Scooby Meeting #350,338
A/N: This chapter sets up the gang for the trip. It’s a bit short but I needed set-up before the violence can begin ;D
Buffy sat on the teacher desk of one of the slayer classrooms nestled in their Watcher Council Castle. Strong emotions were pushing her to grab her suitcases and get her ass to St. Louis but her logical side won out. Hence, Scooby meeting #350,338 to watch the news clip and discuss next steps.
The clip ended and Buffy surveyed the room. Faith sat at a desk sharpening a stake; she had seen the clip already and was ready to get the meeting over with. Willow’s mouth gaped open and the redhead was nervously fingering a strand of her shoulder-length hair. Reclining with his feet on a desk, Xander looked to be lost in his thoughts. Andrew’s face was so lit up with joy that she bet if the electricity went out they could use his face to illuminate the room. A shocked smile was blossoming over Dawn’s face and her eyes were welled up with tears. As always, Giles was cleaning his eyeglasses and squinting at the image Buffy had paused on the screen.
“Thoughts?” Buffy asked her friends.
“Was that… Was that who I think that was?” Willow stammered.
Buffy shrugged and acted like it didn’t matter to her. Which was a lie, but hey, lies are okay sometimes. “I think the vide clip showed that pretty clearly, Will.” She sighed and began toying with a nail that she had half broken while packing her suitcase.
“Well, now. I daresay, this is quite unexpected.” Giles walked over the TV screen and squinted again. “How on earth was this managed, I wonder?”
“We *are* going to St. Louis, right?” asked an excited Andrew. “Clearly this calls for a rescue mission!”
Dawn frowned. “I cannot believe that we haven’t heard about this beforehand. Do you think the vamps over there have done some sort of crazy spell?”
“It’s quite possible,” Giles mused. “At any rate, this deserves a trip out there so we can explain this.”
Buffy’s eyes narrowed at Xander who still appeared to be lost in his thoughts. “Xand? What’s with the silent routine? You have any ideas”
It took a moment for Xander to get with it and then he shrugged at Buffy. “Yeah, I dunno Buff. This is outside the realm of my experience.”
Willow cleared her throat. “Actually, this trip could work out very well. Our scrying for slayers showed that there’s a new one about to arise in St. Louis. I know we have a couple tactical teams in Cleveland, Miami, and New York but they’re keeping pretty busy. After speaking to Rona in Cleveland today she said it would be a while before she could spare a slayer unit to find the new potential in St. Louis. I was actually thinking of just going there myself, so it looks like this works out.”
“Alright,” Buffy clapped her hands. “So we’ll need a team for this potential ‘rescue mission’ and another team to find our potential. I’ll lead up the rescue and Will will lead the potential reconnaissance team. Who’s in?”
Andrew interrupted by holding up his one finger and putting on his reading glasses (‘even though he has perfect eyesight’, Buffy thought dryly). “Actually, Buffy, I think I need to address a few concerns here.”
Refraining from rolling her eyes, Buffy calmly responded. “Yes, Andrew?”
“As you all know I’ve been working with a team of other Watchers to compile information on the Vampire Council members and the Masters of the City throughout the world. The Master of St. Louis, a vamp-ire (Andrew loved to draw out that word) by the name of Jean-Claude, has been making the news for several years. Thus, I have seen fit to keep a close eye on him.”
Andrew fumbled through his briefcase and triumphantly held up a file. He pulled out a color photograph of Jean-Claude and held it up. Jean-Claude was pale like all vampires but had intense dark blue eyes and lips that begged to be kissed. Ringlets of black hair cascaded over his shoulders and he was giving the camera a seductive look.
“As you can see,” Andrew continued, “Jean-Claude is a highly attractive man and he is of Belle Morte’s line so his very nature is to be a sensual being whose powers allow him to bring great pleasure to his lovers.” Andrew looked lost in thought at that statement and then he cleared his throat.
“If we intend to head to St. Louis to confront him we must be prepared for a messy time. His girlfriend and Human Servant Anita Blake for a long time fought like a slayer. She slew many vamp-ires and is also a necromancer. But at some point our research shows a blurring of loyalties and we are not certain if Anita will help us on our mission or deter it. Our contacts in the States tell us she has gained great power at the expense of others and the overall power base of Jean-Claude includes ties to her, the werewolves, wereleopards, werelions, wererats, werehyenas, and even some weretigers. Not to mention some notorious vamp-ires. Apparently there are some dark magicks that are used by the St. Louis crew as well. Hence my dear colleagues, I advise that we move carefully on our steps in St. Louis.”
Buffy blinked in surprise as Andrew sat down with a proud smile. “Wow, thanks Andrew. That was surprisingly helpful.” She looked out at her friends again. “So, this has the potential of being harder than I originally thought. Who’s game for going?”
“If it’s a game we’re playing, I know you need your MVP.” Faith nodded to show her support.
“Of course I will. Besides finding the potential I guess I’ll be helpful in the magicks area.”
“Please let me go!” No one but Andrew could be that excited. Whether it was the person on the screen or the person in the photograph, Buffy really did not want to know either way.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve done a mission together. I just got here since being away in South America.” Xander smiled. “I’m not going to let you party monkeys have all the fun. I’m in.”
Giles bit the tip of his glasses. “Quite frankly, I have never seen a real necromancer and would like to get a bit more knowledge for the library. I’ll attend as well.”
“Sounds good,” Buffy grinned. “Should be a nice crew.”
“What about me,” Dawn pouted. “If You-Know-Who is back then I want to be there to see.”
“Voldemort?” Xander cracked. Dawn gave him a dirty look.
“No offense Dawnie, but we are already at two slayers, a witch, and three extra support people. If it’s as bad as Andrew said then we need a better balance then what we have. And if we have too many people it’ll be chaos.” Buffy spread out her arms as if to ‘What can ya do?’
Eyebrows furrowed in anger, Dawn set her lips together. “But-“ she protested.
“Sorry Dawn,” Buffy gave her a sympathetic look. “But since we’re classified as a terrorist group we need to lay low. Which is hard to do with a million people. Okay, everyone let’s gear up. We’ll have Shantha, the secretary, arrange our travel plans. Let’s meet up in two hours!”
“I’ll let Shantha know,” said a helpful Dawn.
“Thanks Dawn,” said a shocked Buffy.
“Its no problem,” Dawn sweetly said. No problem at all. Her lips twitched faintly into a smile that was gone before anyone noticed.
Nope. It would be no problem at all.
I did NOT expect so many positive responses!!!! Thank you so much, I feel very humbled by your interest in my story. Thank you to everyone who is tracking this and gave a review! This has made me decide to expand my story arc and do some reworkings to really create some killer scenes. Your reviews have been extremely helpful and have made me re-think my direction because some people gave me GREAT ideas :) I will respond to everyone at some point soon but I wanted to put in a couple chapters so I can respond without giving anything away ;) For people who were asking for certain things to be explained, that is also coming up.