Ch 26: Won't Back Down!
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 26: Won't Back Down!
Well I won't back down
No I won't back down
You could stand me up at the gates of Hell
But I won't back down
No I'll stand my ground
Won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Song: I Won't Back Down Artists: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Released: 1989
Pressing the elevator button for the penthouse, he leaned heavily on his cane. He wasn’t used to this much pain, not anymore. It had been a long time since he had been injured this badly, not since he’d had the big knockdown drag-out with the damned Irish poof fifty years past.
He was tired of being the scapegoat, being the underling, Hells bells he was simply tired of being.
The elevator came to a stop, and he sighed. The doors opened, and he stepped out slowly, painfully.
“Ladies,” he announced, “If ya’ want to end this once and for all, ya’ gotta take the fight to that damned Chinese arse, Fu-Damned-Manchu! If ya’ wait for him ta’ strike again he’ll have the cloak or the blood or both.” Spike stared at them waiting the next inevitable question.
“And you,” Mina said raising tear filled eyes to him, “know where he and his forces are?”
“Yes, and no,” he said with a smirk that was all too familiar to Buffy.
“E’s got two or three hidey holes, but his main base is in England, North Yorkshire actually underneath the ruins of Scarborough Castle. There’s one in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, some old ghost town called Busted Luck. 'Nother one hidden in the jungle north-east of Kinshasa, an old Belgian fort. Yer' most likely to find Fu, and his ‘generals’ in England. The old boy likes his comfort.” Spike visibly sagged. “Mind if I have a lie down on the couch? I’m not totally healed just yet. Coupla' days I'll be right as rain.”
“Of course, by all means, Mr. Pratt, by all means,” Mina said as she picked up the phone.
Buffy helped the vampire to the couch and assisted him in lying down. “Spike, why didn’t you tell us that in the first place,” she asked crossly?
“Hmmm, ‘fraid ya’ wouldn’t ‘ave believed me til’ I proved mi’self pet. Fu won’t be attacking Dublin for a week yet, he’s got to get his forces in order for that, and he's bound to be put off by the big ol' demon-dragon’s defeat. Yon beastie was supposed to be his ace-in-the-hole. Sorry about the death and destruction the beastie caused, but I really didn’t think that it would attack just yet. See Fu has someone, or something behind him. Over him so to speak, I’ve heard it called a lot of things, most of them not nice, but mostly they calls it the White One. Don’t get me wrong, Fu’s a major player, but even he fears that one.” Spike leaned back taking the strain off him back, and legs. “I think the old yellow peril is planning on using the things that he’s collected to fight the big boss himself.”
“And he doesn’t dare if he hasn’t got invulnerability, and invincibility on his side,” Buffy said finally getting it! “Not to mention the Wild Hunt at his back!”
The elevator opened and two vampire staff members wheeled a gurney into the room.
“Please assist Mr. Pratt onto the gurney gentlemen and bring him to the auditorium please,” Mina instructed. “I have just given orders that every ambulatory Nighthunter and Team Slayer member is to assemble in the auditorium soonest. We are done playing defense. We are going to war!”
“Reminds me of the last days of Sunnyhell,” Buffy growled!
The auditorium was about two thirds full when Buffy and Mina walked out onto the stage.
An extremely sunburned looking Xander and Vlad Dracula joined their wives.
“How redskin,” whispered Buffy.
Xander winced mumbling back “Know how, wonder why,” then with a sexy leer at his lady, “actually want to know when?”
Buffy leered back, “when it won’t hurt you as much as it would now.” To demonstrate she touched his bare arm ever so lightly. His wince told the truth of her words.
Mina stepped up to the podium, “Friends. Today with the release of some very secret information to us by a reliable source, we have been given the unprecedented opportunity to take the fight to the enemy.”
Buffy joined Mina at the microphone. “This will require the precise coordination of three separate strike teams, and one guard team.”
“I hesitate to include those of you who are what is considered ‘normal’ humans among the participants…” she paused, waiting for the inevitable out cry. Instead of said outcry the room, however, became deathly quiet.
Then as if as one Gibbs, ‘Ducky’, Abby, Ziva, Pete Fisher, and several other so-called ‘normals’ in the audience rose from their seats, and calmly walked up the aisles and onto the stage.
“Thought you might try this. Of course I can only speak for myself…” Gibbs began Ziva stopped him by placing her hand on his arm.
“Actually Boss, I believe you speak for me too,” she said firmly.
This statement was immediately followed by a chorus of, “and me!” from all of those who had followed him.
“”I believe that the reason you ‘redeemed’ were sent back was to make war on the night terrors that were preying on the so-called normals. I for one don’t know what a 'normal' is,” Gibbs face had taken on an expression that made Willow’s ‘resolve face’ look damned near wishy-washy. “I am a former Marine Corps sniper, a trained Naval Criminal Investigator, and a damned tough administrator. I've watched friends, lovers, and family die because of the human monsters of the world, and new friends die here at the hands of this world's monsters. I will be damned if I will be left out!"
Ziva added, "This whole world is in danger if we lose now, and if this one falls who says our world isn't next. I am an officer of the Mosad, I am a trained assassin. I have killed many times," her voice filled with emotion she choked out, "including my own half-brother, because he was one of those human monsters that Gibbs spoke of. I too will not be left out,” Ziva glared at them.
“Abigail and I have fought those monsters as have Ziva, and Gibbs. I am a crack shot, and a fair hand with a sword. Abigail is a daub-hand apprentice voodoo acolyte. We won’t be left behind either,” Doctor Mallard frowned.
“Mina you know damned well that I can handle myself, as can all of the other civilian employees here in Atlanta. What makes you think that you are going to walk into Hell without us,” Pete growled?
Mina and Buffy stood staring at their resolute friends. Xander spoke up and put it into perspective for them.
“Buff,” he drawled, “Do you remember back in Sunnydale when you, Willow, and Giles tried to cut me out to ‘protect’ me. It didn’t work then, and it’s not going to work now. I told you that you fought because you had too, Willow had the big witchy mojo, and G-man was the Watcher. I on the other hand fought because I WANTED too. I had the choice and I CHOSE to fight. Seems to me that this group has made their choice, and they are not going to back down.”
Mina and Buffy looked at one another, sighed and nodded.
Over the next few days four teams were put together.
Team Vegas consisted of Larry Talbot, Victor Mann, Pete Fisher, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Donald Mallard M. D., Marie Laveau, Abby Sciutto, five ‘normals’ from Heartsblood Atlanta and three lesser vampires..
Team Congo was made up of Jamila Hathor, Mexican were-jaguars Jorge Lopez and Santiago Moreno, Elizabeth Bathory, Hanna Ashford (dhampir), Daniel Osborne, Laura Lee Boyle, and three of the lesser Heartsblood were-pack leopards.
Team Dublin’s members were Professor Winifred Burkle, Lord Wesley Wyndam-Price, Brittany Tyler-Gomez, Fergus McCann (leprechaun), Kharis Menkheperreseneb, David Fallon (human P.I.), and three lesser Were-rats. This team was to guard the covertly Trinity Museum.
Team Yorkshire was the premier team: Mina Harker-Dracula, Prince Vlad Dracula, Buffy Summers-Harris, Xander Harris, Johnny Cage, Willow Rosenberg, Ian Evan Hall, M. D., Drusilla Harris-Hall, Ziva David, Connor Angel, and William Pratt, and Mina's secret weapon, a redeemd sucubus called Dolcoric, the only one of her kind ever to be offered redemption and a soul.
Xander was detailed to make a list of armaments that his team would need, including explosives. He headed down to the armory, pen and paper in hand. (Note for what happens in the armory when Xander dozes off see the first story titled: “These Dreams”)
Author’s Note: Each Teams Mission will be done in separate chapters. A cookie to anyone who figures out who the White One is! There have been several somewhat oblique clues. There will be more. Hint: He has very little regard for the lives of his underlings.