Ch21: Love Among The Ruins
Disclaimer: Xander, Buffy, and anyone or anything else that pertains to BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Dracula belongs to the estate of Bram Stoker, or Francis Ford Coppola, or someone I think.
Larry Talbot, the Frankenstein Monster, and some others may belong to Universal Pictures.
NCIS belongs to Belisarius Productions, and CBS.
Ghost rider belongs to Marvel Comics, Dimension Films, Crystal Sky Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and Sony (Whew!), and was played to perfection by Nicholas Cage!
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Ch21: Love Among The Ruins
The sky was falling,
heaven was calling.
When danger crashes,
rose from the ashes.
Like two statues hidden inside ancient rock,
we were praying for the secrets to unlock.
And when the sun had turned its back on us,
in the dark our love kept track of us,
pushed together by the lack of love.
Love among the ruins
Song Title: Love Among the Ruins Artists 10,000 Maniacs 1997
Plans having been made the assembled cadre boarded Heartblood One the Organization’s newest jet. The Mexican Campaign had begun.
Buffy and Xander squirmed in their seats. Mina giggled, but then she regained her composure. “Unlike your world, Mexico is part of the United States of North America since 1849, one year after Mexico was defeated in the Mexican-American War. At that point Mexico became a United States Protectorate, and was subdivided into Territories. Sonora and Chihuahua were the first of these territories to become states in 1853. Chiapas was the last territory admitted in 1925, the same year that Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Yukon were admitted. All in all the North American Flag has one hundred stars! This includes 48 American states, 31 Mexican states, 2 Caribbean states, 2 Pacific Island states and 17 Canadian states (this last includes Northern and Southern Alberta, northern and Southern Saskatchewan, and Alaska).
Mexico City is located in the state of Valle De La Mejico.” Mina recited, as she explained why passports and visas would be unnecessary when they landed at the Aeropuerto de la Ciudad de México. “The vast majority of the people there will speak excellent American style English as well, though a knowledge of the Mexican dialect of Spanish will be quite helpful it will normally be unneeded.”
The language would prove no problem for the Team Slayer members, all of them had at least a working knowledge of Spanish.
“So that mens that there are two hundred Senators, and a whole bunch of Congressmen. How does anything ever get done,” asked Willow?
“That may be the best thing about it, not much does get done, therefore, there are fewer pork-barrel projects that get passed and there are fewer stupid make work laws that interfere with peoples lives. The fact that there are five political parties helps too, coalitions are hard to keep together so the playing field is always changing. During the war years President Roosevelt kept things humming by ruling through Executive orders for a while but the Supreme Court over-ruled that. A very public admonition to both the president, AND congress solved the problem, and thing ran smoothly after that. President Wilek stepped much lighter that did old Franklin. Since the war President Dewey has done a bang-up job,” Mina paused, “Did you feel that,” she asked.
Suddenly the plane lurched to one side. The engines were screaming like a wounded animal. Terrified shouts were coming from the cockpit. The first one up was Oz. Changing to man-wolf form he ripped the cockpit door open, and charged in. Jethro drew his gun, Xander rose and quickly retrieved his axe from the overhead compartment, and Willow readied several spells. Mina and Vlad followed Oz into the planes cockpit. What they saw was utter havoc. The entire flight crew was dead, their shredded bodies painted the cabin and its instruments in shades of red and grey. Oz was grappling with a large hairy creature with bat wings. Three smaller winged forms were attacking him as well. They smaller creatures were about two feet long and had the head, and body of serpents. The bat like man-form slammed Oz into a bulkhead and threw him to the floor. The werewolf did not move. One of the Winged serpents started to attack Mina, but the man-bat screeched an order in a high whistling growl of a voice, and launched himself into the air through a gaping hole in the cabin wall. The serpent creatures followed. Vlad quickly grabbed the discarded cabin door and held it over the hole. Mina bent to assess the damage done to Oz. Jethro stalked into the cabin, and disregarding the carnage sat down in the pilot’s seat and began to wrestle the planes controls into submission.
“Get everyone strapped in,” shouted the NCIS agent, “I won’t be able to hold it! We’re going down.”
Mina picked up the severely wounded Scooby, and rushed back into the passenger space.
“Everybody down, strap in, and assume crash positions, NOW people! We’re going to crash,” she shouted using the command voice of a master vampire!
Vlad assumed the co-pilots seat, and strapped in. Grabbing the co-pilots controls he helped Jethro pull the nose up just enough that when they finally hit the desert floor they slipped into and ‘almost’ landing.
The plane stayed relatively intact. Both wings were ripped off, by slamming into various rock formations, and the tail broke off as well, but the cockpit, and passenger area were the least damaged portions of the stricken aircraft.
Willow had cast an shield around the passengers at the very last minute, and there were only some very minor injuries to those in that area. Gibbs staggered out of the cockpit with the assistance of the somewhat bedraggled Lord of the Undead. He had a three inch gash on his forehead, and his right shoulder was covered in blood. Both men were coated in the blood and brain matter of the flight crew, and looked worse than they were. Dr. Hall and ‘Ducky were working on Oz trying to assess the damage and stabilize him. Oz had reverted to human form, and he looked bad. The left side of his face was raw, and his cheek bone appeared to be badly broken. His left arm showed broken bones poking through the skin and his left leg was bent at an odd angle. Abby was assisting ‘Ducky’ and had started an IV of plasma garnered from the Nighthunters medical kit. Willow stepped to their side, at first her face showed the terror she felt, then slowly through force of will she began to calm. She began to glow with a white nimbus. Instictively Abby took Willow's hand and began to chant in the Cajun patois that Marie had taught her, lending her strength to the Red Witch. Marie took Abby’s other hand and joined the chant. The Blood Countess placed her hands on Willow’s shoulders, and began to sing in a soft contralto in the tongue of the Romany. The glow now encompassed all four witches. Suddenly Willow pointed to Oz and the glow left them, and surrounded the wounded werewolf. Two things happened simultaneously Oz was healed and Willow lost consciousness.
Buffy picked up her friend and sat her in one of the intact seats. Xander did the same for Oz. The Nighthunters, and the remaining Team Slayer members simply looked on in awe.
Several hours later just before nightfall the teams began to stir from the wreckage. Assured that there was no danger of fire, they had decided to spend the hottest part of the day under cover. Whereas the redeemed vampires had some immunity to the sun’s rays the desert sun would still have burned them to ashes under prolonged exposure. Jethro’s injuries proved to be minor and were treated by Dr. Mallard. Vlad had begun to heal almost immediately and was fully healed by nightfall.
Willow had awakened after two hours and Oz after three. Willow still felt a bit weak, but Oz felt completely re-energized. Willow had after checking on Oz, cuddled up to Johnny. When the sun had finally set Johnny had summoned his bike. Willow mounted it behind him wearing leathers borrowed from Buffy. The two rode off into the direction of Mexico City promising to return with help in the morning.
Daniel Osborne watch them ride off with a wistful look on his face, then he shrugged and returned to the group waiting by the plane. The Baggage compartments were completely buried in the sand but with the aid of Victor, and Kurt the internal hatch leading to them was soon removed, and the gear that was undamaged was being removed by a chain of supernatural creatures. Abby, Gibbs, ‘Ducky’, and Doctor Hall were separating them into categories. One area was designated for medical supplies, one for survival gear, another for weapons, a fourth for tools, one for personal gears, and luggage, and so on.
Soon using parachutes and canvas several rude tents were formed. Tubing and cable from the plane was used as tent poles and stakes. Jethro and Abby built a fire to ward of the desert chill. Professor Boyle commandeered one of the tents, and using some of the planes commissary equipment and a couple of the emergency camp stoves set up a rough field kitchen. Bags of pig’s blood were gathered from the commissary wreckage and packed in the surviving refrigerators with all of the ice that could be gathered from the commissary.
The Nighthunter vampires were maintaining the perimeter security. Doctor Hall had asked Drusilla to go for a walk, but the lady in question had decided to speak to Father LeDuc instead. It seems that there was a bit of a problem with the good father performing their nuptials. Neither of them were Catholic. He had stretched the point almost to breaking to perform Buffy, and Xander’s wedding, but he found it impossible with Dru and Ian because not only were’t they Catholic, but the bride was essentially dead!
Pere Martine did however offer a solution, Marie Laveau WAS a voodoo priestess, and WAS undead herself, so why not ask her to perform the ceremony.
Nothing save a few coyotes bothered the camp that night late in the morning a military C-47 fly over and dropped supplies and a message that help was on the way, but that because of an earthquake further south. The help would not arrive until the next day.
Willow teleported herself and Johnny back to the crash site within a few minutes of the planes flyover.
Drusilla cornered Marie in one of the makeshift shelters just before noon. After some initial reluctance, Marie still considered herself a Catholic, and considered voodoo magic rather than a religion, she finally agreed to perform the ceremony, with her ‘granddaughter’ assisting, IF Mina, and Vlad agreed.
Mina readily agreed, but Vlad had reservations, and insisted on talking to the couple alone. The three retired to the planes wreckage and were in there for over an hour. When they came out everyone was smiling.
That Night a bonfire was built using what ever wood could be found in the plane and the surrounding area. Abby dressed in black slacks, black platform sandals and a black tee-shirt with the logo in red reading’Once Bitten…’ with a simulated vampire bite on the left shoulder lit four of the emergency candles on a relatively flat boulder. She then stepped to the side and allowed a twelve foot cottonmouth snake to coil behind the rock. Ian stood to the left of the boulder with ‘Ducky’ by his side as best man. Drusilla was escorted in by her ‘brother’ Xander, Elizabeth Bathory acted as bridesmaid.
. The only music available was performed by Oz on an old flat top guitar he had in his luggage he played a solemn rendition of ‘Love Among the Ruins’ accompanied by Abby on an old recorder that Mina had in her luggage. Since no one in this world had ever heard 10,000 Maniacs or their music. I seemed oddly appropriate to Oz, at least for this wedding.
Slowly the serpent elongated and filled out into a transformed Marie.
The ceremony was short, and very beautiful, even performed as it was and somehow seemed to befit the bride and groom. The couple retired to the planes wreckage after a brief celebration.
Winifred Burkle sat for a long time next to the dying fire talking with Wesley. Just before dawn they went back to their respective tents, but not before Wesley gave her a quick gentle kiss on the lips.
About elven o’clock in the morning a rescue convoy arrived at the wreckage. Vlad got out of any awkward questions by flashing his FLEA credentials, but the condition of the flight crew made it a very near thing.
Drusilla was huddled with Buffy, and Mina giggling, and Ian stood by grinning from ear to ear. The rescuers just shook their heads.