Rainbow in Sunnydale
Disclaimer: Red Storm and Tom Clancy own Rainbow and characters. Josh Whedon owns Buffy and characters. I make no profit off the following except having a little fun.
A/N This is my long promised start into rewriting and correcting the mistakes that have been pointed out during the story. I haven't really changed much. Tightened some things up, and corrected some mistakes.
A/N I apologize for how long it's been since I've updated Imohtep's Key. School this quarter was a lot of written work so I haven't had time to write. However this is my last week and then I'm done. So I'll be able to pick up my writing. Thank you for your patience.
25 Oct 2002
John Clark came out of the cockpit of the VC-20 and said to his partner Domingo Chavez, "Ding its official, I just finished talking with Alistair and he says they just got the alert notice. He already started getting things organized and he thinks he can be on the ground there in 24 to 36 Hours."
Ding sat in front of his laptop with several piles of paper around him. They had been in town attending a meeting trying to decide if they were going to expand Rainbow, the anti-terror task group that they belonged to, or if new groups were going to be introduced around the world. They had just wrapped it up when they had been contact by Ed Foley the Director of the CIA of a Rainbow Tasking for Sunnydale CA. They had gone immediately to Andrews and had been waiting for whoever was going to brief them since.
Ding had decided to see what he could find out about Sunnydale and had been at it for over hour now. He had some problems at first but had been working steadily with a growing pile of paper from the printer to show for his effort. "What have you found?" Clark asked.
"Well I know I am not taking Patty or Little John to Sunnydale on a vacation." Ding replied.
Clark sat down facing Ding and leaned forward, "What do you mean?"
Ding tossed a pile of print outs over to Clark and said; " Check out the per-capita murder rate for one."
Clark looked down at the sheet and started reading; Sunnydale was easy to find, Ding had highlighted it with a yellow marker and it was also at the top of the page. John looked up and said, " This can't be right Ding, if New York had a death-rate like this we would be looking at sixty to a hundred thousand murders a year! This has got to be a misplaced decimal or something."
"If it is then the Census Bureau, The Bureau of Vital Statistics, and the FBI are all using corrupted data." Ding replied. "Here check it out yourself," as he tossed another printout pile at him.
John caught it and scanned the first sheet, frowning he went through the next two or three pages and said "I don't see it on the list."
"Put your finger at the top of the first page and scan down till you hit the first 'S' then follow the word over," Ding explained. Clark did as Ding instructed and caught his breath as he found Sunnydale, California in the number one slot. "Spooky isn't it?" Ding asked.
"Bizarre," John agreed.
"It took me 15 minutes to figure out to do that. That's why I highlighted it for you." Ding leaned forward and turned his laptop toward John. "Then I did a search of the AP archives to see how many stories came out of Sunnydale. Over the last ten years I found almost 2000 stories that went up on the wires, of them only 3 where picked up nationally."
"What were they?" John asked.
"The first was 3 years ago, their high school blew up in the middle of the graduation ceremony, killed 10 including the town mayor and the principle of the school. According to the story a boiler exploded, but check this out." Ding used the mouse to explode a picture on the screen showing the wreckage left over from the explosion and fire that had destroyed the building. "See it?" Ding asked.
"Yeah." John said. One thing he knew about was explosions, and the way the wreckage around the school was distributed was totally wrong for a basement blast, now a first floor one on the other hand…
"What do you figure a demo pack?" Ding wondered.
"Or about 200 or 300 hundred pounds of AMFO" John supplied. "No investigation from the FBI on a terrorist strike?"
"According to a story I dug out of the local paper the investigation was handled by state inspection officials and they determined that it was caused by a faulty gas valve that caused a build up in one of the boilers that then detonated for unknown reasons."
"And people bought that?" John was shocked.
"The people of Sunnydale seem to like easy answers. According to what I dug up the standard answer seems to be 'gangs on PCP for anything bad that happens, no matter how gruesome."
"Define gruesome." Clark demanded reaching for a coffee cup.
"Okay how about this, the principle before the one that was killed in the graduation explosion was killed by a group of his students." Ding Started.
"That happens a lot Ding, it's bad but hardly gruesome." John chided.
"Yeah Mr. C, but they ate him…raw." Ding said shaking his head. "We had gangs on PCP back in the neighbor hood I grew up in. They never ate anyone."
"Or cooked for that matter." Ding replied, half serious. "The other two were about the same story. About 3 years ago, everyone in town lost their voice for about 48 hours."
"Why would a town having laryngitis be a national news story?" Clark argued.
"Not laryngitis Mr. C, their voices where gone. There was not one person in the whole town that could manage a peep. One morning they woke up and nothing, on the third morning when everyone got up they could speak normally again."
"No indication on what caused it?" Clark asked.
"The CDC quarantined the town, and Detrick was supposed to send a team but as far as I can tell didn't. One other thing of interest happened while no one could talk, five people where killed, all the same way, their hearts were cut out."
Clark sat back in his chair and stared of into space for a few moments, frowning. Looking at Ding he said, "I see what you mean about not going on a vacation there. Okay two things, one get Alistair back and tell him to put team two on alert to go too. I've got a feeling that we might need them. Then tell him to pack the heavy artillery."
"And the other thing?" Ding asked.
"When you got the chance I want you to research a fairy tale that I remember as a kid that seem to be close to that story you just told." He took a drink of coffee then said, "Now what else have you found out about this place."
"Fairy tale?" Ding asked with curiosity, reaching for his own cup.
"Yeah I can't remember the name right off the top of my head but my mom told it to me when she was tucking me in at night." Clark replied.
Ding sat there for a minute trying to picture someone tucking Mr. C in at night, the image did not come easy. "Okay a fairy tale where every one in town loses their voice and someone goes around ripping peoples hearts out, got it. So how did the story end?" Ding was curious.
John sat back and thought for a moment. "I seem to remember that the princess in the village got her voice back and screamed. That killed the bad guys. I doubt that an American city has a princess living in it. Ahhh…. Probably nothing to it anyway. What else have you got?" Clark repeated.
Ding went back to rooting through the stuff he had acquired. "Okay how's this. The Christmas before the high school blew up it snowed there, they got 3 inches."
"So it snows lots of places on Christma… wait this is around LA isn't it?" John said.
"Yeah about sixty miles outside. As far as I can tell this is the only recorded accumulation of snow in that area since the last ice age." Ding replied. "Out of curiosity I checked out the other crime statistics for the town and I found that while murder and disappearances are off the charts other crimes are way low. Burglaries, Rapes, and Assaults are running at about 25% of what a city this size should be, if you factor in the murder rate as an indicator for violent crimes it's at about 10%. I think there is something in this town, something hungry. The only other crime I found that was disproportionately high in the area is grave robbing."
"GRAVE ROBBING!?!" Clark exclaimed.
"Depending on the year I found that between 1 in 20 and 1 in 3 bodies disappear in town. Don't ask me, as far as I can tell there are no medical schools in the area that could be using them, heck there isn't even a dog food factory that might explain it."
"Don't even joke about stuff like that." Clark said reprovingly.
"I wasn't joking," Ding said. "At least not about the med. school part. Patty and I got into a discussion one night and I can't remember how the it came up but she says that back in the 19th century grave robbing was a big problem because med. schools need human bodies for anatomy classes, it was big business in towns that had medical colleges."
Clark was just about to say something else when lights cut across the windows of the jet. "Looks like our briefer is finally here." Clark said putting on his mission face. A few minutes' later two people came through the door. The fist was a man with all-American good looks, marred only by a Bloefeild type scar reaching from his left eye down toward the corner of his mouth. He was as tall as Clark but thinner in build, blond hair cut short, and wearing a Grey suit. Following him was a woman with long red hair almost as tall and beautiful. She was also dressed in gray and she had a briefcase handcuffed to her left wrist.
"Just a moment and I will be with you both." The Blond said and stuck his head into the cockpit.
The redhead continued into the cabin area and sat down across from Clark and Chavez. "Hi I'm Samantha Finn my husband Riley will be with us just as soon as he finishes with the pilots, then we'll get started."
Up in the cockpit Riley was saying, "Colonel I have to order you and your crew to remain in the cockpit for the entire trip to California. If we receive any communications just pipe it back. Please repeat what I just said."
The pilot, a Colonel, looked a little annoyed at being treated like a raw lieutenant but repeated "My crew and I are to remain in the cockpit for the entire flight, if you receive any communications we are just to pipe it back to you."
"Thanks Colonel, I'm sorry for the cloak and dagger stuff." Riley said.
"That's okay we get it a lot." the Colonel replied diplomaticaly.
Riley left the cockpit as the engines started to turn over. Over the intercom the Pilots voice said. "We will be taxiing and taking off momentarily please strap in and enjoy the flight."
Riley sat down next to his wife and held out his hand to John and Ding. "I am Riley Finn, this is my wife Samantha I am sorry for the delay, the briefing we gave President Ryan lasted a little longer than we thought when you where called."
"That's okay Mr. Finn," Clark said. "We put the time to productive use." pointing at the stack of papers and such in front of Ding."
Riley nodded. "So what do you think of Sunnydale?"
"We are going to contact England and have a second team put on alert for deployment."
Riley and Sam laughed. "Looks like you are beginning to see the real Sunnydale." The plane stopped and prepared for its take off roll. "When we get in the air we will begin the briefing."
Twenty minutes latter the VC-20 had reached its cruising altitude. "Gentlemen before we begin the briefing I have something for you to watch. Please hold any questions till the end of the video."
Sam opened the case and extracted a DVD from its case. Taking a laptop also out of the case she inserted the disk in the player on the side of the machine and turned it on. Once the machine finished its boot process the disk started playing automatically. When the video started it showed an entranceway made of concrete, stretching out behind the entrance as far as the eye could see was grassy plains. At the bottom of the display was a date/time stamp showing that it was 05:47 on Oct. 15 1984. In the center of the display was an irate individual pounding what Ding and Clark assumed was a door just out of sight. The individual looked to be in his early twenties, had blond hair and was wearing jeans and a work shirt. The video also had sound so they where able to hear him yelling, "Come on Bill open up, its cold out here and the sun will be up soon!" It was also totally obvious that the man was drunk out of his gourd. "Come on Bill I know I was gone awhile but you can let your old buddy in!" The drunk resumed pounding on the door with renewed vigor, behind him the horizon was lighting perceptibly. "Corporal William Goodwin, you open this door now and invite me in! That bastard got me drunk and tricked me into coming out here and then left!" The man screamed. "Come on Billy its me Tom Price!" Seeming to sense something behind him the man on camera turned and said, "Well heck," As the sun crested the horizon behind him. Tom Price suddenly burst into flames, he screamed for perhaps ten seconds then collapsed into dust slowly falling out of camera view.
Clark and Ding both stared at the computer screen in shock. Neither had seen any sign of something striking the man. Plus the way he had disintegrated had been like something off of Star Trek. They looked at Riley and his wife for an explanation.
Riley looked at them and said softly, "That gentlemen was a vampire, any questions?"