It’s not mine I never claimed it was and anyone who says otherwise is a lying two faced rat. Unlike most of my work this is not driven by combat but by actual conversation. You were warned!Preparations for War"He who stays on the defensive does not make war, he endures it"
- Field Marshal Colmar Baron von der Goltz, 1883Camp Pendleton
Two men peered out through the large bay window that provided an elevated view of the base as a military transport passed through the inner gates and slowed to a stop, the gates closing behind it. The rear doors opened and two fully geared marines jumped down, turned around to face its interior and backed away a few steps. Slowly a young man made his way to the door, stopping to raise his handcuffed hands to shield his eyes from the bright noonday sun before hopping down onto the ground. Two more marines followed after him, shutting the door behind them and falling into formation with the restrained man in the center. They began to walk almost as one, as if this was old hat, the marines’ hands on their guns the two in back not quite aiming at their prisoner.
The man dressed in a US Navy uniform bearing Admiral Bars turned away with a snort of disgust and walked to the chair situated behind the large desk in the room. “I don’t see why you need a criminal for this project of yours?” he said as he sat down in the chair “For God’s sake Eric he’s responsible for the deaths of nearly 700 military personnel, he should be in a cage not walking around on my base!”
“All the best monsters kill their creators John, take Frankenstein or Wolverine for example.” Eric said as he turned from the window and leaned back against it. “As for why I chose him, it’s because we need him.” At John’s snort of derision Eric shook his head. “Look in my briefcase there’s a file marked Subject S0661, read it.” Pushing off of the window he walked over to one of the chairs set in front of the imposing desk and sat down. He leaned back, crossed his ankles placed his interlocked hands in his lap and waited for the ensuing blowup. He didn’t have to wait very long.
The folder hit the desk with a dull thwap moments before John began to yell. “What is this horseshit? Experimenting on monsters, armored skin, genetic mutation, and a demented scientist? This damn thing reads like a twisted comic book.”
“That is his file, the one the world wasn’t allowed to see, what really happened to him. The reason why he killed all those men and women and why the committee wouldn’t let the courts just stick a needle in his arm and end him.” He leaned to the side and grabbed his briefcase, placing it in his lap with a sigh. “And this is you getting read in on this project and the reasons for its existence.” He moved the folder on the desk off to side, undid the clasps on his briefcase, pulled out a thick folder and passed it over to John before beginning to speak.
“From the first major armies to grace the world there have been stories told amongst soldiers as they sat by the campfires. Stories of creatures that followed in the wake of the armies and monsters that prowled the battlefields long after the fighting was done, feasting on the dead and dying alike. Of course they were brushed off and passed on as camp stories, tales to frighten and entertain. Until armies started keeping meticulous records, since then there has been the odd report or two. Stories of soldiers being dragged off into the night by creatures with blazing golden eyes, of men turning into beasts when the moon was full, someone catching glimpses of creatures in the underbrush of forests or under the surface of swamps or even a dead soldier walking into camp. Of course no one really believed these reports; they got attributed to soldiers buckling under the pressure of battle and the constant threat of death or the like. What you are looking at right now are partial and full copies of those reports, ranging from as far back as the civil war to as recently as two months ago in the Middle East.”
The Admirals head popped up to look at him, surprise in his eyes before he returned his gaze back to the papers in his hand and flipping through them until he found what he was looking for.
“In December of 1941 the US entered World War II and the US government soon learned that the creatures of myth and nightmare were real. At first things went as any war did soldiers fought and died and were replaced, then reports started filtering in about enemy soldiers that wouldn’t die, men who could throw fire and dead Allied soldiers rising up to attack their former comrades. Turns out that Hitler was a true believer in the supernatural, and he thought that it would be the key to Germany’s victory in the war. He employed mages and necromancers, made deals with demon clans and even went so far as feed a whole platoon of his soldiers to a vampire so that one of his necromancers could have a small army of vampires to command.” Stopping for a moment he reached into the briefcase and retrieved anther folder, this one barely an inch thick and dropped it on the desk. “Then the British revealed a trump card, a secret organization that had existed in Great Britain for centuries called The Watchers Council. They were old pro’s when it came to the supernatural, had their own mages and teams to field but what made them special was their big gun, The Slayer.”
John closed the folder he had been looking at and turned his full attention to his friend and former teammate, waiting for him to continue. “A teenager, a girl with supernaturally gifted strength and speed capable of going toe to toe and winning against creatures that could smack around our best men like ragdolls. On top of that she possessed something akin to a genetic memory for weapons and martial arts, you showed her a move and she could do it right back sometimes better than you did it. The weapons were a different matter she was shit with guns, like a rookie that’s never fired one before but put any other weapon in her hands, the older the better and she was a force of nature. Which when you come to think of it made sense since you had to be up close to kill most of the things they were fighting.”
Curiosity peaked John interrupted “Where’s the file on her?” The pained look that passed through Eric’s eyes surprised him.
“They went through six slayers before the war was out. That’s an average of two of these girls dead somewhere on a battlefield for every full year we were in the war.” Clearing his throat Eric continued. “Anyway near the end of the war a former British scientist by the name of Trevor Bruttenholm was working for our government as an occult advisor, he came to the president and Joint Chiefs with a proposition. He proposed that the government find, recruit and train unique individuals to fight demons alongside experienced soldiers. The government refused, shelved his proposal as too dangerous. Angry with them he declared that he would take his proposal to the British because they at least had the good sense to acknowledge the danger they faced. He was dead before months end and no one ever talked about his proposal again. Until 5 years ago.”
John raised an eyebrow at that, while it wasn’t an everyday thing the US government was not adverse to ‘removing a problem’. Eric gave an enigmatic smile.[AN: This is not, I repeat this is not in any way shape or form an attack on the US goverment past/present/or future. It is only to further my story.]
“The US government of course had no part in his tragic death and regretted the loss of a brilliant scientific mind.” Fishing out yet another file Eric passed it over to John who placed it down without even glimpsing at it. “Five years ago an army logistics officer noticed an increase in strange deaths and nighttime MIA’s, he brought it up with his C.O who brought it up with his and so on until it reached the desk of someone in the know. Publicly it was attributed to heat stroke and the unforgiving terrain, but along with increased demonic sightings and activity it scared someone important enough that the government decided to do something about it. They started digging through old files to see if there was any way they could combat the increase in demon activity.”
“And they chose this Bruttenholm’s proposal?” John said as he steepled his fingers and leaned forward, engrossed in what he was being told.
“No, they chose to go another way. Bruttenholm had been part of a group of scientist researching the supernatural before he broke off due to differences of opinion. The remaining scientist came up with their own plan dubbed the Demon Research Initiative or DRI. Their plan was to study the corpses of demons to gain enough knowledge to make their own patchwork demon using the best parts.”
“Wait, wait a minute here. You’re telling me that the bigwigs in Washington green lighted a project to create their own demonic Frankenstein?!” John broke in, disbelief coloring his voice.
“No, the project was supposed to be research and small scale combat to determine the best ways to fight and win against the demonic threat. That gave birth to the Black Book Project Codename Initiative,” he glimpsed down at the folder that sat in front of John “It didn’t go well. The scientist in charge decided that she could achieve the original objectives of the DRI and she might have been able to, except that she didn’t count on my newest recruit’s little escape. During his escape the incomplete project, dubbed ADAM, went active and came into contact with him. Needless to say he’s here and ADAM’s not, the details are in the file in front of you.” When John made no move to look at it he sighed and continued “Apparently our good doctor was receiving additional funding from a clandestine organization to build her monster, the government still haven’t discovered who they are.”
Eric placed his briefcase on the desk, got up walked over to the small minibar behind the desk and poured himself a scotch. Never one to sit idle John opened the folder in front of him and began to peruse its contents. “Coaster.” He stated offhand, eyes never leaving the papers in the file. Eric lifted his glass back off the table and placed a coater under it as he returned to his seat at the desk, waiting for his friend to finish reading; the mutterings and disgusted whispering of “Civilian” did not go unnoticed. When John finished reading he looked up.
“This clusterfuck happened on US soil, less than 5,000 miles from MY base and I knew nothing about it!!”
“If you gave the go ahead for this would you want anyone to know how badly it screwed up?”
Taking a deep breathe john calmed himself. “So if they went with this mess of a project, how’d you get yours up and running, on my base no less? And don’t think that I didn’t notice that you said the government didn’t know.”
Eric smiled, he never could slip anything past his friend. “A few people were more partial to my idea of using the professor’s proposal; sometime after the vote was made they approached me about what I would need to implement it. I told them time and money, time I had, the money not so much anyway we kept in touch with them offering what little unofficial assistance that they could. Helping me get around unnoticed, keeping track of certain people things like that. Anyway a little over two years ago I got an email from an interested party, it contained only three lines ‘From the coffers of The Centre, Hope that you can do better with it than they would, Jarod Hood.’” He paused to take a sip of scotch. “About an hour later I received a phone call from one of my backers, an account earmarked to my name had suddenly appeared in the governments special projects fund and I was given the go ahead. Two days later I was officially in business with the US Navy and with that level of organization at my back I started working in earnest.”
“5 months ago I was nearly done recruiting then that file found its way across my desk, I tried to recruit him almost immediately. They told me no almost as quick as I could ask, the committee might not have wanted him dead but they sure as hell thought he should pay for what he did.”
“So how’d you get them to change their minds?”
Eric smiled a smug smile “I didn’t, they came to me said he’d made a deal with them. 10 years of duty to the service and they’d let him off on time served and good behavior. I know it didn’t make any sense to me either, till I did a little digging. Six escapes in eight months from six different military prison facilities, two of which do not officially exist on any public and most government records. The only reason they caught him is because each time he’d head to the same place, Sunnydale.”
John chuckled. “They couldn’t hold him so they pawned him off on you so you could catch flak the next time he goes AWOL?” his chuckle turned into a full on laugh at the look on Eric’s face.
3 Hours later, C Block training grounds
The training grounds were packed with people military and civilian, men and women all waiting. Some remained silent while others talked amongst themselves about subjects as ordinary as who they each were to the main topic of interest, what exactly had they signed up for. The conversations slowed to a standstill when the marines standing guard stood attention and saluted the four men, two dressed in regulation Navy uniforms, one in dress slacks and a crisp white shirt while the final one wore a pair of jeans and a t-shirt entering the grounds and stopping in full view of everyone. The well-dressed man stepped forward and raised his voice to an almost yell.
“My name is Eric Carnes, former Lieutenant First Class of the United States Naval Services and I am in charge of this project. Most of you were hand selected to take part in this…..others fought for a place, in the end you’ll all earn it. You will be pushed to the limits of what you can do and beyond them, you will be trained to handle threats and enemies the like of which very few men can claim to have faced. So before I turn you over to my right hand man Private Deveraux,” he nodded to the casually dressed man “Let me officially say Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Project Archetype.”