and we're back with another chapter full of characters I still don't own the rights to. Sorry about the wait.
Once they regrouped at the Magic Shop Mr. Giles helped them go about wrapping their various injuries. A trip to the hospital had them spending a couple of days there as well to make sure that all of the wounds the group had sustained were okay. Wasp with her broken bones was the worst though the others were all battered from the Hell goddess doing her best to toss them all over the streets as if they were nothing.
"I suppose that you'll want to stay now and see this through?" Giles had questioned them a couple days later, as they regrouped at the Magic Shop getting confirming nods from the heroes.
"They wanted our help, and we let them down." Siryn noted. "Ah don wannae be making that mistake again ah would rather show em we're worth the chance that they gave to us."
The door suddenly came crashing down and the Hell-Goddess stood before them. "Too bad you're all about to be dead." Glory said, as she entered the store. At her feet was a mailman that had obviously been caught by the woman as she walked in.
"So shiny." The mail carrier said as it stared at Shadowcat with awe. "All bright and Green."
Glory smiled as she looked at Shadowcat. "Good job." She said, as she patted the raving figure on the head like a good pet. "So it's the brat huh? That's where my Key has been hiding all of this time? Well that will make things easier for me." She said, as she walked towards the figure. She ignored the dragon that flared its wings and breathed out a stream of flame as she walked through the fire. She had found her Key, and there was nothing that was going to stop her from claiming what was hers. Glory stumbled a bit as the irritatingly familiar shield bounced off her face and into the hands of the man in red, white, and blue. "Do you really think that you're going to have any better of a chance now than you did a few days earlier?" The woman snarled, as she tried to make another grab for her Key only to watch her hand pass through the girl who then responded with a fist towards her. The Hell-Goddess barely even felt the blow from the teen though. The dragon charging at her and blowing fire at her was another matter entirely though as she had to keep her clothes safe. As she prepared to deal with those she felt a stinging sensation as claws ripped through her back with the tiger woman then bouncing away. A large screech came next, the disoriented Hell-Goddess was actually blown off her feet and sent hurtling into a wall. Following behind the attack was a small fairy like woman who was shooting some sort of attack at her face blinding her. When the annoyance finally moved out of the way she was on the receiving in of a judo throw that sent her flying across the room to slam into another wall.
"Keep the pressure on," Captain America ordered the group of heroes, "if we can keep altering where the attack comes in it should confuse her enough for us to take her down." Saying this, the two masked men ran and launched themselves at the woman. Their feet each connected with woman pushing her back down. While the woman was struggling to climb back up a hand came out of the floor grasped her and sunk her halfway into the floor.
"No," Glory snarled as she flexed her various muscles and shattered the floor around her. "I am too close to getting back to have you stop me now." She declared to them, as she climbed out of the shattered floor only to be met with an energy blast to her face from Dazzler.
"Mr. Giles turn that cd player on." Shadowcat ordered as she and Lockheed ran past the Englishman.
"Um what? Ah yes of course sound." Giles said as he found a nearby boom box he took a deep breath closed his eyes in anticipation for the awful racket that today's music had. Why it couldn't be some of the old time rock 'n' roll he wouldn't ever know." As he hit the play button though, he was surprised when no sound came out. He looked the device over, and saw that the red power light was still off no matter how much he flipped the various switches and knobs on it. He couldn't believe of all the bloody bad times for the batteries to die that it had to be when they actually needed the racket sounds that they thought of as music. He grabbed the boom box and ran for the back where he kept a few odds and ends. Once there he tore open a drawer and found a flashlight. He looked up as he saw the group were doing their best to keep Glory boxed in, but even he wasn't sure how much longer they were going to manage that when you consider how much of the time they were spending dodging her over powered blows. Time that he was sure they would rather be using to strike at her instead.
"Mr. Giles, hurry!" Shadowcat said as she performed a kicked toward a pressure point, but watched as the blow seemed to barely even affect the woman. She then rolled away as another arm reached out to grab at her. The group's one saving grace at the moment was that the Hell-Goddess was more focused on her than she was on the others giving them time to move in and out in the fight against Glory. As long as she could dance in and out of the way then they might stand a chance of wearing the Hell-Goddess down.
"Shadowcat get out of here." Captain America ordered the mutant. "It's your job to keep that body safe. We'll do what we can to keep her hear."
"Would ye leave yer friends at a time like this?" Siryn questioned as she ducked behind the display shelf.
Captain America had to admit that he didn't think that he could do such a thing, but that didn't mean that the young girl had to stay and die here with them either. He was distracted from his thoughts though as he raised his arm to catch an incoming fist and it sent him flying into the back part of the store.
Glory smiled as she followed up to where the Sentinel of Liberty had fallen. Near him was something that was of great interest to her." Well, well, well so that's how you did it." She said as she began striding forward. She hurled a shelf at Dazzler forcing the mutant to duck, as Iron Fist came at her she grabbed him by his belt and sent him flying through the door that she had just broken down, Tigra was caught by her hair and then sent flying into the large bookshelf in the back all of the books came tumbling down on top of the heroine, as Dazzler moved forward to prepare another scream Glory tossed some of the chairs that had been around the table at her forcing her to redirect her blasts toward the furniture.
Glory smiled as she stood near Captain America. "I think it's time to end this little game of dress up don't you?" She questioned in a bemused tone as she looked down at the hero at her feet. She absently noticed that her Key was pulling what used to be the Slayer out of the pile of books with her odd ghost ability. She reared her fist back and smashed her fist forward and all of the heroes watched helplessly as her fist shattered the bust of Janus. "Good, now that, that's over I think it's time to finish you fools off." Glory said as she turned to look at the group of fallen figures. That was the moment that Giles finally managed to get the batteries into the stereo which finally started to blaring out music into the room. Glory turned and smirked at the Watcher. "Looks like we're back to playing with the old players." She cackled as she faced off with the Scoobies.
"Sounds alright with me." A familiar voice said Glory turned to look to see the Slayer standing there before her in a simple black bikini. "Lucy I'm home." Buffy said with a grin as she focused on the Hell-Goddess." I think they're playing our song as well." She said with a smirk.
"I'm home too." Xander said as his legs suddenly twirled out and he knocked the Hell-Goddess down. Glory glared angrily as she looked up at the human that had just tripped her. "Let's play." Xander said, gesturing the woman towards him.
Glory growled angrily. "How did you do that? I took away your power." She complained to him as she climbed back to her feet.
"Not exactly ya hell bitch." Spike said as he climbed to his feet ripping the mask off of his face. He also grabbed his jacket which had fallen to the floor and shrugged it on, he then stuffed the mask into a pocket pulled out a zippo and lit a cigarette. "Ya may of put us back inta the driver seats ya bloody psycho, but we still got the skills and powers." The vampire's face changed as he summoned the power of his demon. "And let me tell ya, the combination ought to make this interesting." He said as licked his fangs in excitement. He then fell into a Kung-Fu stance as he prepared to continue the fight with the woman.
"That's right." Tara said as she climbed up from where she had fallen. "We're all here and ready to go and take you on." She assured the Hell-Goddess.
"Fine, I beat you as you and I've beat your costumes, now I'll just beat you as costumed heroes." Glory said defiantly as she glared at the group that still dared to stand in her way. Now that I know where my Key is though I don't have to go easy on any of you anymore though." She said with a smirk.
"If you can." Anya said." Do you have any idea how much it's going to take to replace all of the things you've destroyed though?" The former demon complained before she fired a powerful laser at the woman bowling her over.
"Let's do it then." Buffy said with a wicked grin and suddenly her body shifted into its Tigra form. "Because I got a lot of pain to pay you back with." She said as she grabbed the Hell-Goddess and threw her through the window. "First things first though, get out of the store you've done enough damage already."
The others all followed the woman out to see Glory was rising back to her feet. Xander grabbed his shield up and was a bit disappointed as he realized that the weapon had returned to its original plastic. Not about to let that stop him though he tossed the toy shield at Glory and ran at her.
Glory batted the shield aside causing the cheap plastic to shatter and then caught the incoming fist of the Slayer while she was distracted Spike moved forward with a glowing hand and drove the fist into the arm of the Hell-Goddess. The blow came as such a surprise as the combination of vampire strength and chi energy that Glory released Buffy only for the Slayer to drop to the ground as a combination of sound and energy slammed into Glory and sent her flying.
Spike charged after her, but pulled back in surprise and shock as his skin began smoking. The shadows from the storefronts didn't extend to cover the entire street forcing him to pull back until the sun finished setting. The vampire growled angrily as he was forced to stand there and wait while the others went about kicking the ass of the Hell-Goddess. "Of all the sodding luck." Spike grumbled as he watched the others. "I really wanted another go at her."
"Giles stay in the shop. Buffy ordered, as she noticed that the Watcher looked like he was about to come out and join them. The Watcher could only nod as he headed in the back for a weapon that he might use against Glory.
"Alright Scoobies, lets ride." Xander said, as the Scoobies charged at the Hell-Goddess.
Glory shook off the effects of the various strikes and continued forward her eyes narrowing in on the brunette girl. "Key, I am tired of you being naughty. It's time for you to come back with me so that we can prepare for the ceremony it's taken a lot longer than I thought it would to find you." She huffed as she walked toward Dawn while dodging the various strikes.
"You got to catch me first." Dawn said with a grin as she phased herself letting the incoming arm to pass harmlessly through her. "A lot easier said than done I might add." She mocked the woman, as she performed a spin kick that the woman barely even felt.
"Now's not the time for that Dawn-Miester. " Xander said as he threw a broken stop sign at Glory. The metal projectile bounced off of her though. A grumbling Xander moved forward and slammed his feet into the face of the woman. While she was blinded he brought his elbow down upon her neck. Glory stomped her feet causing the ground to shake forcing the heroes to focus more on keeping their balance than in trying to fight the woman. "Now would have been a nice time to have had spider-man's powers." The young man noted, as he worked on keeping upright.
"Go away." Glory ordered as she swatted the costumed carpenter to the side. Xander grunted as he slammed into the wall, but he was quick to rise back to his feet and charge at her again.
"Any time there Willow!" He said.
"Right." A voice said, and suddenly a tiny Willow was in the face of the Hell-Goddess and was blasting away at her with her bio stings. Glory kept swinging at her, but could only growl in frustration though as the small figure was simply too small and agile for her to hit. The combined power of all of them was putting even her endurance levels to the test. Glory took in a deep breath as Willow came back at her and let it out. The power behind the breath caught the small figure and sent her sailing away and fall into the street unconscious. A moment later she began returning to her regular size.
"Alright, not what I was hoping for." Xander said as he looked at his downed childhood friend. He placed himself between the Hell-Goddess and Willow as he tried to think of another way to take the woman before him down. There had to be something that they were missing.
Glory sneered and walked toward him, Tara dropped to the ground in front of them and released a glass shattering scream. The force of the scream lifted the Hell-Goddess up and sent her tumbling away. "Do you have a plan yet?" She asked as she stared at the woman who was already climbing back up to her feet. She had screamed loud and sharp enough to burst a normal human's eardrums, yet their opponent barely even seemed effected by her attack. "Back off ye Glaikit*." The witch ordered. She then muttered some words in Latin and a shimmering wall appeared between the Scoobies and the Hell-Goddess.
"You're still trying to use magic against me?" Glory scoffed as she marched up to the wall of energy reared her fist back and began to pound on the wall.
Tara clutched at her head in pain as the woman treated her wall like a punching bag. The girl was not going to give up willingly though and added more power to the barrier. They could all see the blood running down her nose as she fell to her knees. Buffy landed next to Tara and help the girl as she finally fell unconscious.
"Ah that's much better." Glory said, as she finally shattered the barrier that had been between her and the Scoobies. "Alright Key, now come here." She commanded, pointing her finger to her feet as if expecting the teen to scurry over to her like a disobedient puppy dog.
"That didn't work the last time, why do you think it will work this time?" Dawn questioned curiously, as she pointedly didn't move from where she was standing. "Besides, in case it escaped your notice, cats aren't real good at following orders."
"Well think about who you're talking to." Buffy reminded her sister. "She's hardly the brightest bulb."
Glory glared at the mocking sister and began moving forward only for a laser blast straight to the face to blind her. Squawking the Hell-Goddess turned to see Dazzler focusing her power at Glory. "You haven't taken down all of us yet." Anya said defiantly. "Besides you still have to pay for all of the damage done to my precious money making shop. Do you think that the place fixes itself, it cost money to do that. My hard earned money I might add." She spat out at the Hell-Goddess angrily, as she continued to pour the power on. The former demon finally stopped and they saw that the woman had some burned skin, but even as they were looking at her the skin healed itself back up.
Glory frowned as she watched her skin repair itself as if surprised that she had seen her skin damaged. She then turned her gaze on the Vengeance Demon turned Shop Owner. "You damaged my skin!" She screeched out at the girl. "Do you have any idea what would have happened if I hadn't fixed it?" She demanded of the former demon. "Being as Glorious as I am is no hard feat, particularly when I'm stuck in a little weakling and insignificant form like this one." The angry Hell-Goddess reached down and began throwing bits of pavement toward Anya.
The former demon moved her hands around as fast as she could to counter the rocks and pavement that were being thrown at her. She had to time her counters just right, because if she didn't, they would break the larger parts and pelt all of them like a hundred bullets. The girl had her hands in the shape of pistols and flashes of light erupted from the tips. One rock managed to slip through though and clipped her on the head causing her to fall.
"Well Slayer I guess that leaves just you, the vampire, and him between me and my Key." Glory said as she examined the remaining figures that were arrayed against her. So which one of you wants to go next?
"Xander do you have any more ideas?" Buffy questioned curiously as she eyed the woman.
"We need to buy time." Xander returned to his friend. "That means we need to keep staggering the attacks on her. It's the only way that we're going to win. We have to beat the time limit that she's on so that means we each got to take her on and hope that we can keep her busy long enough that we can beat whatever her time limit is."
"I think that it's a crazy gamble, but I'll do it since it's the only plan we actually have." Buffy said with a shrug as she moved forward to fight with Glory yet again.
"Not so fast Slayer, I want a go at her." Spike growled as he finally stepped into the street, the shadows having finally lengthened enough to cover the whole street. The vampire smirked as he began rushing at the blonde figure. Glory smirked as she stood and waited for the charging vampire to come to her. The vampires fist lashed out to strike Glory the Hell-Goddess. Glory let out an oomph sound as she was launched several feet back. The Hell-Goddess had obviously forgotten that the vampire's strength had increased dramatically in power thanks to the spell.
"I'll tear you a new one for that." Glory snarled as she super sped back toward the vampire
"You're more than welcome to try bint." Spike shot back as he began dodging the various blows that Glory was sending at him. He leaped at a tree then bounced off the wall and delivered a kick to the back of her head. Glory staggered a bit from the blow, but didn't go down. The vampire kept moving not sure how long he could really keep this up. While Glory had super speed, her ability to react was to slow to compensate which meant for the most part she fought at the same speed as a Master vampire or a Slayer did. He just had to stay ahead of her blows for as long as possible. He couldn't believe that he was following a plan dreamed up by the Whelp, even if he did have some of Captain America in his head. Then again his head was usually empty enough that there was plenty of room for lots of the Captain to be in. he thought optimistically.
"Gotchya," Glory said as he hand wrapped around his foot she then began swing the vampire around slamming him between two cars. The vampire spat a mouthful of blood at her in defiance before he was slammed into a windshield.
"Now?" Buffy questioned hopefully.
"Yeah go ahead Buffster, your turn to take a swing at her." Xander said, as he climbed to his feet and watched the fight intently.
The feline college girl nodded as she leaped onto a car and then flipped in the air coming down with her foot slamming into the face of Glory. The Hell-Goddess squawked indignantly as she was slammed into another car. Buffy ripped the hood off the car that she had been slamming Spike into and leaped alongside of Glory and began beating on her.
Glory shrugged the hits off and ripped the hood out of the Slayer's hands and tossed it to the side. The two then grabbed onto each other and began playing a super powered game of mercy against each other. The two trembled for a moment and then Glory smiled a bit as she began forcing the young woman's arms back. The blonde's knees buckled as she was forced even farther back. A leg raised up and slammed into the gut of the Slayer. The blonde coughed as she was thrown back. Using the Slayer's unsteady footing to her advantage Glory grabbed her and sent her sailing onto the rooftops. Even as she was sailing the Slayer managed to twist her body around and landed on her feet. The Slayer hissed like a giant cat at the Hell-Goddess as she clawed the air in front of her.
"It'll take more than that to get rid of me Lady Skanks-a-Lot." The Slayer said, as she leaped from the roof and bounced off a car before coming in to confront the woman. Instead of trying to confront her head on, the Slayer tried a different approach by trying to slash through the Hell-Goddess. The hands darted back and forth trying to get the needed cut that would stop the woman.
Glory smiled as the claws barely left any obvious damage on her. The damage was actually more obvious on her clothes than it was on her. This was merely another annoyance between her and her Key.
Buffy moved again, making several slashing movements before leaping back before the counter punch could send her through a wall. The girl smirked as she saw some of the damage that she had inflicted on the woman.
"Are you finished yet Slayer? I have a schedule to stick to." Glory said haughtily confident that the Slayer couldn't do any real lasting damage to her.
"Yeah, well while you're going about your to do list you might want to add a trip to a hair stylist. After all there is only so much that the home perm kits can do particularly after getting a trim like that. It gives you a really lopsided look." Buffy mocked the red clad idiot before her.
"What?" Glory demanded in surprise, as her hands went to the side of her head. She felt where her mighty locks normally resided on that half of her hair had been slashed off giving her a very uneven hairdo. "My hair!" The Hell-Goddess declared, as her eyes darted down to the ground where the remains of her hair were fluttering to the ground. You bitch, I'm going to rip your head off for that one." She threatened the blonde.
"Hello, do I look like a dog lady to you? I mean I know I've gotten to be a bit more animalistic and all, but I'm pretty sure that I'm not looking like a dog." The girl waved her hand over her form which showed her feline furred body.
Snarling Glory began swinging at her agile opponent who seemed to be able to move out of the way of the attacks with an almost impossible ease. The girl began flipping away from the Hell-Goddess.
Tiring of swinging and not hitting the annoying Slayer, Glory began tearing parts off the various cars and began chunking them towards the cat like Slayer. Buffy actually seemed to be having fun as she dodged the various flying missiles and was even jumping on top of some of the parts using them to leap even higher and stay even farther away from the woman that was trying to shoot her with a garage's worth of mechanical parts. Her thoughts were diverted when she ducked under several glass shards only for an engine to slam into her gut knocking her to the ground. The whoozey Slayer tried to climb to her feet only for Glory to meet her and began bending a pair of bumpers around her arms and legs. The Slayer growled and hissed as she tried to unbend the metals bands that were now imprisoning her.
"Now that you can't jump away from me, it's time to make you pay." Glory said with a feral grin.
"Crap." Buffy muttered as she felt the Goddess lift her up and the woman began punching at her. She winced as she felt blow after blow slam into her. She spat blood at the Goddess in anger. She really hated getting the shorthand when it came to fighting. Despite all of the enhancements that the Tigra Spirit that she had gained she was still on the losing end. "Xander, a little help here. "She gasped out toward the only other member of the group she knew was still up.
A roaring sound caused them both to turn and look behind them. There heading straight at them on Spike's motorcycle was Xander. The super soldier leaped off of the motorcycle and the bike went skidding at them. The bike slammed into the back of Glory's legs knocking her to the ground. Buffy slammed into the ground and went bouncing one way while the motorcycle landed on Glory. Snarling the Hell-Goddess tossed the motorcycle off of her legs and turned to confront her latest opponent. "Didn't I already deal with you?" She questioned the carpenter in surprise as she saw him prepared to continue the fight.
"Yeah, well what can I say I got my second wind." Xander jibed, as he prepared for another go with the Hell-Goddess. "I bet if you wait long enough the others will give you another round as well." He said brightly.
Glory frowned as she considered this aspect. The fact was, she was wasting a lot of energy fighting the Slayer and her cohorts. At this rate Ben was going to come out again while she was fighting these idiots, and if they did come back at her they would likely beat her. She would have to beat them quickly if she wanted to win. Fortunately for her, this one was still the weakest of the group. She also didn't have to worry about the shield he had been using earlier either. The Hell-Goddess saw that the Key was moving toward the Slayer to pull her out and realized she had to move quickly. She had one idea that just might work though and it involved lots of violence.
Moving faster than the human could react she grabbed Xander by his throat. "Alrighty then Key, it's really very simple. Either you come with me, or I start breaking the necks of all of your little friends." Glory informed the girl with a smirk. "And when it's the vampire well I'll just pop his head off." She added in before the girl could try and figure someway of replacing the two.
Dawn looked around at all of the group of demon hunters and saw that they were incapacitated in some way or other. No one was going to be helping. For the moment she was on her own until the others could wake up or in Buffy's case get free. For the moment it was her call on how to deal with the threat that they were facing. Her next choice was going to be the one that decided whether or not they lived or died. She idly wondered if this was how her sister felt all the time with her duties as the only real hero and guardian of the Hellmouth. If this was the sort of thing she dealt with all the time she wasn't so sure that she wanted to be the one with the power to save the world time and time again. Maybe she would leave the heroics to the others from now on.
"Well Key, what's it going to be?" Glory demanded of the girl. "Am I going to have to start killing all of these costumed idiots, or are you going to come with me like a good little Key? I could always feed off of these people as well." She said thoughtfully.
"Fine," Dawn said as she became solid and raised her hands up in surrender. "We'll play it your way for now." She told the Hell-Goddess angrily "I surrender, and you leave them alone without killing them or sucking out their brains or whatever it is that you call it. That's our deal right?"
"Yeah, sure that 'll be our deal." Glory agreed in a bored manner. The fact that she could kill them all not even seem to interest her.
Two of the hobbit like minions stepped out of the shadows and latched onto Dawn's arms. "We have her most Terrifying One that has beauty greater than any other being has."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever." Glory said as she tossed Xander to the side causing the carpenter to painfully slam into a wall. "Come on, we have to get my Key to the place." The group nodded as they led Dawn off.
Once the streets were clear Giles came out of the shop with his crossbow primed and ready and once he was sure that the streets were clear he began the process of dragging in each of the Scoobies back into the store. It would seem that things still had not gone as planned. They still had a chance though if they could get themselves back onto their feet. He only hoped that they had the time to get it all done.
*Scottish word for - stupid, silly or thoughtless.
One or two more chapters to go folks.