Disclaimer: I do not own the Buffy-verse
I was an orphan, grew up in the system moving from foster home to foster home. I never stayed in one place for too long. Maybe it was better that way, it meant that I never became attached to anyone or anything; I looked after myself and developed an attitude to go with it. I was twelve when I found out about slayers, the supernatural world, that every terrible thing that I had ever imagined was true, that they actually existed. Two women had come to my foster home, a red haired woman and a brunette. They told me I was special, that I was different and that I had a destiny. I was a child.
Just a child. Not even a teenager. It’s not like I had had a happy life in the system, but being told that I had to move out, to go live with them so that you could become a slayer, to fight and kill unimaginable evil, was not what I would consider a blessing. I was terrified, I wouldn’t let it show, but I was scared shitless. Was I supposed to be happy, that my life had a purpose, a destiny? I was twelve – all I wanted in life was a family to love me, to be happy.
Once I got out I realised it wasn’t as bad as I first thought. I wasn’t expected to kill demons right from the get go. The earliest you started hunting was 15; I had three years to go until then. Three years – it seemed like such a long time back then, a quarter of my life. But it went by quickly. Or maybe it just feels like it did now I look back.
I started out in a house, there were four other slayers in trainings that lived in the house, and there were two watchers – man and wife – and a young twenty something witch. She was like a big sister, someone I could look up to and she spoiled us like crazy. For once I felt almost loved. Almost.
But it’s not like I could have done anything. I had been legally adopted to Lillian and Mark, the watchers who lived with us. I could have run away, but run away to what? I had no one and no money. Here I had three hot meals and a comfy bed. I went to school – one school. I made friends, proper ones too, I even told them about being adopted. It was weird, I was starting to feel happy, and at school too. Previously that had been a place that I tolerated, but never enjoyed.
But back at the house we were being taught about demons and how to kill them. We were taught martial arts. Karate mostly, but we never really stuck to one discipline. I didn’t love them, my adopted parents. They didn’t love us, not really. They saw us as soldiers, children but soldiers. A means to an end – we were not coddled, but trained.
When I was fifteen the world found out about us. I had just started to go out patrolling in groups of five. A slayer somewhere had been sloppy. It could have been any of us, we were all newbies. She had killed a vampire and it had been filmed live on the BBC news channel. She wasn’t the focus of the story; she had been caught on the camera in the background by accident. At first everyone thought it was a hoax – special effects, that type of thing. But when the BBC said that it wasn’t, it was as if the world’s eyes had been opened up. What people had once ignored or forgotten they now remembered and they started to put the pieces together. That man in the alley with the messed up face or the rabid dog that only killed once or twice a month. Could it be that everything we once dismissed as fairytales was actually true? How could we have been so blind, so ignorant? All those bodies that had turned up at the morgue or those unsolved murders where the victim had been drained of blood or simply disappeared.... could it be?
And what about that girl who had easily killed a man or vampire with such ease? Who or more precisely what was she?
Stories of a government task force emerged, charged with hunting down and eliminating this supernatural threat. It was considered to be just a rumour, we were told not to worry, that we shouldn’t use this as an excuse to stop fighting. Public reaction to the supernatural started to become more and more negative. There were riots in the street and people I knew and had worked with started disappearing, it was like those stories you hear of people living in Nazi Germany – people vanishing in the night, never to be seen again. When I turned sixteen a few months later I moved out of the house and into a block of flats. My current address. I also started patrolling on my own. A few months after that I was out hunting, when I found myself on a rooftop looking down at the passageway beneath. I saw one of the girls I had grown up with in the house; she was fighting a vampire and winning. Then my spider sense started going off the charts. I heard a number of footsteps and saw what looked to be a group of men swarming down both entrances of the alley. They moved like those SWAT teams off the American TV shows. Quick, silent and deadly. I tried to get my old friends attention, but I couldn’t – she was still fighting a vampire, and if I yelled I would have alerted the soldiers to my presence. Doing that would go against everything I had been taught – don’t let an unknown enemy know where you are... your survival is what you should focus on first, nobody else’s.
As she staked the vampire, the soldiers moved in on her, they pointed their guns at her yelling at her to drop her weapon. She must of felt like a mouse trapped and pinned down my an army of cats. There was nowhere to run to, the roofs were too far to jump to and fighting them would likely end in her death. So she did what they asked, she dropped her weapon and put her hands in the air, thinking that they would bring her in for questioning. Instead they shot her. She went down, quicker than I had imagined possible. It was the first time I had seen a real gun, and whenever someone gets shot on the telly they always put it in slow motion. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t scream, I just stared, and then ran. Ran home.
When I got there I blurted out what I had seen, I had expected action. Something, anything. But instead I learned that this had been going on for months. People, slayers, witches, demons, they were being murdered by the army. I had expected uproar from my watchers and instead it was almost as if they had given up trying to stop them. I was told something would be done, but I doubt anything ever would be. After what could they do?
Any government ties that we may have once had were severed. In was election year after all, why would any government freely admit they had not just known about the supernatural but had helped them in the past? It would have been political suicide.
From then on what happened was a mass witch hunt. Sometimes literally. Policemen came round to my school. They told us that if we suspected anyone of having any paranormal affiliations we were to report them immediately, and not to worry, these people wouldn’t be hurt; they only wanted to question them. I knew better.
I suppose it is a lot to expect that people would just accept us, welcome us, but for some reason that’s what we all hoped would happen. Even today we tell ourselves it could all change, people might see the error of their ways, but we all know the chances of that happening are unlikely at best. I hear tales of a group within the council who want to leave this world, find another to make their own. Leave the humans to fight the demons and themselves – see how they like it. I am divided about it. The part of me that remembers my friend being gunned down says we should leave them to their own devices, let them suffer, but then I look at my life, my friends. Can I really blame them, they are scared of what they don’t understand, just as I was scared when I was twelve, but they have no superpowers to fight with? If they ever actually leave, I would probably go with them, out of spite if nothing else. But for now I fight, not because I want to, or have to, but because I was chosen.