The Plot Thickens, Chapter Three
POWER RANGERS:- Demon Wars
The Plot Thickens
Willow shrugged off Dawn's restraining hand and dived to her lover's side. She wasn't moving, Willow couldn't even tell if she was breathing. The other three Slayers were trapped underneath her and after a moment they tried to get free. "Don't move her!" The witch shouted, terrified what might happen if they did.
"Let me, I'm a doctor." Dawn's friend said. "Well almost." With a gesture Kennedy levitated, floating harmlessly off Rona and the others easily.
The Slayer's did what came naturally to them, instantly rolling to their feet the three of them charged head first at the scab covered demons. Willow didn't care, the only thing that mattered to her was Kennedy.
Reaching out with her more mystical senses she looked for something, anything, to show she was still alive. In a heartbeat Willow could sense it, Kennedy's life energy was already ebbing. "She's dying!" the witch wailed, knowing that there wasn't time for her to try anything.
"Not just yet." Cassie disagreed, lowing Kennedy and putting her hand just over the Slayer's heart. If Willow hadn't been focused on sensing her lover she wouldn't have seen it. As the Blue Ranger touched the fallen Slayer Willow saw them channel some sort of energy through themselves and into Kennedy.
Willow felt, as well as saw, the energy flow like water through her lover, repairing the damage like it was washing away a stain. Then it stopped as quickly as it started. First Cassie, then Kennedy, took deep breaths.
"Alright, sleep for a little while." The Blue Ranger suggested and Kennedy simply did. Again there was no spell, no magic, just a flutter of strange energy that had her peacefully sleeping. "That should keep her until I have more time." Cassie said standing up.
"Everything okay?" Dawn asked
"Yes." Willow whispered, brushing the hair from Kennedy's face. "How…?"
"Long story and we really don't have the time." Cassie told her, pointing at the Slayers. Rona and the others were outnumbered and hadn't come looking for a fight. They didn't have a knife between them. If someone didn't help soon they were going to get hurt, or worse. Willow stood up, ready to summon a few fireballs to even the odds, when Dawn got in her way.
"Don't, just stay here." She warned, sounding a lot like her sister before pointing at Kennedy. "Keep her safe, we'll deal with them."
"What about their boss?" Willow looked around, but he had vanished.
"Ran off through the same portal that brought these guys." Cassie told her.
"He does that a lot." Dawn said darkly. "Ready?"
"Ready." Her friend agreed. In tandem they both pulled something from behind their backs and called out; "Morphing Time!"
Willow didn't understand what she was seeing, but knew it was powerful. With the device in her hand Dawn punched the air. It snapped open across the middle showing a gold coin. It was the same belt buckle Willow had seen when they were in their costumes. "DragonZord!"
Cassie was a fraction behind her, shouting out; "Triceratops!" The two of them were instantly surrounded in two cloaks of light, one green and one blue. The cloaks shrunk down, covering the pair of them in their costumes. Dawn in green, with her gold chest plate and Cassie in blue.
Willow didn't think it was possible for them to get changed so quickly, or just how much power they'd have. Now she could see them, ready for battle, she could tell she'd been wrong. Wherever the power came from it was more than some chained demon or something, the last time she had felt anything like it was when she had tapped into the Slayer Scythe to activate all the potentials around the world.
"Yo, a little help here!" Rona shouted. She was wrestling with one of the Demon lackeys while trying to keep it between her and the others behind it. Tina and May weren't having much more luck either. The two of them were back to back, and desperately trying to keep out of the way of the demon's swords.
Dawn was the first to move, drawing her dagger she leapt in. Getting up and under the demon's arms she stabbed it. As soon as she hit the Demon there was an explosion that splattered it into a sort of black and dark green goo that flew away from the two of them.
"Sweet move but is that all you've got?" Rona asked nodding at the dagger.
Dawn didn't answer at first, pushing her to one side the Green Ranger ran a hand down the Dagger's blade. It glowed green and Dawn shouted "See-yah!" as she swung in the mid air. The glow left an arc that seemed to grow as it flew out, when it hit the four demons it killed them instantly. Blasting them into the same goo.
The Blue Ranger wasn't holding back either, somehow she had a quarter staff in her hands and was using it like a pro. As fast as any Slayer, she would block one demon, kick a second and quickly lungeing at yet another. With her fighting off one group May and Tina could focus on whoever were left.
Rona scooped up the weapons dropped by the demons nearest to her and tossed them to the other Slayers, one landing at Willows feet. Now armed and with the Rangers helping the demons didn't stand a chance. Rona got the last one, splitting it from the stomach up.
"You guys are good." The Blue Ranger said easily resting her staff on one shoulder.
"You can talk." May laughed. "I always thought staffs like that were big and clumsy."
"One one of my uncles gave me a few lessons." she shrugged
"Cassie's a military brat.' Dawn told them. "She's got 'relatives' all over the place."
"Thanks." The Blue Ranger nodded.
Dawn shrugged, "Don't mention it." No one else followed that but them. The two were obviously good friends and Willow was glad Dawn had found at least one. Other than a few girls she'd hanged around with in Sunnydale she'd always been a little distant with people.
"Hey, Willow. Come and look at this." Tina called her over. Being very careful with laying Kennedy on the ground she checked it out.
"Fire isn't it?" Dawn asked her
Willow nodded, tracing one of the scratches. She couldn't feel anything from it, but until it was complete she wasn't going to.
"That's all the elements, isn't it?" Rona asked. "I mean all four. The others have seen some back in the city."
"We've seen two others across the College." Cassie told her. "One was partially hidden. For all we know there could be thousands all over the place, just waiting for the last piece of the puzzle."
Willow couldn't hide a shudder. "A spell this big? What could it be?"
"Two things you can guarantee with A'Zores. It's big and you won't see it coming." Dawn warned.
"This is wrong, I mean seriously messed up." May pointed out. "How long it take him to carve this? I mean he jumped right after that portal. He did this then he attacks? Why?"
Dawn folded her arms under the massive gold chest plate and stood there for a moment. Looking at the symbol like. "Dawn?" Cassie asked.
"He hates wasted effort. Big ol' plan like this, that's a lot of effort." Dawn said seriously. "He want's us to know, to know he can still crush us and that he knows you're here. He's making a point."
"He blasted us, KO'ed Kennedy in thee seconds flat and then unleashed the hell squad just to send a message?" Rona asked. "Hasn't he ever heard of E-mail?"
"Only if it comes with a battle-axe." Cassie told them. "His idea of subtile involves the neutron bomb as the opening act."
The Slayers looked at each other and Willow. "Then I guess we're in a lot of trouble."
Buffy looked up and down the deserted corridor before checking the number on the door again. It looked like the right one and if she listened she could hear something on the TV inside.
After a moment Dawn started laughing along with her boyfriend. Glad she was at the right place she knocked. There was a startled moment inside and the TV stopped. "Hello?" came from inside.
"Marcus, hi. It's Buffy. Is Dawn there?" She asked carefully.
The door opened and her little sister was there with her arm's folded tightly. Dawn was giving her the sort of death glare reserved for Vamps that had tried to get away. "Checking up on me?" She asked sharply and Buffy couldn't hide a wince.
"No, well I wasn't planing on it. Can I come in?" she asked.
"Sure, I'll just make a space." The boy said rushing to clear a stack of DVD's off a chair in the corner.
"Thanks." Buffy tried to give him a smile. After a few moments there was a seat and the Slayer sat down. Both Dawn and Marcus sat on the foot of the bed, which was an image she really didn't need. "You learn that A'Zores has a huge evil plan so instead of research you go on a date?" Buffy asked
"Can't stop any of it, all any of us can do is be ready. So I can spend the night worrying or try to enjoy myself." Dawn shrugged. As much as Buffy wanted to she couldn't really find a flaw in that logic.
After a few long moments of uncomfortable silence Buffy found herself trying to read the DVD covers. "Mel Brooks marathon.' Dawn told her in a flat voice. 'We thought Python was getting a bit stale."
"Oh." She didn't recognise any of them and regretted not bringing Xander with her. If nothing else he'd be able to fill in the silence. That or referee the talk that she was sure could get very nasty all too quickly.
"So you pop by to talk about my boyfriend's DVD collection or what?"
"Not originally." Buffy took a breath and decided to dive headlong into it. "Dawn, I talked to Willow. She told me what you said."
Dawn shook her head. "I shouldn't have."
"No you were right. I dragged you all around the world and never asked what you wanted." Buffy said honestly. "I was so wrapped up in finding what I needed, what I thought I needed, that I didn't see what it was doing to you."
"It was okay, really." Dawn said Marcus put a hand on her leg. "I liked it, seeing the world. It was cool, it's just I had to think about the future and well…"
"That didn't involve trailing around behind me. You're right, it's just I don't know. You're my sister and I don't know how to do what's right by you. I don't think I ever did."
"I am your sister. But so is Willow. Xander's like my brother and Giles is the closest thing I've ever had to a real dad." Dawn said honestly. "We're not friends, we're family and after all we've been though we always will be. Thing is they all went away. I saw the letters, heard the phone calls." She stopped, shaking her head slowly. "It wasn't that I was trying to get away from you. I knew I needed what they had and I didn't know how to tell you so I just left."
"No I get it. For so long all the Slayer was all I was, all I could be. When we activated the others I was suddenly free. I could do and be whatever I wanted and suddenly I didn't know what that was." Buffy admitted. She hadn't been able to do that before, least of all to herself. "I was lost and I got so caught up looking for myself I couldn't see I was losing you too."
"You never lost me." Dawn told her.
After a moment Marcus asked; "You ever think you were looking in the wrong places?"
Buffy was able to give him a half smile. "Maybe, but I tried the whole college thing once. Same with work, they just weren't me. What I didn't realise was it could be Dawn. You've grown so much and I've missed all of it, but you don't need me looking over your shoulder. Not anymore."
There was another long moment. "So where do we go from here?" Dawn asked finally.
"Now that the end is near?" Buffy smirked, remembering their musical extravaganza before she could stop herself.
"Don't." Dawn laughed suddenly.
"Am I missing something?" Marcus asked and Buffy grinned, she might not have any baby photos, but she had no end of embarrassing stories.
"Don't you dare!" Dawn squeaked, trowing a pillow that Buffy dodged expertly.
"What do you mean allies?" Sormeghe asked sharply.
A'Zores juggled his sword stick from side to side, not bothering to look up. "Just what it sounds like. The Rangers must have caught wind I was up to something."
"We had enough trouble with those five, now there's more of them?" The Pirate raged. "I hope whatever you've got planned will be enough."
A'Zores caught his stick and lent back, "It will be, oh yes with a little work it would still be more than enough." He thought about it for a second or two. "Of course we might have to move up our timetable. Rush a few things here and there, but that's not a problem."
"Don't you mean your timetable?" The Rogue asked with a sarcastic smile as she toyed with the back of his neck.
A'Zores nodded. "My timetable. Alright. if it is mine then I'm going to enjoy myself. Call it my gift to you both, the Rangers are mine. You can have their friends."
The Rogue looked at him suspiciously. "Just who are their friends?"
"Why some people you know all too well my love," He looked over his shoulder. "The Slayers of this world."
The Rogue burst out into a grin. "Buffy? They called on Buffy and her band of kiddies to help?"
"Oh yes. They're that desperate, I wouldn't be surprised if they even call on the Military. If they do that's your job Sormeghe. Otherwise focus your efforts against the Slayers too. Crush them, every last one of them."
Sormeghe seemed to be a bit more careful than the demoness. "A force of Slayer's is not something to dismiss so lightly, even with her help they might be a handful."
"Don't worry about it, they'll be so busy trying to deal with my forces they mint not even notice you. Even if they do once I've finished with the Rangers I can help you mop up whatever's left."
"Your forces?" The Rogue asked. "What forces are you talking about?"
"I was wondering how long it would be until you asked, but I suppose now is as good a time as any. As the new Warlord, by unanimous decree of course, I will require generals. But I will also need more than just warriors. I saw immediately that I would need specialist solders, just for a time like this." A'Zores announced. "As my trusted advisors and lieutenants I can finally show you just what I've been working on." He threw a portal and nine figures fell through it. After a moment they lurched to their feet before slumping in a gross parody of a bow.
"But, but…" The Rogue stammered looking at the group before her. For once speechless at what was before her. Sormeghe backed away from the closest with a startled curse. His hand on his pistol.
"Like it?" A'Zores chuckled "You have to admit, they'll never see this coming."
"What have you done?" the Pirate asked in breathless whisper.
"It gets better. Now listen very carefully, this must be done to the last detail." A'Zores beamed before explaining.
End The Plot Thickens