Final Invasion, Chapter One
POWER RANGERS:- Demon Wars
Buffy ran out of the apartment complex she and the Slayers had rented out. Scythe in hand and for the first time since she set foot in this town she felt ready for anything. That quickly changed when she looked up and saw what she was fighting. "Alright, so I've not seen it all before." She whispered under her breath.
"Whoa!" One of the girls gasped. The rest of the Slayers had followed her out with whatever weapons they could get their hands on. "Urm silly question, but how are we supposed to get up there?"
High in the sky a massive pirate galleon, complete with sails, cannons and statue of a naked demon on the front flew by. Buffy could hear the demons onboard shouting and cursing with each other, but mostly they were laughing. Like what they were doing, destroying a whole city, was some massive joke. Above them a cannon went off, sounding like a thunderclap.
As the rest of the Slayers ducked instinctively Buffy watched as a ball of metal twice the size of her head whistled through the air, smashing through the side of a building.
As the building crumbled one of the girls swore. "Anyone else for running?" Another one asked in a small voice.
"Jane's right." Rona agreed. "Unless someone's got a spare helicopter we're in a boat load of trouble." Buffy glared at her. She wasn't the only one.
"Shouldn't we call the Rangers?" Vi asked eventually.
"No need." Someone shouted from one side, Buffy looked and saw the five spandex clad heroes running round a corner. "We're already here." Dawn called out. Buffy's little sister might have had a skirt and a massive shield on, which was more than Faith had, but her outfit still looked like it was painted on.
"Shouldn't you guys be out there in your giant robots?" Rona asked. "I mean isn't now the perfect time?"
"Sure," Dawn snapped, "And the fact that the very first thing they did was kidnap a bunch of civilians to use as human shields in no way keeps us from using them."
"Hostages! I thought the City was evacuated?" Buffy gasped.
Faith shook her black helmet. "Not everyone, there's still a few stragglers. Or were. A lot of them are up there now."
"Crap, what do we do?" Vi asked them. This was wrong, Buffy was the chief Slayer. She should have been the one the others turn to, not Dawn just because some mystical Coin latched on to her.
Faith, not so subtly, elbowed Dawn in the ribs. "We were thinking you guys might be able to help with that. It's not just the hostages they have, there are raiding parties looking all over the place."
"We need to split up then." Buffy took charge. "You Rangers track down these raiders. I'll take the Slayers and deal with the ship."
The Red Ranger shook his head. "Not a good plan. There's more of you than there are of us and we don't know what's up there. You take the City we'll find away up there."
"No way." Rona argued. "You want to scatter us all over the city? What if one of the big guys are out there? I've seen them, not to mention what they can do. You can have them!"
"Split the difference." The Blue Ranger suggested. "Five groups, one Ranger with a team of Slayers. We got radios, if something happens we can keep in touch."
"And gang up if we need it." Buffy nodded, it might work and they were just wasting time here. "Good plan, but I'm going after the ship." She hefted the Scythe. "I can handle it."
"Then you're with me." Dawn shrugged. "I've got an idea how to get up there anyway."
"Oh oh." Faith chuckled. "Better watch out, her ideas usually re-write the book on crazy."
Buffy looked at her sister, "Crazy?"
"Not really. Say how high can you jump?"
Dawn ran up the fire escape and onto the roof, Buffy and the six other Slayers just behind. The eight of them had probably just set a new speed record trying to get ahead of the pirate ship. They'd done it, almost giving two of the girls heart attacks, but they'd made it. The only building both tall enough for what she had planned and was close to the ships path.
"Next time, I get to come up with the plan." Buffy complained between breaths.
"Why?" Dawn asked. "This one will work."
"Work? Work! This plan is right up there duck and cover!" She almost shouted. "You want to Board that ship by jumping from here? Its a good hundred yards straight up."
"I can make it."
"You can fly now?"
"No just jump really high. I can give you all a boost anyway, you'll make it." the Green Ranger told her. "Trust me."
"Alright, we jump and somehow we make it. Make it on to the ship-load of pirate demons armed to the teeth." Buffy waved her hands in the air, trying to make some point.
"And we have a team of Slayers, not to mention your funky letter opener. Trust me, I've done this sort of thing before."
Buffy glared; "How have you survived this long?"
"Hey, I've only died once so far and that wasn't all the way dead. That puts me ahead of you." Dawn put her hands on her hips. "My plans do work you know."
"This isn't a plan..."
"Is so a plan."
Buffy shook her head, "No. A plan needs that little thing called sanity."
"I might be crazy, but right here and now crazy's working."
"Have you heard yourself?"
"Will you two stop it!" Vi interrupted. "I don't know what's going on. Don't care! There are people up there and we need to save them."
Dawn nodded and turned to Buffy. "She's right.' they said at once. After a beat Buffy added 'What do you think we're going to face up there, Miss expert?"
Dawn didn't have to think hard. "A'Zores, probably. If not him someone else, you leave them to me. Your jobs to get the people out of there."
"No chance. I'm not leaving you to take on him on your own. If the big bad is up there we take him together."
Dawn looked across at the ship. It was closer now, maybe close enough. They didn't have time to keep arguing. Besides that it was childish, they weren't kids anymore and it was long past time they grew up. If only Buffy wasn't so suborn about it. "We'll talk about this later, right now we save the day."
"Later." Her sister tried to stare her down for a second, before asking; "You really think you can make the jump?"
Dawn nodded sharply and pulled out her Flute. "Hit them hard and fast. Keep moving, but don't leave yourselves open." She advised the rest of the Slayers. "These guys have numbers on their side and it's their playing field. Our main advantage is they're usually stupid and don't play well with others."
"Usually?" A Slayer Dawn didn't recognise brought up.
"Most of the time."
"She's right." Buffy, surprisingly, supported her. "You can never be too sure, they can always surprise you. Watch each other's backs."
Dawn nodded. "Before we go if you have any doubts, bury them someplace deep. Lock them up and throw away the key. We can all deal with them later, when we have the time." She ignored the look Buffy gave her. The ship was as close as it was going to get. "On my signal, jump." Concentrating she brought the Flute to her helmet's lips. She was going to give a magic boost to the Slayers, it was going to be close without it.
Kennedy and her team were paired up with Faith. It was just her luck, Faith, the Black Ranger. What had she done do deserve it? After all she was a good Slayer too, hadn't she proven that over the last couple of years?
She'd staked countless Vamps, beheaded a whole clan of mucus demons, that had been gross, and even stopped a Voodoo shaman. Well Willow had stopped him, but she was the one that had dealt with his zombies and those freaky bird demon things of his.
What had Faith done? Escaped from jail, blew up a few Slayers and then gone on a road trip? Now she had a cool jumpsuit and super powers. The Black Ranger held a hand up stopping Kennedy and the others. She ducked around the corner and turned back to them. "Alright, there's two maybe three to one odds over there." She told them. "I'm not good with this whole leading people thing…"
"Good then, I'll do it." Kennedy jumped in, swinging her favourite short sword in a quick loop. "Guys, we're Slayers, we know what to do, let's go!" The others grinned, drawing their own weapons that they had brought with them. As one they all dashed out shouting a war cry, but for some reason Faith held back.
The demons in the street stopped what they were doing and looked up. They weren't like the ones A'Zores had called up. Those wore tight clothes made of stitched leathers. These guys wore vests and shorts of the same mis-matched scraps. They were baggy, held together with heavy belts. The swords were different too. A'Zores gang had these ugly lumps of metal that looked like they were made by bashing rocks against rough iron bars. These weren't much better, but they were curved, more like a cutlass. One or two of them even had old fashioned flintlock pistols.
Kennedy had hoped they were a bit closer, but they were still a good few dozen yards off. More than enough for the ones with guns to pull them out. Kennedy swore before Faith called, from behind, "Get down!"
She threw herself to the ground and a beam of black energy flew over her head, then another and another. Rolling onto her back Kennedy looked between the other Slayers to see Faith, crouched behind the roof of an abandoned car with a laser pistol, firing into the demons.
The Black Ranger kept firing as she stepped out. "Get back here!" Faith called out. She holstered the laser and pulled out a longbow, letting fly with pink bolts of light instead of black beams. Kennedy didn't want to, she was sure there was something else she could do. Scrambling after them the team got behind the nearest car.
Faith, still letting fly with her bow, came closer. "Next time, wait for me to finish!" she growled ducking down with them.
"I didn't know they had guns!" Kennedy hissed. Now that Faith had stopped the demon pirates began to fire back.
"That's where waiting becomes important. We five by five?" The Slayers nodded as bullets bounced off the car. "Now we can't ambush them, like I wanted to, so we wait."
"For what?" One of the girls asked.
"Them to run out of ammo." The bow in Faith's hand flashed and then vanished as she put it behind her back. "Then it's chopping time." With another flash a huge axe was in her other hand.
"Where did you keep that?" Amy, one of the Slayers, asked.
"Don't know, but it's always there when I need it."
Kennedy looked down at her sword, a present from her father. Now here was Faith with something a lot bigger that she could make disappear. Kennedy had spent all her time trying to be the best Slayer she could and then comes Faith and Dawn of all people with even more superpowers and with added cool toys.
The bullets finally stopped and Faith haunched her shoulders. Kennedy wasn't going to make the same mistake again. If Faith wanted her to follow their lead then that's what she'd do
Until things got screwy again.
There was a flash of green and Buffy felt something push her as she jumped. From the shouts and curses the others weren't expecting it anymore than she was. It must have been something to do with her Flute. Dawn wasn't in Willow's league when it came to magic, but with that thing she had more than a few tricks up her sleeve.
Buffy still couldn't get over the speech her little sister gave to the Slayers with her. She'd given talks like it back in Sunnydale, but it defiantly wasn't one of hers that Dawn had borrowed. It sounded like her own experience.
At once she'd been both glad and concerned. She was glad that as bratty as Dawn could be she was adult enough to treat this whole thing seriously. At the same time she was worried, Dawn shouldn't be thinking like this. This was her little sister, the worse she should be thinking about is if her boyfriend had garlic for lunch.
But she didn't have time for that. She was busy boarding a floating pirate ship full of demons to rescue who knew how many hostages. Her life sucked.
Not all of the Slayers totally made it, one had to grab the railings and vault herself on board. Vi even overshot, hitting one of the sails. As ambushes go this was all over the place. Slayers were scattered all over the boat. In amongst a whole load of half rotting demons that looked like they took talk like a pirate day far too seriously. "Any of you going to say 'Ahh Jim me lad'?" She quipped. The closest to her hissed like a cat, its breath bad enough stun a horse and teeth looked like they had maggots eating through them.
It was obvious her wit was lost on these things. A swing of her Scythe took it's face off and the demon exploded into a pile of goo, as they all usually did around here.
Like a starters gun going off the whole deck exploded into life. The demons had the usual mix of swords and axes, even if they did look a little different, but there were also a few with whips and more than a couple with big chains to make things interesting. The first one to come at her had a whip, it cracked it at her, probably hoping to get her to flinch.
Instead she caught the end of the whip with the shaft of the Scythe, it wrapped around and she pulled. Yanking the Demon closer, in range of her snap kick. It would have taken a humans head clean off, this just sent it into a cluster of them.
Over the pile of struggling demons she saw Dawn pull off a sweet back flip kick that shouldn't have been physically possible from a standing start. Landing with envious grace she absently swung with a back hand, gutting another one. There was an advantage to Dawn's short dagger like flute thing. It kept her other hand free and didn't get in the way when she needed it out of the way. Dawn flicked it into an under-hand grip and walked into another group, her arms going into a classic boxing guard.
Three more demons jumped at Buffy, distracting her. They didn't last long, one beheaded, one staked and Buffy split the last one from shoulder to armpit. The steaming goo spatting everywhere
The other Slayers were doing just as well. Tina, usually a shy, overly quiet blonde that reminded Buffy of Tara a little too much, was wailing on one demon. Her highly polished quarter-staff a blur of movement. Rebecca, all Buffy knew about her was that she water to be a vet, had one Pirate Demon in a headlock while she hopped up and planted both feet into the nearest one's chest. A vicious twist an the neck of the one under her arm cracked like a dry twig.
Then, off to one side, a pair of doors exploded open. Two new demons were there and everything changed. The first one was the Captain, given the silly hat he wore. He has some sort of long coat on that was two sizes too small, held on by a dozen belts of all sorts of sizes. One hand was a hook of all things, rusted in some places and a dull bronze in others. There were a number of guns, swords and knifes tucked into the belts at all sorts of angles.
Tina made a mad dash for him but in one move he drew a pistol and fired. It wasn't a gunshot but a fireball the blast caught her dead in the chest, killing her instantly. "No!" Buffy shouted, gutting a demon close to her without thinking.
"Oh sorry, friend of yours?" A half familiar Jamaican accent asked, stopping Buffy in her tracks. "Don't touch her. She's mine!" The woman barked.
The Pirates around Buffy stopped and backed off. All of a sudden they were the calm at the centre of the storm. All around them Slayers and a Ranger were fighting for their lives meanwhile all Buffy could do was gape. It was impossible, it couldn't be. The woman had dark brown skin, almost black hair and looked almost exactly the same as Buffy remembered. "Kendra?" She whispered almost to herself.
"I'm called the Rogue now, I'm sure you can guess why." The other Slayer sauntered up to Buffy, now that she was closer she could see the differences. Kendra's nails shone like silver and her face was covered in a web of scars. Some deep others almost invisible. There was one change that caused Buffy to flinch, her eyes.
Buffy could see she was mad, absolutely crazy. Kendra was laughing at her. Almost lazily she carried another Scythe. Exactly like Buffy's. "Who are you." Buffy asked, still too shocked to even think of the possibilities. "What, how..."
"Other dimensions Buffy. Didn't you know. For every possibility there's another you. Living another life. A life where you were never the Slayer, or a life where you were never even born." Kendra laughed maniacally. "Where I come from I never died, I became this." her face morphed. Growing ridges and fangs in a blank of an eye she was a vampire version of herself. "I became the ultimate Slayer, the greatest killer ever. Care to see?"
There was no warning as she leapt, the Scythe moving almost too fast for Buffy too see. Somehow she was still able to block it but this was majorly messed up. As if she was expecting it Kendra pushed with all her weight knocking Buffy back.
What followed was a very fast and brutal lesson in how to use the weapon. Everything Buffy tried to brake away just drove her further and further to the railing. Kendra was in compete control of the fight, it was like she knew exactly what Buffy was doing, even before she did.
When she tried to change a blow mid swing Kendra pounced, catching the shaft of the Scythe with the edge of her own the Jamaican Slayer, with a single deft move, pulled the weapon from Buffy's grip and sent it flying over the side.
Stunned Buffy took a couple of devastating kicks, knocking her off her feet and into the side of the ship. The timbers cracked as she hit it but held. it was all too much and Buffy rolled off, falling face first onto the deck. Kendra didn't let up though. Grabbing a handful of hair she smashed Buffy's head into the wood work and let her bounce off and back to the deck.
Getting up on her elbows Buffy tried to shake the stars from her eyes, only to have a grey fuss creep in from the corners of he vision. "You know, I was hoping for a little more from you. Something new. Guess you really can't teach an old dog new tricks." The Vampire Kendra inspected the blade of her Scythe. "You see I've killed you a hundred times already. Every time it's the same old story. You try this or that. The truth is I know all your moves Buffy!"
Buffy tried to concentrate, to push through the concussion. There had to be something, but with no weapon and her head spinning she knew Kendra was telling the truth. She didn't have much chance. "I know all your friends, your family. Xander, Giles, even that red headed witch Willow. I've killed them before and I'll do it again. There's nothing you can do, believe me. I've seen you try it all." The Jamaican laughed madly. "The dash for a weapon, the pathetic attempt to flip to your feet, even the desperate flailing with your legs. It's all been tried and each time it failed. I'm still here and I have a collection of heads. Each of them yours, each with a different expression.
"If I'm honest." She continued, spinning her own Scythe in a loop. "I might not even notice one more. I'm still going to kill you, but it won't be the same."
"Know everything about me huh?" Buffy asked
Buffy kept eye contact and Kendra's attention. "Oh. So you've met my sister?"
"Sister?" Kendra blinked. It was just the opening Dawn needed, but instead of rushing her Dawn fired a beam of dark green energy at the former Slayer through her dagger. The blast from Dawn's flute picked Kendra up and threw her overboard, spinning down to the ground far below.
Flipping to her feet Buffy took a breath. "Long way down." She whistled. "Thanks."
"Do I have to keep saving your butt?" Dawn asked.
Buffy glared. "I'm still ahead you know."
"True." The Green Ranger admitted.
"Dawn?" Vi asked. "Did I hear that right? I mean Dawn?"
The Key sighed loudly, but never took her eyes from Buffy. "You really suck at secret identities."
"So sue me."
"Dawn?" Vi said again, still unable to get over the idea. Buffy glanced at the rest of the ship. Somehow the Slayers were all now on one side with the demons, lead by their captain, on the other.
Buffy drew herself up, Slayer healing had already dealt with the the concussion and she was ready for round two, but she still needed one more thing. "Dawn, I need that shield." She flicked a finger off the gold chest plate.
"No." Dawn snapped. "Anyway this might be better."
From behind her back Dawn pulled out a gold coin. Rolling it over her knuckles Dawn took hold of it. There was a flash and in her hand was a scimitar, white, gold and with silver highlights. The sword wasn't long, but big enough to make an impression. "Here, use this."
Buffy took it. The weapon's weight was near perfect. Half the blade was solid, perfect for parrying and the other half was silver and looked wicked sharp. "Thanks."
"Don't worry, Saba will keep you safe." Dawn told her.
"Saba? You named your sword?" Buffy blinked, ignoring the sudden stab of pain as she remembered her own last words to the real Kendra.
Out of nowhere a cultured, almost British voice, said; "Of course."
Buffy flipped the Sword around, the pommel was a carved cats head with a hood. She could have sworn it was really looking at her. "You're alive?"
"Enchanted sword Buffy." She could hear the smirk Dawn was trying to hide. "Trust me. Now get going, we'll handle things here."
"You sure?" She asked. As much as she wanted to go for it. Kendra was her responsibility, but the hostages were important too. Same went for taking down the floating warship.
Once again Dawn took charge. "Oh yes. I've got Captain Ahab. Vi, you and the Slayers know what needs to be done. Buffy, I'll see you later." There wasn't anything Buffy could say about that. It was a workable plan; Dawn had her armour, she had the magic sword and the girls had proven they could easily take on the minions. Each suited to their own jobs.
There were a thousand things to say, and not enough time to decide which one. "Good luck."
"Don't need it, but thanks." Dawn said, dismissing her. "Now get going."
Biting her tongue Buffy nodded. The Slayers and Dawn charged leaving her behind. With no other options Buffy vaulted over the side of the ship, flowing Kendra.
End Chapter One