as the leaders discuss something with their fighters and then suddenly a man appears near them. < How the hell did he do that? >
Hans Von Strasbourg is searching the meat and deli section when he feels it. The 'Buzz' of an Immortal. He looks around, Argus and Tyler, the two Immortals working with him are too close to have set it off and no other groups were close enough. Suddenly they hear a scream off to their left and all three rush to it's source.
The sight before them is one of hell's own creations, a young girl, no older than twenty, is hung up on a hook like a side of beef. Hans sees the intense pain in her eyes and does the only thing that he can think of. He stabs her in the heart with his sword, killing her. < I hope she forgives me when she wakes up again. > He turns to Argus and Tyler and orders them, "Help me get her down and this damned hook out of her, before she revives." The two jump to his orders and they swiftly lift the body and hook off it's rack and gently lower the girl and hook down. Then Hans orders Argus to get his friend Hanson, who was a doctor.
Argus runs to where Hanson and his two partners are shifting through some garbage, checking for vampires. Argus explains what happened and Hanson immediately leave. Argus stays behind to help Hanson's partners. Hanson reaches Hans and the girl a couple of minutes later and immediately assesses the situation. He kneels down behind her and cuts open her back and gently, as possible, removes the hook. The skin is then held closed until the healing starts. After the healing starts all three men move the girl gently to a cleaner place.
Brother Aaron rushes over to the three when he sees what they're carrying. He checks her vitals and comments. "She's dead. Why are you carrying her?"
"She's one of us. I killed her so we could remove a meat hook from her back. She'll be back in a few minutes." Hans replies.
Brother Aaron starts. "My God. Let's get her to someplace safe." He turns to one of his teammates, a man called Swenson, and orders. "Go find Steve and Mulder. They should be in the hostage room and bring them here." The man races away.
Steve has just finished talking to the hostages, when Swenson comes in. He tells them that Brother Aaron needs their presence. All four immediately leave.
As they approach Brother Aaron, Steve notices the girl on the floor and asks, "What's up Brother Aaron?"
Brother Aaron gets up and brushes himself. "This girl is Immortal. We have to get her out of here and someplace safe."
"Damn," Steve mutters. "We can't take her with us. And I don't want to loose anybody."
"Simple, call Quinn and ask him to take her back to your house. Jenny, Cordy and Willow will look after her." Buffy comments.
"About time someone thought of giving me something to do." A voice replies from behind Steve. The group turns en masse and presents weapons.
"Don't sneak up on us like that Quinn, we might have accidentally shot you." Steve comments.
"Should I be worried?" Quinn replies with a mischievous grin.
"I don't like shooting my friends Quinn, especially accidentally. Friends are too hard to come by." Steve replies.
Quinn feels the truth in Steve's words and looks over the assembled group of warriors. He couldn't sense any fear, hate or mistrust from them. < They actually think of me as one of them. I can sense no reservation in any of them. > The being called Quinn suddenly feels a deep sense of loyalty to these warriors. No other race in his long existence has ever accepted him, not after they found out what he was. They always sought to use or control him for their own benefit. And if they couldn't, then they tried to destroy him. Not these people.
Quinn quietly reaches for the girl and both disappear.
Nakao and Brian watch as the stranger walks over to the group and talks to them for a minute before picking up a body and disappearing. Before he disappears, she sees that the body is that of a girl her own age. < What the hell are these people? No one can do that. And why are they taking that body? > Then she hears a gasp next to her and she sees Brian standing there. Tears in his eyes. "That's my sister, Randi. Where are they taking her?" Then he runs out and heads straight to the assault force leaders. Nakao shakes her head and immediately follows, but is stopped by a ninja.
"Listen," Nakao begins. "A kid just ran out there. I have to get him." The ninja nods and escorts her.
Meanwhile, Brian reaches the group and he begins hitting the back of the tall, dark leader.
Mulder suddenly feels someone striking him on his back as he turns looking for the person responsible. He looks around thinking it's a vampire, but instead he finds a twelve year old boy hitting him. Mulder gently catches his hands and grabs his feet as he starts to kick. Mulder stands there holding the kid up by his arms and holding on to his legs. Scully starts to laugh, and the rest follow.
"Need a hand, Mulder?" Steve asks as he laughs.
"Hope he's not too tough for you." Buffy tells him, between giggles.
"Truly a fearsome opponent for the great Mulder. We are in awe sir, with the ease that which you hold him back." Brother Aaron quips between laughs.
"Yeah, well, he's pretty wiry and had the element of surprise." Mulder admits with a smile.
Billy walks up with a young oriental woman who rushes forward and grabs the kid away from Mulder. The kid doesn't want to go. He starts to scream. "What did you do to Randi? Where did you take her?"
"Whose Randi?" Scully asks.
"His sister. The guy who appeared and disappeared, took her with him." Nakao tells them.
"Damn." Steve mutters, then he reaches for his phone.
Quinn appears in the living room and he calls out to Jenny. "Jenny, can you and Willow please come here?"
Jenny, followed by Willow and Robert Hascombe come out of the office. When Jenny sees the bundle that Quinn is carrying, both women's hearts jump to their throats. Both share the same thought. < Buffy!? > Quinn gently puts the bundle down on the couch and walks away letting the two women go to work. Jenny turns to Quinn and asks. "What happened Quinn? Who is this girl?"
"Steve and Buffy asked me to bring this girl here. They had just finished the assault on the supermarket and they were doing a final sweep, checking for any missed vampires, when they found her. The vampires had killed her and she became an Immortal. They couldn't take her with them and Buffy suggested that I bring her here. So I did."
Jenny looks at the being who, until recently, she couldn't have believed existed and feels a warmth in her heart for him. < Goddess, I hope that all of his people are as decent as Quinn here. > Then she orders Willow back to the computer room and tells her to send out Cordelia to help. Willow goes back to the office, nodding thanks to Quinn as she passes.
Quinn, who is reading both women's emotions and surface thoughts, forces back a rush of emotion. < All of them accept me for me. None of them care about my powers or what I am. >
Robert, standing off to the side watches the emotions play across his friend's face and smiles. < Quinn is learning that not all people are the same. He doesn't have to feel alone any more. >
Cordelia comes out and as with Willow and Jenny, Quinn reads her. The only thing that he feels is a strong feeling of concern for the girl on the couch. She doesn't even notice Quinn standing there. She immediately goes to the kitchen and gathers together clean rags and sponges, as well as a tray filled with warm water. Robert goes to help her. Quinn just stands there, watching the by play between the people he has come to consider his friends and feels, a deep warmth in the center of his being, the first emotion in his long life.
The phone rings next to Jenny and she picks it up. "St. Wolf residence, can I help you?"
"Jenny this is Steve. Is Quinn still there?"
"Yes he is. Do you want to speak with him?"
"Yeah, put him on." Jenny turns around and moves to give the phone to Quinn, but he isn't there. She starts to talk to Steve, but he cuts her off. "Sorry Jenny, he just came back."
"Is there a problem Steve?"
"Just the fact that Randi, that's the young lady's name, has a protective twelve year old brother. Quinn's going to bring the brother, his name's Brian, to the house. Have Cordy and Robert keep an eye on the both of them."
"Not a problem." Jenny replies.
Nakao watches as one of the leaders calls someone named Jenny and talks to her for a few minutes, during that time the guy who took Brian's sister reappears. < Ancestor, these people are strange. > The four leaders and the strange guy confer a for a few minutes and they approach her and Brian. The guy with the cell phone puts it away and asks. "Brian, my name is Steve. Do you want to see your sister?"
Brian, now scared, nods his head yes.
"Okay here's how it's going to work. You two are responsible for each other. When Quinn takes you to my house, you will not leave, unless I or a lady named Jenny gives permission. You will not interfere in the work the people are doing there. The only thing you can do is help with your sister. Am I understood?"
Brian nod his head in agreement and asks. "Can my friend Nakao, come with me?"
Nakao looks down and Brian's scared eyes and then tells Steve. "I'll keep an eye on him and Randi. And I'll make sure Brian doesn't get underfoot."
"All right, it's agreed then." Steve then turns to Quinn. "Okay Quinn, can you please take them to my house?"
"Not a problem, Steve. I'll also stay there. If you need me give a call to the house." Quinn tells Steve just before he pops out with Nakao and Brian.
Jenny and Cordelia are cleaning the girl's wounds. As they clean the wounds, they heal more rapidly. Noticing this, Jenny starts to clean the wounds faster. As they clean they strip off the girl's torn and battered clothing. While Jenny and Cordelia are absorbed with the young girl in their care, Quinn pops in with another young woman and a small boy. The boy immediately goes to the girl on the couch, but a restraining hand stops him.
Robert Hascombe leans down and whispers. "Let the ladies work on your sister, boy. They know what they're doing."
The boy looks up at Robert with worried eyes. "Is she going to be all right?"
"Yes she is, just give her a few moments. Now, young man, it looks like you and your lady friend haven't eaten in days."
Brian looks up at the man, who looks like his sister's old boy friend, but talked like his friend Toby's grandfather and nods.
"Good, now let's see what's available in the kitchen, shall we?" And with that, Robert leads a hungry Brian and Nakao into the kitchen.
As Robert is pulling out some cold cuts and sodas out of the refrigerator, Nakao asks, looking around. "So, is this the usual headquarters for a Black Operations group?"
Robert looks up from the sandwiches he's preparing, and replies. "Pardon, Miss? Black Operations group? May I ask what you are referring to?"
"You guys. The tall, dark guy and the red haired woman told us that you were a Black Operations group called Section Seven. And we were not to tell anyone you saved us."
Robert smiles as he hands over the finished sandwiches to Brian and Nakao. Brian immediately begins to eat. Robert admonishes him. "Now lad, eat slowly. You don't want to be sick, do you?" Brian immediately slows down, as Robert turns back to Nakao. "Your questions in a moment. But first let me apologize for not introducing myself to you earlier. My name is Robert Hascombe. And you two are?"
Nakao blushes at Robert's old world manners and charm as she replies. "My name is Nakao Matosumo. This," She points to the boy next to her. "Is Brian Jessup. The girl on the couch is his sister, Randi. Now, can you answer my questions?"
Before Robert can open his mouth, Randi opens her eyes and starts to scream. All three rush to the couch where Randi is fighting Jenny and Cordelia. Robert quickly moves in and restrains the frightened girl. Brian runs up to her and yells at her. "Randi, these are friends. Stop fighting them. They rescued us." The girl, whether seeing Brian or just running out of steam, settles down. As Robert releases her, Randi, reaches out and takes Brian in her arms and mutters. "Oh God, I thought you were dead. Where are we, Brian? Who are these people?"
"Randi, these people rescued us. This big guy named Steve had you brought here because you were hurt and these women fixed you up." Brian tells her.
Randi looks over her surroundings and asks. "Where are we, and who are you people."
"Randi," Nakao begins, handing Randi her orange juice. "Relax, and drink some juice. You're dehydrated from your ordeal. I'm sure that an explanation will be coming soon." Nakao gives Jenny a look.
Jenny nods her head and replies before she goes back to the office. "Later, we've got a lot of work left to do." She leaves Cordelia and Robert to watch their three guests.
At the supermarket, Steve ordered that the two prisoners be crucified at opposite ends of the store. Steve and Buffy proceed to question the vampire called Archer, Mulder and Scully have the other vampire.
Steve begins his questioning with the old stand-by-me. After Archer is crucified, he slams a rifle butt into his shoulder joint, effectively crushing it. After Archer finishes screaming, he then calmly walks up to the vampire and tells him. "Listen here meat, that was just to get your attention. Your friend on the other side told us that your queen Katherine is planning on bringing back Throlog the Merciless. We are planning on letting him go. Can you do better and we let you go instead of him?"
Archer looks at Steve's eyes and smiles when he sees no mercy in them. "Your one ruthless mother fucker, mortal. I can almost respect you for it."
Steve gives an evil grin. "Spike said the same thing to me, before he turned tail and ran away, sacrificing every other vampire that he could."
The vampire's grin widens. "You've met Spike? And you're still alive? Damn, you must be good. But I won't tell you a damn thing mortal, count on it."
Steve turns his head and shakes it ruefully. He takes a step back and slams a stake into the vampire, just below it's heart. The vampire lets out an unearthly scream.
Mulder and Scully begin questioning their prisoner. Their routine is slightly different than Steve's. The vampire is crucified, and Mulder walks up to him and jovially asks. "You got a name, or do we just call you Sack of Shit?"
"My name is Vincent, mortal and I will kill you."
"Oh please, you are crucified against a wall and surrounded by twenty heavily armed vampire hunters. Anything you threaten isn't worth the breathe."
The vampire just glares at Mulder, when suddenly he hears an unearthly scream. He looks around and shudders.
"Oh, you must be wondering about the scream. Well a couple of my friends are asking questions of one of your friends. So far, he's told us your queen's name is Katherine and she plans on raising the demon Throlog tomorrow night. Now, we aren't totally evil, you help us and we'll let you leave this supermarket." Another scream underscores Mulder's question. The vampire licks it's dry lips and shudders.
"All right, I'll tell you this. Katherine is going to assault a meeting of some secret society, meeting in downtown Los Angeles. She plans on killing everyone there to bring back Throlog. The society has a weird name. They call themselves watchers. I don't know where their meeting was to be, just that we were to meet in downtown, in the subway system and go from there."
Mulder and Scully exchange glances and nod. They leave the vampire hanging there with a terse. "Wait here. We'll check out your story." Mulder and Scully make their way to Steve and Buffy's side and tell them what the vampire has just told them.
In the hostage area, Corporal Reilly is watching what's happening outside. Another man walks up and asks. "What's happening out there. It sounds like the gates of hell have opened up and the damned are coming out."
Reilly grimaces as he replies. "Those Section Seven people are putting two of those things to the question."
"What do you mean 'they're putting them to the question'? They're interrogating them?" The man asks.
"No, they're torturing them. And I don't mean psychologically either. I just saw one of the leaders slam a buttstock in one of their prisoner's shoulder joint."
"My God. That's cruel. How is he able to stay standing?"
Reilly smirks. "They crucified him first."
The man turns a pasty shade of green as he rushes to the rear of the room and throws up. Reilly just looks at him without any pity or remorse. < Civilians sometimes don't understand that in war, you have to do what you have to do. > Then he turns back to watch feeling respect for the leaders of this unit. Normally the officers would have the troopers doing the work, but these guys did it themselves.
Steve is shocked, < A lot of those people are my friends. > Then he turns back to Archer. "All right meat. Your friend has just told us that Katherine will be attacking the Society of Watchers. Care to confirm it."
Archer laughs fiendishly. "Yes, we will strip the Slayer of her eyes and ears. The watchers must fall, they've been a thorn in our sides for far too long."
"Guess what, moron?" Buffy asks Archer.
"What, little girl?" Archer asks, slightly confused.
"You're going after the wrong Watchers. The Society of Watchers, doesn't watch the Slayer." Buffy explains.
"They don't? And who are you to know this?" A thoroughly confused Archer asks.
"I'm the Slayer." Buffy tells a shocked Archer. "The Society of Watchers watches and chronicles the history of about ten thousand Immortal Warriors. And those Warriors are going to be extremely pissed that you morons went after their friends."
"Immortals? What are you talking about? There is no such thing." Archer laughs.
"Archer you always were a fool and an idiot, your lack of knowledge just proves it." An Immortal comes forward.
Archer looks on the Immortal coming before him. <It can't be. I left him dead, shot in the back, over a hundred and fifty years ago. > "You can't be Ranger Swenson. I killed him."
"Oh, but I am." Swenson replies with a grin.
"What is this, old enemies week in Section Seven?" Mulder comments.
"Feels like it though, don't it?" Steve replies with a grin.
Han Von Strasbourg chuckles. < It appears that we truly are the natural enemies of the vampire. How many old enemies do we have among them? >
"So Archer, it looks like the prophecy that old Cherokee medicine woman told you came true. 'That you would die by the hand of a man you had already killed'." Swenson tells him.
"No! How could you know that? I left that Indian bitch dying with her dead family around her." Archer cries out.
"I know, I was an hour behind you. But I stayed to bury them. The old woman told me the prophecy and told me where to find the man who would teach me what I was. It's been a long run Archer, but it ends here. We, Texas Rangers always bring our men to justice, no matter where they go or what they become." Swenson tells Archer.
"Do you want to tell us anything else, before we let Swenson have you?" Mulder asks.
"Yes, I do. I'll meet you all in hell. When Katherine kills the lot of you. Good, you may be, but even with the vampires slain here, she still has five hundred vampires at her command."
"Make that four hundred, we killed a hundred before we came here." Swenson replies with a smile, as he plunges a stake into Archer's heart. Archer lets out a true scream of the damned as he disappears in a cloud of dust. Swenson then turns around and admits. "Man, that felt good."
Mulder and Steve, followed by Buffy and Scully walk over to Vincent. Vincent is shaking and his eyes betray the fear he's feeling. Mulder calmly walks up to him and tells him. "My friend is a little pissed. Archer insulted him and Steve cut a hole in his chest and poured holy water down it. It appears that Steve used too much holy water and this little bit of surgery caused his heart to explode and he went 'Poof'. Would you care to answer some of Steve's questions, so he won't try and do the same thing to you?"
"But I already told you everything that I knew about Katherine and her plans." Vincent wails.
"And we thank you for that. How about locations of other vampire nests? That would be *Very* helpful and Steve might feel really thankful." Mulder smoothly replies, playing Vincent like violin.
"Yeah, there's two warehouses by the docks."
"Very good Vincent, please give us addresses." Vincent gives the addresses of the two warehouse hit earlier.
"Do you know about any other locations?"
"There is an abandoned hotel we've been using."
"Where is it?"
"On Hollywood Avenue near Vine. It's a very central location." Vincent describes the building in question. "Last time I was there, there was about seventy of us living there."
"Are there any people being held there, like they were here?"
"Yes, on the top two levels. They're kept tied up and gagged, so no one can hear them."
"Yes, the Order of Vigious has a house in the Hollywood hills."
"The Order of Vigious? What are they Vincent?"
"They're warrior vampires, Katherine has 27 of them. There used to be 30, but Katherine sent three of them against the Slayer and she killed them last night."
"Are any people being held there?"
"No, the Order doesn't allow humans to be kept where they live. They hunt every night."
"You're scared of this Slayer, aren't you Vincent?" Mulder asks, suddenly taking a different tact to unbalance Vincent.
"Yes, we're all scared of her and her mate. Before Katherine came with her army, they had Los Angeles and the surrounding towns stripped of vampires. Never in history has such a pair existed. They are like a force of nature, beyond anything we have ever faced."
"Thank you for the information Vincent, is there anything else you might know?"
"No, I told you everything. Now, please keep your word and let me go."
"Of course Vincent," Mulder replies softly, as he steps away and shoots Vincent point blank in the heart. "I release your body, so your spirit may rest in peace." Then he turns to the Immortals present. "Let's mount up and get out of here. Our job here is done."
Corporal Reilly has been listening in on Mulder's interrogation of Vincent and it's out come, and he shudders. < Man, these people are totally ruthless. But look at what they're fighting. I thought my unit had some stone cold killers, but compared to these people, those guys are pussies. > Reilly looks on as the assembled Section Seven troops leave the supermarket and he settles down, next to Mr. Bradley, to be 'rescued' by the LAPD.
"What made the lawyer go puke, son?" Mr. Bradley asks.
"The leaders of Section Seven were torturing their two prisoners. For some reason the guy couldn't take it." Reilly replies with a grin.
"Those are HARD people son. They have a hard job and aren't afraid to spill a little blood to get it done."
"That's for sure. I thought the Rangers were a tough outfit, but these guys scare me, they can be really vicious."
"Only to those things son. That little red head doc did a great job of patching me up. A person like that wouldn't be in a group like this, let alone leading it, if the people didn't care. Don't forget how that big red head screamed, when she saw that little girl being hurt. These people do care, never forget it."
Reilly nods his head and leans back to relax, he could hear the police entering the building, coming to 'rescue' them.
Outside, Cody, Frank and Bob look on as the assault and rescue force leaves the supermarket. A tired and shaken Steve waves Cody over and he tells him. "Cody, there are forty one living people in there. All of them are safe. I don't know how many dead there are, but the basement is full of bodies, as well as the meat and deli sections. The place is a fucking death house. Call Randall in with the cavalry and let's get the fuck out of here." Steve then mounts the steps to the first van and sits down. His partner, Buffy, sits down next to him and leans her head on his shoulder and closes her eyes, sobbing softly. Cody watches as Steve wraps his arm around her and softly speaks to her. Mulder and Scully follow suit, with Scully gently speaking with a downcast Mulder.
Steve leans in and gently asks a tearful Buffy. "Buffy, are you all right?"
"No I'm not. I'm the Slayer. I should have saved those people."
Steve hugs her closer to himself as he quietly murmurs. "Buffy, we can't be every place at once. The Gods know that we try, but we can't be. Yes, those people died, but at least we made the bastards who did it, pay for it."
"That doesn't give me or their families any comfort, Steve."
"I know, but at least it gives their souls some rest and their families some closure. We both know those people didn't deserve to die, but they did. We can't let this get to us. We have to go on and not sink into depression over this. Buffy, what we saw in there was just a beginning of what they're capable of. If they win, it'll be a thousand times worse. And if we sink into depression, that's exactly what we've done. Let them win."
Buffy looks up at Steve and smiles. Steve smiles back as he thinks, < Gods, just for the sight of her smile I think I could kill a thousand vampires. >
"Thanks, I needed that, Steve. You always know what to say to make me feel better."
Steve smiles back. "Buffy I'm only speaking the truth. I know it's a cold comfort, but we will kill the rest of these bastards. Hopefully before they can kill again, but we will get them."
Buffy snuggles in closer and whispers. "Thanks, I needed to hear that."
Steve gently takes his left hand and softly strokes Buffy's face with it as he quietly replies. "For you, anytime." Their conversation is broken up by Cody's soft cough. Both quietly sigh and break apart, ready for the mission ahead.
Scully watches as Mulder quietly sits by the wall with his eyes closed. She reaches over and squeezes his arm and asks in a low voice. "Fox, honey, are you all right?"
"No Dana, I'm not. God help me, but I enjoyed torturing those two. I never thought that I could, but I did. And when I killed that vampire named Vincent, I actually felt happy that I did. Am I becoming what I fear the most? A cold, callus killer?"
"No, you're not, Fox. You and I both know that. Those things were not human beings. They were cold, cruel, killing machines, that would continue to kill everything that they could. We both saw the bodies, first in the warehouse and now here. Vampires are not human beings to be given a trial, they are demons animating the dead bodies of human victims. There is no middle ground here. It's either us or them Fox, we don't have a choice in the matter. The vampires won't let us have one."
Mulder reaches over and gently squeezes his wife's hand and quietly tells her. "Thanks for keeping me sane, Dana. I wouldn't know what I'd do without you."
Dana returns the squeeze and tells him. "You're stronger than you think Fox. Just never forget it." Before Mulder can reply, Cody clears his throat getting their attention. Mulder smiles at Dana and turns to Cody.
< Damn, it must have been like a slice of hell in there. > Cody thinks to himself as he watches the hard boiled foursome comfort each other. He reaches for his radio and calls John Randall. "John, this is Cody, are you there?"
"Yes Cody, I'm here. What's the situation like?"
"Forty one survivors and a building full of corpses about sums it up, John."
The radio is silent for a moment, Randall comes back on with a tightly controlled voice. "Thanks Cody, give my regards to our 'friends', they're doing a hell of a job."
I know John, these people, are something else." < What they are, you wouldn't want to know. But knowing you, you probably already know. > Cody watches as the last of the troops mount up and the vans start up. He grabs the door of the lead van and climbs up. He walks past Ramos and tells him. "Just get us out of here, Henry. These people are tired."
Henry Ramos nods his head as he thinks. < God, what these people have done tonight. I don't think they can keep it up. >
Cody turns around and approaches the four people leading the Black Ops troops. He has secretly dubbed them the 'Four Horsemen'. He kneels down by them and asks. "Where to now? The house in the Hollywood hills?"
"No," Steve replies. "First we check in with Frohike." With that, Steve takes out his car phone and calls home.
Jenny answers. "St. Wolf residence, can I help you?"
"Hi Jenny, is Frohike there?"
"Yeah, hold on."
"Jenny put him on the radio, go to tact 4 again." Steve nods at Jarod and he immediately turns on the radio speaker.
"Hey guys, how was the all night market?" Frohike asks.
"Don't ask, Frohike. Have you got an image of the Hollywood hills house available?"
"Yeah, no warm bodies there. Are you going to hit it?"
"No, we'll destroy the place with Dragon Anti-Tank rockets in the afternoon, followed up with a physical sweep to make sure nothing survives. It's not worth the pain to go in there if there are no people to save."
"Can I do it? Oh please, can I do it?" Frohike asks like a child at a toy store.
"Frohike, what did you steal now? A stealth bomber?" Scully asks with a smile, her mood lightening up.
"No Scully, the satellite I borrowed is equipped with a 200 Mega-Watt laser gun. Willow and Jenny just finished helping me crack the firing codes. So she's ready to go, anytime you say go."
The van is silent. The occupants are speechless. Suddenly Scully starts to giggle and it's picked up by the rest of the van.
"Well, can I?" Frohike asks again, still sounding like a little boy, and the laughter is redoubled.
"Not now. You can do it ten minutes after dawn, no sooner." Mulder orders.
"All Right!!!" Frohike yells. "I get to off some vamps."
The entire van cracks up. "But first, you have to scan another nest site." Steve tells Frohike, then turns to Cody. "Cody, is there an abandoned hotel near Hollywood and Vine?"
"Yes, the old Regal Tower, why?" Cody replies, then it all clicks together. "Oh Shit, a friend of mine in the downtown division mentioned that there has been a lot less street people around. That's the nest? Damn, we've got to take it down."
"Frohike, you heard Cody?"
"Yep Steve, Willow already dug me up the address. It'll take me about twenty minutes to reposition the satellite. She's faxing over the plans right now." The plans pour out of the fax. Side, top and basement schematics. "When are you going to hit it?"
"About 04:30, Frohike. Ten minutes before dawn. According to the information we got at the last site, the hostages are kept locked up on the top floors."
"Will check and verify, Steve. This baby can give us a floor by floor assessment. What are you going to do until then?"
"Find an open diner and grab some hot food and use the rest rooms. Over and Out." Steve replies as the connection is terminated. Steve then turns to Cody and asks. "You guys know about a nice quiet place to eat and rest for about an hour, where we won't be noticed or bothered?"
Cody, Bob and Ironman smile as all three say. "Buster's" And then they laugh.
"Pardon us, but we missed the joke." Mulder comments.
"Sorry, but Buster's is a cop hang out run by a retired thirty year veteran of SWAT. His place has a large parking lot and we sometimes use it as a staging area. So we won't be anything special or new." Cody explains with a grin. < Man, I hope Kelly and the Zombies are there and not drunk. This is going to be fun. > His thoughts are shared by Bob and Ironman.
"Sounds good to me." Mulder comments, not noticing the smiles on all three faces.
"Great, I'll get the number from Henry and give Buster a call to prepare some hot food." Cody replies as he hurries to the front. When he gets to the front, he closes the door and tells Henry as he dials his cell phone. "Henry, go to Buster's. The troops are hungry and tired."
"LT, are you sure? The Zombies are usually there at this time of night." Then he sees the grin on Cody's face. "Oh shit, LT. You're still pissed at Kelly for that last practical joke, aren't you?"
Cody's grin only spreads wider as Buster himself picks up the phone. "Buster's"
"Buster, this is Cody. Are the Zombies there?"
"Yeah, they just got in. Why?" Buster
asks, suddenly suspicious of
"Are they drunk?"
"No, they're on their first beers."
"Cut them off. We're coming in for some grub and a chance to use the bathrooms. And I have a proposition for Kelly."