Ch 25: Once Chosen...
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.
Ch 25: Once Chosen...
Larry, Victor, and Kurt stood guard over the corpse of the dragon, While some of the building staff made repairs, and collected Magda’s ashes before they could be completely disbursed by the wind.
The Atlanta Police had come and gone Mina used her mind control to convince them that they had investigated and found nothing more than a runaway parade balloon, and that everything was under control. They were no more than in their cars when Mina collapsed from the exertion.
On the roof the body of the beast began to dissolve. That dissolution began slowly at first, but the accelerated rapidly. Larry radioed below for back-up. Only the dragon’s heart was left. The organ began to pulse rapidly. The sound that the pulsing made was almost deafening. With each pulse the monster heart grew, and changed shape. Black spikes sprouted from the fleshy mass.
Soon in place of the dragon’s heart stood a ten foot tall red scaly skinned demon. The monster had yellow reptilian eyes, three horns, and jaws similar to a crocodile but thicker, and shorter. It’s fingers, and toes were tipped with six inch long black claws. It snarled something in an unintelligible language, it’s deep voice was harsh, and raw.
Buffy, and Vlad once again answered the call. Willow, Marie and Abby were soon to follow.
The Vampire Prince once again bore his six foot long broad-sword, and Buffy carried her Scythe.
Victor held a huge mace, while Kurt made do with a battle axe. Larry once again changed into the largest werewolf that Willow had ever seen.
The demon stalked forward directly at Buffy. “Ssssslayyyerrrr,” it roared!
Buffy charged forward to meet it, but it was Larry who struck first. The Werewolf King lept onto the creature’s back savaging the demon’s flesh with tooth and claw, until he was thrown off . Vlad drove his blade into the monster’s scale covered torso slashing deep into it’s rib cage. Victor brought his mace down onto the creature’s right shoulder, and a slash from Kurt’s axe cut deeply Into the right bicep. The wounds, however, began to regenerate. The monster turned and lashed out with it’s claws.
The golden ogres chest was ripped open by black iron hard claws, and his still beating heart was crushed in the demon’s hand.
Victor was next caught by the beast’s back handed swing he was thrown ten feet hitting the ground hard.
The Demon turned back toward the Slayer, a turn he never quite completed, as the Scythe cut cleanly through the monster’s neck. She didn’t stop with this, however. Even as the huge body started to fall she slashed with the Scythe at the demon again, and with a scream of rage she opened it’s chest.
Vlad reached into the rent and tore out it’s heart. Slamming that organ to the rooftop’s gravel surface, he brought the heal of his boot down on it.
“Regenerate THAT, you bastard,” Buffy shouted.
The demon’s head, and body began to smoke, dissolving quickly into a pale yellow slime that burst into flame. Soon all that was left of the demon beside a large scorch mark on the roof’s surface, were the three black horns from the monster’s head. Marie instructed her apprentice to collect these. Abby looked at her ‘Grandmama’ strangely, but obeyed.
Returning to Marie with the three thirteen inch horns, she handed them to the vampire voodoo mambo.
“Child,” Laveau began, true affection in her voice, “it is always good to collect whatever demon parts when you can, they are very rare in this world. Anyway, they can always be used for spells, or if you need one a handy back-scratcher.” Her full throated laugh made the forensic scientist/voodoo apprentice laugh too.
*Oh jolly good show,* The White One was very cross, *They actually defeated the Fafnir demon completely, even Sigfried failed to do that! Banish him back to Hell was all that insufferable prig could accomplish. Now he cannot be summoned again for a thousand years. Fu will be livid, or will he be happy? You never can tell what he’ll do,* he mused.
*His next move has to be to get the items in the Trinity College Museum. Which side should I aid, Fu, Nighthunters, both, neither, which would be most to MY benefit? Hmmm decisions decisions,* he temporized. *Ahh yes, that would be most beneficial…*
“Mr. Harris! Mr. Pratt! Of all the foolish, pig-headed, damned fool stunts I have ever seen pulled, you two have to take the cake,” stormed Mina, Buffy stood by her side dark clouds seemed to form over their heads. “And just to be clear I am not letting Dr. and Mrs. Hall of the hook either…you, you, damned heroic idiots. Your bravery, and audacity is nothing more than awe inspiring!”
‘Ducky’ chuckled, smiled and said, “Young Mr. Harris’ skin will be quite tender for a week or so, kind of like a bad sunburn Mr. Pratt is healing nicely his pelvis was fractured but thanks to vampire healing he will be mobile, if not agile in a few days.” Turning to the Hall’s he noted, “the vampire healing statement goes for Lady Harris-Hall as well. Dr. Hall is problematic. He is neither vampire, nor Slayer, nor is he a demon, yet he is healing far more rapidly than any of those. Had I not set his leg immediately after the dragon’s demise, I would have needed to re-break it so that it would not heal badly. Indeed there is little evidence of either the break or the skull fracture at all.” He paused looking over at Laura Lee Boyle’s bed, “Lycanthrope or not she is not healing the way she should, and I don’t know how to help her. She needs the help of a physician who knows how to treat her kind, I have no experience in the ways of shape-shifters.”
Mina frowned, Buffy just stood with her head down, tears in her eyes.
Oz who had been standing near the little anthropologist’s bed moved to her side. Stripping off his clothing he crawled into the bed next to her. Shifting to man-wolf form he held her to his chest calling her wolf to him willing her to shift. The initial Call was answered very weakly. Mina put out the call to the Nighthunter’s other were-pack members. Larry bruised but not broken was the first to arrive. Soon others werewolves, were-leopards, were beasts of every stripe entered the room forcing the non-lycanthropes out. The attendance held on for several hours, but at the end a large red wolf, trotted out with a petite golden-blonde wolf by his side. The huge gray-black wolf that was Larry stood in the doorway panting happily.
Oz and Laura Lee had become inextricably linked by the shared ordeal. For better or worse they were now a mated pair. Also for better or worse Oz was now a member of the Nighthunter pack, an Alpha just below Larry Talbot.
Jamila was limping , but had apparently decided that she did not need medical care. After all she WAS the avatar of a goddess, and he ability to heal was far beyond that of these mortals. Given another hour and even the limp would be history.
Mina took Buffy by the hand and led her back to her private office.
“Sister we have a problem,” she sighed. “We have three places to guard, and several of our most powerful operatives injured. We do not know the when or how of the attacks we know will be coming, and I am out of ideas”
Buffy just stared at the vampire she thought of as invincible. Concern was written large on her face. “Mina are you alright,”she asked softly?
“I’m…I need…help,” stammered the usually unflappable Queen of the Undead. “I haven’t been this worried…felt so…powerless, since the day we left on our pursuit of Dracula.on that October night in 1890,” fear filled her eyes. “We have lost to many battles, lost…too many friends. Dear little Magda, great hearted Kurt, my …dear friend Felicia. When I think of them, it is all I can do to keep from falling into a vampiric rage that I know would damn my soul for all eternity!”
Buffy laid a hand on her shoulder, then gathered her into a fierce but gentle hug.
“A few years ago, I faced a being that arrogantly called itself the First…the First Evil. I had my friends, and a bunch of teenaged girls…potential slayers. In the days that followed, I lost everything, some of the girls died, my friends, and family lost…faith in me. Hell I lost faith in myself. They threw me out, as leader, and out of my own home! Through it all only one …person…hero…no, he was a champion, and a vampire,” she paused tears rolling freely down her face. “He was the Spike of my world. He helped me regain my faith…my self worth. I learned one thing, something that you know, but in your despair are blocking out. This is war…a real honest to God all out WAR, and try as you might some of your warriors are going to DIE. Those we have lost, have gained their redemption! They fought the good fight and earned, the only reward that they were promised. None of my people have died yet…yet, but that possibility still exists. They have, however suffered horrible wounds, and if they don’t bear the physical scars, which some do, they do bear the emotional scars.” She gathered the woman, the vampire that she had accepted as family closer to her. Both women were now crying freely. Suddenly Buffy thrust Mina from her, but still held on to both of her shoulders. “Buck up sister-mine,’ she aid angrily, “you aren’t alone here you know. There are people counting on you, a lot of people and if I read this correctly an entire world of people. It isn’t fair, but who said that it was going to be. You and I for better or worse are the Chosen Ones, you for your world, me for mine, and I guess that the Powers-That-Be of my world, and the Living Light of yours thought that I was also chosen for this world too. Maybe they thought that once you were chosen you were chosen forever, not just for your own dimension, but for all dimensions.” She stopped to clear her mind. “I’m sorry I went off on that rant. What I meant to say, needed to say is: I believe in you! You are not alone! I’m here to help you lead, and so are Vlad, and Xander.” Once more she gathered her friend into her arms. They stood weeping for a long time.