Sunnydale High, Night
The halls of Sunnydale High were still and quiet. Two figures made their way down one of the hallways, one figure trailing behind the other. Xander Harris, a popular and burly jock, turned to the girl trailing behind him and grinned.
XH: Come on, Will. There's nothing to be afraid of.
The red-haired girl, Willow Rosenberg, approached cautiously, looking around nervously.
WR: Are you sure we should be doing this? It feels wrong.
Xander snorted and shook his head at her.
XH: Come on, Will. Where's your sense of adventure? Sneaking into the school at night is one of the best ways to start going out.
Willow crept toward her smirking date.
WR: So, you promise nothing will happen?
XH: (Turning to look down the next hallway) I promise you. Nothing will happen to either of us.
WR: Well, I can't guarantee anything about us.
Turning round, Xander saw that Willow's face had morphed into a horrible visage of yellow eyes and fangs. He tried to scream, but Willow had already grabbed him and plunged her fangs into his neck . . .
Sunnydale High, Day
The next morning, Sunnydale High was alive with laughter and excitement. It looked very ordinary. Nobody would have ever expected strange or horrible things to happen here. A car pulled up to the school entrance and let out a girl with curly light brown hair. Glory Dagon looked around at her new school suspiciously. Ever since she had become the Slayer last year, she had become much more self-aware of her surroundings. She knew what sort of things could be hidden from regular human eyes in seemingly peaceful places.
She walked up the front steps and into the building, looking for the principal's office (She had to meet the principal and get her schedule before she could go to her new classes).
At last, she found the right room and entered. A small, bald, rat-like man sat behind the desk. The nameplate in front of him read: Principal R. Snyder 111.
Wow, a third generation principal?
She sat down at the seat that Principal Snyder gestured at. He smiled kindly at her, then looked down at her record on his desk.
PS: So . . . Glory Dagon: sixteen years old, originally from Los Angeles, and . . . oh my! You burnt down your old school's gym?
Glory shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
GD: Um, yeah, I did. But it wasn't intentional.
PS: Yes, I'm sure. Now, Glory, we at Sunnydale High don't judge you by your record. As long as you don't cause any other trouble here, we'll be just dandy.
GD: Um, thank you, sir.
Snyder handed over her schedule. She browsed it, and then realized something.
GD: Um, Mr. Snyder? One of the books I need . . . um, I don't have it.
PS: Oh, no problem, dear. Just check a copy out from the library. Caleb will help you out.
PS: Our librarian.
GD: Oh. Okay.
PS: Then enjoy your time here! Oh, and please don't swear in the hallways or litter. Thanks a bunch.
Glory nodded, then got up and left the office.
The principal seemed nice; too nice, actually.
She walked down the hallway, passing other students who hurried past her in every direction trying to reach their classes, finally found the library, and pushed open the double doors inside. It was stiffly quiet and eerie. Not to mention slightly creepy. She drummed her fingers on the front desk, waiting for the librarian to come out and help her. Then someone tapped her on the shoulder from behind. She yelped and spun around. A tall man with neatly parted hair and wearing a tweed suit stood behind her: Caleb, she assumed.
C: May I help you, young lady?
He also had a thick southern accent.
GD: Um, yeah. I came here to pick up a book, actually. I'm new.
Caleb scrutinized her intently.
C: Miss Dagon?
GD: (Slightly surprised) Um, yeah. Guess in a small town like this, everyone notices a new girl, huh?
C: I'm Caleb, the librarian. I was told you were coming.
GD: Good. Okay, I need a book called-
C: (Circling his desk) I know what you're after.
He took out an old, moldy looking book and slammed it down on the desk in front of her. The book's title read "Vampyr". Glory looked down at the book, then up at Caleb, looking resigned.
GD: I knew it. You're my new Watcher, aren't you?
C: (Taken aback) Well, yeah. I thought that was obvious.
GD: Well, forget it. I'm not interested.
C: I beg your pardon?
GD: I'm done! Find someone else to kill vampires.
C: There isn't anyone else. A new one cannot be called until the previous one dies.
GD: But then why does it have to be me?
C: Because you are the Slayer. In every generation, a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world, a chosen one. One born with the strength and-
GD: (Rolling her eyes) -skill to stop the vampires and the spread of their evil. Yeah, I've heard it all before.
C: Then I don't understand. You've already accepted your duty.
GD: But I've already been expelled once because of my Slayerness. I don't want that again!
C: But we need you! This town is on top of a Hellmouth.
C: Yes. Basically it's a hotspot for demonic activity. Something will be going down here very soon! I'm sure of it!
GD: Oh, come on! How bad can the evil be in a place called Sunnydale?
Somewhere in the sewers
Underneath the school, Willow and Xander made their way through the sewer tunnels. Since he had woken up and discovered that he had become an undead vampire, Xander had found himself deeply attracted to Willow, even though he realized now that she had deceived him with her innocent schoolgirl act all this time (She mentioned that she had used this act multiple times to lure her prey for the last four hundred years). It felt strange. He had thought that he had been the one doing the deceiving, drawing her to him instead of the other way around. And now he admired her for it? Perhaps it was because she was his sire (She had also mentioned that most vampires feel a certain attachment to their sires). She was taking him to meet her master, who was apparently in charge of most of the vampires.
They reached the end of the tunnel and Xander saw before him a stone chamber that looked like a sunken church, filled with torches. There was a group of more vampires gathered around a small blonde haired girl wearing a Nazi-like black leather uniform. They and Willow gazed at the girl with respect and slight fear. Xander frowned and looked sideways at Willow.
XH: Um, why are you guys staring at that girl like she's something special? Where's this master you wanted me to see anyway?
The blonde girl looked over at him with a dangerous and fierce look, something Xander had never expected to see on a girl's face.
The next thing he knew, he was gagging as the girl had swooped over to him and grabbed him by his neck. He realized now that this girl must be The Master vampire. She looked into his watering eyes and sneered.
M: You must be new. No other vampire would dare question me, let alone be foolish enough to not know that we vampires can't suffocate because we don't breathe.
The vampires behind her laughed. Willow stepped forward.
WR: I'm sorry, master. He doesn't know everything yet. He's young.
The Master dropped Xander. He got up from the floor and faced her warily.
XH: Look, I'm sorry. It's just . . . after what Willow told me about you, I didn't expect you to be a girl. That's all.
The Master turned to Willow.
M: Tell me, what inspired you to sire this . . . boy?
WR: I wanted a playmate. Besides, he was strong as a human, so I figured as a vampire . . . !
The Master looked Xander up and down, studying his burly figure. Then she smiled up at Willow, whose deathly pale face lit up with happiness at The Master's approval.
M: (Thoughtfully) I could use him.
XH: (Indignantly) Use me? That makes me sound like some kind of tool!
M: Every vampire is my tool. If you don't like it-
She turned and grabbed one of the vampires standing behind her. She squeezed his neck so hard that his head popped right off his shoulders and exploded into dust, followed shortly by his body. She dusted off her hands and returned her gaze to the newly sired vampire.
M: -that could be your future instead.
Xander stared down at the pile of dust on the floor, then grudgingly bowed his head to The Master. She nodded approvingly, then strode over to her throne sitting on the altar and sat down upon it.
M: Now then, the Harvest will begin tomorrow night. After which, I will finally be freed from my mystical imprisonment here and reach the surface. See that nothing interferes with this.
Glory twirled her stake as she patrolled Sunnydale's streets. According to Caleb, this town was swarming with vampires at night.
Her new Watcher was very strange. Well, more mysterious really. She had never known that there were any southern Watchers before, since they were mostly based in England. He seemed nice enough, though.
She stopped suddenly and looked behind her. She had the nagging feeling that someone was following her. She turned into an alley and hid behind a trash bin.
A shadowy figure entered the alley a few seconds later, wearing a trench coat that flapped in the night breeze. She watched as the figure paused and looked around. Then she leapt out from behind the trash bin and tackled the figure, casing them both to collapse onto the pavement. She recoiled. The man underneath her had a face so wrinkled it reminded her of The Emperor from the Star Wars movies. He was also bald, had glowing red eyes, and pointed ears. Seeing the massively crinkled forehead, she had no doubt that this was a vampire: a very old one, apparently. She raised her stake, but the vampire held out a hand to stop her.
V: Wait! I'm not going to hurt you!
GD: Yeah right. I know what you are!
V: I don't think you do. Let me explain.
Glory lowered her stake, but did not get off him. She glared down at the vampire, who sighed.
V: My name is Heinrich.
GD: Heinrich? What a . . . odd name.
H: (Shrugging) Yeah, well, there weren't many people named Brian or Doug nine hundred years ago.
GD: You're nine hundred? Is that why your face is all screwed up?
H: Thank you for not bringing that up. And yes. When you've been a vampire for as long as I have, you lose your human visage after a while.
GD: So you are a vampire then!
H: (Wearily) Yes, but I'm not evil. Not anymore, at least.
GD: What do you mean?
H: Well, you see, back in the old days, I was like any other vampire: I killed and slaughtered and caused pain. But then I killed the daughter of a gypsy tribe. As a punishment, they cast a curse that restored my human soul. When you become a vampire, a demon gets your body but not your soul. That's why vampires can kill so easily: No remorse or conscious. So, for the last one hundred years or so, I've had to suffer with the knowledge of all the people I'd killed and maimed. I've been an outcast from other vampires since then, drinking only pig's blood to survive.
Glory stared down at Heinrich in amazement. She had never heard of a vampire with a soul before. It was a very inspiring story, but could she trust him?
GD: (Slowly) So . . . you're a vampire with a soul who's reformed?
H: Basically, yeah.
GD: So why were you following me?
H: Because you're the Slayer and I want to help you.
GD: Help me? With what?
H: Well, I thought I'd let you know that the Harvest is happening tomorrow night.
GD: The Harvest?
H: It's a ritual that will allow The Master to rise and take over.
GD: The Master?
H: Master vampire. She's been trapped underground for a hundred years ever since she tried to open the Hellmouth.
GD: So, The Master vampire is a 'she', huh?
H: Yep. Her original human name was Buffy Summers.
GD: Oh. Well, I can see why she changed her name.
H: Just tell your Watcher and be ready to prevent the Harvest from happening. It will likely take place somewhere with a lot of people-
At that moment, a red-haired girl jumped out from behind Heinrich and knocked him down, while a guy with spiky black hair jumped Glory and wrapped his arms around her, pinning her arms to her sides. Both of them looked about Glory's age and were dressed in black leather.
WR: Sorry Heinrich, but nothing is stopping the Harvest tonight.
XH: Hey, Will! How am I doing? Can I kill her?
WR: (Rolling her eyes) Yes! She's just a girl, after all.
But before Xander could sink his teeth into Glory, she elbowed him hard in the stomach. Not expecting the girl's strength, Xander doubled back and released her. At the same time, Heinrich swept his leg under Willow, tripping her up. Glory and Heinrich stood side by side, facing the two vampires, who looked dumbfounded. They exchanged startled looks, then backed away and ran out of the alley.
GD: Who were those guys?
H: I don't know about the boy, but Willow, the redhead, is one of The Master's subordinates.
GD: (Looking after the two vampires) They didn't seem very tough. What about-?
Turning around, she saw that Heinrich had vanished too.
Sunnydale High, Day
C: Interesting. I've never heard of a vampire with a soul before.
GD: I know, but what about this Harvest thing? Heinrich said something about The Master vampire rising to the surface to take over.
C: Well, as far as I know, this event involves The Master branding a minion with a symbol that links them together. This minion, called The Vessel, feeds on three humans, which strengthens The Master and allows her to break through the Hellmouth's barrier, ascend to the surface, and open the Hellmouth.
GD: Is that bad?
C: Yes! Opening the Hellmouth releases a horde of ancient demons upon the earth!
GD: Oh. Well, that is bad.
C: Which is precisely why we must prevent the Harvest from happening.
C: Just find the minion wearing a symbol on their forehead and slay them.
GD: Oh. I can do that. Heinrich said that it would likely take place somewhere crowded, with plenty of people.
C: Do you know of any place like that?
The Master's Lair
M: The Bronze? Perfect!
The Master sat back in her throne, looking satisfied. Rupert Giles, the most simple-minded minion she had, beamed, proud of himself for coming up with such a good idea all by himself.
RG: Thank you, master. It's always full of people, so there will be plenty of-
He was interrupted by Xander and Willow hurrying into the chamber.
M: Is everything in order?
WR: No, it's not!
XH: Could you please tell me what the hell just happened back there? You said she was just a girl!
WR: That's what I thought!
M: What are you two talking about?
WR: Master, we found Heinrich talking to a girl. He was telling her about the Harvest. So we attacked them, but the girl was . . . she was stronger than she should've been. I think she's-
M: A Slayer?
The Master's tone was low and dangerous. Willow gulped.
M: There is a Slayer here? Is that what you're telling me?
WR: Um, yes.
M: Well, don't let her interfere or you'll both be dust in the wind. Xander!
M: Come here.
Xander approached The Master tentatively, worried about what might happen to him now.
M: I want you to perform as The Vessel.
Xander looked intensely relieved. Giles looked anguished.
RG: But . . . I wanted to be The Vessel!
XH: Too bad, Rupert.
RG: (Whining) My name is Giles! I told you, I don't like Rupert!
XH: Why does it matter? No matter what you're called, you're still a wimpy dork guy.
The Master held out her hand. Xander swaggered forward, rammed Giles with his shoulder as he passed, then knelt down, took The Master's hand, and bit into her wrist . . .
The Bronze, Night
Later that night, Xander, Willow, Giles, and several other vampires broke into the nightclub. There were screams and shouts as the vampires surrounded the people inside, blocking the exits. Xander leapt up onto the stage at the back of the room, while Giles shone a blue spotlight on him from the balcony above.
XH: Hey! Hey! Calm down, people! We're only gonna kill three of you!
Willow dragged a girl from the crowd up to Xander. She struggled and tried to escape, but Xander held her tightly. Then his face morphed to vampire visage and he bit down into her neck. A few seconds later, the girl dropped dead to the ground.
XH: (Wiping his mouth) Mm. That was good. O-kay, who's next?
At that moment, Giles came flying down from the balcony over their heads. The spotlight he had been aiming was knocked sideways, its beam of light dancing wildly around the room. Looking up, Xander saw the curly haired girl who had been with Heinrich before standing on the balcony, steadying the spotlight with one hand so that it focused on Xander again.
GD: Oh, I'm sorry. Was he friend of yours?
GD: You must've known I was coming.
She jumped down from the balcony and landed on stage in front of Xander, poised in combat stance.
Meanwhile, Caleb and Heinrich had opened the back door and were shepherding the other people out of the club. Willow ran up and jumped on top of Caleb, knocking him down. But she recoiled as he raised a cross in her face. Realizing she was now cornered between the wall, Caleb, and Heinrich, Willow decided to run for it. Giles sped after her, arms flailing wildly in panic like a windmill.
Up on stage, Glory had beaten the living daylights out of Xander, who lay crumpled on the floor. He crawled away from her and ran out of the club too. Caleb and Heinrich approached Glory as she hopped down from the stage.
GD: Is it over?
C: I believe so. The Master only had until tonight to get free. It's 12:01 in the morning, so she missed her opportunity. It doesn't matter that The Vessel survived.
GD: So it is over then?
C: For now. The Master will undoubtedly try to escape again. Besides, vampires aren't the only demonic creatures living in this town.
GD: So it isn't over?
H: I'm afraid not. I think we'll be fighting for a very long time yet.
The Master's Lair
Xander, Willow, and Giles stood in shame in front of The Master (All the other vampires with them had been killed).
M: You've all failed me.
WR: I know. We're sorry.
XH: Come on, give me a break here! I'm new to this! I haven't had any practice, you know!
M: You are all pathetic. The only reason you three aren't dead is because you are now the only minions I have left! Get out of my sight. Now!
They all hurried out of the room.
The Master sighed and slumped back in her throne, putting a hand to her forehead. A sound from the tunnel caught her attention. Dawn, her second in command, (also known as The Anointed One) walked in.
AO: Didn't work, huh?
M: No, it didn't.
AO: What will you do now?
M: I don't know yet. There's nothing left to do but wait for the next opportunity.
AO: You mean wait for the next big evil to turn up, and bargain with them to help you?
The Master put a hand on Dawn's shoulder.
M: You are learning quickly, child. As The Anointed, you have great power and the heir to my throne.
AO: I have a good teacher. There is no doubt to me that you will rise, kill the Slayer, open the Hellmouth, and rule the world.
The Master and The Anointed One smiled appreciatively at each other.