Search & Destroy 6: Storm winds.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hellsing are still both not owned by me. I'm still just borrowing them.
"Look, mate, I really need some progress here or I'm going to have to kill you and go find someone else. Then I'll kill him too. Why can't you just give me the translated works." Spike's face was inches away from Arthur McNamara.
"You are just going to kill me anyways," he tried to reply bravely. It had been two days of living hell, trying to work with this insane code from an old book.
"I promise you that you will walk out of this, if you give me the bleeding translation." Spike turned to look over at Drusila who was staring raptly at one of the computers, reading the words like they were of vital importance, rather than claptrap pronouncements from some hokey website.
Two other vampires were drinking blood from bottles they'd bought at a demon bar on the north side of L.A. Arthur gulped as he saw them drink the thick red liquid with great relish, enjoying every drop and discussing what blood type it was. "You promise?"
"Of course!" Spike smiled brightly, Drusila followed his lead and smile dreamily too. "This is all for my little Drusilla."
"I think this program will do it. It'll require manual feedback-"
"What's that mean?" Spike asked worriedly.
"It means you look at the screen as it's working and if it looks correct, you hit this print/save button to print it out and save the Seed Designation," the programmer continued. "I had to write this myself. The cypher is primitive, but fairly unique, requiring a fairly brute force method of decoding. If you had anything of his that had been decoded, this would have been child's play."
The master vampire looked over the screen. Unlike many vampires, Spike was not adverse to learning and using technology. Camcorders for watching slayers fight and then the television and VCR to figure out weaknesses in her skills. He tapped on the key and clicked a few things with the mouse, seeing it start to try to decode the scanned in passages. "Just great!" he said with another smile.
He stood up and walked over to Arthur, who shrunk back.
"This is going to work, one hundred percent?"
Arthur nodded mutely. Spike's game face suddenly appeared, even as he grabbed the programmer and clamped down on his neck with his fangs. After a few minutes, the man was dead, fed his blood to rise again. The blond vampire smirked, even as the demon within him retreated from the surface of his face. "Guess you get to walk out of here... as my newest minion. Bill? Ted? Head back to Sunnydale and figure out a way to get some electricity to the crypt. I think I'm finding I like computers. So let's adopt Arthur's, hmm?"
"Oh, Spike! How deliciously evil! Mortals always forget that part, don't they?" Drusilla giggled and kept giggling, until Spike silenced her with a kiss.
Buffy looked over at Giles, frowning but nodding. "So the book that Spike and his gang stole dealt with healing a wounded vampire?"
The watcher nodded. "It looks like his timing is a bit off. It had to happen last night this month. And it would have required the vampire's sire."
Buffy thought that over. "And that would be Angel."
"Angel?" Giles responded questioningly.
"Who's dis Angel?" Kendra asked from across the table where she was skimming through the books that Giles had uncovered the information.
Buffy sort of slouched in her seat. "He's a vampire... with a soul. He's a good guy. And he's my boyfriend," she finished very quickly.
"Dat one needs to be in the handbook. No vampire boyfriends," the other slayer said in shock.
"Well, that handbook needs some updating," she replied grumpily. "I'll check in on Angel tonight. Now it's time for school." She had that shop project that she was still working on, though the teacher really wasn't sure that an over-sized sword made of industrial spring steel was really the best of projects to be doing this early.
Integra on the other hand thought that a foot-wide blade that was very strong and only able to be carried by a slayer was a perfectly fine project. Adding silver etchings with magical bindings and wardings versus vampires would have to be done later, of course. And they were only just starting anyways.
Giles nodded. "Kendra will be catching a flight later today back to Mr. Zabuto."
"Oh, really? Well, Kendra, good luck! And she's actually riding inside the plane this time, right?"
"So you'll think about it?" Buffy asked, her hands loosely wrapped around Angel's waist.
"As long as you keep an eye out for those Tarakan assassins. Though I've heard a rumor that they are considering dropping you as a target," the vampire with a soul replied. "But do you really think I need to carry a tracking device?"
"Spike wants to use you in some crazy ritual that will fix Drusilla and kill you. I don't think it's over reacting to make sure that I can find you if you disappear. And letting you activate it if you get in trouble? That's giving you control of calling for help." She pouted theatrically. She didn't want him to disappear for a while.
'Vampire! Kill!' the First Slayer raged again.
'She isn't going to talk to you right now. We'll discuss this after Angel leaves,' Integra explained... again. 'I do not like it either.'
'Vampire! Kill!' the First Slayer raged. Buffy just groaned mentally.
"Well, I need to meet up with Willow and Xander. We are going to be doing a quick patrol. Be safe, okay?" Buffy said while hugging him.
It didn't take her long to find them and head out for the early evening. Everything was pretty quiet, though according to Angel, Spike and his gang were back from L.A. Buffy was sporting a low grade headache from the First Slayers' ranting about Angel, so she was really looking forward to dinner.
She opened the door and called out, "Mom! I'm home!"
The heavy cha-thunking noise from the kitchen jolted her into moving, leaving Xander and Willow at the door. "Mom? You all right?" she called out as she moved in there. So she was quite surprised that it was her mother and this new guy. Joyce looked quite flushed and surprised.
"Oh, Buffy! This is Ted. I invited him over and he said he just had to make this cassarole. So he's staying for supper!" she chatted out quickly while starting to move around and gather plates. "Did you want to stay for dinner you two?" she said to Buffy's friends.
"Sure, Mrs. Summers!" Xander replied glibly. That sure smelled good.
"Well, I don't know," Willow said. "I really should be going home."
"Hey, Wills, aren't your parents out of town?" Xander asked.
"Well, yes. But I've got lots of food at home." Lots of frozen dinners, she had to think to herself. "I don't want to impose!"
"Nonsense! You just have to try my new dish!" Ted said enthusiastically.
'Not human!' snarled the First Slayer suddenly, almost hissing in Buffy's mindscape.
'What?' Integra exclaimed.
Buffy's head whipped around, to stare at Ted suddenly. Deep within her eyes, they flashed green. Her expanded sense could taste her mother, Xander and Willow quite easily. There were taints to the kids auras, but Joyce's was untouched and untainted.
There was nothing there from Ted.
Her heart was thudding in her heart, a drum beating a merciless symphony of danger. Keeping as calm as she could, he turned back to Willow and Xander. "Hey guys? I just remembered something that the librarian told me. So I've got to get some of his tools of the trade upstairs, okay?"
Willow just looked confused, but Xander nodded immediately. "Are you going to need our help on that project?" he replied.
"Just need you to stay here with my mom for a moment!" Buffy replied, sticking a sickly sweet smile on her face that didn't touch her soul.
She headed upstairs, acting as casually as possible. 'This could be incredibly dangerous,' the Master of Monsters thought slowly.
'Why? Destroy it!' the First Slayer demanded.
'I'm planning on it, but if it can block our ability to sense supernaturals...' the Reborn Slayer drawled back. She opened her trunk and grabbed one of the swords that Giles had given her, then a new stake. Daggers, holy water and even a Molotov cocktail were prepared.
'...then it could have powerful magics to use against us. And we need to get your mother away from it, whatever it is.'
Buffy walked back down the stairs to the living room, listening to her friends chat with Ted and her mother. She looked around, noting an ugly lamp. With much theatrics, she knocked over the lamp. "OOOPS!" she called out after it shattered on the floor. She was already snaking the long way around to come into the kitchen from the hallway entrance as quietly as possible.
"Buffy? Are you all right?" Joyce asked, even as she entered the living room with Xander and Willow.
Ted was still at the counter, working on his culinary masterpiece. So he was quite surprised when Buffy grabbed him, pulled him to the back door that she opened and threw him out into the back yard in a tumble. She closed the door behind her, even as she unsheathed her sword.
"So, what type of demon are you?" she asked conversationally.
"Demons don't exist. That is irrational!" the older man exclaimed. His voice had picked up a strange buzz. "You need to be punished for attacking me!" He lunged at her, but she sidestepped and slashed down with her sword, breaking his right hand off.
That didn't seem to phase him overly much as his other hand smacked into her face and sent her flying. Her sword skittered across the porch. Buffy shook her head even as her eyes finally noting the sparks of electricity from his arm.
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me. I'm about to be killed by Mister Roboto?" Buffy complained, even as she rolled backwards and flipped to her feet. She pulled out two dagger and tossed them as hard as she could under-handed into Ted.
That was when Ted was hit by a spray of water from the hose attached to the house. With a snap-pop, Ted shorted right out, keeling over stiffly.
"You could have let us know, Buffy!" Xander said, waggling his eyebrows theatrically even as he turned off the water-hose.
"I had no idea that anyone could make such lifelike robots!" Willow asked. She was just itching to try and take it apart.
"So how did you know that would work and wouldn't just make you a target?" the slayer asked as she pulled out her daggers.
"I didn't. I figured at the worst I would be a distraction. Let you maneuver and then take him out. I figured there was a small chance I could short him out after you broke off his arm. Heh. Just like those old radio we used in 'Nam. One little break and they go all to pieces," Xander replied with a grin.
"Nam? You mean Vietnam? What the hell, Xander?" Buffy asked, giving him a startled look.
"Oh, yeah. Soldier boy left some memories in my head. That's all."
"Ha! That means you know what PT is all about and you have a young body to do it with!" Buffy frowned for a second. "So if Xander and I kept some of our memories, what about you, Willow?"
"But I was just turned into a ghost of myself?" she replied distractedly. She was wondering what operating system it used.
'A mystical entity with links to the afterlife. Buffy, this could be horribly important!' Integra suddenly snapped out. 'It could explain how Willow's magic has been improving so dramatically, as she could be subconsciously pulling from that connection and tainting herself!'
Buffy blinked in shock. "Willow! Ghosts are mystical, undead apparitions connected to the spirit world. If you are connected to that, what could it do to your magic?"
That distracted Willow from her thoughts about the robot. "I don't know? But I like doing magic."
"Not saying you don't do magic, Wills, but that we look this up. I bet you aren't the first person to have some sort of weird link to that spirit world. But I'd like to know if we have to do something to keep you from hurting yourself!"
"Wow, Buffy! That was almost nerdy. I could almost say that you qualify for geekdom at this rate!" the boy exclaimed with a huge shit eating grin.
"Watch it boy, or I'll be having you do PT with me!"
"Buffy? Would you mind explaining what is going on?" Joyce finally said from the doorway. She was holding Buffy's sword.
"Do you mind if I call Giles? He's always better with the explanation," she said, even as her shoulders drooped. She was really hoping that her mother wouldn't see this or would just put it as another Sunnydale oddity.
"So Buffy is a mystically chosen warrior to protect the world against supernaturals?" Joyce asked after Giles had arrived and gone through his explanation. They were all sitting at the dinner table as they ate.
"Essentially. This is really a good casserole," Giles said.
"You can thank the robot Ted for it, he did most of the work. Which still freaks me out that he was a robot pretending to be a guy dating my mom," Buffy said. Ted had been dragged down into the basement to Buffy's work area before Giles had arrived.
Both Giles and Willow were quite intrigued by what they saw down there. But for very different reasons.
"Yes. Mom, these things really exist," Buffy said, not looking up from her plate.
"Magic does not exist!" she said explosively.
"Yes, it does. It's spooky, creepy and dangerous as hell!"
'Buffy! Don't!' Integra called out.
Buffy was beyond listening as she snapped out some words that sounded very like Latin and suddenly the candle flames started dancing in a ring between the three candles on the table. "That is magic. That is the real, hidden world. A world where vampires, demons and monsters exist. And where I have to fight them because of some stupid mumbo jumbo from thousands of years in the past," she screamed out.
"Buffy! You must not do any more magic! You are tampering with forces that you do not understand!" Giles shouted as he slammed his palm down on the table as he stood up.
"That's because you won't teach me. Or tell me anything other than how to fight. Until I die." Her face was twisted in anger. "I am not a weapon." The she shattered the table like it was made of balsa wood. "And I don't intend to die any time soon." She stormed up to her room and slammed the door.
"What is going on with my daughter?" Joyce asked as she got control of herself
Joyce knocked on Buffy's door later. "Buffy, that was Giles on the phone. He wants to you to call him. He said something about a slayer in Boston and an ancient master vampire."
The door flew open, showing a bedraggled Buffy that looked like she'd been crying. "What?"
"I'm more worried about you though. Are you going to be all right?" her mother asked.
"I don't know any more. I don't want to die, but Slayers... thats what they do eventually. And I'm tired of being scared of dying again."
Again? Joyce's throat constricted in her throat. "You shouldn't have to bear this on your own."
"I'm working on that part, but it's taking some work," Buffy replied with a wan smile. "Let me call Giles though. It sounds important if he's talking about ancient master vampires."