AN: Disclaimer in part 1
Too all who have supported this, and all who have read it, sorry about the long delay. Myra, my muse, went on a drunken bender and it seemed to have addled her brain for a while. But, she's more or less back to normal now, so, I hope you like this next part, and I will try to keep her away from the booze.
---'The witch will trouble us no longer.'
'Will the vessel contain her powers?'
'Long enough for our Slayer to seek out the others and return what was stolen to us. After that it will not matter. By the time they can find a way to break the vessel, we will have found all of them.'
'Then it is time.' The oldest of them said, stepping forward. Before the others realized what was happening he struck, his staff hitting the one on his right in the temple, dropping him where he stood. Shock and surprise allowed his next blow to land, and the sickening sound of bones breaking filled the air as he moved to his fallen brethren, breaking their necks with a swift twist.
'Now the power will be mine, and soon I will be free of this forsaken place.'
Willow sat with her head in her hands, fighting the light headed feeling she had been suffering from since the spell back lashed on her. The images were still jumbled in her mind, but the proof was still evident on her chest. The mark felt a bit warm to the touch still, but the hand print had faded, leaving just the bluish glow. In the two days since it had happened they had gotten no closer to figuring out what it was.
A pair of strong hands gripped her shoulders, kneading the tension she felt away and the scent of aftershave let her know that it was her 'brother' Xander, offering his silent support. Reaching up, she squeezed his hand, letting him know she appreciated it.
"So, no luck I take it." he asked Giles, getting only a mumbled reply in return. The Watcher had been in research mode for most of the last two days, coming out only when forced to by the others. "So, where did our two slay gals go then?"
"As Kennedy said, 'to relieve some tension'. It was either that or find out how much prozac to give a slayer, neither one of them could sit still." Willow told him, sitting up straighter. "They were wearing holes in the rug. If you look, I'm sure you can see the worn spots."
"Can you blame them? It's like she just dropped of the face of the earth. If that can happen to Faith, what's to keep it from happening to them. Do you... do you think she's dead?" he asked, not sure if he wanted to know the answer or not.
"I don't know. If it was one of the new Slayers my spell created, I could find them, but with Buffy and Faith, its harder, I don't have that magical connection. Maybe once I get some rest I can try to scry for her." The wiccan told him, hiding a yawn.
"Get some rest. I'm going to talk to the G-man for a bit."
She prowled the roof, waiting for her target to come into view. Her instincts were screaming at her, to hunt, to kill, but her Master would not allow it. She could sense them, the soulless things that preyed on the dark, close, so easy to kill and the beast inside wanted to let loose on them. Stopping the restless pacing she reached out with her senses, almost tasting the whelp as she approached her hiding spot. As she passed by underneath where she crouched, she could feel the presence of the fiends that caused the girl to run. Four of them, in full hell spawn face. She could do both tonight then.
With an easy lope she followed, jumping from one roof to another through the night, her gait never faltering. This is what she was made for, the hunt, the kill, it fueled the burning rage inside. Finally it happened, the pretender turned into a dead end and her grin as she saw this would have frightened the devil himself.
"Looks like we get to kill us a Slayer boys'. Must be our lucky night."
"Sith spawn!" a voice growled from behind them, and as one they turned, only to knocked aside as a dark shape charged them. There was no time to react, what ever it was, was to fast, to precise, and in second they were nothing but ash littering the pavement.
"Thanks." the girl said, only to step back as the crouched figure at the other end of the alley stood, what ever it was, it was not human if the strange blue glow that spread in patterns on the exposed skin told the tale. She had faced Uber-Vamps when the fought the First, but this was something new, and she had learned, new can be bad, the hard way. Gripping her stake, she watched as the figure that had taken out four vamps in less then a minute stalk towards her.
"You took it. I'm taking it back!"
"I didn't take anything!" the girl protested, her back hitting the wall as she tried to back away.
"The power is not for you." the voice growled once more, and the figure stepped into view, making Vi gasp as she recognized her. "Faith?" she whispered seeing the dark Slayer before her, dressed in some kind of tribal get up. Before she could think beyond that she struck, and all Vi could think of was pain before she fell mercifully unconscious.
It was the morning of the third day after Willows spell had gone haywire, the silence of the room broken by the shrill ringing of the phone. With a muttered curse an arm reached out, swatting the offending object off the table, the dull thunk of it hitting the floor accented by the clang of the bell inside it.
"Bloody useless thing!" Giles muttered as he sat up, the blanket that someone had draped over him falling off his shoulders.
"Who killed the phone?" Xanders' voice asked from somewhere behind him, still heavy with sleep.
"I did. Who ordered the wake up call!" the Brit asked, all humor missing. He had spent the better part of two and a half days trying to figure out what the blue mark meant, finally falling asleep when no amount of coffee could keep him awake. The town didn't even have tea for crying out loud.
"Wasn't me, and I know the girls didn't." the one eyed carpenter said after a moments thought. "Maybe we should fix it incase it's Dawnie." Less then two minutes after righting the phone it rang again, and Giles reached out, grabbing the receiver on the first ring.
"This better be important!" he growled. "What? Slow down." He said, listening to the near hysterical voice on the other end. "Where are you?" he asked after a minute, writing down an address on a scrap of paper he found on the side table. "We will be there in a couple hours. Just stay put, and don't let her out of your sight."
"What's going on G-man?"
"That was Rhona. Something attacked Vi last night. Beat her half to death and left a blue mark on her chest."
"Like the one Willow got?"
"I'm not sure, but, we better check it out. Can you please go wake the others." The British man asked, grabbing his bag and tossing it open on the bed.
---Someone was banging on the door. Someone better have a good reason, or that someone was going to be in a world of hurt! With a groan, Kennedy rolled out of the warmth of her lovers arms, trying not to wake the redhead. Stumbling to the door, she almost pulled it off the hinges, glaring at the person on the other side.
"This better be good!" she growled, seeing Xander standing there.
"We got to go. Vi and Rhona are in trouble, and it might have something to do with Willows new look." He said as he took a step back from the glaring Slayer.
"We'll be there." She told him, shutting the door before he could say anything else.
---Turning, she leaned against the door, looking at the sleeping figure still on the bed. Last night, Willow had tried to do a simple locator spell, only to have it fizzle out on her. She knew she didn't know much about magic, but even she knew the red witch could do that spell in her sleep. What ever was going on had her more worried then she dared to admit.
She opened her eye's t the dry, arid landscape she had seen twice before. Rolling over, she pushed herself up, wondering why she was being contacted by the first of her line. Turning in place, Buffy searched for the dark primitive girl who had been forced to become the First Slayer. The memory of how it had been done flashing before her sight, like a mirage.
'They start again' the voice whispered over the desert landscape, so familiar.
"Who starts again. Why have you brought me here now?" she called, catching movement just off to her right she turned in a circle, the other person moving to fast to see.
'Control was lost. Control must be regained.'
"Control of what?"
'Control of the power. The Slayer seeks it out for them.'
"I'm not seeking anything out for anyone." Buffy told the disemboweled voice, facing the fire that suddenly blazed up in the pit before her. She could hear voices calling, crying out in pain.
'The Slayer must be stopped. You must stop the Slayer from freeing HIM.'
"Why don't you just tell me what your talking about?" she replied. "Him who?"
'He is the doom of us. The Black man will destroy us all.'
Sitting up in bed, Buffy felt her heart racing. The dream fresh in her mind, a fear not her own eating away at her thoughts. Grabbing her clothes, she threw them on, needing to talk to Giles. As she opened the door, she gave a small cry, seeing Xander standing before her, his hand raised to knock.
"Um, your up. Good, Giles said we need to go." The carpenter said, looking like a cross between scared and amused.
"We got big trouble." Was all Buffy said as she pushed her way past him, heading for Giles room.
Slayer felt the pain, every part of her body felt like it was on fire as the energy coursed through her. Master was angry with her, she had disobeyed, and now, as she lay on the cold rock floor, feeling the two different spells he had cursed her with flowing over her body, she wanted nothing more then to strike out. But she dared not, for her was Master, his power held her in his grasp. He was life, or death, she had to obey.
'Your foolishness could cost us! This time you will remember the punishment. Next time, I will send you to hell. Remember who you are, what you are!' his voice echoed in her mind as the pain increased once more.
Images flashed in her mind, those she was to seek out. Those she was not to engage yet. And her thoughts were pushed back, leaving only the images of those who had dared take from her Master. She would have to kill from now on, teach the lessons she herself was learning. Do not leave your enemy alive. Fight only when the Master said.
The Master was her god, she must obey him.
'Let me help them'
'No, we can not interfere in this.'
'If he succeeds, we will lose them.'
'That is the chance we must take child. Free will is theirs to wield.'
'But if they kill her, they doom themselves.'
'Believe in them. When the time comes, we may aid them, just a little.'
The two cloaked figures turned from the pool before them, knowing that what was to come could destroy all they had loved, but not being able to help. It was to hard too watch.