Chapter Six - Outpost Intermission
----- Los Angeles
Two days after he had opened up the results that told him he had a brother, he sent a final DNA test kit for analysis. This time it was between Blair Sandburg and John Smith, as that was the last man that from which he had obtained the DNA samples.
He still hadn’t called Blair to let him know, but he just wanted his own last test to come back first and he planned to wait for Blair’s results too. This way he could send the information off together to Cascade. Although Spike was telling him that he should deliver it in person before he ups and takes off for parts of the world unknown.
Meanwhile the two men had been shopping around for a place to set up a Watcher outpost in the city and had found a place might just do. There was a pesky little problem related to poltergeists. It seems like there are six in the building and a couple of ghouls in the yard.
The ghouls were easy for Xander to dispatch, but the poltergeists were another matter. However, Spike was the one that took care of those. He hunted them down and drained them as though they were living beings and he needed their ‘blood
’ to live. They were successfully taken care of and Xander had cleaned their ‘burial
’ site so that they couldn’t come back.
Ten days after that, the papers were signed by the Council and the money changed hands. Xander’s job was to set the place up. He had helped with some of the set-up in Cleveland, but here he was on his own. He had to ensure that it could withstand the onslaught of Slayer tantrums and protect the girls when the time came. He was assigned to this post for now and it was projected that he’d be in the U.S. for about another year.
Giles wanted him there until the place could run itself and until more trained Watchers could be assigned to it.
The place was an old sanatorium on the outskirts of the city, but still within the city limits, which was a good thing for Spike. He was still hanging around Xander, helping out with useful advice and sometimes just hanging around to piss him off. It was something that the one-eyed man was used to and was fully expecting from the vampire, corporeal or not.
Several of the L.A. Slayers found their way there through paper ads that Xander had posted. He found that it was the easiest to do, as papers posted lots of sensational stuff. Some of the girls were older and wiser.
One Slayer had actually owned her own business until a group vamps burned it down and pissed her off. She was successful in slaying them, but she needed to hone her battle skills some more. She agreed to come to the Outpost and help out, as long as it was understood that she would be running her business once more. At least this time she knew that she could hire people from the Outpost to work for her, when the time came.
Xander agreed all of that and put her in charge of some of the business aspects of the outpost. That way it could become semi-self-sufficient and it could earn money in order to provide the basics for girls that come to them with nothing on their backs.
He found places that sold military surplus and acquired metal bunk beds for some of the rooms in the place. He made sure that other rooms were turned into bathrooms with full functioning plumbing facilities, including individual shower stalls. There were bathing rooms on each floor that needed to be revamped to include modern tubs. They were the perfect place for the girls to de-slime after fighting off the worst of the demons.
Those rooms were strange because there was something like six to seven tubs all in a row with curtains that could provide privacy around each of them. It caused most of them to have the shudders at the implications or possible uses for them.
Spike was only too happy to provide the morbid details of such a place. He explained water therapy, cold water therapy and a few other things that could have occurred in that place. He had a lot of information regarding sanatoriums. He happily tortured the girls and Xander with that information.
Xander was busy finding deals for the supplies necessary to upgrade the building and he was the one in charge of hiring the contractors. He made sure that the work was done according to the Council specifications and then some. His workers were not completely human, but they were happy to become object lessons to the girls as long as the girls kept their word not to tell anyone else about them.
Three weeks later Spike walked into a wall. He had been following Xander endlessly because the two month time frame was almost up and he was worried. The one-eyed human knew that the vampire was worried, but that didn’t stop him from laughing when the vampire licked his lips tasting blood for the first in a very long time.
“So Spike,” Xander said. “Now that you’re corporeal again, you want to go hunt?”
“Humans,” Xander said. “I have a list of humans and their locations just for you. You can even beat up on demons along the way, but the humans will have the living blood you need in order to get back up to your normal strength. Let me know about it. Meanwhile I let the girls know about your change in status.”
They hadn’t been far from his office. In each of the main offices there was a public announcement / intercom thing that allowed them to yell across the floors. “Ladies,” he said. “Attention please, I have the very great pleasure to announce to you that Spike, our resident ghost is no longer a ghost. Do not attack him. He is one of the very rare vamps in the world because he has a soul. Understand? Good! See you in the morning.”
“You didn’t need to do that,” Spike said from the door.
“Of course I did,” Xander said. “I don’t want you to be attacked on your way in or out of compound. We’ll have to set up something to allow you free entry, but I think that you’ll now be limited in where you can wander around this place.” He tossed him a new high tech cell phone and said, “Call me when you get back so I can let you in.”
“Hey, as long as I’m back in the world of the living, not living, I’m bloody well fantastic about whatever conditions you want to set,” the vampire said pocketing the phone. “Just to let you know the only reason I would come back is because I trust you
. Get that Harris?”
“Understood,” Xander replied.
He walked out, leading Spike down of a few of the darker corridors and down into the lower rooms that still needed to be cleaned. They had stored a lot of junk down there when they were cleaning the upper floors.
This is a place that Spike hadn’t liked to walk in ghost form and it was the one area where he never followed Xander or the girls. It was a good thing too because Xander had a surprise for the vampire. He pulled out a ring of keys and then showed him which ones fit which locks.
“This large one is to the underground station at the end of the hall,” he said leading the vampire through the corridors. “I re-enforced the doors with demon steel and limited the access in that particular area to one-hundred feet square before you get into the proper underground of the city sewers. There’s even an old train on the tracks that you can do whatever you want with.”
He continued by pointing down another corridor and saying, “Your rooms are over there and these three keys will get you in to them. Just follow those signs. Now you better leave while you have time to hunt before the sun rises and don’t forget to call me so that I can let you in.”
Spike was pushed in the direction towards the doors leading out of the sub-basement level of the building. He turned and watch as the one-eyed man left him to make his own choice of looking into his new room or leaving to hunt.
His stomach was feeling quite empty so Spike chose to hunt. He had a list of humans that would not be missed or else they would, but in reality no one would care that they were gone. He had a phone to keep in touch and a place to hang his hat, if he wasn’t mistaking about the implications of the ring of keys in his hand.
He quickly pocketed them and headed out of the doors at the end of the hall. He was checking the phone and noticed that Xander had put his numbers into it already. Now all he had to do was choose the perfect ring tone to suit the man while he left to hunt.
Xander had to leave Spike there quickly. His morals were troubling him in the fact that they were not troubling him too much about the list he had just handed over to the newly corporeal vampire. He had researched these people thoroughly.
They were the ones that had slipped the U.S. court system and were never called to atone for their actions. They were still doing the things that they had been accused of, but no amount of time in the court system had them behind bars.
‘Tarnished white hat,
’ he thought. ‘Yep, that’s me.
’ He had personal quarters in the sub-basement too, but he hadn’t moved down there yet. ‘Maybe now’s a good time to get my personal stuff done here.
He went up the stairs and found a several of the older Slayers there waiting for him. “Ladies, girls,” he said with his hands up. “I’ve sent him through the tunnels. You don’t have to worry about him.”
“It’s not him that we’re worried about,” Sasha said. “You need time too, to at least go see your brother and talk to him about that last batch of DNA results.”
Xander sighed and said, “There are times that I would like to go back and stop you from opening my mail. Why did you do it again?”
She smiled and said, “You told me to open all the mail here because Nancy needed the bills in order to remain on top of them. You might want to take Spike with you.”
“Fine,” Xander said. “I just need to move my stuff down to the sub-level. You girls are doing fine now and three new Watchers are on their way to take over.”
“Why do you want to move down there?” Jewel asked. “That’s where Spike’s rooms are. You’d think that you’d want to stay up here and get away from his pestering.”
“I’m used to him,” Xander said. “I know that he’s a pest most time, but that’s who he is. Besides I don’t want him going back to thinking that Angel as his only option for a place to stay. He has a home here, if he chooses to stay, and I won’t change that for anyone.”
“Harris,” Spike said in a shocked tone.
“Spike,” Xander said turning around. “I thought you left to hunt.”
“I came back to see if you wanted to come along,” he said.
“I’ll come along, but I’ll have to maintain my distance,” Xander said.
“Why?” The vampire asked the question, but the girls had the same one going through their minds too.
“Deniability,” Xander said and noticed the look in the blond vampire’s eyes. “I mean with the humans in the area. I can’t be seen there, but I can accompany you and plan to meet you somewhere nearby when you’re done. Is that okay?”
“You’re right Harris,” Spike said. “I didn’t think about that, but I think I’d like you to come with, unless you need to be here in order to let me in past the barrier.”
“Nope,” Xander said. “Ladies, you take care of the others and no staying up too late. It’s a school night. We’ll be back before the sun comes up.”
The Slayers groaned at the thought of school or the GED equivalent classes that they were attending in order to round out their education. The younger ones had a bus that was driven by the older ones in order to get them to their school, but it was still a hassle on some days.
Xander just grinned and escaped them by following Spike back down to the sub-level of the Outpost and out of the building. He knew that the vamp had questions and this would probably be a good time to answer them.
Spike looked at the train car on the tracks in shock. He didn’t really believe that there was one, but now that he was faced with it he was surprise at the size and the old style feel of it. It reminded him of the old ones that had been out on the tracks when the railroad first made its way west.
“Bloody hell,” he said softly. “Never thought I’d see the like again.”
“Pretty cool, hunh,” Xander said. “I didn’t want to get rid of it. We sealed the area and set up alarms that won’t ring if you’re with me for this first time.”
“Yeah,” Spike muttered. “Cool.” He shook off his melancholy bout of nostalgia and said, “Come on Harris, let’s not waste the night. I’m feeling peckish.”
Xander snorted, shook his head and gestured for Spike to lead the way.
During the night they talked about anything and everything that was going on. Xander explained his quest to find out who his real father is and how he had stumbled across the possibility that he had a brother.
“It turned out to be true,” he said. “I haven’t told him about it, but I’ve been keeping in touch with him. He’s funny, full of knowledge about ancient South American cultures and works with a man that seems to be a Sentinel.”
“A human with five naturally enhanced senses,” Xander said. “There’s nothing mystical about the man. Although I can tell you that he was a soldier and is now a cop.”
“Pet, there’s no such thing as humans with naturally enhanced senses,” Spike said.
“Sure there are,” Xander said. He stopped the vampire from saying else by holding up his hand. “It has been thoroughly documented that there are humans with enhanced senses. Many only have one or two enhanced senses, you know the ones that work in perfume factories or become taste testers. Did you know that in Vietnam the U.S. Army had to change their diets to fish and rice because their enemies were able to tell a westerner by their body waste? It’s true. So don’t tell me that humans don’t have a plus factor without some mystical intervention.”
“Well what do we have here,” a gravelly voice said. “Food walking into my lair.”
“Oops,” Xander said with a whisper. He had weapons on him, but since he couldn’t see who had spoken he wasn’t certain that he had just what was needed in order to defeat the creature.
“Demon magnet,” Spike said happily. He was looking for a fight and knew that with the one-eyed Scooby there his chances would greatly increase on finding sport. “Brilliant, I’m going to have to keep you around a lot longer, what do you think Harris?”
“I think that this one is huge,” Xander said jumping out of the way from a strike that would have knocked him out or killed him. It was a tail that retracted into the earth. “Great, just great, it’s in the ground. I bet that it can get the drop on us.”
“You’re smart for food,” the voice said from above him.
Xander dodged again this time getting well away. He ended up on a metal plate that had been part of the maintenance down this tunnel.
Spike had found a cable of twisted wires and was using it like a whip, snapping it at the demon. “Stone demon,” he said. “Can’t stand the buggers, metal or high voltage shock will take care of it.”
He snapped his make-shift whip and cut the tail off the demon in a scattering of pebbles and stones. They were shocked to find the stones and pebbles roll across the ground only to re-group with the demon. (...i...)
“I don’t like this,” Xander said. “It’s not of the good.”
“No kidding,” Spike said hitting the demon and breaking it completely into pieces only to be pissed that it came back together without a problem. “Bloody hell, I’ve never heard of something like this.”
Xander was looking around for something to charge up the taser device that he carried. The cables for the tracks were still there. He was kneeling near a conduit. There was a tear in the protective layer. He put on an industrial glove to protect his hand and pulled the cable away from the wall.
“Spike,” he called out. “Snap that thing here of a minute.” He was pointing at the weak spot. The vampire looked quickly and snapped the whip, neatly cutting the cable quickly. “Thanks.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Just keep him occupied,” Xander said. He pulled his taser apart.
A twist of the internal wires with the large cable had the charge increased to deadly proportions. He was able to close the device. He tested it by pressing the button, activating the charge with a blue-white light. He moved into position and soon he was zapping the pieces of demon that landed near him.
The demon called those pieces back to him, but found that it felt like he was being cut or burned. He howled in outrage at the fact that they were whittling him down. There was something of stubbornness about this demon. He had been down here a long time, so there was no way that he would be defeated by these two.
Spike was looking intensely at the demon trying to figure out what it was that caught his attention. It took a few more cracks of his make shift whip to see the tiny pebble that was different from the rest. His next hit made sure that the pebble landing near Xander’s feet. Vampire speed made sure that he had the one-eyed man’s weapon in hand and he let the head of the demon see just where he was aiming.
“NO!” The demon shouted in a voice that vibrated through the tunnels.
“Yes,” Spike said with glee. He zapped that different pebble and they both watched in shock, as the demon parts turned into dust. “Sweet,” he said looking at the powerful taser. “You’ll need to find a way to keep this or else make one that packs the same kind of punch.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Xander said. “Now I have to see if the cable connects to something above ground or is just there from disuse. Power is running through it, so it has to go somewhere and come from someplace else. I’ll just tie it back together and then we can continue on.”
“Sure thing,” Spike said looking around the lair. Lairs always contained treasures and place was no exception. He rifled through looking for the easy to carry stuff, when a burlap sack landed on his head. “Whot the bloody hell,” he said. “Harris?”
“Fill up the sack,” Xander said. “I’ll take care of the cable.”
“Right then,” Spike said. He found an old spade and used that to scoop the treasure into the sack. He was looking among it for anything that could be of value or use to a vampire. Fours large scoops of the coins into the sack without changing the bag’s size had him looking at it more closely.
“Mojoed sack,” he said. “What the hell?”
“Andrew’s idea,” Xander explained joining the vampire. “He likes Dungeons & Dragons and got this idea to make ‘Bags of Holding
’ for the Slayers. Just in case we ran into places like this with treasure that isn’t likely to be claimed by descendants. We each have one tied to us by magic and our life.”
“That’s bloody stupid,” Spike said. “What if you die?”
“The bag returns to a closet at the Watch HQ in London,” Xander said. “That way we know who died. If we’re lucky they will have added something that will let us know just what they were up against and give us an insight on how to take them out.”
He was scooping up stuff and stuffing the sack and continued to explain. “Mine’s set up a little differently,” he said. “That’s because I roam around too much so mine is tied to my car. Although right now because I’ve been here for quite a while it’s tied to the train car.”
Spike looked at him sharply. “Why?”
“What if we find something like another Gem of Amara
,” Xander said. “We don’t need to let the Council know about it.”
“There’s no other Gem of Amara,” Spike said. “The records say so.”
“Are you sure?” Xander said. “I bought something that looked an awful like it from an internet site before I went to Wolfram & Hart.”
“You did,” Spike said in shock. “There wasn’t another one.”
“Are you sure?”
“Now that you mention it, no,” Spike groused, while adding a small locked treasure chest. “I don’t know where I can out about that.”
“Maybe Wesley can let us know,” Xander suggested. “He probably has better resources.” He stopped to look around and asked, “Is that everything?”
“Can we take the weapons too?” Spike asked spotting a few long and short swords. There were several axes, maces and a few ornate daggers.
“Sure,” Xander said picking up a heavy sword that required two-hands to use. He shoved it into the sack without any problems. The rest of the stuff was soon in the sack and when he tied it off, he said, “Home Jeeves.”
Spike shook his head and watch with wide eyes as the sack popped away. “Where...”
“To the train car remember,” Xander said.
“Yeah, but you didn’t say how,” Spike said. “Come on,” he said pulling on the sleeve of the one-eyed Scooby. “Night’s a-wasting. You can explain it on the way and you can also tell me about this brother of yours.”
“Sure,” Xander said. “I had arrived in Cascade and was looking for information...”
(...i...) Shamelessly taken from YuYu Hakusho, it was one of the four beasts that they had to fight when Yurameshi came back to life.