20 Passenger Cessna
minutes out of
“No kidding,” Andrea drawled. “I don’t think I’d like to have that kind of early warning system. But, hey it works for them.”
the laughter died down,
“Do we have any idea how many vampires we’re up against?” Ryan asked
really, but we do know there are three Master Vampires.
One of them is Angelus; you all should remember him from our first trip
to Sunnydale. He is more dangerous
than the others only because he knows most of the Sunnydale group,”
and gentlemen, we are on our final approach,” the pilot announced at the end of
minutes later, as the plane finished taxing up to the Iverson terminal,
have any instructions for us, sir?” the pilot asked as he and his co-pilot stood
know what to tell you,”
“Thank you, sir,” the pilot said and left the plane with the co-pilot in tow.
“Hey, Duncan,” Richie called up from the tarmac. “We get to use military hummers. This one even has a mount for a machine gun or something.”
“It’s not,” Justin said with a laugh. “It’s in a box in the back.”
mount up and move out,”
“Here’s a map to where we are going,” Amanda said as she looked at a map which she got from the glove department.
“Lead on, fair lady.”
stood next to the main doors of the barn as she watched the activity which took
place inside. Again she was
impressed by the way everyone moved, as if they had a job or functions to
perform and did it without anyone really controlling them.
Buffy and Steve stood over
“Wish him luck and let him know who the closest specialists in that area are,” St. Wolf said without taking his own eyes off the screen showing the sewer systems. “Also, please remind him to keep us informed.”
“Thanks,” Steve said as he made some notes while Casca pointed out yet another path they could take.
“Miss Scully,” Faith asked as she walked over to where the FBI couple talked silently while they cleaned their weapons and looked over the map and notes that St. Wolf had given them. “You guys know that the best time to get these bastards is to strike now while the sun is out right?”
“Yes,” Scully replied with a smile as she turned toward Faith. “But the best way for all of us to come out alive is to have the proper back up.”
“See, that’s something I still don’t get,” Faith said as she looked around the room. “All these people are going to be part of the raid, which means that all these people might get hurt. I mean we already know the fang boys and gals have guns and vests. Even though they’re idiots even their worst shooters are going to hit someone. So it stands to reason only a few should enter the building.”
“Most of the people here are going to be perimeter guards; they will be sort of a blocking force just in case the vampires somehow get past us,” Mulder replied. “Only the core of Section Seven will enter the building.”
“How many core members are there here?”
“Right now there are only sixteen, but we expect at least eight more before too long. Once they get here we will go,” Dana explained.
“Only sixteen?” Faith asked as she took another scan of the room. “There are over sixty people in this room and I know for a fact most of them can fight.”
“They all can fight, Faith,” Dana said with a smile. “But there are sixteen individuals in this barn that, shall we say, have a huge advantage over the vampires. It is because of this advantage that they will be the ones who go head to head while the others stay back and work perimeter guard.”
“What advantage do they have?”
“They are masters with swords,” Dana said. “Swords have, in the past, given us a huge advantage over the vampires. Swords are a precise weapon, especially when there are innocents present, like what happened in the sewer today. If we went in there blasting with guns the girls might have been hurt. With swords we were able to eliminate collateral damage.”
“So when we do go in to fight I will be there right?” Faith asked.
“Of course,” Mulder said. “Faith please understand we are not here to replace Slayers. We just want to make sure that the girls who are Chosen have a choice and have the support they need to live fuller and longer lives.”
“Tell me something,” Faith asked her eyes locked on Dana’s. “Did you count me, B or K in that sixteen?”
“Buffy was counted but not you or Kendra.” Dana replied honestly.
“Why just B?” She asked indignantly. “I’m just as good as she is, so is K for that matter.”
“No one is down playing our abilities Faith,” Kendra said as she moved up next to her sister. “Buffy just has an advantage over us.”
“What kind of advantage?” Faith asked again.
“I wish I could tell you, Faith,” Kendra said as she looked to Mulder and Dana for guidance. “You will just have to trust me for a while.”
“That’s something I haven’t had a lot of practice in, K” Faith replied coldly. “What I have had a lot of practice in is slaying vamps, you dig? Unless you can give me one damn good reason why I can’t, I’ll be on the front lines doing my job!”
“Who said anything different, Faith? And the same goes for Kendra, right?” Buffy noted while she gave the hairy eyeball to both Mulder and Scully, causing both Immortals to gulp. Then like the sun coming out from behind a cloud, Buffy’s face brightened. “Hey, Dana, Frank is coming up the drive with Cassandra! Why don’t you guys go and greet them?”
“Bout time they got here,” Dana murmured as she and her husband hurried away from the three dangerous women and headed for the door.
“Who’s Frank?” Faith asked as she watched an excited Dana rush off when his name was mentioned. “Does Mulder know about him?”
is Dana’s cousin. They didn’t get
to see much of each other over the past decade or so.” Buffy said.
“Hey, Kendra, the
“That would be acceptable, Buffy,” Kendra said. “Will Richard Ryan be with them?”
“You should go easy on him, Kendra. Most men aren’t up to handling a slayer. If you’re not careful, you’re going to break that boy,” Buffy teased. She remembered the last two or three times the pair had met. “I swear if I didn’t know better, I’d say he’s worse around you than Frohike is around Dana!”
“That is not why I wish to see him,” Kendra said haughtily. “He told me in his last email that he has met someone; I just wish to find out more about her.”
“Are all the guys in your army taken?” Faith asked as she looked around for someone closer to their age. “Because after a hot and heavy battle, I might be up for letting someone here rob the cradle and I don’t want to be accused of stealing anyone’s man since I’d probably have to go and kick someone’s ass.”
“Faith, you being jailbait would be a given for most of the studmuffins around here,” Buffy noted wryly.
Faith was just about to ask Buffy what she’d meant by that when two men and a woman walked in the door. The first man was dressed like an executive but walked like anything but. He had brown hair and dark eyes. Faith figured he was about thirty. The second was slightly older with long light brown hair pulled back in a tight ponytail. ‘Viking’ sprang to her mind as she studied this man. The sole woman of the group was tall and looked to be in her early thirties with long dark hair which haloed her face.
“Who are they?” Faith asked as the two men move toward St. Wolf and the guy with the ponytail pulled him in to give him a hug. “Hey, B, you might have some competition for your man.”
“That’s Conner Macleod of the Clan Macleod; he’s the Highlander,” Kendra said
“He always carries such a big sword?” Faith asked.
“Besides Sonja and Gabrielle, he is probably the best swordsman here,” Buffy whispered. “He was one of Steve’s teachers.”
“Well, he’s a hottie,” Faith noted with a lascivious smile. “The other guy ain’t too bad, either.”
“That’s Frank,” Buffy said. “He’s Steve’s business partner and he works with Steve in the other organizations they serve.”
“Organizations…what other organizations, B?”
“Actually, there are too many to name,” Buffy said after a moment. “But let’s just say that they do a lot of work for the government.”
“You know, you aren’t really scoring points in the trust department, B,” Faith said as she tapped her foot.
“I promise you will know everything after this problem is taken care of,” Buffy said.
“I’ll hold you to that,” Faith said as she followed Buffy to where St. Wolf talked to the newcomers.
“Conner, thanks for coming,” St. Wolf said after he was released from the other man’s bear hug.
“Didn’t have much of a choice,” Conner groused as he glanced at Frank. “Some guys still like to shanghai people when they’re not looking.”
Faith didn’t understand why the words brought a laugh from the other two men but none of them seemed too upset about them.
“Hey, guys,” Buffy said as she stepped up into the circle. “This is Faith. She’s like Kendra and me. Faith, this is Conner Macleod, Frank Iverson, and Cassandra Hastings.”
“Hey,” Faith greeted the two men before she turned to the woman. “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”
“You’ve probably seen my picture on the jacket of one of my books,” the tall, dark-haired beauty said with a smile.
“I wouldn’t bet on it, babe. I don’t read much,” Faith said as she shook her head.
“You don’t?” Cassandra asked.
“No time for it,” Faith said. “But it’s nice meeting you.”
“And you,” Cassandra offered warmly before she turned back to St. Wolf.
“Steve, the other group is right on our tail,” Frank said. “What’s the plan?”
a target not far from here,” St. Wolf explained as he rolled out the map of the
area and placed a pin on
“Who is feeding you the Intel?” Conner asked.
“How the hell did you get him here?” Frank asked.
“He came in on a midnight flight,” St. Wolf said. “Then Stalker and Ali picked him up.”
“Stalker’s here?” Conner asked as he looked around the room. “I haven’t seen him since LA.”
“How’s Ali?” Cassandra asked, the concern easily heard in her voice, which drew a puzzled glance from Faith.
“What’s wrong with Ali?” Faith asked Buffy lowly so only her fellow Slayers could hear. “That woman kicked ass in the warehouse; she don’t sound like she should be treated like a lily of the field.”
“Long story,” Buffy murmured just as low. “I’ll tell you later.”
“Just tell me she’s not dying, okay?”
“No nothing like that. Later, I promise.”
“That’s good. I kind of like her…you know.”
“Hello, Conner,” Ali greeted as she kissed the elder Immortal on the cheek. “How are you?”
“Hello, young lady,” Conner replied neutrally before he took a good look at her. His eyes brightened with recognition before he pulled the girl into a hug. “Ali, is that really you?”
“I get that a lot, don’t I, hun?” Ali said to Stalker as she stepped away from Conner after the hug.
“Yeah, and you seem to get felt up a lot during those hugs, too!” Stalker growled playfully.
“I will lead that team,” Conner volunteered. “Who’s here that will go with me?”
“We might as well go,” Stalker said as he placed his arm around Ali. “I can use the rest.”
“It might get hairy down there,” St. Wolf warned as he smiled at Stalker.
“Next thing you’ll tell me is to avoid the alligators down in the sewers,” Stalker joked.
“Mind if I go with you?” Faith asked. “I can help out down there.”
“Thank you, Faith.” St. Wolf said as he looked at her. “I would have assigned a Slayer to them but with you volunteering, it makes my life a whole lot easier.”
“No sweat, Rambo,” Faith drawled.
“Cassandra and I will go down there with them,” Frank said as he moved over to where Conner stood.
“I’ll go,” Perry said as he moved up to the group. “Do you expect them to have more hostages?”
“I don’t know,” St. Wolf said before he looked around. “Glam, Gus, Teacher will you join Conner’s group, please?”
“Sure” Teacher replied as the three men moved forward.
“We will leave now; this way we’ll be in place before you begin the main assault.”
“She’ll be alright,” Buffy said as she and Kendra watched Faith drive away with Conner’s team.
“Yes, I believe she will succeed,” Kendra agreed. “However, I am uncomfortable with failing to disclose all of the information regarding Section Seven from her.”
“I feel the same, Kendra,” Buffy whispered. “But we still don’t know where her loyalities lie and we can’t afford for the Council to find out about Immortals and that I’m a member of the club.”
As Wyndom-Pryce approached the two senior Slayers, the girls became guarded and instantly terminated their prior conversation. “Slayer Summers, Slayer McPherson, I’m concerned about Faith being assigned with those strangers. They might get in her way and cause her to be harmed.”
“Would you have her attack all of those vampires alone?” Kendra asked with barely disguised contempt.
“It’s always been done that way for a reason.” Wesley said as Rupert and Jenny joined the conversation. “Regardless of the leeway Watcher Giles has given both you and Buffy, deviating from normal procedures is unwise considering how the Council has more experience in these manners than any organization.”
“You are correct,” Kendra said. “The Council has years of experience of sending Slayers to their deaths. I sincerely hope Watcher Giles never obtains that kind of experience.”
“Kendra, that is quite unfair. The Council and its members do not wish to see the Slayers die!”
“Oh, do shut up Wyndom-Pryce,” Giles snapped as he started to go Ripper on the younger man. However, he was stopped by Kendra who gently placed her hand out toward his chest in a restraining motion.
Her voice was colder than Buffy could ever remember it being when she said, “Watcher Wyndom-Pryce, you are either a very stupid man or quite ill-informed. Please do not tell me that the Council does not wish to see the Slayers die. Did you know that my watcher tried to kill me while I was in my hospital bed recovering from my injuries against the forces of evil? If it had not been for Watcher Giles and my sister Slayer, he would have killed me so another Slayer could be Chosen to take my place.”
“I-I find that hard to believe,” Wesley sputtered before he chanced a glance at Giles who looked like he was going thermonuclear. “Who told you that?”
“Merely the people who happened to be present at the time,” Kendra replied bluntly. “And do not try to feign innocence, sir. Were you not with the group who came to Sunnydale when Mr. Travers was turned into a duck by Merlin?”
“Yes, I traveled with Mr. Travers but I didn’t know about the attempt on your life,” Wesley said, his voice filled with emotion. “I was told we went to Sunnydale to see what damage Watcher Giles had done to our organization.”
“Do you really believe that?” Buffy asked as she glared at Wesley. “Even when Travers threatened Giles and my life, do you honestly believe you were still there on a peaceful mission?”
“He was not speaking for…” Wesley started but was cut it short when he noticed Giles’ eyes narrow dangerously at him.
“He was speaking for enough of you when he came back with a Council team and tried to kill both Buffy and Kendra, you bloody pillock!” Giles roared as he moved closer to Wesley. “Then the Council created stories about Buffy, Kendra and me to keep Faith in line? Were you so incredibly stupid to believe that we would never find out about her?”
“That decision was made before the incident in Sunnydale.”
“Are you talking about the incident where your organization sent over fifty men to kill us?” Buffy said in a dangerous voice. “Wesley, for your own safety, you’d better get on a plane tonight and go home while you still can.”
“What do you mean by that?” Wesley gulped as he saw both Kendra and Buffy advance on him.
“She means that if you continue to stand here and insult our intelligence, either she or I will beat the hell out of you,” Kendra explained in a calm and sociopathic voice. Then before the man could even attempt to flee from the two angry Slayers, the Chosen Two turned as one and stalked off.
“Mr. Giles,” Wesley argued, “please think of what’s best for them rather than yourself, sir. You simply cannot allow them to secede from the Council.”
“Why not?” Giles replied as the two girls stormed off. “I believe the Council seceded from them first.”
Buffy smiled to herself as she heard via her slayer hearing Giles’ closing argument. Now more than ever she realized just how different Giles was and she knew without a doubt that he’d protect both Kendra and her with his dying breath. As they got closer to Steve, Buffy noticed Scully, Mulder and another man and woman had cornered him away from the table. As she moved closer she wondered who these other two were as she was not introduced to them earlier.
“Both Agent Mulder and Agent Scully have informed me that you know what you’re doing,” the dark-haired, pock-marked faced man said. “That being so, I will allow you to carry on as you see fit. But the first time I see you get out of line, the first time I see an innocent in unnecessary jeopardy because of you, I’ll throw you in jail so fast your head will spin. Is that clear?”
“Who’s this?” Buffy asked as she and Kendra came to a halt behind St. Wolf.
“Buffy, Kendra, allow me to introduce Special Agent in charge Bailey and his Profiler Special Agent Sam Waters,” Scully said.
“Another Daniels?” Buffy asked lowly as she sized up SAC Bailey.
Agent Bailey is nothing like Daniels,” Mulder whispered, knowing that both she
and Kendra could hear him. “He has
given us support since we arrived in
“I think a better question, young lady, is who in the hell are you?” Bailey asked as he stared at the two teenage girls. Then he looked around at the massive weapon display and the other teenagers and blew his top. “St. Wolf, who in the hell are you people and why do you have so many teenagers with you?”
“Agent Bailey,” Mulder said, “These people are the best chance we have against the vampires. Believe me when I say that these kids have more experience fighting vampires than anyone.”
“They’re children!” Bailey snapped as he turned his fury on Mulder. “They should be in school not here facing these horrors!”
“Special Agent Bailey,” Buffy sighed as she stepped up to SAC. “Agent Mulder did not bring us into this fight; we brought him in. I’ve been fighting these things for three years; my friends have been fighting them for two. We’ve saved the world three times before we even met Agents Mulder and Scully. Trust me, none of us would give up what we do for anything, we can’t because the world couldn’t afford it for us to do so.”
“But you’re just kids!”
“What would you have us do?” Xander asked as he moved up beside Buffy. “Turn our backs when we know what’s out there? Sorry, not going to happen! We’ve seen what these things do, we’ve all lost friends because of them and we have a friend who’s out there everynight fighting them. Tell me would you, after knowing what these things do, allow one of your agents go into a fight with them without back up?”
“No, but you’re still kids and shouldn’t be exposed to this crap.”
Cordelia huffed, sighed and rolled her eyes in disgust. “Oh, please! I am SO tired of repeating this same conversation every time we meet somebody. Let me make it simple for you, old guy! We don’t have time for your trauma about our age, all right? This is a fight for humanity, which the last time I checked, included us!”
As Bailey stood there, stunned by the ass-chewing he’d just been served by the young and beautiful brunette, Sam stepped in and said, “Agent Bailey, I’ve been talking to these kids and I can honestly say they all know what they’re doing. They know and they excel at it.”
“I still will hold you personally responsible for anything that happens, St. Wolf. So if you have any doubts at all, let’s get it all on the table.”
“We’ll do the best we can,” St. Wolf said as four more Hummers rumbled up the drive. “This is the rest of our team. We will be leaving here within the hour. I’ll keep you informed.”
“Damn it!” Kikistos screamed when he was informed about the debacle in the sewers. “There are three Slayers? We’ve got three of those bitches to worry about? How in Satan’s name is this possible?”
“I don’t know,” the Vampire Cleric admitted. “But we have to eliminate them if we are to survive.”
“Well, buddy, that’s the understatement of the century,” Angelus said. “What are you going to suggest next, that it’s a good idea if we whack Buffy’s new boy toy?”
“Look, Angelus,” the cleric sneered, “if you weren’t so busy trying to enjoy yourself by killing her friends, you could have simply killed her and have been done with it! So do not attempt to make light of me, you arrogant cur!”
The Irish vampire snarled at the other vampire but chose not to launch an attack for the moment. “All right, pal, you’ve told me things we already know,” Angelus said as he glared at the dark cleric. “Now tell me how we’re going to do those bitches.”
“I might be able to help you with that,” Alistair King, the black sorcerer, said as he entered the room.
“What do you want?” Kikistos asked as he turned to the sorcerer. “By the way, wizard, your vests didn’t work.”
“They worked for what they were designed to handle, Kikistos. I cannot help that your opponents happen to use weapons that negate the effect of the vests. Clearly, what I desire is obviously more than your minions are capable of handling. However, even though you are incapable of killing the Wanderer, you could still weaken him by taking his little bitch. To this end, I will help you.”
“Why?” Angelus asked as he eyed the two vampire concubines that accompanied the sorcerer and liked what he saw. “What’s in it for us? Give us one good reason why we should stay and deal with Buffy’s freaking army?”
“All right, vampire, how is this for a good reason?
If your cleric performs the sacrilegious rites using the blood of THREE
Slayers, Kikistos, Trick, and you will be transformed into Demons of the
Angelus’ eyes opened wide at that. “Whoa! That’s not a good reason, that’s a damn good reason!” Then he clapped his hands and barked, “Okay, Sparky, count me in!”
King smiled wickedly at the vampire. “You need only to isolate them one at a time. I shall do the rest.”
“How shall we isolate those wenches, wizard? Didn’t you just hear what had happened in the sewers? Our minions were destroyed by people who knew how to fight us!” Kikistos snapped.
“Must I take you by the hand and walk you through this, you simpleton?” Alistair snapped as he glared at the vampires. “All you need to do is locate the Slayers, send your minions to attack those who accompany the little darlings then call upon me. I will take care of the wenches.”
“Angelus, contact Trick. If the Slayers have entered the sewers, he may be in trouble,” Kikistos ordered as he glared at King. “Mark my words, sorcerer, if you fail me this time, your death will be very, very slow and painful.”
“You would do well to not threaten me, vampire. I am a Black Mage. My power is as far beyond you as a human is to an ant! I will perform my part of the bargain. Just make certain that it is not you who fails ME!”
“It shall be done,” Kikistos remarked. Then he looked at Angelus. “Go get those bitches.”
Faith jumped in to the lead Hummer with Conner and had just fastened her seatbelt when the Highlander said, “You were quick to join this mission, Faith.”
“Yeah, well Dana said there were sixteen more professionals on the way. If I stayed at the barn, I probably wouldn’t have been allowed to fight,” Faith said with a sly smile. “This way I only have nine of you yahoos to deal with so I’m betting I’ll be able to get in some wicked slayage.”
“You seem to enjoy your calling,” the guy called Teacher said from the back seat.
“Well, it beats slinging burgers,” Faith quipped as she leaned back in her seat and plopped her boots on the dashboard. “What’s not to like? I get super strength and can kick ass and not bother taking names.”
you do have a different attitude than either Buffy or Kendra about the whole
“What are you a shrink or something?” Faith snapped while she glanced at him in the rear view mirror. “Look, there’s no reason to try to get into my head, slick ‘cause I ain’t a complicated girl. I was Chosen to slay vampires. Vampires are bad, so I waste as many of them as I can. I was told I couldn’t tell anyone about my abilities or have any help kicking vampire ass, so I didn’t ask for any. But I have to say; if I knew I could have this much help by asking, I would have done it a long time ago. If I had then maybe Linda would be alive today.”
“Don’t go there,” Conner said. “From what I’ve heard you did everything you could have done, Faith. What happened to Linda wasn’t your fault.”
She simply stared out of the windshield and said quietly, “I should’ve tried harder.”
“Weren’t you at the warehouse that Ali and Stalker attacked the other night right?” Gus asked.
“Yeah, they saved my ass.”
“How much harder could you have tried?” Gus asked. “Ali told me that they took out over thirty vampires in that warehouse. If they all weren’t concentrating on you, Ali said they might not have made it out of there.”
“Stalker told me the same thing,” Conner offered.
“No shit? Thanks, fellas,” Faith whispered as she leaned back in her seat.
Several minutes later, Conner said, “This is it,” and parked the Hummer at the curb. “According to the map, the house is on the next block over. There should be a manhole cover around here somewhere.”
As the team dismounted, Faith spied the manhole cover. “Here’s one,” Faith said as she moved over to the sidewalk near a drainage colvart.
“Good eye, Faith. Let’s get going,” Conner said as he wedged the manhole cover open.
“I should have my head examined for volunteering for this,” Faith grumbled as she climbed down into the darkness below. “Vamp ain’t the only things we have to worry about down there.”
“What do you mean?” Ali asked as she and Stalker joined her at the bottom of the ladder.
“Haven’t you ever seen the movie, ‘Alligator’?” Faith asked, her doe eyes scanning every dark corner.
“Don’t worry, Faith, I’ll protect you.”
“Actually, pal, I was more worried about who’s going to look after your tight ass,” Faith quipped as she strode behind him into the Stygian gloom.
watched as the
“He’s already on a mission,” St. Wolf said as he started drawing on the map again. “He and seven others went down to secure the sewers. This is the house we’re going to attack. I want you to lead your group and come up from the south. When you get to this street, split your forces and take the South and West sides of the house. Buffy will take the East side and I will take the North. ”
many vamps do you think we’re going up against?”
“We know the target has three Masters. Take it as gospel that each Master can call at least a hundred vampires to their side, a fair amount.”
not just whistling Dixie,
we’re picking teams, I want Amy, Steve.”
“Amy didn’t come with us.” Steve said. “However, Toby’s team has a witch. You can take her. They also have a pretty powerful cleric, too.”
“Guess that’ll work. Where are they?”
“Toby, bring Miss Winningstar and Patty with you,” St. Wolf said.
Moments later, Toby arrived with the two women at his side along with Michael.
“Toby, this is Duncan Macleod of the Clan Macleod,” St. Wolf said. “I would like you, Miss Winningstar and Patty to go with his group for this raid. You can take anyone else you’d like along with you.”
“Can I ask why us three?”
a reasonable question, Toby”
“What do you mean by that?” Michael asked before Toby could.
right, everyone want to give me your attention?” St. Wolf said as he raised his
voice. “We are going to attack the
“What about your pet vampire?” Michael asked, the contempt could easily be heard in his voice.
“Don’t worry about Charlie; he won’t be there,” St. Wolf said as he shot a hard look at the man.
else is assigned to my group?”
“Your group will be augmented with Dana, Mulder, Kendra, Toby, Patty, Miss Winningstar, Xander, Cordelia and half of what’s left of the Atlanta group,” St. Wolf said as he scanned the room. “I’ll take the rest.”
“That sounds reasonable,” Mulder said. “You sure you want to split up your team?”
“Yes,” St. Wolf said and added, “Xander and Cordelia are a great combat team. In fact, I wish I had thought about sending them with Conner.”
“Are you talking about the same Cordelia and Xander that I know?” Casca asked as he shot an sideways glance at Xander.
it or not, those two might act like the class clown and the prom queen but put
them in a combat situation and they
both have ice water in their veins and rack up high kill rates” St. Wolf
explained to the Immortal Roman. “I
would gladly have them back me up in any situation.”
Then after synchronizing everyone’s watches,
followed closely behind Teacher as they moved through the sewers on their way to
“Shit,” Faith whispered as she winced and grabbed at her side. “We’ve got company, people! There’re too many to distinguish. They’re about two hundred yards behind us.”
“Let them come to us,” Conner said as he, Frank and Gus crossed the tunnel to hide. “Let’s see where they’re going.”
“They sure are making a lot of noise,” Perry muttered behind Faith. “It sounds like they have some hostages with them.”
“Yeah, it does sound like a lot of them,” Faith confirmed, her Slayer hearing easily detecting the muffled cries of frightened young women. “Hey, Fearless Leader, the fang gang’s got hostages.”
“Spread out, get the vampires,” Conner said in a low voice. “The stench in this place should throw their sense of smell off enough for us to get in a first strike, so make it count.”
Faith sensed more than saw the group split up as she concentrated on the vampires that rapidly approached them. As about half of them passed her she reached into her pocket and drew out a stake. She was just about to pounce when she heard Conner ahead of her ask someone if they knew where the Outback Steak House was.
There was silence for about five seconds after his words then all hell broke loose. She heard Teacher huff as he swung his sword. Further down the way, she heard two puffs from a silenced pistol. Then she attacked the closest vampire, staking him without a sound. As she turned to see what was happening, she noticed that the girls had broken and stampeded their way out of the area. She then spied Conner in a fight with two vampires and was about to race toward him to help.
“Slayer,” someone hissed from behind. Faith whirled to deal with the threat only to find she was enveloped in a purple mist. Then she heard a soothing voice say, “Come daughter, this is just a dream. You are safe, come with me.”
Faith smiled and her vision blurred for a moment. Suddenly, her eyes were able to focus again and she found herself in a house where a woman was calling to her using soothing baby-talk which only caused Faith to giggle more. Then she dutifully followed the woman out of the room and accepted a baby bottle before she was placed in a crib to go to sleep.
“Conner!” Amanda screamed as she dispatched a vampire and saw Conner go down under three vampires. “I’m coming.”
“Amanda, watch your six!” Frank yelled as he shot another vampire in the back who was about to strike the Immortal thief.
“We’ve got them on the run!” Gus called as the two vampires who had him tied up turned and ran. “Do we follow?”
“NO!” Frank roared. “Cassie, send our playmates a parting gift!”
“No problem, sweetie,” Cassandra cooed. Then she conjured up a large fireball and hurled it down the tunnel. Moments later, she grinned when she heard no less than the screams of three vampires being vanquished.
“How’s Conner?” Frank asked as he started toward him.
“He’ll be okay,” Amanda said from where she knelt beside the fallen Highlander. “How’s everyone else?”
“Oh shit!” Teacher yelled as he frantically glanced at the different passages. “Faith! Where in God’s name is Faith?”
“What?” Frank said as he glared at Teacher. “What in the hell happened to her?”
“I don’t know! She was standing right next to me then she was gone.”
“Amanda and Gus stay with Conner,” Frank ordered. “The rest of you split up into two teams. I don’t care if you have to turn over every rock in a three block radius or look in every nook and cranny, just find her!”
“I told her I would protect her,” Teacher murmured hollowly as he started down a passage with Perry and Glam in tow. “I swear to God that whoever took our little spitfire is going to die ugly once I get my hands on him!”
Cassandra whispered. “She’s not
here. There was a spell cast that
has distorted the space time continuum in this area.
I fear she is no longer in our dimension, or if she is, she’s nowhere
“Goddammit! So tell me, Cass,” he pleaded to his Immortal lover, “how in the hell am I going to tell Buffy and Kendra that we’ve lost their little Slayer sis, huh? Fuck!” Frank cursed and buried his face in his hands while he imagined the pained looks he’d see on the other two Slayers’ faces. Moments later, he pulled himself together and began to snap out orders. “Cass, call the search parties back. Amanda and Gus, get Conner back on his feet. Prepare to move out and proceed to target. There’s nothing we can do here and Steve expects us to be in position under that house. By God, we’re not going to disappoint him!”
“What about Faith?” Teacher asked after the search teams had returned and Frank had told them of his decision.
“She’s not here,” Frank said. “Someone or some…thing probably teleported her away while we were busy dicking around with the vamps.”
“Something’s wrong,” she murmured lowly. She had been creeping through the foliage which separated Pine from Fir Street with Duncan and Patty following her trail closely behind her. In the meantime, Cordelia and Xander had gone with Mulder to provide his team more firepower. As she had cleared the foliage, the house stood before her, forlorn as its large windows looked like eyes while the door resembled a nose of a face. She sniffed the air and detected a faint but horribly familiar stench.
To her left, she saw both Mulder and Xander as they sneaked toward the house when everything clicked into place for her. “Mulder! Xander!” she screamed, causing the two men to dive for the ground. “Retreat! The vampires are no longer here! I believe something is wrong!”
She watched the men start to move back before she glanced at the rest of the group. “Everyone halt! I believe they have set a trap.”
“How do you know?” Patty asked as she stared at the house. “I don’t see anything.”
“That’s right, you don’t,” Kendra noted as she pulled out her cell phone. “The windows are clear of any obstructions and the door is not barred. Furthermore, one of the upstairs windows is open.”
“So?” Patty asked.
“If vampires were actually here, those windows would have to be boarded up or heavily draped at the very least. Even the door would be barred; vampires would have turned the place into a cave.”
“But this is the house that Charlie told us about,” Duncan said.
“Then he was misled or provided with false information. Call the others back; I have a very bad feeling about this.”
“Okay,” Duncan said.
Kendra then dialed St. Wolf and said, “Steven, this is Kendra. There are no vampires in this house. There is a faint odor which smells like death. I would suggest you stop advancing on the house for now. I shall investigate.”
“Kendra,” he said, “don’t enter the house without proper back up. Take someone with you and secure the back door. Buffy and I will do the same for the front.”
“As you wish,” Kendra said as she hung up the phone. She pulled out a large bandana from her back pocket and started to fold it into a mask before she turned her attention to Duncan. “Please find something to cover your nose and mouth; we are going to investigate what has happened in the house.”
“Why the mask?” Duncan asked as they started toward the house but quickly took out his own handkerchief when he detected the odor. “They must have left a lot of bodies.”
“That surprises me. From what I understand, they must have lost over a hundred vampires in the past four or five days. With three masters in the area that is just about a third of their forces. Why would they not add some of the dead to their numbers?”
“Are you saying that some of those bodies inside could have been turned into vampires?”
“Yes,” Kendra said simply. “I will know more after we enter the house.”
“Alright, let’s move in,” Duncan said as Dana and Mulder joined them on the porch.
“Stay alert. If the bodies have been turned, they will awaken at any time,” Kendra said as she stepped cautiously through the door. She spied a pile of bodies that lay in a doorway across from them. Even from this distance she could see where some of the bodies had been fed upon by rats and other insects. A swarm of flies took off as she pushed the door open the rest of the way.
“In here,” Kendra called as she entered the last room on the right where eight bodies lay side by side. “These are some of them. See how the neck is only punctured not torn out; see the trace of blood near the mouth. These eight were chosen to become vampires and it appears as if they are exercising discretion as to whom they choose. For instance, these look to be very capable. Keep your eyes open for more though. These were put out here to draw our attention; I believe there may be more.”
“Not in this house,” Mulder said as he and Scully entered the room. “We searched every room and the basement. There are no more bodies here.”
“This could be it then,” Duncan said. “I mean there could have been more here right?”
“More here perhaps,” Kendra noted as her eyes scanned the room. “Plainly, they have more somewhere else. This is just too easy.”
“What’s going on?” Buffy asked as she entered the room closely followed by St. Wolf.
“We have found a garden,” Kendra said as she pointed to the eight bodies. “I just don’t think this is all of them.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes at the bodies. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
“I have,” Kendra whispered, her voice taking on a hollow sound. “It was my first mission as a Slayer. A voodoo priestess wanted to control the island, so she joined forces with two vampires. They needed an army, so they started to raise a garden of a hundred people. They put a small group out in the open which I found and thought it was over. Then about two days later I was neck deep in vampires. Thankfully one of the vampires felt that the Priestess was too full of herself and killed her. After that, they could not hold their ranks together and it was easy enough to eliminate them.”
“So you don’t think this is all of them?” Buffy asked.
“How long before they awaken?” Duncan asked.
“The normal incubation time for vampires is between twelve and thirty-six hours,” Kendra said.
“What are we waiting for?” Mulder asked. “Let’s take them out.”
“It’s not that simple,” Kendra said. “If we do anything to their bodies the constables will want to know why. No matter how distasteful it is, we have to wait.”
“The problem is, if we wait and watch here, the others will have time to rise and escape,” St. Wolf said.
“We must search for the others,” Kendra said. “I think that five people should wait here with these bodies while the rest of us search the other houses on this street. They are close, I can feel it.”
“Can you feel them?” Steve asked Buffy.
“If you can’t feel them, how are we supposed to find them?”
“I know it is a long shot, Steven,” Kendra said. “But do we have another choice?”
“Alright,” St. Wolf acknowledged “Let’s break up into four-man teams and check all the houses on this street. Buffy call Conner, tell him what we’ve found and ask him to search the immediate area.”
“We’ll cover these bodies,” Dana said as she looked down at the eight people. “It shouldn’t take more than the two of us to deal with them. Besides, we’re going to have to call Agent Bailey and let him know about this house.”
“Ask him to give us an hour before he sends anyone in.” St. Wolf said as he moved toward the door. “That should give us enough time to do what we need to do.”
“Steven, we must move quickly,” Kendra said as they left the house. “There is no telling how long the others have before they rise.”
“Understood,” he said before he turned to Duncan. “Split your people up as you see fit and take the back half of the street. I’ll do the same and take this end.”
Angelus watched as the sorcerer secured the Dark Slayer to a stone platform before he administered a liquid substance by syringe into her arm.
“This will keep her sedated until you’re able to retrieve the others,” King said. “For the ceremony to work properly we will need them alive when we drain them of their blood.”
“I don’t like it,” Angelus said as he turned to Kikistos. “Keeping a Slayer alive in the place we sleep is not a good idea.”
“I tend to agree with you, Angelus, my brother,” Trick said from where he stood. “I must say, though, that Miss Anne here is fine! She has such a succulent neck—I say let’s eat!”
“And miss the chance of becoming dark gods?” Kikistos blustered. “No! We will bring the other two here, drain them all and become unstoppable!” Then he turned and stormed out of the room.
“Is your contingency plan still in operation?” Angelus asked Trick.
“Yes, though, we need to hold off for a bit because we might just pull this off,” Trick noted and smiled devilishly. “And if we do, we can just get rid of him for good.”
Angelus then turned to the nearest vampire and asked, “When will our new brethren rise?”
“The cold is slowing the process but they should rise in the next ten hours. The ones at the house should rise in the next four hours.”
“Who is watching the Slayers’ group?” Angelus demanded. “Do we know if they are still in the sewers near the house?”
“Michael and his gang bangers are watching them from across the street,” the vampire told Angelus. “The group that was with the Dark Slayer is still in the sewers.”
“Pull Michael back. If he stays there, they’re sure to find him,” Angelus directed. “I don’t want a vampire within ten blocks of that group. Once they find out they are missing one of their Slayers, they’ll be actively hunting us.”
“Aren’t they already doing that?” the vampire noted.
“No,” Angelus said his face turned to his demon visage before he continued. “Right about now, they’re just learning the lay of the land. When they come after her, they’ll be more destructive than a tornado in an alley.”
“You sound like you’re worried,” the vampire said.
“Listen, I know how this girl works. Believe me; once they find out we have a Slayer, she’ll go crazy. And don’t think she’s going to fumble the ball; her damn boyfriend will see that she doesn’t.”
“Michael isn’t answering,” another vampire standing nearby said. “His phone is either tuned off or out of service.”
“More likely he’s dead,” Angelus said. He cursed as he turned to follow Trick out of the room. “Get everyone back from that house and away from that part of the sewers.”
“What about the one’s who haven’t wakened yet?”
“If they don’t make it, they weren’t worth much to begin with,” Angelus replied coolly. “Now do as I command!”
“Yes, sir,” the vampire said.
Angelus watched as his lackey scampered off to do his bidding before he turned and followed Trick down the hall. Right now things were going well but it had been his experience that things often turned to shit when Buffy was involved.
“What’s going on?” Conner asked as he regained consciousness. “What happened?”
Frank helped Conner stand up before he started to tell him what had occurred while he was down for the count. When Frank reached the part where Faith was taken, Conner exploded. “What in the hell do you mean they took her?” Conner growled as he looked around at the group. “How did they do it?”
“They were all over us,” Frank said, his eyes down cast. “Before we knew it, she was gone and so were they.”
“Didn’t anyone see which way they took her?”
“No, Conner. One minute, she was there, the next, she wasn’t,” Cassandra said. “I felt a shift then the vamps ran away.”
“Shit!” Conner exclaimed again. “What’s going on upstairs?”
“It was a false alarm; Willow just called and told me St. Wolf wants us to do a thorough sweep of the area. It seems that Kendra thinks they have created more vampires and he wants us to look for the fledglings before they rise.”
“Did you tell them about Faith?” Conner asked as he looked at Frank.
“No, I will when we get back topside.”
“I think we better tell them right away,” Ali said. “You weren’t here when Buffy went off on Mulder for not telling her that Faith was a Slayer. Believe me when I say it was not for the faint of heart.”
“I still don’t think we should tell them until we get topside,” Frank argued. “They need to be focused and we need to be focused down here.”
“Wait, Frank,” Cassandra said. “Willow. She might be able to cast a locator spell and find her.”
“That’s right,” Stalker agreed. “When we were in Sunnydale she cast that spell on a lot of things and found them all.”
“It’s worth a shot,” Conner said as he pulled out his cell phone and started to dial. “I will inform topside, for now split up and search the area.”
“Steve,” Conner said as he watched the group split up to search the area for the bodies. “We have a problem.”
“What is it Conner? Do you need me to send help down there?”
“Well, yes, I think you better send Willow down to us,” Conner said with a sigh as he waited for St. Wolf’s temper to blow.
“What happened? Are you alright?”
“No, not really,” Conner said then dived into the deep end. “Faith was taken.”
“What? How in the hell did that happen?”
“We were pretty busy; there must have been forty vamps down here with hostages. We were doing fine but they isolated us from one another. They managed to knock me out. When I woke up, she was gone. Cassandra said that she felt a shift but was too busy to stop it.”
“Damn it!” St. Wolf snapped. “We are about settled up here, once we finish we will be down.”
“Steve, there was nothing we could have done.”
“I know that, Conner,” Steve said his voice a bit quieter now. “Don’t worry. We WILL find her!”
“Honey, what’s wrong?” Buffy asked after Steve hung up the phone. “Who will we find?”
“Faith,” Steve replied as he took Buffy’s hands. “Someone or something took her.”
Buffy stared at him for several seconds then murmured, “No.” Then she shook her head and yanked her hands out of his grip. “No!” she screamed, causing Kendra to glance in the blonde Slayer’s direction. “We’re done here! Let’s get the gang together and go after her.” Buffy then shot a look toward the Jamaican Slayer and snapped, “Kendra, let’s go! Faith’s in trouble.”
“Buffy we can’t go off half cocked,” St. Wolf said as Kendra crossed over to Buffy’s side while Cordelia and Xander jogged across the street to join the two Slayers. “We don’t know what’s going on yet.”
“Steve, what we DO know is that Faith is in trouble and that she’s a Slayer,” Buffy growled. “That’s enough for Kendra and me.”
“What has happened to Faith?” Kendra asked.
“We don’t know everything yet,” St. Wolf said as the others gathered around. “But it seems that Faith has been abducted.”
“What are we going to do?” Kendra asked.
“What’s going on?” Dana asked as she and Mulder joined the group.
“Hey, you two. Did they wake up?” St. Wolf asked.
“Sure, we took care of them as they started to rise,” Mulder said. “What are we going to do about Faith?”
“Mulder, don’t be an ass! We’re going to find her, that’s what we’re going to do,” Buffy snapped at him before she turned to Willow. “Can you find her, Will?”
“We’re going to need a map and something that belongs to her,” the little red witch said. “And we need a safe place to cast the spell.”
“Which isn’t the sewers,” Kendra noted.
“Okay, before we do the locator spell, let’s go down and see what Conner has to say about it,” Buffy said as she struggled to remain calm and composed.
“Do we have anything that will help us track Faith?” Jenny said to Willow. “For the spell to work, you’ll need something very personal to her.”
“We don’t need to track her,” Buffy said on her way to a manhole. “We can track Angel.”
“Oh yeah,” Xander drawled. “We can track him alright.”
Buffy lifted the manhole cover and dropped down the hole into the sewer below. Once she landed, she began to scan the area for Conner’s team as she took up a guard position. She was soon followed by Kendra who also dropped down and quickly looked around as Buffy called up to the others. “Come on down, we’re clear.”
“I left our mortals behind to wait for Bailey,” St. Wolf said as the last Immortal stepped away from the ladder just as Conner and his team arrived to greet them.
“Was there anything you didn’t tell Steve?” Buffy asked Conner. “Any little thing that might help us to find her?”
“I can only tell you that whoever did the spell was powerful,” Cassandra said. “I was unable to track it beyond it being cast.”
“Willow, can you cast the spell on me, let me extend my reach. That joker might still be in the area or someone else who might know something.”
“Didn’t you tell me that was dangerous?” Conner asked as Willow stepped forward to perform the spell.
“We have been able to use it a few times with success,” St. Wolf said as he watched Willow begin her casting. “So far we have been safe, and I’ve got to believe that Willow would not try it if it would seriously endanger her best friend.”
“So the little enchantress is getting stronger,” Conner observed as Willow finished her spell.
“She’s not in Cassandra’s league, yet,” St. Wolf admitted. “But she is good.”
Buffy felt the energy flow through her as the spell took effect. As she forced herself to remain calm, she was suddenly able to extend her ‘vampdar.’ With a dreamy expression on her face, she slowly tilted her head back and said, “There are thirty vampires about fifty yards down this passage. But they seem to be weak.”
“That’s probably the rest of the nest,” Kendra noted as she started down the passage. “We get them now and we do not have to contend with them later.”
“Duncan, take your group and help her.” St. Wolf ordered as Buffy started to walk the other way. “Keep in touch.”
“My team-come with me,” Conner said as he and his team followed St. Wolf and Summers. “Where are we going, Steve?”
“I don’t know,” St. Wolf readily admitted as he followed closely behind his Slayer. “Where are you going, honey?”
“I don’t know,” she said then began to pick up her speed. “Something’s down here, something bad.”
“I don’t know, honey,” Buffy replied as she broke out into a jog. “I just know that we need to be there when it happens.”
“It’s working,” King told the three masters after he waived his hand over a wall which showed two groups of people splitting up. “Angelus, I want you to separate the dark-skinned slayer. Save the blonde slayer for last when we will have more help. I have called a few associates who will be here in a day or so to help us with the last one.”
“Your trick better work, sorcerer,” Kikistos growled. “They are headed directly for us. If just one of your calculations is off, we are all in trouble.”
“Don’t question me,” King chided. “I trapped the first one; now I am going to do the second. Just isolate her. They won’t think we would trap the second one so quickly after the first.”
“Do it,” Kikistos ordered Angelus who was headed into the sewer system followed by around fifty vampires and King.
“Remember, they must not know that I am with you,” King told Angelus as they made their way toward the Slayer and her hunters. “I would assume just like the last one this Slayer will choose to fight in the front, so you must draw their attention away from her.”
“Don’t worry; I’ll get it done, Sparky.”
After his warning to Angelus, King dropped back a respectable distance to allow the vampires to engage the hunters but he still kept in sight so he could do his part of the bargain.
As the hunters came into view, Angelus yelled his order to attack. Unfortunately, the hunters were not caught off guard and they all turned calmly to face the threat. As the battle progressed King moved around the sewer duct to get closer to the Slayer. He watched her kill three vampires in about the same time it took most of the others to kill one. Finally, she was alone. King then moved behind her and started the spell that would bring her under his control.
“Mystic forces beyond the grave,” King started his voice low but building in strength as he took out the powder that would complete the spell. He tossed the purple powder in the air as he finished the spell. “Allow me to exercise dominion over this Slayer and make her my knave.”
The powder seemed to twinkle as the last word of the spell was spoken and the Slayer turned into it. King noticed that her eyes went blank for a few seconds. Then her lips curled up into a small smile as her facial muscles relaxed and made her look like a child. He knew the spell had worked when a small amount of drool slipped down her chin.
“Come with me now, my child,” King said as he masked his voice. “It is alright now, you are safe.”
As soon as the Slayer came within a few feet of him, King rubbed an amulet he wore around his neck while he recited the words that would activate the teleportation spell cast in its center stone. Then the pair was transported to the room where Faith still slept while she was tied to a platform. As he did with Faith, King offered Kendra a bottle and told her to lay down on the second platform where his girls tied the Jamaican up and injected her with the same serum they had used on Faith.
As he stepped back from his lastest victim, King turned to his two vampire lovers. “Well, ladies, it appears we’re going to have some hot loving to help me summon a few demons, so you two better get something to eat.”
“Alright, Pooky,” Caitlin said brightly as she and Lisa left the room on their way to the storage locker.
Parker had just staked the last vampire near her when she realized that a lot of the vampires had slipped back into the shadows. She quickly scanned the area to see if anyone else needed help but from what she could tell the vampires had taken enough for now and were getting out of Dodge before they lost any more of their brethern.
“No pursuit!” Duncan called out in time to catch a few people who’d already begun to follow.
“Look around,” Dana called out. “Is there anyone seriously hurt?”
“Damn it!” Mulder snapped from where he stood by the tunnel that the vampires had taken. “Where’s Kendra?”
A cold shudder ran down Parker’s spine as she started down the path that the vampires had taken. “Dana! We can’t let Kendra disappear, too!”
“It’s too late,” Dana said as she grabbed Parker’s arm. “They probably did it the same way. We don’t have a magic user here but I’m willing to bet since she didn’t call out to us, magic was used.”
“Buffy!” Jarod exclaimed and startled both Parker and Scully. “They have two of the three! They’ll go after her next! We’ve got to stop them!”
As one the group started to race back to the other group, hoping they’d arrive in time to stop the unthinkable from happening a third time.
Buffy charged into a pump station off of the main sewer line with her sword Vampire Slayer leading the way. She was ready for anything; anything, except what she found in the dark room. In a nice neat row, there lay fifty young, physically fit male bodies and they all began to rise.
them!” she barked as the rest of her group followed her inside.
Buffy sliced the first vampire she came across in its chest and allowed
her sword’s magic do its work. “Oz…
“We’ve got visitors!” Oz called out as he racked the slide back on his MP5.
“Stand down, Oz!” Buffy cried as she felt the presence of several advancing Immortals. “They’re friendlies!”
“Cool,” Oz said simply and dropped the barrel of his gun slightly.
“We’re coming in!” the Pretender called out as he stopped just beyond the entrance to keep out of the line of fire.
“Come inside, Jarod!” Buffy answered back.
A very nervous and circumspect group entered the room and just as she was about to ask them what had them so down, panic gripped her as she didn’t see her sister slayer.
“What happened?” she shrieked. “Where’s Kendra?”
“There was nothing we could do,” Scully added.
Buffy stared at Mulder and Scully for several moments and struggled to keep her heart from stopping. Then she pulled herself together and forced her fear down. “Steve,” she said to her lover, “I still feel the vampires are close by. They’re not too far from here.”
about Kendra and Faith?” Scully asked.
“Shouldn’t we get
because we’re not leaving here without both of my sisters!” Buffy growled.
“Good,” Buffy replied as she glanced at Steve. “Honey, maybe I should go on ahead and scout around on my own.”
No one liked that idea at all. “No way, Buffy!” Jarod said. “You shouldn’t even think about it because it’s not an option.”
“Since we don’t have a map of the area,
or the proper components for a locator spell,”
“Why haven’t we used that spell before?” Cordelia asked.
usual locator spell is more accurate.
This spell has a habit of finding a lot of extra lost things as it goes
along,” Jenny said. “But if
“All right,” Buffy said. “Xander, Cordelia and Oz stay with her.”
“Duh,” Cordelia teased the Slayer as she and the other two moved toward their friend.
really coming along as a leader,”
“Why didn’t he take some of us down there with him?” Michael asked Toby. “Patty and Felicia have more to offer than some of those folks they took with them.”
“I don’t know,” Toby said as the others gathered around.
“I don’t know about the others,” Patty
“She didn’t appear too worried about that man she put to sleep.” Felicia said. “You remember what she’d said, that she was too mad and didn’t know if she could have avoided injuring him. She sounded pretty confident when she said that.”
“Yeah, and did you notice she avoided explaining herself when you asked her about it,” Patty said.
“Still, he could have taken us with them,” Michael said. “What do you think they’re hiding from us?”
“What do you mean by that?” Toby asked.
“I don’t know,” Michael said. “But we know they aren’t all peaches and cream. They have a vampire working for them for Christ’s sakes; that alone should tell you something.”
“You’re right,” Patty said as she turned to face Michael. “It does tell me something. It tells me they’re smart enough to think outside the box when they’re fighting monsters.”
“They’ve also given us intel and made sure we had the right tools to take the vampires out,” Toby said. “I, for one, don’t mind if they keep secrets so long as they don’t get us killed.”
“That’s why they didn’t ask us to go down there with them,” Felicia observed. “Listen, those who went down into the sewers have twice the experience that we have. I’m very glad they chose to leave us up topside.”
“I still don’t like it,” Michael groused. “They’re too cloak and dagger for me.”
“What’s this all about?” Special Agent in Charge Bailey demanded as he approached a group of people who stood around in the middle of the street.
“Agent Bailey?” a man asked while he stepped forward and offered his hand. “I’m Toby Sterling.”
“Want to tell me what the situation is?” Bailey asked as he shook Toby’s hand. “Where’s St. Wolf?”
“He entered the sewer about twenty minutes ago. We have a small situation going on this block.”
“What’s the situation?” Agent Sam Waters asked as she scanned the area.
“I’m going to give it to you straight since we really don’t have time to play around,” Toby said. “The vampires have killed everyone on this entire block. I suggest you don’t allow anyone with a weak constitution to enter any of these homes.”
“Are you telling me that everyone’s dead?” Bailey asked. “Why in God’s name would they do that?”
“Agent Bailey,” Felicia said. “A vampire is a demon that has inhabited the body of a recently deceased human. For them to survive they must consume blood; it’s their food. That is as simple as I can make it for you, sir.”
“The coroner’s on his way,” Sam told Bailey. “Where’s Faith?”
“That’s why they went into the sewer,” Michael said. “Apparently, some vampires took her.”
“What?” Sam demanded, her voice a growl as Bailey turned toward her. “How the hell did that happen?”
“Miss, please calm yourself,” Toby said in a reassuring voice. “Both Buffy and Kendra said they’re going to rescue her.”
“They found the fledglings,” Kikistos said in a calm voice that didn’t fool Angelus one bit. “I told you what would happen if your trickery cost me my army, mage!”
“They were expendable,” King drawled while he entered the room with five demons in tow. “I now have two of the Slayers and these five will help me get the other one. Then you will have nearly limitless power!”
Angelus looked over the demons and wondered where the mage had conjured them. The largest of the demons stood about twelve feet tall, its body blood red with a hideous face bearing six inch tusks. The beast also had four arms, a pair of wings, and its legs bent backwards. The thing was a Lemure and it made its home in the third circle of hell. The others were almost as hideous but none of them had wings. “You’re going after Buffy with these party favors?”
“She will be in our clutches by the end of the night,” King said confidently.
“Good luck with that,” Angelus muttered as he walked out of the room with Trick. When they had gotten out of range of Kikistos’ hearing, Angelus turned to Trick. “This is not going to end well, Trick, old buddy.”
“So, are you saying we should, as an old thespian lion used to say, exit stage right?”
“Yeah, the minute that idiot King goes after Buffy with those demons,” Angelus said. “Believe me, old pal, Buffy and her crew will make mincemeat out of his pet demons. I haven’t said anything about this to anyone before but I’ve been told that Buffy now carries the Vampire Slayer sword and we all know her boy toy carries Demon Slayer, so I don’t think they’ll have any problems with the demons. And let me tell you, I don’t want to be anywhere near here when they come. And they will come.”
“You worry too much, Angelus, my man,” Trick said. “But I fear you may be right; this charade has run its course.”
we go, let’s find the other Slayers,” Angelus said with a grin.
“Then we can turn them and leave them for my ex to slay.
I guess you could consider it a nice parting gift for coming to play our
game here in
“However, I do want to hang around before the Wanderer and Buffy get here just in case they go down in the sewers. Who knows? Maybe that mage might get lucky or something.”
“How are you going to capture the last slayer?” Kikistos asked King.
“The same way I have taken the others, only this time I want to leave a few of the hunters dead. I want both the blonde slayer and The Wanderer enraged because angry people tend to make mistakes. Remember, I want that bastard dead as payback for my dearly departed brother!”
“Katherine the Vampire Queen had demons in LA yet the hunters defeated them,” Kikistos reminded King. “What makes you think this will go differently?”
“In LA they had helicopters and the demons were helpless against their firepower,” King explained. “Here, we’re going to attack them in the sewers where the hunters can’t maneuver well.”
“What good will he,” Kikistos asked while pointing at the winged demon, “be down there? His wings will be useless.”
“He won’t be joining us in the sewers,” King informed the master vampire. “He will be with the captured Slayers as insurance against your brood who might want the little darlings for themselves.”
“My vampires will do as they are told,” Kikistos barked. “Just make certain that you do what you said you would.”
“I need more vampires this time, Kikistos. The hunters will be ready and even with the addition of my demons, the battle will probably be very difficult.”
Kikistos simply nodded and King, followed by the four demons, left the house. His party entered the sewer where they were met by what was left of the group who worked with him to capture the Jamaican Slayer along with twenty more vampires. Eighty strong, he determined that his party was ready to collect the last slayer.
“Remember everyone,” King said as they started down the passage, “engage everyone else but the Slayer. I will take care of her myself.”
“Do we get to feed on those we kill?” a vampire asked.
“If you kill one and want to feed go ahead but our mission is to capture the Slayer, don’t forget that.”
saw the small light hover over an object that floated in a small pond of rancid
water. She watched as
“Well, it did belong to someone at one time,” Jenny observed.
“Move out,” Buffy ordered as the light continued down the tunnel. Dropping her voice she turned to St. Wolf and asked, “Do you think the spell will work?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Let’s give it a few more minutes before we call off the search.”
“Where do you think the vampires are?” Jarod asked the Immortal Slayer as he and Parker moved up beside the leaders.
“What do you mean?” Mulder asked.
“We’ve traveled almost ten miles since we started and we haven’t seen one vampire.”
“Buffy?” St. Wolf asked.
“I can’t feel anything right now,” Buffy replied as she stopped which caused the rest of the party to halt. “But he’s right; these sewers should be crawling with them, unless you think we took them all out.”
spell has pretty much run its course,”
“I don’t think that’s going to be necessary, Will,” Buffy grunted as her hand clutched her side as she grimaced from a major cramp. “Everybody, get ready! Company’s coming, a lot them!”
“Spread out,” Steve said as he took control of the situation. “Be ready for anything.”
“Let them come to us.” Buffy ordered as she stood in the center of the tunnel with Steve on one side of her and Conner and Duncan on the other side. Both Slayer swords pulsed brightly as they heard the sounds of a crowd rushing down to tunnel toward them.
“Change all loads to silver demon killer rounds,” St.Wolf ordered. “I think we’ve got demons in the mix, too!”
“Roger that,” Giles responded for everyone as he changed out the ammo in his gun.
“Buffy, be careful,” Steve said as he pulled out his mp5. “You’re their target; so stay near me.”
“Okay, sweetie,” Buffy drawled as she drew her own pistol. “Just make sure my butt isn’t the only thing you’re watching.”
Before St. Wolf could respond, a horde of vampires came rushing out of the darkness ahead. “Get the Slayer!” one of the vampires called out. “Kill the others.”
Buffy lifted her pistol and fired into the horde of vampires. There was no telling how many of her bullets hit home as all of her teammates were now firing as well. Once her gun clicked on empty, she placed the gun in her holster and drew Vampire Slayer from its dimensional pocket.
As the first of the surviving vampires came within range, she noticed that they rushed past her to bring the fight to the others in her party. Sometimes the fiends double and tripled teamed the Immortals near her. At times she had to attack the backs of a few vampires who were engaged with the other Immortals; however, Buffy fought against her temptation to go wild and crazy and maintained her position in the line.
Suddenly, she heard a sing-song voice come from out of the darkness. She took a step toward it then a cloud of purple dust flew at her. For a moment, a brief feeling of infancy washed over her. Then her sword glowed and she felt its magic flow through her, allowing her to shake off the dust’s effect. Several seconds later, she heard the same voice say, “Come with me now, my child. It is all right now, you are safe.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes and was barely able to make out the form of a pale-skinned man cloaked in the darkness directly in front of her. At first, she thought about running him through with her sword but realized that if she played along with the milky creep, he might lead her straight to Kendra and Faith.
So the Immortal Slayer dropped her sword hand down to her side and followed the strange man, pretending to be in his thrall.
found himself surrounded by vampires.
They were too close to use his handgun, so he swung Demon Slayer wildly
and managed to send several to their final rest.
As he fought, he heard single shots from behind him and knew the kids
were still very much in the fight.
Meanwhile, beside him, Conner used his own blade with proficiency and eliminated
any vampire that got too close. On
his other side,
Just as quickly as the attack had begun, the battle was over as the surviving vampires fell back into the shadows from which they’d come. St. Wolf watched them retreat and took a quick look around. It was at that moment when he realized Buffy was gone. Without hesitation, he raced forward into the darkness, heedless of his own safety. “Follow them!” he bellowed.
The Wanderer, along with everyone else near him, dropped as the Bad Ass Wicca, Ripper, and the Amazon Gypsy Priestess launched three Levin energy balls down the tunnel ahead of them.
<Nice move,> Steve thought as he watched the mystics’ energy balls strike a couple of demons who were waiting in the gloom to ambush them. Instead, the creatures howled when they were wreathed by the eldritch energy and suddenly disintegrated. Then he heard the sounds of the fleeing horde. Again, his mind back on finding his lost love, he leapt to his feet and began his hot pursuit with both Highlanders, the Pretender, Parker, Mulder and Scully close on his heels.
"What in the hell is happening up there?" the undercover vampire grumbled lowly.
Charlie was in the dark both figuratively and literally. He'd been prowling the sewers all day long and hadn't seen a single vampire in all that time. With three masters in the area, that just didn’t make sense. He was about to place a call to St. Wolf when three vampires advanced on him from a side tunnel.
“Hey,” one of the creatures said as they stopped in front of him. “You’re new around here, aren't you?”
“I'm not new around anywhere,” Charlie replied guardedly.
“Here’s a good place to be, dude,” the vampire said happily. “We’ve captured two of the three Slayers and once we get the cute little blonde one, we'll make Atlanta howl!”
“Now, that's what I'm talking about, bro!” Charlie exclaimed as he shared a grin with the other three.
“We’re headed to a meeting right now,” the same one said as they started to walk away. “Come along if you want.”
“Oh, I want,” Charlie said as he followed the group. “You said they got two Slayers. Are the bitches still alive?”
“Yeah. A black mage is going to perform some kind of ritual on them that'll help us take over Atlanta,” the big mouth said.
A few minutes later they turned into a tunnel where a group of vampires were hanging out. Charlie followed the one who'd invited him along to the middle of the group where an older vampire held council with the others.
“Once the strike force returns with the last Slayer, we will roll through Atlanta until we own it all.”
Cheers rocked the sewer tunnels at the vampire’s words, while Charlie's guts twisted into knots. Something had to be done fast! If the vampires felt they had the upper hand, Section Seven might not be able to stop them. He took a quick head count then bit his lip. /Shit, a hundred and ten vampires--how did they get this many of these bastards by us?/
“Once the sun sets, we have been chosen to attack a barn east of the city.” The speaker went on after the cheers quieted down. “Our orders are to kill everyone there.”
“When do we attack?” someone asked.
“We'll leave once the others have returned with the last Slayer.”
Even as the group broke up into smaller teams, they heard a large amount of noise coming from one of the tunnels. The vampires all turned toward the sounds while Charlie tried to separate himself from the crowd. Seconds later a small group of vampires raced out of the darkness and one of the new arrivals warned the larger group, “We’re being followed! The hunters have attacked us in the sewers.”
“Markus! Take a team with you back to the house,” the speaker ordered. “Let the master know what is happening.”
“Okay,” a vampire said as he picked out twenty vampires along with Charlie and left the sewers.
Charlie followed the group to an exit about three hundred yards away where they risked the setting sun to dash across the street into the mansion that the masters apparently were using as their base of operations.
Buffy’s vision dimmed a bit for a second then she was able to focus again. At that moment, she realized she was no longer in the sewer. She fought to keep her eyes straight ahead while she used her peripheral vision as she made out certain items in the room. Then she almost lost her concentration when she saw her two sisters tied to two slabs but somehow managed to avoid blowing her cover.
“You see, vampire!” King drawled and cackled with glee. “I told you I would capture the last Slayer!”
“King, you fool! The wench still has that accursed sword!” Kikistos boomed.
“Fool, am I?” King growled as he turned to Kikistos. “What would you have done? Left the sword there for one of her minions to use against your forces? Besides, as long as I control the little darling, you have nothing to fear from her.”
“How long will it be before you are able to perform the ceremony?” Kikistos demanded.
“I will be ready within the hour,” King said as he turned his attention to his lovely concubines. “Lisa, Caitlin, my dears, please place our guest on the middle table. Oh, and ladies? Do be careful not to touch that sword.”
“You've got it, honey bunny,” Lisa said as she moved to Buffy's side away from the sword. “This is going to be fun!”
Meanwhile, as King's vampires guided the Golden Slayer toward the slab, Buffy finally chanced a good look at Kikistos and nearly wet her pants. Boy...he's certainly a big one, she thought. He looked to be almost eight feet tall with horns that stuck out of his forehead and cloven hooves for hands. Then she nearly chuckled out loud when she realized that he looked a bit like the demon in a movie called "The Last Unicorn."
Buffy was just about to make her play, when a vampire opened a door from the outside and screamed, “Master! Master, the hunters have followed us! They're in the sewers nearby fighting Johnson's group!”
“Did they follow you?” Kikistos demanded as he stormed out of the room.
“They must be stopped!” King snapped to a demon that stood next to the door. “Take the other two like you and go destroy them.”
//Hurry up, honey,// Buffy thought as she watched the three demons stride out the door. Her gaze then settled on King who'd turned toward her with a dagger in his hand.
St. Wolf had a full head of steam going as he raced after the horde of vampires with the others close behind. As his party came to a turn in the tunnel, he slowed down and realized he could no longer hear the sound of running up ahead. He crept up to the corner of the tunnel and glanced around it. A feral smile crossed his face when he caught sight of a large number of vampires milling around in the tunnel.
St. Wolf silently pointed to Giles and Xander and signaled for them to advance with their shotguns. They moved up to the front of the pack and waited for St. Wolf to indicate their targets. Xander got down on his knees and moved into position while Giles remained standing slightly above Xander's crouched body.
“Now,” St. Wolf snapped and both men fired their shotguns, sending several rounds of Dragon's Breath fire down the tunnel toward the vampires. Both men then racked their guns back and kept firing until they ran out of rounds. Then the Immortals swept forward and attacked the remaining vampires.
When St. Wolf could see no signs of Buffy, he turned to Willow. “Can you teleport to her?”
“I don't think so. Teleportation only works when you've been to a particular location.”
“Or to a known item!” Jenny reminded her student and Amazon sister.
“That’s right!” Willow exclaimed, her pixie-like face brightened. “I can teleport to Buffy's sword!”
“Do it,” he said as his team finished off the last of the vampires. “Help her and tell her we're on our way.”
She nodded at him and with that, she murmured an ancient Sumerian spell and suddenly the only thing that she left behind was the unique spicy-fresh scent that belonged only to Willow Rosenberg.
“Oh, my dear," King purred as he moved menacingly toward Buffy the Vampire Slayer. "I just wish your lover could have seen this. However, I suppose I'll have to settle for hearing the miserable bastard's sobs when he finds your corpse.”
“You don't say?" she quipped. "Actually, I think you're going to have to settle for how I'm going to kick your ass!" Then she brought up her sword and made quick work of the ropes that bound both Kendra and Faith. “You know, dough boy, in the three seconds of what's left of your miserable life, you probably should reflect on this advice that an ancient wise man from Tibet said just the other day--don't mess with the Slayer's family or her honey, you son-of-a-bitch!”
“What?” King said, his eyes wide with fright. “How is this possible?”
“I'll never tell,” the Slayer growled as she moved around the table to place herself between the mage and her recovering sisters. “Wanna compare magicks, pal?”
“Your parlor tricks are nothing compared to my power, little girl!” King boasted with a sneer on his face. Then as he started to lift his hands to cast a spell he was distracted by a flash of light which heralded the arrival of the Little Red Witch. “How?”
“Hey, Buff! You really didn’t think Steve would let you hog all the fun, did you?” Willow asked.
Buffy grinned at her best-est friend in all the world. “Will!" she squealed. "Thanks for 'popping' in! Get it, popping in? Hey, girlfriend, not that I'm not glad to see you but I gotta say I've got to straighten both you and my boy toy out if this is your idea of 'fun!'"
“How was she able to teleport here?” a clearly befuddled King wondered.
“That's easy, dough boy! She's a bad ass wicca!"
Willow grinned maniacally and sang like a soul sister, "Girl, hush your mouth!"
"But I'm talking about Willow," Buffy sang.
"We can dig it, we can dig it!" Willow responded in song.
Caitlin then harrumphed. "Are you two gonna fight or are you gonna keep on ripping off Isaac Hayes and butchering his 'Shaft' song?"
Buffy narrowed her eyes at the vampire concubines. "Will, I do believe this skank's messing with our groove thang! Why don't you keep black magic boy busy for a few seconds while I take out these two bitches,” Buffy growled.
“What in Satan's name is going on here?” Kikistos boomed as he raced into the room.
Buffy whirled to face the new menace and screamed, “Willow!”
“I'm on it!” the witch snapped as she lifted both hands toward the master vampire and murmured, “Fashka!”
Buffy could only smile as she saw the air solidify when Kikistos started toward her but couldn't advance any further. Then she turned her attention back to King. However, the delay had cost her because King was already standing beside his two girls. He tossed her a sarcastic salute and said, “Well played, Slayer! Until next time!” Suddenly he laughed like a madman and disappeared with his two girls in tow.
“Dammit!” Buffy spat before she moved to cut the last two ropes that held Kendra and Faith in bondage.
“Place the sword on their chests,” Willow said as her eyes turned black. “Magic is keeping them asleep so the sword's magic should negate the effect.”
Following her friend's suggestion, Buffy laid Vampire Slayer across Kendra’s chest and was rewarded when the Jamaican's cat's eyes popped open. A few seconds later, Kendra was up and at 'em, so Buffy moved the sword over to Faith in hopes that the results would be the same. When nothing happened, Willow strode to their side and forced blue liquid from a small bottle past Faith's lips.
When nothing continued to happen, Willow shot a worried look at Buffy and Kendra then glanced down at some writing on the bottle. Moments later, her eyes shot wide open and she groaned. "Ooh! That little perv! I am SO going to kill Robin for making this potion!" Then she closed her eyes and before a pair of stunned Slayers, bent over and laid a passionate kiss on Faith's lips.
Almost immediately, Faith's eyes shot wide open and the youngest Slayer shoved Willow gently away from her. “R-Red, what the hell? Hey, although that was a great kiss and all, I don't swing that way!” she blustered and leaped off the slab while Willow "eeped" and nearly went catatonic when she realized Faith had liked the kiss! “By the way," the Dark Slayer asked, "where in the hell are we, B and K?”
Buffy nodded toward the menace which struggled against whatever barrier Willow had constructed and drawled, “Since we're Slayers that usually means it sucks to be us and we always seem to find trouble. Well, I'd say that with tall, dark and gruesome over there, we've found trouble with a capital 'T,' sis!”