The pair hightailed it from the Salon supply shop after putting a large pallet of hair product ofver the trap door so it wouldn't get found by whoever came to check out the mess. Once they were out in the high desert they spent a while digging a nice grave for the gargoyle.
After they were done they leaned against the truck and Faith lit up a cigarette. On seeing Clark's raised eyebrow she laughed.
"Fast healing and immunity to most poisons and diseases are standard. Nicotine and tar count as poisons...Also, with our calling, living long enough to die of natural causes or cancer is kinda remote."
"What's the life expectancy?" Clark asked.
"Used to be 10 months. Now the longest lived one of us is at fourteen years or so. Of course she took four months off to be dead."
Faith nodded and took a drag off her cigarette, "Almost ended th'world because of what was done to bring her back."
"Did she know?"
"About th'almost world ending?" Faith shook her head, "She didn't figure that out for a year or so until a primal force tried t'squash us like bugs. If she'd known she never would have allowed anything like it t'be tried....actually she wouldn't have backed it anyway...her return I mean."
"They pulled her out of heaven," Faith stubbed out her cigarette on her boot and opened the truck door. "Kinda pissed her off."
Clark was driving back towards the strip mall. He made sure to park a distance away from their original parking space. Faith had pulled on a 'US MARSHAL' windbreaker and baseball cap after tucking her hair into a ponytail. Clark noticed her whole posture had changed as well. From loose and seductive to formal and precise. It was a subtle but effective transformation. Clark took off his jacket and walked with her to the Salon supply shop.
"Ashok?" one of the uniforms said. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm on escort duty for Marshal Lehane."
"Ma'am," the uni looked at Faith. "How can we help you?"
"I needed to interview the owner of this place regarding a fugitive."
"Well, there was a hell of a fight in there. Lots of bulletholes, but no blood or bodies."
"Mind if I take a look?" Faith asked nonchalantly.
"The shift super will be here in a few, you can ask him."
"The clerk said a guy and a girl came in to talk to her boss and she cut out for lunch over at the chicken stand. Came running back when she heard an explosion. She's over there," he pointed.
Clark looked over and saw her talking to a another uni, "Let's go chat Ashok!" Faith said calmly.
"Hey Zainta...Marshal..." the uniform greeted them.
"Mind if we have a chat with her?" Faith asked very formally. "We were going to be talking to her boss..."
"Not if she doesn't," the salesgirl nodded and the uni walked away.
"Hey there Red, did you know your boss was an evil demon?"
She froze then took a close look at Faith, "A Slayer...." she sort of hissed.
"Guess ya did. You're mostly human though. We can tell this kinda thing. Probably the apprentice?"
She nodded. Clark could tell she was very frightened.
"Cool, now you are going to tell me everything you know about a customer named Doctor Hilary Robinson. You would remember him...a tight-assed Brit coming to a shop like this...Anyway, you tell me and you don't get dealt with for trafficking in necromantic supplies. Yes I know you were only an accessory to any crimes...but with what Hil was up to...Does not look good at all."
"I only met him a couple of times. He needed special orders. Stuff that we can't keep on hand."
"Because it goes bad right?" Faith asked.
"Yeah. He was into blood magic of some kind. He was looking for virgin obsidian."
"Virgin obsidian?" Clark asked.
"Shattered from a volcano by natural means. Never been touched by a tool," Faith explained.
"Some Mesoamerican rituals require it for the sacrificial blades," the clerk added. "That's why I was thinking Blood Magic."
"Well you were thinking right. When y'get a chance leave town and stay far away from people like your really ex-boss. Otherwise, somebody like me will be payin' you a visit."
"Was there anything else you can tell us about the Doctor?" Clark asked.
"Yeah, he was looking for a shaman. A dead leg shaman whatever that is."
Faith stiffened, "A Dalag Shaman?"
"Yeah that's it."
"Get out of town as soon as you can," Faith grabbed Clark by the arm and started guiding him back towards the truck.
"Dalag is a world killer spirit. One of the Eleven Terrors...let's just say they can be considered a universal 'Game Over' symbol. My organization has known about them for centuries, but there's not really a whole lot we can do about it. Them being in another dimension and all.
"They have shamans which can be granted powers. Typical evil cultist stuff for the most part. Now we have a Mesoamerican Blood Priest wanting t'find a Shaman of the Dalag the Blood Drenched...This kinda sets off warning bells."
"So what now?"
"Now Doc, we wait until we can check out the storage area underneath that shop, and in the meantime I call some friends and give them an update."
"I can make some inquiries too..."
"Yeah...yeah I bet you can. Go for it! This is startin' t'look like an unannounced apocalypse.