Slayer at 1600
Author: BigHead /
Disclaimer: Buffy belongs to me? Yeah, right. Gotta bridge to sell you if you believe that.
Summary: Someone was murdered in a demonic ritual, a pretty common occurrence in the life of Watchers and Slayers. Problem is the address where the ritual occurred: The White House.
Rating: R for language and graphic description of violence.
Author's Notes: Thanks to Mom, Dad and that incredible sex that gave origin to me. 1- Remember to update your fics more constantly 2- Feedback is always welcome... Damn, those notes are not in here, but keep them in mind. First one, this is an idea based on an old movie called Murder at 1600, which had the same basic premises of this fic. Since I never walked in the White House and don't exactly know how SS works, I'm inventing a lot of stuff here. Oh, yeah, this is nine years post S7.
Feedback: YESSSS!!!! PLEEEEAAAASEEE!!!
Consuelo Javier was happy. She finally managed to set all of the pieces together, finding someone willing to cover her shift and passing it trough her supervisor and the head of security. So, everything was clear for her granddaughter's birthday. Gifts were already bought and some of the food was already on her refrigerator at home.
In this happy mood, she pushed the cleaning cart a bit further down the hall. It was a happy life, she mused, being a cleaning lady. Of course, in this specifically job she did have a few more inconveniences than the rest, such as having to pass a security clearance every year, being searched every time she came for her job and went home, but that was the life on the White House. Besides, the pay was good and her patrons this time were excellent people, always with a kind word and asking about her life and her family. All in all, she had no complaints.
Well, almost none, anyway. Probably the one real complaint that she had was having to clean those specific rooms. Like in every house, there are some rooms that get full of stuff that nobody wants anymore, and don't want to throw out. Since the occupants in this one tend to change every four years, there were some rooms like that. From time to time, a group of Secret Service agents would clean up one of the rooms, to clean up space for more clutter. The Five Rooms of Doom, they were called by the cleaning personnel. Located in sub-level two, they were mostly 'forgotten' in the cleaning shifts, but once in a while, someone was sorted to check them out. This time, it was Consuelo, and since she was in a nice mood, she passed the security card over the reader in the door whistling. The light changed from the typical red to green, and she pushed it.
Surprisingly, the door didn't budge. She tried passing the card again, the light went green, and she pushed more strongly. Nothing. Perhaps something was stuck behind the door. Time to ask for help.
She approached John, the Secret Service agent in charge of the hallway.
"John, could you help me?" she asked to the big black man. The agent smiled at her, showing a row of perfect white teeth. Except from a few rare exceptions, they were all extremely nice to her.
"Sure, Mrs. Javier. What can I do for you?"
"The door to 417 is stuck. Can you give me a hand?"
"Sure," he said, walking with her to the door. He passed his own card in the reader, and the door's light blinked a steady green. He pushed, but the door remained stuck. He tried again and got the same result, even applying more strength.
"Strange," he said, and touched his earplug, activating the mic near his throat. "Control, this is Stevens in sub two. Room 417 has a stuck door. Can you see if something is blocking it from the inside?"
Control answered him a few seconds later. He replied, looking to the underside of the door and the light that shone under it. "That's a negative, Control. I see light coming from the room. You sure the camera is working?"
He listened for a few more seconds, face getting serious in an instant. "Ok, Control. Step aside a bit, Mrs. Javier."
The cleaning lady did as she was told, and the black man crossed to the other side of the hallway. In two steps he was putting all of his body's weight and strength in his shoulder, which hit the door near the middle. It didn't resist this time.
The stench assaulted him quicker than he was able to focus. He looked to the room and almost wasn't able to control his stomach. "Holy shit," he exclaimed.
"Madre de Dios," Consuelo said, looking behind his back. She wasn't as strong as John, so she turned back and lost her lunch right in the middle of the hallway.
Special Agent Joyce Cameron arrived for her shift right on time, as she always did. She passed the security checkpoint and went straight to the Control Center, to see if something has changed in the last seventy-two hours. What she found out was beyond her wildest dreams. The normally calm room was a frantic mess of activity, agents yelling at each other, pointed fingers and all. Luckily, nobody had pulled a gun yet. She only managed to focus on a single word, "murder".
The tall brunette, with ice blue eyes and short raven hair looked around, her senses trying to filter up the jumble of information assaulting her. Before she could focus enough, the balding man known as Malcolm Hollister, the Chief of Security for the White House entered the room. His presence was enough to quiet everyone into full silence.
"Everyone sit down," he ordered, and every agent did as told, she included. "For the ones arriving now, what is about to be discussed in this room is not to leave this room. If I hear a peep of it out of the mouth of anyone that isn't supposed to know, I'll kill the one responsible myself. Is that clear?" he asked the room. Wisely, nobody answered it.
"Ok, to situate everyone: at precisely 1446 today, the cleaning staff went out in their duties to clean up room S2-417. The cleaning lady, Mrs. Consuelo Javier, found out that the door was stuck. She asked for the help of agent John Stevens," Malcolm made a head motion, pointing to the black agent standing up to the side, "Agent Stevens tried to open the door, without success. He asked the Control Room to check if there was something wrong with the room, and they reported that the light on the room was non-functional. Agent Stevens denied this information, and Mrs. Javier also confirmed this, that he could see the light under the door. Control ordered him to force the door open, which he promptly did. This is what he and Mrs. Javier found out."
Hollister stepped aside and the projector came alive, showing images that should have come from the mind of a lunatic. The room was covered in blood, and what looked like arcane symbols. Spent mounds of wax denoted the use of candles in several points, and in the middle of the room, spread naked in the floor right in the middle of a pentagram, lay a young woman, in an advanced state of decomposition, with her throat opened from one side to another.
Three agents stood up and ran to the closest bathroom. Joy almost followed them, but in an amazing feat of control, contained her stomach. Nobody would tease them about it.
Hollister continued after some other images were shown. "Aside from Ms. Jane Doe and the candles, nothing else was found on the room. We called in a forensics team from the FBI and they are passing a fine comb in the room as we speak. The last time this room was opened was fifty-seven days ago, according to the cleaning staff. It is largely unused, so nobody noticed a thing until today. So, what I want to know, people, is how a murder with ritualistic characteristics happened right under our noses, in the most secure home in the planet?"
That made all the arguments start all over again, like a room full of hormonal induced teenagers.
"SHUT UP!" Hollister bellowed. The room fell silent once again. "I'M BEGINNING TO SEE HOW THIS WAS POSSIBLE, IF ALL OF YOU BEHAVE LIKE THAT! WE ARE THE SECRET SERVICE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE CANNOT SCREW UP! AND WE DID, IN THE WORST POSSIBLE WAY! WE HAVE A MURDER IN HERE!"
Every single one of them wanted to hide in the nearest hole right now. Hollister managed to calm down a bit, under the circumstances.
"So, if everyone finished pointing fingers and calling names, I have several questions that I wanted answered. How did this girl get in here? Who allowed her in? When was that? Who was she? Why was she here? When did the murder happen? Why didn't we smell something before? Why is the camera not working properly? Who was the agent in charge of the hallway at the time of the murder? What were those symbols? Who has knowledge of them? And most important of all: who is the murderer?"
The agents in the room looked to one another, nobody coming with an answer.
"We have something on our sides, if we can call it that. The Presidential Family is out for the next 72 hours, so we have until then to find out all of those answers. I've divided you in groups to deal with each and every one of those questions, so get the groups with Angela here," he said to one agent standing up "and go find the answers to them. We'll have another meeting in ten hours. Dismissed."
Joy's group got two questions, what were the symbols and who knew them, and the question that everyone else got, who was the murderer. The three-agents team was browsing the Internet searching for some info, while Joy herself decided to take a look in the room. She got to sub basement two and walked down the hallway.
Problem was that, the closer she got to the room, more her 'other' senses went haywire. Something happened there, something serious. And something she thought she would never had to deal with. The two agents posted at the broken door gave her a cursory glance and allowed her in.
The moment she crossed the threshold, she felt something inside her stir.
She didn't stand in the room for another second; she turned around and went out to talk with Hollister.
Joy stood outside his door and knocked. "Enter," she heard the muffled reply from the interior.
She opened the door and walked in, looking to the man. He looked devastated. She closed the door back.
"What is it, agent Cameron?"
When she walked in the room down below and felt 'it' stir, she knew this was the right thing to do, but how to explain it?
"Sir, I believe I have someone who can help us with this case."
"Who is it, agent?"
"First, sir, I have a revelation to make, and I want your word that it won't come out of this room."
The man stood up in a flash. "If you got something to do with . . ." he started, reddening considerably in seconds.
"No, no, sir!" she said, backing up a bit. "I swear, I don't. I want this explained as much as you do. But this is personal to me."
"Speak up," he said, calming down a little bit.
"Do you believe in the supernatural, sir?"
"I'm not the nutcase that did that . . . thing down below, agent," he said, looking at the ice blue eyes.
"That is the problem, sir, I don't believe it was a nutcase. I think he, she or it knew exactly what it was doing, sir."
"Why do you say that?"
"Do you believe in vampires, sir?"
Hollister laughed, but it hadn't any fun in it. "What, are you going to tell me a vampire did that?"
"No, sir, I believe one did not, but something far more sinister."
"Get out of my room, agent, and go find some piece of real evidence," he said, anger reflected in his voice.
Joy looked around, and she noticed the aluminum bat he kept to a corner, an old joke he liked to pull on new agents.
"Can I have your 'Bat of Obedience' for a second, sir?" she asked.
"Just to show you something."
Hollister caught the solid bat and gave it to the agent, which proceeded to twist it into a knot without apparent effort. The mouth of the senior agent fell almost to the ground.
"H-how. . .?"
Joyce Cameron gave the twisted bat back to her superior officer and sat on the other chair. She had to thank God for her perfect memory recall.
"This world is older than any of us know, and contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin in a paradise. For untold eons, demons walked the earth, made it their home, their hell. In time, they lost their purchase on this reality, and the way was made for mortal animals. For man. What remains of the Old Ones are vestiges: certain magicks, certain creatures. One of the last demons mixed his blood with man, and thus the first vampire was born. And to fight those remaining demons and the vampires, a group of mages forged a mystical warrior, one girl in the entire world, Chosen with the speed and strength to fight them. This girl is known as the Slayer."
"And you are this . . . Slayer?"
"One of them. Something happened years ago, and now, instead of just one, there are lots of them."
"How do you know all that? And why are you telling me this right now?"
"Years ago, I was just starting in the Service when I got a strange visitor in my door one day…"
-- O --Joy returned from her morning run to find a man standing near her door. He was well dressed, albeit looking like a college teacher. She approached her door, and the man walked closer.
"Miss Cameron? Miss Joyce Cameron?" he asked, trying to sound the least menacing as possible.
"Yes? Who wants to know?" she asked, nonplussed.
"My name is Rupert Giles, and I have a matter of great importance to discuss with you, Ms. Cameron," he said in a British accent.
"Sorry, not interested," she said, walking into her apartment.
"How are you dealing with the nightmares?" he asked to a mostly closed door. The door halted and opened again, Joy's looking at him wearily.
"How do you know about them?"
"Can I come in? I swear I'll explain it all."
Joy opened the door, letting the man enter. Giles let a small smile crease his face, even knowing she did that on instinct.
"So, Mr. Giles, how do you know about my nightmares?"
And Giles did indeed explain it all.
-- O --
"So, are you telling me that there is a secret organization that deals with the supernatural, and they are full of those 'Slayers' girls?" Hollister asked.
"Why didn't you accept his invitation?"
"Well, sir, I always wanted to work as a Secret Service agent. I fought hard for it, and when I managed it, I wanted nothing else. He gave me the option of keeping my life as it was, and I took it. He just asked me to go to a 'Slayers Summer Camp', as he called it, so that I could know how to deal if anything supernatural came my way."
"Your trip to Britain," Hollister asked. It was stored in her file.
"Exactly. I never faced anything truly dangerous, sir, but I patrol some nights, so that I won't get rusty."
"And how those 'patrols' go?"
"A vampire here or there, sir. Washington is quite calm in that regard. I guess they are scared of being found."
"Ok, agent. I'll buy it. Why are you telling me all that now?"
"Sir, my 'Slayer senses' went nuts when I walked into that room. Whatever that was, it really was supernaturally related."
"What can we do about it?"
"I would like to call the Watcher's Council and ask for help. I can call Mr. Giles personally, he's the Head of the Council and a very noble man. He can help us out and keep his mouth shut."
"You sure about it, Cameron?"
"Yes, sir. I believe we will improve our chances exponentially."
"Do it," he said, extending the telephone for her.
She dialed the overseas number from memory.
"WSC Enterprises, may I help you?" sounded the voice of the receptionist who helped ensure the Council's front.
"This is Slayer Joyce Cameron, ID 149-04," she said, using something she thought she would never need. "I need to speak with Rupert Giles, it's a matter of the utmost importance."
"I'll transfer you immediately, Slayer Cameron. Please hold."
She waited for a few seconds, while the transfer was being made.
"Rupert Giles," came the strong voice on the other side.
"Mr. Giles, this is Joyce Cameron. I need a favor."
"Oh, yes, Ms. Cameron. I remember you. What can I do for you?"
"Do you remember my other job?"
"Of course I do. What is the problem?" he asked, worry tinged his voice.
"It seems they both mixed up in a rather messy way. I have a ritual that happened right in the middle of it, with a victim, and we are flying blind."
The British Watcher went mute for several seconds.
"What can I do to help?"
"I need someone who understands this stuff and can help in the investigation. And he or she gotta be trustworthy and be able to keep his mouth shut."
Giles didn't think it twice. "I have the perfect person, and he is nearby, in another case for us. He could stop it and come to your aid. I will ask him to contact you immediately."
"What is his name?" she asked, picking up a pencil and a piece of paper.