This is an older story I discovered while going through my files and after reading it and doing some editing, I decided to post it.

Foiled Plots

Dragonlots aka Dana Bell

Buffy frowned as she glanced around at the unfamiliar dull metal walls. Two seconds ago she had been chasing the self proclaimed "King of the Vampires", one Alexander Lucard, AKA Dracula, through the grassy graveyard of Sunnydale. Now she stood, wooden stake raised, in a dark and dingy corridor.

Buffy took a deep breath and looked behind her for her quarry. Nothing but torn rags and a faint smell of human refuse. Refusing to believe the vampire was not close by, she kept her stake raised and cautiously proceeded. Faint scraping sounds and footfalls haunted her path. The slayer kept glancing behind her but could see nothing.

"Come on, Lucard," she called. "Don't play cat and mouse with me. I've got a final tomorrow and I really need to study."

Assuming of course, she could find her way home from wherever this was. She heard a faint crunch and looked down at her foot. Her tennis shoe had crushed a bone. She couldn't tell if it was human or animal. Nor did she really want to know.

The slayer pushed the debris aside and continued down the hallway.

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Michael Garibaldi hated when Earth senators visited Babylon 5. He always had to double security and make certain the guards stayed close. They had to be discreet enough not to intrude on the politicians' privacy but near enough to foil assassination attempts. Today was no different. Senators Barnabas Collins and Alexander Lucard were making his life miserable. Particularly since Lucard had disappeared hours earlier and Garibaldi had had to spread security thin searching the station for him.

Now the sleek blond haired, piercing blue eyed, fashionably dressed senator casually strolled into Sheridan's office as if nothing were amiss. Though…the security chief glimpsed dirt on the hem of the senator's pants and did not miss the silent communication between the two politicians. Lucard shook his head slightly. Barnabas Collins seemed to take deep breath as a frightened look flashed in his deep brown eyes before he carefully masked it.

"Senator Lucard," Sheridan began as he rose from behind his desk.

The man smiled. It was the type Garibaldi had seen thousands of times on the faces of seasoned diplomats. No matter how many questions were asked, they would never get a straight answer.

"Come, Barnabas," Alexander said, ignoring Captain Sheridan despite his attempt to be commanding on his home ground. The senator seemed to have little respect for the Earth Force uniform. "Our flight back to Earth departs in an hour."

Senator Collins nodded. "I thank you for your hospitality, Captain Sheridan." He bowed slightly. "I will make certain the Senate Appropriations

Committee is advised of your needs here".

"Thank you," Sheridan responded.

"Your hospitality has been most generous," Lucard assured the Captain. "After speaking with the various ambassadors I can see why your work here is important. We mustn't have another misunderstanding as the unfortunate incident with the Minbari."

"That was over a decade ago, Senator," the captain reminded him.

"True," Lucard agreed. "But they aren't happy you are in command here."

There was something in the senator's eyes that bothered Michael. It reminded him of a superior predator. It frightened him at a most basic instinctive level. Garibaldi didn't understand why and wished the two were staying longer so he could satisfy his growing curiosity.

"No, they aren't," Sheridan stated quietly. "But I won't apologize for being responsible for the only victory Earth had during the Earth-Minbari war."

"Nor should you," Senator Collins placated. "Come, Alexander. We have taken up enough of Captain Sheridan's time." He put up a hand as Michael moved to follow them. "We can find our way to the space dock. I thank you for you consideration of our safety. Our aids are waiting for us and will see us home."

"Your welcome." Garibaldi decided to be diplomatic despite the nagging suspicion something was not quite right.

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The thing standing in front of her had to a demon right? It was tall, ugly and smelled of rotting meat. Now, how could she kill it? It didn't seem to be frightened of her. It muttered something.

"Right." She took a deep breath readying herself for battle.

"He just wants by," a very human voice told her.

"Huh?"

The thing slithered by and ambled down the corridor she had just come from.

"You want to put that down," the man in uniform advised.

"Who are you?"

"My name is ZacK Allen and I'm with security. As if you didn't know."

"Actually I don't," Buffy informed him. "In fact, I'd really like to know where I am."

The young man looked confused. "How can you not know where you are?"

"It's kind of a long story."

"So why don't you tell me while I show you out of here. Down below isn't safe for a young woman alone."

"I can take care of myself." She started to tuck the stake into the back pocket of her jeans.

The man nodded as if he believed her. "This way." He held out his hand. "I'll take that."

"I don't think so."

"Weapons are not allowed on Babylon 5. I'll take it by force," he smiled disarmingly. "If I have to."

Buffy considered. He had a gun. Granted, she could probably disarm him, but he was being polite. "Okay." She handed the stake to him.

"Thanks." He took it and indicated forward. "This way."

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Barnabas Collins turned angrily to Lucard. "It was suppose to be very simple. You should have succeeded. Why did you not?"

"Because the slayer was there," Lucard explained again.

"The slayer?" Barnabas questioned. "But she was gone. Dead."

The blond vampire nodded. "I remember Sunnydale being a place of total darkness and our people ruled from there." He shook his head. "It wasn't like that this time."

"Are you certain you invoked the spell correctly?"

"I did exactly what your witch wife Angelique told me."

"You will not be able to rule us without it."

"I know."

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"And just who are you?" Michael Garibaldi demanded.

Buffy was tired of this self-important balding man in the dull gray uniform. Granted Zack Allen had explained he needed to take her to security temporarily because she didn't have any identification, but he hadn't told her she would have to put up with being questioned by the station's security chief.

"Look, buster. I just want to go home. I don't know where Babylon 5 is and I don't care."

"I can't send you home if I don't know who you are."

"My name is Buffy Summers. I live in Sunnydale, California."

"That's impossible."

"And why is that?"

"Because Sunnydale was destroyed under mysterious circumstances back in the early twenty-first century."

"Destroyed…when?" Buffy suddenly felt like her legs wouldn't support her.

"Look, lady,"

"What year is it?" she suddenly demanded.

"What year?"

"Yeah, what year is it?"

"2263."

"Twenty two sixty…three?" She sat down on the cold metallic chair. Her golden brown eyes just stared. "What happened to me?" She asked.

"That's what I'm trying to find out," Garibaldi impatiently responded, sitting down in the chair across the bleak table from the slayer.

"Well, I don't know," she snapped back. "I was chasing Lucard through the graveyard. There was a flash and then I found myself in what Mr. Allen called 'down below'.'

She had Garibaldi's attention. "You were chasing Senator Lucard?"

"Senator?" She shook her head. "He was a sleazy businessman who came to town trying to buy the old high school."

"Why were you chasing him?" All business the security chief watched her.

"You wouldn't believe me."

"You might be surprised." He leaned toward her resting his weight on his elbows, his hands crossed in front of him.

Buffy straightened her red, skin-tight tee shirt. She wished Riley were here. He understood more about how the military mind worked.

"I've seen and heard a lot of weird things in my lifetime. Even more so here." He continued. "Try me."

"I'm the Slayer."

"The what?"

"The Slayer," she repeated, "I battle the forces of darkness." She looked straight into Garibaldi's round face hoping she projected an image of honesty. "Like vampires."

Michael shook his head and rose to leave. "When you decide to tell me truth let me."

"But…"

He left her alone in austere room.

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Angelique's blue eyes flashed fire. Barnabas winced at his wife's image on the communication screen.

"He couldn't have done the spell correctly. He'd have it by now and all would be well."

"He claims everything was different."

"Different?" Her beautiful face frowned. She smoothed a bit of blonde hair behind her ear and became thoughtful. "Maybe he went to the right place…but the wrong time."

Barnabas didn't follow. "He was to go back to year 2001 and receive the Master's blessings and his ring to rule in this time."

"Oh, I'm certain he was in the right year," she snapped impatiently. "And in Sunnydale."

"Angelique, be clear."

"I think the spell sent him to a parallel time," she haughtily informed him. "One in which the slayer must have stopped the Master."

"We won't have the chance to try again, the right moment is past." he paused, " Beside, President Clark expects us back."

"He expects you to have succeeded with your mission."

Barnabas knew the truth of it well. He and Lucard had backed Clark despite the deep risk to themselves and the entire vampire population. The two of them loosely held control over their people and had more than willingly dispatched anyone the Earth president wished.

However, another vampire was rising to power threatening to topple everything they worked for. So he and Lucard had risked coming here, during a

certain time of year because it was the only place and moment the time travel spell would work. They would have only one chance and somehow it had been botched.

"We can't succeed now," Barnabas sadly told her.

She was still angry. Barnabas could tell from her dark look. "Then I'll have to think of something else. Without the Master's blessing and ring Lucard will never be able to keep control over the rest."

"I know."

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Lyta Alexander gazed through the one way glass. This was not the first time Garibaldi had asked this of her. If she were still with the PSI Corp she would have refused. It violated all the Earth laws of privacy. But she had left their ranks and was now independent. Thanks to the Vorlons' interference.

"You think she's lying," Lyta stated to the security chief standing beside her.

"Something is not right and if it weren't for this gut feeling about Senator Lucard," Garibaldi didn't finish the sentence.

He didn't need to. Lyta's one meeting with the two senators left her feeling the same. "Let's go."

The red haired telepath entered the room watching the young blonde woman. Garibaldi took a casual position standing by the desk. Lyta sat down facing the Buffy.

"And who are you?" Buffy inquired.

"Lyta Alexander. I'm a telepath."

"Like Mr. Spock on Star Trek?"

Lyta didn't understand the reference.

"You don't believe me so you drag in someone who can read my mind?" she asked, nailing Garibaldi with a scathing look.

"I don't believe in dead people who survive by drinking the blood of others," he replied.

Lyta smiled. There were beings who survived by eating the dead carcasses of others. She was wise enough however, not to mention this.

"Well, neither did I until I burned down a gym full of them and then moved to Sunnydale. They should post a sign stating, 'Welcome to the Hell Mouth.'"

"Why were you chasing Lucard?" he pushed.

"Because he's a vampire and my job as the Slayer is to stake him."

Lyta touched the woman's mind fully expecting to find madness. To her surprise, the Slayer was sane. Images floated into her consciousness. A handsome dark eyed and haired man, loved, yet deadly. Grotesque beings dying in various way. A man and a woman plotting to destroy the world only to be stopped by the resourcefulness of this woman and her friends.

Lyta pulled her mind away. "She's telling the truth."

Garibaldi's round face displayed his shock. "What?!"

"I don't like the idea of someone crawling around in my head," Buffy commented with a grin. "But your reaction is worth it."

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Garibaldi stood waiting for the two Earth senators in the space dock. He was glad Lyta could confirm his story when he went to discuss his intentions with Sheridan. The captain had agreed to his plan, but only after his own private talks with Lyta and Buffy. It was decided the two Senators would not be allowed to leave the station as planned. The commanding officer of Babylon 5 wanted them taken to security for further questioning. He hoped, as he told Garibaldi earlier, the delay wouldn't cost them the badly needed funds these two powerful men welded influence over.

"Come to see us off?" Lucard mocked with a smooth smile.

"No. To escort you to security," Garibaldi informed them. "I have some questions I want answered."

"Our ship is ready to leave," Barnabas told him.

"We can reschedule."

Senator Collins golden brown eyes narrowed. "I don't think President Clark would agree."

"I'll make certain he understands the situation," Sheridan smoothly stated as he joined them.

"This is a mistake, Captain," Lucard hissed at him.

"Maybe," Buffy said stepping from behind the captain. "But you two have a lot of explaining to do. And you know, I'd really like to find out how I got here."

Senator Collins lunged at her. Sheridan tried to step between them, but the slayer knocked him aside. She kicked the vampire in the stomach and slammed him to the floor with a swift karate chop in his back.

Garibaldi made a grab for Lucard. The man secured his claw like hand around the security chief's throat. Red eyes burned into him.

"You'll regret this, mortal," he growled.

Michael desperately tried for his gun. The vampire slapped it away and pulled him close. "I think I'll afford myself the luxury of a meal before I leave." He bared his fangs. Garibaldi felt the kiss of death as Lucard lowered his mouth to his neck.

"Lucard!" Buffy's voice rang.

Briefly he lifted his head.

A thunk sounded. Surprise registered in the creature's face as he released Garibaldi. Michael stumbled back. In Lucard's chest rested a stake. The senator's body fell and burst into dust before it made contact with the floor.

The slayer quickly had the other vampire subdued. She'd twisted his arm behind him while he kneeled on the floor.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

Michael nodded rubbing his neck to assure himself no damage had been inflicted.

"Are you sure?" the captain inquired as he rose to his feet.

"Yeah." He took a shaky breath. "He didn't have time to bite me."

"Good. Now." She forced the other vampire to his feet. "You and I are going to have a little talk, Senator."

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Garibaldi never asked what methods the slayer used to get Senator Collins to talk. Nor did Sheridan. They were both appalled by what they had learned. The death of Santiago, and now more atrocities President Clark had ordered, cemented the captain's resolve to severe ties with Earth, despite the much-needed monetary support. This decision was made easier by the Minbari assurance to fully support the station, thanks to Delenn's intercession.

"To use such creatures," Sheridan said later after Buffy had shared all the vampire had told her. "First he murders Santiago to become president and then

uses Collins and Lucard as his personal assassins."

"I wonder what will become of the current vampire population if those two were keeping them under control," Michael mused.

"I don't think I'd want to be in Clark's shoes." Sheridan's strong face became thoughtful. "I wonder who this other vampire is they were both so afraid of?"

"We'll probably never know." Michael turned to leave. "Oh, by the way, she also staked Barnabas Collins."

Sheridan didn't seem surprised. "Is our cover story intact?"

"Yeah. We received a distress call from their private yacht. Just as our fighters reached it…it exploded. No survivors."

"Good. And their aids?"

"Safely in our care," Delenn answered from the door. "They will be guests on Minbar for as long as is needed." She stepped into the room with dignified grace. Her eyes met Sheridan's and Michael felt it was time to leave.

"Good night, Captain. Ambassador."

"One more thing, Mr. Garibaldi." Sheridan stopped him. "What about the slayer?"

"She can't go home." Michael chuckled. "Its almost too bad we can't send her back to Earth to deal with the other vampires."

Sheridan nodded. "I'm afraid my planned declaration of independence from Earth will keep her here."

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Buffy stood in the station's garden. With all her heart she missed Riley, Willow, Xander, Giles, her mother and in an unexpected way, Angel. She supposed he could still be living. He did seem to have a knack to survive. Pity she hadn't thought to ask about him while she questioned Collins.

She examined the swirling patterns of the Zen garden. They reminded her of ripples on water after a rock was dropped in. It made her homesick, but

the time portal the spell had opened could never be used again. The now very dead Senator had told her that. From all her dealings with strange happenings as a slayer, she had little doubt he told her the truth. She just wished Giles, with all his research books and spells and Willow, her white witch friend, were here to undo what these two evil vampires had done. But they were long gone. Along with everyone else she knew and cared about.

The smell of live things reached her, confusing in their overwhelming presence. "Too bad like Dorothy I can't click the heels of the Ruby slippers and go home again," she said to the quiet of the station's 'night'.

"What will you do?" Delenn asked.

Buffy started and faced the Minbari. "I thought I was alone."

"I'm sorry. I should not have intruded." She smiled kindly at the Earth woman. "John told me what happened here." She took a step closer. "I know you can not go home."

Unbidden tears sprang to Buffy's eyes. She had lost so much in her young life. Being the slayer held a high very cost.

"It will take time," Delenn said gently. "But you will find your path here. I will help, if you wish."

The slayer needed friends who cared about her and Buffy knew that. Maybe this strange woman with the long brown hair and weird bone crest on her head would be one. "I think I'd like that."

Delenn smiled. "Then come." She extended a hand which the slayer took. Something in this strange looking woman's manner reminded Buffy of her mother and an instant trust formed. Maybe she would have a good future here.

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Angelique stood upon the ruin of what had once been Sunnydale. No mortal knew the true story of what had happened here. Of how the vampire with a soul had led a rebellion against the Master and won with the execution of the exalted vampire lord. Pity. The Master's rule was gloriously evil.

With an angry stamp of her foot she fumed. That snipe of a slayer had ended both the life of her husband and Lucard's. Now the vampires would chose

a new leader and would not support President Clark. All her ambitious plots for power and position had come to naught.

Well, the slayer would pay. A sly smile touched her full lips as she plotted Buffy Summers demise. Witchcraft had no boundaries. She could kill the girl easily from here. No one would ever know.

"Angelique," a male voice spoke from the black draped night.

Her clear blue eyes narrowed. "What are you doing here?" she demanded as she turned slowly to face Angel.

"Unfinished business." Red fire shot out from the flame-thrower he held devouring her in its wake.

Angel released the witch's ashes into the whipping wind. They would scatter preventing anyone from ever bringing her back. Tonight, he would become ruler of the vampires by common consent. He planned to take them off this planet and its petty schemes so they could live fully as what they were. Vampires. He looked up into the ebony sky knowing he could not see the station that held the one woman he loved more than his own life.

One day soon, he would go to her and tell her what became of all her friends and Sunnydale. He had faithfully recorded the history and stored small mementos he had managed to retrieve after that terrible battle which had killed too many mortals and destroyed the town.

The 'Powers That Be' had wanted to reward him with mortality for winning this great battle. But he had chosen to remain a vampire and their willing agent battling evil for many centuries. It had the price he wanted to pay for the death of her friends who had reluctantly helped him and all the other mortals who had died that dreadful night. He felt personally responsible.

After a century of service to them, the 'Powers That Be' had finally told him Buffy was alive and living in the future. They then made him a promise. When some mysterious deed was done and all vampires taken from Earth, they would grant him mortality and the woman he loved.

That time was at hand. She was here.

"I love you, Buffy!" he called into the stars.

On the station Buffy stirred in her sleep. "Angel," she whispered as she settled back into peaceful slumber.