The End of the Watchers
It Begins . . .
In a darkened warehouse a lone figure works, a faint clicking and an occasional chuckle are all that is heard. "C's baby, work for me." The solitary man muttered,
"Ahh yes, that's what I want to see!" On the twin plasma displays that were mounted above the workstation, a shell script ran: $/root/Linux/home/lib/wtchr, "Well lets see how long it takes before those stuffy old bastard's have a complete meltdown"
"What the hell!" Anya's head snapped up, turning from her current customer to berate her husband's best friend, "Willow, I'd appreciate if you did not curse when there are spending clients in the store." Focusing her attention back to her client "You are buying this right?" Willow, after barely looking up from her laptop returned her gaze back to the screen. "What do you mean, login failed? I built the Goddamn database, so why am I being locked out?" Willow continued to mutter under her breath as she tried to connect to the Watchers mainframe. "Well we'll just log out, and try again" As the computer was executing her command, Anya, who was now a little upset at the loss of a sale due to "Negative Vibrations" as the client described them. "Thanks Willow, I just lost a sale due to your little outburst"
"Sshhh, this is serious" came Willow's terse reply "I can't log into the Watchers database . . . Connection failed!?!" Anya a little more than upset now due to a lost sale of a 500% markup, "Yes, it is serious! I didn't make any money on that item."
Their argument was cut short by a very pissed off British accent. "Well bloody hell Slayer, if your depth perception was any worse, the only Vamps that you could kill would be the ones drawn on a damn Etch-a-Sketch!" Spike still holding his injured arm, and getting louder by the minute. "I'm sorry Spike, but my coordination is still not up to my usual standards yet." Buff stated, following the pissed off vampire into the store and tailed by a concerned Bander. "Spike, maybe you should take it easy on her, she's been through a lot in the last three months" Flopping down into a chair, Spike regarded the young man and replied: "Easy for you to say mate. She didn't stake you in THE SODDING ARM!" By now Anya and Willow where trying to figure out why the two hunters and one brave man were back so early into the evening. "What the hell happened? Xander are you hurt?" Anya's eyes full of concern as she rushed to the side of her new husband. "What? No, I'm fine. Spike though, well I guess he now knows what friendly fire means." Willow, looking up from Spike's injured arm "It's not that bad, relax." And then tuning to her friend, "Buffy what happened?" Spike. Still, grumbling answered "Oh I'll tell you what happened Red, We were not five minutes into our patrol when a lone vamp in search of his first meal of the night tried to jump Xander." "Oh poor baby" Cooed Anya clutching her dearest's arm tightly. "Anyway" continued Spike, now starting to calm down a little, "I managed to lock the vamps arms behind his back with my own giving old cyclops here a clean shot at his heart, but the dizzy bint not only misses the target completely, she also manages to gore me bloody arm." Willow, coming to the defense of her friend "Take it easy Spike, I'm sure the vamp was probably struggling a lot and that's why she missed when she threw the stake."
"Threw!" Spike now standing, "She was holding it in her sorry HAND!" Buffy with her arms hugging herself and her eyes gazing at the floor, turned and with an air of quiet disappointment walked out of the Magic Box. "Way to go Spike." Commented Xander. "Not only does she have to deal with the idea of being alive again and with Giles being recalled home, she has to put up with your attitude as well." Spike answered by lighting a cigarette and stalking out the front door muttering that "Timmy" never had to put up with this crap. "Well time to close up, Willow will you be staying to use the highspeed connection to the Watchers data-thingy?" Willow thought about it a moment but decided against it, "no thanks Anya it could just be a connection problem between here and the Watchers main server I'll try again tomorrow."
"Okay, Xander you walk Willow out to her car, I'll be done in about five minutes"
Before Xander could move though, Willow whispered an ancient spell and without so much as a poof . . . was gone. "Well okay, that's cool yet scary way to get past the cost of gas." Said a semi concerned Xander, and he had been getting steadily more wary of Willows almost casual use of strong and dangerous magic in the last few months. " I know, but we have more pressing concerns' Xander." "Yea I guess we do." Xander replied with his thoughts drifting to the not quite right slayer.
It came without warning, and in less than 20 minutes 1200 years of Slayer diaries, Demon texts and the history of the Watchers was reduced to ash. The impossible had happened, a Vampire simply walked into the most secure of all the Watchers libraries and lit a match. " We couldn't stop her! We tried crosses, holy water, the very ground is consecrated, this should not be possible!" the young watcher still half dazed and doped up on whatever the doctors were giving him. With the sound of the nurse clearing her throat, Rupert Giles knew it was time to leave the young and only survivor to rest for the night.
During the 45 minute drive from the hospital to his flat, Rupert's mind kept going over the day's event's. He had come home very late. So late it was starting to get light out again, much to his very weary surprise upon arriving home he found that his flat had been burgled. Nothing had been taken, only the fact that his place had been turned inside out, it was so bad a mess it looked as if Bander had taken up residence there instead of himself. Too tired to clean up the place Rupert simply crashed on the couch and was jolted out of his sleep a mere two ½ hours later. A young watcher had arrived to his flat and had told him of the situation at the Watchers mainframe building, the tech proceeded to tell of how the main server was cracked and all the information that Rupert and Willow had transferred from hard copy to softcopy was lost. It was then that Rupert realized what had been stolen, "Oh damn, the backups!" Rushing to the place where the DVD'S were stored in his spare bedroom, Giles pulled back the carpet and lifted the floorboard
to discover they were gone. "Well on the bright side, we still have the original text's at the main library, after all I prefer a book to a silly computer." The young Watcher only chuckled at the comment and responded with on of his own "Unless the library burns down." Rupert did not think that was at all funny and after instructing the young man to get his technology loving arse down to the library and start putting the texts back into the computer. Now a mere nine hours later that same young man is the only survivor of the greatest loss the Watchers entire history.
"HOW dare you? Really who in the hell do you think you are?" Cordelia's voice rang out in the lobby, in return Angel raised his hand and a loud "SLAP" echoed throughout the hotel. Looking up from the floor through tear filled eyes' and with a soft heartbroken voice "I thought you loved me." Dropping to one knee and with a low and mocking tone Angel said "All you are is a piece of ass, I have never loved you. Hell I've had $20.00 whore's that meant more to me than you, just a means to an end that's all you were, now get out!" As Angel turned to walk upstairs, Cordelia sprang to her feet and ran toward the main lobby doors in tears. Just before reaching the main staircase Angel stopped turned and asked "Well?" Looking up from her script Cordelia said in a tone that only Cordy could use "I'm the actress here no one cares how you did." After hearing that Angel understood why nobody else would read for her, "I hope this counts as helping the hopeless." Angel muttered. Cordelia looked up and with a dark tone said "I heard that" Any other banter was stopped by the ringing of the office phone. "Angel Investigations Cordelia Chase speaking, Hey Anya how's married life?......uh well I'm glad to hear someone's having them . . . Me? No, not since that guy who tried to make me carry demon spawn . . . Oh ok I'll tell him . . . ok, bye." "What did Anya have to say?" asked Angel. "Oh she just wanted to tell us that the supplies Wesley ordered are in, that and to tell me how good Xander is at giving her orgasm's" Angel simply nodded and turned to head upstairs, after all it was pretty late for him. "Goodnight Cody, wake me up at 6:00 ok?" "Uh huh" was she only reply.
"You can applaud now! For I have returned." Cordelia turned to see Gunn and Wesley walk through the front doors followed by Fred.
"The only time I clap my hands is when I get expensive, tasteful gifts and judging by your wardrobe and pay stubs, or lack thereof, you have neither of those two things."
"Cordy, did you run into Pamela Anderson?"
"No Gunn . . . why?"
"Because you got her tits all over you!"
Before Cordy could shriek in response, the phone rang yet again.
"Angel Investigations: Wesley Price speaking, . . . Oh hello Willow, did my supplies come in?...... Good, Good yes I'll pay the shipping . . . mmm what? Let me check." Wesley walked into his office and booted up his computer. "Ok I'm trying to log in now and . . . nothing."
"Nothing? Nothing at all?" came Willows surprised response, Wesley tried to calm her down by stating not all computers have a 100% uptime and it's only been 13 hrs since she tried last. After calming her down she finally agreed to fax what she needed from their library.
Later in the day:
"I don't see why we have to do research for Buffy as well as Angel."
Gunn just rolled his eyes "Jeez Cordy I don't know what is worse, doing research or listening to you bitch about it."
Sensing the rising tension Fred meekly asked "Anybody want a taco?" Looking at their sensitive friend and how she was responding to the bickering the two calmed down.
"Good call Fred, I could do some serious eating right now."
"Gunn you can always eat, I'm amazed you can even move with all the crap you ingest."
Looking at the clock Cordy cursed, it was 5:55pm time to wake the Vampire. Climbing the stairs to Angels room, her thoughts drifted back to six months ago. After entering the hotel in a good mood after their trip to Lorne's realm it all came crashing down with two words: "It's Buffy." After that, he was like a man possessed going after all who would hurt others with a fire that was beyond scary. Then three months ago in the middle of a research session with the group he stopped, stood and looked very far away. Again two words were uttered "It's Buffy" and with that he tore out of the hotel. A few hours later Angel called to tell the group that everything was okay, he was in Sunnydale and would be back in a day or two. When Angel returned seven days late all, he said was "Buffy is alive and okay, sorry I took so long getting back but I owed her a recovery." Since that day he was a happy man again and with the LA team and Scooby gang having their computers networked together, it has really drawn the two teams closer to each other. It was like two halves to a bigger whole working together, the way it should have been the entire time.
Reaching Angels room Cordelia knocked and after a minute she walked in and as cheerfully as possible said: "Angel rise and . . . well I guess shine wouldn't really apply to you now would it?"
Angel was just coming out of the bathroom. He was fully dressed and fighting with his hair, looking up with a frown and a silent plea in his eyes.
"Here let me, sit on the bed." As his best friend began doing his hair Angel thought of the night ahead and well . . . first things first. "Have you guys eaten yet? Because I'm starving."
Walking down the stairs leading to the main lobby, with Cordy still messing with his hair. " Cordelia I'm sure it looks . . . Hey foods here. Great I'm starving. Hey Wesley, Fred where's Gunn?"
Looking up from her taco Fred informed Angel that Gunn left to get a Burrito.
This prompted a look of disgust from Cordelia.
"I don't know how he can stomach that processed crap."
After moving into Wesley's office, light conversation continued for the next few minutes in which Wes brought Angel up to speed on the reason for the all the research.
"So when Giles left for home he took all the texts back with him?"
"I'm afraid so, I didn't think it would be a problem nor did Willow, with the Watchers Council having all of its texts available through one database the risk of losing all those priceless texts is reduced."
Angel nodded "I guess they didn't think the database would go down, but as you say it's probably only temporary, I just glad that books don't suffer from this sort of thing."
Wesley chuckled at that. "All the texts are now at the main Watcher library, it's been treated to many a spell to keep all types of demons away and since its on holy ground no vampire can set foot in the building without bursting into flames."
About halfway through his "Liquid Lunch" as Fred was fond of calling it he began to have trouble focusing his eyes, looking up he saw Fred, Cordy and Wesley looking at their food strangely.
With a groggy voice Cordy asked, "Wes' where did you order this from?"
"I thought you ordered it. Oh boy . . . "
Twenty blocks, Gunn couldn't believe it he had to go that far for a burrito. After parking his truck next to Angels drop top he headed into the hotel.
"Hey y'all, you wouldn't believe.... Guys?"
The lobby was empty, so he headed past the front desk and into the rear offices it was in Wesley's office where he found them.
A silent voice caught his attention, rushing to the side of the semi-conscious vampire.
"Angel what happened man?"
He could barely make out the name but it was the only name Angel would utter: "Buffy"
Rushing to the phone Gunn used the speed dial to call Buffy's house.
"1,2,3,4,5......20,21 ahh screw it! Magic Box, Magic Box....."
After 3 rings the automated operator came on "I'm sorry the call you have placed cannot be completed at this time. Please check your number or try again later."
"DAMN !! What the hell is happening here?"
Just after dusk.
Spike made his way from his crypt and headed towards the butchers, he was in a seriously bad mood after the previous nights failed attempt at a patrol. He was half way to the slaughter house when the smell hit him.
Someone burning old tires? He thought himself. Stopping a moment to take a deep smell, "That smells like tar from an old roof" he muttered. Then he saw the light smokey haze over town and then he managed to pinpoint the source.
"Oh bloody 'ell."
It took him about 6 minutes to reach what was left of the Magic Box, all that was left of the store was a smokey ruin. Seeing that the fire was out and only one fire truck was still on the scene it was obvious the fire started a few hours ago. Walking up to the officer in charge of the scene he blurted. "Damn!! what in the bloody hell happened here?" The officer, a short dark haired woman turned and in an annoyed tone stated:
"A fire, no wait... a tornado."
"Ha ha very droll officer... Koon is it? I could have a war of wits with you all night, but lucky for you your obviously unarmed. Now tell me: What... The... Hell... Happened... Here."
"Are you a friend or relative?"
Spike thought a moment and in a silent curse.
Officer Koon regarded him a moment, then pulled him aside.
"It's pretty bad, the building literally exploded at about 5:30pm this evening. From what we can figure, the management and a few employee's where closing up and as they where locking the front door, the building exploded into flame sending the group of 5 women and 1 man across the street and into the sidewalk pretty hard. The group had to be airlifted to Los Angeles for severe concussions and trauma. What was amazing is no one was burned, it was like the flames rushed around the people leaving them untouched but the force of the blast sent the group flying."
After hearing all the officer had to tell him, Spike left what remained of The Magic Box and headed to the old mansion where he had parked the DeSoto two years before.
An Hour, a stolen Charger and a 40 oz of Whisky later....This week keeps getting better and better thought Spike sourly, not only do I get staked in the arm, the Desoto is dead so I have to boost a car for the drive I do not want to take to LA just to probably have tell that wanker of a grandsire of mine what happened. Oh joy I can see it now. Spike sighed and after taking another swig of booze he spoke in his mock Angel voice he loved so much:
" Spike!! you no good Limey, I thought I told you to take care of the girls. After all I have enough to worry about here in LA, what with Big Boobs eventual porno career and me trying to keep a steady supply of hair gel, because as you know nothing say's I'm a big sissy poof better than back combed hair that stands up on the front."
Well better a Limey than a Mick I suppose, at least two good things has happened today: 1) I got to drain a tasty co-ed 2) She left me this bitchin' car.
"I really must thank Doc next time I see him for throwing me off that tower, it's amazing how fragile built by the lowest bidder technology is. Won't the gang be so surprised when they find out."
And with a smile on his face Spike gunned the motor even faster totowardhe City of Angels.
TBC.. . . .