He had had to fight to use his plan. It was a good plan, better than theirs. It also had a higher body count but that wasn’t really something that could be helped.
He’d mostly been arguing with Buffy because her friend Xander had stood back, a forbidding look on his face that said he didn’t care if they had to kill everybody, he was done waiting. Willow and Mr. Giles were mostly looking resigned. Buffy was a hero’s hero. Her friends were do-what-it-takes people. At any other time, the dynamic would have made him curious.
He had missed Cordelia all of a sudden, then had to pause and wonder who Cordelia was. Whoever she was, Connor knew she would have been able to handle Buffy Summers just fine.
So, he’d asked. “Who’s Cordelia?”
And she’d shut up.
“She worked with your father,” Xander said. “We’ll let you remember the rest on your own. It’s kinder that way. For everybody involved.”
He nodded. “We’re using my plan.”
“Yep,” Xander said before Buffy could say anything, eye focused on him. Buffy whirled on him but he said, “They’ll do it again. They’ll never stop, Buff. Not now that they know how to do it. Either we stop them permanently or we keep having to fight the same fight for years to come.”
She clutched at her throat. “I can’t-The girls can’t.”
Xander nodded. “I know. I can
. Riley and Graham can. Willow can do the light stuff and Giles can. You and the girls, you need to stay out of this.”
Connor had to feel a little awe because, yeah. That was both convincing and true.
“All of those people,” she said quietly. “All of them?”
“No,” Connor said. “No, there are a few that can be let go. Boyd. The Actives. A couple of the other handlers.”
So they were using his plan. His plan was pretty basic, considering all the fancy stuff he’d had shoved into his head. Find Echo. Find Omega. Find Fred. Kill everybody that stood between him and them. Get them out and burn it to the ground.
So that’s what he did, leading Xander and the two Army men into one of the most secure facilities on Earth. Boyd was tranqed and he slipped an amulet around Echo’s neck, telling her to hold onto Boyd before he activated it.
Omega was found and Xander was possibly more bloodthirsty than even Alpha had expected because he cleared that room of any breathing person besides her. She had an amulet strapped to her and was sent away.
Xander pressed his hands to his forehead and Connor was almost sure he was going to freak out as he whispered, “Goddess, Dawn.”
They had to tranq Dr. Saunders but they got her sent away. Connor would never forget the terrified look on her face as she saw him coming.
Then he went off script. He tranqed the Army boys first, then turned to Xander. “I have to.”
Xander’s nostrils flared but he activated Riley and Graham’s amulets before saying, “Make sure there are enough pieces to bury,” and activating his own.
As more of his memories had surfaced, Connor had become more separate from Alpha, that amalgamation of imprints. That didn’t matter, though, because Connor and Alpha were both in agreement. After they’d completed their objective, they had to be destroyed, too. They were a danger to everyone and that just wouldn’t do.
So they ran through the Dollhouse, unconcerned about the occasional shot that hit home. They were going for a room with three doors and they would open them all. The first, to get into the room. The second, to disburse the magic that kept Willow from simply scooping up the people she wanted to save. And the third, to blow the building sky high. It was the height of irony that they kept both their life preserver and the means to end them all in the same room.
They yanked open the first door, tightening the cord around their wrist that would keep Willow from pulling them out. After pulling open the second door, they felt a rush and tug of magic as Willow tried and failed to bring them along with the other Actives. With a careless jerk, the third door popped open and they were no more.