Chapter 15Disclaimer: See previous chapters.
“And so, once again, hey Courtney,” Lindsay Monroe smiled once again at the younger blonde. “Sorry about the on-again off-again situations – we had one messed-up case lately.”
“Oh yeah, I think I’ve read about it in the newspaper,” Courtney nodded sagely. “It was the museum one, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, yes it was,” Lindsay agreed. “Anyhow... what’s up with you? I’m guessing that your folks-“
“-have finally broken-up? Yes,” Courtney said with bitterness most unusual in the normally cheery girl. “Fortunately I joined this school for girls...and I’ve been managing.”
“And what’s this Mr. Giles of yours is supposed to be, then?” Lindsay asked, somewhat sharply, but immediately softened her voice. “I mean, both Danny and I have agreed that he doesn’t look dangerous, or even wrong, and the two of you look happy, but-“
“Lins!” Courtney yelled, in a semi-indignant tone of voice. “See, me, and Gigi, and Faith went to visit our friend here – it was the opening night for his band, and Mr. Giles’s our chaperone! For real, you didn’t use to be so...cynical?”
“Yes, I guess I wasn’t,” Lindsay agreed. “It’s probably because I’m a New Yorker now – it is usually a great place to live, but from a CSI’s point of view, this sometimes can be a literal Hell of a town – what was that?”
Courtney, who muttered something at her cousin’s last words, blushed. “I’m just agreeing with you, that’s all,” she shrugged. “Oz – that’s the friend we came here to visit – he told us some stories of the local color, and they were scary!”
“Mmm,” Lindsay just nodded, half-suspecting that at least half of what that Oz told her cousin and other girls was exaggerated or just invented on the go, but didn’t want to argue with Courtney for nothing.
“Anyways,” the younger blonde continued, unabashed, “what about you? How the life in the Force has been treating you? You want to share some of your stories that aren’t confidential, or classified, or something?”
Lindsay suppressed an urge to roll her eyes. Her cousin was a sweet girl, but a bit scatterbrained all the same, apparently unable to remember that Lindsay was not quite a cop. Oh well, Courtney’s mother – Lindsay’s aunt – had been the same. “Sure,” she said, eager to bond with her cousin over some less troublesome stories of her practice. “Where to begin?”
“At the beginning?” Courtney said innocently, that innocence belied by the imps of mischief-making twinkling in her eyes.
Lindsay couldn’t help it. She laughed.* * *
“Um, Faith? Can I talk to you?”
Faith LeHane, who had been meditating just moments ago, opened her eyes and stretched-out in one languid mood. “Kailey? I thought that when Oz took Giles and Genevieve back to the harpies to return their pet you came along?”
“No, I offered to stay here and keep your company,” the mystic shook her head. “And to speak.”
“About what?” Faith’s own voice turned more serious. “What’s wrong?”
“I saw what went wrong with Mr. Giles tried to exorcise the primeval spirit from the man,” Kailey said firmly. “What I don’t know is why?”
“The man wanted to die, the beast wanted to live, and the mother of the First Slayer was the younger sister of Thanatos the daemon of death, was she not?” Faith shrugged.
“She was,” Kailey nodded, “but I thought that she didn’t do such choices?”
“The beast,” Faith replied, “was one of her flock – a nightmare of humanity made flesh. Naturally it could be expected that she would take hand in such an effort.”
“But now the nightmare lives.”
“It does. It can feel the sun on its skin, can taste true food and water in its mouth, and live for real its allotted lifespan,” Faith nodded, smiling slyly. “And it will be a lifespan full of excite-ment as well! And the man, well, he wanted to die, otherwise he would’ve lived as well... maybe.”
“Maybe,” Kailey nodded. “This brings us to the present. What am I to do with my knowledge?”
“Figure it out for yourself,” Faith shrugged. “You’re neither infantile, retarded nor stupid. Figure it out, or ask your friends for advice, if you lack wits or confidence for your own decision.”
“I don’t have any friends, any real friends,” Kailey admitted quietly, “I have always lived on my own, essentially-“
“Let me tell you a story,” Faith said, thoughtfully. “Once upon a time there was Zeus.”
“Pardon?” Kailey blinked.
“Zeus. You know, king of the gods – well, some of them at any rate. He had loads of kids, including Hercules, the slayer of monsters and monstrous races and what-not, but he also had two girls – red-haired Eris the goddess of discord, and black-haired Melinoe the daemon queen of nightmares. And so it came to pass that he managed to piss-off both of them. Since they were his girls, they inherited his temper and his strength, as it turned out. Together, they instigated the Trojan War that eventually broke the pagan grasp on that part of the world and they made a deal with the Powers to be, or rather – that are. From this agreement came the births of the first Vampire Slayer and the first Wicca. And as long as the Powers stuck to that deal everything went smoothly. Well, guess what – they broke that deal, and now Eris and Melinoe are coming back, and you’re a part of it.”
“Yup,” Faith nodded cheerfully. “From our visits to the astral plane I saw your astral self – some time ago you were asked in a dream if you were ready to be strong and you agreed, didn’t you? This resulted in you becoming confident enough and strong enough to go out and gather your mystical paraphernalia, right?”
Kailey stiffened and looked at Faith with open eyes.
“As I was saying,” Faith smiled cheerfully, “all Slayers have some daemon in them, you just had a bigger piece than usual; however, with Eris herself coming back – eventually – all laws of probability are getting thrown out on their ear, you hear?”
Kailey blinked, realized what Faith was implying in her address, and fainted.
“Well, that wasn’t quite what I expected, but partially – yeah, it was,” Faith just shrugged and went off to revive the mystic even as her Slayer hearing heard the return of Giles, Genevieve and Oz downstairs.* * *
“Okay Mac, what’s bothering you – a lot?” Josephine said carefully as she observed her fellow CSI’s face. “What has your meal done to you that you’re scowling at it so frightfully?”
“Oh, the meal is great,” Mac sighed, “it what happened earlier.”
“What about it? The lizard is safely enclosed in the zoo, the Museum is being investigated properly and not just by the police this time, and-“
“There was no gas.”
“There was no gas, no nothing, but yet we still fell asleep – except for Luke or whoever he was. And the lizard had really savaged him – ate him for real, unlike the previous victims. This doesn’t quite fit.”
“It doesn’t,” Josephine agreed readily, “but for now there’s nothing that can be done – the police have been clearly put on the back seat of this investigation now.”
“Yes,” Mac nodded forlornly, “nothing – for now.” He cast one last look at the now-closed crime file and straightened. “But someday I’ll be back.”