Chapter 4 - The End
Spike leaned back on a tombstone; his arms crossed as he watched the night sky light up with an assortment of colors. It was quite beautiful: shades of reds, oranges, greens and the occasionally blues; all streaking across the night sky, their beauty a mockery of the damage they were causing. Each color signified a different type of bomb, a different missile, a different form of death. Some carried chemical payloads, others biological, while the more boring ones were simple variations of twentieth century nuclear weapons.
Who knew where these particular warheads were off to –most of the United States had already been decimated along with all the major super powers of the world. There were pockets of resistance here and there – but he had never figured out who they were resisting. Who was even left alive to fight or even care? The world was destroyed, if man didn’t finish himself off within the next few days, the nuclear winter and plagues would decimate the remaining populations within the next few months. For all intents and purposes, the world was dead.
He had promised to take care of Dawn until the end of world, but he had failed. They had gone out hunting tonight, like all recent nights, separately - desperately, hunting for a food source.
Spike started humming an annoying pop tune that Dawn had liked to sing, “It’s the end of the world as we know it…”
A slight giggle erupted from his chest and in a moment of clarity he realized that his sanity was fading as the aching sensation of his mate’s death consumed him. Two hundred and fifty years they were mated. Two hundred and fifty years together - forever bonded – ended, and he didn’t even know why. Was it a rogue human she’d tried to capture and bring back, a stray missile that landed while she was hunting, or, by random chance, did she encounter the last slayer and watcher? Even if it was the end of world, the Council would be after them. They had never forgiven either demon for the massacres they had caused.
A smile crossed his face. In the history of the world, he couldn’t think of one demon who had been more perfect, more bloodthirsty or more worthy of adoration than his Dawn. Together they had been the perfect team. They were known for their exquisite torture methods, their devious plans of destruction, but above all else for their desire to hunt, maim and kill all those associated with the Watcher’s Council and their Slayers. Those who caused them pain in life and unlife, felt their vengeance for centuries after.
Dawn’s power had continued to grow, unharnessed and unpredictable until they kidnapped a Council Mage to teach her how to utilize the innate power of the key. Once she could control the magical energy she removed the chip and they teleported into the headquarters of the Council. There were no survivors that day, or the next day in the military base they found. Well, there had been a survivor for awhile. Once they found Riley they turned him. Humans, after all, can only take so much torture before they die…but a vampire can last months.
The bright flare of a missile startled Spike out of his reflections and his anger grew. Demons were supposed to be the bringers of destruction, but had proven themselves a distant second. The truly evil were not the demons. It was those who started this war, this human war which cost him his mate, cost the world its existence, and in a few minutes when the sun rose would take his life forever.
He wondered if anyone would remember Robert Burns, “Man’s inhumanity to man, makes countless thousands mourn”. But then again, would there be anyone left to mourn? Certainly not him, not without his mate.
“It’s the end of the world as we know it,” Spike began to hum again, his tune eerily accurate as his mate’s namesake crested over the night sky.
There was nothing left for him here, not now.
Ashes fell and the last morning began.