A/N - This is the third in my series of Ian the Seraph. The new characters join with the familiar to stop a catastrophe and to save some souls that need it. Most of the characters encountered belong to Joss, Mutant Enemy and a host of people that have a lot more money than I do. But Ian and Janice and some new slayers are mine, so if you want to use them, please ask my permission. All constructive criticsm is appreciated, so feel free if you have something to say. I hope you enjoy.

While the angels, all pallid and wan, uprising, unveiling, affirm that the play is the tragedy, 'Man'. - E.A. Poe


Dawn and I had just gotten back to Rome. We'd been here from time to time in the year and a half that we had been together. But this was the beginning of five days just for us. We had arrived by plane instead of 'the express'; as Dawn put it, and had taken a cab to my apartment overlooking the Tiber. We got our luggage, which wasn't much and nearly ran the three flights up. Once we got through the door we dropped our bags and managed to loose most of our clothes in under five seconds. That's when the phone rang. It wasn't the apartment phone, or even my cell, it was Dawn's. Only three people knew that number; me, Giles and her Sister. I groaned, hoping that it wasn't important, but knowing that it was unlikely.

"Buffy, hi" Dawn answered.

"Dawn, where are you?" Buffy asked.

"Rome, we just flew in this morning. What's up."

"We just got a call for help from the US Government."


"They got hold of Wood in New York, and he gave them the number here, told em that if anyone could pull it off, we could."

"Pull what off?"

"A rescue; he said it was super urgent."

"I assume they don't need rescuing from soldiers or animals or anything normal, huh."

"Nope; sounded like demons and stuff, right up our alley, the problem is we can't get there for six hours, and from the sound of it, that would be about five hours too late. Can you guys do it?"

"Where the heck are we going?"


"Hang on" Dawn said. She looked up and filled me in.

"Call her back in five minutes" I said, "I've got to check on a thing or two".

Dawn relayed this to Buffy and hung up. Turning to me she asked "Why the delay?"

"There may be some reason that we are not supposed to interfere in this matter; I need to check with the higher ups."

She just nodded and I closed my eyes and put in a call; not for intervention, just information, so the whole thing was not as intimidating.

"Yes little brother", I heard. It was Uriel.

I relayed the request and said I was checking to see that we could ethically interfere in this matter.

Silence, then; "It is vital that you do so" his/her voice boomed out "hurry and good fortune to the both of you"; and Uriel was gone.

"Well that answers that question" I said.

Dawn called Buffy back and said we would be there in under fifteen minutes. Buffy told her the name of the closest town, thanked us both; told us to be careful and hung up. We made sure our weapons were on and ready, joined hands and we were off to Kenya.

We came to ourselves about ten minutes later, in a rather nasty swamp on the edge of a village.

"Well that's the last time you navigate" I said.

Dawn just stuck her tongue out at me and I laughed. We then extended our senses and searched the area.

"Got em" Dawn said "lots of demons and a few people. That way, less than five minutes."

We started off in the direction of the activity. There must have been a lot of demons because our swords were already glowing. Suddenly I felt a flare; one of my kind was with the people that needed help. I told Dawn and we picked up our already rapid pace. Suddenly the flare intensified. Now I was scared. My kind can ward of demons and other minions of evil by flaring our Angelic essence. The downside of doing this is that it burns away your humanity. You begin by losing your human memories, followed by your feelings. Once all those are gone, you die and another is called. Like a call for intervention, it's a last ditch kind of thing. Just as we broke into a clearing, the flare went away.

We could see about thirty demons closing in on fifteen or so humans, then, to my horror, I saw Janice among them. She was collapsing into the arms of a wounded man. I noticed that the humans had only hand weapons, a fact I was grateful for. I didn't fancy getting shot by the people I was here to save. The demons were polgaras, not the sharpest tools in the shed; and they were so intent on the humans and seraph in front of them, that they didn't feel us coming until the first ones were down. Dawn and I charged into them, slashing and hacking like hyperactive samurai. We were mentally connected, so we knew what the other was doing, and could support each other if it was needed. The humans saw our attack and pressed the demons on the other end of the arc. This left the wounded man and a brunet woman to guard Janice. Dawn and I had cut through about 15 of them, we were covered in blood and entrails, but we didn't notice. The lust of battle was on us. For me it was a verification of my fight against evil, an affirmation of the worth of my service and confirmation that I had made the right choice to become what I was; Dawn just liked ridding the world of such pests. The humans on the other end had about five of the demons down, with a loss of two, when disaster happened. Four of the polgaras attacked the remaining humans while another four attacked Dawn and me. That left two to go after Janice and her protectors. I knew what was happening and was fighting like a fiend to clear myself and assure her safety. But I couldn't leave Dawn to face three by herself. I gutted one in front of me and swept the legs of another. I turned and thrust both my blades through the back of one of the demons facing her. She slashed the remaining demon through the chest with a whirling overhand stroke. We turned to help, but we were too late. The brunet had incapacitated one with an energy weapon, but the other had gotten hold of her. Her weapon would no longer function, so she was smashing the butt of it into the demons face. Suddenly I heard a swishing noise and saw the demons two talons come out her front, she had been run through. I noted the surprised look on her face; this was followed by a torrent of blood that burst from her mouth. Then the demon flexed his shoulders and literally tore her apart. I knew I would have nightmares for months, and a lot of self recrimination. But that would be later; right now we had a job to finish. I mentally directed Dawn to help the other humans and closed in on the polgara in front of me. I attacked screaming and slashed the demon into pieces; venting my anger at the lives it had taken. I saw that the man had passed out and that Janice was still unconscious; I checked and knew that they would both live, at least for the moment. I looked up to see Dawn and the others had finished off the demons. She started over while the humans were caring for their wounded. I saw here freeze and her eyes go wide; "oh my God, Riley" then she looked over at the remains of the brunet and her face crumpled "Sam" she said, falling to her knees.