Chapter Eight: Team Spirit, Y'all
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 Bellisarius Productions, and CBS.
Ghostrider belongs to Marvel Comics, Dimension Films, Crystal Sky Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and Sony (Whew!), and was played to perfection by Nicholas Cage!
This Disclaimer is getting longer than some Chapters I’ve read!
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Chapter Eight: Team Spirit, Y'all
The first thing that the Slayer Earth team saw when they stepped out of the portal was what appeared to be a young couple sitting on the station platform sharing a bottle of red wine. Buffy, Xander, Oz, Drusilla, and Connor knew better. Buffy and Xander recognized the couple, and the other three had their enhanced sense of smell, and what they smelled was blood.
Mina rose, and walked over to the team, “Welcome back my friends! I see you decided to bring along some…” Then Drusilla stepped forward. “Buffy, I thought you were on our side, yet you bring with you the mad seer.” Mina looked betrayed.
“Relax, Mrs. Dracula, I never thought I’d use that phrase,” Xander said ruefully, “This is OUR Drusilla. The Powers-That-Be say that she’s been redeemed or is at least on the road to redemption.”
Mina studied the vampire seer for a few moments, “Her aura bears out what you’ve said. It is golden with a band of blood red at the outer edge similar to Vlad’s, though she also has a band of aqua as well. The aqua is new to me but probably denotes her gift of prophecy.”
Vlad walked over and greeted the rest of Buffy’s companions, “Welcome to Atlanta, Y’all.”
“Y’all?” said Gibbs.
“I’m trying to assimilate the local customs, and speech patterns, so that I may better blend in,” Dracula replied.
Gibbs just grinned, and Vlad shrugged.
Drusilla spoke to Xander, “please, let me introduce everyone, as the vision called them, then I shall give their human names.” Xander rolled his eyes heavenward, but gave her a nod of assent.
“You know the Slayer Prime, and her White Knight. This is Black Knight, Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider. Next is Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs of the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, the Just Warrior, and beside him is Agent Ziva David, the Bright Star of David of the MOSAD. This is Connor Angel the impossible child of two vampires, the Angelus and Darla of our world, he is called the Destroyer. Abigail ‘Abby’ Sciuto is She Who Seeks the Hidden, a forensic scientific genius, beside her is Doctor Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard, M.D. forensic pathologist, the Advocate of the Dead. Daniel ‘Oz’ Osborne is the Minstrel Wolf, musician, and werewolf. Least of all and lastly I humbly name myself, Drusilla Cassandra Hawkins, called by the Powers the Blighted Innocent. This is Team Slayer at your service.”
“Drusilla Cassandra Hawkins? Really Dru? That’s your full name? That’s the first time I’ve heard it. It’s kinda pretty.” Xander said smiling at Dru.
The seer blushed, and smiled softly.
Buffy spoke up next, “Xander, Gibbs, Abby, Ziva, and Ducky are human, but their skills are extraordinary. Connor has vampire strength, speed and senses, but not the weaknesses. Oz is a self aware master werewolf. Dru is a vampire, of course. I think in your world she is the same kind you are, not the demon possessed type of our world, but we’ll have to test that out. Johnny is unique and a bit complicated…”
“Ma’am if I may, I believe since we appear to be underground, out of the sun that is, I can demonstrate. Jumping off the platform, Blaze whistled and changed to the Ghost Rider form. The whistle was followed by a hellish roar and the appearance of a flaming motorcycle, a chopper that appeared to be made of chrome plated chains, and bones. The Ghost Rider mounted his bike and roared off, only to reappeared a few moments later. He dismounted and returned to the form of Johnny Blaze. All but Xander stood in shock, and awe at what they had seen. Gibbs nodded as if to say “I thought I was right,” but he kept quiet.
The silence was broken by Abby, “That is so cool! Well its scary cool, but definitely cool-cool! Wow!” She stood bouncing on her toes.
Drusilla murmured, “The Black Knight, damned by his choice to help the innocents, so sad, that one so good should be damned,” a tear ran down her cheek.
Xander just nodded, and put a hand on her shoulder.
Mina and Vlad led the party to the old hotel, on the way conversation started up once more.
Shade Farrell was there to open the doors and they all entered the hotel. The party was led to the ballroom where extra tables and seating had been added. In short order the members of Mina’s Council began to trickle in.
Elizabeth Bathory took a seat next to Gibbs, and Ziva. She may be a vampire but Gibbs definitely appreciated the appearance of the beautiful redhead. Ziva cleared her throat, and Gibbs gave her a who-me look. Larry Talbot sat down between Oz, and Connor. Marie Laveau gravitated to Abby, and Drusilla. Buffy and Xander were seated next to Mina and Vlad. Finally Victor, and Kharis sat down on either side of Johnny, and Ducky was seated next to Dr. Hall.
Introductions were made. Then there was a short period where Mina explained the events that led to the Nighthunters redemption, and formation. Two handsome young men entered the room. One was fair skinned with a mop of red hair was obviously a living human, the other, a swarthy Sicilian was not.
“Sorry we are late Mina, we got stuck in traffic, and then some idiot guard at Underground Atlanta didn’t want to let us into the access tunnels. Oh sorry, these, must be the help you said was coming from the other dimension,” said the human. “I’m Pete Fisher, one of Mina’s token humans.” Pete gave both Ziva and Abby a covert visual once over. Gibbs and Connor both scowled at him.
The other man just said, “Tony Iacobelli, Tony Bones to my friends. I’m a vampire like the Lady.”
Drusilla whispered something to Marie. The caramel colored beauty looked at Abby in surprise, then said, “Young one we must speak when the meeting concludes.”
Abby looked at her in speculation, then said, “Ok, but only if Gibbs, or Ziva can be there too.”
Marie nodded assent, and smiled showing very little tooth.
Mina brought the meeting to order.
“The Enemy have made themselves known at last. During the hurricane that recently struck New Orleans they attacked two refugee centers, and a nursing home. The perpetrators of the atrocities are still hold up in the city. The authorities have, of course, not been trained to recognize the nature of the attacks.”
Buffy interjected, “Sunnydale Syndrome.”
“Pardon?” asked Mina.
“In Sunnydale where we fought the denizens of the Hellmouth. Vampire attacks were chalked up to barbeque fork accidents, and gangs on PCP. Nobody seemed aware of the supernatural at all. Nobody saw anything, and if they did they explained it away somehow,” the Slayer shook her head.
“Ahh, as I have said many times: in this so-called modern world, the legends and sagas of the past are taken as superstitious nonsense. Even the churches no longer really, truly believe in our kind, nor do they consider us a threat. No one believes something unless they can prove it with their vaunted science. If something is seen that defies that science they explain it away as hallucination or a trick of some kind. Mankind, I fear, has become quite pigheadedly foolish in their so-called collective wisdom.” Mina chuckled. Abby bit her tongue, and Ducky studied his nails very carefully, Ziva on the other hand joined Mina’s chuckle though for a different reason. She was enjoying her team mates discomfiture. Gibbs nudged her.
“Then we need to send a team to New Orleans, I assume” Vlad said.
“Yes, but it needs to be a combined group, an investigation team, and a strike force. Buffy,” she said looking the Slayer, “We shall need the expertise of some of your team, as well as ours. At the start we must work covertly, nothing flamboyant, until its time to strike,”
Buffy nodded, “We can probably set up the team we’re going to send in a smaller meeting than this though.” Thinking back to the meeting in Sunnydale where the baby slayers and her friends decided to kick her out. She mulled it over for a minute then said “Xander, Gibbs, and I should both be at the planning meeting, you two, of course, and someone else of your choosing.”
“My choice would be Larry, he’s good at planning, and he and Pete are our public faces here.”
Vlad rose, “Since time is of the essence the rest of us should remove ourselves, possibly to the dining room, and or the lobby. Victor, if you would lead the way, please.”
Xander gave Buffy a peck on the cheek. Only to notice Vlad doing the same to Mina. Larry and Gibbs moved to chairs closer to the four leaders.
Drusilla and Marie steered Abby to an office at the far end of the lobby, with Connor and Ziva arm in arm following them. Pete Fisher tagged along watching the sway of Abby’s hips.
Once inside Dru shut the door.
Marie spoke up, “Miss Sciuto, how much do you know about your ancestry?”
“Ms Sciuto, please,” Abby corrected by force of habit. “A little, but not as much as I should. My parents are both deaf. My grandfather was a jazz clarinet player at Cat Waller’s Big Time Jamboree, and my Grand mother was Cajun. Do they have Caf-Pow in this world?”
“I don’t know about Caf-Pow you’ll have to ask Pete,” Marie smiled. “Did you know that I had fifteen children before I died?”
“Wow, really, like wow,” said the little Goth.
“One of those children of the Marie Laveau in your world was your great-great grandmother!” announced the quadroon vampire. “Miss Drusilla says you have the voodoo talent in you, and it’s important that you learn to control that power so you can be effective here. Dearie, I’m going to teach you, but you’ve got to want to learn.”
Abby looked at Ziva, her eyes really big. To Marie she said, “But I’m a Catholic!”
Marie just laughed, “Voodoo ain’t really religion child. Voodoo is magic! I was a Catholic when I was alive too! I still consider myself one; well I still consider myself one now that I’m redeemed.”
Abby chewed her lip for a minute, and then asked a little uncertainly, “Ok, what do I need to do?”
The beautiful vampire said, “For now, all you must do is listen and learn.”