Re: Background check
Please do a full background check and dossier on one Willow Rosenberg, currently computer teacher at Smallville High School and late of Sunnydale, California. Expedite this and I'll pay a bonus. - LL
It was fortunate that Willow had drunk more than one cup of coffee as she stayed up quite late that night. She had talked with Lex for over an hour at the coffeehouse, long past normal closing time. Conveniently, Lex turned out to be the owner of the Talon and simply told Lana, who managed it, to let them be; someday she had to hear the story about why he trusted a teenager to run the place. Perhaps because he was so young himself? Willow did ask the businessman why he spent so much time around high school students. He grinned and told her to ask again in another week after she had spent more time around Smallville and seen what it had to offer.
When she finally did get home, she honestly had every intention of researching the frogman. Really. She poked around a few demon databases, set the computer to search through the scans of Giles' occult library that dated back to her own high school days, but still soon found herself typing "Lex Luthor" into a Goggle Internet search box.
What she found corresponded roughly to what the man had told her, although the media reports and websites focused more on the scandals and Lex's image as the ne'er-do-well son of fertilizer tycoon and chemical baron Lionel Luthor. This was quite different from the ambition that Willow sensed burned in the man. The Metropolis papers had a story about how his extremely wealthy sire exiled his son in a small town where he would be unable to cause trouble for the family corporation, but Willow noticed that the Smallville Ledger had stories about how the son had turned the local fertilizer plant around and saved his father's life during a major tornado. "So, which is the real Lex Luthor?" she wondered. There was a mystery about the man and Willow could never resist a riddle. "I'll have to do some hacking this weekend," Willow thought.
Reluctantly, she turned her attention back to her research, flipping through a couple of catalogues of demons and monstrous beings without finding the frog.
Unbeknownst to Willow, that very frogman was in big trouble. Spike had not given up the chase. He much preferred his own way of getting information first-hand to Willow's research in books and computers. Carefully, he tracked the frog through the cornfields surrounding Smallville and through three of the irrigation ditches that funneled water to the farms. Giant jumps from the frogman's powerful legs kept it in the lead but Spike's relentless tracking ensured that this gap did not widen. By speeding up and slowing slightly, Spike drove the frogman toward the graveyard, familiar territory to any vampire. Fog that swirled from the ground covered the gravestones, making a difficult chase even harder as both parties had to dodge these obstacles, barely visible in the moonlight.
Suddenly, the hairs on Spike's arms stood up and the vampire froze in shock. A Yegsulth demon. Spike might not know what the frogbeing was, but he certainly knew far more than he wanted about the enforcers of the demon world.
Fearing the vampire pursuing him and ignorant of the new threat, the frogman ran right into its clutches. The demon stretched out his blue scaled arms, grabbed the frogman by his neck. Enormous hands twisted, large muscles budged, and the frogman's neck broke within seconds.
Not daring to move, his body hidden among the gravestones, Spike watched as the demon stared at the dead frogman in some confusion, lifted it over its shoulder, and began carrying it back to his master, doubtless to inform it that there was, as the little bit had said, something strange in Smallville. Spike frowned; it had not been so long since he was the master vampire in Sunnydale that he had forgotten how big bads react to strange doings. First, see if there is a threat. Second, see if that something can be used. If the rumors were right, a demon who sought to channel the power of the key would soon know about another power source in Smallville.
The next day, before school started, Dawn found Clark, Chloe, and Pete in a huddle in the hallway near their lockers, talking with Lana.
"I don't see how you can be so energetic this early in the morning," Pete was complaining to Lana.
"It's one of the perks of running a coffeehouse," Chloe put in. "And I mean perk literally."
"It's not early," Clark protested. "Not when you have to milk the cows, feed the chickens, toss bales of hay around, and eat breakfast all before the schoolbus comes."
"Right, Clark," Pete said. "It's not like you don't miss that bus half the time anyway." Clark nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders with a sheepish smile.
"Hi guys," Dawn said, inserting herself into the group. "What's the scoop?"
"Lana's just filling us on the latest from the Talon." Chloe enthused. "Apparently Lex Luthor and the new computer teacher were getting mighty friendly after the place closed to everyone else."
"But he's a guy!" Dawn protested without thinking. All four looked at her. "I mean, he's a rich guy," Dawn backpeddled, realizing that Willow would not appreciate students gossiping about her sexual preferences. "What would he want with someone like Willow?" Only Chloe noted this automatic use of the teacher's first name.
Pete snorted. "Luthors always take the good stuff. And Ms. Rosenberg clearly is the good stuff." Clark nodded as Chloe fumed. Dawn just found the whole thing amusing.
Dawn's first period was a lab in advanced Chemistry. Dawn wanted to partner with Chloe, the only one of her friends in the class, but Mrs. Gregory assigned her to Sally Lawkin, who confessed herself much better in gym than in chemistry. Inevitably, Dawn found herself doing most of the work. For Social Studies, the teacher assigned the class a reading about ancient Egypt and spoke about how their culture and beliefs differed from 21st century Smallville. Dawn found the talk far more useful as a source of information about Smallville than on ancient Egypt which was fortunate, since she had to live in the former and needed a quick primer on the morals and customs of this strange land.
In Gym, the "teacher" tossed them a bat and ball and had them go outside to play softball. There Dawn found that Sally was correct, the girl was far better at sports than she was science. "Wow! When did you so good?" one of the other girls asked her. "Oh, we played a lot in Summer camp," came Sally's reply.
Chloe, who had been the absolute last to be picked by a team, acted as if the whole thing was beneath her. "What has the ball done to me that I should want to hit it with a stick?" she joked. "Now some people I could mention..." and she shot a glare to where the boys were playing. Dawn herself glanced over from time to time, looking for how well her new friends were doing. Pete clearly was throwing himself into the game, sliding into the bases and running aggressively to catch the ball. Clark though, seemed to be holding himself back. Dawn recognized the signs from when her sister appeared in public. Clark did well but something in his moves made Dawn think he could do better, that he was hiding something.
"Is Clark on a sports team?" she asked Chloe, acknowledging that the young journalist was her best source of information on Clark.
"He and Pete tried the football team," Chloe replied. "But Clark has all these chores on the farm and the coach turned out to be a pyromaniac, so he dropped it. You'd think someone of his size would be better at it, wouldn't you?" and she turned her adoring gaze on her large friend.
"Bit of a klutz, though," Sally commented, overhearing the conversation.
"I suppose sometimes," Chloe said, "But at other times," and her eyes became unfocused and she sighed unconsciously as her body swayed briefly as if to a waltz.
The girl's game was won by Sally and Dawn's team, despite a lack of effort by Chloe, while Pete's team easily defeated Clark's among the boys. The "teacher" blew his whistle and everyone went to the showers. The "teacher" had not said a single word to any of the students.
The bell rang and students ran out of the classrooms, ignoring their teachers who had been interrupted mid-sentence. In the hallway connecting the gym to the rest of the school, the Yegsulth demon lurked, disguised in a trench coat and hat. The pull of the dried blood on his knife had taken him to this many chambered hive where the human young were warehoused. Now he would snatch, grab and take the key energy to his master. The knife, which had previously bled the key atop a tower in Sunnydale, glittered in hallway's florescent light. He sensed he was near the knife's target. A few more steps, and he would strike.