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International Council of Watchers
Meeting of the High Council
January 2, 2009
A blond woman in tight leather pants, normally known as Buffy Summers and occasionally known as The Slayer, stood in front of a group of five other people. “As President of the High Council, I call this meeting to order. The chair recognizes General Secretary Lehane. Will you read the roll call?”
“Sure thing.” The first woman sat down and a brunette woman with similar fashion sense stood up.
“Vice President Giles?”
The oldest person in the room by at least ten years crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair. “Is this really necessary, Faith? I mean-”
“Vice President Giles?” the second woman repeated, but in a tone that promised injury if she was interrupted again.
“Present,” he replied a little petulantly.
“Secretary of Defense Summers?”
“Secretary of Offence Harris”
“All member of the High Council are present and accounted for. I yield the floor to President Summers.”
“Thank you, General Secretary Lehane.” The first woman stood up again as the second sat down. “For our first order of business, I move to drop parliamentary procedures for the duration of this meeting. Does anyone second the motion?”
“Yes,” five voices called out at once.
“Great, motion passed. Anyone have something new? Willow, how did your trip with Faith to Santa Barbara go?”
“Pretty good, Buffy,” said the woman with red hair. “We did a day of surveillance before determining that the supposed psychic detective was faking his visions but was completely innocuous.”
“You two were gone for a week,” grumbled the man with an eye patch. “What were you doing the whole time? Sunbathing? Shopping?”
“Don’t be an idiot, Xander. If we wanted to do either of those, we could have chosen anywhere around the world from Aruba to Paris.”
“Sunbathing in Paris?” asked Xander.
The younger Summers smacked the back of Xander’s head before motioning for Willow to carry on.
“Be nice, Dawn,” said Buffy with a small glare.
“Anyway,” Willow continued, “after checking them out, we decided to hang around the two guys for awhile and have some fun.”
“G gave us a week for this assignment,” added Faith, “and I was not coming back in time to help out with the annual book inventory.”
Dawn reached towards Faith for another head smack, but was stopped by the sudden appearance of Buffy’s hand around her wrist.
“No. Bad Dawnie,” her sister said firmly.
Dawn pulled her arm from her sister’s grasp and asked, “Well what happened?”
Willow and Faith turned to one another sharing identical grins and squealed, “We helped solve a murder!”
“What’s so special about that?” asked Giles. “We solve murders all the time.”
“What’s special, Mr. Giles, is the fact that this murder was ab-so-lutely normal,” said Willow.
Faith continued, “A complete absence of the weird, the creepy, and the cryptic all week. Well, except for the pineapples.”
“Yeah, I was getting sick of pineapples. Pineapple smoothies, pineapple upside down cakes, pineapple juice, pineapple chunks… how did Gus stand it?”
“We may never know,” Faith replied. “We actually solved the murder our second day there and spent the rest of the week dishing out tauntage to the local police department.”
“We also kept flirting with Shawn in front of the cops.”
“We were all, ‘Mr. Spencer, your soooo amazing finding that clue when the other investigators were stuck at a dead end,’ and ‘Oooo, Shawnie, you’re so brave helping the police and risking your wellbeing for the good of the community.’”
“One of the senior cops ripped the handle off his mug when Faith said the second one,” added Willow.
“I got tingles when got out his handcuffs and started threatening us.”
“Lovely, Faith,” stated Buffy. “Any other news? What’s going on with Operation Torchwood?”
“I wish you hadn’t let Andrew name the operation,” gripped Giles. “I feel silly ever time I even think about it.”
“He was the one being sent in, Giles,” replied Buffy. “He deserved to name his own operation. Anyway, that’s not important right now. Dawn, what’s happening?”
“When Andrew was inserted last year,” Dawn started, “he was only supposed to be doing light recon until Vi could make it through the Air Force Academy and join a team at the base legitimately. Get this: two weeks ago, Andrew made it off world.”
Over the years, Giles had gotten better at hiding his surprise, but at the moment, his sputtering was off the charts. “How in the world did that happen?” he asked.
“You know how kitchen workers generally have very little cooking ability?” asked Dawn.
“Like Buffy at Doublemeat Palace,” added Willow helpfully.
Ignoring Buffy’s ‘hey,’ Dawn continued, “One of the teams encountered a planet willing to ally themselves with Earth in exchange for cooking lessons. Apparently, one of the team members had brought some of Andrew’s cookies- you know the ones- on the trip and shared them with the locals. Command sent Andrew through the gate the next day with his baking supplies.”
Dawn paused for a moment as they each recalled the happy that was Andrew’s Chocolate Gingersnaps.
Xander snapped out of the collective reverie first and asked, “Do you think he’ll be going through the gate again?”
“I’m sure he will,” answered Dawn. “Andrew’s cooking talent is easier to market to other civilizations than most of our techno-toys since other worlds have generally surpassed us in technology.”
“Great. What about you and Xander, Dawn? How was your trip to Nevada?” asked Buffy.
“I took us a few days to track the Dar’kad demon that was running the Ocelot poker ring,” replied Dawn. “Clem’s information was pretty old, so we started off looking in the wrong place.”
“It’s not that we’re complaining,” inserted Xander. “While we were in Vegas, we caught a few shows and hit the casinos hard.”
“We eventually tracked him down to Reno, had a few choice words, got him to agree to stick to playing for kitties, and got the heck out of there.”
“Why’d you leave so quickly?” asked Willow.
“We were pretty sure the sheriff’s department was staffed entirely by demons,” she replied.
“Do I need to make with the slayage?” asked Buffy while grinding one fist into the other hand.
“Naw,” replied Xander. “They were pretty incompetent but weren’t really doing any harm. Still, there were some major wiggins, especially from that gnome-like woman.”
Dawn shivered in agreement.
“Were there any incidents we should know about?” asked Giles.
As Xander said ‘no’, Dawn replied, “There was that time Xander got us kicked out of the Treasure Island.” At the others’ questioning stares, Dawn continued, “He got into a fight with one of the pirates from the show.”
“I still say my eye patch was manlier.”
“Of course it was,” replied Dawn in a tone normally reserved for a three-year-old. “How about you and Giles, Buffy? Did you find us any doctors?”
“After our whirlwind tour of the United States,” Buffy started, “me and Watcherman decided we should just recruit from within. Pay for some of our own to go through medical training. We already have one girl in every squad training to become a watcher substitute. It makes sense to have another girl ready to play doctor when needed.”
“What Buffy means,” interjected Giles, “is that we couldn’t find a sane person with medical training anywhere in this blasted country. Each doctor we found had some sort of colossal problem, reaching from drugs to mental health. There was this one from New Jersey that would have gotten killed by any one of our girls in less than ten minutes if they were left in the room together.”
“Yeah, that one was big on the snark,” interrupted Buffy. “At least he wasn’t sleeping with a hallucination, like that one lady in Seattle.”
“I personally thought the young man from California was a good choice,” said Giles.
“He spent half his shift daydreaming, Giles. It was wiggy and you know it.”
“Whatever,” sighed Giles. “We’ve got a meeting with the President-Elect next week that we should prepare for. Do we want to ease him into things, or should we go for full blown intimidation?”
At the raised eyebrows of every other member of the High Council, Giles answered his own question with an air of defeat.
“Intimidation it is.”