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A S.H.I.E.L.D. Against The Darkness

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Summary: A lot more people know what's actually going on in Sunnydale than you would have thought, and they're finally stepping in to prevent an apocalypse.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > Ultimate UniverseGreywizardFR151052,6361016656,8882 Mar 1127 Aug 13No

Chapter One

Disclaimer: They all belong to either Crack-Head Joss and ME or Marvel Comics. Deal with it. I have.

Time Frame: Starts at the end of the Season Sux Part Deux episode, "Empty Places," and continues on from there.

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: Pretty much ALL of the characters get bashed to some extent, because the show's writers sucked at all of their pathetic attempts at characterization back then, they were writing out of their asses and making the characters talk and behave in incredibly unrealistic and stupid ways. I primarily blame Marti Noxon's obsession with making Spike into the 'deus ex machina' of the show for most of the problems with everyone's characterization, but I also feel obligated to point out that Joss was still involved to a fair degree with the show's storylines despite HIS obsession with Angel and Firefly, so he's definitely to blame, too. Okay, rant mode off now. Read the story and tell me what you think, okay?

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author's Note 2: I wrote this fic because I'm tired of seeing so many stories lately dealing with or starting from the episode 'Empty Places' and the authors saying, "Oh, the Scoobies all suck and Buffy is just so awesome and perfect! She's better off without them!" Hint, people: ALL of the Scoobies were extremely fucked up in the head by that point in time, especially after seven years of fighting without any real time off for rest and recovery, and Buffy was anything but perfect. Nick Fury of all people allowing ANY of the Scoobies to simply start working with his personnel without any sort of training (and a psychological evaluation) would be an act of irresponsibility worse than giving Joss another television show to screw up. This story was also inspired in part by cloudleonsgurl's "The Worlds She Never Walked" fanart, chapters 11 and 55, both of which look awesome!

Author's Note 3: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.


Summers residence
1630 Revello Drive
Sunnydale, CA

April 29, 2003
Late evening

Buffy Summers morosely stepped down off the porch and began heading down the pathway, a wild jumble of thoughts buzzing in her head as she considered what she should do, now that the others had declared that they weren't satisfied with the way she had been handling things, and Dawn had basically thrown her out of the house.

As she stepped onto the sidewalk, the blonde Vampire Slayer noticed the black SUV that was parked against the curb three houses down, in front of the McNamara's place, and the big guy with the eyepatch – { Just like the one Xander's gonna be wearing soon if we manage to survive this mess, } Buffy thought to herself remorsefully – who was stepping out of the car, and so the Chosen One instinctively slipped one of her stakes out of its sleeve sheath and palmed it, in case of trouble.

"You aren't gonna need that with me, Miss Summers," Mister Eyepatch told her as he simply stood there, hand on his hips, and watched her. Not sure what to do about a guy who knew who she was and yet had made no overtly threatening moves so far, Buffy stopped and waited expectantly for him to do something.

"Who are you, and what do you want?" she eventually asked after a minute went by and the guy still hadn't said anything, her voice flat and emotionless. "And how do you know my name?"

"I'm General Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.," he informed her. (The acronym stood for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division; a ridiculously long name that no one could ever remember accurately, and something that Buffy both had absolutely no knowledge of, or even the most minimal interest in learning.) "And I know pretty much everyone who's still hanging around in this town, as well as what's happened here over the past seven years.

"And I also think that this time, you and your people aren't able to handle what's happening, so S.H.I.E.L.D.'s stepping in with some of our people to take care of the situation."

{ S.H.I.E.L.D.? What the hell does that even stand for? } the Chosen One asked herself before focusing on the rest of Fury's words. "HEY!! If you know what's really been going on here in this town, then why haven't you ever done anything about it before now?" Buffy snapped angrily, her seeming calm shattered by the man's words.

Resisting the urge to ask if she wanted help, then why the hell Buffy had sent away the soldiers Riley Finn had sent to help her a few months ago – Fury knew she had only asked them to de-chip the vampire called Spike, and then to hit the road straightaway – the Director did his habitual breathing exercise used whenever someone got on his nerves. It helped calm him down – at least a little, anyway.

“Why don't we go inside your house and discuss this in private, instead of out here on the street?" Fury then suggested, instead of answering her question.

"It's not my house anymore, apparently," Buffy answered, her voice once again emotionless and flat. "The others threw me out."

"Damn. Looks like things really are as fucked up around here as the headshrinkers said they might be," Buffy heard Fury exhale before walking past her and towards the house, indicating with a gesture that she should follow him.

Shrugging tiredly and lacking any reason to protest, the Chosen One followed.

"Who the fuck are you, and what do you think you're doing here?!" Buffy heard Faith demanding angrily when Fury simply opened the front door and walked in without knocking or any indications of concern whatsoever.

"Like I told Miss Summers outside, Miss Lehane, I'm General Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.," the one-eyed man answered the belligerent brunette, "and I'm here to tell all of you people what's going to be happening now, and what you're going to be doing so that no one here gets hurt unnecessarily.

"You got a problem with that, convict?" Fury demanded in a hard voice.

Being in prison for three years had given Faith plenty of time to keep abreast of what was happening in the outside world, so the brunette was more than a bit taken aback to meet someone whom a popular liberal columnist had once referred to as "the most arrogant, self-righteous, sanctimonious son of a bitch I have ever had the misfortune to encounter". Moreover, he was standing inside the Summers hallway and staring at her the same way she realized she and Buffy sometimes looked at their arsenal – as though curious to see just how much carnage could be inflicted with each separate weapon.

Faith also realized that having the man who was effectively the head of all of the country's law enforcement and counter-terror programs standing before her was an indication that the situation was clearly a LOT different than anyone in the Summers residence had thought it was. And one that was definitely headed in the 'Oh Shit!' direction.

And the fact that he had recognized her and had just called her ‘convict' was really not a very pleasant omen, either, she decided.

Raising his voice to be heard above the surprised chatter his statement had generated, Fury ordered, "All right, everyone just head back into the living room, and we can get started on the briefing I'm going to be giving all of you."

Adding a glare that Buffy felt she would have been proud to be able to pull off made certain that everyone did as directed, and soon enough, everyone was seated and staring at General Fury with varying degrees of interest, concern and anxiety.

"Okay, first off, you should know S.H.I.E.L.D. has been aware of what's going on here in Sunnydale since that whole Initiative fiasco was brought to our notice," Fury announced, once he was sure he was the focus of everyone's attention.

Holding up a hand to forestall any interruptions when he saw the angry and outraged expressions on a number of faces, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. then continued, "I generally prefer to let whichever professionals are handling any particular situation do so without any outside interference, especially since it allows me to concentrate on using the resources I have available on what are usually more immediate crises.

"After that cluster-fuck, however, I did make a point of having agents ready to step in and act, should events require it, during each of the – situations you've had to deal with the past few years," Fury then stated with a grim expression.

"For example, if Mr. Harris here hadn't been able to talk you down at Kingman's Bluff last May, Miss Rosenberg, my best marksman would have put an explosive bullet through your head before you'd have been able to burn the world into a cinder," he noted.

"As it was, the fact that we were unaware that you'd become able to teleport is what allowed you the time to deal with Mr. Meers in the manner which you did," Fury informed the now sick-looking witch, "as well as the fact that the tracers you‘d been tagged with burned out while you were empowering yourself, so the unit assigned to watch you had to spend a great deal of time simply trying to locate you.

“There *was* a faction that wanted to arrest you for murder, afterwards,” Fury noted again almost in passing. “But my standing orders were that Rupert Giles should be allowed to help you, and that he should be responsible for your rehabilitation. There was nothing left of Mr. Meers' body, after all, and a murder trial would have been both expensive and uncertain of a conviction. Besides, as Mr. Harris noted back then, the victim was himself an unrepentant murderer, so it's not as though you took out some innocent citizen."

Turning to look in Buffy's direction, Fury then said, "We had a team armed with some new equipment our tech people developed to handle metahuman problems, as well as several enhanced anti-tank and other anti-armor weapons, waiting on standby during the Glorificus affair, Miss Summers – items which our experts believed would have at least delayed her, if not stopped her cold in her tracks – but our on-site agent was unfortunate enough to end up as one of her brain-suck meals the same day Miss Maclay was attacked by that hell-bitch, and we didn't find out what was happening until after you had sacrificed yourself that morning."

"Err, I have a question. If you generally prefer to allow the 'professionals' to handle whichever mess is occurring, as you stated was your inclination just a moment ago, General," Giles said as Fury paused his recitation for a moment, "then why have you shown up here, and at this particular moment?"

"In a nutshell? Because I think all of you people are so completely screwed up right now, both individually and as a team, that the odds are the entire world is gonna go down the toilet thanks to what this so-called ‘First Evil' has gotten up to," Fury answered, a calm and unruffled expression on his face as he did so.

Indifferently ignoring the outraged shouts and denials which that statement produced, Fury waited until most of those gathered were at least taking a breath preparatory to start berating him again, before beginning his own rebuttal.

"Okay, first off, who here is going to try to try to tell me that any of you are honestly ready and willing to follow whatever plans Miss Summers might suggest – *without* any questions or arguments – in order to defeat this First Evil character you're currently facing off against?" he asked.

Hearing that question pretty much shut everyone up, and Buffy was split between frowning at the lack of faith in her leadership which her companions' reaction demonstrated, and preening with self-satisfaction at the implication that Fury was intending to have her lead whatever forces he was bringing into town.

The incipient smile on Buffy's face vanished almost immediately, though, when she then heard Fury say, "Well, thank God, none of you are completely suicidal."

"What's *that* supposed to mean?" Buffy demanded irately as she scowled at him.

"Exactly what it sounds like, Miss Summers," Fury replied, again ignoring the glare she sent his way.

"After all, the last plan you came up with had just about as much tactical brilliance as General Custer displayed at the Little Big Horn," the S.H.I.E.L.D. Director said with a dismissive shake of his head, clearly unfazed by the murderous look Buffy was sending him as he continued, "and the fact that your inner circle of friends all agreed with you about sending in a group composed almost entirely of powerless adolescent girls, who had absolutely no experience or skill whatsoever in either stealth or actual hand-to-hand combat, to attack an enemy stronghold you had absolutely no dependable intelligence on, shows me that *all* of you people are too stressed out and too physically and emotionally fatigued to be on the front lines of this battle any longer."

"Okay, that's it. Just what makes you think we're even gonna pay attention to anything you have to say, buddy?" Buffy snapped irritably.

"Because right now, I'm the guy with enough pull to ensure that all of you are gonna do exactly what I tell you to do, when I tell you to do it, because none of you want to end up in a Federal prison by this time tomorrow," Fury declared with a confident smile. "Believe me, Miss Summers, I can bring enough felony and misdemeanor charges against you and pretty much all of your friends – and prove all of them very easily – that you'll spend the next ten to twenty years in the prison of my choice. And right now, I'm leaning towards a lovely little place in Alaska with an arctic circle view."

Ignoring most of the Potentials and Dawn – who were all staring at Giles, Buffy, Willow, Anya, Xander and Faith with uncertain looks on their faces – the ace spymaster began rattling off a list of charges that made a concerned expression appear on the faces of all the people present.

"In case you don't believe me, Miss Summers, you, Miss Rosenberg and Mr. Harris, here, have each got a file with a list of incidents as long as my arm – a file which was complied by the Sunnydale PD, with incidents which range from suspicions of gang activity and vandalism to assault and battery and, in your case, suspected manslaughter and second degree murder in connection with the death of one Kendra Young," Fury announced.

"There's also the matter of an anti-tank rocket launcher which was listed as missing from the local National Guard armory, and the extensive damage which subsequently occurred at the Sunnydale Mall where the weapon was spotted in your possession, as well as my having a whole laundry list of people who were all last seen in your company and who subsequently went missing and were never seen again," he went on, noticing how Buffy's face had become a greater shade of pale as he began detailing the possible charges they faced.

"And that's not even considering the mysterious 'gas leak' explosion which destroyed Sunnydale High School during your graduation ceremony four years ago, and all of the people who died that day, including Principal H.R. Snyder – someone it's a matter of record you'd had quite a number of various run-ins with during your school career," Fury added as the cherry on top.

"Now as far as you're concerned, Mr. Giles, there're still plenty of questions concerning the death of one Jenny Calendar, a.k.a. Janna Kalderash, which haven't been answered," Fury noted as he turned to look over at the British man.

"And if we really wanted to play hard-ball," he continued, "I could see to it that the appropriate people start asking why a respected scholar like yourself would leave your previous position to take a low-paying librarian's job at a small-town high school. Such people would definitely point out that it could be viewed as an ideal opportunity for a foreigner to gain access to many young and impressionable American adolescents, for potentially immoral purposes."

Ignoring the angry scowl forming on Giles' face from the insinuations he'd just made, Fury glanced over in Faith's direction and said, "You were already in a shit-load of trouble before this, Lehane, and your breaking out of prison has wiped off the ‘twenty-five' from your sentence of ‘twenty-five to life', so I know you're not gonna be stupid enough to give me any flak over this.

"And since I can prove that you stole all that money from the Sunnydale Securities Bank six months ago, as well as cleaning out whatever monies still remained in the vault yesterday, Miss Jenkins, not to mention that you officially didn't exist before 1998 – and identity fraud is something everyone takes *very* seriously, ever since 9/11 – I think you're gonna want to cooperate with pretty much anything I might ask you to do, too," Fury said as he looked at Anya, who simply nodded and kept her mouth shut. The ex-vengeance demon easily recognized all the tell-tale signs of someone who was completely confident that they had every minor detail of the situation covered in triplicate, and she wasn't about to do anything that might piss this man off. Meeting an angry Thunder God was definitely not at the top of her to-do list.

At that moment, the front door banged open again and Spike and Andrew came in. They had just arrived back from Gilroy, thanks to being picked up by S.H.I.E.L.D., and they were full of questions over who the men in black were who had refused to answer any of their questions on the way to Sunnydale.

“Wot's goin' on 'ere?” Spike demanded, staring at the one-eyed general with undisguised hostility.

“Yeah, I'm kinda confused. I mean, we were just finishing up on our mission-mission, when these men just showed up and grabbed us like something out of Supergirl Meets Lara Croft –” Andrew started one of his pop culture rambles.

“Andrew? Just shut up, okay?” Xander interrupted roughly. “No one wants to hear it, least of all this guy I'm willing to bet,” he said, indicating Fury with his thumb.

"You're absolutely right, Mr. Harris," Fury agreed with the younger man, "I don't want to hear anything about comic book and movie characters right now.

"And Mr. Wells, I have to say I'm honestly amazed that you aren't in prison right now. Bank robbery, aggravated assault, assault with intent to cause grave bodily harm, grand theft, interstate flight and pre-meditated murder are just *some* of the charges I can, and should throw at you, just on general principles, after what you, Mr. Levinson and Mr. Meers got up to last year," the spymaster growled as he looked over at Andrew, and the wide-eyed and now-deathly pale and perspiring blond geek merely nodded and tried to make himself utterly invisible without the use of that ray-gun the Legion of Dorkness had utilized way back when.

“I don't know who the hell you think you are, mate, but if you reckon you can just come in 'ere and start spouting orders –” Spike started to say, when Fury pulled out a Compact Glock 19 and shot him in the right knee. “AGHHHH!”

“SPIKE!!” Buffy shouted, immediately going over to her undead lover and checking out his injury. She failed to notice many of the Potentials recoiling from the scene, despite Fury's returning his pistol to its concealed holster at the small of his back.

"Now that I have your attention, let me be clear about this, Spike or William the Bloody or whatever you want to call yourself," Fury stated as he threw a measuring glance in Spike's direction. "You're not in charge here, and any attitude from you will result in lethal force on my part.

"While Miss Summers and her friends – apart from Mr. Giles, maybe – might believe you've turned over a new leaf and that you're on the side of the angels thanks to the presence of your soul, I'm not that simple nor that naïve.

"If you don't want to end up a pile of dust, right here, right now – and don't think for a second that Miss Summers would be able to save you, because I'd shoot her first – you're gonna do whatever I say. Is that clear?" the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. demanded, locking eyes with the vampire and waiting until he'd finally gotten a sullen nod of agreement before continuing.

"Good. So, all of you, consider yourselves officially drafted – from here on out, you people are gonna be working for me and for S.H.I.E.L.D.," Fury announced to all the members of the Scooby Gang he'd confronted just now. "It's up to you whether you're gonna do it as support staff or field personnel, but all of you have skills and knowledge about the supernatural world that I am not gonna let be ignored or tossed aside.

"I'd suggest trying to look on the bright side of things, people," Fury added with a bit of a smile, as he saw a variety of scowls appear on the Scoobies' faces as his words sunk in. "From now on, you're gonna be getting paid to do what, up till now, you've been doing for free."

Having said that, Nick Fury then turned to address the remaining people in the room.

"Miss Summers," he said, now focusing his attention directly on Dawn, "I understand from what my people have been able to determine, that you've been helping your sister and her friends out for the past year or so and you probably want to keep on doing that – but I can tell you right now, that that's not gonna be happening. You're still only seventeen, and you haven't even completed high school yet."

Seeing the young brunette open her mouth to begin vehemently protesting, Fury added, "Once you've graduated high school – and your juvenile record's been either wiped or sealed – then we'll talk about you *maybe* starting to work in our Communications section, but until then, the subject's closed. Do you understand? It's either that, or I‘ll arrange for criminal charges to be brought against you for all your cases of petty theft since you first appeared on the radar three years ago, understand? So, choose. Now."

Smiling as he watched the brunette's mouth snap shut at the mention of appearing in juvenile court, Fury turned his attention to Robin Wood.

"While I can understand why you feel the way you do about him," the head spook said as he indicated Spike with a nod of his head, "I'm not about to let you waste one of my assets just to settle a grudge. There is zero tolerance for personal vendettas as far as S.H.I.E.L.D. is concerned, because we have enough trouble dealing with the nutjobs trying to end the world as it is, so if you keep your mouth shut and not annoy me or my people, I'm probably gonna be inclined to ignore that vigilante stuff you've been doing in all the cities you've lived in, understood?

"And if you think you might be interested, we can talk about you possibly joining the team, too, at some point later on," he added.

Seeing the reluctant nod of acceptance and the noncommittal "I'll give it some thought," Wood gave him as an answer, Fury then turned to address the wide-eyed Potential Slayers, who had been listening to all his pronouncements with combined fascination and dread.

"I know you kids have all been through a helluva lot these past few months, but my people are going to do their best to get you back home and settled in, either with your folks or with relatives who'll take care of you," Fury promised, his tone lightening up a lot as he spoke to the female teens.

"And don't worry – the things that have been chasing you, and trying to kill you, are not going to be around to do that any more, once my people get done here tonight," he said. "In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that there won't be any Bringers left alive after you leave this damned ghost town."

Turning back to address the various still frowning or scowling Scoobies, Fury continued his discourse.

"All that other stuff aside, the main reason I know you're gonna end up doing what I say, Miss Summers," the head spymaster said, returning to the blonde's original question, "is that I know you don't really want to be here doing any of this, and I'm pretty sure none of your friends do, either.

"You committed suicide two years ago – and you're still trying to cope with having been torn out of Heaven, whether or not you'll admit it to anyone or not," Fury stated in a definitive tone of voice as he stared at the blonde Slayer, who quickly broke off eye contact with the towering spymaster and looked away. "Believe it or not, our head shrink had been screaming warnings for a couple months prior to your little swan dive about the multiple stressors you were suffering and about keeping a closer eye on your behavior, but at the time no one paid any attention to him and I was too busy with other things to take a personal interest in the matter.

"The good doctor also had a lot of interesting things to say about the rest of your group here, too," Fury went on as he turned to look over the other Scoobies. "Personally, before I'd let anyone with as many issues as all of you seem to have work on the front lines with my people, you'd all have to have a *long* talk with Doc Samson.

"For example – when the report about you running out on your wedding came in, Mr. Harris," Fury said as he focused his stare on Xander, "Leonard said you were either the stupidest man on the planet for standing up a former vengeance demon – and yes, I know exactly who and what you were, Miss Jenkins," the head spook added parenthetically to Anya, who paled even more at his comment, "or else you were convinced that something seriously bad was gonna happen to your lady if you went ahead with the marriage ceremony, and that's why you ran." The way that Xander suddenly couldn't meet anyone's eyes led everyone to who knew him to understand it was the latter.

"Me, I'm convinced that you're pretty much a complete idiot, given the way you've been letting your friends try to run your life for the last few years when they can't even get their own straightened out," the towering black man smirked as Xander opened his mouth to protest, then closed it again without saying anything and merely glared at him.

"Just why the hell did you ever even come back to this town after you took off on your road trip, Harris?" Fury asked curiously. "Especially since you had to give up that job you had lined up in LA – the one that Miss Chase helped you get. Although, having read the report on your ex, I suppose I can guess why you left her behind. The woman just couldn't get over the fact that you cheated on her with your best friend, could she?"

Shrugging indifferently at the one-eyed man's narrow-eyed lack of response, Fury then seemed to dismiss Xander from further consideration.

"Speaking of which, Miss Rosenberg," Fury went on, now turning his attention to Willow, "for someone who's got an I.Q. that's supposed to be almost stratospheric, you did a lot of incredibly stupid things even before you tried to end the world last year – that soul curse magic spell you cast on that vampire back in '98, for example.”

Fury saw the look of alarm flash across Willow's face, as well as the other Scoobies', too, at his words and grinned.

"What? You didn't think that just because we only learned about Sunnydale three years ago, that meant we didn't do a lot of digging into the background of everyone involved, did you?" he smirked again. "Though I gotta say, Miss Rosenberg, you have some of the most interesting friends I've seen in a long time.

"You do, too, 'Ripper,'" the one-eyed man grinned at Giles, who did his best to not show any annoyance at the appellation Fury had just used.

"Based on your appearance here tonight, a-and your stated promise to rid Sunnydale of all the Bringers infesting it, I would venture that you must surely have some more definite plans in mind for dealing with the current situation than simply informing us o-of the vast range and extent of our deficiencies, General Fury," the Watcher replied, ignoring the other man's jibe.

"If so, why don't you inform us of what they might be, so that we can try and incorporate your strategies and tactics into our own plans to deal with the First and its minions?" Giles suggested archly.

"Christ on a friggin' mini-bike! Haven't you been paying attention to *anything* I've been saying, Mr. Giles?" Fury frowned at the Englishman's question. "You people aren't going to be doing a damn thing other than packing up and getting the hell out of this town. And since it seems I need to remind you about the facts of life – you people are going to do what I tell you, when I tell you, or else you go to jail! If you so much as mention that you don't take orders blindly like this, then I'll shoot you in the knee like I did with the vampire!!

"My people are already implementing our operation to take care of this 'First' character and its creatures that you've been screwing around with for the past six months," Fury announced forcefully. “That's why your so-called ‘plans' are neither wanted nor needed here.

"So, all of you, start packing your things and get ready to climb into the SUVs that are going to be showing up in front of this house in less than an hour," he informed his incredulously listening audience.

"And before any of you try to start arguing with me, keep in mind that none of you had any sort of idea about how to even begin to handle this situation before I showed up, anyway," Fury pointed out, "so it's not like I'm stopping you from actually doing anything worthwhile to combat the enemy."

It took several minutes of grumbling and complaining, but soon enough everyone was doing as Fury had instructed and packing their belongings.

Buffy and Dawn, following another of Fury's suggestions, packed their favorite photographs of Joyce and several of their more important family photo montages, as well as several other pieces of memorabilia they didn't want to leave behind, while Willow did the same for her possessions. Xander, Giles and Robin Wood each drove back to their own apartments to gather their own things, before returning to 1630 Revello Drive.

So it was, less than two hours after he'd entered the house, Nick Fury was standing outside the Summers residence, smiling with satisfaction as he watched the convoy of black SUVs carrying all the Potentials and the Scooby Gang head down the street and towards the Sunnydale Airport, where they would then eventually be transported to their ultimate destination, the Triskelion.

Glancing at his watch as a thunderous explosion reverberated through the night sky from the direction of the high school, he nodded approvingly.

"Right on schedule," Fury noted with satisfaction.

He knew that the Seal of Danthalzar would have been dug up and was headed for the bottom of the ocean, by now, and that should take care of all the Turok-Han über-vamps imprisoned beneath the Seal very nicely.

And as far as that deranged preacher Caleb and all the Bringers in this town were concerned, they'd be eliminated soon enough by the arsenal of neutron bombs Fury had requisitioned from Nellis Air Force Base prior to arriving here in town. The radiation fusion weapons would kill off pretty much anything living, but leave the town's buildings intact and they didn't produce the widespread radioactive fallout that a traditional thermonuclear sterilization would release.

As for the First itself, who cared about an evil that could only talk the talk and do nothing without its soon-to-be-extinct minions?

"I love it when a plan comes together," Fury announced to no one in particular, with a very satisfied smile on his face.
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