Part 23 - Convergence of Forces III
(Zombies Aren't Just the Walking Dead)

Buster looks over his bar/restaurant as he hangs up on Cody. He calls over his head waitress, Shelly, and tells her to cut off Kelly and his boys. Shelly looks dubious at this suggestion and asks. "You sure about this Buster? Kelly and his boys don't like being told to do anything."

"Yeah, I'm sure. If they have a problem, tell them to see me."

"Okay." Shelly replies as she goes and tells Kelly.

Shelly approaches the group of men collectively referred to as the Zombie Unit. She thinks back to what some of the other police officers had told her. < 'The Zombie's Unit is made up of the cops the department was too scared of to either forcibly retire or fire. The top brass wanted them close, to keep an eye on them. Or preferably being given proper police funerals.' >

Shelly walks up to Kelly and tells him. "Kelly, Buster said you guys are cut off." She hears growls from several of the Zombies present. "If you have a problem take it up with him."

Kelly looks at his men and the growling stops. "I'll do just that Shelly, thanks." And he gets up and calmly walks over to the bar and Buster. "What's going on Buster? Why did you cut us off?"

"Cody just called and told me to cut you off. He has a proposition for you and your guys."

Kelly lets off a smile. "Oh Cody is coming here now? This may be fun after all."

*****

Cody comes back and he, Ironman and Bob share a smile. Cody then gives his attention to the meeting that has just started. Mulder and the rest of the team leaders are tossing around plans and contingencies in rapid succession. < Man, it would take the brass hours to plan out an assault like this. These four are doing it in minutes, from fax copies of the blue prints. >

"The only problem that I can see is that the hotel plans might have changed from these prints." Steve comments, then sees Cody. "Cody, do you know any officers, who might have first hand knowledge of the hotel layout?"

"Yep, already arranged for them to meet us at Buster's." Cody replies with a grin.

"Thanks."

The van goes quiet as they make their way to Buster's.

*****

Kelly makes his way back to the table he is sharing with him men. When he sits down, one of the men, Jack Martini asks. "LT, why'd Buster cut us off?"

"Cody told him to cut us off. He and the Rangers are coming in to grab some food and make us a proposition."

This silences the assembled Zombies. They all share the same thought. When the Rangers ask for help from the Zombies, be ready for World War III. Something *VERY* serious was going down. The Zombies sober up immediately.

Kelly calls Shelly over and orders coffee for everyone. Shelly watches in shock as the men place half empty beer mugs onto her tray. Buster standing by the bar, gets the coffee urn working as he watches Kelly and his men take out their handguns and begin to take them down. Several of the men leave and come back with long bags filled with assault rifles and shotguns. The other patrons look on in shock and amazement, most of them finish their meals quickly and leave. Four men sitting at a corner table just watch what is happening, but they don't leave. After all this 'was' Buster's. Buster turns back and calls out to his busboy. "Pedro, get the green equipment box out of the storage room."

"Si, Senor Buster." Comes the reply from the kitchen as Pedro rushes to do his job. He quickly enters the storage room and brings out the green box and heads to where Buster is standing. As he leaves the kitchen, he sees the Zombies stripping down and preparing their weapons. He stops and blinks, worry and fear clearly present on his face. Buster, seeing Pedro getting scared, calmly takes the box from him and tells him to go back into the kitchen. Buster then walks over the equipment box to Kelly. Kelly looks up and takes the box and Buster's warning. "Remember, I want all of my cleaning kits back in one piece."

"Sure Buster." Kelly agrees as he grabs a bottle of gun oil. "Got any clean rags for us as well?"

Buster nods and heads to the bar, where he gives Shelly a load of bar cloths, to take back to Kelly with his coffee.

Buster leans into his bar as he watches the six police vans approach. < Six vans? Why the hell were the Rangers using six vans? >

*****

The six vans pull up and everybody gathers by the lead van. Cody calls out to the assembled troops. "All right everybody. We go in as a team. Bring your weapons, Buster will lend us his cleaning kits. So be ready to do a little work and maintenance on your guns. If anybody bothers you or asks questions, tell them to take it up with me."

And with that, the entire group enters Buster's.

*****

Buster watches as the Rangers enter his bar. He smiles as Cody enters the room followed by his Rangers. But his smile disappears as he sees Ironman and his two friends enter the room, < What the hell are Lyons and his two partners doing here? > They are closely followed by another fifty, for the wont of a better term, heavily armed soldiers. < Shit, the war has just come to LA. >

*****

Kelly, back to the door, suddenly stiffens. < No, not now. > He watches as his three oldest friends also stiffen. The rest of the Zombies notice that Kelly, Sanchez, Ricker and Koffmann were reaching for their swords. Each man in the Zombies knew about Immortals. Kelly and his three friends had saved their lives on numerous occasions. They also had a private motto. 'We all stand together, no matter what.'

Kelly feels the impact of the 'Buzz'. It hits him badly. < God, how many Immortals were there? > He looks over to Sanchez, who is facing the door. Sanchez is mouthing the words. "Oh, my God." Kelly and his three friends rise from their chairs, baring their swords. As they get up, the sounds of safeties being released is heard from the table behind them.

*****

Cody Rodgers and Bob Devlin are escorting the leaders of the Black Ops group to Kelly's table when Kelly, Sanchez, Ricker and Koffmann suddenly get up with drawn swords. The rest of the Zombies are getting up as well with weapons cocked, backing up their friends. Cody looks at Bob and mutters. "What is this? The fucking middle ages? I've seen more swords tonight than in my entire life."

Kelly looks over to Cody and Bob and tells them. "Stay out of this Rodgers, this is none of yours or Devlin's business."

"Well, it is our business when you fuck with our friends." Cody replies drawing his gun and pointing it at Kelly's head. The rest of the Rangers and assault force follow suite. The Zombies look over the Rangers and their allies and they take a deep gulp. At least fifty assault rifles and four heavy machine guns were pointed in their direction.

*****

Ian Murphy watches as his oldest friend, Kelly, stares down Lt. Cody Rodgers and he thinks to himself < Man, I've been through hell with Kelly, but this is ridiculous. >

*****

Buster and his staff are watching this scene and get ready to duck behind the bar. Buster mutters to himself < What the fuck in hell are Kelly and the Zombies trying to do? Get themselves and everybody else in this place killed? >

*****

The four men sitting at corner table look on as the situation quickly escalates into a possible shootout between two groups of cops. The silver haired leader of the group reaches for his Colt 45 and casually pulls it out of his holster. His men follow suit.

One of the men asks. "Colonel, if they start shooting, what do we do?"

"We get out of here Captain. That's what we do. Hopefully we won't have to shoot anybody to do it."

*****

Steve takes a deep breathe and let's it out in slow sigh. He steps forward and moves Cody's gun from Kelly's head. He then looks Kelly in the eye and asks. "Do we have a problem here? If so, we can take care of it next week. Right now, I am tired, hungry, thirsty and need to use the bathroom." Steve then asks Cody. "Cody, where're the officers who know the Regal Tower's layout?"

"These are the guys, Steve. The Zombies have cleaned out the Regal at least a dozen times in the last year. If anyone knows it, they do."

Kelly's head snaps around and he asks Cody. "What the fuck is going on Cody? Who the hell are these guys. I recognize Ironman and his two playmates. But these guys aren't cops. And why do you guys want to know about the Regal?

"Because we want to raid it in an hour. That's why." Steve calmly replies.

"Why do you guys want to raid the Regal, nothing's going on there."

"The vampire serial killers are using it as a base of operations. My people and the Rangers are raiding those bases of operation. We need someone who knows the layout to go over the blueprints with us." Steve replies.

"That tells me why. Not who the fuck you people are."

"We're a Black Operations group called Section Seven. We handle messy situations like this for the government, quietly. And having a shoot out in a restaurant does not qualify as quiet." Steve replies with a grin.

Kelly puts his sword down and motions his men to do the same. Kelly also notices that the Rangers and the Section Seven troops do the same. Cody also relaxes and puts away his gun. Kelly looks over the combined group and asks. "What can we do to help?"

"First of all, loose the attitude." Buffy comments.

Kelly walks over to Buffy and looms his 6' 3", 250 pound bulk over her 5' 4", 100 pound body and asks. "Or what little girl?"

Buffy smiles sweetly as she suddenly does a sweep kick and brings Kelly crashing to the floor. Before Kelly or any of his men can react, she brings a knife to his throat. "Just this." She replies with a smile, devoid of any humor. "Fuck with us and we'll kill you faster than you can say 'Oh Shit'. Am I clear?"

"Crystal clear." Kelly replies with a smile on his face. < Damn, this kid is good. I wonder how old she really is? > Kelly then accepts Buffy's hand getting backup. He feels the strength in her grip. < Shit, how strong is this little girl? >

*****

Buster looks on in shock. < How the hell did that little girl just take down Pat Kelly? > He looks on as she helps him up. < My God, Kelly is actually smiling. Now this has just got weird. > He watches as the leaders of both groups approach him.

Cody walks forward and asks. "Buster, can you clear out the restaurant?"

"Sure, after the Zombies started to clean their weapons most of the customers left. The only customers left are those four guys sitting at the corner table." Cody and his companions turn and look at the table.

"Have they paid their bill yet?" Steve asks.

"No."

Steve then puts down a hundred dollar bill on the bar. "It's now paid." Then he walks casually over to the table in question.

*****

The four men tense as the stranger in black fatigues walks up to their table. He stops in front of them and in a polite, but firm, voice tells them. "Gentlemen, I've paid your bill. Now, please leave."

The four men look at each other and the silver haired leader nods his head, and all four get up and leave.

*****

Outside of Buster's the Colonel and his three men get into their van and leave the parking lot. As they leave, the driver, a large black man with a Mohawk hair cut asks. "What did we just see in that restaurant Hannibal?"

The Colonel takes out a cigar and lights it. "I don't know B.A., but I'm glad we left when we did. Those people are serious about something and I don't want to be on the receiving end of whatever it is."

"Did you see how that little girl took that cop down. Hannibal, I've never seen anyone move that fast."

"I know Face, those people in the black fatigues stank of Special Operations. What the hell are they doing LA?"

"Did you smell that guy who asked us to leave?"

"Yeah, blood, sweat, and cordite. Those people have been in some heavy fighting. The barrels of their rifles were covered in burned powder and grease. But what bothers me the most is why those four cops pulled swords out?"

"I don't know, but it does seem weird that four LA cops were carrying swords." Face comments.

"No, what was really weird was that no one else in there thought it was weird." Murdock comments.

"What do you mean by that Captain?"

"Well Colonel, when we saw the swords, we all jumped. Us, the bartender, the waitress. But none of those people even batted an eyelash."

"You're right Murdock, I didn't notice that. Man, that's weird. B.A. turn on the radio and see if there's any interesting news on."

B.A. turns on the radio to KNEW, an all news LA station and immediately the top story of the night is heard as a reporter gives a live report. "This is Kent Stevens of KNEW. I'm reporting in from a derelict supermarket located on Piedmont in the Barrio section of Los Angeles."

"This is the third site in a series of lightning raids conducted by elite units of the LAPD, led by FBI Special Agents, on the vampire cult plaguing the city. The police have just reported that forty one hostages have been rescued and are on their way to local hospitals. The bad news is that early estimates are that there are almost two hundred victims. So far none of the cultists have been captured alive. According to Captain John Randall of the LAPD, 'All of them fought to the bitter end and were killed by the police officers and Federal Agents, raiding the cult's hideouts'."

"To recap tonight's events. The officers of the LAPD and Agents of the FBI have raided three vampire cult hideouts. The first two were warehouses located on the docks. At one location thirty hostages were rescued and are at local hospitals. The death toll at the two warehouses is confirmed at 253 dead. None of the cultists have been taken alive. And no police or Federal injuries are reported."

B.A. turns off the radio and turns to Hannibal. "No cops were hurt in the assaults? Hannibal that stinks. I think we just saw who was doing the fighting tonight."

"Yeah, I do believe we did. Let's go home guys, this town is going to be hot tonight."

And with that the van roars off into the night.

*****

Katherine listens to the radio reports with a cold fury. Suddenly, she picks up the radio and throws it into the wall with an angry shout. She looks around for something else to destroy and grabs a young male vampire and literally rips him apart with her bare hands.

Her aide, Lisa, cowers in the background, while her queen vents her fury. After she finishes, Katherine calls Lisa over. "How many of my subjects were in those locations?"

"At best estimate, My Lady?" Lisa asks, Katherine nods her head. "About two hundred."

"Two hundred? Who could have done this? Not the police. Those fools couldn't find themselves in dark room. Who? I want to know who did this?"

"Maybe the Slayer and her mate?" A vampire comments from the side.

Katherine stands rock still as she contemplates the matter. < Could the Slayer and her mate have actually done it? Or did they have help? > Katherine thinks back to what another vampire told her. She turns to Lisa and orders. "Lisa, that vampire who just came from San Francisco, have her brought here." Lisa quickly leaves to do her queen's bidding.

A few minutes later, a young woman named Caitlin enters the throne room. She bows before Katherine and waits to be called. Katherine is now pacing back and forth and finally she notices the vampire waiting for her. She looks down on her and orders. "Tell me what happened in San Francisco. Everything."

Caitlin shudders as she begins to tell Katherine about San Francisco. "Yes mistress. About five months ago, we had the run of the town. Kevin, he was the leader, had the police running in circles and they couldn't figure what was going on. Then in early February it all went to hell. A group of nine vampires attacked a bus load of tourists in the Embarcadero. One of our scouts reported all nine were killed by a man and a woman, armed with swords and stakes."

"Were they the Slayer and her mate?" Katherine asks.

"No mistress, I've seen their drawing and those two were not them. For one thing the woman had red hair and she was six feet tall. The Slayer is shorter and blonde."

"Go on with your report."

"Yes mistress. Well after the Embarcadero slaughter, Kevin found out that we were being hunted. He thought that the local police had learned what we were and had sent their Special Investigations Unit against us. So, Kevin set a trap and had Captured them. After several hours of questioning, we found out that they weren't the ones hunting us down. So, Kevin was giving the order to kill all of them, when ten vampires suddenly turned to dust. In their place were the real vampire hunters. A group of seven ninjas."

"They had tracked us down and were there to rescue the police officers. Kevin still had thirty vampires with him and ordered them to attack. After a battle that lasted barely fifteen minutes, none of them were left standing. After the battle, the ninjas untied the police officers and they started to talk. After that, the ninjas started to openly hunt us down with the help of the SIU. It took them, about four months, to kill almost every vampire in the Bay Area."

"Damn, they have allies." Katherine mutters. < This Slayer has formed a small army of hunters. Damn, she's good. Every other Slayer that I've faced has been an idiot and fought us alone with only their watchers for support. This one is truly dangerous. She must die!! >

"May I speak, My Lady?" A male vampire asks.

"Yes, you may Hector."

"Mistress, will this effect our plans for tomorrow night? Throlog has to be released at the proper moment or he will never be controlled. Do we have enough vampires to perform the sacrifice and stop the Slayer's hunters at the same time?"

"Good question Hector, maybe the sorcerer can help us?"

"But Mistress, that man is insane. He actually drinks our blood to remain alive. Who are we going to sacrifice to get the sorcerer's help?"

Katherine smiles a wicked smile as she tells Hector. "Why, you Hector."

Hector lets out a scream of the damned as he is grabbed by several vampires and he is taken to the sewer location that the sorcerer uses as his laboratory.

*****

Part 24 - Battle Plans
(No Plan Survives Contact With The Enemy)

The assault leaders meet in a side room Buster uses for special meetings. (ie. inter-department poker games) The plans are laid out and Kelly and Sanchez go over them with the leaders of the assault force present.

"Are you sure they're holding hostages on the top floors?" Kelly asks.

"Let me check in with one of my people." Steve replies as he takes out his cell phone and calls Frohike.

Robert Hascombe answers. "St. Wolf residence, may I help you?"

"Robert, Steve here. Tell Frohike to go to Tact 4, I need to talk to him."

"Certainly Steve, he'll be just a moment."

Cody turns on Buster's radio and switches it to Tact 4 and hands free operation. A moment later Frohike gets on. "Steve, I've got the information you wanted. Forty two hostages on the twelfth floor, twenty six on the eleventh, and twenty four on the tenth. I also checked the roof with the night scopes, no ones on it."

"Thanks Frohike, call us back with any changes."

"Will do. And Steve, will I still be able to take out the house in the Hollywood Hills?"

"Yes, you may." Mulder replies with a grin.

"Oh Boy. I can't wait to pop this baby's cap."

"Thanks Frohike. Keep us posted." Steve tells him, then cuts off the mike.

A curious Kelly asks. "How can he know all of that?"

"Simple, he has access to a K-H reconnaissance satellite. It has the capability to read thermal images in almost any structure."

"So how do we know that none of those people are cultists?" Sanchez asks. Rodgers and Devlin just grin, waiting for the reply.

"Because the cultists are real vampires. They have no body heat to give off." Mulder explains.

The shocked expressions on Kelly's and Sanchez's faces are etched forever in Rodgers's and Devlin's memories. A grinning Devlin mutters. "God, I wish I had a camera."

Kelly immediately loses his shocked expression and turns to Cody. "Cody are you playing with us? Vampires are only myths. I've never seen one in my entire life, and that's been a long time."

Cody slyly replies. "How long has it been Pat? Two, three hundred years? The moment you, Sanchez, Ricker and Koffmann pulled out swords, we knew you were Immortals."

Kelly is shocked again. < How the hell do they know? > "Listen here Cody, I hope your not planning on telling any one else about us."

"No Kelly, Bob and I have spent the night watching these guys," Cody points to Steve, Buffy, Mulder and Scully. "and the rest of their sword carrying friends, take the brunt of the fighting and take all of the punishment. In three raids, we've managed to kill about two hundred vampires and rescue seventy two hostages, with no injuries to our people or the hostages. Their secret is safe with us, as is yours."

Kelly looks at the group assembled before with a new respect. < Damn, these people have Rodgers's and Devlin's respect. That's a hard thing to get. >

"So what's the plan?" Kelly asks.

Steve lays out the battle plan. "I want to do a night helicopter insertion, landing the ninjas, Able Team, Cody with four Rangers and Frank on the roof and have them fight their way down to the tenth floor and hold the top three floors, securing the elevator shaft, and both stair wells, while we Immortals fight our way up from the first floor. Bob would lead the rest of the Rangers and the Zombies to secure and hold the first floor, locking down the basement and the elevators. After we sweep floors one to nine, then we would clean out the basement. Our auxiliaries, lead by Kowalski and Giles, would stand guard around the perimeter, preventing any of them from escaping out the sides or lower floors. The only problem is that we don't have any helicopters."

"How many helicopters do you need?" Kelly asks.

"Enough to carry Able Team, the ninjas, Rangers and Frank. Sixteen people, not including the pilots. Got anyone crazy enough to do a night landing, on a dark roof, in the middle of downtown LA?"

Kelly, Sanchez, Devlin and Ironman grin evilly as Cody tells Steve. "The three divine winds."

"The three divine winds?" Mulder asks.

"Banzai, Typhoon and Monsoon. The three craziest pilots in the world. I'll call them in. While we wait, you guys grab some chow."

*****

Pedro, the busboy, looks out of the kitchen at the assembled fighters and feels a shiver run down his back. He turns to the fry cook, Enrico and asks. "Enrico, who are these people? Even the Zombies watch them with fear. And those crazy policemen are not scared of anything."

Enrico finishes the last meal and he leaves his grill. He walks over to where Pedro is standing and looks out onto the bar. The sight is not a pretty one. Men and women were stripping down weapons and cleaning them. Lots of weapons. The Zombies, were sitting at their tables and drinking coffee, merely watching in silence, but keeping their weapons close to hand. Enrico crosses himself and mutters. "My God." Then he goes back to his grill.

*****

In the bar proper, Shelly the waitress, is serving food to the group that came in with Rodgers' Rangers. < My God. I thought the Zombies were bad, but these guys scare even them. Where the hell did Rodgers find these guys. >

*****

Buster watches the strange group cleaning their weapons and wonders. < What the hell have these people been doing? Their weapons look like they've been through a war. > He then turns on the radio to KNEW and listens to the top story of the night. The three lightning raids on the vampire cult. As he watches various members of the group take out and clean their swords, it hits him. < Oh, my God. These people and the Rangers have been doing the raids. Shit where the hell did Randall get these guys from? >

Buster watches as the side room opens up and the team leaders leave. Each goes to their respective groups while Cody walks up to him.

"Buster, can I borrow the phone?"

"Sure Cody." Buster replies as he hands him the cordless. Buster listens in as he reports to Randall.

"John, this is Cody. We're over at Buster's place grabbing some food and coffee. The Zombies are here as well, providing some tactical information on our next target and joining in on the fun. I need authorization for three helicopters and three pilots."

"What's going on Cody?"

"We located another cult nest. The Regal Tower on Hollywood. Our friends want to do a helicopter insertion."

"Why do they need to do that?"

"The top three floors have ninety two hostages. They want to get to them fast and secure them before they begin to take out the cultists."

"Damn, you got the copters. I'll get authorization from the chief. Who's going to pilot them?"

"I'm calling in the three divine winds." Cody replies as Buster chokes back a laugh.

"They're all suspended Cody."

"They're the best we got."

"You got them. Tell them to pick up the copters, I'll make all of the clearances."

*****

Captain John Randall of the LAPD is sick to his stomach. He and Tracy have just finished inspecting the crime scene in the supermarket. They had pulled over to a secluded spot so she could throw up. He listens as she retches up her already empty stomach behind the car. < Poor Tracy had to throw up after seeing that deli refrigerator. I can't blame her. Even the most hardened cops tossed their cookies after seeing that. > He watches as the morgue people do their job and carry out the bodies. < I used to think these people were ghouls, but no more. They've done a job that shouldn't be given to anyone and done it well. > Two of the morgue inspectors walk up to him as he waits. He recognizes the lead inspector, Reed Simms, former LAPD Homicide and his new partner Jessica Hayes.

"Hey Reed, how's Libby and the kids?" Randall asks.

"They're fine John. I sent them up to Libby's mother's house in Oregon. She's staying up there until the baby comes."

"That's good to hear Reed. You can't be too careful these days."

Reed shakes his head and gets down to business. "John, this is a mess. How the hell did this happen."

"I don't know Reed. I'm just cleaning up the mess."

"No, we're cleaning up the mess. You're just bringing it to our attention. Did you know that we're hiring freezer trucks to store the bodies?"

Randall holds himself and replies softly. "No Reed, I didn't realize it was that bad for you."

Reed Simms sees that the situation is affecting the tough homicide cop and he softly tells him. "John, you didn't create this mess. Those damn vampire cultists did. You and your people are doing a great job. One thing, where are the bodies of the cultists? So far we haven't found any."

"You won't."

"Why John?"

Randall looks directly into his old friend's eyes and tells him. "Because the cultists are real vampires."

"Please tell me your joking." Jessica Hayes asks, openly shocked at Randall's admission.

"I wish I was, but the truth is that the grey dust on the floor is the remains of the vampires. The Black Operations assault force that went through here killed everyone of them. There won't be any prisoners."

Reed and Jessica look at Randall in shock. Reed asks. "Black Operations assault force? Vampires? John, what the hell is going on here?"

"The feds sent in a secret group of vampire hunters to clean out Los Angeles. And from what I see, they're doing their job. They're supposed to hit one more site tonight and then take out the rest tomorrow."

Suddenly, Jessica grabs Randall by the throat and demands. "Where are they going to hit next, mortal? Tell me now and I'll kill you quickly."

Randall's eyes widen as Jessica's face turns demonic. < My God. She's a vampire. >

Reed, not knowing what was happening tries to pry Jessica off Randall. She reaches back and grabs his throat and forces both of them against the car. "Now tell me, or I'll slowly choke this fool to death in front of you."

"Fuck off bitch." Randall gasps out as he tries to force her hand away.

Jessica laughs as she tells Randall. "I'm stronger than either of you fools. Now tell me where is the next target." She slowly increases pressure on Reed's throat. His face is slowly turning red from the lack of oxygen.

"Drop them now or I'll blow you away bitch." Randall hears his partner order the vampire.

The vampire laughs. "Go ahead and shoot. Your bullets won't hurt me. And if you try to stake me, I'll kill both of them before you take two steps."

Tracy takes one shot. Straight into the creature's heart and the vampire's face registers a shocked expression as it realizes that she has just been destroyed. Then she turns to dust in front of Simms and Randall.

"What the hell just happened? And how did you kill that thing." Reed asks.

Tracy smiles a humorless smile as she explains. "While John was talking to the leaders of the Black Ops group, I got a box of ammo from their armorer. He told me this stuff works on vampires, but only if you shoot them in the heart. Then they go puff. Glad to see it works as advertised."

All three start as Randall's cell phone rings. As he forces his heart back into his chest, he pulls it out. "Randall here."

"John, this is Cody."

"What's up Cody." Randall asks. Cody explains the situation to him and John shudders. < The Zombies were now involved. Can this get any worse? >

A few minutes later, John hangs up on Cody and dials the Commissioner. < It just got worse. > Randall this to himself. "Sir, this is Randall."

"What do you need Randall?"

"Sir the situation has escalated, we need to use three helicopters, immediately."

"So use who ever is on duty."

"Sir, we need Takaro, Henderson and Schwartz."

"I suspended those three lunatics for reckless flying. Why do you need them?"

"I don't need them, our 'friends' requested their services."

The Commissioner sighs, but he relents. "Tell them they're off suspension. But one mistake and they get grounded permanently." Then he hangs up.

John immediately calls the chief flight officer for the LAPD. "Tony, this is John, prep three of the big Bell Rangers."

"John, who's authorizing this?"

"The Commissioner. I'll give you his home number if you want to verify it?"

"No thanks. Who're you getting to pilot them?"

"The three divine winds."

"Aren't they suspended?"

"Not anymore. The Commissioner just lifted their suspension."

"Who are they picking up? And where?"

"A combined assault group made up of Zombies and Rangers. They're waiting at Buster's."

"Zombies and Rangers? Working together? John, has hell just frozen over?"

"No, but it's come to LA and they're our best chance at stopping it."

"I'll get the copters prepped and ready. Just get their butts over here."

"You got it Tony and thanks."

*****

Cody calls Charlie 'Typhoon' Henderson at his house. A sleepy Henderson answers. "This had better be important."

"Get your lazy ass out of bed Charlie." Cody tells him.

"Cody? What the hell are you doing waking me up at three in the morning?"

"Charlie, get up and get your two partners. I need you for a job."

"But we're suspended. The Commissioner's orders."

"They've been rescinded. Now get moving. You have three choppers waiting for you at the field and when you get them, bring them over to Buster's. He'll have fresh coffee waiting for you and an assault force to pick up."

*****

After Cody's call Charlie Henderson immediately gets up and calls his two partners, Banzai and Monsoon. Charlie explains the situation to them. Neither asks any questions as they immediately get dressed and leave for the air field.

*****

Part 25 - Dinner Conversations

Steve, Buffy, Mulder and Scully grab a table and pull out their weapons and begin to clean them. Shelly walks over and asks. "What can I get for you?"

"Two cheese burgers, well done with a side order of fries." Steve replies.

"One cheese burger, well done." Buffy replies.

"Two bacon cheese burgers, with a side of onion rings." Mulder replies.

"Garden salad, dressing on the side." Scully replies.

"Anything to drink?" Shelly asks.

"Coffees, for all of us." Mulder replies.

"Do you want any gun oil or rags?" Shelly asks, seeing them cleaning their guns. < This is the only job where that question has ever come up. >

"Both would be nice." Buffy replies with a smile. "Thanks."

"Your welcome." Shelly counters as she leaves to get their orders. < Well, at least they're polite. >

After Shelly leaves, Buffy asks. "So do you guys think we can take these vampires?"

Steve sighs as he replies. "Buffy, I'm not too worried about tonight, but tomorrow, they'll know we're coming, so expect a harder fight. I think we should call in some more friends for backup. What do you two think?

Mulder and Scully look at each other and nod their heads, Mulder speaks for both. "We agree. Getting in some more fighters would only help us and kill more vampires. So, who are we going to call in?"

"I was thinking about our friends from last time to start with. And I have a few friends that still owe me favors. Maybe Quinn could help get them here as he did Abbott Michael and rest."

"Not a bad idea. I'm sure he would help with that." Buffy replies.

A quiet Scully looks thoughtful and finally she asks. "Steve, I don't know about Quinn. He claims to be an omnipotent alien, but have you ever considered his motives? I understand that you like him, but what's in it for him?"

"One word Scully, 'Friendship'." Steve replies with a smile.

"Oh, please it can't be that simple." Scully scoffs.

"That's the woman I love." Mulder comments with a smile. "The professional skeptic."

"Don't patronize me Mulder. I just can't believe that this being is doing this for friendship. It can't be that simple."

"Oh but it can." Steve replies with a smile. "First of all lets start with us 'Immortals'. How many of our normal friends know that we're Immortal? Mulder, Scully, please speak up."

"No one really, besides Buffy's and your friends. None of ours do."

"Let me ask you this. Before you met up with Buffy and me and our mutual friends, how lonely was it?"

"All right, I admit it. I was lonely, even though I had Mulder. I really had no real friends left. I was scared of watching them age and die. I didn't want that and I distanced myself from them. So what's your point?"

"Now imagine an individual who has almost ultimate power and has lived for far longer than any of us can imagine and has seen so much that would boggle our minds and maybe even drive us insane if we saw it."

"All right your point of view works for Immortals, but what does it have to do with Quinn?

Buffy giggles as she catches onto what Steve is pointing out. "Dana, the guy's lonely. He wants to have friends. People who aren't scared of him or what he is or can do. Look at why he's helping us. A vampire tried to kill his 'friend' Robert. He feels that he owes us for taking them out. He knows that he can't kill all of the vampires in the world, but he can help us in other ways. That's what he told us earlier tonight. And I believe him."

"I also agree with Steve and Buffy, Scully. Quinn just wants to have some people who treat him as a friend and not as potential enemy or horn of plenty."

The conversation goes quiet as Shelly returns with the gun oil and clean bar towels.

*****

Ian Murphy watches as the Black Operations troops clean their weapons and grab some food. When the swords come out for sharpening and cleaning, he asks his friend Dave Ricker "Dave, how many of them are like you?"

A nervous Ricker replies. "At least twenty of them, if not more."

"Damn. What can we do if they try and take your head?"

"Get out of the way, Ian. Your life isn't worth it." Then Ricker quiets down as Kelly and Sanchez approach. When both get close, Ricker asks. "What's the situation Pat?"

Pat Kelly takes a deep breath and tells his men what the situation is. After he completes his explanation and their role in the fighting, the Zombies perk up. Action at last. But Koffmann asks. "Pat, can we trust these guys?"

"Yeah, I think so. They're here to take out real vampires. Not other Immortals. One more thing, we're joining in the main assault."

"We are?" Murphy asks.

"Only Immortals, Ian. We don't want our mortal friends to get hurt."

Before Ian can reply, Xander, Oz and Jarod walk up to the Zombies table carrying ammunition boxes. Without introductions, Xander begins. "Gentlemen, please remove all ammunition from your magazines and replace it with the ammunition that we're providing."

"Like hell I will." Pablo Garcia replies. "I ain't using some strange ammo in my gun. You guys can go fuck yourselves."

"All right then, but when we hit the Regal Tower and some of the vampires decide to have you for dinner, and your bullets don't stop them, then too bad." Xander replies sarcastically. The rest of the Zombies take the ammo and load up. Garcia follows suite a few minutes later.

Martinez asks. "Got anything for my SPAS 15?"

Xander shakes his head. "Sorry dude, only got Dragon's Breath and Devastator shells. And the mission outline doesn't call for those particular party favors."

"Bummer, is it all right if I use Nitro Magnums loaded with BBs?"

"Only if you aim for the head or neck and no ones behind it."

"Not a problem." Martinez replies with a grin. < Damn, I like this guy. >

*****

Brother Aaron looks over the crowded restaurant and smiles. He leans over to Abbot Michael and comments. "God Michael, I never thought that I'd be sitting in a bar with thirty seven Immortals and no ones tried to kill anyone else."

"I know Aaron. The times certainly have changed. I never thought that I'd be out here hunting down vampires with an assault rifle." Michael ruefully chuckles as he loads his freshly cleaned AR-15 with a full magazine.

"But at least it's good for the soul."

"Of that, I have no doubts." Michael replies and they both chuckle.

*****

Hans Von Strasbourg is sitting with two of his old Immortal friends, Hanson and Argus. As they eat, each comments on their feelings about their work this night.

"I can't believe that I've never seen one of these things in the last thousand years." Hanson comments.

"They're hard to spot." Hans replies. "They tend to attack in areas where there are few people. Only in the last hundred and fifty years have they begun to move into the cities. And when in the cities, they prey mostly on the unwanted, the outcasts, single travelers, people who wouldn't be missed."

"I still can't believe the slaughter I saw tonight. Those things are evil incarnate. When this started, I thought that it was a trap formed by those two." Argus looks over to where Summers and St. Wolf are having their meal. "To get some easy Quickenings. But after all of this, I can't argue about their honesty and dedication."

"I thought the same myself," Hans admits. "But after what we were shown and after what we've done tonight, I have no doubts about those two and their companions."

"Was that vampire really your cousin, Hans?" Hanson asks.

"No, that was the body of my cousin. The demon who killed him took over his body and his memories. I blame the demon, not Eric for all of the suffering it caused. My destroying the demon and the body, only put Eric's soul to it's final rest."

"So are we going to continue to help? After all this is over, I mean." Argus comments.

"I, for one, have no problem with doing this type of work through eternity." Hans replies.

"You've been hunting vampires for three hundred years. What's it like?" Hanson asks.

"A lot of pain. But it balances out when you see the eyes of those that you have saved. Back in 1843, I was passing through the Spanish/French border when I came across six vampires fighting a young girl. Naturally, I went to help and between the two of us, we were able to kill them. The girl turned out be the Slayer, her name was Edith Cosgrove. After I explained to her who I was, we joined forces to clean out the district.

"Six days into our hunt, we came across this small village that was being ravaged by a large group of vampires. All of the adults had been slaughtered and only the children were left. The vampires were using them as playthings. They were slowly torturing them until they couldn't take it, then the vampires would suck them dry. Edith and I immediately attacked and killed most of the vampires. The leader, a brute named Carlos took three small children as hostages and ordered us to let him go. When I saw this, I immediately shot him in the head with my rifle. The shot caused him to drop the children and Edith was able to stake him. After we killed the last vampire, we surveyed the village. A hundred and four dead, the only survivors, nineteen children under the age of ten. Naturally, Edith and I got the children out of there and we took them to a convent she knew about. The sisters took the children in and gave us shelter for a few days to rest. I'll never forget those children's eyes as we left to hunt again. They're the reason I'll continue to fight."

Argus and Hanson exchange glances as both make a decision. As one they turn to Hans and tell him. "Hans, if you want to continue hunting these things." Argus starts.

"Then would you mind us for company?" Hanson finishes

Hans' mouth spreads into a wide grin as he claps his two friend's shoulders. "I wouldn't want it any other way."

*****

Tommy sits down with the rest of his clan and he briefs them on their part of the mission after he finishes, Tommy adds. "Damn, it feels like we're back in G.I. Joe, doesn't it."

Jinx chuckles and comments wryly. "Well Tommy, you were the one who said that we didn't have enough challenges in life. I think this one rates up there."

Scarlet chuckles as she replies. "I agree with Tommy the command structure does remind me of G.I. Joe. I wonder if anyone here also served in a similar unit?"

*****

The Immortal known as Thorson, having finished his meal and cleaning and reloading his guns, is discussing the night's events with several other Immortals. "If I hadn't witnessed tonight's events, I wouldn't have believed it."

"I know, this is a situation where reality is thrown out." An Immortal called Raji replies.

"Did you see the look of horror on the faces of those corpses at the supermarket? Especially the children's? I'm going to have nightmares for centuries after this is done." A man called Hutch admits. "The only thing holding me together is the fact that I was able to kill a few of the monsters that did it."

"I concur." A man calling himself Felix agrees. "I hope to continue doing this 'service', because it beats playing the 'Game' hands down. Killing these things is a gift to humanity and truth be told, I don't mind giving something back, for all of the kindness and friendship, that many normal people have shown me over the centuries."

*****

Robert McCallister is sitting down with several Immortals whom he has befriended over the centuries. All of them are commenting on the night's events.

"So Robert, you fought these things five months ago? A man called William asks.

"Yes I did, why?"

"We are shocked old friend, that you did not have the courtesy to invite us on that hunt." A man called Hernandez replies with a smile.

Robert takes a deep breath and sighs. "So, you would have joined in on that little jaunt?"

"Aye, all of us would have wanted to be in on that battle. God, the way you and your friends fought that day. It was a thing for the bards to sing about. Robert you were greedy for not allowing us to share in the glory."

Robert smiles at the good natured ribbing he was getting. It felt good to be among friends and not worry about someone losing their heads. "Are you willing to continue fighting these things? After we finish here?"

A chorus of yeses answers him. As he looks on his friends, he feels that the so-called 'Game' was finally dead. And that the Immortals could take their place in the world as befitted them. It's defenders and champions.

*****

"God Ice, did you think when you woke up this morning that we would be hunting vampires in Los Angeles with a Black Operations group?" Christine Kowalski asks.

"Never crossed my mind Christine. This situation has just been too weird. Vampires, demons, Immortals, ninjas, an alien and a covert operations unit. The Twilight Zone should have shows this good."

"You never should have run into Mulder in that hallway, Christine, that's what started everything." Charlie replies with a grin.

"Don't blame me. Tanaka and Daniels assigned us to this case, remember? If we can blame anyone it's those two weasels"

"Don't forget, we were going to volunteer for it anyway. So, let's just make the best of it." Alphonse replies with a grin.

"Yeah, we're here and doing the job. So let's not bitch about it." Ice replies as he finishes putting together his H&K 93 and drives home the magazine for emphasis.

*****

The Rangers are sitting together in their own section. Jarod watches and listens as the rest of his unit goes over the night's events.

"I can't believe what's been happening." Officer Rita Morales comments. "We're fighting actual vampires. Blood drinking, fangs in the face, vampires."

"Believe it." Henry Ramos replies.

"I still can't get over how these people," Henderson looks over the assembled Immortals, Slayerettes, ninjas and FBI personnel. "Can so calmly do what the hell they are doing. I know Ironman and his two friends can be stone cold killers, but these people are on another level."

"Don't forget what they're facing." Jarod comments. All faces turn to him. "These things have absolutely no mercy. I saw the bodies of their victims. None of them died easily and if we leave any of them alive, they'll just kill again and again and again. It's a never ending cycle with these things and if they get a chance to make more of themselves, they will."

"And how do you know so much about vampires?" Thompson asks.

"When I was first assigned to this case, I did a little research. Plus I asked Xander and Oz some questions. They were quite free with the information." Jarod replies with a smile.

"So what did you dig up?" Cody Rodgers asks as he and Bob Devlin sit down.

"Oh, a few tidbits."

"So spill Russell, before I'm tempted to have you pick up targets at the gun range. While we're practicing." Rodgers replies with a grin.

"Well first of all, the girl, Buffy Summers, is what's called a Slayer. What that means is that she is somehow gifted with incredible strength and speed to fight and kill vampires. She can also sense them. A sort of early warning system and locator rolled into one. Steve St. Wolf, he's Buffy's boyfriend by the way, is an actual demon hunter." The table goes quite as most of the SWAT team takes a deep breath. "He joined up with her about five months ago and they Mulder and Scully and a few friends destroyed about two hundred vampires and since then, Buffy and Steve have been cleaning out most of southern California. The ninjas are the Storm Shadow Clan. They've been doing the same work in the Bay area. Up there, they've worked with the SF PD's Special Investigations Unit. Mulder and Scully are real FBI agents, they run what's called the X-Files Division of the FBI."

"What're the X-Files?" Cody asks.

"They investigate the paranormal, specializing in alien encounters."

"My God, what the hell are we facing here, Cody?" Rita Morales quietly asks.

"Our job Morales, our job."

"Don't give me that Bullshit LT. We didn't sign up to hunt monsters." Thompson replies.

"You're not." Cody points out. "They are the ones doing all of the fighting and the bleeding. You people have only been sitting on your collective asses doing perimeter duty and driving. So don't bitch. I feel damn lucky that we have them, their weapons and their expertise. How bad do you think it would have been if we had attacked those vampire nests with regular ammunition?"

All of the SWAT officers look at each other and shudder. Several rub their necks and wince, imagining the outcome of such an assault.

Jarod then speaks up. "I agree with the LT. We would have been dinner for those things and I want revenge for what they've done to the innocent people of Los Angeles, especially the kids."

"I'm glad you feel that way Jarod, are you willing to volunteer for a helicopter assault?" Cody asks with a grin.

Jarod smiles as he tells Cody. "Anytime, anyplace, LT."

"All right, here's the plan." Cody goes over the assault plan with his people and asks for three more volunteers. Morales, Thompson and Ramos also volunteer after hearing what the plan entailed.

*****

Carl Lyons and his two partners are sitting alone and relaxing. Lyons looks over the assembled fighting force and smiles.

Gadgets seeing this asks. "So, what's on your mind, Ironman?"

"Just thinking about Sue and Mike Reynolds. I'll be able to tell their kids that their parents' killers are gone."

"Yeah, that does warm the heart. What do you think of Mack's friends?" Politician asks.

"Mack is going to owe us big time for this. I plan on asking for a month's leave after this." Lyons replies with a grin.

"I'm sure Barb will let you have it. When hell freezes over." Gadgets replies with a smirk.

"Do you guys think that Mack is also an Immortal?" Politician asks.

"That would explain how he was able to survive so many 'deaths'." Lyons replies with a grin. "Could you imagine Hal's response if he finds out about Mack's Immortality?"

"I think that cigar of his will finally fall out." Gadgets replies with a grin. All three men chuckle at the thought. As they finish laughing, they notice Steve St. Wolf approaching.

He sits down at their table and asks. "Carl can you get in touch with Mack?"

"Why?"

"We're going to need some help tomorrow night and I want to call in as many people as possible."

"I'm sure we could call him after we hit the Regal Tower. Do you want just Mack or can we invite the rest of our organization's field personnel as well?" Carl asks.

"Who?"

"Phoenix Force is the international anti-terrorist branch of our organization. They could lend a hand."

"If you three and Mack vouch for them, I have no problems. But have them bring their own guns. My armory's a little light." Steve replies with a smile.

"Not a problem." Lyons replies with a knowing smile, patting his M-60 E3.

*****

Part 26 - Three Winds
(How to Deflate a Divine Wind's Ego)

Charlie 'Typhoon' Henderson is the first of the Three Divine Winds to arrive at the air field. He finds Lt. Anthony DeGrasi, prepping the LAPD's three big Bell Jet Rangers. As DeGrasi works on the first copter, Henderson grabs a clipboard and starts to prep the second. A few minutes later Takaro and Schwartz enter the hanger and they begin to prep the third bird. Ten minutes later all of the copters are reviving up and the Three Divine Winds take to the skies of Los Angeles once more.

Fifteen minutes later, the three birds land in Buster's parking lot and the three pilots get out of their birds and walk to the bar. As they walk into the bar, Typhoon mutters. "I wonder what's going on? The Commissioner swore to God not to let us fly again. Who's got the juice to make him say 'uncle'?"

"I don't know, but I'm glad they did. I was going nuts sitting around all day. It feels good to be flying." Banzai replies.

Monsoon is more worried about staying awake as they enter Buster's. "I hope Buster's got the coffee going. I could kill. . . Oh Shit!?" The sight of so many people and weapons shocks the three men into silence.

Typhoon looks at the assembled fighters, not believing what's in front of him. He watches as Cody Rodgers and Pat Kelly detach themselves from their respective units and approach the them Cody is the first to speak. "Typhoon, about damn time you three got your lazy asses here. C'mon, we've got to go over the assault plans with you before we go."

"Assault plans?" Banzai nervously asks, wondering who the hell these people were with the Zombies and Rangers.

Steve calls together the separate units and starts to go over the assault sequence with them. Buster leans on his bar, listening with a practiced ear. < Damn, this guy is good. He's been able to cover almost every contingency. >

"All right, the assault will work as follows. The helicopter assault with Able Team, Storm Shadows, Frank and five Rangers under the command of Cody will leave at 04:20 and hit the nest at precisely 04:30. They will force their way down to the tenth floor, removing any hostiles they encounter and secure both stairways and the elevator. Able Team and Frank will secure the stairwells, while the Storm Shadows will search out and destroy any hostiles hiding among the hostages. Cody and his Rangers will be the flying reserve, helping them both. At no time are any of the hostages to be released. They could possibly panic and try and run, causing us no end of problems."

"The main group will leave here at 04:10. We will drive to the site and reach it hopefully at 04:31. Perimeter and blocking forces will be under the command of Kowalski and Giles. You two will have Ice, Charlie, Alphonse, Xander, Oz and Amy. You'll set up a perimeter around the hotel, allowing no escape. The three helicopters are to use their search lights to light up the area, preventing any of the cultists from escaping."

"The main assault will be made up of the remaining forces not already assigned and will attack in two stages. The main force will hit the hotel, securing the stairways and elevator. Then we will clean out the first floor. After the first floor is cleared out, the remaining Rangers and Zombies will move in and secure the first floor, any basement openings and the bottom of the stairwells. The main force will then move up the stairway to the second floor. Three man blocking forces will be left to secure each stairwell, preventing anything from coming down or past us. As each floor is cleared, we will move up one until the entire hotel is cleared out. After we secure the hotel, we'll worry about the basement. Any questions?"

Buster raises his hand. Steve, seeing this, asks politely. "Anything you care to add Buster?"

"Yeah, who's handling crowd control?"

"Crowd control?"

"Yeah, that area is full of people, the moment you start, they'll come out in a rush and try to get past your people, just to see what's happening. Eight people is not enough, you'll need at least forty officers, in uniform, to help."

Steve turns to Cody, Kelly and Ironman and asks. "Know anybody who can help?"

"Not a problem. I'll just call John and get the officers from him." Cody replies as he reaches for the phone and dials. The phone is immediately picked up.

"Randall here."

"John, This is Cody."

"What do you need now Cody?"

"Forty officers to handle crowd control, when we pull off the raid in about thirty minutes."

"You got em. Where are they to meet you?"

"At Buster's, where else?"

*****

Randall turns to his partner, Tracy and tells her. "Get forty officers and go to Buster's. I want you to handle crowd control for our 'friends'. Reed will drive me back to the station."

"Not a problem." Tracy tells him as she gets in their car and drives over to the field Sergeant.

Once Tracy gets there, she approaches Sgt. Anthony Dabrowski, a twenty year veteran of LAPD. "Tony, I need forty officers A.S.A.P."

"What's up Tracy?"

"Our 'friends' need forty officers for crowd control. They're about to hit another target and it's in a populated area."

"Who's going with them? You or Randall?"

"I am."

Sgt. Dabrowski immediately gets on his radio and calls in various units. A few minutes later, forty three officers and three dogs are clustered around Tracy's cruiser.

Tracy steps forward and explains the situation. "All right people, we have a situation. We will be doing one more raid tonight. You people will be handling crowd control while the people who have been doing the last three raids, raid another site. Any questions?"

"Yeah, who the hell has been doing the work tonight?" One of the officers ask.

"That's on a need to know."

"Do you know?" The same officer asks.

"Yes I do and you don't. Any more questions?" No one bothers, knowing that they won't get a satisfactory answer.

"The rendezvous is Buster's place. We will meet up with the assault force there and follow them to the next site and WE will cordon off the area, not letting anyone in or out, especially reporters. Am I understood?"

The assembled officers chuckle and nod their heads in agreement. Tracy then gets into her car along with Dabrowski and they head out in column.

*****

Fifteen minutes later, twenty patrol cars pull up to Buster's. As they get out they see the six LAPD vans parked near the entrance and the three Bell Jet Rangers. Tracy gets out and yells to the officers. "We have five minutes to spare, most of you stay by your cars, five of you come with me and get your partners some coffee." Immediately five officers detach themselves and follow Tracy and Dabrowski inside.

Tracy leads the six officers into Buster's as she gets inside she orders. "Buster, make up forty five cups of coffee to go." Then she walks over to where the leaders of the combined assault force are waiting for her.

"Tracy, glad to see you again." Steve replies.

"Glad to see you still alive and kicking. So what's the call?"

Steve shows her the plans laid out on the table by him. He gives her a complete breakdown of the assault and what his plans are. Tracy looks over the plans and asks. "They want to know who you people are. What do I tell them?"

"Tell them that we're Section Seven, Black Operations, that should cool them down." Scully tells her with a smirk.

"You're kidding right?"

"Nope, that's what we've been tell the hostages, so why not the cops as well?" Mulder comments with a wicked grin.

Tracy gives Mulder and Scully a grin and calls over Sgt. Dabrowski and the five police officers.

*****

Sgt. Dabrowski and his five officers stand in the door way, open mouthed. The sight of so many weapons and people obviously very comfortable with them does not sit well with the LAPD officers. One of the officers whispers to Dabrowski. "Sarge, isn't that Ironman and his two friends standing over there?"

"Yeah, and there's Cody Rodgers of the Rangers and Pat Kelly of the Zombies standing together. I thought those two hated each other, but they're standing there like old friends. But, who the hell are these other people?"

"I don't think we should know, Sarge. They look like the type that doesn't play games."

Before Dabrowski can answer, Tracy calls him and the five officers over to the planning table. "Sgt. Dabrowski, met Steve St. Wolf, Section Seven, Black Operations Field Commander."

"Section Seven, Black Operations? What the hell is that? Military?" Dabrowski abruptly asks.

Non-pulsed, Steve replies. "Our organization doesn't officially exist, Sergeant. Our orders are to take down the vampire cultists and that's exactly what we're going to do. Now, I need you and your people to handle crowd control for me while I attack another cult site. At present, they are holding ninety two hostages at this site and I want to get them all out alive and we do not need any distractions while we're doing it. Do you have a problem with this?"

"No sir, I don't. Thank you for giving it to us straight, for once." He looks pointedly at Tracy, who blushes. "Now what's the assault location and your plan?"

Steve goes over the assault plan with the Sergeant and his five officers. By the time he finishes, Dabrowski gives a low whistle and comments. "Pardon me sir, but I think you're all nuts to do this. But I don't see any other way to save those hostages." He then turns to Ironman. "Lyons, you always were one crazy mother fucker, but you got the job done. I'm glad to see that you have company."

"Then everything's settled." Steve comments as he gathers up the plans and tells Dabrowski. "Let's get this operation under way. You, Sergeant and Det. Vetter will be in charge of the outer defenses. My people will work the inside. They will shoot anybody attempting to leave or enter the building. So don't interfere."

"I don't like that order Sir. Civilians could get hurt."

"I'm sorry, but we'll try to save everybody that we can, but these things do not play games. They have to be taken out hard and quick. There is no way around it. The final authority rests with me. And I'll be responsible for everything that happens here. Am I understood?"

"Yes sir, understood." Dabrowski replies with respect. < This guy's the real thing. A leader who people would follow to Hell itself and back. And from what I've seen tonight, they already have. Dad told me about guys like this who fought with him in WW 2, but I never believed him, until now. >

Dabrowski shakes himself out of his reverie as he hears St. Wolf order. "All right people, let's mount up and move out. The helicopter assault force will leave ten minutes after we do. The helicopter assault will be first, then we hit them about two minutes later. Now does anyone have anything to ask?" Steve looks around, and sees only grim determination on everyone's faces. "All right people the night's not getting any younger, let's go." And the combined assault forces leave.

*****

Buster watches them leave and shudders. Shelly walks up to him and asks. "What just happened here Buster?"

"Nothing Shelly, nothing at all." Buster replies as he hands her an envelope.

"What's this?" Shelly asks as she removes two one hundred dollar bills from the envelope.

"Your tip." Buster tells her as he hands two similar envelopes to Pedro and Enrico.

*****

A few minutes later, Buster's three employees leave. As Shelly closes the door behind her, Buster waits a full minute, then he walks over and locks the door. After that he picks up the phone and dials a memorized number. The phone rings at least a dozen times at the other end, before it's picked up and a sleepy voice asks. "Who is this?"

"Francis, this is Buster. Are Davis and Reynolds still awake?"

"No, both are asleep. Why?"

"Wake them up, I need to talk to them." Buster replies as he scratches the tattoo on his left wrist.

"Is it important?"

"Yes, it is."

"All right, give me a minute."

Several minutes later, Greg Reynolds gets on the phone. "Buster, why are you waking Bill and me up at." He pauses a minute to check his watch. "4:35 in morning."

"Can you put me on speaker? I have to report a meeting."

Several seconds later, Greg gets back and his voice sounds distant. "You're on speaker. Bill and Francis are here as well."

"A couple of Immortals getting together is what you woke us about? Couldn't it wait until morning?" Bill Davis chimes in.

"Bill, Greg, it wasn't two Immortals. In my restaurant, just a little while ago, there were, if I'm right," Buster pauses and continues in a hushed tone. "Thirty to forty Immortals. Heavily armed Immortals."

"Thirty to forty Immortals? That's impossible. The largest group of Immortals that we've ever had on record is ten." Bill Davis replies.

"What do you mean by 'heavily armed'?" Greg Reynolds asks.

"They were equipped with enough fire power to start a small war, and keep it going for at least a week."

The silence on the phone is ominous. Finally Greg Reynolds asks. "Did anyone try to take a head?"

"No, they were here to get together with my four. They needed information to take down the vampire cultists and from the news reports coming in over the radio, they've been doing it all night long. Now, they're going to raid another site, the Regal Tower on Hollywood."

"Who was there. Did you recognize any of them?"

"Yes I did and it scares me."

"Go ahead, you've already shocked us awake. More couldn't do any harm."

"My ususal four were here. Kelly, Sanchez, Ricker and Koffmann. But then this large group comes in with an LAPD SWAT officer named Cody Rodgers. I recognized Cassandra, Robert McCallister, the two Immortal monks, Aaron and Michael, Basil St. John, Juan Hernandez, Hans von Strasbourg, plus a bunch more that I recognized from photos."

Greg and Bill look at each other in shock and wonder. Finally Bill asks. "Is there more?"

"Yeah, the people they came in with. They had three guys with them that I know are black operations. In fact, that's how they described their group, as a black operations group called Section Seven."

"Who was the leader? McCallister or Cassandra?"

"No, a guy named Steve St. Wolf. I don't know if he's an Immortal."

"He is." Greg confirms to Buster's dread. "But what the hell is he doing leading that kind of group?"

"Why do you say that?" Buster asks.

"Because, on the Immortal scale of things, Steve St. Wolf is young, very young." Greg replies.

"How old is he?" Buster asks.

"He became an Immortal in 1983. Barely fifteen years." Bill replies.

"What the hell is going on?" Buster asks.

"We don't know, but one thing is certain. The Immortals are not playing the 'Game' anymore. We've had only one report of an Immortal dying in the last five months and that was an old blood feud. And that worries me." Greg replies.

"Why?"

"Because, what are they going to do now?"

"I don't know, but if what they're doing now is an example, I don't have a problem with it." Buster replies.

"What do you mean?" Bill asks.

"According to the news reports, they've rescued seventy one mortal victims of the vampire cult and put paid to an unknown number of mass murderers. If this is going to be their new hobby, I'm going to lift a glass and thank God the 'Game' is finished."

"We need to contact the council about this." Bill comments.

"And tell them what? That the Immortals have banded together and are going around rescuing people from serial killers?" Buster asks.

"Exactly that." Bill comments. "You know Joe Dawson is being put on trial for helping the Immortals. This might save his life."

"I'll be there, then." Buster replies and hangs up the phone.

*****

Bureau 13 Headquarters - Some Where Unknown

Horace Gordon strikes his fist on the desk and yells. "What the hell is going on in Los Angeles?! You people are supposed to be defending the American people from things like this."

The groups arrayed before him jump and mutter among themselves. Finally Eddie Alvarez of Team Tuna Fish steps forward and replies. "Sir, Team Angel is in Northern California fighting a demonic plague, there is no way they could be in two places at once and the rest of us have been handling various other problems across the country. We did not have the manpower to stop this thing from happening. Who would have figured a group of vampires would try to raise Huitzilopochtli in Los Angeles."

"We should have. Now we have to figure out how to stop it." Gordon answers as a centaur clerk rushes in. Gordon notices and asks. "What's happening Dimitri?"

"Sir, the news just reported that three vampire sites have been taken out by the LAPD!"

The room erupts into pandemonium. Gordon looks at the centaur in shock. "Who the hell could have done it? We don't have any forces in the area."

"One of our agents in the area, an FBI agent by the name of Doug Simon, has questioned several of the survivors. They all say that a Black Operations group called Section Seven had rescued them. All of the hostages describe a heavily armed group of people rescuing them, but not taking any prisoners." Dimitri replies.

"Who the hell are they? And how are they taking out the vampires. And who's backing their play?"

"We don't know sir. We tried to send in additional personnel, but there's a mystic barrier blocking us from getting there."

"Is there a way around it? How close can we get to Los Angeles?"

"The spell ends at the California border Sir. Anyone we sent there will have to use conventional transportation to get to Los Angeles."

"Good, then we're sending in Tuna Fish, The Thunder Bunnies and some crack Green Berets in. Any one got any other suggestions?"

"Yes, I do." A voice calls from the side of the room. Everyone turns to the sound and points various mundane, magical and spiritual weapons at the speaker. The entire group is hushed as an old man walks into the light carrying a seven foot gold and crystal wizard's staff. Every wizard and sorcerer in the room takes a deep gulp. Only one being on the planet would have that large a staff: Merlin.

Horace Gordon looks on in wonder as a legend walks up to his desk and promptly takes a seat on it's edge. The assembled Bureau 13 agents wait and listen.

"Merlin, I thought you were dead." Horace Gordon asks.

"I got better." Merlin replies with a grin.

Gordon takes a deep breath as he asks. "What do you want Merlin?"

"I just came to tell you that several demons are going to be raised in Chicago and Dallas. Their worshipers are planning on creating a slaughter in those cities to bring them forth, if you don't stop them, first."

A worried Gordon asks. "What about Los Angeles?"

Merlin grins as he explains. "The matter in Los Angeles is being taken care of. Some friends of mine are taking out the vampires as we speak. Hopefully they'll prevent Throlog from rising and adding his insanity to the mix."

"Who've you got in LA?" Eddie Alvarez boldly asks, worried about friends and family

"The Slayer, the Wanderer and Mulder and Scully of the FBI's X-Files and a few of their friends." Merlin calmly states.

Silence hovers over the room as the Bureau 13 agents digest what Merlin has just told them. Horace Gordon growls low and demands. "What the hell are Mulder and Scully doing in a hot zone? Our orders have always been to keep them away. On whose authority were they sent to Los Angeles? The Wanderer and Slayer are bad enough, but those two are dangerous to our organization."

"On my orders." Merlin calmly replies.

Gordon silently relents and then orders. "All right people we've got situations in Dallas and Chicago. Bunnies to Dallas, Tuna Fish to Chicago. You'll have backup from local police and at least five teams of Green Berets each. Let's move it people." The respective teams gather together and transport to their respective targets. As they transport out, Gordon turns to Merlin. "Father, I hope your friends can handle it."

"I hope so too. Steve St. Wolf has been a good friend for the last fifteen years, I'd hate to have to bury him, so soon after he's found his life companion."

"Steve finally fell in love again? With who?"

"A girl named Buffy Summers. She's the Slayer."

"Won't she die on him? After all, he's an Immortal."

"So's she."

"An Immortal Slayer? That's incredible."

Merlin shrugs. "The powers that be felt they owed him some measure of happiness. For all of the good that he's done over the last fifteen years. Having someone to love was their idea to make him want to live and by making him want to live, it makes him fight harder. And I agree, it's made a difference with him. I've watched him the last five months and he's more happy now than he ever was in the last fifteen years. His combat skills have also improved immensely."

"That's good to hear. I hope they can handle the situation."

"They will Horace, they will." Merlin replies as he disappears, leaving his son standing by his desk and offering up a silent prayer. < Let all of my people return safely and unharmed. They're not enough willing to do this job. >

*****

Part 27 - The Black Sorcerer's Lair
(When You Gotta Curse Someone - Do It With Demons)

Katherine and her court move cautiously through the sewers. Her guards roam ahead of her and light the way. As they come to a juncture in the sewer lines they suddenly stop. Katherine walks up to them and looks down onto the laboratory of the being known only as the Black Sorcerer. She calmly walks down to where he is standing among his vials and tubes.

The sorcerer notices the presence of company and turns around. When he sees who is approaching him, he puts down his tools and walks to meet her. He quietly asks. "What do you want, Katherine?"

Katherine just smiles as she has Hector thrown into a convenient cage. The Sorcerer looks over Hector and asks. "What's with the gift? Oh, let me guess. You need a favor?" He looks over Hector again and licks his lips. "Whatever it is, it better be quick. My dinner's waiting for me." Hector cries out in anguish and tries to break out of the cage.

"I need your help with the Slayer and her mate. They've gathered together a small army of vampire hunters and they're hunting us down."

The Sorcerer cackles and laughs merrily as he replies to Katherine. "Who am I to interfere with the natural order of things? If the Slayer is killing you off, why don't you just trap her and her companions and then kill them?"

Katherine quietly seethes as she breaks down and tells him. "They have managed to turn every trap that we have set for them against us, killing all of the vampires. Last night a dozen vampires attacked them in a restaurant and they killed all twelve of them in less than five minutes. Five minutes, Sorcerer. It took them a whole five minutes to kill twelve vampires. Now they are hunting us down with a large number of allies. These two are too much for us. So far tonight, they have killed two hundred of us. We need help."

"You are screwed, aren't you?" The Black Sorcerer comments. "What does this Slayer and her mate look like?"

Katherine quietly hands over the drawing to the Sorcerer.

The Sorcerer smiles as she hands over the drawing. < The vampire bitch is finally cowed. I must thank the Slayer before I kill her. > The Sorcerer thinks to himself. As he looks down on the picture of Buffy. < Cute girl, it'll be a pity to kill her so young. Maybe I can have some fun first. > Then he turns over the picture to see her mate, as the vampires called him. He sucks in his breathe and throws the drawing down on the ground and grinds it into the floor. His face is mask of pure rage and hatred. The assembled vampires back off. The Sorcerer looks on Katherine and tells her in a tightly controlled voice, "You'll have my help. That bastard dies."

Katherine smiles as she asks. "I take it you know her consort."

The Sorcerer angrily nods his head and growls.

"Would you care to tell us his name?"

"Yes, it's Steven St. Wolf. That bastard killed my brother, Sebastian, twelve years ago. That piece of shit Merlin ordered him to do it."

"Merlin? He works for Merlin?"

"Yes, he's Merlin's chief errand boy." Alistair King angrily replies. "When Merlin needs someone taken out, he calls in this bastard."

Katherine's vampires let out a low hiss. Katherine steps forward and asks. "Will we be facing Merlin as well?"

"No, this bastard is dangerous enough by himself, that Merlin usually lets him fight his own battles."

"Could this St. Wolf and the Slayer, by themselves, be responsible for the deaths of over two hundred vampires? Is he that powerful?"

"No, he's not that powerful. What he probably did was call in a few of his friends."

"Friends? What sort of friends could this man call in?"

"Knights of the Order of the Grail, Priest Warriors of the C'est Die, Druids, Immortals, just to name a few. Hell woman, he's even been known to associate with Dragons."

Katherine and her court are shocked. They thought they were facing a few lowly mortals and the Slayer, but this information changed every thing. Curious, Katherine asks. "Why do Dragons associate with a mere mortal?"

The Sorcerer laughs. "Who ever said he was a mortal?"

Katherine looks at the Sorcerer closely and asks. "What do you mean he's not a mortal?"

"The bastard's an Immortal." Katherine looks at him, not comprehending what he means. The Sorcerer sighs and tells her. "That means that he can't be killed by any method that I know of. Also, he will never age."

"Damn, what else is there Sorcerer?"

"He carries one of the Nine Swords of Destiny. The blade known as 'Demon Slayer'."

The vampires look at one another in shock. Katherine asks. "Those swords are only legend Sorcerer. They don't exist."

"The first sword created was Excalibur. The others, created in order are Healer, Magic, Justice, Purity, Vampire Slayer, Demon Slayer, Seeker and Truth. All of these swords were created by Merlin, from metals mined in Avalon and forged with magic by Merlin, Oberon and Titania.

"What are our options, Sorcerer?"

"Simple, I call in a few minor and not so minor demons to stop him. After all, even he can't stop twenty demons by himself."

"What will this service cost me?"

The Sorcerer's mouth splits into an evil grin. "I'll need to borrow two of your female vampires for some fun." Katherine starts to say no, but the Sorcerer continues. "Part of the spell of summoning requires that I have sex with two females. And since mortal females would die too quickly, I'll need to use two vampire females for the spells to work correctly. Don't worry, I won't harm them, permanently."

Katherine smiles and gestures to Lisa and Caitlin. "Will those two do?"

The Sorcerer looks over their lithe bodies and good looks and smiles a lusty smile. "Oh my, yes. These two will certainly do. Thank you Katherine."

"Just get me the demons to fight the Slayer and her allies, Sorcerer, and maybe I'll let you keep them permanently." Katherine replies as she leaves.

"One other thing Katherine."

"What is it Sorcerer?"

"I'll need a supply of humans for them to feed on. The spell will take a lot out of them and I'll need to keep them at full strength."

"Very well then." Katherine replies as she turns to two of her guards. "Bring a half dozen mortals here." Both nod and immediately leave. Katherine turns back to the Sorcerer. "Will that be enough?"

"Oh yes. It will. Thank you, Katherine." The Sorcerer mutters as Katherine leaves. Both Caitlin and Lisa shudder as the Sorcerer approaches the cage with Hector inside. "But, before we start, a little nourishment."

*****

Part 28 - Hotel Rock
(All of the Inns are Full, Even Kings Have to Take What They Can.)

The assault force moves swiftly to it's destination. The twenty squad cars form a column around the six vans carrying the assault force. In the lead squad car, Sgt. Dabrowski issues orders over the secure radio channels of the LAPD. He designates each location to a specific car as he silently prays to himself. < Please God, don't let this thing get fucked up. Ninety two people need our help. > He listens in, as the man called St. Wolf, checks in with the helicopter assault unit.

"Air mobile, this is ground pounder, what's your ETA?"

"About ten minutes, ground pounder."

"Our ETA is twelve. Everything's five by five then. Call in when your ETA hits thirty seconds."

"Check. Over and out."

Dabrowski turns to Tracy and asks. "What the hell was that?"

Tracy grins. "Steve's obviously ex- military. You know how those military types are. They HAVE to talk like that."

Dabrowski in turn grins. "God, how the hell did we get involved in this?"

"We needed the help, and they were available. You don't want to know what those things are planning to do, Tony. It'll give you nightmares for the rest of your life."

"Care to give me the gist of it?"

"The cultists think they can bring back the Aztec god of war. In order to do that, they have to sacrifice two thousand people in a very bloody ritual."

"Sweet Jesus. What the hell are these people, insane?"

"Very insane Tony. The only way to stop them is to kill them and we can't do that. John doesn't want the LAPD becoming a death squad. Now, these people are willing to do the work to save lives, if you can believe it."

"I can believe it. Just one question. This St. Wolf guy and the girl with him, are they the vampire hunters?"

"Yeah, they are. They were trying to stop the cultists earlier, but they couldn't handle it alone. So they did what any good cop would do, they called in backup. Do you have a problem with working with them?"

"No, I'm just glad to see them on the same side. My ex-wife was attacked by the cultists a couple of months ago. They killed the vampires attacking her and took her to a hospital, saving her life. I owe them."

"Tony, you just called the cultists' vampires." Tracey asks in a quiet voice.

"Isn't that what they are? Real vampires? The cult story is good cover, Tracy, but a few of us street cops know that vampires are real."

"How many of them are with us, now Tony?"

"Every uniform out there knows that vampires are real, Tracy. That's why I chose them for this detail."

Tracy leans back and takes a deep breathe. "Why didn't you tell me Tony?"

Dabrowski grins. "Because you had that attitude problem earlier, and you didn't need to know."

"Touche, Tony, Touche." Tracy grins back as she reaches for the radio. "Steve, this is Tracy. Come back."

"What's up Tracy?"

"All of the uniforms know, Steve. I repeat, they know about our cultists." Tracy makes a face as she hears laughter coming in over the radio, Dabrowski just grins.

"Sorry about that Tracy. I just couldn't help it." Steve replies, laughing. "So much for our secret war. Keep them for tomorrow night. I'll issue them the special ammo before we start out tomorrow.

Dabrowski looks at Tracy and asks. "Special Ammo. What's he talking about?"

"They have a specialized ammo which kills vampires. The only thing is that you have to shoot them in the heart with it."

"You're kidding."

"Nope, I had to use it earlier tonight. One of the medical examiner's investigators was a vampire. She tried to get the assault location out of John and I killed her with one bullet to the heart."

"Shit, we'll take all that they can give us."

*****

Quinn is standing out of phase at the Regal Tower. < Why am I here? > He asks himself. < Just making sure my friends don't get into too much trouble. > He tells himself. As he wanders around, he feels something affecting the reality near the Regal Tower. He phases over and watches as two beings appear from a portal. One, a human with a noble bearing, the other, a gargoyle like those in Manhattan. < Curious, what are these two doing here? And on whose side are they on? >

*****

Nine minutes later, Ironman checks in. "Ground pounder, this air mobile. We are thirty seconds to target, over."

"Air mobile this is ground pounder, check. We are two minutes to target. The mission is go. I repeat, the mission is go."

"Check, the mission is green. See you on the tenth floor. Over and out."

"Good luck and good hunting. Over and out."

*****

The helicopters move in a V-shaped formation over the city, hunting for their target. As the Regal Tower comes into view, Banzai calls out to his two partners, Monsoon and Typhoon and the assault leaders. "All right guys, we have visual on target. Get your people ready for insertion. We touch down in twenty and we drop off the troops. The troops have ten seconds to get off and then the next copter comes in. Any questions?"

"Not a one." Comes the reply from Ironman, who's leading the assault. < God, how the hell do I get myself into these situations. > Ironman just shakes his head with a rueful grin. < Just lucky I guess. >

Gadgets and Politician are watching the roof quickly approach and each turn to each other and a silent thought passes between them. < Once more into the breech my friend, once more. >

Frank looks at the three man commando team and gives each of them his devil may care grin as he tells them. "Quiet and silent my friends." Able Team nods their heads in agreement to the old SEAL motto.

Jarod and Cody listen to the men around them prepare for the coming fight. Jarod looks over to Frank and asks. "Are you ready?"

"For this? Is anyone ever ready? We take it as it comes and worry about the fear later."

"No, I guess not." Jarod replies, as the helicopter touches down and he jumps out. Jarod rushes over and covers the east fire escape, Cody the west. Able Team and Frank cover the roof entrance. The second helicopter lands and three more Rangers join Jarod and Cody. Jinx and Billy cover the north and south sides of the roof. The third helicopter lands with Tommy, Shuriken, Nunchuk, Scarlet and Snake Eyes.

The helicopters take off and quickly swing around and move away. They would be back in three minutes to light up the war zone. Tommy, Scarlet and Snake Eyes screw on silencers to their H & K MP 5's. They move to the front of the door and nod their heads. Nunchuk pulls it open, breaking the latch. Tommy immediately shoots a spread of silenced wooden bullets into the entrance way. He's rewarded with a cloud of dust suddenly shooting out.

Cody turns to Jarod and mutters. "Like Job standing at the gates of heaven, forcing back the damned, who've escaped from hell."

"Except this time, the Angels are coming out and are going to kick some Hellish ass." Ironman replies with a grin as the assault force makes it's way down the stairs. At the twelfth floor, the group splits up. Ironman and Frank secure the stairway while the rest enter the floor.

As Tommy enters the floor, he notices two men grabbing a young girl and exposing her neck. The girl was trying to scream, but the gag in her mouth keeps her silent. Tommy points to them and Shuriken, Nunchuk, Jinx and Billy immediately take down both vampires with a minimum of noise. Nunchuk grabs one vampire in a choke hold from behind, while Jinx moves in with a stake and takes it out. The other vampire, shocked to find mortals hunting them, drops the girl. Shuriken quickly takes it's head. The girl is now lying on the ground in the middle of four strangers she has never seen before. Billy can hear her muffled screams through the gag.

Jinx kneels down and tells her. "We're here to rescue you. I'll remove the gag if you promise not to scream."

The girl immediately nods and Jinx removes the gag. The girl takes a deep breathe, but slowly lets it out. She looks around and watches as the other members of the assault force move through the floor, checking everyone. She turns back to Jinx and asks. "Who are you people?"

"We're a Black Operations group called Section Seven. The government called us in to fight these things. We're here to clean this place out, but our first job is to rescue you people." Jinx explains.

"Thank God. What happens now?"

"We'll secure the hostage floors, then the main assault begins. Now, please be quiet."

The girl nods and softly sobs to herself.

The rest of the team quickly moves through the floor checking everyone with a cross and searching every room. Gadgets and Jarod hot wire the elevator with explosives while Politician covers the second stair way. The team breaks up into two groups, leaving Morales and Thompson to guard the hostages. Ironman, Frank, Scarlet, Snake Eyes and the rest of the Rangers go to the first stairwell. Gadgets, Politician and the rest of the Storm Shadow clan grab the other.

They immediately move to the eleventh floor. They quickly search the floor and find no vampires. They leave behind Ramos and Billy.

The rest of the group moves to the tenth floor and finds several vampires lounging by the elevator and at the stairwell entrances. Snake Eyes and Scarlet move in and dispatch the vampire by the first stairway. Frank and Ironman brace themselves in the stairway and await the coming attack. Tommy and Jinx, take out the vampire lounging by the other stairway. Gadgets and Politician set up on the stairway to await the coming chaos. Jarod, Cody and the Storm Shadows move silently and quickly to the six vampires sitting by the elevator.

One of the vampires standing by the elevator turns around and sees the assault group coming for them. But, in his stupidity, he mistakes them for some of their hostages. He screams. "Some of the mortals got loose. Get them!!"

The six vampires move toward the assault group and expect a quick victory. What they get are wooden tipped bullets ripping their hearts out . The hostages watch a surreal scene as eight night garbed warriors put paid to the monsters that have terrorized them. The battle is over in less than a minute and the victors stand over six piles of dust.

The hostages watch as the eight warriors search the floor, checking for any remaining vampires.

*****

Rachel Kolchak watches from she's been placed by the vampires who Captured her earlier this night. < God, I thought that this was going to be my last story. Who are these people and what kind of weapons are they using? >

She watches as several of the night clad people check everyone on the floor, making sure there were no surprises. As one of them walks up to her and touches her with a cross, she pleads with her eyes. The tall, dark man removes her gag and asks. "Are you hurt?"

Rachel shakes her head and tries to speak, but a dry croak comes out. The man smiles and pulls out a water bottle and gives her some water. She immediately feels better and asks. "Who are you people? And what are these things?"

Jarod smiles as he tells her. "I'm an LAPD SWAT officer Miss. We're here to rescue you."

"Who are those other people? They're not LAPD, are they?"

"No, they're a Black Operations group called Section Seven. They're here helping us take out the cultists."

"My God. The government has their own group of vampire hunters?"

Jarod smiles at how quickly the woman has deduced the obvious. "Miss, please understand, they don't officially exist and as far as anyone is concerned, LAPD rescued you. Am I clear?"

"Yes, thank you for saving us."

"Not a problem, just doing our job." Jarod replies with a roguish grin.

Rachel smiles back as Jarod slowly lowers her back down. But she asks. "Aren't you going to untie us?"

"No. Our orders are to leave you people tied up, so you don't get in the way. Don't worry I'll be back to untie you later on."

*****

Carl Lyon's reaches for his radio and tells the waiting assault forces. "Ground pounder, this is air mobile. The floors are secure. I repeat, the floors are secure."

"Air mobile, this is ground pounder, situation is green. I repeat green."

Frank watches Ironman's face, as it splits into a wide grin as he waits for the action to come.

*****

A young vampire, named Slade, listens to the gunfire above him. He walks over to another vampire called Matthew and reports in. "Matthew, I heard some gun fire from the tenth floor. Want me to check it out?"

Matthew cocks his heard and listens, < I didn't hear shit, but the kid's right. I've got to have it checked out. > "All right, get some guys and go to ten and check it out. If it's nothing, come back down. And no eating!! Am I clear?"

"You got it, boss." Slade replies as he tosses a sloppy salute and grins. He goes and gathers up his five cronies and they make their way to the main stairway.

As they walk up, one of Slade's buddies, sees the strangers on the landing above them. He turns to Slade and asks stupidly. "Who are the guys with the big guns?"

As Slade looks to where his friend is pointing, Slade puts it all together. "Oh Shit!! Mortals. Get the fuc. . ." Slade's last words are cut off as a stream of wooden tipped bullets rips into the six vampires, taking them all out.

*****

At the sound of the automatic gun fire, Matthew jumps up from where he's sitting and screams at the twenty vampires that rush out into the hallway. "Jack," Matthew screams at a nearby vampire. "Take ten with you and go up the west stairway, I'll take the rest up the east stairway. Janice, go down stairs and tell Gretchen that we're under attack." The female vampire quickly nods her head and goes down the stairs. Matthew moves with his twelve and goes to the east stairway.

*****

Tony Dabrowski hears the go order. "This is Seven-Zero-Zero. All units proceed to your stations, code 3. I repeat, all units proceed to your stations, code 3." Then the line goes dead as all twenty patrol cars and the six vans light up and increase speed.

Dabrowski turns to Tracey. "So, it's finally happening."

"Yeah, it is. Do you think we can keep a handle on it?"

"We'll try our best, but I make no guarantees." Tony replies as he watches the last three cars block the road behind them.

*****

The vans rush toward the Regal Tower and the lead van rams through the front of the hotel and into the building itself. The passengers grin as they rush out to attack the vampires swarming around the lobby. Bob Devlin, the driver grins as a vampire launches itself at him as he gets out of the driver's seat, he simply raises his pistol and heart shots it. The vampire is dust.

Steve and Buffy, followed by Mulder, Scully, Cassandra, Murphy and Sanchez and two Rangers, step out of the rear of the van to face a hoard of twenty angry vampires. As the vampires approach in a rush, the ten let loose with their assault rifles and pistols,

*****

Janice has just found her leader, the vampire Gretchen. She quickly moves to report. "Gretchen, the food stores have been taken over by a group of mortals. Matthew sent me to report to you."

Gretchen looks at Janice and laughs. "What can some puny mortals do to us? We'll use them for food." As she turns to mount the east staircase, the front of the hotel shakes from the force of the LAPD van coming through the front doors. Gretchen watches as the driver gets out and points his pistol at a vampire rushing him. She grins < The bastard is dead. Bullets won't stop Victor from claiming him as a meal. > Her expression changes from joy to disbelief as Victor becomes a cloud of dust. < How the hell did that just happen? >

*****

Outside, Tracey and Tony are moving their people in a complex ballet of organization. The police officers block off every street leading to the Regal Tower and they proceed to make sure no one gets past them. St. Wolf's orders were clear: Anyone entering the area was dead the moment they got past the road blocks and barricades. No exceptions.

They watch as the lead van, driven by Bob Devlin rams itself into the building proper. The rest of the assault force follows on foot, quickly entering the building through the large hole left by the lead van. Tony quietly murmurs to himself. "God, this is not a movie, this is not a movie."

Tracy hears him murmuring and asks. "Tony, why do you keep saying 'this is not a movie'?"

"Because this would make a great action picture." Tony replies with a grin. "And it should never happen in real life."

"I can agree with that sentiment." Tracy tells him, as she takes out her phone and calls Captain Randall. "John, this is Tracy, the assault has started. Anything you need to know?"

"Yeah, did you order any ambulances for the wounded?"

"No, we didn't."

"All right, I'll get them to you. Keep them handy for the hostages."

"Thanks John. Have them come to our post at Hollywood and Vine. We'll keep them here until they're needed."

"Good, they're on the way." Captain Randall replies as he hangs up. Tracy puts the phone in her pocket and turns to Tony.

"John's sending us ambulances for the wounded. We're to keep them here until they're needed."

Tony nods his head in agreement as he turns back to the action in the hotel.

*****

Steve and his group watch as the vampires rushing them become a cloud of dust. The group splits up as they quickly make their way across the lobby and find more vampires coming after them. The Immortals, Rangers and Zombies start to pick off individual vampires as they appear. The vampires soon get the message: Fight in the open and you get immediately dusted. The vampires slowly backup the stairs, hoping that their superior strength and closed in spaces will be enough to take out the invaders.

*****

Officer Ian Murphy rushes out of his van and moves into the hotel proper. He watches as the Immortals take the lead and deal death to the vampires waiting there. He shudders and sends up a quick Hail Mary, as he enters the lobby, closely following his friend Dave Ricker. He quickly takes a position near the door to prevent any escapes as he watches the Immortals fight with pistol, rifle and sword. The vampires are quickly out classed by the superior training, weapons and determination of the Immortals and their mortal allies.

*****

Two figures, standing on a roof top across from the Regal Tower watch the scene unfold below them. The larger of the pair, a leather jacketed Gargoyle winces and mutters. "Damn, what just happened Arthur? A few minutes ago, we watch three helicopters land a force on the roof of that hotel. Now, we see a huge number of police assaulting the place through the front."

The man called Arthur just watches as the police forces move in rapidly secure the area around the hotel. He watches as a woman orders a small number of men and a woman into a loose circle around the hotel, securing it even further. He wonders who these warriors were, and what they had to do with his being in this city, at this time.

"Wondering what's going on down there?" A voice from behind asks. Both Arthur and Grif turn around and prepare for battle.

Before Grif can move, Arthur stays him. "Stop, Sir Grif! The man isn't even armed." Grif settles down and watches as Arthur confronts the man. "Please tell us good sir, what do you know of the situation down there."

The dark haired man just smiles as he tells them. "The forces attacking the hotel are there to destroy the vampires that reside in the hotel." Arthur and Grif stiffen. "They've already managed to Captainure the top three floors that the vampires were using to store their food, innocent men, women and children. What's going on now is the main assault."

Arthur and Grif look at each other and turn back to the battle raging in the building across the street. They turn back to the stranger and Arthur asks. "How can we help?"

The stranger smiles. "Do you wish to join in the battle?"

"Aye." Arthur replies.

"I can't." A dejected Grif replies. "At sunrise, I turn to stone."

The stranger smiles and waves his hand. "Not a problem. You won't turn to stone, when the sun rises."

"Yeah, right mate, and you're Merlin."

"No, I'm not Merlin. My name is Quinn and I am what is called a Q. My people are, shall we say, a lot more powerful than Merlin."

"If you are so powerful, then why don't you just kill all of those vampires yourself?" Arthur asks.

"Because, if humanity is to reach the greatness that is it's due, then humanity has to fight it's own battles and win it's own victories. To do anymore is to cheat you of that potential. The only thing that I will do is to lend a helping hand or some advice, here and there. Nothing more."

Arthur and Grif look at the being called Quinn and nod their heads in agreement. This man spoke their language and he understood them. Suddenly Grif stiffens and he looks around, the sun was up and he wasn't stone!! He let's out a battle cry and he grabs Arthur and they both jump from the building and fly through the hole into the lobby.

*****

Arthur suddenly feels Grif's powerful arms grab him and they're both rapidly gliding for the hotel entrance. As he passes over the woman and man leading the exterior forces, he hears them shout. "Oh my!" "Oh Shit." Suddenly the sky darkens as they pass into the hotel lobby and Grif lets out his battle cry. Everyone in the lobby freezes for a brief time, as Grif takes them to a group vampires. Grif releases Arthur, and the once and future king lands in crouch, his sword out and hungry to put paid to these demons. Standing by his liege's side, Sir Grif let's out another bellow and attacks the six vampires before him with reckless abandon.

*****

Ian Murphy ducks his head down as his sixth sense alerts him to someone coming up on his back. He ducks down as a blur passes over him. In his mind he hears a voice. // Two friends have decided to join in the fight. Please don't shoot them. // Ian hesitates as he watches the blur become two beings, one a giant with wings and a large man, dressed in medieval clothing. They immediately attack several vampires, killing them.

*****

The assembled Immortals hesitate in their attack as the gargoyle's war cry let's loose. Steve, Buffy, Mulder and Scully turn around and see a gargoyle letting a man down and the pair attack several vampires. The man's sword, glows a familiar blue color. Their reverie is shattered by the growl of several vampires trying to sneak up on them. The four immediately turn back to the business at hand, killing the vampires. The two strangers are forgotten, for the moment.

*****

Robert and his three companions look on in wonder. Robert voices is barely above a whisper as he asks. "It can't be HIM. Can it?"

His friend William looks at the strangely dressed man and replies. "If it isn't HIM, then it's his ghost. And if I'm not mistaken, that's Excalibur that he's swinging."

"Damn Robert. Who would have thought HE would come back now?" Hernandez replies as he cuts down another vampire.

Robert muses for a moment then makes a decision. "We have to finish our work first. Then, we can ponder this matter." Then he turns and shoots a three round burst into a vampire coming at him. His three friends turn back to the fight at hand with a renewed energy and determination.

*****

Gretchen watches as the gargoyle smashes through the vampires who attack him. < What in Satan's name is going on here? Who are these people? > Her reverie is interrupted by another, familiar war cry. < It can't be. That battle cry is as dead as my family. > She looks around and watches as one of the attackers fights two of her vampires and kills both in seconds. She does a double take as she recognizes the man. < It can't be!! Hans is dead three hundred years. >

*****

Hans leads his two friends Argus and Hanson into the battle. The three of them attack vampire after vampire, killing all of them. Suddenly a war cry splits the air as a gargoyle lands into the midst of the battle, attacking six vampires. With him is a man dressed in medieval clothing, carrying a glowing sword. Suddenly, Hans let's out his own familial war cry. < God, that feels good. > Hans thinks to himself as Hanson and Argus also give cry to their personal war cries.

*****

Christine looks at Giles and asks. "What the hell was that?"

"I don't know Christine, but I hope it's friendly."

"Oh, they're friends all right." A voice calls out from behind them. Both turn pointing weapons at a calm Quinn.

"Quinn, who are those two?" Giles asks.

"Just a pair of travelers who were nearby and wanted to help out."

"Do they have names?" Christine asks.

"Certainly. The gargoyle is called Grif. His human companion is called Arthur."

"I know I'm going to hate myself for asking this, but what is Arthur's full name?" Giles asks.

"Arthur Pendragon." A grinning Quinn replies.

"My God, King Arthur is back?" A shocked Giles asks.

"And fighting those vampires over there." Quinn adds with a smirk as he disappears.

A shocked and confused Christine turns to Giles and asks. "Does this happen a lot with you people?"

Giles just shakes his head and mutters. "They all said living on the Hellmouth would be interesting, but this?"

*****

Gretchen watches the battle turn against her and her vampires. < These mortals are destroying us. How is this possible? And that gargoyle is tearing us apart, literally. Who the hell are they? > Any other thoughts she has are driven from her mind as she comes face to face with Hans.

*****

Hans, Argus and Hanson have just finished off another vampire and are turning to face another when a woman appears before Hans. Hans immediately points his gun at her and cries out. "Gretchen, you're the last. Care to say anything?"

The vampire smiles as she asks. "So Hans, you're still alive. How is this possible?"

Hans smiles a cruel smile as he tells her. "Simple, when you killed me, I became an Immortal. Now, with your death, our family honor is restored."

Gretchen is taken aback, but she snarls out. "Eric is still alive Hans. He'll kill you when he finds out you're still alive."

Hans smiles an evil smile. "I killed Eric about two hours ago. You're the last of them, Gretchen. I've hunted down and killed all of you for what you did to our family." Hans raises his gun and fires, hitting Gretchen in the heart, causing her to disintegrate. "Now my sister, please rest in peace."

Argus and Hanson guard Hans as he stares at the pile of ashes in front of him. < Now I'm truly alone. > He thinks to himself and let's out a sob.

*****

Franco and his brother Hector hear the gunfire above and below them. They immediately run into the third floor room they had been sharing and break out their guns. Both brothers had been gang bangers before a vampire changed the pair. Now they served Katherine as her personal gun toting assassins. Hector breaks out his Uzi submachine gun and 9 mm Berreta while Franco grabs his M-16 and Glock 17. Both head to the west staircase. As they reach the landing, both open fire on the Rangers firing from below.

Bob Devlin immediately moves his men back. "Move back, move back, they've got guns." He turns to one of his officers and orders. "Mike, get St. Wolf here ASAP." The officer nods and rushes off as Bob let's loose another burst of bullets into a group of vampires trying to get down the stairs.

*****

The battle in the lobby rages for several minutes more as the vampires are forced up the stairs. Several vampires attempt to rush outside, but they are cut down by the Zombies and Rangers manning the exits. Finally all of the vampires on the first floor are cleared out and the stairwells are secured. Steve turns to his assembled troops and issues orders. "Mulder and Scully, you take your group and head up the east staircase. Buffy and I will head up the west staircase. The rest of the Rangers and Zombies will secure this floor, the elevator, the basement entrance and the bottom of both staircases. Any questions?"

"Yeah, who the hell are these two?" Martinez asks pointing his shotgun at Grif and Arthur.

"Good question. Care to answer it, either of you?" Steve asks.

Arthur steps forward. "Ladies, Gentlemen, I am Arthur Pendragon. This," He points to the gargoyle. "Is Sir Grif, my traveling companion and the first knight of the new round table."

< God, just what we need. A nut case. > Steve thinks to himself. As he is about to tell the delusional man to go home, Robert McCallister and three other Immortals approach him.

As they approach, all four kneel on one knee and present their swords, point to the ground. Robert is the first to speak. "My liege, your faithful knights await your commands."

The assembled battle force stands in awe as the man called Arthur looks over the four men and asks in a low voice, twinged with awe. "Sir Robert? Sir William? Sir Juan? Sir Basil? How are all four of you still alive? It's been over fifteen hundred years since I last walked the Earth."

Robert smiles as he explains. "Your Majesty, we four, and a good many here are Immortals. We are here to put paid to these vampires for their slaughter of innocent men, women and children."

*****

Pablo Garcia of the Zombies is in shock, < I'm standing next to King Arthur. The real fucking King Arthur. When I found out Pat and the rest were Immortals I was scared, but I got used to it. But this is too much. >

*****

Mulder looks on in pure awe and wonder. A boyhood hero of his is actually standing in front of him. He gives a mischievous little grin as he leans over to Scully and whispers. "Every time we visit Steve and Buffy, we wind up with more X-Files to solve. Think we should move out here permanently?"

Scully leans into Mulder and whispers quietly. "I wouldn't mind living out here."

*****

Arthur shakes his head and turns to Steve and asks. "We wish to help. Could you use two more knights in your battle."

Steve is dumbfounded, < Oh shit. What has this little war come to? Now King Arthur is offering to help. Shit, what the hell do you say to a legend? > Steve thinks to himself.

His reverie is shattered by the sounds of gunfire.

One of the men guarding the staircase runs forward. "The vampires are attacking! And they have guns!! We need backup ASAP."

*****

Ironman watches as the vampires approach the ninth floor landing. As they rush up in a wave, he orders. "Cut loose. Aim for the hearts and don't spare the ammo." Then he cuts loose with the M-60 as the vampires, led by Matthew, are dusted. On the other side, Gadgets and Politician let the vampires come up the stairs in a rush before they and the Storm Shadows cut loose on full auto. In seconds both sides are clear of vampires. Ironman checks in on the other side as the last vampire turns to dust. "Gadgets, how are you guys holding up?"

"Fine Ironman, we got them all."

"Good, because I see more coming up."

"Same on this side." Gadgets remarks as he watches the shadows from the eighth floor.

*****

The assault forces immediately moves to the staircases and returns a massive cover fire as several Immortals rush up the stairs, led by Steve and Buffy. The two armed vampires watch in awe as the Slayer and her mate lead a pack of undying Immortals into their gunfire. They watch in horror as the two shrug off the bullets being shot at them like they were nothing.

*****

As Buffy runs up the stairs to the second floor landing, she immediately notices three things about the vampires shooting at her. They were young, Hispanic and had the look of gang bangers. < God, Katherine must need a lot of vampires, if she's taking gang bangers. Most vampires stay away from them because of the drugs in their system. They hate the taste. > She moves to the side and fires into the vampire with the Uzi and he's dusted. Steve covers Robert as he blasts a three round burst into the vampire with the M-16.

As the landing is cleared and secured, the entire assault force enters the second floor. They move from room to room checking for any stray vampires. As they leave each room, they break open the windows, letting in the light. Soon the entire second floor is awash with the early morning sunlight.

The search is continued on the third, forth and fifth floors, but comes up empty. On the sixth floor, the vampires try and make a stand, but it's to no avail. The hunters fire a constant stream of wooden tipped bullets into their ranks as they slaughter the vampires wholesale. The vampires attempt individual attacks, but they are cut down as soon as they are seen. Each room is searched and several vampires try to hide in the closets and under beds, but the searchers are remorseless. They find the hiding vampires and immediately dust them. As the last room is searched and the vampire hiding inside is killed the assault group heads to the seventh floor.

They find the seventh floor empty of vampires and it's quickly searched. Then they move up to the eighth floor. As they move up Steve coordinates with Ironman. "Ironman, we're heading up to the eighth floor. Any hostiles coming your way?"

"Yeah, about a dozen. Gadgets what's your sit-rep?"

"Eight coming up. Not a problem. See you guys in a couple of minutes."

*****

After Ironman reports in, he turns to his team mates. "All right folks, let's keep this only aimed fire. Our people are already on seven and headed up to eight. We don't want any ricochets." Ironman just grins as Cody, Jarod, Scarlet and Snake Eyes take his and Frank's place. The vampires approaching them smile in anticipation, as do the four warriors as they let loose with controlled fire, aiming straight for their undead hearts. The vampire's glee turns to shock as they disappear, suffering the final death. Ironman checks in with Steve again. "Steve this is Ironman, east staircase is clear. I repeat, east staircase is clear."

"Rodgers that and confirm that eight is also clear. Will wait for Gadgets to report in."

On the west staircase, Gadgets has just shot the last vampire as he hears Steve's reply to Ironman. He immediately reports in. "Steve, this is Gadgets, the west staircase is clear. I repeat, the west staircase is clear."

"Thanks Gadgets, we're moving to nine now. Watch our backs."

"10-4"

As Steve's and Mulder's groups merge on the ninth floor, they find no more vampires. Steve turns to Buffy and asks. "Can you sense any more vampires in the area?"

Buffy closes her eyes in concentration and the entire force forms a circle around her. Ready for anything. A minute or so later she sighs and tells everyone. "I can't sense any more vamps. I guess this means we won?"

"Not yet. We still have the basement to clean out." Steve replies as he loads a fresh magazine into his cut down M-14 Paratrooper. "But first, we get the civilians out."

*****

Ironman watches the staircase and waits for Steve to report in. His wait isn't long. "Ironman, start freeing the civilians. We're moving them out ASAP. We'll use the east staircase for the evacuation. The west staircase will be used by us for rapid deployment, if we need it." Steve tells him.

"Good." Ironman then turns to his people and orders. "Jarod, Cody and the Storm Shadows, start to get everyone free. If anyone has any trouble, have the more able bodied help them down."

*****

Steve calls Tracey and Dabrowski. "Tracey, Tony, this is Steve, can you hear me?"

"Yes Steve. What's the situation?" Tracey asks.

"We've cleared out the first to twelfth floors. Before we take on the basement, we're sending out the hostages. Do you have any ambulances handy?"

"Yeah, John sent twenty of them here, when the fun started. They're waiting for you."

"Good, have the drivers bring them up to the hotel. We'll have a load of passengers for them."

"Any of them ours?" Dabrowski asks.

"No, no wounds, except for a few scratches."

< Thank God. > "All right, I'm sending in the ambulances. Do your outside people know to expect them?"

"Yeah, Christine knows. Everything is clear."

*****

Rachel Kolchak looks on as the tall, dark SWAT officer comes back and cuts her free. He hands her a knife and tells her. "Start cutting the people free. We're moving you out."

Rachel immediately grabs Jarod and gives him a kiss. Then she tells him. "Thanks for being there for us, Jarod."

Jarod gives this big, stupid grin as he replies. "Why, you're welcome Miss. You know, I never did get your name."

"Oh, sorry," Rachel replies as she holds out her hand and Jarod takes it. "It's Rachel Kolchak. I'm a reporter with the National Inquisitor."

Jarod grins. "You're kidding, I hope."

"Nope, I was investigating the vampire cult when they caught me."

"Are you going to report this in your paper?"

"No, no one would believe it. My dad had this same problem, when he was a reporter with the Independent News Service. He'd constantly run into monsters and take them out. But no one believed him."

Jarod looks at the woman and makes a snap decision. "Want to work with us? We still have quite a bit of work to do. And if you've been investigating these vampires, then maybe you have information that we could use. Are you willing to share it?"

Rachel doesn't hesitate in her answer. "Yes, I'll help. I owe the people who died here that much. All of the information that I have is yours."

"Thanks. Now, let's go meet the team leaders." Jarod tells her as he escorts her to the landing. At the landing he reports in to Ironman. "Ironman, this lady is Rachel Kolchak, a reporter. She has information on the cult and she wants to share it."

Rachel looks in awe at the man called 'Ironman'. < Shit, he's huge. And that gun is just as big. >

"Reporter? Lady do you have a death wish? Investigating real vampires can hazardous to your health." Ironman sarcastically replies.

Rachel, not to be put down, calmly replies. "I would think hunting them would be a lot more hazardous to your health."

Ironman laughs. "Okay, you got me there. So what do you want?"

"I want to give you all of my notes and whatever information I've been able to gather about the vampires. No strings and I won't write the story."

"A reporter with a conscience. God man, now I've seen everything." A voice behind her comments.

"Now listen here Mis. . ." Rachel's reply is cut off as she sees the man who made the comment. She takes a deep gulp and throws her arms around his neck. "Oh God, Uncle Frank."

Frank is standing there, with Rachel hanging on to him. "Uhm, do I know you?" He asks, looking at a very angry Cassandra.

Rachel pulls herself away and giggles. "Oh God, you haven't seen me in eight years. I'm sorry. I'm Rachel Kolchak."

"I'm sorry Rachel, I don't remember your name. Or from where we might know each other."

"Yes, please tell us where you know Frank from. We're all very interested." Cassandra acidly comments. Everyone else in earshot is grinning, waiting for the blow up.

"Oh please, you don't remember? The lights, the moon, the sound of your gun shooting those demon dogs down. The sight of Uncle Steve cutting them apart with his magic sword." Rachel grins as Frank tries to pin down the place where he has met this lady. Then she relents. "Try Paris, 1986"

Frank's face goes slack as it hits him. "You're Karl Kolchak's kid? Oh hell kid, no wonder I didn't remember you. You were only fourteen the last time I saw you. God, you grew up." Frank remarks as Cassandra's dark gaze shifts over to her 'Sorry Pookie' look. Frank breaths a sigh of relief, his love life was safe.

"Damn it's a small world isn't it?"

"Yeah, it is. So what do you need?"

"I have information which might help you."

"All right, we'll go see Steve right now."

"Uncle Steve is here too? Too bad Tim couldn't be here. He'd like to see you both." Rachel comments as Frank and Jarod lead her down to the ninth floor. She looks around at all of the heavily armed people standing around getting orders from a familiar figure. She listens as the man she knows as Steve St. Wolf snaps out orders.

"All right, I want teams of three on every landing on the east staircase. One man covering the landing going up, one down and one man covering the floor your on. As the hostages are moved down, watch for any attacks and keep an eye out for anything fishy. As the last hostage comes down, the teams will join the rear guard and move down themselves. The west staircase will be used as an express route by the reserve team doing drag. Any questions?"

No one asks as the assemble troops break up into threes and move to their posts. Steve, Buffy, Mulder, Scully, Arthur and Grif stand and watch as the teams move out.

Rachel stares at Grif as he stands there. < That's a real gargoyle. I can't believe I'm actually standing next to one. > She thinks to herself. Her reverie is interrupted by Steve's question.

"Rachel, can you tell me what information you have that could be of help to us?"

"Sure, I heard one of the vampires mention that they would have fun with a group of people called 'Watchers'."

"Did they mention where this was going to happen?"

"No, only that they would be able to attack them from the sewers."

"Thanks for the help. Now please go with the rest of the hostages to the hospital."

Rachel feels Jarod's hand on her arm as he tries to escort her from the gathering. "Now listen here, Steve St. Wolf. I won't be treated like a child. I am a grown woman and a reporter. I want to cover this story and you can't stop me."

"Rachel, I wouldn't dream of stopping you, < If you're anything like your father, then I'll rue the day, I crossed you. > but we are rather busy and having a reporter around is not a good thing for us."

"Why, because you're running a Black Operations group on American soil? Please Uncle Steve, let me help. Dad told me how he helped you a couple of times. I want to do the same thing."

"Your dad was the most stubborn, willful, pain in the ass that I ever knew. But he was there when he needed to be, I'll give him that." Steve replies with a grin.

"And I'm just as bad, if not worse." Rachel replies, returning the grin.

Steve relents. "All right Kolchak, get yourself checked out at the hospital and we'll pick you up tomorrow. I promise."

"Dad always said your word was good, Uncle Steve. Before I go, just one question?"

"All right, one question, shoot."

"How come you still look like you did twelve years ago?"

Steve gives her a devilish grin. "Clean living, and a job that keeps me young. Jarod, take her out of here and pick her up tomorrow."

"Thanks Uncle Steve, you won't regret it."

"I regret it already." Steve quietly tells himself. Buffy gives him a grin and squeezes his arm. Steve reaches around gives her a hug. "Come on, let's get to the first floor. We still have the basement to clear out." All five of his companions nod their heads in agreement, as they move to the west staircase.

*****

Part 29 - Basement Horrors
(Any Rat Hole in a Storm)

As Steve watches the last hostage leaves, he gathers his team leaders together for a quick meeting. "The basement has two entrances, one in the alley behind the hotel, the other by the kitchen, located in a store room. We'll be using the interior entrance. Point team will be Buffy, and Robert, along with William, Hans, Argus, Cassandra, and myself, secondary team will be the rest of the Immortals lead by Mulder and Scully. The Storm Shadows and Able Team will be doing drag. The Zombies, Rangers, Arthur and Grif will remain topside, guarding our route of escape, if we need it. Anyone have anything to add?"

"I do." Arthur replies. "Why are myself and Sir Grif not being allowed the glory of the coming battle?"

Steve takes a deep breathe and tells Arthur. "Because neither of you is an Immortal. We can survive wounds that would kill either of you. And I will not allow you to take such an unnecessary risk for glory's sake."

"You sir, are no true Knight." Arthur replies coldly. "You take young girls to do your fighting for you, but you would not take a proven warrior because they might dim the glory of your personal victory."

Steve's face is a cold mask as he tells Arthur. "Arthur, or whoever you are, I do not have the time to argue with you. And I really don't care what you think. My job here is to kill the vampires, before they can raise a major demon. And I will do it any way that guarantees the safety of the people fighting with me and any innocent bystanders who are present. We are not here to fight a glorious battle, we are here to kill every vampire in the city and not get ourselves killed in the process. You have your orders. If you have a problem with them, leave, the rest of us have work to do."

Arthur looks on the younger man with a cold fury. < No one has ever dared to speak with me in such a way. Not ever. > Arthur makes the mistake of reaching for his sword, and suddenly finds himself covered by every gun in the room, including those of his former knights. He looks at the men and women facing him and realizes that this man, Steve St. Wolf, was their chosen war leader, not himself. He releases his sword slowly and with as much dignity as possible, walks away. The gargoyle called Grif, looks on the assembled fighters, nods his head and follows his liege.

Steve watches as the two walk away. < God, I've just told Arthur Pendragon off. > He then turns to his people and tells them. "All right, let's get this done. We have more work to do tonight, and I want us rested."

*****

Ian Murphy watches as the man called Arthur and the gargoyle walk away from the gathering. < St. Wolf is right. That glory shit isn't worth dying for. >

*****

Robert McCallister watches his former liege slowly walk away. < Arthur, you're not ready for this war. The age of Chivalry is dead, and these things do not fight by any rules that you'd recognize. >

*****

Jarod watches as the tableau unfolds in front of him. He listens to both Steve's and Arthur's arguments. As Arthur reaches for his sword, Jarod does what he wouldn't have believed himself capable of twenty four hours ago. He raises his rifle and points it at Arthur's chest. < What has happened to me? > He asks himself. < I've never contemplated the willful taking of a life before, but now, I'm more than ready to kill this man for threatening a man I've never met until less than eight hours ago. But he's right and everyone here knows it, except Arthur. > Jarod watches as Arthur slowly walks away, followed by the gargoyle. No one else follows him. Then Jarod's attention is back to St. Wolf as he issues orders.

"Uncle Steve is right." Rachel comments, standing next to a confused Jarod.

Jarod just nods as he lowers his rifle and then takes Rachel's arm, leading her away from the meeting. < Why did I just do that? > He thinks to himself as he escorts Rachel to a waiting ambulance.

As they walk, Rachel tells Jarod of her first meeting the man called St. Wolf. Jarod just absorbs the information for later.

*****

Arthur stands near the entrance to the hotel and watches as the assembled warriors break up and assume their stations. He watches in wonder as the man called St. Wolf leads them down to the basement and possible death. He turns to Grif and asks. "Sir Grif, what did I do wrong?"

Grif takes a deep breathe and slowly let's it out. "First Arthur, you tried to take command away from St. Wolf. That was wrong."

"You're right about that, my friend. It's obvious that those people trust this man with their lives and bodies. But why?"

"Because he plans his attacks for the minimal amount of casualties. His people know that he won't send them on a suicide mission without a damn good reason. Also, he doesn't care about glory, just winning the battle, by any means possible and bring back as many of his people as possible. In other words Arthur, he doesn't give a rat's ass about what history says about him.

"Think back to the beginning of the battle. What did he do? He sent in an assault force to rescue the hostages, first, then after they had secured, did the main assault began. When we came in, I saw him fighting, at the front of his troops. I would wager to you that he was the first one through the door and facing those vampires, leading his people."

"Aye, I can see your thinking. But why would he want me to wait behind, when I and Excalibur would greatly aid him in his battle?"

"Because he doesn't know who we are. Nor does he trust us fully, yet. Those people have proven themselves to him and he to them. We haven't proven ourselves to either."

"So, what do you suggest?"

"We do as we were told. Stay here and guard the retreat, if necessary."

Arthur makes a face. "That is a bitter drought to swallow, Sir Grif. But you are right, I have to swallow it."

*****

Steve leads his point group down to the basement. As they walk down the stairs, Steve takes point with Buffy following just behind him. Hans and Argus bring up drag. As they stop at the first landing, Steve asks Buffy. "Buffy, do you sense any vampires here?"

"Yeah, three of them, and here they come."

As Buffy finishes, the three vampires move in to attack, but find that their prey was waiting for them. As the vampires enter the pool of light cast by the overhead bulb located on the landing, the point team lets loose with a blast of wooden tipped bullets. All three vampires are dusted.

"Any more in the area?" Steve asks Buffy.

"No, the basement's clear. Let's go to the next level."

"Okay." Steve replies, then he radios back to Mulder. "Three in, three out. Basement is clear. Moving to next level. Over."

"Confirmed, three in, three out. Moving to next level."

The point team moves to the sub basement level. As they approach the door, Buffy waves them back. She moves over to it and touches it. As she moves back, she holds up seven fingers. The team nods and they move into position. Steve, facing the door, Buffy, his backup. Robert raises a pry bar to open the door and the rest cover him, Steve and Buffy.

When all is ready, Steve nods his head and Robert digs in with the pry bar and then leans into it, popping open the door. Steve and Buffy, their guns moving in a figure eight, fire a full burst into the room ahead of them. Cassandra, Argus, William and Hans immediately rush inside, their guns going at full auto, in every possible direction. The vampires inside are not used to this type of attack and all seven are dust before they could raise their arms. The team moves in and checks out the area. Steve turns to Buffy. "Feel any more in here?"

"No, there's no one left."

"Mulder, this is point team, seven in, seven out. We'll check this area out."

"Confirmed, seven in, seven out. Will keep a fast response team on stand by."

"Roger that."

The group quickly reloads, then moves in together, covering each other with multiple fields of fire. As they enter the room, the stench nearly chokes them. As Steve and Robert turn on powerful flashlights, the scene they show could only have come from hell itself. Eviscerated bodies and parts of bodies lay all over the room. Large numbers of rats and insects were crawling all over them in orgy of gluttony. Buffy forces back a choked cry and buries her face in Steve's shoulder. As Steve looks on the scene of carnage, he tightens his grip on his M-14 and silently curses himself for not expecting something like this. He quietly orders his team back. "Let's go, there's nothing here for us."

As they walk backup, Robert asks. "Why did they do that? Vampires usually just leave the dead where they lay."

"They need the bones for the ritual to raise the demon. And since none of them are there, we can assume that they're already in place."

With that, the team quickly leaves the area, sick to their stomachs. As they approach the landing, the fast response team calls out. "Who's there?" And immediately points their weapons down onto Steve's group.

"It's us Mulder." Steve replies in a sad voice.

Hearing the weariness in Steve's voice and Buffy's sobs, Mulder and Scully walk down, and ask. "What happened in there?"

"We found I don't know how many dead people in there. Their bodies were eviscerated and the bones removed. The vampires are letting the rats and bugs clean up their mess."

"God." A pale faced Mulder replies.

"Yeah, let's get out of here. I'll tell Randall what happened."

*****

Jarod, having just put Rachel Kolchak in an ambulance, is standing next to Arthur and Grif, who are speaking with Cody Rodgers and Bob Devlin.

"Listen here Arthur, I don't care if you're the King of England or Jesus come back.. Attempt to attack St. Wolf again and I'll personally shoot you in the head." Cody Rodgers angrily tells him. Grif growls softly in the background, but doesn't move.

"You are right Sir, I shouldn't have attempted to wrest command here. But I felt slighted that he would take a young girl over me."

"That is no ordinary girl. She's the Slayer." Jarod replies to a curious Arthur.

"What, in God's name, is a Slayer?" Arthur asks.

"The Slayers are girls given mystical strength, speed and stamina to kill vampires." Grif replies to a startled Arthur. "I knew one in London during the Blitz, she was one of the strongest humans, I've ever encountered. My clan gave her shelter, when she needed it. But that's strange, when ever we offered to help, Elizabeth refused it. She told us that the Slayers had to hunt the vampires alone or with their watcher. Why is this girl different?"

"Because she won't be tied down by tradition." Rupert Giles replies as he enters the hotel, followed by Christine and the rest of the auxiliaries. Giles then reports to Cody. "The hostages are all on their way to the hospital." Giles then turns to Arthur. "Are you really Arthur?"

"Yes I am, and who are you?"

"Rupert Giles, Majesty."

"Would you be related to Sir Henry Giles?"

"My ancestor, your Majesty."

Arthur smiles. "I'm glad to see that bravery runs in your family Sir Rupert. But how do you know so much about the Slayer?"

"Because I'm her Watcher."

"And what exactly do you watch?"

"The Watchers do many things. We train Slayers, do research for them and help them in their fights."

"Then why are you outside, when your charge is in here, fighting?"

"Because Steve St. Wolf ordered me to command the auxiliaries." Giles replies calmly.

"And you do not fear for your charge?"

"Of course I do, but she has seventy heavily armed warriors at her back, plus the added fact that she's carrying the mystical sword called 'Vampire Slayer' and Steve is carrying it's mate, 'Demon Slayer', leaves little to doubt."

"Their swords are mystical? Who created these swords?" Arthur asks.

"Merlin, Majesty. Your sword, Excalibur, and eight other swords make up what are called the 'Nine Swords of Destiny'. These swords were created by him, Oberon and Titania, to protect humanity from the darkness that seeks to destroy it."

Jarod listens to all of this and wonders, < Magic really exists? I wonder if I could learn it? It might give me the edge I need to take down the Centre. > Jarod's reverie is broken by the sound of the approaching assault force. He watches as a tired and haggard looking, St. Wolf reports to Cody.

"Cody, the sub-basement is filled with the remains of their victims. Believe me when I say it's not a nice sight to behold."

"Worse than the supermarket?"

"Yeah, a lot worse." Steve replies in a hushed voice as Buffy softly cries into his shoulder.

*****

Arthur watches the by play between the man called St. Wolf and the girl called the Slayer and wonders. < Why does he hold her so close and with such gentleness? Are they man and wife or lovers? >

*****

"Can you make an estimate on the number of dead?"

"I think anywhere from at least a hundred to two hundred. The bodies are just too cut up to make a guess."

Cody and his men hang their heads in disbelief. Arthur turns pale and Grif gives a low growl of anger. After a moment, Cody digs out his cell phone and calls Randall. After two rings the phone is picked up.

"Randall here."

"John, it's Cody. The Regal Tower is secure. We're going to leave in a couple of minutes."

"Good, have Tracy and Dabrowski secure the place. How bad was it?"

"I'll let Steve tell you." Cody tells him, then hands the phone to Steve.

"John, this is Steve. We got ninety two hostages out. But the sub basement is a hell hole."

"Worse than the supermarket?"

"Yeah, the vampires were eviscerating the bodies of their victims down there. And they left the remains to the rats and the bugs."

"Oh God," John cries out. His friend Reed Simms looks at him quizzically. "How many do you estimate?"

"It could be a hundred, maybe two hundred. Maybe more."

"Shit. Thanks for telling me Steve. You guys go home and get some rest. We'll have more work to do tonight."

"Thanks John, but first the house in the Hollywood hills is getting taken care of. Then we get some rest. I'm sending most of my people to get some sleep. A few of us are borrowing two of your helicopters to pay those bastards a visit."

"Not a problem Steve. Thanks." Then John Randall hangs up.

*****

John turns to Reed and tells him. "Reed, our 'friends' have raided another site. And, oh God, it's worse than the supermarket."

"How could something be worse?"

"The vampires cut up their victims and removed the bones, leaving the flesh to be eaten by rats and bugs."

"Oh Shit, that's bad. How could anyone human do something like that?"

"Whoever said the vampires were human, Reed? According to our 'friends' when a person becomes a vampire, the body is taken over by a demon and the person really dies. What you have left is an animated corpse that needs human blood to live. Jessica was a prime example of one of those things. And she was willing to murder us without a problem."

"But why did they remove the bones?"

"The bones are to be used in a ritual to raise a demon. According to our 'friends,' it's some kind of Aztec ritual that can only be done once every five hundred years."

"Shit, this situation has just gotten really weird."

"Tell me about it."

"I'll call in the troops. Just get us there." And with that Reed Simms picks up his phone and calls in several units of the LA County Coroner's Office to be dispatched to the Regal Tower.

*****

Steve hands the phone back to Cody and asks. "Have two of the winds land in front and myself, Buffy, Mulder, Scully, Robert, Michael, Aaron and yourself will go pay the Order of Vigious a visit. Bob will take the rest of our friends back to the Motor Lodge so they can rest."

"You got it Steve." Cody replies, then calls in Tracy and Dabrowski. "Tracy come in."

"Yeah Cody. What is it?"

"John wants you two to secure the area, while our 'friends' go get some sleep and rest."

"Not a problem."

As Cody puts away his radio, Jarod moves forward and asks. "Sir, would it be all right if I joined in the last sortie?"

Cody looks at Jarod and nods his head in agreement. "All right Russell, you can come. But watch your ass and listen to myself or one of the others."

*****

Part 30 - Lights in the Sky
(Frohike Gets Really Macho)

Banzai looks back to his four passengers < Shit man, who the hell are these people. > He thinks back to the radio reports from the last assault and wonders. He watches as Monsoon follows him closely behind. A few minutes later, he spots the house in question and calls back to his passengers. "The target is in sight. What do I do?"

"Can you land this bird close by?" The man called St. Wolf asks.

"Not a problem. Is that hill top over there go enough?" Banzai points over to a large flat area that once held tennis courts.

"That's perfect. Put us down there and come out with us. You can see the fireworks for yourself." St. Wolf replies with a grin.

< What the hell does he mean by that? > Banzai wonders to himself as he shuts down the helicopter, and walks out behind the assault troops. Monsoon quickly follows.

The group stands before the helicopters and watches the house down the hill as St. Wolf takes out his cell phone. He dials a number on his speed dial and waits for it to be picked up. Two rings later, Jenny picks up the phone. "St. Wolf residence."

"Jenny, please put Frohike on the phone."

"Sure Steve." And a few seconds later Frohike is on the phone.

"Steve, can I still do it?" He breathlessly asks.

"Yes Frohike, you can do it. But I want one more scan before you punch the button."

"Not a problem, we just did one about ten minutes ago. No warm bodies in there. But, if you want us to we'll do another one."

"Don't bother, that's good enough for me. Do your thing."

"All right. Top of the world, Ma. Top of the world!!." Frohike shouts as an amber beam lights up the sky and tears into the mansion below.

Everyone on the hilltop watches in amazement as the building below them is quickly engulfed in a inferno. Steve looks up into the sky and mutters. "Remind me never to piss Frohike off."

"I hope this doesn't go to his head." Mulder comments with a grin as he watches the house go up in a huge ball of flame.

The rest of the group watches on in awe and shock as the house begins to break into itself and collapses into a heap. The beam continues to destroy the house as they watch.

Suddenly it's over and Frohike reports. "Steve, I've destroyed the house and all of it's basements and sub-basements. Anything else you need?"

"Not at this time Frohike. Please put on Jenny."

"Yes Steve, what is it?"

"Jenny, have Cordelia, Robert and Nakao, grab all of our friends' overnight bags and take them to the Motor Lodge. Most of our people should be getting there in about forty minutes. We'll be there in about twenty minutes."

"Be seeing you, Steve."

*****

Jenny hangs up the phone and turns to Willow and Frohike. "Guys, time to close up. We're finished for the night. Good job Frohike. That laser might make the difference in this fight."

Frohike grins as he leans back and cracks his knuckles. "Couldn't have done it without you two. And the computer of course. So what's to do now?"

"First I have to get our team their overnight bags. Then we start to plan out the search parameters for finding the Watchers."

Frohike leans forward and asks. "Who are these 'Watchers'?"

Jenny sighs as she explains. "The Society of Watchers chronicles the history of the Immortals. They don't involve themselves in the lives of the Immortals, just watch and record."

"So what we have is a large group of peeping toms." Frohike comments. "I'm surprised the Immortals let them do this."

"Most don't know about the Watchers. Those that do, don't mind."

"Why?"

"Because they understand that their story should be chronicled and that mankind should know about them, what they've done, who've they've been. So, that humanity won't be afraid of them if the population as a whole discovers them."

"I can see where that could come in handy. After all they've been a part of history for thousands of years." Frohike thinks for a moment then asks. "If these Watchers are watching Immortals, shouldn't there be one or two for Steve and Buffy? Why don't we catch them and find out where the meeting is being held."

Jenny sighs deeply. "That would be a good idea if they would know where the meeting was going to happen."

"You mean they don't know. They could be lying."

"No they're not."

"What makes you so sure?"

"Because Giles and I are Buffy's and Steve's Watchers."

"You're kidding? Your own people won't let you know where the meeting is? Why is that?"

Jenny sighs as she explains. "Before we became Watchers, Giles and I were already involved with Buffy. When Steve came into the picture and we had the first large battle against the vampires, we were introduced to Joe Dawson, the head of the North American branch of the Society of Watchers. He offered us the job of Watching Steve and Buffy. Since Giles was already Buffy's Watcher, we took the job."

"You lost me for a second there. Did you say that Giles was already a Watcher, then this Dawson guy gave him the job of being Buffy's and Steve's Watcher?"

"Yes, Giles also belongs to the 'Council of Watchers'. They watch, find, train and chronicle the lives of the Slayers. The Society of Watchers, chronicles the lives of the Immortals. Since Buffy is both a Slayer and an Immortal, Giles, and now I, report to both organizations."

"Man, talk about job security." Frohike replies with a grin. "But back to the question, why won't the Society let you know where their big meeting is?"

"Probably because we report directly to Joe Dawson and he's not currently in favor with the Society's ruling board."

"How'd he piss them off?"

"By being friends with the Immortals and helping them from time to time. Definite no-no's in the Watcher rule book."

Frohike's mouth splits into a grin as he comments. "You know, Mulder was right when he said that I would like working with you. That's what I like about you and the rest, Jenny. You people don't care about rules when your friends and innocent people are going to be hurt. You go out there and do something. Thanks for showing me that the Lone Gunmen and Mulder and Scully are not alone out there."

Jenny gives Frohike a dazzling smile as she replies. "Anytime Frohike, anytime. Now, I have to get our friends stuff to them. Care to lend a hand, loading the cars?"

"Sure, not a problem." Frohike replies as he gets up and walks with Jenny into the living room.

As they enter the living room, they see that their newest 'guests' were fast asleep on the couches as well as Cordelia. Robert is sitting off to the side, sipping hot, fresh coffee and reading a newspaper. As they approach, he puts down the paper and asks. "How did everything go? Well, I hope."

"On the up side, no injuries to our teams and 163 hostages rescued and about three hundred vampires killed. On the down side, we have an estimate of almost five hundred dead innocents." Jenny replies in a level voice..

"So, what are we to do now?"

"Well, we have to get our friends their overnight bags. So, let's get Cordelia and Nakao up and then the three of you can meet with the vans at the motel."

Robert nods his head in agreement and proceeds to quietly wake up Nakao, while Jenny wakes up Cordelia.

As both girls awake, Cordelia asks. "What's up Jenny?"

"We need you, Robert and Nakao to take the overnight bags to the Motor Lodge and pick up Steve, Buffy and the rest of our team from there."

"Cool. Let us wash up and get some coffee and we'll be on our way."

"Robert and I will load the Blazer, while you two wake up." Frohike tells them.

A few minutes later, after Robert and Frohike are done loading, the girls come out, ready to face the world.

As Robert reaches for his coat Jenny asks. "Robert, can you handle a gun?"

"I served six years in the Army Rangers, Jenny, two of them in Korea, during the so-called 'Police Action'."

Jenny nods her head and goes over to a section of wall and presses a hidden stud and a panel breaks away. She reaches inside and pulls out a nickel plated Smith and Wesson 745 DA/SA Semi-Auto 45 with it's holster. She hands Robert the gun as well as three extra magazines. "For your protection."

Robert takes the gun and quickly examines it and loads it. "Thank you. This is a most excellent weapon."

"Just don't shoot yourself in the foot with it." Jenny replies with a grin.

"Of that, you have no worry."

*****

Part 31 - Off Centre
(Slap Shot)

Several minutes later, Robert, driving the Blazer, follows Cordelia's car and Oz's van to the Motor Lodge. As they pull up to the office several men in black suits are clustered around the coffee shop located next to the office. These men watch the two girls and young man as they enter the office together. A white haired man named Gar comments, with a lecherous grin, to his partner, Willy. "Looks like the kid's going to get real lucky." Willy just nods his head in agreement and silently sips his coffee.

*****

Inside the office, George greets Cordelia warmly. "Why Miss Cordelia, it's always a pleasure to see you. Will you and Mr. Harris be wanting your usual room?"

A slightly embarrassed Cordelia turns a pretty shade of pink as Robert and Nakao softly chuckle. "No George, Steve sent us down to arrange the rooms for a large party of his 'friends'."

"Certainly Miss Cordelia, how many rooms will you need at this time?"

"Thirty rooms should be enough. We're meeting them here in about thirty minutes, so if you don't mind, we'll take the keys and give them their rooms as they come in."

"Of course not. Do you need anything else?" George asks as he hands her thirty sets of keys.

"Two things. First can you set up some tables and chairs like the last time?"

"Certainly, Miss Cordelia. Will the entire group be staying for a while?"

"Several days. So they'll need a place to sit and talk. And, can you tell me who are the guys in the black suits?"

"They came in last night with a lady. I think they might be her body guards, why?"

"Just want to make sure we have no surprises. You know how touchy some of Steve's friends can be. Especially if the law is involved."

*****

Outside, Gar watches as the two girls and boy walk over to their cars and drive them over to the other side of the parking lot. They get out and lean against the Blazer, talking among themselves, while keeping an eye on their surroundings. Gar watches them closely and he makes a decision. He turns to his partner Willy and tells him. "Willy, I don't trust those kids. They're too fucking observant. I'm going to try and scare them away." <And have some fun with the brunette in the mini skirt.>

Willy just gives the kids a quick look over as he replies. "Whatever rocks your boat, Gar. Just don't' piss off Parker."

*****

Cordelia, Nakao and Robert are talking together, going over the last nights events, when Robert looks up from their discussion and mutters. "The peroxide blond is coming over."

"Oh joy, I wonder what he wants?" Cordelia asks as Gar walks up to them. The three turn to face him.

*****

Gar gives the three kids a closer look as he walks up to them. The oriental girl was sitting on the hood of the sports car, her back to him, dumb position. Then, he notices how the boy and the brunette are standing, relaxed and easy, not too close together, watching everything and everyone, almost as if they were ready for any problems that could arise. < Naw, these two kids couldn't be pros. Could they? > Gar moves forward, until he's standing near the brunette, using her as a shield if the boy decides to try something. He watches as the girl turns around and looks him directly in the eye. Gar just grins as he asks. "Hey little lady, how much do you charge by the hour?" < This should piss the boy off and then, Bam! >

Gar watches in amusement as the boy moves forward to defend his girl friend's honor. < God, how predictably are these kids? > Gar moves back and looks on in surprise as the girl puts a hand to the boy's chest, stopping him. < What the fuck? >

*****

Cordelia is angry. < No one talks to me like that. NO ONE! > She hears Robert's low growl as he makes ready to defend her honor. < Well, at least Robert is a gentleman. > She raises her hand and stops his forward rush. Cordelia then looks Gar straight in the eye and does a snap kick to his jaw. The force of the blow spins Gar completely around and he meets the asphalt face first. Then, Cordelia picks him up by his tie and sweetly tells him. "Far more than you could ever afford, you low life, piece of shit." Then she drops him, hard. The sound Gar's head makes as it hits the ground makes Robert and Nakao wince.

*****

Willie, watching from across the parking lot, drops his cup of coffee in shock. < Shit, did I just see Gar taken down by that brunette? > He shakes his head in disbelief, but he walks across the parking lot to see for himself. As he makes his way across the lot, he notices two helicopters land in the lot behind the Motor Lodge. < What the hell could those be about? >

As he reaches the halfway mark in the lot, he watches the brunette, pick up Gar by his tie, tell him something and then drop him back to the ground, hard. Willie winces at the sound Gar's head makes as it hits. < Damn, that's one mean bitch. Who is she? Parker's lost sister? > As he reaches the scene, Willie grabs his gun and tells the brunette. "Walk away from him. *NOW*"

Robert looks over to Willie and calmly moves away. As Robert moves away, he makes a small distinctive noise, distracting him for a second. That's all it takes for the brunette to grab his gun hand, twist it back and sideways and painfully takes his gun away. < Shit, that *HURTS* > Willie thinks to himself as he watches the brunette calmly unload his Glock 19. < Shit man, who the fuck is Gar messing with? This bitch is too well trained to be some high school kid. >

*****

Nakao watches from the side lines as Cordelia deals with the two strangers. She watches in disbelief as Cordelia quickly takes both men apart. < Ancestor!! I thought Cordelia was just a normal teenager. Shit, no wonder she's hanging around Section Seven's headquarters. She's guarding it. >

*****

Broots looks on in shock as Gar gets slapped around by the brunette. He quickly moves over to the connecting door to his room and quickly knocks and calls out. "Miss Parker, there's a situation. Can you come out here a minute?"

Miss Parker, quickly enters the room and asks. "Do you have a lead on Jarod?"

"No, but I think you might want to see this." Broots replies from his vantage point by the window.

"What's going on Broots?" An exasperated Miss Parker asks.

"Gar is getting his ass kicked by a brunette in a mini skirt." Broots replies with a grin.

"You're joking." A confused Miss Parker replies as she watches through the blinds as Willie's gun is violently taken away from him. < Damn, she's good. Who the hell is she? >

"Who do you think she is?" Broots asks, verbalizing Miss Parker's thoughts.

"No one, if the other sweepers kill her." Miss Parker replies as six sweepers move to neutralize the brunette and her friends as potential threats. < I'm going to have to put a stop to this, before someone gets killed. > Miss Parker thinks to herself as she moves to the door. As she leaves, she orders Broots. "Broots, wake up Sidney, we may need his input on this."

*****

Nakao looks over to where the two men came from and notices the six similarly dressed men making their way to them, with guns drawn. She moves over to Robert and points them out to him. Robert looks over the six men and silently nods his head. He quietly tells Nakao. "Nakao, get into Steve's Blazer. It's armored and bullet proof, so you'll be safe in there." Nakao nods and gets in as Robert moves over to stand by Cordelia. "So, what do we do now?" He asks her.

"We take them out as fast as possible. That's what."

"Good, I'll take the three on my right, you take the three on the left."

Cordelia flashes him a quick grin as she asks. "Why Robert Hascombe, I would think that an old fashioned gentleman like you would take on all six of them for a lady."

"Not after watching you take down those two, I'm not." Robert replies with a devil may care grin. Cordelia chuckles as she hears a noise behind her. She wheels around and points her gun at another black clad figure.

*****

Buffy watches as the smoldering wreck of the Hollywood Hills mansion quickly recedes into the morning light. She breaths a sigh of contentment as she presses her body against the man sitting next to her. < God, I still can't believe that Frohike took out that house with a laser. Since when did this become Star Wars? > She leans back and rests her head on Steve's shoulder, then she feels his arm come around her waist. < Oh yeah, this feels right. > Buffy thinks to herself as she closes her eyes, tired but happy and secure.

*****

Mulder watches Buffy make herself comfortable next to Steve and grins. < If those two were any closer, they'd be on opposite sides. > He then feels Scully move in on his side and he looks at her and whispers. "I wonder when the wedding's going to be?"

"Give it a little while." Scully replies with a grin.

"Think we're invited?"

"Better be or I'll be very pissed."

*****

In the other helicopter

Cody calls his superior, John Randall with the news. The phone was picked up on the third ring. "Randall here. What's up Cody?"

"John, just wanted to tell you, the house in the in the Hollywood Hills was just taken out. All of the cultists are dead, no hostages to rescue."

"How'd they do it? Rockets or just go in there and blast them apart?"

"Neither, they used an orbital laser. Burned down the entire house in seconds. Nothing could have survived in that inferno."

The silence on the line drags on for a full minute before Randall replies with. "They used a what? Please repeat Cody, I didn't quite get that last one."

Cody looks over at Jarod, who's grinning from ear to ear. "I said they used an orbital laser to take out the building, John."

"I thought you said that the first time, but where the hell did they get it?"

"I don't know John, I just know that they have one and that it works."

"Thanks for the news Cody. I'll see you later."

"Over and out."

*****

John Randall looks at his cell phone as he presses the 'END' button. < Steve and his bunch have access to an orbital laser? Shit, just who the hell has Mulder teamed up with? > He then turns to Tracy and Dabrowski and comments. "Our friends took out the Hollywood Hills house. Tracy send up some detectives to look over the sight. Make sure they only stay during the day time."

"You got it John." Tracy replies, then asks. "Anyone hurt?"

"Nope, they took out the house with an orbital laser. Didn't leave shit behind, according to Cody."

"Ahh, Captain, they used a what to take out the Hollywood Hills place? I didn't quite catch it." Dabrowski asks

"According to Cody, our 'friends' used an orbital laser to completely destroy the house."

"Where the hell did they get an orbital laser from?" Tracy asks in awe.

"I don't know and I don't think I want to find out." Randall replies while thinking < Mulder and Scully have to have some kind of juice to get something like that. I wonder who they really work for? >

*****

National Reconnaissance Organization HQ
Some Where in Virginia

Sgt. Paxton reviews the information coming across his board and immediately double checks it. A few minutes later he gets up and heads to the situation room. Upon entering he goes straight to Maj. Hoffman, and gives him the news. "Sir, Red Eagle One has been located."

Maj. Hoffman looks up from his report and asks. "Where is it and how did we find it?"

"Sir, presently it's over Los Angeles. Also Sir, you should know, whoever is controlling it, busted a cap."

Maj. Hoffman nervously asks. "Are you sure? Was it confirmed? And how?"

"Yes Sir, we are. One of the other satellites observed and recorded the firing sequence and noted the area targeted."

"Damn, I hope it wasn't populated."

"No Sir, it wasn't. But, since I have the satellite's location, I was able to access the satellite's data recorders and see what Section Seven was using it for. And Sir, the strange thing is that they've been using it as a looking glass. Observing and noting several sites in the Los Angeles area. The last place had no living people in it and they destroyed it. While the previous two had numerous thermal images and they only used the satellite for observation."

"Can you get control back?"

"No Sir, I'm still locked out. But, I was able to access the satellite's data recorders using a piggy back signal from a satellite located in a higher orbit. I can see what they're up to, but I can't control the satellite, until they decide to give it back."

"Do you have the locations of the sites being observed in Los Angeles?"

"Yes Sir, they're noted on this." Sgt. Paxton hands the Major a sheet of paper with two locations listed in Longitude and Latitude, as well as street addresses.

Maj. Hoffman looks at the sheet of paper. "Thank you Sgt., I'll take it form here." Sgt Paxton nods, salutes and leaves the situation room. Maj. Hoffman looks at his retreating back and thinks to himself. < Damn good man, that Paxton. I'll make sure he gets promoted for this. > Then he turns to the rest of the room and calls the meeting to order. "General Douglaston, we have a lead on the satellite, could you please call the room to order?"

*****

Buffy, Steve, Mulder and Scully watch as the Sunnydale Motor Lodge comes into view. As Banzai nears it, Steve tells him. "Land the chopper behind in the enclosed field and we'll get off. Then you can take Cody and Russell back to LA."

Banzai nods his head in agreement as he quickly lands the helicopter in the field and his mysterious passengers get out. He gives them a stiff salute and immediately lifts off, headed back to the LA airport.

As Monsoon drops off his passengers, Steve leans in and tells Cody. "Cody, we'll rendevous here at a 1700 hours. Then we'll rendevous with the LAPD contingents at Buster's. I'll see you then and have a good trip back."

"Thanks Steve, we'll be seeing you then. Otherwise have a good sleep."

"Same to you. Bye." Steve replies as the helicopter lifts.

The seven Immortals watch as the helicopter lifts off and heads directly south. Steve turns to his friends. "All right people, we have to get some rest today." As they walk to the Motor Lodge, Steve tells Robert, Aaron and Michael. "Robert, you, Aaron and Michael will be staying here. I just don't have the room in my place."

"Not a problem Steve, I stayed here the last time and found the accommodations most comfortable." Robert replies with a grin, remembering the maid Constance and the evening they spent together.

As they're about to enter the Motor Lodge area, Mulder holds up his hand and everyone immediately moves to the side of the building, presenting a smaller target signature. Steve moves forward to see what was the problem. As he moves forward and looks around the corner, he watches as Cordelia disarms a man in black suit. Steve notices another man lying on the ground in front of Cordelia, wearing the same suit. As she finishes disarming, her opponent, Mulder points to six similarly dressed men moving to attack Cordelia and Robert Hascombe. Steve quietly orders. "Mulder, Scully, take Aaron and Michael and go around the right side of my Blazer. Buffy, Robert and I will go around the left."

As Steve, Buffy and Robert McCallister move quietly to the left of the dark blue Blazer, Steve's foot brushes several pebbles. The noise alerts Cordelia, who immediately turns and points her gun between Steve's eyes. When she sees who's sneaking up on her, she smiles and asks. "So, are you just going to stand there or help?"

"Actually, both." Steve replies with a grin, then orders, "Cordelia, keep an eye on your two playmates. Mulder, would you please be kind and ruin their friends' day?"

With that Mulder and the rest rise up from behind Cordelia's car, catching the six sweepers in the open and in a cross fire. Mulder immediately yells. "Everyone FREEZE! This is the FBI! Put those guns down or we will shot you down where you stand. You have until the count of 3. 1, 2,.." The men nervously look at each other and quickly put down their guns and then Mulder orders. "Step back three paces." The men do so. "Now, kneel down and intertwine your fingers together behind your heads." The six men do so.

As they finish, a women angrily walks out of a room and stalks forward. She looks Mulder up and down and asks. "Who's in charge here?"

*****

Scully looks over the woman standing behind the six dark suited men and thinks to herself. < Who's this? And what is it with the mini skirt? > Then she notices Mulder's gaze turn to the women's legs and she elbows him. Mulder's gaze immediately turns back to the work at hand.

*****

Steve looks Miss Parker over and asks. "Depends, who wants to know?"

"I do. Now either tell which one of you is the person in charge here or take me to your superior." Miss Parker snaps out.

"That would be the four of us." Steve replies, pointing to Mulder, Scully, Buffy and himself. "But, I'm the overall commander. Now, who are you and why are these men trying to kill our three friends here?"

"My name is Parker, those men are my body guards. I want to know right now what the hell is going on." < Damn, it's Jamieson and the girl from the video tape. >

"Very simple, let's ask Cordelia what happened?" Steve replies and then asks. "Cordy, what started everything?"

"The platinum blond insulted me. That's what. He had the unmitigated gall to ask me 'how much I charged by the hour'. I then kicked his ass. Then this guy comes over and pulls a gun on me. So I took it from him. Then those six came over with their guns already drawn."

Miss Parker looks down on Gar with a sour expression on her face. Then she asks Willie. "Is this true Willie? Would Gar say something like that?"

Willie looks up from where he's laying down and replies. "Wouldn't be the first time Miss Parker. He usually puts his foot in his mouth like that. Just never saw him pick on someone who could fight back."

*****

Broots and Sidney are watching from Broots' room and Sidney mutters. "My God, is that Jamieson and the girl from the video?"

"Even worse Sid, that's Mulder and Scully out there as well. Shit Sid, what the hell have we walked into?"

"I don't know Mr. Broots, but at least they're talking and not shooting at each other. One thing, do you notice how Jamieson and his group are all armed with not just guns, but swords as well? And if I'm not mistaken, are they wearing armor?"

"Yeah, this is just too weird, Sid. But like I told you yesterday, when Mulder and Scully are involved, nothing is beyond the weird."

*****

Miss Parker walks over to Gar and reaches down, slapping him awake, as he groggily awakes, he tries to draw his gun, but Parker smacks his hand away and tells him. "Don't be an idiot." Then she drags him up, against the Blazer and asks him. "Did you insult this woman, Gar?"

"Yeah, so what? She's just some cheap high school girl." Gar angrily responds, thinking that he still has the upper hand. "I'll just take her and her friends out and no one will be the wiser."

"Gar, you moron. Look around you. This 'girl' works for the FBI. You tried to harass a Federal agent."

"What the hell are you talking about Miss Parker? These are only kids."

Miss Parker turns to Cordelia and asks. "How hard did you hit him?"

"Very hard, but I didn't do any permanent damage. He's lucky my boyfriend wasn't here. Xander would have killed him."

Miss Parker just shakes her head in bewilderment and asks. "Is it all right if I take him away from here and have one of my people take a look at him?"

"Not a problem, just keep a tighter rein on your people, Parker. And we'll get along just fine." Steve tells her. Just then a loud horn is heard from the front of the motor lodge. Steve looks over and comments. "Looks like the rest of our people are here. Why don't you go back to your rooms and deal with this matter, in private."

Parker nods her agreement and then orders her men. "You six, pick up your guns and help Gar and Willie back to Sidney's room. Sidney can look them over." With that Parker storms off, back to the room she originally came out of. She's quickly followed by her men.

*****

Buffy turns to Steve as they watch Parker leave with her men and asks. "Do you think we'll have a problem with them?"

"No, that Parker woman doesn't want any trouble. So her people won't give us any." Steve then turns to Robert Hascombe. "Robert please open up the Blazer and issue out everyone's bag and give them each a room key."

"Not a problem Steve, Aaron, Michael and Mr. McCallister have already gone to their beds. The rest should be in their rooms in a few minutes."

"Good, then we can go home and make a few phone calls." Steve replies as he turns to Bob Devlin. "Bob, thanks for bringing everyone here. But where's Ironman's group, Tommy's people and Kowalski's bunch?"

"We dropped off the ninja's at their warehouse. Kowalski's bunch went back to their homes. And Carl had a squad car drop him and his two friends at his place to crash. The rest came here, including Arthur and Grif. Now we're on our way home. But before I go, what's the call for tonight?"

"We're having a rendezvous here at 1700 hours. Bring yourselves and about a dozen vans. The rally point in LA will be Buster's place. I hope he doesn't mind."

"Buster? He'll be more pissed off if you don't involve him. Have a good sleep and I'll make arrangements with the motor pool and get the vans and a dozen drivers. This time out the Rangers are not sitting on the side lines."

*****

Miss Parker watches the people disembark from the four large vans and offers up a silent prayer. < Dear God, who are these people? It looks like a small private army has taken residence. And are those real SWAT officers? > She then turns to Sidney and asks. "Sidney, what do you make of it? What's Jamieson up to? And who are these people?"

"It looks like Mr. Jamieson is more than he seems, Miss. Parker. Those people out there are obviously well trained and very disciplined. Most are probably soldiers or professional agents. I wonder which organization they belong to?"

Miss Parker nods her head and continues to watch what's happening outside.

*****

Steve and Buffy watch as Xander grabs up Cordelia and gives her a hug. "Missed you, honey." He gasps out as Cordelia kisses him.

"Would you two break it up already?" Steve asks as Xander and Cordelia break up the lip lock and grin. "All right, Cordelia, you take Xander, Giles and Nakao. Oz, you take Robert, Frank, Cassandra and Amy. I'll take Buffy, Mulder and Scully and we'll all meet back at my place.

*****

Miss Parker watches as Jamieson and a small group, including the brunette, get together by their cars. She watches as a young man, dressed in black, carrying a rifle, takes the girl into a hug. < So that's her boyfriend. He's cute enough. > She turns to Willie, points to Xander and asks. "Willie what kind of rifle is he carrying?"

Willie, watching the scene in the parking lot through a pair of binoculars, replies in a respectful tone. "Miss Parker, that's an AWP-308 sniper rifle. That's one mean piece of ordinance which does a half inch group at two hundred yards out of the box. The only people who would use it are snipers. The red headed guy next to him is carrying a Heckler & Koch G3 Battle Rifle. From what I can see of their gear, each one is carrying a Glock pistol, combat knife, plus grenades and, if I'm not mistaken, a sword as well as an unknown type of body armor."

"Would we stand a chance against them, if we had to fight?"

"Not a snow ball's chance in hell Ma'am. Who ever those people are, they're playing for keeps."

Miss Parker watches as the small group gets into the three cars and leave the motel. Miss Parker turns to Sidney, "Sidney, we've got to watch our backs on this one. Remember how he treated with Centre personnel the last time he had a run in with them."

*****

Part 32 - Calling Out the Clan
(Dialing 1-800-COMMANDO, With Express Delivery)

Twenty minutes later the group meets back at Steve's house and Steve gives them orders. "Giles, you, Amy, Xander, Cordy and Oz go home and get some sleep."

"Not a problem Steve." Oz replies as he leaves. "Xander, you wanna crash by my place?"

"Thanks Oz, that'll save me answering some questions to my folks."

"My dad's gone for the weekend, Cordy you want to sleep there?" Amy asks.

"Thanks Amy. That'll save me from explaining things to my mom." Cordelia tells her as they leave.

Giles waits until the foursome leaves, then asks. "Is Jenny going to be working through the day?"

"Yeah, we've got to track down the Watcher's meeting place. So, Jenny, Willow and Frohike will be working through the day. Hopefully we'll find it before the vampires attack."

"Very good. Then I'll wish you all a good sleep." Giles replies as he goes to say good night to Jenny.

Steve then turns to his four other house guests. "Nakao, you Randi and Brian will share Buffy's room with her. Robert, I'm afraid, you'll have to make do with the couch. I'm sorry, but that's all that's available."

"Not a problem Steve. They appear to be most comfortable and I only need a short nap."

"I'll take the couch too." Brian pipes up. "I'm not sharing a room with three girls."

"Brian, when you're older, you're going to regret that decision." Brian makes a face and the rest laugh, but Steve relents. "Okay, you get a couch. But first go take a shower. Buffy, can you please take Nakao and Randi to your room and get them settled in?"

Buffy gives Steve a grin. "Sure Steve. I'll also give them something else to wear while I get their clothes cleaned up."

"Thanks Buffy. Now I've got a few phone calls to make, then I'll get some sleep."

*****

A phone rings in Connor McLeod's antique store. He picks it up and tells the person on the other end. "The store is not open yet. Can you please call back in an hour?"

"Connor, don't hang up. It's me, Dana Scully."

"Dana, what can I do for you?" Connor asks politely.

"We need you out in California. Can you get out here today?"

"Sure, but why?"

Dana then explains the situation to him. After she finishes, Dana asks. "Are you willing to come?"

"Certainly Dana. I'll take the first plane out."

"Thanks, Connor."

*****

The phone is picked up and a British voice replies. "MacDuff residence, can I help you?"

"Please put me through to Lennox." Steve asks.

"May I ask who is calling."

"Tell him it's Steven St. Wolf."

"Certainly, Sir. Just a moment."

Less than a minute later, Lennox MacDuff gets on. "Steve, what can I do for you?"

"Lennox, I need some help." Steve then explains the situation to the Scottish immortal.

His reply is. "My God, I'll be out there with a few of my men. Do you need anything?"

"Yes, weapons. I'm running short on guns. I have this ammunition which kills the vampires, but not enough guns for every body."

"What caliber?"

"Anything in 45, 9mm or 308 calibers, plus extra magazines."

"Done, I'll see you in three hours."

"Thanks Lennox. The rendezvous is the Sunnydale Motor Lodge. Use the enclosed field in the rear for your craft."

*****

Stony Man Farm. . .

Barbara Price is going over the morning reports when her phone rings. She picks it up, hoping it's Hal. "Hello, Stony Man Farm."

"Barbara, this is Carl. Is Mack there?"

"Yes, he is, Ironman. Why do you want him? I thought you were on vacation."

"Some vacation. When Mack dropped us off, he introduced us to two FBI Agents. We've just spent the night helping them on their case."

"You don't mean the vampire cult raids. Don't tell me, you three have been helping on those?"

"Yeah, we have. Is Mack around?"

"Here he is." Barbara replies as she gives Mack her 'What the Hell are They Doing' stare.

Mack just grins as he takes the phone and turns on the speaker. "What's the situation Ironman?"

"Well Mack, first of all, thanks for getting us involved in this little mess."

"You're welcome Ironman." Mack replies with a grin. "Now, what do you need?"

Ironman then gives Mack a detailed situation report and what the plans were for that evening. Ironman closes it with. "Mack, I still can't believe what I've seen in the last twelve hours. But Gadgets, Politician and I are going to see it through. Can you come out with Phoenix Force and Grimaldi? And bring any extra weapons in calibers 45, 9mm and 308?"

"Where's the rendezvous?"

"The Sunnydale Motor Lodge."

"I'll see you in five hours. Now get some sleep." Mack replies as he hangs up the phone.

Mack turns to Barbara Price and tells her. "Get Phoenix Force into the War Room. We've got a situation in Los Angeles."

"Mack, you can't be serious. What Ironman described can't be happening." < Shit, does Mack understand what he's getting involved in? >

Mack slowly nods his head as he tells her. "I fought those things five months ago, Barbara. Vampires really exist and if they're doing what Ironman has just told us, then they're a threat to this country and the world. We have to fight them and defeat them. There is no middle ground."

Barbara's mind reels, < Mack fought them five months ago? How did he get involved with vampires and live? > Barbara keeps a poker face on her as she immediately orders Phoenix Force to the War Room.

*****

Richie Ryan is cleaning the gym, prior to it's early morning opening when the office phone rings. He rushes over and picks it up. "DeSalvo's Gym. Can I help you?"

"Richie, this is Steve. Is Duncan around?"

"He is Steve, but Amanda's here and he's a little preoccupied."

Steve's grin could be heard over the phone as he tells Richie. "Wake him up Richie, I need some help and I'm Calling out the Clan, so to speak."

"What the Hell does that mean?"

"Just tell it to Duncan, he'll understand." Steve tells Richie.

"All right. Hold on and I'll get him on the intercom." Richie tells Steve as he turns to the intercom and mutters to himself. < I hope Duncan doesn't kill me for this. > "Duncan, are you awake?"

"I am now Richie. What's wrong?" An annoyed Duncan asks.

"Steve's on the phone and he told me to tell you that he's 'Calling out the Clan'."

"Shit! Tell him to hold on. I'll be right down."

Richie hears his friend rush down the stairs and less than a minute later, he's in the office and talking to Steve on the speaker. Steve gives a quick run down of the situation and asks Duncan to come down with as many Immortals as he can get. "I'll be down today. Where are we meeting?"

"The Sunnydale Motor Lodge, at 1600."

"Got it. Be seeing you." Duncan replies as Steve hangs up.

Duncan turns to Richie and asks. "Are you in?"

"In a heartbeat, Duncan."

"So am I." Both men turn to see Amanda standing there in Duncan's pajama top.

Duncan turns to her and asks. "I usually have to beg you to do something decent. Why not now?"

"Because I know vampires really exist. And I've seen what they can do. Anytime that I can take a few of them out is time well spent."

"Good, then let's get Methos, Justin and whoever else is in town to help."

*****

Wally the bartender is cleaning up the Coyote Bar and Grill after a late night, when he hears the phone ring. < Who the hell would be calling at this time? > He thinks to himself as he answers it. "Coyote Bar and Grill, can I help you?"

"Get Coyote on the phone. I need to talk to him." A voice orders on the phone.

Wally takes a deep breathe and slowly let's it out. "Mister, no one orders me around. Ask nicely and tell me who you are and then maybe, I'll let you talk to him."

"Old Son," The strange voice begins. "I'm not in a nice mode, so get Coyote on the phone, before I come down there and put you into the hospital."

Wally blanches, only one man has ever call him 'Old Son'. He takes a deep gulp and asks. "Is this the Wanderer?" He asks nervously.

"Yes, it is."

< Oh Shit, not him again. > "I'll get Coyote for you, sir. My apologizes for my earlier behavior."

Wally runs outside and finds Coyote working on his bike. "Boss, the Wanderer is on the phone. He wants to talk to you."

"Tell him I'll be in, in a minute."

"Yes sir." Then Wally runs back to the phone and repeats Coyote's words.

"Thanks, sorry about earlier, I've had a long night."

"Can I ask what happened?"

"Turn on the news, it'll be the top story."

Wally grabs up the remote and turns on the morning news shows and watches the footage from the four raids being played back and he turns pale at the number of dead. He looks down at the phone receiver in his hand, and asks. "Did you kill all those people?"

"No, I killed the things responsible for those murders."

Before Wally can ask, Coyote comes in and tells him, "Put him on speaker." Wally brings up the phone and presses the speaker button. "Wanderer, what do you want?"

"I need help, Coyote." Then Steve explains the situation to Coyote. As he finishes, he asks. "Are you willing?"

"No, this matter is none of my business." Coyote replies as a shocked Wally looks on.

"Why isn't this your business?"

"Because you mortals have to fight your own battles. I can't get involved in this one, nor can any of my family. Believe me, Wanderer, I want to help you, but if I do, something worse is going to happen. I'm sorry my friend, good-bye." And with that Coyote hangs up the receiver.

Wally looks open mouthed at his boss. Finally, his anger at a boiling point, he asks. "What was that shit Coyote? You Fey constantly meddle in human affairs and don't give a shit what Oberon says. So, why is this different?"

"Because Oberon told us that we can't help in this case and he won't take no for an answer."

Wally makes a fateful decision. "You may not be able to help, but I will. I was a Marine for thirty years and damned if I'm going to sit by and watch innocent people die." Wally grabs his coat and goes toward the door. As he reaches it, Coyote calls back to him.

"Wally you're fifty years old and out of shape. Those things will kill you."

"At least I'll die a man."

"Hold up a second." Coyote tells him. Wally walks back to him and watches as he reaches behind the bar and takes out a bottle. He turns to Wally and tells him. "Drink this. All of it."

"What is it?"

Coyote smiles. "You'll see."

Wally shrugs his shoulders and takes the bottle and drinks down it's contents. As he finishes, the room starts to spin. He almost falls, but Coyote catches him and puts him in a chair. A few minutes later the dizziness passes and Wally looks up at a smiling Coyote and asks. "What was that stuff?"

"Oh, just something from Avalon. Why don't you take a look at yourself in the mirror?"

Wally gets up and his pants promptly fall down, but he doesn't notice this. He's staring at the image in the mirror. He remembers the face, it was his, when he was twenty two. He turns back to Coyote and asks. "How?"

"The water was from the fountain of youth. Which really exists on Avalon." Coyote replies as he gives Wally six more bottles. "Take these six bottles with you. If you need to, they can be used to heal almost any wounds. Now wait here a second and I'll get you some pants that fit and then you can go."

*****

Casey Romaine rolls out of bed and groans. < Shit! That's the last I let Gus and Glam get me into a drinking game. > Then he notices that the ringing isn't his head, but the phone on his bedside. < I'll kill whoever is calling me right now. Yeah, that'll sooth this migraine. > He reaches for it, planning on giving whoever it is Hell. "This is Casey and it better be important."

"Casey, Steve St. Wolf here. I need some help."

Casey's face blanches. < Aw Shit! God Damnit! I should have let the machine pick up. > Casey thinks to himself as he kicks himself. "What is it now Wanderer? Vampires trying to take over the world. Demons in Hollywood. Or is it aliens coming to invade us?"

"Well Casey, it's the first two actually. But, if it makes you feel better, there's an alien helping us." Steve replies, slightly surprised and amused.

"What!! Shit Wanderer, why do you get me into these situations?"

"Because the situation is black and white. You know that these things are evil and that killing them will save innocent lives. Besides, as Buffy puts it, it gives you the warm fuzzies."

Casey laughs and reaches over for a cup of cold coffee. "All right, what's the situation?"

Steve explains what's happened and what the plan was for that evening. Casey grunts and asks. "Mind if I bring Richard Blade and a few friends along?"

"Richard's always welcome and if your friends are like the like the last bunch. They're welcome as well. We're meeting at the Sunnydale Motor Lodge at 1600. You remember how to find it?"

"Not a problem. I'll see you this afternoon."

"Thanks Casey."

Casey stares at the phone in his hand and his face splits into an evil grin. < Glam, Gus and the rest of my friends were bitching about this get together not being any fun. Now they're going to get it. > Casey thinks to himself as he gets up and starts to prepare the road trip.

*****

Sin Jin Hawke wakes up to the ringing telephone by his bedside. He reaches over and picks up the receiver. "This had better not be a wrong number."

"Sin Jin, Steve St. Wolf here. I need to talk to you and your brother String."

"Is this important Steve?"

"Very."

"All right, give me a minute." Sin Jin replies as he gets up and checks his brother's room. His bed was empty, but the music coming from the back porch told him where his brother, String Fellow, was. He moves through the house and picks up a cordless phone and walks out into the morning light. As he approaches, his brother stops playing and asks. "Who is it?"

"Steve St. Wolf, says it's important."

"All right, let's go to the office." String replies as he puts down his cello and gets up.

As they enter the office, Sin Jin turns on the speaker phone and asks. "All right Steve, what do you need?"

"First turn on your television to the news."

Both brothers look at each other and shrug. Sin Jin picks up the remote and turns the TV to a news channel, where the top story was the four raids on the vampire cult in LA. Both brother's eyes take on a cold gleam when the body count is announced. Sin Jin turns off the TV and asks. "What do you have to do with these massacres?"

"I, and a group of friends, killed the things responsible for them. Now let me explain what's going on." And with that Steve gives the Hawke brothers a complete run down on the previous night's work and what was going to happen that night. Both brothers look at each other and nod their heads.

"We're in. What's the rendezvous?"

"The Sunnydale Motor Lodge at 1600 hours PST. There's a large, enclosed yard off to the side that you can use for a landing area."

"Thanks, see you then."

*****

"Folcroft Sanitarium, can I help you?" The lemony voice rasps out.

"Yeah, is Remo there?" Steve asks.

"Yes he is. Who is this?"

"An old friend. I need to talk to him."

"Very well then." The voice replies as it hands over the hand set to Remo. "He says it's an old friend."

"Thanks Smitty. Who is this?"

"Remo, it's Steve St. Wolf. I need your help. Are you willing?"

"When and where, Steve."

Steve explains the situation and then tells Remo. "The rendezvous is the Sunnydale Motor Lodge, 4:00 PM, today. The old gangs getting back together. And then some."

Remo grins as he replies. "Party time." Then he hangs up the phone.

Remo turns to his boss and tells him. "I can't take whatever mission you got Smitty. I'm going to LA to help some friends."

Smitty smiles a lemony smile as he asks Remo. "To do what?"

"Take out the vampire cult menacing the city."

Smitty chuckles as he tells Remo. "I was planning on sending you to Los Angeles, to do the same thing. Glad to see I'll be saving the air fare this time."

Remo gives his boss a dirty look, then laughs. "Still the cheapest bastard alive."

Harold W. Smith, head of CURE and it's sole director grins evilly as he tells Remo. "Yes, I am."

Remo just shakes his head and prepares to leave. As he approaches the door, Smith tells him. "Good luck son, and come back in one piece."

Remo looks back at the old man he has worked for, for the last thirty years and notices a look of worry in his eyes. < Naw, can't be. Probably just thinking about the money he's saving. >

Smith looks at the closed door and mutters a soft prayer. "God go with you Remo. Please come back."

*****

Nash Bridges is rudely awakened from his sleep by the sound of his cell phone ringing. He rolls out of bed and looks at the clock. < Who the hell would be calling me at 6:00 am? > He picks up the cell phone and answers it. "Nash here. Speak to me."

"Nash, this is Scarlet. You got anything planned for today?"

"Why no Scarlet. What's up honey?"

"Have you seen the overnight news?"

"No, I went to sleep early, for a change. What happened?"

"Turn on the news Nash, you'll see."

Nash grabs the remote and turns on the local news. The top story of the hour was the four raids done by the LAPD on the vampire cult plaguing the city. Nash watches for a few moments, digesting it. He picks up the cell phone and asks. "How many did you get?"

"About three hundred."

"I take it you weren't alone."

"No Nash, we weren't alone. God Nash, I don't know how to describe what's been going on down here."

"How about from the beginning?"

"All right, but you won't believe half of it." Scarlet replies as she starts from the beginning. The meeting at Steve's house, the gathering of both groups to fight the vampires, Merlin's warning.

"You don't mean the real Merlin?"

"Yes, I'm afraid I do. It turns out that the guy we went down to meet works for Merlin as his personal champion, if you can believe it."

"God sister, what the hell is going on down there?"

"A fight for humanity, Nash." Scarlet then continues with the story. She tells him about Able Team joining the fight, and Captain Randall adding the LAPD's best SWAT team to the force and their raids on the warehouses, the supermarket and the Regal Tower hotel.

As Scarlet finishes, she hears Nash breaths slowly, digesting what was said to him. Then he asks. "Scarlet, how can we help?"

"Come down and bring the rest of the SIU with you."

"Scarlet, we're not as good as you are at taking these things out. We'll just be underfoot and in the way."

"The people we're working with have a special ammunition which kills the vampires, if you heart shoot them. It comes in 45, 9 mm and 308 calibers. It'll work in any gun. I know, we've been using it all night."

Nash quietly asks. "Will they give us a supply?"

"Yes, but right now we only have enough for this fight. They told me they'll have more made up and issue us all the ammo we need when this is all over."

"Damn Scarlet, where do we meet up with you?"

"You and my brothers can meet us at the Sunnydale Motor Lodge. The rendezvous is set for 4:00 o'clock. Do you need directions?"

"No, I've been there before. I'll get the gang together and see you there by two o'clock."

As Scarlet hangs up, Nash looks out of his window and watches as the sun rises over San Francisco. He thinks to himself. < Who were these people that Scarlet has teamed up with? Why are they fighting the vampires like it was a personal quest? Damn, I'll have to wake every one up now. So much for an easy day. > He shakes his head and starts to call his people in.

*****

Heather Morning Star picks up the phone, expecting her best friend, Amber. But it's not her. It's some guy asking to talk to her father. "Hello, I'd like to speak to Michael Night Wolf. Is he home?"

"Yeah he is. Who's this?"

"I'm an old friend, put him on."

"Fer Sure. You're probably a bill collector. I ain't giving you to my dad till I know who you are."

"Heather, either put your dad on the phone, or I'll have him tan that moon shaped birth mark on your butt until it turns blue."

Heather sucks in a deep breath and angrily asks. "How the Hell do you know about my birth mark? Who the fucking hell are you?"

"I'm the guy your dad stuck changing your diapers, when your mom had to go to work. That's who I am."

Heather looks at the telephone in her hands as though it was a snake getting ready to bite her. As she thinks about what to say, her father walks up behind her and asks. "Who's on the phone, honey?"

A startled Heather jumps up and goes "Eeeep!" She then turns around and tells her father. "The phone, it's for you."

Her father grins. "Don't worry Honey, it's only a bill collector. They're nothing to worry about."

"Yeah right, dad." His daughter mummers as he puts the hand set to his ear.

"This is Mike Night Wolf, can I help you?"

"Yeah Runt, I need some help. You interested?"

Michael Night Wolf lets out a startled breathe as he recognizes a voice from his distant past. He asks in a hushed voice. "Walker told me you died saving some kids from a lunatic with a gun. What happened?"

"I got better."

< Yep, that's Cherokee all right. Never give a straight answer when a crooked one will do. > "What do you need help with?"

Steve explains what's been happening in Los Angeles and what his plans were for that night. Night Wolf hisses and takes a deep gulp. "So, are you interested?"

"Yes, I am. How do Heather and I get out there?"

"Are you sure about bringing Heather here? After all, this might be ground zero, if we fail."

"Yes, I am. She'll be safer with you and your friends, then here alone."

"All right, you'll find two first class tickets at the counter for you at the American Airlines counter for the ten am shuttle to LA."

"First class? You've come up in the world Cherokee."

"Mike, I no longer use that name. As far as the world is concerned, Carson Jamieson died in Dearborn."

Night Wolf smiles as he asks. "All right paleface, what name are you using now?"

"Steven St. Wolf or Wanderer. Take your pick."

Night Wolf takes another deep breath and asks. "You know the Order of Teraka has a run on sight order concerning you?"

"So what else is new?"

"Can I ask why they're so scared of you?"

"I killed twenty three of their assassins and made sure they knew that I would kill any of them that I saw. Anything else?"

"Nope, just glad to see someone scaring the shit out of those animals for a change."

"It'll be good to see you again old friend."

"Same here." Michael Night Wolf replies as he hangs up the phone. He leans against the wall for a moment, deep in thought. < Damn, Cherokee still alive and fighting. I wonder if Mother Mary Kate knows? Yeah, knowing her, she probably does. > His reverie is interrupted by his daughter.

"Dad, who was that guy?"

"A ghost from the past, honey. He's called in an old debt and I'm going to repay it."

"Is it dangerous?"

"Yes, it is. But the pay off is huge." < The survival of the human race. >

"Dad, where are you going?"

"We're going to LA, so pack up for a couple of days."

"Oh wow, LA. I can't believe it. How are we going? By bus?"

"No, we have first class tickets waiting for us at DFW."

"We're flying? That's so cool. I can't wait and tell Amber."

"You will do no such thing. You can tell her everything when we get back. < If we get back. >

"Understood Dad. I'll go pack."

*****

"Hammer Investigations, can I help you?" The sexy voice answers.

"I need to talk to Hammer. Is he in?" Steve asks.

"Mike's in, but he's in a meeting. Can I help you with anything?"

"Tell Mike it's Steve St. Wolf and that the poker party in Sunnydale is on again. He'll understand."

"All right, wait a minute." Velda replies as she puts Steve on hold. She walks into Mike's office and asks. "Mike, there's some St. Wolf guy on the phone telling me to tell you that 'the poker party in Sunnydale is on again'. What does it mean?"

Velda is surprised by the speed Mike shows reaching for the phone. "Steve, what's going on?"

"We got a bad one, Mike. We need you and any other Immortals you know to come to Sunnydale." Then Steve explains the situation and Mike's face gets a determined look.

"I'll be there and I'll bring my student Velda with me." Mike replies as he hangs up the phone. He then turns to Velda and tells her. "Pack your bags for a three day trip and bring your sword and gun. We're going to California to put paid to some vampires."

Velda reaches for her neck and shudders. Those things had 'killed' her, her first time. She owed them. < If I ever find that bastard Angel again. I'm taking his head. > She thinks to herself as she nods her head and goes to make the preparations.

*****

Byers looks at his caller ID box and shakes his head in wonder. < No one can block out the T-17 caller ID box, not even the Consortium. > He looks at Langley hesitantly as he picks up the phone and asks. "Who is this?"

"Byers, Langley, this is Frohike. You guys busy?"

"Frohike, how the hell are you calling us? The T-17 can't read your phone number or trace you back." Byers complains and is more than a little curious.

Frohike chuckles. "I'm working on the greatest system this side of NORAD, guys. It's got every bell and whistle you can imagine and quite a few that Langley could dream only about."

"So what's going in California? We saw the news this morning and can't believe the carnage."

"That's what I'm calling about. We need some help out here and you two are needed for your expertise. So pack up what you need and we'll get you a ride out here."

"Frohike, what the hell is going on?"

"Remember that tape I sent you yesterday?"

"Yeah, it looks like it's not faked. What has that to do with you?"

"I'm working with the two people in the tape. Mulder and Scully are here as well, helping."

"What are you talking about Frohike?" A suddenly very scared and wary Byers asks.

"The so-called vampire cultists are real vampires. Mulder and Scully and a small private army are hunting them down and they need our help to locate their next targets. So get to together your gear and be ready to be picked up in ten minutes." And with that the phone hangs up.

Byers looks at Langley and shrugs his shoulders. They start to gather the equipment to take with them in the center of the computer room. Precisely ten minutes later both men hear a voice ask. "Are you two ready?" Both men turn around and see a tall, dark haired man standing off to the side of their lab.

Byers looks at Langley and they both look at their security system and note that none of the sensors or alarms had been tripped. Byers looks back at the stranger and asks. "May I ask how you got past our security system?"

"You'll see." The man replies with a grin. "Now is that all of the equipment you need?"

"Yeah, pretty much so." Langley replies as suddenly both of them are standing in a large living room.

Sitting across from them, Mulder asks. "You guys want some breakfast? The coffee's fresh."

Both Gunmen are looking at Mulder like he's grown another head. They can't believe what just happened to them, but the sight of Mulder in black fatigues with an arsenal of weapons on or near him frightens them to the extreme. Langley quietly whispers to Byers. "Mulder looks like he's joined the Dark Side." Byers solemnly nods his head in agreement. Both men are roused out of their thoughts by the loud entrance of their partner Frohike.

"Guys, glad to see you could make it. Quinn had any problems finding them?"

"Not at all Frohike. I just looked for the place with more security than the White House and lo, there they were." Quinn replies with a grin.

Mulder chuckles and starts to take down his M-16 before his two friend's disbelieving eyes. Byers gets up the nerve and asks. "Uh, Mulder. Why are you dressed like an assault MIB?"

"He's not." Byers and Langley hear a voice from behind them comment. They turn to face the man from the Burger-To-Go video. "That's the battle uniform for a Knight of the Order of the Grail. I should know, I'm a Knight Lieutenant in the Order myself."

"Uhm, who are you?" Langley asks nervously, recognizing the man from the video.

"My apologies. My name is Steve St. Wolf and at present you're in my home. Welcome to Sunnydale, California and thank you for coming to help."

"Can I ask a question?" Byers asks.

"Sure, feel free." Steve replies with a grin.

"How did we get here?"

"Quinn did that little trick he calls teleportation." Steve replies with a grin.

"If I'm not being improper, who or what is Quinn?" Byers asks.

Steve looks over their shoulder and sees a wicked grin playing across Mulder's features. Steve sighs, as he thinks to himself < Still the little boy Mulder? What the hell, I'm the same way sometimes. > "Go ahead Mulder, I can see you want to tell them. Feel free."

Byers and Langley turn and look at their friend and Langley asks. "So give, Mulder. What's the deal with this Quinn guy?"

"Oh, it's quite simple really. Quinn is a member of what's called the Q Continuum. They're a race of nearly omni-potent aliens, not native to the planet Earth." As Mulder finishes explaining, he watches his two friend's jaws drop.

"You can't be serious?" Langley asks as he searches Mulder's features for the joke. He doesn't see one. "My God, you're not kidding are you?"

"No, he's not." Scully replies as she and Buffy walk in from the kitchen with two cups of coffee. Handing them to Byers and Langley, she introduces Buffy. Both recognize the girl from the Burger-To-Go tape. "This is Buffy, she's Steve's student."

Byers immediately notices the wedding ring on Scully's hand and a similar one on Mulder's. "Since when are you two married?"

"About a year now." Mulder replies with a grin, as Scully sits down in his lap.

"Why didn't you tell us?" Langley asks.

"Well, before we got married, we discovered a secret that we both shared. And that secret made it hard for us to be around any of our friends." Scully explains.

"What? You're both dying of cancer now?" Byers asks.

"No, the opposite. We're both Immortals." Mulder replies with a straight face.

"Oh come on now. The Quinn guy was enough. But you two being Immortals is a bit much, don't you think?" Byers replies.

Mulder just shakes his head and looks at Steve, who calmly states. "Don't look a me Mulder, they're your friends. You show them."

"All right, but you do me. I don't want Scully to have nightmares about this."

"Not a problem." Steve replies with a grin. "I still owe you for waking me up at 5:30 in the morning yesterday."

"I thought you forgot about that." Mulder replies with a grin as he removes his breast plate.

"Nope, just wanted for figure out a suitable revenge. How about a heart cut?"

"That'll kill me."

"Yep. What better way to prove to your friends that you're the real thing?"

"Oh go ahead." Mulder replies as he raises his arms getting ready to die.

Steve hands over his combat Bowie to Langley and Byers. "Take a look at this and confirm that it's real."

They look over the huge knife and examine it's 12 inch blade and confirm it's real Byers hands the knife back to Steve, who immediately stabs Mulder in the heart. Both men watch in horror as Mulder collapses. He's caught by Scully and Buffy, who gently lower him down, onto his back, the knife still in his heart.

"Go ahead and take the knife out." Steve tells Byers and Langley.

"But he's dead. You killed him, you bastard!" Byers yells out.

Steve grins. "If I had killed him, then Scully would have killed me." Steve then reaches down and pulls out the knife. The knife comes out with a sucking sound as Scully calmly puts Mulder's head in her lap. "Now, watch the wound."

Both Byers and Langley watch as the wound starts to close by itself. They look on as blue lightning sparks through the wound and in several minutes, the wound disappears. A few minutes later, Mulder's body convulses and he's back, alive and well. Byers opens his mouth and nothing comes out of it. Langley sways, but he remains standing and awake.

Mulder gets up and looks at his two friends and grins. Then he reaches over and gently holds up Langley and with Steve's help, puts him on the couch. Mulder turns to Byers and asks. "Now do you believe?"

Byers looks nervously around the house and he finally admits. "I have no choice but to believe. How did it happen?" Langley just continues to stare at Mulder's chest.

"Well, first we had to die." Mulder tells Byers as he tells him about the Russell Nash case and what happened.

Byers, Langley and Frohike listen in rapt silence. Finally Mulder ends it and Byers asks. "So you'll look like this forever?"

"Yep," Mulder simply replies.

"And Steve and Buffy are also Immortals?" Mulder nods his head. "How many Immortals are there?"

"About ten thousand of us." Steve replies.

"Why don't you try and take over the world?" Byers asks.

Steve smiles. "A few have tried, but the other Immortals usually stop them."

"How?"

"By killing them. You see, we have two rules that none of us breaks. We don't fight on holy ground and once challenged, we have to fight the challenger. No on can interfere, not our friends, family or allies. The only exception is that if an Immortal challenges another Immortal's student, then the teacher can step in and defend the student. Most of the time the fights are to the death, but lately things have changed, and most Immortals have stopped fighting among themselves and they are now fighting something else."

"What?" Byers asks.

"Vampires and Demons."

"You're not joking are you?"

"No, what's happened in Los Angeles has turned the stomach of many of us and we are banding together to fight them."

"Dear God in Heaven." Byers mutters to himself. "What can we do to help?"

"Frohike knows what has to be done. He'll show you the equipment and introduce you to Jenny and Willow, our resident hackers."

Just then Langley asks. "You guys said you were Immortal. So how can you kill each other?"

Steve turns to Mulder. "They're your friends. It's your's and Scully's call to make."

Mulder looks at Scully and she quietly nods her head. "All right, we can kill each other by cutting off our heads in single combat. The weapons of choice are swords, though some people have used axes in the past."

All three men touch their necks and wince. Then Frohike turns to his two partners and tells them. "Okay guys, the office and computer are this way." Buffy, Steve, Mulder and Scully watch them as they enter the office.

*****

Byers watches Frohike as he leads them into the spacious home office. < God, the guy probably only has a P2 300. Well at least we brought some of our stuff. > As he enters, his eyes rest on the two beautiful women working there. < Well, at least the company's decent. > Then, his and Langley's eyes both rest on the system taking up one entire wall. They watch as the two women play it like a concert piano. Moving in and out of various systems and networks. Byers and Langley turn to Frohike and ask. "Frohike, what is that thing?"

"Just your usual Pentium 8.5, 2,000 MHZ system."

"P 8.5, 2,000 MHZ? What else?" A breathless Langley asks.

"Watch the drool, Langley. The ladies might take exception." Frohike mutters, then continues. "It's got 360 meg of RAM, a stacked 150 Gig hard drive, satellite access for the modem, and the display is holographic."

"Sweet Jesus, where did he get it?" Byers asks in awe.

"Steve ain't telling and I ain't asking." Frohike replies with a smile.

"What is it capable of?" Langley asks.

"Well, we hacked into and took over control of a Key Hole satellite with it."

"You're joking." Byers replies, staring dumbly at the computer before him.

"Nope, just take a look at one of the sub programs we have on stand by." Frohike tells them as he walks into the office and approaches the red head sitting at the consol and asks. "Willow, could you pop up a real time image of Los Angeles for my two friends?"

"Sure Frohike."

Byers and Langley watch as the monitor turns into an overhead shot of the down town Los Angeles area. As they watch the real time scene, Langley turns to Byers and mutters. "At least Frohike was right, this system is the sweetest thing this side of Cheyenne Mountain."

*****

Mulder reaches into his pocket and hands Scully a twenty as she smiles sweetly.

Steve noticing the exchange of cash asks. "What was the bet?"

"That either Langley or Byers would yell when they found out what kind of computer they would be working on." Scully replies with a grin. "I said they'd be too shocked. I won."

Quinn, standing to the side, grins to himself. < What an interesting group of people I've found. They treat me as one of them and respect my abilities and don't try to abuse them. >

Steve looks at the time and announces. "All right people, everybody to bed. We've got a lot of work tonight and I want everyone at 100%."

*****

Part 33 - Relationships
(No, I Don't Have Anything Smart to Say About This Chapter)

Steve is getting ready for bed when someone knocks on the door. "Come in." He calls out.

Buffy enters the bedroom and closes the door behind her. Steve looks at her with a smile on his face. "What's wrong?" He asks.

"Oh, I need a place to shower, everything else is taken. Mind if I use yours?"

"Sure, help yourself. I left extra towels in the cupboard."

"Well, I kinda need something else too."

"What?"

"Got any spare T-shirts? Randi and Nakao, borrowed all of my clothes. I don't want to go home, because my mom will ask too many questions."

"Sure." Steve replies as he goes to his T-shirt drawer and pulls out a black T-shirt. He tosses it to Buffy. She opens it and reads what's written there.

"Oh, this is you all right. 'Yeah, I Walk Through The Valley of Death, Fearing No Evil, Because I'm Baddest Mother Fucker There.'"

Steve grins sheepishly. "Frank gave it to me for my last birthday."

"I bet he did." Buffy giggles as she goes to take a shower.

Steve slips under his covers and prepares to go to sleep. A few minutes later, Buffy leaves the shower, wearing only the T-shirt. It reaches to her mid-thigh. She slowly walks over to the bed and sits down on the edge. She looks over to Steve and asks. "Steve, I know this isn't a good time to ask, but where are we going?"

Steve raises himself from the bed and sits up. "Buffy, you're right. I don't think this is the right time to talk about that. We've still got a lot to do tonight and to be blunt I don't want to cloud my thoughts." Buffy looks as though she's ready to cry. Steve continues to explain. "But since your asking. I do want a relationship with you and I would like to talk about it. But the day before we go into a serious fight isn't the right time. We can always talk tomorrow."

"I just want to know, how do you feel about me?" < In case I don't make it. > Buffy thinks to herself.

"Buffy, you are the first woman, since I lost Kathy, that I have come to care for and love. I want with you what Mulder has with Dana. A deep and loving relationship that nothing can come between."

Buffy looks into Steve's eyes and feels the deep love there. She leans forward and kisses him. The kiss deepens and quickly, both of them are lying on the bed removing what little clothing they have.

"You know, we're supposed to get some sleep?" Steve reminds Buffy as he is removing her T-shirt.

"We can do that later." Buffy replies with a grin as she moves back, naked into Steve's arms. Steve reaches down and pulls off his sweats and Buffy presses her body against his. The reaction is immediate, Buffy's kisses become more and more passionate. Steve starts to lower his kisses and soon is kissing her neck, then her breasts. He slowly moves down to her clitoris as his lips softly kiss it and then he starts to nibble it. Buffy's hands leave Steve's growing penis, to push his head in deeper into her vagina. As Steve slowly nibbles and kisses and sucks Buffy's wet pussy, she starts to moan loudly. "Oh God yes, oh please don't stop. I'm almost there. Oh, Yessssss, that's the right spot."

Buffy urges Steve on as he gives her the best orgasm she's ever had. As Buffy finishes, Steve gently pulls her legs apart and slowly crawls up her body, kissing it as he goes. Soon Buffy is staring into Steve's eyes as they kiss again. They break up the kiss as Steve moves away from her, trying to position himself, between her thighs. Buffy reaches down and takes Steve's member and moves it's head to her vagina and gently places it there. Steve slowly lowers himself into her and both gasp at Buffy's tightness. Steve slowly pumps into her and rocks back and forth. Buffy moves with him, accepting him inside her.

As Steve fully enters her, he takes hold of her buttocks and easily moves them into a sitting position. Once there, Steve easily kisses her full on the mouth as Buffy moves slowly up and down on his cock. His mouth wanders down to her breasts as he gently sucks on each nipple, causing it to harden and become extremely sensitive. After a few minutes of this, Buffy pushes Steve down onto the bed and she lays down on top of him, moving in synch with his thrusts. Steve reaches up and gently squeezes and massages her butt. After a short while, Buffy and Steve roll over and they continue to kiss. As they kiss, Steve begins to move into her with a long and slow rhythm, pushing in and out slowly. Buffy encircles his waist with her legs and pulls herself onto him, speeding up the rhythm. Steve then moves both of Buffy's legs onto his shoulder allowing himself maximum penetration. Buffy shudders with an orgasm and she starts to tremble with the release. As Buffy's orgasm reaches it's climax, Steve begins to come inside her. As they finish, Buffy looks deep in his eyes and tells him. "I love you." Steve kisses her deeply and tells her. "Buffy, I want you with me always. Never doubt that I love you."

Buffy deeply kisses Steve and she reaches down between them and starts to caress his manhood. Steve gently reaches down and takes her hands away. Buffy asks. "Steve, don't you want to make love again?"

Steve takes a deep breath and let's it out in a sigh. "Buffy, I love you a lot, but we need our sleep. We still have a mission tonight and I want us both to be rested. After this is over, I'm taking you away with me for a week and I'm not going to let you of bed for that entire week."

Buffy giggles and asks. "Where are we going?"

"I have a condo in the Bahamas. We can use that for our vacation."

"Oh pooh, I was hoping to get a honeymoon suite in some fancy hotel."

"We can do that as well. Name the place and we'll go. It's going to be our vacation and I want you happy."

"Good," Buffy replies, then goes to sleep in Steve's arms.

*****

Outside, Cassandra is leaning against the door listening in. Frank walks up to her and quietly asks. "What's going on?"

Cassandra smiles as she replies. "Something that should have happened a couple of months ago."

"You don't mean?"

"Yes, they've finally done it. And it's about time." Cassandra replies as she takes Frank's arm into her own and leads him to their bedroom. Both grinning from ear to ear.

*****

Part 34 - Reality Bites
(Cancer Man Cometh - With a Helping Hand?)

Cancer Man's telephone rings, as he picks it up, he dreads what his agents are going to tell him. "What is it now?"

"Sir, we've been monitoring the situation in Sunnydale as you asked."

"What's the update?"

"They're calling in backup Sir. A lot of backup. The phone taps have them calling at least another forty people in."

"Do we have any assets in the area?"

"Yes Sir, a full company of Blue Berets, under the command of Maj. Jack Gerber."

"Do we know where the rally point is?"

"Yes Sir, the Sunnydale Motor Lodge. At 1600 hours, today."

"I'll take care of it. Order your operatives to leave the area."

"Yes Sir. Good bye."

Cancer Man hangs up the phone and dials another number in California. The phone is picked up by Maj. Gerber himself. "Gerber here."

"The call sign is Gibraltar. The code phrase is: Odin, Tyr, Thor, Balder."

Gerber's voice snaps to attention. "Yes Sir."

"Here are your orders: FBI Special Agents Mulder and Scully are working outside the Bureau and they are using non-Bureau assets. They are meeting additional assets at a rally point located at the Sunnydale Motor Lodge. The time of the meeting is 1600 hours, PST."

"Sir, are we to eliminate these assets?" Major Gerber prompts.

"No, you are to offer your services to him. No questions asked."

"But Sir, we tried to kill Mulder and Scully in Puerto Rico."

"I know that. And so do they, probably. But they need the help and you are to provide it to them and their associates. Am I clear?"

"Crystal clear sir. May I ask what is the mission that you are sending us on?"

"Do you believe in vampires and demons, Major?"

"I hope you're joking, Sir."

"No, I'm not. Mulder and Scully's people will show you how to fight them. You are to give them your complete support. They're facing a large number of vampires and possibly a demon or two."

"Understood Sir. I'll prepare the men."

"Good. And Major..."

"Yes Sir?"

"Good luck and watch your backs."

"Thank you Sir. But one question, if you don't mind."

"What is it?"

"Would it be possible to get in touch with Mulder and Scully before the rendezvous? Just to make sure it doesn't suddenly turn into a shooting match."

"Good idea Major. Mulder and Scully can be found at 317 Brandt Terrace, Sunnydale. Please be polite when you get there. Their host is a rather dangerous individual."

Major Gerber grins. < Yeah, right. > "Sir, we are the best. This guy has to be something else to scare us."

"Major, I understand you served in the 5th Special Forces group in the early eighties. Am I correct?"

"Yes Sir. That is correct." Gerber replies with a trace of pride in his voice.

"I'm sure you ran across an individual by the name of Carson Jamieson?"

"Cherokee? Of course I did Sir. He was the best. But he's dead."

"No he's not." And with that the phone clicks dead.

Major Gerber hangs up the phone and stares at it for a minute, thinking. < Cherokee still alive? And helping Mulder and Scully? This is going to be one fucked up mission. I can feel it. Damn, I wonder if Ritter knows? >

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