"How long until we reach the Motor Lodge." Hannibal asks Murdock.
"About 3 minutes Colonel. Where do I land?"
"If the courtyard is clear, then there." Hannibal replies as the helicopter suddenly lurches. Hannibal looks out the side door and suddenly a claw rakes his chest, cutting deeply. He staggers back and BA grabs his M-60 and looks down. An ugly thing was hanging onto the runners and slowly climbing up. He points his machine gun down and holding the barrel less than a foot away, clamps down on the trigger. The demon screams as the fifty round belt is quickly punched into its face. It lets go and drops from the helicopter.
BA turns back and asks. "Faceman, how's Hannibal?"
"Not good BA. I hope they have more than one doctor there."
"Murdock, can you get us there faster?" BA screams out.
"ETA one minute BA. I'm going to land her right in front of that guy waiting for us." Murdock yells out. The helicopter lands hard, but in one piece and the A-Team watches as various people run to the helicopter. One, a red headed woman, asks. "Has he lost much blood?"
"We don't think so. But check on Hannibal." BA shouts and points to Hannibal, lying prone in the helicopter.
The woman moves to Hannibal and after examining him for a second, sadly shakes her head. "I can't do anything for him. I'm sorry." Then she rushes back to Joe and looks at his wound. "I can help him. Get him over to a room." Scully yells. Duncan McLeod, Methos and Richie Ryan gently carry their friend to a room.
As the Immortals take Joe away, a large creature lands next to the helicopter. It looks over the assembled Warriors and speaks in a voice tinged with a hiss. "I want those five mortals. Leave them to me and I will let the rest of you live." As it finishes, the only sounds heard on the windswept courtyard are the sounds of safeties being released and swords being removed from their sheaves. The demon watches as the mortals face it without flinching.
It watches as a single mortal comes forward to challenge it. "The only way you're going to get to those men is over our dead bodies. I challenge you Demon." Steve St. Wolf cries as he rips out Demon Slayer and attacks the Demon. Everyone watches as the battle begins. St. Wolf moves towards the Demon at a dead run and jumps up and slices at its wing. He quickly passes it and lands on his feet. He turns around and the Demon turns around and looks at him and then it laughs. "Is that the best you can do mortal?" It asks. Steve gives it a devil may care grin and points to its left wing. The Demon moves the wing forward to assess the damage and the wing promptly falls off. The monster roars in pain and suddenly rushes Steve.
Steve ducks down and dodges on the monster's left side and cuts a deep furrow into its side. The Demon roars again and quickly turns around seeking the mortal that had hurt it. As it turns around it feels a pain in its leg and suddenly the leg collapses. The Demon looks up and sees the mortal who has defeated it. It raises its head and asks. "What are you?"
Steve looks down on the demon and as he raises his sword for the killing blow, tells him. "I'm the man who defeated you." And with that, he swings his sword and cuts off the Demon's head.
Steve, breathing deeply, looks around and orders. "Jack, I want sentries posted on each side of the Motor Lodge." Gerber details several of his men to the task. "Cody, Mack, detail a roving patrol outside and inside the courtyard as well as the back lot. Lennox, re-enforce the guards in the back lot." Orders are snapped out and men and women move to take their places.
Bushido leans over and asks. "Major, what the hell just happened?"
"Cherokee killed a Demon. Anything else, Bushido?"
"Yeah, those poems you asked me about earlier, they were about a pair of magical swords. Is Cherokee using the one they called Demon Slayer?"
"Yes he is." Gerber simply replies.
"Who's carrying its mate? The one they call Vampire Slayer."
"You remember the girl driving the Blazer?" Bushido nods silently. "She is."
"Damn, she couldn't be over eighteen. Why them?"
"Because they are the best. Any other questions?"
"No Sir. Thanks for telling me." Bushido replies as he thinks. < Ancestor. Father is going to have a fit when he finds out that the Slayer swords have resurfaced. >
Frank looks to his brother George and quietly asks. "Think we should ask Mr. St. Wolf for a security deposit?"
George looks out at the amassed group of fighters and the Demon's body and quietly replies. "I'm more worried about cleaning up the mess."
Peter Caine looks at the corpse of the monster that had threatened them and shudders. < Damn and I thought the Shambalah masters were good. I've got to tell Pop about this guy. >
Kermit nudges his partner and asks. "What would your father make of this Pete?"
"He'd say, 'That for every evil there is a champion of good who will defeat it'."
"You're hanging around with him too much. You're beginning to sound like him."
"Like who?" Nash asks.
"Pete's father is a Shoalin priest. Pete was also raised in a Buddhist temple and trained to become a priest like his father." Kermit explains.
Nash grins and asks. "So why'd you become a cop?"
"Because I was good at it. Being a priest isn't what I wanted to be. My father respects the choices I made for my life." Pete replies.
"He sounds like a good man. So, what do you think of our little mission?"
"I think that if I didn't help, then I'd be betraying everything that I believe in." Peter replies with a determined tone in his voice.
"Good to know Bubba. Now I'm going over to the planning session with Scarlet and Tommy. Then we go."
The telephone rings in the Mayor's office and the Mayor picks it up. "What now?" He asks.
"Sir, this is Williamson. I'm overseeing the surveillance at the Motor Lodge."
"A demon of the eighth circle of hell landed in the courtyard and demanded five people who had just landed a helicopter in there. The group already at the Motor Lodge refused to give them up and they challenged the demon."
"How many dead?" The Mayor asks with glee.
"One. The Demon was killed in less than two minutes by a single man with a sword." Williamson nervously replies.
The Mayor stares at the wall, digesting the information. A full minute later he asks. "What is being done to the body?"
"A pair of priests are performing the ritual of destruction on the body."
"Damn. What else is there?"
"They're posting sentries and have started a roving patrol, we're going to have to leave or they'll find us." Williamson replies.
"Get out of there. If they find you and your men, then we're all dead."
"Understood Sir. We're leaving right now."
After Williamson hangs up the Mayor walks over to his memo pad and scratches out his previous memo about Williamson. < Can't kill him for being thorough. >
Wally watches the fight in fascination and thinks to himself. < Shit, no wonder Coyote said those motorcycle gang members were lucky. > He turns back to the men being defended and realized that one of them was dying. He walks over and asks. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Yeah, can you get me a drink of water. My throat is dry." The dying man mutters.
Wally turns to go get the water, then it hits him. < Am I an idiot or what? > He rips open his travel bag and hands the woman the bottle. She looks up at him and mouths 'Thanks'. She quickly opens the bottle and gives the man a sip. As he takes the first sip, the magic of Avalon starts to work and his wounds begin to heal. Amy tries to take away the bottle, but Hannibal's hands close on it and he drinks deeply. As his four friends watch, Hannibal's wounds start to disappear before their eyes. As half the bottle is consumed, Hannibal rips it away and looks up at Wally and asks. "I take it this isn't regular water?"
Wally grins. "No Sir. It's water from the fountain of youth, if you can believe it."
Hannibal's mouth splits into a grin as he tells Wally. "After today, I'll believe anything. What the hell happened to that thing that tried to kill me?"
"Wanderer took it out." Wally replies with a grin.
"It's dead?" Hannibal asks, surprised. "How many people got hurt taking it down?"
"Yep, about as dead as anything is when you cut its head off and no one got hurt doing it." Wally replies as Hannibal gets up and the team follows him to where the body was lying. They watch as two men, obviously priests were working around the body and muttering phrases in Latin.
"Who took it down?" Hannibal asks.
Wally points over to Steve and tells Hannibal. "That's Wanderer, he took out that ugly thing by himself."
Hannibal watches as the man calls out orders and people move to follow them. After he finishes, Hannibal grins and remarks. "Isn't that the guy from Buster's last night?"
"Yeah and from the looks of things, he's called in some backup." Murdock remarks, looking at the large number of people present.
"Well, we might as well introduce ourselves." Hannibal replies as he leads his teammates walk up to Steve and introduce themselves. "Hello, I'm Hannibal Smith and these are my friends, Templeton Peck, BA Baracus, H.M. Murdock and Amy Allen. We're the A-Team. Thanks for taking that thing out."
Steve grins and holds out his hand to Col. Smith, who takes it. As they shake, Steve comments. "You're the A-Team? A pleasure Colonel Smith. Your reputation and that of your men, proceeds you Sir." Then Steve looks at the four men and realizes that he had seen them before and where. "So how was dinner last night?" Steve asks with a grin.
"Fine. Thanks for paying for it. But getting back to what just happened. What just happened?"
"You pissed off a Demon. It followed you here and I killed it. Anything else?" Steve asks.
Hannibal looks at the young looking man and shudders. < God, what the hell have we walked into? > "No, I guess that's about it. Thanks for taking it out. Our guns only pissed it off."
"You mind answering a few questions for me?" Steve asks.
"Sure, not a problem." Hannibal replies with a grin.
Before Steve can ask any questions, Hannibal sees the red headed doctor walk up. She goes directly to Steve and tells him. "Steve, it doesn't look good for Joe. The wounds deep and it looks like the artery is going to break."
"Can we move him to a hospital?"
"No. If we move him, the artery will definitely break and we'll lose him." Scully replies.
"Give him a drink of this." Hannibal tells Scully, holding out the water bottle.
Scully turns around and is about to tell the man where to go, when she notices his shirt front. "Shouldn't you be dead?" She asks, not really surprised.
"Yeah, but Wally here gave me this stuff and it fixed me right up." Hannibal replies with a grin.
Scully takes the bottle, sniffs it and takes a taste. "It's just water."
"No Dana, it's water from the fountain of youth. Let Joe drink it and it'll heal his wounds as well as knock a few years off him." Steve replies with a grin.
"You know Mulder's right. Every time we come out here, we get more mysteries to solve than what we started out with." Scully replies with a grin as she takes the bottle to Joe.
Steve turns back to the five people in front of him and asks. "Now if you don't mind. I want to know where you got Joe from and what we're going to be facing."
"We rescued Joe from the Forum, where the Watchers are holding their meeting. There are more of these things back there as well as vampires." Hannibal replies.
Steve quickly pulls out his cell phone. "Robert, Steve here. Get Jenny on the line." Jenny quickly gets on line and Steve orders. "Jenny listen to me. The Watchers are at the Great Western Forum. Have Willow get the schematics for it and print them out on the big plan printer. Get Frohike to move the Key Hole satellite over it and give us a reading on where the warm bodies are.
"Show Robert, Byers and Langley where the six SPAS-15s and two Barret M-82s are, and have them pull them out. I'm sending Xander and Oz to pick them up. Also pull out the following ammunition, two hundred rounds of fifty caliber, two thousand 308, one thousand 223, five hundred shotgun slugs and six belts each for the M-60s and Stoner's."
"What kind of ammunition?" Jenny asks.
"The enchanted silver bullets."
"You're going up against Demons?"
"Yeah and it's going to be a bad one." Steve replies grimly as he hangs up. Then he calls out. "Xander, Oz, get back to the house and pick up the stuff that I asked for." Xander and Oz break for his van and quickly leave. After they leave, Steve makes another call. "John, this is Steve. We've found out that the next target is the Forum."
"The Forum? What the hell are the vampires doing there?" John Randall asks.
"A group called the Society of Watchers was holding a meeting there and the vampires attacked. Several people were able to escape and they got in contact with us."
"You sure it's not a false call?"
Steve looks down at the Demon's head and replies. "Oh, I'm pretty sure it's not a false lead, John. Take my word for it." Hannibal and everybody within ear shot crack grins as Steve confirms the target with Captain Randall.
"All right. If you're positive, I'll shift all of the units from Buster's to the Forum. How long before you get on the road?"
"Give us about thirty minutes. I want to go over the Forum's plans and get some intel from the people who were there." Steve then turns to the five strangers in front of him and asks. "Would you mind joining us for a planning session? I want to get as much information as possible from you before we begin the assault."
Hannibal looks at the expectant faces and pulls out a cigar and lights up. "Only if you include us in it."
"You guys up to it?" Steve asks, looking doubtful.
Wally hands each of the men a full bottle of water and Hannibal grins. "We will be. Give us a couple of minutes."
Steve grins and calls Jenny back, but Robert picks up. "Robert, tell Jenny to make it nine belts of ammo for the M-60s."
BA turns to Hannibal and slyly remarks. "Hannibal, is this guy related to you?"
"Not to my knowledge BA. Why?"
"Because he has the same warped grin that you have when you're about to go into action." BA replies with a sly grin.
Hannibal laughs and then turns to his friends, lifting his bottle. "Drink up my friends." And with that the team drinks down the bottles. A few minutes later, Hannibal remarks. "God, you all look so young."
Face walks up to a window and touches his face. "Hannibal, I look like I'm twenty again." Face then turns to Wally and asks. "How long will this last?"
"According to Mr. St. Wolf. Thirty days."
"Good, that'll give us enough time to do those two missions that came up." Hannibal remarks.
"What sort of missions?" Wally asks, curious.
"Interested in joining us?" Hannibal asks with a grin.
"Why not? I'm young again for thirty days, so why not do some good with it?" Wally remarks as they head to the tables to go over the battle plans.
A breathless Joe Tanaka rushes to SAC Daniels office. Daniels looks up and asks. "Any news?"
"Yes sir. They're shifting all of the units to the Forum. According to the radio reports, the cultists have taken over a meeting of some historical group called the Society of Watchers." Tanaka reports.
Daniels grins as he gets up from his desk. "Good! Get an assault team ready and put the helicopter on stand by."
"Have you heard from either Spooky or Kowalski?"
"No Sir. Mulder and Scully have their phones turned off and I tried Kowalski's home, but she's not there. I also tried her three cons, but none of them are home either."
"Too bad. Looks like I'll get the press coverage this time." Daniels replies with a grin.
Steve, Buffy and the team leaders gather together at the tables and Steve begins the questions. "Why were you gentlemen at the Forum?"
"Amy asked us to help her rescue Joe Dawson. Can I ask a question?"
Steve narrows his eyes and replies. "Only if I can answer it."
"Amy explained what the Watchers watch. I take it that all of you here are familiar with the subject matter?"
"No, not all of us." Steve replies evenly.
"All right. That's not a problem." Hannibal replies with a grin.
"Good. Now how did you get to Joe?"
"Joe was being kept in one of the luxury boxes, so we accessed the rear corridor from the roof and used it to get to the box without being seen." Then Hannibal details the short battle that took place after Joe's rescue and the subsequent flight.
"How many demons and vampires did you see?"
"We only saw two demons. The winged one you took out and this huge ugly thing. The number of vampires I can't tell you because, they were too far away to see."
"Where are they keeping the Watchers?"
"It looks like their keeping them seated in the seats right by court side. I saw that they have the exits blocked off."
"All right. We'll have one of our people do a thermal scan of the place using the Key Hole satellite. That'll give us a good estimation of the distribution of everybody."
"You have access to a Key Hole satellite? Who the hell are you people?" Hannibal asks.
"Just your usual covert operations group." Steve replies with a grin.
"Who's your boss? What agency do you work for? The CIA, NSA, FBI?"
"My boss is Merlin and our little group is called Section Seven." Steve replies with a grin.
"The real Merlin?" Murdock chokes out in awe.
"Is there any other?" Arthur replies with a grin.
"Well no, no one else really comes to mind." Murdock replies as Scully walks up to the planning session.
"Steve, Joe wants to come out and talk to you." Scully tells him.
"Is he all right?"
"Whatever is in this bottle fixed him right up. I've never seen anything like it." Scully replies with a mischievous grin.
"All right bring him out here. If he bitches about being carried, remind him that he was the one who wanted to talk."
Scully gives Steve a grin and leaves. A few minutes later a cursing Joe Dawson is carried over to the table by his friends Duncan and Adam, as he sits down, he glares at the assemble fighters and cracks a grin. "So you're having one of your little hunting parties and decided not to invite me?"
Steve cracks a grin. "Sorry Joe. We tried to call you, but no one was home."
"I hope you're taping everything." Joe asks, looking directly at Giles.
"Joe, when have I ever failed in my duty?" Giles asks.
"Good. Now, what are we going to do about this mess?" Joe asks Steve.
"Simple Joe, we're going in and killing all of the Demons and vampires. We'll save as many of your people as possible. But you know I can't guarantee anything."
"I know Steve. And I appreciate that you went to all of this trouble to help us." Joe looks around and he asks. "Can I ask a question?"
"Sure Joe, go right ahead." Steve replies with a grin.
"Where the hell did you get all of these people from?"
"Oh, here and there. Made a few phone calls, called in a few favors. The usual."
"Good. Now what are we going to do about the situation at the Forum?"
Before Steve can reply, Xander comes back and hands Steve a sheet of blue prints and a color overlay of the Forum. Steve spreads the overlay prints before the assembled commanders and asks. "Joe, can you show us where the vampires were holding the hostages?"
Joe points out the court side seats. "They're being held at court side. The vampires have all of the exits blocked off and are probably patrolling the upper levels as well because of our escape."
Steve looks over the prints for a minute and overlays the color satellite feed and he looks over the plans a second time. He then asks Joe. "Joe, are the luxury boxes built against the roof or are they separate?"
"From what I saw, the roof is right above them. Why?"
"Here's how we do it. Airwolf will head straight over to the Forum and take out any hostiles that are on the roof. These will probably be demons, since vampires can't come out in the daylight, so use the 20 mm guns on them. Shoot so that the bullets will hit the rear and upper quarters of the stadium." String and Sin Jin Hawke nod and leave.
Steve then turns to Frank. "Frank, I want you and Xander to take the two M-82s and set up sniper nests in these two luxury boxes." Steve points to two boxes almost directly opposite each other. "You'll cut through the roof and drop down an start to take out the demons with the fifty calibers. The location of the boxes gives your teams overlapping cover fire. The support and guard teams will also work security for the snipers as well as take over the upper walk ways. The teams that are going with you and Xander will be the Rangers, the A-Team, the Storm Shadow Clan, their friends, Christine's group and Giles' people. Colonel Smith and Cody will command the individual units.
"After the sniper nests are set up and working, the rest of us will attack. Section Seven will be the first wave. We'll be followed by Able Team, Phoenix Force, the Blue Berets, the Zombies and anyone else I failed to mention as the second wave. The second wave's duty will be securing and sweeping our backs. Making sure that nothing can get to us without warning. Kendra, you'll be with the sweeper teams. Your job is to locate and help exterminate any vampires that we missed. Lennox, since your men are armed with laser rifles, you'll be our tactical reserve. Arthur, you, Grif and Mike Night Wolf are with Section Seven. Any question?"
Hannibal Smith looks over the plans. "Nice and simple. What about the demons?"
"Each unit will be issued several magazines of enchanted silver bullets. These will be used exclusively against the demons. They are to be shot into the demon's heads or hearts. Wooden bullets will be used against the vampires, heart shots only. If someone claims to be a non combatant, spray them with holy water. If they don't steam, they're human. If they do steam, shoot them in the heart with a wooden bullet. No prisoners people. We neither want them, nor do we have a place to hold them. The mission code name is Havoc, no quarter."
The team leaders break up and go to their respective units. Steve watches as they gather together to board the dozen large vans. The Blue Berets, Lennox MacDuff, the Hawkes and the A-Team use their own transports. Steve turns to a nervous Buffy and asks. "Are you ready for this?" Buffy quietly approaches Steve and gives him a hug. Steve returns it and kisses her on the head while he quietly tells her. "We're gonna get through this my love."
Buffy looks up at him. "I know. It's just that I've never had so many people helping before. I'm worried some of them could die."
"Buffy, everyone here is ready to fight to the death to protect humanity. They understand the risks and are willing to face them."
"I know, but it feels so strange leading an army like this. Never in my wildest dreams could I have believed it possible to be doing something like this." Buffy replies with a trace of awe in her voice.
The vampires watch the monitors as the large number of police cars surround the building. One of them hisses. "Tell Katherine that the police are here."
The vampire rushes off and quickly approaches her queen. As the female bows before her, Katherine throws away the body of the Watcher she had just finished draining. Several Captive Watchers are forced to drag the body away. Several of them cry at the sight of one of their own murdered so early in life. As they get clear of Katherine's court, one of the demons grabs up the body and begins to eat it. The Watchers look on in disgust as Katherine laughs at them. She then looks down at her subject and asks. "What is it?"
"Majesty, the police are here and in force. Thomas has transferred the camera feed to the monitors." The vampire tells her and points up.
Katherine looks up and smiles. Several of the Watchers whisper that help has arrived, but Katherine quickly puts down any hopes. She turns to several of the demons, who are eating some of the dead Watchers and orders. "Go outside and kill a few dozen of those puny mortals."
The demons grin and quickly head outside to kill a few mortals. Their leader, a demon of the sixth level, quietly hums and licks it's bloody maw. "Thank you my queen." It tells Katherine before it heads outside as well.
John Randall is checking the perimeter that the police have set at the Forum. He watches as the police cars form a tight circle and the men and women stand their ground. He turns to Tracy and asks. "Do we have an ETA on our friends' arrival?"
"Forty minutes, John."
"How many are we expecting?"
"Well over a hundred hunters." Tracy replies with a grin. "They called in reinforcements."
Randall grins. < It's nice dealing with pros. > "Good. I like working with these people." Randall replies as his cell phone rings. "Randall here."
'John, this is Steve St. Wolf. Listen to me. Put your people on high alert. The vampires are not the only things you have to worry about."
A chill goes up Randall's back as he asks. "What else could there be?"
"A few demons." Steve replies evenly.
"Demons? Steve demons are only myths." Randall begins as several of the doors to the Forum open up and several ugly, misshapen creatures boil out and attack his police officers. The Zombies, standing guard, immediately open fire with their weapons. The monsters are forced back, but they regain their balance and they start to slowly move forward, through the fire. Randall looks on as he speaks with Steve. "Steve, how quickly can you get help here?"
Sin Jin and Stringfellow Hawke watch as the LAPD tries to cut down the demons emerging from the Forum. String turns to his brother. "Think Steve will mind if we cut these guys down?"
"Nope." Sin Jin replies as he banks Airwolf down and just above the front line of firing LAPD and String cuts loose with the 20 mm auto canons. The front row of demons is literally cut in half. The second row of demons quickly crawl back into the Forum, seriously wounded.
Randall looks up at the nearly silent helicopter that has saved his people and quietly asks Steve. "Steve, do you happen to have an attack helicopter?"
"I guess the Hawke brothers made it over there." Steve replies.
"You could say that. They cut the first row of monsters in half and hurt the rest seriously enough to force them back into the Forum." < Shit! Who the hell are these people? > Randall thinks to himself as he watches the helicopter take a patrol position over the Forum.
Randall turns to Tracy, who is staring at the helicopter and comments. "Well, you gotta love a group that has all these weapons."
Tracy looks at her boss and asks. "You ever wonder what would have happened if we didn't get any help from Steve and his people?"
"I don't ever want to contemplate such a situation." Randall replies while a shiver goes down his back. < Just the thought's going to give me nightmares. > Randall thinks to himself.
Tony Dabrowski looks up at the helicopter that had saved his people and grins. < Damn, these people have some wicked toys. >
Pat Kelly looks up and grins. < Damn, talk about making it in the nick of time. >
Katherine watches as the half dozen demons surge out and the police valiantly tries to stop them. She begins to giggle at the futility of it. "See how your mighty police force stands up against us." She calls out to the Watchers. They watch silently as a large helicopter lowers itself into view and cuts the demons to shreds. Katherine watches as the demons are torn apart and she loses her smile. "What in Satan's name just happened?"
"It looks like the demons got cut apart." A vampire replies near her. Katherine reaches out and rips his heart out with her bare hands. The vampire quickly crumbs to dust. The Watchers watch dumbfounded as a ray of hope shines into their situation.
Buster leans over and quietly whispers to Greg. "You think Joe made it to his friends?"
"Yeah. Do you think they stand a chance?"
"From the way they've started, I'd say they have very good chance." Buster replies just before a vampire hits him from behind.
"No talking!" The vampire orders as Buster gets up.
Stringfellow calls Steve on his phone. "Steve, String here. Just waxed a few uglies. We'll continue patrol until you reach here."
"Thanks String. John Randall just told me what happened. Good job, old friend."
"Not a problem."
"Tell me you got that Jack." Mike Cleary asks.
"Got it in living color Mike. Man, what the hell were those things?" Jack Getz asks as he looks through his camera.
"I don't know. But that attack chopper sure put them down real fast. Did you see any markings on it?"
"Not a one, Mike. Who the hell are they?"
"I heard rumors of a covert operations group helping the LAPD. This proves it. Can you say Pulitzer, Jack?"
"I'm afraid that you're a bit premature in that assumption." A stern voice replies from behind the news crew.
Both men turn and Mike angrily asks. "Who the hell are you?!"
"FBI Special Agent Simon. I'm afraid that I'll have to confiscate the tape, camera and your news van."
"Like hell you will!" Clearly angrily states. "What about our first amendment rights?"
"Certainly." Agent Simon replies. "You have the right to die here while we destroy your equipment or you could be smart and let us erase everything and escort you away. Take your pick."
"Let me see your badge again." Mike Clearly orders. The FBI agent just shrugs and cold cocks him with his service automatic.
Simon then turns to the camera man. "Are you going to get hit as well?"
"No way man." Jack replies as he hands over his camera and steps back. Simon just nods and runs a small compact magnet over everything. Jack watches in fascination and finally asks. "Who are you people?"
"You don't want to know son. Just leave it at that." Simon replies as two more agents come forward and load the reporter into the news van. One of them gets behind the steering wheel and motions Jack to the passenger seat.
Simon opens up his communicator and contacts his boss. "Central, this is Simon. We're securing the target area. Six demons just attacked the LAPD surrounding the Forum."
"How many dead?" Horace Gordon asks. < Father I hope you know what you're doing. >
"No one human, Sir. Three of the six demons got cut to ribbons by an advanced combat helicopter of unknown origin and design. The rest of the demons, all of them seriously wounded, have retreated back to the Forum. The helicopter now has taken a patrolling pattern around the Forum as we speak."
The silence on the communicator could be sliced with a knife. Finally Gordon asks. "I take it that Section Seven is making another foray against the vampires and demons."
"Yes Sir. Cell traffic confirms that Section Seven troops will be here in less than forty minutes to take out the vampires and the demons."
"Good! Give them whatever support you can. Call me if anything goes wrong. Gordon out."
"Understood Sir. Simon out."
Horace Gordon looks at his communicator and wonders aloud. "Who the fucking hell is Section Seven?"
Dimitri, standing nearby, comments. "Ever think that Merlin might have a few surprises up his sleeve?"
"No, this isn't his style. Merlin likes to fight with magic, not advanced weaponry."
"He did mention that the Wanderer was in LA. Maybe he's the one doing it."
Gordon quietly contemplates the idea and grins. "You might be right Dimitri. I think that Bureau 13 should pay the man a visit."
"Lets hope he survives this first, Sir." Dimitri replies.
Steve watches as the Forum comes into view. He looks down and sees the large number of police and grins. "Damn, looks like a cop convention down there."
"I wonder if any of the Brass is going to show up?" Mulder comments from his seat.
"I don't think any of those people want to be around. Especially if we lose and it all goes down the crapper." Steve replies seriously. He turns to Lennox MacDuff. "Lennox land us behind the police cars."
"Certainly Steve." The Scott accented voice replies and the pilot immediately banks the ship and lands quietly near the LAPD command post. The A-Team's helicopter lands next to them.
Various officers rush over and cover the two craft as the landing door of Lennox's ship opens up and Steve steps down. He looks at the officers and asks. "Is there a problem here officers?"
Randall rushes over and welcomes Steve. "Steve, damn am I glad to see you. Where're the rest of your people?"
"On their way here John. We didn't have enough aircraft for everybody." Steve replies as he shakes John's hand. The officers covering MacDuff's craft and the A-Team's helicopter immediately relax, realizing that these people were friends.
SAC Daniels nervously squirms in his seat as the helicopter approaches the Forum. He turns to Joe Tanaka and tells him. "When we get there, we're taking over. Buzz the Forum and show them cultists that the FBI's here and we're going to take them down." Then Daniels mutters to himself. "I will not have my career ruined by a pair of losers like Mulder and Scully." The six agents in the helicopter nod their heads in agreement.
As the helicopter draws near, the pilot points out. "Sir, I'm getting orders to leave the area. They just told me that I'd be shot down if I continue."
"Who the hell is giving those orders?"
The pilot touches his microphone and replies. "Sir, the man claims to be a member of group called Section Seven Black Operations."
"It's some nut playing a joke. Keep on going." Daniels replies as Airwolf suddenly fills the window in front of him. The FBI agents watch as the weapons systems emerge from the helicopter's body. "What the hell is that thing?" Daniels mutters in awe.
"Don't know Sir. But they're ordering us down behind the police lines and if we don't comply, they will shoot us down."
"Put us down by that strange bus." Daniels points to the aircraft owned by MacDuff.
Steve's cell phone rings as he talks to John. "St. Wolf, here."
"Steve, it's Sin Jin. There's a strange helicopter coming into the area. Want us to chase them away?"
"Yeah, we don't want any news copters coming in while we're working."
A few seconds later, Sin Jin comes back. "Steve, they've just identified themselves as FBI and they refuse to leave. What do you what done?"
"Force them to land here. We'll take care of them." Steve replies. He then turns to John and explains what's happening.
John curses for a second and then tells Steve, Buffy, Mulder and Scully. "It's that prick Daniels. No one else is that stupid. What do we do?"
"If he causes problems. Arrest him." Mulder simply replies. "The FBI has no jurisdiction in this case John. You have the right to kick them out and they have to follow your orders."
John gives Mulder a big grin as he turns to face an angry Daniels.
Daniels quietly seethes as the helicopter lands and he rushes out to confront the people in charge of Section Seven. < If they think they're going to steal my glory. Those bastards have another thing coming. > He marches over to the group of police and dark clothed people and demands. "Who the fucking hell are you people and what gives you the right to order the FBI around?"
Steve and John step forward and John quietly tells Daniels. "Agent Daniels, the LAPD no longer requires your services. Please take your men and leave this area immediately."
Daniels stands there, absorbing what has just been told to him. "Randall, if you think that I'm walking away from here. Then you're a stupider flat foot than I thought you were." Daniels snidely replies.
John starts forward to kick Daniels' ass when he feels a hand restraining him. Steve quietly tells John. "John, this idiot is baiting you. If you deck him, then he can arrest you and take over this operation."
John cools down and orders. "Dabrowski, if these men don't leave in one minute arrest them for obstruction and anything else you could think of. If they resist arrest, shoot them."
Tony Dabrowski steps forward and grins. "You mean like landing a helicopter illegally?"
John grins. "That'll do, for a start." Daniels looks on in anger as Tanaka begins to pull him away.
As Daniels is being pulled away, he spies Mulder and Scully and orders. "Then what are those two doing here?"
John looks over to Mulder and Scully and grins. "They're doing their job and not getting in the way."
"I am their superior and I demand to talk to them." Daniels shouts out.
Mulder and Scully step forward and listen as Daniels hisses out. "I will break the both of you for this. Do you hear me. I will see that you two are brought up on charges for your actions here."
Mulder and Scully just look at each other and grin. Mulder pulls out his phone and calls Skinner at home. "Sir, this is Mulder. Sorry to bother you at home, but Scully and I have a problem. SAC Daniels is making an ass of himself and not letting Scully and me do our jobs." Mulder listens for a moment and grins. Then he hands the phone over to Daniels. "AD Skinner wants to talk to you."
Daniels' face falls as he takes the phone with an unsteady hand. He puts it to his ear and asks. "Yes Sir?"
Daniels immediately removes the phone as Skinner is clearly heard to scream out. "WHAT THE FUCKING HELL ARE YOU THINKING? LEAVE MULDER AND SCULLY TO DO THEIR JOBS AND DON'T INTERFERE!!! AM I CLEAR?"
Daniels gently puts the phone back to his ear as he answers. "Yes Sir. Crystal clear. But Mulder and Scully are breaking every procedure and regulation that the FBI has. What about them?"
"Mulder and Scully are acting within their area of expertise. Do not. I Repeat. Do NOT interfere. What is going on here is beyond you. Now give me back to Mulder."
Daniels hands the phone back to Mulder and watches as Mulder listens to Skinner. Mulder's face cracks into a wider grin as he listens. Finally, Mulder hangs up the phone and puts it away. His face cracks into a truly evil grin as he tells Daniels. "Skinner just me told that if you continue to interfere in this operation, I can shoot you." Daniels stiffens. Mulder continues. "Don't worry I won't shoot you." Daniels begins to relax and some of his bluster starts to come back. Mulder grins. "I'll let Scully shoot you." Scully gives Daniels a hard glare and Daniels quickly walks off as the surrounding police start to laugh.
John Randall watches in appreciation and quietly remarks. "If you two ever loose your jobs with the FBI, I'll give you jobs in the LAPD."
"As what? Detectives?" Scully asks.
"No, FBI liaison." John replies with a grin as everyone else cracks up. The group quickly gets serious as they notice that the rest of their group has arrived.
The vans quickly move to the parking area around Macbeth's craft and the assembled fighters quickly move out and wait for orders. The team leaders look at the Forum through binoculars. After a few minutes, Steve asks. "John, any of your officers know the security layout at the Forum?"
"I don't know. Hold on a second." John replies as he picks up his radio. "This is Captain Randall. I need someone who knows the security layout of the Forum. Officers should report back on tact 4."
Randall switches over to tact 4 as a voice speaks out. "Sir, this is Jenkins. I worked security at the Forum last season. I know the layout inside and out."
"Get over to the command area immediately Jenkins." Randall orders.
A few minutes later a young patrol man rides his motorcycle to the command area and gets off. He approaches Randall and introduces himself. "I'm Phil Jenkins, Captain. What do you need to know?"
Randall points to Steve and orders. "Answer this man's questions." Officer Jenkins nods and waits for Steve to finish spreading the blueprints for the Forum on the car hood.
Steve points to the Forum and asks. "Are there any external cameras?"
"Yes Sir. There are camera clusters located various sports around the stadium and parking lot." Jenkins points out all of them.
"John, have your officers disable them immediately." Steve orders.
Randall nods to Dabrowski and he orders various officers to shoot down the camera clusters. After the cameras are taken out of operation, Steve begins to order the assault. "Frank, you and Xander are in charge of the sniping. Colonel Smith, you and Cody Rodgers are in charge of the security and attack forces. Get your teams together and get ready for the assault. Typhoon, Banzai and Monsoon, you will ferry the troops to the roof. The rest of us will get ready to take the Forum by storm."
Texas Foot Hills
Cordell Walker looks over the ridge to the place called the 'Devil's Mound' and shudders. He watches as a large group, dressed in robes of various colors, gathers to sacrifice the fifteen children that they're holding. He crawls over to Mike and asks. "Is that all of the children?"
The former hit man quietly counts the number of children and replies. "Yeah, that's all of them, including the Vasquez twins." Mike then turns to Caitlin and asks. "Are we going to hit them now?"
Caitlin checks her radio for a second and quietly talks into it. "All units, this is Bunny 1 are you ready?" All units answer back affirmative. Caitlin continues. "Remember the plan. The frontal assault will be launched first and then the rescue assault will take place. Assault begins in thirty seconds, on my mark. Mark" Caitlin then checks the gathering once more before the Thunder Bunnies, the Texas Rangers and three Green Beret A-Teams begin their assault.
Hector Minola watches as the preparations for the ceremony are completed. < Soon my dark lord, soon you will be among us. > He looks over the stone slab that he will use as a sacrificial alter and giggles joyfully. He quietly walks over to the black cloaked dark mage and asks. "My lord, how long before we can begin?"
The dark mage, roused out of his thoughts, glares at the nothing before him. He quickly settles down as he tells the dupe in a harsh whisper. "Soon, great priest. Soon." < You will die and I will be rid of you. >
Minola then gathers his dark blue ceremonial robes around himself as he walks over to where the children huddle together in fear. He joyfully tells them. "Fear not little ones. Your deaths will bring forward our glorious god. Your's is a great destiny." As he reaches down for the first child to be sacrificed, a rocket strikes the altar and destroys it along with the six cultists standing next to it.. He turns around watches as his followers begin to fall.
Fraser and Ray, quietly move with the FBI Agents as they slowly approach the deserted south side warehouse that the Diablos were using as their base. Fraser quietly leans over and tells Ed. "Agent Alvarez, the Diablos appear to be aware of our approach."
"How?" Ed asks.
"I just saw one of their gang members in the window of that apartment to our left." Fraser subtlety points to a window and watches as the person in the window quickly disappears. "How?" A confused Fraser asks.
Ed grins and points at the A-team of Green Berets waving them on. "Always travel with the best, Constable."
Tunafish continues to the warehouse as the Diablos open fire. Ed immediately orders. "They know we're here people. Take them." With those orders the six A-teams break cover and rush the warehouse with Tunafish, Fraser and Ray in the lead.
Walker and Trivette lead the Texas Ranger contingent as they rush the cultists holding the children hostage. As the cultists begin to fight back with pistols and swords, the Rangers quickly cut them down with superior firepower. The Green Berets quickly attack the rear of the cultists and prevent them from using the children as hostages. As Major Keegan of the 7th Special Forces Group out of Fort Knox, kills the high priest, he orders his men to retreat with the children. Several of the cultists attempt an attack on the children, but the Green Berets cut them down without mercy.
While the cultists are being taken care of, the Thunder Bunnies attack the real threat. A black mage of the first circle. The demon mage quickly tries to cut the women down with various spells, but the anti-magick amulets they wear absorb the evil magick and gives them a chance to take him down. The Thunder Bunnies return the favor with massed firepower and the mage is hard pressed to stop all of the rounds aimed at him. As the cultists are taken down, the Rangers and Green Berets turn their attention to the black mage. Major Keegan orders one of his men to fire an anti-tank rocket at the mage. The mage, being distracted by the Thunder Bunnies, doesn't see the rocket coming for him until it's too late. As he hurriedly erects a barrier, most of the rocket's blast gets through to him and he falls, seriously wounded. The Thunder Bunnies rush up to him and quickly end his life. As the mage dies, he yells out. "You fools. This was only feint. The real attack is in Los Angeles." And with that his body collapses in onto itself as it dissolves away.
The Thunder Bunnies quickly spray the area with holy water and spread various magical dusts onto the area. As her partners clean up the mess left behind by the black mage, Caitlin calls in to her boss, Horace Gordon. "Sir, this is Bunny 1 reporting in."
"Sir, the children are rescued, the cultists have been taken out and we've also managed to kill off a black mage."
"Now give me the bad news, Caitlin."
"Yes Sir. Before the mage was destroyed he said that the true target was Los Angeles. Do you need us to head out there?"
"No, go on standby. The matter in Los Angeles is being handled. Gordon out."
Caitlin looks up as Walker approaches. "Any prisoners?" She asks.
"No, they all died in the fighting. So what happens now?"
"We clean up this mess and go home Cordell." A suddenly tired Caitlin replies. Cordell nods his head and begins to order the clean up.
Tunafish, Fraser and Ray burst throw the doors of the warehouse and find themselves in the middle of a major battle. The six Green Beret A-Teams, under the command of Major Tex Ritter have already forced several breeches in the Diablos' defense perimeter. As the Bureau 13 agents and their Chicago PD allies move into the broil, one of the A-Teams checks in. "Tunafish, this is A-Team Texas Thunder. We have secured the children and are presently pinned down approximately 30 meters north of you. We need some fire support ASAP. Can you comply?" Before Eddie can reply, two of the A-Teams begin to fire support for their comrades. As George rushes forward and fires his Vulcan Chain gun in support, the men of Team Texas Thunder rush out carrying the children in their arms. Several of them stagger as they're hit, but they keep on going, using their bodies as shields, protecting the children.
Ray and Fraser watch on in muted astonishment as boxes and crates are quickly reduced to splinters by the rapid fire of the assault teams. Ray looks at his Berreta 92 and thinks to himself. < Man, what the hell was I thinking? These guys have me and Fraser beat by a freaking mile. >
Suddenly, several of the crates begin to gather and form a man shaped monster. As the monster forms. Raoul and Tina bark out. "Golem." And they begin to throw various spells at it. The black mage controlling the Golem quickly neutralizes their spells. Raoul and Tina quickly summon up more spells as the black mage creates more monsters to attack them. The rest of Tunafish opens fire with their weapons, giving the two wizards cover and forcing the black mage's monsters back, temporarily.
Overhead in the girders, a lone figure stands and watches as the battle takes place below her. < Krishna, what have I walked into? > Sita asks herself. < I come looking for the missing children and find a battle instead. > She watches as the warriors fighting below fight a valiant fight against the black mage. < If something isn't done soon. That evil bastard will win. > Sita thinks to herself as she moves into action. She drops down the forty feet to land just behind the black mage. As she rises up from her crouch the mage turns around, a spell of destruction on his lips. Before he can complete it, Sita reaches up and rips out his still beating heart. She holds it up to his face and tells him. "Remember me?" The mage looks blankly at the heart as Sita tells him. "You tried to kill me three hundred years ago and I swore to kill you if I ever found you." Then she drops the heart on the ground and steps on it. The mage looks at it and quickly dies.
Ed watches in amazement as a blur falls to the ground behind the black mage. As he looks on a small hand comes out of the back of the mage, holding his heart. As Tunafish and their allies look on, a short, blond haired woman drops the mage's still beating heart on the floor and steps on it.
"Ouch. That's gotta hurt." George comments as he holds his Vulcan ready.
"Who the hell?" Ed asks in shock. // Tell me you can read her Jess. //
// Sorry Ed. She's got some kind of mental block. // Jess replies as the young woman suddenly disappears.
"Tell me she teleported Raoul." Ed asks his senior wizard.
"Can't do it Kemosabe. No magic traces."
"If I may Agent Alvarez?" Fraser asks. Ed nods his head. "I think she jumped up onto the girders over head and escaped through one of the windows."
Raoul and Tina check on the mage and Raoul yells back. "Everything's Kosher. The black mage is dead with a capital D."
Ed turns on his communicator and calls Bureau 13 Headquarters. "This is Tunafish reporting in."
"What's the situation in Chicago, Alvarez?" Horace Gordon asks.
"The situation is clear, Sir. All targets have been taken out."
"Was there a black mage present?"
"Yes Sir. But he's dead as well."
"My congratulations to Raoul and Tina. They did a good job taking him out."
"Sir. They didn't do him. Someone else did." Then Ed tells him of the short blond woman. Then he asks. "Do you want us to go after her?"
"No. She sounds like she works for Section Seven. Let her go."
"Sir, who's Section Seven?"
"Beyond your security clearance, Ed."
< Is there such a thing? > Ed wonders to himself as he replies. "Understood, Sir. We'll clean up here and go on stand by."
"Good. We're still keeping an eye on the LA situation, so be ready to move out if they need help over there."
"Understood Sir. Over and out." Ed replies as he shuts down his communicator.
Outside, Sita sits and listens to Ed's conversation and wonders. < Who the hell is Section Seven? >. As Ed's report is completed, she moves off at an easy jog, jumping between buildings as she makes her way home.
Katherine watches as the cameras to the outside are taken out, soon all but three are gone and Katherine and her people watch in fascination as the mortals prepare for the coming battle. She turns to her general and asks. "I presume that they're going to be attacking us shortly?"
"Yes Majesty. These mortals will attack within the hour. I fear that these mortals may be more than we can handle." The vampire humbly replies as he watches the mortals check weapons and loads.
Katherine nods and turns to the vampire who was an Aztec priest and asks. "Can we raise Throlog in that time?"
"Raise him? Maybe. But control him? Never. He would seek to destroy us as well as the mortals." The priest nervously replies.
Katherine grins. < If it's the only way to kill the Slayer. > "Do it. I want Throlog here as soon as possible."
"Majesty, if we use one of the demons, then we can speed up the ritual to where Throlog can be brought back much sooner."
"How much faster?"
"Maybe an hour, two at most."
"Very well then." Katherine states and turns to the largest demon. "I need one of your fellow demons to bring back Throlog. Will any of them volunteer to do it?"
The large demon grins and grabs up the smallest and most wounded demon and tells Katherine. "Will this one do?"
Katherine looks over to the priest and he nods. She turns back to Dubrouz and smiles a cruel smile. "He'll do." Then she turns to the priest and orders. "Begin the ceremony." The priest immediately orders his assistants and the ceremony is started. Two of his assistants drag up a young woman and rip off her clothes and place her on the makeshift altar. She screams and begs for her life, but the vampires don't pay any attention. The priest raises his knife and the blade swings down.
Steve turns to the four helicopter pilots and orders. "Murdock, you, Typhoon, Banzai and Monsoon will take the first assault groups to the roof. How long will it take?"
"Give us ten minutes to get everyone up there. What about the attack chopper?"
"Airwolf will remain on patrol and bottle up any attempted breaches by the demons." Steve replies. As he turns to address the roof top assault teams, several officers approach with a large group of strangers. Three of the strangers detach themselves from the group and approach with the officers. Steve turns to them and asks. "What is it now?"
The two officers approach and introduce the three strangers. "Sir, these three men are NSA. The rest are Navy SEALs. They approached our road block and requested permission to enter. Our Sergeant ordered us to take them to you."
Steve nods and turns to the three men. "What does the NSA and Navy want here?"
One of the men steps forward and holds out his hand. "Hi, I'm Frank Parker, my two friends are Donovan and Ramsey. We're with the NSA." He then holds up his ID and continues. "I'm here to tell you that you missed several cameras and those things inside will know when you're coming."
"Where are these cameras?" Steve asks.
Parker goes to the blue prints and points out three camera clusters. Steve turns to Dabrowski and asks. "Sergeant, please lend me your binoculars." Tony hands them over and Steve looks over the wall pointed out by Parker. He looks for several seconds and orders. "John, I don't know how he knows, but he's right. Sergeant, take out those clusters immediately." Steve then turns back to the three men. "Thanks for telling us about those cameras. It could have cost us a lot of lives."
"Not a problem. Mind if we join in on this little party?" Parker asks.
"Look, thanks for the info about the cameras, but I don't know you people. Unless someone here knows you and can vouch for you, I'm sorry but we can't take the chance." Steve tells the three.
Donovan turns to Frank Iverson and asks. "Well Scully, are you going to vouch for your fellow SEALs or are you now a liar as well as a murderer?"
Frank turns red and softly replies. "I'll vouch for them Steve." He then turns to Donovan and tells him. "I never murdered Franzetti and I never lied on the stand either. If you have a problem with it Donovan, you can kiss my ass."
Donovan gets up in Frank's face and tells him. "I once considered you a friend Scully. Now I just consider you another butcher that I have to work with. When this is over, I'm coming after you and arresting you for Franzetti's murder."
"Hey anytime you want it Craig. I'll be more than happy to hand you your head." Frank angrily replies and moves towards the NSA agent. Donovan moves towards Frank and both look like they're about to kill each other.
Before either man can move in, their respective friends grab them and force some sense down their throats. "Frank! Get a fucking hold of yourself. This is definitely not the fucking time to settle old scores with this idiot."
"Craig, are you fucking crazy? This guy's got at least a hundred friends with him. What the hell has come over you?" Frank Parker asks.
"If I'd known that Frank Scully was involved with these people, then I wouldn't have come out here. That murdering bastard can die for all I care. I'm leaving and so are my SEAL teams.
Toby Green watches the scene unfold in front of him and turns to his two best friends. "Bob, Fred, do you see who I see?"
"Yeah, it's our old friend, the Jedi Knight." Fred Meyer replies softly, his thoughts going back to a cold November day in his hometown of Kansas City, eight years before.
"That means that something really bad is going down." Bob replies softly. < At least I can apologize to him for what I said eight years ago. >
Frank Parker grabs his oldest friend and tells him. "Craig, I've seen what happens here if these people fail. Believe me. It is not a pretty picture. I don't care what you have with this Scully guy. But it isn't important now."
"I agree with Parker on this one Donovan. Get over it and get the job done." Ramsey adds in.
"Yeah, you're both right. What Scully and I have can wait till later. The mission is important." Donovan replies and turns to Steve and tells him. "I'll work with you people, but Scully is mine after this is all done. That man was sentenced to thirty years in the brig and I'm going to put him back in there."
Steve, hearing Donovan's last statement, calmly walks up to him and tells him. "I don't care who the hell you are, but if you do something to affect this mission and endanger the lives of my people, then I will kill you on the spot. Am I understood?"
Donovan looks into Steve's brown eyes and quietly mutters. "Understood Sir. What I have with Scully can wait until later."
"Very good." Steve replies as he turns back to the meeting.
Donovan wipes his brow and looks at the back of the man who had just spoken with him. Ramsey, seeing Donovan's discomfort asks. "You look nervous Donovan. What'd he say to you?"
"It's not what he said, but how he said. That man would've killed me on the spot if I had said the wrong thing."
"No one's that cold Donovan." Ramsey replies.
"Cherokee can be." Jack Gerber quietly replies as he walks up to Ramsey and extends his hand. "Nice seeing you again Ramsey."
"Gerber, you know that guy?" Ramsey asks.
"Yeah, We served in the Green Berets together. Man was one of the best. No scratch that, he is the best. I did a dozen classified missions with him and he always brought us back If that Scully guy is with him, then you can bet your ass that man is one of the best."
"Then why is he defending Scully?" Donovan asks.
"Maybe because he believes that Scully's innocent. Cherokee's always been able to judge people pretty well. If this Scully guy really did murder someone, then he wouldn't be here with Cherokee, let alone staying in his home." Gerber replies as he turns back to the meeting.
Craig Donovan watches Gerber's back and silently wonders. < I wonder if Gerber's right? Maybe Scully didn't do it. He never really had anything against Franzetti. >
Katherine watches in glee as the two mortals are about to come to blows and she quietly seethes as she recognizes the Slayer's mate break apart the combative mortals. Suddenly the monitor loses the picture. Katherine turns to the nearest vampire and orders. "Find out what happened!" The vampire rushes off to the monitor room. As Katherine waits, she begins to pace and mutter. As she walks down the sideline, noting the fearful stares of the Watchers, she approaches one of her guards. The vampire carefully watches her as she approaches. As Katherine draws near, she reaches out and snaps his neck. She turns to the rest of the vampires standing there and tells them. "Do I have your attention?" The vampires around the arena nod their heads, too scared to speak. "Keep your eyes on your prisoners!! Or else!!"
Katherine continues to pace and check her guards and the layout of the arena, looking for any weak spots in her defense. As she completes the first circle. The female vampire returns from the video booth. As she bows before her queen, the vampire gasps out. "I spoke with Chris, Majesty. He says that the cameras were shot down."
Katherine turns to her court and asks. "How did they find out? Those cameras were hidden."
"Maybe someone told them?" One of her court offers. Katherine looks the male vampire up and down and gives him a grin. The male smiles back and puffs himself up, thinking. < She finally recognizes my brilliant nature. >
Katherine crooks a nail at him and the vampire moves forward, waiting for his reward. Katherine gently takes his hand and pulls him to her. As the male reaches for her, Katherine knees him in the groin and as he's doubled over, she rips his head off. She glares at her court, waiting for anymore witty comments. None are spoken. She then looks at the Watchers and muses. < These are the lucky ones. Their deaths will be relatively painless. The rest of humanity shall suffer. >
Katherine walks back to the kneeing female and tells her. "If you want to live. Kill Chris in the video room. He is of no more use to me." The female rushes off to do as she's told.
Steve turns to the roof assault teams. "Cody, Col. Smith I want you two to set up the sniper nests in the two opposing luxury boxes. After the snipers begin to hit the demons, I want you to try and take over the upper levels. This should effectively split their forces. When the bulk of us hit them, we should catch most of them on the stairs and upper benches. This should take approximately two minutes. At that time, Section Seven, the Zombies and the Stony Man Group will lead the assault on the main doors. We'll blow the doors away with LAAW rockets and rush inside. Anything moving gets shot. Major Gerber will lead the second wave. Kendra, you're with his troops. Commander Donovan, your SEALs are under his command, as well as any other groups or individuals not mentioned. John, you and your police are to guard the exits and prevent any escapes. Any questions?"
Donovan raises his hand and asks. "Why are you giving us different ammunition?"
"Because regular bullets won't kill what we're facing." Steve explains.
Donovan continues. "Why are we the second string?"
"Because my people have fought these thing before and they know what they're doing. Any more questions?" Steve looks pointedly at Donovan.
"No Sir." Donovan replies. < This guy is starting to piss me off worse than Scully. >
"Fine then. Cody, you and Col. Smith get your asses in gear. How many trips will it take for you get everyone up there?" Steve asks.
"Two trips, Sir. About eight minutes total time." Monsoon replies.
"Get started then. Lennox, detail one of your men to each unit. They can cut the holes quietly with their laser rifles."
"Aye Steve, it will be done." Lennox replies as he orders two of his men forward. The men salute and each one joins an assault party eager for the fight.
John 'Hannibal' Smith watches as his troops prepare to mount up and assault the things holding the Watchers hostage. He looks at the young faces and sadly shakes his head. Face watches his commander and comments. "Reminds you of Vietnam Hannibal?"
"Too much Face." Hannibal replies as he walks over to Giles and asks. "Why are these kids here? Shouldn't they be out at some mall having fun?"
"Colonel Smith, they're here because they want to be here." Giles softly replies.
Giles' reply surprises Hannibal and he asks. "Why are they doing it?"
"Col. Smith, if you haven't seen those monsters yourself. Would you have believed they existed?"
"No, I wouldn't have."
"Would you believe a teenager or a group of teenagers, when they say they've been attacked by a vampire?"
"No, I wouldn't." Hannibal softly replies. "So, why are they doing it?"
"Because no one else wants to. They've taken it upon themselves to be the world's unknown saviors. These 'children' have saved the world numerous times. They've been brave beyond words, Sir. They know that they'll never have a parade or their names engraved on a monument or have a chest full of medals. They also realize that they're only reward will probably be a grave somewhere, if they're lucky enough to have one. Yet they still go on. After all that they've been through, they'll still stand and fight the evil that seeks to destroy mankind. When La Rochefoucauld wrote those immortal words, 'True Bravery is Shown by Performing Without Witness, What One Might Be Capable of Doing Before the Whole World.' He spoke of these young men and women."
The A-Team and Wally listen in silence to Giles as he describes the bravery of his young charges and each man swears quietly to themselves that these young people would be protected, even if it meant giving up their own lives. Their sentiments are shared by Jarod and Miss Parker who are standing close by. Miss Parker looks over to the young people under Giles' care and quietly asks Jarod. "Jarod, I can't believe what I just heard from that man. How can those children be so brave? What kind of world are we living in when children have to protect it?"
Jarod gathers Miss Parker in his arms and quietly tells her. "I'm more afraid of the kind of world it would be like if there weren't people like them to protect it."
"Jarod, when this is over, I'm calling my father and quitting. Can we go somewhere and be alone?"
Jarod smooths her hair as he quietly replies. "Of course Andrea. Just the two of us from now on. The Centre can go rot in hell for all I care. I just want you with me."
"Good. Then we can leave after we finish here." Andrea murmurs into his shoulder. Their moment is interrupted by Bob Devlin as he orders. "Rangers board." The pair breaks apart and they board their helicopter for the coming assault.
Steve and Buffy watch as the helicopters lift their friends to the roof of the building. Buffy quietly asks. "Steve are you sure about sending them up there?"
"It's the safest place for them Buffy. They'll be out of the direct fighting and in an entrenched and very defensible area. Plus Monsoon, Typhoon and Banzai have orders to lift them off the roof if things get too much for them."
"Thanks for watching out for our friends." Buffy replies as she gives Steve a quick hug. Steve and Buffy share a moment of happiness, but its broken when Cassandra calls them over to lead the assault. Steve and Buffy review their forces and take the lead positions.
Frank Parker looks at the young man and woman as they stand at the head of their forces. He quietly mutters an old phrase from Lee's memoirs. "First to lead, first to command, first to charge and bring victory. But sadly, always the first to die."
Craig Donovan looks on in surprise. "I can't believe that he's actually going to do it."
Toby Green, standing next to Donovan, quietly replies. "Believe it Sir. That man is brave beyond description."
"How do you know he's brave, Seaman?" Donovan asks.
"I'll tell you later, Sir. Right now we have a battle to fight. And if this guy's leading the pack, be ready for a major fight."
Donovan nods his head as he waits for the signal to fight.
Frank watches as the man silently cuts away the roof with his laser rifle. Frank watches in fascination as the man does his job. He quietly asks. "Where the hell did your boss get these babies from?"
The man looks up from his work and grins. "He's friends with David Xanatos. These guns are his company's latest."
"I think Steve and I will need to pay Mr. Xanatos a visit after this is all over." Frank quietly mutters.
Macbeth's mercenary looks up and quietly asks. "How are you two going to get in and see Xanatos? He doesn't exactly have an open appointment book or a listed phone number."
"Don't worry. Steve and I already know David. Steve's going to be a little miffed that he was left of the loop for these particular party favors."
"You two are real pieces of work. No wonder Mr. MacDuff likes you." The mercenary replies with a grin as he finishes. The section of roof drops in and several members of the Rangers move in and spray the area with holy water. After a few seconds, Frank drops down and notices that the box was empty, he quietly calls up and the rest of the team lowers itself down and takes their positions.
On the other side of the Forum, Col. Smith quietly lowers himself and checks out the box that had held Joe Dawson. He quickly moves to the window and watches as several of the Watchers are coldly butchered on a makeshift altar and promises himself. < St. Wolf is right. These things die. Right here and as soon as fucking possible. > He then moves back to the opening and quietly calls up. "Everybody come down. The box is clear." As soon as he finishes, the Storm Shadows move in and secure the entrance to the box. The rest of the assault team quickly climbs down the collapsible ladder and takes their positions. Hannibal watches as Xander and Oz quickly set up a sniper nest.
Nash Bridges watches the pair in action and quietly mutters. "Those two kids have done this before." < I don't know whether to be proud of them or pissed off at St. Wolf for taking away their childhood. >
"Those two are good." Kermit replies with a practiced eye. "Almost no wasted motion, plus they're quiet as all hell."
Several minutes later, Xander calls out to Hannibal. "Col. Smith, we're set up and I've already targeted the largest demon. Oz has the vampire priest in his sights. We fire on your mark." Xander quietly replies as he and Oz bend to their scopes.
Hannibal grins and radios to Steve. "Kahuna, this Beta Team. We are set and green. I repeat. We are set and green."
Hannibal's grin spreads wider as Cody Rodgers calls back. "Kahuna, this Alpha Team, we are also set and green. I repeat. We are set and green."
"You are green to go Alpha and Beta Teams. I repeat, you are green to go. Two minute warning is in play in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go." Steve orders into his radio.
As the word 'go' dies on the radio, Hannibal looks up and orders. "Take them out, kid. Those things are gonna learn that humanity won't go quietly into the night." As he finishes, Xander and Oz let loose and Hannibal grins as he sees both bullets hit home. One taking out the large demon, the other, the vampire priest. Hannibal's grin spreads wider as he watches another demon slam itself into center court, minus a head.
Katherine paces the floor of the arena as she watches the priest completes his preparations by killing his fifth victim. As the sixth victim is placed on the table, a roar suddenly fills the Forum and Katherine looks up at her priest. He gives a stunned look as he turns to dust before his queen's eyes. Katherine turns to order the large demon. "Dubrouz, find the mortal responsible for that." Before she can make the turn, she's covered with gore as Dubrouz's head disappears in a cloud of gore. She looks at the gore covering her and watches in fascination as Dubrouz's body does a slow collapse to the floor. She looks around and sees another demon drop. She notices a flash in one of the luxury boxes and screams out. "There are mortals in the luxury boxes get them. I want those mortals dead!!" Most of the vampires stare in mute fascination at the demons' bodies. Katherine, seeing this, screams out. "NOW!!!" And points to the box occupied by Frank and the Rangers. A large number of vampires rush to the luxury box to do their queen's bidding. Katherine looks down on Dubrouz's body and kicks it as she screams. "How dare you die on me demon! You still had work to do."
Buster cringes at the roar of the two fifty caliber rifles. He watches in glee as two of the demons fall to the massive bullets. His heart soars as he watches the vampire priest disappear in a cloud of dust. < Looks like Joe made it to his friends. >
"I can't believe this. Who the hell is doing the shooting? And what kind of guns are they using?" Greg asks in awe as the two fifty calibers fire again, their combined roar signaling the death of two more demons.
Buster grins as he tells his friend. "Joe's friends. Who else could it be? Their using fifty caliber rifles. God, those things don't stand a fucking chance."
"What about us? If they fire into the vampires, their bullets will hit us down here." Bill cries out.
The vampires rush up the stairs to the luxury boxes. As they get near the entrances to the walk ways behind the boxes, the Rangers and Kowalski's group rise up and deals death from their weapons. The two groups fire repeatedly into the vampire's ranks. As the first wave is decimated, two demons move in to attack them. As they draw near, Jarod grabs up his SPAS 15 and sends two silver slugs into them. Both demons quickly fall over dead. Several vampires try to bring Jarod down, but Miss Parker, firing over Jarod's shoulder, cuts loose with her M-16 and kills them before they reach Jarod. Bob Devlin casts a quick glance at the pair and thinks to himself. < Damn, they're almost as good a team as St. Wolf and Summers. >
Hannibal looks over the battle being fought across the gym and orders. "Open fire on their backs. Let's let them know that we're here as well." His troops immediately open fire on the vampires attacking the Rangers.
As their rear ranks fall, one of the vampires looks back and yells out. "There are more mortals in the other luxury box. Get them!!" Many of the remaining vampires rush to the other box and their deaths. As they start to climb the stairs, the A-Team, the Storm Shadows, and their allies begin to pick out individual targets and kill them.
Steve watches the Forum as the seconds tick away. He looks over to Methos and orders. "Methos, show Jack and his crew your tatoo."
Methos' mouth splits a grin. < Good idea. > He thinks to himself as he walks over to Gerber's and Donovan's groups. As he approaches, Donovan asks. "What's up?"
Methos holds up his left forearm and shows them the tatoo there. "The people in the Forum all have this tattoo on their left forearms. Anyone showing such a tattoo is most probably an innocent hostage. Let them go."
"You got it." Jack Gerber replies and orders. "All of you men memorize that tattoo. Anyone wearing it is a friendly." The men quickly look over the Watcher tattoo and go back to waiting for the assault to begin.
Lennox MacDuff watches as the Section Seven people prepare for the coming assault and quietly tells Ian Carmichael. "Ian, you're in command of the boys. I'm joining Arthur and the rest of them."
"Is that wise Sir?"
"No, but when am I ever going to go into battle with a more worthy group of heroes?" MacDuff replies with a grin as he unwraps an ancient Scottish Claymore.
"Probably never again, Sir." Ian replies in a hushed voice and looks back at his men. The expressions on their faces show that they want to join the fight as well. "Mr. MacDuff, would it be possible for us to join in as well?"
MacDuff gives his men a grin. < Damn, I choose well when I choose these men. > His heart silently soars as he leads them to the front of the line and the leaders. He approaches Steve St. Wolf and asks. "Steve, would it be possible for my men and I to join in the main assault?"
Steve gives his friend a small grin and tells him. "Of course it is Lennox. You and your men can fight beside us."
MacDuff turns back to his men and issues orders. "You heard the man lads. Take your place behind me and the leaders. We're going in." MacDuff's men grin and check their primary and secondary weapons, eager for the fight. The men watch as Arthur walks up to his fellow king and welcomes him to the fight with a brotherly hug.
Steve checks his watch and sees that only thirty seconds remain before the assault begins. He turns to Mike Night Wolf. "Mike, you ready to howl?"
"Yep." Mike replies as he steps forward and lets loose a long howl. Everyone turns to watch him as he changes.
Donovan and Parker look on in shock as they watch one the Section Seven agents changes into a werewolf. Donovan turns to Parker and asks. "Frank, did you have any idea that one of them was that?"
"No Donovan, I wasn't familiar with that at all. Is he what I think he is?"
"Yes, he's a werewolf." Jack Gerber explains. "And he's on our side. So don't get any ideas about shooting him. Cherokee will not take it kindly if he's killed by one of you."
"Are there anymore surprises?" Frank Parker asks as another roar fills the air. He turns to see a large winged creature stand before the assembled troops and spread its wings to the sky. "What is that?"
"A gargoyle named Grif." Gerber replies with a grin as he tells the shocked SEALs. "Same rules apply. Both of them are friends."
"A gargoyle once saved my cousin's life in New York. I sure don't have a problem with it." A SEAL replies in awe. The rest of the SEALs relax with the knowledge that one of their own also confirmed the friendly nature of gargoyles.
At precisely two minutes Steve orders the men with the rockets to fire. All six fire their rockets at the same time. As the rockets strike the gates of the Forum, the Section Seven Warriors and their allies rush forward, ready for battle.
Katherine watches as her followers are quickly destroyed. She turns to the remaining demons and yells out. "Go and kill those mortals. I command it!!!"
"Listen vampire." One of the remaining demons sarcastically points out. "Those 'puny' mortals are killing us and your vampires. When we agreed to aid you, we were not told we would be facing such formidable foes."
"But they're just MORTALS!!" Katherine screams out.
"They are mortals who have managed to kill at least nine of us demons and how many vampires?" The demon asks as it points a taloned hand at Katherine's chest..
"I don't care. We will raise Throlog and kill all of them."
"And how will you do that? Your high priest is dead and the mortals are destroying your host." The demon asks as an explosion is heard from the front of the building. The demon turns and points a claw at five of its fellow demons. "Go see what caused that large noise and take a few of the vampires with you." The five chosen demons rush out through one of the main exit, closely followed by forty vampires.
Steve, Buffy and Arthur are the first through the shattered doors. As they make their way to the interior of the Forum, five demons and a large number of vampires rush out. The lead demons see the trio's glowing blades and order the vampires to. "Strike those mortals down. They each carry one of the Nine Swords of Destiny!" The vampires rush to do his bidding and surround the trio.
The demons quickly move in to attack, but the three sword bearers hold their ground fighting a fierce defensive action. The demons and vampires are so intent on killing them, that they don't notice the rest of the Immortals moving in and striking down the vampires en masse. As the vampires are cleared out the demons find themselves surrounded by Immortal Warriors armed to take them down. The demons suddenly rush the circle, trying to break out, but they are shot down with silver bullets fired from various firearms and laser beams from MacDuff's men.
As the smoke clears, Steve turns around and orders. "Mack take your people and secure the north entrance. Casey, take your people and the Zombies and secure the south entrance. The rest of us go up the middle."
The groups break up and rush to their stations. Steve and Buffy lead their group and head directly to the court through the main entrance.
Katherine hears the fighting going on in the main lobby of the Forum and looks around her. Her army has been more than decimated, barely two hundred of her vampires are still standing. She looks around at the mortals she still holds and snarls. < I can't lose. I am Katherine Plantagenet. A queen of the Blood. No common Slayer can destroy me. >
As she glares at her vampires, one of the priest's assistants rushes forward and tells her. "Mistress. We are ready for the final sacrifice."
Katherine's head snaps around. "What are you waiting for fool? Bring Throlog through. Now!" Katherine's mouth splits into a feral smile as she slides out the obsidian dagger and calmly walks over to the largest remaining demon. < Soon my lord, soon. > She thinks to herself.
Jack Gerber leads his combined command through the blasted doors of the Forum and holds up his hand. He orders two of his men through to go on point. The girl assigned to his team just raises her eyebrow in a mocking manner and boldly walks in. As Jack tries to hold her back, she looks at him and sarcastically tells him. "The vampires are dead, we don't have anything to worry about."
"How can you be so sure?" Jack asks, curious.
"Simple, Buffy and I can sense them and I can tell you that there are no vampires within fifty feet of us." Kendra explains as she calmly goes inside.
Jack just shakes his head and follows. < Damn, what is it with Cherokee and all of these confident women? First Kathy, then that Buffy girl and now this Kendra. I will definitely have to talk to him about his taste in women. >
As they walk into the main lobby, Jack notices Kendra standing over a group of bodies. Jack rushes over, hoping it's none of Cherokee's people. As he draws near, he sees the green ichor oozing out of numerous bullet holes and slashes. One of his men looks at the faces of the monsters that he would be facing and promptly throws up. Frank Parker and Donovan walk up to the bodies and each looks at the other. Frank quietly asks. "What the hell are they?"
Kendra looks up from the bodies and explains. "They're demons of the sixth circle of hell. The dust on the floor is from the vampires that were killed with them."
The men look at the dust on the floor and on their boots and several gag. One of them asks. "How many vampires?"
"I think maybe thirty, maybe more." Kendra replies. < Buffy and I wouldn't have even lasted a minute here by ourselves. I guess having friends to help is a good thing. > She quietly thinks to herself.
Jack looks at his men and at the SEALs, noting the grim set of their features. He then asks Kendra. "What would these things have done if they got loose?"
"They would kill everything in their path. They consider humanity to be a source of food and would have killed and eaten as many people as possible."
Several of the SEALs look queasy and quickly swallow back whatever their stomachs had dredged up. Donovan looks down at the bodies and quietly asks. "Frank, was it because of these things that you were sent back?"
"Yeah. They had managed to get loose and bring more of them over. The world was at war with them and losing badly. These people are our best chance to stop them." Frank replies quietly.
Jack looks around and orders. "All right people we setup here. Chavez, I want you to set up a check point here and we'll pass through the non combatants. Make sure each one has that tattoo and check anyone without one with holy water. Custer, you and Sanchez are the fire team. Setup your rockets and be ready to use them. If anyone resists, shoot them down. I don't want a single vampire or demon getting out of here. Am I clear?"
John Randall watches as the Section Seven people move into the Forum and quietly asks himself. "God, please protect them. I have never seen such selfless bravery in so many people and this world will always have a need for them."
Tracy, overhearing Randall's quick prayer offers up. "Amen to that John. So what are we going to do? Stand around here with our thumbs up our asses or go and help?"
Randall gives her a big grin as he orders. "Dabrowski!!"
"I'm going in to support our friends. Anyone who wants to come can come. Volunteers only."
"Hell yes, Sir." Dabrowski replies with glee. He quickly calls on his radio. "Captain Randall wants some volunteers to go into the Forum and help. This mission is strictly voluntary. Perimeter guards are to remain in place. Anyone else can volunteer."
Ninety seconds after Dabrowski finishes his radio call, seventy three officers are standing at attention in front of Captain Randall. As he looks over them he tells them. "We're going in to help. There's going to be a lot of hurt people in there and we're going to get them out." Randall turns to the paramedics and asks. "Any of you willing to volunteer?"
Several of the paramedics look at each other and to a person, they all step forward. Their commander, a lieutenant, smiles with pride at their bravery and tells Randall. "Any time you're ready Captain, so are we."
"Good, then we move in now." Randall replies.
Hannibal quickly fires his M-16 into the face of the vampire attacking him. As his rifle locks open on an empty magazine, the vampire grins and charges. His charge is stopped by the double tapping of Kermit's 45. As the former mercenary looks for another target, Hannibal reloads his gun. Peter Caine walks up to him and asks. "Col. Smith, can we take the fight to them?"
"Not yet. We don't give up the high ground until the main assault begins." Hannibal orders as he snap shoots and dusts another vampire.
Mack quickly moves his people to the north side of the Forum. As they draw near to the court entrance, he radios Steve. "Steve this Stony Man Group, we are almost at the north entrance. What are your orders?"
"Mack, Casey, don't wait for anyone. Take out the vampires at the entrances and start getting those people out of there. Be ready for a fight. Alpha and Beta teams will give you fire support as you need it." Steve orders.
Mack quietly orders Able Team forward and the three commandos quickly move to the entrance and mow down the dozen vampires guarding it. As Able Team provides suppression fire, Phoenix Force and John Trent quickly moves in and takes out any remaining vampires. Mack quickly moves over to the cowering Watchers and orders. "Everyone get the hell out of here. Move quickly, but don't panic. Help any of you that are wounded or too weak to move. We'll take care of the vampires."
Melody Bishop watches as the vampires prepare to sacrifice one of the demons and shudders. < God. What is happening? > The sound of machine guns is heard off to her left. She turns around and watches as the vampires guarding the exit disappear in a cloud of dust. < What the hell?! > A group of heavily armed men then enters the arena. At their head was a familiar figure. < Oh my God! That's Mack Bolan. What's he doing here. > In answer to her silent question the men with him begin to take down the vampires with well placed shots and Melody hears Bolan order them to leave. She immediately gets up and quickly walks to the exit, passing the men now guarding it. < My God. It's Bolan's anti- terrorist group. What the hell are they doing here? > Melody asks herself as she rushes out and to freedom.
Casey Romaine's group slams into the vampires guarding the south entrance and quickly kills them with sword, gun and stake. As Casey leaves the south entrance, a vampire grabs him and sinks its fangs into his neck. The vampire takes a gulp of Casey's blood and screams an earth shattering scream as his body literally breaks apart.
Lida helps her husband up and they join the rest of their friends in the newly started battle. As Casey rushes to the battle he sees that Mike Hammer and his student Velda were fighting two vampires hand to hand in the middle of a group of hostage Watchers. Richard Blade was trading slashes with a vampire armed with a sword. Remo Williams was fighting a demon with his sword. Casey's son Joshua was fighting three vampires and beating them down. Gabrielle and Sonja had a demon on its knees as they quickly beat it down and cut it apart.
Casey and Lida approach the Watchers and order them to leave. The Watchers are surprised at the rescue, but they quickly move to the exits. As the Watchers move away from the fighting they notice a large group of men and women waiting for them, many of them wearing the uniforms of the LAPD.
Peter Caine looks down and sees the main assault begin. He turns to Hannibal and asks. "Can we take the fight to them now?"
Hannibal grins as he replies. "All units forward. Lets show these things what we're made of. No prisoners." With that, the A-Team, Storm Shadows and the Rangers begin the slow fight down to the court. Killing all the vampires in the upper levels on their way down.
John Randall walks into the Forum and approaches the Blue Berets and Navy SEALs. Jack Gerber notices him walking towards his group and asks. "Couldn't stay out of it, Captain Randall?"
"Nope. Neither could a lot of my people." Randall replies with a grin as the volunteers move in from the outside.
Randall and Vetter both grin as Jack orders. "Place your people with ours. We'll create a strong point here. I don't want any vampires sneaking out."
"Good, that'll also give the paramedics a chance to treat anyone who needs help." Randall replies as his people spread out.
A minute later, one of the scouts calls out. "We've got people coming in from the north. Be ready to receive the hostages."
A second later, one of the southern scouts reports. "Commander Donovan, we have more hostages coming in from the south."
The first group of Watchers look on in shock as the armed men cover them while the police and medics examine the wounded and quickly help the most seriously wounded from the Forum. The Watchers look at the pile of demon corpses and one of the Council members, Gerald Hastings, asks. "Who are you people? What happened in there?"
Randall walks up to the man and quietly tells him. "I'm Captain John Randall of the LAPD. We're here to rescue you and the rest of your group, Sir. My apologies for being abrupt, but we don't have the time to answer any questions at this time. So, please move forward and you'll be escorted out of here."
Hastings quietly moves forward and a medic checks him for a pulse. After the medic feels his blood flowing, Hastings is let through to the parking lot with a group of his fellow Watchers. Once outside, they find themselves escorted to a food truck for some coffee. At the coffee truck, Hastings meets his fellow council member, Anthony Watkins. They quickly move off and start to talk. Hastings comments. "Did you see who rescued us?"
"Yes, Mack Bolan and his anti-terrorist group. What the hell is going on here?" Watkins replies.
"I don't know, but Bolan wasn't the only Immortal there."
"What are you talking about?"
"I saw Gus Beiderman and his friend Glam there as well."
"Shit, do you think Joe Dawson got them here to help?"
"I don't know. But I definitely want to talk to Dawson after this is over."
The largest remaining demon turns to the main entrance as the vampires guarding it suddenly turn to dust. The two demons helping them reel back from the silver bullets fired into them. He watches as a third war party enters the arena eager for demon and vampire blood. He turns to Katherine and asks. "So what do we do now vampire?"
Katherine's reply is an obsidian dagger to its heart as she screams. "Throlog, by the blood of mortals and demons do I call you forth!"
Steve, Buffy and Arthur lead their group through the main entrance and quickly kill the dozen vampires and two demons guarding it. As they enter the arena, they watch as a vampire stabs a demon with a stone knife. A few seconds later, the entire arena begins to shake as a portal opens up and a thirty foot demon appears above the body of the slain demon. He looks around and sees the battle raging around him and he yells out in a large, booming voice. "I AM THROLOG. SHAKE AND GROVEL PUNY ONES FOR I AM DEATH INCARNATE."
Remo looks up from his battle with the demon that he's facing and sees Throlog appear in the arena. His second of distraction is more than enough for the demon that he's facing to move in and slam a fist into Remo's head, breaking his neck in the process. The demon moves forward to crush the mortal, but Gus Beiderman and his friend Glam move forward and quickly cut him down with silver bullets. As the demon falls, they move Remo off to the side to recover and they move on to fight three vampires headed towards them. As they move on, Gus comments. "Remind me never to complain about how boring Casca's parties can be."
"Why? And miss all this fun?" Glam replies as he cuts a vampire in half with his ax.
Gus beats down a vampire and heart shoots it with a wooden bullet as he replies. "Glam, were you dropped on the head as a child?"
"Several times. Why?"
"Oh, just curious." Gus replies as he shoots the last vampire down.
Stalker moves off from the three piles of dust and heads to where Gabrielle and Sonja are fighting a demon. As he approaches he catches tidbits of their conversation and grins. "Gods, these things haven't changed in three thousand years." Gabriel comments.
"These things were just as dumb when I started out and that was almost five thousand years ago." Sonja replies.
"Think Conan would have joined in on this little party?" Gabrielle asks.
"He and your old pal Xena would have been the first ones to knock on St. Wolf's door." Sonja grins in reply as the demon tries to smash her face in. She quickly ducks and the demon's arm goes flying over her head, literally. Sonja looks beside and sees Stalker with a sword covered in green slime. "Josh!" Sonja cries out with a smile. "Glad to see that you want to help your aunts."
Stalker gives them a shy grin as he replies. "Always glad to help you two. Have you seen Mom and Dad?"
"Yes, they're fighting in the center court with the rest of the Immortals." Sonja replies as she guts the demon with her sword. Suddenly the demon collapses as its head explodes. The three turn around and watch as a calm Martinez racks his shotgun's slide back. Sonja angrily asks. "What the hell was that for? We had him."
"We don't have time to play with the small fry. The vampires have brought in the heavy hitter." Martinez replies.
"What, in the Gods' names, are you talking about?" Gabrielle asks.
"Look at center court." Martinez replies as he hurries towards the large demon, leaving the three Immortals looking on in awe.
"Crom, he's a big one." Sonja replies in awe as she begins to move to center court, quickly followed by Stalker and Gabrielle.
Throlog looks down at the battles raging before him and he smiles. < Good, these little demons have brought me some food. > He thinks to himself as he reaches down and picks up some unlucky Watchers and swallows them whole. Suddenly, he feels pain and he roars out. "WHO DARES TO STRIKE AT ME?"
Frank looks on in disbelief as Throlog materializes in front of him. "Shit, he's a big one." Frank mutters to himself.
"That's an understatement." Amy mutters next to him as she lifts her rifle and quickly starts to fire silver bullets into Throlog's head. Frank quickly follows suit with the M-82 and fires the last five bullets in his ten round magazine into Throlog's heart.
As he ejects the magazine, he orders Billy to reload it. Billy passes him a full magazine and promptly takes the empty one and begins to shove in ammunition. Frank rips through the second magazine and complains. "My shoulder is going to be worth shit tomorrow."
"Just keep hitting that thing with every ounce of silver that we have." Amy orders while she continues to fire.
Xander and Oz watch as Throlog starts to turn to attack Frank's luxury box. As the demon turns its head away, Xander lets loose with his M-82 and rips another ten rounds into the back of Throlog's head. The demon roars its anger again. "PUNY MORTALS, FOR THIS I SHALL KILL YOU ALL SLOWLY!!"
Remo's body rises jerkily from where it lays. A vampire seeing the easy target rushes over and grabs Remo's throat. Suddenly Remo's hand reaches out and tears off the vampire's head. As the dust falls, Remo's body rises on unseen strings and it calls out. "I AM SHIVA, THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS. I HAVE BEEN CALLED INTO THE BODY OF THE NIGHT TIGER RAISED FROM THE DEAD BY THE MASTER OF SINANJU."
"Hey Remo, you all right?" Richard Blade asks as he approaches his old friend.
Remo turns to face Richard Blade and looks at him with dead eyes. Richard draws up short at the sight of the third eye in Remo's forehead. As looks at his old friend, a vampire sneaks up behind him and attacks. As the pair struggle on the ground, Remo easily walks over and grabs the vampire and destroys it. As Richard looks up, he again asks. "Remo, are you all right?"
Sensing only concern for his friend, Shiva replies. "YOUR FRIEND IS FINE MORTAL." Then asks. "WHY HAVE I BEEN CALLED HERE?"
"Who are you? What are you?"
"I AM THE LORD SHIVA. THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS. THIS MAN IS MY AVATAR ON THIS MORTAL PLANE. WHY HAVE I BEEN SUMMONED?"
"Because of him." Richard replies in awe and points to Throlog, staggering under the continuous fire storm aimed at him.
The being inside Remo takes a look at the battle and turns to it. As he approaches Throlog, a demon attempts to stop him. His third eye opens and a purple beam destroys it in mid air. Richard follows and protects his friend's back while thinking. < Remo, we are definitely going to have a talk about this later. >
Bureau 13 Headquarters
Horace Gordon looks up from his reports as Dimitri rushes in. "What now?" He asks.
"Two disturbances happened in Los Angeles, Sir. One of them a level 11, the other a level 12." Dimitri reports.
Horace Gordon's hands crush the reports that he's holding as he asks. "Do we know the nature of the disturbances?"
"Yes Sir. The level 11 was a demon of the first circle entering the mortal world."
Gordon's face loses its color as he asks. "And the level 12?"
"That was Shiva's Avatar awakening."
"Where is Shiva's Avatar?"
"In the Great Western Forum with the demon." Dimitri replies in a hushed voice.
Horace Gordon picks up his communicator and orders. "Simon, I don't care how you do it, but get into the Forum and give me a situation report."
"Understood Sir." Simon replies.
Buffy, Steve and Arthur move forward and quickly strike at the monster in front of them. While Steve calls out to a challenge to the demon. "Throlog. Return to hell immediately or be destroyed!!" Buffy and Arthur move to hamstring him from behind.
Throlog notices Steve and Demon Slayer and laughs. "PUNY MORTAL FOOL. THAT BLADE MAY SCARE LESSER DEMONS. BUT I AM THROLOG, A DEMON OF THE FIRST CIRCLE. PREPARE TO DIE." And with that Throlog moves quickly and attempts to grab up Steve. Steve jumps out of the way and fires off his Glock 21's entire magazine into Throlog's hand. The demon roars out in pain as he attempts to slam his fist into Steve.
As Throlog's fist almost connects with Steve, his feet buckle, the rear tendons slashed by Buffy and Arthur. As Throlog falls, a screaming gargoyle launches itself onto him from the top of the entrance. Grif lands on the demon's back and begins to claw away its flesh, heedless of the bullets and laser beams flying around him. Meanwhile the Immortals, armed with silver bullets, continue to fire into Throlog and Macbeth's men fire their laser's into the demon's knees, causing him to fall down.
Throlog crashes down and lashes out at the warriors firing into him. He knocks a few of the Immortals into the stands, but as soon as their wounds heal, they rise up to fight again. Throlog looks on as the three sword bearers cut into him and drain him of his power. He attempts to grab a few of the mortals to consume them and regain some power, but they all keep out of his reach and continue to fire into him. Throlog watches in hate as the mortals continue to fight the vampires as well as the few remaining minor demons. He calls out to Katherine and tells her. "VAMPIRE BITCH. YOU ARE THE CAUSE OF THIS. I WILL SEE YOU IN HELL AND THEN I WILL TORTURE YOU FOR ETERNITY FOR THIS DEFEAT."
Remo walks up to the body of the prone demon lord and commands. "ALL OF YOU STAND BACK. THIS DEMON IS MINE TO DESTROY." And with a wave of his hand all of the warriors attacking the demon, are forced back, their weapons, unable to fire. Grif is lifted bodily from the back of Throlog and deposited gently into the seats a hundred feet away.
The battle dies as the assembled beings watch in pure fascination as the man calling himself Shiva approaches the prone demon. Throlog, seeing a meal approach him, reaches out to Capture the foolish man. As his hand grabs at Remo, Remo calmly strikes out with his hand and Throlog's arm breaks. The sound is heard throughout the arena. Shiva looks at Throlog and tells him. "YOUR KIND IS NOT WANTED ON THIS WORLD DEMON. I AM HERE TO SEND YOU BACK TO HELL."
"WHO DARES TO COMMAND THROLOG?"
"I, SHIVA, DARE, DEMON" Shiva replies in an ominous voice.
"SO MORTAL LOVER. YOU SHOW YOURSELF." Throlog hisses out.
"AYE DEMON. I FEAR NOTHING FROM MY CHILDREN. BUT YOU AND YOUR KIND SHOULD. FOR THEY HAVE OUTGROWN YOUR KIND'S DECEPTION THAT HAD NEARLY CAUSED THEIR DOWNFALL." Shiva replies.
The Immortals watch on in fascination as the being known as Shiva speaks. All of them suddenly realizing that the Game was something more that a mere dark joke. It was a deception to kill them all and leave the world defenseless to the demons' onslaught. Many of the Immortals present suddenly feel as though a weight had been lifted from their bodies and each looks at the other and realizes that there stood his or her's brother or sister and that they were meant to fight together and not each other.
Shiva looks upon the assembled Immortals and tells them. "YES, IT IS TRUE. YOU ARE MEANT TO BE HUMANITY'S GUARDIANS."
"Why us? Why were we chosen for this?" Duncan MacLeod asks.
"WHEN THE DEMON'S WERE DRIVEN FROM THE EARTH, A BARGAIN WAS STRUCK. TO PREVENT FURTHER WAR AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EARTH AND HUMANITY, WE GODS AGREED NOT TO INTERFERE DIRECTLY WITH HUMANITY. THE DEMONS AGREED TO THE SAME. BUT THEY THEN CREATED THE VAMPIRES IN AN ATTEMPT TO FIRST SUBJUGATE, THEN DESTROY HUMANITY. WE GODS, IN DEFENSE OF HUMANITY, CREATED YOU IMMORTALS TO DEFEND AND PROTECT HUMANITY. YOUR PURPOSE WAS TO GROW UP AS HUMANS, LEARN WHAT TRUE HUMANITY WAS. AND WHEN YOU DIED, TO BECOME ITS PROTECTORS. A FEW OF YOU WERE ALSO CHOSEN TO BE OUR AVATARS." Shiva explains.
The Immortals and their allies look on, dumbfounded at this revelation.
Katherine looks on and watches in horror as the Immortals learn of their true calling. She calls over her last vampires and starts to issue orders. "This can't be allowed to happen. We must kill all of them as quickly as possible. Especially that bitch Slayer and her mate. They must die above all others." Her vampires nod their heads in agreement and turn to attack the occupied Immortals.
Buster and his two friends look on in shock. Buster quietly asks Greg and Bill. "Did you two just hear that?"
"I did and so did a lot of other Watchers, Buster. Who would have thought it?" Greg replies in awe.
Nash and his crew look on in pure confusion. He turns to Scarlet and asks. "Scarlet is what that guy saying true? Are some of these people Immortal?"
"Yes Nash. It's true. Most of Section Seven is Immortal. Do you have a problem helping them?"
"Nope. Just want to know where I stand." Nash replies.
"Pete, what do you make of this?" Kermit asks his friend.
Peter Caine smiles openly as he replies. "Nothing. I need to talk to my father about this." < Pop said that there was a balance to everything. Nice to see that it's true. >
Methos looks on in shock and quietly thinks to himself. < What the hell is happening here? > He looks over to Duncan and his kinsman and watches as both men openly grin, accepting their new role. < Damn the boy scouts are happy. This bodes ill for my partying. >
Throlog attempts to kill Shiva again by grabbing at him with his good hand. The demon suddenly screams as its other arm is broken. Shiva looks at the demon and tells him. "THROLOG, I SEND YOU BACK TO HELL FOR ETERNITY." And with that, a purple beam shoots out of Shiva's third eye and bathes the demon in a lavender light. Throlog lets out one last scream as the lavender light bathes him and his body disappears. After the lavender light dies out, Remo collapses to the court. The Immortals rush over to their fallen friend and gently pick him up and several of his friends carry him to safety. The rest of the Immortals watch in wonder as he's carried from the arena floor.
Bureau 13 Headquarters
Horace Gordon hears his communicator beep and he picks it up. "Gordon here, report."
"Simon here, Sir. I'm in the Forum and have a report."
"Section Seven has managed to contain the problem Sir."
"What about the level 11 and 12 disturbances?"
"Gone Sir. The level 11 disturbance has been banished back to Hell by the level 12 and the level 12 left of its own volition. The Section Seven agents are now cleaning house with the remaining vampires and minor demons."
"How are they doing?"
"Sir, I would have no problems working with these people. They certainly know their business."
"Good. Keep an eye on them and I'll want a complete report when this mess is finished. Gordon out." Gordon replies and shuts down the communicator. He turns to Dimitri, who's standing next to his desk, and tells him. "I will definitely be paying a visit to the Wanderer when this mess is cleaned up. You can bet on it!!"
"You sure he'll survive the experience, Sir?" Dimitri asks with a grin. Gordon gives him a glare and Dimitri rushes off to do something else. As Dimitri leaves Gordon chuckles and a smile pulls up the corners of his mouth as he thinks < Steve certainly pulled this one out the fire. I've got to talk to Dad about letting me hire him once in a while. >
Katherine sees that the Slayer's forces are distracted and she orders. "Attack them now! Kill the Slayer and her mate. I want those two dead most." At her orders, the surviving 150+ vampires and three remaining demons attack the distracted Immortals. As they rush forward, a few of the Immortals and mortals fall before their onslaught, but the Immortals and their allies regroup almost instantly and start to fight back aggressively.
The wounded mortals are taken to the edge of the fighting, where the Watchers wait to take them away. The wounded Immortals merely wait for their wounds to heal before they go back to the fighting. Several hundred Watchers remain to watch the battle to its conclusion. As they watch in awe, the Immortals put fact to Shiva's words as they fight in the defense of humanity.
Michael Night Wolf, in full wolf mode, wrecks unholy havoc among the undead vampires. He rips into them with glee and watches as they turn to dust after he rips out their hearts. Grif follows his lead and shows the vampires that his claws could be used for more than just helping him climb up the sides of buildings.
The MacLeods fight side by side with their friends and start to sweep the vampires into a tight knot. As the vampires are forced together, the A-Team, Rangers, Zombies, Storm Shadows and their friends begin to fire into their midst. Quickly the vampires begin to look for escape and few of them make it to the tunnels under the stands. Most do not make it as they are picked off by the vigilant warriors. As the battle breaks down into single combats, Buffy and Steve bear the brunt of the attacking vampires. As Steve cuts a vampire down, he comments to his partner. "I think the vampires are pissed at us in particular."
Buffy gives him a grin as she stakes a vampire. "What makes you say that?"
"Oh just that several of them are screaming 'Get the Slayer and her mate.' Think they know something we don't?" Steve replies with a grin.
"What? That we're responsible for them losing?"
"No, that they think we're married." Steve replies with a grin as a vampire launches itself into him. Steve quickly sidesteps and slams a stake into its undead heart.
Buffy steps away from the fight and gives Steve a smack on the back of his head.
"What the hell was that for?" Steve asks as he cuts down another vampire.
"For being an idiot." Buffy tells him in a huff. < If he doesn't see it. Then I'm not going to tell him. > She thinks to herself as she kicks a vampire in its stomach and decapitates it as it falls to its knees in pain.
"Are we a little pissed?" A grinning Steve asks.
Buffy doesn't say a word as she cuts a vampire in half with her sword. "What makes you say that?"
"Just that you're putting quite a hurting on the vampires." Steve replies as Buffy slams her sword into the face a female vampire. The vampire disappears in a cloud of dust as Vampire Slayer's magic destroys it.
The men of Able Team watch in amazement as the Immortals fight the vampires with sword and stake. Carl Lyons turns to his two partners and mutters. "I have got to learn how to use a sword."
Gadgets looks up from the battle and asks. "Why Ironman?"
"Because I don't want to be left out of the fun next time." Carl replies with an evil grin.
Gadgets and Politician just shake their heads ruefully as they protect the remaining Watchers.
Several of the Watchers within earshot look at each and one asks quietly. "Is that guy nuts?" The other Watchers near him just shake their heads and continue to watch the battle unfold.
John Trent moves easily with the rest of the sword wielding Immortals and grins to himself. < Damn. Now this is how slaying should be. Too bad Celia couldn't be here to see it. > He quickly moves in and guts one vampire, while staking another. He quickly brings his sword back and cuts off the wounded vampire's head, before he moves on to another.
The men of Phoenix Force watch as their sometime partner lays into the vampires. Calvin James just shakes his head and comments. "Think John knows what he's doing?"
David McCarter watches as the Phoenix Force ninja dusts another vampire and grins. "John's definitely enjoying himself, Cal. But I think Mack's the better swordsman of the two."
"Compared to some of these guys, that's not saying much." Gary Manning replies in awe as he watches some of the world's greatest swordsmen and women fight.
Katherine looks around her and watches as her vampire host quickly disappears. She turns to her general and tells him. "Gunther, I may die here today, but the Slayer and her mate also die. They have caused all this to fail."
Her general looks at her and then he bows. After he bows, he turns around and yells out. "Isolate the Slayer and her mate. Your Queen wishes to kill her personally." And with those orders, the vampires split apart and close around Buffy and Steve.
Buffy and Steve look at each other as the vampires split apart and place them in a wide circle. They look around and find themselves in a open area, facing a female and male vampire. The female vampire calls out to the pair and tells them. "I am Katherine Plantagenet. This." She points to the male vampire. "Is my general, Gunther, former prince of the Holy Roman Empire. We challenge you two to single combat.
Steve and Buffy look at each other and grin. As Katherine and her general raise their swords, the Slayer and the Wanderer rush them and bring the fight to them. The two vampires barely raise their swords in defense as the two Immortals' charge forces them back. As Katherine fiercely defends herself, she realizes < Great Satan! No Slayer that I've ever faced has been this good with a sword. > As she's forced back against the wall, she notices the Slayer's mate disarms Gunther and swiftly stabs him in the gut. As he falls, clenching his stomach with both hands, Katherine watches as the Slayer's mate decapitates him. She barely turns back in time to defend herself from Buffy's onslaught. Katherine looks at the girl who couldn't be over eighteen and asks. "Who taught you how to use a sword, girl?"
Buffy grins as she slams the vampire with a savage kick to her side. "My honey did. Why do you want to know?"
"Because he taught you well. No one human or vampire has ever stood against me for more than a minute in close to nine hundred years." Katherine replies with a savage grin as she forces Buffy back and on the defense. As the two spar, several vampires attempt to attack Buffy from behind, but Steve quickly takes them out.
The rest of the Immortals, led by Mulder, Scully, Casey, Mack and Duncan are cleaning house and killing all of the vampires in the arena. Mulder and Scully lead a group of Immortals to breach the circle of vampires surrounding Buffy and Steve. As the vampires fall back, they notice Steve cutting down vampires from behind, further weakening the circle. Suddenly, several dozen of the vampires make an escape towards the main exit. A dozen of them make it through the swords and rifles of the Warriors. The vampires, led by a vampire named Michael grin as they rush past the Immortals and towards the night. The vampires' smiles broaden as they notice that the Immortals don't bother to follow them.
Major Gerber looks on the main entrance to the arena as the girl called Kendra quietly tells him. "A dozen vampires are coming this way. Get your men back and I'll fight them.
Jack puts a restraining hand on her shoulder and quietly tells her. "You will do no such thing." Then he turns and quietly orders. "First and second squads, block the entrance. Anything that comes out is a hostile. Take them out." Two dozen men ready their rifles and point them at the entrance. They wait a few seconds and dozen vampires spill out it, their game faces on.
Michael looks at the entrance and grins. < Good. We're free. Now I'll become the Master vampire of Los Angeles. > As his group approaches the entrance they see a large number of mortals standing there, blocking their escape. Michael puts on his game face and quietly orders the vampires with him to kill the mortals. His vampires grin and follow him out to attack the mortals in the funny uniforms. As they leave the entrance the mortals fire on the vampires and Michael grins. < Bullets won't stop us. > He rushes forward first, eager for the kill as numerous wooden bullets find his heart.
Kendra watches in awe as the soldiers quickly kill off the vampires attacking them. She looks around and only sees grim determination in the faces around her. She looks at the man holding her arm and asks. "How did you kill them?"
"Your friends gave us a special ammunition that kills vampires. Glad to see that it works." Gerber replies while watching the entrance. "Anymore coming out?"
"No, I don't sense anymore." Kendra tells him.
"Good." Gerber replies, then orders. "First and second squad, move back and replace magazines. Third squad move in and cover the entrance."
Frank Parker and his partner Donovan watch as the Blue Berets coldly cut down the vampires with massed firepower. Donovan watches as the vampires become dust before his very eyes and he shudders. He turns to Frank and asks. "What the hell kind of ammunition are they using?"
"I don't know Donovan, but whatever it is, it sure works."
One of the SEALs speaks up. "Sir, I took one of the rounds issued me apart. It's wood. Plain old wood." He tells them in a hushed voice, tinged with awe and wonder. "What were those things?"
"They were vampires, Phil." Toby Green replies quietly. "I knew when I saw that guy again that we'd be in for some strange shit."
Donovan, hearing Toby's comment asks. "Who are you talking about Sailor?"
"The guy leading this group, Sir. I met him eight years ago in my home town. He rescued me and fourteen of my friends from a group of monsters that looked a lot like those bodies over there, except they were smaller." Toby nods his head toward the demons.
"How many of them did he take out?" Frank Parker asks in awe.
"I think he killed twenty of those things that night." Toby replies in a hushed voice.
"No one human could possibly be that good." Donovan replies in awe. "Who is this guy?"
"His name was Carson Jamieson." Jack Gerber tells Donovan.
Donovan looks at the Major and asks. "You know him, Major?"
"He was a Green Beret, once upon a time. Now he's something else." Gerber quietly replies to the three SEALs.
"What is he now?" Frank Parker asks.
"I don't really know. But I do know that he's in there fighting to protect humanity from those things." Jack points to the demons. "To me, that means a lot."
Donovan looks at the piles of ash in front of him and quietly wonders to himself about his old comrade, Frank Scully and what he was doing with such a group. < If these people accept Frank without hesitation. He can't be a callous murderer. I'm really beginning to wonder if Frank did murder Franzetti. >
Katherine forces Buffy back with a complex attack. Buffy slowly moves back, checking each step, making sure she doesn't trip over anything. As Katherine's attack redoubles, Buffy feels a pain in her side. Katherine coos. "First blood to me Slayer." The vampire queen calls out as she licks her blade. "You taste good Slayer. I think that I'll keep you alive for a while."
Buffy reply is to attack her with a sweeping attack that forces Katherine back a step. Katherine does her best to block every attack, but Buffy makes it through and cuts a shallow line across her stomach. As she draws back, Buffy remarks. "Guess you're not as good as you thought you were."
Katherine quickly loses her temper and renews her attack. Buffy holds her ground, trading blow for blow, blocking stabs and slashes with her sword and striking back with either sword or stake.
Fox Mulder watches as the last vampire facing him turns to dust. He looks around him and doesn't see another vampire within easy striking distance. He then turns to the fight between Buffy and the vampire queen and grins. < Damn, Buffy's good. > He looks around him again and notices that there were no more vampires standing, except the one fighting Buffy. He turns to Scully and comments. "Shall we watch? Or should we just take her out?"
"Buffy would never forgive us if we did that." Scully replies.
Mack Bolan and his people watch as the young girl called Buffy fights with the vampire queen. Barbara Price looks on, not believing her eyes. "My God. That girl is incredible."
"Now you can see why she's survived this long fighting against vampires." Mack tells her.
"My aunt was never this good. Who the hell trained her?"
"Her Watcher initially, then Steve took over. This is the end result." Mack replies as Buffy scores another hit on Katherine.
Katherine steps back from the Slayer and looks at the girl with a measure of grudging respect. "You are good, Slayer. But I've got nine hundred years of experience behind me. Prepare to die!" Katherine yells out as she rushes Buffy with her sword extended and striking as quick as a cobra.
Buffy sees the lunge coming and does the only thing she can do. She falls back and twists her body to the side. She moves her sword parallel to Katherine's body and cuts her open with a disemboweling slash to the stomach. As Katherine begins to feel the pain in her gut, she turns around and attempts to cut Buffy open with a back slash. Buffy's response is a block that knocks Katherine's sword from her hands. Katherine looks around her for help, but she only sees the Slayer's allies standing in a circle around her. She looks up at the Slayer who is just standing there, breathing hard. Katherine's eyes don't waver as she tells Buffy. "End it. I am defeated."
Buffy looks around her and sees her friends standing there, waiting for her to end the battle and Katherine. She looks at Steve, who gives her a small smile and raises his sword in salute to her. The rest of the Immortals also raise their swords, giving Buffy their salutes. She looks around her and sees the other Warriors raise their weapons in honor of her victory. She turns back to Katherine as Katherine tells her. "You've won Slayer. In more ways than one. Let me give you a bit of advice before I go."
"Go ahead." Buffy tells her. Suspicious of her motives.
"Lead them well. You've earned a good army here. They'll serve you with their lives, if need be." Katherine tells her as she exposes her chest for the final blow. "Make it quick and clean, Slayer."
Buffy nods and stabs with Vampire Slayer. Katherine almost instantly turns to dust as the blade enters her.
Above the battle, an apprentice to the black mages silently seethes as he contemplates his fate upon delivering the grim news. He quickly utters a teleportation spell and vanishes from his hiding place. Unknown to him, another watcher utters a quick spell. A few minutes later the other watcher disappears as well.
Agent Simon watches the people below him lift their weapons to the young girl and grins. < Damn, looks like we have some competition. Oh well, I hope they bring their own food at the next annual picnic. Now I have to report in. > Agent Simon touches a bracelet and he teleports away.
Buffy slowly walks over to Steve and hugs him as the rest of their friends let out a massed cheer. Buffy and Steve grin as they hold each, realizing that the battle was won.
In the lobby. Jack and his people hear the cheering and grin. "Looks like we won." His men and the rest, allow themselves to relax. Gerber then looks over the people at his strong point and orders. "Until we hear otherwise, everyone stays at alert. No exceptions." The Blue Berets, Navy SEALs and the LAPD immediately snap back to fully alert.
Steve looks around at the assembled fighters and orders. "I want a hard target search people. Check everything and everyone dead or supposedly dead. I want this place searched from top to bottom. No exceptions. Mack." Steve calls out. Mack looks his way. "I want your people on guard duty at the exits to the arena." Mack turns and orders his people to assume the posts. "Sniper teams remain in place until further notice. The rest break up into teams of three to six and begin searching the dead and all areas starting with the arena, then we move on to the rest of the complex." The teams break up and begin their search. Buffy and Steve watch as the search teams work.
As the teams work their way across the arena, Buffy tells Steve. "Steve, let me get Kendra and the two of us can speed this search up."
"Okay Buffy. But call out to Jack before you leave the exit. He tends to have an itchy trigger finger. Also tell him to remain in place until further notice." Steve replies as Buffy goes to get Kendra.
One of the Blue Berets guarding the entrance calls back to Gerber. "Sir, someone is approaching." The guard team immediately snaps rifles to shoulder and covers the entrance. The Navy SEALs and LAPD cover the flanks with their weapons, ready for anything.
As Buffy approaches the entrance she notices the guns pointed at her and calls out. "Major Gerber. I'm coming out."
"Identify yourself." Gerber snaps out.
"I'm Buffy." Buffy replies as she slowly exits under the watchful eye of the Blue Berets.
"Relax men, she's a friendly." Chavez orders.
Buffy watches as the men lower their weapons, slightly. As she walks out, Major Gerber asks. "What's the situation?"
"We won." Buffy replies as the Blue Berets and Navy SEALs relax and grin. "Now we're doing a search. We need to make sure none of the vampires or demons got away. I need Kendra to help with that."
"Does Cherokee have any orders for us?" Gerber asks.
"You and your men are to stay in place until the search is completed."
"Good. Any more hostages coming out?"
"Yes, we'll let them go in a few minutes. Please check them as they leave for the tatoo."
"Understood." Gerber replies with a smile.
As the two turn to leave, Captain Randall walks forward. "Buffy, could you use more people to do the searching?"
"I'm sure Steve won't mind you and your police helping Captain Randall."
"Good." John replies as he orders. "I want volunteers only. Anyone else stays here." As he moves to the entrance, everyone wearing an LAPD uniform follows.
As Kendra walks with Buffy, she asks. "How many did you kill?"
"Personally or all together?"
"I think I got about fifteen. In total, I think we took out about four hundred vampires and about fifteen demons."
Kendra walks on, deep in thought. As they approach the arena her thoughts go to the job ahead and she asks. "What are we to do?"
"Use our Slayer sense to find any hiding vampires."
"Good, then I can finally do some work." Kendra replies as they approach Steve.
"Steve, Captain Randall has a few more volunteers to help with the search." Buffy tells him.
Steve grins as Randall approaches. "Couldn't stay out of it John?"
"Not on your life Steve. What do we do?"
"Have a twenty of your officers go with Kendra, another twenty with Buffy. The rest are to re-enforce our perimeter guards."
John nods his agreement and orders. "Dabrowski, split the men up like Steve said. You and Tracy will lead the search details."
"Yes Sir." Dabrowski replies then orders the officers to their positions and waits for one of the Slayers.
The apprentice black mage appears in his master's work room. His master looks up from the body of his latest experiment and asks. "So, how did it go?"
"It failed Master. The vampires and the demons helping them were slaughtered by the Warriors sent against them." The apprentice replies.
"Damn. Now I'm going to have to tell her." The black mage curses as he gets up and cleans himself off. As the mage takes off the blood soaked smock, his 'experiment' weakly utters "Momma?" The mage turns back to the six year old child and simply cuts her throat. The apprentice stands to one side and quietly waits for his master. The black mage then takes his apprentice by the hand and leads him out to the council chambers of the black mages.
They walk down the corridors of the hidden citadel and finally make their way to the main council chambers. As they enter, they see that all of the chairs, but one, is full of black mages. The mage calmly walks over to the empty chair and sits down. The meeting is called to order by a feminine voice. "All of you be quiet. Berrus, tell me what happened in Los Angeles. Why did our plan fail?"
"Lady, my apprentice was there observing the battle. He can give you a detailed report." Berrus replies.
"Very well." The woman replies and then turns to the apprentice. "Apprentice tell us what happened."
The apprentice nervously swallows as he approaches the council table and begins his report. "Mistress, the vampires had everything set up and were able to bring Throlog across. But the enemy was more powerful than we had thought possible."
"They were more powerful? How so?"
"Three of the Nine Swords of Destiny were present at the battle." The apprentice nervously tells the council.
"Vampire Slayer, Demon Slayer and Excalibur." The apprentice tells the mistress.
"Excalibur? Who carried that sword? Describe him, now!" The woman barks out.
The apprentice nervously looks at his master, but sees no help there as the man stares at him with no emotion showing on his face. He turns back and faces the Lady again. "The man was about six and half feet tall. He had black hair with streaks of gray starting to show. He has a light beard and was dressed in a suit of armor such as is worn by the Knights of the Grail."
The Lady waves her hand and an image appears before the apprentice. As the image clears, she asks the apprentice. "Was this the man?"
The apprentice looks at the image and tells her. "Yes, mistress. That is the face of the man carrying Excalibur."
As soon as those words are spoken the Lady rises up from her chair and barks out a death spell. The apprentice is thrown back against the rear wall of the council chamber and dies before he hits the ground. The Lady pushes back her seat and screams. "Arthur is back. I want him and his allies destroyed!! I do not care how it's done. But I want them all dead." The Lady then sits back down, waiting for her council to offer up a plan for her old foe's destruction.
After a few moments of silence, she screams out. "Can't you think of anything?" As the Lady's screams die down, a device materializes in the middle of the table. Several of the mages notice this and they wave their hands to teleport it way, but it lets off a blinding flash of light suddenly and disappears. The council chamber is quiet as the mages look around, wondering what the device was.
Suddenly the council doors open and a figure familiar to all of the mages walks in. Most of them hiss out his name in a combination of anger, fear and revulsion. "Merlin." The Lady knocks over her chair getting up and facing her old foe. "Merlin, you are a fool coming here by yourself. Now I can finally kill you." Moran Le Fey grinds out as she waves her hands in a complicated pattern.
Merlin grins as Morgan looks around her and doesn't feel anything happen. Merlin then looks over to the black mages and grins as their spells also fail. "What's wrong Morgan. Can't get it up?"
Morgan screams. "You bastard! What did you do?"
"I sent in an anti-magic bomb and detonated it. No magic can be used for the next hour."
"I won't need magic to kill you Merlin." Morgan replies as she pulls out a long dagger and smiles.
"Morgan, you never learn do you?" Merlin replies as he pulls out a Glock 21 and shoots her, twice in the head, three times in the heart with Black Talon Hunting rounds. The bullets take off the back half of her skull and literally expose her spine from the back. As she falls to the ground, Merlin uses up the rest of the magazine on her, literally blowing her to pieces.
The black mages stare in muted anger at the killer of their queen. Several of them rise up and pull out ceremonial daggers and approach the Wizard. He looks up from the still form of his former apprentice and grins. "I see you all share in Morgan's stupidity."
As those words leave his mouth, twenty Knights of the Grail enter the chamber from either side of Merlin and begin to slaughter the helpless mages where they stand. The Knights do not hesitate in the least as they spray the room with several thousand rounds of heavy caliber bullets. When the Knights run out of bullets, they reload and check each body. As they check each body, the mage is identified and several more bullets are fired into their heads.
After all of the bodies have been checked and identified, the Knights leave the room. Two other Knights then enter carrying magnesium flame throwers. They begin in the back of the room and quickly burn each body down to ash. As they finish, two warrior priests of the C'Est Dei enter and begin to spray holy water on the ash residue, all the while praying for the souls of the dead. Merlin turns from the doorway and faces the Knight General of the Order of the Grail and asks. "Have you been able to free all of their victims?"
"Yes Lord Merlin. We've found close to three thousand innocents locked away in the dungeons and various laboratories. Some of them were so far gone my Lord, that they asked for release." Marc Le Chevalier tells Merlin.
"Were they given release?"
"Yes, my Lord. The priests gave them absolution and several of my Knights sent them on. We're taking their bodies with us for proper burial."
"Also take the bodies of any already dead victims, Marc. The Gods know they deserve a measure of peace after what those things put them through. After you've finished searching this hell hole, have explosives planted and destroy this place completely."
"Understood my Lord." Le Chevalier replies as Merlin turns to leave. "My Lord." Le Chevalier begins, Merlin turns back to the Knight General. "May I be the first to congratulate you on this victory?"
"Thank you Marc. Let's hope it's the first of many and not as long in coming." Merlin replies as he turns to leave. Four o f the Knights form a guard around him as he walks off.
Kendra looks back to the twenty officers following her and wonders. < Are the Watchers wrong in having us fight alone? Buffy and her friends have stopped seven hundred vampires from raising a major demon. I must talk to Mr. Zabuto about this. Maybe he'll let me work with some people. > As Kendra muses, she passes a hidden panel box. Suddenly a demon breaks out of it and attacks the police officers. As the officers fight valiantly, they realize that they're no match for the enraged demon.
Kendra turns around quickly attacks the demon. She forces it back and away from the wounded officers. "Get the wounded out of here. Now!" She orders as she trades blows with the demon. The officers get their wounded out of the way of the battle and turn back to help Kendra. Several of them attack with night sticks, attempting to beat the demon down. The demon forces Kendra back several feet and then turns on the officers, smashing them down. Kendra quickly moves back into the fight, forces the demon from the badly hurt officers. The demon turns back to the Slayer and quickly gains the upper hand and beats her down again. The demon looks down on the Slayer and slowly raises its hands for the killing blow.
Pat Kelly and three of his men are searching for vampires, as they near a hallway, they hear the sounds of a battle and rush towards it. As they round the corner, they see a demon about to slam its fists into a comatose girl. Pat Kelly quickly shouts a war cry and moves to attack the demon with his sword. The demon sees another warrior attacking it and moves to fight him, leaving Kendra where she lays.
Pat Kelly rushes the demon, moving it away from the wounded. As the demon moves to attack him, he pulls out a handgun and rips through the remaining six silver rounds, putting them all into its chest. As the demon staggers back, Martinez sends two silver slugs into its head and heart. The demon quickly falls and the four rush up to their wounded comrades.
They drag the body off several of the wounded victims and Kelly calls in. "This is Zombie 1. I need paramedics in the electrical corridor, ASAP. I have wounded officers."
"This is Major Gerber. Are there any more hostiles in the area?"
"No. All hostiles are down and dead. Repeat, all hostiles are down and dead."
Gerber looks over to the lieutenant leading the paramedics and asks. "We have officers down. We need a crew to go down and help. Any of your people willing to volunteer?"
The lieutenant quickly calls out several names and those people gather with their equipment to go. Gerber orders. "Chavez, take squad three to form guard detail and assist. Medics, squads one and two, go as well." Chavez grins as he leads squad three and the two medics quickly joins with the paramedics and they rush off to help the downed officers.
Steve, Mulder, Scully and John Randall check the blue prints off as the search parties report in. As the Forum's areas are marked off and the search is nearly complete, Major Gerber reports in. "Cherokee, we have downed officers in the electrical corridor. I have dispatched paramedics and a guard detail to assist. Do you require any additional support in there?"
"Jack, did you say officers?" A worried Steve asks.
"Confirmed. One of your people called in and said police officers."
< Buffy. > Steve thinks to himself and gathers up his weapons and heads towards the electrical corridor. He's quickly joined by John Randall and both of them make their way to the scene of the attack. Mulder and Scully stay behind to coordinate the search.
The scene of the attack is organized chaos as paramedics and various search parties help the wounded. Steve walks up to Chavez and asks. "Tony, is Buffy in there?"
Chavez looks at his old friend and the worry clearly showing on his face. "No Steve, she's not. It was that other Slayer, the girl who calls herself Kendra." < Damn, Cherokee really has feelings for the girl. >
"Is she all right?" Steve asks, relief showing in his voice.
"It doesn't look good. The officers that are still conscious told me that she pulled that thing off of them and fought it to a stand still, giving them time to get the wounded away from it. The demon was too much for her and she would be dead if Pat Kelly and three of his men hadn't made it in time to save her."
"Where is she?"
"They took her out first with two other severely wounded officers. They'll take her to the nearest trauma unit and she'll get the best care possible there."
"How are the other officers?" Steve asks.
"A lot of broken bones, but most of it's not life threatening. The medics are stabilizing them and then moving them to various hospitals."
"I'm going in to see my people." John Randall replies and Steve follows him in. Randall looks around the gloom and zeroes in on his partner sitting next to Pat Kelly. He quickly rushes over and asks. "Tracy, are you all right?"
Tracy looks up and sees the concern in her partner's eyes and gives him a sheepish grin. "Just a broken arm and four cracked ribs. Nothing serious. We missed a utility closet that thing." Tracy points to the body of the demon. "Was hiding in and we got smacked for missing it, John. Kendra dragged that thing off us and gave us time to get the wounded out of the way. She fought the demon the hardest and the demon hit her the most. The medics took her out first with Juarez and Capshaw, who were also hurt badly. I hope they all make it."
As Tracy finishes her report, Buffy comes in with Dabrowski and the other LAPD search team. She looks around and asks. "Where's Kendra?"
"She's been taken to the hospital, Buffy. Everything is being done for her. I sent Martinez and Koffmann to make sure she gets taken care of." Pat Kelly tells her.
"Steve, we've got to go and make sure." Buffy tells Steve.
Steve shakes his head and tells her. "Buffy, we have to finish here first. Then we can go and see Kendra." Buffy begins to argue, but Steve takes her hand and gently squeezes it. "Pat sent two of his men to make sure that Kendra is protected. They won't let anything happen to her."
"Buffy, Steve's right. LAPD won't let anything happen to her. As far anyone is concerned, Kendra's one of us. No one is going to mess with her and she'll get the best treatment possible." John adds in.
"All right. Let's get this job done and then I want to see Kendra." Buffy replies.
"I'll check in with Mulder and Scully and see how the search is going." Steve taps on his headset and talks quietly with Mulder for a few minutes and he turns back to Buffy and the rest and reports. "Mulder just confirmed that the search was completed about three minutes ago. One of the search parties found a hole in one of the lower rooms leading to the sewers. The vampires probably used that as a entrance to the Forum. I ordered Jack to send a squad of men to guard it. It looks like its over people." Steve calls out and the assembled men and women cheer. "John, have Mulder and Scully take everyone back to the motel and get some sleep. I'll throw a party tomorrow afternoon. Hope you and the rest can come."
'Wouldn't miss it for the world." John replies.
"Now we have to get someone to clean up the mess." John Randall complains.
"Not a problem. I have a friend who's cleaned up for me before. You mind if I call him in?"
"Do it. I'll authorize the funds to pay for him." John replies.
"All right, I'll call him in a little while. When can he start?"
"Tomorrow afternoon. But have him come on Monday. The crime scene boys will do everything they need to do tomorrow. Then your friends can move in and clean up this mess."
"Okay, I'll give them a call from the hospital. Just one thing John. Don't move the demon's bodies. I'll have them destroyed in place and the remains disposed of."
"I don't want them either. I'll make sure that the CSU doesn't touch them."
"Thanks John, Buffy and I are going to check on Kendra." Steve tells John as he and Buffy prepare to leave.
"Take Tracy with you." John orders. Tracy begins to argue, but John shuts her up. "Don't give me any shit, Vetter. You did your job, now get. I want to find you in a hospital room tomorrow morning. Am I clear?"
"Yes, Sir." Tracy mock salutes, but she grimaces as the pain hits her. Buffy takes her good arm and walks her out, closely followed by Steve.
"When are you going to tell her, John?" Pat Kelly asks as the three move out of earshot.
"She's my partner for God's sakes, Kelly. Besides, she's ten years younger than I am. We can't." John quietly stutters out.
"Steve and Buffy are partners, so are Mulder and Scully. They have no problems working together, so why should you? Think about it, John. Don't waste your life wondering."
"Kelly, I hate it when you make sense." John grinds out.
"You know I'm right. So stop being an idiot about it." Kelly tells him with a grin. "After all, you aren't getting any younger."
"And you are? Oh I forget, you don't age. Shit Uncle Pat. What the hell do I do?" John asks.
"You go in there and tell her how you feel. If the feelings are mutual and I think they are. She'll either kiss you or hit you for waiting so long." Pat Kelly replies with a grin as he leads his godson out.
Steve and Buffy enter the helicopter and asks Monsoon. "Where did they take the three seriously hurt officers?"
"Riverside Medical Center, Sir." Monsoon replies. "Best trauma unit in the state."
"Can you take us there?" Buffy asks.
"Not a problem Ma'am. Be there in fifteen minutes." Monsoon replies as he lifts off.
Fifteen minutes later the helicopter lands at Riverside and Steve and Buffy help out the wounded officers out of the helicopter. As the last officer climbs down a large number of hospital staff rush out to gather up the wounded and place them on stretchers. Steve and Buffy help them. Monsoon quickly lifts off to pick up more wounded. As Monsoon lifts off he watches the pair help his fellow officers into stretchers. < Damn, they're good people. >
Steve grabs one of the nurses and asks. "Three officers were brought in about ten minutes ago. Where are they?"
"In the trauma unit on six. If you need a status report ask the duty nurse. She can tell you whatever you need to know." Steve and Buffy nod their thanks and leave. They get on the first elevator they find and punch the button for the six floor. As they make their way down, various people get on, but they quickly get off. The sight of their black uniforms and weapons scaring them. The elevator finally opens on the sixth floor and Buffy and Steve see a scene of chaos as nurses and doctors rush back and forth to various rooms. They spot Koffmann and Martinez and walk over to them. Buffy quickly asks. "Is Kendra all right?"
Martinez shakes his head and mutters. "The docs won't tell us anything other than she's still in surgery and they're doing the best that they can for her. The head nurse told us to sit and be quiet and we'd find out soon enough."
"I wouldn't worry too much. I'm sure they'll all pull through." A voice tells them. All four look up and see a man wearing jeans and a sweat shirt sit down by Buffy and Steve.
"What do you mean by that Quinn?" Steve asks.
"Oh, let's just say that I made sure that all three would pull through." Quinn replies with a smile.
Buffy reaches over and gives him a hug and whispers a quick. "Thank you."
Quinn pats her back and tells her. "Think nothing of it. I told you I would help where I could."
"Who the hell is this guy?" Martinez asks. "And how can he guarantee that they'll pull through."
Steve looks at Quinn and Quinn grins back. "Go ahead and tell them. I could use a good laugh."
Steve leans over and tells Martinez and Koffmann. "Quinn is an alien with nearly omnipotent powers. He can do anything he wants to. He sometimes helps us with advice and a few small favors."
Martinez and Koffmann look dumbfounded at this news. Quinn quietly chuckles. He leans over and tells Steve. "I'm going back to the house. I'll see you tomorrow. Don't worry, she'll be fine. It'll take her some time to heal, but she'll be back before you know it." Quinn then disappears before Martinez's and Koffmann's startled eyes.
"You weren't kidding, were you?" Koffmann comments as Steve and Buffy grin. "Then why didn't he kill off all of the vampires and the demons?"
"Because he wants humanity to stand on its own feet. If he did all of the work, then where would we be?" Steve tells them.
Both men think about what Steve has just told them and they both feel a deep respect for the strange being these two people call Quinn.
Head trauma nurse, Gloria Gates watches the four people sit and talk quietly between themselves and wonders about them. < God. They're armed to the teeth. > She quietly picks up the phone calls the hospital director's office. "Hi Maggie. Is Trapper there? Please put me through to him."
"Hi Gloria. What's up?" Trapper John McIntyre asks.
"Trapper, there are four heavily armed SWAT troopers here. Can you come down and ask them to leave or at least put their weapons away?"
"Why isn't Gonzo doing it?"
"Three seriously wounded officers came in about fifteen minutes ago. He's operating on one of them right now."
"Damn. I'll be right down."
Five minutes later Trapper walks out of the elevator and walks over to Gloria's desk . "I take it that you were referring to those four?" Trapper asks as he sees the four dark suited figures sitting by themselves in the lounge.
"Those would be the four, Trapper." Gloria replies with a grin.
Trapper walks over to them and quietly asks. "I'm sorry to bother you, but this is a hospital and I can't have you four sitting here with this much fire power. People might get the wrong impression." < God. The girl couldn't be over eighteen. What the hell is she doing with these three? >
"Sorry doctor. We were worried about our friends and came right over after our work was completed." Steve replies.
"I can understand how you feel. But you can't be here with all those weapons. You're scaring most of the patients and staff. So please, either put them someplace out of sight or leave and come back later."
Before Martinez can reply, Steve asks. "Very well doctor. Can we borrow a blanket? We'll put our weapons under it and out of sight."
Trapper looks at Steve's calm eyes and sees no other option open to him. He turns around and walks over to a supply closet and comes back with a thick wool blanket. He watches as the weapons are placed under the bench, wrapped up in the blanket. The four officers calmly sit back down, the weapons, not visible. Trapper looks at the girl and asks. "Miss, pardon me for being rude. But how old are you?"
"Twenty one." Buffy replies dead pan.
Trapper just shakes his head and leaves. As he passes Gloria's desk, he asks her. "That girl couldn't be twenty one, could she?"
Gloria looks at the girl who is now leaning against her partner and grins. "I hope so. Or that cop's going to jail."
Trapper looks at the young couple and grins himself. "If you any problems, give me a call."
"You got it, Trapper."
Gonzo Gates looks on in wonder as the young woman in front of him fights for her life. < This girl should be dead. She already died once tonight. But came back fighting. I don't know how she's doing it. But she's doing it. > Gonzo quickly does the work that he needs to do and stabilizes her. He looks over to his surgical nurse and asks. "Been praying for any miracles lately, Ruby?"
The surgical nurse looks at the young girl's face and quietly tells Gonzo. "This one's special Gonzo. I can feel it. Her time isn't over yet."
"I think you're right." Gonzo replies as he finishes up. "Time to close up people." Gonzo tells his team. "Is anyone waiting for the good news?" Gonzo asks Gloria through the OR intercom.
"Four LAPD SWAT troopers." Gloria tells her husband over the intercom.
"Are they still outside?"
"Yes, they're waiting for news on their friends."
"All right, I'll be right out."
Buffy is relaxing against Steve as he calls his old friend, Jack Garibaldi. "Hello, is Jack home?"
"Yes, he is. Who's this?"
"Steve St. Wolf."
"Oh, God. Mr. St. Wolf, this is Carla. How are you?"
"I'm fine Carla. Can you put your Dad on for me?"
"Sure hold on." Carla tells Steve as she yells out. "Dad. It's Mr. St. Wolf. He wants to talk to you."
A minute later Jack Garibaldi gets on and asks. "Hello Steve. How can I help?"
"I need you to do a project similar to the one that you did for me five months ago."
"How many did you take out this time?"
"Last night or tonight?"
"That was you doing those raids?" Jack asks, not too surprised.
"Afraid so. If you're keeping count, between six and seven hundred."
"Damn. Glad to hear that. Now, what do you need?"
"That last raid got four hundred. We need you to clean up the site."
"Where is it?"
"The Forum. The LAPD is paying for the cleanup, so be fair with them."
"I'll do it for cost, Steve. When can I start?"
"Monday morning. Have your people ready and have Father O'Brien bring a few priests with him. We have more than the usual dust problem."
"What sort of problem?"
"We had to kill a few demons as well."
Jack quickly crosses himself and decides to go to confession the next day. "Demons? My God. I'll call Father O'Brien right up and tell him."
"Don't worry, Jack. They're dead. The LAPD is guarding the bodies until we get rid of them."
"Okay. I'll get everything ready tomorrow for Monday. Thanks for the work, Steve."
"Not a problem Jack. Thanks for helping. Bye.
"Good night, Steve."
Steve turns to Buffy after he finishes and tells her. "Jack Garibaldi's in. He'll take care of the cleanup at the Forum."
"That's good. One less thing to worry about." Buffy replies as she snuggles into Steve's side. He wraps his arm around her as they wait for news about Kendra and the other two officers.
A short while later a doctor wearing green scrubs walks over to the foursome and tells them. "Hello, I'm Dr. Gates. I take it you're here waiting for word about the three officers?"
"Yes we are Doctor." Koffmann replies. "How are they?"
"This may sound strange, but none of those officers should be alive. But they are and from what I saw of their vitals, they should all make it." Dr. Gates replies with a grin as Buffy gives him a hug.
"Thanks for taking care of our friends, Dr. Gates." Steve replies
"Just doing my job. Why don't you four go home and get some rest. You look like you've been through a war."
"You don't know the half of it, doc." Martinez replies with a grin as he picks up his weapons, preparing to leave. "Any officers downstairs?"
"There usually is. Why?" Dr. Gates asks.
"We'll bum a ride off a couple of patrol units and have them drop us off at home." Koffmann replies with a grin as he also prepares to leave.
Gonzo watches as the four pick up their weapons and leave. He turns to his wife and asks. "Since when does LAPD have a Striker team?"
"Striker team? What's that Gonzo?"
"Sorry honey. In Vietnam the Special Forces had these special teams called Strikers. They were fast, hard hitting and could take out anything up to a battalion of enemy troops. Those four remind me of the men that made up those units. God knows, I saw enough of them coming through my MASH unit."
"You think they were the group responsible for the cult raids? Several of the hostages that came through yesterday told me that the LAPD didn't rescue them. Some sort of military group did." Gloria asks.
"Yeah, that would explain some things." Gonzo muses. "Now I need to get some sleep. If you need me, I'll be in my office on the couch."
"Have a good rest, honey." Gloria tells him.
John Randall, standing with Mulder and Scully, watches as the troops begin to board the vans back to the Motor Lodge. He picks up his phone as it begins to ring and asks. "What is it?"
"John, it's Steve. We just left the hospital. One of your patrol cars is giving us a lift back home. Hope you don't mind."
"No, I don't mind. Just make sure they get back in one piece. How are Kendra, Juarez and Capshaw?"
"The head trauma surgeon said that all three would be all right."
"Thank God. That's great news. I'll tell Mulder and Scully." John replies as Steve hangs up. John turns to look at a grinning Mulder and Scully. "I take it you figured it out already?"
"Yeah." A grinning Mulder replies. "Are we waiting for Steve and Buffy?"
"No. They're getting a ride from one of my patrol units. They'll take him and Buffy straight home."
"Good. I can sleep for a week after this case." Scully replies.
"Hopefully not alone." Mulder replies with a grin.
"Of course not G-man. Think Connor would mind sharing my bed?" Scully asks impishly. Mulder gives her a low growl and Scully giggles. "I love it when you go caveman on me Mulder."
John watches as the pair walk off and silently wonders. < Maybe Pat is right about Tracy and me. If those two can work and sleep together. Then why can't we? >
Sidney watches as the LAPD vans disembark their passengers. He looks around in a vain hope that Miss Parker and Jarod were returning. He looks out his window and doesn't see either of them disembark from the vans. He turns to Broots and comments. "I hope they're both all right."
"Why don't we go outside and ask. Maybe Jamieson or Mulder can tell us where they are."
"Good idea Broots." Sidney replies and goes outside to look for Jamieson or Mulder. He quickly finds Mulder and his partner talking to a SWAT officer.
Sidney politely clears his throat and Mulder asks. "Yes sir. Can I help you?"
"Hello Agent Mulder. My name is Sidney Green. My friend Miss Parker went with your group this afternoon and I don't see her. Is she all right?"
Mulder thinks back and then asks. "The brunette that was hanging around with the SWAT officer named Russell?"
"Yes, that would be her."
"She left with Russell. I think she mentioned something about a bath and bed. Russell just had this stupid grin. I told them to leave when everything was finished." Cody Rodgers tells Sidney.
"So both of them are all right?"
"Yeah, both them made it through without a scratch. They'll be back tomorrow for the party."
"Party?" Sidney asks.
"Yeah. Steve is throwing a party and we're all invited."
"Gentlemen, thank you for putting my mind to ease. Good night." Sidney tells the three and walks back to his room.
Inside, Broots and Willie are waiting for the news. As Sidney calmly walks in and pours himself a drink, Broots asks. "Are they all right Sidney?"
Sidney finishes half of his drink before he replies. "They went off together. I can't believe it."
"Maybe Miss Parker's just trying to get him alone, so she can grab him." Willie suggests.
Sidney just shake his head and mutters. "I think we lost the both of them. I can only hope that they don't show up tomorrow." Before he rises and tells Broots and Willie. "I'm tired gentlemen. Please leave so that I can get some sleep." Both men leave as Sidney prepares for bed.
Sidney picks up his cell phone and dials Jarod's number. The phone is picked up after three rings and Jarod answers. "Hello."
"Jarod this is Sidney. Are you and Miss Parker all right?"
"We're fine Sidney. Anything else?"
"Yes. Are you two coming back for the party tomorrow?"
"Yes we are. Andrea wants to get her clothes and we're leaving after the party."
"Miss Parker is leaving with you? Why?"
"We've both decided that the Centre can go to hell. After the party, we're going to start a new life together."
Sidney smiles as he congratulates the pair. "Congratulations. I hope you both make it."
"Thanks Sidney. Have a good night." Jarod tells him as he hangs up the phone.
Sidney looks at his phone for a short while as he smiles, happy for the man he considered his son and the woman, he considered a daughter. He then lays down to sleep in peace for the first time in a long time.
In Gar's room, Gar listens to Sidney's conversation with Jarod and makes his own plans < It looks like the Parker bitch dies as well. > Gar grins. < That'll make it the sweeter. I've always hated her. > He then checks his gun and the silencer that he'll use tomorrow and easily goes to sleep.
Jarod looks down at the woman who was the only real friend he ever had at the Centre and grins. Miss Parker looks up at him and asks. "What's on your mind Jarod?"
"Oh just thinking how beautiful you look."
Miss Parker grins and tells him. "Shut up and get into bed Jarod. I'm tired of talking." Jarod's grin grows wider as he calmly walks to his bed and the woman waiting there.
Steve and Buffy are awakened by one of the police officers driving them home. "Sir, Miss. We're at your place. Will there be anything else?"
Steve straightens up and looks around him. They were in front of his home and he gently wakes up Buffy. "Buffy, we're home. Time to wake up."
Buffy easily wakes up and rubs herself against Steve. The two officers grin, knowing what was going to happen. Steve blushes slightly and he gets out of the car. He leans down and tells the officer driving. "Get back to LA. Captain Randall will cover your time and mileage with your Sergeant."
Both officers grin. "Captain Randall already did that, Sir. Thanks anyway." Then they speed off, headed back south to LA.
Steve straightens up and grins at Buffy, who wraps her arm around his waist and the two walk up to Steve's front door and into the house.
Robert looks up from his snack and grins at the pair. "Long night?"
"Yeah, I dead tired." Steve mumbles as Robert hands him a soda.
"Not too tired, I hope." Buffy mutters. Steve blushes and Robert just laughs.
"Get to bed you two. I'll keep an eye on the house."
"They're at the Motor Lodge. Mulder said they would make it in about fifteen minutes."
"Where are the Gunmen?" Buffy asks.
"Willow's parents had to go on a business trip. She took them home with her."
"Where are Randi, Nakao and Brian?" Steve asks.
"Randi and Nakao are asleep upstairs. Brian is over at Giles' place. Jenny took him with her. The lad appears to be smitten with Jenny." Robert tells them with a grin.
"Jenny has a way with small boys. Just ask Giles." Buffy replies as she giggles.
"You two going upstairs?"
"No, we'll wait for everyone to get back. Then we'll get some sleep." Steve replies.
Fifteen minutes later, Mulder, Scully, Frank and Cassandra come in and sit down on the couches. As the four strip off weapons and armor, they give Steve and Buffy a run down on what happened after they left. Soon all six go to their respective bedrooms and try to get some sleep.
Steve quietly slips under his covers as Buffy comes out of the shower. She calmly drops the towel and walks over to the bed and slips in next to Steve. She quietly wraps herself around Steve and asks. "Are you in the mood for a little exercise?"
Steve grins as he turns off the light switch by the bed. Buffy's giggle is quickly smothered by Steve's lips as he kisses her. "I'll take that as a yes." Buffy replies.
Steve wakes to a light knocking on his door. As he wakes, he notices that Buffy's legs were tangled up with his own, not allowing him to move without waking her up. As he gently tries to disentangle himself, Steve notices another part of his anatomy waking up. He grins as he thinks of a boring speech and not the beautiful woman sleeping next to him. As he untangles one leg, Buffy sleepily asks. "What's going on?"
"Someone's at the door."
"Then why didn't they come in?" Buffy asks with a grin.
"I locked it. I didn't want a repeat of what happened with Willow yesterday."
Buffy kisses Steve, then untangles herself from him and slips on a t-shirt. Steve grabs a pair of sweats and walks over to the door. He opens it and finds a blushing Willow. "What's wrong?" Steve asks.
"Nothing. Just want to know if you two are coming down to breakfast." Willow asks with a grin.
"Sure, give us ten minutes to get ready." Steve replies.
"Willow could you get me some clothes from my room?" Buffy asks.
"Sure. But next time leave some clothes in Steve's room and you won't have this problem." Willow replies with a grin as Steve closes the door.
Steve turns to Buffy and asks. "You want the shower first or second?"
Buffy walks up to Steve and tells him. "Why not the both of us at the same time?"
"Because then we'll never get down stairs."
"That's not a bad thing. Is it?"
"No." Steve replies as he takes Buffy in his arms. "But we have a party to do and a lot of friends expecting us."
"What about your promise?"
"We'll take a vacation as soon as you finish summer school. Then, I won't let you of bed for a week, maybe two." Steve replies as Buffy goes to take a shower.
"Promises, promises." Buffy replies with a grin as she goes to take her shower.
Willow walks back to the kitchen and watches as Robert flips pancakes. He looks up and asks. "How many do you want Willow?"
"Give me four, Robert." Willow asks as Robert expertly flips four onto a plate. "Robert, where did you learn how to cook?"
"I did some cooking while I was in the Army. After I was discharged, my first job was as a short order cook. Nice to see that I still have the knack." Robert replies with a grin.
Nakao looks at the young man and grins. < Damn, he's a cutie. Especially when he smiles. >
Randi looks around her and quietly wonders. < God. What have Brian and I walked into? > She suddenly tenses as her constant headache acts up again. < Why am I having these headaches? Maybe Dr. Scully can help. > Randi thinks to herself as Steve, Buffy, Mulder and Scully walk downstairs.
"Something smells good." Mulder comments as he approaches the dining table.
"How many pancakes you need, Mulder?" Robert asks.
"Give me a half dozen. Scully wore me umph." Mulder replies just before Scully elbows him in the ribs.
"Dana, how many do you want?" Robert asks.
"I'll take three Robert. So will Mulder." Scully replies with a grin as Robert flips two pancakes in the air an catches both on a single plate.
"Man definitely has talent." Frank comments from the couch, a plate of pancakes in his hand and a smile on his face.
"Keep on eating those pancakes Frank and Cassandra will throw your fat butt out of bed." Steve comments.
Frank gives Cassandra a worried look as she looks at his rear end and contemplates its size. Steve starts to laugh softly as Buffy buries her face and laughter into his shoulder. Frank puts down his plate, half finished. Cassandra picks it up and begins to feed him as she tells him. "After last night you need your energy. I don't want you to pass out at the wrong time."
Any reply from Frank is cut off by Randi asking. "Dr. Scully, I'm having these headaches all the time. Is there anything that you can do to help?"
Everyone in the room looks at Randi and Scully quietly tells her. "Your headaches are normal, Randi. We'll explain everything to you after breakfast."
Breakfast is quickly over and as Steve puts his dish into the sink, he asks Willow. "Willow would you mind taking Nakao for a walk? She doesn't need to be here when we tell Randi the truth."
"Sure Steve. Cordelia and I will take her with us for some of the party stuff."
After the three leave, Steve sits down across from Randi and tells her. "Randi, I know your curious as to why you're here. I'm sorry that I couldn't tell you anything until now. But we've been busy for the last few days."
"I know. I was watching the action in the computer room. I just can't believe what I saw you people doing." Randi quietly replies.
"Believe it Randi. Because you've just become a part of it." Steve tells her.
"What do you mean?"
"Before I answer, can I ask a few questions?"
"Randi, were you adopted by the Jessup's?"
"Yes, I was. How do you know?"
"I'll get to that in a minute. What was the last thing you remember, before you woke up here?"
"One of those things biting me on the neck and the world going dark and thinking that I was going to die. One of your people must have saved my life."
"I'm sorry, but we didn't save your life. That vampire killed you."
A shocked Randi looks around her and quietly asks. "Then why am I still alive?"
"Because you're like myself, Buffy, Dana, Mulder and Cassandra. You're an Immortal."
"This is crazy. There are no such things as Immortals."
"Immortals are real Randi. So were the vampires that killed you." Steve tells her.
Randi sits there and digests this bit of news after a minute, she asks. "How do you know I'm Immortal? And why am I having these constant headaches?"
Steve takes out his pocket knife and opens it up. He gives the knife to Randi and asks. "Take a look at the knife make sure that its real." Randi looks at it and silently hands it back to Steve who takes it and slices open his hand. Randi watches as the blood comes out. Steve hold his hand to her and tells her. "Watch the wound." Randi watches as small, blue sparks, play across the wound. As she watches the wound, it begins to close almost immediately. Inside of a minute, the wound is closed and scarred over. In another minute the wound disappears completely. Steve then wipes the blood from his hand and Randi sees only unbroken skin where a wound should have been. She sits back and digests the news. She looks at the people around her and asks. "What about Brian? He was also adopted."
"We don't know. Immortality appears to be something that just happens to us. We have no control over it. Brian probably isn't one of us and I don't want to try and find out." Steve tells her.
"Why not? If Brian is Immortal then he should know."
"Because the only way to become an Immortal is to die first. I'm not going to do that to anyone, especially a kid like Brian." Steve replies.
Randy looks at the five and realizes that these people would protect her brother with their lives. She then asks. "What happens now?"
"First we'll tell you everything that we know about being Immortal and answer any questions that you might have. For now that's it."
"All right. Explain it to me."
For the next hour, Steve and Cassandra go over the history of the Immortals, explaining the long life spans, the 'Game' and various other things. They also tell her what Shiva told them the night before.
Randi looks at the five Immortals and asks. "Do you believe it?"
"It makes more sense than the 'Game'." Steve replies. "It's also something that I can live with doing. And it gives me hope."
"How old are you?"
"I'm forty. But I stopped aging at 24, so I'll look like this forever."
"Is there anyone older than you, Immortal wise?"
Steve turns to Cassandra and politely asks. "Cassandra, would you mind if I told her how old you are?"
"No, go right ahead." Cassandra replies with a smile.
Steve turns back to Randi. "Randi, Cassandra is 2,700 years old. She was born 700 years before Christ."
Randi turns and looks at the woman and asks. "You're 2,700 years old? You don't look over thirty?"
"I know. I've looked like this since I died for the first time." Cassandra tells her.
"How did you die?"
"I was living with a group of nomads. One day a raiding party attacked and killed everyone there. Including me. I woke up and another Immortal found me and taught me what I was."
"The same thing happened to all of us. I was found by Duncan MacLeod, who became my first teacher. Mulder and Scully by Duncan's kinsman Connor." Steve tells her.
"Steve found me and has been teaching me for the past five months." Buffy tells Randi.
"Is it normal for a teacher and student to become..?" Randi asks, noticing how close the pair were sitting.
Buffy and Steve just grin. "No. What drew us together was our mutual callings and our deep respect for each other." Steve explains.
"Mutual callings? What do you two do?"
"I'm a demon hunter. Buffy is a vampire Slayer." Steve tells her.
"Aren't all of you that?"
"No. Most of us have regular jobs. Most people think that I'm an antiques dealer. Mulder and Scully are FBI Agents and Cassandra is a writer."
"So I won't have to fight demons and vampires for the rest of my life?"
"No Randi. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. All of the people that you watched last night were only asked to come. No one was forced in any way."
"You mean to tell me that all of those people were willing to risk their lives, fighting those things, because you asked them to?" Steve merely nods his head. "Who the hell were you in a past life? King Arthur?" Randi looks around her as the entire room breaks into laughter. She turns back to Steve and asks. "What's so funny?"
"Sorry Randi, but that last comment hit too close to home." Mulder replies as everyone settles down.
"Because Arthur was with us on the last two raids." Scully tells her.
"Arthur's an Immortal?"
"No. But if you remember the legends. Arthur was entombed on Avalon to awaken when the world needed him again. Arthur told me that he was awakened about a year ago and has wandered the world, becoming familiar with it again." Steve tells her.
Randi leans back in her seat and silently digests this news. "So is Merlin real then as well?"
Randi looks on in shock as everyone laughs lightly. Frank gives her this big grin as he tells her. "Steve and I know the old fart. Sometimes I wish we didn't. But we do."
Randi glances back at Steve, who's grinning at Frank's comments. "I'd watch it Frank. Merlin doesn't like it when you call him an 'old fart'. You know he prefers 'old degenerate'." Steve tells Frank, just before the both of them laugh again.
"You remember what he did to Reg, his latest apprentice, when he called Merlin an evil tyrant?"
"Oh yeah." Steve reminisces. "What did he change Reg into? A mouse, wasn't it?"
"Yeah." Frank agrees. "Then he stuck him in a cage with a wheel in it. Merlin then told him that the wheel was attached to a water wheel. If Reg could fill up the barrel with water, then he'd change him back. But the water wheel could only move a teaspoon at a time. The poor kid would have been stuck being a mouse for a month, but his girlfriend, Trisch, caused a localized rain storm to happen over the barrel and filled it up quite a bit."
"I remember it quite well." Steve replies. "Merlin got pissed at her and demanded to know why she did it. She looks Merlin straight in the eye and tells him. 'You may want to sleep alone, but I happen to like having Reg sharing my bed, and if you think that I'm going to go without him for a month. Forget it'. Merlin got pissed. He was ready to turn her into a cat, but Nuime takes him by the hand and whispers into his ear. Merlin actually blushed. He quickly turned Reg back into human form and left with Nuime, muttering the word 'Women'. I asked Archimedes about it and he just started to laugh. When I asked for an explanation, Archimedes just told me that it was personal and Merlin would tell me, someday."
"Who's Archimedes?" Buffy asks.
"That's Merlin's familiar. A wisecracking owl that's been with him since before Camelot." Cassandra replies.
Randi looks on as these strange people talk about a myth as though he was an old friend or co-worker. Finally she asks. "Steve, Frank, you both know Merlin. How?"
"Who do you think got Steve and then me involved in demon hunting?"
"You two work for Merlin?" Randi asks in shock.
"Only when he needs us. Otherwise, we can pretty much get into trouble by ourselves." Steve replies with a grin.
"Oh yeah. Now that's the truth." Frank replies with a sly grin.
Randi, dreading the answer, asks. "What sort of trouble can you find for yourselves?"
Steve grins as he tells her. "We sometimes work for the CIA or their counter parts in British and French Intelligence."
"Oh God. Are the two of you nuts? Nobody could have done half the stuff the two of you claim to have done."
Steve just grins and walks over to his book case and pulls out a photo album. He gives it to Randi and tells her. "Have a look through this."
Randi leafs through the book and sees photo on photo of Steve and Frank in some of the strangest places. She picks one photo, holds up the book and asks. "Is this the Pope?"
"Yep. It's John Paul. He was thanking us for saving a group of nuns that a terrorist group had kidnaped. We got them back in one piece. The terrorists got buried in a single grave."
"You two did that alone?"
"Nope. I got in touch with a friend of mine called Nils Barrabas. He and his mercenaries helped us on that case." Steve explains.
Randi flips more pages and finally asks. "Is this for real?" She holds up a photo of nine people and a dragon.
"Sure is. The dragon's name is Fragnar. He's an old friend of Steve's. The photo was taken after the nine of us rescued a plane load of kidnaped American, British and French girls grabbed up by a group of slavers. Khadfi is still having fits over that one." Frank replies with a grin.
Randi just shakes her head and mutters. "These two are either crazy or . . " She let's the phrase hang as she asks. "What are my opinions?"
"First, we get you a teacher. If you want to, we can take you to the party at the Motor Lodge. Fifty of us Immortals will be there. It'll give you a chance to find someone."
"Will they let me take Brian with me?" Randi asks.
"I'm sure they will. If you tell them about Brian, there should be no problems." Steve replies.
"All right, I'll go to the party with you. Who'll watch Brian?"
"If it's not a problem. I will." Robert replies from the kitchen. Steve begins to speak, but Robert holds up his arm. "The party is for you and your friends, Steve. Since I didn't participate in the fight, I would feel self conscious about being there among those who fought so valiantly."
"Its your call Robert, but you should know that I and everyone here feels that you pulled your own weight in this battle. Just because you were stuck on the sidelines doesn't mean shit to us. You were where you were supposed to be, when you had to be and that's what counts."
"Thank you Steve. It's always a pleasure to know men and women of your caliber. Few today understand that those who work the rear also help win the war." Robert comments.
"You're welcome, Robert."
Buffy, Steve and the rest drive up to the Motor Lodge and find the street blocked off. A uniformed LA PD officer guides their cars to a spot and everyone gets out and walks into the driveway. The scene before them is incredible. It was wall to wall people. Buffy turns to Steve and asks. "Who are all of these people?"
"Don't know, but I'm willing bet John does." Steve replies as he walks towards John Randall and asks. "John, who the hell are all of these people?"
John gives Steve a quick grin as he explains. "Steve, glad you could make it to the party."
"Who are these people and where did the food come from?" Steve asks again.
"The food is a gift from the City of Los Angeles. A small 'thank you' for a job well done. Everyone, except the waiters and waitresses, helped out on this case. They're here with their significant others to celebrate the victory."
"Damn, I didn't think that this many people worked with us." Mulder comments, awestruck by the number of people present.
"Get used to it Mulder." John tells him. "The Mayor and Chief are giving you, Scully, Kowalski and her three friends commendations. They also appreciate how you gave the LAPD the credit for the victory."
"God Mulder. Do you think Skinner's going to have a coronary?" Scully asks with a grin.
"I hope not. I certainly don't want to give him mouth to mouth." Mulder replies with a grin. "Besides, imagine the AD they'd stick us with if that happened."
Randi looks around her and watches as various people give her headaches. < God, I can't believe this. Last week I was worried about college. Now I have to worry about the world. Why me? > As she looks around, confused at the number of people there, a man walks up beside her and asks. "Miss, are you all right?"
Randi turns around and recognizes the man standing next to her. She instinctively draws back and tells him. "You stabbed me. How could you?"
Hans looks at the young woman and he recognizes her. "I'm sorry. But you were in such pain that to leave you alive would have been stupid. I killed you and while you were out, we removed the meat hook from your back. I'm glad to see you up and about. Being new to this is sometimes quite an experience."
Randi relaxes as she feels the sincerity in his voice. They begin to talk about being Immortal and various other things. Soon, Hans has her in the courtyard, meeting various Immortals. As the band strikes up a dance tune, Hans takes her out on the dance floor.
Lida, Sonja and Gabriel are enjoying the party atmosphere and generally bothering Casey about his lack of style. Casey just gives them a glare as he continues to drink with his friends. As the music starts, Lida grabs him and walks him to the dance floor. Sonja grabs up Joshua and Gabrielle glances over to Hurvolf, who immediately comes over and asks her to dance. Gus, sitting next to Allison, chuckles at the sight. Allison 'harumphs' as she watches Joshua dance with Sonja. Gus looks over to where Allison is looking and chuckles. "Don't worry about it, little one. Joshua only thinks of Sonja as one of his favorite aunts."
Allison looks over to Gus and asks. "What are you talking about?"
"I see it in your eyes. You like Josh. Don't worry about Sonja. She loves him only as a child that she helped to raise. That's all."
"How do you feel about Sonja?" Allison asks, noticing that Glam's gaze was also watching the pair dancing.
"Sonja and I have feelings for each other, but she constantly gets pissed off at me and calls me a 'bull headed Cimmerian'."
"What's a Cimmerian?"
"It's not a what, but a who." Gus grins. "Before Sonja became Immortal, she had this friend named Conan. He was a Cimmerian. Quite a man, if half the stories are true." Gus then notices a tear falling down Allison's cheek. "Is everything all right, little one?"
"I just wish that I wasn't stuck in this body. If I was older, maybe then I would have a chance with Stalker."
Glam, who has been silent until now, smiles and tells Allison. "There might be a way."
Allison looks at his Cheshire cat grin and asks. "Is there a way?"
"Yes. But we need the help of a dozen good witches to do it. About eight hundred years ago, a young Immortal asked for my help in making him an adult. I agreed to it and he took me to these witches, who were willing to cast the spell. I stayed there for a month, while they fattened the boy up." Allison and Gus look at Glam in confusion. "He needed to build up his bulk and store enough energy in his body so that he could survive the process. At the full moon, they took a measure of my blood and cast the spell. It took several hours, but the boy was changed into a young man by the time that they were done. The witches told me that the spell made the body age about ten years. When they were done, the boy looked like a scarecrow, but he looked ten years older."
"Is he still alive?" Allison asks.
"No. He died about two hundred years later, trying to save three women, accused of being witches, from being burned at the stake. Another Immortal attacked him and cut off his head."
"What happened to that Immortal?" Gus asks.
"I killed him. The boy was a good friend and student, he didn't deserve to die because he was protecting some innocent women."
"Are the witches still alive?" Allison asks.
"No little one. They were all mortals, I'm sad to say. But they did leave me all of their spell books. I have those locked away in a safe place. If we can find some good witches, then we can do the spell for you."
"But where are we going to find witches today. Either they're in hiding or they're fakes." Allison asks as Xander and Cordelia pass by the table.
Both of them stop and Xander asks. "Allison, why do you need witches?"
"Hello Xander. Do you know any witches?" Allison asks.
"I know a few. Can you tell me why you need to find some witches?"
"Are they the real thing or do they just play at it?" Glam asks.
"The real thing." Xander replies.
Glam then tells him about the spell that could make Allison an adult. Xander and Cordelia exchange glances and grins. "They'll help. I'm sure of it." Cordelia tells Allison.
"How can you be so sure?" Allison asks.
"Because, we've been friends for years and we know them." Cordelia tells her. "And besides, they're always looking for a challenge."
Gary Manning watches as Mack and Barbara dance. He turns to David McCarter and wryly comments. "Do you think Barbara finally hooked him?"
"I hope so. Otherwise, things are going to be hell at the Farm."
Connor sits and drinks with his kinsman Duncan. Both are discussing what Shiva had told them. "I still can't believe what happened yesterday. How about you?"
"I don't know Connor. But somehow it feels right. I've always hated the 'Game' and after last night I hate it even more. Do you think that the prophesied 'Gathering' might mean the final battle of good versus evil?"
"It does make more sense than what we've been taught. I just don't know anymore. You have any opinions?" Connor asks.
"Can't say as I do." Duncan replies as three beers clink on the table next to them and Joe Dawson sits down.
"Mind if I join you?"
"No Joe. You're more than welcome. You know my kinsman Connor?" Duncan asks.
"Only by reputation. But it's a good one." Joe replies, holding out his hand.
Connor takes it and another beer. "It's good to finally meet you Joe. Duncan's told me a lot about you."
"All of it good, I hope."
"Most of it. So what do you think?"
"About what?" Joe asks slyly.
"About the fact that we're supposed to be protectors of humanity. Some kind of Immortal legion that protects humanity from evil." Connor asks.
"You know, the Norse have this legend of Ragnarok. In it they say that the warriors of Valhalla would band together and fight on the sides of the Gods and protect heaven and earth." Joe tells them.
"The Greek and Roman myths have the same story." Methos adds in as he sits down with extra beers. "Except there, the warriors would rise up from the Elysian fields to do battle with the forces of evil."
All four silently sit in deep thought, until Joe finally asks. "Where does that leave the Watchers?"
"I don't know Joe." Duncan tells him as he stares down into his beer.
Lida, Sonja and Gabrielle calmly walk over to where Xander and Cordelia are dancing and tap Xander on the shoulder. He turns around and asks. "Are you ready?"
"Yes, get the women together." Sonja orders with an evil grin. The five quickly break apart and head off in different directions. Soon a group of women is standing by the pool, waiting.
As Lida leads her husband, Casey looks around and wonders. "Lida, why are all those women staring at me?"
"Oh, they're just jealous that I have you all to myself, Casca."
Casey puffs up his chest and begins to strut. Lida grins slyly as his walk changes. < Soon my love. Soon. >
Jarod and Andrea are quietly talking as Sidney comes up to them. Both turn as he asks. "Why did you come back? Please leave before some of the sweepers get ideas about dragging the two of you back to the Centre."
"I wouldn't worry about it Sidney." Jarod reassures him as they enter Miss Parker's old room. "This entire place is filled with police. Not even Gar and Willie are stupid enough to try anything here."
"Just call me stupid then." Gar snarls out as he points a gun at Jarod and Miss Parker. Several sweepers close and block the doors, preventing any escape.
Casey easily walks with the tray of drinks to the table shared by his family. < Now this is a party > He thinks to himself as he makes his way past other party goers. As he passes Sonja, he trips and falls, spilling all of the drinks. As he gets up, he notices that his shirt is ruined. He glares at an amused Sonja and stalks off. Lida quickly gets up and follows.
As Casey enters his room, he rips off the shirt and goes to his suitcase for another. Lida enters behind him and tells him. "Casca, take a shower before you change. You smell like a distillery." Casey grunts and smells himself, he quickly takes off the rest of his clothes and goes into the shower. Lida quickly lays out his clothes and spreads the itching powder in them. A few minutes later, Casey gets out of the shower and quickly puts on his clean clothes.
Steve, who's standing and talking with John Randall and Mulder watch as the women gather in front of a certain room. Sensing doom for one of his friends, Steve looks around and asks Buffy. "Buffy, what's happening over there?" Steve points to the gathering of women.
Buffy smiles sweetly as she tells Steve. "Oh, nothing to worry about, honey. It doesn't concern you."
"Why do I have a feeling that I should feel sorry for someone?" Steve mutters.
John looks over the assemble women and grins. "There speaks the voice of experience."
"Man must be psychic." Mulder quietly states while watching all of the women gather near a second floor walk way. "Say, aren't those Mack's and Casey's rooms?"
"That they are. But Mack and Barbara are over there." Steve points over to a side table. "I don't see Casey anywhere. Oh, oh, they're not going to do that. Are they?" Steve mutters to himself, then he barks out. "Alexander Harris, front and center. NOW!"
Xander appears as if by magic and asks. "What's up Steve?"
Steve points to the gathering women. "You tell me."
Xander looks on the gathering and grins. "Oh, just a little payback. That's all."
Steve glares at Xander, but his grin betrays his amusement. "When Casey kills you. I'll make sure that he pays for the funeral."
"Oh golly gee. That's awful nice of you." Xander sarcastically replies. "What about my accomplices?"
"Cordy, Lida, Sonja and Gabrielle."
"How the hell did you get them to help you?" Mulder asks in awe.
"Just gave them the 'hurt puppy dog' look. That and my natural charm did the trick."
All three men just shake their head in awe of the young man. Suddenly all of the women begin to giggle and they turn their attention back to the landing.
Casca walks out of his room and notices all of the women gathered below. He turns to his wife and asks. "What's going on?" But Lida is nowhere to be seen. His room door is closed and Casey turns back to the crowd and hears. "Take it off." < Oh Shit. They didn't. > He thinks to himself as the itching starts. < They did. I'm going to kill Xander. >
He begins to scratch himself as the women watch thinking it's a strip show. Several of them are giving Casey catcalls as he rips open his shirt to get rid of it. The women below roar in admiration at his muscles.
He quickly moves to the first landing and rips off his pants. As they come off the women yell louder. "Take it ALL off. Take it ALL off." Casey grimaces as he scratches a sensitive part of his anatomy and the women roar their approval. He finally gets to the bottom of the stairs and rushes to the pool and dives in.
As he breathes in a sigh of relief, he notices that his private parts are still driving him insane. He takes the underwear off and throws it from the pool. Sonja grabs it in mid air and grins at Casey, who is now naked. Casey raises his fist at her and snarls. "I'll get even for this. Bet on it!"
"Only if you can get out of the pool." Sonja yells back.
Casey angrily swims to the side of the pool and climbs out. All of the women watch his muscles ripple as he climbs out. Several of them let out sighs, as he gets up and his scars show. Casey glares at Sonja and Gabrielle as he passes them and calmly walks up the stairs to his room, his face a stone mask. As he walks back into his room, he finds Lida waiting for him with a robe. He quickly wraps it around himself and asks. "You helped. Didn't you?"
"Of course I did, my love. Can you forgive me?"
Casey looks into her deep blue eyes and gets lost in them. As he pulls her in for a kiss, he tells her. "Of course I can. But you do realize that I'm going to have to get even with Sonja, Gabrielle and Xander for this."
"Of course you will. Just don't be cruel about it." Lida tells him as she pulls open his robe.
"Don't we have to get back to the party?"
"Not for a little while." Lida tells him as she loosens her dress. Casey just grins.
Steve, Mulder and John look at Xander with a mixture of awe, pity and dread. Xander just grins as Cordelia grabs him in a kiss and breathlessly tells him. "We did it. We got Casey good."
Steve turns to Mulder and John and tells them. "They don't know. Do they?"
"Nope." Mulder and John reply at the same time.
Xander and Cordelia look at them. Finally, Xander asks. "Know what guys?"
"That Casey now has to get you back, with interest. This was a bad one, Xander. The man is going to be planning something even worse than this for you, bet on it." Steve tells them.
"Yeah, it may take a day or a decade, but he's going to get you somehow. I just hope that I'm nowhere near you when it does happen." Mulder replies with a grin. "Though I wouldn't mind watching it from a safe distance."
Xander gives the three men a devil may care grin and walks away with Cordelia. Steve watches the pair go onto the dance floor and grins. "Ahh, the ignorance of youth."
"Were we ever that young and naive?" John Randall replies.
"We were." Mulder replies.
Gar hears the yelling outside and orders one of the sweepers. "Go see and what all of the yelling is about." The man rushes off through the connecting doors.
A few minutes later, he returns and tells Gar. "Some guy is doing a strip show for the women. Nothing to worry about."
Gar turns back to face Jarod and Miss Parker. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Miss Parker reach for her weapon. He quickly lifts his gun and fires three rounds into her chest. Miss Parker falls dead to the floor. Jarod and Sidney rush to her prone body, but Gar's sweepers push them back. Gar walks up to her and shoots her once more in the heart.
Enraged, Jarod breaks away from the two sweepers holding him and rushes Gar. Gar calmly lifts his gun once more and shoots Jarod five times in the chest. Jarod lands at Gar's feet, shudders and dies. Gar turns him over with a foot and pumps two more round into Jarod's chest.
One of the sweepers checks both bodies and pronounces them dead. One of the sweepers holding Sidney, then hits him on the back of the head and lets him fall. Gar walks over to Sidney and places the now empty gun in his hand. Gar looks at the scene and grins. "Looks good. Let's leave."
"What about Broots?" One of the sweepers asks.
"That mouse won't do shit. If he knows what's good for him, he'll report back to the Centre and forget all about this." Gar replies with a laugh and leaves the room. The rest of the sweepers follow him and they leave going back to the Centre.
A short while later Sidney wakes up as Broots presses a cold rag to his head. He looks around him and asks. "Where are Jarod and Miss Parker?"
"Both are dead Sidney." Broots replies.
"Are you sure of it?"
"Yeah, I checked them, no pulse, no heart beat. Nothing."
Sidney also checks the bodies and finds no signs of life. He hangs his head and as tears fall down his cheeks, he silently swears. < I'm going to kill Gar for this and anyone else who helped him. > He gets up stiffly and tells Broots. "We better get out of here and report in to Mr. Parker." Sidney replies.
"What about Gar and the sweeper team?" A nervous Broots asks.
"Mr. Parker will deal with their treachery. < If he doesn't, then I will. > We have to get out of here and report in." Sidney replies.
A short while later, Jarod and Miss Parker suddenly awake. As both breath in for the first time since their deaths, they look at each other and wonder what the hell is going on here?
Miss Parker gently reaches out and touches the bullet holes in Jarod's shirt and only feels whole skin through them. Jarod does the same with hers and both look up in wonder.
"Do you understand what happened?" Miss Parker asks.
"I saw Gar kill you. Then I attacked him and he shot me. We should be dead. Why are we still alive?"
Before Jarod can answer, he hears a knock on the door. When he doesn't immediately answer, the door is kicked in and Billy and Jinx move in with guns drawn. They look around the room and Jinx asks. "What happened?"
"Someone shot us. But we're still alive. How is this possible?"
"Let me get Steve. I'm sure he can explain this." Billy replies as he leaves.
Jinx helps Miss Parker up and moves her to the bed. She then moves over to Jarod and moves him next to Miss Parker. Jarod wraps her in his arms and holds her steady.
Billy walks up to Steve and Mulder and quietly tells them. "Something happened in one of the rooms. Could you both come with me?"
"Do we need Scully?" Mulder asks.
The three quietly make their way to Miss Parker's room and walk in. They see Jarod holding Miss Parker and softly talking to her. Jinx is standing by the door and quietly nods to them as she and Billy leave. Steve grabs a chair and sits down, while he waits for Jarod and Miss Parker. A few minutes later, they notice the silent pair and break apart. When Steve and Mulder see their shirt fronts, they do a double take and sadly shake their heads.
Looks down at his shirt and asks. "Can you explain how we're still alive?"
"You want the long or short answer." Mulder asks.
"The short one." Miss Parker asks.
"You're both Immortals." Mulder tells them.
"That's the short answer?" Jarod asks.
"Yep. Welcome to the Clan." Steve replies.
"Can you give us the long answer?" Jarod asks.
"Sure." Steve replies. "Mulder, you want to get us a few beers? They look like they could use a drink."
"Can you make it something stronger?" Miss Parker asks.
"Not right now. What I have to tell you will take a while and getting drunk while I tell you, won't help." Steve tells them.
"Okay. We're listening." Jarod replies.
"All right then." Steve replies as he tells them about being an Immortal. Ten minutes later, Buffy comes back with four beers and sits down, listening to Steve's out take on Immortality. An hour later, Steve drinks the last of his beer as he asks. "Any questions?"
Jarod and Miss Parker look at each other. Miss Parker nods her head, letting Jarod take the lead. Jarod turns back to Steve and asks. "This 'Game' that everybody seems to play. Could it be real?"
"No. I don't think so. The journal I found in the Himalayas doesn't mention the 'Game' as anything but a joke gone wrong. Add to it the fact that Shiva told us that the demon's set up the 'Game' to rid themselves of most of Earth's guardians makes it highly unlikely."
The question and answers go one for a little while longer, until Miss Parker asks. "So what happens to us now? Where can we go?"
"My first teacher, Duncan MacLeod is here. I'm pretty sure he'd take you both on as students. Would you like me to introduce you to him?"
Jarod and Miss Parker look at each other for a few seconds and both nod agreement. They turn back to Steve and Miss Parker tells him. "Yes, please do."
Steve looks down at Buffy and asks her. "Could you find Duncan and bring him back here?"
"Sure. You want another beer?"
"Thanks." Steve replies with a grin.
After Buffy leaves, Miss Parker asks. "Is she also Immortal?"
"She is. But she's also a Slayer." Steve tells her.
"What's a Slayer?" Miss Parker asks.
"They're girls given the strength, speed and stamina to hunt vampires." Steve tells her.
"Are they all Immortals?"
"No. Buffy's the only Slayer that's ever become an Immortal. The rest have been all too mortal." Steve sadly replies.
"How long do they survive once they become Slayers?" Jarod asks.
"The average is less than a year." Steve tells him.
"How long did Buffy last before she was killed?" Miss Parker asks.
"A little over a year. A master vampire killed her. She quickly revived and then killed him, preventing the Hellmouth from opening."
"What's a Hellmouth?" Jarod asks.
"A Hellmouth is a weakening of the dimensional walls between Hell and Earth. This town sits on top of it. Buffy, myself and the rest of our friends fight to keep it closed." Steve explains. As he finishes, Duncan walks in with Buffy, Amanda and Joe Dawson. Steve gets up and gives his chair to Joe, while he introduces Jarod and Miss Parker to Duncan.
Duncan looks at their shirt fronts and asks. "Do you know who killed you?"
"Yes we do." Jarod replies.
"Are you going to go after them?"
"No. We wanted to disappear and going after them will only let them know that we're still alive. As far as those bastards are concerned, let them think we're dead." Miss Parker replies.
"Good. Will there be a problem with you two living in Seattle for a while?"
"No." Both Jarod and Miss Parker reply.
Duncan nods his head and tells them. "You two have more sense than most." Duncan replies, looking at Steve.
Steve gives Duncan a devil may care grin, but keeps his peace. Joe Dawson just chuckles softly.
Buffy, noticing the exchange, asks sweetly. "Honey, what did you do?"
"Nothing Buffy, nothing at all."
Joe breaks down and laughs out loud. "Nothing he says. Damn it Steve, that's the understatement of the century."
Buffy, grinning, asks again. "C'mon honey. Tell us."
"Yes, please do. Anything that pisses Duncan off this much, I have to hear." Amanda adds in.
Duncan glares daggers at Amanda, Buffy and Steve, but nods his head in agreement.
Steve takes a pull of his beer and begins the story. "I was training under Duncan for two months when another Immortal challenged me. I was working in the back alley of the shop when Derrick Holston challenged me."
"He ran Steve over with his car." Duncan tells the group. "I heard the crash and came out of the shop in time to stop Holston."
"I was still alive, but in some serious pain. It took me almost twenty minutes to heal up. After I healed. I got up, pulled out my gun and shot Holston where he stood."
"Needless to say, I was pissed." Duncan replies with a half smile.
"I didn't go for his head. I waited until he woke up again and asked him why he ran me over." Steve turns to Duncan and asks. "Remember what he told us?"
"Said it was an accident and that he didn't see you." Duncan replies with a grin.
"I then broke every major bone in his body."
"Twice." Duncan replies with a chuckle. Steve glares at his mentor, but grins.
"After he finished healing, I let him go. The bastard tried to kill me again soon after that."
"Didn't you think you pissed him off enough, honey." Buffy replies with a grin.
"Didn't think so. But after the second attempt, I raised the stakes by taking him out with a sniper rifle. I shot him while he was waking up in his hotel room. Then I left a note on his bed. Holston was really pissed then."
"What did the note say?" Jarod asks.
"Bang, you're dead." Steve replies with a grin.
"Did it end there?" Miss Parker asks.
"Nope. Every time that Holston would be in a secluded area, Steve would shot him down from a distance and leave a note on his body." Duncan replies with a grin. "How many times did you kill him?"
"Eight." Steve replies with a grin. "But he definitely learned his lesson. Didn't he?"
"He sure did. He took holy vows and now lives in a monastery." Joe replies between laughs. "Oh man, every Watcher in the city was betting hot and heavy on that show. When you didn't kill Holston, several Watchers wanted to kill you instead, because they lost so much money."
Miss Parker and Jarod exchange a few quiet words and they ask. "We'd like to go with you to Seattle. When do we leave?"
"Tomorrow. Right now, we're going back to the party. You two stay here and hide out until then. I'm sure you can keep yourselves busy." Duncan replies, noticing how close the pair were sitting together. Miss Parker blushes as Jarod wraps her up in his arms. Everyone else chuckles as they leave.
As Steve and Buffy leave, Miss Parker tells them. "Thank you for accepting me."
"There's nothing to be thankful for. Buffy and I judge people by what they do, not by their past histories." Steve tells her and leaves with Buffy on his arm, back to the party.
Steve wakes up with Buffy in his arms and easily stretches his body. < Damn, I can get used to this. > He thinks to himself. He reaches over and picks up the phone. "Hello."
"Steve this is Giles. Would you and Buffy like to come with me to visit Kendra today?"
"Doesn't Buffy have school today?" Steve asks as Buffy wakes up next to him. She stiffens and glares at him. Steve grins. Buffy grins back and reaches below the covers and starts to do things.
As Steve becomes even more uncomfortable, Giles tells him. "Classes are light today, Steve. She won't miss anything of importance. On the other hand, Kendra is alone and she needs to know that we're there for her, like she was for us." Before Steve can reply, a groan escapes from his lips. Giles immediately asks. "Steve are you all right?"
"Oh, I'm fine Giles. Something's just come up and it requires my immediate attention."
"Very well then. We'll meet by your house in three hours. That should give you time to get the swelling down." Giles replies as he chuckles and hangs up.
Steve tosses the phone away and reaches for Buffy who squeals in laughter as he tickles some very sensitive spots. Buffy returns the favor and tickles Steve. The tickle game is quickly forgotten as Steve starts to caress her and she returns the favor.
Steve and Buffy come downstairs a couple of hours later and find Randi and Brian waiting for them. As they walk into the living room, Steve asks. "Randi, where's Nakao?"
Robert, Xander and Cordelia took her back to her dorm." Randi replies, then asks. "Steve, Buffy, can I talk to you?"
"Sure Randi. Do you have a problem with using my office?" Steve asks.
"No." Randi replies as she and Brian go to the office with Buffy and Steve.
Once inside, Steve closes the door and asks. "What can I do for you and Brian, Randi?"
Randi takes a deep breath and begins. "Steve I spoke with a bunch of Immortals last night." Steve looks at Brian, Randi notices and continues. "I already told Brian what happened to me. He understands that it's a secret that can't be shared." Steve just nods his head, listening. "Well, getting back to why I wanted to talk to you. I asked several of the Immortals there if they would take me on as a student and if I could bring Brian with me. The three that would take me on as a student didn't have room for Brian. I was wondering if you and Buffy would take us in."
Steve looks at Buffy and she quietly nods her head in agreement. Steve looks at Brian, who's grinning now and quietly tells him and Randi. "All right. I'll take you both in. But we have to set up some ground rules first."
"What sort of ground rules?" Randi asks.
"First of all you complete your education. Just because you're Immortal doesn't mean you have to be uneducated. Same goes for Brian. I'll make arrangements for Brian to attend the local school and you can enroll in the local college."
"What's the next thing?" Randi asks.
"You both learn how to defend yourselves. I won't be around you both forever, so you both learn how to fight."
"Isn't Brian a little young to fight?" Randi asks.
"No he's not. I want him to be able to depend on himself. Not on me, Buffy or yourself."
"When you're ready, you'll be expected to patrol the town."
"Why do we patrol?"
"There is a weakening of the dimensional wall between Hell and Earth in this town and it causes the vampires and other assorted nasties to flock here. Some of them have the bright idea of opening that rift and allowing the demons of Hell to come out. Buffy, myself and our friends work to prevent this." Steve explains to a dumbfounded Randi. "Do you still want to stay?"
"Will I get to kill vampires?" Randi asks with a gleam in her eye.
"A lot of vampires." Steve coldly replies. "Randi, before you get the idea of this being a vengeance trip. Don't. We protect humanity from them. Yes, we hunt them and kill them, but we don't take pleasure in it. That would make us too much like them and we don't want that."
"I understand that. But can't I feel a little satisfaction in taking them out? After all, they killed mine and Brian's mother and father."
"I never said not to feel satisfaction. Just don't start to get off on it. Becoming kill crazy is not a pretty thing."
"I understand. Thank you for taking us in." Randi tells Steve and Buffy.
"Don't thank him yet Randi. You haven't trained with him, yet." Buffy replies with a grin.
"Is the training hard?" Randi asks.
"Let's just say that Frank Iverson thinks that Steve would make a good SEAL instructor."
"What's a SEAL?" Randi asks.
"Have you ever seen GI Jane?" Buffy asks.
"Sure have. Why?"
"Remember how tough the instructors were?" Randi nods her head. "Well Steve considers them wusses." Buffy explains with a smile.
"Oh God." Randi groans, remembering the film.
"Still interested?" Steve asks with a grin.
"Yes." Randi replies emphatically.
"Good, then get settled in and I'll call my attorney later on and he'll help you settle your parent's estate."
"Thanks Steve." Randi quietly replies, then asks. "Have they found our parent's bodies?"
"I'll check with the LAPD later on. Then Giles and I will help you make all of the arrangements for them."
"Thanks for caring Steve." Randi replies and takes a softly crying Brian back into the living room.
A short while later, Giles enters Steve's house and finds Steve and Buffy waiting for him. He looks over the young couple and grins, noticing Buffy's relaxed manner and Steve's slightly tired appearance. He chuckles and the pair look up from their discussion and exchange grins, noting his slightly disheveled appearance.
"Jenny been keeping you up Rupert?" Frank asks from across the room.
"We had a late evening." Giles replies with a smile. "Cassandra make you faint away from exhaustion?"
"Not yet. Been keeping up my energy reserves." Frank replies as he munches on an apple.
"Enough of the sex talk." Steve mutters. "Are we going or what?"
"Right now. Let's be off." Giles replies as Steve and Buffy head towards the door.
As they leave, Steve tells Giles. "We'll take my car, Giles."
"What's wrong with mine?" Giles asks as they approach his car.
"We want to get back in one piece and without a problem." Buffy replies. "Besides, Steve is letting me drive the Blazer to the hospital." Giles blanches. Buffy grins and takes his arm. "I am not a bad driver. Steve's been letting me drive the Blazer for the last five months."
"I'll take your word for it. But I hope that you don't mind if I buckle up?"
"Nope." Buffy replies as she gives him a dazzling smile and gets into the driver's seat. Steve climbs into the passenger seat and buckles up. Giles climbs into the back and calmly sits down.
Sam Zabuto watches as the custom's clerk checks his carry on bag and asks. "How long will your stay be Sir?"
"Not long. I'll probably leave within two to three days at most."
"Very good Sir. I'll stamp your visa for a week. That should give you sufficient time to complete your business and leave."
"Thank you very much." Sam Zabuto tells the custom's clerk as he takes back his passport and exits the custom's area of the terminal. Outside, he hails a cab and tells the driver. "Riverside Medical Center." The cab driver nods his head and immediately enters the flow of traffic. As Zabuto watches the scenery around him, he notices a newspaper in the cab and picks it up. His eyes bulge out as he reads the headline. 'VAMPIRE CULT MURDERS 797'. He reads the rest of the article and wonders. < What the hell has happened here? >
Ninety minutes later, the Blazer pulls into the parking lot of the Riverside Medical Center. Buffy parks the Blazer next to a large RV home. Steve notices that the RV owner had christened it 'The Tank II'. He grins at the joke as he climbs out and takes the flower basket from Giles. They walk into the lobby and Giles asks the information nurse. "Good day Miss. In which room is Miss Kendra McPherson?"
The woman looks up Kendra's room number and tells Giles. "Officer McPherson is in room number 847. That's the eighth floor, west wing. Please take the green elevators."
"Thank you." Giles tells the woman.
A short while later, the three stand in front of Kendra's room as the floor nurse tells them. "Miss McPherson is still under the sedatives, but she is stabilized and can have visitors. Please don't touch any of the machines and you can stay as long as you want."
The cabby looks back and notices his fare's shocked expression and asks. "Everything all right, Sir?"
Zabuto looks up from the paper and asks. "This story is incredible. How could something like this happen?"
"Don't know Sir. But the cops really did a number on those cultists. A buddy of mine on the force told me that not a single one of them survived the raids."
"That's incredible. How could your police get away with killing so many criminals?"
"Don't know. But no ones complaining at the result. The city's been peaceful for the last two nights."
Zabuto looks down at the paper again and asks himself. < Could Giles' Slayer have gotten help from the local police? If that's true then I must tell the Council about this breach in protocol. >
Zabuto remains silent for the rest of the drive to the hospital. Finally the cab stops and the driver tells him. "Riverside Medical Center, Sir. That'll be eighteen dollars."
Zabuto hands the man a twenty and tells him. "Keep the change and thank you for the ride."
"Any time Sir." The driver tells him as he pulls away from the curb.
Zabuto enters the hospital proper and walks to the information desk and asks. "Kendra McPherson's room, please."
The woman doesn't look up as she tells him. "Room 847, take the green elevators."
"Thank you." Zabuto replies as he walks away.
Buffy holds Kendra's hand as she softly tells her. "Kendra, we won. You just rest and get better. A lot of our friends will help me patrol Sunnydale and several of them have already started to form patrols in other cities. We'll win in the end."
Kendra's hand squeezes back as the sleeping Slayer continues to sleep.
Giles calmly takes in the scene before him. Buffy softly talking to her friend Kendra, while Steve stays in the background, ready to support Buffy, if she needs it. < They make a good couple. > Giles thinks to himself as the door opens and a large man enters the room asking. "Who are you people?"
"We're friends of Kendra's." Buffy replies. "Who are you?"
"I am her uncle. My name is Sam Zabuto. Why are you here?"
"Kendra needed someone be with her. So we came." Giles replies as he introduces himself. "I'm Rupert Giles, this is Buffy Summers and the young man is Steve St. Wolf."
Zabuto nods his head in recognition of his fellow Watcher and Slayer. He glares at Steve like he was an unwanted presence. Steve, noticing Zabuto's glare, offers up. "Giles, if you want me to, I'll leave."
"That isn't necessary Steve. Whatever Watcher Zabuto has to say, can be said in front of you."
"This is a major breach in protocol, Mr. Giles. Rest assured that the Council will hear of it."
"I can give a rat's ass what the Council thinks Zabuto. What do you want here?"
"I came to see how badly hurt Kendra was." Zabuto replies as he gives Kendra a quick pass. "How long before she can fight again?"
"The doctor's think that it'll be about six months before she's able to leave the bed. But given her Slayer's healing ability, I'd say she should be all right in about half the time."
"Kendra will not be able to fight for at least three months?"
"That is correct. But don't worry about her. We'll make sure that she receives the best care possible." Giles assures Zabuto.
Zabuto just shakes his head and tells Giles. "I'm afraid that we don't have the luxury of time to give her. We need to have the Slayers active and hunting. Please leave. She was my Slayer, so it's my duty to preform." Zabuto replies as he picks up a pillow and slowly approaches Kendra's bed.
Giles, sensing Zabuto's purpose, grabs his arm and angrily asks him. "What the bloody hell do you think you are doing?"
"My duty to my Slayer." Zabuto replies as he shakes Giles' arm off and continues his walk to Kendra's bed.
Before he moves another step, Buffy gets between Zabuto and Kendra and draws out Vampire Slayer. Its blade hums a song of anger as Zabuto draws back from the mystical blade. Steve immediately draws his gun and silently stands there, at Buffy's side, waiting to help either Buffy or Giles.
Giles grabs Zabuto's arm and ejects him from the room. As Zabuto lands against the wall, he bounces back into a fighter's stance. As Giles walks out of the room, he orders. "Buffy, Steve, stay with Kendra. This is my fight."
Both Steve and Buffy do as they're told and Giles calmly exits the room to face Zabuto. Zabuto immediately opens up with a kick to Giles' head, which Giles easily blocks and counters with a punch to the face. Zabuto staggers back, but quickly comes back with a sweep kick and knocks Giles onto the ground. Before Zabuto can strike again. A voice barks out. "Hold it right there. You both are under arrest." Zabuto looks around him and finds himself facing a dozen LAPD officers with weapons drawn. Zabuto immediately raises his hands and slowly backs away from Giles.
As Giles rises, the Sergeant in charge recognizes him and asks. "What's the problem here, Sir."
"This man wants to kill Kendra." Giles grinds out. Immediately, every officer aims their weapons at a flabbergasted Zabuto.
"What are we to do with him?" Dabrowski asks.
"Take him down to headquarters. I'm sure Captain Randall will have a few choice words for him."
"Very good, Sir. Will you also be going?"
"No. I want to make sure that Kendra is all right. I'll call Captain Randall and give him the information that he needs."
"Understood Sir." Dabrowski replies. "Phillips, Markowitz, take him down to HQ and give him over to Captain Randall."
Giles re-enters the room and sits down heavily in a chair. Buffy and Steve rush to his side, making sure that he was all right. Giles smiles as the two quickly check him for any injuries. As they finish, a doctor walks in, escorted by Tony Dabrowski and checks Giles again and pronounces him fit and quickly leaves. Dabrowski looks over to the sleeping Kendra and sadly shakes his head wondering how someone could kill anyone that helpless. He silently hands Giles his cell phone and tells him. "Just hit redial. The Captain is waiting for your call."
Giles quickly thanks the Sergeant and calls Randall. He stays on the phone for a while and explains what Zabuto wanted to do and why. After Randall informs him that Zabuto was with him, Giles hangs up and hands the phone back to Dabrowski with his thanks. Giles looks over to Kendra and asks. "Sergeant, could you please station a man outside this room for the time being?"
"Already done, Sir. The Captain ordered twenty four security on Miss McPherson."
"Very good." Giles replies as he walks over and gently squeezes Kendra's hand and then tells Buffy and Steve. "Let's go home. I need to talk to Jenny about what happened."
As all three turn to leave, Kendra wakes up and asks. "Where am I?"
Buffy rushes over and hugs her. "You're safe and in the hospital. Don't worry about it."
"I have to get out of here. If anyone finds out that I'm here, innocents could be hurt."
"Don't worry about it Kendra. Our friends are protecting you."
"But I can't stay here. My Watcher will be worried."
"We've already told Mr. Zabuto about your condition. He told us to tell you that he wants you not to worry and rest." Giles tells her. Kendra smiles and goes back to sleep.
A nurse pushes herself next to Kendra and shoos Giles away. She checks various read outs and smiles. "She's sleeping normally. If you want to stay, stay. But she'll be asleep for a while longer." The nurses tells Giles as he stands at the end of the bed.
Giles turns to Steve and Buffy. "Let's go home. We'll be back tomorrow and visit longer."
Captain John Randall picks up the phone as it rings for the second time. "Randall here."
"Captain, this is Dabrowski, I'm at Riverside and a situation has developed."
John pales as he asks. "Is Tracy all right?"
"Det. Vetter is fine, sir. Some one just tried to kill Kendra McPherson."
"What happened?" John asks.
Dabrowski gives a detailed situation report and closes with. "Mr. Giles said that he would explain everything to you as soon as he checks on the girl."
A few minutes later Randall's phone rings again and he picks it up. "Giles, is that you?"
"Yes it is Captain Randall." Giles replies in a quiet voice.
"Tell me what happened at the hospital." Randall asks. Giles explains the situation to him and John's anger grows. < How can someone even think about doing something like that to a girl like Kendra? > John hears a knock on his door and barks out. "Come in." Two officers bring in a large man and sit him down in a chair facing him. John finishes his conversation with Giles and hangs up. He calmly walks over to Zabuto and punches him in the face. The two patrol officers calmly stand there, waiting to restrain Zabuto if he tries anything. John leans down and tells Zabuto, in a low voice. "Try to kill her again and I'll personally shoot you down like a dog."
Zabuto glares up at the man in front of him and tells him. "You do not understand the situation. If you did, then you wouldn't interfere."
"Oh I know all about you Watchers and Slayers." Randall quietly tells a shocked Zabuto. "I thank God that Giles is nothing like you. If he was, then my city would be in ruins and a major demon ruling it. Be grateful that Giles asked me to let you go."
Zabuto fumes as Randall leaves the room. He looks at the two officers standing by the door and wonders. < Who else knows of us? What sort of damage has Giles caused us? >
John Randall walks out of his office and finds Mulder and Scully standing there. He quickly walks over to them and takes them to a quiet corner and tells them what happened at the hospital. John watches as the pair's eyes harden and Mulder quickly gets angry. "That bastard." Mulder mutters as he turns to go.
Scully grabs his arm and tells him. "Hold it Mulder, Giles doesn't want him killed. Just gone. I have a plan." Scully tells him. Mulder settles down and listens as Scully outlines a plan. Soon both men grin and John goes to make the arrangements.
Mulder and Scully walk over to John's office and walk in. They see a large man sitting down and two officers watching. Mulder flashes his badge and orders. "You two can wait outside. My partner and I have some questions for this man." Both officers leave and Zabuto lets out a sigh of relief.
He gathers his wits and asks. "Can you please contact the Jamaican embassy? I wish to speak with one of my country's representatives and have this matter cleared up."
Mulder smiles grimly as he pulls out his handgun and brutally shoves it under Zabuto's jaw. "We know who you are Zabuto. You will be leaving this country as soon as we can book you a flight back to Jamaica. By the time that you land in Jamaica, you will be listed as a dangerous felon, wanted for the attempted murder of two police officers. A warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest stating that you should be treated as armed and dangerous. If you should return to this country for any reason, that warrant will be served and you will probably find yourself shot dead. Am I making this clear?"
"Yes I understand every thing that you have told me. I have but one question."
"Go ahead." Mulder replies.
"Did you help the Slayers defeat the vampires?"
"Yes we did. Buffy is a close friend and we consider Kendra to be one of our own. We won't let some tradition bound fool kill her because was hurt protecting innocent lives."
"But you don't understand. If Kendra is not able to fight, then another Slayer has to be called for. Who will carry on her work while she is ill?"
"Don't worry about it. Just know that its being taken care of." Scully replies as John Randall walks back in.
"Everything is set up. Phillips and Markowitz will take him from here." John tells them as the two officers grab up the Watcher and escort him out. After Zabuto leaves, John asks. "Think its over?"
"Not by a long shot." Mulder replies.
"Everyone leave already?" John asks.
"Yeah, the Motor Lodge is empty. Everyone left early this morning. We've got an afternoon flight out of LAX."
"Need a ride?" John asks.
"Why John Randall, are you actually being nice to FBI Agents? What will your fellow officers say about it?" Scully asks with a grin.
"Don't worry about it. As far as anyone in the Department is concerned, you two are all right. For Febbies." John replies with a grin as the three leave.
J. Edgar Hoover Building
Mulder and Scully make their way to Assistant Director Skinner's office. As they walk, they quietly discuss the last week. "I don't know Mulder. I've always trusted Skinner before and I think we should now."
"Dana, what really happened in LA shouldn't be known by anyone, except for our friends and allies. I don't want Cancer Man finding out about the Immortals. Or us and our friends."
"Don't you think that maybe it's too late? Remember, he sent in those Blue Berets to help."
"Help us or just push his own agenda further? Gerber said that raising a demon in downtown LA would piss off the aliens. And I believe him. Cancer Man was just covering his own ass and protecting his position in the Consortium."
"All right, I agree with that scenario. But, do we really have to lie to Skinner?"
"Until we know that we can trust him completely. Yes." Mulder replies as they get off the elevator and walk towards Skinner's office.
They walk in silence until they reach Skinner's secretary, who just waves them in. Mulder knocks on the door and Skinner yells out. "Come in." Mulder and Scully walk in and Skinner waves them into the seats. They wait as he finishes going over a report. After he finishes, Skinner adjusts his glasses and begins. "I've just finished your reports concerning the situation in Los Angeles. Is there anything you two would care to add to them at this time?"
"No Sir. There isn't." Mulder replies.
"I agree Sir. There's nothing more to add." Scully comments.
Skinner smiles as he rolls up his left sleeve. "Then I can consider this case as closed?" Then he lifts up his left arm, showing Mulder and Scully his tatoo.
Mulder grins as he replies. "Yes Sir. The case is closed."
Scully grins as well. Glad that she knows at least one more person to trust.
"Very well then." Skinner replies as the two agents get up to leave. "One more thing. The Commissioner and Mayor of Los Angeles have sent in commendations for the both of you, Agent Kowalski and her associates. Good Job."
"What does Agent Daniels have to say about them?" Mulder asks with a smile.
"He feels that you two stole the case from him."
"Isn't that too bad." Scully replies with a smirk.
"Go back down to your office. I'll have another case for you to investigate tomorrow." Skinner replies as he gets back to his reports.
Both Mulder and Scully leave and make their way down to their office. As they go down in the elevator, Scully leans into Mulder and asks. "Skinner's our Watcher. Who would have thought of it?"
"Not us. Some investigators we are." Mulder replies with a grin.
"Speak for yourself G-Man. I personally thought it was Spender."
"It might be. You never know." Mulder replies as he opens the door to their office. As he enters, Mulder smells cigarette smoke. He immediately pulls his gun and enters. Scully quickly follows suit. And both face Cancer Man. Who is calmly sitting behind Mulder's desk calmly smoking a cigarette.
"What do you want?" Mulder orders, pointing his gun at the man who has caused him much pain over the last six years. Scully covers Mulder's back and closes the door.
Cancer Man sits back and flicks his cigarette ash into the trash can. As he looks at the pair of Federal agents, he speaks the words neither would have thought possible. "Agent Mulder, Scully, from your action in Los Angeles and the way you handled the reports and the official inquiry, I feel that I owe you an explanation."
"An explanation? An explanation of what?" Mulder asks.
Cancer Man looks around the office and his next words shock both agents. "I want to tell you the Truth."
"What the hell do you mean by 'The Truth'?" A skeptical Scully asks.
"You two are going to sit down and ask me any question that you want and I'll reply with the truth."
"Why are you doing this?"
"Because of the way you two handled Los Angeles and that matter in Sunnydale, five months ago. I feel that you two now understand that some information is not for the masses."
"All right. Let's start with where this all began. Why was Sam taken?"
Cancer Man sighs as he lights up another cigarette. "The why is very simple. Samantha is my biological daughter and your father found out. I didn't want him taking out his anger on her like he did on Tess and you."
Mulder sits frozen while he digests the news. Scully glances back and forth between them. Finally Mulder asks. "Why didn't you stop him from abusing my Mom and me?"
Cancer Man looks into the glowing end of his cigarette for a full minute before he answers, bitterly. "I couldn't. Believe me I wanted to kill him, several times. But, he was too important to too many people at the time. If I tried anything, I would have been killed for my troubles. And then you, Tess and Sam would have been left without someone to protect you."
"What's your real name?" Scully suddenly asks.
"Scully, that name hasn't been spoken for a good twenty years. Why do you want to know it?"
"Because I'm getting tired of calling you Cancer Man or the Bastard." Scully replies with a grin.
Cancer Man chuckles. "I deserved that. My code name for the last twenty years has been Chaos. But, between the three of us, you can call me Bill."
"Chaos?" Bill nods his head, Mulder continues. "That fits you all right." Mulder replies with a grin. "Because that's what you cause everywhere."
"True, but wait until I tell you why."
Mulder grins as he asks. "All right, I'll bite. Why?"
Bill nervously glances around the office, but Mulder answers the question before it's asked. "I just swept for bugs this morning. Everything is clear."
Bill breaths a sigh of relief. "Good, because what I have to tell you will greatly endanger your lives."
Mulder and Scully look at each other and grin. "So what else is new?" Scully replies.
"Your Immortal lives."
Mulder and Scully look at each other and silently ask. < How the Hell does he know? > Both turn back to Bill with open expressions of shock on their faces. "How did you know?" Mulder asks in a hushed whisper.
Bill sits back and calmly stubs out his cigarette. "I've known about the Immortals for close to thirty years. What really surprised me was the fact that the both of you turned out to be Immortals. Methos once told me that the Immortality trait was random, but this much?"
"You know Methos? How?" Mulder asks.
"Simple, we both belong to the same organization."
"Methos is a member of the Consortium?" Scully asks.
"No, he's a member of the organization that I truly belong to." Bill replies with a grin. "In fact, he's one of it's founding members."
"And this organization is?" Scully prompts.
"I serve the Illuminati as its deep cover agent in the Consortium."
Mulder's jaw drops and he looks at Scully. She doesn't look any better. Bill softly chuckles and lights up another cigarette as he continues. "The Illuminati have existed for close to four thousand years. Our principal goal is to protect humanity from itself and from outside dangers, like the Others and to preserve our race's history and it's accomplishments. What happened in Los Angeles was a prime example of the work that we do."
Mulder frowns as he asks. "That was an independent action. The Illuminati were not involved in it."
Bill grins as he replies. "The inner circle, our leadership, is made up of nine individuals. You've met two of them. Methos and Merlin. Since your friend St. Wolf serves Merlin, he serves the Illuminati."
"Does Steve know this?" Scully asks.
"If he does, he doesn't care. He considers Merlin to be a good friend and mentor and he serves him willingly as his personal champion. In fact, most of the organizations that he's worked with in the past, either belong to or have members in the Illuminati."
"You know we're going to tell him. Don't you?" Mulder comments.
"I know, but I don't think St. Wolf would care. He's happy doing the work that's given to him. So, feel free to tell him."
"Why are you telling us all of this?" Mulder asks.
"Because I need you." Mulder and Scully exchange looks and Bill continues. "I need you to two to screw with the Consortium every way that you can. You two have stopped numerous Consortium plots to take over the world and they're scared of you."
"So why don't they just kill us or make us disappear?" Scully asks.
"Because when they kidnaped you." Bill points to Scully. "Mulder went into overdrive and ruined so many of their carefully laid out plans, that they relented and let you go, just so that he would stop and be by your bedside. After you got out the hospital, they expected you to slowly curl up and fade away, taking Mulder with you. When you two came back stronger and more determined, many of the senior members wanted you to be eliminated, but I stopped them by pointing out that, that would only make you martyrs and more would follow in your foot steps."
"My God, you are one devious bastard, you know that?" Mulder replies with respect.
Bill chuckles. "I know. Why do you think they chose me for the job?" Bill looks at his watch and comments. "Now I have to go. We'll meet again and I'll answer more questions." And with that, Bill puts out his cigarette and quietly leaves Mulder and Scully mulling over the information just given to them.
Mulder and Scully watch as the door closes and sit silently for a full minute. They look at each other and wonder about what they've just learned. Scully opens her mouth to speak, but Mulder shushes her. He goes over to his brief case, checks the locks and then removes a portable bug checker. Mulder quickly checks the unit out, making sure no has tampered with it, and then begins to do a sweep of the office. A few minutes later, he gives Scully the all clear sign and then he turns on the radio and they begin to talk quietly.
"Mulder, do you believe what he just said?"
"The part about Sam I can believe. My dad was starting to look at her with the look he gave my mother, just before he started to hit her. There's also the fact that he and my mother know each other. And that he brought Sam to me a year ago. Yeah, I can believe it."
"What about the rest?"
"I think that we should pay our friend Methos a little visit."
"What do we tell Steve?"
"Everything. He has the right to know and I think that he'll have some questions for his friend Merlin."
"So, when do we do this?"
"Hopefully the case Skinner gives us tomorrow will take us close enough to Sunnydale that we can do a quick meeting with Steve and Buffy."
"Then I think that we deserve a vacation after our last case. Don't you?"
Scully grins. "I could use some more sun and relaxation."
Council of Watchers'
"I tell you that Watcher Giles and his Slayer have gone rogue." Sam Zabuto angrily tells the assembled Council of Watchers.
"These are serious charges Watcher Zabuto. Can you give us any proof to them?" The head of the Council asks.
"The proof is clear gentlemen. Watcher Giles has constantly and consistently broken every major rule that the Council has. But this last time is the worst." Zabuto angrily states.
"Please start at the beginning Watcher Zabuto. Not all of us have heard your reasons behind the charges you bring forward." A Council member prompts.
Zabuto hangs his head, gathering his thoughts. A minute later he raises it and begins his story. "Four days ago, I sent my Slayer, the girl called Kendra, to Sunnydale to help Watcher Giles' Slayer prevent the raising of the demon Throlog. Kendra arrived the day before the ceremony was to be performed and she met up with Giles' Slayer. Kendra called me that evening, before she went out, to tell me that they would be facing three hundred vampires. I told her that my prayers would be with her and Giles' Slayer."
"That was the last call that I had from her. The next day Watcher Giles called me to tell me that Kendra had been seriously hurt in the fighting. I knew my duty and though I was saddened by it, I left my home and went to the Los Angeles hospital Giles had told me that Kendra was in. There, I found Watcher Giles, his Slayer and a strange man sitting by Kendra's bedside. Watcher Giles told me that Kendra would recover, given time to heal. I asked him how long and Giles told me, given her Slayer healing, about three to four months. I then asked them to leave, but they refused. So I took a pillow and proceeded to do what I had to do. But before I could do anything, Watcher Giles had grabbed my hand and asked what the hell was I thinking? I told him I was doing my duty as a Watcher and that he shouldn't interfere. What happened then still bothers me." Zabuto grabs a quick breath of air before continuing.
"Giles' Slayer materialized a sword from the very air and put it's blade to my throat and told me to leave. The stranger took a position, guarding her side and protecting Kendra. I stared at the blade, but made no move to leave, then Giles forcibly ejected me from the room. Outside of the room, he grabbed me up and slammed me against the wall. I naturally fought back and forced him to let me go. While we were fighting, at least a dozen constables showed up. Several of them pulled their weapons and we were ordered to stop fighting. When we stopped, a Sergeant asked Giles what the problem was and he told them that I was there to kill Kendra."
"Immediately every weapon was pointed at me and I was subdued and handcuffed. They then removed me from the hospital and took me to a police station where a police Captain by the name of Randall was waiting for me. The constables sat me down and the Captain finished his phone conversation. After he finished the conversation, he put the phone away and calmly walked over and struck me. Then he leans into my face and tells me that if I ever attempt to harm Kendra again, he'll shoot me down like a dog."
"What happened to Giles?" A Council member asks.
"He was allowed to go back into the room, to be with Kendra. The constables' all gave him a large measure of respect. It almost bordered on fear." Zabuto comments before he continues his story. "After the Captain struck me. He told me to stay in my chair and someone else would be by in a moment. I asked him to call the Jamaican Consulate and he laughed. A few minutes later, two FBI Agents walked in and I asked for their help. Both grinned at me and the male agent pulled out a handgun and pressed it to my forehead and told me that I was being ejected from the country and my visa was being permanently revoked and that I was to be classified as dangerous criminal. I was then told, rather bluntly I might add, that if I was to be found within the borders of the United States after that, I would most likely be shot for resisting arrest."
"After being told this, two constables then took me from that room and lead me to the parking garage located underneath the building. There a dozen wounded constables waited for me with one more message. They told me that Kendra had nearly died saving their lives and the lives of another seven more constables who were still in the hospital. They also made it quite clear that I would die if I remained in Los Angeles any longer than it was necessary to book passage back to Jamaica. The two constables then drove me to the airport and made me book passage on a direct flight to Jamaica. They then escorted me through customs and informed them of my status. The customs people added one of their constables and they waited with me for the flight to board. They escorted me to the plane when the flight was announced. There, they informed the Captain and crew that I was not to be allowed off the plane except in Jamaica."
"This is most distressing news." The Council President comments. Then he turns to one of his aides. "Has Watcher Giles contacted us yet?"
"No, Sir. I've only been able to get his answering machine at home."
The Council President turns to the assembled Watchers and delivers his decision. "I can not make a decision without hearing the other side of this matter. So, I am sending a delegation of Watchers to Sunnydale to visit and report on the doings of Watcher Giles, his Slayer, Buffy Summers and the Slayer Kendra. Until they return, this matter is held in recess." With that, the Council President bangs his gavel and the meeting is dissolved.
Stony Man Farm
The War Room
Hal Brognola slams his fist into the table and looks over the assembled forces making up the Stony Man Group. He gives their leader, Mack Bolan, a scathing look and asks. "All right Mack. Tell me what the hell was on your mind when you went on an unauthorized mission?"
"Hal, what happened in Los Angeles was something that needed doing."
"Mack, you know as well as I do that our group's charter doesn't allow us to act on US soil, except in the case of domestic terrorism."
"Hal, believe me when I say this. What was going to happen in LA would have made any previous act of domestic terrorism pale in comparison." Mack quietly explains.
Hal looks over the assembled group and sees each man stare back with a haunted look. < My God. What could have scared these men? > Hal asks himself as he quietly asks. "Can you tell me what happened?"
Mack turns to his men and quietly tells them. "I'll explain everything to Hal. Those of you who want to, can leave." With Mack's permission, the room empties, leaving only him, Barbara and Hal alone. Mack looks at Barbara and tells her. "You don't have to stay."
"I know, but I was there and Hal should hear it for the both of us."
Mack nods his head in agreement and turns to Hal. "Hal the first thing that you should know was that we were part of a larger group, made up of various agencies."
"Who were they?"
"The group was made up of FBI, CIA, NSA, military, local police, various private interests and another covert operations group called Section Seven."
"Mack, a group like that wouldn't work. The inter-agency rivalry alone would kill it."
"No Hal. Not when you take the best field agents each of those groups have and don't include the morons and wannabe Bureaucrats. You have a force of professionals that could practically do anything. We had a working chain of command and we had no difficulty following it."
Hal sits back and looks at his old friend and asks. "Mack, what kind of threat could have possibly brought together so many different groups and got them to work together like that?"
"Hal, do you believe in vampires and demons?" Mack softly asks.
Hal's ever present cigar falls out of his mouth and he looks at Mack and Barbara and realizes that they were serious. "I hope you're both joking."
Mack quietly reaches across the table and puts in the Sunnydale video tape into the VCR, turns on the monitor and tells Hal. "Watch this and then ask me that question."
Hal watches the tape and as it finishes, he asks. "What the hell were those things?"
"Vampires. The real thing." Barbara softly replies. Then she and Mack tell him everything that happened in Los Angeles.
After they finish, Hal quietly picks up his cigar and asks. "So what if something like this happens again?"
"I told them to give us a call. Both teams agreed to help again, if the need arises."
"Damn, Mack. What has the world come to?" Hal asks.
"It's the same world Hal. It's just lite up a little more than before. What was able to hide in the shadows has been brought to the light." Mack softly replies.
A dark haired girl restlessly sleeps as she has nightmares of vampires and demons. In the nightmare she is fighting them and defeating them. She wakes up in a cold sweat and screams. One of the girls sleeping next to her asks. "Still having the nightmares, Faith?"
"Yeah, I can't understand it. I've never had nightmares like this before."
"Its just a phase. We all have nightmares. Go back to sleep."
"Yeah, right D., I gotta get some sleep." Faith mumbles as she falls back to her pillow and finds no peace in her dreams.
Reconnaissance Organization HQ
Some Where in Virginia
Sergeant Paxton looks over his monitor and double checks his readings. He turns around and calls over to Major Hoffman. "Major. Can you come here, please?"
Major Hoffman takes a deep breath and walks over to the Sergeant's stations. He leans down and asks. "What now Sergeant?"
Paxton looks up and tells the Major. "I have control of Red Eagle One, Sir. Section Seven has just released the satellite back to my control."
Major Hoffman grins at the good news. "Anything else, Sergeant?"
"Yes Sir. There's another e-mail on the system. No return address."
"Read it to me." Hoffman orders.
"Yes, Sir. It reads as follows:
"To the NRO,
Thanks for the loan of your bird. Sorry we couldn't ask nicely, this time. If we need to borrow it again, we'll ask nicely, if there's time.
Major Hoffman just shakes his head in disbelief and grins. "Well, at least they're polite."
"That they are Sir. What do you want me to do?"
"Reset all new codes on Red Eagle One and keep a close eye on her from now on. They might have laid in some back door access codes on her."
"Will do, Sir." Paxton replies as the Major gets up to leave. Before the Major can escape, Paxton asks. "What happens if they ask first the next time?"
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it Sergeant." Hoffman replies as he leaves.
Rye, New York
Remo enters Smith's office and takes a seat across from him. Smith looks up from his computer and asks. "How was your trip to LA?"
"Very enlightening." Remo replies softly.
"Care to tell me about it?"
Remo nods his head and gives Smith a detailed report on what happened in LA. Smith quietly digests this information and asks. "Will you help again, if they call you?"
"Yeah, Smitty. What happened there really opened my eyes. Do you have a problem with it?"
"Do they know of CURE?"
"No. I never told anyone."
"There I see no problems with helping your friends. If you need my help, feel free to ask."
"Thanks Smitty." Remo replies as he gets up and leaves.
Smith looks at the door that Remo had gone through and softly tells himself. "Thank you God, for letting me know that Remo and I are not alone in defending this world." He then turns off his computer and goes home to sleep peacefully for the first time in years, knowing that a new generation has taken up the call.
The Tower Offices
Blue Cove, Delaware
Sidney stands before the Triumvirate and declares. "Gar killed Miss Parker and Jarod without cause. I want him to be punished for this."
Mr. Raines leans forward and rasps out. "According to Gar's report, Miss Parker was seeking to abandon the Centre and disappear with Jarod. This could not be allowed."
"Gar's report is a fabrication. What proof did he have that Miss Parker wanted to leave?"
Raines holds up a tape recorder and plays it. Sidney hears Jarod say. "We've both decided that the Centre can go to hell. After the party, we're going to start a new life together." Raines then turns off the tape player and asks. "So Sidney, do you have an explanation for this?"
"I demand to see my accuser." Sidney grates out.
"Of course you can." Mr. Parker tells him. "Gar come in now."
Gar walks into the meeting with a measured pace. He stands just off to Sidney's side. "I'm here sir. How can I help?" Gar tells them.
"Gar, please tell. . ." Before Mr. Parker can finish his question, Sidney removes a pistol from his waist band and shots Gar dead. As Gar's body crumples to the ground, Sidney uses up the entire magazine. When he's finished, he tosses the gun onto the body and glares at the Triumvirate. They glare back as several sweepers surround Sidney with their guns. Sidney looks back at the Triumvirate with dead eyes.
Mr. Parker looks down at Gar and silently thanks Sidney. < This saves me the trouble of killing him. > He looks back to Sidney and asks. "So, what now?"
Sidney looks back with dead eyes and tells Mr. Parker. "I'm retiring. I have nothing left and I want to live out my remaining years in peace."
Mr. Parker looks at Mr. Raines, who silently nods. Mr. Parker looks back to Sidney and tells him. "Very well then. Will you be available for consulting, on an as needed basis?"
"No. I don't ever want to see this place again." Sidney replies angrily and leaves the office with two sweepers following him.
Mr. Parker turns to Mr. Raines and asks. "Do you think he'll be a problem?"
"No. He has nothing left. Let him wither away." Raines rasps out. < Go old friend. You were never meant for this place. Enjoy what little life you have left. >
Never Never Land
Craig Donovan is looking over a computer file and silently shivers. < Dear God in Heaven, these files are incredible. >
As he sits there, Frank Parker walks up behind him and asks. "What're you reading, Donovan?"
Donovan jerks up and looks at his old friend and quietly replies. "I'm looking over the personal files on Carson Jamieson and his alias Steve St. Wolf."
"Any good reading?"
"These records are unbelievable, Frank. This guy should have died at least a dozen times. But he's still alive and fighting. I can't understand it."
"Why not? The guy is supposed to be one of the best, so why can't he be still alive?"
"Because no one sane would take on these missions." Donovan replies quietly.
"What sort of missions?"
"Here, read for yourself." Donovan tells him and moves out of the way. Frank sits down and reads.
After a short while he looks up from the screen and whistles. "This guy is crazy and so is his partner." Frank looks up at Donovan and sees indecision on his friends face. "You don't mean his partner, this Iverson guy is that Scully guy you hate so much?"
"It's him. I got a copy of Iverson's file from a friend of mine. The picture's the same."
Frank looks through the file and whistles again. "Donovan, this guy can't be as bad as you think he is."
"I know. But where does that leave Franzetti's family? Should I tell JAG that Scully is still alive? Or just leave it alone?"
Frank grins as he tosses in a curve ball. "Why don't we find out who really murdered Franzetti? If Scully really did it, then you can make your decision then. If he didn't, we put the real murderer away and clear Scully's name."
Donovan looks at his friend and grins. "Frank, that is the most crazy idea that I've ever heard, but it might just work."
"All right. Let's get on it. Think Ramsey might help?"
"Asking him will only piss him off." Donovan replies with a grin.
"Good, can I ask him then?" Frank replies with a grin.
Fort Bragg, North
Home of the 82nd Airborne
Corporal Reilly walks into the presence of his commanding officer, Colonel John 'Bull' Franklin. He crisply salutes and stands at attention as he speaks. "Sir, Corporal Reilly, reporting as ordered, Sir."
The Colonel returns his salute and asks. "Are you fit for duty, Corporal?"
"Yes Sir, the doctor's have cleared me for duty."
The Colonel carefully looks over the young man standing in front of him. "Very well then Corporal. You'll have light duty for the next two weeks and then you'll go back to full duty. Am I understood, Corporal?"
"Yes Sir. Light duty for two weeks, then back to full duty. Thank you, Sir."
"You're welcome Corporal. Dismissed."
Corporal Reilly turns around to leave. As he turns, he sees a picture on the wall. He hisses out the word "Shit!!" while thinking < That's one of the leaders of Section Seven. In a Ranger uniform. With his arm around a beautiful woman. The Colonel and his wife are in the same picture. > His step falters and the Colonel notices.
"Corporal? Are you all right?" Colonel Franklin asks.
A very shaken Reilly, still looking at the picture, asks. "Sir, the man in this picture, who is he?"
Colonel Franklin gets up from his desk and approaches Corporal Reilly and notices which picture Reilly is referring to. "That picture was taken in 1977, Corporal. I'm in the photograph and my wife as well. The two people standing next to us were close friends who are no longer alive. Care to tell me why you want to know who the man is?"
Reilly gulps, thinking, < God, he hasn't changed, it can't be him. > then he tells Colonel Franklin. "Colonel, I saw this man in Los Angeles, last week."
"That's impossible, Corporal. He's dead."
"Then he's got a twin, Sir. Because this man was one of the leaders of the Black Operations group that rescued us."
"Corporal, your report states that the Los Angeles Police rescued you. Did you lie on that report?"
"Yes Sir. The leaders of the group asked us to treat the police as the ones who rescued us. They didn't want the credit. So I went along with it. After all, they saved my life. And the LAPD didn't ask any questions, just stood around and looked good for the cameras."
"Sit down Corporal." Colonel Franklin tells Reilly as he reaches for a phone, while thinking < Cherokee still alive? And a Black Ops commander. It fits, the way his body disappeared and how no one could ever find it. > He dials the phone and calls Cherokee's other commanding officer, Major Kevin 'Tex' Ritter. The phone is picked up at the 5th Special Forces 'C' Team headquarters. Major Ritter answers the phone himself. "Ritter here. What do you want?"
"Still being sociable Tex?" Colonel Franklin asks.
"Hello John. What can I do for you?"
"Get over here on the double. I just came across some hot info."
"I'll be there in five minutes and I'll bring Gunner with me."
"I'll be waiting." Colonel Franklin answers.
Five minutes later, Major Ritter walks in with Senior Staff Sergeant Walter 'Gunner' Sanchez. Major Ritter asks. "So spill, what do you know?"
"Major Ritter, Sgt. Sanchez, allow me to introduce you to Corporal Reilly. He is the man with the information that we are looking for."
Reilly looks at the two senior officers and senior Sergeant and shudders. These three men were legends in Bragg. Living legends.
"Sir, what do you want to know?" Reilly asks.
"Start at the beginning, Corporal." Colonel Franklin tells him.
"All right Sir. It started on the fifth day of my leave. I had gone to Los Angeles to be with some friends and while bar hopping, I was attacked as I left a club at 2:00 am. The girl that I had picked up had set me up and some friends of her's hit me from behind."
"The next thing that I knew was waking up in a large freezer room of some supermarket. As I got up, I saw other people in the room and asked what was going on. A man told me that we were food for a group of vampires."
Franklin, Ritter and Sanchez look at the Corporal and realize that he was speaking the truth. All three shudder. Reilly continues his story. "About twenty four hours after I was taken, three of these vampires were feeding in front of us when all hell broke loose. I was semi-conscious against a wall, where one of the vampires had thrown me after I had tried to stop him from sucking the blood of a young girl. I watched as seven people dressed as ninjas rushed the feeding vampires and destroyed them. They secured the area and then they preceded to give first aid to the hurt and wounded." As Reilly takes a breath to continue, Major Ritter interrupts.
"Corporal, did you say ninjas?"
"Yes Sir, ninjas."
"Did you see anything strange about them?"
"Yes Sir, all of them had the same tattoo. Six red lines, three solid, three broken, on their right arms."
"Did it look like this?" Major Ritter asks, holding up a pad with the I-Ching symbol for chance written on it.
"Yes Sir, that's it exactly. You know who they are?"
"Was there a tall, red headed woman with them?"
"Yes Sir, I saw her cut off the head of one those things with her sword. Do you know who they are, Sir?"
Major Ritter sighs as he tells Reilly. "Those ninja you saw are called the Storm Shadow Clan. They were part of the G.I. Joe team during the 1980's and early 1990's. When G.I. Joe was disbanded, they literally disappeared. The woman was a G.I. Joe operative code named Scarlet. She married another operative code named Snake Eyes and they retired to have a family."
Reilly is shocked. "But Sir, wasn't G.I. Joe just a story? They never officially existed, as a unit."
Sergeant Sanchez explains. "Corporal, G.I. Joe was very real. The men and women of G.I. Joe did a job that needed to be done. All three of us served in G.I. Joe, as reservists and when the unit was disbanded, we came back to our original units."
"Damn." Was the only word Reilly could mutter.
"Corporal, could you please finish your report?" Colonel Franklin prompts.
Roused out of his shock, Reilly continues. "Well after the ninjas had secured the area, they began to check us with crosses and I think holy water. They would touch us with a cross and spray some water on an exposed portion of skin. If nothing happened, we would move to the other side of the room. They caught one vampire like this and captured him."
"Were the ninja's the only ones in this unit?" Major Ritter asks.
"No Sir, a large man, about 6'6" walked into the room carrying a M-60 and conferred with one of the ninja's. While they were talking, the vampires tried to take the room and the large man rushed out. A few minutes later, he and two more men slowly backed up into the room firing their guns all the way. The two men were armed with a 60 and a Stoner. I guess they were the heavy weapons team. As the men backed up, the ninjas opened fire with pistols. Before long, all of the vampires trying to get to us were gone."
"The ninja's and the fire team stood guard, when this woman carrying a sword, came in with another prisoner. Shit Sir, I couldn't believe it, she was barely 5' 3", but she was one of the leaders. I also think she was a doctor, because she immediately got to work fixing up the most seriously wounded and making sure that we were all fine. A few minutes later, after all of the screaming stopped, two men and a woman came in and went to the woman. She got up and hugged one of the men, while the other two went to check the prisoners. They conferred for a moment before telling us that they would leave in a few minutes after checking to make sure that no more of those things were still in the store. They also told us that they didn't exist and to treat the police that came after them as the rescuers.
Colonel Franklin looks at Reilly at and asks. "What else is there Corporal?"
Reilly grins sheepishly and explains. "Well Sir, at the spur of the moment, I introduced myself and asked who they were."
"Who were they Corporal?" Sgt. Sanchez asks, grinning < Kid has balls. >
"They called themselves Section Seven Black Operations. And well, I sorta asked them if I could join up." Reilly replies with a weak grin.
The two senior officers and senior Sergeant chuckle. "That took balls son." Colonel Franklin tells him. "So, what happened after that?"
"They crucified the two prisoners on opposite sides of the building and tortured them."
"They crucified and tortured prisoners, Corporal?
"Yes Sir, but these things weren't human. After they had all of the information that they could get out of them. They killed them."
"Why?" Major Ritter asks.
"Because for these things to live a human being has to die every night. They can't live without killing and draining people, Sir."
"Damn." Colonel Franklin mutters. He looks at his two oldest friends and they shake their heads. He turns back to Reilly and tells him. "Corporal, you will tell no one what you have just told us. Am I understood?"
"Yes Sir, I understand."
"Very well then, dismissed." And Reilly gets up and leaves.
After Reilly leaves, Colonel Franklin picks up his phone and calls a number in Washington D.C., a woman picks up the phone. "Hello Assistant Director Ryan's office, can I help you?"
"Yes, this is Colonel Franklin of the 82nd Airborne, put me through to Ryan."
"Yes Sir, I'll put your call through, right away."
The phone is immediately picked up as Jack Ryan asks his old friend. "Bull, you old war horse, how are you?"
"I'm fine Jack. I need to find out about something called Section Seven Black Operations. Who are they and where I can find them."
"So would I John, every intelligence agency in the free world is talking about Section Seven, but no one seems to know anything about them. Why do you want to find them?"
"Because they have one of my former men as a field operative. I want to find him."
"How did you find out about him, John?"
Col. Franklin gives Ryan a quick run down on Cpl. Reilly's recent report.
Ryan whistles lowly and mutters. "So that's what happened in LA? Shit! Those FBI bastards swept everything under the rug. Now John, why do you want to find this man?"
"Because he's a friend and I want make sure they didn't do anything to him. Jack, we've both seen what some of these outfits do to good men. They twist him, use him and then throw him away. I don't want that for a man I considered almost a son."
"Give me this man's name, John."
"Carson Jamieson, we also called him Cherokee."
"Give me a second, I'll pull him up on my computer." Ryan waits as the computer pulls up a photo of a man well known to him. "It can't be." Ryan mutters.
"Jack, what do mean 'it can't be'?"
"John, I've known this man for the last ten years and his name isn't Carson Jamieson."
"Jack, are you sure it's the same man?"
"Of course I am. He saved the lives of three of my agents in Iran, ten years ago. I met him personally to thank him. Eight years ago, during the Gulf War, he helped destroy Iraq's main chemical weapons storage facility, while rescuing two of our pilots. I've used him several more times since then."
"Who is he Jack? Tell me his name and where I can find him."
"I can't tell you John. My agreement with him doesn't allow me to give out any information about him. I'm sorry." Ryan apologizes. "Besides, according to this file, Jamieson is wanted for six counts of murder in Texas."
"Jack, those bastards gang raped and murdered his wife. Kathy was the most important thing in his life. Hell man, they grew up together. How would you feel if your wife was murdered like that? He let the system have them, but a crooked cop screwed up the evidence and they walked. He went after them then, not before. Listen Jack, can you get a message to him? Will you do at least that for me?"
"Yes, I can. Write him a letter and I'll make sure he gets it."
"I don't need to send him a letter. Just pass this on, 'Cherokee, your old friends at the 82nd and 5th need to know. Best regards, Bull, Tex and Gunner.' Thanks Jack, I'll be waiting for the reply."
"You got it John, I'll be in touch. But I'm not promising anything." Ryan tells him and hangs up. He then turns to his computer and reviews the file on Carson Jamieson. < My god, this man was a hero in the truest sense of the word. > If this man isn't Steve St. Wolf, then I don't know who he is. He scrolls down the file looking over Jamieson's past achievements and reads the award section, his throat closes up. < Damn, Krausman refused to award him the Medal of Honor. Hmm, I wonder could I pull it off? > Ryan thinks to himself as he reaches for the phone. He dials a number in Texas to an old friend.
"Hello Barbara, this is Jack Ryan, I'd like to talk to George."
"Please hold a moment, Jack." Mrs. Bush replies.
A minute later former President Bush gets on the phone. "Jack, how are you? Been a couple of years. What can I do for you?"
"George I need a favor, is your son, is George Jr. still there?"
"Why yes, he is. What do you need him for?"
"I want him to pardon a man for crimes he committed in Texas."
"One of your's Jack?"
"Sort of. I was going through some of Krausman's files and found out that he had refused a man the Medal of Honor on the grounds that the mission was classified. I want that man to get it."
"All right Jack, I'll put him on."
"Mr. Ryan, what can I do for you." Governor George Bush Jr. asks.
"Gov. Bush, I would like you to pardon a man for me."
"Who is it?"
"His name is Carson Jamieson, a former Green Beret."
"May I ask what crimes he committed that need to be pardoned?"
"Six counts of murder."
"Mr. Ryan, you are good friend of my father's, but if you think that I'm going to pardon a six time murder. Forget it. My campaign was based on the principle that criminals like that deserve to either stay in jail or be executed, not honored and given the Medal of Honor."
"Please Governor, just listen to me."
"All right, go ahead."
Jack Ryan then tells him of Jamieson's military career and his very honorable discharge from the army. He also tells him about what happened to his young wife Kathy and how the criminals walked away by bribing a property clerk. He then tells him of Jamieson's final act of bravery, in saving a group of school children from a mad man armed with an AK-47.
Governor Bush is quiet and listens to every word, finally he asks. "Who was the officer in charge of Jamieson's case?"
"In both cases, a Texas Ranger named Cordell Walker."
"I know him well. If he agrees to it, I'll issue the pardon. But I want to see his file."
"Agreed, I'll overnight a copy to you."
"Thank you, Mr. Ryan, good day."
"Good day to you, Governor." Ryan tells him as he hangs up the phone. < Now my friend, if you are Jamieson, then we have to talk. > Ryan thinks to himself as he prints out the file.
Governor Bush's secretary hands him the overnight package Jack Ryan had promised. He opens it and reads through the files present there. He re-reads them twice more, not believing it possible that a man like this existed in his life time. He picks up his phone and calls his father. "Dad, could you come to my office?"
"George is anything wrong?"
"No Dad, I need your opinion on something, that's all."
"When do you want me to come?"
"Right now would be good."
"I'll be over in twenty minutes."
Twenty minutes later former President Bush sits with his son and asks. "What do you need help with George?"
Governor Bush hands over the files that Jack Ryan had overnighted to him. "Read these and tell me what you think."
Thirty minutes later, President Bush takes his glasses off and rubs his eyes. "This is the man that Jack wants you to pardon?"
George nods his head.
"Pardon him. No one will say anything about it."
"But Dad, what will the people of Texas say about this? I won the election on the promise to treat criminals harshly."
"Son, this man was not a criminal. He was a good man wronged by the system and took matters in his own hands. He let the system have them, but the system screwed up. Plus add to this the fact that those men were linked to another twelve murder/rapes and no sane individual will argue the point. If this man were alive and stood trial today, no jury would convict him."
George Bush Jr., takes a deep sigh and calls in his secretary. "Carol, can you come in here please? I need you to take a letter."
Carol enters a minute later and sits down waiting.
"Make this letter to the State's Attorney. Tell him that I'm going to pardon a man called Carson Jamieson. I want the papers on my desk by tomorrow."
"Yes Sir." Carol responds, leaving the office.
The Home of Joe Bradley, Texas Ranger - Retired
2 Days Later
Joe is laying in bed getting a good natured ribbing from his old Ranger partners, C.D. Parker, Cordell Walker and Cordell's partner, Jim Trivette. Bradley is recounting what happened to him in Los Angeles.
"I'm telling you Cordell, these things were going to kill us. Suck us dry."
"I find it hard to believe that vampires really exist Joe. And that there's a secret government agency called Section Seven, hunting them down." C.D. tells him.
"Believe it C.D., these things were killing us every night. The only reason I'm not dead was because they liked to beat me up. Especially their leader, a piece of shit named Archer. He bragged to me that he had shot a Texas Ranger named John Swenson in the back. The only Ranger named Swenson that I could find, died in 1867, saving a family from a band of Mexican bandits."
"Yeah, I remember reading about Swenson, he used to carry a sword with him all of the time. Never told anyone why, either." Walker comments, just as Alex Cahill walks in.
"Hi Joe, are you feeling better?"
"Just seeing you makes me feel better Alex."
Alex blushes at the compliment as she hands over a package to Walker. "Cordell, Governor Bush wants you to review this file."
"What's in it Alex?"
"It's a pardon application for a Carson Jamieson. What can you tell me about him?"
"They're pardoning Cherokee? Why?" Walker asks.
"Carson Jamieson was to have received the Medal of Honor, but some CIA big shot put a stop to it. Now that he's no longer there, Carson's friends are asking that it be awarded. But it won't be if the murder charges remain. Governor Bush said that if you approve it, he'll issue the pardon. No questions asked."
Walker looks at his old partner C.D. as he replies. "Cordell, I have no problem with it. As far as I'm concerned what he did wasn't murder, it was justice."
"I agree C.D. Alex, where's the paper that needs to be signed?"
"On top. Aren't you going to even look at his file?"
"No, I knew Cherokee and he was a good man. He deserves this."
"You mind if I look at his file, Cordell? I'm curious."
"No, go right ahead, Jimmy." Walker hands him the file, after he signs the pardon.
A few minutes later Jimmy whistles in disbelief. "Walker, this guy was incredible. Did you know he had two silver and three bronze stars? And the Victoria Cross? How does a US soldier earn a Victoria Cross?"
"Simple Jimmy, by being in the right place at the right time and was willing to risk his life for his comrades. After he left the Army, C.D. and I tried to get him to join the Rangers, but he wasn't interested. He wanted to start a family and being a Ranger would have worried his wife too much. He used to run a private detective agency in Dallas, specializing in missing kids. He was the best man tracker I ever knew."
"Then why is he wanted for six counts of murder?" Jimmy asks.
"His wife was kidnaped, gang raped and then murdered by six men. C.D. and I tracked them down and brought them to justice. But when the trial came up, the gang's lawyer, bribed the police evidence clerk and he screwed up the evidence. The judge was forced to let them go. A week later, Cherokee killed all six of them, then he left Texas. C.D. and I were ordered to track him down, but other things kept getting in the way."
"Other things?" Alex asks, with a smile on her face.
"Yeah, other things. The next time we heard of Cherokee was when he died saving a group of children from a maniac with an AK-47 in Dearborn, Michigan. I contacted the police in Dearborn and asked for his body. I wanted to bury him next to his wife, but someone stole it from the morgue. The police didn't care, he was already dead. Finally, I had to put a stone next to hers."
The room is quiet, as Cordell finishes the story. Joe has a tear in his eye as gruffly comments. "That man deserved better Cordell. His body shouldn't have been stolen like that. Did they ever find it?"
"No, they never did."
"Damn." Joe replies, then turns to Trivette. "Jimmy is there a picture of Jamieson in that file?"
"Sure is. Here you go Joe." And Jimmy hands over the photograph.
Joe looks it over for a minute and then starts to laugh.
"Joe, what's wrong?" A worried C.D. asks.
As he stops laughing, Joe looks at Cordell and tells him. "I know where Jamieson's body is Cordell." Then he laughs again.
"What are talking about Joe? How would you know where Cherokee is buried?" Walker asks.
"Simple, he's not buried. He's still alive. This man, Jamieson, was one of the leaders of Section Seven. I saw him myself. He looked just like this photo, maybe a little older."
Walker thinks for a moment, then asks Alex. "Alex, if Cherokee turns up alive, will the pardon hold?"
"Yes it will, there are no conditions."
"Alex, can I ask you a favor?"
"What is it Walker? Nothing illegal I hope?"
"Just that you never heard Joe say that Cherokee was still alive."
Alex looks over at C.D. and he quietly nods his head in agreement. "All right, but you owe me a night on the town."
"For you Alex, anytime."
"What are you going to do if Jamieson turns up?"
"Nothing, he deserves whatever life he's built for himself. And from Joe's description, he's doing a lot of good. So I have no problems."
Section One Headquarters
An Unknown Location
The head of Section One, the man known only as Operations, is pacing back and forth in the conference room. His best team has just reported in on their attempts to locate the rogue agency called Section Seven. For the past four days they have turned over every stone and secret that they could, but found nothing. He leans down the table and hisses. "You are my best, and you couldn't find anything? These people steal a classified satellite and fire a laser into the Hollywood Hills, completely destroying someone's estate. And still you find nothing?" The words lash his operatives, Michael, Nikita, Birkhoff and Madeline.
"We found this." Nikita hands over a file filled with photographs.
Operations picks up the file and goes through it. With every photo, his face gets whiter. Finally, he puts the folder down and he takes a deep breathe. He turns to Nikita and asks. "What slice of Hell did you get those photos from?"
"From the woods around the house. According to the police, the residents of the house did all of that. They think the house was blown up with a rocket, not the laser." Nikita explains. "Also, there were five other raids done by LAPD SWAT, SFPD SIU, FBI, NSA, Navy SEALs and an unknown agency, probably Section Seven, that same night and the following night. The five folders in front are copies of the crime scene photos from each site. There were a huge number of bodies found in each location. According to information gathered from various sources, these groups, entered and killed all of the so-called vampire cult members, rescued 163 hostages and left each scene without rousing the neighbors or the press."
Operations picks up the folders and goes through them. As he completes them, his mouth is set in a grim line. He sits back in his chair and asks. "How many dead?"
"According to the police reports, 797 dead." Nikita confirms.
"Any suggestions." Operations asks.
"Leave them alone, they're obviously doing a job similar to ours. I don't think we want to get ourselves into a shooting war with these people." Nikita comments
"I agree with Nikita." Michael replies.
"Same here." Birkhoff replies.
"I abstain." Madeline states neutrally.
"Well, since this isn't a democracy, I say we find them and have a little talk with Section Seven's leaders." Operations orders, then adds with a grin. "Just to sort out where we all stand."
"But Sir, they don't exist anywhere. How the hell are we supposed to find them? No one knows anything." Michael replies.
"I tried to track the source of that e-mail that was sent to the NRO and I located where it came from." Birkhoff comments with a grin.
Operations smiles. "Finally some good news. Drag the bastard in and we'll let Madeline have him."
"No can do Sir. He is beyond our ability to acquire." Michael replies giving Birkhoff a glare.
Operations fumes as he icily asks. "And who is this individual that is beyond our abilities?"
"The President. The e-mail originated in his oval office machine." Michael replies with a hint of amusement.
Operations leans back in his chair, shocked. "Birkhoff, how could this happen? Couldn't you back track it any further?"
"Yes Sir, I did. It originated from the V.P.'s office and then I tracked it back to the Speaker's office, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all of them. Need I go further, Sir?"
"Damn, who the hell are these people?" Operations mutters.
"Obviously, someone very good." Nikita replies.
"Well, I want them found." Operations orders.
"And when we do find them?" Michael asks.
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it." Operations replies with an evil smile.
The portal shimmers and solidifies. A serpent shaped like a man walks out of it and looks around. The area is to it's liking. Hot and humid. It walks around and senses a demon near by. It goes to see what form of demon is present on this world and if it could be used to help bring the Green Lady back. The serpent priest watches as the demon, in a human form, pounces on an unsuspecting human and drains it dry, leaving only a dead body in it's place.
The snake priest decides to bring this demon back to it's home world and use it's particular talents in it's cause. The death and destruction of the Kingdom of the Isles. The serpent priest walks up to the demon and casts a spell on it. The vampire stares at the serpent priest as it leads him back to the rift and leads him into it. The rift then closes up behind them.