And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.
Near Covent Garden, early Wednesday morning.
Skidding around the corner almost up on two wheels the Range Rover screamed to a halt as a future predator landed in the road in front of it. The soldier manning the light machine gun, who stood head and shoulders out of the hatch in the roof, instinctively pulled the trigger of his weapon. The burst of fire hit the predator squarely in the chest, the creature thrashed about on its back for a moment before lying still.
“Go on!” urged Abby, “We’ve got to find the anomaly.” She turned to Connor who sat beside her fiddling with his mobile detector.
“It’s not far now,” he gasped urgently, “try right at the next junction.”
Glancing out of the window Abby saw a predator climb across the front of a building to her left. There was a burst of machine gun fire from one of the vehicles behind her. She couldn’t see if it had any effect.
“How many of them are there?” she turned to Connor, they’d had enough trouble tracking and killing the first one to come through an anomaly.
Now they were better prepared, but the creatures were still difficult to kill and if they were loose in the city… She let the frightening thought trail off there.
“The anomaly’s been open twenty minutes or so,” Connor glanced at his watch, “with luck it’ll close soon…what the…?”
The Range Rover came to a halt with a squeal of rubber on cobblestones; they had come to a halt in a wide square in the middle of which shone the anomaly. Around the anomaly ragged a battle between half a dozen women armed with swords and more than a dozen predators. A number of predators lay dead and bleeding on the cobbled square.
“DEPLOY!” yelled the security team’s officer as other Range Rovers ground to a halt in the plaza.
Rifle and machine gun fire broke the strange silence of the battlefield as soldiers took up positions and started to take down the predators.
Faith ducked instinctively as a bullet cracked over her head, “FUCK!” she screamed turning to see the black clad soldiers run into the square and take up positions.
Looking up she found Silvia crouching beside her.
“Time to leave,” Silvia gestured towards the troops, “let the soldier-boys finish up here…we’ve done our bit.”
Nodding Faith was about to call to the other slayers when her eardrums were nearly burst by the volume of Silvia’s yell.
“RUN AWAY!” she screamed over the sound of the gunfire that was slowly reducing the predator’s numbers. “RUN AWAY!” she yelled again before taking her own advice and sprinting for the shadows of a side street.
Not wishing to be left behind Faith sprinted after Mrs F and disappeared into the darkness.
“It no good, Mr Giles, sorry.” Annetta pulled herself to her feet with Xander’s help, “I cannot close portal…sorry.”
“Doesn’t matter,” sympathised Giles, “the army’s here we might as well go home.”
As he turned to leave pushing Annetta in front of him, the girl stepped to one side and held up her hand, Giles heard a soft ‘Whoosh!’ of an explosion and felt the heat on the back of his neck. Turning he saw the smouldering remains of a demon collapse onto the road.
“That for Olga,” Annetta put down her arm and straightened her jacket before looking up into Giles’ surprised face, “we go now?”
“Yes,” stammered Giles, “we go.”
The fight was over and the anomaly had closed, ARC security troops spread out to hunt down the creatures that had escaped into the night. That was going to take more resources than the ARC had, but they had to start somewhere. If the predators got into the sewers and tunnels under the city, and if they started to breed…well, no one wanted to think about that.
Walking up behind Abby and Connor, Cutter came to a halt and placed his hands on his hips.
“What the hell happened here?”
“Major incursion,” Abby shook her head tiredly, “just like Lester’s always feared…there’s gonna be hell to pay over this,” she gestured to the bodies that littered the square.
“Did you see where they went?” Connor sauntered over to join Abby and Cutter.
“The women warriors with swords,” explained Abby.
“Amazon women,” Connor got a faraway look in his eye, “they were fighting the predators when we arrived.”
“Rubbish,” Cutter walked over to one of the predator carcasses to examine it in the early morning light, “no one can fight these things without modern…wea…” his voice faded away as he saw the sword wounds on the dead predators body; just like the ones on the Predator and the Raptor.
“That’s right,” Abby joined him by the body, “at least six of them, seemed to be doing pretty well too.”
“But that’s impos…” Cutter stopped himself from saying ‘impossible’.
Not so long ago he would have said that creatures coming through time portals from the distant past and far future was impossible.
“Maybe they came through an anomaly,” suggested Abby, “maybe they’re from the future too?”
“No,” Connor pointed out wisely, “they’d have phasers or something not swords.”
“Okay then,” Abby turned to Connor, “maybe they’re from the past…either way they’re not here now.”
“The girl!” Cutter turned wide eyed towards his assistants, “The girl back at the ARC, she called them demons, and she was damned strong.”
“She told me some pretty weird stuff too,” added Abby.
“We need to talk to her again,” Cutter turned from the body and started to walk briskly back towards the Range Rovers. “She may hold the key to how the anomalies work.”
It all started to fall together in Cutter’s mind. If his psychotic ex-wife could detect and maybe even create anomalies, then why couldn’t other people. Thinking about it Helen Cutter seemed to know where the anomalies led; which period she would come out in. Plus they were still trying to understand the future technology that Leek had used…who knows maybe Leek had been from the future too…it wasn’t impossible. Cutter climbed into the black Range Rover and told the driver to take him back to the ARC. He had to question the girl again.
The ARC early Wednesday morning.
Holding up his Civil Service ID card Bernard Woolly walked through the main entrance to the ARC accompanied my two of his own ministry’s security officers. A guide led him and his men to an office complex a couple of floors underground. After a five minute wait a low level functionary came to see what he wanted.
“You have a girl by the name of Ms Rachael Knight being held here,” it wasn’t a question, Woolly knew damn well these people were holding a slayer.
He smiled to himself thinking of what would happen when said slayer got bored, from the files he’d read slayers often had a vindictive sense of humour.
“You’re to hand her over to me, here’s my authorisation,” he handed the woman an official looking form.
This wasn’t Woolly’s normal job; normally he was the Principle Private Secretary to Jim Hacker the Minister in charge of the Ministry of Administrative Affairs, the organisation that dealt with the strange and un-natural in Britain. Today he was here at the behest of his civil service boss Sir Humphrey Appleby. Although the slayers weren’t part of the ministry, Sir Humphrey and Mrs Fitzsimons had an understanding, and would do ‘favours’ for each other. This was a pretty big favour.
“I’ll have to check,” the ARC official turned to leave the room.
“Check all you like,” suggested Woolly with a smile, “but it comes straight from your minister…a favour to my minister if you see what I mean?”
It had taken some doing but Sir Humphrey had discovered that these ARC people were run by the Home Office. The reason that they weren’t under the MAA was that these anomalies weren’t actually ‘un-natural’ as far as anyone could tell they where perfectly natural and therefore didn’t fall into his own ministries remit.
“Now if you could hand the girl over to me?” Woolly tried to sound bored.
The ARC official studied the document in her hand; she knew when she was outclassed. This Woolly fellow must be pretty high up if he rated two security officers. The signatures and stamps on his documentation looked both genuine and impressive, she wasn’t going to argue.
“I’ll have her brought up.”
Woolly smiled his thanks.
Radison Edwardian Hotel, Bloomsbury Street, early Wednesday afternoon.
Sitting in front of the mirror Faith brushed the tangles out of her wet hair and listened to Xander’s attempts at singing in the shower. After the previous night’s fight they had gone back to the Slaughtered Lamb and removed the worst of the blood from her clothes. About dawn they had made their way back to the hotel looking for all the world like a young couple who’d been out all night partying. They hardly got a second glance from all the troops and police that swarmed through the area.
She put down the brush and looked at her reflection, Giles had asked them to stay on in England, to act as his personal assistants. He didn’t want to use any of the London girls because…Well, he claimed that they were Silvia’s girls, but Faith, and she thought Xander, felt there was something more to it. Anyway it made sense to stay, what with the whole slayer organisation relocating to Britain, and there was the baby to consider.
Kennedy had kept slaying until she was three months gone and Willow put her foot down and stopped her going on patrol. So she had maybe a month and a half of slaying to go…she’d stopped drinking (not that she drank a lot anyway) she’d given up smoking (that had been harder than she had thought it would be) giving up slaying for a few months wouldn’t be that hard. She wanted to be a good Mom, not like her own mother had been, she would make time for her kid, a stable home with Harris would be a step in the right direction.
She looked up at Xander’s reflection as he came out of the bathroom rubbing his hair with a towel. She turned to look at him.
“You know Harris,” she stood up letting the towel she had wrapped around herself fall onto the floor, “you’re not such a bad guy after all!” she launched herself at him and dragged him down onto the bed.
The ARC Wednesday evening.
Sitting at his desk in his office Lester reached for his telephone, his hand froze in mid air. No it could wait, he’d had a hell of a day and he was going home. Someone had entered the ARC, through the front door no less, and walked off with his prisoner. The assistant who had let that happen would very soon find herself counting seagulls in the Outer Hebrides. Cutter had started to ramble on about warrior women from the past or maybe the future. If he didn’t think Cutter might enjoy it Lester would have sent him to the Outer Hebrides too. Next there was all the fallout from the incursion in Covent Garden. Well, at least that might work to his advantage; hadn’t he been warning about just this sort of thing happening? If he played his cards right it would mean bigger budgets, more staff and more power. Smiling Lester stood up and headed for the door, and yes maybe in the fullness of time he might just get that Knighthood he so richly deserved.
The Slaughtered Lamb, closing time.
Locking the door behind the last customer Silvia sighed, this had been the first night they’d opened in what felt like ages. She really needed to get everything back to a routine, both slaying and pub wise. Lasha and Tal were busy clearing up the bar, Tina and Alice were doing a patrol around central London and Trish and Rachael were upstairs.
All seemed right with the world, there were no Wombles trying to take over the country with robots, These time portal things were being dealt with by some shady government organisation; she’d made great inroads into the ranks of the undead in the last month or so…so why didn’t she feel happier?
Her relationship with Rupert was settling down into a comfortable friendship with the added bonus of more than acceptable sex. She called good night to her girls and made her way up to her room, Rupert was spending the night at his own flat tonight. It was then she realised why she was feeling so uneasy. It was Rupert…before he’d turned up she had done what she had to do without a second thought. Anyone, human or demonic, who ‘transgressed the unwritten law’ soon got to learn the error of their ways.
Now things weren’t quite so simple, what if Rupert found out about the other Silvia Fitzsimons; the darker nastier Silvia who’d nail your head to the floor as soon as look at you?
Opening the door Silvia crossed her room and sat on the edge of her bed; she sighed and remembered the old times with a wistful smile. It had been handy being married to her ‘Bert, yes she had loved him with all her heart and she’d been devastated when he’d been killed. No one had known the truth, everyone, the police included had always thought it was Bert who was in charge, no one ever suspected the pretty young blonde wife who ran the pub for her gangster husband, no one…well, if they did they didn’t suspect for long not if Silvie found out about it they didn’t. Silvia smiled and got ready for bed.
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.