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This story is No. 1 in the series "Compelled - The Buffy/Angelverse Reshaped". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: First story in the Compelled series - The Shaper of Things decides to replay the game from an earlier level...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > General(Current Donor)HotpointFR1832121,179108140216,61426 Jan 0731 Jan 07Yes
CoA Winner

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Everything either belongs to Joss or it should, no infringement is intended and no profit is to be made. When you get right down to it I’m not really worth suing anyway unless you want a share of an underpaid civil servants wages and it just wouldn’t be worth the hassle trust me.

Sunnydale High School – Sunnydale – May 2003

Buffy’s radio crackled to life. ‘I think it’s sending in the Bringers first to wear us down a bit before hitting us with the Uber-Vamps’ Cordelia reported from her vantage point up on the roof looking down with the benefit of binoculars and night-vision gear. ‘They’re staying clear of each other. I guess the Turok-Han don’t play well with others’ she theorised. The immediate grounds were quite well lit, and there was little chance the enemy could sneak inside. Connor was up on the roof too running from side to side, making sure nothing was missed.

‘No surprise there’ Buffy replied into her headset microphone. ‘How many?’ she asked.

Must be a hundred or so hitting the main entrance in the first wave’ Cordelia responded. ‘Connor is yelling at me there’s another fifty coming towards the rear fire doors on the East Wing’ she added.

‘Well they make up for in numbers what they lack in tactical brilliance’ Wesley observed wryly. ‘I’ll be at the main entrance, see you young ladies later’ he told Buffy and Faith and started double-timing down the corridor leaving the two senior slayers to themselves.

‘Giles are you ready in the East Wing?’ Buffy asked.

Only fifty Harbingers?’ Giles replied. ‘The girls over here look quite insulted’ he continued over the same frequency. ‘Stephen was hoping for more too’ he added. The young watchers hatred of The First’s lackeys was evident whenever the subject came up, they had hunted him and he was overjoyed at the notion of hunting them right back.

‘I’ll take that as a yes then’ Buffy responded, smiling at Faith.

‘They’re at the main entrance battering down the doors’ Xander reported. ‘They’ll love the welcome we’ve laid out for them.’

‘Save the major pyrotechnics for the vamps’ Buffy told him.

Yes Ma’am’ Xander replied. ‘Here they come!’ he exclaimed.

Main Entrance – Sunnydale High School – May 2003

The Harbingers launched themselves into the building and after advancing a few yards stopped dead in their tracks, there was no way to get through. To their surprise all the routes from that point on were effectively closed off to them and they were unsure what to do.

Barbed wire was everywhere, anchored around the columns and fixtures, building contractor power coming to the rescue yet again. Xander had cleared out every hardware store in town and had ran hundreds of yards of the stuff across every conceivable entrance route and unguarded corridor throughout the building. Secured in most places by nails driven into the walls and floor there was masses of it, like a vicious spiders web. It didn’t even take very long to put up, all you needed were some heavy duty gloves, a hammer and some girls to carry the coiled wire around for you.

More and more Bringers piled into the building, forming a teeming mass of trapped bodies. Some started to try and hack their way through the wire with swords and axes but it got tangled up with their robes just like Xander thought it would.

‘Ducks in a barrel’ Xander declared, pulling back the cocking lever on his assault rifle as the half dozen slayers with him racked their shotguns. They had set up barricades made of desks and chairs in case the Bringers had crossbows, and were dug-in ready and waiting.

Xander took aim. ‘FIRE’ he bellowed and started emptying his magazine into the throng as the slayers fired cartridge after cartridge of buckshot into the Bringer horde. You can’t easily force your way through a barbed wire fence but shooting through it is a breeze.

Two more teams of slayers poured in crossfire from different corridors which also led to the main entrance. It was sheer unmitigated slaughter, the Harbingers were simply shot to pieces without a hope of retaliation.

‘This is so much easier than stabbing them’ one of the slayers declared, her voice barely audible over the cacophony of shotgun blasts.

The SPAS-12 shotguns the slayers were using only held eight shots and some stopped firing to reload or switched to handguns instead to save time. Those who had been given a passing grade by Wesley during firearms training now carried a holster with an automatic pistol on their belt as well as a scabbard hanging down on the other side carrying the new standard-issue short-sword which everyone had been given. The nine-millimetre bullets from the pistols were nowhere near as devastating as buckshot, but the girls made up for it in volume, firing as fast as they could.

Xander had set up a line of magazines for his M16A2 next to him for easy reloading and he was gradually working his way down the line. Unlike the shotguns or pistols his high-velocity ammunition was punching right though any Bringers he hit and often striking those behind into the bargain, two or three birds with one stone. The range was pitifully short for the weapon and the Bringers were so bunched up he barely had to aim at all, so Xander just fired random three-round bursts into the mob.

Another rifle, this one firing fully-automatic entered the fray, pouring in rounds from one of the other directions. Wesley was in the game, linking up with the slayers firing from the western corridor, the entire area was starting to fill up with smoke and the smell of ammunition discharges, it would have been filled with screams too but the Bringers just writhed silently instead, adding to the surreal nature of the scene.

‘Cease Fire, Cease Fire’ Xander yelled and the firing stopped almost at once.

After all the noise the sudden silence was simply bizarre. ‘Any friendly casualties?’ Wesley called out. ‘Any get through the wire?’ he asked.

‘You must be joking’ a slayer called back.

Xander looked into piles of heaped bodies and couldn’t help but feel nauseated by the sight. It was appalling, only the alien look of the Bringers in their cowls made it bearable, if they had looked any less like the evil minions they were he thought he would have thrown up.

Wesley’s voice came over the command frequency on Xanders headset. ‘First World War re-enactment over’ he declared. ‘Defenders One-Hundred points, Poor luckless bastards charging barbed wire and machine-guns Zero.’

‘Go Team’ one of the slayers called out. ‘De-Fence, De-Fence’ she chanted with a laugh. They were already so desensitised to the violence, Xander thought, maybe it was that little remnant of demon power within them, or maybe it was TV, who knows?

They’re coming in the East Wing’ Giles declared.

‘So they’re not quick learners’ Xander told the girls he was near with a shrug.

East Wing – Sunnydale High School – May 2003

The Bringers forced open the double doors of the fire-escape and divided into two groups heading in each direction down the corridor. The group going left were immediately confronted around the next turn by the same barbed wire that had stopped their brethren at the main entrance and they retreated under a hail of gunfire from the girls behind it. They weren’t that stupid, they could have easily martyred themselves foolishly against the small number of armed slayers there but the First would not want them to throw their lives away for nothing so they headed back to join the others who had gone right.

That group had progressed much further, it probably should have occurred that they were being allowed to go along their way unmolested but they honestly weren’t that bright either.

‘Good evening can I see your hall passes?’ Principal Wood asked them, sticking his head out from a classroom just ahead.

The Bringers charged towards him failing to notice they were splashing through a deep puddle that filled the corridor at its lowest point. If they’d stopped to taste it they would have noticed it was salty too, for better conduction.

The East Wing was the point at which the main power-line entered the building as the Harbingers discovered when Giles flicked a switch and put several thousand volts through them thanks to a extra piece of cable run from the main breakers.

They were still twitching when the rest of the Bringers who had originally turned left arrived, though Giles had already cut the power. Robin Wood then lost a fifty dollar bet to Giles because the former hadn’t thought that the rest of them could possibly be dumb enough to investigate precisely why their Harbinger brothers were laying there apparently dead but unwounded.

Giles flicked the switch again and made himself an easy fifty bucks by electrocuting another six of them before he shut it down for good.

The remaining twenty or so Bringers just stood there, as slayers with swords and axes emerged from the classrooms on the far side of the puddle of water. Robin Wood, child of a slayer himself, hefted his broadsword. ‘Let’s finish this old-school’ he said. It was appropriate to the setting he thought.

‘Sounds good to me’ Stephen replied, sslinging his shotgun over his shoulder by its strap and drawing his sword whilst looking at the enemy with barely restrained loathing. ‘Bringers’ he said. ‘I fucking hate Bringers’ he declared, spitting on the floor.

The slayers ran to the attack howling a battle-cry.

Giles listened in on his radio, The First would send in his best troops now, guns wouldn’t stop them, they’d barely slow them down.

Turok-Han on the move’ Cordelia announced on the radio. ‘They’re coming in from the south near the car park’ she reported.

Numbers?’ Buffy queried.

Well over a hundred’ Cordelia replied.

Tell Connor I want that number cut down fast’ Buffy ordered.

A series of explosions outside told Giles that Connor had complied.

South Corridor – Sunnydale High School – May 2003

Angel watched through a window as grenades fell amongst the charging Turok-Han outside. ‘Boy can really throw’ Spike told him as another spectacular flash, followed by a window-rattling bang, heralded the detonation of another Incendiary Grenade. The uber-vamps apparently didn’t like White-Phosphorus one bit judging from their reaction, not that Angel could blame them. They had scattered as soon as the grenades started falling on them but that meant they would arrive in small packets not a far more dangerous mass that might have smashed the defenders aside. Barbed wire and guns would only slow them down, or at worse just piss them off.

‘They’re coming in’ Amanda shouted from a classroom, followed by the sound of a window shattering. The Turok-Han didn’t worry about doors they just hurled themselves through the windows.

Down the corridor another implosion of glass had Angel spinning around as an uber-vamp crashed inside. It bared its teeth and hissed before exploding into dust as a slayer with an Arbalest Crossbow took it out. Another two followed it inside but were themselves immediately dusted in an even more spectacular fashion as Spike fired a rapid-fire pair of stake-rounds from his six-shot grenade-launcher, all you needed to do was put the dot from the laser sight over the heart and blow a hole in them. ‘This thing is fucking ace’ the peroxide-blond vampire yelled joyfully as Angel started moving the other way towards the sounds of combat.

As Angel ran into a classroom he watched a Turok-Han being blasted back by a shotgun in the hands of a young girl who screamed abuse at it as she fired again and again. Before it could recover another girl charged in and decapitated it with a short-sword, the creature exploding into dust. They were working in teams of two or three, not as individuals, and this would hopefully keep them alive during the fighting.

Angel span and fired his own launcher, taking out yet another vampire, Spike was right, these things were fun he thought, but a part of him missed the simplicity of a good old fashioned wooden stake in your hand, he thought. ‘You two okay in here?’ he yelled out, turning back to the girls.

‘Bring the bastards on’ the girl with the shotgun yelled back, reloading from the bandolier of shotgun shells over her shoulder.

‘Angel you wanker get down here fast’ Spike called out causing Angel to start sprinting to join him and almost running into Spike who was reloading his grenade-launcher.

‘Weren’t you told to conserve ammo?’ Angel chided, shouldering his launcher and firing another round, the sound echoing down the corridor.

‘I haven’t missed a heart yet’ Spike retorted, continuing to load the specially made rounds into the weapon. Piles of dust nearby testified to his truthfulness.

Further along the building a group of Turok-Han, some smouldering from a near miss on the way in from one of Connor’s grenades, were trying to get through a web of barbed wire, tearing it apart with their bare hands. They’d soon be through, the cuts and tears in their flesh from the wire meant nothing to them.

A figure stepped out in front of them, about five yards back from the wire. ‘Whassup?’ it asked as they hissed at the figure through the wire.

Gunn bought up the nozzle of the flame-thrower in his hands and directed a jet of fire into the vamps. Yep they didn’t like that one little bit, he thought with satisfaction as he played the jet over them. Pity about setting the walls on fire but what you gonna do? If it got out of control they’d just turn the sprinkler system back on, Gunn reasoned, leaving them to burn screaming in pain as he headed for the next corridor.

The vampires continued to pour into the building, and the slayers started to retreat as per the plan, drawing them into hit and run ambushes at pre-determined points where they could be hit by cross-bows at a safe distance. Buffy and Faith both took command of ambush teams which made the Turok-Han pay dearly for every inch of ground, thinning out their ranks one small group at a time. Perhaps half the Turok-Han carried swords, some of the rest clubs and maces, but they used them inexpertly, all slash and parry and little of the latter even. The well trained slayer swordswomen cut them down like wheat, fighting as a line across the corridors, shoulder to shoulder at each engagement. Only sheer numbers kept the vampires coming but with every clash the balance of forces tilted just a little more in favour of the defenders. It was a death by a thousand cuts, with the occasional bomb thrown in for good measure.

As the fighting intensified the sounds of firing increased and the sound of explosions inside joined the echo of shotgun blasts as Turok-Han triggered booby-traps left for them. Simple designs, nothing more than some fishing line which the unsuspecting who didn’t know where to step would snag and pull on. The problem was that on the other end of the line was a grenade with the pinned pulled out stuffed into a tin can. Pull the grenade from the can and its “adios vampiro” as Xander described, making damn sure that every one of their people knew where not to go by the simple expedient of spray painting symbols on walls and doors. The graffiti had bothered Principal Wood almost as much as the inevitable structural damage.

Half dragging a wounded slayer with a slashed leg with her, Vi was confronted with a lone Turok-Han which ran to attack. It didn’t get far before she drew her pistol and emptied the whole magazine through it. Fifteen shots of .357 SIG through the chest in quick succession stopped it dead in its tracks, blood gushing from the mass of wounds it had received before the slayer Vi was dragging raised the crossbow still in her hands and dusted it, the high-powered steel crossbow easily penetrating its hide . ‘Good shooting’ Vi told her, reloading her automatic with a fresh clip then letting the slide snap forward to load the first shot into the chamber.

‘You too’ the wounded slayer replied, wincing with pain and Vi started dragging her again ‘I thought you were going to draw a smiley face on it for a second there’ she joked. ‘Like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon.'

‘Only on the firing range’ Vi replied. ‘In action I try and write my name in bullet holes’ she said, pulling the girl along.

‘If it was more than two letters you’d need a bigger gun’ the wounded slayer replied, laughing despite her injury. Adrenaline is a wonderful thing she thought.

‘You two having fun?’ Faith asked, appearing alongside them sword in hand. She was breathing heavily from a nasty encounter in the next classroom with a pair of uber-vamps. They’d made her work for it but who was dust right now she thought triumphantly.

‘All things considered I’d rather be in bed’ the wounded slayer confided as Vi propped her up against a wall. ‘You get going’ she told the others. ‘I’ll put a bolt through the next one that comes this way and yell for help if there’s two’ she promised.

Faith looked down at the girls leg. ‘If that doesn’t stop bleeding like that soon put a tourniquet on it’ she advised. ‘There’s something you can use in your medi-kit’ she said, indicating the small pouch on the girls belt. ‘Just don’t let me find you using that morphine in there you’re not badly hurt enough to go trippin on me’ she told her. ‘You ready to get back into it?’ Faith asked Vi.

Vi put her automatic in her left hand and drew her short-sword with her right. The Roman-Style Gladius sword was a lot easier to use in these cramped conditions than a full length sword you needed acres of room to swing. ‘Lead on’ she said, following Faith back towards the action.

The wounded slayer switched her radio to the command frequency rather that the one being used by the team guarding the south.

More vamps coming in the front door’ Cordelia reported, her tone calm and professional.

It’s like Helms Deep’ Xander responded. ‘Except its Turok-Han instead of Uruk-Hai.’

Nerd’ she retorted.

The wounded slayer drew back the string on her crossbow loaded a bolt then waited. The next Turok’Han son-of-a-bitch that came into view was dust just like all the others, no matter how many there were.

Main Entrance – Sunnydale High School – May 2003

More incendiary and concussion grenades landing on top of them en-route, thanks to Connor, the next group of uber-vamps hurled themselves into the building, and were immediately blown right back out by Xanders M-203 Grenade Launcher, the explosion partially collapsing the entrance around them, though not enough to stop the next few crashing inside to be met by a hail of fire.

Bullets and shotguns could not kill a vampire, but they could cause grievous wounds that would seriously diminish their individual threat. For one thing a Turok-Han that had a face full of buckshot was likely going to be blind for a while at least, they didn’t heal that fast.

They kept coming though, they weren’t like the Bringers, they could absorb much more punishment and keep moving, still intent on ripping out your throat. They quite literally threw themselves at the wire while shotguns blasted into them and Wesley and Xander poured bursts of automatic fire into their ranks from different directions.

‘Mototovs now!’ Wesley yelled as the lobby became crowded with vampires teeming over the bodies of the Harbingers already strew around. The first glass bottle full of home-made napalm with a burning rag on top landed amongst the vampires, followed by two more in quick succession. The thick mixture of fuels burned hot as hell and stuck to anything it was on thanks to having granular washing powder of all things added as a thickener. The area soon became an inferno as more bottles were hurled into the fire exploding in sheets of flame, this was exactly the treatment that would give the vampires caused to think, gunshots were an annoyance, fire was something else entirely, especially for a creature that was so driven by instinct rather than higher logic.

The smoke was too thick to see for both sides but as the fire raged the slayers pulled back to the next line of defence. Choking on the smoke Xander reloaded his launcher and fired another grenade back into the charnel house they’d left behind before emptying his magazine. The explosion caused the burning ceiling above to come crashing down on top of the vampires.

‘Given the uninvited guests a warm welcome’ Xander reported, coughing on the smoke. ‘They still want to crash the party though.’

Maybe somebody should call the cops’ Cordelia suggested wryly.

‘It took all my powers of persuasion, and a hefty bribe to the ones still in town, to keep them away’ Xander replied. ‘At least they showed some civic duty, they’re evacuating what’s left of the people... well we kinda gave them a bonus and told them too anyhow.’

Protect and Serve, my ass’ Cordelia said bitterly.

‘Gunn said at least they were cheap. The LAPD would have wanted more money’ Xander replied, loading a fresh magazine, this one with another taped to it upside down for quick reloading later. ‘I don’t think all those years where Mayor Wilkins ran the town were good ones for hiring public officials’ he theorised.

A burning Turok-Han threw himself at the wire full speed and finally managed to dislodge a few strands. You had to give them credit for effort Xander considered and fired a short burst into it walking backwards towards the next barricade. ‘Here they come!’ he yelled as yet another group charged, finally breaking through the wire.

‘Hold the line!’ he heard Wesley yell from the next corridor along followed by a continuous stream of fully-automatic fire which continued for a long time.

‘Someone tell Gandalf to get his ass in gear and rescue us’ Xander said quietly to himself as he started firing again in earnest along with a stream of shotgun shells and occasional crossbow bolts.

South Corridor – Sunnydale High School – May 2003

Spike had run out of stake rounds and had abandoned his grenade launcher in favour for a nice meaty studded steel mace. He really did enjoy the crunch of a good fight and a mace provided all the crunch you could want, he thought, as he bought it down hard on an uber-vamps skull shattering it. Angel could keep his swords and fancy martial arts move, this was what a good fight was supposed to be, all blunt trauma and broken teeth.

Swinging the mace around Spike caught another Turok-Han in the ribs and not only heard them crack he felt them break back though the metal. ‘Uber my arse’ he said laughing and bought it down hard on the back of the creatures neck as it doubled over with the impact.

‘Are you having fun? Angel asked incredulously as he swung his broadsword and decapitated the closest vampire.

‘It’s bloody great mate’ Spike replied. ‘Best punch-up I’ve ever been in, even more fun than hitting you’ he told him, grinning. ‘No matter how many you kill there’s another one of the buggers. Bleeding marvellous’ he continued joyously.

Angel parried away a sword and punched the Turok-Han that had swung it as hard as he could in the chest, activating the device on his wrist that bought out the spring loaded stake there. The damn things were much tougher than ordinary vampires but he still managed to break through its chest and the thing exploded into powder, its sword falling to the ground next to the pile.

‘There you go. Think about the heart a bit more’ Spike told him. ‘And not just staking them, get led by it more’ Spike told him, moving to face another opponent. ‘You live up here’ he said, cracking the Turok-Han on the head, ‘You’d be better off following what’s in here sometimes’ he continued following up his first blow by slamming his mace into the vampires chest.

‘Following our reason not our gut instinct is what makes us better than these animals’ Angel retorted, fighting on against the horde.

‘Love is gut instinct and its love that makes us better’ Spike replied.

Angel threw one Turok-Han aside and decapitated yet another. ‘Do you love Buffy?’ he asked. ‘Really love her?’

‘Yes’ Spike replied. ‘Think I’m lying?’ he asked, pulling a stake from his pocket and quickly dusting the two broken and beaten vampires on the floor next to him, he found it easier to beat the fight out of them first then finish the bastards off afterwards. ‘Got an amulet in my pocket to prove otherwise’ he said.

‘You always took love seriously’ Angel replied. ‘It’s what made you special, what made you worth hanging with all those years’ he said. ‘Even Angelus could see that, you weren’t like most of the other jerks, you Darla, Dru, all of us we were special.’

‘We were fucking psychotic’ Spike pointed out truthfully. ‘And you were the psycho-in-chief’ he noted.

‘That too’ Angel conceded. ‘Don’t you dare die Spike because I don’t want to wear the damn amulet’ he told him. ‘I don’t mind dying for the cause but if it was any gaudier it would make you look like a New Orleans pimp.’

‘Still prefer that man-whore look you’ve got rather than look like the boss-man’ Spike replied. ‘I understand and I don’t judge your lifestyle. It’s the twenty-first century now’ he said. ‘I hear your kind might even be able to get married over in Massachusetts soon.’

Angel couldn’t help himself and laughed as he pulled his sword out of a Turok-Han chest. ‘Spikey that one’s getting old and just for the record there’s nothing more fun than hitting you’ he declared.

‘I’m the pinnacle of achievement in everything’ Spike told him, smashing another skull and splattering himself in vampire blood. ‘Hey did you ever see Gallagher do his hitting watermelons with a sledgehammer thing?’ he asked. ‘That never gets old either’ he declared. ‘Okay who’s next for the Mace-O-Matic?’ he yelled defiantly at the Turok-Han. ‘Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough you ugly wankers’ he taunted. ‘All together or one at a time, come to Spike I dare ya.’

‘I’m not with him’ Angel decided to point out.

Central Corridor – Sunnydale High School – May 2003

Wesley walked backwards firing his G-36K from the hip, covering the withdrawal to the next and final barricade, sending burst after burst down the corridor. He had loaded a hundred-round drum magazine, this was no time to stop for frequent reloads, and he kept up as continual a stream of rounds as he could. He wasn’t killing any of them but they certainly weren’t enjoying having supersonic lead slugs punching into them judging from the way they kept falling over in response. It was just a pity they always got back up, he thought sadly, they really needed to devise anti-vampire bullets, why couldn’t silver work like in those stupid Blade movies?

‘I’m dry’ Wesley yelled as his rifle stopped firing.

‘Now you see there’s the difference with the old Wesley’ Buffy observed. ‘He would have wet himself by now’ she said.

Wesley turned to see her standing behind the barricade and he jumped over the lowest point before the armed slayers there started firing themselves, shotguns, pistols and crossbows pouring down the corridor into the still advancing Turok-Han. ‘I wasn’t that bad’ he yelled at Buffy over the firing as he removed the now empty drum and put a thirty-round box magazine into his rifle to replace it. ‘I might have fainted of fright though’ he conceded. ‘Aren’t you needed down that way?’ he asked, pointing in the direction he meant.

‘Faith’s got it covered’ Buffy replied. ‘Gunn caught a group heading this direction and toasted them with his flame-thrower’ she told him. ‘I thought I should check if any more made it this far.’

‘We’re fine here’ Wesley told her. ‘Check on Xander. Follow the sound of the other machinegun’ he suggested, getting ready to fire again himself, shouldering his rifle to aim.

‘If they get past here…’ Buffy began.

‘If they get past here it’s because we’re dead’ Wesley told her flatly. ‘But don’t worry we’ll go out with a bang’ he assured her.

Buffy looked at the pair of grenades hanging from Wesley’s belt. ‘Try not to die’ she responded, ‘because if Illyria thinks I got you killed she’ll make a trophy of my spine to bury with you.’

‘My girl's got a way with her alright’ Wesley said, grinning as he pulled the trigger on his assault rifle, Buffy turning to leave.

The chief slayer started running, heading across to the next corridor which ran parallel where Xander would be. Despite everything else going on she noted that Wesley had said “my girl” regarding Illyria, well with her record Buffy was in no position to criticise peoples’ choices regarding partners she decided.

‘Fire in the hole’ Xander yelled and fired his grenade launcher at rather less than the recommended minimum distance, Buffy feeling a piece of shrapnel whip by her ear just as she arrived amidst the deafening explosion. Xander had of course, like the girls with him, ducked behind their makeshift barricade but they were up against straight away and firing again. They’d be hand-to-hand with the uber-vamps any minute but at least a large proportion of the Turok-Han were already rendered somewhat less than their most combat effective thanks to myriad bullet, shot and shrapnel wounds. Some were nicely scorched into the bargain too.

‘Hey Xander’ Buffy said, announcing her presence.

‘Hey Buff’ Xander replied. ‘It’s only a couple of months since I built the place and I’m already knocking it back down’ he said reaching for another magazine for his rifle. One more and he’d sling it in favour of a sword.

The slayer next to him dropped her shotgun having run out of ammunition and drew her pistol. ‘One clip and I’m using pointy steel’ she told Xander.

‘Three shells left here’ another told him, racking her shotgun again and firing. ‘Make that two’ she corrected herself.

‘You people and your machinery’ another voice chided from behind. ‘Let me show you how it’s done’ it said.

A fireball shot past Buffy and Xander from behind and incinerated the closest two vampires. Another was already on its way before the dust settled.

Xander turned to see Willow standing there, generating yet another ball of fire in her hands ready to launch. ‘Sorry I was late’ she said. ‘Had to deal with some nasty people down by the Basketball court that wanted to get in’ she said. ‘Illyria collapsed when she opened the portal but she’s recovered enough to let me and Kennedy leave her to watch Dawn and Ben’ she told them. ‘Kennedy has taken the scythe down to help Faith’ she added.

‘Nice to see you Willow’ Buffy told her, watching Willow fire another devastating ball of magical flame into the uber-vamps.

‘Hey Gandalf’ Xander greeted the now white-haired witch.
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