From the Ends of the 'Verse
Social unrest, wars starting and ending, refugees, and mystical revelations. Of course, the Scoobies and the crew of Serenity
are right in the thick of it. Sequel to "The Catastrophe." Liam's FollyDisclaimer
: The characters and ideas of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The 4400, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and the Dead Zone belong to their respective owners. I am not one of these people.Notes
: See the first chapter for timeline information.
Buffy's jaw was slightly askew from shock. She couldn't take her eyes away from the sight of the monster she had hated like no other, sitting across a desk from her and grinning.
"Buffy?" Jordan asked, receiving no response. "Buffy," he said again, a little more forcefully.
She turned to him, her muscles tense, not blinking. The part of her that was the Slayer, relaxed and almost dormant for so many decades, had been awoken by being tossed out of its metaphorical bed. As she struggled for control, she wondered what real reason there was not to finally end the Scourge of Europe, and now apparently the Alliance as a whole.
Her mind caught up to her emotions when she realized that every piece of furniture in the room was made from high-strength plastic composites. Of course Angelus wouldn't keep a wooden table around for her convenience. And with no way to know that any vampires had made the journey from Earth, she had no stakes on her.
"This is Angelus," she said to Jordan, careful to keep her tone emotionless. "You remember what I said about him."
"It's so sweet how she's always thinking about me, isn't it?" he remarked. Suddenly, he slammed his fist down into the desk, watching as Buffy jumped and immediately assumed a fighting stance. He chuckled. "You always were so easy, Buff. But then again, that's how you met me the first time…"
"Shut up," she said, her voice wavering slightly.
Jordan tried to calm her down by placing a hand on her shoulder. "It's okay, Buffy," he said. "We outnumber him, and he hasn't even left his chair. If he were going to try something personally, he would have done it by now."
She turned to face him, eyes wide and incredulous. "Us? I'm not worried about us. This is a monster, Jordan, and he killed enough people on Earth before he was stopped. If he's been in control of the Alliance this whole time, and we've done nothing to stop him…"
Before Jordan could respond, Angelus laughed. It wasn't just a chuckle, as it had been before; he let loose with full, uproarious glee, wrinkling his expensive black suit. "Is that who you really believe I am? Do you think that I keep cloning my werewolf whore, just to keep her around without ever allowing her peace? Do you think I started a special school to perform medical experiments on little girls? That I douse an entire planet with a chemical designed to depress people to death, except for the select few that it drives insane?" His face shifted for just a moment, yellow eyes and fangs flashing in front of them. "Oh, that's right..."
Buffy lunged at him, but he anticipated the move, shoving his desk towards her as she leapt. The collision knocked the air from her lungs and forced her back into Jordan's arms as he stopped her from hitting the opposite wall.
Jordan was beginning to mirror Buffy's emotional distress. "What are you doing here? You, the great Scourge of Europe, in a suit and tie authorizing government projects? If it were possible I'd think you must still have a piece of your soul in there, keeping you from being really terrifying." He gripped Buffy's hand as she stood up to try to convey to her that his provoking tone and words were deliberate.
"Oh, I didn't bother getting rid of the soul this time around," Angelus admitted. "That dumb Irish bastard thought he could save the world by bringing a demon
a breath away from controlling Wolfram & Hart. Souls corrupt, and Liam was no saint to begin with. Once you've signed the orders to kill witnesses' entire families, you become… desensitized." He turned in his chair a bit, bringing one hand to his chin in contemplation. "Although, you'll only ever be on the receiving end of those kinds of orders, so you won't have the chance to find out."
Angelus' mistake was always his arrogance. This time, he was arrogant enough to believe that only Buffy had posed a threat to him, and so he didn't bother to keep Jordan in his field of vision. He didn't realize that the man had pulled the trigger on his gun until the bullet was already hurtling through the air towards him. It hurt as it tore through his chest, but pain was never something that overly concerned him. "Did you think that would kill me? I'm already dead
, you idiot! Another hole doesn't mean anything!"
Jordan crossed his arms, remaining unperturbed. A few seconds later, flames erupted from the wound, consuming Angelus almost instantly.
Buffy gaped as the dust settled on the formerly occupied office chair. "How did you—?"
"I remembered that I had one flare round in the barrel from that camping trip we took last month," Jordan replied. "Luck was on our side, for the moment at least."
"I need to snap out of this," Buffy said. "Seeing Angel–Angelus, realizing all that we've let happen… if I let it paralyze me it can only get worse. I have to remember who I am, what my purpose is. We all do." The Slayer dreams she had been having had indicated this to her already, but the up-close and personal encounter brought it home. She realized that maybe that had been part of the point of the Osiris mission after all, to kill Angelus and startle her into action in one fell swoop.
"You're the Slayer," Jordan said, smiling. "And as for me…"
Dawn's voice crackled through on the high-strength wideband radio they had brought to get around Alliance electronic security measures. "Jordan, do you have any idea how you just became President of the Alliance?"
Three figures, each bearing a different staff, stood around a rock in a nondescript environment. Despite the various façades they projected to the demonic Senior Partners they had allowed to assume partial control of their organization, in this highest echelon of meetings they did away with pretense. Each knew that without the others, they would not have any of the power they had amassed together.
The Hart spoke. "This development was unforeseen. How?
The Ram answered. "The Slayer fulfilled the command that she kill the ensouled one many centuries ago. No such augury existed for the would-be chemical messiah.
The Wolf continued. "We must return our agent to the field. We shall lose too much if we falter now.
The Hart finished. "Remove the other from cryogenesis and prepare the sacrifices. We will raise him in short order.
The three seemed to fade away, their forms melting into shadow.