2 - Delivery
Booth looked through the one way mirror at the smiling blond in the interrogation room. “Rosenberg is the weak link here, but her lawyer has her saying nothing. Summers...Summers is creepy. I don’t think anyone should be physically capable of being cheerful after thirteen hours in interrogation. I think it means she has something to hide.”
Sweets shook his head. “If I had to guess I’d say she’s either psychotic, or an alien.”
Booth did a double take. “An alien? As in ‘Area-51’ aliens?”
“Her responses don’t make any sense, Booth. I guess she could also be a master of controlling her emotions, but I think by now we’d see a slip. So she’s either psychotic, or she isn’t human - an alien.”
“That doesn’t really help me, Sweets.”
“Well, I can only recommend you go back and interrogate Summers some more. She hasn’t called for a lawyer. Eventually you’ll shake something loose, and you can use that against Rosenberg. We still haven’t pulled Maclay into an interrogation room, either. We have her watching Summers’ sister, Dawn.”
“I talked to her informally for five minutes. Maclay was so scared to be talking to the FBI she couldn’t get four words out without stuttering. I don’t think she’s involved, and if she knows anything she’s too scared to talk.”
“And Dawn Summers?”
“Since her sister is her legal guardian, we can’t really get permission to interrogate her. I’ve called Child Services, we’ll see what happens.”
“That won’t be necessary.” Booth turned around to see a suited man in the doorway. “Special Agent Riley Finn, Homeland Security.” Finn flashed a badge. “I’m afraid you’re out of your depth here, gentlemen. I’ve got a court order requiring you to release Ms Rosenberg and Ms Summers, turn over all evidence collected, and also requiring that you drop this case.” He held out a folder to Booth.
“Like hell you do. Let me see that.” He grabbed the folder, and started reading. A few seconds later Booth took out his phone call and dialled the director of the FBI.
Sweets smiled at Finn. “I’m sure everything is in order. Why are we closing this down?”
“I’m afraid that’s classified. Suffice to say that both Ms Rosenberg and Ms Summers are acting with the permission and blessing of the President. Agent Booth can complain to the director as much as he wants – this comes straight from the top.”
The Director was apparently in agreement, judging from the look of chagrin on Booth’s face.
Sweets turned to the smirking newcomer. “Agent Finn, level with me here. Are aliens involved?”
Finn blinked. “I’m not at liberty to say. I wouldn’t spread that around, though. People will think you’re crazy.” He drew fingers around his ear with a finger, and with his other hand he gently slapped the psychologists shoulder. “Ok, Agent Booth, you heard the news. Now let’s go collect Summers, Rosenberg, and the evidence.”
Booth wanted to argue, but had just been told that he shouldn’t. “Fine. Coming, Sweets?”
Sweets was trying to figure out what Finn had meant. “No, I’ll just stay here and think about this for a bit.”
Booth closed the door behind him as they exited into the hall. “That was evil.”
Finn smiled. “Psych guys are way too predictable. I mean, aliens - really? What’s next, magic?”***
Dawn jumped on Riley the second he entered Summers residence, gripping him in a fierce hug.
“Hey there, Dawnie.”
“I’m so glad you’re here, Riley. The FBI took everything from the house, and they arrested Willow and the Buffybot, and I didn’t know what we were going to do. The Buffybot’s batteries only last for another two hours.”
“The FBI released the Buffybot and Willow, they’re on their way here. Willow needed to sort through the boxes of stuff taken from here for something important.”
Tara walked into the room from the hallway. “Goddess, what a relief. The agents were very...demanding and scary.”
“They have orders to leave you alone, so this should be the end of it.”
The front door opened and Willow walked in, cradling a medium sized box in her arms. “Thank the goddess it wasn’t damaged. I think this is the only one left in the world.”
“What’s in there?” Dawn asked.
Willow froze for an instant, and then sort of melted onto a couch. “The Urn of Osiris.”
Finn looked at the box. “What does it do?”
Willow sighed, then gathered herself. “If we can get all the ingredients I had set up before the FBI came, and have everything ready by tomorrow night...we can use it to resurrect Buffy.”
“What...How?” Dawn was in shock. She could get her sister back?
“That’s what the Urn does. Osiris is the keeper of the dead. With the Urn you can resurrect people that have been killed by magic. This is the last one. Anya bought it on Ebay.”
“I...I don’t...tomorrow?” Tara embraced Dawn, running her fingers through Dawn’s hair.
“We didn’t want to tell you in case it didn’t work, but honestly with this FBI business I’m too exhausted to pretend. Tomorrow night we’re going to go to your sister’s grave, and if everything goes well, bring her back.”
Dawn was quiet for a few seconds. Then, in a small voice, she replied. “Ok.”
Willow looked around the room. "Does anyone think that Booth guy looked sort of like Angel?"
Riley shook his head. "I don't see it."
Dawn nodded. "Me neither."
Willow harumphed. "Well, fine. I thought he did."
Riley smiled. "Maybe he's an alien clone."***
The cemetery hadn't changed since Dawn had last been there. It was dark, spooky, and a pretty perfect place for a newly turned vampire to spend time. Sunnydale had been even worse than usual lately - the demon biker gang in town was giving a lot of the normally quieter demons more confidence. The months since Buffy had died had been tough for Dawn. She had known that what Buffy did, being the Slayer, was dangerous. But Buffy had been good at what she did, so the fear had receded bit by bit. Then Buffy had died for Dawn. Because of Dawn, even.
But tonight she might get Buffy back. Dawn had only been to Buffy's grave once - during the little secret funeral they'd held. She hadn't worked up the bravery to visit again. It looked different now - the FBI had dug up the grave and the sod on top of the grave was new and vibrantly green. Dawn looked around her at Buffy's friends. With them was a group of six of Riley's government funded demon hunters, dressed in combat fatigues and carrying what Dawn thought might be machine guns.
The ritual started without problems. Dawn was a little freaked out when Willow started going vein-ey and spit up a snake, but Willow had warned them that it wasn't an easy ritual and not to interrupt her. Everything seemed to be going fine until the motorcycles came by. The military guys opened fire, filling the night with bursts of light and tracer rounds. The shooting died down shortly after, leaving nothing but the sound of Willow chanting and few functional motorcycles idling on their sides.
Finally, the ritual ended and Willow collapsed. Tara rushed to help her while the military guys went to inspect the motorcycle demons. Dawn was confused.
Willow, exhausted but aware, looked in horror at the gravesite. Casting her hands towards the grave, she murmured an incantation. Her puzzled eyes met Dawn’s. “She isn’t there.”
Dawn was in a panic now. “THEN WHERE IS SHE?!”
Riley stepped in, speaking quietly. “I think I know.”
Willow turned towards him. “Where?”
“Washington D.C. The Jeffersonian Institute. I think they forgot to return some evidence...”
Dawn didn’t care. “But she wasn’t here. She wasn’t here with the urn and the snake. So did it work?”
Willow nodded. “It worked. We have to go get her.”
Riley nodded, pulling out his cell phone. “I’ll make some calls and send some people over to the Jeffersonian now. Let’s get you people home and tomorrow we’ll all go pick up Buffy in DC.”
Willow, exhausted, nodded.***
It was bright here. Too bright. She reached out with...with her hands, trying to find some way to make it less bright, but all she could do was cover her already closed eyes. Everything ached. Her mind was overloaded by her senses, registering that she was lying on some sort of semi smooth surface, but even the smoothed surface hurt as it pressed against her skin.
Eventually she just had too much. She had to get away from the brightness. Reaching out she realized that there didn’t seem to be a way out of the cramped space she was stuck in. She was in a small, bright space. She had to get out. Kicking lightly against the surfaces around her, she found the one that seemed the weakest. With a single well-aimed kick to the center of the surface, it shattered, sending painful shocks through her foot and leg.
She crawled out of the hole to drop some feet into the relatively darker room. She turned around to get a complete view, noting the lighted shelves and the silhouettes of bones in all of them. Dead things in all the shelves. All of them except one, which had been shattered and now showed the empty space within. Her shelf. Her shelf where she had been, when she was dead. Maybe she was still dead - she knew of things that were dead and still moving and thinking, things like vampires obviously. She could feel her heart thumping in her chest, so she certainly wasn't that. But maybe she was something else now.
She walked slowly towards the entrance, tentatively putting bare feet on cold tile. It was quiet here, aside from the steady hum of machines. Everywhere was lit, but only dimly so. She followed a darkened hallway to a larger room, where she saw the first person since waking up on the shelf.
It was a woman, turned away from her on a raised metal platform. The woman's dark hair sat atop a lab-coat, and Buffy could see that the woman was hunched over a skeleton, peering down into a human skull held in her gloved hands. The woman was speaking into a recorder, talking about the skull, describing it physically and noting things that made no sense to Buffy. The bone in her hand, and the rest of the skeleton on the table, were not fresh – Buffy could see that the bones were dry and stripped of all flesh, arranged on the table in what she assumed was the order they were in your body.
None of this made sense. She was dead. She was walking around. She was in this place, where people played with bones. Maybe she had been put here, a collection of bones, and somehow they’d re-animated her. She could get them to put her back. She wasn’t supposed to be walking around. First she had to figure out exactly what was going on, though. She stepped closer to the platform the woman was on, moving quietly. This woman would tell her, or she would regret it...