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Keep Those Bottles Quiet

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Summary: Faith meets someone who’s really dedicated to their job. Really, really, REALLY dedicated. And he isn’t going to put up with any kind of guff or tomfoolery whatsoever from anybody who might interfere with this.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Childrens/Teen(Current Donor)ManchesterFR1555,2500102,79415 May 1120 May 11Yes

Chapter Three

Which only meant to Faith on her park bench that she was able to avoid speaking to somebody who truly set her teeth on edge. The Slayer tapped the proper button on her cellphone and waited to be answered. Faith soon heard from her phone, “New Council Records. Please scream if you need help at once.”

Grinning at the familiar voice she’d just heard, Faith chuckled to Michael Bridgewell, someone she’d met before both by phone and in person and liked a lot, if only because of that castle staff guy’s just-demonstrated sardonic sense of humor that also helped him put up with Andrew Wells. “Hey, Mike, what’s shakin’?”

A pleased voice answered, “Hello, Faith. I’m fine, thank you. Heard you were going after what’s-his-name, Eddington. How’d that turn out?”

“The bastard’s blowin’ in the wind, like a proper vamp should.”

“Good,” decisively said Michael, who’d been permanently seconded to support operations after his Watcher career had ended a year ago due to crippling injuries from one of those blood-drinking monsters during a raid on a vampire nest.

“Yeah, well,” Faith confessed in a puzzled voice, “It wasn’t me who got him. Somethin’ weird went on a few minutes ago, and I can’t make hide nor hair outta it. Best guess, which is why I called you to find out -- is there a Hunter workin’ here?”

The Slayer could feel Michael’s eyebrows going up far away at the Scottish castle. Hunters were the term given by the New Council regarding those other people who knew about the things that existed in the dark, and for their own reasons went after them. The relations between these demon hunters and the New Council varied widely, depending on exactly how that organization approved of their competitors’ behavior while doing this. It ranged from active cooperation and assistance for those who confined themselves to destroying only malevolent fiends while being careful to limit any possible collateral damage to humans and other peaceful demons, to actual hostility towards those Hunters whose motto could best be defined as “Kill ’em all and let Satan sort ’em out.”

Faith now heard the tapping of computer keys as Michael got ready to look up what the Slayer wanted to know. Next came from her phone, “All right, the first thing I need, where exactly are you?”

Looking around the park, a baffled Faith shrugged, “Beats me. Can’t see no street signs, and I’m not even sure which place I’m in. Hadda concentrate on breathin’ down the vamp’s neck insteada payin’ attention to the scenery.”

Michael patiently suggested, “So, push the GPS button on your phone. That’ll give me your location, and we‘ll see if there’s anything in the files about a Hunter in the area.”

“Gotcha, Mike.” Faith did what she’d been told, only to hear a few seconds later in her ear an astonished grunt from who she’d been talking to. As the silence lengthened, Faith eventually demanded, “Whassup?”

“This is rather strange, Faith.” At the castle, Michael regarded with perplexity his computer screen. Continuing in his matching mystified tone, the man explained, “Right now, the only thing I’m seeing on my computer is a red-flag notice, from the old Council.”

“What the hell’s that?” Faith asked, now at a complete loss.

At the other end of the phone, Michael leaned back in his chair and rubbed at his scarred face, to then reply, “When the records that Mr. Wells found got transferred to our computers, it was all done automatically. Nobody had the time then -- or even later -- to physically go through them all and delete the mystical spells, charms, and enchantments on the sensitive or confidential documents, apart from anything that could actually threaten people, like Ms. Rosenberg did. Which in turn meant that the security protections on the real, top-secret stuff still shows up as a preventive warning whenever anyone tries to look at them. And before you ask, I have no idea why your location should be classified as being restricted to the upper levels of the previous Watchers' Council.”

In the park, Faith shook her head in pure bewilderment, to then say, “Can’t you get me the info anyway, Mike?”

“I just don’t have the authority or the passwords, Faith. It needs someone on the board of the New Council, from Director Giles or the next level downwards, to be able to unlock this.”

“Well, damn, dude,” happily declared the brunette Slayer, as she then realized something. “I’m on the board, even though I never show up there. Can’t stand bein’ in meetin’s all day. Much rather be out in the field, like now. Okay then, turn your phone by the screen, and hold it there. You ready to do that?”

A startled Michael answered, “Er, yes. Wait a moment.”

Once she was sure that things were properly set up at the castle, Faith confidently recited into her phone, “Faith Lehane, Alpha-Niner-Delta--” It was at that point when the Slayer felt a cold tingle in the middle of her forehead, the indication that Willow’s authorization spell was working. She tolerantly bore this for the next few seconds as she continued to speak, “--Three-Epsilon. Five by five.”

At the castle, Michael watched in fascination as his computer screen shimmered, and then the former red-flag message disappeared, with his screen becoming filled with writing. Leaning forward to study this, the Englishman soon got so lost in his preoccupation about what he was reading that only a shrill whistle from his phone finally diverted his attention back to an impatient Faith, who crankily asked, “What the hell’s takin’ so damn long?”

“Um, sorry, Faith,” apologetically said Michael. “It’s just that-- Well, you were right. There’s not only a Hunter there, but incredible as it might seem, he also got the old Council to totally back off from his territory. There’s the strongest message possible given in the file that no Watchers or Slayers are ever to go to where you are now.”

“Holy crap!” exclaimed Faith. She went on in her disbelieving tone, “You’re tellin’ me that dude I saw tonight takin’ out a vamp without breakin’ a sweat faced down Travers and his asshole buddies and made ’em like it?”

There was absolute silence from Faith’s phone, until in a very awed voice, Michael then asked, “Was this person a milkman?”

“Yeah! Weird, huh? You know, I gotta say, if he’s still goin’ strong after the First wiped out those shitheads who treated alla their Slayers like Kleenex, he musta been one mean dude even back then with Travers--”

Interrupting Faith, Michael said in a perfect deadpan, “The first mention of Louie Lay in the records of the Watchers’ Council is dated 1826. And he was a milkman then, too, except he used a horse and a wagon.”
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