A Frightening Picture
I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Quantum Leap. They belong to Joss Whedon and Donald Bellisario respectively.
Warning: There is what will seem like bashing of Buffy, Willow and some others in this chapter. It is not meant as such. It is merely, to my mind, an objective analysis of the Scooby Gang's paper trail by someone without access to Initiative and Watchers' Council records.
~~January 3rd 1998
Crawford Street Mansion
Sam Beckett stalked back to the Crawford Street mansion, not realizing that his current brooding attitude was the best approximation he’d managed of his host body’s attitude the whole night. He tossed the wooden stake into a random corner and mentally relived the night from hell. Vampires were real. That was a shocker. Worse still, he currently occupied the body of some sort of Anne Rice reject.
Even more painful was the longing looks that the girl, Buffy, kept giving him. There was no doubt about it. She was in love with this ‘Angel’. Sam shuddered in disgust at that mental image. Buffy was a cute kid, but she was far too young for him and equally too young for the body he occupied. Even Sam’s most charitable estimates put Angel at twenty-five years old.
Sam thought for a long moment about what he would tell Al and decided to leave it for now. He had to figure out what was going on here. He didn’t have time to discuss the supernatural with Al again. “Al? Have you got something?”
The hologram sighed dramatically as he appeared. “What I’ve got, Sam, is thin. And we’re talking see-through thin, Sammy.”
Sam nodded. This whole mission was rapidly devolving into madness. “What have you got for me?”
Al smiled. “I got some information on your running buddies. ‘Buffy’ is actually Buffy Summers…”
“You mean her mother actually named her Buffy? I’d hoped it was a nickname.”
Al shook his head. “‘Fraid not, Sammy. Anyway, Miss Summers is currently an expulsee from Hemery High School in Los Angeles. Apparently it was over an arson case in which she was the principle suspect. To add to the fun, she has been charged with numerous deaths, none of which have ever stuck. Recently she supposedly murdered a guy named Ted Buchanan. By the end of the year, a Kendra Young was added to her sheet. Neither went to trial.”
Sam frowned. “An arsonist turned murderer. I’ve got to tell you, Al, that doesn’t sound right to me. I’ve met that girl. She doesn’t strike me as the type.”
Al shrugged. “That’s all I was able to get on her. Seems she was declared dead in 2004. Some sort of incident in Rome. She never held down a regular job in her life, though she did attend college for several years before dropping out to take care of her sister.”
“Younger sister is Dawn Summers. She’s about five years younger. She dies in 2007. This little one really made something of herself. She already had a doctorate in linguistics by the time of her death. She was on a dig in Cairo when she was killed by bandits apparently.”
Sam searched his mind. “Odd. I don’t recall hearing about a sister.” He shrugged. “I suppose she doesn’t come out late at night. God knows its not safe out here. What have you got on her other confederates.”
Al snorted. “Willow Rosenberg is a hacker legend known as weeping!willow. She is on the FBI hacker watch-list for dangerous hackers and is also being watched by several big companies that want to take her on board. She’s a world-class genius and already has offers on her plate from some pretty sweet colleges at this stage in her life.”
“And her future?”
“Same old story, Sam. Enrolled in UC Sunnydale and never worked a job of any sort that I can tell. She took some sort of sabbatical in 2002 after her girlfriend was murdered by some sort of sociopath. I’m not even sure if she’s still alive at this point. After the death of Dawn Summers in 2007 she became something of a recluse. I’ve got nothing else.”
“What about the others?”
“Daniel Osbourne was hunted down by sociopath named Cain in 2001. Before that he was a recluse in Nepal. Cordelia Chase is murdered in her sleep in 2004. Reputedly this was after being in a coma for almost a year. She was an employee of Angel Investigations before that.”
Sam grinned. “Angel as in…?”
Al nodded. “Probably. I’m still looking for confirmation for that. Unfortunately Angel Investigations closed down when Chase went into her coma and the whole team was killed in some sort of a riot in 2004. Records are hard to pin down.”
Sam went through his head trying to remember who was left. “What about Giles and Xander?”
“Giles is a dead end. The guy had a world class education that was tainted by a rather nasty criminal record in his youth. He worked a few prestigious museums before moving to Sunnydale to take up the high school librarian’s post. He was the prime suspect in Calendar’s murder. In the future he loses his post as librarian when the school blows up…”
“The school blows up?”
“Don’t even get me started on this, Sam. It’s a real mess. Anyway, he later opens up a shop called the Magic Box and operates that for a while, with occasional trips to England. And don’t ask me how he finances any of this, ‘cause his wages don’t cover it. Anyway, Giles dies in 2004 in England. Stabbed in the chest, if you can believe it.”
Sam shook his head. This was absurd. “Dare I ask what happened to young Xander, then?”
Al smiled genuinely. “Seems this kid was a real success story. His parents were drunks and his grades were crap. He had no money for college, even for those that would have taken him…”
“Doesn’t sound like a success story to me?”
Al snorted. “I suppose it wouldn’t, Mr. Multiple PhDs, would it? Give me a second. I’m getting there. Anyway, after a string of odd jobs, this Harris kid gets into construction. He ascends to the rank of foreman until 2003 when…”
“… he gets killed, right?”
“Wrong Sam. The kid gets an eye gouged out. Still not sure what the heck happened there. It wasn’t work related though, otherwise the kid would have probably have claimed his insurance. Anyway, the kid is working in Africa, something like Habitat for Humanity or some such. Relief efforts, I think. I’ve got somebody tracking him down while I try to get the kid security clearance.”
Sam smiled broadly. “That’s great, Al. I really need some help and fast. This whole situation is a mess.”
“I know Sam. We’re working as fast as we can. Just hold on for now.”
Not my best work, I know, but I'm just getting started again. It'll improve. I promise.