Author Notes: Figured I’d continue the theme of using the videos for plotlines. If you hate ‘em, don’t watch the YouTube link at the end of the chapter.
Story Notes: *denotes thoughts*
Disclaimer and video link at end of chapter.
* * *
Training—final phase: Dancer
Dancing was part of her training from the beginning. Although her body came out of Umbrella Corporation’s cloning tank looking like a young adult, Liz didn’t have the lifetime’s worth of moving around in her own skin that others her apparent age possessed. So she was ready to pull her hair out and scream when her instructor stopped the routine yet again.
The older lady frowned at her pupil. “No, Liz. Look...you must feel it. When you dance you must make your audience desire your body. I have taught short, tall, fat, skinny, the homely; if you have a passion for the dance you can seduce from across the room. This is what we teach.”
“To dance.” Liz’s words sounded cynical to her own ears.
The instructor sighed. “You can bend the minds of those around you if you dance properly. But you must feel it.” Liz waited for the music, and began again.
Much, much later at the culmination of the training program, Liz strode out on stage at the gentlemen’s club. The nearly-transparent bodysuit with bits of sparkling plastic in a few strategic locations was designed to expose and accentuate, not to conceal. *Alright, if I can walk out there and dance in this, I can feel comfortable anywhere.* The music started throbbing and she began her routine.
She could feel the eyes of every man in the club—except for Manny, the gay bartender—follow her as she moved. She gyrated and rolled around on the stage, closer to the audience. *Even better*, she thought. *A little more hip thrust, now, roll on the ground, strategic leg cross. Arch back.*
The crowd went wild.
* * *
The first mission: Flight Attendant
Umbrella Corporation was a major player in the field of bioengineering. As such, it kept its corporate eyes and ears open for potentially lucrative items that could be added to its portfolio. Sometimes actual Umbrella employees would manage to infiltrate another company or government program. More often Umbrella would simply put feelers out, paying the employees of service industries to report anything “interesting.”
Liz’s first mission was a face-to-face data pickup. Her cover identity was a flight attendant; she’d have the most freedom to move about the plane, and if anything went wrong Air Marshals always sided with the crew against hostile passengers.
“Excuse me, stewardess, could I have a blanket?”
“It’s ‘flight attendant,’” Liz ground out as she tossed the blanket at the passenger. She continued down the aisle of the plane, glancing at the faces in each row.
“Miss,” an older female passenger called.
“Not now,” she said as she strode past the distraction. Liz finally recognized her contact’s face from her briefing file and ‘accidentally’ spilled a glass of champagne in his lap. “Oh, I’m so sorry, let me help you clean that up.”
Liz’s instructions had been very clear: retrieve the data chip without inquiring about its contents. And avoid killing the courier unless necessary. Liz supposed getting her ticked punched for the Mile High Club was compensation enough for letting the guy live.
* * *
The second mission: Thief
The motorcycle driver wove through traffic and Liz concentrated on helping instead of hindering his maneuvers. As they raced closer to the target building its alert system activated. Pop-up bollards began to rise. The driver was just a little bit slow, so the back tire of the motorcycle caught one. Liz had been expecting that very thing, so she tumbled through the air and landed in a perfect three point stance in front of the main door of the Weyland Industries building. The explosive charge was in her hand and flying through the air even as she thought about it. Liz dove through the air while the explosion buffeted her.
Liz electronically hacked the lock on the Chemistry Division’s controlled substances vault. The green vial she sought was encased inside a second sealed container to make sure that nobody would suffer an instant heart attack from forensically-undetectable compound. A smirk crossed her face at Weyland’s reliance on automated countermeasures. Umbrella Corporation would never have been so slack.
*Okay, it had to be the hubris,* Liz thought when the alarm tripped as she left the vault. The automated laser grid began to rotate through its programmed pattern. *Good thing I prepared for this.* And Liz began to dance the pattern.
* * *
The third mission: Assassin
Umbrella’s program was working. Liz's new strength and speed had been improving in discrete, measured steps every time a slayer was eliminated. As a joke, she’d even selected a superhero costume for this assignment. The climb up the outside of the building was the easiest way. Inside elevators and stairways had an unpleasant amount of security cameras, armed guards, and witnesses.
It had to look like an accident, but a little rough foreplay never hurt anyone. Much. Liz pushed the target back on his bed, before he could make up his mind to hit the panic button in his wristwatch. He groaned as her hand ran down his torso to his waist. *Time for some fun,* Liz thought, and threw the man to the floor like a ragdoll. His eyes were slightly glazed as Liz straddled him then ground their hips together as they kissed. When the target finally gasped for air Liz poured a vial of poison into his mouth. His breathing stopped almost as soon as his heart, and Liz gave his corpse a quick kiss.
*I wonder if that stuff would even work on me anymore,* flashed across the killer's mind as she stood.
There was a knock at the door. “Boss, you okay in there? What was that noise?” Boss?”
Even as the door crashed inwards, Liz leapt off the edge and into the night. The gossamer strips of fabric on her costume caught just enough air that it was like leaping from the eighth floor of the building instead of the 18th. So she survived with a few bruises but no broken bones.
* * *
The final mission: Slayer
One month later Liz stood in the plaza outside Umbrella Corporation, oblivious to the scattered debris still raining down from the collapsing corporate tower. She only had eyes for the petite woman who rose from a slight crater in the shattered pavers.
“That was refreshing,” Buffy said as she dusted herself off.
Liz grinned. “Oh please, I can do that now, too.”
* * *
As she plummeted through the air, Buffy felt the extra strength from Umbrella’s slain clones flow into her. All the engineered copies of her, bodies vaporized in the explosion set off in the depths of the building, poured some of their essence into her body. The ground rushed up at her from hundreds of feet below.
She hit the ground in a perfect backfall position—just so as not to tempt fate. She felt more than heard the shock as the pavement cratered beneath her body. Buffy took a breath, then stood up and dusted herself off.
*We were right, and boy am I glad that Andrew’s department whipped up an outfit that wouldn’t leave me hanging out after that stunt.*
A familiar face stared at her from across the plaza.
* * *
“You...” Buffy said.
“Me,” the clone said. “I started with a ‘decent’ basic package-”
“-and had a few upgrades.” Liz inhaled deeply and smirked as Buffy’s eyes were drawn to her surgically-enhanced chest. “Got the thing with your nose fixed, too.”
“You aren’t anything like me,” Buffy sputtered. “I’d never wear that much eyeshadow, for one thing.”
Liz smiled. “I am you, just improved.”
“I’d like to test that theory,” The Slayer ground out. Buffy hit the clone, hard. Liz’s head rocked back, then she smiled and deliberately spit a mouthful of blood in Buffy’s face. But the last Chosen One had already dropped for a footsweep. Liz leapt, just clearing the sweeping leg, then aimed a kick of her own at the back of Buffy’s head.
“You’re the one Umbrella set up the facility for,” Buffy said as she staggered back from the force of the blow.
“Yep.” Liz threw a roundhouse that Buffy ducked, and then tried to follow up with a knee to the face.
Buffy rolled back and came to her feet. “Full access to all the seedy little bits of Umbrella Corporation?” Buffy kicked at Liz’s knee, but her opponent countered and followed up with a return strike.
“Uh huh,” Liz agreed.
“Party favor for the top execs?”
The clone paled. “Screw you!”
As Buffy had expected, the burst of emotion upset the other’s balance just enough to take advantage of. Buffy deflected her opponent’s arms and head-butted Liz, who screamed as her cheekbone shattered. When the clone staggered back, Buffy followed. “Just one more question,” Buffy said. “How’re those Slayer dreams working out for you?”
The clone’s face twitched. “I...”
“’Cause they told me only The Slayer can summon The Scythe.” The weapon magically appeared in Buffy’s hand.
Liz’s eyes widened, but she attempted to bluster through her rising nervousness. “Do we really need weapons for this?”
“I just like them,” Buffy said, remembering Spike’s banter from all those years ago. “They make me feel all manly.”
Liz scrunched her nose up and reached into a pouch on her leg. She pulled out a hi-tech sword hilt, then flicked her wrist and two and a half feet of razor-sharp steel extended. At Buffy’s lifted eyebrow, Liz asked, “What, you thought the Corporation didn’t have a cutting-edge weapons research division? Pun intended.”
The Slayer and the clone swung their weapons at each other.
* * *
“Hey, Wills.” Buffy walked into the Council Headquarters with a steady stride, even though her clothes were tattered and bloody.
“Goddess! What...what happened?”
“Well, you know how they say everyone’s got a twin?”
“Yeah,” Willow said nervously. “Vampire me, remember?”
Buffy nodded and smiled grimly. “Well, tonight I met mine.”
“Was she skanky and evil and kind of gay, too?”
Buffy started to laugh, but it turned into a coughing spasm from the cracked ribs.
“And what happened,” Willow asked quietly.
The Slayer smiled. “Now it’s back to one girl, in all the world...”
“With the help of a few friends and an international organization set up to fight the forces of darkness,” Willow added. “C’mon, let’s get you down to the infirmary.”
“It’ll be fine, Wills.” Buffy could feel her ribs finish healing even as she spoke.
Video for this part:“Toxic”
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all associated characters are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, United Paramount Network, and Fox Television. Toxic is property of Britney Spears and Zomba Recording, LLC. Resident Evil belongs to Shinji Mikami and Capcom. The One belongs to S. Chasman, G. Morgan, C. Newirth and J. Wong and Columbia Pictures. Alien vs. Predator is property of Paul W. S. Anderson, Gordon Carroll, John Davis, David Giler, and Walter Hill. This work is not for profit, and no ownership of aforementioned copyrighted material implied, nor any infringement intended.