How did I get to this point? the slayer asks herself again as she gets out of the water and heads back to the camp.
Unlike Buffy, Drusilla does not sleep in the open. She is free to walk around in the daytime almost all the time thanks to the constant cloud cover, but there is still a risk of a ray of sun occasionally making its way through. For this reason, she sleeps in the shade of a lean-to tent. She is under her tent now, sitting on her makeshift bed, with her legs straight in front her; she has donned her full-length, flowing, dark red dress. She smiles at Buffy as the slayer dries herself off with a towel.
Wrapping the towel around her torso, Buffy goes over to Drusilla's lean-to; the vampire pulls in her legs and crosses them Indian-style, knowing why the slayer is there. Buffy sits in the same position facing her.
"You're here for punishment, aren't you?" says Drusilla. "Not to play this time. Angelus used to punish me. Darla, too. Spike as well, but only when I begged. Before they all abandoned me. Before the stars abandoned me; I miss them even more."
"Help me to remember how I got here," replies Buffy. "Take me back to when all this started."
The vampire silently points her fingers at the slayer's eyes once again. "Be in me."
The slayer obeys.
Some time ago
Other than saying that all life (with the exception of Buffy) would end, the now-deceased warlock had not been clear on the exact nature of his apocalypse. Buffy and the others expected that, like most of the apocalypses they had prevented, this one would have been very quick to make itself obvious. Thus, when nothing happened initially, they assumed that the warlock had been unsuccessful.
Then the news reports began to come in. Government officials were trying to figure out why plant and animal life had started to die everywhere. Scientists believed that it was the plants that had died first, then the herbivores, then the carnivores who fed on the herbivores, and so on. It was hard to tell, though, since it all happened so quickly.
As if this wasn't enough, meteorologists were getting concerned as well when they started noticing that clouds were beginning to appear more and more often, with no sign of going anywhere.
As soon as Buffy and the others saw these first reports, they knew exactly what had happened. She put the slayer organization on alert to warn them.
At the time, Buffy and many slayers under her direct command were operating out of New York City. She and Dawn were sharing a sizable, luxurious penthouse which was being paid for by the new Watcher's Council.
Her friends came in from everywhere to be together, as they knew that travelling would soon be a great difficulty. Xander flew in from Africa. Faith drove in from Cleveland . Andrew and Vi—the redheaded slayer who, along with the other potential slayers, had fought alongside the group during the battle which had ended with the destruction of Sunnydale—traveled from Rome to London to meet up with Giles, and then they took a transatlantic flight together to New York. Willow and Kennedy were the last to show, arriving from Brazil.
After the initial reports had come in, people hit the stores in a panic. Grocery stores initially enjoyed the record sales, but then had to close when they could no longer order any new inventory. Gun sales shot up exponentially, as did sales of camping and survival gear.
Within weeks, governments all around the world had instituted martial law and implemented food rationing programs. Soldiers patrolled the streets of New York City, enforcing the new curfew. There were many reports of looters being gunned down.
A few months later, even the government rations had run out. That was when the real chaos began.
Soldiers began deserting their posts. Without this law enforcement, violent crime went out of control. Rumors started being whispered that some people were resorting to cannibalism for survival.
Initially, Buffy had had many slayers under her command where she was. But they had begun deserting around the same time the soldiers did. So by the time the last news station went off the air (the federal government had already long since collapsed), only she and her friends were left—Xander, Willow, Dawn, Giles, Faith, Kennedy, Andrew, and Vi.
It was at this point that they realized they could no longer stay in the penthouse—it was time to get out of the city. They had stocked up on food at the beginning, but these supplies had greatly dwindled to the point that they were rationing themselves two small meals a day. They had stocked up on weapons, as well, including assault rifles and explosives; they knew that the enemies they encountered on the road were probably not going to be wielding swords and crossbows. They packed all these supplies, loading what they could into backpacks and duffel bags and distributing them among the group according to strength, which of course meant that the four slayers were carrying the bulk.
Finally, they set out one morning, using subway tunnels to help get out of the city so as to avoid the looters and gangs on the streets.
It was less than a week later that the first deaths happened in the group.