Detective Rider’s first thought when he awoke was, ‘What’s that smell?’ He slowly opened his eyes and took in his surroundings. He found himself in an alley full of trash, the sun shone down from a clear blue sky and he had absolutely no idea where he was or indeed who he was.
He sat up and looked at himself, he saw the rumpled cheap suit, the scuffed shoes, well who ever he was, he thought rubbing his head, he had no dress sense. He searched through his pockets and found a wallet. This should tell him who he was he thought.
“Detective Steve Rider,” He said out loud, it did not seem to ring any bells, he wondered if the sour looking man in the photograph of ‘his’ drivers license was really him.
“Must find a mirror.” He muttered as he stood up.
Just then vague memories started to surface in his mind. His hand found the pistol on his hip.
“Yep,” He concluded, “Must be a cop.”
More memories started to materialise in his mind. Yes he was a cop and a pretty run of the mill one at that. He had feeling that he was fairly unpopular with his colleagues and superiors.
“What sort of asshole am I?” He asked the world in general as he stumbled out of the alley and into a main street.
His hand went to the back of his head where he felt several lumps.
“I musta fallen and hit my head,” He reasoned as he started to walk along the street, “That must be why I can’t remember stuff.”
He looked up and down the street it was deserted except for a patrol car that headed slowly towards him, he held up his badge and walked towards the car. As he walked he mused that he had been given an opportunity. Maybe the time had come to reinvent himself; he caught a glimpse of his reflection in a shop window.
“The suit has got to go!” He said.
Riley sprang to rigid attention as The President and the First Gentleman walked into the room they were accompanied by General Allyson. Debbie Howard climbed to her feet and stood next to Riley.
“Major Finn,” Said the President shaking his hand warmly, “Ms Howard.” The President shook Debbie’s hand less warmly than she had Finn’s. “So, how did you manage to rescue my girls?” She asked.
The President sat down and signalled for everyone to do likewise.
“Ma’am?” Asked Finn innocently, Debbie kept her mouth shut and waited for Riley to explain.
“Come on Major,” Said the President, “I’ve read the preliminary report; there must be more to it than that.”
Finn took a deep breath and glanced over at Debbie, she shrugged her shoulders and gave him a look that said ‘Go on’.
“Madam President, it was all fairly simple.” Began Finn, “As you know we went to an address where we believed your daughters were being held. Unfortunately they weren’t, luckily I had received additional intelligence that they may have been held at a slightly different location. I dispatched another team to that location. As it turned out your daughters were being held in the second location. The team drove off the guards and rescued the girls.”
“So how come Captain Miller knew nothing off this?” Asked the First Gentleman.
“Unfortunately there was no time for me to brief him on the secondary mission.” Replied Riley straight faced.
“That would explain why he was so tight lipped about your where abouts after the assault.” Mused Rod.
“Yes Sir.” Replied Riley simply.
“And Miss Howard,” Said the President turning to look at Debbie, “What was your part in all this?”
“As you may know Ma’am,” Replied Debbie, “I was trying to get background for a story when I heard gunfire and went to investigate.”
“That was very brave of you.” Said Rod levelly glancing at his wife.
“Brave Sir?” Replied Debbie, “No Sir, foolish!”
“Most people would have run away.” Agreed the President.
“Well Ma’am,” Said Debbie, “Maybe I was too keen on getting a story? Anyway I saw the terrorists go down the fire escape so I followed, that’s when they grabbed me and bundled me into their truck. I was kept in a cell separate from the girls and I didn’t see anyone until Major Finn’s team rescued me.”
“Is that so?” Asked the President.
“Yes Ma’am.” Confirmed Debbie.
President Allen and her husband exchanged looks. The President stood up indicating that the interview was over. President Allen shook hands with Riley again.
“Well Major Finn,” She said with a smile, “I think you should start getting used to being called Colonel Finn from now on, and thank-you for getting my girls back."”
“Yes Ma’am! Thank-you Ma’am,” Stuttered Riley.
“Come on son,” Said General Allyson kindly, “Let’s get you back to your men.” The two soldiers left the room.
“Ms Howard,” Called the President as Debbie turned to follow the General and Riley.
“I’m quite aware of what you and my son where doing.”
“You are?” Asked Debbie wondering if she could use her Slayer powers to escape when the Secret Service came in to arrest her.
“What have you got to say for yourself?” Asked the President, “You know I could have you arrested.”
Debbie thought quickly.
“It never happened Ma’am,” She said quickly, “And it will never happen again even if it had happened in the first place, which it didn’t. And if anyone were to say that it did happen, I would deny it most vigorously!”
“I’m glad to hear it.” Smiled the President, “We’ll never speak of it again, not that there’s anything to speak of.”
Debbie and the President shook hands and Debbie rushed from the room.
When they were alone Mac looked at her husband.
“What a load of bull!” She exclaimed, Rod just smiled, “Girl Commando’s with swords, Witches, cats and Vampires…and that yarn Maj…no Colonel Finn span.” Mac sat down heavily on a handy chair.
“Come on Mac,” Pleaded Rod, “Amy has a vivid imagination it could all be the trauma caused by the kidnapping.”
“Rod, when did Amy learn about vampires for Christ’s sake?” Asked Mac.
“You don’t believe in vampires do you?” Asked Rod incredulously.
“No,” Replied Mac firmly, “She’s probably justifying things in terms she can understand. But, that story Colonel Finn spun was thin to say the least. And some of what that Howard woman said was an outright lie. That Seattle PD patrolman is adamant that he saw her run after the getaway truck. Plus I know when our children are lying or not telling the whole truth, and Rebecca is holding something back.”
“You want I should talk to her?” Asked Rod.
“No,” Mused Mac, “Not just yet.” The President fell quiet for a moment. “Rod when we get back to Washington I want you to head-up an investigation into this whole affair. It’ll be completely separate from any criminal investigation and I want you to report only to me. Use only Secret Service agents you can trust implicitly. I want you to get to the bottom of this, and while you’re at it I want you to find out what it is Colonel Finn’s unit really does.”
“That’s a pretty tall order Mac.”
“Have you anything better to do?” Replied the President with a smile, “I’ll give you all the authority you need to get the job done.”
“If you think it’s necessary Mac I’ll get on with it as soon as we get back to the White House.” Agreed the First Gentleman.
“Thanks Rod, I don’t know what I’d do without you sometimes.” The President smiled at her husband then looked at her watch, “Sorry Rod I have a call to make, I’ll see you outside in ten minutes or so.”
“Sure.” Replied Rod, he went over and kissed his wife on the check and then left the room.
When she was alone President Allen sat down at a desk and lifted the receiver of the phone that rested there. She consulted a scrap of paper that Vince had given her earlier in the day. She dialled a number and listened to the ring tone for a moment before the telephone was answered.
“Mrs Lowell?” Asked the President, “This is President Allen, I just wanted to call and say how sad I was to learn of your husband’s death…”
“So what do we do with all the bits?” Asked Kennedy as she surveyed the assorted demon parts that lay on the family room floor.
“I’m going to pickle them.” Announced Willow brightly.
“They might come in handy for a spell sometime.” Willow replied.
Kennedy considered this for a while.
“What sort of spells?” She asked suspiciously.
“Ones that don’t get cast very often.” Replied Willow picking up the demon’s skull.
“Well as long as you’re not planning world domination that’s okay then.” Kennedy paused for a moment before asking, “If you’re the Witch Queen of Seattle what does that make me?”
“Really sexy?” Replied Willow with a grin, she held up the demon’s skull and moved its jaw with her other hand, “Gottle of Geer! Gottle of Geer!” She laughed.
Madison stood on the doorstep her suitcases piled all around her; she looked at her sister and her strange ‘family’ as she waited for the cab to arrive. She had had a really great visit, what with all the parties that she and her sister had been to, but it had been a pity they had not been able to do more shopping. She exchanged farewell kisses with Kennedy’s ‘partner’ Willow as all the girls put her cases into the cab when it arrived.
She waved happily as the cab drove out onto the road and down the street; she could not wait to come visit again. There was, however, one odd thing about the whole weekend, she had the strangest feeling she had lost something.
“Phew that was close.” Said Willow as everyone walked back into the house, “It wasn’t too difficult to plant the memories in her mind.” She explained, “She’s really quite a simple soul deep down. It was trying to make it all fit in the limited space of her mind; and then not leaving any trace behind that was the hard part.”
“You do know what you’ve done don’t you?” Said Kennedy squeezing Willow’s waist, “She’ll have enjoyed her visit so much she’ll want to come again!”
“Oh, I dare say I can fill her head with happy memories again.” Smiled Willow.
“You’re a wicked woman Willow Rosenberg.” Announced Kennedy.
“One of your many redeeming qualities.” Replied Kennedy.
*The Following Week.*
Captain Martins limped into the Police Commissioner’s office.
“Don’t bother to sit down.” Snapped the Commissioner, he looked up at Martins, “Have you ever wondered what it’s like to try to explain to the President how one of your senior officers prevented the US Army from rescuing her daughters?”
Martins opened his mouth to speak, but the Commissioner carried on before he could say a word.
“No you can’t Martins because you’re an idiot!” The Commissioner took a deep breath before continuing. “I suggest you go and clear out your office and write your resignation letter. I suggest that you sight ‘Injuries Received’ as the reason for leaving. Now get out of my office!”
Martins found himself standing in the corridor outside the Commissioner’s office; he wondered what had happened to his life. As he limped towards the elevators his mind searched for a personal scapegoat, he soon found one. It was all those Army Puke’s fault, and somehow he would make them pay!
Tim looked at the ruined door of his house where he had held the President’s daughters. It did not bother him much; he had other houses, better ones in fact. He congratulated himself on getting through the whole miserable affair relatively unscathed. He smiled and turned away from the house to find himself looking down at a short thin teenage girl.
“Hey big boy! You wanna a good time?” She asked.
Tim turned to dust seconds later.
“‘Hey big boy’?” Asked Tina stepping out of the shadows, “We’re really going to have to think of a better tagline for you.”
“It was the best I could do on short notice.” Sulked Alice.
“Come on Alley-cat,” Tina put her arm around Alice’s shoulders, “Let’s get off home.”
Alfred’s disembodied spirit floated over the busy Vancouver street. He was trying to choose a new body to inhabit. There were so many to pick from. He had decided to go for a male body again, and he was sure he would find a new Master shortly afterwards. Alfred closed in on a prospective host this one was promising; he lived by himself, no family ties and a dead end job. No one would notice when he went missing.
Alfred had decided he was going to explore this human relationship thing further. He found he still rather missed Tammy the Vampire Slayer, and finding a new female to ‘love’ would probably take his mind off her.
*One Month Later.*
Major Johnson brought his helicopter in to land at Anchorage Airport and thanked his lucky stars once more for his good luck. He was still a Major (and likely to remain that way for the rest of his career), he was still a Marine and he still got to fly; not as often as he would like but…
Plus Alaska really was a beautiful state, and there was this very attractive young woman who ran the Airport Restaurant who kept looking for excuses to talk to him. No, things could have turned out a lot worse…and anyway what was so great about flying the President’s personal air taxi?
“Mr Hasseldorf!” Exclaimed Presidential Candidate Templeton, “It must be weeks since I last saw you.”
The two men shook hands warmly.
“I’ve been meaning to thank-you for your campaign donations.” Said Templeton offering Hasseldorf a chair.
The two men sat down.
“Yes,” Replied Hasseldorf, “I’m afraid I’ve been all over the place just lately what with one thing and another.” Hasseldorf paused before carrying on, “I see you’ve suffered somewhat in the polls after that kidnap business.”
“Yes,” Agreed Templeton, “The President has garnered a lot of sympathy over that, but we’re fighting back.”
“Good, good,” Said Hasseldorf, “That’s why I’m here today. I’ve decided to double my donations to your campaign…”
Officer Watts and his new partner watched as the two girls attacked and killed the strange creatures behind the Seattle Aquarium. They remained in their patrol car as the girls rolled the dead bodies into the water.
“Do we report this?” Asked Officer N’Asty.
“No,” Replied Watts, “Unless one of the girls is injured you ignore everything.”
“What do you do if one of the girls goes down?”
“You try and help,” Explained Watts, “But you never report it as what it was…say it was a traffic accident or something.”
“So we just let this go on and don’t try to do anything about it?” Demanded N’Asty.
“That’s about it.” Agreed Watts, “Are you a religious man?”
“Yeah,” Replied N’Asty uncertain where Watts was going with this, “I go to church on Sundays.”
“Well,” Said Watts, “When you say your prayers, say one for those girls and thank god for putting them in this world.”
*Five Weeks Later.*
Rod Calloway sat in his Whitehouse office and smiled ruefully, you could say one thing about the Secret Service; they were thorough. The great pile of files now lying on his desk was testament to that. What had started as a fairly simple investigation into what had actually happened to his daughters in Seattle had mushroomed into an investigation into secret military units and the murky world of ‘Black Ops’.
Then there were the mysterious civilian organisations that seemed to recruit teenage girls as some sort of commando force, and got their money from some, so far, undiscovered source. No matter where his investigation started it always appeared to stop off in one place. Sunnydale the town that had played host to ‘The Initiative’ and then fell into a sinkhole three years later, Rod wondered if the two facts were connected.
Rod glanced at his watch; he still had an hour before he needed to be somewhere else. Resignedly he pulled a file from the top of the pile and opened it. Leaning back in his chair he studied the photograph of the pretty dark haired young woman within. He turned to the first page of text.
Kennedy DeSilver/Rosenberg, the file said, apparently the odd name was due to her entering into a same-sex partnership with a Willow Rosenberg back in ’05. She had used Rosenberg as a family name ever since. Rod glanced at a photo of the ‘partner’; an impish looking red head who grinned out of the picture at him. The couple had met in Sunnydale…there was that damn town again.
Back to the DeSilver woman, Rod shifted to a more comfortable position in his chair. Kennedy DeSilver born 1984; daughter of Michael DeSilver and Norma Jean Soprano. Now there were two names to play with! Rod strained his memory to dredge up the information. Yes now he remembered; two Mafia families with alleged connections to the Kennedy’s back in the 60’s. There had been various unsuccessful FBI investigations into those ‘connections’.
The girl’s mother had died when she was three and her father had remarried a year or so later. Kennedy had been sent to school in England when she was twelve. Then suddenly she had come back to the States in ’03 and ended up in Sunnydale. None of it made any sense. Rod quickly shuffled through the pictures of the DeSilver family. Michael; typical Italian-American Mafia boss. Norma Jean pretty east cost type, did not look particularly Italian looking but that proved nothing. The second Mrs DeSilver; an English woman by the name of Kate Bishop.
Rod dropped the photos on his desk. By chance the pictures of the two Mrs DeSilver’s landed side by side. Rod looked from one to the other puzzled, if he did not know better he would have said they were the same woman. Rod made a note to get the Secret Service people to do an in depth check on the DeSilvers.
Rod looked at his watch again…damn he was going to be late! He had got so engrossed in his reading that he had forgotten the time. He stood up and headed for the door, the Mafia, secret military units and teenage girl commandos would have to wait until tomorrow. He laughed to himself as he headed to his next appointment; if he had read this in a novel he would not have believed it!
*Six Weeks Later.*
Debbie the Vampire Slayer sat in her Washington apartment and choked back her tears. Her life had been going pretty well up until this morning. Her story about the kidnapping had been a great success, and she had had job offers from several newspapers and TV companies.
She had made contact with the Washington Slayer House, and she had started doing training and going on patrols with the other Slayers. It seemed that her job as a reporter was a perfect cover for her other life as a Slayer. She had even found herself a steady girlfriend, and she was going to explain about Slayers and stuff to her real soon. She hoped that Emma would still be around when she had finished talking because she really did love her.
Then this had happened. She looked once again at the Pregnancy Predictor; ‘the most high tech thing you will ever pee on’, said the advertising. The little window still flashed those two words at her, ‘You’re Pregnant!’
How could she have been so stupid! She slammed her hand down on the table and broke the Predictor. She supposed that, what with one thing and another, she had forgotten to take the ‘Morning After Pill.’ So here she was; Debbie Howard, Newspaper Reporter, Vampire Slayer and Lesbian of this County; and soon to be an unmarried mother, after being knocked up by the President’s seventeen-year-old son!
Debbie laughed out loud as she realised that the best ‘Human Interest’ story she had ever come across was happening to her and she could not tell anyone about it!
Sometimes life sucked!