Title: Hunter.

Author: Adrian Tullberg.

Synopsis: Crossover. Read and find out.

Rating: R. Very much so, bad language and extended violence. Related to crossover topic.

...however, the Chosen One cannot be everywhere. For infestations that are too dangerous, too far away, or simply not significant enough to be dealt with by the Slayer, the Council must appoint soldiers, mercenaries, to deal with the evil. These people will be sworn to perform the duties of Vampire Hunters, and awarded bounties for each righteous kill...

- Taken from the Watcher Chronicles.

***

The girl ran across the deserted carpark.

She had missed the last bus home, and was trying to take a shortcut to another stop when three large men started following her. She cut across the company carpark to try and loose them - and five others had somehow materialised from the shadows and joined in.

Even in the little light afforded by the streetlights, she could tell that some of them had distorted brows and elongated teeth - what were they, some kind of X-Files mutants?

That was her last coherent thought as she fell over a crack in the tarmac. She looked up as the men - all twenty-somethings, some making animal growls, one normal-looking guy's face suddenly transforming into something bizarre...

"Hey, cocksuckers."

The vampires turned, their features fully distorted. The man was six-foot-plus, wearing exclusively black, with a leather overcoat and gauntlets. His greying hair gave him an appeal similar to Cary Grant - but the superficial resemblance was distorted by the aggression etched in his face.

He kept up the verbal abuse. "Listen you godless motherfucking bloodsuckers. I don't really give a shit wether you start feeding on that kid or not, but I gotta warn you that once you start, I'm going to seriously start to fuck you over. So it's in your best interests to let her go before I - kill - every - last - one of you."

One of the vampires immediately charged the man - who instantly grabbed the undead by the shirt collar, sending a knee up to his groin. While the vampire reeled, the man's other hand stabbed in, using a stake set on a metal contour-grooved handle.

While the other vampires watched their comrade disintegrate, the man produced a large spotlight with a lens six inches wide, flicking it on and training the beam on the vampires.

On the lens was a cross, the projected silhouette now on the band of vampires. The shadow had the same effect as placing a crucifix on their flesh, and they screamed in pain.

The man kept the beam trained on the band, as they backed away, hissing and growling. The girl was left where she fell, stunned by the events.

The Hunter suddenly gave the spotlight to the girl, retrieving something else from the confines of his duster - a combat shotgun, and moved between the beam, freeing the vamps from the beam.

The vampires recovered, their faces now burned as well as mutated. They were always bloodthirsty - but now they were in the mood for mindless repetitive violence.

Their adversary suddenly raised his shotgun to the air, pressing a switch on the side of the slide. Two metal bars sprung out from the side of the grip, forming a beam at a ninety-degree angle to the barrel of the shotgun - turning the weapon into an impromptu cross.

The vamps, unprepared for this strategy, backed away but weren't too concerned - their bodies were capable of withstanding the barrage of bullets and weaponry, so when this guy decided to lower his shotgun to fire, they would easily swarm him.

The group of vamps watched the human, who kept his shotgun raised toward him, edging closer and closer to the knot of undead - when he was inches away from the lead, he then lowered the device.

The shotgun was pointed into the vampire's face and fired.

The Def-Tec TKO Slug is basically a frangible slug of powdered zinc. When fired, it has an extremely limited range - less than a few yards. When it hits it's target, the slug disperses, and the resulting cloud of zinc flares at a spot temperature of 3000 degrees. Police tactical squads and elite military teams use the TKO to shoot out metal objects like hinges and lock cylinders in deadbolts, to quickly breach doors.

When a device used to punch molten holes through inch-thick metal is used on undead flesh, the effect is very dramatic.

A bright flash emitted from the bore, and the flare enveloped the undead's head. When the light disappeared, the vamp's face was blazing, along with his neck, and the right shoulder. The vampire collapsed, and disintegrated.

The Hunter moved quickly, darting to each vampire, and firing, not pausing to look at the carnage he was inflicting. Every hit vampire was stumbling around, aflame, before collapsing and disintegrating.

A vamp near the rear of the group launched a running tackle towards the Hunter as he was vapourising his comrade's face. The two went sprawling as the shotgun skittered along the tarmac.

The vampire grinned as he held the guy's head down and proceeded to punch the guy repeatedly.

The Hunter immediately grabbed the vamp's face - and the vamp screamed, as something searing was placed on his cheek. He scrambled off the guy - and saw the reason for his discomfort; white cloth crosses on each palm of his gauntlet.

The vamp decided to fight this one out as the Hunter got up. Then when he was unconscious, drain him, when it was safe.

Suddenly the guy got up, and punched the vampire in the face. The vamp reeled from the impact, stumbling, the punch hurting more than it should. What the hell was going on?

The Hunter hit the vamp again, harder. Faster.

Somehow, the pain was registered distantly to the vamp, as he fell under the onslaught. Why was it hurting this much?

Then he saw it - the brass knuckles were four separate signet rings, so the rings wouldn't inhibit movement. Inset on each flat ring was a silver fleury cross, the reason for the pain - felt - with - every - single - blow ...

The vampire was semi conscious when the Hunter left his foe, and retrieved his weapon. He lowered the muzzle to his fallen foe, and gave a grin devoid of any emotion.

"When you go to hell - tell 'em Seth Gecko said 'adios motherfucker'."

And the vampire saw the light...

***

Seth Gecko stood over the quickly burning remains of his foe, and moved over to the girl, who hadn't moved since the beginning of the fight. He helped her up with a gauntleted hand. He gave her a quick once over, and made a simple statement.

"You didn't see nothin'."

"I saw..." Seth gave her a dark look which made her shut up.

"I'm going to say something, and you're going to repeat it after me, okay?" The girl nodded.

"Okay, Simon Says; There's no such thing as fucking vampires."

The girl started to speak. "There's ... there's no such thing as..."

Seth motioned to her to keep going, impatiently.

"There's no such thing as fu-fucking vampires."

Seth grinned, cuffing her lightly on the shoulder. "Good girl. At least your shit's together. Now get your ass back home, or to a friend's place if that's closer. Don't spend any time outside if you don't have to, okay? Don't tempt any more of those motherfuckers." He reached into his pocket, withdrawing a fifteen-centimetre crucifix and a small bottle full of water, handing them to the girl. "Now take these. If you see any more of these guys, just hold this in front of you, and if they don't get the message, splash a little of this in their face, get it right in the eyes. Now go."

The girl ran off, clutching the items to her chest. Seth walked away from the scene of the crime, turning up his coat collar against the biting wind.

Reaching a shrubbery nearby, he reached in - and withdrew a camcorder that had been balanced on a set of branches, turning off the device and pocketing it. He then withdrew a cellular phone from his jacket, sending a terse message and a summons.

Seth Gecko had been one of the most violent bank robbers in America - considering some of the junkies that had been moving into the field, this was saying something. A few years ago, his brother, Richie, a fellow bank robber as well as a dangerous sex offender, busted him out of his parole hearing and they hauled ass to Mexico.

They had succeeded - but ended up staying the night in a biker bar infested with vampires. Richie had been transformed into one of the creatures, and ended up being killed by Seth himself. The criminal spent the rest of the nightmarish few hours killing off as many of the vampires as he could before dawn.

A day after the incident, Seth had remembered that the vampire nest had been a storehouse for the loot stolen from the victims beforehand, and took a pickup truck to compensate himself for his brother's death.

He found a team of scholars examining the area, although they didn't seem interested in cleaning out the place like Seth was. He restrained himself from pulling out his .45, and soon found out that they were part of an organisation called 'Watchers', which were dedicated to the extermination of the things which killed Ritchie.

And they offered money for the job.

Despite them not paying a dime for his night's work in the Titty Twister, they offered a treasure trove of information on vampires, their habits, the various strains that existed, and their weaknesses. For a professional hardass like Seth, adapting weapons to do the job was a piece of cake.

Soon Seth found himself back in the US, hunting down vampires wherever he could find them. In a way, it was an improvement over his old job of bank robberies; the money was consistent, nobody called the cops, and the bodies disintegrating into dust was incredibly convenient.

The motel, like a thousand others, was cheap and unmemorable. He stalked towards his room, noting without surprise that a light was burning in his room.

Seth flung open the door, to see a man making use of the minibar. The man was taller than him, thin, in his sixties, wore a Saville Row suit and matching overcoat. He looked up, and gave Seth a wide-eyed smile that completely failed to impress the criminal.

"Seth ... it was a double scotch on the rocks, wasn't it?"

"Whatever the hell you say, Damien."

Damien passed the leather-clad Hunter his drink, who inhaled the lot before the Englishman could come up with a toast. Seth lit up a Red Apple, offering the pack to the Englishman. The tall, gaunt scholar shook his head and sat down on one of the twin beds in the room, and extracted a thick envelope from a coat pocket.

"You stated eight targets?"

Seth nodded, producing the camcorder. It was one of the type which sports a display LCD on the side. Damien took the device and pressed play. The tape was cued to the start of the fight, demonstrating Seth decimating the eight undead.

Damien ejected the tape and pocketed it. "Now, twenty-four thousand in non-sequential notes, unless that O-Level in mathematics was a pure waste of time..."

Seth snatched the envelope from Damien and flicked through the contents, satisfied. "I don't care how many times you couldn't get a fucking 'O', as long as you don't cheat me."

"God help me if I do." Muttered Damien. "Do you have any plans?"

Seth took a drag as he considered the issue. "I'm gonna stay here for a few days, see if there's a nest where those nimrods hung out. If there is, you'd better get that big withdrawal happening, cause those motherfuckers are going back to whatever dark shithole they came from."

"Do you realise that the amount of swearing you do could be perceived as an indicator of a low vocabulary?"

"Yeah ... but who said I give a fuck?"

"Who indeed?" The scholar laughed, then his expression grew grave. "We have a new assignment for you. One hundred thousand plus expenses."

Seth brightened. "Who, where, and how painful?"

"Sunnydale, California. It has what has been referred to as a 'Hellmouth', a doorway to hell itself, acting like a light to moths, ensuring the place is literally swarming with vampires."

Seth nodded, stubbing out his cigarette, while reaching for another. "You want me to wipe out the motherfuckers?"

Damien laughed. "Actually, we like the situation. Rather than chase them down, we made sure a Slayer was stationed there permanently. Saved us the issue of traipsing around the globe."

Seth nodded. He knew very little about this, only hearing about these 'Slayers' second-hand - girls who were born with the responsibility of fighting vampires, and having the physical strength to engage them hand to hand. " I don't see why you need me - your girl can't handle it?"

"It's actually a question of her being 'ours' that's brought us to you. She's rejected the Council. Refused direct orders."

Seth looked at the scholar through the cloud of smoke. "One of your girls finally told you to stick it in and break it off? About fucking time."

Damien gave him a dark look. "This deviates from rules set before the dawn of civilisation. The Slayer must be controlled."

Seth shook his head, the smoke wrapping around his head with the movement. "If she's still killing those godless bloodsuckers, I'm not going to fuck around with a winning formula."

"Her former Watcher has refused to leave the area, is still controlling her."

"Sticking it to the kid? A little poontang on the side?"

Damien shrugged. "We don't know ... maybe, maybe not. Wether he is having - relations - with her is irrelevant, Seth. The Council must maintain control."

Seth nodded. "You want me to lean on this guy? Make sure he either shapes up or ships out?"

"Something like that ... you see, Rupert Giles may have a rebellious streak that's recently resurfaced, but he's never been accused of stupidity or lack of common sense. It was his 'street experience' - for want of a better term - which led us to pick him for the job over several more experienced people. There's a good chance that he can anticipate whatever we could do to force his hand..."

Seth grinned. "...so you want me to think of something."

"You've never been accused of thinking like a Watcher, Seth. While he's preparing himself for a curse sent half-way across the globe..."

"I'll come in and bust his kneecaps." Seth mused.

"Nothing too disabling. We don't want to turn the Slayer any further against us - she's the most capable girl produced this century. Despite her inability to follow orders, she's still a valuable asset."

"'California, here I come...'" sung Seth, getting up from the bed.

"Don't underestimate Rupert Giles. He's summoned demons and faced the worst in the East End."

"Yeah, but he's never spent eight years in the pen."

***

In the morning, Seth got ready, wearing a simple ensemble of slacks and a sweater - anything which covered his tattoos and made him look like Mr. Average. He intended to head to California by car, maybe stop over in Vegas on the way.

Seth walked into the car and closed the door, considering his options. He had arranged through his old underworld contacts to have the bulk of his arsenal shipped to California - he didn't want a State Trooper searching his rent-a-wreck and finding enough weapons to outfit a small militia group. His fake ID would withstand a cursory check - the Watchers had a number of professional bureaucrats within their ranks, well placed enough to create any form of ID needed - but a trunk full of illegal weapons would send him back to the pen quicker than greased snot, and Richie wasn't around to bail him out.

Perhaps he could take the assignment - the guy was a fucking high school librarian, one good pistol whipping and he'd beg for the Council's forgiveness.

Then again, he'd better check the guy out, if he was assigned to watch over a 'destined protector of humanity'. Could have a spare set tucked away - even if he was sticking it to little girls on the side.

Then again, just killing vamps where a whole bunch were drawn like lemmings to a cliff would be very profitable in a short time. And perhaps the Watcher and the Slayer were just politely telling a bunch of assholes to fuck off and die.

Seth grinned, and fingered the .357 nestled near the stick shift. Either way, he was going to have some fun.

*** Starring George Clooney as Seth Gecko, and ... say Tom Baker as Damien.

Some ideas I had for anti-vampire weaponry, and some good old wholesome family-value mindless violence.

As far as I know, this is the only Dusk 'til Dawn/Buffy crossover. Are there any more?

Please send any and all feedback to atullberg@my-deja.com