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Untitled Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic
Untitled Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic
I'm going to be posting the first two chapters of my currently untitled Buffy fanfic here.

Please enjoy, and make comments if the mood takes you.

Chapter 1-Part 1


light glowed in the world’s cenotaph, as a weapon forged to kill monsters
instead shattered the source of all hope and love.  Light flared out in golden waves, fire veined
in lightning, from a now empty pedestal that had once held the numinous.

                  An old man lay on the ground, his neck
snapped, his heart stopped; yet his brain still futilely tried to send messages
down his broken spinal column even as he died. 
On the other side of the vast underground chamber lay another, a young woman.  She held close to her the weapon that had
dealt the deathblow to the world and she grieved.  She grieved, not for the world, but for the
old man and for the future.  She grieved
that all of her hopes had been destroyed, that the sweet joys and fierce
passions that she knew could have been hers’ forever had been sacrificed.  She no longer knew for what her sacrificed
had been, when all around her was only loss. 
She was alone and she grieved for that. 
But most of all she grieved for the old man.

almost catatonic, was a man who was no man. 
This one could not see, did not want to see, the old man that lay dying
at his feet.  But he could smell the
death, the loosened bowels and relaxed bladder. 
These were familiar scents to him, and the man who was no man knew
without knowing that he had killed once more.

there was a fourth, a young man who had but one eye.  He was wounded both in body and heart.  He too grieved for the old man.  Yet he also grieved for the young woman, and
even for the old man’s killer.  Though he
had only one eye, he saw the world and in seeing could have only compassion.

                And so
life would have gone on in this dying world. 
Without wonder in it, a malaise of the spirit would have descended upon
all peoples.  Though world would spin,
and people would live on in it, no longer could it be said that they
lived.  Instead of bringing in new life,
they bred.  Instead of dining, they ate.  Instead of dying, they stopped. 

had no more meaning left.  For the four,
though, they did not know this.  All they
knew was death and its consequences.

despite all wonder leaving this world, it did not go quietly.  Nor did it leave all at once.  Traces of the fire and lightning still
lingered in the underground chamber.  The
red glow that illuminated the vast vault did not stop.  Instead it grew brighter.  And the fire and lightning swirled.  Both these things happened so fast that none
of the four could tell that it was happening at all.

then the glow went out, and the fire and lightning died.  And all was darkness.

then there was light.
Chapter 1-Part 2

was a cliff, only just inside the city limits on a technicality.  The pre-dawn light made finding the dusty
trail up from the small parking lot to the cliff edge difficult, even
dangerous.  Yet these were her
instructions, and Lilah Morgan was nothing if not dutiful.  Especially as disobedience would mean her
death by lingering torture, resurrection and then still more torture and
death.  Repeat ad infinitum et nauseum.

debated whether she should go back to her car and change into her jogging
shoes, but discarded that notion quickly. 
Though hiking up a mountain trail in six-inch heels was no fun, the
consequences of missing her appointment would be far worse than a twisted

thoughts of torture and death, as always, depressed Lilah.  Her own, of course, but even it being done to
others sickened her.  Of course it did.  If she had been in any other business, worked
for any other bosses, this would have been natural and right.  But Lilah worked for demons.  She was the cliché evil lawyer.  If “The Devil and Daniel Webster” ever
happened in real life, she would have been the Devil’s attorney.  And she would have won, too.

were compensations for selling your soul, even if done piecemeal over years;
the comfort with which she lived and the comfort she was able to provide for
her family, was the main one.  Whenever
she saw her mother, now fully gone into her dementia and likely to spend years
there, Lilah knew that her sacrifice was worth it.  Instead of her mother dying in her own filth,
she was instead being cared for day and night. 
Her mother was as happy as she could be, and loved as best as Lilah
could love her.  This was Lilah’s
happiness, and the motivation that drove her to wield the word and the knife
for her monstrous masters as they spread evil in the world.

                It had
been early on in her legal career, a newly-minted associate at Wolfram and
Hart, that she had been made aware of the true nature of the firm.  She had thought that Wolfram and Hart was
simply one of a number of high-profile, international law firms.  Rich and influential, certainly, though there
were others with far wealthier clients, and who have won bigger cases.  It was strange that no one ever saw the
Senior Partners.  Yet still the salary,
bonus package, and health insurance had been enough to fill the younger Lilah
with glee and not ask any stupid questions. 

                It had
been her superior, Holland Manners, who had introduced her to the truth of the
matter.  From atop a murdered anonymous
girl, she signed in her own blood the contract that sold the first part of
herself for power.  Yet she recognized, even
if Manners did not, that the power he offered and she would wield was illusory.  All she would be in the eyes of the Senior
Partners, those monstrous, never-seen demons who proclaimed that hell was
already on Earth and they its rulers, was a favored, pampered slave.  She was a source of pleasure to them, and a
resource to be used or wasted as their whims took them.

                Yet the
perks of her position were such that she could never go back.  Beyond the money and comforts, there were the
pleasures she indulged in.  Always
twisted, never clean, still she teetered on the edge of addiction to those sick
delights that were available to her. 
Even now, as the sun was just about to come up over the mountains behind
her, and as painful as the walk had become, she felt a sudden jolt running from
the top of her head to her loins and then back up again at the thought of her
reward for a good day’s work.  Yet this
thought also brought with it a sour pain in her stomach, and the taste of blood
and vomit in her mouth.

hoped that, given the chance, she would give all the indulgences up if she could
just feel clean again.  She doubted she
ever would.

                So here
she was, following cryptic commands from on high, to come to this cliff at the
edge of a nowhere city, in a nowhere county, in the wilds of central California.  She was to be there before dawn, and there
observe as the representative of Wolfram and Hart.  Further, and here things got very strange,
she was to speak of what occurred to none. 
Not to Manners, from whom the instructions came, not to any of the other
associates, not even to the Senior Partners themselves should they come to
ask.  Manners had seemed troubled and
alarmed by this instruction.  Yet
nevertheless those were the words and wishes of the Senor Partners, and he
dared to neither omit them nor subvert them.

                The sun
had yet to rise fully when she came to the wide cliff.  There, just before its edge, was what could
have been a woman.  Though she could now
see her way around, it was still dark enough for Lilah to see that the woman
was glowing.  Not that the woman was
holding a flashlight really close, not that the sun was catching her just
so.  Rather she was, honest to god,
glowing with a pure white light like some kind of angel from a terrible gift

woman, who had been staring down at the city, turned at Lilah’s approach, still
glowing.  Despite the unearthly light
emanating from her, she was dressed in a lightly embroidered gray shirt and
gray dress pants, with calfskin boots. 
Her black hair hung to her shoulders in light waves, with her bangs
framing her face.  She smiled in welcome
as Lilah came to stand by her.

                It was
time to take control of the situation, and the best way to start was with first
impressions.  “Lilah Morgan, Senior
Associate at Wolfram and Hart, PC.”  She
took the glowing woman’s hand and gave a firm handshake, while looking her
soberly in the eyes.

said the woman, “I’m—oh, it’s starting.”   They
turned then to the edge of the cliff, where a black cat appeared, suddenly and
without fanfare.  Almost immediately
after a dog walked out from behind a scrub brush and joined the cat.

                The cat
began to speak.  Lilah wasn’t even
surprised by that, jaded as she’d become to the strangeness of the world.  “Well, that was a thing that happened,” said
the cat, wryly. 

not see that coming,” said the dog.  It
sat on its haunches and began to lick itself. 
“You’ve been around a while.  Has
this ever happened before?”

since the time of No-Time, when being and un-being were united,” said the
cat.  “This wasn’t any temporal folding
or quantum leap or what have you.”

was a good TV show.  The ending didn’t
make a damn bit of sense,” said the dog, interrupting.

always liked the hologram,” agreed the cat. 
“And that Halloween episode was very good.”

said the dog, “if this wasn’t a temporal fold, then it had to have been a . . .
what, restructuring?”

from a prior state.”  And then here the
cat turned to look at the glowing woman, and the dog did the same.  “With some changes, obviously.”

                “Yeah.”  The dog resumed licking himself.  In between licks, he said, “I think I detect
the hand of my sister.  Aunt.  Counterpart. 

                “Maybe.  There again, maybe not.  She wasn’t at the center of things, whereas
your mother and father were.  And while
she might have the power, she has no access to it in her current state.  Nor I believe would she have had the . . .
presumption to do so.”

                “Maybe.  No, you’re probably right.  Still, she is human, and that means she can
surprise even us, as we’ve just seen demonstrated.”

                The cat
nodded in agreement, an odd thing to see a cat do.
Chapter 1-Part 3
you following any of this?” Lilah asked the glowing woman desperately.  While she was accustomed to oblique
references and gnomic pronouncements, as both a lawyer and a servant of ancient
evils, this was rapidly becoming distressingly baffling.  So much so that she was admitting weakness to

of.  Not really, but kind of,” said the

you can explain it to me?”  The woman
shrugged helplessly.

think what they’re saying is that the world was destroyed and recreated, and
very few people noticed.”  And here the
woman stared straight at Lilah, her glow intensifying.  “And I think that your bosses are among those
that didn’t notice.”

said Lilah, already trying to think over the implications of that and failing.

said the cat pointedly, before resuming its conversation with the dog.  “As I was about to say, what now?  You can touch this world, much as you did in
the time immediately preceding your birth. 
Yet now it seems that your actualization will never come, as your mother
and father know the signs of your coming.  
And knowing, they will stop themselves before they create you.”

they?  Well, maybe.  But the reason why they were worthy of
creating me was in who they were.  In
order to be true to themselves, almost inevitably they will start the chain of
events that will lead to my creation.”


not,” said the dog, shrugging in a manner that was entirely alien to a dog’s
body.  “I am nothing if not patient.  With the creation of existence, so too came
the eventuality of its destruction and renewal. 
If I could wait since then, I can wait longer still.

besides, even if it’s not my current mother and father, another will come
along.  ‘Into every generation, there is
a Chosen One,’ and so on.”

the line is cut,” said the cat.

the line is cut,” agreed the dog.  “But
even then, one will come.  If things had
progressed without this re-creation, a girl would have been born some time in
the future.  She will have a twin, you
see, one who becomes a vampire and inherits all of the memories and dreams that
should have gone to the girl.  They would
make very good parents, I think.”

V.C. Andrews of you,” said the cat.

and contradiction are inherent in my creation, as dichotomy was to yours,” said
the dog, again shrugging.  The dog and
the cat then silently watched as the sun rose fully, pulling free from the

have already changed,” said the cat finally. 
“And will continue to change.”

us?” asked the dog.

maybe even us,” said the cat.

not now.”

not now.”

then,” said the dog, as it walked away, “I guess I’ll see you the next time all
of creation goes bye-bye.”

soon then,” said the cat.

pretty darn soon.”

                The dog
walked down the hill and soon enough disappeared from sight.  The cat meanwhile still looked down upon the
city below the cliff, as it slowly came alive for the day. 

the glowing woman interrupted the cat’s introspection.  “It’s like you guys can’t even have a normal
conversation.  It’s all, ‘oh, doom and
reality and creation, blah, blah.’  So

sure is,” said the cat, and paused before it continued.  “Have you the Destroyer’s soul?”

not his name,” said the woman.  “And
yes.  Oh, god, now I’m doing it.”  The woman pressed her hands to her face in
mock despair before turning back to Lilah. 
“You might have noticed from the whole glowing and floating gently that
I’m not exactly one-hundred percent human. 
But you’re used to that, right?”

said Lilah.  In fact, she rarely dealt
with non-humans, despite being part of the Special Projects division of Wolfram
and Hart.  Most of her day-to-day work
was in the office, reviewing paperwork and researching laws and treaties.  However, as befitted an evil law firm, much
of that paperwork was written on human or demon skin, in blood, and those
treaties and laws were from dimensions far from Earth.  But she wasn’t going to admit to anyone that
she was ever unnerved by the alien deviance that made up her life.  “Ghost?”

of but not really,” said the woman apologetically.  “That’s as close as I can get without going
into way too much detail.”

again, ahem, but more emphatically,” said the cat.  “In any case, girl, you are now free to go to
your body.”

about that,” replied the woman, “I doubt that my body would be able to handle
all of . . . well, me in there.  And I
really don’t want to go all ‘Scanners.’ 
It’d ruin all my clothes.”

                The cat
tapped a paw against her cheek in contemplation.  Lilah had to resist a powerful urge to squeal
in delight at the adorable sight. 
“You’re right about that.  Messy
and you’d just end up back here.  No,
what we’ll do is suppress your nature. 
It’d be difficult to do it wholly, but it is possible.”

guess I could make some genetic modifications to myself as I enter, then
compress myself down so that I can’t consciously access most of my abilities,
that’d keep me from going all explodey.”

will be, to all appearances, much as you were before you ascended.”

considered that, despite the earlier snark from the woman, she too could not
hold a normal conversation.  Well, Lilah
had seen much the same during the meetings of the Circle of the Black Thorn,
the cabal which was the precursor to Wolfram and Hart and served alternatively
as its controllers and rivals.  The
Circle was responsible for the Senior Partners’ apocalyptic plans, and as such
could not help but be pompous when discussing even mundane things with each

                “Visions?  Floating? 
Purity beam?” asked the woman.

visions . . . yes.  There will be pain,
but not killing pain,” said the cat.

joy.  That’s something to look forward
to,” said the woman as she walked towards the cliff.  “You wouldn’t happen to know where I can find
Darla, would you?  I have an immaculate
conception to kick-start.”

will come to you.  Right now she is in
Chechnya, near Grozny, indulging in her love of war.  Yet the Master is even now gathering his
forces and his favorite children, to prepare the field for next year’s

no way that I’m flying to Russia before I get back into my body.  Guess I’ll just have to keep the kid with me
until Darla gets here.  Anyway, good
talk.  We’ll have to do it again
sometime.”  With that, the woman launched
herself into the sky, but not before giving them a wave and yelling back at
Lilah, “I’ll have my people call your people and we’ll do lunch!”

really hoped the glowing woman was joking, because that was a cliché too far.

now we’re down to one,” said the cat. 
Lilah jerked her attention away from the flying woman, who was now lost
in the morning sunlight.  “Hello, Lilah.  Did you enjoy your peek behind the curtain?”

that what this was?” said Lilah.  From
some sixth sense, possibly honed from her job experience, possibly simply
something innate in her, had told her that it was the cat that had gotten her
to come here.  That this little black cat
had the power to order the Senior Partners. 
And now she was alone with this thing, in the desert, and nobody knew
where she was.

things kept her in place: one was the certain knowledge that if she was going
to die, here and now, there was nothing to stop that from happening.  The other thing was her curiosity.  The power and the wealth and comfort, coming
so fast and relatively easily, had drawn her to Wolfram and Hart.  But, if she were honest with herself, it was
simply knowing the truth of the world, as ugly and horrific as it was, kept her
at her job.  Knowing all the secrets that
so very few knew was intoxicating.

curiosity may be what caused the cat to kill her, but Lilah could not do
anything but stay and learn.

                As if
reading her mind, which it in all likelihood could do, the cat smiled.  “Oh yes. 
I thought you’d enjoy seeing my conversation, and I was right.  I like you, Lilah.  You are the Manichean struggle incarnate, and
that makes you very attractive to me. 
Therefore, I shall give you a reward, which is also a punishment, which
is also a test.”

asked Lilah.  She was confused by all of
this, especially the last remark, angry at her confusion, but too frightened to
let her anger show.  Suddenly, between
the blink of her eyes, the cat disappeared and was replaced by a little
girl.  She was about eight or nine,
wearing a red-striped dress, her brown hair in pigtails.  That made the predatory grin on her face all
the more terrifying.

power.  Specifically, control over the
Los Angeles branch of Wolfram and Hart.”

drove back to LA, the instructions to make effective her sudden promotion
frantically written down on a legal pad taken from her briefcase.  Though she doubted that she could ever forget
any of them.  Go to the elevators in the
Wolfram and Hart building and press the floor buttons in a certain
sequence.  Go to the White Room and talk
with the little girl that acted as the Conduit to the Senior Partners.  She was to tell the girl that the source of
their power, that which lives in all people, commanded them to give her control
over Los Angeles.

they would.  Lilah was certain of
that.  The implications of this was
buzzing in her mind, the adrenaline pumping through her so much that she felt
her heart would explode.

                So this
power was the gift, that much was obvious. 
And the punishment was in her position. 
She knew, from having done it herself, that everyone underneath would be
looking to climb to the top over her dead body. 
Preferably that would be literally over her dead body.  The struggle to keep her power and make it
grow within the organization would be her punishment.

what was the test?

what did Manichean mean?

                And why
had the little girl that was once a cat been laughing so much as she disappeared?
Chapter 1-Part 4
Chapter 2-Part 1

quickly became lost in the labyrinthine passages, twisting and turning as they
did without any apparent design, and all alike. 
The overwhelming crowds of screaming children, yelling parents and
shrieking teenagers roared in his ears. 
The blinking lights nearly blinded him.

                He was
in a California mall on a weekend, and Merrick found that he vastly preferred a
vampire-infested graveyard to this.

this was his duty, and his calling, and hopefully the fulfillment of a
lifetime’s quest.  Even if he never saw a
Hot Dog on a Stick, it would be too soon. 
And the less said about an Orange Julius, the better.  He had never thought that something that
sweet could be that disgusting.

if he was right, if he had read the signs and portents correctly, the girl
would be here, now, in this place.  Los
Angeles, California.  The mall was a
large eight story structure, filled with the products of Mammon.  There was even a small oil field on the
site.  Yet it would be here that the
Chosen One would be found.  Perhaps that
was a sign of the world that the savior would come from this decadent mess.

clamped down his shaky eagerness, and his anxiety.  The Council had been horrified when they
learned that none of the Potentials had been chosen upon the death of the last Chosen
One.  It was not unheard of, of
course.  Though they had the experience
of millennia, the Watchers—they who watched for the Chosen One and then
prepared her for her battle against darkness—were simply overwhelmed, as there
were too many girls in the world, and too few people to search through them to
find the right one in time.

they had been lucky for a while now.  It
had been hoped that they had gotten so proficient at finding Potentials that it
would have been unlikely, if not impossible, for one of them not to have been

yet, it had happened.  So Merrick had
been sent to find the Chosen One and train her for combat.  It was the highest honor given, to be the
Watcher for the Chosen One.  The Chosen
One was the world’s savior, whether the world knew it or not.  And she deserved to be remembered in history,
even if it was only a secret history known to a few.  That was the gift and the burden given to the
Chosen One’s Watcher—to be their biographer until the moment of their too-soon

                In a
more just world, entire religions would have been built around the Chosen
One.  While the normal world awaited its
messiah, Merrick was one of the elect who had seen his savior fight and
ultimately sacrifice themselves in the war against the world’s evil.  It was this fierce, warrior nature which had
given the Chosen One their other name—the Slayer.  Slayer of vampires.  Slayer of demons. The hunter of humanity’s

                As soon
as it was learned that the Chosen One would be found in America, the Council
had sent for Merrick.  He was the oldest
Watcher in North America still active. 
Though born in England, he had spent the majority of his life in the
North America—save for a tour in Vietnam. 
Further, he had worked with many Chosen Ones, starting with the Chosen
One of the 1970s as an assistant to her Watcher.

                As he
walked through the mall, scanning every teenage girl for the right one, he
thought of Bernard Crowley, the Watcher for that first Slayer he had
known.  He had been devastated when his
Chosen One had died, essentially entering retirement soon after.  Bernard had devoted himself to raising the
Chosen One’s son, Robin, in memory of his dead charge.

                It was
common enough for the Watcher to retire upon the death of his Chosen One.  Merrick could see the bonds that formed
between Watcher and Slayer, intense and intimate.  Oftentimes the only person that the Chosen
One could confide in, could trust absolutely, was her Watcher.  Teacher, trainer, guide—the Watcher pointed
the Chosen One towards the enemy, and then patched them up when they
returned.  They were the Slayer’s only
backup in the eternal battle.  It was no
wonder that the last Chosen One had taken her Watcher as her lover, though it
had of course ended badly.

                He had
absolutely no plans to do the same. 
Beyond the fact that he was much too old for her, he already had an
inkling of what his Chosen One needed in a Watcher, and a lover was not one of
those things.  He had investigated her,
along with the other Potentials that he had discovered in his quest to find the
true Chosen One.  Despite her seemingly
sunny disposition, she held a great sadness inside her.  Her parents were far too involved in their
own problems, careers and social lives to be actual parents she had had to raise
herself.  She had done so by finding the
largest crowd that she could, and emulating them in all respects.  Yet despite trying to be as vacuous and
flighty as possible, Merrick could see the native intelligence, will and most
of all essential loneliness about her. 
She had the makings of a fine Chosen One.

that name was ridiculous.  He could just
imagine the future sniggers, as Watchers read his entry in the Watchers’
books.  Yet soon enough, he was sure,
they would come to respect and revere her.  If Merrick had anything to do with it,
everyone would know just how important Buffy the Vampire Slayer was.

                Now if
he could only find the fool girl.
Chapter 2-Part 2
finally found her in front of the multiplex, four girls waiting in line and
chattering away.  She was a short, slight
girl, with dyed blonde hair in a ponytail. 
She was dressed in what Merrick was sure was both expensive and
fashionable clothes, but which to him was gaudy and far too sexual for such a
young girl.  And she was young.  He was surprised at how young she looked,
despite knowing all that he did about her. 
It saddened him greatly to have to thrust her into the war.  She had not had the lifetime’s training that
many of the other Potentials had.  Even
if she had begun to have the dreams, the lives of previous Slayers running
through her mind, it would not be enough for her fight and live through her
encounter with a vampire.

                Yet she
would have to fight, even if she was not ready. 
She was the Chosen One and there was so little time.  Evil was already in Los Angeles.  And so he would had have to give Buffy what
training he could, in the time that he had, and then hope like hell that it was

pounding, his throat dry, he walked up to Buffy and made to introduce
himself.  Yet before he could get a word
out, Buffy looked up and smiled upon seeing him.  She ran over to Merrick and then hugged
him.  The breath rushed out of his body,
as the great strength that was part of the gifts given to the Chosen One was
used to crush his ribs.

Merry!” cried Buffy.  Merrick could not
even feel indignant at that, as he felt his internal organs liquefy under the
force of Buffy’s hug.  Mercifully, Buffy
let go and turned back to her friends. 
“Guys, this is my Uncle Merry. 
Uncle Merry, these are the guys.”

said Buffy’s friends, each trying to hold back a giggle at Merrick’s

I know that we were going to watch a movie, but I have to catch up with my
uncle, all right?  I’ll see you guys
later.  Ciao!”

                With a
wave of her hands, Buffy sped away from her friends, towing Merrick behind
her.  It wasn’t until they had turned a
corner that Buffy let go of Merrick’s hand and they slowed down enough to
talk.  When Merrick looked at her now,
Buffy’s entire demeanor had changed. 
Instead of a vapid, spoiled teenager, he instead saw a girl of great
strength and determination.  All of the
potential that he had known was within her he saw manifest in her gaze.

save some time, okay?  Me, Slayer.  You, Watcher. 
Vampires are real and it’s my job to kill them,” said Buffy grimly.  “Oh, also, there’s no time.  That about cover it?”

said Merrick.  “Yes, that about does
it.  How did you . . . the dreams.  You’ve been having the dreams.”

let’s go with that,” said Buffy.  “You’re
right that there’s no time.  You have no
idea how right you are.  But before we
can start anything, I need to go home first. 
Where’d you park your car?”

led Merrick out of the mall and to the parking lot, quickly weaving her way
through the crowds as if they were not even there.  Merrick suspected that she could have done so
before she gained the abilities that came with being a Slayer.  He had to walk quickly to keep up with her,
and could not help bumping people as he passed.

only thing Buffy said to Merrick as they walked was, “You know, if we had the
time, I would totally go ‘Queer Eye’ on you. 
We’re in a mall, and you definitely need new clothes.”

looked down at himself—a black suit and tie, black button down, and leather shoes
suitable for walking in both alleys and cemeteries.  It was the same as what he’d worn, for the
most part, since the Seventies.  And what
in the world was ‘Queer Eye’?  Teenagers
and their slang.  Bah.

                He had
to admit to being out of breath by the time they’d reached his car.  Buffy’s only comment was that she was shocked
that it could pass a smog check.  Merrick
said nothing, only patted his 1976 Dodge Dart police package affectionately.  If there was one thing that being in Southern
California was good for, it was making it much easier to find replacement parts
for his car.

so I’m assuming you know how to get to my house?  Good, we’re going to need to pick up some
things and I have to leave my parents a note,” said Buffy as she buckled herself
into the passenger seat.  “Also, what
gear do you have on hand?”

spent a few moments cataloguing materiel, most of it of the sharp and pointy
variety.  She seemed utterly
disinterested in the training equipment, saying only that training would come
later.  He had not had time to unpack, so
all of it was in his trunk.  It was hell
on mileage and his car’s suspension.  He
had been planning on offloading all of it to a suitable training area, perhaps
an abandoned warehouse or factory, but it seemed that his Slayer had other

                “You do
need training.  You may feel invincible,
but you can only go so far with the inherent strength and reflexes that your
Slayer abilities give you.  Even the
skills you witnessed in the dreams are not truly yours, not until you have
trained your body to do what your mind commands,” said Merrick.  He was glad that Buffy was taking her
responsibilities so seriously, but he also knew that overconfidence led to the
death of many a Chosen One.

                “Like I
said, it’ll have to come later.  There’s
just no time,” said Buffy.
Chapter 2-Part 3
Merrick could say anything in response, they had arrived at Buffy’s home.  It was a typical Los Angeles house, built in
an eye-watering mixture of architectural styles that combined to say both
tasteless and affluent.  As soon as
Merrick stopped the car on the street, Buffy jumped out and ran to the house
after telling him to pop the trunk.  It
was only five minutes later that Buffy came back, carrying four large
bags.  She was not, however, alone.

watched with shock as the Slayer dropped the bags into the trunk and got back
into her seat by his side.  A few moments
later, the back seat opened and a girl got in. 
She was perhaps ten years old, with straight auburn hair that fell to her
shoulder blades, dressed in t-shirt, jeans and a denim jacket.  Shaking off a sudden wave of dizziness,
Merrick turned to Buffy.

                “Why is
your sister here?” he demanded.

I need Dawn with me,” said Buffy.  “Our
parents aren’t home, and I’m not leaving her alone.”

said Dawn, in a bright voice, “you’ll need someone to watch your back.  What if a vampire zooms in behind and grabs
hold of you, forcing you to commit suicide before he can torture you for
information about Buffy?”

barked Buffy.

knows?” said Merrick, horrified.

said Dawn.  “Vampires and demons and
magic and keys and all kinds of stuff.”

stop doing that, Dawn,” begged Buffy.

laughed in response.

meanwhile, was thinking furiously.  This
was obviously a fait accompli; there was no chance that the Chosen One would
obey an order to leave her sister behind. 
He could try to convince her that it was the right thing to do, that it
would be too dangerous to have her follow where they would be walking, but he
had a nagging suspicion that this would be futile.  And so Merrick tried manfully to ignore Dawn
and get back to the business at hand.  He
succeeded for the most part.

now?  I want you to start training
immediately, but you obviously have other plans.”

school.  I have a vampire king to slay,”
said Buffy grimly.  “Oh, but first a trip
to the hardware store.  There’s one on
the way.”

know about Lothos,” said Merrick.  Buffy
nodded in response.  “And you know that
Lothos is at your school?”

it,” said Buffy.

the corner of his eyes, Merrick considered Buffy.  “You have dreamed the deaths of the Slayers
that Lothos had killed?”

                “Yeah.  The medieval barmaid, the Hong Kong
prostitute,” said Buffy.  “The others.”

dozens of Slayers.  No other vampire has
ever killed so many,” said Merrick.  “And
you would face him now, freshly called and untrained?”

                “I have
things to do,” said Buffy firmly.

as?”  Buffy would not answer, only looked
out the window in silence.  Dawn too
remained silent.

                As they
walked through the Home Depot, a large hardware chain store, Merrick considered
his Slayer.  As a Watcher, he had helped
to train most of the Slayers of the past thirty years.  Of those, five had been killed by
Lothos.  The horror, the rage, he had
felt had nearly crippled him.  So to send
this girl out to fight him so soon terrified him.

                Yet the
others had been trained, had been prepared as well as anyone could make
them.  Still they had died by Lothos’ hands
and teeth.  Buffy—he would have to get
used to her ridiculous name—walked with the same determination that had been so
clear on her face.  Further, beyond the
natural grace that came with being a Slayer, there was a power and coordination
that came with training.  Whether it was
her cheerleading, or her childhood gymnastics training, Buffy knew how to use
her body as an instrument.

would she know how to slay?  In the heat
of the moment, when the terror and blinding speed and unnatural horror of the situation
confronted her, would she panic and die? 
Or would she overcome the animal instinct to hide from fear and attack?

would have liked to have eased her into the life of the Slayer.  He would have first demonstrated how a
vampire rises, and how a vampire kills. 
He would have staked one in front of her, to show a vampire truly
dies.  Then he would have begun training
her in the killing arts that a Slayer had to know.  Only then would he have even considered
sending her to slay Lothos, and that only because Lothos was obviously hunting

Buffy was determined to kill Lothos now. 
Merrick knew enough about Slayers to know that, once they committed
themselves fully to a course of action, nothing could sway them from it.  It seemed that with the strength and
prophetic abilities, the Slayer also had superhuman stubbornness.  Watchers over the years had tried various
methods of dealing with this mulishness. 
Some Watchers crushed it out of the Slayers with brutal, Prussian-style
training.  Others manipulated the Slayer
to redirect that stubbornness towards the eternal war.

most of that determination was directed outward, against the world, and not
towards their Watcher.  This was
particularly true of those Potentials who had been trained since birth by their
Watcher.  Merrick had planned, when the
issue came up, to work around Buffy’s stubbornness through mockery.  Yet that tact required a certain, even if
brief, familiarity towards each other borne from the training he would give.

                Yet now
the situation was reversed.  Instead of
him guiding her, the Slayer was guiding her Watcher.  Right now she was guiding him through an
aisle filled with farming equipment.  She
placed four small wood axes in the shopping cart, and replacement wooden
handles for rakes.

                It was
after they left the hardware store, loaded with the makings of weapons, that
Merrick came to his decision.  It was
looking at his Slayer, at the way in which she had carefully weighed each wood
axe for their balance, which did it. 
When he came to California, Merrick had expected that it would be Buffy
who would have to trust him.  She would
have had to have trusted him that vampires were real, that she was the Chosen
One, and above all else that she could kill Lothos.  That would have been their relationship—she
would be trusting him with her life.

though—now things were very much the opposite. 
He would have to trust that her sense of mission was such that it could
not wait for any training.  He would have
to trust that she would survive where so many others had died.  He would have to trust that she knew what she
was doing.

would have to trust Buffy.

                It was
a struggle, if a silent one made on the drive towards Hemery High School.  But in the end, he came to his decision.  Buffy was his Slayer, and he was her
Watcher.  That was a sacred bond, one
which he would not betray by second-guessing her.  Even if it meant his death, and more
importantly even if it meant her death, he would follow.  She was the Chosen One, and that meant

announced Dawn.  This had been all that
she’d said since they had left the hardware store.  In the back seat, she had spent the drive
using one of the wood axes to sharpen the wooden poles into spears.  It had made a mess, leaving wood shavings and
chips everywhere, yet even in the short drive the girl had managed to make four
spears, five feet in length.  They were
light enough for the child to use them in combat—a prospect that Merrick
dreaded—yet strong enough to pierce through the chest of a vampire and reach
his heart.  Instead of being a sharp
cone, the points at the center of the mass and thus making for truer aim when
thrown, the spears had been carved so that its point was at an edge.  This made the spear stronger than it would
have had the spear point had been in its center.  That Dawn knew this without having to be
told, and further that she expected to use to spears in close combat rather
than as missiles, told Merrick something. 
He was not sure what, other than that Dawn too expected and was prepared
for combat.  And even that much was

were these girls?  It was a question to
be answered another time.

said Merrick.  “And just in time.”  He pulled the car into the parking lot of
Hemery High School.  It was a sprawling
campus, dominated by a three-story high main building.  The large gymnasium, to the rear of the
campus, was where Buffy said that Lothos had his lair.  Apparently the gym’s basement doubled as a
water and power substation for the campus and was rarely visited, even by
teenagers looking for out of the way places to do whatever depraved things
teenagers did these days.

                It was
a spring Saturday, and so no one was on campus except for a security guard or
two.  Yet they were nowhere to be
seen.  Buffy made to open her door, but
Merrick stopped her.  It was time to show
her how crazy a Watcher could be.

have their seatbelt on?  Good.”  Merrick revved his engine and jumped the
curb.  He drove through the large arch
that led to the rear of the school, driving through the chain link fence’s
locked doors with a high-pitched cracking squeal.  Dodging past benches and potted plants that
lined the exterior hallways, he drove across a grass field and then stopped in
front of the gym’s locked doors.

                As they
got out of the car, Merrick took the time to appreciate the tire tracks and
churned grass that was behind them. 
There had always been a childish side to him, one which still delighted
in petty vandalism—especially of institutions. 
He rarely indulged it, but for the sake of surprising and delighting his
Slayer, he would do so.  Shock and terror
would forever be a part of the Slayer’s life, but that made happy surprises all
the more necessary.  They counteracted
the numbing effect that the horrors of the world could inflict upon the Slayer.

could do doughnuts in the football field, if you want,” said Dawn.

could,” said Buffy wistfully.  Then she
looked at the sun and shook her head. 
“No time.  The sun’s almost down.”

mean it’s almost . . . twilight?” said Dawn, grinning madly.  Buffy grimaced but said nothing.

                It was
surprisingly easy to get into the basement levels of the gym.  Buffy had suggested that they chop a hole
through the gym floor using one of the axes, but Merrick had, just in time,
spotted a locked utility door before Buffy had kicked in the gym’s main
doors.  Deciding to use flashlights
instead of turning on the main lights, Buffy led the way down to the basement and
then from there to the tunnel that Lothos had dug for himself.  It had been hidden behind a huge metal
cabinet, which would have taken vampire, or Slayer, strength to move.  Buffy had gone to it almost immediately,
after a moment of staring at the ceiling and presumably orientating herself.  Buffy walked in front, an axe in one hand and
a flashlight in the other.  Behind her
was Dawn holding one of the long spears. 
Bringing up the rear was Merrick. 
He was carrying a crossbow, fully cocked and ready to be loosed.  It was a modern crossbow, making it easier to
cock than its medieval counterparts.  Yet
still he doubted he’d have time for more than one shot.  Then he’d be down to fighting with a stake in
his left hand, and a pistol in his right. 
He’d found that, though a gunshot did not kill a vampire, it did shock
and even weaken them enough to be staked far more easily than would
otherwise.  He was an old man, after all,
and not a super-powered teenager.

tunnels had been, at first, illuminated by battery-operated electric lamps—the
kind that you would get for camping.  The
warm yellow glow, however, had soon been replaced by wooden torches set into
the earthen walls of the tunnels by brackets. 
Buffy and Dawn took the time to stare at the wooden torches, utterly
befuddled by them.  Merrick nudged Buffy,
who shook herself out of her cognitive stutter to walk on.

                It was
not long before they came to a large chamber. 
It was about two stories high, shored up by thick wooden beams.  At the center of the chamber was a throne,
upon which sat Lothos.  He was of average
height, with long reddish-blonde hair that hung both loosely and in woven
braids down to his chest.  He wore a
white silk shirt, ruffled at the collar, and a long red wool coat.  Around his neck hung a gold necklace with
uncut emeralds set in it.  In all, he
looked like a handsome man of middling years.

                Yet he
was also one of the most powerful vampires in the world.  There were perhaps older vampires, though
none were completely sure how old Lothos was. 
And those old vampires were no longer able to hide their demonic nature
behind their human faces, always monstrously bestial in their visage.  Yet Lothos was able to do so.  However when he showed his true face, his
demonic face, instead of turning into a snarling, twisted wreck that still
retained some of its human nature, Lothos’ demon face was like that of a wolf,
or a dog, a hairless long snout stretching outward to tear and maul rather than
the normal vampire’s simple bite.

eyes were closed, and he looked to be sleeping sitting upright.  Yet as soon as Buffy fully entered the
chamber, his gaze locked upon her.  They
all stopped as Lothos languidly stood up.

                “It has
been a long time since one of you has sought me out,” said Lothos.  He spoke with a trace of a Continental accent,
though it was difficult to pinpoint precisely. 
“I admire your bravery, Slayer.”

hi,” said Buffy.  She then threw an axe
at Lothos.  With a laugh, he plucked it
out of the air.  Yet even as his hand
grasped the handle, Buffy was at his side, chopping at him with another
axe.  Lothos barely managed to dodge the
blade as it sliced through where his neck had been.  With a snarl, the vampire pushed the Slayer
from him.  Buffy tumbled to the ground a
few feet from Lothos, but quickly sprang back up to attack.  She met Lothos in midair, as he had been
lunging after Buffy, looking to pin her down and kill her.  They grappled briefly, she trying to
decapitate him even as she landed kick after kick in his ribs, while he tried
to stab her with his monstrous claws. 
Each failed and both separated from each other with a jump.
Chapter 2-Part 4
was amazed by Buffy.  He had known
intellectually that the Chosen One knew what to do, having seen her
preparations on the way to the gym.  Yet
a part of him had not truly believed that she knew how to do what she did.  Always the Slayer needed to be trained, as
their bodies could not follow through on what their instincts and their dreams
told them were possible.  Further, it was
through training that new possibilities, unique to the particular Slayer, could
be discovered and made a part of their own individual style.

here he was seeing a newly-called Slayer, in her first battle, fighting like a
veteran.  Oh, with his long years of
experience as a trainer, Merrick could already see areas in which Buffy needed
improvement.  She was not as strong as
she could be, nor as fast.  Her agility
was admirable, yet she did not utilize it nearly enough.  Yet she was brave and cunning.  Her initial move of distracting Lothos with
the thrown axe was audacious, and had nearly worked.  Buffy was a Slayer that came along . . .
perhaps never.

would have continued analyzing the fight, even as his heart was in his throat,
when he felt the slightest itch at the back of his mind.  He jumped up and felt the merest touch upon
his ankle.  Looking down, he saw a hand
reaching up from the loosening dirt floor. 
More hands began bursting out of the ground, as vampires began to dig
themselves out of makeshift graves.

shouted Dawn, as she dance away from the rising undead.  Merrick took the time to admire how unafraid
the girl sounded.  “Minions!”

busy!  You got this?” yelled back Buffy,
even as she dodge a swipe from Lothos and returned it with a slice of her axe
that took a bloody chunk from his side.

no problem,” said Dawn.  She stabbed
downward with her spear and the vampire beneath her turned into dust, its
skeleton briefly visible and illuminated by the fiery pyre of his combusting

quickly loosed a single crossbow bolt into an emerging vampire, and then began
shooting at the rest with his pistol. 
After a pair of shots hit a vampire in the chest, with them staggered
with pain, he followed up with a stake to the heart.  In all, he and Dawn killed at least seven
vampires between them in a few minutes. 
Yet there were perhaps a dozen more left, more cautious now but entirely
free from their graves and thus able to maneuver.  Merrick and Dawn moved back towards the
tunnel entrance, with Dawn stabbing at any vampire that came too close and
Merrick reloaded his pistol.

Buffy was having trouble with her own vampire. 
Her left arm hung loosely by her side, as blood dripped down from her
shoulder.  Her right eye was swollen
almost to the point of uselessness.  Yet
she continued to fight, even if she was noticeably slower.  Lothos was not untouched, of course.  His side continued to bleed, and he had lost
nearly all of the fingers of his right hand, while his left hand was entirely
gone.  Lothos jumped into the air and
floated there near the ceiling, beyond Buffy’s immediate reach.  She merely stared up at him, but not before
casually beheading a vampire that came too close to her.  Then Lothos swept down from the ceiling, his
right hand scoring a deep cut across Buffy’s jaw and neck.  Lothos swept down again, only to miss as
Buffy rolled to the ground and chopped down with her axe, cutting off a
foot.  Lothos howled in rage and pain.

to be a little ‘Boxing Helena’ there, Lothos,” said Buffy, panting.

cried Dawn as she staked a vampire with her spear.

inarticulate with fury, Lothos flew toward the tunnel, barreling through the
lesser vampires.  He swept aside Dawn’s
spear and knocked her into the side of the tunnel.  He grabbed Merrick by the neck with his
remaining fingers and lifted him up. 
Merrick, choking, tried to bring the stake down on Lothos’ back.  Before he could do so, however, Lothos had
his teeth in his throat and clamped down.

howled in pain.  He had known, ever since
his father had introduced him to the truths of the world, that this was the way
he would die.  Even during Vietnam, in
that rotting, hellish jungle, he had known that he would not die in that
war.  It was in the true war, the eternal
war between good and evil, that he would fall. 
Still, in the heartbeat between Lothos starting to feed on him and his
death, Merrick took his pistol and fired into the vampire’s chest.  What strength he would have gained from
Merrick’s blood would now be used to heal the bullet wounds, and hopefully it
would be enough damage for the Slayer to finish him off finally.

his thoughts racing as his blood drained from him, regretted that he could not
have been Buffy’s Watcher for longer than those hours since their meeting at
the mall.  He would have been a good
Watcher, he thought, teaching her all the things that a Slayer needed to
know.  Not just how to fight, but how to
live.  That the mission of the Chosen One
was for life’s sake, and that living was the ultimate victory for good against

world grew dim, and he felt time slowing. 
Yet for some reason there was no pain. 
The terrible pressure that had been at his throat was gone.  In its place was a brief heat upon his face,
like the summer sun, and then something like feathers and snow.  The air smelled of ash, like a fire pit at a
camp site.  He had gone camping with his
father many times, and they would always cook over an open wood fire.

missed his father, and hoped to see him again soon.
Chapter 2-Part 5
I am interested in your message and would like to subscribe to the newsletter. Also, Chibi-Dawn, Scooby Companion of the Noble and Most Ancient Martial Order of the Broomhandle and Dustbuster is adorable.

So, Lilah knows the world ended and got remade, and is now in charge of the LA region. Does this mean Eeevil is also going to be stepping up its game? Incompetent, she never was, and even if she doesn't know what happened or who's involved, she's excellently placed to investigate and apply influence.
"Anko, what you do in your free time is your own choice. Use it wisely. And if you do not use it wisely, make sure you thoroughly enjoy whatever unwise thing you are doing." - HymnOfRagnorok as Orochimaru at SpaceBattles
woot Med. Eng., verb, 1st & 3rd pers. prsnt. sg. know, knows
Thanks for the response
Sorry, but distracted by your icon picture. Is that supposed to be a vampire-fighting Valkyrie?

Anyway, thanks for your comment. Chibi-Dawn is adorable, but like all Buffy-characters she will be dealing with ANGST soon enough.

Lilah does know the world ended and got remade, but frankly I'm not sure how much she cares. That is to say, I don't know yet what plot-significance her knowledge will have. I had witness the conversation between the cat and Twilight for a few reasons, such as 1) needed a POV character; 2) needed to have Lilah put in charge of LA as part of her character-arc and to continue the themes that were in the Angel tv show; 3) someone to react to exposition.

Lilah to me falls under the same archetype as Katherine Madigan in DWII, which was so prevalent in the 80s: the hotshot, ambitious corporate woman--powerful and attractive. Possibly with big hair, shoulder pads, and liable to slap someone into a pool. Lilah, like DWII's Katherine, does have her "good" side but that doesn't maker her a good person. How competent will she be? Well, that all depends on what her goals are.

The avatar pic is, as labeled, the VF-14 Vampire, as seen briefly in Macross Plus Movie Edition and an omake attached to one episode of Macross 7, since it's what the enemy mecha are based on in that series. A different (rather ugly) version was later created for the Macross M3 video game which is considered canon, but I vastly prefer this type and redrew the faint, tiny sketches found in Shoji Kawamori's Macross Design Works and FZ-109A art so some good line art would exist. They've been posted here and
"Anko, what you do in your free time is your own choice. Use it wisely. And if you do not use it wisely, make sure you thoroughly enjoy whatever unwise thing you are doing." - HymnOfRagnorok as Orochimaru at SpaceBattles
woot Med. Eng., verb, 1st & 3rd pers. prsnt. sg. know, knows
at the Macross World Forums, and will appear at the Macross Mecha Manual web site when the owner gets around to it. The quad chest lasers would probably handily combust any vampire they hit, but 50ft mecha in general are ill suited to fighting beings a tenth their size. Well, I suppose the Protodeviln counted as spirit vampires, but the power imbalance goes the other way with them... Anyway, it's a contemporary of the VF-11 that saw service in more frugal colony fleets as the AK-47 of variable fighters.
"Anko, what you do in your free time is your own choice. Use it wisely. And if you do not use it wisely, make sure you thoroughly enjoy whatever unwise thing you are doing." - HymnOfRagnorok as Orochimaru at SpaceBattles
woot Med. Eng., verb, 1st & 3rd pers. prsnt. sg. know, knows
Oh, that's right!
Ah, sweet Macross 7. I keep on meaning to write at least a nano-step with Doug being empowered by Song Energy and standing up against a protodevlin wave motion gun blast.

Anyway, Dawn does make weapons out of household items. It's been seen in the series that vampires are particularly vulnerable to wood through their hearts, so much so that a fall upon a wooden fence would pierce their chest despite it not being particularly sharp. I figure that one of the costs of their magically-enhanced corpse bodies is that it is even weaker against wood (and I suppose wood products like particle-board) than a normal human body, at least in the chest and ribs area. It's part of the vampire curse, like sunlight.

So with that in mind, having Dawn--a little 10 year old girl, remember--armed with a weapon that would keep an enemy at some range makes sense.
Any normal human, knowing vampires are in the offing, should want to use a weapon that lets them strike from out of arm's reach, and preferably also used like a staff to break kneecaps first to keep superspeedy leeches from lunging inside effective range and make it easier to hit a relatively small target like the heart. For someone with limited strength, the ability to thrust with a two handed grip could also be significant. Plus it sounds cooler than "Knights of the Stake and Pail" - that's more like a
"Anko, what you do in your free time is your own choice. Use it wisely. And if you do not use it wisely, make sure you thoroughly enjoy whatever unwise thing you are doing." - HymnOfRagnorok as Orochimaru at SpaceBattles
woot Med. Eng., verb, 1st & 3rd pers. prsnt. sg. know, knows
bulemic barbecuers than vampire hunters! I'm king of hoping also that having tried the cold cuts and seeing them implode the first time around, Buffy will stick to dates with a pulse. One of the more cynical but vaguely plausible explanations I've seen for Buffy's constantly worse decisions was syphillus eating her brain, caught from one of the centuries old bedmates... of course, it's more the fault of the series law that Murphy was a rosy-eyed optimist and if nothing is wrong you're missing something.
"Anko, what you do in your free time is your own choice. Use it wisely. And if you do not use it wisely, make sure you thoroughly enjoy whatever unwise thing you are doing." - HymnOfRagnorok as Orochimaru at SpaceBattles
woot Med. Eng., verb, 1st & 3rd pers. prsnt. sg. know, knows

Especially once Doug gets through his head what the plot is really going on in M7.

Once you come to this realization, all the goofy stuff suddenly makes perfect sense.
Especially if Doug gets there after having remembered Usagi and the Sailor Moon step.

You see,

Basara Nekki....
Sucrose Octanitrate.
Proof positive that with sufficient motivation, you can make anything explode.

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