All disclaimers still apply: We own no part of BtVS or Sonja Blue.
Casually steering with one hand, Sonja hooked her mirrored D&A's from the neck of her Hells Belles T-shirt and replaced them in front of her eyes. Some members of the Pretender races, like vampires, couldn't take the fact that they had no reflection; as if they had no tangible presence in this world. Looking at Spike sitting beside her, politely blowing his smoke out a half-lowered window, she could detect no reaction as he glanced at her. "So... HouseAurelius, any connection with the Order of Aurelius? Nobody's heard much of Joseph Ness in over a century."
Spike grinned her. "Your info's a bit out of date... Old Heinrich tried to open a Hellmouth on the west coast a decade ago. He and his main childer were done and dusted."
"Oh? What happened?"
"There was a prophecy, the usual kind of doom and gloom, so The Council arranged for The Slayer to be there waitng for him. She was fated to die as well, but dusted Luke and Darla before she faced him. He underestimated her, didn't make sure she stayed dead when he took a nibble and drowned her." He paused to flick his cigarette out the window. "This Slayer was different, she had friends, and one of them gave her CPR. To say she was annoyed is an understatement." He laughed, "Dropped him from the top of her school onto a suspiciously convenient piece of wood then used a sledgehammer to turn his bones to dust. She said she divided the remains amongst her friends, insisting that they pissed on him before flushing him away."
Sonja let a snurt of laughter escape as she felt The Other capering in glee at the image. "You sound as if you heard that story first hand."
"Yeh, I was passing by a year or so later. Ran into each other, danced a few times. She was good, had all these cheerleader moves she incorporated into her fighting style. I think her Watcher was teaching her that French kickboxing thing, y'know, Savate or something." He stopped, his face more solemn now as he contemplated something only he could see.
Spike shook his head, as if to dispel an unwanted image, looking at her once more. "The Master of HouseAurelius got her a couple of years ago. Turned her."
Waiting for a light to change, Sonja started to scan through her radio for some decent music. "I heard rumors of a Slayer up in Boston recently, was that her replacement?"
"Nah. Some Jamaican bird called Kendra was next. Didn't last long, was turned by one of the new master's childer. The one in Boston was called Faith."
Spike smirked at her, "HouseAurelius is an expanding operation. My Sire turned her... I think The Council is starting to get the message. No Slayers required."
Sonja returned her gaze to the road ahead as she listened to The Other whispering at her, 'Kill him now. Dangerous!'
She ignored the imprecations from her Demon as she contemplated the information Spike was casually dispensing, without apparent regard to what she was learning from their conversation. He didn't seem that stupid. And he had come prepared for a confrontation with Weres... So. There was a reason.
Dissatisfied with her choices as the light changed, she switched the radio off, turning to the left, and making her way north again as they left behind the industrial section scattered along the bay.*
Spike put away his old memories of Buffy into that place reserved for special regrets. Turned, she'd actually become seemingly more relaxed with her situation; losing that almost perpetual weariness of spirit she had started to display at the end. Became more open to seduction; if one were willing to work at it. Red hadn't interfered as long as you took heed of the first "No!"
Angelus, the prick, had tried to assert his previous claim by right of primogeniture. Spike's Demon had salivated at the result; even as it cowered in fear watching the asshole burn as Red had turned his blood to Holy water. She had prolonged the agony to make a point, waiting until he could scream no more as his throat turned to raw meat. Only then had she let him dust...
And Spike had never forgotten what would happen if he didn't acknowledge the new realities...*
He turned his attention back to the woman beside him as she asked a question; thinking about the information Red had provided about her...
Turned at the tail-end of 1969 by Morgan, the name of Sonja Blue had first appeared in Europe before disappearing to Asia for a time. There was no history of her activities there, but she had splashed onto the scene in 'Merica with a massacre in The Hell Hole club, closely followed by her part in the implosion of the Catherine Wheele cult. Seemingly dedicated to her single-minded hunt for Morgan, her subsequent destruction of his organisation, and ultimately her killing of her Sire had resulted in a reputation to give any being pause.
Now she was hunting for Lord Noir, and her questions had brought her to the attention of HouseAurelius.
"You didn't really explain how you happened to be there tonight. How the master of HouseAurelius heard about what was going down."
"Oh, it wasn't happenstance, luv. Certain people know where their true loyalties should lie, and you've been asking questions in dark places. Your interest got back to Red."
"Red. The new Master of HouseAurelius. Willow to her close associates, if you're ever so honored." He caught her gaze over the top of her mirrored shades. "Crimson Red, if you get on her bad side."
Sonja contemplated that name as she thought furiously; letting nothing show on her face. She knew nothing of this new HouseAurelius, but the Name of Crimson Red was spoken in whispers wherever Demons gathered. Spoken with a look over the shoulder to make sure that only known associates heard you.
And yet here was Spike letting her know casually, without a hint of boast, that he was bonded to a real power in the Underworld. There was something else going on here, and she didn't like being in the dark. "Why would she care about someone like Lord Noir?"
"It's not him she's interested in. He's all yours to do with as you will, but he's been making overtures towards someone Red has a serious dislike for... Someone who has a serious reckoning on his horizon... Anyway, since you've got a legitimate grievance against Lord Noir, and Red, hearing that he had somehow made an accomodation with a pack of Weres, suggested I drop by and lend a hand."
Sonja was furious, but she let none of it register in her voice. "I will not be beholden to her, no matter what she's done."
Spike smiled as he watched her contain her fury. Red had predicted her reaction accurately and his instructions had been succinct. "No worries there. She's a west coast girl, not interested in the politics on this side of the continent. In fact, once our present association is concluded, you never have to have anything to do with HouseAurelius again... Unless you want to."
She growled to herself, wanting to rub the smirk off his face; contenting herself with dropping a gear and flooring the pedal. The Other was screaming away in the back of her brain, trying to persuade her to just kill Spike and damn the consequences. Telling her Demon to shut up, telling it that they had to live in the RealWorld; telling herself that Spike's use of the word 'association' was deliberate.
She eventually eased off on the acceleration, not wanting to deal with the attention of a cop; not with the Renfield trussed up in her trunk. Turning off the main road, she drove down behind a row of closed shops, turning left to pull up by the rear entrance of an abandoned factory that backed onto the alley behind the premises.
Pocketing the keys, she ignored Spike as she opened the trunk and grabbed the now conscious man by the collar again and hauled him out. Cuffing him across the back of the head as he struggled in her grip she dragged him over to a padlocked door recessed in the factory wall. Dropping her captive, keeping him still with a boot at his neck, she dealt with the new padlock she had fitted the previous night, and entered the large open space; reaching down to toss him inside.
Collecting and lighting a couple of hurricane lamps she had left previously, she positioned them to provide a reasonable amount of light as she moved around the factory floor. There was still machinery present, rusty now, and obviously not worth recovering when whatever business had occupied the premises had gone belly-up, and she soon found a length of chain which would be good for her purposes.
Throwing the chain over a beam she let it dangle as she moved to her captive once more. The 'snick' of her switchblade was the only warning he had as she slipped the weapon inside his collar, drawing the blade down to slice through his clothes; not caring if he was cut in the process. When he was naked, she checked his bonds again, removing the improvised gag she had stuffed in his mouth. Squirting some water from a bottle into his mouth, she attached the dangling chain to the tie between his arms as he struggled in her grip. Pulling the other end of the chain she lifted him until he was standing on tiptoe, his body bent at the waist as all his weight was held up by the arms behind his back. Tying off the chain on a convenient hook, she moved to his front, placing her blade beneath his chin until he was looking at her.
"I won't betray my master."
Removing her shades, she smiled, letting him watch as she unsheathed her fangs; drinking in the fear that skittered across his mind. "Yes, you will." Looking over at Spike as he leaned against the wall, she asked, "Hey, Spike, which arm would you say is going to dislocate first, left or right? Care for a small wager?"
Spike just laughed.
Sonja dragged over a wooden crate till it was in front of her victim, settling into a Lotus position on top. Placing her wrists on her knees, she closed her eyes and opened her mouth, "Ommm."
This time Spike sniggered.
She gave a disgusted sigh, placing her hands beneath her chin as she contemplated the Renfield dangling before her. "Well?"
The strain was by now evident in his voice. "I will not betray my master." He bounced up on his toes, letting all of his weight fall on his arms.
as both sockets detached from his torso; the scream of pain was music to her Demon, but Sonja just rolled her eyes in irritation.
Hopping off the crate she moved over to the moaning man, shoving his chin aside as her fangs slid into his neck. As the first taste slid over her tongue, she wrenched her way into his mind; rolling over his weak will as she learned all she could... Then it was just a matter of enjoying the kill.
Withdrawing her fangs, she licked the last drops from her lips as they returned to their sheaths.
"Get what you wanted?"
"No. His mind was practically empty... Got a name though. And an address."
End of Chapter One.