Chapter Nine: Bloodletting
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 Nine: Bloodletting
I got the ways and means
To New Orleans
I'm going down by the river
Where it's warm and green
I'm gonna have a drink, and walk around
I got a lot to think about
Song Lyrics: "Bloodletting (the Vampire Song)"
Recorded by: "Concrete Blonde"
Written by: (Johnette Napolitano) - 1990
While Abby and Drusilla discussed Abby’s training, Buffy, Xander and Gibbs discussed the exact team roster for the New Orleans ‘trip’ with Mina, Vlad, and Larry.
“Gibbs, and Ziva are a given. They are the most experienced investigators.” Buffy asserted.
“Yes, but what do they know about the supernatural?” asked Larry seriously.
“Oh, you’d be surprised.” Gibbs said with a smirk. “I ran into my first vampire while I was stationed, at Camp Pendleton, California. She was using a bar in San Clemente as a take out for Marine blood. I had to stake her with a tree branch to save a friend.”
“How did you know that would work?” Xander asked.
“Hey I saw all of the Dracula movies!” Gibbs had yet to remove the smirk. “Iraq, during Desert Storm had me running into Ghouls and an Ifrit,” Gibbs shook his head, “That was intense; it took a 50 cal. Machine gun and two grenades to take them out. As to Ziva: I know for a fact that she has fought against zombies in Haifa, demons in Lebanon, and a pack of Lamia in the Golan Heights.”
“That I believe answers my question.” Larry returned Gibbs smirk amiably.
“I believe without some of the technology from our world Abby, and Ducky will be hard put to function at a distance, that means that they’ll have to be close to New Orleans. This world ,if you have explained it correctly, is currently in the 1950’s time period. That means no internet. We can still bring some of our equipment and computers over, as long as there is electricity, and I’m sure Abby can rig up some sort of connection between herself, and Ducky using phone lines,” Gibbs said turning serious.
“Drusilla can go with them to act as a bodyguard,” Xander observed, “she’s taken quite a shine to both of them.”
“I believe that Marie will be invaluable,” Mina said thoughtfully, “she knows New Orleans, both the old city, and the new.”
“Connor and Blaze should go with the strike team.” Buffy offered.
“Jamila will be good for that as well, as will Victor, and though I hate to admit it Dr. Hall.” Vlad said.
“If Hall goes, I go too!” growled Xander.
“And I as well,” added Vlad. “You are not the only one who does not truly trust him. Redeemed he may be, but I do not trust his self control around women.”
“The travel group stands at an even dozen. We need to garner equipment from your reality, some trucks in the New Orleans area, to carry it, and to act as a rolling laboratory.
We shall also need to obtain a cargo plane, and an old troop transport plane for travel there,” said Vlad.
“Dear,” said Mina, “The airport is unusable in New Orleans just now, you shall have to travel overland.”
“Damn!” was all the prince said. “I really hate traveling by automobile.”
Gibbs smiled, “Ziva and I can drive.”
Xander did not like the looks of that smile, something told him that he might actually prefer that Buffy was driving, and that alone scared him.
OK, the instructions aren’t bad, but the outfit that Grandmama Marie (she likes it when I call her that, even though she LOOKS younger than me) has given me definitely is not up to my normal standards. Corn-rowing my hair wasn’t that bad, but the teeniest of fur bikini bottoms with a rat’s skull on the front, and black feather leg-warmers, with bare feet are not really very much to wear, considering from the waist up the outfit consists of yellow paint in swirly patterns. The skull face paint is cool though. Grandmama Marie assured me that the outfit was only necessary for the initial instructions, and a few of the rituals. I feel naked! Well for the most part, I am naked for that matter. Thank God, Marie and Ziva forced Connor, and that Pete Fisher to leave before I had to don the costume. Ziva even offered to dress the same if it would make me feel more comfortable, but I feel that would be a bit extreme. I told her that blood sacrifices were not part of my life style, and that I was a vegetarian. She said that she would keep those to a bare minimum, but I may have to perform some to protect my friends. The things I will do for friends! Ok, I guess I can do this. Grandmama says that after today instructions will only take about two hours a day so here goes. (End P.O.V.)
Abby came out of the office almost a different person than she went in to it. Her hair was done in corn-rows, she was wrapped in a blanket, and she was sweating profusely, and acted weak as a kitten. Ziva held her arm, and appeared to be holding her up. Gibbs started to say something, but Ziva raised a hand. “She just needs a shower and some time to rest, she’ll be fine she’s just worked very hard. After today it won’t take this much out of her.”
Marie started to lead them upstairs, but Abby was too worn out to make it. Before Marie could act, Gibbs swept her off her feet, and with Ziva still supporting her he carried her up to the second floor. Marie opened the door to one of the rooms, but would only allow Ziva, and Abby to go in with her.
“Its bad luck for a man to go into the room with her just now. She’ll be alright in the morning. You love her and she knows it. She says you’re like a papa to her. You’re a good man, but you’re still a man, and that’s bad luck til morning.” Marie held Gibbs off.
He stood in the hallway with his mouth hanging open fro a long time. No one had been able to control him with just soft words for a long, long time.
Ziva came down stairs about an hour later. Her hair was wet. She explained to Gibbs that she had helped Abby take a shower, and that Abby was sleeping now. She also assured him that she was ok, and that she was just tired. Grandmama Marie would watch over her. Gibbs, Buffy, and Xander went back to their world that night with Ducky and a list of equipment that Dr. Mallard said that he and Abby would need. Once back there Gibbs got McGee on the phone he read off the list, and gave the agent Buffy’s credit card number. He told McGee that he needed the items on the list, and anything else he could think of that they’d need that would be of use in a low-tech area. He also told him that the items had to be gotten ASAP, and that they should be shipped to Rome. Buffy called Slayer Central, and Giles oked the purchases...reluctantly.
“Can I ask what this is for Boss?” McGee queried.
“No,” said Gibbs, “need to know basis, you don't. Do this and you can go back to your book tour.”
“Ok, Boss, understood. I’ll get right on it,” was McGee’s answer.
Two days later Gibbs, Buffy, and Xander were joined in a warehouse near the airport by a team from Mina’s organization. The portal was opened from the warehouse, and the work party came through.
Abby and Ducky supervised the unloading, and transport through the portal. Gibbs seemed pleased that McGee was able to collect almost everything that they had asked for on such short notice. He also marveled at just how much weight the vampires, and Victor could carry.
The trucks that they were loaded into almost made Xander laugh until he realized that the huge modern semis he was used to where in 2008, then he realized that it was 1952 here. That meant that the two large Mack truck semis and the International Harvester moving van even though they were much smaller than the ones in their 2000’s were state of the art here!
He had also looked it up on Buffy’s computer when they were home; no hurricane had hit the Gulf Coast near New Orleans in their world in the 50’s until Audrey in1957. Things were different here even weather patterns.
Two more days passed getting everything, and everyone ready, and another three days on the road.
Fortunately the crime scenes were not accessible to the police until the after day they got there. Vlad produced credentials that identified the group as Federal Law Enforcement Agents, the FBI of this world was called FLEA. Gibbs was assured that they were real. It seems that a congressman from a key southern state was a closet werewolf, and had obtained them for the Nighthunters. They only used them when absolutely necessary, and did send some highly edited reports to the agency under the name John V. Draco. Thus they were able to take over the crime scenes from the grateful overstressed local authorities.
The refugee centers, tent cities actually, were scenes of bloody chaos. Some of the bodies showed signs of vampire attacks, others were partially eaten, and still others were torn limb from limb. The only one who did not seem in the least effected was Dr. Hall. The area of the carnage that even effected him was reserved for the large medical tent in the center of the camp. The only bodies found there were those of children. Their small bodies had been horribly mutilated. They had not been simply killed they had been tortured to death. Twenty-two small heads were lined up on poles in the middle of the tent. Gibbs stood stock still rage infusing his face. Xander dropped to his knees, retching. Vlad’s face mirrored that of Jethro’s. Dr. Hall finally lost his smile, and cold fury replaced it. Children were sacrosanct even to him. To kill a child was one thing; to commit these atrocities was something else entirely. The bodies and body parts were collected by a team of the local sheriff’s department led by Connor. Abby and Ducky were given examples of each type of killing. The children being held until last. Doctor Hall volunteered to work as Ducky’s assistant for the autopsies. Drusilla assisted Abby. Victor and Connor with the aid of the sheriff’s deputies located a bulldozer and a backhoe. Trench graves were dug awaiting the disposition of the corpses.
Records of the camps inhabitants and staff were found in a trunk in one of the camp supervisor’s tents. Gibbs, Ziva and Connor investigated the entire camp. Footprints were cast in plaster, even animal prints. Few clues were found save the killing types, and the prints. Still those told at least part of the story. The animal prints were both lupine, and those of a huge feline.
Jamila was able to identify the later as those of a huge cheetah, “Haptuset,” she gasped in anger.
Larry growled when he saw the casts of the lupine print. “These are far too large for a true wolf, or a coyote. These are signs of more than one werewolf. I’d say a small pack led by a master were.”
Ducky sent for Gibbs. “I’d say that there were at least two vampires, possibly, no most assuredly more. One was either female or a small male, another was a large male, and quite savage at that. Another smaller male was involved though he is even more vicious than the first, and possibly another female quite dainty in her murders.”
Drusilla came over to the pair, “May I see Doctor?” she said softly. “This is not idle curiosity I assure you. I may be able to identify the killers.”
Gibbs gave her the eye, but when she didn’t back down he stepped aside. Ducky showed her the bodies.
“This,” she said pointing to the ones he said was a large male, “is the work of Angelus, Liam O’Connor. This female vampire is Darla Sinclair’s, its her bite. This is not Spike’s bite he’s not this sloppy, but this one here is…my bite, the bite of Drusilla Hawkins. I do not like to waste blood. This is the other Drusilla, the one from this world.” Then she pointed to another body, “that is the work of a third male, William Pratt, known as Spike,” she sighed. “The four known as the Scourge of Europe will not have stayed in this area. They are too cunning. Darla, and Angelus will be leading, Spike will be to busy taking care of his Drusilla. The other male is unknown to me, but from the other wounds on the body he appears to have something in common with the Scourge…he is a sadist, this man was tortured.”
Drusilla left the truck, and sat down outside. Tears were in her eyes, her head in her hands.
She heard a familiar voice, “Need a friend?”
She looked up to see Xander standing there. His eyes were red, and his face was streaked with dirt and mud. He looked like he needed sleep, but for her he put on his lopsided grin.
She stood up and put her arms around his waist burying her head in his chest. He reluctantly returned her hug.
“I know you’re with Buffy,” she whispered, “and that’s as it should be, the stars say so, but can I still be your friend?”
“Of course you can Dru,” he whispered back, “of course you can.”