Ringworld is property of Larry Niven. All characters from the Buffyverse are Property of Joss Whedon. Everything else belongs to me.
The Slayers dreamed of fire. In their dreams they saw a burning sky. They saw white clouds turn into black clots of smoke. They saw the horizon ripped in red. They saw the moon covered in a sheet of orange flames. They saw the Earth burn. They saw forests with carpets of green began to smoke and then burst into flame. They saw a thousand miles of ice in the arctic shelf melt into water and then turn into steam. They saw the edges of the world melt as the continents became huge pools of molten lava. They saw the world become a star. The planet blossomed into a plume of searing white light a hundred times brighter than its sun. They felt seven billion people die.
Two hundred slayers screamed simultaneously in a long hellish chorus across the world. There was terror in their eyes and a fear they could not name. They were strong women. That did not keep a few of them from crying. They had just felt the world die and it weighted heavy on their souls. Willow was in the room with Rona when the vision occurred. She noticed the slim African-American slayer roll her eyes upwards and then lean backwards on the chair she was sitting on. Willow was on her way to find out what was wrong with her when Rona bolted upright and emitted a long pitiful wail.
“Please, No!” She moaned. “Please, no!” Rona held Willow by her shoulders and looked directly at her. “They’re dead Willow. Billions are dead.” There were tears in the corners of her eyes. Her hands trembled.
In the back room Willow could hear the Buffy-Baby crying.
It took almost an hour to arrange a conference call that covered all of the major continents. Willow took the call in her apartment. She was de-facto in charge until she could figure out a way to return Buffy back to normal. It had been six months since she had turned Buffy into a baby by mistake. The ringworld she and Buffy had discovered a few years ago contained trillions of miles of superconductive cable which produced large scale quantum entanglement events. The Ringworld was spooky action at a distance that distorted all of the magic on Earth. Willow was trying to heal Buffy when the magic took her literately and returned Buffy to her infant state. Buffy was for all intent an 18 month old baby girl and she was still a Slayer.
It took every skill she had acquired in the last six months to calm the Buffy-Baby down and get her back to sleep. Willow watched the baby for a long time. She could tell the baby was still in the grips of the disturbing vision.
One by one the nations checked in. Willow was glad she’d paid her phone bill this month.
“Rona.” Willow said to the slayer who was recovering from her vision. “Go.”
Rona moved up to the speakerphone that sat at the center of Willow’s dining room table.
“I’ve seen the world destroyed.” She said flatly. There was a chorus of agreements from the speakerphone. “The fire came from everywhere and nowhere.” She said.
“I saw the Minsk River explode.” The Russian Slayer said to no one in particular.
“I know it wasn’t natural. It didn’t feel natural. But it didn’t feel like magic. The Earth didn’t just blow up, it was destroyed. Something reached out and blew the Earth into a million pieces. I felt all of us die.”
Rona’s voice went up a notch. Willow could feel Rona’s pain. She could hear expressions of sorrow from the Slayers across the world. The thing they had seen had rocked them to the core.
“What are we going to do?” The British slayer asked.
“Yeah, luv, what are you going to do? A familiar voice said from behind Willow and Rona.
It was Spike.
Rona was on her feet in a microsecond. She turned to tackle the vampire and went right through him. Rona crashed into a book case, righted herself and then turned to face Spike. That’s when she noticed that she could see right through him.
“Are you a ghost?” Rona asked.
“I prefer the term ‘high frequency tachyon transmission’.” Spike said.
That’s when Rona noticed that Spike was wearing a black single one piece suit that seemed to absorb all the light that came near it.
“Aren’t you dead?” Willow asked. Her face held shock and amazement and then joy. Spike was alive. He hadn’t died when they closed the Hellmouth last year.
“Aren’t I usually?” He responded. “I mean I am a vampire.”
“The Hellmouth!” Willow yelled. “We thought you died when we closed the Hellmouth. You sacrificed yourself to save us all.”
The image of Spike looked at her weirdly then moved away. Willow could see that he was in some sort of laboratory.
“What year is this? Spike asked.
“2004.” Someone on the speakerphone answered.
Spike rolled his eyes. “I barely made it.” He said. “So, I save the world, again, huh? Was I cool or what?”
“Spike!” Hundreds of women screamed at him from across the world.
Willow walked up to him. “The slayers have been having dreams about the end of the world.”
“I know.” Spike said. “It’s the Ringworld. It’s covering all of its bases.”
Willow looked at him blankly.
“In about three months, the Ringworld is going to figure out a way to turn twenty percent of the Earth into antimatter. Then boom.”
“Why?” Willow asked all business.
Spike returned Willows stare.
“It’s you Red. The Ringworld wants to kill you.”
I want to give a shout out of all my homies over at alt.destroy .the.earth.
It’s full of kooks now but back in the day we were young and full of dreams (of destroying the earth).
Check it out.