Chapter Thirty Four.
Disclaimer. As before…Only the bits you don’t recognise are mine..
Chapter Thirty Four.
Harry had the information he needed. He’d had to wait for the photograph of Hennessy from Juliet. She’d returned to the Home Office, and gotten tangled up in meetings for the rest of the day, so the courier didn’t arrive with it until first thing. He had to admit that he hadn’t a clue who he was looking at. One thing was certain though, he wasn’t looking at a picture of the same man that Buffy Summers had denied was her father.
Buffy and Dan watched as Giles and Olivia were driven away by Alan for their appointment at the Palace and Giles‘ investiture. Natalie bounded back up the steps towards them after waving vigorously to her parents as they left.
“You don’t mind baby sitting then?” Asked Buffy.
“No. At least there’s only one of her, imagine having two others plus Natalie.”
“You mean Jamie and Lisa.”
“Yes. Now, they are a handful.”
“I guessed that much from last Sunday. How does your sister deal?”
“She has a nanny for them during the week, and most weekends there’s both her and Paul, and maybe Gran to help out. They seem to have nearly as much energy as slayers do.”
Dawn came out of the entrance behind them.
“Crap, missed him.” She complained.
“Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap.” Echoed Natalie, as she passed them running inside.
“Hey! Not a word for you to use, young lady.” Admonished Buffy. Dawn tried to hide a smirk.
“Don’t encourage her.” Hissed Buffy, glaring at her sister. Dan could hardly contain himself either.
~“There are worse thing’s she could have come out with.”~ He thought.
~“It’s a good thing Faith isn’t here then.”~ Buffy thought back.
Dawn cut in. ~“Hey, not fair. I’m only getting one side of this conversation!”~
“Sorry.” Said Buffy, out loud. “Danny has the same problem.”
“We should have got Willow to upgrade him when she was here.” Said Dawn.
“It was kinda the plan, but with everything else going on, it sorta got forgotten.” Replied Buffy. “Maybe next time.”
Dan winced. “Sounds painful. ‘Upgrade’.” He said. “Actually I’m just getting used to having you inside my head, I’m not sure I could cope with another half a dozen as well, how do you do it?”
“We’ve had longer to practice, and girls are better at multi tasking than guys.” Grinned Dawn.
“Thanks a lot. Anyway some of the conversations we have aren’t for delicate ears such as yours.” Said Dan.
“That is something I do so not want to know.” Said Dawn, backing away.
“What did you want Giles for?” Asked Buffy.
“One of Wesley’s diaries. It has reference of how to kill a Gaarlak demon in it. I’ll have to call him and ask him where it is.”
Dawn entered Giles’ office and began to dial his cell phone number. As she did, she spotted the Musketeers file on his desk. Waiting for it to connect, she idly flicked the file open. On the top of the pile was a list with the names of their attributed kills, and associated photographs. She dropped the phone with a clatter as she saw one name in particular.
“Oh my god….Daddy?!!!”
Ed Clewley replaced the phone. The hospital had confirmed that DI Gorman had been released late the previous day, and had a clean bill of health. His call to the reception had been to request Gorman’s presence in his office as soon as he came in. So far his morning had been taken up with meetings because of the incident on Monday. As yet there was no word from any of the other regional police forces as to the whereabouts of the two fugitives, Kostava and Hauser.
Upon checking the Cctv footage it had shown that the two men were actually in cahoots, using the hostage ploy as a means of escape. Photographs and descriptions had been issued and every available officer was looking for them.
That made five men they now wanted, although judging by Kostava’s actions, if he ever caught up with the Musketeers it would probably be prudent to hold at a safe distance until the shooting was over, then pick up what was left.
The intercom buzzed.
“Sir, DI Gorman’s here to see you.”
“Send him in.”
The door opened and in walked Gorman, a slight spring in his step.
“Morning sir, you wanted to see me?”
“Yes, sit down David. How are you?”
“Fine now sir, had a good night’s sleep. Best I’ve had in years.”
“I haven’t had chance to talk to Carter yet, but what happened in that cell. Any ideas?”
“I can’t be certain without talking to Daniel sir, but I do know one thing.”
“I’m not a demon anymore. My demon side has gone. I don’t know how, but it’s gone.”
Two men sat on the hillside viewpoint looking out over the mountains and Lake Geneva. One of them passed a small flat package to the other.
“Master disc. I have the other copy, so that if anything happens there’s still one other out there.” Said Maguire.
Hecht nodded. “There weren’t any awkward questions then, I take it?”
Maguire gave a small chuckle. “No, the engineer looked a bit confused at first, so I told him it was a backing track for a new Emo band. He swallowed it hook line and sinker.”
“Good. The papers are all signed up for the bottling factory. We can start shipping the additive in next week. According to my calculations it will take nearly six months for the distribution network to deliver the product to the end users in the UK and longer for Europe. We’ll need more bottling centres for the USA and the far east. It could take another couple of years to get that far. How’s your patience?”
“So, so. How are the senior partners taking all this?”
“As ever, they have the end result in their agenda, the conquest of this dimension and the domination of the humans. Our lives are insignificant in comparison.”
“It would be nice to see it through. What about the police in the UK. Have you made any progress there?”
“All in good time. The Amateur Athletics Association haven’t reported back to the police yet. They won’t find anything. Then we have to wait for the Crown Prosecution Service to complete their assessment. That will take another two to three weeks. After that, I can move for a dismissal of all charges in the UK courts, and get an injunction so that they cannot charge you again with the same evidence. That will be when you can call in your favourite media people and make your big speech, you’ll enjoy that.”
“A couple of months then.”
“Enjoy the holiday. There is one thing I am concerned about though.”
“I knew there was a but.”
“Not really a but, more a couple of liabilities.” Said Hecht. “Royce. He needs to be silenced. Permanently. The other is my wife. She was too easily compromised, and the Senior Partners don’t want this operation jeopardised.”
“Royce will be easy, as for your wife, we could have her singing from the same hymn sheet as us.” Suggested Maguire.
Hecht’s face brightened. “Now there’s a thought.” He paused. “Do you remember Holland Manners?”
“Yeah. You told me about him. He was killed off by the female members of the Scourge of Europe. Darla and Drusilla. Yes?” Maguire said, searching his memory.
Hecht nodded. “Yes. Angelus locked them in a wine cellar. They only got access to the house because Holland had kept his wife in the dark about the true nature of business, and she let them in. I won’t make the same mistake. Sacrifices have to be made. Emily could be sent to find out about Jo Portman. It would also test the product against the Slayer. If she can’t spot a demonic presence in her…..”
“We’re laughing all the way to the bank….” Finished Maguire.
A tear stained Dawn stormed into the lounge and slapped the report and photographs down on the coffee table in front of Buffy
“Dad’s name is on this list. Why didn’t you say something?”
“Because it wasn’t him.” Shrugged Buffy.
There was a resounding slap as Dawn hit Buffy across the face. She was about to take a second swipe as Buffy caught her wrist.
“How could you say that!!”
“What was that for!!??”
The words came out simultaneously from the sisters as they fought for verbal control of the argument.
“Just because you hate him so much, you think it’s okay when someone kills someone and mutilates his body in that way!!” Yelled Dawn.
“What are you saying Dawn! That‘s not dad! He was using his name.” Explained Buffy, matching Dawn’s volume.
“And if it had been dad?” Demanded her sister.
Buffy faltered. “I…I, don’t know.”
“Not much changes between you two then.” Came a voice from the door.
They both looked round.
“Riley….Er, hi.” Said Buffy, weakly.
“Thought I heard an argument. Said to myself, it just has to be Dawn and Buffy. What is it this time, another diary reading session?” He said.
The sisters looked at one another.
~“This isn’t over.”~ Thought Dawn, glaring at Buffy. She turned to leave. Buffy grabbed at her arm again.
~”Oh, no you don’t. I need to know. Now!”~ Thought Buffy. “Riley, can you give us a few minutes. Please.” She added, out loud.
“Okay, but don’t kill each other. Okay.“ Riley grinned at them and backed out of the room muttering. “So violent.”
Buffy sat them both down on the sofa and took a breath. “Dawn, that isn’t Dad. That’s Mr Hennessy, our old neighbour in L.A.” She said calmly.
“Buffy, I know that, it‘s not what I‘m saying. Why would it not have mattered if it had been dad?”
“You wouldn’t understand.“
“I’m not ten anymore. Try me!”
“You were never ten!” Buffy started. Then she sighed. “It’s just….You never talk about him. I don’t know if you really remember him or if all you have are implanted memories.”
“I don’t talk about him because you don’t. I know I’ve never really met him, but I still remember him, the arguments with mom over you, and where you use to sneak off to at night. It‘s all up here.” She said, tapping the side of her head.
Buffy grabbed her and hugged her tightly. Her voice became thick as the tears welled. “I’m sorry Dawnie. I didn’t realise….Harry Pearce says I should find him. Hell, Giles says I should look for him. Explain things. What do you think?”
Dawn hugged back. “Yeah, I think we should….I miss mom, and maybe this is a way forward.”
They stayed there comforting each other for a few moments, until Buffy’s cell phone rang.
Wiping her eyes she answered. “Hello.” She sniffed.
Buffy, it’s Edward Clewley. Is everything alright?”
“Hi, yeah, I’m okay. What can I do for you?”
“I’ve had a call from Harry Pearce. He’s come by some information, a photograph, someone he doesn’t recognise, and he wondered if you might know him.”
“An alive person?”
“Er, yes. There are a couple of things though. He’s using the name Hennessy, and he’s possibly an agent of the NID.”
“Hold on Ed, I want Dawn to hear all this.“ She put the phone on speaker. “You said NID. Are you thinking, he might be our dad?”
“Not knowing what your father looks like, there’s only one way to find out. Can I have Harry fax you the picture?”
“Yes. I need to know. One way or the other.”
“Alright. It’ll be with you in a few minutes. Bye.”
There was a click as the line went dead. Dawn looked at her. “Dad? NID?”
“Maybe. Let’s go see.”
They walked to the reception. Just as they got there the fax machine whirred into life. Julia passed them the copy that spewed into the tray. Buffy looked at it and then passed it silently to Dawn. Both sisters were looking at each other dumbfounded.
Riley and Sam came back in carrying their bags. Sam noticed the pair and nudged her husband. “They’re still alive, look.”
“Riley dropped his bags and went over to them. “You two okay?” He asked.
Buffy absently handed him the copy. “My dad.”
Riley’s face changed to a look of surprise. “This guy is your dad?”
“Yeah. Our dad.” Repeated Dawn.
“Really!” Riley sounded amazed.
“Really.” Buffy shot him a glance. “You know him?”
“Not exactly ‘know’. When I was recruited for the Initiative, he was on the interview panel, along with Professor Walsh and another guy. They didn’t tell me their names.”
“Oh, crap. It’s true then.”
“What’s true?” Asked Sam, walking over.
“Our father works for the NID.” Said Buffy.
After bringing Sam and Riley up to speed, Buffy showed them the photographs and files on the other hits attributed to the Musketeers. First up was the dead man who had used their fathers name and identity.
“That’s the other guy.” Said Riley.
“What!” Exclaimed Buffy.
“At the interview selection. He was there too.”
Buffy stared at the two pictures together, one of her father, that slight smile of his gracing the edges of his mouth, the other, a man she only knew as her old next door neighbour in L.A., his face contorted in his death mask. He eyes flicked back to her dad, the friendly eyes that said you could trust him.
She remembered how it all used to be, how he would bring her a little present from his overseas sales trips when she was little. A parasol from Thailand, a Kokeshi doll from Japan, he’d even been to Russia after the Berlin wall came down and had brought her a genuine Matryoshka doll. Then when she’d gotten older, he’d stayed at home more, working from his office, his reason was that he’d missed too much of her growing up already and he didn’t want to miss any more.
Then he changed jobs. She couldn’t remember why. At the time she’d been a teenager…Just. The Hennessey’s had moved in next door and mom and dad had joined the tennis club. Hence the leaving Buffy to baby sit Dawn, no wait, that was a false memory, implanted by the monks.
If there had to be a point when it all changed, that had to be it. It wasn’t the violence and burning down the school gym that had been the cause of him leaving, or even her insistence of the existence of vampires; it had been the change in his job.
He was supposed to have been a Senior Manager in charge of a team of technical salesman for a company selling mining equipment. How wrong had they all been…That gave rise to another question. Had her mom known the truth?
She was pulled from her thoughts by Dawn poking her in the ribs.
“Too many thoughts.” Said her annoyed sister. You’ll have Daniel wondering what’s going on.” She added.
“I think he already knows.” Said Buffy. ”He’s busy keeping Natalie away from the Furzen and us while we deal.”
“Wondered where he was. We haven’t met him yet, or Natalie.” Said Riley, grinning.
“And you will. Just remember; he’s human.” Pointed out Buffy.
Thames House, MI5 headquarters, London.
Harry looked at the photograph that Juliet had sent him, along with a short note stating that if her contact was compromised in any way, Harry’s life wouldn’t be worth living. He shredded the note, just before he faxed the photo over to Buffy Summers. That had been some two hours ago and he hadn’t had a reply. As yet.
A tap on his open door broke his thoughts. Ruth gave him a concerned smile and entered at his beckon.
“You’re exceptionally quiet Harry. Anything to do with Adam?” She asked.
“No. Not at all.” He said. He indicated for her to close the door and sit down. He held up a finger to his lips for her to be quiet as his mobile phone rang. Ed Clewley confirmed what he had guessed. This man was the one that Buffy called dad. Now he could proceed.
“Ruth. Will you do me a favour?” He asked.
“Of course. What do you need.”
He passed the photograph over to her, and explained briefly about where it came from, and that he needed a very covert check on his background.
“If it’s got anything to do with Juliet….I’d be glad to help.” She said, more brightly than she should have. Any chance to get back at Juliet for things in Harry’s past, Ruth was only too pleased to get involved.
“Do you have a name?” She asked.
Harry raised an eyebrow and cocked his head on one side. “That’s the difficult part. He may have several. There are at least two that I know of, One is Hank Summers, the other is James Hennessey. I don’t want it traced back to us. If you need Colin or Malcolm‘s help, so be it, however I‘d rather keep it to a minimum number of personnel.”
“Can I know what he’s supposed to have done?”
“Apparently, he’s an NID operative. I don’t know how senior he is, but I’d like to know his current whereabouts, if possible.”
Ruth nodded, thoughtfully. “How long have I got?”
“Timescale isn’t critical, accuracy and secrecy are. I don’t want him looking into us.”
“I’ll make a start then. I’ll let you know when I’ve got something.” She stood to leave, crossing to the door she opened it. Harry called after her.
She glanced back over her shoulder. “Don’t mention it.” She smiled, shyly. Then she was gone.
Buffy was pacing. It had been several hours since she called Ed back and confirmed it was her fathers photograph. Josh and Dawn had returned to Oxford because they had classes the next day. Sam and Riley had gone to investigate the local hostelry’s in the town for the evening, after all, they were on vacation. Daylight was now failing and the suspense was killing her. Dan gave a small smile as he watched her sashay to and fro.
She turned and frowned at him. “Yes. I’m worried.” She said.
“I know. I thought I might take your mind off it.” He grinned.
She slumped onto the sofa next to him and snuggled up close. Natalie looked up from her drawing and began humming softly. Buffy recognised the tune as the schoolyard chant.. “Sitting in a tree, k i s s i n g.”
“Dawn needs a new shtick.” She muttered.
The use of the Yiddish word gave her an idea. She jumped up, grabbed the phone, and hit the speed dial.
“Will. How sneaky can you be…..?”
End of Chapter Thirty Four.