Author’s Note: Thanks very much to my Beta, Letomo. The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. And you can thank Twilightwanderer for the Abbott and Costello. Speech:
“Who’s on first.” Thought:
*What’s on second.
#I-don’t-know’s on third.# Thanks to physcocadiliac for recommending me! Reviews are much appreciated, they inspire me. Hopefully to great heights. Warning Disturbing scenes near the end. Rating increased to 18. Chapter 2: Faith’s Fear
Faith looked up from her position on the mat at the man who was responsible for it. Three days he’d been here and for every one of those three days he’d been throwing her down on the mat after school.
It was quite a humiliating experience. On the other hand, every time he threw her down, or grabbed her, her heart skipped a beat and warmth seeped through her. That was not good for her concentration and was at least part of the reason her progress was not as fast as it could have been.
Dallman Ross was being taken down by Gladys however, and that soothed Faith’s bruised ego, even if Ross seemed utterly unconcerned.
“I thought you were supposed to teach me?” She scowled at Duncan.
“I am. And you have yet to learn that a head-on attack does not work in every case.” He looked down at her with a solemn face and twinkling eyes.
“Hey! One of these days you’ll not be expecting me to do it again!” Faith smiled up at him and he took her hand, easily helping her to her feet
“Okay…can we try that again?” She asked with a pout.
“Of course. Position!”
He assumed the correct stance and Faith let fly a kick. He caught it and threw her back on the mat, using her leg as leverage to keep her down. Faith tried kicking him with her other leg but he caught that leg too. She glared up at him.
“Well...That was a great success.” Gladys drawled from where she, Dallman and Frank were watching.
“Hey! I’d like to see you do better!”
“Oh, I would do a little better. But I
wouldn’t be dumb enough to break Dojo rules by attacking before the gong.”
Faith snorted. “So? What are ya gonna do about it?’
Gladys grinned and walked up to the prone girl. “Duncan, you hold her while I tickle.”
Faith’s eyes widened. “Y-You wouldn’t!”
“Watch me.” Gladys fell to her knees and Faith started to squirm as her foster mother’s fingers found sensitive spots. Dallman and Frank watched in amusement and Duncan added the occasional scratch on Faith’s bare soles.
“Stop! I give! Please! Gladys! Please! Uncle! Uncle!” Faith gasped through her laughter.
Gladys leaned forward. “No more attacking before the bout starts?”
“P-promise!” Faith stammered.
“Okay, let her up, Duncan.”
Faith rose and straightened her Gi. Then she suddenly hugged Gladys and realizing what she had done, flushed a bright red and ran to the dressing room. Gladys looked after her, a beaming smile on her face.
“You again? Look Brit boy, I don’t care about your Duty! Go take your religious rants somewhere else. ‘kay?” *Where the hell did I pick up the word rant?*
She stepped past the man and ran into the house, annoyed. Gladys looked out of the office door as she slammed the door behind her.
“Bad day at school, Faith?”
“No…there’s just this weird dude outside who keeps goin’ on about his Cause and Destiny and that I should give up this frivolous life.“ Faith rolled her eyes. “I like frivolous. I even know what it means now!”
Gladys smirked. “Bet that was a surprise…Faith, if he keeps bothering you, tell us…he may be harmless but he shouldn’t be accosting young girls in the street.” She rose and hugged Faith, who even leaned into the hug a bit.
Faith swore silently as she realized she also knew the meaning of accosting. Her street cred was goin’ way down…
“In the meantime…why don’t we talk about that history report you were working on?”
Faith shrugged and nodded. “Yeah sure.” She wasn’t going to say it, but the fact Gladys and Frank helped her with her homework and took so much time to be with her made her feel wanted and appreciated and she would do anything to keep that going. And the martial arts were way cool; as well…
“Faith Lehane…you will come with me and do your duty or those you love will receive the punishment for your recalcitrance!”
“What? Look, what part of leave me alone do you not understand, ‘cause if you keep this up I’m gonna…call the cops!” * Damn…what is happening to me…eight weeks with Glad and Frank and I’m talking LEO instead of threatening violence… And how the heck do I know what recalcitrance means? And did I just use heck in my own mind?!*
Faith moved past him but this time he grabbed her arm. “You will submit to your destiny…there is no choice…and the fate of the few is of no import when weighed against that of the many.”
“Get your friggin’ hands of me you maniac!” Faith tore herself loose and ran the rest of the way home, panting by the time she got there. She opened the door with trembling hands and closed it softly behind her, leaning against it. Gladys looked round the door and was by her in an instant.
“Faith? That man again?”
“Yeah…” Faith shivered and Gladys gave her a tight hug.
“Don’t worry honey, I’m calling the police. This sort of thing can’t be allowed.”
Faith leaned into the hug gratefully and wondered at the term honey, and why it made her feel warm and safe.
The room was elegant, Georgian in decoration and furnishing. Several large paintings of teenage girls fighting demons hung on the wall, lit by the warm sunlight of a London afternoon.
Twelve men sat watching the telephone on the long board table as it stood before the single empty chair.
“She does not wish to listen. It would have been easier if we’d known of her Potential before, when she lived with her mother or before she was taken in by the Meier House. She must be brought under Council control.” The voice coming out of the speaker was polished and urbane.
“Care must be taken. We do not wish to give warning to the Concordat or the Meier Foundation that we are aiming to recover our position within the Colonies. We have found them to be powerful opponents in the past.
“I can arrange matters so that the Foundation and the Concordat will not be aware of Miss Lehane’s training until we are ready to reveal ourselves. The assistance of some local help will be enough, though at a later time some more personnel might be needed to restore our American operations.”
“Excellent. We need to guide more of the American potentials. If we can train them well, we might have an easier time of it in the Colonies.” A man mid table spoke, to assenting and approving nods.
“Very well. Do I have the Council’s permission to bring the potential Slayer Faith Lehane under Council control?”
The chairman looked around the table and counted the nods. Eleven nods, one shake.
“The Concordat will not take to this interference kindly. We must approach this girl and her foster parents and explain the situation, train her as best we may while she remains with them. If we force her, she will not make a good Slayer if she is Chosen.” Travers said in a quiet voice.
“I have already gained the services of a highly trained adept who will be able to bring Miss Lehane to heel. There will be no need for pussy footing around her sensibilities, if the little street corner whore even has any.” Wyndham-Pryce’s voice emanated cold, and precise from the telephone.
“If the Concordat finds out, the backlash will be terrible. Need I remind you of the fragility of our operations in the Colonies?” Travers pointed out. “They will not stop at expulsions this time if we harm this girl or her foster parents.”
“Legate Travers, you are in charge of the detection of dangers to the Council and the direction of the Active Slayer at the Council’s behest. Your brief ends there. If you cannot accept that, you may step down from this Council.” The Chairman clearly thought that such an action might be best.
“I will not. And I still oppose the motion.”
“Very well. So noted.” The Chairman smiled grimly. *Almost. Just a few more sessions and I can have that idiot removed…We never should have let a Legate on the Council. They get too close to the Weapon to see the big picture. For the Greater Good.*
“Councillor Wyndham-Pryce, by a vote of eleven to one, the Council of Watchers you are hereby requested and required to bring the potential Faith Lehane under the control of the Council of Watchers, for the greater good and the protection of earth.” I, Ahenobarbus Dumbledore, Chairman, so order you to enact.
“So be it.”
“So be it.”
The phone went dead and eleven men turned to their sherry. One left, the grip of his hand on the handle of his brief case white and painful.
In Boston, Roger Wyndham-Pryce, Head of Operations North American Continent of the Watchers’ Council, Member of the Council of Thirteen, finalized his own plans.
“Now Tai Chi can be the basis of all your martial arts, as well as being one itself. It is a way to limber the body and free the mind; it is a way to loosen the muscles before and after a bout. In my opinion it is key to all martial arts.” Duncan said in his resonant voice. Faith looked at him and felt her stomach flutter once more.
“Now let’s begin. Move like me.” Duncan started of a slow kata and Faith tried to copy, but she spent a lot of time watching the movements of Duncan’s muscles under Duncan’s Gi, and rather little watching what he was actually doing.
Duncan very slowly bent over to loosen his back muscles. Faith’s eyes followed the line of his taut buttocks as the trousers of the Gi stretched over them. There was a soft, amused cough beside her and Gladys gave her a look.
“Pay attention to all the movements, Faith. Not just those of the lower back.“ She said in a dry voice. Faith started. Duncan’s chuckle rumbled from his bent over position and Faith blushed.
“I-I was just…” She began. Gladys put an arm around her.
“Enjoying the view, I know. Could you bend over like that again Duncan, I missed most of the good bit.”
“Gladys!” Duncan exclaimed, a blush rising up his cheeks.
“What? You have a very nice rear.” Gladys grinned at Duncan.
“What about Frank?”
“Oh, Frank has a very nice rear too…but I get to see that
every day. Yours is a special treat.” Faith sniggered as Duncan’s blush rose higher.
“Gladys, really! Frank, say something!”
Frank looked over, raised an eyebrow and with a perfectly straight face said. “Well, if you bend over again I’ll give you my opinion on your behind, but from what I saw it’s pretty good.”
Duncan pulled his Gi down and muttering dire imprecations in several languages, stalked to the dressing room of the Dojo, leaving Faith and Gladys howling with laughter, Dallman sniggering and Frank raising an innocent eyebrow as if to ask what he had done.
“What’s this?” Faith looked at the smooth stick in her hand with amazement.
“A bokutM, a wooden sword to practice Kendo with.” Frank said.
“Oh. Err. Why?”
“Because you wanted to learn martial arts. And I thought you might like to learn how to use a sword. It might give you a better way to concentrate than Tai Chi, you seem to find that too slow. Not to mention you seem to find the teacher distracting.” He added dryly.
Faith blushed a little as she remembered her Tai Chi lessons. Duncan was buying art in the East and was using Boston, and the Howards house, as his base of operations. This meant he had time to teach her some of his skills. If Faith could stop drooling long enough. It really was getting embarrassing.
Frank smiled. “Don’t worry. Duncan has that effect on women twice your age and more. Now, there are a great many rules about forms and such involving Kendo, but I suggest for now you just try and hit me, to get rid of some tension.”
Faith nodded and charged. Frank easily deflected her attacks, smiling. Faith doubled her attempts, scowling.
Roger Wyndham-Pryce looked around the room and smiled. He had hired a number of useful men who would not be missed once he was done with them. Young gang members, disgraced soldiers who were willing to do his bidding for a few untraceable hundred dollar bills. Together with his cadre of trained Watchers, it was more than enough.
The decoy had been acquired, as well a Polyjuice potion from their special operative. A hair from the potential would be acquired after her captivity, ready to be added to the potion and the girl would be a complete copy of Faith Lehane. She was quite useful to keep the men occupied as well, even if they did have to keep her high to get her to cooperate. Now all they needed was the opportunity.
The fire accelerant and the Molotov cocktail were ready. As was the note to be inserted into the girl’s high school locker. The facilities for the proper training of an obedient Weapon were ready too, and could be easily expanded and changed to encompass the core training of others. Oh yes, there would be others.
“Faith! Did you finish the milk?” Gladys called upstairs.
“Yeah, but I put a note on the fridge!” Faith called down.
“Oh, right, I’ve got it, it fell on the floor. I need some for dinner; will you be alright on your own for a bit, honey?”
“Sure! Mashed potatoes?”
“Lots and lots of mashed potatoes?” Faith’s voice sounded hopeful.
“Yes, and with double cream.” Gladys’ voice sounded amused.
“Okay! See ya when you get back!”
Gladys left the house, rain coat flapping around her knees, checking her car keys. The shop was near but they needed to eat early if they wanted the meal to settle before going to the Dojo.
“Gentlemen. Move in.”
The point men moved in on the Howard’s house, quickly opening the lock and disarming the remarkably sophisticated alarm system. Once the door was open the men beckoned the others in. They quickly searched the house, hall, kitchen, living room, dining room, home office, utility room, half bath, basement. Master bedroom en suite, library and study, two guest rooms, half bath and full bathroom. Teenage girl’s room. The girl was there, and ready.
Fiath jumped at the head of the first man who came inside, a rather scruffy looking man barely into his twenties. Her kick hit him on the temple and knocked him cold. The second kick took the one behind him in the crotch and he went down, groaning.
Third man was not so easy. He dodged her kick, and then her follow up punch grazed his arm, the force being absorbed by its backward movement. The man grinned.
“Not bad, girly. Who taught you your moves?” He said in a British accented voice.
“Frank and Gladys. And they are gonna kick your sorry butts when they get back home!” Faith aimed another kick, but was surprised by the two thin wires that flew past her attacker and struck her, sending unrestrained electricity to flow through her body. She fell in a heap, shuddering and spasming unable to put up a fight.
The man who’d spoken to her took out a pistol and held it to Faith’s forehead. Another took out a mobile phone. “Girl is down, bring in the decoy.”
The Brit grinned down. “We can amp up the electricity again. Or you can do as we tell you and stop fighting.”
Faith’s eyes were wide open in fear and shock. The man cocked the pistol and Faith nodded,
Then he and one of the others knelt and securely manacled Faith’s wrists and ankles behind her back, as well as duct taping her knees together.
A girl was brought in, looking glassy eyed and the man with the British accent took a bottle from a pouch at his belt, ripped a hair from Faith’s head, dropped it through the neck of the bottle and watched it fizz. Then he poured the potion down the throat of the drugged girl. She gasped, her eyes widening, and struggled in his grasp. The man looked at the girl dispassionately and smiled as her facial features changed, her body lengthened her hair darkened. Within a minute a perfect copy of Faith Lehane was looking up at him, her eyes dark and defiant.
One of the other men looked on in amazement, his tattoos marking him as gang member and his low forehead as a stupid one. “Well shit…two of them. C’mon boss, can’t we have a bit of fun?”
“Not with this one.” The Brit put a hand on Faith. “The other one is fair game. It might even be educational for Miss Lehane to see what might happen if she disobeys.” He grinned wickedly. “You have forty minutes.”