It was dark, it was stormy, it was night.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy. I do not own the X-men. Heck, I don't even own my car.
Author's Note: I follow no known X-men continuity. I stopped reading several years ago and have no idea what's happening in the pages of the X-men now. If my characters seem off in regards to what you've been reading in this months funny books there's the reason. Don't like it, lump it. Or give me the money I need to go back and buy some back issues. Which ever works.
Richard Wilkins stared about the laboratory he had found himself in. Many years ago when the good doctor had come before the city council asking to enlarge the basement bellow his practice Richard had no idea Essex would build a mad scientist laboratory to put all other's to shame. A low whistle escaped him as his eyes fell upon row after row of six foot long tubes containing what were probably babies. Some had to be demons given their non human appearance.
"My, you have been busy, Doctor." Richard said with a wide smile as he looked up from the gestation tube.
Doctor Nathaniel Essex bristled at the intruder in his lab. He restrained his impulse to force the man to leave, after all he wouldn't even have this lab if the good mayor hadn't deigned to allow its construction. When that had happened he'd been sure there would be a price to pay and now it seemed the Richard Wilkins was collecting. After all you didn't make a deal with the devil and get away scott free. He had found before coming to Sunnydale Richard Wilkins was damn near as close to the devil as you could actually come. At least for humans.
"What can I do for you, Mr. Mayor?" Essex asked, using his most obsequious tone.
Richard Wilkins straightened his suit and put on his best smile, he had the upper hand but it never hurt to be nice and polite. "As you know, Doctor, not all of the inhabitants of our fair city are strictly human."
Essex nodded at this, he'd been well aware of the supernatural for many years. "Yes, it was part of my decision to settle here."
"Of course, of course." Richard pointedly looked at the tubes housing non humans.
Essex took the Mayor's meaning but didn't feel the need to correct the Mayor's assumption. Those tubes housed his genetic experiments using homo-superior DNA he'd accumulated over the years. The tubes the Mayor had singled out were those experiments where the mutations were obvious from the moment of his experiments took on a life of their own.
"Now, some of our non human citizens have a very delicate constitution and can't stomach anything but the strictest of diets." Wilkins was choosing his words carefully. Essex maybe a mad scientist but that didn't mean he was actually monstrous enough to agree to what Wilkins needed. "It turns out I need some babies."
"Beg pardon?" Essex blinked, he had obviously not heard that right.
"A citizen of Sunnydale, well, ate some babies that were in the hospital." Wilkins gave a sheepish grin. "Oh, Lurconis, that rascal." Richard Wilkins was no fool, there was no way he was going to admit to feeding those four babies to the demon who he owed.
"You... I'm sorry, what do you expect me to do, clone new children?" Essex asked.
Richard nodded, "That was the point of making your sanctuary here in Sunnydale wasn't it Doctor? To be able to advance your research uninterrupted?"
"This isn't interrupting?"
Richard stalled by folding his hands together and tapping his index fingers against his lower lip. He didn't like to appear a thuggish man, crudely forcing Doctor Essex in to complying was beneath a man of his intelligence. "No, think of this as a favor for a friend."
Essex ran a hand through his dark hair, "How long do I have?"
"I need babies by dawn. I can't cover up their missing past then."
Essex rolled his eyes, he shook his head, "Forget it. I'd need at least two weeks, even with the forced maturation of the birthing matrix."
"I see. Hmmm. Yes. That is a pickle." The Mayor of Sunnydale turned his eyes to the already filled gestation tubes. His smile returned. "Well, what about them?"
"No." Essex chopped the air before him with a hand. "Absolutely not."
"Doctor, Doctor, Doctor..." Richard Wilkins walked close hands clasped behind his back. "I'm not asking. I'll have those babies. Now you can either help me choose which I take or I can just take them all after I've dealt with you. After which you won't be able to chart their growth out in the real world instead of in those cramped little tubes."
Essex nearly growled, "You understand their chances of survival are near nil?"
"Well, gosh, it's not like you can't make more." Wilkins smiled.
"How many do you need?" Essex resigned himself to the situation. The Mayor's argument was an interesting idea. He'd never actually allowed one of his experiments to reach maturity outside of his lab. It might be worth while.
"Three." Essex wasn't going to restart that many. "Pass the last one off as S.I.D.'s."
"Done!" Richard Wilkins stuck out a hand.
Doctor Essex took it slowly and gave it one pump. When they unclasped hands Wilkins pulled a hankie from his breast pocket and began cleaning his hand. "Germs, can't be too careful."
"Lets just get this over with." Essex grumbled. "I have three. One female and two males. The girl and the first male are no great loss, not failed experiments per se they just didn't turn out as I expected. As they reach their teenage years they may or may not mutate."
"Mutate?" Wilkins asked.
"Develop powers, change form, anything is possible. I wasn't entirely sure what they'd end up as when I began them."
"I think the Chases and the Stabbings will weather the storm should any mutation occur." Richard Wilkins brushed those concerns aside. "And the last baby?"
"He is proceeding along the lines I had expected. He should become the perfect... well I suppose shock troop is the best term." Essex tilted his head as he stared at the final baby in the tube across the room.
"Shock troop?" Wilkins asked.
"Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies." Essex grinned suddenly.
"You don't have any plans for Sunnydale, do you Doctor?" Wilkins asked staring the Doctor down. He'd worked to hard for a mad scientist to step in and ruin his plans after almost a full century of planning.
"No. My creations have but one purpose. And Sunnydale had no place within those plans."
"Ah, say no more." Richard then rubbed his hands together, "So, how do we get the tykes out of those jars. I'm on a clock."
Essex walked over to a computer console that looked like it belonged on a Star Trek set and began tapping keys on a key pad. "Please, give me a minute."
"Ooh, I feel like a little boy on Christmas morn." Richard Wilkins squealed. When Essex cocked an eye at his behavior he simply shrugged, "I love what I do."