Care Package

Willow looked at the large box the FedEx van had dropped off for her at Buffy's house. The return address was in New York City, but the name was smudged. She was a little worried that it might be another bomb, something Caleb could have sent. She ran all the safety spells she could think of over it, but they results were confusing: it showed that whatever was inside was immensely powerful, but not dangerous.

With care that almost verged on paranoia, she carefully opened the box and looked at the strange device inside: it looked like a large, grey, metallic backpack, covered in dials and switches. Part of it was detachable, connected to the backpack by a long cable. Deeper in the box was something the size of a small shoe box, likewise metallic, and covered in warning labels. A long cable ran from one end, ending in what looked like a pressure-sensitive trigger.

Tipping the box upside down, Willow searched through the packing material until she found a large book with a hand-written cover marked 'PROTON PACK USERS MANUAL', underneath which the words 'THIS IS NOT A TOY!' were underlined three times in red. Willow picked up the book, and a hand-written letter fell out. She picked it up and started to read.

Dear Willow,

Please find enclosed the only spare Proton Pack we have. Not sure how useful it will be against what you described in your last email, but I can't let my favourite (indeed, only) niece go up against something like that unarmed. I'll keep researching this 'First Evil', and will let you know if I find anything important.

On an unrelated note (no pun intended), I spoke to your mother the other day: it appears that your parents have taken jobs at Columbia University here in New York. She seemed a little vague as what you were doing these days, but then my little sister was never that good at 'family'.

Godspeed and good luck, your loving uncle,
Dr Egon Spengler
(Uncle-E)

Willow looked at the Proton Pack and her jaw dropped: she could vaguely remember family vacations to see her mother's older brother in New York, but had always thought that he was joking when he said he busted ghosts for a living, humouring his young niece. Then there had been some argument between her dad and her uncle, and they stopped visiting. But she remembered the somewhat absent-minded professor, and had managed to contact the parapsychology shortly after she found out about the Hellmouth and everything that meant.

Keeping her questions casual, claiming that she needed help on school projects, she had been able to gain lots of useful information over the years. Uncle-E, as she had always known him due to a childhood problem with pronouncing his name, was very much like Giles, and Willow felt it would be interesting to get the two men in the same room.

Apparently Uncle-E was smart enough to see through her questions, and understood just what she was involved with. If the stories she's heard about him and his work were true, he may have sent her a powerful weapon against The First. She tried to lift the Proton Pack, but she could hardly lift it off the floor.

"What up Red?" Faith walked in from sneaking a cigarette on the back porch, "Is it your birthday and no one reminded me?"

"Not exactly..." Willow looked the brunet Slayer up and down, "Say, see if you can lift this onto your back."

"I'll try anything once." Faith shrugged and lifted the Proton Pack with ease and swung it over one shoulder. Securing the straps in place, she turned to face the young witch, "Now what?"

"Now we have something to smile about." Willow grinned, "BUFFY! We've got something important to show you..."

The End

Fic-For-All story done and dusted...