Author's Note: This
is the fourth version of this chapter. I've finally taken the time
to properly read through it and make proper fixes and edits. I would
like to thank everybody it took the time to point out all the errors
in previous version. Now you know what my stuff looks like before
being properly edited. Not a pretty sight. Thanks for your
"Opening Arguments" version 4.
By Old Scout
The location the Death Eater had given was not in an elite downtown neighborhood. It was in an old industrial section. As they coasted by the old factories and warehouses, they nearly missed their turns several times. Finally Willow speculated that there were subtle charms on the area to keep people from wandering into the neighborhood without reason. The buildings quickly turned from concrete and steel construction to brick and mortar. Neglected pavement broke away to reveal the original cobble stones beneath.
"Pull over here." Buffy suggested after they'd driven past a steep narrow alley. The Slayer jumped from the van and looked down the alley. Her enhanced senses let her see the bottom of the hill. It was steep and narrow, but only about a hundred feet to the bottom. Pulling open the back door, Buffy announced. "Okay, we're on foot from here." She snapped her bubble gum. "You want any weapons?" She asked the witches as she shouldered her duffle bag and opened a box installed behind the back seat.
"I don't know." Tonks looked at the supply. "What might I need?"
"Anything you know how to use." Buffy said and stepped aside to show the contents.
"I really only know how to use a wand." Tonks admitted.
"I'll take the crossbow with the shoulder strap." Willow said coming around the side of the van. "And the bag-o-knives." Willow was handed a cross bow and what looked like an old doctor's case.
"Bag-o-knives?" Tonks asked.
"Little trick I came up with in Sunnydale." Willow said. "I might not be able to perform a lot of offensive spells with the white magic, but I can still throw things."
"Here, take this." Buffy handed Tonks a small cross bow and a handful of wooden bolts. "Just strap it over your shoulder under your robes." She handed Tonks a short sword. "It's blessed." Buffy added. "It'll burn a lot of things just by its touch."
"Okay." The sword, crossbow and bolts all disappeared under her robe.
Buffy finished stashing some more weapons under her duster and slammed the door shut. "Okay, let's go. Be careful on the hill, it's pretty steep." With that, the petite slayer led the two witches into the dark alley. The hill quickly leveled out changing from worn cobble stones to hard packed earth.
"Okay, now what?" Willow asked as she tried to look into the blackness of the shadows.
"Beyond the fence." Buffy said. "That's the last instruction."
"Illuminate." Tonks held her wand up and cast a muted yellow light over the area.
To their right, the old brick wall revealed that is was an arch. The three women looked at the recess. "It looks like it's the top of a high vaulted room."
All three looked down at the packed dirt they were standing on.
"You mean this is just centuries of debris we're standing on?" Buffy asked.
"Looks like it." Willow said and approached the low opening under the arch.
An old chain link fence stretched the length the opening about a meter in from the alley. Debris and litter was strewn against the fence, including evidence that people had been staying there, including a sleeping pallet made of cardboard and the remains of a small campfire. The fence was pitted galvanized and starting to rust and corrode. Cables had been tied to the top to keep people from climbing over and getting deeper into the alcove but from the graffiti on the inside, it was obvious it was not that successful.
"Okay." Buffy said. "How do we get to the other side without leaving a big ol' calling card for Clayson when he finally gets here?"
"Well, I suppose I could.." Willow started but stopped when Tonks cast a spell.
The whole fence shuttered then drooped like it was made out of wet spaghetti. Tonks reattached the magical light to her wand so it would follow them and started to climb over the fence. "You comin'?"
"You know." Buffy observed. "She's coming in pretty handy."
"Yea. I wonder if we could get a few Wizards for the other teams." Willow agreed as the two followed Tonks.
When all three were on the other side of the fence, Tonks cast a restoring spell and the barrier snapped back into place.
The modern graffiti on the walls quickly dissipated, replaced by older and odder messages. After fifty feet or so, Willow started recognizing other languages including some demon symbolism. The hard packed fill became looser with larges pieces of debris along the edges under the low ceiling. Eventually they came to a wall with debris banked up along it. The heavily armed women stared at the dead end.
"Now what?" Tonks asked
"Something feels a little off." Willow said as she stepped forward and looked at the ancient wall with its crumbling bricks. "There's another charm here, like the one outside."
"I feel it too." Buffy said. "Like an overwhelming urge to turn around and leave." She stepped forward and climbed up on the bank. "Look at this." She stuck her hand along the wall and the others watched it disappear into the bricks.
"Is it some kind of glamour?" Tonks asked as she stepped forward to examine the phenomenon.
"No, it's a passage built away from the wall and the bricks are angled so it looks like it's a flat part of the wall.
"That is sweet." Willow was impressed. "Some slick physical camouflage and a subtle charm to help people believe."
Buffy stepped forward and disappeared into the wall. Her head reappeared. "It's more of the same on this side. Let's keep going."
The other side of the wall was more of same only dingier. There was less debris making the room seem bigger and the ceiling higher. It smelled different too, older and muskier and something else. Buffy and Willow recognized it but Tonks didn't. It smelled like the Sunnydale underground. It was a mixture of death and decay and darkness and evil.
"I was beginning to have my doubts until we found that door." Willow said. "After that and this smell, I know we're someplace…dark." She looked at Buffy in the muted yellow light of the magic torch. The Slayer had a determined looked in her eyes and slight smile on her lips. This is what the woman was made for, literally.
A white police surveillance van pulled up behind the black council van. Inspector Clayson stepped out holding a portable radio to his ear. "You were right behind us. What happened?" He listened for a second. "Yea, I know we circled the block a few times but you shouldn't have lost us so easily. Okay, listen, what street are you on? Great, just keep going north there'll be a turn on your right." Clayson watched down the deserted street. Old brick factories and warehouses loomed and crumbled on either side. The black Special Teams utility van rolled past.
"Stop." The Inspector said. "You just drove past…trust me, just back up." The big box of the van slowly backed into sight. "Keep going, now stop and look right." Clayson turned to his driver. "Blink your lights." Then back to the radio. "You see us, good, now turn." He watched the truck blink its lights and slowly turn on to the street.
"Where do you think they went?" One of Clayson's techs asked. "None of the buildings look occupied or accessible."
The six men in the Special Team's van jumped out and started suiting up with Kevlar helmets, body armor and automatic weapons. They were a diverse group hastily pulled together from a number of Clayson's contacts. This little expedition was barely official and was being treated as a training exercise. They all wore police issue black uniforms and armor but for some it was new. Two of the men were fresh from duties in the Middle East, one was from an elite anti terror unit and two were from the department and had procured all of the equipment.
"Sir, are you sure all this fire power is necessary?" Lieutenant Mitchell asked.
"We're looking for a suspected drug ring and peopled involved in the torture death of a John Doe found in a warehouse not too far from here." Inspector Clayson replied. "Now let's take a look in that van and see if there are any clues to where those three went."
Lieutenant Mitchell looked around the abandoned warehouse district. He'd never been here before which was rare because he'd been born in London and prided himself in knowing all the back alleys and dumps around town. The place felt weird yet somehow familiar. It was a strange dejavu feeling. Finally he placed it; it felt like when he had visited his great-grand parents' house when he was a kid; all the strange toys and fun places to hide. He looked around again as his team mates spread out and surveillance techs opened the black van. Where had the women gone off to? His eyes landed on a shadow behind Inspector Clayson. Mitchell brought his gun back up to a ready position and approached the shadow. It wasn't a shadow; it was the opening to an alley. Why hadn't they noticed that before?
"Sir, what about here?" Mitchell stepped up to the alley and looked down the steep hill.
"Why didn't we notice that earlier?" One of the other men asked. Was it Sergeant Dover?
Inspector Clayson was about to check out the alley for himself when one of the men at the van reported. "Inspector, you'd better look at this." The man had the back door of the van open and had cut the lock off a large box that was bolted to the floor. The box contained swords, crossbows, knives, wooden stakes, several crucifixes and bottles of holy water.
"Well, it's consistent with the items found in Miss O'Malley's room." Clayson said. And thought; what in the world does all of this have to do with these damn wizards?
The six man team had never worked together before but each man had worked with at least one other team member. They started down the hill in standard two by two cover. A few steps into the dark and heavily shadowed alley they switched to night vision. Inspector Clayson stayed close behind keeping a hand on the sixth man's shoulder so they'd know where each other was at all times.
At the bottom of the hill they looked up the far side then around to the arch and its fence. A dim light at the far back of the alcove flickered for a second then disappeared.
"I think they went that way." Lieutenant Mitchell observed. As he spoke the team pulled out light sticks and looked at the fence to find the passage. The fence was solid and intact but they could see the disturbed earth on either side were it appeared somebody had climbed the contraption.
"Does anybody see a gate, opening or way to climb over?" Clayson asked.
A couple of the men stepped forward to examine for the fence for a gate. There was no obvious way to get by. Clayson suspected the answer, magic, but he wasn't about to mention that. He keyed his radio. "Hey, Jimmy, bring down some bolt cutters."
"Right away boss." The kid replied.
The group watched up the hill as the young tech rushed by the opening of the alley carrying a pair of bolt cutters.
"Where's he going?" Dover asked no one in particular.
"Would somebody go fetch the bolt cutters?" Clayson asked the crowed.
His radio keyed back on. "Inspector, where are you guys again? I can't remember which building you went in."
Clayson hung his head. If he hadn't been to that Ministry today, he would have thought this kid a complete idiot. "We're sending somebody." He keyed back.
After sending somebody to the top of the hill and talking him back down through the radio, they discovered the fence was a lot stronger then they originally thought the cutters would not cut any part of the fence or the cabling. Next was a cutting torch. This was going to take a while.
Meanwhile, several hundred meters ahead, three women were looking into a pit. Buffy, Willow and Tonks had come to the end of the debris filled room to find they were at the top of a semi circular wall made of crumbling red bricks. The debris pile had petered out and they now stood on a floor of old cobblestones. The three peered down into to the pit. Faint light at the bottom indicated a tunnel continued on under the wall in front of them.
"Now what?" Tonks looked at her two companions and back to the pit. She felt okay with the adventure so far, the place had been totally black, with no sign of other creatures and it was big enough to maneuver in so she figured she'd have time and room to cast or escape if something attacked. Now the way was getting narrower and there were signs the place was occupied.
"We find out what's down there." Buffy said as she drew a sword and stepped off the edge. The slayer fell the twenty feet and landed on her feet with a bounce. Looking around for locals and seeing none, she said. "Okay, let's go."
This time Willow stepped off and fell straight down the same as Buffy, only just before landing, she held out hands and slowed down. She landed with the amount of force equivalent to jumping off a three step porch.
"You coming, Tonks?" Buffy asked.
"Ah, yea, just a second." How to do this? Aparate? That was tough in short tight distances and she was never much good at landing. Levitation? That was a hassle and she didn't have much control once floating.
"Want me to float you down?" Willow asked trying to be helpful. It wasn't.
"No, stand back, give me room to land." Tonks instructed and watched Buffy and Willow step out of sight into the mouth of the tunnel. She released the light from her wand. They wouldn't need it down below, there were torches.
The two jumped back a bit when the young witch aparated in front of them. Buffy reached up and patted Tonks on the back. With a look from her friend she said. "Just making sure you didn't break anything."
"Stow it." Tonks said and turned down the tunnel. "Let's go."
They were in a main tunnel with smaller tunnels and alcoves branching off in all directions. Old lantern pots burning foul smelling grease dotted the walls with supplemental light provided by old bare yellow light bulbs dangling from cloth covered wiring. Muffled noise came from the far end of the passage from behind a large wooden door marked with centuries of grease, dirt and countless fights and disturbances. Without hesitation Buffy grabbed the door's large wrought iron handles and pulled it open.
The two witches walked next to each other behind the petite blond slayer. The room was large and crowded. Old heavy plank tables were scattered throughout. All tables were occupied by an assortment of creatures. A wall to the right hosted a long service bar crowded with stools and more creatures. Dusty old kegs, new clean bottles and decanters lined the back shelf as several similar looking creatures fetched orders for patrons, collected coin and occasionally slammed an offending patron's head down on the bar. On the wall above the bar was a series of shelves with skulls and rotting heads of assorted creatures. Most notably were two cracked and bloodied masks from Death Eaters hanging from pegs on the edges of a shelf. Signs carved in different languages hung above and below the shelves. Buffy recognized some of the languages as demon and others as human. The only English one was written in a script she couldn't make out at first. Finally she realized it read. "Those who didn't pay their bill."
Scanning the crowd Willow thought she could see several Wizards and Witches from Tonks' community. Several patrons had turned to look at the new comers but few gave them a second glance. Several vampires at a nearby table licked their lips and stared at the three young women. "Perhaps we should just blend in." Willow said softly.
Tonks agreed. "If we don't draw attention to ourselves we should be able to get to the Wizards without too much trouble." She whispered softly.
Buffy slipped her duffle bag from her shoulder, opened the top zipper then allowed it to drop to the ground. She put two fingers in her mouth and made an ear piercing whistle. "Listen Up!" Buffy said loudly as she pulled her shoulder length hair into a pony tail and put a rubber band in it. Noise in the room quickly died down as all eyes and assorted visual appendages turned to the blond.
"I have come here to kick ass and chew bubble gum!" Buffy proclaimed.
One of the nastier looking vampires at the nearby table turned to his friends and laughed. When he turned his head, Buffy spat her wad of bubble gum at him hitting him solidly in his long greasy hair. "And I am all outta bubble gum."
Tonks paled and looked at Willow who'd also gone pale. "She's got to stop watching movies with Andrew." It was all she had time to say before the vampire pulled is fingers away from his head to see the long strands of pick gum stuck to them and attacked.
The vampire charged so fast Tonks barely had time to move her attention from Willow to Buffy before the Slayer ducked under his lunge and flipped the creature. It landed on its back with a loud oomph and Buffy staked it before it even had time to start trying to get back up. As she straightened up, she reached into her bag and came out with a cross bow and a sword. She immediately shot another vampire from the same table, letting the crossbow drop to the floor as soon as the trigger was pulled.
A Kraeknosh (the second 'k' being silent) demon sitting at another close by table had stood as soon as the first vampire charged. It stepped forward unfolding it vertical mouth allowing the blood from its latest meal to drool out. It reached for the human female in time for her to swing around with her sword a slice off a claw.
The demon bellowed as Buffy ducked under the thrash of its other claw. As she ducked she kicked the thing in its lower reverse knee. She stood and swung the sword again this time slicing open its abdomen.
"What do we do?" Tonks asked as she watched Buffy gut one of the ugliest creatures she'd ever seen and immediately start for another that had been at the same table.
"Watch her back and don't let any Wizards leave." Willow replied as she let her magic out and started looking for Wizards. She started putting up barriers and shields to keep the wizards in while allowing anything else to leave, if it wanted to. Willow let go of the bag-o-knives which snapped open when it hit the floor.
Buffy dispatched the second Kraeknosh in time to see two more demons step from the crowd. She glanced to Willow and Tonks just long enough to see them using different barrier, light and flame spells to protect themselves and to keep her from getting totally mobbed. Buffy turned back to the two new opponents when something hit her from the side. Her sword clanked to the floor and rattled across the room as Buffy fell she twisted in the creatures grasp, grabbed it by the shoulders and flipped it away just as she landed on her back. Spinning her legs, Buffy jumped back to her feet.
"You loose." One of the new creatures hissed.
It stood over the weapons bag while its partner held her sword. Buffy reached under her jacket with both hands, producing a sword with one and a cross bow with the other. She fired the crossbow imbedding a wooden bolt in the left eye of the creature standing over her bag. The other creature saw its friend collapse but the distraction was all Buffy needed to do a low somersault coming out just in front of the demon to run him through with her short sword. As it staggered back, Buffy grabbed her first sword from it and used both to hack through its thick neck and remove its head. She took a solid leap to the side, swinging one of the swords at the other creature still clawing at the bolt in its eye. Its head separated cleanly from its neck and landed with a sold thud.
Holding her own was all Tonks could do. Keeping the demons away from Buffy as well was a pretty tall order. Luminous and fire spells were keeping the sun challenged creatures away and some barrier spells were keep the other creatures back but it was tough to protect herself, Buffy and look for Death Eaters all at the same time. Finally, something broke through her defenses and landed a heavy blow knocking her wand loose and sending it skidding across the floor.
"Ah, what good is a Wizard without its wand." The demon snarled. "About as good as a human without its head." And it lunged at Tonks.
Three things happened at the same time; the creature lunged, Tonks pulled her sword and she heard Willow say "thicken." The creature's legs suddenly bound together and it fell towards Tonks instead of attacking her. Tonks had just enough time to raise her sword so the demon impaled itself as it fell forward on top of her. The contents of the creature's abdomen spilled out as it crashed into her and knocked her to the ground.
Seeing two more creatures approach her, Tonks changed form (a little trick she'd never mentioned to Buffy or Willow). Her new form was a large burley man with a beer belly, wide shoulders and green stubby hair and beard. She maintained the form just long enough to push away the carcass and regain her feet.
"Accio wand." Tonks held out her had hand and summoned her wand as she changed back to her common form. The instant the wand was in her hand, she started casting again. "Petrificus Totalus" the first creature stopped in mid stride and fell forward. Something about the smell of the second made Tonks try a different spell. "Incendio." Normally the spell would have set part of the clothes on fire; this time the whole creature bust into flames. As she jumped away from the flambé demon, Tonks thrust her sword into the chest of the creature she did the petrificus spell on. Seeing another creature approaching she hit it with a blasting curse. And the fight went on.
When the demon fell on Tonks, Willow was about to help her when she saw her change shape into a large man just long enough to get loose then switch back. The red head smiled. Nice trick she thought then saw a wizard by a back wall pointing his wand at Buffy. With a thought and a flick of her wrist, Willow sent four knives flying across the room, pinning the man's arm to the wall in his robe. Willow looked down on the room. When had she climbed up on a table? She hadn't, she was floating. As she waived her hand to get her magic controlled, Willow saw another Wizard, this one actually wearing a Death Eater mask trying for a door. She sent a shield at the man pinning him against the door he was reaching for.
Buffy had been doing well, but soon found herself separated from her bag and facing six vampires, a third Kraeknosh demon and walking carpet with a battle axe. "Oh, great; I hate those things." Buffy sighed and grabbed a stake from the back of her belt. "Willow, a little help here." Buffy thought at her friend.
"All out with your tricks little girl?" One of the Vampires laughed as he watched her bring out a single stake to face them all with.
Buffy smirked and spun the stake. "Oh, no, I still have my big gun."
"The one with the Thriller jacket." Willow thought at Buffy. Willow was busy holding back and containing Wizards to offer much help for Buffy.
A quick glance around Buffy saw a vampire wearing a red leather jacket decorated with broken and dangling zippers. She threw her stake with enough force it went through the vampire and dusted a second one behind it. The dusted vamps gave Willow the opening she needed to magically push Buffy's bag past the demons to the slayer's feet.
Buffy dove to the floor, reached into the bag, grabbed a canister and rolled back to her feet. She pulled a lever and sprayed the surrounding demons with a thick substance the consistency of half melted Jello. The vampires jumped away expecting it to be holy water.
"What the hell was that, bitch?" One of the rougher looking vamps asked.
"Here, see for yourself." Buffy pushed a button on the canister threw it to the vampire and jumped toward an over turned table.
"Shields up!" Willow yelled telepathically at Tonks just before the canister exploded in flames and dousing the surrounding creatures with more accelerant. The six demons Buffy had doused exploded in flame as rest of the room dove to the floor to escape the sudden flash as it bounced off the floor, walls and ceiling. The gel burned so fast and hot, nothing else caught fire but a lot of wood and demons where singed.
Standing up from behind the table, Buffy pulled on a pair of gloves she'd been carrying and picked up one of her swords. She approached the Kraeknosh demon which was rolling on the floor trying to extinguish the flames. A heavy swing cut most of the thing's head from its shoulders as the hot blade sizzled from the demon's blood. Buffy looked around at the remaining patrons, challenging the next takers. There were none.
Dul-Worvenak of Chuvnosh clan of Grey's demons worked in his opulent office; opulent being a relative turn when speaking of demons, even Grey's demons. The Dul thought of himself as pretty savvy business man. Man being a relative term, in this case loosely applied meaning an adult male of a species. Over the past two hundred or so years he'd put together a nice little operation with the help of the human wizards setting up avoidance charms. His community thrived and everybody paid taxes to him. He'd made it pretty clear death or taxes. The demons had chosen taxes. It all ran smoothly out of the bar which was a nice little enterprise in and of it self. Recently though things had started really hopping. Something happened in the human word a few years ago that tipped the balance. Now more demons then ever were seeking sanctuary. That was fine by him it just filled his pockets even more.
The door to the office flung open. It was Mol-Worvenak, a moderately dominate male from their mother's fifth nesting. The Dul being the third most dominate of the first hatching was naturally a better business man then Mol. Mol also tended to be lazy and ate too was but as of yet had not put on the impressive girth their mother had achieved. "There is trouble."
"What?" The Dul asked looking at the wheezing Mol.
"There's a Slayer." Mol huffed. "She's killing the patrons."
"I'll be right out." The Dul replied. "Now go protect our assets." The Dul stood and looked at his silver-grey complexion in a mirror. His sharp narrow nose and bushy brows distinguished him as a member of the Chuvnosh clan. He pulled his Armani jacket over his finely tailored vest and straightened his silk tie. A slayer was a primal beast but even she should recognize class and be willing to negotiate a truce. If not, he'd always wondered if the marrow from a slayer was more succulent then other young human females.
The Dul started down the short hallway just in time to hear a human female say "Here, see for yourself." He took one more step before the hallway flashed with flame. He had just enough time to turn and cover his face before the main force of the flash rushed by and was gone. Standing back up, he could feel the back of his suit coat smoking from the flash fire. This was no ordinary slayer.
Before facing the human, The Dul stood in the shadows of the hallway and watched. He was in time to see her remove most of the head of one of his top enforcers. She stared at the rest of the room. She did not impose a commanding figure. If he'd been a younger Grey and he'd seen her on the street he would have thought of a meal. He shook his head, no, not this one, she was the dominant of her litter, maybe of her clan. The dominant of a clan of predators had to be dealt with carefully, diplomatically. He was about to step out when he saw her approach the bar.
The slayer was covered in blood, dirt and soot; open wounds dripped blood down the side of her face and soaked the sleeve of her jacket. Her hair kept falling in her face as she looked at the grime covered stool now splattered in blood and goo and still smoking from the flash. Buffy grimaced at the stool, turned to Tonks and motioned at the piece of furniture.
The young Witch pointed her wand, said a word and the dirt melted away revealing a fine old piece of wood. Tonks grinned; it'd been a long time since she'd gotten that spell to work right. Buffy put her sword on the bar and jumped up on the stool just in time for Mol-Worvenak to approach.
"Woman, do you know what you've done?" Mol growled at Buffy. "Do you know how much this is going to cost to fix, not to mention the lost profits?"
Buffy gave him her best 'Do I look like I give a damn?' smiles but didn't say a word.
"You're going to pay for this if we have to put a bounty on every one of your clan members' heads until YOU make good." As he spoke, Mol's mouth pulled back into a vicious feral growl.
"Are you in charge here?" Buffy finally asked
"I am the manager." Mol admitted. "The Dul is the owner."
Grabbing her sword with two hands, Buffy jumped up and slammed the blade down on Mol. The blade cleaved through the Grey's demon from shoulder to abdomen. As the creature fell, Buffy let go of the sword and watched him crumple boneless to the floor.
Buffy held her hand to her side and let Willow magically toss the other sword to her from across the room. She turned to the shadowed hallway and the creature standing just out of sight. "Are you the doll?"
The Dul stepped out of the shadows as the Slayer placed the second sword on the bar. "What's this about a bounty?" She asked. "Do you really want me to set up shop down here?"
"My clan brother sometimes had problems choosing which people to deal with diplomatically." The Dul said. "I am The Dul-Worvenak, the second Dominant of the Chuvnosh clan. This is my tavern and the protected grounds around it are my territory."
"You've done a very good job of staying under the radar until now." Buffy stated.
"And what, may I ask, changed that?" The Dul asked. He knew this creature didn't just come here for the hunt. Her and her witches had let too many patrons flee. There were three however that were being restrained. They were the only kind of humans who frequented the sanctuary.
"Some Wizards have declared war on us." Buffy said. "Anybody who shelters or supports these death munchers can expect a visit from me or mine."
"I swear by my mother's birthing nest, I didn't know these wizards were planning an attack on your clan." The Dul could barely breath he was so mad. The wizards had betrayed the sanctuary. They planned an attack from this very tavern which exposed the sanctuary and brought down the wrath of the Slayer and her witches. He had to be careful here. He could sense the strength of the Slayer and the power of the red witch. The female Wizard he was not sure of, but if she was with this pair she must have earned her place. "Perhaps we can come to an understanding, a treaty if you will, between yourself and the sanctuary."
"How do I know you have the clout to enforce any such treaty?" Buffy asked.
The demon straightened up. "Because I am The Dul." He couldn't believe anything would dare question his authority. She just raised an eye brow at him.
"Tell you what; you'll have a chance to prove it here in a few minutes." Buffy said. "There are some normal humans following us." She watched the doll stiffen. "If they get safe passage out of here without any one of them coming to any harm, it will prove you are the one to talk to."
"And if?" The Dul knew the answer but he was still a demon and needed to be threatened. A threat from a creature that was not dominant to him was just a challenge.
The Slayer leaned forward. The human was gone from her eyes. Only a predator remained. "I will set up shop in this tavern and bring in an army of slayers to exterminate every single foul inhuman creature that slithers through these tunnels."
"And if I grant safe passage?"
"I will consider negotiations."
The Dul grit his many rows of teeth. Stories had circulated about The Slayer. He was starting to believe them. He was no longer alpha dominate down here, this human was. He could either accept her dominance or challenge her right to negotiate. He motioned to one of his juniors. The youngling, Pel, came over quickly. Keeping out of reach of the slayer. "Spread the word." The Dul said. "Humans are coming down. They are not to be approached or harmed. Any creature that allows himself even to be seen by this group will answer to me." He looked at Pel. "Understood."
Pel nodded vigorously then fled.
Leaning over the bar, Buffy looked down at Mol. "How long before he wakes up?"
"About an hour after the sword is removed." He watched the slayer nod and jump down from the seat. This was not good. She knew his kind and was telling him so. It was another threat. If she knew what didn't kill, then she knew what did.
"No more talk of bounties and debts." Buffy stated.
"You are not responsible for this. You did not ask for sanctuary." The Dul looked at the three wizards the witches were guarding. "Their kind is responsible."
"Well." Buffy said. "You can have them when we're done with them." She walked away and picked up her duffle bag. From the bag, she pulled three wooden crucifixes and placed them around the necks of the Wizards. She turned to Tonks. "Do you have their wands?"
The young Auror held up the three wands. "I checked them for backups as well."
"Good, send them on their way."
Tonks walked up to each magically bound and gagged wizard and touched the crucifix with her wand. With each touch the Wizard disappeared with a pop.
"Well." Buffy turned to Willow. "Lets go and talk to our new guests and see if after this little show they're impressed enough to tell us where to find Dana."
To be continued…