Three young female humans rushed into the room. A fourth followed more slowly, warily, moving like a stalking panther.
The first three hurled themselves at Illyria. They had strength and speed far beyond that of humans. It availed them not; their impetuosity was their destruction. She met one with a fist, another with a foot, snatched the third from the air mid-leap and hurled her down upon the desk of Mr. Giles to shatter the wood asunder.
The fourth wore a hat spun from the wool of quadrupeds and her hair was the color of rusted iron. She flowed across the carpet and launched strikes from a position of balance. Power, speed, accuracy, and control. This was a true warrior. To parry these blows was not easy even for Illyria, and when she struck back the female almost was able to seize her in an arm-lock, but Illyria had seen her Pet use that move and avoided the danger. She countered, pinned the female’s arm, and punched to the face. She struck again. The female sagged. Blood oozed from skin. Illyria was reminded of herself, defeated by Marcus Hamilton, and felt disquiet. She lowered this Slayer, no doubt one trained by Spike, to the ground and laid her down gently.
One of the fallen stirred and tried to rise. Illyria smote her into renewed unconsciousness and then moved to intercept Giles as he tried to flee through the door. “You will not leave,” she commanded, “until you have heard my words. You may summon medical aid for the fallen pupil of Spike, and for the rash ones, if you wish.” She held up a hand to silence Giles as he opened his mouth to speak. “Summon two others also,” she continued. “The Slayer named Faith, and the witch named Willow.”