Chapter 2

In the streets and alleys, the darkened corners and hidden rooms, the town of Sunnydale, California stirred with putrid life. Demons and vampires, things of legend and nightmare prowled the night stalking the unsuspecting populace. This was, of course the norm for the town that unfortunately resided on what its original Spanish settlers had called 'Boca del Infierno' literally translated as the 'mouth of Hell'.

It was in one such street that the air changed. It whispered of power and the darkness shrank back. The night was silent in this street. The houses on either side showed no life apart from a few lights shining in the windows. All seemed well until a sudden flare of light illuminated the street. A swirling vortex had appeared in the middle of the street. Suddenly it surged and spat a figure in an emerald gown out onto the pavement. As the vortex disappeared and the light receded, the figure on the pavement sat up.

Glancing around at her surroundings Kathryn stood up. Her eyes narrowed and then widened as she realised where she was. Nodding once to herself she gathered up her skirts in one hand and ran to the end of the street and into the next. As she ran down that one and into the next, she wondered if she was too late. God she hoped not. Finally reaching her destination she slowed and glanced at the sign next to her. "Revello Drive" it read, proclaiming the name of this road. Breathing hard she began a fast walk to one of the houses that lay towards the middle of the street and stopped outside number 1630. As she waited for her breathing to return to normal she again hoped she had arrived in time. Grimly she hurried up the path to the front door. Raising her hand she knocked on the door, then stood back. After a minute or so it opened to reveal a teenage girl with long straight brown hair hanging loose on her shoulders. She was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.

Kathryn looked up when the door opened and then stared in amazement. "Dawn?" she asked looking surprised. The girl looked at Kathryn confusedly. "Do I know you?" she asked. Kathryn didn't answer immediately but stood looking at the other girl. Finally she answered "My God you've grown. It's me, Kathryn." Dawn's face flooded with understanding and recognition as she realized who this woman was.

"Dubois right? It's been ages. How ya been?"

"I've been better." Kathryn looked anxiously past Dawn. "Is your sister home?" "Yeah she's in-" Dawn was cut off as Kathryn looking immensely relieved stepped over the threshold and into the house. "What are you-?" Dawn asked, surprised. Kathryn cut her off again. "Not now." Glancing around her, she heard voices to her left. "Thank God we got him. He'll be fine. I think we-" the voice was saying. Kathryn quickly walked into the room following the voice. As she entered the speaker broke off as they caught sight of Kathryn standing by the door. The speaker was a small blonde woman with expressive green/blue eyes who looked like she would break if anyone so much as touched her. But her stance and the look in her eyes spoke of an internal power and strength. She was a warrior.

Kathryn and the blonde looked at each other. Suddenly Kathryn strode forward and grasped the blonde's hand. "Buffy. Thank the Powers I found you. I-" then catching sight of the others in the room she broke off. There were girls everywhere. They sat on the couch in front of the boarded up window and perched on chairs looking curiously at Kathryn. Dropping her hand, she stared at each girl as she backed away, her eyes wide.

"Dear God. I had hoped I wasn't too late."

"What do you mean, Kathryn?" the stern-looking older man by the fireplace had spoken. Kathryn looked up at him, then back at Buffy. As she locked eyes with her she asked. "It's started already, hasn't it?" After a minute Buffy nodded. "How much do you know?" she asked. "Perhaps as much as you. Perhaps a bit more. I have news." Kathryn replied. Buffy smiled grimly. "I thought so. Where were you?" she asked indicating Kathryn's dress. Before Kathryn could answer one of the girls suddenly spoke up. "Buffy, who is she? Where did she come from?"

Buffy looked at Kathryn before answering. "Her name is Kathryn Dubois. She's a Balancer. She works for the Powers That Be. She and her sister are extremely powerful. They have the power to go through time in order to fight evil. She's a very good ally for a Slayer to have." Kathryn smiled in thanks. "I couldn't have put it better myself." Buffy returned back to her original question. "So where were you? You said you had something to tell me? Is it good news?" Kathryn nodded. "Yes I do have news. However I can't guarantee it's good."