Believe it or not, I've been struggling for over a year and a multitude of revisions to write this damn thing to the point where I could deem it halfway decent (you know what they say, the toughest critic of your work is yourself). I finally thought, 'The Hell with it'
, and here we are. So, without further ado, I give you the fourth instalment of The Unavoidable Series. I recommend reading the preceding stories first. Timeline:
Set a few months after 'Unexpected' (about two and a half to three years post-Chosen). Stargate, set between Seasons 8 and 9. General Jack is still in charge. Disclaimer:
I do not own any rights nor do I have any type of permission from the lucky people who do. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are the property of, the brilliant, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Inc., and probably many more people. Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, the Goa'uld, et cetera, belong to Showtime, MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. No infringement intended.
Kristanna Lewis was the team leader of her training group. She stood five feet ten inches tall (a respectable height), slender, had brown hair, hazel eyes, a thin face, and, quote, ‘had the mouth of a Russian sailor on leave who found his girlfriend in bed with another guy’, end quote. Faith certainly had a way with words. Even she had found it a bit much and she once had the pleasure of seeing a group of Yankees fans walk into a Boston bar wearing their team’s hats and jerseys.
But anyway, she led one of the three person groups of Slayer in Training. Or ‘SiTs’, as Xander had started calling them. It was also Xander who designed the team system, basing it roughly on a military system. There was currently a pool going around on how long it would take until he had people calling him Colonel Fury.
Each team was designated by a letter. Again thanks to Xander, they had adopted the common phonetic alphabet used by military and law enforcement agencies. So, there were fifteen groups in total, each made of three SiTs, from Alpha to Oscar.
Many found the way things had been organised to be efficient, however, many (Buffy especially) didn’t like how military-like things were being made, so Xander was no longer allowed to make changes to the training system without the consent of the full Council board.
There were no less then five teams patrolling Cleveland and the surrounding areas every night. Kristanna Lewis was the leader of Team Foxtrot.
The other two members of her team were named Ellen Dupree and Anne Harrington. Kristanna didn’t particularly care for Anne, but she and Ellen got along quite well. She was a lot of fun and had the best sense of humour that could make even Illyria laugh (true story). While Anne was unoriginal and inflexible in her thoughts and learning ability. She was a whiny bitch to boot.
Anne was not very well liked by her fellow slayers.
It was on one highly clichéd night (dark, no moon, ominous wind that rustled leaves, etc) that things drastically changed for Foxtrot Team.
They moved through the Cleveland alleyways with ease, having memorised the layout after countless patrols. They had chased a group vampires down towards the seedier side of town towards some of the more numerous abandoned buildings. The three girls dusted them with ease and were now heading home.
Until Kristanna felt something following them. One of the reasons she was team leader was because she had the best extrasensory abilities of the two. Of many of the other girls actually. The past three nights, she could feel someone watching them but had ignored it because she knew some vampires or demons spied on slayers to try to get hints into their weaknesses. Also, she knew that the Head Slayers, Buffy and Faith, sometimes shadowed the teams to check on their training progressed.
But tonight she could feel the intent of their watchers change. They were not just being observed any more.
They were being hunted.
Well, they weren’t about to make it too easy for whomever or whatever was following them. No.
The first night she felt the team being watched, she had informed her team-mates. They had decided to wait it out and plan a few contingencies in case things with their tails got dicey. The main plan was to get ahead of their followers and hide. They’d watch them and then either run or fight. As simple as that.
She got between her two team-mates ahead of her and whispered, “The bastards are hunting us now, we’ll turn into the next alley and get the drop on the fuckers. Unless I say run, and then you fucking run.”
The two nodded subtly. They kept walking and then Kristanna stopped them and pointed into the alley saying loudly that she saw something move down there. They crept into the mouth of the alley and when they were clear from view, they started moving as quickly and silently as possible up the alley until the found a dark and narrow side alley. The aforementioned alley had a large pipe running up one corner all the way to roof, but they didn’t need to go up that far. About twelve feet up there was a ledge running around one of the buildings, just out of the direct line of sight and hidden in shadow.
Anne grabbed the pipe and quickly climbed up it, Ellen not far behind her. Kristanna was the last one up. The process took perhaps less than twenty seconds. Once safely settled on the ledge, they all drew their standard issue knives (mystically empowered of course) and waited.
It wasn’t long until they heard faint footsteps approaching from opposite ends of the alley. Kristanna concentrated on the footsteps and tried to count how many unique footsteps there were. She turned to look at the two. She held up four fingers, put down two, and then pointed towards either end of the alley while mouthing the words, “Four people, two coming from each end.”
One pair of men came into view. Kristanna’s jaw clenched when she saw them. Two more appeared, similarly dressed and equipped. Four black clad men in combat gear holding assault rifles to their shoulders as they carefully surveyed the alley.
The other two girls were surprised that they were human—military no less.
The four men grouped and talked together in whispers, obviously trying to figure out where their targets went.
Anne was closest to the group tried to shift along the very small ledge to get closer and listen in. Which was when one of the bricks that made up the ledge decided to crumbled as she stepped on it. She recovered easily enough, but the brick sailed down to the ground and landed rather noisily.
All four guns were immediately pointed towards the sound. Small lights attached to the gun barrels were turned on and illuminated the small niche they had scampered down. Kristanna sent a quick glare to Anne before nodding down to the men, telling them to get ready.
Eventually the lights moved up but before the light had a chance to show them, the girls sprang into action, jumping from their hiding place down onto the four men. Anne landed with both feet on one man's chest, sending him to the ground. She rolled off him and came up right in front of another who blocked the right cross she sent towards his head.
Ellen landed on another man's shoulders, sending him down as well with a broken collar bone, which hurt judging by his scream. Ellen quickly silenced him with a kick to the head.
Kristanna, as the furthest back into the alley was unable to jump right onto the last but did manage to land right in front of him. She quickly brought a knee up into his groin while knocking the gun barrel away from her and her girls. She followed that up with an elbow to his face before spinning out from his body and coming back around with a roundhouse kick that would put Chuck Norris to shame.
She heard a pop and felt a stinging sensation in her back. She reached around and pulled a small syringe out of her back. A tranquilliser dart. She turned around and saw Anne still fighting one of the men. He was putting up a surprisingly good defence. A defence being the only thing he was capable of against her. He held a dart gun in his hand, which was promptly knocked away. Kristanna felt slightly sluggish but not enough to greatly hamper her abilities.
Ellen appeared at Anne’s right and kicked the man in his knee, which then bent in the completely wrong direction. Anne punched him in the face, sending his head back into the brick wall, knocking him out finally.
A scraping sound and then a burst of gunfire filled the alley. Kristanna dove out of the way and came back up beside one of the men that had been knocked down. She yanked the rifle out of his grasp and slammed the butt of it into his face.
A gasp had her turning once again.
Ellen was leaning against the wall, wide eyed and clutching her stomach. Kristanna was at her side in an instant as she slid down the wall. There was far too much red.
“Shit,” Kristanna whispered. “Anne, call the others and get a car here right fucking now!”
It was only a few minutes later that two SUVs were pulling up to the mouth of the alley, but it was too late. Even a slayer can’t survive four bullets wounds to the chest. The driver of each vehicle were the two Senior Slayers on duty that night. Vi and Rona, each accompanied by their partners, Veronica and Susan.
Kristanna met them at the mouth of the alley and gave them a summary of what happened as she led them down the alley. They stared down at Ellen in silence once they reached her.
“Which one?” Vi asked.
They knew what she meant. Kristanna pointed a shaky finger at one of the men. Now that the adrenaline had worn off, whatever was in the dart she was shot with was affecting her more seriously. It was still nowhere near enough to knock her out, but she did suddenly feel unsteady on her feet.
Vi gave the guy a kick in the ribs which was met with a small grunt but nothing more. She grabbed one of his arms and started dragging him back to the car, making sure to hit every piece of debris, every puddle, and every unsavoury stain in the alley.
She passed Veronica carrying two body bags (so useful when dealing with demons corpses that couldn’t be left lying around) to carry Ellen and the commando’s weapons back to base.
Anne and Veronica went about stripping the men of their weapons and equipment before cuffing them in their own restraints. Kristanna was put into Rona’s car when she started tripping over her own feet from the drugs and the others helped clean up the alley.
After the girls had dragged, thrown, and tossed the unconscious men into the back of Rona’s SUV (which was made infinitely easier by this nifty spell Willow created after seeing Doctor Who to increase the relative dimensions of the cargo area so they could fit more things in the back like groceries, weapons, clothes, bodies, furniture, etc...) they carefully laid Ellen in the back, unfortunately next to Foxtrot’s would-be abductors. Anne got in next to Kristanna and Rona’s partner got in the passenger side and they were off home. Veronica and Vi had orders to stay on scene and try to find a trail to follow. The soldiers might have been on foot the entire way but it was unlikely. There was most likely a vehicle somewhere close by. Maybe even with more men inside.
The drive home for the other SUV was made in silence.
They finally pulled into a quiet neighbourhood on the outskirts of Cleveland. There were many iron fences and stone walls blocking the view of the properties along the way. It was an affluent neighbourhood where the smallest property there was a meagre twenty acres large.
The school itself was in a refurbished Victorian manor on forty acres. The Artemis Academy, so named for the Greek Goddess of the hunt, had only been open for a year. Once the funds from the old Council had been unlocked, it was a simple matter to purchase and renovate the property. During which time the others were doing what they could with their personal accounts, which, at the time, was not a lot.
The old Council certainly had no shortage of funds, as the slayers soon found out, and the Directors of the new Council were using the money to open many houses of a similar nature in other countries. The money also allowed some people, like Willow for instance, to over indulge (to the point of paranoia) a bit on certain things. Like the gate the SUV was currently parked in front, which was only one part of the vast security system, of both technological and mystical design.
Rona rolled down her window as she pulled alongside the post on the left side of the driveway. She reached out and pressed a code into the keypad and waited. Soon after, there was a buzz and the gate rolled open. She drove the car through the gate and up the long driveway. The house came into view almost immediately, but Rona didn’t continue to the front door. Instead she turned off halfway up the driveway and drove around to the garage in the back.
A group of slayers came out to meet them. Two opened the back of the SUV and carefully took Ellen’s body inside. The others helped bring the four men down into the basement and put them into a room that had been recently designated a holding cell. The ‘cell’ was actually an unfinished training room that used to be a wine cellar.
It made a perfect cell. The room was roughly thirty feet by twenty feet, with no windows, and two foot thick brick walls, and one unfinished washroom on one end, which contained a working sink and toilet but, unfortunately, no door. Or walls for that matter, only a hastily hung up sheet around the perimeter. When informed of ‘guests’ coming, preparations were made in the form of a few old cots and worn blankets. Apparently, there were no spare pillows. A couple card tables, and some folding chairs finished the hastily made up décor. The old wooden door was not very trustworthy so no less than three slayers would be on guard until one of the witches could cast the Slayers Only Ward (a ward created by Willow Rosenberg that would only allow a slayer or someone wearing a personalised amulet pass through) to keep them in.
Not too bad for only twenty minutes warning.
The men were unceremoniously dumped into the room and two of the more intimidating slayers available at the school took up position on either side of the door. Another two girls joined the guards and set up a chair in the middle of the room, waiting for one of the men to stir so they could get him ready to be questioned.
AN: Well, here it goes. A little more serious than the two previous stories, but there should still be humour to be found down the line.