Title: “A Promise Made…” Summary: “…is a debt unpaid” – Robert W. Service, “The Cremation of Sam McGee” Disclaimer:
Buffy and co. are the property of Joss Whedon. Witch Hunter Robin belongs to Sunrise and Bandai. Note: This takes place in 2013. I decided on the date after noticing Witch Hunter Robin occurs in what seems to be the not-so-distant future, and I wanted to be sure the Buffy gang could reasonably still be alive and kicking.
Concrit would be much appreciated – this is my first venture into the Buffy fandom.
Nominated for 2008 Crossing Over Awards.
The group gathered in the conference room was well-acquainted with the unusual. Of course, in their case, the unusual tended to include Gods, vampires, demons, and other powerful forces of light and dark. It did not usually include job applicants. But then, this wasn’t an ordinary applicant.
The man who’d turned in an application to become a Watcher was tall, with shoulder-length dark hair. He’d worn a dark overcoat, and dark clothes beneath. Giles, of course, had interviewed him almost immediately after reviewing the application. Per regulations, he had recorded the interview. The group had gathered to listen to the recording and reach a decision as to whether the man should be hired.
“He has more than a rudimentary knowledge of Ogham, and is well-versed in some areas of witchcraft lore.” Giles offered. “Of course, most of it is what Solomon teaches their employees, but he does seem to have knowledge of the “Eve” incident we received word about last year. And his knowledge and handling of handguns is remarkable. He also explained the purpose of these.”
Giles reached into his bag and placed three objects on the table. One was an odd-looking gun. The next was a bullet, etched with runes. And the third seemed to be some sort of pendant. The bottom was clear, and through it, the group could see a dull, green liquid.
“Giles? What is that stuff?” Willow asked, eyeing the pendant nervously. For some reason, the sight of the green liquid made her feel ill.
“I believe he referred to it as Orbo,” Giles said. He pressed a few buttons, running the tape back to what he thought might be the appropriate spot, and then pressed play. “What exactly is this Orbo substance?” “It is derived from the energy of captured Witches. It can be used to render a Witch’s attack useless by wearing the pendant, or Orbo bullets may prevent a Witch from calling his Craft.
Giles stopped the recording. “As you may have guessed, the gun is an Orbo gun. Apparently, it was unique to our applicant’s branch of Solomon.”
A glance around the group revealed expressions of disgust.
that?” Willow gasped. “But...”
“Our applicant had no knowledge of Orbo’s origins until the past year or thereabouts.”
Xander raised a hand. “Not following. I get that this stuff is made from Witches and that it’s bad, but why are we surprised a Solomon agent was using it? That’s the whole goal of that place, isn’t it? Killing Witches?”
“Solomon employs Witches, Xander. As well as those they refer to as Seeds, with latent power inside them.”
“And it’s not just Witches,” Willow added. “They hire empaths, telepaths, pyrokinetics, waterbenders…”
Buffy laughed. “Waterbenders? Will, I know you love to watch cartoons with the kids and all, but using a phrase from old Avatar
“Well, it fits! And anyway…”
Giles interrupted. “Fascinating though I’m sure it would be to discuss the proper terminology for the powers of the people Solomon employs, we need to return to the matter at hand.”
“So this guy worked for Solomon, right? And he carries Witch-hunting bullets?” Xander crossed his arms. “Why are we even bothering?”
“We’ve worked with bad guys before, Xander,” Buffy reminded quietly. “And sometimes they ended up staying on our side.”
“This isn’t an alliance born of a battle or a war, Buffy. This is a guy who wants to be a Watcher. How do we know he won’t go back to his old job?”
“Well…he did imply that his parting from Solomon was…not exactly welcomed; which is hardly surprising. Solomon is not known for leniency toward its agents. Too often, it orders the killing of those they deem unable to control their powers. Indeed, this man was ordered twice to kill his partner.”
“Did he?” Though they had all listened to the tape, the interview had been rather long, and none of them had taken notes. Except Giles, because, well…he was Giles.
“Once. I got no other details out of him. I daresay he wasn’t thrilled to give me that much.”
“Too bad we don’t know why he didn’t kill the other one,” Xander muttered.
“What? It might give us some sort of clue here! Do we trust him or not?”
The group fell silent. Choosing new Watchers was never easy, and the lack of applicants made it even more difficult to truly weed out the worst. The temptation was to take everyone who wanted the job, but they couldn’t.
Buffy finally spoke. “I say we take him in, watch him for a bit. If he doesn’t cause trouble during his training, we may as well hire him.”
“Are you sure?”
She nodded. “Look, no one can say we didn’t do the right thing ten years ago. Thanks to Willow, we’ve got all the Hellmouths around the world patrolled by Slayers. And we still have enough to handle the vamp populations in other places.
But the thing is, no one thought about the consequences beyond that. Not me, or you, Giles, or anyone else. We couldn’t afford to. So we went ahead and did it and now we’ve got Watchers assigned to multiple Slayers because we’ve got a serious shortage of those willing to watch. It doesn’t matter that we’ve got more every year, we still aren’t caught up.
Maybe this will turn out to be a bad choice. This guy wants to sign up, so we may as well take him. And if
he does betray us,” she continued, noticing that Xander was about to protest, “we can take care of it. But I really don’t think he will.” She fast-forwarded the tape, almost to the end, and hit Play. “And why do you want to be a Watcher, Mr. Amon?” “I made a promise to someone.”
Buffy stopped the tape. “’A promise made is a debt unpaid’, right Giles? Something tells me this guy’s still got a debt to pay.” She smiled grimly. “Might as well give him a chance to change that.”