Remains 1/8 (#2 of The Slayer 314 Project)

by Philip S.

Summary: Trying to find out what exactly the Initiative has done to her in the botched 314 experiment, Buffy learns something that will change her life forever.

Spoilers: 4th Season up to the episode "Hush". After that it's AU.

Rating: R

Disclaimer: All characters taken from the shows Buffy and Angel are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and others. No infringement is intended.

#

Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

After Riley learns of Buffy's identity as the Slayer, he lures her into a trap. Buffy is captured by the Initiative. Professor Walsh wants to create the ultimate warrior, a fusion of magic and technology, with the instincts and fighting experience of the Slayer serving as a template for the android's artificial intelligence.

Things go wrong, though. The Initiative draws its power from the Hellmouth, yet underestimated the dangers inherent in that. An overload causes a huge explosion that destroys most of the base and Buffy escapes, confused and disoriented, hearing strange voices inside her head.

She later realizes that the AI that was to serve as the android's mind has instead been transferred into her. Calling it Anne, Buffy tries to come to term with having a second entity living inside her. Unbeknownst to her the Watcher's Council has registered the death of a Slayer and decides to send Watcher Rose McNamara to Sunnydale to find out who died.

Meanwhile the military tries to find out what exactly happened inside the Initiative, especially after surveillance footage shows them that the android, codenamed Adam One, was not destroyed, but instead wandered off into the night.

#

Part 1

General Robert Allen was not having a good day. Not even close. It had been a nightmarish two weeks now, to be exact. Ever since an explosion that had leveled a large part of the university campus of a small town called Sunnydale.

He was cleaning up a mess. One hell of a mess, to be exact. One that threatened to end quite a number of careers, his own included. He had not been one of the brass figures that had enthusiastically endorsed Maggy Walsh's supernatural Frankenstein adventure, but he had been involved. Which meant that his head would roll as well if he didn't get the house back in order real soon.

Leaning back in his chair, he sighed. Looking at the good points, his people had made sure that Walsh's pan-dimensional energy converter, the machine she had used to draw power from the metaphysical conversion in Sunnydale, would not pose any more trouble. Apparently it had gone into automatic shutdown after the overload and a team of specialists was busy deconstructing it. The thing wouldn't be turned on again until every single microchip was checked out and judged perfect.

That was the good news. Then there was, of course, the bad news.

The 314 Project. Walsh's little dream of creating the ultimate synthesis of magic and technology. Adam One, an android created from a magically forged metal, damn near indestructible and almost infinitely versatile. To be guided by an artificial intelligence that would assimilate the knowledge, instincts, and characteristics of a supernatural warrior called the Slayer.

Walsh had captured the Slayer and wanted to feed her brain into the android when everything had gone to hell. Allen had seen the final recordings made by the Initiative's surveillance systems a hundred times now.

Had seen the crimson metal form of Adam One walk out of the burning base and vanish into the night.

Somewhere out there the most powerful weapon ever constructed was running around free and God alone knew what was going on inside its head. Had the AI malfunctioned? Or was it fully active and following its own agenda? Allen knew that numerous safety protocols were supposed to have been included in the AI's programming, but who could tell how much that was worth after an explosion of demonic energy?

He rubbed his eyes. Not much sleep these last two weeks for the man who was responsible for finding Adam One and making sure that it was of no danger to national security. Two weeks without a single trace of the android.

"I hate this job," he muttered to himself.

"I feel your pain," a voice out of nowhere answered.

Allen looked up sharply, searching his dark office for the origin of the voice. He was sitting in the middle of one of the most secured army bases in the country, just outside Los Angeles. Who could possibly...?

There. A dark silhouette stood out near his window. A man in a long coat, dressed all in black.

"Who are you?" Allen demanded, one of his hands slowly going toward the drawer with his gun, the other reaching for the alarm button.

"Someone who has a lot of questions."

The voice came from behind him this time. The silhouette in front of him had vanished and suddenly there was someone behind him. He had never even seen him move. Two inhumanly strong hands grabbed his wrists and pulled him out of his chair. Allen wanted to scream, but suddenly found himself airborne.

The next thing he knew a tall man with a youthful face was holding him by the throat, pressing him against the wall.

"As I said," the dark man repeated, "I have lots of questions. About the Initiative, about this Adam One, and what exactly you did with the Slayer."

"You'll regret this," Allen chocked out, trying in vain to unclench the steel-vise fingers around his throat. "You won't leave this base alive!"

"Gee, you think so?" The face of the man changed. Amber demon eyes blazed at him, fangs glistened in the light of the desk lamp. "Well, seeing as I didn't arrive that way either, that won't be too much of a problem."

General Allen knew a Vampire when he saw one. Unfortunately for him he did not know that the Vampire holding him by the throat had a human soul that would keep him from harming a human being. Much.

As a result of that missing knowledge Allen was very much terrified.

#

Rose McNamara got off the plane and looked around the place she had arrived at. Sunnydale, California. By all appearances it was a perfectly normal American town, its inhabitants friendly and without a care in the world. Rose knew, though, that appearances were very deceiving.

Rose was a Watcher. A member of the organization that, since time immemorial, had fought against the supernatural forces that would destroy the world they were sworn to protect. Supernatural forces like those present here in Sunnydale.

Unfortunately for the Council its primary weapon in that fight had recently deserted them. The Slayer was no longer interested in cooperating with the organization that had guided her for millennia.

Rose had studied all the files concerning the two current Slayers. There being two of them was a fascinating occurrence in itself. Being a junior member of the Council she had withheld her opinions on the matter. She still thought it a grave mistake, though, that the Council had refused to help Angel when he had been poisoned. From what she had read in their files it was more than clear how much the Slayer cared for the ensouled Vampire.

As far as Faith was concerned, she didn't know how that matter could have been dealt with in a more positive way. Windham-Pryce may have acted rashly in trying to bring Faith to England for discipline, yet even he could not have foreseen the second Slayer joining forces with the other side. Rose suspected that he had been fired mostly to prevent too many questions from being asked.

All in all the situation here in Sunnydale was not one that Rose found very positive. She doubted that she was very much welcome here. It didn't change things, though. One of the Slayers had died and she was here to find out who, how, and what would happen now, for as far as the Council could tell no new Slayer had been called.

During her plane ride she had been informed that Faith had vanished from the hospital in which she had spent the last few months after her battle against Buffy. Her current whereabouts were unknown. Seeing as the rouge Slayers mental condition was one big question mark right now, Rose didn't think that was much of a good omen for her mission here.

The Council would no doubt prefer for her to work in secret at the beginning, observing and gathering information. They had given her permission to make contact with their no doubt disgruntled former employee here in this city, but only if it couldn't be helped.

Rose shrugged and made her way to the flat of one Rupert Giles.

TO BE CONTINUED