Author: Steve711 - Steve Pantovich
E-mail Address: Steve711@concentric.net
Title: The Chronicles of Wanderer - Hellmouth - New Beginnings
Copyrighted: March 1998
Rating: PG-13 - Small amount of foul language and description of violence
Spoilers: A few, but who cares?
Keywords: X-Files/Highlander/Buffy the Vampire Slayer Crossover with a few guest stars.
Summary: An Immortal Demon Hunter comes to Sunnydale and teams up with Buffy to hunt down Angelus, Spike and Drusila.
Highlander: All rights and properties owned by Rysher Entertainment.
The X-Files: All rights and properties owned by Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and the FOX Network.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: All rights and properties owned by Joss Whedon, Warner Bros. and Mutant Enemy, etc.
The following are authors who's characters I borrowed for this little story. They may play minor roles, but all have been giants:
Barry Sadler - May he rest in peace.
Any character whose names and descriptions are used are the property of their original owners, and no copy right infringement is intended or meant.
No money can be made from this story. It can be distributed freely so long as it is kept in its entirety, with all notices and copyright information intact.
The characters Wanderer/Steven St. Wolf, Frank Iverson, Brother Aaron and Robert McCallister and this story are mine. Anyone wishing to use them, please contact me at my e-mail address: Steve711@concentric.net
Comments and Criticisms are appreciated, please post to the above referenced E-mail.
Author's Note's: When I started to write this story I decided to change some things concerning the characters.
X-Files Mulder and Scully are married and Immortal - So Non-Relationshippers beware.
Highlander: Richie Ryan shouldn't have died in the end of the fifth season. So here he hasn't.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Nothing really.
They pass through history. . .
Living lives longer than any normal man can imagine.
Some pass through with hardly a ripple,
Others are like tidal waves, crashing on the shore.
They are the Immortals.
This is the story of the Wanderer. Warrior, Champion, Teacher, Demon Hunter.
These are his Chronicles. . .
Frank Iverson, Watcher, 2017.
His name is Steven St. Wolf, the Wanderer, he is Immortal. This is his story:
On a late August day in 1983, Steve St. Wolf was quietly cursing the length of time the light in front of him was taking to change. < Fuck, it would be the two minute light I get stuck at. > He thinks to himself. As he waits for the light to change, he watches the kids play in the school yard next to the light and thinks about Kathy, his dead wife and the life they could have had.
Just as the light was changing, He hears a car door slam shut and notices a tall man with a maniacal gleam in his eyes get out of a car, carrying an AK-47.
As he pointed the AK-47 at the kids in the school yard, Steve knew he had to do something. And as luck would have it, he did the stupidest (luckiest?) thing he could think of.
< Shit that bastard's about to shoot those kids. > He thinks to himself as he guns his Harley Soft Tail and aims it straight at the bastard with the AK-47, screaming at the top of his lungs. The son of a bitch turns and sees Steve coming straight at him. Instead of trying to get out of the way, he aims the rifle at Steve and fires.
Steve feels the pain of the bullets as they strike him. His final thoughts are, < Can I take this bastard down with me and save those kids? > The world was going black, but he feels a soft thud and hopes that he hit the bastard hard enough to kill him.
As Steve's lying in the worst pain of his life, He opens his eyes and sees that he's in an ambulance and a paramedic is working on him. "Are the kids all right?" He asks.
"Yeah, they're alright. None were hurt, thanks to you." He says. Steve sees that his name is Jackson.
"So, how bad is it?"
"You're going to make it" Jackson replies
"You're lying to me, I know I'm dying, please don't lie."
"We're doing our best. We'll get you to the trauma unit in a couple of minutes. Just hold on!!" Jackson tells Steve.
"I'm dying, I know that, just one thing, did I kill that bastard with the AK?"
"Yeah, he was dead at the scene. You saved those kids." Jackson replies.
"Good" Then, Steve closes his eyes and let's the world slip away. His last thoughts are for his wife Kathy. < Kathy, I'll be with you soon. >
The last thing that Steve hears is the paramedic screaming "We're losing him. His pressure's bottomed out. I can't feel a pulse. God Damnit, don't give up the fight man . . . "
The ambulance rushes up to the hospital emergency room doors and Jackson rushes his patient out. Before they go five steps the doctor checks him and shakes his head. Jackson rushes forward and demands, "Can't you do anything?"
"It's too late. The bullets shredded his heart and lungs. There's no way we could save him. We try anything now and we're only prolonging his suffering." The doctor tells him.
Jackson quietly walks away to talk with his driver, Danny. Danny watches as his partner of two years walks slowly out of the emergency room and enters their ambulance. He turns to Jackson and asks. "Too late?"
"No, he was beyond any help. Heart and lungs were shot to pieces. Nothing to do." A saddened Jackson tells him. "I thought, that when he came out of it and asked about the kids, we had a chance."
"We can't save everybody Frank. We're not god."
"I know, but it hurts when one of the good ones dies."
Before Danny can answer, someone knocks on the ambulance door. Jackson turns and sees his wife Carol. He gets out of the ambulance and asks. "Carol, why are you here?"
"They're bringing Frank Jr. here. He was traumatized by a shooting at his school. Can you tell me what happened?"
It then hits him. The school across the street from the shooting was the one that his son attended. The man had probably saved his son's life. He offers up a silent prayer. < Oh God, please accept him into your graces, for the noble deed he has done. >
Late that night, Steve wakes up in the hospital morgue. His only thought is to get out of the morgue and the hospital.
Steve doesn't know how he got out, just that he did. Somehow, he makes it back to his apartment. The trip between the hospital and his apartment is a blur. He pulls off his clothes and looks at them. They were red with his own blood.
Steve turns on the news, and the top story of the night is the attempted mass murder at the school yard. The reporter is going on about how a brave Samaritan had given his life to save the children. Then the reporter comments on several bills before the State House calling for tighter gun controls. < God, how I hate those gun-control nuts. If I had been carrying my 45, that bastard would've been dead from a bullet and not my bike. > Steve thinks to himself.
Then, Steve begins to think, < Why am I still alive? > he looks at his shirt < And not filled with bullet holes? >. Steve knows that he can't stay here now. He has to leave. The ink on his fingers tells him that the police have probably already found out that he was wanted in Texas for killing the bastards that had raped his wife and then brutally murdered her. And they'll be coming to this apartment soon.
He grabs some clothes, his second fake ID and Colt Auto with a dozen magazines and all of the cash he has in the apartment < Good thing I don't trust banks < G > >.
Steve thinks to himself. < I have another bike in the garage, my dirt bike. While it's not strictly street legal, it will get me out of town. Besides it's registered to my second fake ID and I will have to start over somewhere else under that identity and I'll need transportation. >
< I think that I better get out of town and head west this time. Walker might think I headed south to the Carolinas. I think Seattle sounds good. I'll lose myself in the crowds there. >
Dearborn police detective Jason Russell has just come in and is quietly reading the Detroit Free Press when his partner, Adam Cole walks up to him and tells him. "The LT wants to see us, pronto."
"The guy who saved those kids. His body's disappeared from the morgue. Plus there's a, get this, real Texas Ranger on the phone, asking questions about our dead man."
"Nope. Now, get your lazy ass in gear." Cole tells him as he turns and goes to Lt. Robert Jackson's office.
As they both walk into Lt. Jackson's office, they find him on the phone, talking to someone called Walker. "Yes, Ranger Walker, both detectives are here. I'll put you on speaker."
"Thank you Lt. Jackson," Walker replies from the speaker phone. "Detectives, my name is Cordell Walker, I'm a Texas Ranger. What can you tell me about Carson Jamieson?"
"Well Ranger Walker," Det. Russell begins, "He was using the name Anthony Banks, while he lived up here. He worked a steady job and basically kept his nose clean. The only thing we could find on him was that he once stopped a mugger who was trying to rob an old woman. May I ask what the State of Texas wants with this man?"
"The man you knew as Anthony Banks was wanted for six counts of first degree murder."
The three Dearborn detectives look at each other and wonder. Lt. Jackson asks. "Why'd he do it?"
They can hear Walker sigh over the phone, as he tells them. "The six men he killed, gang raped and murdered his wife. He let us have them, but a crooked court clerk screwed up the case and they walked. Jamieson killed them a week after they walked out of court laughing and making jokes about her ‘skills'."
The detectives look at each other, knowing the pain and grief such a situation could cause. "How'd he do it?" Det. Cole asks.
"He walked into the bar where they were hanging out and calmly shot each man in the head twice. Then he apologized to the bar tender and walked out. We never found him after that."
< Damn, that's cold. > "Why do you want his body?" Lt. Jackson asks.
"I want to bury him next to his wife Katherine. Carson was a friend of mine and I want to do right by him."
"We have a problem with that." Lt. Jackson tells him.
"What kind of problem?"
"The body is missing. Someone stole it from the hospital morgue."
"Can you find it?"
"We'll try, but no guarantees."
"Do your best. He was a good man."
"Understood, thanks for the call." Lt. Jackson tells Walker as he hangs up. Jackson then turns to his two best detectives. "I want this man's body found. You have twenty four hours."
"What happens after that?" Det. Russell asks.
"The case gets dropped as a non-priority."
Steve had been traveling for three days, keeping off the main roads and just generally taking his own sweet time.
While riding the back roads, he spotted and stopped at this road house, in Montana, to get himself a beer, relax for an hour or two and get out of the mid day heat. He was minding his own business at the bar, passing the time, talking the bartender, a guy named Jake, asking him about the weird Y shaped tatoo on his wrist, when he feels a pain in the pit of his stomach that wouldn't let up.
Jake leans over and asks "Hey Steve, you okay man?"
Steve looks up at him and replies, "What'd you give me Jake, bad beer?"
"Couldn't be? I'm drinkin' the same stuff" Jake replies.
The door then opens, and a stranger wearing a trench coat walks in. He comes over to where Steve's leaning over the bar. < Ah, a newbie. This should be fun. > He thinks to himself.
"Are you alright son? I'm a doctor, let me help you." He asks
As soon as Steve looks at him, the buzzing suddenly goes away, as if it never occurred. "I feel better now, thanks any way." Steve replies.
"Here, let me take you outside. You probably only need some fresh air." The stranger tells Steve.
Jake, meanwhile is watching everything and thinking to himself as he recognizes the stranger. < Shit, Steve's a new Immortal and Markham is going to take his head. > Jake then makes a decision. He reaches for his shotgun and goes out the back way.
The man called Markham walks Steve outside, and around the corner from the entrance.
"I'm feeling much better now, thanks, I think I'll head back into the bar." Steve tells him.
"You must be new to the Game, too bad." The stranger replies.
< The game? What the hell is he talking about? > Steve then sees the sword < Where did THAT come from? >.
"Hey dude, I don't want any trouble" Steve tells him.
"Too bad, you die tonight! There can only be ONE!!" He says.
< I am NOT going to take this shit from anybody!! > Steve thinks to himself as he pulls out his 45 and shots the bastard in the knee. He falls down screaming, the sword still in his hand.
"Who are you?!" Steve yells at him.
"My name is Richard Markham, and I will kill you for this. Maybe not now, but someday I will kill you." Markham answers.
"The Fuck you will!!" Steve counters, shooting him between the eyes and in the heart. Steve then takes his sword, a beautiful civil war era saber.
"Dumb Fuck, wasn't he? Bringing a knife to a gun fight." Steve turns around and sees Jake standing there with a 12-gauge pump shotgun, pointed at him.
"Look, Jake, I didn't start it. He tried to kill me with this sword." Steve tries to explain, holding up the saber.
"I know, I saw and heard the whole thing. Leave, I'll cleanup the mess here. Won't be the first time."
Steve looks at Jake, < Don't ask, just leave > he nod thanks, and puts the saber under his saddle bags. Then, he gets on his bike and leaves.
As Steve leaves the bar, he decides to go cross country, to get away from all of this.
Jake watches as St. Wolf leaves. He looks back onto Markham's body in the back of his road house and goes back into the bar. < Well so much for me trying to save Steve's life. > Before closing the back door, Jake give's Markham's body another look, < He'll wake up and be gone in a few minutes > Jake thinks to himself as he re-enters the bar.
"Hey, Jake what was that racket out back?" A rather drunk local asks.
"Oh, just some guys settling their differences." Jake replies.
"Nah, nobody hurt. They both left."
Jake reaches for his phone and dials a Seattle number. "Joe's Books," says the man who answers the phone.
"Joe, this is Jake over in Montana."
"Hey Jake, long time no hear, how's the retirement?"
"Not so retiring, I just had two of them come in here, today."
"Who were they? Was there a fight?" Joe asks.
"One of them was Richard Markham, remember him? The other was some guy I've never heard of before, called himself Steven St. Wolf. Yeah, they fought, but it wasn't the usual kind of fight."
"Care to elaborate on that." Joe asks.
"Well Steve was sitting at the bar and talking to me when Markham came in. The "Buzz" hit him pretty hard. He's new isn't he?"
"He probably is." Joe answers
"Markham claims to be a doctor and he walks Steve out back to ‘get some fresh air'. Then he pulls a sword on Steve and tries to kill him."
"What do you mean ‘tries' to kill him"
"Steve sees that Markham is trying to kill him. So, he pulls out a 45 and shoots Markham in the knee. Markham starts to threaten him and Steve shoots him in the head and the heart, takes his sword, and leaves, going west, cross country on a dirt bike with Michigan plates."
"Damn, he doesn't know, does he?" Joe comments.
"Probably doesn't, do you think he'll survive?"
"How quick was he with the gun."
"Very quick, when he had to be." Jake replies. Jake then gives description of St. Wolf to Joe for his files.
"Damn Jake, thanks for the information, and keep in touch" Joe says, and then hangs up the phone.
< I wonder what's going on in St. Wolf's head right now? > Joe thinks to himself, as he boots up his computer to put the information he just received into the Watcher Database.
< God, doesn't it ever stop raining in this town? > Steve asks himself as he drives into Pioneer Square. He notices an antique shop on one of the corners. Steve then parks his bike in front, next a meter and goes in.
The owner, a Mr. Ferguson, greets him politely and asks what Steve wanted. Steve shows him the sword and explains that he's looking to sell it.
"Where did you get this?" Ferguson asks me.
"I inherited it from an uncle who died recently"
"I don't deal in swords, so I can't help you. But, I do know someone. Hold on a second, let me find his card" Ferguson putters around behind the cash register and pulls out a business card holder and flips through it until he comes up with a card.
"Ahh, here it is. Now hold on a minute, young man, and I'll write down his address for you" Steve watches as Mr. Ferguson writes down the card's address on a slip of paper. After he finishes, he puts the card holder back under his register and hands Steve the slip. Steve looks at the name on it.
"MacLeod's Antique's" Steve looks questionably at Mr. Ferguson.
"Yes, Mr. MacLeod is a specialist in antique edged weapons, and is one of the most well respected and honorable men I know."
Steve thanks him for his help and ask directions to MacLeod's shop. Ferguson tells Steve its in the International section of town and gives him directions to it.
"Oh, one more thing, say hello for me will you?"
"Yes sir, I will. Thanks again for the help." With that, Steve leaves Ferguson's shop and heads toward MacLeod's shop.
Steve makes it to MacLeod's shop in about an hour. As he pulls up to the shop, he sees that Mr. Ferguson sent him to the right place. There are edge weapons ranging from European rapiers to Japanese Katanas hanging on the walls and in the display cases.
As he enters the shop, Steve sees a gorgeous blond standing behind the counter.
"May I help you Sir?" she asks in a french accented voice.
"Hello, my name is Steve St. Wolf." He replies, "I'm trying to sell this antique saber, my uncle left me." Steve places the saber on the counter in front of her, and takes a step back. "Mr. Ferguson, who runs an antique shop on Pioneer Square recommended your shop, and he sends his regards as well." He explains.
"Mr. Ferguson is an old friend, and my name is Tessa, Mr. St. Wolf. Can you wait for a few moments while I get Duncan from the back? He will give you a fair price for this saber, I assure you."
"I can wait. Would it be alright if I looked around? This is a rather impressive collection Mr. MacLeod has."
"But of course, you may. The collection is his passion, Duncan is very proud of it." Tessa replies with a smile. < God, is this MacLeod lucky guy or what? > Steve thinks to himself as she walks to the back of the store. He's admiring Tessa more than the swords on display.
Steve hears her call back to Duncan in the rear of the store. And Duncan replies that he would be right out. As Steve looks at a magnificent Katana, edged with silver and gold and enameled in dark blue, he hears Tessa's footsteps coming up behind me.
"See anything you like?" She asks.
"Nothing that I can afford at this stage in my life." Steve replies with a smile. Then it hits him, that damned ‘Buzz' that he felt in the road house in Montana.
"Mr. St. Wolf, are you alright?" Tessa asks with a worried look on her face.
Steve looks at her, trying to reply, when he sees a dark haired man with a sword moving up behind Tessa.
"I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod." He states, as if it's a challenge.
Steve quickly moves to the left, getting Tessa out of his line of fire. He then pulls out his 45 and shouts: "I don't know who you are, or what the shit with the swords is, but if you take another step, I *WILL* blow your freaking head off!!!"
Duncan looks at Steve, "You can't use that, you know the rules!" He says.
"Rules? What the Fuck are you talking about? All I see is some nut case trying to cut me up with a sword. You're the second person in one week, who's tried to kill me with a sword. And, I've never met either one of you before in my life." Steve replies.
"You don't know *WHAT* you are, do you?" Duncan states as he puts down his sword. "Don't worry, I won't hurt you. I just want to talk. Listen to what I have to say to you. I'll explain every thing."
"I don't know what you're talking about, but the only thing I came in here to do was to sell that saber over there." Steve nods his head toward the counter.
Duncan puts his sword away, I put my 45 back in its holster, but keep my hand near it. Tessa is standing off to one side, looking worried, but she's remaining calm. Duncan walks over to the counter and examines the saber.
"Where'd you get this?" He asks
"The first guy who attacked me tried to use it on me."
"What did you do to him?"
Steve then tells Duncan and Tessa everything that happened at the road house in Montana.
Duncan looks at Steve and smiles
"So you meet Richard Markham, huh?" He asks.
"I left him dead."
"No, you didn't kill him. Just pissed him off." Duncan replies. Steve looks at him like he's crazy.
"No, I'm not insane, let me explain to you what we are." Duncan then starts into one of the weirdest stories Steve's ever heard, but he continues to listen as he tells him a story of Immortals, the Game they play, and some of his own history. Steve looks over to Tessa < She believes him, Oh God, what have I gotten myself into? >
Duncan's next question threw Steve for a loop: "Where and when did you die, the first time?"
Steve tells them about what happen to him in Dearborn. They look at each other, remembering the news reports. How he left, and why. Steve also tells them about what happen in Texas, how Kathy was murdered and what he did to the men who did it. Duncan looks at Steve with respect and understanding. Tessa reaches out and gently squeezes his arm. He looks into her eyes and see that she also understands, most women wouldn't.
"You know Markham will be coming after you again, don't you?" Duncan tells me.
Steve looks at him like he's crazy < I head and heart shot that bastard >.
"Think back to Dearborn." Duncan says. "How many times were YOU shot?"
< Dear God, he's right. How do I fight someone who can't die? > Steve thinks to himself.
"Steve, you're in trouble and I'm willing to help you." Duncan tells me.
"What do you mean ‘Help me'?"
"Well it's obvious that you know absolutely nothing about yourself, the rules or how to properly defend yourself. I'm willing to teach you."
"Because I think you will make an excellent student. And from what you've told me, and from your actions earlier, especially how you got Tessa out of your line of fire, I don't think that you'll abuse what I teach you. Also, you'll help out in the shop when I'm not teaching. The money you make will help you get started in your new life. So, do you accept." Duncan asks.
"Good, you can use the spare apartment in the back for yourself. Tessa and I live above the shop. Training will begin at 7:00 am, tomorrow."
The phone rings and Jake answers it. "Jake's Roadhouse, can I help you?"
"Jake, this is Joe."
"What's up Joe?"
"Your boy, St. Wolf, has found himself a teacher."
"The Highlander? Well, at least he's in good hands."
"That he is, my friend, that he is."
"Thanks for telling me Joe. I was worried about the guy."
"One other thing, we ran a check on him. Do you want to know what we found out?"
"Yeah, lay it on me."
"Well, he died under the name of Anthony Banks. You may have heard about him. The guy who saved those kids in Dearborn last week."
"The guy who died ramming some AK-47 armed nut case with his bike?"
"Same guy, but get this, Anthony Banks wasn't his real name. It was Carson ‘Cherokee' Jamieson."
"The guy who offed those six pieces of shit in Texas last year? The same bastards who did my cousin Heather, in New Mexico?"
"The very same."
"And now he's an Immortal? There is a God, Joe."
"Amen to that brother."
"Thanks for telling me. I appreciate it."
"Not a problem, old friend. Take care." Then Joe hangs up the phone.
Jake looks at the phone and starts to laugh. Tension built up over the last three years is finally released as he offers up a silent prayer. < Heather, your killers are dead and the man who avenged you still walks the earth, now as an Immortal, watch over him. > After he offers up the prayer. He shouts out. "Everybody listen up, the next round is on the house."
The patrons cheer. No one caring why Jake was being generous, just that he was.
The following is copied from Steve St. Wolf's Journal:
May 15th 1984:
I spent the last eight months with Duncan and Tessa. I remember these times as some of the best in my life. I learned a lot from them, besides the friendship they openly gave me. From Duncan, I learned much about honor and gained the skill to face my enemies and win. From Tessa, the courage to go on, and not blame myself for Kathy, and to seek a new life and to make the most of it. Tessa's gift was the most important one.
On the day that I was leaving, Duncan and Tessa gifted me with that exquisite blue Katana.
I tried to refuse it, but they insisted that I needed a good sword
"Just never be a stranger, and live." Tessa says as she hugs me goodbye.
As I reach to shake Duncan's hand, he grabs me in a hug and says, "Steve consider yourself a part of my extended family. Call me if you need anything."
I don't know how some people feel about leaving a place where you know you're loved, for me it's a hard thing to do. But its something that has to be. I quickly turn so neither of them sees the tear in my eye, and go.
From Steve St. Wolf's Journal:
February 2nd 1998:
It was a Tuesday, at 2:00 am on a chilly February night when I rode into Sunnydale. I had spent the last fifteen years wandering the world. Looking for myself, maybe. Trying to get over Kathy's death, definitely. I had been working as an antiques buyer and locator, a job I learned from Duncan and Tessa, but I was tired of constantly being on the move. I wanted to settle down, at least for a short while.
In my travels I had seen many strange and wonderful sights, and made the acquaintance of many other Immortals and other non-Immortal beings. Most had been good, caring people, but a few had tried to kill me. Even though I swore never to play the Game, I was forced into taking their heads.
I had run into Duncan, in Paris, and asked if he knew anyone who had a job opening back in the U.S. He introduced me to a Robert Lancaster, an antiques dealer in the small town of Sunnydale, California. We talked, and I gave him a description of the work I had been doing for the last five years and he hired me on the spot. The only catch was that I had to move to Sunnydale within the next two weeks..
No problem, I would like to live in a nice quiet small town, I told him.
As Steve rides into Sunnydale, he sees a gas station that is still open. He pulls in to get some gas and directions to a motel. As Steve gets off his bike, he sees the attendant coming towards him. A cheerful looking twenty year old kid. The name tag said "Matt".
"Hi, can I get a fill up of super, and directions to the nearest motel." Steve asks.
"Sure, no problem buddy." The attendant replies cheerfully.
As Steve turns around to pay him, the attendant asks, "Hey buddy, mind if I have you for dinner?"
< Dinner? What the hell was this guy talking about? > Steve turns around and looks at the attendants face, its no longer the cheerful twenty year old, but the face of a monster with fangs.
"Damn, another vampire." Steve mutters. < I hadn't seen another vampire since Prague, about seven years ago. >
It smiles and replies, "Yes, I'm a vampire and you are my dinner."
Smiling evilly it moves towards Steve, stalking him like Steve once saw an Alaskan timber wolf stalk a caribou, it's chosen prey. < Well this piece of meat has fangs too. > Steve doesn't have enough time to reach his sword, so, he pulls out his Glock and fires five rounds into the vampire's chest and knees.
"I will kill you slowly for that" The vampire vows, still smiling, walking towards Steve as if nothing had happened to it.
Thinking quickly, Steve sees a spray can of engine starter close by, he grabs for it and reaches it just as the vampire in on him. Steve turns around and sprays it into the vampire's face. It staggers backwards, wiping the fluid off its face. He's only gained a couple of seconds breathing room, but Steve sees that its still not enough time to grab his sword or a piece of wood and stop it.
Steve reaches into his coat pocket and gets out his trusty Zippo lighter, and as the vampire is coming back at him, he lights the spray like a flame thrower. The vampire lets out an unholy scream and burns up, leaving nothing but ashes. As Steve's catching his breathe, wondering what the hell he had gotten myself into, he hears a low growl. He turns around again and there is another one, a female. Steve waits for it to come to him, and he sprays it with the engine starter flame thrower. It dies the same way the first one did.
Now Steve's in full alert mode. He gets hid sword out and starts to look around, looking for more targets. Steve hears a noise from the office of the station. He checks it out cautiously, in case there are more vampires around. Instead he finds a guy without a shirt, tied up and gagged on the office floor. Steve reaches down, and pulls out his gag.
"Where are those things." He asks.
"Matt, I presume,"
"Yeah, that's me. Where are those things?"
"Well, they just disappeared." Steve tells him as he's untying him. "Look, Matt, I pulled in here to get some gas and directions to a motel, can you help me?"
"Yeah, go up the road about two miles, there's a motel there that will give you a room. The night manager is my cousin, he'll treat you right." Matt informs Steve.
As Steve leaves, he reaches into his pocket and tries to give Matt the ten dollar bill "Here, this is for the gas I filled up my tank with tonight."
"Nah, man, keep it, thanks for saving my ass."
"Not a problem, dude."
It takes Steve a couple of minutes to get to the motel. The manager, a stocky, dark haired, guy, in his late forties, is sitting behind the counter, giving me a look. He's probably wondering if Steve's going to rob or try to murder him.
"Hi, I'd like a room please. Matt from the gas station recommended this motel."
"My cousin Matt, told you to come here?" The manager replies.
"Yeah, he said you would treat me right."
"Hold on a second." The manager says. Steve hears the phone being used and the manager talking to someone quietly, probably Matt. He hangs up the phone, and comes back to the counter.
"Matt says you saved his life, that true?"
"Actually, I was saving my own ass, Matt's was just there as a bonus."
The night manager laughs. "Heh, heh, that's a good one. My name is George. Here's the key to room 17. Its on the ground floor. Take your bike inside with you, while you're sleeping, so nothing happens to it."
Steve reaches into his pocket pulling out a couple of twenties. George seeing this, waves his hand and says:
"Don't worry about paying for tonight, at least. You saved one of my family, I owe you."
"Look, George, I've always paid my own way. I've never lived off of anyone."
"That shows good character son. It's not a free ride. It's a gift and a thank you, from me and Matt."
"Sleep tight, and *DON'T* invite anyone inside, no matter how they look, until its daylight. You hear?" George tells me.
"Understood" Steve replies. < What have I gotten myself into now? >
As Steve enters the room, he sweeps it with gun drawn. Steve checks the entire room and bath room. He makes sure all of the windows are shut and locked, and that the closet doesn't hold any surprises. Hell, he even looks under the bed and checks the walls for any hidden passages/entrances.
Paranoia is a *VERY* good thing to have in this town. It will keep him alive.
Needless to say, Steve sleeps with one eye open, his gun cocked and ready and his sword drawn, lying in bed next to him. < If I move too much in my sleep, I'll either shoot myself in the head or cut off my privates > .
Its morning. Steve awakes instantly. He hears a key turning in the lock, he picks up his gun and sword, slips quietly out of bed and stands by the door, ready deal to death to whatever demon or monster is coming through the door for him. < Like I said, paranoia is a good thing. >
As the door opens, Steve sticks his gun to the head of whoever is coming through and says: "You better be the cleaning lady."
The girl, young, Hispanic, about twenty two, looks at the gun and says in a quivering voice: "I'm here to bring you extra towels Senor, and clean up the room."
Steve looks, and sees the only thing she has in her hands is a bunch of towels and a cleaning cart is outside the door.
"Sorry, Senorita, I'm just a little jumpy today. Are you all right? My apologies for the rude greeting."
She looks Steve in the eye and sees only caution and concern.
"No apologias Senor, many of my friends have disappeared in this cursed town. Your caution is well merited. I will give you, your towels now and come back in a hour to clean the room."
"My name is Constance, Senor."
"Gracias, Constance, most people just call me Wanderer."
"It's a name, Constance, like any other"
She smiles and leaves Steve to clean up the other rooms. He takes the chance to grab a quick shower, and change into some clean clothes. The rest he packs away into his saddle bags and puts the bag back on the bike. He then rolls his bike out the door, and heads to the office to settle up his bill with the day manager.
The day manager is a slightly older version of George, < Probably his brother > Steve sees as he walks into the office and drops his key onto the counter. The day manager turns around looks at Steve and the key.
"You the guy who saved Matt's life last night?"
"Yeah, that's me. What do I owe for the room?"
"Like George told you, its on the house. My name is Frank, thanks again for saving Matt."
As Steve turns to leave, Frank tells him: "Son, if you need to stay some place tonight, come back here, I'll save your room."
"Thanks Frank, I might just take you up on that offer. By the way, how do I get to Spring Street from here?" Frank gives Steve directions, and tells him it shouldn't take more than ten minutes to get there at this time of day. Steve thanks him for the directions and goes.
As Steve's driving through town, he notice that this does look like a nice town, during the day. < I wonder if anybody notices the darkness at night. >
Steve makes it to Lancaster Antiques, in about thirty minutes. It's a large warehouse with a store front off to one side. He parks in front of the store. As he enters the shop, a bell rings. A woman's voice calls to him from the back of the shop.
"I'll be with you in a second, please wait." The voice says. So, he waits. A couple of minutes later, two woman walk out of the back of the shop. One is blond, in her late thirties. The other is brunette, also in her thirties. Both are very good looking.
"Can I help you Sir?" The brunette asks.
"Hello and yes, my name is Steve St. Wolf. Is Mr. Lancaster here."
"No, he's not, he's in Europe for several more weeks. Is there anything that I can help you with, Mr. St. Wolf."
"Well, I met him in Paris last week and he hired me to work for him."
"Oh, Yes, he told me about you a couple of days ago, but I didn't expect you here for at last another week."
"It's Carol, I'm Robert's wife. Let's sit down and talk, Mr. St. Wolf." Carol says as she leads us off to a conference table close by the front door.
"A pleasure, and its Steve, by the way. I was able to bum a ride on a friend's plane and get here sooner."
"A friend's plane?" The blonde asks.
"An friend of mine was coming to L.A. to attend a seminar, and he offered me a lift in his plane, as well as cargo space for my bike, Miss..?" Steve looks at the blonde.
"Oh, I'm sorry, this is Joyce Summers, she runs a gallery not far from here." Carol informs me.
"But, please, call me Joyce." Joyce adds.
"Carol, Did Robert explain what my job would be here?"
"Yes, he said that you locate antiques and specialty items for people all over the world. And that you have a huge amount of contacts and clients. Also, that you would be using our antique store as your base of operations and as a clearing house."
"That's it in a nutshell. I use computers to keep in contact with my clients and vis-versa. I have an extensive database of clients that contains specific items that they are looking for, and what types or classes of items they prefer to collect or have an interest in. It also contains general information on how much money they want to spend and other such details."
"Robert wanted me to go through your collection and see what I could sell to my clients right now, and then to set up a system that could help increase your sales overall."
"So, where is all of this equipment that you will need for this work?" Carol asks.
"Well, I normally just use my lap-top computer for most of my work and that will do for now, but the store will need to get a web server installed. The server can be installed later on."
"How does this help us make sales?"
"Well, your store is just a local antique shop now. But, by the time I get everything done, It'll become an international trading house, open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. And it will be accessible from anyone's computer that has an Internet connection." As Steve finishes explaining everything to Carol and Joyce, their eyes light up.
"How much is this going to cost us?" Carol asks warily.
"Well, the initial startup costs are a little expensive, about five thousand dollars, give or take a couple of hundred for the equipment. The maintenance and web fees will be about one hundred fifty to two hundred dollars a month. The setup time will depend on how much time it will take to categorize, photograph, and the number of antiques to input onto the web site. We'll need some temporary help for that job, mostly weekend and evening work. After that, either you, me or Robert will be updating the site, as needed, and to answer the messages and requests, as they come in."
"That's not too bad. One more question Steve, did you and Robert come to an agreement about your salary?"
"Yes, we did. I agreed to work on a commission basis. Twenty percent of the profit, plus reasonable expenses."
Joyce looks at me strangely. "You agreed to that?" She says.
"Yes, I did. I have been able to make a decent living in the antiques business for the last five years. And I'm not greedy. Most of my clients know this and they respect me for it. Knowing this, they also trust me not to cheat them."
"When are you going to be able to start" Carol asks.
"In a few days. First, I have to find a decent place to live in and get my personal belongings sent to me, there. Do either of you know of any apartments or homes that can be rented now, until I find a more permanent place?"
Joyce recommended a real estate agent who was a friend of hers. Steve goes to see him. He had quite a few rentals available < In this town? No Kidding >. He chooses a house in a good neighborhood and moves right in.
The house had everything Steve was looking for. It was big, comfortable and had a large well equipped gym built into it < It also had three vampires living in the basement, but I'd find them later >. The previous owner had mysteriously disappeared, and his family was looking to unload the house. < I thought I could buy it, after renting it for a few months. >
Steve has just finished signing the rental papers and a six month lease, paying the real estate agent the rent for the entire six months and two months security, in advance < The real estate guy was smiling his head off when he left >. After he left, Steve was making himself at home. He figured that he would get the phones turned on tomorrow. At least the electricity and water were still on and it was partially furnished < Guess his family didn't like leather and wood too much >.
Steve calls Sidney Meyers, his business manager and gives him the new address. Sid would the arrangements to send out Steve's belongings by fast freight. Steve should have everything in about three days. < I check the house and make a mental list for what I need to get over the next couple of days. >
As Steve gives the house a more thorough going over, he notices that the previous owner had some secret panels put in. < Mmm, I could use those for my weapons and other stuff I didn't want lying out in the open. >. He opens several of them and finds a large quantity of drugs. Needless to say the toilet was working overtime. Steve was done by around eight o'clock and hungry. He orders a pizza from the local pizzeria.
At 8:40 the pizza delivery kid rings Steve's door bell. Steve checks through the peep hole and see the delivery kid. When Steve opens the door, he gets the kid thrown into his face. As Steve's rolling, and flipping the kid out of his way, he sees three vampires, a male and two females, shoving their way into the doorway.
As Steve's getting up, he asks, "I thought vampires couldn't enter into a home without being invited?"
The leader, a big burly guy standing about 6'2", looks at Steve and smiles.
"We can, when its our own homes." He snickers.
"So, you're the previous owner. Weren't you a drug dealer?"
"Yeah, I still am." Big, burly guy says.
Steve grins wickedly, and inform him: "No, you're not. I destroyed all of your stashes, earlier today. The alligators in the sewers are *VERY* happy tonight."
The burly guy screams his rage and rushes Steve < Which is what I wanted >. Steve side steps the vampire and stabs him with the pencil that he's holding. The male vampire disintegrates into dust with a stupid look on his face.
The other two vampires haven't moved yet, but that won't be for long. Steve grabs a wooden chair by the door. He smashes it into the closest vampire and splinters it. She's a little stunned, as Steve steps to her side and stabs the other one with the chair remains. She disappears as he turns back to the second vampire and stabs her as well. She, also disappears.
As, Steve looks around the room, shaking the his head, at the mess this little Donny-brook made, he hears the pizza delivery boy moaning. Steve rushes over to him and examines him for any injuries. He only looks a little shaken up.
"Kid, you alright? Can you tell me your name?"
"My name's Ted, Sir. Where are those guys who grabbed me, and shoved me in?"
"Ted, they ran after they saw that I was armed and had my gun out." Steve shows him the holster on his belt. Ted sees it and whistles. He looks up at Steve with a worried expression.
"Uh, are you going to use that on me?" Ted asks.
"No, Ted, I only carry it for my personal protection." Steve tells him. "Are you going to be alright Ted, do you want me to call the pizzeria? See if your boss will come and pick you up, if you can't drive."
"No, Sir, I can drive. Thanks for caring. Uh, I never got your name."
"My name is Steve St. Wolf. Just Steve will be alright. C'mon, lets see if the pizza survived?"
Steve looks around on the porch, the pizza box was sitting in the corner by the door, he opens it, the pizza is undamaged < Well, at least this was unharmed >. Steve thinks to myself. He pays Ted, and gives him a decent tip for the delivery < combat pay > and tells him to call when he got back to the pizza parlor. Steve watches as Ted gets into his car and leaves.
About ten minutes later, Steve sits down to eat the pizza, when his cell phone rings.
"Hi, Mr. St. Wolf, its Ted, I'm back at the pizza shop safe and sound."
"Keep safe Ted." Steve tells him and hangs up the phone.
As Steve's eating, he thinks to myself < I've been attacked twice in the last two days by vampires. This town is full of them. And they think they own it. Well, looks like I'm about to pull a hostile takeover. And here I was worried, I'd get fat and lazy in this tranquil, pleasant, little town. >
Before Steve goes to sleep, he checks every room and every floor, especially the basement, and makes sure everything is locked down tight. The next few days were going to be very interesting indeed.
Same Time Frame
At the Summer's house, Buffy is having dinner with her mother, Joyce. They're going over the news of the day.
"Buffy, Mr. Lancaster hired a new salesman for his shop. I met him today."
"Is he cute, mom." Buffy asks, hoping for a negative answer.
"He's what you would term a hunk, dear." Her mom replies.
Buffy rolls up her eyes thinking that her mother was going to try and date this dweeb. She imagines a gray haired version of Giles, with thick glasses, slightly over weight, wearing a bad suit and bad hair.
"So, are you going to ask him out, Mom."
"Actually no, he's only twenty four years old. I was thinking you might want to show him around town, since he's moving here from Europe."
Buffy perks up at hearing this. "C'mon, Mom, dish the dirt. What does he look like?"
Joyce replies, "Well, he's extremely polite, has good manners and is highly intelligent, well traveled and a specialist in European antiques." While thinking < Well, at least she is still interested in something. >
Buffy looks a her mother with a look of pure venom, while thinking < God, please don't let him be a dweeb, please. Oh God, he probably is. >
Joyce relents, "Okay honey, don't give me the look, please. After he left, it was all Carol Lancaster and I could talk about the way he looked and moved < And wishing we were both twenty years younger >. All right here goes, he stands about 6'2", weighs about 180 to 200 pounds, no fat, all muscle. He has brown eyes and hair. He walks like a dancer and drives a motorcycle. And he has the tightest butt I've seen in a long time" Joyce starts to lose it and giggles, seeing the look in her daughter's face.
"Mother, the tightest butt? You mention that around any of my friends and I'll never be able to live it down!" Buffy says in a huff, then bursts into giggles.
"So, when do I get to meet him." Buffy asks, grinning..
"Not for a few days, he's looking for an apartment and will need to settle in." Joyce answers.
Steve wakes up at 6:00 am the next day. He gets up, showers and gets dressed. The first thing he does is call Sid, in New York, to see if he sent his stuff out yet.
"Sid, have you sent out my stuff yet?" Steve asks after the usual round of greetings.
"No, I haven't. Do you need anything else?" Sid asks.
"Yes, send me the black section as well."
"Steve, are you going to war? You told me that you hoped to God never to ask for those things, again."
Steve explains to Sid, what has happened to him over the last two nights.
"Sweet God in Heaven. Steve, you're going to fight them." Sid says.
"Yeah, you know I tend to get a *little* pissed off when I see innocents getting hurt."
"You'll have everything by late tonight. And Steve,"
"God go with you, and good hunting."
"Sid, in case I don't survive, don't come here to avenge me by yourself. Use the envelope that's in your safe. Contact the people on that list. They'll care take of everything."
"Steve, if you die there, there will be no place they can hide from my vengeance or Gods'."
"Go with God, Sid"
"God be with you, Steve. I'll call you back as soon as I make the preparations."
New York City
The Offices of Meyers, Meyers & Randall
(These Are NOT The Offices of Dewey, Screwem and Howe)
Sid Meyers was looking out the window of his twenty second floor corner office. < My God, the kepiloth - ‘empty ones' - still exist. > Sid makes his decision, reaching around, he picks up the phone and dials a number. The phone at the other end is picked up.
"Hello, Iverson Air, can I help you." The voice on the other end asks.
"Myra, this is Sidney Meyers, put me through to Frank." Sidney demands.
"Sid, what can I do for you today?" Frank Iverson asks over the phone.
Sidney explains what the situation is, and tells Frank that he will meet him at the warehouse in thirty minutes. After Sidney gets off the phone, Iverson starts to plan the run into L.A. and makes arrangements to deliver the items to Sunnydale, personally.
As Sidney leaves his office, he turns to his secretary, Jane, "Jane cancel all my appointments for today." He tells her.
Seeing the look in his eye, Jane doesn't ask any questions.
At the warehouse, Iverson leads Sidney to the black storage section and unlocks the doors to the sealed room.
As Iverson opens the door, he turns to Sidney, "You know Sidney, I hoped to God, that I wouldn't have to open this room ever again, let alone this soon."
"You and me both Frank." Sidney muses.
They enter the room, the lights are turned on, weapons of every description stood on racks. Ancient edged weapons shared the space with the most modern assault rifles. Axes stood next to anti-tank missiles, knives next to handguns. Swords next to rifles.
Iverson's cell phone rings, shattering the quiet.
"Iverson, here. We can leave in three hours? Good. I'll need some help packaging the stuff. Have Antonio and Toby come here to help immediately. Also call Wanderer in California and give him our schedule."
A few minutes later, two men enter the area, and stand by Iverson, looking at the black room. The shorter stockier man, Antonio, replies, "Oh shit, it's going to be a bad one, isn't it?"
J. Edgar Hoover Bldg.
"Scully, I want you to see this video tape. I just got it from the Lone Gunmen." Mulder tells his long time partner Dana Scully.
"Oh, what's on it? Teen-age cheerleaders in action, or is Frohike trying to propose to me again?" Scully replies with a grin.
Mulder just shakes his head and puts the video into the tape player.
"This tape was made at the Sunnydale shopping mall, a couple of weeks ago. The tape was given to the Lone Gunmen by one of their sources. You'll find this very interesting."
The tape shows a mall entrance. It winds for a few minutes until a group of strange people come through the doors and stand atop the landing, leading down into the mall. The man in the center is in the costume of a devil. His skin is blue with horns on his head. Scully turns to Mulder and asks.
"Mulder, is this a joke?"
"Just keep watching, Scully."
She watches as the tape continues to roll. The group splits up, leaving a man and a woman standing beside the blue devil on the landing. A man in a light trench coat walks up the stairs to exit the mall. As he approaches the group, the man in the devil costume touches him. The man burns up.
"Mulder, this can't be real."
"Keep watching, Scully."
The tape keeps on going. Scully watches as rays shoot from the blue devil and attach themselves to every one, except the two people standing next him. The blue devil looks like he's enjoying himself Scully thinks to herself.
Suddenly, the blue devil jerks, and the rays disappear. He reaches up to his chest and pulls something out and throws it to the side. Scully reads his lips as he says: "No weapon forged of Man can stop me!" He is looking at someone in front of him, out of the camera's view.
The man and the woman at his side suddenly start to jump down from the landing. The blue devil looks puzzled and mutters, "What is that?". Suddenly a streak of light strikes the blue devil, and he explodes into a thousand pieces. The man and the woman who stood at his side are knocked down by the blast, but manage to get up to run away. The video goes blank at this moment.
"Mulder, what did I just see? This can't be real. And if its real, then who and what destroyed the blue guy?"
"I had the Gunmen blow up sections of the tape. When the rays disappeared, he was struck with a crossbow bolt."
"Mulder, what are dealing with here, William Tell?"
"It would appear so, but when the devil threw away the bolt and showed that he wasn't hurt, they used a Strella Anti-Tank Missile, that's what the streak of light was."
Scully looks at her partner in disbelief. "An Anti-Tank missile, where would someone get something like that?"
Mulder tosses a report to Scully. It's a confidential, U.S. Army CID report about the theft of a Strella Anti-Tank missile from a California depot.
"I think they borrowed it from the Army, Scully."
"Mulder, that's a confidential CID report. Where did you get it?"
"From the Lone Gunmen, of course. And they also provided this."
Mulder then hands Scully a folder full of newspaper clippings about strange things that have happen in and around the town of Sunnydale for the past two years.
"Well, Scully, I don't know about you, but I think that I would like to pay this place a little visit. You interested?" Mulder asks his partner with a grin.
Scully looks at her partner with disgust, knowing that he had trapped her into going to Sunnydale with him. < Well, at least we are getting away from a very cold February in D.C. >
After calling Sidney, Steve decides to go out and set up his utilities and buy some necessary items for the house and get the lay of the land, so to speak.
< Well, the telephone was easy enough, they promised me that everything would be set up and installed within a day. The gas and electric company was no problem either. But, getting furniture delivered in this town is nearly impossible. > Steve thinks to himself ruefully.
`Steve stops by the shop and informs Carol about his new address and telephone numbers. She is impressed by how quickly Steve gets things done.
"Carol, I'll be ready to start work on Monday morning, what time do you open?"
"Steve, we don't work on Monday, Tuesday at 10:00 is the earliest that you can start. Is that fine?"
"No problem Carol, it just gives me more time to get to know this town better and take in the sights."
"What are you doing this afternoon, more house shopping?"
"Yeah, I've still got to get a new bedroom setup, know anybody in town who will deliver today by 5:00 PM?"
"Hold on a second, let me make a phone call." Carol reaches for her phone and calls a local store owned by a friend of her's. "Hello, Nancy, this is Carol. I have a friend here who needs a bedroom set, can you help him." She writes down an address and a store name for Steve.
"Here Steve, go see Nancy, at Bedrooms ‘R Us.. The store is two blocks over and three blocks up, on Green Street."
Steve thanks Carol and goes.
He finishes all of his errands by three o'clock and makes it home, just as the phone company pulls up. The tech finishes up as the furniture arrives. The delivery guys help Steve place the furniture in the house. By four o'clock, they're finished setting up the bedroom set. Just then, Frank Iverson arrives to deliver the rest of Steve's belongings. Steve offers the furniture guys an extra hundred apiece to help get the stuff in the house. They finish in thirty minutes.
"Steve, this is nice looking town, I hope you don't demolish it like the last place that pissed you off." Frank comments as he and Steve unpack the stuff brought.
"Frank, I didn't start this, the vampires did." Steve tells Frank, as they are putting the weapons away into the hidden closets.
"Look Steve, me and you have been through some strange stuff together, but vampires?"
"You want to go out tonight and see for yourself, Frank?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Well then, let's set up the reloading equipment in the basement and then we'll go out and take a look."
Frank agrees. They finished setting up my re-loading equipment in the basement by around eight o'clock, and then prepare to go out.
Steve gears up for the night with his Katana, Glock 21, several wooden knives, and a cross. Frank equips himself with his H&K Spec Ops 45 and several wooden stakes as well.
Willow is running very hard and fast. She is very scared, because of the three vampires chasing her through the park. She is most afraid of what will happen to her when they catch her.
Willow can't believe how stupid she was. Staying late at Oz's place and then walking home alone. < I can't believe my luck. I run into Angel and eight vampires as I'm leaving Oz's house. > Willow thinks back to Angel's offer.
"Ah Willow, out for a late night with the boyfriend? Too bad." Angel comments with a Cheshire cat smile. "Let's make this a little more fun. Willow if you can out run my vampires, I'll let you live. You'll have to get across the park, before they catch you. Otherwise, you're dinner. I'll even give you a two minute head start."
Willow starts to run. Angel looks at his watch, barely thirty seconds have passed before he says, "Go get her." The vampires hesitate. "I said NOW!!" Angel screams, as three vampires take off after her. Angel looks at the five remaining vampires and says, "Let's go." As he follows Willow and the three vampires.
Willow sees the meadow in front of her and she knows that the park ends a couple of hundred yards away from the other side. She turns her head to take a quick look behind and sees the three vampires gaining on her. She screams and spurts forward gaining some distance. But, she doesn't see the depression in the dark and falls, spraining her ankle. Her last thoughts are, < Buffy, where are you. Oh God, I'm going to die, or worse become one of them. > before the world goes dark.
The night was quiet as Frank and Steve walked out the door of Steve's new home. Steve had scouted out the area and figured that the most likely spots to find the vampires would be around one of three places, the park, the cemetery and a dance club called "The Bronze". As they walk towards the park, they scan the shadows on the lookout for anything trying to attack them.
As they enter the park, a scream breaks the silence. Frank sees a young girl running from three attackers. Both Frank and Steve run to help. The girl trips on a depression in the ground, and her attackers catch up to her. Frank yells a warning and the three turn to face the intruders, their demonic faces showing.
"Shit, what the hell are they?" Frank whispers when he sees their faces.
"Well, Frank you asked for proof that there were vampires. What do you think THEY are? A street gang on PCP?"
The three rush Frank and Steve. Frank takes out his .45 and shoots the first one in the chest, twice. It doesn't even slow him down.
"Frank, use your stake, shove it into its heart!" Steve tells him.
Steve moves to the side and kicks the second vampire in the groin. As it doubles over, Steve beheads it. The third one rushes forward hoping to catch Steve off guard. Steve suddenly ducks down, slicing off its leg. The first vampire is still on Frank, trying to wrestle him to the ground. Steve follows up the leg slice with a cut to the third vampire's neck, slicing off its head, and causing it to go POOF. Steve turns to help Frank, but he sees that Frank has managed to beat the vampire back, then he pulls out his stake and shoves it into the first vampire's heart, which makes it disappear.
"What the fuck happened to it?" Frank exclaims.
"They tend to disappear, when you kill them. Either a stake to the heart or taking off its head works." Steve explains to him. "Let's go see if the girl is alright."
They move to where the girl is laying. She's still lying on the ground where she fell. They examine her to make sure she is alright.
As they approach her, Steve notices that she's young, couldn't be older that eighteen with long red hair. She looks very innocent laying there, but you can't be sure < The innocent looking kid at the gas station pops up in my mind >. Steve thinks to himself as he bends down to examine her, he pulls out the cross, to make sure they don't get any rude surprises, and touches her with it. Nothing happens, so Frank checks her pulse and sees that she's still alive. Steve keeps an eye out while Frank tends to her.
"How is she, Frank?"
"Looks like she passed out when she fell. But, I don't think she hit her head on anything."
Just then the girls eyes pop open and she looks at the two strangers with fear in her eyes.
"Frank, keep an eye on the woods, make sure nothing comes at us without warning. I want to ask this girl a couple of questions." Frank gets up and starts scanning the perimeter, while Steve talks to the girl.
"Hi there, out a little late aren't we?" He asks her.
"Hmm, you're not with the guys who were chasing me?" The girl asks < Who are these two? They're not vampires, I hope. >
"No, we're just a couple of guys out for a walk. We heard your scream and came to help. Do you have a name?"
"Yes, my name's Willow. Who are you guys, what happened to the three vam.. guys chasing me?"
"Well Willow, when they saw me and friend, those just sorta went to pieces and disappeared." Steve tells her with a grin.
Willow looks up at the stranger's comment, wondering what he means by saying that ‘they went to pieces'.
"Steve, some more people are coming this way, and I don't think they're the friendly types." Frank calls over.
Steve stands up helping Willow to her feet.
"Ouch, I think I sprained my ankle when I fell. I can barely stand, I don't think I can walk." Willow tells Steve, a worried look on her face.
"Don't worry Willow, neither Frank nor I will leave you here. You can bet your life on that." Steve reassures her.
"You don't understand, those are vampires, the other three probably went to get help. We have to get away from them." Willow informs the two strangers.
Steve looks over to where Frank is pointing, a group of six more vampires is moving towards them, at a trot.
"Frank, you ready this time."
Frank pulls out two stakes, and smiles his evil smile. "I know what I have to do Steve, don't worry about me. Give the girl your cross, and let's send these bastards back to whatever hell they came from."
Steve hands Willow his cross and a wooden knife. She looks at him with wide eyes, but immediately grabs the cross and knife, holding them with a practiced ease. < She's scared, but she'll fight for her life. Good. >
"Frank, let's take the battle to them. Don't let any of them get past you."
Willow is shocked to see the tall stranger handing her a cross and wooden knife. As he turns around to face the vampires, Willow wonders < Who are these two guys. And how do they know about vampires? > Willow looks at the new group of vampires, the three that were chasing her are not in the group. < What happened to the three that were following me? > Then she remembers the stranger's comment ‘They went to pieces'. < My God, they killed the three vampires that were chasing me. > Willow looks in wonder as the tall stranger who spoke to her, pulls an incredibly long sword from out of his coat!? < Where did that come from? And why is it glowing blue? > She wonders to herself.
Frank and Steve move forward about ten yards and stop. The vampires have seen them and notice that these two strangers were not running away. Steve lifts his Katana and calls out a challenge: "You guys want something?"
The six vampires stop in their tracks and one steps forward.
< Who are these two, and where are the three vampires I sent after Willow? If they ran away from these two mortals, I'll kill them. > "My name is Angelus, and that girl is my dinner. Walk away and you two will live."
"Angel" Willows cries out in fear.
"Ah Willow, Buffy will be very anger when she finds out that I've killed you." Angel smiles and licks his lips.
"Come down here and I'll stab your heart out, Angel." Willow retorts, holding up her knife and cross.
"Frank, do you think they know each other?" Steve asks, grinning like a fool. < God, this kid has heart. >
"Yeah, I think they do, but I don't think they like each other much, though." Frank comments. He turns around and gives the girl a thumbs up sign and a smile.
Angelus looks at the two strangers again, "I thought I told you two to beat it. Oh well," he turns to his vampire cronies, pointing at the strangers, "You can have these two for dinner. Willow is mine."
The five vampires split into two groups, three going for Steve, two for Frank. Steve throws his wooden knife, killing one vampire with a hit to the heart. The other two see this and come straight at him. Steve uses his Katana to cut open the stomach of the second one, while ducking under the third one. He then stabs the third vampire in the stomach, from a crouched position. As the third one is doubled over, Steve straightens up and brings his blade back and beheads him. The second is just getting back up when Steve cuts his head off with another stroke of his sword.
Meanwhile, Frank has managed to kill his first vampire with a quick stab to the heart. The second gets groin kicked and as he doubles over, back stabbed.
Frank and Steve turn around and move back to help the girl called Willow. She's standing her ground. Angelus is trying to get past the cross and wooden knife she has.
"Willow, I promise that it will be quick." Angelus tells her.
"Angel, I used to like you a lot when you had your soul. You were my friend then, now your just another monster." Willow tells him.
Steve clears his throat and asks, "I know this is a touching reunion, but Angelus, old son, why don't you face me or my partner, instead of a wounded, slip of a girl. Or aren't you man enough?" Steve challenges.
Angelus turns around and sees Steve and Frank standing there.
"How in the hell!!" Angelus exclaims, looking for the five vampires he sent after the two strangers. "Who are you two? No mere mortals could have killed five vampires."
< They killed five vampires in less than a minute!! > Willow thinks to herself. < Who are these guys? > Willow now notices that Angel has his back to her. She decides to try and finish Angel for Buffy's sake. She reaches out, thrusting with the wooden knife, aimed at his heart.
Suddenly Angel moves away, and Willow's sprained leg doesn't let her catch up to him.
Steve and Frank see Angelus move suddenly to the side, Willow had attempted to stab him in the back when he turned to face us. < This girl has potential. > Angelus sees that the odds are against him and starts to run back into the woods. Frank pulls out his H&K Spec Ops. 45 and goes through the rest of his magazine, shooting Angelus in the back.
"Frank, you know that bullets won't stop them." Steve comments, as he puts his Katana away.
"Yeah, but it just makes me feel so good knowing that I ruined pretty boy's nice leather jacket." Frank replies, giving Steve that evil grin, as he replaces the spent magazine.
Frank and Steve turn to look at Willow. She in turn is looking at the two of them. < Probably wondering what we're going to do. > Steve thinks to himself.
"C'mon, lets get out of here before he brings back any more of them." Steve tells Frank and Willow. "Willow, do you want us to escort you home?"
"There's a pay phone not far from here, I can call for a ride from there. Can you help me get there?" Willow asks. "Hold on a second, let me get my purse."
Willow bends down to retrieve a small purse and one of Frank's shell casings, Steve notices. < Girl definitely has potential! >
"Lean on me kid," Frank says, "I'll help you walk there. Steve will keep guard on both of us."
As they're walking out of the park, Steve asks Willow some questions.
"Willow, that Angelus guy knew you, and he mentioned someone named Buffy. Would you care to explain what he was talking about?"
"No, I can't right now. You have to understand these are my friends and I don't want anything to happen to them." Willow explains. "Hmm, why are you walking like that for?" Willow remarks, as she notices Steve turning around at random times and walking backwards.
"It's a patrol method called the 'Belfast Stroll'." Steve replies with a grin. "I'm not going to ask any more questions. We understand Willow, you have your friends' confidence. You need to talk to them first, before you can tell us anything. After all, everybody has secrets they need to keep and confidences that can't be shared."
Willow looks relieved at Steve's words.
As they exit the park, they see the pay phone. Willow reaches into her pocket for some change to make the call, but comes up empty.
"Drat, I must've lost my change in the park." She mutters.
Steve reaches into his pocket and gives her a quarter. "Here, make your call, we'll wait here beside you, until your friend comes."
Willow dials a number, and asks her mother to pick her up. She explains that she tripped and sprained her ankle in the park and couldn't make it home. She tells her mother where she's calling from, giving the cross streets where she's standing.
After Willow hangs up the phone, she turns to us, "I just want to say thank you for saving me back there. Is there any way for me to contact you tomorrow, after I've talked to my friends."
Steve gives her his cellular phone number to call, to arrange any meetings. While they wait for Willow's mother, Frank and Steve keep an eye out on the park, making sure nothing can rush out of it without any warning.
A few minutes later, a car pulls up to the phone booth. A woman gets out of it. Willow moves toward the car and calls out to her mother. Frank and Steve start to walk away, checking the area. As they're walking away, the car pulls up to them. The woman gets out and approaches the pair. Steve sees Willow sitting in the front seat embarrassed.
"I understand you helped my daughter, Willow, out of the park." The woman asks.
"Yes, ma'am, we found her with a sprained ankle in the middle of the park." Frank tells her.
"I just wanted to say, thank you, for helping her."
"No problem, always glad to be helpful." Steve replies.
She gets back into her car and drives away.
"Steve, that girl knows what's going on here. Why didn't you question her more thoroughly?" Frank asks.
"Frank, I don't think that she could have handled an interrogation, not in her state. Besides, its obvious that she was going to be a victim tonight of that thing. And I think that we have just gained ourselves an ally in this town."
"Yeah, I can see your point of view. But, who is Buffy?"
"I don't know, but I'm sure we're going to find out sooner or later, probably sooner. Let's go back to the house."
One Hour Later
"Mom, Dad, Uncle Mike, I'm going to bed now." Willow says as she heads up the stairs.
The moment she gets into her room, she dives for the phone and calls her best friend Buffy.
"Please be home, please be home," Willow whispers as the phone rings.
The phone is answered on the fourth ring, "Hello, this better be important," a sleepy Buffy answers.
"Buffy, this is Willow, are you awake?"
"Willow, what's so important, that you have to wake me up?" Buffy asks.
"Buffy, I was attacked by Angel tonight."
Buffy is instantly awake, "Willow, is Angel holding you prisoner? Tell him I want to speak to him, right now."
"No, Buffy, I'm at home and safe. Let me explain."
Willow then tells Buffy about her run through the park, being chased by three vampires, falling and waking up to see two strange men. She then tells Buffy how these two men stood up to Angel and five vampires to protect her.
"Willow, are you sure it only took a minute for these guys to kill FIVE vampires?" Buffy asks in wonder.
"Yes, I'm pretty sure it was less than a minute, because Angel only got five steps, before the other five vampires were gone. Buffy, I think they also took out the three vampires that Angel had sent after me earlier."
"Eight vampires Willow? Are these guys really that good? You couldn't have imagined it? Maybe Angel is playing a game, trying to set us up?"
"I don't know Buffy, but they gave me a phone number to call to arrange a meeting. How about everybody meets in the Library tomorrow morning before first period?"
"Good idea, I'll round everybody up, you go straight to the Library." Buffy tells her.
A Deserted Factory - The Vampires' Hiding Place
(It Ain't the Ritz Carleton, But the Screams Are Free)
Angelus slams his hand against the wall in frustration. He turns to Spike and Drusilla.
"I can't believe those two strangers killed eight of our brethren tonight." Spike comments, looking at Angelus.
"Believe it Spike," Angelus answers. "I hadn't gone more than five yards before they were challenging me to a fight. It took them about a minute to destroy five vampires. A fucking minute. And probably less to do the first three. Can you believe that. Plus, add the fact that they rescued Willow makes this even worse."
"How so Angel darling?" Drusilla asks.
"Because the first thing that she will do is contact Buffy. And if these two join with her, then we're in deep trouble. Can you imagine the Slayer allied with two hunters who are possibly as deadly as she is?" Angel comments.
"How can you be sure that they will join forces? Maybe the Slayer won't have anything to do with them. After all, how can she know that they're on her side? All of the Slayers in history have been loners. Why should she be any different?" Spike comments.
Angelus turns to Spike. "Spike, this Slayer is different, she has friends, a family. She doesn't hunt us alone. She might welcome the extra help." Angelus answers.
"We have got to lay low for a few days, maybe these guys will go away by themselves. Pass the word to the other vampires. No more hunting for at least three days. Do I make myself clear." Angelus commands several vampires who immediately leave to spread the word.
"One other thing, we'll need to add more vampires to our ranks. Make ourselves stronger, just in case." Angelus angrily states as he throws his leather jacket in the corner. "And somebody find me a new jacket, one of those bastards shot mine to pieces."
As Willow enters the library, she sees that Buffy has already rounded everybody up for the meeting. Oz gets up from his chair and helps Willow to her usual spot next to the computer. All eyes are on Willow as she sits down.
"Hi guys, I take it Buffy already told you about last night?" Willow asks.
Mr. Giles, the Librarian, checks his glasses and asks, "Willow would you mind going over what happened last night, again?"
Willow nods and goes over in great detail what happened in the park last night. She also pulls out the cross, wooden knife and the shell casing that came from one the stranger's guns.
Xander picks up the shell casing and whistles.
"Xander do you know what it is?" Mr. Giles asks.
"Yeah, it's a modified .45 Colt Auto. Very NASTY stuff. It also doesn't have any manufacturer's marks, so we can't find out who made it or where it was bought. Without the manufacturer's marks, we can't track the bullets. The only people that would have access to and use this kind of stuff would be special or black operations soldiers."
"Would mind explaining in English what you just said?" Cordelia asks.
Xander looks around the table seeing the blank stares, explains "Oh sorry. Remember that Charlie Sheen film, 'Navy SEALs'. Well, the guy who fired this bullet, belongs to the same type of group."
Giles clears his throat and asks, "Xander, would you care to explain, to me, what is a Navy SEAL?"
"Well Giles, imagine a soldier trained to fight on the land, in the air and on and under the sea. They're some of the best of the best, Giles. Trained in weapons, explosives, hand to hand and stealth fighting techniques. These guys have been through some of the toughest training in the world, where eighty to ninety percent of the volunteers washout."
"So, in other words, we have a pair of highly trained and well equipped killers roaming the streets of Sunnydale." Giles replies as he turns to Willow, "Willow can you look up the words ‘Belfast Stroll' on the Internet, please."
Buffy looks up, and asks the questions on everybody's mind, "So, just who are these two Rambos? What's their reason for being in Sunnydale? And, just on whose side are they on?"
"Those are the questions that need to be answered." Xander replies.
Giles turns to Willow, "Willow, have you got a match yet?"
"Yes, I did Giles." Willow replies. "The term ‘Belfast Stroll' according to the Internet article I've pulled up from Soldier of Fortune magazine, refers to a patrol method used by British Special Air Service and Royal Marines in Northern Ireland."
"My word," An awed Giles, mutters.
Buffy turns to Giles and asks, "Uh, Giles who are these guys?"
A pale, shaken Giles clears his throat, "The British SAS and Royal Marines are the two most elite branches of the military back in England. Also, the units have won international fame for defeating terrorists all around the world. These men are trained to fight and think. I think this answers the question of how they defeated five vampires in less than a minute."
"What do you mean, Giles?" Oz asks.
"Simple, the vampires meet a foe that knew their weaknesses and how to capitalize on them. In words of your vernacular: ‘They kicked the vampires' ass'."
Giles turns to Willow, "Willow, you said they gave you a telephone number to contact them."
"Yes, here it is." Willow hands Giles a slip of paper.
"Let's call and arrange a meeting shall we?" Giles explains.
"But where?" Buffy asks.
"Lets see where they want to meet. If its public with a lot of people, then they might be friends. If its secluded, then most definitely it's a trap." Xander reasons.
The group gets up and walks over to the library counter where the speaker phone is. Oz moves a chair, so Willow is comfortable, Xander locks the doors, so no will interrupt them. Giles dials the number on the slip of paper.
"Hello, Steve here." The voice on the phone answers.
"Hi, Steve, this is Willow. I've talked to my friends, and they want to me to arrange a meeting with you and Frank. Tonight, if possible."
"Sure, how about the food court at the local shopping mall, around six o'clock sound about right?"
Willow looks at her friends and sees them all nod, yes.
"I'll wait for you there, with a couple of my friends." Willow answers.
"Bye Steve." And the phone is hung up.
"Giles, what do you make of their choice for a meeting place?" Cordelia asks.
"It's too public, it will be hard to trap any one there. What do you think Xander?" Giles replies, as he notices him drawing a sketch of the food court and its general area.
"Yeah, I agree with you Giles. No one could plan an effective trap here. Too many witnesses, too many exits. You couldn't cover them all unless you had an army with you, and that would be VERY obvious. Also, it's a great place to hold a meeting. No one will notice one taking place, just a bunch of people sitting down to eat." Xander explains.
Giles looks impressed with Xander's train of thought. "So, who will be there first? Us or them." Giles asks.
Xander considers the matter. "We'll be there first. They'll be late, about ten minutes I think." Xander looks around, seeing the blank stares continues, "They will want to check the area out first, make sure that WE are not trying to trap THEM. These two are real pros. Buffy, these two guys are probably a lot more dangerous than anything you've faced before, even the Order of Teraka."
"These men are more dangerous than the Assassin's Order? I find that hard to believe." Giles answers.
"Giles, the Order has some tough people working for it, I'll give them that. But face facts, they normally go after people who have never fought more that a cold their entire lives. Giles, the order is a bunch of wild dogs that goes after sheep. These two guys we're meeting are more like a pair of alpha class timber wolves."
The sound of the first attendance bell breaks the silence. Giles gets up, "We have a lot to think about, we'll meet back here after school. Go on to class." The meeting breaks up, every body heading to their first period, deep in thought.
St. Wolf Residence
(Batmobiles for Sale - Cheap)
Frank and Steve are having a light breakfast when Steve's phone rings.
"Hello, Steve here."
"Hi, Steve, this is Willow. I've talked to my friends, and they want to me to arrange a meeting with you and Frank. Tonight, if possible."
Steve looks at Frank, and make an impulsive decision. "Sure, how about the food court at the local shopping mall, around six o'clock sound about right?" Steve had been to the mall yesterday and the food court looked like a perfect set up for a meeting. Public but private, and no easy way to control it.
"I'll wait for you there, with a couple of my friends."
"That was our young friend from last night, setting up a meeting." Steve informs Frank.
"Girls a fast worker." Frank comments.
"That she is. Let's go over to the mall and scope out the area, before the meeting."
"Good idea, I need to get some more clothes any way. I only brought my overnight bag."
"After we do that, let's stop by a car dealer, I need a car."
"I've got an associate in L.A., who can fix you up ‘Special'."
"What do you mean by ‘Special,' Frank?"
"Oh, how about armored and bullet proof, with all of the fixings?" Frank explains with a grin.
"Alright, lets pay this guy a visit. Do you think he can provide something today?"
"I don't know, but we can ask."
The stop at the shopping mall only takes about an hour, so they head into L.A. to visit Frank's associate. They pull up to an auto body shop in South L.A. Steve looks at the decaying buildings on the block and don't feel too sure about this guy.
"Steve, always remember, ‘don't judge a book by its cover'." Frank comments as we pull up to a gang-banger. "Hey Amigo, tell Paco that Frank Iverson is here." They watch as the kid pulls out a small radio and speaks into it.
The kid turns back to Frank, "Senor Iverson, Senor Garcia says to send you in immediately." The kid points to a garage door that's rolling up as they speak. Frank drives right into the building, where a man is waiting for them.
"Paco, Mi Amigo." Frank calls out to the man. "How have you been? How's Carmen, and the kids?"
"Frank, long time no see. I'm fine, Carmen's fine, and the kids are great. What can I do for you?" Paco gets right down to business.
"My friend here needs a very "Special' car." Frank answers pointing to Steve.
Steve explains to Paco what he's looking for and that he hopes to have it either today or tomorrow.
Paco just shakes his head "Senor, normally I would tell you to go screw yourself, but you have luck. A client couldn't take delivery on his vehicle recently and I still have it. Would you like to see it. If you like it, we can work out a deal." Paco then leads them to a tarp covered vehicle.
Two of Paco's mechanics/bodyguards uncover a dark blue, 4 door, Chevy Tahoe Blazer. Paco, then describes the modifications and improvements made to it. Steve and Frank are impressed.
"How much, and can you get the ownership papers cleared up today." Steve asks.
"Senor, the person who ordered this vehicle put a substantial deposit on it, but alas, he cannot accept delivery now. < Being dead > I can sell this car to you for $75,000.00. I can also get you title, plates and insurance today."
"How much more for the registration and insurance?"
"Another $3,000.00, Senor."
Steve pulls out his check book, and writes a check for $78,000.00. "Who do I make the check out to?"
Paco looks over to Frank, who nods his head. "Senor, make the check out to Paco Garcia Auto Body." He then turns around and calls out to one of his workers.
"Manuel, is your sister working over a DMV today?." The man nods yes. "Go to my cousin's insurance office and pick up the papers she gives you, and come back here." The man puts his tools down and leaves.
"Senor, I'll need some information please." Steve gives Paco the info he needs. "This will take about an hour, why don't you have some lunch then come back. I recommend the Mexicali, its just around the block, tell the Hostess you're my guests."
Steve gives Paco, his Sunnydale address, as well as his California drivers license. Paco then calls up his sister and starts to make all the arrangements to transfer ownership of the car.
An hour later, Paco delivers the car to the restaurant. He hands Steve a portfolio filled with papers and his driver's license.
"Three beers, please." He tells to the waitress. "The car is yours, Senor, enjoy it, and lunch is on me." The waitress delivers the beers, and the three men toast to close the deal.
They chat a little longer, then Steve notices the time. "Frank, we have that six o'clock meeting tonight, remember."
"Paco, its nice seeing you again, but like Steve said, we have to go. Paco, can one of your guys return the rental car for me? I'll ride back with Steve."
Paco calls over to a kid sitting by the door. Frank gives him the rental's keys and one hundred dollars. The kid smiles and promises to return the car immediately. Paco whispers something in the kid's ear and he gets very serious.
"Your rental will be returned immediately, Frank." Paco confirms.
As Steve and Frank get into Steve's new car. They find a computer printed instruction manual on the passenger seat. Frank picks it up and starts to read it and whistles.
"Steve, I don't know who wanted this car, but they really got it tricked out. James Bond would've drooled over this thing." Frank grins, then starts to detail the ‘extras', his friend Paco put in.
"Frank, I have a feeling that we will find out very soon, how well Paco made this car." Steve comments as they pull out into the early afternoon traffic and head back to Sunnydale.
LAX - The Same Day
(Bull shit - Washington D.C. Style)
Mulder and Scully have just deplaned from their morning flight from Washington D.C.
"Scully, did you see the look that stewardess gave us when we didn't check our coats in?" Mulder comments.
"Yes, but do you want her to wonder why we're each carrying a Katana in our coats? You know, we should have checked them with our luggage."
"Are you kidding Scully? They would get ripped off in a minute. Besides, I always like to keep mine handy."
"A little bit of sword envy, Mulder?" Scully comments with a nasty grin.
Mulder gives her a look, but it goes away and he smiles. "Scully, if I didn't know any better, I would swear that was preposition."
"Only if you're really lucky, Mulder." Scully shoots back.
Before Mulder could comment, a man dressed in FBI regulation suit walks up. "Are you Agents Mulder and Scully?" He asks, flashing his identification.
"Yes, we are." Scully answers for both. "And you are?"
"My name is Joe Tanaka, Agent in Charge Daniels wanted me to meet you and give you a hand on the case that you're working on. Come this way, the cars are parked in the secure lot, just below the terminal."
Mulder looks at Scully and she nods. "Agent Tanaka, the only help we need is the use of a car while we're here and directions to a suburb called Sunnydale." Mulder informs him.
"Sunnydale? Why are you going to Sunnydale? Nothing ever happens there. It's just a sleepy little town outside of Los Angeles." Agent Tanaka informs them.
"Well that's where our case is taking us. So if you don't mind we'll work it from there, alone." Mulder responds.
"I'll have to inform Agent Daniels of this breach in protocol." Agent Tanaka states.
"Please do so, he can take it up with Assistant Director Skinner, back in Washington D.C." Scully replies cooly. "And he will want to know why Agent Daniels and members of his staff are attempting to assert authority over us."
Agent Tanaka gets the message, and stops complaining. He leads them to their loaner car from the LA office and gives them the keys.
"Maps are in the glove box, but the fastest way to Sunnydale is by the Los Angeles/Coast Highway." Tanaka informs them and wishes them, "Good luck."
As their call pulls away Mulder turns to Scully, sitting in the passenger seat, "You almost took his head off, Scully. He was only following orders from his boss." Mulder comments.
"Mulder, I don't like anybody trying to play mind games with me, not after what happened to us in New York." Scully snaps.
Scully's mind goes back to the night that she and Mulder died at the hands of Immortal madman, named Kale, and how they came back to life as Immortals.
Mulder and Scully were chasing a serial killer wanted in a series of decapitation slayings. They had followed their main suspect, Russell Nash, into the park.
As they were moving through the under brush, they hear a clanking of metal on metal. As they rush to the sound, they come upon a sight they couldn't believe. Russell Nash was fighting a scarred and disfigured man. Their weapons were swords.
Mulder gets up and clear of the under brush, and shouts, "FBI, freeze, you're both under arrest. Put the weapons down or I will shot you." Scully is standing next to him, holding her gun on the two suspects.
The scarred man and Nash break apart. The scarred man spins around and pulls out a gun and shoots both Mulder and Scully down.
"That was uncalled for, Kale." They heard Nash say as they lay dying.
"I don't care Highlander, I want your head. And those two got in the way." Kale answers.
"Mulder, I'm sorry, I love you." Scully gasps out as she lay dying.
Mulder crawls to where Scully is lying, "Scully, please don't leave me. I love you." He reaches out to her and with his dying strength, hugs her to him. Then he looks over to where Nash has beaten Kale down and beheads him. Mulder watches as the lightning comes out of Kale's neck and enters the man called Nash. Then, the world goes black.
Mulder awakes with a start. He sees Nash standing over him with a sword. Nash is smiling.
"Glad to see your awake."
"But Scully, she's dead. I can't leave her." Mulder replies.
"No, she's not. Wait for it." Nash tells Mulder.
Mulder looks at Scully's body and watches the bullet holes heal. Scully jerks awake and her eyes pop open.
"What's happening. Why are we still alive." Mulder asks as a shocked Scully looks on.
"C'mon, let's get out of here. We have to leave. I'll explain everything at my home." Nash tells them.
At Nash's home. He tells Mulder and Scully what happened to them. Who and what they are. Nash tells them of the Game, and of his own history.
"I can train you for this, if you're willing. I can teach you how to defend yourselves and how to change your identities when you can no longer keep your present ones.
Scully listens to this in disbelief. "Mr. Nash how can we believe this story." Scully asks.
"Weren't you killed tonight? Shot several times by Kale in the chest? Just look at your's and Mr. Mulder's clothes. What does it take to make you believe, Ms. Scully?" Nash replies.
`"You know Scully, this explains everything about this case. The murders, the weapons, the unbelievable forensic evidence we've found about the victims." Mulder comments.
< God, how things changed that day, for us both. > Scully thinks to herself as they approach Sunnydale.
"Scully, penny for your thoughts." Mulder asks coyly. "Deep in thought about this case?"
"No Mulder, just thinking about what happened to us two years ago." Scully replies.
"Yeah, I think about that some times myself. At least one good thing came out of it."
"What Mulder, the fact that the Bureau's medical expenses have gone down drastically over the last two years?" Scully replies with a smile.
"No silly, the fact that we love each other, and that we finally did something about it, Mrs. Mulder."
Scully reaches over and clasps his hand and looks at her husband of less than one year. "Too bad, we can't tell anybody, or else the Bureau would split us apart."
"So, what's the first thing we do when we get to Sunnydale?" Mulder asks.
"Go to the local police and see if they have any information that the Lone Gunmen missed, but I doubt that. Your friends are quite thorough. But it would be a good idea to interview the police officers who answered the call. Then we go see the scene of the crime, so to speak. You know, I could get some new clothes while we're at it." Scully muses.
"Scully, can you actually go shopping while we're on a case? I am shocked." Mulder sarcastically replies.
They reach Sunnydale by three o'clock, and locate the polices station almost immediately.
The police are not so forth coming with information as Mulder likes. As they leave the station Mulder comments to Scully.
"You know, I do believe that they are hiding something from us, Scully. What do you think?"
"Normally Mulder, I would say no, but these cops were some of the most tight lipped, I've ever seen. Can you believe the story they gave us: ‘Gang kids on PCP'. Its one of the lamest stories I've ever heard. Look, its almost four thirty, lets get to the mall. We call look at the scene, and grab some dinner at the food court afterwards."
"Oh yum, mall food." Mulder replies.
"Hey, after what I've seen you eat, mall food is a step up."
They make it to the mall by five o'clock. As they approach the landing that they saw on the video, Mulder comments.
"Scully, the Strella probably was shot from on top of that counter."
Scully walks over to the counter and looks at the angle of trajectory the missile would have had to take to hit the blue devil.
"I agree Mulder, this is the probable place where it was fired from. Do you think that any evidence is left? Its been over a month." Scully muses as she and Mulder examine the landing and its surrounding area.
"Well Scully, I don't think we'll find anything here. Lets go see what they have to eat at the food court. It's almost six o'clock and I'm hungry."
"Alright Mulder, lets go. Maybe we can do some shopping afterwards, we passed this shoe sale over by the food court."
"You mean over by Jerry's shoes?" Mulder asks, remembering the poor shoe guy trying to force a shoe onto a 300 pound woman. Poor guy looked like he wanted to kill himself. < If he gets it on her, he deserves his own X-file. >
Frank and Steve make it to the mall with time to spare. The first thing that they do is recon the area in and around the food court, making sure there are no surprises waiting for them.
A little before six they see that Willow and a two other kids, a boy and a girl, make their way to the food court. Steve looks over to Frank.
"Frank, none of those kids looks to be older than eighteen."
"Maybe Willow is using her friends as a cover for the meeting. Making it look like nothing special is going on. After all, we did save her life in the park, and we didn't try to force information out of her. Maybe she feels that we won't do anything to her friends. She's right about that, girls a good judge of character."
As Frank and Steve watch, the kids make their way to a set of tables off to one side, where a man and woman are sitting. The kids sit down with them.
"Frank, those two adults, do you think, they're the leaders?"
"Probably are. Let's go meet them." Frank replies.
As they approach the entrance to the food court, Steve notices a man and a woman in trench coats coming towards them. He feels the ‘Buzz' of another immortal. Steve motions Frank to back him up as he meets the man and woman in front of a woman's shoe store. As Steve approaches them, he recognizes the man: Fox Mulder of the FBI. Steve glances back at Frank, he recognizes him as well.
"Agent Mulder, long time no see." Steve comments. "I see that you're a member of the club now, or is it the lady?"
"Hello Wanderer." Mulder replies, not very pleased to see Steve again. "It's the both of us. I see that your partner is still with you. I take it that you're both Immortals as well?"
"No, Frank's not one of us. Is this a chance meeting, or are we going to find some place private?"
"No, Scully and I are here on a case. What are you doing here, Wanderer? Last time we meet, you were hunting down a serial killer in Europe."
"I live in this town now, Mulder. Why don't you introduce me to the lady."
"Sorry, this is Agent Dana Scully, my partner.
"In more ways than one, I see." Steve can feel the attachment, the bond between these two. If these two aren't married or sleeping together, then his respect for Mulder would go down quite a few notches.
"Hello," Dana Scully says upon our introduction, "What Mulder didn't mention was that I'm also his wife as well as being his partner and a member of the club."
Steve smiles. < Good, he isn't a complete idiot then. Letting a woman like this go would be a crime. > He also notices that Mulder is shocked that she tells me about their marriage.
"Scully you don't know who this guy is, you don't know who he works for, or that he can be trusted. Why are you telling him this?" Mulder angrily asks her.
Scully turns to Mulder, smiling and explains, "Mulder, we can trust him, if my cousin Frank is working with him, then he can be trusted."
Both Mulder and Steve turn to Frank. "Her cousin, Frank?" Steve asks.
Mulder looks at Scully, "Your cousin? I've never seen him at your family affairs, or a picture of him in any Scully house." Mulder states.
"Its really simple, Mulder. Frank is the black sheep of the family. My father and Frank hated each other. And with him resigning from the Navy, in disgrace, didn't help much either." Scully informs us both.
After saying this, Frank and Scully hug and talk quietly with each other.
Steve turns to Mulder and shakes his head. "You know Mulder, I had no idea."
"You and me both Wanderer." He mutters, looking at Scully and Frank.
"Wanderer, do you have a real name?" Mulder asks.
"It's Steven St. Wolf. Just call me Steve."
Steve looks at his watch, the time is 6:12. He turns to Frank. "Frank, the family get together will have to wait. We have to attend that meeting, right now."
Frank and Scully stop talking and Frank turns to me, "Steve, I know this may sound crazy, but lets include Scully and Mulder in the meeting. They can help us."
"Frank, they have their own case to work on." Steve looks at Mulder and he nods his head in agreement.
"Mulder, Steve, I think we're both working on the same case. Scully informs us.
"You're here hunting vampires?" Steve asks in shocked disbelief.
"No, we're here hunting a blue skinned demon, or possibly, the person that killed it with a Strella." Mulder replies smiling.
Needless to say it, but Steve is in shock. This was a turn of events that he couldn't have imagined in his wildest dreams. It stuns him for a second, but he makes his decision to include them in the meeting. < After all this couldn't get any weirder, could it? >
"Mulder, Scully, Frank and I have a meeting set right now with a source, do you two want to attend?" They look at each, silently communicating, before both nod yes. "Good, but Frank and I run the show, got that." They both agree, and with that, all four now head to the food court and to the meeting with Willow and her friends.
Sunnydale High School Library
Willow and Oz walk back into the library. Everyone is back, even Miss Calendar is there. Willow looks to Buffy.
"Miss Calendar, its nice to see you." Willow says, surprised to see her in the same room as Buffy.
"I thought I could use some help, so, I spoke with Jenny this morning, and told her what happened. I asked Buffy first, she agreed." Giles tells her.
Buffy stands up from her chair. "Alright guys, have any of you have any ideas what to do about tonight?"
"Giles, guys, I asked Amy to join us." Xander states. "She's running a little late, so can we hold the meeting until she comes in?" Amy walks in as Xander finishes explaining.
Buffy turns to Xander, "Why did you invite her?" Buffy asks.
"Look, I know the type of guys we're dealing with, and I figured we could use a hold card. I explained the situation to her and she agreed to help us." Xander explains.
"What can Amy do to help us against two professional killers?" Willow asks.
"Well, I have read up on some defensive and offensive spells. Xander and I don't think that they will be expecting a magical attack, if they try anything.." Amy speaks up.
Xander clears his throat, "Buffy, we agreed to the meeting. We have to be there. Not all of us, but at least Willow and one, maybe two people."
"Do you have a plan, Xander?" Giles asks.
"Yeah, here's how it works: Willow, Buffy, Miss Calendar, myself and you, Giles, will meet with these two guys. Cordelia, Amy and Oz will keep an eye on us from a table on the opposite side of the food court. That way, if anything happens, they won't be caught with us, and maybe able to help."
"First thing we do, is Oz and me will check out the area at about five o'clock. Make sure that there is nothing unusual happening. After that, we split up and I go meet Buffy and Willow at the Foot Locker. Oz will meet Cordelia and Amy by the Sach's. Then, we'll go to the food court in stages. First, Giles and Miss Calendar go in at about fifteen minutes to six. About ten minutes later, Cordelia, Amy and Oz, and then about five minutes after that, Buffy, Willow and me will meet with Giles and Miss Calendar. l don't think anything will happen, but this will cover all of the bases
"Xander, that is a well thought out plan." Giles remarks, "Anyone got any comments or additions?"
"Why are me, Amy and Cordelia on the sidelines, why not Buffy and you?" Oz remarks, looking worriedly at Willow.
"Because if they checked Willow out, then they know about me, Buffy and Giles already, and probably Miss Calendar as well. You three are too new for them to have found out about, in this short time." Xander explains.
"Willow did you dig up any more on information, or made any matches?" Giles asks.
"No, nothing at all. I've checked all of the local hotels and motels computers, but nothing matches these two. Its as if these two guys are from nowhere." Willow sighs.
"I'm not surprised, Willow, these men are trained to blend into their surroundings. They will be hard to spot." Giles replies.
"Alright, we have our plans set and ready?" Xander asks, "Good, Oz and me will go in his van, we'll park by the Sears. Willow, Amy, Buffy and Cordelia, in her car, park by the Nieman's. Giles and Miss Calendar in hers, park by the Model's."
"Why are we doing this?" Cordelia asks.
"Because this way we have multiple escape roots, if we need them." Amy explains.
"Oh, that's a good thing, right?" Cordelia asks.
"Yes, it is." Buffy replies. "Okay, lets go. And, Xander, good job."
"Thanks Buffy." Xander replies.
As Xander and Oz are making their way to the mall. Oz turns to Xander and asks.
"Xander, when did you become Patton? That plan you worked up, knowing what that shell casing was, and knowing about the kind of guys we're dealing with. How did you know all that?"
"Remember last Halloween, when everything went freaky, kids becoming their costumes?" Oz nods, remembering. "Well, my costume was a soldier, and I became one. But, after the spell wore off, I still remembered everything. Later on, I went back to the Army surplus store and asked the owner about who the uniform used to belong to. He told me it used to belong to a guy who was a Green Beret. I think that I may have his memories and experiences."
"Cool," Oz replies, as he parks his van in front of the Sears.
As Oz and Xander check out the food court, Buffy, Willow, Amy and Cordelia split up and head to their individual meetings.
"Willow, do you believe how Xander is acting." Buffy asks.
"Yeah, I guess the soldier from Halloween is still with him. I think that is a good thing, especially now, and getting Amy to help was also a good idea." Willow replies.
"Yeah, I guess so." Buffy comments as she sees Xander coming up to them.
"Okay, let's get this show on the road." Buffy says as they head toward the food court.
Xander checks his watch, "Its almost six o'clock, lets go meet with Giles and Miss Calendar."
As they enter the food court, Buffy sees that Oz, Amy and Cordelia are well away from the meeting place. < Good, at least those three, are safe. > Then the three move to the table shared by Giles and Miss Calendar.
"Anything happen," Buffy asks.
"No, nothing strange." Giles answers.
The three friends join their mentors at the table waiting for their contacts. Buffy turns to Xander.
"Xander, do you think they'll show?" Buffy asks.
"Yeah, they'll show. If fact, I think they're here already. Willow, turn around and sneak a look over by the shoe store." Xander says.
Willow looks over at the four by the shoe store. "My gosh, that's them. But who are the people that they're talking to? I've never seen them before."
"Alright, all four of them are coming here, something's changed, be ready to move out in a hurry." Xander whispers as Buffy suddenly bends over in pain.
"Buffy are you all right?" A worried Giles asks.
"I've got this incredible ‘Buzz' in my head and it won't stop. What's wrong with me?" Buffy gasps.
As Steve, Frank, Mulder and Scully move towards the table that Willow is sitting at, they see the blond girl sitting with her, bend over in pain, and Steve feels the ‘Buzz' of an approaching Immortal. He turns to look at Mulder and Scully. They both nod their heads in agreement. It's the blond, she's an Immortal and from her age, she probably doesn't know it.
Steve quickly walks up to her and grabs her shoulder, "Look at me girl, the pain will go away." She turns around looks at the three Immortals and they can see the relief in her face.
"It stopped. What did you do to me?" She asks.
"I can explain everything later, in private. Then, it'll be up to you, who to tell after that." Steve tells her.
Meanwhile, the boy tries to push past Frank, who sits him back down, forcibly "Don't be a hero, boy." Frank tells him. The man and woman try to get up, but Mulder and Scully open their coats, showing their badges and guns and the pair sit back down at the table. Willow with a worried look on her face is the only one who hasn't moved. Steve can sense the betrayal in her. He moves to calm everyone's fears.
"Look, let's get this straight. We are not here to hurt any of you. We arranged this meeting to get some matters cleared up. Fair enough. But, I have to tell something to the girl here." Steve points to the blond, "and I can't share it with anyone else. When this meeting is over, the two of us will go to another table and talk. We will not leave any one's sight and neither I, nor any of my associates will force her to come with us. Does that clear matters up." Steve can see looks of relief on Willow and her friends.
"Alright, everybody calm? Good, allow me to make the introductions on my side. My name is Steven St. Wolf, though I use the name Wanderer sometimes. The man on my right is Frank Iverson, the man on my left is Fox Mulder, please refer to him as Mulder, the lady is Dana Scully. Willow would you make the introductions for your side, please." Steve asks.
Willow licks her lips nervously and starts. "Yeah, uhm, sure. This is Buffy Summers (Willow points to the blond), that's Xander Harris (the boy Frank forced to sit down) and that's Rupert Giles (the older man) and Jenny Calendar (the older woman)." Willow informs us.
"Now lets get to the matter at hand. Last night, Frank and I were out walking in the park, where we found Willow being attacked by a group of vampires." Steve notices Mulder and Scully giving him and Frank a look. "After killing the first three vampires, we were attacked by another group of six, we managed to kill five of them, the sixth one, calling himself, Angelus managed to get away. Did I leave anything out?" Frank confirms the details, Willow looks pale, but agrees with Steve's narrative. Steve then tells them about his first and second nights in Sunnydale and the five vampires he had killed by himself.
"Now the question I wanted answered, which Willow wouldn't at that time is, are there more of them than the eight Frank and I killed last night and the five I took care of Tuesday and Wednesday?"
Willow and her friends exchange looks, they can't believe what they just heard. The girl, Buffy looks at Steve.
"I want to know something. Why do you want to know if there are more vampires out there?" Buffy asks.
"Good question, here's a good answer. The woman that I loved was brutally raped and murdered. The people who did that to her have paid for their crimes, but there are more monsters out there. I have spent the last four years of my life hunting down and killing those monsters, human and demonic alike, all over the world. Whether they're human serial killers or demons from the pits of Hell, they all share the same common trait: They hurt innocent people. And, I can't sit idly by watch it happen. So, while they're out there hunting normal people, I, and a few friends, hunt them."
"Oh, if you think I get a kick out of this, I don't. It's purely revenge for what happened to my wife Kathy and all of the others who were murdered by these psychos. If everyone of them died tomorrow, I'd be a happy man. But, we all know that won't happen." Steve tells Willow and her friends.
"Frank and I have been working together on and off for the last four years. Mulder and I have tracked down a several serial killers together. There are others, but I won't mention who they are because, right now, they aren't your business."
The kid, Xander, asks, "Who trained you? No, normal person can kill one vampire, let alone five."
"I served three years in the Green Berets. Frank served seven years in the Navy SEALs.
"Scully and me are with the FBI." Mulder informs them. "My specialty is profiling, and Scully is as a forensic pathologist. We work the X-Files."
"The X-Files? I've heard that name before." Jenny remarks, looking very worried.
"We investigate the cases that deal with the paranormal, or that can't be explained within the normal boundaries of science." Mulder explains.
Willow's little group looks very worried. They can't make up their minds to run or to find out more. The blond girl, Buffy looks at the four strangers, wondering what else they wanted from her.
Steve breaks the silence. "Look we came hear to talk and maybe work together. Why don't you tell us what is going on here."
Giles looks at his friends and they nod their ascent. "Well, how can I explain this without sounding crazy?"
"Mr. Giles, I have just admitted to killing ten vampires, Frank, three. Mulder and Scully are hunting a blue skinned demon, would you care to top that?"
"Did you say, a blue skinned demon?" Buffy asks nervously.
"Yes, we have a video tape of a large blue skinned man, with horns, who causes people to spontaneously combust with a touch. The video tape was shot here on the security cameras. The tape also show him being blown up with an anti-tank missile called a Strella." Mulder explains. "We're here to find out what happened."
Buffy and her group look very nervous at this.
Mulder looks to Scully, a thought passes between them. < These people know something about this. >
"Look Giles, just start at the beginning. We won't make any judgments." Steve tells him.
"Very well, but let me start at the true beginning." Giles states. "This world is older than any of you know, and contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons, Demons walked the earth; made it their home -- their Hell. In time they, the Demons, lost their purchase on this reality, and the way was made for the mortal animals. For Man. What remains of the Old Ones are vestiges: certain magics, certain creatures, and Vampires."
"As long as there have been Demons and Vampires, there has been the Slayer. One girl in all the world, a Chosen one, born with the strength and skill to hunt Vampires and other deadly creatures, to find them where they gather and to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. Buffy is the Slayer for this generation"
"The town of Sunnydale sit on top of the Hellmouth. The Hellmouth is the sole remaining way that demons can re-enter this world. If it is re-opened, then the demons can come back. Because of this, it is also a mystical convergence that draws such magical creatures as vampires and demons here in greater quantities than would be normally seen. The previous Master vampire attempted to re-open it but was stopped by Buffy and us.
"And what is your purpose in this Mr. Giles?" Steve asks.
"I'm her Watcher," Giles states. "A Watcher serves by finding the next Slayer, leading her on her path. It is the destiny of the Watcher to guide the Slayer. Also when one Slayer dies, the next is called and trained by the Watcher."
"Mr. Giles, would you mind showing me the wrist of your left arm." Mulder asks.
Giles exposes his left wrist. There is no tatoo there.
"May I ask why you wanted to see my left forearm?" Giles asks.
"It concerns the other matter Buffy and Steve need to talk about. She can tell you, if she wants to." Mulder answers.
"Did Buffy almost die recently? Was there a new Slayer called for?" Steve asks.
Giles turns pale. "Why yes, how did you know?"
"That's between Buffy and me. I'll explain everything to her. As Mulder and I said earlier, it'll be up to her to tell you."
"But for now let's relax a bit, Frank could you and Xander go get us all something to drink?" Xander and Frank get everyone's orders and go to the Donut Shop.
"When they get back, can you tell us everything that has happened around here with your group?"
"First we would like to know what your plans are." Giles asks.
"Lets wait until Frank and Xander get back, before we start any more discussion." Steve replies.
No one bothers to talk until Xander and Frank come back with the drinks and a dozen donuts.
"So, did we miss anything?" Frank asks.
"Nope, no one spoke a word."
"You owe me five bucks, Frank." Xander comments.
Everybody looks at Xander and Frank suspiciously, as an embarrassed Frank hands over the five dollars to Xander.
"You two are quite buddy-buddy, since when?" Steve asks.
Frank smiles and looks at Xander. "The kid bet me five bucks that no one would talk until we came back. I figured, knowing both you and Dana, that it was a safe bet."
Scully shoots her cousin a dirty look. Mulder chuckles.
"Let's get back to business. Mr. Giles you wanted to know what our plans are, correct?" Giles nods his head. "Well, I just moved into this town and I wont be run off by vampires. But also, knowing there are vampires out there, I won't sit idly by either. I plan on hunting them and killing as many as possible."
"You're going to hunt the vampires. Do you know what you're getting yourself into." Buffy states.
"Yes, as Willow can attest, I can handle myself quite well."
"What about your three friends here, what are they going to do while you hunt?" Giles asks.
"Mulder and Scully are based out of D.C., they can't stay here long, their superiors in the Bureau won't allow it. Frank has a business in New York City which he can't run from here. They will be leaving, I'm staying."
"Why are YOU here Mr. St. Wolf? Why are you staying." Giles asks.
"Well, before I knew there were vampires in town, I agreed to go into business with someone local here. I won't break my word to them. And now, I can't leave with a clear conscience, knowing what I do."
"May I ask what business is it that you do?" Asks Giles.
"Certainly, I deal in antiques."
Buffy starts, "You're the new sales guy hired by Mr. Lawrence at Lawrence Antiques, aren't you?" She asks.
Steve looks at her before answering. "That's correct. May I know how you came about this information?"
Buffy giggles, her friends look surprised. "Well, you meet my mom. She was talking to Mrs. Lawrence when you came into the shop on Tuesday." < Mom, was right, this guys a major hunk. >
"Your mother is Joyce Summers?"
Buffy nods. "Small world, Huh?"
"Yeah, getting smaller by the minute it seems."
"Now, would you mind giving us a run down on what's been happening?"
Giles looks at each of his friends and each nod in turn.
"Very well then," Giles begins a history of the past two years, listing multiple attempts by the local vampires to commit mass murders, various demons, possessions, animated corpses, witch craft, invisible people, werewolves, an android (?) and the Order of Teraka.
Steve, Frank, Mulder and Scully sit in stunned disbelief. Steve turns to Frank with an expression of awe on his face. Mulder and Scully have the same expressions. They can't believe this bunch of kids has done so much, in such a short time. It boggles the mind. And the fact that they didn't get any outside help really surprises Steve. Steve's respect for them goes up quite a few notches.
"Well Steve, you said these kids had potential, but this much?" Frank comments respectfully.
"Well, I guess that solves the case we were working on." Mulder comments. "Don't worry, we won't arrest you for stealing that missile. As far as the Bureau is concerned, it never happened, and we'll run interference with the Army CID as well. We'll make sure the investigation gets buried."
Everyone breathes a sigh of relief at Mulder's comment.
"This does leave one question: Where do we go from here? What are our options?" Giles asks.
"There are three options," Steve states. "The first one is that we work together, helping each other in all ways, including training and weapons. The second is that we work together occasionally, but still trade information. The third is we work completely separate, neither group acknowledging the others existence. I prefer the first, and after Buffy and I talk, so will she."
"Are you so sure of that?" Buffy asks.
"Yes, I am." Steve looks over the food court and see an empty section a little ways off. "Let's go over there and talk. Do you mind if Dana joins us?" He asks.
Buffy nods. The three of them walk over to the table in question and sit down.
"Okay, Buffy, what I have to tell you may sound crazy and shock you, but after our recent discussion, I don't think it will."
"Alright shock me," Buffy comments smiling < Can't get any crazier than that discussion, can it? >
"Very well then, I'll be blunt about it. Buffy, you're an Immortal." Steve tells her.
"Alright, I'm shocked now." Buffy quietly answers, the impact of Steve's statement hitting her hard.
"Buffy, don't get hysterical, Steve, Mulder and I are also Immortals, so you're not alone. There are several thousand of ‘us'" Scully tells her.
"Are ‘we' like vampires?" She asks, fear and loathing in her voice.
"No, we don't take human lives to live. We just need food like everybody else." Steve replies, smiling.
"That's a relief." Buffy says, snapping back to reality. "How did I become Immortal?"
"Well, first you have to die to become an Immortal."
Buffy's mind flashes back to her battle with the Master. < He killed me that night > She thinks to herself.
"Okay, that happened. So, what is with the pain when you guys came near me?" She asks.
"That's how we can tell each other apart from normal humans." Scully explains. "You get used to it after a while."
"Why do we want to tell each other apart?" Buffy asks.
Steve then tries to explain everything to her, about being an Immortal and about the Game, but it's apparent that her mind is closed off and won't register any more information. <She needs time to absorb this. > Steve thinks to himself. Buffy looks at the two of them, wondering what she can do.
"Buffy, Immortals are just like people, you have good ones and bad ones. When I first became an Immortal, the first one of our kind who I met tried to kill me. He didn't succeed. The second Immortal I met, became my teacher and friend. He taught me to love life, hold it sacred, Buffy. He doesn't play the Game and tries to instill that in his students. That's part of the reason that I hunt monsters, Buffy, because they don't hold life as sacred." Steve tells her.
"Now, you have to make a decision: Do you want me to teach you how to defend yourself? Teach you everything about being a Immortal? Buffy you have the right to chose your own teachers, but be careful. Not all Immortals will want to teach you, they might go after your head just to remove another potential player in the Game."
Steve watches Buffy as she thinks about what he has just told her.
"Buffy, you don't have to make this decision today, please take a couple of days to think about it." Steve hands her a card. "This card has my home address and telephone number on it, please call or stop by to talk."
Steve then turns to Scully, "Scully do you have a local number you can be reached at? In case she wants to talk to you."
"No, Mulder and I will be staying in a local motel, while we're here." She replies.
"We haven't checked in yet." Scully informs me.
"You can stay at my house, I have a couple of guest rooms. You and Frank can catch up with each other."
"I think I would like that." Scully says as they get up to go back to the main meeting.
As they approach the table, Mulder comments "You told her everything?"
Scully and Steve nod their heads in confirmation.
Giles looks up at Buffy and asks. "Can you share what they told you?"
"Not right now, Giles, I have a lot to think about. Can you and Jenny drop me off at home?"
"No problem Buffy." Jenny replies.
"How do we contact you, if we need another meeting?" Giles asks.
"I gave Buffy my home address and telephone numbers. She can call me whenever she needs me."
"Then this meeting is adjourned." Giles comments as everyone gets up and prepares to leave.
Steve then turns to Mulder and Scully. "Scully, Frank and I will meet you on the Main Street side of the mall. I'll be driving a dark blue, four door Blazer."
"Why are we meeting you?" Mulder asks.
"Because I accepted his invitation to stay at his house while we're here." Scully informs her partner.
"Scully, we hardly know this guy." Mulder states.
"Mulder, I know my cousin Frank." She turns to Frank. "Frank, do you think anything will happen to us at Steve's house."
"Other than the odd vampire attack, no." Frank replies with a wicked grin.
Mulder turns to me, "Steve, thanks for the invitation. Hope you don't regret it."
"Because Scully snores rather loud... Umph" Mulder's reply is broken off by the judicious placement of Scully's elbow into his ribs.
Frank and Steve watch them go. "Frank, those two make quite a pair." Steve comments.
"That they do Steve, that they do." Frank replies.
Frank and Steve go to their car and get to the Main Street exit just as Mulder and Scully pull up. Steve rolls down his window.
"Mulder, just follow me. Its only about ten minutes from here."
Mulder and Scully follow Steve back to his house. They pull up next to his, outside the garage.
"It's a lovely home Steve." Scully replies as they enter.
"Thanks, but I just moved in. I'll order some pizza for dinner. Does pepperoni, extra cheese and mushrooms bother anybody, no, good. Soda and beers are in the frig. Your room is just up the stairs, first on the right." Steve informs them as Frank and Mulder move the luggage up there.
Steve orders the pizza from the same place as before. Ted takes the order and says he'll be over as soon as the pies are done.
"So, Scully what do you really think of the place?"
"Steve, like I said, its quite lovely, but somehow I just can't imagine you living here." She tells Steve.
"I just moved in, three days ago, the previous owner was a drug dealer that had been turned into a vampire. He and two friends visited me on my first night here." Steve tells her in greater detail what happened.
"You flushed almost forty pounds of drugs down the toilet? Why didn't you report it to the police?"
"Because they would have taken over the house and attempted to seize it under the RICO statutes. Then, where would I live?"
Mulder and Frank join Scully and Steve in the living room.
"So, any interesting conversation topics, Scully." Mulder asks as he sits down next to her on the sofa. Frank tosses Steve a soda, and hands Scully her's, Mulder pops open his ice tea.
"So what have been doing with yourself these last couple of years, Wanderer." Mulder asks.
"Mulder, just call me Steve. Well, you remember that first serial killer we were both hunting?" Mulder nods, remembering his first case as an FBI agent. "Well, he turned out to be a three hundred year old sorcerer. He was collecting the souls of his victims to bring back a couple of demons. Ask Frank, he helped me on that one."
Frank nods his head, "Yeah, I remember that one all too well. I had to clean dragon shit out of my plane for a week after that one."
Scully looks at Frank, "Dragon shit? What do you mean by that Frank."
"Dana, this nut case friend of mine found six baby dragons, and, can you believe this, a virgin princess, in that sicko's castle. He had me help him rescue them before he blew up the castle." Frank then tells them the entire story:
Frank Iverson is walking down the Chane de le Say, looking for an open bar, when he hears a fight going on in an alley. He decides to walk away, but the scream of a child forces his hand. He pulls out his gun and rushes into the alleyway. As he moves purposefully in the darkness of the alley, he sees a sight that should have come from a horror film. A man was standing in front of a group of seven children, fighting off a pack of what couldn't possibly be dogs. They we too large, and misshapen. All fangs, claws and bones. He watches as the man stands his ground fighting the things with a sword? Frank watches as the man's sword glows a pale blue in color as it cuts the animals down. Each time the sword cuts one of them, they scream an unearthly screech and disappear. Frank moves forward and rests his Colt 1911 on a box and prepares to shoot several of the animals to give the man and children a chance to escape. As he places his notched sight on the head of the first dog he's going to kill, a bright light fills the alleyway, and suddenly a man is standing in the midst of the dog pack. He looks around and sees the man defending the children and he orders him.
"Mortal, I am the sorcerer Marcus. Those children are my master's property. Leave now and I'll let you live, continue interfering and I'll destroy you."
Frank watches as the man straightens up and calmly tells him. "Go fuck yourself, asshole. These kids are under my protection and I'm going to return them to their parents."
Frank grins in the darkness, liking this guy already. < This guy's got balls, he's still facing at least a dozen of those monsters and this weird guy and he tells him to go fuck himself. Man's definitely SEAL material. > He then adjusts his aim and calmly gets Marcus into his sights.
As Marcus starts to wave his hands, Frank shoots him in the back of the head. The results are spectacular. The man suddenly withers and turns to dust as the bullet splatters his brains across the alleyway. The dogs split into two groups and four rush Frank, while the remaining eight rush the man with the sword. Frank calmly shoots each dog in the head as it comes after him and the dogs just disappear.
As Frank shoots the last dog coming after him, he watches the man with the sword clean house with the remaining eight. The man is now facing three dogs, all that remain of the eight that went after him. Frank watches, as he moves to get a better angle to shoot them down. One of the dogs rushes forward and feints back, while the other two attack to either side. The man rushes forward and the two dogs collide with each other. The swordsman moves quickly and cuts off both of their heads. While he does this, he leaves his back exposed. The third dog rushes forward and leaps onto his back, racking it with his claws. Frank winches at the pain the guy must be feeling. As he watches the man slams the dog into the wall by rushing it backwards. The creature yelps and lets go. The man quickly turns around and slashes it open from head to hind legs. Frank watches as the swordsman stands there, breathing heavily, watching the shadows. Frank then moves into the light and asks. "What the hell just happened here?"
The swordsman starts at the question and turns to see Frank facing him with a pistol. He smiles. "Thanks for the helping hand friend. Those things might have gotten past me to the kids." The man lifts his head, as though he hears something. "We'd better get out of here. The local cops will be here in a few minutes and I don't think they'll believe us if we tell them the truth about what happened here tonight."
Frank is about to argue, but one of the children asks, in a fearful voice. "Misters are you going to take us home? I want to see my mom and dad."
Franks reply is caught in his throat as he moves to help the swordsman with the children. < This guy can't be bad, these kids aren't scared of him. >
"C'mon, I have a friend close by. He'll give us sanctuary." The swordsman tells Frank as they hurry down the street with the children in tow.
Frank is doing drag, making sure the kids can keep up. The swordsman leads them down several blocks until they come to a church. The swordsman knocks on the door and he steps back as the door opens. A brother stands in doorway and looks over the scene before him. He looks at the swordsman and asks. "What happened Steve?"
"Your information was correct Darius. I found the children where our friend said they were. Now I need to get them safely inside, before we have anymore unwelcome guests."
The brother nods and leads the group into the church, another brother stands there, waiting. Brother Darius orders, "Brother Michael, get some warm milk for the children and some coffee for our two friends."
"It shall be done Brother Darius." Michael replies as he rushes to do his work.
Brother Darius sits down by the altar and calmly asks the children to come forward. He blesses each child in turn and asks them to quietly sit down in the front pew. The children do as they are instructed. Frank watches what's going on and asks himself. < What the hell have I gotten myself into this time? >
Brother Darius and the man called Steve are standing quietly together talking. Frank walks over and asks, "What the hell is going on here? Who are you people? Who are these kids? And what the fuck happened in that alley back there?"
Both men turn to Frank, one with amusement in his eyes, the other with worry. The man called Steve introduces himself. "Sorry friend, sometimes, I forget my manners. My name is Steven St. Wolf, this gentleman is Brother Darius. And you are?
"Very well Mr. Iverson, the children, were kidnaped from their families yesterday. Darius found out about the kidnaping and since he knew I was in Paris, he asked for my help in getting them back."
"Alright Mr. St. Wolf, I'll believe that. But what the hell were those things in the alleyway? I've never seen dogs like that before. And who was that Marcus guy who just appeared out of nowhere?"
Brother Darius answers these questions, "Those things were called hell hounds, Mr. Iverson. They're controlled by a very evil man who wanted to hurt those children to further his power and ambitions. Mr. St. Wolf prevented that from happening. The man calling himself Marcus was this man's principle and most trusted lackey. Thank you for removing him from this fight. It'll make things much easier for us when we face his master."
"Face his master? Are you two nuts? If he can control those things, what else can he control?" A shocked Frank asks.
"If our information is correct, quite a bit actually." St. Wolf calmly replies.
"And you're still going to fight, knowing that?"
"Yeah, I have this bad Don Quixote complex. I just can't sit idly by and watch innocents being hurt." St. Wolf replies with a grin. Brother Darius just smiles and claps his friend on his shoulder.
"You two people are nuts. How the hell did I ever get involved is beyond me."
"Your reasons are behind you, all seven of them." Brother Darius replies with a smile.
Frank turns around and looks at the seven children he helped save earlier and feels the truth of Brother Darius's statement. Frank mentally kicks himself for what he says next. "What can I do to help take this bastard out?" Frank turns back around and finds both men smiling at him. < Shit, what the did I just agree to? >
"First, what kind of ammunition are you using in your gun?" Steve asks.
"Hollow point, Silver Tips. Why do you ask?"
"Because normal ammunition shouldn't have killed them. May I see one of your bullets." Darius asks.
Frank pulls out his gun and releases the magazine and pulls a round out. He hands it to Darius, putting back a fully loaded magazine. Darius looks over the round and smiles. He turns to Frank and Steve and tells them. "These bullets contain a large amount of silver. No wonder those hell hounds died when they were shot with these bullets. Silver is a deadly poison to them. Do you know where we can get more of it?"
"Yeah, the dealer I use had a whole case of the stuff. I can get more of it tomorrow. Can I ask a question?"
Both men nod their heads in agreement.
"Why did your sword glow blue when you fought those things in the alley?"
Steve smiles as he pulls out the sword. "The simplest way to explain it is to say that my sword is enchanted." Frank looks dubious. "The long explanation is that the sword was created by Merlin in Japan about a thousand years ago to aid humanity in it's fight against the darkness."
"The same Merlin who created Excaliber?" A shocked Frank asks.
"The very same, except in Japan he was called ‘Fire'." Steve replies with a smile as an owl lands on his shoulder. He turns to it and asks. "So Archimedes, have they located King's lair yet?"
Frank is shocked when the bird replies in a cultured British accented voice. "Yes Wanderer, they have. King is in an ancient castle located in the Pyrenees Mountains. You'll need to get there in a hurry, the bastard is getting ready to sacrifice six young wurms and a virgin princess. Since he lost Marcus, he doesn't have anybody he trusts enough to guard them, so he's going to sacrifice them now."
"Can Fragnar make it in time to help?" Steve asks the bird.
"No, he's fighting a demon lord in South America with the Knights of the Grail. They're winning, but it'll take a while."
"Damn, I'm going Darius, can you get me a plane tonight?"
"I don't have anyone for at least three days, Steve."
"Yes you do." Both men turn to face Frank.
"What do you mean Frank?"
"I'm a pilot and I have a DC-3 ready to leave now."
"Frank, you don't have to do this. This isn't your fight."
"Bull shit!! The moment I saw those kids in trouble, it became my fight. So don't try and talk me out of it. It might work." Frank replies with a grin.
Both Steve and Darius laugh, as they clap Frank on the shoulder. Steve then asks. "So Frank, got any combat experience?"
"I was a Navy SEAL for seven years. Care to top that?" Frank prompts.
"Sorry old son, I was a Special Forces Pathfinder/Sniper for seven years. That makes us about even, I'd say."
"How many tours did you go on." Frank asks about the number of classified missions completed by the man called St. Wolf.
"One hundred, thirty one, completed and confirmed."
Frank shakes his head in awe. "God man, I thought you were crazy earlier, but I see now that's a normal state of mind."
Darius laughs and Steve just chuckles.
"Let's get some sleep. We'll need it for tomorrow." Steve comments.
"Where?" Frank asks.
"The pews, this way we can guard the children as well."
Frank awakes the next morning to the smell of coffee. As he stretches, he falls out of the pew. He jerks up when he hears the giggles coming from the children in the pew in front of him. He gives them a dirty look, but when they start to laugh, he relaxes it into a grin. He notices Steve and Darius standing off to one side drinking coffee. He goes over to them to find a cup waiting for him as well.
"Good morning Frank." Both of them tell him as he reaches for his cup.
"What's the plan for today?"
"First we get weapons and some explosives. Your friend wouldn't mind providing such things to us?"
"Jean-Claude? If our money is real, we won't have any problems."
"Good, then we will leave in about fifteen minutes. Darius will stay and protect the children."
"Why not just return them to their parents today?" Frank asks.
"Because King will try to steal them again. And then their parents will be hurt and probably killed in the process. Darius and the church will protect them, while we deal with King, permanently."
"What did you tell the kids?"
"The truth. For some reason they believed us and understand the dangers." Steve tells Frank as the oldest boy walks up to them.
"Sirs, my name Timothy Higgins," He begins. "We would like to thank you two for saving us last night. We know we should have done so last night, but we were all tired and needed to sleep." He stammers, nervous at talking to the three strangers. "So, on behalf of all of us, thank you."
"You're welcome Tim." Steve calmly tells the boy. "You and your friends understand, that Frank and I have to go soon and finish this fight?"
"Yes sir, we do. We also understand that we have to stay here and be protected by the Brother. Sir?" The boy stutters, "May I ask who are you? And why you rescued us? You don't have to tell me, if you don't want to."
"Well Tim, my name is Steve St. Wolf, this man," Frank nods his head. "Is Frank Iverson, the Brother is named Darius. The reason we rescued you was simple. You needed our help and we helped because it was the right thing to do."
"Thank you Mr. St. Wolf, Mr. Iverson, Brother Darius. I'll tell the others." Then he goes back and talks to the other children.
Frank feels a lump in his throat as he watches the children sit and talk among themselves. He starts as he hears Steve tell him.
"Kinda, gets you right in the heart."
"Yeah, gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, I haven't had in a long time."
"Feels good doesn't it?"
"Yeah, I could definitely get used to it."
"Well," Steve replies as he looks at his watch. "We'd better get over to your friend's place."
As they exit the church, Steve walks over to a nearby garage and gives the man sitting there a ticket. The man gets up and leaves. A few minutes later he drives out a green Land Rover. Steve tips him and they both get in. As they pull away, Steve asks, "Which way to your friend's place?" Frank gives an address in the dock area of Paris.
Twenty minutes later they arrive at Jean-Claude's warehouse. As they enter they can hear two men arguing.
"I tell you Jonathan, none of my sources have been able to locate him." A french accented voice speaks out.
"I don't care Jean-Claude. Thomas and I'll search every building in this city to find my grandson. Now please give us the weapons we asked for." An English accented voice orders.
"Higgins, calm down. You said so yourself, Jean-Claude will help us. Just give him some time." An American voice urges.
Frank and Steve turn to each other and shake their heads. "It can't be." Frank mutters as they turn the corner, they see three people standing at a counter. A short man dressed in a three piece suit wearing a beret. Another man slightly taller, about 5'6", dressed in khaki and the third man was wearing jeans, a shirt and a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. He stood about 6'2". All three turn as Frank and Steve enter the office.
"What do you want Iverson?" Jean-Claude asks, angry at being interrupted.
"I need some more of that Silver Tip ammo, and some guns." Frank replies.
"Because my friend and I have some business to finish. The ammo will help and if you have them, two Thompson machine guns, equipped with silencers, as well."
"Yes, I can sell those to you. It'll cost you ten thousand American. When can you get me the money?"
"Right now." Steve replies and tosses Jean-Claude a packet of money.
Jean-Claude opens it and counts it. A few seconds later he asks. "When do you need the weapons and ammunition?"
"Right now. We'll load the magazines ourselves."
"All right, let me get you your things, then you can leave. I have other business to finish today. How many magazines will you need?"
"Twenty five per gun, plus the Silver Tip ammunition. Do you have any Colt 1911 magazines as well?"
"Yes, would ten a piece, plus ammo, be enough?"
"Yes, it will, thank you."
Jean-Claude yells out orders to one of his men, standing off to one side and the man rushes off to get the weapons. Before he turns back to his two other customers, Jean-Claude asks. "Iverson, have you heard anything about some missing kids? Mostly American and some British?"
"Why?" Frank asks.
"Because these two men are looking for them."
Frank and Steve look over the two and then shake their heads. "No, we haven't heard a thing."
Suddenly a tapping sound is heard a window. Everybody turns to it and watches amazed as an owl taps on it. Steve turns to Jean-Claude, "Can that window be opened?"
Jean-Claude nods and presses a switch, the window rises and Archimedes flies in and lands on Steve's shoulder. "Archimedes, what is it?"
"Wanderer, King has sent another of his lackeys and two dozen hounds. They're going to try to take the children back. Darius doesn't know if he can hold them back. You have to come back."
"Shit, you know we have to go. If that bastard kills the wurms, I don't know what Fragnar or his people will say or do."
"You don't have a choice."
"Yes I do." Steve tells Archimedes as he turns to the three men looking at him, talking to an owl, and the owl talking back. He looks at the man dressed in Khaki and asks, "Are you looking for a ten year old boy named Timothy Higgins?"
The man in Khaki rushes forward and grabs Steve by the shirt and forces him against the wall. Archimedes hurriedly flies from Steve's shoulder and lands on a girder. Higgins's eyes blaze anger as he rasps out. "He had better be alive and sound or so help me God, you both are dead men."
"Your grandson is alive and hail, sir. Frank and I rescued him and six other children last night from where they were being held. We left him in the care of Brother Darius, who lives at St. Mary's church on Rue Morgan. Now if you'll let me go, I'll explain what's going on.
"First we call the church." Thomas tells everyone. He then grabs a phone and request the phone number from information. He gets it and dials the church. He speaks briefly with Brother Darius and then hands the phone to Higgins, who immediately speaks with his grandson. He listens to his description of what happened the previous night and then tells his grandson. "Thomas and I will be over in a short while. We'll see you then."
Steve then explains the situation to Higgins and his friend Thomas. As he continues, he can see disbelief in their eyes as he explains what he has to do. As he finishes, Steve sees Higgins back stiffen up and his eyes take on a cold, hard gleam. He turns to Jean-Claude and asks, "Jean-Claude I would like to order the same items as these two men have, plus a pair of Colt 1911s."
"I'll also need some grenades, plastique and an answer to a question." Steve adds.
"A moment gentlemen and I will get you everything you need." Jean-Claude tells them as he calls for five of his men. He gives them an abridged version of the story and all five move to prepare for the coming battle at the Church.
"The question sir?" Jean-Claude asks.
"Where did you get the ammunition?"
"I want to know where to purchase more of it at a later date."
"I don't know Monsieur. It was gotten off an unmarked truck. The original shipping documents call for it to be delivered to the U.S. FBI's Bureau 13. I've never heard of it.
"Neither have I. Thanks for the information though Jean Claude. What do I owe you for the grenades and plastique?"
"As you Americans say ‘it's on the house'."
With that, Steve and Frank gather their weapons, magazines and ammunition and prepare to leave. Higgins stops them both at the door and takes their hands. "Gentlemen, I apologize for my earlier behavior and thank you for saving my grandson and those other children. I also want to wish you luck on your mission."
"Just guard them and the church well. Brother Darius is a dear friend and I don't want anything to happen to him."
"I will lay my life down for the man, rest assured sir." Higgins tells Steve.
Mulder and Scully are sitting quietly entranced by the story as Frank tells it. Scully looks to Mulder and then asks. "Bureau 13? I thought that was only a FBI myth."
"You mean you've also heard of it?" Steve asks.
"Yeah, there's always rumor's going on about them. Though no one's ever been able to prove anything." Mulder comments.
"Interesting, do you think we'll ever run into them?"
"No, they're only a myth. Nothing but stories told around the cafeteria to scare rookie agents." Mulder replies with a grin. "Now finish the story Frank."
Frank and Steve leave the warehouse and immediately head to the airport. Thirty minutes later, at the airport, Frank calls in a favor and the Rover is allowed through without a search. They load up the plane and Frank calls in flight clearance.
As Frank's DC3 is taxing up the runway, Steve enters the cabin and grabs the co-pilot's seat. He grabs the head phones and asks Frank, "How long until we get there?"
"About two hours."
"Good, I'll field strip the guns and load the ammo, while you fly."
Frank grins, "Just make sure you don't forget my firing pin."
Steve grins back. "Sure, not a problem. I always forget the triggers any way."
Frank looks at Steve's grin and laughs.
Two hours later, Frank's DC3 lands on a deserted stretch of road near the castle. Both men get out and check out the surrounding area. As they look, a quiet rustling is heard in the bushes. Steve holds up his hand and waits. After a few seconds they move out again. The noise follows them.
As they approach a clearing the noise intensifies and both men stand at the edge and wait. They watch as a large wolf enters the clearing and stands up. Franks hisses between his teeth. Steve looks at the werewolf and grins. The werewolf growls and rushes them. Steve picks up his Thompson and fires a short burst into the werewolf's chest and the animal lets out a long howl of anguish as it falls to the ground, dead.
Frank turns to Steve and asks. "How'd you kill it?"
Steve grins as he replies. "The only way to kill a werewolf is to shoot it with a silver bullet. And our bullets happen to be made out of silver."
"Oh, yeah. Forgot about that."
"Let's go, there shouldn't be anymore guards out."
"Because werewolves hate everybody. And if King sent out any other guards the werewolf would kill them as well."
The pair then move to the castle proper and silently enter through an open gate. Steve and Frank check each shadow as they move silently to the front door.
As they enter the castle, Steve spots a guard sleeping in a chair near the door. Steve sneaks over to him and pulls away his rifle and side arm, handing them to Frank. As the guard awakens, Steve places the barrel of the Thompson into his mouth. The man doesn't make a noise as Steve asks, "Where's King?" The man points to an archway off to the left. Steve smiles and then takes the barrel out and slams his head with the buttstock. Frank winces at the noise his skull makes.
Frank asks in a whisper. "Was that really necessary?"
Steve looks at him and speaks in a calm, controlled voice. "That bastard is one of King's ‘trusted' servants. How many people do you think he has helped King murder? That piece of shit doesn't deserve any mercy."
Frank shudders at Steve's resolve and presses on. They enter through the archway on the right. Frank looks around and asks. "Why are we going in a different direction?"
"Because that bastard was going to send us to our deaths. I'd lay money down that he was pointing to a trap. So we do this the hard way."
A few minutes later, as the duo is rounding a turn, a beautiful girl runs past them screaming at the top of her lungs. Following her closely are a half dozen guards. As they pass Frank and Steve, they let loose with the silenced Thompsons and all six fall into a heap. The girl is lying on the floor in a quivering heap. They carefully move to her and Steve checks her, while Frank covers the hall.
"Can you hear me?" Steve asks in English as he touches her shoulder.
The girl jumps and looks around and sees the guards, bleeding and dead. She looks at Steve and Frank and notices that they are strangers. In German she asks. "Who are you men. Do you serve the evil sorcerer?"
Steve replies in German. "No. We're here to kill him. Who are you and where can we find him?"
"My name is Katherine. The sorcerer is through that door way." She points at a door located at the end of the hall. "He waits there to fed me to six young dragons. When I saw what was going to happen, I kicked one of my guards and ran away. Please don't take me back."
"We wouldn't, but we have to kill him. Do you want to stay here and wait, and possibly be captured by his other guards. Or come with us and help us fight."
The girl's back stiffens with resolve and she tells Steve. "I'm a daughter of the House of Hapsburg. I'll fight." With this, she gets up and takes several knives off the dead guards, leaving their guns.
Steve takes Frank aside and tells him. "The girl's name is Katherine. She told me that King was going to feed her to the baby dragons, so I think she's the virgin princess. I told her she could stay here or fight. She wants to fight." Frank grins, liking the girl already.
The trio move to the door in question and enter. The sorcerer has his back turned to them. As Katherine moves forward, she stumbles. The noise is noticed by King. He doesn't bother to turn around as he orders. "So, you bumbling fools finally caught her. Don't just stand there, throw her into the pit."
Both Steve and Frank grin at each other as they raise their submachine guns and empty their magazines into the dark sorcerer.
Each Thompson spews forth fifty rounds of silver coated death. As the bullets smash into Kings head and back, the sorcerer tries to turn around. Finally, he falls to the ground and lays there. Steve immediately changes his magazine and empties it into the supine form of the sorcerer. Frank follows suit, sending all fifty round into the head and shoulders of the body, turning it into a red and gray mass. Steve, then takes out his sword and cuts the body up. Then he, with Frank's help piles up the parts and lays a Thermite grenade under it. The trio moves to the side as the grenade incinerates King's body.
Katherine watches this in wonder. She then turns around and asks Steve. "Will you also kill the dragons?"
"No, the dragons are coming with us. Their families will want them back."
"You deal with dragons? What sort of man are you?"
"I'm the man who has just rescued you. Don't ask too many questions and we'll get along just fine." Then Steve turns to Frank. "The dragons will stay here for now. I want to clean out this castle and get them some food. The bastard has starved them in order to make them want to eat Katherine."
Frank nods his head and they leave the pit room. They search the castle for more of the sorcerer's lackeys, but it appears as though they have all run away when King was killed. Still searching, they find King's treasure throve and marvel at the loot. Steve grins as he draws a circle around the gold and jewels and utters an incantation. The treasure disappears. Frank is shocked and asks, "Where did the treasure go?"
"To a safe place." Steve grins as he walks out the door. Frank shakes his head and follows.
Soon, they finish the search and head back to the kitchen. There, all three load up on meat and head back to the pit. At the edge of the pit, they throw in the meat and wait. After a few minutes the dragons settle down and finish eating. As they finish, Steve lowers himself down and pets the nearest dragon. The dragon just looks at him, as he calmly removes a charm and lets the dragon sniff it. The baby immediately rubs itself against Steve and softly hisses. Steve then calmly picks it up and hands it to Frank, who pulls it over the edge. The baby dragon moves over to the side and waits, watching Frank and Steve lift the rest of it's brothers and sisters out. After they finish, Frank asks. "What is that thing?"
"It's a charm a friend of mine gave me. It shows other dragons that I'm a friend and will help them."
"Where'd you get it?"
"From another dragon."
"Oh." Frank replies as it dawns on him.
After all of the dragons are out of the pit, Steve and Frank plant explosives around the castle. After they finish, they lead the princess and the dragons a short distance off and blow the place up. The group watches as the flames engulf the castle and they turn around and leave.
All six dragons follow Frank, Steve and Katherine back to the plane. As they get near the plane, Katherine asks. "What manner of plane is that?"
"It's called a DC-3." Steve explains.
"Are you going to take me home?"
"First the dragons go home, then you." Steve replies.
"I am royal blood. I demand to treated as such."
< A royal pain is more like it. > Steve thinks to himself as he replies. "I am taking the dragons home first, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Am I understood?"
"You are no gentleman."
"I never said I was."
Frank looks on as Steve and Katherine argue, finally he asks Steve what's going on. "That royal bitch wants us to take her home first. But I have to get the dragons back to their families as soon as possible, before some other nut case tries and steals them."
"I got no problems with that. Where do I take them?"
"You'll see." Steve replies with a grin.
When they get to the plane, Frank lowers the rear ramp and all six dragons scamper up, into the plane. After all of the dragons are secured, Frank goes through his pre-flight check list and wonders why Steve is calmly sitting there. As Franks starts up the engines, the dragons roar a challenge, but immediately quiet down. Katherine starts to complain in German about unwanted animals and Steve calmly tells her something in German. The girl immediately shuts up. Curious, Frank ask, "What'd you tell her?"
Smiling an evil grin, Steve translates, "I told her, that if she didn't shut up, I'd throw her from the plane."
Frank laughs and starts the plane down the road runway.
"Frank take her up to 20,000 feet."
"Not a problem."
A few minutes later, the plane levels off at 20,000 feet. Frank turns to Steve, "What now?"
Steve takes out the dragon charm and tells Frank, "This charm will open a gateway to Dragon Valley. We'll leave the babies there under the care of adult dragons."
"Nope. Be ready for a little turbulence." Steve tells him as he activates the gateway. Suddenly, a shimmering appears in front of the plane and Frank's instruments go crazy for a second. Then they're through and Frank can't believe the sight in front of him. Full sized, adult dragons were flying escort to his plane. As Steve hold up his charm the dragons bank away and Steve points to a road. "Land the plane there. Some of the council will be by in a few moments to take the kids."
Frank nods dumbly and quickly lands the plane. As he and Steve get out and lower ramp. Five of the largest dragons land directly by the plane, several hundred land on the cliffs, watching. The largest dragon lowers his head and speaks. "So Wanderer, you are back among us. What brings you and your companions to us, this day?"
"Hello Smaug. How's the leg?"
"It heals. Thank you for asking. Now, what business do you have here?"
"Just bringing back a few things." Steve replies as the six baby dragons come down the ramp. The five adult dragon's take a deep breathe and let out a roar, which is taken up by the dragons on the cliffs.
Frank looks around him, scared. He turns to Steve and asks. "What the hell is going on? Why are they roaring?"
Steve smiles at the sight and tells Frank, "They're welcoming back their lost children and honoring us in the bargain."
Frank and Katherine look on in wonder and awe. The sight of so many dragons is spectacular.
The roar quiets down and Smaug addresses the three humans. "I, and all of my kind thank you for giving us back our children. Wanderer, we have had our differences, but I see now what Fragnar sees. You are a true friend to us and I ask your forgiveness for the harsh words I spoke against you."
"Forgiven and forgotten, Smaug. I never held those words against you. You were merely being careful. I can understand that."
Smaug lowers his head as he replies. "What of your companions? You are always welcome here. What about them?"
Steve turns to Frank and Katherine and tells Smaug. "They know dragons exist, but not how to get to this valley. I will leave my charm here and the council will open a gateway for us, allowing us to leave. Dragon Valley will remain safe."
The council nods their heads in agreement. Smaug speaks for them. "Very well my friend, it will be done as you wish. We will always remember you as one of our truest friends. Thank you."
"Thank you my friend. But we must leave now. The plane was at 20,000 feet when it went through the gateway. I don't want the area searched for a downed plane it might raise too many questions."
"The gate way will send you back only seconds after you entered it my friend. Never fear." Smaug replies as the council begins a chant.
Steve turns to Katherine and Frank. "Alright people, we've got to go. A pair of dragons will escort us to another gateway. Let's go."
Franks skips the pre-flight check and quickly turns the plane around and lifts off. Two adult dragons immediately place themselves on either wing tip, guiding the plane to a patch of shimmering sky. As Frank is about to enter the patch, both dragons, let out roars and bank away. The DC-3 passes through and they find themselves flying over the destroyed castle, on their way to Paris.
"So what happened to the Princess?" Scully asks with a grin.
"We dropped her off in Paris. Her parents picked her up. They gave Steve and me a million dollar reward for her safe return."
"What about the kids and Darius?" Mulder asks.
"Higgins and his friends were able to defend the church. When we got there, the police were guarding the place. It turns out Jean-Claude was really working for the French Intelligence Service, their CIA."
"Why did your sword glow blue? And where did you get it?" Scully asks.
"I found Smaug stuck under a landslide in 1985. I used my sword to pry up the rocks trapping him and broke my sword in the process. Smaug tried to kill me, but Fragnar stopped him. Fragnar told him that he owed me his life because I only sought to free him and not kill him. The sword was a gift from Fragnar, as token of his appreciation. By giving me the sword, he said that I could do a lot of good in the world. He told me the sword's history and it's powers. I've used it quite a bit since then and it's never failed me." Steve explains
"And what happened to the treasure trove?" Mulder asks with a grin.
"Steve and I split it. I used the money to start my air service, and Steve invested his. So, now I have a successful air service and Steve is worth sixty million dollars." Frank replies with a grin.
"Damn that's a lot of money." Scully replies with a grin. "So, how badly did the dragons shit in your plane?"
"Badly, the guys at the airport almost keeled over because of it."
As Frank finishes the story, the door bell rings. "That must be the pizzas." Steve comments.
"Do you want anyone to cover you while you answer the door?" Frank asks merrily. Scully starts to giggle. Mulder looks perplexed.
"No I DO NOT need anyone to cover me while I answer my front door, Thank you." Steve hotly informs Frank.
But, as he approaches the door, he loosens his gun in its holster. Frank and Dana start to laugh. Mulder still looks confused, Dana leans over and whispers in his ear. Mulder starts to chuckle.
As Steve opens the door, he sees a smiling Ted standing outside.
"Hi Ted, what do I owe you"
"Hello Mr. St. Wolf, that'll be $26.40, for the pizzas."
"Here's thirty, Ted, keep the change."
"Ah Mr. St. Wolf., can I ask you something personal?"
"Depends Ted, what is it?"
"You know a lot about guns, right?" Steve nods, Ted goes on. "Can you teach me how to use one?"
"First question Ted. Why?"
"Because I don't want to end up like the my best friend Mike, who was the other driver. They found him dead, last night."
Steve nods, understanding Ted's problem. "Next question, do you have a gun"
"Yes sir, I do. Will you teach me?"
"Come back next Saturday afternoon at around three o'clock, and we'll talk about it some more." Steve tells him.
"Thank you, Mr. St. Wolf."
"What took so long at the door?" Frank asks.
Steve tells Frank, Mulder and Scully about Ted's request and the way his face looked at the telling of his best friend's death.
"I am starting to hate Sunnydale. Kids don't need to bury their friends this early in life." Mulder comments.
"That's what I want to change. And to do that, I'll need Buffy and her friends." Steve states.
"What are we, chopped liver?" Frank comments, feeling cast aside.
"No, Frank, you, Mulder and Scully can't stay here permanently. It would raise too many questions in the wrong areas. But. if you decide to take a short vacation, now and then, to visit an old friend. No one will think it suspicious, and I won't mind putting you up in a guest room."
"You're right about us not being able to stay. But, do you think that Buffy and her group will work with you?" Mulder asks.
"Yeah, I think Buffy will become my student. She appears to understand what her situation is. But, I think that she'll want a heart to heart talk with Scully in the next couple of days."
"Can you be sure of that, Steve." Scully asks.
"Dana, we all heard what that girl has been through the last couple of years. She's strong, and smart. She'll want to know as much as possible before making her decision. And the only person I think she feels comfortable with is you, another woman."
Looking at the clock, Steve sees that its almost midnight. He turns to his three guests to wish them a good night.
"Look, its been a long, grueling day for all of us. Let's get some sleep. Breakfast will be at eight o'clock. I'll make scrambled eggs and bacon for all of us." He offers.
"Sounds good to me." Mulder says. Dana and Frank also agree.
"Alright, I'll cleanup here now. You all go get some sleep." Steve tells them as he grab a trash bag from the kitchen.
Frank and Dana start to cleanup the pizza boxes and help put them in the trash bag. After everything is cleaned up, Steve takes the trash out to the cans. < Got to find out when trash pickup day is. >
As he's putting the bag away in the can, something jumps him from behind, and tries to bite Steve on the neck. Steve throws it into the wall, by the side of the house.
Frank, Mulder and Scully rush out to see what all the noise is. The vampire gets up from where Steve has thrown him and makes a rush toward Dana, who pulls out her gun and tells it to freeze. The vampire doesn't even slow down. Dana fires her pistol twice into the vampire. It doesn't feel a thing.
"What the hell!?" Dana says as she sees her bullets don't do a thing.
`Meanwhile, Frank grabs a piece of wood and reaches over Dana and stabs it in the heart, just before it reaches her. The vampire turns to dust almost instantly.
"What was that thing, and what happened to it?" Mulder asks.
"Well, that was a vampire. The only ways to kill one is to stab it in the heart with wood, or behead it." Frank informs them.
The wail of police sirens break the night as three Sunnydale police cars screech to a halt in front of the house. < One of the neighbors must have made the call. >
"Halt, put your hands in the air or we open fire." One of the officers calls out.
"Officer Carlson, isn't it?" Mulder calls out.
"That's my name, who are you?" Carlson asks.
"FBI Special Agents Mulder and Scully, Officer Carlson. Remember we were talking to you this afternoon about those weird cases?"
"Using your left hands, take your badges out." Officer Carlson requests. Mulder and Scully comply. The other officers lower their guns.
"What happened here? Why were shots fired? And by who?" Officer Carlson demands.
Mulder steps forward and explains. "Well Officer Carlson, we were having dinner here with Agent Scully's cousin Frank and his friend Steve." Carlson looks at us suspiciously. "Steve had just taken out the garbage when we heard him being attacked. We all rushed out to help, and saw Steve throw his attacker down the driveway. Dana, pulls out her service gun and tells the attacker to freeze, but the attacker just goes after her. When Dana sees that the mugger won't stop, she fires twice at him, missing both times. This causes the mugger to run away.
"Can you describe the mugger, Sir?" Officer Carlson asks.
"Yeah, a young adult male, about twenty five, Caucasian, dark hair, about six foot, wearing black clothing. Looked like he was high on something." Steve tells the officer.
"I concur officer, the mugger looked like he was high on PCP." Scully informs Officer Carlson. Mulder and Frank also agree to the story.
Officer Carlson closes his note book. "A couple of detectives will be out tomorrow to see you all. Agents Mulder and Scully where will you both be staying?" Carlson asks.
"We'll be staying here, Officer." Mulder informs him.
From the expression on Carlson's face, he doesn't like the idea, but can't do anything about it.
"Very good. The detectives will see you all tomorrow then. Have a good night." Carlson puts away his note book and leaves.
Mulder and Scully, closely followed by Frank and Steve go back into the house.
In the living room Mulder and Scully turn to Steve. "Your going to be fighting those things with only the help of a bunch of kids? Are you nuts Wanderer? You have absolutely *NO* Fucking right to involve those children." Mulder angrily states.
"Mulder, let me point out one fact: ‘Those children' have been fighting those things for two years before I came to this town. They have the edge on experience, not me." Steve reminds him.
Mulder thinks back to the meeting earlier tonight. "Yeah, you're right Steve. You're not getting them involved. They're already involved." Mulder muses.
"Let's get some sleep, tomorrow's going to be a long day, and I want to be ready."
Sunnydale High School Library
That Same Night
As the Slayer and her friends leave the food court at the mall, Oz, Amy and Cordelia join them.
"Let's all meet back at the library. We have to talk about what just happened here." Giles says, Buffy nods her agreement.
Everyone agrees to this plan of action as they head back to their individual cars.
At the library, a grim group meets to discuss the evening's events.
"Buffy, Giles, what do you two make of those four people that we met tonight?" Willow asks.
Giles ponders the question a moment before replying. "Willow, Mr. St. Wolf and Iverson are probably, the two most dangerous individuals that I have ever met. They have the look of men being able to kill without a qualm. And then, there are those two FBI agents, Mulder and Scully. They are probably just as dangerous in their own rights."
"They're even more dangerous, Giles." Miss Calendar replies.
"Jenny, what do you mean? How can that be?" Giles asks.
"Simple, those two have been a team for about five years. And in that five years they have personally defeated some very nasty people, and helped to bring down some very powerful people. Also, they have some very major people protecting them. Some people have tried to kill them and suddenly found themselves very dead instead. Whoever is backing Mulder and Scully has some major fire power to back them up with." Jenny tells them.
"There's something else." Amy states, as all eyes turn to her. "I tried a scrying spell on them. The spell lets me see if they are carrying any magical items on themselves or have been near any magic in the recent past."
"What did you see Amy?" Giles asks.
"Does the description ‘Christmas Tree' mean anything." Amy states.
"You mean they have access to magic?" Miss Calendar asks in a shocked whisper.
"Yes, some very strong magic. If that brown haired guy had anymore magic, he might have blinded me." Amy comments.
"Is he a sorcerer, then." Giles asks.
"No, but he has some very potent magic. So do that pair in the black trench coats." Amy explains. "The guy who went with Xander to get the food had the least, but it was still quite noticeable."
"What about these ‘Others', St. Wolf mentioned. There could be an entire army backing these guys up." Xander mentions.
"I think we're missing the point here." Giles comments. All eyes turn to him.
"The question that must be answered is: Do we work with them, merge our teams, so to speak? That is the question. What do you think Buffy?" Giles asks looking at Buffy.
Buffy is staring at the wall, deep in thought. Xander reaches over to touch her and almost loses his hand.
"A little touchy tonight Buffy?" Xander asks massaging his hand.
"Sorry guys, my head is some where else tonight." Buffy explains.
"Would it have to do with what Mr. St. Wolf and Ms. Scully told you privately?" Giles asks. Buffy nods her head. "Would you care to tell us what they said?"
"No, I can't right now. I need time to think. Guys, I'm sorry, but what they said really shook me up. Can we break up this meeting and go home. I'm feeling really tired." Buffy explains.
"Alright Buffy, do you want to meet tomorrow morning." Giles asks.
"No, tomorrow after school would be better." Buffy replies.
"Certainly Buffy, let us know if there is anything that we can do." Giles tells her.
"Thanks guys. Cordelia, can you give me a lift home?" Buffy asks.
"Yeah, sure no problem, I'm happy to be everybody's taxi service." Cordelia grouses.
As Buffy and Cordelia leave, Xander turns to Amy. "Amy, did they cast any spells on Buffy?" Xander asks.
"No, they only talked." Amy answers.
The second meeting breaks up and everybody goes their own separate ways deep in thought.
At the breakfast meeting, Steve recaps the events of the last three days with his three guests.
"So, what's on the agenda for today?" Frank asks.
"I think that I'm going to start a wood working hobby today." Steve comments.
Mulder looks at him with a funny expression. "Steve, I've never imagined you as the Norm Abrams type."
"Mulder, where else am I going to get those wooden knives I like to throw at vampires?" He replies. "At the local K-Mart or Lumber supply house?"
"So, where are you going?" Scully asks.
"Probably to the local Sears, I noticed a sale on woodworking power equipment there yesterday. You three want to come along?"
"Not me," Scully says, "I'm going to type up the report concerning our little visit to this town. Mulder, you go with them."
"Why Scully?" Mulder asks, grinning like a ten year old going to visit the toy store.
"Because every time power tools are mentioned, men tend to act like little boys. My father always acted like a small boy every time he went to the hardware store. And I don't think you're any different, Mulder. You'll start pouting the moment these two leave." She points to me and Frank. "So go, have your fun. I'm staying." Scully says.
"If you're staying Scully, let me show you this." Steve moves over to a part of the wall and shows her how to operate the hidden switch to one of his weapon's lockers.
He opens the locker and shows her the weapons contained in it.
"Steve, I count three assault rifles, one shotgun, a dozen grenades of various types and enough ammunition to fight off the local police and probably the national guard. What are you planning for, a war?" Scully looks a him in disbelief.
"No Dana, I plan on being the last man standing if anything serious goes down. If that bothers you, I'm sorry."
"Dana, Steve's got the right idea, concerning this place. Those things don't play by the rules. You can't arrest a vampire." Frank comments.
"We did, once." Mulder replies.
"What happened." Steve asks, curious.
"It escaped. When it escaped, it killed a lot of good people. When we found them again, we had to kill all three of them. There was no way to control them." Mulder tells us.`
"Case in point. Let's go shopping guys." As Steve gets his coat, he asks. "Dana, you need anything while we're out?"
"Yes, bring back something for lunch. Mulder knows what I like." Scully tells them as they're going out the door.
A few minutes later, Dana feels the ‘Buzz' of another Immortal.
< What could they have forgotten? > She asks herself as the front door bell rings.
< They wouldn't be ringing the front door bell. > She comments to herself. Scully picks up her sword and Sig Sauer as she heads to the front door. Looking through the peep hole she sees worried and scared Buffy Summers standing on the front porch.
Scully puts her gun and sword away as she opens the front door to let Buffy in.
"Ah, Hi Agent Scully. Like, you said we could talk whenever I needed to. Well, I need to talk, now." Buffy stammers out.
"Come inside Buffy." Dana tells her.
"Yeah, thanks. Uhm, where are the guys?" Buffy asks.
"The guys left to do some shopping and they won't be back for a while. Do you want some coffee?" Dana answers.
"Coffee would be great. What do I call you, Ms. Scully or Agent Scully?" Buffy asks.
"Just Dana will be fine, Buffy." Dana smiles.
"Dana, I need to talk to you about last night. What you and Mr. St. Wolf told me. I can't be Immortal. I'm the Slayer. I'm supposed to hunt vampires, not play in some cosmic Game, killing other Immortals for their heads. I'm only seventeen years old. I only want a normal life, not this." Buffy cries out.
Dana reaches over and tenderly embraces the weeping Buffy. Cooing softly to her, Dana lets her finish crying. As she holds the trembling Buffy, Dana softly speaks to her.
"Buffy, none of us wanted this to happen to you. Believe me, but it did. It can't be changed. You have to be strong. You can't let yourself sink into depression, no matter what." Dana tells her.
Buffy pulls away from Dana, "Don't tell me to be strong. My first Watcher, Merrick told me to be strong. I became strong. What did it get me? A room full of my friends that had been turned into vampires by some creep named Lothos."
"Did you know that I had to kill them all? I had to kill people I grew up with. Two of my best friends were turned into vampires and I killed them. Also Merrick, my first Watcher, died trying to protect me. I then burned down the school's gym to get the rest of the vampires. Don't tell me to be strong." Buffy tearfully tells Dana.
Dana's mind races < Buffy is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. Dad suffered from that for years after the Vietnam War. >
Dana makes a decision. "Buffy, we need to talk. Let me tell you what happened to me during my abduction two and half years ago."
Buffy looks at her. "What happened to you?" She asks.
Dana goes into detail about her kidnaping and subsequent abduction by forces unknown. She tells Buffy about the operations, the implants, Mulder's hunt for her and her cancer. Then Dana starts to tell Buffy of the X-Files cases she and Mulder have worked on. The leech man, the cannibals, the alien bounty hunter, the mutants, the clones and she also tells Buffy about the conspiracy that is attempting to control the world and their work in stopping them. Buffy listens to all of this.
"You and Mulder have been through a lot together. How do you handle it?" Buffy asks.
"Yes, we've been through a lot together. We've always found that talking together about what happened helps us. You don't have anyone to really talk with do you?" Dana asks.
"I used to," Buffy says. "But he isn't around anymore, sort of."
Dana looks at Buffy "What do you mean by ‘sort of', Buffy?" She asks.
"Well, you remember that guy Angelus, that Mr. St. Wolf mentioned at the meeting?" Dana nods. "He used to be my boy friend."
Buffy then goes on to tell Dana about how she and Angelus first met, and how he was a vampire with a soul and how he helped her in many of her fights. Buffy then tells her about how their friendship turned to love and how, on her seventeenth birthday she turned him back into the monster that he was before he had his soul restored. And now he was tormenting her by hunting her friends, before coming after her.
"Buffy, we've all been through a lot. You're not alone in this. You have me and Mulder to talk to, and don't forget Steve and Frank. They saved your friend Willow's life. What about the people who were with you last night? They have admitted to fighting these things as well." Dana tells her.
"When I first came here, Xander had a best friend named Jesse. They were together since childhood. Jesse and Xander found out about me early on. They tried to help me. It got Jesse turned into a vampire. Xander had to kill him to protect me. I don't want that to happen to anyone else." Buffy replies.
"Buffy, understand this, those people are your friends. If they didn't know what they were getting into when this started, they do now, and from what I saw they are still standing by you. You can't buy that kind of loyalty and you can't force it from people. People give it of their own volition."
"Let me tell a story I heard for the first time last night." Dana replies as she starts to tell Buffy about her cousin Frank's first meeting with Steve.
After Dana completes the story, Buffy is giggling, "Do you think Steve really wanted to throw the princess out of the plane?" Buffy asks.
"You'll have to ask him yourself." Dana answers as the phone rings.
Dana reaches over and answers it. "Hello St. Wolf residence."
"Scully, this Mulder, we're going for Chinese. Do you want the usual?" Mulder asks.
"Hold on a second Mulder." Dana turns to Buffy. "Buffy, do you want anything to eat? Mulder and the guys are getting Chinese."
"Yeah, an order of chicken lo mein." Buffy replies.
Scully gives Mulder the order. "Hold on Scully, Steve wants to talk to you."
Steve takes the phone from Mulder. "Dana, how's it going? Is she handling it well?"
"Its going fine Steve. We've still got a lot of ground to cover, but its going."
"Okay, we'll be back in an hour, with the food, any questions you can't answer, me and Mulder will try to. Bye Scully."
Dana hangs up the phone and turns back to Buffy. "The guys will be back in an hour. Anything else you want to talk about? Dana asks.
"Yeah, I know Steve mentioned he was married, but, are Frank and Steve, well, you know." Buffy asks embarrassed.
Dana starts to laugh. "No Buffy, neither one of those two are gay."
Dana notices the relief in Buffy's face when she mentions this. < Oh, oh, I think she likes one of them. I wonder who? >
"Dana, what do you think of Steve?" Buffy asks.
< Well that answers that question. > Dana muses. "Buffy, I hardly know him, but Mulder respects him. And for Mulder, that means a lot. My cousin Frank considers him a brother, and is willing to die for him. And I think Steve feels the same way about Frank. That tells me a lot about his character. My point of view of him. If I didn't have Mulder in my life, then I would probably go after him, and if I didn't, then Frank would try and set us up." Dana replies with a smile.
Buffy becomes a little embarrassed, and quickly changes the subject. "Can you tell me more about being an Immortal?" Buffy asks.
Dana explains to Buffy what being an Immortal details. She goes over the history (As far as she knows), of the Immortals. She describes some of the older Immortals she has meet in the last couple of years. The describes her first duel, the feeling of the quickening and the memories of the man she had to kill. She talks about how her relationship with Mulder had changed and how they were handling it.
"So, I won't age. I'll look like this forever?" Buffy asks.
"Yes, that's one of the pluses. But on the other hand, we can't have children." Dana tells her.
"Then how are we born?" Buffy asks.
"We just appear as babies somewhere. No one knows how. We're all adopted into our families as babies, and usually the parents don't tell." Dana answers.
"I'm adopted?" Buffy asks. "Well at least that's not so bad a shock."
"Buffy, your mother might not know. Sometimes, dead children are replaced with us. The real Fox Mulder was born stillborn. Mulder was given to his mother as a replacement. She never told him. The nurses at the hospital just gave him to her because they felt she would make a better mother than the orphanage." Dana explains.
"My mother would have told me by now, I think." Buffy replies.
They both feel the ‘Buzz' as the side door opens.
"Hi, Lucy, I'm home." Mulder does in a very bad Ricky Ricardo voice. "Have you and Ethel been cooking up plans to sneak into the show again?"
Dana and Buffy both start to giggle at Mulder's impression.
"Mulder, that is the WORST Ricky Ricardo, that I have ever heard." Dana comments between giggles.
Mulder reaches down and kisses Scully on the cheek. "C'mon you two, lets eat. Steve wouldn't let me nibble on anything on the way back here." Mulder complains.
"Steve, how did you keep him away from the food?" Dana asks. "I've never been able to."
"Simple Scully, I just left the food in the back with Frank and told him to break Mulder's arm if he tries to sneak anything out."
"Let's eat. I'm hungry after all of that work." Mulder comments.
"Work? What did you do?" Scully asks.
"When we got to the Sears, they had a demonstration of a new equipment line going. We spent the better part of two hours trying out every piece of equipment there. Frank and I had to pull Mulder away to let someone else get a turn." Steve comments merrily.
Scully starts to laugh. The sight of Mulder working with power tools and enjoying it, would have been a sight to behold.
"Just wait until I get you upstairs. You'll regret that laugh." Mulder seductively whispers into her ear.
Dana's face turns red.
"Mulder must be on testosterone overload." Frank comments seeing Scully's face.
"Yeah, Bob Villa almost had a coronary when he felt Mulder's gun under his jacket." Steve laughs. "He must have thought Tim Allen hired a hit man."
"Bob Villa was there?" Scully asks.
"Yeah, he was pushing the new line of wood working equipment. I bought four pieces."
"Why did you buy wood working equipment?" Buffy asks between mouthfuls.
"Did Willow show you that wooden throwing knife she kept?" Buffy nods. "Well those things take a while to make by hand. So I bought some equipment to speed up the process. Also, I want to try and make wooden bullets for some of my guns."
"Bullets can't kill vampires."
"Correct, lead and copper don't work. But who's to say a wooden bullet or slug wouldn't?"
"It might, I've used everything from pencils to pool cues to kill vampires."
Buffy starts to ask Mulder and Steve questions during lunch.
"Mr. Mulder, why did you ask Giles to show his left arm?" She asks.
"Just call me Mulder, Buffy. There is a group, actually a secret society, of mortals out there, who watch us. They keep a sort of history of our existence. They're called the Watchers. They have a tatoo on their left arm. It looks like a ‘Y' in a circle. When Giles said he was a Watcher, I thought maybe he was one of them." Mulder explains.
"I bet Mulder's watcher got some great pictures of him in action today. I'll bet Joe Dawson is laughing his head off by tonight." Steve replies as he's laughing.
"Who's Joe Dawson?" Buffy asks.
"Oh sorry Buffy. Joe is the head of the North American branch of the Watchers. A real standup guy. You'll like him, if you meet him."
"Tell me something. Dana said that we're supposed to fight with each other in this Game. How come none of you are fighting? You're all sitting here having a meal and enjoying each other's company." Buffy asks.
"A large number of Immortals have decided not to play the ‘Game'." Steve explains.
"Why don't you play?" Buffy asks. Frank rolls up his eyes.
"I have my reasons. Mulder and Scully love each other, and don't want to jeopardize their relationship."
"Can this discussion wait until I leave next week. I've heard all of the arguments before. Remember, I was with you, when you found that journal, while exploring that ancient temple, in the Himalayas?" Frank grouses.
Mulder's, Scully's and Buffy's curiosity is piqued. "When were you in the Himalayas?" Scully asks.
"About a year ago. I found a map to an ancient temple and I found out the secret to the Game." Steve replies. Both Mulder and Scully are shocked.
"Well spill it. What is the secret? Every Immortal we know would kill for it." Mulder comments.
"The secret to the Game is in its history. I found the journal of a Immortal named ‘Krevar', if he was alive today, he would be over eight thousand years old. The journal took almost a year for two Shambalah Masters, to translate it. In the journal, he admits to starting the Game as a hoax, to ‘relieve' the boredom of existence." Steve sees two angry faces stare back at him.
"In the journal, he goes on to state that he had told two of his students about the Game as a great secret and the two students promptly went out and killed each other. When he told the surviving student that it was only a jest, the student didn't believe him. He ran away and told this secret to other Immortals and that's how the Game came to be."
"There is no prize, no great thing at the end, just loneliness. The last Immortal will be just that: ‘The Last Immortal'. This stupid joke has killed off so many great ones. Darius, Brother Spencer, just to name a few." Steve angrily states.
"What are you going to do about it? How will you get it to the other Immortals?" Mulder asks.
"I thought about giving it to Joe Dawson and have his Watchers leave copies of it with their respective Immortals. It'll be up to each of us to believe it or not."
"I think most of us will believe it. I don't want to kill any one. I only want to spend the rest of my life with Fox." Scully says as she reaches for Mulder's hand and holds it.
At this tender moment Steve's cell phone rings. As he reaches for it, Mulder complains about modern technology. "Steve here."
"Mr. St. Wolf? This is Rupert Giles. We met last night." Giles states.
"Of course Mr. Giles. What can I do for you?" Steve asks, looking at Buffy, who is turning a slight red. < Damn, she's cute. >
"Have you seen Buffy? She didn't report to school today, and I'm worried." Giles answers.
Steve takes a deep sigh. "Buffy, your friend, Mr. Giles wants to know if I've seen you."
"Can I have the phone." Buffy asks. Steve hands her the phone.
"Giles, this is Buffy." She tells Giles over the phone.
"Buffy, why are you with Mr. St. Wolf? You should be in school. Did they kidnap you?" A worried Giles asks.
"No, Giles. I'm fine. I needed to talk with Dana and Steve some more. I had a bunch of questions and they answered them. Now we're having lunch and discussing history." Buffy explains. "Listen Giles, I want to bring Steve to the meeting this afternoon. Would it be possible?"
"Do you think that's wise, Buffy?"
"Yes, I do. He can explain this stuff for you in detail."
"Very well then, we will be expecting the both of you."
"Good, I'll see you at three o'clock then." Buffy replies and hangs up the phone and turns to Steve. "I want to tell my friends everything. I can't lie to them or keep this secret.
"You sure they can handle it?" Mulder asks.
"I'm pretty sure. After all we have been through, this will be just another thing." Buffy replies. Then she turns to Frank. "Frank, how did you handle it when you found out Steve was Immortal."
Frank smiles, "I found out the hard way. About seven years ago, in Libya, some white slavers we had cornered had gotten the drop on me, and Steve dived into their line of fire, saving my life. I could have killed him when he got back up after being shot a dozen times. I almost had a heart attack. I know those ass holes did when he shot them in the back." Frank reminisces fondly.
"But Frank, the look on your face when I got back up, had the group laughing about it for two days." Steve replies, grinning.
"You two, were the cowboys who rescued those girls in Libya? Qaddafi said that an entire Marine division invaded his country." An awed Scully asks.
"No, the group was pretty small. There were only nine of us and Fragnar." Steve replies.
"Who was in the group?" Mulder asks.
"Well, besides Frank and me, there were the MacLeods, Duncan and Connor, Rich Ryan, Adam Pierson, a pair of ladies named Kyra and Cassandra and a mercenary called Casey Romain."
"Whose Fragnar?" Buffy asks.
`"Fragnar is a dragon." Steve answers. Mulder, Scully and Buffy's jaws drop.
"A dragon helped you raid Libya? I find that hard to believe, Steve." Scully scoffs.
Frank smiles one of his wicked smiles, as he goes over to a book shelf and pulls out a photo album. He turns to a particular page and shows Scully the photo.
"Mulder look at this. It can't be real." Scully says. Mulder and Buffy look over Scully's shoulder at the photograph of a group of well armed men and woman in desert camouflage and a dragon!?
"Who took the photo?" Mulder asks.
"Connor's Watcher, a guy named Chance Harper." Steve replies. "Luckiest guy I ever met."
Mulder and Scully look at each other and shake their heads.
"You know Wanderer, I would hate to see your Christmas card mailing list." Mulder replies.
Steve looks at his watch, its 2:40 PM. He turns to Buffy. "It's time to meet your friends. C'mon lets take my car."
"You mean that dark blue Jeep in the driveway?" Buffy asks.
"Yes, do you think you could drive it?"
"Yes." Buffy replies with a wicked smile on her face.
"Steve, that car is armored, bullet proof and loaded with weapons, you're going to let a teenager drive it?" Frank asks in disbelief.
Steve gives Frank a wicked grin. "Yep."
Frank shakes his head in disbelief.
"Well, at least I'm safe and sound in this house and not on the road." Mulder comments, as Scully reaches over and smacks him on the shoulder. "Hey, what's that for?" Mulder asks her.
"Your comment on woman drivers." Scully replies.