"Looks to be a standard tactical deployment," Assistant Commissioner Thomas Mark said as he searched the large park with a pair of low-light binoculars. "It's as if they nicked it right out of a Yank SWAT manual." The commanding officer of the Serious and Organized Crime Division of the Metropolitan Police Service stood on the roof of the police building alongside Primo and studied the unlikely setup. "It's straight difficult to see these gals even with the glasses. Whoever trained them did a knock-up job of it."
Primo didn't need the binoculars to see the four young women observing the park at each of the corners. They were alike in the fact that they were all different, not a one of them looked like the normal teenagers sauntering through the well-lit area. Leather and aggression were easy to mark them as other, and as soon as he pointed them out to his new friend, the MPS officer, Thomas agreed that they were surveilling the center of the park.
At the picnic tables in the center, seven witches, including Willow Rosenberg, were listening to Barrister Parsons give his recruitment speech.
Primo smiled as he thought of how easy it was to roll people here. Sure, you occasionally found someone resistant to it, but it seemed like most of the humans were wide open books. He was collecting followers in important positions throughout the city and Shelly was in charge of the blackmail program. Primo's control faded over time and if it wasn't constantly reaffirmed, the subject could break free. So the little vampire set them up with drugs, prostitutes, cross-dressing, whatever was necessary to hold them in place should they overthrow the mental suggestions Primo had given them.
"What I require, Thomas, is for you to protect the people of London and arrest those four subversives," Primo said slowly as he stared into the Assistant Commissioner's eyes. "We must find out all we can about them and their terrorist culture."
"Yes, we should arrest those subversives, clearly they are up to no good." Thomas Mark turned to the crowd of skeptical looking officers studying him and his new friend who claimed to be from the prime minister's office and ordered the full Anti-Terror Tactical Teams, that he had mustered earlier, to immediately set up on the four targets and take them down as cleanly as possible.
"Don't forget, Thomas, there's more than meets the eye with these girls," Primo said so that everyone could hear. "They are faster and stronger than you can believe."
"No worries, Mr. Primo, my teams have been briefed."
"Good, good, I look forward to interrogating these terrorists," Primo said with such an ominous air that several of the listening officers instinctively took a step back.
Cameron Hannity changed the song on her new I-pod and zipped up her leather coat as the chill night breeze picked up for a moment. Willow was still sitting there with the group of witches listening to the old guy talk and it was now officially beyond boring.
"Anybody have anything?" she said quietly into the microphone on her collar. Within seconds, Isabella 'Izzy' Montroose, Gemma Clarke, and Terry Paulo, all reported back as bored as she was. The four of them were the official slayer presence in England and all that remained after the reinforcements Willow called for had gone away. The vamp and demon population had been so quiet for months now, that the home office back in Cleveland was considering cutting her squad in half and reassigning two of her girls elsewhere. "If something big doesn't happen soon, we're all going to end up assigned to Antarctica."
"Excuse me, Miss," the police officer that she had noticed walking by, said as he turned and walked towards her. "What are you doing sitting out here? Waiting for someone?"
Cameron was about to use the standard waiting for Uncle Giles response
when she picked up on three more officers approaching from behind. "Trouble..," she said into the microphone and twisted at the last moment as Taser darts flew through the space where she was a moment before.
"Easy now, Girl, calm down," One of the cops said as he aimed his Taser at her. "You're under arrest. Don't resist, you're just just making a hash of it for yourself if you do." The cops tried to surround her but Cameron kept dodging and considered getting violent as more officers were running towards her, with weapons drawn.
"Trap!" she screamed into the mic as plain-clothes officers were adding to the mess around her. She kept avoiding their Taser darts and dodged the attempts to rush her. She could hear that the other slayers were all engaged and as she screamed an order for everyone to retreat, she turned and tried to vault the line of officers so she could run towards Willow. The impact of two tranquilizer darts in her back made her stumble and then all hell exploded in her body as several sets of Taser darts hit her. She went down hard and the officers piled on her to try and control her arms and legs. She resisted for a moment, but the tranquilizers and a few well placed billy-club strikes sent her off into the darkness. Her sense for vampires screaming a warning, was the last thing that she felt.
"So then, whoever is interested should queue up at this table," the lawyer said as he sat down.
The others were mostly all getting in line but Willow kept to her seat and looked out at the ends of the park. There were police officers everywhere. Something big was clearly happening and she pulled out her cell phone to call Cameron when, suddenly, the big vampire from months before, was sitting at her table.
"Hello again, Lady Rosenberg," the huge vampire said calmly as he reached out and patted her hand before she pulled it back. "Do not worry about your four friends. They are fine, I promise you."
Willow slowly started to build some of the magical energy she had stored before coming here. She noticed that a bunch of the police officers were cautiously making their ways towards them. "How'd you...there's no way you could get all of those cops to work for you," she told the vampire, causing him to chuckle.
"You are correct," he replied. "But, in my opinion, most humans are content to let their masters do all of the thinking for them and are completely willing to follow orders. You see, Willow, I gain control of the right humans and I get the whole city. Then the whole country, maybe even the world."
"Great," Willow replied, "you're a megalomaniac. It's been a while since we had one to knock down." She cringed when her worries were confirmed by the vampire signaling the police not to come any closer.
"Probably," he said as he laughed. "But, it is not my desire to take over this world." Not yet anyway
, he thought as he watched her and could feel the energy she had built into her hands. "My goal is to find a way back to my home, my world."
"Then why did you attack me?" She stared at him. "Why not just come up and ask for help?" She felt a little better when she saw what looked like one of the slayers standing up on the rooftop of a building down the street. She searched the crowd of police and tried to catch a glimpse of the other slayers. The vampire snapped his fingers, drawing her attention back to him.
"I was over-eager," he replied as he looked into her eyes. "You have beautiful eyes and you want to serve me: don't you?" She could feel the weight of his persona flooding into her mind. She could see him as a king, a lord of men. She should bow to this man.
"I have beautiful eyes," she agreed. "And, I want to serve you." She held still as he reached his hand out to her face. When he touched her, she could feel him storming through all of her memories as her mind unfolded to him and when Tara's bloody body filled her vision, she hesitated. "Evolo!" she screamed, startling the vampire.
A huge wall of smoke enveloped the area and Primo dove across the table to grab the witch, but his hands slipped through nothing but air as she disappeared. He roared in anger and almost as quickly as the smoke arrived, it disappeared leaving a bunch of police officers with stunned looks on their faces.
"My word, what was that?" Assistant Commissioner Thomas Mark said in awe of what had just happened.
"What about the others?" Primo said as he grabbed the man's shoulder and looked into his eyes.
"One of the teams done poorly, but we have the three other female combatants."
"We need to find out where they live," Primo said. "Get the three under heavy security as soon as possible. I do need to go see the Prime Minister after all."
Cameron woke up with a groan. She opened her eyes and had to blink a few times before she remembered what happened. Still, seeing gray painted bars in front of her was a shock. She groaned again when she realized that someone had taken her clothes and dressed her in yellow prison coveralls.
"How did you sleep?" the deep voice asked, startling Cameron. She twisted to see a tall powerful looking man leaning against the wall inside of her cell.
"Who are you?" She struggled to get up and realized that her legs were manacled together with several short chains and then attached to the bed frame. She watched him come slowly towards her and stared into his eyes. She swore that there was a small flaming lizard reflected in his eyes.
Later, Primo leaned on the handrail outside of the slayer's cell and wished that he could still taste tobacco. After that fight
, he thought as he dabbed at all of the scratches and bite marks she had given him, I deserve a smoke
. He smiled in contentment as the greatest blood he had ever tasted surged through him. "You would love this world, my Queen," he said to the empty hallway. "I have found female warriors that rival any, save for you, my Mistress. I don't know yet if I would survive the attempt to bed one, but their blood..." He arched his back and stretched as the feeling of her warmth filled him with life. "Their blood is intoxicating. I only wish you were here, my Lady Dragon, you could take one of their minds, I have no doubt of that. So far though, I am unable." He looked back into the cell to see that the battered and bloody girl was finally waking up. "But, there are others I can try."
Willow, Giles, Gemma, and a few other trusted employees of the London Branch of the New Watcher's Council stood on the hillside, under the cloak of Willow's camouflage spell, and watched as paramilitary forces swarmed their home. The sounds of windows shattering and the cries from the housekeepers that they didn't have time to warn as they were being herded out into lorries, made Giles cringe.
"Hopefully the spells on the library will hold," Willow said. Her eyes were shining as she tried not to cry. They had slayers being held captive and now the whole government declared that they were a terrorist organization. The newscasts called them the Slayer Cult and they made up horrible stories and claimed that the slayers were guilty of them. Buffy was on the way with help, but what would be left when she managed to sneak into the country. Her picture was all over the news as the Cult Leader and Giles found out that all airports and travel-ways were on the lookout for her.
"They'll hold," Giles replied grimly. Apparently, none of the politicians In the Know
, within Her Majesty's Government were willing or able to do as they promised over the last few days. "How did we come to this?" he said, while Ripper, inside, vowed for blood.
The Prime Minister of Great Britain spit blood out of his mouth and picked up two of his teeth from the floor as his security forces swept the whole complex.
"I've known Sharon for three years. How is this possible?" he asked as he stared at his personal assistant's dead body. She was devoted to him and had even gone the extra mile when his wife was out of the country.
"She was a member of the Slayers, and they've sworn your death," Primo answered. "Thank god I was able to get here in time to rescue you." Actually, she was a witch and she was only trying to free your mind, you old fool
, Primo thought. He especially enjoyed punching the pompous man and then making him believe the witch did it. "There are people out there with evil abilities that work alongside the slayers. What we need to do is round them up for national security."
"Yes, we need to do that, for national security," the Prime Minister agreed as he shook his head over Sharon's betrayal. "You will see to it: won't you, General?"
"Yes, I will," Primo answered. He laughed at the thought that it had been a week since he last vowed to find a way home. This world is just too much fun.
"Goodbye, Sir, there is a young lady I need to see for dinner," Primo said as he walked out of the Downing Street residence. And it tastes too good.